Guest blog: Hobbies for Health and Happiness


Hobbies: for Health and Happiness

By Jennifer Scott

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Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

 Being well means more than eating the right foods and working out three times a week. Whole health comes, in part, from simply taking the time to do the things we love. Participating in hobbies offers numerous mental, physical, and social benefits that can’t be accomplished doing the things you’re obligated to. Huff Post contributor Alan Kohll reports that leisure activities can even boost your job performance and keep your heart in tip-top shape.

Hobbies boost labor and school performance

While painting a picture isn’t quite the same as relaxing on the beach for a week, engaging in a hobby has a similar effect on the brain. Taking the time to relax doing something you love helps your body – and mind – reboot. Trying something new has the additional benefit of challenging your brain, which forces you to learn something new. And as with vacationing, taking a mini break by participating in organized fun may boost your performance at work and at school. A 2016 study published in the Public Library of Science found that students regularly involved in after-school hobbies (art, team sports, individual sports) were more than twice as likely to demonstrate above-average academic achievement. Inc. reports the effects are similar in adults. Employees involved in creative pursuits tend to perform up to 30% better in the workplace than their do-nothing-but-rest coworkers.

Hobbies improve mental health

Dr. Mark D. Parisi, a psychologist based out of Chicago, is an advocate of hobbies in the treatment of mental health disorders. Dr. Parisi notes that hobbies provide a host of benefits where it comes to mental health. These include stress reduction, mood improvement, an opportunity to forge new friendships through positive social interactions, and better long- and short-term memory. Hobbies are additionally associated with feeling happy, which can have a profound effect on those suffering from depression.

Best hobbies for overall health

There is really no bad hobby. But, there are a few that offer more positive benefits than others.

  • Dancing combines both physical activity and mental stimulation. People who dance must learn to coordinate their movements to music and/or their partner’s actions.
  • You don’t have to have a culinary degree in order to enjoy time spent in the kitchen. From learning how to make the perfect poached egg to composing a nutritionally-balanced weekly meal plan, cooking and baking are activities that engage the mind while producing tangible results from your efforts.
  • Not only does garden soil contain microbes that have a significant effect on your mood, but growing your own garden can boost your self-esteem by allowing you the opportunity to nurture something from nothing.
  • There is something satisfying about planning a trip and watching your expectations come to life at each destination. Immersion in new cultures will help you shift your perspective and possibly discover something new about yourself.
  • Playing music. While learning a new instrument as an adult may seem like a daunting task, there is evidence to prove that it’s an undertaking worth the effort. Live Science recently reported that something as simple as plucking out a few chords can reduce the signs of depression and anxiety while decreasing heart rate and lowering blood pressure.

Safety first

Regardless of which hobby you choose, don’t get so involved that you put yourself at risk. Your safety and that of those around you should be your number one priority. For instance, if you are cooking, make sure to have a functional fire alarm; when gardening, take care using electric or gas-powered tools. And, as with any new exercise routine, ease into dancing, running, jogging, and other physical activities or you’ll risk muscle strain or more significant injuries. Remember, the point of a hobby is to reduce stress – not add to it by watching hospital bills mount up.

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Quinoa and Vegetable Medley


Quinoa and Vegetable Medley

I am eating clean and healthy. This recipe is my quick go to dish when I am in a hurry. It is soooo delicious and filling. I always add hot sauce to it so I can get a yummy kick out of it 🙂 …Try it and let me know what you think… Enjoy!

Protein Rich Juice Recipes


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Above are a few recipes full of nutrition. High in protein and many other vitamins and minerals, these juice recipes are bound to quench your thirst and give you an energy boost to complete your workout.

Enjoy.

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Also see my other juice recipe posts:

Protein Rich Vegetables

– Pre and Post Workout Juice Recipes

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

– Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice 

– Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

 

Protein Rich Vegetables


Protein does not only come from meat and dairy. Vegetables also do have protein. Here is a list of a few protein rich vegetables that you can incorporate in your diet. Fotor0306104146

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Also see my other juice recipe posts:

– Pre and Post Workout Juice Recipes

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

– Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice 

– Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

Pre and Post Workout Juice Recipes


Exercising is essential for a healthy body and sound mind.

Providing your body with essential nutrient before and after a specific workout is vital for optimal performance and recovery.

Before exercising you can fill your body and cells with nutrients required that would add strength and energy to your workout routine.

Pre-Workout Juice Recipes

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Beets are high in natural nitrates that allow our muscles to use oxygen more efficiently which increases endurance. Carrots add in some much-needed antioxidant power (via the beta carotene and other phyto-nutrients) helping to protect us from exercise induced free radicals, and the optional addition of cayenne pepper enhances metabolism, allowing you to burn more fat. In addition, the natural sugars from both the carrots and beets provide a nice energy boost. (source: Myfitstation)  This recipe will make about four 2oz shots or enough for two workouts. Take two 2 oz shots an hour before your workout. Store the other half for 24 hours max.

**(warning about beets: If you are not used to drinking beets you will experience loose stool after drinking it due to its detoxifying and cleansing nature.This is just normal. Just wanted you, the reader, to take that into consideration.  You might also have reddish urine, which is also just normal.)

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Spinach, Asparagus, Parsley and Kale are high in protein. Juice them all together for an ultimate high protein power juice.

Post-Workout Juice Recipes

Hydration is essential after any workout.

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The water content and nutrient in this juice recipe will flood your cells with needed enzymes and help you recover.

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Try these juice recipes and let me know if you like them.

Rasha Nasser Khalil 

Also see my other juice recipe posts:

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

– Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice 

Juice Recipes for Pregnancy

Yummy Berries, Cherries and Grapes


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I already once posted an image of some berries I cleaned up and was ready to consume (view here). Here is another image. I love berries, cherries, grapes and all shades of any kind of fruit. Refreshing and vitalizing and just yummy.

— Rasha Nasser Khalil

Eggplant Bruschetta Recipe


Here is a fun and easy recipe to do.

Eggplant Bruschetta is one of my favorite appetizers and sometimes just a good old plain meal.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium Eggplant
  •  Mozzarella Cheese
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sesame Rye Crisp bread (I love using this healthy option: Ryvita) / Toasted Baguette

The Dressing:

  • Fresh/Dried Basil
  • Lemon Juice
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Pink Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic Powder
  • Olive Oil

Instructions:

Slice the Eggplant as thick or thin as you like. Put them on a tray and sprinkle some salt on them. Leave them for 20 minutes so that the excess water in them comes to the surface. Pat dry.

Cover the Eggplant with a little bit of Olive Oil and some Fresh/Dried Basil. (I used dried basil this time)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake The Eggplant in the oven for 20 minutes or until you see that they are baked thoroughly. (I like to leave the black flesh of the eggplant on. It has so much nutritional value)

While the eggplants are baking prepare the simple tomato salad.

Cut cherry tomatoes into piece. Add juice of 1 lemon, a bottle cap of apple cider vinegar, a dash of cayenne pepper, pink salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add chopped basil or dried basil. Drizzle with olive oil.

Remove the Eggplants when done. Add a handful of mozzarella cheese onto each eggplant and return to the oven. Wait until you see that the cheese has melted.

Remove from oven and put the Eggplant/Mozzarella onto the crisp bread. Add the tomato salad and devour.

Bon appétit

Rasha Nasser Khalil