Top Five Resolution Mistakes

Top Five Resolution Mistakes

Top Five Resolution Mistakes

It’s a new year and that time again when we are all excited to start fresh, we make resolutions and goals in hopes our lives will be more prosperous, we hope to feel better and look better.  A new year means a new chance to start eating better, exercising more and a new chance at changing our bodies and our health.  But the question remains…how long will it last?  How many of us make resolutions only to have them fade away by March?

Here are five mistakes I’ve seen people make when creating their resolutions.

Mistake #1 – Making too many resolutions

Sometimes we can go overboard with our resolutions and this can eventually make us feel overwhelmed because we know we can’t commit to them all.  Any new behaviour needs to be practiced over and over, it actually takes 21 days for a new behaviour to become a habit and for it to be deeply ingrained in our brains.  This year pick no more than 3 goals, and these should be goals you can carry out on a regular basis (daily or weekly).  For example, if you’re goal is to lose weight you’re 3 new behaviours could be eating a protein smoothie for breakfast, drinking at least 2 litres of water daily and eating a colourful salad daily.

Taking on anymore than 3 goals and you can easily set yourself up for failure.

Mistake #2 – Being too vague

It’s hard to meet a goal if it’s too vague.  Make your goals very specific.  For example, a vague goal could be something like, “lose weight”, “be able to run 5km”, specific and more achievable goals look more like this, “lose 1 lb. every 2 weeks until I’ve lost 10 lb.”, “run 1km week 1, 2km week 2, 3km week 3 etc until I can run 5km”.  These goals are quantifiable which allows you to also track your progress.

Mistake #3 – Not setting a date or benchmark

What good is your resolution if you have no start date, end date or an end goal, it’s going to be very hard for you to achieve what you desire.  You must give yourself a start date, such as “January 1st I will weigh myself and write it down”. Your end date is just as important, for example “I will lose 1 lb. every 2 weeks until March 1 or until I’ve lost 10 lb.”.  It’s also important to set realistic end dates that you know you can fit into your lifestyle.

Mistake #4 – Not sharing your goals

Tell the world!  You can increase your motivation, accountability and stick with your goals if you share your progress with family and friends.  You can share in many ways, by emailing close friends and family, Facebook, twitter, writing a blog, or sharing your journey on YouTube.

Mistake #5 – Thinking everything will work out perfectly

Let’s be honest, there will be times when you feel your goal is not going the way you planned, or life gets in the way and messes things up a little.  Allow yourself some wiggle room, it doesn’t always have to be “all or nothing”.  If you’ve had a day where your diet went awry, don’t worry, get back at it tomorrow.  If you’ve committed to working out 1 hour every day and you have a day where you’ve only got 20 minutes, don’t get discouraged, those 20 minutes are better than not doing it at all.  Just keep at it, it will all be worth it!

Feel free to share your new year’s resolution in the comments below and what tactics you are using to stick with them.


Stress: it can be dangerous to your health

Stress: it can be dangerous to your health

Stress: it can be dangerous to your health

What is stress?

Stress is a natural human response to pressure when faced with taxing, challenging and/or dangerous situations. That pressure doesn’t just come from what’s happening around us, but many times it comes from the demands we place on ourselves. Experiencing stress is part of being alive and some stress helps increase our alertness and energy to meet challenging situations. However, if stress lasts too long or overwhelms our ability to cope, it can have a negative affect on our health, wellbeing, relationships, work and general enjoyment of life which eventually can lead to increase in illness as our immune systems become weaker.

How Stress Sticks to you

How stress sticks to you

Effects of Stress on our Immune System

Ill health can occur when we are under stress because the productions of white blood cells is reduced (lymphocytes), limiting the body’s effectiveness in fighting off illness.  Unfortunately long term stress has been linked to the following conditions:

  • Coronary Heart Disease – the stress hormone cortisol causes artery blockages to build more rapidly; cholesterol levels have also been shown to increase under stress.
  • Muscles tension
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney disease
  • Depression
  • Canker Sores
  • Skin problems – skin disorders such as psoriasis can be triggered by periods of stress
  • Stomach ulcers – stress is not always the cause, but can trigger them and/or make them worse

Stress Relief Strategies

  • Humour – help reduce stress and its effects by laughing
  • 100 laughs is equivalent to 10 minutes of rowing
  • stress hormones are reduced after an episode of laughter
  • Exercise– prepares your body to better hand physical stress
    • a healthy body complements a sharp mind
    • studies have shown that active people are more optimistic, and optimism can help with your ability to cope with stress
    • exercise helps improve your breathing
  • Sleep– experiment to find the right amount of sleep that works for you
    • taking naps may also help alleviate stress
    • those who exercise tend to sleep better
  • Healthy Diet – eating a diet rich in nutrients, vitamin, minerals can help your body to better handle stress
  • Hobbies – enjoying a hobby will allow your mind to focus on something else other than your stressors
  • Music – finding the right music may help you to relax and lower your tension
  • Pets – studies have shown that having a pet can reduce one’s stress levels
  • Positive Thinking – a healthy attitude is a good way to cope with stress
  • Relaxation Techniques – yoga, deep belling breathing, stretching helps relax the body and mind
  • Sex – sex can be a great stress reliever both psychologically and physiologically
  • Spirituality – your faith can help you through stressful or depressing times
  • Time Management – try organizing the prioritizing your time
  • Vacations – when vacationing, concentrate on unwinding and don’t let it turn into a stressful event in itself
  • Volunteer – volunteering can make you feel great, helping to reduce your stress levels.

Stress Relief Foods

Foods to Avoid

  • Caffeine – a stimulant that releases adrenaline, a stress hormone, which interferes with sleep and leads to dependency of the body for regular caffeine fixes
  • Alcohol – a sedative that intensifies anxiety and irritability and breed dependency for regular use
  • Refined sugar – raises blood sugar quickly causing mood swings and decreases the ability to deal with stress

Foods to Consume

  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Raw seeds/nuts
  • Fruits
  • Cold water fish
  • Turkey or Chicken
  • Yogurt/Keifer
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Fermented Vegetables

And my final thought on stress…when to worry.  The golden rule of worry is to avoid worrying about anything over which you have little or no control over.  The sooner you accept something is beyond your control, the lower your stress will be.

What do you do in times of stress?  Share with me in the comments below how you take control of stresses in your life.  Or share with me what are some areas in your life that are causing the most stress. 


5 Benefits to Jumping Rope

5 Benefits to Jumping Rope

5 Benefits to Jumping Rope

Many of us when we were young would spend hours outside with our friends jumping rope.  But did you know it is also an incredible and fun way to exercise and keep your entire body toned and fit.  Rope jumping is inexpensive, you can do it anywhere, no fancy equipment needed or excuses that you can’t make it to the gym.  Here are five ways that jumping rope can increase your health and give you a body looks strong and toned.

1.  Bone Health

Jumping rope is a weight bearing exercise, therefore it can improve bone density to help prevent osteoporosis.

2.  Full body workout

Jumping rope engages your whole body from your arms, shoulders and wrists to your core muscles through to your legs.  It’s also a great abdominal workout, since your core really has to work hard to contract to stabilize your entire body.  If you’ve only got 10 minutes to work out, grab your jump rope for a full body workout that will make you sweat in no time.

3.  Calorie burner

Jumping rope is also a great cardio workout that can burn calories fast and help you shed those extra pounds.

4.  Increases Cardiovascular fitness

Seeing that it gets the heart pumping, jumping rope can increase your heart strength and reduce your risk for heart disease. So important as we get older.

5.  Increase Muscle Tone in your lower body

Want strong, toned, lean legs?  Well, who doesn’t!  Jumping rope activates the major muscles in your lower body such as the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and calves.  Since you are using your own body weight for resistance it can increase your lean body mass and build muscular endurance.

It’s time to be a kid again and start jumping rope.  Do you remember any songs you sang while playing jump rope as a kid?  If so, please share in the comments below!


Why you Should be Eating Chocolate

Why you Should be Eating Chocolate

Why you Should be Eating Chocolate

Chocolate is one of those foods you can’t help but love.  Well, at least it is for me.  I just love it on it’s own, infused with flavours such as mint, or mixed together with nuts and fruit, or to drink by the cup on a cold winters days.  The ways to eat chocolate are endless.  But we must be aware of the types of chocolate we are eating and of course how much we consume.

In this article I want to share with you the reasons you should be eating chocolate and what type of chocolate you should be consuming on a regular basis.

You’ll get the benefits of chocolate from eating at least 70%-90% cacao.  You should easily find this number on the front of most chocolate bars and other chocolate products.  If not, you’ll have to look in the ingredient list.   If the first ingredient is milk or sugar, the chocolate bar is not going to have at least 70% cacao and you will not get the benefits that dark chocolate offers.  So, read the ingredient list carefully.

Reasons to eat 70%-90% cacao:

Reason #1 – Heart Heath

Organic dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol

Reason #2 – Prevents Diabetes

Dark chocolate has been shown to inhibit blood sugar issues to help prevent diabetes and obesity.

Reason #3 – Eases PMS

Because dark chocolate contains magnesium it’s great for relaxing muscle cramps.  It’s probably one of the reason women crave chocolate at certain times of the month.

Reason #4 – Anti-Depressant

Dark chocolate contains serotonin and stimulates endorphin production.  How could anyone feel depressed when eating chocolate!

Reason #5 – Reduces Stress

Eating just 1-2 ounces of dark chocolate a day can help reduce stress levels.

Want to try a unique chocolate treat, try my Chocolate Avocado Pudding, it’s quick and easy to make and tastes divine!

What’s your favourite way to indulge in chocolate?  Please share in the comments below.