Choose Happy

Here's to living your Best Day Ever. Every day.

Choose Happy

Here's to living your Best Day Ever. Every day.

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How much water should you be drinking?

If you’ve participated in a Best Day Ever challenge, then you know that water intake plays an important role in the daily routine. And you may have noticed it really can be challenging to drink enough of it. “People are often surprised to find out how little water they actually drink,” says Dr. Jenna Jorgensen, a natuopathic doctor based in Bellingham, Wash. In fact, Dr. Jenna recommends taking a day to figure out just how much – or how little – you are currently drinking. You may be surprised. Once you've got that baseline, you can see if there's room to improve. Health through hydrationDr. Jenna calls water the “elixir of life.” Water is vitally important to our health, and often is underutilized as a means to get and stay healthly, she says. Dr. Jenna challenges people commit 14 days to drinking their minimum optimal amount of water (see formula below). The results, she says, are impressive. People often begin noticing an improvement in the first few days. Brain fog lifts, constipation resolves and joints cease to ache. Once people realize they can feel that much better simply by improving their water intake, adopting the habit becomes much easier, she says. Are you down a quart (of water)?Our bodies should be about 60% water, but Dr. Jenna notices patients often fall as low as 50%-55% total water. No wonder we feel sluggish when we’re dehydrated. Not only is our blood mostly water (about 92%), it’s true on a cellular level, too. Water serves as a lubricant, allowing our bodies’ processes to "slide into action" that much easier, Dr. Jenna says. And we naturally lose 2 to 3 liters (roughly half to three-quarters of a gallon) of water each day by simply peeing, pooping, sweating and breathing. That’s a lot to replace on a daily basis. Your car doesn’t perform well when it’s down a quart of oil. So what about you down a quart of water? Making water a habitEven if we know something is good for us, sometimes it’s hard to make it a habit. Fortunately, technology comes to the rescue with apps that not only remind us to drink water but also make it fun. Dr. Jenna likes “Plant Nanny,” which lets you water your plant each time you remember to drink water. Forget, and your plant starts to wilt. The Apple Watch also has reminders you can use, or simply set a timer on your phone as a reminder. The other part of making a water a habit is making sure it’s accessible at all times. If you have a hard time remembering to bring water with you throughout the day, invest in a few good-quality water bottles so you have access in all the usual places – you car, your office, your gym bag. Dr. Jenna’s formula for finding your personal minimum water intakeBaseline: ⅓ your body weight in ounces. For a 150-pound person, that’s 50 oz. of water -Plus- And an additional 8 oz. of water for every 8 oz. of coffee or black tea you consume. And another 8 oz. of water for each half hour you exercise. So, if Jane weighs 132 pounds, one-third of her weight is 44, so her baseline is 44 oz. of water. Since Jane usually drinks 2 cups of coffee per day, that’s an additional 16 oz. of water, for a total of 60 oz. a day. She typically exercises for an hour 3 days per week, bringing her minimum water intake to 76 oz. on those days. This is why you often see the "drink half of your body weight in water" advice because it gets pretty close to this more complicated formula, which may be worth following if you drink a lot of coffee or log a lot of hours exercising. Now, drink up, and thrive! Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

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How much water should you be drinking?

If you’ve participated in a Best Day Ever challenge, then you know that water intake plays an imp...

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Want to reach your wellness goals? Try this experiment

We face a lot of nutrition myths that derail our best efforts to get healthy. One of those myths, “Eating fat will make me fat.” But instead of listening to myths, let's try a little science. Precision Nutrition coach Shasonta Delmage says fat has a place in our diet, helping shuttle nutrients into our cells. The key here, she says, is making sure to eat all your macro-nutrients – that’s carbs, proteins and fats – in each meal or snack. It’s not rocket science, but Shasonta does say each of us is our own “science experiment” when it comes down to what your total calorie needs are in a day or what combinations of foods will work best to meet your goals. What works your best friend or even your sister, isn’t likely going to work for you. That’s why the Best Day Ever Challenges are set up the way they are. Sure, we’ll ask you to limit dairy and wheat, but the degree to which you do those things may have a lot to do with where you’re at currently. If you’ve been eating a bagel and cream cheese every morning for breakfast, just limiting that heavenly combination to twice a week is a great first step. Making these incremental changes is your own “science experiment.” By making just a few small changes to your diet and lifestyle (more sleep, anyone?) during one of our challenges gives you the data to know what works for you. The carb conundrum Most likely, you will find you’re eating fewer carbs on this challenge than your typical diet. And that can be hard to take. “We have a carb-dominant diet,” Shasonta says. With the convenience of grabbing a hamburger, iced mocha or a granola bar, it’s hard to avoid choosing a carb-laden meal or snack. When choosing what carbs to eat it’s about getting the most “bang for your buck.” Carbs with a high glycemic load, such as rice, spike blood sugar, which leads to that inevitable “crash” that makes you feel like reaching for more carbs to provide another boost. So how do you get out of that downward spiral? “It’s not hard to clean up your diet, just do it a little bit at a time,” Shastona encourages. And that may mean you get better and better at hitting your goals as the Challenge progresses. Her super easy plan of attack is this: Determine the small changes you plan to stick with during the Challenge. Make a tick mark on your calendar for each day you achieve it. Use daily positive affirmations. Say “I can do this” in the mirror each morning. You may also want to experiment with your portions, she suggests. Often our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, so put just half of what you think you will eat on your plate, then eat slowly and sip water between bites. Eating this way can help prevent ending up “beached on the couch” after dinner. The Challenge will require some work on your part. If you’re revamping your eating, you’ll want to commit and prepare by making sure your fridge and cupboards are stocked with good choices. And don’t quit after the challenge is over. Take what you’ve learned, adjust and move on to the next “experiment.” A final word encouragement from Shasonta as you begin: “The more you do it, the easier it gets.” Want to learn more about the Challenge: click here to sign up!  Photo by Ive Erhard on Unsplash

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Want to reach your wellness goals? Try this experiment

We face a lot of nutrition myths that derail our best efforts to get healthy. One of those myths,...

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Progress Not Perfection

Life is too short to put off happiness. This is your time to make small changes now that will benefit your long-term health goals, help you live in the present, and be happy for the rest of your life. Get it? I want you to be happy! That’s why the Best Day Ever Challenge is not a crazy detox or restrictive diet. It’s not about being perfect either. I get it. Life happens. We are human. We are perfectly imperfect. The sooner that you can accept your imperfections and the fact that your body is always changing (and will continue to always change), the sooner you’ll be able to focus on your progress. Just remember to breathe and do the best that you can. Please do not beat yourself up if you miss a single goal. Look at your entire list as a whole to get the complete picture of your progress. You got this!

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Progress Not Perfection

Life is too short to put off happiness. This is your time to make small changes now that will ben...

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The Art of Cultivating Friends

I’m in a few different business Mastermind Groups. I cherish each and every group I am in and find value in their interactions. One of the questions that has been extremely popular lately among all my groups is this: how do adults make friends? When we were in high school and college, it was easy to make friends. We were thrown into natural groups because of the shared schooling experience and then from there, it was just a matter of finding the people that “fit” with you. As adults, it’s considerably more difficult to find and form close friendships. There’s a variety of reasons for this. We’re busy with our own lives, focused inward on ourselves and our families. Any extra time is usually spent on self-improvement (from working out to meditation to reading) or doing fun things with family. Outside of work, adults don’t spend a lot of time in groups, or tribes. Paradoxically it is when we are adults, navigating the difficulties of juggling work and family, stressing out about finances and confronting mortality, that we most need good friends to talk through all those issues. So, how do we find friends as adults? Become a person worth making friends with. Are you a person that has something of value to offer to new people? Are you interesting? Caring? Smart? Can you carry a good conversation? If you want to attract high-quality people into your life and group of friends, it starts with you being the kind of person you’d like to be friends with. Discover a hobby. Read interesting books. Give yourself something to talk about when you do find someone to be friends with. Seek out group activities. When we’re out of school, there are only a few places where we have the opportunity to see people over and over again. Church, exercise classes, book clubs, group crafting activities, volunteer activities and organized sports are all great places to start to find new friends. And, by participating in any of those activities, you will be giving yourself an opportunity to grow as a person too. It’s a win-win. Ask. It feels vaguely weird the first time you ask another adult out for coffee or drinks. And, like when you were 15, the fear of rejection never goes away. When I’m “dating” a new friend, I like to suggest activities (for me it’s normally around hiking, walking, or wine tasting). That way, if the entire experience is a dud, at least you had fun because the activity was something you’d love to do anyway. Follow-Up. If you want to create a relationship, it’s important to be consistent in reaching out. Another friend and I were talking the other day and we both realized that we feel like we’re constantly the ones making the effort, making the calls, suggesting the dates, and sending the texts. And, you know what? That’s okay. Friendship isn’t about keeping score about who called who. It’s about making those layers of trust, common interests, and shared goals. So, when you make a promising connection, reach out and solidify that connection. Psst....a great way to meet new people is by signing up for one of our challenges! Enrollment is still open and the challenge starts in ONE WEEK. Find out more here! 

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The Art of Cultivating Friends

I’m in a few different business Mastermind Groups. I cherish each and every group I am in and fin...

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You Are Responsible for What You Do and What You Don’t Do

What chronic situation in your life are you complaining about routinely but not doing anything about? Here’s an example of a conversation that I’ve had many times before. A good friend came to me with the same gripe I’ve heard for the last ten years, “XYZ won’t quit doing this incredibly annoying behavior and it’s ruining my life. I don’t want to go to work. I don’t want to see them socially and I hate my life.” Wow, “I hate my life” is a pretty powerful statement. That’s a lot of power to give over to someone else. The conversation didn’t end well. I pointed out, as I have for the last decade, that they have a CHOICE in how they are going to act and react to this person. I said what many wiser teachers before me have said: in a relationship you cannot control the other person. You can only control yourself and your actions and reactions in any given situation. The conversation got heated. I feel so strongly about the concept of “Take 100% responsibility for your life” that I get worked up when I see people close to me in pain because they’re not living by this principle. You chose to eat the last Twinkie. Every day. For the last 15 years. Now you’re obese. That’s not the food industry’s fault. You chose to have that last drink at the bar. Every Wednesday. For the last 10 years. Now you’ve had your license taken away for your third DUI. That’s not the bar’s fault. You chose to buy the big house knowing you’d have to vacuum six rooms and clean four toilets. Every week. For the last five years. Now you’re feeling like you don’t have enough quality time with your family. That’s not the house’s fault. I was in Seattle recently dealing with their horrendous traffic. But, in sharp contrast to some of the drivers around me, my blood pressure was stable. I prepared for the traffic by packing a book on tape, stopping at the store to get three different healthy snacks and I had a full bottle of water. All around me, you could see tempers flaring as the traffic stressed and entire commute worth of drivers out. We were all in the same chronic situation – yet some of us were happy and others were downright angry and miserable. How you act and react to situations is a choice. Listen to yourself for the next week. Are you routinely complaining about something? What can YOU do to change? How can YOU control your reaction so that the situation or the person isn’t taking up so much space in your head?

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You Are Responsible for What You Do and What You Don’t Do

What chronic situation in your life are you complaining about routinely but not doing anything ab...

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