I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Quick Guide to Help jumpstart a happier, healthier, thinner you!

Here is a monthly plan to a happier, healthier, thinner you! Start living a better quality of life today. Model after choices that are known to increase happiness and it will make you happier too! This is a brief guide to help jump-start you into your new routine. Jump in on any day, pick up where ever you are when you read this `Just be sure to cover all your bases. A monthly plan to a happier, healthier and thinner you! You can start living a better life today. 

Sunday, August 21:

Fill your shopping cart using a healthy grocery list: Sunscreen, face moisturizer, a multi-vitamin, vitamin D and calcium, healthy snack foods like: low-fat cottage cheese or low-sugared yogurts (I like vanilla flavored Activia, and Dan Active), fruit like mango’s and watermelon (cut up and place in refrigerator in Tupperware once home), baby carrots or broccoli to dip into cottage cheese, cherry tomatoes, any berries like blueberries are an antioxidant, almonds & sunflower seeds. For meal items grab wholegrain products like Quinoa, wheat berries, and brown rice, get into Omega 3 by selecting fish like salmon, sea bass, orange roughy, grouper and mahi mahi (if you dislike fish, pick up an omega 3 supplement). Choose green leafy vegetables like spinach, or grab some asparagus to give yourself needed vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Monday, August 22:

Spread your calories throughout the day. Cravings aren’t always born out of hunger but if your stomach is slightly growling, it can make for a convenient excuse to indulge. If you graze lightly throughout the day on your prepared snacks, instead of heaping on the massive portions during mealtime, you’re less likely to rationalize that mid-day bag of chips.
Tuesday, August 23:
According to a recent study, Tuesday is the most stressful day of the week because most of the work is still ahead of you. For anybody who works, in or outside the home, the weight of the week's workload and to-do lists can be a heavy thought. The key to stress management is not eliminating stress, but rather, finding better ways to cope with the stress everyday life brings. Take a walk around the outside of your office, or in the morning before work. Try giving yourself a foot massage! This is one you can do while at work at your desk!

Take your shoes off. Take the heel of one foot and press it against the sole of the other foot. Rub the heel into the sole. This motion generates heat at a pressure point responsible for energy and vitality. Repeat with the other foot.

Wednesday, August 24:

This is where fake it until you make it comes in. Being grateful, expressing gratitude is good for our overall well-being, but until it becomes a habit, we may find that complaining is more our Go-To style. We need to work on seeing the glass half full, our brain wants to align with our actions, this will provide us support on the way to happiness. Notice little positives and say thank you to the individual responsible. Thank you, husband. Thank you, God. Thank you universe. Not only will you feel better, but other's will be watching from your example (especially our kids). If we wait until we "feel moved," we may never begin. Choosing to act grateful for what we have is a move toward happiness that everyone can do! 

Thursday, August 25:

Take Your Vitamin D
Pop vitamin D daily and you may be adding years to your life. A 2007 study of over 57,000 adults -- mostly middle-aged and elderly people in good health -- in Europe, the U.S. and the U.K. showed that those taking vitamin D (as opposed to a placebo) were 7 percent less likely to die during the span of the study. The authors don't know exactly why vitamin D seemed to increase life span, but the vitamin is known to offer many benefits, including strengthening the immune system and building bones. Without vitamin D, calcium cannot be utilized in the body. So, to prevent osteoporosis, taking a calcium supplement without vitamin D voids the calcium benefits.

It also lowers the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and heart and kidney disease. You can get vitamin D from the sun, but most people don't spend enough time outdoors -- or in sunny enough climates -- to take in an adequate amount. FDA guidelines issued in November 2010 boosted the recommended daily dose to 400 International Units per day for people over nine (people 71 years and older should take 800 mg daily), combined with a diet rich in the vitamin. Foods with loads of vitamin D include mackerel, fortified yogurt and orange juice, whole eggs and Swiss cheese. 

Friday, August 26:

Have sex!

Have sex! A Queens University study found that men who had sex 3 times a week reduce their risk of having a heart attack by half. The same likely holds true for women, though quality may be more important than quantity. The average American only has sex once a week. The goal here is to engage in two intimate encounters a week. Safe, monogamous sex helps to reduce pain and stress, and improves immunity. Sex is a natural way to feel healthier - and burn off some calories.Talk about a two-for-one deal: Having sex not only offers pleasure, but it may also extend your lifespan by eight years. You probably don't need a scientist to tell you that regular sex relieves stress, improves sleep and increases intimacy with your partner. But it also boosts immunity and makes you look better (a Scottish study showed couples with a healthy sex life may look up to seven years younger than those with a ho-hum bedroom ritual). The sum total of all those benefits may just be a longer life. British researchers found that men who had sex once a week were less likely to die in the next 10 years than men who had sex less than once a month. Meanwhile, a Duke University study showed that compared to women who were indifferent with their sex lives, women who were happy with their sex lives lived seven to eight years longer.
Saturday, August  27:

Hang Out with Friends
Spending time with friends cuts your risk of an early death in half, according to a recent study out from Brigham Young University. "A lack of social relationships was equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day," the research team's head, Julianne Holt-Lunstad, told Reuters. The study, which pulled information from over 300,000 participants in 148 studies, found that strong social relationships have an extremely positive effect on health. The authors found that having close social relationships may be more beneficial to longevity than pneumonia vaccines and hypertension drugs. "Throughout human history, we have relied on others for survival such as protection and food, and despite modern advancements that may help with certain aspects of survival so that we can live more independently, it appears that our relationships nonetheless still impact odds of survival," said Holt-Lunstad.
Go ahead and indulge, lightly. We never fully outgrow our inner child, and parents know the cardinal rule with kids is when you say they can’t have something, they want it more. Same goes for your own cravings. The more you deny yourself sweets, the more you’ll want them. Sweets shouldn’t be completely taboo, but they should be considered the occasional reward, enjoyed in bites not boxes.

Keep it brief. So you’ve caved into that piece of cake. All is not lost. Try to limit your indulgence to a few bites, savoring the flavor and texture but avoiding the complete annihilation of the object of desire. The satisfaction of tasting your treat will be intense at first but researchers have found that pleasure decreases dramatically after the first few bites. So savor the first few bites slowly and then stop yourself before your start destroying the evidence through your stomach. 


Sunday, August 28:

Keep the Faith

Keep the Faith. Believing in a greater power can help you live longer, according to thousands of studies. Most recently, a small 2010 study of liver transplant patients found that patients who had faith were three times more likely to survive four years after transplantation than those without religion. Regardless of creed or churchgoing habits, high religious coping correlated with higher survival rates. A 2006 study also found that regularly attending religious services could add up to three years to life. Though experts aren't sure why, they hypothesize that having a supportive community, a guiding belief and coping mechanisms decrease stress and add purpose to life.

Monday, August 29:
Get More Sleep

This goal is the most important anti-aging secret. The benefits of a good night's rest cannot be understated. People who sleep less than 6 hours a night have an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. Sleeping for as little as 6 hours can also make you crave more sugar. 

The key point is to get closer to the ideal amount of sleep: 7.5 to 8 hours a night. It's important to sleep this much, because it's the end of the sleep cycle that certain regenerative hormones are released; this phase is crucial to brain function.

Tuesday, August 30:

Be Happy
Cutting out stress and doing things that make you smile may just add years to your life. In a 2006 study, Dr. Ruut Veenhoven, a Dutch researcher, found that in healthy people, happiness predicts longevity. In fact, he found, a person's outlook can have as much of an impact on lifespan as whether or not they smoke.

And long-running study of 180 Catholic nuns showed that those who were happy at 22 were likely to live about 10 years longer than those who had a more negative orientation to the world. So how to start feeling dandy?

According to Dan Buettner, who compiled information from 146 countries for his book Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest, there are several things that, universally, make human beings happy and healthy: a stable community, a satisfying job, close friends, financial security and a happy home. Buettner also found that people who know and understand their purpose in life -- and who can therefore follow it -- are 20 percent happier than those who do not.

This advice goes to the heart of a key finding of happiness research: It's important to learn to be content with how our decisions turn out. My children's preschool teacher, Joyce Drolette of Bozeman, MT, sent the girls home repeating what turns out to be a powerful mantra for happiness: "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit." Barry Schwartz’s, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, in Pennsylvania, and author of the book The Paradox of Choice, "But if happiness is your goal, that's exactly where you need to aim "research shows that for many people, having multiple options and aspiring for the very best among them causes far more pain than gain.

Schwartz calls these people "maximizers," and we all know them: They are the ones who can't enjoy the balcony at their beach hotel because they see a better balcony around the corner. In fact, maximizers may never even get down to the shore at all. They are so consumed with making the "right" and best choices that they end up paralyzed, unable to decide if they should ask for the pool view or the beach view. For every one of them, though, there is what Schwartz calls a "satisficer": someone totally at peace with her balcony, who goes out there, sits back, and enjoys the view. She knows she chose this hotel at this rate and will relish the fact that she has a few days to escape. In a practical sense, says Schwartz, this means making a deliberate practice of being personally and publicly satisfied with your own decisions and not second-guessing yourself or comparing yourself to others. This may not be your nature, and you might not always succeed, but trying is half the battle.

If you find yourself roiling inside, take a walk, read a book, anything that will refocus your mind. Limiting your family's selection is another proven tactic for making dissatisfaction and regret less likely, says Schwartz. It can help contain that always ultimately fruitless search for the optimal experience.

Wednesday, August 31:

Welcome Aging and lose yourself in the moment
in a society that bows down to youth and
beauty aging can seem like as terrifying as it is inevitable. But research suggests that a long-held positive attitude toward old age can help you experience up to 7.5 years more of it. In Ohio, 660 people age 50 or older were studied. The results? Those with positive self-perceptions of aging lived nearly eight years longer than those with negative self-perceptions. While nobody is sure exactly why, researchers believe that attitude is linked to the will to live -- and that a negative approach to old age, in which a person believes the elderly are weak and unhappy, can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It has also been shown that unhappy people, those who rage against old age generally have a more difficult time recovering from heart attacks and strokes.

You might also regularly take time to remind your kids about the good things that happened in the past, and what might happen in the future. "Before the family goes to bed each night, we talk about what we're going to dream about," says Shannon Rebolledo, a Wichita, KS, mother of three children under 5. "Usually, it ends up being dreams about things the kids really loved during the day."

Savoring the past is particularly helpful at creating happiness, says Bryant, because it lets you milk a single event. Research has shown that during these reminiscences, the brain actually re-experiences its original sensation of pleasure. Susie Rolander, a mother of three girls under age 8 in New York City, joins her family in saying thankful prayers each night. In her own, she always includes her late mom. "The girls didn't know her, but just thinking about her this way increases my happiness because it brings her into our everyday."

"There are plenty of adults who won't look back on things that are gone forever because they fear it will make them sad," says Bryant. "But we can teach our children that we can relive moments that were precious to us and, in doing so, enjoy them again."

Have you made new habits yet? Continue into your Thursday with your new mind-set and continue for an entire month!

1 comment:

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