Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. With the beginning of a new year, we begin the year with a clean slate. “I like starting projects in January. That’s the best time to start something. It’s so inward.” – Carolyn Chute
New Year! New You!
A lot of people begin the New Year by making resolutions. We’ve all been there. We take a vow to lose weight, exercise more or spend more time with our family. We start the year with great intentions, but then we quickly relapse into old habits. Why is it so hard to stick to those New Year’s resolutions?
Here’s a quote to keep in mind.
True life is lived when tiny changes occur. – Leo Tolstoy
Here are some ways you can make your intentions a reality this year:
- Write down your intentions i.e. post-its and keep them in a visible place, like taped to your bedroom mirror or the dashboard of your car.
- Get to the source of whatever is keeping you in a rut. Are you in a stressful relationship that causes you to eat a pint of ice cream every night? Are you stressed at your job and feel too tired to exercise after work? If you don’t tackle the root of the behavior, it will be much harder to accomplish your goal.
- Be clear about what your life would look like once you achieve your goal. If you resolve to go to the gym more, how will this benefit you? Get connected to the result of your action, and you will be more likely to stick with your plan.
- Share your resolutions with friends and family. Get an accountability buddy. Hold each other accountable for achieving your goals. If you want to go to the gym more, have a friend call you two or three times a week to check on you or invite them to join you.
- Reward yourself with every little accomplishment. If your intention is to lose weight and you lose one pound a week, pamper yourself with a massage.
Big changes do not require big leaps. Permanent change is more likely to happen gradually than through one big restrictive plan. Allow yourself to climb the ladder one rung at a time.
Food Focus: Sea Vegetables
In Traditional Chinese Medicine or TCM, sea vegetables correspond to the winter season and to the kidneys, adrenal
glands, bladder and reproductive organs. The strengthening, balancing and cleansing properties of sea vegetables are known to help these organs as well as the hair, skin and nails. Sea vegetables (or seaweeds) provide a variety of minerals and vitamins, including calcium, iron and iodine, and can help balance hormone and thyroid levels in the body. Eating too many processed foods or foods grown in mineral-depleted soil can result in a lack of minerals in the body, leading to cravings for salty or sugary foods. Adding sea vegetables to your diet can help balance your energy levels and alleviate cravings.
Recipe of the Month: Mighty Miso Soup
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 4-5 servings
4-5 cups spring water
1-2 inch strip of wakame, rinsed and soaked 5 minutes in 1 cup of water until softened
1-2 cups thinly sliced vegetables of your choice
2-3 teaspoons barley miso
1 green onion, finely chopped
- Chop soaked wakame.
- Discard soaking water or use on houseplants for a boost of minerals.
- Place water and wakame in a soup pot and bring to a boil.
- Add root vegetables first and simmer gently for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add leafy vegetables and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove about 1/2 cup of liquid from pot and dissolve miso into it. Return it to the pot.
- Reduce heat to very low; do not boil or simmer miso broth.
- Allow soup to cook 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with scallions and serve.
Any combination of vegetables can be used in miso soup. Here are some classic combinations:
onion-carrot-shiitake mushroom-kale: mildly sweet
onion-winter squash-cabbage: great in wintertime
leek-corn-broccoli: great in summertime
Add cooked grains at the beginning of making the soup. They will become nice and soft.
Add a tablespoon of uncooked quinoa or millet at the beginning and let it cook with vegetables for 20 minutes.
Add cubed tofu.
Add bean sprouts – add last.
Season with 1/2 teaspoon ginger juice or finely chopped ginger.
If using dry shiitake mushrooms, let them soak for 20 minutes, slice and add at the beginning of recipe.
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To your health and happiness,