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New Year, New You!!

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.

-Leo Tolstoy

 

New Year, New You

A lot of people begin the New Year by making resolutions. We’ve all been there. We take a vow to lose weight, exercise more or spend more time with our family. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions?

Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:

1.      Write down your intentions and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom mirror or the dashboard of your car.

2.      Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night? Are you stressed at work and feel too tired to exercise after work?  If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.

3.      Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.

4.      Share your resolutions with friends and family. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go to the gym more, have a friend call you two or three times a week to check on you or invite them to join you.

5.      Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose weight and you lose 1 pound a week, pamper yourself with a massage.

Big changes do not require big leaps. Permanent change is more likely to happen gradually than through one big restrictive plan. Allow yourself to climb the ladder one rung at a time.

Happy New Year!

 

Food Focus: Sea Vegetables

In traditional Chinese healing, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.

 

Recipe of the Month: Mighty Miso Soup

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes

Yield: 4-5 servings

 

Ingredients:

4-5 cups spring water

1-2 inch strip of wakame, rinsed and soaked 5 minutes

      in 1 cup of water until softened

1-2 cups thinly sliced vegetables of your choice (see notes)

2-3 teaspoons barley miso

2 scallions, finely chopped

 

Directions:

1.    Chop soaked wakame.

2.    Discard soaking water or use on houseplants for a boost of minerals.

3.    Place water and wakame in a soup pot and bring to a boil.

4.    Add root vegetables first and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until tender.

5.    Add leafy vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

6.    Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from pot and dissolve miso into it. Return it to the pot.

7.    Reduce heat to very low; do not boil or simmer miso broth.

8.    Allow soup to cook 2-3 minutes.

9.    Garnish with scallions and serve.

 

Note:

Any combination of vegetables can be used in miso soup. Here are some classic combinations:

  • onion-daikon: cleansing

  • onion-carrot-shiitake mushroom-kale: mildly sweet

  • onion-winter squash-cabbage: great in wintertime

  • leek-corn-broccoli: great in summertime

 

 Variations:

  • Add cooked grains at the start of making the soup. They will become nice and soft.

  • Add a tablespoon of uncooked quinoa or millet at the beginning and let it cook with vegetables for 20 minutes.

  • Add cubed tofu toward the end.

  • Add bean sprouts toward the end.

  • Season with 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice for an interesting twist.

  • If using dry shiitake mushrooms, let them soak for 20 minutes, slice and add at the beginning.

 

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