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10 Clever Ways to Get More Veggies in Your Diet

10 Clever Ways to Get More Veggies in Your Diet

Lettuce Sandwich

    Have you ever been told to eat fewer vegetables? Probably not. They are a necessary component of any healthy diet.

    There are easy ways to eat vegetables more often than you ever have before–all you need to do is replace grain-based foods with veggies! Soon you’ll be over your reliance on pasta, rice and bread.

    Here are 10 creative ways to think outside the box when it comes to vegetables. The more you begin thinking like this, the more fun veggies will suddenly become. Many of these ideas are great gluten-free and paleo options as well.

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    Zucchini noodles

      1. Zucchini Noodles

      Use a vegetable peeler to shave zucchini into ribbons. Layer on a baking tray with some oil and bake for about 15 minutes. Serve this anywhere you’d regularly serve pasta or buttery noodles.

      cauliflower rice

        2. Cauliflower Rice

        You’ll be amazed at how well grated cauliflower works in place of steamed rice. This is much quicker than boiling rice and good for soaking up curry sauces. Like its cousin broccoli, it’s chock full of nutrients.

        Carrot spaghetti

          3. Carrot Spaghetti

          Shave thin carrot ribbons with your vegetable peeler. Simmer these in boiling water, like pasta, until just tender. Drain and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

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          Cauliflower

            4. Cauliflower Couscous

            Cauliflower is one of the most underrated vegetables. The lack of green color means it doesn’t at first appear as “healthy” as other greens. However, this can be a benefit if you’re looking for a “stealth” veggie to serve those who might shy away from the goodness of vegetables. Just grate or chop raw cauliflower in a food processor and sauté it in a little oil until soft. You can use this anywhere you’d usually serve cooked couscous. 

            Spinach

              5. Baby Spinach Pasta

              If you’ve got a ragu or hearty pasta sauce, just substitute pasta for a bed of baby spinach leaves. It’s a light dish and quicker too, since there’s no need to boil any water for the pasta. It’s also great with tofu instead of rice.

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              Cabbage

                6. Shaved Cabbage Vermicelli

                Shave white or savoy cabbage with a mandoline until you have what resembles vermicelli. Serve with a stew or a pasta sauce. You can also toss the shaved cabbage in lemon juice and olive oil with parmesan cheese for a lovely main course salad.

                Cauliflower rice krispies

                  7. Cauliflower Rice Krispies

                  Try finely chopping cauliflower and serving with your favorite Greek yogurt and granola. This is great for breakfast and will add a bit of snap, crackle, pop to a normal granola bowl.

                  Lettuce Wraps

                    8. Lettuce Wraps/Sandwiches

                    Your favorite sandwich filling is delicious, right? So why not just wrap it in crisp iceberg or cos lettuce leaves?

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                    Kale Chips

                      9. Kale Chips

                      If you’re craving potato chips but would really like a healthy salty snack replacement, try kale chips. Just toss dry kale leaves in a little oil and bake on a tray for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F. Salt them after you take them from the oven. These are also wonderful with grated parmesan cheese.

                      Eggplant lasagna

                        10. Eggplant Lasagna

                        Similar to the Greek moussaka, replace the pasta sheets in lasagna with grilled or pan-fried eggplant slices. Your eggplant lasagna doesn’t have to be vegetarian, so feel free to add protein like Italian sausage.

                        Featured photo credit: cauliflower ‘couscous’-3/Jules Clancy via flic.kr

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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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