Sep 29, 2010

5 Ways to Make Your Life More Positive

Have you ever met someone who was so positive about life, you wish you felt that way as well? You can.  

Positive thinking is a powerful tool.  Our minds control all of our thought processes and can be the catalyst for living a happy and positive existence or live life with a doom and gloom attitude.

Here are several ways to not only improve your mindset, but your life as well.

Sep 23, 2010

Top 5 Things That Have Annoyed Me This Week

  1. My Achilles Tendon became extremely annoying this week when I discovered that I actually developed tendonitis (Achilles tendonitis) on my left ankle. Especially since I’m not particularly athletic. I mean, I do work out, but it’s very moderate cardio and weight training – nothing excessive. So how did I get so lucky as to have developed this condition? No idea…and that’s even more annoying.
  2. Paying for Car Repairs – very annoying since I only have a few months left on my lease, so great timing, daughter of mine! Fabulous time to back out of the garage and knock off the passenger-side mirror. Yippee! (But then, I suppose I wouldn’t be any less annoyed if this had happened at the beginning of the lease, either –Just Sayin’).

Sep 22, 2010

You Really Can Think Yourself Happy

Believe it or not, it is within your power to create positive thoughts allowing you to accomplish anything you set out to do.  Can you really think yourself happy?  The answer is a qualified yes. Here are the ways in which positive thoughts can help you accomplish many things in life.

Positive thoughts produce positive results.  We can either bemoan our situation, or change it. We can be negative about an event or enthusiastic. President Lincoln once said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” If you really want to think yourself happy, then make up your mind to do so. 

Aug 8, 2010

Organic Gardening – Easy Ways To Get Started Today

Growing your own herbs, vegetables, greens and fruit can be both incredibly rewarding and delicious. However, many gardeners rely on pesticides, herbicides and fungicides not to mention chemical fertilizers to help their garden grow. That’s not only unnecessary, it’s also unhealthy. All those nutritious veggies pack a much healthier punch if they’re sans harmful chemicals.

Step #1
Prepare your soil. Because your soil is the foundation of your garden, it is important to make sure it’s full of the right nutrients to feed your garden. Mix in organic material like compost or humus and consider having your soil tested. The proper soil conditions can make the difference between a sparse crop and award winning vegetables.

Step #2
Choose your crop. The second step to build an organic garden is to choose your crop. What are you going to grow in your garden? Initially, in addition to what you’re going to grow, you’ll want to decide if you want to purchase plants or start your garden from seeds. If you start early enough you can use seeds. If not, you can purchase organic plants from your local nursery.
Regardless of what you choose, seeds or plants, make sure they’re grown without chemicals.

Aug 1, 2010

Get Rid of Acne – Simple Solutions That Really Work

Acne plagues millions. And when you suffer from acne and breakouts it can have a negative effect on your confidence. The good news is to get rid of acne, there are simple solutions that really work.

#1. Cut back on sugar. There are both good and bad bacteria that live in our bodies. And some bacteria, the kind that can cause acne, thrive on sugar. Additionally, sugar affects your hormone levels and blood sugar levels both of which can cause a strain on your body. This strain makes it difficult for your body to fight any kind of infection, even a small pimple.

Cutting back on sugar helps balance your body’s systems and it eliminates the food bacteria thrive on. If your diet is particularly high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates (think white bread and baked goods) then going on a sugar elimination diet will show dramatic improvements in your skin.

There’s a reason chocolate is so often linked to acne, because it’s high in sugar. It’s also high in dairy and if you have a dairy sensitivity, which many people do, it can cause acne. Additionally, dairy is often full of hormones added to the cows to help them produce more milk. These hormones can wreak havoc on your system. Common foods that can cause acne include sugary foods, dairy, alcoholic beverages, fried foods, meat treated with hormones, and common allergy causing foods like nuts.

Jul 25, 2010

Top Ten Power Packed Foods

What is the secret to a long and healthy life?  It is in the food that we eat.  As you well know, all foods are not created equal.  Choosing and eating the right foods may help increase your life expectancy as well as the quality of your life.

Here are ten of the top power packed foods designed to give you energy, vitality and all around good health!

  1. Beans – If they give you gas, take precautions before you eat them.  Soaking them first can help.  Beans of all kinds (kidney, navy, lentils, chickpeas, Northern) are high in protein.  This is plant protein so it contains very little fat, carbs and calories.  If fiber is a problem in your diet, eating a healthy portion of beans each day can keep your digestive system healthy.
  2. Oatmeal – Oatmeal is coming into popularity as a food that lowers blood cholesterol.  You can make it yourself with rolled oats or eat the instant kind if you are in a hurry.  Oatmeal is a filling grain that also provides much needed fiber to keep hunger at bay and your blood sugar constant.
  3. Fruits – Fruits are filled with antioxidants such as Vitamin C and A.  Antioxidants fight free radical damage in the body and reduce the risk of cancer.  Berries such as blueberries and grapes have the highest amount of antioxidants.  But choose an array of fruits in a wide variety of colors for maximum health.  The antioxidants in fruit boost the immune system to fight the effects of aging in the body.
  4. Allium foods – This class of foods includes garlic, onions, leeks and shallots.  Garlic is known for lowering cholesterol.  Allium vegetables healp guard the body against the risk of cancer and many other ailments.  They also help lower blood pressure and prevent blood clots.  Eating these power packed vegetables in their natural state especially garlic increases their health benefits. 
  5. Salmon – Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids reduces the risk of heart disease and other conditions like atherosclerosis.  Wild salmon is a fatty fish but it contains good fats that has been proven to improve health in children and adults.  Salmon is rich in protein which is of great use after an exercise session to build muscle tissue.
  6. Flax seed – Like salmon it contains omega-3 fatty acids.  These seeds also contain omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.  You get a lot of power to fight high cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes with this seed.  Ground flax seed can be added to fruit smoothies, sprinkled in yogurt, eaten with cereal or added to pancake mix to name a few.
  7. Peppers – Peppers are colorful.  They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene and Vitamin C.  Peppers range from mild and sweet to so hot you’ll be calling the fire department.  All peppers contain a substance called capsaicin.  Capsaicin has the properties of an anti-inflammatory, a pain reliever, lowers cancer risk and heart disease.  They are good in salads, salsa and all sorts of dishes.
  8. Nuts and seeds – Nuts are high in fat but those fats are the good kind.  Peanuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts and pistachios are all providers of good fats and protein.  Crush them into a fine powder and use as a coating instead of higher carb bread crumbs.  Nuts help to lower cholesterol.  Eat them right out of the shell with no additives.
  9. Açai – This berry has been in the news lately.  It is rich in antioxidants and increases energy.  You can get more done and look better while doing it.  You can get Acai juice and supplements in your health food store.
  10. Yogurt – The fat free variety is good for you.  Yogurt contains calcium, Vitamin B, and protein.  If you don’t drink milk, yogurt is an alternative to get your calcium in to build strong bones and teeth.  Live yogurt also contains friendly bacteria to help promote a healthy digestive system.

    Building a better healthier body begins with what you eat.  Try these super foods to get started on the right foot. 

Jul 18, 2010

The Power of Antioxidants for Staying Young

Everyone wants to grow old gracefully.  Some go under the knife to get that youthful look while others opt for a more natural way to maintain that healthful glow.  The way to make peace with age can be found in the types of foods that we eat and the miracle ingredient they contain.

This hidden “miracle” is called antioxidants.  They have graced the pages of magazines, medical journals and every product from hand cream to supplement pills.  But what are antioxidants and what can they do to keep you looking your best?

Antioxidants are substances that fight the aging process that goes on in your body.  They are not produced by the body so to get the benefit of these power-packed substances you must ingest them.  A variety of foods contain antioxidants.

Let’s go back to the beginning.  The body continually replenishes its cells.  Through a process called cellular metabolism, the body produces energy, more cells and repairs any damage.  One by-product of cellular metabolism is unstable molecules called free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that damage your body.  They are unstable because they are missing an electron.  To get another one and become stable, free radicals will steal electrons from cells.  That theft damages the cells in a variety of ways. 

The results are visible and invisible changes to our bodies.  The development of diseases like cancer, diabetes, arthritis and neurological deficiencies may begin to affect you as you age.  Also, thinner skin wrinkles and brittle bones are a problem.  Free radicals enter our body from outside sources as well: cigarette smoke, radiation and the sun’s UV rays.  The more free radicals we encounter, the greater the damage that can be done.

Antioxidants have been shown to be of great help in the free radical problem.  Antioxidant substances combine with free radicals and neutralize them.  Once they are neutralized, they can no longer do any damage.  Scientists don’t have any idea of a recommended daily dose of antioxidants to correct free radical damage and the diseases that come with age, but they do know that eating foods rich in antioxidants makes a huge difference in how we live.

Where do you find antioxidants?  They are all around us.  Look no further than your local farmer’s market or produce aisle in the grocery store.  Fruits and vegetables contain the principle sources of antioxidants.

Examples of antioxidants include:

  • Vitamin C 
  • Vitamin A 
  • Vitamin E 
  • Lutein 
  • Lycopene 
  • Beta-carotene 

Certain minerals like zinc and selenium also function in the body.  They are not antioxidants but they boost the immune system to fight against free radical damage.

Antioxidants are also found in nuts, legumes, cold water fish, seafood and red meat.  So, eating a varied diet of fruits, vegetables and the foods just named will increase the amount of antioxidants in your system and help reduce the incidence of disease.  Eating fruits and vegetables in their natural form instead of juices brings the benefit of other nutrients found in the foods.  Juices also contain a lot of sugar that is not needed by your body.

Food does more than stave off hunger.  Natural substances found there can cause us to live longer and stay free of disease as we age.

Jul 11, 2010

Top 10 Food and Nutrition Affirmations

When you have "convenience" food bombarding you from every direction, it can be difficult to choose options that give your body the nourishment it needs. However, if you have daily reminders and effective tools at your disposal, you just may find that eating the right foods and feeding your body the best fuels becomes a lot easier. Of course, there will always be temptation, but when you equip yourself with anti-temptation tools, you will be able to quickly re-focus your mind on your greater goal of getting healthy!

Using Affirmations to Make the Healthy Food and Nutrition Choices

When everyone around you at the office is indulging in burgers, fries, and sugary drinks, it's awfully tempting to join in, isn't it? But what if you could stop that temptation in its tracks and actually choose to make a healthy choice? You don't need me to tell you that fatty and sugary choices are not the kinds of food that your body needs - you need to tell yourself!

It can be hard in moments of temptation to make the right choice, but with the help of positive affirmations, you can re-train your brain to replace the desire for junk food with healthy choices. Affirmations can help you stick to your diet, say no to temptation, and eat nourishing and satisfying foods. How? By replacing the negative spiral of thoughts in your mind with powerful, positive ones. But first you have to believe that it is possible to gain control over your thirsts, desires, and cravings. The first step in making a lasting change in your life is to make the commitment to success. Are you committed? Do you believe that you can overcome your cravings?

Once you've set your commitment in stone, you're ready to learn the top 10 affirmations to get you through moments of weakness.

Top 10 Food and Nutrition Affirmations 

Before reading the list below, you should know that affirmations are most successful when you internalize the saying and repeat it frequently. Whether you're having a good or bad day, you need to be constantly repeating these positive statements in your mind. Temptation will strike when you least expect it, so it's better to be prepared!

  1. I can neutralize bad habits with good food, exercise, and healthy living. 
  2. I am proud to reach out to my support network instead of leaning on food for comfort. 
  3. I am losing weight for me because I love me. 
  4. I set aside time just for me. 
  5. My good health and productivity are the rewards for the nourishing foods I eat. 
  6. Weight gain happens over time, so my weight loss equally requires time, patience, and lifestyle changes. 
  7. I use self-care, not self-control. 
  8. The more I take care of myself, the better I feel. 
  9. I am firmly committed to staying active and healthy. 
  10. I deserve a healthy body and mind. 

When you look at these food and nutrition affirmations, they may seem like ideals - behaviors and thoughts that you only wish you could have - but each time you reaffirm them by saying them aloud, you're slowly changing your mindset. Over time, these ideals will become a reality through your thoughts and actions.

But remember, you must first believe you can change. Once you make the commitment to your success, you will change your attitudes about food and you'll be thankful you did!

Jul 4, 2010

How to Overcome Emotional Eating

Eating is a part of life.  Your body gets its nutrients from food.  Sometimes we can go overboard with our eating habits and it can result in gaining weight.  One issue with food is emotional eating. 

The problem of emotional eating may end with the scale but it begins in the mind.  Stress takes its toll on your life.  When your defenses are compromised your health takes a hit and so do your emotions. 
Everyone has good days and bad days.  How we deal with the bad ones brings emotional eating into play. 
You look for comfort for your hurts.  People who turn to food for comfort find a coping mechanism that won’t judge them, hurt them or tell them “no.” To complicate the issue, eating pleasurable foods can stimulate the release of endorphins just like exercise.  So, after you eat, you feel better.

Emotional eaters use food to relieve stress.  They hide behind the food instead of seeking solutions to the problems.  This is not uncommon when the stressor is something horrible such as physical abuse or a death.
But, how do you know you are using food in this way?  The first sign is obvious.  You will gain weight if you eat too much.  In light of the weight gain, examine other areas of your life:

  • Have you been under stress lately at work or at home? 
  • Has anything traumatic happened in the last year? 
  • Are you dealing with a problem but haven’t found a solution?

Answering “yes” to any of these questions could mean that you are an emotional eater.  You eat but you are not necessarily hungry at the time.  The foods that you choose are what we term “comfort foods”:

  • High fat foods like French fries, fried foods 
  • High carb foods like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes 
  • Sugary foods like ice cream, donuts, cookies, cake 

There is help for emotional eaters.  The first step is recognizing that you have a problem.  You’ll experience feelings of helplessness and guilt.  The guilt is over potentially ruining your health and the helplessness lies in the fact that you don’t see a way out.

Secondly, seek counseling.  There are many types of counselors out there that can meet your need.  Emotional eating has nothing to do with dieting or changing your eating habits but gaining control over your emotions. 
A counselor might suggest things like visualization, practicing problem solving skills, relaxation techniques and family support.  Visualization helps you to see your problems in a realistic way and not blown out of proportion.  You will also learn to see food as nutrition for the body and not an emotional crutch.

Thirdly, your family can learn your triggers for stress and be on the lookout for changes in your eating habits.  They can help you be aware of the foods you are eating, assist you in making healthy food choices and exercise along with you.  Proper diet and exercise increases immunity, blood flow and positive thinking.  Yoga enhances the mind/body connection so you don’t eat when you aren’t hungry.

Finding new ways to solve your problems and deal with stress will push food out of the equation.  You’ll feel good about finding solutions which will replace the dependence on food.  

Jun 30, 2010

Keep the Bugs Away This Summer!

No need for chemical sprays this summer! The essential oils of Lavender and Vanilla will keep those pesky insect away, (mosquitoes, ticks, etc.), PLUS, you’ll smell great!

If you already have Lavender and Vanilla essential oils at home, try it out by dabbing just a little bit on your pulse points before heading outside, ( wrists, behind the ears, temples, back of knees, etc.).

You can also make your own spray by mixing a few drops of the oils with witch hazel or distilled water. You can spray this on your skin, clothing, bedding, and towels. Another idea is to add a few drops onto a candle.

Lavender has been used for many things, a small portion of which are listed here: stomach upset, headache/migraine relief, acne, athlete’s foot, healing burns, insect bites and sunburns.

The best option for me has been to use a Lavender/Vanilla body lotion. Make sure, though, that the lotion contains essential oils, and not a synthetic fragrance. Not sure where to get some?

Click here to get some for yourself – and have a great summer!

If you would like a 10% discount, please email me for a discount code.

Jun 27, 2010

Flat, Toned Abs in Just Ten Minutes a Day

Summer, and swimsuit season, is just around the corner. That means it’s time to start working on those flat abs you want so badly. Don’t have time to work out for hours every day? Not to worry, with a little planning and ten minutes a day, you can have the flat, toned abs you want.

Step #1
Pay attention to your fuel. Track what you eat and what you burn each day. Abdominal fat is just that, fat. If you want to see the muscles underneath and get rid of the bulge you’re going to have to consume fewer calories than you burn.

There are wonderful, free, and easy to use programs and iPod/iPhone applications that will help you track what you eat and what you burn each day. Use them to stay on track. One pound of fat is 3500 calories. That means that by simply burning 500 more calories a day than you eat you can lose a pound in 7 days.

Tracking what you eat will also help you see what foods fill you up longer and what foods burn quickly. Quick burning foods mean you’re hungry soon after you eat them. Aim for lean protein, lots of fiber and fruits and veggies.

Step #2
Get moving! Move your body; it wasn’t designed to sit on a couch or at a desk all day. Take the stairs, take a walk around the block, move your body and find a way to take at least 10,000 steps a day. Studies have shown that people who take 10,000 steps a day lose weight faster and keep it off. They’re healthier and thinner. You can be too!

Step #3
Okay, now you have pounds melting off just by tracking your intake and moving your body. The next step is to work your core muscles, and you can do that in just ten minutes a day. The best fitness activities are ones that focus on your entire core, your back and stomach. Sit-ups are great but they only work specific muscles in your abdominals.

Instead of sit-ups, spend ten minutes working through a low rep workout. Do full crunches where your legs also come off of the ground, bridge, single leg abdominal press, plank pose, and side plank. Move through each repetition slowly so you get the full benefit of the movement and hold the exercise for a few seconds before releasing it. You’ll build muscle and burn more fat. Repeat each exercise 8-10 times then move onto the next exercise.

The good thing about these core exercises is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to do them. All you need is ten minutes. Get down on the floor during your favorite television show or do them right when you get up in the morning before your shower.

With commitment, a plan of action and a little bit of willpower you can have those flat abs you want. Watch what you eat, get moving and find ten minutes each day to work your core muscles. You’ll have that beach body in no time.

Jun 21, 2010

Free Copy of a Yoga DVD

Happened upon a nice freebie -- a Free Yoga DVD!  It's from  Although designed for people with MS, it is also great for "anyone who needs a variety of slower, more focused, or controlled movements"

Click  here to get your free copy:  Free Copy of My MS Yoga DVD

Jun 20, 2010

Green Energy – The Way of the Future

You may have heard a lot about green energy the past year or so. Whether you’ve jumped on the green energy bandwagon or not, it is definitely not a trend. Green energy is the way of the future. Let’s take a look at exactly what green energy is, why it’s important and how you can use it to improve your life and your environment.

What is Green Energy?
Green energy is energy that produces little if no by products that harm the environment. For example, fossil fuels like oil are expensive to mine, destructive to the environment during the actual drilling process and produce many toxic byproducts. These very same by products have been directly contributing to greenhouse gases and global warming not to mention polluting our waterways and air.

Green energy, like solar, wind, and geothermal do not cause destruction to the environment either during their harvesting stage or as a byproduct. When you use solar cells for example to store and create energy, you’re using energy directly from the sun. There’s no by product create and no waste.

Benefits of Green Energy
The benefits of green energy are vast. Initially you may think about two primary environmental benefits. They include no waste or pollution from the energy sources or emissions. Eliminating harmful emissions would drastically improve our planet’s outlook and virtually eliminate global warming caused by greenhouse gasses.
Additionally, green energy means no more destruction of the earth as we harvest fossil fuels. No more oil spills, digging in the midst of our pristine wilderness and destroying our natural resources.

However, beyond the immediate and apparent environmental benefits, in the long run green energy is significantly more cost effective. Imagine if your entire home ran on energy from the sun? How much a month would that save you in heating your home and in your electric bill?

Over the course of a year you’d save a thousand dollars or more, right? What about over the course of ten years? Yes, initially it will cost to transfer your energy source from fossil fuels to green energy sources, but that initial expense is usually paid for within a few years.

Green energy is infinitely sustainable and economically sound. That’s why it is the wave of the future.

How to Use Green Energy
The good news is that green energy can be utilized in smaller increments. You don’t have to change your entire home over to sustainable fuel sources in one fell swoop. You can add a few solar panels, use passive solar, and support sustainable practices. Some energy companies even offer a membership where you can specify a certain amount of your energy come from wind or solar. This depends on where you live but check it out.

Finally, you can support businesses that use green energy. It may take a while to spread throughout the world, however green energy is more than a passing phase, it is the wave of the future.

Five Easy Toning Exercises you can Do Anywhere

Exercise is an important part of our lives.  Staying in shape is one way to increase your life expectancy.  Weight bearing exercises are important also for increasing muscle mass and bone density as you age.

Most of us have learned what to do when it comes to exercising.  The problem is where and when to get the job done.  With a busy lifestyle, making time for exercise is a challenge.

Weight bearing exercises aren’t just for bodybuilders.  As you age, especially once you hit the age of forty, you begin to lose muscle mass.  For women especially, bone loss becomes a problem.  When the body is in need of calcium it can rob it from your bones.  Building muscle not only increases their mass but your strength.

Here are five easy toning exercises that can be done anywhere and whenever you have time.  At home, at the office, or on vacation, you can do these easy yet extremely effective exercises.

  1. The Bridge Butt Lift – Sounds like a plastic surgery technique but it is an easy way to tone your buttocks.  Lay down with feet flat on the floor, legs shoulder width apart.  Place your hands, palm side down, on either side of your body.  Pushing with your feet, squeeze your gluteal muscles and lift your butt off the floor.  Hold the position for a count of five to ten and release down to the floor.
  2. Squats – Squats work the butt, the hamstring muscles and the quadriceps.  If you aren’t sure of proper form, you can use a chair.  Stand with feet shoulder width apart and feet firmly planted.  Push your butt back as if you were preparing to sit in a chair.  Keep your abs tight and your upper body straight.  Once you reach chair level stop and hold the position for a count of two to five and release.  At the lowest point, place all of your weight on your heels for balance and maximum toning.
  3. Reverse Lunges – Lunges work the quadriceps muscles.  They can be hard for people with knee problems.  A reverse lunge still tones the right muscle groups but with less pressure on the knee.  Stand with feet together and arms at your sides.  Take one leg and move it backwards until you are in lunge position: front leg bent at a 90 degree angle and back leg extended until you are on the ball of your foot.  From this position lower yourself down until the back knee almost touches the floor.  Hold for a count of two and return to starting position.
  4. Push-ups – This is a classic toning exercise that works all areas of the arms plus the chest muscles.  If you aren’t comfortable or strong enough to perform a pushup on your toes, lower your body to your knees.  Be sure your arms are tucked into the body and your back straight as you lower and lift your body.
  5. Crunches – Abdominal muscles can be worked every day to build strength and muscle tone.  Lying on the floor in sit up position, lace your fingers behind your head.  Squeezing your abdominal muscles, lift your upper body until your lower back is about to come off the floor.  Hold for two to five counts and return to starting position.

These five exercise moves can be done whenever you have time.  The best thing about exercise is that its effects are cumulative.  Even five or ten minutes at a time will work to your advantage.