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!!

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.

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

Nutrition First, Mind and Spirit Next

Holistic Living focuses on three interconnecting aspects of the human being: the mind, the body, and the spirit. It is only through the healing and maintenance of all three of these sides that one can fully live, and ultimately heal, holistically. Tackling all three of these aspects at once could be quite taxing, however; I will attempt to adjust and heal each side of myself one at a time, step by step, beginning with my body and, specifically, my nutrition.

In my research on the holistic lifestyle, I have come across several different blogs and websites preaching of the benefit of moderation, choosing fresh, whole, and organic foods, and drinking plenty of water. Adopting these lifestyle changes has an inevitable impact on not only one’s physical health, but also one’s mental health and emotional well-being.

According to a recent video published on Healthy Holistic Living, nutritional deficiencies are direct causes of mood disorders such as depression and panic disorders. Now, not all of us may be suffering from mood disorders of this severity, but I believe if nutrition plays such an integral impact on those suffering from such disorders, a simple improvement in diet and nutrition will definitely improve an emotionally healthy individual’s emotional well-being.

So how am I going to adjust my diet in order to better my nutritional intake and general mood?

Well, I’m starting with a grocery shopping spree! Broke college students such as myself struggle to find affordable and quick meal solutions. Dorm food and the plethora of chain restaurants, burger joints, and Mexican grills definitely do not help in this nutrition dilemma either. With that being said, a trip to the local Hy-Vee is a must. Let the search for cheap, fresh, organic, and whole foods begin!

Next step – learning new recipes to cook all of this food and boost my Holistic Living repertoire. But that will require another blog post, of course.

Until Next Time!

Rachel