Sweat Outdoors for a Mood-Boosting, Stress-Busting Workout!

by Nkechi Njaka, Msc.

I am not a gym person. I cringe at the very thought of having a membership to sweat indoors. When I have belonged to health clubs, it was more for the hot tub, the sauna and the occasional yoga class (before I discovered studios, and before I was a yogi). But yeah, the gym? Soooo not my thing. Never has been.

As a runner, I’ve always enjoyed my cardio done outdoors. And studies are showing that there is something to that!

image

There have been several studies done where researchers found that their volunteers enjoyed outdoor activities more than indoor activities. Furthermore, when psychological tests were administered, these same volunteers scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem. All great, happy things! They also happened to display lowered  depression, tension and fatigue after their outdoor activity. [Source]

few small studies have found that individuals, after an outdoor activity, displayed lower levels of cortisol–a hormone we know to be related to stress– when compared with with an indoor activity. Another cool thing that happens when being outdoors is that we are directly exposed to sunlight (oh hey there, vitamin D!) which has been known to positively affect mood. [Source]

Perhaps I am spoiled. I live in San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the country and in the world. And in said beautiful city, I live in the woods near the beach. I mean, who needs a gym when there are trees and ocean? These are simple, natural things that our planet and our bodies need. Simple things that cannot be found indoors.

You know what would be cool?  An outdoor gym…

I live in a world (and a city) of possibility; I wonder if we can make that one happen.

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Best Vegetarian Protein Sources

By: Natasha Uspensky

The first thing everyone asks me about when transitioning into a plant-based diet is, “Where will I get my protein?”  Great news, people! There a tons of delicious vegetarian protein sources that are naturally lower in saturated, unhealthy fats and cholesterol (not to mention toxins, antibiotics, hormones, and other additives) than their plant-based counterparts.  A well-rounded plant-based diet with plenty of delicious vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds is naturally high in protein.  Getting your protein from plant-based sources decreases your risk of cancer and heart disease, increases life expectancy, helps you maintain a healthy weight, and a million other benefits! Check out these amazing sources of vegan protein in the chart below!

Photo: MercyForAnimals.org

Other great vegetarian sources of protein are:

Organic eggsOrganic greek yogurtHemp seedsChia seedsAmaranthBuckwheatWhole grain breadWhat are you favorite vegetarian protein sources?  Share in the comments below!Related articles:vegetarians may live longer than meat-eaters! (thefitchronicles.com)Yoga Mama Series – My Plant-Based Pregnancy (yogalina.net)Could That Steak Be Killing You? Vegetarian Diets Proven To Increase Life Expectancy (medicaldaily.com)Want to Live Longer? Eat a Plant-Based Diet (livescience.com)Vegetarians & Protein (fit4liferbm.com)Study: Vegetarians Live Longer (secretsofthefed.com)

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10 Rules of Longevity and Agelessness

Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of our favorite healthy living gurus, prescribes 10 simple rules for aging gracefully and beautifully in his book Ageless Body, Timeless Mind – A Quantum alternative to growing old. We absolutely love the simplicity of these rules… So spot-on, so intuitive, and so vital for staying young, healthy, beautiful and happy.

1. Intake fresh food, eat frugally, drink wholesome liquids, abstain from stimulants and sedatives, and have a bowel movement at least once a day.

2. Maintain a high level of personal hygiene, get plenty of fresh air, sunlight and rest, have enjoyable leisure time, and satisfying hobbies.

3. Exercise, meditate, practice balanced refined breathing (pranayam) and yoga, listen to the body’s signals of comfort and discomfort.

4. Work for a happy marriage, long-term relationships, cultivate the ability to laugh easily, to make friends and keep close friends.

5. Choose a congenial occupation, go on vacation every year, be optimistic about the future, feel financially secure and live within your means.

6. Develop an easygoing personality, cultivate nonviolent behavior, and have reverence for life.

7. Live in temperate climate, enjoy a reasonable sex life, and get proper medical attention in case of illness.

8. Live in the present – accept what comes your way, appreciate it, learn from it and let go. Resisting the natural flow of things causes negative emotions.

9. Relinquish external approval, avoid being judgmental, replace fear-motivated behaviors with love-motivated ones, nurture positive emotions and express them freely.

10. Always know the world outside is a reflection of your deeper intelligence – the real “you” is within.

Photo: DeepakChopra.com

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Sweat Outdoors for a Mood-Boosting, Stress-Busting Workout!

by Nkechi Njaka, Msc.

I am not a gym person. I cringe at the very thought of having a membership to sweat indoors. When I have belonged to health clubs, it was more for the hot tub, the sauna and the occasional yoga class (before I discovered studios, and before I was a yogi). But yeah, the gym? Soooo not my thing. Never has been.

As a runner, I’ve always enjoyed my cardio done outdoors. And studies are showing that there is something to that!

image

There have been several studies done where researchers found that their volunteers enjoyed outdoor activities more than indoor activities. Furthermore, when psychological tests were administered, these same volunteers scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem. All great, happy things! They also happened to display lowered  depression, tension and fatigue after their outdoor activity. [Source]

few small studies have found that individuals, after an outdoor activity, displayed lower levels of cortisol–a hormone we know to be related to stress– when compared with with an indoor activity. Another cool thing that happens when being outdoors is that we are directly exposed to sunlight (oh hey there, vitamin D!) which has been known to positively affect mood. [Source]

Perhaps I am spoiled. I live in San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the country and in the world. And in said beautiful city, I live in the woods near the beach. I mean, who needs a gym when there are trees and ocean? These are simple, natural things that our planet and our bodies need. Simple things that cannot be found indoors.

You know what would be cool?  An outdoor gym…

I live in a world (and a city) of possibility; I wonder if we can make that one happen.

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Own Products Now at Ulta

Own at Ulta

I get super excited whenever a major retailer starts carrying one of our Organic Beauty top pick brands.  Bringing potent, natural, and

non-toxic beauty products to the masses is so important in the mission to make safer options available to the average consumer.  And supporting these wonderful companies is a major plus as well.

So I am super happy to report that one of our favorite product lines, Own Skincare, is now available at Ulta!  So after you’ve cleared out all your toxic beauty products, laden with carcinogenic ingredients like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, hit up your local Ulta to stock up on some powerful, potent products that are actually good for you!

See our review of Own’s super potent anti-aging line.

 

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How to Conquer Thanksgiving This Year

The-Organic-Beauty-Blog-Thanksgiving

This time of year, most of my clients start panicking about the inevitable onslaught of travel, pies, and family stress that can be associated with Thanksgiving.  Well I say, screw that!  This year, how about we all take some key, powerful steps towards not letting this super fun, gratitude-filled holiday derail us in any way!  Giving in to the assumption that the next month is just going to be a landslide of undoing all the amazing things you’ve been doing for your body this fall is just plain silly, and that frame of mind sets you up for failure.  Remember, you are in total control of all your actions:  what you do and do not eat, how you take care of your body, how you interact with loved ones, and how you let things affect you.  So with that in mind, I give you my 8 tips for conquering Thanksgiving, and having a healthy, fun, and fabulous holiday!

 

1. Travel smartThe-Organic-Beauty-Healthy-Travel-Snacks

My essential travel snacks: nuts, kale chips, and organic coconut water!

If you’re heading out of town for the holiday, your travel day sets the tone for the rest of your trip.  If you’re frazzled, rushing, stressed, and starving, you can imagine what kind of precedent that sets for your Thanksgiving!  This year, make sure to eat a good breakfast before your flight, and pack healthy snacks like kale chips, nuts, and super hydrating coconut water.  Get to the airport 1.5 hours before your flight, so you have plenty of time to get where you need to be.  Pick up a little comfy travel kit with a blanket, eye mask, ear plugs, and inflatable neck pillow.  And make sure you have some fun reading material to keep you company!  If your flight is during a mealtime, pick up food at the airport before you board (don’t rely on any of the dubious selections provided on the plane!) — sushi; a Mediterranean platter with hummus, pita and veggies; or a big salad with protein are all great options that you can find at the airport.  And, of course, make sure you have a water bottle for the flight!  After your flight, buy the biggest bottle of water you can find and drink the whole thing within an hour.  Air travel is super dehydrating, which can set you up for all kinds of cravings and poor food choices throughout your trip.

Check out this super cute In-Flight Comfort Kit from Flight 001!

 

2. Pack portable workouts

This year, don’t just give up on your whole exercise routine for the holidays.  That is a surefire way to feel crappy about yourself and put on extra holiday weight.  No need, my beauties! Bring your iPad and bookmark some quick, easy YouTube workouts you can do absolutely anywhere.  Even just 15 minutes of moving your body will make a big difference and keep you from feeling like a Thanksgiving sloth! If you know that yoga is a sanity booster for you, scout out some local studios and bring your mom or siblings along for a family class! If an actual workout seems totally overwhelming, don’t stress!  A nice long walk in the brusque fall air, a game of touch football with the family, or even just chasing after your nieces and nephews totally counts!

Check out my playlist of Quick 15 Minute Workouts!

 

3. Bring the comforts of home

A little reading in bed can be a great escape from holiday insanity.

We all have our little creature comforts that keep us sane, and in the face of in-laws, a strange bed, and screaming cousins, these may mean the difference between a calm, happy, you and a stress-basket.  Pack a good book, your journal, a meditation cd, your favorite pj’s, even an aromatherapy candle or oil that helps you relax.

I love Aveda’s Stress-Fix Aromatherapy Oil… Roll it on your wrists, under your nose, or in your hands and breathe deeply for calming yumminess.

 

4. Never arrive hungry

The number one biggest mistake people make around the holidays is “saving up” their calories for the big meal.  This is surefire ticket to overeating, losing all self-control, and feeling like a failure. Always have a good breakfast and lunch (depending on what time dinner is) before showing up for dinner. If you’re feeling a little peckish before dinner, have a handful of nuts to tide yourself over. Stabilizing your blood sugar is the key to eating in moderation and enjoying your holiday, without the guilt, self-criticism, or drama.

Check out our 3 Healthy & Tasty Breakfast Ideas!

 

5. Make or bring a healthy dish

A yummy crudite platter you can bring along!

Always being prepared isn’t just for boy scouts, it counts for holiday eating as well! If you don’t know what kind of food situation you’re walking into, or you know that you have Aunt Maxine’s marshmallow-laden yams and greasy gravy to look forward to, be an awesome guest and bring a healthy dish or offer to cook one! Some crudités with hummus are an easy option that you can pick up on the way over, or, if you’re a part of the action, offer to cook some yummy vegan mashed yams, pumpkin pie, or some delicious roasted brussels sprouts so you know you’ll have healthy options to choose from.

Check out our recipes in A Healthier Take on Thanksgiving!

 

6. Load up on veggies first

This is the number two best holiday eating strategy for not overdoing it.  Load up on lots of veggies, salad, or crudités before tucking into the turkey, fattening sides, or desserts.  If you’re full of veggies, you’ll be a lot less likely to overeat all the problematic foods!  Not sure that you’ll be able to find healthy veggies to start with? Bring or make them!

 

7. Have a few bites of all the desserts

Thanksgiving is not about depriving yourself, or feeling like the weird girl in the corner watching everyone eat. There is nothing wrong with indulging in a bit of dessert, but eating two pieces of pie on an already full stomach is a surefire way to Guilt City. (Not to mention Bloat Town and Fatiguesville)  Instead of binging on your favorite dessert or abstaining altogether, have a bite or two of all the dessert options that look good to you. You’ll get a diversity of flavors, which will trick your mind into thinking you’ve eaten more than you have, and you won’t feel deprived!  After every bite, connect to how you feel. Are you stuffed? Just right? Still hungry? Try to never go past comfortably full. And if you’re eating for any emotional reason, pause and take stock of what’s happening, so you can deal with it! You may need to go outside for a bit to get away from things, or confide in a close family member to get something off your chest.  Overeating is not a way of dealing with emotions.. It’s a way of avoiding them!  And avoidance always comes back to haunt you later on.

 

8. Juice it up

Sweet Potato Green Smoothie

How you eat the day after your big holiday meal can have a huge impact on its lasting effects. Gorging yourself on Thanksgiving leftovers for the next three days can turn one special occasion meal into a whole weekend of poor choices. Instead, have a detoxifying green smoothie or green juice the next day, to help your body cleanse from the night before.  If you really want to partake in leftovers, do it at lunch, not at dinner, so your body has plenty of time to burn it off.  Try to go back to your healthy way of eating as quickly as possible after the holiday, and enlist the support of your friends and family!  Believe me, they’re feeling the effects of that sausage stuffing just as much as you are, and they may welcome the idea!

Check out this Sweet Potato Green Smoothie Recipe from Simply Green Smoothies!

 

{Images: Pinterest}

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The Media: What They Want Vs. What You Want

By Callie McBride

I had the most enlightening encounter the other day at the check-out counter of Whole Foods that I want to share. I approached the one of many counters at the Union Square location and set my Suja green juice, Avocado Kale Slaw, and my Women’s Health Magazine down to pay for. The man working behind the counter couldn’t have been over 25. He had a bright personality, which I could tell right away when he picked up the magazine, read the cover, and started to laugh. He looked up at me with a smile and said,

“Man, these magazines are funny.”

I smiled back as he continued, “You know, Men’s Health magazine don’t have none of these headlines on them. They are straight to the point. ‘Get Strong Abs’; ‘Eat To Stay Fit’. None of this stuff.”

He was referring to the July/August issue of Women’s Health, bearing in thick letters, “GREAT SEX-EVERY TIME!’ and “A FLAT TUMMY NOW!”

I sheepishly laughed with him and explained that it was simply a guilty pleasure. He replied with an interesting thought: “I guess it gives me an idea of what is really going on in a woman’s head.”

Woah. I smiled and nodded to the man, thanked him, and was on my way; internally, however, I was contemplating his last statement. I asked myself whether I agreed if the countless magazine headlines are what consume the female mind all day long. Great sex? A tighter bod? Cute summer dresses under $50? It seems a bit shallow, and is definitely a generalization…but is there any truth to it? I continued to think this over by asking myself why I purchase these fitness or style magazines. A list formed in my head: clothing ideas, recipes, exercise tips, the occasional horoscope. When I see a bright red headline promising me that I can lose up to 5 inches in a week, it’s not the real reason I pick it up off the rack. Then it dawned on me-am I sure? Do I pretend to appreciate such magazines for their helpful information or celebrity on the cover, but actually just browse through them to seek out the outrageous body claims? It’s hard to tell. But, it does conjure up deeper contemplation, that is, what the media wants for us versus what we want for ourselves.

ku-medium

It seems that these days the media wants women to “crave washboard abs” and to “fit into your skinny jeans by friday!” That is, they want us to focus all of our time, money, and attention on our outward appearance by flashing highly edited photos of sweaty, tan women and listing gyms to belong to or DVDs to buy. That’s not to say that certain online and print resources aren’t helpful in steering women toward fun and accessible methods of health and fitness. I own plenty of at-home workout DVDS! The point I’m making is that the media seems to utilize a brainwashing technique of some sort to convince consumers that they want the same things that the magazines promise.

I beg to differ. On any given morning commute on the subway, I find myself planning out the rest of my week, which turns into planning the month, the next sixth months, and the next year. Naturally this leads me to consider my “master plan”-what I hope to be ultimately accomplishing in the future. You can trust me when I say that washboard abs and amazing sex aren’t my first thoughts. My career, my family, and my overall happiness fill those spots. I think that there are millions of women around the world who envision themselves in the same manner. They may enjoy learning the latest moves for a perkier butt and which superfoods are fore-fronting the health craze at the moment, but they have much deeper, emotional desires and dreams, and they certainly don’t need to be shouted at in thick letters on a magazine cover to go attain them.

So, what do we want for ourselves?

Part of what makes each woman entirely unique is the learning process through which she comes to know herself, what she wants, and how she plans to get it. There is something off-putting about magazines, television shows, commercial products, etc. that bombard consumers with a hidden message, “Do this quick! The faster the better! Spend your money in this way to be happy! We know what you want!” Obviously the people behind such brands aren’t red-eyed, fire-breathing monsters out to corrupt the female population. But their message can still come across as overbearing or cruelly persuasive, simply to make money or get something to “trend”. A woman who truly comes to know her goals in life has taken the time to discover what it is she is passionate about, and how her achievements will change the world in some grand or minuscule way. She has cried, screamed, pondered, and doubted her way to where she is today, all for the sake of her ultimate goal. No silly or empty-promise headline revealed a truth to her. She knows that these things take time, and dedication, and patience.

choose-happinessYou may be thinking, so then why did you buy the magazine!? Like I explained to the Whole Foods employee, it’s a guilty pleasure. I do, in fact, love reading about which celebrity does what exercise program, and what the month of July will bring for the Cancer. It’s entertaining for me, and a way to keep up with the health and fitness world, which is a passion of mine. However, I am fully confident that “Be Crazy Sexy Cool This Summer” isn’t triggering me to drop everything and conform to what a couple of editors are convincing me of I want to be. There is a fine line between consuming media, and being consumed by it. I say this because it is my hope that all women read such magazines with caution, keep their true goals in mind, and don’t become a slave to a society that expects all female bodies to resemble that of Gisele.

So, friendly check-out man at Whole Foods, let me kindly correct you: women don’t think about flat abs and awesome sex all the time, though those topics certainly find their ways onto our minds. What we do think about is how to better ourselves and improve our way of living; for some, a strong core is what will satisfy that goal. For others, a deserved promotion or a family of 4 hits the bullseye. Whatever it may be, women of my generation are conscious of their actions and strive to turn them into success and fulfillment. A little article on the prime time to workout never hurt anyone, though.

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The Busy Mom’s Playbook: 5 Tips to Making Time for Health & Wellness

By: Heather Bergstein

Heather Micah 3Before I met Natasha, I used to say I was powered by M&M’s, caffeine and red wine – and I wasn’t joking! It was how I kept up with my crazy life. I’m a single mom with a gorgeous and precocious 5-year-old, a demanding career, a full social calendar, and a couple of side projects which include my own blog and an upstate cottage. All of that translates into someplace to be, someone to see, or something to do at every moment of every day – and excuses about why I couldn’t take proper care of myself.

But about 8 months ago, my lifestyle started to catch up with me. I was sluggish, gaining weight and just felt exhausted. As a birthday present to myself, I went to see Natasha Uspensky, and my journey to health and happiness began. We evaluated my diet and eating habits, and when we had tweaked my approach to food, we moved on to the root of the issue – my lifestyle. That’s where the real work started; I had to stop complaining and making excuses, and I learned that if I didn’t create time to take care of myself, I’d never have it. And worse, I’d be on a path to burnout.

If you’re reading this and can relate to feelings like ‘I don’t have time’, ‘I’m too busy’, and ‘Work is crazy’, I totally get it. But with Natasha’s help I realized I could do it, if I prioritized myself. Whether you are a Mom or not, if you find yourself falling into the ‘I can’t’ trap again, read my 5 tips for making time and space for YOU in your own life!

1. Accept That You’re Busy, and Move On

You know your to-do list is endless, and that probably won’t change. But you can change your approach. Don’t try to do it all, all the time. Instead, be reasonable and do what has to get done, and put yourself on the list as a non-negotiable.

2.  Stop Making Excuses

I made every excuse I could – I played the working mom card, the crazy workweek card, you name it, I said it. But guess what? These are just excuses. If you really want to do something, you will do it, and if you prioritize yourself, you can do it. Stop the excuses, own your life, and just do it already!

3.  Take Baby Steps, and Use Shortcuts

Start with small changes that lead to better habits – not sweeping changes that will lead to burnout. Maybe that means cooking one meal each day at home, or fitting in exercise by walking somewhere instead of cabbing it. And there is no shame is using shortcuts to get there, especially if they save you time. So go ahead – order Fresh Direct – and start creating a little more time for you to do what you need to do.

4.  Don’t Make Everything into a ‘Thing’

This is a Natasha original! If you look at everything you have to get done as a ‘thing’, each day feels like a mountain you have to climb. Accept that you have things to do, and have fun while doing them. And refer to Tip #1 when your to-do list takes over your life.

5. Happy Mommy = Happy Family

As a mom, I always put my son first. But that approach doesn’t really leave time for you as a person, doesn’t provide a lot of balance, and sometimes leads to a martyr attitude! Do the things that make you happy too. If you want to make time for exercise in your weekend, get a sitter and do it. You’ll be happier, and if you’re happier, so is your family!

It won’t be easy to make changes, but it can be done, so buckle down, take a closer look at what’s standing between you and your health, and use these tips to stop the ‘I can’t’s!

Heather Bergstein is a digital marketing and media professional with beauty and fashion expertise. A New Yorker at heart, she and her son Micah (and born-and-bred, legit NYer) live in NYC, and spend weekends bouncing around downtown or relaxing upstate. Heather is the creator and author of City Meets Country, her blog (aka passion project) about their adventures, both city and country.

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Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Collection Giveaway!

yestotomatoes

This month we’re giving away a trio of fabulous products from Yes to Tomatoes!

This line is perfect combination or oily skin that is prone to breakouts, and features natural ingredients that clear up pimples, reduce severity of blemishes, and control oil.

With these products you can cleanse and moisturize your way to clearer skin with acne-fighting ingredients like organic aloe, tomato, African red bush tea, salicylic acid, watermelon and red pepper.  Nourishing oils like almond, jojoba and olive help nourish skin while clearing clogged pores and balancing blotchiness.

Click here to read my review of the Yes To.. product line, one of our absolute favorite drugstore natural beauty finds.

To enter:

Step 1. Make sure you’re following us on Facebook!

Step 2.  Make sure you’re following us on Twitter!  If you already follow us on both, you can follow us on Pinterest!

Step 3.  Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite skin-clearing remedy.. Bonus points if it’s a natural remedy!

That’s it!

We’ll announce the winner on Friday, May 17th, so make sure to enter before 6pm EST that day!

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Thank you everyone for entering, and for sharing your skin clearing tips!

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Naturally Beat Those Winter Blues!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Whether or not you actually suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it is pretty tough to not get bummed when it’s freezing and grey outside for days on end.  Our social lives take a major hit, and we are much more likely to crave getting all bundled up and cozy at home than a night on the town.  It’s harder to motivate ourselves to get to the gym, and those cravings for comfort food just don’t let up. But fear not!  With just a few daily steps, you can naturally beat the winter blues, improve your mood and energy, and keep your system on track.

Catch some daylight!  Especially when the days are shorter and darker, it is that much more important to get exposure to daylight.  Ideally, this would be direct light outside, but, when it’s frigid and miserable outside, getting some daylight through a window does the trick too!  Leave your blinds open at night, so the morning light can wake you up and help regulate your production of melatonin, and thereby, your sleep cycle!  Keeping a regular sleep-wake cycle is vital to staving off wintertime depression. If your bedroom doesn’t get much natural light, then stand dreamily in front of your brightest window for a couple of minutes right when you wake up!  It’s a nice little morning ritual with wonderful health benefits.Exercise!  I know it’s hard to get to the gym when it’s 0 degrees outside, but it’ll pay off in terms of your motivation and energy, which will help you tons in the long run.  If it’s super gross out, just work out at home!  Don’t let the weather be an excuse to skimp on exercise!  Find a dvd that you love, and sweat it out in the warmth and comfort of your living room.  Exercise is one of the best natural antidepressants out there!Take some fish oil.  Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA, are amazing for balancing mood and staving off depression.  Even if you eat fish regularly, supplement with 2-3 grams of high EPA fish oil every day.  My favorite is NOW Super EPA.. I take it every day!Take vitamin D.  In the dark of winter, especially in the northern parts of this fair country, it is impossible to get enough vitamin D from sunlight.  The result is that we’re all running around completely deficient in this important nutrient!  Low levels of vitamin D can cause depression, lowered immunity, anxiety, higher stress levels, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms.  It is absolutely crucial to supplement with a high quality vitamin D during the winter months, and for many of us, year round!  Opt for at least 3000-4000 IU of sublingual vitamin D daily.  My favorite is Biotics Bio-D-Mulsion Forte.. Just two drops under your tongue in the morning and you’re good to go!Load up on plant nutrients.  Plant foods are nature’s amazing natural mood-boosters, and it is super easy to eat your way to a fantastic mood even in the greyest of winters.  Whole grains like amaranth and quinoa are great for raising serotonin, which is your brain’s natural feel-good neurotransmitter.  Olive oil and other healthy fats like avocados and nuts are also wonderful natural antidepressants.  Green leafies like spinach and collards are loaded with folate, which along with other B vitamins, is vital for regulating mood.Treat yourself!  Plan a fun winter getaway weekend, a spa day, a fun party, or even some nights at the theater, a concert, or the opera!  Having some exciting things to look forward to is a great way to boost your mood and break up the monotony of a long winter.

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