Browsing Category: Health

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

seasonal fruits and vegetables

I’ve always been one of those people that partakes in healthier eating by eating more fruits and vegetables in the warmer months. However, since I recently been paying more attention to what foods I eat, I not only eat more fruits and veggies, but those that are in season. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are not only healthier, but are fresher and tastier.

This past weekend, I watched the documentary Food Inc., which is about the I haven’t watched in years. However, it bigger impact on the healthier me of today than it did on the me of then who probably watched it while eating a bag of Cheetos. I’m embarrassed.

Food Inc. shined a light on how we get our food and the impact it has made over the year. To help improve the quality of foods we consume, one of the suggestions they gave was to eat fruits and vegetables that were organic, locally grown (if possible), and in season. Seasonal fruits and veggies are less likely to be chemically manipulated and genetically modified (GMO).

In case you haven’t noticed, when every season change so does the selection of fresh foods in your local grocery store. There are some foods such as apples, bananas, carrots, and celery are in season all year. However, most food has time frame when it’s the freshest and healthiest. No only are in season foods fresher and healthier, but are also easier to find and buy. Therefore, they are usually way less expensive than foods not in season. Fresher, healthier, and cheaper. What other reason could you want to get you to focus more on in season foods.

POPULAR SEASONAL FRUITS AND VEGETABLES:

WINTER:

  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Grapefruit
  • Kale
  • Lemons
  • Onions
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Turnips

SPRING:

  • Apricots
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Collard Greens
  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Pineapples
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries

SUMMER:

  • Apricots
  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Blackberries
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplants
  • Green Beans
  • Mango
  • Okra
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Tomatoes
  • Watermelon

FALL:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach

For more information on which foods are in season each season, check out www.EatTheSeasons.com

 

 

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Ways I’ve Learned to Relax At Work

For the past few months I’ve been experimenting with things and actions that help me; mentally, physically, and emotionally. As a person who has mild anxiety, I’m always looking to embrace actions that can help me relax and focus. One of the main places I need these actions the most is at work.

My career isn’t very fast-paced and nor does it require me to always be on the go. Actually, my responsibilities are pretty lax for the majority of the time. However, there are a few moments in the week when an unexpected assignment falls into my lap and/or inbox that requires my attention ASAP. As a person who works with well order and preparation, these impromptu stress sessions can be strenuously overwhelming.

Unfortunately, drinking water, deep breaths, and quick yoga stretches at my desk can only do so much. Therefore, I’ve created an arsenal of tactics that I use on the regular to help me relax at work and wanted to share them in case one of you find yourself a little stressed out at work, too.

Proper Planning

I’m an avid support of making lists. It’s probably one of the easiest ways you can stay organized and less stressed out about daily tasks. About an hour before I leave each day, I wrap what ever I’m working on prepare for the next work day.

I also clean up my desk area by making sure everything is nicely stacked and back in it’s rightful place. This also includes taking my coffee mug and water bottle to the kitchen to clean.

The objective of doing all of this is so that when the next time I come to work, I can ease myself back into what I was working on the previous workday and without feeling too overwhelmed. Plus, who wants to arrive to an unorganized mess? Not me.

Reading Breaks

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To help me with my desire to finish reading more books in 2016, I decided that it would be a great idea to keep a couple of books on my desk to read while eating my lunch or whenever I have a small window of nothing to do. However, it has also formed into a way for me to take a break when I’m feeling overwhelmed or unmotivated. Since those can be two very different feelings, I keep a couple of reading options on my desk; a funny, quick read to help relax me and a book to help inspire me on some level.

Currently, the 2 books on my desk are 1 Page At A Time by Adam J. Kurtz and The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. 1 Page At A Time is more of an activity book than a traditional book that you read. It  designed as daily companion for creatives and features random activities and tasks to help enhance your creative flow, which is why I use it whenever I feel uninspired to write and/or create content.

Get Up

When your 9-5 consists of you mainly sitting for 6-8 a day, then any movement is appreciated. Usually when I’m stressing over trying to finish a project or feel  myself sinking into the abyss of emails, I get up and take a brisk walk from the desk. Usually, I take a bathroom break, go the kitchen area to refill my water bottle, and/or stop by another co-workers office for a quick chat (preferably not work-related). I’m usually back to my desk within a 15-20 minutes and just a little more refreshed and productive.

Fresh Air

I’m one of those people that rarely leaves the office building on my work days, mainly because I don’t have a reason to leave. My office building has a general-style store and restaurant in the lobby. There’s even a branch to the bank that I bank at in the lobby. So, I rarely need to leave through the day. However, there are moments when I know that I need to get away from not only my desk, but the whole office environment. Therefore, I might take a 10 minute walk to Whole Foods for a juice, walk to the nail shop for a mani, or even just go sit in the partial stairwell of the parking garage to play Candy Crush. Just anything to get some fresh air to help clear my mind and de-stress me and this works wonders.

Do you have any ways you relax at work? If so, please share, because you can never know too many.

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What I Learned After Fasting for 21 Days

You might recall that I recently decided to participate in my church’s 21 Day fast and decided that I would fast off food from sunrise to sunset each of those days. However, I also to decided to completely fast off of coffee, too.

Well, my fast ended this past weekend and I decided to share my experience; highs and lows.

So, keep reading to see what I learned after fasting for 21 days.

How Did I Do?

Just like most first days of anything that you have to do (i.e. monthly visit from Aunt Flo), it was rough. Every Monday at work, the owner of the company brings tons of fresh fruit and containers of various plain, honey-roasted, salted, and even chocolate covered nuts. It’s awesome…when you’re not fasting for 8 out of the 9 hours that you’re there. On Monday morning (Day 1), I literally walked into the kitchen with all these delicious fruits and legumes being placed on one counter, while at the other counter a couple of co-workers were talking while preparing 2 fresh pots of coffee to brew. It was horrible. All I could do was give my morning pleasantries as I power walked to my desk before I got even the slightest whiff of coffee.

Now, since I was only fasting off of food from sunrise to sunset, I was still at work when the sun went down and as soon as I saw the clock at the bottom of my computer screen hit 5:09 (official sunset), I jumped out of my desk and headed straight for an apple and very small handful of chocolate peanuts. That was probably the most delicious apple and chocolate covered peanuts I ever ate or least it tasted like they were. Thirty minutes after inhaling that apple, I headed home to relax and for dinner.

I will admit that I thought that when I got home, I would pull a chair up to my fridge and pig out. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. I’m not sure if it was the apple or the preparation for the fast I did the previous weekend (probably both), but I wasn’t that hungry and was able to prepare me a sensible dinner without snacking beforehand. *pats self on back*

It was a pretty smooth 21 days, but there were some rough moments/

Rough Moments?

Aside from Fresh Fruit Day and Donut Day at the office (Thursdays, FYI), the biggest rough spot definitely had to be the weekend, which I knew it would be. I will admit that I spend the majority of my weekend doing absolutely nothing other than maybe running an errand or two on Saturday morning and going to church on Sunday morning. Other than that, I’m usually just playing it by ear and rarely do anything.

So, I mostly just drank water and cold pressed juice to curb the desire to snack while watching TV or reading.

Major Keys.

Since I was only fasting food from sunrise to sunset, I still had the option of water, green tea (no sweetners), and fresh squeezed juice (no concentrate). Luckily, I work next to a Whole Foods and on days when I felt my hunger, I would go buy a small bottle of grapefruit juice to sip on throughout the day. I chose grapefruit juice, because it’s a great antioxidant and appetite suppressant. Grapefruit is a very tangy taste, but I like it and it worked amazingly.

Benefits.

Once of the new habits I developed was valuing my mornings and using that time wisely. I’m an early bird by nature. Unless I go to super late, 2 or 3 am, I’m up no later that 6am. Even those very rare occasions when I have stayed up super late, my body would still attempt for me to wake up, but I will just go back to sleep.

When I usually get up in the morning, I lay around in bed, scroll my social media feeds, check emails, and repeat until I have to get up and get ready for work. However, since this fast required me to not eat past sunrise (about 7am), I had to get up out of bed and make me some breakfast. For breakfast, I usually grab something on the way to work or eat what ever I can grab and go from the fridge. Not necessarily the healthiest of routines to have first thing in the morning.

My breakfast during the fast mostly consisted of an omelet filled with peppers, onions, and spinach and topped off with a tablespoon of salsa. This has easily turned into my favorite thing to eat every morning. While eating breakfast, I would sit with a glass of water and watch the news, which is something I don’t do has often as I used to, thanks to social media. Yes, I turned into one of those people who gets their news while browsing their timelines.

After this fast, I’m all about waking up, getting out of bed, and making my breakfast before the sunrise and I like it.

Results.

I value my time so much more. Although I knew I could be doing something more productive when I wake up in the morning other than scrolling timelines for an hour, now I know actually do more than that. I still scroll, but for maybe 10-15 minutes and then I get up go prepare breakfast, read my daily devotional, and journal out my plans for the day. Clarity.

In regards to health related results? I did drop a few pounds, but the most important takeaway I received was the realization and desire to eat better and treat my mind, body, and soul with more attention. I’m telling you, little steps can lead to big results.

Would and Will I Do It Again?

Definitely!

I think next time, I’m going to try juice fast when it gets a little warmer. I’ve done juice fasts in the past, but not longer than 2-3 days. So, next time, I would like to try a 1-week juice cleanse, probably this spring. Hopefully, by the time summer hits, I will be open and committed to longer fasts.

QUESTION OF THE POST: Have you fast before? If so, for how long and did you fast off anything in particular (i.e. bread, dairy)? If not, would you fast?

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How To Prepare For A Fast

This is first day of my 21-day fast. Yes, I’m fasting for the next 21 days and although I’m barely a few hours in, I feel confident that I can make it to the finish line. The reason I feel confident is because unlike attempts to fast in the past, I actually prepared myself this time.

While trying to mentally prepare myself for the  journey, I realized that there are quite a few things to keep in mind while you prepare for a fast and decided while I’m up and fully committed to this upcoming few weeks, that I would share just exactly how I got here. So, keep reading.

Reasons To Fast

prepare-for-a-fast-hunger-for-moer

One of the main reasons people choose to commit to a fast is for health reason, such as to lose weight and/or detoxify the body. My sister-in-law does multiple fasts throughout the year whenever she feels a negative change in her body or health. She feels it helps filter out anything unhealthy that didn’t agree with her body. Her fast range from weeks to months and I’m so envious of her dedication.

Personally, I’m fasting in part with my church’s annual corporate fast that always happens at the beginning of the year. We are called to use that time to pray and increase our hunger for God while focusing on the upcoming year and things we would like to see happen in our life.

I will be the first to admit that in the past I haven’t been very good at sticking to fasting for various reasons. However, thanks to being focused on things I want to see happen in my life this year and proper preparation, I feel confident that I can make it.

Types of Fasts

prepare-for-a-fast-when-what

The common method and definition of fasting that most people think of is not eating anything and drink only water. I will admit, I used to think was what it meant to fast. However, over the years, I’ve learned that fasting just means giving up something you’re dependent on for a fraction of time.

There are countless types and ways you can fast, but the three popular types of fasts include:

  • Dry Fast – The most extreme of the types of fasting, dry fasting has spiritual roots, and consists of foregoing food and water for short periods.
  • Liquid Fast – Like the name suggests, you only drink liquids with this fast. You can opt to drink only water or even a juice only. Fasting with detox waters are a great option, too.

Here are some other fasting suggestions:

  • Daniel Fast – With this fast, you don’t eat any meat, sweets, or bread. Drink water and juice.  You can only eat fruits and vegetables. Read more about the Daniel Fast here.
  • Full Fast – Drink only liquids (you establish the number of days).
  • Partial Fast – A partial fast is from 6:00 am to 3:00 pm or from sun up to sundown. You can select from three types of fasting —a Full Fast, Daniel Fast or give up at least one item of food.

You can even just fast off certain things that you are “emotionally dependant” on such as breads, dairy, and some people choose to fast social media, TV, and technology all together. It’s really up to the person on what they which fast they would like to do that they would benefit more from doing.

To really make a commitment, I’ve decided that this year I will do a partial full fast, which means that I will not eat anything from sun up to sundown and only drink water. I thought about the 6 a.m to 3 p.m, but I really wanted to challenge myself.

How I Prepared For My Fast

how-i-prepared-for-fast

You would assume that once I decided that I was going to commit to fasting from sun up to sundown everyday for 21 days that I would spend the days leading up to it inhale any and every food that I can…while I can.

Although I was tempted to use that as an excuse to “carb up” this past weekend, I actually did the opposite. I only drank water and ate small ans sensible meal throughout the day. I tried to avoid anything too heavy (i.e. bread, pasta, beef) and stuck mainly to salads and lean meats.

What I Hope To Take Away From This Fast

take-away-from-fast

Overall, I hope that I’m stronger in all aspects of my life, including my faith, career, and relationship. Hopefully, this will also be a jumping pad toward an healthier lifestyle, too.

If you have questions about fasting or question you would like for me to keep in mind to pass on to you after completing, please share them below, because I plan to do a follow up at the end and  can any questions you might have that I can address for you. I’m in guinea pig mode.

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DEFINE DESIGN: Scandinavian Design

scandinavian-design-chair-tranek-nordic-interior-design-ideas

As a beginner minimalist, one of favorite decor aesthetics is Scandinavian design. Basically, the term Scandinavian design emerged in the 1930s to describe the design style from…wait for it…..Scandinavia which includes the countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.

The Scandinavian has a very simple, clean, and minimal design and functional furniture, which is created with natural materials  such as wood, leather, and hemp. This is design element that I’ve slowly been incorporating in my home since I’ve been purging a lot of useless and non-functional items.

If you are interested in ways to add this design element to your home, keep reading to see some awesome ideas for Scandinavian design.

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light-and-white-scandinavian-living-roomscandinavian-designs-atlantic-beddeco-paintcolours03The-Charming-Scandinavian-Apartment-Design-in-Stockholm-02A-Lovely-Maisonette-in-Gothenburg-03-800x533interior-design-scandinavian-and-parisianBedroom-design-in-Scandinavian-style-The-Scandinavians-love-wood-909x606

 

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