Feed Your Soul

Habits to Cultivate Your Happiness - Tip #1

- Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Colder temperatures and shorter days with less sunshine have lots of us feeling down in the dumps but with some simple habits you’ll have a higher chance of giving yourself a happiness boost.

Happiness Habit #1

While it takes self-discipline, taking care of ourselves through regular exercise and a healthy diet (most of the time) are good habits that lead to long-term happiness. As the holidays approach and schedules become increasingly busy. Be sure to get enough sleep and be kind to yourself. Developing good boundaries and balance is key to cultivating happiness.

Healthy School Tips

- Friday, July 29, 2016

School’s getting ready to start. Here are four helpful tips to get you back into the routine.





Healthy School Tips

- Wednesday, July 27, 2016

School’s getting ready to start. Here are four helpful tips to get you back into the routine.





Bring Happiness to Loved Ones This Water a Flower Day

- Monday, May 30, 2016

        While most of us strongly suspected flowers bring happiness, now science has proven it. In a recent ten month study, a team of researchers explored the link between flowers and life satisfaction and found that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods.

Among all age groups in the study, flowers were found to have an immediate impact on happiness, with study participants expressing “true” or “excited” smiles upon receiving flowers. Some even expressed gratitude and delight.

Flowers were also found to have positive long-term effects on moods. After receiving flowers, study participants demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction and reported feeling less anxious, agitated and depressed.

In addition, flowers were found to make intimate connections, with an increase in contact with family in friends when flowers were present.

It’s safe to say flowers have a positive impact. Celebrate Water a Flower Day by doing just that—watering the flowers, maybe even picking some, arranging them in a vase and taking them to a loved one. You’ll share happiness and make their day.

Healthy Cooking Tips for Senior Health and Fitness Day

- Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Fighting high blood pressure and high cholesterol is a constant battle. Here are some cooking tips to help.

1.       Cook veggies quickly by steaming of stir-frying them to preserve the nutrients and colors.
If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, use herbs, vinegar, tomatoes, onions and fat-free or low-fat sauces and salad dressings for flavoring foods.

2.       Make the most of your cooking time and freezer space by making preparing enough for several other meals. Freeze your leftovers so when it comes time for the next meal and you’re too tired to cook, all you have to do is microwave some leftovers.

3.       Cool, refreshing and healthy, what’s not to love about smoothies? Freeze bananas, berries, kiwi, and oranges, and when you’re ready throw your fruit, fat-free or low-fat yogurt into a blender and you’ll have a yummy shake with 4-5 servings of fruit in one glass.

4.       Avoid prepared seasonings which often have high salt content, increasing your risk for high blood pressure, and opt for salt with herbs, spices and salt-free seasoning mixes. Lemon juice, hot chilies and citrus zest are great alternatives to add flavors to foods. 

5.       Go for “low-sodium” canned or frozen veggies, comparing nutrition labels and opting for the one with less sodium. Rinsing veggies under cold water reduces the level of sodium.

6.       Three ripe, well-mashed bananas are a fantastic, healthy substitution for ½ cup of butter, lard, shortening or oil. Consider substituting well-mashed bananas or 1 cup of applesauce per one cup of these fats when it comes to baking muffins and quick breads.

7.       For better nutritional values, use whole-wheat flour, oatmeal or whole cornmeal instead of all-purpose flour.

8.       Another healthy substitute when it comes to baking is plain fat-free, low-fat or fat-free yogurt as well as low-fat sour cream.

9.     If you like reduced-fat (2%) milk but want to decrease the amount of fat and calories in your recipes, try fat-free half-and-half or evaporated skim milk. 

Music's Health Benefits

- Monday, May 23, 2016

“The thing about music is, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” –Bob Marley

Scientific research shows that music not only helps us cope with pain, but it also benefits our physical and mental health in lots of ways. Here are some ways that listening to your favorite tunes can ramp up your health.

1.       Music can reduce the perceived intensity of pain for patients in geriatric care, intensive care, or palliative medicine. When you listen to your favorite music, you relax and pain is eased.

2.       Music also increases your workout endurance. When you listen to your top workout tracks you’ll see a boost in physical performance and increased endurance during a tough exercise session. In part this is because of the power of distraction. When we're focused on a favorite album, running an extra mile doesn’t seem so bad.

3.       Music benefited post workout recovery as well. Research showed that listening to music after a workout helped the body recover faster. Slow music produced a greater relaxation effect post-exercise, but also showed that any kind of music helps with the physical recovery process.

4.       Sleep quality improved, especially listening to classical music when it came to insomnia in college students.

5.       Playing soft music and dimming the lights during a meal helps you eat less in one sitting. When you slow down you’re more mindful of fullness cues from your body.

6.       Music also helped to enhance blood vessel function. Study participants felt happier listening to music which resulted in increased blood flow in their blood vessels.

7.       Stress was also reduced with music relieving stress by triggering biochemical stress reducers.

8.       Listening to music was also shown to relieve symptoms of depression, with music picking a person up. Classical and meditative sounds were uplifting while heavy metal and techno music made depressive symptoms worse.

9.       A 2013 study showed that music not only elevated mood but it also helped people get more in touch with their emotions.

Pool Safety this Summer

- Saturday, May 21, 2016

                Today is Learn to Swim Day and the perfect opportunity to go over pool safety with the kids before the swim season starts. Even if you and your kids already know how to swim, the following rules will ensure everyone’s safety.

·         Children should always have an adult watching when they are in the pool. Be sure kids know to never go in a pool if there is no adult around and to call an adult if there is an emergency.

·         Gates are around pools to keep people safe. Make sure kids know to never go through any pool gates when they are closed. Stay safe and stay out!

·         The buddy system applies to swimming in the pool too. Swim with a buddy.

·         Wet concrete and walkways around pools are slick and extremely dangerous. Be sure your kids know to walk slowly in the pool area and not run.

·         Swim at a safe depth. For beginning swimmers it’s best to stay in the shallow end.

·         No pushing or jumping on others. You or someone else could get hurt.

·         Inner tubes, air mattresses, or beach balls are fun and can help you while you learn to swim, but they can't save a life.

·         There’s a reason why there’s no eating or drinking in the pool — you could choke.

Drawing Day, It's Therapy

- Monday, May 16, 2016

Drawing is a great way to relax, help you appreciate and focus on the good, and face some unpleasant aspects of life with the goal of overcoming them. Here are nine art therapy exercises that can help.

1.       Make a scribble drawing, turning a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, color and your creativity.

2.       Draw with your eyes closed. When you can’t see what you are drawing fluidity, intuition, touch and sensitivity intensify.

3.       Draw something BIG. When your body gets involved and moving around it can help release emotion as you're drawing.

4.       Create a freedom drawing. The Surrealists freed themselves from artistic conventions and everyday thinking by embracing automatic drawing as way to incorporate randomness and the subconscious into their art.

5.       Draw yourself as a warrior while thinking about yourself as a strong, capable person.

6.       Draw a mirror. This activity is based on Piet Mondrian’s quote: "The purer the artist's mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it." This exercise involves getting back to a truer reflection of yourself in the mirror while letting what is your not true reflection die.

7.       Draw yourself as a superhero. The themes in the superhero stories resonate with us. With the dilemmas and problems superheroes face, we aspire to their heroic acts and noble impulses.

8.       Draw a place where you feel safe. This is a good exercise for finding your safe place for healing from trauma.

9.       Draw what scares you. We’re all frightened of something and in this project you'll get a chance to bring that fear to light and work towards facing it.

The Healthy Wine Nelly and Drake Prefer

- Monday, May 09, 2016

                Popular among hip-hop artists like Nelly and Drake, Moscato wine now has its own day. This Moscato Day enjoy a glass of this sweet white wine that originates from the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. Known to be a dessert wine, Moscato has a lower alcohol content than other white wines out in the market today, making it a healthy choice for moderate consumption.

For Moscato lovers, anytime is a good time for a glass, not just with their dessert. Complement Moscato white, red and pink (rosé) wines with cheeses such as Camembert and Pecorino Romano, or a spicy paella. Moscato is the perfect refresher on a hot summer day.

Get Outside, Your Body Will Thank You

- Monday, May 02, 2016

                As parents, many of us encourage our kids to play outside, while we stay indoors most of the time. The truth is we can all benefit from time spent outdoors. Here are some of the health benefits to doing so:

Vitamin D. The sun is a great source for Vitamin D, supplying us with an essential hormone to maintaining a healthy immune system. Studies have shown that getting enough Vitamin D from natural sources (sunlight) prevents diabetes, auto immune disorders, multiple sclerosis, and heart disease.

When you spend more time outside your eye health also improves. Lots of us spend hours in front of computer screens developing Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS). With CVS you’re at risk of blurred vision, double vision, dry/red eyes, irritated eyes, headaches, and back and neck pain. Spending more time outdoors allows your eyes an opportunity to focus on objects that are more than two feet away from your face and helps to prevent or even reverse these symptoms.

Another benefit to spending more time outdoors is improved sleep. When you spend too much time indoors, and away from natural light, you risk disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm. Spending more time outdoors and in natural light can recalibrate your sleep cycle.

While out door pollution is bad for your health, indoor pollution is far worse and can lead to health risks like heart disease, lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and asthma attacks. Walks and hiking not only help you get the dose of fresh air your body needs, it’s also a way to get some exercise and a change in scenery.

Finally, time spent outdoors has a positive impact on our mental health. Research shows that spending time in nature improves attention spans, boosts serotonin, and increases activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, love, and emotional stability.

When you’re feeling down, spend more time outdoors.


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