Archive for December, 2011
One of my favorite gifts that I received for Christmas this year was a new Brazilian hammock for my backyard! I needed a new one this year. We are pretty hard on our hammocks, and they are used heavily in my family. We all know the greatest way to relax in a hammock!
As soon as New Year’s Day is over, I start counting down the days to spring! It is staying daylight longer, already! I will have my new hammock out under my favorite tree at the first warm day!
The furniture I ordered for my great room was supposed to arrive in mid January, but it came two days before Christmas! A nice surprise! This was the furniture, though, that I thought, was going to kick out my hammock in the stand, in that room.
It is my quilted hammock that I have had for years, an old friend! I had gotten used to it while deciding on furniture, which took a long time. The good news is that, for now, it is staying! There is still enough room. I was able to enjoy laying in the hammock and looking at the Christmas tree last night. It was a wonderful ending to a wonderful day spent with family.
I seem to be surrounded with boys and men who truly appreciate the outdoors. They love to camp and just get dirty! They also love spiders and bugs, but that is a different story!
They are all getting new travel hammocks for Christmas this year. I think they will be pleasantly surprised. They will probably have to spend Christmas night all “camped out” in our basement. But we will all look forward to the first weekend they take a father-sons trip to one of their favorite camp sites! That means that Mom, me, gets a quiet weekend at home!
When I am out Christmas shopping, it seems to make me so hungry! Often, the choices of food that are available and quick are fast food restaurants or hot dog and pretzel shops. I have found that if I make a healthy smoothie before I go out, then have healthy snacks in my car or purse, like nuts, dried fruit, etc, I am less apt to go for the unhealthy stuff out of desperation! Try this smoothie for yourself:
1 cup strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
2 bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 tablespoon soy milk powder
Combine strawberries, blueberries, bananas, orange juice, yogurt, and soy milk powder in a blender. Blend until smooth, then pour into glasses and serve.
I have a short rest period in my hammock swing, while drinking my smoothie and get myself in the right state of mind for Christmas shopping!
How about some healthy holiday cooking? Try this healthy salad that is a nice side dish with any dinner. Edamame (green soybeans), corn, cherry tomatoes and black beans combine to make a colorful salad with a light lime vinaigrette dressing.
5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons grape seed oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, juiced
1 teaspoon white sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1 pound) package frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
3 cups frozen corn kernels
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
In a large serving bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, grape seed oil, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, salt and garlic. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the soybeans and boil for 3 minutes. Add corn to the boiling water and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Drain very well, and pour into the bowl with the dressing. Gently mix in the cherry tomatoes, green onions and black beans. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving to chill and blend the flavors.
If you have extra people over at the holidays, you may like an extra Algoma butterfly chair or two, to lounge in after a big dinner with the family!
Parties! Parties and family gatherings are so much fun with all of that food! However, you really don’t want to increase a pants size by next year! So, here are some tips for enjoying the food, yet in moderation. I think moderation is the key to life. Too much of anything is…well, it’s just too much!
So, how about having a healthy snack before you get to the party so that you don’t arrived famished and wanting to eat everything in sight! Also, drink a large glass of water first, too. Do not rush to the buffet line first, engage in conversation with someone. Then, when you do get there, go ahead and choose some favorites, along with some healthy choices, just take a small portion. Then, when you eat it, eat slowly, and truly enjoy the flavors, without feeling guilty. Focus on the enjoyment of the moment. When you get home, relax in your “quiet place”, whether it be a hanging hammock chair, like mine, or your favorite chair, and relieve the events of the party and feel blessed you have people that love you!a
Are you getting so involved in the busy activities of the holidays that you are skipping your normal exercise routine, if you have one? This is the worst time to skip! The stress that most of us put ourselves under can be relieved with exercise. So, if you have a routine or a gym membership, make it a priority.
If you don’t, this is a great time to start! Take a short walk, whatever you can handle at your current fitness level. If it is cold where you live, then bundle up, the fresh air is great for you. You will feel so wonderful when you are finished and you will be taking the first step toward improved health. You can then reward yourself with a rest in a nice, comfortable cotton hammock, if you are so blessed!
Since I am, after all, the Healthy Hammock Lady, I thought it would be an appropriate time to talk about health over the holidays. Maintaining our current good health, or striving for better health. Did you know that the single worst thing for your health is stress? We all know what that is, and I feel it is multiplied at this time of year, because we put so many expectations on ourselves!
So, how we can help this? First of all, stop, and remember the reason that you celebrate the holidays. Stop putting all of these unrealistic expectations on yourself! Does it really matter if you don’t bake cookies for the whole neighborhood? You may be juggling a family, job, etc. Couldn’t you surprise them with a plate of cookies in January, when they aren’t being bombarded with everyone else’s baked gifts? They may appreciate it more then. This will alleviate some items on your “to do” list! First, we need to find our “quiet place” daily and spend a few minutes there. For me, this is an Algoma Hammocks hammock chair in the corner of my sun room. But find your spot and go there, then truly evaluate what is really a priority to you so that you can cut out some of this stress!
It is almost the first day of winter, in two weeks. The funny thing about this day, is that, after this, the days start to get longer! Just by a minute or two each day, but it adds up! We get a little more daylight each day. It will not be long before spring rolls around, and we turn the clocks back.
Today, I am just dreaming of laying in my rope hammock by the lake, watching the birds fly by, occasionally seeing a great blue heron. I watch the boats go by and look at the water. Some winter days, I just long for days like this. I enjoy the winter, but I do miss the times at the lake house. I will just need to lay in my hammock inside and imagine I am beside the lake!
A beautiful gift to give anyone you love is the gift of relaxation. This is a gift that forces them to take some time to relax, so that they use your gift. A Mayan hammock is a perfect gift for many reasons. It is lightweight enough to send in the mail to them without costing you a bundle for postage.
It is also versatile enough to use all year long, regardless of their climate. If it is winter for them, they can use in a basement, den, or bedroom. If they are, in my opinion, fortunate to enjoy warm weather all year long, they can string it up in a tree right away! It is an inexpensive, yet, thoughtful gift that they will enjoy and benefit from!