3 TED Talks on Health To Fascinate and Inspire You

Some people really like to talk. And, TED Talks was cleverly created to harness all that talking and innovation and put it in one place for us all to access for free.  Many new ideas, interesting angles and inspirational thinking on a vast array of topics is available with a simple click.  It is a generous world!

I wrote about TV and movies recently and how your choices could be affecting your health, but I want to introduce you (if you have not established a relationship already) to TED Talks. But, this is TED talks-health, and these people talking have loads of creative, fascinating information and wonderful stories to tell regarding health.

How To Create TIme to Listen To TED Talks and Videos

I usually have a hard time just sitting there watching a video at my desk, as interesting as it may be.  I typically find myself wanting to do something.  So, that is what I do -- I do something while I listen. Here are some ideas of how I create time for TED talks or other videos to get inspired or introduce myself to new ideas and information:
  • While I am cooking: I set up my laptop on the kitchen counter and start stirring. 
  • When I am getting dressed in the morning: Why not start the day with some great ideas?
  • When I am folding laundry and cleaning: Take a mundane task and make it inspiring.
  • Paying bills: Why not have some fun while depleting the bank account.
  • Organizing a closet or drawers: I love to open a closet and drawer and find what I need.

Watch and Be Amazed: 3 TED Talks on Health

Here are three TED talks on health that I listened to lately and really enjoyed. I think you might, too.

1.   I begin with The Future of Medicine.  I am cheating here as I said 3 TED talks but I sneaked in many more as this is actually a series of TED talks from which you may choose. These presenters illustrate an amazing medical future that I could get excited about. I am forever grateful for these great minds and talents that could be bringing it to us.  Listen to how the future could hold surgery without any cutting, creating organs from 3D printers and inexpensive ways of saving infants with little access to good medical care around the world.

2.  I promise you, you will love this woman and be inspired by the story of Australian cross-country skier Janine Shepherd during her talk A Broken Body Isn't A Broken Person. She had hoped for an Olympic medal, but was hit by a truck during a training bike ride creating massive life-threatening injuries. Through her miraculous recovery, she learns all about the human drive to come back, how to not define yourself by your body and to make room for new dreams to soar.  I loved her amazing recovery story, her spirit, her accent and her humor! You will, too! I know it.

3.  I am pretty sure you have heard of Jamie Oliver.  I watched him a very long ago when he had a TV show as a teenager feeding his British friends.  (I secretly wished I had had a cool friend that cooked for me like he did!) Jamie has moved on to other projects now and has taken on the noble task of leading an anti-obesity program for kids and making food education a priority.  Listen to Jamie's great ideas on How to Teach Every Child About Food

Do you have a favorite video or TED talk you find inspiring or helpful?  Please share it in the comments!

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photo credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/alessandropinna/4632026331/">Alessandro Pinna</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>


Are Your TV and Movie Choices Affecting Your Health?

man searching huge  tv screen for program to watch

I shut my eyes and cover my ears during a lot of TV programming lately. My family has come to accept this part of me, but a few friends tease me about it. But, I ask them - am I really the strange one? It is almost impossible to turn on the television now without being barraged with negative imagery, characters and stories.  The violence in the world appears to be at an all time high worldwide. It is difficult to keep up with the latest horrific event or act of violence.  And, as far as the movies -- filmmakers leave nothing to our imagination.  They want to fill in all the blanks.

As much as you would choose not to socialize or engage in conversation with someone that has dark or violent tendencies, why do we allow them in our home so often and more importantly in our minds via the television or the movies?  I get the world is not a perfect place with lots of ugly, complicated struggles and to portray it realistically, artists and newscasters want to show the raw footage.  I am a big follower of the news myself, but the effects over time of viewing it so often and so graphically, I think can be damaging.

Too much TV viewing can possibly even decrease our attention spans. Further, studies show it can make children more fearful, insensitive and maybe even more aggressive. That negativity just seeps in our psyche affecting our moods, the way we interact with others and our health -- all without us even realizing it.

How to Make Better TV and Movie Choices For Your Health

Take charge, protect yourself and those young minds being shaped each day in your family and put up some barriers to the destructiveness that can sometimes be so upfront on TV and at the movies. Here are a few ideas on how to do just that as well as maybe even decreasing your time in front of the TV in the first place:

It's your life.  You owe it to yourself to create your life -  not passively watching someone else's on TV hour after hour.  If you decrease your television watching and work on your own development, you will be far more interesting than some other character on the TV.  You have a lot to offer, so offer it.

No surfing.  Choose your programming ahead of time. Don't watch TV just to fill your time or help you relax by viewing whatever happens to be showing. Get out the guide, plan ahead to see what you want to see that week and record it.  Let your children choose as well (as long as you approve of the program).  Recording programming and movies allows you to skip the commercials that carry negative messaging as well.  And you are taking less time to watch TV because you have effectively deleted the commercials.  Once the recording is over, turn it off.  Don't switch to surfing.


15 Healthy Things To Do When You Are Waiting

"Patience is not simply the ability to wait - it's how we behave while we're waiting."
  Joyce Meyer

At some point we all encounter it: waiting,  In fact, there is even a room named after it -- the waiting room.  But, all our waiting does not occur just there. We do a lot of waiting in our cars, in store lines, on hold on the phone at home, at the airports, outside for buses and trains, and even for friends to show up.

Yes, a lot of waiting and it sure feels like a a lot of time is wasted. But, it is inevitable at times, so let's make the best of it, shall we?

Still Waiting? 

The line hasn't moved? Oh well! Try one of these healthy moves next time you find yourself waiting and waiting and waiting some more . . .

1.  Meditate.  Yup, even five minute increments will do, and here is just how to go about it.

2.  Let loose.  Make a list of every positive action you want to take over the next three months for a better, healthier life.  Let your thoughts flow. Just keep writing. Go back and assess it later.

3.  Give a kind message.  Text three friends or family members and give them a positive message.  Even a simple, "I am thinking about you!" is pretty nice!

4.  Cut a move.  If no one is looking. do some lunges, even a push-up or two.  Want something a little less rigorous? There are loads of simple stretches here.


Discover Great Starts To Healthy Soup Making

Get out your soup spoons, everyone, as I believe we have officially hit soup season! There is nothing like a nourishing, steamy bowl to take the chill off and make you feel cozy and full.  It certainly is one of my favorite ways to eat a healthy meal!  But, how do those great, healthy soups all begin? Besides digging out your favorite stock pot or extra large ladle, what do most soup recipes call for up front?

A mirepoix, a soffritto or maybe even a "Holy Trinity?"  Call them what you want, but they all are a convivial gathering of aromatics, occasional herbs and spices and usually a bit of fat to get the party started. These various flavor combinations go by different names in different cuisines, but they always play an upfront role in how that soup turns out. They provide a foundation of flavor to distinguish it from one healthy pot to another.

How to Make a Flavor Base 

Most flavor bases from around the world break down into three or four aromatic vegetables, sometimes herbs, and occasionally a small bit of fat. Asian cuisines often add freshly ground spices as well. The vegetables, cut into uniform small pieces, make up the largest part of the flavor base and are typically given a slow, easy start over low heat to extract the flavor.  It is then enriched with the herbs and spices, if using.

Perhaps the most recognized trio may be the French mirepoix of onion, carrots and celery. Watch this quick video from Mario Batali on how to create the classic mirepoix. Cooking in any country has many variations of their flavor bases, as well as cooks adding their flair to the pot, just to keep things interesting.

10 International Cuisine Trios

Here are some of the most commonly known flavor bases to give a cultural boost to your next bowl of chicken soup or will it become a Vietnamese Pho Ga or perhaps even a Mexican Posole Verde this week . . .

1.  Portuguese:  Right out of the gate, I introduce the rebel with a cuisine that usually starts with four vegetables as a base than the typical three: onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes.

2.  Cajun/Creole:  Often referred to as the "Holy Trinity," onion, bell pepper, and celery make up the base for many classic gumbos.


Sleep Like A Baby: Night Time Routines

Oh, the bliss of a good night's sleep like this darling one!  For those of you who have children or care for children or are around others that do, we all are aware of the critical bedtime routine you take with them to get them ready for sleep time.  So, when did that stop, I ask? Why don't we continue with that self care to get ready for slumber?

For me, that requires some work! An active mind is what I have.  I appear relaxed and mellow, but inside my brain is firing away.  Noticing that.  Thinking this.  Analyzing how best to go about something. Wondering about, curious about, well . . . just about anything!

Everyone has a lot going on, but I have discovered some are better at shutting it off than others. I am not a member of that group.  I would call myself inquisitive as a lot of things, people and places interest me and get me thinking.   My relationships mean everything to me so I put a lot of thought into them as well.  So, I think. and think some more.  A lot.  Ask my husband, my children. They will tell you.

This brings me to my night time routines that I need to do to rest the brain from all that thinking!  I wrote about designing a restful bedroom here and it is absolutely helpful in getting great shut-eye, but for thinkers like me, we have to do more.

Do's and Don'ts Before Bedtime

Here are the things I try to do before bedtime and the actions I try not to take too close to bedtime to try to sleep like a baby or at least close to it:

Create daytime movement.  When I exercise regularly, I sleep better.  But other than an after dinner walk, I try not to do any big exercise routine too close to bedtime. For some, it can make you more awake. But. some studies are saying for others, however, it does not matter.

Pick your channels.   I try to avoid violent or doomsday television programming or movies at night. I am not always successful at that as watching the news lately falls in that category! But, I do get wrapped up in them and find them alarming.  Instead, I try to select funny or relaxing shows to wind down.  Or, I read as well.


7 Easy Ways to Design A Restful Bedroom

Your bedroom should be an area of rest, should it not? It is your personal area of restorative space where you slumber and revitalize yourself for the next day. It is also a room where you could safely say you spend the most time because those eight hours of nod (or thereabouts) can add up to a big chunk of your life.

With so much time spent there, it makes sense to make is a hazard-free, health promoting space.  It really is not a big task and, in fact, a few of the tips listed here are free!  These easy steps can be done right away or a bit over time to make it that area of your home that you can safely and surely rest easy!

Hot to Create a Health Promoting Bedroom

Follow these easy ways to purge your bedroom of health hazards and create a revitalizing, dream-promoting space:

Suds up.  Got a favorite pillow? Great, but best keep it that way. Wash those pillows regularly along with your sheets to keep those germs, bacteria, dust mites and other allergens away.  Here is information on how to best wash your bed pillow.  

In the market for a new one as your pillow is not giving you the support you need for a restful sleep? Check out what to look for here and where to shop for one.

Color a restful hue.  Blue appears to be the color of choice for a rest-inducing bedroom. But, keep those paints free of volatile organic compounds (VOC) to keep the toxic load low.


How to Make Your Best First Impressions

The connections that we form with others can play a big, big part in leading a healthy and meaningful life.  And, all those connections had to began somewhere, sometime. Those first impressions you formulated of someone and they of you may have given an indication of wanting to learn more . . .  or not. And, maybe those first impressions then led to some pretty great and lasting relationships . . . or not.

So, think back to your first impressions of those that are a large part of your life now. Were they off to a good start?  What about you? Do you think you gave a good first impression to them? Or, have you ever wished for a "redo" on those first encounters?

Studies say those first impressions are hard to erase.  Thus, with that in mind,  I gathered some commonalities of how some of those first impressions that have gone well not only for myself but what others have done with me to provide an especially positive experience. Read on and let me know what you think.

Bring Out Your Best: Nine Tips When First Meeting Someone

Perhaps these actions at social situations could help you bring out your best side and make a lasting impression of the especially positive kind:

1.  Smile warmly.  Who can resist an engaging smile? Not an overdone grin, but just "I am really happy to meet you smile."

2.  Keep the gaze.  Don't look down or over there. And, a sure way to make someone feel annoyed and insignificant is to look over someone's shoulder searching the room at a party for someone else more influential to go to next. Nope. Look people in the eye with that warm smile and forget about the other people nearby.

3.  Be yourself.  It really is the easiest, is it not?  Don't pretend or put on airs.  And, besides, that can be exhausting, keeping up a disingenuous act that is usually quite transparent anyway.


Create Easy, Delicious Clean Eats All Day

We all need inspiration sometimes. And, I received just that in the kitchen when I reached for Clean Eats, a book I reviewed here. All of the dishes below come directly inspired by Dr. Junger's book. I have not enjoyed a cookbook as much as this one in a long time.

You can find the original recipes in the book. (See the page number next to the adapted recipe below.) But, I made a several changes and adapted them based more than anything on what I had already in my kitchen or my family's preferences.

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner with Clean Eats

Wouldn't it be fun to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with Dr. Junger and his program staff to learn more about the clean eating approach? Or . . . we can create a bit of it right here at home.

Here we go -- a day of Clean Eats: breakfast, lunch and dinner!

First up, a great way to start your day . . .

The original recipe calls for pumpkin, which I think would be delicious, too.  However, I used plain mashed sweet potatoes I had from dinner the night before. I also took liberty with changing a few spices and the amounts around and used almond milk instead of coconut milk as that is what I had as well. I also warmed the blueberries in with the porridge to soften them a bit rather than creating a topping with them.


Book Look: Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger, M.D.

With the abundance of healthy food bloggers for inspiration, I do not turn to cookbooks for ideas as much as I used to.  In fact, many of my beautiful cookbooks sit rather dusty on my shelf.   But, I had heard so many good things about Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger, M.D., I ordered a copy this past summer, and it has not disappointed. Not in the least. And, I promise not to let it get dusty for long!

Why I Would Recommend Clean Eats by Alejandro Junger, M.D.

Yes, Clean Eats was on my summer reading list and it was a great choice.  Here are some of the reasons why:
  • If you are new to clean eating or healthier eating practices, the tone of the book is welcoming and not intimidating at all.  Yes, it espouses clean eating and what that means so you won't find processed foods, unhealthy fats, refined grains, etc. in the ingredient lists.  However, it is done in such a positive, gentle and inspiring way, it motivates you to be better and do better for you and those you feed.
  • The recipes are abundant (over 200) and there is something for everyone: vegetarians, vegans and meat eaters, too.  Plenty, if not most, recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free as well.
  • The recipes are easy to follow and not complicated.
  • The recipes I tried taste great and they were fun to make.
  • If you are into specific meal plans, several are offered.
  • It is organized well and written well.
  • I especially enjoyed the wonderful "big picture" essays on clean eating and what that actually means by many leading in the field. There are many recipe contributions from names you may recognize as well.