The Whole Truth: Health and Wellness

By Fay Grant | Jul 16, 2014

Five Feel-Good Things To Do This Week

1) Pace yourself. Instead of obsessing over that next bite of homemade pie (while you’re still chewing) or going above and beyond your capabilities just to prove a point, try enjoying the pleasures of what you’ve been given in the moment and pace yourself this week. You’ll not only feel the gratification of being truly satisfied with your existence, you might even lose a few inches off the waist and hours of unnecessary stress.

2) Think local. Everyone has a choice of where to eat, shop and play, but what if you knew that every purchase you made could buy a way to positive change in your community? Thinking local can reduce your environmental impact by reducing air pollutants, provide jobs for residents, add value to your neighborhood and also encourage prosperity and growth. Research also shows that non-profit organizations receive an average 250 percent more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses. This week, do your best to think local and support some of the one-of-a-kind shops in your community.


3) Be an herbal stress buster. Herbs have long been known to reduce the effects of stress, having the ability to break up toxins, calm the mind and quiet the nervous system. Learn how to use herbs to de-stress your life by joining The American Herbalists Guild for their second fun-filled and educational AHG Silver Jubilee Event. This event focuses on understanding and dealing with stress and features an intensive workshop with Oregon based herbalist Howie Brounstein, an herbal recipe demo with local herbalist Melissa Fryar, and an herb walk and outdoor meditation with AHG Executive Director, Mimi Hernandez. *Spaces are limited. For more information, visit


4) Start something that matters. This week, gather up your friends, family and/or acquaintances to start something that matters. Big change starts with small steps, and starting a book club or soccer team to connect with people is a great way to begin. If you have the time, go above and beyond by bringing people together to organize and volunteer services to a good cause. Whether you’re working to solve a neighborhood problem, bonding over similar interests or making new friends, volunteering and being a part of something that matters is a great boost to the community and your self-esteem.


5) Put your paws together. This week, bring your pups, kiddies, lawn chairs and picnic blankets for a fun day at the park while raising money for Pilots N Paws and Asheville Humane Society. The event includes music, food, unique vendors and a chance to meet local Warrior Service Dogs and their soldiers as well as local celebrity and author, Deirdre Franklin, founder of Pinups for Pitbulls. Make sure to snag some training tips from Asheville’s very own Steve “Dogfather” Canady while you’re there. (via

When: July 20, 2014

Location: Fletcher Community Park, 85 Upward Road, Fletcher, NC 28732

Times: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Admission: $5

BUY IT or DIY IT: Roll-On Perfume

Whether you’re searching for healthier alternatives to hazardous artificial fragrances or just curious to try something new, this DIY roll-on perfume, using pure essential oils, provides a natural way to “scentually” fit any mood or special occasion. Smelling fabulous doesn’t have to be toxic, and refreshing fruits like lemon or grapefruit combined with warming smells like coconut and vanilla can make an invigorating and travel-friendly summertime fragrance.


What you’ll need:

  • 1 teaspoon of Almond or Jojoba Oil
  • Your favorite essential oil(s). There are many to choose from, so visit your nearest health store and find out which one of the many alluring essential oils is right for you.
  • 10ml roll-on perfume bottles


How to use it:

Note: Perfume is made up of base notes (that stay active the longest), middle notes (such as lavender or chamomile) and top notes that are the quickest to evaporate (like lemon and peppermint). Try arousing your senses with citrus first thing in the morning (top note) and linger with something sexy throughout the day like patchouli or sandalwood (base note).


1. Prepare 25 drops of base, middle and/or top note essential oils and mix well.

2. Add 1 teaspoon of almond or jojoba oil.

3. Fill each 10ml roll-on perfume bottle with perfume mixture, snap on the roller and shake carefully for at least 30 seconds.

*Keep in mind that many essential oils on the market are not 100% pure, all natural or therapeutic and could potentially contain hazardous materials. Make sure to read labels thoroughly and do your research before purchasing.


BUY IT. Try the sultry tropical blend of Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava Perfume Roll-On. Free of phthalates, nitro-musks, benzene, and other things you don't want on your skin, its berry-like notes of guava, citrusy top note of pomelo and subtle coconut base makes it a must-have for summer. (via


IN SEASON: Tomatoes


Ginger Shrimp with Charred Tomato Relish

(Serves 4)



2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons grated peeled ginger (2-inch piece)

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for grill

20 extra-large shrimp (about 1 pound), peeled, deveined, tails left on

4 ripe plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise

2 medium green tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 lime)

1 tablespoon minced fresh jalapeno pepper (with seeds)

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped basil

Note: Green tomatoes are simply unripe red tomatoes -- hence their lower sugar content and slightly sour taste. Charring makes them softer and easier to peel. To grill the shrimp use 8-inch wooden skewers, which you'll find in most supermarkets and kitchenware stores.



Soak 20 skewers in a pan of water for 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together garlic and ginger. Transfer half of the mixture to a large bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons oil. Add the shrimp, toss until evenly coated, and then cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cover remaining garlic-ginger mixture and refrigerate.

Heat grill to hot; lightly oil grates. In a medium bowl toss plum and green tomatoes with remaining tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill tomatoes, cut side up, until skins are charred and flesh is tender, 4 to 6 minutes for the plum tomatoes, 8 to 10 minutes for the green tomatoes (if the green tomatoes are very hard, this may take longer). Be careful as you grill, as the juice from the tomatoes and the oil on their surface may cause flare-ups.

When tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove and discard skins and seeds. Finely chop flesh and add to bowl with reserved garlic-ginger mixture. Add lime juice, jalapeno, sugar, cilantro, and basil.

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Thread shrimp, lengthwise, onto prepared skewers (going through tail and top of shrimp), one shrimp per skewer. Grill until shrimp are opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side.

To serve, place skewered shrimp on a platter with a bowl of the relish.



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