Healthy Hacks for Your Cinco de Mayo Snacks

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Cinco de Mayo is a little over a week away, ole!  Simply translated to the “fifth of May,” for most of us Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mean much more than a great excuse to have fun with friends while indulging in nachos, burritos and of course margaritas!
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Things that "aren't okay" that are actually okay.

Contrary to popular belief, it is okay to:

1.Let yourself feel emotions other than happiness.

Happiness is great. I love happiness. But to feel happy 100% of your life is not human. Happiness doesn’t mean denying other feelings like frustration, sadness, disappointment, etc. It takes some confidence and skill to allow yourself to feel those other emotions, trusting that they are not permanent and other opportunities to feel happiness will present.

In his book, The Compassionate Mind, Paul Gilbert explains the importance of recognizing all emotions:

“As we grow up, we must be able to experience and understand emotions and allow other people to help us to accept and comprehend them. How can we do that if we don’t express them to some degree and learn from that experience?"

Embracing emotions isn’t for sissies – it is hard. But “hustling” (as Researcher/Author Brené Brown terms avoiding truth and vulnerability) over a lifetime is even more exhausting.

2.Screw up.  Just learn how to apologize. hand-large

We all make mistakes as we learn throughout life. That is ok. But we may not afford ourselves the same forgiveness or encouragement that we easily offer to others. In his book, Emotional First Aid, Dr. Guy Winch warns, “The negative generalizations we often make after failing are not only inaccurate but they do more damage to our general self-worth and our future performance than the initial failure that spawned them." Read More »

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Celebrate National Bike Month in May

bike-photo-e1460742187465I’m a cyclist. As a young girl I spent many weekend hours on my 10 speed mauve colored huffy, pedaling the town alongside my older sister.  Today that passion for cycling still remains and is stronger than ever.  For me, riding year round is the norm and training is a combination of both hard work and meditation.

May is recognized as National Bike Month. Sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists, this event is celebrated in communities from coast to coast.  The intention is to simply highlight the multitude of cycling’s benefits as well as to encourage people to become involved in the sport. Read More »

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Revolved Chair: April Yoga Pose of the Month

Strengthen your legs and core with April's Yoga Pose of the month:

Revolved Chair (Sanskrit:  Parivrtta Utkatasana)

Revolved Chair with Celeste Read More »

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3 Time-Saving Kitchen Tips

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Life is busy...super busy! There are hardly enough minutes in the day to get everything done and the last thing anyone wants to do after a long day is slave over a hot stove for hours.

However, believe it or not, preparing healthy, well-balanced meals IS possible to fit into our hectic lifestyles. All you need is a few time-saving kitchen tips...also known as kitchen hacks...that will shave minutes off your kitchen tasks and ensure you’re able to eat real, whole foods at home more often. Read More »

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The Pursuit of Mindfulness

Meditating-FrogSitting tall on the floor, I close my eyes. I begin to hear sounds in the distance. What is it? It seems close and yet there was a distant echo. The echo drifts into quiet silence. The clock ticks and I think of the faded noise. Could it have been a car alarm or siren? I remember the sound of our house alarm as it was triggered by a faulty sensor last year. I think of my daughter. She is on her way home, but I haven’t heard from her. Tick, Tick, Tick!  The clock gets louder and I just notice something. I notice that my mind has wandered on a magic carpet ride.

If you’ve attempted to meditate or simply sit in a quiet area and bring awareness to your breath, the mind takes over. Read More »

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The College Search Process and Reference-Bias

College SeriesThe other day I was listening to a Hidden Brain clip about reference bias.  Apparently, a new research study found that students exposed to their very best peers became discouraged about their own abilities and performance — and were more likely to drop out. Just on face value, that rang true for me.  When I am up against someone whose performance is “unattainably better” than mine own, it is quite tempting to simply give up.  No, I don’t want to play golf with a PGA pro, and every 2.5 rated tennis player knows it would be suicide to play against a 4.0.  Far better to play a 3.0 and be challenged in a way that will “up” your game.

But why is this true? According to the research suggested in this piece, it’s because of reference-bias.  The idea is that you draw a faulty conclusion because you think the atypical or exceptional is the norm and then you feel inferior or incapable. When it comes to the college search process, parents and students alike are drawing faulty conclusions about the landscape of college admissions because of who and what they identify as the reference group.  For example: Read More »

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Resistance Tubing - April Workout of the Month

TubingMix up your strength training routine with the RFC's Workout of the Month!  April's featured equipment is Resistance Tubing - a great option for both in the gym and  "on-the-road" workouts. Read More »

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Is Your Extra Virgin Olive Oil a Fake or the Real Thing?

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Not So Virgin

Studies on the Mediterranean Diet have shown that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of the healthiest culinary fats on the planet. EVOO is high in polyphenols that provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects in our bodies and for the oil itself. EVOO offers protection for the heart, gut, brain and some studies show it provides protection from cancer. This has lead medical researchers, nutritionists and other health professionals to recommend it as one of the top fats for cooking and other food prep.

But, what if the extra virgin olive oil you are using is not quite that – virgin? Extra virgin olive oil comes from the first press of the olives and is free of additives. It is considered “Liquid Gold.” A recent 60 Minutes report highlighting millenniums-old olive oil fraud revealed that a large percentage (75% - 80%) of the EVOO sold in the US has been adulterated with cheap seed oils, chlorophyll and sometimes even solvents and pesticides. Experts in the olive oil industry say that EVOO is a very lucrative business, 3 times more lucrative than cocaine. So, like any other valuable commodity, greed can breed dishonesty.

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Reality Checks in Parenting

The other day the thermometer shot up to 80. I had been pulling from my winter wardrobe when the heat compelled me to put on a pair of pants I hadn’t worn for the past 6 months.  Hmmm.  They didn't fit as I had expected. :)  Reality check.

Reality checks are good for me, but I don’t seek them out naturally. I started thinking about reality checks when it comes to parenting. I can remember a few: Read More »

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