Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Melissa's tip of the week is designed to help you and your family live happier, healthier lives.
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It's a word that infers adhering to rules-so the distance between your dreams and reality is that adherence to rules or a set of guidelines.

It's important to look at this aspect of exercise and diet.  I think discipline is actually just like a muscle:  your ability to adhere increases and strengthens as you challenge yourself.  It's really easy to give up, stop trying, let go, and ultimately fail.  To pick a set of guidelines you are going to stick with is harder, to be sure--but well worth the effort.  And it gets easier as you have successes.

Let's say you have trouble with late night snacking.  The first time you cut yourself off, or limit yourself to one item (instead of three or four, or eating until you are too full) is the hardest.  But once you have done it once, you realize nothing happened but that you were strong and successful.  You didn't die, you didn't starve, you were ok.  But you can build on that success to flex your discipline for the next night, and the following.

I like to build, little by little, adding new healthy patterns and getting rid of old ones.  I'm not a purist--if you try to do it all at once you are bound to fail.  But if you take on one challenge at a time, and use your discipline, you can add success after success until you reach your dreams of a healthier body, mind, and spirit.



Viparita Karani (legs up the wall pose) is a great restorative pose which provides the following benefits:
  • Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet
  • Gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck
  • Relieves mild backache
  • Calms the mind
The bolster or blanket can be used to help support the back, if desired.  You stay in this pose for 5-15 minutes for optimal relaxation and benefits.
Back strengthening is crucial to your continued good health.  That's why this week, I've chosen this exercise from Pilates.  Swimmers are a great way to strengthen the entire back of your body.  Lying on your front, lift the arms and legs, even getting the chest up off the floor.  Then alternate right arm and left leg, with left arm and right leg.  I like to do a set slowly, and then speed up my pace for the next set.  12 per set, 4 sets (two slow and two faster).

 Pesto Di Basilico:
2 cupsLoosely Packed Basil Leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
2 TbspPine Nuts
2 TbspFreshly Grated Parmesan
3or 4 Large Cloves of Garlic
¼ cupExtra-virgin Olive Oil
 Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste
3 TbspExtra Virgin Olive Oil
2Large Yellow Onions, finely diced
5 cupsTomatoes, peeled, diced and seeded
2 cupsChicken Stock
1½ cupsHeavy Whipping Cream
1 cupPesto Di Basilico (recipe Precedes) or Commercial Pesto
 Coarse Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Pesto di Basilico:
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until incorporated. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in a medium sized, heavy bottomed soup pot over low heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until softened and translucent (do not brown).
2. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer. When the tomatoes are at a simmer, add the chicken stock.
3. Continue simmering for about 15 minutes giving the flavours time to combine.
4. Add the whipping cream and pesto. Remove from the stove and carefully pour the soup into the container of a blender or food processor and process to the consistency you desire (we enjoy the soup slightly chunky)*.
5. Pour the soup back into the pot and return to a simmer over low heat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper.


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