COMFORT IS BEAUTY

Positive Thinking

When faced with challenges it’s easy to think about all the negative possibilities we are up against, and feeling sorry for ourselves about a specific predicament seems to be unavoidable at times. What many don’t realize is we have the power to step away from the victim role and instead of feeling sorry or cheated, we can think more positive and leave the situation with an open mind and a better way to find an outcome. Positive thoughts can be more than a mood changer; they can also be extremely beneficial to your health. Today we are sharing 5 ways positive thinking can be valuable to your health!

 

  1. Positive Thinking Gives your Body a Fighting Chance against Illness: Studies have shown when you have a positive attitude you are more likely to have a stronger immune system than someone who is more pessimistic. When you enjoy life and aren’t afraid of having fun and indulging in a little humor every now and then you can actually have greater cell function, which in return puts you at reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other illnesses.
  2. You’re More Goal Oriented: Positive thinkers are physically and psychologically healthier than those who are negative thinkers. The happier you are the more likely you are to start practicing a healthier lifestyle and begin working out and eating properly. You’re also more likely to do better at work because you won’t put yourself down about little mistakes, but instead look at them as learning experiences.
  3. You’ll Live Longer: It goes to show positive thinking can take you a long way. If you’re more goals oriented and take care of your health, your life span will increase. It’s also been proven that negative or pessimistic people can have a deteriorating health which quickens with age.
  4. Stress is a Thing of the Past: With a good attitude nothing will stand in your way. As you become better with managing your negative thoughts, you’ll begin to notice it’s a lot easier coping with stressful situations. When you eliminate the stress you are guaranteed to think differently about life in general.
  5. You’ll Surround Yourself with Good People: It’s true when they say it’s important to surround yourself with good people in order to live positive and healthy lives. When you begin to think more positive you’ll realize you don’t necessarily want to hang around negative people, and when you border yourself with good friends, a healthy and happy lifestyle, you’ll live a much better life.

The Very Best Things to do Every Morning

Tricks-to-Waking-Up-in-the-Morning-01-pg-fullWhether you fancy yourself as a morning person or not, there are some habits that are the very best things to do every morning for a fresh start to a bright and productive new day.  These simple and effective steps may make the difference between being prepared, rejuvenated and energized, versus feeling flustered, tired and unmotivated.

We challenge you to try these tips for a week to see how it improves your days.  So, here you have them, the best things to do every morning:

Visualize a Happy Day:  Successful people know that sometimes life is “mind over matter” and that planning goes a long way.  As you muster the strength to get out of bed in the morning, mentally walk yourself through your day with the most positive outlook in mind.  If you have a tough meeting on the agenda, picture it going smoothly.  If you’re dreading traffic, think about what you can do to distract yourself from frustration.  If you’re not sure what to serve for dinner, think about the foods that make your family smile.  When you see yourself in the happiest light, you are more likely to live a more enjoyable and satisfying day.  Also, don’t let things that happened the day before drag you down.  Start each day afresh

Exercise & Stretch:  Exercise doesn’t always require an hour at the gym.  Spend 10 to 20 minutes doing calisthenics and simple strength-building moves to get your blood flowing and your body ready for the day.  At the very least, take time to stretch to loosen your muscles and joints.  Take deep breaths and enjoy the release of tension before your day gets going.  Hopefully that moment will stick with you throughout the day.

Meditate & Reflect on Gratitude:  The happiest people in the world tend to be most grateful and they take time to allow their mind to stray from daily tasks into more peaceful meditation.  Many people practice meditation and thoughts of gratitude by sitting still in silence, but you can do it in a variety of ways.  Try it in the shower, which may be the only few minutes of peace you have in the morning.  Or let your mind escape as you eat breakfast or drive to work.  Remembering how fortunate you are will help you keep your day in perspective and your eye on the big picture.

Eat Breakfast & Drink Water:  Planning your day and practicing meditation fills you mentally and emotionally, so be sure to do the same for yourself physically.  Eat a well-balanced breakfast with protein, complex carbohydrates (preferably with a lot of fiber) and drink lots of water.  Your body goes into a state of dehydration overnight so your systems and organs, especially your brain, need to rehydrate in the morning.  Don’t ever skip breakfast!  Your body needs the fuel to operate at its best.  Plus, breakfast is linked with more productively, less fatigue and a better ability to maintain an ideal weight.

Take Vitamins:  Along with a healthy breakfast, daily multi-vitamins help ensure you have a proper balance of essential nutrients for your day.  Vitamins offer energy so it’s a good idea to take them in the morning.  If you’re not into traditional vitamins, try an all-natural multi-purpose supplement or grab a cup of nutrient-rich herbal tea instead.

Don’t Rush:  This is a tough one because we all want to get as much sleep as possible.  But do be sure to wake up with enough time to do what needs to get done without feeling flustered.  Beginning your day in a panicked rush can really throw you off and make your entire day frazzled.  This may require some preparation the night before, and keep your morning routine simple so you aren’t trying to cram in too much.

Listen to Music:  Music is known to be uplifting, healing and restorative.  As you are getting yourself and your family ready in the mornings, put on some background music that will make you feel good.  If the mood strikes you to dance, do that too.  Your entire family can benefit from listening to music in the morning.

Enjoy Fresh Air:  You may not have time for a walk in the park, but do try to take a moment for fresh air as you start your day.  The effortless act of breathing in natural air and filling your body with oxygen can be invigorating.  Plus, nature itself is very therapeutic.  Even if it is just lingering for a few minutes when you step outside to grab the morning paper or cracking your window on your morning commute, fresh air does a body good.

Let us know how it goes when you try these very best things to do every morning!

An Apple a Day: Best Apple Recipes

appleFall is the season of delicious, crisp, juicy apples.  Not only are apples scrumptious and ripe this fall, they are excellent for your health.  Apples are full of antioxidants and fiber that have a range of health benefits including lowering your risk of diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and degenerative brain conditions, as well as regulating your digestive system, supporting healthier eyes and teeth, and helping you loose or maintain a healthy weight.

Apples are an excellent choice for your diet and can be eaten in a variety of ways.  Whole raw apples are an easy on-the-go snack; 100% pure apple juice is refreshing and hydrating; or you can cook, bake or prepare foods using apples.  In honor of the fruit of fall, we’re sharing our best apple recipes that we’re sure you will find amazingly scrumptious!

Soup:  Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Steam 1 lb. of apples, 1 lb. of butternut squash and half of a medium onion until tender.  Place soft apples, squash and onion in a blender with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 cups of chicken broth, ½ cup apple cider and 1 teaspoon of curry powder, garlic powder, salt and ginger each.  Puree until smooth.  Poor contents of blender into a stove pot and bring to a simmer.   Serve warm with chopped walnuts or mint toppings.

Salad:  Apple, Celery, Broccoli Slaw

In a large bowl mix small-bite chunks of apples and celery.  Add pre-packaged broccoli shreds.  Toss and set aside.  In a small bowl make the slaw dressing by combining ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons of low fat mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon sugar and salt & pepper to taste.  Toss the apple and veggie mixture with the dressing.  Serve cold.

Appetizer:  Brie and Apple Quesadilla

Combine 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of apple cider in a small bowl.  (If desired, add salt and pepper to taste.)  Place tortilla in a skillet and spread a thin layer of the mustard sauce.  Melt thinly sliced brie cheese onto of sauce, then add thin slices of granny smith apples on one side.  Fold the non-apple side over and continue to cook until cheese is fully melted and apples are slightly cooked.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream or salsa.

Main Dish:  Pork Chop with Apple Chutney

Broil, bake, sauté or grill pork with a pinch of salt, pepper, coriander, garlic powder and onion powder.  In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter.  Then mix in 5 cups of chunked peeled apples, ½ cup of dried cranberries and raisins, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of ground ginger, a pinch of salt, a pinch of allspice and ¼ teaspoon ground mustard.  Mix well and serve warm over pork chop.

Condiment:  Apple Butter

Combine 1 cup brown sugar, ½ cup honey, ¼ cup apple side, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, ½ teaspoons ground cloves or nutmeg and 2 lbs of peeled chunked apples into a slow cooker.  Cook overnight for approximately 10 hours.  Strain mixture through a sieve and cook for 1 to 2 hours more until mixture is your desired consistency.  Enjoy over any type of sliced bread, muffin or biscuit.

Dessert:  Baked Apples

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  De-core 8 baking apples (gala, braeburn or empire apples are best) and set aside.  In a bowl, mix ½ cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans work nicely), 1/3 cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, and 4 tablespoons of softened butter.  Fill the apples with the nut mixture and bake for 30 minutes until apples are tender.  Serve warm with vanilla yogurt or ice cream.

Beverage:  Warm Apple Cider

Place 8 to 10 peeled sweet apples into a slow cooker with 1 sliced orange (remove seeds), 2 tablespoons of cinnamon, ½ teaspoon nutmeg and ½ teaspoon cloves.  Add honey, agave or maple syrup as desired.  Cook for 8 to 10 hours.  Strain and serve hot.

Recipes adapted from Cooking Light, Real Simple and Wellness Mama.

Don’t Fall for the #ThighBrow

Our days of the thigh gap and the bikini bridge seem to have past; however, a new trend is underway called the thigh brow. While discriminating the different feminine figures into believing there is one superior than the others, we are forgetting what it means to be different, beautiful, and what it means to be a female. If you are unaware of the new trend, the thigh brow points out the flesh of skin that rolls over the top of your thigh when you bend forward, indicating you have a butt, or big booty. If the thigh gap and bikini bridge weren’t ridiculous enough, women are now objecting themselves to think their bodies are not good enough unless they look like the Kardashians because that is what is considered “attractive.”

While the term “feminist” has gotten a bad rap over the years due to many misunderstanding what it truly stands for, which is women advocating the importance of females’ social, political, legal, and economic rights to be equal to those of men, we are now seeing many well-known female celebrities who are now getting involved to make a difference. Embracing a positive attitude towards body image and female possibility, we need to look past our flaws and accept them. Big is beautiful, curvy is beautiful, petite is beautiful, sassy and proud is beautiful, and being a female is beautiful!

 

Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham rose to stardom in 2010 with the premiere of Girls, where she plays Hannah, a 20-something who tends to give her audience a little too much information, but is the star because of her ability to keep it honest and real. Girls is about four young females living in New York who are trying to survive as new college graduates, women, and often times, sexual beings. If you’ve seen the show you know why we are putting Lena Dunham on this list of strong females. In Girls Dunham crosses lines many producers and writers fear to cross. She embraces her sexual self and her body, she encourages life and living it to the fullest, and she makes you feel uncomfortable, but strangely addicted to her humorous and sinful way of looking at things.

Off screen, Dunham is a female activist who advocates on many issues. As a survivor of sexual assault, Lena spoke at Variety’s Power of Women New York where she talked about her personal experience along with her work with Girls Educational & Mentoring Services. Dunham is passionate about educating women to be women and accepting their flaws and just being real. Many feminists have commented on Lena’s work and are excited to see what she is going to do in the future. Currently, she is working on launching a weekly email newsletter with Girls’ co-showrunner and production producer, Jenni Konner. The newsletter is called Lenny, which will be a mix of personal essays and articles focused around the feminist perspective.

 

Emma Watson

While you might know Emma Watson for her role as the sweet and sensitive know-it-all, Hermione Granger, in the Harry Potter Series, little know Watson’s feminist side. While being a lovable star and one of this year’s sexiest actresses, Watson advocates equal rights for women and men. For the past few years Watson has been a big advocate for educating young girls. As a recent grad from Brown University where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, Watson travel around the world to teach underprivileged children the importance of obtaining knowledge for life long goals. She recently just traveled to Bangladesh and Zambia to talk to young girls about gender equality and education.

In 2014, Emma Watson was appointed UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, and through that role she helped launch the UN Women campaign HeForShe, which asks men to advocate gender equality and teach women to stop “man-hating.” Watson is currently still advocating HeForShe and traveling around the world and teaching men that women are strong individuals who can be independent and have a voice.

 

Beyoncé

 For years, Beyoncé has been teaching women the importance of being independent and not being afraid to be sexy. Her strong feminist attitude has been shown through her music through songs, such as Girls and Flawless. Her entire career is based around hard work and strength, and this is something women can learn from. She is a goddess in the eyes of many and a female who is dominating the male dominated music industry. She is a role model for black and white women alike, and believes men and women should be treated as equals. In previous interviews, Beyoncé talks about how her mother taught her to be brave and never be the victim who made up excuses. With hard work and an optimistic attitude you can accomplish anything. Beyoncé often states she wishes to raise her daughter, Blue Ivy, with the same morals and concepts.

At the 2014 VMAs, Beyoncé projected the word, “Feminist,” in bold letter after her performance, and gave the definition to over 12 million viewers. By sharing it with the masses, Twitter was bombarded with feminist tweets from the many. With her power to delight in beauty and sexuality she will continue to be a role model for many young girls and women. Currently she is voicing he concerns about the rumors of her divorce with husband, Jay-Z, stating that women and men must work together to be one. With communication and the stopping of the “man-hating” women and men need one another to be equals. Both genders need to be understood and work together to fix the problem and create a balance.

 

9 Ways to Get Fit with your Pet

dogIf you are a pet owner, spending quality time with your pet is probably one of your favorite activities.  There are many benefits to being a pet lover and one of them is that pet owners tend to be more physically fit as they work to keep up with the demands of an active animal.  No matter where your level of fitness stands, you can easily get fit with your pet in fun and meaningful ways.

Here’s a bonus: pets benefit too!  Pets can suffer from the same health conditions as people when they are not physically active, including cardiovascular problems, diabetes, cancer and arthritis.  Help your pet stay healthy by moving together this fall.  Here are 9 ways to get fit with your pet:

Run, jog or walk:  This is probably the most obvious way to get fit with your pet, but also the most effective.  Chances are you may be doing these activities anyways.  If you walk your pet regularly, gradually make your walks a little longer, especially as the weather cools and is more tolerable.  Running and jogging with a pet can be motivating as they probably love the activity and encourage you to go further and faster.

Up and Down:  Incorporate your pet into a complex calisthenics move such as a burpee or jumping squat.  Hold a toy or pet treat in your hand and lower it as you do a squat, push-up or other low move, then switch to a higher position and make your pet jump up with you to grab the object.  You’ll both be panting after about 15 reps.

Swimming:  Not all pets will enjoy swimming, but certain breeds of dogs love it.  Of course you will be somewhat limited by watering holes as you can probably only do this in a public lake, ocean or your own backyard swimming pool. If you have the opportunity, swim laps with your dog, practice treading water and throw a ball to see who can swim to retrieve it faster.

Fill the Food Bowls:  For dogs, cats and other free-roaming pets, place food and water bowls throughout the house so you and your pet have to take more steps to get to them.  If you feed your pet from a large bag of dry food, carry it around with you for extra resistance as you fill the bowls.  Same with water pitchers to fill up water dishes.

Chase:  Fetch is fun but rather one-sided if your pet is doing all of the leg work. Instead, play chase where you hold the object of your pets attention and have your pet chase you around your yard or a park to get it.  Let your pet take a turn as well by chasing after it when it has the object.  This will be a fun and exhausting game for everyone.

Agility Course:  Set up a pet-appropriate obstacle course that you can participate in as well.  Show your pet exactly what to do by doing it yourself.  Take turns following each other through the course.  Mix it up each time you play the game so you are both working different muscles and learning new skills.

Stair Master:  Run or walk stairs with your pet inside your home or elsewhere.  Be sure your pet stays next to you or well in your line of sight so you don’t trip over each other  Stairs are excellent exercise for the heart and all lower body muscles.

Tires:  Set up 6 to 10 tires in different formations and work on speed and agility by running through them quickly without falling.  This works for almost any pets’ level of fitness because they can take as many steps or leaps as they want.  You, on the other hand, will have to do it the old fashion way.

Inspiration:  If you have a non-traditional pet, use it as inspiration and a workout buddy of sorts.  Move your hamster’s cage near your treadmill and run while he’s scampering about on his wheel.  Do yoga while watching the peaceful aquatic movements in your aquarium.  Complete a workout video as your snake slithers about in its cage.  Whatever pet you have, use it for motivation and inspiration to get yourself moving.

Remember, just like you, your pet should stay hydrated after exercise and needs great nutrition to sustain regular physical fitness activities.  Have a blast while you get fit with your pet!

How to Stay Positive at Work

It tends to be easy to fall into a slump when you’re feeling miserable about your current job or profession. Most American’s spend more time at work and with their coworkers than they do at home with their families, so being happy at your job is extremely important. Finding a happy medium at work will cure your blues and help you feel more optimistic about creating a stronger motivation to get your tasks done and feel more confident and positive about going to work.

 

Today we are sharing ten ways to stay positive at work:

  • Be More Appreciative: Embracing the small things that make your life at work easier is a great way to stay positive. Maybe your commute isn’t very long, or you have supportive coworkers, or maybe you’re really appreciative of your job’s benefits because you are able to take care of yourself or your family. Finding a constructive way to view your workplace will encourage you to have a more encouraging attitude.
  • Give Yourself Goals and Be Optimistic about Them: When you’re feeling down about work, remind yourself this time in your life is a chance for you to be one step closer to your dream job or a career goal! Not everyone is going to have a boss or coworkers they get along with, but setting goals for yourself and being optimistic about this will certainly help you in the workplace.
  • Don’t be Afraid to Learn New Skills: Learning new skills at work will help you become more engaged, but it’s also a great thing to put on your resume for future career possibilities. Learn as much as you can from your everyday work responsibilities, from working with different computer programs to learning the best ways to communicate with staff and clients.
  • Remember to Take Care of Yourself While at Work: Never forget to eat or drink plenty of water while you’re at work. Keeping your body healthy and hydrated will improve your health, keep your mind clear and focused, and help maintain a positive attitude. Being hangry won’t help any situation.
  • Stray Away from Multitasking and Overloading: Multitasking multiple projects can be a hard thing to do. It’s been proven that multitasking increases stress in the workplaces and you should advise against it. However, in a normal work environment multitasking is almost required. Instead of overloading yourself try and focus on what needs to be done first. Staying organized will keep you from feeling disappointed or letdown when you can’t accomplish everything you set out to do at once.
  • Leave Your Work at Work: One thing which surely will help you stay sane, is to keep your work at work. When work is done, stop working! Don’t bring it home with you and find yourself getting to the point where all you feel like you do is work. It’s okay if you are unable to finish something by the end of the day. Startup first thing the next morning.
  • Build Relationships with Coworkers: It’s important to get along with your coworkers because you will be spending a lot of time with them. Building professional relationships with the people you work with will help your attitude immensely when you know you have a good and supporting relationship with your staff.
  • Learn from your Mistakes but Move On: Mistakes are going to happen, and it’s important to learn from them, improve them, and then move on. Don’t dwell on what you can’t fix because continuing to put yourself down from a feasibly mistake will only create more frustration at work.
  • Don’t Settle for the Same Routine: Everyone has their share of fun and boring tasks they must finish throughout a week. Instead of piling all of your boring tasks into one day, spread them out through your week. Do one boring task and then one fun one. It’s important to stay positive and not dread a day of work because you have set it up to be that way.
  • Stay Up to Date: While it’s important to stay positive at work, it’s also important to stay up to date with what is going on at work and with work. Communicating with others and discussing what your company goals are is a great way to improve your attitude in the workplace.

 

 

The Importance of Hugging

friends_croppedStudies show that hugging is critical to our health.  Yes, that squeeze that warms your heart, actually helps you live a better life, grow and overcome challenges.  It’s no wonder that skin-to-skin contact – essentially hugging – is one of the vital acts of nurturing a newborn.  But hugging should go well beyond early childhood.  Today we’re exploring the importance of hugging.

What Makes a Good Hug

A true hug should be a full embrace that lasts at least 20 seconds.  One of the most amazing things about hugging is that it is immediately reciprocal:  hugging someone else is also a hug for yourself.  So you reap all the benefits of hugging by extending a hug to someone else.  A family therapist once said, “We need four hugs a day to survive.  We need eight hugs a day for maintenance.  We need twelve hugs a day for growth.”  Make it your goal to give and receive 12 hugs a day!

Health Benefits of Hugging

Hugs are the universal medicine.  That seems like a sweet and frivolous thing to say, but there is scientific evidence behind the health benefits of hugging.  Hugs release a hormone called oxytocin, aka “the cuddle hormone,” which makes us feel good and emotionally connected with others.  This neuropeptide can also lower blood pressure and stabilize the heart rate, both of which are crucial for cardiovascular health.  Research indicates that hugs are most beneficial to adults, whose bodies are already undergoing the natural aging process and could use the physical and emotional health enhancements more.

Furthermore, hugs boost self-esteem and relieve stress and anxiety by reducing the stress hormone cortisol in the body,  In fact, this response is almost instantaneous upon receiving a hug as a good embrace relaxes and calms the body.  Hugging also reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness, and make us feel more socially connected.  This is do to yet another hormone, dopamine, “the happiness hormone.”  Families that hug feel more united and children who receive plenty of hugs not only have less behavioral problems, they are also more emotionally stable as adults.

How to Become a Better Hugger

Hugging does not come naturally to some.  It may or may not be part of your normal repertoire depending on how you were raised, your level of comfort touching others and your personality.  But now that you know the importance of hugging and how good it is for your health, you may want to try to become a better hugger.

Hugs are a wonderful way to greet people or say goodbye.  Most of us don’t say hi to a complete stranger with a hug, but after getting to know them for awhile, we may feel compelled to hug them, even after a first encounter.  Hugging can also happen spontaneously at any time.  Of course, if a friend is feeling down or seems out of sorts, a hug is obviously in order.  Then other times, when you connect with someone on an idea, you discover a common interest or you just want to be friendly, a hug is a great way to show your affection.  And don’t forget hugs of appreciation.  Hugs can convey a lot of sentiments so keep hugs in your daily arsenal to ensure you reach your goal of at least 12 a day!

Things Your Coworkers Hate

Friends-with-coworkersChances are, you spend as much or more time with your coworkers as your family.  While you don’t have to love them or even like them, you do need to get along in the spirit of teamwork and collaboration.  So, could you be doing things your coworkers hate and not even realize it?  If you are the office black sheep, there is a reason why everyone has turned against you.

Here’s a list of what you may be doing wrong that truly offend your coworkers every day:

You Talk Too Loudly:  Whether you are on the phone for a business or personal call, everyone on your floor does not need to hear it.  Check your voice level every once in awhile to make sure you’re not unintentionally yelling or even laughing too loudly on the phone.  The same is true of person-to-person interactions.  If you do need to have a heated conversation, go into a conference room or an office with a door so you can keep those around you out of it.

You Play Unfairly in the Game of Office Politics:  Let’s face it, no matter how much you want to stay out of it, office politics exist and should be regarded.  But when you display unnecessary roughness, your coworkers probably won’t like it.  For instance, brown-nosing the bosses can be off-putting, especially when you butt into an agenda that thwarts that of your coworkers.  Many people are short-sided and act selfishly to advance their own careers, while your leadership, and certainly your coworkers, would value teamwork in the long run.  Also, going behind a coworkers back by reporting them or slighting them in front of the boss usually gets back to them with negative effects for you

You are Too Emotional:  Most people believe that you should never cry at work.  It doesn’t mean you can’t feel and are soulless, but you should have the emotional maturity to wait for a private moment to let out your emotions.  A good cry has its time and place, not during business hours or with coworkers.  Additionally, being overly angry or aggressive is not appropriate in the workplace and can really turn off your coworkers.  Learn ways to cope with your emotions before they spill all over your professional image.

You Eat Foul Smelling Food:  It is practically a cardinal sin to heat fish or any other odoriferous foods in the break room microwave.  Stick to normal salads and sandwiches or chilled meals so as not to make your coworkers want to vomit at their desks.

You Smell Bad:  If your coworkers cringe every time you come near, you may want to check your pits.  It is common practice to wear deodorant, especially if you live in a hot area or have a stressful, sweat-inducing job.  Keep perfume or body spray at your desk in case you need a refresher midday.

Your Email Etiquette is Sloppy:  If you have an office job, email is probably one of your most important business tools.  So when you have bad email etiquette, it may make your  coworkers job harder because they are left sorting through unnecessary emails or trying to piece together your intended message.  Coworkers appreciate clear, concise communication so don’t reply all unless everyone needs the information, streamline your thoughts, proofread and include all necessary attachments.

You Have No Sense of Humor:  A place of business should be professional, but having a sense of humor can make your workplace a happier and more congenial space.  Cracking an appropriate joke every now and then and keeping a sense of humor about your job can make the difference between being liked or disliked by your coworkers.  Sometimes things go wrong, but with a sense of humor about it, everyone will be in brighter spirits to come up with a solution.

The Benefits of Farm Fresh Foods

Many are aware of the health benefits farm fresh foods have compared to canned or processed items. There is no denial America is struggling with weight and obesity problems, and it’s no surprise when you can find a fast food establishment popping up everywhere you turn, especially in our very own hospitals. Without the proper knowledge and resources many individuals aren’t consuming the recommended daily amounts to live strong and healthy lives. In fact, a study showed that Americans only eat half the amount of the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So many are unaware of the health and money saving benefits farm fresh foods can give them! Today we are going to discuss why it’s important to consume the right foods in order to produce thriving children, families, and communities.

 

Fresh foods are the best option if you’re trying to eat healthier, but what exactly does “fresh” mean? Often times when you want to find something fresh you will not find what you’re looking for in canned or processed foods. Although canned foods can be the next step up from fresh foods because they are often packaged soon after they are harvested, they often will have much higher sodium levels which can be a major drawback. Processed foods on the other hand are nowhere close to the nutritional value of fresh foods. You will find processed items have little to no nutrition, and they are made mostly of manmade filers to add taste and to stay available for longer periods of time.

 

Farm grown and fresh, raw foods are the best route! When food has a shorter span from growth and delivery to your stomach, the more nutrients you will get. Farm fresh foods often look and taste better too! With so many benefits of buying local, such as eating seasonal foods high in vitamins and minerals, the safety of knowing where your food is coming from, and fresh fruits and vegetable are full of antioxidants and phytonutrients, you will also be supporting your community and local farmers. Compared to grocery store prices and other vendors, farmer’s markets often times sell their produce at lower prices which means you can be saving in more than one area!

 

Eating healthy doesn’t just replace the bad with the good; it also gives your body a boost which in the end will help you feel and look better. Buying local farm fresh foods is a great way to get the family involved and start the journey of eating healthier and creating a thriving family and community.

Improve Your Digestive Health

digestion-390x210You eat multiple times a day, so keeping your digestive health in good shape is important to the way you feel and your ability to function daily.  Did you know that much of your immune system resides in the digestive system?  Yup, that’s right.  So maintaining good digestive health is a tremendous way to boost every other aspect of your health too.  Also, it helps prevent discomfort associated with gastric issues and even life-threatening diseases of the stomach, intestines and colon.

Improve your digestive health with these tips:

Eat the Right Foods:  Fiber is the number one aspect of food that supports digestive health.  Fiber not only keeps digestion and bowels regular, it also helps prolong the feeling of satiation and stabilizes blood sugar levels, which helps you feel full longer without needing to eat more.  There are two types of fiber:  Insoluble fiber binds with foods to push it through the digestive tract to be eliminated.  Insoluble fiber includes vegetables, whole grains and the flesh of fruits.  Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps soften stools.  High soluble fiber foods include nuts, legumes, seeds and the skin of fruits.

Limit Fatty Foods:  High-fat foods are difficult to digest and often cause constipation.  Fatty meats are especially rough on the digestive tract.  If you do choose to eat food high in fat, try to mix them with high-fiber foods to aid digestion.

Eat the Right Way:  When it comes to digestion, it’s not just what you eat, it’s how you eat it.  Eating smaller meals throughout the day is less taxing on digestion than eating fewer heavy meals that can bog the system and slow it down.  Plus, a steady stream of nutrients in more frequent small meals keeps energy levels up so the entire body, including the digestive system, can function better.  In fact, eating around the same times every day can help regulate your system too.  Also remember to eat slowly.  Wolfing down food quickly can cause indigestion and heart burn.

Consume Probiotics:  Probiotics are healthy bacteria that exist naturally in the digestive tract.  Adding more probiotics either through supplements or active live cultures like those found in yogurt can boost your ability to digest foods and fully absorb their nutrients.  Healthy flora also support the immune system and can counteract the negative effects of a poor diet and antibiotic medications.

Hydrate:  It’s vital to your digestion that you drink plenty of water.  Water hydrates the system and flushes out a variety of toxins, pollutants and foreign substances that can enter the digestive tract.  Aim for 8 to 10, eight oz. glasses of water a day, and more if you are active or sweat often.

Get Moving:  Physical activity invigorates the entire body, including the digestive system.  Exercise can help move foods through the body and encourage them to be eliminated as waste.  It is also great for the colon.  Conversely, a sedentary lifestyle slows digestion, may cause constipation and is unhealthy for the colon.  Regular exercise can greatly improve gastric distress and soothe digestive issues too.

Manage Stress:  In addition to a poor diet and lack of exercise, stress is a major culprit of digestive problems.  Most of us have experienced the effect of stress or anxiety on our stomachs.  It can cause bloating, constipation, gas, diarrhea and a variety of other serious digestive health issues including ulcers.  Find ways to manage your stress to keep digestion on track.

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