Health & Lifestyle

Choosing Joy in Daily Life

Happy start of a new week! Yes, there are many reasons to not feel joy, but did you know you can choose it in the little things? Here’s some tips to have more joy in your week.

  1. Start your day with positive thoughts or choose an inspirational quote or verse to keep you on track and pin it somewhere you will see it throughout the week.
  2. Make yourself something delicious that will also benefit your body and your health.
  3. Reach out to a friend or family member just because and chat.
  4. Buy yourself some real flowers in your favorite color when you are at the grocery store. They have such pretty ones.
  5. Take a bath or give yourself a facial this week. Rub on a beautiful lotion or hand creme.
  6. Take a walk or do a stretching routine. It makes you feel good inside your own body and boosts feel good endorphins.
  7. Smile. Your brain will tell you your are happy.

Enjoy your week!

How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep Consistently

Never underestimate the power of consistent sleep for your health, energy and vitality!

Most of us have experienced a night of sleeplessness or two. It’s when you are consistently not sleeping well that you need to really take a look and make some changes. If you are getting less than eight hours of sleep more than one or two nights a week, its’ time to strategize. Here are some tips and practices to implement to help you get a consistent 8 hours of solid, restorative, quality sleep.

Sleep is so important to your health as a whole. While you are sleeping your brain sweeps itself clean removing waste and toxins that can contribute to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Our blood sugar is better regulated with good sleep habits, we have less cravings, are sharper, store less belly fat, our immune system is stronger, and it is good for your heart, mood and stress levels. Who doesn’t want that?

How to get a great night’s sleep

Here are some strategies you can use to help you get enough glorious sleep. I have implemented these myself. At around age 40, I was very sleep deprived and could just not get enough sleep. These tips have helped me, and many people I know, get great, consistent sleep.

  1. Get morning sun. Whether you are outside, sitting by a sunny window, driving, going for a walk or out and about, getting sun during the daytime, especially in the morning, will set your circadian rhythms and help you sleep better.
  2. Exercise can help you sleep better. It tires the body and helps reduce stress and anxiety. It is best to get in your rigorous exercise at least three hours before bed to give your body time to unwind. I will be giving you unwinding tips below.
  3. Caffeine can be a culprit for lack of sleep. I don’t drink coffee after noon that isn’t decaf. If you are a slow metabolizer, like I am, drink caffeinated drinks before noon. It is recommended that you stop drinking caffeine six hours before your bedtime. So, if you go to bed at 10 pm, 4 pm would be your cutoff.
  4. Take a Bath. A warm bath relaxes your muscles, calms your nervous system, and relieves tension throughout your body. Add in Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil. I also like Perfectly Posh bath bombs. Play some calming music and close your eyes or read a book. You can reap the benefits of a bath in just 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Magnesium Body Lotion is wonderful for sleep! It reduces stress, relaxes muscles, and helps you sleep longer. My favorites are Give It a Rest and Mo Magnesium
  6. Sip sleep tea. There are teas that can help you get better sleep too, and the warmth of the herbal tea is also down regulating. Chamomile is a well known go to tea for sleep. Another great tea for sleep is Beauty Sleep Herbal Tea. It’s delicious. Just make sure you make a small cup of tea so you don’t have to get up during the night because of a full bladder.
  7. Do bedtime yoga or have a good stretch. Bedtime yoga can really help you wind down at the end of the day. This is not the high intensity power yoga or yoga flow, but you are still moving and stretching. It is fabulous for winding down and keeping you flexible and relaxed. Here is one to try that I really like, Yoga for Restful Sleep with Jason Crandall.
  8. Go to bed at the same time every night. Setting a bedtime and sticking to it helps your circadian rhythms. Your body gets used to going to bed and expects to sleep at the same time every evening.
  9. Write down your worries and to do list. If you wake up in the night and start thinking and worrying about problems and what you have to do the next day, then writing everything down the night before can help decrease distractions, overthinking and worry.
  10. A melatonin supplement can help you get solid, deep sleep. Melatonin is a natural hormone our brain produces to help us sleep. Your melatonin levels start to rise when it gets dark and then drop in the morning. Shorter days in the winter and also age can decrease your melatonin production. I like this chewable melatonin gummy that is gluten free.
  11. Your bedroom atmosphere is also important to optimize good sleep. Make sure your room is dark and you don’t have any electronic devises that emit light in your room. Ideally your bedroom should be at a cooler temperature, about 65 degrees is recommended give or take.
  12. Aromatherapy. Research has shown that smell affects sleep and inhaling specific essential oils can help you sleep better. Specifically lavender, clary sage, chamomile, bergamot and cedarwood. A diffuser in your bedroom with some of these essential oils can help you drift off to sweet dreams. DoTerra has a blend of these I have been using for years called Serenity. It smells so good! Also Perfectly Posh has a whole line of lavender pampering products. I like Very Sleep Skin Stick which you can rub on your wrists and behind your ears at bedtime and Very Sleepy Bath Bar which is full of lavender essential oil. They also have an overnight face mask that will leave your skin soft and pretty in the morning called Very Sleepy with lavender essential oil and melatonin.
  13. A white noise machine is very helpful if you are a light sleeper and wake up easily from noise in the night.
  14. Darken your screens at night or wear blue light blocking glasses. The light from bright computer screens and cell phones can disrupt your circadian rhythms. I highly recommend that you darken your screens at least 3 hours before bedtime or get a pair of blue light blocking glasses. This 5 pack is incredibly inexpensive and cute!
  15. Calm App sleep stories. If you just cannot shut off your mind, or calm down, or have had a hard day, the sleep stories on the Calm App can help significantly. It has so many wonderful stories and themes to choose from with the most soothing voices, it will comfort you and take your mind off everything else, so you can drift off to good dreams. Whether you like travel, fiction or non-fiction, there are many wonderful choices. My current favorite sleep stories are Into the Library, The Ancient Way of Tea and The City of Seven Hills.
  16. A weighted blanket may help sleep. Weighted blankets use deep pressure stimulation that is thought to stimulate the release of mood boosting seratonin, release the stress reducing hormone coritsol, and increase melatonin levels to help improve sleep.
  17. Use a therapeutic rice bag. It heats quickly in your microwave and you can use it over and over. These are the best natural heating pads! The patterns to choose from are adorable and beautiful too! You can also choose to add a peppermint or lavender essential oil or lavender/peppermint to your bag. These pads are anti-stress, healing, pain relieving, sleep inducing, great for earaches, muscle pain, tummy aches, menstrual cramps, heachaches, and more! These are wonderful to have on hand. I make these in my Etsy shop at Porcupine Craft Studio.

If you haven’t been sleeping well, it is time to take action. Try these strategies to get the best sleep you have in years. I can attest to the difference sleep strategies make in lives. When you sleep well you will think clearer, be healthier, happier, look better and have more vibrancy and energy.

Sandra Shields, Health Coach

*I receive a very small commission when you click some of the links in this article. I am also a Perfectly Posh Consultant for natural skincare and pampering because I love the natural products and believe in the power of pampering. Thank you for you support, and I hope these tips help you get regular, deep sleep which is a foundational piece to optimize metabolism, brain function and overall health! 🙂

Farmhouse Style Foaming Hand Soap to Make Yourself in Peppermint Mocha!

I have an awesome DIY recipe for you to make your own Peppermint Mocha foaming hand soap in an adorable Farmhouse Style dispenser!

This is super easy and convenient, plus shall I say fun to make? It really is enjoyable to mix up your own hand soap. When you have the simple ingredients handy, you can make it all year round. This is a safe way to wash your hands without any chemicals or unwanted toxins going onto your hands. We all have been washing our hands a lot lately!

This peppermint mocha essential oil mixture smells good enough to eat! My favorite kind of soap!

Here’s how to make it and where to get these super cute, glass farmhouse dispensers.

Farmhouse Style Foaming Hand Soap in Peppermint Mocha

Ingredients:

1 Glass Farmhouse Style Foaming Dispenser or other 12 oz. size foaming dispenser

1/4 Cup of Liquid Castile Baby Unscented Soap

1 Tablespoon of Aloe Vera Gel (optional) this is soothing to the hands. this one is EWG Verified as some have unwanted preservatives

1 Teaspoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil (this is a liquid coconut oil not a solid, solid will not work)

4 Drops of Coffee Essential Oil (here)

4 Drops of Vanilla Essential Oil

3 Drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

1 Cup of Distilled Water

Directions: Mix together all the ingredients except for the Distilled water in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Add the Distilled Water to the 12 oz. line and mix with a whisk.

Pour the hand soap into your dispenser. That’s it. It’s ready to use.

You will enjoy this uplifting aroma every time you wash your hands!

Boost Your Immune System Naturally With Food!

healthy food

Food is medicine, or it can be depending on what you eat.

Food can boost your immune system when you choose to eat a whole foods, healthy diet, and there are certain ones you can make sure you are incorporating into your meals daily to boost and keep your immune system strong!

I also have a few supplements I use year round that are immune boosting, however, a healthy diet is the single most important thing you can do for yourself to be your healthiest for a lifetime!

Here are some of the things you can eat every day for a strong immune system:

Citrus – choose oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Not only are they full of vitamin C, but also flavanoids, especially the peel. So, zest the oranges, lemons and limes and use them in cooking. Eat the whole fruit of oranges and grapefruit, and squeeze lemons and limes into your glass of water.

Don’t forget to eat berries and other fruits too in addition to citrus! There are many benefits to a variety of fruits and vegetables. Your body will get what it needs, to use when it needs it, by regularly eating healthy, whole foods.

Vegetables – Shoot for at least seven servings a day of veggies. Make sure you are eating a variety of them too, including cruciferous ones like broccoli, cabbage, bok choy and Brussels sprouts. They are rich in Vitamin C, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Green Tea – The polyphenols in green tea are potent antioxidants! The catechins in green tea may kill influenza viruses. Try my matcha green tea latte here every morning to start your day.

Garlic – We have known for centuries that garlic has medicinal uses. The allicin in garlic converts to sulfur containing compounds that boost our disease fighting response.

Raw Honey – Raw, unpasturized honey has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can help to boost your immune system and fight sickness. My favorite is Manuka, but any raw honey is helpful.

Probiotic Rich Foods – They keep your gut flora population healthy. Choose foods that don’t have added sugar. Plain Greek yogurt with a little honey or maple syrup stirred in by yourself. One of my favorite probiotic rich vegetables is Kimchi.

Supplements are another way you can keep your immune system strong and boost it. It is best to add these to an already healthy diet and not use them as a bandaid for poor eating.

This is what I use for myself year round:

Elderberry Syrup – It is packed with antioxidants and vitamins. A teaspoon a day, and it tastes delicious. I put it in my smoothies.

Vitamin C – One of the biggest immune boosters. Vitamin C fights free radicals in the body.

A High Quality, Organic Greens Powder: I LOVE Organifii Green Juice Powder. It contains Ashwagandha wich is an adaptogenic herb that improves immunity. It also contains matcha green tea and lots of greens!

Remember, real food will give your body what it needs to keep you healthy, vibrant and living your best life!

Blessings!

Sam

 

What’s In Season for August

What's In Season in August

August is a time of year when the fresh fruits and vegetables are at their peak! This is a great time to eat your fill of all the freshness the season has to offer and enjoy all the nutrient rich benefits of a large variety of colorful, fresh food.
I have put together a list for you to pin, share and inspire you!
How would you use some of these? Share with me in the comments and share this post with friends who love good food!

The Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries

Health Benefits of Sweet Cherries

The cherries are in season, so now is a good time to enjoy them, freeze them at their peak to enjoy all winter and to reap the health benefits of this delicious stone fruit!

 

Let’s talk about the benefits of sweet cherries!

 

Some of my favorite benefits of cherries are the compounds that help improve sleep naturally (they contain natural melatonin). If you want the benefit of better sleep, have a serving an hour before bedtime. 

 

Cherries also contain anti-inflammatory properties, and they inhibit oxidative stress. It is always a good idea to eat foods that decrease inflammation in our bodies that can lead to a variety of diseases and health problems, and oxidative stress leads to premature aging and puts you at a higher risk for cancer, neurodegenerative disease and diabetes.

 

The red color of the cherries is from Anthocyanins which are a class of antioxidants that research shows can benefit our bodies in several ways. Anthocyanins are anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-microbial and neuroprotective. Anthocyanins can rev up fat burning and decrease fat storage. The polyphenols in cherries are a boost to heart health and aid in exercise recovery.

 

As with any fruit, stick to reasonable serving sizes.

 

1 Cup of Sweet Cherries has 90 calories, 22 g of carbs and 17 grams of sugars.

 

Sweet Cherries are highly palatable and tasty just as they are. This stone fruit is a good source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, especially Vitamin C and Potassium. They are wonderful atop a salad, as a snack, chopped up and made into a salsa to go with a meal as a topping, in a breakfast bowl, in a homemade cherry bbq sauce, use them to make homemade popsicles or in broccoli salad. There are so many creative ways to use them as part of a healthy, well balanced diet and the benefits are worth your attention.

Photo by twinsfisch on Unsplash

Resistance to Healthy Eating Goals from Family and Friends

 

daisy tea

Don’t Let Family and Friend’s Resistance of Your Healthy Eating Goals Sabotage You.
I’ve been there. Change is hard no matter what it is. Humans do not like to be uncomfortable, and change disrupts the apple cart.
Psychological analysis of why someone you care about is so upset by what You choose to put in your mouth is written about a lot, but the truth is there is an array of reasons depending on the relationship.
What you eat and how it will make You feel about yourself, your energy, your health, your looks, your vitality, your pain, your future ultimately affects you! 


Food is such a hot button, and it draws the lines between friends and family and cuts loose a slew of judgement and opinions on both sides.


So what are the facts? 


Healthy Eating and choosing foods that support your body and well being will make you:


Less Bloated
Mentally Sharper
More Energetic
Leaner with more Muscle Mass
Create Healthier Cells Going Forward
Give You the best form of Whole Food Nutrients
A Better Chance of Dying of Old Age
Blood Sugar Regulation
Supportive of the Health of the Next Generation through example
Better Mood
Glowing Skin


I’m interested. What have you found to be the biggest challenge socially or with family that keeps you stuck eating food that really doesn’t serve you?

I always love to hear from you!
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Sandra Shields, Health Coach

DIY Whipped Honey & Coconut Oil Facial Cleanser and Lemongrass Spa Fresh, Clean and Natural Products!

Whipped Honey and Coconut Oil Facial Cleanser

You can make a gentle cleansing wash for your face that even removes makeup and is good for the most sensitive of skin with just a few ingredients in your kitchen.

Coconut oil is antibacterial, contains vitamin E and nourishing fatty acids and melts away dirt and makeup.

Manuka Honey is used in hospitals for wound care, is naturally healing for the skin and reduces inflammation, redness and irritation.

Avocado Oil also has beneficial properties for the skin including Vitamin E, Omega 3 fatty acids, and Vitamins . It also has sterolins which can boost collagen production and keep your skin supple and soft.

Optional beneficial additions to this face wash recipe is:

Lavender Essential Oil – Acne, Dry Skin, Wrinkles

Frankincense Essential Oil – Large Pores, Lifts and Tightens

Ylang, Ylang Essential Oil – If your skin is irritated or red

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup of Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons of Manuka Honey (I used this K-16 Factor)

1 Tablespoon of Avocado Oil

Optional Essential Oils:

1 drop of Lavender

1 drop of Ylang Ylang

1 drop of Frankincense

You can use the oils interchangeably or 3 drops of just one kind.

Directions:

Whip the Coconut Oil with a hand held mixer in a bowl for one minute. Then, add in the Manuka Honey and Avocado Oil. Beat until nice and creamy. Finally add in the essential oils if you choose and blend.

Store the face wash in a glass jar.

To Use: Scoop out about a half tablespoon of the face wash and massage it into your face in circular motions to cleanse. Rinse with warm water. Pat your face dry gently. Follow with Serum and Moisturizer.

I recommend this natural serum and facial moisturizer from Lemongrass Spa for products that are fresh, clean and natural, where I am a consultant, because I myself need products like these that are non-toxic and safe, as part of my own skin care routine!

Never Grow Up, Well Your Face Anyway!

Never Grow Up Face Creme.jpg

What is there to love about Never Grow Up Hydrating Face Creme? Let me tell you why I like it and what’s in it.

Never Grow Up is made up of a hydrating blend of coconut water, shea butter and olive oil (a beauty secret known about by Italian women for years).

That is the base. Into this lovely, nourishing skin creme is added tons of botanical extracts and vitamins that benefit your skin and are anti-aging, brightening and evening of skin tone.
There are no fillers, no petroleum, and no parabens. You won’t find these in Posh products.

This cream has a light natural coconut and vanilla scent! It is a delicious treat for your face, and is part of the Look Natural line! There is also a Never Grow Up Serum!

Here’s to a lovely Monday!

You can find Never Grow Up here where I am a consultant:

https://sandrashields.po.sh

I appreciate you! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or need any help choosing the right products for You.

Also, my VIP Facebook private group is over here.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1896152437381796/

Sandra Shields, Health Coach

Self Care Saturdays!

self care saturday

It’s Self Care Saturday!
This morning I woke up and did an energizing yoga flow while masking! Yup multi-tasking again! I also start every day with a large glass of water. I love getting on my mat, because it loosens me up, makes me feel good in my body, and boosts my energy!
Some of you know I’ve had a very painful shoulder injury for the last year and a half that is finally improving, but I’m still very careful with what I do with my right shoulder so I don’t re-injure it, which I’ve done twice! 


I love my breakfast of a highly nourishing smoothie and a matcha green tea latte I make myself. Smoothies for breakfast are my thing, because I can pack so much nutrition into them.! (See my recipe index under smoothies for some recipes) I’m a big eater, so I make a big smoothie. 🥑🍒🥝🥕🍓 

smoothie.jpg

Join me over on Facebook in my private VIP Group to learn more about natural skin care and healthy living with a nice group of lovely  people.

Sandra’s Perfectly Posh VIP Group

Show me some snapshots and comment on what you are doing this morning, and how you plan to get a little self care in! I hope your Saturday is awesome!!! 😘

You can find the natural face masks I use over on my Perfectly Posh Consultant page:

https://sandrashields.po.sh

I appreciate you!

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