I used to be addicted to soda pop. As early as junior high, I saved my babysitting money to buy Diet Orange Sunkist. Fast-forward, this habit continued well into adulthood. At my former job, I ran into meetings double fisted with two Diet Dr. Peppers. I thought I needed the caffeine to replenish my energy and the sweet taste to satisfy my cravings. However, once I dived into researching all the detriments of a diet filled with chemicals in packaged foods and drinks, I quit soda immediately. I still missed the taste, though, so looked for alternatives. I tried to rationalize why buying fun, fizzy and hip drinks were right for me. Though when it came down to it, spring water provided the highest number of benefits including detoxification, hydration and skin beautification without any of the toxic “natural flavors.” So, to make it taste good, I started infusing different fruits and vegetables with my water. I love it so much that I recommended it as a substitute for sugary drinks when I appeared on The Dr. Oz Show.
The bright lights, celebratory feasts and gifts galore enhance the holiday season. However, all the wrapped presents and Christmas lights shining all night long, form a ton of excess garbage and energy. The Center for Disease Control reports that Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. That got me thinking. Since I research and report on taking small steps toward better health, why don’t I investigate easy, eco-friendly tips to go green this holiday season.
For bargain shoppers, creative gift-givers and home decor aficionados, the most wonderful time of year is the winter holiday season. What truly makes the season so special is the daily love and cheery sentiments. Although, in this month of festivities, who doesn’t enjoy a silly secret gift exchange or meaningful present from a loved one? Now in our third year, it’s our tradition to showcase our favorite holiday gifts that promote wellness. Check out our newly-released 2016 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide that includes ideas for kids of any ages. Hopefully these will impress and excite your favorite wellness warrior, fit kid or friend who’s ready to take small steps toward better health.
No matter who you are, where you live or what your background is, this time of year tends to be chaotic for everyone. The days are jam packed with work meetings in an effort to get it all in before the holidays; social calendars are filled, often double booked on weekends for both kids and adults; and the shopping trips often create heightened traffic and chaos in our local communities. It’s hard to be zen because everyone is moving in different directions. So many Americans cite the holidays as the most stressful time of year. So, how can we really make this easier on ourselves? Last year, I showcased some of my favorite tips for de-stressing over the holiday season. This year, I want to keep it simple – just smile.
If there was a coronation for Whole Foods royalty, I’d at least be on the court. When I started making small changes toward my healthy aka clean lifestyle journey, Whole Foods was my refuge. I knew that I could explore through its aisles and be safe from hazardous toxins. More importantly, Whole Foods was a castle of wholesome items and ingredients. I spent hours picking multi-colored new vegetables and had many conversations with employees about beauty product ingredients. Not only did I enjoy these research-filled shopping trips, but also used their venue as a gathering place to work or meet friends.
Through most of my life, I’ve been an optimist. I’ve always chosen to find joy in the little things…a scribbled picture from a loved one, an episode of Days of Our Lives or a goofy gesture from a friend. It was these simple items or acts that originally helped me be present, smile and find the calmness in my life. When my cancer returned, filling days with stress and uncertainty, I sought out Zen practices. I thought about how I needed to find peace from within, rather than relying on these acts/items to provide it. In the last few years, I’ve found small tools that not only increase positivity; they have also helped me find peace and calm during stressful situations. Yesterday, I spoke about this and my favorite smartphone apps that focus on mindfulness on WTNH-TV’s CT Style.