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Practice Gratitude for More than “Things”

If you have followed this blog for very long you probably noticed that I post a lot about taking note of things you are grateful for.

But often we forget that being grateful is about more than being thankful for material things, gratitude is also about experiences that you’ve had, people you have met, or other non-material things that you have received.

For example, have you ever been thankful that you drove all the way to work and had all green lights?

Have you ever thank the Universe for a complement you received?

Today, make it your goal to make a list of non-material things you’re thankful for:

“I am grateful I had the opportunity to shovel snow from my elderly neighbor’s driveway so she could go to church.”

“I am grateful a colleague made me realize what a terrific job I have.”

“I am grateful I had an amazing time learning to surf on vacation.”

“I am grateful I have a loving family.”

“I am grateful I found an inspirational book to listen to in my commute.”

“I am grateful my grandmother taught me how to make her delicious fried chicken.”

Expressing gratitude is a great way to put a positive spin on your day and your life. And, if you say, “Thank You”, to someone else it can make their life better as well.

If you liked this post or found it helpful, please share it with friends and family. Together we can make the world a happier more positive place, one “thank you” at a time.

With Gratitude,

Rachel


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Declutter to Achieve Your Nutritional Goals – The Refrigerator

Back in elementary school, I had a teacher that frequently “reminded” us, “A messy desk means a messy mind”.

It turns out she was right, scientific research proves that clutter can have a negative effect on many aspects of our life, from our career, to our relationships, finances, and yes, even our health and wellness.

A cluttered home or workspace can lead to increased feelings of stress, depression, and unhappiness. Remember that time when you were facing a deadline at work and you had files, reports, and binders all over your desk? How much did you enjoy working on that project?

Clutter also has a negative effect on nutrition. Studies show that individuals with a messy kitchen are more likely to choose highly processed, fat and sugar laden foods. Also, if your cabinets and drawers are full of pots, pans, plastic takeout containers, broken measuring cups, and melted spatulas, it can be difficult to find the tools you need to cook a healthy meal. Additionally, if your fridge is loaded with jars of pickle juice, multiple containers of ketchup, expired milk, and a moldy mystery container, there is no place to put healthy fruits and veggies. And those 5 bags of potato chips in the pantry, well let’s just say they are not giving you a good return on your pantry shelf investment.

The point is, if preparing healthy meals in your kitchen is difficult or impossible, you are more likely to stop for take out, or binge on those chips in the pantry, neither of which supports healthy nutritional goals.

This month we are going to be working on decluttering our kitchens. Don’t worry. We will take it slowly. Over the next 4 weeks I will share a short project designed to help get your nutrition and your kitchen into tip-top shape.

This week’s task is to clear out and clean your refrigerator. You will need about 15-20 minutes, a large trash bag, and a recycling bin if that’s your thing.

    Go through your fridge and toss out anything that is expired, moldy, or otherwise unappetizing in appearance.
    Combine all of those partially empty ketchup bottles (you know you have at least 2). Repeat with the other condiments.
    If you haven’t used a sauce, salad dressing, or condiment in months, put it in your trash bin.
    Consider donating any unopened cans, jars, or packages of food to your local food bank.
    Look at each item left and decide if it helps support your nutritional goals, if it does not then into the trash it goes. It is ok to have a few small treats, I keep some chocolate in my refrigerator at all times, just make sure the majority of the items favor your goals.
    Once you have cleared out all of the old food, condiments, etc. give your fridge a good cleaning. Wipe down all of the shelves, drawers, and walls.

Now that your refrigerator is free from clutter, restock it with fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and protein. Invest in containers that can neatly store precut vegetables, precooked grains, nuts, seeds, etc. The more organized and easier it is to find things in the fridge the more likely you are to use them to prepare yourself a healthy meal or snack.

I declutter my refrigerator every 2-3 months and it’s due for a good cleaning. Here’s what it looks like right now:

Check back next week to see what it looks like after I declutter.

Decluttering does not have to be hard work, it just takes a little time and the willingness to let go of things that are not serving your health and happiness.

Until next week: Happy Decluttering!

If you want additional help reaching your nutrition and fitness goals, my coaching program can help. Learn more today!


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Start Your Week with a Healthy Plan

Will you:

  • Take a walk after dinner every night this week?
  • Eat more vegetables?
  • Quit smoking?
  • Devote 10-15 minutes to your meditation practice each day?
  • Cut back on your alcohol intake?
  • Take a yoga class?
  • Eat slowly and mindfully?
  • Get 6-8 hours of rest each night?

Feel free to share your answers in the comment section below or on our Facebook page.


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3 Things to Stay Positive

Last week I encouraged you to make a list of 10 positive things that occurred in your day prior to going to bed each night in order to focus your pre-sleep mind on happy peaceful thoughts, read Think Positive, Sleep Positive for a review.

That exercise is a great way to prepare your mind for restful sleep and help you wake up the next morning in a positive frame of mind. It is also a terrific exercise for promoting a positive mindset throughout your day. Let’s face it, no matter how good your intentions are to maintain a positive outlook during your day, sometimes things come up that knock you off of your game: unexpected traffic, a difficult client, an argument with your spouse, or even missing your morning coffee. When this happens it is essential that you get back into a positive mindset as quickly as possible to prevent the rest of your day from spiraling downward into frustration, anger, or an inability to think clearly and solve problems.

No matter where you are in your mindset right now, take a few moments to do the following activity:

If you are in a good mood, this exercise can reinforce and stimulate more positive thoughts. If you are feeling irritated, overwhelmed, or stressed it can serve as a reset for your day, getting you back on track to positive thoughts and positive results.

If you have let yourself get too far into the negative thought process it may be difficult to think of anything good that day, but remember you’re not looking for bright shiny miracles, you are simply looking for a few good things. For example:

  • You woke up on time
  • Traffic was lighter than usual
  • You heard your favorite song on the radio
  • The barista made your latte perfectly
  • A stranger smiled and said, “Good morning”
  • A coworker complimented your work on a project
  • You had a good idea
  • I try to do it at least once a day to keep myself on track and moving forward. I find it helps boost my creativity and productivity.
  • Taking a few minutes during your day to list the good things that have happened will reduce your stress levels, spark new ideas, heighten productivity, and help you flow through your day with ease. It is a small investment of time that yields tremendous returns!

    Give it a try. I guarantee you will be glad you did.

    Until next time, have a happy healthy day!


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    Think Positive, Sleep Positive

    How many times has this happened to you, you get settled into to bed hoping for a good nights’ sleep only to lie awake thinking of your “to do” list, problems, and worries? “Monkey mind”, as it is often called, can wreck a nights’ sleep.

    Luckily, there is a way to stop monkey mind before it starts. Before bed, take a few moments to list the good things that you experienced during your day. Making this list allows you to focus your mind on positive thoughts. Focusing on the positive redirects your monkey mind away from your sleep stealing thoughts and puts you in a more relaxed state of mind. These peaceful happy thoughts can lead to better more restful sleep. In addition, focusing on the positive before bedtime ensures you wake up with a more positive mindset the following morning leading to a better more productive day.

    Tonight before going to bed:

    Your list could include things like:

    • Traffic was lighter than normal
    • Your kids did the dishes without being told
    • Your work meeting was productive
    • You received a compliment about your beautiful smile
    • You heard your favorite song on the radio
    • You achieved a personal best at the gym
    • The sun was shining
    • You saw someone do something kind for another person

    Or anything else you can think of that makes you feel good today.

    Give it a try for the next week and see how you feel.

    Have a happy healthy day and while you’re at it “LIKE” us on Facebook!


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    Take a Few Minutes to Relax this Summer

    Summertime is full of fun activities: picnics, pool parties, days at the beach, and family vacations give us the opportunity to get outside, enjoy nature and spend time with love ones. But summer fun can also lead to stress. Make sure you take 10-15 minutes every day to sit back and relax without distractions. Try this quick meditation to chill out and get your “me-time” fix:


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    A Little Change is Good

    We all know what we SHOULD do to be healthy, fit, and at our best: we should eat 5-7 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, we should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily, we should not smoke, we should avoid processed foods/trans fats/alcohol/sugar…

    But, let’s face it most of us have a vice or 2 (or more), that keep us from reaching the peak of our health and wellness. While many of these vices seem pretty harmless while we are doing them they can pose long term threats to our health. Yep, that burger and fries you ate this weekend will come back to haunt you in your 70s (or sooner). That is why it is important to get a handle on our bad habits as well as create new good habits.

    Slowly and mindfully is a great way to eat less, but it’s impact is limited if your “healthy routine” still consists of fast-food, beer, and 15 hour video game marathons.

    This week I am offering you a challenge. Pick one of your bad habits, just one, and over the next week take steps to change it.

    For example,

    • If you are a coach potato, make it your goal to go for a walk around your neighborhood every day this week. You can even start with 10 minutes if that is all you can handle.
    • If you never eat vegetables, start adding 1-2 servings of veggies to one of your meals daily.
    • If you are a smoker, cut the number of cigarettes/vapes you have by 5-10% this week.
    • If your an overeater, make a conscious effort to cut back on your portion sizes by 15-20% at each meal.
    • If you can’t make it through the day without 3-4 cups of coffee, replace 1 of them with a decaf.
    • If you regularly wake up Sunday morning with a raging hangover, cut back a drink or 2 the next Saturday.

    The point isn’t to completely stop your bad habit in one fell swoop, but rather to slowly ween yourself off of the bad habit and slip gently into a better one. Changing habits takes time and patience. Be kind to yourself and pat yourself on the back for each little bit of progress you make.

    The first few days of this may be rough and you may even feel a tad bit icky, but I promise as the week progresses you will start to feel better.

    Give it a try. What do you have to lose except your bad habits.


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    Chocolate Mint Smoothie

  • There is nothing quite like a scoop of mint chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. Unfortunately, ice cream is not the healthiest way to relax and cool off.
  • This recipe combines delicious chocolate protein with cooling mint for a tasty and healthy summer treat.
  • Not only do the mint leaves pack a powerful antioxidant punch, but mint also helps improve digestion, boost liver function, and lower body temperature (yep, eating mint actually makes you cool)!
  • The avocado adds a creamy consistency while providing a healthy dose of fat!
  • I love this smoothie after a long day in the heat when I need some nutrition but don’t feel like eating a meal.
  • Chocolate Mint Protein Smoothie

    Ingredients:

    2 cups organic spinach (or kale if you like stronger greens)

  • 1-1/2 cup milk (unsweetened almond or coconut work great, but you can use nonfat dairy milk if you prefer; water works too)
  • 1 cup ice (more or less, for desired thickness)
  • ½ avocado, pit and skin removed
  • 1 scoop Chocolate PureTrim Mediterranean Wellness Shakes*
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
  • Directions:
    • Combine all ingredients in a power blend per and blend until smooth.
      Sit back, cool off, and enjoy!

    *PureTrim shakes contain 21 grams of vegan protein, antioxidants, a blend of essential fatty acids, probiotics, and less than 8 grams of net carbs. Oh yeah, and they actually taste great too! Order yours now!

    Don’t forget to check out our other healthy, yummy recipes on our Recipes page!