Make your shopping experience at your local farmers' market the best with these great tips to tap into! (The Health-Minded.com) #health

For myself, I might even classify going to the farmers' market as an event! Eating locally carries health and environmental advantages certainly, but actually shopping there where you can connect with the growers and farmers is in a class of intangible benefits all on its own.

I like the energy at farmers' markets as well as the relaxed atmosphere.  I enjoy the fact it is outdoors and there is often a band playing of some kind. I like seeing what is in season that week and learning why the farmers choose to grow what they do and how to best prepare it.  I go to the regular food markets as well during the week, but I do like to patronize the locals where I can.  Somehow, the experience at the farmers market is just nicer than stacking items on a conveyer belt and scanning a bar code.

There are plenty more reasons to go to your local farmers' market listed further below as well as some other bits of guidance to make your experience valuable and worth coming back for week after week! Scan on down and don't miss the links of other great bits, too, to help you get the most out of your time there.

Let this mini-guide to shopping at farmers' markets help you make your experience your best! Why go, what to bring, questions to ask growers and more! (The Health-Minded.com) #health #shopping

Why You Should Make a Habit of Going to Your Local Farmers' Market

Besides that big "feel good" benefit, there are plenty of other reasons to consider heading over to your local market or even buying from a community grower. Look at some of these reasons that can benefit you, your community and others:


Natural Beauty: Summer Care For Gorgeous Hair

The sun, the breeze and that salt-water air -- nothing beats a day at the beach to rejuvenate oneself! But, it is anything BUT rejuvenating to our hair!  All those natural elements can make those silky strands more like straw.  And, if you use blow dryers, hair straighteners, colorants or other products, as well, they only add to the detrimental effects.

The sun, salt-water and chlorine can really damage those locks! Tap here for easy, natural ways to keep that head of hair shiny and silky all summer long.  (The Health-Minded.com) #beauty #health

It only takes a few easy measures to protect that beautiful head of hair, though. Come take a peek and find out what you can do to keep your hair bouncy and full of life before, during and after time at the beach.

How To Keep Your Hair Shiny and Lush in the Summer

I wrote about foods to pack to eat at the beach to protect your skin, but here are a few other things to throw in your bag as well as some healthy strategies to follow, too, to keep your hair shiny and lush:


Kitchen Towel Tricks For Making Superior Meals

Something you will find in almost every kitchen - well-equipped or not -- is a kitchen towel or two.  In my case, there are too many to count! I have a whole drawer of them as I rarely toss them, keeping the older and rattier ones for certain messier jobs like some of those listed further down and my nicer ones to display.  But, kitchen towels aren't just for clean-up time - they are a great little sidekick to making your meal prep easier and a lot tastier, too.  Come check out these simple tricks to do just that and a bit of advice on how to best care for them as well to prevent spreading unwanted illness at your house!

Those humble kitchen towels can be your best secret to great meals and do so much more than drying dishes! Grab them now for your easiest meal prep and much tastier recipes with these tips.! (The Health-Minded.com) #health #cooking

10 Great Uses For Kitchen Dish Towels 

Get skillful with those humble towels and try some of these tricks to make your meal prep easier as well as tastier:


Quick Guide: Prepare Your Best Healthy Fish Recipes

While contemplating what to make for dinner at the market a while ago, the fish monger said to me, "This delicious halibut just came in this morning! And it is in season!"

 "Say again, please? In season? We're discussing fish and you used the words "in season?"

He certainly did! And, that day I learned that fish . . . along with produce . . .  can be "in season."  Maybe you were already knowledgable of that, but I wasn't!  There are more details on what I learned about that a bit further down the post, but first, here are some other important healthy facts to remember when purchasing seafood as well as a healthy recipe for you to try, too.

buying fish, fish, fish buying tips

What to Look for When Buying Fish 

Many of you may be near the shorelines vacationing now or perhaps another time this year and for those readers who eat fish and shellfish, you will find here a few tips on purchasing it to make those dishes turn out your best and help you avoid unnecessary toxins.  I wrote about shopping at farmers markets here with tips on why and how to include them in your life.  But, today, I offer additional shopping advice.  I am also including some useful links as well that just may help you create the healthiest and tastiest fish or seafood dinners at your house.


Health Plans: Creating a RIch Social LIfe and Making Your Best Friends

 This is a part of a monthly column, Health Plans, to help you become an organized ninja when it comes to your health.  I write once a month on a different area of your life to help you get and stay organized for your best health. Please check out other months' plans, too, and come along with us to become your organized healthy self.

The connections we form, the friends we make and keep, the family life we create -- all of that, in my opinion, is what makes life worth living and, by the way, plays an enormous part in living the healthy life! Have you caught the many studies and other articles discussing it's significant impact on both our physical and mental health?

friends, social life, social life and health

If you have more friends than you can count - the kind you consider "high quality" - and other deep relationships -- wonderful! You are very blessed.  But, I must ask: have you ever, at some point in your life, found yourself with less than a stellar social life or even a small circle of people to call true blue?  Life is full of changes that can negatively impact our social lives and cause it to wither.  I know I have found myself feeling a bit friendless when many of my "besties" moved far away.  Maybe you, too. So, how did that happen? And, more importantly, how to fix it?  Let's explore that a bit and if you want to improve your social circle - even just a little - let's get on with it! After all, if you want a great social life and better connections,  it is up to you to make it happen!


Health News: The Latest Skinny (June 2015)

pool, woman with hat, summertime

Here is the monthly round-up of fun newsy bits for you to catch up on.  (Hopefully under an umbrella on a beach, cool drink by your side, hearing the sounds of the waves in the background - even better!)

Links to Your Health

Give a tap to the green links below for some recent and fascinating health information that could help you or someone in your circle:

1.  I don't want to take the fun out of summer pool time, but these guys may not make a very good swim team member.

2.  Any big social gatherings on the agenda soon? If those events stress you a bit, you may want to start chomping on those pickles and dipping in the yogurt to get your best social self all the ready.


8 Organic Foods To Choose Now & Why You Should Care

That fresh produce filling your basket and cart is always a great choice to center your meals around at home, but pesticide residue can really complicate that choice, too.  Hold on, though! There is lots of research to help regarding which fruits and vegetables contain the most . . . and the least . . . amount of pesticide on our foods. And, if pesticides are not a concern for you, you can read a bit about it (and more here too) before making a final call. The jury is still out on the effects to our bodies, but, I say, play it safe and try your very best to choose at least the most sprayed foods organic, when possible.

tomatoes, organic choices

Which Summer Produce You Really Should Choose Organic and Why

More and more food producers are growing foods organically and I see organic produce often from the smallest of road stands to major grocery retailers, too. More people are seeking it and the growers are listening.  Look at these pointers to keep in mind regarding those organic food choices:

Give local farmers a chance.  In some cases, locally-sourced food from conscientious farmers is better than commercially produced organic food, even when the farmers can't afford the high cost for USDA certification. Your local farmer may be going over and beyond what the USDA requires to be labeled as organic. Talk to your growers!  Here are some questions to ask them regarding their growing practices to ensure pesticides are not used.


What to Drink Before Bed to Detox and Sleep Great

No denying that I appreciate my morning coffee. In fact, I wrote about my adoration here as well as some things I like to put in it to amplify it healthiness here, but tea, has a place in my heart, too, and I hope in yours as well.

herbal tea, tea bag

Plain iced black tea with lemon, especially in the summer, is a favorite way for me to stay hydrated a large part of the day,  But, my tea affection does not end there. Let me share my nighttime appreciation for some other tea leaves that I use to wind down and signal the nighttime slow down.

Why Herbal Teas Are a Great Choice at Night

Best pivot carefully away from any caffeinated foods and drinks come mid-afternoon to avoid sleep disturbances. Reaching for herbal teas that do not contain any caffeine is a great alternative with lots of added health benefits, too. Come take a look!


Best Trick to Make All Your Food Taste Fantastic

What's the best way, the simplest way and and smartest way to make everything you prepare and eat at home taste delicious?

Finding and preparing your meals with the freshest food.

That's it!  It is "THE SECRET!" 

No special techniques, not even an exotic ingredient in the mix. Just simply the freshest food you can find.

With the exceptions of say certain wines, some cheeses, etc., the fresher the food, the better the taste. And, oh yes, did I mention that most of the time, the freshest food is a lot more nutritious, too?

fresh food, cooking, nutrition

8 Ways To Finding Your Freshest Food To Eat Well

So, how do we go about implementing this little trick of finding the freshest food? How can we do our best to get all that fresh goodness in our kitchen and on our plates? I have several suggestions for you to do just that:
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