Pregnancy: The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Pregnancy is an amazing process, like no other, and I was lucky enough to feel pretty darn good for the majority of this time…with some definite exceptions. I realize that many women have it a lot worse (and a lot better) than me, this is just my own experience. At the end of the day, all of these pregnancy symptoms are nothing compared to the gift that we’re about to get as a result. With that said, let’s get real about growing a baby, shall we?

First trimester:

The GOOD: for whatever reason, I didn’t experience much nausea in the beginning. In fact, I’m happy to say that my entire pregnancy, I’ve probably been nauseous about ten times total. Sure, I experienced other “stuff,” (keep reading) but not so much of this classic symptom. The best part about the first trimester was the realization that I actually had a baby growing inside me! It wasn’t easy getting pregnant, (thanks to birth control throwing my hormones off) so we are that much more thankful that it did happen. Though it was still our little secret during the first trimester, I spent it on cloud nine just thinking about our baby-to-be!

The BAD: the first 13 weeks of pregnancy consisted of lots and lots and lots of naps. Everything made me exhausted, even sleeping. I didn’t stand a chance against this kind of tired – by early afternoon, my eyes were closing and my bed was calling…pretty much everyday. I guess growing a human is exhausting. Luckily, I was able to schedule nap time after getting everything done earlier in the day, so I often gave in, listened to my body, and napped like crazy.

The UGLY: instead of the typical nausea, my ‘ugly’ pregnancy symptom was much less common, but equally uncomfortable. Apparently, when baby starts to grow and push on internal organs, but still isn’t  large enough for everything to find its place in there, things can get a little ‘mixed up.’ Not once, but twice early on in pregnancy, I ended up in the ER with a distended bladder, meaning that my bladder had stretched out and was not able to contract to pee like normal. I had to get a catheter in order to drain my bladder. Twice. Told you it was ugly…

Second trimester:

The GOOD: sharing our baby news was definitely the highlight of the second trimester. At the 12/13 week marks, odds of miscarriage greatly reduce, so that is when people typically let the cat out of the bag. We shared the news with our families and close friends earlier on with much excitement. We even got all corny and put a ‘bun in the oven’ for our friends to find when we invited them over for drinks (seltzer for me…always seltzer for me.) After the three month mark, I shared on OHH and social media. At the beginning of the second trimester, I didn’t really look so pregnant yet, but soon after, strangers would start to comment, ask, or congratulate me. That made me realize that my body and my baby were really growing, that this process was really happening. Best of all, towards the end of the second trimester, I began to feel baby girl moving around inside me which is, by far, the coolest feeling in the whole wide world.

The BAD: the end of the first trimester and most of the second trimester was like one long aversion to meat. I typically get a good amount of protein from poultry, meat, and fish, so my diet was thrown off…not to mention my ability to cook dinner. The hubs definitely got the short end of the stick on that one…While we’re on the topic, I should mention that while I didn’t really experience abnormal cravings, my body definitely wanted more fresh fruit and refreshing smoothies. One thing that I’ve had every single day during my pregnancy is avocado and I’m pretty sure that habit will not stop with baby’s arrival 🙂

The UGLY: here’s another weird and ugly symptom for ya, as I seem to be the queen of them! After a perfect report at the dentist just a week prior, I started to notice that my bottom gum felt like it was splitting from my teeth and that there was some space there that wasn’t there before. Sure enough, it was the very start of pregnancy gingivitis. I was pretty shocked as I try to take really good care of my teeth, but apparently it’s not uncommon. Luckily, with daily flossing and mouthwash, this went away within a few weeks and hasn’t returned.

Third Trimester:

The GOOD: the best part about my pregnancy is that I’ve been able to continue to work out and stay active the whole time, which is pretty huge for my sanity and happiness! Fingers crossed that this continues these last few weeks leading up to the big day as I’ve heard that continued exercise can pay off during labor. Don’t get me wrong, I take things pretty easy, don’t let my heart-rate get very high, and rarely break a sweat, but the continued movement has been great for my well-being, mentally and physically.

While I don’t push myself the way that I used to, I have been able to continue jogging, spinning, yoga, light weight-lifting, and circuit training, while really listening to my body and taking it slow. If something hurts, or just doesn’t feel right, I stop. For the most part, working out always makes me feel much better, so I keep doing it. With additional size comes a bit more difficulty, so I imagine that things may slow down over these next few weeks and that’s o.k. too. At a minimum, daily walks and prenatal yoga help to get the blood pumping and are better than nothing!

I was also very relieved when my doctor accommodated my request to avoid the glucose drink (full of sugar and genetically modified ingredients) to test for gestational diabetes; he did a simple blood test to evaluate my sugar levels and rule out GD. Thanks, doc!

The BAD: in addition to the exhaustion, extra weight, constant trips to the restroom, swelling, nerve pain, stretching skin, and all else that comes along with the third trimester, I also had quite the scare. At 37 weeks pregnant, I was going about my day, feeling absolutely fine when all of the sudden, I felt an intense pain in my back. I happened to be in the pharmacy when this came on and actually had to fall to the ground as the pain prevented me from standing or walking. After causing quite a commotion, (Sag Harbor Pharmacy’s staff is the best and took such good care of me!) my husband arrived and we went to the hospital…wondering…are these contractions? Is the baby coming?! Fast forward hours later and it turns out that the pain was the result of a kidney stone. Apparently, they can be common during pregnancy (although I’ve never heard anyone else I know getting so lucky!) So, that was a crazy day. Although the bad was not fun at all, it’s nothing compared to the ugly…

The UGLY: if you thought that the catheter, gingivitis, and kidney stone were ugly, just you wait! Trimester three kicked off with the start of an itchy rash on my growing belly. The rash soon got worse and spread. And then it got even worse and continued to spread. Just when I thought that it couldn’t get any worse, it got worse and spread…until it was pretty much all over me, completely unbearable, and totally debilitating. At its worst, I couldn’t sleep, had no appetite, was an emotional mess, and struggled to focus on the baby…or anything but the rash. Known as “PUPPPS” (Pruritic Urticarial Papules and Plaques of Pregnancy) or “PEP,” (Polymorphic Eruption of Pregnancy) there is very little known about this horrible diagnosis.

I tried herbal treatments, topical steroids, antihistamines, biopsies, oatmeal baths, moisturizers, minimizing my wardrobe to a few select cotton shirts, and doing anything I could to get some rest and relief. Six or seven weeks of absolute misery finally lead to some relief in the dose of oral Prednisone. As someone who hates taking medication and prefers living life holistically, I was so torn about trying all of these drugs, but was too desperate not to. I trusted that my doctors would not put baby at risk and thankfully, the Prednisone helped to make life bearable again, so that I could return my attention to happily growing baby.

We still don’t know much more than the fact that pregnancy can cause the immune system to lash out (aka rash out) and the only known solution, along with some meds, is to hang in there until baby arrives, when things should clear up pretty quickly thereafter. So, that’s the plan…

My best efforts point to what I know: food. Desperate for some relief, I’ve minimized gluten, dairy, refined sugar, and caffeine in an attempt to tame this beast. Although my diet is pretty clean and healthy, I’m committed to doing my best to rule out anything that may be causing extra inflammation. I’ve definitely noticed that my symptoms worsen after consuming cheese, so I’ve broken up with cheese until further notice. While I’ve never really been a huge cheese lover, (I prefer peanut butter…by the spoonful) pregnancy has me craving fresh mozzarella and I’ve always been a fan of plain Greek yogurt. While they sure are tasty, it’s just not, at all, worth it.

PUPPPS affects one in every 200-300 pregnancies. When I was at my worst and I hadn’t slept well in weeks, I constantly wondered WHY ME?! But then I would remind myself that everyone is dealing with something, whatever it may be, and to keep my eye on the prize, a beautiful, healthy blessing <3 Fortunately, all of the wild and crazy symptoms I experienced affected me and not really the baby. Although times got tough, I wouldn’t change taking it for the team for anything. Some women love being pregnant, others hate it. My feelings on pregnancy are bitter sweet, as you can now imagine. That will never change the fact that I am 1,000% positive that it will all be worth it in the end when baby girl is here! The countdown is on!

One Healthy Breakdown: nothing good in life comes easy, right? Babies included.

2016 Fab Fall Cleanse

The seasons are changing and it’s time to turn over a new leaf with One Healthy Hamptons’ new and improved FAB fall cleanse! Commit today to this five-day real-food plan and get ready to welcome the crisp fall season with open arms and tons of energy, confidence, and deliciousness!

leaf7Let’s get back to the basics with whole foods, tasty seasonal recipes, and life-changing wellness tips! This plan provides a guide for a five-day clean eating program to fuel your body with super foods, flush toxins, kick-start healthier habits, and restore energy. It’s not a quick fix, a diet, or a juice fast. With over 20 simple recipes, Kiley, founder of OHH and Nutritionist, created this program with your well-being and busy lifestyle in mind.

Within days of starting the plan, you’ll feel better, lighter, more energized, inspired, balanced, and ready to embrace fall! Best of all, you’ll pay a fraction of the cost of a juice cleanse, one that often results in exhaustion, irritability, slowed metabolism,  interrupted routine, and ironically, post-cleanse weight gain. Skip the sipping and choose real, fresh, delicious seasonal foods!

Teenagers Jumping

Simply email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com with subject “cleanse” for sign-up instructions. The program cost just $35 ($30 for subscribers!) and will be sent via email immediately. You’ll receive practical nutrition and wellness advice, a full grocery list, and countless recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, smoothies, and drinks. The structure is simple, flexible, and easy to follow, regardless of your busy lifestyle. Hop on board and feel fab in just days!

MP900227717Once you have purchased the OHH Fabulous Fall Cleanse, you own it and are free to use it at your own convenience, anytime you’d like. As summer winds down and our schedules ramp up, it’s more crucial than ever to put yourself and your health first. This is step one to doing just that.

One Healthy Breakdown: Refresh, renew, and cleanse away the old. Welcome the new!

Eating With the Season

Hello, winter.Eatwarm This cold front has me craving some serious comfort food and I know I’m not alone. If we can’t warm up out there, we’ve got to warm up in here (our kitchens, our bellies, our souls.) Luckily, with the right foods, we can.

As soon as the leaves turn color, the days shorten, and the temperature drops, those cravings for lite, raw, refreshing eats are replaced with desire for warm, hearty, comfort foods. Our bodies are naturally in tune with the changing seasons, as they should be. Our vitality directly depends on how we fuel our bodies, from our taste buds to our immune systems, (no sniffles!) and everything in between.

Eating with the season means fueling our bodies to align with our environment…and satisfying our souls too. With less sunshine, we’ve got to eat our Vitamin D. With an abundance of in-season produce, focus on the season’s freshest foods, like squash, kale, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. Sauté your greens for heartier salads, roast your veggies, and load up on warming herbs and spices. Transform your green juice into a sweet smoothie or even a light soup. Cure your afternoon sweet tooth with cooked apples (baked, roasted, or even microwaved.) Utilize healthy fats, like olive and coconut oil, and slightly increase whole grains. It takes energy to keep warm and good carbs provide good energy. Most importantly, listen intuitively to your body’s cravings, even when it calls for nothing but sweet indulgence. There’s a healthy upgrade for everything, from cupcakes to pancakes, pumpkin pie to brownies, even cake, doughnuts (what!) and peppermint bark! Once in a while, go all out with the real deal and savor every single bite. Yes, allow for occasional indulging, but never forgo the veggies and continue to build meals around seasonal produce, lean protein, and good carbs.

Warm up in other ways by sweating in the gym, hot yoga, warm baths and showers, bundling up, snuggling under blankets, and lots of tea by the fire. See, maybe winter does have it’s perks.

FullSizeRender(5)One Healthy Breakdown: Beat the heat…with how you eat!

Nothin’ Like EVOO

10702069_904476514773_3840381980300393958_nCiao bella! Although I am a huge fan of all things coconut oil, there’s just nothin’ like the one and only EVOO. Olive oil, rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, is a fundamental part of the Mediterranean Diet. My recent trip to Italy for our honeymoon spiked quite a rekindling for my relationship with olive oil. I’ve always used and loved it, but my appreciation for the oil grew stronger as Italians just don’t live without it. From salad to octopus, (yup) pasta to dessert, olive oil was as essential as water (and wine!) at every meal. Every bite was a bit tastier, richer, and more satiating.

10689850_904476659483_2449018094796810023_nMaking pasta from scratch in Rome!

Olive oil is a monounsaturated fat – aka a healthy fat. Although it is very high in fat content, olive oil’s health benefits are unparalleled. A diet consisting of EVOO regularly is correlated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. The phytonutrients in olive oil help to strengthen and protect the blood vessel cells, prevent blockages, and aid digestion. It also transforms a bowl of spaghetti into a work of culinary magic. Bellissima!

1017740_904477602593_2597989234029221327_nWhy EVOO? Extra virgin olive oil is fresh-pressed, less processed, and more pure than regular olive oil. EVOO has been proven to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, and blood pressure. So, instead of butter, margarine, dressing, sauce, etc., turn to EVOO. Olive oil can also be used to treat a sunburn, condition hair, moisturize skin and lips, rid stickiness, polish surfaces, fix a jam, remove eye makeup, and so much more. Who knew?!

One Healthy Breakdown: Rekindle your relationship with this old fave today and you won’t be sorry!

Wine and Dine at Vine Street Café

Whether you’re a Shelter Island native or first-timer, one step inside Vine Street Café and you’ll feel right at home. Regulars come from all over for good reason: to savor a meal done right. Savor the food, the atmosphere, cocktails, company, and lots of local goodness.

photo 1(1)The greeting upon entering a restaurant sets the mood instantly. Anna and team welcome every single person warmly, whether stranger or life-long friend. This kindness and personality shines throughout the experience as each server is pleasant and attentive, taking their job far beyond serving the meal itself. Visit Vine Street with company you’d like to spend a whole evening with. The wait can be long during peak times and the experience is not meant to be rushed. If you don’t have time to wine and dine, you can always stop in to the gourmet market to bring Vine Street home, great for picnics and signature gifts.

photo(186)The restaurant’s atmosphere is just as welcoming as the company at Vine Street. With rustic wood beams, dim lighting, simply decor, and a beautiful bar, it’s like ski lodge meets chapel meets fisherman’s hideaway…or something like that. Summer at Vine Street feels lively and easy while winter is warm and cozy.

Although the bread is great and the wine is better, I suggest spending some time with the menu itself. Come hungry, leave happy. Each and every dish is created on-site with the best of ingredients and intentions. The theme is local creativity. From local oysters to fresh salads, the starters are just as deliciously crafted as the entrées.

photo(11)Plats Du Jour offers a variety of seasonal staples and the menu itself includes extensive options for every preference, combining the best in local seafood, decadent pastas, fresh produce, and seasoned steak, accompanied by select sauces, sides, and wine to fulfill your palette.

You’ll most likely be perfectly satisfied after the main course, but the dessert menu at Vine Street is gravitating. Whether you’re a sweets connoisseur or not, I recommend indulging in a dessert (when in Rome Shelter Island, right?!) The sticky toffee pudding can only be described as heavenly, in good company with mint chip profiteroles and chocolate gateau; just a couple of bites is enough to melt.

photo 2(1)One Healthy Breakdown: wining and dining at Vine Street Café is well worth the trip!

More Broccoli Please!

Broccoli is a side-dish that just never gets old. This green cruciferous veggie is always in style because it’s rich in nutrients that aid inflammation, oxidative stress, digestion, detoxification, and even prevents diseases like cancer. When prepared right, even the kids will want more!

MP900049546

Simple Broccoli with Lemon, Garlic, and Pine Nuts:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of fresh organic broccoli cut into pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or another high-heat oil)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauté chopped garlic in coconut oil. Once browned, take off heat and combine in bowl with olive oil, lemon juice, and dijon mustard. Whisk until consistent. While toasting pine nuts, steam broccoli in a broiling pan or steamer until just cooked. Pour garlic dressing and toasted pine nuts over warm broccoli, salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy as a side dish or snack! For a whole meal, add chickpeas or tempeh before sautéing garlic!

One Healthy Breakdown: tasty and healthy means broccoli done right.

It’s ALL about B A L A N C E

When I came home from Anastasia Gavalas‘ – who you may recognize from OHH’s One Healthy MomHamptons Wellness Week lecture, “Rebalance Your Family,” I felt more balanced instantly!

balanceAlthough I don’t have a family of my own yet, (though we are adding an addition in a few weeks…more to come on that!) better balance is definitely a goal of mine and Anastasia’s insight is valuable for anyone and everyone. I preach about balance a lot and clearly, I want to practice what I preach, so better balance is a huge goal of mine, in 2014 and beyond!

Practicing and attaining balance makes us happier and healthier human beings. Balance isn’t necessarily permanent, but the feeling of balance is one we can learn to continuously strive for. Whether we have two things to do or 39, it’s about our approach. It’s about US. If we don’t first work on ourselves, everything around us will feel unbalanced too.

When we feel balanced, everything is more doable, things naturally fall into place. We go with the tides instead of against them. We’re able to feel good about what we get done and not beat ourselves up for what can probably wait until tomorrow. We’re content and realistic, and in turn, more present and efficient. Sounds good, right? So, how do we get there?

One of Anastasia’s top tips, which I’ll share with you, takes just ten minutes a day, and makes a huge difference. Get up in the morning and ask yourself: What is most important for me to accomplish today and what will make me feel happy if I get it done? What do I need to do today that will allow me to go to bed tonight feeling content and balanced? What are my top priorities today?

I LOVE this strategy and I’m going to incorporate it into my morning routine starting TODAY. I see it as a combination of list-making and meditating, rolled into one (which is good for a busy person seeking balance!) It’s not about making a never-ending to-do list, it’s about weeding out the ‘stuff’ and surfacing the big priorities. It’s not about the number of checks on the list, it’s about accomplishing the tasks that will make us truly satisfied at the end of the day. Personally, I’m making to-do lists left and right. I have pads, post-its, and pens all over the house and a list of notes on my phone. Anastasia reminded me that it’s not about ALL of these tasks, big, small, immediate, future, etc. It’s about the top priorities that turn a busy day into an accomplished day, a successful day, a BALANCED day.

Maybe one day, what comes to mind is going to three meetings, making 10 phone calls, and writing two articles for work. Maybe another day, it’s just attending a long yoga class or spending the day with family, reconnecting with a friend, or taking a walk outside. Depending on what your mind, body, and soul really need to feel balanced, those things will make it to the top of the list. I love it, thanks Anastasia!

One Healthy Breakdown: Life really IS ALL about B A L A N C E.

Green Break-Fast

IMG_6570Greens are the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Increase your intake of leafy greens and you instantly add fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, disease fighting compounds. A green smoothie is one of the simplest ways to incorporate tremendous amounts of greens into your diet and having it for breakfast is even more powerful for your body.

Breakfast comes from the phrase “breaking one’s fast”. When we use the word breakfast we normally think of it as a noun. I want to suggest it can also be used as a verb. “I had a delicious breakfast today” vs. “it’s a great idea to break-fast on a green smoothie.”

We fast everyday. A fast is a period of time where we don’t eat, which is what we do every night while sleeping. The time spent not eating gives the digestive system a much-needed rest, which in turn redirects energy toward detoxification and cellular repair. As a result the digestive system works more efficiently, which for us means absorbing more nutrients, proper elimination of toxins, more energy and stronger immune systems.

This important cleansing process can be extended even maximized if we break-fast with a blended green smoothie. After the digestive system has time to rest during the night, one should ease back into eating and digesting. The blending breaks down most of the cells in the greens and fruits making nutrient absorption effortless. Smoothies contain all the fiber of the fruits and veggies that keep your appetite satisfied. What better way to begin your day? Making healthy choices throughout the rest of day is influenced by the way we start it.

Another relevant point to mention is while breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, it shouldn’t be a heavy meal and it certainly shouldn’t be a sugary meal. But for many people, breakfast has become a giant sugar fix. Think about it – cereal, granola, bread, pancakes, and muffins. These are all just adding sugar to our bodies. That’s not to say we should eliminate all things sweet but getting it from the fruit in a smoothie is much healthier. So the break-fast green smoothie also helps tackle our sugar dependency.

As we begin to enter winter, it’s even more important to have a green smoothie to help keep our immune systems strong throughout cold and flu season. If cold food in the morning doesn’t sound appealing, there are some simple adjustments you can make. Use warm water to create a comforting soup smoothie that still gives the benefits of the raw veggies. Another suggestion is to add a bit of healthy fat to help keep you satisfied like avocado or hemp seeds. My personal favorite is to add warming spices to your ingredients such as ginger, cayenne or turmeric to create deep warmth. All three spices possess anti-inflammatory properties as well as other health benefits. Cayenne helps with pain relief, clears congestion, and its vitamin A content boosts immunity.

One Healthy Breakdown: Break your fast with a green smoothie to boost your energy, your immune system, and your digestive system while kicking the sugar out of your breakfast!

Get Happier with Gretchen Rubin

Thanks to the CWBC, (Council for Women of Boston College) I got the opportunity to attend “Happiness Beyond the Heights” in NYC last week. We learned all about happiness first-hand from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project & Happier at Home. You guys know that I am ALL about happiness, so I am so intrigued to learn about happiness in a concrete way from someone who has made a career from studying the subject.

photo(109)Gretchen began by clarifying that happiness is a difficult concept to define, measure, and substantiate; therefor, she prefers the use of the word “happier.” Regardless of our circumstances and how happy we are now, most people can relate to wanting to be happier. It also must be known that being happier involves change and personal growth. (Aka you can’t change anyone but yourself, so if you’re hopping on the happier train, get ready to focus on YOU!)

Young Woman Bending Down and Smiling with Arms Stretched BackAs I learned watching The Happy Movie, 50% of our happiness is determined by genetics, 10% by life circumstances, and 40% is controlled by our intentions.

One of my favorite of Gretchen’s many happy lessons is that happy people are helpful people. For many people, wanting to be happier or taking time for ourselves may be viewed as selfish. In actuality, happy people are far more likely to turn outward and help others. Think about it: people who volunteer, people who are charitable, people who are generous, those who offer to help you out, or do something to make you smile because they sense that you need it – these are usually happy people. Less happy people are more likely to isolate themselves and less likely to seek ways to help others. As Gretchen says, “ We should be selfish if only for selfless reasons.” So, go ahead and let yourself off the hook. Make time for what makes you happy and chock it up to doing a selfless deed, knowing that making others happier makes us even happier. Happiness is contagious. Happiness is a growing cycle. Do good, feel good. Give and you shall receive. Imagine if the world was run by happiness experts?

Gretchen gave us some other great happiness tips I’m excited to share about boosting personal happiness (which, we now know boosts the happiness of those around us too!) Gretchen’s first two simple checklist items for being happier include sleep (7-8 hours, it’s non-negotiable) and daily exercise (even 10-20 minutes is enough to get the endorphins rolling and best if outside in the sunlight). Personally, I struggle to get enough sleep, but I’m committed to making sleep a priority and you guys know I’m big on the exercise thing. Regardless of your fitness level, just get moving everyday. It’s been scientifically proven to boost happiness.

Gretchen advocates for focusing on the value of smell. All our senses can give us pleasure in different ways, but Gretchen explained that smell doesn’t take much time, effort, or money. While fresh baked chocolate chip cookies give us pleasure, the indulgence comes at the cost of calories, and baking them also takes up some time. A shopping spree sure gives us pleasure, but (cha-ching) comes at a financial cost. Also expensive and time-consuming, getting a massage to satisfy the pleasure of touch. Smell is fleeting, it does not take our time, money, or effort to appreciate a delightful smell. While you can buy a candle or perfume you love and indulge in that smell, it’s also about noticing the wonderful smells around us. I would also argue that music is an affordable sense that comes at little cost and little extra time. Hearing a song you love definitely boosts happiness, so give yourself the gifts of music and scent daily. It’s really about finding things that come at little cost to you, but really boost your happiness (ie: hot baths, a good book or magazine, cup of tea, favorite TV show, craft of choice, etc.)

Another of Gretchen’s philosophies: outer order contributes to inner peace. Lots of us feel that organization calms us. Whether it’s the coat closet, our desk, library, bedroom, etc., maintaining order on the outside will help us feel better, calmer, and clearer on the inside. It’s true, as much as I hate to clean, it always makes me feel renewed after a good tidying. Gretchen’s requirements for holding onto ‘stuff’ are; I either need it, use it, or love it. If none of the three, get rid of it. Wow, I really need to clean out my closet with those conditions…(and if you know me at all, no need to confirm that realization…I’m on it…)

It’s not all about purging “stuff;” it’s about value. Happiness has been shown not to be correlated to possessions or a lack thereof, but more to a value for what we do have. Gretchen recommends creating a shine for the possessions we love. For her, it was children’s literature. Instead of her collection being scattered around the house, she put it all in one spot and coordinated it so that it feels special now, that spot is dedicated to her children’s literature collection. It’s not about adding to a collection and needing more, more, more, it’s about treating possessions we value with value.

Lastly, anyone who has studied the concept of happiness will agree that the key to happiness is relationships. Happy people have happy relationships. Happy relationships make us happy. Happy people make for happier relationships. There’s that cycle again. Again, boosting happiness involves personal growth, meaning we cannot change others, what they do, or how they treat us, even if that contributes to unhappiness. What we can do, though, is change the way we react to others or set precedents with our own change-making actions. If you change yourself, dynamics within the relationship change and most likely, you’ll feel that the other person has changed for the better as well. If you want to improve your relationships, improve you. If you want to be happier, focus on building positive relationships.

Man and a Woman with Their Heads Together SmilingOne Healthy Breakdown: Whether you’re up for a complete happiness revamp or you’re curious to know more about The Happiness Project, pick up the book or check out gretchenrubin.com today! And another thanks to the CWBC for hosting this happy event…go BC Grad School of Social Work! Have to shout-out to my alma mater!)

Q & A w Z: Foods to Eat

Q:  What foods should we be eating everyday and what foods should we try to avoid?

Fruits and Vegetables in Grocery Store

A:  What foods should we eat everyday?  Foods we like!  Eat food you like, just make sure it’s healthy.  We’ll never stick to a plan if we don’t like it, and we’re all different; what’s optimal for me may not be optimal for you.  You don’t need to over think, just eat what you like and be sure you’re providing your body with a sufficient amount of nutrients, protein, and carbs so you’re fueled and ready to go.  Try to eat as much unprocessed, nutritious, whole food as possible.  For me, I love Greek plain, non-fat yogurt, egg whites, fish, steak, and chicken, so I eat them often.  I’m always experimenting with Greek yogurt, I add bananas, Stevia for sweetness, and raw cocoa powder for a chocolaty taste.  It’s so good.  I find things I love and have them daily.  I look forward to eating what I love.  Figure out which staples you really like and use them often, if you don’t like chicken, don’t eat it!  Ideally, you should be having somewhere around a 1:1 ratio of protein to carbs and incorporate the healthy fats.

What foods should we avoid?  In general, try to avoid foods high in saturated fat, fried foods, highly processed foods, and foods very high in salt and/or sugar.  Also, we’re all different, our bodies react differently to different foods.  If your body doesn’t seem to react well to a particular food, avoid it.  For me personally, lots of vegetables can make me feel bloated, so I don’t eat tons of veggies during the day, I often have them at night with dinner instead.  You may be different, so find what you like and what works for you.

One Healthy Breakdown: Eat the foods you love, love the foods you eat!

To submit a question for Z, simply email kiley@onehealthyhamptons.com, or post on our facebook page. Z is here to field your questions and provide her expertise; she knows a ton about fitness and nutrition. Z teaches Les Mills classes at Hampton Gym Corp, TRX at B East, and complimentary classes at Lululemon. For Z’s full bio, click here.