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Importance of Sleep

We all need sleep. It is an undisputable part of being a functional person. With all of the demands of life constantly sucking up a majority of our time, it's hard to find the time for the recommended eight hours of sleep a night.

Everyone knows that not getting enough sleep is bad because you can literally feel how crummy it is to be under-rested. When you go to sleep, so do the neurons and cells in your brain, so by skimping out on sleep you’re not allowing them to fully rest and rejuvenate. You need those neurons and cells to rest so they stay healthy and keep your brain properly functioning.

Even one night of poor sleep can have negative effects on the parts of the brain that effect decision-making and memory recollection. A study showed that people who sleep for less then five hours a night are also more likely to suffer from depression.

No one wants to be forgetful and depressed, so we need to find the time to get that sound night of sleep that our bodies so desperately need. The national sleep foundation recommends sticking to the same bed time and wake up time, even on the weekends. Being on a consistent sleep schedule is one of the best gifts you can give to your body.

Exercising everyday is also proven to enhance your quality of sleep. It has been reported that people who participate in regular exercise get a sounder and less interrupted night of sleep.

Moral of the story: go to bed! There is enough time in the day to get everything done, and if not there’s always tomorrow. Take care of your body because it is the only one you have.


4 Simple Tricks to Avoid Overindulging this Holiday Season

You’ve lost a little bit of weight before the holidays, but you look at your calendar and see a dozen parties in the next six weeks. Office parties. Get togethers. Happy hours. School holiday parties. Every one of them resplendent with cupcakes, cocktails, chips, and wine. They are a gauntlet of fun that you’re dreading, but as your MyFitnessPal habit expert, I’m here to reassure you that parties are awesome.

Parties are celebrations of being with people we care about. They are a time to see old friends, catch up on gossip, reconnect, and be reminded why you don’t ever want to hang out with Jerry from accounting socially. Interestingly, none of these reasons for a party necessitate food or drink. The point of a party is to socialize. It’s not a Cupcake Eating Contest. So take a deep breath and let’s talk options.

All too often, we think of parties as a place in which we will be tempted—where the only options are licking the dip bowl clean or stoically resisting every morsel like the Patron Saint of Not-Eating-Cupcakes. But if you are looking at your calendar with these two options in your mind, you have already decided your path. According to the work of Drs. Roy Baumeister and Dianne M. Tice, the more you try to resist—especially late at night, maybe after a drink or two, surrounded by people making different choices than you, without a really good and obvious reason—the harder and harder it gets to keep resisting. So if your only choice is perfection, then your only outcome will be failure.

Here are some alternatives to help you maximize your chances of leaving the party happy with the choices you made:

Eat before you go. I write a version of this every year, and every year 50% of people think I’m nuts and 50% of people write me “thank you” emails. It’s a lot easier to resist cupcakes on a full stomach. Dr. Tice has done dozens of studies that indicate this, and heck, it’s probably advice you got from your grandmother, too. Eat a healthy, satisfying meal and let the chips fall where they may.

Get all your drinks up front. For years, people thought I was some sort of robot designed to consume alcohol when I would go immediately to the bar order a beer and glass of whiskey at the start of a party. What they didn’t notice was that I never went back to the bar. It’s a lot easier to dole out the alcohol slowly when you’re the one in control of the pace.

Hang out away from the food and booze. Dr. Brian Wansink and Dr. David T. Neal have shown over and over again that if food is close at hand, you will eat it—even if it’s week-old stale popcorn. So plant yourself as far away from the bar as you can.

Hold your phone. I know what you’re thinking. “What the heck does a phone have to do with food?” Nothing. It has everything to do with hands. A lot of people get food and drinks when there is a lull in conversation. Or when they don’t know what to do with their hands. If you’re holding something inedible that is also a source of constant entertainment, you’re actually far less likely to eat stuff mindlessly or because you’re bored. And you have an immediate out when Jerry from accounting wants to tell you about his kid’s little league game again.


Fall Fruits & Veggies

It might not feel like it yet, but it is Autumn in sunny Scottsdale. The Delta Dolls are wondering what fruits and veggies are in season? Here is a comprehensive list of what is fresh!

  1. Apples
  2. Beets
  3. Blackberries
  4. Broccoli
  5. Brussels sprouts
  6. Cabbage
  7. Cauliflower
  8. Chicory
  9. Cranberries
  10. Dates
  11. Figs
  12. Grapes
  13. Leeks
  14. Lettuce
  15. Okra
  16. Oranges
  17. Oranges
  18. Parsnips
  19. Pears
  20. Peppers
  21. Pumpkins
  22. Quince
  23. Shallots
  24. Star fruit
  25. Sweet potatoes
  26. Turnips
  27. Watercress
  28. Winter squash

...source buzzfeed...


Feeling Stressed? Maybe it is your Diet!

We've all got that log of cookie dough in the back of the freezer waiting to come out at the end of a bad day. "People soothe stress with foods, and those that trigger the reward centers in the brain most effectively are salty, fatty and sweet," says Columbia University psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, M.D., author of The Happiness Diet and Fifty Shades of Kale.

In fact, recent research from Ohio State University shows that regularly eating high-calorie and high-fat foods when we're stressed also slows metabolism, a double whammy that can lead to an annual 11-pound weight gain. Here's what to avoid the next time you're stressed.

Glazed Doughnut

Baked confections actually increase anxiety, says Ramsey. That’s because without fiber to slow digestion of all that sugar, glucose levels spike, which in turn raises the stress hormone cortisol.

Pretzels

Beyond their satisfying crunch, pretzels are simple carbs that lift mood only briefly before sending it back to subterranean levels.

Potato Chips

Worse than overloading on simple carbs is stuffing yourself with trans fats. A study at Wake Forest University School of Medicine found that a diet high in trans fats leads to weight gain—specifically around the middle, where it’s most dangerous to your health.

Lattes

Yes, caffeine is a proven mood-booster, stimulating dopamine activity in the brain and lowering risk of depression. But sweetened coffee drinks can set you back a whole day’s calories and a week’s worth of sugar. And what’s worse, the post-sugar crash may send you back for, gulp, a refill.

Granola Bars

Most are just candy bars in disguise.

French Fries

This comfort food is packed with greasy fat, carbs, and probably trans fat, which data have linked to higher rates of depression, as well as belly flab.

Ice Cream

You know how it goes: The sugar spikes your levels of glucose and cortisol, plus the lactose can cause gastrointestinal distress if you’re sensitive.

Veggie Lo-Mein

This greasy, carb-heavy entrée delivers more blubber than bliss.

Soda

Drinking regular soda is like eating 10 sugar cubes. Diet soda isn’t any better: New research from the Weizmann Institute shows artificial sweeteners may affect gut bacteria that promotes obesity and diabetes. (If you need more proof that your diet soda habit isn't doing you any favors, this will do it.)

Nachos

Heavy cheese and simple carbs will not help you get your mellow on, no matter how much that plate of nachos tries to convince you otherwise.

Cocktails

"Sweet, hard-liquor drinks are easy to guzzle," says Ramsey. They can set you back more than 500 calories—we’re talking to you, mudslide, margarita, and piña colada lovers. You’ll also get a glucose and cortisol spike, which is the opposite of what you need.

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/worst-stress-foods


Dry Brushing

What is it?

Dry brushing is the practice of brushing your skin with a dry, soft brush in long sweeps towards your heart. It opens up your pores and helps increase blood flow and circulation.

How do I do it?

Begin brushing from the feet to the ankles and up the legs in gentle circles and long sweeps. Brush your stomach in a counterclockwise motion upward, and be sure all sweeps lead to the heart. Next move to the hands and up the arms remembering to not brush too hard as to aggravate the skin and cause discomfort. The exception to brushing up is when brushing the back, the sweeps start from the base of the neck and brush down. Twice a week brush before you shower and moisturize after showering.

What are the benefits?

There are many benefits that are associated with dry brushing the skin. The process removes dead skin, causing new tighter and glowing skin to grow in its place. The process is also known to help reduce cellulite by breaking down the toxins in the cells. There are internal benefits associated with the process such as improved digestion and kidney function. It is best to dry brush right before you get in shower so you can wash off all of the toxins right and impurities right away and maximize benefits.

How often is it recommended?

It depends on your skin... Many experts recommend dry brushing at least twice a week, but if you have sensitive skin or skin conditions you may need to dry brush less often.


Top 10 ways Pilates leads to a Happy Life

  1. You can do it on your lunch break. Even though it works you hard, it does not leave you spent and sweaty, so you can easily fit it into a busy lifestyle.

  2. A flat belly. Most ab exercises focus on the superficial abdominals that won’t give you a flat stomach. Pilates targets the deep core, which leads to a flat tummy, a narrow waist, and—bonus!—a healthy spine.

  3. It makes you think. Pilates is a surprisingly intellectual method of exercise. It requires one to focus on how one’s body is moving. This keeps the mind engaged and challenged. Studies have shown it can even aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s.

  4. It’s a pain killer. Pilates is great for injury prevention because it focuses on the muscles that support and protect joints and the spine, restoring proper body mechanics.

  5. You’ll stand up straighter. Great posture makes us look younger and more attractive, and it actually keeps us balanced and youthful.

  6. No pretzel-like contortions necessary. A Pilates routine can be modified to accommodate injuries or can be amped up for the serious athlete and everyone in between.

  7. It’s a go-to workout. You can do it on the go, any time, any place. Many Pilates exercises can be done with just body weight and no props. It also works the muscles that we might not hit in other activities, making it an ideal complement to running, tennis, biking, and other athletic pursuits.

  8. It’s a lifelong practice. Pilates is so safe and balancing for the body that you can begin at any age and continue into your later decades. It won’t wear down the body, and you don’t have to give it up as you age.

  9. It builds strength and flexibility in an efficient and effective way. Each Pilates exercise both stretches and strengthens through moves that work the muscles while they are lengthening.

  10. You get in touch. Pilates can deepen the mind-body connection, which can improve many other facets of our lives such as interpersonal relationships, stress management, and eating habits.