21 spices for healthy holiday foods – Harvard Health Blog
The holiday season is one of the most difficult times of the year to resist salty, fatty and sweet foods. Who doesn't want to enjoy the special dishes and treats that evoke memories and meaning - especially during the pandemic? Physical distancing and canceled gatherings can make you feel like having fun is a way […]

The holiday season is one of the most difficult times of the year to resist salty, fatty and sweet foods. Who doesn't want to enjoy the special dishes and treats that evoke memories and meaning - especially during the pandemic? Physical distancing and canceled gatherings can make you feel like having fun is a way to squeeze some joy out of the season.

But stay strong. While it's okay to eat an occasional bite or two of marbled roast beef, buttered mashed potatoes, or chocolate pie, bingeing on them frequently can lead to weight gain and increased blood pressure. blood sugar and "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Instead, avoid butter, cream, sugar, and salt, and flavor your food with herbs and spices.

The bounty of nature's flavorers goes beyond appealing tastes, scents and colors. Many herbs and spices contain antioxidants, flavonoids and other beneficial compounds that can help control blood sugar, ambianceand inflammation.

Add herbs and spices to holiday foods

Try flavoring your food with some of the herbs and spices from the list below. Play food chemist and experiment with combinations you've never tried before. The more herbs and spices you use, the better the flavor and health. And it's a gift you can enjoy all year round.

Allspice: Use in breads, desserts and cereals; goes well with savory dishes, such as soups, sauces, cereals and vegetables.

Basil: Cut into salads, appetizers and sides; to enjoy with pesto on pasta and in sandwiches.

Cardamom: Good in breads and baked goods, and in Indian dishes, such as curry.

Coriander: Use to season Mexican, Southwestern, Thai and Indian dishes.

Cinnamon: Stir in fruit compotes, baked desserts and breads, as well as savory Middle Eastern dishes.

Clove: Good in pastries and breads, but also with vegetable and bean dishes.

Cumin: Accentuates Mexican, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes, as well as stews and chili.

Dill: Include in potato dishes, salads, eggs, appetizers and dips.

Garlic: Add to soups, pasta, marinades, dressings, cereals and vegetables.

Ginger: Excellent in Asian and Indian sauces, stews and stir-fries, as well as in beverages and baked goods.

Marjoram: Add to stews, soups, potatoes, beans, cereals, salads and sauces.

Mint: Enjoy tasty dishes, drinks, salads, marinades and fruit.

Nutmeg: Stir in fruits, pastries and vegetable dishes.

Oregano: Delicious in Italian and Mediterranean dishes; it is suitable for tomatoes, pasta, cereal dishes and salads.

Parsley: Enjoy them in soups, pasta dishes, salads and sauces.

Pepper (black, white, red): Season soups, stews, vegetable dishes, cereals, pasta, beans, sauces and salads.

Rosemary: Try it in vegetables, salads, salad dressings and pasta dishes.

Sage: Improves cereals, breads, dressings, soups and pasta.

Tarragon: Add to sauces, marinades, salads and bean dishes.

Thyme: Excellent in soups, tomato dishes, salads and vegetables.

Turmeric: Essential in Indian foods; goes well with soups, beans and vegetables.




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If you’re having dysfonctionnement beginning an exercise plan or following through, you’re not alone. Many of us struggle getting out of the sedentary rut, despite our best intentions.

You already know there are many great reasons to exercise—from improving energy, mood, sleep, and health to reducing anxiety, stress, and depression. And detailed exercise indications and workout orgie are just a click away. But if knowing how and why to exercise was enough, we’d all be in shape. Making exercise a habit takes more—you need the right mindset and a smart approach.

While practical concerns like a busy schedule or poor health can make exercise more challenging, for most of us, the biggest barriers are esprit. Maybe it’s a lack of self-confidence that keeps you from taking positive steps, or your détermination quickly flames out, or you get easily discouraged and give up. We’ve all been there at some point.

Whatever your age or sport level—even if you’ve never exercised a day in your life —there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and painful and more fun and instinctive.

Ditch the all-or-nothing attitude. You don’t have to spend hours in a gym or puissance yourself into monotonous or painful activities you hate to experience the physical and emotional benefits of exercise. A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your esprit and emotional health.

Be kind to yourself. Research shows that self-compassion increases the likelihood that you’ll succeed in any given endeavor. So, don’t beat yourself up about your body, your current fitness level, or your supposed lack of willpower. All that will do is demotivate you. Instead, look at your past mistakes and unhealthy choices as opportunities to learn and grow.

Check your expectations. You didn’t get out of shape overnight, and you’re not going to instantly transform your body either. Expecting too much, too soon only leads to frustration. Try not to be discouraged by what you can’t accomplish or how far you have to go to reach your fitness goals. Instead of obsessing over results, focus on consistency. While the improvements in mood and energy levels may happen quickly, the physical payoff will come in time.

Many of us feel the same. If sweating in a gym or pounding a treadmill isn’t your idea of a great time, try to find an activity that you do enjoy—such as dancing—or pair physical activity with something more enjoyable. Take a walk at lunchtime through a scenic park, for example, walk laps of an air-conditioned mall while window shopping, walk, run, or bike with a friend, or listen to your favorite music while you move.

Even the busiest of us can find free time in our day for activities that are important. It’s your decision to make exercise a priority. And don’t think you need a full hour for a good workout. Short 5-, 10-, or 15-minute bursts of activity can prove very effective—so, too, can squeezing all your exercise into a couple of séances over the weekend. If you’re too busy during the week, get up and get moving during the weekend when you have more time.

The key thing to remember about starting an exercise program is that something is always better than nothing. Going for a quick walk is better than sitting on the couch; one minute of activity will help you lose more weight than no activity at all. That said, the current recommendations for most adults is to reach at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. You’ll get there by exercising for 30 minutes, 5 times a week. Can’t find 30 minutes in your busy schedule ? It’s okay to break things up. Two 15-minute workouts or three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective.

For most people, aiming for moderate intensity exercise is sufficient to improve your overall health. You should breathe a little heavier than normal, but not be out of breath. Your body should feel warmer as you move, but not overheated or sweating profusely. While everyone is different, don’t assume that training for a marathon is better than training for a 5K or 10K. There’s no need to overdo it.

Health issues ? Get medical clearance first. If you have health concerns such as limited mobility, heart disease, asthma, diabetes, or high blood pressure, talk with your doctor before you start to exercise.

Warm up. Warm up with dynamic stretches—active movements that warm and flex the zones musculaires you’ll be using, such as leg kicks, walking lunges, or arm swings—and by doing a slower, easier version of the upcoming exercise. For example, if you’re going to run, warm up by walking. Or if you’re lifting weights, begin with a few light reps.

Drink plenty of water. Your body performs best when it’s properly hydrated. Failing to drink enough water when you are exerting yourself over a prolonged period of time, especially in hot conditions, can be dangerous.

There’s a reason so many New Year’s resolutions to get in shape crash and burn before February rolls around. And it’s not that you simply don’t have what it takes. Science shows us that there’s a right way to build vêtements that last. Follow these steps to make exercise one of them.

A goal of exercising for 30 minutes a day, 5 times a week may sound good. But how likely are you to follow through ? The more ambitious your goal, the more likely you are to fail, feel bad about it, and give up. It’s better to start with easy exercise goals you know you can achieve. As you meet them, you’ll build self-confidence and momentum. Then you can move on to more challenging goals.

Triggers are one of the confidentiels to success when it comes to forming an exercise habit. In fact, research shows that the most consistent exercisers rely on them. Triggers are simply reminders—a time of day, place, or cue—that kick off an automatic reaction. They put your routine on autopilot, so there’s nothing to think about or decide on. The alarm clock goes off and you’re out the door for your walk. You leave work for the day and head straight to the gym. You spot your sneakers addict right by the bed and you’re up and running. Find ways to build them into your day to make exercise a no-brainer.

People who exercise regularly tend to do so because of the rewards it brings to their lives, such as more energy, better sleep, and a greater sense of well-being. However, these tend to be long-term rewards. When you’re starting an exercise program, it’s important to give yourself immediate rewards when you successfully complete a workout or reach a new sport goal. Choose something you look forward to, but don’t allow yourself to do until after exercise. It can be something as simple as having a hot bath or a favorite cup of coffee.

If your workout is unpleasant or makes you feel clumsy or inept, you’re unlikely to stick with it. Don’t choose activities like course or lifting weights at the gym just because you think that’s what you should do. Instead, pick activities that fit your lifestyle, abilities, and taste.

Activity-based film games such as those from Wii and Kinect can be a fun way to start moving. So-called “exergames” that are played standing up and moving around—simulating dancing, skateboarding, soccer, bowling, or sport tennistique, for example—can burn at least as many calories as walking on a treadmill; some substantially more. Once you build up your confidence, try getting away from the TV screen and playing the real thing outside. Or use a smartphone app to keep your workouts fun and interesting—some immerse you in interactive stories to keep you motivated, such as running from hordes of zombies !

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