A Spoonful of Health

A Blog About Wellness


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Blogilates Beginner’s Calendar

Finished up Lumosity this week!
Day 20 1286
Day 21 1306
It was pretty fun! I would definitely continue is someone else paid my membership fees! It was very cool to see myself getting better at the games. As well as the game I thought I was doing worst at, Lumosity said was my best game! It said my brain functioned like brains of Artists.

Happy Canada Day!

I am just finishing up the Blogilates Beginner’s Calendar 2.0! I can’t believe I have managed to do this! I started out pretty terrible, but I never gave up. I took a couple extra days off mostly because of scheduling issues with work, but I did it! Now it’s July and I am starting the July Calendar! You have to sign up to her newsletters to get the secret password, but it’s super easy!
July 1-7 I am finally doing a sugar detox! 100% sugar free.. sounds horrible! But with the support of my husband who is going to do it with me (might be harder for him because it means no BEER!) we are gonna rock this week. I will post my menu next week! I unfortunately cannot post all recipes due to the fact they are not mine, but I will show you where to get access to them! What is nice about a sugar detox is that there is no limit on how much food we eat, just what we eat. It means we are going to be eating a lot of meat this week. I chose 7 days instead of 21 to get into the swing of things and not put too much pressure on myself that I fail. If it goes well we might extend the sugar cleanse.
July 8-14 We are doing our GreenThickie 7 day detox, which means a TON of fruits and veggies and very limited everything else. This will be a harder week as we have a specific diet to follow, meaning no extras!
Finally July 15 to September 8, I will be doing an 8 week Vegan Hot Body diet from Blogilates! I do not know if my husband is doing this with me yet! He will probably eat what I make, but add meat. In September I will see where I am at regarding my goals of weight loss and getting fit, and determine my next move. Can I just maintain, or will I still have more to lose?

On days when my shake hasn’t been cutting it, especially since I have been exercising I have been LOVING the Berrylicious Microwave Minute Muffin in a Mug from Blogilates! So simple, yummy and crazy fast for when you just need to run out the door!


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Lumosity, or healthy brains!

Besides a healthy body we need a healthy mind.
I’ve decided to try Lumosity for a month and see if I have any improvement! It’s going to cost me $12, but if it works, it’s only $4.00 a month or less if you sign up for the year!
lumowork

Here are my starting numbers
goals
My overall LPI is 457 to start. The LPI is calculated from all my 5 brain areas! I am going to do this 5 times a week for a month and then let you know where I am at!

“LPI (Lumosity Performance Index) gives you one simple number for tracking your performance on Lumosity.
Overall LPI is an average of your Game LPIs, which are calculated from your game score histories. Your Brain Area LPIs for Memory, Attention, Speed, Flexibility, and Problem Solving are calculated from games in each of those areas.
LPI also helps you compare your strengths and weaknesses across games that challenge different cognitive abilities. You can improve your LPIs in your weaker areas by playing and improving at games in each of those areas.”

I’ve done Lumosity 5 times this week, and already improved to 1021 LPI. What’s cool is in some of the games I am actually seeing an improvement which is awesome! Some games it’s hard to tell, I mean it shows my score being better but I don’t necessarily feel smarter.

Day 1 457
Day 2 667
Day 3 897
Day 4 970
Day 5 1021

Since we are talking about Brains, how about a recipe to boost our brain function?
Blueberries!!
“”Brainberries” is what Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, calls these tasty fruits. Pratt, who is also on staff at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, Calif., says that in animal studies researchers have found that blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Studies have also shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats.” (Side note, I in NO WAY condone animal testing, SO against it!)

Little Miss Muffin Tops
from one of my favourite cook books, Eat, Shrink and Be Merry!
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Ingredients:
1 cup quick cooking rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (original recipe called for 1 cup of the previous, but trying to ger my whole grains in!)
1/2 cup oat bran
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup coconut (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
3 tbsp melted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup fresh blueberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray or line a muffin pan.
Combine first 9 ingredients.
In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients except blueberries.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, mix, then fold in blueberries.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.


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Tea, Delicious, Delicious Tea

I love tea so much! Hot or Cold, it’s an amazing way to get my water without having to actually drink boring water.
Since ancient times tea has been revered for it’s health benefits.
Many types of teas(oolong, black, white, green) come from the same plant Camellia sinensis, it all depends on how the leaves are processed that makes them.
Many loose leaf teas have a specific type of tea leaf in them, and then many different flowers, fruits, herbs are added to enhance it and give it a different taste, otherwise they would all taste the same.

tea

Oolong, Black, White, Yellow, Pu-erh and Green
All these teas have been shown to lower bad cholesterol and are great fat burners. They all contain large amounts of antioxidants, thus giving them anticancer powers. White tea has to most anti-cancerous power as it is the least processed. They help lower heart disease because they contain catechins. Catechins are a type of antioxidant. These teas contain caffeine.

Rooibos
Rooibos tea, or red tea, is made from a South African red bush.
Health benefits of red rooibos tea include its use as a cure for nagging headaches, insomnia, asthma, eczema, bone weakness, hypertension, allergies, stomach cramps and premature aging. It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-mutagenic. Of course it also has antioxidants, making it anti-cancerous. It is caffeine free!

Herbal
Herbal tea does not contain any leaves from the Camellia plant family, so it is sometimes referred to as a tisane. Herbals teas are not technically tea because they do not contain tea leaves. You must be careful with herbal teas as they can contain any numerous types of plants, so it is not recommended for pregnant women, as they may contain herbs they could cause miscarriage.

Mate
Mate tea is considered the coffee lover’s favorite tea. Made from the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant. Yerba Mate is rich in antioxidants, enhances your ability to focus and your physical endurance. It aids in digestions, helps control your weight because it is a stimulant you feel fuller sooner and your stomach stays fuller longer, and supports heart health!

Blooming
These are artisanal plants that come in the form of a ball and when hot water is poured over then they bloom. The health benefits of blooming teas are dependent on the flower used. They can eliminate toxins, help the liver, help the lungs, relieve chills, soften the skin, and the list goes on. Click this link for more information.

Tea Blends
Tea blends are a mix of different types of teas.

Kombucha
Kombucha tea is a fermented drink made with tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. Kombucha is not a mushroom — it’s a colony of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha tea is made by adding the colony to sugar and tea, and allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting liquid contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other chemical compounds. It tastes like a tea flavoured soda. Kombucha is a detoxifier, helps with joint issues such as arthritis, aids in digestions and is considered immune boosting.

I can’t give you a tea recipe that I’ve made but I can tell you of a local shop that I have come to love here in Boise! It is called Snake River Tea. They have an incredible assortment of loose leaf teas. They also sell kombucha! You can get it hot or cold by the glass, or you can by dry tea to take home. My favourite tea so far is their Kalahari Rooibos, great hot and cold. There are several tea places in town, but so far this is my favourite! I will post some reviews in the future.

Want some travel teas to take to work without having to carry an entire container, or maybe you just want two different flavours throughout the day?
Cut some small squares of cheesecloth, about 3″x3″. Scoop the amount of tea leaf you need for one cup of tea. Tie together with a small string. Then take a small piece of paper and write the type of tea and brewing directions and tape or glue or staple it to the other end of the string. Want to know if your tea water is the right temperature before dropping your newly crafted bag in? Try an infrared thermometer!

What is tea without…SCONES! Under 200 calories each. Still don’t eat more than one!
Skinny Pumpkin Starbucks Scone by The Skinny Fork ONLY 154 calories!
White Chocolate Cranberry Scones by Apple of my Eye ONLY 197 calories!
Lemon Blueberry Scones by Christina’s Adventures ONLY 135 calories!
Cranberry Orange Drop Scones by All Day I Dream About Food ONLY 108 calories!