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Skincare for self-care

MANDI MAKES

Natural Living Made Simple

MANDI MAKES

Lights, Camera, Movie Magic: Your Ticket to Mental Wellness Wonderland!

Self-care challenge

If you’ve been around for a little while, you may get the impression that pretty much anything and everything can have a self-care angle on it. Well, you wouldn’t be wrong! That’s how simple self-care really is. However, the important part is the intention. We can do all these things that can be considered self-care, but to fully reap the benefits we need to be intentional and conscious about why we are doing it. The thought process is just as important, if not more than the action itself.

 

Imagine this: settling into your cosiest nook, enveloped in the comforting embrace of your all-time favourite movie while treating yourself to delicious indulgences (Yes, it’s ok to treat yourself now and again). It's not just an escape from reality—it's a powerful act of self-care that can uplift your spirits and nourish your soul. Guess what? This is not just my opinion to justify being “lazy” and a “couch potato”, science told me so!

 

So, get ready to unwind and explore the enchanting world of movie time and treats with us. Together, let's discover the science-backed secrets behind how these simple pleasures can become potent tools for cultivating inner peace and joy.

 


 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND MOVIE MAGIC

Ready for a dopamine rush? When we snuggle up to watch our favourite movies, our brains kick into high gear, releasing a cascade of neurochemicals that set the stage for an incredible experience. Endorphins, often hailed as nature's mood lifters, flood our system, creating a euphoric sensation akin to floating on cloud nine. These magical molecules not only alleviate stress but also enhance feelings of pleasure and well-being.


Engaging with a captivating film triggers the release of oxytocin, the "bonding hormone," fostering a sense of connection and empathy with the characters on screen. As if that wasn't awesome enough, indulging in some movie magic also helps to send cortisol—the stress hormone—packing. Research suggests that cortisol levels decrease significantly during moments of enjoyment, leading to reduced feelings of anxiety and tension. So, bid farewell to stress and wave hello to happiness as you embark on a cinematic journey that's not just entertaining but also beneficial for your mental health!


Movie making

 

TASTY TREAT POWER

Now, let's talk snacks! It's no secret that a good movie marathon pairs perfectly with some delicious treats. But did you know that munching on your favourite foods can actually be a mood-booster? It's all thanks to dopamine, the brain's own little cheerleader. Research shows that when we indulge in tasty treats, our brain's reward system lights up, leading to a surge in dopamine levels. This neurotransmitter is associated with feelings of pleasure and reward, giving us an instant pick-me-up and leaving us feeling happier and more content.

 

Certain foods are packed with nutrients that can give our brains an extra boost. For example, avocados are rich in healthy fats that support brain function and mood regulation, while bananas are bursting with vitamins like vitamin B6, which plays a key role in dopamine synthesis. By choosing nutrient-dense foods that we enjoy, we not only satisfy our taste buds but also nourish our brains, leading to an overall improvement in mood and well-being. So, next time you're craving a snack during your movie night, reach for something delicious and nutritious—it's a win-win for your taste buds and your mood!

 


Movie snacks

 

DELICIOUS & NUTRITIOUS MOVIE SNACK RECIPES

 


CHRISTMAS POPCORN

Yes, I know we aren’t even close to Christmas, but this is still my favourite way to eat popcorn when I’m feeling like something extra.


Popcorn

Ingredients

·      ½ cup popcorn kernels

·      ½ tsp cinnamon

·      ¼ tsp cloves

·      ¼ tsp nutmeg

·      ¼ tsp salt

·      1 tsp Vanilla extract

·      Maple syrup

 

Method:

1.     Cover the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan in oil (I like Grapeseed oil) and heat on medium-low.

2.     Once the oil is hot, add popcorn kernels and cover with a saucepan lid. Once you only hear a few kernels popping, turn off the heat and remove from the stovetop.

3.     Add spices, salt, vanilla extract and mix well.

4.     Drizzle maple syrup and mix until popcorn is fully coated with syrup and spices.

 


 

DARK CHOCOLATE AVOCADO MOUSSE

Avocado Mousse

Ingredients:

·       2 ripe avocados

·       1/4 cup cocoa powder

·       1/4 cup maple syrup

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

·       Pinch of salt

 

Method:

1.     Scoop the flesh of the avocados into a blender or food processor.

2.     Add cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt.

3.     Blend until smooth and creamy.

4.     Divide into serving bowls/glasses and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. 


 

BANANA NICE CREAM

Nicecream

Ingredients:

·       2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen

·       1/4 cup almond milk (or any plant-based milk)

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

· 1/2 cup other frozen fruit (or a 3rd banana)

 

Method:

1.     Place frozen banana slices and other frozen fruit, almond milk, and vanilla extract in a blender or food processor.

2.     Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed.

3.     Serve immediately as soft-serve or transfer to a container and freeze for a firmer texture.

 

NOTE: This is super easy to adapt to your favourite flavours. Other additions could include, cacao powder, nuts and coconut.


 

ALMOND BUTTER ENERGY BITES


Bliss balls

Ingredients:

·       1 cup rolled oats

·       1/2 cup almond butter

·       1/4 cup maple syrup

·       1/4 cup chopped almonds

·       1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

·       1 tsp vanilla extract

·       Pinch of salt

 

Method:

1.     In a large bowl, mix rolled oats, almond butter, maple syrup, chopped almonds, chocolate chips, vanilla extract, and salt until well combined.

2.     Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls using your hands.

3.     Place the energy bites on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.



 

THAT'S ALL FOLKS

Remember, self-care is an essential part of maintaining overall well-being, so don't hesitate to carve out some time for yourself to unwind, relax, and indulge guilt-free. So, grab your favourite movie, whip up one of these delightful treats, and embark on a journey of relaxation and rejuvenation. Your mind and body will thank you for it. Remember, taking care of yourself should be as fun as it is beneficial. 🎬🍿🌱

 


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Hi, I'm Mandi. A former primary teacher, Lifestyle Medicine graduate and current Diploma in Natural Skincare student with a passion for natural living.

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