National Nutrition Month is upon us yet, again. Yes, March is here already. It seems like yesterday I was just reminiscing about great foods for Fall. At that point, I was taken back to when I was a kid and all the unhealthy things we would eat. When I was little, it didn’t matter if it wasn’t good for me. I just wanted it to taste good. Food from the county fair, Halloween, and football never seemed to be healthy. Funnell cakes, chocolate candy in my Halloween bag, and chili dogs were all yummy. They certainly weren’t pictured on the Food Pyramid.
I have to admit that the chili dogs weren’t just something I’d get only during football season. There was this great little family run country store out by my grandparent’s house. We’d go there as a treat and order a chili dog, fries, and a soda. The drinks were in glass bottles, right inside a frosty cooler. The sounds of deep fat fryers and the POP! of a refrigerated cooler door can take me back to those moments in an instant. I didn’t care how many calories and fat I was ingesting on those days. Nutrition? Who cared? It’s a different story these days.
Why was it ok then? Probably two reasons. First, we only ate like that a couple of times a year, and sodas were treats we’d get maybe once a week. Two, as kids we were way more active, out on the streets until sundown, playing and running around. But that can cause problems later in life, when we get more sedentary and still eat the same bad things. So learning good nutrition young is the focus.
Nutrition is thought of as the way food is brought in and turned into energy for the body. We seem to do all we can and discover ways to either stay healthy or get that way. Exercise and having an optimal body weight are key components to being healthy. The essence of this year’s National Month of Nutrition is “Put Your Best Fork Forward”, focusing on the fact that we are ultimately responsible for our own nutritional needs and we have the tools necessary to achieve optimal nutrition.
One of the best tools out there these days are premade meal delivery services. My favorite is Magickitchen.com. They have a large variety of meals for all types of nutritional needs. It doesn’t matter if you are focusing on just eating healthier or if you need special meals for medical purposes such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or renal dietary needs. They do all the cooking for you. The main tools you will need are an oven and microwave.
For this blog post I was asked by the powers that be, aka “the Man,” (who in this case is a very pleasant woman named Melody)…anyway, I was asked by Melody to highlight MagicKitchen.com’s special seasonal deals that are located here http://www.magickitchen.com/seasonal-special-deals.html.
However, she gave me free rein (her mistake) to write about these deals as I saw fit. And since I recently rediscovered 1980s rap music, I decided to write a song, or “flow” about MagicKitchen and their awesome seasonal deals. If you’re not a rap fan, don’t worry, just think of it as a Shakespearean sonnet…ok, I just re-read it…I wouldn’t use “Shakespearean” to describe it. If you do like rap, then just lay down a phat beat and let it flow. Play this one below, for full effect.
Deals for Every Season
Lookin’ for a good deal, with profound appeal
Not forced to chase it in your automobile.
Then MagicKitchen’s for you, no drive through,
Just delicious meals that will soon ensue.
Delivered to your door, not from a store,
But prepared by a chef, perhaps named Steph.
Prepared with fresh ingredients, we’re always expedient
And to your needs we’re quite obedient.
The meal’s flash frozen, then it goes in
A container that’s been chosen
To deliver your food, with proper attitude
And little to no ineptitude.
Seasonal deals we got, they’re smokin’ hot
Just check our site, that’s the upshot.
Deals change every season in this age of reason
So take advantage, it’s not like it’s treason.
Specials depend on the holiday. It’s like a buffet
That’s so easy to order, it could be child’s play.
When I was in college, I worked at a dry cleaner. I was there long enough to get to know several of the regular customers. Quite often some would linger and strike up some great conversations and some would share wonderful stories. One elderly gentleman did this most times he came in. He knew enough about me to know I was a Freshman in college and that my family was overseas.
One day he walked in, handed my boss an envelope and left. That envelope contained a check and a note. My boss read the note out loud and my jaw hit the floor. The check that was included in the envelope covered my tuition for the next semester, paid in full.
I couldn’t figure out why he would want to pay for a stranger’s college tuition and not expect anything in return. My boss told me that the man had been doing it for years. He would select a student he felt would appreciate it and help them out. This random act of kindness, made 26 years ago still brings tears to my eyes.
People have been committing random acts of kindness for hundreds of years. We may not know exactly what they have all been, nor have we always given them the title of “Random Acts of Kindness”. It has its very own day assigned to it. This year’s Random Acts of Kindness Day is February 17, 2017.
The first Random Acts day was created in Colorado in 1995. The concept is designed to make the world a little bit better by each of us doing a kind deed. Participating does not mean you have to spend money to be kind.
In case you might be having a difficult time figuring out something nice to do that you may not do on a regular basis, I have compiled two lists. One list is of kind deeds that will only cost you a little bit of time. The second list is for those of you who would like to show kindness via money.
Random Acts of Kindness that Won’t Cost You a Thing
Open the door for someone, complete with a smile
Volunteer time at an animal shelter or rescue
Simply smile at people
Do a favor for someone without expecting anything in return
Babysit for free
Sweep your neighbors porch/shovel their sidewalks
Walk a friend’s or neighbor’s dog
Volunteer at a food bank or homeless shelter
Read to the elderly at a retirement home
Send an encouraging card or email
Thank a veteran, police officer, or firefighter
Give a hug, it’s not just a kind act but a stress reducer as well
Donate blood (Perfect for American Heart Month)
Compliment a stranger
Random Acts of Kindness for Those Who Can Spare Some Change
Pay for the food of the people behind you in the drive through
Take flowers to a retirement home
Leave a zip bag of quarters on a washer at the laundromat
Donate food to an animal shelter
Leave a bag of cookies with a note in the mailbox for the postal carrier
Take coffee and donuts to your local fire station
Donate cat litter to a cat rescue
Donate a new toy to a children’s hospital
Take muffins and coffee to work
Donate money to your electric company to be used for someone who is struggling to pay their bill
Plant a tree
Hire a house cleaner for an ill friend or one with children
Buy a gift card from a car wash and leave it in an envelope on a dirty car at the grocery store
Grab a few cases of water and take them to the Red Cross
Donate canned goods to your local food bank
Even though Random Acts of Kindness Day is recognized on February 18th this year, you don’t have to limit yourself. Imagine how much nicer the world would be if we could all do just one random act once a week…imagine twice a week. Maybe some of the nice things could begin to draw some of the attention away from all the bad things that happen. Wouldn’t it be nice to shift that focus? How do you plan to take part this year?
This Valentine’s Day, Start Taking Care of Your Heart
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far…wait, that’s another story…humans believed that the heart was the center of all our emotions. This had to do with the fact that the heart, more-or- less, is in the center of our bodies and that all roads, or blood vessels, seemed to lead there.
Since many considered love to be the strongest emotion of them all (come on, who among us hasn’t done something stupid due to love?), the heart began to be written about as the seat of love…see: ”I love you with so much of my heart, that none is left to protest.” – Beatrice to Benedict in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing for just one example.
Since then, we’ve become more enlightened as to the true function of the heart, perhaps as a result of the Enlightenment…perhaps not. It serves one vitally important purpose and one purpose only, to pump oxygenated blood to all our muscles and organs and it does this by beating an incredible 115,000 times every day! Since your heart health is a matter of life or death, perhaps we should take better care of it and here are five tips to do just that.
Quit or don’t start smoking. The chemicals found in commercial tobacco products damage your heart and blood vessels by causing a narrowing of the arteries due to plaque build up. This restricts the flow of that oxygenated blood to all those muscles and organs. Smoking also causes carbon monoxide to force out some of the oxygen in your blood. Both effects increase your blood pressure and cause your heart to work harder to deliver the necessary amount of oxygen to your body.
Get moving. No surprise here, regular aerobic exercise (defined as at least 30 minutes most days of the week) is good for your heart and helps control your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight. I seem to remember some physics law from high school that said something about bodies at rest tend to stay at rest…yada, yada, yada. So just apply that rule to your body as well. It’s tough to get that sedentary body of yours (mine too) up and moving, but once you do, it’s easy to keep it moving for at least 30 minutes…I think that rule has a second part about bodies in motion tend to stay in motion. I’ll Google it later.
Maintain a heart healthy diet. No surprise here either…fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fiber, lean meats and fish, these are some of your heart’s favorite things. Salt, sugar (especially processed), trans and saturated fats, these are NOT some of your heart’s favorite things. One way to avoid these things is to read food labels on a regular basis and learn the recommended daily allowances. For example, vegetable juice, what most consider to be a healthy drink, can have up to 700 milligrams of salt per 8 ounces. The FDA recommends we consume no more than 2,300 mgs of salt per day. Read those labels!
Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Those who do not have higher risks of obesity, heart attack, diabetes, and depression. I can remember when my kids were cute little babies and not the crazed tweens they are now, my wife and I made sleep a priority in their lives (model parents, right? Probably not). Come hell or high water, they went to sleep at the same time every night. No late night, drunken parties for them, ever. If you’re not getting that 7-9 hours every night, you might want to reconsider your priorities. Just sayin’…a phrase my adorable tweeners keep repeating.
Stay or get social. Ok, this one is a bit of a surprise. Numerous studies have linked loneliness to depression and physical health problems. One Swedish study conducted by Ikea (I jest, of course) followed 17,000 people and found that the ones with the fewest number of social contacts had a 50% higher risk of cardiovascular disease. So what’s going on here? Medical and psychological professionals believe that friends and family serve as stress relievers, which helps control your blood pressure, which is good for your heart as well.
Please, when I mention soul food, do not think only of the food marketed by some older gentleman parading as a colonel from Kentucky. Soul food, as I discovered while researching this post, is so much more than just fried chicken, corn bread, and sweet potato pie. Although those dishes do play a role, they are not the end-all, be-all of soul food, far from it. Soul food has its origins, as one might expect, from West Africa, but it also contains ingredients from Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas as well. It is, in fact, a fusion cuisine that has evolved over the centuries and is, perhaps, rediscovering its vegetable roots (no, not like turnips or carrots).
What we now refer to as soul food has its origins in West Africa. When millions of African slaves were forcibly removed from their homeland and brought to North, Central, and South America, as well as numerous Caribbean islands, one of the memories they brought with them were of the culinary variety. The Columbian Exchange (the transfer of foods, animals and ideas among the Atlantic world) began almost immediately after Columbus first landed in the Bahamas in 1492. Eventually, African plants and seeds arrived in the slave states of the South, sometimes via the Caribbean. One of the most significant was rice, along with okra and black-eyed peas.
The West African diet consisted mostly of vegetables and meat was usually only used to flavor the dish. This tradition easily transferred itself to America as Southern slaves usually only had access to limited amounts of meat. And what meat they did obtain was of the variety not eaten by their owners, such as ham hocks, oxtail, chitterlings (or chit’lins…pig intestines), or gizzards. Many slaves also were permitted to supplement their diets through the use of their own gardens, where they grew vegetables that were common to the Native Americans…sweet potatoes and corn. Hence the inclusion of many corn based items, such as hominy, grits and cornbread under the soul food umbrella. The slaves also grew “new” greens such as collard, mustard, turnip, cabbage and kale.
After the Civil War, many Southern blacks became share croppers, still tied to the land that others owned. However, by the time the U.S. entered World War I, in 1917, many Southern blacks began what has come to be known as the Great Migration as they headed north in search of manufacturing jobs and they took their soul food recipes with them, along with their music. These African-Americans then began to use lard to cook the meat that they now acquired through better paying jobs, to include chicken and pork. Some of these transplanted Southern blacks managed to open their own restaurants and they became community gathering places within cities, both north and south.
As for the term “soul food,” African-Americans began to use that term in the 1940s, but it went mainstream with the arrival of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s, as “soul” was also placed in front of man, brother, sister, and music. Simply stated, during this time, “soul” equaled African-American, while “Southern” came to be associated with white.
Around this period, the American diet began to change with the mass consumption of processed and fast food and this is when soul food was transformed and came to be considered part of an unhealthy diet. While a soul food diet has always had healthy and unhealthy elements, this equilibrium was unbalanced when processed and fast food manufactures altered its composition.
However, recently, many African-American chefs have been leading the way back to the roots of soul food as they take it back to its veggie-centric beginnings. Often referred to as “down-home healthy soul food,” it features meat dishes, but they’re now grilled or baked rather than fried in lard. Dishes are also prepared with less salt and sugar and are flavored with onions, pepper, garlic, herbs and spices. It has been referred to as a sort of homecoming by African-American chefs and culinary experts. Imagine, soul food as a synonym for health food…well, imagine no longer.
It was 1964 when Lyndon B. Johnson established the month of February as the official American Heart Month. Medicine has come a long way since that decision was made. Doctors were making the connection between heart disease and contributing factors such as high cholesterol, smoking, and not living an active lifestyle.
These days, medical professionals recommend exercise, a healthy diet, and medication to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. There are still too many people suffering from heart disease. The traditions to raise awareness remain firmly in place. Although it’s been 53 years since LBJ initiated the American Heart Month, some individuals aren’t aware of how to support the cause. The following list provides excellent ways to show support for heart health.
Wear Red – The National Wear Red Day® for 2017 is Friday, February 3rd. This day is dedicated to raising awareness for heart health in women. An astounding 1 out of 3 deaths in women are a result of stroke or heart disease. Wearing red on February 3rd will signify your support for the women with heart disease and stroke.
Donate, Donate, Donate – One of the best ways to contribute to the fight for a healthy heart is by donating. There isn’t just one place to help fund the cause. There are actually several. National Wear Red Day® has a site set up to “funraise”.
The American Heart Association® provides two ways to give and three different types of gifts. You can make a donation on the Donate Heart Getting the kids involved is also a great way. Jump Rope for Heart is actually sponsored by the American Heart Association®. Encourage your child’s school to take part. Information on how to be a heart hero is located on the Jump Rope for Heart site.
Education – Learning all you can about heart health should be a priority. Starting with your diet is ideal. Look for healthy recipes and meal plans. Magickitchen.com provides low fat and low sodium meals that are not only heart healthy, but delicious as well. Discover the signs and symptoms of heart disease and how to reduce the risks. Ask your doctor for more information or visit the American Heart Association®.
Take Action – Taking action in your life to prevent stroke and heart disease is one of the best gifts to give yourself and loved ones this February. Work with a nutritionist for ways to improve your eating habits. Implement an exercise program to get that heart pumping.
Giving blood also improves your heart health, which isn’t a well-known fact. When you donate blood, you reduce the excess iron in your blood and it promotes healthy blood flow. The American Red Cross is in need of blood. Now is a great time to help not only the recipient of your blood, but also your heart.
Spread the Word – Since you’ve decided to be an advocate of healthy hearts, how should you spread the word? Talk to your friends and family. Get them in on the fun. Use your social media accounts. Tweet about it and use the #AmericanHeartMonth hashtag. Send ecards to your friends and family that promote the cause and have fun with it! Visit You’re the Cure for more ways to take action for healthy hearts.
Too many lives have been taken due to stroke and heart disease. Our medical community is taking long strides all the time to work towards prevention and awareness for healthier hearts. February is upon us and is the designated as the American Heart Month. How do you plan to participate and take part this month?
As you probably know, making a New Year’s resolution is easy, keeping it…well, that’s where things get difficult. A recent study found that 80% of New Year’s resolutions are toast by mid-February, and since it is now mid-January, we here at MagicKitchen.com thought we’d help you become one of the 20% who carry their resolution through February and beyond. If you recall, just a few short weeks ago I wrote a post that dealt with creating resolutions that were both specific and achievable. So let’s follow that up with one dedicated to keeping that resolution through the winter doldrums and beyond.
Use your friends and family – Come on, you know you use them all the time already! I mean, that’s what they’re there for, right…to be used and manipulated to help you get what you want. Go public with your resolution, unless it’s of a really personal nature, like…never mind, I won’t gross you out with examples. After you’ve publicized your resolution, give your friends, family, co-workers, Uber driver, whoever, free rein to harass, harangue and help you stay on the straight and narrow. Tell them to slap that donut or cigarette out of your hand, or chase you around with a cattle prod to get you exercising, or give you money for staying off the Twitter machine. You get the idea.
Accept small failures – Remember, losing a battle does not mean you’ve lost the war (I think that’s from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War…no, not really). Look, you’re going to, occasionally, stuff a bear claw in your face, or direct some anger transference towards your kids (I think that’s from Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams…but I doubt it). Please, just accept those little transgressions and use them to strengthen your resolve moving FORWARD…always look forward, not back. As long as you’re making progress over the course of a long year, that’s what is important.
There’s an app for that – No, not an appetizer, especially if you’re trying to eat healthier over the new year, but a smart phone application, and many of them are resolution specific. Three apps that are more general in nature are Strides, Resolutions, and HabitBull.
Strides is a free app that allows you to create goals, track your habits, set reminders and keep up a specific pace. Resolutions, an Android app, informs you when you last worked out, or had your last smoke, or deposited money in your savings account, etc. It also has various home screen widgets that help you track your progress and act as reminders. It also awards virtual “trophies” for milestones achieved.
Lastly, HabitBull tracks your habits, good or bad…it’s all relative. It assists you in either breaking a bad habit or beginning a good one with reminders, a streaks calendar, and motivational quotes. It also tracks your progress in the form of graphs and has a built-in discussion forum. The free version allows you to track up to five habits while you can track up 100 with the premium version.
“Know thyself “(I think that’s a quote from ancient Greece or Egypt…no, seriously). Wherever the quote came from, use it to do whatever YOU require to maintain your resolution over the course of twelve long months and beyond. You should know what motivates you best, if not, take a moment, think about it and list the things you’re motivated by. Then use them to create a plan that involves, friends and family, acceptance of small failures, and apps, or all three. Good luck.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I’ve heard it all before, from friends, spouse and especially from my inner-monologue (if you have an inner-dialogue, seek professional help). And what I’ve heard from these people this person (me) with delusions of self-importance is, “I’m waaaay too busy to take time out of my day to prepare, cook and serve a healthy meal for myself, let alone my annoying loving family.” Well, at the risk of sounding slightly vulgar and eloquent at the same time, that’s a load of nonsense.
To prove my last statement, here are 10 simple, easy and quick ideas…I’m reluctant to use the term “recipe” as it usually elicits audible groans and thoughts of, “recipes = time (which I don’t have) + effort (which I can’t waste on cooking due to my hectic schedule). And while these ideas call for ingredients and instructions, they’re kept to a minimum and written in an easy to understand narrative style. Yeah, I know, that sounds like a load of claptrap, but I’m the author and I’m going with “ideas.”
1. Portion controlled meals from MagicKitchen.com
Hey, look, no ingredients or instructions required here! Well, apart from microwave and enjoy. MagicKitchen eliminates the shopping, prep, and cooking with our healthy, yummy (yes, I said yummy) portion controlled meals that come in 11 different meal packs, including 2 dedicated to breakfast, and dozens of individual choices. Check them out here: http://www.magickitchen.com/menu/MKMWL.html
2. Pina colada yogurt parfaits
Ok, three simple ingredients required for this one: Greek yogurt, pineapple, and shaved coconut. Simply slap some Greek yogurt in your favorite wine glass (or leave it in the container, like my lazy a$$) and throw in some fresh pineapple and coconut and consume. The sweetness of the fruit balances out the bitterness of the yogurt quite nicely and you’re getting some proteins as well.
3. Peanut butter breakfast toast
Do I really need to list the ingredients and instructions for toast? I thought not. Just slather some peanut butter (or almond butter) on your whole-wheat toast and top with banana slices, blueberries, raspberries, chia seeds, etc. Just be sure to push the toppings into the peanut/almond butter as this will hold them in place when you invariably tip the toast up to eat. My dogs were quite unhappy when I learned this little trick.
4. Broiled grapefruit with honey and brown sugar
Yes, “broiled.” Ok, here come the dreaded instructions…ingredients are listed in the title. Halve a grapefruit, broil for 4-6 minutes and top with honey, brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon. See what I did there, snuck in an extra ingredient…don’t freak. The grapefruit gets just slightly crunchy on top and the heat melds the honey, sugar and cinnamon into a delicious syrup.
5. Easy roasted sweet potatoes
Or yams? There is a difference, isn’t there? Anyway, nuke (see: microwave) your sweet potato 6-7 minutes after stabbing it with a fork a few times. Halve it, segment each half into ½-inch squares without cutting through the skin…if you measure each square, seek professional help. Place a few slices of butter in between the cubes, sprinkle with some Parmesan and then broil for 6-12 minutes depending on desired crispiness. Then, garnish with some chives and a dollop of sour cream and chow down.
6. Open-faced grilled cheese with a fried egg
Yeah, I know, this title needs some work, bit unwieldy, isn’t it? Regardless, this one’s simple too. Butter a side of whole-wheat bread, place butter-side down in frying ban and top with a slice of Swiss cheese, roasted red pepper, and arugula leaves. Cook about 4 minutes. Fry an egg to your specifications (sunny side up, over easy, over hard…you’re in charge) and place it upon your recently cooked, open-faced grilled cheese and gorge or delicately consume…you’re in charge.
7. Turkey and hummus club sandwich
If you haven’t shopped for hummus lately, you’ll be surprised at all the flavors now offered, garlic, red pepper, chili sauce…this ain’t your bubbe’s hummus. Anyway, purchase your preferred flavor, or mix your own if you’re the ambitious type, slap it on some bread, add a few slices of turkey and arugula and voila, turkey and hummus club.
8. Risotto cakes
Ok, I’m not going to explain how to make risotto in order to adhere to my claim I made at the start of this blog…I’m sneaky that way. Deal with it. After your risotto has cooled, mash it into patties about 2-inches in diameter, press in some bread crumbs and then fry in some olive oil for about 5 minutes per side. They can then be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months and enjoyed later. Simply warm in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes if they came out of the fridge, or 30-35 if you froze the little suckers. Serve over some arugula with a little parmesan and a spritz of lemon juice. They’re also great as a snack on their own or as an appetizer.
9. Crispy ham and egg cups
Spray a standard sized muffin pan with that non-stick stuff and then line it with a slice of your favorite ham…yes, the edges of the ham are supposed to hang over. Then plop an egg in each ham-lined cup and bake until the whites are cooked solid but the yolk is still a bit runny…about 13 minutes. Then season with some salt, pepper, chopped basil, scallions or parsley, or go crazy and use all five!
10. Mini oatmeal cakes
Break out the muffin pan again and place a paper muffin liner in each cup. Then fill each with your favorite oatmeal, mixed with milk to your desired consistency. Then top with chopped walnuts, or dried cranberries, or blueberries or anything else you like to mix into your oatmeal. Just be sure to press your topping down into the oatmeal. Then bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. These little cakes of joy can then be taken on the go and enjoyed wherever.
There you go my hectic, harried and hurried friends. Ten solutions on how to eat healthy while pulling your hair out. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you, or your family, need to settle for fast food. Anyone who tells you any different is simply feeding you balderdash. And wouldn’t you rather have food?
Yes, devoted reader, it’s time to set yourself up for failure once again by making a non-specific (eat healthier) and unattainable (cut out ALL junk food) New Year’s resolution. Those two reasons, setting broad and impossible to achieve goals, are why 92% of all resolutions made are doomed to failure.
Look, a resolution is nothing more than a goal and we (or someone else…think boss or significant other) set goals for ourselves all the time, either in our professional or private lives. And the rules for goal-setting also apply to end-of-year resolution-setting, and they are: make your goal/resolution as specific as possible and make it attainable. Therefore, let’s combine those two rules with your vague resolution to eat better in 2017.
Rule number one: make your “eating better” resolution as specific as possible. Instead of “I resolve (sounds like you’re on the floor of the Senate) to eat better in 2017,” resolve to “eat five helpings of fruits and vegetables most days of the week…that would be four or more for the numerically challenged out there like your esteemed author. Why only “most” days of the week? DUH!…remember rule number two…make your goal achievable.
Or how about printing a list of healthy “superfoods” you’ve never eaten and resolving to try at least one item on that list every week of 2017? Better yet, turn it into a checklist, then, check each item off and make a few notes about that item, such as “If anyone is trying to torture me for information, just threaten me with Brussels sprouts and I’ll tell them everything.”
Ok, last example of a specific goal: “I resolve to eat at least one meal per day that contains
no processed foods.” Like a meal comprised of roast chicken and potatoes with a side of green beans. In fact, we here at MagicKitchen offer a number of meals that fit this category in our portion controlled and signature meals sections. It’s a great way to keep your resolution as we do most of the work, all that’s required of you is to heat and enjoy!
Rule number two: make your goal achievable, but not too easily achievable, there must be an element of resolve (hence the term “resolution”) and sacrifice involved. Please don’t resolve to adopt a diet of nothing but kale, honey and quinoa for all of 2017. My guess is that you’re going to fall off the wagon with that resolution. How about, “I resolve to
substitute either kale, honey, or quinoa for an unhealthy item I usually eat at least every other day. Or if you can’t stand kale, (which is perfectly understandable), try one of these new superfoods for 2017. And then track each time you make that substitution on a calendar.
Here are a few other tips to help you achieve your specific resolution that involves eating healthier in 2017:
Take a grocery list to the supermarket and stick to it.
Choose fresh or frozen food over canned.
Plan ahead by making menus and, as with the rule above, stick to them!
Don’t drink your calories…stay away from the sugary drinks.
Patrol the edges of your grocery store where the fresh produce, meats, dairy and whole grains are located.
Try out MagicKitchen.com complete meals for a change of pace. No rules, no sign-ups, no commitments required, try one or many.
Eat a lot of different colors when it comes to fruits and vegetables.
Replace dessert with fruit or at least add fruit to your dessert.
Accept the fact that you’re going to backslide a few times during the year…get over it and then get back on the horse or wagon or both. I’m not sure which.
Publicize your resolution to all who are willing to listen and tell them to nag you throughout the year. Also, write it down and stick it to both the doors of your fridge and pantry.
Finally, remember that doing something towards attaining or keeping your resolution is better than quitting and doing nothing…little steps matter!
So, good luck as you resolve to eat healthier in 2017 and remember to follow the two main rules (and various tips) and perhaps you’ll be part of the 8% that successfully stick to their resolutions through the entire year. May your New Year be a healthy and happy one!
Yeah, I know, age is nothing but a number. However, my 22-year-old self might not feel the same way about that statement as my 51-year-old self does. My 22-year-old self never had to get up to pee in the middle of the night (occasionally more than once). He never worried about his continually rising “muffin top”…that roll of fat that sticks out above the waistline of my pants like a muffin top escaping from the muffin pan…and yes, men develop and worry about it as well. And my 22-year-old version never worried about “over doing it” in any way, shape or form.
Yes, as we age, our bodies change. There’s no denying that, so stop trying. However, that does not mean our quality of life must change, at least not yet. I constantly hear that I shouldn’t fight the aging process and I couldn’t disagree more. I am of the belief that common-sense resistance to the aging process can extend a meaningful quality of life. And I think many of the 72.5 million, post World War II baby boomers out there agree with me, especially given the fact that they began turning 65 in 2011 and they will all be over 65 by 2029.
With the above in mind, MagicKitchen.com is pleased to offer a free eBook, entitled 10 Tips for Senior Health to visitors of our site (get it here http://www.magickitchen.com/healthy-senior-tips-ebook.html ). Research consistently reinforces that active seniors, both mentally and physically, have a better quality of life than their sedentary counterparts and this ebook presents 10 easy to follow and apply tips that will help ensure your senior years are your best years.
The first two bits of advice within the book are the ones you repeatedly hear, and there’s a reason for that…they’re essential. Exercise both your body and your mind and do so on an almost daily basis. These two tips are linked to several that follow, to include eating right (you’ll be amazed how regular exercise gets you thinking about proper nutrition and MagicKitchen can certainly help in this regard), prevent falls (regular exercise will hone your reflexes and have your muscles ready to prevent an unwelcome accident), travel (this, obviously, involves movement and seeing new places gets you thinking in new ways), sleep well (be tired at the end of your day, mentally and physically, and sleep improves…Duh!), and focus on the things you’re grateful for (do NOT underestimate the power of positive thinking).
The other three tips deal with health issues…don’t smoke (and if you do, quit! for all the obvious reasons you’ve heard about), see your doctor regularly (to ensure all is well all the time), take care of your skin (primarily by avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun).
Who knows, after following the advice in this free ebook your 22 year-old-self just might get a bit jealous.