Nesting & Investing in the New Year

It’s true what they say about pregnancy and nesting, but the New Year actually brings an even better excuse to clear out the old and make room for the new. Just like we cleanse our bodies of toxins, we can all benefit from cleansing our living space, workspace, and head space of clutter. We’re already spending the majority of the winter months inside, we might as well clean up a little, right?! Nesting is about simplifying and making space for what’s to come, investing in a new year of new possibilities. Whether you’re welcoming a baby into your household, just having house guests, or you have the desire to declutter your life, these tips are for you!

Let go of extra “stuff.” Sometimes we hold on to stuff that we may not even use because we have this fear of not having enough. Having “stuff” can make us feel secure in a way, but do you know what feels so, so much better? Getting rid of the extra stuff and making space – clarifying and simplifying things. That “stuff” can actually weigh us down and hold us back; after all, you know what they say: less is more. Once you clean out the stuff you don’t need, you’ll get it.

Where to start? Choose one small space at a time to make it manageable – your desk, the kitchen pantry, or a closet. Clean out everything you no longer need and organize the rest. Complete each space before moving on to the next.

When we declutter the space around us, we make space both mentally and physically for clarity and new opportunities. Use this open head space to visualize your goals for the New Year. Replace your resolutions with concrete goals and inspiration. Center your focus around inspiring words, mantras, and measurable tasks to ensure that you make progress. You may be inclined to change the decor of a room for a fresh start as well; try painting the walls, rearranging the furniture, or getting a new tool to help organize (anything from a file cabinet to a new mug for your pens.) This physical change may help instigate psychological change as well.

One Healthy Breakdown: get nesting, get focused, and get happy. Do it!

One Healthy Young Entrepreneur

Introducing the dynamic sibling duo behind Fair Harbor Clothing, Caroline and Jake Danehy. Inspired by the beaches of Fire Island, these two created their line of boardshorts out of none other but recycled plastic bottles. Inspired by their favorite local beaches, (and the greater good of our planet) these two are recycling wellness in a whole new way. Here’s their story…

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  1. Tell us about yourself and how life as you know it came to be.

Growing up in Westchester, NY, my family and I were fortunate enough to be an hour away from Fair Harbor, Fire Island – so naturally, our summers were spent on the beach. There are only a few rules of the island: no cars, no shoes, and hardly any clothing (just a bathing suit, of course). As we grew up, and our schedules became busier with sports, school, and other chaos, our trips out to the island became fewer, but our memories never faded. Fire Island was, and will always be, my “happy place”. However, over the years, we have started to notice more and more plastic waste appearing on the shores and in the ocean, and it really bothered me.

I will be a Sophomore at Colgate University this fall and my brother, Jake, just graduated from Colgate in May. As a Geography major, Jake learned a lot about resource allocation and overconsumption, and called me in spring of  ’14 with an idea that he had to make a product that is both consumer and environmentally friendly. With our generation becoming more eco-conscious, we feel we have a responsibility to make a difference in the way people approach consumerism – and what better way to do it than by turning plastic bottles into boardshorts, connecting it with our childhood summers spent out in Fair Harbor. Within a few months Fair Harbor Clothing was born. While it definitely isn’t a glamorous process, we are very proud of how far we have come today.

In March 2016, we launched our second line, including seven new boardshort styles and five new shirts. Each of our boardshorts directly recycles 11 plastic bottles and all of our shirts are made form 100% organic cotton.

FH@This whole adventure with Fair Harbor has been an incredible learning experience for us, and I feel so grateful to be a part of it. Wellness has always been a passion of my ours, so by the nature of our healthy lifestyle, those ideals have seamlessly become embedded into our brand. For example, this upcoming weekend we will be selling Fair Harbor at the Nantucket Yoga Festival!

2. What’s something you overcame and how?

I always dreamed about playing college lacrosse since I was a little girl, however, my body had other plans for me; I started to develop chronic stress fractures in both of my shins in 8th grade. During the summer going into my junior year of high school I was diagnosed with my 6th set of stress fractures and had to hang up my cleats for good. Lacrosse had been a part of my identity since I was 5 and all of a sudden it was gone. However, over time I started to realize that where one door closes another opens. Since I couldn’t do any activity that required running – or fast walking for that matter – and I started practicing yoga. Slowly, I began to develop a deep passion for it. I became more aware of my body and my confidence started coming back. I believe feeling confident starts from within and then radiates outward, and I found that yoga was the perfect environment for me to work on my inner self, while still exercising my body in a way that didn’t harm it.

Since then I have wanted to get my yoga certification, and this spring, I realized that there was no time like the present. I found a yoga studio about 10 minutes away with a summer teacher training and signed up for it. I started my training in May and it has been one of the most amazing, liberating and self-confidence building experiences I have had. One of the most incredible aspects of my training so far is realizing how much power we have over our thoughts, our bodies, and our energy.

3. What is your favorite recipe? workout? Favorite weekend activity? Favorite part of the business?

I try to practice moderation on a daily basis, something I believe that is key to a healthy lifestyle; which includes everything from the food I nourish my body with to how I move. Cooking is one of my favorite activities, and I love spending time in the kitchen with my mom preparing meals. That being said, when I was seven my family and I took a trip out to Jackson Hole, WY, where I quickly became conscious that the meat that I was eating was once living. While I wanted to be a vegetarian, my parents needed to make sure that I ate enough protein since I was so young, so I agreed to eat chicken and fish. Over the years I have dedicated a lot of time toward food, and learning about nutrition; I think it’s incredibly interesting. I have so many foods/recipes that I love– such such as spaghetti squash with chicken meatballs, salmon & lentils, and of course blueberry pancakes because who doesn’t?!

My favorite workout is a really great core yoga class and a long walk with my mom, sister and dog on a beautiful sunny day. I try to get outside as much as I can and move – especially in the summer!

My favorite part of Fair Harbor is definitely working with my brother on something that we both are so dedicated to. We have spent countless hours working on it together and it is incredible to see all of the progress that we have made.

4. As young entrepreneurs, business owners, students, and part of the Hamptons (Fire Island) community, etc. how do you maintain balance in your life?

Scheduling is key to balance because it helps me keep track of my daily responsibilities. Without it, I tend to get overwhelmed. However, since Jake and I are so passionate about the work that we are doing most of the time it doesn’t feel like “work”.

5. Any great healthy/balance tips for other busy folks?

Moderation and mapping out my upcoming week are two lifestyle tips that really help me. Fair Harbor and my yoga certification definitely consume a lot of my time this summer, so finding time to relax is hard sometimes but definitely necessary!

6. What food items do you always have?

My favorite breakfast lately has been an omelet (one whole egg, two egg whites), sautéed onions, spinach, peppers – topped with fresh salsa and hot sauce. Other food items I always have are: green tea and peanut butter Think Thin bars (they taste like Snickers!).

7. What is your favorite indulgence? (can be edible or not)

My favorite indulgence is being at the beach reading a really good book.

8. How do you make health a priority in your home/life?

I believe that we have complete control over our health and how we treat our bodies – a concept that is so powerful, yet most people take for granted. Therefore, how we nourish, rest and move our bodies is extremely important, so I always make my health a priority. Sleep is also a key part of my wellness routine. I know that when I am tired I don’t function as well – trust me, ask my brother!

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9. What is your FAVORITE thing about the Fire Island? Favorite place? Favorite memory?

Remarkably, no matter how much time passes, Fire Island always remains the same. I have countless childhood memories taking outdoor showers, jumping off the lifeguard stand and early morning fishing adventures. Almost every morning, we would all go down to the dock around 7 am, before most people were awake, and fish for snapper with bamboo poles. After fishing, we took the fish back to the house and made snapper and eggs. These were the simple joys of living on the island for the summer – something that makes me smile every time I think back to those days. With each decision that we make with Fair Harbor, we think back to our childhood memories, in effort to recreate the lifestyle with our brand.

One Healthy Breakdown: You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough.

May’s Tiny Change: Sit Down to Eat

This post is part of Kale & Chocolate’s #12tinychanges challenge. Each month, we’re implementing one super small, super doable change – over a year, it really adds up! You can read about it here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges for a chance to win some cool prizes! This is a nutritionist-approved change for SO many reasons!

If you’ve tried one of the #12tinychanges already, you know that each change is easy and doable. May’s tiny change is as simple as taking a seat! Here’s why…

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We’re simply going to sit down to eat, as often as possible. Why? It’s really, really important!

We’re not aiming for a tablecloth and two different types of forks, no need for the fancy China.
We’re not trying to make every meal a three-course marathon.
We’re not even shooting for a 100% success rate.

We’re just trying to make rushed, mindless eating the exception instead of the rule.

Who among us hasn’t been there – eating over the sink, picking the kids’ leftovers off their plates, standing in front of the fridge while scrolling through Instagram? (hand raised!) It happens…but it’s really not so good for any of us.

If you need more convincing, here are my top reasons why we should all eat sitting down:

Sitting = Knowing

When we eat on the go, we often eat fast, neglect to chew, and don’t even realize what is happening. Oftentimes, when we indulge in mindless snacking and full meals, we eat more than we need to, faster than we should, and don’t really enjoy it.

Stop Moving, Stop Stress

Shoving food into our mouths isn’t exactly relaxing. Trying to eat while navigating rush hour traffic is not calming (or satisfying!) Eating while we multitask can actually be quite stressful, and stressful situations can lead to the release of cortisol. Excess cortisol can lower metabolism, decrease immunity, and cause gastrointestinal problems. We can avoid all that if we just spend a few extra minutes eating veggie soup at a table instead of drinking it in a mug in the car!

Connecting > Consuming

Dozens of hours go into growing, harvesting, transporting, and preparing the food we eat. Water, sunshine, fossil fuels, and elbow grease make it possible. You put time and effort into preparing each dish, so why rush through the best part: eating it?

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Something that really helps to slow down and connect: Take five deep breaths before eating. It centers me, clears my mind, and turns my attention to the delicious meal in front of me.

Meals Create Community

Of course, we can’t eat every meal surrounded by friends and family, but sharing food is one of the best ways to connect and bond with others. Eating together is an opportunity to decompress and catch up on our lives. We tell stories, laugh, support each other, and make new memories.

When we cook together or prepare family recipes, we reconnect with our past and our heritage. Mom’s famous TLC Cookies don’t have the same calming, healing properties if we shove them down while standing over the counter as if we share the experience, sitting and tuned in.

So how do we find the time to eat sitting down?

Often, it’s as simple as making the commitment and realizing that, yes, we do have the few extra minutes to sit down if we make it a priority. Think of all the energy that goes into cooking food. We want to appreciate our efforts and not just shove it into our mouths without tasting it!

Let’s be honest about another mealtime distraction: messing around on social media or flipping through TV channels! If we can scroll through Instagram, we can sit down and eat that blueberry bliss smoothie bowl or quinoa & black bean salad.

If you really do need a little extra time in your jam-packed day, what if you set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier? Or do some meal prep on Sundays? With a little bit of foresight, sitting down to eat is possible and rewarding!

One Healthy Breakdown: Sit. Breathe. Eat. Enjoy. It’s a simple change with big payoff.

 

November’s Tiny Change: Get More Sleep

OHH Intro: Sleep refuels and rejuvenates us, allowing us to keep on keepin’ on. This is the perfect tiny change with substantial lasting effects on all aspects of our health and happiness. Read on for Kale & Chocolate’s rundown of how to get a better night’s sleep, every night.

SammyIf you’re just joining us, this post is part of Kale & Chocolate’s year-long #12tinychanges challenge. Each month we’re implementing one super small, super doable change—it really adds up over the course of a year! You can read about all the changes here and share your progress on Instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges.

We’ve turned our clocks back and the sun is setting on darkness earlier and earlier as we approach winter. Our internal clocks will be re-setting, gearing up for what feels like hibernation, while our lives remain full of plans, hectic schedules, and the upcoming holidays. So it makes sense that this month’s 12 Tiny Changes Challenge is all about sleep!

By now, you probably know that you should be getting more sleep. In fact, there is evidence that only 40% of Americans are getting the recommended amount of shuteye! We can do better. Our lives and our bodies deserve better.

Lack of sleep has a cumulative effect. It reduces our immunity and slows our metabolism. It makes us more prone to stress and raises our cortisol levels. It makes us grumpy, irritable, and more likely to make less-than-great decisions.

Waking up poorly-rested can trigger a domino effect that throws off your whole day. You hit the snooze button (three times), rush through your hair and makeup routine, and gulp down a less-than-healthy breakfast (if anything at all.) You then stumble into work with low blood sugar, a foul mood, and a messy ponytail. Is it a surprise that your meeting goes poorly, your lunch is a whole pizza, and you road rage on the way home? It may seem like a no-brainer, but when we’re well-rested, these things are a lot less likely to happen.

If you know you should be getting more sleep, you probably are familiar with the basics of how to do it. No caffeine after 2 pm. Put down the phone. Shut off the TV. Make sure your room is dark, cool, and relaxing.

Here’s another tool to your ‘more sleep toolbox’. I call it: the nighttime ritual. A nighttime ritual is any set of behaviors or activities that help you wind down and decompress before bed to get you ready for the eight hours of sleep you need. These are things that calm and center you, preparing you for that deep, restorative sleep that will make the next day easier…and more productive!

Here are some of my favorite nighttime rituals.

1. A soothing evening snack or drink.
We are all familiar with the wisdom to “eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for dinner.” Although we do sleep better on a stomach that isn’t too full, we don’t want to wake up at 3 am starving. I like to keep my dinners light, so if I need a nighttime snack, I’ll munch on a handful of walnuts or cherries, both of which are natural sources of melatonin (a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness).

If you like to wind down with something comforting & cozy, you can’t beat the extra TLC you feel with a healing turmeric latte or a warming cup of herbal tea. An apple with nut butter gives you a generous serving of fiber with a bit of healthy fat and protein, while bananas are filled with magnesium, potassium and tryptophan—minerals that relax your body to help you get a bit more shut eye. (A little nice cream, anyone?)

2. Get tomorrow out of your head and onto paper.
Do you do that thing where you lay in bed, stare at the ceiling, and mentally compile pages of to-do lists? Yeah, me too. Let’s stop. If you take five minutes each night to write down your next-day tasks, you won’t have to lie awake worrying that you forgot something.

For bonus points, write your to-do list on paper (so you won’t get sucked into your computer or phone) and do this somewhere other than your bedroom. Then leave it there – far, far away from your bed. Total game-changer!

3. Prepare for tomorrow so you can truly relax once you’re in bed.
Your future self will thank you for this! Spend 20 minutes laying out your clothes for the next day and making sure you have what you need (and enough time) for breakfast. When you prep ahead, you eliminate any thoughts about stressful mornings that could keep you up at night in addition to maximizing your sleep the following morning!

4. Try a little bit of stretching or gentle movement.
I like to move through a few yoga poses before bed, or even just sit on the floor and stretch. It helps me work out the kinks of the day and signal to my body that we’re slowing down. Even just a few conscious deep breaths may be enough to make that shift.

5. Make your preparations for bed as lovely and luxurious as possible.
I know it’s tempting to quickly wash your face and then pull on some old sweats, but it’s so much nicer to make bedtime into a sweet, relaxing ritual. What if you spent half an hour relaxing in the bathtub? Or found a pair of cozy pajamas you really liked? Or made your moisturizing process into a mini massage? What if you splurged on Egyptian cotton sheets and a few pillows that perfectly meet your fluffiness needs? You’re a lot more likely to get ready for bed in a timely matter if you actually enjoy the process!

6. Practice gratitude.
A gratitude practice can help put things in perspective, especially if you’re feeling a little low. It can be done by writing your thoughts down in a special journal, sharing the highlights of your day with your partner/roommate/pet, or just mentally thanking life for the good things it served up today. If you’re stuck, remember you can be grateful for anything. I’ve even written, “I’m thankful that my dogs are happy and healthy.” This is such a great practice to do, not only around Thanksgiving!

7. Feel good with soothing essential oils.
Essential oils are one of my favorite pantry staples, but I use them for more than salad dressing! Rose and lavender oils relieve stress and bergamot is said to alleviate mild anxiety. Of course, you can simply breathe in your essential oil of choice, but you can also add a few drops to a bath or to the floor of your shower. I love these recipes for calming essential oil face mists.

8. Cuddle someone who loves you.
Your cuddle buddy can be your kids, your partner, or your pet! Whomever you cuddle, the benefits are the same; cuddling has been shown to boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol levels. Plus, it’s a fun and calming and the perfect way to end your day.

This month, I’m doing the challenge right alongside you. Getting enough sleep is something that I really struggle with. So, I’m ready for more + better sleep!

To help get you excited for this month’s challenge, Kale & Chocolate will be giving away some awesome sleep-inducing prizes, including bath powders, essential oils, eye-masks, and more. To enter, simply share your nighttime rituals on instagram with the hashtag #12tinychanges and tag (and follow!) @kaleandchocolate and @hamptonskiley. Show us your cup of tea, your meditation space, your fur babies, your nighttime snack…anything that helps you feel calm and centered before dosing off to sleep. So, tuck yourself in and sleep tight!

One Healthy Breakdown: in order to live life to the fullest, we must sleep in between!

12 Tiny Changes to Make the Year Amazing

*When Elise Museles of Kale & Chocolate shared her idea for #12tinychanges, I hopped on board without hesitation and I think that you will as well! After all, September is the perfect time to make healthy changes, we might as well make changes that stick! So, join us in making the next 12 months amazing, one tiny change at a time! Elise explains exactly how below:

September always feels like the beginning of a new year, doesn’t it? There’s an energy in the air as the kids head back to school and we adults buckle down at work. Just like the new year, many of us view September as an opportunity to make big changes: more exercise! Fewer refined carbs! More water! No TV! More salad! Home-cooked family dinners every night!

768px-EenbruinigherfstbladAnd we might just try to implement all of those changes at once, going from one to 60 in two days. Not surprisingly, this rarely works. We burn out, pull a muscle, and unhappily binge eat over the sink (we’ve all been there.) Our goals to eat healthy, exercise often, and replace TV with journal writing are strong on day 1…and gone by Friday…oops!

Has this ever happened to you? How many times have you broken promises to yourself? This time, it’s going to stick. This time, it’s going to be different. I know because I’ve been there. The only solution that I’ve found is to make teeny, tiny, sometimes even laughably small changes over the course of a long period of time. Baby steps, indeed.

Instead of “I’m quitting dairy tomorrow” I said, “I’m going to put almond milk in my coffee every morning for the next month.” Instead of “from now on, I’m drinking eight glasses of water every single day,” how about “I’m going to drink a glass of water before each meal for the next month.”

12tinychangesBy the time a month had passed, I was on my way to developing a new healthy (and permanent) habit. By the time an entire year had passed, I had over a dozen new habits! I slept better, ate cleaner, moved more, and was kinder to myself. I made all of these changes in a sane, sustainable way…and those good habits have stuck around. It’s not about the changes we want to make, it’s about the changes we actually commit to and turn into habits.

So I invite you to take advantage of September’s bustling new energy and join me in the 12 Tiny Changes Challenge, by committing to 12 small and doable changes to try—one per month, over the course of the next year. Grab yourself a cup of matcha tea and nestle in. We’ve got a fun year ahead. Are you ready? Let’s go, why wait?!

September: This month, I’ll devote a few hours to meal prep every week.

Your mom wasn’t kidding when she said that if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. It’s so much easier to eat healthy all week when your pantry, fridge, and freezer are properly stocked and prepared! This month, spend a few hours every Sunday (or Friday or Monday – you choose) prepping some of your meals & snacks, shopping for fresh, in-season produce, chopping, slicing, and peeling. You don’t need to do it all at once, but with the new fall routine settling in after summer’s carefree days, it’s an opportune time to create a little structure with your meal planning. Learn how to set yourself up for success here. Be sure to follow @kaleandchocolate on Instagram, (and @hamptonskiley) post your meal prep pics, and join in by using #12tinychanges hashtag. Last but not least, there will be prizes!

One Healthy Breakdown: get prepping and posting, change(s) is just around the corner!

Run 10 FEED 10 Recap

The FEED Foundation, started by Lauren Bush Lauren, aids world hunger and malnutrition in a creative, powerful, and trend-setting way. Over seventy five million meals have been provided through sales of FEED’s signature artisan products (bags, t-shirts, jewelery, etc.) Buyers can feel good about purchasing great products that support an even better cause, providing adequate nutrition for those in need. Good products that FEED the world, check them out here!

photo 3I learned about FEED Projects through Women’sHealth Magazine’s Run 10 Feed 10 Campaign, a series of 10k races to fund domestic hunger. Each registration fee FEEDS 10 meals to those in need right in your own ‘backyard.’ Food is available; however, it is unfortunately not accessible to everyone. FEED Projects, in collaboration with Women’sHealth Magazine, is out to make change, one meal at a time, one bag at a time, one runner at a time.

I’m eager to spread the word about Run 10 Feed 10 because this fabulous campaign combines all good things One Healthy Hamptons loves to support: women’s health, fitness, aiding hunger, running, celebrating, and more! Every summer, Women’sHealth Magazine heads out east for a weekend celebration packed with fitness and fun in preparation for NYC’s Run 10 Feed 10 race on Sunday, September 21st. Register today!

picstitch(21)*Pictured above with Lindsey & Casey from Women’sHealth and friend Alicia

We kicked off “Women’sHealth covers the Hamptons” weekend with a great Flywheel class on Saturday morning before the celebrations commenced. And celebrate we did, at the Run 10 Feed 10 “Party Under the Stars.” There’s nothing better than celebrating a great cause with like-minded, inspirational people…Hamptons style of course!

picstitch(22)*Pictured above with friends Kristy & Marisa, B-School founder/entrepreneur Marie Forleo, and The FEED Foundation’s Lauren Bush Lauren

One Healthy Breakdown: run for a cause, shop for a cause, celebrate for a cause.

Let’s Have a Heart-to-Heart

February is American Heart Month and we’re celebrating with awareness, join us won’t you?! Heart disease is scary stuff. We hear about cancer on a daily basis, but do you know what causes heart disease, a leading cause of death, and how to best prevent it? Let’s have a little heart-to-heart…

heart1. DON’T SMOKE! Tobacco, nicotine, and carbon monoxide in cigarettes are a triple threat for heart disease. The good news is that upon quitting, risk decreases immediately.

2. Eat healthy. Less red meat, more vegetables and lean protein. Less sugar, more fruit. Less white flour, more whole grains. Less salt, more herbs and spices. Although maintaining a healthy weight is optimal, weight does not necessarily correlate with health. Click here for some helpful nutrition tips.

3. Exercise. Daily. What strengthens the heart? Getting the heart pumping! Schedule regular workouts you enjoy and move more throughout the day by walking, taking the stairs, etc. Exercise and healthy eating are often far more effective than medication in promoting heart health.

4. Go to the doctor. Be sure to get your blood, blood pressure, and cholesterol checked regularly to stay on top of any risk factors.

One Healthy Breakdown: unlike other diseases, heart disease is very preventable. Yet another reason to make some healthy changes TODAY.

Think PINK This October

Happy October! One Healthy Hamptons is going PINK for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer? Sadly, we all know someone, at least one person, who has suffered with breast cancer. So, what can WE do?? Until there is a cure, we can spread awareness and take preventative measures against known causes. Make it your October goal to make some healthy changes to decrease your odds while increasing your health. These breast cancer prevention tips promote health in general, they’re changes everyone should follow, whether you think you’re at risk or not. Are you with us?? BC

The obvious? DON’T SMOKE! I don’t know why anyone in this day and age would pay $$ to get cancer and stink. Please just don’t do it.

Exercise! Get moving! Whatever workout you like, do it! Getting your heart pumping increases good estrogen while decreasing the bad. It also strengthens our immune system and aids in maintaining a healthy weight, which is a huge factor in cancer cell growth.

Decompress. Today. Right now. Make YOU a priority and do something to destress everyday. Even if it’s just deep breathing for five minutes or a 15 minute nap. Stress inhibits the immune system, so decompress and rest up! Doctors orders!

Do a little yoga. Make it a priority to get to a class or practice at home. Yoga not only reduces stress, it also balances hormones, which play a huge role in cancer development.

Above all else is FOOD! Nutrition is a SUPER important factor when fighting cancer of any kind and it’s even more important for prevention. According to breastcancer.org, diet is partly responsible for between 30-40% of all cancers. Eat a healthy diet. Get your antioxidants, and limit sugar (cancer’s best friend.) That means more vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats in their purest form. Less processed crap. Nutrient-dense foods, especially plant-based, increase our alkalinity, which makes it a whole lot less pleasant for cancer cells to grow inside of us.

Are you sensing a pattern here? These are all no brainers, all things I preach weekly. Daily. Hourly. Yes, balance is important and we’re not all perfect. We’re not going to eat healthy, work out, meditate, avoid sugar, do yoga, and get fresh air every single day. But, do your best. It’s a new month and a new chance to make small changes towards a healthier you.

If you like the sound of that but aren’t sure where to start, email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com today. Our fall cleanse includes step-by-step tactics, recipes, and tips to conquer each and every one of these cancer-busting strategies. Until then, think pink and H A P P Y  O C T O B E R !

One Healthy Breakdown: whether you do it to prevent cancer or feel better daily, make healthy changes TODAY.

Yoga’s Gift to Me

Young Woman Meditating on the FloorMoms have the hardest job! With five kids of my own, I’m guilty of bellowing “I can’t take another minute of this!” Not so positive, I know… But I have to be honest, I meant it! I meant this and…many other negative, self-defeating thoughts and statements through the years. General stress topped with ‘end-of-day-mommy-exhaustion’ can do that to a person. Am I right or am I right?

Then one day, I heard my daughter shout in an awful, guttural, honestly horrifying way, “I can’t TAKE another MINUTE of THIS!” I couldn’t even try to deny where she got it from, everyone in the house looked right at me. It really is something when we face ourselves in our children isn’t it? The good, the bad and the ugly. Ugh.

In my highly-energized (some may say ‘wound-up,’ I prefer ‘highly energized’) way, I shared this latest exclamation with one of my serene, calm, always-balanced friends (we differ in some ways…) She suggested I join her for a yoga class. Yoga? Not fast enough for me. I spin, I run, I lift, I swim, and I do triathlons. I am fit. Yoga? I don’t think so. Truly the teacher would not want me there. I will squirm, mentally go thru my grocery list, watch everyone else, count how many ladies are wearing LuLu…nah, it won’t be good, it’s not for me.

My friend persisted….she spoke of things like breathing, (duh, I do that!) listening, slowing down, (slow is not usually my style) and sweating (now that’s what I like to hear!) So I went to yoga. And to this day, I have a dysfunctional relationship with yoga, but I did I get one of the biggest life-changing gifts during that yoga class.

My mother always said: “f you have nothing nice to say, say nothing.” In life, that saying has always stayed with me, but there’s more to it. What I learned in that yoga class was the power of positive thoughts. Pay attention, this is actually life-altering. Take it from me, the skeptical mom of five who will try anything to make life flow a teeny, tiny bit smoother.

At the end of class, the teacher had us close our eyes and lay on our backs. She continued to quietly talk about self-kindness and the power of positive thoughts. (I should probably mention the fact that she was going from person to person massaging each of our feet – THAT may have helped!) Anyway, she suggested, when we go home, to hear our negative thoughts and try to replace every negative thought with a positive thought, recite the positive thought aloud, take 3 big inhales and exhales, and then recite the positive thought again.

The payoff? That yoga teacher claimed many; serenity, calm, happiness, hope, gratitude, improved immune system, improved overall mental health, improved concentration, and more! What mom isn’t looking for a little of that? So I tried it. And it worked. Not overnight, it takes time, but it helps. A lot. It’s something I am mindful of everyday, and it works.

While I can become a bit discouraged about the number of times a negative thought still floats through my mind, I’m in awe of my ability to press ‘rewind’ and turn a negative into a positive. I’ve discovered positive behavior follows positive thinking! You know what else? Positive energy attracts positive energy! I’m constantly amazed at how greatly this one exercise has empowered me. Finally, I live a life full of positivity. And the change is actually doable. It’s free, it’s personal, and it’s mind-blowing.

The best part? The other day…my daughter was running across the playground and a little boy bumped into her. She took quite a spill. As I approached her, I braced myself for her response. Perhaps she would cry, want to go home, or even lash out at the other child. Guess what? She slowly got up and while wiping all the sand off her knees, I heard her mumbling “It’s ok, little boy. We are fine. We are strong kids! We are positive! Want to play?” And off they went!

I am inspired by that yoga teacher. She taught me that being fit is about more than just my body. It’s about being strong enough to listen to my thoughts, breath thru them, make a choice to change them, and believe in the power of positivity. It’s a great gift we can give ourselves and our children. Try it for yourself…if I can do it, you can do it!

*Norah Benincasa is the owner of Pedal and Pose Fitness Studio in Concord, MA. She is a certified personal trainer, spin instructor, TRX trainer, Body Pump trainer, more…and mom of five! Norah holds a masters degree in social work and is an expert in all things fitness!