Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today's post is about the 15 new healthy habits I have developed in 2020 during lockdown when I finally had some more time for me.
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1. Making homemade stock with vegetable scraps:
Store-bought stock is full of salt and nasty stuff so I decided to make my own. It is actually super easy and quick and it reduces drastically the amount of food waste, which is amazing.
Wash the vegetables well, then simply throw your vegetable scraps into a bag in the freezer until you have enough for a batch of broth. Then freeze broth in small portions for making the best soups and sauces EVER!
There are no rules to what you can or cannot use: I literally save everything: onion skins, carrot, potato peels, pepper seeds, whatever. It tastes much better and it is 100% natural.
2. Make homemade breadcrumbs:
When I have some leftover bread I leave it in the sun for a day until it is dry and hard and then I put it in a clean towel and crush it with a hammer first to reduce it to crumble. Then I use a rolling pin to obtain smaller crumbs.
It is super easy and quick to do and it is an ideal activity to do when I am angry!
I store it in a glass container with a lid and it lasts for weeks.
A great way to use it: put it in a small oven tray and let it toast with a drizzle of olive oil and rosemary or thyme and then you can add it to your pasta sauces or use it as a yummy coat for deep frying.
3. Making homemade herbal tea or using loose leaves:
Instead of buying tea bags, I prefer to buy in my local off licence store a big bag of loose leaves or seeds that I can use to cook as well. It is more sustainable for the environment and it is cheaper but if you can't find them where you live I linked some of my favourite brands below.
My fav to aid digestion and de-bloating:
-Fennel seeds tea: one of my must-haves when I feel bloated. It is life-changing. I love the anise taste of it and I feel immediate relief after a cup.
-Ginger and lemon: great infusion to help digestion and ease stomach ache or diarrhoea. I use fresh ingredients and it tastes so much better!
-Mint: buy fresh mint and let it dry in the sun on a clean towel for a day or two and then store it in a glass container. It is so refreshing and flavourful!
-Hibiscus dried flowers: great against menstrual cramps.
Holland and Barrell fennel seeds
Hibiscus flowers tea
4. Flavoured water:
I often forget to drink and therefore I experience dehydration problems from time to time such as headache, dry skin and chapped lips.
I don't like the taste of tap water but filtering it with a jar and adding yummy fruit to it really made a huge difference for me and I can say that this practice encouraged me to drink more.
Make sure to wash the fruit well if it is not organic.
The best way to do so is to fill a bowl of water and then add some vinegar and bicarbonate of soda that will take off all the nasty chemicals and wax from the skin.
Below are listed a few of my favourites flavoured waters:
-Citrus: 2 orange slices, 2 lemon slices, mint leaves
-Tropical: 2 lime slices, 2 mango thin slices, 2 kiwi slices
-Springy: 2 strawberries cut in half, 2 lemon slices and 4 raspberries.
-Detox: 3 cucumber slices, 2 lime slices, 2 slices of fresh ginger
5. Not wearing thongs or lace pants all the time
I used to wear only cute and sexy underwear in my twenties but I had to pay a high price for it.
I used to have recurrent vaginal issues and one of the main reasons were thongs and underwear made of synthetic fabrics. I still have some and use them from time to time but I mainly wear 100% cotton undies.
I also tried bamboo fabric and they are amazing! More comfortable, breathable underwear is vital for healthy genitals.
Nowadays it is easier to find a compromise between comfort and aesthetic but to be fair I don't really care about being pretty all the time and I actually do enjoy wearing my granny pants!
I decided to invest in some quality pieces lately and I have thrown away some of the old, cheap thongs and kept only the silk or better quality lace ones.
Bamboo clothing seamless brief
6. Sleeping naked
Speaking of which, this is another healthy habit that is beneficial for "her". Sleeping naked may help reduce the risk of vaginal yeast infections by allowing some of the heat and moisture to escape during the night.
It also allows your body temperature to go down, which can actually help you fall asleep faster and it is proven that sleeping in a cooler environment can help improve the quality of a person’s sleep. I am too cold to abandon my fluffy PJs in the winter but I do it in the spring/summer and I really like it.
7. Using herbs and spices in the kitchen to reduce salt intake
Salt and sugar are enemies of cellulite. I make sure to use plenty of spices while cooking to keep my food tasty and inviting without adding too much salt.
It really works!
On top of that, spices have so many amazing properties for your overall health. Lovage is one of my must-have in the kitchen as it has a bold flavour and it also has appetite suppressant properties (it is one of the main "magical" ingredients of the super-popular Sirt diet who helped Adele to lose weight).
8. Not staying seated for more than an hour
Working from home can be challenging and it might make us less active.
To avoid that, exercising every day can be beneficial as well as take small breaks to walk around the house to stretch our legs throughout the day.
Having a proper walk in the park at least once a day is also a good habit to fight laziness.
It is super easy to accumulate stuff without realising it.
Every 6 months I make sure to reorganise my whole flat in order to get rid of everything that I don't need anymore.
It gives me control over my life and I feel happier and more serene after. To know more about my journey towards minimalism click here
10. Write down new ideas and thoughts
Every time I have a great idea for a blog post, a recipe I'd like to try, an improvement I need to do, a person that made something kind and I'd like to thank, a nice quote I read.
I learned to write everything down.
It really helps to remember things clearly and for longer.
It is also useful to be well organised and efficient as well as to-do lists.
11. Meditate right before bed
It is beneficial to calm down the mind and prepare it to sleep. How it is done is very simple: just inhale through the nose and exhale with your mouth and think ONLY about breathing.
It is simple but not that easy: the mind will focus for a minute and after will wander. It is an excellent practice to let go of all the anxiety accumulated during the day and all the negative thoughts.
When I feel I can't concentrate I use the military method: inhaling counting to 4 seconds, keep it for 7 and exhaling for 8 seconds.
You'll find out that if you are stressed it would be difficult at the beginning, after 5 rounds it gets easier and easier and it will help you to fully relax.
12. Scrub my armpits and scalp too
Coconut oil is just the best thing ever and if you have been following me for a while you will already know that I am obsessed with it.
It is super cheap compared to fancy creams, which is a bonus (it costs around 2 quids and it is available at the supermarket) but it is more effective in my opinion. I started to use it on my dump skin right after the shower and it has never felt more smooth and soft!
Great also after shaving, as a hair mask and during pregnancy. Be mindful when using it on your face as it can be clogging your pores if you have acne-prone skin.
To purify the scalp and strengthen my hair inducing them to grow I use a tablespoon of coconut oil, a teaspoon of sea salt and a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil.
Massage it on the scalp for a couple of minutes and then leave it on for 5 minutes. Then wash and rinse well.
Proceed with your normal shampoo and there is no need to use a conditioner after.
For the armpits I use a very gentle facial scrub from Kiehl's: it gets rid of ingrown hairs, leaving my skin smoother, which makes the next shave easier.
Do not use it when you are freshly shaved...wait a couple of days otherwise, it will irritate your skin and you will hate me.
Kiehl's facial scrub
13. Take care of my feet better and more often:
That means, choosing comfy shoes on a daily basis (no heels or pointy toe) and having a regular pedicure at home.
Take washing up bowl, fill it with warm water and add some Epsom salt and your favourite bath oil or your favourite scent of essential oil.
Leave your feet to soak for at least 15 minutes and after pat them dry with a soft towel.
Proceed to scrub with pumice stone and a pedicure, making sure to gently remove all callosity.
Invest in a good quality foot cream that will prevent the skin from cracking or in alternative massage them with your hand cream, being generous on the heel.
Up to you the nail polish part, I really like it in the summer when I am wearing sandals but I won't apply it in the winter.
So eco natural lava pumice stone
L'occitane dry feet cream
14. Change workout routine often
Our body gets used to regular workouts and after a while, it is crucial to review it and change something. It can be the number of weights, the series, looking for new versions of the same exercise but it is vital to vary it. You can find new ideas on Pinterest and on YouTube but there also are much free fitness app that will be just as good.
15. Homemade insects repellent
I hate spiders. I really do. That's why when I saw a gianorums one slowly climbing the wall next to my bed I decided to find a way to keep them at bay.
Considering that we are opening the windows more often in the warmer months and that I keep stuff under the bed, I know it is going to be hard to get rid of them all.
I happily found out that peppermint essential oil is considered to be a natural insecticide and is advantageous to use as it repels other creepy crawlies as well.
All you have got to do is mix the peppermint oil with some water in a spray bottle (I am reusing an old glass cleaner bottle) and spray wherever the spiders are most likely to be found.
What about you? Do you have any of these habits already? If not, what is a new habit you recently developed?
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