18 Quick Dinner Ideas After a Long & Tiring Day | The Health Sessions

18 Quick Dinner Ideas After a Long & Tiring Day

If you’re a regular reader of The Health Sessions, you might have noticed that I love ideas on how you can make it easier to put healthy and comforting meals on the table when you struggle with limited energy and mobility. From using a slow cooker and putting sheet pan dinners in the oven to prepping freezer meals for sick days, there are several ways you can save energy while cooking.

However, many of my go-to strategies that require less effort often do require a long time in the oven/crockpot, or some planning ahead and meal prepping in return. But sometimes, after a long and tiring day, you just want a bowl of food now, and not wait another 30 or 45 minutes before dinner’s ready.

What can you do to quickly whip up a meal that’s still healthy and satisfying? Something that ideally doesn’t require a massive amount of chopping or cleaning up afterwards?

First of all, when available and affordable, buying pre-cut vegetables, sliced proteins or fresh pasta helps to speed up the cooking process. You don’t have to splurge on these foods for every dinner, you can save this luxury for those occasions when you know you’ll be too tired for much cooking – like after a long day in the hospital for example.

The right equipment will also make it easier to whip up a quick meal. A wok enables you to prep a stir-fry in no time, while a large skillet comes in handy for one-pot dinners that’ll save you a load of dishwashing.

And finally, remember you don’t have to pack all the superfoods, nutrients and toppings into one dinner. It’s ok if some nights you have a very simple meal, and your bowl doesn’t look Pinterest-worthy.

With that in mind, here are 18 healthy and quick dinner ideas for tiring days. 

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How to Summon the Energy to Embrace Healthy Habits: Research-Backed Ways | The Health Sessions

How to Summon the Energy to Embrace Healthy Habits: Research-Backed Ways

This article is written by Chad Alexander from Fitness Minimalists

When you live with a chronic illness, how might you summon the energy to consistently embrace your healthy habits? Let’s jump in to see if we can discover some mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical strategies to up your energy levels and make those healthy habits happen consistently.

Many chronic illnesses come with physical pain, but they can also lead to unforeseen mental, emotional and spiritual challenges. Research refers to some of the emotional and mental challenges that people with chronic illnesses experience as illness distress.

Even without a chronic illness, mental chatter and disempowering self-talk can lead to exhaustion. Resisting to accept how life is and constantly wishing for something different can also sap our precious energy. Drs. Hudson’s and Moss-Morri’s (2019) findings indicate that the way people perceive their chronic illnesses impacts their emotions, energy levels, as well as how they cope with those emotions.

So how do you summon the energy to carry out your healthy habits with all this going on?

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12 Simple Practices that Activate Your Relaxation Response | The Health Sessions

12 Simple Practices that Activate Your Relaxation Response

This blog post contains some affiliate links to resources you may find useful, at no extra costs to you. All opinions are my own.

We all love to chill out after a tiring or stressful day. But true relaxation encompasses more than lounging on the couch with a game of Wordle. It’s not just about keeping physical activity to a minimum, real rest also means letting go of tension in your body and quieting your racing mind.

At the same time, relaxation does have to be – nor should it be – an elaborate practice you only do occasionally, by getting a massage or taking a mental health day.

Real rest refers to any activity that activates your body’s natural relaxation response. The relaxation response acts like a built-in tranquilizer: it helps your autonomic nervous system to return to a calm state after being exposed to stress.

You see, whenever your body perceives any kind of danger, it prepares itself to run away or fight back if necessary. Your sympathetic nervous system gets activated, releasing cortisol and adrenaline into your bloodstream and increasing your heart rate and blood flow to your arms and legs, so you’re ready to take action.

This fight-or-flight response worked really well when our ancestors lived among dangerous animals, but nowadays, more innocent events like deadlines at work, traffic jams and arguments with loved ones trigger the same stress response. And the problem is, these modern stressors also don’t go away as easily as wolves and snakes did – they keep lingering in the back of your mind. This stops your body’s natural relaxation response from kicking in (in time), building up to chronic stress, which in turn leads to all kinds of physical, mental and emotional health problems.

Thankfully, there are ways you can activate the relaxation response, during which your parasympathetic nervous system takes over and lets your blood pressure, heart rate, digestive functioning and hormonal levels return to normal. All you need are 3 key ingredients:

  • relax your muscles in your body
  • slow down your heart rate and breathing
  • calm your mind.

Let’s take a look at 12 simple practices you can easily add to your routines – even if you’re chronically ill – that activate your relaxation response.

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18 Sweet and Savory Recipes with Berries You Should Try This Season | The Health Sessions

18 Sweet and Savory Recipes with Berries You Should Try This Season

Berries are a beloved ingredient in healthy recipes, sweet or savory, all around the world – and for good reason. From strawberries and blueberries to the exotic açaí berry, these juicy superfoods are packed with antioxidants, fibers, vitamin and manganese.

Despite being sweet, studies show that a handful of berries can improve blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Raspberries and strawberries have been shown to help lower cholesterol and improve arterial function, two important factors of heart health. Consuming cranberries reduces your chances of developing a urinary tract infection with 26 percent. And thanks a compound called anthocyanidins, eating 1 to 2 cups of blueberries every week can help you keep mentally sharp in old age.

All the more reason to regular snack on nature’s colorful candy!

Of course you can eat any kind of berry straight up, no recipe required. But who does’t like to add a little sweet & sour taste to their smoothie, yogurt bowl, healthy baking and even salads and dinner?

So let’s take a look how you can enjoy even more strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries this season with these 18 sweet and savory berry recipes!

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12 Light Pasta Recipes Packed with Flavor - And Veggies! | The Health Sessions

12 Light Pasta Recipes That Are Packed with Flavor (And Veggies!)

Ah pasta. It’s the ultimate comfort food: it warms you up, satisfies your carb cravings and – depending on the recipes – it can be quick and easy to make after a tiring day.

But sadly, spaghetti, macaroni and lasagna don’t have the best reputation when it comes to healthy eating. Pasta tends to be heavy in carbs and calories, especially if you add a creamy sauce like carbonara or high-fat meat balls.

Thankfully, nowadays you can find plenty of light pasta recipes online, from Paleo and vegetarian versions to gluten-free twists packed with vegetables. Ok, maybe the Italian nonnas won’t approve of deviating from their traditional dishes, but at least you can still enjoy your bowl of pasta while sticking to your health goals!

Take a look at these 12 light pasta recipes that are still full of flavor – and veggies! 

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