Choose Happy

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

Choose Happy

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

The Shop

Shop For Daily Inspiration

The Shop

Shop For Daily Inspiration

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Many of us have heard the expression that “all calories are not created equal,” and it pretty much makes sense when you’re comparing 300 calories of carrots to 300 calories of cake. But, apparently, the weight-gaining effects of calories on the body differ depending on whether someone is drinking their calories or shoveling them in. Studies show that between solid foods and beverages, the consumption of liquids packs the greater girth-generating wallop. Who’d’a’thunk? Somewhere along the line, the exhortations to drink plenty of water throughout the day (see blog post here) got translated into drinking all sorts of beverages that, by both their nature and their ingredients, are wreaking havoc on people’s weight. Not surprisingly, sugar-laden sodas are the primary villain. Researchers found that volunteers drinking at least one serving per day of sugar-sweetened drinks gained more than twice the weight of those avoiding them: specifically, 10.3 pounds over a four-year period versus an average of only three pounds. Another study found that by drinking one less serving of sugary soda per day, participants saw an average weight loss of 1.1 pounds in six months and 1.54 pounds in 18 months. There could be many reasons for this. One is the discovery that the caloric intake of sugar-packed soft drinks doesn’t diminish a diner’s appetite. In fact, just the opposite happened to study volunteers who found themselves downing even more food. And, of course, with the result of weight gain comes other problems. It was found that, when compared to women who drink less than one sugary drink per month, women who consume one sugar-sweetened soda per day are 83 percent more likely to develop diabetes. While many of us already avoid drinks that list sugar as its number one ingredient, the presence of high-fructose corn syrup is just as bad. Maybe even worse. Researchers discovered that the hormones helping to signal fullness are reduced by the intake of high-fructose corn syrup, while the levels of an appetite-stimulating hormone are actually raised. Might as well just mainline calories directly into your veins! And if you think diet sodas will come to your rescue, think again. Some artificial sweeteners have earned nasty reputations as appetite stimulants, particularly aspartame (sold as NutraSweet or AminoSweet), which has been tagged as a neurostimulator and has been linked to food allergies/sensitivities causing everything from sore muscles to migraines. With sugar and artificial sweeteners verboten, that leaves all-natural fruit juice the healthy person’s beverage of choice, right? Well…not exactly. While nutritionally speaking, fruit juice is good for you, calorie-wise it’s not so good. Fruit juice is full of calories and sugar. See for yourself at The Calorie Counter. While the fruit sugar (fructose) in juice may be in its natural form, it’s still sugar. And when it comes to calories or raising your blood-sugar levels, sugar is sugar is sugar. So what sweet things should you be drinking? Actually, if you can avoid any beverage that’s predominantly sweet you’re better off. The problem is that researchers have found that a sweet taste (whether real or artificial) triggers the body into thinking that a good burst of calories is about to come its way. If those calories aren’t delivered as expected, the brain tells the eater to find something quickly that will satisfy the stimulated craving. A pint of Ben and Jerry’s all too often does the trick. Here at Best Day Ever, the way we keep ourselves flush with fluids is by always having a big pitcher of unsweetened iced tea handy. On those days when we absolutely need to drink something sweet, we add just a touch of fruit juice to the pitcher. We challenge each other to see who can come up with the best combo of herbal and black tea flavors. A favorite so far is a combination of vanilla honeybush, jasmine, peach and Earl Grey with a shot of raspberry juice. Delicious, thirst-quenching and oh so good for you!

Read more

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Many of us have heard the expression that “all calories are not created equal,” and it pretty muc...

Read more

Friday Vibes 10.13.2017

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. Here are a few things I'm majorly crushing on this week. Motivate: How you do anything, is how you do everything. Mindful: Self-talk creates our reality so let’s make sure that our thoughts revolve around things that we do want instead of things we don't want. Mind Body Green has 14 mantras to help get you started.  Major: Eating healthy means a ton of cooking and food prep. Here’s a list of 33 kitchen gadgets that are on sale right now!   Munch: Are you craving those spicy fall flavors yet? Try this Paleo Applesauce Spice Bread recipe from PaleOMG (also, she's hilarious).  Mood: We’re doing a 21-day holiday challenge starting November 1st. Don’t miss out! You’ll get daily emails from me with encouragement, a meal plan, a shopping list, a downloadable journal, an accountability "fill in the circles" paper page (oh so fulfilling to see those circles fill up!), nutritious and delicious food recipes, and educational information. You’ll have access to a password-protected section of the website where you’ll log accountability points (we all like to see progress) and comment and discuss the day in a private blog setting. The private Facebook page is ridiculously popular because it's full of encouragement, real talk, and mouth-watering recipes.  

Read more

Friday Vibes 10.13.2017

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. He...

Read more

Drink More Water

We feel kind of sorry for water. While everybody always fusses about what foods to eat and how much to consume, about the only thing folks hear about water is, “Be sure to drink at least eight or nine glasses a day.” That’s it. Poor ol’ water just isn’t getting the respect it deserves. Well, no more! We’re here to sing its praises and to remind you that water is more than a means to quenching your thirst and filling you up before you overindulge on a meal. (Try drinking a cup or two 10 minutes before eating. It works.) Since water makes up about 65% of our blood and 60% of our bodies overall, we are utterly and completely dependent on it. Without water, we would probably die more quickly than an under-watered potted plant. You can survive for weeks without food, but you’ll last only a few days without water. Here are some of the reasons why women should drink at least eight to nine eight-ounce glasses of water per day and why men should down at least 13 cups of water daily. (That’s right. Men need to drink more water than women. So get on your guy about it—and, no, beer cannot substitute for water!) Without the proper amount of water, biochemical functions taking place throughout the body are, at best, compromised and, at worst, they just don’t happen. Over half the content of our blood is water and is necessary for carrying oxygen, nutrients, hormones and other, literally, life-giving biochemical substances to our cells. And since we’re really nothing but a zillion different cells organized into a rather attractive package, adequately watering our cells is paramount to good health and wellness. Water is also used by the body to lubricate joints. Keep this in mind if you’re exercising or if you’re suddenly feeling (as our grandparents say) the weather in your bones.  A good portion of the fluid surrounding our major organs is water, it cushions them like a protective water-bed should they be traumatized by a fall or blow. Water is the waste-management workhorse in the body, and it flushes waste and toxins out through the kidneys (urine), intestinal tract (stools), skin (perspiration) and lungs (breath). About three cups of water is lost through perspiration and breathing, and about 6.3 cups is expelled daily through urine. If you wonder about some of the side-effects of flushing too little water through the kidneys, ask anyone who’s ever passed a kidney stone if they wish they’d been drinking more water! While it’s natural to curse at perspiration rings and sweat trickling down the back of your neck, just be glad your body’s doing what it’s supposed to do when you’re hot. Again, it’s thanks in part to water that your body temperature is regulated: your water-saturated blood absorbs heat from your body’s core then moves it to the surface of your skin where it’s expelled as perspiration, which, as it evaporates, cools the body. It’s another reason why you should significantly up your intake of water before exercising. Although it’s tempting and certainly natural, don’t rely on your thirst to remind you to drink an adequate amount of water. The Mayo Clinic suggests that, by the time you actually feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Even being slightly dehydrated can negatively affect your health, since it directly or indirectly impacts just about every function of the body. And how do you know if you’re dehydrated? Symptoms include dry eyes or mouth, sore muscles, rapid heart rate, lethargy, less frequent visits to the restroom, and dark and funky-smelling urine. Remember, whatever water you’ve “leaked” in one form or another, you need to replace. Here at Best Day Ever, we’ve found that a good way to remember to drink enough water is to get into the habit of drinking a cup or two of water or tea immediately after flushing. (A mnemonic device for remembering this rule is “teepee!”)

Read more

Drink More Water

We feel kind of sorry for water. While everybody always fusses about what foods to eat and how mu...

Read more

Friday Vibes 10.06.2017

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. Here are a few things I'm majorly crushing on this week. Motivate: Life is about moments: don’t wait for them, create them. Media: It's hard to feel chipper and perky when so much tragedy is going on right now. The horror in Las Vegas coupled with the devastation in Puerto Rico means that so many people are suffering in ways that I can't imagine. When I feel at a loss for how to help or what to do, I'm reminded that keeping the place we live strong and building community where we live is an action we can take daily to positively affect the lives of those around us. So today, do all the good that you can, in the place that you live. #community #lovenothate #bekind Market: Serious water bottle goals. This smart water bottle tracks your water consumption, reminds you to sip, and integrates with your exercise apps. Move: Keep moving and your brain will thank you. A new study shows that physical activity increases the number of new neurons in the brain. The New York Times has all the details. Major: We’re doing a 21-day holiday challenge starting November 1st. Don’t miss out! You’ll get daily emails from me with encouragement, a meal plan, a shopping list, a downloadable journal, an accountability "fill in the circles" paper page (oh so fulfilling to see those circles fill up!), nutritious and delicious food recipes, and educational information. You’ll have access to a password-protected section of the website where you’ll log accountability points (we all like to see progress) and comment and discuss the day in a private blog setting. The private Facebook page is ridiculously popular because it's full of encouragement, real talk, and mouth-watering recipes.    

Read more

Friday Vibes 10.06.2017

Friday Vibes takes a spin around the web and weaves together pieces for living your best life. He...

Read more

Bumps Along the Road

“This is my ‘depressed stance.’ When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand. The worst thing you can do is straighten up and hold your head high because then you’ll start to feel better. If you’re going to get any joy out of being depressed, you’ve got to stand like this.” — Charlie Brown Everyone has down times and challenges to overcome. We all walk the path of life’s ups and downs and sometimes the “up” path can be steep. This is where friends, family, and community come in again. People with close friends, family, and a strong community recover faster from down times, failures, and sadness. Studies show that isolation exacerbates unhappiness, whereas friends and family and community lift our spirits. “The ‘i’ in illness is isolation, and the crucial letters in wellness are ‘we.’” – Author unknown, as quoted in Mimi Guarneri, The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing With friends, we share our achievements, failures, strengths, and vulnerabilities. Good friends are there in good times and bad. We participate in each other’s lives. We share our feelings. We don’t go it alone. When we’re going through our troubled times, it's important that we have a daily plan.  With a plan, we don’t have to think about all our decisions because we’ve done the roadmap: our goals and our vision for our life. So, it’s easier to eat well, exercise, spend time in nature, write in our gratitude journal, and spend time with positive friends. All these things nourish us and we recover faster. Finally, there’s laughter. Laughter sends endorphins into the bloodstream and relieves pain, both physical and mental. Laughter has been described as “inner jogging,” “respiratory gymnastics,” “the stress fighter,” and “a tranquilizer with no side effects.” Well, that all sounds good! Hurray for those great giggles we’ve had at the craziest times and hurray for our friends who make us laugh! Sure, we find ourselves in the doldrums sometimes, but we don’t have to dwell there.We can just choose to shift gears. Helen Keller said, “When one door closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” Happiness tips for the doldrums: Smile, even if you don’t feel like it. Smiling automatically triggers your endorphins. And if someone smiles back at you – presto! More endorphins. Help someone else who’s having a difficult time. Do something productive to take your mind off your problem. Decide to stop worrying. Make lists of the things you’re grateful for in your life. Count in for five, count out for five as you breathe. When you’re counting, you won’t be able to think of your negative or worrisome thoughts Remember, happiness is a choice. Look in the mirror and say, with enthusiasm, “Happiness is a choice and I choose to be happy!” with a big grin. Do this five times and I guarantee, though you may feel silly, you’ll also improve your mood. PS – This overview post above is meant for those of us that have normal bouts of anxiety or sadness. If you are clinically depressed, these are good and helpful tips to consider in conjunction with visiting your doctor for a more serious chat.

Read more

Bumps Along the Road

“This is my ‘depressed stance.’ When you’re depressed, it makes a lot of difference how you stand...

Read more
View Blog

Or follow our other feeds

Newsletter - Subscribe for news and updates