Happy New Year!

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Happy 2014 Everyone!

Out with the old and in with the New You! What are you going to do this year to make 2014 your best year?

Since it’s January 1st, I know some of you must have thought about your resolutions already. So let’s hear them! I’m always looking for new ideas, and I love hearing from readers!

Anyone out there have a health and wellness goal? If so, check out Mind Body Green’s website for endless tips on nutrition, mindfulness, and fitness. I learn new tricks all the time on there, so check it out! 

What’s my New Year’s resolution? To eat 1 cup of greens (kale, arugula, or spinach) a day. I make so many goals and achievement plans in my work, fitness, etc. that I needed a resolution that takes better care of me. Because without me, I’m lost! 

Share your resolutions and plans to achieve them below!

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Manage Your Stress Better!

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Who isn’t stressed? Right?! Especially around the Holidays!

Does your day look something like this? Drop off the kids, go to work, pick up the kids, go Christmas shopping, mail cards to family, cook dinner, get family pictures taken…..Aahhhhh!!!

So how do you stop the madness? Ideally, we’d all cope with stress successfully by using the techniques we know will ground us and make us calm. But for some reason, I can never remember what those are in the moment. Anyone else have this problem?

Our body’s response to extreme stress or a threatening situation is fight, flight, or freeze. Fighting with your boss, kids, or partner is probably not the best way to get what you need. Freezing will help you think momentarily about what your next move should be.

But I want to talk to you about flight- When we’re in a stressful situation either we’ve got to change, or the environment has to change. When a situation is too stressful, it’s difficult to change our behaviors or habits. So when you’re first working on coping skills to better manage stress, change your environment! 

– Walk away from the immediate stressor 

– Take space in another room or office and turn off the lights.

– Take a walk outside for 10 minutes to slow down your thoughts. 

The more practice you have in stressful situations, the more you will understand the control you have in them. Once you’ve regained some of that control, implementing stress management techniques will feel more like a positive choice your making, rather than further adding to your stress. Some techniques to try when your stress in on overload:

– Think of this: “Is my head in the same place as my feet are?” Be present!

– Fold in half with knees bent and do the waterfall.

– 3-Second Breaths: deep breath in (inhale over 3 seconds) and exhale (for 3 seconds). Repeat 10 times.

These grounding techniques will help you slow down, collect your thoughts, and strategize for success in whatever your stressful situation is.

What has worked for you in the past? Share your skills below! 

What is Harvard saying about nutrition?

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In the midst of the Holiday season, what are you doing to try to avoid an eating overload and sugar comas? We know you can’t say no to mom’s home cooking and Aunt Susie would be totally offended if you didn’t try her pound cake! So how do you deal?

Make a schedule. Find out when all those holiday gatherings are and write them down. Then make all non-party days the time to recover, restore, and reset for nutrition’s sake!

Don’t just take my word for it. Harvard Medical School’s vast scientific and social research has produced the following tips to make your holiday meals a success – without adding extra pounds to work off after New Years! 

– Change your perspective! Good eating is not a punishment, but an opportunity. If you know why it’s important and what to do, you’ll find it enjoyable and satisfying. 

– Change slowly. By the time you are 40, you’ll have eaten some 40,000 meals — and lots of snacks besides. Give yourself time to change, targeting one item a week.

– Snack on unsalted nuts, trail mix, fruit, raw veggies, Rye Krisp, or graham crackers. Try eating a few handfuls of a crunchy fiber cereal such as Kashi, or nibble on a cereal bar.

– Experiment with new recipes and meal plans. Be creative and take chances. Instead of dreading your new diet, have fun with it.

– Take a long-range view. Don’t get down on yourself if you slip up or “cheat” from time to time. 

What is your plan for Holiday survival plan? How do you keep your nutrition in check? Share below!!

Good News: You can buy happiness!

We’ve all heard that money can’t buy happiness – so Michael Norton tested this. And it turns out you can buy happiness! But it all depends on how you spend it. The Harvard professor found that when we spend money on other people, it makes us happier than if we had spent it on ourselves. He also found this carried over into work life and with sports teams.

So who will you spend your money on this Black Friday?