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

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

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Passion Project: Do what you love, feel great and maybe even get paid

Do you have a passion? Or even just a hardcore hobby? Maybe you’re just really good at one very practical thing that others want to learn. You may be an expert woodworker (who knew?) Or a star seamstress. Or maybe it's connecting with kids and teaching them art. If the time flies when you’re doing that one activity, there's a good chance that’s the thing you could do to harness your enthusiasm and skill. And science shows us that being happier equates into being healthier. Why having a hobby makes you healthy Not only is doing something you enjoy, well, enjoyable, it’s also good for you. As noted in a 2015 paper published in the Annals of Behavioral Health, boredom can equate to bad habits – including overeating, smoking and even drug use. But people who engage in positive leisure-time activities were found to have lower stress in the moment as well as exhibiting signs that the benefits carried on for the next hour. Participants in the study maintained a lower heart rate associated with the relaxed state they entered when doing their hobby. Another study, in the Journal of Positive Psychology, found that people who participated in a creative endeavor continued to feel better the following day. And hobbies related to crafting and art have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia, according to a study by the Mayo Clinic. Finding your passion project So what if you could extend those feel-good vibes and health benefits into more parts of your life? Some people have done just that, turning their passion into a profession or a lucrative side gig. I am lucky that I found my passion and hobby and career calling at a young age when I started making soap for a creative outlet. It quickly turned into a business when I was able to marry my passions to an idea for a scaleable business. That business has grown into www.brambleberry.com where I teach people to make soap and sell them the supplies to do it (interested in learning to make soap – lots of tutorials at www.soapqueen.com and www.soapqueen.tv). I like to think of myself as an example of where creativity and entrepreneurship meet. “But what if I don’t have a passion for something?” you might be asking. Well, do you have something you’re pretty good at that not everybody else knows how to do? Developing a skill that you have a knack for can lead to the same results. Most people have some degree of proficiency or knowledge in a topic that the rest of us don't. And if that knowledge and proficiency is something that you really “geek out” on, why not take it to the next level? So, yes, you can do this. But how can you take a passion and turn it into a profit maker? In the next post, we will help you get started toward taking your passion to the next level by looking at making time to do your thing.

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Passion Project: Do what you love, feel great and maybe even get paid

Do you have a passion? Or even just a hardcore hobby? Maybe you’re just really good at one very p...

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Nothing fishy here – eating fish is good for you

Eating fish factors into a healthy lifestyle. More importantly, it’s about eating the right kind of fish. Cold-water, fatty fish are especially beneficial to our health. The omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA within fish are associated with many benefits, such as a healthy heart, skin and eyes. Here’s just a few of the health benefits linked to consuming fatty fish: Heart health – Fish oil has been shown to raise “good” cholesterol, lower triglycerides and reduce blood pressure. Vision – Studies have linked fish oil consumption to prevention of age-related macular degeneration. Skin – Fish oil has been shown to help psoriasis and dermatitis. Inflammation fighter – Chronic inflammation associated with conditions from diabetes to depression to rheumatoid arthritis is reduced with fish oil supplementation. Healthy baby – Omega-3s are important to early growth and development, and therefore an important part of mom’s diet while she is pregnant and breastfeeding. Choose whole fish over supplementsWhy cold-water fish? Their environment encourages production of omega-3s. Fatty cold-water fish include salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies and cod, among others. Eating fish in its whole form, as opposed to taking a supplement, delivers all of the benefits of the fish as nature intended. Some people do turn to fish oil supplements in capsule or liquid form to get their dose of healthy fatty acids. But recent scientific studies have shown fish oil supplements’ effects to be a mixed bag. One study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that omega-3 supplements didn’t help reduce the risk of heart attacks or death from heart disease in people who already had risk factors associated with heart disease. And some studies have shown fish to be beneficial in the fight against certain kinds of cancer, while others have shown there can be too much of a good thing – taking too much actually be harmful. Long-term fish oil consumption has also been tagged in cases of fatty liver disease, which can lead to liver cancer. The takeaway here is that taking stand-alone supplements may not give us the same health benefits as eating the fish itself. This is likely because of all the other nutrients that come along with consuming whole food instead of a supplement. Watch the sourcePolluted habitat has resulted in high levels of mercury and other toxins in some of the fish we eat. Smaller fish, such as sardines, are lower on the food chain and are less likely to contain dangerous levels of toxins. (If you do choose to take supplements, this goes for the fish harvested for the supplements as well.) You don’t have to be Jacques Cousteau to know which fish are safe to eat thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, which provides a list of the safest – and most sustainable – varieties of fish to eat. You’re likely to come across a few you’ve never heard of. Give them a try! Along with eating something good for you, you’ll be eating something that doesn’t harm fragile fisheries. How much fish should you eat? Experts suggest just one or two servings per week will provide benefits. For those of you who just can’t stomach the thought of fish, omega-3s are found in plant-based sources as well, such as flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts. These foods, however, primarily contain another fatty acid – ALA. Each fatty acid has its own benefits in the body, so isn’t a one-to-one swap trading flaxseed for fatty fish. If you haven’t been a fish eater all your life, you may be surprised how really delicious it can be. I know I was! Read more about eating and cooking fish here. Sources:https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/13-benefits-of-fish-oil#sectionhttps://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/fish-oil-friend-or-foe-201307126467https://www.seafoodwatch.org/seafood-recommendationshttps://www.livestrong.com/article/411442-what-kind-of-cold-water-fish-are-healthy-to-eat/https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320795.php Photo by Jeremy Stewart on Unsplash

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Nothing fishy here – eating fish is good for you

Eating fish factors into a healthy lifestyle. More importantly, it’s about eating the right kind ...

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It’s sweater season – but that doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off!

Crisp autumn air has us pulling our sweaters out of the back of the closet. And while we may be bundling up in bulky layers, that doesn’t mean it’s a green light for all those carb-y delights since those pounds you’ll be (ahem) accumulating won’t show under your clothes. We know, it can seem like WORK to stay on the straight and narrow with your healthy habits but that doesn’t mean the effort isn’t worth the reward. Plus, slacking off will quickly begin to have negative effects on your health and fitness. In just two weeks away from the gym, you’ll begin to lose cardiovascular fitness and muscle mass. You might also begin to experience some brain fog without your workout to blow away the cobwebs. Add in a couple of pumpkin scones, and you’re setting yourself up for a roller coaster ride of sugar highs and crashes. And the longer you extend your “vacation” from healthy habits, the harder it will be to get back to where you were before. Isn’t that a lot more WORK than just sticking with the program? Not to mention that your immune system will need all the help it can get during cold and flu season. Did you know sugar temporarily depresses the function of your white blood cells? When you consume sugar multiple times over the course of a day, it may hinder your immune system from fighting off bacteria, which is the last thing you want this time of year. Perhaps more importantly, what healthy foods are you not eating when you choose a sugary snack? A once-a-week treat won’t sabotage your overall health, but neglecting to make healthy choices the rest of the week will. Even if you love to hang out in cozy sweats and boxy sweaters all winter, there are a few occasions where you might want to uncover from your rooomy gard. Thanksgiving on a tropical beach? Holiday parties? New Year’s Eve? You get the point. A major study found that Americans do gain about a pound or a little more over the winter holiday season. While it’s not the 5-10 pounds of urban legend, the problem with this pesky little pound is that it doesn’t come off. Over the years, that adds up. So why not worry about having to lose that pound because you never gain it? Want to start off sweater season on a positive note? Join our six-week Challenge, starting Oct. 1. Get more info here, and hope to see you in October!   Sources: https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/your-body-2-weeks-no-exercise/https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-sugar-really-suppress-the-immune-system/https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/the-skinny-on-holiday-weight-gain/ Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

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It’s sweater season – but that doesn’t mean it’s time to slack off!

Crisp autumn air has us pulling our sweaters out of the back of the closet. And while we may be b...

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How disorganization is holding you back

Being organized, or its opposite, can have a big impact on your day-to-day success. But maybe you haven’t thought of the ways disorganization also wastes your money and overtakes your space.

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How disorganization is holding you back

Being organized, or its opposite, can have a big impact on your day-to-day success. But maybe you...

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Ditch the old-school nutritional advice

Is your mother’s – or your grandmother’s – nutritional advice holding you back from getting the results you want? Whether it’s the low-fat craze of the 1990s, or the grapefruit diet of the 1930s, there’s undoubtedly some old-school nutritional advice out there that you should ditch. “Eating fat will make me fat.” This bit of nutritional “wisdom” has been around for a long time, and for many, it’s just as common knowledge as the sun rises in the east. But fat has an essential role in our diet, explains Shasonta Delmage, Precision Nutrition certified coach and a CrossFit coach in Bellingham, Washington. Fat makes us feel full longer, is satisfying and even provides an endorphin rush, she says. Fats serve a purpose in our bodies, helping shuttle nutrients to our cells. (No, it doesn’t go right to your hips.) More importantly, Shasonta explains, fat is just part of a bigger picture. We should be making sure to eat all the macro-nutrients – that’s carbs, proteins and fats – in each meal or snack. An example of a snack that covers all the macro basis is a small handful of almonds (around 10) and a half-cup blueberries. “I don’t need to eat.” Ever tempted to just skip a meal? Or maybe simply run out of time to grab a bite between your last meeting of the day and getting to your TRX class? You may think skipping meals is somehow virtuous, or at least is helping lose those five pounds, but it’s more than likely to backfire. “If you don’t eat your body holds onto the fat you do have for survival,” Shasonta explains. The exact opposite of what you want to have happen, right? Your brain needs the food, too. You won’t think as clearly or sharply without proper fuel, which is the last thing you want whether you’re trying to outwit a wiley toddler or wow potential investors. So make sure to have snacks on hand in case you get tight on time, and if you tend for forget to eat, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder. And, Shasonta adds, always drink water. “Gluten free is healthy.” Products free of gluten aren’t inherently healthy. The words “gluten free” on a box of cookies isn’t the stamp of approval to eat the whole box. (Sorry.) This is sometimes called a “health halo” – that seductive aura of health shining down on an otherwise processed food.  Remember, sugar and other carbs can be culprits sabotaging your weight loss or causing you to feel fuzzy-headed. The same can be said for many health claims – just because it’s free of this or made with that, doesn’t mean it’s an instant pass to eat as much as you want. Prepackaged kale chips chock full of preservatives or all-natural juice with oodles of sugar should still be on the “consume in moderation” list. By afternoon, we’re tired and our willpower is shot, which is likely when any of these snacky foods sounds the best, Shasonta points out. Be prepared with healthy meals or snacks to power through the end of the day. 3 macro-complete snacks: 1 small banana (green tipped – it is naturally lower in sugar than an all-yellow banana) & 1 Tbsp. almond or peanut butter 2 oz. deli turkey slices, 1/4 c. blueberries, 5 almonds 1/2 c. baby carrots, 2 Tbsp. guacamole or avocado, 2 oz. chicken breast “Measuring your food is a good thing,” Shasonta says. “After a couple weeks, you'll be able to eyeball it. Two ounces is less than the palm of a woman's hand.” What old school nutritional advice are you ready to ditch? Make today the day you step into a new way of thinking – and eating!   Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

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Ditch the old-school nutritional advice

Is your mother’s – or your grandmother’s – nutritional advice holding you back from getting the r...

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