Getting you back to the life you want to live.
J une 2019
RECIPE FOR A GREAT SUMMER
S lowing up
This led me down another thought rabbit hole. As someone who is always in a hurry to get to the next thing, get it done, and get to the next thing (lather, rinse, and repeat), it gave me pause. Sometimes I look back and wish I’d done that differently, or wish I had more time, or wish I made a different choice if I’d taken the time and considered more variables, for —whatever — after the fact. The pause led to a what if? What if I did take more time? What if I did slow down? What if I did take the TIME to slow down and not rush through the “to do’s”? Shelly Coffman Sometimes those answers don’t feel as good as just getting it done in the moment. Later, however, there’s less looking backward, less second guessing, fewer mistakes, and more certainty. Often, it’s harder to hold on than it is to let go. Holding on to difficult decisions, projects, relationships, challenges, or even physical stuff can be hard. But slowing down, being certain, and fully processing decisions and actions leads to a more peaceful and anchored path, whatever that may be. My wish for you is that you take some time to slow down on the hard things, the challenging things, and not just get through it . Feeling challenged is hard in whatever form it presents us. We tend to avoid it. Acknowledging the hard, respecting the difficult, and doing the hard work is where the joy and peace come back to you. You’ll feel more you then, too. –-Shelly Coffman
As we head into summer, with longer days, kids out of school, and fun adventures to be had, it’s easy to cram as much as we can into our northwest summer. It won’t be like this for long, right? But there’s a difference between doing all the fun summer things and having fun, and actually being present for the fun in order to savor the summer. A little aside — I read an article recently about the association between increased protein consumption and increased cancer risk. As someone who regularly takes in a bit of protein, I thought, “Bah! How could protein be bad for you? If it’s not grilled or full of nitrates, it’s good right?” (I do hope you’ve switched to the nitrate-free bacon. It was a sad day to learn bacon and salami increased cancer risk). So I dug in and read a little more. It turns out, protein turns up the speed of your DNA synthesis. All those As, Cs, Ts, and Gs need to be generated very specifically. In my ever so visual, monkey- brain thought process, I immediately thought of Lucy and Ethel and the candy factory. As the factory belt sped up, they couldn’t keep up with doing their job well and ended up shoving their mouths with chocolate (and it made me just a little sad right there to realize that cultural reference is going to be lost on quite a few of you! The fun of aging. ... ) Or even speeding — there’s a reason our insurance rates go up when we speed. The increased speed of driving statistically increases our risk of an accident. Even when you see the accident coming, you don’t have time to make changes and avoid impact.
B uild Y our F amily ' s S ummer B ucket L ist
Summer vacation is a wonderful time of year. It gives kids a much-needed break from school and gives families a chance to bond. But three months is a long time, and soon the summer days of limitless possibilities turn monotonous and boring. Make fun an intentional part of your summer by creating a summer bucket list in three simple steps. 1. Have every member of your family write down 10 things they would like to do this summer. 2. Type up the list or make a poster to hang on the fridge. 3. Start checking things off and have fun! A bucket list is a great way to keep your family from spending the summer in front of the TV. It can also help your kids stay busy. When the dreaded chorus of “I’m bored!” starts, you can point to the list and suggest they check off a few items. Things like “Go camping”will require adult planning, of course, but the kids can turn a dog day of summer into a fun afternoon with “Build a pillow fort” or “Make homemade bubbles.”
Here are a few things to keep in mind to help your family create the ultimate summer bucket list.
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Get the Ball Rolling Some kids might instantly know 10 or more things they’d love to do this summer. Others might struggle to fill out their list. Take care to not make suggestions yourself; your kids’ ideas should be entirely their own. Instead, ask some questions to help spark ideas.
Dream Big Let your kids come up with any number of outrageous ideas, without regard for budget or even the laws of physics. “Make s’mores” and “Watch fireworks” are summer staples, but don’t say no if your kids want to “Fly to Italy” or “Walk on the moon.” Encourage your kids to dream big, but remind them that the bucket list is a wish list, not a promise. Just because something is on the list doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to do it. Of course, the “impossible” ideas might give you opportunities to get a little creative this summer. For example, if your kids want to walk on the moon, a road trip to Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho might be in order. When Summer Ends You probably won’t get to everything on your bucket list. DisneyWorld might not be in the cards for your family this summer, or maybe you’ll run out of time. On the last night of summer, take the list down and talk about all the great memories you made while doing the activities you checked off. Then, put the list somewhere safe and revisit it next summer. This is the first step in every meditation session. Though often associated with the New Age metaphysical movement, meditation isn’t all about incense and healing crystals. Meditation is an ancient practice that strengthens your mental focus, and recent research suggests that it offers real solutions to modern problems. What is meditation? Meditation has strong roots in various religious and cultural traditions, but anyone can find value in practicing it. The purpose of meditation is to strengthen your mind by promoting mindfulness, focus, and awareness. Does meditation work? It depends on what you mean by “work.” Will meditation allow you to defy gravity and hover above the earth? Probably not. But there are so many benefits that will leave you feeling lighter in another way. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that mindful meditation lowers stress levels, and patients who habitually meditate report Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
There may be things your kids aren’t interested in anymore or new ideas they’d love to add. A Few Suggestions Here are a few great summertime activities to jump-start your family’s summer bucket list:
What are your favorite things to do? What is something new you’d like to learn? What is something you’ve always wanted to do?
• • • • • • • •
Go to a drive-in movie. Build a lemonade stand. Have a picnic in the park. Run through the sprinklers. Make lunch with food from a farmer’s market.
Is there a place you’ve always wanted to visit?
Ride a Ferris wheel.
Fly a kite.
A n A ncient S olution to M odern P roblems family have a fun summer! Let your kids know they don’t have to fret about coming up with incredible activities for everyone. Their list could include simple activities like “Lay in the grass,”“Look at the stars,” or “Watch a sunset.” If your kids are only able to come up with three ideas, that’s okay! You can always add more to the list as the summer goes on. No Pressure This bucket list isn’t meant to create the “perfect” summer. It’s meant to help your
Visit the public library and find books to read before bedtime.
A summer bucket list is a great way to make fun a priority and encourage your family to spend more time together during summer break.
Have a fun and happy summer!
less chronic pain. Another study published in the same journal found that regular meditation also fights depression. How do I meditate? Meditating is as simple as sitting in a quiet place, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes. Whenever your mind starts to wander, gently bring it back to your breath. You don’t need to climb a mountain or pay for a week-long retreat to start meditating. That said, there are plenty of resources that help beginners build a strong foundation for meditation. Popular apps like Calmor Headspace are available on any smartphone and offer guided courses you can start anywhere, anytime. You could also check online or at your local community center for group classes if you would like some in-person guidance. Meditation isn’t a magical ritual that will cure all that ails you, but plenty of research suggests meditation does provide tangible benefits to our mental and physical well- being. Maybe one day, meditation will be as commonplace as daily exercise.
T he T ruth A bout M editation
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I t ' s A ll G reen to M e T he B est G reen F oods to A dd to the M enu
You need to eat more green foods.
milk, more iron than spinach, andmore vitamin C than an orange, watercress is one of the best greens you’re not eating. With all of these extra vitamins, watercress has been shown to improve heart health, bone health, and even act as an
No, this doesn’t mean green Skittles. Green vegetables comprise one of the most important food groups, andmost people aren’t eating enough of them. But if you do decide to get more nutrients fromgreen veggies, remember that not all greens are created equal. Dark leafy spinach is basically a superfood, offering protein, iron, vitamin A, and tons of minerals. Meanwhile, iceberg lettuce or celery may fill your stomach up, but they offer little to no nutritional value. Next time you’re at the grocery store, keep an eye out for these top-rated green vegetables that are both delicious and nutritious. Avocado They’re tasty, they’re trendy, and they’re great for your eyes. Avocados are a great source of an antioxidant called lutein, which improves eye health. They’re also rich in vitamin E. Researchers have recently noted that people who get most of their vitamin E from their diet tend to have a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. It’s all the more reason to enjoy that avocado toast! Edamame Looking for a fillingmid-afternoon snack? Skip the potato chips and help yourself to some edamame. These Japanese soybeans are a familiar sight on sushi menus, but they’re also readily available in the freezer section of your local grocery store. Edamame is delicious and a great source of protein, making it the perfect snack. Watercress Step aside, kale; here’s the real queen of green. Withmore calcium than
antidepressant. Next time you need a pick-me-up, consider a watercress salad. Your whole body will thank you!
Bad childhood encounters with canned spinach or steamed Brussels sprouts are why many people avoid green veggies. But the produce section is full of tasty, healthy options waiting to appear on your dinner plate and improve your well-being.
Z ucchini S alad W ith T oasted H azelnuts
With raw zucchini, toasted hazelnuts, and a robust Parmigiano- Reggiano, this early summer salad is a delight of different textures and flavors that will make a great side at your next cookout.
• 3 small zucchini (3/4 lb.) • 1/2 tsp lemon zest, grated • 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped • Mint leaves, for garnish • Parmesan cheese,
T ake A B reak !
preferably Parmigiano- Reggiano, for garnish
1. Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice zucchini lengthwise into extremely thin, wide ribbons. 2. Arrange zucchini ribbons on a plate, sprinkle with lemon zest, and drizzle with juice. 3. Drizzle oil over zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and toss. 4. Scatter hazelnuts over the top, garnish with mint and cheese, and serve.
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Slowing up Create Family Fun With a Summer Bucket List Page 1 Take a Deep Breath Page 2 Are All Green Foods the Same? Zucchini Salad With Toasted Hazelnuts Page 3 2 Stretches to Improve Your Balance Page 4 I nside T his I ssue
2 S tretches Y ou S hould D o E very D ay F or B etter B alance and F lexibility
Your fitness routine is likely centered on building strength, tone, and endurance. But what about your balance? As American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified trainer Robbie Ann Darby points out, improving your balance benefits everything you do. By improving your flexibility through stretching, you’ll be able to master the transitions between exercises and develop the power you need for better balance. Here are two essential stretches you can incorporate into your everyday routine. Foot stretch Our feet carry us every day, and when they’re tight, our balance can be affected. Help ease foot tension with this stretch (which is also great for anyone who suffers from plantar fasciitis): Kneel on the floor, arranging your legs under you so that your shins and the tops of your feet are on the floor and your glutes are resting on the bottoms of your feet. Maintain an upright posture. Raise yourself slightly, pick up your heels, and tuck your toes under. Slowly ease your weight back over your feet so that your glutes are resting on your heels and your toes are stretched. This can be an intense stretch, so ease into it. If it’s too much right now, start by sitting in a comfortable position with one foot in your lap. Gently pull back on your toes until you feel a stretch. Hold for one minute.
Calf Stretch Your calf muscles can limit your ability to place your feet flat on the ground while doing lunges, squats, and other movements. If your calves are tight, stability can be difficult. To stretch your calves, stand facing a wall and put your left foot behind you, toes facing straight ahead. Lean forward, keeping your heel on the ground and using the wall for stability, until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30–60 seconds, then switch sides. Try adding these stretches to your routine 3–5 days a week, building up to once per day, every day. If you’re experiencing balance issues or are concerned about falling, physical therapy can help. Whether you experience balance challenges related to aging or an inner ear issue, physical therapists can show you how to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility relative to balance — and make it fun in the process! Contact your local PT team to find out how they can help.
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