We are trying to adjust back from South Beach, Miami. Going from palm trees back to the snow can be difficult! Since we are from Minnesota and seem to forget how powerful the sun is, we made the mistake of not applying enough sunscreen and got sunburnt. We lived and learned to help teach others a lesson- WEAR SUNSCREEN. You always forget how easy it is to get sunburnt, and how much it sucks, until it happens. Sunscreen should be applied to face and body every 45 minutes. Sunburn is extremely damaging to the skin and can lead to cancer and wrinkles. If you end up burnt, apply aloe vera and lotion every hour to make sure it heals into a healthy tan. And drink a lot of water! Sun hats and sunglasses are another way to block from the sun.
With the way society is set up, so many people have jam-packed schedules. This is normalizing unhealthy habits such as a ridiculous amount of caffeine, and lack of sleep. Sleep is the first factor that determines our day. With lack of sleep, your decision making skills are hindered, as well as your motor skills and ability to think clearly. If sleep was higher on peoples priority list, just imagine how much more efficient people would be. According to sleep foundation.org, “Adults between 18 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Adults over 65 need 7-8 hours”. Unfortunately, most people aren’t meeting these standards. As mentioned in an earlier post, lack of sleep often causes us to make poor eating choices. An unhealthy diet leads to further complications, so you can see the domino effect. Try to come up with ways to save time, so you have more time to sleep. Give yourself the positive domino effect from good sleep, instead of the negative.
Quality of sleep is also important. Taking over the counter sleep medications hinder good sleep. Some good ways to help you fall asleep, and have better quality sleep include:
-Have a sleep time routine so your body knows when it is time to settle down.
-Take a warm bath before bed. This has been shown to lower body temperature when you get out, telling your body its time for bed.
-Turn your air down, I keep mine at 68 at night time. I also turn on a fan. This also lowers your body temperature.
-Do something calming before bed, such as reading or meditating.
Many people think that the best and shortest way to lose fat is to cut out your carbs. Everyone is different and of course there are factors such as body type and your specific goals- however, carbs are a good energy source and trying to cut them out completely can sometimes have a reverse effect. Just like sugar, alcohol and drugs, we develop a tolerance to carbs. If you try to go cold turkey and stop eating them when you’re used to eating a lot of them, your body will only crave more and you risk binging later on. The way I like to do it is focus on what kind of carbs I’m intaking. What are some healthier carb options? Look for low-glycemic. Brown rice, sweet potato, whole grains/whole wheat, sprouted grain, are some examples. You can buy pasta made out of chickpeas or brown rice and you can barely tell the difference! These all contain a higher fiber content, keeping you full and satisfied longer, unlike carbs like white rice and white pasta that are high-glycemic, and leave you hungry again shortly. Featured is a picture of my favorite brown rice pasta, I get it at Trader Joe’s!
This vegan carrot ginger soup is bursting with both flavor and health benefits.Its the perfect soup to enjoy on a chilly fall or winter day. Its also fast and easy to make after a long day and freezes for up to 3 months.
1 tbs oil
1 white onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs ginger, minced *
1.3 lbs carrots, roughly chopped
2 cups vegetable broth *
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbs lemon juice (optional)
pumpkin seeds (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat oil.
Add onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and simmer for about 15 minutes with the lid on the pot.
Once carrots are tender, blend until smooth. *
Add almond milk and season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with a sprinkle of sunflower seeds and a dash of almond milk.
*If you aren’t fond of strong ginger taste, use 1 tbs instead of 2. The easiest way I’ve found to peel ginger is with a spoon. (image below)
Almond milk is a great dairy alternative and can be used in a wide variety of recipes, in lattes or alone as a drink and is easy to make- follow this step by step guide to see how I made it:
1 cup soaked almonds
4 cups of cold water
pinch of salt
2 dates (optional)
1 tbs vanilla (optional)
cocoa powder (optional for chocolate almond milk)
Soak almonds overnight in the fridge in filtered water for at least 3 hours or overnight, I found best results when soaked for about 10 hours.
Drain the water the almonds were soaking in and give them a quick rinse.
Add to blender and pulse to break the almonds down.
Add the water and blend for 3 minutes on medium high or until the almonds are very fine and barely visible, this is when you add the salt and optional ingredients.
Strain the milk in a cheese cloth, removing all of the almond pulp.
Transfer to a sealable container and keep refrigerated for up to one week.
This recipe can be made with any nut of your choice: cashew, walnut, coconut, the options are endless. Some of my favorite uses for almond milk are lattes, cereal, as a drink with cookies, in creamy soups and oatmeal.
Directions with pictures below
Start by measuring your ingredients.
2. Soak almonds overnight.
2. Drain and rinse almonds then add to blender to roughly chop.
3. Add water and remaining ingredients then blend.
4. Strain the milk into a separate container, removing the almond pulp.
5. Use in your favorite recipes in place of cow’s milk.
Its the ending of a disappointing year and you decide you want change for the upcoming year. You come up with a new year’s resoution, stick with it for 4 days, and then its back to the same old. When the end of the year comes, you repeat it all over again. Does this pattern sound familiar to you?
In order to start new behavior changes, we need to make goals in the correct way. SMART goals is a good way to do this.
S- Specific: your goal should never sound like “I want to be more healthy”. It should be specific.
M- Measurable: Instead of “I want to start going to the gym”, try: “I will go to the gym 3 days a week.”
A- Attainable: Make sure your goal is possible, but also slightly challenging.
R- Realistic: Making unrealistic goals will only make you frustrated and give up.
T- Time-based: Putting a time frame on your goal will give you a sense of urgency, leaving you with more motivation.
Do you catch yourself draining your energy by a never ending list of “To-do’s”? Do you feel anxious to get so many things done and get let down if you don’t? You may be dealing with “perfectionism”. The difference between perfectionism and just striving to do your best/improve, is perfectionism tells yourself you are not worthy if you don’t complete certain tasks. You are fighting for worthiness. Striving to do your best is more about self-love. You still accept yourself and hold compassion, and you do things for your own good, to improve. You don’t “fight” for acceptance. Perfectionism sounds like “I need to have this, do this, etc. in order to be worthy”. Striving sounds like “I am going to improve my quality of live by doing this”. Perfectionism often comes with comparison to others, while striving is comparison to yourself and your past.
Most of us know what healthy eating means. We know which foods we should avoid, but we still have such a hard time. Why is this? There are 2 big contributing factors.
First off, the more sugar we eat, the more it triggers us to continue making poor decisions. It makes it harder for our prefrontal cortex to operate and make choices, and you will continue the cycle of impulse decisions. Once you start avoiding sugar, you will slowly be able to make more rational decisions when it comes to eating. You will break the addiction of impulse decisions, since these impulses feed on more impulses.
Another big factor is sleep. Lack of sleep does to the brain the same thing that eating sugar does- makes it harder to make decisions. Have you ever noticed when youre low on sleep, you eat poorly? It just feeds off each other.
Once you cut down on sugar and get adequate sleep, you will start noticing it is easier to make healthy choices, and you will gain a momentum to keep going.
Many people overlook the importance our spine plays. After all, it is the backbone and foundation of our structure. Imagine life without a spine! Practicing good posture and stretches helps keep your spine healthy and in tact. Improper back posture leads to issues in other areas, like the legs, buttocks, and neck. I included a link to a yoga practice dedicated to the spine, by my favorite popular yogi- “Yoga with Adriene”! She has a ton of other good yoga videos as well, she is great for beginners.
One of the most powerful recognized tools to reverse negative thought patterns is gratitude. It may sound cheesy, but the more you use it, you will start noticing the enhancement in your life. Gratitude and joy go hand in hand and it takes practice. You will experience less anxiety and be more content.
-Every morning, write down 5 things you’re grateful for. They can be as small or big as you wish. This will help instill an “abundance mentality”, focusing on everything you have, instead of everything you don’t have.
-Explore people who are less fortunate than you. You can volunteer somewhere like a homeless shelter, or watch sad documentaries. Research has shown that this actually can increase our gratitude when we are exposed to people who are less fortunate than us- since we are reminded of the little things we have that others don’t.