Getting Healthy, Instruments, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Coconut Sugar

Okay, so now that I’ve started shopping at stores like Sprouts and Whole Foods, I think that I’ve seen every product imaginable made from coconut and learned several really good reasons to keep a good supply of castile soap and coconut oil on hand, so why does it surprise me that the almighty coconut can also be used as a sugar substitute.

Coconut sugar, made by drying out the sugary sap of coconut trees, has been used for centuries in many countries, including Indonesia and Cambodia.

This syrupy liquid has a taste much like brown sugar…and though coconut sugar

may often be more expensive than regular granulated sugar, coconut sugar is a much better option than many other sweeteners currently found on the market.

Coconut juice, which is where a lot of coconut sugar comes from, is full of potassium, electrolytes and nutrients…coconut sugar has many benefits that you will not find in regular table sugar, it may require large amounts to really make a positive affect.

Like plain white sugar, coconut sugar contains vitamins, minerals, trace elements—such as iron, zinc, calcium, potassium—as well as short-chain fatty acids, polyphenols, antioxidants, and phytonutrients—such as polyphenols, flavonoids and anthocyanidins—that help reduce blood sugar, inflammation, and cholesterol.

Coconut sugar also contains about twice as much iron and zinc as the same amount of granulated table sugar…as well as 25% DV of potassium per four ounces…(okay, when you sit down to eat 1/2C of coconut sugar at one sitting, please call me…right?!)

Another reason that coconut sugar is better for diabetics than regular table sugar is the fact that it contains inulin, a fiber that helps slow glucose absorption and keep glucose levels in check.

Just like coconut oil and coconut water, coconut sugar is becoming a very popular item at health food stores across America. Coconut sugar is being used to sweeten everything from coffee and tea…to cookies, cakes, and pies.

The American Diabetes Association states that even though coconut sugar is a great alternative sweetener for those with diabetes to use, coconut sugar has the same calories as regular sugar and should be used in moderation.

When shopping for coconut sugar, remember that many products that are available on the shelf combine both regular sugar and coconhttps://www.texanerin.com/perfect-paleo-chocolate-chip-cookies/ut sugar…so remember to take time to check the label before tossing the coconut sugar into your cart. Avoid these brands.

Also take the time to look for organic coconut sugar that is unrefined, vegan, non-GMO.

So  I AM adding coconut sugar to my routine grocery list or tossing it out the window as another “What Not to Eat Now That You’re a Diabetic” item?

As far as the following Chocolate Chip Cookies made from coconut sugar, not sure if they’re really healthy or not…

But they taste great!!!

 

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Heading Off to Work, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Be Committed

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Be diligent about starting your new habit…Make a point of adding this new habit—whether it be exercising, eating better, or writing or whatever else it may be, for just one day at a time, even if only for a little bit of time.

 

Eventually you’ll find yourself not even thinking about that new, or old, habit…and actually miss doing this on the days when you don’t.

 

 

In my attempt to include writing as part of my daily routine, it was first of all…to state the obvious…important that I actually did write!!!

 

And along my journey this year to adopt writing as a part of my daily routine, I have found the following resources that have hopefully helped me improve my writing skills, think more clearly, and be more organized altogether.

Some of these websites that have helped me along my journey this last year as a writer have included…

1. 750 Words The primary goal of this website is to get writers into the daily habit of writing.every day. This site gives writers the opportunity to write Morning Pages, three pages of writing done every day about anything and everything that pops into mind. ..a concept that originated with the book The Artist’s Way, first published in…

Writing Morning Pages helps clear your mind and gets the ideas flowing for the rest of the day.

According to the website, the standard accepted number of words per page is 250 words…making three pages about 750 words.

This site tracks your word count at all times, lets you know when you’ve passed the 750 mar, awards points based on your writing, allows you to compare your points with the other 300,000-plus members, and gives you an analysis of the feelings, themes, and mindset of your words each day.


2. The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) was founded in 1967 as a nonprofit organization created to advance the art of writing as essential to a good education, encourage and advocate for new writing programs, and provide publishing opportunities for young writers.

Their website includes an extensive database of literary programs, grants, awards, contests, publication opportunities, and conferences throughout North America.

The AWP Conference and Bookfair is the largest literary conference in North America and features over 2,000 presenters and 550 presentations, readings, lectures, panel discussions, book signings, and receptions. Each year conference attracts more than 12,000 attendee and 800 exhibitors.

The first conference was held in 1973 at the Library of Congress, with help from the National Endowment for the Arts. The next conference will be held in Washington, D.C. from February 8–11, 2017.

The Writer’s Chronicle, a magazine published six times a year, has been an important asset to writers for the last forty years. The magazine features in-depth essays on the craft of writing; a listing of grants, awards, publication opportunities available to writers; a list of upcoming conferences for writers; exclusive interviews with accomplished authors, and news on publishing trends.

Each year AWP sponsors six contests…

  1. AWP Award Series, an annual competition for the publication of excellent new book-length works.
  2. Donald Hall Prize for Poetry is an award of $5,500 and publication.
  3. The Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction
  4. The AWP Prize for Creative Nonfiction
  5. The AWP Prize for the Novels
  6.  The AWP George Garrett Award for Outstanding Community Service in Literature


3.  The Authors’ Nook is a blog written by Ben Schmitt—a blogger, copywriter, and screenwriter—that offers great writing advice with a dose of humour.


4.  Backspace is an online writers organization with over 1,800 members, including several dozen New York Times bestselling authors,cthat seeks to help writers help other writers through discussion forums, an online guest speaker program, question and answer sessions, articles from publishing experts, and actual conferences and events. Backspace was included in Writer’s Digest Magazine’s ‘101 Best Websites for Writers’ list from 2005 to 2012.


5.  The Blog Starter is a website run by Scott Chow that shares his knowledge from twenty years of experience starting blogs and websites. his ambition is to show other people exactly how to start their own successful blogs.


6.  The Crafty Writer offers a free online, self-paced creative writing course that consists of eight sessions…

  • Releasing your Creativity
  • How to write a short story
  • Writing from a point of view (POV)
  • Bringing your writing to life
  • Writing characters
  • Writing dialogue
  • Poetry: how to write poems
  • Markets, competitions and opportunities


7.  Daily Writing Tips delivers a daily article to your inbox or RSS reader…about topics including grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, and vocabulary..


8.  Grammarly is an online grammar and spelling checker that helps users find and correct writing mistakes.

Grammarly provides expert help and instant feedback on the accuracy, impact, and credibility of text that you copy and paste into their online text editor.
After checking for more than 250 types of spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, Grammarly flags these errors, suggests corrections, and explains the reasoning behind each correction.

The Grammarly website also offers…

  • Access to the Grammarly Facebook community and Twitter accounts
  • Grammarly Answers, an online community for writers to ask and answer questions on English writing
  • Grammarly Handbook, an online guide explaining English grammar and style
  • Grammarly Words, an online dictionary-thesaurus hybrid
  • The Grammarly Blog full of fun grammar tips and discussions


9.  inkPageant is a database and search engine for blogs and blog posts related to writing. The site strives to help writers improve their writing skills and reach their goals…by gathering the stories of the experiences of other authors and advice given on their own blogs.

10.  Positive Writer encourages writers to stay positive during those days of writer’s block, self-doubt, rejection, waiting, and disappointment.

This award-winning, highly acclaimed website was created by Bryan Hutchinson—a writer whose work has been published in newspapers, national magazines, books, and on world famous blogs.

Articles can be found on this site that to encourage, inspire, motivate, and advise writers…such as this article,  39 Great Books on Writing.

Heading Off to Work

Now What?!…Figuring Out What IS Your “Now What?!”

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Life is a journey with both valleys and mountains along the way.

Sometimes the top of the mountain seems so high that you simply want to give up altogether.

Sometimes you slip and fall, and may lose your grips.

Sometimes you may not feel like you have the strength and courage to get back up, dust yourself off, and continue on the journey.

 

But life is a always a journey, and only you can determine which direction and what distance you will travel.

 

Like any other journey, the journey of life begins with a single step…

And the first single step on your personal Pilgrim’s Progress is to establish goals…

After all…Those who fail to plan, plan to fail…and no one wants to fail, right?!

 

 

So why should establishing goals be the very first step along the journey…

  • 1. Goals allow you to see those people with common interests and dreams that are also starting along the same path as you, or are a little bit further ahead. Goals assure that everyone in your caravan is pulling in the same direction.
  • 2. Goals establish identity. Established goals allow you to decide how to distinguish yourself from other wolves in the pack and impact your positionwithin the group..
  • 3. Goals make it easier to plan ahead and start working on tasks that actually support your mission.
  • 4. Goals help you understand whether you aresuccessful or not. Having measurable goals allows you to see how far you have traveled already, how much further you have until you reach your destination, and if you are still on course.
  • 5. Goals improve productivity. Youknow what needs to be accomplished both in the present and in the future to reach these goals. You can now direct your actions and efforts toward goal-related activities…instead of unrelated, unimportant, non-strategic activities.
  • 6. Goals enable you to make smarter decisions. Having well-defined goals allows you confront the decisions you encounter along the way  with greater confidence and a greater chance of success. Goals give you a framework within which to work and eliminate uncertainty and actions that won’t contribute to achieving the goals you’ve set.
  • 7. Goals provide motivation. Looking at your endeavor from a broader perspective gives you greater confidence in what lies ahead. Goals that have already been achieved give you a reason to celebrate along the way.
  • 8.  Goals provide cohesion. Each wolf traveling along the same path towards the same destination understands the meaning behind the group’s activities. Having well-defined goals enables the wolves to be consistent and encourages communication and cooperation.
  • 9.  Goals provide direction and set the course. Carefully established goals help you clearly define and understand where you are and where you want to be…and that each activity or task works toward your established goals.
  • 10.  Goals provide focus. Goals enable you to understand how smaller decisions impact larger goals. Goals focus attention on achieving desirable big-picture outcomes and channel brain power toward finding smarter solutions to the “small fire” issues when they come your way.

 

Setting goals is simply SMART…

Many business schools and professionals use the acronym SMART as a guide to set company goals…

—S…Smart
—M…Measurable
—A…Attainable
—R…Realistic
—T…Timely

 

This acronym can be used for goals that we set individually also, so let’s take a closer look.

Specific
…Goals should always be stated in a way that can easily be understood….and should always be written down so that they become something tangible to focus on, evaluate, and refine on a regular basis. As you are establishing your “chosen frozen” goals, ask yourself…

  • What needs to be accomplished?
  • Why is reaching this goal important?
  • How can I spend my time in a way that is consistent with these goals?


Measurable…Goals should be stated in a way that can be easily measured….and shared with your support group, your significant other, or even your own mother. These people can walk along beside you on the journey, provide accountability, and encourage you to keep on going when you really feel like giving up. Ask yourself…

  • Can I track and measure at least one statistic related to this goal?
  • Can I easily evaluate my overall progress by knowing these numbers?
  • Will there be enough information to know if and/or when I should set new goals?


Attainable…”We can only climb the mountains because there’s a valley that makes the mountain a mountain.”

But if the top of the mountain is light years and light years away, then are you really being realistic…

Honestly evaluate where you currently are in order to establish a solid foundation before setting long-term and short-term goals. Ask yourself…

  • Are the goals that you set achievable, yet challenging?
  • Are you starting off with smaller targets and then challenging yourself as you have had more practice and time to get comfortable with the path?
  • Are the goals merely unattainable wishes?


Realistic…Goals must also be realistic and flexible, not carved in stone. Setting goals should not only be a one-time event done only when creating your business plan or settling on your life path. Life happens.

So take some time periodically to re-evaluate your goals, to see exactly how successful you’ve been at achieving them, and to ake any minor changes needed to redirect your efforts. Ask yourself…

  • What is the probability of ever reaching this goal?
  • Do I have the resources needed to actually reach these goals?
  • Are these goals actually goals or simply wishes?


Timely – Goals should be based on a timeline…Long-term goals should be substantially greater than short-term goals and can be charted for even five, ten, or twenty years away. Short-term goals are stepping stones towards achieving these long-term goals and should be attainable in a period of weeks to a year. Ask yourself…

  • Does your goal have a fixed time-frame?
  • When will you start working toward this goal?
  • When will you hope to have reached this goal?
  • How does this deadline influence your daily activities?

 

Another smart way to set goals and figure out “Now What” is to ask yourself the same questions that many of us learned to use back in high school English class when we were writing themes and stories, questions such as…

 

WHO

  • Who benefits the most from me achieving this goal?
  • Who can help me achieve it?
  • Who else believes in me and my ability to reach this goal?
  • Who else is or should be involved?
  • Who will support me?
  • Who won’t support me?

WHAT

  • What did I learn during this last year?
  • What do I need to learn this year?
  • What do I want to accomplish?
  • What excites me about the coming year?
  • What is hindering me from achieving my goals?
  • What is my biggest passion and dream in life?
  • What is my first step?
  • What one wildly bold goal would I like to accomplish that would truly inspire me to get up each morning?
  • What scares me about the coming year?
  • What skills do I you need to acquire and master in order to reach this goal?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What will be my biggest obstacle?
  • What will success look like?

WHEN

  • When can I find the time to do whatever it takes to reach this goal?
  • When will I know that I have reached this goal?
  • When would be a realistic time for me to have reached this goal?

WHERE

  • Where are some places where I can find other people with similar goals?
  • Where do I want to be this time next year?
  • Where will I acquire the necessary knowledge?
  • Where will my goal be accomplished?
  • Where will this take place?

WHY

  • Why am I going to do this in the first place?
  • Why am I willing to invest time, energy, and money in doing this?
  • Why is achieving this goal so important to me?

HOW

  • How can achieving this goal make everything else I am doing better?
  • How will I benefit from reaching this goal?
  • How will I integrate this new goal with with everything else I have going on?
  • How will I market this idea or product?
  • How will I stay focused?
  • How will this be different one year from now?
  • How will this goal be achieved?
Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Try One of These Ten…and Let the Sweet Dreams Begin

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

As I sit here this morning, writing this…I am enjoying my first cup of coffee and all seems right with the world…until all chaos and the “resident four year old” also wakes up and the day eventually drags on and on until I am barely able to drag myself back into bed and begin the entire cycle all over again tomorrow.

Sounds like the life of each and every single one of us, right?

And that’s on those mornings when we have had a good night’s sleep…

We have enjoyed that deep, long periods of eight to nine hours of healthy, restorative sleep that is so important for recharging the body and mind, releasing important hormones, repairing cells and muscles, slowing down the aging process, strengthening the immune system, and doing so many more things that are important for the health of the mind and body.

What an awesome feeling to wake up ready to set our feet on the floor and tackle the world.

Wish I could say that about every single morning…

 

But truth is, like the one-in-three individuals, or seventy million Americans, who will also be heading out the door late to work and driving way over the speed limit in order to get to work on time this morning, I rarely get such rejuvenating and reparative sleep anymore because like, so many of us, I suffer with mild to severe insomnia…an insomnia that has most likely become such as epidemic in today’s fast-paced, technology-saturated world…a lifestyle that seems to be making it difficult for any of us to enjoy a “good night’s rest” anymore.

 

So what can we do about this lack of sleep?

So far in this “Now What” section, we have looked at using breathing techniques and essential oils to help ourselves catch up on sleep.

Another option, but an option that so many people seem to abuse these days, would be “sleeping pills.”

 

Yeah, I know…this is supposed to be a blog about my learning to live a healthier and more “politically correct” lifestyle, so I’d be the last one to pop an over-the-counter pill hoping to finally get some sleep…

In fact, both over-the-counter and prescription sleep meds are probably not even worth checking into, for several reasons. These include…

  • They stop working quite quickly.
  • They can cause even sleepless nights, than preventing sleepless night after using them for a time.
  • They prevent us from feeling “awake, alert, and all full of energy”—instead of actually making us sleepy.
  • They will quite negatively impact our energy levels the day after we take it.
  • They may create side effects, such as drowsiness, headaches, nasal congestion, memory loss, muscle aches, double vision, diarrhea, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • They are also highly addictive.
  • They can be addicting.
  • They can cause you to “build up a tolerance” for them after taking them for so long, meaning that you now have to take even a higher dosage to get the same benefits that you were getting at first.
  • They can actually make you sleep problems worse, instead of better.

 

However, there are some safer-but still-effective, science-backed proven sleep supplements that can offer a “natural” way to help you get to sleep faster, sleep deeper during the night…and get the rest you need to stop this endless cycle of exhaustion. Supplements such as…

 

 1. 5-HTP…5-HTP is an amino acid that produces and stockpiles the serotonin we naturally lose as we age by actually converting into serotonin in the brain itself and then helping  to manufacture melatonin, the “feel good” hormone. This amino acid can be found profoundly important for not only sleep and mood, but also learning, sexual behavior, and hormone regulation…and is commonly used to treat depression and insomnia that’s secondary to mood disorders and increase REM sleep. A good option to help you get this amino acid would be Dr. Lipman’s Be Well Sleep Bundle.

2.  Flower Essences…Flower essences, such as Bach Rescue Sleep Remedy, can be a good option for those “insomniacs” who are not actually struggling with a serious sleep problem, but do occasionally need some help traveling to the Land of Nod off. Flower essences are made by infusing spring water with various flowers. The most common flowers used to make these flower essence remedies are cherry plum, impatiens, and white chestnut. Flower essences work by helping to quiet racing thoughts, ease a restless mind, and calm frazzled nerves. These essences are particularly great for using to help children fall asleep…(well in that case, I’m going all out and ordering every single bottle and container of flower essences available on Amazon right now(?!))…

 

3.  GABA…GABA (gamma butyric acid) is a naturally-occurring acid produced in the brain that acts to help calm down the excitatory neurotransmitters, also known as our “fight or flight mechanisms,” and to wake up our parasympathetic nervous system, our “rest and digest” system.

GABA calms and relaxes both the body and muscles so that you feel very calm, drowsy and ready for a good, long night of sleep—both in terms of quantity and quality…and then helps you to get the truly restorative sleep that you need in order to wake up feeling less groggy in the mornings.

 

4. Holy Basil…Holy basil has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.

Holy basil, available in forms such as New Chapter’s Holy Basil Force, works by moderating the levels of cortisol, a naturally-occurring chemical that normally spikes between 6am and 8am to wake us up.

But often when we are under a lot of stress or going through something emotional, our cortisol levels can get out of whack and leave us consistently waking up at 3am or 4am instead…and who in their right mind wants to wake up that early…except for my spouse when he’s going fishing perhaps…

 

5. L-theanine...L-theanine, the ingredient that makes green tea such a great antioxidant and “superfood,” also has a calming effect on the brain because it impacts levels of the amino acids affecting serotonin and other neurotransmitters.

L-theanine is available by itself as tablets and capsules, or else combined with other sleep-inducing nutrients, such as this Reserveage Nutrition Beauty R&R.

6.  Magnesium…Magnesium is a mineral that many of us have a deficiency in. This mineral improves sleep by decreasing the body’s release of cortisol, working with calcium to help muscles contract and then relax. Natural Vitality Natural Calm Specifics Calmful Sleep.

7.  Melatonin…Melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland that keeps us alert during the day and helps us fall asleep at night.

Melatonin is a very popular sleep aid, although melatonin was actually formulated not to treat general insomnia, but to reset the body’s circadian rhythm, or “internal clock,” when it is disrupted because of jet lag, unusual work schedules, parenting young children who have the guts to keep you waking up through the night, and days like today when the switch to/from Daylights Savings Time totally whacks your system and makes you late for church.

Many experts claim that liquid or quick-dissolving melatonin, such as Natrol Melatonin Fast Dissolve, work best because these allow the hormone to be absorbed directly into the body.

 

8. Skullcap…Skullcap is a herb that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. This safe, mild herbal sedative excels in relieving anxiety and insomnia, and boosting energy and cognition. A good supplement containing skullcap would be Flora Sleep Essence.
9.  Valerian Root…Valerian root, such as Nature’s Way Valerian Root, is a  mild sedative that can be very helpful in helping to calm the nervous system by lowering the anxiety response and promoting relaxation and sleep without causing a major hangover or histamine coma or fog.

 

 

10.  Vitamin Supplement...Perhaps the cure for your insomnia and/or sleepless nights could be as simple as taking a multivitamin supplement. After all, Vitamin B helps tryptophan in your body convert to niacin and serotonin, which regulate sleep and increase REM, and Vitamin D can remedy daytime drowsiness while improving overall well-being.

Getting Healthy

Music and Sleep

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

Listening to about 45 minutes of relaxing music before bed can help you relax and fall asleep faster, sleep longer, wake up less during the night, and feel more rested in the morning.

Listening to the “right” kind of music can slow down your heart rate to the 60-beats-per-minute range needed to enter the “sleep zone,” help you breathe easier, and lower your blood pressure.

 

The “right” kind of music can masks background noise,

The “right” kind of music can shorten stage two sleep cycles and help you reach restful REM sleep, the restorative part of our sleep, more quickly.

The “right” kind of music can blocking both disruptive external sounds, such as traffic, and internal sounds, such as tinnitus.

The “right” kind of music can fill in uncomfortable silences.

And the “right” kind of music can provide a sense of companionship and security.

 

So what is the “right” kind of music to listen to if I want to have a good night’s sleep for a change…and what makes it “right”…

Music is a always a matter of personal preference…(just ask any Southern Baptist about their preference between singing hymns or 7-11, seven words sung eleven times, songs in big church)…

But there are certain things to keep in mind when choosing the music that you do listen to at night, such as…

  • Beats Per Minute…Choose something that has a rhythm of about sixty to eighty beats per minute.
  • Familiarity…Choose something that you actually are familiar with and like.
  • Neutrality…Choose music that does not evoke strong emotions.
  • Pitch Perfect…Choose music with lower pitches, nobody wants or needs to hear anyone scream and squeal right before they go to sleep and tranquil melodies.
  • Rhythm…Choose music a regular rhythm, not too much syncopation.
  • Words…Choose music without words…it’s more likely to make you sleepy. Our good friends Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, not to mention Frederic Chopin, have written enough music to fill our playlists from here to eternity.

So what IS the “right” kind of music to listen to if you want to have a good night’s sleep for a change…and what makes it “right”…

The “right” kind of music for you personally to listen to in order to have a good night’s sleep for a change may not be, and probably will not be the “right” kind of music for any other person on this planet Earth.

So the “right” kind of music for you personally to listen to in order to have a good night’s sleep for a change should be music that you choose, based on what you like and what you need from the music at the time.

But to get an idea of the type of music and playlists that have worked for other people, take a look at these top  “sleep” playlists from Spotify and these options available from Bedtime Beats.


Sweet, Sweet Sunday

 12 Steps Towards the Fountain of Youth… August 21…Senior Citizen’s Day

   
Today is August 21, is Senior Citizen’s Day…a day to honor senior citizens…and also face the fact that you yourself will probably be a “senior citizen” also…especially now that the age to start calling yourself a senior citizen is 55, which is only seven years away for me.

Aging gracefully and feeling healthy requires looking at the whole picture, every aspect of your life-physical, mental, and social.

Any steps that can be taken now to improve your health and sense of wellbeing, both now and in the future, are steps well worth taking. Here are a few steps that you can do now to move closer and closer to the Fountain of Youth, and the Age of Reality…

1.  Detox your home…
We may not be able to control how many toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, but we can take steps toward detoxifying our own homes, such as…

  • Filtering water. 
  • Leaving windows open as much as possible for better ventilation. 
  • Replacing beauty products with less toxic and chemical-free options. 
  • Switching from standard household cleaners to environmental friendly versions. 
  • Using glass instead of plastic whenever possible.


2.  Dry-brushing your skin….Dry-brushing your skin not only smoothes, exfoliates, and detoxifies your skin…but also improves blood flow, increases energy, reduces cellulite, and supports the lymphatic system. Working this five-minute, health-boosting practice into your daily routine is well worth the effort.

To dry-brush your skin…
Using a brush with firm bristles and a handle, brush towards your heart with long, smooth strokes…starting at your feet and working upwards. 

3.  Eat more greensOne of the best things you can do for your health is to eat more greens-spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli or bok choy. Your skin, mood, digestive system, and every other organ of your body benefits from your simply eating more greens. This can be done by…

  • Asking for extra vegetables instead of potatoes. 
  • Opting for a salad instead of fries
  • Selecting recipes full of greens that inspire you, and ones that you will actually be excited to eat

    4.  Eat more healthy fats. …Increasing the number of  “fatty” foods-avocado, coconut oil, eggs, fish and nut butters, and olive oil-that you consume can decrease your risk of disease, help fight depression, improve your cognitive function, and strengthen your bones.

    5.  Eat without distractions...Eliminating distractions and being mindful when we eat, instead of sitting in front of the TV or mindlessly looking at your phone as we eat, not only reduces anxiety and overeating, but also promotes weight loss.


    6.  Go to bed earlier.
    …Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Develop a bedtime ritual-such as meditating, journalling, taking a leisurely bath-that actually works for you. Avoid screens-particularly phone and TV-for at least an hour before going to bed. 

    7.  Make a meal plan.…Set aside time each week to create a healthy meal plan and grocery list. Even preparing one healthy meal or snack ahead of time will help you save money and keep you from making poor food choices. 

    Try a meal or grocery delivery service. This may cost more, but will save you money spent eating out every meal.

      8.  Practice gratitude….Gratitude shifts your focus from the negative-fear, anxiety, anger, and depression-to the positive. Gratitude has also been scientifically proven to have the ability to change your life–relationships, self-esteem, mental health, and even sleep. 

      Commit to a consistent daily ritual of writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Negative emotions will become harder to feel when you are mindfully practicing gratitude day-after-day
      9.  Read food labels…Read labels. Look for foods that contain fewer ingredients and no added sugar, chemicals, and fillers.


      10.  Schedule workouts....The hardest part of making sure your workouts actually do happen is to schedule them into your calendar ahead of time, instead of leaving it up to a time that is convenient and then making excuses not to go.

      Fitness classes that charge a cancellation fee, recruiting a friend to exercise with you, and signing up for a long-term class will help hold you accountable and keep you focused.


      11.  Up your fiber intake
      ….Foods with high fiber content-ground flax seed, beans, raspberries, almonds, kale-is imperative to keep things moving along our digestive tracts.

      12.  Volunteer your time...Ghandi once sa that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Volunteering shifts our focus on helping others instead of remaining caught up in our own problems and isolating ourselves



      Finally, your mother was right…Don’t forget to floss your teeth, sit up straight, and wash your hands.

      Flossing not only keeps your gums clean and removes plaque, but also helps you avoid bad breath and heart disease. 

      Sitting up straight can instantly boost your mood, improve your confidence level, and open up the lungs to receive more energy.

      Washing your hands is a simple habit, but single-handedly the best way to avoid picking up viruses.