It has been said that music soothes the savage beast. When I come home, one of the first things I do, after a long day is put on some jazz. That got me to thinking, are there any definitive studies about music and mood? So I looked…of course in my favorite place…the internet. This is what I found:
Healthline.com published the results of several studies involving music and mood here and I will recap for you. Overall music is good for mood, health and even quality of life. How easy is that?
Fun, upbeat music combined with positive thoughts improved overall happiness in as little as two weeks. People who are happy have better relationships and better physical health!
Music can be used to relax as well but this calls for soothing sounds. When listening to soothing music, heart rates lowered and people were calmed. This led to easier breathing too.
If you have a decent singing voice, consider adding some vocals to your music therapy as well. (I say even if you don’t – belt out a few tunes in the shower – it can’t hurt.) One study found that singing both relaxed and energized the participants. It also showed changes in DNA that indicate health and longevity – how cool is that?
So, even if you cannot carry a tune in a bucket, sing along and also just listen to the music!
Where I live, we had some intense storms the last couple of days. Tornado sirens, hail, thunder and lots of lightning have been the order of the day. I have candles, an emergency radio, and three days worth of bottled water and medicines. Do you?
Those are some of the basics that everyone should have in the event of a severe storm that brings power outages with it. There is more information on the website www.ready.gov
But that really is preparedness information and I wanted to talk about safety today. Did you know that if you hear thunder you are close enough to be struck by lightning AND the NOAA site says that lightening can strike even on a clear day, so beware. Lightning and flooding cause the most deaths every year even though most people focus on tornados.
We also tend to have more thunderstorms with lightening than tornados in this area as well. So, if a thunderstorm is approaching, go inside and stay away from your windows. You can use cordless and cell phones but avoid using corded lines – if you still have one! Actually avoid all electrical appliances during the storm. While you wait, listen to the news for updates on severe weather and just stay inside for safety!
The NOAA website has more information http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/severeweather/
But these are some of the basics that everyone should know!
We have had some beautiful days and hints of Spring…I’m thinking about all of the lovely produce that will be blooming and sprouting soon. Eating healthy meals is important to our overall wellbeing. But healthy does not have to mean boring. Salads are one of the simplest meals to make and with fresh produce can be delicious.
Sadly, salads are often considered boring as most people chop some lettuce, tomatoes and toss. Often, salads are not good for you when smothered in dressing and made more of meats and cheeses than veggies and produce. Here are some ideas to fix that.
Start with a healthy foundation of greens. Lettuce is ok but there are many kinds of lettuces and greens available. This should mostly fill your plate and will give you great nutrients and filling fiber with almost no calories. Add lots of veggies. Try to think outside the box…you can still use the common standbys of tomatoes, peppers and onions but broccoli, cauliflower, jicama, bok choy and brussel sprouts (I like mine sliced into thin ribbons) are great veggies to eat raw and add to salads.
Ensure you have some protein…but 3 ounces will do. Lean (cooked) meats such as chicken or turkey, hard-boiled eggs and veggie protein such as tofu also keep you fuller and healthier. Add one fun item with some healthily fat such as nuts, seeds or avocado and you’ve got a great salad.
Dressing is fine in moderation and oils can help you absorb more nutrients but realize that one tablespoon of creamy dressing packs on 100 calories EACH. Oil based dressing usually ring in around 80 calories but seem to go further.
I am so glad spring is here and I am looking forward to lots of yummy healthy salads! What is in your favorite salad?