I am thinking of you. There are a lot of things that stress people out or get them down this time of year. It can be a rough time if we do nothing to combat the stress, anxiety and sadness– I know this personally. I am going to share 4 quick ways to boost your mood. I want you to have a wonderful and productive day.
Go for a quick walk. Walking will give you an opportunity to stretch your legs, get fresh air, and get your heart pumping. Hormones which are helpful for boosting your mood are released when you exercise, but it does not have to be intense exercise. If you work in an office environment, it can be especially helpful to get outside and change your scenery. Even 5 minutes can make a difference.
Talk to a friend or loved one. Though you may need to vent or commiserate, the choice is up to you. What tone/topic will best help you move forward with your day and leave on a positive note? Try sending someone a nice note to let them know you love and appreciate them and that you’re thinking of them. Reminders like this will help them and you! Life is too short not to tell the special people in your life that they are special and it is amazing how this simple act can give us perspective and make us more grateful.
Listen to upbeat or inspiring music. The type of music will vary person to person, but music can really help. I never leave home without a pair of earbuds so that I can listen to music or even a podcast when I’m on the go or stuck waiting in line somewhere. This little trick can be especially helpful when you’re waiting and finding yourself becoming frustrated or impatient. There are duties we have which we cannot avoid, but a little music to lift the spirits can help. The music is also nice if you do not like the current ambient noise where you are, which could be causing you agitation or the inability to concentrate.
Eat a snack. Yes, eat something! As your blood sugar drops low, your mood will as well. Make sure you bring snacks wherever you go so that you do not find yourself with low energy and crankiness. I love to pack fun and interesting snacks like the ones in my video on quick and easy snack ideas, but if all else fails– an apple or a banana will hold me over for about an hour.
If you follow my facebook fan page, you know I drink a lot of GTLs (green tea lemonades) from Starbucks in the warmer weather. Sometimes it’s tempting to also grab a yummy pastry– but they are so high in calories and refined sugar! It would likely be momentary satisfaction and lasting regret. When I do eat a pastry, it is usually the Michigan Cherry Oat Bar. It just seems like the healthier option, though I have not really researched this. What I do know, is that most of the most tasty desserts have refined sugar, wheat and butter. I wanted to come up with something made of more natural and less processed ingredients, but still very delicious.
Grind 1 cup of gluten free oats in a food processor until it becomes a fine flour.
Mix 1 cup oats with 1 cup of oat flour.
Add 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and combine all dry ingredients well.
Add 1 tablespoon of agave nectar.
Melt 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil. Add about 1/3 or more if needed till mixture is wet, and stick enough to clump together.
Mash mixture into the bottom of a baking pan until nice and flat. I used a 9×9 pan.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
In a food processor or blender take 3 cups of frozen berries, 1 tablespoon agave nectar, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice until smooth.
Add chia seeds to mixture and let sit for 30-60 minutes.
Spread berry mixture over oats in pan.
For the topping, repeat steps 1-5, but add about 2 tablespoons of crushed walnuts.
Carefully spread mixture over berry center. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.
I decided to team up with my youtube besties, Lainey of SimplyBakings and Jac of The Vegetarian Baker. They’ve come up with yummy pastries as well! Check out our videos below:
Staying fit and keeping active for many is no easy feat. With work, children, travel, and catching up with friends and loved ones– it is sometimes hard to lock down a set schedule to head to the gym or get outdoors and be active. An active lifestyle helps relieve stress and maintain weight, but it works best in conjunction with a nutritious diet and plenty of rest. When I think of all the reasons I have skipped physical fitness, it mostly comes back to being tired or being too hungry. To remedy this, I have learned to snack. Snacking between meals should not be out of boredom, but out of purpose. It should hold a person over till their next meal, and it can also fuel a person before a tough workout. In these summer months, I will periodically blog about easy snack ideas so that we can all stay on track with our fitness goals. Here are a few things that consistently keep me feeling energized and light and ready to tackle a tough workout:
1.Smoothies and shakes:Add protein powder, fruit and any green and you instantly have a high protein, low calorie drink that helps you stay on track with your daily fruit and vegetable intake. Click here for a great shake recipe.
2. Nuts: You need only a small handful to provide you with fuel from protein and fat. These are very easy to store in the office or in your gym bag for emergencies.Does anyone else get cranky when they are hungry??
3. Water: spend a little money on a good refillable water container. It’s worth it. If you are feeling thirsty, you are probably already a little dehydrated!
4. Greek yogurt: Low calorie, high protein, and delicious.
5. Berries: These are full of antioxidants and they are brain food. If you are sharp and alert, you will have the mental power to PUSH during your workout!
Here is a link to my video pertaining to fitness and food tips: