Category: Healthy Living Habits

5 Ways to Practice Mindfulness at Holidays and Family Gatherings

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As much we love them, being around family can sometimes be a challenge. Holidays and family gatherings come with a high set of expectations, which can be stressful or even impossible to meet. And then, let’s face it, there may be some relatives who you like better than others. As the old saying goes: “No one pushes your buttons like family, because they put them there!”

Thankfully, there many ways to take the stress out of these occasions, and several mindfulness practices can help you reclaim the joy that can come with seeing the people you love. Here are four mindfulness practices to help you survive and even enjoy your next family gathering.

What is Mindfulness?

If this is your first time learning about mindfulness, it may be helpful to think about its opposite, distractedness. We are all familiar with the feeling of being lost in our thoughts, or so subsumed by a topic or event or idea that we barely know what’s happening around us!

Mindfulness is a state of being in which we are fully present. That means being aware of ourselves and our actions; down breathing patterns, without being too reactive to the things around us we cannot control.

We can’t always be mindful, and sometimes it’s good not to be, like when we’re engrossed in a hobby or game. But mindfulness helps us establish control over ourselves and our thoughts, which can be useful when certain members of the family come around. Here a a few tips to practice mindfulness at holidays and family gatherings.

1. Get an Ancestry DNA Kit.

What? Getting a DNA test before your family gathering and having results will give you something to share with everyone there. It will help other members of your family of their shared bond, and it might give you some surprises about connections to famous figures or far-off lands that no one in your family every knew about. You can use a testing kit discount as well to save money as well.

1. Loving-Kindness for our Family:

Family is supposed to love you, no matter what, but no human is perfect, and sometimes we can feel more stress or hurt than love at family gatherings.

By starting the day off with loving-kindness meditation, you can focus on loving yourself first, so that when family comes around, you can feel ready to give them a loving welcome. Loving-kindness is a form of meditation from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. In between deep, concentrated breaths, you meditate on the following appeals:

• May I be free from inner and outer harm and danger. May I be safe and protected. 

• May I be free of mental suffering or distress. 

• May I be happy. 

• May I be free of physical pain and suffering. 

• May I be healthy and strong. 

• May I be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully, with ease. 

Then, switch it up, first by making these appeals on behalf of someone you love, then for someone toward whom you feel neutrally, then someone who has wronged you, and finally for all of the world.

Having put those positive feelings into the world, you will be ready for your day with the family!

2. Use the occasion to get close to a relative.

Mindfulness does not have to be a solo practice. In fact, it can help us better connect with and love the people in our lives. Depending on how big your family get-together is, you may have the opportunity to spend more extensive time with one of your relatives — take it!

When you enter the conversation, do so using all your senses. Listen to yourself breathing. Observe their reaction as you approach. Feel the warmth or strength of their hug or handshake. As your time together progresses, notice how your breaths (in and out) provide an anchor for the interaction, making you feel more curious and sympathetic (and if need be, forgiving) in response to the things they say.

While you may feel inclined to spend time with everyone at the party, remember that this can lead to stimulus overload. It’s okay to just say hello, exchange an embrace, and spend more of your time with a select few relatives.

3. Eat mindfully.

What is a family gathering without food? While most get-togethers will at least have hors d’oeuvres or hot dogs and hamburgers, many families also have special dishes: your aunt’s famous croissants or grandma’s baked beans.

Believe it or not, eating is a great opportunity for mindfulness. As you take a bite of apple pie or barbeque, register its texture and flavor, and how your mouth feels as you chew and swallow. When you’re done, take a breath (in and out)  and feel grateful for what the day has given you.

Especially in the hubbub of a busy family day, a meal together will provide an opportunity where you don’t have to interact quite as much, and can instead take a moment to recenter yourself.

4. Step outside and take a walk.

It may be uncomfortable at first, but excusing yourself for a quick walk around the yard, up the street, or even down to the basement can provide an opportunity to make peace with yourself and surroundings. Meditation walks have been used for thousands of years to help us become more relaxed and in control of our thoughts and actions. When you come back, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to give your family the love and attention they deserve.

With kids running around, and adults droning on about work or gossip, family gatherings can be a lot to take in, and can really put a damper on your holiday spirit. But don’t let these downsides get in the way of the love that you truly hold for your nearest and dearest. Mindfulness practices can help you be your best self, and likewise, see the best in the people you’ve loved for your entire life.…

66 Things You Can Grow At Home: In Containers, Without A Garden

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Growing your own food is exciting, not only because you get to see things grow from nothing into ready-to-eat fruits and veggies, but you also don’t have to worry about the pesticides they might contain, and you definitely cut down on the miles they—and you—have to travel.

As it turns out, with pretty minimal effort, anyone can be a gardener. My boyfriend and I are essentially first-timers this season and so far have the beginnings of strawberries peeking out, tomatoes are on their way, the basil’s about ready for a big batch of pesto, and once the last frost hits, the peppers, kale, spinach, chard, and mesclun will be on their way, too. All on a tiiiny little terrace (with the help of a little DIY carpentry).

If you’re up to the challenge—and it really isn’t much of one—growing your own food can be so rewarding. And so much cheaper! Just be sure to choose the right planter or container, learn how to maintain it properly, and go find yourself some seeds! (Or starter plants.) Like this idea? Be sure to check out these 6 Crazy Concepts for Micro Gardens That Actually Work to get inspiration for designing your own garden in a small space. While you’re at it, check in with our Organic Gardening feature for tons more info on making your garden grow.

Here’s a starter list of all the crazy things even urban gardeners, without space for a garden, can grow at home


Tree fruits – including apples

1. Apples can be grown in a container; you can also grow them on the balcony or other small space using a technique called espaliering.

2. Kumquats

3. Avocados (plenty of extra tips online if you search)

4. Blackberries

5. Blueberries (sometimes helpful videos are available online)

6. Pomegranate

7. Cherries

8. Figs

9. Pears

Citrus fruits

grow citrus fruits

Citrus trees in particular are said to be good for beginning gardeners and are easy to grow indoors, so don’t let inexperience or lack of outdoor space stop you from enjoying fresh-picked, hyper-local fruit.

10. Dwarf oranges

11. Grapefruit

12. Tangerines

13. Meyer lemons

14. Limes

Tropical Fruits

Tropical fruits can also be surprisingly easy to grow indoors, even in non-tropical climates. Such as…

15. Bananas (look for container gardening tips online)

16. Pineapple

17. Papaya

18. Guavas (several varieties)

WATCH VIDEO: Living with Ed: Grow It On Site

The real surprises

19. Hops—yes, as in the “spice” ingredient in beer. Turns out they’re easy to grow!

20. Aloe Vera

21. Strawberries

22. Tea (well, herbal tea)

23. Quinoa!

The non-surprises

24. Tomatoes

25. Summer squash

26. Other squashes, like acorn and pumpkin

27. Hot Peppers

28. Sweet peppers

29. Cucumbers


30. Small cantaloupe

31. Jenny Lind melon (an heirloom cantaloupe)

32. Golden Midget Watermelon

Photo credit: Jupiterimages/Thinkstock


Just about any herb grows well indoors—just be sure that if you’re going to do any container-sharing, you do your research first about which herbs co-habitate well together. (Some will hog water, for example, and leave the others dried out.)

33. Basil

34. Oregano

35. Parsley

36. Rosemary

37. Chives

38. Catnip

39. Thyme

40. Sage

41. Parsley

Photo credit: Comstock Images/Thinkstock

Leafy Greens

42. Kale

43. Mesclun greens

44. Spinach

45. Swiss chard

46. Lettuces (plenty of options there, from micro-greens to head or loose-leaf)

47. Mustard greens

48. Collard greens

49. Arugula

Root Vegetables

50. Carrots

51. Beets

52. Potatoes

Photo credit: Pixland/Thinkstock

Other healthy-sounding stuff

53. Sprouts

54. More sprouts: mung bean and lentil sprouts

55. Wheatgrass

56. Kohlrabi

57. Turnips

58. Rutabagas

59. Celeriac

60. Parsnips

61. Jerusalem Artichoke

62. Sugar snap peas

63. Rhubarb (not ideal in a container, but it can work)
64. Mushrooms (again, more tips online if you look)

65. Pole Beans

66. Aaaand… asparagus, although some disagree that it does well in a container. Try it if you’re ok with a risk!

Bonus 67: You can grow your own loofah, too, but you’d need a garden rather than a container for that.…

Relationships for Better Health & Coupons

Every person in this world is looking for happiness. There are many ways of getting happiness but inner happiness is the best happiness.

A relationship does not guarantee a better health, a relationship can be either good or bad. There are couples who make the life of each other a horrible life and experience, but on the other hand there are couples who encourage each other and reinforce good habits. It is important to note that a healthy relationship can be good not only for your body but mind, soul, and spirit. Coupons for Finding that Soulmate

Some people aren’t into the whole online dating thing, but I’m not into the whole going to a bar thing. There seems to be a misconception that everyone on the internet is some weirdo pretending to be somebody else, but that’s really not true on paid dating sites like First of all, there is a screening process to make sure that you are talking to a real person who is who they say they are (that’s a mouthful!), and most people won’t pay to play a practical joke. Now, that being said you don’t have to drop a ton of money on, I found some great coupons at They also have a free trial offer on that page, so you can always give it a go with no money down to see if you like the service or not. Sometimes the person that you meet online doesn’t live in your city or even your state. If you have a real connection it’s worth exploring, and you can get an istock coupon and save money that way. coupon codes

What are the health benefits of relationships?

Those who are in a healthy relationship can reap the benefits of that relationship. A healthy relationship has great benefits to your physical health and those who are in healthy relationships have better health.

Research shows that kissing reduces stress

If you are in a healthy relationship, you will be able to counter stress. A relationship gives you a sense of companionship. The fact there is another person thinking and doing things to make you happy reduces stress and improves your confidence in life. Those in a relationship do kiss often; kissing is a reassurance to the other person that you care for each other.

You get to work as a team on your goals

A relationship is a union between two people and a spouse can make you successful in your business or career. This allows the couple to live a healthy lifestyle

The fact that you’re in a healthy relationship can benefit you a lot. Couples care for each other and they are always willing to help each other prosper in life. If you are pursuing your career, your spouse may help you achieve what you have always desired. This can lead to financial gain which makes it easier for you to live a healthy lifestyle. When the people are working together toward achieving a common goal, every person is happy. Children raised by two parents who work together and are happy are happier and healthier themselves. This is not to say that single parents can not raise happy children, but being a parent is a hard job and being a single parent is even harder which can lead to increased levels of stress that can manifest in a number of both physical and mental health issues.

Marriage is good for your heart

Happily married people are less likely to develop heart diseases such as hypertension or other heart-related diseases. Stress can lead to high blood pressure which can result in stroke or diabetes. Unmarried people or people who are not in a relationship may feel lonely and like they have no one to confide in which can lead to depression and anxiety. Those who are in unhealthy relationships can feel much the same way and the stress can lead to high blood pressure, mental anguish, and more.

A healthy relationship keeps you happy all day

It is everyone’s desire to live happily. If a couple is living happily, both of the spouses will be happy and smiling. Unhappy or stressed people can be difficult to be around or work with, and unintentionally isolate themselves further which only compounds the problems. If you think this might be you and you want to be a happy person, first work on cultivating happiness within yourself. Relationships are wonderful and provide emotional support, but it is not another person’s job to make you happy. You might consider taking up a hobby that you find fun or relaxing, reading a good book every day, or treating yourself to a nice coffee or other treat every once in a while. Find small ways to increase your happiness and positivity, and you will start to attract other positive people into your life.

Those in healthy relationships are generally living very happily and healthily. Not all relationships are a source of happiness though, don’t be in a relationship just to please others or just for the sake of being in a relationship. Remember that happiness starts from within, you can not wait for another person to give it to you.…

Giving Up Coffee? Try Vaping Instead.

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How to Give Up Coffee with 5 Easy Tips

Giving up coffee is an excellent resolution, but many also find it an impossible challenge. From headaches to fatigue, giving up your cup of Joe can be overwhelming, unless you plan ahead. This year, conquer your resolution with ease by following these 5 simple steps to give up coffee.

Why is giving up coffee such a popular request? Sleep, for one, is something that comes more easily to those who resist a daily surge of caffeine. Not to mention, a more stable energy state, one without the coffee-induced highs and lows that keep your addiction ever present. A coffee-free bloodstream leads to a more relaxed, less acidic, better-rested body. In short, giving up coffee is a healthy thing to do, and that’s why it’s such a common resolution.

But, quitting your coffee habit cold turkey can come with some irritating side effects. If you want to make a smooth transition to a coffee-free or reduced coffee existence, follow these five tips.

How to give up coffee:

Replace It With Vaping

Vaping is the new stimulant replacement en vogue for coffee drinkers trying to quit the habit. Breathing in vapor is a healthy way to get a stimulant boost for your day without relying on coffee. And it doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use coupons from places like VaporDNA or VaporBeast and it costs way less with a promo code.


First, take a minute to research your goal. Why? Because depending on your age, gender, weight, and state of health, your daily caffeine and coffee guidelines may vary. What may be a healthy amount of coffee for a 20-year-old female marathon runner will likely be different than for a 70-year-old female on bed rest. Do your research to determine a realistic and healthy goal for yourself, one based on facts.

Another topic to research is decaffeinated coffee. Although it is lower in caffeine than the original, the chemicals used to extract that caffeine can be quite harmful to your health. You should have an informed decision about whether you plan to quit coffee or switch to decaf, as it may not be beneficial in the way you thought.


Once you have researched your goal to give up coffee or reduce it to a healthy amount based on the factors listed above, you are ready to dive into the process.

Using the taper method to give up coffee is one of the most successful. Rather than quitting cold turkey–inducing nausea, fatigue, and headaches–reduce your coffee intake slowly over time to avoid unwanted side effects. Tapering allows your body to gradually get used to the decreased amount of caffeine.

If, for example, you typically drink 5 cups of coffee per day, taper by alternating 5 cups per day with 4 cups per day for the first week. This small reduction will be barely detected by your body but will begin your path to success. Follow that week with only 4 cups of coffee every day for a week, and so on.

If at any point you feel like you’ve tapered too quickly, add a little bit of coffee back in, wait a bit, and try again to taper.


Another method for giving up coffee is substitution. There are two main coffee substitutes from which to choose: tea and caffeine supplements.

Tea is a very healthy alternative to coffee, offering antioxidants and other health benefits along with reduced (regular tea) or no caffeine (herbal tea). In particular, green tea has been associated with weight loss, lowered cholesterol, and cancer-fighting benefits. When it comes to replacing a cup of coffee, tea is the best substitute.

However, if you are not interested in tea, consider taking a caffeine supplement as a substitute for coffee. Of course, this method is not really meant for long-term use, rather, it should be paired with the taper method. You can figure out about how much caffeine you consume through coffee on a daily basis and take that as a caffeine pill instead. Over time, taper the amount of caffeine you are supplementing.


But, when you’re in the throes of needing a coffee-fix, a good distraction can work wonders to help you resist picking up the coffee habit again.

Healthy distractions from coffee include going for a brisk walk, stretching, eating a snack, or any other form of exercise. These distractions are effective because they increase your energy level, as coffee would, only naturally. Sometimes you just need to keep your mind busy, try starting a new hobby or a side business.


Once you’ve tried all of these tips, remember to repeat. It takes time to break a habit, especially an addictive one like coffee. You will have to repeat these tips until your body becomes accustomed to your new coffee-free life. You may even have ups and downs when you drink more or less coffee before you are able to kick the habit altogether.

Giving up coffee is an achievable resolution as long as you are realistic, have a plan, and are patient with the process. Drinking coffee is both a habit and a physical addiction, so it will take effort. But the benefits of better sleep and stable energy are certainly worth that effort.…

What Are The Advantages Of Practicing Healthy Living Habits?

It’s going to take more than coupons for weight-loss supplements to make healthy living affordable for all Americans.
They say that “necessity is the mother of all inventions,” but no one will be able to invent an artificial way of assisting people in acquiring good health. Yes! There are medicines, which will eliminate diseases but they should be your last resort. Healthy habits will not only develop your overall well-being but will also give you an extended life expectancy. Here we will tell you about the perks of practicing healthy habits. Music really helps a lot of people stay motivated while exercising, if you don’t have a good pair of headphones you can get some great quality ones for less than fifty bucks.

Keeps the mood light and bright

Observing healthy habits and lifestyle will not only maintain the fitness of the body but will also keep the mind fresh. Meditation and exercise will prevent the toxins from building up in the body. It will have a direct positive effect on the mood of the person. So, if you want a fresh feeling all day, then practicing healthy lifestyle is a must.

Improves longevity of the person

Living a healthy life is one of the top desires on the wish list of all. One will only be able to savor the real taste of life if he/she lives longer. Depending on synthetic drugs for attaining longevity is not a healthy practice. One must take the natural path for achieving a long and healthy life. Healthy habits will assist you in your quest.

Improves the immunity of the person

Last but not the least; healthy lifestyle and good habits will strengthen the immunity of a person. Right food, coupled with exercise and positive outlook towards life will assist in fighting diseases better.These points will give you a peek at the long list of perks of good habits. The responsibility of choosing the right things for yourself rests in your hands.

Prevents unnecessary weight gain

Healthy habits start with the consumption of healthy food. It also included doing any form of exercise. Fitness freaks understand the importance of including meditation in their daily routine. If you practice healthy habits and lifestyle, you will be able to keep the issue of unusual weight gain at bay.

Boosting the level of energy

People need the power to work. Without adequate energy, you will feel tired and fatigued. Thus, you will not be able to put your 100% to the task at hand. Healthy habits and lifestyle will give you the key to unlock doors to discovering unending reserves of energy. Boosting energy is not a mean task. You will have to eat healthy food and eliminate all bad habits from your life. With the combined effect of the two and adequate exercise, you will become energetic and enthusiastic.