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The 5 Minute Mental Detox To Start Your Day Right

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Ever feel like your brain is swarming with bees and you can’t construct a clear thought? There’s nothing worse than the mental fog that comes from having a ‘wired and tired’ mind or a terrible night’s sleep.

Even while we sleep, our brains are busy working and sifting through mental clutter from the day before. So try this easy 5-day challenge: pick one of these simple, fast techniques to perform for five minutes first thing in the morning for five days straight, and notice how different you feel!

1. Reconnect With Nature

Our body’s natural circadian rhythms are kick-started by natural light. Plus, our brain loves to absorb natural scenery. First thing in the morning, take a five minute breather outside. Gaze upon the sky, listen to birdsong and feel the sunlight on your face. It’s amazing how this connection with nature can actually make you feel connected with yourself!

2. Practise Gratitude

When your heart is full of gratitude, there’s little room left for anger, fear or stress. For five minutes, write freely about all the things in your life that you feel grateful for. You may like to start with the simple things, like access to fresh food and water, but you may be surprised how richly blessed your life really is when you focus on how much good you have!

3. Do A Digi-Detox

How often do you wake up and reach for your phone? If you’re like many people, there’s a good chance that the first moments of your day are spent scrolling on Facebook or delving into emails. The trouble is, when you start your day with digital stimulation, you are starting your day on somebody else’s terms; your mood and thoughts are automatically influenced by the news, latest gossip or external demands in your inbox. Give yourself five minutes to start the day calmly on your terms, instead.

4. Read Something Positive

Opening your day with positive or inspiring words can have a powerful impact on how you filter your experiences for the rest of the day. Perhaps you could choose a quote that relates to an area of your life that you’d like to work on, or otherwise engage in reading that lifts your spirit and helps you to feel at ease.

5. Take 5 To Meditate

The benefits of meditation are profound. A daily practice of meditation can reduce anxiety and depression while simultaneously improving your focus and mood. There are no real rules for meditation and you can start by doing what feels best for you. Perhaps you’d like to simply breathe deeply for five minutes. Alternatively, you could practise clearing the mind and letting go of thought. Apps like Calm and Headspace can be extremely helpful for getting started.

THE BOSS BABY “Diapers” Trailer Tease 2017

THE BOSS BABY is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim. With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks’ THE BOSS BABY is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.

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 https://goo.gl/HhNHMr

10 Tips For The Perfect Mason Jar Salad

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Could transporting your salad to work, school or just to take on the road get any easier?! Our friends at Chief Active have shared this wonderful article with us and we think these tips will come in handy for all the Food Matters salad lovers out there! 

In case you hadn’t noticed, mason jars are all the rage these days! And with good reason – they are super cute and such a handy size, whether you use them around the home, use them for storage, or even use them to package your food!

While we are all about doing what makes you feel good, there is a bit of an art to packing the perfect mason jar salad to ensure maximum freshness and flavor when you want to eat your salad later on.

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Here Are Our Top 10 Tips For Building The Perfect Mason Jar Salad:

1. First things first, make sure your jar has been washed and dried before getting started (excess moisture in the jar will make salad leaves go yuck).

2. Be prepared! If you are super organized and get all your bits and pieces together first, you can whip up a mason jar salad in about 30 seconds flat! Next, prep and cook all your veggies and proteins that you want to include.

3. Want a dressing? I like to do things like cook my sweet potato in coconut oil and season with cinnamon and turmeric, or soak soba noodles in green tea and tamari, to let those flavors come through in my salads so I don’t even need dressing. But for a more traditional dressing you can’t go past good, old fashioned, extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt and cracked pepper!

4. It’s all about the layers, baby! To ensure your salad doesn’t turn into a soggy mess by lunchtime, it’s best to layer your salad with the more ‘juicy’ produce, like noodles, pasta, sweet potato, cut tomatoes, at the bottom, of the jar. If you have a dressing you can put this in the bottom of the jar too.

5. The middle layers of your salad can have a little bit of moisture in them, but you don’t want them to be soaking wet because it will muck up the delicate leafies that you’re putting on top. Grated carrot, zucchini, kale, corn kernels, blueberries, and whole cherry tomatoes are all great options for this middle layer because they are sturdy enough that they won’t get crushed (plus they taste great!)

6. Next layer is your leafy greens, like baby spinach, rocket (arugula), and mesclun lettuce leaves.

7. I also always add fresh cut herbs to all my salads because even a tiny sprinkle adds so much flavor.

8. Remember not to fill your jar all the way to the top because you need a little bit of room so you can shake your salad and mix everything up before you eat it. If the jar is packed too tightly you’ll just end up with a salad brick!

9. It’s always a good idea to add a handful of added protein to each salad, like chicken, drained tuna, boiled egg, seeds or nuts right on top.

10. PRO TIP: There’s a very important reason why I put nuts and seeds in the jar last. When I shake my salads to mix them up, the nuts and seeds make A LOT of noise when you shake it around. So if you keep shaking until you can’t hear your seeds clanging about, you know that your salad is mixed through good and proper.

The surprising coconut recipe that relieves bloating and inflammation

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Benefits of Coconut Yogurt

Coconut has many health benefits. The use of coconut in traditional medicine dates back hundreds of years. It can be used to treat many common ailments and can also be used to treat fungi and yeasts. Coconut is also known to reduce inflammation and assist with bowel irritation and sensitivity. It also acts as an antioxidant to protect the body from free radicals, thus improving the appearance of the skin and hair.

Coconut yogurt contains a large amount of coconut milk and other coconut-related ingredients, which means the yogurt is packed full of benefits for everyone. Coconut yogurt usually also contains probiotics, which promotes a healthy gut. It also assists with speeding up the metabolism and provides the body with essential nutrients such as essential fats, minerals, amino acids and vitamins.

How To Make Coconut Yogurt

Making coconut yogurt is much easier than you think. It can also be very affordable. You only need a couple of ingredients, mix them together and you’re done. You can then enjoy a cup of coconut yogurt and gain the nutritional values of yogurt, enjoy the taste of a delicious yogurt, but avoid the sensitivity to dairy.

First things first – before you get started, you first need to make a few choices. You need to choose the type of coconut milk you want to use, as well as the type of sweetener and thickener. The thickener is optional but gives the yogurt a smoother, thicker texture, which many people enjoy.

You can choose to purchase pre-canned coconut milk from your local supermarket, or make it yourself. You need to make sure to buy coconut milk that does not contain additives, and you should avoid the boxed versions that are labeled “ready to drink”. Sweetener can be sugar, maple syrup or honey. You can also do a combination of raw sugar and honey for a sweeter taste. If you choose to use a thickener, you can go with agar powder, grass-fed gelatin or starch. Finally, you will also need some probiotic powder – look for probiotic powder that contains at least one of the following strains:

  • Streptococcus thermophiles
  • Lactobacillus bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium lactic

Ingredients

To make 1 quart of yogurt, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups of coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon of your sweetener choice
  • Probiotic power
  • Thickener if you prefer a thicker texture

Instructions

Making coconut yogurt is easy. It only takes 4 steps and a little time.

  1. The first step is to heat the coconut milk and sweetener together. Remove the mixture from the heat just before it starts to boil. Let the mixture cool. If you chose to include a thickener, then you should use another bowl to dissolve the thickener mixture – follow the instructions as some thickeners should be dissolved in cold water and others in hot water. Add the thickener to the coconut mixture when it has dissolved properly and stir well to combine the ingredients properly.
  2. After the coconut milk has cooled down a bit, you should add the probiotic powder and stir the mixture until everything has combined. A jar with a seal is preferred – simply pour the mixture into the jar and place the jar (wrapped in a towel) in an oven that is off (lights should be turned on). You can also fill a cooler bag with hot water and place the jar in the water. It is vital that the temperature of the mixture inside the jar stays between 105ºF and 115ºF while culturing.
  3. Now allow the yogurt to culture for 8 to 24 hours. The amount of time required depends on how you like your yogurt. The longer it is cultured, the better the flavor.
  4. The final step is to place the mixture in the fridge for a minimum of 6 hours. You can leave it in the fridge overnight, and it will be perfect in the morning.

Best Uses for Dairy-Free Coconut Yogurt

Dairy-free coconut yogurt is delicious, and it is packed with probiotics and many other beneficial substances. It can be used for anything you usually use regular yogurt for – whether you eat it just as it is, add it to your breakfast or cook with it. Some nice ideas that you can try out:

  • Mix the yogurt with muesli for a delicious breakfast
  • Use the yogurt with a blend of fruit to make the perfect smoothie
  • Use the yogurt as an alternative to dairy-rich yogurt in tarts and other treats
  • Use the yogurt to prepare dinner – such as grilled chicken with yogurt sauce

There are endless possibilities to what you can do with this yogurt. Explore your creativity and find what works for you. Eating the yogurt in plain form is also great. Adding some fruit to spice up the flavor is another great idea.

Conclusion

There are millions of people who experience sensitivity to dairy. They usually try to avoid consuming any dairy, thus limiting themselves to the deliciousness and health benefits of yogurt. If you have a sensitivity towards dairy, then you shouldn’t limit yourself. Try to make a jar of dairy-free coconut yogurt and you’ll realize just how delicious dairy-free products really can be.

Order a blood test if you have 5 or more of these nutrient deficiency symptoms

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Nutritional deficiency (or malnutrition) is the result of the body not getting enough of the nutrients it actually needs. If you eat a well-balanced food, you’re probably giving your body enough amounts of vitamins and minerals it needs in order to function properly.

If not – there is a great chance your body is lacking in essential nutrients. Even though you eat good, some other factors – as certain health ailments (digestive problems and others) and your age – can impact the ability of your body to absorb the nutrients in the food.

In the meantime, storage time, soil quality, and processing may significantly influence the levels of some nutrients in your food, such that even healthy products might not be as nutrient-rich as you think.

Nutrient deficiency can be sneaky, as well. We often fail to recognize that mineral and vitamin deficiencies are making us unwell, and instead we turn to medicine or look for a diagnosis. So, why not turn to the safest approach first?

Unless you are really deficient for some time, you might notice not a single symptom, leading you to think (falsely, of course) that you are getting all the nutrition that your body needs.

But, many times, such deficiency do cause symptoms that can range from minor to severe. Except you know what to look for, though, you’re likely to mistake the symptoms for something else…

Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiency

The nutritional deficiency symptoms depend on which nutrient your body lacks.Testing for nutrient deficiencies is significant for everyone to do to know where they stand. But… how do you find out? Here are some common symptoms you may experience, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pallor (pale skin)
  • Unusual food cravings
  • Weakness
  • Sleepiness
  • Hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Periods of lightheadedness
  • Feeling fainting or faint
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tingling and numbness of the joints
  • Poor concentration
  • Menstrual problems (such as very heavy cycles or missed periods)
  • Depression

You may experience all of these symptoms or just some of them. Over time, many people adapt to these symptoms, and this could cause the problem to go undiagnosed. Therefore, you should schedule a check-up with your GP if you have prolonged periods of poor concentration, weakness, or fatigue. These symptoms could be a sign of the beginning of a serious deficiency.

Types of Nutritional Deficiency

Following, you can find the most common types of nutritional deficiencies:

1. Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency is the most widespread deficiency worldwide. It can lead to anemia, a common blood disorder that causes weakness, fatigue, and many other symptoms

Iron is found in foods such as red meat, egg yolks, and dark leafy greens. It helps our bodies make red blood cells.

2. Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A belongs to the group of nutrients vital for eye health and reproductive health. It also plays a great role in strengthening the immune system against various infections. A lack of vitamin A is the main cause of preventable blindness in children, according to the WHO. Pregnant women who are lacking in vitamin A have upper maternal mortality rates, too.

For babies, breast milk is the best source of vitamin A. For everyone else, it is significant to consume plenty of foods that are rich in vitamin A, including eggs, milk, orange vegetables (as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and carrots), green vegetables (as spinach, broccoli, and kale), and reddish-yellow fruits (as papaya, peaches, and apricots).

 3. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) Deficiency

Thiamine is a significant part of your nervous system. A lack of thiamine can result in fatigue and weight loss, as well as certain cognitive symptoms like short-term memory loss and confusion. Many grain products and breakfast cereals in the United States are fortified with vitamin B1. Pork is also a great source of thiamine.

4. Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Deficiency

Niacin, like thiamine, helps our bodies convert food into energy. A severe deficiency of vitamin B3 is usually referred to as pellagra. This vitamin is found in most proteins. Accordingly, this condition is really rare in meat-eating groups. Symptoms of pellagra include skin problems, dementia, and diarrhea. You can often treat it with a well-balanced diet and niacin supplements.

5. Vitamin B9 (Folate) Deficiency

Folate (folic acid is the synthetic form found in fortified foods or supplements), helps our bodies create red blood cells and produce DNA. Plus, it helps nervous system functioning and brain development. You can find vitamin B9 in foods, including citrus fruits, asparagus, lentils and beans, leafy green vegetables, fortified grain products, shellfish, and meats such as pork and poultry.

6. Magnesium Deficiency

About 80 % of people in the U.S. may be deficient in magnesium. This mineral is a crucially significant for optimal health, performing various biological functions, including activating nerves and muscles; helping digest fats, carbohydrates, and proteins; creating energy in the body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP); acting as a precursor for neurotransmitters as serotonin, and serving as a building block for DNA and RNA synthesis.

Early signs of magnesium deficiency include a headache, loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, and fatigue. An ongoing magnesium deficiency could lead to even more serious symptoms.

7. Vitamin D Deficiency

Vitamin D is truly essential for healthy bones. Approximately 40 % of the population in the whole world is affected by vitamin D deficiency. People with dark skin are at a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. Usually, vitamin D deficiency has been linked with rickets, a condition in which the bone tissue does not properly mineralize, causing soft bones and even skeletal deformities. This vitamin is found naturally in just a few foods, like fatty fish, fish liver oils, egg yolks, mushrooms, and liver.

8. Calcium Deficiency

Calcium helps our bodies develop strong teeth and bones. It also helps the nerves, muscles, and heart work properly. A calcium deficiency often does not show any particular symptoms, but it could lead to serious health issues over time. Calcium deficiency can lead to bone loss.

The best sources of calcium are dairy products such as yogurt, milk, cheese, small fish with bones, and calcium-set tofu. Vegetables like broccoli and kale also have calcium, and many grains and cereals are calcium-fortified.

9. Potassium Deficiency

Potassium helps the heart, kidneys, and other organs work properly. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, you could be lacking in potassium in a short term due to vomiting or diarrhea, antibiotics, or excessive sweating, or because of certain chronic conditions as kidney disease and eating disorders. Symptoms of a deficiency include muscle weakness, weight loss, constipation, and in some serious cases, an abnormal heart rhythm. Foods that contain potassium are bananas, vegetables, peas, beans, milk, and whole grains.

10. Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 helps make neurotransmitters in your brain and aids the production of DNA. According to Harvard Health Publications, with increasing number of individuals who’ve had weight loss surgery and vegans, vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming very common. The most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are numbness in the hands, feet, or legs; fatigue; anemia; weakness; problems with walking and balance; a swollen, inflamed tongue; memory loss; hallucinations, and paranoia. Find more about vitamin B12 deficiency and how to fix it!

How is Nutritional Deficiency Diagnosed?

Your GP will discuss your eating habits and diet with you if they suspect you experience a nutritional deficiency. They will ask about the symptoms you’re having. Remember to mention if you have suffered from any periods of diarrhea or constipation, or blood has been present in your stool.

The nutritional deficiencies can also be diagnosed during routine blood tests, as well as a complete blood count (CBC). This way doctors identify anemia.

Do These Tests to Find Out If You Have a Nutrient Deficiency

Many tests require a stool, saliva, urine, hair sample, or blood spot. You can do these tests in your doctor’s office, or you can even find an online doctor. Plus, you can find an expert on staff at a health food store, too. All of these tests come with great instructions and mailers. Here are the most common tests for nutrient deficiency:

Blood Tests

Depleted level of nutrients could lead to life-threatening conditions and limit the body’s ability to fight off many infections and diseases. Vitamin and nutrition blood tests are able to detect mineral, gluten, iron, magnesium, calcium and many other deficiencies, and tell you which nutrients you lack and which you are getting enough of natural sources. Do not just take supplements, your doctor will tell you how much and which ones you should take. You can even order online blood tests or panels for nutritional deficiencies.

Hair Mineral Testing

Hair mineral test includes a little sample of your hair. This test gives lots of good clues about your digestion, mineral status (including mercury), diet, digestion, and the balance between the different minerals.

Organic Acid Testing

This test gives the complete picture of what is actually happening in the cells. It’s a functional test – it looks at the products that the cells produce they have not enough or enough of the different nutrients. It includes a first-morning urine sample, which gives important information about deficient energy production (to see if you are properly burning fats, carbs, and proteins for energy rather than storing them as fat), detox problem, anti-oxidant status, neurotransmitter deficiencies, fungal/bacterial overgrowth, and more.

Tips to Boost Your Diet with Essential Nutrients

Try to get the nutrients your body requires from whole foods. I recommend leading a healthy, well-balanced diet. This means avoiding processed foods as much as possible and focusing on fresh produce, healthy fats, pastured poultry and grass-fed meats, organic free-range eggs, raw dairy products, seeds and nuts, and moderate amounts of fruits. The tips that follow will give you a great start:

  • Juicing – it will help you “pre-digest” the vegetables for you, thus, you will get most of the nutrition.
  • Sprouts – are very rich in enzymes and will allow your body to extract more amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and fats from the food you consume.
  • Fermented foods – support the “good “bacteria in the gut that helps with absorption of minerals and plays an important role in producing nutrients as vitamin K2 and B-vitamins.
  • Homemade bone broth – it contains a high amount of magnesium, calcium, and other essential nutrients.