All posts filed under “Happiness

hnational-eating-healthy-day
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National eating healthy day!

Today is National Eating Healthy Day! The goal of today is to try and eat healthy. However, that does not necessarily mean eating vegetables and fruits all day. A new movement in the nutrition world is a concept called intuitive eating. Intuitive eating is being aware of what your body is telling you.

There is a campaign called Healthy at Every Size (HAES).  This campaign utilizes intuitive eating to help promote a better body image and a better mindset. One problem that many people in the United States struggle with is overeating. Intuitive eating is an approach to help combat this. By being more in tune with your body, your mind and body will find a harmonized approach to food.  The HAES movement is aimed to help support everyone from every size to race. The social, behavioral and biological factors that make you who you are, all influence your quality of life, this includes your eating habits.

Becoming more aware of when you eat, how often you eat and how full you are from one food item can help lead you down a different road to a relationship with food. You don’t have to change who you are and your eating habits, you simply become more conscious of the food that you are eating. This will allow your mind and body to fall into a better rhythm, which consequently can help change you eating habits further down the road.

Here are some steps on how to start the process and where to go next:

  • First step to eating healthy is to become more aware of when you are eating and how full you are.
  • Second step is allowing this process to take time and finding peace with food.
  • Third step is to be able to respect when you are full. No shame in not finishing everything on your plate! Use a smaller plate, bowl or container and to help you feel and think you are full.
  • Fourth step is to respect your body. Your body is your personal temple and you are the only one who knows how to keep it at peace. Listen to your body when it tries and tells you things!
  • Finally, the last step is once you feel that you have a good grasp on intuitive eating, try become more aware of when you are moving. Exercise can help maintain a better metabolism as well as make you feel more awake. This will help you to have a better feeling of when to eat as well as when you are hungry and full. It also can eliminate extra food and drinks you digest to keep you awake.
  • Important note: stop thinking about going on a diet! Everyone has their one treat that they can’t stay away from and you shouldn’t have to. Dieting can be hard on your body and mind which throws them out of sync completely. You don’t need to go on a diet to start or enhance your eating healthy habits.

Below is more information on HAES and intuitive eating:

Intuitive Eating

HAES

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Garry Knight

pumpkins
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Happy Healthy Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and candy has been flying off the shelves for weeks now. However, even though candy is a huge part of Halloween these days, we have some tips on how to create a healthier Halloween for you and your family.

Planning on hosting a Halloween party? Try integrating fruits and veggies into your snack list. People can’t resist eating something that is creative and cute. Use a sharpie and draw faces on clementines’ to make yourself some little Jack o lanterns.  Take some pretzel sticks and place them into half a cheese stick. Then pull some of the cheese stick apart at the ends and now you have tiny broomsticks! Dip some strawberries in white chocolate and use tiny chocolate chips to create a face. Now you have ghosts for dessert! There are such easy and creative tricks to have some healthier snacks at your party. See some more creations that will bring a smile to both adults and kids faces here.

Trick or treaters do not just have to walk away with a bag full of candy. Nowadays there are several kids that have severe food allergies so not only will these ideas be food allergy safe but they will also be a healthy alternative to all the other candy they will be getting.

Here are some ideas of non-food items that could make a great alternative to candy on Halloween:

  • Sunglasses with animal print on them
  • Disguises/glasses
  • Bubbles
  • Glow in the dark bracelets
  • Bouncy balls
  • Temporary tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Mini containers of play-dough
  • Fake teeth
  • Check out more ideas here

Make it a challenge to provide at least one healthy option for you trick or treaters this Halloween. Even if the kids may not love it over candy, their parents will sure thank you for it later!

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Thad Zajdowicz

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Bring your dog to work day, week or indefinitely

Who could possibly have a bad day when a dog is sitting by your desk? Recent studies have shown that bringing your dog to work has lowered stress levels of both dog owner and non-dog owner employees. Not only does the dog’s presence in the workplace cause a sense of calm but it also increases the likelihood of employees taking their breaks. Employee breaks will tend to be more active as they will need to walk their dog allowing the employee to go outside and get some fresh air. This helps employee’s stay away from less healthy habits they might indulge in on their break such as smoking, remaining sedentary or eating even if they aren’t hungry. Not only will it increase the physical activity for dog owners but it will also increase the physical activity of non-dog owners at work. Who could resist denying an animal some attention?

Having dogs in the workplace does not only benefit the employee but it also benefits the employer. Allowing dogs in the workplace has become a huge factor and incentive when deciding to interview for a job or take a job. This service attracts a younger population which consequently,  makes the company more compelling and even more competitive . Having dogs in the workplace also creates a better sense of morale and bonding between employees and upper level management. These benefits create a more comfortable and responsive work environment which will allow employees to be more productive. Thus, the employer can show that they provide a healthy and enjoyable work environment.   Replacement LTD is an example of a company who has successfully integrated having dogs in their workplace. They have allowed dogs in the workplace for over 15 years and the majority of their employees have worked for the company for over 10 years! Did you know that Moda Health’s location in Milwaukie, OR also allows dogs in their workplace?

People might be asking what about employees with allergies? Even though that is a serious factor to consider, the service can be modified. Maybe dogs can be in the workplace on certain days of the week, once a month or quarter. This could allow employees to still be able to receive the healthy benefits from this service as well as being mindful of the other health situations.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Mike Spasoff

Summer Jog
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Exercise triggers brain cell growth and improves memory

Recent studies by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) shed new light on a link between exercise and memory. By exercising regularly, you can increase your ability to retain learned and new information. Scientists examined the muscles during exercise to determine which proteins are released. The studies revealed that a protein called cathepsin B is released during aerobic exercise. The protein travels to the brain after being released. Cathepsin B triggers new brain cell growth, scientists believe this is key in the link between memory and exercise.

Researchers discovered an increase in the protein cathepsin B when examining mice who regularly ran on exercise wheels. The mice who exercised produced greater amounts of the protein than the mice that did not exercise. Further, mice that released cathepsin B displayed better results in memory tests than the mice that did not.

Dr. Henriette van Praag, a neuroscientist at the NIA states, “Overall, the message is that a consistently healthy lifestyle pays off.” In humans, the release of cathepsin B is also triggered by exercise. This means that simply increasing physical activity can aid in an individual’s ability to perform better on complex tasks and memory retention.

To read the full article click here

caption-arrow  Feature photo by  andreviebig