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.
May 9th, 2009 cate
“New research that uses an innovative approach to study, for the first time, the relative contributions of food and exercise habits to the development of the obesity epidemic has concluded that the rise in obesity in the United States since the 1970s was virtually all due to increased energy intake.
How much of the obesity epidemic has been caused by excess calorie intake and how much by reductions in physical activity has been long debated and while experts agree that making it easier for people to eat less and exercise more are both important for combating it, they debate where the public health focus should be.
A study presented on Friday at the European Congress on Obesity is the first to examine the question of the proportional contributions to the obesity epidemic by combining metabolic relationships, the laws of thermodynamics, epidemiological data and agricultural data.
“There have been a lot of assumptions that both reduced physical activity and increased energy intake have been major drivers of the obesity epidemic. Until now, nobody has proposed how to quantify their relative contributions to the rise in obesity since the 1970s. This study demonstrates that the weight gain in the American population seems to be virtually all explained by eating more calories. It appears that changes in physical activity played a minimal role,” said the study’s leader, Professor Boyd Swinburn, chair of population health and director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Obesity Prevention at Deakin University in Australia….”
Read the full article
January 24th, 2009 cate
“So you lost your job. Now what? As an employee, you had a daily routine, health insurance coverage, and a regular paycheck. You liked the security—while it lasted. And if you sometimes daydreamed about the freedom of working for yourself, leaving a full-time job never seemed worth the risk.
But now, laid off into a recession and the worst job market in decades—2.6 million Americans lost jobs in 2008, with 524,000 eliminated in December alone—you may be thinking self-employment sounds like the best path out of unemployment. Rather than try to land one of the few open jobs out there, maybe you could work as a freelancer or consultant, at least until the job market recovers. You’re in good company: There were nearly 9 million self-employed workers in December, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But if you’re among the thousands of unemployed now trying to go it alone, where do you start?
First, step back. Decide what your goals are and how freelancing will help you achieve them, says Pamela Slim, author of the Escape From Cubicle Nation blog and a forthcoming book of the same name. “It’s obviously very easy at the point of being laid off to really come from a position of fear and desperation,” she says. Thinking about long-term goals from the start will keep you grounded and help you determine how to proceed. Once you’re clear on your goals, Slim says, you should ask: “What are the specific skills, knowledge, money, resources, information, and contacts [you] need to bring that picture to life?”
There are plenty of nuts-and-bolts concerns that can overwhelm first-time freelancers, especially those who suddenly lost steady jobs. Chief among them is health care. The health insurance system does not accommodate… “ continue reading
January 15th, 2009 cate
I’ve written several posts about this but I can’t stress enough that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and as the most important meal of the day, it should be healthy. So, why do so many people eat commercial cereals? WHY? WHY people!?? Those of you who eat those mass made cereals, do me a favor, ok? Open the cereal box and stick your nose inside at the top. Now. Take a big SNIFF. Really think about what you’re smelling. To me, it doesn’t really even smell like food. At BEST, it smells like dried dog food. Guess what? There are many common ingredients in cereal and dog food. All that aside, just think about how you’re eating something that isn’t very healthy for you. No matter how many are vitamin fortified, forget about it. They HAVE been fortified but the processing kills most of the nutrients leaving you with nearly nothing. Why do you want to eat THAT for your most important meal? Anyway, here are my suggestions.
Don’t be a lazy bastard.
Gah, you might be thinking, you don’t have to be such a biatch. Sorry. I can’t help it when it comes to important things. So many people I know ALWAYS use the excuse, “I don’t have enough time in the morning to prepare anything, so we (or my kids) eat cereals or protein bars. It’s easy, fast and…” – let me finish that line for you, “CRAPPY FOR THEM.” You can’t argue with me; it’s true. Now, get a conscience and get caring about you and your kids’ health! I just can’t believe I have to tell you this.
Make a yummy nutritious meal for breakfast.
Ok if you HAVE to use that stupid, lame excuse of not having enough time in the morning, then prepare some things the night before so you have little to prepare the next day. Here’s one example (but DO search online for a variety of ideas) Make some whole wheat or multi-grain scones the night before, then in the morning eat them with organic almond butter and some organic jam. Or simply with fruit. Make a quick side of scrambled eggs and voila. Yummy and healthy meal.
Be more organized – Plan for the whole week and vary meals.
This also relates to the previous idea, “don’t be a lazy bastard.” If you plan for the week, your breakfast life will be smooth as peanut butter. During the weekends, plan your meals for every week day. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something different every single day, depending on the tastes of you and your family members, but it should vary to an extent. This is important so your bodies receive a variety of nutrients instead of the very same ones day after day. For example, if you have kids love their home-made organic muesli, allow it Tuesday and Thursday one week, then for the next week allow it Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Vary the kinds of fruit and nuts you add to the muesli. Maybe once in a while add yogurt instead of whole, raw organic milk.
Make Pancakes better.
If you and your family likes pancakes once in a while, instead of using just white flour, add more hearty and healthy flours into the mix like whole wheat flour and buckwheat flour. Also, make sure if you do use white flour, that it is non-bleached and organic. Use organic ingredients as much as possible including eggs, sugar and milk.
Offer all kinds of different spreads for toast.If there’s a die-hard, “gotta have” toast in the a.m., offer different things to spread on it: Peanut butter, coconut butter, almond butter or other kinds of nut butters, tahini, organic butters and cream cheese, organic fruit and jams. Or something completely different: pickled herring, organic cheeses, a poached egg, veggies. How ’bout some organic maple syrup?
The organic tortilla is your friend for breakfast.
I’ve been recently been liking brown rice tortillas but there are many kinds that are good for your health. Tortillas are champions in convenience and you can put all kinds of things into them. Breakfast burritos, veggies and scrambled eggs, bean and cheese, fruity wraps…you will only be limited by your imagination. And if you run out of ideas, look online for more ideas! You don’t have to be alone in this breakfast dilemma.
Let smoothies rule.
There’s nothing more healthy than throwing some fruit, plain yogurt or juice into a blender and make a refreshing, scrumptious and satisfying smoothie. Add some flax seed meal into it and you may become addicted to this excellent meal in a glass. Make sure to vary fruit and ingredients for your smoothies!
Related: Why you shouldn’t eat popular breakfast cereals, More reasons to give up Cereal, especially Corn Flakes! Healthy Organic Breakfasts
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.