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Practically every mother we know with young children wakes up around 5 and gets to bed around 9 (or later, if they try to squeeze in some Netflix and “me time” before bed). 7 days a week. Working or stay-at-home. Rain or shine. 365 days a year.

Healthy habits are hard to start and “eat right and exercise” isn’t easy when your dinner consists of scarfing down the leftover mac n’ cheese on your child’s plate after your typical 17 hour day.

To us, this brilliant parenting analogy made a lot of sense: When you’re about to take off on an airplane the flight attendant tells you to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others, including your children. This goes firmly against every maternal instinct we have, but the logic is flawless. If you come to harm after helping your child, then no one is there to help you. And who will be there for your child then?

This logic applies to parenting and motherhood. We feel guilty for spending even a minute doing something for ourselves, even when that thing is taking a shower where we use soap and wash our hair (shaving our legs is often a pipe dream). As mothers we have an obligation to care for ourselves because we have a lot of people who genuinely depend on us to be okay.



5 Simple Healthy Habits You Can Start Today

  1. Do one thing every day just for you.

Remember the Golden Rule? Treat others how you want to be treated? Also remember to treat yourself with the same kindness. This can be as simple as going for a short walk in the morning if someone can watch the kids, doing yoga once a month, spending an extra $5 on a bottle of wine that has an actual cork in it, painting your toenails after the kids go to bed, or taking a minute to throw on some mascara. Keep a pint of Haagen Daz hidden in the freezer. Go through the drive-through with your kids and DON’T share your fries after they scarf theirs down. Every day complete one small act of “selfishness” that reminds you that you still matter.

  1. Get quality sleep.

I’m sure you laughed out loud at this one. Hear us out: We aren’t suggesting more sleep, just quality sleep. The easiest way to do this without cutting back on caffeine is to stop sleeping with your phone. Don’t even keep it near your bed. Let it spend the night charging in another room and invest in one of those old-timey alarm clocks (we think clocks are still a thing somewhere?). Try your hardest to go screen-free for 30 minutes to an hour before bed. The bright blue light that screens on phones and televisions actually causes your brain to stop producing melatonin. The longer you can go without a screen before bed, the faster you’ll get to sleep. Sleeping without your phone in the room will keep you from firing up that bright screen when you wake up in the middle of the night, allowing you to get back to sleep faster.

  1. Drink your vitamins.

When the kiddos are going through a picky eating phase and both variety and vegetables start to become a distant memory, it’s not likely that you’re going to make dinner for your children and then make a separate dinner or salad for yourself. Apart from incorporating a clean high-quality nutritional supplement, another simple solution is to “drink your greens” by picking up a green smoothie at your grocery store. For around $6 you can grab a pre-prepared smoothie from the freezer section with nutrients and benefits from kale, collard greens, spinach, celery, and apple. No prep or cleanup involved and no rotting baby spinach in your fridge. Just a quick boost of nutrients and energy and you’re on your way.

  1. Incorporate “mini workouts” into your routine.

Start waking up at 4am, get a gym membership, or just join your local Crossfit. No big deal. Just kidding. By “mini workout” we mean parking at the farthest end of the parking lot and walking to your destination, going for a 10 minute stroll during your lunch break, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or doing a handful squats before or after bed. Nothing crazy, no lofty weight-loss goal, just the goal of getting your blood moving every day. If you want to take it to the next level, check out the number of free short workout or yoga videos available on Netflix or YouTube.

  1. Time away from the kids.

This is a big one and it doesn’t need to happen every week, but regular time away from your children will go a long way towards supporting your mental and emotional health. Asking a friend or family member to watch the kids once a month for a couple hours while you enjoy some solo time, time with friends, or a date night with your partner, will help keep you in touch with who you are without them. It’s easy to get lost in the identity of “mom” which is why so many women have a hard time when their children leave the house. It’s hard to remember who you are without them. Taking the time away from your kids to check-in with yourself is as necessary as groceries and doctor’s appointments. Remember: put your oxygen mask on first.

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Essential oils are increasingly popular this day and age. Oils such as lavender, lemon, and lemongrass are being used in baths, in body products, and even diffused in homes across the globe. So what’s the big deal? How safe and effective are they really? How do you know if you’re getting the right product? Essential oil popularity has blossomed tremendously. It seems that everyone wants to have the best product out there, and with that comes the concern of being mass-produced and over-stocked, causing some oils to actually do more harm than good. This helpful tidbit of information will give you the low-down on essential oils.

What Are Essential Oils?

For thousands of years, oils have been used for a variety of reasons, from health to household. A pure essential oil should be nothing less or more than the distilled extraction of the fragrance of a specific plant or herb. Popular scents such as eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, and peppermint are abundant and can be seen in almost every supermarket and spa. You might find that some manufacturers label them for oral use as well as topical.

What is a Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil?

Most essential oils are distilled, standardized and portrayed to hold the purest of standards of therapeutic treatments and aromatherapy. They may take great consideration with soil and growing conditions, seed quality, altitude and climate, harvesting and even caring during the distillation and bottling. Some suppliers have different environmental and physical factors of their plant growth. Other factors are how and when it’s harvested and whether or not it’s organic. This is what separates the over-the-counter essential oil from pure oil that you would purchase through a supplier/grower.



How Do I Find the Right Kind?

In order to get the right essential oil, you must consider its source. Always check the label for botanical name, distillation date or expiration date, country of origin, and chemotype. If they have a NAHA or any other legitimate association located on their label, you know you are getting a manufacturer that follows the rules behind safe essential oils. What’s more, if you’re wowed at the price, it’s probably too good to be real. Most effective essential oils sell for what they are worth. Efficient essential oils need to be GC/MS tested. This process collects data from a specific plant or herb to verify its effectivity and reliable purity before it hits the shelves.

Where Do I Start?

You are halfway to finding out if essential oils are right for you, and if so, which ones. You first need to consider what you’re using them for (cleaning, diffusing, food, or topical use) and then decide where you can find a reputable source. There are many manufacturers but only a few pass the test of true and effective benefits for you and your home.


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Did you know that stress has a direct connection to heart disease, one of the leading causes of death in America? Accumulative stress over time can wreak havoc on your heart and cause a slew of health issues which can lead to heart problems later on in your life. This serious and life-threatening issue can disguise itself in many ways. With proper nutrition and steps taken to relieve the tension, you can stop it from affecting your daily life. No matter what occupation you hold or how busy your every-day life is, there are effective and healing ways to destress naturally and holistically. These easy and inexpensive ways to destress will help you achieve the peace and calm that you long for.


Whether you’re running, swimming, chasing your little one around the yard or walking the dog, your body releases chemicals called endorphins during those activities. This helpful chemical is what lifts your mood and gives you that boost of energy and sudden excitement. Exercising is a release for your body, mind, and soul. It offers not only mental clarity but results in your physical appearance as well. Focus on just 10 to 20 minutes of walking or running a day to get your body in the habit.




We busy and hardworking humans face stressful situations every day. Our natural response is to face stress in a “fight or flight” mode that usually results in your heart racing, excessive blood pumping, sweating profusely and generally a mood change of sadness or anger. Meditation is designed to do the opposite in these situations: it decreases blood pressure, slows your breathing and your heart rate. Meditation is a simple way to connect mind and body through focused and conscious breathing while sitting in a distraction-free room. Meditation coaches all over the globe offer in-home or in-studio classes to help individuals achieve a stress-less way of life. Just 10 to 20 minutes a day can beat the blues.



Eat the Goods

In order to fuel your mind with positive, stress-combating thoughts, you need to fuel your body first. Luckily, it doesn’t cost much to get what your body requires to maintain a healthy mind to ward off those stressors. You probably know the obvious: get rid of unhealthy fats, sugars and ditch the booze. But do you know what to take in place of those foods? Green leafy veggies carry adequate amounts of folate. Spinach, kale, and mustard greens are a pleasant tasting and inexpensive way to get your folate and amp up your mood. Blueberries are one healthy way to get rid of the blues. These tasty, sweet antioxidant power-balls are packed with the highest levels of anthocyanin and are responsible for holding adequate amounts of vitamin C, a vital element in providing a stress-free life.



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Sugar-laden foods tend to be consumed in large quantities because they are usually very pleasing to the taste buds. If you pay close attention, you will find that sugar is a part of several foods that you eat as part of your daily diet. This ingredient not only helps in boosting the flavor of a dish, but also adds texture and life to it. But the bad news is that sugar isn’t the healthiest thing to consume, especially in large quantities. According to doctors and nutritionists, an individual should restrict his/her sugar consumption to 6 to 9 teaspoons each day.

Here are some of the major pitfalls of eating too much sugar. These will help you get a little cautious about your sugar intake and motivate you to take control of your health.

Weight gain

Among the most obvious reasons to stay away from excess sugary foods and beverages is that they are very high in calories and very low on nutrition. Also, they do not typically provide the feeling of satiation and hence make you feel hungry very quickly. This can make you reach out for even more unhealthy snacks during the day in order to beat the hunger pangs. The result is that you end up gaining weight due to over-consumption, especially of high-calorie foods. Remember, there are 15 calories in a single teaspoon of sugar. And desserts and sugar-laden drinks alone can carry anywhere between 10 to 20 teaspoons of sugar. Hence it is recommended that such treats be limited to special occasions or consumed once a week only.

Health disorders

This point is closely linked to weight gain caused by excess sugar consumption. The weight gain can result in an increased risk of several health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer as well as depression. Research indicates that high sugar consumption could also lead to heart disease in an individual.

So how does excess sugar in your diet lead to these lifestyle and health disorders? Sugar, when consumed in excess quantities, can lead to a rise in your triglycerides. It also has a negative impact on the lipoprotein count (reduces the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol which are beneficial for the body).

Insulin resistance

Are you eating sugar-laden doughnuts and muffins for breakfast? Here’s something you should probably know: when you consume high-sugar foods, your body’s requirement for insulin automatically increases. Insulin is basically a hormone which helps convert your food into energy (used for performing various activities). With consistently high insulin levels, your body gradually stops responding to this hormone and there is a build-up of glucose in your blood stream. The common signs of insulin resistance include hunger, high blood pressure, brain fog and fatigue.

Poor oral health

While nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to your gums and teeth, the same isn’t true for sugar foods. In fact, they tend to have a negative impact on oral health. The most common dental complaint associated with excessive sugar consumption is cavities.

We all know that regular exercise has great benefits to offer for the body. There are many ailments including heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and others that can be kept at bay with a good fitness regimen or at least controlled by one. But, not many of us are aware that exercising is equally important for mental health too. In fact, just like we feel more energized and active physically when we exercise, our brain functions are also given impetus by structured fitness activities.

The link between fitness and mental agility was clearly underlined by neuropsychiatrist John Ratey1, from the Harvard Medical School, whose research has shown that fitness levels impact cognitive abilities quite significantly. In childhood, proper, adequate physical activity boosts the brain’s ability to deal with the changing body and intellect as the individual matures. In advanced age, fitness plays a key role in keeping mental health problems like dementia away.

An interesting paper published by cognitive psychologist Arthur Kramer, University of Illinois, highlights how adults unaccustomed to exercise were able to improve cognitive skills after undertaking an aerobic fitness plan for a period of half and year. Of course, this also goes to show that the benefits are seen only when the individual follows a structured exercise routine and sticks to this on a regular basis.

Consistency is the key

Neurologist Dr. Scott Mc Ginnis finds it ‘exciting’ that regular exercise, when done for at least six months, has some clear positive impact to show in the brain function of individuals. He says that both the prefrontal cortex and the medial temporal cortex of the brain are greater in volume in those who have a regular fitness program than those who do not exercise consistently2. These being the parts of the brain that manage memory and thought processes, it is clear that many age related mental health issues can be avoided or controlled merely by exercising moderately but consistently.

The best forms of exercise

Researchers believe that almost any form of exercise, not necessarily highly strenuous, is good for physical and mental well- being. In particular, aerobic exercise forms, which gets your heart beat up and your blood pumping are very effective indeed. However, for those who cannot manage aerobics yet, simpler, easier exercises like swimming or walking, offer benefits too, as long as the individual is committed to doing them every day.

A Journal of Aging Research publication3 has underlined the importance of physical exercise as an effective ‘non-pharmaceutical intervention’ that can keep the neurodegenerative diseases that come with age, at bay. So start exercising today and make sure you always make time for it so that you can live a long, healthy, physically and mentally active life.