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How Do You Avoid the Chaos When it Comes to Meals

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I don’t know when eating became such a problem. Oh wait, yes I do. It was when I moved out, became an adult, and mommy didn’t do it for me anymore.

Right, I forgot. The next phase was when I was trying to please a whole family and their wants and desires. This one won’t eat veggies, that one loves veggies. This one loves cheese, that one won’t touch eggs. I remember one day in sheer frustration sitting our whole family down and asking them to come up with a meal that everyone loves….I’m still waiting. So once you get over the “sit there until your plate is clean, and I don’t want the dog eating it for you” stage, you get to eat whatever you want, RIGHT? Well, not so much.

One of the things that I have learned is that although we thought we were eating healthy, we were not. I think most of that comes from lack of education. We tend to eat the way we were brought up and our parents did the same. So poor eating habits were unknowingly passed down. Add that to a whole new way of living, in front of a computer, in a car, sitting a lot, and very little regular exercise. There is a whole generation that thinks that going to the gym is silly, just go and be active. That used to be a useful thought, but our world has changed too much.

We don’t walk very much, we don’t do physical labour as a rule, we sleep less, eat too much too fast, and our brains never turn off. It’s not all bad, it’s just that we need to adjust our thinking so that we can enjoy our down time more.

One of the ways that helps is spending a little time on your weekend, whenever that is, to plan your week a little more. Planning your food, as strange as that may sound, is really a great idea. Obviously stuff will come up and plans will change, but if you can stay just one or two steps ahead of the game, you may actually find that your eating habits can clean up.

Take time to plan.

1. Spend a few minutes looking at your week’s schedule. How much time will you have each day for meal prep? How much time do you have to plan, prep, eat, and clean it up?

2. How many meals do you plan to make at home, including breakfast, lunch as well as supper?

3. How much money do you want to put out on food? Prepackaged meals vs fast food.

4. When do you plan to shop for your food? All at once for the week? Each day?

Now that you have done a little planning, let’s do some practical things to make your meal prep just a little easier.

1. Make a list for shopping. Put it on the fridge, computer, electronic or paper, just make it accessible and don’t forget it.

2. Buy family size packages. Even if you are family of two, buying larger portions is cheaper.

3. As you prepare your meals, plan for leftovers. When cooking your protein, make sure you make extra. Now, you have another meal started with no extra time.

4. Cut up extra veggies. If you have them cut up, it is a lot simpler to grab them for lunch the next day or the day after.

5. When cleaning up dinner, portion out the extras for another meal. Prepackaged meals made from home are great when you need to have another meal and you don’t have time to prep.

6. Prepare to freeze them for extended prep. Individual portions defrost quicker than large portions and you can pull them out as you need them.

The most important thing is to enjoy your food. If you have prepared your meals in the right portion size, allowing enough time to enjoy them, even leftovers can be great.

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside. –  Mark Twain

Eating Your Way to Productivity

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Food is always important. It is our body’s fuel. Along with water; food nourishes, cleanses and strengthens our bodies.

It is a common misconception that only athletes and those who want to keep in shape are the ones who must watch what they eat. And although it is true that athletes and bodybuilders need to consume the right food, we have to consider that even though you are just a normal person, we still need to take notice of what we feed our bodies.

The way we build our diet for ourselves will always have an impact on how our bodies perform whether on physical athletic feat or squeezing out those mental juices necessary for our job or even with our various emotional states. Which is why proper nutrition is also crucial in having a job since as adults, we spend our days more on work to achieve an optimal performance.

However, deciding to eat right in the office is difficult since most workplace lunches consists of sugary, refined carbohydrates like pasta and sandwiches loaded with mayo, a doughnut, a bagel, or a vending machine pick along with an unlimited supply of cola. While these foods are comforting enough, to acutely combat drowsiness and stress due to serotonin­ producing combination of refined carbohydrates, sugar, fat, and/or salt, it actually depletes your mental sharpness and energy, and thus jeopardizing your work productivity and efficiency.

According to nutrition expert Clyde Wilson, it all comes down to biology and how your body handles different foods. Our brain is fueled primarily with glucose. Which is why it is entirely a mistake if we take out carbohydrates from our meals. In order for our brains to perform in its optimal level, we should be mindful enough to consume those healthy carbohydrates that are necessary for our brain activity. Although office pantries that offer bread, bagels, refined cereals which provides glucose, it actually backfires due to rapid flooding of glucose. This then, signals the release of insulin in huge amounts into your bloodstream, tapping your fat cells to gather the glucose calories that were not being used, to be stored as fat. Moreover, the released insulin does clear up most of the glucose leaving a small amount for the brain to use. And that causes you to crave more carbohydrates for your brain and repeats the cycle.

Our moods are also the effect of our deficient diet. Having low blood sugar due to the spiking of insulin in the bloodstream adversely affects your level of alertness and emotional state. According to U.S. News and World Report, diets that are low in specific nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, and Omega­3 fatty acids can lead to depressed moods and low energy levels. As we all know the importance of keeping our emotions on an even keel in the office, it seems in your best interest to consume a diet that provides all the necessary nutrients for you to excel productivity wise.

Prioritizing a healthy meal during workdays are essential and would improve your focus in targeting an impressive work productivity due to an increase in energy that would allow you to approach smoothly any given task. To boost up your mood and productivity, you should always consider your greens. These are some of the healthiest food at any given season. With the help of non­-starchy green vegetables, the starchy carbohydrates are digested slowly helping the brain and muscle to use and preventing the body from releasing a lot of insulin to store the excess glucose. These leafy greens also have compounds that are found out to be helpful in fighting various forms of cancers, in perking up your mood, and protecting you against various diseases such as diabetes and heart problems. Getting enough iron from dark leafy vegetables, lean beef, tofu and legumes are also essential since iron is important as it is a primary component of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout our body. A decrease of iron has been connected to deficient cognitive functioning in adults as well as in children. Adding more iron­ rich food are better than taking supplements since it is not readily absorbed and can be hazardous if taken in large quantities. Consuming enough healthy fats such as omega­3 fatty acids are beneficial in proper brain function and regulating our mood according to Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Somers in her book “Eat Your Way To Happiness”. Studies also show that an adequate amount of these healthy fats alleviates the prevalence of depression. Having a dose on a regular basis through fish, fish oil supplements, flax seeds, avocado and walnuts is a sure way to achieve our body’s needs.

To every working person, coffee has been a staple drink. While small doses of caffeine can fire up your alertness and metabolism as well your aggressiveness according to Travis Bradberry of Forbes, However, the increased cognitive performance that we have after a cup of coffee is generally an illusion. This is due to the fact that increased mental state provided by the caffeine is just actually bringing you back to your baseline level of performance. This means, if you're hooked on caffeine and don't have your fix during the day, you'll actually be performing below your normal productivity levels.

So, what does this all mean???? Do what grandma said; eat your vegetables, finish your meal and you will feel better.

What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say

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I clicked on this article and thought who knows, there may actually be something new that I haven’t heard before.

So, just as it seems, this is a whole new list that I, apparently, need to follow. Living by other people’s standards is always a disappointment, but this list may be the best one I have seen in a long time.

Enjoy

What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say

www.huffingtonpost.com/

 

 

Michelle Combs

Michelle Poston Combs is a blogger who lives in the Midwest with her husband and her youngest son. She is at the precipice of learning to live with an empty nest which she finds both terrifying and exhilarating.

Her blog, Rubber Shoes In Hell, is where she writes about topics ranging from awkward conversations with strangers to learning how to overcome being an adult child of a narcissist.

She programs computers to pay the bills and counters this soul sucking endeavor by writing her observations on life, menopause, anxiety and marriage.

Coping With Stress

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So today was a very stressful day for me. I have a lot of things going on and today was the day that I felt like it was too much to handle….Now what?

My natural tendency is to hide. I do my best to just unplug from everything. When the kids were little and I had one of those days, I couldn’t just ‘not show up’. Instead I would do something that gave me great comfort. I would bake. For me, there was comfort in knowing that I could be there but the kids knew I was busy. I could focus on whatever it was I was making and I could manage, even for a little while, to not think about whatever it was that was too heavy to carry. So instead of dealing with those stressers, I would make bread, muffins, biscuits, scones, pies, puddings, cookies, even waffle or pancakes before school.

The kids are all older now and we are eating a lot healthier too, so I don’t bake as much. It  doesn’t mean the stress is gone. As a matter of fact, some of the stresses have become even larger. So, dealing with stress has changed. Most days, I am either in the gym or on the trails, and that helps a lot for me. My mind can go crazy with thoughts, but the body doesn’t store it as much as it used to. What I do know now, is that I need to deal with the stress better so that it doesn’t take over.

How do you handle stress? We can’t escape stress totally. Well, some people do try. Dealing with things until we can see just a little more clearly is ideal. Stress is actually a much larger issue than most of us like to admit. It can have some very serious health consequences. Some stress can surface as headaches, stomach upsets, or even mimic other more serious illnesses. In extreme cases stress can lead to physical violence and potential chronic stress which can lead to anxiety, panic attacks and even depression. Your body also bears a lot of your pain in that stress can raise your blood pressure, lead to heart disease, stroke, even raise your ‘LDL’ levels, or bad cholesterol.

Coping with stress can come in many forms from regular alcohol, becoming excessive, drug abuse, poor eating habits, even blaming anyone and everyone else. There are times when we just need to get through whatever it is we are going through, we can’t eliminate it all together, but sometimes we can actually do some little things that can make a big difference.

1. Just say no. Don’t get overwhelmed trying to please everyone all the time. Instead, set realistic personal goals with enough time to achieve them. Prioritize your activities. Learn to say no to things that are not a high priority.

2. Stop procrastinating – take action. If you believe you perform better under pressure, you may be trying to convince yourself that you do. In fact, you may be making an excuse to procrastinate. Putting things off can be stressful. Instead, take action. Make decisions and be prepared to live with the consequences.

3. Get help when you need it. No matter how proud or strong you are, there is no shame in asking for help when you need it. By not asking for help, you may be needlessly stressed. Sometimes it’s best to delegate, asking others to lighten your load by doing tasks they can handle

4. Take a comedy break. Silly right? Yes, of course it is. That’s the point. Open that book, read that comic, watch that sitcom, read Lighten Up and Laugh. Your body knows how to laugh if you let it.

5. Take a break – walk away from stress. Sometimes, you just need to remove yourself from whatever it is that is stressing you. Don’t go sit and have a coffee, go for a walk, move your body, again, your body knows what to do if you let it.

6. Try setting a personal goal using a smart approach. Choose one small goal and write it down. Can you count it or check it off a list? Is your goal realistic? If not, make it smaller. Decide how to reward yourself when you reach your goal. Set a specific, realistic date to finish or achieve your goal.

There may come a time to find some help. Here are just a few options.

Counseling
Your family doctor
Psychotherapy
The psychiatrist
The psychologist
The social worker
Other counseling services The public health nurse
Employee and family assistance program counseling
Addiction counseling
Individual and family counseling
Financial counseling
Self-­help groups

 

 

Help is out there! Don’t give up. Finding the right help to cope with your stress may require a few attempts to find a good fit for you.