Enter To Win Free Choice Organic Tea

Share Your Inspiration and You Could Win Tea

I announced this contest in my February newsletter. If you aren’t subscribed, you’re missing out on my recipes, exercise and food tips, and promotions. It’s a quick read. I know you got lots to do, but I think you’ll love it! Subscribe at my website.

Several lucky blog readers will take home boxes of Choice Organic Tea which comes in dozens of delicious flavors and varieties. To enter just leave a comment below sharing your favorite motivational quote. I’ll draw winners at random on March 1st. Be sure to include your blog or e-mail when completing your comment. Good luck! Inspire me with a fabulous quote and you may see me tweet it, Facebook it, Pin it or use it in an upcoming newsletter!

Tea for Relaxation and Energy
teaIf you’re someone who tends to reach for food when you’re stressed, you might consider trying a cup of tea instead. Nothing relaxes or unwinds me quite like a warm, soothing cup of tea. Whether it’s an energizing green tea to start my day or a soothing herbal tea before bed, I’ve never met a tea I didn’t love.

Tea for Health

The health benefits of tea come from the polyphenols they contain which are antioxidants that help prevent free radical damage to the cells in our bodies. Green tea in particular may help prevent atherosclerosis and is also thought to help raise “good” HDL cholesterol and lower total cholesterol.

Win It

I love the samples of Choice Organic Tea I tried. I think the chai teas are my favorite. I have to admit, I made delicious chai tea lattes with my fun milk frother from Nespresso. You can win some tea of your own. Leave your positive motivation or favorite quote in the comments section below for a chance to win.

Like, if You Like…

If you are interested in articles, recipes, exercise and stress management tips all free and all for your self-care, then don’t forget to “Like” my page on Facebook

Disclaimer: I was provided with samples of Choice Organic Tea but was not compensated for this blog post or for admininstering this giveaway. You do not need to “Like” my Facebook page in order to enter the contest.

Four Keys to Wellness, Just for Women

shopping_5How many women do you know who put themselves last? Probably a zillion. We can’t help it. We’re women. We nurture. But the reality is that we really can’t take care of others unless we take care of ourselves first. That’s a tough pill to swallow because we feel so guilty when we think about ourselves and put our needs before others we care about. But putting yourself last day after day will eventually leave you at the end of your rope – all worn and frayed.

My hope is that this blog post will help women find some simple ways to achieve better wellness by being a tad “selfish” with no regrets. My hunch is if you trust the power of nurturing yourself, the rewards you get will empower you to do what comes natural – and care for your loved ones with more intensity than you ever thought you could muster.

Nutrition

There is no shortage of information about what to eat – books, magazines, websites, blogs. What really matters for women’s nutrition? I think its shifting the focus from choosing foods for what they don’t have to looking at foods for what they do have. Low fat. Low sugar. Low carb. Yawwwwwn…. You can go crazy in the grocery store keeping up with the products touting they’re the next best thing you need to be healthy.

Instead, why not try to make one positive nutrition change:

  • eat a power-breakfast daily like oatmeal with walnuts and fat free milk
  • get your fruit fix by making a fruit and yogurt smoothie or adding fruit to lunch
  • try something different like an unusal veggie (jicama) or cooking with beans

Exercise

If your ideas of exercise include time on the “dreadmill” and “personal draining”, you need to change up your exercise regime! No pain, no gain is so 1990′s. In today’s world, there’s no time to loathe what little personal time we get to sweat it out.

  • Try yoga – a moving meditation! Power yoga classes involve using your personal strengths to tone up. Heated classrooms bump up the sweat factor.
  • Dance your butt off. More than a popular summer tv show on Oxygen, people are into dancing like never before. Try Zumba or just google a dance studio in your area. Bellydancing, bollywood, ballroom, broadway jazz. Whatever your flavor, take a risk and shake it.
  • Sign up for a race. You don’t need to run a marathon to experience the exhileration of getting a race number and crossing the finish line.

All these exercise ideas involve some kind of commitment – and that’s what it takes to really nurture yourself toward wellness. Find something that sounds good. Then tell your spouse or family how important it is to you and ask for their support. Whether it’s relieving you of dinner duty or giving you a ride back and forth, take the help and enjoy your new exercise endeavor!

Stress Management

Maintaining emotional health is so important for wellness. Most women tend to think they strive under stress, but they don’t realize the harm that comes with it when the walls close in. You take on the burdens of others and then you become overwhelmed yourself.  Stress triggers changes in our bodies and makes us more likely to get sick. You get tight in your neck, shoulders, and back. You have trouble sleeping. Stress can also make problems we already have worse. Maybe you had a bad day at work, but because your family members had a bad day you keep it in. Then the food comes calling and you’re in for a night of emotional eating.

The key to healthy stress management is to let it all out. Every day.

  • talk to someone, and let others know if you can’t take on the burdens of their stress (give yourself permission to be selfish and not listen once in awhile)
  • find a quiet corner, lay down, and breathe to a slow count
  • remind yourself that food didn’t cause your stressful situation and it won’t solve it either
  • have some sex – what can I say, all those lovely endorphins will drown the stress out of your body and mind

Relationships

Relationships are one of the core human needs. The reason you are such a nurturing person is that you value relationships. But boy can they suffer if you are stressed, eating poorly, and not exercising. This is the part where you can’t really care for others (relationships) if your life is not in order.

Take a minute and think about your relationships today:

  • How strong are your personal relationships?
  • How much effort do you put in them?
  • Are you getting out of them what you need or do you give too much with little in return?

Let go of what you don’t need and transfer the newly available attention to the relationships that really matter most. Those relationships allow the other keys to wellness fall into place. You can lean on people to support you in your nutrition and exercise efforts and when life’s stresses get to be too much, they can help you deal with it.

Healthy Women Are (a Little) Selfish

Everything is connected, nutrition, exercise, stress management, and relationships all have a role in contributing to your wellness. While I spend most of my waking hours educating people about nutrition and exercise. I have come to realize that you can’t really tackle behavior changes without the strong foundation of healthy stress management and the social support that comes with stable relationships.

My personal opinion is that being a little selfish is one of the most selfless things you can do. If you’re going to spread your nurturing qualities to those around you, don’t you want to give the best of yourself?

This post is part of the Women’s Health Blogfest. Please check out the posts from other dietitians blogging about Women’s Health! (Thanks, Renata for organizing!)

BLOGFEST LINKS:
Angela White at Blisstree’s Breastfeeding 1-2-3 – Helpful Skills of Breastfeeding Counselors
Angie Tillman, RD, LDN, CDE – You Are Beautiful Today
Anthony J. Sepe – Women’s Health and Migraines
Ashley Colpaart – Women’s health through women
Charisse McElwaine – Spending too much time on the “throne?”
Danielle Omar – Yoga, Mindful Eating and Food Confidence
Diane Preves M.S.,R.D – Balance for Health
Joan Sather – A Woman’s Healthy Choices Affect More Than Herself
Laura Wittke – Fibro Study Recruits Participants
Liz Marr, MS, RD – Reflecting on Family Food Ways and Women’s Work
Marjorie Geiser, MBA, RD, NSCA-CPT – Healthy Women, Healthy Business: How Your Health Impacts a Powerful Business
Marsha Hudnall – Breakfast Protein Helps Light Eaters Feel Full
Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, RD – A Nutritionista’s Super Foods for Super Skin
Monika Woolsey, MS, RD – To effectively work with PCOS is to understand a woman’s health issues throughout her life
Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog – How breastfeeding helps you, too
Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, LD – Four Keys to Wellness, Just for Women
Renata Mangrum, MPH, RD – The busy busy woman
Robin Plotkin, RD, LD – Feeding the Appetites of the Culinary, Epicurious and Nutrition Worlds-One Bite at a Time
Sharon Solomon – Calories, longevity and do I care
Terri L Mozingo, RD, CDN & D. Milton Stokes, MPH, RD, CDN of One Source Nutrition, LLC – Crossing the Line: From Health to Hurt
Wendy Jo Peterson, RD – Watch Your Garden Grow

Relaxation, An Important Ingredient for Balanced Health!

The three keys to wellness are nutrition, exercise and well-being. I focus mostly on nutrition and exercise, but with today’s guest post. I’m going to discuss well-being. Thanks to Jens Upton at The Relaxing Zone for contributing to this post.

If you’re alive chances are there is something that is stressing you out. Family, work, money, the economy… We can’t live a life without stress. Some stress is good. “Fight or flight” allows us to respond to stressors like a deadline at work or avoid a car accident. But then our body quickly “comes down” from the stress and all is well again. However, when stress is chronic and never seems to go away and you don’t get a chance to recover from never-ending stressors it can be an emotional nightmare. If you’re trying to manage your weight it can be a real problem because cortisol keeps your cravings for rich foods high

The stress hormone cortisol acts as its own shut-off signal. When it reaches the brain it commands the brain to cease the body’s production of the hormone. Chronic stress is another story completely, reports a team of researchers from the University of California at San Francisco. The system does not turn off. As the situations that give rise to stress endure, they keep ramping up production of cortisol.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/index.php?term=20031121-000002&page=1

High levels of cortisol can make it difficult to lose weight and can even be a sign of a more serious medical issue like Cushing’s syndrome. Read more about it at Web MD.

But for most people, you just need to “take a chill pill” – so to speak. You can help manage your stress levels through exercise, yoga, and meditation work like deep breathing. Learn how from a relaxing expert (details below). And don’t forget to “chill out”.

Jens Upton
http://therelaxingzone.blogspot.com/

This is a powerful relaxation for quick use and learning. It has 10 stages which are useful as an introduction and can easily be abbreviated. It uses a person’s memory of relaxation which can be very recent or from a much earlier experience. Generally, people do not forget relaxation once they have experienced it. They can be reminded to feel how good it is again, so it becomes natural to them once more.

I recommend a person repeating it regularly so it’s familiar and feels even more natural. I recommend people to read this with a voice tonality that is calm, soothing and warm. Few people relax to a voice that sounds like a parade ground Sergeant or the wicked witch of the west. The same is true for our own inner dialogue. Make it a voice to soften the hardest heart and relax the most tense muscles. Enjoy!

Deep Relaxation

1. Remember a time you felt relaxed.
2. Remember that time in clear detail. See yourself doing whatever it was that makes you relaxed.
3. Close your eyes and savour every relaxing detail. Where you were, how good it sounded, how wonderful it felt.
4. Really feel everything that is most relaxing now.
5. If you haven’t already, move into that moment, being in the experience as if it’s happening now.
6. Notice which direction relaxation moves in and gently move it all over your body.
7. Feel what area is most relaxed.
8. Make the feelings deeper in your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
9. Double these wonderful sensations.
10. Sit and enjoy for as long as you like.

The style of this is based upon a Meditation technique and an NLP technique I was taught many years ago.

Links to relaxation studies you may find useful:

University of Otago researchers have found that non-dieting interventions to improve overweight and obese women’s health and well-being have a longer-lasting effect if they include relaxation training.
http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/2009/19-01-09_press_release.html

Relaxation training may improve control of hard-to-treat systolic hypertension
http://hms.harvard.edu/public/disease/affiliates/mgh/27mar2008.html

Don’t Wanna Be Sedated?
http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-20000301-000019.html

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