Invigorate your Breakfast in the New Year

Ok ladies, it’s 2016 and it’s time to invigorate your breakfast in the New Year for a healthier, more energized you.  Overnight, your body fasts and (thankfully) goes into rest mode.  But in the morning, it’s time for a serious energy boost, which begins with a healthy breakfast.

Healthy avocado, egg open sandwiches on a plate with colorful tomatoes against rustic woodThe best nutrients to consume for breakfast include healthy fats, protein and fiber.   You may have been taught that all fat is bad, but that is not true.  We need fat in our diet to sustain all normal bodily functions.  The best fats are monounsaturated fats such as almonds, peanuts, cashews, avocados, and polyunsaturated fats like walnuts, flaxseed, tofu, and essential fatty acids from salmon, tuna and other types of fish.  Protein helps with the breakdown and repair process required in muscle growth and is also great for brain power.  Fiber from whole grains and complex carbohydrates aid in sustaining energy by slowing the digestion process for a more efficient use of nutrients.

Here are 6 options to invigorate your breakfast in the New Year:

Oatmeal with Almond Butter:  Oatmeal is a fabulous grain chock full of fiber and many heart-healthy benefits.  Prepared with soymilk and a teaspoon of almond butter, you can fulfill your protein and healthy fat quota too.  Plus, the nut butter adds a rich and delicious flavor to traditional oatmeal.

Breakfast Bowl:  Create a smorgasbord of scrumptious breakfast nutrients with a breakfast bowl.  Start with a hard-boiled egg white base and add in sautéed vegetables, salmon and avocado to your liking.  Cover with a slice of cheese or soy cheese and milk for 30 seconds.

Greek Yogurt and Seasonal Berries:  Greek yogurt has at least twice the protein and less sugar than regular yogurt, making it a terrific source of both protein and dairy.  Seasonal berries offer lots of powerful antioxidants to strengthen cells and especially immune health.

Breakfast Burrito:  Using a whole grain tortilla, wrap a slice of cheese, black or refried beans and scrambled eggs into a burrito.  Feel free to toss in some veggies too, such as tomato, green peppers, onions or avocado.  This breakfast twist contains all the energy essentials to get your day started with a bang.

Power Protein Smoothie:  Blend up your breakfast with tons of wholesome nutrients.  This is a great choice if you’re not a fan of raw vegetables.  You can mask the taste of kale, spinach and other greens behind sweet fruits, nut butters and coconut milk.  (Almond milk, soymilk and skim milk also work.)  Add a scoop of flaxseed or chia seed for extra healthy fats, fiber and protein.

Egg Sandwich:  Who needs a bacon, egg & cheese biscuit when you can make a healthy alternative?  Toast whole grain bread or an English muffin and brush with olive oil.  Cook a thin layer of egg in a skillet or microwave and add to bread.  Top wit avocado, turkey bacon and/or cheese for a nutritious breakfast sandwich.

Invigorate your breakfast this New Year to start every day with energy.  Bon Appétit!

How to Take Care of Your Lips during Winter

closeup of a cute young woman lips

Luscious, supple lips are something most women desire.  But when it’s bitterly cold outside and overly dry inside, how is a gal supposed to maintain beautiful lips?  It takes a bit of extra effort in the winter, but hydrated, smooth lips are attainable even in the coldest winter months.  Today we’re sharing how to take care of your lips during winter to keep them sweet, sassy and smoochable!

Lips get cracked and chapped during the winter – or any time of year for that matter – for several reasons.  As the weather becomes colder, moisture gets sucked out of the air and the wind can be abrasive to the very thin, sensitive skin on your lips.  Most people have the heat on indoors during the winter, which creates dry air inside as well.  You just can’t escape it!  Additionally, many people use chemical-based lip balm or lick their lips to combat dryness, which both contribute to dehydration.  And if all of this isn’t bad enough, the natural aging process can cause lips to crack and chap as well.

Protect your lips in the winter and year-round with these tips:

  • Keep lips moisturized at all times, even at night, with a natural lip balm.  Beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, petroleum jelly, aloe vera and jojoba oil are all great natural ingredients for your lips.
  • Drink plenty of water.  Moisturization occurs from the inside out just as much as the other way around.  Drink your 8 glasses a day for plumper lips.
  • Don’t lick your lips.  While you think you may be helping them, it actually dries them out much more than you think.
  • Wear SPF sunscreen on your lips.  Even the winter sun can cause damage to your lips.
  • Stop smoking.  Nicotine, combined with the heat source touching your lips, is a terrible combination.  Besides, smoking is bad for your entire body in every way.
  • Stay out of the sun and wind whenever possible.  Your lips and all of your skin will thank you.
  • Use a humidifier in your home to add moisture back into the air.

Also, try these natural remedies for combating dry lips:

  • Press your lips against a used green tea bag for 5 minutes a day.  The extreme antioxidants will seep into your thin lip skin and hydrate them.
  • Rub honey, butter or any type of natural oil over your lips.  Let it sit for 10 minutes before rinsing.
  • Create an exfoliant with raw sugar and olive oil.  Scrub lips for 2-3 minutes and then wash off the solution.  This will help rid your lips of dry, dead skin and allow newer, fresher skin cells to rise to the surface.
  • Use natural age-defying foods like lemons and cucumbers on your lips too.  Crush them and use the juice as a lip solvent for about 15 minutes a day for best results.

Silky, lush, kissable lips are attainable even in the winter with these tips for how to care for your lips!


Knowing Your Family History

Family history may seem like a string of distant stories that has no relevance on your life now.  But the truth is, knowing your family history can be a very important and connective piece of your family’s health and dynamics.  Taking the time to research your family history may be a fascinating journey back in time, as well as a critical measure to understanding aspects of the present and future.

When you were a kid, you may have heard many tales of your family’s past from various generations.  While these stories may have seemed so far away – from both a sense of time and place – they can shed much light onto the choices, behaviors, values and health ingrained into your family.  As you’ve grown older, you may notice how one generation influences the next.  But what about the generations you haven’t met and witnessed?  They have had a profound impact on the subsequent generations of your family too.

Family history helps create unity and understanding within families.  Knowing the struggles, challenges, sacrifices, passions, triumphs and amazing feats of the past can help you better understand older generations in your family.  The influences of past situations – good and bad – stick with each of us in ways that form our psyche, traditions, values and Family treelifestyle choices.  Studying the stories of your family such as where generations past grew up, the political and cultural pressures of their times, their professions, family life and much more can help connect families, bridge gaps and secure strong familial bonds.

Knowing your family history is also valuable for health purposes.  Scientific research continues to show genetic factors involved in countless health conditions.  While you cannot change your genes, you can be aware of increased risk factors based on patterns in your family’s medical history.  Having this information can help determine a course of action and the level of vigilance needed for preventative care.  For instance, it may be recommended that families with increased risk of certain types of cancer should have more frequent health screenings to catch potential issues early.

Whether you are a history buff or not, mapping a family tree and digging into medical records can be an eye-opening experience.  Start with any records you have and reach out to relatives who can help you begin to piece together your family’s history.  The act of reconnecting with relatives alone may be extremely rewarding.  Although it’s a rather new invention, the Internet can be a magnificent tool in tracking genealogy too.  Once you know relative’s names and a few things about them, you can search for more info.  Genealogy programs are also available on a subscription basis to help fill in the gaps.

Be sure to check causes of death and read through any existing medical records.  Often, putting together medical history can be the most challenging part of knowing your family history because you have to put the puzzle together yourself.  But it is well worth the effort if it can help inform your family’s health and recommended preventative care.

Use family history as a bridge from the past to the future.  Connect with generations past – living or deceased – by getting to know their stories and their medical history.  You’ll be amazed at how this small step back in time can broaden your horizons in many giant ways.

Winter Superfoods

Verdure e frutta invernale mista,We’re back with our seasonal edition of superfoods and today we’re focusing on winter superfoods!  We’ve got the best fruits and vegetables to nourish your wintertime meals and help stave off seasonal illnesses, ailments and even emotional lows.  Add these winter superfoods to your diet for a super-charged season:

Winter Squash:  Move over fall pumpkins, winter squash is taking the spotlight this season.  Filled with the same nutritious beta-carotene as pumpkins, winter squash include butternut squash, spaghetti squash and acorn squash, among others.  Each variety has its own merits and specialties.  Spaghetti squash yields long thin strands and makes a great alternative to pasta.  Other squashes can replace regular squash or zucchini during winter or can be whipped into faux mash potatoes for a lighter, lower-carb version of a winter classic.

Fennel:  Hailing from the Mediterranean, fennel is bursting with vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin A and many others.  It has cardio-protective properties, strengthens the immune system, intensifies bony capacity and combats inflammation.  The distinctive fennel bulb has a licorice-like flavor that adds robust intrigue to many cuisines.

Beetroot:  This beautiful deep red root vegetable has a high concentration of antioxidants that help counteract free radicals that damage bodily cells.  Beets can be served cold, often as salad toppers, baked or as a soup puree.  Even the leafy top is nutritious and can be cooked with the flesh of the vegetable for added value.

Jicama:  Most commonly found in Central America and Asia, jicama is a crunchy vegetable with a slightly nutty, refreshing flavor.  It is often chunked or shredded and tossed into salads for a little phyto-crunch, but it can also be eaten raw in strips.  Jam-packed with Vitamin C for immune strength as well as iron, potassium and fiber, jicama is a great low-calorie snack option.

Avocado:  In the U.S., avocado is eaten all year long but it is truly in season in the wintertime.  It is a terrific plant source of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, plus other healthy monounsaturated fats. Avocado also contains folate and the B vitamins, all of which are good for disease-prevention and have heart-healthy benefits.

Pears:  Sweet and scrumptious, pears are a wonderful winter superfood.  Although the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” in wintertime we can include pears as well.  They contain Vitamin B2, Vitamin E, pectin and copper, which help lower bad cholesterol levels and support the cardiovascular system.  Plus, pears come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes to add to your winter kitchen décor.

Pomegranates:  Pomegranates are rich in polyphenols and flavonoids, two super-charged antioxidant categories that help stave off cancer and other diseases caused by cellular mutations.  This festively bright red fruit is somewhat difficult to gut but once you do the work, the sweet and tart pomegranate beads are your treat.  Add them to salads, cereals or pop them individually as a snack.

Kiwi:  Little fuzzy kiwis are a small fruit with a large amount of nutrients.  One kiwi contains more Vitamin C than an orange plus it has great fiber and potassium that yield heart-health benefits.  Kiwis are good for digestion, smooth skin and even help you sleep better.

Tangelo:  This mix between a tangerine and a pomelo has enough Vitamin C to meet your daily recommended value.  Vitamin C is, of course, known to boost immune strength and has terrific disease-fighting capacity.  Tangelos are a fabulous twist on more common citrus fruits that are ripe during winter.  And tangelos are easy to carry for an on-the-go wintertime pick-me-up.

What are you waiting for?  Enjoy these winter superfoods today!

Get Inspired by the “Healthy at Any Size” Campaign

If you’re still not sure how you’re going to spend your winter vacation, here’s an idea:  start loving your body and getting healthy at the same time.  The official “Healthy at Any Size” campaign may be over, but the premise is one that we can all strive to achieve.

Plus size model Melinda Parrish didn’t enter the modeling world looking nearly as confident as she does in her photo shoots.  In fact, she, like many other women, struggled all her life to accept her body.  That’s why she started the “Healthy at Any Size” (#HealthyatAnySize) campaign and the Get Moving (#getmoving15) holiday challenge with Plus Model Magazine.

healthy at any size__1450660327_108.89.138.209In our modern society, exercise has been eternally linked to weight loss and continues to lose its true, original intention…health.  It seems physical activity gets lost in a world obsessed with being thin.  As the Health at Every Size (HAES) movement cites, this body preoccupation leads to abuse of food, eating and body disorders, negative body image and self-hatred, discrimination and worst of all, unhealthy lifestyles.  Melinda Parrish and many others are taking a stand to change the purpose behind exercise and redefine “movement” to stand for health, not weight obsession.

The goal of Melinda’s campaign as well as the HAES movement is to recognize the physical, mental and emotional benefits of being active for health and wellness purposes.  When women understand that fitness stretches way beyond weight loss, they have a better chance of reaping the amazing benefits of exercise that extend beyond physical wellbeing.  Physical activity is linked to so many mental and emotional advantages including releasing brain chemicals and neurotransmitters that actually make you feel better.  And when we feel better, we have better perspective on ourselves and can love our bodies for what they are, not how we long for them to be.

While there are health risks associated with obesity, the healthcare industry is actually NOT obsessed with weight.  The medical field acknowledges that bodies can be healthy at many sizes but physical activity is a key component to achieving and maintaining health.  Unfortunately, many people are turned off by the idea of exercise because they feel weight loss is unattainable.  Campaigns like “Healthy at Any Size” strive to dispel these associations with weight loss and motivate movement for the sake of health and health alone.

Of course mental and emotional health are an important piece of the puzzle for Melinda Parrish and many others too.  Accepting your body in a weight-obsessed world often takes strength and courage.  As Melinda squashes the weight loss connection to exercise, she hopes to replace it with a message of self-love, body positivity and recognition that bodies can be healthy and strong at any size.

So this holiday season, get inspired to be Healthy at Any Size.  It doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon, but do find some ways to move your body for a healthier new you in the New Year.

How to Truly Unwind on Vacation

Relax sul pratoSo you’re headed off on a much needed vacation – go you!  Surely you’re excited but maybe a bit stressed too, as you’re trying to wrap things up at home and prepare for your trip.  Today we’re bringing you tips on how to truly unwind on vacation.

Tie up lose ends before you leave.  If you feel confident that things are taken care of on the home front, you’ll be able to relax more on vacation.  This may mean putting in a few extra hours to get things done in the office or at least creating a memo for co-workers to know exactly where things stand so they can fill your shoes in your absence.  Do the same for anything you have going on for social, volunteer or familial projects.  Don’t let the stressful details of things you’ve forgotten to do or tell someone weigh on your mind when you’re trying to enjoy your trip.

Designate a brief time to check-in every day.  For those who are extremely dedicated to their work, severing communication for 2 weeks may not be an option.  And certainly you will want to communicate with your children if they’re staying home while you are on an adult vacation.  Set aside time when you can be reached by your boss or caregiver every day.  Obviously anyone should contact you in the event of a huge emergency, but otherwise, let them know that you will be checking emails, voicemails or calling-in at a certain time.  This will put everyone at ease, including you.  But do be mindful of your own boundaries and don’t make yourself more available than necessary.  This will eat into your down time on vacation.

Wind down slowly.  It’s hard to go from 100 mph to a complete halt.  Instead, give yourself time to wind down from a stressful period and ease into vacation mode.  If you have a few days to spend at home before your trip, that may help.  Otherwise, keep you mind occupied without focusing on your daily tasks, such as doing a puzzle, Sudoku or reading a stimulating or motivating book.  As your vacation progresses, switch gears to more relaxing activities like watching movies, reading a juicy novel or flipping through magazines.

Plan challenges and adventures on vacation.  If you are a goal-oriented person, lying on the beach for days-upon-days may not be fulfilling.  Rather, select several challenging activities during your vacation.  Perhaps it’s climbing a nearby mountain, taking a cooking class or trying to pick up on the local language.  After all, vacation you should be more relaxed, but you’re not an entirely different person.  Don’t deny your natural instincts for adventure and challenge.  Instead embrace them and let them add fun and excitement to your vacation.

Use relaxation techniques.  If you find yourself stressed on vacation, seek relaxation techniques early so you don’t waste your entire trip.  Employ meditation and deep breathing to try to loosen up.  You can also get a massage or spend an entire day soothing yourself at a spa.  Do what it takes to really unwind so you feel rejuvenated and refreshed rather than regretting the fact that you couldn’t chill on your vacation.

Wind up slowly too.  When it is time to reenter your “real world,” do so slowly and with caution.  Don’t destroy all the relaxation you enjoyed by abruptly returning to stressful situations.  Try to have a day at home to unpack, do your laundry, do some prep work for your job and think about the challenges ahead.  Hopefully everything will seem easier to handle after your vacation.  Try to remember the fun you had and go into your new week with a cheery, positive, relaxed attitude like you had on vacation.

We hope you can use these tips to truly unwind on vacation.  Enjoy!!

Natural Remedies for Anxiety

Anxiety comes in many forms and strikes at different times for different people.  General worrying is what we most commonly call anxiety, but more severe conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety disorder are all forms of anxiety as well.  Certain times of year, say around the holidays when we’re out of our routines and spending lots of time with family, may cause elevated anxiety.  In extreme cases, medication may be required.  But we can often curb everyday worrying with natural remedies for anxiety.  Today we have a few suggestions that may take your mind off the worry and get you back to your usual self.

Herbal Natural Remedies for Anxiety

There are many herbal options that have a calming effect on the body.  Most are healthy and safe, although do discuss with your physician before starting a new herbal regimen if you take prescriptions medications as there may be some interactions.  Herbal remedies include lavender, GABA (gamma-aminobutyic acid), chamomile, green tea, passionflower, lemon balm, valerian and hops.  Many of these contain essential nutrients and volatile oils that trigger neurotransmitter reactions that reduce stress and anxiety.  By drinking these herbal teas, taking an herbal supplement or even smelling or absorbing them topically through oils, your body may immediately begin to loosen up.

Seek Relaxation

Relaxation is different to everyone, but for those who experience anxiety, it is a great natural remedy to relieve symptoms.  Scheduling relaxation before anxiety strikes can be very helpful, and of course making time for it when you’re already feeling anxiety is a no-brainer.  Relaxation may come from meditation, spending time in nature, watching television, reading a book, deep breathing techniques, practicing yoga, exercise, gardening or getting a massage.  Employ whatever ways you find therapeutic relaxation to your advantage to help address anxiety.

Get Warm

Portrait of a pretty happy young woman holding a cup of coffeeWarmth is believed to trigger the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.  Soaking in a bath, spending time in a steam room, drinking a hot cup of tea, enjoying sunshine, and curling up by a fire are all great ways to heat your body and release this wonderful, natural sensation.  This may also be why exercise gives you a “high” despite any pain it may cause.  Next time you feel angst, try doing or sipping something warm for a quick fix.

Eat a Healthy Diet

When your body needs nutrients, many things can go awry, including elevating your anxiety levels.  Keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day by eating a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and fruits.  Omega-3s are a terrific anxiety-relieving nutrient found in many fish, nuts and oils.  Also, don’t skip breakfast.  Studies show that anxiety-prone people are more likely to skip breakfast.  Stop the anxiety before it starts by eating healthily and not missing a meal.

Isolate Issues and Face Fears

Sometimes getting to the root cause of anxiety can help reduce future anxiety, even if it requires some uncomfortable soul searching in the moment.  When you are faced with anxiety, try to determine what it is that is really bothering you.  Sometimes we make up reasons for anxiety that aren’t truly the root cause.  Dig deep to decide why you are worrying and what myths you may be telling yourself that leads you there.  Try not to let other issues build on top of the underlying cause of your anxiety.  Creating a catastrophe  only makes anxiety worse.  Once you know what the issue is, work on facing that fear so it doesn’t continue to agitate you and cause long term anxiety.


Spices of the Holiday Season

Cinnamon sticks, star anise and nuts on an old wooden table. New year and Christmas compositions. Selective focus

‘Tis the season to spice things up!  Spices are an important part of holiday cooking and fragrances that capture the essence of the holidays.  Here’s an added bonus:  spices also add nutrients and health benefits to your food.  As you are doing your cooking this season, you can feel good about adding holiday spices to your dishes and beverages.  Today we’re sharing some of the awesome spices of the holiday season and their incredible health benefits:

Sweet Spices of the Holiday Season

Cinnamon:  Ah, what sounds better than a stick of cinnamon in your hot cocoa or tea this holiday season?  Cinnamon can be found in many holiday dishes from baked goods to sweet potato soufflé.  It has antibacterial properties and helps stabilize blood sugar levels, plus it curbs indigestion and nausea.

Nutmeg:  Although less popular than its sister cinnamon, nutmeg is another sweet spice found in many holiday desserts.  It can also be used as a topping for beverages like egg nog or warm milk.  Nutmeg offers digestive relief and is an antifungal and antibacterial agent.  So while you are indulging this season, nutmeg is helping treat infections.

Ginger:  Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, which supports the body in a variety of ways.  It is best known as a digestive aid to curb an upset stomach and nausea.  But it also calms swelling and irritation throughout the body, including joints and internal organs.  This fun root is a distinctive flavor of healthful holidays.

Peppermint:  The base ingredient of peppermint, mint, is a super healthy herb.  It can soothe the stomach and reduce gas and bloating after holiday meals and it has a ton of antioxidants.  Additionally, mint calms the body and helps relieve headaches and seasonal cold symptoms.  While too many candy canes pack on lots of extra calories, a few minty indulgences are actually good for you.

Cloves:  The distinguishing scent of cloves screams holiday time.  These small, spiky buds are great antimicrobials and anti-inflammatories with a range of health benefits.  They support the immune system, help manage symptoms of diabetes and can curb oral health conditions.

Savory Spices of the Holiday Season

Sage:  This ancient spice is another great way to improve digestion.  Sage contains anti-inflammatory and healing properties that are great for the heart, brain and immune system as well.  Typically used for savory dishes like meats and stews, sage is a fabulous choice for your holiday spice rack.

Rosemary:  Rosemary is a staple spice for holiday roast chickens, turkeys and hams, as well as soups, vegetable dishes and potatoes.  This Mediterranean evergreen improves cognition, circulation and immune health, and it helps detoxify and heal the body.  Rosemary is also believed to reduce stress, which may be a much-needed bonus benefit over the holidays.

Enjoy these delicious and healthful spices of the holiday season!  We wish you a very Happy Holidays!

8 Ideas to Share the Holiday Spirit

Happy christmas couple over blue winter background.

We hope you are already enjoying your holiday season.  If you or others around you are not yet in the holiday spirit, we’re here to help whip you into holiday shape.

The holidays aren’t just about presents and delicious foods.  They are about togetherness, cheer and warm wishes.  No matter what our circumstances may be, we can all participate in celebrating our holidays, families, year end and the many wonderful things in our lives.  That is truly the essence of the holiday spirit.  And while you’re feeling full of cheer, we hope you’ll make it your mission to share the holiday spirit this year.  We have 8 ideas to help you do it:

Holiday Scents:  For days leading up to the holidays, fill your home with fragrant holiday scents like ginger, peppermint, cinnamon and vanilla.  You can do this through scented candles, air fresheners or starting your holiday baking early.  The magnificent smells of the holiday season will put everyone in a festive mood.

Decorate your Home:  It’s hard to resist the holiday spirit when your home is decked out in holiday gear.  Decorating can be especially fun for kids, but even if you don’t have any, put up decorations so your visual surroundings will stimulate holiday happiness.

Twinkle your Neighbors:  Similar to “booing” on Halloween or “egging” on Easter, twinkling over the winter holiday season means you leave an anonymous surprise at someone’s door or in their yard.  It may be several small items or one basket of goodies.  It will warm your neighbors to know you are thinking of them during the holidays.

Shop in a Good Mood:  For some, holiday shopping is such a chore.  Do your best not to be a grump or a scrooge when you do your holiday shopping.  Pick a day when you’re in a good mood – perhaps take a vacation day so you’re not distracted by work – and indulge in a great cup of coffee or breakfast treat to get your day started.  Keep a smile on your face as you do your shopping, even if you have to stand in long lines.  It will be contagious.

Invite People into your Kitchen:  Often we greet our guest, grab them a drink and retreat into the kitchen to finish last minute details while the rest of your family entertains.  They are all enjoying themselves and you’re slaving away in the kitchen, or so it seems.  This year, don’t banish people from helping in your kitchen.  Rather, let the kitchen be the gathering spot.  Allow your guests to pull up an apron and stir, garnish or taste something as you finish the festive meal preparations.

Break the Ice:  Whether you celebrate with close family or invite extended relatives, friends and neighbors, help everyone have more meaningful conversations with an ice breaker.  Yeh, sounds a little cheesy but it can be fun and productive.  An example:  ask everyone to bring one item that represents how they are feeling this holiday season or about the year that is almost over.  Give everyone a moment to talk about their item.  We guarantee it will spark deeper conversation and a sense of unity throughout the holiday.

Start One New Holiday Tradition:  Traditions are a special way to get your family in the holiday spirit year after year.  If you feel your holiday is lackluster this year, start a new family tradition.  For instance, maybe one gift to and from each family member must be homemade.  Or give a gag gift to lighten up your holiday scene.

Watch your Favorite Holiday Movies:  There’s nothing that can turn a holiday frown upside down like a holiday movie.  Keep a few of them playing on background during the holiday season.  You’ll surely soak up the holiday spirit in no time.

Happy Holidays!  We wish you much holiday spirit this season!

Why You Should Take Power Naps

Sleep is vital to our lives to rest our bodies and achieve rejuvenation.  But sleep deprivation is becoming more and more common in our modern 24/7 lifestyles.  Most mammals have multiple periods of sleep and wakefulness during their days, but humans are an exception.  We typically sleep at night and are awake during the day, for better or for worse.  Many experts believe that power naps are a significant way to curb fatigue, boost energy and improve alertness.  We’re exploring the benefits of power naps here.

Power naps are typically defined as 10-30 minutes of sleep in the early afternoon.  If you try to take a nap before 1 p.m., your body will probably not be tired enough for sleep.  If you sleep past 4 p.m., it may interrupt your nighttime sleep.  Therefore, a power nap Peaceful portrait of woman sleeping on pillowbetween 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. is best.  Studies indicate that even this short burst of sleep can greatly improve alertness and performance.  Power naps can help you most directly after the nap period and may prolong concentration for several hours later than usual.  Additionally, napping has proved to be excellent for the cardiovascular system, to reduce stress and aid in weight loss.

Sleep expert Sara C. Mednick, PhD wrote a book entitled Take a Nap! Change your Life in which she outlines the benefits of different lengths of sleep.  The 20-minute power nap, known as stage 2 sleep, is great for alertness and increased motor skills.  Naps ranging from 30 to 60 minutes offers slow-wave sleep that improves memory and helps with decision-making skills.  Even longer naps of up to 90 minutes allows R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) sleep that is associated with creative problem solving and greater brain connections.

For those who are truly sleep deprived, longer daytime naps may be in order to “catch up” on sleep.  However, shorter power naps of less than 40 minutes are refreshing without leaving the body feeling groggy from being ripped out of sleep.  Plus, most adults in the U.S. don’t have the luxury of napping for longer than 30 minutes per day.  Other cultures put a greater value on naps and schedule time for them during their workdays.  Some businesses like Google and Huffington Post offer sleep pods in their offices to help their employees catch some zzz’s during their day.  The theory is that they will be more productive and perform better if they are better rested.  Still, this is a rarity in most places of business.

So what’s an average gal to do to get in a power nap?  Well, it isn’t always easy.  Finding time for power naps may take planning.  Scheduled naps are often better than emergency naps because they help you sleep before you are overly exhausted.  If you are home with kids who nap, take a power nap while they are sleeping.  Even if you spend 30 minutes napping, chances are you’ll have leftover time to get other things done, and you’ll be even more productive at them to boot.  If you work a regular daytime job, make time for naps on the weekend to recharge your body and get ready for the week to come.

Of course, naps should not be a reason you stay up later.  Nighttime sleep is still very important.  Also, your sleep environment should be one without too much stimulation such as that from televisions, electronics and bright lights, and should be set a comfortable temperature.

Enjoy your power naps when you can!  Sweet dreams!

Search our past Q+A's.
Choose a topic that interests you to view only related Q+A's.

10 TV Moms that Taught us Invaluable Lessons
20’s flapper
2015 belt trends
4th of July
5 Ways to Inspire Those around You
6 Tips for Finding Balance in Life
8 cups a day
8 cups of water a day
9 reasons why you should eat peanut butter
a perfect 14
Active Bras
affects of too much salt
air quality in your home
Alessandra Ambrosio
allergy forecast
allergy medicine
allergy season
allergy symptoms
allergy tips
allergy-proof your home
alleviate heartburn
aloe vera
aloe vera health benefits
Alternatives to Potato Chips
Amber Riley
American Academy of Dermatology
Amy Adams
an apple a day
Angelina Jolie
annual exams for women
anti-aging solutions
anti-itch cream
anxiety symptoms
apple recipes
April showers
are you eating too much sugar
at home pedicure
Audree Kopp
Audrey Hepburn
baby doll
baby weight
back pain and large breasts
bad food
balance in life
bargain shopping
basic rules of texting
bat girl
be an inspirational person
beauty routines
beauty tools
BeautyFull Boutique
become a Monday person
bedtime habits
Bella Thorne
belly control
belts for all body types
benefit of power naps
benefits of a Mediterranean diet
benefits of traveling alone
best apple recipes
best bedtime habits
Best Belts for Your Body Type
best breakfast foods
best foods for winter
best foods to eat in fall
best holiday spices
best indoor plants
best ingredients for face masks
best jeans for your body type
best running songs
best selfie
best sports bra for plus size women
best summer bras
best superfoods
best sweaters for body type
best things to do every morning
best time of day to exercise
best time of day to work out
best way to start your day
Best Way to Wash Bras
best ways to improve digestion
best ways to organize bras
best workout songs
Beyond the Fitting Room
big butts and back pain
big butts are good for health
big is beautiful
bikini bridge
black bras
black dress
Black Friday
Black Friday shopping
black full figure bras
black rice
black swan
black t-shirt bra
blood pressure
Body Acceptance
body image
body types
boost energy
boost your energy
boosting your metabolism
boyshort with firm tummy control
bra calculator
bra care
bra donations
Bra Fit
bra fit tips
Bra Fitting
bra fitting tips
bra history
bra recyclers
Bra Recycling
bra recycling month
Bra Size
bra size calculator
bra sizes
Bra storage
Bra Style
bra styles
Bra Technology
Bra Wardrobe
brain games
Brain Games for Adults
brain workout
bread bowls
break your nail biting habit
break your unhealthy nail biting habit
Breakfast rules
breast cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness
breast cancer statistics
Breast enhancers
Breast forms
Breast Health
breast sizes
breastfeeding moms
breastfeeding schedule
bridesmaid dresses
brief with firm tummy control
brown rice
building relationships with coworkers
building self confidence
burn calories doing housework
Burn Calories while Spring Cleaning
burn fat for weight loss
business communication
cancer prevention
caring for indoor plants
Celebrate Mom Friends
Celebrating Women
Celebrity News
celiac disease
cellulite and varicose veins
chapped lips
charitable partnerships
chili peppers
chocolate dinner
Chocolate dinner for Valentine's Day
chocolate good for health
chocolate recipes
Christmas albums
Christmas Eve
Christmas music
circulate air in your home
clothing donations
Comfortable Bras
comfortable work clothes
compression sports bra
contour bras
cost effective
cotton bras
create a sexier bedroom
Cristela Alonzo
curve model
curvy actresses
curvy body
curvy celebrities
curvy fashion
curvy fashionista
curvy models
cute clothes
cute summer clothes
dangers of nail salons
dark chocolate
dark chocolate health benefits
dark spots
date ideas
Davids Bridal
day of the dead
decorating the table for thanksgiving
denim trend
denim trend 2015
detox ingredients
detox ingredients for water
detox ingredients for your water
detox with water
detox your body
detox your body with water
Diet Plans
digestive health
digestive system
dinner table
DIY Halloween costumes
doctor and patient
doctor patient relations
donate clothes
Dos and Don’ts of Summer Skin Care
dressing your curves
dried fruits
dry shampoo
dull skin
earth day
earth day 2014
Easy Exercises
eat healthy
eating for breast health
eating healthy
edible bowls
Edward scissor hands
egg nutrition
Egyptian princess
Elly Mayday
email etiquette
email mistakes
Emma Watson
Emme Plus Size Model
Emotional Eating
emotional health
energy bars
energy breakfast
enjoy life
environmentally friendly lifestyle
essential oils
exercise and spring cleaning
exercise for heart health
exercising with pets
face mask
fall colors
fall fashion
fall fashion 2015
fall superfoods
falling asleep
family history
farm fresh
farm fresh foods
fashion industry
fashion tips
fashion trends
Fashion's Night Out PLUS
Father's Day
female activist
feminine figures
finding your passion in life
finger nails
finger nails and health
First Time Bra Fit
fitness and pets
fitness goals
Fitness Trends
Fitness Trends in 2016
fitting room
flavored soymilk
flip flops
food waste
foods that are surprisingly bad for you
foods that boost energy
French maid
fresh foods
freshman fifteen
fringe trend 2015
front closure bra
front-closure bras
fruit bowls
fruits and vegetables
frustration in the workplace
Full Figure
full figure belts
full figure black bras
full figure bra
Full Figure Bras
full figure cardigans
full figure clothes
Full Figure Fashion
full figure fashion for spring
full figure fashion on red carpet
full figure fashion report
full figure jeans
full figure leather clothes
full figure raincoats
full figure sports bra
full figure sports bras
Full Figure Stars
full figure sweaters
full figure trends
full figure tut
full figure women
full figure women and exercise
full figure women on tv
Full Figured Celebrities
Full Figured Fashion
full figured women
fun things to do on Christmas Eve
gardening and exercise
gardening and stress relief
gerber daisies
germs at nail salons
get fit with your pet
get the most out of your vacation
Gift Ideas
gifts for mom
ginger essential oils
ginger oil
Giovanna Morales Vargas
girls HBO
Girls tv show
glucose levels
gluten intolerance
gluten-free diet
goal oriented
good habits
good people
grapefruit essential oils
grapefruit oil
green living
growing plants
Guide to Black Friday
gynecological cancer
habits to save the earth
hair care
hair care tips
hair color
hair growth
hair loss
hair ties
hairband infections
hairstyles 2015
Halloween costumes
Halloween season
hand wash bras
hand washing bras
hanger management
happy Monday
Harmione Granger
Hayley hasselhoff
health and wellness
health benefits
health benefits of eggs
health benefits of gardening
health benefits of hugging
Health Benefits of Pumpkins
health benefits of taking a walk
health benefits of walking
health benefits of walking everyday
health problems with large breasts
health risks of nail biting
health risks of wearing a hairband
health risks of wearing a hairband around your wrist
health screenings
Health Screenings for Women
healthier diet
healthiest rice
healthy at any size
healthy at every size
healthy bedtime habits
healthy diet
healthy eating
healthy eating habits
healthy fats
healthy foods
healthy foods for energy
healthy habits
healthy hair
healthy hair tips
healthy life
healthy lifestyle
healthy lives
healthy living
healthy morning habits
healthy pregnancy diet
healthy rice
healthy skin
healthy sleep habits
healthy smoothies
healthy snacks
healthy winter diet
heart disease
Heart Health
heart health tips
heart healthy diet
herbal natural remedies for anxiety
herbs for breast health
Herbs to Improve Breast Health
history of bras
holiday celebrations
holiday dinner
holiday dinner table
holiday scents
holiday spices
holiday spirit
holiday traditions
home pedicure
Homemade Face Masks
house plants
houseplants for better air quality
how do you wash bras
How Gardening is Good for your Health
how many bras should I have
how many calories does housework burn
how to achieve balance
How to Avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction
how to avoid hair dryness in winter
how to avoid razor burn
how to be a good coworker
how to be inspiring
how to be sexy
how to become a better hugger
how to boost energy
how to care for lips
how to combat hanger
how to correct under eye bags
how to deal with stress
how to do pool exercises
how to dress a big bottom
how to drink more water
how to eat healthy
how to exercise in the pool
how to fall asleep faster
how to find balance
how to find balance in life
how to find out your family history
how to get healthy
how to get healthy hair
how to get the best deals
how to get the best shave
how to get the most out of your breakfast
how to have a better relationship with doctor
how to have a healthy heart
how to heal chapped lips
how to identify your passions
how to improve digestion
how to improve hair health
how to improve the air quality in your home
how to live longer
how to look younger
how to love your Mondays
how to make a face mask
how to measure bra size
how to measure for a bra
how to measure your bra size
how to moisturize hair
how to prevent Osteoporosis
how to protect yourself at nail salons
how to recycle bras
how to reduce allergy symptoms
how to reduce food waste
How to Reduce Under Eye Bags
how to relax on vacation
how to relieve anxiety naturally
how to relieve heartburn
how to relieve PMS
how to relieve stress
how to save money
how to shave your legs
how to slow down and enjoy life
how to stay positive at work
How to Store Winter Clothes
how to take care of skin
How to Take Care of Your Lips during Winter
How to Take the Best Selfie
How to Truly Unwind on Vacation
how to wear fringe
how to wear fringe without looking like a hippie
How to Write a Letter to your Mom for Mother’s Day
how to write thank you notes
hugging and your heart
hugs and heart
ideas to share the holiday spirit
importance of breakfast
importance of drinking water
importance of health screenings
Improve Your Digestive Health
improve your life
Improve your Relationship with your Doctor
In the Media
indoor garden
indoor plants
inexpensive oils
inspire those around you
inspiring confidence
Invigorate your Breakfast in the New Year
Is a Gluten-Free Diet Right for You?
James Early O’Brien
jazz up jeans and sweaters
jeans and sweaters
jeans for curvy women
jeans for full figure women
jersey shore
Jessica Alba
jumpsuits for full figured women
jumpsuits for summer
keeping brain active
Kerosene Deluxe
kids table
Know your family history
Knowing Your Family History
lace bras
lace full figure bras
lady gaga
large breasts
latest fashion trends
Laura Wells
lavender essential oils
lavender oil
Leading ladies
Leading Ladies We Love
leading lady
Leading Lady 514
Leading Lady bras
leaky gut
leaky gut syndrome
learning for tv moms
learning from mistakes
leisure bra
Leisure Bras
leisure bras plus size
lemon essential oils
lemon oil
Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham in Girls
Lenny newsletter
leopard print bras
leopard print fashion
letter writing
life balance
Life Goals
lime essential oils
lime oil
lips in winter
Lisa Cole
little black dress
Living with Passion
London fashion week
looking younger
losing weight
love life
lower body curves
lus size modeling
make magic with jeans and sweaters
manicures and pedicures
marketing ploys
mayonnaise face mask
Mediterranean diet
Meghan Trainor
Melissa McCarthy
Memorial Day
menstrual cramps
mental health
mental wellness
metabolism and women
modeling industry
mom friends
Monday people
Monday person
money saving tips
morning routine
morning sickness
Morticia Adams
most comfortable bra in America
Mother's Day
Mother's Day 2016
mother's love
mothers day gift ideas
mothers day gifts
mothers day ideas
muffin top
muscle pain
nail biters
nail biting
nail biting habit
nail polish trends
nail trends
nail trends 2014
Natalie Portman
National Nutrition Month
national ovarian cancer coalition
national womens history month
natural living
natural remedies
natural remedies for allergies
Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Natural Remedies for Heartburn
Natural Remedies for PMS
negative effects of sitting
never text while driving
new skills
new superfoods
New Years Resolutions
non padded bras
nursing shapewear cami
nut bars
nutrition of pumpkin
office ettique
Online Shopping
organize lingerie drawer
ovarian cancer
padded bras
paleo diets
party hosting ideas
peanut butter
pedicure supplies
pedicure tools
peppermint essential oils
peppermint oil
personal finance
personal finance tips
plus size belts
plus size bra
Plus Size Bras
plus size clothes
plus size clothing
plus size clothing line
Plus Size Fashion
plus size fashion week
plus size jeans
plus size jumpsuits
Plus Size Lingerie
Plus Size Mannequin
plus size model
plus size modeling
plus size modeling agencies
Plus Size Models
Plus Size Printed Leggings
plus size raincoats
plus size sports bra
Plus Size Supermodel
plus size sweaters
plus size wedding dresses
plus size women
plus size women and leather
plus sized models
Plus-Sized Fashion
pollen count
pool exercises
pool workouts
posh spice
positive attitude
positive self image
positive thinking
postpartum nursing shapewear cami
postpartum nursing shapewear cami with tummy control
postpartum shapewear
postpartum shapewear boyshort with firm tummy control
postpartum shapewear brief with tummy control
power breakfast
power nap
power naps
pre-baby shape
pregnancy diet
premature skin aging
premenstrual syndrome
professional image
prolonged sitting
Protect Your Hair from Winter Weather
protecting your skin
protein in eggs
puffiness under eyes
pumpkins and antioxidants
push up bra
Racer Back
racer back bras
racer back sports bra
racerback bra
rain gear
razor burn
reasons for fatigue
reasons to strengthen your body
recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers
recycle bras
recycle your bras
red rice
reduce salt in your diet
reigniting passions
relationship with doctor
remedies for anxiety
remedies for heartburn
remedies for PMS
repelling insects
Retro Style
rice crackers
risk factors for Osteoporosis
Robyn Lawley
romantic Valentine's dinner
rule of five
running music
running playlist
running shoes
sale shopping
salt in your diet
salt intake
salvation army donation
Saturday Night Live
save money
save the earth
Save the planet
saving money
savory holiday spices
scar tissue
Seamless Bra
seasonal affective disorder
seasonal allergies
seasonal depression
self care
setting goals
sexy bedroom
sexy black bra
sexy black full figure bra
Sexy bra
Sexy Bras
sexy bras for Valentine's Day
sexy full figure bras
Sexy Full Figure Bras for Valentine’s Day
Sexy is a State of Mind
Sexy lace bra
Sexy Lingerie
Sexy Plus Size Bras
sexy shoes
sexy Zorro
shapewear boyshort with firm tummy control
shapewear brief with firm tummy control
shapewear cami
signs of skin cancer
Signs you are Eating Too Much Salt
skin blemishes
skin cancer
Skin Cancer Awareness
skin cancer signs
skin cancer stats
skin cancer symptoms
skin care
skin care myths
Skin care tips
skin cleansers
skin problems
Sleep and the brain
sleep and the heart
sleep habits
sleep tips
slow down and enjoy life
slow the appearance of aging
Smaller Waist
smart texting
sore muscles
sore throat
Specialty Bra Sizes
speed up metabolism
Spice Girl
Spices of the Holiday Season
spicy food
spicy food and living longer
spicy foods
spider plants
sport bra
Sport Bras
sports bra
Sports Bras
spring 2014 fashion trends
spring allergies
Spring Clean your Diet
spring cleaning
spring colors
spring dresses
spring fashion
spring fashion 2014
spring fashion 2015
spring summer 2014 fashion trends
spring summer fashion trends
Springtime Full Figure Fashion
springtime gardening
stay positive at work
storage containers for clothes
storing clothes
strange tips to fall asleep faster
strengthen your body
stress and fatigue
Stress Management
stress relief
stronger immune systems
Sucker Punch
sugar free
sugary snacks
summer bras
summer budget
summer fashion
summer fashion 2014
summer full figure bras
summer skin
summer skin care
summer wardrobe
sun safety
sun safety habits
sunglass trends
supermarket marketing ploys
Supermarket Marketing Ploys to Avoid
sustainable living
sustainable practices
sweet holiday spices
symptoms of anxiety
t shirt bras
t-shirt bra
taking care of yourself at work
taking vacation alone
texting rules
thank you notes
Thanksgiving leftovers
the benefits of farm fresh foods
the bra recyclers
The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
The Importance of Hugging
The Importance of Sleep
The Rules of Cardigans
the science behind hangry
the tutu trend
thigh brow
thigh gap
things that make you sexy
Things to do on Christmas Eve
Things Your Coworkers Hate
think more positive
thinking positive
tips for avoiding pollen
Tips for Bargain Shopping
Tips for Black Friday
Tips for Healthy Hair
tips for winter hair
tips for women with large breasts
Tips for Writing Great Thank You Notes
tips for writing thank you notes
Tips to Allergy-Proof your Home
Tips to Fall Asleep Faster
title 9
title ix
title nine
too much salt
travel clothes
travel wardrobe
trendy jumpsuits
Trendy Plus Size Clothes
trendy plus size fashion
trendy raincoats
trendy white shoes
trouble staying focused
tummy control
TV Moms
TV Moms we love
ultraviolet light
Unconventional Ways to Give Thanks this Thanksgiving
under eye baggage
under eye bags
Unexpected Causes of Fatigue
Unintentionally Slowing Your Metabolism
unprofessional email
unprofessional email etiquette
unwanted toxins
unwind on vacation
uv light
v for vendetta
vaginal bacterial infection
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day Surprises
Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day Full Figure Fashion
Valentine’s Day ideas
varicose veins
Volunteering on Thanksgiving
walking 30 minutes a day
walking for health
wardrobe essentials
wardrobe tips
warrior princess
wash bras
ways to be sexy
ways to celebrate Thanksgiving
ways to combat fatigue
Ways to Create a Sexier Bedroom
ways to get fit with your pet
ways to give back on Thanksgiving
ways to give thanks
ways to give thanks on Thanksgiving
ways to improve concentration
ways to inpire
Ways to Reduce Food Waste
ways to reduce symptoms of allergies
ways to save money
ways to save money this summer
Ways to save the earth
ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers
Wear your Comfy Clothes to Work
wearing a hairband around your wrist
wedding dress
wedding dresses
weight gain
weight loss
what causes allergies?
what do do on Christmas Eve
what is a Mediterranean diet
what is a power nap
what is Osteoporosis
What is Zapping your Concentration?
what to do for faster metabolism
what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers
what to eat besides potato chips
what to eat for faster metabolism
what to pack
what to pack for women
What to Wear on Black Friday
what to wear on Valentine's Day
What Your Nails Say about your Health
where to buy full figure bras
where to store clothes
which bras to wear in summer
white blood cells
white shoes
white shoes for spring
white shoes for summer
white wardrobe
white wine
whitney Thompson
whole foods
Why All Women Should Take a Trip Alone
why am I so tired?
why hugging is good for you
Why Hugs are Good for your Heart
why sitting is bad for health
why sleep is important
why to reduce food waste
why walk everyday
why we get hangry
why women need hugs
why women need mom friends
why women need strength
why women should travel alone
why working out in the morning is better
why you can't concentrate
why you should eat breakfast
Why You Should Take a Walk Everyday
Why You Should Take Power Naps
wicked witch of the west
wild rice
winter accessories
winter fashion
winter fashion trends
winter fruits
winter hairstyles 2015
winter holidays
Winter Superfoods
winter trends 2015/2016
winter vegetables
women and seasonal affective disorder
women health
women traveling alone
women who struggle with morning sickness
women's accessories
Women's History Month
women's shaving
womens health
womens health week
working out in the morning
working out in the pool
working out your brain
workout music
workout playlist
workout playlists
workout routines
workout songs
write a letter to your mom
yeast infection
yogurt covered fruits
younger looking hairstyles
youthful skin
Zac Posen