Mind

Why Happiness is Important to Your Health

When we think of ways to improve our health, we think of eating healthier foods, moving our bodies and exercising more, getting enough more sleep, drinking enough water, etc. Often times, the thing that is most often overlooked when it comes to our overall health is our mindset and happiness. A healthy, happy, positive mindset is just as important to our well-being as a healthy body.  The level of happiness and the way we feel mentally and emotionally has a huge impact on our physical health. 

Daily healthy eating and stress relieving workouts can certainly make a person feel happier and less. But it’s important we recognize that a daily practice of positive mindset habits are just as critical to our overall health and well-being.

It’s easy to say we need to focus on the positive and overcome negative thoughts when they appear.  For some of us that can be challenging.

Having good days and bad days is normal and natural. However, for those people who feel unhappy more often than not, or for those people who tend to have more of a negative mindset, here are a few powerful tips to get and stay happy.

1. Smile!

Have you ever heard the expression: “Let your smile be your umbrella?” Make a point of smiling more – at people you love, coworkers, and strangers as they pass you by. Even if you aren’t feeling happy, studies show that just intentionally smiling can put you in a better mood.

2. Notice the Good

It’s a natural human tendency to look for what’s wrong. Our primitive brains were wired for survival. If we detect what’s wrong early (dust cloud in the sky, a snake hiding in the grass) we increased our chances of surviving. We need to make a deliberate effort to work opposite of our primal programming, and really notice the good. Breeze blowing, birds singing, a smile from your kid or spouse, the fact that you can wake up and make choices!  When you really start noticing the good in your life most likely far outweighs the challenges!

3. Gratitude

What are you most grateful for? Gratitude raises our energetic vibration and puts us in a better frame of mind. Whenever you feel down, practice thankfulness. If you’re going through a difficult time, a regular prayer of appreciating for lessons learned and wisdom gained is tremendously healing and empowering. Focus on appreciation and you will begin to feel your mindset shift and feel tremendously uplifted.

4. Service

There is a saying that goes, “When you get nervous, focus on service.” There is a powerful shift that happens when we focus our energy on how we can serve. Whether it’s serving those less fortunate or engaging in an important cause, like helping teachers get funding, helping in a cause bigger than ourselves is emotionally and psychologically healing. When we help others and lift them up, it often brings more joy and contentment to our hearts than being consumed with ourselves and our own problems. The next time you are feeling down, do something nice for someone; even a stranger – this is a great way to feel happier. Giving is truly the greatest gift!

So get out into the world, smile more, make a difference in someone else’s life and remember everything you’re grateful for!  You deserve happiness!

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Trying to Lose Weight Before Summer? Try These Science-Backed Weight Loss Tips

Losing weight can be one of the most difficult challenges you encounter in your life because it’s both mentally and physically challenging.

Science shows that when your body begins to lose a large amount of weight, that your body actually fights to keep the weight on. Don’t let that discourage you though. It is possible to lose weight and keep it off long term or permanently . . . you just need to know how!

Here are 6 tips to help you keep that stubborn weight off:

  • Stop focusing on calories-focus on quality. A 120 calorie donut will cause insulin to spike to handle to rush of too much sugar in the body at once. Insulin is a hormone that causes your body to store fat. 120 calorie chicken breast has almost no glycemic impact meaning no sugar/insulin spike. It’s made of high quality highly absorbable amino acids which will absorb slowly and steadily into your body, keeping you satiated and building more lean muscle. Lean muscle in turn keeps you more fit. You burn more calories per pound of muscle than you do per pound of fat.

  • Avoid soda and sugary drinks completely. You don’t need them for hydration. They’re simply empty calories leading to more tummy fat. Flavored sparkling water with stevia drops is a great substitute.

  • Have fun discovering wholesome, delicious, healthy foods and recipes. Nutrient dense foods will satisfy your hunger and truly feed your cells. Fresh vegetables and plant based foods can be prepared hundreds of delicious healthy ways. Clean lean meats and fish can be broiled, poached, and simmered with healthy salsas or oils to truly satisfy your hunger and feed your cells.  Mix fresh crunchy veggies with a handful of nuts for a long lasting low sugar snack that stays with you for hours. When you allow yourself to get too hungry, it erodes your willpower and you will find yourself eating foods that aren’t good for you, that aid in weight gain, sabotaging the best version of you!

  • Commit to making lifelong changes! See yourself becoming a different person for the long term. Imaging each day that you’re not trying to lose weight—but that you’ve become a person who lives a consciously fit, slim, healthy life. Mindset change is the first step to successfully making permanent changes in your health and fitness!

  • Analyze your goal weight: Were you a size 2 in high school and 20 years later you’re trying to get back to that size? Be reasonable and honest with yourself. Make it your goal to achieve better health and a healthy weight – not an unrealistic ideal weight that you may never reach, leaving yourself feeling frustrated and defeated.

  • Keep your weight loss simple: Make small, easy to manage changes and if you don’t want to go to the gym for 3 hours a day . . . don’t! Do things that will fit into your everyday routine. Increase your walking steps by taking the stairs, take brisk walks during your lunch breaks, and find ways to move your body throughout the day that increase your metabolism and fat burning all day long.

Try some of these simple, easy, tips to lose weight. Do you have some fun tips you would like to share? Head on over to Facebook and share your weight loss secrets and tips with us!

Have a great Skinny Life day!

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Waking Up and Making Your Day Positive!

Mornings are the most important part of the day because what you do in the a.m. will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s the foundation on which the day is built and every morning is a new opportunity for a new you!

If you’re not a morning person, create some morning rituals that gives your day purpose. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Wake up with a sense of gratitude:

Start the day appreciating your life, your health, your family, and with love in your heart and mind. When you practice acts of gratitude in the morning by expressing thankfulness directly to the people you care about, that positivity carries you throughout your day. This will leave you feeling happier!

Read something positive:

Many people end their day reading inspiring books – mix it up and start your day this way! Either way, you will have a ritual to start your day with positive thoughts and self-improvement to grow your insight into the world around you! It will start your day on a positive note with positive ideas to carry you through your day’s journey.

Create an effective morning routine:

Happy, healthy people know morning routines are important.  A routine will help you focus and build momentum for your day! You will feel more relaxed and feel like your day is off to a balanced start. A morning routine doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, the more simple, the better.

Start your day with a healthy, balanced breakfast:

If you feed yourself garbage right when you wake up, how can you expect to have a happy, healthy day?  You are what you eat.  So do not eat processed food, fast food, or anything that leaves you feeling bloated and full. Choose wholesome, fresh, healthy foods. When you fuel your body properly first thing in the morning, it will result in health and wellness.

I hope you found these tips helpful in creating your morning routine! I would love to hear what you do for a positive morning ritual!

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Shift Your Mindset for Permanent Weight Loss!

I discovered through my experience coaching people for weight loss, that the weight loss journey for people is universally similar.  Most approached their latest weight loss program feeling like this would be the magic bullet to lose weight and keep it off. Many lost the weight and kept it off for 3, 6, 12 month, or longer, but then found the weight slowly creeping back on. The first and most important part of the Skinny Life philosophy is that there is no magic bullet to achieve permanent weight loss.

For long-term weight loss to really work, you are going to have to change your mindset.

Most people trying to lose weight do so by focusing on their trouble areas, the weight on the scale, and quick results . . . without taking the time to get to the heart of the issue; what’s going on in the mind. Are you happy?  Do you take time for your self care?  Do you prioritize your health and fitness?  You can’t permanently change your weight on the outside without realizing the correct inner resolve and intention. You need to change the patterns of behavior in your mindset so that you don’t have to fight against yourself when trying to lose weight.

Clean healthy eating and exercise, can make weight loss a challenging process for many.  It takes tremendous self- awareness and self-moderation. Most people find that just setting a goal to lose weight and exercise is not enough.  They fall short of their goals so they end up discouraged and disappointed, often becoming more out of control with themselves than when they started.  This is where you must go back to changing your mindset to achieve long-term success.

Personal change also is required if you want to lose weight long-term. Personal changes means changing your habits that led you to weight gain in the first place. It means changing all of your well established thought and behavioral patterns that prevent us from creating new patterns, eating healthy, and sticking to a new program. The Skinny Life Total Living program offers the daily support through daily emailed tips, videos, and most importantly self-hypnosis audios that help you change mind-set patterns at a very deep level to achieve permanent results.

If you would like to have me as your virtual guide for an entire year to transform your health, permanently, go HERE.

The Skinny Life audios in the Total Living Program, are listened to in a closed eye state using guided visualization which reinforces personal changes every time you listen as you continue to use them. The new mind-set pathways become more entrenched the more you listen. Successfully losing weight requires commitment and that commitment must be reinforced with repetition.

Adherence to these personal changes are essential for changing your mindset and they both begin with positive thoughts and self-talk. It’s one of the simplest techniques you can use that can begin right now!  Ever hear that little voice in the back of your mind saying “You can’t do it”, “I’ll fail”, “I’m too fat”, “I hate the way I look” . . . overcoming these negative thoughts is an essential ingredient in weight loss and diet motivation. So change your negative thinking with positive thinking tips:

  • Be gentle, loving, and kind to yourself.
  • Talk to yourself the same way you would talk to a loved one.
  • Remind yourself that you deserve to be happy, look good, and feel the results of a healthy body.
  • Start your day with positive affirmations such as “I will love and respect my body today” and “I deserve a healthy mind and body.”
  • Overcome an aversion to exercise. Some people don’t even like the word so our favorite Skinny Life term is Movement. Find activities that you enjoy doing so you look forward to moving your body! Love to dance? Sign up for dance classes. Enjoy being outdoors? Start walking or running so you can enjoy nature. When you are doing things you like doing, your mind won’t find you on performing the activity.

Talking positively to yourself will help your actions flow more naturally and align your mind with the changes you are making to your body.

Remember, losing weight isn’t something you just go and do.

Learning to live as a slim, fit, healthy, active person is someone you become.

Change your mindset first and that will change your weight.

To Your Greatest Health and Fitness!

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Stop Procrastinating for a Healthier You

Every day we have choices we make, whether conscious or unconscious.

Sometimes the most impactful choices we make, for better or worse, are the ones in which we choose to do nothing at all.

Many health problems we deal with in our lives, whether they be from unhealthy diets, lack of exercise, start with simple procrastination,

Most of us put off the hard things or things we don’t want to do until tomorrow, then tomorrow never comes because we grow accustomed to the idea that things should be easier than they are.

Today, any progress is made by yesterday’s efforts – no matter how big or small. The way we make continuous, positive, healthy changes, comes down to creating new habits and practicing self-discipline and taking action in the moment, even when it feels challenging.

We can choose to live a healthy lifestyle or we can choose to live a sedentary one.  When we wait or make excuses to get up and move, we essentially making a choice to embrace sedentary habits that are truly destructive to our health.

Your body and mind both need to be exercised to gain strength, flexibility, and balance. They both need to be worked consistently to grow, become healthier, and stronger over time. But the secret to creating a healthier lifestyle is to stop procrastinating and have a “do now” mindset.

You can accomplish many great things today, that don’t need to wait until tomorrow.  Getting started requires doing the smallest things.  Jump up and do 25 squats. Run up and down the stairs three times.  When you take positive action in these small ways you are plantings those seeds of discipline, exercise, and healthy eating that will continue to take root and blossom. What you plant today will harvest tomorrow.

Changing habits and learning to do things today that you typically put off is going to be challenging When you’re struggling to make progress, try not to overthink things..  That’s why Nike’s “Just do it” slogan is truly brilliant.  Making a deliberate decision to love yourself enough to make your health a priority can empower you in a way that builds strength and conviction you’ve never had before.

It’s not realistic to think you can change your entire lifestyle and eating habits all at once.  But if you take small but significant steps – one at a time, every day suddenly you realize you’ve become a new version of you. Push yourself out of your comfort zone and decide on one thing you need to improve on. Do you have a soda habit? Tell yourself you can have one a week, then over time, cut that to every other week, then monthly, and so on.  You will find that eventually, you don’t even crave it anymore.  Do you need to move your body more? Start with moderate or light exercise. Maybe you will walk around the block this week, then next week you will walk 2 blocks. Every small positive change will add up to significant changes.

I challenge you each day to take action in the moment before you talk yourself out of it. Over time you’ll be looking in the mirror at a whole new you!

 

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A Positive View Of Life Is Good for Your Health

Your outlook on your life – having a sense of optimism and purpose can make you healthier.

Do you focus on the good things in your life, upcoming events, and things that make you smile? Do you have a sense of purpose? If so, you may already have done a lot of positive things for your health.

Here are some quick tips on having a positive outlook:

Focus on what is important. Life experiences teach us what is important and what we shouldn’t focus on. As we get older, we become better at deciding what issues that demand our attention from those that may just be trivial or unimportant. The next time you worry about something you can’t control, it may help to view the situation through the perspective of your entire life’s experience.

Keep a sense of purpose. View your life and every day that you wake up as an opportunity to live your best you! You can learn a new hobby, start a new exercise routine, learn to cook, or begin volunteering. Do things that cause you to learn and expand your horizons.

Practice mindfulness. Start focusing on the moment and accepting your thoughts and feelings without judging yourself. When you learn to accept that you aren’t perfect (none of us are), and accept that there will be difficult days and easy days, your mind and your body will both benefit from the unnecessary stress.

Love yourself. If there is one person you will be with your entire life, it’s you. You are a continuous work in progress and you need to be easy on yourself. In the same breath, you need to push yourself to learn more, do more, and live more. Everything is about balance.

What are some of the things you do to maintain a healthy outlook on life? Please comment below.

 

 

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New Year, New You

Are you excited for a new year and new you?

New Years resolutions don’t have to be about losing weight.|

You can also incorporate other healthy resolutions into your 2018 plans.  Researchers have found that people who deliberately balance all areas of their lives also have better health!

Of course, if losing weight is important to your health, you should incorporate weight loss goals into your 2018 plan of action. But make sure you round out your physical fitness goals with some life-balancing commitments that will make you feel more wholeness and happiness.

Here is a list of healthy resolutions for you to vow to do this year.

  • Prioritize sleep. If you have trouble sleeping seven to eight hours, look into non-drug therapies. There are fabulous mind-rebooting technologies, like NuCalm that can help train your brain for better sleep.
  • Reduce your sugar intake. Cut back on sodas and high sugar fruit juices. Start reading labels and if you see the ingredient “high fructcose corn syrup” try to find an alternative product. Eat whole fruits and fruit smoothies with the entire fruit to get the benefit of the sugar balancing fibers.
  • Go on a trip. Planning a vacation increases happiness and who doesn’t want to adventure around a new city, sandy white beach, or explore a new destination? Exploring the world also can help you appreciate what you have at home!
  • Read more. Give your brain some mental exercise and escape into a good book. It’s another great way to explore the world without leaving home.
  • Give up soda and diet soda. Yes, your diet soda may have “zero calories” however, the ingredients in diet sodas can hurt your health and they don’t aid in losing weight. Opt for sparkling water with flavored stevia. Try root beer flavored stevia!
  • Practice gratitude. Find things throughout your day that you are grateful for. When you appreciate the things you have and the things around you, it will improve your mental well-being.
  • Volunteer and donate your time to people in need. Not only does it feel good to be kind and help others, it also benefits receiver by putting your own problems into perspective.
  • Forgive someone. Holding onto anger and resentment is poison to your soul. Life’s too short to live in the past. Move on. Everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness.
  • Wear sunscreen. Your skin will thank you as you age.
  • Love yourself. If there is one person who is guaranteed to be in your life from your date of birth to the end . . . it is you. Learn to forgive, love, and be yourself.

I hope these resolutions will help you in 2018!

To your healthiest year yet!

Have a Skinny Life year!

Crystal

How to Relieve Stress

Feeling stressed?

Relaxation techniques are an incredible way to help reduce and manage stress. Relaxation isn’t just about peace of mind, breathing everything out, doing yoga, and just letting it go. Relaxation is a process that decreases the effects of stress on your mind and body. Relaxation techniques can help you cope with everyday stress and with stress related to various health problems, such as cancer and pain.

When faced with a busy work schedule, trying to maintain work/life balance, chores, and just life in general, practicing relaxation techniques can reduce stress symptoms by:

  • Slowing your heart rate
  • Easing stress leavels
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Slowing your breathing rate
  • Increasing energy levels
  • Reducing activity of stress hormones
  • Increasing blood flow to major muscles
  • Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain
  • Improving concentration and mood
  • Lowering fatigue
  • Reducing anger and frustration
  • Boosting confidence to handle problems

Here are a few relaxation techniques to help you relieve stress:

  • Deep breathing
  • Spending time with positive people
  • Laughing
  • Time management
  • Exercising
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Hypnosis
  • Massage
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Music
  • Hobbies you enjoy

As you learn relaxation techniques, you’ll become more aware of muscle tension and other effects of stress. Once you know what the stress response feels like, you can make a conscious and prepared effort to practice a relaxation technique the moment you start to feel stress symptoms.

 Relaxation techniques are skills. As with any skill, your ability to relax improves with practice. Be patient with yourself.
You, Yoga, and Your Fitness

If you haven’t actually participated yet, you’ve probably heard or seen something about Yoga as it’s popularity in Western culture has skyrocketed in recent years.  I thought it would be fun to talk a little about the origins of yoga and why it might enhance your health and fitness regime.  Yoga is an ancient practice with origins beginning back thousands of years. It is designed to help with focus, peace, and serenity. The word ‘yoga’ itself means ‘union’ and ‘union of the mind, body, and spirit.  Of the many choices available, there are those that focus on the athleticism with extremely fit people putting their legs behind their heads and curling up into awkward and difficult positions. There are also those which focus mostly on breathing and relaxation, and there is also everything in between those extremes.

Yoga has much more to offer than flexibility and the idea of obtaining a strong body. People of all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities can do yoga and adapt it to suit their individual tastes and needs – and this is one of the reasons why so many people (including myself) LOVE yoga!

If you think yoga isn’t for you, maybe it’s time to reconsider.

Here are several reasons why you should start doing yoga as soon as possible!

1. It’s an incredible workout for your mind, body, and soul.

Yoga is a fantastic workout for your body. You can adapt the practices to your own speed and level of comfort. No matter which yoga exercises you choose, the practices will always be part of a great workout routine.

2. Get in touch with your body.

Yoga stretches and exercises are designed around the idea of moving your body to increase its strength, flexibility, and durability. Doing yoga on a regular basis will get you more in tune with your body and know when something is really working and when it isn’t.

3. Improve your breathing technique.

Key to yoga practice are the breathing exercises which are incorporated into positions as well as on their own. The exercises encourage a focused and centered way of breathing, and eventually you’ll subconsciously learn to breath more deeply throughout the day.   These deliberate breathing techniques are a wonderful  stress-management tool and generally make you feel much better.

4. Improve your sleep.

Another benefit is that doing yoga can actually help you get better sleep.  You might even consider doing an after-work class since studies have shown that doing some light physical activity before our heads hit the hay can help us get off to sleep more quickly, which usually leads to a much better quality of sleep.

5. Improve your posture.

Yoga is effective at helping you develop proper posture, since a lot of the breathing and seated positions require a straight back for proper effect. Good posture is definitely going to develop during yoga practice.

6. Improve both physical and mental strength.

Yoga can also help you develop amazing mental and physical strength. The point of yoga is total body/mind awareness which can help you become more focused and present in your relationships and work.  The physical investment in the stretches and positions ensures that you’ll experience plenty of physical strength benefits as a result.

The breathing exercises can improve your lung capacity, and lunges and stretches can increase your core strength as well as every muscle you can think of. Yoga exercises force you to focus on the moment.

7. Yoga can enhance your meditation practice.

Meditation could be defined as focused awareness or reflection. The purpose of yoga isn’t necessarily to achieve every complicated pose under the sun, but to do your yoga practice with focus and thought.  When you apply this type of focused awareness in your yoga practice, it can become an opportunity to meditate on deeper things like spiritual principles that are meaningful to you.

Yoga can truly improve the  quality of your life by allowing time for  your mind, in union with your body, to process the complexities of life.

The practice make you feel less scattered, more focused, and even more aware of the positive events and feelings you might otherwise miss when your life gets too chaotic.

Incorporating yoga into your daily life is a great investment in yourself – you will be grateful you did.

To your best health and fitness . . .

Have a great skinny day!

Combatting Depression with Nutrition

Feeling down? Extremely down and wondering if you have depression?

Before making an appointment with your psychiatrist, you might want to consider to get lab work done under your regular doctor’s supervision and have your nutrition levels tested.  There are a wide variety of essential amino acids (healthy proteins) and essential fatty acids (healthy fats) that can create a much healthier chemical and physiological environment for your optimal emotional and psychological functioning.  Ultimately you and your doctor can determine the need for deeper medical or psychological evaluation but you may find that getting nutrition levels checked and addressing any deficiencies that could be the answer to achieving balanced emotional and  mental well being.

For optimal physical and mental health, make certain you are getting enough of the following in your diet:

Vitamin D
Are you getting enough Vitamin D? A lack of vitamin d has been linked to autism, dementia, and depression. Most people get less vitamin d during the winter months because sunlight is our greatest resource.  If sunshine is seasonally rare, vitamin D supplements are inexpensive and effective.

Omega-3’s

Omega-3 Fatty Acids help with memory and mood. In order to have optimal levels of Omega-3’s, eat plenty of salmon, tuna, halibut, flaxseeds, and walnuts. The nutrients help reduce inflammation and assist with brain function.

Vitamin B 

Studies show vitamin B-12 and vitamin B-6 provide incredible health benefits, including healthy skin and nails, reducing stroke, and aiding with mental health. Your best sources for getting more Vitamin B in your diet are bananas, leafy greens, seafood, lean poultry, eggs, and clams.

Magnesium
Chances are you have a magnesium deficient diet, because many Americans do. Excess salt, coffee, sugar, alcohol, phosphoric acid (in soda), stress, and diuretics, all contribute to lower levels of magnesium. Magnesium is often referred to as a stress antidote, “the most powerful relaxation mineral that exists.” You can find magnesium in beans, greens, and seaweed.  You can also find some very absorbable types of magnesium in supplement form.

Amino Acids

Amino acids help our brains function properly – they are the building blocks of protein. When you have an amino acid deficiency, you may feel sluggish, unfocused, and depressed. Eat beef, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, and seeds for a healthier brain.

Zinc
Zinc is crucial to our bodies for many reasons. It activates our digestive enzymes which help us to break down our food and helps to prevent allergies (which helps with depression in some people because some of our moods can be triggered by food allergies). Zinc helps our DNA to repair and produce protein, and controls inflammation and boosts our immune systems. Foods high in zinc are grass fed beef, yogurt, lamb, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, mushrooms, chicken, and spinach.

Iodine
Your thyroid needs iodine to work properly. Your thyroid affects more than you think, including your energy, metabolism, body temperature, immune system growth, and mental performance (concentration, memory, and more). When you aren’t getting enough iodine, you can begin to feel depressed. To enrich your diet with more iodine, eat shrimp, cod, seaweed and iodine enriched salt.

Iron
Iron deficiencies are quite common in women. The most common form of anemia which is an insufficient number of bloods cells, is caused by low iron levels. You may find you have depression, fatigue, brain fog, and irritability. To increase your iron, include red meat, poultry, liver, and fish, in your daily diet.

Depression is overwhelming and is a serious condition. Make sure you are eating right and getting the proper medical care you need to help combat it.

To your greatest mental and physical health,

Crystal