6 Keto Tips to Avoid Festive Season Weight Gain

Keto

‘Tis the season for keto.

The festive season is difficult for any diet. This time of year is filled with food-centered festivities, parties, and time-honored eating traditions – and with the festive season often comes stress. The popular keto diet, which features high fats and moderate proteins with few carbs, comes with a diminished burden on calorie counting (yay!) but requires a fastidious approach to eating. Here are tips from experts on how to maintain your keto diet during the festive season and avoid weight gain.

Plan Ahead

It can be meaningful to discuss your keto eating needs ahead of time with whoever is hosting the festive season event or preparing the food.

Family and friends should be supportive and happy to help you! Keto-friendly, low-carb recipes are available for many festive season staples such as pumpkin pie, latkes, gingerbread cookies, and even eggnog – giving a new twist to traditional food that would disrupt your diet.

“Mashed cauliflower, sugar-free cranberry sauce, nut flour stuffing, low-carb pumpkin pie, and countless other keto takes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve food are all great options for staying in ketosis during the festive season,” says Sofia Norton, RD and keto expert for Kiss My KetoWhere many diets involve restricted eating, keto is all about eating the right balance of ingredients, generally about 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs.

Festive season favorites may still fit within your diet, it’s just important to ensure the right ingredients are being used. And the keto versions of your favorite foods are so tasty, they may just become your new festive season tradition. Cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice are both fantastic as a low-carb side dish that’s easy to make and great to share,” Norton said. “If you have leftover keto bread, make low-carb stuffing as you would with regular bread.”

You can also use leftover keto bread to make breadcrumbs for stuffed mushrooms and keto casseroles! And for apps, deviled eggs are a great way to sneak in some MCT oil. 

“Pumpkin pie is easy to make low-carb by swapping sugar for non-nutritive sweeteners and using an almond flour crust and Christmas cookies are also easy to make with a combination of almond and coconut flours,” Norton says. If it’s not possible to adjust your party’s food options, you could bring your own ketogenic food or eat before the event to ensure that you’re maintaining your diet.

Keep Things Simple

Sticking to low-carb whole ingredients is a smart decision when food is being passed around the dinner table.

“When making choices remember our goal of regular amounts of protein, think of a palm size piece of meat as an example,” says Randy Evans, RD. “When it comes to carbs, on keto, we are mostly targeting complex or non-starchy carbs which are often leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower and they are pretty easy to find on most tables.”

Traditional festive season meals that have few carbs are:

  • Roasted turkey 
  • Shrimp
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Roasted ham
  • Whole roasted cauliflower
  • Fish stew

Green veggies can be paired with pasture butter, extra virgin olive oil, raw nuts, or seeds. If you don’t know the type of fat being used, you could add fat on your own like adding MCT oil shots to coffee.

Know What to Avoid

Some festive season staples will not work with your diet, such as potatoes.

“You will want to avoid the starchy veggies, which is usually the mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes,” Evans said. So, instead of a helping of grandma’s famous sweet potato casserole, go for a side of green beans or Brussels sprouts instead.

Other types of foods to skip include most fruits, processed foods and grains. And while you might enjoy listening to Nat King Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song” with its opening line “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” pass on the chestnuts – they’re high in carbs – and grab a handful of pecans instead.

Drink Lots of Water – and Limit the Booze

Water is king. It flushes out toxins and fights inflammation, which can lead to weight gain and swelling. It also fills you up and fights dehydration.

This comes in handy during the festive season for sure! Evans suggests drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day but also before, after, and during meals. So, before the big meal, drink a glass or two of water. And take sips of water throughout, pausing between bites.

While you might be inclined to drink alcohol this festive season, be mindful of how it will impact your keto diet.

“The worst offender of weight gain by far is alcohol consumption during the festive season. Not only does alcohol consumption pause your ability to burn fat for 48-72 hours, but it also initiates poor decision making with respect to food intake,” says keto expert and Nutrition Scientist Christine HronecAlcoholic drinks are typically low in protein and higher in sugar and carbs, especially if they feature sugary mixers like tonic water or soda. If you want to have a drink or two, make sure you’re sticking to low-carb recipes or dry wine.

To cheat or not to cheat?

You should talk with your dietitian about how much you can stray from your diet.

Dieters on a less strict ketogenic diet could have small amounts of fruit or unsweetened sweet potatoes “and still not be too far off from ketosis,” Evans said. “I have some patients who only see good ketone levels when super limiting carbs, maybe 20g per day but I also have athletes in the 80 to 100g of carbs range on a ketogenic diet who still see good ketone levels.”

Chef Elisa, Head Chef and Nutrition Expert at WarriorMade.com, says it’s important to plan the dishes you expect to eat – as well as your recovery if you sway from your diet for a day.

“Whether it’s fasting, doing a tougher workout before your festivities, or just getting back into your normal low carb routine the next day, cheating isn’t about all or nothing, it’s about you getting to make your own rules and knowing what you need to do to get back on track,” she says.

Enjoy Yourself

The festive season can be a stressful time! It’s important to cut yourself some slack – and focus on doing the best you can.

“Remember stress has a huge impact on our health and for the most part we have no way to measure its impact other than by measuring the damage it can cause. If you are doing well on the ketogenic diet over time and have a meal or a day that is not perfect, how about we enjoy it, lower our stress level, then get back on track the next day,” says Evans.

How to Get Great Skin Before the Ball Drops on 2019

Most women seem to experience skin care problems just when they want to look their best. Every woman can relate to waking up with a huge zit right at the tip of her nose, or huge dark circles under the eyes, and the list goes on. There are pre-emptive measure one can take with less than two weeks until the New Year to ward off these skin care evils. We turned to Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver board certified plastic surgeon for guidance on what to do without breaking the bank or having invasive surgery.

Facial Extractions by a licensed aesthetician- Dr. Manish Shah says, “When done correctly extraction facials can clear closed comedones (AKA those tiny, flesh-colored bumps that never come to a head, yet never really go away), remove whiteheads and blackheads, and give your skin a newer, fresher foundation for your skincare products to penetrate. Basically, extractions can be the kiss of life for your lifeless broken out skin.”

Drink Alcohol in Moderation – If you plan on ringing into 2019 with a few glasses of bubbly, Dr. Shah recommends moderating your alcohol consumption leading up to the big day. He explains, “Alcohol can dehydrate the skin and cause it to appear less fresh and vibrant, which can certainly hinder your skin care efforts.” 

Cleanse your Face Every Night - You have just arrived home at 2 am from a holiday Party. It may be tempting to flop into bed without washing your face. Don’t do it! Dr. Shah says that, “Sun damage isn’t the only environmental factor you have to worry about. Small micro particles from air pollutants might just hurt your skin, too. Play it safe by remembering to take a minute to cleanse your face to remove debris that could be weakening your skin. In addition, that foundation and pressed powder you have been wearing all night can clog your pores and cause breakouts.”

Start Exfoliating – Want brighter, younger-looking skin? It starts with a great at home exfoliator! Dr. Shah explains that, “As your skin replenishes itself, dead skin cells start to build up on the top layer, leaving you looking dull. Exfoliating regularly removes this layer, revealing fresh, healthy skin. Regular exfoliation also allows your moisturizer and other topical products to penetrate more deeply, making them more effective.” 

Clean Your Makeup Brushes – You would not eat food on dirty dishes, would you? Applying makeup with dirty brushes is not so different. Not only will dirty brushes give you a spotty application, but they can harbor bacteria, dirt and oil, leading to acne and breakouts which necessitates piling on even more makeup to cover it up. 

Don’t Squeeze Your Pimples! – Here’s a secret that many a supermodel or actress use: Steroid shots. Dr. Shah explains that, “when we discuss treating acne with cortisone or “steroid” shots, we are referring to the process of gently placing a very dilute quantity of a “glucocorticoid” steroid into the cyst. Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid molecules that are naturally produced by our bodies and have numerous functions including the regulation of human metabolism, immunity, and inflammation. They have very potent anti-inflammatory effects, so they are often used to treat inflammatory diseases in medicine. They can be formulated as creams to treat skin rashes or as pills to treat systemic disease. They can also be injected directly into local areas of inflammation such as in arthritic joints and inflamed acne cysts. Within one or two days of injection into a cyst, the steroid will shrink the inflammation producing relief of pain and almost immediate cosmetic improvement.”

Peels – Look for AHA/BHA/PHA peels that will exfoliate the skin and help release the top layers of dead skin cells allowing for a more radiant underlay to come through.

Microdermabrasion – This professional treatment exfoliates at a deeper level (like a peel), with a mechanical handheld device that buffs away the upper layers of the skin. 

Add vitamin C to your routine. – Dr. Shah suggests applying several drops of vitamin C serum underneath SPF each morning to target free radical damage, help lighten brown spots, and even out your skin tone. 

Moisturizer – It may seem obvious, but when it comes to dewy, glowing skin, moisturizing is essential. “When your skin is dry, it looks dull, so hydrating ingredients can help bring back that glow,” says Dr.  Shah. For skin types already prone to shine, adding moisture may seem like the last thing you need, but an oil-free hydrator with ingredients like hyaluronic acid could actually help reduce your sebum production and even out slickness into a sleek glow.

About Dr. Manish Shah

Manish Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S. was born in Canada and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. He graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania, receiving a degree in biomedical engineering. He then completed his medical training at the University of Virginia, earning his Medical Doctorate. During this time, he also completed a one-year fellowship in microsurgery research at the New York University School of Medicine / Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. As a prelude to his plastic surgery training, Dr. Shah completed a rigorous five-year training program in General and Trauma Surgery at Emory University and the Medical College of Georgia. His formal training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery was completed at the Univ. of Tennessee College of Medicine – Chattanooga Unit. After completing his plastic surgery training, he moved to New York City when he was selected for the prestigious Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. He underwent extensive, advanced training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body at the hands of some of the most renowned cosmetic surgeons in the world. This fellowship is widely considered to be the best of its kind in the world. Dr. Shah is one of only a select few plastic surgeons in the country who have undergone formal post-graduate training in aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Shah’s specialties include revision facial aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty (“nose reshaping”), and aesthetic surgery of the breast (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction). He is, however, well-trained in all areas of aesthetic surgery.

Dr. Shah’s aim is to obtain a natural appearing transformation that complements the real you!

Dr. Shah is a past Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center based at Denver Health Medical Center, the Rocky Mountain region’s only academic Level I trauma center. He is a past Chief of Plastic Surgery at Denver Health Medical Center. He also maintains a private practice in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery on the Dry Creek Medical Center campus (DTC/Denver) and up in the Aspen Valley (Basalt – in the office of MD Aesthetics – Tim Kruse, M.D.).

Dr. Shah is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Shah is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Prevention is Better Than the Cure: How Functional Medicine Can Change Your Life

Integrative approaches to health are becoming more and more common. In the city of Tyler, the
Adventum Mindfulness Triathlon is a mind-body wellness approach that has been gaining some traction. It involves a two-mile run or walk, doing yoga for 45 minutes, and ends with 20 minutes of meditation. The triathlon also offers sessions with counselors, chiropractors, and other specialists. Meanwhile, in Amarillo, the ReCODE Program which is based on preventing and reducing inflammation, optimizing nutritional intake, and the systemic elimination of toxins in the body has been the first program to actually improve the mental state of dementia patients. These integrative approaches to treating both mental and physical ailments are reminding patients and doctors that the old adage still holds: prevention is better than the cure — the core idea behind the practice of functional medicine.

Functional medicine (FM) is a scientific approach to holistic medicine. In a nutshell, its aim is to keep you not just alive, but healthy, happy, and well. The main difference between FM and conventional medicine is that the former is focused on prevention, while the latter is about treatment. For instance, A post by Parsley Health on ‘5 Reasons Why Functional Medicine is the Only Kind of Health Care You Want’ explains that while the conventional triage approach is the best way to prevent death or further trauma when treatment is needed, it has nothing to do with your health and quality of life outside the emergency room or clinic. In contrast, FM is focused on what can be done now to mitigate or prevent trauma and disease later.

This doesn’t mean that FM is opposed to conventional and other forms of medical treatment. Far from it — treatment begins with anything and everything that can significantly improve your health, quality of life, and resistance to chronic diseases and conditions. This approach begins with knowing your medical history. Questionnaires and interviews allow FM specialists to find out every bit of information that can be used to improve their patients’ overall health and wellness. This assessment of your medical history determines the program that you need to follow.

FM programs are mostly personalized lifestyle changes geared towards long-term wellness. The biggest factor that dictates our physical and mental health is nutrition, which is where these programs begin. This is hinged on the fact that we are what we eat — scientifically speaking, whatever we consume inevitably ends up being used by our bodies to repair and maintain daily and special functions. This is why FM specialist Dr. Robin Berzin doesn’t recommend any specific diet for health purposes, but instead suggests following personalized nutritional plans to meet every person’s unique needs. For most patients, this means eating a greater variety of plants while also decreasing their intake of highly processed food. The actual recipes or meal plans will be determined by the current state of your health as well as your goals.

Also, by optimizing daily food intake, you can either avoid having to take pharmaceutical medication that might have long-term adverse effects, or at least supplement their positive effects so you’ll need less potentially harmful medication. For instance, for sufferers of gout or chronic joint inflammation, sticking to an optimized diet means not having to take too much non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are known to wreak havoc on the liver. Through nutritional programs, FM specialists can help you decrease or completely avoid the long-term consequences of certain pharmaceutical treatments.

Regular exercise factors into FM programs as well. There’s a ton of research that shows how regular physical activity improves health. Our article on ‘Defeating Obesity with These Isometric Exercises’ shows how even the simplest, safest exercises can help mitigate and prevent chronic disease. Meanwhile, strenuous exercise has long been shown to help people deal with insomnia.

As for mental health concerns, FM specialists also either provide consultations or refer patients to mental health practitioners who can provide talk therapy and, if necessary, prescription medication. FM recognizes how the mind influences the body’s ability to heal and stay healthy, which further illustrates the value of taking an integrative and inter-disciplinary approach to health and wellness.

By combining these different approaches to human health, FM seeks to address the root causes of illness. The mind controls the body; the body affects the mind — what we do and consume with both determines the state of our health.

Are Your Lungs Trying to Tell You Something?

Do you get short of breath doing daily activities? Feel like you’re unable to take deep breaths? Are you constantly coughing or wheezing? If you said yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a serious, potentially devastating lung disease also known as chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Though it’s easy to think of these symptoms as just part of “getting older’’ or as problems that come with allergies, often they are not.

Nearly 16 million people in the United States are currently living with a COPD diagnosis, and millions more don’t know they have it. COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and a leading cause of disability.

In people with COPD, the airways that carry air in and out of the lungs become partially blocked, which makes it increasingly difficult to breathe. If left undetected, the disease can greatly affect your quality of life and your ability to complete even ordinary daily activities.

COPD often occurs in people who have a history of smoking or long-term exposure to secondhand smoke and other lung irritants, such as air pollution, chemical fumes, and dusts from the environment or workplace. The chances of getting COPD also increases significantly in people who have alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a rare genetic condition.

While COPD develops slowly and worsens over time, its symptoms can be treated and its progression can be slowed, which is why early detection and treatment are so important. If you are noticing any issues with your breathing, talk to your health care provider about getting tested for COPD. The sooner you get a diagnosis, the sooner treatment can begin. Your provider will design a treatment plan to help address your symptoms and improve your lung function and quality of life.

The key to keeping COPD at bay – or preventing it from getting worse – is to understand and recognize the signs and symptoms early and discuss them with your health care provider. The sooner this happens, the sooner you can get back to doing the things you love.

Through educational efforts like the Learn More Breathe Better program (https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/breathebetter ), the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute shares valuable information about the symptoms of COPD, as well as how to diagnose and treat it. With these tools, those living with COPD can effectively manage the disease, and those who have symptoms can find the support and assistance they need. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Defeating Obesity with These Isometric Exercises

An isometric exercise or workout is a type of training where the muscle length or joint angle doesn’t change. Simply put, the body stays static while it applies force. Some isometric exercise examples can be as simple as pushing your palms together or be as intense as holding a barbell at the peak of a curl. This is why they are so convenient and safe; people can perform them anytime, anywhere with an almost zero chance of injuries.

Shoulder Press 

  • Stand up straight and bend your left elbow by your side, fist up.
  • Place your right palm on top of your left fist. Your right arm should be parallel to the ground with your elbow bent about 90 degrees.
  • Press your right palm into your left fist and hold this for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.

Trunk Rotation

A5_Trunk-Rotation.jpg

  • Place your left palm on your right shoulder.
  • Keep your right arm relaxed by your side.
  • Keep your back straight and both hips square. Rotate your torso to the left as you push your left palm into your right shoulder.
  • Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.

Chair Pose 

Chair-Pose.png

This classic yoga pose works your entire body. Combined with isometric holds, it is an effective, efficient way to get in a full-body exercise in just a few minutes.

  • Stand up with your knees and feet touching.
  • Extend both arms in front of you.
  • Slowly squat down as if you’re sitting in a chair.
  • Squeeze your thigh muscles together and contract your abs.
  • Hold this pose for 10 seconds, then return to a standing position.
  • Do this 10 times.

5 Ways to Empower Kids to End Bullying

From the classroom to the internet, bullying can lead to children developing a poor self-image or lead to bullying others. In fact, members of Generation Z believe bullying is the biggest issue facing their generation, according to new data.

A survey of American youth ages 6-17, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, found bullying ranked as the top concern for young people in their own communities, across the country and on a global scale. At the same time, 84% of those surveyed said they want to be a part of the solution.

Consider these ideas to help your kids learn how to overcome, avoid and break down the cycle of bullying:

Promote more time unplugged and outdoors. It is important for parents to promote healthy, face-to-face social interactions. Outdoor activities allow children to work together, solve problems and bond in a way that typically can’t be achieved through a screen. They also give children a break from the cyber-world, where bullying is often prevalent.

Encourage kindness. Ninety-seven percent of Gen Z members surveyed said being kind is important. Encourage kids to act on that feeling and remind them that it doesn’t take any extra energy to be kind. Serve as a role model by making kindness a foundation in your family, just as the Boy Scouts of America have done. The Scout Law lists being kind as one of 12 guiding characteristics.

Educate and equip. Parents should educate their children about why bullying is never OK, equip them with the knowledge they’ll need to recognize it and encourage them to report and safely respond to all forms of bullying they observe.

Use the buddy system. In Scouting, the buddy system pairs kids together to help ensure the well-being of one another. This approach is used for practical and safety reasons that can also be applied to everyday life. A pair or group of kids are less likely to get bullied, and buddies can be supportive by being an upstander.

Explore differences. As a family, look for ways to get involved in activities that include families from different backgrounds and cultures. Introducing kids to ideas and lifestyles different from their own can be an enlightening experience, and that knowledge can help break down some of the barriers that contribute to bullying, such as fear and misunderstanding.

Improving Communities

Creating a better community may be a collaborative goal, but as survey data from the Boy Scouts of America shows, the solutions lie much closer to home and can be inspired by the acts of individuals:

  • 97% of those surveyed said being kind to others is important.
  • 84% said they want to be a part of solving community issues in the future.
  • 79% said improving their community is important.
  • 50% said the reason they focus on some of these issues because their parents are passionate about them.
  • Bullying was a top concern among respondents, with 86% of respondents saying that not being bullied is a daily priority and 30% saying that out of 20-plus societal issues, bullying is the problem they most want solved globally.
  • Other top concerns respondents want to help solve are hunger (28%) and care for elders (27%) at the local level; animal rights (28%) and recycling (28%) at the national level; and poverty (28%) and human rights (26%) at the global level.

Learn more about ways Generation Z and its supporters can help put an end to bullying at Scouting.org.

SOURCE:
Boy Scouts of America

Steps to Better Sleep for Peak Sports Performance

For fans and athletes alike, fall means gearing up for a new season of sports activities. While plenty of attention goes into developing skills and talent, other important components that affect an athlete’s performance can be overlooked. Especially considering the demands of an athlete’s training and game schedule, getting adequate sleep is often an afterthought.

However, a lack of sleep can significantly affect athletes’ performance both on and off the field.

Sleep quality, efficiency and duration all may decrease just before competition, limiting opportunities for athletes to get the optimal quality and quantity of sleep their bodies need due to intense practice and game schedules, according to research published in “Sports Medicine.”

The same research found sleep can affect several aspects of an athlete’s performance. Skills that require endurance tend to be more affected by sleep deprivation than short-term, high-power activities. Running speed and free throw accuracy improve with more sleep, for example. There is also evidence that getting inadequate sleep increases the risk of injury as sleep deprivation can cause low energy and problems with focus during the game. It may also negatively affect split-second decision-making.

Less sleep also means fewer opportunities for natural secretion of the growth hormones that occur in deep sleep and aide restoration, physical performance and a healthy metabolism.

Athletes can maximize their performance, recovery and overall health with these tips from Mattress Firm’s sleep health expert, Dr. Sujay Kansagra:

  • Ensure you are getting between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Athletes may need additional sleep due to strenuous daytime activity.
  • Keep your wake time and bedtime similar, regardless of your training schedule. Don’t wake up early to practice one day and sleep in the next. Try to keep it consistent.
  • If you have trouble falling asleep, avoid workouts late in the evening just before bed.
  • For competitive sports teams that travel across time zones, it’s important to try to adjust your circadian rhythm based on the time you will be playing in the new time zone. The goal is to time the game to when circadian rhythm and alertness are at their peaks, in the late morning and late afternoon or evening.
  • As the body works to repair itself during sleep, creating muscle tissue and releasing important hormones, sleeping on the proper mattress can provide support that aids in reducing aches and pains. If you need help selecting the right mattress, the experts at a retailer like Mattress Firm have a variety of sizes, options and accessories available that won’t break the bank.

Find more advice to ensure a better night’s sleep at MattressFirm.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Mattress Firm

8 Tips to Eliminate Overwhelm From Your Life

Whether you are a busy professional, a student or a stay at home mom, overwhelm is something that most people face. If not properly dealt with, it can lead to stress, anxiety and a host of both mental and physical problems. So, what are some great ways to deal with overwhelm?

Overwhelm 2

Dr. Alok Trivedi is a psychological performance expert who is founder of the Aligned Performance Institute and author of the book ‘Chasing Success.’ He offers these eight tips to deal with overwhelm: 

  • Become more fulfilled: Contrary to what you might believe, feeling overwhelmed isn’t usually a result of having too much on your plate. Overwhelm comes from not being fulfilled in the activities you are taking part in. If you know someone who is always on the go and never has time to stop, yet seems so happy and satisfied, it’s because they are doing things they truly enjoy. When you align yourself with your life’s purpose, overwhelm quickly disappears.
  • Stop multitasking: We’ve been sold this great big lie that multitasking is the solution to gaining more time. It’s not. Multitasking overwhelms us even more and detracts from quality. The best solution is to take one task at a time. Take on something, give it your best, and when it’s finished move on to the next item on your list. Your stress and anxiety will also quickly disappear.
  • Make time for you: As busy as you are, you always have to make time for yourself each and every day. Even as little as 30 minutes to seek out some solitude or engage in an activity that you find pleasurable is important to how you feel and your overall well-being. Even the most successful people in any field carve out a little time for themselves and they never miss a day.
  • Get in the moment: People who tend to feel overwhelmed are usually reliving painful experiences in their past or worrying about what is coming up in the future. Instead, ground yourself in the present moment and what is taking place around you right now. If you have trouble with this, ask yourself questions like: What do I see? Who am I with? What do I smell? What am I doing?
  • Stop chasing perfect: People who struggle with overwhelm tend to always be chasing perfection. Even when they complete a task that turns out exceptionally well, they still strive to make it better. The secret is to always give your best, and let it stop after that. Perfection is a delusion that will lead to too much stress, anxiety and overwhelm, and can even make you physically sick.
  • Stop beating yourself up: People who have a hard time with feeling overwhelmed usually are very hard on themselves. They are the type that look back on a completed task or project and start questioning why they did what they did, and why they didn’t say this or approach it some other way. You have to be your best friend and number-one cheerleader. If not, you’re setting yourself up for failure, misery and a lifetime of being overwhelmed with the results of everything you do.
  • Clear up the confusion: Another reason people experience overwhelm is because they are confused. It could be a situation where you have to choose between two similar things, or where multiple people in your inner-circle are giving you different versions of a story. To decrease the overwhelm, don’t let the problem fester for too long. Sort out the facts and get to the bottom of it as soon as possible.

  • Take a break: If you feel like you’ve hit your breaking point, just stop and walk away. Put it all down, take a break and go do something else. Once you hit the point of mental overload, you’re not thinking clearly or performing at your best. The best way to break free from the emotional load of overwhelm is to get away and rest. In fact, it’s for this reason that many top performers take regular breaks throughout the day.

Easy Ways to Improve Your Home’s Health

Maintaining a healthy home is a goal most Americans share, but not all are confident they’re doing the best job they can to protect their home’s health.

According to a survey conducted by Second Nature, the nation’s largest home wellness subscription service, 62% of respondents admitted they could do a better job of attaining a healthy home, with clean air ranked as the most critical factor in achieving home wellness.

Gain more confidence in the health and cleanliness of your home with these tips:

  • Remove your shoes when you enter the house. Add entryway seating to encourage guests to take off their shoes. The bottom of a pair of shoes can contain anything from fecal matter to E. coli and pesticides. Leaving shoes at an entryway is one of the easiest ways to combat home pollution and promote a healthy home.
  • Replace air filters regularly. The air filter in your home dictates the air you breathe and ensures that it is healthy enough for ingestion. More often than not, air filters are not top of mind when thinking about home wellness, but they are crucial to every home. That’s why it’s important to replace air filters on schedule – every three months as recommended by the National Institutes of Health.

If you’re like many homeowners who struggle to remember when it’s time to change your filter, or never have a filter handy when you do remember, you may benefit from a service like Second Nature, which provides a home delivery subscription that ensures your air filters are replaced on time. The company’s high-quality air filters help reduce the risk of contracting allergies, sickness and infection while also ultimately lowering costs associated with energy bills, repairs and health-related expenses.

  • Change out your light bulbs. Choose the right color temperature for a calmer home and use energy-efficient bulbs. The selection for light bulbs is massive, and with smart home technologies that allow you to change the color of your bulb with the swipe of a finger, you can also easily control your mood. Warm lighting typically has an overall positive effect on everyone in the home. One of the keys to home wellness is ensuring you are truly happy in your home, and lighting can play a pivotal role in cultivating this emotion.
  • Open windows on good weather days. Most Americans (61%) believe the air inside their homes is cleaner than it is outside, according to the survey. However, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates indoor air is 2-5 times more polluted than the air outside. This is in part because Americans tend to enclose themselves indoors, where the same air is recycled over an extended time. The smell of the meal you cooked for dinner, the trash in the garbage can and the candle you light on your nightstand all have an impact on the air quality in your home. Opening windows allows for polluted air to release itself from the home and, in turn, allows for cleaner air to circulate the space.
  • Filter your water. Water is essential to any healthy lifestyle, and drinking clean water is a luxury that is often overlooked. However, what is also overlooked is how many chemicals and toxins that can affect your health are in the tap water you drink on a daily basis. Filtering your water is one simple step that can benefit not only your own health, but the health of everyone in the home.

Find more tips and advice for creating a healthier home environment at SecondNature.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Second Nature

Make Your Child’s Vision Health a Priority this School Year

Children’s vision is paramount to their performance in school and life.

One in four children deals with a vision impairment that impacts his or her ability to learn, according to eye health and safety organization Prevent Blindness. Many of these cases are undiagnosed, and failing to identify and treat poor vision health early can lead to difficulties in the classroom, on the playing field and beyond.

One of the most prevalent vision issues in children is myopia, or nearsightedness. The condition causes close-up objects to appear clear, but everything becomes blurry and out of focus at a distance.

“Parents have invested billions this year to prepare their children for school, but without the ability to see their best, children will be at a disadvantage in the classroom,” said Dr. Millicent Knight, senior vice president of Essilor’s Customer Development Group.

Although some schools perform yearly vision screenings, those evaluations aren’t always enough to identify vision issues. Parents can take a proactive role in their child’s vision health with these tips from the experts at Essilor.

Watch for the Symptoms of Myopia

Many kids believe blurry vision is normal because they’ve never known anything different. As a parent, being able to spot the signs is key to managing symptoms and potentially slowing progression, if caught early enough. Keep an eye out for these symptoms:

  • Squinting to see distant objects, like the board in the classroom
  • Sitting too close to the TV
  • Holding books close when reading
  • Experiencing eyestrain or headaches

Schedule a Comprehensive Eye Exam

One of the most effective ways to keep your child’s eyes healthy is to schedule an annual comprehensive eye exam with an eyecare professional. Not only will a doctor check for vision problems that could interfere with school performance and potentially affect safety, he or she can offer advanced lens technology that keeps pace with the changing needs of children’s eye health. Just like annual doctor visits, eye exams should be scheduled once a year as part of your child’s health routine.

“We’ve seen a huge change in children who couldn’t see and when they are given glasses they light up because the world is clearer,” said Dr. Ryan Parker, O.D., director of professional development at Essilor of America.

Avoid Overexposure

“Today, children’s eyes are exposed to harmful blue light, ultraviolet light (UV) and digital eyestrain like never before,” Parker said.

While technology is crucial for learning in today’s digital world, research suggests too much screen time may put kids at risk of developing myopia as well as digital eyestrain, resulting in tired eyes, headaches, itchy eyes, blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. To help reduce eyestrain, have children take periodic breaks from their devices and head outdoors.

Know Where to Go for Help

“Parents also need to know that where you go matters as much as when you go,” Knight said.

Choosing eyecare professionals, like the network of local, independent Essilor Experts, who prioritize the most advanced lens technologies and are dedicated to their patients’ individual needs, can make a difference in the vision outcomes for your children.

Find more information and schedule a professional comprehensive eye exam at essilorusa.com/your-vision. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Essilor of America