Monday, April 29, 2013

Paleo Dinner and Springtime musings

Super paleo dinner tonight: carrots, parsnips and onions with olive oil and spices in the first photo and elk sausage in the other. Really, really tasty local elk meat! We made enough to eat a hearty dinner for two and to have two big portions for lunch tomorrow! I love setting my days up like that: make a rad dinner full of protein and veggies and have leftovers for lunch - no thinking/planning needed!!

Our tulips are looking beautiful!! Albany is an early Dutch city and we make a big deal out of tulips around here :) I hope to visit a historical mansion in the next couple of weeks that has an awesome tulip garden (over 7000!).

Nice, long walk with Koda today. He was a little tired from his big hike over the weekend, but that's nice for me :) I got to wear shorts and flip-flops out today -- it is totally spring in the Northeast, no denying it. Everything is blooming, colorful, warm and full of life.

Lots of stuff getting done around here. Ordered wedding invitations. Got gifts for my bridesmaids (I was so worried about this one!). Writing up the ceremony and vows. Etc, etc, etc. Chris is filling out a form for "lost money" he is owed (got delivered to the wrong address years ago, so hopefully the government will send it to the right place now!). And a new dress I ordered is coming tomorrow!!!

I ordered a white dress from Victoria's Secret last week, hoping it is the one I will wear to my bridal shower(s).... so if it fits and looks nice, I will make a post tomorrow showing it off! If it doesn't.... well, back to the company it goes.

Sleep well and wake happily!!


Remembering the pain of obesity...

This might be a little TMI, but I am going to post it anyway, because it's relevant to my goals and plans. It made me remember what life used to be like and how my body used to feel when I was obese.I ate pretty normally and well yesterday. Had a flax milk/strawberry/banana drink (made it myself with just those ingredients), had a late brunch of eggs and a strip of bacon, a bunless burger with avocado/tomato/pickles for dinner, then 200 calories of coconut milk ice cream as a treat..... and then the trouble started.

I was just at home, enjoying quiet time with Chris, and my body started rebelling in a way it hasn't done in a long, long time. The last time I remember being in that much pain, having to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes, was when I ate WAY too much dairy and my slightly lactose intolerant body freaked out.

I was in pain for a long time last night. My body was gurgling and complaining for hours.


I've eaten all the foods I listed before, many times. The coconut milk ice cream is something I ate ~once a week last summer to keep me away from dairy ice creams.

I did take an allergy medicine yesterday, which is the only other odd thing I ingested (I never take any medicines... aspirin at the most, so maybe? but it seems unlikely allergy medicine caused it). I was pretty upset last night, stomach troubles like that are a thing of the past for me!

It got me to thinking about life before "the change" ;)

Not only was I overweight/obese for most of my young life/teenager-hood/early 20s.... but WOW, the problems that came along with it SUCKED. These are some of the things I dealt with in those years, things that plagued me and made me uncomfortable, sad, and pained on a daily basis. I didn't know what it was to feel healthy:

- intense hip pain on my left side
- back pain
- trouble sleeping (from lack of physical tiredness???)
- liver pain from eating too much fat (I had an ultrasound because the pain was so bad... I remember they had me drink water before the ultrasound and I was so unused to drinking water, I found it disgusting. Turns out I had fatty deposits my liver was working too hard to clear out causing the pain... gross).
- intense and constant gastrointestinal pain (to the point I would miss out on social/family things because my stomach was too upset.... having a toilet available was always more important)
- terrible menstrual cramps that would last for days and irregular periods (never knew when they were coming, and they would last anywhere from 3 days to two weeks!)

That's all over now. I have regular and predictable periods, sleep just fine (unless I am stressed out from life stuff), no more hip pain (which is a freaking miracle to me based on how INTENSE that pain used to be), no back pain, no liver pain, and -- since I adopted a paleo-ish lifestyle -- no more GI problems. In my late 20s/early 30s, I finally know what it is to have health and to live without pain.

Which is why last night was strange. Really strange. And it brought up memories of the past, where it was a normal thing to be in a fetal position on my bed working through GI pain.

I know what it was like to be fat, to be truly unhealthy. The memory of that is enough to keep me on the straight and narrow as far as eating well and staying active.

It was so sad, really, really sad. I was too young and lost so much of my childhood to the pain of obesity (physically and emotionally). Last night just brought those memories flooding back.

Never again will I hurt myself like that.

Namaste <3

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend: biking, Ginsu knives, my damn good mood.

Things have been going well round these parts!

I forgot to weigh in before I ate breakfast, and since every weigh in is exactly the same (about 15 mins after I wake up, before food or water), I just couldn't see the point in it. However, yesterday, I was at 126, so all good there. Five pounds to go till July 7th - possible and probable!

I went biking for 45 minutes yesterday. The sunshine and fresh air felt great! Also, my ankle is healing up nicely, and the biking doesn't aggravate it.

Wanted to share this picture of my beautiful neighborhood, I feel so lucky! It makes just getting out so much easier. I love stepping out my front door, seeing all the old homes with the bright yellow bushes and tulips budding. (Can you tell I am in a bit of a gushy, love-y mood today??)

We got our first ever wedding gift, too! It was a surprise since the wedding isn't till September, haha. It just showed up on our doorstep late Friday night. I am SUPER amped about it: a set of gorgeous Ginsu knives. Makes cooking easier and PRETTIER :D

Chris and Koda came home this morning from Koda's first ever camping trip (I wasn't going to go because temps went below freezing and I have this cold and the ankle problem - can't wait to hike with them soon!). Total success and everyone is riding a high of adrenaline and bliss.

About to cook Chris and I brunch (he got home around 10:30 AM and I made lemon cakes this morning for a friend who is going into surgery soon - I definitely nibbled a little and haven't been hungry yet!). 

Then off for another bike ride, woo!! I'm really enjoying my bike this year, so much so that I am debating whether to join a gym or not. I definitely can do body-weight strength workouts at home, and biking is nice cardio... we will see. I am just hesitant to spend money right now on something I am totally rocking out for free!

Hope you all are having as happy a Sunday as I am.

Namaste <3

Friday, April 26, 2013

Who is a "real woman"?

Just posting this to point out how silly it is to say things about how "real" women should look. We are all real women just how we are.

They've Been Sharks All Along!

I am not a supporter of those who think you can be healthy at any size (there is a size at which that is just patently untrue!) but, regardless, skinny or fat or fit or curvy or flat-chested or big-breasted, WHATEVER, we are all real women and we all deserve respect, body shape be damned.

I think the better we treat ourselves, the more respect we have for ourselves and others - the healthier we will be, in body and mind.

I really am all about health on this little blog and in my life - the total pursuit of COMPLETE health, body, mind, and spirit.

I was fat and sad and hated myself and messed up from all of that for FAR too long. And now that my body is healthy, I try consistently to remember to love it, to think of it as a gift, to cherish this life and be happy.

In more mundane, life news: still sick, but better, am over the hump of the big yuck! Going to attempt a dog walk later in the afternoon (I always feel better in the afternoon when I am sick than in the morning).

I've also made a big step!! Did not purchase gluten free bread at the farmer's market this week (it's been a weekly buy, and I work my way through the loaf till the next farmer's market)... so my house is officially paleo food only. It feels good :)

No alcohol, eating paleo - yay! I feel strong and clean.

Love you all,

Namaste <3

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quality of Food Matters

I've had this post in my drafts for a while and decided to post it today. Especially because I am one of the infected now (zombie reference).

Sickness grew worse, despite the fact that I took exceptional care of myself since the very first hint of a cold. Oh well, sometimes it just has to run it's course. I feel like I am drowning in my own lungs, though - a breath just doesn't feel like enough oxygen.

Still going to eat paleo and (obviously) not drink alcohol today.

So, onto quality of food!

I listen to Jillian Michaels' podcast. And she is a huge, huge proponent of eating organic. And if you can't eat organic, then try to buy mostly from the "clean 15":

She also talks about how people call her "elitist" for suggesting people buy organic milk or organic berries or whatever, because only a certain percentage of the population can afford it.

Jillian KNOWS they cost more. But she also knows they are HARMFUL to your health and believes that no matter your income, you should have the right to be healthy. That's why the "clean 15" is pushed... you don't have to buy those organic to avoid eating pesticides! 

Consuming pesticides changes your body, it affects your cells, your metabolism, your health.

Does it matter if the cow you are eating was fed GMO corn or pesticide free grass? Yes.

Does it matter if the chicken you are eating was injected with growth hormone and antibiotics or not? Yes.

Does it matter if the veggies you are eating was sprayed with cyanazinde or not? Yes.

"Most pesticides are manufactured compounds that are designed to kill specific pests, such as weeds and insects. Many pesticides have the potential to harm nontarget organisms" - USGS link

Does it matter if the wheat you are eating is genetically modified or not? Yes.

You are what you eat. And we were never meant to be genetically modified unpronounceable chemical compounds. We are carbon, we are water. We are flesh and blood. Eat things that grow from the dirt or have been born.

Well, that's my rant. It's what I believe. It's how I try to live. (and remember, this is a girl who has NEVER earned more than 20,000 in a year in her life..... but I have my priorities, and health is one of them.)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just Sharing a Little Bit of Spring!

Just wanted to share a little bit of non-weight related stuff (but I guess it is still health related!).

Battling a cold, I'm not participating in any big cardio exercises today. My lungs feel like crap. But it is still a gorgeous, sunny spring day by us! So I brought the dog down to the Capital to see Chris on his lunch break, we all walked around and played a little. Then I took a walk around my block at home with my camera to photograph signs of spring.

I just wanted to get out there in the sun and get my body moving even though I feel like crap. Laying in bed all day seems to make me worse when I have a cold - got to get some fresh air sometimes!

Anyway, I caught this awesome, fuzzy bee having a little pollen treat, and it came out really well, so I wanted to share it with everyone :)

The lesson here: don't let anything (in my case, a cold and a still-sprained ankle) stop you from enjoying life, feeling the sun, breathing the fresh air, and seeing all the world's little treasures :D :D

Losing weight and staying fit is a mental game. So get in it!

"Focus on Health, Not History" - a Whole9 outlook

First, a little update on my life. Choosing to do the Whole30 right now was serendipitous!! Could not have come at a better time, and I didn't even know it. Weighing in at 127 (did some damage control after a bad weekend). The Whole30 is going to help stop me from having a few drinks and eating junk I shouldn't on the weekends.... which will mean no weight gain on the weekends and nothing to do damage control on! I can just get back to 123ish and rock it out.

Also, however, I AM MF-ING SICK. Seriously. Chris had to take time off work last week and miss a party because he was sick (fever, cough, sore throat, etc). I thought I had escaped it, but no. Yesterday started a sore throat and a rumbling congested sound when I breathed. MMMMM. Delightful.

But what better medicine than shoving a bunch of nutritious, clean, simple food into my body and avoiding alcohol and things that inflame my body (inflammation means my body is fighting the food, not the sick germs!)? NOTHING.

Going on with business like usual, but at a chill pace to make sure I don't exacerbate the sickness.

Onto why I am loving the Whole9/Whole30 approach even more than when I did it last time!!

It's the basic paleo approach, but without any of the focus on the "paleolithic" part of it. It is a way of eating food to focus on health - eating things that help and fuel and heal your body, not hurt it.

Definitely take a look!
From the Whole9 Website:
"Our recommendations are based around the framework of a Paleo Diet, with a focus on health, not history.
We eat real food – meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruit, healthy oils, nuts and seeds. We choose foods that were raised, fed and grown naturally, and foods that are nutrient-dense, with lots of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals.
This is not a “diet” – we eat as much as we need to maintain strength, energy, activity levels and a healthy body weight. We aim for well-balanced nutrition, so we eat animals and a significant amount of plants.
Eating like this has helped us to look, feel, live and perform our best, and reduces our risk for a variety of lifestyle-related diseases and conditions.
Sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy are all food groups that have significant potential down sides, and may not contribute positively to your health.
The more you eliminate these “less healthy” foods from your everyday diet, the healthier you will be.
However, you don’t have to eat perfect 100% of the time to have and maintain excellent health."

I am very, very excited to get back to this way of eating. I am hoping that it will improve my energy levels and skin health, as well as help me maintain my goal weight. I know all of these things will happen if I can commit to this.
I like that they are honest about not ALWAYS eating 100% perfect, but maintain that the more you eat whole, healing, good foods - the better you will feel. I don't like feeling like a failure if I have a glass of wine, but I like implementing a healthy life in which I don't drink 4 - 5 glasses of wine at a time or even every week.

Also from the site:

"We want you to use the Whole30 as a learning tool to gain awarenessof how the foods you used to eat were actually affecting how you look, feel, live and perform.

And then we want you to carry that awareness forward, and use your experience to change the way you eat for the rest of your life."
Onwards and Upwards!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Whole23 and 30 days of no alcohol

The ever so lovely and straight-forward, no bullshitting Norma is doing a Whole30 starting on May 1st.

Wonderful news for me, since I planned to get back to paleo on May 1st, as well! It is always nice to have a support system.

I didn't want to do the Whole30 since it doesn't allow alcohol (wah!) and I do like a drink or two. But Norma so kindly told me to "woman up!" and go thirty days without alcohol.

I am going to jump right in and do it RIGHT NOW - no alcohol for 30 days. Which frees me up for Memorial Day weekend where Chris and I are having a romantic mountain weekend full of hiking, sleeping in lean-tos, AND a fancy dinner or two in nearby towns to celebrate becoming Adirondack 46ers. I will feel no shame about having my first drink in a month on that weekend.

So here we go.

April 22nd - May 23rd: NO ALCOHOL

May 1st - May 23rd: Abbreviated Whole30 (23!)

May 1st - ???: go back to living 95% or more paleo!

I am pretty excited. I've got a wedding dress fitting on July 7th. A month of no alcohol and strict paleo will get me back into the good habits I had last summer. And then I can easily maintain my goal of under 125 for the wedding dress :)

Also, the next big step will be once I HAVE gotten fitted for the dress, I then have to strictly maintain that weight for two months until my wedding. So lots of really good motivators for me (vanity is a huge motivator for me - my health is REALLY great right now, so I feel no shame in saying that, hahaha).

So yay! Yesterday was day 1 with no alcohol - and I was tempted because our new roommate offered to mix up cocktails. Chris and he had one and I declined, just sitting and talking about his trip. Day 1 - win. Day 2 will also be a win. :D 

The new roommate is getting settled in and used to our huuuuge and rough-housing dog, heh.

Okay, I slept late, got to get on the move with breakfast and dog walking and errands before work!

Namaste, my friends.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Making the most of it!

Yesterday was a really homey, sweet kind of day. I had a really nice time with Chris and Koda and Walter (the cat), as well as friends we saw when we all got together to watch Game of Thrones.

We had originally planned to go hiking, but with my ankle feeling still pretty bad, we had to cancel those plans. But I would say we made the MOST of our day, anyway, and still got in a lot of exercise.

Chris and I went grocery shopping at the local co-op, brought Koda to the pet store so he could pick out a treat (I will never get over how cute that is), got some really amazing local coffee, did some yard work, cleaned out Chris' car (which gets SO gross because we use it for the dog, hiking, skiing, etc), cleaned up the house and then rewarded ourselves with some delicious roasted chicken legs, roasted sweet potato, and raw snap peas!

Mmmm, sweet, crisp raw snap peas. I love having a dinner veggie that I don't have to cook :)

Chris and I also went on a bike ride! My ankle is still pretty unstable when bearing weight, so the bike was a perfect activity for our Sunday. It felt great to get my heart rate up again. I took the dog out this morning for a 40 minute walk, and my ankle is a little angry about that, but I can tell it is slowly healing. Good news.

We also rode our bikes to our friend's house to watch GoT instead of driving. Love saving gas and burning calories! (And, holy crap, that show gets better EVERY FREAKING EPISODE. I am in love.)

Our friends had ordered pizza and offered us some, but Chris and I are trying to get back to a more paleo lifestyle, so we turned it down. I had left room in my day to drink some white wine, and so that's what I did! It felt good to do what I had planned on and not give in to temptation.

Had a great, laughter filled night with friends - which ended up with me swearing revenge on one of them for hiding my bike and making me think it was stolen so I would freak out :D :D :D

This morning's breakfast:

The dark drink is a veggie heavy fruit juice... I put about 3-4 oz in the glass and then dilute with water. Still getting some vitamins and sweetness, but not drinking 120 calories of juice, for the win!

Got my nutrition in for the morning, got my dog walk in, cleaned the kitchen, and am now settling down to do work with a nice cup of coffee... mmmmm, life is sweet sometimes.

Alright, that was a bumbling little update on my life. But hey! I'm freaking out on caffeine, whatdayawant?!?!

And, just before I go, another little tidbit that is going to affect my life - we are getting a roommate tonight!! Our good friend is moving in for a little while, as he just left the west coast. I'm pretty excited :) We cleaned out my dad's old room and got it all fixed up for our friend. I am so interested in how living with a roommate will go. Chris, me, dog, cat, and friend! Ya!

Love you all <3

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Party, Caprese Salad, Cupcakes

Just a little update to stay accountable. I went to the party last night, where a bunch of people who couldn't fly to Sedona for our friends' wedding all got together and partied and watched the wedding on streaming internet. We tried to recreate the wedding menu and had a nice time in the bride and groom's honor.

I was actually very pleased with the food options! There was baked chicken, asparagus, two different types of veggie salads, corn chowder, and whole grain rice. I had caprese salad (which I made!) as an appetizer, a normal plate of food for dinner - no seconds, and two small cupcakes. I also drank champagne.

But for a party? For a wedding? It was great. I filled up on lots of veggies. I had eaten very lightly and sensibly before the party so I wouldn't be starving but also wouldn't have eaten a ton of calories by the time I got to the party. Very pleased with the lack of binging!!

I wanted to show you the gorgeous caprese salad I made, I was very proud of the good quality ingredients, the arrangement, and the colors. It was a huge hit at the party (it was the only appetizer, as well, and it went fast!)

Also, I wanted to share a picture of me that I really love. It is not a great picture for someone who writes about health since I am holding a very lovely cupcake... but I also won't write this blog and hide who I really am - a person who eats treats and doesn't ALWAYS only eat things that are good for me. But this picture shows me how I was last night, totally happy and enjoying myself and NOT drowning myself in food!

I didn't drink enough water last night with my champagne, so I woke up dehydrated. But I downed a bunch of water, made a light egg breakfast and am about to head out with Koda (going to see how my ankle feels, it doesn't hurt anymore but feels really unsteady - we will see!).

Enjoy your weekend, folks, fill them with laughter and movement and joy <3

Friday, April 19, 2013

Eating food as it was meant to be eaten..

I thought I would do a little paleo post today, especially since the lovely Kelly mentioned me and my paleo ways in her last post!

I would say right now I am doing very well with eating paleo! (And weighing in at 127, wooo, that's what I like to see!). I eat paleo in all ways except that I will drink alcohol and I do go through almost 10 pieces of gluten free bread in a week. Those are two things I haven't been willing to completely do without, and as long as I am moderate and mindful, they don't affect my weight.

I recently made a comment on another blog, which I won't link to because I am not sure I agree with most of what's going on over there, but the comment was basically urging the writer to not spend a lot of time and effort with making paleo foods resemble items from SAD (Standard American Diet), such as pizza or cakes or whatever.

One of the VERY best thing eating paleo has taught me is to enjoy food in its natural form!!

And I think if you are eating paleo and NOT learning to enjoy cauliflower as just plain old roasted cauliflower (a little oil and spice isn't bad!) or whatever the vegetable/fruit/protein is, you are missing out on a big lesson.

Paleo brownies? You're not really getting it.

When you start filling your house with paleo brownies, breads, etc... your house starts to look like it had BEFORE paleo. And that certainly is not the point. Especially since paleo-version baked goods are way more calorie dense and just as nutritionally unsound as SAD baked goods.

I really like this page: Getting too good at paleo (aside from the no snacking between meals part, if you are hungry, really legitimately hungry - eat).

And this quote from that page:

"The major problem with elaborate Paleo(tm) foods and desserts is that they are calorie-rich and low on nutrition. This is exactly why SAD doesn’t work. And here we have Paleo folks mimicking the SAD approach! "

And this list from that page:

  • Start with the basics: food, sleep, activity, sunlight, socializing. Do not start with, “What can I buy to fix such and such?”
  • Eat real, whole foods. Fill your plate with recognizable foods and make them delicious with cooking techniques and spices.
  • Avoid Paleo(tm) processed foods. Nut flours, oils, butters, etc. are processed foods. That doesn’t make them toxic, but it does make them easy to overeat. Do you think human beings have had a chance to evolve a mechanism for detecting when too much coconut oil, almond butter, or coconut flour has been consumed? I don’t.
  • Avoid snacking between meals. Admit it, before you learned how to make Paleo(tm) muffins, you rarely snacked between meals. And when you found out Larabars were Paleo(tm)? Fuhgeddaboudit. Even if you did snack a bit, the foods were less calorie dense and probably more nutritious.
  • Stop being afraid of starch. Unless you are diabetic or otherwise unhealthy (and being a little overweight is probably not ‘unhealthy’), why are you avoiding a food like potatoes? They are nutrient-dense and low in calories. They’re also inexpensive and can help solve Paleo(tm) budget issues. Give your body the glucose it wants, or heck at least experiment with it. It’s done wonders for n=1 me.
  • Learn new skills like fermenting, instead of baking. You can keep getting better at a Paleo(lithic) approach, too!  Fermented salsa and kombucha will keep your gut humming along nicely.
Now I would take the avoiding nut butters/flours and the no snacking rule with a grain of salt. BUT the logic behind it is sound. If these items are making you behave like you did before - why are you even bothering? The point is to get good, solid nutrition in your body and to eat simply.

Kelly mentioned how Chris and I will make muffins once in a while, to hike or whatnot. And that is true! We sometimes make a batch of "paleo muffins" for the house. But these muffins aren't.... ahem.... exactly delicious. They would never make me reach for one if I wasn't hungry or trigger a binge. Don't get me wrong, they don't taste BAD, but they aren't filled with sugars or sweet things. They are basically a protein bomb (often almond flour and eggs comprise most of the muffin) to grab when we need it.

We can and have made some paleo treats - we made lemon bars this year and made a cake last year. But those come into the house once in a very great while (not even once a month)... they are treats, meant to be shared with others, and not part of our regular diet.

We also don't make these every week. We can go WEEKS around here with only eating super simple food. It works for us. We cook veggies in oil and spices, roast up a protein, have a sweet potato and... ta da - that's our dinner every day of the week! Breakfasts are always an egg and veggie scramble, lunch is often dinner's leftovers, and snacks are nuts and fruit or almond milk yogurt.

I would refer you to My Easy Shopping List so you can see how simple, easy and straightforward my life at home is!

My struggle is when I go out socially (and I will be tested at a potluck party tonight, but I think I will be able to post tomorrow about how good I was!). But setting myself up for 100% success at home means that I really have no problem keeping the weight off (I lost 10 pounds on paleo and it hasn't come back!).

Remember KISS = Keep It Simple, Stupid. :D :D :D

Love you all, have a beautiful day!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to become a loveable person

Have you ever wondered why some people are more loved than others? Why some people have charismatic personality where others go unnoticed. What makes them more lovable and attractive? Most commonly, it is the attitude. 

“Attitude is a little thing that makes a huge difference”

People with good attitude and manners are much more in demand than those with poor attitude and bad manners. Though with the advancement of time, majority of the people often think that only cleverness can make them successful in their life but they do not understand that God has placed the ability to judge good or bad things in human’s mind. We can not change that and a person with good values and behavior will always be appreciated. If today people are not giving value to a good person tomorrow they surely will.  No matter how much money and luxuries you have, if you do not have a good heart and you do not care for the feelings of those around you, they will not feel comfortable in your presence. 

“Some people cause happiness wherever they go and some whenever they go”

Lets look at the qualities that can make you lovable and “happy to be around” person.

Be Caring

Care is the one of the strongest weapons that attracts people towards you. There are two

types of people you never forget. One who gave you pain and the other who took care of you when you needed it the most. A caring person is not a self-centered person. He takes others problems as his own and tries to solve and help them. Even I ask you a question that who is your best friend? I’m sure whoever you’ll name will be your most caring friend. Isn’t it ?

Be Understanding

To make people comfortable, it is very important to understand their feelings. Whenever
anyone tells you his problem, you should listen it carefully and should try to solve it. Reply it in the way “I understand that it must have hurt your feelings, why do not you try to do this”. Rather than saying “It does not seem to be problem, Why are you creating mess with it” or saying “It must be your mistake that you are facing with this problem”. Imagine yourself in the situation. Assure the person that you have understood how worried he is and then give a good solution.

Be Helping

No matter wherever you go and wherever you are, be a good helper. For example, if you are

sitting in a waiting room and someone needs water there. If you have a bottle, offer him. If you see a blind person crossing the road, help him do that. Do not be shy in lending a helping hand towards others. People never forget those ever helped them when they were in need.

“People may forget what you said them, but they will never forget how you made them feel”

Be a good listener

Everybody wants and admire a good listener. Whenever someone talks to you, look into the eyes of the speaker and listen carefully what they are saying. Understand it well and give your suggestion and advice if needed. All of you must
have experienced bad listeners and how awkward you feel when the person you are talking to diverts his attention. Another important aspect is that you should know when you have to be quite and when not to be. A good listener gains people’s trust and they will love to be around him.

Be Motivating

One of the traits of a positive person is that he is very motivating. People often like to tell
their problems to a person who is encouraging to them. Whenever anyone seems worried, motivate the person with the sentences like “I know you can do it”, “things get better with time if you keep on trying” or “Time does not remain the same always. Wait for good days”. If you have some past experience regarding the issue and the problem is resolved now, tell him what you learned and how your efforts took you out of it. Consequently, people will love to have your company always.

Be Yourself

Always remember that showing off may appear better but does not put a good impression on the people around you. Do not pretend what you are not. If you want to show people that you are a good person, be a good person. Always speak the truth because truth keeps you away from many sins and once you’ll be a good person, it will be obvious to everyone with no show offing. 

Do not backbite

Do not backbite about the person who is not around you. It is not only a sin but if you do not practice back biting, it will keep you successful in your relationships with everyone. When you did not utter a bad word for someone so you do not need to afraid of the fact that someone will try to create fight between you and the people you know.

Last Words

Always be good with people for God’s sake. Even if they’ll hurt you in return, you will not stop being good with them because it was God for whom you were making those efforts. He is happy  and he’ll reward you for that somehow. Have a strong belief in it and go ahead !!.
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Saturday, April 13, 2013

5 Ways To Keep Yourself Healthy And Fit

No one can deny the vital importance of health but unfortunately, most of us do not treasure this blessing unless we lose it. A healthy body is one of the greatest blessings of God and a single round to a hospital and observing the patients are enough to realize its worth. A good health does not only mean a healthy body but a healthy mind as well. This hybrid combination of a fresh body and mind helps you performing your daily activities with no problem and discomfort. We all must be thankful for what we have and should take care of our physical and mental state to live a happy and long life.


Everybody knows exercise is good for them but they must know how? Exercise keeps you

weight in control and a balanced weight has proved to be a strong shield against diseases like depression, stroke, heart diseases, arthritis and many more. Exercising 30 minutes a day produces endorphins “The Happy Hormones” in our body that combat stress and keeps you in a happier state than you were before. Keeping a good balance between exercise and weight maintains your good health.


We spend one third of our life sleeping. Humans with less sleep works just like a mobile with low battery. Sleep is an essential factor that refreshes your body and consequently keeping a person healthy physically and mentally. Yet, millions of people everyday do not get sufficient sleep according to the research of National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF). NSF  conducted a survey  from 1999 to 2004 and revealed that 40 millions Americans are suffering from sleep problems. The sleep disorders are not only found in adults but children are also its victims.

Need of sleep differs from person to person. Generally, 8 hours sleep is sufficient for majority

of people but some need 6 hours and some need 10 hours sleep to feel fresh. Disorder of nervous system, cardiovascular system, metabolic functions, immune system, emotional problems and usage of drugs are the major reasons for the cause of sleeplessness. Sufficient sleep keeps our immune system strong and as a result, we are less vulnerable to diseases and health problems.

How to improve sleep

Now the question arises, how can we improve our sleep? Do the following.Get up early

     a. Avoid taking things that interfere with sleep like nicotine, caffeine

     b. Exercising everyday improves your sleep

     c. Be a giver because givers sleep better

     d. Do not cheat because cheaters lack peace of mind which keeps them sleepless.

     e. Take dinner almost 3 hours before sleeping.

     f. Avoid negative thoughts and forgive people. It will reduce your depression.

     g. Avoid using computer and watching tv late night.

Avoid depression

Depression is a mental disease that only affects your mood but it goes beyond that. It also disturbs a person’s relationships, the way a person’s eat, sleep and carry on his routine

activities. Cause of depression can not always be detected. Normally, it happens due to a stressful loss such as death of a loved one, loss of a job or if someone is oppressed by a person. Depression causes a person to avoid social places and people, leaving the person alone. Depression has a huge bad impact over your health. It weakens our immune system and a depressed person is more prone to health problems such as heart diseases, sleep disorders, less energy, poor short term memory, osteoporosis, angina, arthritis, and asthma. Action should be taken against this mental illness before it leaves you ill and alone.

How to get yourself out of depression

a. See a psychiatrist

b. Look at the things you have rather than considering what you do not have.

c. Understand what is depressing you and change the situation. Sometimes, when nothing seems to work, optimizing your own attitude works.

d. Look at those who lack basic needs of life and help people around you. Helping others make you look around yourself and gives you a happy feeling after solving problems of other people.

e. Pray to God to get out of depression after all, the control of all human sufferings and comforts is in his hands.

f. Socialize yourself with positive people and share your feelings at some internet depression forum.

g. Divert negative thoughts and keep positive hobbies.

h. This world is not a perfect place and do not think others are happy and you are not. You never know what they are going through.

Good and balanced Diet

 Everything you eat has a direct impact to your health. Just like a high quality petrol makes the car run fast similarly, a good, pure and balanced diet keeps you healthy enough to

perform your routine tasks efficiently."A balanced diet contains the correct amount of all the necessary nutrients that are essential to keep you healthy”

A balanced diet contains food of all categories such as meat, whole grams, fruits and vegetables. A person who takes all of them together does not panic when a talk of balanced diet is generated. A good diet does not always mean a food that tastes best. There are many foods that do not taste great but contain a lot of nutrients. The following nutrients have the following advantages.

Vitamins and minerals are body’s need and provide strength against diseases.

Proteins helps in the repair and growth of cells and tissues.

Fats provide energy and keep the body warm.

Carbohydrates (sugars and starch) are a good source of energy.

Food Pyramid

A food pyramid is a graphical representation that gives a clear idea what a balanced diet should contain.

     a. Major part of your diet should contain breads and cereals.

     b. Eat more vegetables and fruits.

     c. Do not take too much meat. Keep its intake moderate.

     d. Fats, oils and sweets should have as minimum intake as possible.

     e. Take dairy products daily.

Good Relationships

Healthy Relationships are good for your health. A new study proves that a marital

relationship reduces stress and helps dealing with it. Hormone that is being released when a person is stressed is known as Cortisol. The amount of Cortisol in a person can used as a measure of how much stressed a person is. A Research proved that fewer stress hormones are produced in people who are in a relationship as compared their single counterparts.

Another studies proved that married persons suffer less from health problems specially heart diseases and usually have a longer life than singles. Efforts should be made to improve your relationship everyday because a good partner not only keeps you healthy but a source of happiness for you.

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How to release the happy hormones “Endorphins”

Endorphins or “Happy Hormones” are a group of peptide hormones released within the brain and nervous system and they affect the way you feel emotionally. Endorphins combat stress by increasing your body’s threshold for pain and lifts up your mood. Consequently, you feel yourself happy and less tense from inside.

There are certain activities that you can do to increase the level of Endorphins in your body. Some of them are listed below:-

    1. Smile

When you smile, even if it is a fake one, muscles of your face are stretched
and this muscular movement triggers the brain to release the “Happy Hormones” which makes you feel good and boosts up your mood. Your smile not only makes others happy but does a huge favor to release your own stress.

    2. Vigorous Exercise

Most of the athletes state that when push their bodies to the limit, they experience a state termed as “Runner’s High”. Endorphins are released and the person experiences a euphoric high. Not only you feel good but your heart will feel stronger even after a couple of hours.

3. Chocolates

Even a single bar of chocolate causes the release of
endorphins. Whenever you feel down, stop thinking about the weight and grab a chocolate to lift up your mood and body. This is one of the reasons that people often crave for chocolate in stress and associate happy feelings with it.

4. Spicy Food

When a spicy food is taken in, your mouth is on fire
and consequently brain releases endorphins to provide relief to it. The spicier the food is, the more endorphins will be produced.

5. Exposure To Sunshine

People often enjoy sunshine and feel good in it.
Perhaps they do not know it why? Sunlight also causes the brain to produce endorphins. Consequently, lifting up your mood.

6. Be Optimistic and Happy

Looking at the positive side of the situation keeps you happy. The more happy and relaxed you’ll feel, the more endorphins will be
released. There are many situations that we can simply tackle by using the weapon of positive thinking. Most of the times, sorrow and sadness are generated from negative thoughts. So do not let them creep in.

    7. Laugh And Cry

Research has proved that laughing for ten to fifteen
minutes also cause a sufficient amount of endorphins to release. Some people practice this just to uplift themselves. Try to cut jokes with your friends, polish your humor, always try to make people laugh and smile as much as you can. Studies have also shown that as soon as we start crying, brain releases these hormones to provide relief. Thanks to the lovely system of nature J

    8. Be Silly

Everyone’s normal and showing maturity but
sometimes beauty lies in being silly. Do silly acts like make a funny hairstyle, eat baby cereals, wear funny dresses etc. These silly activities will be a good change and make you feel happy by doing unusual stuff.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Top 5 ways to relax your mind

Your world is full of responsibilities and commitments that you have to carry on everyday. Loads of challenges you face everyday. Sometimes, you are able to achieve those and sometimes you lose. Your mind controls your body and these everyday burdens are continuously revolving in it. Consequently, you have the feeling of having a stressed and tired mind which hinders you from performing routine activities comfortably.

Your brain also needs your attention and care to work smoothly. In order to take ourselves out of this stress and tension, we need to move through few simple steps that can make our mind and soul relaxed in a couple of minutes. These five easy-to-follow steps are listed below

1. Strengthen your Connection with God

Just like we feed food to our body, our soul needs its food too and that comes with a strong
relationship with God. It relaxes our mind, body and soul. The more we pray, the more it strengthens our faith. We do believe that our part is to work hard, try and pray and God will solve our problems. This blind trust provides us a power that people with less faith do not possess. Consequently, people with strong belief on God are less prone to stress and anxiety. As “Try Try Again” is the rule of the world and in one of the Holy books God says “I am according to the belief of the person”. If he is in firm in this belief, God will help him for sure. Another tip is to take sometime each day and talk to God about all of problems, fears and ask him to help you. This way you feel that he is listening to you and it relaxes your soul and body too.

All of the Holy books and scriptures give us a lesson that whatever difficulties that a man faces are all from God’s side. He has created this world to take the test of man’s faith. The test is going on everyday in the form of good and bad things that we are facing. By putting a human into difficulty, God checks whether this person has still strong faith over me and seeks help from me. Those who are ungrateful to God through thick and thin, they are unable to clear this test and will be sent to hell. The ones who are still seeking help from God and they do trust that God will take them out of this trouble, they will be rewarded with heaven after death. This trust has no benefit to God but it basically helps the man not losing hope in trouble. So it’s all about your advantage.

2. Take a nap 

Taking proper sleep at night stabilizes your mind and body to perform at their best. Minimum sleep of 8 hours is enough to give you a fresh start in the morning. All of you must have heard the proverb

“Early to Bed and Early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and wise”

Not a big deal !!

When you feel too much occupied, take a nap for sometime. Sleep not only charges your body to regain energy but relaxes your mind too. It has been proven also that taking a nap charges your mind and body to complete your tasks very quickly. A tired and restless mind is just like a computer with slow processor that has a slow pace to finish his jobs and nobody wants to keep. 

3. Fresh air Exercise

Our routine activities have kept us so busy that today we are moving away from the natural lifestyle. Most of the times, we sit in offices or take rest at home but have no time for
exercise. Exercise not only controls weight but it also improves mood, boosts energy and combats health conditions and diseases.

Minimum 30 minutes daily exercise plays a vital role in relaxing our mind and body. Outdoor exercise is more beneficial than the indoor one but going out is not possible then shift to an indoor option. Exercise is not only necessary for fat persons but also for the lean ones. No matter you are fat or not, but you all have a mind that needs to be relaxed. J Following are the few exercises that lift up your mind in no time.

      a. 30 minutes walk

      b. Yoga

      c. Aerobics

      d. Breathing exercises

      e. Outdoor games like badminton, cricket, baseball or any other.

4. Tackle Negative Thoughts and Distract them 

Sometimes it is very important to distract your mind from where it is stuck currently.
Because we often find negative thoughts revolving in our mind regarding the people or situations we face everyday. Negative thinking can harm our lives on large scale and a vital cause of many physical diseases specifically heart diseases. Every time, a negative thought arrives, recognize it and throw it out of your mind. For some people, it is as simple but for others it becomes difficult at times. Best way to trash a negative thought is by keeping your mind busy in good and healthy activities. Some are listed below :-

      a. Sports 
      b. Hobbies 
      c. Reading/ Writing 
      d. call a friend who has good humour 
      e. help the needy 
      f. go to your pet and play 
      g. Start watching a good TV show

If they all don’t seem to work, then adopt  a “So what !! It is not a problem. I’ll tackle it.” You will notice the difference soon.

5. Forgive and Forget

How many times in a day it happens that we have to deal with those people who are
irritating everyone, being selfish and thinking and favoring their own selves. Forgiveness is a strong virtue that gives a way to free your self of the chronic anger that was generated by these self-centered people. Forgiveness is the most efficient and powerful exercise that I would like to recommend all of you. Although it apparently gives an idea that you’ve seen extra nice to those who hurt you like hell but on the long run, it benefits you more than the culprit. Psychology has proved that forgiveness says good-bye to your chronic anger and bitterness and is proved to be the best exercise for your own mental health. Following are the benefits of forgiving people

      a. Relaxes your own mind and body 
      b. Keeps your relationships good
      c. Increases tolerance 
      d. Negative thoughts departs

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoner was you”.—Unknown