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matthew's health and wellness tips from
"days of our lives better living: cast secrets for a healthier, balanced life"

I practice Buddhism. I'm a big believer in having a practice that helps you reflect on your time or your life and how you are at that moment. Finding a nice place in your house where you can be comfortable and rested to chant or just even sit quietly is a great place to start. Take five minutes just for yourself. It's extremely hard to do given how busy we all are. We feel guilty for taking time for ourselves, but we'll sit in front of the television for how many hours.

For me, it's a world peace movement. I sometimes practice in a group setting where we talk and chant. We discuss what changes we can make in our own lives and hope for a better environment with less violence. We encourage dialogue about change. This is a natural, organic outlet for myself.

By doing the PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) story line and in talking to some military people, I learned that there's a new idea floating around called "mindfulness." It's a way of thinking and focusing that helps you become aware of your present experience. A huge challenge exists for these people as it's difficult for them to be present with trauma-triggers found in other places. It helps you notice your thoughts and learn to take a step back from them, to let them take their natural course.

Mindfulness advocates taking some time with no radio, no cell phone and no other distractions. Do it for a minute or for five if you can. It's more challenging if you strive to do it for longer periods of time.

I love doing a great core work out. When you balance on a ball like this, you have to use a lot of the tinier muscles in your knees, calves and ankles. Keeping your balance on the ball involves constant adjusting so you're really working out those internal muscles.

You're working out your stomach and oblique muscles just so you don't fall off the ball. I'll do this for a while, which really warms things up.

I put the flat edge on the floor when I do this exercise, but you can reverse it and stand on the flat edge. Either way, you'll get a great core workout. If you don't have a balance bar, try using a broom stick.

People can have big accidents doing the littlest of things -- stepping off the curb the wrong way. Exercising and strengthening the smaller muscles in your body can help prevent injuries.

matthew's spicy hummus
I have hummus with raw vegetables as a meal  several times a week. It's wonderful!



11/2 cups raw chickpeas
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
juice from 2 medium lemons.
3/4 cup Tahini
1/4 cup (packed) finely minced parsley
Fresh black pepper to taste
Dash of cayenne
Dash of Tamari sauce
1/4 cup minced scallion


  1. 1 soak raw chick peas for 90 minutes and boil until very soft (about 90 minutes).
  2. Mash chickpeas into a thick paste using a food mill, grinder or masher.
  3. Combine all ingredients and chill thoroughly.
  4. To achieve desired taste, add additional garlic, Tamari or Tahini.

Serves:    6

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 110.3 calories, 4.5 grams of protein, 11.7 grams of carbohydrates, 13.8 grams of fat, .3 grams of fiber and 7.1 milligrams of sodium.
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