How to Find Happiness

We are traveling at the ‘Speed of Life’ which seems to be getting faster and faster.  This reminds me of the speed limits that continue to increase from 55mph years ago to 80 mph on the highway now in some states!  Wow.  I find that when I travel faster on the highway to life, I do not enjoy it and many things are not done well. 

I go to work, meetings, grocery shop, cook meals and attend to everyone else’s needs first.  Sound familiar? 

I feel stuck and I am unhappy. I hear this over and over again from my clients who don’t take care of themselves first.  Then their energy currency runs out!  So here are a few tips you can do each day to live a happier life and have more energy to give to yourself and your relationships!

  1.  Follow your heart.  What do you love to do?  If you love to spend time with friends then invite them over or go out to eat together.  I love to garden, walk and play with my dog, hike in nature, and eat dinner with friends. 

Implement one thing each day that you love to do even if it is only 15 minutes. Do what you really love and have fun!

2.  Do one thing every day that scares you.  This does not mean watch horror movies or sky dive today. Too often we get “comfortable” and complacent in life which leads to a mediocre life. 

Spice it up.  If you have never gone out to dinner by yourself, treat yourself. Take a trip on your own.

 Smile at strangers and meet new people and strike up a conversation.  Go ahead and talk to that cute guy you have wanted to get to know.  Take up dancing

Get out of your comfort zone!  You will be amazed at how much confidence you will gain and how good you feel.

3.  Focus on what you want.  Too often we get caught up in focusing on “what is bad”.  Do you watch the news every night and morning?  Most of it is focused on the negative.  What music do you listen to or what tv shows do you watch?  

Most importantly, are the top 5 people you hang with positive or negative?  Do they really support you? 

There is a saying that “Energy Goes where Attention Goes “.  Place your Attention on the positive and what you want in life!

4.  Let go of the attachment to the Expectations and the Outcome.   When we have expectations, we set ourselves up for disappointments.  Have you ever noticed that many things don’t go the way you expected?  This is really bad when you have expectations in a relationship that you and your partner have never talked about!

Expectations come from our judgments, which come from our thoughts. 

Wayne Dyer said, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change”.  Look at things differently by releasing the fear and looking for love. 

Realize that you have no control over external situations or people. 

 You can only control how you react.  Happiness is a choice!  Choose it.

Please comment below.  I would love to hear what you do each day to find happiness.  For more tips on living a stress free life, sign up for my FREE audio and ebook above. 

Seven Healthy Habits for Clean Eating

I am here to share with you

.  Millions of people are overweight and dieting.  Many people have health problems such as obesity (BMI 30 or above), high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.  If you don’t know what your BMI is, go to Google—put in BMI Calculator.  When it comes up, put in your information and heaven help you if your number is 30 or above.  Statistics show that for many Americans genetics only plays a 10% role, exercise a 10% role and what you eat plays an 80% role in your health and shape.  This is good news.    How many foods in your kitchen are over-processed especially with white flour and sugar?  Do they have preservatives?  Artificial sugars?  Saturated fats or trans fats?  Colas and juices with lots of sugar?  Cookies, cakes, chips or other junk food?  Calorie dense foods containing little nutritional value?  Take an inventory of your pantry and refrigerator.  Great now let’s do a Spring Cleaning and talk about the rules of clean eating.  This isn’t about another diet or even depriving yourself.  It is a lifestyle change in learning to eat healthy and clean.  It involves planning healthy meals for the week, but first you must develop healthy habits.

Habit #1:  Eat six meals per day, one every three hours.  I know it sounds unbelievable and it is the opposite of what most popular diets tell you, but eating better foods more frequently actually increases your metabolism and keeps your energy levels high all day.  Eating small meals throughout the day will also stabilize blood sugar levels and cravings will stop.  When you eat just three meals a day or less, your sugar levels dip and you are more likely to eat unhealthy snacks.

I like to compare metabolism to a wood burning fire.  As long as you keep putting wood on that fire, the fire is going to do what?  That’s right keep burning.  If you quit putting wood on that fire, what is going to happen?  That’s right it is going to go out.  This is just like metabolism.  If you try to starve to lose weight, your metabolism is going to come to a screeching halt or slow weigh down.  Then when you do eat, your body is going to store and hold on to every ounce for dear life.  So it is best to feed your metabolism every 3 hours or so to keep it going.

Habit #2:  Never skip meals, especially breakfast.  How many of you skip breakfast?  The research shows that people who skip breakfast, they gain more weight.  You think you are saving on calories, but skipping breakfast will lead you to snack before lunch or overeat at lunch because you are hungry.

Habit #3:  Don’t eat calorie dense foods that offer no nutritional value.  Processed and fast foods such as French fries, chips, donuts, cookies and candy are a nutritional wasteland.  The calories in these foods are considered “empty” because they give you a quick burst of energy but no vitamins, nutrients or natural ingredients.  You usually have a sugar high followed by a crash that leaves you without energy and feeling hungry soon after.  These foods tend to generate cravings for even more energy calories because you never really feel satisfied.

Habit #4:  Think about portion sizes, not calorie counting.  It is important to keep in mind how much fuel your body really needs.  Most portion sizes in restaurants like applebees, and chilis are nearly twice the size of a true serving.  I always ask to have half of my entrée served and the other placed in a doggie bag.  You could order salads and appetizers, but you have to be careful of which appetizer you order!  Fried cheese curds are yummy; however, they are fried and contain a lot of fat.  At home, it is easy to clear your plate or eat that last little bit in the pan to avoid leftovers which is in effect overeating.  And, it is never just a little bit!!!  So, here are some guidelines…..a serving of protein should fit in the palm of your hand or roughly the size of a deck of cards.  A serving of complex carbohydrates from grains should fit in the cup of your hand.  While a serving of complex carbs from veggies should fit in the palm of two open hands.  Fruits should fit in one open hand.

Habit #5: Drink a minimum of 8 glasses of water a day.  How many of you do this?  I am not talking about coffee or soda.  Staying hydrated is essential for good health as 80% of our body is water.  When you are low, you will show symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, headaches and constipation.  Now, if you are one of those people who think water is boring and you don’t like the taste, you can flavor your water.  Cut up some lemon, limes or oranges and put them in your water bottle.  It doesn’t take a lot to infuse flavor and antioxidants.  If strawberries are on sale, you can add these to your water.  Just make sure you take out the strawberries within 48 hours as they are not acidic and can grow bacteria.

Habit #6:  Eliminate sweets from your diet especially white sugar.  Candies, cakes, cookies and ice cream are obvious.  However, sugar has a way of sneaking in the most seemingly healthy snacks and is often the reason you can’t lose those last pesky 5-10 pounds.  Examples include sweetened yogurts, processed peanut butter, granola, protein bars and canned fruits in syrup.  Many condiments and salad dressings contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup that stop your progress in its tracks without the sweet taste!

Habit #7:  Eat fruits and veggies.  Clean eating does not have to be boring.  Processed foods seem healthier because of all the unhealthy ingredients and fats.  Your taste buds will recalibrate by the intense flavor of food without artificial ingredients.  Some of my favorite nonfat condiments that heighten taste include fresh and dried herbs, horseradish, garlic, mustards, ginger, vinegars, Worcestershire sauce, citrus fruit, freshly made salsas, pureed fruit and veggie based sauces, unsweetened apple butter or sauce, Bragg’s, and low sodium tamari or soy sauce.

Now, there will be distractions and you will make mistakes.  We all do.  It is how you deal with those mistakes that will determine your success.  Where did you line up with these 7 habits?  Do you need to Spring Clean your Pantry and Fridge?  Do you need to find an accountability partner?  If you need help with this, see me afterward and we can talk about this.  Remember, HABITS can change.  It takes about 21 days to create a new habit.  You can do it.

For more information on losing weight and tips on clean eating check out this seminar

What Brings you Joy?

Maia Toll recently asked, “What brings you Joy?”

December 22, 2012

What brings me joy is spending time with close friends and my dog Sage.  It is the beauty of the season to celebrate Winter Solstice with good friends and reflection ritual on 2012.  It brings me joy to celebrate Solstice with a nice seafood dinner with lots of greens and to sit by the fireplace as we reflected on the past year.  It brings me joy to ski in fresh snow with the sun reflecting off the snowflakes as they sparkle.  It brings me joy to participate in holiday rituals making mom’s sticky buns and decorating the Christmas tree. The smell of balsam fir brings me joy!  It brings me joy to exchange handmade gifts or service gifts like a massage or cleaning a friend’s house. It brings me joy to stuff stockings!  What especially brings me joy is helping a neighbor, taking walks or hiking in nature, hot baths and saunas, and synergy drinks.  What brings you joy this Holiday Season?

By Lauren Ebbecke ©2012

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