3 Body-Weight Exercises to Do at Home or Outside

Weight lifting doesn’t always have to happen at the gym—any park bench, open space, shady tree or living room can be a great place to get in shape! Lifting is an important part of wellness and physical fitness. It helps break down and rebuild muscle, which in turn burns more calories and tones the body. You don’t need weights to lift, either; with enough repetition and sets, your own body weight can be used in training to get in shape. Read more

Heart-Healthy Foods and Recipes

Heart-Healthy Food: Burdock

Burdock is a long, brown-skinned root with savory flavor. A winter vegetable, it is good for your heart, rich in minerals and known in many herbal traditions for its blood cleansing ability. Eating it often is also said to increase vitality. Find it in Oriental markets, or grow your own! Remember: whenever possible, eat local, seasonal and organic.

Recipe: Sautéed Carrot Strengthener

This traditional Japanese side dish (called “Kinpira”) can warm you to the toes in cold weather, build your stamina by improving blood quality, and increase your mental clarity.

Ingredients

1 carrot, julienned
1 c burdock, julienned
¼ tsp sesame oil
1 c water (amount used during cooking will vary)
1 Tbsp tamari (soy sauce)
1 Tbsp sesame seeds

Directions

1. Slice carrots and burdock in long, thin, diagonal slices, cutting each slice into matchsticks (julienned).

2. Sauté burdock lightly in a sesame-oiled skillet, stirring over medium heat.

3. Add carrot, and fill skillet with 1/2 inch of water. Boil, then cover and simmer 20 minutes.

4. Check it and add water if needed, but let the liquid get absorbed at the end for the best flavor.

5. Sprinkle lightly with tamari (soy sauce) and sesame seeds, and stir. Serve small portions.

Heart-Healthy Food: Salmon

No common fish delivers more of the omega-3 fatty acids that help keep arteries clear and hearts strong than salmon. Omega-3 is composed of unsaturated fatty acids that are thought to reduce inflammation throughout the body, a condition that can damage your blood vessels and lead to heart disease. The past decade has shown that these fatty acids also may strengthen the immune system and eyesight, and even improve mental health.

Whether grilled, seared, broiled or made into burgers or cakes—you can’t go wrong with salmon. Just make sure it is wild-caught, either frozen or fresh.

Recipe: Citrus Salmon in Parchment

Ingredients

4 (4-ounce) wild salmon fillets
3 tsps olive oil
4 (12-inch) squares of parchment paper
1 blood orange, sliced into rounds
1 lemon, sliced into rounds
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1 bunch fresh dill weed
1/2 tsp lemon pepper

Feel free to add a veggie of choice in the parchment paper; it will steam up and cook along with the salmon.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2. Brush each piece of salmon on both sides with a light coating of olive oil.

3. Fold each sheet of parchment in half and use scissors to round out the corners so that it is almost a circle. Open the sheets back up.

4. Place the salmon fillets skin side down onto the center of each piece of parchment. Sprinkle with lemon pepper, then place a sprig of dill onto each fillet. Cover with one slice of orange, one slice of lemon and one slice of lime per serving. You may add more to taste. Lay another sprig or two of dill over the citrus slices.

5. Fold each piece of parchment up and over the fillets. Holding both edges of the parchment together, roll the edge down making several folds as you go until the fish fillets are tightly sealed in their packets. Place packets on a baking sheet.

6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until fish is able to be flaked with a fork. You may need to open one of the packets to check. To serve, place packets onto serving plates and use scissors to cut an X in the center, being careful not to cut the food.

For More Heart-Healthy Recipes:

Check out www.heart.org, as well as The Self-Healing Cookbook, by Kristina Turner.

Stick with Your 2013 New Year’s Resolutions!

Some of you have probably thought about or written down a New Year’s resolution for 2013. All too often, we notice those resolutions fading as February 1st rolls around. We all have the ability to keep our New Year’s resolutions and to make important and healthy changes in our lives. The dilemma is that we often lack the strategies needed to stay on track. Here are some helpful tips to keep you focused and successful in 2013!

1. Make S.M.A.R.T. goals: Goals must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. All too often, we set ourselves up for failure when we generalize our resolutions and set no end date. Rather than setting a goal of “Get more fit,” set one as “Go to the gym 3 times a week.” Know what you can do, and set yourself up for success!

2. Surround yourself with support: Our success is based largely on the support that our environment and people surrounding us give to us. Create a buddy system with someone, and create an environment that supports your goals and vision. For example, don’t keep unhealthy snacks in the house if you are trying to eat a healthier diet.

3. Focus on one resolution at a time: Sometimes we are a little too ambitious with what we want to accomplish and how much time and energy we actually have. When we set too many goals, we end up setting ourselves up for failure. Focus on one thing at a time, and once you have that checked off, move on to the next.

4. Choose resolutions that are in line with your own values: Pick resolutions that are in sync with your passions and values. If you choose a resolution for someone else or one that has no meaning to you, you will find yourself lost and not motivated.

5. Add your resolution to your calendar: If it isn’t in writing, it probably will not remain a priority. Add tasks into your calendar that will help you work toward attaining and maintaining your resolution. The more you see it, and the more you commit time to it, the more likely you are to keep your resolution. Setting aside time each day to work on it, even if it seems like a small achievement, is still progress.

This year, make it a point to stick with your resolution by using these helpful tips to keep up your momentum toward your resolution rather than its disappearing in your busy schedule of to-dos. You are important, so make a point to put you and your resolution first this year. 2013 is a great year to start, continue and finish your New Year’s resolutions!

Food for Your Face: Homemade Beauty Products

What we are putting into our bodies is a product of what we will get on the outside. It is important to keep nourishing your body with healthy foods and healthy fats like avocados, almonds, pineapples, green veggies and berries. These foods have healthy fats, oils, natural enzymes and antioxidants and are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your skin and body need in order to stay healthy.

Not only do you want to nourish your body from the inside, but lots of food products, when used on the outside of your body, can actually help you get that glowing, healthy skin! Homemade beauty products are simple and quick to make. Most remedies can be made with products that you probably already have in your home. When you are making your own skin care products, you know exactly what you are putting on your face.

 

The Skin Care Pantry

Here are four ingredients to have in your cabinets to keep your skin looking healthy and glowing. Keep these items in your kitchen and you won’t have to worry about buying another skin care product again!

* Honey: A natural humectant, made to hold in moisture.

* Sugar: Helps with dull skin as a natural scrub.

* Olive Oil: The vitamin E and antioxidants in this oil make it a great moisturizing option.

* Milk/Yogurt: Can help improve your skin’s elasticity and reduce wrinkles.

 

Quick Recipes for Food for Your Face

Sugar Honey Scrub

1. To 3 tablespoons of honey, add 1 tablespoon of coarse brown sugar.

2. Mix with a spoon to a thick consistency.

3. Apply to cleansed face in a circular motion for 2 minutes

4. Rinse with warm water.

5. Moisturize.

 

Olive Oil Moisturizer

1. Mix 1 cup filtered water and ¾ cup olive oil and 3 tbsp grated beeswax in a Pyrex cup.

2. Place the cup in a pan with water measuring halfway up the cup.

3. Bring water to a boil and heat until the beeswax melts into the oil.

4. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for 2 minutes.

5. Transfer mixture to a blender and then add boiled water slowly as you are blending.

6. Scoop mixture into glass jars, cover with cheesecloth, then allow to cool completely.

7. Place lid on glass jar after cooling. The jars keep longer in refrigerator, but can be left out for up to 2 months or more.

 

Facial Mask

1. Whip one egg with plain organic yogurt.

2. Apply mixture to face and let dry for 5 minutes.

3. Rinse off with warm water, then a splash of cold water.

 

Julie Winslow is the Director of the Karpas Health Information Center at Beth Israel Medical Center.

Healthy Eating While Traveling

Putting on the miles, not the pounds!

When you travel, you need foods to eat that are convenient and fast. Typical options include chips, candy, fast food and bottled sodas. These foods are almost always full of unhealthy fats and calories, and lack any valuable nutrition.

Planning and packing your own travel snacks is the key to eating healthy while you are away from home. By packing your own foods and seeking out the healthiest choices, you can continue to eat healthy while you are traveling. Here are some tips on how to plan, and what to pack!

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