Friday, 25 July 2014
Thursday, 24 July 2014
I’m willing to bet that, over the years, you’ve told a sad friend or two to “cheer up” or “look at the postitives,” after a going through a bad breakup or missing out on a big promotion. Turns out, this is a terrible approach for lifting someone’s spirits.
According to new research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “positive reframing,” or attempting to get a depressed person to look on the bright side, will not work on a person’s mood if they have low self-esteem—which most people do after a difficult life event. And you might even start to feel bad about yourself when your helpful attempts to bring good cheer falls on deaf ears, because you might think you’re horrible at lending support. Crazy, right?
The actual, correct, scientifically-supported way to lend words of comfort to a depressed friend is to employ “negative validation.” Basically, you should deliver words that communicate an understanding of the person’s emotions, so they feel their reaction to the situation is normal, logical, and appropriate. This type of support resonates with people of low self-esteem, whereas “positive reframing” does not. Researchers suggest this is because, by telling a super-sad person to look at their unfortunate situation differently, you are in essence telling them the way they’re not handling their emotions correctly.
Interestingly, people with high self-esteem tend to respond well to either approach, whether it be positive reframing or negative validation. Still, it’s probably best to take the empathetic approach. Here are some examples in action:
Scenario #1: Your friend is upset when he doesn’t hit his weight goal this week.
Scenario #2: A golf ball lands on the windshield of your brother’s brand new car, leaving a huge crack.
Scenario #3: Your best friend just broke up with her longtime boyfriend, and won’t stop watching DVR’d episodes of The Bachelorette while eating Ben & Jerry’s.
With summer in full swing, certain foods are hard to avoid. French fries come with every hotdog at the ballpark, and chips are out at every backyard barbecue. While tasty, they are also highly caloric, and packed with sodium. And potatoes—no matter how delicious they may be—are not the most nutrient dense food. Unfortunately, salty and delicious are totally addictive, so even if you do manage to resist the temptation the cravings remain.
The solution? Veggie chips and fries! Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply want to make healthier choices, veggie versions are the perfect choice—and there are a lotof options.
Although some are best prepared with a little oil, my favorite veggie chips and fries are baked, not fried, and pack in more vitamins than standard potatoes. They take a little time to prepare (reaching for a bag of chips will always be easier), but it’s a snack you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in.
Here are some of the best veggie chips and fries:
Kale Chips Kale chips pack a ton of crunch and can be seasoned with just about anything your heart desires. What are the benefits to using kale? It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with iron and vitamin K!
Zucchini Chips Chances are your supermarket or garden is overflowing with zucchini right now. Like kale, zucchini is a blank canvas for flavor, and add will do well with your favorite seasonings, such as fresh black pepper and sea salt.
Beet Chips Think beets are just for roasting? Think again! With a little salt they become the ultimate sweet and savory treat. Beets are also incredibly good for you—they’re a great source of magnesium, fiber, iron, and vitamins A, B, and C. Wow!
Eggplant Fries With a slightly sweet flavor, eggplant stands up well to a little salt—in fact, letting eggplant spears sit with a bit of salt helps to remove moisture before roasting. And the summer favorite is a fantastic source of fiber and vitamin B.
Brussels Sprout Chips The little leaves crisp up quickly and perfectly in the oven, making a healthy and yummy snack. Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamins K, C, B, fiber, and magnesium.
A personal favorite in my home is the parsnip. I load up at the farmers market when I see them because they can become chips OR fries, depending on your mood or meal. When cut length wise (and a little thicker) into fries, parsnips stay slightly soft on the inside, just like a typical French fry. And when you slice them chip-thin, they get super crispy. Bonus: parsnips are rich in fiber, vitamins B and C, and folic acid. Here’s how I turn this healthy veggie into a tasty side dish or snack: