Why checking email hurts creativity… a true story. Yesterday, a tragedy happened. My smart phone’s microphone went out. I couldn’t talk to anyone, and had to revert to using my not so smart phone. I was worried because my work email was not set up on it. What if someone needs to get a hold of me? What if it is urgent? Will my work life fall apart if I didn’t check my email on the hour?
Yes, I am an email addict.
In fact, I am guilty of checking my phone for emails first thing in the morning.
Even before I put on my contacts, when I am still groggy and disoriented, I will squint and reach for my cell phone to check email and make sure the world did not fall apart while I slept.
Apparently I am not alone.
According to IDC Research, 80% of smartphone users check their mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up each morning.
“49% of the entire U.S. population uses a smartphone. By 2017, the percent of smartphone users is expected to reach 68%.Four out of five smartphone users check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. 80% of those say it’s the first thing they do in the morning.”
I guess I can take comfort in knowing I am makes me extra ambitious, since I check emails the moment I wake up. Yea… I’m that girl. The problem with checking email first thing in the morning is it clutters your brain with things that may appear urgent, but are not truly important. Checking emails hurts creativity because it puts you in a state of stress. Taking time in the morning to reflect, clear your thoughts and set your intentions for the day, not only makes your more creative, but it allows you to be more productive as well. In order for creativity to thrive, you have to have mental space.
Here is another way to look at it. Imagine if you had closet and you filled it with all kinds of junk. Boxes, clothes, hangers, shoes … you name it. Now imagine trying to find something. Just like you need space to get to all of your things easily in your closet, your brain works the same way. Creativity needs space to breath, to develop, to grow and come to life. If you clutter your brain with urgent but no important information or the ever growing “to do” list, you leave no space to create.
Since I have not been able to check my emails first thing in the morning on my phone (or Facebook, for that matter), I’ve felt more at peace. The process of waking up feels more tranquil. Upon waking up, I take a few moments to appreciate the new day, put my contacts on and get ready, grab a cup of coffee, and think about what I would like to accomplish today. I feel lighter, less stressed, and ready to face my day instead of being anxious by things I need to add to my to-do list. Yes, I still check email, but now, I only check it 3-4 times a day, not every 15 minutes.
I feel like I have room to breath again and the creative juices are flowing. I have started writing again, and am inspired to tackle new projects as well. Having downtime in our over stimulated world allows us to focus on channeling our creativity and expressing yourself in other ways, other posting an update on Facebook. And much to my surprise, my world/ work/ life did not fall apart.
Although I am about to order a new smart phone, my goal is to develop a healthy relationship with it. This time around, I will not be controlled by my email. I’ve decided the mornings are to be an “email free zone”. For the first several hours of the day, I will refocus on the important but perhaps “not so urgent” things. Creativity comes from having the mental capacity to allow for ideas to flow in and I am excited about this new journey. After all, we survived for thousands of years without emails and did just fine. A few hours “sin” email will be okay. Oh, and Facebook … you are next.
For those of you who feel the same way, try taking a “break” from email for the first few hours of the day & see how you feel. You can thank me later. =)
Why spend $4 on energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster when you can make your healthy energy drinks HOMEMADE own for pennies? In this video, Allison Ramsey, a Natural Health Practitioner, shares with us her favorite DIY Homemade Natural Energy Drink Recipe.
Besides, these natural ingredients also help cleanse your system and detoxes while giving you a boost of energy.
The primary ingredients in this homemade energy drink is turmeric, ginger and cayenne pepper.
Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicinal herb. Turmeric is also a natural anti-inflammatory and have tons of antioxidants. It also helps gives you a boost of energy without the typical energy drink crash.
Ginger is used in China for over 2,000 years. It also gives you a boost of energy and also helps with nausea and motion sickness.
Cayenne Pepper helps boost your metabolism and helps burn excess amounts of fats. It also helps soothes an upset stomach, sore throat, and well as has potential cancer fighting properties.
So in addition to getting tons of energy, this DIY Homemade Natural Energy Drink will also give you tons of health benefits as well!
Kim Kardashian do it. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi do it. But should you do it? No, we are not talking about making a sex video. We are talking about waist training. There’s alot of people waist training but does it do more harm than good? Here’s the real truth on waist training and why you shouldn’t waist train.
Dangers of Waist Training: The Modern Day Corset
For those of you who are not familiar with waist training, waist training is like the modern day corset. The idea is to use the waist trainer to compress your stomach and reshape your waist to decrease the size of your waist permanently over time. You wear the waist trainer for hours, even working out and sleeping in it.
The problem with waist trainers it not only can it be uncomfortable,it makes it difficult to take deep breaths and even may contribute to heartburn. “Your stomach might get pushed up beyond the diaphragm, which could cause reflex,” says Dr. Apovian. “If you’re wearing one and you experience those symptoms, that’s a definite sign that you need to loosen it or take it off.”
My Waist Trainer Review
By now, you have probably seen women working out with waist trainers on. If you search Instagram under the hashtags #weightloss , there will be many pictures of women working out with waist trainers. Wearing a waist-cinching device for a workout is a horrible idea. It make it even harder for you to breath because of the restrictions on your rib cage and diaphragm.
Your digestive tract is also affected when you wear a waist shaper or trainer. Your intestines are supposed to contract and move food along, but when one of the issues with wearing waist trainers is it compresses your intestines over a long period of time, causing the flow of digestion to be slowed or even stopped. This lead to problems like abdominal discomfort, bloating and gas. This is definitely not a sexy problem to have.
Sitting in a waist trainer can lead to a condition called meralgia paresthetica, from your nerve in your legs being compressed. This leads to tingling, numbness and pain in your legs. Even wearing it for a few minutes, I was able to feel the negative effects of the shaper. I felt some tingling in my legs, and I felt like I was losing circulations. It’s like putting rubber bands around your upper thighs and tightening them when you sit down. This rubber band effect can also decrease your circulation and lead to blood clots. When you sit in shapewear, those genetically prone to varicosities can develop varicose veins and lymph congestion, which appears as swollen ankles.
The bottom line, the best way to get a trim waistline is through proper a proper diet, nutritional whole foods and using exercise to reshape your body. It may be tempting to follow this waist training fad, but imagine the damage you are causing to your body in the long run. How we take care of our bodies now will affect how well we age. I know there is alot of pressure to look thinner, to have a slim waist and the hour glass figure. But if you abuse your body and cause potentially permanent damage to it, you could greatly affect your quality of life, especially as you age. My parents have had health challenge which impaired their range of motion as well as their quality of life. Seeing their suffering and pain has made me realize how important it is to be healthy, not just so we look good in a swimsuit, but so we can have a high quality of life. So I urge you to take the pledge to life a healthy lifestyle, and through healthy food choices and exercise, you will get that sexy healthy body you want. =)
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I’d love to hear your thoughts on waist trainers. Feel free to share with me your thoughts in the comments below.
Want to tighten and tone your entire body under 6 minutes? Try my new fat burning workout! This short total body workout for women will build lean muscles while keeping your heart rate up so you will burn fat, burn calories and increase metabolism. If you are trying to lose weight or if you are trying to get ready for the bikini season, this is a great workout you can do at home. Tighten and tone your legs, arms and back. All you need is a set of weights. ♡♡♡
Total Body Workout for Women
3 Exercises – 30 Seconds on / 10 Seconds off
Lunge & Curl
Bent Over Rows
Kettle Ball Swings
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Living a healthy lifestyle involves planning ahead. To make healthy meals at home involves meal planning for the week, grocery shopping, cooking, and preparing your meals in advance. Whether you are trying to get in shape, lose weight or just maintain a healthy lifestyle, traveling often makes it more challenging. Often times my clients will be doing great at home, but when they have to travel for work or go on vacation, they get off track. It’s hard to make healthy food choices when there isn’t as many healthy food options.
Eating Healthy on the Road
Recently, I’ve been traveling more and have found some easy healthy snacks that are widely available, from convenient stores to the airport. However, it can be challenging to figure out what is actually healthy and what is not, especially when it”sounds healthy”. I’ll go over the most widely available foods and snacks and go over their healthy rating.
1) Chicken Salad or Tuna Salad
Most places make the salads with real mayo, which is filed with saturated fats, making this otherwise healthy option into an “okay” choice. In a 5 0z tuna salad with real mayo and bread, you will have about 40 grams of fat and almost 700 calories. There’s plenty of protein, but because of the fat content from the mayo, it isn’t the best healthy for you. If there is a low fat or fat free mayo option, then by all means, go for it, because it would be a 10.
With Real Mayonnaise: HEALTHY RATING: 6
With Fat Free Mayonnaise: HEALTHY RATING: 10
Depending on the types of bread, a sandwich could be a sugar feast. White sugar, hidden as carbohydrates, are filled with empty calories. If you add in real mayo, it is even worse. If you are trying to eat healthy, look for whole wheat or while grain options with at least 3 grams of fiber power serving. Stay away from thick breads like cibatta since they are filled with empty calories. If you can, skip the cheese and it becomes even healthier. Use mustard for flavor. And add some fresh fruit or vegetables to make it a complete meal.
Thick Bread: HEALTHY RATING: 4
Whole Wheat Bread: HEALTHY RATING: 7
Salads are great choices when you are on the road, but skip the croutons because they are filled with empty calories. Add in a protein source like chicken or quinoa or beans and you have a healthy meal. Just make sure you choose a vinaigrette based dressing. Dressings can take an otherwise healthy salad and turn it into a fatty meal if you pick the wrong kind. A trick I picked up to get great flavor without the calories is to just do my fork into the dressing before I take a bite of salad. This allows me to use just the right amount of dressing and save all the empty calories.
HEALTHY RATING: 9-10
Wraps are a good choice when it comes to grabbing a quick meal. Many wraps are made with chicken salad or tuna salad. Try to look for chicken breast or turkey and stay away from breaded meats and anything with ranch sauce. Look for wraps with more filling. If you can, skip the cheese and you will avoid a lot of the fat. Hummus adds allot of flavor to the wrap. Avocado is also a great flavor booster. Look for wraps with lots of vegetables to boost the healthy rating. Also, try to find whole wheat wraps to boost fiber.
HEALTHY RATING: 6
Hummus is a great option for a filling snack, especially if it is served with vegetable sticks. Look for celery or carrots. If possible, ask if you can get an extra serving of vegetables with the hummus. If it is served with pita chips, keep in mind you will getting a double dose of carbs, so add in some vegetables or fruit to balance it out.
With Chips: HEALTHY RATING: 7
With Veges: HEALTHY RATING: 10
Fresh fruits are one of the best choices you can make to eat healthy when you are traveling. I love bring apples and oranges with me because they are easy to transport and are more “squash proof”. I love bring bananas, but make sure you don’t put heavy items on top of it. Once I put a banana in my purse and forgot it was there. Needless to say, my purse smelled like bananas for a couple of days. If you can have some protein such as a hard boiled egg or string cheese with it, it would be more satisfying and keep you fuller longer.
HEALTHY RATING: 10
Nuts can be a healthy snack that is high in fiber and has good fats. The best type of nuts to eat are raw unroasted nuts like raw almonds or cashews. If you can only find roasted nuts, those are the second best. Avoid flavored nuts… they are like candy or chips, full of sugar, salt and it is hard to exercise self control. Keep in mind, nuts are very high fat, so just a handful will do. Eat it with some fruit or vegetables and it would be a nice snack.
HEALTHY RATING: 9
Try to stay away from muffins, pizzas, fried foods, and breaded meats. If there is a Mexican place with tacos, you can still do pretty well with getting a taco without cheese and sour cream. With all the temptations out there, being prepared is the best way to prevent you from making bad food choices. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. We often mistaken thirst for hunger.
What are you favorite travel food? I’d love to hear from you.
It seems like everyone around me is either sick, getting sick, or recovering from being sick. Short of staying home and being a hermit, how do you prevent catching cold or flu? In this video, I’ll go over my Cold & Flu Prevention Kit. I use these items to help strengthen my immune system and it works great! I take these with me every where I go, and they are airplane friendly as well.
Prevent Catching Cold & Flu Video
1- Olive Extract
Olive extract is a powerful supplement that’s fantastic for enhancing the immune system. The olive plant is a rich source of such beneficial plant compounds as tocopherols, flavonoids, anthocyanins, sterols and polyphenols. Research shows olive leaves have enhanced the functioning of the immune system and help fight viral infections, especially when fever is present. Because of polyphenols in olive leaves, it has also been shown to have antimicrobial effects against a variety of viruses, bacteria, yeasts and fungi. You can take Olive Extract with water, but I prefer to just take it straight. Although it is certainly not tasty (think of a combination of Everclear Liquor and Olive), it has proven time and time again to keep me from being sick, even when I am stuck in with a plane full of coughing people. Make sure to take it before you get sick or if you feel like you are about to catch something.
Propolis is shown to boost immune functions and has antimicrobial properties. Propolis comes from the resin of trees. It is made by bees and they gather the resin from trees, then transforming it into a very sticky and antimicrobial mixture they use as glue for their hive. Propolis works in two ways. First, it suppresses harmful infection and bacteria. Second, it stimulates the immune system and increases your body’s nature resistance. Take it with water or you can do what I do: Take is straight. Again, not the tastiest (think honey scented Everclear) but it works like a charm!
3- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, also called Melaleuca, has antiseptic properties and is known to fight germs. It comes form a tree native to Australia. It has been used to treat skin infections, minor burns, athlete’s foot, insect bites, acne, eczema, colds, flu and more. Tea tree oil is used topically and should never be taken internally. For colds and other respiratory problems, add the oil into a vaporizer and inhale the mist. I like to get the tea tree oil in a roller bottle and put it under my nose to help me breath. It’s great if you are congested. It also helps you relax. Because tea tree oil has so many other uses, it is quite versatile. I use it if I am breaking out and it helps clear my complexion. You can also add a few drops of the oil to bath water too.
4- Green Tea
Green tea is an amazing source of antioxidants as well as polyphenols, boosting your immune system. Polyphenols in tea has been linked to killing the flu virus. I’ve been drinking plain green tea for as long as I can remember (thanks Mom!). I am a bit partial to green tea and oolong tea. Oolong tea has also been know to reduce the risk of health conditions such as heart disease, inflammatory disorders, and high cholesterol levels, while being high in antioxidants. Don’t add milk though, because milk proteins bind to the polyphenols and make them ineffective. If you need to sweeten it, try adding a touch of honey or Stevia.
Sleep is an essential part of being healthy and having a healthy immune system. When you are sleeping, you give your body a chance to repair itself. In studies, scientist found that sleep plays a critical role in healthy immune function, metabolism, memory, as well as learning. Not getting enough sleep can lead to reduced immune function and even increased cancer risk. How much sleep do you need? For most people, it is any where from 6-9 hours. Try waking up naturally without an alarm clock and see how many hours you slept for. This will give you a good idea of how much sleep you need. If you are having trouble falling asleep, try cutting back your caffeine intake by early afternoon and see how you feel.
6- 1 Hour Break
Kava, which is the primary ingredient in 1 Hour Break, is a plant native to the South Pacific which helps you relax. Sometimes when I am trying to get some sleep but my mind is racing, I take this supplement and it helps me relax. Unlike melatonin which makes you drowsy, this will relax you, but you can take it during the day as well. The effects last about an hour and it helps calm anxiety, relief stress, and helps with insomnia. I keep a bottle of it when I am traveling and it helps me sleep better. . The root is used for medicine. Kava is used to calm anxiety, stress, and restlessness, and treat sleep problems (insomnia). I’ve tried the Cinnamon flavor (taste like Big Red), Mint, Honey (a bit too herb-y for me) as well as the Original (It reminds me of my mom’s Asian Herbal Medicine). My personal favorites are Cinnamon and Mint. =)
If you are sick, try your best to not cough. Once you start coughing, you irritate the delicate lining of your esophagus, which causes you to cough even more and leading to a sore throat. At night, you can try to gargle with warm salty water, which can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less. During the day, I turn to cough drops. I like Ricola because they are natural and made with herbs. They also use orgainc farming practices and no chemical pesticides.
To help prevent picking up germs and virus, wash your hands for 30 seconds. You have to wash wash your hands for about 30 seconds with soap in order to kill the bacteria and virus. One trick I learned when I was in the medical field was to sing the “Birthday Song”. It’s about 30 seconds long. Just don’t sing it out loud or people will look at you funny…
9- Cover Your Cough
Lastly, if you are sick, make sure you cover your cough it doesn’t spread. Try coughing into the crook of your elbow instead of your hands. When you cough on your hands, you’re spreading germs when you touch other things. Yes, it looks a little funny, but it works.
And of course, eating healthy foods and maintaining an active lifestyle also helps boost a healthy immune system. I’d love to hear your favorite cough and cold remedies. Feel free to leave comments! =)