Thee Whole Truth: Health and Wellness

By Fay Grant Guide contributor | Jun 18, 2014


1)    Dig in the dirt. Not only does gardening provide a source of fresh, healthy produce, digging in the dirt can ease stress and improve your mood. Studies have shown that gardening can fight stress even better than other relaxing leisure activities and the effortless attention of gardening may even help improve depression. Gardening gets you outside — giving you some time to take in the fresh air and sunshine and digging, planting and weeding gets your blood flowing like other forms of low-impact exercise. What you grow yourself is nearly the freshest food you can eat and because home gardens are filled with fruits and vegetables, it’s not surprising that gardeners incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet making them healthier overall. You don't need a large backyard or a green thumb to reap the benefits of gardening. For those with minimal experience, try starting small by gardening in containers using fresh herbs or by planting a few houseplants.

2)    Try healing naturally. Stressed out and in need of natural healing? Sound healing is a natural way to bring relaxation to the body. Using various tones, sound therapy aligns brainwaves into a frequency that allows for calm. Sound is generally believed to target various aspects of the body's ability to heal and the frequencies played in therapy aim to correct the imbalances. Sound healing is increasingly embraced as the oldest, most gentle and most profound method of healing there is. Try healing naturally this week by attending a Sound Healing Concert at Asheville’s Salt Cave. Using crystal singing bowls and the natural power of the human voice, learn to meditate more easily, reduce stress and anxiety, and unleash your innate ability for physical healing. The salt cave will leave you with a newly discovered energy accomplished without medications, through the natural healing process of salt therapy. (via

Sound Healing Concert

June 21, 2014 at 6 p.m.

Address: 10-12 Eagle Street, Asheville, NC 28801

Venue:  Asheville's Salt Cave

3)    Let go of fear. This week, take some time go let go of fear and try to find the root of your insecurities and unhappiness. Sweeping your fears under the rug can have negative effects on your physical and emotional health, so it’s important to tackle them head on and realize that you are the only one capable of defeating them. It’s up to you to take the first leaps of courage and let go of what is holding you back.

4) Grill smart. As summer heats up and you light up your grill, try to make a healthy change by grilling smart. Start by cutting back on heavy animal fats that can create potentially harmful chemicals that drip, burn and smoke onto your food. Cleaning your grill regularly, avoiding burning your meat (try grilling over a medium heat) and going for lean cuts can prevent an increased risk of cancer according to recent studies. Using antioxidant-rich marinades and seasonings that incorporate garlic, ginger, lemon juice and turmeric can also keep toxic compounds from forming.

5)    Get from giving. A lot of us have an inherent fear that there’s only so much room for happiness or success in the world - and by not experiencing it yourself you’re missing out on opportunities you feel you deserve. This fear comes from the competitive challenges society has bestowed upon us, feeding us with a need to be better than those before us in order to feel worthy or accomplished. In truth, there is so much beauty and joy in the act of letting the spirit of generosity take over by allowing others to feel the confidence and support they deserve. Whether it's as simple as helping a friend who could use your emotional support or finding the strength to be truly happy for someone else during a time when you might feel jealous or insecure, celebrate someone else’s success and let the positive energy rub off on you.


BUY IT OR DIY IT: All-Natural Exfoliating Face Mask

Did you know that making your own all-natural homemade face mask could leave your skin looking and feeling just like the store-bought masks? Unlike those you’ll find at the local pharmacy or grocery store, you’ll be skipping out on all the added toxic chemicals being absorbed into your skin. The following ingredients in this DIY recipe are so natural you can actually eat the leftovers. Honey is beneficial for all skin types, especially dry skin. It helps retain both elasticity and moisture while promoting tissue growth. Greek yogurt contains lactic acid, which helps to clear out pores and loosen dead skin cells. Ground almonds and lemon juice exfoliate the skin and the citric acid in lemon juice can reduce oil and diminish the appearance of age spots and scars. Bananas are rich in potassium and can be used to help heal blemishes while berries fight free radicals, keeping your face radiant and soft. Berries are now in season and you can find many varieties of local honey at most WNC farmers markets so make sure to support the community while you beautify!

What you’ll need:

2 tablespoons plain organic yogurt

2 tablespoons ground almonds

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)

¼ banana

1 tablespoon lemon juice

*If your skin is dry or damaged, reduce the lemon juice and instead add an equivalent amount of honey. If you have oily skin, use a little more lemon juice and a little less honey.

How to use it:

1)    In a blender, combine plain yogurt, banana, ground almonds, honey and pulse until fully combined.

2)    Add mixed berries, pureeing until smooth, then add lemon juice.

3)    As with all new body products make sure to sample the mixture on a small area of your skin to test for allergic reactions.

4)    If your skin approves, using your hands, very gently apply mixture to a clean, dry face making sure to avoid the eye and mouth area. Let mask sit for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse face thoroughly with warm water followed by a splash of cold water to close your pores.

BUY IT: Try LUSH Brazened Honey Fresh Face Mask. Using a combination of natural ingredients and safe synthetics, this face mask has rave reviews and will deep-cleanse and refresh oily, congested skin. Inspired by traditional Indian Ayurvedic principles, which put emphasis on balance as the foundation to health, it’s the perfect way to deep clean and revive sluggish skin.


IN SEASON: Watermelon

Watermelon is pretty much party-perfect no matter how you slice it. Put a wildly refreshing alcoholic twist on your typical fruit cocktail with this summer savoring recipe.

Fruit Cocktail with Margarita Dressing

Note: Rather than chopping the fruit into cubes, try cutting it into long, easy-to-pick-up pieces. Serve the extra fruit as a side salad or serve with breakfast the next day.



  • 16 watermelon sticks (about 3 in. by 1/2 in.) from a 2-lb. seedless watermelon, peeled
  • 16 pineapple sticks (about 3 in. by 1/2 in.) from a 3-lb. pineapple, peeled and cored
  • 8 jicama sticks (about 3 in. by 1/2 in.) from a 1-lb. jicama, peeled
  • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 large strawberries, halved
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons silver tequila or pineapple juice
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey


  1. Arrange 2 watermelon and pineapple sticks in a glass; add 1 jicama and 1 mango piece, then 2 strawberry halves. Repeat with 7 more glasses.
  2. Mix lime zest and juice, tequila, and agave nectar and spoon about 1 tbsp. over each glass of fruit.

Recipe via