Tag Archives: lifestyle changes

8 Springtime Health and Happiness Strategies

If winter is the time to hunker down and be meditative, spring is the time to, well, spring into action! If you’re ready to shake off the winter blahs and the extra padding you accumulated over the past few months, take a cue from nature.

Think about it: The animals are coming out of hibernation and getting active. New shoots are breaking through the frozen earth and feeling the sun. The sunlight is brighter and the days are lighter and longer. Nature sends us messages about how to get healthy by making seasonal changes too. All we have to do is listen.

Here are 8 new springtime health strategies that lead to good health for your body and soul, and will help you look and feel your best.

“Spring up” your diet.
Indigenous people who live close to nature eat seasonally. It’s a healthy way to eat that naturally helps you shed those winter pounds and make you feel light and springy. Seek out foods that are fresh this time of year, such as green leafy salads with sprouts and radishes; strawberries and baby asparagus; and seasonal fish and shellfish.

Get in a springtime mood.
Scientists have proven that we have around 60,000 thoughts a day, the vast majority of which are negative! For one week, every time you catch yourself having a negative thought, which robs you of energy, state it in the opposite way. Replace “I can’t” with “I can.” Make that shift over and over until you begin to see more and more time pass between negative thoughts. Watch how much more spring you have in your step at the end of the week. 

Commit to outdoor time.
Scientists have proven what shamans have known for millennia: that being outdoors in nature makes people happier, calmer, healthier, and more energetic. Make a conscious effort to spend at least 30 minutes outside daily doing anything. You will feel significantly less stressed, more connected, and more energetic as you get in step with the spring light, spring smells, and spring activity.

Try something new.
Springtime is a time for renewal. To get into the mood of change and forward momentum, try a new sport or an old one you haven’t done for a long time. Often, when we engage in new activities, it’s especially motivating. The more types of activities you engage in, the more energetic you’ll feel.

Sprout some new eating habits.
Did you get into a carb habit over the winter? Try this: For one week, cut out all sweets, pasta, and breads. Then slowly add more carbs back in—but only complex carbs with lots of fiber (whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, beans, etc.). Notice how much lighter you feel.

Refresh an old workout routine.
This spring, don’t let workout boredom squelch your motivation to get in shape. Change your workout course. Do the familiar course in the opposite direction. Or find a workout partner. Or work out at a different time of day.

Take a springtime trip.
Pick a wildly beautiful place in nature. Schedule a weekend to go camping or hiking. Or simply take some extended time to relax in a wonderful outdoor place where spring is showing its colors and beauty. Taking a trip in nature will jumpstart your springtime energy and will shake off the hard work, restlessness, and stagnation from winter.

Accept that challenge is normal.
Lots of us this time of year look in the mirror and think, “I’ll never get in shape by swimsuit season.” Think of a fragile crocus pushing its way up through the frozen earth. Challenge is a normal part of striving, growing, and overcoming obstacles. Realizing this will help you manage your fear and negativity and propel you forward.

How to Eat What You Love and Stay Thin Enough!


A guest post by my sister, Debbie Brodsky 

Start by picking the size you want to be – Who says you have to be a size 0 or even 2 or a 4. What is wrong with size 6 or 8 for women?

Keep in mind that you will not be dieting! There are only a few principles to follow and you will need to be consistent with them, but there is no deprivation whatsoever on this eating plan!

Begin today! There is no need to go eat a cake or a gallon of ice cream for fear you will not be able to eat these foods. And yes, I do eat dessert everyday! This is necessary for my well being.

Eating the foods I love are essential to my happiness. Don’t believe the maxim that “you are supposed to only eat to live”. I say the opposite is true “live to eat”, but eat really delicious foods that you love and leave off the rest.

Cultivate a love for fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as fish and cheese and yogurt and pasta and anything fresh and homemade or just plain sounds good to you!

It really is not what you eat that matters so much as firmly sticking to the principle of eating only at a “meal time”. I eat three times a day. Period. That is it. Nothing in between. No snacks. You don’t need snacks. Look at snacks as fillers and killers of having an empty stomach to enjoy a really good meal! And having a good meal is really what it is all about!

If you don’t know how to cook, now is a really good time to learn, because preparing a good meal is also one of life’s great pleasures, at least it is essential to my happiness and well being.

If you love dessert, then have two meals a day and count your dessert as your third meal. Maybe that sounds unorthodox, but who cares, you are eating for your energy and sense of well being, not for what the crowd is doing.

Now you know you can eat anything you want within a meal, then decide what sounds good to you and eat it for your next meal. If a hamburger sounds good, go eat a really good hamburger and enjoy it, every bite of it. Then do not put anything in your mouth caloric until your next meal. I drink hot tea in between meals. It tastes good and is good for you, being high in antioxidents, but also I enjoy the ritual of making a good cup of tea and drinking it. I really love the Tazo brand wild sweet orange tea. It is fun to go to Starbucks and buy a cup of hot tea to go and have it for the mid-morning or afternoon while you work. Or if you have some time, stay at Starbucks and enjoy your tea with or without a friend.

If you a trying to lose some weight, then eat what you are craving, but use little tricks for cutting back on intake without feeling deprived, such as leaving off the bread as a side of pasta, when it is the pasta dish you are really wanting. Eat a whole serving of whatever it is that you are craving, because wholeness leads to feeling whole and satisfied. Taking a bite of cake or of a cookie does not leave me feeling whole. Usually it will lead to eating too many cookies and then feeling bad about yourself.

This approach to eating is not fun. Having a whole piece of pie or cake or brownie and really enjoying it, really is fun and will not increase your waistline if you close your mouth and do not put anything in it calorically until your next meal. And then at your next meal, eat what you are really wanting and leave off the extras that you don’t even want. Just because a basket of bread is put in front of you does not mean you are required to eat it. Use a little discipline and push it away! Unless the bread is really good, then go for it and leave off the potatoes. Or if the potatoes are fabulous too, eat them and have a big bowl of fruit for breakfast and lunch the next day so your pants won’t be tight!

You have to use your clothes as your guide. If they are not getting looser, then make some cutbacks or increase your fruit and vegetable intake. If my clothes are a little tight, I just start that very day by eating a large bowl of fruit, it will help you with water retention. But I will still eat a portion of dessert and have a glass of wine with dinner. I have to have my dessert!

So think about what you can cut back on and what you are not willing to give up and go from there.

Also getting in some form of movement everyday is essential. Notice I did not say exercise. You can exercise. I just prefer not to call it exercise! Somedays I go to a very nice gym close by my house, but the point is to move!! And do something you enjoy. I have a new puppy and she also needs to move every day for her sense of well being, so now I mostly take her out for walks and skip the gym.

This plan really works. I follow it everyday and wear a size 6, sometimes 4 clothing and I eat really well. My cholesterol and iron levels are normal and I say that because I bake alot and use sweet unsalted butter and eggs and chocolate. Yum!

Now for a sample day –

Yesterday I started the day with 2 cups of coffee with whole milk and drank a Verve* mid-morning. I skipped breakfast and had a large bowl of creamed tomato soup with asiago croutons and a hunk of whole wheat bagette at Panera

Bread. Yum! This was around 1:00 p.m. It was so good and very filling, so I had tea later in the afternoon. Around 5:00, I started cooking and baking and poured myself a small glass of red wine. Yum! I made huge chocolate cookies with M&Ms and a my own version of vegetable lasagna (I am not vegetarian, but tend to eat little meat, mostly fish and chicken, but on occasion a good steak, hamburger, barbequed ribs, or one of my favorites, osso bucco – Yum!). I ate a large, whole piece of lasagna, more wine and then a whole cookie for dessert. Yum! I was not only full, but feeling happy and satisfied.

This is the goal – feeling happy and satisfied – and having your clothes fit well is just “icing on the cake!”

*Verve is a vitamin, mineral and energy drink containing mangosteen, aloe vera as well as green tea extract. I drink one every day and have noticed such a boost of energy as well as rarely being sick. I had a cold a few weeks ago and I was astonished at how quickly I got better. It must be the high antioxident content of Verve.

This amazing product cannot be found in stores, but is easily ordered and shipped straight to your door. The company, as well as the product, Vemma or Verve, promote a sense of well being, which fits into my own philosophy of eating and living. Please consider adding the supplement to your daily plan. You can order the product by calling my mother, Mary Pickering at 501-416-7476. For two to three dollars a day you can increase your health and sense of well being immensely, not to mention noticing a boost of my metabolism!!! Who doesn’t want that?

Now you may be saying to yourself, “how can this plan fit my lifestyle? I don’t know how to cook, don’t have time to cook, don’t want to learn how to cook!”

Well, I do know that you have to eat, so just adapt it to your lifestyle. If you eat at fast food places everday, well then so be it. Just be sure that you eat only at one of your three meal times, then close your mouth. Then drink lots of water – adding lemon or lime helps. Try sitting down and eating and not doing anthing else, except maybe conversing. And remember to eat what really sounds good to you, which if it is a Big Mac, so be it, just leave off the fries and don’t forget to enjoy it! Also cut back on calories and fat at the next meal and you can have your ice cream sundae!

Most importantly, let me know how it is going with the plan.

I will include recipes for easy and wonderful meals soon!



Wii beg your pardon, lol

Whilst it is true I am competing against tubby little cartoon creatures, one of my first steps at regaining my fitness since the back surgery is happenin’.  I bought myself a wii, and also got the wii fit with it.  I am so enjoying the sports.

I can’t start the wii fit though until he goes back to work on Monday.  If he saw how much I weighed, I’d have to limit his continued existence on this earthly plane.


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