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Healthy Spices that Add Flavor without Calories

Alright everyone, we are all eating way too much sodium and sugar in our diets, so let’s do something about it. Salt and sugar aren’t the only spices in your cabinet and if they are, boy oh boy, do you need to go shopping. It’s time to expand your pallet and let’s get some healthy options in your spice rack.

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Alright everyone, we are all eating way too much sodium and sugar in our diets, so let’s do something about it. Salt and sugar aren’t the only spices in your cabinet and if they are, boy oh boy, do you need to go shopping. It’s time to expand your pallet and let’s get some healthy options in your spice rack.

This isn’t something new I’m springing on you since all of these spices have been around since, well, the dawn of time. Cavemen were probably cooking with turmeric and cinnamon long before there ever was a McDonalds so there is no excuse.

Where did we go wrong and how do we correct it? I found 6 spices that can help pry us away form our sugar and salt dependencies. Hopefully these spices can zest up your life and help you get healthier.

 

Black Pepper

Salt’s best friend and road dog, pepper is here to save the day. Pepper has long been the redheaded stepchild to salt and it’s time to get out from the shadows. Pepper has been shown to impact fat cells and may help you lose weight.  

Pepper usually comes in two forms, whole peppercorns and ground. I like to use peppercorns in stocks, sauces and on steaks, which really bring the savory flavor out. I prefer to grind my own peppercorns in a grinder but you can buy it already ground if you like. Add it to any savory dish to pop those flavor bubbles.

 

Cinnamon

Sugar’s favorite companion, cinnamon is a magical spice that really packs a punch. Cinnamon is great for controlling sugar spikes so add a sprinkle to any sugary treat to make it healthier. Cinnamon also has been shown to help blood circulation and who doesn’t need that?

Cinnamon comes in two normal forms; grated and whole sticks. Toss a whole stick in a pot with some lemon juice and water to bring a smell of the holidays to your entire home. Adding cinnamon to any sweet dish allows you to use less sugar, so always add cinnamon.

 

Chilies

If you want to lose weight, add some chilies to any savory dish and you will eat less. Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilies and this helps with blood flow and a higher metabolism.

You can buy chilies fresh, dried, diced in flakes and grated. Chilies should be a staple in anyone’s kitchen. If you can’t handle spicy food well, just add less, even a little goes a long way.

 

Turmeric

Turmeric is the spice of Indian food and the star in curry dishes. It has long been linked to lower stress levels and digestive health. The hottest spice in your rack, turmeric is trending in 2017 and expect to see recipes pop up all over.

You can find the root whole in health food stores or buy it grated. The fresh roots are much less bitter so you may want to go that option.

 

Chai

Zest up your morning beverages with the exotic chai spice and benefit from its healing powers. Chai is actually a blend of six spices: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, fennel and ginger. This power pack of spices boosts your immune system, digestive system and blood circulation all while providing some caffeine.

Try a chai latte next time you are buying coffee and see if you like the alluring flavor.

 

Ginger

Ginger is an ancient medicine known to help nausea and has been used on ocean vessels for centuries. Ginger has a unique smell and flavor so it’s hard to miss. Adding ginger to a morning smoothie really punches up the taste and help benefits.

You can buy it as a whole root or dried and grated. Add some ginger to your next Asian meal and see the amazing differences.

 

Adding these 6 spices to your kitchen repertoire will make your food taste better and you will be eating healthier.

 

Photos courtesy of TheadPlan, BeBeautiful, organic, grammas, NDTV, youtube, authority

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Yoga: The Ultimate Solution to Chronic Pain

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A recent study found that patients with chronic disease and depression found a sort of release upon trying a mindful-based stress reduction course. The study proved that there was a considerable improvement in the participants’ mood, functional capacity, and perceptions of pain upon participating in the activity. According to the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, it was found that 89% of the study’s respondents claimed that the program helped them in various ways. Despite having 11% of the participants remaining neutral, most of them agreed that the activity allowed them to better cope with the pain. Chronic pain may be common, but this ailment is considered one of the most severe medical conditions out there. The medical condition is believed to have affected over 100 million people in the United States and correlates to an annual cost of $635 billion.

The Effects of Chronic Pain

A small-scale study was conducted in a semi-rural population in Oregon, wherein issues about affordability, addiction, and access to care are abundant. During eight weeks, the participants were instructed to try a mindfulness meditation followed by a mindful hatha yoga exercise. According to Cynthia Marske, an osteopathic physician, and director of graduate medical education at the Community Health Clinics of Benton and Linn Counties, she claims that numerous people have lost hope because of the possibility of chronic not being fully resolved. However, she believes that mindful yoga and meditation can help the body’s structure and function and cater to the healing process. 

The Difference Between Healing and Curing

According to Dr. Marske, he claims that healing is becoming whole again, while curing is the point of eliminating the disease. He believes that yoga and meditation can help make things manageable during the chronic pain healing process. A study conducted found that mindful meditation and yoga led to notable improvements in a person’s perspective on pain, disability, and depression. In the Patient Health Questionnaire, also known as PHQ-9, it was found that the scores of the standard measure of depression dropped by 3.7 points on a 27-point scale. Dr. Marske concluded that some patients often experience a similar drop from the use of anti-depressants. 

Depression and Chronic Pain

Dr. Marske claims that depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. However, he believes that mindfulness-based meditation and yoga can, indeed, restore a patient’s physical and mental health. He believes that both of these combined are effective alone or infused with other medication and therapy treatments. Participants also received instructions from MBSR, a systematic educational program that trains people to raise awareness of the self in the present time and a nonjudgmental manner. The results support other claims on how MBSR can help treat chronic pain while healing from perceived depression. Dr. Marske says that the bottom line is that patients are looking for new ways to endure chronic pain and effective non-pharmaceutical remedies available. However, he firmly believes that yoga and meditation are the go-to plans for patients searching for relief from chronic pain.

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Lady Gaga, Ray Dalio, and Oprah Swear That TM, a Meditation and Yoga Derivative. Works for Them

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Mental health is a major aspect of our well-being. It affects everything else, from decision-making to stress management. Meditation and yoga are key techniques in maintaining excellent mental health. However, there’s a trending derivative that’s currently making the rounds among celebrities—Transcendental Meditation (TM).

Personalities at Twitter, including Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Beyonce swear that this new technique works as it helps them improve creativity, control stress, and boost energy levels.

During Oprah Winfrey’s “2020 Vision Your Life in Focus Tour” conducted at Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Winfrey and Stefani Germanotta aka Lady Gaga discussed their love for TM and its corresponding benefits in their lives. These celebrities, including Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio, share that they learned TM from their teacher, Bob Roth, CEO of The David Lynch Foundation.

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental Meditation or TM is an exclusive practice. Its followers—or would-be followers—are taught by certified instructors through a 4-day course that’s made available for $380 to $960, depending on the student’s level of advancement.

According to Roth, TM is a simple meditation technique that requires you to sit for 20 minutes twice a day while uttering a repeated mantra. In his 2014 YouTube video, Roth adds that TM differs from other meditation techniques because it “allows the active thinking mind to just, all of it to just settle down, and experience quieter levels of thought” as compared to other techniques that prompt you to focus on your breathing or observe your thoughts.

More Important Than Work

Winfrey, in her 2018 Super Soul Conversations interview with Amy Schumer, asserts that TM is “one of the most life-enhancing things [she] ever did”. After the said TM experience, Winfrey shared in her 2011 interview with “The Dr. Oz Show” that she hired a TM coach to teach her Harpos Studios production crew how to meditate.

She says that her staff would, then, take a couple of breaks each day as the practice of meditation is “more important than the work you are doing. [TM] brings a kind of energy and an intensity of energy, an intention that we have never had before.”

Reason for Success

In his 2018 Facebook post, Dalio attests that TM is possibly “the single most important reason for whatever success [he’s] had.” Dalio, 70, shares that he first came across TM during his early 20s. In his book entitled “Principles”, he says that TM “has enhanced my open-mindedness, higher-level perspective, equanimity and creativity. It helps slow things down so that I can act calmly, even in the face of chaos, just like a ninja in a street fight.”

Dalio asserts recommends those who are curious about the positive effects of transcendental meditation to get a copy of Roth’s 2018 meditation book, “Strength in Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation.”

End Thoughts

Meditation and yoga have long been used to correct certain mental health issues. Recent studies report that transcendental meditation, a newer derivative of these techniques, poses possible health benefits. In a 2009 research, experts discovered that young individuals who practiced TM for 3 months displayed lower levels of anxiety, anger, depression, hostility, and even blood pressure.

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Turn Your Extra Rice Into Something More

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Rice is best paired with any of the viands you can think of, whether it’s vegetables or meat. It goes so well with anything. Without rice, sometimes, we feel unsatisfied; thus, we still feel hungry. However, you can turn rice into something you want it to be! Fried rice, for example, yet, it is not the basic ones; you can add something into it to make it more delicious and mouth-watering.

Depending on your position, leftover takeout rice can be the bane of your existence or a blessing. For most of us, it’s the latter. Extras such as these are the foundation for a superb reinvented supper, namely fried rice.

Fried rice is an excellent weeknight feed, whether you want to extemporize with what’s already in your kitchen or have a specific project. Here are some recipes from our archives, which are great as written and easy enough to achieve. They’re so great; you might find yourself ending up ordering more rice just to make them. 

Fried rice with broccoli and mustard greens

A vegetable-loaded version uses a sharp technique that has you cook the ingredients in steps, which is especially helpful if you don’t have a wok or large skillet.

Better than takeout fried rice

Sometimes, there are similarities between what you might get if you ordered fried rice, but we prefer the freshness and crunch of homemade. The ginger and red pepper flakes are making it sound, too.

Sesame fried rice with spring vegetables and egg

Brown rice binds more nourishment into the stir-fry, and fried eggs mean you can mix in a runny yolk for an extra-luxurious texture.

Garlic fried rice (Chahan)

This is for garlic lovers; celebrate because you’ll fry a few cloves for this recipe. It calls for short-grain Japanese rice, so here’s an ideal recipe for making a cut in any sushi rice you may get. 

Vegetable fried rice

This recipe helps you with extra brown rice. Other than that, it will also get you to reinvent those broccoli stems instead of throwing them away or doing the same recipe over and over again. 

Quick ham-fried rice with lavender

This is clearly off the hidden path, but the floral flavor plays well with the pork, ginger, and raisins. 

Spicy basil tofu fried rice

A stir-fry for one that recommends making a baked marinated tofu for extra flavor and thick texture. You can also swap in plain extra-firm tofu. 

African soul fried rice.

Food writer and culinary historian Michael Twitty is the source of this vivid dish that includes traditional or indigenous ingredients to West and Central Africa. 

Those are just some of the recipes you may use for converting your plain rice into something more tasty. Avoid food waste, get what you can consume. If we can’t avoid leftover foods, let’s not leave it. Let’s transform it.

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