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10 Tips for Healthy Living

People complain about how unhappy they are with their lives and how unhappy they are with their bodies. Having or adopting a healthier lifestyle has more to do with just body image issues. No one likes being sick, more so being sick all the time. The saying that prevention is better than cure has a lot to do with how well we treat our bodies.

Treating your body well has everything to do with what we put in and how we then expect or treat our bodies in return. It is not hard really. If you think about it, before we had all this that we have, in the olden days when man lived a much simpler life they ate what they grew and spent a whole lot of time chasing animals. They lived a less sedentary life and get enough oxygen than we now get. We might have made technological advances, think that we have moved mankind to something better but in the process we have adopted bad habits, we love everything that comes easily to us, instant food, machines that can give us instant results and products and we are junk food addicts and lazier people.

You’ll have a happy life when you have a healthy lifestyle. If you feel good your confidence levels also rise and you can extend your life for a while longer to spend with those you love.

Your attitude towards life will also dictate how people respond to you but if you don’t feel as healthy then you won’t have the right attitude that is needed for a healthy lifestyle.

If you are just embarking on a new healthy lifestyle, it might take a while to get used to the changes because you have to adjust your relationship to food and your own body. Once you get on the way and actually start, in a couple of days you will feel the difference.

There are 10 simple tips for healthy living that you can follow:

1.      Avoid processed foods; these are harmful to our health. They are convenient but there is nothing healthy about food that is preserved with chemicals. They are quick but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take 30 minutes of your day preparing fresh foods. If you have no idea, try finding quick 30 minute meal ideas.

2.      Exercise at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week. It doesn’t have to be something rigorous; you don’t have to get some costly gym membership you can’t commit to. A simple daily walk is enough for healthy living.

3.      Eat your fruits and vegetables. Studies continue to show that eating 5 types of fruits and vegetables can reduce a lot premature death.

4.      Smoking is bad for someone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle. Cigarette companies even warn smokers of this but unfortunately this is a habit that some people have no qualms about starting. It looks cool to puff away but your lungs won’t thank you for it. If you don’t smoke don’t even start, if you do try as much as you can to stop. You can get help with stopping by talking to your doctor or pharmacist to give you something to help you.

5.      Reduce your salt intake. Salt has been linked to high blood pressure which leads to strokes and other heart diseases.

6.      Cut stress out of your life. Stress causes all kinds of problems from ulcers, heart diseases, weight gain and ulcers. Combat stress by meditating and doing yoga, treat yourself to massages and just take care of you mental health as best as you can.

7.      Reduce your caffeine intake or cut it out completely. Some tea contains caffeine, so does chocolate and some soft drinks. There are decaffeinated versions of coffee that you can take if you like the taste of coffee that much. Caffeine itself causes things like insomnia, headaches and anxiety.

8.      Drink water. The average amount of water you should be drinking is 2litres per day. Two liters sounds like a lot but if you break it down to an 8 glass taken at regular intervals throughout the day. Water helps flush toxins from your body and helps regulate your digestive system.

9.      Reduce your alcohol intake. Alcohol has been attributed to liver diseases and it speeds up the aging process. Women who worry about looking younger should first think about the simple changes they can make, like reducing their alcohol intake to no more than 3 units a day. A unit equals half a glass of wine or 87.5 ml, 1 measure of spirits (40%) and half a pint of 4% beer. Men should drink no more than 4 units.

10.  Moderation is important for healthy living. Everything should be done in moderation. The food you eat the alcohol you drink the coffee you take the exercise you undertake, the time you spend “resting” infant of the TV. Everything. It is okay to indulge once in a while but have a limit.

It is all about balance!

This is a guest article from Praveen writing on behalf of Awesome Cuisine, a popular Indian Recipe website showing you how to prepare Healthy Fast Food at home.

Ratatouille

Ratatouille is not just an animated film, but a vegetarian dish that uses some delicious summer vegetables.  Whilst it makes an excellent side dish ratatouille is so much more than a vegetable accompaniment. It is a rich vegetable sauce which is ideal for use with freshly cooked pasta, as a baked potato topping or as a component part for many other recipes. Simple to make, and delicious to eat ratatouille is a finding end to all your hard work in the garden. Cooking in a large pots and pans allows the making of multiple portions which can be frozen for later recipe use or is ideal for parties.

Ingredients

  • 12 large ripe plum tomatoes
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large aubergines, tops removed and diced 3-4cm (1¼-1½ inch) thick
  • 6 courgettes, tops removed, halved lengthways and sliced 2cm (¾ inch) thick
  • 3 red peppers, tops removed, deseeded and roughly diced into 3-4cm (1¼-1½ inch) pieces
  • 3 yellow peppers tops removed, deseeded and roughly diced into 3-4cm (1¼-1½ inch) pieces
  • 4 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried Herbs de Provence
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley.
  • 5 x 1 litre (1¾ pint) plastic food boxes with lids or large freezer bags and ties

 

To prepare the tomatoes

  1. Fill the 3-ply Stainless Steel Preserving Pan 2½-3 litres of water and bring to the boil.
  2. Score across the base of each tomato with a sharp knife.
  3. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds then remove, with a slotted spoon, and put into a bowl to cool. Empty the preserving pan.
  4. Once cool peel away the tomatoes’ skin and discard, roughly chop the flesh discarding any woody parts and set to one side until required.

 To make the Ratatouille

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the preserving pan over a low to medium heat.
  2. Fry the aubergine until slightly browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set to one side.

Repeat the process with the courgettes and then the peppers but reducing the olive oil to 2 tablespoons each time.

  1. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and fry the onions and garlic until softened.
  2. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaves, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in the semi-cooked vegetables and cook for a further 15 minutes over a low to medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and achieve an even distribution of heat. Add the parsley 2-3 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  4. Check the seasoning, add a little salt if necessary. Spoon equal portions into the freezer boxes or bags.
  5. Put on the lids or ties and allow to cool before placing into the freezer.

Best used within 6 months of freezing. Once defrosted keep chilled and use within 48 hours.

Over the past 12 months, I have become a big fan of gardening especially growing my own vegetables, partly for the excitement of seeing something beautiful come from a tiny seed. I often make salads and various meals from my homegrown vegetables but there is one dish that I get great satisfaction from, it is a true winter warmer.

There is nothing better than coming home from a hard day at work and making a tasty, enjoyable meal in no time at all and with very little effort.

Exploring my vegetable patch, my tomatoes were large and juicy and the red peppers full of colour. Picking one at a time wandering what I could conjure up this time. I headed back to my kitchen and started chopping the vegetables when it hit me: roasted red pepper and tomato soup. My mouth was watering. I wanted to keep this dish as simple and as easy as possible without having to nip round the supermarket for more ingredients. Here is the method to my madness:

Serves approximately 4 people

Ingredients:

6 Red Peppers

10 Large Tomatoes

2 Onions

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Cloves of Garlic

1 Pint Vegetable Stock

Basil

Seasoning

Preparation:

  1. Roughly quarter the red peppers and tomatoes, peel onion cloves and finely chop the onions. Place all in a deep baking tray with olive oil,
  2. Bake for approximately 40 minutes on a medium heat or until very soft,
  3. Add to blender with seasoning and a good handful of chopped basil, add vegetable stock as you go along until the right consistency is reached,
  4. Once all blended, add to a large saucepan and simmer until boiling,
  5. For a final addition, add to a bowl or mug with a spoonful of cream cheese!

Enjoy in the comfort of your candle lit lounge on a cold winters night!

For more information on how to grow your own vegetables visit www.GardenHealth.com

Fresh Tomatoes in November

 

 
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Storing Fresh Tomatoes for the Winter

There’s nothing like the taste of a fresh summer tomato. If only you could enjoy that flavor all year long. Thankfully, you can. There are a number of ways to preserve fresh tomatoes for later use. Whether you’re canning or freezing tomatoes, you can rest assured that you won’t have to eat a tasteless tomato come winter time. Here are just a few tips and tricks you can use for storing fresh tomatoes for the winter.

Canning Tomatoes

The first step to canning tomatoes is to thoroughly wash the tomatoes. Once washed, remove the stems and use a pairing knife to score the bottom of the tomato with an “x”. This will help ensure that the tomatoes are easier to peel once boiled. Place the tomatoes in boiling water for 30 – 45 seconds. Immediately place the tomatoes in ice water to stop the cooking process. Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skins off and cut the tomatoes into quarters, making sure to remove any blemishes. Place the tomatoes in sterilized canned jars, leaving a quarter-inch of the jar empty. Pour in two tablespoons of lemon juice for quart-sized jars, or one for pint-sized jars, and then fill the jars half full with hot tomato juice. You then need to remove any air bubbles from the jar, which can be done with a butter knife. Simply move the contents around with the knife to release any trapped air. You’re then ready to begin the heating process.

Before you place the caps on the jars, make sure they are clean so that the jars seal properly. Screw the lids on, but not too tightly. Place the jars in the canner, making sure they stay covered with at least an inch of water throughout the heating process. Boil pint-sized jars for 40 minutes and quart-sized jars for 45 (the exact time will vary according to altitude). Once heated, the jars need to sit in a draft-free area overnight. The next day, check the lids to make sure they sealed. If the lids make a popping sound, they did not seal and need to be refrigerated immediately. Canned tomatoes can be stored for up to 12 -18 months at room-temperature.

Freezing Tomatoes

Freezing tomatoes is much, much easier and less time consuming. To freeze tomatoes, you will need to follow the above mentioned steps for peeling the tomatoes. Once peeled, you will want to cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds and liquid. As you work, place tomatoes in a colander to remove any leftover liquid. Once the tomatoes are squeezed and dry, place in freezer bags and remove the air from the bags. The tomatoes are then ready to freeze and can be stored for in the coldest part of the freezer up to 6 – 8 months.

When properly cared for, tomato plants can yield more tomatoes than you’ll ever be able to eat. Thankfully, you can store those tomatoes to eat in the winter. Whether you can or freeze your tomatoes, you’ll never have to eat a tasteless tomato again.

Shavonda Gulsvig works part-time as a driving instructor and loves seeing new drivers hit the road safely. She’s also a foodie who enjoys finding ways to store her own foods. Shavonda also enjoys making her own healthy wines so she can focus more on flavor and less on wine calories as she incorporates her creations into her cooking.