Many of us have heard the statement “Health is Wealth,” but what does it mean? It means that having good health is more valuable than having material wealth. If we are not healthy (physically, mentally, or socially), wealth means nothing to us.
With good health comes gratitude, and gratitude reduces materialism. With Thanksgiving approaching, we often acknowledge what we are grateful for in life. I am genuinely thankful for the gift of good health and realize it is what matters in life. But good health isn’t always granted to you. For some of us, we need to work on achieving healthy lifestyle constantly. Below are a few guidelines to attain a healthier life:
Think positively! Developing an optimistic attitude can alter your life in surprising ways. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits.” Avoiding unpleasant situations isn’t realistic, but approaching unpleasantness in a more positive, productive way can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Eat a balanced diet. Eating a healthy diet is an essential step in maintaining good health. This means eating a wide variety of foods in the right proportions. Fruits, vegetables, lean meat, poultry, milk, and whole-grain foods create a balanced diet.
Exercise (almost) every day. Staying active and moving your body regularly will improve blood circulation and release muscle tension that results in a stronger body and mind. Strive for 30 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. If you have a desk job, make sure you get up and move around every couple of hours and stretch your muscles from time to time. Exercise can positively affect mood and reduce stress.
Increase emotional health. When you improve your physical health, you will often experience greater mental and emotional well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which are powerful chemicals that boost our mood and provide energy. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people and create a work-life balance between your daily responsibilities and the things you enjoy.
Get quality sleep. The National Institute of Health recommends 7-8 hours of sleep per night for adults. NIH also points out the importance of staying on a consistent sleep schedule, having a quiet and comfortable environment, turning off all electronics, and avoiding eating large meals before bedtime. Sleep is as important as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet and will help you maintain optimal health and well-being.
Reduce stress. Focusing on the tips above can help minimize stress in our daily lives. Find a balance between your work and personal life, find a sense of purpose in life apart from work, get enough sleep, practice physical activity habitually, and adopt healthy habits.
Quote of the Week: “Simply enjoy life and the great pleasures that come with it.” ~ Karolína Kurková
Recipe of the Week: Vegetarian Chili
With the variety of spices, beans, and vegetables, you won’t miss the meat in this hearty chili. The key for texture and flavor is to blend a portion of the chili. Adapted from: https://cookieandkate.com/vegetarian-chili-recipe/
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
½ teaspoon salt, divided
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes, with their juices
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups vegetable broth or water
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste
Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream or grated cheddar cheese.
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes. Remove the chili from the heat.
- For the best texture and flavor, transfer 1 ½ cups of the chili to a blender, making sure to get some of the liquid portion. Securely fasten the lid and blend until smooth (watch out for hot steam), then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. (Or, you can blend the chili briefly with an immersion blender, or mash the chili with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chili-like consistency.)
- Add the chopped cilantro, stir to blend, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too—I added ¼ teaspoon more at this point. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice.