62. Calorie Count: Chips
Dinner and dancing makes for an awesomely active date, but if you’re doing Mexican, skip the chips: 20 tortilla chips with salsa adds about 251 calories to your meal, the amount you burn in 1.2 hours of tangoing.
63. While scientists struggle
to prove that green and white teas help reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer, there’s no denying the relaxing effect of a steaming mug on a rainy Seattle afternoon. Pick a blend at Dandelion Botanical Company (dandelionbotanical.com) on Ballard Ave, where an apothecary-style “health bar” offers a staggering selection of all-natural tea types.
64. Bliss out at your desk.
Here’s a simple meditation technique from Laura Defreitas, owner of Laura Nidra Yoga (lauranidrayoga.com). “One: Sit in a comfortable position with both feet flat on the floor below. Close your eyes and take a few deep, long breaths in and out. Allow your breath to settle into a slow natural rhythm. Feel the foundation beneath your seat and begin to lift and lengthen the spine. Two: Visualize your mind as a lake. At first, there may be waves on the surface of your mind-lake. These are your thoughts and concerns. Holding the image of the lake in your mind’s eye, bring attention back to the breath. Three: Slow down the flow of the breath and allow it to gradually become smooth and even. Your mind, which is closely related to the breath, will respond by becoming more calm and in time thought ripples will subside, allowing you to see clearly. Now notice how stilling the mind and focusing on breath, if only briefly, brings a profound sense of inner calm and centeredness. Continue meditating this way for five to 20 minutes. Then, open your eyes, stretch your legs, and, dwelling on the sensations of inner peace, continue with your day!”
65. Snack smart.
Loaded with vitamins A, C, and K, kale chips taste roughly a million times better than you think they do and contain about 15 calories per ounce (potato chips have 150). To make: Grab a bunch of kale—we get ours from Willie Green’s Organic Farm at the U District Farmers Market (seattlefarmersmarkets.org )—wash, dry, then separate stems and leaves. Cut or rip leaves into chip-size pieces, spray or brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees.
66. Twenty-four down,
eight letters, starts with D, another word for losing your damned mind. Answer: Dementia. Fight it with daily crossword puzzles in The Seattle Times (seattletimes.nwsource.com/comicsgames). A 21-year study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that adults who regularly engaged in cognitive calisthenics such as crosswords reduced their risk of going senile by as much as 63 percent. Although no one knows exactly why the gridded word games help defend against the Swiss-cheesing of your brain, some scientists have hypothesized that specific areas of the cerebral cortex (including those responsible for memory and problem solving) get a much needed workout when you’re solving the puzzles. “Such mental exercises may strengthen connections between nerve cells,” notes Eric H. Chudler, research associate professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington, “or perhaps even create new connections.”
67. Dispose of your coffee-cup guilt.
Buy DCI’s reusable and beautiful ceramic to-go cup called “I Am Not a Paper Cup.” Available for $20 at Victrola (victrolacoffee.com).
68. Beat your best time.
Olympic Physical Therapy (olympicpt.com) has nine centers around Seattle and the Eastside, and is famous for helping elite athletes recover from injuries and shave all-important seconds off their records. They help casual competitors, too. Sign up for athletic engineering, a 10-session program that uses physical therapy as a training, rather than recovery, technique. Experts will analyze your form and movements, then teach you technique to help you reach your peak performance while avoiding damage to your body. You’ll outdo yourself. Literally.