Food Is Not Your Enemy

A Formula for Greater Happiness
July 30, 2013, 11:23 am
Filed under: Healthy Lifestyle | Tags: , ,

What makes you smile? Laugh? Jump up and down with excitement? For some, it’s body surfing in the ocean. For another, it’s a spin on a roller coaster, a solo movie date, or a perfectly ripe mango.

So … when was the last time you did something that makes you happy?

If it’s been a while, consider this: Happiness lowers stress levels, increases immune system function, and lowers your risk of disease. It also makes life easier.

Doing one pleasurable thing per day (or more!) is the most powerful antidote for gray, boring, or stressful days. Try this:

  • Make an “I love” list. List everything that you enjoy–nothing is too small or too large. If you enjoy it, get it on the list.
  • Take a look at how you spend your days. When could you fit in a little pleasure? Perhaps you could leave the office at lunch to walk in the park? Maybe you could play your favorite music while doing the dishes? Book yourself a massage this weekend?
  • Repeat daily, or more often, as needed.

Enjoy your summer!

Add These 4 Foods to Your Diet for Better Health
July 2, 2013, 11:08 am
Filed under: Dairy, Grains, Meat, Vegetables | Tags: , , , , ,

Are you stuck in a food rut, eating the same stuff week after week? If so, why not try something new? I chose the following four because they taste good and all have substantial health benefits …

Black rice. Also known as “forbidden rice,” black rice is a whole grain that contains anthocyanins, the same antioxidants found in blueberries, grapes, and other purple/red foods. These compounds have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer, improvements in memory, and other health benefits. And as a whole grain, black rice provides lots of fiber and vitamins and minerals, and will keep you fuller longer than white rice. Here’s the recipe I usually use when I make black rice.

Kefir. Kefir is basically drinkable yogurt, but with even more beneficial bacteria that will help keep your digestive system healthy and your immune system strong. Kefir is a complete protein that contains an abundance of calcium, magnesium, B vitamins, and phosphorus. And it’s great for your skin! Kefir is perfect for smoothies–pour plain kefir into your blender along with some berries and a banana, and you have an excellent breakfast.

Grass-fed beef. Otherwise known as, during your grandmother’s childhood, “beef.” Cows’ natural diet is grass. But the beef you get at your supermarket, butcher, or local restaurant–unless specifically labeled as “grass-fed”–was raised on industrial corn, as it has been for decades now. Cows raised on corn tend to get sick a lot–as their digestive systems are not geared for digesting grains–so they’re routinely given antibiotics, which end up in the meat. Corn-fed beef also contains a higher concentration of saturated fat, has a lower ratio of healthy omega-3 fats compared to grass-fed beef, and has fewer vitamins and minerals. So seek out grass-fed burgers and steaks whenever you can.

Seaweed. Most often associated with Japanese cuisine, seaweed is a true superfood. Whether you choose a seaweed salad, sushi rolls, or kelp (also called “kombu”) cooked into a bean dish or stew at home, your body–and your thyroid gland in particular–will thank you. Seaweed helps remove heavy metals from your system, detoxifies the body, provides trace minerals, regulates cholesterol, and decreases the risk of cancer. Most importantly, seaweeds are very high in iodine, which is crucial for proper thyroid function and therefore key for a healthy metabolism.