Rutabaga Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

Rutabaga Sweet Potato Soup

Vegan, Gluten Free

Happily Serves 4

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

1 butternut squash, cut in half

3 garlic cloves

2 cups rutabaga, peeled and diced

2 cups sweet potato, peeled and diced

Coconut Oil

1 tsp. Sea salt

½ tsp pepper

1 Yellow onion, chopped

¾ Cup soaked cashews

2½ Cups Coconut milk

2 Cups vegetable or chicken broth

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 400º .

Rub the squash with oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet.

Cut garlic and let sit 5-10 mins.

Coat the rutabaga and sweet potato in oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add both to baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes, rotate half way through.

Sauté onion and garlic until soft and caramelized.

Remove roasted veggies from oven and blend all of the above in a food processor until smooth. The nuts may remain grainy, but that’s okay. You can add water to reach desired consistency.

Rutabagas Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 3.5 ounces (100 grams), raw

Calories 39

Calories from fat 2

Total fat 0 g 0%

Saturated fat 0 g 0%

Trans fat

Cholesterol 0 mg 0%

Sodium 20 mg 1%

Total Carbohydrate 9 g 3%

Dietary Fiber 2 g 7%

Sugar 6 g

Protein 1 g

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 31%  Calcium 5% Iron 3%

Health Benefits of Rutabagas

All crucifers (brassicas or cole crops) are high in antioxidant and anti-cancer compounds. The anti-cancer properties of these vegetables are so well established that the American Cancer Society recommends that Americans increase their intake of cruciferous vegetables.

Rutabaga’s most significant nutrient comes from vitamin C. One cup contains 53% of the daily recommended value, providing antioxidants and immune system-supporting functions that help protect the cells from free radical damage. Although rutabagas provide only 5% of the iron needed for healthy blood on a daily basis, vitamin C enhances its absorption, while helping to form both collagen and the thyroid hormone thyroxine, which protect cells against damage, encourage wounds to heal, fight infections, and promote healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels.

Beta-carotene-rich rutabagas are also an excellent source of potassium and manganese (for energy), and a good source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6 (helps support the nervous system), calcium (for strong bones), magnesium (helps absorb calcium and combat stress), and phosphorus (helps metabolize proteins and sugars).

Hot mess: The grossest health concerns of summer

 

(CNN)You are not the only one who thrives in the summer and loves its warm, long days. Bacteria and other microbes that cause food poisoning, diarrhea and just general grossness also flourish, threatening to make it a season to be sick.

“Foodborne pathogens follow an annual cycle, and we tend to see peaks of them, especially bacteria, in the summer, at picnics, potlucks and all the outdoor events,” said Melinda Wilkins, director of the online science master’s program in food safety at Michigan State University.
Your gut is not the only part of your body at risk of assault by bacteria such as E. coli in summer months. Bugs lurk in air conditioning filters, especially when it is hot and humid, ready to cause trouble for those with breathing problems. And the skin that protects you from infections can become a portal for them after a bad, blistering sunburn.
Of course, even if some dangers await you at the picnic, pool or beach, it is worth it to get out and enjoy yourself. You can most likely handle what comes your way.

Don’t pee (or poop) in the pool

The burn you feel in your eyes after a dip in the swimming pool is not because of chlorine. It is because pee, poop and sweat from fellow swimmers (and maybe you) react with chlorine and form chloramine compounds,and this combination is what really stings your peepers. Aside from the gross factor, the formation of these compounds means there is less chlorine left in the water to kill bacteria, such as E. coli. Chloramines can also irritate the airways, and when they build up in the air, such as at indoor pools, they can trigger asthma attacks.
“We recommend that you not pee or poop in the water, and shower before you go in,” said Michele Hlavsa, chief of the Health Swimming Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2010 CDC report found that one out of 10 public pools don’t have proper chlorine levels. To make sure you’re not about to take a dip in a bacteria-laden pool, “you can use pool test strips at a pool supply or big box store” to check the chlorine level, Hlavsa said. (The CDC recommends chlorine levels in pools between 1 and 3 parts per million and pH of 7.2 to 7.8.)
Even at the right levels, chlorine does not wipe out everything. A new CDC report found that a parasite called cryptosporidium, which can cause diarrhea and lives up to 10 days in a chlorinated pool, was associated with 37 (54%) of the 69 outbreaks of illness at pools and water parks. “To protect yourself, it’s about not swallowing the water you swim in, and to protect others don’t swim if you have diarrhea,” Hlavsa said.

Lurking in seawater

A day at the beach may leave you with more memories than you imagined if you go home with vibriosis. The infection is caused by vibrio bacteria, which live in some coastal waters and flourish in the warm months between May and October, when the majority of cases occur.
According to the CDC, there are about 80,000 cases each year, and about 100 of them are fatal.
An estimated 52,000 of those cases result from eating contaminated food, such as raw oysters, that have been infected in the water they once lived in. Symptoms usually begin within 24 hours of consumption. They include abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills. The illness lasts about three days.
The bacteria can also cause skin rashes that lead to infection when contaminated water gets into an open wound or even a scratch.
The best way to prevent this infection is to thoroughly cook shellfish and clean hands well after touching raw or undercooked shellfish. Cuts or scrapes should be cleaned well with soap after contact with infected water. When possible, cover the wound with a waterproof bandage before getting it wet.

Beware the picnic burgers

The thought of potato salad sweltering in the heat at the summer picnic may make the burgers on the grill sound pretty appetizing, but think again. “Actually, potato salad has kind of a bad rap, but it is not really a particularly high-risk food,” said Wilkins, of Michigan State University. “But people tend to bring frozen (burger) patties and throw them on the grill before they are fully thawed, (and) ground meat that is not thoroughly cooked is one of the riskiest items” because it can have E. coli, she said.
Ground beef and pork should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, ground chicken and turkey to 165 degrees. And yes, that means using a meat thermometer to test the temperature in the middle of the burger, Wilkins said.
Of course, bacteria can still lurk in a big bowl of gooey potato or pasta salad, but not for the reasons you may think. Ingredients such as potatoes, pasta and eggs, not the mayonnaise, are prone to contamination. To play it safe, keep containers of anything you’re supposed to eat cold, such as potato salad, in big bowls or coolers full of ice, Wilkins said.

Bacteria scream for ice cream (machines)

An issue that can plague many an inadequately cleaned soft-serve ice cream dispenser is bacteria. “Listeria (bacteria) is a really sneaky pathogen in that it likes to live in cooler temperatures and populate machinery,” Wilkins said. Listeria infections can cause fever and muscle aches, and they are especially dangerous for pregnant women, who may miscarry as a result.
On the bright side, the Blue Bell ice cream scare has made people more aware of listeria’s potential to lurk in frozen desserts, Wilkins said. It is a good idea to ask the person working at the yogurt shop or ice cream truck when the machines were last cleaned. “It brings the issue to the awareness of the workers and management to double check their procedures,” Wilkins said.

Burn, baby, burn

Sunburns may seem like a sweet souvenir from a day at the beach, but they should really be thought of as potentially harmful wounds. In the most severe cases, people can develop blisters and need to be treated like burn victims, said Dr. Cameron K. Rokhsar, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “The skin sloughs off, (and) if there’s any kind of raw wound, it can predispose you to an infection” and should be treated with a prescription antibiotic ointment, he said.
Worse yet, even just a few serious sunburns may greatly increase your risk of developing skin cancer. A 2014 study found that white women who had five or more blistering sunburns when they were teens were 68% more likely to develop melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Brush with jellyfish

Despite that old episode of “Friends” where Joey peed on Monica’s jellyfish sting, urine is not the antidote to the venom of this goopy animal, which is common off beaches across the United States and thrives in warm water. Rinsing the wound with saltwater is one of the most recommended ways to relieve the stinging, redness and swelling that follow a brush with a jellyfish tentacle.
A more surprising but also effective treatment is vinegar, said Rokhsar, who knows firsthand that it can make the pain go away almost instantaneously. “It happened to me. It hurts a lot, and I actually went to the lifeguard station, and they had vinegar spray,” he said.
Also beware of the not-so-cute baby jellyfish called sea lice. Unlike the adults’ sting, theirs doesn’t hurt, so you don’t have to worry about rinsing the wound with saltwater or vinegar. Save the vinegar for rinsing your swimsuit before you wash it. Some believe the larvae can become trapped in the fabric.
You will usually experience an itchy, red rash and small blisters within 24 hours. The rash is sometimes accompanied with fever, chills, headaches and nausea. The symptoms can last as long as two weeks and are not contagious.
The sea lice, which are actually microscopic larvae of marine life such as jellyfish or sea anemones, are most often found in summer waters in Florida and the Caribbean.

Grossness flourishes in air conditioning filters

When air conditioners are working around the clock in hot summer months, dust, mold and pollution from outdoor air (in the case of central AC) or indoor air (in the case of a window unit) tend to build up on the filter of AC units. Not only does this slash the air conditioner’s efficiency, it can also carry health risks, said Abby Brokaw, director of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest Health House program.
“People who are already having problems with breathing or lung health — so people with allergies or respiratory disease — are going to be affected” if the filter is not properly cleaned, removing dust, mold, dander and other detritus, Brokaw said.
To keep your filter in tiptop shape, clean or replace it every three months, Brokaw advised. But take precaution when you do. Mold and bacteria love to grow on filters, especially in the summer humidity.
“You don’t want to breathe in mold spores and bacteria. We would recommend that you wear gloves and a mask,” Brokaw said, referring to surgical masks sold in drugstores.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/26/health/gross-summer-health/index.html

Cooking Class With a Holistic Nutritionist-Jodi Lynn DePriest

chop

Cooking With Jodi – 6/12/2016

This week Jodi featured vegetables of all shapes sizes and colors.  Spaghetti Squash, Cabbage, Green and Red Bell Peppers, Tarragon, Garlic, Black Beans, and more.  These classes are a great way to learn new ways to cook healthy and still make very tasty dishes.  In class today, Jodi made:

potato salad

                    Herb Potato Salad

cabbage salad

       Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein

 

 

      Black Bean Lentil/Quinoa Salad with Cumin-Lime Dressing

quinoa salad

 

 

Celery Detox Juice

Celery Detox Juice

Gluten Free, Vegan

Happily serves 2

ALL ORGANIC INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Stalks Celery
  • 4 Carrots
  • Fresh grated Ginger
  • 1/2 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup Aloe Vera Juice
  • dash of Clove and cinnamon
  • Stevia to taste
  • I blend it all up in the Vitamix.  I Store in mason glass jars.
  • I use my shaker bottle  (22oz) I fill up half way with Green Tea and then add about 1/2 of the juice mixture and ice to the top.

How to Reduce Inflammation: 4 Ingredients Could Be the Key

4 Key Ingredients For Improving Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s way of defending itself against disease and is a self-protective mechanism that can support the natural healing process. However, when the inflammation is chronic because of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, then this can leads to conditions where disease manifests. The good news is that there are various natural anti-inflammatories that can ease many of the chronic inflammatory conditions.

Below are a list of the key ingredients that can improve inflammation…

  • Curcumin. This is the active compound found in the Indian spice turmeric. Its curcuminoids can curcumin
    reduce pain and inflammation by inhibiting NF-kB, a protein complex that controls transcription of DNA, cytokine
    production and cell survival. It is involved in the cellular responses to stimuli such as stress, cytokines, and plays an integral role in regulating the immune system response.
  • Serrapeptase. This is a proteolytic enzyme that can dissolve and safely digest inflammation within the body. Once the inflammation is removed, it’s possible for the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms to come into play. Serrapeptase is derived from the silkworm intestine but is now manufactured within a laboratory. When serrapeptase is taken it can safely eliminate inflammation that can appear as various symptoms including redness, swelling, pain and more.
  • Ecklonia Cava Extract is a super nutrient that can help to support healthy blood flow and circulation. Studies show it may reduce blood glucose levels, while supporting blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) and other trace minerals can help to support healthy lungs, joints,
    tendons and connective tissues.  This is an organosulfur compound that occurs naturally in plants and can help with a variety of health problems related to and including stress, inflammation, allergies and gastrointestinal conditions.

Any of the above nutrients can help to provide inflammation relief. Curcumin and Serrapeptase are particularly powerful as they are highly researched and have been documented as helping thousands of people improve their health conditions, due to their anti-inflammatory properties. When they are taken on a daily basis, they can provide long term results. Alongside taking these nutrients it’s recommended to follow an anti-inflammatory diet, as it’s then possible to find significant relief from the painful symptoms of inflammation.

Chocolate Almond Bark Info & Recipe

Chocolate Almond Bark

Safe to say that most people enjoy chocolate. Especially at the holidays. So if there is a way to enjoy good food without the extra calories from processed packaged foods this is the way to do it. A couple of added benefits are that it has low cholesterol, low sodium, 5 ingredients or less, and it tastes great (so it’s kid friendly).  This is a simple Almond or nut bark recipe that will have you coming back for more.

Raw Honey

Raw honey that is unprocessed and unfiltered has live enzymes, vitamins and trace minerals and is considered a raw honeyWhole Food, straight from the hive. Honey provides a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C and three times the riboflavin then maple syrup. Organic honey Is a source of natural antioxidants. Local raw honey can also help with people who struggle with allergies. 1 tablespoon only has 60 cal and 17 carbohydrate (16 sugars). Most of the sugars come from fructose with a bit of glucose and even less sucrose.

 

Keywords: Description:
antioxidants  An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals, leading to chain reactions that may damage cells. Antioxidants such as thiols or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) terminate these chain reactions.
orac scale  The ORAC scale measures the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity in different foods. Free radicals are produced during normal metabolism and cell function, as well as from stress and pollutants in our air, water and food. The oxidative stress caused by these free radicals is implicated in everything from the aging and wrinkling of skin to DNA damage, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
polyphenols  Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging. The health effects of polyphenols depend on the amount consumed and on their bioavailability.
digestive enzymes  Digestive enzymes, primarily produced* in the pancreas and small intestine, break down our food into nutrients so that our bodies can absorb them.
amino acids  Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life.
orac chart  orac chart 

This is just a small representation of the larger ORAC chart, but you see how high Cacao Powder is on the list…very antioxidant rich.

 

If you choose to use maple syrup instead of honey, make sure you read the labels. Pure maple syrup and is sap boiled down to make syrup. For every 39 gallons of sap, it makes just 1 gallon of maple syrup. This may help you understand the price difference. Breakfast syrup’s or pancake syrup, are not made with maple at all. They are made from high fructose corn syrup and flavored with an aromatic compounds and caramelized sugar, among a few other spices. Canada produces 80% of the worlds maple syrup. The United States divides the grades into grade A and grade B. Grade A is considered premier and what’s meant for eating. Grade B is so dark that is generally used in baking or cooking. The sugars in maple syrup primarily come from sucrose. Maple syrup may be considered healthier because of its overall less sugar, more importantly Less fructose than honey. Maple syrup provides more minerals than honey such as iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and potassium. For 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and there are about 56 calories and 13g of sugar.

Organic Cacao

organic cocoaCacao can fuel energy and mood. It is an excellent source of fiber good source of protein and iron. It is high in antioxidants and polyphenols. A half half a cup of raw organic cocoa organic cocoapowder has 110 cal, 2 g of fat 16 carbohydrates, 10 of which is dietary fiber. It contains 8 g of protein and will give you 10% of the iron you need for your daily requirements. It is considered a stimulant and should be eaten occasionally not every day.

 

 

Raw Organic Coconut Butter

coconut organic coconut butterRaw organic coconut butter is comprised of puréed, raw coconut meat, not only coconut oil. Coconut oil is up your fat, and is made up of medium fatty chain acids. MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) are absorbed in your digestive track. Because coconut oil it is 90% saturated fat it will become a solid at 75° or colder and turn into a liquid if warmer than 76°. 1 tablespoon will give you 105 cal, 11 g of fat, 4 g of carbs half of which are dietary fiber, and 2 g of protein. Coconut butter will also give you 6% of the iron you need daily.

All nuts will give you different fat content, carbohydrate content, and protein content. Of all nuts pecans are the highest on the ORAC chart (oxygen radical absorbance capacity). Soaking drying all of your nuts and seeds will lead to better digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals.

Homemade Chocolate Almond Bark

1 cup cocoa butter (or coconut butter)
1 cup Cacao powder
1/3 cup raw honey or maple syrup
3 tsp vanilla extract

optional: chopped nuts

Gently heat all ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat. mix until ingredients are combined and chocolate sauce is smooth.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Pour chocolate sauce over parchment lined cookie sheet .
Place cookie sheet in freezer.
Freeze for 2-3 hours or until completely hard

For more tips and tricks, stay tuned to Healthy With Jodi.

The Most Powerful Natural Antioxidants

Are you tired of getting sick?  Antioxidants could be the answer…antioxidants

 

Antioxidants have been around since the beginning of time. We often hear about them on commercials, or talk shows. Most people don’t realize that the food that we eat or don’t eat will make the difference in our overall health. The benefits of antioxidants can be found in plant based diets, fruits and vegetables, nuts, and antioxidant vitamins.  Many antioxidant rich foods are called super foods.  This article is a great way to understand what foods will arm your body with the defenses that it needs to fight off sickness and infection. We will dive into the health benefits of the top 10 antioxidant rich foods. You should definitely add these to your diet.

 

Keywords: Description:
antioxidants  A substance that reduces damage due to oxygen, such as that caused by free radicals. Well-known antioxidants include enzymes and other substances, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene, which are capable of counteracting the damaging effects of oxidation. Antioxidants are also commonly added to food products such as vegetable oils and prepared foods to prevent or delay their deterioration from the action of air. Antioxidants may possibly reduce the risks of cancer. Antioxidants clearly slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.
oxidative stress  reflects an imbalance between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system’s ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage. Disturbances in the normal redox state of cells can cause toxic effects through the production of peroxides and free radicals that damage all components of the cell, including proteins, lipids, and DNA.
free radical formation  Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons and can be formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules. Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. Their chief danger comes from the damage they can do when they react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants.
oxygen radical absorbance capacity ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. It’s a lab test that attempts to quantify the “total antioxidant capacity” (TAC) of a food by placing a sample of the food in a test tube, along with certain molecules that generate free radical activity and certain other molecules that are vulnerable to oxidation . After a while, they measure how well the sample protected the vulnerable molecules from oxidation by the free radicals. The less free radical damage there is, the higher the antioxidant capacity of the test substance. There are actually a handful of different tests designed to measure total antioxidant capacity in this way, but the ORAC is probably the best known and most popular

 

inflammation Inflammation and Antioxidants,

 

 

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar

  • lowers cholesterol
  • boost energy
  • reduces cramping and lactic acid
  • helps bad breath
  • controls blood sugar
  • supports heart health
  • whitens teeth

garlic with parsley leaves

Garlic

  • boost immune system function/fights infection
  • aids in cancer prevention
  • fights inflammation
  • promotes total body detoxification

Ginger

  • acts as an antidote for nauseaginger root
  • reduces inflammation – arthritis – headaches
  • stimulates circulation
  • inhibits rhinovirus – a cause of the common cold
  • fights salmonella
  • reduces gas and intestinal pain

horseradish

Horseradish Root

  • fights cancer
  • detoxifies the liver
  • relieves sinus pressure
  • treats urinary tract infections
  • reduces bloating
  • aids in muscle soreness

Oniononion

  • decrease risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease
  • promotes healthy hair and complexion
  • great source of vitamin C
  • reduce risk of colorectal and other intestinal cancers
  • improve mood and help with depression

habanero peppers

Habanero Peppers

  • reduce risk of diabetes and obesity
  • great cancer fighter
  • reduces cholesterol and heart disease
  • lowers inflammation

Oregano Oiloregano oil

  • treats foot or nail fungus
  • kills parasites or infection
  • minimizes sinus infection and cold symptoms
  • great for cleaning when mixed with lemon and vinegar

tumeric

Tumeric

  • helps with chronic inflammation
  • reduces symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis
  • improves mood and aids in depression
  • lowers blood glucose levels
  • inhibits cancer cell growth
  • has anti-aging properties

Echinacea (herb)echinacea

  • reduces acid reflux
  • decreases migrane symptoms
  • aid in genital herpes outbreaks
  • helps cure strep throat
  • reduces urinary tract infections
  • cures yeast infections

raw honey

Raw Honey

  • cancer fighting properties
  • aids in nausea and upset stomach
  • natural cough suppressant
  • assists in blood sugar regulation
  • heals ulcers
  • good cholesterol regulator

 

It is not hard to see the benefits of these powerful antioxidants.  If you work them into your diet your will surely see and feel the difference.  In addition to these awesome foods, a green drink will work wonders for your overall health and well being.  If you enjoyed this article, then I assume that you like to know what is in your food and why it is good for you.  This book is the best book I have ever found for understanding the ‘whys’ about food.  If you have any questions about fitness or nutrition, email Jodi at jodi@healthywithjodi.com .

New to the Gym? No Problem. Check out this STARTER GUIDE – You Can Do It

Lots of people have “gym anxiety”.  You know that feeling that you get when you want to go to the gym, but don’t know what to do, or where to start.  Muscle and Fitness has the answers.

What to do at the Gym

Link to Muscle and Fitness Starter Guide

 

Keywords: Description:
workout routine  There is no definite way to define this, but Muscle and Fitness has put some great routines together.
weight loss Weight loss has many paths.  Here are some great plans to achieve your weight loss goals.
strength training  is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, size, skeletal muscles
fat loss  Fun facts about fat loss

 

 

Digital Detox- A detox without Food!

Turn it OFF

digital detox

The digital detox is nothing more than taking a break from your devices. While on vacation, we are constantly connected over social media, email, and by using our devices to find the best restaurant on Yelp or the best route on maps. “Some of the changes I’ve noticed in clients after they’ve taken a digital detox are that they are more balanced and calmer in their lives due to periodically stopping the continual digital exposure throughout their day.”Try to have at least one hour before bedtime where there is no digital stimulation so you can unwind. Don’t let digital devices stay on at night next to you unless it’s mandatory.

And although others take a more hardcore approach with week-long ‘summer camps’ or designated holidays, pledging to take just one day offline while you travel means you can reap the benefits of a detox, without sacrificing the joy of staying connected to your family and friends or taking the perfect Instagram or Snapchat shot.

Some suggest that the discipline in these smaller detoxes can be hugely beneficial to your mental state, and you can implement them on a smaller scale in your everyday routine.

This video points out the daily grind, and why we could all use a break.

This concept can be difficult at first, the benefits are real. Many detoxers find a real world connectedness that enriches and enhances our lives in a way no Wi-Fi connection can.

These short-term benefits are just part of the story. Mentally, even a short break from electronics can have long-term benefits that can make you happier and more successful in every aspect of your life.

Today, in a world where the average user logs almost 2 hours per day on social media alone, this idea is somewhat terrifying.  Dr. Yvonne Thomas, a psychologist and therapist based in Los Angeles, puts it simply: “You can be so preoccupied with your digital devices that it’s all too easy to inadvertently sacrifice time, relationships, sleep, focus, productivity and balance in your life. Many people are not even aware of the toll their extensive usage of digital devices costs them until they have suffered a loss or upset because of this.”.

digital detox

Could this cure-all of the tech world provide more benefits to the humans using the tech than the devices themselves? Digital detox devotees think so, and they’ve started a movement that seems to grow louder and larger with every tech announcement or app update.

Not convinced? Try it for one week.

How to detox without losing your job or social life.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to detoxing. Randi Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, believes in a ‘digital sabbath’, while Google chairman Eric Schmidt believes in scheduled ‘on’ and ‘off’ times, and commits to gadget-free meals.

digital detox

When traveling and taking a vacation, every notification you receive– emails, instant messages, text messages, social media notifications– takes a moment to acknowledge, another to process and another (or a few depending on how soon that deadline really is) to forget. Suddenly the notification, even if you neglected to react or respond to it, is a significant distraction from what should be a chance to explore another culture and enjoy some time away from the screen. Multiply this by the 50+ notifications many of us will receive in a day, and you can start to get a sense of what you’re losing to your device.

Dr. Thomas has seen first-hand how deep the benefits can be. “Some of the changes I’ve noticed in clients after they’ve taken a digital detox are that they are more balanced and calmer in their lives due to periodically stopping the continual digital exposure throughout their day.

“Try to have at least one hour before bedtime where there is no digital stimulation so you can unwind. During this digital-free time period, try to connect with yourself through meditation, reflection or awareness. Don’t let digital devices stay on at night next to you unless it’s mandatory.