Walking is good for you.  M’kay?

Here is a link to Walgreens for a program that gives you coupons for walking and tracking your walking activities – a win-win because you are already doing it for ShapeUp RI.  It was sent to my by (drum roll) the Walkers!

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Stress is bad. M’kay?  Stress makes you fat.  Stress gives you high blood pressure.  Stress can cause psychological problems.

You don’t have to go on a two-week yoga retreat to fight stress.  There are plenty of things you can do to reduce stress that don’t require blocks of time or substantial cash outlay.  Try some of them.

Try to do one or two of them today and tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that ….

I know that you are trying to incorporate more vegetables into your diet.  Joy the Baker has come up with this method of adding beets to a chocolate cake.  I am going to try to get someone to make this for me next week.  Photos to follow!

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Yes, when the weather is nice, as it is for our first day of spring, lounge chairs call to us with a siren song of naps in the sunshine and the first bit of sun on skin grown pale from languishing under layers of wool. But you don’t have to lash yourself to the mast! Just go outside and move around. Go for a run, go for a walk, rake those pesky leaves that blew from your neighbor’s yard onto your crocuses and daffodils.

Get out and go!

If you are heading off on vacation, please remember the sunscreen. Nothing makes exercise more problematic than a bad sunburn. And, of course, dietary moderation is in order.

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Obsessing over the crunchy, salty, healthy snack

I previously suggested baking the spiced chickpeas at 450 degrees for 30 minutes and 250 degrees for 30 minutes, but I found that this really dried out the chickpeas and made them a challenge to one’s teeth. Here is a picture of my second batch, with curry powder and hot paprika. I dialed back the period of cooking at 250 degrees to ten minutes, which I think left them a little too soggy. It’s a process, just like Goldilocks at the Three Bears’ crib.  I will let you know how fifteen minutes at 250 degrees works out.

Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas roasted with 1 tablespoon peanut oil, one teaspoon ras al hanout and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. After 30 minutes at 450, let them go another 30 minutes at 250.  Make sure to shake them up every once in a while.

If you are eating your fruits and vegetables as dictated by the program, you are probably, from time to time, looking for a crunchy salty snack.  But don’t go for the big bag of BarBQ Chips!  There are healthy alternatives that even you can prepare.

Here is a link to a recipe for Roasted Spiced Chickpeas that is essentially foolproof.  All you have to do is rinse a can of chickpeas and roast them with spices.  My guess is that you don’t have to be doctrinaire about using cumin, coriander and paprika, but could pretty much use any medley of spices you like and it would come out tasty.  You could use curry powder, which is a mixture of spices, Emeril’s Essence or, if you happen to be in Boston’s South End you could stop by South End Formaggio and get a jar of Ras El Hanout.

I challenge you all to suggest your own spice mixture.

Three pig farmers are discussing their feeding techniques.

The first explains that he lets his pigs root around under the apple tree and eat old apples that have fallen to the ground. The second one says his way is far superior: he takes a stick and knocks the apples from the tree for the pigs to feed on.

The third farmer contends that his way is the best – he picks up a pig and holds it up so it can eat them right off the tree.

The first two farmers look at him like he’s crazy. “Isn’t that incredibly time-consuming?”

The third farmer looks at them and says, “Yeah, but what’s time to a pig?”

Next time you are all stressed out about time, just repeat to yourself:  “What’s time to a pig?”

Watch out for frostbite and hypothermia.  Use lots of layers and make sure that you are hydrated!

Remember the 2009 Bay State Marathon!

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