The Power of Herbs: Look + Feel Amazing All Summer

They're one of the reasons I look forward to summer.


How do you keep that feel good vibe going all summer long? Support your insides and you'll radiate gorgeousness on the outside. 


Some of the greatest foods to reach for to get + keep that summer glow are fresh herbs. They're incredibly easy to grow, even if you don't have a green thumb. (Hand raised over here.) Growing them in your garden, on your balcony or deck, means they'll be as nutrient dense as possible. Why? Because it's farm to table at its finest.


Nutritionally, produce is most valuable as soon as it's harvested. So having herbs go straight from your garden to your table means you end up with dishes that not only taste amazing, but that are also amazingly good for you. That influx of nutrients means supporting good health all summer long. Leaving you looking and feeling amazing.


How Herbs Help You Look + Feel Amazing

They're nutritional powerhouses. They support your immune, eye and cardiovascular health. They're great sources of amino acids like tryptophan, which we need to make serotonin (our happy brain chemical).


They also have protein, iron, calcium, vitamin A (skin + immune health), vitamin C (immune health, incredible antioxidant, wound healing + anti-inflammatory) and vitamin K (bone health, blood health + builder, cardiovascular support + wound healing).


Some of my favourite herbs to use during summer and why I love them:


  • Basil - it's anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and incredibly high in vitamin K. We use vitamin K for the health of our bones and our blood, from clotting to forming our red blood cells.
  • Cilantro - the little herb that's won me over. I used to loathe it and now I can't get enough of it. It contains limonene which is excellent for supporting liver detoxification. It's also really good for pulling heavy metals like mercury from the body.
  • Dill - gram for gram, it has more calcium than milk and more iron than beef liver or spinach. It also has limonene which is incredibly supportive in helping the liver detoxify.
  • Mint - has incredible relaxing properties. Because it relaxes your stomach muscles, it becomes really soothing to the tummy. It's great to use for indigestion. My ginger mint tonic is an excellent go-to for indigestion or stomach upset.
  • Parsley - gram for gram, it also has more calcium than milk and more iron than beef liver or spinach. It's loaded with antioxidants, which helps reduce free radical damage to our cells. Free radical damage is the cornerstone of aging + disease. Parsley also supports the health of our liver and kidneys. 


How to Get More Herbs in Your Day to Day

If you can sneak herbs into your daily regimen, especially during summer when they're fresh and easy to grow, you're doing your body and your mood some good. Some of my favourite ways to get more herbs into my day to day are in pestos, herb crust marinades for fish, added in salads, vinaigrettes or salad dressings.


Herbs will make any salad sing, I'm telling you. Fresh dill with some grated lemon rind over a salad is a true party for your palate. Next post, I'll share some of my favourite recipes that are loaded with fresh herbs.


How to Buy + Store Herbs

  • If you're at the market or grocery store, look for fresh, crisp leaves that are rich in colour.  Avoid bunches with leaves that are limp or discoloured with brown or yellow spots. 
  • Fresh herbs typically last just a few days. It's always dissapointing to buy them one day, then go to use them a few days later only to find out they've gone bad. So store them in an airtight container in the fridge to keep their crispness.
  • Herbs are fragile, so I find it best to wash them as I use them. It helps keep the rest of the bunch fresh + crisp. 
  • Because they are fragile, if you are cooking with them, add herbs right before serving to keep most of the flavour + that nutritional goodness intact. 


Now I'd love to hear from you. Share with me in the comments below some of your favourite ways to use fresh herbs in the summer. 

Quiet Your Mind to Improve Your Health

Quiet Your Mind to Improve Your Health

Taking time out of your day to turn off that inner chatterbox is incredibly great for your health.


It reduces inflammation, improves digestion and boosts your immunity, to name a few benefits. One of the reasons that I love it so so much is that it's absolutely free. The only side effect to taking time out of your day to make this a habit is some serious well-being + peacefulness.


Why does it matter + why should you care?

Our brain is capable of creating about 70,000 thoughts each day. That's a lot of thinking.


How many of those thoughts are about something that happened yesterday that you're still concerned about? Or something that might (but let's be honest, most likely won't) happen tomorrow? Or even next week? Or next month? Or maybe you have that thing you wished you wouldn't have said or did differently stuck on repeat in your mind, beating yourself up, so to speak? I've been there. It's not a good time is it?


What's worse is that it's incredible draining + exhausting. That energy suck becomes bad for your health. It creates unnecessary stress. When you're stuck thinking about something that happened in the past or something in the future that most likely will never happen, you're making a choice to create stress in your life. Each + every time. 


How does this energy suck affect your physical health?

There's a nerve that runs from your brain to your stomach. This nerve creates constant communication between the two. Think of them like bffs.


You've felt the effects of this when you get super sad news about a loved one - and then you suddenly lose your appetite. You find out you have to give a speech in front of a big group, and the day of, or moments before your speech, you feel sick to your stomach. You might even have to excuse yourself, your stomach is in so many knots.


You get an email from your lawyer + suddenly that chronic back pain starts acting up again. Those are examples of physical reactions to a thought we're having. Those physical reactions, caused by our thoughts, disrupt the balance of our digestive health.


Our digestive system is the foundation to great health.  It plays a huge part in the function of our immune system, hormone balance and moods, inflammation levels, circulation, sleep patterns (I could keep going). Having great health will always be a struggle if the communication between those two bffs is not managed. 


When we disrupt that balance we see the affect in one of those areas. For instance, we may start getting sick at the drop of a hat. We get pain in different parts of our body because our inflammation levels are higher than what our body can manage. We may have a hard time feeling happy and finding joy in life because our serotonin + dopamine production (the two things we need to feel happy + manage stress) have been disrupted. 


Now we can't escape stress. (Unless you wanna live in a bubble. I'm assuming you don't.) But we do have control over how we react to stressful situations. We also have control on whether we choose to hold on to negative feelings that cause us pain in our belly or pain in our back. Keeping a negative memory or experience on repeat in your mind isn't showing yourself love. It's not good for your physical health + definitely not good for your mental health.


This is why I love making time in my day to shut my mind off. It gives you an opportunity to break that pattern of thoughts that aren't helping you be a healthier, happier you. And for me, I find that if I keep up with taking a few minutes during my day to turn off +  quiet that constant chatter, I not only feel better, but (as an added bonus) I have way more creative ideas. It's kinda like unclogging a drain. Everything just starts to flow more easily without all that clutter. 


Our body has the incredible ability to repair itself. As long as it has the tools to do so. That nerve that runs from our stomach to our brain is the main nerve used when we're relaxed + in rest n' digest mode.


We want to be in this relaxed mode often because that's when our natural healing + repair mechanisms are on. They work to bring our imbalances back into balance. This means we see positive changes in our immune health, inflammation levels, circulation + blood flow, absorption of vitamins + minerals, peacefulness + clarity. And it makes going through the tasks of daily life feel a little more manageable and less overwhelming. 


We don't get to enjoy this golden nugget of goodness when we're stressed. This is why you wanna add this to your daily wellness plan. 


Even if you commit to 5-10 minutes a day, you'll notice results. I know you're busy and I know that if this a new part of wellness to you, it can feel really weird. When I first started, I felt like I was more anxious at trying not to have any thoughts while trying to be all zenlike + calm than if I had just not even tried. But I promise, like anything else, with a bit a practice + some commitment, it'll get easier. 


How to quiet your mind to improve your health

You can do this sitting, lying down, or whatever is comfortable for you. It's not about perfecting a pose or dedicating a specific room in your house to getting this done. It's really just about turning off your mind + calming your thoughts. So find a position and place that's quiet + comfortable for you. Set a timer for 10 minutes.


Close your eyes, breathe comfortably + relax.


It may be easier for you to focus on your breath. Or if you get stressed worrying about whether you're breathing 'properly', then focus on a colour you see when you close your eyes. Focus on that colour or your breath for those 5-10 minutes. If a thought comes to your mind (+ it will), gently let it go bringing your attention back to your breath or that colour. 


Now if you're like me, you'll need to work your way up to 10 minutes of 'quiet time'. And that's totally okay. This is a skill. And all skills take time to develop. I think the very first time I tried to quiet my mind, I lasted all of 3 seconds. So be kind + forgiving. You will get there. 


Now I'd love to hear from you. Share with me in the comments below, your best tip to quiet your mind for a healthier, happier you.