Stress and Health

We all know that being stressed is not fun, and is definitely not healthy. We all get overwhelmed sometimes whether it is school, family, friends, or just general responsibilities that we have. Finding easy and enjoyable ways to relieve stress is quite beneficial because mental health is just as important as physical health. In fact stress can take a toll on your body as well as your mind. Stress can cause restlessness and the inability to sleep, underrating or overeating, unwillingness to participate in physical activities, and just leads to unhealthy behavior overall. In more extreme cases stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Clearly stress is a serious issue and should be handled before it is too late. I wanna look at fun and simple ways to subdue stressful feelings to keep you both mentally and physically healthy.

The first thing you should do when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out is slow down and identify what is bothering you. If what you are stressed about has to be done soon I would suggest just taking a second to breath and just think positive. I know that sounds pointless but it can actually help a lot more than you think. If you have time to deal with what is going on in your life the best stress reliever of all is doing something you love, that is also healthy.

Being with others you enjoy is a great way to lower stress

When I am stressed I love to be with friends, go outside, watch shows, read, and hang out with my pets. These relaxing and enjoyable activities enable tensed muscles to relax and reduce anxiety. Stress was initially a survival mechanism as it enabled our ancestors to tense up at signs of danger. Nowadays we don’t have that same kind danger to worry about and tension caused by stress puts unnecessary strain on our bodies which leads to harmful health consequences.

Me and the dogs! (trust me dogs help)

When stressed I also find that physical activity helps whether that is taking a walk or going to workout. When you exercise your body releases endorphins leading to a sense of euphoria. As well as relieving stress and overall just making you feel better physical activity is great for your body.

Hiking and being outdoors with others is another great stress reliever

Hopefully this gave you some insight into stress and inspired you to take time in your life to do things you enjoy. Not only is it fun but it is super healthy for you both mentally and physically!

Exercise Can be Fun

The whole idea of exercising today consists of going on long runs, working out at the gym, and just overall seems extremely time consuming and difficult. This reputation that exercising has acquired has driven many people away as they feel they don’t have enough time or motivation to commit. This is slightly problematic since exercising is great for your overall health and is very beneficial now, and in the long run. I want to introduce a new idea about staying fit and healthy that can be incooperated into everyday life and can actually be considered fun.

Over President’s Day weekend I went up to Mammoth to go skiing with some friends. We skied for three days and we all had an amazing time. I then began to realize that I was actually exercising everyday during that break, but I was having a great time doing so. This led me to the idea that exercise can be fun and is even better with friends. Skiing isn’t really the first thing that comes to mind when you think of exercise but it is actually great physical activity.

Me and Madeline hitting the slopes

There are so many other ways to incorporate physical activities into everyday life even if they may not fall into the typical category of working out. Going on hikes, swimming, biking, doing yoga and even just choosing to walk instead of drive can actually make a big difference. These simple activities are quick and actually fun especially when you are with people you enjoy.

One of my favorite things to do regularly is hike. The San Ysidro trail, in Montecito, is walkable from my house which is really fun since I can walk up whenever I want. Aside from the physical activity hiking provides great views and is really fun to do with friends, so this week I had Madeline come over to hike with me.

A view from our hike

We had fun walking up the gorgeous trails, taking pictures, and of course laughing and talking. I really love the idea of getting outside and being active with others since it is much more enjoyable and you are both getting a workout. Overall I think being active with other is one of the best ways to improve health both physically and mentally!

Health Booster Smootie Test

This week I’ve decided to test out two healthy, easy to make smoothies. I’m going to see whether they are as simple as advertised, if the cost of the ingredients is worth it, and most importantly if they taste good. So I found two recipes one for a Power Smoothie and the other for a Detox Green Smoothie.

Power Smoothie Ingredients

  • 1 cup orange juice (good quality)
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup ice

Green Detox Smoothie

  • 1 cup spinach leaves
    1 banana, cut into pieces
    1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
    1 tbsp chia seeds
    1 cup unsweetened almond milk, add more if needed

So far neither smoothie looks too complicated to make. The only thing I’m a little apprehensive about is that both drinks contain spinach. I was curious to know why this random ingredient was added to both recipes, because I am almost positive it isn’t for flavor. I actually found spinach has many health benefits containing iron, calcium, magnesium, helps promote healthy bones, lowers blood pressure, and even fights cancer and diabetes. Another odd ingredient in the Green Detox Smoothie was chia seeds, but chia seeds are fiber and protein rich foods loaded with antioxidants and containing very few calories. So it seems both smoothies are really focusing on providing nutrients to the consumer. So let’s get started!

The first smoothie I made was the Power Smoothie. I actually had all of the ingredients in my home to make this smoothie but I’d estimate the cost to come out to around 15 dollars. This recipe made a lot more than I expected so I’d say the cost would be worth it because you end up with about three whole smoothies. It was really easy to make and filling so making this smoothie as a meal replacement would work really well. It’s filling enough to keep you energized and contains a great amount of nutrients. As for the taste I’ve had better but it wasn’t something I found hard to drink like some of the other healthy smoothies I’ve had. Overall I’d say the Power Smoothie was a success and I recommend trying this smoothie as a meal replacer to provide your body with the needed nutrients and without the unnecessary calories!

I then tested out the Green Detox Smoothie. I just had to buy the frozen pineapple which was like four bucks. I had the rest of the ingredients so I’ve estimated the cost to about sixteen dollars. The only thing I would say about this is that the amount of smoothie made is a lot less than the Power Smoothie so I’d say it’s not completely cost efficient. Other than that it tasted great and was really easy to make! The other great thing about both of these smoothies is that they can easily be prepared then stored in the fridge and used as a easy to go meal that’s really healthy.

Overall I’d definitely recommend trying out both of these smoothies. They could be a fun healthy snack, a meal to go, or, if you are really going for the healthiest option, a daily meal replacement.

Natural Immunity Boosters in Everyday Eats

Whenever I feel like I need to eat better I have this idea of elaborate salads and all organic meals. I am looking for a way to make eating healthier easier and more enjoyable. I figure the simpler it is to help your eating habits the more willing you’d be to do so. I have found four immunity boosting foods on Dr. Oz’s website that can be eaten everyday with about any simple meal you have. So let’s get started!

These immunity boosters can be added to food you love and eat everyday!

The first immunity boosting food I found was avocado. Adding avocado to you diet supports adrenal function and health. They contain essential amino acids, healthy fats, and antioxidants to balance hormone production as well. Having a half a cup of avocado a day is pretty simple considering all the things you could add it to. My personal favorite is avocado toast but putting avocado in your salad, having guacamole, or even eating it plain with olive oil and salt easily adds it to what you eat daily.

The next simple immunity booster is ginger. Ginger warms the body and helps break down toxins in the organs, especially in the lungs and sinuses. It also helps clense the body’s lymphatic system. By breaking down the accumulation of toxins in your body ginger decreases your risk of infection. I really love ginger tea in the morning and before bed during the cooler months. When it is warmer you can also make ginger infused water to drink iced. Ginger is a great flavor booster and is used in spices, sauces, and many flavored drinks as well.

Ginger can be used in drinks, spices, sauces, smoothies, and more

Next is oatmeal. This health food contains soluble fiber which reduces LDL, also known as you “bad” cholesterol. This fiber rich food can be eaten warm in the morning with brown sugar as a nutritious way to start the day. if you are looking for an easier to go snack oatmeal also has you covered, with overnight oatmeal.You can prepare the oatmeal then place it into small separate jars with a bit of sugar and whatever else you want to add. I add flax seeds, chia seeds, and pumpkin seeds to add a couple more health promoting ingredients. You then place your little snacks in the fridge and you can either heat them up or take them cold.

The final quick immunity booster is pomegranate. Pomegranate juice contains ellagic acid and Punic alagin which fight the damage cause by free radicals and preserve the collagen in your skin. Pomegranates are also a powerful source of phytonutrients that promote healthy skin. You can eat pomegranates plain as a simple snack or place them in a salad, smoothie, or berry bowl.

This berry bowl is packed with nutrients and tastes great

When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle I think the most important thing is consistency. Whether it is exercising a few times a week of attempting to maintain a healthy diet the reasults won’t show unless you commit to what you are doing and work to achieve your goal!

Pressed Juice Clense Challenge

Most people think health is working out every day and eating things that are all natural, which seems like a pretty unrealistic expectation with all the other crazy things going on in life. I am trying to find ways to maintain a healthy way of living while balancing school and other activities. I am going to be trying out a variety of healthy living tips and tricks to see which have an impact and which don’t, and encourage you to improve your lifestyle as well. So let’s get started!

The first thing I am going to try is something I’ve heard about a lot but have been skeptical of how well it actually works. It’s supposed to be a sort of cleansing detox that leaves you refreshed and renewed. Pressed Juicery claims it works in your body replacing the junk with something incredibly clean and delicious. They also state that the clense works to reset your tastebuds making you crave more fruits and vegetables, which would encourage healthier eating. I want to find out how well this quick treatment actually works and look into the health benefits it has. I am going to try the Pressed Juicery Clense 1. This is the beginner clense lasting for a day. This clense includes Vanilla Almond, Greens 2, Roots 2, Citrus 2, Greens 3, and Chocolate.

These are the some of the juices I like the tase of. I haven’t tried most of the juices in the clense so we’ll see how I feel about them. . .

Now, my initial thoughts on this are that it won’t do much and will just leave me super hungry. The total calories this clense of six juices contains is 680, rough I know.  I can’t wait to see how this quick and supposedly super healthy challenge goes.

So I started off my Thursday morning with the Vanilla juice which wasn’t all that bad. I’m not much of a big breakfast person anyway so my morning wasn’t really affected. I brought the Green juice 2 to school, as well as the extra aloe Vera H20 they gave me since we have a membership. I sipped my juice and water throughout the school day, but by eleven something I  got pretty hungry and sort of tired.

Luckily I picked a block schedule day to try this out because I get to go home at 12:45 due to Independent P.E. When I finally did get home around one I was starving. I grabbed my citrus 2 out of the fridge hoping that it might help the hunger and slight light headedness I felt. It didn’t. Fast forward to five-ish I have now begun watching the food videos that pop up on my instagram feed and I’m dying. I do admit that making it this long without anything but juice fees like a healthy accomplishment. I think that every once and a while a cleanse could probably serve as a good way to reset your eating habits as long as you don’t dive back into old habits as soon as the cleanse is over. So back to the clense. That night I had the chocolate juice for dinner while my family ate actual food which was pretty hard to watch, then I went to bed pretty early cause I was exhausted. Friday morning I actually woke up feeling better than I had the night before, and throughout the day I actually wasn’t snacking as much as usual.

My conclusion on the Pressed Juice Cleanse was that it does sort of work. It takes some willpower and motivation for sure, but the whole day after I felt that I didn’t need to snack as much and overall just felt better. If you can I recommend trying a cleanse for a day cause it is a quick easy way to feel like you are doing something healthy and it totally helps to reset your pallet!