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5 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship with your Significant Other

What a perfect day, Valentine’s Day, to talk about relationships? Having a growing relationship with your significant other is just one of the core pillars when it comes to building your Best Lyfe. Often times after we get married or in a committed relationship, we stop working so hard on growing it. Whether you’ve been together 5 years, 15 years or 50 years, it’s always important to work on ways to grow the relationship.

Looking for ways to feel connected to your partner? We asked the experts and rounded up five simple ways to improve your relationship with your significant other.

We all know how hard relationships can be. Even couples who always seem to look picture perfect go through their fair share of ups and downs.

The good news is that there are ways to fix any issue or problem you’re facing as a couple. Read the following tips to help you build a strong, romantic relationship that’s built on communication, trust, and love.

1.      Be Supportive

Ask your partner about their day. Listen and pay attention. Showing support doesn’t only have to be only during big work projects and promotions. It’s everyday signs of caring and empathy.

Being supportive of your significant other means showing compassion and understanding.

The important thing to remember is that you have to be intentional and proactive in your actions. Making an effort is now easier than ever, thanks to technology. Why not send your significant other an emoji or a text just to check in? Even better, call them up for a few minutes to chat and see how they’re day is going. These little things help build a relationship and make your partner feel validated.

2.      Enjoy the Little Moments

A relationship is a work in progress. You need to focus more on the small moments that give your relationship meaning and value.

You don’t need big gestures like in the movies. All you need to build a strong, loving relationship is to kiss each other before heading out to work or giving each other a hug before going to bed. It’s the consistency and frequency of those little moments that really matter in the end.

Dr. Kristie Overstreet, a relationship expert and certified sex therapist, says, “A healthy relationship is one based in trust and security. [This is why] small gestures are a great way to keep these two things strong.”

3.      Spice Things Up

Picture this: you eat the same meal every day. After a while, it becomes humdrum and unexciting. It’s the same way with your sex life. Trying new things in the bedroom will add a new dimension to your intimacy and bring you closer together.

Alternatively, spicing things up doesn’t have to only be in the bedroom. Variety is the backbone of any strong relationship.

Why not plan a dinner date or an impromptu lunch at your partner’s favorite restaurant? One fun rule to live by is the 2 x 2 x 2 rule. Go out for at least two hours every two weeks. Then, every two months, get away somewhere for the weekend. And every two years, go away for an entire week.

Feeling that each one of you is making time for the year is the root of any romance. Prioritizing time for one another means you’re not just an afterthought.

4.      Be Appreciative

Whether you’ve been in a relationship for six months or 10 years, relationships get comfortable after a while. While this is a good thing, it can make you take your partner’s nice acts of kindness for granted.

These acts of kindness are how your partners show their love and appreciation for you. So, it’s only natural that you return those same affections with a simple ‘thank you.’

5.      Learn to Communicate

Work, responsibilities, money, and kids all take their toll on relationships. They’re some of the main reasons why communication between couples takes a back seat to everything else.

One way to help ease communication into your lives is to have a daily check-in session. This is where you talk with your significant other about just normal, ordinary, everyday stuff.

But, in the long run, these meaningful topics are what help deepen your intimacy and connection.

When communication lines are open between you and your partner, it helps prevent small issues from snowballing into bigger problems. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to argue over every little thing. It just means that you get into the habit of calling out issues with each other in a calm, understanding way. You can casually bring it up in one of your daily check-ins.

Over time, this can become a habit where you effectively nip things in the bud before they get out of head.

This is just one core pillars of living your Best Lyfe. Want to join a community of busy moms with careers looking to live their Best Lyfe just like you? Join us today in our Best Lyfe Community Facebook group. Here we share what is getting in our way, what holds us back and also wins that we’ve had over the last week to help us learn from each other. Join today!

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5 Ways Moms Waste Time Every Day

I don’t have enough time in the day to do….? Have you ever found yourself saying this? I know I have. But then I look back on some of the things I did throughout the day and realized where I could have been doing more of the things that would get me closer to my Best Lyfe goals.

Check out the most common five ways you waste time every day. Do you find yourself doing any of them? You’ll also find some time management strategies. They can help you become more efficient and productive and be able to get the most out of your day. Let’s get started.

5 of the Biggest Timewasters of Your Day

Even if you’re one of the more dedicated and organized people out there, you still waste time. Whether you work from home or in the office, we’re all guilty of getting distracted and losing focus. It may not be deliberate and you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it until it’s too late.

Here are five ways you waste time every day. See if you can relate.

1.      Social Media/Emails/Texts

It’s become a vital part of our lives. But the world won’t stop turning if you don’t look at your social media for 15 minutes.

Another big distraction is hearing that too familiar ‘ding’ that comes with a new email or text message. It prevents you from finishing the task at hand because you keep looking at your phone every five minutes.

Picture this scenario: you’re in the middle of work when your phone beeps. You reach for your phone to see your incoming message. So, you go from message to email to Facebook to Instagram. Then, when you’re done, you notice that 20 minutes have gone by.

Research shows that each time you get distracted, even for a couple of minutes, your brain needs more than 20 minutes to refocus. Imagine how much wasted time that amounts to at the end of the day!

The Fix: Avoid randomly checking social media, emails, or texts. Instead, set up a certain time during your day for doing just that. In the meantime, turn off any notifications or mute your phone.

2.      Organizing and Preparing

You’re probably wondering: how is this a time-waster? But too often we fall down the rabbit hole of ‘organizing’ our day. Sometimes, we take too far that we actually run out of time to do any of the things on our list. Are you organizing to avoid something else?

The Fix: Find an online planner and to-do-list. Then, pick one day out of the week where you plan out the whole seven days in advance. Schedule in work-related projects, meetings, and deadlines. You can also include a workout schedule and get-togethers with friends.

3.      Multitasking

Multitasking: another thing that we do to trick ourselves into believing we’re being productive. Yet, the sad truth is, multitasking wastes a ton of time and it’s not even beneficial!

It’s counter-productive when your attention is divided among several tasks at once. In other words, it’s just another form of distraction.

The Fix: It’s simple. Just put all your attention and focus on one task at a time. When you’re done, move on to the next task, and so on.

4.      Checking the News

In this day and age, it seems something is happening in the news every five minutes. So, it’s easy to use the news as an excuse for procrastination. After all, we all want to be in the loop when it comes to politics, sports, and local news.

The Fix: Force yourself to stay away from checking news updates every half hour. You can use sheer self-discipline, or you can use a site blocker.

One great example is the Stay Focused Chrome app. It helps you ‘hide’ certain websites for, say, 45 minutes. Then, tell the app you want to spend 20 minutes on the so-and-so website. After the 20 minutes are done, the app will block you again until your next break.

5.      Errands and Chores

The problem isn’t with the errands or chores themselves; it’s when you do them. Running errands during rush hour is one of the biggest time wasters ever!

Doing chores is another. You might be sitting at your desk, working away when you notice a dusty shelf or a cluttered drawer. So, you do the responsible thing and start dusting and decluttering.

You tell yourself that it’ll only take five minutes. Then, when you’re done cleaning the entire room/office, the day is over! And you still haven’t finished what you’re initially working on.

The Fix: Plan your errands ahead when you know there’ll be less traffic. Also, try to do your shopping when you know the stores won’t be as crowded and they’re in their least peak hours.

As for chores, set up one or two days during the week when you do all the dusting, cleaning, and decluttering. This way, even if you see catches your attention, you can push back in your mind and wait until ‘chore day’ rolls around.

A Final Note

We all get the same amount of time each day: 86,2400 seconds, 1,440 minutes, or 24 hours. It’s up to you to figure out how you’re going to spend that time. Sadly, many of us spend our days doing things that don’t really add any value to our lives—or anyone else’s for that matter.

The good news is you can train yourself to focus more and have fewer distractions. Make a conscious effort to add purpose and value to your life and follow through. You’ll soon notice you’re getting more done during your day than ever before!

Join our Best Lyfe Facebook community where I teach you tips and tricks to live your best life and save time in the process. Healthy body, growing relationships and a fulfilling career is possible and you can do it all while enjoying your life. Join us today!

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How to Lose Weight Without Ruining Your Social Life

Living your Best Lyfe certainly does not include sitting at home being afraid you can’t have self control when you are out. Maybe you find it easy to stick to your diet when you’re at home, but parties and eating out throw you off track. Suddenly, you’re surrounded by temptations. You want to have fun with your family and friends instead of thinking about counting calories and measuring portions.

You can make healthy choices while enjoying a social life. However, you’ll have a difficult time keeping weight off unless you’re able to keep your goals in sight when you’re out in public.

Try these ideas to help you turn your family and friends into allies and prepare for many of the most common challenging situations.

Dealing with Your Family and Friends:

  1. Ask for help. Experts say that social support is one reason why groups like Weight Watchers have so many success stories. Let your loved ones know what kind of practical and emotional assistance you need. You may want to join an official support group too, especially if you’re losing significant amounts of weight. Best Lyfe has a great group available for you where you are surrounded by like minded women supporting each other every day.

  2. Team up. You probably know someone who shares your desire to slim down. Collaborate so you can keep each other company and hold each other accountable for working out and eating your vegetables. Accountability partners help keep you honest with yourself.

  3. Change the subject. There may also be people who tend to undermine your positive intentions or just lack much interest in what you ate for breakfast. You’ll be more fun to be around if you talk about things other than your diet.

  4. Plan the agenda. Seek entertainment in places other than restaurants and bars. Invite a friend to go rock climbing. Bring your children to a science museum instead of an ice cream parlor. Our family loves to go hiking year round. The kids especially have a reset button when they are out in nature. It naturally calms them and brings them back to their childish life again.

  5. Take responsibility. Remember that you control what you eat and drink, and you have to live with the consequences. It will help you to keep any peer pressure in perspective.

Dealing with Eating Out:

  1. Preview the menu. Most restaurants post their menus online these days. Plan what you will eat prior to going out. Find out what your options are so you can decide what to order without being tempted by having to look at the specials and other fattening dishes.

  2. Shrink your servings. Many restaurants serve jumbo portions. Eat half of what’s on your plate and take the rest home for breakfast. If you think you’ll be prone to gobbling it all down, ask the server to pack up half in advance. My husband and I typically order one meal and one small appetizer to split. That way we don’t have a ton of extra food and even that usually is a lot.

  3. Pick the venue. Some restaurants offer a wider selection of delicious low-calorie items. Have a list of local favorites handy so you can recommend where to go for date nights or weekend brunches.

  4. Make substitutions. Ask your server if you can customize your meal. For example, you may be able to get extra vegetables or a green salad instead of French fries or order your fish grilled instead of fried. If your meal includes sauces, see if you can get them on the side.

  5. Circle the salad bar. You might think that salad is a safe choice, but it depends on the ingredients. See what’s available at the salad bar before you order. Go easy on the shredded cheese, bacon, and heavy dressings. Load up on leafy greens and other vegetables and opt for a light vinaigrette dressing.

  6. Have a snack. If you know that you tend to overindulge in birthday cake or barbecued ribs, curb your appetite before you leave home. Eat a cup of yogurt or hummus with baby carrots.

  7. Limit alcohol. Cocktails contain a lot of empty calories and can make you crave cheeseburgers and buffalo wings. Draw the line at one drink and make it wine or spirits with a zero-calorie mixer like club soda. Or try a low sugar seltzer! My new favorite!

Planning ahead and building a strong support system will help you to slim down and still enjoy hanging out with your loved ones. After all, healthy eating and close relationships both play a big role in your happiness and well-being. Once established, you’d be surprised how your close circle respects your choices and understands. This is just one step in living your best lyfe. Choose to hear from like-minded women just like you. Join our FREE Facebook group today where women help women lose weight, save time and live their best lives.

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Moms, Stop overcomplicating it!

Why do we as women loooooovvvvvveeeee to over complicate things? Sometimes it’s the simplicity of things that actually gets it done. But as women, we tend to make things more than what they are.

Think about it. Have you ever been there trying to figure out how to get dinner on the table quickly for the family? You had this elaborate meal in your head that you were going to make. But then you get home and it’s dinner time. The kids are screaming and running around the house. You forgot about the soccer practice at 6 and that laundry you put in the wash, isn’t going to get to the dryer by itself.

Then all of a sudden, you have an epiphany. You remembered you had leftovers in the fridge along with those sweet potatoes that have been sitting on the counter to be cooked for over a week now (maybe even two weeks in my house). You quickly throw the sweet potatoes in the oven or InstantPot (whichever is your go-to) and the leftovers on reheat in the toaster oven. You go do the laundry, run one kid to soccer practice and when you’re done. Viola! Dinner is done and you accomplished it all.

Has this been you? Because I know it’s been me. On many occasions. That elaborate plan you had all day about making dinner and eating together goes out the window but when all is said and done, you managed to get the job done and quicker and easier than you anticipated.

Sometimes, all we need as super moms when we’re juggling our career, mom life, being a great wife and all the other things that come with life, is to just stop and figure out the quickest way to the end result.

Notice above, on top of everything, our family had a healthy meal that day. Everyone got where they needed to be and in the end the laundry was done. (Well at least it made it to the dryer but that’s a story for another day.)

So mom, I have some advice for you. Stop over complicating it. I know it’s easier said than done but here are a few ways to do that:

  1. Embrace imperfection: No! You do not have to be perfect! That’s right. I said it. In fact, you should be far from perfect because for one, perfection doesn’t exist so you will only drive yourself insane trying to achieve it. Two, if you were perfect, there would be no growing in your life and what kind of life would that be? Tony Robbins always says “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”
  2. Outsource: Yes! You do not have to do everything yourself! Did you hear me? You do not have to do everything yourself! In fact, it’s virtually impossible to do everything yourself if you are trying to manage a career, kids, wife, business owner, car pool driver, snack mom, fitness guru, professional chef. Um, what other hats do we wear? Look around you and see what you can give to someone else to do for once. Maybe even barter with others that you know can get the job done better than you. Buy some pre-done meals. Get a house cleaner. Whatever your budget, there’s a way to make it work.
  3. Stop pre-planning everything: Most of the time, it doesn’t work out the way you planned anyway. So relax and go with the flow. When we are in the flow of life or the Universe, sometimes it turns out even better than you could have ever expected. I promise. When we stop trying to control life, sometimes life has a better plan for us. Relax mom. It will be ok. I promise.

Practice makes perfect. Oh wait, there’s no such thing as perfect. But there is such a thing as practice. So relax because you are a mom. In the end, moms always find a way to make it work and so will you.

Need more practical tips on how to manage it all? Eat healthy, have healthy relationships and a fulfilling career? Join other busy moms just like you in our Facebook group where I share more tips like this weekly. I’d love to meet you there! Join me today!

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Busy Mom? Who says you can’t have it all?

Hi! I’m Kristy from Best Lyfe Ever. For years people made me feel terrible for having a full time executive career where I was driven to do more, focus on my health and have kids. People told me, my career would have to take a back seat at some point but I refused to listen. I totally disagree!

Are you tired of people telling you the same? I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to listen. Trust me.

Over the years I’ve had some ups and downs when it comes to health, career and balancing a healthy relationship but I’ve managed through it and learned a lot along the way.

7 years ago I started on this health journey only to find out the healthier I ate, the sicker I got. I got tired, cranky and ultimately lived daily with hives that never stopped itching and made me feel like my skin was on fire. After 6 doctors and allergists, I finally found a Naturopath that understood what I was going through and was able to help.

Later I truly cleaned up my diet and was able to get rid of my hives but found that it’s a lot harder than it seems. You know that. Time makes things tough. Who has time to cook a healthy dinner every night, raise happy kids and make time for the husband at the end of the day too? It’s hard! I know this but I’m also here to tell you that it can be done.

Here are a few key tips to start:

  1. Ask for help! No, Mom, you don’t have to do it all yourself!
  2. Find pre-made healthy meals
  3. Use tools like an InstantPot, Air Fryer or Crockpot to make your life easier
  4. Get the kids involved with the cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

These are just a few steps to get you started. I have many more like it and I learn more each and every day. I’d love to have you join me in my FREE Facebook group where I share tips and tricks daily, go live weekly and answer any questions you may have about doing it all too. Join me there!

Check it out: Best Lyfe Ever Tribe

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Addictive Energy Boosters and their Harmful Consequences

Ok… So we’ve all been there. We’ve used something to help us get more energy, whether it’s coffee, soda, Red bulls, etc. Most of us are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant and that eventually becomes an addiction. My “boost” of choice used to be Diet Soda. Some other products include exercise stimulant drinks (they come in cans and look like cola), fizzy aerated drinks, tobacco, betel nut, betel leaf, strong coffee, strong tea, ma huang (an ephedrine-like compound consumed in china), and alcohol.

Before I tell you why we shouldn’t consume these products, I’d like to deal with the question of why we do consume them in the first place.

There’s no one who doesn’t know that products like these, consumed in excess, can severely harm our bodies. Yet, we still find them hard to resist. The need to eat stimulant food is a simple human weakness that has existed for ages: humans (and many animals) have always indulged in foods that give a sort of emotional high. In clinical terms, this means rapid heart beat, a little sweating, dilation or constriction of the pupils of the eye, a warm flush on the face, and a sense of greater sensitivity, concentration and perception.

These sensations of ‘high’ die down within a few hours, and we are left feeling listless and low. This leads to a craving for that food again, to experience the high one more time. And there we are going round and round in a vicious circle.

The physiology of addictions is as follows:

When you eat an addictive food, it stimulates the hormone like substances found at the end of your nerves, which triggers an avalanche of similar stimulatory substances and you experience a high. As the substances near the nerves are depleted, you get into the low phase, which leads you to crave that food again. This yo-yo phase of nerve stimulation and depletion leads to a pattern of addiction.

Consuming addictive foods is one of the oldest unhealthy food practices and, despite a revolution in health consciousness; it shows no signs of dying out.

Below are some side effects of certain addictive foods.

Alcohol Addiction: Erosion of stomach and intestinal lining, liver damage, nutritional deficiency.

Tobacco: Erosion of gum and tongue can lead to cancer of the buccal mucosa.

Betel nut: Leads to the discoloration of teeth, erosion of the lining of the mouth, and cancer of the mouth and upper tract. It also leads to heart problems among people who already have a weak heart.

Ma huang: It contains ephedrine and leads to heart problems.

Aerated drinks: High doses of caffeine.

Caffeine and xanthine: Found in tea, coffee. These become harmful only in very high doses; don’t consume more than five cups a day.

Mixed drug reactions: People who consume medications for the heart, hypertension and asthma have to be very careful about the interactions of the drugs with stimulant foods, as mixing the two can be fatal. After years of experience, all doctors know how difficult it is to break the food addictions of their patients. So like them, I can only advise a good compromise. If you can’t break the addiction, then at least you should practice moderation.

I’ve been there. My “Boost” of choice for a long-time was diet soda, probably one of the worst! But as of 1/1/21. I have been Diet Soda free for 1 official year! Not a touch. Now I only had it occasionally for the 4 – 5 years up until there but the yo-yo effect made me quit altogether. Find yourself always needing an energy boost? Feel like you’re on the verge of burnout from all the chaos of being a mom? Schedule a FREE Breakthrough Session today!

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Top 5 Habits for Successful Weight Loss

Weight loss is a challenge we all face. In an ever-evolving modern world, it can be very difficult to find fresh food at a good price.

Fast food joints on every corner are selling a burger for a dollar, but a head of broccoli can be two or three times that price. It’s an issue with our supply and demand, but it’s a challenge that many people face when they try to eat healthy. This is real life and it makes it hard!

With varying opinions and decades of conflicting science showing that some diets work better than others, finding what’s right for you can be a challenge. Remember though there is no such thing as a perfect diet and striving for perfection can be the enemy.

With that in mind, hands down the best method you can use to achieve greater weight loss is to influence balance whenever possible.

Using a balanced diet and whole foods as our foundation to successful weight loss, let’s break down five of the most important habits you can integrate into your life in order to lose weight and keep it off.

The 5 Habits

There are way more than five habits for successful weight loss, and many people will find that by making one simple change to their life that they begin to lose weight.

With that said, these are the five most effective habits:

  1. Stay hydrated. This is perhaps one of the most overlooked components of weight loss. Not only is our body made up of at least 60% water, but hydration is important in muscle growth, circulation, and promoting healthy bowel function.

    1. Do your best to drink around 3 quarts of water daily. This daily consumption of water will help your body to remove toxins, flush out waste, and increase your potential for strength.

    1. Additionally, this habit can stave off food cravings too.

  2. Wake up earlier. This is one of the habits that would be beneficial for all of us to aspire to. Waking up early will get your system into a natural circadian rhythm. It also promotes feeling tired enough at night to get to bed at an opportune time to allow you to get enough sleep.

    1. Waking up earlier could help you sleep better, feel more energized, and promote a healthier weight.

  3. Eat more fibrous foods. The average north American gets 1/5th of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. Not only is fiber essential in balancing out your carbohydrate levels, but it is also a crucial element in weight loss.

    1. Decades of science have shown that fiber has unique properties that help to promote healthy bowel movements, which lead to greater weight management.

    1. Additionally, fiber has also been shown to limit inflammation and be a great tool for recycling cholesterol.

  4. Limit trans fats and saturated fats. Although the debate is open to interpretation, lowering the amount of dietary fat you consume to 15-20% of your total calories will help many people to start losing weight.

    1. Why is this? Adapting your diet to a more balanced macronutrient scheme of 50/30/20 (50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat) will help your body to best handle the increased amount of exercise you will likely be committing to in your quest to lose weight.

  5. Increase your daily energy expenditure. This is a fancy way of saying become more active. You don’t need to engage in really difficult workout sessions every day ‒ simply by being more active throughout the day, you will start to increase your energy expenditure and influence weight loss.

    1. Do the simple things, like parking further away at a grocery store or taking the stairs in the office.

Successful Habits Instill Positive Lifestyle Behaviors

Your best bet at losing weight is to try out new things. Try eating fresher foods and see how your body responds. Try going for more walks and see if you start to lose weight.

At the end of the day, instilling more active habits and eating fresher foods will be a step in the right direction for successful weight loss.

Feel like you have an extra 10 – 15 pounds you’d like to work on getting rid of? Let’s chat! Schedule a FREE breakthrough call today!

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There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Mom

Parenting is challenging and frustrating. It’s hard to know if you’re doing the right things and making wise choices that will benefit your children. It can sometimes feel like there’s no good answer for many of the parenting situations you find yourself in.

In parenting, as in the rest of life, perfection isn’t a possibility. There’s a saying by Vince Lombardi, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” Do your best and shoot for excellence, instead!

Use these tips to accept your flaws and be the best parent you can be:

  1. No one teaches you how to be a great mom. You learn a lot of things in school, but parenting skills aren’t commonly covered. You can read a book, observe others, or make it up as you go along.

    1. Being a great mom isn’t easy. This is easy to prove to yourself by looking at all the poor examples of parents you’ve known.

  2. Learn from your own parents. Whether your parents were spectacular, mediocre, or totally terrible, there is something that you can learn from them.

    1. Think about what your parents did well.

    1. Consider the ways in which your parents may have failed.

    1. There is a lot of good information you can use from your childhood. Discuss this with your siblings if they’re willing.

  1. Ask for feedback from your children. I’m not kidding. Tell your kids that you want to be a better mom and ask for advice. Ask them what you could do better. A lot of the information you’re given won’t be helpful, but there will be a few gold nuggets of advice in there. You might hear a few things you’ve never considered. Give your kids credit though. They are quite intuitive. My kids constantly remind me to play with them more.

  2. Ignore the non-experts. Believe me, everyone you meet will have an opinion about how to better parent children. Plenty of those people will give you advice without you asking for it. Everyone likes to be an armchair quarterback. Consider their feedback but make your own decision about whether to implement their ideas. Take the good and leave the bad.

  3. Cover the basics. These may be basic, but that doesn’t mean that they’re easy! Do your best to ensure that your kids see these concepts in action.

    • Children and everyone else need to have high self-esteem. Life is miserable and limiting without it.

    • School matters. Help your child to do as well as they can in school but don’t overdo it. Good students do have more opportunities. More importantly it helps them learn how to be successful young and provides structure in their life.

    • Be a good role model. Your children are always watching you. This is one of the most important to me. You’d be surprised what they pick up when you are not paying attention.

    • Money matters. Love is great, but it won’t pay the rent, buy shoes, or pay for the doctor. Spend your working day trying to maximize your income.

    • Keep them safe. It’s important that our kids feel like we are their protector and that their needs will be met.

    • Teach them the important things. Teach them the importance of saving money, how to make friends, how to deal with negative emotions, be honest, and other things that speak to your families values.

    • Spend time with them each day. We spend time on the things that matter. When you ignore your children, they know they don’t matter. You don’t have to go overboard though. You can read them a book, play a game or simply watch a movie with them.

    • Love unconditionally. Show your children that you love them even when they make mistakes.

  1. You can do everything right and still have challenges. Children aren’t plants. You can’t be guaranteed of success just by adding some water and fertilizer. Each child is different. You could be as perfect as humanly possible and still have a child that struggles.

  2. Read. Parenting is one of the most researched areas of study in the world. There are a lot of great books that all parents can read and use. One of my favorite’s is https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553384422/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0553384422&linkCode=as2&tag=bestlyfeever-20&linkId=7309f14f23ae8963f414deccdb686ff2">The Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful, and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old: Revised Edition“The Happiest Todder on the Block” by Harvey Karp, M.D.

No mom can ever be perfect. You’re doomed to feel like a failure if perfection is your goal. Fortunately, kids are quite resilient and don’t require perfect parenting. Keep doing your best and trying to improve. Be the best mom you can be with the knowledge and skills you have currently and your children will eventually thank you for it.

Feel like you’re burnt out from all this parenting and working? Let’s chat. Schedule a FREE 30 minute call now.

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Finding A Diet That Works

We’ve all been there. Searching for a new diet that works. It’s like a never ending cycle. If you’re a habitual dieter, wouldn’t it be nice to stop changing diets? Is there a diet that actually works? You’re not alone. This are questions we all ask ourselves.

Everyone has a habit or a vice. Some people smoke. Some people bite their fingernails. Some people can’t resist having a piece of chocolate before bed time, and others snore when they sleep. Others are habitual dieters, always looking for a new diet that promises astonishing results.

How many new diet plans have you tried? Some people can tick off a list of new diets that they have tried. They yo-yo back and forth. Atkins, weight watchers, the grapefruit diet, the soup diet, the salad diet, the low-fat diet… some people can’t even count every new diet they have tried.

Often, each new diet is punctuated by a day of binge eating. Sure, you lost weight on that latest low-carbohydrate new diet, but now you’re craving a baked potato, French fries, and a big piece of garlic bread. Been there?Wouldn’t it be great to find a new diet that allows you to eat all the foods you want while still losing weight?

The key is focusing on whole foods with the most nutrition. Have you been counting calories and focused on cutting foods? Instead think about eating all you want. Learning to focus on when your body is hungry and then feeding it with some of the most nutrient dense foods rather than junk processed foods. This is why you can eat a donut with many calories and be hungry 30 minutes later. The fact is that the donut had calories and certainly fed your body but it lacked nutrients. Therefore, your body knows it still needs nutrients so it signals that you are hungry again and the viciuos cycle starts again.

So how do we overcome this? I’ll be honest. It’s not easy but it’s worth it in the long run. Here are some ways you can do so.

  • Focus on nutrient dense foods
    • These foods will provide more of what your body is actually craving which are nutrients and vitamins that support a healthy body.

  • Listen to what your body is actually telling you
    • Your body is an extremely intelligent being. Did you know that studies now are showing that your gut is more controlling of your emotions and behavior than your brain. Ever been hangry? They you know what i’m talking about. While that is more of an extreme case it shows it.

  • Don’t eat when not hungry
    • Been there late at night, bored? Finding yourself opening the refrigerator, not necessarily because you’re hungry but more because we’re either bored or looking for the satisfaction that food would give us that our life may not be providing? It’s ok, we’ve all been there. With all the stress around us, it’s hard for us sometimes to get deep within our body and actually feel.

  • Rid yourself of processed foods
    • In our fast paced world, this can be so difficult. But the reality is, the fast food and processed food around us are killing us. We’ve gotten so far away from the source of food. With the industrial revolution we started creating foods in a plant and stopped consuming the plants. We’ve been eating whole foods for so long in our history. Processed foods are a newer creation. Our bodies are not adapting so fast to this change.
  • Start with adding more vegetables
    • Don’t expect you can just wake up tomorrow and have this down. This is a way to set yourself up for failure. Start slow. Start by adding just one additional vegetable to your plate each meal. It’s a concept called crowding out. Start by crowding out the junk by adding in the good stuff.

Get back to true nature and whole foods. If you focus here you will be able to create a sustainable lifestyle. I know it’s not easy but that’s why I am here. I can help. Start today by signing up for my FREE Mom Hacks Download which includes “5 Hacks Every Mom Should Know to Make Her Life Easier” and a BONUS, “My Secrets behind raising a happy and healthy family” guide.

Feel free to share your secrets or benefits below! I’d love to hear more success stories. 🙂

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Setting Achievable Fitness Goals In 2021

As a rule, New Year’s resolutions are notoriously prone to failure. Every year, so many of us set goals for ourselves with great intention, only to find them unfulfilled when the end of December rolls around. For whatever reason, the fiery motivation and enthusiasm felt in January begins to wane and we fall off the wagon. Let’s be real. It happens to all of us.

Many resolutions have something to do with fitness, health and physical improvement in general. This is abundantly evident by the wave of new people flooding the gym each January and the endless television commercials pushing the latest piece of fitness equipment promising that with their product, your body transformation will be a piece of cake (no pun intended).

The problem with many New Year’s resolutions, especially pertaining to fitness, is that people set goals that are either not specific enough, not sustainable or based on unrealistic expectations.

In this article, we are going to breakdown some of the more common fallacies regarding fitness goals that will hopefully set you on the right path to sticking to your fitness resolution this year!

Baby Steps Are Okay

So, you are all geared up to charge headfirst into a year full of quality workouts, clean eating and endless workout selfies on social media. You have purchased a shiny new pair of trainers, armed yourself with flashy gym outfits and maybe even acquired some sleek new headphones.

There is nothing wrong with any of these things but let’s hit pause for a second and talk about your plan for structuring your new workout and diet routine. Often times, the enormous amount of motivation felt when starting a fitness routine leads to attempting drastic changes to an individual’s lifestyle.

People try things like being determined to go the gym seven days per week or immediately cut out every bite of junk food from their diet. The problem with this mentality is that it is not sustainable.

Any kind of change is hard; therefore, it is important that you ease into the process. Start small with your plan and go from there. For instance, make it a point to workout 2-3 times per week, only give in to that bowl of ice cream on the weekends, etc.

Fitness Requires Playing The Long Game

The media makes it seem like physical transformations should be an expedited process and that noticeable results can be an overnight process. This notion is far from the truth. Buying into these ideas will only leave you discouraged and burnt out in a short amount of time. It is crucial that you understand that transforming your body can certainly be an enjoyable, fulfilling process, but it takes a lot of time and effort!

The people that you see on magazine covers and infomercials didn’t get their physique by knocking out a few sets on whatever product they are pushing “15 minutes per day, twice a week.”

Having a sound understanding of the investment required to achieve your fitness goals is a must if you plan on sticking with your resolution and avoiding the disappointment of not seeing the results you are looking for overnight.

Enjoyment Promotes Consistency

The biggest determining factor of your success in any goal you set for yourself, especially regarding fitness, is consistency. Without it, the workout routine you choose, and diet plan you follow don’t mean a thing.

That being said, your fitness journey needs to be one that you enjoy. Human nature is inherently prone to avoiding unpleasant experiences and seeking enjoyment whenever possible.

Going to the gym and eating healthy can’t be a miserable endeavor, or you will not be consistent. Having fun while being disciplined and working hard can undoubtedly happen simultaneously! Remember this is just one step in building your best lyfe. We all make mistakes. Be nice to yourself. You got this girl!

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6 Beneficial Ways to Deal with Critical People

Coming across criticism throughout your life is completely normal. Constructive criticism is fine, but some people who are so relentlessly negative that they can suck the joy out of life. No matter what happy news you might have, they are guaranteed to find the cloud to fit your silver lining.

Here are 6 strategies you can use to deal with hypercritical people.

  1. Don’t Take It Personally

It’s a safe bet that it’s not you, it’s them. Some people just hug their negativity around them like a security blanket, and it colors their view of the world. They criticize everything because that suits them. Watch how they treat other people. It’s guaranteed they criticize everybody, not just you.

  • Listen to The Message

Is the person obscuring the message? Maybe your critical colleague or friend is tactless, or bad at expressing themselves rather than being mean. Try to see past the messenger to understand what is really being said, otherwise you might miss out on some valuable advice.

  • Accept the Feedback

You can decide to take crucial feedback on its own merits. That is, as a source of honest feedback. At least with hypercritical people what you see is what you get! If you can see past the blunt delivery, you may be able to find a kernel of truth that can improve the way you do things.

  • Deal with Your Discomfort

Criticism never feels good. Try to read your own discomfort as another source of information about what is being said. Does the negative feedback trigger a recognition deep within you? Maybe it subconsciously reminds you of a past event, but maybe there’s a ring of truth in the criticism. Sit with your discomfort and see what it’s telling you.

  • If You Can’t Take the Heat, Stay Out of the Kitchen

If you can’t stand being criticized, then it’s up to you not to get into situations with people who are likely to criticize you. Don’t ask for advice or expose yourself to their negativity. They’re not likely to change, so you need to take control and avoid such conversations. Don’t share good news if you know they’ll throw cold water on it, don’t seek their praise if you know you won’t get it.

  • Stay Out of Their Way

You have a choice about how to deal with negative people. You can decide not to engage with their negativity, you can ignore them, or you can just avoid them altogether. If you must have contact with a negative person at work, for example, be helpful but don’t engage with them. Otherwise, it’s up to you whether you want to have any contact with such negativity, or not.

Ultimately, focus on controlling what you can control and don’t let anyone get in your way of living your Best Lyfe!

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Essential Oils for Personal Use – Make Bath Products, Skincare Treatments, Facial Cleansers

Essential oils are ideal for making homemade beauty and skincare products. However, before you use them, you want to be sure to avoid the stronger oils that may burn the skin or cause irritation. These include lemon oil, cinnamon oil, peppermint oil, or clove oil. There are so many great things you can do with essntial oils take some time and try things out. My personal favorite branch is https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005YETQMA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B005YETQMA&linkCode=as2&tag=bestlyfeever-20&linkId=f30ab7ab2a4cc63ad62c65adfa0832d6">Plant Therapy 7 & 7 Essential Oilss Set 7 Single Oils: Lavender, Peppermint & More, 7 Synergy Blends 100% Pure, Undiluted, Natural Aromatherapy, Therapeutic Grade 10 mL (1/3 oz)Plant Therapy. I trust the ingredients, they’re affordable and they have https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MCTVBX9/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B01MCTVBX9&linkCode=as2&tag=bestlyfeever-20&linkId=20deb4ab7fe562f9716ad26b28d9ec45">Plant Therapy KidSafe Wellness Set. 100% Pure, Undiluted, Therapeutic Grade. Includes: Tummy All Better, Nighty Night, Sniffle Stopper, Immune Boom, Germ Destroyer, Skin Soother. 10 ml (1/3 oz) each.KidSafe products that can be used for many different reasons for the kids.

Perk up tired eyes with Clary sage essential oil.

Anything that gets close to the eyes may cause a reaction, so be careful with this one. If your eyes are tired, puffy, or itchy and red due to allergies, try adding one or two drops of Clary sage oil [link to product] to a bowl of warm water. Swish to combine, then dip a clean wash cloth in and gently place over the eyes. You really need a very tiny amount of Clary sage for this. This herb has been used to heal the eyes and promote clear vision since Medieval times. If eyes burn after making contact with the warm cloth, discontinue use. If you experience unpleasant tingling, you can remove the remaining Clary sage oil by washing your face in coconut oil.

Coconut oil makes a nice facial cleanser.

You can mix up a recipe and store the rest in a glass jar with lid, until next time you want to use it. To make, combine a cup of coconut oil [link to Amazon product] with a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Drop in one or two drops of lavender, rose or geranium essential oil, or a combo of these. Apply to face, rubbing in with fingertips, and avoiding eyes.

NOTE: Avoid using the stronger oils such as lemon, peppermint or cinnamon in your facial and skin care blends. These tend to irritate and may even leave a light burn mark if applied directly to a sensitive area.

Oatmeal, coconut oil and lavender soothe the skin.

Blend up a cup of whole oats in the blender. Add to a bowl, along with a half a cup of coconut carrier oil [link to Amazon product] and about 20 drops of lavender oil [link to product]. Mix into a paste and massage into the face and neck. Remove with warm water and a wash cloth.

Mix up a lavender, rose and oatmeal bath soak.

Soothe skin after a sunburn with healing oatmeal. Blend 3 cups rolled oats with 30 drops of lavender, 30 drops of rose, or a combo of both. [link to products]  Pour in about a half a cup next time you need a good soak.

Relieve aches and pains with essential oil bath salts. Into your warm bathwater add a cup of Dead Sea bath salt [link to SaltWorks product on Amazon] along with about 5 drops of lavender oil. Swish in, then step in. Relax for about a half hour while the healing minerals and calming lavender soak in. 

Make a homemade facial cleanser or mud mask.

It only takes a quick peek on the internet to find tons of homemade skincare recipes. Many of them are clay based, using ingredients like Bentonite clay [link to Amazon product], which is derived from volcanic ash and is extremely effective at pulling out toxins. You don’t need an exact recipe to make one of these at home. Just a spoonful or two of the clay, plus bit of water or rose water [link to Amazon product] to make it pasty, and 2-3 drops of a mild essential oil such as lavender, rosemary, rose, geranium, jasmine or chamomile [link to products] will help you get the right consistency.

Add green clay to your homemade face mask.

French green clay [link to Amazon product] is another popular skincare ingredient, affording healing properties to soothe irritated skin. You might try mixing up a facial mask of a few tablespoons of French green clay [link to Amazon product], aloe from an aloe plant, and one or two drops of chamomile oil or chamomile and orange [link to products] for a facial mask that heals and purifies. Just like any skincare mask you’d buy at the store or online, apply the mask to your entire face avoiding the eye area and mouth. Leave on until the mask starts to dry, no more than 10 minutes. If your skin begins to burn or feel uncomfortable, you can always rinse the mask off early and apply a moisturizer like the one listed below.

Make copycat cleansers and moisturizers using natural ingredients.

All Natural, Homemade Cucumber Facial Cleanser

Ever consider adding fresh ingredients to your facial cleansers and masks? Why not take your cue from the skincare companies? You can make a cucumber cleanser by blending up a few slices of cucumber with a cup of yogurt and a bit of fresh mint. if your skin tends toward dry, a half teaspoon or so of sesame or jojoba oil [link to Amazon product] can be added. For extra healing and pleasant aroma, add a drop of rosemary essential oil. [link to product] Any remaining cleanser can be stored in a dark colored glass container [link to Amazon product] in the fridge. The sooner you use it, the better chance you’ll have of utilizing the natural cleanser’s healing properties.

Homemade Apricot Almond Exfoliant Recipe

Want to make your own exfoliant? Walnut shells are a popular natural ingredient in commercial skincare products. You can crack a few shelled walnuts, and add them (why not add the actual nuts, too – they’re loaded with essential fatty acids) to a blender along with a cup of plain yogurt, and some slices of fresh apricot. A drop or two of almond oil or orange oil [link to products] will put the finishing touch and add a great scent to your homemade exfoliant. Don’t forget to store what’s left in a lidded container in the fridge, and use within 4 days.

Honey Turmeric Facial Cleanser Recipe

Honey and turmeric cleanse the face. Another great recipe for homemade skin cleanser – a tablespoon of honey, about 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, [link to Amazon product] and a half-cup of yogurt. For essential oil healing power, try a drop or two of neroli oil. [link to product] Apply to the face, massaging in and avoiding eyes. Let absorb for a few minutes. Rinse using a clean wash cloth.

Choose a carrier oil and your favorite EOs for homemade facial moisturizer.

Homemade natural moisturizer can be fun to whip up at home. If you’re over 35, your skin might need an extra boost of healthy oils. Jojoba, coconut, almond, and olive oil [link to Amazon products] will all work great as the base for your natural moisturizer recipe. Fill a squirt bottle [link to Amazon product] 3/4 of the way with the carrier oil. Add 30 drops of your favorite, mild essential oils such as lavender, geranium, Clary sage, jasmine, neroli or vanilla. [link to products]

Banana Lemon Facial Cleanser Recipe

Banana works great for natural skincare. Try this make-at-home skincare treat. Mash up a banana, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon almond carrier oil [link to Amazon product], 2 drops of carrot oil [link to product]and 2 drops of neroli oil [link to product]. The almond oil adds moisturizing properties. Massage your homemade cleanser onto your cheeks, chin, nose and forehead, avoiding eyes. Let the cleanser soak in for several minutes. Remove using warm water and a clean wash cloth. Store unused portion in the refrigerator.

There are so many great things you can do with essential oils. These are just a few to get you started. Enjoy!

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LIMITING NEGATIVE SELF-TALK

Most people have dealt with some sort of negativity their entire lives. Negative experiences start during childhood and continue throughout our adult lives. This is a normal part of life that we all deal with. Too often though, our thoughts become negative as well. Even more troubling is when we start talking to ourselves in a negative manner. This negative self-talk is one of the most limiting behaviors one can deal with. Use these tips to help overcome it.

  1. Distinguish between negative thoughts and critical thinking.
    We need to have a certain amount of self-critique, otherwise we will never believe that we are doing something wrong. However, you need to recognize when that critiquing becomes negative self-talk. When you can distinguish between these, it will lead to a better situation.
  • Accept failure.
    If you like to beat yourself up whenever you fail, you are in for a steep road ahead. You will fail, and you will do it many times in your life. Embrace this as a gift rather than a burden. Try to view failure as more of a lesson learned. Don’t tell yourself you are a failure, tell yourself that you just learned what doesn’t work.
  • Repeat daily affirmations.
    You should look for affirmations that fit your current life situation. Use these as often as you can. Try repeating these affirmations every day. You should even write them out on a piece of paper and keep them close. The idea here is to program your mind for positive thinking. The more you keep at it, the more natural it will become. Ideally, those negative things you tell yourself, will eventually be taken over by your positive affirmations.

  • Limit your exposure to people who are negative.
    These people thrive on negativity and enjoy dragging others down with them. If you cannot avoid them altogether, spend as little time with them as possible. You already struggle with negative self-talk, so you don’t need them adding more negativity. If you spend more time with positive people that build you up, your negative self-talk will naturally reduce.
  • Learn to see the good in people.
    If you are always thinking negatively of others, it makes sense that you will more naturally think negatively about yourself. Being more open minded towards others will help you be more accepting of your own flaws as well.
  • Negative thinking is a choice.
    Even though you have been bombarded with it since you were a child, thinking negatively is something you choose to do. Conversely, positive thinking is just as much a choice as negative thinking. Choose positive thinking. This isn’t an easy quick fix, it takes a lot of work and practice. …so start now!
  • Strengthen your self-belief.
    Negative thinking often occurs due to a lack of belief in yourself. When you strengthen your confidence, it will help you get through those times that bring you down.

ACTIONABLE STEPS

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Each month find a new affirmation that you can repeat to yourself daily. Affirmations will help you switch your focus from negativity to positivity.          Set up a negativity journal and write in it whenever you think a negative thought. Write down all your feelings and if possible, the reasons why you came to that negative conclusion. The write down the reasons the negative thought ISN’T true.  Write down three aspects of your life you are grateful for. It can be anything you want. Think about your family and other people in your life. Think about your job or your business. Repeat this as often as possible.  

FURTHER READING

Check out some of the below books to help take the next step. Remember we are constantly evolving and there is no such thing as perfection. But don’t ever stop working towards your Best Lyfe!


1. What to Say When You Talk to Your Self

2. Talk to Yourself Like a Buddhist

3. Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence

4. 365 Days of Positive Self-Talk

5. Me, Myself, and Lies: What to Say When You Talk to Yourself

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Basics Of Nutrition

There are many things to learn about when it comes to nutrition. But the basic concept is “What goes in must come out.” Your body is like a machine: it takes what it needs from what you feed it and gets rid of the rest by urine and the bowels. So let’s talk poop…

If you notice you have a problem about elimination, you should take it seriously, go see a doctor. Many people have this problem. Don’t be shy or anything, it can be very serious to your health.

The first step is finding out if there even is a problem. First you should see how many bowel movements you have daily (BM). If you have one per day it’s not a problem, however it is better to have 2 to 3 BM’s a day and more if you eat more often. But if you find you are having one per week or 2 per month, then you have a serious problem.

For some people they might say they don’t find the time. The reason could be they are out all day and would prefer to have their BM at home rather than a public bathroom. But let me tell you, you will keep your colon quite happy if you go several times for the day. If you are looking for a trick it would be to eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables, steamed beets and using digestive enzymes with your meals. Do whatever you can; it will be beneficial to you.

I have just lightly touched on the subject, but if you have a problem you should consult a doctor and seek help. Because this problem is not good for your health, take care of it today and look forward to tomorrow. May you live a healthy and prosper life.

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Goal Setting for Kids

While many adults set goals and New Year’s resolutions not many children attempt to do this. Why not help your children set goals or resolutions for the coming year?

There is no reason why your child cannot set a goal and this is a great habit for them to get into. Their goal could be something as simple as reading one book each month or learning how to print their name by their 4th birthday. Other goals could be to learn how to tie their shoes or even to help mom in the kitchen at dinner time.

Getting your children into the habit of setting goals and reaching them will help them in all areas of their lives. They will learn it is possible to set a goal and reach it and that this process can actually be a fun one.

You could always make your child’s goal relate to yours in some way or other.  By doing this, everyone in the family can be working on similar things. For example you may want to exercise more so why not involve your kids too? Help them decide what type of exercise or sport they would like to participate in. Family sports include things like skating, ski-ing, hiking, cycling, walking and running. Or you could all sign up for a self defence class.

Once your child has decided on their new goal help them write it down and create a date for it to be in place. Try not to make the decision for them, give them ideas and suggestions but let them make the final choice.

Even very young children can set a goal for themselves, whether it is just cleaning their room or learning to get dressed without any help. Be available to give them help when it is needed, but allow them to try and figure out how to reach their own goals.

You should encourage your children to set a goal that can be achieved in a relatively short time frame. Getting them to learn how to tie up their own running shoes by spring would be a good example. Goal dates could be based around the changing of the seasons, based on their birthday or for the start of your annual family vacation.

Children will have a much shorter attention span so it is important that you are there to give them encouragement and support as needed. It may not be necessary for them to work on their goal every single day. Maybe putting some time aside on the weekend is sufficient.

Older children can have larger goals, possibly ones where they have to save money in order to get something they have dreamed of owning. Or you may offer to pay half if they save up the other half. This teaches children that they have to work to get things in life. Plus they will value their new item more if they had to spend some of their own cash for it!

Once your child reaches their goal let them know how proud you are of them. Share their success with other family members too. Then encourage them to set a new goal. Goals can be set around personal achievements, the desire for a new toy or wanting to join a new sports team or take up a new hobby.

If their goal is a little harder for them to achieve, help them write out a plan of smaller steps so that they can actually reach their goals. Remember to help them learn to enjoy their journey by making it fun. It’s never to early to teach them how to build their Best Lyfe!

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Are You Cooking The Nutrients Out Of Your Food?

There is a great deal of evidence that tells us that some cooking methods are not appropriate for all foods. In fact, some foods retain all of their essential vitamins only when consumed raw. However, cooking does allow your body to digest other vital compounds more efficiently, making cooking a necessary part of a well-rounded, nutritious diet.

More important than the “raw versus cooked” food debate is the method which you use to cook your food. How you cook your food will determine its nutritional value when it is ready to eat.

How Should I Cook For the Most Nutritious Food?

The thick cell walls of plants make the nutrients and vitamins contained inside of them difficult for our bodies to access. When you cook plant-based foods, those cell walls are broken down. Cooking some foods can increase your body’s ability to absorb specific nutrients as well as improve digestion of essential compounds such as antioxidants and proteins.

Cooking can, however, degrade some nutrients, with some cooking methods preserving food’s nutritional value better than others. Vitamins B and C are water-soluble, so cooking them for long periods of time in water will significantly reduce the presence of these vitamins in those foods.

In particular, boiling, poaching and simmering of most fruits or vegetables is not recommended because it removes a great deal of these critical vitamins from your fresh foods. Water-soluble Vitamin C can be retained by cooking these foods without water and at lower temperatures, or by eating them raw.

Other short cooking methods that can help you retain Vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients include microwaving, roasting, baking, steaming, and stir-frying. Each of these has benefits for particular foods and vitamins, but in general, the shorter cooking times and lack of water make these methods suitable for cooking many types of foods and for preserving their nutritional value.

Tips for Retaining Nutrients While Cooking

It is always advisable to use as little water as possible, avoiding long exposure to water at high heat for most vegetables. If you sauté or steam vegetables, use the liquid in the pan as a part of your recipe to still enjoy the nutrients lost to the water during cooking. Always use as little water as possible to cook foods.

When preparing vegetables for cooking, leave the peel on and leave the vegetables whole whenever possible. This will decrease the surface area exposed to water, thereby reducing the vitamin loss. You can always peel or cut foods up after cooking if you prefer to eat them that way.

Shorter cooking times preserve more nutrients than more prolonged exposure to heat. This allows the cell walls to break down, so you can access nutrients without degrading the food more than is necessary. Quick cooking techniques like stir-frying and microwaving are shown to decrease Vitamin C loss in many vegetables.

To Cook or Not to Cook?

It may seem impossible to make the “correct” choice between eating all food raw or cooking everything. In reality, eating a variety of foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains, nuts, and seeds as well as using a variety of cooking methods will give your body all the nutrients you need to be healthy.

Try to not always cook your vegetables the same way, as some cooking methods preserve certain nutrients but degrade others, and remember to eat raw foods regularly, too.

When you select varied cooking methods across time to prepare your foods, you will ensure your body has access to all the necessary vitamins and minerals your fresh food has to offer.

Let’s work together today to stop the vicious cycle of dieting and work on a clean diet where you can create a lifesytle.

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5 Ways to Remain Self-Motivated After a Setback

You did it! You figured out how to be self-motivated. It was no small feat, but now you’re done…right?

Not so fast. Just because you learned how to be motivated from within doesn’t mean the chase is over, and you’ve won the game.

Just as life has its ebbs and flows, people have their own ups and downs. You may have a setback (or two or three), and in that case, you have no idea how your mindset could change.

That may sound daunting, but it’s important to be realistic. If you’ve gotten this far as a self-motivated individual, you’ve likely had to be realistic with yourself in the past. It’s not game over – you’ve just started a new level, a new phase of life that you’ll have to conquer. Check out these 5 ways to keep up the self-motivation after facing a setback.

  1. Redefine Your Approach

If you did the same things for your entire life and never made changes to your approaches, you probably wouldn’t make much progress. When you feel like you hit a roadblock, view it as a chance to figure out a new way around it.

  • Spend Time with People Who Make You Feel Good

Not everyone makes you feel great. Whether it’s a personality conflict or someone who brings you down, if you feel like you’re leaving a social situation with more negative feelings than positive ones, it might be a good idea to check out of it altogether. Those people definitely won’t lift you up and help you get back on your feet.

  • Give Yourself Some TLC

The first thing you may do when you experience a setback is to get angry with yourself. You may turn from self-motivated mode to self-deprecation mode in a matter of moments. Don’t do that! Instead, remind yourself of all the great things you’ve done – all of your accomplishments and wonderful qualities. Give yourself a designated period of self-care, because as soon as you beat yourself up about something, it’ll be much harder to get those inspiration levels back up later.

  • Reward Yourself at Least Once Daily

While you’re indulging in self-care, be sure to do at least one positive, uplifting thing daily. That doesn’t mean finishing a pint of ice cream or staying in bed all day. It means you should do something productive that makes you happy. Try taking a walk outside or cooking a healthy, delicious meal. Maybe you’d like to try out a new hobby or start going to the gym.

  • Let the Past be the Past

It’s called the past for a reason. You could spend hours thinking about what happened before your setback and how you could have changed it. Hindsight is 20/20, so the only thing that will happen here is it will make you feel worse. Be confident in your decisions, and don’t look back. 

There will be set backs over the years. That is normal. It’s in these times that we are growing the most. It’s what you do in these times that make the difference. So go after it! Create your Best Lyfe!

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Eat Your Stress Goodbye – Stress Reducing Diet

When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think big meals, take-out, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol. Let’s face it – we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.

When you’re turning to unhealthy foods you can feel better temporarily, but in the long run, you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.

Foods that Fight Stress

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combating stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing these stress-busting foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.

Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

  • Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. However, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.
  • Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best superfoods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially antho-cyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.
  • Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress; what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen the stress you’re feeling. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.
  • Chocolate – Although it’s usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time you’re stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.
  • Beef – Grass-fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for people, too. Grass-fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vit-amins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.
  • Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy properties to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel-good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.
  • Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. There is no denying the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in-between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.
  • Pistachios – another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack-size portions of pistachios per day can lower vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!
  • Green Leafy Vegetables – leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Along with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.
  • Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yogurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yogurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and behavior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.

Putting Together Your Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. However, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yogurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress.When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eating a diet which is healthy and balanced.

In order to stay on track, it’s a good idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier overall, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

A good example of a healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries

Mid-morning snack: Natural yogurt with fruit or a handful of pistachio nuts

Lunch: A whole-grain pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens

Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate

Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables

Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea! Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yogurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.

Need some help putting this all together? I can certainly help you through. Check out the latest updates from Best Lyfe Ever including my FREE mood boosting course! Plus don’t forget to share your success stories!

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DISCLAIMER:

This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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6 Simple Tricks for Dealing with Pressure

If you aren’t careful, pressure can sneak up and overwhelm you. Before you know it, you’re a mess. Sitting in your chair, sweating, heart racing, and dreading the thought of doing any work. Fortunately there are some tricks to dealing with pressure. With a little practice, you can turn nerve-wracking stress into pure motivation.

Count Backwards

It sounds simple, but counting backwards from 100 is a great way to distract yourself from pressure and reset your mindset. This easy trick is the perfect way to get started doing a task that you’ve been putting off. Simply sit back, close your eyes, and count backwards thinking only of the numbers instead of what is stressing you out.

Meditate

Meditation is an excellent way to relieve stress according to numerous medical studies. Clearing your mind from all thought and concentrating on your breathing leaves no room in your head to fixate and focus on what’s bothering you. Learning to meditate is one of the best ways to beat chronic stress and overwhelming pressure that there is.

Exercise

Nothing works like exercise when it comes to dealing with pressure. Not only does the act itself take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out, it also helps your brain to release positive endorphins that can make you feel great. People who exercise regularly report feeling less stress and pressure at work and at home.

Believe in Yourself

Positive thinking can be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. The simple act of believing in yourself and knowing that you’re doing your best is a great way to turn pressure into motivation. The next time you’re faced with overwhelming pressure, tell yourself that you can do it. Whatever tasks lay before you, think positively about them and envision yourself completing them.

Enjoy What You Do

It never hurts to enjoy what you do, although this can be a difficult way of dealing with pressure. Look for the little things in the task that you like doing and complete them. You’ll find that once you start working you’re motivated to keep going. People who enjoy their jobs report feeling less pressure and higher levels of motivation than those who don’t like what they do for a living.

Stand Up and Take a Break

If nothing else is working, then stand up and take a break. Taking 5 minutes for yourself every hour is a great way to reset and refocus on the task at hand. Studies have shown that people who socialize at work, or even just stand up and stretch their legs, get more done than those who sit at their desk worrying over the task at hand.

Need help with any of this? Reach out! I have many ways I can help you through this which includes teaching you to meditate, get on a healthy path or just with learning how to live a better lifestyle and your Best Lyfe Ever! Don’t forget to also check out my FREE online course to help with boosting your mood!

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10 Ways To Sneak Some Extra Fruits And Vegetables In Your Family’s Diet

We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they? Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there. We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food. If your family is anything like mine, they’d much rather fill up on a bag of chips or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of trying an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli. So we’ll have to get creative. Here are a few ideas to “sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits in your family’s diet.

1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure. Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine in a thermal cup on the way to work. To make it even more appealing for your kids, use some frozen yogurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast.

2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your husband’s briefcase and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. My family loves banana chips in their breakfast cereal.

3. Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on bread.

4. Have a salad bar at dinner. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad.

5. Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.

6. Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit.

7. Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with ranch dip. And of course there’s ants on a log. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).

8. Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little luck their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.

9. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold.

10. Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they lose a turn and Mom gets to pick.

Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time.

Here is another tip:

Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on.