Posts Tagged ‘tips’

How to Get Out of a Funk

**If you missed, it, I announced the winner of the CSN giveaway here.**

I am in kind of a funk today. I know why, but I can’t seem to shake it. I get in funks for two main reasons – being annoyed at someone (or someone being annoyed at me) and my stomach. Here are some tips to get out of a funk.

How to Get Out of a Funk

Drink some coffee. I don’t believe that coffee is bad for you (in moderation). I have about one cup a day and I’m perfectly fine. It also tastes good, so that cheers me up. And it gives me energy so that I want to do something. Something like…

Clean your house. Cleaning is a great distraction. If I am pissed at you, just point me towards a messy or dirty area of my apartment and I will probably come back 15 minutes later having forgotten why I was feeling funky in the first place. Cleaning is therapeutic for funky moods.

Source.

Organize. This is like the cleaning thing. Organizing is very soothing (if you like it). Humans like order – did you know that the reason that some things sound pretty to us (think Mozart) is because of the organization of the sounds? If you want to get scientific, the physics behind a major chord is much more organized than the physics behind, say, nails on a chalkboard. So organizing = happiness = getting out of a funk.

Source.

Throw crap away. This is also related to the cleaning and organizing thing 😀 When you throw away old papers that will never be of use, throw away your funk too. Throwing sh*t out gets things off your mind. When you have less to think about, you’re probably less stressed, and thus… feeling less funky.

Get a manicure. Pampering is always a good way to get in a better mood!

Blog. Even if you don’t publish what you write, just write it all out. It can be really freeing to get all the crap out of you head and onto paper. This could be yet another way of “organizing” because you are organizing what’s going on in your head. You don’t even have to write about why you are pissy, just write something random. Maybe you can write a story about two fat cats that like to drool on your nice couch.

All of these things are basically saying…

Distract yourself, forget about it, throw away the funk, and organize something because organizing makes people happy.

I actually did all of these things this morning, in that order, except for the manicure part… because I already got a manicure on Tuesday. It’s still going strong. And now I am mostly out of my funk. Especially now that I have blogged about it.

How do YOU get out of a funk?

What’s Up Saturday – 8.28.10

Lots of goodies for you this week.

Salad Roundup

Around the Web

  • The New York Times has a great article on the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis – Does Your Language Shape the Way You Think?
  • My old nutrition professor contributed to this new site: The Simple Skillet. It’s a free meal-planning website with grocery lists, recipes, nutrition info, and lots of other resources. I will send her any feedback you have!
  • Huffington Post article by a guy who traveled the world for 3 years. He learned a lot.

Blogosphere

Food & Beauty

  • Have you heard of 7-Up Cake? I might try it.
  • Eden’s lessons from culinary school. Useful! And funny. (This is from a blog, but it goes here because it’s food.)
  • If you live in NYC, please use this awesome waxing place. I just found her this week. Cash/check only, tax & tip included.
  • Albina’s Spa has the best facial ever. It is a little bit pricey, but Albina is knowledgeable, explains everything she’s doing, and helps you figure out what you need to do to make your skin glow.

That’s about it! Do you have any Saturday finds for me?

A Wedding Post

Wedding Planning

I just got married and I have barely talked about wedding stuff! I compiled this list of tips a little while ago, and I hope this is helpful for someone.

Wedding checklist (in no particular order)

  • Photographer
  • Photobooth (optional – I did get one)
  • Videographer (optional – I did not get one)
  • Caterer (buffet versus sit down? I chose buffet – usually less expensive, and now I don’t have to worry about who is eating what!)
  • Rings (mine is an antique and Bobby chose to go modern at Tiffany)
  • Venue (I went the simple route and chose my parents’ backyard)
  • Tables/chairs/linens/dishes (usually will have to coordinate with either the caterer or the venue or both)
  • Tent for outdoor weddings
  • DJ (get a recommendation from someone – the best way to pick)
  • Candles
  • Flowers
  • Invitations

Best Wedding People Ever

  • DJSound Choice DJ’s Inc (New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania, including the Philadelphia and New York areas)
  • Tent/tables/chairs/linens/dishes: Adam’s Party & Equipment Rental (Trenton, NJ)
  • Caterer: Emily’s Cafe (Pennington, NJ)
  • Photographer: Tarantino Photo (New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania) (go to Featured Events –> Maggie & Robert)
  • Invites: Parekh Cards (beautiful cards from India – they have so many gorgeous options, and they are fairly inexpensive for the quality – shipping was pricey though)
  • Candles: I got these votives. We made luminaria with paper bags, kitty litter, and decorative punches.

Budget Wedding Tips…

  • Refuse to buy into the idea that it’s okay for something to cost more just because it’s a wedding (!)
  • Go with a buffet instead of a sit down meal (I think people prefer this anyway)
  • Don’t get your dress at a bridal store – check out “used” dresses (Craigslist, etc… – if you Google you will find more wedding gown swaps) OR don’t buy a traditional dress (mine is a ball gown that happens to look like a wedding dress – it’s designer but wasn’t thousands of dollars)
  • Bridesmaid dresses – JCrew has a gorgeous wedding line
  • Know what you want (but don’t be afraid to change your mind)

And to plug my photographer one more time – Tarantino Photo –> Featured Events –> Maggie & Robert.

What are your wedding and/or big event tips?

Knowing When to Stop (Eating)

I am never really sure what I want this blog to be about. You could say I’m a flip-flopper…

(Source.)

So: it’s time to stop flipping and flopping (or at least flip and flop decisively), because I think I know what my blog is all about. It’s about how I learned (and am still learning) to eat intuitively, and how those principles spill over into the rest of my life (for example, yoga and intuitive eating go hand in hand – just wait for a post on that).

Speaking of Knowing When to Stop… How do you know when to stop eating? Is it really as simple as knowing when you are full? My guess is NO.

Now that is a big bed meal. (Source.)

Some people “save” lots of calories during the day so that they can have a big dinner or snack a lot after dinner. This can be unpleasant though (stomachache, indigestion, etc…), and can lead to a vicious cycle of a poor night’s sleep, feeling sick the next day, and repeating it all over again.

How can you end the cycle? Here are some tactics…

Dessert for Dinner, or: Eat What You Love and Be Satisfied

Last night I was on my own for dinner. My husband (I can’t stop saying that!) was at a work event until late so I was alone for the evening. Normally this might be a tricky situation – when I’m alone I’m more likely to snack out of boredom.

(Source.)

Trick one: know yourself. I’m a girl who can’t go without dessert. Ever. I cannot remember that last time I didn’t have dessert. I also know that once I have dessert it can turn into a snackfest. My belly and my head are not satisfied with a piece of fruit for dinner. Maybe your weakness is potato chips, or cereal. Whatever it is, make a note of it. Then…

Trick two: trick yourself. I may like dessert, but I am not okay with having Rocky Road for dinner. So what is a good substitute? Breakfast foods are usually desserty enough for me. French Toast in particular is comforting, delicious, and sweet enough to satisfy my dessert tooth. If you love your potato chips, portion out a serving (1 serving) to have with your dinner. If you don’t want it with a meal, you probably shouldn’t have it while watching TV anyway.

Trick three: indulge (just a little). I put tart frozen yogurt (from Trader Joe’s) on top of my dessert for dinner French Toast. If I didn’t do that I would probably want to eat frozen yogurt after dinner anyway. Again with the potato chips – why not get some really delicious potato chips (I like Terra Chips) so that you really enjoy your treat.

Trick four: Stop. (Okay, that’s not a trick, that just the end result – hopefully.) I loved this meal. So much so that I didn’t need to eat anything the rest of the night. Hopefully if you had the chips with dinner you won’t want them the rest of the night either.

My Easy Peasy (Healthy) French Toast For One Recipe. Check it out if you want a low calorie but filling and healthy meal. I think it has about 300 calories total depending on your bread and toppings.

Good reads:

  • Brian Wansink discusses the French paradox (they eat lots of fatty things yet are – on average – thinner, healthier, and live longer than Americans).
  • I think I linked here before, but I really really like Honoring Health – it’s an intuitive eating blog, and Christie (the author) is very inspiring. Plus, she is helping me figure out how to organize my recipes!

Have you ever had dessert for dinner? What foods are really satisfying for you?

Lynn: Marriage & Food Triggers

We are now *in Maui* (arrived yesterday afternoon) and on the first full day of our honeymoon. I have no idea what we’ve planned (I am writing this a week ago) but I am so excited for what it might be. Now I want to welcome Lynn – thanks for guest posting for me today!

***

Hello “Say Yes to Salad” readers!

This is Lynn from “The Actor’s Diet” – a food blog about my life as an actress in Hollywood, and the foods I eat to stay looking camera-ready. But my blog is also about my recovery from my longtime battle with eating disorders. Although it’s been over two years since my last binge bout, I am always cautious about a potential relapse. Since Maggie asked for a guest post pertaining to the subject of marriage, I thought I would share with you how I handle when my husband goes away – one of my old triggers.

I used to freak out whenever he left town since I felt emotional about his absence, and would use being alone as an excuse to binge away/not eat for days without his watchful eye. Throughout the years, I’ve learned some coping skills to deal with those feelings/behaviors, and now when he goes away I have almost zero anxiety.

Here’s what I do:

  1. Schedule a massage/facial/mani/pedi. I think self care is uber important, and having something indulgent to look forward to can make the time apart seem like a vacation for yourself. You can get great deals on groupon, or search to see if there’s a massage school near you for discount rates. New to massage? Check out my tips.
  2. Don’t stray from your usual routines – continue to exercise if you do that daily and make sure to eat a healthy, filling breakfast. Some of my favorites are on my blog’s recipe page.
  3. Make sure to indulge/treat yourself too. I’m not a believer in the “no food reward” mentality that most diets have. I think food can be an incredible source of comfort, and a big part of my recovery has been accepting and allowing it to be just that. Bake your favorite healthy treat (I love these black bean brownies) or if you don’t feel comfortable having certain foods in the house, go out and eat your favorite meal/dessert, savoring each bite.
  4. Watch TV shows/movies that your partner would never watch. My husband can’t stand big-budget romantic comedies and shows from the 80’s. That’s exactly what I fill up my DVR box/Netflix queue with!
  5. Plan a fun night out – or in. Get your girls together for a nice dinner in/out, catch up with your old high school friend over a drink and talk about stuff your partner would feel left out about. Or just stay home and pamper yourself with great takeout and a bunch of your favorite magazines.
  6. Video chat with your partner! We’re so lucky to live in a world where we can Skype/IM Video for free. Just like the Jetsons!

***

Hope you all enjoyed these tips! I will definitely keep them in my arsenal of tricks. Fortunately right now I am with the love of my life for 2 solid weeks and we do not have to worry about anything – no phones, no computers, no responsibilities (ok, we have the phones and computers – but we are not using them much!). It’s amazing how freeing it is to completely get away from your life for a little bit.

Do you have any more tips to add?

7 Instant Diet Boosters

7 Instant Diet Boosters

(I wrote this title using HBH’s tips)

  1. Eat in color. Your food should be as diverse in color as a rainbow – seriously. Colorful foods are appealing to the eye because they are good for us (not talking about food dye color here!). Brightly colored foods generally have more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Take the grapefruit for example – pink and red grapefruit both have lycopene (a heart-healthy antioxidant) while white grapefruit does not (lycopene is what gives the pink and red ones their color).

    (This picture is a colorful Italian open air market (in Venice).)

  2. Choose brown rice over white. Brown rice is not only more flavorful and satisfying, but it has 6 times the fiber of white rice, exponentially more nutrients, and it’s great for digestion.
  3. Choose rich leafy greens over watery lettuce. Lettuce is a healthy start, but leafy greens pack a powerful punch of calcium, iron, folate, and vitamins A, K, D, and E.
  4. (My favorite leafy green = KALE (click for recipe).)

  5. Choose whole grain bread and grains over white. Same logic as the brown rice – whole grain breads have more fiber, iron, and potassium than their white counterparts. (Beware of brown breads like pumpernickel – they’re not actually whole grain. I love pumpernickel, but I don’t kid myself by saying it’s whole grain. I just eat it cuz it’s good.)
  6. (This is one of my first recipes: Spiced Holiday Braid from 12/07.)

  7. Drink iced (or hot) tea instead of soda. Soda is very bad. Sweeten your iced tea a little (sugar, honey, etc…) and drink up. Green tea is supposedly very healthy (I think all tea is healthy).
  8. (This iced tea is from Slanted Door in San Francisco.)

  9. Pick nut milk over dairy. Nut milk has no cholesterol and no added hormones. Plus, a lot of people are sensitive to dairy and they don’t even know it.
  10. (Chocolate Almond Breeze is my favorite.)

  11. Try fruit sorbet for dessert. Fruit has lots of vitamin C and phytochemicals (color, remember!).
  12. (This is from San Fran too.)

You have any more diet boosting tips?

Exercise of the day: walking home from work (1.4 miles) + the first 25 minutes of Crunch: Fat Burning Pilates.

Here is a cool deal from FreshDirect (a very affordable grocery delivery service that I use a lot) for you – 20% off all local products with this code:

Go local!

More Tips for Beating IBS: Soothe Your Tummy

I had no idea my “help your tummy tips” would be so well received. I got so much wonderful feedback that I want to go on about this a little more.

Go Dairy Free book

(My review of Alisa’s book here.)

Many people suggested that I might be allergic to something – and you are probably right. I spent most of last year dairy-free (my macrobiotic experiment), and during the dairy-free times my symptoms were much less severe. I also tried food combining last year, which helped as well, but for various reasons I stopped doing that.

So I’m going to try something yet again. One commenter (hi Kim!) has a great website about how she deals with her IBS. When I was diagnosed (back in 2004, when the cafeteria food at college made my stomach a writhing mess) I kind of ignored it. My doctor didn’t tell me there was anything I could do; he just suggested that I stop eating the cafeteria food.

The longest respite I had from the syndrome was from 2005-2007. To solve my problems I just didn’t eat much. Great for my digestion, but not that healthy in general – I was too thin.

Now… I’m going to buy a book Kim mentioned on her site called Eating for IBS. From what I can tell, it’s about food combining (but not in the raw sense), trigger foods, and having a happy stomach. I will come up with a plan and post it – if you have IBS too maybe you can try it out as well.

And here are more tips that you all had for calming IBS and pissy stomachs:

  • Don’t overdo the fiber
  • Drink tea (peppermint is particularly helpful)
  • Get checked for food allergies (dairy, gluten, etc…)
  • Stress is a trigger… so chill out
  • Small snacks can help, but don’t snack too much
  • Don’t eat past the point of fullness
  • Careful with whipped cream
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Rubbing your belly in clockwise circles
  • Get some exercise each day – get moving to get moving one might say :)
  • Cat/cow yoga stretches
  • Don’t forget about probiotics (supplements)

I am going to try to follow them!

Tonight I have a date with Bobby (I have hardly seen him all week) and tomorrow I’m going to New Jersey to do some wedding tasting with my 2 best girlfriends, my sister (my MOH), and my mom (my wedding savior). Bobby and I are going to Miami next week (oops – think I forgot to mention this) so I need to get lots of stuff done this weekend (work and otherwise).

What are your weekend plans?

Easing a Grumpy Tummy… Who Knew It Could Be So Easy?

I have a love-hate relationship with my stomach. I know I’m not alone. I feel like half of the blogs that I read are written by young women with similar problems. And we’ve all been told we have IBS, the all-encompassing (and oh-so-unhelpful) diagnosis for grumpy tummies that will not cooperate no matter how hard we try. (Aside: my stomach happens to be misbehaving right now, this very minute. Sigh. Will have to try these tummy tips.)

I’m not going to say I have a definitive solution, because I don’t. But I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that help me keep my disobedient stomach in check. I’ll share my top 3, and maybe if I find more I’ll do an Ease-My-Tummy-Tricks Part 2.

  1. Do NOT snack. I find that the more often I eat, the more my stomach bothers me. Forcing myself to eat 3 meals a day (and 3 meals a day only) and possibly an afternoon snack, if desired, definitely offers major improvements to the stomach situation. When I am eating constantly my digestive system never needs a rest. I give myself rest each day, so why not do the same for my stomach? It makes sense.
  2. Do NOT overeat (especially fiber-y foods). Yes, salads are great – but in moderation. If you eat a salad for every meal you will be uncomfortable. You’ll also start to think that over-fullness is normal. I spent years overloading with almost too many veggies, and now I’m still trying to get used to being satisfied when I’m not stuffed. The Japanese have a great expression to summarize these healthy eating habits: “hara hachi bu” – which means precisely, “eat until you’re 80% full”. I look up to both Bobby (who is half Japanese) and his mother for their ability to eat moderately.
  3. Yoga twists. If all else fails, this is what I turn to, because in addition to helping my tum, yoga stretches are soothing for me. One of the best ways to massage and ease the digestive tract is to breathe deeply while in a twist. My favorites are…
    • supine twist: lie on your back. Pull one knee into your chest. Drop the knee to the opposite side (right to left for example) and look away from the knee (if you’ve dropped your right knee to the left, look right). Take 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.
    • seated twist: Cross your right knee over your left. Twist to the right. Take 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side. Make sure your back is elongated and upright; your shoulders should draw down the back. As you breathe out each time, twist a little deeper.

Does your stomach get angry at you? What are your tricks to calm it down?

Link Love: Fix Cold Hands; Drink at the Right Times

I’ve been keeping a list of articles or links that I want to post about, but I keep forgetting. Here they are now:

To Drink Or Not To Drink?

Source.

This article talks about how it’s important to drink a lot of water… except just before and after eating. So many people forget to do the simple things that make digestion easier. The lesson? Don’t drink 20 minutes before or after a meal. It’s that simple.

My next link – I have had cold hands and feet since I was in high school. I googled some remedies, and found this page:

Warmer Hands Naturally! Ten Easy Free Tips Help Cold Hands

Source.

The gist? It gave some physical things you can do that don’t really solve the problem (keeping covered, exercise, don’t smoke), but it also gave some other interesting insights:

  • The wrong kind of calcium supplement can be bad for circulation
  • Margarine is bad as well (duh)
  • And some supplements can help (ginger, fennel, cayenne, potassium, niacin, iron, B C E vitamins, lecithin, Ginkgo Biloba, ACV, etc…)
  • They note that eating meat could help as well.
  • Then there are “warming teas” like sarsparilla root and fenugreek (neither of which I have tried, and I am a tea fiend, so I must!).

Another thing the article said that I thought was very important was that you *must* must must wait 30 days for a dietary change to have an effect on your health. You can’t just go around changing your eating habits willy-nilly and expect something to result in a week. It just won’t happen, especially if you are tackling an issue that has been around for a while.

More tips:

  • Be aware of anxiety and other fear issues and deal with them.
  • Try to breathe better (more deeply).
  • And try to stop stressing.

I will definitely try the tips.

This morning I walked to work. For the last week I was kind of in non-exercise mode (no reason really, aside from the fact that New York was rainy and gross and I didn’t feel like doing anything) but today’s glorious sunshine got me energized and happy. So I did 2 miles in the morning light while chatting with my dad.

The day was busy and eventful, and my lunch was a lovely break – a macrobiotic meal of random steamed veggies and roots with my favorite: miso-tahini dressing. This meal does not get boring to me because I am constantly changing the veggies. I have a nice rotation going on – spinach, broccoli, burdock, sweet potato (purple), kabocha, carrots, daikon, and probably some others I am forgetting.

I also made a delicious bean concoction earlier this week and I’ve been having it often – it makes an appearance at breakfast and either lunch or dinner most days. Recipe to come.

Since I’m still at work I don’t know what dinner will be, and I don’t know what else I will do tonight. Perhaps a leisurely stroll home (probably not – I don’t like lugging the computer more than I have to) or a yummy dessert.

I’m off to have some water and wait at least 20 minutes before I eat. What do you do on the weekday nights?