2 Ingredient Pancakes Recipe and Review

Recently while browsing social media I came across a recipe for 2 ingredient pancakes.  And of course, as you know, on social media when a recipe is posted the comments end up with a mix of “This is great, let’s make it all the time” and “how dare you consider this a pancake, it isn’t even a cake” and “I’m allergic to eggs and I am insulted you posted this recipe.”  Don’t pretend you guys don’t know what I’m talking about.  I mean, to be honest, sometimes when I have a bad day I just read through those kind of comments and laugh. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine I guess.

So of course, with such a strange, easy recipe that was getting a lot of attention I wasn’t entirely sure HOW it was going to work let alone how it was going to taste.  So I wanted to give it a try for myself and see what the fuss was all about.  After all, if this really easy and super healthy alternative to real pancakes worked and tasted good, why not give it a try?

So today I am going to share with you the recipe I saw for 2 ingredient pancakes and let you know what I thought about them.


Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 2 eggs
  1. Mash up banana thoroughly. If you would like your pancakes a little chunkier you can leave your banana chunkier, but if you want a smooth pancake, you can always use a food processor to process your banana.
  2. Thoroughly whip the 2 eggs until they are well combined.
  3. Add the eggs to the banana and mix thoroughly until it forms a smooth batter
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat using either butter or oil (or in my preference 0 calorie spray)
  5. When the skillet is heated use a tablespoon measure to measure out 2 tablespoon sized pancakes onto the pan. (This will make around 6 pancakes)
  6. After 2-3 minutes, check the pancake bottom to make sure it has browned, if it has, carefully flip the pancake over to the other side.
  7. Let it cook another 2-3 minutes or until brown.
  8. Take off the skillet and serve

If you are only serving for one person you can refrigerate the pancakes for a couple of days and they should last.  Similarly, this recipe is actually extremely easy to cut in half and it will still work perfectly.


How to serve it/ alternative options

Serving these banana pancakes can be a lot of fun if you’re creative enough to give it a try.

If you are looking for a fluffier pancake, you can always add in 1 teaspoon of baking powder an/ord baking soda to help them rise.  You can also get creative and add things to your pancakes such as granola, blueberries, or chocolate chips, but I suggest adding these as the pancakes cook and not directly into the batter.

You can get creative with topping these pancakes as well.  You can always stick to the traditional butter and maple syrup which tastes pretty good on these, but since the base of your pancake is banana, it’s already slightly on the sweeter, fruity side.  If you’re looking for a sweet pancake, you can always top yours off with some whipped cream or chocolate drizzle.  If you want to stick with the fruit theme you can always add jam or peanut butter between the layers and serve it with a side of fruit!

But since these pancakes are already a custard-like treat, I personally like to stack mine with a small layer of Greek yogurt in between to continue with the creamy texture!

There are so many different possibilities, just like there are with regular pancakes! Just because these are made with just eggs and bananas doesn’t make them any less fun to play around with.


So what did I think of them?

To be honest, I’ve had these pancakes a couple of times since I tried the recipe originally.  They are very good, but I’ll definitely warn you, they really aren’t pancakes.  Sure they taste great, but when it comes down to it, you really do taste the fact that they are simply just banana and egg when you eat them.  Add ins like granola or chocolate chips help to take the edge off the eggy taste slightly, but overall you definitely can tell they aren’t real pancakes.

That being said, when I want a quick fix for pancakes but don’t want all the calories (or all the work that goes into making real pancakes), this is a good alternative.  Plus, bananas already have a sweetest to them, so when I’m having a sweet tooth kind of morning, this is a lot healthier than having French toast or chocolate chip pancakes.

The texture is a lot different than real pancakes, but personally that’s what I like most about them. They kind of resemble custard when you eat them.  They’re smooth and creamy like custard and are naturally sweet without having added sugar.  I really like that, again especially when I’m having a sweet tooth moment.

So I would definitely say that these easy 2 ingredient pancakes are worth a try to make.  They might not be good for kids who have picky pallets, but for you on a morning when you just need that fix, it’s definitely worth giving a try.


Have you ever tried these types of pancakes?  What is your favorite way to serve them? Let me know in the comments below, or let me know if you give them a try soon!

Until next time,

Kat

 

Last week my twitter feed blew up with talk about eating in season and focusing on a more sustainable diet.  Which was actually a welcome change from the fact that Twitter is usually filled with political craziness—I’m honestly all for us taking more time to care about the environment instead of focusing on negatives.  So all the talk about seasonal eating and planning meals based on season got me excited and I started doing some research of my own.  What exactly is seasonal eating?  What foods fit into what seasons?  And what does this mean for our environment?

Today I want to share with you guys how eating in season can have some seriously positive effects on our health and wellness and the environment as well.


What is eating in season?

Eating in season is exactly what it sounds like: choosing to eat foods that are currently in season and can be found locally.  This of course, is constantly changing month to month, week to week, depending on the season and what fruits and vegetables are in season.  This also changes depending on WHERE you live.  As you can imagine, the fruits and vegetables in season in Maine will be vastly different than what is being produced somewhere much warmer and drier like California.

But no matter where you live, you can participate in seasonal eating habits, and it really doesn’t take that much effort on your part.  It might even get you making more creative recipes and get you trying new things.


Why choose seasonal eating?

There are loads of reasons why seasonally eating makes sense and all of them point to the conclusion of: why haven’t we been pushing to do this for years? It just makes sense to be purchasing foods that are in season and cooking with them opposed to finding foods that are out of season.

For starters the foods that are in season are going to be fresher and are going to taste way better than foods that aren’t in season.  Take for example fall.  You don’t get amazing squash that tastes full and flavorful in the middle of April.  That’s not the season for it.  Squash is a great fall vegetable because that is when it meant to be growing.  Just like potatoes are always more flavorful in the winter months.  Eating seasonally makes so much sense when it comes to looking for rich, fresh flavors.

Not only that, but seasonal eating can actually support the economy in many positive ways.  When you buy seasonally, you are buying foods that are in high supply and are readily able to be found in stores.  This means your grocery bill will be smaller if you’re buying seasonal foods since it costs less for the farmers to supply the products.  You’re also more likely to be supporting local, or closer to local, markets when you eat seasonally.  Chances are if you eat seasonally for your area the foods you are eating are coming from close to home—or even for some of the more adventurous out there, the food is coming from home!  Supporting local markets is a great boost for local economies and the environment since it reduces on the shipping which helps to reduce CO2 emission!

cookies-and-kate

photo from cooking and kate

And speaking of the environment, seasonal produce can actually grew without too much human assistance.  So when you buy in season, you’re buying foods that do not need to be genetically modified or altered and that probably don’t need as many pesticides.  And let’s be fair, who doesn’t support more natural eating when it can be obtained!

Of course there are also many health benefits to seasonal eating.  Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables that is changing every few months is a great way for your body to be adding different nutrients to the body as it needs it.  There is actually a lot of research out there supporting that our bodies are actually meant to be eating seasonally and that we need certain nutrients at certain times are year!

Finally, as I mentioned before, eating seasonally is also a great way to add variety into your meals.  If what you’re putting on your plate is changing once a month or so depending on the season, you’re going to find a lot of new, creative ways to be cooking and making new recipes.  It’s almost like an exciting new challenge.


What should I be eating seasonally?

As I said before, this actually changes depending on where you live, but there are some general rules that you can follow.

In the winter you want to focus on warming foods like fish, chicken, and root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onion, and garlic.  Think of foods that work well in soup and that’s a good starting point for you.  Corn, eggs, and nuts also fit into the winter category.

In spring you should focus on leafy vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, parsley, and basil.

winter-foods

photo from dreamstime.com

Summer is good for light, cooling foods and is the best time for berries.  Strawberries, blueberries, apples, and plums are great.  Vegetables like summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn also go well in summer.  And of course don’t forget about our herb gardens: peppermint and cilantro are great summer seasonings.

And finally fall brings us back towards warming foods including sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and carrots and has our spices focus on ginger, peppercorns and mustard seeds.

But of course this is not an all inclusive list and is just a general idea.  Each list is different depending on where you live and what month it is.

If you want a better list of what to eat depending on your area check out this really cool site I found where you can put in the date, where you live, and find out what produce is best for you to be eating!


Make it a challenge

Challenge yourself to start eating more seasonally.  See how many new recipes you can come up with and how many different ways you can make a new vegetable.  See how much money you can save by shopping more seasonally and more locally.  Whatever you need to do to push yourself to try this, I encourage you to give it a shot.  I know I’m going to be trying some new things soon.


So it looks like I need to go find some recipes with turnips, potatoes, and celery in them.  Sounds like it’s going to be interesting considering I’ve never had turnips before!  Wish me luck!

Are you a seasonal eater?  Are you thinking of becoming one now?  Share some of your favorite late winter recipes down in the comments below.  I would love to try them out!

Until next time,

Kat

 

Check out these cool sites with more information:

10 Reasons to Eat what’s in Season: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4807/10-Reasons-to-Eat-Whats-In-Season.html

What are the benefits of eating foods in season? http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=faq&dbid=28

 

BeachBody Start-up

Hi all! I’m Sara and I am your guest blogger this week. While I didn’t set any New Year’s resolutions, last week I decided to take control over my body (again). I consider myself an average Jane – I commute several hours a week, take the dog out on walks, and enjoy my share of Netflix binge Saturdays. But I’m 25, 150+ pounds and none of that is toned muscle. So when I saw on Facebook that an old high school friend was starting a coaching group for BeachBody, I bit the bullet and joined.

The first hurdle was commitment to the program. As a new university faculty member, I’m not paid the big bucks, so the fee to join and add on the required products was not a light decision. I knew the coaching group I was joining would be for the 21 Day Fix program ($160), but http://www.teambeachbody.com/ was a little overwhelming. For only $40 more I could get access to every program. In reality, what you are paying for is $130 worth of Shakeology, which works out to $4 and change per serving. You are also sent portion control containers (see meal planning) and a shake container, though they probably make those for mere cents.  So, for $70 ($5 a month) for access to all of the workout programs, I decided it was worth a try.  Just a note, you will also need to invest in some free weights or a resistance band, and maybe a yoga mat. However, I already had those on hand.

bbb1.JPG

When a package arrives, the puppy usually thinks its for her, but it was my supplies for the 21 day fix!

The second hurdle has been the meal planning. Upon receiving my kit in the mail, I unpackaged the color-coded portion control containers. There is a formula based on your weight and maintenance calories that tells you how many servings of each container to eat each day. While there were several recommended meal plans, they didn’t seem appetizing to me. Therefore, I’ve followed the ingredients lists for each color and done some online research for alternative meals. (see http://mycrazygoodlife.com/21-day-fix-meal-plans/ and http://thefoodieandthefix.com/21-day-fix-quick-dinners-30-minutes-less/). So far, so good.

bbb2.JPG

Meal planning, week 1.

 

I also want to take this time to mention my opinion on the Shakeology mix (which counts as a protein serving). So far I have blended mine (I chose the Chocolate flavor) plain with ice and water as well as with coffee cubes and water. I have found the coffee cubes option my favorite, but also bought caramel and mint extracts for mixing. The plain shake is a little bland, and not as rich as I was expecting, but I’ve grown to like it.

The third and final hurdle is the workouts themselves. I hooked my computer up to my TV in order to experience the workouts to their fullest in the comfort of my livingroom. The very first workout is called Total Body Cardio and it made me hurt all over.  I even cried through parts of the workout because of how pathetic I felt not being able to keep up. But I didn’t give up. Day two only resulted in a few tears, and today I just hurt like a…champion! I’ve waddled like a pregnant lady all day. So I’ve already experienced a variety of emotions with the program, but the key is to stick with it.  I joined the coaching group for accountability and I think that is what is going to get me through.

Overall, I’ve only spent three days immersed in the program and I am hooked.  I plan to continue the program after these first 21 days, even after the coaching is over and I will certainly recommend this to my family and friends.

So thanks for listening and I’ll leave you with a cute picture of my pup helping me finish my afternoon apple. Cheers!

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She loves her fruits and veggies!

 

Coconut Oil vs. Avocado Oil- which is better?

I hear a lot of people talking about cooking with alternative oils to vegetable and olive oil.  And that’s great.  Not only are a lot of vegetable oils derived by unsustainable methods, i.e. see my post on palm oil, but alternative oil sources can also be very healthy for you depending on what kind of fats those oils contain.

I know a lot of people who are fans of cooking with coconut oil for their meals, but I also know a handful of people who prefer to cook with avocado oil because they claim it is a much healthier alternative.  Personally, although I use coconut oil for a lot of things—oil pulling, make up removal, hair moisturizing, etc.—I tend to turn towards avocado oil when it comes to cooking.

So today I wanted to help put any debate behind us and outline what the deal is with both coconut oil and avocado oil and decide which is actually healthier for us and which we should be using for what.


What makes oil bad is the fat

Oils are considered to be bad for us because they all contain high percentages of fats, which are made of chains of fatty acids. Fats are actually very important to our diets.  Essential fats are found through plant or animal sources and are required for normal body function including energy storage, nerve and brain function, healthy skin and nails, and transporting vitamins such as D, E, and K throughout our bodies.  We are luckily able to obtain these necessary fats through a healthy diet, although a diet high in fats will cause our body to retain the storages and not expel them and thus we gain weight.


Where do we find fats?

Fats come in different forms depending on the fatty acid chains they are made of.  You can have trans fats, saturated fats, or monounsaturated fats.  Today we’re going to focus on naturally found fats such as saturated and monounsaturated fats because those are what are most common in the oils we consume.  (Whereas trans fats are manufactured).

I’ll start with talking about saturated fats which are differentiated from other fats because they are created with a chain of fatty acids with only single bonds (C-C).   They are saturated in nature because the second bond is attached to a hydrogen atom thus causing a sort of “saturation”.  Most animal fats are saturated along with the fats of many plants and fish.  Saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature and have a higher melting point than other fats.

saturated fat psu.edu

Monounsaturated fats are fatty acids with one double bound and the rest single bonds.  They have a lower melting temperature and therefore are found in liquid form at room temperature due to the presence of that double bond.

monounsaturated


So what’s better saturated or unsaturated fats?

There is actually A LOT of debate out there on whether saturated fats are good for you and whether unsaturated fats are actually a much healthier alternative.  While a lot of sources will claim that one is better than the other, there is some debate circulating that states that all types of fat (excluding trans fats which are a big no, no) are actually healthy for you in moderation.

Overall, the big picture is that unsaturated fats are linked with lower blood pressure, lowering risk for Type 2 diabetes, protecting heart health, and the body’s use of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are found in these fats.  Saturated fats, however, are linked with high LDL cholesterol and increased risk for heart disease.

However, there is some research out there that suggests that our bodies do need some saturated fat in our diets for multiple reasons such as calcium uptake, liver protection against alcohol and medications, brain development, and immune support.

Basically, there is a lot of research out there that is constantly being updated on these fats and what is best for you at any given time.  So really, there is no clear answer.  However, it is safe to say that in general, unsaturated fats are better for you than saturated fats, and to be honest, you can probably find saturated fats enough in your diet without adding them there manually when you cook your food in oil.


So what’s the difference between Coconut Oil and Avocado Oil?

avocado-oil-labelTime to grab your containers of both and take a look at the back labels.  (Have I ever mentioned to you how important label reading is?  It’s really important). You’ll see when you compare coconut oil to avocado oil there is a huge difference.  Coconut oil is mainly saturated fat while avocado oil contains a small amount of saturated fat, but is mostly monounsaturated fat.  It’s a big difference guys.  That’s why your coconut oil is in solid form and your avocado oil is a liquid.

coonut-oil-label


So which is better for me?

This is where the debate gets pretty serious and heated because there are a lot of varying opinions out there on which oil is better for you. A lot of people claim that the saturated fats found in coconut oil are the “healthy type” which will help in the ways that I highlighted above, but to be fair, I just don’t buy that.  In my opinion, if I was given the choice between a saturated fat and a monounsaturated fat to CONSUME, I would choose the monounsaturated fat, especially considering that avocado oil contains a small amount of that supposedly “healthy” saturated fat.

Is this a biased opinion?  Maybe. I certainly am swaying your opinion by expressing my own, but I’ll finish that thought with simply stating that it’s really up to your personal preference which you choose to use.  They both have benefits and it’s up to you to decide what you want to do with your oils.


What else are those oils good for?

Avocado and coconut oil are both great for the other health benefits they provide.  They both help with nutrient absorption, skin protection (including dry skin and acne), gum health, and joint pain.

Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial so it is often used in many home remedies including eye infections and gum infections.  Coconut oil is also a great type of oil to use for oil pulling as it draws out the bad bacteria from your body and works as a natural detox.  This helps with gum health and some claim it even whitens teeth.  I’ll do a blog post on oil pulling in a few weeks in case you’re curious to learn more about it.

Both oils have also been used as natural make up removers and skin care regiments, although it does seem, from what I have heard, that everyone has a different reaction to different oils.  For example, I had a friend who put coconut oil on her face and said it clogged her pores up so she prefers avocado oil.  However, I was the opposite and avocado oil made my skin break into a rash while coconut oil does my skin wonders (skin is a funny thing like that).


Both oils have amazing benefits to your body and are both great to have around the house.  I use avocado oil for cooking and I keep coconut oil around the house for literally everything else I could possibly need it for.  (I kid you guys not, I cleared up an eye infection using that stuff and never had to go see a doctor for it).

It’s all up to your personal preference what you use your oils for and which you use to cook with.  There’s no right or wrong answer, for now, but remember, the research is always updating so keep yourself current with what’s going on in the science world so you’re always up to date.

Which do you prefer: coconut oil or avocado oil?  Is there a different type of oil you favor? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Kat

Vegetarian Meatball Recipe

Ever since becoming a vegetarian I haven’t really missed eating meat.  I don’t crave it and I don’t really think about it much anymore.  The only thing that I do miss about my meat eating days is my great grandmother’s Italian Style meatballs.  They were so good and nothing could ever compare.

So it’s been my mission ever since becoming a vegetarian to find a vegetarian meatball that could compare in taste and texture.  After trying many different things, I finally, this past Christmas, found a recipe that I fell in love with and that tastes amazing.

So today I want to share with you the recipe I was given for Vegetarian Meatballs made with walnuts.  I apologize to anyone with a nut allergy who cannot partake in this delicious treat, you’re really missing out.


Ingredients

  • 1 Cup finally chopped or processed walnuts
  • 1 Cup processed or fine bread crumbs
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 onion finally chopped
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 Tablespoons spaghetti sauce

 

  1. Assure that walnuts are finally chopped, however some larger pieces may remain for texture
  2. Mix together all ingredients except for sauce. Make sure well combined.
  3. Let stand out or refrigerated until mixture thickens
  4. Add in spaghetti sauce
  5. Form into meatballs of desired size
  6. Fry slowly, or bake at 350 degrees until cooked thoroughly inside
  7. When serving, let heat in a pan of spaghetti sauce on simmer for 1-2 hours to allow to soften and for spaghetti sauce flavor to soak in.

When we made them we used an air fryer to cook them.  It’s a very healthy alternative to pan frying them with oil, as the air fryer does not need oil and still comes out with the same general taste and texture as frying.  You can also bake them; however I am not entirely sure how long they would need to bake until the middles are cooked.  But if you do try that method, please let me know in the comments below how long you baked them for!

This recipe was seriously delicious and I have made sure to pass it on to all my vegetarian friends.  I haven’t had a vegetarian meatball this good since becoming a vegetarian so this is a real find.

Let me know in the comments below if you decide to make this recipe and what you think of it!  Also share any of your recipes for vegetarian meatballs.  I would love to try out more recipes.

Until next time,

Kat

Palm Oil: What it is and What it means

Working in an environmental field I come across a lot of horror stories about how we treat our environment and how we are actually doing more harm than we are good.  There’s actually a lot that we do to our world that is grotesque and harmful, and it’s very sad to even think about that.  Thankfully there is also plenty that we can do to help turn things around and save the planet that we call home.

Recently I learned about the damage that palm oil causes to the environment, and being the health and wellness blogger that I am, I wanted to bring to your attention how we can make the most sustainable choices possible.  So today I am going to explain to you what palm oil is and what it means to our environment.


What is Palm Oil?

palm-oilPalm oil is an edible vegetable oil, often disguised in ingredient lists as vegetable oil, and comes from the red pulp of the fruit of oil palms.  These plants mostly derive from Africa, but there are also American oil palms, although plants can be planted anywhere where heat and rain are abundant.  Therefore, oil palms can be found throughout Africa, Asia, and North and South America.

Palm oil is all around you.  It’s in your vegetable oil, it’s in your common candy products, it’s in many different food products, cleaners, and detergents. It’s actually probably in 50% of your everyday food and household items.  It’s nearly impossible to avoid which makes its environmental impact even harder to reduce.  Everywhere you turn, you’re being exposed to palm oil.


What’s so wrong with Palm Oil?

In the year of 2006, palm oil accounted for 65% of all vegetable oil trades and the demand for palm oil only grew from there.  By 2050 it is expected that the worldwide demand for palm oil will double what it was back in 2006.

Okay, so great facts, right?  What does this mean for our environment?

Well, what makes palm oil so bad is that it is not being produced using sustainable measures. Want a visual of what that means?  You know how in Dr. Seus’s “The Lorax” they cut down all the trees to make those little scarf things that “do everything”, you know, the sneeds?  And you know how in the end they take down that entire forest and there’s literally nothing left?  There are no trees and the animals are all forced to leave?  That’s basically what I mean by non-sustainable methods of production. However, in the real world, when the forests go away, the animals don’t relocate, they go extinct.

deforest.jpg

The effect palm oil has had on forests throughout the years and future effect

The palm oil industry is linked with major deforestation and habitat loss which then causes further issues such as climate change and animal abuse.  Let me put it this way, the World Wildlife Fund says that 300 football field sized rainforests are cleared every hour to make way for the palm oil production. That’s a terrifying amount when you think about how many types of plant and animal species call that home.  This is causing for entire species to go extinct!

Does that matter to you?  The World Wildlife Fund also says that if something doesn’t change and this continues, orangutan could go extinct in 5 to 10 year and Sumatran Tigers could go extinct in 3 years.  These species all contribute to biodiversity and a little thing that’s called the “circle of life” where each species in an ecosystem has an effect on another species.  That means that if we lose one, there is going to be significant damage to other species as well and we could actually end up losing entire ecosystems worth of biodiversity.

And not to mention the impact this has on global warming!  (Yes, I do believe in global warming, if you would like me to write an entire blog post explaining the science and facts around that I would be more than glad to, just let me know below).  Deforestation involves chopping down many trees, entire football fields worth of trees, harvesting what you need, burning what you don’t need, and then burning all the remaining forest undergrowth.  This emits gigantic quantities of smoke into our atmosphere which gets trapped as greenhouse gas and therefore contributes to our climate change problem.

So yes, the Palm oil industry is a scary thing, but I promise there isn’t just bad news to this story.


What Can I do to help?

Surprisingly, the palm oil industry does not have to resort to their highly invasive ways of obtaining their goal, although convincing someone to change is rather difficult.  Many organizations like the World Wildlife Fund are taking on the difficult task of trying to change the industry.  This includes fronts like the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, which is an international group that sells, buys, and produces palm oil and help to implement and promote better practices for sustainable palm oil production.  They also work to encourage other companies to use certified sustainable palm oil as well.

cmzYou can also help to change the way palm oil is produced and created.  Sadly we can’t just completely boycott palm oil products because they are so vastly around us, but what we can do is pay attention to the types of palm oil we use. There are plenty of companies out there now that are using sustainable palm oil, which is derived from methods that do not involve cutting down the entire tree and destroying habitats.  Instead these methods keep ecosystems intact.

And it’s easier than ever now to figure out what products use sustainable palm oil and which don’t.  Thanks to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, there is now an app that you can download on your phone that will aid in your trip to the grocery store by telling you what products are made with sustainable palm oil!  It’s super easy to use and it’s the best thing you can do to aid in this cause!

You can read more about the app here and even download it and try for yourself.


Now that you know about Palm Oil and the effect its production can have on our planet, please do your part.  Buy sustainable palm oil, and most importantly, spread the world of what the cause is.  The more people who know, the more it will show that people want sustainable products over products that are obtained the easy way.

If we don’t do our part to protect our planet, who knows how long we’ll actually have it for and who knows what sort of beautiful plants and animals we will lose by not taking care of it.  So please, I encourage you to do your part.

Let’s open up a dialogue in the comments below about this problem.  Share your thoughts, your concerns, or your stories.  I would love to discuss it with you guys.

Until next time,

Kat

 

Sources and further reading (And I encourage you to read through these sources)

Say No to Palm Oil: http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php

World Wildlife Fund Links:

Palm oil: http://www.cmzoo.org/index.php/conservation-matters/palm-oil-crisis/

Making room for wildlife, forests and sustainable palm oil: http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/solutions/

Which Everyday Products Contain Palm Oil?: http://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/which-everyday-products-contain-palm-oil

 

 

6 Tips for Self Care

 

Self care is any human regulatory function which is under that individual’s control.  This is self initiated and self regulated.  Many people believe that self care is on the same continuum as healthcare and preventative medicine meaning it should be a natural part of any health routine.  It’s honestly something we all know how to do, but something that gets ignored when we go through periods of feeling down or depressed.  And the thing is, self care routines aren’t difficult, but they are easily forgotten or tossed aside.  But with the New Year here, I think that we all need to refocus and possibly start thinking more about our own self care and how we can help ourselves become better versions of ourselves.

So today, I want to share with you some tips on maintaining self care and some emergency self care tips for when you truly need them.


Drink Water

h20Sometimes when you’re feeling completely out of sorts you can’t tell why, but you can tell that you’re off.  You may have a headache or be feeling sluggish but not sure why, but you definitely know you are not at 100%.  You may be getting sick but chances are you’re probably just dehydrated.  Alternatively, if you’ve been crying a lot and now feel very tired and drained, you’re more than likely dehydrated as crying can be a very dehydrating form of self expression.  Usually we think the symptoms of dehydration are just dry mouth and clammy skin, but symptoms also include sleepiness, headaches, and dizziness.

So next time you’re feeling off, sit down for a few minutes and enjoy a glass of water.  You might be surprised at how much better you feel afterwards. You can even grab a cup of warm herbal tea which will also help calm you if you are upset.


Go for a walk or a jog

Sometimes when we feel rubbish it’s because something happened that upset us.  When those instances hit us, it’s never a bad idea to take time to self reflect on the instance and decide what needs to be done or changed as a result.  What better way to do this than to take a walk or a jog? This way you have plenty of time for self reflection and you’re also getting your exercise which will boost endorphin and serotonin.

This is why I truly believe that belonging to a gym is a necessary part of your own self care system.  This is especially true if you live somewhere cold and where it gets dark early.  You always want to have the option open to get out and exercise or walk when you need it, even if that is at 2 in the morning.

I’ll tell you from my own experience that in the last 5 months I have not been a member of a gym and I have seen a personal decrease in my own self care.  I truly believe running is where my sanity lies. I really think having that option improves overall physical and mental health.


Take a Shower

showerWhen you’re feeling not so much like yourself the last thing you need is to be sitting in your own filth.  Taking a shower to wash off all the negative grime is a good way to feel fresh and new and it’s kind of like a new start.

Plus showers are great places to think! I mean, who else out there seems to get all their good ideas from taking showers?  It can’t just be me!

You don’t even have to go through your whole routine.  If you don’t want to wash your hair, don’t do it.  You can just let the water run on you, that itself can be amazingly relaxing.


Get dressed and put on some makeup

I kid you not about this one guys.  When you’re feeling really down and out it can be really tempting to just put on pajamas and stay in bed all day.  But you know who that helps?  No one.  Absolutely 0 people benefit from that.  (Well, the people who get paid by Netflix might be okay with this one, but they don’t count).

There is a lot of power in getting yourself up and ready for the day.  Getting dressed, brushing your teeth, doing your hair, putting on makeup– putting yourself together helps to put you together.  You feel whole, you feel valued, and you feel presentable.  It might not fix things, but it will at least help you feel like you can actually take on the day– even if you’re not going out anywhere.


Phone a Friend

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know a good amount of people who think the best way to cope is to suffer alone, and really this doesn’t help you.  So instead of shutting yourself up and pretending the world doesn’t exist, call a friend and chat with them.  You don’t even have to talk about what’s going on with you.  Just see what’s new in their world or talk about movies you’ve seen lately.

Similarly, don’t sit around your house by yourself wasting away.  Make plans with your friends or see if they’re cool with you tagging along with what they’re up to.  Wasting away alone isn’t going to help you get over any problems or help you feel better.


Therapy

therapyThere seems to be this huge negative image on therapy and people have this idea that you should only be in therapy if something negative has happened like death or depression.  But there’s actually something to be said about weekly or monthly therapy as a regular party or self care despite your situation.  I actually know a few people who go to regular therapy and they say it really helps them cope with life in general.  After all, it gives them someone to talk to and get advice from and you know everything you say is going to say right there.

And it’s nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about– you don’t even have to tell anyone. It’s just a way to regularly be taking about what’s going on in your life so that way you can always be working on being the best you.  And if you’re afraid of the cost, do some research and some shopping around.  Some therapists will let you pay based on income.  There are always options to getting the help you need to maintain your own self care.

I heard someone once say that therapy should be like buying toothpaste– just a normal aspect of you health routine and I really liked that statement.  It should not be a big deal.  It should just be something that we do.


There are actually a lot of aspects of self care that should be like buying toothpaste, you shouldn’t question doing it or think twice about it, it should just be routine.  Joining a gym, therapy, and regular health checkups should all be part of this, but a lot of us need to take the time to reteach ourselves the importance of these things in order to improve on how we take care of ourselves.

What are some of your secrets for self care?  How do you keep our mind and body healthy in times of emergency and feeling low?  Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time,

Kat