Thursday, September 23, 2010

Radical Leek Soup Recipe

I found this easy recipe from "French Women Don't Get Fat" by Mireille Guiliano. According to Mireille, leeks are mild diuretic, and 48 hours or so of leek soup would provide immediate results to jump-start your diet. I'm going to try it this weekend and get back to you with my results.

Radical Leek Soup Recipe

2 lbs. leeks
Water to cover in a large pot

1. Clean leeks and rinse well to get rid of sand and soil. Cut end of green parts leaving all the white parts plus a suggestion of green. (Reserve the extra greens for soup stock.)
2. Put leeks in large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil and simmer with no lid for 20-30 minutes. Pour off the liquid and reserve. Place the leeks in a bowl.

The juice is to be drunk (reheated or room temperature to taste) every 2-3 hours, a cup at a time.
For meals or whenever hungry, have some of the leeks themselves, ½ cup at a time. Drizzle with a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season sparingly with salt and pepper. Add chopped parsley if you wish.
NOTE: Although Mireille recommends using leek soup solely as your nourishment for 2 days, I do not recommend it. Eating like this slows your metabolism, thus decreases your chance at losing weight. I would incorporate this recipe as part of your well balanced diet. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Watercress Coulis

Here is a quick and easy recipe for Watercress Coulis. Watercress contains plenty of water and is a natural diuretic. Great for getting rid of water retention!

 Watercress Coulis


2 bunches watercress
4 tablespoons crème fraîche, sour cream, or yogurt
2 egg yolks
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Yield: 4 Servings


Rinse the watercress well, and steam for 5 minutes.

Toss with the crème fraîche (or equivalent).

Toss with the egg yolks and nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Top 10 Fat Burning Foods

Along with getting exercise 4 times per week, for 20 minutes daily, adding these foods to your diet can help speed up your metabolic rate. You will be dropping pounds in no time!

1.   broccoli
2.   onions

3.   low fat cottage cheese

4.   broccoli

5.   salmon (wild Alaskan salmon is the best choice)

6.    tomatoes

7.    avocados

8.    blueberries

9.    walnuts
10.  Eggs

Sunday, September 12, 2010

5 Ways To Lose Weight Cheaply, Safely and Easily!

     After being a Nurse for over twenty years, between personal and professional experience, I've heard of every diet on the planet. Diets don't work. Although diets do  have their place to "jump start" a weight loss plan, the only way to stay at healthy weight is to change your outlook on your eating preferences. Replace unhealthy food with healthy foods.
     I've had personal experience struggling with weight. I gained 30 lbs during my divorce and I became so disgusted with myself.  While living on the West Coast, I was inspired by the healthy food choices that most people were following. I have been all over the world, and I've never seen so many people with such a "food awareness".  I started becoming aware of my food choices and took baby steps towards changing my diet. It takes approximately 21 days to change a bad habit, so be gentle with yourself yourself if you "slip" back into unhealthy eating habits.

     Here are 5 Ways To Lose Weight Cheaply, Safely and Easily:

     1. Avoid Processed Foods
         Eating a clean and healthy diet- one that is loaded with antioxidant rich foods activates the genes that   
reduce appetite by at least 20%. It also stabilizes blood sugar and insulin production, builds toned muscle and rapidly converts food and body fat into cellular energy. By limiting the intake of processed foods that are loaded with salt, fat and sugar, this eating plan shuts down the vicious cycle of dopamine and opioid surges that stimulates diet sabotaging eating jags.  

2.    Start Every Morning with Lemon Water
       Every day within one hour of awakening, sip an 8 oz. glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon. The     combination of warm water and lemon's  natural fruit acids promotes peristalsis - contractions of the intestinal muscles that speed the elimination of "toxins". Lemon's biologically active ingredient d-limonene  enhances the liver's ability to break down and flush cellulite-triggering food additives and trapped fat by as much as 30%.

3.     Sip Ice Water
        People often confuse symptoms of dehydration with those of hunger -especially cravings for sweets. That's why drinking 8 oz. of cold water before each "small" meal immediately reduces  appetite and caloric intake. Staying hydrated also improves the function of the three key weight regulating glands: the thyroid, the liver and adrenals. Sipping ice water has been shown to raise  metabolic rate by as much as 3% for 30 minutes.This is due to the fact that cold water must be heated by the body to match its internal temperature before the water can be used by cells.

4 .   Cut Back On Your Refined Sugar Intake and White Flour
       It is a smart decision to slowly reduce your sugar intake over the course of  several weeks. Any       products containing white flour should be avoided. Replace white bread with whole wheat or Ezekiel
bread. In regards to sugar, don't go "cold turkey" since sugar itself is addicting, and you will have "sugar
withdrawals such as shakes, mood swings, irritability and fatigue. According to a Princeton University
sugar is addictive. Many studies indicate that sugar has neurochemical effects on our brain. This means
sugar affects opioid and dopamine in our brain. These pleasure receptors in our brain keep us going
back for more sugar to keep us feeling "good".Several ways to help curb sugar cravings:
meal planning to avoid impulse eating, eat a piece of fruit or high protein snack, and give yourself time

to adjust to not having sugar. Sugar addiction can take several weeks to months to overcome. Hang
in there, the sugar craving will go away!      

5.    Sneak in 10-20 minutes of daily exercise   .
        Just 10-20 minutes of strength training keeps metabolism elevated and fat burn at its peak
rate for up to three hours. Try walking, following an exercise video, or bicycling. Choose 
an exercise that is enjoyable for you, so it doesn't feel like "work" to do it.  
It's nearly impossible in modern "convenience" shopping to cut out all sugars or whole flour. (I will give you tips on  sample meals and shopping healthy in my next blog post). It's more about breaking habits or what we believe is "normal" to eat for meals. Eating 6 small meals instead of the standard "3 meals per day" increases our metabolism and is a more effective way to eat.  It is mind over matter. If you can change your way of thinking, and eat healthy, it will work and you will have more energy, along with dropping those extra pounds.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What Is Mantra, Anyway?

     The word Mantra is a composition of two Sanskrit root words: the first root being  "man",  means "continual or contant thinking". The second root "tra",  means "free" or "to be free". Mantra is a process by which you free yourself from worries or doubts, but not from consciousness.  Mantra is a means of transcending thought, and bringing consciousness to a much higher level of spiritual being. The root "tri" also means "to protect".  In India,  many mantras  are called protective mantras. 
     A true mantra is one which frees you from constrictive limitations of mind thought. The whole meaning of practicing  mantra is to find some degree of peace. When my thoughts are distracted during meditation, I begin chanting one of my favorite mantras, Om Nama Shiva Ya.  Shiva is the divinity principle that dissolves away all imbalances.  This mantra means "Oh Lord of Auspiciousness, to You my salutations again and yet again." It is a powerful mantra utilizied to experience God-consciousness.
    Chanting a mantra calms down the mental chatter and allows me to connect more deeply to the spiritual experience, and myself. Although every mantra does have a word meaning, it is the feeling evoked within you,  through the repetition of the mantra, that is meaningful. Mantra creates a stirring within your soul. It produces a spark.  It acts as a catalyst to bring forth a stream of positive creative feelings, which will produce constructive thinking. 

Saturday, September 4, 2010

In the beginning..

Welcome to my blog, Meditate This, where I will take you along my journey of meditation, yoga and Buddhism. Meditation, Buddhism and yoga have helped to change my outlook on the world.  I am new to Buddhism. I am learning as much as I can, day by day. I have always had an interest in Buddhism since my teenager years, but I've just started to study it and incorporate it into to my life over the past 2 years.  
One of the best parts about meditation that it is free, acccesible anywhere, and I don't have to change into special clothes to do it.  Once I've reached a level of focus, which I like to call "the zone", I have such a sense of calm that is unachieveable anywhere else. Meditation calms and focuses my mind and allows me to think and act in a focused, unhurried manner.
After meditating this morning, I recalled a passage from the pali canon. It was best described by Andrew Cooper, in Tricycle magazine, who wrote about it, in a lecture given by Thich Nhat Hanh. "A well known passage from the Pali canon:
     When this is, that is
     This arising, that arises
     When this is not,that is not
     This ceasing.that ceases.

This is the most succinct formulation of the Buddhist teaching  of paticcasamuppada or "dependent origination",  one of  Buddhism's core ideas. All beings support and are in turn supported by all other beings. This elaboration of paticcasamuppada encompassed the foundation, the practice and the fulfillment of spiritual life.' 
I'm looking forward to sharing my journey with you.  ~Namaste.~