14 Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration You Should Know




Dehydration is extremely common, it’s probably one of the most common conditions I see in practice. Identifying that you are indeed dehydrated can be tricky because the most common symptoms are often very subtle. Understanding the symptoms of dehydration is extremely important to be able to treat the underlying cause of your symptom and make you feel better quickly and easily.

Below are common signs and symptoms of dehydration:




1. You are not sweating during exercise 

A clue that you might be dehydrated is if you notice that you are not sweating in a workout that typically causes you to be drenched in sweat. This is because when you are dehydrated your body will try to hold onto every last bit of fluid in your body and will not want to give any of it up.



2. Your rings are tight 

If you wear a ring(s) this is an easy way for you to notice that you might be dehydrated. If you feel like your rings are getting tighter, this may be a sign of dehydration due to your body holding onto fluid tightly which means this fluid may spill over into extracellular spaces causing puffiness – very noticeable if you can’t get your ring on or off.



3. You have muscle cramps

Dehydration is one of the most common causes for muscle cramps, most notably in the large muscles such as the calves. This is also a common sign of electrolyte imbalances, notably potassium and sodium, so be sure to be also getting electrolytes from vegetables and fruits.



4. You have dry mouth

Having a dry mouth is very uncomfortable, and a common cause for this is dehydration. Drink a couple glasses of water if this is happening and it should relieve some if not all of the dry feeling.



5. You are thirsty

Having the sensation of thirst is one of the most common signs of dehydration. This is especially true during workouts where you are sweating a ton, so make sure to always keep a water bottle on hand!



6. You have no urge to urinate

If you typically have to urinate every two hours or less, and you are now finding you have no urge to urinate and it’s been three hours, this is definitely a sign of dehydration.



7. You feel bloated and puffy

Dehydration can cause you to feel bloated and puffy and can even make your clothes feel tight. Again, this is due to your body holding onto every last drop of water and retaining all the fluid.



8. You feel constipated

To have a bowel movement, this requires your body to pull in water to the colon both mix with the bowel and to help push out the bowel. Without adequate water, this leaves a harder stool that is also harder to pass through the digestive system.



9. You have dark yellow urine

One of the classic signs of dehydration is dark yellow urine. This is because when you are dehydrated your body wants to hold onto every drop of water, and so when you urinate you will release the least amount of fluid possible, leading to concentration of salts and compounds which gives the urine the characteristic yellow color. This is why normal urine is light yellow because the salts and compounds have been diluted by water to make the urine less concentrated.



10. You feel sick to your stomach

When you are dehydrated, you are likely also lacking in essential electrolytes that are required for basic processes in the body. Nausea is a sign that something is not working correctly in your body and is a very common finding with dehydration.



11. You feel dizzy

Dehydration is a common cause for dizziness which may be due to decreased blood flow to the brain due to the lack of fluid in your body being sent to the brain. This may also be due to electrolyte imbalances that are very common with dehydration, notable sodium and potassium.



12. You have a headache

Dehydration is the most common cause of headache that I see in practice. Any stress on the body that causes an imbalance in the body’s normal function, such as with dehydration, can cause a headache.



13. Your lips are chapped

Having chapped, dry lips may be a sign that you need to drink water. Dry lips indicate a lack of moisture in the lips and mucus membranes, which happens when your body is low on water.



14. You gained weight

If you notice you gained 5 pounds in a day or even a week, this is definitely most likely due to fluid retention and/or constipation. Both are due to dehydration and is a sign you need to drink more water. It may seem counterintuitive to drink more water to decrease fluid retention, but when you are dehydrated your body will cling to every last drop of fluid unlike when you are hydrated and your body is shedding fluids as it should be.



Main takeaway…

If you have one or more of the above signs and symptoms consider the cause being dehydration and start drinking water now! The above symptoms are very common causes for dehydration but may also be signs of other serious conditions and so it is always a good idea to consult with your primary care provider. 



References

  1. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-06-2012/dehydration-signs-and-symptoms.html
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/symptoms-causes/syc-20354086
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4207053/
  5. https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/73/suppl_2/97/1930742




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Top Brain Boosting Foods You Should Be Eating




Your brain is inarguably the most important part of your body, and keeping your brain healthy should be a top priority. There are certain foods that can help to boost parts of your brain involved with attention, focus, and memory and so understanding which foods do this is vital!

 

Read below for a list of the top brain boosting foods:

Leafy greens

This includes vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. These greens are especially high in Vitamin E and Vitamin K, both of which believed to help prevent brain abnormalities linked with dementia.



Coffee

Coffee is incredibly healthy because it is packed with antioxidants and other compounds that are good for not only your brain but also your entire body. One key brain boosting ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which has been found to be beneficial for your brain for a number of reasons, including keeping you alert and focused, and possibly boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline. Read more about coffee’s brain boosting effects here.

Almonds

Almonds are high in Vitamin E and magnesium, both of which have been linked to improvements in memory, learning and cognition.



Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA which help protect the brain from inflammation and oxidative stress. These types of omega-3s found in fatty fish may prevent cognitive decline with age. Read more about this here.

Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and are fantastic for your health in general. They are especially good for your brain because the types of antioxidants in blueberries have been found to protect against age-related changes in the brain and to help protect against cognitive decline. Read more about this here.



Dark chocolate

Chocolate lovers rejoice! Dark chocolate is considered a brain healthy food due to its high content of compounds called flavonoids. Studies have found that these compounds may slow age-related changes in the brain and prevent mental decline. There is actually a great deal of research on this (who wouldn’t want to research the benefits of chocolate!?) read more about this here.

Egg yolks

Eggs are on just about every healthy food list because they really are incredible. Eggs are good for your brain for many reasons because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients, but one nutrient in particular is choline. Increased levels of choline intake is linked to better memory and cognition. Just make sure you eat the yolks because that is where the choline is located. Read more about this here.



Main takeaways…

Try to get the foods above on rotation in your diet, your brain will thank you!

Works Cited

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182054

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16216930

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192974/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23810791

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22717142?dopt=Abstract




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Burn Your Own Fat For Fuel Using Ketones


Have you ever heard of a ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet means your body is using ketones for energy production rather than sugar. Ketones are an alternative fuel source for the body, and are produced when eating a high fat and low carbohydrate diet. This type of diet is called “ketogenic” because your body is in a state of “ketosis” meaning fueled by ketones rather than sugar (aka glucose).

Here are 9 reasons why you want your body to be fueled by ketones instead of sugar:

 

1. You literally burn your own fat for energy


Your body can run on either glucose or ketones. Which would you choose? Well, when you look at what this actually means: Glucose is produced from the breakdown of glycogen (strings of glucose), this means you are burning glycogen to produce fuel for your body. Ketones on the other hand are produced from the breakdown of fat (fatty acids), this means you are literally burning your own fat stores to produce energy. You can make ketones from eating very low carb (sub 50 net carbs), fasting, or consuming a product that can induce or supply the production of ketones (such as MCT oil).



 

2. No more “Hangry”


You know that feeling when are so starving that every little thing is irritating, and you need to eat right. NOW? Terrible feeling right? Blame the carbs! After a blood sugar spike from eating carbs, this will trigger insulin whose job is to get that sugar out of your blood as fast as it can (because sugar in your blood is toxic and inflammatory), resulting in an even lower blood sugar than you started with. Low blood sugar (aka hypoglycemia) is that terrible anxiousness you are feeling. No bueno! And how do you make that feeling go away the fastest? Eating sugar. And the vicious cycle continues.

Fat is the only macronutrient that won’t raise blood sugar, and therefore won’t spike insulin. Yes, that means protein can also raise blood sugar when eaten in excess. That is why a ketogenic diet favors a higher fat and moderate protein intake.



 

3. Ketones favor less mental stress


The presence of ketones increases the production of the primary calm inducing neurotransmitter, GABA, while at the same time decreasing the primary stress inducing neurotransmitter, Glutamate. Ketones do this by assisting in the conversion of glutamate to GABA in the brain, thereby favoring a more calming state. Increasing the activity of GABA is essentially what most anti-anxiety medications aim to do as well – pretty cool you can get the same effects by just changing your diet!



 

4. Ketones favor a more focused state


For the same reason ketones favor calmed brain activity, they also favor a more alert and focused state. As stated above, more GABA compared to glutamate in the brain favors a less stressed state, meaning there is less “noise” in the brain, allowing for greater focus and mental clarity.  This is why medium chain triglycerides (MCT) are marketed as a product that can increase focus and cognition – because they give the body ketones that can be used for fuel without having to be in actual ketosis from eating low carb.



 

5. Ketones are a more efficient source of energy

Ketones and glucose are both used as fuel by mitochondria to produce energy (aka ATP) – mitochondria are the part of a cell that takes fuel (either glucose or ketones) and manufactures energy from it. When comparing the output of energy produced from the use of ketones vs. glucose, more energy is produced when using ketones, thereby making it a more efficient fuel source. The presence of ketones also up-regulates the amount of mitochondria in cells, so more mitochondria means more energy produced. This is another reason for the improved focus and mental clarity seen with a ketogenic diet. 



 

6. Ketones act as antioxidants


Research has found that ketones act as antioxidants because they protect against oxidative damage from free radicals. When ketones are used to produce energy (by mitochondria) this process does not cause the release of free radicals, as does glucose when it is used to produce energy. Free radicals aka oxidative damage cause damage to cells and aid in the development of chronic disease, cancer, cognitive decline and other brain diseases, and aging. 



 

7. Ketones may prevent cancer growth


Compared to normal cells, cancer cells metabolize a much greater amount of glucose meaning they need more glucose to thrive. Cancer cells may preferentially use sugar to fuel their growth and proliferation, and research has shown that they may not be able to use ketones as fuel. Research has also shown greater response to chemotherapy when in a fasting state inducing ketosis. There is more research needed in this area, but ketones as a preventative measure for cancer is looking very promising! 



 

8. Greater absorption of nutrients


Major vitamin, antioxidants, and other nutrients need to be taken with fat to be able to be absorbed. This includes Vitamin D, Vitamin E, lycopene and beta-carotene such as in tomatoes, and the B vitamins.  Making sure you are taking in plenty of fats will ensure you are getting the most out of your food and supplements.  

 




9. Ketones are neuro-protective


Fueling the brain with ketones has shown to help with brain disorders such as seizures, brain cancer, Parkinson’s Disease,  traumatic brain injury (TBI), and Alzheimer’s Disease. There is a widely cited case of a physician who put her husband on a ketogenic diet as treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and he improved within a couple of months. More research is needed on the direct effect of ketones for the prevention of diseases that affect the brain, but so far its looking very optimistic!

Side note: Ketones can supply up to 70% of the energy needed by the brain. It is true that your brain requires some glucose to function, but glucose can come from protein, it does not have to come from carbohydrates. It is a misconception that carbohydrates are necessary in your diet – they are not. Protein and fat are the two macronutrients your body definitely needs to manufacture all of the necessary components of the body.

All works cited can be found in the hyperlinks 

 



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Think you need to take an antibiotic? Read this first.




Have the sniffles and feel a sore throat coming on? Wondering if you need to take antibiotics?! Before heading to the nearest urgent care, read below and ask yourself the following questions first.



How long have I had symptoms for?

It’s been just a few hours but feeling worse? Don’t jump to conclusions yet. At the beginning of an acute illness, symptoms tend to get worse before they get better, and it is very hard to tell if you have a viral or bacterial infection (or allergies!) at this point.

If your symptoms have lasted for a week or longer, this is a sign that you may benefit from taking antibiotics.

Are my symptoms improving or getting worse?

This goes along with the above question. If after a few days your symptoms seem to be getting worse and not better, this may be a sign that your infection is bacterial or your immune system has weakened and now you are infected with a bacterial infection. Just keep in mind that it is very hard to tell between a bacterial or a viral infection when it has been under a week.



My throat is sore and I have a cough – do I have Strep throat?

If you have a cough, that is actually an indicator that you likely DO NOT have Strep throat. Symptoms of Strep throat include swollen and tender lymph nodes in the neck, swollen tonsils with white streaks, fever, no cough, and sudden onset throat pain.

Main takeaways…

Keep in mind that the majority of colds are viral in origin, which means antibiotics will not help you. Some of the best things you can do to feel better and get better include drinking lots of fluids, rest, and hand washing.



About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.





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Top 12 Bad Habits of Office Workers





If you are someone who goes to an office everyday or several days a week, you may have accumulated some bad habits along the way that may be negatively affecting your health. Through my experience, I have noticed the following bad habits of my office worker patients…

1. Your work area is a mess

Think messy desk, messy mind. Prevent distractions and keep a clear head by keeping your work space neat and tidy.




2. You don’t take time to prepare a healthy breakfast

If you aren’t taking a few minutes in the morning to prepare a healthy and satisfying breakfast, there is a good chance you will just grab a pastry or muffin on your way to work. Don’t make this mistake and take just ten minutes to prepare something healthy for breakfast such as eggs.

3. You order delivery

Ordering food to your desk is a mistake for a few reasons, most notably that this means you likely won’t get up from your desk or leave your office. This means less walking and less activity for your body. Instead, try to pack a healthy lunch most days of the week. 

4. You dine out every day

Dining out is better than ordering delivery, however, this means that you will likely not be getting a very healthy meal and it’s more costly than bringing your own lunch. Also think about the time you waste waiting in line to order food. Again, try and pack a lunch and bring it to work.



5. You don’t take a walk at lunch

Getting outside and getting some light exercise is great for both your body and mind. Even just getting ten minutes of activity is helpful for boosting the feel good hormones, plus sunlight is great for giving you a boost of energy to get through the rest of the afternoon.

6. You don’t keep a water bottle at your desk

If you don’t have water easily accessible at your desk, you are less likely to drink much water during the day. Dehydration can lead to a number of negative consequences including decreased productivity, headaches, and fatigue. Having a water bottle at your desk serves as a reminder to keep yourself hydrated.



7. You get an afternoon coffee and pastry

That afternoon coffee and pastry might sound like a nice treat, but you will pay for it later. Having caffeine later in the day can lead to sleep problems at night and the pastry causes a spike and subsequent drop in blood sugar. Instead, just take a walk outside and leave the coffee for the morning.

8. You don’t practice good posture

If you sit at a desk and use a computer, there is a good chance you are hunching over a good amount of the day. Hunching your back leads to back and neck problems.

9. You don’t stretch at work

Sitting at a desk all day leads to aches and pains most notably in the back, shoulders, and neck areas – especially if you aren’t practicing good posture. Take a few minutes a day to stand up and reach your hands above your head and then sweep them down to your toes, do some head circles, and take some twists. Doing these small moves will help to prevent aches and pains from coming on.

10. You have a snack drawer

A snack drawer is way too tempting – it makes it too easy to snack all day! Instead, eat a healthy and filling breakfast and a good lunch to prevent needing to snack.

11. You eat at your desk

Eating at your desk is a bad habit for a number of reasons, most notably that you will be easily distracted by what is on your desk and/or by your office workers who are in the near vicinity.

12. You don’t get up from your desk for hours at a time

Sitting all day can lead to stiffness and back problems. Make a point of getting up from your seat at least every hour.

Main takeaways…

Think about whether you are making any one of these bad habits at your office, and if so, aim to change these into good habits to benefit your health and your quality of life.




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5 Common Reasons You’re Craving Salty Foods




Have you ever found yourself craving salt seemingly out of nowhere? Read below to learn 5 common reasons you are craving salty foods.



1. You’ve been consuming too much salt

If your diet is high in salt, then you will have a higher tolerance for salt and need more and more. Take a look at the sodium content of the foods you eat. For most individuals it is recommended to not go above 2,300mg of sodium per day.

2. You’re dehydrated

An indirect way that your body tells you that you need more fluids is to have you crave salty foods. Salt follows water meaning eating salty foods will then prompt you to drink more water to dilute the salts in your body.

3. You’ve been exercising intensely

When you exercise, you don’t just lose water but you also lose electrolytes – aka salts. Intense exercise or heated exercise causes you to sweat more, which means you will lose exponentially more salt and can cause you to crave salty foods to bring your body back to equilibrium.



4. You’ve been eating very low carb

Eating very low carb (aka keto) causes your body to shed extra water and salts. That is why it is generally recommended to add in extra salt when eating a very low carb diet.

5. Your diet is high in processed food

Processed food is generally high in sodium (aka salt) so if you regularly consume high sodium foods, you will continue to crave that higher salt content.




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Social Norms That Are Blocking Your Success

Social norms are designed to keep you…well….normal. Let me be the first to say, those people that succeed in life and especially those in business, those people that you probably look up to as an embodiment of success, are definitely NOT normal. They have carved their own path and have decided that being normal was too easy and in their one life, they wanted to do something bigger.

If you too are looking to achieve great things in life (my guess is that you are if you’re here reading this), then you’ll want to avoid these 5 social norms and instead do the opposite:

 

1. Social Norm: Do what everyone else is doing

Ok I admit, this seems obvious…But, it’s so easy in our lives to just fall in line and do what those before us have done. Whether it’s following a similar career path of our bosses, or dating someone your “supposed to date” – doing what everyone else is doing is going to give you the same results they had, nothing special. However, if you do have one friend or someone that you look up to that carved their own path and succeeded, do ask them for advice, but don’t try and replicate how they reached success – every person and every journey is different.

 

2. Social Norm: Fitting in

Sadly, this social norm starts at a very early age. You probably remember back in grade school when the last thing you wanted to do was stand out from your classmates. You probably also remember thinking that those few kids that did stand were quite weird (for lack of better terms). When it comes to succeeding in adulthood, standing out is exactly what you want to do. This is blatantly obvious in corporate culture where a “good” middle manager type may be stuck there for 20+ years, never getting that promotion they think they deserve. But really what their boss and bosses boss are looking for is someone that stands out with different ideas, not someone who just falls in line (often referred to as “yes men” or “yes women”).

 

3. Social Norm: Upgrading often

When you get that big raise, fat bonus, new higher paying job, etc. – it’s most common in today’s society to start upgrading. You get that bigger house (and bigger mortgage payment), nicer car (and higher car payment), etc.- showing off to society (especially your neighbors) that you’ve “made it”. But really all you are doing is increasing your liabilities and putting even more pressure on yourself to get that paycheck. Not to mention, upgrades never stop. Maybe for a few months you’re happy with that new car, but then you realize there is another level up and you inherently want that. Stop upgrading material things! Upgrade your skills instead.

 

4. Social Norm: Taking advice from those close to you

Though they may be coming from a “good place”, those family and friends closest to you actually want what is best for them and their relationship with you. Instead of taking advice from those closest to you, try and find someone who can give you an honest and objective opinion.

 

5. Social Norm: Take the “safe” route

Safe is…well, easy. It’s predictable and has a much lower downside then doing something risky – like starting a business. But there is one major flaw to the “safe” route – it has a very limited upside. The upside is where real success and fulfillment comes into our lives. It’s what helps us grow by pushing us out of our comfort zone. Next time you find yourself taking the safe route, take a step back and see what gains you’re missing out on – those will never exist when just trying to limit your downside risk.

 

 

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The 5 Steps to Finding Your Big Ideas




Looking at the great creators in history – Steve Jobs / Elon Musk / Thomas Edison – to name a few, they all not only came up with big ideas, but truly executed them at scale. What sets them apart from others was their ability to combine their skills and passions to create big things in this world. You too have both skills and passions, so follow these 5 steps to start creating your own big ideas today!

 

1. Ideate

You need to first create the space and time to just think and let your ideas flow freely. It’s no coincidence that some of our best thoughts happen while in the shower – that’s because there is nothing in your environment to distract you from just letting your ideas flow. Whether you think most clearly in the morning, before bed, or mid-day when out walking – you know when you are primed to think big. Plan accordingly.




2. Document

An idea is nothing if you forget it. We’ve all been there when an epiphany hits us, then 10 minutes later we can’t remember it. So write down your ideas – yes, all of them! I like to put a date on my ideas and then revisit them in the future. Some ideas won’t make sense for you to pursue in the present, but may makes sense months or even years later.




3. Refine

Review your ideas for the day / week / month or whatever timeframe best suits you and start to build them out. The initial idea that pops into our head is RAW and needs refinement to actually turn into something great. What often happens during this phase is that one or a few of your ideas start to combine / evolve into one really big idea.




4. Choose

The key here is to try and find the combination of where your INTERESTS and SKILLS intersect. These ideas will be the ones that you are passionate about and also have the skills to tackle. If only one of the two areas is satisfied, you’ll likely find yourself bored or frustrated with the idea in the future and won’t bring it to fruition.




 

5. Pursue

Take action on one idea – “single-tasking” truly is a super power that the great creators of this world know all too well. The thing is, a lot of people get to steps 1-4, but never actually pursue anything. These people I like to refer to as “idea people” – you know them…always talking about their big ideas, but never delivering anything. Don’t be an idea person, be a creator!



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Sneaky Reasons You’re Packing on the Pounds During the Holidays




The dreaded holiday weight gain, many of us have fallen victim to this – but you don’t have to! Read below to learn the sneaky reasons why you are putting on the pounds during the holidays.



You’re drinking your calories

During the holidays there are many indulgent beverages that are high in carbs and calories. Some of the top offenders include egg nog (FYI: Egg Nog typically has about 20 grams of sugar per HALF a cup), seasonal coffee drinks (ex: pumpkin spice latte), and high sugar cocktails.

Fix it: It’s totally fine to have an indulgent beverage every once and a while, but once you start making it an everyday habit, that’s when the pounds can start creeping on. Be mindful of what you are drinking because those liquid calories will add up.

Desserts at the office

A cookie here, a donut there, after a few weeks of indulging on treats at the office you can start to see the pounds creeping on.

Fix it: If you are going to indulge, it should be the best of the best. Also, remember that just because a treat is offered to you, it does not mean you have to eat it.

Stress

It is very common to feel stressed during the holidays, whether it be due to family dynamics, buying gifts, traveling, cooking, etc. there are many situations during the holidays that can make you stressed. Not only is stress a terrible feeling, it can also be a factor that causes you to gain weight. Stress often causes individuals to overeat and/or reach for high carb, high calorie foods because eating carbs releases the feel good hormones in your body. Stress also causes the hormone cortisol to increase, and cortisol is a hormone that promotes fat storage.

Fix it: First identify what triggers stress for you and then make a plan of how you can alleviate that stress. Some examples of how you can decrease the stress response may include asking your spouse for help in the kitchen, saying “no” to social engagements that you don’t really want to do, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep.



Skipping exercise

The holiday season is such a busy time that many of us don’t make time for exercise. Exercise is what helps to keep your focus on staying healthy and serves as a reminder to be mindful of your eating. Exercise helps to prevent you from packing on the pounds way beyond just burning calories and revving your metabolism – it also boosts the feel good hormones, suppresses stress hormones, helps to prevent stress eating, boosts energy, and also just serves as a reminder to stay healthy.

Fix it: Make exercise a priority during the holidays. I always recommend doing exercise first thing in the morning because it will give you energy and decrease stress before you start the day.

Skipping meals

Skipping meals to “save up” for dinner is NEVER a good idea – it ALWAYS backfires. Why? Because when you skip a meal, not only does that make you ravenously hungry (and hangry!) but also leads to overeating and a slowed metabolism.

Fix it: Aim to eat a mix of protein, fiber, and heart healthy fat at each meal every 3-5 hours. Note that if a meal is not keeping you full for at least 3 hours, you need to eat more.

Holiday parties

Holiday parties tend to have lots of desserts and high calorie beverages, which can make it hard to stick to a healthy diet.

Fix it: Make a point to eat BEFORE the party so that you don’t fill up on desserts or other high carb foods. Sip on water at the party and stick to a two drink maximum when it comes to indulgent beverages.




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10 Things Mindful People Do Daily




With all of the distraction and anxiety in our world today, it’s those people that walk around above it all and smiling throughout their day that have it right. Those people are often living a life full of mindfulness…

To help you reach that amazing state, below are the 10 things that mindful people incorporate into their daily life to stay calm, focused, and centered throughout their day.

 

1. They are aware of their breathing

By checking in on your breath you have a direct line into your overall state. Short breaths in your upper chest area may indicate anxiety or stress, while deep diaphragmatic breaths show off a sense of calm and relaxation. Calm breath equals a calm mind.



 

2. They focus on the task at hand

While the popular belief is that multi-tasking is the way to go, mindful people know that focusing on a single task and doing it great is the best use of their attention. Multi-tasking can lead to anxiety as our brain is running all over the place and never focused and calm.



 

3. They embrace nature

Getting outside and “bathing” in nature is one of the simplest ways to improve your headspace. Research has shown that being outdoors can even boost your energy and relieve stress.



4. They meditate daily

Having a consistent meditation practice has been shown to boost your well-being, improve focus, and reduce stress. Whether it’s in the morning before you start your day, during lunch break, or when you have time in the evening, finding even just 5 minutes a day to meditate will prove to be incredibly beneficial in helping you become more mindful.

*Try MeditateBot in Messenger for free meditations*



5. They pay attention to their eating

Often referred to as “mindful eating”, the art of paying attention to what you are eating during meals and savoring each bite. Listening to your body while you eat is an amazing way to tell if you are full and avoid overeating.




6. They laugh at themselves

Being able to take a step back from a situation you may be stressing over and laughing at how caught up you are in it is an amazing super power! Life presents ups and downs, but being able to take in situations and just laugh and be cheerful will take you a long way.



 

7. They free their minds

Knowing when to let your mind run free and be creative is an important part of being mindful. The funny thing about becoming mindful and being able to harness your attention at will, is that you have the power to turn your focus on and off whenever you want!



 

8. They turn simple tasks into mindful moments

By paying attention to daily activities, you can bring mindfulness into the even smallest of daily tasks. From brushing your teeth to unloading the dishwasher, mindfulness opportunities are presented in many forms, not just meditation.




9. They use social media proactively

With all of the angst against how social media distracts us, mindful people know that it can be also used to be beneficial to our lives. Whether it’s checking in on an old friend, following a mindfulness quotes account, or reading a blog post on positivity, there are many ways that social media can make you more mindful.



10. They control their reactions

We understand that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we react. The most mindful people can take a step back, assess, then choose the best path forward.




 

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Top 10 Tips To Prevent Holiday Weight Gain



 

The holidays are definitely a time to indulge and treat yourself with family and friends. That being said, no one wants to indulge and then pack on the pounds in the process.

Read below to learn the top 10 ways you can prevent holiday weight gain:




1. Don’t snack

Little bites of this and that during the holidays can lead to weight gain because you don’t realize how much you are actually snacking. Having just a bite of cupcake, donut, muffin, cookie, etc (you get the idea) can actually lead to a high intake of sugar and calories (aka empty calories) without you even realizing.

Fix it: Aim to eat a large meal every 3-5 hours during the day. If you feel the need to snack, increase the protein and vegetable content of your previous meal.



2. Choose one treat

Whether that treat be a glass of wine, a mug of egg nog, a cookie, choose one and no more. This way you are still allowing yourself to enjoy the treats of the holiday season, but in moderation and in a more mindful way.

3. Don’t skip meals

It might seem like a good idea to skip a meal or two to “save” up on calories for a big meal you have ahead. Don’t do it! This never works out well for a few reasons. Number one is that it can make you so hungry that you end up eating WAY more of the indulgent meal than you would have otherwise – i.e. one piece of cake turns into two pieces or more.



4. Walk after eating

Moving your body after eating will help your body use some of those calories for energy and will help to prevent those calories from being stored as fat. It will also help digestion of the meal and lower your blood sugar naturally.

5. Sleep

Lack of sleep can cause you to crave and reach for foods high in sugar because sugar gives you a quick energy boost and also releases feel good hormones in your body.

Fix it: Aim to get around 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.



6. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being present, embracing the moment, and not worrying about all of the things on the to-do list. Being more mindful with your eating means you will not be snacking mindlessly and you will enjoy your meals more too.

7. Don’t stress

Stress can cause you to overeat and overeat carb rich foods because carbs makes you feel better.

Fix it: Exercise daily, practice mindfulness, and don’t put things off until the last minute are some ways to prevent stress from building up.

8. Drink a glass of water before every meal

Water takes up room in your stomach and makes you more full. Another reason to fill up on water is that sometimes thirst is mistaken for hunger, meaning you think you are hungry when actually you just need a glass of water.



9. Fill up on vegetables and protein

Fiber and protein are the dream team because both take a long time to digest and act together to keep you fuller longer. Fill up the majority of your plate with vegetables and protein to prevent yourself from overeating on the sugar and carbs.

10. Exercise daily

Exercise is one of the best ways to prevent weight gain during the holidays because it decreases stress, increases feel good hormones, boosts energy, burns calories and revs metabolism. 

Bonus tip: Keep in mind that exercise should never be seen as a punishment for over indulging. Stick to exercise that you enjoy and think of it as a mood and energy booster rather than seeing it as just a way to burn calories.

Main takeaways…

Use one or more of the above tips to prevent the pounds from creeping on during the holidays.



About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy League trained board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab.





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Top Tips To Prevent Holiday Stress




The holidays can be a very joyous time of year, filled with parties, friends and family. That being said, the holiday season can also bring about a lot of stress.

Read below to learn the top tips to prevent and reduce stress during the holiday season:




Don’t procrastinate

Procrastination is one of the worst things you can do to yourself, especially when it comes to the holidays. Don’t leave everything until the last moment because that is a guaranteed way to put yourself in a place of panic. 

Have a plan

Having a plan is how you can prevent yourself from procrastinating. Make a list of everything you need to get done and designate different days to get everything checked off your list. Making a plan early on helps to prevent stress and anxiety later.



Identify the triggers

Understand what the triggers are that make you feel stressed during the holidays. Is it shopping for gifts? Having to cook for a large group? Travel? When you understand what your stress triggers are, you can better plan to make them less stressful.

Sweat it out

Holidays are an extremely busy time, which is why exercise is so important this time of year. Exercise gives you energy, helps you sleep better, and helps to lower stress hormones in your body.



Cut down on sugar and carbs

The holidays are full of tempting desserts and high carb meals. Eating foods high in sugar and carbs causes a rollercoaster in your blood sugar levels, which leads to stress in your body, moodiness and hangry.



Go easy on the alcohol

Alcoholic beverages are often flowing during the holidays, and one too many cocktails can leave you feeling more stressed than you started. Make a point to watch your alcoholic intake during the holiday season.

Main takeaways…

Know that stress will happen during the holidays, but stress can be much more manageable if you have tools to help you get through it.




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