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4 Quick And Easy Tricks To Healthier Eating

4 Quick And Easy Tricks To Healthier Eating

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming. Today, let’s cover 4 quick and easy tricks to healthier eating: whether it’s switching up your usual breakfast meal, cutting something out of your daily diet, or starting your meal a certain way, these tricks will help you on your path to healthier eating.

If you aren’t sure why you should be eating healthier, consider watching some of these movies for motivation and additional information.

Healthier Eating with Smoothies

Drinking smoothies is a simple, easy way to consume more vitamins and minerals with little effort. Smoothies can be snacks or meal replacements, are fun to drink, and easy to take with you when you leave the house.

Start with a basic recipe:

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  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen fruit
  • 3 ice cubes

Now add and customize the smoothie to your tastes:

You can adjust the amount of fruit, depending on how sweet you want  your smoothie to be. Consider using some of the fruit superfoods in your smoothie for extra oomph. To replace a meal with a smoothie be sure to add a protein source: yogurt or protein powders are the most common sources.

Few of us consume the minimum 5 servings of vegetables a day: you can add 1-2 handfuls of green leafy vegetables to your smoothie to get a few servings in easily. Spinach, arugula, and kale are just a few of the many great choices out there. Experiment with combining the different fruits and leafy greens in your smoothie.

Add additional health foods to boost your drink, such as wheat germ or chia seeds. If you’d like to add certain vitamins to your diet, you can reference this vitamin cheat sheet to find out which foods have them.

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Find more smoothie recipes here.

Begin Meals With a Salad

Salads are quick and easy foods that really get you on the path to healthier eating. If you are already adding greens to your smoothie, you probably have a large bag of baby spinach in the fridge. Simply add 1-2 cups to a small plate, sprinkle with some slivered almonds and a few apple slices, and you have a great salad—just combine olive oil with a bit of balsamic vinegar for a quick and easy salad dressing to top it off.

If this seems too difficult, start with the prepared salad mixes at the store: there are many different options and flavor combinations available, and going this route is a great way to start eating good salads. Just be sure to go light on the dressing that comes with those mixes though: they tend to be really high in fat. Read this article for more tips on how to transition to salads.

Cut a Food Out of Your Diet for Healthier Eating

There are a number of foods that cause problems for many people. Cutting out just one of these foods might just make a huge change in your health and well-being, so choose just one of these foods and cut it out of your diet completely. Try this for 30 days and see if you feel better.

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  • Gluten
  • Dairy
  • Soy
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners

Many people are sensitive to these foods because they have found their way into so many of the products available on grocery store shelves. We end up consuming them at every meal and don’t even realize that we’re doing so. Letting your body rest from these foods can give it the time it needs to heal, and to better handle that food in the future.

Soup’s On

Soup is one of the faster meal options around: it’s super-easy to pour some chicken broth in a pan and start adding cut up veggies, meats, and spices. Work from a recipe the first few times and then just start experimenting with your own flavor combinations.

Soup can be easily prepared the night before and then set to cook in the crock pot the next day. As the soup will slow-cook over the course of the day, it will allow the flavors to really come alive (and it’ll be ready for you when you get home with no additional work needed).

What changes will you make today to start eating healthier?

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Featured photo credit:  Organic apples in basket in summer grass. Fresh apples in nature via Shutterstock

 

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Last Updated on August 13, 2020

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

12 Benefits of Meditation That Improve Your Body And Mind

As a mediation teacher, I am constantly confronted with these two questions regarding the benefits of meditation:

1. Why can’t I enjoy the benefits of meditation continuously?

I ask back: Is it maybe because you see mediation as a technique, performance, or some exclusive activity? The answer is: yes!

Or, because your mind is constantly evolving on the past negative attachments and traditional habits? After careful thinking they answer: yes, probably!

Although meditation is very simple and challenging at the same time, in the above mentioned case, it’s not easy to benefit from meditation, especially when approached with the idea that it has to be learned, studied, or applied. Meditation is to be seen as a natural, mental cleansing process that happens on a basis of awareness on a moment-to-moment experience. When that takes place, the benefits of meditation are continuous.

2. What is the purpose of meditation?

The purpose of meditation is to accomplish a level of consciousness for mastering the mind and uniting with the finest, deepest, and subtlest part of yourself as a being.

It is a conscious process of observation of the mind—helping the meditator to understand the structure of its mind and the quality of its content. During this process, countless benefits of a physical, mental, and spiritual/philosophical nature arise for the meditator.

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Meditation as a Fixer and Benefactor

In this article we’ll have a look at the primary and the ultimate benefits of mediation, which improve your body and mind at the same time. For the sake of clarity, readability, and tangible experience, I have separated the benefits into three groups.

You can change just about anything you don’t like about yourself (psychologically, as well as physically) through meditation. However, this is only possible with a specific approach, when your brain allows the benefits of meditation to do their work.

This means not to interrupt the benefit with other thoughts, but to let their effect implement itself in your body and mind. This approach is crucial.

The following exercises will make you feel the benefits of meditation instantly, but the continuity of the benefits of meditation on your body and mind depend on the discipline of your brain, how you manage external stimuli and your thoughts.

Less Physical, More Psychological

Even though the practice of meditation is more psychological and less physical, the first benefit we’re going to experience is both physical as well as mental.

This benefit happens literally immediately, right at the moment of meditation. It is the essence of mediation basically.

The First Benefit of Meditation

The first benefit of meditation is twofold:

  1. Improving inward attention (sharpening the mind)
  2. Relaxation of the body

Let’s do it right now. This benefit consists of only one step, and it is very simple to perform. It goes like this:

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Sit still and pay attention to your exhalation.

That’s it! Technically, the whole journey into the world of mediation begins here and nowhere else. And right here, you benefit from this step in the following way:

When you pay attention to the flow of your exhalation (gentle, deep, effortless exhalation), your body begins with the process of relaxation instantly (your heart rate slows down, your nervous system calms, and tension in your muscles is relieved).

When the nervous system calms, your mind calms down, and, more specifically, less thoughts are produced by your mind. How, exactly? By applying one of the most valuable mental skills—attention—the mind follows the breathing and has no space and time to generate any other thoughts. Only when the attention goes off the breath, other thoughts are constructed, and the mind is accelerating with thought production again.

Keeping the First Benefit Effective and Ongoing

Here you apply the approach of not letting the relaxation and attention process get interrupted; rather let the effects of these benefits implant in your body and mind as deeply as possible.

This is to say, the instant relaxation and inward attention happen at the same time when you follow the flow of your breath. Repeating this process—creating a constant rhythm out of the breathing and the attention—you create a process of meditation.

Keep your attention on the flow of your breath and see how the calmness of body and mind begin to rule your present moment. The longer you stay connected to your breathing, the stronger you’ll feel the benefit. Start with 3-5 minutes at a time without doing anything else, and increase to 10-20 minutes and onwards.

Can you think of a better, simpler and quicker exercise that can relax the body and improve attention in this way, at this speed?

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This benefit takes you to the second one.

The Second Benefit of Meditation

While still working with the first benefit of mediation, you slowly start to see the second benefit of mediation, which is fourfold. I call it the major value of mediation:

  1. Energy (physical and mental strength)
  2. Observance
  3. Peacefulness (stillness, and space of mind for deeper observation)
  4. Patience

Peacefulness is the source of a blissful life. The energy is the fuel to express that blissfulness. Whatever we want to accomplish in life we need: 1) Physical and mental strength, 2) Observance of that energy, 3) Peacefulness—the calmness and stillness that creates space for freedom of being and creative thinking, and 4) Patience for the process of accomplishment.

You can only get creative in thinking and boosted with physical and mental energy when you get in touch with the deepest levels of yourself—when you harmonize your mental and physiological activities. How do you do that? Let’s try it right now:

This step involves the observation of the two separate movements of your breath. After paying attention on your exhalation, you have prepared your body and mind to really see and feel what true peacefulness and true energy means.

1. Energy

Keep your attention on your inhalation (inhaling gently, deeply and lightly) and feel the new energy (new oxygen) flowing in your body. The inhalation is the symbol for aliveness and vitality. It is the the primary act that connects the baby’s body with the outside world after coming out of the womb[1]. Each inhalation is a new opportunity for your body to revive, regenerate, and renew itself.

2. Observance

The observance comes during the process of meditation, enabling you to see the physiological benefits of introducing new energy to your body. Use that benefit by utilizing its effects, and create deeper observation into yourself. With every single inhalation, this observation will enable you to generate even more energy, mentally and physically.

3. Peacefulness

Keep your attention on your exhalation, and feel how, out of the relaxation, peacefulness is spreading throughout your whole body. The exhalation is the symbol for relaxation and peacefulness. Only through meditation can you realize what absolute peacefulness means.

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4. Patience

The meditation delivers the previous benefits to you immediately and opens up the possibility for many other benefits and great virtues. A specific one to mention, which is essential for reaching the ultimate benefits of meditation, is patience. If you have experienced the aforementioned benefits, it means that you have invested a certain amount of patience into mastering yourself and your mind.

The Ultimate Benefits of Meditation

Patience is a key quality when it comes to the ultimate benefits of meditation.

Since the mind is the tool that reveals everything, mediation is the method for the proper utility of the tool.

The above mentioned benefits of mediation lead to the ultimate benefits of mediation—qualities that depict what makes a human being human. As you dwell in a meditative state of being, the following benefits begin to emanate:

  • Diligence: the persistence for righteous effort to reach an intrinsic value; inner strength.
  • Temperance: to express self-control and show excellence in managing the physio-biological and mental necessities
  • Courage: using righteous effort and braveness to look into the weaknesses of yourself and at the hardship of your life, endure it and patiently overcome the obstacles
  • Loving kindness and Compassion – a capacity to care, understand, and tolerate other people’s state of being, wishing them freedom from suffering.
  • Wisdom: the moment when you feel that mediation gives you the feeling and the knowledge that what you do relating to life and practical affairs is just.
  • Equanimity: that puts you in a state of composure, and you experience an ongoing blissful state of being.

These are the 6 ultimate benefits of meditation that put your body and mind in a state of health and balance.

Final Thoughts

Mediation exists to put order in your mind and awaken the best of you, to reconnect you to your goodness and your inborn intelligent capabilities.

Meditation is the window to your true Self. It gives you a panoramic view of your heart’s greatness. It shows you the true meaning of love, freeing you from the dungeons of ignorance and despair. The power of meditation dismantles the evil that’s trying to cloud the beauty of your heart.

Your heart, body, and soul are the bridge over which the challenges of life frequently carry their heavy load. Meditation is the support of that bridge. Make use of that support.

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Featured photo credit: Mor Shani via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Medline Plus: Changes in the newborn at birth

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