How to cut your checklist in half and still get things done

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Life moves pretty fast. Between careers, families, friends, communities, all of can claim we have “busy” lives. But do we use busy as an excuse for not returning a phone call, for why we were a little short with our spouses, or for furrowing our brow and plowing through a checklist of tasks?

 

I’ll let you in on a little secret: you will always be busy, and the checklist is neverending. This became very apparent to me this past week when I finally made it to the holy grail of internet productivity: inbox zero.

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Use this yoga sequence to boost your energy

yoga twist photo 1

Have you ever returned from your vacation more tired than when you left?

That was my experience when I returned home this last weekend. I had a wonderful and whirlwind trip – first presenting my research at the American Heart Association conference in Baltimore, and then traveling to Buffalo, my hometown, to celebrate my cousin’s wedding. There was a lot of dancing, and it was a great weekend of family and friends. But this year more than others in the past, late flights, late nights, and Daylights Savings Time completely knocked me on my butt. Combined with a particularly long list of work tasks, I knew I needed to get myself out of my rut, and fast.

 

Battling a foggy brain haze, I turned to my yoga mat to wake me back up again. When I got to my mat (relieved to not be doing yoga in a hotel room!), I knew that twisting poses were the way to go because they are great for boosting your energy while relieving stress.
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Revolutionize your habits & relationships with this simple attitude shift

How’s your weekend going? I’ve been traveling this week, and some big winter storms has not made for the easiest of traveling. Amidst the delays and cancellations, a lot of my normal daily routines have gone to the wayside.

What I realized for the first time this week is just how much I have relied on these routines – how I have convinced myself that there is a list of things that “I need” in order to feel good, happy, or like I had a successful day.

I tell myself that I’m having a good day only….

  • If I meditate.
  • If I get my coffee at the exact perfect time.
  • If I do 30 minutes of yoga.
  • If I am uninterrupted while I work.
  • If I stay away from the peanut butter.

The problem with this checklist is that it becomes my excuse. If I don’t make my way through it during the day, I give myself permission to be rude, or to feel out of sorts, or to otherwise not be the most helpful and awesome person I can be.

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samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.


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Setting Better Goals

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Photo by Ryan McGuire via gratisography.

Here’s a question for you: are you bad at following through on your health goals, or is it that you’re bad at setting goals?

 

In my coaching practice, many clients tell me that they’re bad at the follow through. They try a diet, they try to meditate, they try to exercise, and they can’t seem to stick to it. Now any sort of generalization like “I’m bad at keeping goals” raises some red flags, so my follow-up question is usually “well, what goals did you set?” The reply completely explains the source of the issue….

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Your Guide to Probiotic Foods & Supplements

probiotic foods yogurt photo // @happyhealthysam

Our bodies are covered in bacteria. I know. Gross. But it’s actually a really good thing – the bacteria in our guts and on our skin help us develop our immune system, in harves nutrients from our food, and helps prevent skin conditions like eczema!

 

The incredible importance of our microbiome, and it’s intimate connection with the food that we eat means there are a lot of products and supplements out there that claim to be providing the probiotics that you need for a healthy digestive system. But do their claims live up to the hype?

 

In today’s post, we’ll take a look at which foods have probiotics (and how to prepare them), if and how to take probiotic supplements, how to avoid probiotic scams, and learn about probiotic’s lesser-known (but very important) counterpart, the prebiotic.

 

It’s time to be good to the bacteria in your belly!

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Say goodbye to low back pain with these simple exercises

yoga low back pain photo 1Most of us experience low back pain at some point or another. Sometimes the cause is easy to identify — you had a long car ride or lifted some heavy boxes. But other times, back pain seems to come and go daily, perhaps during your yoga class, while you’re riding your bike, or sitting at your desk. Super frustrating.

 

If you’re experiencing low back pain in your daily life, in your yoga class, or during other exercises, here is a 10-minute set of yoga poses you can do to strengthen up those muscles and relieve your pain. With these poses, we’re looking to do three things: release tightness in the muscles of your low back, strengthen your lower back muscles so they’re more resilient, and give your low back muscles support from a strong core.

Warning: the following post contains yoga gifs. They’re pretty hilarious, but so useful so you can see the movements I’m talking about! Thank you for laughing along with me.
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Time to start meditating: How finding your personal style will help the habit stick

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Meditation gets a lot of buzz these days, and for good reason – a consistent meditation practice is associated with reduced anxiety and depression, improved creativity, better focus, and legitimately changes your brain.

 

But if you’re anything like me, you’ve resolved to start a meditation practice many times, and subsequently haven’t follow through with it, either because the actual practice of meditation is unfamiliar, or you begin and can’t seem to take the time every day to practice.

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A Question to Ask Yourself

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Happy Sunday!

 

Hope you are all having a beautiful day, wherever you are! I write about eating and living well each week for my Sunday newsletter. This week’s message is particularly powerful for transforming your daily habits and bringing healthier practices into your life, so I wanted to share it with you all here.

Please read, comment, share, and subscribe here to receive exclusive content like this delivered straight to your inbox each week.

Thanks so much for reading and for being part of the Happy Healthy Human community.

 

-Sam

 

Thank goodness- we’ve made it to February! Now we can drop all the stress and worry about “starting the New Year’s right”, and we can get down to the business of simply living well.
How do you stay well without all the guidelines and rigidity of daily diet, workout, and life goals? You ask yourself one simple question throughout your day:
What does this pizza/work task/workout/insert item here give back to me? 
Here’s why this question is incredibly powerful:
Asking yourself this question helps you appreciate all of the things you do to keep yourself well, while weeding out the extras in your life that just don’t contribute to your health and wellbeing.

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Chewy Double Ginger Molasses Cookies

vegan ginger cookie recipe photo

Ginger is potentially one of my favorite foods. So spicy and versatile. (And so good for you!) Between fresh, powdered, pickled, and candied….I am a serious fanatic.

 

Last year, I discovered an amazing ginger cookie recipe: 101 Cookbook’s Triple Ginger Cookie.  TRIPLE GINGER?! They were salty and spicy. Sweet, but with a bright hit of lemon. Simply divine. They became the cookie of 2014.

 

This year, I saw Dolly and Oatmeal’s Chewy Ginger Molasses cookie and knew I had to try them. They are gluten free –using oats and chickpea flour — and have a vegan option, and just looked darn delicious. But I couldn’t help but think of the few extra touches from the 101 Cookbooks recipe that I loved like lemon zest and fresh ginger. So I did a little experimenting, and low and behold —  these Chewy Double Ginger Molasses Cookies combine the best of both worlds, and are a perfect afternoon snack with coffee, tea, or some coconut milk iced cream.  Dreams can come true.

 

Chewy Double Ginger Molasses Cookies
 
Makes 24 cookies
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup chickpea flour
  • ¾ cup gluten-free oat flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, softened
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons unsulphered blackstrap molasses
  • 1 egg (vegan: 1tbsp ground flax seed with 3 tbsp water)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped up fresh ginger
  • 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • Large grain sugar, for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Mix the flax seed with 3 tbsp water if replacing the egg and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices; set aside.
  4. In another large bowl, cream the oil and sugar with an electric mixer or by hand, then beat in the molasses. Add the egg (or flax mixture), vanilla, and almond milk, and beat until combined.
  5. Add fresh ginger and lemon zest, and mix together.
  6. A little at a time, add the dry ingredients to the wet and combine with electric mixer on medium-low (or by hand) until all flour is combined and no lumps remain (batter will be thick and sticky at this point). Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop balls of dough out onto prepared baking sheet, spacing each cookie 2 inches apart (or freeze here and bake them later!!). Bake for 15 minutes, until they darken a bit and are fragrant.
  8. Place cookies on a rack and let them cool before eating. Cookies can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 or 4 days.

 

  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day,   samantha attard sig

 


samantha attard happy healthy humanSamantha Attard, PhD, is the founder of Happy Healthy Human. Sam is a performance coach and yoga instructor who helps people eat, move, and live with intention. Learn more here.

 

Join the Happy Healthy family to get special invites, event discounts, and lessons on living with intention.

 


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