Do you have any stress in your life?

If you said no, not really, you had better take another look at your life.

Stress has many definitions from stress on the Earth from the gravitational pull, to influence exerted forcibly on you; a force or system of forces that exerts pressure, emotions, compulsions upon one’s self.

There is good stress and bad stress and sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference. Both can be harmful to the body if they are in existence too long.

As long as one is alive, we must deal with stress in one form or another.

Much study has gone into trying to find out if stress causes some disease processes in the human body. The poll is still out. Final decisions have not been made, but it is clearly suggested that undue stress can cause any thing from a heart attack to some forms of cancer.

What can one do to reduce the stress in ones life?

First, you have to identify the stress. Is it short-lived or is it something that goes on and on for days to weeks to years? Once you have figured out your stresses, write them down and then you can make a plan to reduce and/or rid yourself of them totally!

Remember, good stress can be as harmful to the body as bad stress. One main good stress is church! Once you become active in your church family and functions, they continue to find more and more for you to do. In some ways this is good for you, but in other ways it is not. You do not need to spend more time in the church family than in your own family. Do not take on a parishioners problems when you cannot solve your own. Leave the preaching to the preacher.

Do everything in small amounts.

Do not over book yourself.

Do not try to go to, or do, two or three things in one day or even in one week.

Spread out your activities!

Simplify, simplify, simplify!

If you follow these few suggestions, you can simplify your life; then and only then, can you begin to enjoy yourself and reduce your stress!

Start today, do not wait until you have a heart attack or become diagnosed with some auto-immune disease.

You do not want the cart out of the barn before you get the horse out!

Identify your stresses and do something about them!

Here are some soup recipes that will taste particularly good in this cold weather, but are actually tasty, healthy eating and good for you.

Soups and salads are two ways to get in the extra vitamins and minerals.



Weight loss vegetable soup (meatless)

Ingredients:

potatoes, peel and wash and cube, cook until fork tender

one small onion, diced

1 large can of V-8 juice (I prefer the spicy variety!)

1 can, each of peas, corn, green beans, lima, tomatoes and any other vegetable you like.

Next, add one can or box of reduced salt and fat-free, chicken broth,

Add a couple stalks of celery or celery seed.

flax seed

barley

pasta, bite size

shredded cabbage

Add any other vegetable that you particularly like.

Put all ingredients in a big soup pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer on low until all vegetables are fork tender.

You may add extra water or bouillon if soup becomes too thick.

This soup is even better the next day after all the flavors meld together.

Some people keep this soup in their refrigerator and if they come home form work hungry or if you get up in the middle of the night hungry, they pop a bowl of this guilt-free soup in the microwave and enjoy it.



Taco bean soup

Research has shown that the more beans you eat, the healthier you will be. Beans are helpful to the diabetic to keep their sugar down. Beans are healthy source of iron to those who do not eat much meat.



Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey or ground beef

1 small onion, diced

1 envelope taco seasoning

1 envelope of original ranch dressing mix

3 to 5 cans of beans (pintos, limas, white, northern, black, etc.)

1 can diced tomatoes

1 large can of V-8 juice (I prefer the spicy!)



Preparation:

Brown the turkey and drain off any grease. Stir in taco mix and dry ranch dressing mix.

Place cooked turkey and all other ingredients in pan. On low, simmer for 1 or 2 hours until onion is tender and to incorporate all the flavors.

Serve with shredded low-fat cheese or top or a dollop of fat-free sour cream.

May also serve with corn chips of your choice.



Tomato lentil soup

Ingredients:

1 half cup dried brown lentils

4 cups fat free chicken or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds

1 pound can of diced tomatoes

1 garlic clove, diced

1 small sweet onion, diced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon tumeric

pinch of cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste



Preparation:

Wash the lentils and drain well. Place the lentils and two cups broth in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, usually about 20 to 30 minutes.

*You want lentils to retain their shape (do not cook until mush).

In a skillet on medium heat, add olive oil and mustard seeds and cook until seeds start to pop.

Carefully add tomatoes, garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cinnamon. Simmer on low heat until all spices are fragrant, about four minutes. Add rest of broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and add cooked lentils. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This is also very tasty if made with a ham hock.



Enjoy!

Next week, I am going to talk a little bit about menu structure. How much of what should you eat? Once you learn to structure your own meals to include what is suggested on the Food Guide Pyramid, you can adapt the meals to your liking. You really can eat most anything you want. If you eat it at the right times and in the right portions.

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