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Health + Wellness

Health + Wellness, Reviews

3 Ways Physical Activity Helps Your Business + Fabletics Activewear Review Fall 2015

November 11, 2015

The importance of health while building your business is kinda my thing. Because I strongly believe that when you feel your best, you’ll do your best.

My motivation comes and goes just like everyone else, but there are little things I do to keep going. When I’m active and eating mostly whole foods, I definitely notice a boost in my productivity and really, my mood overall.

Today I want to touch briefly on the ways physical activity can help your business, then introduce you to a lovely new brand of activewear I’ve fallen in love with.

3 Ways Physical Activity Helps Your Business

  1. Improve alertness + mental focus by increasing blood flow to the brain
  2. Increase energy to accomplish your goals
  3. Better handle stress, while decreasing feelings of depression + anxiety

[Further reading: Exercise Increases Productivity from Huffington Post]

Fabletics Activewear Review

Fabletics Activewear Review

Lately I’ve found myself in workout clothing about 75% of the time. Since I’ve started CrossFit and have continued yoga (plus work from home), I decided it was time to invest in some higher quality gear. Continue Reading…

Business, Health + Wellness, Lifestyle

How Your Physical Environment Affects Your Work

October 28, 2015
How Your Physical Environment Affects Your Work

Have you ever noticed that you seem to get more work done when you go to a coffee shop? Or maybe you get more done when you shut yourself in your office?

This quote sums it up:

“You are a product of your environment.” – W. Clement Stone twitter icon

Our physical environment can have a large impact on our internal state, and therefore, our productivity.

Pros + Cons to 4 Common Work Environments for Entrepreneurs

Pros + Cons to 4 Common Work Environments for Entrepreneurs

Continue Reading…

Health + Wellness, Lifestyle

6 Reasons Vacations are Vital (+ Adventures in Colorado)

October 14, 2015
vacations are vital

In September, I took the first real vacation off from work in about three years.

Earlier in the summer I had implemented what I call “no-work-weekends,” but that’s really not enough.

Did you know that studies show after about 50 hours a week, productivity actually starts to go down?

While working less than 50 hours a week isn’t realistic for some entrepreneurs, I urge you to schedule vacations and breaks into your life for your sanity, health AND business success. They aren’t just luxuries. They are completely necessary.

6 Reasons Vacations are Vital

Creativity

Your mind needs time to relax in order to foster creativity.

Have you ever found that when you step away from a problem, such as taking a shower, the answer to something you’ve been working on hits you?

This Huffington Post article claims, Continue Reading…

Health + Wellness, Lifestyle

5 Portable, Quick, Healthy Bites Snack Recipes {Round-up}

September 23, 2015
healthy snack roundup

Doesn’t fall always seem a little exciting? Students are headed back to school, we’re all coming off the excitement of summer and ready to get a little more serious.

Or…maybe that’s just me, while everyone else is thinking about football.

But in case I’m not alone, I wanted to do a quick round-up of my favorite healthy bite snacks to keep us all going!

They’re known by a variety of names, but I’ll stick with Lindsay’s since she’s kinda known for them 😉

Healthy bites are perfect to whip together on a Sunday afternoon so you have a healthy snack to grab through the week. They’re super portable, so you can take them to the office, while traveling, etc. Plus, they’re so versatile you won’t get sick of them.

I love them so much I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to them! Below I’ve chosen 5 of my favorites that don’t require food processors. Enjoy! Continue Reading…

Health + Wellness, Lifestyle

4 Favorite Tools for Staying Healthy as an Entrepreneur

August 19, 2015
staying healthy as an entrepreneur

Running your own business can feel like a whirlwind sometimes. Between client work, working on your business, and trying to fit in time for family and friends, it’s easy to let self-care take a back seat.

But it’s so important to the success of your business and your own fulfillment. You can’t help others from an empty tank.

Here are 4 of my favorite tools for staying healthy as a business owner:
*These are not affiliate links, just tools I love!

1. Headspace

Headspace is an app for guided meditation. I’ve tried a variety of guided meditations before, but I connected best with this one.

Meditation is the perfect partner for entrepreneurs because it can:

  • Improve productivity at work
  • Improve creative thinking
  • Lower blood pressure / promote relaxation
  • Help with insomnia
  • Lower anxiety

Those are just a few of the benefits of meditation, of course. If you’re interested in learning more from a modern perspective, I highly recommend the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Continue Reading…

Business, Health + Wellness

What To Do When You’re Overworked & Overwhelmed

July 29, 2015
emily hein overworked overwhelmed

Today’s post is from Emily Hein, private practice dietitian and food/wellness blogger at Zen and Spice. She’s one of my favorite wellness bloggers to follow and has great advice on living a balanced life.

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Our lives are so rushed. We’re trying to get a list of tasks done, and finish as much as we can each day, speeding along in our lives to our next destination. We rush what we need to do there so we can move to the next. We’re overwhelmed by what feels like non-stop, never ending demands and to-do lists. Our smartphones keep us always connected with work demands.

At the end of the day, we’re exhausted. Our minds are over-stressed from the busyness. We don’t have time for what’s important to us, what we really want to be doing, and for spending time with our loved ones. But we don’t have to live like this. We can enjoy a simpler life; we only need to choose to. That’s what mindfulness is about. Being mindful of what we are doing in the present moment, taking our time, and only thinking about what can be done in the present moment.

Meditation and mindfulness helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us “rest and digest”—opposite of the sympathetic nervous system, which is associated with the fight or flight response. We may not be running from a wooly mammoth, but stress from work and home life creates the same type of response in our bodies.

Here are some questions to ask yourself the next time you feel stressed about a big “to-do” list. If you don’t have enough time in your day to take care of yourself, it may be time to eliminate some things so you can.

What’s really important?

It may be your family, a spouse, children, doing well at your job, blogging three times per week, or running a ten minute mile. Step back and look at what’s really important to you. What do you really want to be doing? Are you being you? Or are you doing things you think you should be doing? Make a list of things that are truly important to you. Then do them.

What are your true commitments?

We have too many commitments in today’s world. We can’t do everything that we say we’re going to do. Just accept this. Do what’s important to you and eliminate what isn’t.

Do you have enough time to take care of yourself?

If you don’t have time in your schedule to cook yourself a balanced meal, incorporate physical activity, relax or meditate, then you’re doing too much. It’s not worth being insanely busy if your body and mind take a hit. If your body and mind aren’t functioning at their best, it will be hard to put your best self forward. You don’t have to go to the gym every day, but just focusing on moving more throughout the day can make a huge difference. Meal planning and grocery shopping ahead of time can help you eat healthy during busy weeks.

How much are you trying to do per day?

We only have twenty four hours in a day. Don’t fill up your day with tasks. If you try to do ten tasks per day (and fail), do three important ones instead. Save the others for the next day. Complete your three tasks with mindfulness and don’t try to rush through them.

What can you eliminate?

Simplify your to-do list down to the essentials. Again, you can’t do everything. Even if you could, more things will probably pop up. Do you really need to cook dinner, fold laundry, write a blog post, sweep the floor and do the dishes in the next two hours? What can you save for later or tomorrow? What can you delegate to others?

With that said, slow down and enjoy every task. Whatever you’re doing, do it with a sense of calm. Whether it be taking a shower, cooking dinner, or driving. Just slow down. You do not need to complete this task at record speed. Pay attention, instead of thinking about other things. Be in the moment. It sounds silly to “be in the moment” while you’re brushing your teeth, but this is the simplest step you can take to become more mindful in your life.

Have you simplified your life? What have you cut out? What do you slow down and pay attention to?

About Emily

emily heinEmily Hein is a private practice dietitian and food/wellness blogger based out of Dallas, Texas. She thinks eating should be easy and pleasurable– not a hassle! On her blog you’ll find easy recipes using natural ingredients, intuitive eating advice, and meditation & mindfulness tips. She aims to inspire her clients and readers to fuel their body with real, unprocessed food and live for mindfully and in the present moment.

Website // Twitter // Instagram // Facebook

Health + Wellness

10 Natural Foods that Promote Oral Health

July 27, 2015
10 foods for oral health

Today’s post is from Jennifer McCarrick, who works for a holistic dental practice in Miami, FL. I’ve written about oil pulling, so I thought this would be a great follow up topic that everyone can benefit from.

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You’re probably aware of the most dangerous foods for your oral health – most notably, sugar-laden candies and acidic beverages like soda. But what are the foods that can actually restore tooth enamel, prevent decay, and keep bacteria at bay?

Here are 10 natural foods to incorporate into your diet if you would like to start a holistic approach to good oral health.

1. Carrots

Carrots are low-acidic veggies that contain high amounts of fiber. Any fruit or vegetable with a similar makeup is commonly referred to as a “dental detergent.” As you chew, these super foods actually scrub away leftover debris, leaving your teeth and gums clean without having to brush after every meal. Carrots are also a good source of beta-carotene, the red orange pigment that the body converts to retinol, or Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a nutrient necessary for making and maintaining healthy teeth.

2. Raw Onion

Red onions are known to do a number on your breath, but the antibacterial properties found in their makeup are great for keeping mouths clean. Fighting bacteria is the best way to prevent cavities and other oral infections. Just make sure to eat them in small amounts and only when you aren’t planning for a big meeting or date. If you absolutely can’t stand raw onions, cooking them is better than eliminating altogether. Be aware that high heat breaks down nutrient density, so the overall effect of cooked onions on oral health is diminished.

3. Ginger

Fresh ginger root is known for being an anti-inflammatory digestive aid, but it can also be used to treat common mouth ailments. To heal a toothache naturally, scrub the outer skin of ginger root with a vegetable brush. Then, cut a ½ inch thick piece from the main root with a pairing knife. Peel the skin and place the ginger directly underneath the aching tooth. Bite down and allow the ginger juice to surround the affected area. Swish the juice with your tongue and chew once the piece has softened. After chewing for five minutes, either swallow or spit the remaining pulp. Repeat multiple times a day as needed.

4. Cranberries

These tart berries contain high amounts of polyphenols, which prevent plaque from sticking to teeth. The number one cause of cavities is plaque buildup, so chewing on fresh cranberries can help with this issue. Be careful about buying big brand cranberry juice as most contain added sugar, a beverage commonly referred to as “cranberry juice cocktail.”

5. Spinach

Spinach has both calcium and phosphorous, two highly important minerals for a healthy mouth. Spinach also raises the pH levels in the human body to fight the bad bacteria most commonly associated with high-protein diets.

6. Salmon

A study cited in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, shows that the omega-3s fish oils (specifically DHA) found in salmon reduce the risk of periodontitis. Periodontitis damages both gums and the bones that support your teeth; so preventing this disease is crucial to keeping your mouth healthy. Salmon is also rich in Vitamin D, which has been shown to minimize the risk of tooth decay by 50 percent.

7. Water

Water isn’t necessarily a food, but it does make up over half of both men’s and women’s bodies. Drinking plenty of water – at least 8 cups a day – flushes bacteria out of your mouth and reduces your risk of gum disease and plaque-related disorders. Plus, regular rinsing and flushing promotes fresh breath.

8. Apples

Much like carrots, apples are considered a dental detergent. But be careful to limit your intake of acidic fruits since they can erode tooth enamel and leave you susceptible to advanced oral complications.

9. Cashews

The outer shell of cashews contains oils that have been proven to fight bacteria in the mouth. As previously mentioned, bacteria is one of the major causes of tooth decay. Although high in fat, cashews contain a lower percentage than other popular nuts, including almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and pecans.

10. Dark Chocolate

According to an Osaka University research study, the husk of the cocoa bean has anti-bacterial properties that might significantly reduce the incidence of plaque, bacteria, and tooth decay. However, these benefits are only associated with raw cocoa and not the processed milk chocolate typically seen in grocery store candy bars. Additionally, dark chocolate still contains sugar, so you must keep up a brushing and flossing regimen so leftover sugar doesn’t rot your smile.

While all of these foods are considered “raw,” make sure to incorporate other types of nutrient-dense substances in your diet. Eating an entirely raw diet might be too powerful on the enamel and subsequently cause it to wear down overtime. Without strong enamel, you risk tooth decay and gum disease.

BIO

headshotJennifer McCarrick is a Media Coordinator at Assure A Smile. She holds a Bachelor’s of Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and enjoys writing about everything from holistic practices to general healthcare. Follow Assure A Smile on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health + Wellness

10 Minute At-Home Work Out Break

July 13, 2015
quick at home workout for entrepreneurs

Hi! I’m Tara from Treble in the Kitchen and I am so happy to be guest blogging for Danielle today! Danielle and I connected a while back, and I have loved keeping up with her healthy approach to running your own business. She has so much good advice to offer! Treble in the Kitchen is my little corner of the web where I love sharing my latest kitchen experiments (mostly healthy, some not!), my latest workouts, and bits and pieces of my life.

treble in the kitchen

While I am a Bodypump instructor and certified personal trainer, I recently started going to school full-time to fulfill my longtime dream of becoming a Registered Dietitian. The great thing about my schooling is that I am doing it through a DISTANCE learning program, which means I get to create my own schedule and I can work from home…much like an entrepreneur!

treble in the kitchen arm workout 2

That being said, I completely understand that when you work from home you really are working all the time, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but does make it difficult to squeeze activity and fitness into the day.

I’ve created a great arm workout that focuses on light weight and high repetition. I love to use this workout as a little screen-time break in the middle of my day, but you could tag this workout on to an outdoor run or walk or fit it in wherever YOU feel the need to move your body. Continue Reading…

Health + Wellness

6 Essential Steps To Optimize Your Immune System

July 8, 2015
immune system

Today’s post is written by Julie Hays. Writer, health-nut and mama of two little girls, Julie is on a mission to empower others to live natural, healthy lives free from the continual microbiome depletion that many of us face today. You can find more of her work at GutHealthNews.org.

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Most of us know that a weakened immune system can leave us feeling run down and vulnerable to sickness, but the truth is, until we find ourselves coming down with a cold, most of us are guilty of neglecting or even just forgetting about our immune system health. While it’s true that our immune systems are powerful weapons against deadly disease and bacteria, they’re also very vulnerable, and can be easily weakened, overstimulated or damaged by elements of modern living.

So how can we hone immune health? And what steps can we take to ensure that our immune systems remain in tip-top shape year round? Consider these six essential steps for optimizing your immune system naturally.

EAT CLEAN.

Yep, you guessed it – diet plays a HUGE part in strengthening your immune function. Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet is known for its overconsumption of processed foods, saturated fats, refined grains and sugar – the very culprits shown to suppress immune function, cause bodily malfunction and leave the door open for pathogens to enter freely.

A healthy immune system depends on a balance of vitamins and minerals, which is why proper nutrition is SO important! For optimal immune health, focus on a balanced diet rich in immune-boosting nutrients such as…

  • Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, bell peppers and brussel sprouts.
  • Vitamin E, found in almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds, is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection.
  • Vitamin B6 plays a critical role in immune system function. Bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish and chickpeas are great sources of vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin A, another powerful antioxidant, can be found in carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and squash.
  • Prebiotics trigger the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system, building a strong immune response against unwanted foreign bacteria. Garlic, onions, bananas, and unrefined whole grains (like steel-cut oats) are great sources of prebiotics.
  • Folate/Folic Acid, found in beans and dark, leafy green vegetables, is key for maintaining immune health.
  • Zinc increases killer cells that fight against disease and helps white cells release more antibodies. Oysters, red meat, lamb, pumpkin seeds and beans are all loaded with this essential, immune-strengthening mineral.

GET MOVING.

Did you know that one in four American women doesn’t exercise at all? And according to research, that’s an easy way to set yourself up for sickness. In fact, one study found that those who exercised for at least 20 minutes a day, five times a week experienced 43% fewer days sick than those who exercised once a week or less.

Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells (the disease-fighting cells), allowing them to circulate more rapidly, so they’re able to detect and fight illnesses earlier than they might have before.

One of the number one reasons given for not exercising is a lack of time. But the good news is, you don’t have to run a marathon to keep your immune system in pristine shape! Experts say that just 30 minutes of aerobic activity —a brisk walk counts— is enough to sweep white blood cells back into circulation, allowing your immune system to function at its best. And just think of all of the time you will save in sick days!

HIT THE HAY.

A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your immune function. Researchers from The University of Chicago found that patients who only slept four hours a night for one week produced half the amount of flu-fighting antibodies in their blood compared with those who slept 7½ to 8½ hours a night for the same time period.

Sleep deprivation has been shown to cause a reduction in T-cells (a type of white blood cell essential for immunity) and an increased production of inflammatory cytokines, potentially leading to a greater risk of developing a cold or flu. And if you do get sick, poor sleep quality can also negatively affect the time it takes your body to recover. Simply put – your immune system needs sleep to do its job!

Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of uninterrupted rest every night. Try bumping your nightly routine back an hour earlier and turning off TV and electronics a few hours before bedtime to let your body’s natural responses kick in. Your immune system will thank you!

STRESS LESS.

We know that stress is bad for our mental health, and research shows that it’s capable of causing just as much mayhem to our physical health. Stress overload has been shown to increase the hormone, cortisol, which, if prolonged, can suppress immune function.

Researchers have long suspected a link between our immune function and mental health state. One study has even suggested an interesting link in seasonal affective disorder and immune health, citing a lack of sun exposure as one of the possible causes for our increasingly stressed and sickly modern society. A lack of sun exposure can actually keep the body from producing Vitamin D, which is essential to immune function. So aim to spend some time every day (15 to 20 minutes) outside in the sunshine.

In addition to getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine, try implementing some daily stress-reducing practices. Activities such as deep breathing and meditation, yoga or stretching, or even keeping a gratitude journal have been shown to reduce overall stress levels and improved well-being.

BALANCE BACTERIA. Continue Reading…

Health + Wellness, Lifestyle

The Necessity of Self-Care for Solopreneurs

July 6, 2015
self care solopreneurs

When you start your own business, it’s almost guaranteed that your self-care (and much else) will suffer. Running a business takes all the heart and soul you can give. twitter icon

While self-care is important for everyone, solopreneurs often need a reminder. We have to work both IN our business and ON our business. We spend long days on client projects then weekend mornings on admin + advertising our own business. Self-care gets pushed to the back-burner.

But have you considered what those moments of self-care are really buying you? That massage, 15 minute meditation, pedicure, yoga class, etc.?

Negative energy from stress uses up space in your brain (among other negative side-effects). But the increased circulation, endorphins, relaxation, etc. from your self-care act will free up creative energy. Think of everything you could accomplish if you had more space to breathe.

I say this all the time:

When you feel your best, you’ll do your best. twitter icon

I’m an advocate for:

One of the biggest struggles I’ve found so far as a solopreneur (meaning I’m mostly a one-woman shop) is the difficulty of taking vacations. My goal for this year is to take at least 2 weeks worth of vacation. Complete time off away from work. It can be really hard to do in the beginning (I went two years without a vacation) but they’re restorative and vital.

“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” -Eleanor Brownn

eleanor brownn self care

In the Comments:

What’s one self-care act you’ll do today?