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Combat Stress with Kombucha: The Miracle Tea!

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“It is better to go three days without oil and salt than to go one day without tea.” –Tibetan Proverb For those who aren’t familiar with it, kombucha, also lovingly referred to by some as “bottled booch” is a fermented sweet tea that packs a serious health punch. If you haven’t experienced the many wonders of this unique drink, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and now’s the perfect time as we close out National Nutrition Month. With all of the new recipes and blends out there (there’s even kombucha cocktails!) booch could become a palate pleaser in your near future. Let’s call it, as the authors suggest, “kombucha kismet.” According to The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring and Enjoying the…

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Can pickles cure your social anxiety? The experts say, “yes!”

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Crowds put you on edge. Walking down a crowded sidewalk can make you anxious. Even hanging out with a large group of your peers might be a little uncomfortable. Well, maybe the problem is that you’re not eating enough pickles. Yeah, you read that right. Pickles and other fermented foods offer a variety of health benefits and a recent study – as cited by Rebecca Rupp for National Geographic – indicates a link between fermented vegetables and the easing of social anxiety. According to the study, published in the August issue of Psychiatry Research, foods like pickles, sauerkraut and yogurt specifically target a person’s neuroticism. William and Mary psychologist and co-author of the study Matthew Hillimire said: “It is likely that the…

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Finding Joy: Build a Better Brain in 2016

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It’s a new year, and everyone has resolutions. We’re going to lose weight and stay fit. We’re going to quit smoking and eat healthier. We’re going to save money, travel to new places, and spend more time with the family. These are all great ideas, but very few of us will actually adopt resolutions that will address perhaps the most important aspect of our lives: our mental health. Good mental health often goes ignored; we tend to take it for granted. Poor mental health, on the other hand, can cripple every aspect of our lives. Stress, depression, anxiety, anger, inability to focus, or any of the myriad symptoms we might suffer can distance us from our loved ones, keep us…

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Holiday Baking: Up Your Gingerbread Game with Maple Syrup

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Christmas comes but once a year and with it, all those signature Christmas cookies. My family bakes and feasts on carmelitas, coconut macaroons, raspberry walnut thumbprints, anisettes, butterballs and of course, sugar cookies. That’s a little too ambitious for me. While all the cookie freaks out there are busy perfecting the sprinkle to frosting ratio on their anginettes and frequenting their third cookie swap of the week, I’m over here just waiting for my ninja cookie cutter kit and dreaming up ginger bread cookie fight scenes. This year I want to do something a little less, well, cookie cutter. Gingerbread is my absolute favorite cookie to make – the cutouts are always fun, plus icing the little guys after they…

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Illustrations from Fresh Made Simple Will Inspire Your Next Healthy Meal

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Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the gorgeous photos of finished dishes in cookbooks or on television? Somehow, the lovely meal you’ve prepared just doesn’t look as good as that glamour shot. Well, if you’re looking for some foodie visual inspiration, check out Lauren K. Stein’s new book, Fresh Made Simple (Storey Publishing, October 20). It’s cookbook with a unique twist—all of the recipes featured within the book contain ingredients, steps, and techniques integrated into illustrations created by Katie Eberts. Fresh Made Simple focuses on simple, unique flavor combinations and communicates them through beautiful, inky illustrations filled with color and flavor. Unlike a standard cookbook, which might feature pictures of meals manicured by food stylists, Stein’s distinctive recipes and Eberts’s whimsical…

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