Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

Let’s go out to enjoy nature

Monday, July 25th, 2011

When was the last time you enjoyed walking, dancing or playing in the rain?

When it starts raining, all we think of is staying safe and not go out because we might catch a cold or the flu and fall sick. Most of us think “when rains come, can the flu be far behind?” ….yes it is true, but only when your immune system is in alarmingly lower level.

But as a child, you never thought this true at all. You would actually enjoy playing in the rain and still keep the flu at bay. This is all because of the strong immune power a child has.

Our confined living conditions and stressful way of life is actually ruining our immune system. We keep ourselves away from nature and become excessively sensitive to weather changes.

Most of us have forgotten that fresh air, raindrops and the refreshing shower is actually restorative and invigorating for our health. So what’s holding you back? Step out to enjoy the wellness of nature, to discover a healthier you.

Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables and cutting back on sugar and fats can help give your body proper nutrition and the fuel it needs. Taking nutritional supplements in addition, can contribute to better health that boosts your immunity.

At Solanova, we have many ways to help you ensure continued good health.  Take a look at our health concern articles – with heart health and everything else in between. Our highly absorbable, quality vitamins and nutritional supplements will help keep you humming with health so you can go out and enjoy nature without worrying about falling sick!

A sense of fun to stay fit

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

If the stuffy gym just isn’t doing it for you anymore, and you find yourself putting off exercise because you are bored with routine or too busy during the holiday season, don’t give up just yet.

We all know the holidays can be stressful, rushed, and filled with decadent treats and overindulgence, which is why this time of year is especially important to keep on top of your fitness regime.

But how?

The weather is much cooler now, but what better time to seek out fun activities you can do with your friends?  Check out your local ice skating rink.  Grab some friends and practice your figure 8’s and Axel jumps.   Or bundle up and take a walk or a hike in a nearby park.  The cold will make you move faster while you enjoy the beautiful winter scenery.  And if you’re lucky enough to live close to a ski resort?  Well, you know what to do!

Give a gift that keeps on giving.  Why not buy a series of yoga classes for you and a friend as a special gift that is good for both of you?  The class will keep you both committed, and will allow you plenty of hang out time while attempting downward facing dog or the plank.

By being creative and adding some social components to your workout routine, you’ll be much more likely to keep up some kind of physical activity during this hectic holiday season.  And hey, even holiday shopping at the mall can count.  Just make sure to take the stairs!

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know when to say when

Monday, October 11th, 2010

For some, fall means crisp, clean air, beautiful walks through the foliage and a plentiful and delicious Autumn harvest.  But for many, fall instead represents the madness of back-to-school activities, shopping and carpooling, not to mention the crazy fiscal 4th quarter dash to make year-end company goals, all racing toward the hectic holidays and a spanking new year so we can do it all over again.

It’s enough to tire even superwomen out.

So what can you do to help keep calm and centered in the face of utter scheduling chaos?  Make a list.  It sounds simplistic, but it works.  Keep a small notebook in your purse and write tasks and appointments down as you think of them.  You’ll feel better and less stressed out as you cross them off your list.  And if you don’t get to everything, don’t worry. Tomorrow is another day.

Exercise your right to say “no”.  Sometimes in life, we just have to learn when to say when.  Taking on an extra project at work, throwing that dinner party for 12 of your closest friends, and volunteering to help paint sets for the school play may not all fit into your regular (and busy) schedule.  Pick and choose what is most important to you, and let go of the rest.  You will be amazed at how liberating it is not to feel overextended.

Say yes to “me” time.  Even if you can only carve out 2 hours a week to start, do it.  Make that manicure appointment.  Window shop with abandon.  Take that spin class and then a luxurious, candlelight bubble bath.  Go see a first-run movie in the theater, and buy your concession stand favorites.  In other words, quiet your mind and remind yourself that life can be fun, silly, and joyful.  You’ll feel a lot less stressed and better able to handle all of life’s responsibilities.

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Less is Plenty

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I tried something crazy last month.  At first, it was simply impetuous, but now I’ve continued to do it and have actually seen results.  I’m wearing things I had no hope of squeezing into before and feel better than I have in years.

I take my dinner plate, and I cut it in half.  Yep. That’s the secret.  I load up with all the food I think I want and then divide half of it into Tupperware to take to work the next day for lunch.  Not only does this save me roughly $50 a week in lunch costs, but I’ve also lost about 6 pounds with minimal effort.

I don’t feel deprived-I’m eating what everyone else eats for dinner.  But I’m eating less.  And I’ve discovered something fascinating.  Less is actually plenty.

I’m enjoying another unexpected result from this food experiment.  I have more energy.  I no longer experience that stuffed feeling of remorse as I push away from the dining room table, ready for a nap on the couch.  Because the better I feel and look, the less I want to gorge myself.  It’s a very simple concept.

In addition, I feel so good that I find I want to do more to enhance my health.  I am starting to actually look forward to going to the gym-albeit with trashy magazine in hand-and am dedicated to cutting down on the caffeine, alcohol and sugar in general.  My sleep patterns have improved, and frankly, so has my outlook on life.

Sound dramatic?  Maybe.  But it’s working.

Are you ready to find your catalyst for better health?  Try something unexpected and see what happens.  You may just find yourself $200 a month richer and a size or two smaller.

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To have and have not

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Do you ever find yourself unhappy, dwelling on the fact that you don’t own a Bentley or a house on Lake Como?  It’s natural to feel mildly envious of others’ good fortunes, but it’s important to keep that envy in check.

One of the secrets to happiness is to remind yourself of what you do have.  You may not jet off to Brazil every year for Carnival, but that annual camping trip you go on with friends or family is just as wonderful in its way.  And one thing we can all be thankful for is good health.

Encourage your body to be as healthy as it can be by eating well, exercising as much as possible, cutting down on stress, and allowing yourself to enjoy a little R & R when warranted.

At Solanova, we have many ways to help you ensure continued good health.  Take a look at our health concern articles, with heart health, and everything in between.  And our highly absorbable, quality vitamins and nutritional supplements will help keep your health humming.

So the next time you feel a little jealous that you don’t have that 3- karat diamond ring or house in the Hamptons, put it in perspective.  You have your friends, family and hopefully very good health to be thankful for-and therefore already possess the best things in life.  Enjoy these last weeks of summer!

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Backyard Tourist

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

While all of your jet-setting friends are traveling to the Caribbean, Rome, or another enviable destination, you may feel forlorn at having to sit at home and watch the proverbial paint dry.  But instead, perhaps this is an opportunity-an inexpensive one-to celebrate a stress-free “staycation”.

If you have some time to burn, but not a lot of money with which to burn it, take advantage of the familiar.  And no, that does not mean catching up on the laundry, dishes, garage clean-up etc.  Instead, give yourself permission to eschew everyday life stresses and indulge in vacation-like decadence.

Eat take-out from your favorite Chinese restaurant.  Read trashy magazines and watch silly movies that are fun, but not heavy.  Give your brain a break.  Hang out with friends or family, and whip up something cold and sweet in the blender.  Sit on your porch or out in your backyard.  Take a leisurely stroll through a park-not necessarily for exercise-just do it because it’s a lovely day.  Pack a picnic and take it somewhere pretty, like a local beach, pond, or lake.

Be a tourist in your own town.  Is there a museum you’ve always wanted to check out?  A bar or coffee shop you’ve always meant to try?  A deliciously touristy destination you’ve been meaning to see? (I’m talking about you Alcatraz Island, Mt. Rushmore, Brooklyn Bridge, St. Louis Arch et al)  These places aren’t any less cool just because they’re in our backyards and easily accessible.  So join the local tourist ranks and enjoy a stress-free, inexpensive “staycation”.

As they say, “When in Rome…” Do as the locals do.  Bon Voyage!

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The Kind of Treat you Don’t Eat

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Are you feeling deprived?  Working hard, running around all day long, trying to exercise and take care of yourself (and everyone else) to the point of absolute exhaustion?  And when you finally have a moment’s peace, you decide that you deserve a treat-something chocolately and gooey no doubt-because you’ve worked so hard and sacrificed for so long.

Maybe that’s not such a good idea.

If you truly are trying to live a healthy and active life, rewarding yourself (and your family) with sweet, fatty, and sugary treats is good for no one.  Aside from the obvious glut of fat and sugar, you are setting a dangerous precedent: food equals reward.

Some people choose food as a reward because it’s cheap.  But I would argue that’s not entirely true.  Healthcare costs are rising, and what about the new wardrobe you’d have to buy after you gain ten pounds from consuming all of the treats you “deserve”?

There is a better way.

Reward yourself and loved ones with a new CD or DVD, a beautiful candle, tickets to a sports event or concert, a pound of gourmet coffee, or even with a massage or pedicure.  Especially if you have kids (or grandkids), this will establish that rewards don’t have to be sugar/fat/food related.

And hey. You could even buy yourself or a loved one some favorite nutritional supplements and give the ultimate reward: Good health!

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The simple life

Monday, April 12th, 2010

If you’re anything like me, your day may go like this:  Get up early (acute torture for we non-morning persons), check email, make coffee/breakfast/lunch/kid’s breakfasts etc. Jump in your car with seconds to spare, fight your way through ungodly traffic to get to work, school, or both, squeeze in errands in between meetings, stay late, commute home, try to get to the gym for 40 minutes, come back home, cook dinner, clean up the dishes, throw a load of laundry haphazardly into the machine, and read to the kids and/or pass out in front of the TV.  Get up the next day and start the whole chaotic process again.

This strikes me as no way to live.

So last week I took one day and experimented; I only did the things I absolutely HAD to do.  I did get up, made coffee and went to work, fighting the commute and arriving (basically) on time.  But I forced myself to eat a sandwich somewhere other than my desk, and eschewed all non-essential errands.  I found that I had time to take a walk in a nearby park, allowing myself to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, if only for my lunch hour.  When I got back to my desk, instead of feeling harried and frenzied, I felt centered and somewhat relaxed.  I continued with this idea throughout the day.  I drove home, changed into casual clothes and took the dog for a walk around the neighborhood.  I did not go to the gym.  With that extra hour, I spent some quality time with my pooch and actually had a chance to talk to a couple of neighbors who were also out and about.  When the rest of the family came home, we all cooked together and turned our collective noses up at the laundry piling high in the utility room.  It felt great.

The point is this: give yourself permission to kick around the dust bunnies.  It’s very noble to try to do it all day after day after day, but it doesn’t make for a particularly happy or enriched life.  So let yourself have a day or two off from the gym, the cooking, the laundry, and anything else non-essential.  You will feel more relaxed, centered and ultimately more productive.  And if all else fails, send the laundry out once a month.  Let someone else do your dirty work.  After all, you have a life!

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Happy (Tea)totalers

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

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Depression can sneak up on even the happiest among us.  But some groups seem to be more susceptible than others.  A recent study involving a group of older Japanese men and women who live in communities discovered that drinking green tea several times a day can significantly decrease incidence of depression in the group.  Green tea is also heavy on antioxidant properties and light on caffeine and is thought to be very good for overall health.  And now it can add “natural anti-depressant” to its roster of good attributes.

Of course choosing to live a healthy lifestyle can also make you happy, just as experiencing health problems can precipitate depression in many people.  Exercise can help release endorphins into your body, causing feelings of wellbeing and calm.  And seeking out feel good foods can also contribute to feeling happy (and healthy too).  Foods like wild salmon (rich in omega-3’s and vitamin D), lowfat or nonfat milk, (high in vitamin D and B12), blueberries and strawberries (high in antioxidants/great source of vitamin C) can all help fight free radicals that can cause cell damage and in turn compromise health.

Ideally we’d all eat healthy, vitamin and antioxidant rich food every day of our lives.  We’d train for marathons regularly, bicycle to and from work, and enjoy the requisite eight hours of sleep a night.  But most of us don’t live in this kind of world.  So do the best you can.  Take a walk after dinner.  Eat organically whenever possible.  And take your vitamins and supplements that help to fill in the nutritional gaps from your less-than-ideal-lifestyle.

And at the end of a particularly stressful or bad day, unwrap a little bit of dark chocolate (full of antioxidants), make yourself a cup of green tea, and end your day on a happy note.

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/38595, “Green tea consumption is associated with depressive symptoms in the elderly,” Niu K, Hozawa A, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2009 Oct 14; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Division of Biomedical Engineering for Health and Welfare, Tohoku University Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Sendai, Japan).

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Veggie Might!

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

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Do you love cruciferous vegetables?  Are you only truly satisfied when you have a heaping plate of broccoli or bok choy in front of you?  Do you dream of a field full of cauliflower?  Apparently you’re not alone.  It seems that vegetarians may have a leg up on the rest of us as far as overall health.

A recent study conducted on adolescents suggests that those who ate a vegetarian diet were far more likely than non-vegetarians to meet the Healthy People 2010 dietary objectives. They tended to eat less overall fat and saturated fats and, not surprisingly, consumed far more servings of vegetables and fruits compared with their carnivorous counterparts.  The adolescent vegetarians were also less likely to eat fast foods and to indulge in sodas and fruit drinks.

So what does this mean for the rest of us?  Even if you aren’t a vegetarian (or a teenager), you can still adopt some of these healthy habits.  Aim for 3 to 4 servings of vegetables a day.  It’s not as hard as it sounds.  Have a side salad with that sandwich at lunch, and at dinnertime, fill your plate three-quarters full with a variety of veggies, i.e. carrots, salad, squash, peas, asparagus, green beans, or whatever strikes your fancy.  Fill the other quarter of the plate with your protein source.  You will be surprised at how easy it is to embrace good eating patterns as long as you stick to a variety.  Aside from the health benefits, you should also discover a smaller waistline.

Grab a fistful of radishes and that sauté pan.  You are on your way to a healthier you.  And who knows? You might end up liking veggies as much as chocolate.  Okay-maybe almost as much!

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Reference: http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/30680, “Adolescent Vegetarians: How Well Do Their Dietary Patterns Meet the Healthy People 2010 Objectives?” Perry CL, McGuire MT, et al, Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med, May 2002;156:431-437.

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