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Are you beating yourself up for what (and how much) you ate last weekend?
Do you dread the social pressures of the coming holiday season?
Are you just spinning your wheels because of the stress you anticipate?
Hey. You’re okay. The past is gone, so let it go from your head, too. If it’s stress that’s getting you, well, we have just the cure. It’s exercise. Yep (and we know it’s another thing on your calendar each day), the physical work of exercise really helps your mental ability to deal.
So treat yourself to some mental stress relief (we are okay!) by getting up out of your chair and moving to the music. Marching in place is good – just lift those knees! And if you want a little more exercise, pump your arms over your shoulders.
Bags and dark circles under the eyes may come from one or more of several factors: weak kidneys, menstrual irregularities, smoking, too much sugar, lack of sleep, dehydration, or exhaustion (to name a few).
A temporary remedy can be obtained by gently pressing the curved side of a cold spoon against the area right under your eye. (Keep a few spoons in your freezer – pick them up at garage/rummage/tag sales or secondhand stores.) You can also try cucumber slices, or ice cubes made from chamomile tea (wrap the ice cube in a soft cloth first). Try all three remedies on different days to see which one works best for you.
As the weather turns colder, we seem to choose cooked vegetables over raw ones with increasing frequency. But raw veggies are good for us – and they really are refreshing in our heated, dry indoor environment. Treat yourself to a salad at least once a day. This one is a bit different, and works great for company, holidays, or any day you want to feel special.
~*~ ~*~ ~*~ Mixed Greens with Apples, Carrots, and Pickled Beets Blue * Serves 8 to 10 (side dish)
6 to 8 ounces mixed baby greens
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium Granny Smith (or other tart) apples, thinly sliced
8-ounce jar pickled beets, well drained
Extra-virgin olive oil as desired
Balsamic or red wine vinegar to taste
Combine the greens, carrots, apples, and beets in a serving bowl. Dress with olive oil and vinegar, toss well, and serve.
Everybody makes turkey pot pie and turkey noodle soup.
How about turkey enchiladas? Just shred the meat, toss it with some enchilada sauce, roll it in tortillas, cover with more enchilada sauce (and soy cheese, if you want) and bake. Serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped avocado, and your favorite salsa.
Have you had sweet potato ravioli? Saute some onions in a very little bit of olive oil. When they’re about done, drop in some rubbed sage, and leftover pureed sweet potatoes or squash. Use wonton wrappers to make ravioli – fill with about 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons filling, fold on the diagonal, and seal with water. Drop in boiling salted water to cook. Serve with a sauce of sauteed onions and mushrooms, a little turkey broth, an d thickened with a little leftover gravy. (Not so good if you caramelized your sweet potatoes, or baked them with marshmallows… use those to make more pie!)
Or make the ravioli with leftover mashed potatoes and sauteed onions (and maybe chopped spinach?) and call them pierogi. These are fried in a little Earth Balance and then you can top them with leftover gravy.
Make turkey fried rice with leftover turkey and vegetables. All it takes is some cooked brown rice and a couple of eggs. Amp up the veg content with any vegetables in your fridge. Season with garlic and ginger, and top with tamari or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos.
Put leftover cranberry sauce into your fruit smoothie. Delish! Or serve it on coconut ice cream (we love this stuff, but it’s really sweet, so don’t overdo it). We also like leftover cranberry sauce stirred into vanilla yogurt – about 1 Tablespoon for a 4 oz serving of yogurt.
And if you have leftover pie? Bring it to a someone who didn’t get leftovers.
There are lots of reasons to be fit – your health is probably the number one reason. People who are fit have longer, healthier lives.
But really, if exercise is just one more chore, one more thing to check off the list every day, it’s not going to get a high priority in your life (ours either).
So find the fun in fitness. What do you love to do? What have you always wanted to do? Get in shape so you can do those things with ease, making them exciting and energizing for you.
Want some examples? Here’s what some of our members have done.
Lyrical wanted to try the trapeze – and ended up with some lessons and even an extra stop on a vacation at a trapeze school. If you want to dance in the air, look for a trapeze school, work on your core strength, and make that dream come true.
Shortcake reclaimed her power after recovering from a car accident. She really wanted to be active again, so she started out bicycling, took it to long distance cycling (you know, 100+ miles), and ended up doing all three events in a triathlon. She reclaimed her power through exercise that’s fun for her.
CindyR used to be an Army paratrooper. Yeah, that takes some extra training – but you can go to a local airfield and learn to jump out of planes, too, if you want to fall and float to earth. You’ll want to work on strength training and maybe even push yourself with cardio, because that heart rate is going to go up when you leave the plane!
Shelagh became a bodybuilder. It’s pretty extreme, but if you want to know what you can achieve with real commitment, this is a great goal, involving lots of cardio and strength training (and spray tan).
BloodSister loves to dance, but her husband? Not so much. So she takes ballroom dance lessons, which are a big cardio and core strength workout. She can dance easily because of the other workouts she does during the week.
Your regular workout is the key to more than your health. It’s the key to a fun, active lifestyle!
As you sit down at the dinner table today whether you’re celebrating a holiday or not), give everyone a chance to express their gratitude – for the year, for success, for family and friends, for love, for life, for health, for the meal – whatever. It’s one of those traditions that makes teenagers cringe, but gratitude is a good attitude to develop for life.
Happy Thanksgiving from Marilu and everyone at Marilu.com. We’re grateful for the internet, so we can all come together and learn from each other, and we’re grateful for all the friends we’ve met here.
Take a time out and do something good for yourself.
Fill the tub halfway with warm water, then add 1 cup of baking soda. Fill the rest of the tub and add a touch of your favorite fragrance. Soak for 20 minutes.
Add some atmosphere with candles and music (no iPods in the tub, please! This is a time for speakers.) – and drink a tall glass of water, too. A baking soda bath helps draw toxins out of your body and softens your skin. And it’s just nice to relax sometimes, too.
We were thinking about today’s earlier blog post in light of the upcoming holiday weekend. We have a relative who has never hosted a family event because she is afraid of everything that could (possibly) go wrong. Her young adult daughter is the one who finally confided “with our luck, something would go horribly wrong.”
So… in the spirit of encouraging this young woman, we shared our holiday disasters. Because nobody’s life is perfect, and it’s not healthy to expect that.
The year the element in our oven burned out about two hours after the turkey went in. Fortunately, we lived in a small town, and the appliance dealer was happy to open the store and sell us a new element right away. Dinner was a little late.
The year we woke up to frozen pipes on Christmas morning. Fortunately, our holiday menu wasn’t dependent on a lot of water, and we had plenty of snow to melt on the stove so we could wash the dishes. Guests were encouraged to “go” before and after their visit (and they still talk about the “pee-free” holiday).
The year the sweet potato souffles caught fire. That was kind of exciting, since it was easy to put the fire out, not serve the sweet potatoes, and open the windows to let the smoke out.
We all have holiday “disasters,” and while they can seem daunting and embarrassing and absolutely awful in the moment, it’s sure easy to laugh about them later. It’s even better if we can laugh about them at the time. After all – it’s just a family dinner. There are probably no heads of state, no paparazzi, and if there’s one less side dish, there’s still plenty of food. As long as everyone is safe, it’s all good. So let it go and have a good laugh – enjoy the whole holiday experience.