Tag: wellness corner

DIY Items with Baking Soda

Baking soda is a very versatile product that can be used for baking, cleaning and DIY projects. Here are three of our favorite ways to use baking soda. Each can be presented as a gift to your friends and family.

SHOWER STEAMERS:

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup of Always Save baking soda
1 tablespoon of Always Save cornstarch
2/3 cup of water
3-4 drops of your favorite essential oils (such as Lavender/Peppermint)

Tools:
Muffin tin
12 muffin liners

Prepare a muffin tin with 12 muffin liners.
Mix the baking soda and cornstarch with water until you have a thick paste. Slowly add the water as you might need more to create the thick paste. Pour the paste until the muffin tin is about 1/4 full. Place these in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow them to cool and add essential oils. Share with your friends as gifts or just enjoy in the shower.

FRIDGE REFRESHERS:

1 1/4 cups Always Save baking soda
1/4- 1/2 cup water
8 drops of your favorite essential oil

Create a paste with the three ingredients in a bowl. Add to a silicone mold and allow it to dry for 2-3 days until completely hard. Remove from the mold and place it in your refrigerator.

NATURAL DEODORANT BARS:

6-7 TBSP Best Choice Coconut Oil
4-5 TBSP Always Save Cornstarch
2-4 TBSP Always Save Baking Soda
1.5 oz- 2 oz of Shea butter or cocoa butter
6 drops of essential oils

Melt the Shea or cocoa butter over a double boiler.  Once the butter has melted add in the other ingredients.  Stir occasionally with a craft stick or coffee stick. Add the mixture to the mold and let cool. You can place it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.

Courtesy of Always Save brand

Kitchen Spring Cleaning

As warmer days settle in many people start to think about spring cleaning. One room in the house that greatly benefits from the proper organization and de-junking is the kitchen. A tidy well-organized pantry and fridge can help make daily tasks more healthful, simple and more efficient. Allowing more time to go outside in Mother Nature enjoying the newfound sunshine.

Here are three simple tips for spring cleaning the kitchen.

  1. Arrange like items together. Whether it’s the fridge or the pantry try to keep items organized in food groups or by usage. Oils, vinegars, sauce, and dressings go well together, while produce and fresh whole foods store nicely together in the refrigerator.
  2. Toss dry ingredients that you’ve had for more than a year. After a while, canned goods, spices, baking soda, noodles, and oils need a refresh.
  3. Give the shelves a solid clean. Meaning, wipe down the refrigerator, pantry shelves, cabinets, and storage areas. Clear away excess grime, crumbs and spillage. Natural cleansers (see below) such as vinegar and water can help make kitchen surfaces shine.

Here is a simple all purpose cleaner recipe.

Natural All-Purpose Cleanser:

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 lemon rind wedges
  • 1 rosemary spring

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake well then let sit for at least 1 week. All-Purpose Cleaner works great on most bathtubs, toilets, shower walls, and plastic item

Forming New Habits

A new year always brings about an opportunity to step back and evaluate how we want to begin another season of life. New Year’s resolutions are a common time to make health goals and lifestyle changes. At the root of most New Year’s resolutions is a habit change, and habits are a big part of our overall wellbeing.

There’s a significant amount of psychological research behind the process of habit formation and change so we can be confident that for most people habit change follows a similar cycle. Here are a few simple ways to identify a potential need for habit change. These 3 tips come from Charles Duhiggs best-selling book, The Power of Habit.

1. Pinpoint a trigger or cue for a certain behavior

2. What is the action you take, or the behavior itself

3. What is the outcome or benefit from the behavior

Once you identify a habit you’d like to change use this structure to solidify your desired result. An easy way to remember the components of habit change according to author James Clear is 3 R’s: Reminder, Routine and Reward. Establish a reminder for your new habit, make it part of your daily routine and reward yourself along the way. Enjoy the journey of establishing new habits in the New Year!

Baking Season

’Tis the Season for baking! The holidays call us together for fellowship, food and lots of seasonal treats. December is typically a month where multiple baked goods spring from people’s kitchens and cause many of us to share our favorite sweet creations. Here are a few tips for holiday baking.

  1. Pay attention to butter consistency. Butter is the first ingredient in many baked goods, so it’s vital to your end result to have your butter prepped as the recipe directs. Particularly heed the instruction for room temperature butter. Over melted or greasy butter can change the look and texture of your final product.
  2. Read the entire recipe in advance. To avoid disaster or a missing ingredient read your recipe and instructions ahead of time. It’s also wise to set all your ingredients out on the counter before you begin.
  3. Room temperature eggs. This is an easy step to skip. However, room temperature eggs, much like butter, can make a big difference in the texture and structure of your product. Room temperature ingredients emulsify with better uniformity and consistency.
  4. Measure with precision. Baking requires good measuring practices. Spoon and level measure flour with measuring cups. Measure wet ingredients in a measuring pitcher. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for some delicious holiday treats. Happy Baking!

Not Your Ordinary Veggie Tray

When you’re asked to bring an appetizer or specifically a vegetable tray to your next gathering considering adding in a few different bright colored veggies. A typically line up for snack veggies is carrots, celery, cherries tomatoes, and broccoli. While these are very nutritious and great options for a snack, there are also some other colorful foods you could add to the selection.

• Consider thinly sliced beets. Spring beets come in many different varieties. When you cut a raw beet in thin pieces it can provide a crunchy option for dips and hummus.

• Jicama is a slightly sweet unique vegetable that has a celery-like consistency.

• Heirloom cherry tomatoes are a great summer option. They come in different shapes and multiple colors to liven up a vegetable platter.

• Asparagus often gets overlooked when it comes to veggies that can be eaten raw. However thin asparagus stalks are a perfect anytime snack choice.

• Endive leaves are a delightful crunchy option for creamy dips and scooping guacamole.

Don’t limit yourself to a store-bought veggie tray. Selecting your own produce allows your offering to be more nutritious, colorful and fresh.

Making the Most of Pumpkin Season

Pumpkin centric recipes are a theme this time of year. From lattes to bread and soup to casseroles, pumpkin becomes a staple ingredient in October. The beautiful thing about pumpkin is its versatility and its nutritional value. Pumpkin offers vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium which have multiple heart health benefits and the ability to help lower blood pressure.

Easy and delicious ways to add pumpkin to your diet is by adding roasted pumpkin chunks to veggie dishes or casseroles. Pumpkin seeds also go great atop salad, yogurt and smoothie bowls. Desserts flavored with pumpkin aren’t necessarily the best way to add nutrients to your meal plan. However, using pumpkin purée as a substitute for butter or oil in baked goods is a great way to incorporate vegetables to smoothies or sweet breads.

Smoothie Combinations

Making the perfect smoothie requires the right ratio of produce, protein and healthy fats. When you’re making a smoothie that will serve one here is a good guide.

  • 1 cup of your favorite fruit. Fresh or frozen. If you use frozen you likely won’t need to add ice.
  • 3/4 cup of liquid. Milk, almond milk, coconut water, and yogurt are great options. I think it’s wise to skip or limit fruit juices because it adds a lot of extra sugar and calories.
  • 1 Tablespoon of healthy fats. Such as avocado, chia seeds, milled flax seeds, and nuts add nice texture and nutrition to a smoothie.
  • Extra boost of vitamins and minerals – add a handful of greens such spinach or chopped kale. Other boosters can be a small scoop of protein powder or a few tablespoons oats can add extra fiber.

Portion Control

No matter what kind of meal plan someone follows they likely won’t see results unless they enjoy foods in the right portion size. Controlling portions is much easier said than done. The most logical way to keep portions in check is to weigh and measure your food. However, that’s tedious and pretty unsustainable for most people. Here are two simple tips to control your portion sizes.

  1. Watch your toppings. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, oil and mayonnaise can add on extra calories. Dish out these condiments in a reasonable amount. Then put them back in the refrigerator. By doing this we can save added fat, calories and sugar. This is a small change that can pay off in the long run.
  2. Add extra produce. Most dietitians recommend making half your plate vegetables, one-quarter protein and the other quarter fiber-rich carbohydrates. This rule of thumb adds more volume to your plate and more nutrients helping you feel full and satisfied.

Five Health Benefits of Berries

The best part of enjoying berries on a daily basis is that they can be eaten right out of the carton, no preparation required. Just give your berries a good rinse and they can stand alone as a delicious snack or side dish. Berries such as blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries can also be added to a variety of recipes to provide a sweet and nutritious addition. Most types of berries are considered superfoods. They offer a host of health benefits ranging from disease-fighting antioxidants to anti-aging properties. Here are five health benefits of berries.

  1. Berries have a rich color provided by anthocyanins. These compounds help fight cancer, some metabolic diseases, and diabetes. Anthocyanins also help improve visual ability.
  2. For their size, berries contain a high concentration of fiber. Fiber provides countless digestive health benefits while also aiding in weight loss.
  3. Berries can help reduce inflammation caused by stress and a sedentary lifestyle. The antioxidants in berries may help reduce inflammatory markers decreasing the risk of heart disease.
  4. Strawberries have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol can be decreased by consuming berries on a daily basis with exercise. This also helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
  5. Berries are low in calories but high in flavor. Therefore, they are a great food to incorporate on any weight management plan.

The Importance of Produce

June is Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) only 1 in 10 Americans consumes the recommended daily requirement for fruit and vegetables. It’s recommended that adults consume 1.5 to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables. Multiple studies show that eating a diet rich in produce can significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and some cancers. Fruits and veggies also provide lots of fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals plus disease-fighting antioxidants.

Here are three easy ways to start enjoying more produce on a daily basis:

  1. Try to eat a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack.
  2. Keep yourself well stocked with produce. As you make a grocery list, plan to purchase salad ingredients for the week or buy extra frozen veggies if you won’t be able to grocery shop on a weekly basis.
  3. Look for local fruits and vegetables from your local grocer. The summer months provide a great opportunity to enjoy seasonal favorites.

Search for produce based recipes on our site: memphiscashsaver.com/category/recipes/

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