Natural Cinnamon Sugar Cookies

My Very Own Recipe! I spent last week messing around with different cookie combinations, and these cinnamon sugar cookies are by far the best I’ve come up with thus far. I plan on cutting these babies into holiday shapes, and bringing them to my Work Holiday Party tomorrow night. Hope you guys enjoy the recipe as much as I do!!

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Spice Up Your Homemade Egg Nog with the All Natural Recipe!

So I’ve been given the task of making the Egg Nog this year for my family’s Christmas party. However, I wanted to spice up the traditional eggnog recipe. Thanks to Wellness Mama and Thank Your Body, I was able to do so! Check out my All Natural (for Adults Only) Egg Nog How-To Video! I might even give me boyfriend’s family a batch of this wonderful stuff as a Christmas Eve gift as well!

Homemade Strawberry Lemonade Gummies!

Check out my “How To” video below in which I make some awesome all-natural gummies! I’ll definitely be giving these to my little cousins at our family Christmas party. I wonder where I can find Christmas themed molds….

Special thanks to Hollywood Homestead for the recipe! Check out the site for more awesome natural and paleo recipes.

Tips and Tricks for the Winter Months

Cough, Colds, and the Flu:

Colds in the winter seem inevitable. However, there are numerous herbal remedies that can diminish the sometimes brutal effects of the winter cold.

To ease a sore throat or cough, I recommend sipping on an herbal tea regularly, such as peppermint tea with honey to coat the throat, or a soothing ginger tea.

To clear the sinuses and ease an irritating nighttime cough, try making your own vapor rub with rosemary and tea tree essential oils.

Nose Bleeds:

Suffer from those unrelenting nose bleeds during the winter months? You could be copper deficient. According to Hoiistic Health and Living,  copper effectively stopped blogger Andrea Lewis’ nose bleeds, and could potentially stop yours too!

Dry, Cracked, Irritated Skin:

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! and drink PLENTY of water to keep your skin looking and feeling smooth and supple throughout the winter months.

However, if simple moisturizers and water consumption are not enough, using an exfoliating scrub and lotions are sure to help.

Homemade exfoliating body scrubs are quick and easy to make, requiring just a few ingredients. One of my favorite salt scrub recipes is made of dead sea salt and can be found here.

After you exfoliate it is essential to moisturize your skin. I advise creating your own lotions/healing oils as well, and using these on your hands and feet to lock in moisture. Wearing gloves and socks to bed at night will ensure the lotion gets fully absorbed into your skin.

Heal from Within:

One of the best and easiest ways to cure the winter blues and seasonal maladies is to maintain a healthy, natural, immune-boosting diet rich in antioxidants.

A simple Lentil Soup or a savory chicken soup both provide numerous immune system-boosting benefits.

For the desert lover, try making this Maca Hot Cocoa to warm you up on those cold winter nights!

Protect Yourself Naturally

Scared of the Ebola outbreak?

Looking for a way to limit the spread and save yourself from contracting the virus, as well as any virus for that matter?

Well look no further.

The easiest way to protect yourself from disease is to amp up your your body’s innate defense program – the immune system.

Lucky for you, nature has provided everything you need to boost your body’s defenses against bacterial and viral invaders. Including anti-bacterial and anti-viral herbs in your diet is simple and easy, not to mention quite tasty.

Listed below are some natural immune boosters to start adding into your diet provided by underground health. Check out their blog for more all-natual remedies and health advice!

Anti-bacterial:

garlic

onion

ginger

lemon

cayenne

peppermint

cinnamon

cranberry

Anti-viral herbs:

elderberry

lemon balm

olive leaf

oregano oil

Add these ingredients to your teas, meals, and even smoothies! Your body will thank you.

Meet Gina: Reiki Master and Interpreter of Crystals

Gina Crosheck decided to embark on her spiritual path shortly after both her husband and her sister died within the same week. In this interview, Gina explains the healing method of Reiki as well as how she developed her interest in the healing power of crystals.

A College Student’s Experience Living Holistically

Kindra Slivinski, Senior at the University of Iowa, has been living holistically since she was in the 5th grade. In this audio interview, Kindra shares with me how she started on the path of holistic living, the differences between eastern medicine(holistic/alternative) and western medicine, as well as the ups and downs of living a holistic lifestyle.

Learning the Art of Holistic Cooking

My whole food shopping spree was a success! I opted for organic fruits and vegetables, and as hard as it was to stray from the oh-so-comforting box of mac n cheese, I stayed far away from processed packaged meals. I also stopped by the local farmers market for some farm raised meat, and picked up a couple healing essential oils with mood enhancing ingredients such as lavender and orange blossom as well.

(Figured I ought to stock up on these antidepressants seeing as I am one of many who will unfortunately be plagued by seasonal mood disorder in the upcoming fall and winter months!)

The next step was to find some healthy and healing holistic recipes and cooking tips. For this, I went straight to the Island Druid Holistic Wellbeing website.

According to Island Druid, in order to cook holistically, one needs to incorporate all aspects of his or her being – Body, Mind, and Spirit. Cooking for holistic practitioners is considered a means of meditation, connecting one’s mind to his or her actions in preparation of natural foods. While preparing my own holistic meal, I took it as a time to relax and block out the worries of the day, focusing in onwhat I was doing at the present time – creating a healing and nutritious meal.

Holistic recipes, I learned, are actually quite simple. Since they incorporate only whole foods and all-natural ingredients, many recipes I came across in my research require very few ingredients. Since I have always had a love for fruit, and wanted to ease my way into the world of holistic cooking, I decided my first holistic food experience would be in the form of a fruit and vegetable smoothie found on the Holistic Cooking Goddess blog.

Green Smoothy
1 apple
1 banana
1 pear
2 stalks celery
1 baby coz lettuce
2 big handfuls spinach or kale
juice of 1/2-1 lemon
400-450mls water
small knob ginger optional
(all organic ingredients, of course)

I popped these ingredients in a blender and blended until smooth. Who knew holistic cooking could be so quick and easy? Not to mention tasty!

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Here are some more Holistic cooking tips I found on Simple Holistic Food.

Principles of Holistic Cooking:

1. Purify and filter your water.

2. Prepare food in the best stainless steel pots and pans you can afford.

3. Avoid the use of microwave ovens.

4. Use healing sugars only.

5. Use healing fats and oils that work with your liver to detoxify your body.

6. Get adequate protein.

7. Use salt with trace minerals and sea vegetables.

8. Perform nutritional analysis.

9. Use herbal teas.

10. Use at least four whole grain flours on a rotating basis.

11. Use organic and local ingredients whenever possible.

I’ll definitely be using these guiding principles when I manage to actually cook a holistic meal. I am thinking an organic bean and vegetable soup may be the next step in my cooking journey…

Please comment if you have any other suggestions for me!

Rachel

Homeopathy v. Naturopathy

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Confused about the difference between Homeopathy and Naturopathy? Click on the image above for some clarity. You will find informational videos and links to articles highlighting the relationship between the two natural practices, real life stories regarding the benefits of Homeopathy and Naturopathy, and also natural/herbal alternatives to prescription medications to battle pain and the flu!

A Link Between Stress Relief and Clearer Skin

Bad Skin Condition? Holistic Stress Relief May Cure It

According to a report released on August 7th, 2014 by the American Dermatology Association (ADA), research suggests stress relief techniques may help relieve skin outbreaks. Alternative forms of treatment in the form of stress relief techniques could become treatment options for dermatology patients.

Dermatologist Richard D. Granstein, MD, FAAD of Weil Cornell College department of dermatology explained the relationship between the nervous system and skin conditions in the ADA article.

He stated that the nervous system has an affect on inflammatory skin conditions. Stress can cause the nervous system to increase the production of certain chemicals that casuse inflammation in the skin.

Since this finding, alternative treatments to reduce stress such as mediation and yoga are being recommended by dermatologists.

Dr. Heather Ciliberto, MD, dermatologist affiliated with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, supports this latest research. “Stress can trigger numerous reactions within the skin,” she said. “When patients are having to cope with a certain skin condition, the addition of stress and anxiety only makes their condition worse, more often than not.”

Dr. Ciliberto suggests her patients suffering from stress due to their skin condition also be treated for anxiety and find stress relief outlets. She suggests practicing deep breathing daily.

So what kinds of stress relief outlets are there?

Many holistic healing sites, such as Undergroundhealth.com, recommend doing yoga for stress and anxiety relief.

One student at the University of Iowa, Taylor Stewart swears by this.

“The only times I break out are when I’m stressing over a test or something at work,” said Taylor, “I try to do yoga whenever I can to eliminate my stress.”

“Yoga provides a release in the body,” stated Kristin Cass, yoga instructor at Hot House Yoga in Iowa City, Iowa, “when you detoxify your body in this way, it could contribute to less acne and definitely to less stress.”

Cass has frequent skin rashes as a reaction to stress. In order to self-treat this condition, she practices the yoga routines she reaches daily at Hot House. “I tend to get rashes when I am stressed out,” she said, “I do the full routine more often, and the rash goes away.”

(–>Check out this yoga routine on MindBodyGreen as well!)

Now, holistic healing facilities and yoga studios could expect an influx of patients suffering from stress-induced or exacerbated skin conditions. Those suffering from persistent acne or stress related outbreaks might want to consider taking up yoga or meditation as a form of therapy.

So next time you find yourself breaking out, sit back in a peaceful spot, and try yoga-inspired meditation. That’s what I’ll be doing.

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