Health and Fitness

Watch: How to Make a Quick and Delicious Green Smoothie

Have heard about the health benefits of juicing and fresh smoothies, but don't know where to start? Have you tried a bottle from your local grocery store, and want to recreate those recipes at home for half of the cost?

In this video, Drea Beauty walks us through her green smoothie recipe that is packed with fiber from spinach, protein from bananas, and other essential nutrients from the rest of the ingredients- all while tasting great. We even tried it!

(Scroll below for the full recipe)

Green Spinach Smoothie Recipe

- 3 to 5 cups of Spinach (freeze for a thicker smoothie)

- 1/2 Banana

- 1 cup of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

- 1-2 scoops of Orgain Organic Chocolate Fudge Protein Powder

- Powdered Peanut Butter to taste

- Ground Cinnamon to taste

The Hippocratic Oath for the Everyday Person

The Hippocratic Oath is the oath taken by doctors to do no intentional harm to those that they treat. It’s a simple concept, but why reserve it for doctors?

 

Kindness has an immense power to make us feel better about ourselves and lead happier lives. Being on the receiving end of kindness also has its obvious benefits. But kindness takes effort and forethought. Because of this, it’s taken a back seat to other forms of instant gratification like scrolling through social media, taking selfies, and talking negatively about people. These things feel rewarding in the moment, but in the long run, they offer us no tangible benefit. It’s time for a change. We need to be kind to each other again.

Source:  Ritesh Agarwal

As humans, we’re born into kindness in the form of nurturing. Whether this is done by one’s mother, a caretaker, a labor and delivery nurse, or some other positive figure in one’s life, we all learn to grow and function under the kind eye of a nurturing person. We’re the only mammals who aren’t born self-reliant creatures. We need others. This never changes. We never stop needing others, whether we care to admit that or not. 

 

So, if kindness is literally programmed into our DNA, why is it so difficult for us to make a regular habit of?

 

I blame the internet.

 

The internet makes it easy to be unkind because there’s always a veil between you and the person you’re harming. You are causing harm, they just aren’t aware of it. Many people don’t consider the mean things they say to be harmful because the person isn’t aware of it. But they don’t need to be. The act of saying it or thinking it is enough to cause negativity to multiply within yourself. That’s a toxicity that prevents you from growing and meeting your potential for happiness in your own life. Is it worth it? The instant gratification of saying something negative about somebody else to make yourself feel good isn’t worth it in the long-run. But foregoing that instant gratification is what makes kindness so difficult for us.

 

In order to become a kind person, it takes practice. Negativity and cruelty are like any other negative habits. They have to be broken and replaced with positive habits. You have to be able to put your ego and cheap thrills aside and find your own motivation for being more positive. Once you do this, it’s smooth sailing.

Source:  Jojo Nicdao

Source: Jojo Nicdao

When we’re kind by habit, we gain more benefits than just the obvious increase in happiness and positivity. We improve our physical health, as well. It’s true! When we’re kind, we’re less stressed and the body releases less of the stress hormone cortisol. This keeps our heart healthier and helps to slow down the aging process. It also helps us improve our relationships and connections with others. When we’re negative and cruel, the people that overhear us or are in the conversation with us will take that personally. Even if they’re laughing along with you, the subconscious will raise red flags and they won’t be able to trust you as much. After all, if somebody sees what you talk about when somebody isn’t there, they’re going to wonder if you do the same to them when they aren’t there. Plus, it’s said that “your vibe attracts your tribe”. If you’re happy and kind, it stands to reason that you’ll befriend other people along that same wavelength. Happiness begets happiness. There’s more for everybody!

 

When you’re trying to practice kindness more in your own life, it helps to remember the “golden rule”. Remember the one that you probably heard a million and a half times in grade school? The golden rule states that you should only treat others how you’d like to be treated. When you’re learning to be kind, it helps to ask yourself how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end of your statement or action. Doing this will give you a perspective about your behavior and will help you to see what’s right and wrong when you understand how your actions and statements affect people. This is how you learn to take the Hippocratic Oath in your own life. You do no harm. You shall not cause any sadness or pain to others intentionally.

 

From there, you can keep moving forward with kindness. There’s never too much kindness in the world. Try incorporating small acts of kindness into your day every day. Give somebody a compliment, pay for somebody’s coffee in line behind you, catch up with an old friend, offer to help somebody carry their groceries to their car. Whatever you do, spreading kindness in the world will never be a mistake. Your body and mind will thank you for it.

 

Image source: Flickr

It's Never Too Early to Start Eating Healthy

"I’m in my mid-twenties, and I’m untouchable." Or… that’s what some of us tend to think.

Recently, I had a doctor’s appointment. I like to think I’m pretty healthy. I track what I eat and keep under a calorie amount, I work out four times a week, and I live a pretty positive lifestyle. So, imagine my surprise when I learn that my blood pressure has jumped up in the past few years.

Eat less salt, lose some weight, and add more vegetables into your diet.

That’s what I was told. I hardly feel like I’m old enough to be considered an adult, and here I am worrying about blood pressure. It really woke me up. Eating healthy isn’t just important for the elder demographics. It’s important for me, and it’s important for you.

There are a million and one reasons why it’s important that humans of all ages eat healthy. Food pyramids aren’t a joke, and neither were Michelle Obama’s initiatives to get America healthy. But despite the clear reasons for why we should, and the innumerable resources for how we should, many of us still opt not to eat healthy.

Eating healthy isn’t convenient. I know this. But your heart doesn’t care what’s convenient, and it’s time we all took a page out of the ol’ science book. If you throw convenience out the window and focus on the benefits of what spending a little time in the kitchen with a grocery bag full of healthy whole foods, I think you’ll start to agree with your heart.

Source:  Flickr

Source: Flickr

Other than… well… health, what are the benefits of having a healthy diet? Here are a few benefits to healthy eating that you might find endearing if you’re anything like me:

You’ll be more productive.

The cheap gas at the pump is tempting, but we all know that the higher-octane fuel is higher performance and better for the car, right? Think of food the same way. Though fruits and vegetables often aren’t expensive, we put them aside in favor of more tasty and fun foods like fruit snacks and chocolate chip cookies. However, when we put the “high octane” foods into our bodies, they run more efficiently. Easy in, easy out. Studies show that an unhealthy diet can cause you to lose up to 66% of your productivity. Ouch.

You’ll spend less money.

The idea that eating healthy is an expensive endeavor is a myth. Produce is some of the cheapest food you can get at the grocery store, and it’s the perfect fuel for our bodies. Sure, most healthy diets also include meat, which is the most expensive, but meat is ideally consumed in moderation. Get your protein needs from plant sources like legumes, beans, and soy, and stock up on produce and healthy grains, and then add in some meat (or vitamin b12 supplements if you’re vegan/vegetarian), and you can eat three square meals a day on a budget. Plus, your life insurance will cost less. So that’s… a benefit. I guess. Does anybody have life insurance in their 20s? Hm.

You’ll feel better.

It’s almost like our food helps regulate our hormones. Crazy, right? Sarcasm aside, eating right keeps your mood regulated and helps you stay more upbeat. This is because when we eat right, we keep our blood sugar down and our vitamins and minerals up. This lessens our risk of depression and increases our feelings of well-being, our focus, and keeps our stress levels down by keeping the stress hormone cortisol at bay. Phew.

Though healthy eating does help with mood, it is not a substitute for antidepressants. Please consult with your doctor about your medication before ever stopping it yourself.

Okay. We’ve scratched the surface of why we all should eat healthy and have a well-rounded diet. There are tons of other reasons why healthy eating is vital to our lives, not the least of which is… our lives. Healthy diets keep us alive longer and make our lives better along the way. So, make those changes in your life and adopt healthier habits around your eating. Some changes you might want to consider include:

  • Limiting sweets and processed foods to take up only 20% of your diet (at most).

  • Adding more servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

  • Eating a variety of colors of produce. Color corresponds to different vitamins and minerals, so a variety will make sure you cover your bases.

  • Drinking lots of water instead of other drinks.

  • Knowing how many calories you should be eating a day and be mindful not to exceed that number.

The effort to make the changes will pay off exponentially. Now, go treat yourself to some lettuce and go wild!

Watch: Day One Beginner's Guide to a Yoga Exercise

Have you been wanting to try yoga, but don't have a yoga studio nearby, don't wan't to go as a complete novice, or can't fit going to a group meeting into your busy schedule? Luckily Yoga with Adriene over at YouTube has made the perfect video to get you started!

In this half-hour walk through, Adriene teaches you step-by-step how to get into a yoga routine. She starts by showing you how to center yourself, then expands into a full exercise that is approachable- but will also get you to be more familiar with the basics of yoga, so that when you do go to a class, you'll fit right in!

The benefits of yoga are well documented and range from increased brain function & reduced stress, to stronger bones & lower risk of heart disease. It is also a low impact, low intensity exercise which means that you don't have to adopt the regiment of a body builder to start experiencing the benefits of it!

If you're a beginner and want to try yoga, this is a perfect video to start with, because you'll be introduced to the basics and you can build from there!

How to Incorporate Fitness Into Your Daily Life

Living a healthy and active life is particularly important, yet not many people are able to spend time training or working out. Many of us are stuck at work, often performing sedentary tasks that involve sitting on a chair and staring at a screen for many hours a day. Others might feel like they are too old or out of shape to start practicing fitness regularly. Regardless of your particular situation, there are many things you can do to incorporate fitness into your daily life and start noticing massive improvements.

Source:  Dave Rosenblum

Make time! 

Are you concerned that you can't spend too much time to dedicate to your wellness? If that’s the case, make some time! Waking up earlier than usual is a great way to gain some time without detracting any from your day-to-day activity. Simply set your alarm one hour earlier and use the time to do some exercises, go for an energizing morning run or have yourself a nutritious breakfast!

 

The gym is not the only way.

Source:  Adam Bautz

Source: Adam Bautz

Practicing fitness does not necessarily mean that you have to head over to the gym. There are many things you can do to stay physically active at home, at the office or elsewhere. Walking is a perfect example: it provides a lot of significant health benefits, such as improving blood circulation and preventing heart disease, and it is accessible to people of all walks of life - from youngsters to seniors!

 

In addition to walking and running around your block, there are a wide variety of fitness activities that you could practice without the need of going to the gym. Even 10-15 minutes of yoga a day could go a long way! If you are lucky enough to own a swim spa or a hot tub, you could also use it to stay active by practicing water-based exercises, such as stretches or aqua gym. The possibilities are endless!

 

Image source: Flickr

6 Simple Recipes That are Easy to Make and Taste Great

Now that February is here, are you still trying to eat healthy into the New Year? 

Whether it's berry smoothie bowls, sweet potato fries, grilled vegetable skewers, baked ratatouille, tomato pesto salmon, or shrimp asparagus stir fry - this step by step walkthrough video made by Tasty breaks down how easy it can be to keep up with your healthy eating goals!

Because a lot of healthy recipes can be made out of whole ingredients, it doesn't have to take a long time or be difficult to prepare a meal that tastes great and is great for you!

Source

Watch: Positivity and the Power of Choice

In this TEDx speech on the power of positivity, Samantha Rea breaks down how you can incorporate positive thinking into your daily life.

She begins be acknowledging that there are problems in the world, that it would be impossible to ignore them, and that it is unreasonable to think that simple positivity can solve every problem. Her argument, however, is that positive thinking can be an essential stepping stone to real world action, and lays the groundwork for people to begin to tackle problems.

By keeping a belief that things can and will get better when things seem hopeless, you immediately help yourself to start changing things. When you look for positive things, and choose to have a good day (as described in the video), you begin to focus on the good things in life and not the negatives- which leads to an increased quality of life.

Source

Living a Positive Life: What are the Health Benefits?

Being kind, polite and positive are often some of the most sought-after qualities for anyone. However, living an uplifting light with a radiant attitude is not solely a way to make people like you. A positive outlook on life could indeed enhance your health and help you live longer and better. Can positivity really improve your health? Read on to find out more.

 

Improve your physical health.

 

Being kind and positive often means that you are less prone to getting stressed. As you might know, stress could lower the quality of your life in many ways, causing a variety of physical and mental illnesses. Studies have linked stress to depression and anxiety, as well as to heart disease and high blood pressure. A happier life can help you prevent such problems.

Source:  Evan Blaser

Source: Evan Blaser

Improve your mental health.

 

Being kind and positive often means to be psychologically grounded. In other words, by living life with a positive attitude, you might be able to fight depression, stress, anxiety and other issues that might affect your emotional and mental health. 

 

In conclusion:

 

Living life with a kind and positive attitude can certainly help you with a wide variety of perks and benefits!

 

Image source: Flickr