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5 Super Skinny Habits

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Diets are dumb. The only way to get healthy and lean is to develop sustainable habits that support your goals, and keep your system free of toxins so that it can function at its most efficient capacity. Here are some habits that will certainly lend to that.

1. Switch your milk

Cow’s milk is intended to grow a sixty-pound calf into a thousand-pound cow. It is incredibly fattening. Additionally, because of its acidic nature it interferes with your body’s natural ability to eliminate toxins and keep your system clean and lean. There are so many amazing options out there to enjoy instead of cows milk including almond, hemp, coconut, flax and rice milk. Try them out and see what you enjoy.

2. Eat fiber rich foods

Fiber binds to toxins that cause us to gain and store weight and escorts them out of our systems. It also keeps our bowel movements regular, which is one of our most vital bodily functions. Fiber rich foods include apples, kale, pears, almonds, quinoa and beans. Ground flax seeds are an excellent source of fiber and you can purchase them to sprinkle on to salads, soups, and stir fries for an added dose of the nutrient.

3. Reduce sugar

Sugar is your body’s worst enemy. It has been shown to be more addictive than cocaine and is a massive contributor to our country’s obesity epidemic. Even better news is that it’s in everything. Read your labels and actively reduce and eliminate unexpected sources of sugar.

4. Cleanse until lunch time

When we wake up in the morning we’ve been fasting for the last five to eight hours. This is an incredible opportunity to support the body in cleansing and recharging itself by eating as little as possible while providing it with nutrients. So, start by drinking hot water with lemon. Then have an organic green tea. Then drink a juice. Slowly eat some fruit. This gives you similar benefits to doing a juice cleanse without having to commit several days to it, and keeps your caloric intake low while enabling your body to do important maintenance and repair on itself.

5. Drink water

I know this sounds super basic but water is one of the best ways of staying skinny. Dehydration is too often misinterpreted as hunger, which causes us to eat when we’re not hungry and doesn’t remedy what our body is actually trying to tell us. It’s also extremely important for keeping our brains hydrated so that we can be focused and alert, which is critical in making wise food choices. Additionally, water helps flush detrimental toxins and helps maintain a glowing complexion, so drink up now.

Photo: Dominik Martin

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Wanna be happy? Here’s how

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Our thoughts and perspectives shape us. The personal stories that we create about who we are and how we got here are what make us the people we are. Happiness is the same. It is not a result of circumstances but of a mindset, a piece of our identity that must be cultivated so that it lives within us, no matter what comes our way. Everyone is on a journey to happiness, but it’s time to realize that everything we need is within us. It’s not about looking for something but tapping into what already exists within us, and stripping away the things that hold us back from true happiness. Here are some ways to do that.

1. Train your brain

Our thoughts create grooves in our brains that become the building blocks for our habits and personalities. Every thought we have creates matter and over time the thoughts that we nurture become our identity. So, to change our outer circumstances we must first change our inner circumstances by cultivating healthy thoughts, even if we don’t believe them at first.

This means having healthy self talk, being positive, assuring, loving and kind in your head in every situation. First, you must become aware of your thought patterns, and then consciously make the effort to create different thoughts. Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways we can do this, as it makes us focus on the little things that matter, like a thank you note from your boss, instead of the things that don’t, like that idiot talking way too loud in the gym.

2. Know that getting what you want doesn’t always necessarily make things better

We all have goals. Get a promotion, save more money, take a trip, find a new lover, whatever. Goals are great because they give us a clear vision of what we want so that we can create a way to get there. It’s important to remember, however, that the achievement of our goals comes with issues of their own, and that they won’t ultimately change our level of happiness. This is because as humans we look to the next big thing as soon as we get what we want. Ie you get your promotion, which involves learning a new skill that you haven’t had to work on yet. Or, you meet someone amazing you have a real connection with, and then you start wondering when they’ll tell you they love you.

We are constantly evolving, changing, growing. The only way to ensure happiness is to commit to it now, and not look to the future for it. No matter what the circumstance, to resolve to be happy so that you know that when things change, for better or for worse, you’ll still be happy.

3. Do things that are good for yourself

Call an old friend, join a sports team, ride a rollercoaster. We have these rigid ideals of what constitutes being a good human, and they usually involve lots of stress and very little self-nurturing. Being gentle on ourselves and doing something every day that makes us feel whole and happy is the best thing we can do for ourselves. It makes us more sincere human beings capable of focusing on the needs of others because we first value the needs of ourselves. Have fun, be lighthearted, and do what makes you feel good, because that’s the only way to be happy all the time.

 

 


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Green and Gold Immunity Smoothie

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This is one of my favorite smoothies to have in the mornings or as a post-workout snack. It’s full of protein and super energizing. Try some or all of the superfood additions, they’ll take this smoothie to a whole new level and will provide you with tons of macro and micro nutrients necessary for your radiant body and mind.

Big handful Kale (I like dino/black kale)

8 oz Rice milk (or any low sugar non-dairy milk that you enjoy)

6 pineapple squares (I like to get pre-cut from Whole Foods)

1 banana

1 tbsp. nut butter (I love raw almond butter)

½ C. ice

 

Optional Superfood Additions

For protein: 1 tbsp hemp seeds

For omegas and metabolism health: 1 tbsp coconut oil

For iron and protein: 1 tbsp chia seeds

For energy: 1 tsp maca

For fiber and omegas: 1 tbsp ground flax

Photo Credit: BeeGreenWorld.com


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Kitchen Tips for the Woman on the Go

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We live in a time of constant business. We rush from the coffee shop to work to yoga to happy hour to committee meetings on a daily basis, and repeat five to seven days a week. Living such intense lives requires that we fuel ourselves with only the best so that we can balance and maintain our demanding routines. Certain brands who’ve recognized this have developed products aimed to fulfill the needs of our society. These products will fill your tummy but don’t typically nourish your mind and body, and tend to be full of sugars and unhealthy additives. Here are some tips on preparing healthy options in the fastest and most efficient way possible, so that you won’t have to sacrifice when it comes to taking care of yourself along with your busy schedule.

1. Start your day off strong

Because you’ve been fasting for the last 5-8 hours, mornings are a great opportunity to nourish yourself with clean, whole foods. Fruit and nuts for breakfast are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, and help to jumpstart your metabolism. Before you go to bed put a couple of peaches, some cherries, chopped pineapple or whatever you enjoy in a Tupperware, with a bag of mixed nuts and cranberries in your work bag. These are also great post-workout snacks and healthy afternoon treats. Being so easily transportable they’re great to keep on you at all times.

2.  Stock your kitchen the right way

Keep whole grains like rice, quinoa and farro in the house that you can easily use as a base to build up with vegetables and lean protein. Keep a bag or two of frozen mixed veggies in the fridge for those nights when you just don’t have any fresh ones on hand. Use condiments that you enjoy. Whether it’s a ginger soy sauce or a great pesto you found at the farmer’s market, the right condiment can totally transform an otherwise dull meal. Know what you like and keep it on hand. Buy pre-cut (not canned) fruits at the grocery store like cantaloupe and mango so that you don’t have to fuss with cutting them yourself, and so they’re always available to snack on.

3. Cook once and eat twice

Make a point to cook at least a couple of meals at home a week, and make extra so that you can pack it up in a Tupperware the next day and take with you for lunch. If you have even more, you can change it a bit the following night and have a quick dinner that’s easy to heat up.

4.  Shop for firm, crunchy vegetables

Buying veggies like peppers, carrots, onions, celery and cucumber is amazing because you can chop them all up right when you get home from the grocery and they’ll keep really nicely. When it’s time to prepare a meal you can just throw them in a pan and sauté them, mix them together in a salad, or have with hummus or any other dip. Find ones you enjoy and keep on hand for snacking or meals.

Being prepared is half the battle when it comes to eating well and nourishing your body. By making it a point to shop mindfully and think ahead when it comes to eating and snacking throughout your week you’ll have more energy, stop eating junk that leads to weight gain and other health issues, and will help you develop healthy and lasting habits.


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Five Ways To Make Lasting Change in 2013

I love how inspiring a new year can be. We leave behind last year’s worries, bad relationships and work frustrations with the intention to start fresh and make the most of the year to come. It’s a chance to take up cycling, travel to a new destination, or simply slow down a little more. As excited as we may feel working towards our resolutions in mid-January, many of these ambitious goals fall by the way-side by March. Before we know it we’re back watching Friends re-runs and drinking one too many martinis on a Tuesday night – so much for that early morning pottery class.

Why does this happen? Why do most people make the same resolutions year after year without ever accomplishing anything? The difference between people who make things happen versus those who simply give up is habits. We are products of our habits.

Being able to recognize, isolate, and change these habits is the only way to accomplish lasting change.

When we are out of our comfort zones we make the most progress in any area of life- business, spirituality, fitness, relationships– staying in the same cozy routine doesn’t get anyone anywhere. Risks reap rewards.

Here are some tips to reach your goals and make healthy habits stick. Whether it’s losing ten pounds, getting a promotion or simply learning to be on time, remembering these tips will make a difference in your journey for real change.

1. Pick one thing at a time and do it now

There’s nothing more impossible than trying to overhaul our routine, habits and personality all at the same time. There are very few people who can effectively get in shape, change careers, volunteer with the elderly, and start a knitting club all at once. We are products of years of doing the same things, the same way, over and over again. We do not change quickly.

Pick one thing and stick to it. That way you can focus on it and after thirty days of consistency, whatever you’ve chosen to change, learn or exclude will feel very natural. For added inspiration watch this video http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days.html

2. Offload your power onto your environment

Schedule your time, don’t tempt yourself with bad food, develop self-control, prepare for success. Look at the fillers in your life – what is your tendency to do in between meetings, meals or phone calls? Do you scroll around Instagram or do you write a thank you card to someone, read an inspiring article or take some deep breaths?

If you know that when you go home you’ll sit down in front of the computer searching for the end of the internet every night, take your exercise clothes to work and go straight to the gym afterwards. You may feel tired after a long day but a few minutes into lifting weights or running will be energizing and refreshing.

If you always get a pastry with your morning coffee, invest in a coffee machine for your house and brew it at home. This will save you money, reduce paper cup use, and protect you from some seriously unnecessary calories and butter.

Discover where your weakness is and plan to avoid it. Develop an opposite, healthy action that will help you realize your goal.

3. Seek good company

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Think about that. Who are your closest relationships with? Do those people inspire and motivate you, or do they enable bad habits and detract from your growth?

Find people you admire and spend time with them. Get coffee, play tennis or make a dinner together. Positive, inspiring people are extremely energizing and can make challenges seem a lot more manageable. Don’t know where to meet these people? Find a meet-up group, go to a Chamber of Commerce Event or attend Toastmasters. There are exciting, interesting people everywhere who love to connect. Find them and develop genuine relationships. It will change your world.

4. Think of others

If you want to be miserable think about yourself. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own troubles and worries that we feel we can never change or accomplish goals. Sometimes you have to forget about fighting habits head on and go and help someone else. By being of service to those less fortunate we increase our capacity for love and find more gratitude in our own lives. We must learn to be happy and consider others’ happiness as our own joy. Find children to tutor or volunteer at an animal shelter once a month. It’s worth the effort.

5. Be cheerful

Make up your mind to be happy. Have confidence in yourself and in your life. Surprise people with light heartedness and be kind to strangers. Be grateful for everything and consider obstacles to be tests of your character. If you’re reading this article you have access to a computer, which means you probably have a bed and a home and an education. These are big blessings that we must be thankful for every day.

Take this opportunity to choose one thing you want to change and start today. Be resolute, write it down and make a brief plan. Good luck and happy new year!


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5 Tips to Developing Good Habits… and living life to the fullest!

‘Freedom is the power to make the decision today that is the best for our future self’

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Habits are behaviors that are acted out subconsciously. They create grooves in our brains, which is what makes them so hard to change. A habit can be lighting up a cigarette first thing in the morning or lacing up your running shoes first thing in the morning. Both are subconscious, behavioral and automatic.

Our habits define us. They are what encourage us to make the decisions we make every day. The decisions that we make shape our lives and lead us to blissful self-expression or a downward spiral of self-destruction.

The body loves routine, so when we settle into one it becomes very comfortable and difficult to change. Is your routine energizing and exciting or is it causing you to gain weight, feel lethargic, and take you out of touch with yourself?

When it comes to nutrition, having good habits is everything. Will I have a croissant for breakfast or a fresh organic mango? Will I pick up a bag of walnuts for a snack or a donut? Will I eat fast food for lunch or something from the Co-op?

So many decisions are made in haste and have only short-term benefits: I’m in a hurry, I’m craving something sweet, it’s the only thing in my house/office/purse.  

Being mindful enables you to break out of habits that inhibit your ability to make the best decision for yourself, and to instantly become more energized and joyful.

What’s important to know is that changing one habit creates a domino effect, so making more changes becomes very natural and enjoyable. This is why it’s crucial to focus on one thing at a time.

Drink a latte every morning? Switch to green tea 3 days a week. Those caffeine (and dairy) cravings will quickly quiet down. Love snacking on candy bars or ice cream? Try natural sugars such as berries, and when indulging look for delicious and chemical free dark chocolate covered pretzels, or coconut-based ice cream alternatives. Used to unwinding at happy hour after work with your colleagues? Try hitting a spin class or finding an interesting talk to attend.

The key is not to cut out things you love, but to replace them with more wholesome habits that you can still enjoy and that create positivity in your life.

A huge part of emotional and physical health is paying attention to your mind-body connection. If you constantly fall prey to habits that you know aren’t good you create a conflict in your system. When you make positive, mindful decisions, your personal environment becomes harmonious, leading to more overall happiness and wellness.

Steps to changing habits

  1. Introspect  – What habit do you do every day that you want to change- pick ONE. Eating late at night? Too much sugar? Facebook addiction? Ask yourself, why do you do these things?
  2. Cultivate the opposite habit – Drink calming tea at night instead of eating – a lot of times we think we’re hungry when we’re actually just thirsty. Look for something to snack on without added sugars. Read an interesting article or watch a TED talk instead of flipping to Facebook to zone out. Take time to think and be MINDFUL- don’t look for a quick fix.
  3. Be gentle with yourself – Big change starts with small steps. The most important thing is to have the right intention and to constantly reinforce the fact that you are not controlled by your habits. Remember one positive change leads to many more.
  4. Have a buddy – When you tell someone your goal is becomes that much more real. We tend to feel more obligated to succeed when someone else is watching and supporting us. Set a goal with a friend or partner and notice how much more motivated and committed you feel.
  5. Listen to your body – When you notice your cravings or bad tendencies your habits are no longer subconscious. They are out in the open and available for you to recognize and choose a better option. In need of caffeine around 3pm? Talk a brisk walk around your building for ten minutes and breathe deeply- it will energize you and get you to do something different than just heading to the vending machine or coffee shop.

Remember that change comes from will power. You must have the will power to want to get the most out of your life. When you commit to doing the best for yourself your life will become a lot more harmonious, with love, opportunity and happiness appearing in abundance.