The Whole Truth: Health and Wellness

By Fay Grant | Aug 06, 2014

Five Feel-Good Things To Do This Week

1) Hug someone. Yes, it’s that simple. Hugging therapy is actually a powerful form of natural healing, and research shows that hugs are an extremely effective way to prevent sickness, disease, loneliness, depression and stress. A true, deep hug – with hearts pressed together – can build trust and give a sense of safety while boosting self-esteem. Hugging is one of the easiest ways to give love while simultaneously receiving it, and it shows investment in relationships that we may be unintentionally neglecting. Make time this week to squeeze in a long, wholehearted hug with someone closest to you.

2) Turn up the heat. It’s totally reasonable to be puzzled by the great pleasure many people find in the pain of eating spicy food — and those who strive to solve the mystery have come to theorize that it has to be the love of the thrill. There is a lot of excitement involved in testing your own fiery limits! Some believe that our bodies crave spicy food because it is incredibly healthy for you, and for anyone reading who loves and craves it regularly: you’re in luck. Spicy food has an abundance of health benefits, like weight loss, improved heart health, cancer prevention and lower blood pressure - on top of how thrilling it is to eat. If you’re not a fan of the heat, try a little bit of sliced ginger in your hot tea or add some red pepper flakes to a meal (like pasta or grilled chicken). (via

3) Paint and mingle. Hickory Nut Gap Farm takes great pride in their sustainable agriculture practices, family history and their customers, by sharing the family farm experience. Get artsy this week at the Mingle Paint Class and Farm Tour for Kids. Observe the animals, hold baby chicks and sit by the stream under the shade of the trees as an instructor leads you and the children through painting on canvas step by step - no art skills required. Children can paint on their own or take turns with family members or friends, and enjoy the satisfaction of taking their beautiful hand-painted creation home at the end of the day. All art supplies are provided. Free parking provided and handicap accessible. Perfect for ages 4 and up. (via


  • When: Aug. 10
  • Address: 57 Sugar Hollow Road, Fairview, NC 28730
  • Time: 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Admission: $25/Painter
  • Reserve a spot:


4) Book your next trip. This week, take a break from your typical routine and book your next trip. It can be as simple as making reservations for a local adventure (like horseback riding and kayaking) or as wild as a summer trip to Europe – but do your best to lock down something fun and adventurous. Walking new streets, trailblazing and getting out in the sunshine is a great way to free yourself from the normal grind, and booking your trip in advance can help prevent the possibility of procrastination (or getting stuck on the couch) because you’re too tired or lazy to follow through.

5) Be the bigger person. Someone driving you crazy at work, on the road, or in your personal life? It sounds so elementary, but we sometimes forget that people can only bother you as much as you allow them to. The internal stress and anger you feel can have more of a negative impact on your own wellbeing than the person causing it - so do yourself a favor this week: smile and shake it off.



It really is true – no other people love okra the way us Southerners do.

Okra Creole

This delicious and simple recipe calls for frozen and canned vegetables, so no chopping required. Serve over brown rice for an easy, healthy entrée.


Yield: Makes 4 servings



  • 3 bacon slices
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen sliced okra
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen onion seasoning blend
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Hot cooked brown rice (optional)



  1. Cook bacon in a Dutch oven until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings. Crumble bacon, and set aside.
  2. Cook okra and next 6 ingredients in hot drippings in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Top with crumbled bacon. Serve over rice, if desired.