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5 Tips to Handle the “Heat” of the Kitchen

5 Tips to Handle the “Heat” of the Kitchen

    The kitchen is where the magic takes place. Whether one is sautéing onions, button mushrooms and traffic-light-colored peppers for that tofu scramble or enjoying a pear, rhubarb and cranberry cooler straight from the blender, nothing can be more exciting than preparing healthy and satisfying lean meals.

    It is difficult, however, to cook these scrumptious feasts all the time. A fully prepared dinner of Sichuan spiced eggplants, Kan Shao green beans, brown rice and a garden salad is a delicious combination of flavors. Would anyone like a scoop of homemade coconut sorbet? Most of us would love to eat this meal, but who has the time and energy to make it? Who wants to slave in a hot kitchen all day long?

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    The following suggestions will give you some ideas on how to “beat the heat” concerning time management and temperature in the kitchen.

    Restaurants and Take-Out

    There is an old saying, “If you can’t stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen and go to a restaurant!” Having someone else fix the meal can be heavenly. Before considering becoming a potential customer of a certain establishment, thoroughly investigate the eatery to be sure the preparation methods and the food are high quality. The best bet would be to frequent those restaurants that cater to vegan tastes.

    Raw Food Diet

    Many experts are suggesting that people should consume about 75-85% of their fruit, veggies and herbs in their natural, raw state, while the other 15-25% of food should be cooked. Some leaders in the vegan community believe that foodstuffs should be consumed 100% raw. As Dr. Aris Latham has stated, “All (plant-based) foods have been cooked by the sun.”

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    The key to accomplishing the goal of eating a raw, live diet is to have the proper equipment. Besides just putting the fruit or vegetable in your mouth and eating it, blending and juicing are wonderful ways to consume food. Raw food is fresh, has plenty of fiber and retains most or all of its vitamins and minerals. Dehydrators are very popular also. They can heat food to as low as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the nutrients stay intact, thereby qualifying the food as “raw” within the diet’s limits.

    The good news is, whether a person is using blending, juicing or dehydrating techniques, the kitchen is kept cool!

    Freezing Dinners

    Spending time in a hot kitchen seven days a week can be painful. How about limiting that time to a few hours on one or two days? The plan is simple: pick a meal or meals that take an enormous amount of time to prepare. Choose a day to shop for the ingredients. Choose another day to make the food. Label the finished meals with the days of the week, then place them in the freezer. When it is time to eat, pop a dish into the microwave to thaw, cook and eat.

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    Potluck

    Another way to keep the kitchen cool is to host or attend a potluck. Potlucks usually require each person to make one dish instead of a full range of appetizers, entrées, salads, drinks and desserts. Keep the cooking area really heat free, and volunteer to provide the salad, gazpacho, fruit or drinks!

    One-Dish Meals

    Serving one-dish or all-in-one meals may be one of the oldest forms of time management in cooking. Cut up all of the materials to be used, put them in a pot or casserole dish and fire up the stove, oven or barbie! To further cut down on the heat and time, use a microwaveable stack cooker system to fix everything from the main entrée to the dessert. Electric crock pots, although they take a lot of time to cook the food, are an excellent way to control the temperature of the environment.

    Healthy eating can be a challenge to maintain. Ultimately, it is a challenge that is worth taking on. Preparing meals in the home is the optimum way to achieve these goals, but the experience doesn’t have to be drudgery! Have fun producing vibrant and mouth-watering meals.

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    Featured photo credit: https://www.shutterstock.com/ via shutterstock.com

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    Last Updated on January 17, 2019

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

    In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

    Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

    Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

    Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

    Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

    The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

    There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

    How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

    According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

    Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

    Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

    The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

    Listen carefully:

    We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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    The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

    Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

    8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

    There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

    Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

    1. Pray Daily

    You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

    When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

    Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

    Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

    2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

    A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

    By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

    Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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    If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

    This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

    How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

    3. Smile Often

    Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

    Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

    Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

    The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

    4. Organize Your Working Desk

    A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

    When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

    Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

    Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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    5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

    I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

    Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

    What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

    6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

    God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

    I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

    I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

    7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

    You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

    How do you do that? This is my formula:

    First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

    If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

    If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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    If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

    Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

    8. Go Exercise

    Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

    The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

    You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

    12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

    The Bottom Line

    It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

    It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

    Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

    More Resources About Mindfulness

    Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

    Reference

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