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5 Simple Ways To Cook More On Weeknights (Healthier & Save Money!)

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

We all know the value of making our own food, and I think most of us like the idea of having a home cooked meal every night, but despite intellectually understanding the benefits of cooking for ourselves (and starting each week with the best of intentions), many of us often find ourselves reaching for the phone or the microwave when it comes down to actually feeding ourselves after work. And it’s not that we’re all lazy, or undisciplined (though of course that is the case for some). The problem is that we are disorganized, and the unforgivingly rapid pace of modern life rarely accommodates those who fail to plan ahead.

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If this sounds like you, or even if you’re someone just looking to enliven your weeknight meals, then the below list should help making real food every night become an (almost) effortless reality. And while the words ‘meal prep’ may send a shudder of anxiety down your spine, I promise: it gets easier with practice. Soon you’ll have a Pinterest-worthy fridge filled with prepped veggies and cooked grains just waiting to be turned into delicious, inventive, and fast meals.

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Plan

It all starts with a plan. Creating a weekly menu plan may sound tiring, even restricting, but it is actually the most liberating thing you can do towards realizing your dinnertime goals. Deciding what to make for dinner when you’ve just come home from work and are exhausted, starving, and rushed is no way to cook. It promotes neither creativity nor healthy choices, and it’s certainly not fun, which means you’re more likely to avoid the whole experience the next time it rolls around (which, unless you are superhuman and don’t require food for extended periods of time, will probably be the same time tomorrow night).

Your plan can be as detailed or as cursory as you like, so long as it enables you to organize yourself ahead of time: grocery shopping, meal prep, recipe searching, whatever. This will save you from so much unnecessary stress each night, and allow you to avoid falling into the trap of trying to make healthy choices when you’re feeling desperate. You should be able to come home already knowing what to make for dinner, with everything necessary to prepare it already in your fridge.

It also gives you something to look forward to. You planned your menu, so (presumably) you filled it with things you like to eat, or are excited to try. This really doesn’t need to be a chore — it should be fun! I can’t be the only one who loves scoping out (and drooling over) restaurant menus before I ever enter the building; now you can have that experience every night!

List

Making grocery lists saves you time and money in equal measure.

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When you create your menu plan, you should create your grocery list at the same time, seeing what you have on hand already and planning to buy what you don’t. You can also do this backwards, planning a menu based on what’s in your fridge or cupboard.

Either way, writing a list ensures you don’t wander around the grocery store aimlessly, picking up whatever catches your fancy, which often leads to a fridge full of food and you having no idea what to do with all of it — or worse, a cupboard full of junk you bought impulsively. And while I admittedly do love to get my recipe inspiration from the store (or even better, farmer’s market) itself, I still go with a list in hand and an idea of meals I’d like to make during the week, then adjust according to what looks fresh.

Making a list also helps you keep your food costs down, as you only buy what you are planning to use for that week. This eliminates food waste as well, a major problem in North America.

But my favourite part about making a shopping list? It means I probably won’t have to make any last minute trips to the store while I’m in the middle of cooking something — an occurrence which, without a car, is always a major hassle!

Prep

Arguably the most crucial element to eating well during the week, meal prep is the hallmark of organized chefs and efficient home cooks the world over. All you have to do is set aside an hour at some point during the week that is convenient for you; Sunday afternoons always worked best for me, but perhaps you’d rather do it after dinner one night while catching up on your favourite show.

Depending on what you’re making, this probably isn’t going to be a full hour of active cooking time. Meal prep can be as simple as cooking a pot of your favourite grains — maybe you want rice this week, or perhaps you’re craving quinoa — and/or some beans, and steaming a big batch of vegetables. Make yourself a couple of dressings, quick pickle some onions or other veggies if you’re feeling particularly enthusiastic, and you have yourself the basis for a number of great weeknight meals. When you’re ready to eat just throw in some fresh greens, some nuts or seeds, and protein of your choice, and you’re done! And these same principles can be applied to making your lunches for the week, too.

The other option is to make a large batch of one or two full meals that you can eat throughout the week. A big pot of soup or stew is a timesaving dream, or if your Sunday is particularly free from commitments, why not make a veggie lasagna? The time invested will be worth the joy you feel coming home to an amazing dinner each night.

Either way, the difference between having rice and veggies already cooked in the fridge and having to cook them when you get home from work — plus all the dishes this means you’ll have to do when you’re tired — will be incredible. You get home, you’re hungry, you want dinner now, not an hour from now. Just think about how easy dinner would be this way.

On a related note, every good chef knows the importance of the mise en place, which is the French culinary term for “putting in place,” or in other words, setting up. It means having things ready before you begin to cook — your onions are diced in one bowl, your garlic minced in another, all prepared so you aren’t scrambling about trying to chop and measure while your sautéed veg goes from perfectly caramelized to utterly burnt. While meal prep in the sense that we have established above doesn’t take things quite this far, the concept is the same, and once you begin organizing yourself in this way, you may find yourself investing more time beforehand into making the actual experience of cooking efficient, stress-free, and fun.

Slow Cooker

What could be easier than throwing some things into a pot, turning it on, and coming home several hours later to dinner stewed to perfection? The smell when you walk in the door alone should be enough to convince you to use your slow cooker more often, but the convenience really can’t be beat. You can make all kinds of things in these devices — soups, stews, baked beans, overnight oats — even caramelized onions!

Here’s a list of 10 vegan slow cooker recipes to get you started.

Go Online

Don’t be afraid to try new recipes! The internet has a staggering wealth of resources to draw from — everything from classic recipes to the latest vegan innovations — and offers plenty of how-to videos and tips and tricks to help you along the way. You can also find healthy versions of all your favourite takeout foods, ensuring you don’t feel like you’re missing out on that Thai curry or pasta al forno you love so much just because yore cooking for yourself.

Your own version will probably taste better and be healthier for you, anyway, and you will come to value the sense of accomplishment that comes with trying something new. Plus, once you’ve mastered that difficult recipe, having learned about new ingredients and spices in the process, you can show off what you’ve learned to your friends and family. Master your fear of trying something new and going outside your comfort zone, and you will be grateful you did so.

Let the internet inspire you. Whenever I need recipe ideas, I always turn to my favourite blogs; between the often thought-provoking and informative written posts, the stunning visuals, and the creative recipes, today’s blogs are a foodie’s dream come true. Sometimes I browse just for the fun of it, while other times I search for ideas to help me use up whatever leftover veggies are sitting in the fridge. Bought a vegetable you’ve never tried cooking with before? The internet can help!

This is also a great time to catch up with your family. It’s likely you have many treasured memories of your mother cooking for you, or your grandparents, or some other adult in your life. There is always that one dish from your childhood that comforts you from the top of your head down to the tips of your toes, making you feel safe, and warm, and loved.

Whether it’s the soup your mother made for you every time you were sick, or that special bread your grandmother used to bake when you came to visit, food connects us to our heritage, to our family, and to our own past. Why not set up a Skype call with your grandmother one day and learn how to make that borscht, or arancini, or whatever it is that brought a smile to your face as a child? Not only will she appreciate hearing from you and having the opportunity to pass on her significant knowledge and experience, but you will be preserving a part of your culture for future generations to enjoy.

Dive Deeper

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Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

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Awareness

Boosting Your Mood and Improving Your Health With Vitamin D

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation.

  • Reflect On:

    Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? When is the last time you checked your Vitamin D levels?

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

Are you or someone you love suffering from depression or an autoimmune disorder? It appears vitamin D deficiency may be to blame.

Vitamin D is essential for proper immune functioning and alleviation of inflammation. The beneficial effects of vitamin D on protective immunity are due in part to its impact on the innate immune system and has numerous effects on cells within the immune system. Vitamin D is also involved in maintaining the proper balance of several minerals in the body. And, it helps to ward off the flu and many viruses and treat them. The latest research links vitamin D deficiency to many disease states. These disease states include cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease, depression, arthritis, and just about every other degenerative disease.

 “Vitamin D reduces depression. In a randomized, double-blind study, People with depression who received vitamin D supplements noticed a marked improvement in their symptoms.” – Journal of Internal Medicine

According to the Nutrition Research Journal, as many as 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D. Inadequate exposure to sunshine, poor eating habits, malabsorption, the VDR genetic mutation, and accelerated catabolism due to certain medications, dark skin pigment color, and too much sunscreen can be to blame. 

A doctor can check vitamin D levels with a simple blood test. Many mainstream doctors will suggest that you are within normal limits if your levels are 20-30ng/mL. However, for optimal health, the Endocrine Society and many functional medicine M.D.s and naturopaths will recommend levels of between 40-70 ng/mL for both children and adults. These doctors will also recommend a more aggressive replenishment program. For example, at age five, my son’s level was 24. The pediatrician recommended 500iu daily of supplementation, while our naturopath recommended 5,000iu daily for six months before retesting. Six months later, his levels were almost normal. 

“Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines” – PubMed

How to Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

Get enough sun. Vitamin D3, “the sunshine vitamin,” is the only vitamin your body that is made, with the help of the sun. So be sure to get enough sun exposure to help the body make this essential nutrient. Hold off trying to protect ourselves from the rays of the sun at every turn by slathering sunscreen. Allow yourself to play outside, garden, and enjoy the rays in moderation.

If you must use some sunscreen, avoid chemical sunscreens made with toxic chemicals that cause thyroid dysfunction, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, reproductive toxicity, skin cancer, development, brain, and metabolism problems. Shop for natural mineral-zinc-based certified products instead. When exposed to scorching climates or in the sun for extended periods, we use sunscreens by Babyganics, Badger, Babo Botanicals, and Goddess Garden products.

Eat a well-balanced diet, with foods higher in vitamin D. Although it is believed that we only get twenty percent from the foods we eat. Some foods higher in D include cod liver oil, fish, oysters, eggs, and mushrooms. 

Get checked for the VDR mutation. A blood test will determine if you have mutations in the vitamin D receptor. The consequence can be lower vitamin D levels and the inability to absorb vitamin calcium and many other minerals properly. According to a 2020 scientific report, supplementation of vitamin D can help improve VDR gene expression, so more supplementation may be necessary if you have this mutation.

“Something so simple. Vitamin D supplementation could improve the health status of millions and so becomes an elegant solution to many of our health problems today.” – Carol L. Wagner, MD – Medical University of South Carolina

Supplementation 101. Supplementation is often critical if you cannot properly metabolize or absorb enough vitamin D or not get enough sunshine. In areas with long winters and specific populations of people with darker skin color, supplementation may be even more critical. There are many supplements on the market. However, many tablet forms are not as bioavailable and harder to absorb. Therefore, it has been recommended that liquid forms are better. In addition, liquid D is often suspended in olive oil, which helps the vitamins to absorb more easily since it is fat soluble. One of my favorite brands is by Seeking Health. It does not contain any impurities or allergy-inducing ingredients. 

Final Thoughts

Boosting the immune system naturally works on your body’s innate wisdom. It supports the body to operate like a well-oiled machine, protects it from unwanted pathogens and disease, and helps ensure a healthy body and mind.

To receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety, and more without medication SIGN UP HERE or purchase my book Healing without Hurting.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

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Alternative News

Are Lockdowns Affecting Children?

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CE Staff Writer 2 minute read

In Brief

  • The Facts:

    We spoke to activist and mother Stephanie Sibbio about her co-creation of an organization called 100 Million Moms which seeks to empower women to stand up against injustices.

  • Reflect On:

    Are we choosing virus mitigation methods that are short sighted and harmful over the long term? Are they more harmful than the virus itself?

Before you begin...

Coherent icon

Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

The potential downsides of lockdowns during pandemics have been explored quite a bit – and the truth is the scientific community is quite divided on whether it’s the right move. On one hand a case can be made for effectiveness of lockdowns, but at quite a cost, while on the other hand many have shown lockdowns to be ineffective in slowing spread. How a study is organized and conducted can also dramatically change results.

Interestingly a study in Nature showed that “less disruptive and costly NPIs can be as effective as more intrusive, drastic, ones (for example, a national lockdown).” This essentially states that governments could choose effective ways to mitigate virus spread effectively without inducing unwanted and long term side effects on society as a whole via lockdowns – regardless, lockdowns are still widely being used.

One question we might have is, what about factors that are not so easy to measure right away? Things like long term psychological damage of being constantly stressed, out of touch with community and friends, and confined to our homes. What affects are children experiencing in their development and learning? We may not know exactly for quite some time.

I felt inspired to speak to a mother who has not only be asking this question with regards to her child, but who has decided to do something to push back against government measures, like lockdowns, that many citizens and scientist don’t agree with.

Along with another activist, Stephanie Sibbio created a movement called 100 Million Moms who, as their Instagram states, are a rights-based movement empowering moms all over the world to stand up against injustice. We advocate for natural health & medical freedom.

I spoke to Stephanie about how she has seen lockdowns affecting children, and her story in co-creating 100 Million Moms. In this discussion you will learn how you can get involved as well.

Further Discussion

A large meta analysis on mask wearing has shown that children are having physiological issues and learning challenges with prolonged mask wearing.

A group of doctors did a panel worth considering that discusses the potential harms of lockdowns and the science that supports the idea.

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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Health

Rare Mineral Can Remove Harmful Toxins & Heavy Metals With Just 30 Seconds a Day

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7 minute read

Before you begin...

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Take a moment and breathe. Place your hand over your chest area, near your heart. Breathe slowly into the area for about a minute, focusing on a sense of ease entering your mind and body. Click here to learn why we suggest this.

These days many people are struggling with fatigue, heart and respiratory issues, brain fog and memory challenges, and on top of that, cancer rates are increasing year after year. At times these issues can be a result of cumulative stress and emotional trauma, and other times it can be the result of our overly toxic environments at home, at work and in our cities.

Most disease, cancers and health problems we experience are rooted in toxicity. Mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium, pesticides, and volatile organic compounds just scratch the surface of what our bodies have to fight against daily.

By some estimates, we are exposed to over 80,000 chemicals in our daily lives, just from the food we eat, water we drink, and air we breathe. These toxins build up in our bodies affecting our sleep, memory, concentration, weight, and even inflammation (1, 2, 3, 4).

Toxins can be found everywhere, including:

  • Food (pesticides, herbicides, chemical additives)
  • Pollutants (the air you breathe)
  • Skincare and Personal Care Items
  • Household Items (couches, chairs, beds, Paint, keys)
  • Water (a common source of heavy metals)

Our body’s are natural detoxifiers, kidneys, liver, and lymphatic system is designed to keep our bodies clean. Hence detox is not needed. But as our lives become more toxin filled, our bodies have a difficult time keeping up and this is why over toxicity leading to disease is become a prevalent issue. Thankfully, there are natural solutions that can help. One of those solutions is a powerful mineral, created through a reaction of volcanic ash and seawater, that can eliminate dangerous toxins from the body, down to the cellular level.

Its negative-charge and honeycomb shape acts as a natural chelator, binding to positively-charged toxins and ushering them out of the body, quickly and effectively.

Zeolite Clinoptilolite: A Mineral for Detox

If you’ve heard of the zeolite Clinoptilolite, it’s because this type of zeolite has been widely studied for its ability to:

  • Flush heavy metals from the body, including toxic lead (5)
  • Provide alkalizing minerals to support a healthy pH
  • Protect kidney function by detoxing heavy metals (6)
  • Strengthen the immune system through removing toxins (7)
  • Protect against leaky gut by strengthening the intestinal wall (8)
  • And much more, as extensive clinical research shows (9)

The detoxification and health benefits of the zeolite Clinoptilolite are astounding. It’s hundreds of times more effective than activated charcoal, a commonly known and used detoxifier that can detox the gut but comes with harsh side effects.

The zeolite Clinoptilolite can bind to toxins throughout the whole body and has an affinity for toxins only, so it never removes beneficial minerals, and there are no negative side effects.

The truth of the matter is though, not all zeolite products work, and all are not created equally. In fact, we stayed away from zeolite here at CE for a while due to the fact we could not find a reliable source.

Most zeolite products are not capable of cleansing at the cellular level. To go beyond the gut and reach into cells for a deep detox, the zeolite must be nanosized. When the zeolite is nanosized and suspended in water molecule clusters, this natural detoxifier can travel throughout the body, even past the blood-brain barrier.

What brings on things like clearer thinking, ease in recalling tasks, improved mood and much more is the fact that your brain is now free of neurotoxic heavy metals.

But to take out heavy metals and other toxins, the zeolite must also be cleansed and pre-filled with alkalizing minerals. Why? The fact is, when mined, zeolite comes filled with environmental pollutants because that’s what zeolites are good at in nature – absorbing toxins.

However, if a zeolite is already filled with toxins, it can’t take any more from your body. That’s why most zeolites sold today don’t work, and why we haven’t recommended one before.

The Most Effective Zeolite on the Market Backed by Science

After doing extensive research, we started taking a zeolite product in December of 2020 from Pure Body Extra by a company called Touchstone Essentials. Their cleansing process and nanosizing technology is hands-down the most advanced we’ve seen, yielding the only zeolite on the market that can effectively detoxify the entire body on a cellular level.

This zeolite uses nanosized Clinoptilolite to access toxins everywhere in the body. These particles are so small they are invisible to the naked eye and need to be magnified thousand-fold. And it’s backed up by the gold standard in instrumentation – Malvern particle size testing.

This nanometer size means they can get to a cellular level, and it also means the collective surface area of the zeolite particles creates a vast filter that mops up toxins within hours.

And because these zeolite particles are encapsulated within water molecule clusters, it is delivered in a liquid spray that is easy to use (just a few sprays, morning, noon, and night) with no odor, no taste, and no hassle.

Pure Body Extra has also been cleansed of existing pollutants so that it more effectively removes heavy metals throughout your body. This is all proven with third-party independent clinical testing. Not only that, the zeolite particles are pre-filled with alkalizing minerals. That way, the zeolite “swaps” a beneficial mineral for a toxin every time.

In all our research, this zeolite product has the most rigorous research and testing.

 

Why We’re Recommending it Today

We take Pure Body Extra every single day and have been blown away by the results. We were so impressed that we reached out to the company about making this zeolite available to our readers.

It turns out, Touchstone is as passionate about prevention and natural treatments as we are, so they agreed to reserve 500 bottles of Pure Body Extra at an incredibly low price, exclusively for our readers. Which is why we’re recommending it to you now. It’s truly a miraculous product.

A Special Offer for Our Readers Only

Normally, this remarkable detoxifier sells on their website for $79.95, which is why we were shocked when Touchstone said they’d offer it to our readers for just $5. They’ll even include free shipping. We asked them how they could possibly offer it at such a low price, and this is what the company said.

“We’re on a mission to touch one million families with goodness. We know if we just get the product in people’s hands, the results are so good, people reorder it again and again. We’re happy to make a difference in people’s lives.”

When you subscribe to a monthly shipment today, not only is your first bottle $5, but you’ll lock in a 20% off member discount and free shipping every month after that. Of course, the 100% Risk-Free Guarantee remains.

There’s zero risk. You can cancel your subscription any time (before the next shipment), or return your shipment within 30 days for a full refund. They’ll even refund your $5 if you’re not happy with the product, less return shipping of course.

Imagine being free of disease-causing heavy metals, nitrosamines, volatile organic compounds, and pesticides in just 30 seconds a day, with no harsh side effects.

It’s only available to the first 500 people as that is what has been reserved for our audience, and at only $5, they’re selling quickly.

In today’s toxin-filled world, our body’s detoxification system simply can’t keep up with the daily onslaught. We all need to reduce our toxin load if we want to live happy, healthy lives.

 

Dive Deeper

Click below to watch a sneak peek of our brand new course!

Our new course is called 'Overcoming Bias & Improving Critical Thinking.' This 5 week course is instructed by Dr. Madhava Setty & Joe Martino

If you have been wanting to build your self awareness, improve your.critical thinking, become more heart centered and be more aware of bias, this is the perfect course!

Click here to check out a sneak peek and learn more.

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