Meatless Monday

Eight years ago, after watching the documentary Earthlings, I made the decision to make Meatless Monday an every night occurrence by becoming a vegetarian. At the time I didn’t know any other vegetarians. Friends and family were confused as to why I would give up meat. They joked I would not be able to resist bacon for more than a week. I was on a new path. My energy levels increased, I was focused and not turning back.

I noticed that my food budget began going father, eating a plant based diet was less expensive then buying meat for each meal. This got me thinking about how affordable eating healthy could be. If I could save so much money changing my diet I was curious as to why the price of meat was to high. The fact is livestock requires so much more food, water, land, and energy than plants to raise and transport.

The environmental impact food production has on our planet is one reason I have continued my vegetarian lifestyle.

A Case For Meatless Monday

In America, on average we eat 270.7 pounds of meat per person a year. That is more than almost every other country except Luxumbourg. There are quite a few resources that are consumed to get that piece of meat on the table. Meat eaters consume 160% more land resources than people who eat a plant-based diet.

 

Meatless Monday

A case for Meatless Monday – What’s the fuss about?

Climate control regulators have been focusing on the beef industry as the leading contributor of methane gas production in the world. Cows, sheep, goats, yaks and giraffes acquire nutrients from a plant-based diet by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion. The byproduct of this fermentation is methane. This methane gas has twenty times the heat-trapping ability as carbon. One cow can produce approximately 100 kilograms of methane gas which would be like you or I burning 235 gallons of gasoline in our car.

Livestock in the U.S. also produce 2.7 trillion pounds of manure each year. That’s about ten times more waste than was produced by all the American people. This waste can and has in many instances leeched into the water supply.

 

Meatless Monday

With more than 17 billion livestock in the world huge amounts of water are utilized to irrigate the grains and hay fed to the animals. It takes 6+ pounds of feed to make one pound of beef, 3.5 pounds for pork and 2 pounds for chicken. 1/3 of the crops grown worldwide go to feed animals.

The water it takes to produce one ton of beef is equilivant to filling your bath tub 140,000 times says the Pacific Institute. That breaks down to 53 gallons of water per burger. In California for example it takes 2,464 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef according to the Water Education Foundation. To put that in perspective it takes 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat. With California and many other states and nations in a drought this is something to reflect on.

 

Meatless Monday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The United States Geological Survey reports that 40 percent of fresh water used in the U.S. is used for livestock while 13 percent was used for domestic purposes. When a person chooses to switch to a plant based diet they will save 162,486 gallons of water annually. Switching to a plant-based diet or reducing the amount of meat in your diet is by far the most important choice you can make to save water.

There are also issues with the humane treatment of livestock. The contribution the meat industry is adding to deforestation. The hormones and antibiotics used on our meat are also a concern. According to an analysis of U.S. Food and Drug Administration data by the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future, 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in 2009 were for use on livestock and poultry, and only 20 percent was for human medical use. Our oceans are being over-fished, devastating our marine ecosystems. There are a multitude of concerns to deal with.

A case for Meatless Monday – So what’s the solution?

A popular trend call “Meatless Monday” has begun. “When a family of four takes meat and cheese off the menu one day a week, it’s like taking their car off the road for five weeks or reducing their daily showers by three minutes” states the Environmental Working Group.

A case for Meatless Monday – But meat is essential to a healthy diet.

Unlike essential vitamins and minerals the body needs to functional optimally there are no essential proteins. There are essential amino acids the body needs which can be converted into protein for the body and there are plant and legumes that supply these nutrients to our bodies.

There are plenty of plant-based items that provide protein to our bodies. Hemp tops the charts as it can produce up to 293 pounds of usable protein per acre which is more than seven times more protein per acre than meat.

Meatless Monday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skipping the meat is not only environmentally friendly it could improve your personal health. For many meat is an important aspect of their diet providing iron, zinc and vitamins B-12, B-6 and niacin to the body. Inversely scientific evidence is associating the high meat consumption levels with a wide range of health problems including obesity, cancer (for the most up to date information on the over 7,000 clinical studies of the links between diet and cancer, visit the World Cancer Research Foundation and National Cancer Institutes websites), cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes.

The American Cancer Society advises people to limit consumption of red meat and all processed meats. If you are eating red meat you should limit your consumption to 2-3 small portions per week and no more then 3 ounces of meat at a sitting.

You might be thinking what will I serve for dinner if I don’t serve meat? We have the solution. Sign up for our 9 irresistible vegetarian recipes and our weekly update which includes new recipes for you to try. Click here to subscribe: Our Wellness Revolution

The bottom line is our demand for animal based products is diverting precious resources like land, water and fossil fuels to produce farmed animals instead of feeding the estimated billion plus people that are malnourished in the world. Everyone has the ability to positively impact our environment. We can change the environment one meal at a time. Consider taking on the challenge of Meatless Monday.

 

Meatless Monday Resources:

Environmental Working Group

Food and Drug Administration

Johns Hopkins-Center for a Livable Future 

NPR

Pacific Institute

United States Geological Survey

Washington Post

 

 

Problem Solving Strategies

Problem solving strategies help us navigate life’s “problems” or “challenges” when they arise.  The manner in which we respond to the circumstances we face can be seen as either proactive or reactive problem solving strategies. Instead of looking at the issues that arise as negative forces, instead lets view them as learning experiences that can bring about our greatest good.

The next time we are faced with a circumstance that could be viewed as a problem, step back and evaluate the situation at hand. Let’s look at what makes a response proactive or reactive in nature.

Proactive problem solving strategies emphasize active listening skills and seek to bring about a win-win solution for all involved. With proactive problem solving strategies, we access the situation ahead of time and trouble shoot before an issue arises. We take into account that there are multiple ways to solve any given problem.

Reactive problem solving strategies occur as a response to a situation. Typically, it focuses on quick fixes to avoid further reactive responses or issues in the immediate future. Often, reactive problem solving strategies spring forth from a narrow focus, lack of awareness or not listening.

Problem Solving Strategies

When approaching a problem, follow these 6 problem solving strategies to identifying the problem and best course of action.

1. Identify and define the problem. It is important to identify if the problem is real or perceived, if it’s significant, and if it’s an ongoing problem or not.
2. Learn more about the problem. This is the: Who, What, When, Why and How? Gather only the facts about what happened or what caused the problem.
3. Generate solutions. Focus on what you can do. Focus on what needs to be addressed, the best way to resolve the issue and any alternatives.
4. Choose the best course of action, decide how the issue will be resolved.
5. Implement the solution.
6. Assess and follow up if needed. Did the course of action you chose resolve the problem? If not, make necessary changes and keep moving forward.

As we practice proactive problem solving strategies, these actions will become second nature. Make a mental note of how you feel before, during and after implementing the problem solving strategies. In the comments, let us know how these problem solving strategies have helped you.

Start A Food Revolution

Start a food revolution in your community. On May 15, 2015 Jamie Oliver is bringing awareness to his global campaign to put food education back in our schools and educate children on food in a fun way. There are many ways in which we can get involved.

Start A Food Revolution

1. CLICK HERE to sign the petition to get food education back on the school curriculum. 

2. You can get involved with a local school to get kids cooking. Jamie is filming an online cooking lesson, available to schools. Sign up your local school to get the video and get cooking on May 15th.

3. You can become an ambassador! Ambassadors are the spark of enthusiasm that can turn this into a local movement by connecting the dots of support. The Food Revolution aims to give those who have been working tirelessly a platform to share their knowledge with the local community and open up opportunities for even more people to learn about real food through participation. If you would like to become an ambassador, please sign up here.

4. Plant a garden at home to teach your children where food comes from, how to cultivate the land and make food prep fun. Here are some tips on how to start a vegetable garden.

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How To Start A Vegetable Garden

Growing up with a backyard garden and frequenting farmers markets on a weekly basis was one of the best things my parents ever did for me. They taught me a useful skill when they showed me how to start a vegetable garden. From a young age I knew where my food was coming from, how to cultivate the land and a great deal of patience. Not all of us have a green thumb; however, starting your own garden may be easier than you think.

It is important to know that in 1946, over 50% of the produce consumed in America was from our own backyards. Today, more and more of our food is shipped to our grocery stores from thousands of miles away. The worst part is that in order for the food not to spoil, it must be picked before it is ripe. A tomato that is picked before it is ripe is missing 400 micronutrients as compared to a vine reopened tomato. This is one reason we are the most over fed and undernourished country in the world. Today, our food is lacking essential nutrition. Learning how to start a vegetable garden could dramatically impact the health of your family and the nation.

How To Start A Vegetable Garden

Start small. Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow some of your own food. When looking at how to start a vegetable garden, begin by planting a variety of herbs in a windowsill or grow a tomato plant in a planter on your deck. I guarantee that you will be able to tell the difference in the flavor of food you grow versus the items you buy in the store. If organic or heirloom seeds are used along with organic practices, you will be consuming the freshest, most nutrient dense and chemical free foods. Plus, growing your own food will dramatically reduce your grocery bill each month.

A key to success in learning how to start a vegetable garden is watering the plants properly. When planting your garden if the soil can be rolled into a ball, the soil is to moist for planting. If the dirt crumbles through your fingers it is ready for planting. When planting seeds bury them only as deep as their diameter. When you water your plants, the water should not pool on top of the soil. A good rule of thumb is to water for two seconds and then assess if more water is needed. Containers dry out faster than plants in the ground. Make sure there are holes in the bottom of the container you are using so that if you happen to over water the soil can naturally drain. Be sure to water daily in the summer time. The soil should be moist to the touch but not muddy.

Another option to explore is the mini-farm grow boxes Mike Adams of Natural News invented. The Health Ranger has designed a small portable box that makes it easy for the gardening novice to start producing food in their home. The best part is that he shows us how to inexpensively make the mini-farm grow boxes ourselves. These food boxes do not require electricity and many of the items used to make the grow boxes can be found around your house. These food boxes take the guess work out of watering your plants, it comes with a nutrition guide and nutrient packets to produce highly nutritious foods for your family. For more information on these mini-grow boxes, visit FoodRising.org

If you are planting a garden outside the Farmers Almanac has a great resource that outlines the best planting dates for seeds. You can find that resource here.  It’s time to start putting these tips of how to start a vegetable garden to use. As your veggies begin to sprout and you prepare wonderful homemade meals with the family, be sure to share your stories and photographs with us!

Here is a picture of me and my mom getting ready to plant our garden.

how to start a vegetable garden

My Morning Routine

My morning routine helped me rethink breakfast.  We know that eating a healthy breakfast each morning is a great way to start the day. When we sleep, our body goes in to a state of fasting. Eating a healthy breakfast breaks the fast our body has been undergoing while asleep and kick starts thermogenesis in our body. Thermogenesis boosts our energy and metabolism setting us up for good weight management. Our first meal of the day does not have to be huge, eating small meals at regular intervals keeps our metabolism burning all day. If you regularly suffer from a morning energy crash, reflect on what you ate for breakfast.

Many of the “breakfast food” items Americans consume on a daily basis are sugary cereals, bagels, muffins or pancakes with sugary syrup.  These food like substances lack the nutrition our bodies are craving. As we rethink what we eat for breakfast, we must let go of the notion that there are only particular foods we can eat at certain times of the day.  We should avoid all of the processed, sugary cereals first of all.  We want to start our day with nutrient dense foods that will sustain us until lunch.  For this reason my morning routine is unconventional. Consider incorporating soups into your morning routine, make a salad or eat last nights leftovers the next morning.  Here are a few of my favorite outside the box breakfast options:

A great way to start our morning is to have fruit.  The body utilizes different enzymes to break down fruit than the enzymes needed to break down proteins or carbohydrates.  Eating fruit first thing in the morning will help ensure optimal nutrient absorption of the fruit.  Click this link to learn more about proper food combining. An apple in the morning is more effective at waking us up than the coffee we tend to reach for and an apple won’t drain our adrenal glands like coffee will.

A bowl of fresh fruit or a morning smoothie is a great option.  Focus on adding the blue and purple food groups to your morning routine.  Make a smoothie with blueberries, blackberries or purple grapes.  The blue/purple foods are the food we get least in our diet and are an important source of phytochemicals for the body. Get our free Juicing and Smoothie Guide here.

My morning routine often includes one of my favorite breakfast meals, Quinoa Salad.  It’s great, I can make enough for 5 days and keep in it the fridge, all I have to do is warm it up each morning.  The quinoa is high in protein, I get lots of nutritious veggies and healthy fats to sustain my energy. It is so easy to make. Simply cook the quinoa per the package instructions.  Set aside. Sauté your veggie mixture in coconut oil.  My favorite mix is zucchini, onion, peppers, cilantro, black beans, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro.  I mix the veggies into the cooked quinoa and breakfast is ready for the whole week. Each morning I add sliced avocado so I get some healthy fats. For a little kick, add some hot sauce. It is so good!

My Morning Routine

 

Chia Seed Pudding with fresh fruit is another one of my favorite morning treats.

Chia Seed Pudding

My Morning Routine

Having an uncompromising morning routine will set us up for success throughout the day. Here is my morning routine. I start the morning with a large glass of water. Water first thing in the morning helps push toxins out of the body and refreshes our internal organs. Our goal is to drink half our body weight in ounces of purified clean water daily. I go downstairs and turn on the tea kettle. While the water is heated I read my daily devotion. I like the water to be warm but not boiling. Drinking water that is warm but not hot allows the body to assimilate the liquid quickly as the temperature is closest to our body temp. I have a big cup of warm water with the juice of one lemon in it and a dash of cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper is an added boost to my metabolism. This cup of tea helps energize me. I am typically pretty full after all the liquids I consumed so I will go get ready for the day and then come back downstairs for breakfast about an hour later.

Benefits to adding lemon to your water.

My Morning Routine

My morning routine helps minimize stress. A little planning the night before will make breakfast fast and nutritious. Implement a new morning routine for the next 21 days and rethink breakfast. In the comments, let us know how your mood and health has improved. Let us know some of your favorite unconventional breakfast ideas.

The Food Babe Way – An Interview With Vani Hari

Vani Hari better known as the Food Babe is shaking up the way the commercial food industry produces the foods we consume. Her new book The Food Babe Way is released nationwide on February 10, 2015.  Vani is known for her investigations into the toxic ingredients that are added to our food. She has sparked a Food Revolution and is a voice for consumers worldwide. Consumers are searching for transparency in labeling and they want to know that the food they feed their families is safe. The Food Babe Way, outlines her investigations, the 15 ingredients consumers want to steer clear of, a 21 day plan to improve your health and a section full of recipes to try at home.

There was much that I loved about The Food Babe Way. I suggest everyone take the time to read it and do some research for yourself. There is no doubt that Hari will face strong opposition from select groups of people and corporations lobbying to keep the status quo. Let us all look for solutions instead of wasting energy tearing others down with personal attacks. Do not be dissuade by scare tactics. Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.

The commerical food industry is being threaten as people demand change. On page 37 of The Food Babe Way Vani sums it up. “The FDA isn’t looking after you. They’re looking after food companies. Make no doubt about it, the food industry is in bed with the FDA. If you want to be healthy and in shape, you’ve got to take control. No government agency, big food company, or anyone else is going to do it for you. You can’t trust anyone but yourself.”

Everyday we have the ability to vote with our wallets for the types of food we want businesses to produce. We create the world we want to live in.  The Food Babe Way is a step by step guide to achieving full transparency in food production and choosing to live a healthier life.

Hari encourages her followers affectionately known as the “Food Babe Army” to take action to impact their local communities. Many are now petitioning large corporations to disclose the ingredients found in our food. We talked to Vani about The Food Babe Way, here is our interview with her.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world;
indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Click here to order The Food Babe Way

 

The Food Babe Way – An Interview With Vani Hari

What prompted you to begin investigating the foods Americans consume?
I began my food journey, like most people, by following the standard American diet. As a successful management consultant, I was either in the office eating whatever take-out was available, or I was on the road eating every meal out. Although this lifestyle allowed me to fit in with my peers and work crazy hours, it also took a huge toll on my body and I became very ill. Over the holiday season over ten years ago, I found myself in a hospital bed. I was sick, overweight, and I was ready to change! I made a personal promise that from that point on that I was going to make health my number one priority. FoodBabe.com was born in April 2011, from my years of learning, investigating and researching how to live a healthy lifestyle in this overly processed world. As I learned more about the habits needed for a healthy lifestyle and what dangerous ingredients to avoid, my friends and family begged me to start a blog in order to share everything I had uncovered. My first investigation was into my favorite yogurt chain. After the CEO responded to my writings by yanking some of the misleading marketing, I continued writing about the injustices and corrupt practices of the food industry. Over the past three years, FoodBabe.com has grown to have a readership of over 4 million inspired individuals who are seeking to lead heather lives and rid our food system of deadly ingredients. It is through the help of the entire Food Babe Army that the investigations and petitions on FoodBabe.com have been able to force some of the largest food corporations to change, including Kraft, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Subway, Anheuser-Busch, and Starbucks.

What do you say to those that are trying to quiet the message of full disclosure of the ingredients in our food?
Food is an emotional topic and it can be polarizing. People don’t always want to hear that the food they have been eating contains a controversial ingredient or possibly been damaging their health and this can lead to resistance. Many critics that speak out frequently against my ideas are ones that either support the chemical companies and food companies or are critical of natural therapies in general. It is my job to tell the truth and I leave it up to the consumer to choose how they react and what they do with that information.

How do you decide which companies and products to investigate?
I investigated Subway after seeing one of my dear friends at work bring in Subway everyday for lunch and it drove me crazy. I knew there were additives in the food, and food-like substances, and I wanted to know what they were so that I could tell him. After Michelle Obama went on TV and said that Subway is safe for all kids, I knew that something had to be done. It was the same thing with Chick-fil-A. I used to eat Chick-fil-A every day in college, and my friends and family continued to eat it thinking that that was a healthier fast food option. If it wasn’t for that deep desire to tell my close friends and family about this, I don’t think that I would have had the opportunity to go to their headquarters to work with them on making some changes.

I definitely think that the fastest way to get change is to target the companies. There’s only so much responsibility that you can give to the government and to regulatory agencies. For instance, after you find out that companies aren’t allowed to use a chemical in another country, and that they have reformulated their products without that chemical in other countries, I think that they have an ethical obligation to do that for all of their products here too. People resonate with the brands that are seeing on TV and buying at the grocery stores. They don’t really resonate with government bureaucracy. It takes a really long time to enact regulation in the government.

Why is it important for everyone to learn how to read food labels and know what is in their food?
Many of the food additives that the FDA deems safe, have not be studied long term and no one has studied the cumulative effect of all the food additives we are eating. The Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, Michael Taylor, recently admitted to the Washington Post, “We do not know the volume of particular chemicals that are going into the food supply so we can diagnose trends. We do not know what is going on post-market”. These food-like substances are made from chemicals that are cheap, provide zero nutritional value and improve the bottom line of food manufacturers. Fake foods do nothing for our health and in some cases could cause harm. Europe has taken a precautionary principle towards many of the additives I have investigated and banned them for their citizens. Why isn’t the United States doing the same?

What are some tips you can give us on deciphering food labels or ingredients to steer clear of?
In The Food Babe Way I highlight the top 15 sickening ingredients to avoid if you want to lose weight, feel and look years younger, along with a cheat sheet for deciphering deceptive marketing messages on food packages. Start by avoiding these ingredients at all costs:

Preservatives – Some common examples are sodium phosphate, nitrates, BHA, BHT and TBHQ. These additives are potentially cancer causing and/or endocrine disruptors. Preservatives are commonly found in cereals, crackers, snack foods, cakes. Try choosing fresh foods that do not have a long shelf life or organic brands that do not use preservatives.

MSG & hidden MSG additives – Used as a flavor enhancer, MSG is one of the most fattening ingredients that can also cause adverse reactions in some people including skin rashes, itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches, asthma, heart irregularities, depression and even seizures. Hidden forms of it can be listed as yeast extract, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed protein, natural flavor or textured protein. It is commonly found in restaurant foods, chips, dips, frozen dinners, salad dressings and soups.

Artificial Sweeteners – These may do more harm than good, they may slow down your metabolism and “train” you to crave sweets. Also, the presence of artificial sweeteners in a product doesn’t automatically mean high-calorie sweeteners aren’t present, too. Some food manufacturers use both. Look for aspartame, neotame, saccharin, sucralose, erythritol, acesulfame potassium, and acesulfame K on the label. You can also find them under brand names “Nutrasweet,” “Sweet N’ Low,” “Equal” and “Splenda.” They can be found in sodas, candy, yogurt, desserts and many other processed foods. Try and find foods that are sweetened with natural sweeteners like fruit, honey, maple syrup, 100% pure stevia or coconut palm sugar and eat these foods in moderation.

Artificial Trans Fats – These are found in partially hydrogenated oils, and ingredient that the FDA is currently considering to ban. Trans fats can raise bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol, and are a leading cause of heart disease. They can be found in many shelf stable food items like crackers, cookies, bakery items, doughs, pies and snack foods. Try and choose foods that do not have partially hydrogenated oil listed on the label and that use healthy oils instead like olive oil and coconut oil.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) – These crops are biologically manufactured in laboratories — injected with new DNA, viruses, herbicides, insecticides and/or other chemicals — to be resistant to synthetic chemicals and are completely different than hybridizing techniques allowed by nature. The most common GMO ingredients are soy, corn, canola, zucchini, squash, and sugar beets. Most GMOs are found in processed foods. Buy certified organic foods or those that are certified by the Non-GMO project to avoid them. A list of known GMO ingredients, including their derivatives, is available on my website.

How do you suggest people get involved in their local area?
Reach out to local farmers and grocery stores and ask what can be done to help provide access to affordable, local, organic food, so that it’s available to more consumers in your community. If you are lucky enough to have one in your area, volunteer to work at a local food co-op. Also, consider starting your own petitions. In The Food Babe Way, I outline the guidelines for how to start an effective petition that works. I’m a testament to the fact that starting a petition is an easy (and super effective) way to bring about positive changes and truly transform our world. Try starting a petition yourself and you might be surprised at the impact that it makes.

What keeps you going?
I am very passionate about improving food system in this country. Sharing the truth is so powerful. I want people to know that you don’t have to be intimidated by this information and I make it very simple for people to get involved. The public is fed up with being taken advantage of. They see their families getting sick, they have family members who have died of cancer, and they want someone to hold accountable.

What is your goal? Where do you see the Food Babe Army in the next 5 years?
When everybody has access to safe and affordable food and knows exactly what is in their food, my mission will be complete. This is a movement about transparency in the food system. Everyone deserves to know exactly what they are eating and my job will not be done until we all have this information.

What can readers expect to walk away with from reading The Food Babe Way?
The Food Babe Way is a roadmap on how to live in this over-processed food world. I have made it my life’s mission to tell people the truth about what’s in their food and how it could affect their health and now in this book I get to give people this critical information. The Food Babe Way contains the 21 essential habits that I taught myself to take control of my health. This book is for anyone who is tired of the food industry hijacking their taste buds and wants to take matters in their own hands and become their own food investigator, nutritionist and food activist. We have the power to change our health faster than anyone else and I wrote this book to show people how to do just that.

Vani Hari is a revolutionary food activist, creator of FoodBabe.com and author ofThe Food Babe Way. In her work, Hari has influenced how food giants like Kraft, Subway, Chipotle, Chick-fil-A, and Starbucks create their products, steering them towards more healthful policies. She lives in North Carolina and travels around the world to speak about health and food awareness. She is currently planning her next campaign.

Click here to order The Food Babe Way

The Food Babe Way

Stress Management Techniques

We live in a busy world where we juggle many responsibilities. It can get stressful at times. Knowing a few Stress Management Techniques is important. Before we can alleviate stress factors in our lives, we must identify the stressors.

Our career, relationships and finances tend to be our biggest stress inducers. Sometimes, what we think is the stressing factor is not the problem at all. For example, it may be stated that work it stressing you out. The fact may be that procrastination of completing a task is leading to stress as the deadline approaches. We must accept responsibility for the role we play in creating stress in our lives. We have control and we can choose to see things differently. We have the ability to reframe the problems and stressors in our lives. Stress Management Techniques help reframe the problem. Look at the big picture and focus on the positive. When we adjust our attitude to a situation, the situation changes. Here are 6 Stress Management Techniques that help us deal with stress when it arises.

Stress Management Techniques

1. Journal-This one act can greatly decrease your stress levels and clear your mind. Take time to journal when you are stressed and note what caused the stress, how it made you feel and what you did to feel better. What we track, we can improve. You may begin to see a pattern of times of the day or particular circumstances that cause you stress. Use these indicators to begin eliminating these stressors from your life.

2. Support yourself with good nutrition-When we are stressed we often reach for sugar or carb filled snacks; you know the comfort foods were talking about. A well nourished body can better cope with stress, so be mindful of what you eat.

3. Learn to say no-Know your limits and stick to them. Saying no can be seen as an act of self care. When we take on more tasks than we can handle, stress is inevitable. Pare down the to-do list, by crossing some things off the list, we automatically relieve stress.

4. Exercise-Take at least 20 minutes a day, three times a week to do some physical exercise. Exercising can relieve pent-up stress or tension and clear the mind.

5. Get plenty of sleep-Adequate sleep fuels your mind and body to rationally deal with stress.

6. Meditate-Meditation reduces stress, relieves anxiety and helps us enter a state of calm. A key piece to meditation is deep breathing. Here is a deep breathing exercise you can do anywhere. It takes about 5 minutes.

  • Select a comfortable sitting position.
  • Close your eyes and direct your attention to your own breathing process.
  • Think about nothing but your breathing; let it flow in and out of your body.
  • Say to yourself: “I am relaxing, breathing smoothly and rhythmically. Fresh oxygen is flowing in and out of my body. I feel calm, renewed, and refreshed.”
  • Continue to focus on your breathing as it flows in and out, in and out, thinking about nothing but the smooth rhythmical process of your own breathing.
  • Realize that the mind naturally wanders; that is expected and normal. When you realize your mind has strayed away from the breath, simply bring it back. In time, your mind will be able to focus for longer periods of time.
  • After 1-5 minutes, stand up, stretch, smile, and continue with your daily activities.
  • If you’re in a hurry, worried you may fall asleep or are afraid you will miss something, simply set a timer to alert you. Doing this for even 1 minute helps balance the nervous system.

 CLICK here to join our Wellness Challenge starting January 1st 

  You may also enjoy our blog on Healthy Holiday Eating 

Healthy Holiday Eating

The holidays are the perfect time to indulge a little. We can enjoy the holidays without packing on the pounds. Healthy Holiday Eating is easy. During the holidays we want to be mindful eaters. We can have the treats we desire when we focus on eating healthy items a majority of the time. It is much easier to prevent holiday weight gain than get the pounds off after the fact. Remember New Years Resolutions are right around the corner. We can set ourselves up for success in the New Year by focusing on healthy holiday eating habits.

Our 6 Tips to Healthy Holiday Eating

CLICK here to join our Wellness Challenge starting January 1st!

Starting January 1st you will receive 1 email a week with a ton of great info which will boost your motivation to live a healthier life. We want to reward you for making healthy lifestyle choices. The first 100 people to sign up and complete our 30 day wellness challenge will receive our cookbook Skinny Girls Don’t Diet for FREE.

Remember our 6 Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

  1. Don’t drink your calories
  2. Eat protein at each meal
  3. Fill up on fruits and veggies
  4. Control portion sizes
  5. Exercise
  6. Get your beauty rest

Healthy Holiday Eating Recipe: Paleo Stuffing

Try our recipe for Paleo Stuffing. Our Paleo stuffing is gluten-free, vegetarian, Paleo friendly, dairy-free and has no sugar added.

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Join our Wellness Challenge starting January 1st!

 

Listening To Your Inner Voice

Listening to your inner voice is an easy way to ease the struggle of “What am I supposed to be doing?” “Am I making the right decision?” and “How do I attain peace in the day to day grind?” Have no fear friends, you are intelligently designed. There is within each and everyone of us an innate wisdom, an internal navigation system which consistently has our back.

Have you ever met someone and instantly felt the positive or negative vibe they were giving off? Due to this initial encounter, you decided this was someone you wanted to steer clear of or maybe they were someone you were wildly drawn to. Some call it a gut feeling, some call it intuition; whatever you call it, listening to your inner voice will pay dividends.

Listening to your inner voice

When you step into a new situation or meet people, ask yourself a couple of questions. How does the encounter feel? Does it feel negative, is there uncomfortable resistance or does it feel good and comfortable? When you pause for a moment of silence, what naturally pops into your mind, what is being spoken within? I say in a moment of silence because quieting the mind and opening up to listen will allow us to let go of over thinking. Ask yourself why it feels the way it does. Remember listening to your inner voice will guide you on your way.

There are instances in life where everything can make logical sense but not feel right. It could be the business deal you have been searching for which looks perfect on paper, but your intuition for some reason says, “don’t do it”. Accept the no; your intuition is speaking up on your behalf. Be mindful of this nudge and follow where it is leading you. Ask, “what is the next right action?” Listening to your inner voice reveals the answer to the question being asked.

I believe that the more you trust and follow the guidance given by listening to your inner voice, the easier it is to hear it and obey. When listening to your inner voice there is a shift towards the path of peace. I have no tangible proof to share on this except for what I’ve personally experienced and that is more than enough for me. I wish the same in your life.

Kim Basinger said, “I feel there are two people inside me – me and my intuition. If I go against her, she’ll screw me every time; and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely.”

Be aware that if you go against listening to your inner voice, which we have all done at some point in our lives, remember that the universe has an amazing way of working itself out. If you get off track, it will instantly begin to bring you back to where you need to be. Listening expedites us to the greatness within each of us in achieving the purpose you were placed here to accomplish. There is only one of you in all of time and the world is waiting for your expression and impact. Let us be a light to the world by living through the light within us.

A book that has been a huge inspiration for me and I recommend it to everyone, Miracles Now, by Gabrielle Bernstein. It gives tangible actions to experience life in a state of peace, living in the flow and being 100% purpose driven. I have been blessed by her teaching. I honor her and the mission of empowering others to teach these messages. Together we will change the world we live in for the better. If this resonates with you and you want to learn more, please pick up a copy of Gabby’s book and check out the free workshop she offers. Share this post with your friends on social media if you found it helpful or leave us a comment on how listening to your intuition has helped you.

Eat Yourself Beautiful

Look for foods that create beauty from the inside out. Instead of coating yourself in chemical laden beauty products, why not try to get healthy skin from the foods you eat. Our skin is our largest organ so we should take special care of our skin as it works to protect us from the world around us.

You may have noticed as I have, that as women age their skin shows it much more than men. Men seem to age gracefully while wrinkles and fine lines appear at a faster rate in women. One reason for this is women use makeup on a daily basis, we wash our faces with cleansers laced with chemicals and then apply creams full of parabens and stabilizers. The toxins in these products are compounding and stress our skin cells. Avoid beauty products with parabens and stabilizers, many of which have been proven to cause cancer as the chemicals compound in the body.

Parabens are also know as preservatives. It is a known medical fact that parabens are endrocrine system disruptors including disrupting estrogen levels. Parabens stimulate breast cancer and anything absorbed through the skin may be as high as 10 times the concentration of an oral dose. It is a low-cost synthetic preservative for which many large cosmetic brands have tried to fund studies to prove that prolonged usage is safe; all studies failed. Parabens are used in many personal products as a preservative to extend the shelf life of products. A good rule of thumb is not to put anything on your skin that you can not eat. If you would like a list of stabilizer and paraben free products we have a few product to recommend.

There are many foods which provide skin health benefits. Here are some foods that give glowing skin, so be sure you include them in your diet: avocado, berries, salmon, almonds, whole grains, green tea, yogurt, carrots, sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

Implementation: Go through your personal hygiene products at home and look for ingredients such as: Propylene Glycol, Petroleum, Mineral Oil, Sodium Fluoride, Triethanolamine, Sodium Laurel Sulfate, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, IIsoparaben and Butylparaben for starters. I would suggest getting rid of any products with these items in them as they are harmful to your skin and toxic to your body in general. There are alternative that are better and less expensive then many items on the market.

Affirmation: I rejoice in what I have, and I greet the new with open arms. I breathe in the fullness and richness of life.