31 Days of Health. Day 24: Turn of Distractions

Are you loving these daily health challenges!? Let me know! I’m going all the way to the end of January unless you beg me to stop. I promise, so I hope these are doing some good for ya!

Challenge yourself today to turn off your distractions. You’ve got to say No to the things that don’t matter so much. Are you checking your phone the second you wake up? Are you spending too much time watching TV or looking at social media? Do you allow people or new tasks get in your way of accomplishing an important project at work? Hey, even cleaning your house a bit more than is necessary or working out too much can become distractions. I don’t know what your distractions are, but you totally do.

Today’s healthy action may not immediately strike you as health-related. Turning off distractions, however, does influence your growth in so many areas of your health. Why else would we call them distractions if they were, in fact, contributing to our overall success?? By saying No to the stuff that truly doesn’t matter, we make time for everything else that does.

For all the times each of us have said: I wish I had the time to do this, or, I wish I had the time to do that….we do have time!! We all have the same 24 hours in a day, and…we are all human!! Which means we are all capable of great things just as much as the next person!!!

You can avoid watching hours of TV to incorporate some exercise or create a meal from scratch, getting your physical health into shape. Alternately, you could avoid working out excessively to invest some time in building a business and your financial health.  You might say no to watching the news if it tends to worry you, causing you feel stress in your own life, thereby enhancing your emotional health. Keeping your phone out of reach while with your family or out to dinner with friends is an excellent way to build your relationships and enrich your social health. By saying No to all those low priority things, you open up all the doors to having the richest life you desire! Dream, dream, dream…and get to making those dreams your reality by closing all the useless doors. With that said, I’ll check back with you tomorrow as I enjoy my distraction-free day as well.

alyssa

Hey, I want to thank all of you for following me! I just reached 50 followers and I’m absolutely grateful for that. It means a lot to me that you actually want to receive updates of the content I’m creating. If what I’m sharing with you moves you in an awesome way, please share with your inner circle! You can share to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest or WordPress! Let’s work together in making our world a healthy place. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

31 Days of Health. Day 21: “Reduce” Smoking and Alcohol

Before we dive in today: we are at three weeks in this fabulous 31 Days of Health!! Congratulations!!!

You have heard more than a million times before how harmful smoking is to your health. You’ve seen plenty of informative commercials about it. You may have heard before, that some alcohol is good for you, therefore you allow yourself to indulge, even though deep down you know that it’s not. So it doesn’t make sense for me to charge you to STOP! You are probably so desensitized by “Stop!” that it literally sounds like white noise.

Instead of commanding you to stop, I ask: can you just reduce your intake? Instead of half a pack of cigarettes today, can you take it down by three? Even one less is progress! Instead of losing control and downing as many drinks as you feel like, can you have a plan going in, and decide how many drinks you’ll limit yourself to? Are you the go-big-or-go-home type, like me, and want a harder challenge? Instead of reaching for a drink or a smoke after a long day, get active! Relieve stress through movement! Avoid, avoid, avoid for as long as you can – push your limits!!! Discover just how incredible you are!

Know that YOU choose your emotions. You choose to be stressed, happy, or angry. Sure, outside experiences can influence your emotions, but ultimately you make the choice of how to deal with those experiences. We’re talking about serious habit changes today that can be accomplished by making slight shifts in your thinking patterns and responses.

Let me be absolutely clear: both alcohol and smoking (notice I’m being generic with *smoking*) are toxic to your body. I don’t care what studies have researched the health benefits behind drinking wine, beer, or whiskey. While the results may have some valid points, it is likely the intake of alcohol was limited to one drink. To give you a visual of one drink: one glass of wine is equal to 5 ounces; a beer is 12oz, and liquor is 1oz. More than that is where things go south. So unless you can exercise excellent control, it’s useless to allow yourself to believe that drinking is good for you. Smoke of any kind does not belong in your lungs; and I don’t expect you hold a special place for carcinogens in your heart either.

Truly healthy foods and beverages don’t pose risks to your health.

In your efforts today, focus on progress, not on failure. Failure happens, so what!? Get back up and keep going. You’re not dead yet.

Sometimes, having someone there to tell you to get tough and fight through the struggle is what you need. So…

Get tough!!!
Love, Alyssa

31 Days of Health. Day 17: Get Adventurous

You know what I believe is a key component in achieving fabulous health? Having an adventurous spirit! It appears that most people associate adventure with extreme activity like frequent traveling, rock climbing and bungee jumping. While those definitely make the cut, being adventurous is simply trying something new; something outside of your comfort zone. And it totally applies to food, too.

You don’t have to be a trendy “foodie” to consider yourself an adventurous eater. If you’ve never even heard of, or seen an heirloom tomato before, you have an opportunity lying before you! If you are not open to trying new things, you will stay exactly where you are. If you want something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done. How can you expect to achieve a different (healthier) lifestyle by doing the same things day after day?

Your task for today is to try something you haven’t had – or done­ – before. Is there a food that’s been buzzing in your ear lately? What little messages have you been getting, making you feel like you should do something a little differently? Fear of the unknown keeps us stuck exactly where we are. Think of the last time you did do something that was new for you, and what your experience was like following. Or, think only about what the positive outcomes will be as a result of trying something new.  Feel that satisfaction and excitement of busting down that wall and discovering what’s available to you on the other side! Then it’s on to the next one!

Let’s get it!

31 Days of Health. Day 14: Make Your Bed

Make your bed. And keep the rest of your home neat and clean. You’ll thank me later, sooo, you’re welcome! And call me when you’re home! Love, Mom.

Your home should be a safe and supportive environment. You need a place to go where you can kick your feet up and rest your head after a long day. Plain and simple, it is a vital component to your overall health. Here’s why…

#1. Making your bed in the morning sets the course for your day. The task is simple and easy to do, giving you a feeling of accomplishment once complete. This feeling of accomplishment leads to confidence in accomplishing more throughout your day. Who doesn’t love feeling #likeaboss at the end of the day!? (Side thought: revisit Lonely Island’s Like a Boss for some added hilarity into your day and – BOOM! You’re on fire!)

#2. Keeping the house neat and clean promotes strong physical health. Simply think of these associations: dust and your lungs; bacteria on toilets, tubs or dining surfaces and your mouth; and xenoestrogens brought inside from the soles of shoes and hormones. When your home is clean, you breathe more easily, reduce frequency of getting sick, and encourage balanced hormones.

#3. The act of cleaning the house can improve your concentration and may even double as a form of active meditation –taking it back just two days to Day 12! Making your bed, cleaning counters and floors, washing dishes and everything in between gives your mind something to focus on, keeping you present in that moment…

#4. And when you’re present in the moment, stress levels go down. Remember back to Day 12’s Meditation recommendation: stress is at the heart of many preventable diseases. As much as the thought of cleaning stresses you out, the act of cleaning relieves it. So the sooner you stop thinking about cleaning and just go do it, the sooner your stress goes away, and so does the high risk of preventable diseases…Wow! Magic!

#5. …Also with reduced stress levels, contentment and happiness ensue! An aesthetically-pleasing home is inviting and comforting, and where there is comfort, there is peace.

Now zen out and enjoy today…like a boss!

31 Days of Health. Day 13: Eat a Plant-Based Diet

Do you think you can go just one day without any animal products in your diet? That is today’s suggested healthy action. Research has continued to show that plant-based diets are associated with a higher quality of life. Plant-based diets can lead to a healthy weight, reduced chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer; reduced frequency of getting sick, and overall longer life!

I am not an advocate for eating vegan, nor do I follow a vegan way of life. But nixing the animal products for a day, or at the very least significantly reducing them in a day, brings a different, delicious dose of wellness into your life. I don’t think it’s necessary you go hardcore to make this happen for one day. It is actually quite simple to do, especially if it is only for a day. Here are the foods that should be ignored to qualify your intake as plant-based:

  • Eggs
  • Beef, poultry, pork, fish, and any other source of meat
  • Dairy milk, cream, yogurt and cheese
  • Butter

Sources of protein can come from legumes, or tofu. If you like cooking with butter, you can try cooking with olive oil; if you like putting butter on bread, try extra-virgin olive oil. Throw some garlic and herbs into the oil to give it a little flavor if that is something new for you. Which, trust me, it’s a stark difference in taste! If you like drinking milk, you can try almond milk, or other nut-milks. Non-dairy yogurt is available if you want to explore some more options. If you like cream in your coffee or tea, try it black or with coconut milk (the canned, actual coconut milk – not coconut beverage sold in the same section as dairy milk).

Do continue to keep this reminder pulsing every day: keep food as close to nature as possible. So instead of bread, you could have brown rice, bulgur, or quinoa. And instead of having olive oil with that bread, you could eat a few olives.

Plant-based diets tend to offer a whole lot more fiber and phytonutrients that you aren’t getting from animal-sourced foods. I suggest trying the plant-based diet – or a mostly plant-based diet – just for one day to assist you in exploring ways to reduce your intake of animal-based foods. It is not wrong to eat these foods, but for some people, they take the place of more veggies, fruit, or whole grains (btw, I am getting sick of these two words because it seems many folks are misunderstanding and abusing them, so please note that when I refer to whole grains, I mean a minimally processed, whole food: not cookies made with whole wheat flour). The low intake of fiber, alone, associated with a typical American diet is one that significantly raises the risk for colon cancer. To me, it is a no-brainer: why play this game of Russian Roulette?

If you’re ready to try this action today and you need some assistance, I am here to help you through! Comments are below, or contact me directly if you’re looking for some healthier oomph in your life!

Thanks for reading, and I will see you here again tomorrow!
Alyssa

31 Days of Health. Day 11: PAY YO’SELF!

Is it not crazy how quickly Friday comes!? Happy Payday! 😀

I am very excited about today’s healthy action.

By profession, I am a dietitian, therefore the thought is my main interest is healthy eating. By passion, however, my main interest is overall total health. When every aspect of your life is in balance, nothing can stop you. Your quality of life is through the roof. Your energy levels are through the roof. And the sooner you work on every aspect of your life, the sooner you get to enjoy those benefits for even LONGER!

Health is not just about how well you eat and how fit you are. Other areas of health include your mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness, as well as…drum roll please, FINANCIAL WELLNESS!

No, money isn’t exactly the way to happiness….but it certainly helps! If your loved one became very ill and needed emergency care that cost a lot of dollars, you bet you’d be feeling safe and secure if you had the funds! Being financially secure relieves stress. But you don’t become financially secure by accident. To be financially secure requires two actions: 1.) having a good relationship with money, and 2.) proactively growing what you earn!

What is your relationship like with money? Do you believe that there is enough for everyone, or do you believe that the only way you’ll ever get rich is by hitting the lottery, or by some stroke of luck? If you believe money is the root of all evil, you will always be sure you never have enough of it – “because you’re a good person!” But it does not have to be like that. Money can be used for good, and it is used for good every day. And since you are such a good person, I encourage you to work on a more positive relationship with money, because the world needs people like you.

Let me ask you, how often have you gotten something that you’ve wanted by simply waiting and hoping for it? Is it working for money? How often have you gotten what you’ve wanted by going for it? I’d like to think you got what you were looking for. So if you want money, don’t give it all away to everyone else first. Pay yourself first!

Don’t go rolling your eyes at this. You’ve got to see how little things grow into enormous things. If you want to grow a tree, you don’t plant a seed and expect to see one fully grown the next day. You must nurture that seed until it pops out of the ground, and continue to do so with each new leaf it grows. If a single dollar is all you can afford to keep for yourself, then do that! Hey, by the end of the year you’ll have 52 bucks. You might laugh at that, but that is a hell of a lot more than the interest you earn in a basic savings account!!!

The easiest way to pay yourself is to work with percentages, and to do it as soon as the money is available! With all that you earn, take a percentage out first for yourself. Put it into a savings account that is hands-off. If you’re first starting out with just a little seed, this may be difficult, but with the mindset of keeping that seed nurtured as much and as often as possible, you will see your money tree begin to grow. Have debt? Set up a “debt clearance account” where you also put a certain percentage away as soon as your hard-earned dollars have come through. This just takes all the thinking and a good chunk of the stress right out of: I don’t know if I’m going to have enough this week!

Go ahead and make some magic happen today.

I’ll see you tomorrow,

Alyssa

31 Days of Health. Day 6: Practice Gratitude

Today, I want you to practice gratitude. This is a special action to take during these 31 Days of Health because it is your secret weapon to arm you against struggles that are guaranteed to stand in your way. When you feel grateful for the things you have, you begin to recognize that you actually have quite a bit, and that can bring fulfillment. During a difficult time, it is difficult to feel hopeless when using this tool.

Try it now. Just think of a couple people, things, or experiences that you can thank for being part of your life. There is absolutely no wrong answer! Be grateful for everything, big or small: that you can hear, see, taste, touch or smell; that you have clean water, a loved one’s company, a spoon to eat soup with, or that really tough experience that made you stronger. You will find that with daily practice, you discover more and more that you can appreciate. And the more you practice appreciation, the more successful you will be in anything you do.

I like to practice gratitude first thing in the morning. I jot down just two things. It may not seem like a lot, but each day is something different, and it causes me to give a lot more thought to those two things than if I was trying to come up with a list of everything at one time. I have to give credit to Dean Graziosi for this method. In his Better Life Challenge, he suggests writing down just two things to be grateful for. I LOVED that he gave a number to this because it really tames the go-big-or-go-home mindset. It is easy to do, and it blossoms into something magical!

I’m grateful you’re here,
Alyssa