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Suzanne’s Blog

Thursday
Oct062016

The 2 Best Tips for Deep Refreshing Sleep


 

 

Deeply refreshing sleep is one of the most helpful and enjoyable things we can do for our health.  Think of how GREAT you feel after a night of deep sleep:  
—Rejuvenated
—Energized
—Calm
—Ready to face the day


Recently, the New York Times reported that the N.F.L. is not only tracking the weight and the muscle mass of it’s players, it’s tracking their sleep.  Sleep may even have helped the Seattle Seahawks win the SuperBowl!  

“I’ve always had a belief that sleep is one of the main ways your body recovers,” said Sam Ramsden, the Seahawks’ director of player health and performance. “Some of the best players on the team are the best sleepers.”

THE BAD NEWS:
Without good quality sleep we are more likely to gain weight, and to suffer from chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, depression, even cancer.  

Without sleep we aren’t as efficient or clear thinking, our health suffers, and we are more prone to accidents.   Life just isn’t fun without sleep—we’re not as happy or productive.  

Try these 2 easy steps that begin to help you sleep a whole lot better:  

 

1) Make a Plan.  Relaxing Evenings that lead to deep sleep don’t just happen in our 21st Century World. 
Decide on a low-tech way you’d love to chill out after dinner. Here are some ideas, choose one or two: take a hot bath, give yourself a foot message with essential oils, read a novel, relax with some restorative yoga, or cuddle with your sweetie.

2) Start early, to have the lights out by 10pm, start winding down at 8:30pm, to be asleep by 11pm, start relaxing at 9:30.  View this daily “down-time” in the evening as a delicious and enjoyable way to leave the activity of the day behind.  
Try low-tech relaxation one or two nights a week, to begin with. You might find, that over time, you are sleeping more deeply on these nights, and feel much more refreshed in the morning.  You may eventually decide to add more relaxing evenings in to your week.

 
Treating yourself to better sleep a few times a week helps you and your health, but it also benefits all those around you: your family, and your co-workers.  Plus, you’ll be looking rested and well, and that makes the world a more beautiful place. 

 

Monday
Oct032016

Easy, Delicious, Seasonal Food: My Favorite Fall Cooking Tip!

Delicious, healthy food should be easy and simple to prepare, so we can enjoy it at our table.  Fall brings us an abundance of squash, a vegetable that’s so delicious, versatile, and with so many health benefits, you’ll want to include it often at meals.  

My Favorite Fall Cooking Tip: Don’t Struggle with Cutting Squash Open, Just Bake Them Whole.

Set oven to 350 degrees. Put squash into the oven whole.  For small squash an hour should be fine, for larger ones, an hour and a half might be needed.  When they are done, just cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and serve with butter, salt and pepper.

 PS: Why is squash so good for you?  Some varieties contain a truly impressive amount of vitamin A, 475%, maybe more than any other vegetable.  Vitamin A helps our vision, skin, and creates healthy mucous membranes.  

A cup of squash gives you 42% of your daily vitamin C.  You’ll also find potassium and manganese, amounts of vitamins E, B, B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, niacin, folate, calcium and magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and pantothenic acid.

PS Many thanks to Ayurvedic Expert Anne Dellenbaugh, for this tip.

Friday
Sep302016

Tame Anxiety This Fall: 3 Easy, Soothing Tips for More Peace Now.

It’s common to experience more anxiety in the Fall.  

But this year, with the election looming, and life moving at a faster pace than ever, I’ve noticed an marked increase in the level of anxiety in most people.

Anxiety can arise in the forms of: nervousness, restless minds, insomnia, fear of the future, and even panic.  This state of mind limits our clear thinking, and affects our health in an adverse way.  Let’s reduce or avoid it all together.  

You can choose to take steps that begin to address anxiety, and create a sense of groundedness, strength, peace, and ease. 

1) Simple daily rituals are powerful; create regularity in your schedule:  Wake, eat, and go to bed at the same time for a few days. This regularity will begin to lessen anxiety.

2) Enjoy an easy rhythmic exercise, like walking outdoors, or a breath-based yoga practice. Getting back into rhythm and back to the earth is profoundly grounding.  Do this at the same time everyday to clear your mind.

3) Drink warm water between meals.  Staying hydrated will make a big difference to your state of mind. Try lemon in your water, or some fresh mint.

Taking good care of yourself, in these simple ways, is profoundly soothing.  Try one, or more of these tips for the next few days and see how you feel!

Thursday
Sep222016

Zucchini Bread with Hazelnuts, Currents, and Olive Oil: A Total Treat

I recently posted this zucchini bread photo on Facebook, and recieved tons of requests for the recipe, & so decided to share it here.  

I want to emphasize This bread is a total treat, and not an everyday indulgence, even though it has plenty of zucchini.

White flour and sugar definitely light up the pleasure centers in our brains, and may make make us happy in the short term.  This bread, eaten with a cup of coffee, fuels us up, seemingly, for running non-stop.  

BUT, there are big drawbacks to always reaching for energy from those enticing breads, scones, and bagels. Simple sugars from white flour and sugar are absorbed quickly by the body, and our blood sugar rises, but an hour or two later we’re hungry again.  Knowing this, my approach has been to stick with whole grains, vegtables, and fruits for everyday, and make foods like this occasional treats. I find I’m happier and more productive, in the long run, with foods that keep my energy steady all day.

When you do eat treats like this, it’s especially healthful to bake them yourself; you’ll know exactly what ingredients go in, and enjoy the delicious smell of it baking.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Homemade Summer by Yvette Van Boven.  

For the bread:

2 cups (150g) self-rising flour

pinch of salt

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. cinnamon

2/3 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar (use a bit less, if you’d like)

1 large zucchini grated

1 cup (150g) currents

1 cup (150g) raisins

3/4 cup (100g) hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

2 large eggs

1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil, plus more for greasing

For the glaze

finely grated zest of one lemon

2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

make the bread:  

Preheat the ovan to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C).  Grease a 1 and a half quart pan (1 l) with oil.  

In a large bowl, mix the flour with the salt and cinnamon.  Add the brown sugar, zucchini, raisins, currents, and hazelnuts and toss well.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla  and oil, pour into all the other ingredients while stirring.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake for 60 to 75 min, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cake cool for 15 min.  Carefully slide a knife around the edges, then invert on a rack, and cool completely.

make the lemon glaze:

combine the lemon zest and the lemon juice with the confectioners sugar.  It will not be very thick.  You can add a lot more confectioners sugar to thicken it, but I don’t.

Pour the cooled glaze over the cooked bread and let set.

This bread will keep, stored in an airtight container, for up to one week.

Tuesday
Sep202016

Hate Diets? You're in Luck!

Depravation and restriction never work!  That’s why most people who go on diets, even if they lose weight, gain it back, or gain even more.  

The depressing truth:

—Right now 100 million Americans are on a diet, and the average dieter makes 4 or 5 attempts to lose weight per year. And yet, less than one percent of these attempts are successful, even in the short term.

—Our current situation is that two-thirds of Americans are obese.

Come on: our cultural approach to dieting is not working.

I suggest you take a radical step and refrain from “dieting” entirely—because, face it, it hasn’t worked.

Instead, I want you to start thinking about what foods truly nourish you and help you feel fantastic. Loving yourself though better nourishment is a whole different approach than a dry, restrictive, limiting, or even punishing “diet”.  I want you to enter into an utterly fresh, supportive new relationship with food. 

IMAGINE…

You listen to your body, honor it’s wisdom, and eat in a way that is satisfying, and delicious.  You eat in a way that gives you plenty of non-stop energy AND makes you feel more vibrant and alive than you have in years.  

It’s totally possible!

BUT, you’ll have to learn a new framework. And, you’ll need to dance dynamically with this new framework as you learn to actually live your new approach to nourishing yourself.  

THE THREE MOST USEFUL TIPS TO STOP DIETING:

If you, or someone you love, are struggling with health issues related to being overweight, try my three most important tips to stop “dieting” and begin to create the framework needed to support your nourishment:

1) Concentrate on eating fresh, seasonal and local foods.  Right now, in September, we’ve got an abundance of delicious options to choose from, there’s almost no better time in the northeast.

2) Eat your main meal at mid-day, and eat an earlier, lighter, dinner.  Just lighten your evening meal up a little!  I tell clients, if you are usually eating two desserts, eat one.  This slowly begins to create a shift.

3) Start noticing that when you do manage to eat earlier, and a bit lighter, you have much more energy in the morning, and are more likely to bound out of bed, ready to start your day.

It’s hard to believe, but starting small, with these three tips, can lead to big changes in your health, and in your life. Life is too short not to feel nourished!

(PS the lobster soup above, with lots of veggies and basil is one of the most nourishing things I made all last summer!)

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