7 10-Minute Energy Boosts

Oatmeal in a bamboo bowl with strawberry and rhubarb sauce on a napkin of burlap, spoon, milk in glass jug, rhubarb against the dark boards on top

  • Start your day with a good breakfast.  Eating a donut or other sugary breakfast will let you down, not pick you up. Instead, enjoy cereal that is high in fiber in the morning. Because we digest fiber more slowly, your energy will last longer. Be sure to add protein as well; a breakfast that’s high in simple carbohydrates may give you a quick boost, but your energy will crash quickly.
  • Drink up that water. Regular hydration keeps your energy going, while dehydration drains you, lessens your ability to concentrate and may even affect your mood negatively. If you find the taste of water boring, add some lime or lemon juice for a little unsweetened flavor boost. (Signs of dehydration
  • Sit at a desk all day? Slouching over that computer? Get rid of that neck and back strain by sitting up straight, along with  getting up to stretch your body, at least once an hour. (Ergonomics

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  • Even better than stretching? Get in a 10-minute walk a few times during your day at the office. If you can, go outside: Walking in the fresh air will enhance your vitality even more than walking inside. 
  • Exercise is a great energizer. This doesn’t have to be a thirty minute exercise routine. Simply adding more physical activity into your day will energize you and help your burn calories. Try things like parking farther away from the mall, using the stairs, taking your dog for short walks, and standing up while on the phone. 
  • Find a way to get a good belly laugh during your day! This is no joke. There is so much research these days that supports the health benefits of laughing. Laughing will help relieve stress in your day, which in turn will energize you. 

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©2016 Bea Boomers Wellness

Menopausin’? 7 Ways to Cool Down those Hot Flashes

c165459_sI don’t think I ever heard the word “menopause” cross my mother’s lips.  Nope, for her it was the dreaded change of life or simply the change.  For years I connected these terms with the idea of eventually losing my marbles and sprouting hair on my chin.  Heck, according to my mom and aunts, some women went through the change and never came out of it!  (Now that I think about it, I always wondered where Aunt Betty disappeared to).

Nowadays, we’re much more sophisticated about our terminology, and thanks to Google, better educated about this period (no pun intended) of our lives.

Despite my earlier fears about menopause, for me it didn’t turn out to be that bad in terms of physical discomfort.  My biggest annoyance (and from what I hear from other ladies as well) were those times when I was walking around at work or at the mall, my temperature a comfortable 98.6 – when suddenly my body made a visit to the desert, at high noon on a 102 degree day.  What the . . . ??? 

Yep, hot flashes (and their evil buddy, night sweats) were what drove me crazy throughout menopause.  If you’re suffering from them as well, you may want to take a look at some cooling down options: 

  • Craving Thai or Szechuan food?  STOP!  Do not go there. High-fat and high-sugar diets can make hot flash symptoms worse; ditto caffeine and alcohol.
  • Instead, try the Mediterranean Diet as described in this article from the Eating Well website.   This way of eating can also help fight off that lousy weight gain that leads to meno-pots (don’t you love being a woman?) 
  • Research has also shown that adding soy foods to a diet can help, because they contain isoflavones.  Try soybeans, edamame, tofu, or roasted soy nuts. 
  • Try ground flaxseed (available in grocery stores), which may help fight against hot flashes (they’re also good for our heart health; containing fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, and lignan) You can add the seeds to smoothies, juice, or oatmeal.*
  • Stress has been linked to hot flashes (jeez, what hasn’t stress been linked to?), so take steps to relieve daily stressors before they build up may help.  Meditation, deep breathing techniques, getting regular exercise, and keeping a journal to vent about bad stuff are a few ways to do this. Or invite your hot-flash-suffering friends over for a kick menopause in the butt party 
  • Medical treatment involves low-dose hormone therapy used only for the short-term.  You can read more about medical options in this article from the My Health Alberta website. 
  • Looking for some natural supplement options? Take a look at Dr. Andrew Weil’s suggestion in this article.  (You should talk to your doctor prior to taking supplements) 

Source: 

*Beck, LeslieWhat foods should I eat to help manage my hot flashes? 

Want to have some fun with your fellow menopausers?  Menopause the Musical is a must-see

For Further Reading:

 

 

10 Ways to Love Your Heart

 

Watercolor picture with bright red heart on blue background

  • Snack on almonds (1 ½ ounces every day can help lower bad cholesterol)
  • Enjoy fruits and veggies that are rich in vitamin C and your heart will be rewarded with a potent antioxidant.
  • Sweat it up!  Strenuous exercise a couple times a week is heart-healthy.
  • Don’t forget vitamin D – research shows that vitamin D deficiency may lead to a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Cuddle with your significant other or your furry friend. This helps lower stress levels and blood pressure.
  • Floss your teeth – good for your gums, and may help protect against heart disease.
  • Let go of anger and resentment – this reduces stress and blood pressure, and can help lower your heart rate.
  • Find a reason to have a good belly laugh.  At least one daily.  Laughing not only reduces stress and tension, it improves blood flow (reducing blood pressure). It may also boost good cholesterol levels.
  • Fill up with fiber (afraid of tootin’? Find some tips to help avoid gaseous emissions at the Everyday Health site
  • Try some yoga poses for a healthy heart.

Sources:

Narula, T., M.D. Have a Heart Healthy Day. Oprah magazine. February 2014.

Westen, R. Top 50 Ways to Stay Healthy. AARP magazine. October/November 2015.

Fitness Fan Forever

Did my love for physical fitness begin in elementary school, when PE class consisted of doing toe touches and push-ups to the “Chicken Fat” song?  And, of course, climbing up that scratchy rope that was attached to the gym’s ceiling (what the heck was that all about??) 

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Nah.  

How about in middle school, when we were introduced to swim class, rubber swim caps that left dents in our foreheads and stretched out swimsuits that had been worn by God knows how many others?

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Nah. 

Could I have fallen in love with physical fitness in High School, where I was always one of the last ones chosen for floor hockey games, and actually fractured my thumb after hitting a wall during relay races? 

And again, Nah.

No, I became a fitness fanatic at the age of 19, when I decided my knees were too chubby. For some reason, (too many French fries?) my clothing size had increased to double digits. I took drastic action:

  • I would walk for miles or ride my bike for hours. (A bit extreme, right? Hey, I was young).
  • I would attempt a hundred sit-ups a day (not known as crunches back then).
  • I (foolishly) over exercised, believing that if some exercise was good for you, excessive workouts would be even better. 

Then came the eighties, with its high impact aerobics and Richard Simmons dancing and sweating (not attractive, Richard) to the oldies. And of course, Jane Fonda, looking good in her tights and leotards, cheerfully leading us flabby people in those complicated steps and grapevines (bulimic, but who knew?). Unfortunately, my left foot never figured out what my right foot was doing. Bummer.

Somewhere along the way, I learned to love to sweat. I also figured out that I didn’t have to overdo it and exercise every stinkin’ day to get its benefits. 

Exercise is a great way to laugh in the face of aging. I love it because it makes me feel like I can kick ass, even at age 58.  I hope to be able to exercise until just before I kick the bucket. 

Benefits of Exercise:

Studies Show Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Life

The Hidden Benefits of Exercise

Resistance Training Health Benefits

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor. (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

 

Time Ticking Away?

 

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This morning on the way to work, that depressing song by Pink Floyd was playing on the radio – you know the one:  Time. David Gilmour sings: “Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time; plans that either come to naught, or half a page of scribbled lines. . . .” (http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/pinkfloyd/time.html)

I can relate. Time is slipping by like sand through a sieve. But what the heck can we do about it?  We certainly can’t stop time.  However, we can: manage it, savor it, and make the most of it.  

Managing time:

Focus Better with these Simple Tips

6 Ways to Set Goals You’ll Actually Achieve

The MindTools website provides 60 time management tools readers can use to “conquer time.”  

Savoring time: 

The Simple Thing that Makes the Happiest People in the World So Happy ( a worthwhile read if you can ignore the annoying pop-up ads at the site) 

 

 

Happy 2016!

Golden Tiles Wall with 2016 and aged Banner Background

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. (Edith Pierce – 20th Century poet)

 

9 Simple Ways to Be a Hero

 

c166745_sEvery year, around this time, I watch the CNN Heroes program on television.  It’s my annual inspiration to become a better person. 

Sponsored by Subaru, this is an annual tribute to everyday heroes that CNN discovers throughout the year.  They are people who help the homeless or American veterans, save endangered animals; or build orphanages for children in third world countries.  Powerful stuff. 

We all have it in us to be someone’s hero. And it doesn’t have to be as amazing as the accomplishments of the CNN heroes.  It can be as simple as: .

  • Donating a pint of blood (one pint can save three lives).
  • Becoming a bone marrow donor (find out how at the Be the Match website). A hero who did this helped save my sister-in-law’s life.
  • Teaching someone to read through a literacy program. To find one in your area, simple do some googling. 
  • Picking up litter while taking a walk – be a hero for our planet.
  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter.
  • Helping a caregiver so they can take a much-needed break.
  • Sponsoring a needy family during the holidays.
  • Listening to a friend who’s suffering with a problem in their life.
  • Supporting a local charity who shelters and feeds the homeless.

Looking for ideas?

How Kids Can Make a Difference

From Zen Habits –  25 Ways to Help a Fellow Human Being Today

How to Pay it Forward

 

5 Simple Ways to De-Stress for the Holidays

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(1) Simplify your shopping ~ If you’re into “shopping ‘til you drop,” and can do this without feeling overwhelmed, go for it!  Me?  I’ll pass on Black Friday craziness.  This year, I did most of my shopping online. It was fun and easy.  My daughter sent me links for her “wish list” and I clicked on the links, ordered the stuff, and voila, packages arrived like magic. Since she lives in another state, I had some of them sent directly to her, and enjoyed Amazon’s free shipping. I also bought my hubby’s gifts online, giving him the gift of fun stuff to do together, instead of the usual clothes!  I’m giving money to my young great-nieces and nephews, which de-stresses my pre-holiday preparation even more. 

(2) Unless you’re a glutton for punishment, don’t watch the news stations on television or the Internet.  All the bad news will raise your blood pressure and give you nightmares! Instead, pop in your favorite holiday movie (For me, it’s Elf, a Christmas tradition for me and my daughter), listen to some seasonal music, or read a good book. 

(3) Remember that the holiday party is about being with your loved ones – it’s about who’s at your table, not what’s on your table.  I used to be a fanatic, baking and freezing hundreds of cookies, picking out dozens of new recipes and overspending on food and other goodies, basically driving myself crazy because everything had to be perfect!

(4) Relax before bedtime by curling up in a chair and listening to meditative music on your Ipod or other player.  This is particularly relaxing when you turn the lights down low, light some candles, and enjoy the glow of your Christmas tree lights.  (That is, if you celebrate Christmas)  

(5) If you believe in a Higher Power, another wonderful way to relax and get into the spirit of the holidays is by reading a faith-based book. My current choice is The Inspirational Study Bible by Max Lucado, which provides life lessons along with the readings. Other options include books by Sarah Ban Breathnach (Simple Abundance), Eckhart Tolle (The Power of Now) or other inspirational authors.