5 Things You Can Do to Finally Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is definitely a rewarding experience as you take steps toward a healthier you. Here are five tips that you can follow, as well as some things that you can do in case you’re having a really tough time on your journey to quitting smoking.

Start slowly, but be persistent

If you want to quit smoking, you have to really start slowly. It may feel impossible, both mentally and physically to quit initially. It’s not easy to break the habit, and when you actually cut yourself off from smoking, you could have withdrawal symptoms that might be counterproductive to  quitting. That is why you have to take one step at a time.

In order for you to be successful in your effort, you have to be strategic in trying to beat the smoking habit right out of your routine. It starts by you choosing to reduce your intake slowly, rather than trying to quit cold turkey. Stop buying cartons, maybe just buy one pack at a time. You’ll find that when you want a smoke, you won’t have any immediately available. In this way, you can slowly wean your consumption down to fewer cigarettes than you’d usually expect.

Of course, commit to the fact that you need to slowly reduce your cigarette intake to a point where you no longer crave for it and eventually, no longer depend on it.

Keeping a list and taking down notes

Being more organized and detailed as a smoker can help you along on this journey. A week before you finally start to quit smoking, start keeping a list of the times when you smoke. This gives you more reliable data on how much change you should plan for yourself. On top of this, create a workable schedule for your quitting so that you can establish a deadline for yourself.

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Also, include in your notes what you’re doing at the time you feel like smoking and how bad the craving is to see if specific times of the day or activities increase your cravings. This would serve as your guide as to what triggers your addiction throughout the day.

Avoiding triggers

For everyone who smokes, there are certain triggers that cause you to crave cigarettes more than you would in most situations. For some people, that trigger is a stressful situation. For others, they simply have a set time and place where they smoke, perhaps when they are on a break from work or when they are talking on the phone.

As you quit smoking, these triggers become even more powerful at creating cravings. If you want to stop yourself from giving in to them, you need to ensure that the triggers never activate. This means that you need to actively avoid situations that make you feel like you need a cigarette. More importantly, if you are used to having a cigarette during a routine activity you do every day, you need to occupy yourself during those times to ensure success.

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A big part of the journey when quitting is also about knowing what your temptations are and resisting them. There are things that you can do as alternatives to cigarette hits when the cravings creep in. If you would normally smoke while on the phone, try keeping a pen and paper handy to just doodle and scribble while you talk. If you would smoke on your lunch break, do something to keep yourself engaged and distracted from smoking during that time.

It’s also good to keep a list of things that can help you go through such triggers. If you can write down or keep a running list of things that you can do in case a craving starts, that would be a nice start. You can include the following: take a walk, drink a glass of water, play a game, chew a piece of gum, wash your face, practice your deep breathing, or really anything else that can keep your mind away from smoking.

When that’s done, make copies of the list and keep one with you at all times so that when the craving hits, you can whip out the list and quickly do something from it.

Trying out nicotine replacements

More people successfully quit smoking when they use some sort of nicotine therapy as compared to any other measure. This may include applying a nicotine patch, using nicotine lozenges, or any other form of nicotine therapy.

What this does is reduce the amount of nicotine going into your body. Gradually, you decrease the amounts you are taking each day and finally get rid of the nicotine and nicotine replacement entirely. This weans your body off of smoking slowly without having to just cut back on cigarettes over time.

You may still feel the effects of nicotine on your body, but you won’t be suffering from all the negative effects of smoking a cigarette. It’s not the safest way to quit smoking, but it works the best for a large percentage of people who are trying to quit smoking.

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Vaping is also a viable option. Trying out natural dry herb vapes or e-cigarettes can go a long way in helping you get out of your smoking habit.

Vaping helps simulate the psychological attachment you’ve developed with the act of smoking a cigarette. The act of smoking and the rituals that make it up are a big part of what the smoker is actually addicted to. When you’re vaping, you go through those familiar motions attached to smoking. In doing so, you maintain that muscle memory you’ve created from smoking over the years, but at the same time, you eliminate actually taking in smoke from tobacco.

Choosing Healthy Snacks to Get Rid of the Nicotine Dependence.

In place of smoking cigarettes, try getting into the habit of eating sunflower seeds, sugar-free lollipops, any type of gum, or even carrot or celery sticks (if you’re concerned about weight gain). You can also switch your cigarette habit for a nut habit – eat four nuts from their shell for every cigarette you want to smoke. This way, you’re using your hands and your mouth, getting the same physical and oral sensations you get from smoking.

Whenever you’re at home or in the office, you can look into drinking tea. The act of brewing the tea and slowly sipping it as it cools provide the same stress relief as a hit of nicotine. You can also carry cinnamon-flavored toothpicks and suck on one whenever a cig craving hits.

Similarly, ginseng is an effective alternative. Studies have shown that ginseng prevents the “pleasure” neurotransmitter dopamine from being released when you have a cigarette. When taken weekly, it can cut back on the level of enjoyment you get from cigarettes.

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You can also try drinking milk. According to a Duke University study, smokers who drank a glass of milk prior to smoking thought that the cigarette tasted terrible, with a bitter aftertaste. Try to drink milk every time you have a craving. Before you know it, the thought of cigarettes will soon become more unpleasant for you.

While it’s not generally a healthy option, salty snacks can also be a go-to option to fend off cravings. Some people find that eating something salty — be it chips, pretzels, or just a fingertip full of salt — can help fend off cravings. Then again, you have to be mindful of these salty foods because too much salt can be bad for your health as well.

Keeping Your Lungs Healthy with Cruciferous Vegetable Recipes

There shouldn’t be any sort of debate when you talk about how important lungs are. Then again, as the lungs are considerably strong organs, people often take its health for granted, and this could lead to various lung damages in the long run. The problem is that inhaling pollutants, smoke, or any other harmful chemicals are almost impossible to avoid. You can cover your nose all day every day, but your lungs would still be compromised.

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This is why you should start looking into improving the health of your lungs, and the first step is looking into what you eat. While there could be numerous kinds of food that can help the lungs, it is always good to take vegetables – cruciferous vegetables can greatly improve the health of your lungs and the rest of your body.

What are Cruciferous Vegetables

A cruciferous vegetable is any food that is a member of the cabbage family. They are generally packed with antioxidants that naturally help your body clear away toxins.

Scientifically speaking, cruciferous vegetables belong to the Cruciferae family, which mostly contains the Brassica genus, but does include a few other genus. Some of the most common ones are cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts and similar green leafy vegetables. The family takes its alternate name (Cruciferae, New Latin for “cross-bearing”) from the shape of their flowers, whose four petals resemble a cross.

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Consumption of cruciferous vegetables might help protect smokers against lung cancer, according to a number of studies. Findings presented at the Seventh Annual American Association for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research, held in Washington, DC suggest a remarkable effect of these vegetables to one’s lung health. Studies suggest that the risk of developing lung cancer was reduced by 22% to 50% among smokers who consumed at least 4.5 servings of raw cruciferous vegetables a month, compared with those who consumed less than 2.5 servings per month.

It’s true that things like covering your nose and mouth, or installing the best air purifier in your home can contribute to your overall lung health. However, vegetables like these directly aid the fortitude of a human’s lungs from within because of its nutritional value.

Researchers reveal strong linear inverse associations between intake of fruits and vegetables versus the risk of lung cancer (odds ratio range, 0.53 – 0.70; P for trend < .05). An intake of fruits and total vegetables show a relatively stronger association among non-smokers, whereas significant inverse associations with cruciferous vegetable consumption have only been observed among smokers and former smokers.

 

Vegetables like these are pretty easy to play around when it comes to preparing dishes that are delicious and exciting at the same time. If you’re wondering how to prepare the perfect dish, read on and see which ones could tickle your taste buds. Here are some recipes that you can try out:

Braised Broccoli with Orange and Parmesan

braised-broccoli

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup / 60 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 head of broccoli, florets and stalks trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shavings
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds

Preparation:

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the orange juice and tomatoes.
  2. Bring this to a boil and stir in the broccoli.
  3. Stir in the oregano and red pepper flakes, and then cook until the broccoli is just tender and bright green. Be mindful of not overcooking the vegetables, especially the broccoli.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a serving dish.
  5. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the cheese and almonds before serving.

Cauliflower Dumplings with Creamy Chicken Soup

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Ingredients:

  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • leftover roasted chicken (approximately half a chicken)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups chicken stock (additional)
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper and additional salt, to taste
  • Scallions or Italian parsley

Preparation:

  1. Place the leftover roasted chicken into stock pot with 4 cups of water. Bring this to a boil, then cover and reduce temperature. Let this simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  2. Remove the chicken from the stock, remove all of the meat (about 2 cups is needed) and set aside.
  3. Bring the stock back to a boil in order to concentrate the flavor. Reduce the stock to approximately two cups.
  4. While the broth reduces, divide the head of cauliflower in half. Chop one half of the cauliflower into florets. When the chicken broth has been reduced to about two cups, add the florets to the pot. Add in ¼ teaspoon of both dried thyme and ¼ tsp coarse sea salt. Cover and simmer the seasoned cauliflower florets until tender.
  5. Break down the second half of cauliflower and load into a food processor. Pulse the cauliflower until a fine rice texture is achieved. Transfer the grain-like bits to a microwave-safe bowl, cover and place in the microwave for 4-6 minutes or until well cooked.
  6. Once the cauliflower florets are cooked, puree them with the chicken stock to create a creamy base.
  7. Add the diced carrots and celery to the puree, additional two cups of chicken stock and salt and black pepper to taste. Allow this to simmer at medium-low temperature, allowing the carrots and celery to soften.
  8. While the vegetables are being processed, the dumplings need to be prepared.
  9. In small batches, spoon portions of the cauliflower into cheesecloth, wrap completely and twist hard to wring out all moisture.
  10. Place the strained, cooled cauliflower to a mixing bowl and add an egg, a quarter cup each of tapioca and coconut flours, plus a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt. Bring together with a spoon first in the bowl, then turn out onto a work surface to knead, shape into a square about a half-inch thick and slice into nine squares. Let rest.
  11. Stir in the shredded reserved chicken, do any final seasoning adjustments with your salt and pepper, then gently top the soup with the cauliflower dumpling squares. Allow them to float on the surface of the soup.
  12. Serve piping hot, topped with sliced scallions or fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley.

Bacon, Onion and Brussel Slaw

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Ingredients:

  • 2 packages shredded brussel sprouts
  • 1 package nitrate-free bacon
  • 1/2 sweet onion
  • salt and pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

Preparation:

  1. Slice bacon and onion, and add to skillet
  2. Cook over medium heat until bacon starts to get crispy, and onions are brown
  3. Add balsamic to deglaze the pan, and scrape the bacon bits off the bottom using a wooden spoon
  4. Dump in the shredded brussel sprouts and mix everything together, adding more balsamic, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cover the pan, and let it steam over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes.