Students At Home

For Everyone Who Learns at Home

13 Health Benefits of My New Obsession – Cinnamon

I discovered a new obsession:

Cinnamon!

cinnamon

Two weeks ago, a friend and I shared coffee at Folklore, a coffee shop in Elizabethtown, PA. I decided to try the regular brew but added a little cinnamon and milk. Amazing!

I’m not sure what it is about cinnamon, but I can’t get enough. Every morning, I wake up craving my cinnamon coffee, and I want a cup before bed, too.

While researching online today, I discovered that my obsession isn’t all bad. Cinnamon actually has several health benefits!

  1. Delay cell decay or damage with antioxidant properties.
  2. Reduces inflammation.
  3. Fights infections.
  4. Boosts immunity.
  5. Repairs tissue damage.
  6. Lowers cholesterol and heart disease risk.
  7. Regulates insulin, which affects metabolism and energy.
  8. Lowers blood sugar with a dose as small as 1/2 to 2 teaspoons.
  9. Improves Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease potentially.
  10. May protect against cancer.
  11. Treats respiratory tract infections.
  12. Inhibits certain bacterial growth, including Listeria and Salmonella.
  13. Prevents tooth decay and reduces bad breath thanks to its microbial properties.

With so many health benefits, it’s easy to see why I can’t get enough cinnamon. But you don’t have to like cinnamon coffee to get the benefits of this wonder spice.

  • Sprinkle cinnamon on your fruit, ice cream or yogurt.
  • Add cinnamon to soups.
  • Cover meat with cinnamon before you roast or grill it.
  • Toast almonds in cinnamon for a quick snack.

How will you enjoy cinnamon today? If you want, come on over and join me for a cup of cinnamon coffee! : )

Leave a comment »

Feeling Tired? Try 9 Quick Energy Boosts!

I don’t know about you, but I get tired every afternoon! My energy level drops, I have trouble concentrating and I just want a nap. But my kids come home from school around 3 every day, and I have to be alert and focused! Usually, I grab a cup of coffee and a cookie, but I know this solution isn’t the healthiest option for me. After doing some research, I found these quick energy boosts.

Eat the right lunch. Ideally, it should be packed with fiber and protein. This combo keeps blood sugar levels – and energy – steady so you can stay focused all afternoon.

Take lots of short breaks. I have tight deadlines on my job, and I’m always tempted to work for long stretches without taking a break. However, several short breaks actually give your body and brain a chance to reboot. I’m going to set a timer and take a five-minute break every hour to stretch, fold laundry, text a friend, clear clutter off a counter or get dinner started.

Go for a walk. Fresh air boosts your concentration and mood. Sounds like a perfect excuse to walk to the mailbox, around the block or through the woods (below is a pic from my morning walk yesterday at Mt. Gretna)! Can’t get outside? Dance, jump rope or vacuum.

june 19 mt gretna

Change the way you snack.Β My coffee and chocolate snack tastes good and spikes my blood sugar so I feel more energetic right away. But it actually makes me feel more tired in the long run. A smarter snack is high in fiber andΒ  protein like an apple or banana with peanut butter, a handful of nuts with fruit or whole-grain crackers with cheese.

Meditate. Spend five minutes meditating, and you’ll feel more awake and less stressed.

Drink water. When you’re dehydrated, the oxygen levels in your body drop. It’s time to get drinking! Make your water tasty and refreshing with fruit juice, crushed berries or lemon (my favorite water additive!), lime or cucumber slices. (photo courtesy VisitPlano)

water pitcher visitplano

Breathe deeply. A few deep breaths – in through your nose, out through your mouth – slow your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure, increase oxygen in your blood and relax tense muscles. Your brain needs this boost, so relax and breathe.

Brush your hair. Repetitive movements relieve tension and help you relax. Even better, stimulating your scalp boosts your energy and alertness!

Laugh. Your muscles relax and you feel more energized when you laugh. I like listening to comediennes on YouTube, or you can read through a joke book or recall a funny memory. (photo credit unknown)

11136646_10153748658098294_6855172334526828412_n

These tips boost energy and fight fatigue. What other tricks work for you to keep you alert when you’re tired?

 

 

Leave a comment »

Dish Duty Comedy

So our dishwasher broke the other month.

I thought it simply needed a good cleaning, so I took out the wracks, got on my hands and knees, and scrubbed out as much grime as I could reach. Then I turned it onto the clean cycle.

No dice.

Instead of getting clean, smoke came flying out of the machine.

Guess what that means? Yup, I’m washing dishes by hand!

Normally, I make dinner and listen to NPR, call and chat with a friend or my sister, or turn on my YouTube playlist while I wash the dishes. But last week, I decided to do something different.

I listened to Chondra Pierce.

Oh.My.Word! She’s hilarious!

I laughed so hard and almost burned a few dinners while listening to her. And instead of grumbling while washing the evidence that my family is well fed, I laughed and left the kitchen feeling joyful, energized and ready to be present with my family.

So tell me. What other comedians/comediennes should I add to my dish duty playlist?

Leave a comment »

DIY Made Easy

One of the bloggers I follow wrote an interesting post today. She introduced Kathy Ceceri, a DIY professional. Check out the post and learn about some fun, creative projects you can do with your kids!

I Want You To Meet Kathy Ceceri

Leave a comment »

Need a Smile? Check Out This Cute Snack!

healthy snack

I opened Facebook today and saw this cute snack staring at me from a friend’s wall. It instantly made me smile! Not only is it cute, but it’s healthy and my kids would eat it! Those are huge reasons to be happy!

Do you have any cute and happy snack ideas? I’d love to see them!

Leave a comment »

Key Lime Angel Food Bars

key lime angel food bars

Sometime in the past few months, I bought a can of key lime pie filling. It must have been an impulse buy because it’s been sitting in my pantry collecting dust. That never would have happened with chocolate, but I digress.

Today, I decided to use it. My daughter made Key Lime Angel Food bars, and they are refreshing and light. Here’s the recipe she adapted from food.com. Enjoy!

http://www.food.com/recipe/lemon-angel-bars-76520

  • 1 angel food cake mix
  • 1 1⁄4 cups cold water
  • 1 can pie filling

 

Heat oven to 350.

Beat cake mix and water on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

Add pie filling and mix well.

Pour into ungreased 15×10 jelly roll pan or cookie sheet.

Bake 25 minutes.

Top with powdered sugar, lime glaze or frosting.

 

 

 

Leave a comment »

Pumpkin Season is Here!

0925141448My pumpkin farmer friend blessed us with these adorable mini pumpkins. Aren’t they cute?

Y, my son, wants to carve them. I don’t think I have the patience or talent for that, though. πŸ™‚

So, they sit on our patio table and make me smile every time I see them.

They also make me crave pumpkin coffee, pumpkin rolls and pumpkin pie.

What’s your favorite pumpkin dish?

 

Leave a comment »

Happy Be-lated Birthday!

Birthdays only come around once a year, so celebrate all month! That’s my philosophy, at least. So, I spent August enjoying my favorite coffee flavors, desserts and books.

I also thought long and hard about goals I want to accomplish this next year, the last one I’ll spend in my 30s. From reading every day to growing in love, I’m ready to make the most of the next 365 days.

I’m also super excited about sharing my birthday cake recipe. After all, no birthday is complete without cake! πŸ™‚

My mom made one of my favorite cakes for my family party this year – Jimmy Carter Cake. Can you guess its main ingredient? Yes, peanuts! It layers crushed and baked peanuts, cream cheese and peanut butter, pudding and whipped cream. So yummy, especially when it’s frozen.

I didn’t take any pictures because we pretty much devoured it, but you can find a pic and the recipe at Deep South Dish. Try it: you won’t regret it. And you can customize the crust on the bottom by replacing the peanuts with crushed chocolate-peanut butter candy or cookies.

If you make it, let me know how you liked it! I know it’s a family favorite here, and it might become your next birthday cake, too!

 

2 Comments »

Comfort in the Crock Pot: Mac and Cheese

One of my favorite foods just got better. How is that even possible? Well, I tossed a few ingredients into my trusty crock pot, and in three hours, I was dining on delicious mac and cheese.

0802141209aIf you like what you see and want to try it for yourself, here’s the recipe.

 

2 cups uncooked pasta

3 cups milk (less if you like a firmer mac and cheese)

3 Tablespoons butter

3 cups cheese (I used sharp and American, but modify the mix to meet your needs!)

salt/pepper to taste

(Add cooked ham, sausage or hamburger if you want a one-pot meal.)

 

Spray the crock pot with cooking spray to prevent sticking.

Pour all the ingredients into the crock pot and stir.

Cook on low for three hours, stirring at least once during the cooking process. (I cooked mine for 3.5 hours, and it turned out just fine.)

 

If you decide to try this recipe for yourself, post a pic here and let us know how it turned out! I’m always looking for ways to make my favorite comfort food even better! πŸ™‚

4 Comments »