Archive of ‘Wellness’ category

Why you need a tongue scraper—tongue scraping benefits that’ll blow your mind

Remember when we talked about flossing and compared not flossing to not cleaning your private parts?

Well, not tongue scraping is kind of like not cleaning your private parts too.

Our tongues accumulate bacteria throughout the day, & a tongue scraper helps remove that bacteria.

I scrape my tongue twice a day—first thing in the morning when I wake up (before I drink any water), and at night, right before I brush my teeth & floss. It’s become part of my morning & bedtime routine.

But it wasn’t always—before I started using a tongue scraper, I use to brush my tongue with my toothbrush. I did this probably since high school or middle school—my sister told me it helps prevent bad breath, so I was 100% on board.

Then, I noticed in college, some of my friends had these tongue scrapers that looked like this (I use this one now & love it) & I got curious about them.

But… I just kept using my toothbrush to brush my tongue because it was easy.

THEN, about 5 months ago, I listened to The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast episode #103 with guest, Sahara Rose, who talked about Ayurveda 101 & tongue scraping & I was SOOO sold on getting a tongue scraper.

I got this one (& I love it!)

I’ve been using it everyday for the past 5 months—yes, I’ve missed a few days here and there and let me tell you it felt gross. Once you start tongue scraping, you’ll do it every day/night. It just feels blehh not to. I even travel with it.

So, wondering why I got sold on it? Here’s the longish story, & I’m warning you, it’s not cute…

Before I started using a tongue scraper I always wondered why my tongue was whiter than I expected it to be. EEK. Just talking about it still grosses me out.

Well, AH-HA MOMENT. IT WAS BACTERIA.

Within a couple days of tongue scraping, my tongue was SO much pinker. Cute, right? LOL

It was VERY satisfying to get so much bacteria off. It still is—because while my tongue is much pinker than it use to be (are you grossed out yet?) our tongues accumulate bacteria everyday, throughout the day. That’s why it’s so important to scrape our tongues daily—even twice a day: once in the morning, before drinking water (more on that in a sec) & again at night before brushing your teeth.

Okay, now that we have that little story on the table, let’s get into it—LET’S TALK BENEFITS : )

TONGUE SCRAPING BENEFITS

Why should you get a tongue scraper?

Here’s why! Tongue scraping:

  • removes bacteria from your tongue (this helps avoid bad breath AND keeps the bacteria from being absorbed into your gut. EEK! Very important!)
  • helps avoid bad breath (because it removes the bacteria (the white coating) on your tongue that leads to bad breath)
  • promotes overall oral & digestive health

You can see they’re all related!

In the morning, I scrape my tongue before drinking any water or brushing my teeth because I want to remove that bacteria off of my tongue before giving myself another chance to swallow the bacteria. I clean my tongue, then brush my teeth, then drink water. Easy!

What type of tongue scraper to get

I recommend getting a surgical grade stainless steel tongue scraper that looks like a “U”. I use this exact one—& it’s amazing! It’s under $10 & comes with 2. The surgical grade stainless steel won’t rust and it’s super easy to clean. I just rinse it with some hand soap after I use it.

How to scrape your tongue

  • Open your mouth & stick out your tongue—AHHHHH ; )
  • Place your tongue scraper as far back on your tongue as you can (comfortably) with the ends of the “U” pointing away from you
  • Now this is the fun part… The REWARDING part! HA! Holding both ends of the “U” with your hands, gently pull the tongue scraper outwards, across the entire surface of your tongue in one motion. Do that a few times to collect the bacteria, & then rinse your tongue scraper. Repeat that a few times, until you’re no longer removing any white coating (FUN!) P.S. before I rinse the tongue scraper, I ALWAYS take a look at all the white yuckiness my tongue scraper pulled off first. IT’S SO REWARDING LOL. Do you do this?
  • When you’re done, rinse your tongue scraper with some hand soap. Easy, done, feels great!

PSA: It shouldn’t hurt when you scrape your tongue & your tongue DEFINITELY shouldn’t bleed.

Another little tidbit/story, if you’re interested—I was scraping my tongue WAY too hard the first week or two that I started using it. I was on a tongue scraping high! I made my tastebuds bleed that first week or two & eventually my tongue got REALLY sore. For the next few days I gave my tastebuds time to heal by only scraping my tongue super, super lightly, and it quickly healed. I’ve been able to scrape it normally since then. I learned my lesson quickly. So, if you experience something similar—your tongue gets sore or starts bleeding, you might be applying too much pressure too. Just fyi! Tongue scraping should be a fun, painless & rewarding (lol) experience.

Also, as a heads up, it doesn’t fit in any of our bathroom cups/accessories (you know those toothbrush holders/tumblers?) so I’ve been keeping it in a huge mug like this one on our bathroom counter. It works!

Curious, if you use a tongue scraper already, how do you store yours? Would love to know!

Happy tongue scraping!! : ) xx

<3,
Bita

My health & wellness faves:


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Benefits of chicken bone broth

BONE BROTH!

This has been such a buzzword lately that people have opened up entire cafes/restaurants centered around the idea—”bone broth bars”. It kind of has a ring to it.

Think about walking to a coffee shop to get a cup of coffee—except you’re walking to a bone broth bar to get a cup of bone broth. Interesting, right? I haven’t been to one yet—I make bone broth at home, but it’s an interesting concept. Have you been to one?

Whenever there’s a trend, I’m lightweight skeptical of it. But bone broth isn’t anything new.

Bone broth is an old-school staple that just got A LOT of attention recently.

Growing up, my mom would make us bone broth ALL THE TIME, especially when we were sick. But she never called it bone broth. It was just the way she’d always make us soup.

Here’s how she makes it:

She takes chicken with the bones (usually wings or legs—because she says these have the most flavor, more than breasts), sliced onions, carrots, celery, turmeric, salt and pepper, adds them to a big pot of cold water, and heats it all up on medium-low heat until the chicken’s cooked.

Sometimes, she also makes it with chickpeas. Once it’s ready, we eat it just like that, or she’ll add more ingredients—like cooked rice, and koofteh nokhod-chi (which are balls of chickpea flour with ground turkey—kind of like a Persian matzo ball. I think some people also call them “gondi”).

Anyways, growing up, this was soup.

So when bone broth became all the rage in mainstream media about 2 years ago, I wasn’t skeptical about bone broth, but more so the companies that touted it.

A lot of store-bought “stock” & “broth” aren’t real & they definitely don’t have the benefits of homemade bone broth—they can use lab-produced meat flavors, soup & sauce mixes, and even MSG (monosodium glutamate, which is a flavor enhancer). YUCK. NO THANKS.

I don’t have the patience my mom has to make it from scratch, at least not yet, so I wanted to find a bone broth I can trust, that’s easy to heat & ready to eat.

Fun news—I found two. I always get chicken bone broth.

The two brands I like are EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken (it’s made with organic chicken) and Bonafide Provisions organic bone broth made from free range chicken.

Before we get into the deets of these two, let’s chat about BONE BROTH BENEFITS! Ready? Let’s go!

CHICKEN BONE BROTH BENEFITS:

  • Boosts immune system
  • Reduces inflammation in the respiratory system (b/c of the amino acids that are produced when making chicken bone broth)
  • Improves digestion (also b/c of the amino acids that are produced when making chicken bone broth)
  • Easy to digest
  • Great for combating cold & flu symptoms
  • Nutrient dense
  • Provides collagen & minerals
  • Aids in post-workout recovery (I LOVE having bone broth after a workout!)

Okay, so if you’re not ready to make it from scratch (hey, I’m not), here are two brands you’ll love. I’ve been having them for the past 2-3 years.

EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken

This is my go-to for a number of reasons.

  1. They use organic chicken (unfortunately the rest of the ingredients aren’t organic, but at least the chicken is)
  2. They slow cook the bones, which means we get the maximum benefits from it—this is why, when you heat it up, you’ll want to simmer it over medium-low heat—to hold in the benefits
  3. It’s super convenient—the jars are perfect for one person (IMO) so when I make it for myself, I heat up one jar & if I’m heating it up for Arrash & I, I use two. Easy!
  4. It’s delicious. Just check out the ingredients—they use the same ingredients as my mom + garlic, apple cider vinegar, & rosemary, so it has a ton of flavor right off the bat. Note: it also has lactic acid & that’s to keep it shelf stable. Ingredients = filtered water, organic chicken, onions, celery, carrots, sea salt, garlic, apple cider vinegar, lactic acid, rosemary, turmeric.

Bonafide Provisions organic bone broth made from free range chicken

I love that this one is more organic. Ingredients = organic chicken broth, organic onion, organic apple cider vinegar, organic garlic, selina brand celtic sea salt, organic parsley. This one comes in a big bag (big-ish, 24 oz vs. EPIC’s 14 oz jars). I keep it in the freezer & defrost it in the fridge the day I’m planing to make it.

I feel like if you want a quick & easy sipping broth, EPIC is the way to go. If you want bone broth for a base, for a more complex meal you’re making, like udon, Bonafide is a good pick. Bonafide doesn’t have as much flavor as EPIC, so you’ll want to add more seasoning to it than you would to EPIC.

Here’s how I make my EPIC bone broth:

  • Pour EPIC bone broth in homestyle savory chicken in a saucepan, & add salt, pepper, freshly squeezed lemon juice (usually 1/2 a lemon per jar) and red chili pepper flakes, and heat on medium-low heat until hot. (I like to use a little  himalayan pink salt & a lot of rainbow peppercorns & red chili pepper flakes from Trader Joe’s.)
  • When it’s hot, pour it in a mug and sip on it through a stainless steel straw. YUM! IT’S SOOO GOOD!

Perfect as a snack, especially after a workout!

Do you like bone broth? How do you usually have it?

<3,
Bita

+ more quick & easy recipes

+ more nutrition tips & tricks

What do you want to see more of on the blog—LMK below?

Some kitchen faves:

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Sunday Splash: fall vibes & fitness

Who’s ready for bed? Everyone, hands up?

I’m definitely exhausted in the best way possible—this past week was filled with lots of fun, family get-togethers, relaxation, & yummy food. BTW, we still have TONS of Nutella-stuffed Nutella cookies in the fridge. I might have gotten a little carried away & made way too many.

This year, I went for a run before our Thanksgiving get-togethers & it felt SO good. I definitely want to make it a tradition. Fresh air, fall leaves & endorphins? YES PLEASE!

I’m still not a fan of running on the treadmill (any tips here?) but running outside is hands-down one of my favorite ways to workout. I usually shoot for 1-2 runs a week, and I go to the gym on the other days.

Fall vibes & fitness have been our theme lately.

We shoot for daily workouts, & usually hit 5-7 workouts a week. I’d love to say it’s 7 days/week every week, but being real here, that doesn’t always happen. If I miss a day, I try not to dwell on it too much, & instead I focus on hitting it hard the next day.

A few things that help us reach our fitness goals?

  1. HABITS: during the week, we go to the gym as soon as we get home from work. This trigger helps SO much with consistency. During the weekend, we try to get our workout in, in the morning, before we head off to any weekend plans. This way we don’t miss it by getting home too late/coming home exhausted.
  2. BUDDY SYSTEM: we go to the gym together, whenever we can. This helps with accountability & motivation.
  3. BCAAS: BCAAs feed our muscles and protect them, so we burn fat (not muscle!) while we work out. SO important. They’re essential amino acids—meaning our bodies can’t produce them on their own so they need to come from our diet. It’s best to take them 3x per day—before your workout, after your workout, & before bed. More details here. Oh & update if you’re following JOYFETI on IG, I can swallow two BCAAs at once now. Small wins, guys! LOL. I take these vegan BCAAs, which I’m about to take again right now.

I just finished drinking my peppermint tea & I’m off to get ready for bed & pop 2 BCAA pills. Popity pop.

Sweet dreams!

<3,
Bita

+ if you’re a runner, find out how to find the right pair of running shoes for YOUR feet (+ an interview with A Runner’s Mind)

+ check out the JOYFETTI playlist: energized—it’s perfect for working out!

[ the vegan BCAAs I take ]

Fall vibes x fitness:

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Sluggishness sucks—here’s how to avoid it

You know that feeling when you’re awake but you don’t feel fully awake?

It’s kind of hard to explain.

It’s kind of like this weird, in-between state where your body’s up but your mind & eyes are still half asleep.

Either you totally get me, or you’re thinking I’m completely nuts… LOL. Either way, I’m sure we’ve all felt sluggish at one time or another, right?

I use to wake up feeling this way, way more than I would’ve liked, so I tried different tactics to avoid the feeling. In my opinion, it’s way better to try to prevent it than to try to get rid of it, because getting rid of it is much harder.

Here’s what works for me:

Quick ways to avoid sluggishness during the day:

Start the day off right

This is key. For me this means drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning & having a nutritious breakfast (for energy). The past few weeks, I’ve also been having cold brew coffee with almond milk. I love starting my day with a morning workout, but lately, I’ve been working out after work or during lunch instead.

Take a walk outside

Getting some fresh air & moving your body makes such a huge difference. I try to take 2 walking breaks during the day while I’m at work.

Ice roll after the shower

I loveeee ice rolling after I take a shower in the morning—before I put on my makeup. It wakes me up because of the iciness, & it also makes my makeup go on smoother. This is the one I use. I keep it in the freezer, & I roll it over my face & neck.

& that reminds… THIS MIST!!

I’m OBSESSED with this mist! I put it on right after I’m done putting on makeup, & sometimes randomly throughout the day. It’s super refreshing, & it gives me a little glow. My friends have noticed it too ; ) It also smells really good! I spray it over my face and sometimes on my chest. I wrote a full blog post about it here, if you want to check it out!

Drink up—chug, chug, chug (your water)

So you stay hydrated : ) I kind of make a game out of it. In the first few hours of the day, I try to drink a glass of water every hour. It’s super fun going to the bathroom every 45 minutes (joke), but it’s worth it. It makes me feel so much more awake. Plus, it’s good for your skin & wellbeing.

If you only try one tip, try this one.

I’ve also noticed when I get headaches, it’s usually because I didn’t drink enough water. So for me, it’s also a way to prevent headaches. WIN!

Keep the music going

Pandora… Spotify… YouTube, you get it… Here are some JOYFETTI playlists if you want to check ’em out.

Flip the sticks in your diffuser or light a citrus candle

When I was in middle school, I remember this one night, I was staying up super late, studying for finals, & I laid out a bunch orange peels on my desk to help me stay awake. I read that citrus smells could do that. It worked, to a certain point. I still use this trick today, but usually with diffusers or candles ; ) I light a candle or flip the sticks in my diffuser. When you flip the sticks it makes the scent stronger, kind of like you just opened it.

If you can’t light a candle at your office, or don’t feel like putting a diffuser on your desk, check out these cute, mini scent pods—they’re portable aromatherapy pods, & the eucalyptus scent smells amazingggg! It’s relaxing and refreshing at the same time. I’m a big fan!

With that, I’m off to wash my face with grapeseed oil, shower & climb into bed. Happy (almost) FRIDAY!! : )

<3,
Bita

[ bkr heart water bottle (similar) ]


Start your day on the right foot:

PC ]

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