Taste buds take time

A couple years back I tried to increase my vocabulary by learning a new word every day. I found that I had to say the word more than a few times before I could use the new word proficiently in a coherent sentence. It’s like we’ve always heard, practice does make perfect.

Know what? Your taste buds are just like your brain learning a new vocabulary. Trying something new will take more than one or two tries to get used to it. Or to like it. And just like so much in life, our preferences change. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by what you find you like after you’ve given it the old college try.

So. Let’s look at some lean protein rich foods that you might have to give a few runs at before you can truthfully exclaim, hey. That’s pretty good. And good for me too.

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Greek yogurt.

Still the best option for yogurt. Less sugar than most yogurts while packing a devastatingly delightful punch of protein. Personally, I like me some Greek yogurt smoothies. Didn’t take long for my taste buds to get used to it at all. Love at first gulp.

Walnuts.

These unassuming nuts also give you a nice turn of Omega 3s, so I’d suggest you give ’em time if at first they don’t succeed at grabbing the snobbish attention of your stubborn and overly safe taste buds. I still haven’t totally gotten onto the wondrously wacky walnut band wagon, but they’re really nice sitting pretty on top of my Greek yogurt.

Hummus dip.

This is one that took me a while to gravitate to, but I really like this treat now, quite a lot. It’s the snack that has your back. Jack.

Salmon filets.

This one also took me a little while. Like four tries, a while. I’m one of those people who do not like anything “fishy”. First time I tried salmon was from the plate of a friend and it was very fishy. Like Capitol Letters FISHY. Didn’t try it again for a long time. However, the next time I did, I didn’t hate it, so there’s a good start, huh. Then the next time, not too bad at all, you see, my little chickadee. Now, I have salmon at least once a week. Wouldn’t miss my weekly salmon run for anything.

Chia seeds.

These guys are rich in nutrients, full of Omega 3s like you wouldn’t believe and are an excellent supply of antioxidants while being a good source for providing you with fiber, iron and calcium. Not much of a flavor to savor but on your Greek yogurt, almost a must. Just don’t think, ch,ch,ch, chia…you know the rest. Come on. Move along.

So. What’s our lesson here today at my sunny door step?

Always try something that could be very good for you, but if at first you don’t succeed, well try it, try it, try it again. Who knows what you might end up liking.

Maybe a lot. And as it’s all good for you, well worth the continued effort.

So, see you later. And keep up the good fight, by eating what’s right.

Right?

Right.

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Gotta get your 7 to 9. Everyday.

7 to 9. That’s how many hours of sleep most adults need. 7 to 9 hours. Or else…or else what?

Well It’s been proven that if you don’t get your daily 7 to 9, you’re gonna have some problems cropping up throughout your day. Like?

Like:

Poor job performance. You’re tired so what’d you expect. There’s a very good reason that successful athletes always get themselves a good nights sleep. Even if it’s only their coaches ranting at them, making certain lights are out at 9PM sharp. They all know how sleep affects performance.

Then too. Your chance of irritability goes up as does the probability of depression, which goes hand in hand with relationship issues. So snapping at your coworkers to hurry up with that coffee already, won’t make you the office mensch.

Also. Odds are you’ll be eating food that’s not healthy or good for you as you try to get more energized, so obesity and the chance of high blood pressure rolls clumsily into the frame. And don’t forget, some of those energy bars really aren’t that good for you. At all.

Then also, using your memory will be more difficult. How many widgets will we need next week again? I just can’t seem to remember. Oh now I remember…I didn’t get me my 7 to 9 last night…

Not a list of things you want occurring in your daily routine.

So, what’s a person to do…

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Here are a few helpful tips to get yourself some of that 7 to 9 goodness;

First off, set a goal of at least 7 hours of sleep per night. At the least. 7 hours. And remember that even adding a small incremental amount, like say 15 minutes, can only help you more. 7 is good, but 9 is better.

Ok. Great. But spose I can’t get to sleep all that easily. Your head hits the pillow but inside, your mind just keeps on churning.

Easy peezy.

No TV, computer or smartphone usage for an hour before you go to bed. None. I mean it. Don’t make me come over there. No TV. No computer. No smartphone. For an hour before bedtime. Why? Because, my Jedi Padawan, those TV, computer and smartphone screens give off a blue light that messes around with your melatonin. So what if they do? So this. Melatonin is only THE hormone that helps you sleep. That’s so what if they do.

Ok. Great. So no screens for an hour before bed. But what do you do instead with that whole hour? It’s a whole hour.

How’s bout a warm bath. That sounds nice doesn’t it. You’ll begin to feel your muscles relax and then start getting those droopy, sleepy eyes as soon as you soothingly sink in. Nice…

Or listen to some music. Something soft and easy. No heavy stuff. Metal or otherwise. And definitely not Sousa. No Semper Fidelis before bed, if you know what’s good for you.

Or my fab/fav…read a book.

Alright then. Now.

Go to bed already. And get yourself some of that 7 to 9 sleepy goodness.

It’s all about the Omega 3s. Please.

Omega 3 fatty acids. Doesn’t sound very appetizing does it. But in reality they are very delicious and very, very good for you. Why you may ask. Well, because they are a form of the polyunsaturated fats that are known as the healthy fats. The ones that may help you lower your risk of heart disease. Hm. They look pretty appetizing now don’t they?

Ok. Great. So what do these Omega 3s do?

They help with so many of the activities in your body that you’d need a huge book to show you them all, but at the very top of this long list are these two main important actions:

Building up cell membranes and assisting with the clotting of your blood. Now both of these two items, as we helpfully stated above, help to reduce the risk of heart failure or heart attack. And don’t forget. These are the healthy fats, so loud n proud. Gotta love ’em. Right?

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Ok. Sounds great. So where do we get us some of those Omega 3s?

Here you go;

FISH. Eat fish. How simple is that? But wait. What kind? Salmon, sardines, herring and the Big Tuna, maybe just three times a week.

WALNUTS. Eat walnuts. Throw some on your salad or on top of your oatmeal. Crunchy goodness never sounded so crunchy. Or tasted so good. You know…crunchy good.

CANOLA OIL. Use canola oil. For your salad dressing, your cooking and baking. You won’t believe that it’s canola oil. Really. You won’t. Trust me.

Ok. So, what do we say…?

Omega three is good for me. So make a start, it’s for your heart.

Sorry bout that. I just couldn’t help myself. A thousand healthy fat pardons.

Guess who’s coming to dinner…fruit.

Here’s something for you that’s good and tasty. Wait for it…wait for it…fruit.

Yes. Fruit for dinner. And why not. It’s an especially great idea when you’re pressed for time and need something done very quickly and very easily.

In fact the easiest configuration would be to have a small bowl of chopped fruit as a side next to your main dish.

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Or, if you’re feeling like having a little pre-dinner quirky fun or, what Aunt Edna calls, with some frustration, appetizers, then try the following;

Dice yourself up some mango and stir it into salsa, which could be store bought if you have to, & go grab the tortilla chips for some fruity fiesta fun. Just keep the sombrero at home. Aunt Edna gets a little spry if she sees a sombrero around. And no one wants to see Aunt Edna spry. No way.

Next idea. Take some figs and stuff ’em with blue cheese. Honestly, not one of my fab/favs but…you know, it’s good for the list.

So. Done with appetizers? No? Not yet. Alright. We’ll wait a few more minutes…

Done? Ok.

Now for the main meal, hows about this…

Grill up some pineapple planks and serve ’em with grilled pork or chicken and then turn up the Hawaii Five O, new or classic. Doesn’t matter, just book ’em Danno. Book ’em good.

Maybe take some of that mango n salsa and pour it over some grilled fish. My favorite?Tilapia. Mmm.

Or chop yourself up some peaches and put ’em in a pan. Some peaches and put ’em in a pan. Nice rhythm to that. Now as they simmer, throw in a little mint and honey. Carefully pour over some chicken or turkey. Love the aroma of mint and honey. Reminds me of camping.

ok. So. Now, if your mouth isn’t watering after reading all of that stuff up above, then we will have to send Aunt Edna over, with her sombrero on, just to see what the damn problem is. And she can be very cranky around supper time, even with that sombrero on.

So. Go ahead. Ask who’s coming for dinner. Yeah. You know it. Fruit!

Better breakfast…better day…better you

Breakfast cereal. Essentially the easiest habit to start up your day with. Get up. Shower. Throw some dry cereal into a bowl and then mindlessly eat. Or eat while you read the back of the cereal box. This is all very easy to repeat too. Every day. Every single day.

Up. Shower. Cereal. Up. Shower. Cereal.

Yet really, breakfast should be more than that. Much more. Like how much more? Like much more…like how bout more protein, much more. Stuffing some protein into your morning ritual will help you feel full for much longer, all the while improving your morning concentration levels and bettering your own production levels. And who wouldn’t want that? It’s a win, win, won kinda thing.

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So here are some protein rich substitutes to try in place of that dry old cereal;

Any kind of nuts. Any kind. Walnuts, almonds. You get the idea.

Turkey bacon or turkey sausage. Mmm. I can smell it already. Nice.

Tofu. Why not. It’s good for you. Tofu for you. Give it a swing.

Hummus. Nuff said.

Some cheese. But not too much. Maybe like a slice. You do not overdo or cut the cheese.

My fab/fav…yogurt. Yogurt and nuts. Yogurt and anything. I really like yogurt.

Peanut butter. Very high in protein. Or any other nut butter. Almond butter etc.

And finally eggs. Although there is a lot of cholesterol in eggs it’s still very protein rich. Just don’t over do the eggs, easy over on the eggs.

Also having a healthy protein rich breakfast may keep your mind tilted towards healthier foods the rest of the day. You know, since I ate so well this morning, why not keep it up. Good habits can be habit forming.

So. Get up. Shower. Then think of something else for breakfast. Maybe yogurt. Maybe you want some of that turkey sausage. Start up your day…better.

Don’t be that serial cereal person.

You’re on the right track

I found out something the other day. A track is the perfect place to run. You don’t have to think about where you’re going so it’s perfect for a pure run. And it’s pretty easy to add up how far you’ve run. On most out door tracks four laps equal one mile. How easy can you make it on yourself, I ask myself.

And to make it a family shindig, little kids can play on the inside of the infield while you run, keeping an easy eye on them. As they get older you just know they’re gonna wanna join you in the fun on the run.

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Here are some fun workouts to do on the track, now that you’re on the right track:

Run 3/4 of the track, or 300 meters, then walk the last 1/4 , or 100 meters. A little mix n match never hurt anyone, did it?

Do a little trading off as you run one lap fast and then one lap slow. Some more mix n match wonderment.

Run the straights then walk the curves. Run the straights then walk the curves. Got a nice rhythm to it. Run the straights then walk the curves. Now you say it…

Do four laps as fast as you can and then record your time. That way you can see how fast you’ve run a mile. Then tell your friends to run a mile in their shoes.

After running one lap, head over to the stands and head up to the top of the stadium steps. Not as easy as it sounds. Believe me. Nope. Not easy.

So there you go. And as you go you will see how much fun this running stuff can be.

Hey. Don’t walk away from me. Run.

Grocery store treasure map

Here’s an idea. Think of your local friendly grocery store as a type of treasure map. A treasure map that’s just a little bit different than a normal treasure hunting map…instead of the center having a big X marking the spot of highly desired gold n jewels, we will be seeking the outside of our map, which is where we will find our healthy treasures of fresh goodness and treats for the soul. And we will be leaving the inner parts of this grocery store map off of our search, for the time being at least.

Most grocery stores stock all the healthiest foods around the perimeter of their establishment, leaving the junk food further into their domain, all towards that center of tasty for you but definitely not good for you foods. So if you stick to the outside of all those tempting aisles of food, you should be good.

In fact, let’s take a little look at out treasure map of healthy foods:

The Meat and Seafood section.

To find the leanest cuts always look for the word loin, as in sirloin and tenderloin. Don’t get fooled by the false gold treasures of beefyloin or chunkyloin. And especially not bit-a-loin. If ground beef is what’s on your list then check to make certain it has the leanest percentage you can find. And always try to pick grass fed beef or wild caught seafood. My mouth is watering into my treasure map already. Sorry bout that.

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The Produce Aisle.

It’s very simple here. Just look for a vast array of colors-purple yellow orange red green. Told you it was easy here. Let’s move along now. People are waiting behind you.

The Bakery.

Another easy one. Just make sure to put down your treasure map and check the ingredients label. What are you looking for, my foodie pirate? Whole wheat flour. That’s what you’re looking for in that spyglass, me hearty.

The Dairy Aisle.

Go full fat milk and yogurt. How pleasing that sounds. Read it again. Full fat milk and yogurt. That could be a great mantra.

Ok. So. There you go. A treasure map where everyone finds the big cache of healthy goodness at the end of our Rainbow Loin And Happiness Grill. See you there.