Monday, May 28, 2012

Why these foods work best paired together

Yes, even foods work best in teams!

Iron and Vitamin C — Iron is an essential nutrient. But there are two kinds; one (heme) is found in meats and seafood; the other (nonheme) is in dark leafy greens, chickpeas and other plants.

The down side, nonheme isn't as easily absorbed by the body—which is where vitamin C comes in. Foods high in C (like citrus, bell peppers, and strawberries) raise the acidity of the intestines, allowing nonheme to be more readily absorbed. 

So next time, drizzle lemon vinaigrette on a spinach and strawberry salad. Or add chopped red bell peppers to chickpeas for a side dish. At meals where you're mixing iron and C, try to avoid tea, whole grains, and dairy products—all of which inhibit nonheme-iron absorption.

Lycopene and "Good Fats" — Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant, believed to help prevent heart disease and certain cancers. It's also the pigment that gives red-tinted fruits and vegetables—from tomato to watermelon—their bright color.

Because lycopene is fat soluble, the digestive tract is able to absorb it best when it's accompanied by fats. Researchers at Ohio State University found that when subjects ate tomatoes and avocados together, they absorbed 4.4 times more lycopene. 

So next time, pair red produce with items containing healthy, unsaturated fats. Salsa and guacamole make a terrific pair — not to mention, bruschetta topped with chopped tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil.

Sulforaphane + Selenium — These nutrients are both anticancer crusaders. Sulforaphane is a plant compound in cruciferous vegetables (cabbage family of vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts). When it enters the bloodstream, it can inhibit the growth of tumor cells.

Selenium on the other hand, is a mineral found in fish, meat, eggs, nuts, and mushrooms; it binds with proteins in our bodies to make antioxidant enzymes, which protect us from free radicals. Research has shown that together, they are up to four times more effective than on their own. 

So next time, go ahead and make a classic beef and broccoli dish. Or make roasted brussels sprouts with crushed Brazil nuts, which are an extremely rich source of selenium.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A more fulfilling life for you may be a few questions away

Understanding a concept intellectually is only one side of the equation... actually putting the concept into practice is a whole other ball game. For example, you can say, "I want this job" or "I want this relationship, and I'm ready to do what it takes to earn it." The "saying" may come easy, but the "doing" is where most people fall short.

You may grasp an idea and understand how it works on an intellectual level, but in order for it to work, you actually have to put in the conscious effort and follow through — intent by intent, choice by choice. So it comes down to: how bad do you want it?

For example: Most people talk about wanting a healthy, happy relationship — one with mutual respect, love and commitment — the kind that makes you better and helps you thrive. Unfortunately, this kind of relationship doesn't just happen.

So the question for you is: what kind of effort are you willing to put towards attaining this kind of relationship? What would YOU have to embody to attract this type of relationship to you? Do you go out of your way to make time?

Do you take risks and move out of your comfort zone? Or do you allow fear of rejection to stand in the way? Do you make the time to communicate and stay connected? Include each other in functions and plan quality time together? Or do you live separate lives and forget to nurture one another?

You see, in order to have the relationship you want, you have to "be" that relationship you're looking for. If you're looking for certain qualities in someone, you have to make the effort to embody those similar qualities. It takes two to make it work, so either both of you step up to the plate, or at least one of you have to step up and see if the other follows.

Take a moment to think about how you can put out more of what you want in return.

We live in a world of energy. Everything is made up of intangible energy — moving from formless (a single thought) into the form (action which produces results). So take a moment to heighten your awareness.

Put in a "conscious effort" to create more balance in your life — in love, family, friends, work and play. One thing is for certain: the energy you put out (good or bad) is the energy you get in return — in one form or another. So use your energy wisely.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Staying True to You: 6 Steps to a More Honest Life

"The problem with hiding your real motives is that you're essentially keeping a secret, and as neuroscientist David Eagleman has written, 'The main thing that is known about secrets is that keeping them is unhealthy for the brain.' When we begin to weave webs of deception, we need to expend enormous mental energy to prevent them from tangling. There's less brain power left over for solving real problems, and we start to falter in other areas of our lives."

I was recently coaching a client to recognize and speak her truth. She spent years living in a web of her own lies and now she feels trapped. She feels so lost, depressed, tired and knows no way out. Later that day after our session, as timing would have it, I stumbled upon an appropriate article to share with her. But, I feel that each and everyone of us could gain from reading this article as well — Staying True to You: 6 Steps to a More Honest Life. Read it here.