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Walking Meditation July 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Health & Wellness, Meditation, Nature.
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Seeing red?

Blood pressure soaring through the stratosphere?

Heart attack imminent?

Ready to go postal?

Relax . . .

Create space for what matters.  Enjoy a walking meditation to regain your equilibrium and peace of mind.

A walking meditation is simple:  (1) Start walking.   (2) Stop thinking.

Put your worries on “pause” for 5-10 minutes.

Maintain a quiet awareness as you focus on the sights and sounds you encounter.  Get outside your head.  Return to the land of the living.

Immerse yourself in the present moment.

Breathe.  Relax.  Repeat.

Be Here Now.

Related posts:   Meditation 101 Creative Visualization * The ABC’s of Happiness * More ABC’s of Happiness * Don’t Believe Everything You Think * Attack of the Killer ANTs

13 Tips to Stay Healthy and Happy July 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Happiness, Health & Wellness, Humor.
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Robert Butler, M.D., one of the country’s foremost experts on aging, recently passed away at the age of 83 from leukemia.

In his last book, The Longevity Prescription: The 8 Proven Keys to a Long, Healthy Life, he offered advice and tips to help readers live a longer and happier life.

Among them:

1.  Stay active ~ remaining active protects your mind and body, and promotes your sense of well-being.   Spend time doing things you love.  Pursue a passion.   Develop a Hobby.  Go for a nature walk.

2.  Maintain a healthy weight.  It’s better for your joints, your heart, and your lungs.

3.  Exercise regularly, especially walking ~ there is no better exercise as you age.  Form a walking group and get outside.  Or keep a treadmill inside to use during inclement weather.  Exercise is great for your lungs, your heart, your muscles, your sense of balance, your emotional well-being, and your eyes (more on this below).

4.   Spend time with other people ~ volunteering, working,  entertaining, exercising, and even playing games will keep your mind active and alert.   People with cognitive issues can regain up to 2 decades of mental acuity with brain training and increased human interaction.

5.  Create varied social connections, friendships, and other supportive relationships.  Reach out and touch someone ~ holding hands and hugging reduces blood pressure.  If you live alone, consider getting a pet for daily  companionship or find a pen pal.

6.  Manage the stress in your life with meditationmusic, laughter, exercise, gratitude, sleep, mindfulness,  nature walks, and other spiritual practices.  Bring the outside in ~ fresh flowers reduce stress.

7.  Get enough sleep.  A 30-minute nap a day has health benefits, and may reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent.  Longer naps, though, can interfere with good sleep.

8.  Eat a healthy diet ~ include bright colored fruits and veggies overflowing with vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidants (e.g., blueberries, grapes, red wine).

9.  Use weight and resistance training, including walking, to stay strong and maintain your vitality and independence.  Falls are the 12th leading cause of death in people age 65 and older.  With strong thigh muscles, you’ll be able to get up from chairs and out of bed on your own without falling.

10. Promote brain health by trying and learning new things. Try new recipes.  Do crossword puzzles.  Try Sudoku or brain teasers.  Learn new words . . . or a new language.

11.  If you lose a spouse or loved one, don’t lose yourself in  grief.  Make an effort to go out and stay connected.  Have dinner with friends, travel, spend time with family.

12.  Laughter is good for what ails you.  It protects the heart and elevates your mood.  Find reasons to laugh,  smile, and play every day.  We do not laugh because we are happy ~ we are happy because we laugh.

13.  Get regular checkups, and eye exams.  On the subject of eye health, go for a walk!  Aerobic exercise  can reduce eye pressure, a risk factor for glaucoma.

So, that’s it in a nutshell ~ 13 Tips to Stay Healthy and Happy.

For more, see the AARP article:  How To Live A Longer, Happier Life

Quote: Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, beautiful old people are works of art. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Related posts:  Walk Off Some Weight * Get Out!!! * The Zen of Cooking * The ABC’s of Happiness * Meditation 101 * Creative Visualization

Veggie Tacos July 9, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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As is true with many highly seasoned ethnic dishes, substituting fresh vegetables, beans, and/or grains for the ground beef in tacos or burritos boosts the nutrients and fiber, and lowers the fat and cholesterol, without sacrificing the taste.

220px-Carrots_of_many_colorsVEGGIE TACOS

1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1-2 Tbsp. oil
1 can kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 package taco seasoning mix
3/4 cup water

Saute onions and peppers in oil until softened.  Add remaining vegetables and cook 5 minutes.  Stir in beans, cooked rice, seasoning mix, and water.

Simmer 5-10 minutes to thicken the sauce while heating taco shells (hard or soft) according to package directions.

Fill tacos with veggie mixture and top with desired toppings:  lettuce, chopped tomatoes or salsa, black olives, grated cheese, and/or sour cream.

Related posts:  Mexican CurryHarvest Soup * Veggie Stir Fry * Versatile Pasta SaladVeggie Kabobs * Zucchini Boats Mango Salsa * Yummy Hummus  * Bon Appetit! * Bruschetta Ten Ways to Fiber Up Your Diet