Choose Happy

Here's to living your Best Day Ever. Every day.

Choose Happy

Here's to living your Best Day Ever. Every day.

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Friday Vibes 04.28.17

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. Here are a few things I'm majorly crushing on this week. Mantra: I can do anything. I choose happiness. I am amazing. I celebrate my individuality. I am prepared to succeed.  Munch: You had me at deviled....the Crazy Vegan Kitchen made deviled potatoes and I must try them ASAP.   Market: I think anyone can pull off this ocean swimsuit look. Three cheers for the one piece coming back in style!  Mood: Spring cleaning is way more fun with super cute checklists. The Dwell Beautiful blog has a list for every room in the house. 

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Friday Vibes 04.28.17

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. He...

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Think processed foods are a bargain? Think about the cost to your health

Remember cheese in a can? You know, the stuff that you squirt on crackers? It’s kind of novel. Maybe you tried it once and maybe you couldn’t get enough of it once you did try it. Welcome to the addictive nature of processed foods. Since that flirtation with cheese in a can, you’ve probably realized the stuff is not really cheese. It’s got more of those unpronounceable, unrecognizable ingredients in it than those you do recognize, right? Highly processed foods, the ones with all those multi-syllabic ingredients, are typically high in sugar and sodium with added chemicals masquerading as ingredients. If you haven’t read the labels on your food closely, you may be shocked to find out there’s sugar in spaghetti sauce and sodium in soda. These foods also often contain trans fats, which lower your good cholesterol while raising the bad cholesterol. Trans fats are also known to contribute to inflammation, which has all kinds of health implications. (On a positive note, the FDA recently announced that it is asking manufacturers to phase out the use of trans fats over the next three years.) Highly processed foods are also lower in fiber, which means it takes less work for our bodies to digest them – meaning you’ll get hungry faster, then consume more calories, leading to the inevitable weight gain. (Sigh.) Not only do these foods – from boxed mac n’ cheese to breakfast cereal to fast food – contain a lot of what we don’t need and only a little of what we do need, they are designed to make you want to eat more. In his mind-blowing 2013 article for The New York Times magazine, journalist Michael Moss uncovered what he called “a conscious effort – taking place in labs and marketing meetings and grocery-store aisles – to get people hooked on foods that are convenient and inexpensive.” Once consumers are caught up in the vicious cycle of eating highly processed foods, it can be really difficult to part ways. These foods are seductively easy to prepare, just rip open the package and devour in many cases. And they are engineered to reach what’s called the “bliss point” – an optimal combination of flavor and texture that leaves us wanting more. Furthermore, highly processed foods are also cheap, which convinces shoppers they are getting more for their money than buying fresh produce and meat – but the hidden cost is to their health. Obesity has been linked to fast-food consumption; sugar has a laundry list of reasons why it’s bad for us; too much sodium is linked to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, and the list goes on. The moral of the story: Do you best to buy minimally processed foods and read labels. You’ll be doing your body a favor and reaping the benefits in a healthier you. Linkshttp://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm372915.htmhttp://www.bariatric-surgery-source.com/fast-food-cause-obesity.htmlhttps://authoritynutrition.com/9-ways-that-processed-foods-are-killing-people/  

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Think processed foods are a bargain? Think about the cost to your health

Remember cheese in a can? You know, the stuff that you squirt on crackers? It’s kind of novel. Ma...

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Friday Vibes 04.21.17

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. Here are a few things I'm majorly crushing on this week. Mantra: I honor my spirit and trust my vibes. Maven: Kathrine Switzer became a women's rights hero when she completed the all-male Boston marathon back in 1967. She just ran it again 50 years later. Read the inspirational story here. #girlpower  Major: Goat Yoga is majorly trending but it’s not just about cuteness, it’s a form of animal therapy that can help reduce anxiety, stress, and improve cardiovascular health. Would you Goat Yoga? Market: Shannon Kirsten’s illustrations are all things beautiful. Download her April calendar desktop background to add some elegance to your computer or phone. 

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Friday Vibes 04.21.17

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. He...

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Stress Management

Better health? Better sleep? Better you? It all starts with stress management. Who hasn’t experienced a sleepless night due to stress? Or come down with a cold after a tough week at work? Or just been plain grumpy because of it? Stress, if left unchecked, can have detrimental effects on our health, so it’s important to think about strategies for stress management to get a handle on it. I went from one really stressful job (as a correctional officer) to another really stressful job (as an entrepreneur with 60+ employees). So, I’ve seen stress from both sides: uncontrollable stress that is affected by your surroundings and controllable stress where the buck stops with you. While they both seem difficult to manage, they are absolutely manageable, and managing stress is vital to creating your Best Day Ever. Stress reduction leads to all kinds of benefits, from getting sick less often to sleeping better to being more focused and positive. These benefits spill into your life in the form of better health, better relationships, and better moods. I don’t want stress to get in the way of all the good things in my life or any of the things I still want to accomplish, so I take action when I see stress creeping into my life. My top four stress relieving activities are: 1) Actively connecting with nature – Moving my body in nature or taking a hike or walk really helps to get me out of my headspace and into a place of stillness. It’s like a walking meditation. Bonus: moving your limbs helps move your lymph system, which helps to release toxins from the body. Win-win! 2) Talking to a friend – Some people have paid therapists (and I’m a fan of that practice) and some people have a close-knit group of friends. When I worked as a correctional officer, I had long talks with friends over luxurious coffee brunches on the weekends, and now that I’m a working mom, it’s hurried text messages and talks after the kids go to bed. It doesn’t matter how you do it, so long as you verbalize your feelings to help process what’s stressing you out and then finding a way to move beyond it. 3) Finding a spiritual practice – For some, this is church. For others, this is meditation. However it happens, connecting to a bigger universe, discovering your role in it, and trusting that there is good out there is a psychological safety net to fall back on in times of stress. 4) Relaxing into a hobby – For me, my hobby has always been soap making. When I was a frustrated correctional officer, soap making was there for me, and then I turned it into a job. My hobby is still soap making but I’ve expanded my repertoire – you’ll often find me making lip balms, bath fizzies and other toiletries on the weekend. And now, I do it with my kiddos! You probably already have a few coping strategies of your own, whether or not you realize it. Take a minute to jot down what those strategies are, decide if you need to add some new ones, then be sure to use those strategies whenever you start to feel stressed. Sourceshttp://www.successfulaging.ca/programs/stress/11.htmlhttp://jhn.sagepub.com/content/24/4/245.short 

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Stress Management

Better health? Better sleep? Better you? It all starts with stress management. Who hasn’t experie...

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Friday Vibes 04.14.17

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. Here are a few things I'm majorly crushing on this week. Mantra:  I choose to be happy because it’s good for my health. Mood: This infographic is for the die-hard fans and followers of Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  From Visually. Major: Could your favorite chocolate, wine, and deli meat be causing your migraines? Read the study here. Media: Can you guess America’s drug of choice? Hint: It’s not regulated, highly addictive, widely endorsed by our culture, and it’s probably in your house right now. Read the eye-opening article on sugar here.

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Friday Vibes 04.14.17

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. He...

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