There’s nothing like cozying up with a cup of tea or hot chocolate when it’s cold outside. Take your warming drinks to the next level by adding ingredients that offer serious health benefits, like immune-boosting spices, (dried) fruit and superfoods such as matcha, maca and medicinal mushroom powders.
Check out these 8 hot beverages with healing powers to warm you up this winter.
What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.
Rhiann Johns is a chronic illness blogger from South Wales. On My Brain Lesion and Me, she writes how she copes with her neurological condition.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Rhiann and I am nearly 30 from a small town called Pontypridd in South Wales. I was diagnosed with a neurological condition, known as a long-standing brain stem lesion which causes dizziness, vertigo and a symptom known as spastic paraparesis which causes severe stiffness and weakness in the legs. I have a 2:1 degree in Psychology and currently live with my parents and dog called Honey. I write on my personal blog called ‘My Brain Lesion and Me’.
When did you first get sick?
This is a really interesting question and one which we cannot answer! Funnily enough, when I was first born the doctors thought that there was something wrong with me, and I had a brain scan at 2 days old. Looking back there were little signs throughout my childhood that there wasn’t something quite right, but they were easy to brush off as part of growing up. Throughout my late childhood and teenage years, the dizziness was a big part of my life, which only deteriorated as I became older, along with all my other symptoms and especially the problems with my mobility.
In the winter months, nasty bacteria and viruses seem to be lurking around every corner. But as it turns out, catching a cold has little to do with the temperature outside, but more with our bodies’ decreased ability to ward off bugs. Research suggests we get sick more often during winter because our immune systems are weakened this time of year.
Luckily, science has also identified ways to boost your immunity through your lifestyle. Now, living healthily is no guarantee to completely prevent illness, but it does give you a better chance to fight off the cold and flu or shorten the duration of your symptoms if you do get ill.
So beat the bugs this year and have a look at these 12 natural tips to survive flu season.
Smoothie bowls may be all the rage, but when it’s still pitch black and chilly outside long after I’ve gotten out of bed, my body craves a more warming breakfast. Luckily, porridge has had a hip and healthy makeover too – and it’s so easy to make!
You just combine your choice of (gluten-free) whole grains and (plant-based) milk and let it simmer on the stove for roughly 10-15 minutes, while stirring frequently. Then it’s time for the fun part: picking your toppings! You can jazz up your basic porridge with all kinds of health-boosting, nutrient-rich toppings: fresh fruit, seeds, nut butters, cacao nibs, avocado and even vegetables. No need to be shy; the taste is in the toppings.
As a rule of thumb for a ‘complete’ breakfast, you could add one good source of vitamin C to your porridge (think: berries, carrots, turmeric) and one topping with healthy fats, like walnuts and shredded coconut. But that’s just a nutritional suggestion; play around with different flavours and ingredients until you find your winning formula.
As you can tell, porridge makes a versatile and nourishing breakfast. Packed with fibers, a bowl of hot ‘n creamy goodness provides a slow release of energy that will keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
So which one of these 10 delicious porridges will you be trying tomorrow morning?
The beginning of another year always feels like the perfect opportunity to set big goals, pick a ‘theme‘ for the upcoming twelve months or create healthy new routines. But dreaming away and making plans is the fun part – actually realizing your goals is a lot more challenging.
Making New Year’s resolutions has gotten a bad reputation, because so many of us fail to quit smoking, lose weight or hit the gym on a regular basis once the initial motivation and excitement wears off. It’s not surprising that we often don’t succeed in our efforts, since we tend to get carried away with ambitious goals we want to achieve in no time. Real change doesn’t happen overnight; it takes clear intentions, realistic expectations and setting yourself up for success – plus a good dose of perseverance and luck.
Now, I’d hate for you to set your New Year’s resolutions because you feel you need to improve yourself in order to be ‘good enough’. No matter your size and shape, health, abilities and all your quirks, you are perfectly fine just the way you are now.
But I also know what it’s like to wish you were fit, strong and able enough to make that once in a lifetime trip with your lover or dance on your best friend’s wedding. To hope your brain fog would clear so you can study and take driving lessons. If you want less pain and more energy, less worries and more happy moments, less dependence and more mobility, setting goals the right way can surely help improve the quality of your life.
That’s why I rounded up my best articles from the archives, packed with science-backed tips on how to build healthy habits and tried-and-tested ideas for eating healthier, moving more and stressing less.
And hopefully this will be the year in which you’ll transform your health for good, one baby step at a time.
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