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Enjoy being In this Fall season ~

Hi Folks,

Hope all of you are doing well as Summer transitions into Fall.

Was chatting with some friends after a refreshing morning of Tai Chi and Qigong.

What we talked about was how people need to enjoy what the season has to offer.

In other words, enjoy the bounty of fruits and vegetables that are in-season.

Even better is as the season changes enjoying a cleanse to celebrate the new season.

As summer changes into Fall the local farmers market in my area reveal their bounty of the autumn harvest. This prelude to the colder months ahead is a great opportunity to consider the way you eat.

Turning your focus to cleansing seasonal foods can increase your energy, improve your digestion, while preparing your body for winter’s approach.

A cleanse can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, and it doesn’t require any fasting. You can just simplify your plate by incorporating more seasonal produce – like these 5 fall delicious ideas:

Apples: This antioxidant-rich fruit helps reduce inflammation and is linked to heart and lung health. Pick up some crisp green apples for a healthy on-the-go snack, or chop up and simmer with cinnamon for a healthy treat.

Brussels sprouts: High in fiber and vitamin C, this cruciferous vegetable can help lower cholesterol levels, and contain phytonutrients associated with cancer prevention. You can roast or sauté sprouts for a delicious side dish.

Onions: This round vegetable provides anti-inflammatory benefits and protects cells from oxidative stress. It can help lower the risk of colorectal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers. Add raw onion to salads or cook chopped onion in soups, stews, and stir fried dishes.

Sweet potatoes: Despite their sweet flavor, these tubers help balance blood sugar. They are also a good source of beta-carotene and vitamins B6, C, and D. Try them baked or in soups and stews.

Winter Squash: These gourds are rich with fiber, which is good for digestion and heart health.  They also contain cell-protective antioxidants, including beta-carotene and vitamin C. Bake or steam squash and season with digestive spices,  for a healthy main or side dish.

Some easy to find digestive spices (which also help that digestive system) include the following….

Black pepper:

pepper

pepper

This common spice has a stimulating effect on digestive organs, and can help increase the flow of saliva and gastic juices. Grind freshly cracked pepper on just about anything.

Cardamom:

cardamom

cardamom

A slightly sweet spice, it helps boost your digestive fire and removes flatulence. Sprinkle with cinnamon over hot breakfast rice or add to cooked beans for an exotic Indian flavor.

Coriander:

coriander

coriander

This seed contains oils that offer high levels of cell-protecting antioxidants. It also works like an antispasmodic drug, relaxing the contractive digestive muscles that cause discomfort from disorders such as IBS. Use coriander in hearty stews or in spice rubs on roasts.

Here’s a yummy recipe for you to try that is both healthy and cleansing too !

Brussels Sprouts topped with Chestnuts

Brussels sprouts with Chestnuts

Brussels sprouts with Chestnuts

Prep Time: 8 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts, ends cut off
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ pound shelled chestnuts*
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium sized saucepan, boil 2 inches of water.
3. Add Brussels sprouts to boiling water with a pinch of sea salt.
4. Boil for 5 minutes.
5. Drain Brussels sprouts and add to a baking dish with chestnuts and stock.
6. Sprinkle olive oil and salt on top.
7. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

*Feel free to substitute a different nut in this recipe. Sliced almonds or chopped walnuts would also be delicious.

Here is some more of my favorite pantry items …

coconut Coconut oil: This tropical oil was once vilified as artery-clogging oil, but recent studies have shown its medium-chain fatty acids are actually both heart healthy AND can aid in weight loss. Use it for sautéing, stir frying, and baking as it can withstand high temperatures.
olives Olive oil: Look for extra virgin olive oil to get the least refined version. Olive oil degrades quickly with heat, so it’s better to use in your salad dressing than for cooking.
ghee Ghee: Also known as clarified butter, ghee is renowned in Ayurveda as oil that is particularly healing and nourishing to the body. It is great to use for cooking on medium to high temperatures.
rice vinegar Rice vinegar: the white variety is less acidic and milder in flavor, perfect for Asian inspired dishes. Use in a stir-fry or for a different flavor in your salad dressing.
tamari Tamari: This Japanese product is the gluten-free version of soy sauce – no wheat, just soy, is used to make it. Use it in place of salt in a dish and to add depth of flavor to your cooking.
cayenne Cayenne pepper: This red hot chili pepper is high in vitamin A and helps fight inflammation, offers natural pain relief, and boosts heart health. Sprinkle on anything if you like a little heat.
cumin Cumin: this nutty, peppery seed is a source of iron, boost immune function, and can help prevent cancer. And, if you ever have really bad digestion (and gas), take a spoonful of cumin seeds, chew well, and swallow. Within minutes, you should have relief. Commonly used in Indian and Mexican foods, it helps relieve flatulence. For nearly instant relief, chew a spoonful of seeds, or brew a tea from seeds and drink after a meal.
tumeric Turmeric: Not just a colorful, flavorful ingredient, turmeric is known as a powerful medicine used in Indian and Chinese healing systems. It is anti-inflammatory, can inhibit cancer cell growth, may prevent colon and prostate cancer, improves liver function, and lowers cholesterol. Commonly used in Indian cooking, I like to put it in just about anything – great with sautéed greens or scrambled eggs. This root has anti-inflammatory properties, and is traditionally used to help heal cuts, bruises and burns. Raw turmeric juice can also be used to treat hyper-acidity and indigestion.

Here’s to being In the season enjoying it Boundrylessly !!

Take it One Day at a Time for Lifetime Health

Celebrate a Simple Healthy Lifestyle Together

Celebrate a Simple Healthy Lifestyle Together

Hi Folks,

Been traveling visiting friends.  Enjoyed a great workout in the park of hill running / walking / hiking  along with some pullups  in tree branches and some handstand pushups (my challenge exercise this month), along with relaxing Tai Chi.

Over the weekend, was chatting with some friends hadn’t seen in ages. We got to talking about the health gimicks on TV, along with how it seemed like it was easier for our grandparents to stay healthy without all those fancy confusing items.

Well, by the end of the debate – conversation we agreed on a few ideas and here they are …

Toss out the junk food. Having junk food in your house or workplace makes it too hard to stick to a healthy diet. If at all possible, toss everything out that’s sugary, fatty, greasy, salty. The best strategy is not having it around. Clean out your pantry and fridge!

Find some healthy recipes and buy the ingredients. There are thousands online. Find one or two to start with, easy ones that don’t take an hour to prepare, and go buy the ingredients today.

Cook in bulk. I find it easiest to stick to a healthy meal plan if I prepare things in advance. So cook big batches of veggie chili or soup, or tofu veggie stir fry, and put the bulk of it in containers in the fridge or freezer. I like to divide things into meal-sized containers so I just heat things up when it’s mealtime.

Stock up on healthy snacks. When you’re hungry for a snack, what will you eat? Have healthy things to munch on at home, at work, and for the road. Fresh fruits, chopped veggies, raw nuts, dried fruits are some of my favorites.

Socialize in healthier ways. Instead of going out to bars or unhealthy restaurants, get together for tea, or a game of basketball, or a walk in the park? Or find a healthy restaurant to eat at, or my personal favorite is a Tai Chi group.

Find a workout partner. Get your spouse, good friend or even a coworker to go on walks with you, or meet you at the gym or a workout class. Having someone do it with you makes it fun and so much easier, and you’re more likely to show up if you have an appointment to meet someone.

Use social media for motivation. You can use Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or your favorite online forums for motivation and accountability. Publicly announce 2-week or month-long health challenges, and have people keep you accountable. Try Fitocracy — it’s a social fitness game that can make getting fit fun.

Play outside. It’s important to go outside every day and get some fresh air and sunshine. Move around, take the kids out and play, find a friend and take a walk or throw or kick a ball around. I’m always finding a way to get outside, from gardening my herbs, Tai Chi, walking, or just sitting in the grass to read.

Find healthy options for eating out. Instead of eating at fast food or chain restaurants where everything is deep fried, can you find more local restaurants where there are some healthy options? Make a list, and go to those places when you go out.

Make water & tea your default drink. Many people drink soda or sugar coffee drinks all day. This is not necessary for a healthy or enjoyable life. Water can become your favorite drink, and (unsweetened) tea can be very healthy. I love a mindful green tea ritual once a day.

Schedule active breaks. If you’re on the computer all day, schedule short breaks every 30-60 minutes where you stretch, walk around, maybe do some squats or pushups, drink some water. Exercise doesn’t have to be just once a day.

Get your spouse on board. It’s hard to make changes if your significant other is resistant. So early on in the process (read: right now), share your thinking, share your reading materials, and ask them to help you get healthy. Don’t ever force them to change, but see if they can be on your team.

Start small — don’t overdo it. Big changes tend to be hard to sustain. Make one small change on this list, and then try another, then another. Each step along the way, you’ll get used it and it will become your new normal. No step needs to be very difficult.

Have fun exercising. Create challenges for yourself, and your friends. Find sports you like to play. Use running as a form of meditation. Exercising doesn’t need to be boring or hard — it can be one of the best parts of your day.

Drink red wine. One or two glasses of red wine can be very healthy, and can add some pleasure to your new healthy lifestyle. I’m a believer in making a healthy lifestyle one that you enjoy, so add healthy foods you love, activities you enjoy, a mindful tea ritual, and an end-of-the-day wine ritual.

Explore berries, kale, raw almonds and walnuts, avocado, flaxseeds, quinoa, tofu, tempeh. These are foods that many people don’t eat on a regular basis, and some people have never tried some of these. One by one, explore these foods, as I find them to be very healthy. Some of them take some time to acquire the taste, and others (like tofu and tempeh) just need the right seasonings — they don’t have to be bland!

Add healthy ingredients to your meals. If you don’t want to change your entire diet, start adding some healthy stuff to your usual meals. For example, if you normally eat spaghetti, try ground turkey or meatless grounds instead of beef. Add some finely-diced kale and carrots, and some flaxseeds. You can do this to many recipes.

Try new ethnic foods. Don’t look at changing your diet as a sacrifice. Think of it as a joyous adventure. Want to try going meatless a few days a week? Try some healthy dishes from India, Japan, Thailand, the Mediterranean. It can be a lot of fun, even for the whole family.

Stop smoking. OK, this isn’t the easiest strategy, but it is one of the most important.  Never think it is to late. The sooner you start, the sooner your health will improve !

Diet before exercise. One of the easiest ways to start getting healthier is to start improving your diet — it’s fairly easy to add some fruits and veggies, for example, and maybe cut back on some of the sweets. Starting exercise takes a bit more focus, and doesn’t always get results as quickly. On the flip side, if you start exercising, don’t let that be an excuse to eat whatever you want — it’s easy to negate the benefits of your morning run with a donut and sugary and fatty coffee drink. There’s nothing wrong with with a nice black cup of coffee. In fact sometimes enjoy some organic coffee with fresh herbs such as mint or cinnamon in it makes it a refreshing treat 😉

Please share your ideas ~

Enjoy living a Simple Boundryless Life folks !