Health-related Articles

5 Mindful Eating Tips for a Zesty Life

Friday, November 14th, 2014

5 Mindful Eating Tips for a Zesty LifeCultivating a healthy relationship with food can increase our zest and taste for daily life.

1. Notice how you feel. Take a moment to close your eyes, breathe, and drop into what it feels like to be in your body. Does it feel dumpy, sluggish, drab, or low in energy?

Now, notice if there is a similar relationship to the foods you have been eating recently. For example, are you eating dumpy foods? Does your food look gray and dark? Overcooked, dull, lifeless? Simply notice if there is a relationship.

On a biological level, we are what we eat. Certain foods and their preparation carry potential vibrancy for increased flavor and life energy. See if adding more food with vibrant color and zest makes a difference.

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Changing Your Meds

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

How to Talk to Your Doctor About Changing Your MedsAs anyone who has read my posts knows, the last few weeks have been touch and go. I’ve had some depression and paranoia problems which have accounted for a lot of weirdness in my daily life, from dealing with neighbors, to just generally being out in public. There was even a day when I went as far into my head as to contemplate what would happen were I to die.

Thankfully, this time I refrained from posting about that on Facebook, instead letting my family know. My family is my main support structure and thankfully we were able to get me in to see my psychiatrist to tweak my meds.

Your Brain Might Sabotage Your Weight Loss Efforts

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Your Brain Might Sabotage Your Weight Loss EffortsEveryone knows weight loss is challenging. But you might not be aware of just how unsuccessful the task can be.

According to the 2011 Food & Health Survey, 77 percent of Americans were trying to lose weight or were avoiding weight gain. Simultaneously, 70 percent of the population was deemed overweight.

Foods to Improve Your Mood

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Foods to Improve Your MoodScientists are beginning to recognize the link between diet, levels of inflammation in the body, and mood.

It is a commonly held belief that your gut is in fact your “second brain.” In fact, more serotonin (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter) is produced in the gut than in the brain. Eating anti-inflammatory nutrients on a regular basis can help you lower your stress levels, feel calmer, and maintain energy from the inside out. Processed foods, on the other hand, do the exact opposite.

Panic and the Media: Unraveling the Worry

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

News mediaA Manhattan doctor went bowling in my neighborhood recently and was diagnosed with Ebola the next day. It seems to be the only thing you see on the news anymore and it has people across the country truly frightened.

I got married in early October and my aunt, who’s from a small town in Arkansas, was anxious about flying into and out of New York airports. The 60-something Southern belle who’s in great health watches the news almost exclusively.

Your odds of dying from Ebola in the next year is 1 in 309,629,415, according to the Washington Post. You’re more likely to die in a flood, from a bee sting, or by simply suffocating in bed. But statistics aren’t necessarily enough to make people feel better. I understand that because I’m an anxious person.

5 Ways to Stop Yourself from Eating When You’re not Hungry

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

5 Ways to Stop Yourself from Eating When You're not HungryThe fridge door is open and you’re peering inside, feeling bored, lonely or sad. But you’re not actually hungry.

You know that eating what’s in front of you isn’t the answer. You know you’re just going to feel awful, if you do. But what are some things you can think, say or do to stop eating when you’re not hungry?

5 New Theories on the Cause of Depression

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

5 New Theories on the Cause of DepressionI grew up thinking depression was as simple as one little transmitter getting lost somewhere on his way from one neuron to the other, much like I do when I venture farther than five miles from home. It’s an easy explanation — a chemical imbalance in the brain — one that pharmaceutical companies have adopted to craft creative commercials like the Zoloft egg not chasing the butterfly.

But depression is so much more complex than that.

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-Compassion

Friday, October 24th, 2014

25 Questions for Cultivating Self-CompassionAs I wrote in this piece on journaling prompts for self-reflection and self-discovery, part of building a healthy relationship with ourselves is keeping an open and honest dialogue. It’s continually asking ourselves questions and welcoming the answers. It’s getting to know ourselves, at our core.

Another part of building a healthy relationship is cultivating self-compassion. But I know that for many of us this is hard. Really hard. Being kind feels foreign, and unnatural. Instead, after many years, our automatic reaction may be to bash, berate and bully ourselves.

7 Tips to Make Healthy Eating Habits Easier

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

7 Tips to Make Healthy Eating Habits EasierMany people were very intrigued by my interview with behavioral scientist Brian Wansink and his ideas. He studies eating behavior and consumer habits, and has a book that just came out: Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life.

I asked him for some of his top tips, and he gave me these excellent suggestions to “Help your kitchen make you slim.”

The Power of Kindness

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

The FuneralThe last few months have been hard for me. I’ve had some issues with depression and paranoia. Living with schizophrenia is a rollercoaster and even little blips can turn into crises.

This depression, though, has had me feeling a deep sense of loneliness. The paranoia makes me feel ostracized from the world, and it’s really hard to feel like no matter where you go, you’ll never fit in.

This was weighing on me the other day until something happened that struck me. It put a long-overdue, sorely-needed smile on my face.

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep Better

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

How a Schedule Can Help You Sleep BetterThe fancy digital, pedometer-bracelet thingy around my wrist tells me I slept six hours and 25 minutes with four interruptions. As I struggle to awake, my body can tell you, that isn’t nearly enough.

An estimated 70 million Americans are sleep-deprived, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many nights, I am among them.

Aside from the health risks associated with inadequate sleep, such as depression, memory and attention issues, mood disorders, and the higher risk of physical illness, researchers at the University of Oxford now believe a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality may also contribute to brain shrinkage. That thought alone might keep you up at night.

How Self-Compassion Builds a More Positive Body Image Than Self-Esteem

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Body Image

“Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.” — Diane Von Furstenberg

A new study by researchers at the University of Waterloo has touched on a somewhat taboo question: “What if women were to accept themselves with deep self-compassion — flaws and all?” In other words, what if we looked upon ourselves with kindness, compassion and forgiveness as we would a loved one or a dear friend? Would we gain a more positive body image?

The answer is yes.

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