The Education of Fad Diets

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If you are about to embark on a “fad” diet, consider giving that decision a moment of deep thought. Yes, I just said. Take the time to think it through and consider abandoning that plan.

Why would I offer such advice? The reason is because if you are going to go through tremendous strides to lose weight, change your health or simply feel better, I congratulate you on your efforts, however, if this plan is so radical that you know you will not be able to sustain it for the long term, let it go.

While quick results might fill you with interest for such diet plans, the real goal to weight loss, should ultimately be better health. Better health is obtained through diet and lifestyle changes for the long term. Key words – long.term.

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Simple ways to make your diet cleaner and healthier are easy to adopt and implement.

Such ideas include:

Drink more water

Consume less caloric beverages – water truly is the best option.

Drink less alcohol

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Cook and prepare whole grains, beans, and lentils

Cook your food

Let go of fast food and processed meals

Consume less sugar

Exercise – always

All of the suggestions above allow you to tinker and change your diet according to your day, your needs and situational events. Nothing is extreme and all of the above food choices and recommendations are available almost anywhere. So regardless if you travel, or stay at home, eating well is made simple and always obtainable.

Melinda is a certified Holistic Health Coach that studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York.

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The Education of the Letter Writing

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Have you ever stumbled upon something that is so beautiful you felt compelled to share it with the world? Last year I discovered this incredibly generous and kind organization that sends letters to people in need. More Love Letters was founded by Hannah Brencher while she rode a train in New York City.

A simple idea, but one that is necessary especially in a time when studies report that we, despite all of our “connectivity” are lonelier than ever. Today, when we receive a handwritten letter in the mail, there is something powerful about someone who took the time to write those select words to us. They are cherished messages that find their way into our lives, often delivering messages of hope, trinkets of joy and tender words of love.

So today, I encourage you all to write a letter to someone in need of a smile.

The Education of Storytelling

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I’m captivated by the human story because deep down, we all have a story to tell. A story of triumph, heartache, misery, loneliness, and penetrating joy.  The survival of war or the story of how you earned that college degree, achieved a dream, won a metal, or overcame a fear. The story of how you beat a disease, fell in love with the unexpected or traveled the world. The story of a long lost love you hope to reconnect with over a coffee, or the story of a father that departed far too soon. Inside all of us lives a story that longs to be told. Such stories should see the light of day because there are people who depend on them, rely on them and will live long enough to share your stories with others.

Over the weekend, we were grateful for some much needed downtime. As the nights slowly unfolded we watch the sixth season of the Netflix series Chef’s Table. The imagery and the storytelling of that series is remarkable. The lives of the chefs portrayed are heartfelt, captivating and honest. The series is so much more than people cooking and opening restaurants, rather this is a series about the human aspect of dreams and overcoming adversity. It is simply brilliant!

If you are interested in a touching story portrayed through the brilliant Chef’s Table, I was intrigued and moved by the story of Asma Khan. Her story is one of tenacity and the power of making a positive impact with the gifts we have been given. Asma’s story is beautiful and left me in tears.

Here’s to storytelling and if you have a story that needs to be told, put it out there. Tell your story, don’t wait and if I can help you relay your story, well, that might just be worth a shot.

The Education of Meal Prep

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Have you ever heard of the “KISS Principle?” K.I.S.S stands for, “Keep it simple stupid.” While the last word could change to be a bit more positive, this little backronym is pretty powerful and could easily be applied to most aspects of our lives.

Today the KISS principle will be applied to food and nutrition. When we gather in the kitchen to make our breakfast, lunch or dinner, we need to ask ourselves the following questions:

1. Is this food healthy?

2. Does this meal support my physical and emotional needs?

3.  Does this food contribute to my overall health?

4. Is this a meal that is easy to make?

5. Does my plate contain an array of colors? If not, spice it up and choose fruits and vegetables based on color.

Applying the K.I.S.S. principle to the meals we eat, consider making some of the following:

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Breakfasts:

A bowl of oatmeal with fresh fruit, nuts and coconut flakes

Smoothies with avocados, rice milk, berries, hemp seed, flax seed, spinach

Omelets with fresh vegetables

Lunch:

Smoothies

Hummus, veggies and wraps

Greek Yogurt, Müesli, fresh fruit and nuts

Salads

Pasta with vegetables

Spinach quiche

Dinners:

Omelets with grilled vegetables

Roasted vegetables with couscous or quinoa, don’t forget to roast the garlic…yum!

Brown rice, beans, vegetables and avocados.

Curry with couscous and vegetables.

Veggie burgers with a salad

Salads of any kind, but mix-up the greens. Try arugula, spinach, mixed greens, etc. Mix in nuts, seeds, peas, beans and try new salad dressings.

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Cookbook:

If you need a cookbook for inspiration, one of our favorites is the Moosewood Cookbook. The book contains easy to prepare, delicious, vegetarian recipes for the entire family.

Happy simple eating.