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Posts Tagged ‘new year’s resolutions’

 

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Happy New Year! I hope your holiday–no matter how you celebrated it, was merry and bright, and that you’re looking forward to embracing a new year.

Depending on how you lean politically, you may feel a bit of dread as you look to this new year. Or you may feel the pressure to make big plans and set high goals for yourself. We expect so much of ourselves these days–much more than other people expect of us if we stop and really think about it.

Lately, I have been chastising myself for not posting more recipes or product recommendations or summaries of scientific findings. But between caring for my children and serving as the interim executive director of my foundation (link), I haven’t had time for any of it except snapping off photos of some of my meals and daily adventures.

When the new year rolled around, my first inclination was to set targets on how many posts I should publish, how many projects I should complete for the foundation, how many miles I should run weekly, etc. But after some careful thinking, I decided that what my main goal should be is to slow down, ease up, be gentler on myself and more present in the lives of those I love. The “shoulding” is a slow killer. We are not superhuman–none of us.

I don’t want to appear sexist, but the “shoulding” problem appears to affect women more than men. If men do only one job, and they do it well, they are often generally satisfied with themselves. But women seem more prone to setting unrealistic targets across multiple areas of their lives, and this isn’t healthy or sustainable. The woman you may know who raises perfect, well-adjusted kids, stays amazingly fit, produces incredible creations from her kitchen, runs a company, serves on a bunch of non-profit boards, and stays up to date on current affairs, is paying the price in some way. Maintaining that level of achievement and busy-ness takes its toll. We are all just human, and the day holds only so many hours.

Doing too much makes us prone to all sorts of health problems that can present in an immediate and obvious way, like a cold or flu, or slowly wear down our defenses, making us vulnerable to more serious illnesses.

So during this winter season (at least for those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere), when you suddenly think of one more thing you could/should be doing, stop. Make a cup of tea, take a leisurely stroll through your neighborhood, read a fun article in a meaningless magazine, and slow yourself down.

While the rain and snow do their thing outside your window, try making golden tumeric milk. It will warm and nourish your body and boost your immunity. Tumeric contains curcumin, a very strong antioxidant with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. In fact, a friend told me over the holiday, that she was able to avoid a costly surgery for her elderly dog, after the dog tore its ACL, by feeding it high doses of curcumin, glucosamine (cushions bones at joints) and hyaluronic acid (collagen building).

This milky tea takes minutes to make, yet has lasting benefits. Depending on where you live, you can buy fresh tumeric from your natural grocer.

 

Ingredients

1 cup almond or other non-dairy milk

1 thumb-size piece of fresh tumeric, peeled and roughly chopped

Several grinds of fresh-ground pepper*

1 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener of your choice

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

A healthy pinch of ground cinnamon

*Whether you’re making tumeric milk or taking tumeric supplements, make sure you eat black pepper at the same time. Black pepper contains piperine which significantly increases (2000%!) the absorption of curcumin. Curcumin is also fat soluble so always consume it with a meal or a drink like this one that contains healthy fats.

 

Preparation

Put the first three ingredients in a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, and blend until deep gold in color and frothy. Pour the milk mixture into a small saucepan and heat just until hot. Do not boil. Remove from heat and stir in the maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour into your favorite cup and sip away.

Enjoy!

 

tea1

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If you’re like me, you’ve thought about making a few New Year’s resolutions, but haven’t necessarily nailed them down precisely. Your resolutions might include losing weight or exercising more, or maybe you’re looking to start a new hobby or pursue and old one. Well, why not help Mother Earth by throwing in a resolution to live greener this year?

No one I know lives completely “green.” Most of us fall somewhere along a very broad continuum. And that’s OK. If everyone picked just one or two things from the following list, our world and everyone in it would automatically live healthier lives.

I certainly don’t live super “green.” For example, I can be a bit of a clothes horse, and I love fashion too much to stop buying trends. But I’ve committed to buy less this year, and I keep a worm bin and chickens to feed my kitchen scraps to, and I haven’t acquired a single plastic shopping bag in too many months to remember.

Let’s be straight, since there are some people who won’t manage even one thing off the following list, why not take up their slack and commit to three or four?

25 Ways to Live Greener:

  1. Buy organic.
  2. Buy local.
  3. Carry a collapsible/reusable bag at all times so you never have to take another shopping bag home.*
  4. Power down all your electronics when you’re not actually using them.
  5. Drive less, walk more.
  6. Grow your own herbs or veggies in a garden or garden box.
  7. Recycle everything you can.
  8. Buy less to begin with.
  9. Rinse out jars (e.g., applesauce, pickles, etc.) and use them to store food instead of buying plastic containers.
  10. Turn your thermostat down at least 2-4 degrees.
  11. Don’t buy anything containing synthetic fragrance (anything other than essential oils).
  12. Don’t buy products containing sulfates or parabens.
  13. Only buy cleaning products that are biodegradable and phosphate-free.
  14. Switch to LED light bulbs. They’re the most energy-efficient.
  15. Make sure your freezer is filled to capacity. It’s more energy-efficient than a half-filled one.
  16. Only run the washing machine when you have a full load, and never wash on hot.
  17. The same goes for the dishwasher; fill it up before you turn it on.
  18. Shorten your shower and make sure you’re using a low-flow showerhead.
  19. Don’t wash your car at home. Find a car wash that recycles the water.
  20. Stop buying bottled water. Use/install a filter and use stainless steel or glass bottles.
  21. Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. Visit http://www.DoNotMail.org.
  22. Sign-up for on-line bill pay.
  23. Don’t use chemical fertilizers or pesticides on your lawn.
  24. Have less lawn.
  25. Eat less meat, particularly beef!!

Happy New Year, and happy greener-living!

* I carry a ChicoBag in my purse at all times since it holds a ton and easily stuffs down to the size of my fist!

Photo: Bruce Irving, Flying Singer

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