Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today is the first day of the rest of my life

I have decided that today will be the first day of the rest of my life. I need to stop stalling and taking those steps I keep planning to, so today seems like a good day to do just that. This is my blog of my journey toward health and wholeness.

In an attempt to lose weight, lower my triglycerides and blood pressure, I am following the DASH diet, one I have tweaked for my veganism.

I started it by eating a peanut butter sandwich and a handful of chips, a serving of peaches with 1/2 t. of cinnamon sprinkled on top. 24 oz. of water and a cup of chai white tea. Supper is Mixed Onion Soup with mixed vegetables and French bread. No time for snacks today what with schedules, but I did munch on a small handful of raw cashews.

I love tea, and try to drink it often during the day, either hot or iced. Since today it was a white tea, I thought I would share some information about the health benefits of white tea. A 2004 study at Pace University concluded that white tea can help your body’s immune system fight off viruses and dangerous infection-causing bacteria. The same study concluded that fluoride-rich white tea helps prevent the growth of dental plaque, the chief cause of tooth decay.
There are many studies that have shown that tea, including white tea, can help to slightly thin the blood and keep your arteries in healthy shape. By thinning the blood, it can help lower blood pressure to safe levels, and promote healthy and free flowing blood vessels that can't get clogged as easily, thus reducing the chance of stroke and heart attack. By thinning your blood, lowering your bad cholesterol levels, promoting healthy arteries and preventing them from hardening, as well as reducing blood pressure, white tea can help protect your heart and prevent heart attack, as well as promote a healthy circulatory system throughout your body. Scientific researchers have noticed that people whom consume 2 or more of a quality white tea per day are more than 50% less likely to suffer from a deadly heart attack. White tea is extremely helpful within your body! White tea has even more benefits for your body and overall health! It can help to reduce high blood sugar, and thus help prevent or reduce the symptoms of diabetes. White tea will also reduce the workload on your body by giving a helping hand, thus improving your energy and reducing stress.

Exercise is critical, at least for me. I did 60 crunches and 20 minutes of yoga. Walked 32 minutes and 7 minutes of eye exercises. Lifted weights (dumbbells) and did 12 more minutes of yoga.

To kickstart my spiritual yearnings, I pulled the Page of Cups card from my Housewives Tarot deck. The Page of Cups advises nurturing relationships, so I will focus on being positive for my family. Because today honors Aine, for supper I am making a Mixed Onion Soup.

Mixed Onion Soup

Olive oil
2 1/2 cups chopped white onions
2 1/2 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only; about 3 medium)
2 1/2 cups chopped red onions
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups dry red wine
7 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
cashew cream*

Add olive oil to heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add white onions, leeks, red onions, garlic and shallot to pot. Cook until vegetables are dark brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Add flour and stir 1 minute. Gradually mix in wine. Boil mixture until very thick, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Gradually mix in stock; add thyme and rosemary and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes. Add cream; simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
*Cashew Cream - 1/2 c. raw cashews and 1 c. water - run through food processor.

Goddess of The Day - AINE

Zibelemarit (Switzerland)

Themes: Protection; Healing; Divination; Luck; Earth; Moon.
Symbols: Moon (lunar items); Silver and White Items; Meadowsweet.

About Aine: This Celtic Goddess of the Moon shines on today's celebration, her name meaning "bright." Aine has strong connections with the land. Her blessing ensures fertile fields. She also gives luck to mortals and keeps us healthy.

To Do Today: Dating back to the 1400's this onion festival takes place in Bern. It includes several parades with intricate mechanical figurines and huge harvest festival with - you guessed it - tons of onions! Magickally speaking, onions are closely related to Aine because of their lunar appearance. According to metaphysical traditions, carrying or growing onions grants safety and banishes negativity.

A freshly cut onion rubbed on sores, bug bits, or scratches restores Aine's healthy energy by gathering the problem and taking it away. Bury or burn this slice to dispel the problem altogether.

One great (and tasty) way to invoke Aine, improve well-being, and improve your lunar attributes is by making and eating onion soup (or any other onion dish) today. Use red, Spanish, white, and cooking onions along with chives. By heating and blending them, you mix the magick to perfection. Stir clockwise, whispering Aine's name into the soup so she abides in each vitality-laden sip.

By Patricia Telesco ~ From "365 Goddess"

Although a focus is often placed on structured physical activity (e.g. spending 45 minutes on a treadmill 5 days a week), it is far from the only component of daily energy expenditure. In fact, your total energy expenditure consists of your resting metabolic rate (your “metabolism”), the thermic effect of food (the energy needed to digest your food) and active energy expenditure (energy used to move your body). Active energy expenditure includes structured physical activity, but also includes unstructured activities such as walking, standing, and even sitting (remember that anything that requires muscle contractions also requires energy). Collectively, these unstructured activities are referred to as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) and include all activity-related energy expenditure that is not purposeful exercise.
James Levine, professor of medicine from the Mayo Clinic, claims the calories we burn when we’re not working up a sweat are an important part of the weight-loss equation. He goes on to add that ”When the energetic cost of non-work mechanization is estimated experimentally it approximates to 100-200 kcal/day; a caloric deficit that potentially could account for the entire obesity epidemic.” Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, or NEAT as Levine dubs it, refers to the calories you burn living your life: doing the laundry, making your bed, mowing the lawn. The more active you are the less likely you are to put on weight. “People who can switch on their NEAT are able to remain thin, despite periods of overfeeding,” says Levine. The trick is to become more active in your day-to-day life.
I’m sure you have read articles suggesting that eating just 100 calories less a day would make a significant difference in your losing weight. Well a little more attention to your daily low-level activity will at least accomplish the same effect with caloric burn, or perhaps simmer is a better word.

Trying to keep moving, I did laundry and a load of dishes in the dishwasher. I have a two story, so several trips up and down the stairs no doubt helped!

1 comment:

  1. Thats so awesome.. i will enjoy reading your journey to wellness and maybe steal some recipes and whatnot! You go girl!!~ ♥


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