Did you know that the majority of people spend everyday in a dehydrated state? This can be due to consumption of caffeine or simply not drinking water throughout the day. Water is beneficial and assists the body in so many ways. It can provide energy to the body, curb an appetite, improve digestion and so much more. I routinely hear many say that they just don't like the taste of plain water, so I want to provide simple ways to infuse your fluids.
To infuse your water, first begin with clean water that’s filtered to remove harmful substances. For single use, you can use glass mason jars. Of course, if you want more of the same type of flavored or infused water, fill a glass pitcher. For now, we'll stick with single servings. Simply fill your jar with water, add fresh lemon slices, seal with a lid and place in the refrigerator for ~15 -30 minutes or overnight. You can add any fruit to your water and/or cut up herbs.
Adding herbs can be medicinal. If you are having nausea or want a little flavor, you can add peppermint leaves to your mason jar. Make sure you tear the leaves the get more flavor and add as many as you’d like. You can grow your own peppermint or any herbs in small patio pots or in the yard. Peppermint has antiviral and antimicrobial properties and soothes the digestive tract. If you plant peppermint in the yard, make sure you place it in a spot that has room as peppermint spreads and can invade neighboring plants.
Another great addition is ginger. Ginger also aids in relieving nausea and can also assist in digestion. Fresh ginger root is amazing. Simply add a few shavings to your water. A great concoction for morning digestion and something I like to do is drink ~12-16 ounces of water infused with both ginger shavings and fresh slices of lemon. After waking up, we need some fresh water to infuse the body. This yummy concoction rehydrates my body and fires up the digestive juices and gets me ready for the day. Ginger is also a wonderful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Lastly, I really enjoy Schisandra Berry which is often used in Chinese medicine. It can be found in many forms and has a flavor much like goji berries. You can use a powdered form in water or use the actual berry (~1 teaspoon in an 8-12-ounce mason jar). The berry has five flavors – sour, sweet, salty, bitter and warmth. Schisandra Berry has been known to assist with fatigue and fight free radicals in the body, reducing internal inflammation. If someone is pregnant, breastfeeding or taking medications, please consult your health care provider before using.
There are certainly other herbs you can use to flavor your water that provide an additional benefit, but these are some quick ideas. Also note that you can drink these at room temperature (which I prefer) or even in warm/hot water (sipping throughout the day). Have fun experimenting with your water!
~Please note that this article is for education purposes only and has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. #mindbodyyouniversity #mindbodyyou #water #hydration #tea #digestion #anti-inflammatory #antibacterial #nausea #energy #ewg #cleanwater #environmentalworkinggroup
Better Sleep with Honey
Our days are filled with so many thoughts and details! At night, when we sleep, our brain files and reorganizes to help sort and decide what we need to hold onto. We also have a system, the glymphatic, that flushes toxins from the brain to clear out cellular garbage so we can store new memories. This is why quality sleep is so important. Without it, our files don’t get sorted and the garbage doesn’t get taken out. This can lead to chaotic mess.
I hear so many people talk about their difficulties staying asleep. They drift off into a sleepy bliss and later find themselves wide awake in the middle of the night/early morning. In fact, the magic hours are usually between 1-3am. Did you know that your body needs enough energy for sleep and brain repair? After a few hours of sleep, your body doesn't have the fuel to remain asleep and also clean. Something's gotta give. It's usually sleep.
If you’re someone who finds themselves waking up in the middle of the night, it may be because you don’t have enough liver glycogen. It’s difficult for your body to do all this work, so try this solution to get a little carbohydrate before going to bed. Take 1 1/2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of raw honey. It can’t be cooked so this tip won’t work if you put it in tea or warm/hot water. The small amount of honey will raise your blood glucose while you sleep and allow you to move into deeper sleep and your body has enough energy to keep you in slumber and clean the brain at the same time. You wake rested and refreshed. Give it a try. #mindbodyyou #sleep #glymphatic #rawhoney Learn more about sleep with Sleep...Health and Healing
Everyday Essential Oils
I have a passion for essential oils. In fact, it’s been part of my life for over two decades and I can’t imagine not using them. As the season is getting cooler, I crave an Earl Grey tea latte. You might ask what this has to do with essential oils. Earl Grey tea contains bergamot which is a variety of orange that is grown in France and Italy. Its oils are added to black tea to give us this amazing tea with a burst of flavor. The smell is amazing too and I love to add bergamot essential oil to my lotions and bath salts in the winter. It uplifts me and makes me happy.
Did you know that bergamot is known to combat depression and assist in boosting mood? I also recommend it for reducing stress and anxiety. In fact, bergamot with lavender and ylang ylang essential oils have been shown to reduce cortisol levels and assist with mental well-being. If that’s not enough, it’s rich in antioxidants and is an anti-inflammatory. Internal inflammation can create disharmony in the body and set us up for disease.
About a decade ago, I remember reading about a study which included hospice cancer patients. Approximately 50% received a hand massage daily for one week. The massage oil contained bergamot, lavender and frankincense essential oils with a carrier oil for dilution. Those who received the 5-minute hand massage showed less depression and enjoyed the experience. Was it the essential oil or the human contact? Read more
Throughout the years I’ve used essential oils both personally and professionally and I’ve seen amazing results. These include less stress, better sleep, improved mood, less pain and being more present...just to name a few. There is more research to back this up and due to an overwhelming request from other health professionals, I created a course – Essential Oils for Well-Being. I’m so excited about the response so far and hope others can soon see and feel the benefits of essential oil use. #mindbodyyou #essentialoils #bergamot #ylangylang #lavender #frankincense #celestecooperpeel
Reducing Your Risk of Cancer
There are multiple studies indicating that what we eat impacts our health. Over the last ten years, there is more research showing that what we apply to our skin can have a negative impact on our health.
Did you know that many health and beauty care products contain parabens which mimic the hormone estrogen? Check your labels! It can be labeled as methyl, propyl, ethyl, isobutylparaben. Look at your hair products, toothpaste, body washes and lotions, facial creams and even deodorants.
As we continue to move through Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to share a study regarding paraben accumulation found in over 95% of breast cancer tumors. Additional information can be found here.
In addition to parabens, lead (which is a heavy metal) has been found in more than 60% of lipsticks. Other metals were also discovered including aluminum, cadmium and chromium. What’s problematic is that the FDA doesn’t consider this to be a safety issue stating that heavy metal exposure in lip products is minimal and doesn’t pose a risk.
These are not the only harmful substances found in the daily products we use on ourselves that may increase our risk of cancer. Phthalates, toluene (which is banned in Europe) and formaldehyde are other potentially harmful substances used in body products and furniture. What we’re exposed to certainly impacts our health and well-being. To find out more about safe products, visit the Environmental Working Group. You can also take the course Toxins and The Environment: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. #mindbodyyou #toxinsandtheenvironment #breastcancerawareness #cancer #celestecooperpeel
Sugar…it’s everywhere and we crave it! In fact, this craving dates back to our primal ancestors when sugar was a means for us not to starve during the winter months when food was not as plentiful. An interesting thing happens when we eat sugar. Our brain releases dopamine. This happens to be the exact neurotransmitter that increases when a person uses cocaine. Wow! The more we eat, the more we want. There are definitely negative implications to consuming sugar. These can include some of the following (but doesn’t include more serious health consequences).
What can you do? A lot actually!! Educate yourself. Learn how to “really” read a food label and take into consideration all the other names that sugar goes by. If you do desire something sweet, eat low sugar fruits such as berries which contain polyphenols which fight inflammation and are rich in antioxidants to protect us from DNA damage among other things.
Choose whole foods that don’t contain a label because they are not processed. Choose proteins such as nuts, cage-free/certified organic eggs and/or grass-fed meats. Think wet carbs versus dry which means vegetables spinach, zuccihini, kale (to name a few) or whole grains such as quinoa versus processed carbs such as crackers or breads.
If you’re craving sugar, maybe you’re thirsty. Drink water….just water, no drinks with artificial sweeteners. Thirst is often confused with hunger. I recommend drinking water throughout the day and drinking ~8 ounces of water before your meals. You may not eat as much and don’t drink lots of liquid as you eat. It can extinguish your stomach acid and dampen your digestive enzymes that are working so hard to break down your food. Also, hydrate yourself first thing in the morning. I personally drink 8-16 ounces of room temperature water or warm water with lemon before I drink anything else or eat anything in the morning. This hydrates your tissues and cells that have been drying out overnight. If you don’t like plain water, add some cut up peppermint to your water. It’s easy to grow and adds flavor and helps with digestion and breath.
I also like to use essential oils. The smell can assist you with your cravings. I like to use grapefruit essential oil with peppermint and place behind my ears with a carrier oil like jojoba oil or fractionated coconut oil that stays liquid at room temperature. I also use magnesium oil as a carrier oil and you can also use a good quality Shea butter to create a body lotion with the sweet smells of essential oil.
Lastly, we may be a stress eater. Of course, comfort foods such as sugar or highly processed foods are often what we lean towards when we are feeling overwhelmed. If that’s the case, practice mindful breathing when these triggers happen. For two minutes, close your eyes and breathe in for 5 seconds, hold that breath for 5 seconds and then exhale for 5 seconds. Do this practice 5 times. You can assist mind chatter by using essential oils. I like to meditate/breathe and use essential oils such as lavender and yang ylang which are wonderful for cultivating calm. The same rules apply as above by creating a concoction of essential oil and carrier oil and applying behind your ears or even on your wrists. One thing I really enjoy is using oils in a diffuser. This way the sweet aromas drift throughout the room or even your house to offer serenity to all.
This is a fun recipe that you can create as needed. You can also purchase glass amber bottles or roller bottles to create an “on the go” blend. Note: essential oils break down plastic so make sure to store in glass.
Find a way to release sugar and the sugar rush. By doing so, you’ll cultivate calm (unless you replace it with caffeine which I don’t recommend) and retrain your taste buds. Regarding caffeine…enjoy a reasonable amount of caffeine if you already do and do so before noon so it won’t impact your sleep, but don’t add more caffeine because you’re giving up sugar (which I’ve seen happen). Read labels, eat whole foods, breathe deeply, drink water and dabble in essential oils. These are all a recipe for assisting you in letting go of sugar and encouraging a healthy lifestyle. #mindbodyyou #celestecooperpeel #essential oil #sugar #whole foods
I’m not sure when it started, but it did. It’s that little thing called perfectionism. This rascal ends up costing you more time and more stress. How do you know you have it? You know or at least your friends and family know! Just in case you don’t recognize the symptoms, here are just a few.
I’m a recovering perfectionist….at least I try to be as I re-read this article to make sure everything looks as I want it. Through the years of teaching mindfulness, I realize I’m not the only one. A major reason many take my mindfulness courses revolves around the fact that they feel the stress of society to be the best at work, family and more. Because there is only so much time in the day, they’re stressing themselves out. In fact, I had a mother in class tell me that she wanted to get a promotion this year and was working overtime to make this happen. She was also a PTA parent and sat on many of her children’s organizations. Instead of buying something in the store for her kid’s class parties, she would go home and cook something until midnight. This was leaving her exhausted, not enjoying life and she realized that she simply wasn’t present. It wasn’t until she had a fender bender from lack of focus that she decided to get off the treadmill of life. That’s when she reached out to me and discovered mindfulness. After two months, she is a new person. Her kids say that they enjoy being with her. She isn’t grumpy. When she’s at a soccer game, she leaves her phone in her purse. She doesn’t bring work to games and now she purchases healthy food options instead of cooking her own for school parties.
Children are also feeling the pressure of society to be the very best. Yes, we should try to be the best version of ourselves but we shouldn’t sacrifice ourselves in the process. My daughter fell into the trap of perfectionism. She made straight As in elementary and middle school. My husband and I always congratulated her but never had to tell her to do her homework or made comments that would make her strive to get perfect grades. Sometimes it just happens. We can be wired that way but we can also re-wire our way of thinking. When my daughter was a sophomore in high school, she finally realized that getting things perfect was stressful. After receiving her first B, she was fine. It was as if she let out a big sigh! The world didn’t crumble and this was an insightful moment and one that I wish many adults would recognize.
When we’re rooted in perfectionism, we miss out on life. We think about future activities (our to-do list) and/or we ruminate on how we could have done something in the past differently. We miss the present moment and can miss out on making memories. If we continue down this path, we may find that our growth to learn new methods is stunted. We may not be as open to other ways of achieving something because we believe we know best. We may also lack the ability to delegate a task to help someone else grow. It takes a great deal of energy to be perfect!
Here’s a helpful tip that has worked for myself and many others. The next time you’re working with someone, avoid sharing your ideas and let them go first (work and at home). Be open to their approach. If they are new to a task, listen to their ideas and share your own without dominating. Work together to find the best method. This can be an excellent teaching moment for all. You provide growth and mentoring to them and for yourself.
If you are a perfectionist, recognize and admit it. You’ll be glad that you did. Be present, mindful. Check in with your breath and your body. Is your breathing calm? Is your body tense? Recognize what’s happening and take a deep breath. Another way to practice mindfulness is to prioritize what’s important to you. Take time for yourself daily. Whether it’s sitting in stillness, meditating, taking a mindful walk in nature (without earbuds, phones or distractions) or doing something you love like cooking, drawing or reading. Have fun and be in the moment. Let go of the belief that your soufflé should taste a certain way or your art should look like Picasso. Let it go and simply enjoy. Do something new...something you're not sure if you'd be good at. Embrace whatever happens. Know that by taking care of yourself, you also take care of the others around you. Believe me, they will recognize your efforts when you’re calmer, less reactive and happier. Be in the moment…moment by moment….breath by breath and live life! #celestecooperpeel #mindbodyou #mindfulness #perfectionism
Green banana flour is something I’ve been using more. If you haven’t tried it, you should. It has numerous health benefits. Let’s see what they are.
I enjoy making chocolates with coconut oil, honey and raw cacao powder, but you can create amazing brownies with a couple of extra ingredients.
Here’s a recipe for Green Brownies. The name is a good conversation starter.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating up, place the cacao powder and green banana flour in a bowl and add melted coconut oil, honey and eggs. After mixing well, pour into a baking pan. Bake ~25 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the center of the pan to see if the brownies are solid and not wet. When the brownies are done, cool and eat! #greenbananaflour #celestecooperpeel #mindbodyou #greenbrownies
Antibiotics were created to save lives and prevent infections. This is a good thing as my Dad just had total knee replacement surgery and with his hospital stay, they wanted to ensure he remained infection-free. During and after his hospital stay, I put together a basket of immune boosting remedies. This made me think that I should not wait until the “cold” season to write an article on this subject.
The problem with antibiotics is that they are often over-prescribed and overused. The statistics are overwhelming. By the time a child is 3 years old, approximately 70% of them in the United States have been given at least one course of antibiotics. By the time they reach 18 years of age, the average US child has received an average of 15 courses of antibiotics. They’ve just reached adulthood. According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 50% of these are not necessary. They are often prescribed for viral infection that are not treatable with an antibiotic.
Almost a year ago, I had an eye infection which was considered viral. They immediately prescribed drops for my eyes. When I mentioned that a virus can’t be treated with an antibiotic, I was dismissed and told that this is just a precaution. Needless to say, I didn’t take the prescription and once I had an official diagnosis, I went the homeopathic route. My eye cleared up quickly.
We are a land of opportunity and a land of antibiotics. I won’t go into too much detail as my course Toxins and Environment does, but we are constantly bombarded with antibiotics. They can come from places you may not have considered. We are what we eat. Unfortunately, that may mean that we’re full of antibiotics. Animal products, such as meat and dairy, that we consume can contain antibiotics and that’s why it’s important to purchase products that have labels indicating antibiotic-free. Antibiotics can also be present in crop sprays and end up in our foods and water supply. With this constant exposure, the antibiotics that used to assist us in making us well are simply not working. In fact, the latest statistic reveals that over 23,000 people die annually due to antibiotic resistance.
I’m all about healthy food. You can tell this with all the courses offered. We are what we eat and we can nourish our bodies. Eating fresh, whole foods can assist our immune system, but there are some natural remedies that can help.
As always, if you are pregnant, under 6 months of age, experiencing breathing difficulties, have a cough and/or fever that lasts more than a week or have an immune system disorder, please check with your health care provider before using any of these remedies.
1. Echinacea (Echinacea Glycerite) – one of my favorites! I grow this amazing plant and can’t say enough about it during the cold season. Drinking echinacea tea throughout the day can help build up your immune system. In fact, when I recently got run down in June due to the multiple parties and celebrations for my daughter’s high school graduation, this was my immediate go-to.
2. Elderberry – this herb can be found in syrups and I personally like to blend this with echinacea. At the first sign of “cold/immune” symptoms, this can work wonders. This is safe for babies at or over 6 months of age. Simply combine equal parts of echinacea with elderberry syrup.
3. Ginger – this contains great fighting ability to viral infections, nausea, digestive problems and more. Ginger can break up congestion. I grate in foods or juice carrot, celery with ginger and turmeric. I also enjoy it as a tea by adding freshly grated ginger to hot water and add honey and lemon.
4. Green tea – if my sinuses are stuffy, this is a go-to. Having 2 cups of green tea daily is a great addition to your regimen. I love a good echinacea and green tea mix with almond milk.
5. Garlic – this great food in your kitchen can fight bacterial and viral infections. We use fresh garlic all the time when I cook, but especially in the winter. One of my favorite elixirs contains honey, lemon and garlic. Sometimes, I'll add a little kick of cayenne. I believe it tastes good and pinch of cayenne opens the sinuses if you have congestion!
6. Umcka (umckaloabo also pelargonium) – this amazing herb can cut down on the duration of colds and assists with sinus infections. If you have a sinus infection, it can be consumed daily for up to 3 weeks. Be consistent in taking to make sure it clears it up completely. Sometimes when people start feeling better, they stop taking. Be diligent.
As you make your way through the year, think about these few (and there are so many more) herbs that assist your health and well-being. #mindbodyyou #celestecooperpeel #ginger #echinaea #elderberry #greentea #umcka
Prevent Disease and Heal Your Body
Today, there are more people in the United States who have nutrient deficiencies. How can this be in a land where you can pull up to a gas station and get food? That’s part of the issue. Are we consuming food or food-like substances?
We live in a world where a large percentage of the population is overweight, yet undernourished. Processed foods don’t provide nourishment that our body needs and they can raise our risk of developing chronic disease and even cancer. Nutrient deficiencies impact our immune system by turning off our immune responses. We don’t want an immune system that’s not working! When this occurs, we are more susceptible to illness. We need our nutrients!
Our body is amazing. It absorbs macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals and more). To look at these deeper, macronutrients provide direct fuel and energy to our body. Micronutrients are catalysts that assist the macronutrients. We need to give our body something more than a sugar-filled, processed eatable. When we eat foods like this, we may have a “fake” energy swing, but after that spike, we crash. It’s not providing nutrients or real energy. We need nutrition from real food.
Our body does so much for us and I'm amazed at the inner workings that support and protect us. It can only do so much. Treat your body with respect and give it nutrient-dense whole foods that are free of pesticides, without genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and if you are a carnivore, choose foods that are treated with respect. To learn more about specific foods that can assist health and why they promote wellness, take our course - Healing and Preventing Chronic Disease and Cancer with Functional Nutrition. If you don’t need the official continuing education, you can still take it. You may be enlightened and have something to share with your friends and family. #mindbodyyou #GMOs #functionalnutrition #celestecooperpeel #prevention #wellness
Cacao and Chia Coconut Ice Cream
If you want a special treat that’s beneficial to your body, mind and spirit, this is it. This recipe is rich in plant lignans, magnesium, healthy fats, fiber, potassium and more. Simply add these items to a blender and mix well until creamy.
Transfer the ingredients to an ice cream maker and create your masterpiece according to the ice cream maker’s instructions. Make sure all your ingredients are organic and don't contain added sugar, preservatives or additives. You can top with unsweetened coconut chips and toasted almonds. Enjoy! #mindbodyyou #cacao #chiaseeds #lignans #coconut #celestecooperpeel
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.