How to Get Energized (Without Caffeine!)

One of the biggest changes in my lifestyle after entering college was my sleep cycle. I’m now wide awake at 3 am and unable to keep my eyes open at noon. It’s especially hard to stay energized during finals week. I down a couple cups of coffee and feel jittery and energized for a few hours before experiencing a crash. On top of caffeine not allowing me to feel very well, it has many negative side effects- immediately and long term. So, here is some things you can do to wake-up without risking your health!

Eat Breakfast: 

7884575622_05778dcc03_zI believe this is the most underrated meal of the day by most college students. We normally wake up 15 minutes before a class and grab a granola bar (if we’re lucky) and run out the door. But breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It fuels you for the rest of the day and also gets your metabolism going, which can even lead to weight loss.

Clear Clutter: 

Before a study sesh try clearing some clutter from your desk. Cleaning out a drawer or just making your bed can lead to you feeling happier and accomplished. This will make you just want to get even more done. It’s amazing what a clean work space can do.

Eat Healthy Fats:

Food like avocado, almonds, olive or coconut oil, and fish are all super healthy fats that are powerful brain foods. They fuel your brain, which can lead to better clarity and focus to help you hone in on what you need to finish for the day.

Get Outside: 

7097914993_c1f785b553_zEven when it’s cold and bitter out in the middle of winter, getting outside can benefit you greatly. The fresh air and bright sunlight is a great pick-me-up. Try taking a w
alk or jog for at least 15 minutes. It will get your heart beating and blood flowing, which will allow you to be more energized.

Get (and stay) Hydrated:

Drinking water helps flush toxins from the body, leads to clearer skin, and better digestion.  Being dehydrated can lead to being tired because of the lack of oxygen circulating your blood stream. You can read more on the benefits of water in my other blog post “3 Health Benefits of Water”

Sleep Cycle: 

Try to keep a decent sleep cycle. Making sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep is important and keeping a constant sleep pattern and try to go to bed and wakeup around the same time everyday will allow your body to stay on a routine.

4004944377_ce74849902_zHopefully you can use these tips for finals week and beyond to stay
awake and energized when you need it most!

6 Study Tips to Boost Your Overall Health

The week that is talked about all semester is finally here- finals week. In the hustle and bustle of crammed libraries, long lines for a caffeine fix, and students stressing people often forget to take a minute to relax. Mental health plays a very important factor in a persons overall well-being. Hopefully these 6 study 6059388086_984cd0e3e2_ztips will lead you to study more and stress less

  1. Study Spot: Atmosphere is everything. Find an area where you will be comfortable and not distracted. Going to a place where you’re comfortable and positive will help you be more productive.
  2. Set Goals: create a realistic list of everything you need to get done by the end of your study session. By not procrastinating, it will be easier and give you more time to complete your checklist.
  3. Bring everything you need, nothing that you don’t: eliminate distractions by keeping everything you don’t need away from your study space. Computers often seem like a good way to take notes, but can often be a distraction.
  4. Utilize Technology: There are now a lot of at home tutoring and tutorial websites to help guide you through subject material. Click here for a list of website with beneficial tutoring tools.
  5. Take breaks: It can actually be more beneficial to take breaks every hour or so. It can be as simple as taking a walk, making coffee, or talking with friends. Getting up and moving is a great energizer and can be just the boost you need.  Power up by eating healthy study snacks. Click here for good snack ideas.
  6. Stay positive: Attitude is everything. Remaining positive and remembering that studying is temporary pain for long term success will get you through your study sesh.

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Ways to Detox After the Holidays

Let’s be honest, the holidays are a time for family, friends, a good food. Unfortunately the good food, isn’t always good for you. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy it- the holidays are a perfect excuse to eat whatever you want! There are a few simple things to help detox you body after eating lots of junk so you won’t feel as guilty!


Detox Water:

Detox water will help your body flush out any toxins and is also a great substitute for sugary drinks.

To make detox water you will need a pitcher or bottle and you add you ingredients and allow to sit overnight to infuse the water. Some common ingredients include:

Water: H20 is the main ingredient in detox water… for a reason. Water is needed for healthy body function and glowing skin. Water helps flush toxins and waste through the body.

Watermelon: It contains the organic compound citrulline, which is an amino acid that helps the liver and kidneys filter and get rid of ammonia. Cucumber is also a good substitute for watermelon.

Lemon (or lime): The acidic juices are great at regulating the body’s digestive tract. Lemon helps with heartburn, constipation, and digestion. 5318051400_d86560cafa_m

Mint:  Mint is great for digestion as well, and it also helps to break down dietary fats while adding flavor to the water.

One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to make some tea and add some of the ingredients listed above. It’s great for warming up and detoxing during the cold months.


Detox Bath:

During cold winter months, relaxing in a hot bath is one of my favorite things to do. By adding a few simple ingredients you can turn a regular bath into a detox bath that will help pull toxins from your body. There are many different detox bath recipes to achieve different things, but a salt detox bath is a great general recipe for overall detoxing.

You will need:

  • 1/4 Cup Sea Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Epsom Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • You can also add your favorite essential oils if desired

You will want to boil a quart of water and dissolve the salts, then combine everything into the tub. Soak for at least 30 minutes. Often detox baths cause tiredness so it is best to detox before bed.


Diet:

One of the best things you can do for your body is eat organic, healthy fruits and veggies. Eating healthy and limiting toxins you put in your body is the best way to detox. It’s easy to get caught up in the swing of the holidays and lose your diet along the way but being conscious of what you put into your body is the best thing you can do for it. 9369949185_0846c27d6c_z

Vitamins You Should Be Taking Daily

Eating healthy is important for your health, but sometimes with the rapid pace of the world around us it’s hard to keep up. Vitamins are an additional way to get supplements you might have been missing out on. I keep a weekly pill container on my desk so everything is sorted out and ready to go. Putting the container is a spot you’re at everyday is also a great way to stay consistent and remind yourself to take vitamins.vitamins-26622_640

Biotin- 

Also known as the “Hair, Skin, Nails” vitamin obviously because it helps you grow and maintain strong hair and nails and healthy skin. Biotin is vitamin B7. It’s addition benefits include helping to maintain healthy metabolism, protects from cognitive decline, helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and supports thyroid function.

Biotin can be found in foods like organ meats, eggs, avocado, cauliflower, berries, fish, legumes and mushrooms.

Vitamin C- 

One of the most known benefits of Vitamin C is its power of fighting off colds and flus. It helps improve weak immune systems. That is just one of its many benefits. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production to improve skin. It reduces risk off stroke and improves physical performance by improving oxygen intake and reducing blood pressure.

Some food containing Vitamin C are guavas, red pepper, kiwi, broccoli, kale, pineapple, cauliflower, peas, and mango, along with oranges (obviously).

Daily Multivitamins- 

10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day is the recommended amount. That can be a considerably high goal for the average person. If you do not have a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, a multivitamin may be beneficial as nutritional insurance. While improving your diet is key, multivitamins are good for filling the gaps of missing supplements in your diet.apples-428075_1280

Overall, while vitamins are great substitutes, good diet is key to living a healthy life. Vitamins should be taken as a back up, not a first resort.

Healthy Late Night Snacks

I know more than anybody that after a huge study sesh it’s typical to be super hungry. You really shouldn’t eat right before bed, but if you’re going to, make sure you’re making smart choices. Avoid fatty or acidic foods that will just be stored as fat.

High-fiber cereal and milk– Full of fiber and low in calories is guaranteed to fill you up without making876444020_50a4ee892c_z you feel bad about it after. Make sure to avoid sugary cereal,
choose high fiber cereal like Raisin Bran or Corn Flakes. It will be easy to digest and isn’ loaded with calories

Nonfat Greek Yogurt- for about 100 calories you can get a good source of protein, plus dairy products contain “tryptophan” which helps calm and relax you (perfect for right before bed!)

An apple with peanut butter– Apples are loaded with fiber and if you’re looing for a crunch it’s the perfect snack. The added protein in peanut butter will be perfect to fill you up. For a healthier option choose almond butter.

Carrots– Full of crunch, carrots are a perfect snack. They only contain 4 (fat-free) calories per baby carrot and are extremely healthy. You can snack ’til you fall asleep!4604796465_633591f39d_m


Bananas
– Bananas re loaded with fiber and tryptophan (the same chemical found in dairy products) to help you fill up and relax. The best part about bananas is the easy clean up, just6571454435_de16bfd860_m throw away the peel and you’re good to go.
Most of the time I get a craving for sweets and fruit just can’t cure it.

Nonfat chocolate pudding- is perfect to cure cravings. One pack is just under 100 calories and  is sure to not ruin your diet.

3 Relaxing Face Masks

After a long stressful day of classes, studying and homework I love to unwind in my bed while watching Netflix and eating apples but to make it even better I like to make a face mask. By making my own face mask I know exactly what is going onto my face, unlike store bought masks that can contain parabens and artificial ingredients. Also by making my own face masks I am able to customize them to benefit my skin type. Here are three of my favorite face masks…

Dry Skin Remedy: 

Ingredients: 
-1/2 soft avocado

-2 tablespoons hot water
-1 tablespoon honey

To make the mask: 
Start by mashing up the avocado. Then, dissolve t6802814078_498676ca70_mhe honey in the warm water. Combine all the ingredients. Apply to your face with your fingers or a brush and let sit for 10-20 minutes.

Benefits: 

An avocado face mask can help dry skin and add moisture because it contains vitamins A and E, both of which have anti oxidant properties and help repair damaged skin. The benefits of using an avocado face mask is that it can penetrate deeper layers of the skin and create longer-lasting moisturizing effects compared to lotions and other products.

Honey is also added to the mask because it is naturally an antibacterial, so it’s great for acne treatment and prevention. Honey is also great for moisturizing and adding a glow to the skin.

Glowing Skin Scrub: 

Ingredients: 

-2 teaspoons of honey5318051400_d86560cafa_m

-1/2 of a real lemon
-Teaspoon of Sugar

To make the mask:

Combine all ingredients and apply to face. Let sit for 5 minutes then use as a scrub and wash off.  It’s super simple.

Benefits:

Just like the first mask there are tons of skin benefits of using honey. It is a gentle cleanser that helps clear acne. It also brightens the skin and adds a glow! The lemon juice is also super beneficial. It’s acidic property

helps lighten dark spots and even skin tone. The sugar helps get an even bright skin tone while removing dead skin cells for softer, smoother skin!

Blackhead Removal Mask: 

How to make:  

Place 1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin powder in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the 1 1/2 tbsp. milk to the powder and mix with a spoon. Heat the gelatin mixture for 10 seconds in the microwave. Coat your face with the gelatin.

Benefits: 

This mask works just like the Biore Pore Strips. It helps remove black heads and clear pores.

 

 

3 Health Benefits of Water

Water is super important for you, as many people know. But you need it for more than just hydration. Water is what keeps our bodies functioning and healthy.  Some of water’s benefits include:

  1. Getting a better workout–  Now this might be a little obvious but if you’re slightly dehydrated your body is going to get tired more easily and your muscles will not be able to work as hard. Make sure to hydrate before, during, and after your workout. Muscles are 80% water, make sure you’re staying hydrated to get the best workout you possibly can.
  2. Keeping energy levels up– Water is a calorie free, caffeine free way to energize. Dehydration can cause trouble for the brain, making it harder to function. If you’re feeling moody or tired try drinking some water, you may just be dehydrated.
  3. Promoting weight loss– Water consumption helps boost your metabolism, but to make it even more effective drink a glass of water a half hour before you eat a meal. It helps you feel full. Also, if you ever feel hungry throughout the day try drinking water, sometimes your body confuses hunger and thirst.

 

While I love water, I hate the plastic bottles that they’re sold in for “convenience.” If you prefer filtered water I totally recommend getting a Brita water filter to keep in your fridge, it filters tap water (to remove all the nasty chemicals like zinc and copper, but it also removes the smell and taste of chlorine).

Keeping a refillable cup is the best option for the environment ad you’ll be saving so much money not buying bottled water! Plastic bottles can take up to 1,000518310172_2d333e9897_m years to decompose, so do the earth a favor and stick to reusable bottles.  It takes 17 million barrels of oil to produce the yearly amount of plastic water bottles used, so by reducing our dependency on plastic bottles we are helping our planet.  I love S’well water bottles, they keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. The bottles also come in different sizes and colors, so they’re perfect for everyone.

All opinions in this article are my own, I love the brands I have mentioned but I am in no way affiliated with them.

Easy Banana Ice-cream

I am always down for ice-cream, but I don’t always want to spend time in the gym making up for it. Banana ice-cream is a quick, easy to make snbananas-652497_640ack that I always have on hand.
What you need: 

-Bananas 

-Soy milk (or almond, dairy, coconut) 

That’s it!… no really, you only need two ingredients to make this ice-cream.

I also like to add cinnamon, strawberries, or chocolate chips. It’s really easy to make this recipe more interesting, but it is delicious on its own as well.

To start chop up a banana and freeze the pieces. Once they’re frozen add them to a food processor.  Add a tablespoon of milk for a smoother consistency. After pulsing the bananas and milk you have your ice-cream! I love to add chocolate chips for sweetness and texture. This is an extremely easy recipe that satisfies craving.

There is so many health benefits to bananas too, so you’ll feel good about eating this ice-cream!

Bananas are loaded with manganese, which is essential for bone health. Bananas are also extremely easy to digest which is healthy for your stomach while still providing you with tons of vitamins and nutrients like vitamin c, vitamin b-6, and tons of fiber to help you feel full. Bananas are just so appealing how could you not love them? 

 

 

How to Remove Wax From Apples

I’m a huge fan of farmer’s markets and buying local produce but as a new college student it has been hard to travel off campus without a car. My dining hall provides fruit so I prefer to just take it instead of buying it (life of a broke college student). Unfortunately, mass sold produce is normally coated with wax for a cosmetic effect. Luckily there is an easy, cheap way to remove wax off of produce.

How to remove wax from produce:

You will need:

  • Lemon Juice
  • Baking Soda
  • Water

I combine about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 table spoon of baking soda for a pot full of water (about a quart). I wash the apples and remove any dirt with cold water.Then I fill a pot full of luke warm water, too hot of water will damage your apples and too cold will not get the job done as easily. Let the apples sit for a minute then take a vegetable brush and scrub the residue off. You will notice the water begin to get dirty with wax. After you’re done scrubbing the process is complete and the apples are ready to eat. It really is that easy!

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Why is produce coated in wax?

Wax is used to coat the fruit to retain moisture and freshness. Coated fruit has about a 50% longer shelf life. Wax is also used for cosmetic purposes. It helps the fruit look shinier and more attractive for a longer period of time. While the FDA claims that these waxes are safe over 98% of them tested positive for containing pesticides. While buying organic is your best bet it isn’t always affordable. By taking one extra step you can easily reduce your exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and waxes which can be harmful to your body over time.

Nothing is proven but I would much rather take 5 minutes to remove the wax and chemicals from my apples before eating them if it means I could be preventing future harm.

All of my facts were provided by Health Family. This is an amazing website that explains the use of waxes and pesticides in produce. If you have time to read it, I really recommend it!

Easy Overnight Oats

As a busy college student, with multiple 8 a.m. classes, I try to get as much sleep as possible while still eating a decent breakfast. Studies show eating breakfast can improve memory and promote weight loss. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of breakfast click here. Overnight oats are a great option because they’re a grab-and-go breakfast that is energizing, healthy, and filling.

Basics:

I like to enjoy my overnight oats in a mason jar because it’s a reusable jar and it’s the perfect portion size. Overnight oats were meant to be eaten cold but are also really good warmed. For the base recipe it is simply a 1 to 1 ratio of oats and milk. Dairy milk works best, I use 2%, but almond and soy milk are good substitutes. It’s also super easy to make it gluten-free, by using gluten free oats. For sugar-free options you can add honey or agave nectar as a natural sweetener. The best part of preparation is how easily everything can be thrown together and ready to eat in just a few hours.

My Favorite Recipes:

Apple Pie Overnight Oats- What you need:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • Applesauce
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cinnamon
  • Apples (Optional)
  • Walnuts (Optional)
  • Caramel (Optional)

Combine first oats, milk, applesauce, maple syrup, and cinnamon in a jar of your choice. For the applesauce, maple syrup, and cinnamon I simply add each item to taste. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Top off with a dash of cinnamon, sliced apples, and walnuts. You can add caramel if you’re in the mood for something sweeter.

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Peanut Butter Overnight Oats- What you need: 

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt (I like using vanilla or banana, but any flavor works!)
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

Combine oats, milk, peanut butter, and yogurt. Apply the lid to the jar and shake, the peanut butter makes this recipe a little harder to mix, just make sure everything is mixed well. After leaving it to refrigerate for at least 4 hours I top it off with some chocolate chips!

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While these are two of my favorite recipes there are so many other ways to enjoy overnight oats. Pinterest has some really unique recipes or you can play around with ingredients and try to create your own favorite!