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Vegetarian Essentials

As people are becoming more conscious about what they put into their bodies, many are eating vegetarian. There are many benefits to removing meat from the diet, but if it’s not done correctly, it can be detrimental to your health. By eliminating complete proteins, you can deprive the body of essential nutrients. This can lead to muscular damage and nerve failure. Eating vegetarian can be healthy, as long as you’re giving the body everything it needs. Calcium For vegetarians who give up dairy, the ADA recommends at least 1000mg of calcium (equivalent to 3 cups of milk.) Calcium can be found in alternative dairy products, such as almond milk, (beware of brands that contain high sugar contents) and dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale and bok choy. Vitamin B-12 B-12 deficiency is common in vegetarians. B-12 is important for the performance of nerve cells, and speeds neural transmissions, which helps with brain function. It is also important for the reproduction of healthy cells. Naturally, B-12 can only be found in animal products. This vitamin can be taken orally, but is most effective when administered via shots. Protein Some people think that giving up meat means giving up protein. Whole grains, such as barley, farro, and especially quinois, are high in protein, as are beans, nuts and seeds. Vegetarian proteins can sometimes be tasteless. Cooking them in a savory vegetable broth, or combining them with flavorful dressings can make them more palatable. Iron Iron, which is mainly found in red meat, is needed for the production of red blood cells, and helps convert blood sugar into energy. A lack of iron leads to anemia, and can trigger a breakdown in the immune system. Dark green vegetables, especially kale, are high in iron. Eating foods high in vitamin C, such as oranges, berries and peppers, help the body quickly absorb iron into the bloodstream. A vegetarian diet can be rewarding, as long as your nutritional needs are being met, even if by supplements. It’s important to consult a doctor or a nutritionist before committing to giving up meat. It also helps to buy a good vegetarian cookbook.

by Theresa Heim

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Dating: What You Should Talk About On A First Date

There is no denying that making conversation on a first date can be grueling and down right awkward. Those long pauses and awkward silences, punctuated by long sips from a glass of red wine, can feel like an eternity and there is not one dater who will tell you otherwise. The silence can be deafening, as you struggle to find a topic to fill in the dead air; to assure yourself and this person that you have stuff in common, that you might be a match and that maybe you should take this date to the next level- aka, the salad course. So the million dollar question is what should you talk about that will minimize any awkward silences and give you a window into this person's very essence and soul. And most importantly you need conversation starters will help you determine if you actually can hold a meaningful chat with this person that doesn't make you want to cut a hole in the floor that will swallow you whole. 1/ Ask your date about the best part of their day Everyone likes to talk about themselves and their answer is sure to give you a window into their soul and how they define their happiness. Their answer will not only spark conversation but allow you to see if you are a good match. 2/ Ask your date about their favorite childhood memory We all have one and it is a non invasive open-ended opportunity for you to find out more about your date's past without forcing the conversation. 3/ Ask your date about their dream vacation This is a great way to get intel on what their dreams are, and what kind of future they hope to attain. It can serve as the catalyst for much deeper conversation about their broader life's goals and can help you decide if you think you would fit into their life's plan (or if you even want to for that matter). 4/ Ask your date about the last great book they read and or film they've seen If your date cannot remember the last book they read that will speak volumes about his/her personality. Of course if the last movie they've seen is a documentary about wolves that will also provide a keen insight into their likes and dislikes and whether those will meld well with yours. This conversation starter can either be the greatest way for the two of you to bond over your love of 'The Hangover', or the quickest way for you to determine that the fact that this person has not read a book since high school is a deal-breaker.

by Melissa Chapman

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Clutter Free Lifestyle: How Can I Simplify My Life?

There is not a question that comes up more in my work as a Feng Shui consultant than How can I simplify my life? There aren't too many people unaffected by the state of the world these days. Life is busy, time is moving fast, we’re having trouble keeping up. I hear people reminiscing about the slower pace of past times: Remember when we’d go to the park on Sundays? Remember when we’d ride our bikes every evening after work? How come we never see our college friends anymore? The response is always—we’re too busy. For some of us, life is like a smorgasbord and we want to try a little bit of everything. Although it all sounds fun and engaging, it isn’t long before we’re overwhelmed. Sometimes we get saddled with stuff we really don’t want to do, but something called responsibility kicks in leaving us no choice. However it comes our way, we are seeing that we’ve got more commitments than we did in the past and we’re not always enjoying it. If people are asking someone like me how to simplify, they are obviously expecting some kind of answer filtered through Feng Shui principles. Here are some suggestions that I’ve used to help me through a particularly un-simple phase and ones which I’ve shared with clients: Keep only things that you love If you’re not sure, get rid of it. Your sanctuary/home/office should only include items that support you. Take nine minutes each day to de-clutter Clutter is the biggest mirror to us about feeling overwhelmed. Start in one area and stay there until the area feels like it can breathe again-until it feels simple. Simplify your emails Get rid of those daily emails that some people send if they’re not serving you. Set your boundaries so you can feel in control. Experiment with a Zen look in your bedroom Simplicity will impact you in a very positive way. Keeping things simple in your bedroom can help you sleep and provide enlightening dreams. Don’t get disconnected from nature Consider a short walk-even if it means to the corner and back. Nature will teach us how to be simple if we can stay in touch with it. Although the question about how to simplify your life could be a lot more involved and specific, I’ve intentionally kept the suggestions, well, simple. Although simple, they do take consideration and intention. Just because the universal world is speeding up, it doesn’t mean we can’t create our own personal world that is slower and more meaningful. Keep your space simple and your life will follow.

by Cynthia Braun

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Fitness: Practicing Pilates Safely

Pilates is no longer confined to the mat. There are now Reformer, Megaformer and Superformer classes. They all build flexibility and stability, and create long, lean, beautiful muscles. Pilates is often used for the prevention and treatment of back pain, and is great for those recovering from injury. But in the more advanced classes there’s a greater chance of getting hurt, so it’s important that you practice safely. Before you begin a Pilates class, do your research. There are a variety of classes offered, so it’s important to find the one best suited for you. For example, if you are recovering from a back injury, you definitely don’t want to do a Megaformer class. Be sure you go to a reputable studio and that the teacher is certified. Read reviews, look at a studio’s website, and be prepared for what you’re getting into before you step onto the mat or reformer. Form is essential in Pilates. Bad form can lead to many types of injuries. Keep it in the core and don’t put any strain on your back and neck. This contributes to the most common types of injuries in Pilates. If your core isn’t strong enough yet, modify. Put your knees down while doing a plank, or don’t go so far in a squat or a lunge. If you start to feel any pain in a pose, be sure to alert the teacher and ask him or her to check your form. Most importantly, always listen to your body. Especially if you’re a beginner, you don’t want to jump right into a Pilates class. It’s best to take it slow until you’re familiar with the poses. If you’ve never done Pilates before, don’t start with a Megaformer class. Take a regular reformer class to get used to the equipment and then you can work your way up. And it’s best that you don’t look around and compare yourself with other students, otherwise, you may go too deep too soon. There are people of all ages and all levels. Do what you can do according to your own personal needs, not theirs.

by Theresa Heim