Daily patterns to a healthy, happy life

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Stop Pretending That You Have It All Under Control

Stop Pretending That You Have It All Under Control

Guest post by Michelle Keinan Let’s admit it – it feels really good to have your shit together. That feeling of checking things off of your to-do list, looking cute on social media, being a go-getter. It’s just so… validating. Like – you’re worthy, you’re amazing, […]

How to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

How to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

We can all do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. The United Nations recently released a list of simple personal hygiene and social distancing measures that we can all practice everyday. Check out the list below and please pass this along – we […]

Enjoy the Power of Seeds with the 5 Seed Butter Spread + a No-Bake Energy Bites Recipe

Enjoy the Power of Seeds with the 5 Seed Butter Spread + a No-Bake Energy Bites Recipe

Not everyone can eat nut butters. Whether it’s an allergy or you just want a tasty, healthy alternative to peanut, almond, cashew or other nut butters, there several options including the Beyond the Equator’s 5 Seed Butter Spread.

Beyond the Equator Bites

Founded by farmer Carl who began farming sugarcane in Louisiana 40 years ago. As his passion for farming grew, he began traveling south of the equator to farm where he discovered superfoods in Bolivia and Peru. Carl realized these nutrient-packed crops were underused and unappreciated in the states, so in 2017 he co-founded Beyond the Equator to merge superfoods with everyday life.

This now includes a line made with five nut butters made with chia, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, and hemp seeds that come in a variety of textures and flavors such as creamy, unsweetened, chocolate, and crunchy. Packed with nutrients, the nut butters also include 8 grams of protein along with healthy omega 3’s, antioxidants and fiber.

5 Seed Butter Spread Review

Additionally, the 5 Seed Butter Spread are also made in facility free from the 8 top allergens (including peanuts, tree nuts or soy) and free from any GMOs. The line is also naturally gluten-free as well as vegan and keto, too. We love dip it with fruit and veggies as well as in sandwiches and in smoothies. We also recently used it in for Chocolate Chip No-Bake Energy Bites (see recipe below) and loved how it added depth, texture and a rich flavor to this favorite snack.

No-Bake Chocolate Chip Energy Bites Recipe with 5 Seed Butter:

5 Seed Butter Spread Review

1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of 5 Seed Butter (we used creamy)
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of chia seeds (can also use flax, hemp seeds, etc)
pinch of salt
handful of pumpkin seeds

Instructions:
Place everything in a bowl and mix. If the mixture is too sticky, add in a bit more oats. Roll the “dough” into small balls. Place them on a tray and refrigerate. You can devour in around an hour but the bites retain a stronger consistency the longer you chill them.

5 Seed Butter Spread Review

Check out more info about Beyond The Equator.

5 Steps to Support the Immune System

5 Steps to Support the Immune System

Guest post by Dr. Stephanie Berg, ND As everyone takes action to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it’s always good to remember all the easy ways we can take care of our immune systems. In addition to physical distancing and thoroughly and frequently washing our […]

How to Cope with Stress & Anxiety

How to Cope with Stress & Anxiety

We are a stressed out and anxious nation. This is especially true during the challenging time of COVID-19. To help alleviate some stress, we enlisted the help of Phyllicia Bonanno, a certified yoga instructor and W Hotels Fuel Guru  on how to stay well at […]

5 Ways to Reduce Stress and Boost Immune System While Social Distancing

5 Ways to Reduce Stress and Boost Immune System While Social Distancing

Guest Post By Wendy King

As COVID-19 continues to spread and we make lifestyle adjustments in response, the challenge is to maintain your mental and physical health in light of mounting stress. These strategies will help.

As social distancing becomes our new “norm” over at least the next several weeks, the pressures may be overwhelming. There are challenges finding childcare and keeping necessities stocked, never mind keeping yourself safe at work and out in the world. And how much disinfectant is enough, anyway? We all need to think about practical coping strategies while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are five to employ today:

  1. Use facts and precautions to manage your fear. The unknown can be scary and can overwhelm us. Fear can inflate negative thoughts, which leads to unhealthy stress. Ongoing stress releases hormones that get us ready for emergencies, but also severely depress our immune systems. Combat this fear by acting on facts, not misinformation. Look at the statistics and the real numbers of infections being reported by the Centers for Disease Control and local/national officials. You can tackle fear by facing it head-on with facts and smart precautions like handwashing, disinfecting surfaces, and social distancing.
  2. Be smart about social and TV time. Social media platforms can cause incredible anxiety as rumors and misinformation spread on them. Limit time on social media, and don’t instigate hysteria by reposting unvetted information. Limit your children’s exposure to television news. Their perspective is different than adults’, and they will have difficulty processing the facts. Children also notice our emotional state, so try to stay calm and provide facts to help them understand the situation and how everyone can get through this together.
  3. Get some physical exercise. Exercise your body to help keep your mind in check. In fact, aerobic exercise is as important for your head as it is for your heart. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, provide stimulation and calm, as well as counter depression and dissipate stress.2 So, take a walk, a run, or even tune in to one of the thousands of free online yoga, meditation or workout videos. Dust off your weight bench and take the laundry off the treadmill. Get on it. Use it.
  4. Help each other. Social distancing does not mean you shouldn’t seek and give support. The upside to social media is that we truly are more connected than ever before. Find out who needs help and offer it, in a way that keeps everyone safe and cared for. Even with social distancing, you can drop off medicine or supplies to a neighbor or friend. Call your church or check in with your online groups to find out who needs a meal that can be left on their doorstep, or a prescription delivered. And of course, if you bought lots of “bulk extras,” maybe spare a few food or household items for those who weren’t able to stock up. Be creative to ensure our social distancing doesn’t lead to emotional distancing for those most in need.
  5. Limit poor nutritional habits that weaken your immune system. One habit to curb is eating or drinking more than 100 grams (8 tbsp) of sugar a day . That much sugar reduces your white blood cells’ ability to kill germs by 40%! Also limit your alcohol intake as studies show that three or more alcoholic drinks daily is enough to suppress your immunity.

If anxiety or stress interfere with your ability to function or care for yourself or your family, seek professional help. Check in with your personal physician, contact your company-sponsored Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you have one, or call a support line like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) or Crisis Text Line by texting “start” to 741-741.

Very Veggie Pesto Pasta

Very Veggie Pesto Pasta

This “famous” pasta has made its rotation in our house for years. It’s packed with tons of veggies and pesto and packs a punch in flavor and offers a bounty of nutrients. I recently discovered a delicious lentil pasta from Modern Table that I have […]

Tips for Managing Dry Skin from Frequent Hand-Washing and Sanitizing

Tips for Managing Dry Skin from Frequent Hand-Washing and Sanitizing

Guest Post by CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa Washing your hands should already be a natural part of everyday life, but with the current flu season and increasing concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19), the focus on personal hygiene is greater than ever before. The emphasis […]

Five Ways to Neutralize the Noise Around the Coronavirus

Five Ways to Neutralize the Noise Around the Coronavirus

Joe McCormack says the coronavirus is bad for your health. What makes him different from the many experts with their grim statistics and scary projections is that he’s not talking about exposure to the virus. He’s talking about the dangers of tracking too many updates on the subject. And that’s not hard to do, considering the near-constant news coverage and social media chatter around infection rates, death tolls, travel restrictions, stock market swings, and ominous predictions on how dire the pandemic may get.

Don’t get him wrong. He’s fully aware the coronavirus poses a serious threat. It’s just that he believes we shouldn’t let it consume our waking lives.

“We’ve moved beyond information and are now generating a swell of noise,” says McCormack, author of the new book NOISE: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus. “The messaging around the coronavirus is amplified to deafening levels. People are consuming hysteria, and it’s not doing us any favors.”

“Noise” is McCormack’s name for the dizzying onslaught of information from work emails, app notifications, the 24/7 news cycle, social media updates, and other forms of screen time that leaves us unable to focus, listen, or do deep work. He says most of us consume it all mindlessly, and it keeps us in a constant state of distraction. And while noise is never good for us, noise based on such a fear-inducing topic has even worse consequences.

“Events like the coronavirus show us how vital it is to own our mental bandwidth and manage our attention,” says McCormack. “We need to know what’s going on and to react appropriately, but coronavirus coverage is not the only thing that matters. Overconsumption of bad news will affect you. It will feed anxiety and fear. It will eat up your thinking space. It will keep you from living your life.”

How can we cope with coronavirus hysteria and neutralize the noise swirling around it? McCormack offers five tips:

1. Understand how overconsumption of bad news affects you. When something becomes the only thing, it becomes everything, says McCormack. The temptation to sit in front of the TV and consume all day long is huge. You hear all sorts of things that aren’t relevant, timely, or accurate. You start believing the world is coming to an end. And when all your waking hours are spent anxious, nervous, and anticipating the worst, you start to miss all the other stuff in your life.

“Plus, when you consume too much noise, you start to vibrate at the lower energy frequency associated with fear,” says McCormack. “Others around you might ‘catch’ your low vibrations. You pass fear on like a virus. This is how panics can start.”

2. Don’t confuse predictions with certainty. You’ve probably heard the adage that FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. That’s important to remember at times like these, notes McCormack. People tend to make dire predictions with such certainty that you start to believe them, but really, they simply do not know. Remember all the past flus and viruses that were supposed to decimate humanity—but didn’t.

“There are lots of people out there who personify the saying ‘Often wrong, but never in doubt,'” notes McCormack. “And the fact that there are no repercussions when people make erroneous claims and predictions only emboldens them to get louder and more insistent.”

3. Temper your consumption. Thanks to the 24/7 news cycle, you’re likely to see the same story reported 17 times and said 17 slightly different ways. It’s not healthy to dedicate all your bandwidth to one fear-producing story. But if you’re tempted to blame the media, don’t. It’s their job. It’s your job to manage your consumption: to decide when to watch, what to watch, and when to turn off the TV, shut down the computer, and walk away.

“Create filters for what’s information and what’s useless noise and live by them,” advises McCormack. “It’s not all useful.”

4. Focus on the facts, not wild speculations or possible domino effects. Find one good source you trust and stay abreast of the situation. Pay attention to what you can control: regular handwashing, reasonably stocking up on bottled water and other supplies, postponing flights to coronavirus “hot spots,” and so forth. If you can’t impact it, don’t focus on it.

“Just don’t give your attention to ‘domino effect’ fears like worldwide pandemics or economic collapse,” advises McCormack. “There’s nothing you can do about what ‘might’ happen and it only spreads fear.”

5. When others are talking, change the subject. Don’t pile on. Be the voice of calm and reason. If they won’t drop the subject, have a few reassuring talking points in reserve to help put things in perspective and defuse fear. The CDC website is a good source for this. For example: “The risk of getting the coronavirus in the U.S. is currently low,” and “There are simple things you can do to help keep yourself and others healthy.”

Above all, know we need to be at our best in challenging times. That means it’s crucial not to allow ourselves to get caught up in fear or—worse—to spread that fear to others.

“Noise drowns out clarity, and clarity is critical during times of crisis,” says McCormack. “When we lose clarity, we start doing impulsive things and making bad decisions. It’s bad for our mental and emotional health, and it’s bad for our relationships. We need to spread facts, not fear. Rather than adding to the noise, we need to be part of the solution.”

 

About the Author:
Joseph McCormack is the author of NOISE: Living and Leading When Nobody Can Focus. He is passionate about helping people gain clarity when there is so much competing for our attention. He is a successful marketer, entrepreneur, and author. His first book, BRIEF: Make a Bigger Impact by Saying Less (Wiley, 2014), sets the standard for concise communication.

Joe is the founder and managing director of The BRIEF Lab, an organization dedicated to teaching professionals, military leaders, and entrepreneurs how to think and communicate clearly. His clients include Boeing, Harley-Davidson, Microsoft, Mastercard, DuPont, and select military units and government agencies. He publishes a weekly podcast called “Just Saying” that helps people master the elusive skills of focus and brevity.

To learn more, visit www.noisethebook.com.

How the Stigma Around Addiction is Hurting Society

How the Stigma Around Addiction is Hurting Society

Guest post by Paul Brethen, co-founder at SoberBuddy They did it to themselves. They made poor decisions. They weren’t strong enough to kick their dependency. These are just a few ways in which society as a whole has been taught to see addiction. Addiction has […]


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