Angela

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9 Body-Positive Reasons to Exercise That Have Nothing to do With Appearance

So many of us (myself included) have been trained to see fitness and physical activity only as a means to be thin or as a way to burn off those “bad” foods.

I’ve had people assume that I’m eating healthy and exercising because I’m on a diet and trying to lose weight when I’m simply trying to take care of my body and better myself. Instead of focusing on a body-positive reason that is inclusive and accepting, their minds automatically go to a body-negative one.

Wouldn't it be nice if we exercised because we love our body not because we hate it? Exercise is about creating an experience that allows you to move, connect, and persevere in a way that makes you feel strong and confident. Here are 9 body-positive reasons to exercise that have nothing to do with appearance.

Yes, working out consistently can change your appearance, but that’s not the whole purpose of exercising.

When it seems like the health and fitness industries are focusing solely on weight loss, it’s no wonder people believe exercises’ sole purpose is to change your body.

 

My journey with exercise

When I first started working out I wanted to lose weight for health reasons. But over time exercise became so much more than a means to an end.

It became a form of body-positive self-care that allows me to move freely, get stronger, and achieve things that I never thought I could.

I discovered that accepting myself and my body was more important than having a six-pack.
I discovered that obsessively trying to look like someone else was causing me mental harm.
I discovered that just because I work out doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my body.

I learned that self-love and self-improvement are not mutually exclusive.

Like Georgie from In It For The Long Run perfectly put it: “Self-love is accepting that the body you were given is enough and taking care of your body isn’t the same thing as obsessively manipulating it.”

If you’ve felt discouraged, frustrated, and unmotivated with exercise and the fitness industry, this one’s for you. I like to think that in order to fully reap all the benefits of exercise, it should be done for one reason alone: to take care of your body from the inside out.

Here are 9 body-positive reasons to exercise to help you create a more positive and accepting mindset around fitness.

 

1. Get stronger

Whether you’re lifting a heavier weight, holding your headstand longer, beating your 5K personal best, or simply feeling like you’re unstoppable during the entire duration of your exercise class, the more you exert your body the stronger and more resilient it becomes.

Of course, your newfound strength and endurance can help you in your day-to-day life as well.

How awesome would it be if you could carry all the groceries in one trip?

Or what if you could open all those pesky jars? I know I feel hella strong when I can do it.

Being strong is empowering, invigorating, and feels darn good. There’s no better feeling than seeing how your body can thrive off regular physical activity.

Related post: How to Activate Your Muscles for a Better Workout

 

2. Have fun

Don’t do shit you hate. Plain and simple. Exercise should and totally can be fun and enjoyable.

The most important thing you can do for yourself is to find a physical activity that you LOVE. Whether it’s playing on an adult sports team, yoga, swimming, dancing, kickboxing, rock climbing, or running, finding an activity that uplifts you will help keep you motivated and excited to move your body.

If you’re still searching for that thing that you love, don’t be afraid to try new things. Remember that everyone starts somewhere.

Personally, I love lifting because of how strong it makes me feel. I also love yoga because of the peace it brings me and flexibility that it allows me to practice.

I’ll be honest, while I love lifting and yoga, some days I just don’t feel motivated.

You’ll have days like this too, and it’s important to know that even when you find something you love, you’ll have days where you’re just not feeling it and that’s completely OK.

Still, finding something that excites you helps to make exercise feel like less of a chore and more like a fun ritual.

Related post: 3 Steps to Creating Balance in Your Health and Fitness Routine

 

3. Challenge yourself

Stepping out of your comfort zone is uncomfortable, isn’t it? But that’s exactly where the magic happens (corny, but true!)

Working out isn’t easy, especially when you’re just starting out. But the more consistent you are and the more you push yourself, the better you will get at it.

Setting body-positive workout goals that relate to flexibility, strength, endurance, commitment, and stamina will help you focus less on the physical aspect of working out and focus more on bettering yourself from the inside out.

For example, it can be “do the stair master for 10 minutes on level 4 without taking a break” or “finish my daily neighborhood walk 5 minutes faster by the end of the month.”

Every time you reach an exercise goal that isn’t tied to your physical appearance, you’re giving yourself an inner confidence boost and strengthening your mental resilience.

When you focus on your insides instead of your outsides, you’ll start to see that accomplishing things you never thought possible is truly liberating.

Every time you reach an exercise goal that isn’t tied to your physical appearance, you’re giving yourself an inner confidence boost and strengthening your mental resilience. Click To Tweet

 

4. Improve your physical health

Energy boost, stronger heart, better sleep – the list of the health benefits of exercise goes on.

Among the many physical health benefits, exercising regularly also helps to ease muscle aches and pains, boost flexibility, and improve blood circulation.

If you work a 9-5, you know the struggle of sitting all day. If you have aches and pains, a lot of the time it can indicate that your muscles are weak and tight.

Exercise not only helps strengthen, stretch and relax those tight muscles, but it also increases blood circulation to the entire body.

When your muscles are strong, relaxed, and receive the proper blood flow, you also avoid injuries in your day-to-day life. Whether you’re lifting heavy things, running to catch the bus, or playing with your kids, you’re far less likely to injure yourself.

 

5. Celebrate what your body can do

How often do you thank and appreciate your body for allowing you to do everything that you do daily?

Think about the simple things that our bodies allow us to do that we take for granted every day: being able to walk, talk, run, write, stand, sit, chew, go outside…the list goes on.

Now imagine all the people that can’t do all these things that we take for granted. The people that can’t exercise at all even though they want to.

Whether they have a disability or another health condition, not everyone has the privilege to move their body and be active.

I always try to reflect on this whenever I’m in an exercise rut (which can happen quite often – I’m not perfect by any means.)

There’s been times where I’ve been injured and couldn’t work out for months. It was super hard mentally because I wanted to be active but I physically couldn’t.

Those times of inactivity have helped me appreciate my body when I can exercise. It helps me to really feel like exercise is a celebration of what my body allows me to do because I know that not everyone can take advantage of their body like I can.

Reflecting on how my body keeps me healthy and able makes me appreciate all the things my body does to help me live an active life I enjoy.

9 Body-Positive Reasons to Exercise Click To Tweet

 

6. Boost your mood

Exercising makes you feel like a happy badass. Yup, I said it. This goes hand-in-hand with finding an exercise that you absolutely love.

When you do things that you love it’s hard to wipe the grin off your face, right?

Many people also report feeling relaxed and at peace after exercise. That’s because when you work out, your body releases endorphins aka “happy hormones” that naturally improve your mood.

 

7. Find an outlet to de-stress

Had a stressful day at work? Need some alone time from your family? I’m sure you’ve had those days where you’re just itching to let out all your stress and decompress.

Some days you just want to crawl into a ball and lay on your bed all day (which is totally acceptable sometimes by the way), but don’t you feel so much better when you blow off some steam by getting your body moving?

Physical activity serves as an emotional outlet and lets you release your tension in a healthy way.

Not only does exercising help relieve stress, but it gives you the “me” time you deserve. It’s an amazing way to clear your head and focus on yourself.

Related Post: 12 Simple Self-Care Tips and Ideas for a Healthy Life

 

8. Improve your posture

I struggle with bad posture because I’m so used to slouching over a computer for hours at a time.

When you have poor posture, it can also mean you suffer from back pain. When I started to exercise regularly, I noticed that not only did my posture get better but the pain in my back and shoulders greatly improved.

Since your muscles and bones are inter-connected, the more you strengthen the muscles that hold up your spine and your core, the more aligned and upright your body will get.

 

9. Connect with like-minded people

Whether you’re taking a dance class, at the gym, or doing yoga, exercising helps to create a sense of community with the like-minded people that surround you.

When you do find a tribe in your workout space, remember to try to surround yourself with people who are exercising for similar reasons.

If that’s hard, leading by example and changing the conversation when “diet”, “calories”, and “weight” talks arise will help you avoid triggers or slipping back into an unhealthy mindset.

If you’re not the type to randomly strike up a conversation with the stranger next to you (I’m with ya), simply being surrounded by people who are striving to improve their health and better themselves helps you feel like you’re part of something and in turn boosts your own motivation to show up.


 

Good health isn’t about being skinny just like exercising isn’t about trying to obsessively change your body.

When you exercise regularly with a body-positive mindset, you’re not only becoming physically stronger but mentally stronger as well.

You detach yourself from the physical appearance shackles of the health industry and create a self-improvement experience that allows you to move, connect, and persevere in a way that makes you feel strong and confident.

It takes time and patience to develop a healthy relationship with exercise but when you do, it feels like freedom.

Now over to you … have you reached a point where your more focused on what exercise is doing to your insides instead of your outsides? What do you most struggle with when it comes to a healthy exercise mentality?

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12 Tips on How to Make The Most of Every Day

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Sometimes we get so caught up in the busyness of life that our days start to become a blur. We wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep just to wake up and do the same thing all over again tomorrow.

I’ve always loved the quote by Annie Dillard, ‘How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.’ It serves as a great reminder to slow down and view every day as a valuable gift that should be lived to its potential.

Are you tired of your days feeling like a blur? Are you tired of letting the days simply come and go? Start by making the most of today. Click through for tips on how to make the most of life and live out each day with intention.

*This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use and love, or think my readers will find useful.

For me, 2017 taught me that my mental wellness is just as important as my physical wellness.

When I found myself living for the weekends, not feeling fulfilled at work, and just going through the motions – I knew I needed to make a change.

I’m determined to make 2018 a year of growth and I want that for you too.

I’ve gathered these tips to help you make the most of every day so you can live your life with intention.

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives - Annie Dillard Click To Tweet

 

1. Wake up early

How does a slow, quiet and peaceful morning sound? Now don’t get me wrong, I love sleeping in as much as the next person, but there’s something about getting a head start to the day that makes me feel like the most productive person.

Waking up early gives you the freedom to start your day on the right foot without feeling stressed or rushed. It allows you to create a morning routine that makes you excited to get out of bed.

One thing that I like to do is to start my mornings with positivity. Whether you’re into reading uplifting messages from apps or pulling affirmation cards, bringing positivity into your early morning routine will make it more meaningful.

If you’re like me and have trouble actually getting out of bed, try the 5-second rule countdown.

Count 5-4-3-2-1 out loud or in your head. As soon as you reach 1, push yourself to move. I find that this helps me release the thoughts that are keeping me in bed and gives me the push I need to get up.

Related post: How to Start Your Day With a Positive Mindset

 

2. Visualize your day

Sit down, close your eyes and imagine what your day would look like if you accomplished everything you set out to do. Like Oprah once said, ‘If you can see it and believe it, it is a lot easier to achieve it.’

From getting to work on time to finally getting that new client on board, visualization requires you to want something, believe it and perceive it. When you already see, feel and believe that something is happening, you’re breaking through those mental blocks that are limiting you.

Throughout the day, we have an internal dialogue with ourselves. Visualizing helps to keep you motivated, focus on what you want, increases positive thoughts, and reduces stress.

To visualize your day, think about:

  • What you see around you
  • The exact moment you accomplish something
  • The excitement you feel after accomplishing something
  • How you would celebrate

 

3. Plan your meals

When we’re in a rush, we often grab the quickest thing and often it’s not the most nutritious.

Planning your meals will not only save you the trouble of having to think about what you’re going to eat every day, but it’ll also help you stay on top of your healthy eating goals. After all, you have to eat well to feel well.

I’ve always been a big fan of meal prep, but there are many more ways to think ahead about your meals. Planning your meals in advance doesn’t mean you have to cook all your meals ahead of time. It means you can at least have what you’re going to eat planned out in your head.

If you want to eat oatmeal for breakfast, lay out all the ingredients and pots you need the night before so you’re not stumbling around in the morning trying to find everything. If you’re going to eat out at lunch, pull up the menu of the restaurant online and pick what you want exactly how you want it.

Having your meals planned out saves you time and stress, and allows you to focus your energy on making the most of every day.

 

4. Find the good in everything

In the moment, this is probably one of the harder one of the bunch. Sometimes it feels like the universe is out to get us. Our minds tend to naturally create negative and disempowering meanings when things fall short of expectations.

But one way to reject that thought process and find the positive in every situation is to ask yourself ‘What good can potentially come out of this?’

If you get a flat tire on the way to work, think about the good that could possibly come out of it. Maybe you avoided an accident by getting that flat tire. Or maybe you were saved from having to deal with your boss’ rant in front of the whole office.

If you got into an argument with your loved one, you can see the disagreement as a chance to reconcile and create a deeper connection rather than something that pushes you apart.

Instead of feeling like you can’t catch a break, you start seeing these “negative” events as opportunities to getting you closer to where you want to be. It’s a much better mindset to have than letting situations get the best of you.

 

5. Do things you love

What makes you feel alive? What makes you all giddy inside when you talk about it? Is it cooking, crafting, baking, reading, sports, writing, photography, music, travel, exercise?

Try to do one thing a day that you love. Whether it’s working towards your side business, planning out your next travel destination, or reading your favorite novel, make time for the activities that remind you of how beautiful it is to be alive.

Nurture the hobbies and dreams that light you up and get you excited to make the most of your days and live your best possible life.

12 tips on how to make the most of every day Click To Tweet

 

6. Make time to rest and recharge

It’s so easy to get carried away with the hustle and bustle of life. When this happens, we tend to neglect one thing that our bodies need the most: rest.

Don’t you feel 10 times better when you have time to unwind and get a good night’s sleep? Try to set a bedtime that allows for 8-9 hours of sleep. Going to sleep at the same time every day will help your body fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer so you awake feeling refreshed. Not only is getting enough sleep important, but equally important is making self-care a priority.

Self-care activities help you recharge and take away from the pressure from your to-do list. At least one time a day, make time for something that helps you de-stress. Go for a quick walk, take a bath, do yoga, read your favorite book, watch your favorite show, journal or give yourself a facial.

The simple pleasures in life help remind us of the importance of slowing down and appreciating every moment.

Related post: 12 Simple Self-Care Tips and Ideas for a Healthy Life

 

7. Practice gratitude

How often do you think about what you’re most grateful for? If your answer is not often enough, I’m with ya.

It wasn’t until recently that I discovered the power of gratitude. Not only do studies show that practicing gratitude daily has numerous health benefits, it also helps to rewire your brain into a more positive state of mind.

Instead of focusing on all the negative things that may have happened throughout the day, you start to make a conscious effort to be thankful for the big, the small and the in-between.

Like Abraham Hicks one said, the more you focus on the good, the good gets better.

Related post: How to Practice Gratitude Daily for a Better Quality of Life

 

8. Set daily tasks

Have a plan of action on how you’re going to tackle your day. I’m a huge agenda girl, so the night before I like to write down three goals that I want to accomplish the next day.

I find that setting three tasks per day is the perfect number because it’s not too many that I feel overwhelmed and it’s not too little that I find myself being done at lunchtime. Of course, a lot of the time I have to carry over a task from the current day to the next and that’s completely OK.

So whether you write down your three most important tasks the night before or the morning of, setting tasks for the day helps keep you focused and productive throughout the day.

 

9. Be present

How nice would it be to have dinner without the TV blaring in the background? To simply listen to how your loved one’s day was and enjoy each other’s presence?

Being present creates awareness and allows you to really pay attention to and appreciate what’s happening around you.

We live in a world of constant connectivity and distraction that demands our attention nearly every second of the day. Instead of being glued to the TV or phone at the next family gathering, put away all the distractions. Listen, ask questions and have genuine conversations with people.

Being present allows you to really take in and enjoy the moments with the people that surround you.

 

10. Get daily movement

Your body needs movement. People who exercise regularly report to be happier, calmer, and better equipped to handle whatever life throws at them.

Find an exercise that you LOVE and commit at least 20 minutes of your day to it (Remember, 20 minutes is not even 2% of your day!)

Hate the gym? No worries – you don’t need to go to an indoor gym to exercise. See the world as your gym. It can be as simple as walking, dancing, swimming, yoga, hiking or biking.

Exercise releases happy endorphins that boost your mood and help you feel your best so you can maximize your days.

 

11. Let go of the negativity

This year my goal is to strengthen my mindset and let go of the negativity that goes through my mind way too many times.

Instead of moaning about getting a bill, how about you try celebrating that you’re fortunate enough to have clean water and unlimited electricity? Thank the service provider for being so kind in providing you with their services for the month.

It may sound like a small and silly thing now, but it’s how we approach things like this that help us have a better outlook on life to make the most of every day.

We’re also surrounded by negativity on the news, at work, on social media and yes, a lot of the time we don’t have control over our environment. But we can control what we choose to tune into.

If you watch the news religiously every morning/night, try to cut down on it and instead tune into your favorite comedy. Watch something that uplifts you instead of instilling fear in you.

If your co-worker is constantly complaining to you about her life, try changing the subject or simply say, “let’s talk about something more positive.”

Choosing to surround yourself with positivity over negativity allows you to protect your energy and take control of your mindset.

Choosing to surround yourself with positivity over negativity allows you to protect your energy and take control of your mindset. Click To Tweet

 

12. Spread kindness

Do things for others that make you happy. If you feel strongly about a cause, volunteer your time one time a month. Smile at strangers. Thank the cashier sincerely. Be willing to help. Hold the door for someone.

Maybe your coworker needs a hand with the birthday decorations. Or you see an elderly woman struggling with her groceries. Go out of your way to do something nice for someone without expecting something in return.

The more you focus on spreading kindness whenever an opportunity arises, the more likely you will experience more kindness throughout your day.


 

The life we choose to live will be determined by how we choose to live each day. So next time you find yourself letting the days come and go, remember that making the most of every day means choosing to live them with purpose and intention.

When you start to view each day as an opportunity to get you closer to who you want to be and where you want to be, life starts to become a big ol’ party.

Now over to you … how do you make sure to live out your days with purpose and intention?

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How to Set Monthly Intentions For a Positive Shift in Your Life

How would you like to have a roadmap and reminder of how to intentionally live out each day?

Instead of focusing on goals and trying to achieve something that you lack, setting intentions allows you to purposely focus on who you are now and live out the values that matter to you most.

I absolutely fell in love with setting monthly intentions and have been doing it for a couple of months now.

If you do yoga or meditate, intention setting is probably something you practice regularly. Usually, at the beginning of each practice, you are told to set an intention.

While setting intentions can be a spiritual practice, it’s also a good habit to have to get clarity and motivation in working towards the things you want to focus on for the month.

 

Tap into the power of intentions and create a reality you love. With 15 intention setting examples, you'll be able to reflect on what you want to focus on for each month.Click through for simple tips and ideas on setting intentions for the month, day or even year.

I love setting intentions for the month, but you can also set them for the day or even year. Setting intentions will help remind yourself of what you truly want out of life and help you cultivate the things that matter to you most.

With the new year coming up, this is the perfect time to get into the habit of setting intentions to give your days more purpose and create positive change in 2018.

 

What are intentions?

Intentions are a state of being – it’s about how you choose to be and show up in the world. They are meant to guide your thoughts and actions so you can embody your values openly.

Setting intentions will help remind yourself of what you truly want out of life and help you cultivate the things that matter to you most Click To Tweet

 

Why is setting intentions important?

How many times have you heard “What you think, you become”? Setting intentions is the first step to embodying what you want in life and who you want to become.

It allows you to get clear on who you want to be and gives you guiding principles to focus on to get to where you want to be.

Like Wayne Dyer said, “Our intention creates our reality.” What you think, say, and focus on becomes your truth.

Instead of thinking “I’m so busy and stressed” it becomes “I intend to relax and give myself time to unwind.” The power of positive thinking combined with setting intentions helps you break through mental blocks to create a reality you love.

 

What’s the difference between goals and intentions?

Goal setting is about what we want to do and intention setting is about how we want to be.
Intentions are an aim or purpose that you want to align with your life.

It’s about choosing to be a certain way and approaching life with a sense of purpose.

Goals are usually external achievements and intentions are the relationships with yourself and others.

Intention: Feel energized and well-rested throughout the day

Goal: Go to bed by 11 p.m.

The important thing to take away from the difference between intentions and goals is that intentions are about how you want to be and feel. I find that when I’m setting intentions, I often pick things that sound like goals.

Some intentions will sound like goals but at the end of the day, it’s about creating ideas that make you feel a certain way and bring you peace of mind.

When setting intentions, try to not get so caught up in the difference between intentions and goals – instead, aim to focus on things that will help you embody how you want to feel and cultivate what you truly desire out of life.

For example, reflecting on my day each evening sounds like a goal but it will help me feel grounded and connected to my day. Just like drinking more water will help me feel more energized and upbeat.

 

Tips on how to set monthly intentions

 

1.Reflect

At the end of each month, sit down in a quiet place and reflect on what you want to embody for the next month. Start by clearing your mind and think of what you truly desire out of life.

What’s the most important to you? What values do you want to embody? What decisions will get you closer to where you want to be? How do you want to feel? What will you bring you long-term fulfillment and joy?

Make them meaningful and personal so you are motivated to carry them through.

 

2.Make a list

Writing down your intentions will help make them more tangible and puts them out in the universe to help them come to life.

I find it helpful to first do a brain dump and write everything down that comes to mind when you’re reflecting. Doing this helps to clear your mind and gets to the bottom of what you truly want.

After the brain dump, pick a few that you really want to work on this month.

You don’t have to have a specific number of intentions. If 8 is too overwhelming to focus on try 3 or even 1. Choose a number that is doable for you.

 

3.Keep it positive

Instead of setting an intention like “stress less” flip it into “be calm, relax and trust that everything will work out.” Focus on the good as much as you can.

Making your intentions positive and uplifting will help shape a positive tone in your thinking and beyond.

How to set monthly intentions for positive change in your life Click To Tweet

 

4.Hang your list somewhere visible

Like any habit, you’re going to need some reminding. Hanging it up in a spot that you frequently visit is ideal.

Put it on your fridge, the bathroom mirror or store it in your desk drawer at work.

Revisit the intentions you set frequently so you’re constantly reminded of what you’re trying to work for this month.

 

5.Give yourself feedback

After setting intentions, it’s easy to get caught up in your daily life and forget about them. Before going to bed I love doing an “evening check” to reflect on how I embodied my intentions throughout the day.

This helps to keep my intentions in my daily thoughts and allows me to reflect on what I’m doing great on and what I need to work on.

You can also use visual reminders to remind you throughout the day to work on your intention. It can be anything from a bracelet or a water bottle to a lamp.

If you meditate or do yoga, you can also use this time to reflect on your intentions. Try to pick an intention from your list and silently state the one you want to focus on throughout your practice.

 

6.Have fun

Remember that this is a fun, guiding practice to help you live your best life. If you’re having a bad day or you’re not feeling motivated, give yourself permission to start fresh the next day.

Don’t take it too seriously. No one is ever going to have their life 100% together, so remember this is about taking small steps to improving yourself each day – not perfection.

 

15 intention ideas

Here are a few intention ideas to get you started:

1.Be flexible and embrace change
2.Remember you are filled with abundance
3.Be open to giving a helping hand
4.Listen to understand not respond
5.Learn one new thing every day
6.Participate in daily activities that fill your cup
7.Be present with family and friends
8.Give yourself grace in your health and fitness routine
9.Reflect on your day each evening
10.Allow yourself to say no when you need to
11.Come from a place of gratitude
12.Do all things with joy
13.Find the positive in everything
14.Live authentically and unapologetically
15.Speak to yourself with compassion and love

15 intention setting ideas to improve your life Click To Tweet

If you’re setting intentions for the day/year, some people find it helpful to pick one word to focus on instead of a phrase. A few of my favorite are acceptance, love, gratitude, peace, breathe, empathy, and courage. Check out this  list of other words you can choose from.


 

Setting intentions allows you to feel centered and balanced no matter what’s happening around you. Instead of going through the motions, it gives your days purpose and gets you closer to who and where you want to be.

By rewiring your brain to focus on positive intentions, you are releasing positive energy and opening yourself up to be the best version of yourself.

 

Now over to you…have you tried setting intentions? How have they helped you in your daily life?

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7 Health Benefits of Turmeric & How to Make a Golden Milk Turmeric Latte (Recipe)

Have you ever had Asian food?

If you have, chances are you’ve probably consumed a good amount of the powerful anti-inflammatory spice known as turmeric!

Turmeric is best known as the main spice in curry that gives it the notorious bright yellow color.

The golden spice is one of my favorite spices because it’s so versatile and has so many health benefits. It belongs to the same family as ginger  and has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat several conditions with its powerful medicinal properties.

Turmeric has so many health benefits and is best known for fighting inflammation. This natural remedy can be used in a variety of ways including cooking and skincare. Learn how to make my favorite way to consume it, the “Golden Milk” turmeric latte.
*This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use and love, or think my readers will find useful.

I remember when my mom bought me my first-ever turmeric package – I had no idea how to incorporate into my meals. I knew it had many health benefits so I tried sprinkling it on my oatmeal and in drinks … but since I was using it wrong, I was immediately put off by the taste.

Because turmeric has such a strong taste and is very grainy, it has to be combined a certain way to taste good and to help your body absorb all the benefits.

Once I learned how to incorporate turmeric into my daily diet, I became obsessed with using it in my everyday meals to reap all the amazing benefits it has.

 

Benefits of Turmeric

The benefits of the bright yellow powder are often the result of the curcuminoids it contains.

The most common and most important one is called curcumin, and it’s the main active ingredient in turmeric. Because of curcumin, turmeric is known to be one of the most powerful spices in the world.

 

1. Anti-inflammatory

Many chronic diseases are caused by inflammation including heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, and other various conditions.

Curcumin in the turmeric helps to fight and prevent inflammation in the body. Some studies even show that it as effective as some anti-inflammatory drugs.

 

2. Powerful antioxidant

Loading up on antioxidants is a sure-fire way to boost your health. Antioxidants naturally protect our bodies and cells from free radicals.

When free radicals damage cells, DNA, and collagen it leads to disease in the body. Curcumin not only fights the free radicals in the body but also boosts the body’s own antioxidant ability.

 

3. Improves brain function

Turmeric helps keep your brain sharp and healthy. Turmeric is known to increase concentration and boost memory retention.

The curcumin in the spice also boosts levels of hormones (BDNF) in the brain that fight the onset of various diseases like depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

 

4. Improves heart health

Keeping your heart healthy is so important as you age. Because it contains Vitamin B6 and curcumin, turmeric promotes stronger blood vessels and balances cholesterol levels.

 

5. Fights Cancer

Cancer is so prevalent these days that we need all the protection we can get. Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant agent that has been directly linked to a reduction in colon cancer cells and can also hinder tumor growth.

7 Health Benefits of Turmeric Click To Tweet

 

6. Boosts skin health

Don’t we all wish we had perfect skin? By reducing bacteria and oil secretion, Turmeric helps to keep pimples and acne scars at bay.

Turmeric can even be used as on cuts, scars or as a face mask to fight signs of aging like wrinkles and pigmentation.

 

7. Detoxifies the body

Your liver is one of the most important organs of your body because it clears toxins from your blood.

Turmeric gives your liver the boost it needs to improve liver function and helps to reduce the levels of toxicity in the body.

Related post: 7 Health Benefits of Ginger: Why You Should Add it to Your Daily Routine

 

How to consume turmeric

While turmeric has many benefits, it’s only about 3% curcumin by weight. That’s why the more you consume the golden spice, the better. It’s also recommended to take an extract that contains significant amounts of curcumin to get the full effects.

Even then, curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body which is why black pepper and/or healthy fats are usually used with any recipe that requires turmeric.

Black pepper is known to increase curcumin absorption by 2000%!  Black pepper and fats activate the curcumin in the turmeric and help your body get all the benefits it provides.

 

Ways to get the most out of turmeric with healthy fats:

  • Sprinkle it on an avocado
  • Add coconut oil or ghee in your tea
  • Stir it in olive oil and toss it on veggies
  • Rub it on chicken thighs or legs (they’re naturally more fatty than breasts)

 

Ways to consume turmeric

I like to buy my turmeric in powder form but you can also buy the root. You can find turmeric root in the produce aisle of most grocery stores and the powder in health stores and online.

 

  • Tea

Turmeric tea is the ultimate cozy tea. It also tastes great combined with its sister-root ginger. Boil water and add turmeric, coconut oil, cinnamon, honey (optional) and a pinch of black pepper. Once I pour it into my cup, I love squeezing in some lemon juice for some added flavor.

 

  • Supplement

You can find a turmeric/curcumin supplement at your local health store. Since your body struggles to absorb the pill on its own, it’s recommended to take it with fat-rich foods like cheese, nuts or olive oil.

 

  • Food

Turmeric is a spice just like salt and garlic. You can incorporate into your everyday cooking very easily. Use it on roasted veggies, meats, soups or even in your oatmeal, but remember to add oil and a pinch of black pepper to reap the benefits.

 

  • “Golden Milk” Turmeric Latte

“Golden milk” turmeric  latte is my favorite way to consume turmeric, partly because the ingredients mix so well that the strong turmeric taste is hardly noticeable!

This cozy and soothing drink is the perfect morning or nighttime drink. A turmeric latte tastes slightly earthy and sweet and savory at the same time. It is just as delicious as it is nutritious!

So how exactly do you make a turmeric latte? I’m glad you asked!

A word of caution: Turmeric stains really easily. The yellow tint eventually comes off, but since we have white countertops, I put towels in the area to avoid any stains.

Reap all the benefits of turmeric with this 5 minute golden milk latte recipe Click To Tweet

Turmeric has so many health benefits and is best known for fighting inflammation. This natural remedy can be used in a variety of ways including cooking and skincare. Learn all about the benefits and how to consume with a tasty “Golden Milk” turmeric latte.

Print Recipe
Recipe: “Golden Milk” Turmeric Latte
Turmeric has so many health benefits and is best known for fighting inflammation. This natural remedy can be used in a variety of ways including cooking and skincare. Learn all about the benefits and how to consume with a tasty “Golden Milk” turmeric latte.
Course Drinks
Cook Time 3 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Course Drinks
Cook Time 3 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Turmeric has so many health benefits and is best known for fighting inflammation. This natural remedy can be used in a variety of ways including cooking and skincare. Learn all about the benefits and how to consume with a tasty “Golden Milk” turmeric latte.
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot over high heat, warm the water and coconut milk. Do not boil.
  2. Add turmeric, coconut oil, cinnamon, honey and black pepper to a blender.
  3. Add the warm water and milk mixture to the blender.
  4. Blend on high until mixed well (approx. 1 minute)
  5. Serve topped with cinnamon.
Recipe Notes

The recipe can be halved or doubled as needed. I used coconut milk but you can use any milk you want. The collagen I use is Further Food and you can ASERENEPURSUIT10 code at checkout for a discount!

Enjoy!


Now it’s your turn…have you had turmeric before? What’s your favorite way to consume it?

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30 Ideas For Self-Care During The Holidays

It’s that wonderful time of year again!

The chilly air, cheerful vibes, and dazzling lights are what festive dreams are made of.

As happy as this time of year is, it can also be very stressful. Between the holiday parties, decorating, family visits, and shopping – your stress levels can be at an all-time high.

If there’s only one time of year that self-care is completely and downright necessary, this is it!

 

Self-care tip: Don’t let the holiday stress get the best out of you. This season should also be about taking care of yourself. Click through to learn how to practice self-care with these holiday-inspired ideas! *This post may contain affiliate links that earn me a small commission, at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products I personally use and love, or think my readers will find useful.

Making your needs and wellbeing a priority during the holidays can go a long way in avoiding stress, burnout and even sickness.

So, when you feel like you need to slow down and take a breather, try the ideas below to get you practicing all the self-care you need to feel relaxed and recharged this holiday season.

 

1.Watch your favorite holiday movie

So what if you watched Elf 10 times this year already? Watching your favorite holiday movie in December snuggled up on the couch when it’s snowing outside makes it 10 times better.

 

2. Use towels right out of the dryer

Who else dreads the moment you have to get out of the shower on a cold morning? To make that moment more pleasant, stick your towel in the dryer before your shower and come out to a warm, soft towel to wrap yourself in. Such a simple and cozy self-care act.

 

3. Go Christmas light seeing

There’s nothing like taking a stroll down your neighborhood and seeing all the festive decorations people put up during the holidays. You don’t need to drag the whole family along either. It’s a free and peaceful way to uplift your mood and get into the holiday spirit.

 

4. Let yourself enjoy all the food

Eat the cookies, drink the wine and don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t think you have to work out extra just because you indulged. You will just be adding unnecessary stress to your mind. See food through a lens of balance – not guilt, not regret. The holidays only come around one time a year, so make the most out of it and enjoy every minute of it.

Related post: 3 Steps to Creating Balance in Your Health and Fitness Routine

 

5. Journal and let out all your thoughts

Journaling is a calming outlet because it lets you pour all your thoughts and feelings out on paper instead of having them bottled up. By helping you work through your problems, journaling allows for deep thinking and allows you to focus on what’s really going on your head. You can literally write about anything – you’ll be surprised at how easily writing comes to you once you sit down and let it flow. If you’re a journaling beginner, the perfect way to start is with The Five Minute Journal.

6. Practice gentle yoga at home

Take some time to slow down and move your body in a gentle way. Yoga relaxes you, improves your energy and protects you from injury. I recommend Yoga With Adriene for at home practice, where you can choose from a variety of yoga styles to get you moving any way you want.

 

7. Go ice-skating with a friend

Grab a friend, head to the rink and prepare to feel like a kid again. A classic wintertime experience – ice-skating is not only relaxing but also a good workout.

 

8. Say no when you need to

With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, don’t feel like you have to commit to everything. They need you to volunteer? A dozen cookies are being requested for tomorrow? Give yourself permission to say no when you just can’t find the time or when you simply need a mental break.

Give yourself permission to say no when you just can’t find the time or when you simply need a mental break. Click To Tweet

 

9. Treat yourself to a gift from you to you

Sometimes you just need to buy yourself that thing that you’ve been wanting since forever. If you’ve been eyeing those heels, that kitchenware or new eyeshadow…treat yo’ self girl! You deserve a gift from the person who knows you the best.

 

 

10. Make your favorite holiday drink

From hot cocoa and eggnog to peppermint tea, holiday drinks are perfect for when you need to take a moment to unwind.

 

11. Call an old friend and wish them a happy holiday season

Remember that friend you’ve been meaning to call but always forget? Call them! It’ll make you feel so much better to reconnect with them and get it off your chest.

 

12. Take a free online class about something you’ve been wanting to learn

I love learning new things but often can’t find the time to do it. Online classes are the perfect solution. They’re short, yet thorough and you can do them from the comfort of your own home. You can take a class on ANYTHING: photography, baking, indoor plants, crafting … the options are limitless.

 

13. Make crafts

Crafting can be so relaxing. I don’t know about you but walking into an arts and crafts store like Michaels makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. From homemade ornaments, cards, and gifts, there is an endless amount of opportunities to get creative and put your mind at ease.

 

14. Curl up by the Christmas tree with your favorite book

A good read is so much better under the magical lights of your holiday scenery. Reading gives you a chance to rest, recharge and de-stress during the busy holiday season.

 

15. Get yourself some cozy holiday pajamas, sweater or fuzzy socks

December means chilly weather (usually), so it’s the perfect time to stock up on cozy holiday attire to keep you warm when you’re chilling at home during those cold, winter days.

 

30 self-care ideas to take care of yourself during the holidays Click To Tweet

 

16. Make your house smell like festive scents

Essential oils and candles during this time of year are my favorite. Peppermint, wintergreen, cinnamon…the list goes on. Having a cozy, festive scent hit you as soon as you walk in a room can be so relaxing and invigorating.

 

17. Take a warm bath with all the works

A bath bomb, Epsom salt, candles, music and/or a good read is what I call bath heaven! Even if you don’t include any of the above or just a few, a warm bath is the ultimate act of self-care during the holidays. If you’re looking to spice up your bath with an all-natural candle, I love beeswax candles.

18. Make it a pajama day

Make it a tradition to have an annual pajama day where you don’t do anything but relax. It’s your day to stay in and do whatever you want to do. It’ll probably become one of the things you look forward to the most every holiday season.

 

19. Get a festive mani or pedi

I’ve always wanted to get one of these because it looks so cute but I always forget (oops). The holidays are a time for celebration, so why not go all out and have your nails match the festivities? Check out these pins for inspiration.

Related post: 12 Simple Self-Care Tips and Ideas for a Healthy Life

 

20. Listen to holiday music or make your own playlist

When people say music is good for the soul, they aren’t lying. Music can be healing, uplifting and just plain fun. I love listening to all kinds of music as part of my self-care daily ritual, but especially during the holidays. Holiday music gets you in the festive spirit and brings back old cherished holiday moments.

 

21. Check in with yourself

Stop, take a breather and take note of how you’re really feeling. Do you feel happy? Do you feel stressed? Acknowledge that feeling and ask yourself what’s making you feel that way. You can then choose to act on it or simply let it go without any judgment. Being in touch with how we feel throughout the day helps us to be more present and gentler with how we project our emotions.

 

22. Re-Create a holiday tradition

Remember that thing you used to do as a kid during the holidays that brought you so much joy? Bring it back! Whether it’s making snow angels, Christmas cookie decorating or caroling – do that one thing that will bring your inner child tears of happiness.

 

23. Take a walk and get some vitamin D

During the winter months, it’s hard to get the Vitamin D our body needs. But spending even a small amount of time outside when the sky clears up and the sun shines through is better than nothing and helps you to clear your head. If you live in the North and just can’t bear to walk outside when it’s freezing, try these ways to get your Vitamin D.

 

24. Color your worries away

If you can’t stop stressing about holiday gifts and planning, try coloring to ease your mind. It’s said that as you color, your brain experiences relief by entering a meditative state. Coloring is such a good way to practice self-care during the holidays because it takes minimal effort and you can do in the comfort of your home. My all-time favorite adult coloring book is this one here.

25. Meal prep for the week

OK, you may be thinking …how is this self-care, Angela? Hear me out. The holidays are crazy busy – so what better way to save time, money and stress than making sure your meals are all set for the week? After meal prepping, you won’t have to worry about cooking unless you’re cooking for the holiday gatherings. Check out my tips on how to get started meal prepping.

 

26. Buy yourself some fresh flowers

Why wait for someone to buy you flowers? Sometimes a girl just needs to buy herself some flowers to celebrate her happiness. Flowers don’t need to signify a special occasion, they can simply be a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us.

 

27. Make a holiday treat just for you

During the holidays, you may find that whenever you step into the kitchen you’re making food for everyone BUT yourself and it quickly begins to feel like a chore. You know that holiday dessert you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest that you’ve been dying to try? Gather up the recipe and indulge in that treat – if anybody wants the leftovers they can have it but you get first dibs!

 

28. Turn your room into a cozy haven with strand lights

My best friend has these up in her room and they make it feel so dreamy. This is definitely on my to-do list! For precaution, try to buy ones without lead in them like Ikea lights.

 

29. Declutter your closet to get ready for the new year

It’s time to pull down those clothes that you haven’t worn in 3 years and give them away. You’ll see how good it can feel to live with less. Like they say, cluttered spaces are chaos for the mind. Plus, you’ll have more room for fresh 2018 wardrobe.

 

30. Write down all the things that happened this year that you are grateful for

As the end of the year approaches, take some time to reflect on everything big and small that happened throughout the year that you’re grateful for. Read it at the beginning of the new year and rejoice in all the positive things that happened, and all the great things that are to come.


 

A little regular self-care during the holidays will ensure you stay happy and healthy once the new year comes around. The better you take care of yourself, the more you can joyfully give to others during this special time of year.

Now it’s your turn … how do you ensure that you stay happy and healthy during the holidays?

Remember to download the checklist before you go!

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