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.
The holiday season is the perfect time for reflection, getting inspired for the new year and recharging your batteries by catching up on some reading. Here’s a collection of articles to help you stay healthy over Christmas, reduce holiday stress and celebrate in style no matter your physical condition.
“There are certain emotions in your body that not even your best friend can sympathize with,
but you will find the right film or the right book, and it will understand you.”
— Björk, Icelandic singer – songwriter.
Stories are immensely powerful.
They move us, inspire us and expose us to exciting new ideas. They let us explore the world from the comfort of our armchairs and take us on a journey inwards to uncover our deepest feelings. Our brains are literally wired for stories. Through them, we learn from other people’s experiences, remember new information better and play out potential future scenarios in our mind without doing any lasting damage. But most importantly, great stories remind us that despite our unique differences, we all face similar struggles and emotions.
When you’re sick, when you’ve lost someone you loved, when your life has fallen apart and you’re feeling lonely, lost and misunderstood, reading the right book at the right time can change your course.
That’s where bibliotherapy comes in. Ever since the ancient Greeks, people have been self-medicating with books, as a band-aid for a broken heart or an antidote to many ailments.
And for good reasons. Studies show that reading puts our brains into a meditation-like state, making it one of the most effective ways to overcome stress. Besides the obvious cognitive benefits – improved memory, vocabulary and creativity – reading is also a rewarding emotional experience. By identifying with a story’s character, we can see our own situation from a different point of view, gain helpful insights or discover new ways to deal with our problems.
Of course you can pick up any novel when you’re in need of a healing dose of literature. But if you really want to read fiction for therapeutic effects, it helps to choose a story that’s directly related to your own troubles or one that will most likely put your in the mood you’d like to be in.
To help you get started, I’ve listed over 23 classical reads that will lift your spirits, inspire you and help you find meaning in tough times.
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