What is Moon Milk?

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Have you been looking at your Instagram feed and noticed mugs filled with a pretty blue liquid? If so, this is probably moon milk, which is the newest trend in the health community. Keep reading to learn what moon milk is, how it is made, and even how to make it blue!

What is Moon Milk Made from?

To put it in simple forms, moon milk starts with just a base of warmed up milk, then adds various ingredients for added health benefits, and of course to turn the milk blue. There are many different recipes out there, but you want to use your preferred form of milk (including dairy-free options), with spices and oils. Some recipes use vanilla and essential oils, while others will use spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. It really depends on your tastes and preferences. 

Moon milk often includes herbs as well, to boost the health benefits of this drink. Adaptogens are a popular addition, which can help reduce stress and boost your immune system.

What are the Health Benefits?

You are going to get the same health benefits that you get from the type of milk that is used, with additional benefits from the added ingredients. Here are some health benefits many people have reported:

Getting better sleep. One of the main reasons people drink moon milk in the evening is to help them sleep. It works wonders at helping you to relax and unwind for sleep.

Relaxing at night with reduced stress and anxiety.

Anxiety, stress, and depression all tend to be worse at night. This is when everything is quiet and you don’t have many distractions for your mind and your thoughts. If you need more relaxation, moon milk can help a lot.

Supplement important nutrients. It also gives you one last chance in the evening to increase your nutrients, particularly with carbs and protein.

What are the Health Benefits?

You are going to get the same health benefits that you get from the type of milk that is used, with additional benefits from the added ingredients. Here are some health benefits many people have reported:

Getting better sleep. One of the main reasons people drink moon milk in the evening is to help them sleep. It works wonders at helping you to relax and unwind for sleep.

How Do You Make it Blue?

And the biggest question of all – how is moon milk BLUE? There are a few ways people add the blue color to their moon milk, but one of the most popular ways is with butterfly pea powders. 

First of all, not all moon milk is blue, but many people do like this color. Some are more of a pink or purple shade, depending on the ingredients you use. But with the butterfly pea flowers, you are able to add the powder to your moon milk and give it a fun shade.

What is Chronic Fatigue?

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or CFS is a disease that plagues between one and four million Americans. The exact number is difficult to determine because Chronic Fatigue is often misdiagnosed. It’s also masked by other illnesses which can mimic or parallel symptoms. 

Symptoms of Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue symptoms can be both mysterious and debilitating. The most profound and notable symptom is fatigue. The fatigue is chronic, it’s life altering and it is worsened by both physical and mental activity. Fatigue lasts more than six months and is not attributed to another medical diagnosis. Your life is changed when Chronic Fatigue shows up. 

Other symptoms of chronic fatigue include:

  • Short-Term Memory Loss Or Reduction
  • Difficulty Concentrating 
  • Sore Throat
  • Tender Lymph Nodes
  • General Muscle Pain; 
  • Multi-Joint Pain 
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia Or Poor Sleep
  • Malaise

So what causes Chronic Fatigue?

Unfortunately not much is known about the causes of Chronic Fatigue. Some researchers suspect it may be a virus and therefore contagious however, presently there is no evidence to suggest this. They do know that it generally attacks certain types of people including:

  • Women tend to get CFS more than men. (Though this may be simply because they go to the doctor for it whereas men may not be willing to see a physician because they’re tired)
  • It occurs most often for people in their 40s and 50s.
  • The truth of the matter is that CFS can attack, men, women, adults, children and any race, income level or geographic area. Hereditary and genetic factors have yet to be found.

Chronic Fatigue Treatment

If you’ve had the above symptoms and debilitating fatigue for several weeks, particularly after any exertion, it’s important to go to the doctor to get a diagnosis. There is treatment for Chronic Fatigue. Physicians will take a combined approach and treat the symptoms as well as help sufferers with a lifestyle change. Because there is no cure for Chronic Fatigue, treatment suggestions will vary. 

Common treatments include:

  • Counseling to develop coping skills
  • Treating symptoms like headache, sore throat and muscle pains
  • Cognitive behavior therapy to help develop habits to manage symptoms including exercise and diet
  • Alternative therapies. Some patients have found relief with hands on therapies like massage and even yoga.

If you suffer from Chronic Fatigue you know its life altering. However, there are real strategies you can use to improve your life and function at a higher level. Support groups, the medical community and lifestyle changes can all offer an improved life. Chronic Fatigue doesn’t have to define you or your life. If you suspect you may be suffering from chronic fatigue, visit your doctor and get a diagnosis so you can start taking steps to get your life back.

What is a Flexitarian?

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You have heard of being a vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and even other forms of vegetarian like an octo-ovo vegetarian. The flexitarian is yet another way to remove meat and animal products from your diet, but not completely. Instead of committing to never eating meat or fish again, you are more flexible with it. Flexitarians do eat much less meat than people who follow a typical diet, but still a little more than a vegetarian or vegan. Here is more information about this type of diet.

You Eat Less Meat and Animal Products

To start with, a flexitarian is close to a vegetarian in that you really don’t eat many animal products. The majority of your diet is made up of whole, plant-based foods, like lots of fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. While you might eat eggs and dairy on a regular basis, other animal products like meat and fish are pretty rare. 

Your Diet Consists of Mainly Whole Foods

In addition to eating less meat, you probably have a healthier diet than the standard American diet. This consists of whole, clean foods, and less processed foods in general. That way, you know you are getting a good amount of nutrients, including enough protein and iron that you might have otherwise missed out on by not eating as much fish, poultry, and meat. If you eat too many processed foods, your protein will likely be much too low, and you may start noticing issues.

Most of Your Protein Comes from Plants

You still need protein when you are a flexitarian, but instead of getting your protein from animal sources, you will still get most of your protein from plant-based sources. People on a standard diet without restrictions, often start with their type of meat or poultry as the main protein of their meal. Instead of doing that, you will focus on plant-based types of protein, such as beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Some excellent sources of protein for people who follow the flexitarian lifestyle include:

  • Chickpeas and other beans
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Oats
  • Greek yogurt
  • Tofu

The “Flex” in Flexitarian

As a flexitarian, you might still have some animal products, but far less than what other people eat. Maybe a couple days a week, you want to add chicken to your veggie stir-fry, or you go out to eat and the salmon sounds good. But overall, it is pretty limited and definitely not the bulk of your diet. 

Stay Healthy While Working From Home

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With more people working from home, a common question has come up – how do I get more exercise and avoid eating too much when I am at home full-time? But don’t worry, it is possible to improve your physical health even while working from home, just like if you were working in an office. 

Here are 10 different things to focus on when it comes to staying healthy while working from home.

1. Staying Active and Stretching

One of the best things you can do when you work from home is to stay active. Even if you sit at a desk or work on the couch with your laptop all day, there are still plenty of opportunities to move your body.

Make it a goal to move more throughout the day, not only with daily exercise, but getting up from your day and stretching more often. 

2. Nutrition While Working from Home

Another pitfall that people often fall into when working from home is snacking or indulging in treats all day. If you have found that your nutrition is falling behind from working near your kitchen all day, here are some tips that can help:

Have healthy snacks on hand – If you tend to reach for chips or candy often, keep healthier snacks within your reach. Have fruit or nuts on your desk, keep granola bars on the counter, make sure your fresh fruit and veggies are visible, instead of a box of donuts on the counter.

Do meal prep – Meal prep works great when you work from home too! This does not just have to be for bringing lunch to work. The more you have prepared at home, the less tempted you will be to order food delivery or go out to eat.

Designated kitchen times – A common trap when working from home is feeling like you can walk into the kitchen at any time and eat something. To prevent this, have designated kitchen and meal times just like you would if you worked in an office.

3. Developing Healthier Habits

Staying healthy while working from home isn’t about being on a diet or trying to be restrictive. It is about balance, which starts with developing some healthy habits. 

Do you eat better when you have your workout first thing in the morning? Then you know this can be a wonderful healthy habit for you! Habits don’t have to feel like a chore or something you are forcing to do. It is very small changes in your day that make the difference.

Try Working on your daily routine. From morning routines to what you do in the afternoon, you can change your routines in order to be healthier at home.

Get your family involved. Sometimes, what you need is to focus on the health of your family, not just yourself. Let your kids help with meal times, exercise with the family, and find family-focused activities to get you up and moving throughout the day.

4. Finding Your Health Motivation

What is the reason you want to be healthier while working from home? This is where you can start, and will help with not just your health, but your happiness when you are at home working all day. Make a list of everything that is motivating you to be healthier, starting with your WHY. 

Answer this question in your journal or in a notebook:

“Why do you want to be healthier while working from home?”

This is important, because it helps you understand yourself a little more, and find what is going to motivate you the most. There is no wrong answer here, except one where you aren’t being honest with yourself. 

5. Creating a Healthy Morning Routine

To start working on your healthy habits at home, begin with your morning routine. Don’t worry about having a perfect routine or one that you get 100% right every day. Routines are simply, a collection of activities you do around the same time each day. 

Everything in your routine should serve some kind of purpose and be something you want to get done in the morning, or that will help you start your day on the right foot.

Benefits of the Morning Routine

Why have a morning routine? When you are working from home, you need some structure. Without a boss looking over your shoulder or co-workers to be accountable to, it requires a lot more self-motivation. This also includes your health journey while working from home. 

Some benefits of having a morning routine include:

  • Starting your day off with healthy habits
  • Incorporating healthy habits into your routine
  • Setting yourself up for the day
  • Getting in exercise first thing in the morning
  • Changing your mindset to a healthy, balanced one

6. Health Pitfalls to Avoid

It is really easy to think the habits and routines you have implemented in your work from-home life are for health, but many of them are about losing weight or being overly restrictive. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when you are on a health journey:

Going on a restrictive diet – Many people think that to eat healthy, they need to be on a diet. But this is not true! Change your mindset from what you need to take away from your diet to what you can add in to improve the nutrients and fuel your body.

Focusing on the wrong thing’s – When it comes to your health, it is more about how you feel, not what you think you should be doing. This goes for everything you do at home, from your physical activity and what you eat, to the information you consume and what your routine looks like.

Feeling like your aren’t doing enough – Any small change you make or healthy habit you incorporate into your work-from-home life is going to improve your physical health and wellbeing. It is enough.

7. Taking Regular Breaks

Make sure you have a balanced work schedule throughout the day, including taking enough breaks. Think of your work-from-home schedule just like a schedule if you were in the office still. This includes a morning and afternoon break, and a lunch break! If you would get up every hour to move and stretch your body in the office, then you should be doing that now as well. 

Do desk stretches  – There are stretches you can do while sitting down or standing. These give you the opportunity to look somewhere other than your computer screen, stretch your body, and hopefully stand up to stretch out your legs as well.

Walk Around – Also use your breaks as a chance to get up and walk around your house or office space. 

Make Adjustments– Do you feel like your neck is stiff or back is hurting? You may be sitting incorrectly. Check the ergonomics of your workstation, whether you are working at a desk or your kitchen table.

8. Environmental Changes

Everyone needs a good work-life balance, whether you work from home or out of the home. But it tends to be a little more complicated when your home is also your office. 

One of the best things you can do for your work-life balance when you work from home is to have a schedule that tells you when you start work, and when you stop. Avoid bringing your laptop to the couch or your bed to get work done before or after your work day is meant to begin.

This small change in addition to having a separate workspace will make a big difference in your work-life balance.

9. Your Work-Life Balance

The environment where you work at home can also make a big difference in your health and wellbeing. Here are some things you can change in your environment for your health:

Setting up your workspace – Make sure your workspace is set up for focus and productivity, including a desk or table that is comfortable, all the accessories you need to get work done, proper lighting, and a way to cancel out noise or distractions. 

Having healthy resources at home – It is also good to have resources available to you at home to improve your health if this is a priority. This might be nutritious food and snacks, home workout accessories, or just some house plants in your office to get you in the healthy mindset.

Designated break area’s– Taking a break at home is a little different from a traditional workplace, since you are already in your relaxing place. This is why having a designated workspace AND a designated place to take your breaks is so essential. 

10. Are You Ready to Be Healthier?

Let’s summarize how to be healthier at home and make sure you are ready and on the right path.

Small habits for big changes – Remember that it is not about changing your entire life if you want to be healthier. Just choose some smaller habits, and working from home will benefit you greatly.

Find your motivation – What motivates YOU to be healthier might not motivate anyone else. Be honest with yourself about what you are trying to achieve. 

Set health goals – Lastly, set some goals for yourself when it comes to your health. What are you trying to improve? What are you struggling with right now? The more specific your goals are, the easier they will be to achieve.

The Dos and Donts of Elimination Diets

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The Dos and Don’ts of Elimination Diets

Elimination diets are not diets that you use for weight loss, and are not meant to be followed long-term. Instead, they remove certain types of foods from your diet that might be triggering physical symptoms, such as from IBS or gluten intolerance, in order for you to then add them back one at a time to figure out what foods are causing the issues.

Don’t Try to Do More Than One at a Time

Elimination diets are not meant to be combined with other diets or elimination diets. If you aren’t sure whether you should do Whole30 or the Low FODMAP diet, do not try to do them both! Start with the one that seems most relevant to what you are experiencing, go through the entire process, and wait a while before you attempt anything else.

Do Consider Your Actual Reasons

Make sure you are trying the elimination diet for the right reasons, such as a medical reason. Elimination diets are not meant to be a way to lose weight, but instead to figure out what foods are causing you issues. You really should only do this type of diet if your doctor recommend it, or if you have ongoing issues with your gut or other medical issues, and you can’t figure out the source.

Don’t Be More Restrictive Than Necessary

You also don’t want to be more restrictive than what the elimination diet recommends. This means putting aside calorie and macro counting for now, so you are just focused on what foods you can and can’t eat. If you have been on the path to lose weight, it helps to take a break from that temporarily just while you go through the elimination diet phrase. It is really hard to cut foods out, while also trying to eat less and focus on weight loss.

Do Follow the Plan as Intended

Read the rules and guidelines of the elimination diet thoroughly to be sure you get it right the first time. Most elimination diets remove the problem foods for a short period of time, usually 2-4 weeks. Then, there is the reintroduction phase, where you start reintroducing the foods one at a time, note how you feel and if it gives you any reactions, then you move on to the next food.

The Importance of Slowing Down

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In today’s society, life moves very fast. People seem to think that they should always be doing more, staying busy, and constantly running around. But while it is important to keep your goals in mind and work hard to achieve them, you also need downtime to regroup. Here are some reasons why you might need to slow down.

You Can Avoid Burnout

Most people face burnout at some point, but it is actually completely preventable. You tend to have burnout when you are overwhelmed, work too much , and just try to handle everything without giving yourself enough breaks. Burnout causes stress and a feeling of being overwhelmed. You might find that you can’t focus on work, your productivity goes down, or you lose interest in things you used to enjoy working on. These are all common signs of burnout.

You Gain Clarity

Slowing down and giving yourself more time off can also help you to gain some clarity. Have you been struggling with making decisions lately? Do you feel like you are working your fingers to the bone, but not finding success? This can often be from a lack of clarity. You need to slow down and sometimes even stop what you’re doing, take a step back, and evaluate what you have been working on and how you spend your time. You just might find the piece that is missing.

It Helps You on Your Priorities

With just a little more time in between projects and daily responsibilities, you are able to focus on what is most important to you in life. Maybe that means more self-care time, spending time with loved ones, or in some cases, figuring out where your priorities are. Slowing down is essential to figuring out what your progress is and deciding if the path you are currently on is the right one.

You Can Pay Attention to Stress in Your Life

There may be some hidden sources of stress in your life, that you don’t realize is affecting your mental and physical health. We often move so quickly from one thing to next, that we don’t stop long enough to check in on ourselves. If you don’t remember the last time you just stopped to pay attention to your own mind and thoughts and how your body feels, it is possible you are missing out on some important sources of stress that need to be addressed.

The Newest Keto Food Trend: How to Make Chaffles

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The Newest Keto Trend: How to Make Chaffles

Whether you follow the actual ketogenic diet, or you are simply on a low carb diet, chaffles are going to be your next favorite thing. They allow you to make mini waffles made from eggs and cheese – and that’s it! You will find out more below, but these can be eaten as waffles, turned into bread, or made into so many decadent meals and even desserts.

The Basic Chaffle Recipe

There are a lot of different chaffle recipes out there, but it all started with just 2 ingredients – shredded cheese and an egg. It’s difficult to find the person who invented the chaffle, since it was so popular and everyone was sharing it all over Instagram.

The most basic recipe calls for 1 egg and 1/2 cup of shredded Mozzarella cheese. But you can use shredded cheese of any variety, which is going to change the flavor and texture of the chaffle. It is fun to use different types of cheese and figure out what flavor combination you like best, whether you mix 2-3 cheeses together, try cheddar, or go spicy with a Monterey jack.

Why Make Chaffles?

When you are on a low-carb diet, there is a lot you can’t eat anymore that you might be missing. Regular waffles, bread, hamburger buns, and a lot more food staples you used to rely on. By making waffles with just egg and cheese, it is extremely low in carbs, and helps keep your sandwiches together.

Does it taste like cheese? This might depend on how you make it and who you ask. If you are accustomed to using cheese for toppings and taco shells on the Keto diet, then the taste likely won’t bother you. But it definitely doesn’t taste like a normal waffle. The cheese crisps up, and the egg helps to hold it together.

Ways to Use Chaffles

Here are a few different variations on the basic chaffle, as well as some options for what to do with it.

Fold it into a taco shell – Your first option is to make a taco shell with the chaffle, which might be slightly easier than if you use cheese on a pan to make a cheese shell that way.

Use for a sandwich – The most popular way to use chaffles is to turn them into sandwich bread. If you have been missing a turkey club or your favorite BLT, now is the chance to make one with the chaffle recipe.

Make savory waffles – You can also keep the cheese waffles as is, and top them with lunch meat and more cheese with some veggies, or go the opposite direction and try some dessert varieties.

Subtle Signs of Stress in Your Daily Life

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It is easy to know when you are dealing with extreme stress, such as a serious illness or the loss of a job. But there are so many other sources of stress that you might not realize are affecting your body and your mental health. Here are some subtle signs that you are dealing with stress in your daily life.

You Are Constantly Tired and Fatigued

Do you feel like you are always tired, no matter how much sleep you get or caffeine you consume? If fatigue is becoming a problem, it might actually be from your emotional stress. What happens is when you have a lot of stress in your life, even very small sources of stress, it can cause your cortisol levels to be out of balance. This in turn affects your ability to get a good nights’ sleep, and also reduces your energy levels during the day. So, if you find that you struggle both with insomnia and fatigue, or just being tired no matter how much you sleep, it could be a sign of stress.

Your Mood is Unpredictable

Another sign of stress that people often think is from other sources is when you are moody, agitated, or irritable. Your brain is handling a lot when you have multiple reasons to be stressed out every day, and you are probably focusing on your stressors more than anything else. This causes a lot of overwhelm, panic, anxiety, and many more emotions that can lead to moodiness and agitation. 

Your Anxiety is Getting Worse

You may also notice that on days when you have more to stress about, your anxiety is also worse. There is a big connection between stress and mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. People with chronic stress find that their anxiety is worse, and those with anxiety find that stress affects them more severely. It is a difficult cycle to be caught up in. If you have an anxiety disorder, it is even more important for you to recognize the signs of stress and try to keep it under control as best you can.

You Feel Confused and Lack Focus

Lastly, you might have brain fog from the stress, which can cause a lot of confusion, lack of focus, and poor concentration. If you notice that you are getting behind in work, you can’t really focus on a task for very long, or your concentration is suffering, it may be from your stress.

The Secret to Quick and Healthy Breakfasts

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Most experts agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. As the name suggests, you are breaking your fast, or period when you have not been eating. Some people eat at around 6 or 7 pm in the evening and get up about 12 hours later. Skipping breakfast would mean running on an empty fuel tank.

Eating a sugary sweet donut can be worse than eating nothing because it will cause a spike in blood sugar. The spike will last about 30 minutes, temporarily boosting one’s energy. Unfortunately, this spike can often leave you hungrier than before and prone to uncontrollable cravings which can cause you to start packing on the pounds.

There are a number of things to consider when planning a healthy breakfast. It should have protein in it, and fiber. Both of these will help fill you up. You should also eat “slow carbs” – ones that will not release their energy in one big spike, but gradually over time

Protein

Eggs are an excellent breakfast food as long as no one is allergic. There is about 7 grams of protein for 70 calories in a boiled or poached egg. 

A lot of people enjoy breakfast proteins such as bacon and sausage. Just be careful that they don’t have too much hidden sugar in them (such as maple bacon) or too much salt (sodium). 

Fiber

When choosing bread and cereals, opt for whole grains. Avoid white bread and sugary cereals with lots of food coloring. Homemade oatmeal is a great way to start off the day; it is rich in fiber and can be dressed up with cinnamon and fruit.

Fresh fruit can be eaten on its own, or added to oatmeal, made into yogurt parfaits, or added to cereal, pancakes and waffles. Berries are a good choice because they are high in disease-fighting antioxidants. You can use apples for the same reason. 

Some people like to start the day with citrus, such as orange juice and grapefruit. Try to use the whole orange to get all of the fiber. Grill the grapefruit with a bit of brown sugar on top for a tasty start to the morning.

Slow Carbs

Slow carbs take longer to digest and are high in fiber. They release their energy slowly, so they should tide you over until lunchtime. They also make you less prone to cravings because you feel fuller for longer. 

Bread choices include whole wheat and any of the 12- or 15-mixed grain breads, which usually have a dense texture and a nutty taste. Cut off the crusts if the children are picky. Use the bread for French toast or a breakfast bread pudding. 

Multigrain wraps are ideal for breakfast burritos. You can make them the night before while you are cleaning up after dinner. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate overnight. Heat and eat the next morning. For breakfast on the go, wrap in foil before heading out the door.

Pancakes and waffles can be made with whole wheat flour, but they will be denser and absorb more liquid, so adjust your recipes accordingly.

French toast and pancakes can be ideal bread substitutes for a breakfast sandwich such as bacon, ham, cheese, sausage, and so on. You can also fill with berries, cream and Nutella for a tasty treat on the go. Cook your French toast and pancakes in batches and freeze in a zippered storage bag. Take out, heat and eat as needed.

Potatoes in hash brown or home fries can also be a good choice provided you don’t use a lot of oil when frying them.

Use these suggestions to keep the hunger pangs out until lunchtime.

Healthy and Well-Balanced Snack Ideas

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If you are a fan of protein bars, but don’t want the bars loaded with sugar and ingredients, you can make your own. Instead of bars, it is easier to combine the ingredients and make oat balls. You can grab one or two for a snack when heading out the door, pack it for lunch, or enjoy it at home. Protein balls come in different varieties with tons of recipes, but the basic recipe uses oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter, and ingredients like seeds. 

Oatmeal with Toppings

If you have time to make a bowl of oatmeal, this can be a hearty and filling snack, that also provides you with lots of fiber and protein. A single serving of oats is typically around 100 calories, so this is a light snack, even with your toppings. You can add anything you like to it, such as banana and peanut butter, almond butter, chocolate chips or cacao nibs, chia seeds, granola, and so much more. There are an endless number of possibilities.

Yogurt and Berries or Granola

For a quicker snack that you can enjoy at home or on the go, grab a serving of yogurt and top it with berries. You can also use granola on top to make it a little more filling with an extra boost of nutrients. This is a really quick snack to make when you have Greek yogurt and berries at home. Some other toppings that work great include nut butter, honey, and granola.

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