Health

Boundaries and Compromise is the Key
Health

Boundaries and Compromise is the Key

In the immortal words of the late, great Jimmy Buffet, “Relationships: We all got ‘em, we all want ‘em, but what do we do with ‘em?” And he’s right: We all want relationships, often not knowing the best ways to manage them once they tend to stick. And that’s where boundaries and knowing when to compromise come into play, as both serve as tools for identifying who we are individually and as half of a whole. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are tips for creating boundaries, types of healthy boundaries, and advice on when you should and shouldn’t compromise. Boundaries are methods of protecting and preserving ourselves and the relationships precious to us by promoting balance, respect, and physical and emotional well-being. When we set and maintain boundaries in a relationship, it gives ...
Music Festivals Jan-March
Health

Music Festivals Jan-March

As we embark on a new year, music lovers in Louisiana are eagerly anticipating the upcoming festival season. From January to March 2024, the state will be buzzing with a variety of music festivals that will cater to every genre and taste. From jazz to blues, from country to electronic, Louisiana has something for everyone. So grab your dancing shoes, put on your festival gear, and get ready to experience the magic of live music at these top festivals in the Pelican State. January kicks off with a bang as the annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival takes place from January 5th to 15th. This iconic festival, often referred to as Jazz Fest, is a celebration of the rich musical history of New Orleans. For over 50 years, Jazz Fest has brought together some of the biggest names in ja...
Jan-April 2024 Festival Highlights
Health

Jan-April 2024 Festival Highlights

January The start of the year in Louisiana brings with it an array of exciting festivals. One of the most popular festivals in January is the Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. This is a two-week-long celebration filled with parades, music, delicious cuisine, and revelry. The main event, which takes place on Fat Tuesday, is the largest parade in the city. Floats adorned with vibrant beads and intricate costumes make their way down the streets of the French Quarter, while live music fills the air. After the parade, visitors can enjoy the traditional King Cake, as well as the legendary crawfish boils that are available throughout the city. Other popular January festivals in Louisiana include the Black Heritage Festival in Baton Rouge, and the Krewe of Shreveport Mardi Gras Parade....
Time to Create that Wellness Battle Plan
Health

Time to Create that Wellness Battle Plan

We all know that the new year is the perfect time to create a new you. We also know that creating a wellness plan can be a great way to jumpstart a new, healthier you. But, what exactly should be included in your wellness plan? What steps can you take to ensure that you are creating a plan that will help you reach your goals? Creating a wellness plan doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. In fact, it can be quite simple if you break it down into manageable steps. The key to creating a successful wellness plan is to focus on small, manageable goals. These goals should be achievable and should also be tailored to the individual’s needs and lifestyle. Here are some small things you can do to improve your overall health in the new year: • Drink more water. Staying hydrated is essentia...
Taming Your Inner Critic
Health

Taming Your Inner Critic

We all have that little voice inside that never shuts up. From its ability to worry and criticize to its ability to obsess and ruminate, that voice is a powerful force in our lives—one that tends to consume us with negativity. That, my friends, is your inner critic, and I’ll let you in on a little secret: Everybody has one. Whether yours is mildly active or hyperactive, the critic is always there. As we enter the winter season, here are six healthy ways to manage your critic. 1. Breathe to calm yourself. When the critic fires up, we tend to restrict our breath, which often incites panic. Ground yourself and slow your thoughts with mindful breathing: slow, deep inhales through the nose followed by long, slow exhales through the mouth. 2. Acknowledge your critic’s presence. Simply say...
Be Sure to Toggle
Health

Be Sure to Toggle

It’s a pretty common feeling to always be “on,” jumping through all the hoops that life throws at us. We all feel like we have to help out every time someone needs it of us, and it can be hard not to constantly take on the burden of others. We feel like we can’t take a break, and if we do, we’ll be letting someone down. But the reality is that if we don’t take a break, we can’t really be there for anyone. As hard as it is to admit, taking time for ourselves is a must for our mental and physical health. Health professionals across the world agree that it’s important to take time for ourselves and limit our helping of others to after first, we care for ourselves, then we care for our immediate family and friends, then, you can look to helping others outside of your direct responsibility. ...
Finding the New You
Health

Finding the New You

Summer is gone and with that the earth is starting to shed the old to prepare for the new. As Fall rolls in, everything about life begins to slow down and prepare for those restorative months that tend to focus more on resting and digesting (i.e., November—February). It’s a process and takes time, but the result is a beautiful new season. We all try to enter each season right by eating healthier and exercising more—maybe kicking some old habits—and while those things surely affect our physical health, what about our mental and emotional health? We can all make time to get active or pick up a hobby, but does that really help us uncover the person buried deep inside underneath all that stress and all those efforts? Shedding old habits and finding a fresh perspective takes time, patience, ...
Don’t Forget Your Mind
Health

Don’t Forget Your Mind

As the saying goes, “Health is wealth”. But true health isn’t just about physical wellbeing. Mental health is just as important. Looking after your mental health is the key to a healthier, happier, and more productive life. The reality is that mental health issues are far more common than you might think. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of ill-health and disability worldwide. Mental issues are so widespread that an estimated 350 million people live with depression worldwide, and it’s estimated that 21.4% of the global population will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to look after your mental health and improve your wellbeing. The first step is to educate yours...
Know Your Body Health
Health

Know Your Body Health

In order to be healthy and stay healthy, we must learn how to recognize and respond to the signs our body gives us in order to make, often times, small changes that result in overall physical health. Of course we all hear how the importance of proper nutrition and exercise is crucial, however reducing stress and the effects of sleep on our physical health are just as important. Making healthy small changes that have been proven to improve our overall physical health and learning how to recognize when our body is telling us something isn’t right are key elements in improving our overall wellbeing. The Importance of Nutrition and Exercise While it is a broken record, we should remember why it plays on repeat: our bodies need proper nutrition and regular exercise to remain healthy and ...
No One Size Fits All – Health Needs Included
Health

No One Size Fits All – Health Needs Included

We are all unique individuals, and there is no one size or style that fits all. Our physical and mental health needs, as well as our overall needs, vary greatly from person to person. As such, it is important to recognize the differences and to figure out what works best for us. We all have that one friend that either lost weight, quit eating meat, or found their health improved by an exercise program they joined. Many times, we find we want to lock them in a closet because they constantly try to get us to use their same methods. However, not all methods work for all people. For a mental health example, a naturally joyful person may not need to rely on inspirational music to lift their spirits. They may be perfectly content with simply spending time in nature or talking with a loved one...
The Health Balance
Health

The Health Balance

When it comes to our health, moderation is key. Too much of any one thing can be detrimental to our overall health. Even if we think we are making wise health decisions by indulging in one particular activity or food, too much of it can be harmful and lead to negative outcomes. First, let’s look at the importance of eating a balanced diet. Eating too much of one particular food group can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as weight gain. In addition to that, over-consuming certain fats and carbohydrates can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, excess calories can lead to obesity, which in turn increases the risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. It is important to remember that moderatio...
These Feet Were Made for Walking
Health

These Feet Were Made for Walking

Feet are one of the most important parts of the body and serve many essential functions. Although feet were made for walking, they provide many other benefits as well. Taking the time to nurture and care for one’s feet is key to maintaining overall health. Feet are designed to be able to bear the weight of the entire body during movement. That means that foot muscles, tendons, and ligaments are constantly working together in order to maintain balance and support. Without feet, the body would not be able to stay upright, make sudden movements, or move quickly. No matter how strong or flexible the rest of the body may be, the feet are the function. When feet are neglected, foot problems such as bunions, corns, and hammertoes can occur. In addition, poor foot hygiene can lead to foot i...
Finding Inspiration for Your Health
Health

Finding Inspiration for Your Health

Most of us are trying to pick up the pieces of our mental health. It’s hard to remain positive, let alone inspired. Maybe you’re feeling anxious or panicked. Maybe some depression is there lurking in the shadows, or maybe you’re even feeling a little lost and are looking for some inspiration in your life. Whatever the case, positivity simply isn’t an option all the time. It’s not something that feels easily accessible. If you search for inspiration amongst your struggles, here are some tips that can help you get the ball rolling. Gratitude. Expressing gratitude, even for little things, is a healthy place to start. It can be as simple as waking each day and expressing thanks for being alive with all five senses or as deep as acknowledging the people and relationships with which you hav...
Stepping Into Change
Health

Stepping Into Change

It’s safe to say the world today—life itself—has changed completely, leaving behind one phase and stepping into another. From routines and schedules to jobs, cities, and babies, everyone everywhere is facing newness right now. New phases mean change, which is often overwhelming for many in a regular world, let alone a post-COVID one. So, if you’re feeling super-anxious with fear of the unknown right now, maybe feeling a myriad of emotions, take a breath and find comfort in knowing you are not alone. Here are a few tools to help guide your journey. Embrace–Like the monthly new moon, new phases signify new beginnings and offer us the chance to reinvent, set new intentions, work towards new goals, and start new projects. Simply acknowledging you are in a new phase is the first step to embr...
Water, Water
Health

Water, Water

Your skin feels better and so does your body when you are properly hydrated, especially during the spring and summer months. If the main reason you don’t drink water is because it doesn’t have a taste or is boring, you aren’t alone. Many people refuse to drink water simply because they don’t like it. Thankfully, flavored waters are available such as Smartwater+ renew® which has a crisp unique flavor, hint® water which is fruit infused and flavorful, or for those who like lightly flavored water that is carbonated, LaCroix Sparking Water is flavored with natural fruit oils. Still, we have a fun twist on the fruit and vegetable infused water, that is not only easy to put together on your rush out the door, but it is also visually appealing and takes only a few minutes of preparation. Get...
Spring Forth This Season
Health

Spring Forth This Season

The “New Year” has come and gone. Temperatures are rising. Bright colors have popped out everywhere to replace the subtle fall/winter colors that last season left behind. That can only mean one thing … SPRING is here, and summer is just around the corner. So what will you accomplish this season? The winter (and year) we just came out of surely was very new to us. As a fitness professional who has seen many new year resolutioners come and go through the years, I can say that usually a few months after January, many tend to fall away from their resolutions to get fit for the new year. I can also tell you that I believe this year has taken a bigger toll on many than they choose to admit. I actually saw a decline in the number of New Year’s resolutioners this year in the fitness industry fo...
Holiday Health
Health

Holiday Health

Focusing more on only one aspect of our health, whether it be physical or mental, throughout the holidays can be detrimental. Quarantine fatigue, on top of the already ominous seasonal depression, can cause any one of us to lose our joy and feel overwhelmed by stress. Considering there is no escape, because the whole world is going through the epidemic, can also cause us to have a doomsday mentality. In addition, this season, with Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day, comes with the stress of gift-giving and spending money, which many don’t have. However, we can realign our thoughts to try to focus on making the most of it. Realizing that others are going through the same issues can help us look upon this time as a stand of solidarity. The following articles are centered on ou...
Quarantine Connection
Health

Quarantine Connection

Louisiana is an unusually touchy state. We are known for being friendly and for never knowing a stranger. We shake hands as a sign of respect and also as a way of expressing endearment. We hug hello AND goodbye-we even hug as an introduction. How many times have you heard, “Nice to meet you! I’m a hugger.” Of course, there are always people who appreciate personal space and no physical contact, but as a state we are VERY touchy. We put a hand on a shoulder or arm to show engagement in conversation. We kiss each other on the cheeks. At the very least, we smile at each other. All of those ways to express our love and acceptance of each other have been stripped away. That human connection is a huge part of our day-to-day here. Without it, a lot of people have been left feeling disconne...
Find Your Strength
Health

Find Your Strength

Strength. What does it mean to be strong? What does strength mean to you? Where does strength come from? This is what I want you to think about today. What comes to your mind when you think of the word strength? When we Google the word strength, it is defined as: the quality or state of being physically strong. the capacity of an object or substance to withstand great force or pressure. Google also provides similar words. Some of those include power, muscle, muscularity, sturdiness, robustness, toughness, vigor, force, might. Many of us think of physical strength when we see or hear this word. We think of a strong man or woman who can lift heavy weights, right? In fact, that’s the first definition. How do you get “strength” like this? One might say you could lift weights...
Tighten that Tummy
Health

Tighten that Tummy

During and after the holidays, we all pack on a few pounds. Here are two quick and easy exercises you can do! Also, a quick tip on tightening that tummy during an average day: Set the alarm on your phone for every hour during the day. When the alarm goes off, suck in your tummy as tight as you can for 30 seconds! You’ll see a difference within a couple of weeks and it’s an exercise anyone can do anywhere! As seen in Modern Grace Magazine
Meeting in the Middle
Health

Meeting in the Middle

We can learn a lot about ourselves and improve our relationships with others when we understand the base personality traits better known as “The Big Five.” While it seems oversimplified, it can help us understand the actions of others. Sometimes, we tend to feel that actions are only in reaction, when in many cases it is simply opposing forms of communication and personality. The five (which you can research on your own) are: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. However, we are going to focus on the Extraversion Trait. Of the five personality traits, this one has a love-hate relationship that lies at opposite ends of the spectrum. Extroverts are people who have high levels of the Extraversion trait. They are energetic; tend to be easily excitable, ...
Leading the Mind
Health

Leading the Mind

We often hear that “where the mind leads, the body follows.” While this is certainly true, the mind is also very obedient to the suggestions of the body as well. Think of it as a closed feedback loop. You feel happy, so you smile more because you feel happy, and then because you’re smiling, you feel happier. So you smile more! Rinse and Repeat. If I may, I’d like to ask you to do something for me. Smile! Give me your biggest and brightest smile as if you’re greeting an old friend. Do you feel any different from a few moments ago? Do you feel happier? Now, mentally scan your body right now. What is your current facial expression? Do you feel tension in your shoulders or neck? How is your posture? All of these can contribute to your current mood. If you’ve adopted the facial exp...
Leading the Body
Health

Leading the Body

I think we can all agree that there are a lot of diets. Every couple of months, the next “best” nutritional strategy will emerge to take the place of the last.    Interestingly, these diets can often vary greatly from one another in many ways. This can become a little confusing as to which nutritional strategy is correct. How can we know which is the best diet?    The good news is that if your goals include fat loss, then there are a couple of similarities between all effective diets that I have seen over my time coaching ladies and gentleman who want to drop a few unwanted pounds.    The most notable similarity is that all effective fat loss diets optimize something called your insulin sensitivity.     To put it as simply as possib...