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I have been back in Milan, Italy, for quite a few days. One of the things I really miss in Greece is “Greek Salad”. We had it almost every night as a side dish for dinner. I’m glad that it is so easy to make at home, all the ingredients can found in supermarkets here.

This dish is simple and refreshing. No wonder why it is so popular all over the world. Greek diet, though it could be heavy, is considered to be one of the healthiest diets in the world. Greeks do eat well… like Italians… I noticed that fresh vegetables there taste so good. People in Greece really pay a lot of attention about the quality of fresh products. I love that fact, because I do too.

Here is the recipe for Greek Salad, enjoy!

Greek Salad - tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese, etc.

Ingredients

2 large tomatoes, chopped

1 cucumber, sliced

1 head romaine lettuce, rinsed, dried and chopped

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 (6 ounce) can pitted black olives

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup sliced feta cheese

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

A pinch of ground black pepper

Directions

1. Combine tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, onion, olives, bell peppers and feta cheese in a large salad bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine and whisk together the olive oil, oregano, lemon juice and black pepper. Pour dressing over salad and serve.

Many of us might be struggle while being on diet. There some easy and simple ways to improve and help you to stay healthy,  keep your weigh under control. Something we might have known but do not realize that it could affect how your diet works. Let have a look.

1. Eat Breakfast: It is the most important meal of the day. You need to nourish your body in the morning. Breakfast will help a mind to function better during the day and boost your metabolism to burn calories. A great choice would be a bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal with fruit such as bananas, blueberries, strawberries, etc.

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2. Limited Portion of Dinner: Yes, of course, you still need to have dinner. But the amount that served needs to be limited. Focus on protein and vegetable, you will feel more satisfied. Vegetable and soups are great choices.

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3. Don’t obsess with counting calories: You meal should have some lean protein like turkey, chicken or beans. There also should be some whole grain carbohydrate such as brown rice. Half of your dish must fill with vegetables, they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Stop going crazy about counting calories, you will feel less satisfied when you eat. It affects your body psychologically.

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4. Give yourself some healthy treats: You need to reward yourself sometimes. An apple for afternoon snack is a good idea. Try to stay away from chocolate bars, sodas, cookies, chip, and so on. There are many things you can pack on your daily treats; carrots, pears, almonds (1/2 cup), a banana, etc. Everything need to be consumed in moderate portion.

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5. Drink more water: Nobody can argue that water is good for us. Most of people do not drink enough water during the day. Your body will send a signal to your brain and many thought they were hungry but actually they just needed to drink some water. It does help your body to feel less hungry and more satisfied with your meal. You need to drink water 6-8 glasses a day. It might be a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you and drink from that bottle, at the end of the day it will help you to see how much water you have consumed.


    It is Spring and many of us are suffering from Spring allergies. We walk around while the trees bud and flowers bloom. Chances are, pollens will spread in the air and we are inhaling those in, our bodies will definitely react with all kinds of symptoms (itchy eyes, running nose, rashes, etc.). I am one of those who is not doing well under this kind of situation. Yes, we all have to be very careful. Good news is there are foods that fight against allergies. Let us have a look.

    1. Salmon and fatty fish: Salmon, sardines and mackerel contain large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which help to minimize inflammation. Eating fish brings several beneficial effects on the immune system and prevent allergy symptoms.

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    2. Garlic and Onions: Garlic and onions are rich of antioxidants. The suggestion is to use fresh garlic as seasoning. Acids in stomach will break them down and release nutrients through the colons. Onions helps to improve body’s absorption of vitamin C. It also contains antioxidant that boosts immunity system.

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    3. Yogurt: The key is a bacteria that found in yogurt and other similar food like kefir. It stimulates the body to produce certain white blood cells and antibodies that keep us from overreacting to allergens. It is suggested to eat 1 or 2 cups a day.

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    4. Oregano, rosemary, sage and marjoram: You put those as seasoning to your food. Herbs contain a substance that reduces inflammation. They also help reducing the symptoms of seasonal allergies.

    (Information from Prevention Magazine)

    I just read an article from Prevention Magazine. It is so true that you are what you eat. We do spend a lot of money on skin care and cosmetics. That is not enough… foods really make the different from the inside also. Don’t we want a young and healthy look, ladies? We all do. It is not difficult, start from what you have in your kitchen. Fresh & natural food can bring magics to your body.

    Here are foods we’re talking about;

    Romaine Lettuce: Provides vitamin A. It gives a boost by refreshing your skin. Nutrients and oxygen will improve your circulation.  It also has vitamin K, which activates a protein that supports vascular health.

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    Tomatoes: There is a research that shows people who eat tomatoes regularly will have nearly 25% more protection against sunburn. Skins will have more collagen which prevent sagging. Even more, it gives higher level of antioxidant that keep you from fine lines and furrows. We know that tomatoes lower your chances of having heart disease, which kills women more than any other sicknesses.

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    Strawberries: This fruit is rich with vitamin C, an antioxidant that boosts production of collagen fibers. It keeps your skin smooth and firm. Bonus from eating them is it can lower your risk of cancer by inhibiting the development of cancer cells.

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    Apple: It provides protection from burning UVB rays that trigger a skin cancer. Eating 2 or more apples a week reduced a risk of heart disease by 15%. Be sure to eat the peel, it is the source of all the antioxidants.

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    Soy: Your skin will reduce fine wrinkles. Firmness improved in women in their late 30s and early 40s. Soy products will reduce your risk of having ovarian cancer and diabetes. It prevents from having a recurrence of breast cancer.


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    Eggs: 2 antioxidants, lutien and zeaxanthin, are found in eggs. They protect against UV damage to your skin that lead to fine lines, brown spots and cancer. Researches found that skin will look more softer, firmer and better hydrated.

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    Almonds: Eating a handful of almonds a day boosts levels of vitamin E. It gives moisture to skins. Though nuts are high in calories, women who ate them at least twice a week were less like to gain weights.

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    Walnuts: These nuts have omega 3 fat that is significant to keep skin moist and supple. Eating them at dinner may help better shut-eye, regulates a good night of sleep.

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    Dark Chocolate: Cocoa made with dark chocolate give a glow to your skin. It increases a circulation of blood. It is able to rejuvenate your complexion even more. Women who drink half a cup of cocoa had significantly softer, smoother and better hydrated skin. It is proved to improve blood flow to the brain, which enhance more brain activities. Therefore it can reduce the risk of dementia.

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    Extra Virgin Olive Oil: It has essential fat that help skin resist UV damage. Its components in olive oil can lower cholesterol and help prevent obesity. It shows that having it with the meal can give you satisfaction so you are less likely to snack.

    As I sat here wondering, what would be my next book, I just wanted the world to know about my life first. No, it was not easy to come up with something new or interesting. But it was good to have some creative idea. I loved how things changed around us. Look at new technology these days. I turned on TV, people talked about a little computer that came out. They were sold like more than 300,000 units in one day. Oh my… what else would top that? Again, it might be something in the future that would go beyond that.

    Things had changed so much, that’s right. I tried to think and think… what my life would be like in the next ten years… let me say this, we just take one step at a time. It would work that way for me. If I tried to think too much, I would be afraid to do things, and I would not be able to finish anything.  I felt like a lucky girl to be surrounded by great people around me. Well, almost all of them were nice, a few were ok.

    Great Support System: It was truly break my heart, when I saw a used-to-be big movie star went downward spiral in her life. That was not so great. There were so many child stars that started out great, later their lives went downhill. How come that kind of thing happen? It did happen very often. It scared me. Now, I started seeing many rising stars under the age of 18. What would happen to them in the next ten year? Hope they would be smart to surround themselves with supportive people. I once watched a journalist commented about how Hollywood destroyed lives of young stars. That journalist said it was not a responsibility of Hollywood, but the parents. You know what, I think she is right… in this occasion, parents are the people who can get their hands on children. Some argued that school has big responsibility because kids spend most of the time at schools. Oh hello? kids change teachers every year, change school every four years, or less than that. But kids don’t get to change their parents. So listen up! “Parents” take full responsibility here.

    I realized how important parents could affect their children in perspectives of their lives. I have encountered with some mean people. I mean they are really… really… mean!!! You would kind of know, if you met someone who had bad intentions towards you, right? A few times, I met people and I could sense their attitudes towards me. Most of the time I just ignore it. But unfortunately, sometimes I have to see them over and over again. So I have to put all the feelings behind, but I will be very careful being around them. They are not people I could trust. I will definitely stay away from them. Why not surround yourself with people you can trust? There are so many people who love and care for you. Look around, I am sure you will find one… or more than one :)

    Here is my thought, it is important to surround yourself with positive people. They are the one who are there for you in good times and bad times. They are willing to extend themselves for you when you need them. Those might not be the one who look so cool in others’ eyes. Don’t be too shallow, people are very grounded do not like to show off. Don’t waste your time with super cool gang, they are ready to ditch you if you are not cool enough. Why wasting time hanging out with shallow people? get real!

    Love it or hate it… positive people are not afraid to help, step up and speak for you. They may not be good looking, not catching up with all the fads, do not own trendy clothes, etc. But they are the one who are there for you.

    Think hard, my readers… surround yourself with positive people!