Forest Bathing

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When I first heard the term "Forest Bathing" I couldn't imagine what it meant. Was it setting up a bathtub in the forest? What could a forest have to do with bathing and getting clean?

As I learned more it became clear that it was about immersing ourselves in the millieu of a forest, much like we do when we submerge ourselves in a bath. And I have to admit that more than once I've escaped to the forest to find the kind of peace and relaxation that I experience with a warm bath. Everything inside seems to relax. Love that feeling.

And now scientists are looking for measurable effects of the benefits to our health by taking time in a forest. And it looks like there are some. Join us as we share a short video from Dr. Michael Greger about some of the latest findings.

We never questioned the health promoting influence of being in nature, particularly the forest. We just can't deny how much better we feel after being out in nature even if we can't explain why. But it's always nice to hear evidence like this that explains how our bodies are being influenced. Fascinating.

And what he talks about in the next video (that you can watch here) is the effect of the natural aromatic oils that the trees and plants expel.

The recipe for this week is Monkey Muffins. They're the latest in a series of little, sugar-free treats we've put together. I think they have the name Monkey in them because they're almost half banana. Ha!

To your Amazing Health,
Connie and Bill

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Monkey Muffins

  • 2 bananas
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • 4 pitted dates, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ½ teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ¼ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup almond flour (optional)
  • additional fruit from below if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add bananas, almond butter and dates to a food processor and process until the bananas are well puréed.

Add vanilla, baking powder, rolled oats, almond flour (if using) and additional fruit (if using) and pulse to mix in well.

Spoon into silicone mini-cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes, until tops are golden and firm to the touch. You can also press into an 8” x 8” baking dish and bake for 35 minutes.

Optional Fruit to create variety.

Add any one of the following:

  • 1 ½ cups blueberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 apple grated, plus ½ cup raisins, plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup dried cranberries, 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest, 2 tablespoons orange jui