wellness

4 Ways to Enjoy Some ‘ME Time’ Even If You Are Busy

Being an adult can be a wonderful thing, but it can also be very overwhelming because of the increased amount of responsibilities that you acquire over time. Your to-do list always gets longer as you progress through different stages in life and time is a precious commodity that you can’t afford to waste. If you have been struggling to make time to enjoy yourself or to do some activities to improve your overall wellbeing, take a look at the following 4 tips that can help you accomplish that:

Be Specific

Ask yourself these questions: What specifically do I want to do for myself? What does relaxing, resting, recharging or exercising mean to me? If you are very broad and schedule ‘free time’ for yourself, you are probably going to have a hard time deciding exactly what do to when that time comes, which can lead to wasted time, or you are going to end up yielding that space to on-the-go activities that come up. For example, if you are specific, you know what type of exercise you want to do, instead of just vaguely stating you want to workout. If you want to relax, be specific! Are you going to meditate, get a massage, go for a walk or take a nap? Be specific about what you want to accomplish, start with one or two activities a week and work your way up to integrate more.

Schedule It

Now that you know what you want, you can go ahead and put it in your calendar. This is where you make time for it and find time for yourself. This is as simple as scheduling a doctor’s appointment. You know at what time it is and where to be; by scheduling it you make sure you don’t miss it. So think of your ‘me time’ as the activities that help lift your spirit and keep you healthy. Schedule them just as you would schedule anything important. After all, you are very important!

Make time for yourself

Image: Jon Fife/ Flickr

Make It Non-Negotiable

Since these activities will probably help you be in a better mood, feel better, be healthier, be stronger, or be more relaxed, they should be regarded as non-negotiable and as part of your life habits. Don’t replace them once you have scheduled them unless an emergency needs your attention. Since you have them in your calendar and you understand that taking care of yourself is very important, block those times out. Those 30 minutes or that hour that you took for yourself will help you perform better throughout the rest of the day.

Get Accountability

If you really want to include new activities on your routine, getting some support along the way will make a huge difference. If your goal is to workout and be more active, getting accountability can be as simple as joining an exercise group and sharing your goals with the instructor so they can help keep you on track. You can also rely on your best friend or partner and ask them to keep you accountable, motivated, and to be supportive. Sharing with someone else what you want to accomplish and asking them to join your efforts will provide you with extra motivation!

Taking time for yourself is important; if you are not well, you can’t serve others well. Making time for yourself doesn’t mean you are neglecting other priorities in your life, it just means that you are also one of your priorities—perhaps the most important one since without your health and well being, none of the other priorities can be met.

We hope you are able to enjoy more ‘ME time’ from now on!

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5 Foods to Boost Your Mood Naturally

Studies have shown that the food we eat has chemical effects on our body depending on its properties. For example, you might notice that constantly consuming certain artificial foods gets you moody, tired, or anxious. Feeling like this prevents you from performing at optimal levels and enjoying your days. Let’s restore our bodies to their natural feel-good chemistry levels by learning the types of food that we can incorporate to our diet that will help us smile and build better brain health.

Mussels

Consuming mussels will provide your body with much-needed vitamin B12. This will help preserve your brain cells, keeping your mind sharp even as you grow older. The nutrients found in mussels will also help balance your mood and keep your thyroid healthy.

Swiss Chard

This food will provide magnesium to your body, which is essential for the proper conduction of the biochemical reactions in your brain and boosting your energy levels.

Blue Potatoes

Blue potatoes are rich in anthocyanins, which are very powerful antioxidants that will help you improve your short-term memory and reduce inflammation. If you are having a hard time finding blue potatoes on the supermarket you frequently shop at, stop by your local farmer’s market where you might be able to find them more easily.

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate can help you feel more vibrant and energized because it improves blood flow to the brain. It will also help with concentration and mood. Make sure you stick with the darkest (highest percentage of cocoa) organic chocolate variety that you can, since milk chocolate tends to be high in sugar.

Mood-boosting food dark chocolate

Grass-Fed Lamb 

If your protein has been grass-feed, it will provide your body with conjugated linoleic acid and iron, which will help you moderate stress hormones, protect your brain cells and reduce inflammation-promoting belly fat.

(Source: www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/brain-food )

National Hottie Month! (Teas and Their Benefits)

Tea bag in glass tea cup with glass saucer

You heard us. January is National hot tea month!

For ages, teas have been used and looked at as a staple for healthy beverages and pure delight. From bottled green tea energizing our yoga enthusiasts, Arizona Teas becoming all the rage, and who could forget good-old sweet iced tea from south of the Mason-Dixon.

In honor of hot tea month, we did a little digging and found the basic myths and highlights about teas. Hopefully, this can keep reminding us that just because it says “tea”, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest option on the menu.

First the basics:

“Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.” (We found that gem of a description from WebMD)

Three steps on how to keep your tea simple and healthy:

What kind of tea did you choose? If you stop by your local café and order a Passion, Refresh or Vanilla Rooibos, you’re ordering an herbal tea. They are going to taste great because of they’re a fusion of plants, fruits, and flowers, but are not derived from the Camellia plant. This means that the antioxidants unique to tea are usually missing. Ask your barista what kind of tea your usual is. Ask them which tea would be most related if it is herbal or another fusion.

What are you adding to your tea? Sweet tea has a pretty strong hold on the southern states of the U.S. Filled with sugar (the more the better) iced sweet tea, can boost your daily calorie intake by up to 300 calories! (Per serving). Talk about drinking your calories. Other teas to look out for are stationed at your convenience store, bottled or canned. Remember to take a look at the label to see what the “tea” you’re buying is really made of. Watch out for preservatives, added sugars, and artificial sweeteners. Obviously, drinking that would be counterproductive if you’re drinking tea to get a jump start on your health consciousness.

**Do you add sweetener to the tea yourself? Try using natural enhancers like Agave or Honey! Any Tea-Bar should be equipped with a supply, and it gives your tea a holistic essence. Way better than dissolving a few packs of sugar, if you ask us.

What do you want your tea to do for you? Many have sought after green tea as a metabolism booster or black tea for a caffeine kick. Read this blog we found, 6 , to learn more about your favorites and to find new teas that could benefit your goals.

Three tea bags with classic background

So, tell us! What are your favorite teas? Have you made a switch from coffee to tea; what has your experience been? Leave your ideas in our comments section!

Staying Healthy and Happy in the Holiday Season

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Thanksgiving, were looking at you!

During the holidays we tend to let it be a cheat month in regards to our healthier eating habbits. With family and friends stopping by, chilly weather, and the fact that were wearing pants and jackets, who cares about gaining a pound or two?

Did you know that this time of year is when people become the most depressed? The best way to battle this is keeping your happy and healthy through the holidays here of four tips how.

Tips to staying healthy during the holiday season:

  1. Eat breakfast – yes, even if you are waking up early to do a massive amount of cooking or baking. Eating just a bowl of oatmeal or and omelet can help kick start your metabolism, resulting in feeling great and keeping your busy days productive, as well.
  2. Just eat it! – While we bake and prepare large meals, we can all admit we take a bite of everything. Everything! From pastries, to tasting a slice of turkey, having one piece of candy from the holiday displays, and even the veggie tray we slaved over, we try it! Because one taste won’t hurt, right? Wrong! All of those calories add up. Because you’re not eating to fill yourself, you won’t even notice. Instead of snacking all day, just eat lunch! Make an entire snack, or have your pastry. You’ll be more productive if you give your body the energy it needs and won’t snack your entire daily calorie intake away.
  3. Skip the green bean casserole – yes, it’s delicious, and yes every family has their own famous recipe. But were calling out the casserole. It is not the same thing as eating a serving of veggies. It is not! If it’s something you can’t get over leaving out of your meal, plan to have more cooked vegetables. Salads are great, but they still don’t have the same nutrients our body needs to keep working healthily. Carrots, broccoli, and spinach are all vegetables we forget about when planning our meals. Instead of making them separately, you could always buy a bag of mixed frozen vegetables at your grocery store and make them right before you sit down. Plus, it adds some vibrant color to your plates!
  4. Plan an activity – After thanksgiving we tend to be in the mindset that it’s time to settle down while some nap,  play cards or catch up over coffee and left-overs. Instead, take a group walk around your neighborhood.  If the people in your family are active, plan a flag football game, or a homemade obstacle course. Being outside and active will help your body digest all of those delicious foods and can keep you from feeling run-down after clean up. Not to mention, being in a group activity is a better way to reconnect with family members and for children to be in touch with relatives they may not see often. Planning an activity will be more memorable for years to come.

What are some ways you keep your holiday season healthier?

3 Ways We’re Staying Fit in Fall

Admit it. We all love Fall! Pumpkin Spice Lattes, cool breezes, the sun not beaming down on our every move—it’s great! School is starting and our weekends are being filled with fantasy football points, pumpkin carving contests, and so many things to bake!

What happened to our summer beach bodies? Somewhere in the madness of daylight savings, the temperature dropping and our schedules getting busy, we start to prioritize other things before our health and self-esteem. Here are a few ways to enjoy the Fall fun, while keeping your body happy; before the ginger bread cookies come out, anyway.

Staying Fit in Fall:

  1. Actively watch your favorite shows – all of the premieres are starting to pop up, how can we miss them to go to the gym? We don’t have to! There are tons of websites (ahem, pinterest) that gives examples and quick workouts you can do at home. During all those commercial breaks do some jumping jacks and sit ups instead of scrolling through instagram, or delegating chores.
  2. Get outside – the temperature is finally able to bear in Central Florida. Beaches are starting to clear and the love bugs are starting to leave! Take the time to visit the beach and take a walk with your family, or by yourself. Take in the freshness of Fall and find a new hiking trail. Try out canoeing or paddle boarding! The options are endless.
  3. Sports – if you have children, chances are they’re seasons are all beginning. Instead of bringing a book or your laptop, try walking around the perimeter of field or sport complex. Walk up and down some bleachers, anything! You might think people are looking at you crazy, but what they’re really thinking is “wow, they must be really dedicated. I wish I could be as healthy as them.” If you don’t have children, join a club or league yourself. There are tons of adult teams you can join, or even start your own; it’s fun, gets you outside and exercising, and is great to just socialize and get out of the house!

These points convinced us, were not letting our beach bods get off the hook. We want to still be fit and healthy in all seasons!

Join us!

Top 10 Lean Proteins

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This month is our National Nutritional Month! Start choosing lean proteins over foods high in fat to start down your path to wellness. Here are the Top 10 Lean Proteins to include in your diet.

  1. Quinoa – a heritage grain that has a fluffy texture
  2. Skyr – Icelandic-style yogurt is made from nonfat milk
  3. Egg Whites – the clear, white part of the egg
  4. Nut butters – peanut, almond, cashew, or another nut butter
  5. Oatmeal – breakfast meal that has an interesting texture
  6. Soy – vegan-friendly lean protein alternative
  7. Black beans
  8. White meat chicken
  9. Daily catch – fish
  10. Sunflower seeds

These proteins are sure to help build lean muscle mass and cut higher fat and calorie meats. Paired with a regular workout schedule and massage appointment your health will be in tip top shape. For more information, visit http://www.massageenvy.com.

Keep healthy during flu season by fighting germs

We all know that washing our hands with soap and warm water is the most critical thing to do. Here are some additional tips to help keep you and your family healthy, especially during flu season.

• Disinfect all electronics, including your keyboard, mouse, phone, remote control and any video game controllers.

• Don’t forget doorknobs, faucets, and light switches. These also should be disinfected to prevent the spread of germs.

• Feather dusters tend to move dust around the room rather than capture it for good. Instead, try a microfiber or electrostatic cloth.

• Slide your furniture around if it’s not heavy or ask a family member or colleague for help. You’ll be surprised by the amount of dirt and dust that hides under your couch or desk.

• Shared spaces, like the office kitchen, are germ magnets. Bring your own coffee mug and wash it daily. And throw out old sponges – a known hot spot for bacteria.

• If you suffer from allergies, you may want to try out a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air-filtered) vacuum cleaner. They have been shown to substantially remove allergens and contaminants from carpets and other surfaces.