Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quinoa Pilaf Recipe

Quinoa is an ancient seed from South America. It is like a grain but technically it is a seed. It can be used in much the same way as rice. The following recipe is one that I make often. It is very versatile. Think of this recipe as a base that can be changed according to your tastes and flights of fancy. In fact this recipe is an adaptation of a different recipe that I have long lost track of.

Quinoa Pilaf

If you like to soak your seeds and grains before cooking them, then soak 1 cup
quinoa in 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar overnight. This neutralises any anti nutrients that may be in the seeds, making the nutrients more bio available. This is not something that is just for quinoa but is recommended for all seeds and grains. However it cooks just the same if you don't do this.

Put some extra virgin olive oil, or coconut oil in a saucepan. Lightly cook cut up onion, carrot and celery. Add 1 teaspoon cumin and 1 teaspoon
coriander. Sometimes I also add 1 teaspoon ground ginger. Add quinoa and water. Use twice as much water as quinoa. Add frozen peas and corn or whatever vegetables takes your fancy. Add salt to taste. Cover and simmer until water has been taken up, approximately 15 - 20 minutes.

Eat either hot or cold. As a cold salad it is nice with the addition of
avocado and tomato. Eaten hot it goes well with chicken.

I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. Make changes according to your tastes.


Are Your Hidden Food Allergies Making You Fat?

I just came across a news article titled "Your hidden food allergies are making you fat". A 12 week study of 27 people, who had been unable to lose weight, had great success with this one treatment. All they did was to avoid foods that a special blood test (ALCAT) showed to be immune reactive. In other words they did not eat any foods that they had sensitivities or allergies to.

The results were fantastic. The average weight loss over 12 weeks was 37 pounds (17 kg). They had an average drop of 6 points in the BMI index and averaged a decrease of 30% of body fat.

Other studies have had similar results with significant improvement in weight within 4 weeks of following a ALCAT test based food elimination diet.

Roger Deutsch, co-author of the book, "Your Hidden Food Allergies are Making You Fat" says that chronic inflammation, caused primarily by exposure to incompatible foods, is the root of metabolic problems like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

The authors also stress the importance of having a healthy lifestyle which includes eating quality food, getting adequate rest and exercise.

The source of this information quoted in the news article was :

Cell Science Systems: Middle East Journal of Family Medicine: April 2009.

May good health and happiness be yours


12 Positive Sayings

I recently came across a page of little saying that tie in with the theme of positive mental attitude and success. I thought I'd share them with you here.

  • It doesn't matter where you're coming from, all that matters is where you're going.
  • Do something to move yourself towards your major goal every day.
  • Until a goal is written down, it's just a wish or a fantasy.
  • Most of your happiness, and your unhappiness, comes with hair on top and talks back.
  • If you change your thinking, you change your life.
  • All change in your life comes when your mind collides with a new idea.
  • The one thing over which you have complete control is your thinking; use it well.
  • "Failure is merely another opportunity to more intelligently begin again." Henry Ford
  • What you think about most of the time is what you become.
  • Success comes when you do what you love and commit to being the best in your field.
  • Imagine you are already the best in your field' how would you behave differently?
  • The mind of the beginner is empty, free of the habits of the expert, ready to accept, to doubt, and open to all possibilities." Shunryu Suzuki

Well, there they are. I hope you enjoyed them and found one that you can use.

Have a great day


Some More Ways to Say - You're Doing Great

Here are some more ways to say that you're doing great. Tell yourself you are doing great and tell others as well. Even when your world looks to be in chaos there is something to be found to encourage yourself in. Try some of these thoughts to help you along the way.

  1. Exactly right!
  2. Beaut!
  3. Not bad!
  4. You make it look easy1
  5. I've never seen you do it better!
  6. Superb!
  7. Wonderful!
  8. You're getting better every minute!
  9. I knew you could do it!
  10. You're doing beautifully!
  11. That's the way to do it!
  12. That's good!
  13. Nothing can stop you now!
  14. You've got it made!
  15. Awe inspiring!
  16. Nicely done!
  17. You are very good at that!
  18. I'm really proud of you!
  19. You're certainly doing well today!
  20. Marvellous!
  21. That's the way to do it!
  22. That's better than ever!
  23. Well done mate!
  24. Fine job!
  25. You figured that out fast!
  26. Well look at you go!
  27. You've got it down pat!
  28. Tremendous!
  29. Outstanding!
  30. Now that's what I call a fine job!
  31. You did that very well!
  32. Congratulations!
  33. That was first class work!
  34. Right on!
  35. I love it!
  36. Sensational!
  37. That's the best ever!
  38. Right on the mark!
  39. Brilliant work!
  40. One more time and you have it!
  41. You're incredible
  42. 100% stupendous!
  43. It's a pleasure to watch you!
  44. You are amazing!
  45. You make it look simple
  46. I'm amazed!
  47. You've just about mastered it!
  48. You haven't missed a thing!
  49. You make learning seem easy!
  50. Superfine, wonderful, sensational!!

Well, there are 50 different ways to encourage yourself and others. Pick out a couple to use today. Saying good things about yourself and others is a good way to feel great and encourage a positive mental attitude.

Have a lovely day


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Positive Mental Attitude and Stress

Can a positive mental attitude reduce or relieve stress? The evidence would say yes. One of the many reasons for this is that when in a state of positive mental attitude, we are more able to see stressful situations in ways that seem to be less of a threat or danger. In that case our body doesn't kick in the harmful reactions.

There are a variety of simple things that we can do that can help us to have a more positive mental attitude. Each of these will also help reduce stress levels. This list is far from complete. See how many more ideas you can add.
  • Regular walking - 30 minutes a day
  • Humor is a great stress reducer and encourages a positive mental attitude.
  • Take time each day to relax and review the positives in your life.
  • Smile
  • Laugh
  • Be nice to people
Our mental attitude, whether positive or negative, has an impact on whether our stress levels are high or low. Perhaps one of the following quotes might strike a chord with you, helping you to create a more positive mental attitude.

  • "Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, "this is the real me," and when you have found that attitude, follow it." James Truslow Adams

  • "One of your most valuable assets is a good sense of humor. In general, humorous people are fun to be with, have less stress and a healthier outlook on life." Catherine Pulsifer

  • "Your mental attitude is something you can control outright and you must use self-discipline until you create a Positive Mental Attitude - your mental attitude attracts to you everything that makes you what you are" Napolean Hill

  • "You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you." Brian Tracy

  • "Life can be wildly tragic at times, and I've had my share. But whatever happens to you, you have to keep a slightly comic attitude. In the final analysis, you have got to not forget to laugh." Katherine Hepburn

  • "Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure." Norman Vincent Peale

  • "To the world you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world." Author unknown

  • "The optimist sees opportunity in every danger, the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity." Winston Churchill

  • "A strong positive attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug." Patricia Neal

I am sure that there are hundreds and thousands of quotes in existence that relate to a positive mental attitude. If you have a favourite quote that you would like to share. Please feel free share it with us by leaving it as a comment.

Positively reduce your stress today


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reframing As A Way Towards A Positive Mental Attitude

Yesterday I mentioned rephrasing or reframing as a way
of creating a positive mental attitude. I would like to expand on that just a little.

This refers to how we view something. We all have a frame of reference that we use to work out what things mean. This frame of reference is quite complex and is made up of beliefs and values that we do not question. If we change any part of that frame of reference the meaning that we put on something may also change.

If you recognise what unspoken beliefs and values are being used to view a particular situation, it
might be easier to consider alternative ways of viewing that circumstance. Change the frame from which you see the situation and see how that changes things. See how many different meanings you can get out of something. Which one serves you the best?

Another way of explaining reframing is to think of it as looking at something from another point of view. Some examples of this are:
  • See a problem as an opportunity
  • See a weakness as a strength
  • See an impossibility as a distant possibility
  • See a distant possibility as a near possibility
  • Turn oppression (something is against me) into neutral (doesn't care about me)
  • See unkindness as lack of understanding
In reframing or changing perspective, the "facts" of the situation remain the same. What actually changes are the assumptions that we make. If the "facts" of a situation are put into a different conceptual or emotional viewpoint the whole situation may well seem very different. Often these conceptual or emotional viewpoints are based on inferences or assumptions rather than on real facts.

Changing emotional state can often be enough to view something from a totally different viewpoint. For example people are more likely to be more positive or optimistic when they are happier.

Experiment with these thoughts and see if looking at something from different perspectives can help generate a more positive mental attitude.

"The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude." William James

Positively towards success


Monday, April 13, 2009

Positive Mental Attitude - Can You Get One?

Mental State

Our mental state, attitudes and beliefs have a huge impact on our health, and in fact on everything in our lives.

We don't have to be stuck with whatever mental state we find ourselves in. We have the power to change it. We can choose to have a positive mental attitude.

There are many different ways to do this. Sometimes, just a simple rephrasing or reframing of a situation is enough to see it in a different light, and therefore make an impact on our mental state and attitudes.

The method of gaining a more positive mental attitude that I want to focus on in this post is to tell yourself you are doing great. Encourage someone else by telling them they are doing great as well. It might just be the tonic they are needing.

There are many different ways of saying that you are doing great. I will leave you with a list of just 30 different ways. See if you can think of some more.

30 Ways To Say "You're Doing Great"
  1. You're on the right track now!
  2. You're doing a good job!
  3. Now you've figured it out!
  4. That's RIGHT!
  5. Now you're getting the hang of it!
  6. That's the way!
  7. You're really going to town!
  8. You're doing fine!
  9. Now you have it!
  10. Nice going!
  11. That's great!
  12. That's coming along nicely!
  13. Great!
  14. You did it that time!
  15. Terrific!
  16. Fantastic!
  17. Excellent work!
  18. That's better!
  19. You're outdoing yourself!
  20. That's a great start!
  21. Good for you!
  22. That's the best so far!
  23. Good going!
  24. Keep it up!
  25. That's really nice!
  26. WOW!
  27. Much better!
  28. Keep up the good work!
  29. Good thinking!
  30. That's very much better!

Thinking positively about yourself is like a tonic. The more you encourage yourself by telling yourself in many different ways that you are doing great the more positive your mental attitude will become.

Create the positive mental attitude you deserve.

Till next time


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle - Putting It All Into Practice

Recap - Make a Healthy Diet Plan

Over the last few posts I have been discussing a range of things that can help in the quest towards good health. Just to quickly remind ourselves of the main points, eat healthy, natural food such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, meats and seafoods.

Remember that it is easier to get the all important vitamins and minerals from fresh, natural foods. Try to keep processed foods to a minimum, especially those that contain additives like colours and preservatives.

Healthy diets don't just happen by themselves, make a healthy diet plan. It is a bit like a road map. It shows the direction you want to go.

Eating foods that provide the nutrients that our body craves for, not only brings good health but makes it a lot easier to lose weight and to maintain a healthy body weight.

Adding herbs and spices to our diets helps to provide nutrients and contributes to good health. Some spices, such as cinnamon, have a reputation for assisting weight loss and also in helping control blood insulin levels. See my posts on Cinnamon and also Weight loss? for further details.

Then there are things like walking or other regular exercise, staying hydrated and getting enough sunshine to keep our Vitamin D levels up. There really are many things that contribute to being in good health.

Know what to do but it still doesn't happen?

Information like this, and then putting it into practice, is really important. However, many times people find that when it comes to putting it into practice is where it all falls down.

It is easy to know what to do but you get results when you know how to do it.

That in a nutshell is where the problem lies. We might know what we need to do but knowing how to do it is another story altogether.

Some of the answers to this lie in how we think, our attitudes and beliefs about the issue or topic.

For example, if a person feels as though they are missing out because they are not eating cream cakes, donuts and lollies they are much more likely to break out and fill up on those things than a person who believes that eating fresh fruit and nuts for snacks is delicious and exactly what they want.

The battle is largely won or lost in our brains. Reframing our questions or thoughts, evaluating our attitudes and beliefs go a long way towards being able to do what it takes to live a healthy lifestyle.

Ask yourself questions like does this serve me well? Is this useful to me? Is there another way to do this? How else could this be done?

Ask how can I do this? It is more beneficial than saying I can't do this.

Perhaps asking questions like this can help us to know how to do what we know we need to do.

I hope you have great success as you begin to sort out which attitudes and thoughts serve you the best.