Hygge means shifting your winter mindset from one of chilliness and despair to one of warmth and comfort. If you struggle with keeping your spirits up until spring, introducing some elements of hygge may be just what you need. The great news is, you probably already have pieces of hygge in your life.
What’s the worst part of lovingly spending an hour plus in the kitchen each night to put a high quality, freshly made meal on the table for your family? Knowing that tomorrow they’ll be hungry all over again. And the next day. And the next. Keeping a family nourished takes time and effort, but with some planning and preparation, wholesome, home cooked meals can be much easier to come by. This year, make your time in the kitchen about quality instead of quantity. The first step is menu planning.
It’s that time again - time to start reflecting on 2017 and determining how 2018 will be that much better. As a long-time, fairly consistent gym attendee, I have witnessed New Year’s resolutions in action. January in the gym is so nuts that I generally avoid it. All the treadmills are full and the pool is standing room only. February is better, but by March it’s finally back to normal and I can resume my regular routine without waiting in line for anything. But where did everyone go?
A common story about Thanksgiving involved unrestrained feasting, followed by drooping heads and intermittent snoring on the couch. We usually blame the tryptophan - an amino acid found in turkey - for the post-dinner nap attack. It's true that tryptophan can have a calming effect, but complete unconsciousness is not a typical reaction. The more likely explanation is that the drowsiness after Thanksgiving dinner is a product of a sugar crash. Turkey is just the innocent bystander. The real culprit is the marshmallow covered sweet potatoes; the super sugar saturated cranberry sauce and the dessert buffet. There is a better way.
The USDA Organic label found on an increasing number of foods today holds quite a bit of weight. It indicates that the food producer has gone through an extensive certification process in order to show that their product meets certain qualifications. Consumers use the label as verification that their purchase is free from synthetic pesticides, toxic herbicides and GMO’s, and has been grown in a way that is supportive of natural ecological cycles.
Of all the nutritional recommendations that are passed around, eating more fruits and vegetables seems like a tip that should be universally good for everyone. Like every guideline, even this one has caveats. Many plant foods contain compounds that are irritating to our digestive system, immune system, and even nervous system. These compounds can cause certain plant foods to do more harm than good. In some cases, proper preparation of the foods can mitigate the ill effects of the compounds, but in other cases, the foods should be avoided in their entirety.