The Health Benefits of Basil

The interesting and amazing health benefits of basil on Simple MedicineBasil is one of my all time favorite herbs. It’s commonly used in Italian and Asian cooking; and very recently it’s been making an appearance in my smoothies. Strawberry + Basil is such a refreshing combination! 

I love cooking with fresh and dried herbs. They add lots of delicious flavor to food, eliminating the need for condiments (sugar) and additional salt. Condiments, while tasty, often contain a lot of extra sugar. They serve to improve the taste of a dish but I would say a well seasoned dish doesn’t require condiments. Experiment with spices and herbs you’ve never used before. You’ll be surprised by how much flavor you can add while cooking. 

Health Benefits of Basil: 

  • it acts as an antioxidant, with purple basil varieties having the highest antioxidant activity.
  • it has antimutagenic abilities, comparable to Vitamin E.
  • one variety of basil (tulsi or holy basil) has shown antiturmorigenic properties in lab studies with pancreatic cancer cells.
  • extracts of sweet basil have shown antiviral properties against HSV, ADV and Hep B.
  • the essential oil of sweet basil has been looked at as a possible food additive because of its antibacterial properties which prevents the growth of food borne pathogenic bacteria.

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Bulu Box Review

Bulu Box ReviewI was offered a free Bulu Box through my relationship with Sweat Pink. The opinions expressed here are my own! 

As you know, I’m completely obsessed with my BIRCHBOX subscription. When I got the opportunity to check out a monthly subscription box based on health and wellness, I couldn’t pass it up! 

Bulu Box is the first health and wellness discovery box. Each month subscribers get a new mix of 4 to 5 premium samples from top brands to try out. You can then purchase the brands and review on the Bulu Box website (similar to BIRCHBOX). This month I was offered:

  • Bugeater Foods Jump, chocolate cricket protein powder which is a more sustainable source of protein (per the manufacturer).
  • Island Boost energy fueling formula (think Gu) meant to help stave off muscle fatigue without the use of caffeine or stimulants.
  • Yerba Prima Daily Fiber Formula to help balance digestion and promote regular bowel movements. It contains a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber which supports healthy gut bacteria. 
  • Earth’s Care Anti-Itch Cream for use on poison ivy, sun burn and minor cuts and scrapes. Free of fragrances, artificial colors and petroleum. 
  • Mediterra Bar in sundried tomato and basil, a savory alternative to snack bars. 
  • More-T Toothbrush designed to provide a comfortable and effective cleaning experience. It promotes up and down brushing and can even be used on your tongue. 

Bulu Box Review

Overall, I was very pleased with the sample sizes and diversity. My favorite was definitely the toothbrush and the anti-itch cream.  [Read more…]

How Carbohydrates Can Help You Lose Weight

Are carbohydrates really that bad for you? Research says No! Learn more at Simple Medicine

Carbohydrates are treated like the outsider of macronutrients. Most people who aren’t well versed on the importance of carbohydrates assume that they will lose weight if they give them up. We’ve already talked about protein, so let’s look at another important part of the puzzle: carbohydrates.

Truthfully, you probably will lose weight if you give up carbs. The reason? Most Americans are eating diets full of simple carbohydrates that turn into sugar when metabolized; your body burns this sugar for energy. When you stop eating carbohydrates your body starts burning fat for energy. That leads to weight loss. This is the principle that low-carb diets are born from. Turn your body into a fat burner and you’re on the fast track to slimming down.

But is a long term, no carbohydrate lifestyle sustainable for all of us? I know that it’s not a sustainable lifestyle for me.

My coworker likes to quote me as saying “a meal isn’t nearly as satisfying without a good piece of bread.” It’s true. I 100% feel this way. There is something insanely satisfying about bread and carbohydrate side dishes and that’s one of the reasons you should eat your carbs – your body needs and wants them.

Are carbohydrates really that bad for you? Research says No! Learn more at Simple Medicine

Carbohydrates come in three forms:

  1. Sugar (or a simple carbohydrate): simple carbohydrates are most often found in processed foods but there are places where simple carbohydrates occur naturally, like milk and fruit.
  2. Starch (or a complex carbohydrate): corn, peas, parsnips, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, yams, breads, pasta and rice.
  3. Fiber (another complex carbohydrate): beans, lentils, peas, artichoke, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raspberries, blackberries, and oatmeal. 

Let me be clear, I’m not saying you need to eat more simple carbohydrates. Despite giving you a nice boost of energy, simple carbohydrates lack the fiber, minerals and nutrients that make complex carbs ideal.

  1. You Feel Good When You Eat Carbs

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Zucchini and Mushroom Meatless Meatballs

Zucchini and Mushroom Meatballs || A meat free way to enjoy an Italian favorite!

“Zucchini and Mushroom Meatless Meatballs” is a mouth full. A delicious mouth full.

A couple of weeks ago I tried my hand at eggplant meatballs. They weren’t awful but they weren’t exactly what I wanted. I started doing a little research and found a recipe from Williams-Sonoma that looked promising. Skinnytaste has a version of zucchini meatballs that Parita shared a few weeks ago and it also looks good. 

I read through the Willams-Sonoma recipe but didn’t follow it when I decided to make meatless meatballs. I’m terrible at following recipes. Anyone else have that problem? I like to skim the recipe and “interpret” it and not follow it. It’s more fun that way.

Zucchini and Mushroom Meatballs || A meat free way to enjoy an Italian favorite!

Summer is definitely the season of zucchini and if you have any extra laying around, put it to use! Whip up some zoodles and top them with these zucchini and mushroom meatless meatballs. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, use eggplant or cauliflower.  [Read more…]

Herbal Facial Steam

Herbal Facial Steam || Easy DIY instructions to get glowing dewy skinConfession: I’ve never, ever gotten a professional facial. It’s high on my list of things I’d like to experience but just haven’t yet. I hear they are amazing. My coworker gets one monthly at the gym we work out at and she loves it. She also has amazing skin, so there is probably something to it.

If you’re also in the “I’ve never gotten a facial” group then this post is for you. The purpose of a facial is open up your pores and cleanse your skin; at home herbal facial steams also do the same. Open pores mean easy removal of dirt and grime plus lots of moisture. After a steam, your skin will feel dewy and fresh. Steams are my favorite way to prep the skin for cleansing and exfoliation; they can be done on a daily or weekly basis. Herbs incorporated into the hot water add multiple benefits for various skin types and can be customized easily based your needs. 

Herbal Face Steam
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
For a basic facial steam you'll need
  1. a kettle to heat water
  2. a medium sized bowl, heat tolerant
  3. a mixture of fresh or dried herbs
  4. a large towel to create a tent over your head
Instructions
  1. Bring 2-4 cups of water to boil
  2. Add herb mixture to pot and allow herbs to rehydrate if dried
  3. Cover pot and remove from heat, let stand 2 minutes
  4. After 2 minutes uncover and move to table, stir the herbs once or twice
  5. Place your face over the steaming pot and cover your head with your towel (create a tent)
  6. Stay under the tent as long as is comfortable
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