Benefits Of Having A Homegrown Garden

We’re sure you love seeing everything bloom in the springtime as much as we do, so what better time to plant your own garden at home?  Having a home garden can benefit your life mentally, physically, and financially. 

It’s proven that gardening can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and depression.  Plus, it always feels nice to give a little something back to the environment, right?  Here are just a few of the ways having a garden can bring some serious good into your home.

Benefits for Your Overall Health

There have been multiple studies conducted on the benefits gardening can have on your physical and mental health.  Gardening itself, is a physical activity, so in doing so, you’re getting some exercise. 

Now, this doesn’t mean just watering your plants (however, that is part of it).  This is referring to the weeding, digging, planting, and everything else that goes into creating your full, at-home garden. You can actually burn 150-300 calories gardening for just 30-45 minutes a day.  Not to mention, it helps strengthen your bones, muscles, and joints.

Even just looking at a garden can help stimulate a healthy and positive mental state.  There’s a reason why gardening is described as being “good for the body and soul.”  You can tweak an at-home garden to cater to your own emotional needs.  There are different gardening styles and techniques to help stimulate calmness, tranquility, focus, happiness, and creativity.

Benefits for Your Wallet

There’s the obvious way that having an at-home garden can benefit your wallet.  Yep, growing your own fruits and vegetables means that you don’t have to buy them.  And, it’s honestly pretty rewarding to be self-sustaining. There’s also another way having an at-home garden can benefit your wallet.

Gardening can help raise the property value of your home, too.  Investing your time in your at-home garden, is really an investment into your home.  Think “curb-appeal.”  When you drive past a home with a well-kept and gardened outside, the house itself automatically looks that much more welcoming.

Benefits for Mother Nature

We’re always hearing about the negative effects our actions have on the environment, so it feels good to turn that around and do something nice for Mother Nature for a change. Plants and mulch help to hold soil in place, which reduces erosion.

Plants help cleanse our air of carbon dioxide and other various air pollutants. You can give back to the planet while giving a little something to yourself, when you plant an at-home garden.

Starting an at-home garden is pretty simple, and it can benefit your health, happiness, and home.  So if you’re feeling inspired by all these spring flowers, go grab some of your own and get that garden started. 

Alternative Ways To Caffeinate

Most of us need that morning cup of coffee to kick start our day. Some of us even need the mid-day cup to make it over the hump. While there are some health benefits to drinking coffee in moderation, it might be beneficial to be aware of other forms of caffeine that you can reach for when you need an extra boost.

Green and Black Tea

A cup of green tea has anywhere from 24-40 mg of caffeine.  A cup of black tea has about 47 mg of caffeine.  While this is only about half as much as you get from a cup of coffee, it provides you with a more even and mellow “caffeine high”, rather than just the caffeine spike you get from coffee. Even though you may not notice it, coffee in the afternoon does make for a more restless night of sleep, so you’ll eliminate this by choosing tea, too.

Dark Chocolate

As if you needed an excuse to eat chocolate?  Put down that cup of coffee, and grab some dark chocolate. A regular sized dark chocolate bar only has about 18 grams of caffeine, so don’t expect a huge spike in energy.  But, dark chocolate is rich in healthy antioxidants, so at least it’s good for you, in—cue our favorite word—moderation.    

Fortified Coconut Water

Coconut water is already stimulating in itself because potassium helps your body convert carbs into fuel.  But, if that’s not enough for you, now you can also get coconut water with espresso, which has as much as 125 mg of caffeine.  That’s as much caffeine as you would get in two shots of espresso.  Making it another great alternative for coffee.

Guarana Supplements

Guarana is a plant typically used in energy drinks.  And while you can’t find it at your local grocery store, you can find Guarana supplements.  Guarana seeds actually have double the caffeine that java beans have, making it the most potent alternative.  Guarana is in most multivitamins, so starting a regular vitamin regimen can help you replace coffee almost all together, if you so desire.

If you want to give your body a little break from coffee, but still need some caffeine, give these alternatives a try.  You might find that you enjoy them even more than that usual “cup of joe.”

4 Fun Ways To Get Outside This Spring

Spring has officially sprung, and with warmer weather finally within reach, we’re ready to get outside.  It’s so easy to get stuck in your daily work routine, but you need some Vitamin D, too.  And, scheduling some much deserved outside time into your routine can be pretty easy.  We know everyone already has their favorite things to do outside, but here’s a couple more to add to your list this spring.

1. Have a Picnic

Yes, it’s old school and maybe even a little cliché, but when is the last time you actually packed up, sat down, and had a real picnic?  Probably a while.  This is a great alternative to going out to eat because it’s a small way you can get outside and get active. 

You can get together with a group of friends and each bring a dish or side from your favorite local deli, or make that new recipe you’ve been dying to try.  By putting together a little picnic potluck you can help all your friends get together and get outside to welcome the spring. 

Or, after a long week, take a day for yourself, pack a lunch, grab a blanket and a good book and go have a personal picnic.  Pick your favorite park and just relax.  Clichés are clichés for a reason, and a picnic is definitely a classic outdoor activity for a reason.  It’s an easy way to set aside an hour of your day to enjoy the outdoors.  

2. Go for a Jog

Another pretty classic activity: jogging.  This spring, ditch the treadmill and hit the streets.  You’ve been cooped up all winter, and it’s finally nice out so why spend all that time in the gym when you could be running around outside. 

You don’t have to go for long, and it honestly doesn’t even really have to be a “jog.”  Pick your own pace.  Even just going for a short stroll around the block is something.  It’s another easy way to get outside and enjoy some springtime, even just for a few minutes.  

3. Play a Team Sport

Another great way to get outside and get all your friends together at the same time.  Join an organized softball league, or put together your own.  Pick a day of the week, head to the park, and play a pickup game of soccer. 

Just like having a real picnic, when is the last time you actually played a team sport?  Probably a while.  By designating one day a week, or joining an organized league, you can make a team activity part of your routine, and hence, setting aside some more time for the outside. 

4. Plant a Garden

Spring is the perfect time to start a garden. If you plan accordingly, then by gardening earlier in the season you can actually grow more.  It is important to be a little more cautious when you begin gardening in the spring, because there can still be some frost and colder weather. Cover up seedlings in a plastic cover on nights it is supposed to be especially cold, or if you feel more comfortable, just cover them every night. 

You also don’t necessarily have to begin planting in the spring, but you could just start planning and plotting a small area.  Choose where you want to make your garden in the summer, and start weeding and preparing that area.  Gardening is another activity that really doesn’t take up much time in your day, but it gets you to spend just a little more time outside enjoying yourself.

So, these are just a few of our favorite things to do outside.  And whether you choose something from our list, or something from your own, give yourself that much deserved spring sunshine time.  The best way to welcome these warmer months is by taking advantage of them and getting outside, even just a little.