Tuesday 24 August 2010

Laughter is the best medicine . . .

Laughter is the sun that drives the winter from the human face.

~Victor Hugo

Making time in our lives to laugh and play is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. Many studies have been done on the positive properties of laughter and experts have discovered that laughter increases our endorphins, strengthens the imune system and sends extra oxygen racing through your veins. Laughter is as good as a mild work out it seems!

Laughing for ten to fifteen minutes raises energy levels, increases the heart rate and burns calories! (Up to about 40!) Whilst it can never replace full blown exercise and laughing your way through a Big Mac can never burn all the calories you're ingesting . . . every little does help and a good dose of laughter each day can translate into a few pounds a year, so laugh away ladies! It may not replace Weight Watchers, but you know . . .

Laughing helps to increase the positive endorphins and reduces stress. It strengthens the immune system, Even the anticipation of something funny helps to increase anti-viral and anti-tumour defences, and it's benefits can last up to 24 hours. Perhaps that is why we do say that "Laughter is the best Medicine."

Humour in the work place provides a pleasant environment to work in and helps to increase productivity and overall performance. When employees can laugh together it helps to improve their communication skills. It helps people to bond together and work better cohesively. It's all win/win! A happy employee is a satisfied employee!

Being able to laugh helps to increase hope and self worth. Laughing helps to alleviate worries about health or career . . . to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. A sense of humour can help to get us through even the worst of situations. It helps us to feel better about ourselves and overcoming obstacles doesn't seem so hard when we can approach them with a bit of a chuckle in our hearts. It cannot make our problems disappear . . . but it sure can help us to look at them with a different perspective and outlook.

Research studies suggest that a good sense of humour helps ward off heart attacks. Not so surprising really. Laughter dilates blood vessels so that blood flows more freely. Other studies have shown that laughing helps to reduce the cholesterol build up and fat in the coronary arteries. I guess that old addage about laughter being the best medicine is true when it comes to protecting the heart.

Laughter helps to make us more inclusive of others. It helps us to see the bigger picture better. Being able to laugh can help to slash bias and bring people together . . . strengthen homes, family relationships, work and school environments . . . it's all good it seems.

I think it's good to be able to laugh at ourselves from time to time . . . to laugh at life . . . to laugh with others . . . to feel the relief that comes from being able to just sit and laugh at whatever comes our way . . . it sure beats the heck out of the alternative! I hope that you are able to find something to laugh about today. It is a good thing and the best medicine ever for whatever ails you!

Here's a little something that might put a smile on your faces! I managed to do a small video of Mitzie playing in the garden yesteday. She got ahold of an old flower basket that Todd had left and she was carrying it around and playing with it. I know I sure got a lot of pleasure out of watching her. She is a little dear and has brought a wonderful light into our happy home.

Often when Todd and I go to MacDonalds we will order the Chicken Tenders, which is probably not the healthiest of things, but somehow eating chicken seems to be healthier than eating a burger. Making these tasty chicken stix at home is probably a lot better for you though. When I do make them I like to serve them with a nice salad on the side. Children love them as well. If you choose a low fat dip for them, it can't be bad can it?

*Tasty Chicken Stix*
Serves 14 (makes 14 to 16)
Printable Recipe

Quick to do and children love them, both the young and the old! Lovely served with dips such as ranch dressing or barbeque sauce. For adults break out the sweet chili sauce! Delish!

1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp sea salt, rubbed in your fingers until fine
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 large free range eggs
1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs (if you can't find these, use plain dry bread crumbs to which you have added some garlic powder, dried parsley flakes, dried basil and dried oregano)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
unsalted butter
good olive oil

Put the chicken breasts on a cutting board and cut through each, diagonally, into four or five large strips.

Take three shallow bowls. In the first one combine the flour, salt and pepper. In the second one beat the eggs together with 1 TBS water. In the third one combine the bread crumbs and the Parmesan cheese. Take your chicken pieces and, working with one at a time, dredge them into the flour mixture, then into the beaten egg and then finally roll them in the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Place them on a plate without touching until they are all coated. (Your fingers will get all clumped up with doughy squidge, but that’s ok. Fingers are easily cleaned off!) Let them sit for about 15 minutes.

Heat 1 TBS of butter along with 1 TBS of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. When the butter is foaming, turn the heat down to medium low, and cook the chicken strips in the hot fat for about 3 minutes on each side, just until they are cooked through. Don’t crowd the pan or they will steam instead of fry. Add more butter and oil and cook the rest. Serve warm with a dipping sauce. We like the sweet hot chilli sauce, but honey mustard is also really good, as is ranch dressing and even just plain runny honey!

Over in The English Kitchen today I'm cooking Scarborough Fair Egg and Chips! Delicious!


  1. Please Note - I thought it would be good to put this in the comment section so that everyone would see it. We have the grassed area of our garden fenced off at the moment so that Mitzie can't go down there and drown in the pond. Once she gets bigger and smarter, the fence will come down! For now, better safe than sorry!

  2. What a delight wee Mitzie is. I even had Dee sit here for a min. to look at her...She is such a lovely colour isn't she...isn't iy funny how they like to get their teeth into something...
    love Sybil

  3. LOVED seeing Mitzie at play, Marie! She is such a super-cutie-pie! She's a rambunctious gal! Puppy time is so precious... and definitely gives smiles & laughs. I love to smile, and laugh. :o) Must show Hubby your chicken stix... he will love these! Oh, last night I made your Erddig Carrot Soup you featured at your foodie blog the other week, and made your cheese scones to go with... The BEST carrot soup EVER--you were right! We just love the soup & scones. Happy Day, dear friend--LOVE YOU LOTS ((BIG HUGS))

  4. Thank you for the SMILES this morning. I really did enjoy the playfulness of your little Mitzie. Puppies are so adorable and have fun every minute they are not sleeping it seems. I hope your Wednesday is a wonderful one!

  5. i LOVED watching the video-of course mitzie is adorable but i mostly loved hearing your voice. i think thats the first time i have! now when i read your comments i will be able to "hear" you saying them now:)

    and i totally agree about laughter-its the best! i probably laugh and joke too much sometimes. i'm like one of the kids:)

  6. I love the video of Mitzie. I not only got to watch your darling girl, I got to hear you voice which is always music to me ears.

    Have a great day dear. I hope that it is full of lots of laughter.
    Hugs, Lura


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