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The Pursuit of Happiness May 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
4 comments

Life is not always going to be Pleasantville.

We are here to learn, grow, and challenge ourselves ~ while encouraging others to do the same.

Fortunately, it is not what happens to us in life that determines our happiness ~ it is how we view what happens to us.

How we relate to the issue, is the issue.”

When we view obstacles as opportunities, we can choose happiness most of the time.

For example, when learning to bowl, we often learn more from our gutter balls, than we do from perfectly thrown strikes and spares ~ unless, of course, we collapse into a puddle (bemoaning our fate or, worse still, blaming the ball), each time we miss our mark.

When we stop playing “the victim,” by challenging ourselves to accept the inevitable set-backs in life and keep moving forward, we free ourselves from our self-constructed prisons and become the grand architects of our future.

When we retrain ourselves to focus on the positives, we are happier and have more energy.

That positive energy fills us with the creative enthusiasm and inspiration we need to live the life of our dreams.

Just begin . . . with a big grin . . . and the way will appear.

Related posts:  To Dream the Impossible Dream *  Brave New Adventures * Happiness ~ Check it Out * The Last Lecture  * Good Vibrations

Walk Off Some Weight May 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Exercise & Fitness, Happiness, Health & Wellness.
4 comments

Walking is a wonderful way to get outdoors, see the sights, and lose weight.

A brisk walk, at moderate intensity, burns a higher percentage of fat calories than a more high-intensity exercise like jogging or running. 

And, because walking is low-impact, there’s less risk of injury for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Plus, it reduces stress, is eco-friendly, and adds to your happiness quotient for the day!

Well?  What are you waiting for? 

Grab your kids, your dog, or your best friend, and head for a favorite park or playground to walk your way to fitness.

Quote:  Walking is man’s best medicine. ~ Hippocrates

Additional Resources:  The Numerous Benefits of Walking * Walking for Fitness * Benefits of Walking * Walking

Bon Appetit! May 17, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Health & Wellness, Vegetarian Recipes.
6 comments

IMGP3562bWant meal time to be a relaxed social gathering, rather than a battle to get your kids to eat their greens?  Here are a few tricks to have up your sleeve as you’re planning meals or putting dinner on the table . . .

(1) Offer choices:  Do you want broccoli or carrot sticks?  Would you like to try strawberries or raspberries?

(2) Involve them in shopping for food.

{{GASP!}}

I know, I know.  Taking kids to the store slows down the process of  “getting in and getting out” but . . . the benefits can be enormous.

Instead of begging and cajoling at mealtimes to get them to try something new ~ give them more control over what ends up on their plate by asking them to pick out a new fruit or vegetable the next time they’re in the produce department with you.

(3)  Whenever something “new” shows up on the table ~ ask your kids to tell you what it is . . . “Mom, that’s easy.  It’s a carrot.”  Then, ask them to tell you anything they remember about carrots . . . “Bugs Bunny likes carrots!”  “Carrots are good for our eyes!”  “Carrots are orange.”

By the time they’re done sharing their wealth of knowledge with you, carrots will seem like a familiar friend . . . one that’s good enough to gobble up.

Tip:  Do a quick internet search to find FUN FACTS for any vegetable or fruit that is so unique and different that they are likely to be stumped.  Share what you’ve learned with them.

(4)  Give them permission to say “No, thank you.” . . . AFTER trying the first bite.  This encourages them to try everything once, knowing that they don’t have to pile up their plates with something that tastes “icky.”

(5)  Hand out the gold stars.  Prepare a simple sheet with your children’s names across the top:  Huey, Dewey, and Louie.  Down the side, list veggies and fruit as they are presented during the week:  Asparagus, Bananas, Broccoli, Carrots, Dill Pickles, Endive, Fennel, Guava . . . ”  Each time the kids try something on the list, give them a gold star (or a simple check mark) next to that item.

Let them compete against each other to see who gets the most stars each week or month.  And, if your budget permits, allow them to trade gold stars for “fabulous gifts and exciting prizes” ~ e.g., a $1 shopping spree at the Dollar Store.

Bon Appetit!

Related posts: Ten FREE Activities To Enjoy With Kids * Ten Almost FREE Activities For Kids * Top Ten BETs * Ten More Fun Activities for Kids