Learn How a Mindful Minute Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

We’re two months into the new year. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? Many of us made being heart healthy a goal this year. Bridgeland offers lots of places and ways to focus on your heart. Today, we’ve teamed up with Shaka Power Yoga, located in Bridgeland’s Lakeland Village Center, to discuss simple ways to maintain the health of your heart.

When we think about being heart healthy, it’s typically associated with the physical movement of our bodies and the food that we take in to nourish ourselves. But, the one piece that is often forgotten about is taking care of our minds. Today, we’re going to introduce you to the mindful minute. By adding this daily meditation into your routine, you can be better prepared to face anything life throws at you, and your heart and your mind will thank you.

The Mindful Minute

Meditation is a form of mindfulness practice. It can be intimidating to think about sitting down with your eyes closed for an extended amount of time, but meditation can take only a minute. Just follow these steps!

Step 1:

Find a relaxed sitting position. You can sit down in your work chair. Set both feet on the ground, root down on your ischial tuberosities (the bones used in sitting), and feel the length of your spine grow tall as the crown of your head reaches up toward the ceiling. Close your eyes.

Step 2:

Bring attention to your breath. If you notice your mind start to wander, simply acknowledge those thoughts and bring your attention back to your breath.

Step 3:

Inhale for five seconds and feel your breath fill your body. Pause and count to five. Exhale for five seconds and feel your breath leave your body. Pause and count to five.

Step 4:

Do this three times and voila – you’ve meditated! And, it only took a minute.

Now you know how to meditate! It’s an easy activity you can do before you start your day, to catch your breath when things might get a little crazy, or whenever you want to clear your mind. As you continue on your journey to fitness and health this year, consider adding a mindful minute once a day to your routine of taking care of yourself.

Feed Your Mind

Another way to take better care of your body and mind throughout the day is to eat well. Check out this heart-healthy recipe courtesy of Chef Sue, executive chef for Hungry’s Café, Local Table’s sister restaurant. Local Table is slated to open this spring in Lakeland Village Center. This recipe is sure to feed your mind and warm your heart!

ORGANIC QUINOA SALAD WITH TURMERIC ROASTED VEGGIES

Servings: 4

1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 small zucchini, diced
½ red onion, sliced thinly
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:
Heat oven to 425 F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the vegetables between the two baking sheets. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and turmeric. Roast until veggies are softened and beginning to brown, about 20 to 30 minutes. Set the roasted veggies aside to cool.

Combine the uncooked quinoa with 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let the quinoa steam with the lid on for 4 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff the quinoa with a fork, and set aside.

In a large serving bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and garlic. Slowly pour in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, whisking constantly to emulsify the mixture. Add quinoa, basil, mint, parsley and roasted vegetables, and gently stir to combine. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Remember, practice makes perfect. A great place to master meditation is in the natural scenery that Bridgeland has to offer. Give it a try near the lake or in one of our beautiful parks. For more tips on meditation, visit Shaka Power Yoga in Lakeland Village Center! As for eating healthy, pick a few simple recipes, like the one above, and try incorporating it into your weekly meal prep. Once you master those recipes, you can try adding in a few more as you feel comfortable. We’re excited to focus on the heart this month. We hope you are, too!

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