A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness

It’s no secret that the holidays bring joy, but they can also bring stress. We all know that prolonged and chronic stress can wreak havoc on your overall health and wellness, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage it. One effective way to do so is to practice mindfulness.

The Basics

Mindfulness is the process of bringing your full attention to experiences in the present moment. Being mindful means being aware of where you are and what you’re doing, as well as not being reactive or overwhelmed with what’s going on around you. Many people achieve mindfulness through meditation and yoga.

Getting Started

Mastering meditation takes practice, but getting started can be easy and not time-consuming. Try the following two quick mindful meditation techniques next time you’re feeling stressed.

  1. One-minute relaxation breathing—Close your eyes and take a deep breath in for a count of four, and then exhale for a count of eight. Repeat five times.
  2. Five-minute body scan meditation—Sit or lay down in a comfortable position and take a few moments to find a calm, steady breath. Bring your awareness to sensations in your body, where you will spend several slow breaths on each focal point beginning with the left toes and all the way through the left hip. Repeat on the right side. From there, follow the same process through your torso, arms and up through your head.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 631
Total Fat 30 g
Protein 26 g
Carbohydrates 66 g
Dietary Fiber 8 g
Saturated Fat 10 g
Sodium 125 mg
Total Sugars 5 g

Source: USDA

Super Stuffed Squash


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 medium sweet apple (peeled, diced)
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • Fresh parsley (chopped)


  1. Heat oven to 350 F. On a large baking sheet, place the squash in the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove from oven, cut in half, and remove and discard the seeds. Cook for another 20 minutes or until soft.
  2. In a large stockpot, bring the water and the rice to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, warm 3 tsp. olive oil over medium heat and add the pork. Once the meat is browned, add onions, garlic, apples, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Cook until onion is soft. Add the brown rice.
  4. When squash is done, turn cut-­side up in the baking dish. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the center of each squash half. Divide the meat and rice mixture amongst the four squashes. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve.

Makes: 4 servings

For more information and helpful links, please download our November 2018 Live Well, Work Well Newsletter.

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