Relax: It's 2019!
Weight Loss According to Jeff Cohn
So my goal over the past year has been to loose at least 25-30 pounds. The wine industry is incredible for great food and of course wine at every event you attend. A recipe for disaster, especially for a guy who is never about moderation. So, over the course of the year, I started watching my consumption of wine and food. Making sure to eat way more proteins and fruits and vegetables. Then, of course, making sure to get at least an hour of exercise on a daily basis.
Balance is also key. If I know that I will be attending an event, that I am sure to slightly over indulge, I try to eat lighter during the day and do a little more exercise. In the end its all about watching what you consume.
I am a carboholic! Everyone who knows me can tell you my biggest addiction is chocolate, and then, bread. Life could not exist for me without these two. We all have guilty pleasures and should continue to have them, but not as often. This way, they become that much more special. I love the finest dark chocolate, but give me a frozen Snickers bar and my life is good.
The holidays have been a challenge for me and yes, I put on a few pounds (it’s the holidays), but now I am getting back on track. Eating more protein and watching my carbs. Very much like a reset button in starting on January 1st.
So live life large, but keep it balanced,
SIX RELAXATION TECHNIQUES ACCORDING TO HARVARD
Following are six relaxation techniques that can help you evoke the relaxation response and reduce stress.
1. Breath focus. In this simple, powerful technique, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, you gently disengage your mind from distracting thoughts and sensations. Breath focus can be especially helpful for people with eating disorders to help them focus on their bodies in a more positive way. However, this technique may not be appropriate for those with health problems that make breathing difficult, such as respiratory ailments or heart failure.
2. Body scan. This technique blends breath focus with progressive muscle relaxation. After a few minutes of deep breathing, you focus on one part of the body or group of muscles at a time and mentally releasing any physical tension you feel there. A body scan can help boost your awareness of the mind-body connection. If you have had a recent surgery that affects your body image or other difficulties with body image, this technique may be less helpful for you.
3. Guided imagery. For this technique, you conjure up soothing scenes, places, or experiences in your mind to help you relax and focus. You can find free apps and online recordings of calming scenes—just make sure to choose imagery you find soothing and that has personal significance. Guided imagery may help you reinforce a positive vision of yourself, but it can be difficult for those who have intrusive thoughts or find it hard to conjure up mental images.
4. Mindfulness meditation. This practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your mind's attention to the present moment without drifting into concerns about the past or the future. This form of meditation has enjoyed increasing popularity in recent years. Research suggests it may be helpful for people with anxiety, depression, and pain.
5. Yoga, tai chi, and qigong. These three ancient arts combine rhythmic breathing with a series of postures or flowing movements. The physical aspects of these practices offer a mental focus that can help distract you from racing thoughts. They can also enhance your flexibility and balance. But if you are not normally active, have health problems, or a painful or disabling condition, these relaxation techniques might be too challenging. Check with your doctor before starting them.
6. Repetitive prayer. For this technique, you silently repeat a short prayer or phrase from a prayer while practicing breath focus. This method may be especially appealing if religion or spirituality is meaningful to you.
Rather than choosing just one technique, experts recommend sampling several to see which one works best for you. Try to practice for at least 20 minutes a day, although even just a few minutes can help. But the longer and the more often you practice these relaxation techniques, the greater the benefits and the more you can reduce stress.
QUICK CASSOULET RECIPE--Pair with our Iron Hill Zinfandel!
Prep: 15 m
Cook: 15 m
Ready In: 30 m
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic; cook and stir for a few minutes, until the onion is transparent. Add the sausage to the skillet, and cook for a few more minutes to brown. Pour in the kidney beans, cannellini beans and tomatoes, and season with the bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaves and discard. Sprinkle parsley over the top, and serve. Delicious when served with French Bread.
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