Healthy Habits for a Healthier Life

Healthier AND Happier!

Quote about healthy habits
The following article is by Ron McDiarmid and, with New Year’s Resolutions right around the corner, the timing couldn’t be more perfect! 

Healthy Habits for a Healthier Life

Healthy habits are learned, not ingrained. Healthy people do things differently than people on the road to an early death – not just every once in a while, but every day. There is no one magic secret to a healthy life. But there are some basic things that healthy people tend to do to maintain their well-being. And anyone can cultivate a healthy lifestyle if they are willing to commit to long-term shifts in how they live.

Make It Yourself

Healthy people know that most packaged food is not really supportive to health. If they do buy something in a box or bag, they read the labels to be sure there is nothing artificial, genetically modified, or otherwise toxic in it. They avoid processed sugars and flours, yeast, food coloring, and anything with more than four syllables.

But most healthy people prepare as many of their own meals as possible. They eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruit, seeds and nuts, legumes, and whole grains. They know their way around a kitchen, and how to prepare food that both nourishes their bodies and tastes delicious. Healthy people also tend to get plenty of the nutrients that are essential for thriving – vitamins, minerals, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and anti-oxidants.

Exercise Is Non-Negotiable

Exercise is one of the most important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, but only a small percentage of adults in affluent nations get enough exercise. Exercise keeps our metabolisms working well, helps us maintain a healthy weight, and supports brain function. But it can seem hard to squeeze it in if you think of it as something outside of your regular habits.

Healthy people understand that in order to get the exercise their bodies need, they have to include it as part of their daily routine – just like eating or working. Schedule your days so that you exercise for at least 30 minutes, 6 days a week. Sometimes the best strategy is to replace some sedentary habit, like watching television or unproductive social media, with some form of exercise.

Give Thanks

Healthy people understand that gratitude is essential for a happy and healthy body and mind. Gratitude boosts self-worth, alleviates stress and depression, and improves quality of life.

Healthy people make it a point to express gratitude to everyone who helps them, their loved ones, and through practices like prayer or keeping a gratitude journal.

Build Strong Social Bonds

Healthy people understand that positive connections with family and friends are essential. People with a strong social fabric, who have at least five close friends and feel like they are part of a community, tend to live longer and remain healthier into old age.

Learn How to Release Stress

It is not that healthy people never experience stress, but they know how to keep a momentary stressful situation from putting them into a chronically stressed state. They have tools to deal with stress when it arises, rather than letting it build up. They might practice Yoga, hike, meditate, go to the theater, play air hockey, listen to music, or throw stones into a pond – something that makes them feel more at peace.

They also know how to structure their lives to reduce stress. This could be keeping an organized to-do list, remembering to back-up data, or taking the time to make a lunch and set out the days clothes before going to bed at night to avoid having to rush through tasks in the morning. The key is to set yourself up for success, and know how to release stress if it arises.

Care for Yourself First

Healthy people understand that in order to be their best, they have to take care of themselves. When we are exhausted, overworked, or malnourished, our health suffers. This also affects productivity and happiness.

Healthy people make sure they get plenty of quality rest each night (7-8 hours) eat nutritious food, drink lots of water, and exercise – not because they feel forced to, but because they know these behaviors will keep them feeling good.

Live a Life of Meaning

Healthy people understand how important it is to feel like they are contributing to the world. They experience fulfillment, because they are living authentically and purposefully.

Focus On the Positive

Our experience of life is greatly affected by our attitude. Our perception of a situation can turn a challenge into an opportunity or a gift into a burden, depending on what we choose to see.

This doesn’t mean idealism, healthy people know that an accurate view of reality is essential for productivity and well-being. But they strive to see the blessing in each moment, and the gift in each experience. They look for solutions to problems rather than feeling victimized, and know that hard times will always pass.

Becoming healthy does not happen overnight. Like any sustainable change, it requires patience and dedication. But these tips from the perspective of healthy people can help you take steps towards your own healthy future.

This post is contributed by Ron McDiarmid, who is the founder of My Healthy Living Coach. Having had health challenges along the way Ron was keen to share the research and learning he gathered. Through MHLC this continued into a current presentation of healthy lifestyle choices and how to implement them. Check out his website at


Infographic: Living with Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia Affects Around 26 Million People Around the World

Living with Schizophrenia Infographic


While Schizophrenia is a very serious mental illness, is is also very treatable. This misunderstood (GREATLY misunderstood) illness is a private hell for anyone who is caught in its grip. If you suspect that you, or anyone you love, may be schizophrenic, please seek help immediately. IMMEDIATELY.

Infographic Author:  Aris Grigoriou


Does Gluten Harm Your Brain?

Maybe it's Time to Give Up Wheat and Other Forms of Gluten

Are Grains harming our brains?
I’ll be writing more, in the coming days, about the effects of gluten on our brains, but in the meantime I’d like to link you to an article I wrote on Self Help Daily:  Are Grains Harming Our Brains?

Click through and see why many experts (including the author of several fascinating books) believe they are harmful to our bodies and minds.

Find Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers on Amazon.

Eating More Fish Can Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Fish Can Preserve Up to Two Years of Brain Health

Grilled Fish: Brain Food!

If you’re like most people, one of your greatest concerns has become preserving your memories and preventing Alzheimer’s Disease (and other forms of Dementia).  Fortunately, there is so much research being done in the area of mental fitness that experts are uncovering new ways to preserve our brain’s health.

One of the easiest ways is also one of the most delicious.

Eating more fish can actually give you a bigger brain!  What’s more, fish provides you with protection against diseases such as Alzheimer’s.  Shrinking brain volume is a sign of both aging and Alzheimer’s disease – so the fact that increasing your fish intake can lead to an increase in your brain’s volume is exciting news.

Nutritionists and mental fitness experts advise eating fish at least twice a week, with one serving being “oily fish” ( herring, mackerel, sardines…).

For more on the fascinating study, click here.


The Science Behind Keeping Your New Year’s Resolutions

With a Great Graphic from Halftime FItness

If only keeping New Year’s Resolutions was as easy (and fun) as making them! We’d be set, wouldn’t we? We’d be the healthiest, fittest, most organized, and blissfully happy humans to ever roam the earth.

Unfortunately, there’s a continent of difference between making a resolution and actually following through to the end.

The graphic below, from Halftime Fitness, shows the science behind success and failure when it comes to these resolutions.

New Year's Resolution SuccessGraphic Copyright Halftime Fitness

Wonderful App for Children with ADHD

"Managing the Gift" from Dr. Kevin Ross Emery ("Dr. Kevin")

Managing the Gift App

If a child you love has been diagnosed with ADHD, you naturally want to do everything in your power to help them. You want to help the child cope with his/her ADHD and you want them to realize that this diagnosis doesn’t mean anything is “wrong” with them.  You want them to realize that… plain and simple… some people have ADHD and some don’t.

Some people have asthma and some don’t.  Some people have allergies and some don’t. Some people are shy and some aren’t.  Some kids have dark hair and some have light hair.

Not a biggie!

The new Managing the Gift App can help YOU help your child.  Read the news release below, then click through for more information.

Internationally renowned child and adult ADD/HD expert, author and speaker Dr. Kevin Ross Emery (“Dr. Kevin”) has announced the release of a first-of-its-kind “Managing the Gift” App, which reveals the true potential of each given child living with ADD/HD. This App provides conscientious parents, educators and other caregivers with a more comprehensive and unbiased understanding of ADD/HD at large that negates common unfavorable labels and restrictive predispositions.

Unlike other ADHD Apps currently on the market that are merely self-diagnostic or generalized surface-level advice in nature, the pioneering Managing the Gift App goes well beyond with highly detailed, custom-tailored reports that help caregivers understand precisely how to best parent, guide, support, feed and educate each specific child living with ADHD, ADD or HD.  To facilitate this, among other features, the App uniquely offers a proprietary, personalized “Paint Your Child’s Portrait” interactive tool that reveals and defines a child’s distinct “ADD/HD personality” and, based on the individualized results, provides an expansive custom report that provides caregivers with valuable behavioral insights to recognize, utilize and maximize what Dr. Kevin calls the child’s “ADD/HD greatness.” The information gleaned from the custom-tailored reports also helps caregivers make critical decisions about diet, guidance and other common areas of concern and confusion, while also providing tools and techniques to help ensure the child flourishes amid the unique capabilities and aptitudes identified through the App.

In addition to the unique “Paint Your Child’s Portrait” and related reporting tool, the Managing the Gift App also offers direct access to informative instructional videos, books, and other highly vetted caregiver resources as well as relevant news and information feeds about ADHD.  App users will also be the first to gain access to Dr Kevin’s peer support community when it is launched later this year, which will include streamlined access to Dr. Kevin.

The content and tools in this new application is the manifestation of Dr. Kevin’s more than 15 years of front-line ADD/HD counseling experience coupled with extensive field research for his books, “Managing the Gift of your ADD/HD Child” and “Managing the Gift: Alternative Approaches to Attention Deficit Disorder.

“The first step in understanding ADHD and ADD is knowing that they are simply labels, which are not meant to define or limit a child in any way,” urges Dr. Kevin. “Rather, the Managing the Gift App will give caregivers the knowledge and tools needed to truly comprehend the gifts–not the label–given to a child living with this diagnosis.”

“However well intended, society’s collective attempts to medically treat and otherwise manage ADD/HD individuals often negatively impacts their self-worth and self-esteem and significantly hinders their ability to reach their full potential,” Dr. Kevin continues. “Indeed, the stakes are high when it comes to finding a successful treatment plan, particularly for children.  Those who face criticism from parents, teachers and others for perceived laziness and bad behavior may face a lifetime of emotional problems. In addition, the loss of this population’s insights, brilliance and creativity–their greatness–is all too often sacrificed in order to help them ‘fit in’ to society. We as a culture need to celebrate and nurture those living with ADD/HD as they are so that they can, in turn, love and respect themselves and realize their full capabilities…to the benefit of us all.”

The Managing the Gift App is compatible with any iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod® Touch with iOS 5.1 or greater and is available for free in the iTunes Store. The optional “Paint Your Child’s Portrait” feature reports are offered through the App for an additional nominal fee.

As with any medical issue, those concerned about the diagnosis, treatment and/or management of ADHD, ADD or HD are encouraged to speak to their physician.

About the Expert
Dr. Kevin Ross Emery’s books, “Managing the Gift of your ADD/HD Child” and “Managing the Gift: Alternative Approaches to Attention Deficit Disorder” are built upon more than 15 years of experience working with individuals of all ages living with Attention Deficit Disorder – and a lifetime of personal experience dealing with it himself. For more than two decades, Dr. Kevin has offered an approach to ADD/HD that reveals it as a gift that, when properly managed, contains the potential for formidable multitasking skills, creativity and more. Also an international speaker on the topic, Dr. Kevin was among the very first to publicly acknowledge ADD/HD as a step in the evolution of humanity that will eventually allow it to reach new levels of achievement – a view often at odds with a culture that can be quick to resort to medicating children who show signs of ADD/HD or who in some cases, don’t even meet that standard.  The titles of his books sum up Dr. Kevin’s intent – to assist parents in managing the gifts of their ADD/HD children – to not see it from the perspective of ADD/HD being a disease or disability, or from a perspective of drugs being the sole solution.  Dr. Kevin has worked with ADD/HD individuals of all ages – from young children to business owners seeking to balance their innovation with organization.  Learn more online at

Common Sense: Genius Dressed in its Working Clothes

Sometimes All It Takes is a Gentle Reminder

Asian Salad with Ginger Dressing

Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I’ve always loved the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote above. I may not ALWAYS remember it, after all common sense can be pretty slippery sometimes. Just when I think I have a good hold on it, there it goes.

When it comes to eating healthy foods, I don’t really have much of a problem. Whether it’s foods that are good for your brain, heart, or any remote corner of the human body – I’m lucky in that I love almost all healthy foods. I’m one of those rare birds that often finds herself literally craving vegetables or a fruit smoothie. The salad shown above is an Asian Salad with Ginger Dressing I whipped up one afternoon when I was just DYING for something healthy and wholesome.

My problem lies at the other end of the spectrum – I also love almost all unhealthy foods! Doughnuts, chips, hamburgers, fries, onion rings, cupcakes… I don’t guess I’ve ever met any of these I didn’t like.

Common sense, of course, tells me that these foods do harm to my body and mind, but it’s an argument I don’t always listen to. It’s something that I am, actually, getting better at and having a goal of hanging on to my memories and mental fitness are actually my biggest motivators.

Common Sense tells us that we will be healthier, wealthier, wiser, and more free of stress if we do the things we know we should: Eat healthy, avoid unhealthy foods, get plenty of activity, maintain an even temperament, manage our finances, work hard, have health and life insurance ( like Aviva Life), and so on.   Being proactive, rather than reactive, sets us up for success.  Actively taking care of the things that should be taken care of eliminates stress and anxiety before they ever have a chance to start.

If you’re lacking in good old fashioned common sense in any areas of your life (eating, finances, health, relationships..), copy the quote above on an index card and place it where you’ll see it every day. It’s a great reminder that the good things in life don’t just happen willy nilly. We have to roll our sleeves up, take the tools of common sense out, and make good things happen.

When it comes to common sense with your brain’s health, eating a balanced diet with plenty brain-healthy foods is essential. Below is a list of some foods/drinks that have been shown to strengthen your brain and even help prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of memory loss. Needless to say, you should find ways to incorporate these foods in your diet as often as possible!

  • blueberries
  • salmon
  • mixed nuts
  • coffee (I’ll stand up and clap for this one)
  • eggs
  • avocados
  • oily fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, pilchards and kippers
  • chocolate (standing and clapping again)
  • tomatoes
  • foods with B vitamins
  • whole grains
  • broccoli
  • vitamin C
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sage
  • asparagus
  • olives
  • brown rice



Coconut Oil and Cognitive Function

To Put it Simply: Your Brain Loves Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

One of my favorite flavors in the world is coconut. It’s right up there with chocolate and coffee. I’m pretty sure Mounds candy bars were made just for me. Give me a Mounds and a cup of coffee and you won’t hear a peep out of me for a while.  I’m pretty silent when my own happy little Paradise.

Fortunately, chocolate (dark chocolate) has its health-related virtues (heart) and coffee is known to help prevent Alzheimer’s.  We’re beginning to hear more and more about the health benefits of coconut – which is just all around great news for coconut nuts like myself.

A recent article on Green Med Info caught my eye. How could it not? – It combined two things that interest me most in the world: Cognitive Function (as well as Alzheimer’s and Dementia Prevention) and the magic word… coconut. Coconut oil to be exact. (Buy Coconut Oil on Amazon)

Studies show that just one dose of coconut oil a day can tremendously boost brain function and cognitive ability.  Coconut oil has also shown AMAZING promise in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia.

Read the fascinating article by clicking the link: How Coconut Oil Boosts Brain Function

You can learn more about Coconut Oil and its effect on Alzheimer’s and Alzheimer’s Prevention on Natural News.


Yet Another Reason to Love Green Tea (and Drink it By The Gallons)

Add it to Your Alzheimer's Prevention Arsenal

Cup of Green Tea

There are already, seemingly, 1,001 healthy reasons to drink green tea. The antioxidants are great for your health and can help prevent many diseases and illnesses. What’s more, green tea acts like a spark plug to your metabolism, encouraging it to burn more calories by turning them into energy-giving fuel.

Personally, I love green tea and have for some time. Most people either strongly prefer it hot (like my oldest daughter) or iced cold (like my husband), but I love it at any temperature. If it’s comfortable, I’m comfortable.

If you aren’t wild about the taste of green tea, get creative with your add-ins.  Personally, I love a little honey or a squeeze of fresh citrus in my green tea.  Most of the time, though, I drink it straight up because I’m wild about the flavor.

If you’re one of the millions of people who are getting serious about Alzheimer’s Prevention, now you have another reason to drink green tea. A specific molecule in green tea, known as EGCG, has been shown to interfere with formation of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s. EGCG breaks down existing aggregate structures in the proteins that contained metals—specifically copper, iron and zinc.

Pour yourself a tall glass of green tea and read more about the study here: Green Tea in the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Treatment Network: Guide to Treatment Centers Around the Country

I (as much as anyone in the world!), am a strong advocate of “self help,” “self awareness,” “self improvement,” and even – to a point – natural healing.  But, let’s be completely honest for a moment:  sometimes an individual’s needs are either too large for them to handle on their own or require tools of expertise that they, themselves, do not possess.

Take physical illnesses, for example. If I were to come down with a case of pneumonia, I would not hesitate for even half a minute to make an appointment to see a doctor. Even as hard headed as I am, I know I don’t have the resources, the knowledge, or the tools to heal myself.

I certainly can’t “think” or “wish” an illness away. In the time I spent wasting trying to do so, I’d simply become sicker and sicker and.. .in the end… well, suffice to say, it wouldn’t end well!
That all seems like common sense, right? Why is it then, that so many people hesitate to get emotional or mental help when they need it.  If they have a toothache, they’ll call the dentist (pretty darn quickly too!).   If they’re eyesight seems to be getting worse, they’ll make an appointment for an eye exam.

How is it any different if an individual needs help for overcoming an addiction? Why do so many people harm themselves by refusing to seek help when it’s readily available. Trained individuals are waiting – eagerly – to help. They have the tools, the knowledge, the education, and the compassion to heal.

I wonder if, possibly one of the reasons people who are battling addictions (from eating disorders to alcoholism) are ashamed to admit it.  I certainly hope this wouldn’t be the case given that all God’s children have something they’re up against!

Personally, when I hear that someone’s seeking treatment for a particular demon, I’m impressed. I always think, “Good for them! I hope I’d be as strong as they are if I were in that position.”

If you feel like something is standing between you and the life you want for yourself, I hope you won’t wait another day to take your life back.  I want to tell you about a place that might just make all the difference in the world: Treatment Network . Treatment Network is, simply put, your guide to the top treatment centers in the country.  Find the personal help and guidance you need to help you get back on the right path – you know, the one that leads to your wildest dreams!
The Treatment Network makes finding help so easy!

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