5 Family Survival Skills for the Holidays

Surviving holidaysWelcome to the holidays!

Eager parents greet you at the door with their unedited worries.
Disinterested siblings wave from across the room.
And you silently slip back into your childhood role in the family.

Does anyone recognize you have changed?
Are you hiding your present self to appease the family?

In any case, welcome back to what you have been avoiding all year.
Should you just grin and bear it – counting down until your airplane ticket becomes valid?

Well, how about figuring out a strategy before you get there?

  1. Calm down and keep breathing! If you get triggered, step back and calm down with some slow breathing. Exhale slowly and make a “shhh” sound to relax your muscles and release tension. This also slows down your heart rate and blood pressure.
  2. Practice radical acceptance! Get rid of your fantasy that a challenging family member is finally going to be different this time. Accept that they are who they are and that can impact you for the moment, but this visit won’t last forever.
  3. Let go of needing to be right! For the brief visit, let the other person be right. Attempt to understand where they are coming from without having to agree with them. If you are able to acknowledge their position without jumping in to refute it, they may lower their need to be defensive, become less challenging and feel understood.
  4. Put yourself at the top of the list! Take care of yourself. Make sure you get enough sleep, and eat enough food. A tired and cranky you will do nothing to make it a great day. And if you need to escape for some “me” time, then do it!
  5. Don’t let them get to you! Your family is well aware of how to push your buttons, but if you refuse to play, they can’t continue the negative cycle without you. Those who try to engage negatively are, oddly enough, looking for a way to connect. Engage them in a task or activity where they can lead the way and be the center of attention in a healthy manner.

As the holidays get closer, these skills can help you, in the short term, get through a family visit without flipping your lid.

Is there deeper work to do here?
Yes.

Is it too overwhelming to take on?
No.

It’s possible to undo these subconscious knots that have tied you to your past through the process of Theta Healing – a meditation that allows you to access your subconscious mind and change damaging beliefs and painful emotions so the heavy work gets lighter.
Want to experience Theta Healing?

Join me for the FREE “Surviving the Holidays with Your Family 5 Day Challenge,” where Theta Healing can help you heal the top 5 triggers that drive you crazy when you visit your family for the holidays.

Click here to learn more and sign up!

Five Ways to Maintain Your Weight Loss

weight lossWe all know that losing weight can be a difficult struggle; however, sometimes the hardest part comes after you’ve finally reached your goal—maintaining it. Anyone who has lost a significant amount of weight will tell you that they fear the after effects of regaining everything you’ve lost…and then some more – which can lead to a long road of yo-yo dieting.

Most people being their weight loss journey thinking only of the end goal – reaching those specific numbers on the scale and measurement tape. Because of this, many forget to plan for what comes after they’ve reached their goal. The problem comes down to this, how you chose to lose your weight directly correlates to how you have to maintain it. If you’ve opted for a trendy diet or fad diet pills, well, you’re more than likely going to end up regaining because you chose an option that isn’t long-term compatible, and didn’t plan for the maintenance phase.

But don’t fear! Even if you lost your weight through an unconventional method, it’s not too late to implement a plan to help you maintain it. According to an article written by Coach Christina for BioTrust, these are the top five ways to keep the weight off for good.

1. Be Committed to the Lifestyle

If you changed your lifestyle by adopting healthy behaviors, you need to view them as long-term habits. If you didn’t change your lifestyle, then now is the time to do it! Either way, eating healthier, nutritious, non-processed foods is the best way to ensure that scale stays right where you want it!

2. Know What Your Triggers Are

This involves taking a good look at the internal factors that led to your weight gain. Do you eat when you’re bored, stressed, sad, or lonely? What kind of food do you turn to in those moments? Knowing the reasons behind your behavior can help you prevent them from recurring. Feeling stressed or sad? Go for a run or head to the gym – exercise can release endorphins that will help boost your mood. Don’t just identify the triggers, but figure options in advance that can help you to prevent overeating.

3. Track Your Weight and Measurements Regularly

Keeping regular tabs on your weight and measurements can be the first indication that you may need to make adjustments to your regimen. By not waiting until your clothes are no longer fitting properly, you can catch any problems before they get too out of hand. Also, it can also help you maintain confidence in yourself and therefore focused on maintaining your lifestyle. It’s easy to get off track once you hit your goal, and like most of us there is always that one person telling you how great you look and that it won’t hurt if you reward yourself with treats. Rewards every now and then are fine, but it’s easy to get carried away. Keeping track of your weight can help you avoid those pitfalls.

4. Stay Active!

Exercise helped you reach your goal, so why stop now? Not only does it keep you healthy and fit, it can also keep you from going back to your old habits! Whether you’re going to the gym, hitting the bike, or running the track, staying active is necessary to maintain your goals and lifestyle.

5. Write Down What You Eat

The easiest way to slip up and start regaining weight is by losing track of your eating habits. Calories add up and even if you compensate by eating fewer meals, the amount of calories and carbs could still equal or even exceed your daily recommended amount. By keeping a food journal, you can monitor what you’re eating and ensuring that you aren’t slipping back into bad habits.

Remember, your weight-loss journey doesn’t end just because you reached your perfect jean size. Regular maintenance is necessary to your lifestyle if you want to make sure you don’t slip right back down to where you started. These tips will help serve as a daily reminder that you have to continue to work if you want to maintain your success!

6 Snacks You Can Eat While Still Burning Fat!

healthy snacksSometimes the hardest part of changing your diet isn’t adjusting your meals, but trying to find something healthy to eat in-between them. It’s no secret that starving yourself isn’t the greatest way to lose weight, actually, the most effective way is to eat smaller-portioned meals and snacks throughout the day to ensure your body has enough energy to keep you active all day—while also keeping your metabolism up as well.

So, why is it so hard to find something to snack on? Well, for one there’s the portability factor. It’s not always convenient to bring something that you have to sit down to eat or have prepared in advance—sometimes we just need something quick that we can eat with one hand.

The other thing that makes it hard is taste. We’re so used to the taste of our favorite junk food that we often find it difficult to give them up. The best way to change this habit is to find a healthier option in your favorite taste palate. Crave something sweet? Try opting for fresh fruits. Do you prefer salty? Go for the nuts instead of the chips. Often, it’s simply a matter of doing what works best for you.

Below are six options to get you snacking healthier while helping to burn fat in the process!

 

  1. Yogurt mixed with berries, walnuts or pecans, and cottage cheese
  2. Apples or your favorite fruit with almond butter
  3. Avocado slices wrapped in nitrate-free deli turkey breast 
  4. Fresh-sliced pineapples with a handful of macadamia nuts
  5. Blueberries mixed with raw almonds for a trail mix style snack
  6. Carrot sticks or sliced red/yellow/orange peppers with guacamole

 

The great thing about the snacks listed above is that they can be easy to prepare in advance, so you can just grab them and go. Also, most local grocery and health stores already carry healthy, pre-prepped snacks in convenient on-the-go packages—making it easier to avoid opting for the unhealthy versions. And always keep your favorite fruits and vegetables on hand for unexpected hunger attacks.

Remember, being healthy and eating right is a matter of choice. Every day we each have to make the choice to do what’s best for our body and our heath. Hopefully these tips can make that decision easier for you while you’re on the go!

For more healthy snack ideas, click here.

4 Steps to Eating Clean!

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Everyday there seems to be a new diet trend or health word. In the midst of all of the daily changes it’s hard to keep up; that’s why we often find ourselves looking for the tried and true—what’s consistent. Clean eating is a phrase that’s been around for a while, but there often seem to a variety of definitions for it.

So, what’s does it really mean? It’s pretty much sticking to a diet of organic, non-processed, natural foods. Clean foods are typically the type of foods that don’t need labels or have a list of ingredients. Below are four ways you can begin your journey to eating clean.

 

  1. Go for the organic foods –  Organic foods are basically foods that have not been processed. You can find them in your local farmer’s market. Health food store, or even at your local grocery store.

 

  1. Drink lots of clean water – You can’t get any healthier than staying hydrated with lots of water. Bottled water is okay, just be sure to check for any special additives. You can also use a filter to clean your own water as well.

 

  1. Look for fruits and vegetables – Try to include at least one serving of each of each every day. If you have a green thumb and a little extra yard space you can even try growing a few of your own. For those of you in smaller spaces, you can find hanging vegetable plants to place near your windows. But be sure to check for those that are organic, the closer you can get to getting them straight off the farm, the better.

 

  1. Get rid of the unhealthy fats This includes soybean, canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, and sunflower oils, which are commonly found in processed/packaged foods. Try opting for more healthier fats such as raw nuts and seeds, avocados, and extra-virgin olive oil.

 

The most important aspect to remember about clean eating is that is isn’t just about what you eat; it’s also about how you eat. It’s a lifestyle change that requires being vigilant about what you choose to put in your body.  Change takes time and determination, and the beginning of a journey begins with a single step, and you already have four.

For more information about more clean foods, visit this article on BioTrust.

6 Superfoods That You Need To Start Eating Immediately!

Superfoods

A proper diet is one of the most important contributing factors to overall good health. While you may not always be able to eat properly every day, there are certain superfoods that you can add to what you’re already eating which can provide an abundance of nutrients.

  1. Spirulina – This nutrient superfood is essential for high-quality protein, providing all the essential amino acids; iron, magnesium, potassium, and B12; as well as tons of vitamins and minerals and potent levels of antioxidants.
  2. Blueberries – These are one of the most nutrient-dense foods there are. They provide phytonutrients, are rich in vitamins and antioxidants, give you soluble fiber and are low in sugar and calories than many other fruits, so they help support healthy carbohydrate metabolism and glycemic control.
  3. Cinnamon – This old-world spice provides up to 41 different protective antioxidants, and has been known to have positive effects on digestion. Like blueberries, cinnamon can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It is also good for digestion, immune function, cognitive function, and carbohydrate metabolism.
  4. Beans – One of the most undervalued superfoods, they are known for providing slow-digesting carbs, and being a good source of protein. Beans can help keep you feeling full, support glycemic control, and may help maintain weight control—as well as a healthy heart.
  5. Avocados – Are nutrient-dense—high in fiber, and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as well as healthy monounsaturated fats. They have more potassium than bananas and contain nutrients known for supporting eye health and vision, cognitive function, and heart health. Avocados also help promote weight loss by reducing hunger and increasing the feeling of fullness.
  6. Whey Protein – Whey protein has an exceptional nutrient density and health benefits, including enhanced muscle recovery, strength, and hypertrophy; appetite control and weight management; immune support; heart health; and even healthy aging.

One of the best things about the foods on this list is they’re easy to find in most grocery stores, and are easy to add to the meals you already cook on a daily basis. If these aren’t enough, you can also include kale, broccoli, salmon, apples and tomatoes. Your local grocery store is packed with nutrient dense foods! The benefits they provide are certain to boost your health and keep your figure in shape.

For more information about these and other superfoods, visit this article by Sue Mosebar

Fitness Friday Blog: Top 5 Low-Carb, High-Fat Foods

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One of the best ways to lose weight, particularly belly fat, is a low-carbohydrate diet. There are many versions of low-carb diets, two of the most popular ones are Atkins and ketogenic, or keto for short. Low-carb diets consist of meals that are high-fat, adequate-protein, and low-carbohydrate—both sugar and starch carbs are extremely limited, which forces your body to switch from burning sugars for energy to burning fat instead; this process is called ketosis.

For many people, a low-carb diet can be extremely effective in losing weight quickly. However, it can lack diversity if you depend too heavily on red meat as your main source of substance. Below is a list of five great protein-rich alternatives to help diversify your diet while making sure you don’t go over-board—which can keep you from getting into or staying in ketosis.

Fatty Fish
On a low-carb diet you’ll do well to keep in mind that fish is one of your best go-to options when it comes to ensuring you’re maintain a healthy amount of fats. It doesn’t hurt that you’ll also be getting a ton of other health benefits too, such as heart, eye, skin, and brain health, improved immune and metabolic function, and healthy inflammatory response.

Coconut Oil
When you think about a low-carb diet, coconut oil isn’t the first thing to pop into your mind. But considering 70% of the fat found in coconut oil is a very special type called medium chain triglycerides, it should be. MCTs are easily absorbed, metabolized, burned for energy, and aren’t easily stored as fat—which is why they help to suppress appetite, boost metabolism, lower body weight, and reduce belly fat.

Eggs
Eggs are well-known as one of the healthiest foods you can eat; easily making it one of the best low-carb foods on your diet, especially since they have practically zero carbs.
They are healthy fats and a good source of high-quality protein, and provide nutrients that boost brain health and cognitive function, eye health and vision, and heart health. Eggs are your keto diet’s best friend!

Butter, Ghee, Heavy Cream, Sour Cream, and Full-Fat Cheese
Most people are still under the impression that saturated fats are bad for you, but it’s since been accepted that saturated fat is not associated with heart-related issues., but you should still be careful not to go overboard, as with any food.
Studies are also beginning to show that full-fat dairy is related to less belly fat and better blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and glycemic control. Far better than what was previously believed. Be sure to opt for the organic, pasture-raised cow brands, which will give you healthier fats than the conventional varieties.

Avocados
Add some flavor to your diet with this keto-perfect food. They provide about 80% of calories from fat, ensuring that you aren’t going too far over in your protein intake.
Avocados also provide a good amount of fiber and are a nutrient-dense food with upwards of 20 essential nutrients, including potassium. Half of an avocado 25% of the recommended intake for active people.

The key to an effective low-carb/keto weight-loss diet is, ironically, fats! While protein is important, it’s good to keep in mind that too much can stall your body’s ketosis and leave you right back where you started—balance is the crucial factor. For more tips on the best keto foods and why, read this article by Biotrust’s Tim Skwiat .

Five Sugars You Should Avoid On Food Labels

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Reading food labels can often seem a bit tedious and time consuming, especially when there are often words that you need a dictionary just to pronounce. However, it’s something that—if you don’t already do—you need to start doing immediately. The most important words you need to look for end with these three letters: OSE. Here are the words and reasons why you should be avoiding them at all costs, according to BioTrust’s Joel Marion.

 

  1. High fructose corn syrup – this is the most dangerous of the bad sugars and an ingredient that should be at the top of your list to avoid
  1. Fructose – is a fruit sugar in which too much intake has been linked to causing insulin resistance, obesity, elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  1. Maltose – is a malt sugar that is produced when glucose is caramelized
  1. Glucose – is a type of sugar that comes from carbohydrates, while it is used by the body for energy, it can be bad in excessive amounts and can lead to high blood glucose levels
  1. Sucrose – is simply known as table sugar or just sugar

 

Keep in mind that the closer these words are to the top of the ingredient list, the more you need to avoid that food, as it is likely packed full of sugar and unfit for a healthy diet. Research has shown that these sugars are often the leading cause of obesity and diabetes.

For more tips on what sugars to avoid and why, click here.

How to Get Through a Rough Patch: Coping with a Dark Night of the Soul

Everybody goes through a rough patch. And sometimes that’s an understatement. Welcome to the Dark Night of the Soul. This is a time of great transition when you have lost your current identity but have yet to create your new one. You could be going through a divorce, a loved one passed away, you lost your job or just feel like you’re stuck and don’t know how to free yourself.

In any case, this is the time when good advice is essential. Dr. Michael Beckwith, a leader in the New Thought Movement, author and founder of the Agape Church in Los Angeles, has some of the best advice I’ve heard on the subject.

He says, when you’re losing your identification and you don’t know who you’re becoming yet, ask this question:

If this experience were to last forever, what qualities would have to emerge for you to have peace of mind?

As you know, what you focus on increases in size and strength. By answering this question you now become aware of the actual qualities that will get you through this dark night rather than keep you stuck in your suffering.

There is a reason for everything we experience in our lives. We may never be privy to all of the wisdom that would keep us away from life’s challenging times, but at least we can rest assured that when they come our way, we can move through them with integrity, resilience and hope. Thank you, Dr. Beckwith.

~Karen Abrams

 

This post was originally posted on GodSelf University

Fitness Friday Blog – Four Foods to Help Boost Your Memory

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As we age, it’s inevitable that we will experience some amount of memory loss. What’s important to understand is that there are ways to help keep it from happening earlier than it could. Taking care of yourself and watching what you eat can benefit your memory and help prevent early memory loss.

Danette May’s article states 4 foods that you can add to your diet to give your brain a boost—and check out her recipe as well!

This is Your Brain on Eggs

Eggs contain a healthy amount of choline, which is important for brain development and memory. Studies have shown that eating eggs can help enhance your memory, providing lifelong benefits—particularly in men, pregnant and lactating women.

Swim with the Salmon

Salmon has a high dose of omega-3 fatty acids and is the perfect choice for brain boosting power. You can even get the acid in pill form for added benefits.

Studies have shown that eating fish can provide 14% more grey matter volume in the area of the brain that’s responsible for cognition.

Eat up!

Blueberries to Keep Away the Blues

As if berries don’t already have enough health benefits, there’s one more reason to keep eating them. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect your brain and body from free radical damage and may help boost cognitive function.

Whether you like to drink them in smoothies or add them to your salads, they can help improve your overall health from memory improvement to possibly even preventing depression.

Crack a few Walnuts

Like salmon, walnuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and can help to improve learning and memory. They also contain healthy fat and even provide protein to those of you who are following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, they also taste great in chocolate bars!

Fitness Friday: Boosting Metabolism

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It’s often noted that with age comes wisdom, what’s not said is that it is also accompanied by the slowing down of your metabolism. Why is this important to note? Because the older we get, the harder it becomes to maintain the energy we had in our more youthful years. Metabolism plays an important role in this because it is the chemical process that helps our body’s ability to burn calories for fuel—and our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Maintaining a healthy weight is what gives us the capability to fight against certain illness and diseases—particularly those that come with aging. Proper nutrition is the key to ensuring that your metabolism doesn’t decrease; however, there are also other important factors that can help improve your body’s metabolism rate. According to an article written by Sue Mosebar for BioTrust, these are the top five changes you can start making today to kick your metabolism into optimum drive.

Strength Training
Weight lifting and resistance training is one of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism, while gaining muscle, toning your body, and increasing your daily energy. For women, strength training can be intimidating at first, but don’t be afraid to stat light—and if you want, stay light. The results will inevitably speak for themselves. Muscle mass is proven to help burn more calories—even during the time when you’re not actively training.

Move More
Between the hours spent working at a computer and relaxing at home, it’s easy to neglect how much time we actually spend sitting. Being sedentary is one of the key factors in unwanted and unhealthy weight gain as it aids in the slowing down of your metabolism. Try alternating between sitting and standing at your desk while you work. Use the stairs whenever possible, and go for short walks during the day—either during lunch or in the evening after dinner. Implementing more activity into your day, even in small short periods, can do wonders for your metabolism.

Interval Training
High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT is a combination of high and low impact cardio performed in short alternating intervals, such as running at top speed followed by a slow walk. You can do this either at the gym or at home. By doing 15 to 20 minutes of intervals you can boost your metabolism and burn calories while still feeling energetic.

Stay Thirsty, Friends
Coffee and tea can help stimulate metabolism by up to 11%, depending on which drink you choose, tea is about 4%–and can last an entire day. But water remains the most important metabolism-boosting drink, as it can increase your metabolic rate by 30% within 10 minutes. Water will also help keep you full and help to avoid unnecessary calories.

Curb the Calories
Cutting calories doesn’t always mean eating less; often, it means eating healthier, nutrient-balanced meals. What you really need to understand is that it is important that your food intake match your level of activity. Not eating enough food will slow your metabolic rate to adjust for the lowered calories, and will stop your weight-loss progress; while also causing you to lose muscle. The key is to make sure you’re eating enough to meet your caloric needs, but not too much to exceed them.

Always keep in mind that just because your metabolism is prone to decline as you age, you have the ability to reverse it with a little extra effort and a few daily changes. In fact, you may even find that by working to improve your metabolism can also help improve your entire lifestyle. And remember, your body, mind, and spirit are all connected—cultivating the health of your body will lead to cultivating the health of your mind and spirit as well.