Epsom Salt #bebetter52

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Do you have trouble with sleeping, stress, or high blood pressure? This week's Be Better challenge could help you with all three and more!

This week's #bebetter52 challenge is to incorporate magnesium into your life by using epsom salt. You can also focus on eating foods rich in magnesium. 

Magnesium helps to calm nerves, prevent migraines, avoid osteoporosis, relieve muscle aches and spasms, aid digestion by relieving constipation, improve mood, alleviate PMS, increase energy, and also treat insomnia. Stress, caffeine, alcohol, and sugar deplete magnesium which means many of us might have a magnesium deficiency and not even know it. 

Luckily, there are many ways to incorporate magnesium into your life this week. Adding 2-3 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soaking for around 20 minutes is an easy way to complete this week's challenge. If you're feeling under the weather, a detox bath might be helpful with 2 cups of epsom salt and 1 cup of baking soda in a warm bath. If you're struggling with restless legs or not sleeping well, a topical magnesium oil or lotion might be a good option for you. You can make these yourself by dissolving 1/2 cup of epsom salt into 3/4 cup hot water. Magnesium oil can be added to a thick lotion and used on your feet and calves before bed. There are also magnesium oils and lotions on the market you can purchase. (Be careful not to get the oil on cuts or freshly shaved legs as it might sting a little.)

Another way to complete this week's challenge is to eat foods rich in magnesium. Banana, squash, broccoli, spinach, dark chocolate, kale, pineapple, strawberries, figs, red meat, corn, potatoes, nuts, yogurt or kefir, and seeds are all options rich in magnesium. Post a picture of your completed challenge on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #bebetterchallenge to earn more money for our charity.

Recipes

Bath: Add at least one cup of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes. For aches and pains, add at least two cups. (If you have time, soak for 30 to 45 minutes). You'll be amazed at how relaxing it is as all your aches and pains are soothed. Have a good book on hand to read while you soak! Combine with lavender essential oil or flowers for extra relaxation.

Foot soak: For a concentrated magnesium boost, add one cup of Epsom salt to hot water, and soak for 20 minutes.

Oil: Make a homemade magnesium oil when you don't have time for a soak. Combine a half cup of Epsom salts with a half cup of boiled, distilled water and stir until dissolved. Put into a spray bottle and spray onto arms, legs, and stomach daily (10 to 30 sprays). It may tingle the first few times, which is normal. If it doesn't go away or is uncomfortable, dilute with more water. This can be left on the skin or washed off in the shower after 20 to 30 minutes. Moisturize about five minutes after application if leaving on.

Other uses:

Splinter removal: Soak in concentrated Epsom salt water before pulling out a splinter.

Magnesium foot or face scrub: Mix with coconut or olive oil for smooth skin.

In the garden: Add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the soil below a tomato plant to boost growth.

Tile or grout cleaner: Mix equal parts dish soap and Epsom salts. Rinse well for streak-free shine.

This week’s product in the My Be Better Box. Oatmeal & Honey Epsom Salt Soak from Mayberry Modern Co.

This week’s product in the My Be Better Box. Oatmeal & Honey Epsom Salt Soak from Mayberry Modern Co.

Homemade sea salt spray will add texture and volume to hair.

Voluminizing hair mask: Combine equal parts conditioner and Epsom salt and leave on hair for 20 minutes. Rinse well and let air dry for thicker hair.

Slug deterrent: Sprinkle around plants an

Laxative for occasional constipation: Take one teaspoon of Epsom salt dissolved in water (check with doctor first).

Sunburn relief: Dissolve one tablespoon of Epsom salt into warm water, let it cool, and then spray on burn for relief.

Rose growth: Boost growth by adding a tablespoon each week around the soil of your rose bushes. 

This week’s product in the My Be Better Box



Only Touch Once #bebetter52

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by simple tasks that pile up so high, you become discouraged?  Do you sometimes ask yourself, “Where do I even begin?” This week we have a solution for the chaos we tend to create for ourselves. 

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to practice one-touch productivity. One-touch productivity is the act of completing your daily chores without stopping to multi-task. If you have a dirty plate, instead of putting it in the sink and coming back later to wash it, complete the task in “one-touch” by washing it immediately. Don’t remove the laundry from the dryer and put it on your bed. Take it, fold it and put it away right then.  When you get in the bad habit of multi-tasking, tasks are often left half completed, and you begin to feel overwhelmed by things building up. This week complete tasks from start to finish by focusing on one thing at a time, particularly the small stuff.

Whether one-touch productivity is something you practice at home or in the office, this method allows you to accomplish much with more time left to focus on bigger things that matter. While practicing one-touch productivity, it is important to change the way you direct your focus. So often it is easy to become caught up in to-do lists. When your mind moves from task to task faster than you can complete them, the result is less productivity. When you focus attention on one task at a time, completing it from start to finish, you are able to finish more tasks.

Completing tasks, rather than allowing tasks to go partially finished, is actually good for your mental health. As you check off items from your to-do lists, you free up space in your mind and are able to think more clearly. Practicing the one-touch method helps to keep you in the present moment. 

One-touch is great for kids, too! Passing on this method to your children can establish good work habits early. It is simple. Encourage your kids to clean up what they have been working on before moving on to the next activity. Practicing this routine with your children will allow your whole life to feel less overwhelming.



Eat Healthy Nuts #bebetter52

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Nutrient-dense nuts are a great addition to your diet, but often pre-packaged nuts are seasoned and sugared making them a far less healthy snack choice. 

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to incorporate healthy nuts into your diet. So many of the nuts consumed today are covered in sugars, salts, and seasonings that turn a healthy snack into an unhealthy treat. To be their healthiest, nuts should be naked and free of additives. Whether you choose to eat your nuts plain or mixed into your morning yoghurt or on top of your favorite salad, eating nuts in their bare state will allow you to receive the most benefits.

Tips for eating nuts:

Eat your nuts raw! Raw and unseasoned nuts offer the most nutrition without added calories or overly processed ingredients. When more “flavors” are added to your nuts, the healthy benefits are reduced. 

Avoid roasted nuts. They tend to lose some of their nutritional value, so you get less bang for your buck. Roasted nuts also tend to be roasted in oils that add extra fat and calories to your diet. If you prefer roasted nuts to raw, we recommend either roasting them yourself without oil or, if you must, with olive oil. 

Add nuts to your meals! Nuts make a great addition to salads, smoothie bowls, yogurt or even fruit salads. You will soon discover they add great texture to your meals. 

Here are some of our favorite healthy nut choices:

Almonds. Almonds are filled with calcium, magnesium, vitamin E and fiber. They are known to lower cholesterol and to help prevent cancer.

Walnuts. Walnuts contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that helps fight cancer. They are also great for your heart and brain.

Brazil Nuts. These nuts are a great source of protein, copper, niacin, magnesium, fiber, vitamin E and selenium.

Pine Nuts. Pine nuts contain vitamins A, B, D, E and P (flavonoids), and contain 70 percent of your body’s required amino acids.

Cashews. Cashews are rich in copper, magnesium, zinc, iron and biotin. They contain a high amount of oleic acid, which is great for your heart.



Positive Self-Talk #bebetter52

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Positive self-talk changes the way we view ourselves. Taking a few moments each day to talk positively to ourselves increases our self-esteem immensely. And the physical and emotional benefits of self-confidence are endless. Turning low self-esteem around and embracing our strengths takes practice and effort every day, but continued action can even change a negative Nellie into a happy, self-assured person.

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to practice positive self-talk at least once a day for a week. This means devoting just 30 seconds per day on building up your self-esteem.  Positive self-talk can encompass everything from “I’m proud of myself” to “I can do this” or “I will get this promotion.” Studies show that a positive mental attitude reduces stress, which in turn improves one’s health and well-being. Not only will your overall satisfaction with life increase, but a positive outlook also helps to reduce pain, to improve heart health and immune function. The more you do it, the easier it gets. An added bonus is that individuals like to surround themselves with upbeat people. 

Basically, there are two types of positive self-talk: personal affirmations and positive thinking. Personal affirmations are compliments you give yourself or personal pep talks. Personal affirmations sound like, “I’m killing it at work” or “I have a great smile.” Positive thinking is a way of turning our negative self-talk into positive self-talk. Through this process, we change our thoughts from “I’ve never done this before” to “this is a great opportunity for me to learn.'' Both of these methods are incredibly important in turning around our self-esteem and keeping a more positive outlook on all of life. 

Self-talk to try:

“I love myself for who I am.”

“I am capable and strong.”

“I have everything I need to succeed.” 

“Today I will be greater than my fears.”

“I am a valuable human being.”

“My feelings matter.”



Simple Salad Dressing #bebetter52

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We’re always looking to spice up those leafy greens and create tastier salads. Our favorite way is to add homemade salad dressing. 

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to make your own salad dressing. You can cut out the added sugars and extra calories found in store-bought dressings. Making your own salad dressing is a healthy alternative that is easier than you think!

If you don’t fancy yourself a chef - no problem! There are some seriously simple ways to dress your salads with items you may already have in your kitchen. A tried and true favorite is olive oil with lemon or various vinegars We suggest you add a little salt and pepper on top of the dressing to bring out the flavor. 

Another way to keep your greens interesting is by digging into your spice drawer. We season everything from chicken to avocado toast so why don’t we season our veggies? Our favorite is Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel Seasoning. This spice mix is sure to take your salad and oil combo to the next level.

If you can’t give up a classic dressing, try this Chili-Lime Salad Dressing from Wholefully.com. All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a blender and chill for 30 minutes before serving. Bonus, this dressing has about half the calories as a typical store-bought Caesar. 

For Chili-Lime Salad Dressing

  • Zest and juice of 2 limes (about 4 tablespoons juice and 3 teaspoons zest)

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced OR 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Other delicious, healthy recipes can be found at https://wholefully.com/healthy-salad-dressing-recipes/

We hope you will get creative in the kitchen and have some fun with your salad!