It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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Beat the Valentine’s Day Blues with Mindfulness

lifestyle-woman-with-a-french-bulldog-relaxing-in-living-room-picture-id1061363412 Beat the Valentine’s Day Blues with Mindfulness

Have you been dreading Valentine’s Day this year? If so, you’re not alone. This holiday that celebrates romantic love can feel like a thorn in the side of those who have loved and lost, or those who feel sad and stressed about being single.

Scientific researchers have documented the reality of emotional struggle around the holidays, with the Mayo Clinic noting that holidays often exacerbate stress and depression. Many people simply struggle to receive the meaningful social interaction they crave, and the resulting loneliness can be especially intense around holidays.

You don’t have to suffer in silence, though. There are many tools available to help you shift out of sadness or loneliness this Valentine’s Day, and mindfulness is a particularly valuable and effective one. Here are seven mindfulness tips anyone who feels sad or lonely this Valentine’s Day can try:

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For Valentine’s Day, I’m enchanted with red… beets!

For Valentine’s Day, I’m enchanted with red… beets!

With Valentine’s Day approaching, I could be thinking about chocolate... but I’m thinking about the color red. And I might be thinking about strawberries… but I’m thinking about beets!

What inspires me about beets?

DEFINITELY the color. Of all the plants in the plant kingdom, beets have the most electrifying color. I have my kitchen workshop and my art-making workshop, and I play with color in both! Sometimes it’s fun to take a food and look at all the colors that make up the color of that food.  

Red is a primary color, but beets are not a singular, primary red. Beets have other colors in them: a little blue, a little purple, some magenta, and fuschia. Beets can look very dark and ruby-esque; or blended into soup, they can bright and magenta-y. Chioggia beets are swirled burgundy and white. Golden beets are a deep, earthy gold.

The key to heavenly flavor: roasting.

When I was little I hated beets. They used to come out of a jar. They were called Harvard beets. Ugh! It took me awhile to start loving beets.

And then I discovered roasting. Beets are VERY sweet when roasted, a whole new, almost addictively delicious thing. Oh, yum.

One of the most electrifying dishes I learned to make in Italy is pasta a la rubino, “ruby” in Italian. Basically a pasta with garlic, olive oil, chili flakes, roasted squares of beets tossed together on a blue plate. An electric purple!

Now I do roasted root vegetables or roasted root vegetable salads, which are very elegant, or pickled beets, or a borscht (both blended and not). I make a stunning electric slaw out of beets (an absolute smash hit on a buffet line!). I slice them very thin and make them into chips, an unexpected and delightful topper for salad or soup. (Don’t you love crunchy things?)

There is nothing better than a beet salad with a little feta, fennel, blood orange… OMG! Or valencia orange and beets! Electrifying.

Ayurvedic Strategies for Healthy Holiday Eating

Ayurvedic Strategies for Healthy Holiday Eating

‘Tis the season to be snacking! From Thanksgiving (or even Halloween) through Valentine’s Day, the holidays present an extended string of festive gatherings that center around food and drinks. While living it up with friends, family, and colleagues can be fun, it can also be a bit stressful—especially if travel, hectic schedules, extra spending, and rich, sugary foods are on the menu.

“When there’s stress involved, our choices can become more reactive, rather than coming from a grounded place and connected to the self,” says Sankari Wegman, an Ayurvedic consultant at The Raj who also teaches Ayurvedic cooking classes. Moreover, Wegman tells us, it’s particularly easy to feel stressed during Vata season, which falls in autumn. “Vata by nature is light and airy, and it gets thrown out of balance when there’s any kind of irregularity.”

Below, Wegman offers ten easy Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet tips to help combat holiday stress—whether you’re the host, the chef, or dining solo this season.

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