What’s Going Right?

Things May Not Be As Screwed Up As You Think!

It’s been a crazy month and it seems like everything went haywire at once. One of us got sick, with multiple doctor and hospital visits plus medication, the car warranty that was supposed to cover everything didn’t, my glasses needed to be changed, and a breaker and the heat pump were in dire need of immediate attention.

All this chaos reminded me of a session I had with my life coach.  We met on Skype and this one particular day I had a laundry list of complaints about life, and couldn’t wait for our session to begin. I was going to get things off my chest come Hell or high water.

I was about halfway through my complaint list of things that were going wrong, when my life coach stopped me. That was highly annoying since I was only halfway done.

“Ok, let me ask you, what’s going right?”  Wow, I’d have to give that some thought. Who knew he was going to throw that kind of curveball at me?

I was still  above ground so that was a plus, I had a warm house to live in, my marriage was good, we weren’t flat broke, and I had pizza for lunch (always a plus in my book).

Once I got started it was hard to stop, and I could have filled part of a notebook with all the things that were going right.

My cranky mood lifted, and we decided that each night before bedtime I would list three things that went right, and why. Now, when those frantic days come, this simple exercise helps me keep things in perspective.

Let me give you some examples:

I was tempted to eat too much cake, but chose fruit instead. Why? I want to watch my weight and eat healthier foods.

I kept calm when the heater repairman said I owed $500. Why? Getting upset won’t solve anything and I knew the repairs would be expensive. Now I am toasty warm instead of freezing cold.

Try this simple exercise before bedtime and see how many things are going right in your life.

Tired of Trotting to the Bathroom?

Foods to Avoid with An Overactive Bladder!

 

According to the Urology Care Foundation, 33 million Americans have an overactive bladder. Symptoms of overactive bladder include an uncontrollable urge to use the bathroom. When you feel that urge, it’s a race to get to the bathroom before you leak urine on your clothes. Skin problems and infections can result from leaked urine that touches the skin.

It’s hard to be a social butterfly and participate in your favorite activities. What if there is not a bathroom nearby? You may stay home more often which leads to feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Talking to your doctor can be very helpful, as well as avoiding certain foods that may trigger overactive bladder symptoms. Here are four foods to avoid when you have an overactive bladder:

Carbonated Drinks/Sparkling Water

When it’s a hot day, an icy cold Coke hits the spot. It will also irritate your bladder, so you can stop drinking sodas or limit yourself to a few a week.  If you’re planning to toast the New Year with champagne or sparkling water, be aware that the fizz and/or alcohol can trigger overactive bladder symptoms.

Tomato-Based Foods

Reducing your intake of tomato-based foods is difficult because it includes popular foods such as pizza, spaghetti made with meat sauce, and condiments such as ketchup. Skip those yummy chips with salsa at your favorite Mexican restaurant, or eat them plain.

Coffee/Chocolate

Caffeine causes your bladder to fill rapidly. You may be able to tolerate a few cups a week or have to go cold turkey. However, you don’t have to give up your Starbuck’s fix if you switch to Decaf.

Who doesn’t love chocolate, especially those chocolate fountains at certain buffets? If you find chocolate aggravates your overactive bladder, switch to white chocolate.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits such as oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit can send your bladder into overdrive, but you don’t have to give up eating healthy fruits such as bananas, apples, pears, and berries.

Is Sugar Wreaking Havoc With Your Waistline?

4 Easy Tips to Get Back In Your Jeans!

Did you know that the average American eats 82 grams of  added sugar a day? According to the Centers for Disease Control that equals out to 19.5 teaspoons of sugar. A healthier limit is usually six to nine teaspoons.

I have to be honest with myself and say that I have eaten way too many sweets in the last couple of months. Cookies, cake, pie, Cracker Jacks®, and mini candy bars tasted good, but now my stomach is revolting and Pepto-Bismol is my new best friend.

My clothes feel tighter, and I am not in the financial position to buy a whole new wardrobe. Of course, I can blame a lot of it on the holidays, but I am determined to eat healthier without depriving myself.

Here are four tips to reduce sugar in your daily diet:

Start a Food Diary

Before you start reducing your sugar intake, it’s a good idea to write down everything that you eat for three days. Be honest. If you ate three scoops of ice cream with hot fudge and all the trimmings, or apple pie with whipped cream and ice cream, write it down. This will help pinpoint your biggest sources of sugar, and help you think of some healthier substitutes.

Learn to Read Food Labels

It’s amazing how many ordinary foods have added sugar. Salad dressings that you thought were so healthy, soup, tomato sauce, and condiments like catsup, have added sugar for better flavor. Food labels list ingredients in order, and the nearer an ingredient is to the top of the list the more sugar it contains.

Beware of Low-Fat Foods

It’s been my experience that foods that are low-fat are not as tasty as their full-fat counterparts. How do manufacturers make it taste better? That’s right, add more sugar. It’s better to buy full-fat foods and eat less.

Cut Down Gradually

You don’t need to go cold turkey. For example, if you like two packets of sugar in your coffee, cut down to one. The next week have half a packet, until you feel comfortable drinking your coffee black.

The holidays are a particularly tough time to reduce sugar, so have a smaller portion of your favorite dessert. Pumpkin pie can be lightened up by rolling pie crust thinner, using light butter, and substituting egg whites for egg yolks.

Do You Look Like a Raccoon?

3 Easy Tips for Puffy Eyes

 

Menopause is the gift that keeps on giving. Now, in addition to menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and weight gain, you may have to cope with puffy eyes. The make-you-feel miserable symptoms include redness, itchiness, watering, and swollen eyelids.

Fluctuating hormones can cause fluid retention in menopause. Other causes may include allergies, sleep deprivation, hangover, or crying your eyes out over some sappy movie.

Here are 3 easy tips for puffy eyes:

Ice

Your skin is inflamed, and applying ice can quickly reduce inflammation. Some words of caution: skin around the eyes is very sensitive, so wrap the ice bag in a clean moistened towel. The trick is to keep it on your eyes until your skin feels cool. Don’t leave on too long or you may damage the capillaries.

Chilled Cucumbers

You probably have some cucumbers on hand to toss into a salad, so this is a very cost-effective remedy. Cucumbers have good enzymes and astringents that not only reduce inflammation, but also tighten the skin.  Here are the simple directions:

  1. Cut thick slices of cucumber
  2. Put into the refrigerator for 10 minutes
  3. Lie down on a bed, couch, or floor and place the slices on your eyelids. Leave on for 10 minutes or until cucumber is warm.
  4. Repeat several times a day.

Cold Spoons

I had never heard of this remedy for puffy eyes, but it does make sense since cold reduces inflammation.   Follow these steps:

  1. Put 4-5 metal spoons in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Place the back of the spoons against your eyelids.
  3. When the spoons feels warm, replace with cold spoons.

These remedies only offer temporary relief, so consult your doctor if puffiness persists.

How do you deal with puffy eyes?

How to Achieve Work/Life Balance in Menopause

You Don't Have to Drive Yourself Crazy!

It’s getting a lot more difficult to balance work obligations with family life. Companies are keeping later hours and workers may find themselves scheduled for different shifts.

The trick is to use time more efficiently and free up extra hours for activities you enjoy. Here are some tips on how to achieve work/life balance in menopause.

Work with Your Body Clock

What time a day are you most productive? Do you prefer working in the morning or are you a night owl? If you’re a morning person and your company allows flex time, start work earlier, and avoid the worst of the commute home. This will free up more time in your day.

Start with the biggest projects first while you’re the most energetic. After lunch, you may feel less energetic, so this is a good time to do simpler things like returning phone calls and answering emails.

Bring Your Lunch

It’s a nice treat to sit down to a good meal away from the office, but if you count up how many minutes it takes you to get there and back, order, wait for the food to be prepared, and eat, you’ve wasted a good chunk of time. As an added bonus, bringing your lunch allows you to pack in nutrition and keep an eye on portion size.

Relocate Nearer to Work

It isn’t easy to just sell your house, and buy another one. Plus, you may be happy right where you are, and the kids may be in a good school district. It’s also nice to be closer to your church and shopping.

However, relocating has its benefits, and cutting your commute time down to 10-15 minutes, will free up another hour or two for things you enjoy. Add up this savings by the week, and you can come up with an extra 10 hours.

Schedule Family Time

As the old saying goes, there is a time for work and a time for play, so schedule time to do family activities. If you have weekends off, put away your phone and tablet, and take a family trip. If the budget is tight, trips to the park, beach, or a children’s museum let kids work off that energy without breaking the bank.

If you work weekends, plan family game nights. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it together.

How do you achieve work/life balance in menopause?

 

 

4 Tips to Keep Exercise on Track for the Holiday

You'll Look Great in Your New Clothes!

I was at the mall yesterday doing some window shopping and there were plenty of shoppers looking for those special gifts to give at Christmas.

You may be hosting a Christmas dinner and need to make sure you have all the main dishes, sides, and desserts ready to hit the table when guests arrive.

In all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, one thing that often gets neglected is exercise. You’re too busy, it’s too cold, you’re entertaining guests etc.

You may be staying home or visiting relatives, but it’s easy to fit exercise into the mix. Here are four tips to keep exercise on track for the holiday.

Mall Walking

Since you’re probably shopping at the mall anyway, you might as well work out in the process. Do two or three loops around the mall before you start shopping. Mall walking is very popular and you’ll probably see other people doing the same thing.

Exercise Tapes at Home

For those days when it’s too nasty to be outside, you can pop in an exercise CD and work out in the living room. This is one of my favorites and there is a program for different fitness levels. You can bop to the music while the calories melt away.

Airport Travel

Airports are fabulous for people watching, but you can also get some good exercise walking from terminal to terminal. I enjoy looking in the gift shops and checking out the different restaurants. Ramp it up by parking in the back lot so you get even more exercise.

Family Exercise

It is a temptation after the big holiday meal to beach on the couch and play video games, or watch a movie. Tell your relatives that you plan to stay active while you’re visiting and see if they come up with some ideas in which the whole family can participate.

Walking, playing football or baseball, miniature golf, and bowling are just a few suggestions to get everyone outside in the fresh air for some exercise.

How do you stay on track with your exercise during the holidays?

 

 

 

 

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Start Working On Your Dream Life Today!

 

The holidays are here, and we’ll soon be starting a New Year. What are your goals in 2017?  Maybe you want to lose those last ten stubborn pounds, exercise regularly, take a vacation, change careers, or spend more time with your family.

According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton Journal Of Clinical Psychology, 45% of Americans set New Year’s goals, but only 8 % are successful in achieving those goals.

Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals will give you a clearer vision and focus, and make it easier to track your progress. Here are the keys to setting S.M.A.R.T. goals:

Specific: There will be no doubt that you have reached your goal. Example: My goal is to fly to Italy.

Measurable: Can your goal be measured? Let’s use the example above. Will you meet your goal when your plane lands in Italy, or do you have a more specific destination in mind such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the Florence Cathedral?

Achievable: Taking your current circumstances and skill set into consideration, is it possible to reach your goals or will you have to take some classes, get a mentor, relocate, or work extra hours?

Realistic: How realistic is your goal? Do you want to fly to Italy this month, but your bank account is overdrawn? A more realistic goal would be to budget a certain amount each month until you have enough to complete your trip.

Timely: The last key element of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is to add a time limit to your goals. I will fly to Italy by June 30, 2014. If you have not reached your goal by the time limit, you can adjust your goals and plans accordingly.

No Time for a Nutritious Breakfast?

This Tasty Dish Takes Just Minutes to Serve!

It’s easy for time to slip away when you’re trying to get yourself and your family out the door for work and school. Breakfast is often skipped, and it’s easy to pick up fast food or hit the vending machine mid-morning.

How cool would it be to make a nutritious, delicious breakfast the night before that you can assemble in the morning in just a few minutes?

That is where overnight oats come in. You don’t have to cook the oats, and you just add in your favorite toppings. Store in the refrigerator till morning and you’re good to go. Oats are a good source of fiber and help keep cholesterol levels down.

Here are 5 tips to make overnight oats:

Use Rolled Oats

Steel-cut oats are too firm, and instant oats break down too much when making overnight oats. Purchase a rolled oat such as Quaker Old-Fashioned® for better texture.

Experiment

Add your favorite fruits such as blueberries or strawberries to bump up the nutrition and flavor. Spoon in some peanut butter for extra protein and if you like chocolate, add some Nutella®. Greek yogurt is smooth and tasty and supplies needed calcium. Try almonds, peanuts, macadamia’s or your favorite nuts.

Don’t Add Fruit Too Soon

There are so many fruits to choose from, and most should not be added until you are ready to eat. Bananas are an exception, and can be added when you mix everything else the night before. If you don’t want to wait, you’ll need to mash the fruit up.

Add Nuts Just Before Eating

That delicious crunch blends so well with the oatmeal and fruit, but nuts will get soggy unless you wait to add until you’re read to chow down.

Make Extra Batches

On a day when you’re not so busy, make up extra batches of overnight oats. You can use cottage cheese containers or mason jars for storage. Any container with a tight seal would be just as good. Now, you’re ready at a moment’s notice to serve your family a nutritious breakfast.

 

3 Sure-Fire Tips to Clean Your Tongue

Leave Your Breath Kissing-Sweet!

You’ve probably been told from an early age that brushing and flossing is the way to keep gums and teeth healthy. Of course, if you have dental insurance, regular cleanings are scheduled twice a year.

One area of the mouth that is often overlooked is the tongue. A healthy tongue should have uniform pink coloring. A tongue that is white on the top may be harboring harmful bacteria, dead cells and food debris.

It may gross you out to think about cleaning your tongue, but it’s not a difficult process. Here are 3 tips for proper cleaning of your tongue:

Tongue Scraper

A tongue scraper is usually made of soft, flexible plastic, and helps remove the top layer of white film. The key is to apply gentle pressure, so scrape in a downward motion at least three times. Rinse the scraper in warm water after each swipe.

Take your time and start from the back and work your way forward. For easier bacteria removal, coat the tongue with toothpaste before scraping.

Special Toothbrush with Tongue Cleaner

Purchase a quality toothbrush with a tongue cleaner such as the Colgate 360. Don’t brush your tongue with the same side of the toothbrush that you use to clean your teeth. A good time to do this is right after you brush and floss.

Mouthwash Rinse

After you’re finished cleaning your tongue, rinse thoroughly with water. If you have a favorite mouthwash, swish it in your mouth for 30-60 seconds.  This moistens the mouth and kills additional bacteria.

Are Your Legs Killing You?

Compression Stockings Will Put A Spring Back In Your Step!

 

If your job requires that you stand for long periods of time, your legs may be killing you by the end of the day. This is particularly true if you have varicose veins. Varicose veins are enlarged and twisted and most commonly occur on the legs and feet.

Compression stockings put graduated compression on your legs which improves the blood flow. There is little evidence that compression stockings keep you from forming new varicose veins, but your legs won’t be so tired and achy.

Here are four helpful guidelines for purchasing compression stockings:

Take Measurements

Start with your ankle and place the measuring tape around the smallest part of the ankle about a half an inch above the ankle bone. Next, measure the widest part of the calf. For your thigh measurement, place the measuring tape right below the buttocks. Finally, measure from the bottom of the buttocks to the floor.

Knowing your measurements will help you select the best size for your compression needs, and most places you order from will have a size chart for reference.

Determine Length

In most cases, knee-length compression stockings will work the best. However, if you have varicose veins or swelling in your thigh, then order the thigh highs.

Choose a Compression Level

Most people find that the 15-20mmHg compression works the best. Consult your doctor before purchasing stockings with higher compression.

Ordering

If you need more help or have further questions, purchase from a medical supply store. You can receive an accurate set of measurements and know you’re buying a quality product. It will probably be more expensive, but you shouldn’t worry about cost when it comes to your health.

On the other hand, if you prefer to buy online, there are usually more styles to choose from, and it is more economical.