Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Stop and Smell the Flowers

April showers bring May flowers...

I enjoy the change of the seasons (could do without allergies), but I look forward to the beauty of nature as the weather jumps into spring.  Colorful flowers start to bloom and people crawl out of hibernation. Spring is the perfect time of year to clean your mind, body, and soul.

Benefits of flowers:
  • Improve your mood.  The scent of lavender can be calming and reduce your stress levels.  Breathe and relax.
  • Take a moment and appreciate beauty. 
  • Brighten a room to bring you energy as well as peace.
  • Show appreciation and bring a smile to others (ladies love flowers, not just on Valentine's Day).
  • Planting flowers such as scented germaniums, sage, and marigold can deter pests from your produce farm.
Consume flowers:
  • Use flowers that are grown without pesticides.
  • Some flowers are toxic.  Eat flowers only when you know they are edible. 
  • Flavor dishes: add to soups, salads, sauces, stir fry, cakes. 
  • Garnish meals and desserts.
  • Drink as a tea.
  • Freeze small flowers (rose buds, orchid, pansy, snapdragon, germanium) into ice cubes to add to beverages.
  • Herb flowers: basil, oregano, cilantro, ginger, mint, lavender, rosemary, thyme, sage
  • Vegetable flowers: broccoli florets, arugula, cauliflower, artichokes.
  • Potential health benefits: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, digestion, and immune system boosting.
Tips to bring your day into nature:
  • Take a fitness class outside. 
  • Depending on the length of your lunch break, allow 5-10 minutes for a quick walk.  Stepping away from your work will clear your mind and refocus when you return.
  • Find local parks and gardens to enjoy a scenic view.  Pack a healthy picnic or bring a nice book to relax.
  • See if there is a local community garden or farm near you to learn to grow flowers and produce.
Find some flowers to give a loved one or friend to bring a smile and brighten up the day.. Mother's Day is approaching! 

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