Archives for October 2013

Colorful and Delicious: Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

This fall we had a late crop of mini sweet peppers. Once they started coming on we had dozens.  They are colorful, sweet, and absolutely perfect.

Mini Sweet Peppers

Mini sweet peppers make a crunchy, nutritious snack.  I buy a bag of mini peppers from the local grocery every week and put a couple in my bag to take to work to snack on during the day.

Now, with the abundance of the fall crop I have more than I know what to do with I decided to make stuff them with a low-fat cream cheese mixture. The blended cheeses make the peppers into a heartier snack and would be perfect to have as a healthy game-day treat to balance all of the other junk that is often served.  They also would make a good appetizer for guests or family or could be a side dish to an entree of salmon.

Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Ingredients:

9 or 10 mini peppers (If you are using the smaller peppers you will need more)
1 cup of low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon of onion flakes
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup green onions, finely chopped
1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese
dash of salt

Pepper filling.

Pepper filling.

Directions:

1.  Cut the mini peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane.

2.  In a small bowl combine all of the other ingredients except the mozzarella cheese and blend until smooth.

3.  Place the peppers on a baking sheet or oven proof baking dish.  Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Then broil for two or three minutes or until cheese is slightly brown.

4.  Serve warm.

Sweet mini peppers baked.

Sweet mini peppers baked.

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Six Body Weight Plateau-Buster Exercises To Do Every Day

Have you reached the dreaded weight loss plateau?

Just because you’re stuck doesn’t mean you have to find an extra hour a day to work out or incorporate harsher calorie restrictions.  Both strategies can end up working against you.  Instead, try adding a few simple, yet powerful, exercises to your daily workout routine.

Below are six fat-busting bodyweight moves you can do every day.  The best thing is that you don’t need a gym membership, or equipment at home to do them.  They can be done anywhere, anytime, and trigger a variety of muscle groups.

You should be able to complete one set of 12 repetitions of each exercise in about ten minutes.

1.  Plyo Suqats – Stand with feet wide.  Drop hips back to a squat position.  As you come up, jump off of the floor while swinging arms up and overhead.  Repeat. This is an excellent cardio move and will get your heart rate up so that you’ll burn extra calories.

Plyo Suat With Jump

Plyo Suat With Jump

2.  Squat Thrust – They are similar to P.E. burpees.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Drop down so that both hands are on the floor.  Jump feet back so that you are in plank position.  Jump feet back to hands, then jump up to standing position.  Repeat. (Tip: add a push-up when you’re in the plank position for more intensity.)

Burpee with jump.

Burpee With Jump.

 

3.  Skater Lunge – Imitate the motion of skating, as you alternate driving legs back and across while swinging  your arms (as pictured below).  It’s a great cardio move and will tone and strengthen hamstrings.

Skater Lunge

Skater Lunge

4.   Staggered Hand Push Ups – I love the staggered hand push-ups because they work the upper body and, at the same time, challenge the core.  In push up position, stagger the hands so that the right hand is at 2 o’clock position and the left is at 8 o’clock.  Do one push up.  Quickly move the hands so that the left is at 2 and the right is at 8 and do another push up.  Continue to do the push-ups and try to move the hands quickly enough so that both hands are off of the floor at once.

Staggered hand push up

Staggered Hand Push Up

5.  Walking Hand Plank – Get in a plank position with both hands on the floor.  Hands should be directly below the shoulders.  Slowly walk the hands and feet forward four steps.  Be sure to keep the core tight so that you don’t lift your buns in the air as your move.  Slowly walk four steps back.  Repeat.

Walking Plank

Walking Plank

6.  Scissors – Lie on your back with both legs out to the front.  Lift your shoulder slightly off of the floor.  You can use your hands to support your head.  Lift the legs off of the floor and slowly scissor legs.

Scissors

Scissors

All of the moves are challenging so do them at your own pace.  As the exercises become easier, increase the number of repetitions of each exercise and eventually increase the speed.

These six, dynamic, body weight exercises will help you improve your overall strength and agility and get the number on the scale moving in the right direction again.

Do you have a favorite body weight exercise?  Leave your best exercise tip in the comment section below.

(All pictures are from Pinterest.  Click on the photos to link to the original picture.)

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Almonds: A Good Snack for Nutrition and Weight Loss

Almonds are my number one snack food.  I eat them every morning for a little extra post-workout recovery protein and in the afternoon to curb my appetite until dinner.  I always knew that almonds were loaded with fiber and nutrition, but now a new study released shows that they also reduce hunger and that eating them on a regular basis poses little risk for weight gain.

Almonds

Researchers at Purdue University that wanted to learn what impact snacking on almonds had on hunger and weight gain took 137 adults who were at risk for type 2 diabetes and divided them into five groups:

  • One group avoided all nuts and seeds.
  • A second group ate 1.5 ounces of almonds with breakfast each day.
  • A third group ate 1.5 ounces with lunch each day.
  • The fourth group ate 1.5 ounces of almonds as morning snack.
  • A fifth group ate the same amount as an afternoon snack.

The participants were not on any calorie or food restrictions or given any other dietary guidelines to follow.  They were expected to follow their usual eating pattern. The almonds provided the participants with about 250 calories per day.

At the end of the four week study the results showed that despite the increase in calories from the almonds, the participants did not increase the total number of calories they ate and drank over the course of the day and they did not gain weight.

Researchers concluded that almonds are a good snack option, especially for those concerned about weight.  One of the lead researchers, Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD, distinguished professor of nutrition science at Purdue University and the study’s principal investigator said, “In this study, participants compensated for the additional calories provided by the almonds so daily energy intake did not rise and reported reduced hunger levels and desire to eat at subsequent meals, particularly when almonds were consumed as a snack.”

Health Benefits of Almonds

Not only do almonds fill you up and keep you from nibbling on other snacks throughout the day, they also contain a significant quantity of several nutrients.  One quarter cup of almonds supplies 45% daily value of manganese; 44.8% of vitamin E; 24.6% of magnesium; 21.8% of tryptophan; 257 mg of potassium, 6 grams of fiber and a little over 200 calories.

Almonds are also known to lower LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk for heart disease, and decrease the after-meal rises in blood sugar.  A study on 9 healthy volunteers that were fed high glycemic meals showed that eating almonds with the meal reduced the rise in the subjects’ blood sugar.  The more almonds the volunteers ate, the less their blood sugar’s rose indicating they are a factor in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

All of the research showing that almonds are a superfood and power houses of nutrition reassures me that my daily almond habit isn’t one that I need to try and break.  For that I’m grateful.

And almonds aren’t just great for snacking.  Slivered almonds are delicious in salads, vegetable dishes, and Greek yogurt.  Add them to cereal, oatmeal and rice for a nutty taste.

Your Turn

Are you an almond lover or is there another nut that keeps you satisfied between meals?

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Pumpkin Smoothies – A Fall Treat!

I’ve been searching for the perfect pumpkin smoothie recipe.  I’m even thinking about having a Pumpkin Smoothie Contest because I love pumpkin and think that my recipe can be improved upon.

Here’s the best recipe that I’ve tried so far.  It’s very simple, low in calories and quite nutritious.

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana
2  cups of pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1 cup of skim milk
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
Pumpkin pie spice to taste
Pinch of sugar
Ice

Directions: 

Put all of the ingredients except the ice in a blender and mix until smooth.  Add ice until you get the consistency you want.  I like cold, icy smoothies so I add quite a bit, but it’s up to you.

The sugar is optional but I think you’ll find if you don’t put in sugar you’ll need to add honey, Stevia, or another sweetener.  I think that we get so used to thinking of the way pumpkin tastes in terms of pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, and pumpkin lattes that we forget that pumpkin, on its own, isn’t a sweet food. My daughter and I tried this smoothie without adding sugar, but thought it needed a teaspoon to make the flavor of the pumpkin and spices pop.

This smoothie comes in at about 160 calories and it is very filling and it’s easy to make.  Enjoy!

Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or add a touch of light whipping cream to the top.

Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice or add a touch of light whipping cream to the top.

Do you have an absolutely delicious pumpkin smoothie recipe?  Please put a link to your recipe in the comment box below.

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Thinking of Going Paleo? It Doesn’t Have To Be An All or Nothing Approach.

Even if you haven’t tried the Paleo diet you’re sure to have heard about it.  Many of the health and wellness web sites I frequently browse promote the ‘Paleo way’ as the best way and offer tips and Paleo-friendly recipes.  One blogger even posted a Paleo-friendly chocolate chip cookie recipe that used almond meal in place of flour.

So what is this infatuation with the Paleolithic way of eating all about and should you be getting on board?

Paleo

The Paleo diet is rich in fruits, vegetables and lean protein. Flickr photo by justine.foong

Eating Like Our Ancestors (Kind of)

It’s no secret that our modern day way of eating has gotten us into a lot of trouble.  We eat too much sugar (from multiple sources), salt, refined grains and bad fats.  On top of that much of what we eat is so over-processed it no longer contains any real nutritional value.  Plus it’s loaded with preservatives and other substances to enhance color and increase shelf life that our systems simply cannot process.

All of these products that we take for granted because we see them in such abundance on the shelves of the supermarket have, in part,  fueled the obesity epidemic and are the culprit behind the increase in chronic diseases ranging from heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The Paleo diet eliminates all of these ‘bad’ foods from our diet.  Paleo is based on foods that were hunted, fished, and gathered during the Paleolithic era including meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruits, and berries. What you won’t find on the diet are dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, potatoes, and processed oils.  Advocates of the diet believe that if the caveman didn’t dine on it, you shouldn’t be either.

The premise of eating like a caveman is based on the concept that the human body isn’t built to digest and process all of the foods that are being manufactured  and are part of the modern day diet.

Pros and Cons

There are plenty of reasons to adopt the Paleo plan:

  • According to the author of “The Paleo Diet”, four studies have tested the diet and have found it to be superior to the typical Western diet (no big surprise there) and the Mediterranean diet with regards to weight loss, cardiovascular health and risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
  • Supporters say that this diet will cut the cases of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic conditions plaguing our society.
  • The program is based on nutritious whole-foods and promotes ‘clean’ eating thereby eliminating all of the troublesome preservatives, and additives many people consume in volume.
  • Because of the high fiber content followers experience reduced incidence of gas and bloating.
  • The high fiber content will also help you feel full.
  • Helps eliminate mood swings caused by drops in blood sugar that are usually followed by hunger, fatigue, and irritability.

Despite the obvious health benefits that can be gained by the Paleo diet, there are some drawbacks:

  • For many people the diet may be too hard to follow.  When you eliminate some of the basic food groups you have to make an effort to replace those foods with something else.
  • Not everyone has access to an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Or, if they do, the cost may be prohibitive.
  • On the Paleo plan you probably won’t be able to get enough Vitamin D without supplementation unless you are able to spend enough time in the sun to make up for what is lacking in the diet.
  • Some nutritionists think that there’s no need to eliminate grains and legumes from the diet.  They provide nutrients that you can’t get from other foods.
  • The food restrictions make it a difficult plan to adhere to over time.  Like most diets, you’ll see results at first, but over time you’ll grow weary of not being able to enjoy a wider variety of foods.

All Or Nothing

If you’ve been thinking about the diet but are not sure that you’re ready to go full Paleo, there’s nothing wrong with focusing on some of the positive aspects of the plan.  Eating more fruits and vegetables, high fiber nuts, and lean proteins while limiting sugar, sodium and processed foods can have a positive impact on your health.

Rather than take an all or nothing approach to Paleo, you might find you are able to stick with the plan if you work out a combination such as four days on, three days off until you find out what will actually work for you. Over time you’ll adjust to this new clean eating approach, but like everything, it will take some time.

Have you tried the Paleo diet?  Please share your experience with it in the comment box below.

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The McDiet Weight Loss Program: Not a Good Plan.

The Chief Executive Officer of McDonalds has been on a public relations campaign about his recent weight loss.  CEO Don Thompson attributes his 20 pound loss to getting up and going to the gym everyday and eating from the McDonalds menu at least once a day.

The McDiet:  Not a good plan.

The McDiet: Not a good plan.    (Flickr photo by Simon Miller)

No one would expect Mr. Thompson to say that to lose weight he had to give up eating at McD’s. Besides, we all know that if you burn more calories than you consume you can lose weight no matter what the content of the calories are. With the regular visits to the gym, Thompson was able to create a calorie deficit despite eating Big Macs and other fast food favorites.

The McDonald’s CEO told the Associated Press that some days he has a Southwest Salad, other days a Big Mac.  “Some days I have fries.  I can’t give up the fries.  I’ll go the extra mile on the treadmill.  It’s calories in, calories out.  You have to watch what you’re putting in.”  Thompson said.

But that’s not true.  There’s more to it than calories in/calories out. When you decide you want to lose weight without giving up burgers and fries you can drop pounds.  But, at some point the question has to be more about what you’re doing to decrease your risk of chronic disease and less about the number on scale.

If you’re on a weight-loss program that includes regular trips to the fast-food counter there’s an obvious disconnect about how the foods you eat impact your overall health.

Diet and Chronic Disease

Poor diet is a major contributor to chronic disease including coronary heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke.  An analysis of more than 50 thousand Singaporeans of Chinese descent, showed that those who ate fast food twice a week or more increased the risk of diabetes by 27 percent and had a 56 percent risk of death from coronary heart disease.

The trans-fats, high fructose corn sugar, large amounts of sodium, and super-sized portions that are typical of fast food meals are all contributing factors.  Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that more than 30% of adults in the U.S. are obese and that the prevalence of overweight and obesity combined is approximately 70%.  The Centers for Disease Control report that less than 25% of Americans consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.

What’s In That Meal?

Developing a hyper awareness of what ingredients are in the foods you’re eating is the best way to eliminate highly processed foods that lead to disease. When a food contains numerous ingredients with names that you can’t pronounce, that’s a bad sign.

Here’s a run- down of the ingredients found in the bun and sauce of a McDonald’s Big Mac:

  • The Bun:  Enriched wheat flour, water, sugar and/or glucose-fructose, yeast, vegetable oil (soybean and/or canola), salt, sesame seeds, calcium sulphate, calcium propionate, monoglycerides, enzymes, azodicarbonamide,and may contain any or all of the following in varying proportions: diacetyl tartaric acid esters of mono and diglycerides, BHT, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, wheat starch, calcium peroxide, wheat gluten, sorbitol, dextrin,malted barley flour, ascorbic acid, citric acid, calcium stearate, calcium iodate, silicon dioxide. Contains wheat, barley, sesame seeds.
  •  The Sauce:  Soybean oil, relish (pickles, sugar, glucose-fructose, vinegar, glucose, salt, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate , spice extractives), prepared mustard [water, vinegar, mustard seed, salt, sugar, colour (caramel, turmeric), spices], water, frozen egg yolk, vinegar, onion powder, salt, mustard flour, xanthan gum,potassium sorbate , spices, garlic powder, hydrolyzed plant protein (corn, soy, wheat gluten), colour (paprika,caramel), calcium disodium EDTA. Contains wheat, egg, soy, mustard.

The Big Mac comes in at a total of 540 calories of which 260 (about half) are from fat, 1040 mg of sodium, and 9 grams (about 2 teaspoons) of sugar.

And now the fries:

  • McDonald’s French Fries – Potatoes, Canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, safflower oil, natural flavor, dextrose (a type of sugar),  sodium acid pyrophosphate (for color),citric acid, dimethylpolysiloxane, vegetable oil for frying, TBHQ.

While you may be able to continue to indulge in a Big Mac and fries and still lose weight  because of  more frequent trips to the gym, you’re not doing yourself any favors.  You’re getting too much fat, sugar sodium, and preservatives, along with a bunch of other stuff – like dimethylpolysiloxane – which is an anti-foaming agent that is typically used in caulking and sealants – that your body has no clue what to do with.

Like most fast-food chains, McDonalds at least appears to be offering more healthy choice menu options.  At the recent Clinton Global Initiative McDonald’s CEO said that they are making some changes in the way McD’s promotes the Happy Meals. They are only going to promote water, milk, or juice as the beverage.

That’s a start.  But giving a child milk to wash down their Chicken McNugget Happy Meal is like an adult ordering a diet soda to go with their Big Mac and fries. It might make you feel better, but the meal is a weak choice nutrition wise.

Getting in the habit of shopping for groceries on a weekly basis so that you have whole foods on hand to make quick nutritious breakfasts, healthy brown bag lunches and wholesome dinners, is where the focus should be.  This will keep you out of the fast-food drive through.  And that’s the best thing you can do for your health.

You might also like:  Top Ten Web Sites For Healthy Recipes and Too Busy To Cook?  Here’s Why You Should Make Time.

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What You Can Learn From Regina Brett: Get Up, Dress Up, and Show Up

I’m sure you’ve probably  seen the 45 Lessons Life Taught Me that Regina Brett created when she turned 45.  When she turned 50 she added five more lessons to the list.

Yes, this is the same ’45 Lessons’ that you see being shared on Facebook with the picture of a 90 year old woman attached to it.

Somewhere along the way, the real Regina Brett’s 45 lessons became popular and were shared numerous times through e-mail and Facebook.  And, for some reason, Regina suddenly aged. Drastically! She is in fact in her mid 50’s but her lessons are attributed to the charismatic 90 year old woman pictured below.

Who is this woman that is getting the credit for writing the 'Lessons'?

Who is this woman that is getting the credit for writing the ‘Lessons’?

Not that her age matters.  I’ve read 45 Lessons several times and find that they are good tips that will reduce stress (#47), remind us that gratitude is a pillar of good health (#40) and encourage us to live each day fully engaged and in the moment (#41).

One of my Facebook friends shared the lessons this week and people began posting comments about which one was their favorite so I followed along.  It was easy for me.  Lesson 46 has always been my favorite: No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

That, my friends, is the secret to living a purposeful, productive life.

It is also the secret to reaching your fitness and weight loss goals. Don’t give into spending a day with your head tucked under the sheets because you’re just not ‘feeling it’.  There are too many of those days to count and they tend to multiply if you make a habit of surrendering to them.

This approach to life is best suited for dogs.

This approach to life is best suited for dogs.   Photo by Eugene 0126jp

1. Get up.

Getting up. The hardest, but most critical, of the three.  You can’t really do much if you don’t get out of the bed or comfy recliner, or push away from the computer. The longer you stay in a reclined position the harder it is to get motivated to get up and take that walking break, do your Be Fit workout for the day, or complete day five of your Couch to 5K program.

As soon as you feel the first pang of procrastination seeping into your thoughts, get up and get dressed for whatever it is you promised yourself you would do today.

2. Dress Up.

One of my pet peeves is people that schlep around the gym in P.E. shorts and a faded, over-sized t-shirt.  How can you put your best effort into a workout if you’re dressed like you sneaked out of the house hoping you wouldn’t run into anyone you know?

You don’t have to be dressed in top-of–the-line fitness attire, but wearing clothes that are colorful, fit right and are made for exercising will increase your motivation.  The better you look, the better you will feel and the more confidence you will have in your ability to accomplish your goals. Target, TJ Maxx and Wal Mart have great deals on workout clothes that won’t blow your budget and you’ll feel like a million bucks in them.

There’s no reason not to dress the same way if you work out at home, are going out to walk the dog or for a quick run through the neighborhood.  Plan to dress for success whatever your workout plans are.

3. Show Up.

This is the easiest of the three.  Once you’ve accomplished steps one and two, your motivation is clicking and you’re set up for success.  You’ve peeled yourself away from Law and Order re-runs or Pinterest (not easy to do) and put on your favorite yoga pants. What comes next is up to you, but the hard work is done.

Don’t’ forget to dream and set big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs) for yourself. Once you understand the importance of Lesson #46 and begin to practice it daily, your dreams will become a reality

What’s your favorite lesson?  Please share by leaving a comment in the box below.

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The Power of Calm and How To Achieve It

We all have stressors that affect our ability to live our lives exactly as we would like. Job pressure, money problems, health issues, rocky relationships, poor eating habits, the 24/7 news media, and sleep deprivation are the leading causes of stress.  There are plenty of other less significant daily stressors that play a role too.

Sitting in a construction zone in heavy traffic is stressful.  Relaxation breathing can help.

Sitting in a construction zone in heavy traffic is stressful. Relaxation breathing can help.

As the stress builds and our ability to cope with all that is facing us declines, we suffer from an array of side effects including fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, muscle tension, irritability and a lack of energy. According to the American Psychological Association, American Institute of Stress in New York, the number of people that are affected by stress is astounding:

  • Percent of people who regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress – 77%
  • Percent who regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress – 73%
  • Percent who feel they are living with extreme stress – 33%
  • Percent who say stress has a negative impact on their personal and professional life – 48%
  • Percent who say they are “always” or “often” under stress at work – 30%
  • Percent who lie awake at night due to stress – 48%

And all of this stress comes at a cost.  The estimated cost to employers for stress related health care and missed work is $300 billion a year.

Stress and Chronic Disease

While your biggest concern is about the way stress is affecting your day-to-day life, the real issue is that chronic stress leads to chronic disease.  When you are under stress on a daily basis, cortisol – the stress hormone – lingers in the blood stream and begins to destroy the white blood cells.  This sets the stage for health related problems that range from autoimmune system diseases to cancer.

If you feel that you are under chronic, uncontrolled stress, you need to learn how to manage it before it has a negative impact on your quality of life and damages your health.

Three Strategies That Will Return You To Calm

Progressive muscle relaxation, relaxation breathing, and simple Tai-Chi moves are three stress busters that can be done when you’re stress meter has reached its limit. These methods are known to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. When you’re headed for a melt down, they will allow you to get a hold of your emotions before you respond to your situation in a way that you may later regret.

1.  Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Muscle relaxation techniques have been proven to be highly effective for people suffering with stress and anxiety.  The process involves tensing, then relaxing the muscles which enhances the mind and body connection.

When you’re under a deadline at work or sitting in a traffic jam that is keeping you from getting where you need to be on time, tense your muscles for 10 to 15 seconds then relax the muscles. Take a relaxing, cleansing breath, and repeat.  You can start with the head and work down to the feet, or focus on the muscles that seem to be the most tense when anxiety strikes.

2. Relaxation BreathingDr. Andrew Weil is the guru of relaxation breathing techniques.  My favorite is the 4-7-8 relaxation breathing exercise that Dr. Weil says is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.  Here’s how to practice the 4-7-8 method:

  • Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth and keep it there throughout the exercise.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • Inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

3.  Simple Tai Chi – There are many simple Tai Chi exercises that you can do at your desk at work or at home that will help keep you remain tranquil and balanced.  The Heaven and Earth simple Tai Chi exercise is one of my favorites.  To execute Heaven and Earth do the following:

  • Pretend you have a rubber ball between you hands.
  • Hold the ball at chest height with one hand on top of the ball and the other hand underneath. (Right hand on the bottom; left hand on top.)
  • Imagine that the sky is falling.
  • Take the left (bottom) hand and slowing move it up and away from your body towards the sky.
  • At the same time take the right (top) hand and push it down and away from you towards the floor.
  • Slowly return the hands to the center, this time with the right hand on the bottom and the left hand on top.
  • Repeat the exercise until your movements become smooth.

Choose Your Reaction

Frankl quote

These and other methods can do wonders to lower your stress.  What they will also do is help you find that space between stimulus and response that Viktor E. Frankl talks about:  “Between stimulus and response there is a space.  In that space is our power to choose our response.  In our response lies sour growth and our freedom.”

Finding that space will help you avoid over eating, over drinking and other negative stress-releated behavior patterns.  Plus it is a critical part of maintaining positive relationships and achieving work-life balance so that you can have a productive and fulfilling life.

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