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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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Shop For Daily Inspiration

Looking for your next great idea? It’s time to take a day off

Any Parks & Rec fans out there? Yeah, we thought so. Hard-core fans will certainly remember Tommy and Donna’s annual “Treat Yo’self” day. This was a day to spoil themselves rotten – mani-pedis at a swanky spa followed by power shopping and topped off with dinner at the best restaurant in town. Not too shabby, right? But what we’re proposing is a little different, but just as useful. We’re talking about a personal business retreat – time away from work and family to focus on just you and your business. And while a retreat could theoretically include some retail therapy and cocktails, what we’re suggesting is a time of reflection. You’ll benefit by gaining clarity that typically only comes from slowing down and taking a step back. If you feel like your business has hit a plateau or you can’t seem to make time for the business-building strategies and tasks you’ve been wanting to tackle, making time for a retreat can be especially beneficial. Taking time to for the hyperfocus of a retreat could even net you with your next great idea. What’s in a retreat? First off, you’re probably wondering what the time commitment for something like this is. Some people spend just a day on this practice, others a full workweek. If you can spare at least two days you’ll have time to really unwind and get the perspective that only comes with a calm mind. Once you set your time frame, you can structure your days however you’d like, but the idea is to have some kind of structure. You may choose to do the following steps in any order, but we think these five elements are a must no matter how many days you devote to your retreat.. Reflect – Reflection is key to any retreat. Whether you choose to journal or quietly reflect in your mind's eye, taking the time to look back at how things are going both the good and the not-so-good, will help you in the later planning stage of your retreat. Reflection often leads to a-ha moments that you wouldn't otherwise have, so don't shortchange yourself on this agenda item. Read –  Some business owners bring a stack of books with them on their retreat. Over the course of a week they may glean the best ideas from several authors. Even if you only have a day, what book or collection of magazine articles have you been meaning to read but haven't gotten around to? This is your chance. Move – Just as important as taking the time to be still to journal and read, making the time to move – be it some gentle yoga stretches, a round of golf or your favorite five-mile run – will give you another kind of clarity that will not only inform your work but also energize you for the next step, planning. Plan –  After taking time to read and reflect it's now time to synthesize you're thinking into a solid plan. What’s the big picture and what are your next steps to get to that place? Take the time to make a master list that encompasses both business and personal goals or tasks. This may be a great time to plug items into your calendar so that you finally make that eye appointment or investigate the new vendors you have been considering. Indulge – Now that you have a plan in place it's time to truly treat yourself. This could be a massage, time with  a friend or even that great pair of pants you’ve been eyeing but couldn’t quite justify. After all your hard work, you deserve to celebrate and remind yourself that what you just did will pay dividends long after the retreat is over. A word on technology One of the biggest questions around this kind of retreat is “To unplug or not to unplug?" We advocate for unplugging as much as possible. It’s surprising how much you can get done when you’re not checking your phone every five minutes and switch tasking. It may be practical to bring your laptop for the planning phase of your retreat to facilitate your work, but consider working offline, or at least installing a Facebook blocker so you’re not tempted to stray from the tasks at hand. We know there are benefits from taking a technology break, including greater creativity (perfect for problem solving), living in the present moment, and simply unwinding, which is really what a retreat is all about. Make an appointment with yourself The best time to take a retreat? As soon as possible. Why not block out a day – or two– right now? Even if it takes a month to clear your calendar and get a sitter for the kids or the dog, doing it now means only having to wait a month and not much, much longer. Sources:https://www.becomingminimalist.com/unplug-please/https://www.soapqueen.com/business/the-power-of-focus/ Photo by Cara Fuller on Unsplash

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Looking for your next great idea? It’s time to take a day off

Any Parks & Rec fans out there? Yeah, we thought so. Hard-core fans will certainly remember T...

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Want to look good this this summer? Here’s the one trick you may have overlooked

It's summer, and you want to be rocking that new tank top or playing on the beach with your kids in a swimsuit rather than a baggy t-shirt and shorts. Summer’s revealing fashions are anxiety-producing for some of us. But there's one simple way to look better this summer. Confidence. When you add a dose of confidence to your daily life, all of a sudden you begin to feel better in your own skin. This seems especially important during swimsuit season, but it’s useful year-round. Okay, okay, sometimes this is easier said than done. But there are some easy ways to gain that confidence without much effort. Stand taller – By simply standing up straight, you gain a new perspective on the world – both from your vantage point and in your confidence level. This might require a little “fake it ‘til you make it,” but before long you’ll really start to feel it. One study even found that standing up tall, shoulders back, chest out, in an “open” position actually has an effect on our hormones, making us feel more powerful. Bonus: When we don’t slouch, our clothing appears more flattering (!). Make one healthy change – Have you ever renewed your exercise program after being away from it for a while? And did you notice that within just a few sessions you magically feel better and maybe even start eating better? One reason may that exercise is one of the best defenses against depression.  The endorphins released during physical activity provide a mood boost, and also spurs the body to grow new nerve cells in the brain, which further improves our mood. You may not even have had any noticeable changes to your body in these early days of exercising, but that one healthy change has inspired some confidence that brings your swagger back. And it doesn't have to be exercise that you choose. Maybe it's drinking more water or cutting back on your tortilla chip habit. Practice positive self-talk – It can be difficult to negate the critical voices in your head, but when you can you'll feel and immediate boost to your confidence. You may want to practice daily affirmations to get you into the positive self-talk mode. Or you can simply notice when your monkey mind takes over and starts chattering with the negative talk. When you start to hear that chatter, simply notice what's going on and redirect yourself to a more positive thought. What are you grateful for in that moment? (Even if it’s just your morning cup of tea.) Looking good is an inside job and a smile is the best makeup. Yes, we want to look great on the outside, and there's a lot that goes into it – from diet and exercise to a great new haircut. But at its core looking good is about believing in yourself and loving yourself, at this very moment in time, at the very place you are in. When you feel healthy and confident all of a sudden it's easier to rock that tank top or wear that two piece swimsuit on the beach with a smile on your face and without worrying what anybody else thinks. Being happy with yourself and wearing that smile proudly makes you the best dressed person around.   Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

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Want to look good this this summer? Here’s the one trick you may have overlooked

It's summer, and you want to be rocking that new tank top or playing on the beach with your kids ...

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The mighty bean!

Humble, yet mighty, beans are nutritional powerhouses. Some people won’t have anything to do with beans because they swear it makes them (eh hem) more gassy (more on that in a minute), but others wouldn’t do without these mighty little legumes. It’s easy to see why when you take a look at the health benefits. Here’s a short list: High in fiber – to keep you full longer High in protein – a great vegetarian option Packed with important nutrients such as folate, potassium, calcium, magnesium, plus polyphenols, known for their potent antioxidant properties Low in fat – unlike many other protein sources Low on the glycemic index – these complex carbs won’t cause blood sugar spikes to make you crazy or cranky Proven to aid in weight management, regulating diabetes and contributing to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels Sustainable – swapping beans for beef could get us 75% of the way to our greenhouse gas reduction goals Beans are also beneficial for heart health and eye site – and even for preventing PMS. Read about even more about the health benefits here.  What about the gas? Yes, some people do tend to pass gas when they eat beans. But usually your body will adjust after you add this food into your diet on a regular basis. Why do we get gassy? Beans contain a sugar, called ​oligosaccharide, that the human body cannot break down fully in the small intestine. The by-product is gas. The good news is that your microbiome will adjust its own processing ability for beans as you add them into your diet slowly. ​So, if you’re a person that doesn’t do well with beans, start with an ounce every other day and then build up to more normal-sized servings. Aside from the gas issue, beans can be hard on some people's stomachs. But it’s a small amount of the population who run into tummy trouble, so if it’s just worries about gastrointestinal distress keeping you away from this nutritional powerhouse, work up to it slowly. They’re worth it! People in the strict Paleo diet camp often advise against eating beans because of the phytates and lectins they contain. So what’s that about? Phytate is an antioxidant compound found in legumes (and also in almonds) can be be hard to digest because they inhibit an enzyme necessary for digestion. For a small few, lectins can also cause discomfort and harm the intestinal lining. The answer to whether you should eat beans or not lies with your “gut instinct.” If you can eat them without trouble, go for it! You also may find that a little is great for your system, but not a lot. Give it a try and see how you adjust. Getting the most from beans If you like beans, or want to give them a try (please do!), follow these tips to get the most nutritional bang for your buck. As you may remember from junior high health class, beans are an incomplete protein, meaning that they only have part of the amino acids needed by the human body. Fortunately, many complementary foods have the other amino acids required for a complete protein. If you’re eating a good variety of food throughout the day, you should be okay, even if you don’t eat those complementary foods in combination. Or you can pair other foods with beans to create a complete protein, including rice and corn. And you can find tons of recipes online to create nourishing and protein-packed meals – from salads to soups. When cooking dried beans, soak them overnight. It’s easy to cheat on this one if you own an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker, but don’t skip this step as it can help reduce gas and generally aid in digestion. Eating veggies with your beans can also help reduce beans’ gassy effect. It’s not just dried beans that are good for us; fresh ones are as well. Head to the farmers market and check out all the delicious varieties. Then raise your fork to the mighty bean! Photo by ​Paul Morris​ on ​Unsplash   Sources: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608274/ https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/100/suppl_1/437S/4576589 https://www.verywellhealth.com/why-do-beans-cause-gas-1942947 https://paleoflourish.com/paleo-why-legumes-are-bad https://www.care2.com/greenliving/avoid-gas-from-beans.html https://medium.com/center-for-biological-diversity/the-power-of-beans-feb1b9442fbd

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The mighty bean!

Humble, yet mighty, beans are nutritional powerhouses. Some people won’t have anything to do...

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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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