Mindful Breathing

We do it all the time. Breath that is.  Sounds easy enough, right?  Here is a simple exercise to help you focus on being more mindful.

  1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed.  Inhale slowly and deeply through your nostrils and hold up to 5 seconds then exhale slowly through your mouth.
  2. Tune into your body and try to relax any tense areas.  Keep practicing your breathing.
  3. Feel your chest rising and falling, the air passing through your body.
  4. Notice your mind if it wanders.  It is normal to be distracted for those stray thoughts, but when you notice them, gently return your focus back to your breathing
  5. Breathe mindfully for a few minutes and gently return your focus back to your whole body, relaxing even deeper.  When you are ready, open your eyes  and take a moment to appreciate yourself for the quiet time.
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Stuffed Eggplants

Stuffed Eggplants

Serves 6

Olive oil
3 Italian eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 medium red onion, diced finely
2 twigs of thyme
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tomatoes, cored and diced
1 bay leaf
1 cup cooked basmati brown rice
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
1 tbsp chopped basil
¼ cup chopped walnut kernels
¾ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 tbsp fine breadcrumbs
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper brushed with olive oil; set aside.

Score the cut sides of the eggplants in a crosshatch pattern. Place the eggplants, cut sides down, on the sheet. Bake them for 10 minutes or until slightly tender and browned. Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Scoop the flesh of the eggplants out carefully, leaving a ½-inch shell. Dice the flesh; set aside.

In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When warm, add the onion and thyme, and cook for 2 minutes, without browning. Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and the sauce is slightly reduced. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a bowl. Discard the thyme and bay leaf, and stir in the rice, herbs, walnuts, and Parmesan cheese. Stuff the eggplants with this mixture. Top with the breadcrumbs and feta cheese and place on the baking sheet again. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with a side mixed salad.

This recipe also appeared in the October 2014 issue of Mindful magazine.

Recipes and photograph by Béatrice Peltre

Be Adventurous!

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At times, monotony can seep into our everyday lives if we let it. Our schedule is on repeat, week after week, and as we go through the motions, we see our days and weeks slip right through our fingers unknowingly. One of the main reasons for this is we mindlessly go through the motions. We go on autopilot when we’re so used to our schedule, our work, our commute home.

Give something new a try. Go about your days this week as if you are a stranger in your hometown, a visitor on vacation. See how you seek out new experiences, soak up the surroundings differently, and see how different it makes you feel. Adventures are in our everyday details if we let them be.

#trysomethingnew   #divinereflectionswellness   #makeitanadventure

Re-Evaluate Your Priorities

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What have you noticed lately that may be slipping from your grasp?  Have you been so busy you’ve spent less time with your kids, friends, family than you are comfortable with?  Are you working on a deadline and you’ve been cooped up in your office for weeks, with no free time?

It may not be that extreme, but chances are, there’s something out of line in your priorities that you’ve been hoping to change.  What is that?

I tend to procrastinate which causes chaos and leaves me feeling out of control.  I am working hard to find ways to organize and reduce the feeling of overwhelm that I endear because of it.  There are many online apps that can be used for this.  What is yours?

Now, about you.  Let’s just start with that first thing that popped into your mind.  The very first thing you thought of when you read this post.

How can you begin motion on changing that, starting tomorrow?

It doesn’t have to be some huge overhaul, which can feel very overwhelming.  But what can you start to do to make some changes that will last?

 

Ways To Boost Metabolism

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Metabolism — we all want to have a strong and quick one, but it takes some work to achieve a healthy metabolism.  It’s affected by what we eat, how we sleep, our hormones, exercise, and many other aspects of our overall well being.

In fact, some specific foods can help boost your metabolism.

Keep the following foods on your plate: avocado, spinach, green tea, coconut oil, and almonds.  These only name a few, but the options listed here are versatile foods that can easily be added to almost any meal.

If you’re in need of a new workout routine, do some research on HIIT workouts that may fit your desires.  These exercises can be done just about anywhere, making them incredibly feasible for fitting into anyone’s schedule.

There are a slew of things you can do to boost your metabolism, but starting with these small changes can start you down a long-term path to a healthy metabolism.

What HIIT workout is your favorite?  I have just begun to explore these workouts and am looking forward to starting.

 

The Pressure Of Perfection

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When you think of your idea of perfection, trace back to where those thoughts came from.  Are these thoughts actually things you believe, or were you taught to think that’s what you need to do or have to achieve perfection?

We’re taught a lot of things in society and by the people that raise us.  Some things are so deeply ingrained in us that we don’t realize until we take a good look that we don’t personally hold those thoughts or beliefs.  A lot of the time, these ingrained views or opinions have to do with what our life should look like.

So, let me ask you.

What does YOUR perfect life look like?

(Keeping in mind, of course, perfection isn’t attainable!)

Maybe you don’t want to be at the top of the corporate ladder.

Maybe you don’t want to vacation in Aruba.

Maybe you aren’t interested in being a parent.

What does your idea of your most fantastic life look like?

 

Do You Plan For This?

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The new year brings resolutions to finally go to the gym regularly and to

get your health in order.  It’s no surprise to you to hear that the vast majority of those

resolutions are dropped by spring (or even late January, early February!) — but why?

 

I truly believe it is planning.  It’s the exact reason why my exercise routine goes dormant,

and it’s probably why yours does too.  It’s tough to change our habits and routines, and

most of all, it’s hard to fit one more thing into our schedule.  Don’t you agree?

 

That’s the thing.  If it’s not on your schedule, it’s not going to get done.  Do you have your

exercise, whether it be walking, jogging, yoga, dance, a workout at the gym — is it on your

schedule?  Is there a time for it, where you know that time is carved out?

If not, fit it into your schedule this week.  Make it achievable — if you’re slammed at work

this week, write in a 15-minute walk on your lunch break.  Don’t give up altogether

because you don’t have an hour and a half to hit the gym.  Good luck!