Define Your Health

What Matters Most ~ Living the Best YOU


Video: How to De-Stress Before Bed

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Have trouble sleeping at night? You’re not alone! Up to 40% of adults report symptoms of intermittent insomnia: it’s hard to fall asleep, you awaken frequently during the night, and you feel tired, irritable, and unfocused during the day. The most common cause of insomnia is stress – even if you’re exhausted, your nervous system is so aroused it prevents you from falling into a deep sleep. 

The good news is that through simple relaxation techniques, you can unwind and prepare your body to successfully surrender to sleep. Developing a soothing bedtime routine is one of the most effective ways to treat insomnia. In this video, Jade from Wellness Today shares her favorite tips to de-stress before bed. Follow just a few (or all!) of these steps to fall into a peaceful slumber tonight. 

How To Make Your Own Kefir

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I’m sure you’ve heard of the benefits of eating yogurt, but did you know kefir, a cultured milk beverage, is also an excellent way to keep your gut healthy?  Like yogurt, kefir is full of good bacteria called probiotics that help keep your digestive system healthy and well-balanced. In fact, kefir could be an even healthier choice than yogurt when it comes to digestive health.

The key differences between yogurt and kefir

It’s easy to assume that all cultured milk products are created equally, but there are many key differences between yogurt and kefir. Perhaps the most obvious difference is the taste and consistency. Yogurt has a more familiar thick texture and a mildly tart taste. Kefir is a pourable liquid and is very sour and tart.

Yogurt is made either using a mesophilic culture or a thermophilic culture.  Mesophilic means the yogurt is made at room temperature, and thermophilic implies that the cultures are heated to 110 degrees during production. Kefir is always made at room temperature using a mesophilic starter culture.

Should You Ditch Your Shampoo?

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Many people have started swapping out their bottles of shampoo and conditioner for all-natural ingredients that can be found right in their kitchen.

This no ‘poo movement is inspiring people to ditch their store bought hair products and go shampoo free. But for many of us, it’s not an easy switch. Joining this movement requires some research and quite a bit of patience—you can’t expect to have quickly growing, frizz-free, shiny, healthy hair overnight!

Before you throw away all of your hair products here are a few things you should know about going shampoo free so that you can decide if no ‘poo is right for you.


The Benefits of Going Shampoo Free

Many shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products are full sulfates, sulfites and other questionable ingredients. These chemicals not only strip the natural oils from your hair causing it to become dry and brittle, but they can also be absorbed into your scalp. 

All-natural natural ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, baking soda, and coconut oil are highly effective at cleaning and conditioning your hair. These ingredients can help also help heal and restore your scalp and hair without stripping away its natural oils.

7 Things You Didn’t Know about Matcha

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Zen Buddhists have drunk matcha ceremoniously for centuries, and this potent green tea is now making its way into the spotlight as the go-to coffee alternative for the health conscious. 

Matcha’s bright green color makes for a beautiful morning drink meant to be savored, not slurped. And while you probably know how good matcha is for you—it’s loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and delivers energy while being low in caffeine—I bet you don’t know these 7 interesting facts about matcha. 

Not all matcha is created equal: Just like wine, matcha is anything but a bulk commodity. It varies greatly in flavor and quality based on how it’s grown, harvested, and processed. It is a bit more labor-intensive than other tea to produce, so expect to pay a slight premium on it compared to standard green or white tea bags. 

The perfect hostess gift: In Japan, matcha tea is given the way a bottle of wine or a bouquet of flowers is here in America. It is revered as a special and thoughtful gift. 

Chlorophyll-packed powder:  Despite the fact that black, green, white, and matcha tea all come from the same plant,  the way matcha is grown and consumed is quite different. 

9 Healthy Hacks to Supercharge Your Morning Routine

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The world’s most successful people have one thing in common: they have a morning routine that sets them up for a productive, fulfilling day. It makes sense, considering that the way you spend those first precious minutes of consciousness can set the tone for the hours that follow. This is great news, because it means that adopting a few simple habits and making some small tweaks in your morning routine might be all it takes to make a big difference in your life.

If you’re not a morning person, that becomes even more true, since establishing a regular routine can motivate you to get out of bed in the morning. Make your mornings count with these 9 healthy hacks to get you energized, organized, and ready to seize the day!

Farmer’s Market Find: Easter Egg Radishes

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In my opinion, radishes are the perfect spring food. I can’t get enough of these crunchy, spicy little veggies, and come May you’ll find me adding them to just about every dish. I sprinkle them raw on top of salads or mix them into a rice dish, I roast them with a drizzle of olive oil, or even slice them thin and layer them with sea salt and butter or coconut oil on toast!

Not only are radishes delicious, they are also very healthy. Radishes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, so they can help to eliminate toxins and cancer-causing free radicals from your blood stream, as well clear out any viral infections in your body.  They have a natural cooling effect and are hydrating, which will keep your body temperature down and your digestive tract healthy in the hot summer months. The best part about them is that you don’t have to waste a single bit—every part of the radish, from the skin to the leaves, is edible! I recommend giving the greens a quick sauté for a healthy dose of iron, calcium, and vitamin C!

I almost jumped for joy when I found these beautiful Easter Egg Radishes at my local farmers market. How pretty are those shades of pink and red?! I knew I had to make something special with them, and they truly are the star of the show in this tasty dish.

Summer Cooler Essentials

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Ahhhh. Summertime. 

The days get longer and warmer, and the potential to momentarily forget if its Tuesday or Saturday gets better. 

Whether it’s a trip to the beach, an afternoon at the pool, or a hike in the woods, there are endless outdoor activities that become possible with the warm weather. Being active and far from the kitchen or grocery store means you need to have portable snacks on hand. For a lot of people, that means processed items from the grocery store, but it doesn’t have to.  Just because something needs to be portable doesn’t mean it shouldn’t align with the way you love to eat. 

Before you head to your well-deserved “happy place” in the sand, beside the pool, or in the woods, make sure that your cooler is as ready as you are. 

Here are 10 easy and perfect-for-the-cooler recipes to inspire you to bring your healthy lifestyle along for the fun. 

Is Soy Healthy or Not?

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Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the Deprivation. In my weekly “Ask Health Coach Maria” series, I answer frequently asked questions related to health and wellness. Have a question? Ask me here

Hi Maria,

I see soy everywhere, but I hear so much conflicting information about it that I’m not sure it’s a healthy choice. Should I go soy-free?

Erin M.

Soy is one of those foods that tends to be both vilified and glorified.  One day it’s good for you, the next it’s bad, depending on who you listen to.

So, here’s the real scoop.

Intro to Ayurvedic Doshas

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At some point in your life you’ve probably struggled to find balance. This could mean you were physically unhealthy, mentally exhausted, or even emotionally drained. Whatever the cause, we’ve all gotten to the point where something has to change in order for us to reach our healthiest, happiest self. When you’re at this point, it can be hard to know exactly what you need to do to change. For me, the solution was the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda was first developed 5,000 years ago by Indian monks seeking to explain the mind-body connection as it relates to physical and mental wellness. In fact, the first of the two main principles of Ayurvedic medicine states that the mind and body are intricately connected. It’s nearly impossible to be physically healthy if your mind is not and vice versa.