Why You Can Feel Great About Preparing Your Dog’s Food From Scratch

When I adopted my little J-dog, I expected him to be a sweet little cuddler, and of course, he is. What I didn’t expect was his skin allergies making him and everyone else uncomfortable. Luckily, his skin cleared up when I started preparing his dog food from scratch.

Advantages of Preparing Your Own Dog Food
Advantages of Preparing Your Own Dog Food

Intrinsic Vicissitude is honored to partner with Dog Product Picker to bring you this post about helping your dog stay healthy with high quality food.

Why Home Made Dog Food Is Better for a Dog’s Skin (at Least Sometimes)

Using J-dog as an example, he has a grain allergy and if he starts eating grain-based dog food, he gets itchy and starts to lose his fur. I could pick up grain-free dog food at the store, but it often upsets his tummy, leading to “other” unpleasant problems – plus it gets pricey to get the really good brands.

The benefits of preparing your own dog food – for owners of dogs that have  allergies and skin problems – are that you get to feel good about helping your pet stay healthy, and you end up with lower vet bills as your pet grows healthier.

(Be sure to discuss anything regarding changing your pet’s diet with your vet before doing it – just to be safe – he or she may recommend a brand that you’re comfortable with.)

Now, I have to admit, this might be harder to maintain for a larger dog. Even with a small pooch, it can be a lot of extra planning. If I forget to plan ahead and get ingredients for his food, I have a backup supply of grain-free food to put in his feeder that I store in the freezer to keep fresh so he never has to go hungry.

Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food Recipe

I try to keep my recipes simple and not change things up too much in order to avoid giving J-dog an upset stomach. I do occasionally switch meat and carb sources, depending on what I can find on sale.

Ingredients for Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food

This recipe uses a 1:1 ratio of chicken and carbohydrates, but you can mix it up according to your vet’s recommendations – or experiment to come up with something your dog likes.

  • Raw cubed chicken (1-cup)
  • Raw cubed sweet potato (1-cup)
  • (Optional) Peas or diced carrots (1/8-cup)

Directions for Preparing Chicken and Sweet Potato Dog Food

I like to prepare this almost like a stir fry, though it also turns out nice if it’s steamed.

  • If stir-frying, spray a light layer of cooking oil in the pan to prevent sticking.
  • Put everything in the pan or steamer at the same time, and cook over medium to medium-high heat.
  • Let the food cook until the chicken is cooked through and sweet potato cubes get soft.
    • (It might seem a little bland to you, but  a lot of spices aren’t good for dogs, and bland is typically better for the canine digestive system.)
  • Let the food cool before serving it to your dog.
  • I like to cook up  a large batch ahead of time, so I don’t have to prepare a special meal for the dog every day.
    • (I don’t mind spoiling him a little because he gives us an immeasurable amount of love, but there are limits to how many extra meals I want to cook each week, you know what I mean?)

Since I put my little J-dog on a grain-free diet and started cooking the vast majority of his meals, he seems happier, healthier, (fuzzier) and he’s even put on some weight so I’ve had to shop for new dog care products, mainly a pretty new collar for his tags and a car seat harness for him to wear when we go out in the car.

If you have any questions or comments about my dog food recipe or this post, comments are welcome, and it would be great if you join the conversation on Facebook if you want to do that.

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Back and Shoulder Workout to Reduce Shoulder Pain

Shoulder pain makes it hard to do much of anything, and I’ve found that when my shoulders start to hurt, the ache moves up my neck and I end up with a full-blown migraine if I don’t get it quickly under control.

Shoulder Exercises to Reduce Pain
Shoulder Exercises to Reduce Pain image courtesy of Pixabay

Back And Shoulder Exercises to Cut Shoulder Pain

Trust your body when trying any new exercises, and consult your physician as a best practice to make sure it’s safe to do the exercises suggested here.

Pick Up Some Weights

The WebMD website suggests adding four resistance exercises to your back and shoulder workout to increase the strength of this muscle set. These four exercises are:

  1. Rowing: I used to have a rowing machine I used for this, and I loved it, but it took enough space I didn’t replace it when it wore out.
  2. Lateral pulldowns: I do a modified version of the traditional lat pulldown using a resistance band.
  3. One-arm dumbbell rows: When I do these, I use a five-pound dumbbell when I don’t have shoulder pain. If my shoulder is bothering me, I do it using no weights and I move slowly so it’s more like a stretch than a resistance exercise.
  4. Shoulder shrugs: These can also be done with or without extra weight, depending on your current physical state.

Yoga Stretches for Shoulder Pain

Yoga Stretches for Shoulder Pain Relief
Yoga Stretches for Shoulder Pain Relief image courtesy of Pixabay

Have you ever felt kind of tired and cramped through the neck and shoulder area, then stretched and that stretch felt SO amazing?

There’s a reason for that; it’s really common to slump forward when you’re working, and then the muscles tighten in the slumped position, leading to pain and stiffness in the upper back, shoulders, and neck.

Yoga International recommends stretching the upper chest, which may sound counter-intuitive at first, but it expands the muscles that shorten and starts the healing process at the core of the problem.

This is similar to performing abdominal exercises to strengthen the lower back, which relieves back pain.

There are several yoga poses that stretch this muscle set, such as Warrior 1, Warrior 2, and downward-facing dog.

The shoulder stand pose also stretches the upper chest muscles, but it’s an advanced pose that beginners should, in my opinion, avoid trying without some sort of coach or assistance.

When shoulder pain isn’t the result of posture problems, other things that can cause it are impacts from car accidents, falls, or even a physician’s error during a medical procedure. If the latter is the case, consider discussing medical malpractice Pittsburgh with an attorney to find out what help is available to you.

Thanks for reading, and I would love to hear about your experience with shoulder pain and what you do to ease it. 

By Laure Justice

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3 Easy-to-Pack Pieces of Fitness Apparel for Women

Since it’s summer and it’s vacation time for so many people, and packing can be a challenge, I wanted to share this short list of easily-packed fitness apparel for women.

When you want to maintain the level of fitness you’ve been working for, you need to keep your fitness gear handy, and these are items that don’t take much space in your overnight bag so you can enjoy your regular fitness routine wherever you go.

So, I wanted to share these fun (and cute) ideas for easy-to-pack fitness apparel for women.

The information and pictures below are brought to you as part of an ad campaign from Puma that Intrinsic Vicissitude is participating in today.

Easy-to-pack Fitness Apparel for Women

Even though you’re on vacation, you still want to keep on track with your health and fitness goals. But, with limited packing space, it can be difficult deciding what to bring. That’s why we’ve compiled a few of our favorite travel-friendly apparel items that you can have on hand wherever the summer takes you.

PUMA Classics Logo Women’s Tank Top

Get sporty this summer in this performance tank. Its large peekaboo armholes add both style and comfort, perfect for extra sweaty workout sessions. This tank is perfect for storage; simply roll up and pop in your bag. Grab all three colors to keep in rotation this summer.

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Nike Women’s Free Run Flyknit Running Sneaker

These knit sneakers are a welcome change from traditionally clunkier options. Specifically designed to be lightweight, they feature a breathable, foot-hugging Flyknit upper that keep you cool on even the hottest runs. Even though they’re lightweight, their performance is anything but.

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Lululemon Speed Up Short Long 4”

From the moment you put on these running shorts, you won’t want to take them off. Made from lightweight, sweat-wicking Swift fabric, these shorts are ideal for runs on the coast. You’ll appreciate the gel pockets to store keys and the Lycra Fibre for shape retention (no wrinkled shorts here!).

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Thanks for reading and checking out these cute, easy-packing fitness apparel garments and footwear for women.

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Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe

I’ve been looking for easy ways to increase fiber and protein in my diet, and I LOVE having a granola bar for breakfast every day, but I’m not wild about the cost of buying pre-baked ones – so I started experimenting with making my own recipe.

Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe
Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bar Recipe image courtesy of Pixabay

Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

These crunchy Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars are a little labor-intensive to make, but my family really loved them! They have the sweetness of a cookie and the healthful goodness of a high-quality protein and fiber bar without the high cost of store-bought protein and fiber bars.

One great thing about this recipe is – it’s so easy to change and adapt to meet your family’s preferences. So, if you’re feeling like munching on some sweet and nutritious treats, gather up your ingredients and kitchen products for baking, and let’s get started!

Ingredients for Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

  • 7 cups rolled oats (This is basically an entire 18-ounce container of oats)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Cooking oil spray

Steps for Making Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars

  1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees.
  2. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread the mix on a large 18×13-inch baking sheet. (If you don’t have  a large baking sheet, divide the ingredients in half and spread them out on a smaller baking sheet, but consider reducing the oven temperature by 25-degrees because it will be spread out thinner.)
  4. Stir the ingredients on the baking sheet every ten minutes for a total of 20-25 minutes.
  5. Pull the baking sheet (or sheets) out of the oven and turn the temperature down to 300-degrees.
  6. Pour the baked oats, nuts and chia seed mix back into the large mixing bowl. (This step was, for me, kind of awkward because it was hard to hold the big baking sheet steady enough to pour the food into the baking dish.)
  7. Put a saucepan on the stovetop and pour the honey and brown sugar in it.
  8. Set the burner to the medium heat setting and start stirring.
  9. Keep stirring for 5 minutes to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the honey.
  10. Quickly pour the vanilla and cinnamon into the sweet mix and stir thoroughly.
  11. Pour the sweet mix over the oat mix and stir until the oats, nuts, and chia seeds are coated with the sweet honey mix.
  12. Lightly coat the baking sheet with cooking oil spray.
  13. Press the granola mix into the baking sheet as tightly as you can.
  14. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (When this gets to about 25 minutes it’s a good idea to check it every few minutes because once the honey and brown sugar mix start baking, they scorch easily and your granola bars can end up with a burnt flavor.
  15. Let this cool for 10-minutes, then cut into the desired portions.
  16. Be sure to cut them before they’ve been out of the oven for 15-minutes, though, because they’re super tough to cut if they cool longer than 15 minutes.
  17. Portions: I cut them into 18 bars because this is what I have for breakfast and I want it to be comfortably filling – but you could go much smaller or bigger depending on your needs. If I were making them for snacking purposes, I would cut them much smaller than I do when making them for a meal replacement.

These high-protein, high-fiber Chia Seed and Pecan Granola Bars can be stored covered for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. (I put them in snack bags for convenience.)

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Relieving Lower Back Pain With Yoga

I was in a car wreck in my early twenties, and over the years, the back pain has come and gone, and when it starts, it’s enough to take my breath away – but – I’ve found that regular stretching, like yoga, helps keep it from recurring.

Yoga for Lower Back Pain
Yoga for Lower Back Pain image courtesy of Pixabay

Why Yoga Stretches Help Relieve Lower Back Pain

Yoga and stretching can take some of the aches out of chronic backaches, as noted by WebMD.

A 12-week study found that yoga class participants found increased mobility, and after six months of yoga practice, the need for pain medication to relieve back pain dropped.

Intensive stretching classes were found to have similar results among participants, so if you feel like yoga isn’t ‘your thing’, you can still use the practice of stretching to ease the lower back pain you experience.

3 Specific Yoga Stretches for Easing Back Pain

You should talk to your medical practitioner before beginning any type of exercise because the last thing you want is to do something that damages your spine more when you’re trying to ease back pain.

Having noted that, these are some yoga stretches with a reputation for relieving backaches, as detailed by Everyday Health.

  • Downward-Facing Dog: This pose takes a fair bit of arm strength because your weight shifts forward onto your arms as your hamstrings stretch. The stretching in the back of your legs and building your back muscles are the reasons downward dog helps relieve lower back pain.
    • This is a pose I struggle with and find a bit uncomfortable, so I don’t really give it the time it may deserve. If you try it, let me know what you think of it.
  • Upward-Facing Dog: This pose stretches your abdominal muscles and lets you relax your back muscles. It also takes arms strength, but not as much as the downward dog pose does. I find I can feel my back muscles relaxing in increments as I settle into this position, so in my opinion, it’s worth holding the pose a bit longer.
  • Pigeon Pose: This is similar to the exercise called ‘hurdles’ from gym class. It’s like a cross between lotus position, with one leg curled close to the front of your body, and upward dog with the other leg extended back.
    • It works for easing back pain because it stretches your hip rotators, and if you’re able to raise the foot of the extended leg off the ground, which is admittedly an advanced move, then it also stretches the hamstring of that leg.

If you prefer to simply stretch instead of trying yoga, look for stretching exercises that engage your core muscles, stretch the lower back, hips, and hamstrings.

Alternative Strategies to Try for Relieving Back Pain

Not all types of back injury respond to stretching, that’s why it’s so important to talk to a  professional before taking on exercises that engage the spine and back muscles.

Physical Therapy: Physical therapy is an important strategy for lower back pain treatment. There are a lot of advantages to choosing physical therapy to relieve this type of pain because it combines the advice of a medical professional with effective techniques for healing.

Heat or Ice Therapy: Alternating between heat and ice therapy is known to be helpful in relieving back pain in some cases.

Therapeutic Massage: Therapeutic massage is an option that increases blood flow to stiff, achy back muscles to ease the pain.

Pain Medication: While some pain medications are available over-the-counter, it’s best to discuss the use of pain meds with a medical professional because some have side effects, and each has some limitations.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Let Go of the Hurt When Someone Lets You Down

Sometimes, life is just brutal, and you need to get away from your troubles to relax and regroup. It’s just a fact of life that things go wrong, people you trust let you down, and awful things happen that can’t be fixed – and that’s when you NEED to do something good for yourself.

When Someone Lets You Down
When Someone Lets You Down image courtesy of Pixabay

It Only Hurts You to Stay Mad When Someone Lets You Down

When someone lets you down, and you’re upset, the one who benefits from you letting it go – is you.

I hope you’ll excuse me using my own experience for this, but I recently had an experience where someone I trusted (a close relative) let me down – completely.

I wanted to just forgive it and not talk about it anymore, but the other person wouldn’t let it go – kept saying she had to make it right – but followed that seemingly noble sentiment with the information that there is no way to make it right.

She suggested a way to make it right – would it have? NO! But, I said, okay, let’s do that – just to have it over with. She decided she couldn’t DO that. Okay. So, quit talking about it. I’m busy and have no more time for this.

She created endless drama and stress over the course of the past three days, to the point I can’t sleep and am getting behind on my work.

I went, over the course of three days, from wanting to never talk about what she had done again and wanting to just let it go, to being utterly and completely, furious and wanting her to make it right.

This person went from apologizing over and over to trying to blame me, remember, I was the one who was betrayed, for something she did. (Typical narcissistic behavior.)

So, basically, I was starting to feel sick from internalizing the rage she was pushing on me, and I decided the conversation was over. I wrote my feelings on a sheet of paper and burned it in effigy.

It may sound silly, but I felt like the weight was lifted off my shoulders by simply letting go, and there’s actual science behind the risk of holding it in when something upsets you.

Some Things You Can Do to Get Over Feeling Hurt

Everyone deals with things differently, so browse through these ideas of ways to do something for yourself to see if you can find something that would help you let go of that ‘let down’ feeling so you can feel better.

After all, if someone lets you down, it isn’t your fault, it’s theirs. You shouldn’t suffer. They deserve to own it.

  • Write it out: If, like me, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper lets you release them, consider writing a letter to the offending person. You don’t have to send it. In fact, if someone hurt you, they don’t deserve to know how you really feel. That’s why I choose to burn my ‘release letters’ – I can literally watch the smoke carry my pain and anger away. I mean, I’m still kind of peeved right now, but I’m not angry like I was, and that’s better for my health.
  • Consider a getaway: Go somewhere like a health retreat Gold Coast for a vacation or go somewhere close for a soothing spa day.
  • Exercise: Choose your favorite kind of workout, from an intense boxing session to a gentle walk around the neighborhood.
  • Go inside yourself: Meditate or pray in a quiet spot.
  • Read something inspiring: Pick up a book on a topic that inspires you, or visit websites that cover topics that make you feel better about life.

When someone lets you down and they won’t ‘let it go’ – know that it’s about them and their baggage, and not about you. If you’re the victim in a situation, don’t let the other person push their guilt off onto you.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk away, to the extent you can, and do something positive for yourself.

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Creating A Google Culture At Your Office

With free meals, nap pods, and on-site doctors, Google employees seem to have the best gig in the world. Google continues to be recognized as having the coolest culture of any company, and its employees can vouch for that. Additional perks Google provides to employees include free dry cleaning, cooking classes, and even death benefits. While some of these benefits may be unrealistic for every company to provide, there are similar perks you can offer that your employees will love. Here are a few ways you can create a Google culture at your office.

Creating a Google Culture at Work
Creating a Google Culture at Work image courtesy of Pixabay

Laid-Back Environment

Google’s relaxed work environment is one of the things employees report loving the most, and something you can recreate in your own office. At Google, employees don’t have to be confined to their desk all day, as there are various lounge areas spread out around the campus. To implement this into your office space, try adding couches and bean bag chairs to give your employees the option of working somewhere other than their desks. While nap pods may be unrealistic for your company, consider giving employees the option to work remotely when needed. Making your office feel less like an office is one big way to create a Google-like culture for your company.

Paid Time Off

Google offers their employees a pretty generous amount of paid time off. Employees report getting three weeks of paid time off for newer employees, and up to five weeks of paid time off once they’ve been with the company for five years. Offering a generous amount of paid time off can be extremely beneficial to not only your employees, but to the overall function of your office. A well-rested, happy employee is more likely to put out good work and make the most of their time at the office, so consider this when an employee asks for some time off. In addition to paid time off, Google also lets employees take up to three months of unpaid sabbatical, in order to travel, go back to school, or work on a passion project.

Workplace Perks

While you may not be able to provide your employees with daily meals and on-site massages, there are countless more realistic perks you can provide to show your employees just how much you appreciate them. Things like having a catered lunch on certain days, free coffee, and office snack delivery service are relatively affordable and will get your employees excited about coming to work. If the weather permits, you can also try heading outside for the day and having your employees work from their laptops. Getting some much-needed fresh air and a change of scenery is something your team will greatly appreciate. If you sense that your employees could use a pick-me-up, get creative and think of some perks that are both realistic and that your team will love.

Intrinsic Vicissitude is honored to partner with SNACKNATION to bring you this post!

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How to Keep Toxic People From Wrecking Your Motivation

No matter how much good you do for others, or how much progress you make in life regarding things you perceive as your own weaknesses, toxic people know how to swoop in like vultures and wreck it for you – but there are some things you can do to keep your cool and stay on your own path.

Maintaining Motivation in the Face of Toxic People
Maintaining Motivation in the Face of Toxic People image courtesy of Pixabay (Exercise step like the one I mention in the article – only mine is pink and purple.)

The Backstory Behind this Post About Maintaining Motivation and Not Letting Toxic People Get to You

I want to share the story of a recent trip I made to the local Goodwill store as an example of what I mean.

A random encounter with a totally toxic crone is the inspiration for these tips;

(I know, I shouldn’t call her a crone, but she wasn’t Cinderella, and if the shoe fits…) 

First, I have been exercising daily for 63 days now. I alternate resistance training with cardio, and I’m doing it for my health, and I have been looking for something to work my glutes and thighs, but I’m a budget shopper so I was at Goodwill.

My entire goal in exercising is to get stronger and be able to enjoy some active things, like hiking and riding a bicycle this summer – if I lose any weight – that will just be a happy bonus.

Whether I lose weight or not is completely irrelevant to me – I just want to be able to enjoy life and do active things without getting out of breath and wondering if my heart is going to give out.

Sure, if I do lose some weight, I’ll be happy about it, but it’s not my goal.

So, anyway, I found an exercise step at Goodwill for $4.50, and I thought, “Hey, that would be a great addition to my exercise gear!”  and I stuck it in my cart.

This short, chubby, older woman came up, looked in my cart, and asked what it was.

(What kind of idiot snoops through stranger’s carts at Goodwill anyway? That’s not normal!)

I explained it’s a step to use for exercising at home.

(Exercising… NOT losing weight – there’s a difference! Diffferent goals, different motivation.)

She replied that she had tried many times to lose weight, and her daughter had lost 80 pounds a few years ago, and they both gained it all back – and she went on to say that NO ONE EVER loses weight and keeps it off.

(Bold statement to assign her own failure and her daughter’s failure to every living person on the whole planet given there are 7.5 billion people living here, but… okay…) 

Finally, before she left, she looked me up and down to assure herself that I was, in fact, fat, then she wished me luck… and told me not to feel bad when it doesn’t work.

(At no point in the conversation had I said a SINGLE WORD about weight loss – that was this random stranger’s BAGGAGE, not mine.)

I smiled and nodded, all the while imagining myself smacking her with said exercise step – I didn’t though – I prayed for her black, ugly soul to gain some insight, for her to evolve into a decent human being that doesn’t need to crush others for no reason, for her daughter to escape her insanity, and for the toxic woman’s rotund, stubby body to gain at least 80 more pounds.

(I know, not the world’s nicest prayer, but I truly meant the nice parts, and at least I didn’t hit her with an exercise step…)

The encounter got me thinking about how many toxic people we come into contact with, and how deeply they can affect us when the only thing they are really doing is trying to reduce the pain and disappointment they feel in regards to their own pathetic lives.

If my only goal in exercising had been weight loss, though, this encounter might have sent me home crying with a  chocolate cake and left me giving up my efforts permanently.

The toxic woman would have likely defeated me if she had managed to correctly guess my goal in exercising, so I guess I was lucky that her baggage about not losing weight was different than my own.

Ways to Keep Toxic People From Wrecking Your Motivation

I’ve already hinted at the first two ways I want to suggest for preserving your own resolve in the face of abuse toxic people.

  • Pray for them, or send out good vibes if you’re not a praying person. Put your own anger aside long enough to truly wish the other person well. You can do that by praying for them or by simply sending some good vibes their way. It doesn’t matter if that person knows you wish them well, in fact, I think it’s better for YOU if they don’t. It’s for your sake. It helps you let it go of the hurt, offended feelings so you can move on.
  • Don’t own someone else’s emotional baggage. Realize that no matter how wrong they are, they just reflecting their own pain onto your situation. It has NOTHING to do with you. Sure, it’s still aggravating, but don’t pick up someone else’s baggage, let them carry their own burden.
  • Trust your own goals and motivation. Focus on your goals, and your reasons. If you don’t have a strong goal or a strong reason, think of one. Life is an ongoing process, and if you let one toxic person wreck your path, then they’ve won. You deserve to forge your own way, for your own reasons.
  • Vent and let off steam if you have to. Find a way to get it off your chest and just let it go. I’ll admit, that’s what I’m doing with this blog post, and if blogging about it would help you, feel free to snatch the idea.
  • Use what you’re feeling to help someone else. Nothing refocuses you quicker than reaching out a hand to help someone else. Use your words to share how it felt, teach your kids to eat healthier, or do whatever you feel right about to help someone else live a better, healthier, more positive life.

I wanted to turn what I was feeling after this encounter around and turn it into something positive that would have a chance of helping someone else. So, I tried to put a little humor in it.

Thanks for reading, and while I hope you don’t ever encounter anyone toxic who makes you feel small and worthless like that toxic, nasty woman tried to make me feel, if you do, keep these things in mind and give them a try.

 

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Preparing for Better Health and Total Fitness in 2017

A new year is like a fresh slate, at least in some ways, and it’s a great time to set some goals that help you start preparing for better health and total fitness.

Preparing for Better Health and Total Fitness in the New Year
Runner image courtesy of Pixabay

Preparing for Better Health and Total Fitness in the New Year

To get psyched for achieving the goal of better health and fitness, think about where you really want to end up, what you can safely achieve; and then take a look at your fitness gear, both comfortable clothes and shoes, as well as exercise equipment, because looking good when working out and being comfortable boost your morale so you earn even more success.

Convenience Makes it Easier to Succeed

For any goal you set, make it easy to succeed. This works whether you are talking about fitness, your finances, your career, or your relationships (thought relationships are obviously harder to plan success into because you have to account for the feelings of someone else who may have entirely different goals.)

In the case of better health, if you find anything lacking, look for great deals and one-stop shopping when you’re buying new gear, like you find in your local Target store or on the company website.

Mental Preparation for Total Fitness and Getting Healthier

Be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new fitness program, and also, like I mentioned above, go ahead and get yourself psyched.

Changing your lifestyle takes work because habits become so ingrained in our lifestyle, even a small change can take big effort, and a lot of the time, that work is 99% mental work – getting and staying psyched for success.

The Slow and Steady Tortoise Won that Race

Be emotionally prepared for the occasional setback, a little setback is not a failure, it can just be your subconscious telling you you’re jumping in too fast – that you need to ease into your lifestyle changes.

Just like in the fable about the tortoise and the hare, sometimes the fastest runner gets tired out and ends up losing to the one who puts forth a slow and steady effort.

Your goal may be to get swimsuit-ready by spring if you are using weight as the basis for your goal-setting, but if that means crash dieting, sure, you could probably achieve that goal, but it also probably won’t last and can even damage your long-term health goals.

Set Some Goals, and Then Achieve Them

If you’ve browsed around the site and seen my older posts, you probably already know that I don’t like setting New Year’s Resolutions because they are too easy to forget – and I have my own version of planning for each new year – and you’re welcome to try it in your own life if you feel inspired; instead of making resolutions, I set goals and then start figuring out what needs to be done first to achieve my new goals.

  • Know yourself: Your goals can be anything that will make you happy, and in all seriousness, I have found I always achieve the ones I keep to myself and I almost never achieve the ones I tell others about. I used to think being accountable to others was the key to succeeding, but for me, it’s a sure way to fail.

So, I suggest looking back at your life during this time of introspection and goal-setting – and if you have a similar pattern – keep your new goals to yourself and quietly begin the real work of creating a new life story for yourself, one that includes success, better health, and total fitness – it’s no one else’s business anyway.

I would like to extend a special thank you to my affiliate sponsor for this post, Target, and if you need anything to get started on your path to better health and fitness, I invite you to take advantage of the links in this short article to get a jump on getting anything you need for your healthy new lifestyle – oh – and be sure to come back and let me know how it’s going or sign up for my free newsletter (the sign-up box is over on the right side of the screen) so my positivity boost emails can be delivered right to your inbox.

By: Laure Justice

 

 

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Products to Help You Achieve Body, Mind and Spiritual Balance as We Ring in the New Year

The new year is the perfect time to set goals for achieving body, mind and spiritual balance, but those goals don’t add up to much unless you find a way to make them stick.

Body Mind and Spiritual Balance
Medicine Wheel image courtesy of Pixabay

This year, set yourself up to succeed in your goals by making it easy on yourself – set goals that align with your core beliefs and, if necessary, pick up some products that help push you to succeed.

I’m going to share a few of my favorite tips and products here, and I hope you’ll feel free to add your own ideas in the comments section at the end of the article.

Achieve Body, Mind, and Spiritual Balance

I’ve found that things in my life are generally connected, and that seems to be a fairly common thread for people everywhere.

When good things start to happen, they snowball and more good things keep piling on, and it’s a great time – but when things start to go wrong, the same thing happens only in reverse – the negative things keep piling on until every part of life feels disastrous.

That’s why it’s so important to set yourself up to succeed and to achieve a healthy balance in life – every little success snowballs to become part of a bigger success, and part of a happier healthier life.

For Better Health

While there are so many things that go into better health, I’m starting with fitness, since I’m thinking about my own new year’s goals right now.

Personally, I’m not a person who is likely to ever go join a gym, because it would be inconvenient for me, plus, the last thing I want is to pay to exercise with people looking at me, so I wanted to find a program I could do in the privacy of my home.

I love thisprogram because it lets me access all the workouts, from any device, for less than I would pay per month at my local gym, and – plus – and this is a big plus – they give a 30-day free trial.

For Mental Stimulation

For mental stimulation, it’s hard to beat reading – and when it comes to feelings of success and inner peace, you can so easily turn to the masters by picking up or downloading a book from one of the masters of positivity, like Anthony Robbins, Napoleon Hill, Ralph waldo Emerson, and W. Clement Stone – just to name a few.

So, for a place to find a great selection of reading material to stimulate your mind and forge a path to better life, I wanted to share this link to .

While I love, and expect to always love, having a paper copy of a book to hold and reread, I find I now download books more often than I get paper copies – it saves trees and the gratification is instant because I can start reading within minutes of paying for the book.

For Inner Peace

Choosing something to share with you about inner peace is a little harder, because everyone finds peace in a different way, and I don’t want to leave anything out, but this is getting long and I will be back to share different things that I find.

My first thought was that I would share information on yoga or meditation, but that’s so closely linked to fitness that I decided to go with upgrading your home with pieces that make you feel comfort and pleasure.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea that you have to fix every little part of your life before you fix up your surroundings, but turning your home into a place you are proud of gives you a psychological boost, and besides, you and your family deserve to be surrounded by things that give you pleasure.

So, the third place I picked to share with you was a company called Rejuvenation. I loved the unique blend of restored antiques and elegant newer pieces this site offers, and it was a joy to be able to tell you about their unique decor items.

By: Laure Justice

I was honored to partner with Daily Burn, Barnes & Noble, and Rejuvenation to bring you this article about achieving a balance between your body, mind, and spirit.

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