The Peppermint Tea Obsession is REAL!

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SOOO. If you haven’t guessed, I am having a love affair with peppermint tea. Yes, I’m still a coffee fan. Yes, I love me some hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night, but lately I have been totally into peppermint tea.
I chatted about a few reasons why I love it in my post with five tips to kill the bloat, but I wanted to elaborate and show you what I have been drinking & some honorable mentions.
So why peppermint? Peppermint is caffeine free, so it’s perfect to drink before bed. It can help with digestion, reduce bloating, and is extremely calming. Plus, the smell of peppermint can be both uplifting and relaxing.
Some other benefits:
– Reduce inflammation
– Calming for the digestive system
– Reduces the chances of sickness/nausea
– Antibacterial, excellent at killing germs
– Supports the immune system
– Can help suppress appetite
– Provides relief for stomach cramps, gas, and stomach discomfort
– Helps relieve mental stress
That being said, here’s some that I keep in my tea arsenal:
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 While I try to stick to organic teas as much as possible, Tetley has been my go to. I may or may not have one in my filing cabinet work as well so I can have peppermint tea all day every day at work.
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You also can’t go wrong with some good ol’ DavidsTea. This one is a combination of green tea and peppermint and has some spices such as ginger and fennel as well. Super tasty and lots of health benefits with the addition of these healing spices.
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I reserve this one for the holiday time as it has hints of white chocolate and spearmint. It is super festive for Christmas and is an old favourite from a year or so ago.

Are you a tea fan? What’s your favourite kind? Any I should try!?

5 Ways to Kill the Bloat!

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Bloating. Isn’t it a lovely thing? I know I feel great when even my sweat pants are digging into my sides.
Catch the sarcasm there?
Yeah, nobody likes bloating. It is uncomfortable, you feel icky, there’s nothing good about it.
So, here’s five little trickeroos to use to kill the bloat.
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1. MOVE YOUR BODY. Sometimes when you’re bloated one of the best things you can do is move your body to help flush out any toxins that have accumulated in your body. Getting your blood pumping will make you feel more energized. Although it may feel like the last thing you want to do, I promise you it will be worth it. You don’t have to go balls to the wall, either. Simply getting outside for a walk, doing some easy yoga stretches, or dancing around your living room will help reduce that bloat!
2. Drink WATER. Besides exercising, I know the last thing you want to do is drink water. You already feel full and icky, but TRUST ME. The water will flush that excess sodium and sugar out of your system and make you feel even better. It may take an hour or so, and you may be peeing a lot (let’s be real, it happens), but keeping yourself hydrated will do wonders.
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3. Drink tea. This is along the same lines as drinking water, but tea – especially peppermint tea – can do amazing things at banishing bloat. Why peppermint tea? Peppermint can be calming for the digestive system and can reduce cramps, bloating, and alleviate gas in the intestines. You can also look for a “detox” tea (I use that word with caution as I don’t really believe in detoxing in the stereotypical sense) that includes mint, fennel, lemon, etc. I have peppermint tea almost every day and notice a difference in my tummy when I am drinking it consistently. Plus, it makes you less farty. Sorry, but it’s true.
4. Eat WHOLE foods. We all know how much sodium goes into processed foods, so cut the processed junk and go back to basics. Lots of leafy greens, healthy proteins, fruits, and veggies will help keep your gut happy and reduce bloating. If you are intolerant to things like wheat and dairy, try reducing your intake for a day or so to ensure you are not further increasing your chances of that bloat sticking around.
5. Take a probiotic. Probiotics are full of healthy gut bacterial which can help your tummy achieve a happy balance. When your stomach bacteria is out of whack, you are more prone to illness, digestive stress, and inflammation in the gut. There are lots of probiotics out there, but look for one that is refrigerated (probiotics are living bacterias!), and does not contain a ton of fillers. Your local health food store will be able to lead you in the right direction as it is different for everyone : )
What are some ways YOU help banish the bloat!?

How To: Superfood Smoothie + The Health Benefits

To make this easy peasy smoothie, you will need a few ingredients. Some are pretty standard, every day items, but there are a few extras that you can find at your local health food store.
To make this smoothie, you will need:
1 small banana
1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1 cup fresh spinach
1 cup (or so) of unsweetened almond milk (I like the Silk brand)
1 tbsp almond butter

1/4 tsp spirulina/chlorella powder (you can buy a mix of the two at your health food store)

A shake of chia seeds (about 1 1/2 tsp)
A shake of hemp seeds (about 1 1/2 tsp)

Blend all ingredients in your blender until smooth. It should be relatively thick, but of course you can add almond milk (or your milk of choice) until you get the consistency you desire.

Now for the health benefits in this baby!
Banana: Contains tons of vitamins, such as vitamin B6, C, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and may help regulate digestive health and stabilize blood sugar.

Blueberries: Antioxidant power houses! These little babies pack a big punch, including vitamin C and B6. Blueberries can help support heart health and include fiber, potassium, and folate.
Spinach: High in zinc, niacin, fiber, vitamins A, E, K, B6, and also high in protein, magnesium, and iron.
Almond milk: High in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and phosphorus. Almond milk also contains folate and vitamin E, which are great for skin health.
Almond butter: High in protein (and lower in fat than peanut butter), and high in GOOD fats. These are unsaturated fatty acids that aid in brain health, as well as skin health. Your hair, skin, and nails will thank you for adding this healthy fat into your diet.
Spirulina/Chlorella: Both are types of blue/green algae that are full of chlorophyll, which is the component that gives green veggies their deep green hue. Both are high in amino acids, beta carotene (hello, eye health), biotin, magnesium, and the range of B-complex vitamins. A little goes a long way, which is why you only need 1/4 teaspoon in your smoothie to reap the benefits.
Chia seeds: High in omega-3 fatty acids (more than salmon – what, what!), good source of protein and fibre.
Hemp seeds: Another great source of healthy fats, though hemp seeds have a ratio of 3:1 when it comes to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Both of these help promote cardiovascular health. Hemp seeds are also known to naturally balance hormones and serve as a good source of protein.

Five Things Friday: MORE Skincare + Fitness

Good morning!
Friday is here, it’s a great morning, I’ve got my coffee, and I’m ready to conquer the day.
Before that, though, let’s get into my 5 favourite things from the week! As always, let me know what you have been loving this week.
I mentioned in Monday’s post that I have been trying out a Fit Bit the last few days. It is a great way to keep me mindful of how much I move during the day. It has been interesting to see during the work day how much I move, as that changes quite a bit more as opposed to the weekend. During my days off I am almost always doing a long run, which can accumulate steps quickly, or at least moving around the yard a lot more and running errands. It is so easy to just hunker down at my desk at work and not move, so checking the app helps me move more.

On Monday morning I also made some homemade chicken soup leftover from our roasted chicken dinner. I remember my mom making homemade turkey soup every Thanksgiving, and since we had some chicken left over, I wanted to try my hand at a homemade chicken soup. Yep, it passes the test! There is something so comforting about chicken soup during the fall, and it makes a perfect dinner on a chilly night. Can you tell I am obsessed with fall?

So this is technically two favourites but in one picture. I have picked up my usual protein powder again after being on a hiatus for quite a long time. It is just nice to have after a work out when I am feeling particularly hangry, and it is yummy mixed into oatmeal. That being said, I have found a new coffee sweetener that I am loving. Yes, it is probably not the healthiest, but it is so good. 

Oh yes, the sheet mask love continues. This time, I find some that go under the eyes. I tried a few from Sephora – which don’t get me wrong, are great – but I’d rather pay $6 for a pack of five treatments rather than $6 for a single use. They are a great way to reduce dark circles (which for some reason have just popped on up on my face which is ANNOYING), wrinkles, and add some extra vitamins and minerals to your skin. So, yeah. Throw on your under eye masks, have some peppermint tea and hang out. Your eyes will thank you.
What have YOU guys been loving this week!?