We’re all familiar with the saying, “Variety is the spice of life,” but how often do we put it into practice? Consider the following questions:
- When was the last time you took a different route to work – besides a forced detour due to traffic delays?
- When was the last time you tried out a new recipe or an unfamiliar restaurant?
- When was the last time you sat in a different pew at church?
- When was the last time you set out to learn a new skill? Read a book?
- If you attend fitness classes, do you always stake your claim to the same spot? I’m totally guilty of this one! #shortgirlproblems – see I even have a justification for it!
- If you attend business conferences, do you seek out new people, or do you stay with the people you know?
The list could go on and on, but you get the point. We often say we crave something different, but when it comes right down to it, we’re unwilling to act upon that desire. It’s too easy to fall back into old habits. Perhaps we’re afraid, or, dare I say it, lazy. In this post, I’m hoping to get you at least thinking about spicing things up. I’m not saying turn your whole life upside down. I’m just encouraging you to evaluate your life and tweak things a little here and there.
I can hear some of you right now. You’re saying, “But I like things as they are. I like sameness. I’m not bored. I’m very comfortable with my life.” And therein lies the problem: comfort. Comfort and ease are the enemies of growth. I think many of us would be astounded, myself included, at how much our lives would expand and improve if we would just be willing to stand in a different place and see things from a new perspective. As for finding a new spot at the gym, I know how territorial people can get over those, so tread lightly here and offer a trade with your neighbor.
You may be wondering if I’m practicing what I’m preaching. Why, yes, I am! I am spicing things up, literally! A few weeks ago, I came across an article extolling the benefits of cloves, so I set out to research this for myself and to come up with a recipe to take advantage of all the goodness cloves have to offer. First, I’ll tell you what they contain, then I’ll share a new recipe with you!
A Few Facts about Cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves is said to contain more antioxidants than 1/2 cup of blueberries.
- Excellent source of manganese, a very good source of vitamin K and dietary fiber, and a good source of iron, magnesium, and calcium
- Manganese is a trace mineral that is necessary in the production of collagen which is important for skin health. We normally only think of collagen in relation to wrinkles, but collagen is also necessary for wound healing. In fact, when the body needs to heal a wound, collagen production must be increased, making manganese even more important. It also protects against free radical damage.
- Vitamin K helps the blood clot when we have a wound. It also aids in bone strength to prevent fractures and improves insulin resistance in older men. Vitamin K also protects the cells that line our blood vessels.
- Fiber – slows gastric emptying, thereby keeping our blood sugar stable. It helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure as well decrease one’s risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Fiber maintains colon health by acting as food for healthy bacteria, and it reduces the risk of colon cancer.
- Iron supports energy production and is vital in the transport of oxygen to our cells.
- Magnesium is an essential macromineral, meaning the body needs at least 100 mg of it per day. It plays a part in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It’s crucial for bone and muscle health, and it is also important in carbohydrate and glucose metabolism. Consequently, several studies have associated a higher intake of magnesium with a lower risk of diabetes, hypertension, and atherosclerosis. It has also been shown to relieve anxiety and premenstrual symptoms.
- Calcium supports bone health and is important in muscle function, blood vessel dilation, nerve transmission, and hormone secretion.
I’ll bet you had no idea cloves had so much going on! When I found out what super powers cloves possess, I had to come up with a recipe including them. In addition to adding them to my morning oatmeal, I also add them to my delicious tomato bisque. If you’re interested in trying the recipe, just click on the link below.
I’d love your feedback. E-mail me and tell me how you’re spicing up your life. I like how Ginni Rometty put it, “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” However, rather than looking at growth as discomfort, let’s reframe it and say we’re spicing things up a little. Until next time, get SPICY!