Be healthy without cutting everything out of your diet: 10 traveler’s tips to being healthy 0 18685

Lately, diet trends have been to cut out entire food groups deeming some too unhealthy to incorporate into your diet at all. You only need to travel to prove that eliminating food groups from your diet is unnecessary. The proof is in hundreds and thousands of years of food habits and traditions that exist in countries around the world. Traveling is a great way to assess lifestyle and eating habits around the world and develop a Rolodex of eating habits that can be incorporated into your day-to-day life. While it might not be possible to adapt every great lifestyle habit, like taking a famous Spanish siesta after lunch, into your day-to-day life, there is a lot to learn about diet from other countries. Since developing this arsenal of alternative eating habits takes some time, I’ve compiled a list of some that I’ve picked up from years of traveling and living abroad that I incorporate into my daily diet.

1. Balance & portion control

Stop cutting foods out of your diet and start learning to balance your diet and eat the appropriate quantity of food. You don’t have to stop eating carbs, meat, or gluten to maintain a healthy diet or even lose weight. Maintaining balance and portion control are the keys to eating what you want and being healthy. Italians eat pasta every single day, at least once per day, and as a population, Italians are usually named one of the most healthy in the world. Carbs are not the problem, but taking into account the portion you are consuming and what else you’re eating during the day is important. Ensure that you are also eating meat or fish, fruits, and vegetables, not simply carbs.

2. Big lunch and small dinner

Turn lunch and dinner upside-down. In most of North America, the largest meal of the day is in the evening, and lunch tends to be quick and small. In many other countries, I’ve visited the largest meal of the day is in the afternoon – not at night. After eating a large lunch, there is time to work off the energy throughout the day and leaves you needing a much smaller meal for dinner. I became accustomed to eating like this a few years ago after working in Spain and I and felt more energetic and happy – not to mention I lost weight quickly. I’ve managed to maintain this style of eating for a few years now and the weight has stayed off too.

3. Salad at the end of the meal

In Italy, they eat salad at the end of the meal, not the beginning. Eat leafy greens with nothing more than olive oil and vinegar or lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper, to help aid digestion after the meal.

4. Olive oil

Speaking of Italians, they have been named the most healthy country in the world by the Bloomberg Global Health Index due in part to the population’s high intake of olive oil. Raw olive oil drizzled over vegetables, bread, arugula, fish, and beans are some great ways to consume more olive oil.

5. Fruit

Eat fruit every day. This one can be difficult if you live somewhere where the fruit is less than interesting or not of very high quality. Living in Colombia I discovered my roommates always had a collection of fresh fruits like papaya, guanábana, and passion fruit and each morning they made fresh juice in a simple blender and, well, with almost every meal. In Italy and France, eating whatever fruit is in season after lunch or dinner is custom. I’ve once heard it’s best to eat fruit for breakfast but really as long as it is incorporated into your diet, it works.

6. Switch to unsalted butter

The first time I lived in Europe, I discovered that it is typically difficult to find salted butter. It is not very common for people to use. In fact, I had a really difficult time finding it in Portugal and Germany. You don’t have to cut out butter, but switch to unsalted, I promise you won’t miss salted butter, it’s so easy to add salt to your food and it will reduce your salt intake exponentially.

7. Bulgur

Living in Turkey, I discovered what is commonly called Bulgur Rice. It is not rice at all but cracked wheat, and incredibly healthy for you. Usually, it is really cheap, and it is quick and simple to cook. It is high in fiber and protein, rich in minerals, and low in fat and delicious when cooked with spices.

8. Eat fish

If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where there is good, inexpensive fish, eat fish at least once a week. Japan is the number one consumer of fish in the world and came out on top of the list of the World Health Organization (WHO) list of countries where people live to full health longest.

9. Eat cheese at the end of the meal

People have a preconceived notion that cheese is not good for you. I spent about three-and-a-half-years working in a cheese bar learning about its health benefits when quality cheese is consumed in moderation. Easier said than done, right? A trick I learned from living in France is to eat cheese at the end of the meal. This will ensure that you are full enough that you don’t eat the whole round of cheese in one sitting. In France and Italy, they eat cheese every day and are much healthier than North Americans on a whole.

10. Eat slow

Meals should be enjoyed and savored, never rushed. Eating slowly will allow your mind to catch up with your body in deciding if your full or not. Eating quickly leads to overeating. Just about every European culture makes time for each meal to be enjoyed. In Japan, it is typical to stop eating when they are starting to feel full and take a 10 minute break to determine if they are still hungry. So slow down, and enjoy your food, it’s not just healthy but great way to find relaxation in the day.

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Practice self-sacrifice: Things we can learn from Lent 0 10796

Lent, to be perfectly clear is a Christian practice. Although, anyone is welcome to try the tradition in honor of sacrifice. Lent is a tradition that involves fasting for forty days and nights in preparation for Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends with the Easter celebration.

I remember growing up in the Catholic church, my parents really took Lent seriously and they passed that will onto me. They would leave their ashes on for the entire day just to prove that they were serious about penance. Lent or Lenten-fasting is a Christian practice that involves depriving oneself of the things that are dear to him or her. It’s kind of a symbol to represent the kind of suffering that Christ endured in the wilderness. Although Lent is not for everyone, depriving oneself of some form of comfort is a good thing. Lent doesn’t just involve waiting for the sweets or food that Easter comes with; it requires depriving yourself of something that you are basically addicted to; something that takes some priority in your daily life; that is why it’s so symbolic.

Here are a few things that people typically deprives themselves of for a short while.

Focusing on your needs and not your wants

When I say this, I mean you should chin up and stop buying all the things that you want but don’t really need. Things like new phones and devices shouldn’t be your priority, not when you don’t really need them. This Lent you should try saving some extra money for a change, you might end up saving more money than you think. This little practice should span across everything you spend money on. For example, you can’t buy all the little things you set your sight on this Lenten fast.

Donating every day of the Lenten fast

Regardless of whether you are religious or not, giving should hold a special place in your life. We are blessed to be where we find ourselves today and should never forget those that aren’t as fortunate. This Lent, try to give as much as you can daily. It might be just a plate of soup or some old clothes, but it might be enough to put a smile on a person’s face.

 Gossiping

I know that most gossips don’t think they gossip. They just see their conversations as innocent gist sessions. It takes a lot of courage to admit that you are a gossip but a sure tell sign would be the feeling that what you are doing and saying might hurt someone. This Lent we should try to fight those habits that seem hurtful to others. After all, Lent is about repentance and penance, we should see the days of the lent fast as an intense confession and repentance session and try to break away from old destructive habits.

Limiting meal time to just three times a day

I think more than anything, Lent is about the tribulations that Jesus faced and overcame in the desert. So, its only appropriate that we too subject ourselves to similar conditions. Technically, limiting meal time to the standard three times a day doesn’t really compare to the kind of suffering that he endured in the wilderness, but I think that it’s a safe compromise. We should try to get closer to the savior this Easter by devoting more time to knowing him and curbing our eating habits. This meal limiting plan should cover just more than the conventional meal. It should also go in to cover other things like limiting your soda intake and junk food consumption.

Give up TV

This might seem impossible for some with unbelievable line-up of coming this spring. People easily forget that these great series will still be there a month after Easter. Television is inherently distracting. It’s practically impossible to stay focused on the Messiah when you are shacked up in front of the TV every night. This lent, you should try to disconnect from it all. Try minimizing your TV time and pick up something that is less distracting and more productive like prayer.

Pray this Lent

One of the major characteristics of a fast is constant prayer, this Lenten shouldn’t be any different. Try to devote some time to praying to him every day – it’s the most important part of the fast. You should put all that excess time from not watching TV to good use and try to really commune with him.

Here are a few things that we can change about ourselves this Lent that could help us improve our relationship. Lent, above everything else is about Jesus Christ. This little suggestion list allows us to effectively share in his experience and strengthen our relationship.

Getting your kids to read this summer 0 64751

Summer means different things for different people. For twenty-year-old’s, it’s the time to work and party; for parents, it’s the time to hold neighborhood events and start saving up, and for kids, it’s the time to kick back and finally have some fun. School’s out! 😃 It’s that one time of the year when they can go to the beach and hang out with all their friends without worrying about some project or homework. For them, the entire summer is all about having fun, and as a parent, it’s your sacred duty to balance fun with continuing education. You might even be able to replace “fun” with something more rewarding – like reading!

Knowledge attained outside the classroom tends to stick around longer

You don’t want to be the “uncool” parent that forces your kid to do something school-related during the summer, but you don’t really have that much of choice, here’s why. The lessons that really stick with you long after you finish school are the ones that you learned when you didn’t really have to.

The knowledge that is acquired without some form of ultimatum or consequence always leaves a lasting impression. It also introduces you to a new side of knowledge that is not purely scholarly.

Reading is right for you regardless of what it is that you decide to read – obviously you will have to control your kids’ intake in your spare time. Reading strengthens the mind, and continual learning increases the speed at which you assimilate and process information. Just imagine the kind of impact a fantastic reading speed could have on your kid educational future. You could be adequately preparing them for a future in academia.

Exposure

The reward of “ruining” their obsessively fun summer will be some exposure to other subjects and topics that are unfamiliar to them. Recreational reading could be very instrumental in building up their overall personality. Plus, proper exposure ensures that they have enough information to make smarter and more informed decisions at a tender age.

It can teach them to research and ask questions

Summer reading could form the basis of a voracious reading habit that could beautifully complement their curiosity. It’s not every kid that thinks about something strange that eventually go on to investigate, summer reading could introduce them to the concept of research.

How to get your kids to read during the summer

It’s easy to talk about getting your kids to read during the summer, getting them to do it another issue entirely.

Kids can be especially stubborn or pigheaded when you are trying to force them to do what they simply have no interest in. The only way to have them do what you want the right way is to either introduce a reward system or trick them that it’s all their idea. Local library’s often offer summer reading lists per age group.

Reward system

Are you having a hard time getting your kid to do anything you want? Wait patiently, there is always something they’ll want, and you can use that to get what you want – in this case, it’s a healthy reading habit.

When they come to you with a ridiculous demand, you can propose a fair trade that will engage their mind and keep it focused on a book that you’ll recommend. You can even choose to deliver the reward after the completion of several books, that way, you are getting the most out of your deal.

You can also choose to limit or restrict play time, and the completion of a certain number of pages could be the requirement they must fulfill before they are allowed to play again.

Making them think it’s their idea

In my experience, people are always more motivated to complete a project that they believe to be totally theirs. When it’s your plan, you just tend to pay more attention to it, it’s like you want to prove something to yourself and others around you. Adults think this way, and so do kids. They can be pretty devoted to completing a book they just accidentally stumbled upon or saw you flip through.

Sometimes you don’t have to be so obvious or aggressive, you could give a rousing speech about reading and hand them a book that you know that they’ll enjoy and leave the rest to them.

The summertime doesn’t have to all about vacations and parties, it could also be an opportunity for your kid to develop a reasonably analytical mind.

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