It’s no secret that the holidays bring joy, but they can also bring stress. We all know that prolonged and chronic stress can wreak havoc on your overall health and wellness, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage it. One effective way to do so is to practice mindfulness.
Mindfulness is the process of bringing your full attention to experiences in the present moment. Being mindful means being aware of where you are and what you’re doing, as well as not being reactive or overwhelmed with what’s going on around you. Many people achieve mindfulness through meditation and yoga.
Mastering meditation takes practice, but getting started can be easy and not time-consuming. Try the following two quick mindful meditation techniques next time you’re feeling stressed.
1. One-minute relaxation breathing—Close your eyes and take a deep breath in for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of eight. Repeat five times.
2. Five-minute body scan meditation—Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and take a few moments to find a calm, steady breath. Bring your awareness to sensations in your body, where you will spend several slow breaths on each focal point beginning with the left toes and all the way through the left hip. Repeat on the right side. From there, follow the same process through your torso, arms and up through your head.
Makeover Your Holiday Recipes by Substituting Fats
Butter, oils and other fats can add flavor to your favorite recipes, but they can also add many calories. They act as a barrier so flour does not absorb as much water to give your dishes a moist, tender feel. There are many ways to reduce the fat without sacrificing taste; the trick is to replace fats with foods that add creaminess without cholesterol.
Will substituting the fats change how my food tastes?
Substituting fat in your favorite recipes may not give them the same texture, but it will be close. In addition to lower fat content, many of the substitute ingredients will add more fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein to your recipes.
How can I get started substituting?
To experiment, start by substituting one-third of the fat from the recipe and then increase or decrease to your desired likeness. For baking, use ⅓ cup applesauce or fruit juice and ⅔ cup butter instead of 1 full cup of butter. Instead of 1 cup of heavy cream, use 2 tsp. cornstarch whisked into 1 cup of fat-free milk.
Now that you have the basics, it’s time for you to try it out. With the holidays right around the corner, now’s the perfect time to makeover your beloved (and maybe not the healthiest) recipes.
Removing Meat from Your Diet Could Improve Your Health, Researchers Say
According to scientists at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, consuming high amounts of meat has negative health effects.
Their survey found that 55 percent of respondents were reducing their consumption of processed meat and 41 percent were cutting back on red meat consumption. When asked what their reasoning for cutting back on meat consumption was, the majority of respondents said their decision stemmed from wanting to save money or improve their health.
Consult your doctor to find out if reducing or removing meat from your diet could be beneficial for you.