yourhealthharmony

Nutrition for Body and Soul

Healthy Hair, Scalp, and Nails Using Essential Oils

This is some amazing info from Dr. Scott Johnson in regards to healthy hair, scalp and nails… Click here!

Dr. Johnson also has the best books I’ve read in regards to essential oils.  I just bought his 2 new books, which you can find on Amazon…..  Medicinal Essential Oils and Supercritical Essential Oils!  Whether you are a novice or an expert, these are Absolutely invaluable.  

Let me know what you think of them, and if this info was helpful.  I also have links to a couple more of my fav’s by him on my website, www.food4thoughtwellness.com.

Have a great day!!

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Baby’s Sweet Pea Puree (First Bites)

Homemade pea puree should be bright green, unlike the drab-colored jarred versions available at the supermarket.  To help the peas retain their vibrant color, do not overcook them.  Frozen peas are the next best thing to fresh spring peas:  they’re available year-round, and they will save you the time and effort of shelling them.

Ingredients

2 cups (10 oz) peas, fresh or frozen

  •  Bring 1 inch water to a boil in a pot.  Put peas in a steamer basket, set in pot, cover tightly, and steam until bright green and tender enough to mash easily with a for, 5-7 minutes for fresh or hard frozen peas and 3 minutes for thawed frozen.  Remove basket from pot, reserving cooking liquid.  Rinse peas under running cold water to stop the cooking.
  • Puree peas in a food processor or blender until smooth.  Add cooking liquid, breast milk, or formula to thin pea puree to a consistency that you baby can handle.

To store….refrigerate cooled pea puree in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or fill ice-cube trays or other containers to freeze for up to 3 months.

**If your baby suffers from gassiness or colic, these foods might worsen the problem:

  •  beans
  •   peas
  •   lentils
  •   broccoli
  •   cabbage
  •   cauliflower
  •   cow’s milk
  •   cucumber
  •   onion

Thank you Lisa Barnes and your book Cooking for Baby, for this recipe!

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Rice Cereal for Babies! (First Bites)

Since I am a new grandma with a beautiful baby boy approaching 6 months of age, I would love for him to get the best nutrition he can get.  I have some amazing books, and will share recipes and info so that you can learn along with us!  So fun to see their expressions when they experience new things….especially food!  This first recipe is rice cereal!  Whole-grain brown rice retains the hull, which is removed to make white rice.  The hull not only gives the rice its warm brown color, but also makes it more nutritious and flavorful than its white counterpart.

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown rice

(this makes 1 cup)

  •  Put rice in a blender and pulverize into a powder, 3-5 minutes on medium to high speed.
  •   Bring 1 cup water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add brown rice powder and reduce heat to low.  Cook, whisking constantly, until water is absorbed, 4-5 minutes.
  •   Add water, breast milk, or formula to thin the cereal to a consistency your baby can handle.  As baby gets older and tries more foods, combine rice cereal with fruit or vegetable purees.

Notes… Commercially prepared baby rice cereal is usually fortified with added iron.  If you prepare rice cereal at home, discuss your baby’s iron needs with you pediatrician.  Young babies can get iron from a range of foods, including breast milk, formula, meat, poultry, prunes, and dried apricots.  To store, refrigerate cooled cereal in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or fill ice-cube trays or other containers to freeze for up to 3 months.

Thank you Lisa Barnes for this recipe.  Great book Cooking for Baby.

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Sweet and spicy quinoa stuffed pumpkin

Don’t you just love pumpkin anything this time of year!  Check out this delicious looking recipe from Tales of a Kitchen!

Ingredients
  • 1 pumpkin (I used a 1kg one, about 2 lbs.)
  • For the filling:
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 small shallot onion, finely minced
  • a handful of currants
  • pumpkin flesh, grated (what you scoop out to make room for the filling)
  • 2 tsps fresh thyme
  • sea salt flakes, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste (I was quite generous)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • chili flakes, to taste (I was generous with this too)
  • 2 TBSP olive oil for cooking
  • To serve: more fresh thyme, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, good olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to about 190-200C (about 375* F) and line a baking dish with baking paper.
  2. Cut your pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. If needed, also scoop out some of the flesh to make room for the filling.
  3. Finely grate the pumpkin flesh if you scoop out any and combine it with the rest of the ingredients and seasonings for the filling.
  4. Fill your pumpkin halves, gently pressing the filling in.
  5. Place the pumpkins in the baking dish making sure they won’t roll over. You can put them next to each other.
  6. Sprinkle another 2 TBSP of olive oil on top, add a bit more black pepper and cover them with aluminium foil. This does not need to be sealed all the way around the pumpkins, just needs to roughly cover the top and sides, so that the quinoa filling remains moist.
  7. Bake until the pumpkin is tender. About 35-40 minutes.
  8. Serve with fresh thyme, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds and sprinkle them with some good olive oil.

Thank you Chris for this yummy recipe!

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Cutest Little Side-dish Ever!

How cute are these mini pumpkins….filled with an amazing goodness of nutty wild rice and shredded brussels.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 6-8 mini pumpkins
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound brussels sprouts halved and then shredded, about 2 cups
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme chopped
  • 1 cup raw pecans chopped
  • 1/4 apple cider
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 1 cup manchego cheese shredded (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large sauce pot, bring the water to a boil, add the wild rice. Cover and cook over low heat for 35-45 minutes or until the water is gone and the rice is fluffy. Note that wild rice takes longer to cook than traditional rice. If yours still seem hard after 45 minutes, add 1/2 cup more water and cook over low heat for another 15-20 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Slice the tops of your mini pumpkins and scoop out the seeds (reserve the seeds for roasting and then topping the dish if desired). Place the pumpkins on a baking sheet and rub each with a little olive oil, salt + pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkins are just tender.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the brussels sprouts in a single layer and season with salt + pepper. Let sit 1 minute then stir. Continue to cook for another 8-10 minutes, until tender and caramelized. Stir in the thyme, pecans and cider, cook another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the wild rice (there should be around 3 cups of wild rice). Stir in the cranberries, and manchego cheese.
  5. Arrange the pumpkins in a large baking dish and stuff each pumpkin with the wild rice mixture. If desired, sprinkle the top of each pumpkin with a little manchego cheese.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the pumpkins are soft and the wild rice has heated through. Serve hot!
* These can be assembled up to 4 days in advance and stored in the fridge until ready to bake.
I can’t wait to try these!
Thank you Half Baked Harvest for this fun and yummy recipe!
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Hello to Fall Foods!

With Fall upon us… we hunker down to a different way of cooking!  This Balsamic Glazed Chicken looks yummy!  I love one-pot meals.  Less clean-up! ;))

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. whole-grain mustard
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 c. baby red potatoes, halved (quartered if large)
  • 1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3-4 rosemary sprigs, for skillet

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine balsamic, honey, mustard, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Add chicken thighs and toss until fully coated, then transfer to the fridge to marinate, at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, prep potatoes: In a medium bowl, add potatoes and rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon oil. Add chicken and marinade and sear, skin side down, 2 minutes, then flip and sear 2 minutes more. Add potatoes to skillet, nestling them between chicken, and top with rosemary sprigs.
  4. Transfer to the oven and bake until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, 20 minutes. (If potatoes need longer to cook, transfer chicken to a cutting board to rest and continue cooking until tender.)
  5. Serve chicken and potatoes with pan drippings.

Enjoy!

Thank you Delish for this yummy recipe!

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What does your Reset Button look like?

I don’t know about you , but I certainly need to hit the reset button on a weekly basis!  What is your way of releasing stress and giving your body the Reset it needs?!  One of my fav’s is to get out into the outdoors…out into nature.  Look at the beauty that surrounds us, and take deep breaths.  Hiking is at the top of my list!  Great exercise too.  It was a beautiful day yesterday, so spur of the moment, we packed a lunch and set out on this hike.  We are very blessed to have these wonderful spots to explore right in our backyard!

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

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Ingredients

  • 1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (Indian spice blend)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup basmati or some other long-grain white rice (brown rice or quinoa maybe good choices too)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (substitute as needed)
Step 1

In a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, tomato paste, garam masala, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables, cover, and cook until the chicken is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours (this will shorten total recipe time).

Step 2

In a small bowl, toss the cucumber and cilantro with the lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

Step 3

Twenty minutes before serving, cook the rice according to the package directions.

Step 4

Just before serving, stir the cream into the chicken tikka masala. Serve over the rice with the cucumber relish.

Chef’s Notes

* Total Time ranges from 4 hours, 10 minutes to 8 hours, 10 minutes

Thank you Real Simple for this recipe.

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What Does Your Sleep Pattern Look Like?

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It’s amazing these days with all of our technology…such as the FitBit, Apple Watch, etc… how we can tune into our bodies!  What does your sleep pattern look like?!

Rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep, REMS) is a unique phase of sleepin mammals and birds, characterized by random/rapid movement of the eyes, accompanied with low muscle tone throughout the body, and the propensity of the sleeper to dream vividly.

The REM phase is also known as paradoxical sleep (PS) and sometimes desynchronized sleep because of physiological similarities to waking states, including rapid, low-voltage desynchronized brain waves. Electrical and chemical activity regulating this phase seems to originate in the brain stem and is characterized most notably by an abundance of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, combined with a nearly complete absence of monoamine neurotransmitters histamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine.

REM sleep is physiologically different from the other phases of sleep, which are collectively referred to as non-REM sleep (NREM sleep, NREMS, synchronized sleep). REM and non-REM sleep alternate within one sleep cycle, which lasts about 90 minutes in adult humans. As sleep cycles continue, they shift towards a higher proportion of REM sleep. The transition to REM sleep brings marked physical changes, beginning with electrical bursts called PGO waves originating in the brain stem. Organisms in REM sleep suspend central homeostasis, allowing large fluctuations in respiration, thermoregulation, and circulation which do not occur in any other modes of sleeping or waking. The body abruptly loses muscle tone, a state known as REM atonia.

Professor Nathaniel Kleitman and his student Eugene Aserinsky defined rapid eye movement and linked it to dreams in 1953 and further described by researchers including William Dement and Michel Jouvet. Many experiments have involved waking up test subjects whenever they begin to enter the REM phase, thereby producing a state known as REM deprivation. Subjects allowed to sleep normally again usually experience a modest REM rebound. Techniques of neurosurgery, chemical injection, electroencephalography, positron emission tomography, and reports of dreamers upon waking, have all been used to study this phase of sleep.

Read more….

The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!

Sleep isn’t merely a time when your body shuts off. While you rest, your brain stays busy, overseeing biological maintenance that keeps your body running in top condition, preparing you for the day ahead. Without enough hours of restorative sleep, you won’t be able to work, learn, create, and communicate at a level even close to your true potential. Regularly skimp on “service” and you’re headed for a major mental and physical breakdown.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between health and productivity. By addressing any sleep problems and making time to get the sleep you need each night, your energy, efficiency, and overall health will go up. In fact, you’ll likely get much more done during the day than if you were skimping on shuteye and trying to work longer.

Read more…

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