Food, Health

Cucumber Tomato and Red Onion Salad with Mint

IMG_0588.JPGEarlier today I pulled our first  cucumber out of the garden along with spearmint, sage, and some basil flowers. I started thinking about making a really yummy salad. Here is a recipe to one of the salads I will be making.

 

 

 

Cucumber Tomato and Red Onion Salad with Mint

pexels-photo-1059905.jpegYIELD Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

    • 2 large English hothouse cucumbers (you can use other varieties of cucumbers just check for bitterness as some tend to be a little bitter in taste.
    • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 3 large tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped
    • 2/3 cup coarsely chopped red onion
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil

PREPARATION

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    1. Start by washing and cutting your cucumbers in half lengthwise. It is optional to remove or leave seeds inside. I prefer to leave the seeds inside mine.
    2. Cut cucumber halves diagonally in 1/2-inch-wide pieces.
    3. In a large bowl add vinegar, sugar and salt. Let stand at room temperature  for 1 hour.
    4. Combine tomatoes, red onions, mint (or basil if you are not a mint person) and  olive oil to cucumbers.
    5. Toss in seasoning
    6. Add salt and pepper to taste

*One 11-ounce (300-gram) unpeeled, raw cucumber contains the following

  • Calories: 45
  • Total fat: 0 grams
  • Carbs: 11 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 14% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 62% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 10% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 13% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 12% of the RDI
Food, Health, Tea

Little by Little

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Eating healthy can seem overwhelming for some people when they are just starting at. If you look up healthy diets you will be shown a vast and colorful variety of diet plans to choose from. Which one do you choose. In my personal opinion, I find that introducing healthy eating a little at a time is a great way to go about it. In post about the importance of drinking water I talk about starting off with just drinking more water. Each day or each week if you want pick something healthy to add to your diet. Don’t start out by taking things away from your diet, instead get excited about the healthy foods you are about to start enjoying. Health starts in the mind and having a positive outlook on what you are about to do will go longer in keeping you on your dreams and goals for a healthy happy you. Here are some things you can start to incorporate into your daily life.

Eat more fruit in the warm weather. Cut up fruit and make fruit cups and you can quickly grab out of the refrigerator. You can eat these as they are or add yogurt and granola for a heavy snack or light breakfast. (Add bananas to fill you up and make a heavier meal.)

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Drink fruit infused water  

gourmet-salad-lunch-breakfast-51948Savory Dinner Treat yourself with a savory vegetable and meat dinner. Make a special lunch or dinner for yourself with these easy savory meat and veggie meals.

Healthy Snacking. You can add a healthy snack to your snacking options. Try adding a piece of fruit, or a handful of raw nuts to replace one of your usual snacks.

Try heavy salads. Don’t go with a boring side salad instead make a heavy salad as your main or only dish. I have had some amazing salads that were packed with more than just lettuce. Try adding protein to your salad, like salmon, chicken or shrimp. Here is a Spicy Sweet Chicken & Peach Salad with Honeyed Pecans you may enjoy from “Clean Eating” magazine. I recommend checking out their website for some really amazing recipes.

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Take a walk. Get outside and enjoy some fresh air in your lungs. You can make it a rapid walk or just a leisurely stroll. The point of the walk is to clear your mind and refresh your body with oxygen. This is all part of developing a healthy mindset about living healthy.

Deal with stress in a healthy way. We all have stress, some of it is good and some is detrimental to you. Know there are some things you really have no control over. Talk to yourself and tell yourself to let these things go they are taking up valuable space in your mind that could be used to manage issues that you really do have control over. Take up a fun hobby. Taking up a hobby is another way to deal with stress, you are giving  your brain time to relax and decompress.pexels-photo-1234035

Meditation, prayer, stillness. Whatever your personal religious views or none religious views, take time to still your mind. Start with just 5 min a day. Still the noise in your mind each day and come to a feeling of peace and oneness with yourself. I recommend picking a pleasant thought to hold in your mind such as an image of something that makes you feel calm and happy. This may be the thought of a flower or a nature scene that you have seen before or a place you have been and found relaxing.

Remember take it a little at a time and don’t stress or overwhelm yourself, its a pleasant walk not a race. Enjoy

essential oils, Food, Tea

Avoiding Health Imbalance

This week I was having a conversation with my Mom. We were talking about extremes in health and diet. Growing up in a very health aware family I was exposed to many ideas on health and sometimes opposing views on proper nutrition. I am fully convinced that there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to health. Our bodies, while sharing many similarities are not identical.  Everyone has a different makeup and body chemistry.

 No, One Size Fits All

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Not everything that works for one person will work or is suited for everyone. I personally have struggled with depression and was advised to use St. John’s Wort, which has helped many with depression; however I cannot take it for that issue. You may ask why someone who so strongly promotes herbs and teas would admit that they do not always work the same for everyone, but I think it is important to make sure that we are fully informed about how natural medicine works.

Still Medicine

medications-cure-tablets-pharmacy-50994.jpegTreat your natural medicine as just that medicine. If you experience a negative reaction to natural form of treatment stop using it  and contact your doctor or health care provider. Don’t think that your doctor will not work with you either. Many doctors understand that people seeking to use alternative health methods. Often  your doctor can offer you advice on using natural remedies or point you in the right direction.

Don’t get locked in Fad Diets

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If you find that a particular diet is not working for you examine how you feel and make adjustments to your diet. Do not lock yourself into a diet, a lifestyle or health mentality that keeps you from staying open and discovering your true health needs. You are unique and there is no one person just like you on this planet. Enjoy that thought and then find the joy and freedom of embracing a health plan that is right for your body. Your body will tell you when you are healthy or when you are ill. Trust it.

 

Food

Clean Eating

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You may have heard the term “clean eating” and like me wondered what it meant. Clean eating really is healthy eating and many of you may already practice clean eating and not know it. If you are new to clean eating this post may be helpful to give you a few  way to get started.

Drink Water

pexels-photo-1458671Water is in my opinion one of the biggest items in clean eating. No matter how much healthy food you eat it all becomes waste at some point and needs to be flushed from your body. Without enough water in your body toxic waste cannot be removed from the bowels and urine. Instead the body will look for other ways to remove these impurities. Most of the time this becomes evident in skin outbreaks  on the face. If you are lost about where to start with clean eating I recommend starting first with your water intake. Not only will if flush your body, but water helps to make your body ready to take in the nutrient rich foods that you are now adding to your lifestyle.

Swapping Poor Options for Quality

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Clean eating is about replacing processed foods with whole foods, more fruits, vegetables and cutting out excessive refined sugars in your diet. Clean eating really should not be thought of as a diet but instead as a lifestyle. Personally I feel that approaching personal health from a lifestyle point of view helps me to stay on track better than a diet. The word diet has been connected so much to the stress of weight loss, that I think at times just the word sets people in the wrong mind frame for success.

Meat

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Cutting back on meat and replacing it with other protein options is another way to bring clean eating options into your meals. Processed meats and animal products with growth hormones should be cut back and or eliminated from your eating habits as well. Also not eating as much meat means that you are cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions and lowering your carbon footprint by selecting alternative protein rich foods.

Start off Small

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One mistake I have personally found that people make when seeking a healthy lifestyle is that they try to do too much at one time. If you already eat relatively healthy but want to improve try cutting back on a few items here and there. If you are fully brand new start out by drinking more water and adding an extra serving of fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals.

To find out more about cleaning eating  check out cleaneating.com They have a tone of really great recipes that range from beginner to experienced cooks.

Click Here for Clean Eating Recipes