More Herbs, Less Salt Day: The Benefits of Eating Less Salt

We’ve all been there; “this sauce needs just a little extra… something.” This conundrum usually results in a generous sprinkling of salt. While salt is usually able to provide that ‘je ne sais quoi’, too much of it can wreak havoc on our bodies. Overconsumption of salt can result in a plethora of negative side effects, including high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and even obesity. LiveScience states that an approximate 50-70 million people in the United States alone suffer from high blood pressure and hypertension. High blood pressure is often referred to as a silent killer, as many people aren’t even aware that they suffer from the affliction. Many times we don’t realize how much salt we’re consuming, since 75% of sodium consumed is by way of processed or prepared foods. Based on this, we certainly do not need to be adding extra salt to our diets! So what’s the alternative? How can we get that extra dose of flavor without damaging our health? It’s easier than you may think – herbs and spices! Here are a few scrumptious spices that will keep your recipes heavy on the flavour, and low on salt.


Oregano: One of the most commonly used herbs, oregano is a great way to add flavor and seasoning to most vegetables and meats (especially lamb). Oregano is easy to keep on hand in dried format and pairs well with other herbs such as thyme, basil, and garlic.

Rosemary: Traditionally added to sauces and marinades, rosemary also makes a great addition to meat rubs in lieu of salt. Although rosemary is most fragrant when fresh, it’s also great to keep on hand in dried format.

Ginger: Add a fragrant burst to a stir-fry or vegetables with some fresh ginger. Although grating fresh ginger can be tiresome, there are inexpensive and organic minced ginger options available for purchase in a jar! Ginger packs a strong punch in small doses and adds an exotic kick to most vegetable dishes.

Basil: Just like rosemary, basil is best used fresh! However, basil is still great to use in sauces and salad dressings to increase the flavour. Basil is also great to mix with pine nuts and olive oil in a quick pesto to top pizzas, fish, and meat.

Cilantro: Fresh cilantro packs a potent punch. If you’re looking to add a kick to rice or noodle dishes, then cilantro is the perfect mate. Whether fresh or dried, the unmistakable flavor will ensure you’re not missing the taste of salt!

Citrus: While herbs and spices are an incredible way to amp up the flavor in your dishes, citrus will also do the trick! Adding lime juice, lemon juice, or even zest from the rind will help create complex flavors. Don’t underestimate what a squeeze of lemon over your poultry or pasta can do!

On your next adventure in the kitchen, don’t be afraid to skimp on the salt and experiment with spices! This will help tremendously in lowering your sodium intake and increasing your overall health. What are your favorite spices? Share them with us on Facebook!

Banishing Anxiety Without Medication

In today’s world, it seems as though our entire lives exist within the realm of our smartphones and computers. We are continually checking our gadgets for updates on what our friends are doing, who commented on our picture, and if work has sent a new e-mail. This constant inundation of information is enough to drive anyone crazy; so it should come as no surprise that people today are more stressed and anxious than ever before. While medication is a viable option for some to ease their anxiety, it certainly isn’t for everyone. Many people who have tried anti-anxiety medications complain of feeling groggy and almost zombie-like. So what are the alternatives? We’ve put together some holistic approaches to help banish your anxiety without medication!

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(Un) Social Butterfly

While social media is a guilty pleasure for almost everyone, the social anxiety that accompanies it can often wreak havoc on our nerves. From stumbling across an old flame’s vacation pictures, to having an acquaintance write a critical comment on an article you shared, social media can be an emotional minefield. The communication aspect of technology poses a whole other realm of anxiety. Waiting to hear back after a first date, office communication, and attempting to make group plans is just another layer of anxiety that technology provides. Navigating our many devices and social media accounts tends to be taxing to our well-being and general sense of calm. While some may suggest going on a ‘tech-detox’, this may not be the best approach for everyone. In taking a large chunk of time tech-free, you’re likely to have increased anxiety wondering about missed calls, unanswered e-mails, or unliked posts. Instead, try to abstain from checking your phone or computer for small increments of time. Start with 15 minutes, and slowly leave more and more time before checking your devices.

Get on Up

The benefits of regular exercise are numerous! A Princeton study has shown that physical activity creates excitable neurons in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is involved in thinking, memories, and emotional responses. Furthermore, the study showed that exercise is able to reduce anxiety in both humans and animals. Researchers were able to determine this by conducting a study on runners and sedentary mice. The comparison revealed that runners’ brains were bursting with new, excitable neurons, while the mice’s brains did not. Of these new neurons in the runners’ brains, a number of them released the neurotransmitter GABA, which essentially prevents too many neurons in the brain from firing, thereby keeping you calm. Aside from the scientific aspects of working out, exercise can help you reach goals, gain confidence, increase your social interactions, and cope in a positive way! So the next time you have a big deadline or a fight with your partner, go out and take a lap around your neighbourhood!

Sit Still

As important as it is to be active and get your brain firing anxiety-reducing neurons, it’s also important to find your calm. Although, as prior noted, being active is an incredible outlet for those who suffer from anxiety, it’s important to be able to manage your stress and emotions. Sitting still during an anxious episode will force you to focus on your thoughts, mental state, and relaxation techniques. If you’ve never practiced any type of meditation before, there are a few things to know. Meditation can be as simple as sitting in a quiet, comfortable place. Simply focus on the act of breathing and controlling your breath. Deep breathing and meditation go hand in hand, and developing a rhythm will help your body to achieve a meditative state. Meditation does not give instant results, it takes dedication and perseverance, so dedicate yourself to mindfulness and you will get better at controlling and calming your mind!

Write It Out

One of the best ways to understand the millions of thoughts running through your head is to chronicle them. Having an ongoing record of how you felt on certain days and how things impacted you is a great way to help understand who we are. Make this a fun venture by picking out a beautiful notebook. Then, write everyday for about 20 minutes cataloging your day and your thoughts. Ask yourself, what am I telling myself? How anxious do I feel today? What triggered my anxiety? On a scale of 1-10, how bad is my anxiety? Even if it initially feels awkward and forced, developing the habit of writing will help you to understand the connection between your thoughts and your anxiety.

If you’re constantly looking ways to improve yourself and your wellbeing, we encourage you to learn more about the QRay difference

Cut Costs and Your Waistline: 5 Yummy Lunch Ideas

Sunday meal prep is a great way to save on both time and money. We all know how tempting it is to spend that $10 on a pre-made salad, or splurge on a lunch out with coworkers. Alas, we have a better option for you! As hard as it may be to believe, making a delicious, but also creative, lunch can actually get you excited to eat at your desk! Here are 5 of our favourite desk lunches that will keep your waistline and wallet happy!


  1. Asian Salmon Zucchini Noodle Bowl

A delicious low-carb noodle option! Spiralizing zucchini is so easy, and a great way to get your necessary greens!



  1. Crunchy Cashew Thai Quinoa Salad with Ginger Peanut Dressing

Crunchy, fresh, gluten-free, and vegan! This delicious salad is yummy enough to take for a whole week. Load it up with limejuice and cilantro, and you’re good to go!



  1. Protein-Packed Tuna Salad Pita

Lemon and olive oil are a delicious and healthy substitute for mayo in tuna salad. Serve in a whole-wheat pita and voila! A high protein, low calorie lunch option!


  1. Thai Peanut Soba Noodles

Love pad Thai? This healthier take is easy to make and is an excellent lunch option! What’s better? It’s recommended you enjoy this dish cold – no microwave or re-heating necessary!



  1. Asian Fried “Rice”

This recipe incorporates everything you love about comfort food, without the guilt. Take away the greasy fried rice and sub in cauliflower rice instead! This makes for a low-carb lunch that will keep you energized all day.



If you’re looking to not only eat better, but also increase your overall wellbeing, consider a QRay bracelet!Learn more about the QRay difference.

Wellness Guru: Why Massages Are Great For Your Health

Getting a massage is one of the most relaxing and luxurious experiences you can have. The dim lighting, soft music, and soothing voice of a talented masseuse all work in conjunction to help create optimal relaxation conditions. In addition to the pleasure we get from giving ourselves a much deserved treat, there are a few unexpected benefits as well!

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Counter Balance

If you sit at your desk all day, you may not realize the negative impact it’s having on your body. The human form isn’t intended to sit upright for extended periods of time – especially if you’re not getting additional exercise! A fantastic way to counteract the daily stress of a desk job is by scheduling massages. This will help to release the stress that builds up in your shoulders and neck. So go ahead, treat yourself!

Feel Better

A medical study shows that women who had regular massages while suffering from breast cancer were actually less depressed. Participants suffered from less anxiety and pain while experiencing more vigor and higher dopamine levels!


Sweet Dreams

There is an unsurprising connection between pain and sleep deprivation. Not only can pain prevent you from sleeping well, but your body also does not receive the necessary sleep time to restore and heal. Massage triggers your body’s parasympathetic “rest and relax” system, the system opposite to fight or flight. Massage combats both mental and physical stress making it easier to sleep and for your body to heal.

Blood Pressure

Just as the body’s parasympathetic helps your body to heal and relax, it also helps to restore balance and homeostasis. Though temporary, this can have powerful effects on the body and the heart!

So go ahead and schedule that massage! Not only is it an incredibly relaxing treat, but now you know that it’s actually good for you as well! What’s another way to improve your body’s wellness? A QRay bracelet!