Shining Bright on Health at Sun King – A Blog about Healthy Living

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shining Bright on Health at Sun King – A Blog about Healthy Living

Sun King Brewery strives to provide a culture that cultivates healthy practices and ultimately happier & healthier employees. Being a great company is more than just about the outer successes and achievements, it is also about taking care of those who contribute to the successes. Neither person nor company can give much more than the opportunity to create great health, so Sun King has decided to start a wellness program that will be addressing all sides of health for the body, mind, and spirit. That is where I, Staraya, come in. Healthy living is my passion, it is how I live and what I love to learn about, teach and share. So I will be taking part in this journey with all of you, to help create an environment at Sun King that is sure to shine bright!

Part of this program will include writing a monthly blog post where I will include healthy tips, recipes, and workouts. This will be a little something that can help you take care of yourself whether you work at Sun King or just love Fresh•Local•Beer and would like to learn more about healthy living. And, with the holiday season around the corner, I am sure we could all use a little more health and a lot more calmness in our lives, so here it goes:

Health Tips:
This month’s health tip addresses the colder days and the chill in the air. Lets talk food: In the winter our bodies are cooler and our digestion can tend to slow down. The best thing you can do in the fall and winter to keep your digestion working and your metabolism up is:
- Drink 1-2 glasses of warm to hot water upon waking up. It stimulates your digestive system and kick starts your metabolism.
- Drink room temp or (preferably) hot water through out the day. Cold or ice water slows digestion and can lead to buildup in the intestines.
- Eat warm foods like homemade stir-fry, soups, stews and roasted vegetable medleys. These things are easier for your body to digest.
- When eating meals don’t guzzle water, instead try taking occasional sips and allow your belly to rest for a half hour before you drink more.

Yoga in the community:
I visit yoga studios all over the city and we have a vibrant community focused on healthy mind, body and spirit. When you have time, check out these places and go try a class… Yoga is a really great way to strengthen and tone your body, as well as help focus and sharpen your mind! There are classes for all skill levels and it’s great to have a whole community who supports your yoga practice, plus it is a great way to meet new people and connect with a teacher or two.

Tip: Look for Groupon and or Living Social deal, they are perfect for trying out a studio for the first time. Also ask the studio if they have ayn deals to offer a first time student, chances are they will!,

Here are some great recipe ideas for the holiday season! If you are not sure where to shop for fresh goods for the holidays, Indy Winter Farmers Market takes place on Saturday’s from 9am-12:30pm at City Market, Downtown, Indianapolis. The market has over 40 different vendors to stock your fridge and pantry. The best thing is that most of the goodies are fresh, organic and local!

Chai Tea 
yields 1 cup

½ c water
2 crushed cardamom pods (1/4 tsp powder)
1 whole clove crushed (1/8 tsp powder)
½ tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp fennel seeds
¼ cinnamon stick
1 anis star (optional)
1 tsp raw sugar or maple syrup at the end
½ c. whole milk (NOT homogenized)

Boil the spices for 5 minutes in the water. Optional: after boiling the water for 5 minutes, add 1 black or green tea bag and let steep for 2-4 minutes while heat is still on. Then add the milk and sugar, bring to a boil, strain and drink!

Wheat Berry Salad
Serves 6-8

1c. wheat berry grain
1 stick of cinnamon
3 c. filtered water
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. diced dried apricots (figs, cherries, raisins or dates would all work too)
2 -3 carrots, diced

2 TBL Olive Oil
2 TBL apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 TBL fresh lemon juice
1tsp maple syrup
1 heaping tsp Dijon mustard

Soak the wheat berries over night with the cinnamon stick. Pour the soaking water and wheat berries, with cinnamon stick, into a pot and cook for 45 – 60 min, until grain is soft yet still chewy. Remove the cinnamon stick.
In another pan sauté the carrots and apricots until desired consistency. Remove from heat. Roast the almonds. Pour into the carrot mixture. Pour all ingredients together, including fresh chopped cilantro. Mix.

Pour all ingredients in a jar and shake, pour over the salad. Serve warm in the winter and cold in the summer.

Roasted Root Vegetables
Serves 4- 8
Try to use as many organic Vegetables as possible.

2 carrots – peeled
½ butternut squash – peeled
2 medium sized potatoes -washed
1 medium to large sweet potato or yam – washed
1-2 parsnips – peeled
1 -2 tbls olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash and cut up the vegetables into bite sized chunks. Mix them all in a bowl and then add the oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss everything together until there is an equal coating on the vegetables. Take out a large baking pan, oil it or line it with foil, spread out your veggie mix and then place the pan in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Half way through the cooking time turn the vegetables so that they do not stick to the pan. Cook until vegetables are tender and they start to brown slightly. Toss everything back into your bowl, drizzle more olive oil and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve right away.

Workout tips:
In order to be truly healthy, everyone should be doing some sort of physical activity 3-5 times per week. But some of us can’t make time for the gym, or want to for that matter. But taking a brisk walk outside for at least 30 minutes can start to help kick up your metabolism while allowing you to breath clean air that can awaken the senses and the brain while fully oxygenating the blood.

If you can, go out for a walk/jog, jogging for 5 minutes and then walking 5 minutes and repeating for 30-40 minutes. Fluctuating your heart rate is more effective for your heart and body than an easy going paced 30-minute jog. The best part is that alternating your heart rate can allow you to work out for a shorter period of time. So next time you are on the trail or the treadmill, just try alternating your speed for 30 minutes and enjoy the benefits of feeling great, faster!

Additional tip:
Thanksgiving Day is all about the food, Sun King beer (wink, wink) and getting together with friends and family. So if you happen to overindulge, drink some fennel tea (steep 1 tsp fennel seeds in hot water for 5 minutes) and then lay on your left side for 5-10 minutes, this will let your stomach focus on digesting your food and will help to empty it a little faster. Dig in!

Staraya McKinstry

If you have additional questions, please email Staraya at

About Staraya McKinstry:
Born and raised in Homer, Alaska (the western most tip of the United States), which was not fully appreciated by my siblings or myself until we all went out into the world and found that we grew up in a pretty amazing place. Alaska is a rugged frontier but it has a lot of perks; eating fresh vegetables from the garden, fish and seafood out of the bay, and a freshly hunted moose/elk/deer was and still is the way of feeding family there. Fitness is a way of life: hiking, mountain biking, fishing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and sledding (yes, it can be a great work out when you walk up the mountain) just to name a few. The connection with nature seems to be a common understanding when you live in such a beautiful, ever changing environment as Alaska. With that background, I have come to love yoga and the connection it has seamlessly brought me in regards to myself, my family and friends, nature, and healthy living. I have a Masters in Public Health, but the everyday healthy lifestyle I have learned from my mom and dad and those like them back home. I am currently going to school to train in Ayurveda Medicine (one of the oldest forms of medicine known to mankind), which focuses on healing the body, mind and spirit and maintaining health through food, herbs and exercise. My studies in yoga and Ayurveda are allowing me to bring practical, resourceful and sustainable practices to anyone who wants to learn how to get/stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.

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