Guest blog: Reach Your Better Self: A Self-Improvement Guide for 2018


By Jennifer Scott

CaptureDon’t fall into the trap of thinking that the better version of yourself is unattainable, out of reach, or a fantasy. You can improve yourself and reach your potential. It is not impossible or far-fetched. Begin by caring for yourself and achieving balance in various aspects of your life.
According to Psychology Today, a concept known as self-love is important to living well. It affects the way you see the world and how you cope with the world’s challenges. The state of loving oneself involves engaging in actions that support physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Caring for oneself is vital when setting and achieving personal and professional goals.

Physical Health

Exercise
Find a kind of exercise or sport that appeals to your personality, lifestyle, and schedule. Look into a variety of options and stay open to new opportunities:
Gym membership. Join a traditional gym and commit to a certain schedule per week. This is a great way to begin if you haven’t exercised in some time because you can go at your own pace.

Try a new sport. Find out if your local recreation center has adult sports teams you can join. Joining a team sport can not only provide some fun social interaction in a new setting, but it helps people commit to schedule.

Try out a class. There are many schools and academies in your area that offer free classes to try out their programs. Sign up for a free dance class, martial arts lesson, or yoga session. Trying it out beforehand will give you a taste of what to expect.

LiveScience recommends starting off slow and gradually working your way up. Make sure to be honest about your current fitness level to avoid injury, and set goals for yourself to stay motivated.

Loving yourself also means staying away from behavior and substances that harm you. Exercise has recently emerged as a great companion to addiction recovery. The National Institute of Health cites that aerobic exercise can help people that abuse illicit drugs. Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain which produce a “high” feeling and help in restoring a balance in the brain. It aids in promoting feelings of positivity, improved mood, and better sleep.

Change Your Fuel

Diet is key. Many people often cite a lack of time as an impediment to eating better. However, establishing good eating habits and avoiding fast food doesn’t have to be that difficult. All it takes is a little organization and a nutritional plan:

  • Meal planning: Take one day a week for bulk cooking, and freeze portions that you can eat throughout the week. Make sure your meals are well balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
  • Plan trips to the store: Do not shop while hungry. Plan your grocery trips, follow the list based on your meal plans, and do not buy junk food or sugary stuff.
  • Eat anti-inflammatory foods: Inflammation is a generator of pain, infections, injuries, and bad moods. Eat a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids to ward off inflammation and stay away from refined carbohydrates like french fries.

Follow Your Passions

The source of many people’s unhappiness often stems from a sense of unfulfillment. People give up on their passions for a variety of reasons. Generally people who pursue their hobbies and passions are happier and more productive. So don’t be afraid to pursue the hobby that keeps you happy and engaged.

Little Acts of Self-Love

A big part of caring for yourself is to spoil yourself when you achieve a goal or are successful in a particular area of your life. Treat yourself to a massage, visit a spa, or update your wardrobe. Small little acts of kindness toward yourself keep you motivated by providing positive reinforcement that keeps you disciplined and focused.
The best version of you is waiting to be be unleashed. Write down your goals and commit to them on paper. As you cross things off your list, you’ll find yourself feeling empowered and confident to take anything on. This year, reach your better self through a little self-care, discipline, and consistency.
Photo Credit: Pixabay

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Guest Blog: Craving Nutrition: Eating for Change During Pregnancy


I have been contacted by a sweet lady from Healthline. Healthline is a very informative and user friendly website where you can learn more about medical information and trusted health advice. Here is a very informative and fun article to read written by Leslie Vandever related to the topic of Pregnancy, specifically Cravinggssss 🙂 Enjoy


Craving Nutrition: Eating for Change During Pregnancy

By Leslie Vandever

If you’re pregnant and crave certain foods—the famous pickles and ice cream, for instance, or salty corn chips dipped in cottage cheese, or frequent chocolate fixes, or even tasty helpings of steak fat—don’t feel alone. Food cravings during pregnancy are well-known and go with that rapidly rounding belly like cookies go with milk.

Scientists can’t tell us why, exactly. But at least some cravings may originate in the body’s need for specific nutrients. Pica—a craving to eat things that aren’t food, like clay, or coal—seems to come from a need for more iron in the diet. Women who crave ice cream or cottage cheese may just need more calcium. Chocolate is high in magnesium, so a woman whose body is lacking enough of that mineral may make a beeline for the candy machine. Or maybe her blood sugar level is low, so sweets sound good to her.

Or maybe she just loves chocolate.

Because a pregnant woman’s hormone levels fluctuate hugely, there may be an emotional side to cravings, as well. That urgent need for peaches and corn flakes may really be a subconscious need for emotional support, like a warm hug or a listening, empathetic ear.

The thing to remember is that there’s nothing wrong with craving specific foods during pregnancy. It’s an entirely normal phenomenon. Cravings have been noted—and commented upon with everything from humor to earnest seriousness—for hundreds of years. They occur in all cultures all over the world (though the foods that are the subjects of the cravings may differ).

The best way to deal with cravings is to eat a healthy, balanced, varied, and nutritious diet. By paying close attention to what and how you eat, you’ll be able to supply your body with everything it needs to keep both you and your growing infant healthy and strong. You may not have cravings as often.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Pregnancy is the one time in your life when your eating habits directly affect another person.”

By eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas, low-fat dairy foods, beans, nuts, and legumes, and lean proteins like chicken and, in limited quantities, fish, you’ll give your new baby her best possible start in life. At the same time, you’ll be healthier than ever, gaining only as much weight as necessary.

Your body goes through ginormous change during pregnancy. You gain weight so your body can nurture and grow your baby; your breasts swell and fill with life-giving milk; your uterus stretches to accommodate an infant that will, by the time she’s born, weigh between six and 10 pounds (on average). Your blood volume will also have increased by as much as 60 percent.

For all this necessary and positive change to take place—and to keep you and the baby healthy in the process—you must get the right nutrients in the right quantities. During the second and third trimesters you need to eat an extra 300 healthy calories a day. In addition, some doctors and midwives prescribe or suggest extra vitamins and iron supplements, or recommend that you eat certain foods, like spinach, liver, and citrus fruits.

Keep your food cravings in context and under control. Feeding an occasional yen for butter brickle ice cream won’t hurt you or your baby, but eating a bowl of it every day will cause problems. If nothing else, you’ll gain more weight than you really should, which can be hard to lose after the baby is born.

And, you could try replacing that sugary, fattening ice cream with yogurt topped with fruit and granola, or something else along those lines that’s much more nutritious. Swap carrots for potato chips, or dried apricots for toaster pastries. You get the idea.

You can also curb cravings by getting plenty of sleep and exercise, and by drinking 8 measuring cups of water each day. Distract yourself with a phone conversation, a good TV show, or a good book instead of indulging the craving. Talk with your doctor. Be wise. Cravings are just that: cravings. You don’t have to satisfy them.

 

NewWren

 

Leslie Vandever is a professional journalist and freelance writer with more than 25 years of experience. She craved cottage cheese and corn chips when she was pregnant with her daughter 32 years ago, so she knows that of which she writes. Vandever lives in the foothills of Northern California.

 

 
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Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure


After having covered general juice recipes such as: Green Juice Recipes, Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes, Detox Juice Recipes, Juice Recipes for Ailments, and Juice Recipes for Pregnancy, I think it is time to start posting juice recipes for specific ailments.

Here are some juice recipes that may help you combat high blood pressure

Celery is one of the most important vegetables we have to use daily. Celery provides a natural way to lower blood pressure. Drink celery juice as much as you can… If you cannot tolerate its bitter taste mix it with a bit of orange juice (which would also give you a vitamin C kick.) Read more here.

Beat High Blood Pressure with Beet. A recent research study discovered that drinking just 500 ml of beetroot juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure. Read more here.

Lemon juice with water is such a refreshing and quenching drink, especially in the hot summer days. Adding Lemon juice to your water will help alkalize your system and is also shown to lower blood pressure… even if it does nothing, why not change the taste of your water from time to time 🙂

Juice 1/4 cantaloupe and blend in a banana and enjoy the yummy effect… both ingredients have potassium which will help reduce high blood pressure.

Green juice is mainly beneficial to all ailments and will definitely improve your overall health and stamina.
All of these vegetable juices make the blood more alkaline and can help remove cholesterol deposits on arteries that lead to the heart. Read more here.

Last but not least, the quatro super juice ingredients Kale, Celery, Carrot and Beet. Juice the ultimate ingredients and you’ll not only combat blood pressure but you’ll conquer all aliments and regain your full health and vigor.

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Juice Recipes for Pregnancy


The importance of juicing has been highlighted many times in my previous posts; Green Juice Recipes, Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes, Detox Juice Recipes and Juice Recipes for Aliments.

Juicing for pregnant women is even more important. The instant rush of nutrients in your system will help you and your baby stay nourished and feeling clean…

Here are a few juice recipes I personally am trying through my journey in pregnancy and are really doing wonders to my overall health.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Pregnant women require a lot of vitamins and nutrients to support their growing baby… this juice recipe contains a plethora of nutritious elements… Oranges are well known for their high concentration of vitamin C, but the citrus fruit also contains many other vitamins and nutrients. Oranges also contain vitamin A, many of the B vitamins, and vitamin E, making them a regular part of a healthy and balanced diet (read more). Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium. Spinach and Asparagus are extremely rich in antioxidants and are also a good source of vitamin A and C as well as being rich in folate and fiber.

Most pregnant women suffer from nausea and vomiting throughout their first trimester… try the apple, celery and a bit of ginger juice and you’ll automatically feel better.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One extra annoyance during pregnancy is constipation. The release of pregnancy hormones relax the bowel and alter the digestive system while prenatal vitamins further contribute to constipation and bloating. Try the two recipes above. My personal recommendation is to eat a big bowl or two of salad daily… it will help you overcome this bloated feeling and keep you regulated throughout your pregnancy.

Folates are crucial for pregnancy especially in the beginning. I had this juice when I was in my first few weeks of pregnancy. I blended a banana with the juice mixture and it turned out to be an excellent recipe.

Bottom line… pregnant or not, you can utilize the above recipes to improve your vitamin intake and overall nutritional health.

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Also see my other juice recipe posts:

– Having a Baby… Juice Juice Juice 

– Juice Recipes for Weight Loss 

– Juice Recipes to Lower High Blood Pressure

– Juice Recipes for Ailments

– Detox Juice Recipes

– Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes

– Green Juice Recipes

Juice Recipes for Ailments


Having covered “Green Juice Recipes“, “Jay Kordich – Juice Recipes” and “Detox Juice Recipes” it is time to suggest a few recipes that will treat illnesses…

Rather than taking the usual route of popping pills when you start feeling sick, try these recipes that will not only target your symptoms but cleanse every single cell in your body making you not only recover but become a healthier, cleaner, and a more balanced you…

Start from the inside out…

Cherry juice helps stop migraine headaches, improves the way you sleep and prevents premature aging. (drink 4 cups a day- not a professional recommendation).

(drink 4 cups a day- not a professional recommendation).

Drink first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Fresh lemon juice purifies the blood by removing metabolic waste and by changing blood pH from acid to alkaline. (from: knowyourgut)

Another recipe is to soak 1 cup of prunes in 3 cups of water overnight. In the morning, drink 8 oz of the prune water on an empty stomach. (from: knowyourgut)

Carrots, orange and lemon are great sources of natural form of vitamin C. Garlic is well known as nature’s antibiotic. (from: knowyourgut)

If there is any condition you’d like a juice recipe for let me know…

Rasha Nasser Khalil

Detox Juice Recipes


Why not help your body remove some of the many toxins in your system?

Even if you consider yourself a very healthy person -eating right and exercising- you too have toxins swimming around in your system that you know not of…

Try the following recipes and you will feel the difference…. Your skin will be clearer than ever… your digestive system will be happy and your whole body will be thanking you…

Enjoy!

Rasha Nasser Khalil