Entertaining Without Stress
Let's face it. If you are stressed, agitated and flitting about, your guests will be uncomfortable and won't be able to relax. Here is an easy test of how well you are doing. How many times do your guests ask if there is anything they can do to help? It is reasonable that guests may ask when they first arrive but if you hear the question over and over again, you are doing something wrong.
The Dinner Party:Do you become a shrinking violet at the mere thought of hosting a dinner party? Here are some quick and easy tips on how to host a successful party and not be too wiped out to enjoy the effort.
Here is a quick plan for a holiday/winter dinner party:Make a list of 6 of your closest friends and invite them over for an evening dinner. If you are in a panic just thinking about dinner for 8, you need to register for our Entertaining Workshop but for an immediate fix, read our tips below:
Prepare a simple menu that does not require a lot of ingredients and a lot of stove watching (bird watching is easy in comparison).
For red meat:
If you feel that you have the small dinner party under control and are ready to branch out to large group entertaining, here are the basic steps to making a gathering a success:
An Alternative to a Dinner Party - A Wine Party
Do you have to be a sommelier to know something about wine? Well, if you want to tout yourself as an expert, perhaps but if you just want to enjoy a good glass of wine, go with your gut - or rather your mouth - and enjoy what tastes good to you. Once we survive the holidays, not many people want to throw another lavish bash in the winter months. So, why not host a wine tasting party? Now before you hit the panic button, get uptight and claim to know nothing about wine, stop! We aren't proposing you sit around discussing bouquet and barrel fermenting. We want you to have a little fun.
You can buy wine tasting party kits from various sources on the internet and local shops. Don't want a kit? Here's what you need:
At the end of the event, serve some crackers/bread, cheese and fruit or some other small/light appetizers and offer each guest a glass of his/her favorite wine. Wine charms are a fun thing to introduce at this point. Each person can pick her/her own and attach to the glass. Put on some music and enjoy the company. However, above all things, drink and serve responsibly!
Crank up the wine party one notch
Even though the farmer's market is closed and the weather has turned quite chilly, the fall and winter have a lot to offer our palate. As we have told you before, leverage what you have and embrace the winter weather. Serve your guests wine, cheese and winter fruits.
One of our favorites is eiswein (pronounced ice vine). Eiswein or Ice Wine as it is called in this country is a wine that is made with the late harvest fruit by pressing it while still frozen...thus the name. Now here is the catch. Eiswein is not something you can pick up at your local supermarket and it doesn't come in bargain basement $5/bottle prices. Here are a few of our picks and where you can get them.
Eiswein is usually sold in 1/2 bottles due to the high sugar content of the wine and the cost...less is more!
Locally: Total Beverage Check with your particular store because they don't all carry the same items. Most of them have the Hubert Ganz Riesling Eiswein (1/2 bottle $40) and the Selaks Wines Ice Wine Kumeu (1/2 bottle $14). Some of them also have the Inniskillin Vidal Ice Wine (1/2 bottle $70...and a favorite of ours)
On the Internet:www.champagnewines.com and www.internationalwine.com
And who says an eiswein has to be made with grapes. La Face Cachee de la Pomme in Canada makes a scrumptious apple ice wine (cidre de glace). For more information, visit appleicewine.com. In case you don't feel like making the trek to Canada in the winter, check their website for US locations.
Now that you feel like you speak several other languages, what cheese do you serve with these delectable wines? We recommend Roquefort. You need something with a little punch to it to counterbalance the wine. However, we do not profess to be wine or cheese experts so buy a bottle of eiswein and some of your favorite cheeses and have your own private tasting party before you serve to your guests. The wines could also be paired with some not-so-sweet desserts.
So the quick recap to plan your party:
Indra A Books, author of this and many other lifestyle articles is the owner and founder of ON THE GO 4 U, Personal Shoppers & Concierge Service in the Washington DC metropolitan area. The company's creed is to provide its clients with the ultimate life management experience. In addition to its shopping and concierge services, ON THE GO 4 U also publishes a monthly e-zine and conducts workshops on wardrobe, entertaining and decorating. For more information about the author and ON THE Go 4 U, please visit http://www.onthego4u.net© 2004 Indra A Books, ON THE GO 4 U.
Stress Managment: 12 Universal Laws for Managing Anger
1. The Law of Everyone
Five Steps to Stress Relief
So, you've recognised that you are suffering from stress and you want to do something about it ? congratulations, you are now TWO steps ahead of most people and well on the road to recovery from dis-ease. These five easy steps will get you well on your way and give you some momentum to keep going as well as gearing your systems up for the challenge.
Stress Management Made Simple And Easy...Just Follow Cliff Kuhn M.D.s Foolproof Formula
Stress management is a hot topic; stress-related illness and suffering is at an all-time high in America and increasing every year. Cliff Kuhn, M.D.'s work with the powerful natural medicine of humor has uncovered the primary culprit behind your unhealthy stress symptoms, as well as the solution to simple, healthy stress management.
Coping as a Tool of Enchantment
Many of my readers write to me about the tensions of everyday life. Not only do people wonder how to relax, but people often ask, "How do I learn to better cope with what faces me? Can THE ENCHANTED SELF help with the overwhelming frenzy of everyday life? Can it help when I am really down or something really goes wrong?" Absolutely!
Emotional Freedom - At YOUR Fingertips!
What would you say if I told you I know of a simple method that can make emotional stress such as upset, anger, fear, concern and distress simply melt away in a few minutes and all you had to do to achieve this is simply touch a few "magical points" on your face and hands?
Stress relief and management
Stress - A Modern Cause of Disease
Every day we are faced with a situation where our health is assaulted on all sides. There is not just one cause of disease. People get sick because of a number of converging changes. In Australia, according to government research, 50% of people aged 50 and over are considered to have some form of disability. 20% of children reported symptoms of Asthma to their Medical Practitioner in the past year, 30% of Australians over the age of 25 are at risk of Diabetes. Today we are faced with many enemies that simply didn't exist all those years ago.
Stressed? Go on a Quick Getaway
Did you know that taking a short trip, such as over President's Day weekend, or anytime, can have the same stress-reducing effects as a longer one? According to a Stanford University psychiatrist, David Spiegel, our minds shift into a more relaxed state during the first few days of a trip. When we have been away from home for long trips we tend to slightly increase our stress, or dread, coming back to home or work.
Stress and Your Immune System: 10 Ways to Relax and Rejuvenate
Stress seems to have become a constant factor in today's fast-paced society. If left unchecked, it can wreak havoc upon our health. Learning how to effectively manage stress can mean the difference between being robust and full of life, or becoming susceptible to illness and disease. Stress can weaken the immune system and accelerate the aging process. The ability to relax and rejuvenate promotes wellness, vitality and longevity.
Stress Management Shouldnt Create More Stress. 10 Ways To Reduce Unreasonable Stress and Boost Perf
We all know that stress levels in the workplace are reaching unreasonable levels. And most sensible human beings will agree that we have to take action to fix this problem.
Workplace Stress: What to Do During Down Times?
The main problem in a down economy is that workplaces tend to become stressful and morale bottoms out. This reduces overall productivity and especially gets in the way of teamwork. Here are some approaches that go beyond cash rewards, stock options or other silver-lined benefit packages to keep employees engaged during an economic downturn. Sometimes, simple works best.
Using Exercise to Relieve Stress
Most people know of the importance of exercise as a means of weight loss, strength gains, and increased endurance, but exercise can play a major role in the reduction of stress. Along with just stress relief, exercise can help improve mental health, emotion and mood.
Quick Steps On Handling Stress
Looking for some quick stress relief?
Planning Stress Management
Deadlines at work, demanding bosses, bills to be paid at home, kids demanding for time and attention, changes in the environment, etc. AAARRRRGH. These are the realities of everyday living that people in an industrialized world have to constantly contend with, if these factors are not handled properly this will lead to stress.
The Art of Worrying
I am worried. I have been biting my nails for weeks and now there is not much left (skin doesn't taste very good) on my hands and feet to chew on. I have been bent over the sink retching, I am constantly nauseated with pounding headaches beating out a death march in my skull and yet, life goes on. To say I am worried is placing the situation into a category far above its position ? I am sick with worry. I am worried to death and I am sick of being worried about nothing. I am even tired of being worried about being worried about nothing - and I worry about that as well!
Stress Management: 9 Universal Laws for Problem Solving
1. The Law of Gifts
The Physiology of Stress
In the body, the stress response is mediated by the hypothalamic-adrenal-pituitary axis, or the HPA-axis for short.
Children Playing - How Play Is Important To Kids And Adults
You can learn a lot by watching children playing. There is no greater sight than to see children pretending to be superheroes or digging for treasure in a sandbox. To hear the laughter and see a child's excitement can bring a smile to any adult's face. An important part of a child's development is through play. A child's problem solving skills are developed through play. Children are able to work on relationships, build self-esteem and decrease their anger. In the course of a child's life adults usually teach children, but on the playground children can teach adults how to have fun.Unfortunately, some children had to grow up so fast that they never had the experience of play. When this happens, they often miss out on a healthy part of their development. These children often grow up to be adults who are more angry and depressed.Whether you are an adult who missed out on play as a child or an adult who lost site of the importance of play, take the time out of your busy day to watch children playing. By watching children play you can regain some of that fun, enabling you to see how carefree and fun life should be.To incorporate play in your life, think back to your childhood.* What did you do for fun?* Did you experience play or did you observe children playing?* Ask yourself how you can bring play into your adult life?If you are having difficulty in your life and are in need of a break just take the time out of your busy unrelenting day to watch children play. If you feel comfortable doing so, join in the fun. The stresses and strains of your daily life will just slip away.
Overcome the Top 10 Causes of Workplace Stress
Workplace stress is on the rise and it's costingcorporate America a fortune. Some estimate that80% of health care costs are stress related, andthese expenses go right to the bottom line.
Stress Causing People to ?Super Size?
Stress Causing People to "Super Size"by Georgianna Donadio D.C., M.Sc., Ph.D. It is currently reported that two out of three adults is either overweight or obese, and the numbers continue to climb. As a result, statistics demonstrate that a significant portion of our population is being diagnosed with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. Even more shocking is that we are experiencing these conditions at earlier ages than previously reported. It is not unusual today, to hear about a young person in their 20's diagnosed with mature onset diabetes, normally developed during middle-age. On May 7, 2004, a controversial and award-winning movie aimed at exploring the obesity epidemic hit theatres. In "Super Size Me", a tongue-in-cheek look at the legal, financial and physical costs of our hunger for fast food, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock explores the horrors of school lunch programs, declining health education and physical education classes, food addictions and the extreme measures people take to lose weight. As a centerpiece of the film, Spurlock puts his own body on the line, living on nothing but McDonald's for 30 days following three rules:1) Eat only what is available over the counter2) No supersizing unless offered3) Consume every item on the menu at least onceIn the end, Spurlock has a weight gain of 24 pounds and experiences harrowing visits to the doctor. The issues that are explored in "Super Size Me" beg the question, what has changed in our environment to cause this obesity problem to reach epidemic proportions? Furthermore, what is causing people to overeat as we do? A groundbreaking study, reported in 2003 by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, found that between 1977 and 1996, portion sizes for key food groups grew markedly in the United States, not only at fast-food restaurants but also in homes and at conventional restaurants. In particular, portion sizes for salty and sugary foods, essentially, "comfort foods" experienced the most dramatic portion size increases. For example, the USDA's recommended serving size for a cookie is half an ounce, while the average cookie sold in restaurants was found to be 700% larger. The by-products of our affluent American society, envied by many around the world, have a definite dark side, our obesity rate, for starters. In a culture where more is better and disposable income is abundant, when it comes to eating we have developed a "more food, more conveniently and more often" attitude. Stress: A Pre-Cursor to Obesity Certainly, no one forces us to eat more than our body needs, so what is driving this "hunger" for more? Over the last two decades, almost proportionally to the dramatic increase of food consumed and chronic disease diagnoses, the amount of stress in our society and on each of us individually has increased significantly. Stress is the term medical researcher Hans Selye, M.D., PhD, gave to the experience our bodies go through when we have to adjust or adapt to the various changes our bodies experience during the course of the day. While many of us think of stress in relationship to emotional states, many other factors can exert an equally detrimental effect on our bodies as well. When we do not get enough sleep or rest, work or exercise too much, nutritional status, have an infection, have allergies, injuries or trauma, undergo dental or surgical procedures, have emotional upsets, or deal with any aspect of reproductive function such a pregnancy, menopause, etc., our bodies must chemically and neurologically adapt in order to survive. Part of this adaptation process relies heavily on the nutrition that is available for the kidney's adrenal glands to produce the adaptive hormones. It is often this aspect of stress that can lead to overeating, and what's more, overeating the types of foods that cause unhealthy weight gain. How it works Thanks to the work of M.I.T. Professor Judith Wurtman, Ph.D. and others we now understand the significant role that a neurotransmitter or "chemical messenger" called Serotonin plays in producing our cravings for complex carbohydrates and sugars, two of the largest contributors to unhealthy weight gain. Serotonin along with other neurotransmitters, are produced by our bodies as "feel good" hormones. Under stress, we do not have enough of these hormones and we become motivated to "self-sooth" by behaviors that lead to the increase of Serotonin. Overeating of carbohydrate and fatty-rich foods or "comfort foods" such as cookies, ice cream, etc. significantly increases these hormones. Many addictions such as smoking, alcohol, and drugs are also attempts to self-sooth and increase Serotonin, but no other addictive or unhealthy behavior is as socially acceptable and as easily available as over eating. We can do it anywhere, anytime, alone or with company. It is no wonder we have such a love affair with eating. In addition, our bodies need for certain nutrients, specifically protein, Vitamins A, C, and E, unsaturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and minerals, skyrocket when we are "adapting" under stress. Often, if we do not stop the stress cycle or do not appropriately supplement these nutrients, we can turn to overeating to satisfy the body's demands for the fuel it needs to keep dealing with the stress we are experiencing. For a period of time, foods that comfort, sooth or supplement can make us feel calmer until our level of Serotonin drops again or until we become more exhausted and need to feed ourselves, yet again. Then, we start the cycle all over and consume more carbohydrate and fatty rich foods until we feel better. This is the cycle of self-medication or self-soothing practiced in homes, offices, restaurants, automobiles and yes, even bathrooms across America. The long-term effect of such behaviors, apart from obesity and escalating chronic diseases, is that our nervous systems are being hyper-stimulated. Anxiety, exhaustion, depression, overeating and insomnia are just a few of the symptoms we experience when our nervous systems are working on overload. As a result, it is no wonder that within the last year, low-carbohydrate diets have proven effective for so many people. Approximately 20% of Americans or 20 million people are currently on a low-carb diet. For many of us, our stress level is a major factor in the over consumption of carbohydrates, therefore reducing or eating normal amounts of carbohydrates is spawning weight loss. The real issue, however, is how long can we reduce are carbohydrate loading without reducing our stress levels and the behaviors that create elevated stress in the first place? Causes of Stress Prior to the early 1970's, the majority of family units were structured as a one wage earner household where the male worked and the female stayed at home, taking care of the house and family. Driven largely by social and socio-economic factors, all of that has changed. Now, the overwhelming majority of families include both parents working and we find ourselves on a treadmill of more work, more responsibilities, more demands and non-stop scheduling that has many of us in a state of physical and, at times, emotional exhaustion. Added to the mix is our competitive culture, which often leads to isolation or a "them against us" thinking. Isolation of this nature causes additional "hidden" stress. A Hindu Vendata truth is that "the whole world is one family". It is said that there is only one disease, the disease of separateness; separating oneself from the awareness that as members of the human family, we are one living organism. The drama created by a "one-up" or "one-down" dynamic, that we find in competitive societies, can lead to the exhaustion and the psychosocial behavioral issues which can contribute to overeating. Understanding Exhaustion and its' Effect on Obesity The tipping point at which our bodies can no longer compensate or adapt from the stress it is under, is based in large part on the threshold of nutritional competency and the state of integrity of our nervous system. When our central nervous system, which governs every cell in our body and makes life possible, is not working efficiently, we have a decrease in bodily function and the ability to adapt to the world we live in. Chronic Fatigue Syndromes, CFS, are rampant in our culture today and growing at an alarming rate because of the over stimulation and increased demands placed on our nervous systems. Add to this inadequate nutrition and a decreased ability of our bodies to digest and absorb properly because of the stress, and we see the foundation of the epidemic of chronic diseases being currently reported. What is so shocking for us, as Americans, is that while we live in one of the most affluent societies ever to exist on earth and have one of the most technologically advanced medical systems we are raked at approximately twenty-sixth in the world health Olympics. This is not the failure of our medical system, but in fact, the failure to live in our bodies mindfully and respectfully, taking time for rest, proper nutrition, reflection, intimacy with self and others and serving the common good of society. It is this imbalance that leads us to chronic stress, which leads to physical and, if you will, spiritual exhaustion that is producing the levels of chronic diseases and the rampant obesity we see today. Self-Esteem and Health We have an innate understanding of how we need to choose to live to be healthy.Yet, adages about health i.e., "early to be, early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise", are often ignored in place of our instant gratification or immediate comfort.Physical labor has taken a back seat to "mind work", and today we work harder than ever before to have the money to buy a membership to a gym or spa so we can do the physical exercise we need to be healthy and attractive. However, rarely do we actually have the time to go to the gym we pay membership fees to. Statistically, the average gym membership is used for the first 4 ? 6 weeks after signing up and then falls off dramatically. Workout facilities count on this phenomenon when planning their recruitment and enrollment numbers. Likewise, diet plans and weight loss centers know that 90% or more of their customers will continue to have body weight issues, in spite of their best efforts to re-direct to a different way of eating. Why? The Oprah Syndrome One of the most powerful, successful people in the world, Oprah Winfrey is a brilliant example of the "super size" syndrome in our culture. With every possible service, care and expert available to her, Oprah has continued to struggle with significant weight gain and loss for many years. In 2001, a chart published in a popular magazine, documents her weight gain and loss over the previous 20 years. Even during the height of her popularity and professional success, her body weight rose to dangerously elevated levels. The reasons most of us give for not taking care of ourselves include; not having enough time to shop for or cook the right foods; not being sure what's best for our body type; not enough money for domestic help so we can exercise, meditate or relax; stress over money and achieving success. Oprah is an individual who has more than enough money and success to eliminate all those concerns, yet in spite of that she still does not consistently maintain a proper body weight. Driven by personal history and ambition, Oprah offers a perfect example of the potential outcome of Serotonin driven self-soothing, which invites us to ask and answer questions about self-esteem and self care. When we understand the relationship between our unconscious mind, our self-esteem and the serotonin connection, it becomes quite clear that what is at the core of our "super sizing" is not solved by the "diet of the month" or the next "how to" bestseller. Rather, an examination of our personal worldview, our ego state, our treatment and regard for nature and for others, what we value, what we believe in, how much we consume and how much we accumulate. When these aspects of self are aligned with choices that lead to moderation rather than ambition, that produce balance rather than extremes, that debunk the thinking that "more is better", we then select the foods we innately know are healthy, even when we must choose from the fast food menu. In a culture comprised of 5% of the world population, using 75% of the world's resources, we have come to accept excess as a way of life and a standard to subscribe to. In the 1980's, Robin Leach's television show, "Life Styles of the Rich and Famous", tainted our appetites for a standard of over consumption that has brought us to where we are today ? obese and chronically diseased. Take a Tip from the Gurus Eastern philosophies offer us an opportunity to re-think our approach to the way we live. Quite opposite from our "in your face" attitude of self-manifestation, Eastern wisdom invites us to ponder, "how much do I really need; to do; to have; to eat; to own; to control; to be content with my life; and what is the role of gratitude in my life?" Shouldn't having a calm, well functioning nervous system, the source of all life in the body, be a main objective for all of us instead of trying to trick the body into doing what we want with the latest diet craze or vitamin pills available? Change the Question It may be time to change the questions we not only ask ourselves, but the questions we are asked as consumers. Maybe, if when making his fast food purchases, Morgan Spurlock was asked the question "super size or down size, sir?" the choices he might have made could have resulted in significant weight loss rather than weight gain, but then Spurlock would not have a movie to make, or the millions that will be realized from it.
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