June’s Tiny Change: Slow Down

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 – tag @kaleandchocolate and @hamptonskiley with the hashtag #12tinychanges for a chance to win some cool prizes!

When was the last time you did…nothing? Can you remember meandering around town without an agenda? Or taking the dog for a walk just because the sun’s out? Or actually stopping to smell the flowers? Really stopping, breathing, sniffing, inhaling the aroma without a care in the world, somewhere to be, a to-do list to check-off, or a photo to post online?

flowers

Doing nothing can be surprisingly difficult…yet incredibly rewarding! So many of us hide in our “busy.” As a society, we love getting as much done in a day as possible. We feel accomplished and clever when we manage to eat our lunch while replying to emails. The reality is that we’ve found ways to multitask just about every moment of every day…which means we’re missing half of this thing called life! Being “busy,” “plugged in,” and “on” isn’t actually healthy, or sustainable. It’s not good for our bodies, our minds, or our relationships. So, let’s change that!

This is usually the part of the #12tinychanges post where we assure you that this tiny change is really easy and totally doable. And while slowing down is doable, (and important!) it will require more from you than some of our past challenges, such as starting the day in a powerful way, getting more sleep, or eating more color. Slowing down requires you to really commit (mentally and emotionally) to not committing. Although it might feel counter-intuitive to “make time” for down time, it’s just as valuable as those bustling, busy hours (maybe even more!)

slowReady to slow down a bit? Here are five ways that you can ease the pace of your life just a little:

  1. Say no.

It’s hard to slow down if our calendars are filled with obligations and meetings, but when we say “no” to things that don’t excite us, we get to say “yes” to ourselves and to better self-care.

This month, let’s (politely) turn down requests or obligations that just don’t feel right. You know when our bodies tell us “no,” but we say “yes” anyway? Listen to your intuition next time! Can you coordinate this or plan that or be here or meet there or brainstorm for…? No. No. and No.

2. Schedule unstructured time into your calendar.

Yes, really. Open your calendar right now, look at today, find a 20-minute window and schedule time to do nothing. When that calendar notification pops up, treat it the same way you’d treat a meeting: step away from your desk and go do nothing.

Cuddle your pet. Lay in your backyard and stare at the sky. Take an aimless walk through the neighborhood. Make yourself a matcha latte and savor it outside. Page through family photos. Meditate. Whatever you do, resist the urge to turn this unstructured time into cleaning, working, stressing, or doing of any kind. Just do nothing and enjoy!

3. Try doing something the “old fashioned” (or “less convenient”) way.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about accomplishing things without technology. What if you explored a new city using an actual, paper map and asking locals for their recommendations? What if you mixed your brownies with a big wooden spoon and a bit of elbow grease instead of relying on the food processor? What about spending the day at a pick-your-own farm or orchard, plucking fruits and vegetables, instead of grabbing them at the store? Or how about free-writing in an actual journal with an actual pen or pencil?

When we choose to put away our phones and use our minds and bodies (instead of smartphone apps or kitchen appliances), we reconnect with life and the world around us.

4. Do one thing at a time.

Maybe you usually listen to podcasts on your daily walk or catch up on email between activities? Whether it’s calling friends from the car when you have a long drive or using meal times to check in on social media, chances are, you’re doing more than one thing at once.

What if you did just one of those things with that time? The walk or the podcast, the email or the soccer game, the meal or Instagram? We’re so used to multitasking, but it’s not always as effective as devoting your time and energy to just one task at a time. In fact, it’s been proven that multitasking results in lower quality work, and it takes us longer to complete a task when we spread our attention too thin.

5. Literally, physically slow down.

Ever noticed yourself pacing around, talking too fast, speeding, or breathing quickly for no reason other than stress, busyness, and habit?

Often, we can change the way we feel emotionally by changing the way we feel physically. We can often calm our minds by taking deep breaths, releasing our shoulders, and choosing to speak, move, drive, and act with intent. Next time you feel stressed, check in with your body and attempt to literally slow everything down. You’ll instantly feel better!

Slowing down can be tricky. It’s easy to fill our schedules or fall into the pattern of multitasking. But when you learn to slow down with purpose, you regain control of every aspect of your life. Remember, a slower life is a healthier, more centered, present, and efficient life. Your hurried body and mind will thank you. Let’s put the brakes on our hurried lives and sloooooow down!

One Healthy Breakdown: here’s to slowing down and feeling up!

Healthy Holidays in the Hamptons

Holiday goals: Stay healthy. Work out. Feel fit. Don’t hibernate. Eat veggies. Fit into jeans. Enjoy family time. HydrateSleep. Eat the cookie without the guilt. Wouldn’t it be nice? This year, we’re getting through it together. Yes, that means you – we want to hear from YOU!

IMG_3036OHH invites you to share YOUR healthy holiday habits, recipes, tips, stories, inspiration, and celebrations leading up to the New Year. Simply email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com to share your idea. Follow @hamptonskiley and use hashtags #healthyholidays and #onehealthyhamptons on social media to join the conversation.

One Healthy Breakdown: Together, we’ll make spirits bright and feel healthy and light!

Feeling Fresh & Clean Ending 2014

One engagement, wedding, and honeymoon behind me and I’m ready for a reset, both mentally and physically. The dress fittings have come and gone and life goes on, my friends! Real life is calling and there’s no time like the present. I know you can all relate. If it’s not a wedding, it’s a birthday, a vacation, or another reason to celebrate. There will always be an excuse to sip champagne and eat cake, but it’s about living in moderation and maintaining a healthy body and mind that keeps us stable. Instead of heading into January with holiday bloat and gloat, let’s skip the New Years anticipation and just feel better today. Personally, I feel my best when I’m treating my body and my mind right.

Living a healthy lifestyle is like balancing a scale, the middle point between extremes. Though I didn’t really diet for my wedding, I was definitely hyper-aware of what I put into my body and how I targeted my workouts. While that’s one side of the spectrum, the other was my honeymoon indulgence in all things good and carby; pasta, pizza, wine, dessert, and more wine. While both practices were right for me at the time, (no shame in that!) but I’m excited to find the happy middle that is real life again!

Vintage Balance Scale If you’re in a need of a few small changes, a little reset, and balancing out the scale, join me in the following practices. Let’s do this sans the juice cleanse, starvation, strictness, supplements, or labels. Just some good old fashioned healthy fun to feel good inside and out.

1. Eat clean, lean, and green, whole foods, and indulge mindfully. It’s no surprise that whole foods are the way to go and that fresh fruits and veggies should be at the top of the pyramid. As the seasons shift, our bodies naturally crave more comforting, warming foods. Satisfy these cravings with soups, autumn staples, spiced smoothies, lean protein, whole grains, herbs and spices, and healthy fats. It’s not rocket science and there’s no magic diet involved (thank the lord!) Indulge moderately, chew slowly, and be aware of portion size. Don’t restrict yourselves of your favorite pleasure foods (for me, it’s red wine, nut butter, and dark chocolate) and don’t beat yourself up for indulging, but do avoid processed food and too much of a good thing.

2. Move your body every single day. It’s that simple. I’m all about switching it up, trying new things, and enjoying exercise. To me, a healthy, balanced life includes some grueling workouts that challenge, push, and exhaust as well as less-demanding days to rest, stretch, and recharge. Regardless of what it is, your favorite workouts/classes should be a priority on your calendar. Make it happen, walk more, and treat your body with love, it’s carrying you through life and you won’t get very far without lots of movement.

3. Sleep. Thoughts of our honeymoon are full of amazing memories, sites, and meals as well as physically and emotionally feeling like a  million bucks. No, it wasn’t just because I was on newlywed cloud 9. I slept. A LOT. Sleep is the fuel that charges our bodies to run efficiently and stay healthy, both physically and mentally. 8+ hours – make it happen.

4. Take time for yourself and give yourself permission to RELAX, every single day. Whether you practice daily meditation or not, it’s crucial to take ten minutes a day to breathe, connect with yourself, reflect, refocus, set your intention for the day, do some yoga, and completely relax. Like sleep, this simple practice can make your entire day, week, month, life better all around.

One Healthy Breakdown: It’s really that simple, folks. Let’s commit to feeling fresh and clean heading into 2015!

Labels Shmabels

I often get asked what I eat. “What are you? Vegan? Vegetarian? Paleo?” Nope. Nope. Nope. I guess I’d say I’m just a “happy, healthy eater.”

1620486_482742691837906_61031964_n*this may or not be me, happily eating

Yup, I love food, talking about food, learning about food, cooking food, and, most of all, eating food. We’re constantly learning about how food affects us – it’s an exciting time for the science of nutrition. Food is everywhere and keeping up with food trends is a full time job.

Pick up any food-related magazine or book or browse the internet for 5 minutes and you’ll get 17 different dietary suggestions…all negating each other. Gluten free or dairy free? Juice or smoothie? High carb or low carb? Plant-based or protein-packed? Paleo’s in, vegan’s out. Or is it the other way around? How do we know what rules to stick to and what rules to rule out?!

What if there were no rules? No labels? If there are no rules, there’s no restriction. There’s no bad vs. good or one size fits all…because there isn’t.  There’s only food and how it makes us feel. Every single one of us is SO DIFFERENT that there are no generalizations when it comes to food. Genetically, we are different. We live different lifestyles and have different goals, cravings, needs, bodies, and beliefs about food. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa and foods that make me feel good may make you feel not so good and vice versa.

One Healthy Breakdown: Do eat what’s right for you; what makes you feel healthy and happy.

How about a Little Nutrition…For Your Skin?

Christine Laureano is the founder of Ba6 Botanicals, all-natural, chemical-free skin care products that nurture, heal, and pamper your skin. Here she shares her best tips for nutrition for the skin.

fruits-and-nutsIt’s time to think about what we put on our skin – and feeling good in your skin, not just about the ingredients, but about actual nutrition. It’s spring. I think about how much “comfort food” I ate while hibernating over the cold months, and how I’m going to work it off! I look at all the beautiful colors that are emerging – and the greens, the fresh, fresh greens that I can’t wait to consume. I’m thinking about how I’m going to detox and feed my body so I have more energy and feel younger and more alert.

Which leads to…what are we feeding our skin?

Body care products on the drug store shelf, let’s just say, have no nutritional value for your skin. They may have oils (one or two…maybe) that give you the feeling that they are good for you, but nutritionally speaking, they are lacking.

So what does nutrition for your skin look like? What goes on your body, to keep it healthy, vibrant and alive, looks surprisingly like what goes in your body! Hmmmm, who knew.

I always tell people that if you run our of moisturizer, go to the kitchen and grab your bottle of olive oil for hearty skin-soothing nutrients to spread all over the body! Olive oil is high in oleic acid, (a naturally occurring fatty acid) is good for skin cell regeneration, and it helps soothe inflamed skin (thanks to antioxidants like vitamins A & E.)

You’re probably hearing a lot about coconut oil these days. It’s a great oil to cook with because it can “take the heat” so to speak. Coconut oil is another good kitchen oil for the skin because it’s non-greasy, absorbs well, good for dry sensitive skin, and won’t clog pores.

There are a lot of other oils that are super nutritious for your skin: almond, hazelnut, apricot kernel, and avocado. What other natural things can you think of that would be nutritious for your skin? Here are a few of my faves:

Apples – natural AHA (fruit acids) and mild for the skin.
Lemons – refreshes skin and another AHA (but this one stronger than apples) just be careful not to use lemon before going into the sun – it promotes sunburn.
Avocado – mash that up and you get a super-nutrient for skin and a great moisturizing masque for dry and damaged hair too.
Oatmeal – great to soothe inflamed skin. It has protein, vitamins A, B’s, E, K, Omegas and other key minerals.
Honey – real and raw local honey is excellent for helping to soothe your skin form irritation and inflammation, keep skin moisturized, and help with acne. It’s loaded with antioxidants and great for wrinkles and aging skin.

When you FEED your skin the good stuff – nutrient rich food – your skin will look younger, continue to produce collagen and elastin longer. You’ll have fewer zits, eczema, dry skin, and other issues will fade. For more healthy skin tips and information on Christine’s great local skincare line Ba6 Botanicals, see Ba6Botanicals.com.

One Healthy Breakdown: As Christine always says, “Feel Great in the Skin You’re In!”