Tag Archives: Sunshine

Gluten Free Cherry Macadamia Nut Cookies, The Benefits of Kindness and Connection, Sunshine and a Safer Swap Tip For The Dryer

Hi Friends!

How are you doing so far in the new year? I was personally thankful to get a good solid three days of full sunshine here in Northern Michigan in January! I have a picture below of me at the lake where the ice was just beginning to freeze over it. I have found since moving back to my childhood state of Northern Michigan from Maryland, after living on the East Coast for 32 plus years, I did not know or even realize that there is less sunshine in the winter here by 25%. The plus side of that is we have more sunshine and daylight hours here in the Summer, and the weather is gorgeous, plus the air is so fresh all the time. I wanted to share a new grain and gluten free cookie recipe with you today that is tasty and has no refined sugar (sweetened with Maple Syrup).

Gluten Free Cherry Macadamia Nut Cookies (Grain Free and Dairy Free Also)

These cookies come together easily with a hand mixer.

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Macadamia Nuts (ground in the food processor to a nut flour)

1/2 Cup of Cashew Butter

1/4 Cup of Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup of Dried Cherries

1/4 Cup of Pecans (coarsely chopped)

1 Egg

2 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Baking Soda

1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a food processor, grind the macadamia nuts until they are fine like almond flour. Add the remaining ingredients except the dried cherries and pecans. Blend until completely combined, scraping the sides of the bowl half way through. Remove the blade from the food processor and stir in the cherries and pecans.

Scoop onto parchment lined cookies sheets with a tablespoon cookie scoop. Press down until they are an even height with your fingertips, and then bake in the preheated oven for 14 minutes.

Let cool, and enjoy.

Gluten Free Cherry Macadamia Nut Cookies Recipe

Here’s the photo of me at the lake in the sunshine. It’s very cool to skip stones across the thinly frozen ice. It makes a type of musical sound. The benefits of sunshine are numerous including better sleep, increasing vitamin D levels for immunity, brain and bone health. Exposure to sunshine also helps with Seasonal Affective Disorder and low mood.

Up North Michigan in the Sunshine

On another note, the world today seems a little more serious and impatient than is was five years ago, and I want to encourage you to make sure to find time to enjoy your life, have some fun, and find things that make you laugh.

Inspirational Quote

Kindness circles back to you. The more you send it out into the world, by the words you speak, the better the world will become.
Here’s an example. Have you ever made someone’s day just by speaking kind words to a check out clerk at the store? They noticeably perk up, and then as you leave, you hear them greet the next person in line with a happier more animated tone? I have. That’s what kind words do. They start this whole effect of paying it forward. Kindness increases people’s faith in humans in general and creates a ripple effect. It’s like a tiny seed you plant every time you speak. It grows, creates new plants and then more seeds you may never see, but they are happening and making the world a better place.


The added benefit of these small connections is you feel happier, healthier and more positive as you feel a little more connected to other humans. Those casual connections are important. The next time you are in line at a store and get to the cashier, ask them how their day is going.

Swap out Dryer Sheet for Wool Dryer Balls

Now I have a healthy living tip to share. Swap out dryer sheets and fabric softener for wool dryer balls.

Wool dryer balls can be used over and over and over and don’t release toxic chemicals onto your clothing that you then put on your skin! They are eco friendly and great for fluffing up your clothes and preventing wrinkles too.

Dryer sheets are from synthetic polyester, with toxic chemicals which release to target the electrostatic charges. Dryer sheet manufacturers typically list only some of the ingredients on the dryer sheet box, but others don’t list any ingredients at all. Dryer sheets are a sneaky single-use plastic, designed to be used once then tossed out, where they will persist in the environment forever. Instead try 100% Wool Dryer Balls, which not only reduce static – but reduce drying time, too! If you want an added scent, add a few drops of your favorite Essential Oil. Here’s the wool dryer balls I use.

I hope you love the new recipe, tips, encouragement and inspiration. I love to hear from you. Drop me a comment anytime.

Sandra Shields, Health Coach

The Benefits of Sunlight!

benefits of sun

Spring is a time of renewal, and we are able to get outside so much more and enjoy the benefits of sunshine and fresh air! I would add to the list below, that sunshine can help with depression, children thrive and grow more in the Summer, our hair grows faster, sunlight kills bacteria, and benefits skin disorders such as eczema, acne, and fungal infections. It is especially beneficial to get outside in the mornings for sleep, because this sets our circadian rhythm, our internal body clock which tells us when to sleep, rise, eat, and go to bed.

I always sleep better in the Summer and on days when I am outside more. I have had my Vitamin D levels checked twice a year for several years, and I don’t have to supplement in the Summertime, because my levels go up due to the increased sunshine!!! I’m living proof straight from the lab that we absorb Vitamin D from the sun. My hair definitely grows faster in the Summer. Does yours? My children have all had big growth spurts in the Summer and always go back to school looking healthier, with rosy cheeks and a glow to their skin!

Remember to wear your sunscreen and spend no more than 15 minutes in the sun without it. Enjoy the benefits of our beautiful Sun!

Have a super day!

Sandra

Benefits of Vitamin D and Deficiency

61624725 - foods rich in vitamin d. top view

Vitamin D deficiency is high, especially in the winter months. It is estimated 50% of people are deficient. I have my vitamin D levels tested every year. There are three ways to get vitamin D…..UV light (sunlight), food, and supplements. My levels go up during the Summer, because I am outdoors so much, and they also gets very low in the winter months, so my doctor has me take a supplement. It is a good idea to get your vitamin D levels tested by your doctor, include foods rich in Vitamin D in your diet, and supplement if needed with Vitamin D3. You should not do this on your own, because you can get too much Vitamin D. Vitamin D is supportive to our immune systems, aids calcium absorption, and cardiovascular health. It is a hormone, not a vitamin, and is necessary for our immune systems to function properly. The top food sources in order are, maitake mushrooms, swordfish, sockeye salmon, chanterelle mushrooms, canned tuna fish, fortified orange juice, milk and egg yolks. Learn more in this detailed research article on the best Vitamin D supplements by reviews.com here. Reviews.com gives you information on how to get tested, the importance of third party testing when choosing a supplement, and their top picks.

Here are some recipes to get in some Vitamin D rich foods as well!

Greek Salad with Salmon Skewers

Honey Drizzled Wild Salmon on a Bed of Butternut Topped with Spinach

Egg, Parsnip and Celeriac Hash Brown Skillet

Pumpkin Creme Brulee


Happy Healthy Winter!
Sandra Shields, Certified Health Coach 

I do not get paid to give this advice on Vitamin D.

Disclaimer: This medical information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Consult your doctor before taking any supplements or vitamins.   The medical information on this website is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied. You must not rely on the information on my website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter, you should consult your doctor. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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