Monthly Archives: March 2014

5 Quick Stress Busters

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Stress is an everyday occurrence for most of us. Whether we work at home, in an office, or work as a full time parent, stress follows us everywhere and can take a toll physically and mentally.

When I contemplate ways to alleviate my stress, a tropical island getaway immediately bursts into my head like a ray of happy sunshine. A large majority of us stress huggers believe that lying on a beach with a fruity beverage is the only way to oust the routine aches and pains associated with too much to do and not enough time. Not so my friend!

Would you believe me if I told you that five minutes of quiet meditation a day can have a significant impact on controlling your stress and elevating your well being?  Did you know that a couple whiffs of essential oils calms your mind and relieves tension in your neck? A quick cup of green tea a day is a nice respite from an aggravating day and contains antioxidants that are fabulous for extra energy!

Here are five simple ways to reduce stress and lead a more serene lifestyle:

1. Take a walk – It doesn’t have to be a long one. 30 Minutes 3-5 times a week can have a significant impact on your health and well being. Simply put, the endorphins you are releasing make you feel calm, relieve pain, and keep you looking good! Don’t forget to bring your pup. Animals make everything more fun!

2. Start a journal – Writing down your thoughts keeps anxiety at bay, and if you are a worrier like me, helps turn off the part of your brain that constantly performs the worry dance. Clarifying your thoughts and emotions helps with all parts of emotional wellbeing.

3. Reach out and call a friend  – Too often, when we’re depressed and overwhelmed, do we forget to reach out to another person. Grab a quick lunch, a facial, or even a brief chat on the phone with a loved one can assuage the soul. A comforting voice at the other end of the line brightens the mood and lightens depression and anxiety.

4. Commune with nature – Head directly to the closest park or the mountains and just SIT! Even if it’s for five minutes. Feel the sun on your face. Listen to the sounds the wind makes as it blows through the trees. Really hear the birds. Appreciate the lingering smells throughout the park. Taking a nature break is beneficial for our minds and makes us more productive, thereby creating a more relaxed you. This works even when you can’t get away. Just go outside, even if it’s just in the driveway.

5. Reward yourself – This is my favorite one. Give yourself something to look forward to. No one can deal with the daily grind of life day in and day out, and not become a depressed, stressed, mess at least sometimes. Treat yourself to a massage, a hot bath, new running shoes, a stood movie or even just an extra hour of sleep a week. Anything that gets you out of your funk and into a smile. Trust me, you deserve it!

Making a few minor adjustments aimed at relieving your stress and tension can make all the difference in your work and personal relationships. As you make more positive lifestyle changes, you will notice your physical symptoms diminish, which will lead to a more happy and healthy you. Go ahead – I dare you to try one or all of these quick, easy methods to help improve your physical pain and promote emotional wellness. Just don’t forget to tell me all about it!

What is your favorite way to relieve stress? I’d love the hear about it in the comments below.

 

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DIY Bubble (Boba) Tea

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I know some people out there have a problem eating strange textures, I’m just not one of them. When Bubble (Boba) Tea came out, I was thrilled to chew on those big gummy balls. It was equally exciting to suck them up through that fat straw. What a fun drink! Right?

It had been a few years since I had one, so I stopped by the little shop in the mall excited to experience Bubble Tea again. This time I was seeing the place through new eyes. Instead of being lured by the sweet concoctions or swayed by the colorful powders lined up against the wall, I was a little horrified. What on earth is in Bubble Tea anyway?

Just like a million times before, I cursed my nutrition education and walked out of the store without a drink in hand.

Not to be dissuaded from my growing craving, I decided to figure out another way. Did you know that you can order Bobas (tapioca pearls) on Amazon? Of course you can! (Small soapbox: Please buy local when you can.) So, I ordered some Boba, and figured out how to make my own version where the ingredients aren’t a mystery.

The basic ingredients of Bubble Tea are great (tea, milk, a little sweet, and tapioca pearls) and easy to combine on your own.

Here’s what you do:

  1. Obtain your bobas
  2. Cook them up according to the directions. It should take a whole 5 minutes. Note: I learned the hard way that Boba doesn’t store well – only make enough for one day.
  3. Make your tea of choice (fruity, black, green, matcha, rooibos, white)
  4. Choose your creamer (dairy, non-dairy, full fat, non-fat)
  5. Choose your level of sweet (stevia, sugar, honey)
  6. Add your Boba
  7. If you’re really fancy, order the big fat straws too (I used an un-cool but eco-friendly spoon)
  8. Enjoy!

Here are my cooked plump Bobas:

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Here is my finished product … a decaf Chai with full-fat coconut milk and stevia – Yummo!

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Hey that sounds like a Starbucks drink. I wonder why they haven’t boarded this train yet? Let me know what your favorite combination is below. I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Filed under Healthy Eating!, Recipes