Open When!

Well we have made it to March! If any of you are on the east coast, we’re due for snow this week, but we can get through it, don’t worry!

For those of you who peruse Pinterest, have you seen those “Open When” letters? A person writes letters for another person based on different emotions and circumstances. For example, I may write separate letters to my significant other stating the following: Open when you are sad, open when you feel like laughing, open when you need motivation, etc.

As a whole, the letters are wonderful way to show your love and appreciation for a person. It may also make a wonderful gift. Author, Karen Salmansohn took this concept to another level and actually wrote a small blurb. Whenever you need a pick me up, it is something wonderful to keep on your nightstand or on your desk!

It comes out in Spring 2017, so keep an eye out!

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Anita Haridat, Ph.D

 

Uncoupling?

I have to be honest- I was very hesitant to read Conscious Uncoupling, but after just a few pages I was hooked. Unfortunately, the truth is that not all relationships can actually work out in the end. If we have the ability to maintain a sense of respect and sanity, things can progress nicely. I recommend this book to anyone who has gone through some type of trauma with regard to separation in a relationship. Whether it has been a marriage or not, there are great guidelines that can be used for everyone.

Turn off your phone for More Happiness

I hope 2017 is treating everyone well!

While I do not necessarily believe in blatant resolutions, I do believe in self-improvement and self-discovery. For so many years of my life, I have been hard on myself. I always had to get the best grade, I always had to have the best job, I always had to be the best daughter, sister, girlfriend, etc. Frankly- it was exhausting. I found that I was simply just trying too hard. I tried yoga and I tried meditation, but my mind was never really at peace. I would always compare myself and think about the things that I just didn’t have. How toxic is that?

I learned to focus on the things that I DO have and to take a step back once in a while. That means shutting off my phone for a few hours each day. I started doing this and I found that I was less inclined to visit social media which would make me less sad because I was not comparing myself anymore. I enjoyed the reality of life more and I explored the world.

While I am still a work in progress (like we all are), I am finding ways to ease my stress and to simply let go and BE HAPPY. Life is way to short to be anything else!

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Habit Changers

Upon picking up Habit Changers, I did not have many expectations. I was intrigued by the concept of life-altering mantras and since I am a yoga fanatic, mindfulness has already been a concept that is near and dear to my heart.

M.J Ryan does a fantastic job of keeping things simple. She states that some of the biggest obstacles in our lives tend to deal with our own perspectives and how we respond to certain situations. Her tips are not extensive and drawn out. Instead, they are simple and straight to the point- which I absolutely love.

In essence, I keep this book right on my night stand and I pick it up any time I need a mental refresher. Our lives progress very rapidly and while we should enjoy our time, we should also be mindful of the way that we continue each day. With concepts such as happiness, change, risk taking, worrying, etc., there are bound to be parts that most people can relate to!

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*This book was sent to me by Blogging for Books

Start the New Year out Right

I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season! Where did 2016 go? How is it a new year already?!

This past year has been a real whirlwind. I’ve  had my good times, I’ve had my bad times and I had moments that I wish I could re-live forever! I even created a new endeavor- I want to travel to all 50 states during my lifetime. I have completed the entire east coast thus far and I’m planning some trips out west for the new year.

Throughout the year, I have realized that time keeps progressing, but we have to make sure that we make the most of it. We only have one life, why not live to our fullest? This means getting rid of grudges, avoiding negative thoughts and staying away from people and ideals that simply do not serve us.

It’s about time we free our minds and quit worrying so much. While I am not a fan of New Years resolutions, I am a fan of working towards our better selves on a daily basis. This does not have to come around solely on January 1st!

Here’s to love, laughter and positivity!

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Life on the Edge

I have to say, Life on the Edge is one of the most thought provoking books that I have read in a while. I typically like to pick up nonfiction pieces that are geared towards self-improvement, but I figured that I would try something new this time around. At first glance, it seems as if the book may be difficult due to the discussion of quantum physics and biology. However, the information is rather interesting and very easy to read. As a whole, there is a precise explanation on the entirety of the world and how science plays a huge role in the development of overall life. Certain events that have taken place thus far have a significant impact on the way that human beings live and specific behaviors may be related to some of the negative instances.

This book is highly recommended for those people who are interested in science, but they seem to be intimidated by all of the nuances that are often seen. The authors break down the concepts in a clear and concise manner without facilitating confusing mechanisms. Furthermore, there is an allowance to get a better feel for the world and how science advances have progressed in a proper manner. If you are looking for something different, this is the book for you. Give it a try!

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20 Things We’d Tell our TwentySomething Selves: Book Review!

This is the kind of book that you wish you had when you start your early 20s. Filled with motivation and inspiration, the information and stories that are presented are nicely created and you feel as if you are speaking with a friend!

The advice that is found is very grace-filled and the reminders that are seen remind us that we are still growing. In essence, even after we get out of our 20s, most people still do not have everything figured out. There are many people who spend so much of their time worrying that they truly forget to live.

With just two years of my 20s left, I have taken the advice to heart and I remember to count my blessings each day. Give this book a try! You will not regret it!

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4 Amazing Benefits of Green Tea

For quite some time now I’m sure you’ve heard of the wonderful effects that green tea has on your body. It’s a soothing treat that can be served either hot or cold, but have you sat down and tasted some? There are people that I know who are hooked and there are people that stay far away from it. But why not appreciate some of the great healthy benefits that is has to offer?

 

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Let’s look at some of them:

  1. Properties that Help with Anti-Aging

Green tea is known for its great effects regarding anti-aging and even anti-inflammation. The compound plays a significant role in preventing wrinkles, fine lines and even damage from the sun. With regard to the anti-inflammation components, it helps with preventing damage that may have been caused by lipid formation. Keep in mind however that drinking green tea religiously will not make you look 20 years younger automatically. It is simply a preventative treat that is great for your health.

  1.  Antioxidants

Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants which is great for skin and heart health. In green tea, you will find powerful antioxidants by the name of polyphenols which are stronger than vitamin C! If you’re unsure about what an antioxidant is- keep in mind that it is a substance that helps to get rid of waste which causes damage to your body. That waste is known as a free radical.

Also, the antioxidants in green tea protect your cells against foreign bodies that may enter your system. As long as you maintain a healthy diet, the nutrients found in green tea can benefit you greatly and it can prevent from damage in the future.

  1. Healthy Weight Loss

If your goal is to lose weight and you are striving to eat a healthy diet, adding green tea can make a huge difference. This substance is known to help speed up your metabolism and burn that stubborn fat in the process. It has been found that the substances known as catechins which are found in green tea have that effect which helps you to burn fat the most. Do use green tea as a meal supplement though. You will be missing out on quality nutrients that wholesome meals have to offer.

  1. Helps to Improve Your Lifestyle

When you drink green tea on a daily basis, it can really lower your susceptibility to conditions of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even mental health. There was a Japanese study that was done which showed individuals over the age of 65 thst had improved function simply by drinking green tea about 3-5 times a day.

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Overall, the benefits of this wonderful tea are endless. When you are drinking green tea, be careful with that sugar intake. Use organic honey if you can. Even if you can’t consume it on a daily basis, opt for a cup a week and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle!

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

 

 

 

 

Pasta Myths!

For many health conscious individuals, I’m sure they’ve heard that they should stay away from pasta and those other carbohydrates because they are terrible for health. While it may be true that too much may be bad for you, there’s no need to deprive yourself totally. Pasta is a delicious meal that anyone can conquer- even those who are picky, healthy eaters.

Many people that stay away from pasta simply do so because they may be living a low-carb lifestyle. However what if you want to continue eating healthy, but you still want to eat carbs? Keep in mind that you can still do this! That whole no-carb lifestyle really isn’t for everyone out there.

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Let’s take a look at those pasta myths:

  1. There are no Nutrients in Pasta

Face the facts- when was the last time you heard someone say that a bowl of pasta is filled with all types of vitamins and minerals? Probably never. The truth is that there are types of pasta that are actually loaded with nutrients! Read those labels carefully and look for boxes that contain folic acid as well as B vitamins. Also, be sure to opt for whole grain. Sometimes they have a lot more fiber than the regular pasta that you buy.

  1. I will get fat from Eating Pasta

Here’s the thing- you won’t get fat from solely eat that pasta. You will get fat from eating too many calories with unsaturated fats, sugar etc. If you look at just a 2 ounce serving, there are about 200 calories, which isn’t too bad. Add some greens and olive oil and you’re good to go.

  1. If I want to Eat Healthy, I can’t Have Pasta

Again, not true. You need carbohydrates for energy and for proper muscle function. Unless you want to go on a crazed carbohydrate free-diet, pasta will not harm you. The USDA even says that carbs should be in about 45-65 percent of your total calories for the day. Try adding fresh tomatoes, kale and even lean meat for a healthy meal. Your taste buds will definitely thank you!

  1. There’s No Fiber in Pasta

 

This is something that drives me nuts! Most people think that the only places you can get fiber is prunes. Keep in mind that there is a world of food out there! Regular pasta can provide you with about 2 grams of fiber in every serving. That’s more than you thought, isn’t it. That number increases if you opt for whole grain pasta. Have a nice salad on the side and maybe a piece of grilled chicken and you have a balanced dinner.

  1. I’ll Be Able to Get Energy But I Will be Burned Out Later

Since pasta is a carbohydrate, it is true that it will give you mounds of energy for your body to function throughout the day. But for the carbs that burn you out later, it’s usually those products that have a high glycemic index. Keep in mind that pasta is a product with a low glycemic index so it can break down the substances slowly instead of a rapid rate.

If you’re looking for healthy options to eat with your pasta, try vegetables. Zucchini, squash and even broccoli are excellent dishes to whip up. Happy eating!

 

Anita Haridat, Ph.D

4 Tips for A Healthy Halloween Without Swearing off Sweets

It’s my favorite time of year!

Halloween is the holiday that is marked with all kinds of delicious treats. From chocolates to candies to cookies to cupcakes, it’s hard to stay away. There’s no problem with indulging every once in a while because hey, you should enjoy life, but what if you want healthier options during this time of year. You don’t have to make Halloween about sugar filled delicacies all the time.

First understand that Halloween is not just a holiday made for the kiddies. Adults get into it just as much. Whether you’re eating sugary foods at the office or you’re tempted to buy that delicious 3 layered chocolate Frankenstien cake at your local grocery store- it happens! Let’s take a look at how to have your sweets, but in a healthier way.

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  1. Get Dark Chocolate instead of Milk Chocolate

I’m starting with dark chocolate because it’s a guilty pleasure of most of us- especially when this holiday creeps up on us. I know you’re tempted to indulge in all sorts of milk chocolates that are available out there, but you can just as easily eat dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is excellent for your health because it contains antioxidants which fights off toxic free radicals in our bodies. It also plays a role in heart health, just be sure to eat it in moderation. Additionally, make sure to check those food labels for harsh chemicals that are lying around.

2. Fill the Candy Bowl only on Halloween Day

Many people make the mistake of filling up the candy bowl days before Halloween starts. Don’t do this if you can’t control yourself! If the bowl is filled, you’ll be tempted to indulge and before you know it, all of your Halloween candy is gone. When trick or treaters start arriving, start filling that bowl up.

 3. Buy Options that Are Better

Instead of getting the standard Halloween candy that everyone in town seems to get, why not opt for healthier things? Try pretzels, animal crackers and even fruit snacks made out of natural fruit juice. Peanut butter crackers that are mini work well too! These are better options than the standard candy bar or wafer that you may have lying around. Educate yourself and you won’t be susceptible to the sugar war that goes on.

4. Be Active on Halloween Day

If you have children, go out and take them trick or treating. If not, take a walk or do some jogging to burn off those snacks that you might have had. You can look at those wonderful costumes around your neighborhood and you can get your dose of exercise for the day. It’s a win-win situation. Plus, when you get home you can still enjoy a little taste of candy without all of that guilt.

Overall, Halloween should be a fun time of year for you as well as the kids. Don’t let the sugary treats bring you down. Control yourself and moderate your portions. Don’t forget about exercise as well. Have a wonderful Halloween!

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