Posts

Holiday Inspired Kale Salad

You know what the best part about this salad is? Apart from being crunchy, chewy and cheesy in all the right places, it’s EASY. Quick, simple, and enriched with goodness!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pieces large bunch of kale
  • 2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 cloves large garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (more salt and pepper to taste, if desired)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Rub the chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Grill for 7-8 minutes on both sides or until cooked through. Let cool 5 minutes and then dice into bite size pieces. Set aside, but keep warm.
  3. While the chicken cooks start on the kale. In a small bowl, mix all the dressing ingredients, whisk to combine and then season with salt and pepper. (If needed, add more salt and pepper.)
  4. Grease a baking sheet and spread kale on top. Add 2-3 tablespoon of the dressing to the kale (just enough to coat the kale, reserve the rest.) Massage the kale with the dressing and spread out evenly on the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Toss well and roast for 5-10 more minutes, until slightly crispy, but not golden.
  5. While kale is roasting bring the water to a boil. Once the water boils, remove from heat and add the couscous, stir and cover for 10 minutes or until ready to use. When ready to use, fluff with a fork.
  6. Once the chicken, kale, and couscous are all done combine them in a large bowl. Add the toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, avocado, and goat cheese. Toss to combine and then add the remaining dressing and toss one more time.
  7. Serve warm.

Sourced from: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/crispy-kale-salad-with-coucous-grilled-chicken-and-pomegranates/

Reduce Stress and Provide Inner Calm

We all face stress in our day to day lives, from small annoyances like traffic jams, to major concerns like health problems. Regardless of the cause, stress can flood your body with hormones. This can increase heart rate, breathing, and tense muscles. The “Stress Response” is a normal bodily reaction to uncomfortable and threatening situations, honed in our history to help us survive threats like animal attacks or floods. In present day, we rarely face these threats, but challenging situations in daily life can still set off the stress response. We’ve provided some healthy ways to respond to stress, based on the “Relaxation Response.”

The Relaxation Response technique was first developed in the 1970’s at Harvard Medical School by Cardiologist, Dr. Herbert Benson. This response is the opposite of the stress response. It’s a state of profound rest that can be elicited in a number of different ways. With regular practice, you create a well of calm to dip into as the need arises.

  1. Breath Focus – In this simple yet powerful technique, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations.

    2. Body Scan – This technique blends breath focus with progressive muscle relaxation. After a few minutes of deep breathing, you focus on one part of the body or group of muscles at a time and mentally releasing any physical tension you feel there. A body scan can help boost your awareness of the mind-body connection.

    3. Guided Imagery – For this technique, you conjure up soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and focus. You can find free apps and online recordings of calming scenes – just make sure to choose imagery you find soothing and that has personal significance.

    4. Mindfulness Meditation – This practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your minds attention to the present moment without drifting into concerns about the past or the future. This form of meditation has enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. Research suggests it may be helpful for people with anxiety, depression, and pain.

    5. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Qigong – These three ancient arts combine rhythmic breathing with a series of postures or flowing movements. The physical aspects of these practices offer a mental focus that can help distract you from racing thoughts. They can also enhance your flexibility and balance.

    6. Repetitive Mantras – For this technique, you silently repeat a short mantra or phrase while practicing breath focus. Some examples of repetitive mantras include, “I am enough”, “All is well”, or “Be still.”

Rather than choosing just one technique, experts recommend sampling several to see which one works best for you. Try to practice for at least 20 minutes a day, although even just a few minutes can help. The longer and the more often you practice these relaxation techniques, the greater the benefits and the more you can reduce stress.


Information sourced from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/six-relaxation-techniques-to-reduce-stress

Turmeric Anti-Inflammatory Juice

This is one juice recipe to pull out when you are feeling a little under the weather! This refreshing combination will combat a weak immune system while helping to fight inflammation.

Mindfulness Tips

Make mindfulness a part of your everyday life with these simple tips & tricks!

  1. Increase your awareness. Engaging your senses can help you become more aware, which will also help you on your path to mindfulness. You can do this by giving yourself a hug, playing with a pet, smelling a flower, or taking a relaxing bath. If your mind and body feel really out of line, then choose to do something bigger such as swimming, going for a nature walk, or even touching something extremely cold to give yourself a jolt back into your body and out of your head.
  2. Make gratitude a part of your daily routine. Turn your Instagram feed into a visual gratitude diary, create a gratitude jar, or make a list of 10 things you are grateful for each morning (or night.) Practicing gratitude keeps you aware of what is making you happy and/or what you’re grateful for in that moment, which supports the idea of being present.
  3. Take 10 minutes to do nothing. Andy Puddicombe, meditation and mindfulness expert, explains the present moment as, “Not being lost in thought, not being distracted, not being overwhelmed by difficult emotions but instead learning how to be in the here and now; how to be mindful, how to be present. I think the present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that it’s anything but ordinary.” Give your brain a 10 minute timeout so you can refresh your mind and keep it working at its best.
  4. Check out the Headspace app, created by Andy Puddicombe. The app allows you to work mindfulness into your everyday life. Watch this short video for more information on Headspace. https://youtu.be/kEpOF7vUymc
  5. Watch the world go by. There’s something pleasant about people-watching; sitting in a cafe, watching people go by, imagining who they are, their hobbies, or what they do for a living. Taking time out of your day to people-watch is an activity rooted in mindfulness. You are taking a step outside of yourself to observe other people in that exact moment in time.
  6. Take control of your thoughts. Mindfulness means appreciating each second and giving yourself entirely to the exact moment you’re currently in. Experience each moment and enjoy it.

Information sourced from: https://www.bustle.com/articles/113549-7-tips-to-practice-mindfulness-reasons-why-you-should