Walk into a brightly decorated mall or turn on a TV-connected device and you will hear sounds of holiday songs reminding us that the season is here. I love all the Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s festivities bringing people together. In theory, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. However, it can be stressful to shop for thoughtful gifts when you have an already busy schedule. That’s why I LOVE sharing with you my favorite healthy gift ideas that help promote wellness. This year, we continue to highlight presents that will wow the healthy living enthusiast and motivate those that want to take small steps toward better health.
As a recovering workaholic, I can easily get sucked back into the grind and stress. If I haven’t completed my to-do list, I set my alarm to a painful early morning hour to finish up the project. My mind is in “rush mode” and body enjoys working in the flow. So I produce a lot in a short amount of time. Yet, in doing so, the heaviness of stress sits on my chest. For many years, I convinced myself that my type-A personality fueled my success. Yes, some stress motivates performance, though research shows continual long-term stress harms our health. So, as a part of the Wellness Work Series, I have outlined a few healthy stress reduction / stress management tips for busy individuals and especially working parents.
As a two-time breast cancer survivor, I’ve learned a few things about being a good patient and advocating for myself. It really starts with asking solid questions, so I wanted to share my comprehensive list of questions to ask doctors when evaluating treatments. I created this list initially when I was first diagnosed and added to it throughout the years. It’s also one of the resources in my book, Happiness through Hardship: A Guide for Cancer Patients, Their Caregivers and Friends During an Initial Cancer Diagnosis.
As a breast cancer survivor, I’m not sure whether I love October or fear it. Seeing the spectrum of pink colors everywhere can be overwhelming. It’s a constant reminder that I’m sick. And yes, I know that thousands of women and men are afflicted with this disease yearly, so the pink promotion isn’t about me being ill. But sometimes, I just get inside my head. My thoughts go to the scary places that we all want to push away. And sometimes, I just want to cry.
Can you imagine eliminating your morning “pretty coffee” filled with sugar and creamed toppings? What about cheese, desserts or fried everything? So many times people tell me they can’t stop their favorite foods, so they don’t even think about committing to a newish lifestyle. I get it. That was me. I obsessed over cheese plates, craved creamy frostings and longed for bulky pastas. I had been drinking tons of diet soda for almost two decades, so only remembered life being bloated. But that all changed when I started eating clean. And trust me, you can take small steps and get there, too.
I’ve been painting the town green the past five years. What I mean by this is that I’ve been telling everyone and anyone about my love of plant-based eating, as well as drinking green juices and smoothies. My family has been on board, knowing that I feel vibrant and my health is stable. (So there aren’t many “EWWWWW, that looks gross” comments.) We hit a huge milestone four years ago. Not only did my then, 6-year old, ask to try my green smoothie recipe, but he also wanted seconds. That interested my husband, who has been craving them ever since.