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Top Five Healthy Snacks

Many of you lead a very active lifestyle and struggle to eat healthy snacks while you are out and about. One ...

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How to Exercise at Home

Hello all! Many of you have emailed me asking for more ideas on how to exercise at home. Some of you have bus ...

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The Start Living Right Community

Hello all!   I hope the first month of 2016 has been treating you well! I’m sure many of you a ...

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  • Three Things You Can Do at Home to Reduce Chronic Pain

    Written by guest author Jackie Waters   Living with chronic pain means that every little thing becomes more difficult. Between pain flare-ups and dips in energy, it can be challenging to keep up with the demands of everyday life. And for many chronic pain sufferers, medical intervention isn’t enough — they need to take pain management into their own hands, too. Here are three things you can do at home to improve your life with chronic pain. Overhaul Your Diet A healthy diet is an important part of managing chronic pain. While there’s no cure-all diet for chronic pain sufferers, there’s evidence that some foods can fight inflammation linked to chronic pain. Eating a diet rich in whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meat promotes health, while processed foods, sugar, and red meat may contribute to inflammation and reduce energy levels. Eating well can also help shed excess pounds that are contributing to your symptoms.   If the time involved in shopping and meal planning stops you from eating as well as you should, consider signing up for a meal delivery service. These services deliver fresh food right to your door, along with instructions on how to prepare recipes with the ingredients you receive. You can even find meal delivery services that cater to dietary restrictions. If meal delivery is out of your budget, getting your groceries delivered saves you time and pain as you can order from the comfort of your home. Exercise at Home Even though a sedentary lifestyle aggravates chronic pain, most people living with an illness don’t get enough exercise. Signing up for a gym membership or fitness classes can be intimidating, especially when you don’t know if you’ll be able to keep up. But opting out of exercise entirely isn’t the solution.   Instead, start exercising at home to improve your health. There’s a lot you can do at home, even without any special fitness equipment. Starting and ending your day with a 30-minute walk around the neighborhood costs nothing but is great for your mental and physical health. Bodyweight fitness is an excellent way to build strength and you can tailor a routine to any skill level. Yoga is a wonderful form of exercise that increases flexibility and promotes mindfulness, and all you need to get started is a yoga mat and free instructional videos. Streamline Housekeeping When simply standing causes discomfort, cleaning house becomes a huge challenge for chronic pain sufferers. Reduce the cleaning burden by turning to appliances that offer convenience, such as dishwashers, vacuuming robots, and all-in-one washer and dryer combinations. Equipping your home with Smart technology lets you control everything from your thermostat to your door locks with the touch of a button, reducing how often you need to walk across the house for a quick task.   Helpful as they may be, high-tech appliances and gadgets aren’t in everyone’s budget. However, there are other ways to simplify hour housekeeping regimen. Cleaning in short, daily bursts is easier for chronic pain sufferers than hours-long cleaning sessions, and there are simple, affordable cleaning products that can make everyday tasks easier. Look for products like electrostatic dusting cloths, disinfectant wipes, and Swiffer floor cleaners that offer convenience in a lightweight package.   If managing your home still proves to be too much, housekeeping services are a wonderful tool for keeping your home comfortable while minimizing your personal workload. While you’ll need to find room in your budget for professional cleaning services, you can tailor the frequency of visits to reach a cost that works for you.   When you live with chronic pain, good days and bad days are a fact of life. On the good days, do your best to structure your lifestyle in a way that minimizes your pain at home. And when the bad days hit, don’t feel guilty if you can’t always keep up. Living with chronic pain means taking life one day at a time, giving your best while understanding that your “best” doesn’t mean the same thing every day.
  • Healthy and Light Lebanese Vegetarian Dishes

    Written by guest author Talar Demirdjian  Sometimes being a vegetarian means that you can’t be as diverse in your food choices as other diets, or so you might think… Being Lebanese, and living in the Mediterranean, means that we have access to amazing herbs, and wonderful recipes, that just happen to be vegetarian by design. Here are a couple of new recipes to try today that won't sabotage your fitness goals! Arugula, Watermelon, and Feta Salad We all know that there is nothing more satisfying to eat than a cold slice of watermelon on a hot summer’s day, so why don’t you turn that into a meal. Combine some Arugula, with seedless watermelon, and feta, mix it with some olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper, and voila you have a beautiful and filling vegetarian dish. This dish is a great way to satisfy your sweet cravings if you are pursuing a fitness program.  Hummus Quesadillas (or Pita) A classic staple in our fridges, Hummus goes well with pretty much anything in my book, but if you want to diversify your Hummus intake, try to put it into a tortilla bread, add some sun dried tomatoes (or baby tomatoes), some sautéed spinach, olives, and brush it with some olive oil, and just feel pure happiness. Who says Lebanese vegetarian dishes have to be boring?! Roasted Cauliflower, Freekeh and Garlicky Tahini Sauce You see roasted cauliflower’s often when you go to Lebanese restaurants but seldom do you think to make them at home, well this is an elevated roasted cauliflower recipe. Make a batch of Freekeh, roast the cauliflower’s in olive oil with some black pepper, and then drizzle the garlic tahini sauce; made of lemon juice, garlic, water, and tahini, and enter a brand new world of flavors. For more fitness-inspired vegetarian dishes that are healthy and delicious, check out the recipes section!  
  • Top Five Hiking Destinations in Lebanon

    Written by guest author Talar Demirdjian  The sun is up, the weather is sweet, it’s time to put on your….. hiking feet? When you’re at the gym and you’re looking outside at the amazing weather and wondering why you’re on an elliptical machine, it’s time to drop that gym bag and put on your hiking boots instead. Grab some sunscreen and a hat, and drive to one of the below amazing hiking trails in Lebanon. Baatara Gorge Waterfall This is probably one of the most instagrammed locations in Lebanon. While traveling from Laklouk to Tannourine, one passes the village of Balaa, and the Three Bridges Chasm (in French Gouffre des Trois Ponts) is a five-minute journey into the valley below where one sees three natural bridges, rising one above the other and overhanging a chasm descending into Mount Lebanon.  https://www.instagram.com/p/BUwzjfClLvT/?taken-at=276253229 Shouf Biosphere Reserve The reserve is one of my favorite places in Lebanon, it’s the personification of a “breathe of fresh air”. Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is a nature reserve in the Chouf District of Lebanon, it is located on the slopes of Barouk mountain. https://web.stagram.com/p/BSJyg9jDzFc Adonis Valley Much like the myth of its namesake, this beautiful valley will enchant you to the point of forgetting how tired you are. The (south) banks of the Ibrahim River between Chouwan and Lassah are ideal for hiking. As desired, you can start and/or end your hike in Chouwan, Ibri (A’abraa), Janneh or Lassah. https://www.instagram.com/p/BMimNnbguRB/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BH7jfn5g_1e/ Jezzine A classic hiking destination, Jezzine is known as the “city of falls” because of its famous waterfall, the Jezzine Falls (40 m high). You can start your hike from the small, picturesque village of Bkassine that has a large and wonderful pine forest covering an area of 1 million square meters, making it the largest pine forest in Lebanon. Qornet El Sawda Have you ever wanted to be inside the clouds? Well now you can. Hiking Lebanon’s highest peak is no easy feat, but if you’re all stretched out, and are feeling up for the challenge, it’s a must try. https://www.instagram.com/p/BRgKB9zAia7/ Always remember that fitness doesn’t have to be boring, it’s always fun when you mix up your fitness routine with some new adventures.

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