Sweet Seduction: 14 Healthy Chocolate Recipes | The Health Sessions

Sweet Seduction: 14 Healthy Chocolate Recipes

Chocolate is the ultimate guilty pleasure. From the Aztec times, the cocoa bean has had a feel-good, romance-inducing reputation. Besides being known for its aphrodisiac qualities, chocolate’s considered an indulgent but not-so-healthy treat. And while that certainly can be true for regular chocolate bars, science shows some chocolate is actually good for you.

In it’s purest form, raw cacao contains health-boosting antioxidants called flavonoids. These plant nutrients support a healthy heart, keep your blood sugar in check and fight inflammation in your body. Unprocessed cocoa powder is also rich in minerals like iron and magnesium, which help boost your energy.

But not all chocolate’s created equal: only dark chocolate with a 70% cocoa content or higher, and little milk and sugar added, counts as the real deal. And remember that chocolate is a stimulant, so it may not be helpful for those sensitive to caffeine.

If you want to really treat yourself and harness the power of raw cacao, look no further and try the healthy chocolate recipes below! 

Read more >Sweet Seduction: 14 Healthy Chocolate Recipes



Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training | The Health Sessions

Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training

Ronald Aartsen is a practitioner of Japanese acupuncture and other acupuncture styles with classic roots in Rotterdam & Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He also gives workshops teaching Breathing and Cold Exposure after finishing an instructors year in 2014 with Wim Hof, better known as The Ice Man.

 

1. What is Breathing & Cold Exposure training, based on the Wim Hof Method?

It’s a method that consists of 3 components: breathing techniques, cold exposure and mindset/focus.

 

2. Why would anyone voluntarily take an ice bath? What are the benefits of cold exposure?

Excellent question. If you would have told me before 2014 that I (being a big fan of tropical sun and climates) would be sitting in an ice bath, take outdoor swims in the winter or be hiking through snowy landscapes in shorts, I probably would have thought you lost your mind.

But as an acupuncturist and a meditation & qigong enthusiast I am very interested in our self healing abilities and our inner power. So I read about Wim Hof and the research that was going on and decided to step out of my comfort zone and registered for a workshop.

I loved the effect of the breathing techniques and the power I felt in and after the ice bath! Me as an Indo chilling in a tub filled with ice cubes. And I loved the simplicity of it all. You don’t have to train for years and years to be able to do this.

Let me be clear, the components are not new. The East has a long tradition of similar disciplines and people know the benefits for their health. Same goes for Russia and Northern Europe for example. Wim Hof just made it available to larger group and involved science to research the combination of these techniques.

After the one day workshop I immediately registered for the instructors year including a week of training in Poland and walking up a ski slope in shorts to name one element.

I will just name a few results here without getting into the scientific details. Research has shown that cold exposure can lead to a better functioning immune system (and how to voluntarily control it), increase in metabolism and an increase in brown fat. Combined with the breathing and focus techniques it can help to reduce pain, lead to better cirulation and boost your cardiovasclular system and energy. You can find a great overview on the research here.

The Cool Challenge was a project to measure the effects of cold showering. The report can be found here.

Read more >Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training



9 Meal-Worthy Soups for a Nourishing Dinner

9 Meal-Worthy Soups for a Nourishing Dinner

I have to admit, I’m not much of a soup girl. I just prefer crispy and crunchy textures. But on cold winter days, a warm, filling bowl of minestrone or split pea soup looks so cozy and comfy!

Soup can be so much more than the traditional broth served as a starter before the ‘real’ dinner. These 9 meal-worthy soups from our favourite food bloggers don’t just satisfy your appetite, but also tick all nutritional boxes. They’re chock-full of veggies, health-boosting herbs and spices, (plant-based) protein and crunchy toppings, like toasted nuts and chickpeas.

Which one do you like best?

Read more >9 Meal-Worthy Soups for a Nourishing Dinner



7 Best Tips To Use Massage Therapy As A Source Of Injury Prevention | The Health Sessions

7 Best Tips to Use Massage Therapy as a Source of Injury Prevention

This is a guest post by Stacey Connor from Foot Massager Advisor

Massage therapy has long been seen as an effective means to assist people who were suffering from some kind of injury, no matter what kind of injury they have. Even those who have had broken bones find that massage therapy can be beneficial in assisting them so that they can have stronger more durable muscles that are able to assist in the strengthening of the bone.

It is clear that massage therapy can have tremendous benefits for those who have already suffered an injury. But you may be unaware of the fact that it can be as equally helpful in preventing injuries from occurring at all. In fact, even if you are a fitness geek, you may find that by visiting a massage therapist on a regular basis you may prevent injuries from ever having a chance to occur.

Here are seven tips you should know about using massage therapy as a source of injury prevention.

Read more >7 Best Tips to Use Massage Therapy as a Source of Injury Prevention



24 Ways to Eat Vegetables with Every Meal | The Health Sessions

24 Exciting Ways to Eat Vegetables with Every Meal

It’s one of the easiest ways to improve your diet: eat vegetables with every meal. This healthy habit has multiple benefits. Not only do you nourish your body with much-needed vitamins, minerals and fibers, but focusing on greens automatically stimulates you to make healthier food choices overall.

Years ago I wrote a blog post with 40 easy ideas to eat more vegetables every day. But now we’re taking it to the next-level. Most of us have got dinner’s covered, from a traditional meat-potato-and-veg to plant-based exotic cuisines or healthy takes on your favorite fast food. But what about the other meals of the day? Have a look at these 24 ways to have vegetables for breakfast, lunch and snack-time and enjoy it too!

Read more >24 Exciting Ways to Eat Vegetables with Every Meal