Healthy Living

5 Tips for Starting a Morning Meditation Practice — Healthy Mornings

It's Monday morning. Images of the weekend flow through your mind as you snuggle deeper into your pillow, reliving them. Then you open your eyes, see the clock, remember the presentation you have to give in an hour, and, heart racing and teeth clenched, you rush to the kitchen to make coffee. That's one version of Monday morning.

Here's another: You set the alarm 15 minutes earlier and ease into the day by simply paying attention to your breathing. I'm talking about meditating — and if even hearing that word makes you feel antsy, bear with me for a minute, or rather 10. After all, it's said that practicing daily for just 10 minutes could help you feel calmer and more grounded.

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17 Freezer Meals for When You Come Back from Vacation — Freezer Recipes from The Kitchn

Before you go on vacation, what do you do? If you are like me, you probably clean out your fridge, empty your trash cans, and try to straighten up a little bit. Coming home to spoiled milk and smelly garbage is no fun! Now that I'm a mom, I add one more thing to my pre-vacation to-do list: I always (always!) stock the freezer. It takes a little forethought and planning, but it's the very best gift I give myself before vacation.

From single-serve oatmeal to spinach-feta wraps, here are some of my family's post-travel freezer favorites (without any mention of frozen waffles).

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How Much Protein Do You Need If You’re Working Out? — Protein 101

There is a smoothie shop next to my gym that sells all kinds of protein-enhanced smoothies and shakes. It is generally filled with Spandex-clad exercisers drinking from sippy cups of nutritionally enhanced produce, and they look happy about it.

But do they need protein shakes? Do I need a protein shake? Is a lack of lean post-workout protein what is standing between me and the fullest realization of my dormant muscles? Also, how different are my protein requirements — I am what we'll generously call a "moderate exerciser" — from those of an actual athlete, like a marathoner, or a person who stays at the gym for more than 50 consecutive minutes?

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How My Kids’ Allergies Reshaped My Identity as a Mother and Cook — Mother’s Day Menu

(Image credit: Katie M. Simmons)

I recently went to a dinner party at the home of a friend who happens to be a wonderful cook. I was in the kitchen sipping a glass of wine when I glanced at the refrigerator and noticed a list with all of the guests' names on them. Over half of them — including mine — had food restrictions, allergies, or sensitivities listed after their name.

Have you had this experience? A vegetarian friend coming to dinner? Your daughter has gone vegan? Your son has a nut allergy? Your best friend is gluten-free and your own tummy may do better without dairy?

This is the age we are living in, where people are more and more vested in what they are putting into their bodies — whether it is for better health or ethical reasons. Now more than ever you are what you eat, which means who you are can change, too.

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Your Body Can Handle More Caffeine than You Think, Says Study — Food News

Americans drink a lot of coffee. Like, a lot. Roughly 80 to 85 percent of Americans drink coffee on a regular basis, according to the American Psychological Association, and the average daily intake is somewhere around 300 milligrams. That's about three (eight-ounce) cups of plain coffee, if you're wondering.

But when it comes to how much coffee is recommended per day, the jury has been back and forth for a while. The 2012 recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration warns adults from exceeding 300 milligrams of coffee a day. As does the recommendation from the International Food Information Council.

Now, a new study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology reviewed 15 years of data to find that consumers can actually safely exceed 300 milligrams a day. Specifically, the average healthy adult can go up to 400 milligrams of caffeine without doing any damage, while pregnant women should stay within 300 milligrams.

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Protein, Hero of the Plate — Or Is It? — Cover Story

Jim had inched his way up the side of the mountain, pitch after pitch, belay after belay. He and two friends, all seasoned climbers, stopped for lunch on one of the death-drop sheets of rock perpendicular to the earth. Strung up at a dizzying height, safely hooked in, his friends unpacked their whey powders, their protein bars, and their gels, and dug in.

Jim, however, pulled out the slab of hanger steak he'd cooked the night before, waving it in the air, taunting his buddies. (They cursed him angrily.)

It's an idyllic vignette, the man on the mountain, tearing into a steak. It's primal and Paleo and very of the moment. And at a time when the protein powder and supplement industry is such a major force, with more than $7 billion in sales in 2014 and projected to reach $9 billion by 2020 — not to mention beef consumption on the rise in America for the first time in a decade — it's a picture that asks a question: Does protein deserve its nutritional pedestal?

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