All posts by Dana Sparks

Making Mayo’s Recipes: Citrus seared salmon

Mediterranean style grilled salmon for gluten-free diet
This salmon recipe doubles down on citrus flavor — with orange zest in the seasoning and orange juice in the sauce drizzled on after cooking. You can also grill this salmon instead of cooking in a pan and use Dijon mustard or honey in the sauce, which is tasty on sea scallops, too.

Each Friday one of the 100+ tasty video recipes from the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is featured on the Mayo Clinic News Network, just in time for you to try at the weekend. You can also have the recipes delivered via the Mayo Clinic App.

Created by the executive wellness chef and registered dietitians at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Find more recipes and other healthy-living insights on the Mayo Clinic App

Watch: Citrus seared salmon.

Journalists: The broadcast-quality video (1:37) is in the downloads.

Something to Think About: Conscience is the inner light

a young woman sitting at a desk with a computer looking thoughtfully out a window, perhaps sadDr. Amit Sood says, “Listen to the conscience, not just to the mind or the senses.”

Dear friend,

Your entire repertoire of conscious experience comprises an integration of three inputs—sensory information from the world, sensory information from the body, and self-generated thoughts from the mind. At any instance, all of these inputs compete, and the information that is most salient (to survival value) becomes your present-moment experience. To simplify it further, in your entire life, your conscious present-moment experience will comprise either the input from the senses (external world or the body) or the thoughts generated by the mind.

Our five senses have no memory. They are passive conduits to the moment-by-moment flow of information. The mind uses the senses for safety, pleasure, and information.

The mind itself spontaneously churns countless thoughts and imaginations. These thoughts often project into a narrow time frame (usually yesterday, today, and tomorrow). The untrained mind mostly thinks thoughts related to self-worth, relationships, safety, and daily tasks.

If you live in a world where your physical safety is constantly threatened, external sensory input will likely dominate your conscious experience. This was the case for our ancestors, and it is true today in the war-torn or crime-prone areas. In the relatively safer parts of the world, where external dangers don’t require diligence, your attention is free to roam in your mind, in the company of your thoughts and imaginations. Whether you know it or not, if you live in one of the safer neighborhoods, very likely, you spend the bulk of your day with your mind wandering. I believe this has created a unique opportunity for us.

When your attention is freed from the external threats and can focus inward, you have a choice—you can let your attention travel with spontaneous thoughts or direct it deeper, where conscience resides.

Conscience is the inner light that illumines the truth, telling me right from wrong. Conscience helps me do the right thing when no one is looking. My conscience isn’t swayed by greed of pleasure or fear of pain. My conscience isn’t selfish. It is objective, true, pure, and dependable. Conscience knows we all share the same sun and have the same I.

There is one problem though. Although conscience always has an opinion, it speaks in a humble, low volume, easily drowned by the vortices of the mind and the senses. When the majority of the world muffles the voice of conscience, we become unkind to each other.

I should dial up the volume of my conscience. I should use conscience as my guiding light. A mind anchored in conscience still experiences senses and thoughts. However, these thoughts and senses serve a self that includes many others. They help and heal, freeing the mind so it can fly into the vast vistas of the truth.

My mind is trainable. I should tether it to conscience so it can harness the senses, thoughts, words, and actions to comfort the other minds that are caught in the whirlpool of suffering. In that effort I will find peace and freedom.

May your conscience speak more loudly than your senses and thoughts; may your ears listen to your conscience more than they listen to your desires.

Take care.
Amit

Read Dr. Sood’s blog posts and follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic‘s Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.

Wellness Wednesday: Strengthen your abs with a front plank

an exercise class of women on the floor doing planks
Want to strengthen your abs and forearms? Try a plank. It’s a top move for building your core that’s all about form.

Expert tips provided by wellness physical therapists at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Get more healthy action tips from the Mayo Clinic App.

Watch: Strengthen your abs with a front plank.

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (TRT :40) is in downloads.

In the Loop: Tips for fitting fitness into your workday

Mayo Clinic staff, three women, walking in the hallway and talking in a walking meeting

With all of the demands of modern life, it can be tough to fit in fitness. But with a bit of creative thinking, it’s possible — even at the office. Life’s daily demands can make fitting in a workout more difficult than fitting into your jeans from high school. But with a little creativity, it’s possible to make your everyday activities count double, according to Danielle Johnson. “For many people, the biggest obstacle to getting more exercise is time,” says Johnson, a physical therapist for the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. “People feel stretched between their career, child care demands and family commitments. Thinking of spending an hour extra at the gym may feel overwhelming.”

But you don’t have to give in to that feeling. Instead, Johnson says, you can find ways to make your everyday activities work double. “You’ll still be able to reap the benefits of exercise by using small bouts of movement throughout the day,” Johnson says. “Two 10-minute walks, a few sets of stairs and some five-minute intervals of bodyweight squats, lunges or push-ups can add up to big health benefits.” Read the rest of the article.
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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.

Making Mayo’s Recipes: An easy dinner solution with quick quesadillas

black bean quesadillas with vegetables
Need dinner in a hurry? Don’t get takeout. Make quick quesadillas.

If you have a package of whole-wheat tortillas, a cup of cooked chicken or canned beans, and a couple of vegetables in your kitchen, you’ve got the makings of quick quesadillas. This is a great way to use up leftover zucchini, bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes or frozen corn. Depending on your aptitude for spice, toss in cilantro, lime juice, garlic and dried cumin for bold flavors.

Each Friday one of the 100+ tasty video recipes from the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program is featured on the Mayo Clinic News Network, just in time for you to try at the weekend. You can also have the recipes delivered via the Mayo Clinic App.

Created by the executive wellness chef and registered dietitians at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program. Find more recipes and other healthy-living insights on the Mayo Clinic App

Watch: Dinner solution with quick quesadillas.

Journalists: The broadcast-quality video (1:02) is in the downloads.