Archive for the 'health' Category

Enduring Discomfort

Whenever we make the effort to free ourselves of an addiction or a habit we no longer need, we are often surprised to find ourselves missing the old pattern as we would a familiar friend. This sounds counterintuitive, because we think we should instinctively gravitate toward that which is good for us. And yet, it makes a lot of sense when you consider that we humans are creatures of habit. This is why we gravitate to people and places—and patterns of behavior–that make us feel comfortable. Therefore, many of the habits we form are not conscious and are based instead on learned behavior from role models who were not always making the healthiest decisions.

Most addictions begin as a way of avoiding feelings that are extremely uncomfortable, so it makes sense that stopping the addiction means, for a time, a fair amount of discomfort. The same, of course, is true of habits that we have developed over time that we are ready to release. Just knowing that this is hard, and having compassion for ourselves as we work through this process, can help us to stay the course when we feel the urge to backtrack. It’s also helpful to remember that in time we will establish new, healthier patterns, and the yearning for the old ones will disappear. Eventually, we will instinctively reach for things that are good for us, and the longing for positive change may form the basis of a new habit.

The only way to get to this new place is to endure a time of difficulty, which is a challenge we can confidently handle, if we remember that it will lead to the change we seek in our lives. Our bodies, hearts, and minds always need time to adjust to a new way of doing things, but they will adapt, and even become our allies, if we remain true to our vision of a new way.

DailyOM

Foodie Friday: Chickpea Curry, Southern Style

(Serves 6)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 x 165g jar Madras paste
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1cm piece root ginger, finely chopped
3 onions, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
200ml light coconut milk
100g baby spinach
Handful fresh coriander leaves

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the curry paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and onions and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onions are tender but not browned.
2. Add 450ml water, the tomatoes and chickpeas. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
3. Pour in the coconut milk, add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Scatter over the coriander leaves and serve with naan bread, if you like.

Foodie Friday: Greek Pasta Salad

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
200g chunky pasta (penne, rigatoni, fusilli)
1/4 cucumber, chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
75g pitted Kalamata olives
4 tomatoes, cut into wedges
6 tbsp low-fat dressing
Diced feta (optional)

1. Boil the pasta in a pan of salted water for 10 minutes. Put the cucumber, pepper, olives and tomatoes in a bowl.
2. Drain the pasta and tip into the other ingredients. Add the feta (if using) and dressing, season and stir to combine.

Foodie Friday: Prawn and Pickled Cucumber Salad

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
Sesame oil
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
Juice of 2 limes
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 small red chilli, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
200g spinach leaves
280g raw tiger prawns
Coriander leaves, to serve

Method:
1. Whisk together the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, garlic and chilli with 1/2 tsp sesame oil. Add the cucumber and stir gently.
2. Divide the spinach leaves between 4 bowls, then spoon over the pickled cucumber.
3. Heat 1 tsp sesame oil in a pan, add the prawns and cook for a few minutes until pink. Spoon onto the salad, sprinkle with sesame oil and coriander leaves and serve.

Foodie Friday: Lentil Peri-Peri Chilli

lentil-periperi-chilli(Serves 4)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 tsp Nando’s Peri-peri Rub
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
200g dried red lentils
1 vegetable stock pot
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 spring onions, chopped
Several coriander leaves

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Stir in the peri-peri rub, cumin and paprika. Add the carrots, pepper, celery and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, put the lentils into another pan and cover with boiling salted water. Simmer for 15 minutes until tender.
3. Combine the stock pot with 600ml boiling water and pour over the vegetables. Add the tomatoes and black beans and simmer for 5 minutes.
4. Drain the lentils and add to the vegetables for the final 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with spring onions and coriander leaves.


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