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Glorious Backyard Gardening

Being stuck inside these past few months has given many people pause to examine ways to re-engage in hobbies as well as be active outdoors while still maintaining social distancing standards.  Gardening is one of those hobbies currently on the rise.

Gardening is more than just digging in the dirt, carrying pots, and planting seeds; it is an art and a science as well. Many people do not recognized the numerous benefits that you can reap in planting these green and colorful patches! For some, gardening is a way for them to relax, restore, and renew their outlook in life while others use this hobby as an additional holistic food source.

Here are the benefits of gardening in the mental and physical aspects of your life.

Exercise for the Win

Just by walking while carrying pots of plants is already a form of cardio exercise and core training for balance. Depending on the weight of the load, pushing a wheelbarrow is a good form of strength training and can also improve your grip and strength in the lower arms.

Pushing, gardening, trimming the hedges, they might sound simple but they can leave you out of breath and 10 minutes of it, at least once a day, can help protect you from high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases.

Bye Bye Blues

Let there be light, in your life! Soak up all those Vitamin D but make sure to cover your skin with a reliable sunscreen. Vitamin D helps our body to absorb calcium and it also boosts our immune system and blocks depressive mood.

Mental Therapy

After a long day or week at work, gardening at last 30 minutes or an hour can diffuse your anxieties and stress. Vitamin D alone can already help improve your mood but more than that, gardening also gives you a sense of purpose and puts your priorities in perspective.

If you have been experiencing a major setback in your life, gardening can spark a sense of hope and optimism within you.

Preserving the Environment

Gardening is also a way for us to give back to Mother Nature and in return, it helps us back. Plants are known to purify carbon emission preventing global warming and they produce oxygen which is very important to humans. The root system of the plants helps prevent erosion by keeping the soil in place. Aside from providing shade and beautifying our surroundings, they also shield our garden from the outside world giving as tranquility and privacy.

One of the best ways you can do in order to enjoy gardening is to invite your friends over and do it together. It is fun, interactive, less expensive, and therapeutic!

Cheers to growing some veggies, herbs or plants this summer!

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Got Veggies?

Grow your own, grab some at your local Farmer’s Market, Local CSA Farm or even the Organic Produce section

 As the farmer’s markets are getting into full swing and everyone gets their gardens planted, this is a great time to talk about adding more veggies into our diets. I know, sometimes you get sick of hearing ‘eat more vegetables’ but without them you’d end up sick and we definitely don’t want that. The reason it’s so often repeated is simple–they pack a nutritional punch. A variety of vegetables in your diet will ensure adequate fiber (while skipping the grains) which keeps you feeling full (and less prone to snack on the bad stuff.) And, of course you know about all the vitamins and minerals, but did you know there’s a whole bunch of veggies that give you protein too?   Kale, for example.

But in case you need further motivation to ‘go green’ ,  cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, bok choy and cabbage also supply important nutrients the liver needs to help clean toxins out of the body.  Garlic is also detoxifying to the liver and the kidneys, plus it’s great for heart and circulatory health.

 When it comes your food – you are what you eat and quality does matter! Homegrown and local, farm grown is best. Even if your local farmer is not certified organic you can usually ask the farmer how it was grown and if he uses herbicides, pesticides or chemical fertilizers.  You’ll often find small, local farmers have higher quality and freshness standards than certified ‘organic’ produce at your grocery store but the USDA certification is just too costly for him (or her.) Get to know your farmer…and your food. Your health will thank you for it. 

But, however you do it, getting more vegetables into your daily diet is essential to good health. Salads for lunch are a good start. But challenge yourself to find more ways to sneak them in. My favorite breakfast is eggs with sauteed spinach. In the summer, we put vegetables on the grill in a saute pan or skewer them as kabobs.The addition of more greens (and yellows, reds, oranges, even purples) into your diet will guarantee better results with your health improvement program, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you actually enjoy them!!

Here’s to Healthy Noshing this Summer…