We officially welcomed the first day of Summer this week. Yesterday, I was thinking about what epitomizes Summer for me. It's funny how some things can cause childhood memories to come flooding back. I associate a lot of different things with Summer, but Blackberries have to be one of my favorites. Blackberry Cobbler is Summertime for me. Growing up, we had a blackberry bush and my mom would pick the blackberries for Blackberry Cobbler and jams. I remember sitting in the kitchen on Summer evenings watching her make Cobbler, Jam, and other goodies. I remember that she would even painstakingly take time to strain the seeds from the blackberries. That cobbler became "Summertime" for me. This is not my mom's recipe, but it's a good one. What is your definition of Summertime?
This is probably the last possible thing that you would think I would include in a show about Summertime, but as crazy as it sounds, for your summer hair care you should use pumpkins. As much as I love Summer, time spent in the sun and pool can really damage your hair and leave it feeling dry and lifeless. Here's some nerdy girl facts proving that Pumpkin should be your go to product this season. Pumpkin, specifically canned pumpkin will gently condition and hydrate hair parched hair. It also provides UV protection while strengthening your hair and preventing future damage. I would have tried this today, but I don't have any plain yogurt. I'll let you know my review when I give this a try. Here's how you use it:
Pumpkin Hair Treatment:
Mash a can of organic pumpkin.
Mix in 4oz of plain yogurt.
Apply to damp hair, leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
Then rinse and shampoo.
For best results, do this 2x a month.
(Info Source: Women's Health)
Natural Remedies for Muscle Pain:
I mentioned this morning that this past Tuesday I was doing some warm up exercises and stretching to prepare for a fitness class. While stretching to keep myself from injury during the class, I somehow pulled a muscle in my leg. Ironic, but true. So this week I found some natural remedies for muscle pain, and I thought I would pass these tips along.
- Preventative Measures: Drink Coffee. Researchers at the University of Illinois found that women who consumed the caffeine equivalent of 2 1/2 cups of coffee 1 hour prior to a 30-minute bike ride experienced roughly half the leg muscle pain as riders who did not have caffeine. The reason why is that Caffeine may block an inflammatory chemical from attaching to muscles or areas of the brain that are associated with pain. However, caffeine also dehydrates you so drink plenty of water. Plus dehydration is also a common cause of muscle cramps. (Fitbie)
- Post Injury... or before: Cherry juice also contains natural anti-inflammatory properties because they contain anthocyanins. The participants in the British Journal of Sports Medicine study that drank 16 oz of cherry juice a day for 3 days before a heavy workout felt less muscle soreness 2 days later. (Fitbie) Cherry juice will also help reduce inflammation of already over worked muscles. Juice from cherries helps your muscles recover more quickly after a tough strength-training session, finds a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The new research found fewer markers of muscle damage circulating in the blood after drinking cherry juice which suggests that cherries actually prevent maxed-out muscles from breaking down to begin with. (Men's Health)
- Knee Pain: If your pain is knee specific, eating vitamin C–rich foods like bell peppers, kiwifruit, tomatoes, and oranges, can help. Australian researchers found that among 293 middle-age adults, those who consumed diets high in vitamin C over a 10-year period were less likely to have bone degeneration that leads to knee pain and arthritis. Research also suggests that the antioxidants in green veggies, like spinach, can protect against wear and tear that come with age.
- Shinsplits: To treat a shin splint, try this massage technique from Fitbie: Sit with your knee bent and your foot flat on the floor. Lightly stroke the areas to the left and right of your shin bone with your palms, moving back and forth from your knee to ankle. Be careful not to rub your shin directly, as this could worsen the inflammation. After repeating the stroking motion several times, wrap your hands around your calf and use your finger tips to massage both sides of the bone with as much pressure as possible. This will help restore length and relieve tightness in the tendons at the top and bottom of the shin. Also try calf stretches or toe raises to strengthen calf muscles and prevent shinsplints from returning.
- Sprains: A sprain is simply an overly stretched ligament. The treatment for sprains is RICE—rest, ice, compression, and elevation. To make an ice pack that you can wrap around your injury, fill a sandwich bag with ice cubes or use a bag of frozen vegetables. Compressing the painful area with an elastic bandage prevents fluid from accumulating and minimizes pain and swelling. Wrapping also restricts movement, which will help your ligament heal. Just don’t wrap the bandage too tightly. You should be able to slip one finger under the bandage. (Fitbie)
Later today, I'll be starting a little herb garden. Fresh herbs and spices taste so much better. I've grown some herbs before, cilantro, basil, chives, and sage. In fact I still have some chives that are still growing after 3 years, but they look like they need a little tlc this year. I found a few different herbs that I know I will use. I am planting Thyme and Lavender for the first time. I'm not really sure how to care for Lavender. I think I saw something that said they like sandy soil, but I'll have to do some research. My biggest dilemma is finding a permanent way of labeling each plant. I will be keeping my garden pots outside, and the method I used last time didn't last even through the summer. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them. I'll share more about my little herb garden later.