Get Healthy and Happy Without Even Leaving Your House!

The excitement of winter is coming and though the smell of gingerbread and peppermint, a crackling fire and a mug of hot cocoa can make you warm and cozy, there is no denying that getting outside or trying to find motivation to move around and get active can be a struggle.

Here are 3 reasons why a quick at home workout can help you to get healthy and happy during the cold winter season!

  • Studies have shown that just 15 minutes of fitness at a time, or even as little as one hour per week can minimize your risk for depression or depressive like symptoms. Boosts in mood enhancing hormones after exercise can also promote short term elevated mood levels!
  • The digital age of exercise is upon us and there has never been a more opportune time to utilize technology to enhance your health. Fitness apps, YouTube clips and videos all can be a great way to fit in a guided work out right from your living room!
  • Stretching is a gentle and easy way to warm up the muscles when we may be lacking in energy to be super active. You can even stretch right from your couch or in front of the fireplace or television without even having to take off your pajamas!Winter

 

 

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Disguise your Fries

Sweet potatoes are a power packed functional food that can be used to replace the standard potato in recipes for a bright and sweet kick. 

They are high in Vitamins B6, C, A and D which all help to support a healthy body. They are also anti-inflammatory and contain minerals like iron, magnesium and potassium. These nutrient dense tubers help our immune systems, bones and teeth, eyes, muscles, blood, heart, and even help to give us natural energy and stress reducing effects!

Try this easy and fun Sweet Potato Fritter recipe with eggs on top for breakfast or as a snack with a Siracha Mayo dipping sauce! Yum!

Sweet Potato Fritters

  • 1 medium sweet potato (grated)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oilfritters
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

Whisk egg in medium bowl and then add grated sweet potato, olive oil and salt & pepper.  Mix to coat the sweet potato. Add coconut oil to a skillet and heat. Ball up 1 large tablespoon of sweet potato mixture and place in skillet using a wooden spoon or spatula to flatten ball to a patty shape. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crispy. 

 

Guided Gratitude

It is important to remind ourselves of all the blessings in our lives during this thankful time or Thanksgiving holiday. Appreciation and gratefulness for the things in our life, whether person, place or even an idea, can expand our awareness and acceptance skills, enhancing our ability to live in a mindful mental state. With gratitude, we acknowledge what gives us meaning and purpose or that spark of joy. Celebrate your fortunes, appreciate your qualities, acknowledge your commitment. All will boost your confidence and ability to see life from a non-judgmental perspective.

gratitude

Guided Gratitude Practice –

Find a relaxed and comfortable space and body position. Close your eyes and follow the prompts creating visual images using your mind and feelings using your emotional experience of gratitude.

First, think of the people in your life you are grateful for. It could be family, friends, teachers and peers. People who are in your life now, people who used to be in your life, or even people you hope to meet. Visualize what they look like and how they support you, guide you and give you strength. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale imagine saying thank you or sending gratitude and compassion to those people.

Next, think of a place you are grateful for. This could be your home, a forest, the beach. Wherever you feel safe and can appreciate what is around you. Visualize the colors and shapes you may see here, imagine the smells and sounds that you find in your grateful space. Think about what it is about this place that you feel grateful for. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale imagine saying thank you or sending gratitude and compassion to that place.

Lastly, think of yourself. Think of all your qualities and attributes that make you, you. Visualize yourself doing actions you are proud of, appreciate your skills and characteristics that give you joy. Maybe you are grateful you are kind, hardworking, strong, or friendly. Experience gratitude for how your body works to keep you healthy and breathing strong, how your mind learns new topics and skills and holds memories or wishes, and how your emotions make you feel. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale imagine saying thank you or sending gratitude and compassion to yourself.

Open your eyes and slowly take a moment to reflect on what you may have discovered during your contemplation. 

Beets are a Treat

Beets are a root vegetable ideal for Fall. As the weather gets colder the root vegetables can stay strong under the earth. Beets are bright with shiny hues of pink and purple, but they aren’t only great to look at, they are great to eat!!Beets

  • Inflammation Fighter: Beets have been found to fight nasty inflammation responses in the body. Fighting inflammation in the body means beets could be a great way to also fight off chronic diseases.
  • Fiber and Nutrient Container: Beets also contain high amounts of fiber, helping to rid the body of toxins and purifying the liver. They can also boost your immune system with it’s Vitamin C content and minerals like potassium and manganese.

Try this fun Beet Brownie Recipe to add a sweet vegetable kick to a warm and delicious dessert!

Ingredients;

  • 2 medium beets boiled and peeled
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate chips
  • cups whole wheat flour
  • teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup golden brown sugar packed

Steps;

  • Puree beats in a blender.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Line a 9-inch by 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper or grease pan generously.
  • Cut sticks of butter into tablespoon size chunks and place in a saucepan. Add chocolate chips. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture melts and is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt and then set aside.
  • Mix the eggs for about 30 seconds. Add vanilla and brown sugar; mix about 2 minutes. Add beet puree and slowly add chocolate mixture. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Pour batter into pan and smooth top with a spatula.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.

 

The Power of Parks

Whether you live on a farm in Sussex or an apartment in New Castle, retreating to parks and spending time in nature is a powerful way to relax, refresh and revive. Time spent in green space or natural environments has been proven to have relaxing effects on both the body and the mind. Nature can

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  • Decrease blood pressure
  • Boost the immune system
  • Calm the mind 
  • Aid in flushing out toxins

Clean oxygen, fresh scents and natural oils all work effortlessly together to enhance well-being. Spending an afternoon in the park is also a great way to socialize, play, and to be active while hiding away from traffic noise, pollution, and technology. 

Healing with Honey

Honey is a natural remedy  and functional food used by ancient civilizations for thousands of years. This sweet liquid is a great addition to meals and drinks as a more natural replacement for energy from sugar but the benefits go even further than that. Honey1

7 A+’s for Liquid Gold-

  • Antimicrobial and AntibacterialResearch shows that honey can help reduce incidence of infectious diseases by killing bad bacteria [1]. Ingesting honey could be an effective natural medicine for food borne illnesses.
  • Antibiotic and Antiseptic – The antibiotic and antiseptic properties in honey make it a great natural remedy to prevent infections for cuts, burns, scrapes and even bug bites. It’s content of concentrated sugars and acidity also aid in the wound healing process by  providing an environment that promotes fast repair and regeneration of tissues with no adverse effects to the skin.
  • Antioxidant – Honey contains antioxidant properties from it’s polyphenol plant components, which have been shown to reduce effects of aging and can be helpful in preventing cancer [2].
  • Anti-inflammatory – Soothing effects from honey are due to it’s ability to reduce inflammation. When applied to the skin, honey can reduce swelling and irritation by reducing the effects of damaging free radicals. When ingested, honey can be a great remedy for a sore throat or irritating cough!
  • Allergy Protection- Honey has also been shown to be a natural fighter against allergies reducing those annoying allergy symptoms [3].

Honey is also a humectant, meaning it easily retains moisture and humidity, making it even more beneficial whenHoney2 applied to skin or hair as a natural moisturizer.

When selecting a honey, research recommends that monofloral honey has the most effective healing properties. This means the honey is sourced from only one type of flower’s pollen. Darker colored honey has also been shown to have more antioxidant properties. Manuka honey is a well known beneficial dark and monofloral honey. Honey basically never goes bad making it a great staple to add to the pantry or medicine cabinet.


  1. Rani et al. Antimicrobial Activity of Honey with Special Reference to Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Methicillin Sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA). J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Aug; 11(8): DC05–DC08.
  2. Alvarez-Suarez et al. The Composition and Biological Activity of Honey: A Focus on Manuka Honey. Foods 2014, 3, 420-432; doi:10.3390/foods3030420.
  3. Asha’ari ZA, Ahmad MZ, Wan Din WSJ, Hussin CMC, Leman I. Ingestion of honey improves the symptoms of allergic rhinitis: evidence from a randomized placebo-controlled trial in the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Ann Saudi Med 2013; 33(5): 469-475. 

Trick or Healthy Treats!

It is Halloween Month! Growing up, Halloween is many children’s favorite holiday. What is better than dressing up and getting to eat all the candy and treats they want? As we get older, we are more aware of all the sugar and unhealthy ingredients in some of our childhood favorites. That is why this week we wanted to give you a few quick ideas on healthier versions of one of the classic Halloween candies: Candy Corn.

Candy Corn Ice Pops

These easy treats are made with only 3 ingredients.candycornicepops

  • Low-fat yogurt (bottom layer)
  • Orange juice (middle layer)
  • Pineapple juice (top) layer
  • Make sure each layer has 30 minutes to freeze, before adding the next layer. Freeze final popsicle for 1 hour before enjoying.
  • Popsicle molds are inexpensive investments. You can buy them at any Walmart, Target or online.

 

 

Candy Corn Veggie PlateCandy Corn Veggie Plate

  • Cauliflower
  • Baby Carrots
  • Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Wash all vegetables before cutting and arranging.
  • The size of your “candy corn” will depend on how many people you would like to feed.
  • Adding roasted red hummus with black olive “eyes” and mouth” make a great jack o’ lantern dip.