April 17th, 2010 jeniii
Smile: [smahyl] verb – to express amusement, pleasure, moderate joy or love and kindness, by the features of the face; to laugh silently.
Why is it so hard for people to smile? Even if it’s a fake smile, researchers have proven that a smile, fake or not, will automatically boost your mood. Why? Humans associate emotions with phyiscal activity or contact. If you are walking around sluggish and angry, you emit a negative energy around you. So what do you think would happen if, let’s just say, you smile? Duh! Positive energy all around.
So, I have a social experiment for everyone this month: smile at a stranger. Scenario: you’re taking your dog for his morning walk. You are about to cross paths with a someone you don’t know who is also walking their dog. For some people this is awkward so they look away, or may even whip out their cell phone to pretend to look busy (I may be guilty of this one). Try and fight these urges and just offer a quick and harmless smile. Chances are you will receive a smile back. Now was that so hard? Smiling is contagious, it takes little effort and it’s free! What’s better than a free gesture? A smile can turn someone’s bad day into a slightly happier one.
Don’t just think of this as helping others. Think of this as helping yourself. By smiling you are sending yourself the message that you are a positive individual. And remember, “smile and the whole world smiles with you.” You can thank me later.
February 10th, 2010 jeniii
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women? Not only does it affect all ethnicities, but it can happen at any age. American’s have been drilled with the idea that a fast paced lifestyle is the way to live. Well, it’s not. There are many ways to fight cardiovascular disease. The average healthy American is recommended to consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. This is equivalent to 1 teaspoon. ONE TEASPOON! For those that are hypertensive, 1,500 mg of sodium per day is recommended.
So where does all of this extra salt come from? According to Heart Healthy Magazine, “Roughly 10 percent of the salt in our diet comes from the salt we add ourselves (the salt we season with while cooking or sprinkle at the table) and 10 percent is naturally occurring. The vast majority of salt—amounting to about 80 percent of daily intake—comes from processed foods. Salt is added to processed foods to achieve a (very salty) taste profile. In many situations adding salt is what makes cheap, un-tasty food palatable. Salt also is added for stability and preservation reasons. But the amount of salt added is clearly above and beyond what’s required for the safety and function of the food supply. The simple math leads to the conclusion that going easy with the salt shaker is hardly going to put a dent in the unhealthy amount of salt in the typical American diet. It’s also hard to trust our taste buds when salt is involved. Some foods taste quite salty because the salt is on the surface, while other sodium-saturated dishes don’t taste salty at all because other flavors and textures (namely, lots of fat and sugars) cover up the salt.”
You can add great flavor to any of your dishes without salt. Here are just a few suggestions and alternatives to your meals. Getting active is another great way to keep your heart strong. Grab some friends and head to the park. Not only is this a great way to get your heart pumping (safely and within your limits), but you can also catch up on the latest gossip, a great stress reliever! President Obama has proclaimed February as American Heart Month. February 5, 2010 was National Wear Red Day, I hope you all wore red to show your support. But wearing red to show your support is not limited to one day a year. Wear red and share your ideas and tips with everyone, everywhere.
January 3rd, 2010 jeniii
1.Start each morning with a healthy breakfast, high in fiber and nutrients. Studies have shown that what you have for breakfast influences what you eat for the rest of the day. Many people go wrong by thinking a muffin is a light and healthy breakfast. WRONG! Most muffins from the bakery contain on average 340 to 640 calories, EACH. Oh and that’s without butter. Pass! For a quick on the go breakfast have a cup of non-fat yogurt with mixed blueberries, a slice of whole wheat toast and a fresh glass of orange juice (that you juiced yourself!). If you have a little more time to spare try some of these delicious recipes to jump start your morning.
2.Get up and do something! Go for a walk and check out your neighborhood, window shop at the mall, take your dog for a jog at the park or join a gym and take advantage of their exercise classes. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you do, just get active. Get your heart pumping for at least 45 minutes each day.
3.Everyone needs time to wind down, especially after a stressful day. Find a hobby! Try learning to play a new instrument, cooking an unfamiliar dish, knitting, bird watching…etc. The possibilities are endless!
4.Laugh and smile! Laughing increases the levels of endorphins in your body making you less stressed and with a healthier immune system. Pop in a funny movie that will get you laughing in no time. Studies have shown that with just 15 minutes of laughter (even fake laughter) will burn 10 to 40 calories, depending on weight. Ever heard of laughter yoga? Pretty interesting.
5.Be positive. Living your life with the, “Why me?” attitude will only weigh you down. Life is a beautiful and precious thing. Don’t sweat the small stuff! Instead of questioning yourself and your self worth, question what you can do to make it better? There is always room for improvement.
6.Cut out the toxins – smoking, drugs and excessive alcohol consumption.
7.Adopt a pet! I can’t think of another way to get active. Pets are wonderful and loyal companions and they will show you unconditional love 24/7. Plus, you will always have an excuse to get out of the house to take them for walk. It’s a win-win situation!
8.Avoid these 5 ingredients as much as possible.
9.Track your ticker! 8.6 million women die from heart disease each year, worldwide. Get your blood pressure checked regularly and follow a heart healthy diet. Just by reducing your sodium intake and exercising everyday, you are on your way to a healthier heart.
10.Get those ZzzZzz! Try to sleep 6-8 hours every night. Everyone is busy, but your body needs time to recharge. By getting the recommended hours of sleep you will feel refreshed and energized in the morning. This will set your mood for the whole day.
January 13th, 2009 cate
Surfing might be right for you
We’re just barely finishing the second week of the new year, and you’ve already gone off your workout. Have you given up completely? Will this be another new year’s resolution categorized as fail? Are you simply pushing forward the same ole resolution year after year because you can’t stick to the workout? Have I made you feel even worse than you already feel? Sorry ’bout that. I really don’t mean to do that because, in fact, I’m here to tell you that you probably gave up on your workout because it’s not the right workout. Really! It isn’t you; it’s the workout. Now, it’s time to figure out what will work for you.
Here’s an example: When I first started taking Tai Chi, I absolutely loved it (and still do) and knew I could stick to that for a long while. It is something that transcends me to another place, a place where I want to be day after day. It made sense in the deepest perspective and it was right for me. I took the class with my friend, Penny, who had the exact opposite reaction to it. She hated it so much, it was nearly torture. Actually, she’d remarked that she’d prefer torture to doing Tai Chi. She would rather have someone cut off her arm or stab her a million times or set her hair on fire than do Tai Chi. I was baffled. How could someone deeply hate something I deeply love so much?
But hey, I’m not one to dwell. I let it go. Tai Chi and Penny were not meant to be partners. End of discussion. And you should do the same if this happens to you. So, if you started your pilates or jazz dance or yoga or whatever you thought would help you keep a regular exercise regime and keep you fit and keep your weight at a manageable level – but gave up, don’t worry. You now need to find what’s best for you.
I don’t know what is best for you; only you and you alone know what is best for you. That said, if you try something and you cannot make a commitment to it, drop it! If you don’t find your “groove” or “flow” or “bliss,” forget about it. It’s as simple as that, BUT! don’t give up. Try other things until you find the right thing. Consider the following. If you can’t get into yoga or tai chi because you find it a little on the boring side or not active enough, try something like dance or aerobics or rock climbing or spinning or biking or hiking or skiing or surfing or soccer or swimming or basketball… Are you more of a mellow, steady and ready for mind and body challenges – kind of person? Maybe you will like martial arts, fencing, dancing the tango or ballroom dancing. Are you more of a social person? Try team sports, tennis, dance classes… You see where I’m going with this right?
There are LOTS of things to try, but it first helps to figure yourself out then go from there. If you get too bored running, obviously, don’t do that activity. If you love nature and being outdoors because it makes you feel more connected to the universe, by all means, partake in activities that involve nature. If you need to be alone have an intense workout incorporating mind, body and spirit, you will most likely be well matched with yoga, tai chi; maybe the Wii Fit is a good fit for you? The most important thing is to NOT give up.
January 12th, 2009 cate
I just finished watching Weeds – Season Two, which is so excellent, by the way, and I noticed that in many scenes where people are reading books, you’ll see a book called, “Rejuvenile” by Christopher Noxon. It turns out that he is the husband of Weeds’ creator, Jenji Kohan.
Without a doubt, I am rejuvenile, not to mention too, that I have some weird connection with Weeds. There are just so many references that I can relate to, or that I already know about like the game “Carcassone,” which was incorporated into an episode. How many people even know or CARE about that? I know about it! And Dinah? They have free internet so I go there when I’m in town. Not too crazy about the food, however. Anyway, maybe it’s because I’m originally from L.A. that I simply see all of the stuff I grew up around. I haven’t lived in L.A. for a long time but it’s always fun to see my home town, a crazy wacko kooky village as it may be.
Back to Rejuvenile. Here’s an excerpt from Publishers Weekly: According to journalist Noxon, rejuveniles-adults who use childhood past-times as “a way of maintaining wonder, trust, and silliness in a world where these qualities are often in short supply”-are proliferating, and unlike other books on the topic of “kidults” (aka “twixters,” “boomerangers,” and “generation debt”), his book says this is largely good. Viewing the bright side of oft-bemoaned evidence showing increasing numbers of young adults living with parents and postponing marriage, Noxon has made an entertaining but incomplete read. In appropriately playful prose, he considers successful adults who play in rock n’ roll nursery rhyme cover bands, attend Disney World without kids, and happily plunk down 10 bucks to see Spongebob Squarepants: The Movie. Avoiding “The Downside of Now” until the end, Noxon almost admits that he isn’t telling the whole story of the rejuveniles: although it’s “nice to think of rejuveniles as freethinking romantics,” which he theretofore does, “it’s clear that outside forces also have a hand in shaping who rejuveniles are.” Those outside forces? Not crushing student loans, a stagnant job market or political age-bias, but “the media.” Of course, Noxon would probably just as soon leave worrying to grown-ups of the old school-he’ll be on the kickball field instead.
Want to get the book? Click the link below.
Rejuvenile: Kickball, Cartoons, Cupcakes, and the Reinvention of the American Grown-up