April: Stress Awareness Month

Understanding the mechanics of stress gives you the advantage of being more aware of and sensitive to your own level of stress and knowing when and how to take proactive steps. This increased awareness also helps you to better care for your family, friends and colleagues.cropped-stress-management-photo1.jpg

For a look at what stress does to your body go to the tips to manage stress.

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Tips For Emotional Wellbeing

A repost blog from heartmath.org

HeartMath® Appreciation Tool™ and Exercises

An effective way to improve mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being is to invoke and sustain sincere appreciation. The greater your capacity for sincere appreciation, the deeper the connection to your heart, where intuition and unlimited inspiration and possibilities reside. Try HeartMath’s Appreciation Tool and exercises.

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Heart-focused, sincere, positive feeling states boost the immune system, while negative emotions can suppress the immune response for up to six hours. These actual heart-monitor readouts contrast the heart-rhythm pattern of someone experiencing frustration, then appreciation. The smooth heart rhythm, measured by heart-rate variability (HRV), is what scientists call a highly ordered or coherent pattern and is a sign of good health and emotional balance.

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Appreciation Exercises

Would you like to go even deeper? Try incorporating greater appreciation into your life in the following simple ways.

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Take two or three appreciation breaks each day, ideally in early morning, at work or school, while returning home or before bed. Simply follow the steps above. It takes as little as two minutes to achieve mental, emotional and physical balance.

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Make a list of things you appreciate such as people, places, activities and pets and choose one or two each morning to hold in your heart during the day. Choose one to hold in your heart throughout the night while you rest.

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Keep your Appreciation List close by all day, perhaps in a pocket or purse, at your desk or computer. In stressful moments, choose something from your list that can quickly evoke a feeling of appreciation: It can transform a long and stressful day into one that flows — amazingly in 30 seconds or less.

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Holiday Stress and Weight Gain

nutrition-1This is a reblog from bodysite.com T’is the season to be jolly! Or, is it really the season to gain weight? For many of us, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also the time of year for putting on more pounds. Don’t wait for the New Year to lose weight. Try not gaining it in the first place.

While the winter festivities and get-togethers from Halloween to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years give us that warm and fuzzy feeling, it usually also means holiday weight gain for those who went too far in indulging their love for sweets and all kinds of rich, fattening festive meals.

You don’t have to turn into Mr. Scrooge the next time you’re faced with treats, cookies, pastas and pies. Follow our outline for sensible, practical, and science-backed ways below to steer clear of added pounds this holiday season!

Keep yourself warm.

What’s does body temperature have to do with eating less during the cold holidays? It’s actually basic science. People tend eat more during the cold weather than the warmer months, mainly because your body’s metabolism works extra hard to generate heat and keep you insulated from the cold. So put on those layers before heading outside to share the holiday cheer with family and friends!

Opt for smaller plates the next time you’re in a buffet.

In a study by Brian Wansink from Cornell University and Koert van Ittersum from the Georgia Institute of Technology, it turns out diners who eat from smaller plates or bowls tend to eat less. By and large, the researchers attributed it to the Delboeuf Illusion: if you’re eating from a large plate, your brain tells you that you’re eating less while putting the same amount of food in a smaller plate signals your brain that you’re consuming enough.

Therefore, the next time you’re serving food at Thanksgiving, dedicate larger plates for the vegetable dishes while less healthier meals should be served in smaller plates. Or, if you’re in a buffet, reach out for the tiny bowl or casserole!

Pick protein first before carbs.

Flaky buttermilk biscuits or crispy fingerling potatoes are without a doubt a treat to the palate. Yet filling up on carbs (especially refined carbs in baked goods) before filling in on your protein-rich meals is one reason why you may be struggling with your body weight. Did you know that a high-protein diet can curb your appetite?

study led by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University, revealed that eating refined grains, starches, and sugars were linked to more weight gain.” Here’s an interesting excerpt from the study:

“Our study adds to growing new research that counting calories is not the most effective strategy for long-term weight management and prevention,” said senior author Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., dean of the Friedman School. “Some foods help prevent weight gain, others make it worse.  Most interestingly, the combination of foods seems to make a big difference.  Our findings suggest we should not only emphasize specific protein-rich foods like fish, nuts, and yogurt to prevent weight gain, but also focus on avoiding refined grains, starches, and sugars in order to maximize the benefits of these healthful protein-rich foods, create new benefits for other foods like eggs and cheese, and reduce the weight gain associated with meats.

Rather than filling in your plate with refined carbs while listening to All I Want For Christmas at your high school reunion, consider having more of the roasted beef tenderloin or stuffed fish and less of the lasagna, or lentils and beans if you’re currently exploring plant-based options. The takeaway is to be mindfully aware of your protein intake, and to eat more meat fish or beans than refined carbohydrates.

Fear not the fat!

Butter, egg yolks, and bacon (of course!) have always been tagged as “not good” for you. Since the 1960s, we have been made to believe that these fat-rich foods are artery-clogging and are huge culprits to weight gain. Yet, since people began to label fat as the enemy, obesity rates doubled and heart disease remains to be one of the top causes of death in the country. What gives?

It turns out that recommendations in the past to simply avoid fat were wrong. It’s not just olive oil or fatty fish that are inherently good for you; butter, egg yolks, and the occasional steak could also do you well as long as they’re not heavily processed (hello free range eggs and grass-fed beef) and consumed in moderation.

First, like protein, they could help you with weight loss. This study’s findings revealed that women who consumed a high-fat and low-carbohydrate diet until they were full eventually lost twice as much weight in comparison to those who consumed low-fat meals. Second, cholesterol from dietary fat does not actually cause heart disease. Lastly, dietary fat can actually boost immunity and improve hormone function, particularly testosterone (vital in muscle development and sexual function). This insightful podcast by Tim Ferris is a great resource if you’re still on the fence about dietary fat and its role in weight loss and hormone health.

In hindsight, embrace some fats this holiday season by adding a bit of olive oil into your dressing, having avocado with honey for dessert, or even indulging on the bacon-wrapped chicken thighs! What’s more important is to make sure you’re consuming fat from high-quality sources.

Stick to sugar in its least processed form.

If fat and protein aren’t the culprits for unwanted weight gain, who’s to blame? Yes, it’s the sinister sugar!

In this Harvard School of Public Health resources discussion of the carbohydrates issue, they emphasized the following:: eating many high-glycemic-index foods – which cause powerful spikes in blood sugar – can lead to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.  These high-glycemic index foods include those are made from highly-processed carbs such as refined flour found in cookies, pasta, white bread and other baked goods. Before you reach for two or more gingerbread cookies, you would be better served to consider swapping it for sugar from a natural source, like an organic apple or some organic blueberries.

Choose your holiday drinks wisely.

It’s easy to underestimate the calories of sugary beverages such as fruit punch or eggnog. As much as possible, stick with good ‘ol water. The same goes for alcoholic drinks. Be mindful with your booze intake and like everything else, moderation is the key. Many studies trumpet that it’s healthy to have a glass of wine but be mindful of not falling into the trap of drinking it everyday or having several glasses. Alcohol consumption, not only can lead to the storage of sugar as fat but also can interfere with a number of processes in your body (such as liver functions), because your body is too busy dealing with the alcohol to do other things.

When all else fails, don’t compromise on sleep.

Aside from diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes and improving your immunity response, getting high-quality sleep has been shown to be one of the major factors to help prevent weight gain. In this 2012 study by researchers from the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Arizona, their findings suggest that those with fewer hours of sleep are more likely to gain weight and become obese.

The next time your office buddies are trying to convince you to stay a bit longer at the annual company party, politely say no, get home, and get more sleep. You can always check Facebook photos from the party tomorrow morning.

Move when you can!

It’s no secret that exercise doesn’t just help you lose weight but also makes you feel good. While gym routines could be sidelined due to hectic holiday schedules, there are so many ways to exert effort and use calories all day long.  For example, consider taking the stairs rather than the elevator while visiting a friend on Thanksgiving.  During the holiday months, go for walks with your co-workers or your boss, even if it’s just around the block or up and down the halls.  It will make for great conversation time and you’ll have a walking buddy. Or, round up the kids for a short hike before opening their presents on Christmas day. Staying active is definitely part of the holiday cheer!

Final Thoughts

With careful planning and by being more mindful of your habits, there’s no reason for you to dread the holiday weight gain. If possible, limit your indulgence and feasting on the holiday itself, not the entire season.

So is it the season to be jolly? You bet it is!

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What other strategies have worked for you in the past to avoid putting on weight during the holidays? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below or join the our facebook page for tips on how to get through the holiday season healthy and mindful.

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The Stress in Goal Setting

What We Eat Matters

stress goal

In the last post, I talked about the Goal Setting Stress. What I did not describe for you is how I was using stress as it relates to goal setting. In this blog, I will connect the two for you. According to Psychology Today, stress is a reaction to a stimulus (in this case goal setting) that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium.

In the case of goal setting, a person is either moving towards a goal or away from the goal. The fact that it is a goal means it is different from the current reality. If the goal is perceived to be a contradiction to the current reality, then cognitive dissonance occurs. In the explanation, cognitive dissonance is defined as stress and discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs or ideas at the same time. Here cognitive dissonance is the stimulus, and stress…

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We’re talking Detox, Breaking Addition and Healthy Body Weight JOIN US TODAY

Day 2

Liana Werner-Gray

5 Steps to Weight Loss and Breaking Addiction

  • How to transform addiction instead of breaking it
  • The first step to successfully completing a weight loss journey
  • Food swaps to make children’s foods more healthy

Terry Wahls MD, Professor of Medicine

The Wahls Diet for Healthy Body Weight

  • Impact of microbiome health on weight
  • How mistreatment of the microbiome causes fat storage
  • Lose weight without being constantly hungry

Detox and Metabolic Dysfunction: What’s The Skinny?

  • Identifying common sources of toxins in the home/school environment
  • Role of toxins in metabolic disorders and weight gain
  • Simple detox strategies for fat loss

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Help your child overcome the challenges of obesity!

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The experts at The Child Obesity Project have struggled through their own weight challenges as children, or have managed to raise children and guide them through the temptations and distractions that are common today. Their years of experience will teach you the basic requirements of a healthy lifestyle and the delicate balance between guiding children and creating defiance.


David White, your host, is a reformed fast-food addict and overweight child who understands the challenges, anxiety and depression that come hand-in-hand with looking different from everyone else, and it can be all-consuming–feeling unable to fully participate in life for fear of being singled out or ridiculed. The Child Obesity Project covers important methods and steps for parents to help their children overcome this.

Marc David – The Psychology of Healthy Eating

There’s far more to weight loss than just eating less and exercising more – of huge importance is the psychology around eating habits. Marc David, world-renowned expert in this field, talks us through practical strategies to change our relationship with food and encourage children to empower their own food choices.

Paul Chek – A 4-Doctors Approach to Children’s Wellness

Paul’s “4 Doctors” system – combining nutrition, movement, goals-setting and health esteem, and introspection – covers the foundational principles of holistic health in a simple and practical manner. Used by tens of thousands of his students around the world, the “4 Doctors” are easily understood and, when implemented correctly eliminates all symptoms of dis-ease – obesity included!

Amy Roskelley & Natalie Monson – Healthy Habits for Lifelong Success

It’s one thing to encourage a child to live healthily when they live at home, but what about when they head out into the adult world and face adult choices? Amy and Natalie discuss the importance of encouraging children to participate in healthy routines and give us an insight into the thought processes a child has when faced with unhealthy food – and how to encourage them to do the right thing.

Eric Hulse – Organic Gardening for Children

There’s nobody more qualified to comment on what does and does not work to encourage children to model healthy behaviour than a high-school teacher who is also a health coach.

Eric uses his experience as an educator, coach and founder of an organic gardening club for his students to teach us how to encourage children to become involved in their health – and what to do if they show resistance

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