The Whole Truth

By Fay Grant Guide contributor | Jun 04, 2014

Five Feel-Good Things To Do This Week

1) Make time for forgiveness. Most people know that holding a grudge leads to unbearable emotional grief and distress but did you know that it could cause serious health problems as well? People who hold onto their anger and negative thoughts have shown increased levels of stress, physical pain and higher blood pressure. Make time this week to consider if that grudge is really worth it and try forgiving someone – or yourself.

2)   Try something new. Doing the same thing day after day can lead to boredom and even depression. Whether it’s as simple as trying a new food or as wild as sky diving, take this week to get out and try something you’ve never done before. Opening yourself up to new things can be a little intimidating (or terrifying) but there are many exciting and satisfying benefits to stepping outside of your comfort-zone. It can build confidence, deepen your courage and even help you discover newfound passions you never imagined possible.

3)   Get organized. First off, don’t try and tackle everything in one day. It’s far too easy to get overwhelmed when you look around your house or apartment and think of all of the things you need to get done. Start by setting simple goals for yourself this week. A great way to get a lot done – minus the angst – is to sit down and make a list of one thing you want to organize for every day of the week. After you’ve crossed off everything on your list, take the time to sit back and enjoy those well-deserved feelings of accomplishment.

4)   Go for a hike. Did you know that hiking benefits the heart, body and mind? Categorized as an aerobic activity, hiking can increase muscle strength, better your quality of sleep and improve the function of your heart, lungs and blood vessels. On average, you burn about 250 calories an hour, which also helps with weight loss and control. This week, get outside and reap the amazing benefits of hiking. With a variety of wildflowers running alongside this lush waterfall trail, the hike to Toms Creek Falls is perfect for beginners and families alike. A small pool at the base of the 60-foot falls is a nice place to stop and let the kids splash around for a bit.

Difficulty: Easy

Total Length: 0.8 mi

Starting point: Parking area just before bridge on Huskins Branch Road, about 8 miles from Marion, NC.

5)   Spend less, save more. All of us suffer from a bit of finance-induced stress and it can be easy to get overwhelmed at the idea of creating a yearly budget but sadly for us, worrying about our cash flow won’t do anything to increase it. Try to take time out of your busy schedule to track down what you earn and spend and then separate your “needs” and “wants”. Do you really “need” that new pair of shoes or to go out to eat several times a week? Making impulsive decisions with your money tends to lead to feelings of guilt and regret and stressing daily over what’s in your bank account can cause a lot of physical problems in the long run. This week, make a game out of budgeting by taking your weekly grocery budget and getting creative with new recipes. The challenge of hunting for just the right ingredients to create a delicious meal for less cost can be incredibly rewarding.

 

IN SEASON — STRAWBERRIES

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Ingredients

(serves 1)

  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 8 strawberries , sliced
  • 20g pecans
  • 20g goat cheese
  • generous sprinkle of freshly cracked pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • 2-3 tsp balsamic vinegar (use reduced for more flavor)
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp liquid honey

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. If you want to use reduced balsamic, start by bringing about 1/3 of a cup balsamic vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until only a few tablespoons are left in the saucepan. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool while you put the salad together
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, add spinach leaves, strawberry slices and pecans and give that a good toss.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix balsamic vinegar, oil, honey and salt. Whisk to combine.
  4. Transfer salad to serving plate, sprinkle goat cheese and drizzle dressing overtop. Sprinkle generously with freshly cracked black pepper.
  5. Garnish with more strawberries if desired.
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