Guest Post: The Benefits of Drinking Green Tea Daily

healthy green tea cup with tea leaves

“Healing doesn’t just take a little time, it also takes commitment to get started and to complete the process.” 
― Sereda Aleta Dailey

Green tea! You may have heard of it, you may already drink it regularly. Does it actually do that much good for the body? The answer is yes! Having one cup of green tea a day is actually one of the best things anyone can do to improve their health.

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Choose Your Own Adventure: 3 Ways to Break Free from Unhealthy Life Practices by: Eric Koch

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“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.”  — Nishan Panwar

I was 10 years old when I was introduced to the Choose Your Own Adventure book series. I wasn’t an avid reader at the time so I found that the books came in handy for school presentations; I could decide how the story would end up based on decisions I made on each page, and I often cheated death by jumping ahead to see what was in store for the protagonist.

While I was entertained when reading these adventure stories, the fun was short lived as I was told the books were banned from being used for future presentations. Bummer.

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Ideas For Your Gluten-Free Pantry

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“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients in the care of the human frame, in a proper diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

–Thomas Edison

Years ago I discovered I had several food sensitivities, the primary one being gluten. It was an overwhelming sense of relief at the time, as I was happy to learn what was triggering my body to feel so fatigued and less than optimal, but when I reflected on all the food in my kitchen, I felt everything was going to have to go. Being in grad school, I didn’t know if I had the time or the money to reinvent my meal plan.

After getting over the initial rush of  feelings, I came to my senses and made it a priority to learn what the best options were for me. At the time, more gluten-free and wheat-free options were showing up at supermarkets and health food stores, but it wasn’t as mainstreamed as it is now, so I had to do my research.

What I wish I had when I was starting out on my gluten-free journey was a basic list of staples to have in the kitchen; foods that still provided the essential nutrients and flavor my body needed to continue to feel nurtured and energized. I’ve read many gluten-free blogs and websites and picked up tips from amazing cooks, chefs, and do-it-yourself men and women. These gluten-free pioneers have done a lot of the base work for us in creating recipes and introducing certain products that serve as wonderful alternatives while cooking. What I’m providing for you is a list of my personal favorites that make cooking and following gluten-free recipes much easier without the hassle of having to always run to the grocery store. 

*BONUS*: For each product, I’ve provided a convenient link via vitacost.com, one of this little lark’s affiliates, and my personal favorite on-line site to shop for quality organic, gluten-free products at a discounted rate. Many of these products are not always available in local stores and with free shipping when you spend over $49 (which is very easy) it really can’t be beat!*

Whether you are gluten-free or not, I created the following shopping list to support your healthy living journey. It’s a wonderful idea to continue experimenting with new foods and recipes in the kitchen to keep your taste buds happy and your body well nourished. Variety is the spice of life. It can be boring to eat the same foods every day. This pertains to all food groups. There is not one single food that can give you all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body needs. By choosing a variety, we can add enjoyment to our meals and get the added benefits of a healthy, nutrient-rich diet. Consider the following to add dimension to your gluten-free diet. All products should be used in addition to fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins to maintain a well-balanced diet. Enjoy! : )

 

Ideas For Your Gluten-Free Pantry 

(Just click on the image for product details!)

GRAINS & LEGUMES: Quinoa, Red Lentils, Black Beans, Buckwheat, Brown Rice, Millet, Quinoa Pasta 

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FLOURS & MEALS: All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour, Coconut Flour,  Ground FlaxSeed Meal, Almond Meal

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NUTS: Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews

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FLAVORS & VERSATILE: Organic Tamari Sauce, Curry Powder, Nori Sheets (a great alternative to wraps and making endless varieties of sushi and spring rolls!), Herbamore, Chicken Broth, Vegetable Broth

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SWEETENERS: Medjool Dates, Raw Honey, Apple Sauce

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P.S. Stay tuned for: Essentials For The Gluten-Free Baker and Essentials For Your Dairy-Free Pantry!

*thislittlelark.org receives a small commission from affiliates like vitacost.com when you purchase through these unique links (by clicking on the image or text url).  These commissions are used to help support the site’s maintenance, helping to bring you more inspiration each day! :) Please know that it is always your choice whether you want to use one of these links to purchase.  This disclaimer serves to give you the option to make whatever choice works best for you.

4 Ways To Start Eating Right for YOU

FINGERPRINT

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

The following is a guest post from Elle Gallatin, creator of Sweet Zen Wellness. She dives into the paradox of choice that our society faces each day when it comes to food, diets, and how to make the best decisions with all of these fads and trends. Sometimes these simple reminders are what it takes to quiet all the noise that our external world is constantly bombarding us with. Be kind to yourself, and always listen to what is best for YOU. –this little lark

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An Artistic Yogini’s Inspiring Journey (+giveaway!)

Surfacing ©Rhonna Del Rio-Ascolese

Surfacing
©Rhonna Del Rio-Ascolese

“It’s no longer a ‘challenge’ to stay the course, but a ‘decision’ to do so.” 

–Rhonna Del Rio-Ascolese

I connected with Rhonna through this little lark’s blog a couple of years ago. She wrote a lovely guest post for us about feng shui (soon to be available in the archives) and since then, I’ve enjoyed following her journey as an artist and yogini through her own blog and facebook page. Recently, she created a short documentary about her journey and it has since been nominated best spot feature, best cinematography, and best score at the OC Film Festival.

I was moved and inspired by her grace and determination and asked her if she’d be interested in doing a Q&A for our blog. She enthusiastically agreed, and the following is what we came up with. I hope you enjoy her story, words of wisdom, and the warmth and thought she put into each answer! 

BONUS GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post and you will be entered to win a print of your choice of Rhonna’s work! Winner will be selected Friday, February 21st at 5pm EST :)

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On Love.

© thislittlelark.org

Unconditional Love
©thislittlelark.org

“Love is a state of being. Your love is not outside: it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it can never leave you. It is not dependent on some other body, some external form. In the stillness of your presence, you can feel your own formless and timeless reality as the unmanifested life that animates your physical form. You can then feel the same life deep within every other human and every other creature. You look beyond the veil of form and separation. This is the realization of oneness. This is love.” -Eckhart Tolle-

Our modern-day Valentine’s Day, removed from its religious and pagan past, has evolved into one of the most celebrated holidays on the calendar. However you choose to feel about it– whether you thrive on going all out with romantic gestures or find yourself resisting the industry that is created around these holidays– I’d like to invite you to think of it as an opportune moment to pause, reflect, and honor what is really being celebrated: LOVE. 

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Simply Divine Orange Zest Cacao Truffles

Divine Organics Cacao Nibs

Raw cacao nibs photo courtesy of Divine Organics

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“Food is a passion. Food is love.”

–Hector Elizondo–

For those with a sweet tooth, this healthy recipe for cacao truffles is for you! Antioxidant-rich cacao nibs  are becoming a popular addition to baked goods, providing numerous health benefits compared to conventional store bought chocolate candy, bars, and powders. Check out the useful health benefit chart below, provided by Raw For Beauty

Health Benefits of Raw Cacao

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I’ve been experimenting with cacao nibs in the kitchen and have successfully made several batches of these healthy, organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free truffles with amazing feedback from my taste testers. These make a perfect snack for those on the go, or a guilt-free dessert to serve after a delicious meal. Let me know what you think and if you make any successful modifications, please share in the comment section below! : )

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Happy New Year Of The Wood Horse!

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“Prosperity depends more on wanting what you have than having what you want.” 

- Albert F. Geoffrey -

On Friday, January 31, we will start to feel an energetic shift as we welcome the uplifting, optimistic, and inspiring year of the Wood Horse! 

The Chinese New Year starts on the second new moon after the winter solstice and lasts until the following full moon. This 15 day period is a time where families and friends gather, share special traditional meals, and give gifts to symbolize their wishes for a prosperous year ahead. This time also marks the start of spring.

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When You Love Your Body You Radiate Inner Beauty

Self Love

Beauty does not respond to hate – it responds to love.”

- Lana Zincone -

We unknowingly validate our negative beliefs with our own self-talk. We say, “I hate my thighs, my butt is too big, my arms are too fat, I’ll never be skinny.” And when we affirm these negative beliefs long enough, we create self-fulfilling prophecies that, in turn, become our reality. If our belief is that we’ll never look the way we want, then we never will.

These self-fulfilling prophecies are created from the insecurities we have about our body image, and they only serve to reinforce these beliefs. Sadly, as a result, they eventually begin to affect our actions. We find ourselves eating emotionally, turning to food for comfort, and struggling to keep the weight off. We don’t understand why this is happening. We’ve created our own reality without even realizing it.

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All About Salt.

 

Clockwise from top: Maldon Sea Salt, Fleur de Sel de Camargue, Japanese Seaweed Salt, Jacobsen Salt Co. Flake Salt and Himalayan Pink Salt F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal

Clockwise from top: Maldon Sea Salt, Fleur de Sel de Camargue, Japanese Seaweed Salt, Jacobsen Salt Co. Flake Salt and Himalayan Pink Salt F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal 

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”  

-Jim Rohn-

Salt is something that humans have always consumed as part of a healthy diet. Unfortunately, claims that it contributes to heart disease and increases blood pressure have left many people afraid to use salt. While it’s true that too much sodium (like too much of anything) can lead to adverse health effects, it’s inaccurate to think of salt as something that’s “bad for us”. The truth is that salt is essential to life, and our bodies need a constant supply of it. Most salt that people use is of very poor quality and is certainly not the best representation of all that salt has to offer. Instead of being wary of using salt, I think we have more to gain by beginning to use quality salt in a way that contributes to our health. 

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Dr. Bieler’s Healing Broth

©thislittlelarkbeansparsley

“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”

- Buddha -

B I E L E R   B R O T H. Whenever I feel stressed, fatigued, or under the weather, I make myself a batch of healing Bieler Broth. This whole-foods detoxifying broth is gentle and revitalizing. It aids in liver cleansing, supports the adrenals, reduces back and ligament problems, and increases the body’s overall energy. 

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The Illusion of Separateness

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“We are here to awaken from our illusion of separateness.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh -

As I round the corner to finish my final year in Naturopathic and Chinese Medical School, I’ve been thinking a lot about what natural medicine really is.

What I thought it was, when I started. And what I now know it to be.

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2014: Feel Good, Be Good, and Do Good.

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“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

- Mahatma Gandhi -

The countdown to 2014 has begun! In mere hours, we will be ringing in the new year; spirits hopefully high, and goals set to try to make the upcoming year filled with success, health, love and accomplishments.

We make resolutions because we have a natural tendency towards self-improvement. We want the best for ourselves and the world we live in. However, too often our January 1st enthusiasm quickly falls by the wayside.  Sometimes, as soon as mid-January, our goals are abandoned completely.

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Happy “Stress-Free” Holidays!

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“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

– Pema Chödrön

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Winter is a time of year where our bodies and nature are in their most restorative states. With the lack of daylight and colder weather (in most places), we naturally want to retreat and be still. This is also the time of year where the holiday season kicks off at the end of November and carries through to the start of the new year. How will our bodies relax and restore while also showing up for the celebrations and gatherings that accompany the holiday season? 

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