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Can You Handle the 10 days to Live off Facebook Challenge: The Answers May Surprise You!

How would you spend your time if you knew you only had ten days to live? Would you spend up to 11 hours a day staring at screens and social media or would you get out in the real world and live? Shall we begin?

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This is your challenge: spend the next ten days off of Facebook and get out there and live your life. Can you handle ten whole days away from Facebook? What will happen, how will your life change? Why would you want to do this? These are all questions that I asked myself and that hopefully, you are asking yourself right now! The answers will surprise you.  Just imagine what you will discover, do, feel, and accomplish during your ten days? Find out and then post ten pictures (when you get back) to share your discoveries and accomplishments with the world.

 

Can you handle ten whole days away from Facebook?

Scientific research shows us that social media is in fact, physically addicting.  The first few days are going to be hard due to your addiction to social media.  

 

What do you have to look forward to, how can your life change?

  • When you get out from behind the screen, you get into life’s real pleasures. The heighten satisfaction and emotional levels from real world experiences far eclipse that of the false virtual world.  

  • Freedom is yours to keep! Free yourself from the misused time and distractions of social media. When you retrain your brain for new habits and routines , they eventually become automatic and then you can reap the rewards of a real life with little, less or no social media.  

  • Better rest! When you are not distracted by social media or the sleep disrupting lights and notifications, you get much more restful and deep sleep.

  • Improved in person, real life relationships.

  • Increased focus, creativity & productivity.

  • Free’s up energy and focus to explore your passions.

  • Enhanced physical activity/ exercise.

  • Improved self-esteem. you

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Why would you want to do this?

  • Social media use is associated with a number of psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, loneliness, attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder, and addiction.

  • Social media skews our perceptions and emotions. Researchers have found that consuming large amounts of information about other people can elicit feelings of envy. From the American Journal of Psychiatry: “That is, people who regularly use Facebook are more likely to agree that others have better lives than them and that life is unfair, whereas those who have a more active offline social life appear to have a more balanced view of other people’s lives.

  • Social media use can sabotage our romantic relationships. Researchers found a link between compulsive Facebook use and relationship dissatisfaction due to jealousy and surveillance behaviors.

  • Social media use leads to “always being on”. Not having down time to ground and connect.

  • There is a growing scientific evidence base to suggest excessive SNS use may lead to symptoms traditionally associated with substance-related addictions.

  • Excessive social media use results in difficulty in maintaining face to face relationships such as personal & professional  which leads to frustration and depression which sends the person back to social media to find connection & expression, furthering the viscous cycle.

  • Social media use enhances FOMO (fear of missing out): FOMO is “a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”.

  • Research shows a strong connection between frequent use of social media and low self-esteem.

 

Want to see the research and science behind these facts? Check out https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/3/311  and the list of related scientific articles (scroll down in the linked article) to read for yourself.

How to do the ten days off Facebook Challenge.

  1. Make an announcement on Facebook that you are taking the 10 day challenge- use hashtag #10daystolivechallenge

  2. Remove Facebook from your mobile device, tablet and laptop to avoid temptation.

  3. Take a picture each day of what you are doing: more productivity? Hanging out with friends, reading a great book, treating yourself to some R&R- whatever- document that stuff! Optional: Journaling is a great path to self-discovery! journal each day to track your thoughts, emotions and feelings. This is a great way to ground yourself in the ahem… real world.

  4. When you get back on, start with a plan (based on what you discovered during your hiatus) of when and how you will use Facebook & other social media.

  5. Post pictures of what you did, accomplished and discovered during your ten day break- use hashtag #10daystolivechallenge

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Are you addicted to social media?

According to Dr. Mark Griffiths, PHD. The answers to these six simple questions can tell you more about your level of addiction (from original article on Psychology Today) :

If you want to check whether you may be at risk of developing an addiction to social media, ask yourselves these six simple questions:

Do you spend a lot of time thinking about social media or planning to use social media?
Do you feel urges to use social media more and more?
Do you use social media to forget about personal problems?
Do you often try to reduce your use of social media without success?
Do you become restless or troubled if you are unable to use social media?
Do you use social media so much that it has had a negative impact on your job or studies?

If the answer to all six of these questions is “yes,” then you may have or be developing an addiction to using social media.

Sources: https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/appi.ajp-rj.2016.111203?utm_source=TrendMD&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=American_Journal_of_Psychiatry_TrendMD_1&

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/3/311

https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/14/3/311/htm

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201805/addicted-social-media

https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=XV_mh20AAAAJ&hl=en

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/how-blue-light-affects-kids-sleep

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The powerful scent of love and how you are killing it

A few years back I stopped using deodorants and switched to a Thai crystal for health reasons. If you would like to find out how safe or dangerous your own beauty products are (it’s shocking!) you can research them on the non-profit EWG database here.  Anyway, my son was hugging me one day and he said “you smell interesting… and not in an objectionable way.” He’s got such a cute way with words. But this trend continued and I heard that more and more. I’m a big fan of hugging and have had an inordinate amount of people that I’ve hugged tell me that I smell amazing. Now I do also sometimes wear essential oils but for the most part whatever these folks are picking up on is something natural (I use very few products across the board- more on that in a later post). So I decided to do a little research and what I found was very illuminating.

Many fascinating research studies have explored our natural attraction through the sense of smell. Here are a few highlights to peak you interest:

  • Although it was long held that humans did not have the vomeronasal organ (for  pheromone reception) or the olfactory bulb in the brain (to process scents) scientific research from the last 25 years has now confirmed that we do in fact have both of these.
  • Research indicates that women seem to favor the smells of men who have immune genes that differ from their own which would lead to stronger, more diverse offspring.
  • Traits that can be communicated through smell include body and facial symmetry, testosterone levels, and behavioral dominance.
  • During the fertile part of their cycle, women prefer the scent of men with higher levels of testosterone.
  • One study found that when men smelled the odor of a woman who was in her fertile cycle, their testosterone and cortisol levels increased.
  • Studies indicate that using a hormonal contraceptive effects a woman’s ability to detect the chemical “social scents” that men put off.
  • Humans possess denser skin concentrations of scent glands than almost any other mammal.
  • We have three major types of skin glands, one of which is the apocrine gland which exudes odorous steroids known to illicit sexual behavior in other mammals.
  • Human sweat, urine, breath, saliva, breast milk, skin oils, and sexual secretions all contain scent-communicating chemical compounds.

what do we do with all of these smelly super powers?

So let’s recap. Mother Nature has supplied us with everything we need to literally sniff out a mate and what do we do with all of these smelly super powers? We cover them up with artificial scents and products! Think about how many products you use and the scents of each. Soaps, moisturizers, shampoo, toners, deodorants, perfumes and that is just what you are putting on your body. What about laundry products, detergents and fabric softeners, dryer sheets and all of the artificial scents that are now wafting off of you through these?

acceptance by the tribe

And why do we do all of this? To be perceived as being more desirable, in short  to, be accepted and  loved. Love is the most primal desire of a human being. We all want to engage in love and so we do what the marketing of products has conditioned us to do which is to purchase and slather upon ourselves things which we think will make us smell more desirable (or acceptable) to others. This is not just in searching for a mate but also in general “acceptance by the tribe”. We pick up pretty early in life that the “stinky kid” is not a part of the group and no one wants to be that guy so we go full tilt in the opposite direction with grooming, hygiene and product use that far exceeds the necessity of regular day to day human hygiene. Why do we all do this? We are literally saturated with marketing that plays on these fears and desires. If you really reflect on the marketing of your favorite products you begin to see how your perceived sense of need for this product has been formed. Then you can step away from that outside influence and start making your own choices. Personally, I really do sniff out my friends. If you carry a heavy smell of dryer sheets and perfume we probably won’t be spending a lot of time together. You see, once you clean up your own system you will quickly realize how unnatural and naturally off putting these smells are. And don’t even get me started on how much money you will save. Hmm. Seems like a win- are you ready?

A word of preparedness. If you are inspired to give up some products you should know what to expect. Our bodies adjust to whatever ridiculous environmental conditions we subject them to. If you’ve ever forgotten your deodorant on a weekend road trip, you’ve probably determined this is not a product you can live without for a few days. It takes time for your body to return to its ideal and natural state of functioning. The truth is that you will need to be more proactive for the first few weeks with a warm washcloth freshen up a few times a day. However, you will soon find that this dissipates and will become pleasantly surprised at how well your body regulates itself without the constant intrusion of harsh outside influences.

 

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Vegan Sweet Potato Noodles with Cashew Cream Sauce Recipe

This is One of those dishes that makes you fall head over heels in love with food again! I love being more or less vegan, I have never felt better and truly find fresh healthy food to be insanely delicious. I also personally tend to lean toward raw as much as I can as well. Think gluten free wraps, salads, lots of veggies and so on. I’m not a fan of processed foods either. I ask myself, “could I make this in my kitchen?” If the answer is no then I try to avoid it so fake cheeses and the sort are out for me. Sometimes I just get a hankering for some down home comfort food though. So while I was looking forward to working on this recipe for the blog I had no idea how much it was going to open up my vegan world by bringing its comfort food charms to my mouth.

Besides soaking the cashes (be sure to do that in advance) this recipe is also crazy easy. Bonus! If you have not yet entered the world of spiralizing veggies - be for warned- its addicting!

Here is the basic recipe- you can always add any type of veggies or even meats, seafood etc if that’s your thing. I could see adding peas, perhaps spinach or kale. Maybe even something cold and fresh like diced tomatoes or cold cooked peas. Also the recipe makes more sauce then you need so plan to freeze half of it for next time or use it with other veggies. Anyway, let’s just start at the beginning shall we!

Ingredients

1 ½ cups cashews

2-3 table spoons coconut oil

1 small onion diced (I used a shallot- yumms)

2 small cloves garlic

1 cup water

4 medium sized sweet potatoes

Steps

1.      Advance Prep! Soak about 1 ½ cups of cashews in water for 2 hours or more (I soaked minefor several hours, drained them and left them in a container in the fridge overnight).

2.      Caramelize onions incast iron skillet with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of coconut oil

3.      Sweet potatoes: Make sweet potato noodles with your spiralizer and add to the onion skillet to soften and slightly brown the sweet potato noodles.

4.      In a blender mix the cashews, 2 cloves of fresh garlic and a dash of sea salt, add a little water at a time until you reach the desired consistency for your cream sauce.

5.      Plate it up! You can sprinkle yur desired herbs and seasonings onto the potaote noodles and onions before topping with the cream sauce. I used A local herb mix called max’s degrees pecan wood smoked garlic pepper.

save your favorite recipes on Pinterest!

save your favorite recipes on Pinterest!

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Max’s degrees Herb Blends- support the dreamers and doers, make your mouth crazy happy- synergize the world herb with love!

In my first book in the FreeLark series I have a chapter on the value that is brought to world when you shop local and support dreamers and doers. In my ever evolving list of principles to live by I include the idea of knowing and having some type of relationship with the people who provide you with goods and services. So I am delighted to enthusiasticly share with you the Max and his truly outstanding herbs.

I met Max at the farmer’s market near my house in Baltimore.  I dry my own herbs from my garden so I had not really stopped by his stand but as faith would have it he was chatting up another vendor at their stand and then we go to talking herbs.

When he starting telling me about how long he smoked, roasted , dried and otherwise cultivated the flavors in his fresh herb blends I realized this was not something I could or would do at home. My first week I took home the roasted onion salt. That goes on and with just about everything- it a major staple in my cooking. Then I ventured to try the pecan wood smoked garlic pepper. WOW, this is a unique but also still very flexible and accommodating flavor. I’ve been having a lot of fun with this one.

The prices are reasonable considering he makes these from scratch and from fresh ingredients. Also the flavors here are much stronger than lame grocery store spices so a little goes a long way! Plus when you buy a smoked seasoning at the grocery store, you are most often getting a chemical flavoring, when you buy Max’s smoked  herbs that means he umm, smoked it- wow innovative right? His flavors are the real deal! Max even grows many of the ingredients himself. The only commission I earn  from pointing you in Max’s direction is the knowledge that two good people have been connected- check him out!

He’s at several local farmer’s markets in the Baltimore area (2016 schedule below) and you can order online from his beautiful site. I would LOVE to hear your comments below- come on back now and post after you’ve tried his herbs.

Starting April 19th kenilworth 3:30-6:30tuesday - Catonsville starts first week of May. 10-1 weds- Starts June 1 Druid hill 3:30-7:30weds- Waverly 7-12 sat all year -  Federal hill 1:30-4 sat all year - Cms Thursday 10:30-1:30 start June 2nd- Catonsville Sunday starts may first 10-1:30- White marsh Friday's starts July 1st 10am-1pm- Fells point Saturday starts April 30th 7:30-12:30

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Guilt Free & Spring Fresh, Gluten Free Strawberry Skillet Cobbler

gluten free cobbler recipe

Mmmm, this super easy and gluten free friendly recipe is fresh, delicious and amazingly delish. It literally disappeared in my house as my boys and I could not stop eating it. So so so good.  I wanted to tell you all of that first before I tell you that I modified this recipe to also be leaner, healthier and better for you!  I actually found this to be so outstanding that the original amounts of butter and sugar suggested kinda boggle my mind. Try it and share your thoughts in the comments, I think you are going to love this!

So if its spring you have a ton of fresh strawberries to use, if it’s not, hopefully you tried my technique for awesome frozen strawberries and have those on hand. I used my own frozen berries for this recipe as well as my beloved cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

3 cups of chunky cut up whole strawberries  

½ cup plus 1 table spoon of Bob’s RedMill 1 for 1 Gluten Free Flour (love this gluten free flour- no need to add xanthan gum, just use 1 for 1 in place of regular flour)  

½  cup granulated sugar

¼ cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

¼  cup milk

3 tablespoons  butter melted

Steps

1.      Place 10 inch cast iron skillet in oven pre-heated to 350 degrees

2.      Combine strawberries ¼ cup of the granulated sugar and brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of flour

3.      Stir together ½ cup Bob’s Redmill flour, ¼ cup granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk and butter,  stir gently until it’s the consistency of pancake batter

4.      Pour strawberries into hot pan and top with the batter. Bake at 35030 to 35 minutes until crust is cooked through. This curst does not brown like regular flour so be sure to use a toothpick to check for doneness rather than looking for browning

 

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Five Awesome Benefits of Cooking with Cast Iron Skillets

You may have noticed that my cooking recipe shots always include a cast iron skillet. Yep, I grew up with them, in fact most of the ones I have were handed down from my grandmother. The term skillet does not specifically apply to cast iron but instead describes a pan with slanted sides. Still, I always refer to my cast iron as a skillet because it makes me feel like I’m about to do something really bad ass. “I’m going to throw this in the skillet”- it just makes food more exciting don’t you think?

I always assumed that if cast iron skillets were good enough for my grandmother, and many generations before her, then they certainly must be better than the non-stick cookware that was all the rage for quite some time. Turned out that was a pretty good call. Now that we know that non-stick cookware is made with PFOA’s that emit carcinogenic fumes, cast iron is once again the best choice for non-stick cooking. In fact the humble skillet is so versatile, affordable and easy to care for that it’s really the only pan you may ever need.

 

1.      Multi-Functional: Cast iron can be used both on the stove top and in the oven. It’s also able to withstand very high heat cooking which makes it a great stand in for high heat grilling.

2.      Added Health Benefits& Safety: A properly seasoned cast iron skillet requires less oil to be used when cooking which means less oil being absorbed into your food. It also fortifies your food with iron which boosts energy levels as well as the immune system. Cast iron cookware is also the best replacement for both non-stick cookware, which emits toxic PFOA fumes while cooking, and aluminum cookware.  

3.      Perfect Cooking: Browning food, even heat distribution and searing are all features of you can take advantage of when cooking in cast iron.

4.      Sturdy and Affordable:  cast iron lasts forever so handing the skillets down through the family or picking up a great deal at a yard sale is easy to do. Even when purchased new, cast iron skillets are almost always more affordable then their fancy counterparts. Since cast iron does not scratch you can also make the healthier choice of using stainless steel cooking utensils over plastic.

5.      Easy to Clean: A well-seasoned skillet is a breeze to clean up-  fill your dirty skillet with water and bring to a boil on the stovetop. Even the most stubborn burned on food will easily wipe free with a cooking utensil. A little salt can be added if an additional abrasive is needed. Then rinse with clean water and return to the hot stove for a few moments  to evaporate off any excess liquid and you’re done!  

 

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The Easy 3 Step Way to Successfully Freeze Strawberries

Spring has sprung and it’s that time of year when sweet, fresh strawberries flow abundantly. Fresh, local strawberries are so sweet and delicious, nothing at all like the tasteless ones you find at the grocery store and lets not talk about frozen strawberries from the store. Bleck, I can’t even! I am fortunate to be part of a community garden with a huge established strawberry bed so maximizing the time we get to delight in fresh strawberries is a priority in my house. As they overflow from the field, the farmer’s market will also be offering great deals that you will undoubtedly want to take advantage of. Well go ahead and do it, I have great news! It’s crazy how well strawberries freeze if you do it correctly.

The key to success in freezing strawberries is in the process. It’s super easy but if you skip any of the steps you will have end up with a mushy, undesirable mound of frozen strawberries. Here we go!

 

1.      Wash the berries.

2.      Dry your berries very very well. I allow them to air dry and then also pat them dry (gently) with a paper towel. I also like to pull off the green tops as I dry them so there is less area to trap moisture and they are ready to use right out of the freezer.

3.      Place dry berries on a flat, open area in the freezer for your initial freeze. I clear a shelf and put down parchment paper. Allow them to freeze for 2 to three hours and then you can transfer them to a container or bag in your freezer.

 

If you’ve never frozen berries before you will be shocked at how plump and fresh they are when you defrost them later. Following this process results in each berry being fully frozen with as little moisture as possible. Frozen berries will actually keep for 10 to 12 months. Imagine that, you can delight your family with a spring fresh strawberry pie on a chilly fall day. If you plan to eat them fresh (uncooked) their texture and taste will be best if they are enjoyed within a few months though.

Wash fresh strawberries

Wash fresh strawberries

Dry thoroughly, pat dry to remove all moisture

Dry thoroughly, pat dry to remove all moisture

Freeze berries on open flat surface and then transfer to a container or bag

Freeze berries on open flat surface and then transfer to a container or bag

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How to Identify and Overcome Little Fears and Why It Matters

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I recently joined a synchronized swimming troop. Every Thursday at 5:30 I ruin about twenty minutes of my life trying to talk myself out of going and then I go anyway. I always leave the pool feeling like a million dollars so I began to wonder why I was self-sabotaging this amazing experience. It didn’t take long to realize there were a bunch of little fears working their magic like little joy parasites. I rolled my eyes and sighed at the realization, “oh my gosh, Oh my goodness- ok, I got this.”

What am I afraid of?

What am I afraid of here? Well rejection for one and failure for another. I’m walking into an established tight knit group where I am new and don’t know anyone. I’m literally afraid of treading water all by myself, not participating in locker room banter. Not being picked for a formation team.  On top of that I have not learned a new physical skill in forever. I’m afraid of not being able to do the lifts, master the form, flow beautifully through fluid formations.

When I made my excuses every Thursday, I did not realize these were at play. These were subconscious fears that I realized only upon closer inspection were bubbling beneath the surface and showing up as “its too cold today” and “I should probably stay home and mend all of my torn sweaters.”  

Moving beyond fear.

Then I was able to put my fears in the crosshairs. Just by recognizing them, individually, giving them names and bringing them to the light I could pick them off one by one. How can I get to know these ladies better? I can listen, I can ask questions, I can learn about them. I can be patient for crying out loud, that is how relationships are formed. Sticking that complex formation on my first try? Yeah right! How has my adult mind been duped into thinking this is how anything works? Hello? Revel in the progress! I’ll start by not sinking it can only get better from there.

So needless to say at the first inkling of what I now know is a fear response I  play the old west high noon dual showdown whistle in my head and take my position. Instead of feeding it at all, I replay in my mind how great it felt to master sculling for almost an entire width of the pool. How much fun it was to view the formations from under water and gain a better understanding of their inner workings. Small victories right! It seems like small stuff, but it’s all small stuff and yet it’s critical. Here’s why…

Developing new ways of thinking.

At its core, this practice is all about developing new neural pathways for your brain to call upon. Left unchecked, little fears become big fears and eventually habits of the mind. You literally are creating pathways in your brain when you experience thoughts and emotions. Have that same fear over and over again, feed into it, let it take hold and it’s created one and only one well-worn thought path in your brain. So now you’re only available thought pattern leads to fear. Something happens and the fear brain kicks in and says “that’s ok, I got this, I know the way” and off it goes. When you create a new thought pattern you create more alternative pathways for your brain to explore as responses and then you can break the pattern of fear based thinking. As you identify and then move beyond one small fear after another you build upon your collection of positive possibility pathways in your brain. When you do this, new pathways and possibilities are opened up and who doesn’t love new possibilities!

Like it? Great! Please use the handy dandy buttons to the left to share it with your friends!

 

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Feng Shui: The Free Fix for Rooms with Awkward Mojo

An otherwise "dead" corner is brought to life with plants, color, a hanging light ... and one small dog.

An otherwise "dead" corner is brought to life with plants, color, a hanging light ... and one small dog.

We’ve been living in our house for about a year and half now and just love everything about it. I knew when I first arranged the love seat and sofa across from each other with the sofa open to the rest of the room that it was not ideal but there was a front door and passage issue to consider and frankly I had bigger fish to fry at the time. I let it ride for about year but the living room was not getting much living so a few months back I moved the longer sofa against the wall to better anchor it. It was now in sort of an L shape with the love seat and the front door in the corner of the two. It was better, moving in the right direction for sure but still not inspiring the family love fest feeling I was shooting for. There was still a drop off, a sense of vulnerability with the fully open seating not being defined from the rest of the long rectangular room.

So a few weeks back I was admiring a friends L shaped sofa and I commented that I wanted one but due to the size and configuration of my house it would have to be just the right size and configuration. I pictured this in my mind and even explained it to her in detail. She humored me by listening and we both went off on our merry ways. Three days later the universe shouted “order up!” A neighbor posted on our social network that he was moving and wanted to give away this small L shaped sofa. Everything about it fit the bill perfectly and I literally jumped on it. I all but licked it to stake my claim before any other neighbors could try to convince him to give it to them. A week later my son and I went to pick it up. Sadly it would not fit in my truck. I said “welp we’re just going to have to carry it home.” He shot me that “she’s totally joking about this look” and I shot back with the “dude I’m totally serious look” and off we went up the sidewalk with the sofa on our backs.

The difference in room activity was immediate and astounding! We all spend much more time together, engaging in dialog, watching movies or just generally chilling out in the living room now. I’m convinced that the L in L shaped sofa stands for Love but that is a post for another day! Today I can tell you that if you have some awkward mojo in a room there is a quick and free fix. It might be as easy as rearranging furniture, adding plants, filling a corner that is blocking energy flow or whatever. If you’re feeling it, you need to fix it and chances are you can do that right now with what you have. Here are some great resources with practical, easy to understand and  quick Feng Shui fixes for spaces with awkward mojo.  Click each to be taken to the sites to learn more. 

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5 Easy Ways to Boost the Health Benefits of Water

If I wanted to keep this really simple I could just tell you that I look and feel great when I’m drinking tons of water and when I’m not … welp its not pretty folks. It’s the easiest thing you can do to create a dramatic change in your body, beauty and energy.   Water is responsible for 100% of the vital functions of our bodies. In fact we are all made up of about 60% water. Creating a regular routine of healthy water consumption is one of the best things you can do for your health.

These 5 easy water hacks will boost the benefits of water, giving you more energy, a healthier body and more beautiful skin. Woot!

1.      Add lemon or local honey: Adding lemon gives your body the added boost of extra vitamin C and potassium. The vitamin C also aids in collagen production for smooth healthy skin. I recommend squeezing the juice into the glass and discarding the peel which might have pesticides or waxes on them. When adding honey, be sure to use raw local honey. It has not been processed (pasteurized etc) and being local it contains pollen that are specific to your area and will build up your tolerance which eases allergies. Raw local honey is also an outstanding way to combat colds and illness as it has a very strong antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties.  

2.      Drink more water: Its generally recommended that your drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day. Maintaining ideal hydration maximizes your physical performance. It also boosts your energy and brain functioning. Many studies have shown that even mild dehydration can impair mood, memory and brain performance- yuck! Why do this when It’s so easy to stack the deck in your favor.  

3.      Filter your water: It’s just a fact that there are lots of impurities and undesirable additives in most common sources of water. When you think about the reality that so many things go into our water supplies, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, run off etc and water treatment plants are not able to treat and filter them all. Having an additional filtering system in the home helps to ensure your water is free from contaminants. I opted for this affordable under the counter RO system from Amazon (Pictured below) and have been very happy with it.  If you would like to check your local area for some of the larger known contaminants see the EWG sites here and here.

4.      Drink water first thing in the morning: After 8+ hours without water your body is in need of hydration. Drinking 2 to 3 glasses of water first thing in the morning helps flush your digestive system and boosts your energy.

5.       Drink warm water: Although we tend to think of that cold refreshing glass of water, the reality is that the temperature really does have an impact on how our bodies interact with the water. Warm water is better for aiding digestion as well as clearing the body of phlegm and toxins (especially useful when you are not feeling well). Drinking warm water before or after a meal actually softens the elements for digestion helping them to break down faster. While cold water can cause oils to harden and deposit, slowing your digestion.

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