Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Skin and Hair- The Kitchen...in your Bathroom

I know that some of my friends have been most interested in my hair/skin inventions. So, now that I have time, I will include recipes for the things that have worked best thus far. This all is amazing! Once you start on the happinizing road, there is no way you'd ever go back to how you used to do things!

In thinking of changing the way I ate and starting to get serious about exercising every week, I started asking other questions. I started to think about everything that was going into my system. For how I drink water- I switched over to the glass water bottles- I am never going back to plastic. For my food, I try to eat 85-100% non-processed foods. Do I have a burger once in a while? Well, duh! But at least I know that it's only a small part of what I am putting in my system. Then I started thinking, well, I'm making all these other changes in other parts of my life, but have I thought of what is in my lotions? What about my make up? I have never even looked at the ingredients for these things, and when you look, many words are words that are hardly pronounceable and some even take up to two lines! So....clearly, this did not line up to my happinizing life change. Now my bathroom looks more like a kitchen and it's fantastic! Here are a few awesome tips from my new happinizing lifestyle. 

Facewash: I no longer use store-bought products to wash my face. I wash my face with honey. Yes honey! You know how honey gets once it's old...we usually toss it at that point. Why toss it?! It makes a great exfoliant! Ever since I started washing my face with honey my face has cleared up and it never feels crazy dry like it used to feel with the store bought stuff. Want to get a bit more fancy? Add oats, avocado, kiwi and yogurt. Seriously, it feels amazing! 

Face lotion: now I use glycerin and vitamin e oil (from Trader Joes- it's like $4 I think). A few drops of both, and boom! amazing skin! 

Shampoo: I tried the no poo method, but I am not convinced yet. So as soon as I use up the old shampoos I still have, I will use the Dr. Bronner shampoo. I should say that when I shampoo I use baking soda to make sure that the gunky shampoo feeling doesn't happen. Since I started to use baking soda I started growing more hair and it feels much healthier. 

Conditioner: ok, this stuff is miraculous!! I got creative and made a little concoction adding: Blackstrap molasses, honey, and vitamin e oil. I have never seen this before, my split ends are disappearing! You've got to try it! 

Deep hair conditioning: you can try a combo, or any of the following ingredients solo (my fave is the mayo): mayo, egg yolk, avocado, yogurt...feel free to add to the list

Body lotion: I use coconut oil and add a bit of the vitamin e oil. Again, great stuff! 

Bronzer: cinnamon 

Blush: beet, yes, I use a beet instead of blush. I feel SO much better about what is going on my skin! With the beet you can get a bit more fancy and dry the beet, use a coffee bean grinder to grind it and make your own powder, and then you can use the powder to make your own lip gloss and other cosmetics. I've yet to get to that point though...

Lipstick/color for lips: the beet!

Mascara: ok, I haven't found anything good for this one really. So I'm just buying "organic" mascara at this point...whatever that really means...Please send suggestions my way!

Deodorant: just using Dr. Tom's at the moment, same goes for mouthwash

See, it's really not that hard and I can assure you that you will be more than happy with the results

E^2 = Eat well and exercise (elaboration)

 My happinizing experiment thus far has been wildly successful! I have never had this much energy, felt so good about life and my relationships, my skin is healthier than ever, and I'm even starting to get a bit of a nicely defined and lean core (something I had never been successful at before)! I am sure that these changes have had to do with happinizing, and I thought it would be important for me to talk about what exactly I have done to also make happinizing easier for you. I will be including recipes and other useful information of the sort, and if you have anything to contribute, please send it my way! At this point I have all my friends happinizing, and even am starting to get my co-workers onto the idea. This is one of the best things I have ever done in my life for sure! 

So E^2 elaboration.....

Quick summary:

Eating well:
   -no processed foods
   -drinks at least 8 glasses of water a day
   -eat a variety of veggies and fruits every week

   -3 times a week (30 mins of cardio minimum)

   -variety of exercise

   -maintain flexibility

Eating well- in my happinizing journey eating well has meant specifically a few things. It has meant that I have tried to take out processed foods out of my diet as much as possible. That means that instead of adding sugar to my morning coffee, now I add honey. I don't eat cereal anymore, I eat oatmeal instead. It is also very important to have variety in your diet. Even if you have a very "healthy" diet, if you are eating the same thing everyday, your body can't possibly get the nutrients it needs to function at its optimum level, and so it is critical that you eat different types of veggies and fruits every week. Eat lentils and beans. Have some yogurt. Also, eating in a healthy way can be very delicious, so don't be intimidated by the idea of "eating healthy," I know it might seem daunting, but with time you will catch on :) 

Exercising- in order to meet your required dose of exercise for the week, I recommend that you work out a minimum of three times a week (each for a min. of 30 minutes of cardio). If you have a very busy schedule, make yourself go to the gym and take some work with you! Sometimes it is very easy when we have so much going on in our lives to think that exercise is the one thing that we can brush aside because we “don't have enough time,” but this comes at a detriment to your health. Your body needs exercise to recalibrate certain chemicals in your brain that make sure that you have a positive disposition for life and don't get depressed or too overwhelmed when times are tough. Also, exercise assures that your cells have the oxygen they need in order to get rid of harmful toxins. Here, I should add that really, another part of happinizing successfully is to make sure that you drink a lot of water. I will have a separate post on that. I recently started going to hot yoga, and I highly recommend it to everyone! I know it’s not for everyone, BUT it is amazing what a few weeks of yoga can do for your system. By sweating so much, your body is getting rid of harmful toxins as well as you get the necessary cardio and the breathing component of the practice assures oxygenation of your cells. Yes, I love the stuff! 

Also, it is important that you don't always exercise in the same way. Just like it is important that you have variety in your diet, it is important that you have variety in exercising as well. You need to make sure that as you get older you take care of all parts of your body. You want to make sure that your core is strong, make sure you are being conscientious in the attention that you give all body parts in maintaining their function. Make sure you take some time to maintain your flexibility, this will allow you to get hurt less often when you get older. This is where yoga is very helpful. When I go to yoga I know that not only am I getting more than my 30mins worth of cardio (and some meditation time), but I am working conscientiously to strengthen and maintain all parts of my body, as well as work on flexibility- an investment that I hope serves me well as I get older. Now, I am getting closer and closer to 27, but have never felt healthier or happier before! I think it helps knowing that happinizing is a purposeful activity that one pursues to invest in one’s physical and mental health. I hope you join me in this happinizing journey.

Maybe Isolation, Not Loneliness, Shortens Life (Source: NPR)

This article emphasizes the importance of the S factor in "SPY"- which stands for foster and maintain social networks. Do you make a concerted effort to maintain and foster your social relationships (whether it be with family, friends, co-workers, significant other, etc)?




Maybe Isolation, Not Loneliness, Shortens Life

People who are socially isolated may be at a greater risk of dying sooner, a British study suggests. But do Facebook friends count? How about texting?
Loneliness hurts, but social isolation can kill you. That's the conclusion of a study of more than 6,500 people in the U.K.
The study, by a team at University College London, comes after decades of research showing that both loneliness and infrequent contact with friends and family can, independently, shorten a person's life. The scientists expected to find that the combination of these two risk factors would be especially dangerous.
"We were thinking that people who were socially isolated but also felt lonely might be at particularly high risk," says Andrew Steptoe, a professor of psychology at University College London.
To find out, the team studied 6,500 men and women ages 52 and older. All of them had answered a questionnaire back in 2004 or 2005 that assessed both their sense of loneliness and how much contact they had with friends and family. The researchers looked to see what happened to those people over the next seven or eight years.
And Steptoe says he was surprised by the result. "Both social isolation and loneliness appeared initially to be associated with a greater risk of dying," he says. "But it was really the isolation which was more important."
At first, it looked like people who reported greater levels of loneliness were more likely to die, Steptoe says. But closer analysis showed that these people were also more likely to have other risk factors, like being poor and having existing health problems. Once those factors were taken into account, the extra risk associated with loneliness pretty much disappeared, Steptoe says.
But people who spent very little time with friends and family, or at social events, were more likely to die regardless of income or health status, the team reports in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
It's not clear why social isolation is linked to mortality. But one possibility is that having other people around has practical benefits as you get older, Steptoe says. For example, they may push you to go see a doctor if you are having symptoms like chest pain, he says. And if you were to lose consciousness, they would call for help.
Other researchers say they are surprised and not necessarily convinced by the new study, even though they say it's large and well-done.
"It doesn't negate the loneliness work that's been done to date," says Bert Uchino, a University of Utah psychology professor. He says this study may have reached a different conclusion than earlier ones because people's definition of loneliness is changing in the Internet age.
"People ... may think that they're connected to other people because they're on Facebook," Uchino says. So they may not report feeling lonely. But that sort of connection, he says, may not have the health benefits of direct contact with other people.
The different result might be because this study looked at people in the U.K., while many earlier studies looked at people in the U.S., says University of Chicago psychologist John Cacioppo. So in the U.K., where the culture values a "stiff upper lip," people who live alone may be "less likely to admit to feeling lonely than are residents of the U.S.," he says.
Whether or not loneliness raises the risk of dying, Cacioppo adds, it certainly reduces a person's quality of life.
And it's easy for people to do things that alleviate both isolation and loneliness, Uchino says. "Have lunch with somebody," he says. "Take a walk. Give them a phone call. I think those are all important ways that we need to stay connected with our relationships. And I think, in the long term, it can help us."

Monday, March 18, 2013

12 Things Happy People do Differently

Happinizing Factors Made Easy!

I have this right by my bed to remind me to happinize everyday. I invite you all to either make your own poster or print this little one out to make you you happinize consistently.