Self confidence attributes to a happy personality. Low-self confidence attributes to depression, influences how you view yourself, and hinders how you interact with others. It is an important piece to the happiness pie. Maybe your daily routine could use a few small changes to boost your self- confidence.
1. Smile: This can lead to positive emotions. The physical act of smiling tells your brain to feel secure and upbeat.
2. Do a good deed: You feel better about yourself when you brighten someone else’s day. Send a card, compliment someone, or bake someone their favorite dish. Your mood will improve.
3. Volunteer: Meaningful giving can help you feel connected to others and better about yourself for helping someone else.
4. Dress: Clothing can affect how you feel. Your outfit says something about you. It doesn’t matter if you sit at a desk all day and no one sees it, because you still hold judgment about yourself.
5. Learn something new: Taking a class or enlightening your mind with new information can perpetuate self confidence as you know you are doing something positive.
6. Exercise: This can improve your mood, relieve stress, and help the way you feel about your appearance. Self-discipline and reaching fitness goals can be uplifting.
7. Eat right: Eating healthy helps your appearance and helps your mood. This leads to more energy and more self-confidence.
8. Posture: Standing up straight displays self-confidence. There are physical benefits to this, but it also communicates that you feel you belong and should be where you are in the moment.
9. Get organized: Managing small pieces of your life helps you feel in control.
10. Others like you: Assume that people like you instead of worrying what everyone else thinks. People don’t always focus on your flaws the way that you do about yourself.
11. Ignore your inner critic: Stop telling yourself that you are not good enough or not worthy. Give yourself some credit.
12. Avoid the mirror: Stop being addicted to looking at your physical imperfections. You are your own worst critic.
13. Make eye contact: This is a confidence radiating mannerism.
14. Stop procrastinating: Creating stress does not make you feel good about yourself.
Have me time: Spending time on just you is important. Get a facial or your nails done. Go play golf. You are telling yourself you are worth taking time for.
We all want to be confident about who we are, what we do, and our presence on this Earth. Self-confidence is a personality trait that must be fulfilled for happiness. You can be happy, and it starts by believing that you are enough.
What lights a fire under you?? What grinds your gears, makes you angry, sad, worried, or STRESSED?? We each deal with the components of life differently, and our reactions to circumstances dictate our emotional well-being. Time, relationships, work, school, kids, family…. all these responsibilities can require a balancing act that seems impossible. But that’s life. And unfortunately, stress can have adverse effects on our health… especially weight.
Your body and mind are one and the same. When put under pressure, your brain kicks into a flight or fight mode. And guess what?? Your body wants to use calories in its defense. As such, “Most of us become overeaters when we’re feeling a lot of pressure. This happens thanks to your fight-or-flight response, a.k.a. survival mode — once your body reaches a certain stress level, it does what it feels it needs to. In most cases, that means overeat” (
Initially, adrenaline spikes in the body, making one feel less hungry. However, soon after cortisol takes over. Cortisol is the stress hormone. When activated, inhibition can go out the window. Here’s run down: “Because increased levels of the hormone also help cause higher
insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods” (
https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/stress-weight-gain#1) . Cheap, convenient, processed foods, are right there to answer the calling.
Here’s the catch: “Today’s human, who sits on the couch worrying about how to pay the bill or works long hours at the computer to make the deadline, does not work off much energy at all dealing with the stressor! Unfortunately, we are stuck with a neuroendocrine system that didn’t get the update, so your brain is still going to tell you to reach for that plate of cookies anyway” (
We have to learn to relax, sleep, and breathe. Many clients ask me what foods to turn to. Here’s what I found:·
Dark chocolate: Two studies of 95 adults showed that consuming dark chocolate reduced their cortisol response to a stress challenge.·
Many fruits: A study of 20 cycling athletes showed eating bananas or pears during a 75-km ride reduced levels compared to drinking water only.·
Black and green tea: A study of 75 men found 6 weeks of drinking black tea decreased cortisol in response to a stressful task, compared to a different caffeinated drink.·
Probiotics and prebiotics: Probiotics are friendly, symbiotic bacteria in foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi. Prebiotics, such as soluble fiber, provide food for these bacteria. Both probiotics and prebiotics help reduce cortisol.·
Water: Dehydration increases cortisol. Water is great for hydrating while avoiding empty calories. A study in nine male runners showed that maintaining hydration during athletic training reduced cortisol levels. (
Life’s demands throw us for a loop from time to time. Reassure yourself that patience is the key and that this too shall pass. Don’t let your negative thoughts take the wheel. Healthy choices outlast split second mistakes. Be kind to your BODY, even in it’s weak moments.
When your muscle suddenly becomes hard and tight or you feel a quick sharp pain in the calf, a muscle cramp has struck. It can happen while in motion when out for a run or even during a night’s sleep. This type of involuntary contraction is a spasm we would rather forgo. Without warning, the onset of a “Charley horse” (cramp that occurs in the calf area), is marked by temporary pain that we want instant relief from. Cramps are never fun to endure, and one just has to breathe through it, stretch, and massage out the area until alleviation kicks in.
There are a number of triggers that can cause muscle cramps. In order to avoid future spasms, knowing the causes becomes important. A cramp can be the result of poor blood circulation. Exercise related stress can bring on a cramp. Being dehydrated or deficient in magnesium and/or potassium, can be causes. Hot temperature is also a culprit, especially when being active. Not stretching enough can also lead to cramping. There are also medications that can lead to cramping. These include diuretics, certain Alzheimer’s medications, statin medications for cholesterol, as well as some osteoporosis and high blood pressure medications. Nerve compression can also cause a pinch that produces a cramp. Muscle mass lessens with age so what muscle is working may be more stressed than normal and overworked much more easily which can cause cramping. Muscle cramps are common during pregnancy as the body is undergoing a lot of changes. Certain medical conditions like diabetes, liver, or thyroid disorder can also heighten the risks of cramping.
Prevention includes staying hydrated, properly stretching, and making sure to eat healthy foods with nutrients. These include vitamins, minerals, potassium, and calcium. Potassium is found in many choices including vegetables, bananas, berries, potatoes, melon, citrus, meat, fish, and milk. Caffeine found in coffee, soda, and other beverages does affect fluid hydration in the body so be sure to replenish with water. Exercise and activity that lasts over 60 minutes can lead to glycogen depletion which can lead to fatigue which can lead to cramps.
Although only a temporary sensation and typically harmless, an unexpected bout of pain never feels good. It is important to seek a doctor’s help if these cramps are reoccurring or persistent. A nutrient imbalance may not be readily noticeable. Finding the cause can help avoid future incidences. Muscle cramps happen to almost everyone, few and far in between, but when they strike, they aren’t forgotten. The healthy folks of Bonsall and Fallbrook know that less is more when it comes to “Charley horses”.
The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). These medication works to increase levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is an important chemical messenger (neurotransmitter) that signals communication between brain cells. More serotonin becomes available as SSRIs block the re-uptake of serotonin so that more is ready for use.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the following SSRIs:· Citalopram (Celexa), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil, Pexeva), Sertraline (Zoloft), and Vilazodone (Viibryd). The FDA requires that these medications are labeled with the type of warning called “black box warnings”. This is because some people can have an increase in suicidal thoughts or behaviors when taking an antidepressant.
The chemical makeup of these different prescriptions can cause side effects. For some, these subside within the few couple weeks, while others lead to trying a different type. Possible side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, headache, agitation, nausea, or diarrhea. Taking the medication at bedtime can help with drowsiness and taking the medication with food can help with nausea. It is important to consider drug interactions if taking other medication and one should consult their doctor if pregnant and taking an SSRI. The key is to consistently take the medication. SSRIs are not considered addictive, but missing doses or abruptly stopping their use can cause withdrawal. It typically takes several weeks for an SSRI to become effective. It is common for doses to have to be adjusted or medications to be switched until the right combination is found.
Although the objective of SSRIs is to treat depression, some people respond differently to certain types. One person can have very different side effects from another person. Patience is critical. Relief will come. When feelings of sadness are so severe that they interfere with daily life, physical and emotional problems can result. Feelings that cause home life and work life to be difficult should be addressed. Depression is one of the most treatable conditions. Most times, 80% of people feel relief when using SSRIs. The brain chemistry can be positively changed to help you feel better. Feelings of sadness can be controlled, and emotions can be regulated. SSRIs specifically target serotonin which can in turn help fight depression, as well as anxiety, and other mood disorders. Some people have side effects and some do not. When the time is right, one can reduce dosage and come off this medication, but this should never be done abruptly. We are meant to smile and enjoy life, and SSRIs provide the assistance and potential relief to do so. Talking to your doctor is important to find the right solution and treatment for depression that works for you.
Eating. We have to do it, but man on man do we overdo it. In fact, it’s very possible that people don’t even know what ONE true serving size is. We eat what is in front of us, and generally when there is more in front of us…. we eat more. Mom and Dad said finish what is on your plate. When we were kids, no one had just one plate of spaghetti. Going back for more meant you liked it, you are complimenting the cook, and your stomach can fit another helping.
We consider a “petite” filet, 8oz. Well, about the size of a deck of cards is what a true one serving size of chicken, fish, or most meats should be. I always love to point out to my Southern California friends what the amount of avocado should be. Think about guacamole. I could eat an entire bowl. When in fact, ¼ avocado is one serving. Even though this is a healthy fat, it doesn’t mean it’s a free for all.
The struggle becomes real when we get to side dishes. Rice. Oh rice. I could eat it for days, especially when I went to South Korea. 1/3 cup is the true portion size and that is about the same amount of carbohydrates as 1 slice of bread. So when we just keep eating sushi or have a rice bowl somewhere with meat, in the end, we had about 6 slices of bread.
Juice is a troublemaker too. With the sugar content, even if totally fresh, ½ cup is one serving. Daily orange juice in the morning adds up. Plus, many folks mix these juices with their cocktails.
Bagels. Well if we went by portion control, a New York bagel is 6-7 servings.
I’m rocking the boat I know 😊
It’s just too easy to have more. When you buy a soda, let’s say 20oz, you naturally want to and do drink the whole bottle. Clearly, that is more than once serving. I think back to the amount of Gatorade I used to have. So much sugar, but I didn’t know. We didn’t used to know. We didn’t used to talk about calories. In fact, I don’t think I knew what a calorie or serving size was until I got to college. But now that we live in a world of processed foods and more is better, the health consequences are starting to bring awareness to this.
Please read the Nutrition Facts labels and consider how much you are consuming. Oh yeah, imagine Thanksgiving haha. Food is celebration and comfort. We have to reconsider this and focus on nourishment. Don’t distort your portions and your results won’t be distorted. Re-teach yourself. You can do it. Plus, you will save money and have left-overs to enjoy the foods that much longer.
Granola has that healthy but sometimes no-so-healthy make up of ingredients. A basic granola recipe contains the following ingredients: oats, some type of sweetener such as sugar or honey, and some type of crisp made from wheat or rice. Then other add ons might include nuts, dried fruits, or even coconut. The major controversy with granola is that only ¼ cup Is one serving, and most of the time granola is not consumed in this small quantity. Some eat it by the cup as cereal or others drown their acai bowls with the crunch. Well, that one fourth cup is composed of 100 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fat, and 1.5 grams of fiber. Now when nuts, raisons, dark chocolate, or other toppers are included, these numbers rise. A standard cup of granola contains 597 calories and 29 grams of fat. That is so much for such a small amount.
What this means is that filling a bowl with granola and milk to start the day equates to having a 600 calorie breakfast filled with sweeteners. When it comes to granola, a light sprinkle is the recommended serving size to stick to that ¼ cup. This might mean having a little on top of yogurt or a handful as a snack, not a free for all just because it can be bought in health food stores. All calories aside, granola does contain magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and selium. It is considered a whole grain and contains folate, Vitamin E, and thiamin. Granola is also a healthy fat. Magnesium is needed for energy production. Calcium is needed for bone health. Selium, zinc, copper, and manganese are all great for red blood cells, bones, and connective tissue. Folate and thiamin are types of Vitamin B which help with cell growth, metabolism, and nerve function.
Granola certainly has its pros and cons. It is not all bad and it is not all good. It is certainly a type of food that can be misleading. Health food stores even make their own and one tends to think that this snack is a great option versus a bag of chips or candy bar. However, there aren’t always labels on the back to tell you just how much sugar or other ingredients are involved. The key is portion control and not getting carried away with reaching for more and more. There are all sorts of granola bars too. Label reading is very important, especially when it comes to what constitutes what one serving is.
Both taste amazing!!!! Most of us can eat almond butter or peanut butter right out of the jar. We grew up on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Celery and peanut butter. Peanut butter cookies. Almond Joy candy bars. Chocolate covered almonds. Roasted almonds. Licking your lips yet?? Actually, this gooey goodness loves to get stuck in your teeth. A popular choice for sure. The National Peanut Board said that 90% of homes has peanut butter in their cabinet. So let’s see which one stacks up as the better choice on your fitness journey.
Both of these butters are heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. These are the type of fat that helps lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Almond butter has 5 grams of monounsaturated fats versus 3.3 grams in peanut butter this fat type per tablespoon. Winner: Almond butter.Fiber is a very important component of our eating and most people don’t get enough. A good digestive track requires adequate fiber. We need 21 to 38 grams per day depending on age and gender, so every little bit helps. Almond butter has 1.6 grams of fiber per tablespoon versus 0.9 grams in peanut butter. Winner: Almond butter.
Vitamin E has many antioxidants and these butters contain this fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin E is also important for our immune system. Almond butter has 4x the amount of vitamin E than peanut butter. Winner: Almond butter.
Both butters contain minerals we need including iron, zinc, potassium, and calcium. Almond butter is a better source of all of these minerals. Winner: Almond butter.
Check out this calorie comparison…. If you took one cup of peanuts it has 854 calories versus one cup of almonds which has 546 calories. So take these grounded and you see the calorie difference. Winner: Almond butter.
I’m an advocate for almond butter. Every better decision adds up. There isn’t much bad to say about it expect maybe the pool of liquid that forms at the top of a new container. Other than that, almond anything and I’m in. Of course in moderation and with portion control. Every BODY can incorporate almond butter on their fitness journey, provided no nut allergies. Read the labels, find the best brand available to you, and hey top a rice cake with some almond butter and that’s a great FIT Snack 😊
Cosmetic treatments have become increasingly popular. Botox is the brand name for a type of toxin that come from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. This toxin has multiple purposes depending on the type and ranges from types A to G. The injection of type A is the most popular, also called botulinum toxin type A. Type A is the most potent form and is approved by the FDA in 2002. There is one other similar form called Dysport, which is also FDA approved.
Contrary to popular belief, Botox doesn’t remove wrinkles. Rather, this toxin works to temporarily disable the facial muscles that cause wrinkles. Common areas include the frown lines and crow’s feet. Botox communicates to these nerves telling the muscles not to contract. The muscles become paralyzed. Botox is most effective on the “dynamic wrinkles” which are only visible when the muscle contracts. That is why the areas of the mouth and eyes which involve frowning, smiling, and squinting, can be treated with this toxin.
Not every area and person is treated the same with Botox. With age, comes the decrease in the elasticity of the skin. This means that sometimes, a crease can become permanent. Botox won’t be able to eliminate these deep creases, but it can reduce the visibility of them. This toxin goes into effect within 48 hours and there is a noticeable difference within 5 to 10 days. This effect will last between 3 and 5 months. Most people who use Botox go for injections again based on this timeline.
Botox might be considered the miracle wrinkle treatment for some people. It won’t be able to reverse the clock, but it can certainly increase confidence and appearance. It is not be abused. It is also important to check the validity of the professional you use and where they are getting their materials from. When done wrong, a frozen face can result. Some people even have Botox parties. The procedure is quick and doesn’t require anesthesia. A fine needle is used. There might be temporary bruising or a headache, but that is not the case for everyone. Botox is also not covered by insurance, as it is deemed a cosmetic procedure. Prices vary based on your doctor and much needs to be used.
Feeling good and looking good is important to us. It isn’t vain to want to have less wrinkles, but also go for a consultation to see if any procedure is right for you. You are never fully dressed without a smile, so do more of what makes your frown turn upside down.
Whether we remember it or not, we all dream. We might even dream up to 4 to 6 times per night. Sometimes we find ourselves entertained while other times we are left feeling disturbed after a bizarre dream. After all, dreams are stories, similar to movies playing in our head. They can be so vivid that we can actually wake up feeling happy, sad, mad, confused, or even scared. Dreams are most vivid during deep sleep which is called rapid eye movement (REM). During this time, the brain is very active.
Sigmund Freud believed that dreams tell us about our subconscious. Our thoughts, motivations, and unconscious desires are revealed. What we might think society perceives as unacceptable, we think and feel during our dreams.
Dreams are somewhat of a mysterious phenomenon, with some researchers saying they serve no purpose while others claim dreams are necessary for our mental health. They may have no connection to reality, but some experts have found that when restricted from the act of dreaming a person can wake up feeling depressed, anxious, have a hard time concentrating, experience weight gain, and overall feel a sense of tension. Dreams could just be night time stories that keep us asleep. Dreams help us sort out our life’s problems, process emotions, and incorporate our memories. A person can go to bed troubled by a problem and wake up with a solution. Re-occuring dreams might have meaning that help us discover our deepest fears and concerns. For example, a dream someone has over and over about falling off a cliff or being chased might really be about a hidden trigger or stressor. On the other hand, every dream can be unique and interpreted differently.
Nightmares are bad dreams we don’t like. They stir up emotional problems, stress, and may be caused by illnesses or medications. The bottom line is that no matter how scary the dream is, it is not real. Lucid dreams occur when we are in between REM and being awake, so they seem extremely real. The brain is really active. Dreams don’t predict the future but can sometimes feel coincidental. Most of the time we don’t even remember our dreams. Imagine if we were able to remember all of our dreams. We might not be able to separate reality from what we dreamt. During REM it is possible that our brain shuts off the memory device so we only recall what we thought about just before we wake up. People who wake up several times in the night are more likely to remember their dreams. Sometimes just being conscious that you want to remember your dreams will help you recall them better.
There are different theories when it comes to interpreting our dreams, but think of them more as your brain’s free play time. It is entertaining itself as we sleep until we rise again and it’s back to work. Some say dreams do come true, but the truth is that we will never really know that answer. For now, it’s nice to believe that dreams really do come true especially when we are young and imaginative.
We are all too familiar with that feeling of being stuffed. For some it’s a rare occasion, but for others each meal can present the chance to eat and eat until overeating strikes again. We might do this at the end of a long day. It’s a holiday so why not? Or maybe when home alone all inhibition lets loose. Then we feel frustrated with ourselves for letting this stomachache happen….once again. The truth is that right out of the gate we are nurtured with food. We eat to live, but somewhere along the lines living to eat can become the lifestyle. We have an emotional connection to food outside of just nutritional purposes.
Yet, the act of eating can get out of control. It can become a coping mechanism for negative emotions. Some people think about food all the time. We might laugh and joke after eating large quantities at Thanksgiving, but some people feel ashamed and guilty after far too many of their meals. For some people, overeating can just be a mindless habit. The duration of the movie requires snacking and then pretty soon the box is gone and the entire liter of soda.
Some people who overeat might have an actual eating disorder such as binge eating disorder (BED). This is characterized by eating large quantities of food in a short period of time. A person with BED might do this at least once per week for the course of 3 months or longer. Eating is associated with feelings of stress, loneliness, and then guilt and regret after eating so much. To be clear, not all people who overeating have binge eating disorder. For some people it’s just a love of food, while others might suffer from negative body image. Sometime dieting gone astray can lead to overeating. Feelings of deprivation lead to a desire for foods that were off limits and the more the better. The foods that were forbidden become more and more attractive.
The composition of foods can make them addictive in nature. High fat, high sugar, and high salt foods taste to please us. The brain senses the euphoric feeling much like drug use. Then the person become dependent of these foods as they crave their comfort and satisfaction. The difference is that no one can cut food “cold-turkey”. We are faced with eating each and every single day, more than once. The act of eating can become an addiction too.
If there’s strong ties to deep emotional problems and food seems to be the solution, then seeking help is important. A person needs to determine their triggers, especially those that transpire negative body image. A counselor can certainly help. Food should also not be constantly deprived or labeled as “good” or “bad”. Tuning into hunger cues is important. Understanding the why of the overeating leads to a better solution. A change of scenery can help change the environment you put yourself in during eating. Don’t be on autopilot and let the habit carry on and on. There is a lot more to life then chewing, but we have to find a healthy relationship with food in order to be healthy mentally and physically.