stress free life extreme hotel

Beat Off Stress and Anxiety for a Better Life

Beat Off Stress and Anxiety for a Better Life

Stress can kill. A recent report came out detailing the sudden death of an overworked Chinese citizen. Li Yuan died at the age of 24 due to a heart attack caused by overwork and stress. This unforeseen tragedy shows that not taking it easy can prove to be fatal.

In today’s fast-paced atmosphere, more and more people are pushing their limits when it comes to work. Overtime, working on the weekend, high-pressure situations, etc. can all build up. Living this way may supplement your income, but all the tension can take a toll on your body.

Here area a few benefits of a Stress-Free Life that we like to promote here at Extreme Hotel:

1. Healthier Heart 

There is a handful of studies and statistics that link stress and heart disease. The British Medical Journal reports that work-related stress can as much as double the risk of death of heart disease. Furthermore, it has been said that people suffering from high levels of anxiety are about seven times more likely to have heart disease. This is according to “Emotional Longevity: What Really Determines How Long You Live” by Norman and Elizabeth Anderson.

2. Better Immune System

Another negative effect of stress is that it can significantly interfere with the immune system; thus, making the body susceptible to infections. The stress hormone corticosteroid decreases the efficiency of the immune system by lessening the amount of lymphocytes in the body. Aside from the biological ramifications, anxiety can also promote behaviors that are detrimental to the body. These activities may include smoking and drinking. When you want to squeeze the most out of every day – from surfing at 6 am to catching the last gusts of wind on kite beach at sundown, your body needs to be in peak condition. If you allow yourself to sweat the small stuff, it means you wont be able to get a good sweat on doing your favorite activities from dawn till dusk.

stress free girls

Live for the moment!

 3. Relief from Pain

Reducing stress can mean limiting the amount of pain and discomfort you feel. Pain levels increase due to the muscles tightening whenever a person is experiencing a stressful situation. Also, the fight or flight response of the body in these circumstances produces adrenaline which is, more often than not, unused. This build up of adrenaline can cause symptoms of stress like headaches, muscle pains, skin rashes, etc. So when you’re looking to quicken your body’s recovery rate and reduce soreness the day after a big workout, consider taking it easy – not just physically, but mentally too. Give yourself lots of pats on the back and put a smile on your face to lighten your mood.

half pigeon yoga pose

half pigeon pose

 

There are many ways to decrease the level of anxiety and stress throughout the day. You don’t need to take drugs or medication to do this either. Here are some natural remedies that can help lessen tensions and prevent anxiety.

Simple Ways to Lessen Stress and Stop Anxiety

  • Avoiding caffeine and sugar – It’s near impossible to steer clear of coffee and sugar, especially on stressful days, but these two stimulants are causing more harm than good. Taking these two substances ultimately deplete serotonin, the chemical which makes you feel good. Without it, you are more prone to fits of anxiety and depression.
  • Meditating regularly – Meditation is one of the most popular alternatives to stress reduction. Relaxing the mind and body can help eradicate all the triggers of anxiety, making your day more peaceful.
  • Exercising – Physical activities can help you steer clear from any negative effects of stress. Letting off some steam is vital to a healthy lifestyle. It also uses up all the adrenaline in your system and helps clear your mind of stressful elements.
chicken and veggies

Healthy meals mean low stress on your body

Living worry-free improves the quality of one’s life. Don’t let a busy lifestyle stop you from enjoying yourself. Being too caught up in work can prove to be fatal. You may have all the money and success you want, but vulnerability to heart attacks and other diseases may be too high a price to pay. So take a week, or three, kick back on kite beach and enjoy life in the moment.

Article by Guest Blogger, Ryan Rivera

For more information about stress reduction, visit  calmclinic.com

Recipe: Vegetarian Pastelón

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It’s Harvest Time at Taino Organic Farm! Twice a week the eXtreme team gets their hands on a whole bunch of fresh, organic greens and veggies to cook up or eat raw at the hotel!

The latest harvest brought us a beautiful basket of tomatoes; avocados; cilantro; plátanos; peppers; and leafy, spicy greens. I love cooking for and sharing Dominican food with my fellow eXtremers so I decided to challenge myself by making a traditional Dominican dish using mostly the food we had harvested and little else. Dominican food is traditionally meat heavy so it was a bit of a challenge but I finally decided on one of my favorite dishes—pastelón de plátano maduro. A cross between a shepherd’s pie and lasagna, pastelón combines sweet, ripe plantains with savory ground meat and melted cheese. Mmmm! This is a vegetarian version I put together on the fly using some veggies we had on hand. It’s not quite how my Abuela makes it, but it’s still pretty good!

VEGETARIAN PASTELÓN

serves 6

10 ripe, yellow plantains
1 small head of broccoli, cut into florets
1 medium sized carrot, julienned
1½ medium sized green peppers, julienned
1 small cubanelle pepper, diced
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 small white onion, minced
1½ chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
12 slices of cheddar cheese
¾ of a stick of butter
a healthy fistful of cilantro
a healthy pinch of dried oregano
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and cut plantains into chunks. Fill a large saucepan with water, a pinch of salt, and put over high heat. Add the plantain chunks to the water and bring to a boil.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt a small pat of butter and a small drizzle of olive oil. Sauté the oregano, cilantro, chicken bouillon cubes, onions, and garlic for one minute until the onions become semitransparent. Add carrots, broccoli, and peppers and sauté for ten to twelve minutes. Lower the flame and cover with a loosely fitting lid for five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

When the plantains have turned a golden yellow color and are easily pierced by a fork (approx. 25-30 mins), drain the saucepan and reserve a quarter cup of the cooking liquid. In a bowl combine the plantains, the cooking liquid, and the remaining butter and mash until the plantains are a soft, consistent texture.

In a baking pan, spoon half of the mashed plantains and spread it into a thick, uniform layer. Spoon the veggies onto the layer of plantains and spread. Cover in six slices of cheese. Spoon the second half of the plantains and spread evenly. Cover the pastelón with the last six pieces of cheese.

Set your oven to broil and put the pastelón in for five minutes or until the cheese on top has melted.

We suggest you serve your pastelón with a salad of avocado, tomato, diced red onion, and a drizzle of olive oil over some spicy, mustard greens just like we did!

Bon Apétit, or as we say in the Dominican Republic: ¡Buen Provecho!

 

pastelon8

Notes:

-We used broccoli and carrots but you can use cherry tomatoes, corn, or any veggies that don’t release too much liquid or your pastelón will bubble up around the edges.
-We also used the stalks and leafy bits of the broccoli but you can discard these if you don’t like them.
-You can use any kind of cheese you like; we especially like cheddar and Swiss but a bag of grated cheese works, too!
-For a healthier version, nix the butter and chicken bouillon cubes and replace with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.

Trip to Pico Duarte: the Roof of the Caribbean

What an experience! During this trip you will witness breathtaking views from the highest point of the Caribbean. The view from the summit is absolutely incredible!  Would I recommend it to anyone? Yes, to everyone! But be warned, it is extremely tough for inexperienced hikers. Although it is difficult, you will be absolutely blown away by what nature has to offer – Amazing flora and fauna and it doesn’t just stay the same. The landscape changes along the way as well as the vegetation. You will walk through the clouds and watch the sun rise over the highest point of the Caribbean while looking over Haiti and Puerto Rico. We headed out at four in the morning from the base camp. I have never seen stars so clear and bright! Besides the natural beauty, the sense of satisfaction from doing the climb totally made the tough hike worth the effort.

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This trip can be shorter or longer depending on your preference and we did the express version (two days). From Extreme Hotel on Kite Beach, Cabarete, we passed through Moca to get to Rancho Baiguate in Jarabacoa (www.ranchobaiguate.com/). Watch out when you drive down to San Victor as there are some sharp u-turns going downhill. Also watch out for holes in the road and drive very carefully. Take a phone that has Google Maps. This app can help you out big time when you get lost which is more than likely – it’s all part of the adventure!

When we got to the ranch we ate a very nice meal at the buffet. The guides explained what we would be doing the next day and afterwards we went to bed early to catch some good sleep in one of their nice cabins (you will need this rest for when you wake up at 6 am the next day!). The following morning you drive to La Cienega de Manabao. This is a very cool 1.5 hour ride in an open truck. You will see a lot of nice villages, beautiful landscapes and friendly people greeting you. The hike starts with the journey to the base camp, la compartición, which will take between 7-9 hours. It is there that you will eat and catch some sleep because the climb to the summit begins at four in the morning. After that you return to base camp where you will have another much deserved meal. Then begins the decent all the way back to La Cienega de Manabao.

Base Camp – La Compartición

Very important tip: phone beforehand and ask if the track is muddy or not (Ranch Contact). I would recommend to go only when it hasn’t been raining a lot and to book through some kind of agency unless you are a very experienced hiker. My friend and I practice a lot of sports, but our knees were hurting a lot on the way back because they were simply overloaded. We climbed the mountain without using one of the guides’ mules. In retrospect, it would have been better if we had taken the mule for at least two hours on the way to the top. We did have sufficient energy on the way back, but if your knees are hurting, going down is especially difficult! So in the end, we sat on mules on the way down for 4 hours. All in all, Rancho Baiguate took care of everything very well!

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What is essential to bring?

– Warm clothing, a hat and gloves are needed at the top! (we did the tour in March and it was about 5 degrees Celsius at the top … other months can even be colder)

– Good quality hiking shoes and socks

– High energy snacks like muesli bars

– Sunscreen and sunglasses

– Flashlights (iphone will suffice, make sure it is fully charged!)

– Rain gear

Y ahora, vetepalla!

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Written by Jelle Boekema, the Netherlands (29) and Billy Gonzalez Capellan, La Republica
Dominicana (23)