Have A Plant in June: National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month

Growing up, parents, teachers, caretakers–just about any authority–probably urged us constantly to eat our vegetables and fruit. Even today, we may still skirt some of Mother Nature’s sustenance, despite knowing better. 

The National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month is a movement established in 2019 by The Produce for Better Health Foundation. Have A Plant is their latest brand identity that champions bold, new initiatives, particularly to us Millennials and Gen Z’ers, to create consumer demand for fruits and vegetables. The foundation believes in tapping into our emotional connection to the fruit- and vegetable-eating experience by inspiring long-term, sustainable behavior changes and thus creating demand. Their goals are brought about by educating consumers through various communication tools and digital platforms, inspiring them with compelling reasons to believe in the powerful role fruits and vegetables can play to fuel happy, healthy and active lifestyles.

Their socials and website are full of tips, recipes, articles, photos, and more from industry ambassadors and experts to help followers get the most out of their produce! I need to try some of the storage and prep hacks to keep my fruits and veggies longer! 

Let’s Have a Plant and make our parents, teachers, caretakers proud that we’re eating healthy! 

Photo by Manuel Joseph on Pexels.com

Here are some additional recommendations for celebrating National Fruits and Vegetables month or how/why to implement more into your life: 






ASMR: ToastPop Girl’s Favorite Sleeping Trick and ASMRtists

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

General tips for falling asleep often entail a combination of drinking or not drinking certain beverages, avoiding naps or not napping for too long, taking medicines or supplements, exercising and/or relaxing, breathing or laying a certain way, maintaining a regular routine or doing things at a certain time, limiting electronics, light, diet, room temperature before bed or in the bedroom…All the do’s and don’ts are exhausting enough, especially if the efforts outweigh the intended benefits. However, one recommendation you won’t find on many lists is ASMR media (or just ASMR for short), a recent, but effective phenomenon in the world of sleep-inducing tricks and habits.

 If you’re familiar with white noise, ASMR can be more intense and more sensory-oriented. ASMR is an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which are pleasant tingling, static, or goosebump-like sensations triggered by particular sights or sounds. Some compare the tactile feelings to a brain massage, or even a brain or ear orgasm and the emotional responses tend to be euphoric and sedate.

ASMR media is either audio or audio-visual productions that cater to triggering/inducing ASMR sensations.YouTube, Twitch, and Spotify are big outlets for it. What makes it unique are the sights, sounds, and even equipment used to produce the sensory responses. ASMR content creators will use either two microphones or binaural microphones and techniques to simulate a three-dimensional environment. The triggers they perform can be sounds or actions like:

  • keyboard/typing or button-pushing sounds 
  • finger, nail, or surface tapping, touching, tracing, or scratching
  • manipulating soft-noise items like paper, fabric, bubble wrap, containers of liquid, rice, sand, etc. 
  • personal attention (i.e. grooming/self-care, putting on makeup, performing a check-up or exam, speaking compliments, conversations, or positive affirmations)
  • soft or repetitive voices, whispering, or mouth sounds
  • a combination of triggers in a roleplay/cosplay

ASMR also has a “word-of-mouth” quality to it. The phenomenon took off around ten years ago, so science is still trying to dissect it and explore its effects. But what’s been gleaned from early research and anecdotal reports is generally positive:

  • ASMR is an interesting combination of both arousal and relaxation. The physical sensation is typically accompanied by feelings of happiness, calm, or sleepiness.Some people also report pleasant feelings of relaxation, calm, sleepiness, or well-being.
  • Its best-known application is as a treatment for insomnia. In one small survey, 82% of respondents in a survey reported that they used ASMR to induce sleep.
  • ASMR may ease people to sleep by reducing stress, improving mood, or distracting them from intrusive thoughts.
  • It can help the brain release endorphins and neurohormones, promoting relaxation and theta brainwaves and leading to deep, healthy sleep.  
  • ASMR appears to activate regions of the brain associated with calming, sleep-inducing hormones like dopamine and oxytocin.
  • People who enjoy ASMR often report reduced anxiety, fewer headaches, lower blood pressure, and more. It even seems to promote chronic pain relief. 
  • Even Google has taken notice. In 2016, searches on their browser for ASMR tended to peak around 10:30 p.m., regardless of time zone, when people are winding down for the evening. “ASMR sleep” was also one of the top related terms.

If you want to give ASMR a try, here are my favorite ASMRtists: 

On YouTube and Spotify


Recommended recordings: New to ASMR? Click Here! Her video for newcomers; Pulling Stuff out of Your Ears, various stickpoint objects are stuck in her microphone, or in your ears, and she gently removes them; Fixing Your Malfunctions, you’re a computer/machine/robot in need of tuning up; Patterns on Your Face; Unintelligible Whispers

The links are to YouTube but you can search the same titles to find them on Spotify.


Recommended recordings: Plucking, Poking, and Petting; Inaudible/Unintelligible Whispers

The links are to Spotify but you can search the same titles to find them on YouTube.

I have a couple Spotify playlists specifically for ASMR if you’re ready for more ASMR experiences:

ASMR-Whispers, Tingles, and Tickles – includes a variety of ASMRtists, including Gibi and FrivolousFox

Gibi playlist – exclusively Gibi content

Only on YouTube

Jodie Marie

Recommended recordings: Doing your Makeup/Personal Attention/Brushing/Trigger Words; Just Relaxing with You/Gentle Ear Triggers, a simple roleplay where the two of you have a relaxing sleepover.

Daisy Banaisy

Recommended recordings: her alien roleplay, you were abducted onto the alien’s ship; you become friends and travel the universe together.


Reommended recordings: her alien roleplay, you end up on the alien’s plant and her character cares a lot for you; her astronaut roleplay, you are a sick alien she examines and helps.

I also have a YouTube playlist featuring all the listed creators and more.

A few more tips
  • I recommend using headphones or earbuds to best experience the effects of ASMR. Make sure both ear parts are working. You might even consider investing in headphones for sleeping. Make sure they’re charged before extended use; some may “talk” to you when the battery is low. 
  • Once you’ve started ASMR on your preferred device, limit any further light exposure by either turning off the screen or setting the device facedown. If you don’t want it running all night, you might set a sleep timer. 
  • The only downside to streaming ASMR directly online is that the ads may wake you up if you don’t have an ad-free subscription to the service or auto-play is left on. 








Telehealth For Modern Life

Why choose Telehealth?

Telehealth during COVID-19 pandemic wave became more critical due to limited access to primary care doctors and specialists. Patients can access care from their living rooms and talk to physicians specialized in specialties like Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, who can swiftly address care and save them the hassle of waiting for appointments or spending top dollars in Emergency Rooms (ER).

Quick and Efficient

Do you know 76% of total US hospitals employ telemedicine to connect doctors with patients to provide quick and efficient treatment? [1]

United Medical Group aims to provide a quick and efficient response to every patient. Our group of physicians, specialists and consultants are always available. Instead of waiting for hours in the waiting area of a hospital or clinic, it is better to rely on an experienced and easily-available doctor. You can present your signs and symptoms and describe your condition to them over a call and they will brief you about the diagnosis right away!

Efficient use of Electronic Health Records (EHR)

Thanks to medical technology for bringing innovative approaches that make consultation easier for patients as well as doctors. With the help of accurately registered Electronic Health Records (EHR), you don’t need to repeat your medical history to the doctor in each session. The doctors of United Medical Group have access to your medical history which makes it safer and more efficient to help you out!

Convenience is only a call away!

In exceptional conditions, such as our current COVID-19 pandemic wave, prevents individuals from visiting hospitals, clinics and healthcare centers. Did you know 25% of the US adults ages above 50 preferred telemedicine over traditional visits to the hospitals in the pandemic? [1]

Telemedicine is all about your convenience. United Medical Group understands the rigid circumstances which do not allow patients to reach hospitals and clinics on time. Elderly, infants and pregnant women, physically challenged individuals and those living in rural areas often experience lack of resources and help which deteriorates their condition. Our EHR platform, www.yourmd.online, is a successful solution to your inconvenience. Make a voice or video call and get in touch with your doctor for quick diagnosis, prescription and guidelines.

Telehealth is easy on pocket

A traditional visit to doctor’s office is quite expensive. On average, a session of telemedicine costs you 79$ whereas a visit to doctor’s office costs you $146. The cost for emergency room visit is $1,734. The difference is quite clear! [2]

Our telemedicine platform offers a low-cost option for direct pay, $40 for a 15 min phone visit and $50 for a 15min video visit. Alternatively, you can also opt to pay via insurance or Health Savings Account (HSA) card for your visit.

United Medical Group believes that the value proposition and future of healthcare is better when we have physicians working through remote technology to reach patients anywhere, anytime and quickly triage them for their care. Our doctors under United Medical Group at http://www.yourmd.online hope to be a long-term solution for physician shortage, access to care and affordability issues for many patients nationwide.

United Medical Group is now available to provide telehealth on their medical telephone consultation service line 1-888-9YOURMD (996-8763) and on www.yourmd.online.

Visit MD Talk blog: A video blog for healthcare blogs to learn more about common health topics encountered in the community.


  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/telehealth-the-advantages-and-disadvantages
  2. https://www.highpointsolutions.com/telemedicine-cost-effective-future-healthcare/#:~:text=An%20appointment%20via%20telemedicine%20costs,study.

Honey, Natural Allergy Relief

Oh, spring! How beautiful the blossoms that bloom in the warm sunshine are! How sweet is the smell of fresh green grass! Of course, with those most welcome sights comes a terrible price to pay! Every allergy sufferer knows what I’m talking about: pollen. Pollen is the unseen terror that causes most of us to stumble with itchy watery eyes to the nearest corner store and buy an ungodly amount of antihistamine so that we can hopefully get through our day without sneezing, coughing, and staring bleary-eyed into the distance.

Most of us who try to dodge taking medication as often as we can seek out natural remedies. Allergy sufferers are no different, but one of the natural remedies is so much sweeter: locally made honey. Honey made from local bees contains pollen from local bees contain pollen from trees and flowers nearby. If a person ingests a teaspoon of honey every morning, it is believed that they will become less sensitive to the pollen in the air. Overtime, they will be bothered little to none by the seasonal changes. It is in no way meant to replace allergy shots or prescribed medication. Always consult a physician before making any changes with those, but it is certainly a sweet and tasty alternative for those of us who run for the hills every spring, trying to escape the sneezy season.

A Breath of Fresh Air

houseplantsThe air we breathe is arguably the most overlooked necessity in our daily lives. We don’t even think about it until it becomes polluted in some way. To battle that, we spend tons of money on spray products that clutter cabinets and not much else. To clean our air inside, we need to take a look outside.

Plants absorb some of the negative particles in the air along with the carbon dioxide they need. The carbon dioxide is converted to oxygen and released while the negative particles are broken down. The most natural and decorative way to clean the air inside our homes would be to bring that same cycle indoors.

Now, a houseplant can seem like a no-go if a person has allergies, pets, or even a dreaded “black thumb”. Never fear! While all of those things are certainly reasons for concern, there are plenty of common household plants that cost very little and can be adjusted to fit your household. A perfect example of one such plant would the aloe plant. With the added benefit of being able to soothe slight burns and skin irritations, aloe plants are very good at cleaning the air and are very hard to kill. They don’t require much maintenance and are not known to be toxic to pets.

With a little online research and a quick trip to the local supermarket, you can fill that empty spot on the end table, save money on products, and purify the air you breathe.

Nosey Neti

Neti Pot Tis the season for sinus pressure, disgusting drainage, coughing, sneezing, and nights full of tossing and turning. Dry irritated sinus membranes and germs of all sorts floating about make it very difficult to keep a clear nostril. Once those pathways are clogged, it becomes a battle to clear them. For the most part, we take sinus medication and hope it works within a reasonable amount of time. We try to ignore the side effects as best we can. The Neti pot offers an alternative.

Shaped to resemble a small one-cup teapot made of either ceramic or glass, the Neti pot makes good use of nasal irrigation. Filled with saline, it is poured into one nostril with the head tilted forward. Saline should wash through the clogged cavities, breaking up the mucus and flushing it out the opposite nostril. While a bit messy, it does provide instant relief.

While easy to use and with no foggy-headed drowsiness to accompany it, it is very very important to clean and dry the Neti pot after each use and not to fill it with anything other than the saline solution when using it. All in all, a very natural and simple way to get through the cold and flu season.

The Many Benefits of Coconut Oil

coconut oilNearly everything we see has an advertisement for one wonder product or another. So many are directed at improving our appearance in one way, shape, or form, and every one promises a miracle. Walking down a beauty product aisle can make the mind reel, but have you ever looked at the ingredient lists for some of these products? Most are very long and require a chemistry degree to decipher. It can be quite alarming and off-putting.

Instead of using so many chemicals, why not try an all-natural product that can be used in a myriad of ways: coconut oil. Coconut oil is well-known as a natural moisturizer and skin care product. Its fat content and antioxidants can reduce skin irritation, redness, and can help to prevent wrinkles. It’s great at repairing chapped skin due to winter’s icy touch and doubles as a very nourishing lip balm. When mixed with a little sugar, it can be used as a scrub to remove dead skin.

Even heat-styled hair can use a little coconut oil love and care. Heat-styled hair can become very brittle and dry from the amount of stress it’s put under. Coconut oil’s fats soak into the hair follicle strengthening it and making it softer, silkier, and easier to manage. It’s versatile enough to be used as a conditioner or a hot oil treatment.

coconut oil 3

As if all its moisturizing properties weren’t reason enough to take a gander at adding coconut oil to your beauty routine, it can also be used as a makeup remover. No more scrubbing at sensitive eyelids with chemical-laden pads. No more red and burning eyes. All in all, coconut oil is a must-have for product-conscious beauty gurus.

Yoga, Finding Your Center

YogaAs a mother of three with a full-time job, I can easily attest to the fact that life can get out of hand. School, work, bath time, diapers, bedtime, and household chores all combine to form a hair-pulling, eye-twitching, stress-fueled melt-down. I needed a bit of help unwinding, and after a little research, I found the perfect all-natural solution that calls for nothing but an open mind and a small section of floor: yoga.

Yoga means union and is a mind and body practice that hinges on harmonizing the two. It has an expansive history that covers centuries as well as a multitude of countries. There were many different schools of thought under the large umbrella of “yoga”. Modernized yoga, however, gained popularity in the 1980s and completely exploded in 2001 when its many physical and mental health benefits were made more widely known. Its poses call for quiet and gentle movement, an awareness of the body that helps to still the mind and drain away the stress of daily life as well as helping to keep the body fit. The different movements and poses build the core, refine balance, and help with posture.

For me, a quiet living room and an instructional video that is only a search engine away combine to create the perfect scenario. I’m comfortable, content, and able to focus on what I’m doing. There’s no need for a babysitter, and I can feel refreshed, relaxed, and recharged. For many others, a classroom environment with a knowledgeable instructor is preferred. Many gyms and fitness centers offer yoga classes at convenient times and at affordable rates. Whichever environment helps you to rejuvenate, yoga is a wonderful way to relax. Namaste.

Water, the Ultimate Energy Drink

waterWhether it’s the blue-salted waves of the ocean, the rippling brooks that cut through forest floors, or in a frosted glass with softly-clinking ice cubes, water is an essential part of life. We, as busy people trying to function in an even busier world, tend to forget that we need this oh-so-important mineral for our bodies to operate the way they should. We know that we are roughly 70% water. We know that it’s a healthier choice than sugary sodas or caffeinated super drinks designed to give us an extra boost, especially since the rush given by caffeine is often followed by a dive and crash into fatigue. Do we really know what water can do for our bodies though?

Proper hydration can increase energy and relieve fatigue. Your body’s cells are getting what they need to carry out all of their moment-to-moment tasks without all of the extra “garbage”. Thoughts are clearer, concentration is more acute, and your brain is just all around more alert. Your digestive system can function more smoothly and allow waste and toxins to be flushed from the body, reducing that bloated feeling after meals. Drinking plenty of water can aid in weight loss as appetite can be reduced as well. Many times the need for something to drink is mistaken as hunger pangs. With no added sugars or calories, water is the ultimate diet supplement.
Water, be it around us or inside of us, is a necessary component of life, and the more we utilize it, the better we will feel.

Vitality Essential Oils Jewelry

Vitality Essential OilsIn the pharmaceutical age where every ailment has a synthesized cure, many of us have become a bit wary of adding chemicals to our homes and even more so to our bodies. An answer to this dilemma is rapidly regaining its popularity from days long past: essential oils. Once known as aromatic oils, essential oils have been used throughout history in various parts of the world to heal the sick, bring calm and aid in meditation, as a sleep aid, perfumes, a multitude of religious practices, and simply to promote good health.

Now, as a full-fledged believer in the many uses of aromatherapy and someone who was overwhelmed by the multitude of choices, the idea of carrying a mini-apothecary with me everywhere I went truly had no appeal. I didn’t want to risk losing my collection, and I honestly didn’t want another thing to carry in my already busy and chaotic life. Vitality Essential Oils provided a stylish and practical answer to my problem: diffuser jewelry.

Stylish and functional, Vitality Essential Oils have jewelry for everyone. No matter if earrings, bracelets, or necklaces are your style, they have something for your life. Once you’ve chosen your perfect accessory, choose an oil that fits your needs. Oils for migraine relief, anxiety reduction, and sleep aids are just a few of the products they offer. One drop of oil on one bead will diffuse over the course of the day, providing a natural and functional way to harness the many uses of this wonderful product.