Gardening In Utah Soil Can Help Reduce Anxiety & Depression.

When I was young I did not have anxiety or depression. Those perks showed up in adulthood. To be more specific, I started getting depression after having kids and anxiety at work when more and more expectations kept piling up. Gardening can help! And it doesn't have to be overwhelming or hard.

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If you've been thinking about gardening, don't wait, do it quick. It is so good for your mental and physical health on many levels.

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First, You will be outside getting fresh air and some vitamin D. Breathe deep and take it all in. Just being in nature can help clear your mind and help you process your thoughts and emotions. One of my professors at the University of Utah used to say that gardening is as good for you as meditation and journaling.

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2nd You will know where your food is coming from and it will be picked when ripe, not weeks ahead of being ready to eat to be shipped to the market. When it is allowed to ripen in you garden, there are more minerals and vitamins taken up into the plant and served up when you use the herb or veggie. Getting all of the right nutrients helps your chemical balance level out. More nutrients=less depression

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3rd You can limit or eliminate the chemicals sprayed on your food. You can learn to reduce pests naturally and your food will be au natural and ready to get to your dinner table. There are several studies that link pesticides to depression. This study was done with farmers since they have a very high exposure to chemical sprays on their fields. Check out the study here:  Weil MD

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4th Some researchers say that gardening and yard care clean up can reduce blood pressure and relieve stress. They are talking about light gardening too! Once you get outside doing a chore, time flies.  Check out the study here: Good House Keeping & National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Everyone can start with container gardening. Even if you choose one plant to start with it will feel great and you will feel the failure AND success of gardening. Start here: Container Garden

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It is already heating up and cooking over the stove is getting a little toasty. Now is the season for crock pots. Not only does cooking with a crock pot not heat up your house, but it can fill your house with delicious smelling dinner while you are at work!  One of the best hacks for summer meals is to cook up enough meat for the week or longer.

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BBQ Pork

You can double batch some BBQ pork and freeze half of it for later. BBQ Pork can be used for tacos, salads, sandwiches and to put on top of some roasted potatoes and carrots. It is a great staple for summer meals. Here is a good recipe to get you started. BBQ Pork Recipe

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Chili is another great meal for the crock pot. I make enough to have it on hotdogs and backed potatoes and just spread those meals out so that it doesn't feel like too much of a good thing. I like some spice in my chili so here is my recipe:

Aaronee's Crock Pot Chili-

2 tablespoons of olive oil to caramelize onions and bell peppers

1/2 onion caramelized

2 lbs. of browned hamburger

1/2 green 1/2 red bell peppers diced & caramelized

2-3 jalapeños

Full clove of minced garlic (l love garlic)

1 drained and rinsed can of pinto beans

1 drained and rinsed can of black beans

1 drained and rinsed can of northern white beans

I 16oz. can of tomato paste

1 1/2 water

2 tablespoons of your favorite taco seasoning

salt to taste

Throw everything in the crock pot on low for 3-5 hours for flavors to melt together into a delicious pot of goodness.  Top with sour cream, cheese, scallions, cilantro and serve with cornbread or corn chips.

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Chicken Broccoli Casserole-

I absolutely love chicken broccoli casserole and in the summer I just don't want to heat up my oven for anything. Because of the heat I was missing out on this creamy, cheesy, delicious meal. So I decided to look up how I could get this done in a crock pot while I'm at work. This is a great fill in recipe for your crock pot: Creamy Chicken & Broccoli

If you have any amazing recipes that I need to add to my meal rotation for summer, let me know! Email me here @Aaronee


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