Switch it up with the 3-2-8 method
Looking for a consistent exercise routine that still has room for improvisation? Say hello to the 3-2-8 fitness method, a program first coined by TikTok user and Pilates instructor Natalie Rose (@natalieroseuk). This fitness trend consists of three days of weight training and two days of Pilates or barre exercises per week, as well as walking at least 8,000 steps per day.
Each exercise component comes with its own set of benefits: training with weights increases strength and improves posture and bone density, while reducing body fat; barre and Pilates workouts target large muscle groups and improve balance and flexibility; and walking offers an array of health benefits, including reduced risk for developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.
When all three exercises are combined, the positive effects are even greater. The result of regular low-impact aerobic activity and strength training include increased strength, balance, mobility, agility, and injury prevention.
Cook with sunny saffron to beat the winter blues
Whether you’re familiar with the heady earthiness of saffron or you have yet to be acquainted, there’s no denying the allure of this beautiful golden spice. Full of health benefits, such as anxiety relief and cardiovascular support, saffron strands are the reddish-gold stigma of Crocus sativus flowers, which must be carefully harvested by hand (the labor involved is partially to blame for the spice’s exorbitant price tag).
Fortunately, when it comes to saffron, a small pinch has a huge impact. To use saffron in a recipe, bloom a few strands in a small amount of hot water for 15 minutes before adding the liquid to the dish. When making stews or other meals with plenty of liquid, add the saffron directly to the recipe, preferably at the beginning stages of the cooking process.
What are some easy ways to enjoy saffron? Add a pinch to recipes for risotto, tagine, fridge pickles, paella, pasta sauce, rice dishes, chicken, and seafood.
Flood your skin with moisture, one layer at a time
If you suffer from dry and lackluster skin during the winter months, you aren’t alone. Low humidity, indoor heating, and even lack of vitamin D can wreak havoc on the skin, causing it to feel tight, flaky, and itchy. One potential solution? Skin flooding: a strategic method for layering basic skincare products to maximize their moisturizing potential.
To follow the skin flooding routine, apply these products in the following order: a gentle cleanser, a misting product, a serum, and a moisturizer. As the name suggests, this method is meant to “flood” the skin with moisture while also improving the efficacy of the active ingredients in each product.
When choosing a serum, look for formulations that can help treat dry skin, such as niacinamide. For youthful-looking skin, and to prevent and reduce the appearance of sun damage, opt for a daytime moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Butyrate for better gut health (and beyond)
On a quest for better gut health? Get to know butyrate (also called butyric acid), a short-chain fatty acid that is produced in the large intestine when dietary fiber is fermented and broken down. Butyrate is used as an energy source for cells in the colon, where a whopping 70 percent of all energy needs are met by the production of butyric acid.
The potential benefits of butyrate are numerous, with studies finding that this particular fatty acid may have an effect on many different inflammatory conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
The best way to reap the benefits of butyrate? By eating a varied diet full of fiber-rich, fermentable foods. Aim to stock your meals full of fruits and vegetables alongside whole grains and resistant starches such as boiled potatoes or rice. You can also take butyrate in supplement form (consult a healthcare professional to see if this is a good option for you).
This article was originally published in the January 2024 issue of delicious living magazine.