Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Boost Immunity with Plant-based Foods for Wellness




It's especially important to eat for wellness to boost our immune system and prevent catching colds, the flu, or even COVID-19 virus. 

Kitchen table wisdom and savvy nutritionists tell us to enhance health by eating at least 5-9 servings of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, and a portion of nuts and seeds each day. 


Science confirms that eating whole food plant-based is an effective way to increase the quality of nutrients in our diet. 

This post shows you how to be more mindful of what you're selecting to eat to maintain your stamina and ward off illness. 

Learn how to update ideas about good nutrition so you'll be better prepared to feed your hunger as well as prevent and reduce the severity of illness, if you should contract one.

A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois backs this up. It shows those who eat foods high in fiber improve digestive system regularity, and strengthen the immune system.

An additional study published online by the NIH indicates that foods containing zinc boosts immunity by functioning as an anti-oxidant. Zinc has a role in the prevention of free radical-induced injury during inflammatory processes. Plant-based sources of zinc are provided below.


Tips to Boost Immunity and Wellness

Eat the rainbow, especially since a variety of dark green, purple, blue, red, orange, and red assures you get adequate amounts of whole food plant-based protein, whole food plant-based carbohydrates, and whole food sources of fat including avocado, nuts and nut butter, and seeds. 

Colorful fruits and veggies help heal us. Read How to Create Flavorful Filling User Friendly Vegan Salads for recipe ideas.




Health promoting foods contain many different nutrients and fiber, and work together to fuel your body.  Vitamin pills don't have that same mix.

When you amp up fresh fruits and vegetables in meals, you are being proactive. Produce contains naturally occurring digestion enzymes, phytochemicals, and antioxidants that are especially important during stressful times for boosting the immune system. 

Key Ingredients 

that Strengthen Immunity




Vitamin A 

A 2018 study published online by the NIH illustrates the role of Vitamin A in the immune system. Results show Vitamin A helps promote and regulate both the innate immune system and adaptive immunity. This substance provides an enhanced defense against multiple infectious diseases.

As increasing evidence appears with time, Vitamin A will likely play a more critical role in modern therapeutics. 

Your body can produce vitamin A from carotenoids found in plants. These carotenoids include beta-carotene and alpha-carotene. 

Plant foods rich in these substances are sweet potato, winter squash, cooked kale, turnip greens, carrots, mango, cantaloupe, and pink or red grapefruit.


For additional tips read Why We Need to Eat Orange and Yellow Fruit and Veggies Daily


Vitamin C and E

Fruits and vegetables especially rich in Vitamin C and E are those that contain flavonoids. It's found in the soft white skin of citrus fruits including grapefruit, oranges, lemons, tangerines, and limes. 


Citrus fruits have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, increase saliva production, and boost your immune system.   

Vitamin C is also in the skin and close to the skin in many other fruits. My advice is to buy organic and eat the skin as well as the flesh of fruits. Don't eat conventionally grown apples, grapes, blueberries, tomatoes, pears, and nectarines as all contain pesticides. Eat organic ones instead.

Other sources of vitamin C include red peppers, beets, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, and mangoes. 

Vitamins C and E contain antioxidants to help destroy free radicals and support the body’s natural immune response. 

Certain nuts and seeds are good sources of Vitamin E. They include sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts. 

You'll get a good amount of vitamin E from beet greens, broccoli, avocado, spinach, and Swiss chard as well.

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that boosts immunity and functions as an anti-oxidant, stabilizes membranes, and has a role in the prevention of free radical-induced injury during inflammatory processes.

Whole grains are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals including zinc. Just ½ cup of cooked steel-cut oats has 6 percent of the daily value for zinc. The same amount of cooked brown rice has 4 percent, and a slice of whole wheat bread contains 3 percent. 

Chickpeas, soy products, beans, and lentils all contain substantial amounts of zinc. Here's an awesome recipe for Chickpea Salad that's healthy and delicious.

Beans and legumes are excellent sources of protein, and protein plays an important role in building cells, including those of your immune system.

In fact, lentils have the second highest level of antioxidants (behind black beans) among all tested legumes and offer significant levels of proteinironzinc, and folate

Heating, sprouting, soaking or fermenting plant sources of zinc like legumes can increase this mineral’s 
bioavailability. For more about vegan sources of  zinc read this 

Cruciferous Vegetables


Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, red and green cabbagearugula, radish, and Cres contain sulforaphane, an amazing liver-enzyme detox-boosting compound not found in appreciable amounts in other vegetables. 

Another benefit of a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables is they contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a common phytochemical. 

Epidemiological and dietary studies suggest eating indole-rich cruciferous veggies increases the capacity for the human body to detoxify and inhibit carcinogens that cause prostate cancer. 

Cruciferous vegetables are a good source of vitamin A, C, and E. These powerful veggies support the work of antioxidants and fiber.

Mushrooms


Mushrooms come in many colors, shapes, and sizes but most are high in selenium and B vitamins, including riboflavin and niacin. 

Mushrooms also contain selenium, an antioxidant that helps lessen oxidative stress, reduces inflammation and enhances immunity. 

Many mushrooms contain Vitamin B6 to support important biochemical reactions in the immune system. 

Do you know how to include more mushrooms in your eating plan? Read Hearty Healthy Vegan Mushroom Roundup.


Ginger


Ginger possesses antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as adding a spicy kick to many recipes.

It has earned a reputation for curing motion sickness, diarrhea, nausea, and indigestion. It helps calm colic, irritable bowel, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, colds, and flu.

Ginger helps stimulate your appetite. If you need to settle your stomach and nourish your mind, body, and spirit, this spice may be just the thing for you. Brew a cup of ginger tea as you read tips and recipes for using ginger.


Cocoa/Dark Chocolate


Cocoa, the main ingredient in dark chocolate, can be made into a delicious drink that’s packed with flavonoids. Just use one teaspoon or cocoa powder and I packet of stevia (a plant based sweetener that’s healthier than refined sugar) and away you go.

Dark chocolate (at least 70%) has been shown to boost heart health, seems to play a role in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, and helps keep your coronary arteries healthy.

Chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, can elevate mood, is tasty, and so good for your health. 💓


Watch for upcoming posts with information and research about additional vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, spices, and herbs that are powerful immune boosters as well.  

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” ― Hippocrates


Before you go, please comment. 

How many of these foods do you eat on a regular basis?

What new things are you willing to try to help your immune system perform at its peak? 

Please re-share on social media with a link back to this post. 

Your support and kind words mean the world to me. 💓



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Sunday, March 15, 2020

Secrets to Selecting Top Fashion Colors to Flatter You






This post will reveal secrets to selecting top fashion colors to enhance your appearance. 

Keep reading to discover how lifestyle and fashion bloggers, makeup artists, and color experts including me accentuate the positive in our natural complexions. 

Soon you'll see, it's easy to determine how to do it and more economical than you may think to put into practice. 

Secrets to Selecting Top Fashion Colors to Flatter You

The fastest way to find colors that complement our looks is to note our skin undertone colors. These are a mix of the natural colors underneath the surface of our skin. It's the overall hue that comes through from beneath our skin's surface.

Our skin undertones determine whether we have warm, cool, or neutral coloring. 

After you read and understand my tips to help you identify your skin undertone shade, I'll describe which color choices work like charms to enhance appearance and appeal.

VEIN TEST. Look at the underside of your arm in natural daylight. If you have a pink or rosy undertone and blue tinted veins you have a cool skin undertone. 
If you have golden, apricot, or green tinted veins you have a warm skin undertone.

Does your skin have a neutral undertone, one that is roughly the same color as your actual skin tone? You are fortunate in that a wide array of clothing colors, nail polish, makeup, and accessories will look well on you.
JEWELRY TESTAnother excellent way to determine skin undertone is to do the jewelry test. Hold a gold, then a silver necklace in place under your chin or fasten it around your neck. 

Does Silver, Platinum, White Gold, or Rose Gold light up your face? Then, you are a cool tone person. 

One example of how to select jewelry to align with our skin undertone appears in a blog post from Debbie, the Creative Lifestyle Blogger from Debbie Styles Life










She is a cool undertone person who loves silver jewelry and cool gray, which are perfect color matches for her. See more
about this post at Styling on a Running Errands Day.

If Yellow Gold, Copper, and Bronze metal jewelry looks better on you than silver tones, you are a warm tone person.

When both silver and gold jewelry both look fine, it's easy to see that you have neutral undertones.

NAIL BED TEST. A third way to determine your skin undertone is to take a peek at your nail bed.
If your nail bed is reddish, pink or blue toned then you fall into the cool tone category.
Does the nail bed tone tend to be more reddish-orange, reddish-blue, pinkish-blue, peachy or yellow-gold? You probably are in the warm tone group.

When you have a combination of both, you are in the neutral group.

SUN EXPOSURE TEST. The fourth way to show which undertone group you are in is to evaluate how your skin is affected by sun exposure.

If you're someone who burns and goes pink after being in the sun, you have cooler tones. 

Those who turn golden-brown are warmer skin toned.


People with neutral undertones can have mixed reactions to sun exposure.                               🌞


Now as promised, discover those colors that work like charms to flatter you.


Top hues for those with cool coloring undertones:


sea shades including cobalt blue, turquoise, teal
icy blues, royal blue, navy
white, cool gray, black, cool gray
greens, especially mint and grass green
frosty purples and pinks, lavender
berry reds including strawberry and raspberry
soft rose and hot pink

Best hues for those with warm coloring undertones:



rich, earthy shades of red
tan, beige, warm grays, off-white
rust and burnt oranges
mustard and citrus yellows
khaki and olive greens
chocolate browns
camel, gold, scarlet red
peach, coral, and red violet




Fabulous hues for people with neutral coloring undertones:

most colors are attractive on you
stand out color is true red
softened sherbet shades, including muted raspberry, cream, lemon, and lavender
rich, bright, or neon colors can topple the balance in your complexion
jewel tones smoky quartz, jade green, or rose quartz


Want to know more about Choosing  Clothing Colors? 

Read Best Clothing Colors for Your Skin Tone.

See Wear Your Colors and Feel Great About Yourself.

Visit Darlene, the Lifestyle Blogger who has a love for color, fashion, and travel. Her blog is Aquamarina Style and she shares How to Style Classic Blue. See the fun ways Darlene mixes it up with a classic blue floral print blouse, solid color bottom, and contrasting color shoe.
How to Style Classic Blue Fashion


Once you observe which colors look best on you, you'll be prepared to make wiser fashion decisions.
Just be aware, colors work at the sensory level and bypass thinking. That's why there's no need to stress over choosing the "right" color. 

Use your intuition to help you select your clothes for the day. It will help you pick out those colors that make you feel and look great. 
Another thing you can do is to take a few moments to do a wardrobe inventory. Before you rush out to buy something new, please pause. 

Then, look for creative ways to transform that drab or unattractive outfit hanging in your closet into an updated functional version. 

Here are a few ideas to help you. Drape a colorful scarf (use one of your undertone colors) around the neckline of that 5 or 10 year old dress (maybe one you've rarely wore) to bring it back to life.


 Fasten a necklace in place or don a sweater or jacket in a hue that truly enlivens ho-hum outfits. It will perk you up as well.

Another tip is to gather up clothing that no longer serves you. Stage a clothing and accessory swap meet. 
Save money as you chat and mingle with friends or a community group for your first ever swap meet event.

Those garments you're ready to release may be just the thing someone else is looking for and vice versa. 

You'll be doing your part to conserve cash, find a new-to-you pair of jeans or skirt, and reduce the amount of textiles that are dumped in a landfill. 

If you're not interested in swapping and shopping this way, donate garments to a worthy cause of your choosing.

Another clever way to make a sustainable clothing choice is to update your wardrobe at an Op Shop, an Australian/NZ term for thrift store (short for Opportunity Shop).

Here is Leanne, the Vivacious Midlife Blogger at Cresting the Hill, in wonderful colors that enhance her skin undertone.


Hello - I'm Leanne

She invites you along on an adventure, as she offers readers
 3 Tips for Op Shop Novices-Becoming Sustainably Savvy.

I used to find Thrift Stores dull, dingy, musty and overwhelming. Now I'm discovering they've changed and have a lot to offer the frugal shopper. #sustainable #thrift



When you feel happy in the clothing you wear, it translates to beauty dividends. Radiate your attractiveness by selecting fashion colors to flatter you! 

Please visit my blog in the future; new posts appear on the first and fifteenth of the month. 


One extra tip about fashion flattery is to read new posts in the coming months. I'll share additional elements that help you look and feel your best.



Want awesome color tips and self-discovery ideas right now? 

Need a dedicated place to practice treating yourself more self-compassionately? 


Get color guidance, journal activities, and affirmation support by placing an order for Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss.






Colors of Joy contains journal prompts and exercises to boost vitality, enhance well-being, and spark delight through journal writing, affirmations, reflection, and color-coded activities.






Those who have visited this blog before, know that my passion is to help people improve the quality of their lives and colors definitely help us with that. 

I love to hear from you and appreciate comments, likes, and re-shares on social media.

Spread the word about the wonderful bloggers included in this post as well. Your support and comments make us smile. 💖


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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Keys to Reduce Stress: Tiny Steps to Serene Living




A recent study shows three out of four Americans reported feeling stressed in the last month, and an informal survey I've conducted indicates when we feel frazzled, tense, or worried most have trouble concentrating. 

We forget there are things we can do to calm down, refresh ourselves, and proceed with a lighter heart.

Can you imagine how great you would feel, with less stress and more time and energy to do what you really want to do? 

If you're ready for that, look at the keys to serene living below. They are designed to provide emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical support to help you along. 

Some encourage you to take tiny steps to streamline your to-do list. Others suggest activities that help instill confidence and hope. Still others help you get a better handle on how often you allow other people, places, and things to disrupt your peace of mind. 

Rest assured, each self-care tip and lifestyle practice helps make daily living more rewarding and serene.

These tried and true methods have worked for me, as well as the life coaches, personal trainers, mentors, psychologists, and other successful people I admire.


Keys to Reduce Stress: Tiny Steps to Serene Living

Methods to Get Off to a Good Start

Make it a habit to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Once you're awake, carve out time to pray, meditate, journal, exercise, and/or do things that center you and help you feel energized. See additional ideas to nip stress in the bud here
Some people like to prepare for a full day by doing certain prep tasks the night before. For example, they pack lunches, do laundry, sort email, answer text messages, etc.

Others take a few moments at night to mark their planner with a to-do list for the next day. At my house, we like to put out our breakfast utensils at night. A little planning goes a long way in preventing a mad dash in the morning.

If you already have an efficient nightly or morning routine, you're ahead of the game. Research shows highly successful people know how to manage their time well and have a set pattern they adhere to even when traveling or telecommuting. 

Methods that Help You Stay on Track

Hydrate, shower, and allow time for personal care. One way to do this is to use colors to dress for comfort and function. 

Eat a nourishing breakfast, make your bed, and remove clutter from your desktop at the office or home work space. 

Since you're able to remove the junk that litters your desk, use a similar technique to visualize putting aside the negativity in your mind. A great way to do this is to get into your body. Stretch and run in place to get your blood moving. 

Before you start to work, close the door if need be. If it makes sense to you, recite the Serenity Prayer. 




Do challenging tasks first, and remember to take breaks every 20-30 minutes to move around. Get away from electronic devices for down time. Exercise, smile, and breathe deeply. All help alleviate stress.

Once you're back to work, make it a habit to screen calls, avoid email checks, and refrain from doing anything that distracts you.

Stay in the moment by focusing on the process rather than the outcome. 

Creativity and inspiration blossom in the here and now. That's one big reason why it's so important to not multi-task. 

For additional success tips read this.

Observe your self-motivation level. Are you willing to learn from your mistakes as well as victories? 

Procrastination or judging and blaming ourselves or others for not being able to accomplish certain tasks, leads to unhappiness, disappointment, and stress. 

When you notice you're getting down on yourself, train your mind to switch to thoughts of progress you've made in another area. Celebrate even the smallest forward motion.

Better yet, step outdoors to walk or jog in nature. Green spaces can revitalize your body, mind, and spirit. Take 15 minutes or more to absorb the health promoting energy Mother Nature provides .

Look inward for self-affirmationvalidation, and fulfillment. 

It's human nature to enjoy praise from others, but don't rate your worthiness on what judgmental people say about you. This is a sure way to feel not good enough.

Methods to Simplify and Go with the Flow
Organize shelves, drawers, closets, files, and living space so you can take an inventory. Donate, sell, or gift things that no longer serve a purpose. When you reduce clutter, it helps you  take note of how many things you have, and pause before shopping for anything new. 

Try to recycle, reuse, or repair stuff you already have. This is often an economical advantage, is eco-friendly, and saves time and energy you would use, if you had to purchase it new.

Vary undertakings with time for a cup of tea, or chat with a buddy. Learn how certain colors help improve work-life balance.

Learn how to say “no” when you need to. Bowing out of activities, conferences, errands, and time with difficult people, enables you to prioritize your time, energy, and resources. 

Letting go of people pleasing allows you to focus on meeting your own needs more effectively. In the long run, setting boundaries avoids building up resentments and stress.

Write about gratitude daily. Studies show the act of physically writing a gratitude list with pen and paper, helps solidify it in your mind, Build up a log of things you're thankful for, and refer back to it, when you're feeling low.

Compose and recite affirmations to change self-critical messages you give yourself about your habits, skills, personality, or physical and mental characteristics to positive life affirming ones.

For awesome affirmation adventures, pick up a copy of Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. This 12 week guided journal program helps its readers combine color themed activities, affirmations, journal writing and reflection, with tips for self-care.




Colors of Joy is affordable, provides hours of entertainment and discovery, and is a healthful way to be good to yourself. In fact, it makes an eye-catching birthday or thinking of you gift for all the women you care about.


Order it Now!


Every tiny step we take to improve our self-care routine adds up. Let's be kind, compassionate, and understanding with ourselves as we adopt healthier ways to grow and change. 

Hope my ideas and support help you take as many tiny steps as you need to create serene living!



Which self-care practices do you use to help you reduce stress?




What new ideas for self-care did you learn about in this post, and how do you think they can help you?

Have you used soothing or refreshing colors, nature, or other device to calm or comfort you? 


Please share feedback in the comments section below. I appreciate and read every comment and love to hear from you. Just be aware, if you put links in your comments I won't be able to publish them. Thanks for your cooperation.

Social media shares are greatly appreciated, and I thank you in advance. 

Please note: this post is intended for entertainment and informational purposes only. It is not offered as medical advice.


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