Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Collagen Powder Benefits

Collagen Powder Benefits

Considering that until a few months ago, I was following a vegan diet, you can imagine the struggle I went through when I started learning about collagen powder. Collagen powder is made from animal by-prodcucts including the skin and bones. It’s tough for me to think about, I’ll be honest. When stopping to think about it, however, if I am already consuming animal products, there really isn’t much difference.

When cooking with fruits or vegetables, I do my best to use absolutely every part of the food itself. Sometimes that means composting the peels of bananas or shells of eggs. Waste not, want not. Unfortunately, cooking has changed so much and with products like boneless wings and chicken breasts, a lot of humans aren’t getting the collagen from their meats that they normally would.

Collagen in our bodies.

collagen powder collagen benefits of collage powder collagen loss healthy skin healthy collagen production Collagen production in the human body begins to decrease after the age of 30 (I know, big shocker…the age of impending doom.) Along with collagen our bodies start slowing in the production of other proteins like elastin. The slowed down production of these two proteins means a lot for our bodies as we age. Loss of collagen structure in our bones is most commonly known as Osteoporosis. 

Not only does our skin change, but our joints weaken and muscle loss starts to happen more often. Not only this, but collagen production helps support the tissues that connect our organs. Sounds like a blast, right? The good news is is that there are so many things we can do to boost our collagen production.

What does collagen powder do?

*This post contains affiliate links. For more information see my disclosures.

The thing I like the most about collagen powder is that it is not an injection, it’s non-invasive and it has nothing to do with medication use. 

Like I said, collagen powder is made from parts of the animal besides the meat. This powder is composed of long chain proteins that our system breaks down into amino acids. Once they are broken down, those amino acids start to build our collagen back up.

Now I’m going to get totally honest with you. Collagen production can be boosted by introducing powders and collagen products into your diet, but it will never fully restore it to what it once was. It seems fair really, we can’t completely cheat aging. I don’t know about you, but I’m cool with slowing it down a bit. You can get collagen powders and supplements in certain stores, or you can always order online from Amazon or Thrive Market. Click Here to get 25% off and FREE shipping on your first Thrive Market purchase.

Retrain Your Brain: Your Brain on Gratitude

Retrain Your Brain: Your Brain on Gratitude

Gratitude became a huge part of my life a few years ago after reading many Wayne Dyer BooksI had also read another book all about the dramatic changes that a man experienced after taking the time to write thank you cards. We’re talking, he was a broken man, barely keeping his head above water. The book is called “A Simple Act of Gratitude”, you can click on the photo for more information.

*The post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make any purchases, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Everything I recommend I do so because I personally love it and I know you would too.

Like these authors, I too was able to see the incredible impact that gratitude had on my life. Psychology now is really starting to dig deeper into this and it is astounding to hear about what exactly gratitude can do to help improve our brains and our overall way of life.

A study was done by Indiana University where 43 people suffering with anxiety and depression were used. Half of these people were instructed to write thank you letters of gratitude to people in their lives who had helped them or done something for them. After checking back in 2 weeks later brain scans still showed a heightened activity of gratitude. Even more surprising, that activity was still present 3 months later.

How does that work?

gratitude retrain your brain benefits of gratitude thankful thank you notes reduce stress reduce anxiety reduce depressionWhy is this? Well, gratitude in our brains responds in a similar way to sex and chocolate. Expressing gratitude releases the same chemicals in our brains that make us happy. The one big difference I see with gratitude when compared to sex and chocolate is that there is no way gratitude can cause us damage. Most of us know that too much chocolate can leave us 10 pounds heavier (cough, Halloween candy, cough) which may increase depression and leave us feeling down in the dumps. Sex is no different. Yes, sex in a committed relationship is rewarding and amazing and something to give gratitude for. However, so many people use sex as a temporary band aid that will eventually leave them still feeling wounded and broken. Gratitude is lasting and will never leave you regretting your choice.

Practicing gratitude can also lead to a decrease in depression and anxiety. In fact, you become more resistant to stress in general. You can also fall asleep quicker and have more solid sleep as well. All these things, as we know work hand in hand and can greatly improve the quality of our lives. Depression, stress and lack of sleep are all things that can lead to increased cortisol levels in our bodies (stress hormone.) This additional cortisol can lead to breakouts in our skin as well. Which means, gratitude even has the ability to help keep your skin clean!

Crock Pot Chicken Carnitas Nachos

Anxiety Relievers: Inexpensive Tools to Help You Breathe Easy

Anxiety Relievers: Inexpensive Tools to Help You Breathe Easy

I have been so out of sorts lately and have been trying to get back to my happy place. We all go through times like these. Those times when we’re so quick to burn out, no matter how small the circumstances. These moments are really our body’s way of talking to us; telling us to slow down and take care of ourselves. There is so much go go go happening today that the anxiety of all our obligations can get really overwhelming. Well, I have been feeling this on every level and decided to start making better use of all my tools for anxiety relief. I have compiled a list of all my favorites that are still within a reasonable spending range.

Sage

*The post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make any purchases, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Everything I recommend I do so because I personally love it and I know you would too.

Sage burning originated with the Native Americans. However, it has been spread throughout many cultures. I loved the idea of the Native Americans using sage because of my Native American roots.

Originally sage was believed to be a cleansing incense that also promoted wisdom, clarity and spiritual awareness. Some people of course, don’t buy into this ancient ritual, but I personally eat it up. I have burned sage and gone through my house after a particularly tough time or a family fight just to help clear the air. Energy will remain stuck in the air after a particularly negative time and this lingering tension can increase stress and anxiety. While the smell of sage is often something that needs to be acquired, it really does have a calming quality about it.

It’s a great tool to use in the mornings before starting your day, or before jumping into an at home yoga workout. Check out my post here to see some of my favorite YouTube yoga videos. Especially if you’re looking for a calming, easy moving yoga to relax your mind, I highly suggest starting sage first. It just instantly brings al little peace to the atmosphere. 

There is a great basic White Sage Smudge Starter Pack that contains 3 bundles of sage and is super cheap. This is great if you are just wanting to give it a try without a big commitment. You’ll also probably want somewhere for the ashes to fall. If you don’t have a safe place to burn your sage, there are a ton of super cute different Smudging Kits that are reasonably priced and come with a cute dish to burn your sage in. 

Essential Oils

(Click on any of the oils below for more details)

To start my mornings or my yoga, along with the sage, I also turn to my trusty essential oil diffuser. My personal favorite for calm and meditation is Frankincense, but most of the time I opt for Young Living Essential Oils’s Joy. There is just something so peaceful and uplifting about the smell of joy. (wink wink) Picture it: calm and clear the room first with your sage and then bring joy and peace into the space. That’s kind of the way I like to think of it. If you struggle with anxiety, maybe you just need a little joy!

Other basic oils can be used for such a big variety of things. Fun fact: studies have shown that adding peppermint essential oils under your nose during a workout actually helps keep endurance and stamina up! Athletes who breathed peppermint during their workouts even recovered more quickly than those who didn’t. Peppermint might be a good idea if you are also struggling with depression. Not only will it give you a little mental and physical boost but assistance with exercise will encourage boosted serotonin levels.

If you want to start with the simple go-to oils, there is actually a great value pack that includes peppermint, lavender, tea tree oil and patchouli. There are also great essential oil roll ons that I use during the day in place of perfume. A dab behind my ears and wrists and I’m calmed for the day, or totally motivated (depending on what I need more.) There is a great kit that has oil blends specifically for things like sleep, de-stressing and energy! It’s crazy how well these things can actually work the way they promise to! If you are used to a perfume smell, then it may take a while to get used to the smell of oils. A basic starter kit like this is a great idea if you are new to oils. 

Jesus Calling

(Click on any of the books below for more information)

I love great thought provoking self help books. They can be so uplifting and motivating, but life is also super busy and I don’t always have time. During days when I’m just feeling blue, and don’t even know what to ask for or where to turn, I seem to be drawn to this daily devotional book. It’s very small and I keep it right on my nightstand and during tough times it just seems to call to me.

Whether or not you are a follower of the Bible, this can be a handy go-to anxiety calmer. Each page is marked with a specific date so you can turn this into a daily ritual. The words you read each day could easily be done before a meditation time, before waking up or before sleeping at night. Those crucial times when motivating words are what you need to succeed or relax. At the end of each small reading there also will be a scripture recommendation for you to read from the Bible if you choose to .

Another great thing that would be handy at bedtime is the children’s devotional they have now created. Talking to kids about prayer or Jesus can be uncomfortable if you just can’t find the words. Trying to help your child struggling with anxiety can be an added stressor as well. This book is a great guide to get your started and create a dialogue between you and your kiddo(s).

Salt Lamp

Now I am not gonna lie to you, I get all sorts of mixed up about just how exactly the Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp works. When it is turned on, the negative salt ions that are released (you’d think it would be the positive ions, right?) Releasing these into the air is supposed to have a calming effect on you, similar to sage. So much so that it can boost serotonin levels and increase blood flow. Boosted serotonin levels can help ease and anxiety or depression and additional blood flow may help your brain to function more clearly.

Keeping a salt lamp in a child’s room would be a great idea if your kids struggle with seasonal allergies, asthma or anxiety. While it should not be used as a substitute for medication, the properties of the salt lamp can have a soothing effect on their symptoms and yours.

Amazon has a ton of different salt lamps, some of which you can order in different sizes and even some really cool shapes. Our family even has the Pink Himalayan Salt Candle SetThe candle holders themselves are really pretty and fit in easily with decor in any room of the house. 

Angel Cards

Similar to Jesus Calling, my angel cards are a tool I turn to when I just can’t straiten things out in my head. Sometimes there are two potential roads to take and I can’t clear my thoughts enough decide which one is right.

These may seem a little hokey to some people but I really believe our energy attracts what we’re thinking about and can bring us the answers we need. It’s crazy how many times I have shuffled my angel cards multiple times and every time pull out the same card. The messages I receive always seem to pertain to something that is currently happening in my life. Funny thing, more often than not I get the card telling me to start making more time for self care.

Again, just a few positive, uplifting words can really help guide your mind if it’s all over the place. Click on the photo for the link to my personal set of cards that I have at home. Although, there are a ton of different ones to choose from.

Mala beads

Mala beads are another ancient tradition traced back to Hinduism. I don’t practice Hinduism yet I still get a ton of use out of these beads. I have an entire post on them and how great they can be for meditation, prayer and anxiety relief. You can read all about them herePlus there is a discount for a really great Easy shop that makes fashionable mala beads. 

Final Thoughts

It’s amazing how capable we are of changing our thoughts. Sometimes it just requires a little extra effort on our part. Loaded with a few of these anxiety relieving essentials you will be set. Just like anything, take it a step at a time. Choose a few tools that you can see yourself using and think will benefit you the most. I’ve shared a few more below that you guys might love!

*The post contains affiliate links. If you choose to make any purchases, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Everything I recommend I do so because I personally love it and I know you would too.

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