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Indulge Yourself

 

Part 1

Yes. You heard me right. Indulge yourself!

Go ahead and enjoy some of life’s most indulgent pleasures. It will do you good.

10 ‘Vices’ That Are Good For You.

Both Health magazine and CNN TV recently reported it is true. And recent research backs the claims up.

Finally. There are pleasurable and healthy activities I am being encouraged to engage in.

Hallelujah and all the saints be praised.

It is a miracle. And just what are these 10 wonderful vices?

Today I share 5 of them with you.

1. Get your zzzzz’s   

Our experts unanimously agreed: Sleep is free and has virtually zero health drawbacks, making it the one treat no one should skimp on. Pillow time gives you energy, bolsters your immune system, boosts your memory, and even helps you get (or stay) slim.

2. Playing hookey – vacations 

There’s a reason it’s called a mental-health day. Studies confirm that time off — whether on a trip out of Dodge or a 24-hour staycation — relieves stress, lowering your blood pressure and your risk for heart disease.

It also promotes creative thinking (attention, bosses!). And women in a 2005 study who took two or more vacations per year were less likely to be depressed than women who took one every two years.

And it doesn’t matter how long or short the vacation is. Or even where you go. Even a few days away will make us happy and is healthy for us. So go for it. Kick back and take some time off. Even a stay at home vacation is healthy.

 

3. Sexual healing

Getting frisky is, hands-down, the most pleasurable form of physical activity there is. Having sex releases feel-good endorphins and oxytocin, the hormone that promotes attachment.

“That component of feeling connected to another person really benefits mental health,” says Alice Domar, Ph.D., the executive director of the Domar Center for Mind/Body Health.

4. A daily chocolate fix    

Our experts gave a hearty thumbs-up to nibbling a little chocolate every day — as long as you stick to a square or two of the dark kind, to minimize sugar and fat intake and maximize the benefits. (The temptation to overeat this sweet treat accounts for it not making it into the top three.)

Dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and provide other cardiovascular benefits, multiple studies have shown.

“Dark chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids, believed to improve the flexibility of blood vessels,” Goldberg explains. “That can help lower blood pressure and also make blood vessels more resistant to plaque buildup.”

Chocolate’s rep as a go-to comfort food when you’re upset has science behind it, too. A study published late last year found that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced stress hormones in highly anxious people. Check for at least 75 percent cacao content to get the most bliss for your bite.

 Amen brother. Amen sister. I am with you one-hundred percent. 

I reported on this before here at MTTD, in Chocolate – Food of the Gods. I also provided a few chocolate recipes for your healthy indulgence. So now you can feel good about making and eating these recipes. Go ahead and indulge.

5. Girls (and boy’s) night out   

A flurry of recent studies have shed light on how huge an impact our friends and family have on our behavior, from what we drink and eat to how much we weigh — for better and for worse.

But there’s little question that strong social ties can bring a host of benefits: fewer colds, better brain health, and a longer life, to name a few.

I will share the next 5 “vices” that are healthy for us in Wednesday’s post, Indulge Yourself, Part 2.

Featured Recipe:   Lemony-Stuffed Sole Fillets

For all the readers who asked that I feature more fish recipes today I give you this heavenly feast.

And leave it to me. Generally fish is considered a healthy meal. This dish, however, uses lots, and lots, and LOTS of butter. In my defense,  you will learn in Part 2 of Indulge Yourself that not all fat is bad for you.

This recipe comes from Land O Lakes butter. Do you think there is any connection between the amount of butter in this recipe and the Land O Lakes folks?

This is a very old recipe. I found it in a magazine in the late 70’s or very early 80’s. It is so old I that today I cannot even find it on the Land O Lakes web site. I have not seen it in any of their cookbooks either. But it is definitely their recipe.

The cost of sole has gone way up since the first few years I made this recipe. It is unbelievable what sole costs these days. Used to be a fish that was inexpensive. This week the least expensive I could find was $7.99 a pound. So for many people during this recession this may be a Sunday or a special occasion meal only.

But even though it is expensive, the cost per person (see below for costs) is far less than any fast food meal, (I mean the soft drink alone will cost you more these days!) and even with all of the butter, much healthier.

Here is what you will need for 4 people:

1/3 cup butter

1/3 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Salt & pepper to taste

1 pound sole or other fish fillets

1/3 cup butter (Another 1/s, I told you LOTS of butter.

½ teaspoon dill weed

Here is what you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a saucepan melt 1/3 cup butter over medium heat.

Chop the onion, celery, and parsley. I have found the onion and celery should be a fine chop.

Add celery and onion; saute until tender.

I wish you could smell my kitchen right now. It is so heavenly with the aroma of celery, onion, and butter. This aroma is one of the reasons I love to cook. Makes my mouth water.

 

When the celery and onion are tender stir in the stuffing mix and blend so that every last piece of the stuffing mix gets covered with the wonderfully delicious  melted butter.

Now add the chopped parsley, lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside.

 Now it is time to pay attention to the fish. Pat it dry.

Cut both fillets in half length wise. You will have 4 pieces of fish despite what you see in the picture below.

Then cut each of the 4 slices in half the other way. (Is ‘the other’ way called width wise? I don’t know. But this is what you do nevertheless. You should now have 8 pieces of fish when your are finished cutting both fillets.)

Place 4 of the fish pieces into an ungreased 9 inch baking pan. (I put the biggest pieces down first. They form the base of the stuffed fish.)

Top each with ¼ cup of the stuffing mix. (If you think I measure that stuffing mix you don’t know me very well. Just grab some with a small spoon or your fingers. I also softly pat it down on the fish to help it stay put.)

Now top the stuffing with the 4 remaining fish pieces. Next melt the remaining 1/3 cup of butter and throw  in the dill. Pour the dill butter over the fillets. (I find spooning it on each fillet is much better than pouring it.)

Bake near the center of a 350 degree oven 20-30 minutes ir until fish flakes with a fork. Spoon the sauce over the fish and return to oven for 5 minutes.

Serve with a sald and a vegetable.

Best way to serve:  with a salad, asparagus, white wine, soft music, and candlelight.

As you see, I am indulging myself and am enjoying some serious vices this evening.

Cost

1/3 cup butter                                             $0.90

1/3 cup chopped celery                                $0.20 (about 1½ ribs)

2 tablespoons chopped onion                        $0.16

1 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix                  $1.68

1 tablespoon chopped parsley                       $0.06

1 tablespoon lemon juice                             $0.34

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel                      in the above cost

Salt & pepper to taste                                  ——

1 pound sole or other fish fillets                     $6.87 (2 fillets)

1/3 cup butter                                              $0.90

½ teaspoon dill weed                                   $0.43

 Total cost for 4 = $11.54
Cost per person = $2.89

Yes. Expensive. And as I said above, still less expensive than a fast food meal, and even with all of the butter, healthier too! And more delicious!

Bon Appetit!!

Quote of the Day:    The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not. ~ Mark Twain 

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