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Indulge Yourself

 

Part 2

In Part 1 of Indulge Yourself  I listed the first 5 ‘vices’ that are really not vices after all. Today I will list items 6-10 of ‘vices’ that are good for you.

The information comes from Health magazine and CNN.

To recap numbers 1-5 were:

1. Get your zzz’s

2. Playing hooky

3. Sexual healing

4. A daily chocolate fix

5. Girls & boys night out

6. Fat 

For years the food police and the entire medical-health-industrial complex have been telling us that fat is bad for us. Low fat was the mantra. As I have mentioned in several previous posts some fat is necessary for survivial. So it is good to finally see this ‘vice’ now getting some much over due attention. 

So now I’m thinking a really good lean steak or prime rib. Oh!! Yummy!!!!

The trick is to eat the right kinds of fat and to eat fats in moderation – about 30% of our daily intake, whether ‘good’ or ‘bad’ fats is about what we should strive for according to both articles.

Aim for at least 10 percent of your daily fat intake to come from monounsaturated fats (found in vegetable oils, avocados, and many nuts and seeds), says Keri Gans, R.D., a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

These fats reduce your risks of heart disease and stroke — a big deal, since coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women. In fact, nearly twice as many women die of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases as from all forms of cancer.

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish such as salmon and tuna, and in flaxseed and walnuts) also lower heart disease risk and may help decrease symptoms of depression, rheumatoid arthritis, and other ailments. Plus, “when you have a meal that includes a little fat, you tend to feel more satisfied, so you eat less,” Gans says.

As you can imagine this new fat research and information is very controversial. I mean an entire multi-billon dollar “NO Fat” industry has been built up around the idea that we should not eat fat or eat ‘no-fat’ foods. And remember, no fat does not equal low calorie as sugar more often than not replaces the fat. I am planning on doing an entire post on this controversy. But right now I am still in the research phase. I will keep you posted. 

7. Coffee

I think most everyone needs something to get them going in the morning. I am a tea drinker. Coffee is just a bit too bitter for me. PREVIEW ALERT: Friday I am going to delve into why some people prefer coffee to tea and why some people cannot eat spicy hot foods. It is also why some children are picky eaters. Very interesting stuff.

I seldom drink coffee. When I am driving late at night and I start to get tired I often stop for hot coffee. Within about 10-15 minutes I feel more alert and can continue driving without feeling sleepy. I think it is because I so sledom get that big a dose of caffene all at once.

But coffee can be good for us. According to the Health magazine and CNN articles:

It’s completely OK if you need it to pry your eyes open in the a.m. A wealth of research suggests that coffee doesn’t just pick you up — it fights heart disease and some cancers, and it may even help you push through harder, longer workouts.

Moderate coffee-drinking in middle age has been associated with lower risks for dementia and Alzheimer’s. And a 2009 review of more than four decades of research found that for every additional cup of coffee you drink each day — high-octane or decaf — your risk of developing type 2 diabetes shrinks by 7 percent, possibly because chemicals in the beverage improve your body’s insulin sensitivity and increase metabolism.

Enjoy up to two cups a day; more than that may leave you jittery or rob you of that precious number-one pleasure — sleep.

8. Get a massage

Massage is more than just a luxury. Massage has health benefits. Many studies have found massage helps in stress relief, managing anxiety and depression, pain, stiffness, helps control blood pressure, and boosts our immunity.

If you cannot afford a massage, partners can massage each other. Even a foot rub helps. 

According to the articles:

Don’t ever feel guilty about shelling out for massages.

“In general, people who are touched regularly are healthier,” says Alice Domar, Ph.D., the executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health.

9. Basking in the sun

For years we were told to avoid the sun. Now we are learning that the sun, in moderation, is good for us. I know every winter I can’t wait till the sun seasons are upon us. The dark cold days of winter make me blue. I need me my sunshine. I can even tolerate cold days more when the sun shines.

The picture to the left is me incognito. Be honest now. Did you recognice me??

Bright days really do lift our moods — sunshine is the ultimate natural antidepressant, triggering our bodies to nip production of the sleep-stimulating hormone melatonin so we’re alert, energized, and ready to face the day. Exposing bare skin to the sun also triggers the synthesis of vitamin D, a hormone that may reduce your risks for cancer, heart disease, fragile bones, and other problems.

Of course there are always the naysayers.

 Still, many doctors feel that no amount of unprotected sun exposure is safe (that’s the official position of the American Academy of Dermatology). So always wear sunscreen……

 And last of all:

10. Wine with dinner

I love a good wine with a meal. Makes the meal complete somehow. I prefer a dry white like Chablis. But reds are good too. A good red wine in spaghetti sauce is oh so very delicious!!

The buzz on wine is about its heart-healthy properties, though researchers aren’t entirely sure how it works its magic. Its antioxidants may keep blood vessels flexible, or alcohol could boost HDL (good) cholesterol.

Either way, the key is moderation: one 5-ounce glass a day. More than that can raise blood pressure and pack on pounds.

[snip…]

 More of a martini kind of person? No problem: You can get similar perks from one liquor drink or beer a day. So go ahead — raise a glass to the pleasures of the healthy life!

So there you have it. The 10 vices that are not vices at all provided we partake in moderation.

So as I always say, eat, drink, and be merry. Life is too short not to enjoy and savor every sweet second.

Featured Recipe             No Mayonnaise Egg Salad

Today’s recipe is one of my clean out the fridge recipes. Plus some of you may remember I do not care all that much for mayonnaise. I can and do eat it. It is just my least favorite condiment. So I either limit the amount I use, cut the amount a recipe calls for, or find ways to make mayo free recipes. (See my mayo free tuna salad here ~ No Mayonnaise Tuna Salad.

This is quick and easy as well as inexpensive. With the recipe I provide, you can make 4 small  lunch or side-dish size salads, or two bigger dinner salads. The recipe also doubles very well.

If you want or need something a bit more substantial for a meal you can add some bread and butter. I often eat my favorite whole grain roll with butter and that fills me nicely. You can also add some nice lean deli ham or deli beef on the side to make a more complete meal. Or if you have left over meat in the fridge this is an ideal way to stretch a little leftovers.

If you wish you can substitute red wine vinegar for the lemon juice. That gives this salad a nice taste too. It depends on my mood which I use. That and if I have a lemon in the fridge that needs to be used up that is what I use.

This is what you will need to make 4 small salads:

4 eggs

A few herbs of your choice like chives and parsley (Look in your fridge for what is lurking about.)

1 small shallot or a few teaspoons of diced onion

1 small clove garlic

8 ounces or so of cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Here is what you do:

Hard boil the eggs. Cool completely.

Finely dice the shallot and the garlic.

 Dice the chives and parsley.

Slice the tomatoes in half. Squeeze the lemon and measure out the olive oil.

Combine the lemon juice and olive oil in a small bowl; throw in all the diced herbs, add a bit of salt and pepper. Whisk together.

Peel and slice each egg. Arrange the slices of each egg on a separate plate in an overlapping fashion. Throw some of the halved tomatoes on the plates with the egg slices.

Now  for the second best part ( I know you are wondering if this is second, what is the best part?) of the dish, drizzle with the dressing.

 Now for the very best part of this dish, eat and enjoy!!!

Cost

4 eggs                                                 $0.32             

Chives                                                 $0.25                                                 

Parsley                                                $0.12

1 small shallot                                      $0.42

1 small clove garlic                               $0.05

8 ounces cherry tomatoes                     $2.16

2 tablespoons lemon juice                    $0.68

3 tablespoons olive oil                          $0.36

Salt & pepper to taste

Total cost for 4 people = $4.36
Cost per person = $1.09

Bon Appitit!!

Quote of the Day:   You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.  ~~ Julia Child

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