Busy lives and mindfullness

Not sure if it is December fast approaching, the Holidays or the weather particularly nice this year but we all notice many many people around us are irritable, angry, over eating, over drinking.

For most people it is a busy time of the year. Pressure at work to achieve deadlines, from home to accomplish all those projects that were supposed to get done “before the Holidays”, our own expectations to finish the shopping, the cards, the lists, etc. It is definitely overwhelming however it would be so much better and nicer to actually enjoy it.

When we think about meditation we tend to immediately envision a sitting still yogi doing nothing. Can you imagine doing that NOW? In December?

If meditation is not even thinkable for you these days there is one thing we could still incorporate. It is done during and while you try to survive this time of the year and that is being MINDFUL

Mindfulness is the ability of just being. Being in the moment, present, accepting without any judgement. If you are paying for that first item on your list, just stay present, connect with the cashier, pay attention how you are feeling about that transaction, are you happy with what you bought? It feels right? It feels an obligation?

Try for one moment not to judge, not to think what if? Listen to how you are feeling and keep going.

Even if you don’t intend to slow down , you will, and that awareness will make your next experience more pleasant.

Probably you need to be fast and move to the next task on your list, pick up the kids from School cannot really wait, however if being in the moment, and acknowledging how you are feeling will make all the experience less stressful.

Dr. Kabat-Zinn describes mindfulness as an approach to life based on the understanding that:

the present is the only time that any of us have to be alive – to know anything – to perceive – to learn – to act – to change – to heal”.

 

Just in case you decide to look further let me suggest two very good reads to start:

https://www.amazon.ca/Full-Catastrophe-Living-Revised-Illness/dp/0345536932/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480441015&sr=1-1&keywords=jon+kabat-zinn

https://www.amazon.ca/Mindfulness-Beginners-Jon-Kabat-Zinn/dp/1591794641/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1480441035&sr=1-4&keywords=jon+kabat-zinn

Motivation, Motivation…is this really the answer?

Is this really the answer? Studies show that it is, however, let’s try to find our own motivation and comepetitiviness within yourself and to become a better version of yourself

 

Science Says This Is the Best Motivation to Exercise

WORLD DIABETES DAY

850e7373-03ae-488f-8f58-ae28b17ffe85-411-000000327c24534f_tmpWorld Diabetes Day (WDD) is the world’s largest diabetes awareness campaign with events organised in more than 100 countries.
Led by the International Diabetes Federation, WDD unites the global diabetes community to produce a powerful voice for diabetes awareness and advocacy. WDD is a year-long campaign to reflect the realities of dealing with a chronic condition. The theme this year is Eyes On Diabetes, to help raise awareness about one of the serious complications of diabetes: visual impairment or blindness.
In Canada 1 in 3 adults has undiagnosed diabetes.
What are the risk factors for type 2 diabetes?
Anyone over the age of 40 should be tested for diabetes every three years. Anyone who has one or more risk factors should be tested more frequently.

These type 2 diabetes risk factors include:

Having a parent, brother, or sister with diabetes;
Being a member of a high-risk group (Aboriginal, Hispanic, South Asian, Asian, or African descent);
Having given birth to a baby that weighed more than four kilograms (nine pounds) at birth or having had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy);
Having been diagnosed with prediabetes;
Having other risk factors for blood vessel disease (high blood pressure, high cholesterol);
Being overweight, especially if that weight is mostly carried around the tummy.
See the complete list of risk factors for diabetes at diabetes.ca.

– See more at: http://www.diabetes.ca/newsroom/search-news/what-do-you-really-know-about-type-2-diabetes#sthash.J9ULoSW7.dpuf
Screening is crucial in prevention, so Diabetes Canada has developed a two minutes test (http://www.diabetestest.ca/) you can do at home to find out your risk of having diabetes.
Knowledge is power, and with power you can help yourself have a better life and healthier future.

KALE

Loved and hated, we cannot but admit that Kale is a super food. But is it all good about it? Let’s go over some research and evidence then.

In the last few years kale has been part of the nutritional new trends. From just looking at it it is a pretty tough veggie to eat. Leaves are dark and somewhat hard. If you ask me, far from attractive to eat. If you eat it raw it is bitter and strong flavoured so its use has been promoted in smoothies, juices, chips, but will still keep its superfood properties once processed or heated?. Let’s dig in a little more.

Kale growing in ceramic pot, close-up

The PROS:

Vitamin C: gram for gram, kale has more than twice the vitamin C as an orange. This is when we eat it raw, if cooked, a percentage will be lost.

Healthy fats: kale is a great source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), the omega-3 fatty acid that’s essential for brain health, reduces Type 2 diabetes risk and boosts heart health as well. Each cup has 121 mg of ALA.

Calcium: kale has 150 mg of calcium per 100 grams, and studies show that its absorption is greater than the calcium from milk (Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 Apr;51(4):656-7. Calcium absorption from kale.)

Antioxidants: kale is rich in sulfur, which helps produce glutathione,an important antioxidant in the body.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin: kale also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which function as antioxidants in the body and improve eyesight. This pair of antioxidants combines to increase the amount of pigment in your macula, which means protection from the sun and a lower risk of macular degeneration.

Take a look at the label I prepared equivalent to a cup of chopped kale, get the picture?

There are tons of ways to eat kale, a few very simple ways to get started:

Juice: 1 cup of kale plus 1 apple. Drink within 30 mins to absorb all its nutritional benefits.

kale-juice

Chips: cut the leaves, spray them with olive oil and add a pinch or marine salt. Bake in the oven at 350 F degrees for 10 minutes. Let them cool. Can keep in an air tight container.

tray-kale

Salad: just finely chop it and add Healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, or almond butter to make fat-soluble carotenoids more available to the body.

127-kale-and-avocado-sal400

The CONS:

But, is it all good and good for everybody?

People taking blood thinners like Coumadin (warfarin) should consult with their physician prior to changing their kale consumption, as all the vitamin K in kale can interfere with that medicine.

Those who have a cruciferous vegetable allergy. It’s very rare, but some people are allergic to kale and other crucifers like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts.

Be mindful as you introduce more roughage into your diet. kale should be eaten in moderation because eating large amount of leafy greens can cause bloating, gas, and constipation.

Lastly, according to the Environmental Working Group, kale is one of the most likely crops to have residual pesticides. The organization recommends choosing organic kale (or growing it yourself!).

 

My own growing kale!

my-kale1

Low Sugar Delicious Lemon Raspberry muffins

Healthy, easy, quick, what else can we ask for?

Pre heat oven to 350F.

In one big bowl add: Flour   2 cups, Brown Sugar  1 cup, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking powder

Mix well and make a hole in the center (where you will add the wet ingredients)

Squeeze 2-3 drops of lemon in a cup of milk, set aside

Wet ingredients: 1 lemon zest, 1 egg, 1/2 melted butter.

Add wet ingredients and milk to the dry ingredients and mix really well. Add a cup of fresh raspberries.

Divide in muffin holders and bake for 20 mins.

Have you tried the recipe? please share any feedback below! Always looking forward making recipes better!

raspbmuffins

Sugary drinks: are all studies saying the same?

Depending who sponsored the study, some show the direct link between sugary drinks and obesity (and diabetes). When reviewing studies from 2001 – 2016. 60 independently sponsored studies showed the link between soft drinks and obesity and diabetes. On the other hand 26 studies showed no link at all. Notably those 26 studies were run by researchers strongly connected with the beverage industry. These results were published yesterday in the Annals of Internal Medicine.