What If by Danielle Dalton

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“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Carefully, I wrote my New Year’s Resolutions neatly in my purple leather bound journal, which chronicled the ups and downs of the past year of my life.

Resolutions, whether they’re made on the first of January or any day of the year, are refreshing. It’s a chance to start again—the closest you can get to a “redo” of the past.

In prior years, I made resolutions that were destined to fail. Read one book per week. Write a book. Learn yoga.

It wasn’t that the previous resolutions were bad. Rather, I had failed to put any sort of plan in place to help me succeed. I only had a lofty goal, not steps laid out to get me from where I was standing to where I wanted to be.

But this year, I needed change. I needed a fresh start. I didn’t need the seemingly constant stress and the disappointment that plagued me last year to carry over into 2014.

So my resolution was a succinct two words: Be happy.

And unlike prior years, I made a plan for how to transform my resolution into my life. It felt weird trying to develop a way to be happy. But this year had to be different, and if planning was required, then plan I would.

The plan? Take steps. And keep taking steps—don’t freeze in place.

I took steps. I enrolled in a course in a subject I had long been interested in but too afraid to try. I decided that I would spend the Fall 2014 semester in London. I went to Chicago’s new Nutella Bar—because not every source of happiness requires a big change; sometimes the little things add up.

And then only days into January, I panicked. Say this whole “Be happy” thing didn’t work out?

What if I made all these changes and I wasn’t happy?

What if the decisions I was making were actually wrong?

What if life was still really stressful and exhausting?

It took me a while to realize what all the what-ifs were really disguising. Superficially, the panic appeared to be the fear of not achieving the resolution.

In reality, though, the fear of not achieving the resolution was a cover-up for the fear of failing as a person. What if I took all the steps to create the life I wanted and it didn’t work out? Would I be left with an unfilled life on top of an unfilled resolution?

Everyone talks about how going after what you truly want takes hard work and perseverance. Few people mention the courage required. It takes courage to forge your own path in a forest overgrown with what-ifs and brimming with the beast of society’s potential judgment.

Being honest with yourself about what you want, whether it’s happiness, a new job, or significant other, is scary. When carving your own path, you don’t know what’s in store for you ahead.

I came close to letting the fear of what-ifs consume me and abandoning my goals along with the little progress I had made in the first few weeks of January.

Fittingly, however, the one thing that overpowered all the what-ifs swirling in my thoughts was one single what-if: What if it all worked out?

Read the rest here: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/motivate-yourself-to-keep-going-the-hidden-power-of-what-if/

5 Fiber-Rich Foods You Should Eat Every Day by Mara Betsch

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When it comes to important nutrients, fiber should get top honors. Proven to help with digestion, it also helps reduce the risk of chronic conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Plus it keeps you full for long periods of time, making it a diet staple.

So why is no one eating enough of it? A recent study from the University of Minnesota (funded by General Mills) looked at whole grain and dietary fiber intakes of more than 9,000 Americans, from ages two and up. After analyzing the data, the researchers deduced that 39 percent of children and teens and 42 percent of adults didn’t eat ANY whole grains. (like barley, corn, rice, rye and wheat). Even more alarming, only 3 percent of children and teens and approximately 8 percent of adults ate the recommended three servings per day.

Because whole grains are a great source of fiber, it’s no surprise that those eating more whole grains were more likely to get enough fiber. So how do you make sure you (and your kids) are getting the recommended amounts? (You children need 19 to 25 grams each day while older kids and adults need between 21 to 38 grams). Try filling up on these delicious high-fiber foods.

1. Black Beans (15 grams in one cup)

There’s a reason that black beans are considered a nutrition superstar. With lots of protein and fiber, they make a delicious addition to salads, wraps and even casseroles.

2. Oatmeal (3.8 grams in one cup)

Starting you day off with this simple breakfast food can help your ticker. With lots of soluble fiber, the heart-healthy kind, you can count on it to fill you up and leave you feeling great.

Read the rest here: http://blogs.discovery.com/dfh-insider/2014/02/5-fiber-rich-foods-you-should-eat-every-day.html?_ga=1.170928037.466609972.1389903737

9 Ways To Reduce Pain And Inflammation by Dr. Richard Diana

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One of the greatest contributors to joint pain is inflammation. It’s the body’s reaction to injury or damage, but when inflammation’s out of control it can lead to severe impairment of mobility and increased pain. Fortunately, it can be attacked head-on and at the cellular level with inflammation-reducing foods, supplements and exercise.

Here are 9 ways to reduce inflammation:

1. Put your kitchen on a diet.

Empty your fridge and pantry of food that will add to joint pain. Out go high-carb, high-salt, unhealthy trans fats and saturated fat-laden foods.

2. Shop for healthy joints.

This means that you’ll want to buy:

- Vegetables full of vitamins and phytonutrients (zucchini, red peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and more)
- Seasonings to liven up your meals and please your palate (including ginger, garlic, cinnamon)
- Dairy products that contain healthy fats to slow carbohydrate absorption (cottage cheese, yogurt, mozzarella cheese)
- Fruits that are full of nutrients and fiber (apple, avocado, pomegranate)
- Beans that are packed with protein and fiber (like chick peas, lentils)
- Breads and pastas that are tasty and low-carb (such as pumpernickel, whole wheat, fettuccine egg pasta)
- Proteins that are the mainstay of an anti-inflammatory diet (including salmon, lobster, grass-fed beef)

Read the rest here: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12455/9-ways-to-reduce-pain-and-inflammation.html

Use Your Mindset to Lose Weight, Get Fit and Be Healthy by Scott Christ

Why do some people seem to lose weight easily while others fail year after year?

Is it genetics? Money? Willpower?
While it’s true these may play a small part, there’s something else that has a much larger role.

It’s mindset. And yours may be holding you back.

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind your mindset and underlying philosophy, and show you some proven ways to take action to improve it–so you can finally use your mindset to lose weight, get fit and be healthy.

What Is “Mindset”?

Mindsets are beliefs about yourself and your most basic qualities.
Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck, who wrote a book called Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, says there are two different types of mindsets: fixed and growth-oriented.

People with a fixed mindset think talent alone creates success. When faced with a challenge, they tend to take the easy way out to avoid failure and embarrassment. This is a psychological principle known as self-handicapping.

People with a growth mindset believe they can improve their abilities and create successes by working hard, practicing, and learning. They take on challenges even at the risk of failing. They embrace failure because they know they’ll learn valuable lessons from it.

Read the rest here: http://www.healthhabits.ca/2014/01/31/use-your-mindset-to-lose-weight-get-fit-and-be-healthy/

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What Happens To Your Body After Just One Workout by Sarah Klein

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To reap the full range of life-extending, heart-protecting, sleep-promoting, obesity-thwarting benefits of exercise, you’re going to have to get some regular activity. In fact, about two and a half hours a week of it.

Those hours should be moderate-intensity aerobic activity (think: brisk walking), according to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. (More vigorous exercisers can cut back on time as they up the intensity, but everyone should also aim for a couple of strength-training sessions a week, according to the Guidelines.)

But exercise also happens to be one of those cases where something is most certainly better than nothing. While we can only encourage you to stick with it, you should be proud of yourself even just for a single sweat sessions, thanks in part to these pretty powerful perks of just one workout.

Your DNA can change.

In a 2012 study, Swedish researchers found that among healthy but inactive adults, mere minutes of exercise altered genetic material in muscle cells. Of course, we inherit our DNA from our parents, but lifestyle factors like exercise can play a part in expressing or “turning on” certain genes. In the instance of exercise, it appears to affect gene expression for strength and metabolism.

You’ll be in better spirits.

As you kick off your workout, your brain will start to release a number of different feel-good neurotransmitters, including endorphins, which are the most commonly cited explanation for the so-called “runner’s high” and serotonin, which is well known for its role in mood and depression.

Read the rest here: http://www.everydayhealth.com/news/what-happens-your-body-after-just-one-workout/