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Epsom Salt – Uses and Benefits

25 Apr

This week I got back in the gym, after almost 6 months. I go for walks, bike rides and hikes, but I had not been with a trainer, in a gym ever since I moved to LA. After one hour of intense workout, which included TRX, squats, lunges, boat rope, and weights, I also took a Vinyasa Yoga. Yes, crazy, I know. But even crazier was the aches I felt the next day. It was hard to walk, sit, get up and move. Then I took two Epsom Salt baths and my aches and soreness improved tremendously. So I decided to share it here.

You see, Epsom Salt and I go a long way back.

I remember how my grandmother would always tell me to drink Epsom Salt with water to relieve constipation and help “detoxify” my body. She believed it would help “clean my blood”. In Brazil we call it Bitter Salt ( Sal Amargo).

There is a famous Spa near my hometown, called  Spa Lapinha where people go for different reasons, from detoxing, losing weight to battling addictions. I remember the first thing you had to do once you were there was to take Epsom Salt as a laxative.

Growing up dancing and training for tap dance competitions, I was always sore and Epsom Salt was my best friend.

I should say it remains my best friend, because I always have it at home ( I buy it in bulk at Costco), but you can also find it at Target, Walmart, SafeWay, CVS, RiteAid and Wallgreens. Just go to the aisle where all the orthopedic and Feet Care products are, or by the Tiger Balms, Salonpas and BenGay pomades. And use it for many things.

There are many different types, with added oils in it. I prefer to buy mine plain (much cheaper) and add the oils I need.

Lavender Epsom Salt

Lavender Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt Uses

Relaxing bath : In a tub filled with warm water add 2 cups of Epsom Salt. Soak in the water for 20 minutes. I like to add drops of Lavender and Chamomile Essential Oils to help me relax.

Soak feet : helps relax tired feet, releases aches, removes odors and soften rough skin. I sometimes add 1 drop each of Tea Tree, Rosemary and Peppermint or Spearmint essential oils for extra relief. It feels cold and hot at the same time and helps relaxes the feet. Tea Tree deodorizes the feet, it is an antiseptic, and good for toe nail fungus;Rosemary is an astringent that helps with swelling and inflammation; and Mint helps improve circulation and is refreshing.

Sprains and bruises and body aches : Add 2 cups of Epsom Salt to a tub of warm water and soak.

Plants : Add a teaspoon of Epsom Salt to plants to boost their growth.

Laxative : Add 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt to a 8 oz glass of water. Consult with your doctor first.

Splint Remover : Add 2 cups of Epsom Salt to a tub of warm water and soak.

Beach Waves Natural Hair Spray : Add 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt to 1 cup of boiled water. Add 1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan Salt, 5 drops of Almond Oil, Morrocan Oil, or any hair oil you like. Put the mix in a spray bottle and shake. If using a plastic bottle , make sure the water is not so hot as to melt the bottle. Spray in your hair and enjoy the complements you will get.

Body and face exfoliator and mask : Mix 1 cup of Epsom Salt and 1/2 cup of honey. In the shower, start exfoliating from your feet towards your neck and face. Rinse with warm water.

A quick Google search of “Epsom Salt” will show several different opinion,studies, and articles about Epsom Salt. Some claim it has benefits while others claim it is a myth. I am not a scientist, doctor, or researcher on this topic, but I can tell you about my personal experiences with it and how it has been increasing my quality of life throughout the years. Like everything in life, you are better off if you make your own conclusions, based on your own experiences.

This article claims there is not enough proof of any health benefits. These other one talk about its benefits. You can also go the Epsom Salt Council page to learn a bit more about it.

Let me know what you think of Epsom Salt, your experiences and uses. I will love to hear it!

 

Bring Your Lunch From Home

17 Apr

Are you tired of eating the same lunch everyday? Peanut butter and jelly, turkey and cheese, tuna, or egg salad sandwich are on your lunch menu rotation? Say Sayonara to these boring lunches and start eating delicious and nutrition meals by bringing your own lunch from home.

It is easy if you follow these simple steps:

1. Shop and prep your food ahead of time

When you get home from the store, wash, dry, cut, and portion your veggies and fruits. It makes your life so much easier if you also cook your veggies. Keep in mind that eating them raw is the best way to consume all the nutrients. But steaming, blanching and roasting are good too. You are going to lose some nutrients by prepping and cooking them ahead. But let’s be realistic – It is better to lose some nutrients and eat fruits and vegetables, than not to eat them at all.

2. Portion your meals

It is much easier to portion your snacks (baby carrots, fruits, nuts, yogurt, cookies) and place them in the refrigerator, so in the morning you just grab them, put them inside your lunch box and go. If you are environment friendly and do not want to have too many containers or use ziploc bags, just portion them by categories, such as one container for fruits, another for nuts, and so on. You can also use Mason Jars instead.

3. Cook double or triple the amount you usually do

Whenever you cook something, make more than you usually do, so you will have leftovers to take with you. I also freeze foods like beans, lentils, and stews. I make big batches and freeze them in individual portions, so I always have something to take with me.

4. Find containers and Lunch Boxes that keep your food cool and safe

To me, this is the most important part of packing my lunch. But nowadays it is really easy to find good quality containers and lunch boxes. They come in all shapes and forms. Salad bowls with plastic utensils and separate salad dressing containers, small bowls with two partitions to carry your granola separate from the yogurt, stainless steel containers, reusable sandwich bags, there are options for every taste.

lunch box 2

These are my new favorite containers, they come with a ice gel pack which goes in the middle

lunch box 3

There are four small containers that fit on top of the ice gel. Made by Rubbermaid, and bought at Target

Blue gel ice blocks help maintain the temperature of the food, and I always have a few in different sizes on my freezer.

I love this Lunch Bag. It has ice gel inside the bag, so I leave laying flat in the freezer for 12 hours before using it. Made by PackIt, bought at World Market

I love this Lunch Bag. It has ice gel inside the bag, so I leave laying flat in the freezer for 12 hours before using it. Made by PackIt, bought at World Market

5.Do not forget your Lunch

It sounds funny, but I have forgotten my lunch many times, only to realize it when I was starving. Try to follow a morning routine where grabbing your lunch becomes a part of it. Leave notes to yourself until you get used to taking it with you, or keep your car keys in the fridge so you will not forget it.

 

Enjoy your yummy healthy lunch, and let me know what are your favorite snacks in your Lunch Box!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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