Author Archive | Tim Werth

2 Healthy Magnesium-Rich Recipes, Including Cinnamon Plantain Bites!

Magnesium is one of those minerals that people are generally aware of but don’t really know what it is or what it can do for your body. Magnesium is a nutrient that the body requires in order to stay healthy. It plays a critical role in regulating muscle and nerve functions, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and making protein, bone, and DNA.

Oftentimes, people don’t get enough magnesium in their diets. While it takes a while to start noticing the effects of a magnesium deficiency, symptoms can include loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, muscle cramps, and an abnormal heartbeat. Since magnesium is critical for over 300 enzyme processes in the human body, it’s important to get a good dose of the mineral every day. Below are a few healthy recipes rich in magnesium for you to try!

Salmon Salad Bowl

This power veggie bowl features fresh salmon and a raspberry balsamic glaze. It’s rich in flavor and antioxidants, and organic too!

Ingredients:

  • 4-oz organic grilled or baked salmon
  • 3-4 cup organic seasonal greens
  • 1/2 cup organic slices zucchini and squash
  • 1/2 cup organic raspberries
  • 1 tbsp organic balsamic glaze
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon avocado or olive oil
  • dash of organic sea salt
  • dash of organic pepper
  • 2 organic thyme sprigs
  • organic parmesan crumbles
  • organic lemon juice

Luckily, salads are super easy to throw together. After slicing the veggies, sautee in a skillet with oil, salt, and pepper. Once the vegetables and salmon are cooked, begin to build your bowl. Greens first, then veggies, then salmon. Top off with the balsamic glaze, thyme, and the remaining oil. After tossing, throw in some raspberries with a touch of lemon juice and parmesan.

Cinnamon Spice Plantain Bites

These heavy-packed protein bites are full of spices, are grain-free, and require no baking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut or almond flour
  • 1/2 cup plantain flour or ground plantain chips
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup nut butter of choice
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves (ground)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground anise
  • 1/2 tsp butter or vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp molasses

Begin by grinding up the plantain chips. Then, after mixing up the dry ingredients, add in nut butter extract, molasses, and honey. After mixing, roll into bite-sized balls. Freeze right away and use coconut or almond flour to roll the bites in after they’re frozen. To maintain freshness, store in fridge or freezer.

Natural Remedies To Ease Your Lower Back Pain

For many adults, lower back pain is an ever-present factor in their lives. Whether caused by age, genetic factors or lifestyles, it can become too much to handle. In fact, about 69% of Americans say that this pain impacts their daily lives. While many adults turn to medication to treat their pain, it is not the only option.

There are plenty of ways to incorporate lower back pain management into your holistic health routine. This guide will help you incorporate these methods into your lifestyle and control your risk factors going forward.

Natural Treatments For Lower Back Pain

For many people, there is not a cure-all remedy for lower back pain. It generally takes a combination of changes to help you find relief. While you should always consult a physician about your pain, consider the following methods as well.

Exercise
When you strengthen your body, you strengthen your ability to support your spinal column. This is especially true when it comes to your abdominal strength. A strong core can make your entire center more steady and improve your posture. Yoga can be especially useful for strengthening, loosening, and aligning.

Massage
Massage therapy can help release tension in your back muscles that may be pinching nerves and causing pain. A massage therapist can also work with you on lifestyle changes and stretches to better care for your back.

Postural Treatment
Chiropractic adjustment and relating treatment can help align the spine and improve your posture. Your chiropractor may even incorporate massage and physical therapy to provide a more holistic healing approach.

Anti-Inflammatory Food
To nourish and heal your body, it’s essential to fill it with quality food. By avoiding refined grains, sugars, and fats, and eating nutrient-rich food instead, you can calm inflammation. This then calms your pain.

Controlling Your Risk Facotrs

While natural treatments can help ease your current back pain, it’s also important to practice prevention. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 80% of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lives, there are ways to control your risk:

    • Maintain a healthy weight
    • Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
    • Work to improve your posture
    • See your physician for preventative care
    • Learn what treatment methods work for your body

Remember: You are in control of your life. While low back pain may be a factor, it is not in the driver’s seat. By trying some of the above treatment methods and taking care of your health as a whole, you can control your pain and live the most vibrant life possible.

How Drones, Coffee Beans, And The Queen of England Might Change The Way We Drive

Americans rely heavily on their vehicles, as the average American drives 29.2 miles every day. But many drivers are reluctant to substitute their conventional gasoline-powered vehicle for one that’s more eco-friendly. That might soon change, albeit in a more sluggish way than some other nations, due to environmental regulations, increased reliability, and some creative uses for caffeine.

In a recent report published in Consumer Reports, it was revealed that incorporating new technology and fuel efficiency efforts into traditional cars is actually making them a lot less reliable. In the magazine’s survey of 640,000 vehicles, the all-new vehicles or models with newly updated tech were more likely than older models to have a “wonky engine, jerky transmission, or high-tech features that fail outright.” Electric cars, on the other hand, fared quite a bit better, largely because many of these electric models don’t use the same mechanical systems conventional cars do.

So if they’re more reliable, why are Americans so resistant to buy them? Comparatively, the U.S. is behind the curve (or curb, as the case may be) in terms of exploring alternative fuels. Parisian officials recently announced the city will be phasing out the use of all fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2030, with the entire country promising to do away with non-electric cars by 2040. And her Majesty, the Queen of England, just added more electric-powered vehicles to her already established eco-friendly fleet. But according to a study from April 2017, 70% of Millennials (presumably, American Millennials) don’t want an electric vehicle. Even though they’re actually less expensive to run and wouldn’t pollute the planet, it looks like the U.S. has some catching up to do.

That could be because amenities have yet to catch up with the electric vehicle industry. Charging stations are few and far between and charging takes much longer than filling up a gas tank, making it less convenient to go electric. The ever-innovative Amazon may have just come up with a solution, as the company recently patented a drone that would charge an electric vehicle as you’re driving it. The plans seem like something out of a sci-fi movie, but so do self-driving cars.

Maybe Millennials would be more likely to embrace alternative fuels if their car required something they often use for their own energy supply: namely, coffee. Statistics show that Americans consume an average of 1.64 cups of coffee per day, but soon, our cars might need a java boost, too. Researchers at Lancaster University in the U.K. have managed to simplify the process of extracting oil from coffee grounds so that it takes only 10 minutes. The new process is also much more eco-friendly than extracting oils from corn or soybeans because it doesn’t require the use of harmful chemicals. Experts say that with this new all-in-one method, they could produce 720,000 metric tons per year. In the near future, coffee and cars could be even more of a match made in heaven than they already are (no comedians necessary).

Maybe one day, fueling up your car will be as easy as contacting a drone or emptying the remnants of your morning cup of coffee into your vehicle. For now though, the onus is on the individual to make eco-conscious decisions when it comes to their transportation, even when it isn’t always easy.

3 Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Projects That Boost The Value Of Your Home

When it comes to home improvements, many people seem hesitant to commit to projects that require a substantial investment. However, there are a number of renovations and improvements that not only increase the value of your home but serve as eco-friendly solutions as well. Here are just a few sustainable home improvement projects that can increase the value of your home.

Roofing

Your home’s roof is obviously a critical component of its structural integrity. If you’re in the market for a new roof, consider opting for one of the many eco-friendly roofing materials available. New metal roofs, for example, may contain anywhere from 30% to 60% of recycled metal content and are 100% recyclable at the end of their service lives. Plus, while a traditional asphalt shingle roof has an average lifespan of 12 to 20 years, metal roofs can last between 40 and 70 years when properly installed and maintained.

Another eco-friendly benefit of metal roofing? Its energy-efficiency. Metal roofs have a unique cooling quality that allows them to reflect radiant heat from the sun. This can reduce energy costs by between 10% and 25%.

Plumbing

Many homeowners are uneasy about the idea of messing with their home’s plumbing system, but tankless water heaters have a number of eco-friendly benefits. Tankless water heaters are extremely efficient. They use only the energy necessary to heat the amount of water that you’re using, unlike tank heaters which heat several gallons of water at a time. A tankless water heater and can save you as much as a 20% on your energy bills.

“Tankless units (also called “on demand” units) heat water only when you turn on the faucet,” explains Family Handyman. “They usually operate on natural gas or propane. The main advantage is that they eliminate the extra cost of keeping 40 to 50 gallons of water hot in a storage tank, so you waste less energy.”

Furthermore, How Stuff Works says that tankless water heaters typically come with a federal tax rebate of $300. Considering the fact that they can last up to 10 years longer than traditional tanks, they’re certainly an investment worth looking into.

Countertops

Finally, natural stone countertops are a sleek and eco-friendly alternative to traditional materials. In fact, of the 93% of homeowners who are updating countertops during a kitchen renovation, the majority are choosing natural stone materials. They don’t require as much energy to produce since they’re all-natural, and they’re incredibly durable and long-lasting. They don’t stain, can withstand hot temperatures, and are almost impossible to scratch.

Homeowners that value individuality as much as sustainability will also be pleased to hear that natural stone countertops are one-of-a-kind. Their natural qualities and unique markings make them a warm and welcoming addition to any home.

Ultimately, these are just three of the countless eco-friendly home improvement projects that increase the value of your home. Never be afraid to experiment with any number of sustainable solutions, and most of all, don’t ever think your efforts don’t make a difference. Each and every eco-friendly home improvement project is another step toward a sustainable future.

3 Smart Ideas For Creating An Eco-Friendly Halloween Costume

It’s no secret that many people who celebrate Halloween do so by getting together with friends and getting into the spirit of the spooky season. For many of those who celebrate, creating a unique costume that showcases your individuality is the biggest appeal of the holiday altogether. But instead of heading to the nearest chain store to spend money on an overpriced costume made of cheap and wasteful materials, consider taking some extra measures to ensure sustainability while maintaining creativity makes all the difference in your costume’s environmental impact. Here are just a few ways to keep Mother Nature in mind while preparing your Halloween costume.

Skip The Synthetics
One eco-friendly rule of thumb when shopping for Halloween costumes at big box stores is to look at the labels and do your best to avoid synthetic and toxic materials.

“Halloween costumes are supposed to be fun-scary, not scary-scary. Yet, store-bought costumes are often made up of nonrecyclable petro-chemical based plastic and synthetic fibers,” writes Laura Bailey on Wilderness.org. “Those Halloween costumes can include one of the scariest plastics — polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a soft plastic and known carcinogen that releases harmful toxins in its creation and breakdown.”

Instead, look for costumes with natural materials and fabrics if you’re shopping at a big box store. Better yet, you should consider looking into small businesses that may specialize in eco-friendly products. There are currently around 27.9 million small businesses in the United States, and many shoppers may be surprised at the number of eco-friendly products both small and large businesses are now incorporating into their inventory. Don’t hesitate to take up your inquiry with a store employee, as well.

Consider A DIY Project
If you consider yourself to be the crafty type, you can easily purchase some organic or otherwise eco-friendly materials and create your own costume. Sales of organic non-food products in the U.S. were up 8.8% in 2016, meaning there are more options than ever as far as styles, colors, and materials. If you have the resources, you can make a DIY version of any costume you find in a big box store, and you may even spend less doing it!

Incorporate Recyclable Elements
Finally, whether you buy your costume from a store or make it yourself, try to incorporate some reusable or recyclable materials. About 60% of the U.S. population, or about 148 million people, have access to a plastics recycling program. Similarly, if you have any young kids who may be participating in trick or treating festivities, be conscious about the bag or container they’re using to stash their sweet treats.

“Avoid the ubiquitous bright orange plastic jack-o-lanterns that have no chance at ever breaking down in a landfill. Instead use reusable shopping bags, canvas totes or the ole pillowcase trick. A funky thriftshop handbag can add a fun twist to a green Halloween costume as well,” writes Bailey.

Ultimately, it doesn’t take much to make a few small changes toward sustainability. By keeping an eye out for reusable and organic materials, you and your family can enjoy all the traditional festivities of Halloween while doing your part to preserve the Earth’s resources.

The World’s First Flower Most Likely Looked Like Today’s Water Lily, Researchers Find

How would you feel if someone told you that all of the flowers in the world come from one ancestor? While it may seem dramatic, it’s true, according to a new study published in the British journal Nature Communications.

A group of international scientists has discovered that the world’s first flower sprouted about 140 million years ago. It looked similar to the common-day water lily, with circles of petals and protruding pollen spikes in the center of the bud. While scientists say that it is similar to one of the most widely known lilies, the Madonna lily, which is also the oldest lily on record, dating back 3,000 years, the head scientist explains to USA Today that it is hard to really compare pre historic flowers to flowers of today.

Herve Sauquet, an evolutionary biologist at the Paris-Sud University explained:
“All flowering plants have evolved and changed since that ancestor, that’s how evolution works. So there is no single species or group of species that would have existed some long time ago and still exists today unchanged.”

For their study, the scientists used an evolutionary tree to connect all species of plants, 792 in particular, to this one flower. Interestingly enough, the scientists were able to find that what they originally thought concerning the flower’s sexual organs was false. This finding actually was able to help the scientists plot out a whole new vision for exactly how pre historic flowers evolved to the flowers of today.

However, Sauquet points out that while no fossil exists from 140 million years ago, the researchers were able to compare the oldest finding, from 130 million years ago, and link it to 10 million years prior simply because they could link the flower’s sexual organs to similar flowers they know to existed at that time.

So while this was a great finding, the researchers are still trying to figure out where and when the first flower formed in the world. But with this information, they’re hopeful that they’re close.

How To Transition To A Natural Beauty Routine In 5 Easy Steps

With mountains of information out there about unregulated beauty products and the potentially harmful ingredients we use every day, there are plenty of reasons to simplify your beauty routine. The tricky part is getting started. By taking small steps and forming an understanding of what you really need to feel refreshed and beautiful, you can create an effective routine that is as chemical-free as possible.

These five easy steps can guide you toward a more holistic approach to beauty. You will feel clean and radiant as a result.

Step 1: Tune in to your body’s natural chemistry.

Before you decide which products to include in your natural beauty tool kit, learn how your body naturally behaves. When you are lathering your skin and hair with artificial ingredients, it is easy to completely throw off this natural balance. Take a break from or cut down on these products for a week, and notice the natural texture of your skin and hair. This will inform what you are trying to calm with your products.

Step 2: Simplify your entire routine.

Once you have a better understanding of your body’s natural chemistry, decide which products you actually need. If you have been using multiple types of face moisturizers, you likely will be able to cut down to one. Do what you can to simplify your makeup routine and cut down on the products you put in your hair.

Step 3: Read labels.

When you do buy products from the store, take the time to read ingredients. Many natural beauty gurus choose to cut out parabens and phthalates, so avoiding these can be a place to start. The same goes for when you go to a beauty salon. A 2016 survey by YouGov found that 96% of women groom their bikini area in some way. So, if you choose to schedule regular waxing appointments, find a salon that uses more natural ingredients in their wax.

Step 4: Make your own care products when possible.

For every product that you buy from a store, you can likely make your own. For example, if you are one of the 32% of people who are concerned by the look of your teeth, take a moment to consider your whitening options. Rather than reaching for a synthetic whitening kit, you may want to make your own charcoal whitening product or try oil pulling.

Step 5: Embrace your natural beauty.

Remember that the most important part of starting a more natural beauty routine is learning to love your natural beauty. For some people, this may mean more makeup-free days. For others, it may mean switching to their natural hair texture. It is up to your to define your own natural beauty. Stick with whatever makes you feel most radiant.

When working on your natural beauty care routine, remember to be patient with yourself. Forming new habits takes time, and completely changing your beauty habits is no exception. When you are liberated of chemicals and other harmful ingredients, you will feel more healthy and beautiful overall. And that is simply priceless.

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