Archive for January, 2012

Remember to Rest

I posted about the importance of rest a couple of years ago, but it is important enough to repeat it. Since the beginning of time (according to the Bible), rest has always been important: “… and on the seventh day, God rested.” Whether or not you normally take inspiration from the Bible or God is not important. What’s important is that you, too, remember to rest.

Rest image

Rest = Rejuvenation

Rest is important. It’s not something that you should try to do if you can find the time. We all live hectic lives. So hectic that it is imperative that we find the time to rest. Without rest we cannot rejuvenate. Without rejuvenation, we cannot be our best, not to ourselves or to anyone else.

Remember to take at least one day a week where you rest, relax, and do something you enjoy. Your life and your health will be much better for it, even if you are getting less accomplished. Taking the time to rest is an accomplishment in itself!

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A very sad day….



I am sitting down to write what I am grateful for today, but cannot find anything to write. I live in a small town of 4,000 people and we all pretty much know each other. Today one of our own beautiful souls passed away. Her name is Julia and she was only 13  years old. Life is just not fair. She had been battling aplastic anemia for over a year. Her bone marrow transplant was successful 3 months ago and things seemed to be looking up. Her last post on her blog was on December 31, 2011, stating that she was looking forward to a better and healthier 2012. Three short days later she was in the hospital again. As things continued to decline, we received nearly daily updates from her mother who was posting to Julia’s blog. After weeks in ICU, Julia died this morning. It breaks my heart. All of our town is crying for the loss of this beautiful young lady.

My friend Amy, who also blogs and lives in this same small town, posted her “grateful list” for today. I can’t possibly say it any better, so I’ve just copied her list below. You can read her direct post here.

Today our town lost an amazing young lady.  When you find yourself in this much sadness, it’s hard to find things to be grateful for…so I turn to my own family for today’s list.

1. Kisses

2. Hugs

3. The sounds of my family’s voices

4. Friends who comfort us in our mutual sadness

Remember to hug the people you love today, and be grateful for them.

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So you may not really want to know the information in this blog post — sometimes ignorance is bliss! — but this post at the EatingWell blogs (which you know that I love) lets you know which girl scout cookies have the most calories, fat, sugar, and trans fat. I like this information because at least I know exactly what I am getting myself into, and I can change my behavior if I choose. Or I can eat the Samoas anyway, knowing that I need to spend some extra time on cardio and should only buy one box instead of two!

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Super Foods Power Smoothie

I love this recipe for a Super Foods Power Smoothie for breakfast posted at Savory Simple. I think I’ll try it. You should too!

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Fiber is found in plants. We can’t digest fiber so it doesn’t add to our calorie intake, but it contributes to our feeling of fullness so we eat less (i.e. contributes to our portion control) and less often. It is also good for our health because it can help prevent colon disorders like diverticulitis and decreases the risk of heart disease and cancer.

We need about 20-35 grams of fiber each day. Here are a few ways to increase your fiber intake:

1. Eat nuts and seeds. You can add them to a salad or side dishes.

2. Eat dried fruit. You can add it to your cereal or casseroles.

3. Add more veggies to your stir-fry. Reverse the typical ratio, so that you have 3 times as many veggies to meat.

4. Eat beans. Think soups, stews, salads, and dips.

5. Switch to brown rice instead of white rice.

6. Try quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) or barley instead of potatoes.

Source: Stop and Stop

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Here are six simple strategies to help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight:

1. Plan your meals in advance. Know what, when, and how much you will be eating. Then you don’t have to worry about making less-than-great decisions when you are pressed for time.

2. Cook. Find healthy recipes that are simple, with few ingredients, and that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. I like my crockpot. Fish is also quick and easy and delicious.

3. Eat slowly. Give your mind time to register your fullness. When you eat quickly, you eat more than you need to feel full.

4. Watch your portion size. For example, a portion size of meat is the size of the palm of your hand. For most men, that is 4 ounces of meat. For women, it is about 3 ounces.

5. Keep hydrated. We often confuse thirst for hunger so always drink a glass of water first if you feel hungry.

6. Get moving. Try to exercise regularly, whether that means going to the gym or going for a walk or running up and down the stairs at work. Just move!

Source: Stop and Shop

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How to Get Your Fruits & Veggies

We all know we need at least five servings of fruits and veggies every day, but we sometimes find it hard to fit those into our diets. Five servings equals about 2 1/2 cups. Here are few ideas to make sure you get yours:

1. Start with breakfast. Add fruit to your breakfast — berries on your cereal, banana with your yogurt, half a grapefruit with your toast.

2. Eat them for your snacks. Fruit and veggies provide great energy, and if you pair them with a protein, they can also provide a filling and sustaining snack. For example, apples with cheese, or celery with peanut butter, or dried cranberries with almonds. The possibilities are endless, and delicious.

3. Double up the serving size. The usual serving size of fruits and veggies is only a half cup, so double up and eat a full cup as a serving. Finally, something you cannot eat too much of, provided you don’t load them with butter or salt.

4. Use them as ingredients. Zucchini bread may not be as healthy as zucchini, but at least it has the vegetable in it! Other ideas include putting veggies in other recipes like stews, soups, and chili. You can also put fruit and veggies in a smoothie.

5. Vary them. There’s no reason to get bored with fruits and veggies since there are so many different kinds of both. Vary what you eat; try something new every week!

Source: http://kidshealth.org

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Here’s a re-post of information that I shared several years ago. I like it so thought I would share it again!

I was listening to a podcast by Joel Osteen today (I love his podcasts!) and he had a great analogy. He talked about a glass of dirty water. In the glass was water and in the water were lots of little pieces of dirt and sand. If you keep putting clean water in the glass and let it run over, eventually all the dirt and sand are gone and you have a nice glass of clean water.

He was using the analogy for “detoxing the mind,” in other words, getting rid of the toxic thoughts in your mind (like, I’m not good enough, I’ll never lose weight, I’ll always be a loser, and all the horrible things that we say to ourselves). The point of his sermon was that you don’t necessarily have to work to get rid of the toxic thoughts. Rather, fill your mind with positive thoughts and they will crowd out the toxic ones.

I like the analogy for detoxing the mind, and I think it works for transforming your diet into a healthy one, too. Don’t focus on all the things that you need to take out of your diet. Instead, add healthy things. Eventually, all the healthy foods will crowd out the unhealthy foods, and you will have a healthy diet that makes you feel good. And, it won’t feel like work!

So, each week, add a new healthy food to your diet. Maybe this week it will be adding an orange to your breakfast. Maybe next week you can add a small salad to your lunch. Then a green vegetable to your dinner. Add fresh strawberries to your afternoon snack. And so on.

Give it a try!

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Be Positive – no matter what!. Here’s a blog post at AMSDaily that I love. Oftentimes when I read an article, I don’t make it all the way to the end and even more often I don’t actually watch the video, but I did and I am glad that I did. It is short and great! Thanks AMSDaily!

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Here’s an article written by Gretchen Rubin (of The Happiness Project fame) that I recently revisited. It is entitled Emergency Tool Kit for Happiness: Take a few measures now and you’ll save yourself stress later. I like it because it is simple and helpful:

When we are stressed out, we tend to become even more stressed out. Why? Because when we are rushing around putting out fires, we don’t take the time to do the little things that can end up saving enormous amounts of time and trouble.
Here’s a list of preventive measures to save yourself stress later. These tasks don’t seem particularly important, and they’re  easy to skip when you’re rushed, but if neglected, they can snowball into major stress. Remember: A little effort now means a lot less stress later.
  • Keep stamps in the house.
  • Keep extra cash in the house.
  • Have a good book to read.
  • Bring a hat and an umbrella.
  • Don’t wear tight pants or uncomfortable shoes.
  • Don’t let yourself get too hungry.
  • Make a list.
  • Always keep your passport in the same place.
  • Always put your keys away in the same place―and keep an extra set of keys.
  • Keep a Band-Aid and a small bottle of pain reliever in your purse.
  • Make your bed.
  • Never let your car’s gas level fall into the ”empty” zone.
  • Have at least one friend who lives in your neighborhood.
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier than usual.
  • Get up 20 minutes earlier than usual.
  • Laugh at yourself.

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