Tag: Health

How to “Better Up” Life in 2 Months?

Two months. Nearly 61 days. Around 1464 hours. Over 87,840 minutes. And 5,270,400 seconds. That’s plenty of time to form new habits that will lead you to better, fuller, more interesting and happier life.

Scientists claim that it takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit. Of course, the time can vary widely depending on the behavior, certain circumstances and the person, however but it takes on average 21 days to get into the routine of doing something new, and 66 days to wire yourself to perform it automatically.  So 2 months (=61 days) is plenty of time to experience something new to program yourself to better, fuller & happier life.

1. Face Your Fears. Then, Conquer Them.

Are you afraid of heights? About time to challenge yourself and try bungee-jumping. Cannot stand public speaking? Join the local Toastmasters club. It takes guts to realize your flaws, and courage to deal with them. Research has found that repeated exposure to one’s fears lowers the psychological fear response until it is more manageable. Even more to that, it boosts self-confidence to the roof.

Fear limits your potential and is a great waste of your energy. Every moment you spend thinking of your I cannot, rather focus on bettering yourself to I can. Don’t dismiss your fears. Face them & conquer them instead!

2.Refine Your Goals

Setting goals and objectives is essential in any project. Even more so, if that project is… your life.

It’s a seemingly small change, however everything starts with baby steps: before you can change your life, you have to know who you are, where do you want to head and what really matters to you.

Refine your objectives and cultivate your goals. Once you have the “big picture” where you’re headed, it’s time to start planning and acting upon. Focus on an end objective (e.g. I want to become an engineer) and spare those 2 months on systematic improvements that will lead you towards your objective. It might seem that you have very little time, however every hour matters. Spend your time wisely.

We, humans, are visual creatures: if you can define your objectives on a vision board, even better! Move the visuals along the path to see and differentiate between the “start”, “in progress” and “done” sections.

3. Learn a New Language

How many times have you told yourself “I’d like to learn xyz language, but…”? I’ve yet to hear a single reason for not learning a language.

Learning a new language opens up a world of new, exciting opportunities – allows you to understand a certain culture(s), helps to find new friends and gives your brain a boost. Actually, numerous studies have demonstrated the cognitive benefits of learning another language, which are plenty – memory improvements, longer attention span and a significantly reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline.

2 months of constant (i.e. every 2 or every 3 day) language classes will allow you to at least learn the basics of the chosen language which would be quite pleasing and encouraging to use if you decide to visit the country where that language is used. And hey, resources are plentiful and even free – just turn on YouTube and start learning now!

4. Invest

One of the best and perhaps most important things you can do to ensure your healthy financial state is to start investing now. Don’t wait for the better time, don’t wait for the raise or the next salary: better start small, but start now.

2 months is a significant time to educate yourself to feel more knowledgeable and financially literate. Use that time to learn and experiment with small amounts.

The best time is not going to come because the best time is already now.

5. Believe in Yourself

If you don’t believe in yourself, who else will?

2 months or 8 weeks is enough time to build your self-confidence that will develop long-term mental health benefits.

If you are not self-confident enough, you’ll break like a twig the first time you’re challenged and face an obstacle. If you want to go far, you have to learn to trust yourself, believe in yourself and have the courage. To do so… look at #1 – facing your fears.

You are your own masterpiece. Only you are both the master, and the piece at the same time: it is up to you how you create yourself and which direction you head. Choose the habits wisely!

Warm Summer Salad

I am vegan, and I choose compassion. Which to me not only means not only choosing to substain from animal-based or animal-derived products, but also translates into a number of healthy and delicious meals – lots of fresh fruits, interesting vegetable combinations, legumes and thousands of interesting spice variations. Oh, and I’ve just recently started learning a bit about spices and their combination – my God, there’s so much unexplored!

…and yet despite the fact that we all might find an avocado, a slice of bread and a few tomatoes no one really knows how to “treat” me as a guest. So instead, I usually invite people to our apartment so that I could prepare something nice and (un)expected for them. Here we go: a simple, delicious 15 minute meal – salad!

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Ingredients:

- Salad mix

- Fresh, ripe mango

- Avocado

- Firm tofu

- Zucchini

- Bell pepper

- Almonds

- Sunflower seeds

Sauce:

- Coconut milk (200ml)

- Soy sauce (2-3 tbsp)

- 1 garlic clove

- 1 tbsp brown sugar

- A scoop of peanut butter

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Preparation:

First, prep the sauce: in a tall dish blend together all sauce ingredients and set them aside. In a new, clean pan fry sunflower seeds along with almonds until you start smelling warm, nutty flavor. Once done, set aside.

On a big, pretty dish start plating the salad, sliced mango and avocado. Set aside.

In a big frying pan (best = wok), cook big slices of zucchini and sliced bell pepper. If you like a bit spicier meals like I do, once cooked, add a bit of sriracha sauce and cook for 1 more minute and add directly to the plate.

Cut tofu in small cubes, fry on a bit of oil until it’s golden brown. Once cooked, pour the sauce on top and let it summer for 1-2 minutes. Plate tofu cubes on top and add 2-3 spoons of the sauce. Garnish with sunflower seeds and almonds.

Enjoy!

Can Getting Rid of Things Lead to Happiness? Science Says Yes

A lot of people would argue that money, power, and fame are the crucial attributes to one’s happiness but well… think again. Do you think people who are rich and influential feel uplifted all the time? Nah. Do they feel joyous and cheerful every day, every minute? Nope. Not at all.

Happiness is neither money nor influence. Happiness in itself can be explained as an appreciation of your current situation. Bad news – you’ve got to work on your happiness day after day to feel good. Good news – everyone can do it despite their age, education, experience, the level of wealth or circumstances.

Laughing Man

Take Less, Give More

Neurologists suggest that our brains are wired to derive pleasure from giving: numerous studies have shown that giving, rather than taking, makes us far happier. The paradox of generosity suggests that regardless of income, individuals who spend both time and money on others are significantly happier than the ones who spend on themselves.

We, humans, are social species – we take pleasure in both verbal and non-verbal contact with other people. We appreciate when others notice us, talk to us and praise us, so the psychology behind happiness in giving can be explained quite easily: giving gifts and doing pro-bono work produces endorphins (since you see another person happy because of your effort), and endorphins make us happy in return. Voilà!

Live, Laugh, Love

Have you ever looked at an uncontrollably laughing person? I bet he looked happy, free and careless. Perhaps even had healthy red cheeks and you found yourself not being able to resist giggling for no reason at all. The human brain is wired to respond positively to smiles and laughter: the wiring is so strong that we, in most cases, cannot stay non-responsive and usually join in with the great enthusiasm. It’s highly infectious.

Yet another infectious thing is appreciation. If you’ve ever traveled to India or have seen footage of people living in slums you’ll get where I’m heading to: people who seem to have very little in their lives seem to be happy and satisfied. Even more than that, if you happen to be around a slum, you’ll realize you get “infected” with happiness and appreciation, too!  People living in slums are very verbal about their small successes and tend to appreciate and share those small bursts of happiness at all times, with everyone. They praise, compliment, laugh and sing. Actually, slum-dwellers are said to be happier than an average British child. How can they shine with happiness when there seems to be no reason at all? The reason behind is experiencing and appreciating joy in small, every day things: family, kids, neighbors or a fulfilling meal.

If you laugh your lungs out and appreciate yourself & people around you, you’re kind of “doomed for happiness.”

Dance in the Rain

Being more spontaneous, living in a moment and saying “yes” more often could be one of the elements that add to our happiness. Adventure does not necessarily translate into traveling around the world; it could be just waking up at 5 am and watching a sunrise from the rooftop of your house with a cup of hot, fragrant tea. Or perhaps going on a road trip to a nearby town if you feel like.

Happiness is highly infectious – happy people tend to attract other happy people, success, and popularity without even trying. Happy people also have a tendency to infect other people with smiles, positivity, and appreciation. And that’s probably the only “infection” that I’d highly recommend for everyone to get infected with.

How to Die Happy?

grand adventure

The top five regrets of the dying are quite simple – they wish they had the courage, didn’t work so hard, had the guts to express their feelings and had felt happier throughout their lives. So I’d say the question could be rephrased from “will you die happy” to “will you live a happy life.” And while all of us have different measures and criteria to what a happy life means to us, here are three things that anyone can apply, under any circumstances:

1.    Improve Yourself & Don’t Postpone

Might sound slightly dull, but we, humans, usually stop evolving once we stop learning. Our whole life, generally speaking, is one big learning project. If you stay hungry for new knowledge that brings you joy – you’ll “work yourself happy”. Passionate about sewing? Try sewing courses. Wannabe artist? Get some pencils and start sketching now.

Don’t postpone your hunger and curiosity. Remember how excited you were when you were a kid? Bring that feeling back. Use the time that you have to discover and re-discover who you are, what do you like and where do your talents lie.

2.    Use Your Chances

Life is all about circumstances and situations, but these conditions and situations don’t happen on their own if you spend your time sitting on a couch eating chips and watching telly. Get out more often, meet new people and be open. Don’t overthink and over-analyze.

3.    Be More Adventurous

Have you seen a “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey? If no, worth giving it a try. Long story short – a miserable man lived a miserable life until he started saying “yes” to anything he was scared about and his life started changing and bringing opportunities.

Same goes with our lives – human brain is not programmed to make us take risks, change our lifestyles and challenge us constantly. Our brain is designed to STOP us from doing all these things that biologically speaking are or might be a threat to our survival. Challenging yourself and agreeing to things you are not certain about might be scary but a hell of a fun.

Being adventurous doesn’t require that much of an effort or funds – all you might need is a backpack, some canned food, good shoes and a passionate, hungry for adventures, fast-beating heart.

3 Healthy Hummus Recipes

Say hello to my favorite snack! Hummus is perfect for just anything: on top of bread, a cracker, a chip or simply as a dip for fresh veggies. When I lived in Denmark I used to buy a ready-made hummus but now I’ve gotten into the habit of making it myself since it’s so quick and easy. Plus you can variate some ingredients and you at the end you will be left with new amazing tastes. All you need to have is a can of chickpeas, virgin olive oil, a few garlic cloves, tahini and lemon. Even if you don’t have the latter two, your hummus will still end up being absolutely delish.

What’s not to love about hummus? It’s healthy, tasty, easy-to make comfort food. Also, it’s inexpensive and can be really fulfilling. Everybody loves hummus. If you don’t love hummus I can nearly bet you’ve never tried a good, flavorful one! So grab your blender and give it a go: I’m sure your taste buds (along with your tummy) will thank you :)

1. Classic Hummus

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Hummus is a simple dish. All you’ve got to do is puree some chickpeas and tahini, add a few extra ingredients and voila, you’ve got you’ve got yourself a nice snack, spread and a dip. If you’re not feeling too adventurous this time – try a classic hummus and grab a slice of bread along.

- 1 can of chickpeas (approx. 400gr)

- 2 small garlic cloves

- Juice from 1/2 lemon

- 2 teaspoons of virgin olive oil

- Pinch of salt and pepper

- Cayenne pepper and smoked paprika (not obligatory)

All you’ve got to do is put all those wonderful ingredients in a tall bowl and give it a good blend. To give it a bit of a different taste and freshness I also add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried parsley or dill. If it turns out to be a bit too thick, don’t hesitate to add a bit of water (that’s what I normally do) since it should be the creamy consistency of mashed potatoes. Now all you need to add is a pinch of salt and pepper (as a garnish), a bit of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika. I sometimes also add a few chickpeas that I mash with fork to give it a bit of a ‘chewy’ texture :) Yumm!

2. Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

This one is my favorite! Sun-dried tomatoes in this particular combination give hummus a rich, smoky, salty flavor that I enjoy very much. This particular hummus works very well as a dip with toasted pita chips and tortilla chips as well as a tasty spread in sandwiches (especially with fried tofu!). Sun-dried tomatoes give a beautiful coral-like color to hummus and tastes absolutely divine. Give it a try!

- 1 can of chickpeas (approx. 400gr)

- 1 small garlic clove (I don’t enjoy this one being too garlic-y)

- 2 teaspoons of tahini

- A teaspoon of virgin olive oil

- 1/2 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil

- A teaspoon of tomato oil (from canned tomatoes)

- 1/4 juice from one lemon

Blend all the ingredients together until you have a nice, creamy, smooth texture. If it’s too thick add some water; for this amount of hummus I normally add around 50-70 milliliters of water, otherwise it turns out way too thick for me. Enjoy!

3. Beet Hummus

This pink, delicious hummus gets gorgeous color and very fresh flavor from beets. I remember I tried my first beet hummus for the first time in Aarhus, Denmark, in a raw bar along with the seed cracker and despite my fear for its unusual color I was left amazed with its fresh, slightly sweet taste. Due to its unusual color it also makes a fun cracker dip. I’ve brought this hummus to a few parties and it’s always been a hit.

- 1 can of chickpeas (approx. 400gr)

- 2-3 small garlic cloves (I don’t enjoy this one being too garlic-y)

- 2 teaspoons of tahini

- Two teaspoons of virgin olive oil

- 1/2 juice from one lemon

- 50gr of pre-cooked beets (I normally buy them in vacuum)

- A pinch of salt & pepper

Put all ingredients into a tall bowl and blend well. You might need to add 20-30 milliliters of water so that it doesn’t end being too thick. If you want to lift your beet hummus and give it even a more luxurious taste, top them with cooked & chopped walnuts. Enjoy!

Thai-Inspired Salad With Peanut Butter Sauce

salad with peanut butterSince about 5 years ago I have decided that February is a perfect month to challenge myself: compared to the other months, February is much shorter so this fact alone gives me quite a boost of motivation :) Since this realization I’ve had a month of veganism (which turned into my lifestyle), a month of intensive sports, a month without added sugar and this year I decided to try a “raw month”. Constantly looking for “raw inspiration” online I created my own salad which is

- Sexy

- Super easy to make

- Fulfilling

- Very delicious

- Sweet, savory and rich

So why not give it a try? You’ll need just a few simple (and affordable) ingredients and will nourish your body with delicious, vitamin-rich items. Let’s get started!

You will need

- Fresh spinach

- Red bell pepper

- Ripe avocado

- Sweet, ripe mango

- 1 small carrot

- A spoonful of pistachios

For the sauce

- 1 spoon of peanut butter

- 1/2 can of semi-fat coconut milk

- 2 spoons of soy sauce

- 1 garlic clove

Preparation

On a nice, big plate put the spinach “coat”. Grate the carrot, serve it on top of the spinach layer. Chop the bell pepper and mango in long stripes, add avocado cut in full-length and put it on the spinach “coating”. Mix all sauce ingredients using your blender and drizzle on top. Crush pistachio nuts and generously add on the very top. Garnish with lime.

* If you want to “tune up” your meal, I advice you to fry some firm tofu and pour the peanut sauce straight in the pan, it’ll become a bit thicker. For the richer version of the meal you can also use glass noodles underneath – instead of a raw salad it’ll rather make a full salad-meal. Super delicious with the hot tofu on top!