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Five Food Preparation Tips to Support Good Health

Five Food Preparation Tips to Support Good Health

These days we hear a lot about what we should be eating. Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, Mediterranean, DASH diet — all of these terms are probably familiar to most of us.

But what about HOW food is cooked? This doesn't get as much attention, but there has been some fascinating research done on what cooking methods are the healthiest.

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Are You Due For A Tune-Up?

Are You Due For A Tune-Up?

Yesterday, my husband took our car in for a tune-up and oil change. This happens periodically, of course, and I notice that the frequency is somewhat predictable. We have a number of triggers that let us know when it is time for "car care".

If you're a car owner you know what I'm talking about. Your car maintenance schedule is kept on track by a set of rules related to events in the life of your vehicle, such as the number of miles or months between recommended oil changes. In accordance with these rules, there are reminders:

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5 Ways to Mind Your Microbiome

5 Ways to Mind Your Microbiome

If you're like me, you grew up thinking of all microorganisms as "germs" and something to be avoided at all costs. Wow, have things changed! While it is true that some microbes cause disease, we now know that each one of us is walking around with about 100 trillion microorganisms on board - outnumbering our cells 10 to 1 and adding between 2 and 5 pounds to our body weight.

We used to view our relationship with these tiny beings from an antagonistic, "us-vs-them" perspective. Now, we understand that our "microbiome" is more like an eco-system which we are only beginning to explore, and that we are dependent on this system for some important functions. Among other things, micro-organisms help us digest food, synthesize vitamins, regulate glucose, and maintain a healthy immune system.

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Spring into a New Beginning

Spring into a New Beginning

iStock 000021379368XSmallIt won't be long now before the coming of spring – that hopeful time of year when new beginnings are all around us. It is a time of energy and growth for many of us, and it brings a welcome change of pace from the more reflective mood of the winter months.

Before you "spring into spring" though, I encourage you to take some time to be thoughtful about where you will put your energy. It's no secret that our culture here in the U.S. promotes us to be overly busy. There is always more "to do"! Optimal self-care invites us to take strategic actions that are aligned with our vision and values. When we are clear about what we want to create in our lives, and what is most important to us, it becomes easier for us to know what actions are appropriate.

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Flourishing

Flourishing

It is early January and after a busy holiday season, a winter stillness is in the air. I just brought in a box of fresh produce, kindly delivered by a business that supports local farmers, and I am feeling grateful for anything fresh that can be grown in these shorter, colder days. If you ride around the North Carolina countryside this time of year, many fields are lying fallow – resting and waiting for spring.

Just two years ago, my family was in a very different situation. Living near the equator in northeastern Brazil, the days were always warm and long enough to grow an abundance of produce, as long as enough water was available. In fact, farmers there had to be careful not to wear out their soil. They constantly had to add rich compost back to their gardens so that they could continue to produce, day-in and day-out.

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Sand Castles

Sand Castles

This weekend, our family enjoyed a visit to the beach with my parents. It was a short trip, but the weather was glorious, and we packed some of our favorite beach activities into the time that we had together.

We spent a good bit of the day on Saturday engaged in a big sandcastle project. My younger daughter, Kyra, got us started, and before long we were all engaged in some aspect of its construction. As we worked, it was evident that we were all cognizant that, sooner or later, the tide would rise and our work would be undone. Nonetheless, we undertook the project with great gusto. As we worked, I couldn't help but notice where each of us chose to apply our energies.

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