Posts Tagged ‘health’
Visiting the farmers market during summer months is always a delight because one of my favorite farmers picks out a watermelon for me to enjoy during the next week. When fresh, crisp and sweet, I find watermelon as enjoyable as a bowl of ice cream. And yes — I still enjoy naturally made ice cream or frozen yogurt from time to time. But I balance those treats out with fresh fruit. And during the summer, I do everything I can to enjoy watermelon for all it’s worth.
Studies have revealed that besides being delicious, watermelon delivers several health benefits, including being an excellent source of Vitamin C as well as a good source of Vitamins A and B6. It also contains the carotenoid antioxidant lycopene, which can help neutralize free radicals and help prevent prostate cancer. Watermelon has been shown to reduce the risk of other types of cancers as well. Plus, its high water content makes it great for hydration. What’s more, it’s a terrific dessert or snack for kids and can help them understand that not every “treat” has to come covered in fudge.
When given the option at the farmers market, I always go for seedless watermelon. I’m not a happy camper if I must interrupt my chewing with spitting seeds into a nearby napkin (even though I suppose it burns a few more calories).
According to produce specialists, Mid-June through mid-August is when watermelon is at its ripest (with July being the most prized month of all). So let’s go watermelon shopping, shall we?
When picking a whole watermelon, size matters since 80% of a watermelon is water. Pick one of the largest you can find, while making sure the exterior doesn’t have any visible cuts, bruising, dents or soft spots. Experts also suggest looking for a yellowish area on the melon’s exterior, which indicates its ripeness after sitting in the sun.
Next, do what you’ve likely seen other shoppers do — knock-knock on the exterior with your knuckle. You’re listening for a slight echo to your knock, which indicates that the fruit is ripe. A dull thud could indicate otherwise.
When preparing watermelon for guests, or myself, I make sure to make the eating experience as relaxed and “special” as possible — therefore I don’t usually serve it in wedges. Giving food a more delectable presentation is something I strive for almost every time I eat. This helps my brain, eyes and other senses know that I’m eating, which helps ‘up’ the enjoyment factor — and, therefore, the satisfaction and fullness factors.
I suggest slicing watermelon into quarters, length wise, then taking a quarter and carefully running a knife along the red center’s outer edge and the whiteness of the rind. Cut all the way around on both sides, so that the whole quarter of the red stuff could slip out. But don’t slip it out just yet. Next, cut the fruit from side to side, on both exposed sides of the quarter. Finally, cut across your long slices, from left to right, leaving about 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch between each slice.
Next, slide your perfectly prepared chunks into serving bowls. But before you serve the fruit, put the bowls into the freezer for 5-10 minutes to give the fruit an extra kick of crispiness.
When time to serve, pull the bowls from the freezer and serve with a napkin underneath (to keep the bowl from being too chilly to the touch). The watermelon chunks should have a minimal layer of frost that kicks up the flavor and the crunchy quotient, making for a texture-y, sweet and delicious eating experience. (Careful not to keep the chunks in the freezer too long or the pieces will freeze and require a little defrosting before being comfortably edible).
Saving the uneaten portion of the watermelon can be handled two ways — either by “chunking up” the remaining portion and putting it into airtight containers and storing in the fridge; or wrapping up the other half or quarters (rind and all) in cellophane wrap and then wrapping them in an additional plastic bag before putting into the fridge (to avoid having to clean up leaked watermelon juice at a later time). Plan on consuming the leftover fruit sooner rather than later to enjoy it at its freshest.
Watermelon. When enjoyed at its peak, it can kick ice cream’s butt anytime. Or, at the very least, tie it in deliciousness.
Instead of starting a diet, why not start listening to your body and eating fresh, clean foods in healthier portions? Life changes don’t have to be painful and don’t have to require saying “No” to some of your favorite foods. Remember, whatever you choose to do to benefit your health is a gift, not a curse. The less we think of ourselves as victims, the greater chances we have of reaching all of our goals. (I believe in you!)
Guess what? What happened yesterday, last week, last month or last year (or even a decade ago) is permanent history. That’s right – permanent. None of us own time machines (and believe me, I’ve looked for mine exhaustively). Similarly, none of us have magic wands. We can’t undo what’s already transpired. So what does that mean to you and me? We’re here now. At this starting point. So why not take the next step (in whatever direction that is – health, career, love life, family relations, etc.) with an attitude that embraces what’s new (without shaming ourselves for what’s in our past)?
The goals you reach may be your own. I believe in you (I really do). So take a deep breath and let the next minute, day, week, month or year unfold. You’re beautiful. You matter. And you’ve got it goin’ on. And if anyone doubts that, you can tell them I told you so!
P.S. If you do happen to have a time machine or magic wand, please contact me!
Photo Source: Instagram
Today’s reminder? There’s no one, singular way to reach your goals — no matter if those goals are health-, career- or relationship-oriented. Everyone’s path to their weight loss success will be different (even when participating with friends on a similar diet or healthy eating program).
The key to true dieting success lies in learning to listen to our bodies (and then responding accordingly). This alone dictates that there will be individual aspects to every journey. So try not to compare your path to someone else’s (much less their success to yours). You’ve got it going on — whether at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of your weight loss journey. (And if you’re anything like me, you know that journey never really ends.)
So celebrate your individuality and your individual path. There’s no one way. There’s no singular right way. There is your way. And that’s what really matters.
Photo Source: Pinterest
I’m generally not a fan of diet-related fasting of any kind. However, when I read this quote from Yoko Ono, I was suddenly very much in favor of this kind of fast. A fast from negativity about our own selves.
Doing this might seem easy at first. But try getting through even just one hour without being negative about yourself or your body (in your own head). It’s surprising how often I’m reminded that my most “vocal” critic is actually that little voice inside my head. Can anyone else relate to this? I imagine the answer is, “Yes.”
So why not try and ignore that little voice? The one that tells you your body’s not perfect? Or the one that tells you you’re not lovable? Or the one that says you should be further ahead in your career? Whatever kind of negativity your mind is offering about yourself, ignore it. Try to shut that voice down. And this includes shutting down actual talking out loud about ourselves (in a negative fashion). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve complained about my body or my so-called “failures” to friends and family (often making myself a punchline).
What we say to and about ourselves matters. We hear it. We feel it. It becomes part of our psychological makeup on every level. So it only make sense that changing that “voice” from negative-speak to positive-speak would have a healthy (and happy) impact on our lives.
So why not join me in taking Yoko Ono’s good advice? If doing it for three days seems like too much, try doing it for just an hour, and then build upon it from there. The psyche you save may be your own.
(And remember: no matter what your health-minded goals are, you are beautiful and perfect in this very moment! The sooner you recognize this, the sooner any kind of goals can be achieved!)
Photo Source: Pinterest