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5 Clean Foods that Promote Higher Energy Levels

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The food marketing industry is quick to prey on those who want to feel great quickly. Who doesn’t want to eat something and get a boost of energy? Thus, the market is saturated with energy shots and pills made with chemicals and unhealthy ingredients, as well as other products said to contain foods that give you a natural boost. The latter of these product groups consists of scams — these companies want your money and don’t care about your health or energy levels.

The good news is that you don’t have to stoop to over the counter energy drinks or scam power food products to feel naturally energized. Foods already exist that have an uplifting effect on your energy levels — you just have to know what they are.

Nuts

Nuts truly are a superfood. First of all, they’re extremely easy to eat and addictive. Many assume that the foods that are healthiest for them will be unappetizing and bland, but nuts break that myth wide open. To top it off, nuts are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They also contain omega-3 fatty acids — all of these nutrients contribute to the energy nuts give you when you eat them.

Salmon

Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in salmon, the next food on the list. Salmon is a meat that brings a lot to the table, including the ability to lower your risk of heart disease and your cholesterol. What you may not know is that salmon contains Vitamin B6, protein, niacin and riboflavin; all of these nutrients play a pivotal role in your body’s ability to produce energy.

Yogurt

Part of why you may feel sluggish is because your immune system isn’t exactly up to snuff, or your digestive process isn’t firing on all cylinders. A sign that you aren’t as healthy as you’d like to be is a lack of energy that may not have to do with your sleeping habits or stress level. To give yourself a permanent energy boost, eat yogurt regularly. This dairy product has the ability to help your digestion process along by keeping your gut healthy and immune system flourishing.

Mushrooms

Another reason you may feel lethargic is that your blood isn’t oxygenated properly. There can be many different causes to this problem, but a great food-based solution is to eat more mushrooms. Mushrooms are high in iron, a nutrient that helps to transport oxygen around your body via your bloodstream. This process helps to keep your major organs active and alert — and this includes your brain.

Water

Is water cheating because it’s a liquid? Who cares — most of you reading probably don’t drink enough of the stuff! Water may seem boring or tasteless, but it’s vital to your life as a whole. When you’re dehydrated, it shows in how fast your brain is willing to work. Those who drink water are much healthier, more alert and are more likely to be energetic throughout the day.

5 Books About Mindfulness You Need On Your Shelf Right Now

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Want to know one the easiest and most fulfilling gifts you can buy someone this holiday season? A book on mindfulness. While it’s impossible to actually purchase the art of being mindful in and of itself, a book on how to improve your life and your mental health is a good start. These tomes are all available on Amazon and offer views and information on mindfulness, ranging from deep insight to funny anecdotes.

Look them up and see for yourself – you might even want to buy your own copies!

“Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

If you’ve heard of this book title before, we aren’t surprised. “Wherever You Go” is one of the most famous books about mindfulness ever written and has helped new mindfulness authors shape their own views on the subject. First published in 1994, the book was originally titled “Mindfulness Meditation for Beginners,” though was retitled as the book grew in popularity.

One of the draws of “Wherever You Go” is its very general approach to the subject. Some prefer for specific, in-depth explorations of mindfulness, but this book lets newbies explore the subject and creates worldwide accessibility.

“Get Some Headspace: 10 Minutes Can Make the Difference” – Andy Puddicombe

Those that use the popular mindfulness app Headspace should recognize something about this title. It’s written by the founder of the app and his playfulness shines through in this humorous yet poignant book. Instead of looking at mindfulness from an informative standpoint, “Headspace” is more so a guide to meditation for dummies. Puddicombe walks mindfulness newbies through meditation techniques that are both simple and highly effective, bringing mindful meditation to a new generation of stressed and wandering individuals.

That doesn’t mean this book is only for novices, though. It might be the perfect gift for someone who is unfamiliar with mindfulness and meditation in general, seasoned meditators can also learn a few things and enjoy Puddicombe’s wit and humor.

“I Am Here Now: A Creative Mindfulness Guide and Journal” – The Mindfulness Project

Most mindfulness books focus on meditation as a form of discovering and focusing on the world around us. “I Am Here Now” swims against the current and takes a more busy approach to the subject. Instead, this book is filled with exercises on creativity, observation, objectivity and investigative skills. Readers are prompted to journal and detail their journey through mindful experiences and to hone their abilities in order to see the world more clearly than ever before.

“Calm: Calm the Mind. Change the World” – Michael Acton Smith

If you’re looking for an overall look at the world of being mindful, this should be the book you get. “Calm” covers the basics from a very human perspective in order to help bring clarity to mindfulness novices while expertly tackling more complex topics, like modern medicine and mindfulness as a global phenomenon. Equal parts research and activities, anyone with any experience level in mindfulness is bound to get something out of this book.

Quick Tips for Including Positivity in Your Life Every Single Day

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We could all use a boost of positivity in our life now and again – but what about every day? Positivity shouldn’t be a luxury we find every once in a while, but a feeling that we embrace every morning we wake up and every evening when we go to bed.

Still, it can be hard to find positivity among all the stress we struggle with. Between work, family, finances, relationships – it can be hard to keep your chin up. That’s why the little things that make us happy matter, and even a quick way to put a smile on your face is worth it in the end.

Our Positivity List

Here’s a quick, bite-sized list of how you can find happiness every day:

First, consider five things that make you happy. These can be activities, people, objects – what are the five easiest ways to put a smile on your face? Eating pizza? Spending time with your dog? Listening to your vintage vinyl? Now consider how you can more incorporate these things into your life.

Always focus on gratitude. Think of things that you’re thankful for, whether it’s that you get to go home five minutes early or that you’re waking up to live another day. Anything can have a positive spin if you put your mind to it!

Find more ways to relax. When you come home or finish work, figure out a way to physically relax your body. This makes it easier for you to stay positive and also helps to get out unnecessary bodily tension that promotes stress and high blood pressure.

Breathe more. Sometimes controlled, focused breathing can help clear your mind and help you to focus on positivity. Breathing exercises also help to relieve anxiety and prevent/calm panic attacks.

We often put a lot of emphasis on how we think and attach feelings to these thoughts. Instead of putting so much clout on something that we simply think instead of reality, learn to let your thoughts go. The less reality you attach to your supposing thoughts, the more positivity you can place on reality.

Learn to push anxiety-causers away. Things like social media and the news can cause our brains to be plagued with negativity – so know where your limits are and don’t push yourself towards negativity vehicles.

Eat better. Positivity and your hormones have a lot to do with one another, and what you eat directly impacts your hormones levels. Eating better and practicing healthier eating habits can create better chemical balance within your body, making positivity easier.

Meditate. Let go of your negativity through meditation, one of the best ways to get rid of stress and pervasive thoughts.

Get a pet. If you don’t already have a pet, consider getting one. Even something small like a fish or gerbil can give you a bigger sense of purpose and help to relieve stress.

Look for beauty in the world. Whether it’s searching pictures of sunsets on the Internet or appreciating the beauty around you, finding something beautiful in life can help make your day more positive.
Positivity doesn’t have to be elusive. Find positivity around you and you’ll be more focused, centered and blessed every day.

4 Budgeting Apps for Fiscally Responsible Entrepreneurs

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Being an entrepreneur means being in total control of your finances. There’s no room for questioning your money at any time – every penny, dime and debt should be accounted for. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs get caught up in the paper trail, leading them to missed deductions come tax time and they eventually lose sight of financial clarity.

Thankfully you have one of the most useful tools for financial organization – your smartphone.

These four apps are absolutely incredible at budgeting your finances and keeping you on track with your fiscal responsibilities.

Daily Budget

This simple app starts off by asking you some basic information: your regular income, your expenditures and if you want to save any money/how much money you want to save. From here, Daily Budget does all the work for you, giving you a financially beneficial road map to saving and keeping track of your cash.

You can also offer in variables, like extra money you receive or unexpected expenditures. Daily Budget will recalculate to forecast your current situation.

Mint

If you want to better track where your money is going, you need Mint. Whether you want to track bank accounts, investments or credit cards, Mint knows exactly where your money is at all times, coming or going.

Mint also has a budgeting feature, the capability to link bank accounts to the app, a financial over view and encryption so all of your data is safe within its vault.

Wally

Are you paranoid you’ll lose your smartphone containing a budgeting app with all of your bank information? That afterwards the app will be compromised and you’ll lose everything you have? If that’s true, weirder things have happened. For those who want to play it safe, try Wally.

This simple app budgets money without the need for information other than your email address. The work that Wally does is hypothetical and based on the information you give it, not what it reads from your cards or account statements. Give it a little more information and it can give you financial predictions, like how much you can spend per day to break even at the end of the month.

As an added bonus, the app does have a location feature that notes the purchases and guesses where they could have come from based on proximity. This helps the app to note purchase frequency and notes the payments as recurring.

Level Money

This application lets users connect to credit cards and financial institutions, but their take on financial responsibility is perhaps a little different than others. Using the information it gleans from your bank account, Level Money creates a coded timeline of your transactions.

Level Money focuses more on being aware of where and how you spend your money versus budgeting your expenses, which is also something entrepreneurs need to focus on. If you frequently see purchases come in that could be cut, you have the potential to edit your spending habits to become more fiscally responsible.

The Life Diet: 4 Foods That Promote Positivity

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The Life Diet 4 Foods That Promote Positivity
Everything in your life can have a positive spin. Your exercise routine, your disposition – and even your diet.

Positivity is something that we could all use more of in life, but it doesn’t have to stop at smiling throughout the day and being an optimist. Your diet could play a large part in how positive you truly are. When you eat foods that weigh you down, upset your stomach and decrease your health, you aren’t actually boosting positivity in your life, no matter how wide your smile gets.

In order to promote health and create a positive platform with which to build your optimism upon, you have to treat your body to foods that instill positivity within. Is there such a thing as a positivity food? Yes. In fact, these four foods should be added into your life diet to ensure you’re as positive as possible.

Chocolate

You might read this and think this gives you permission to swallow a few Hershey bars whole, but that’s not the case. Instead of milk chocolates, chocolate syrups or chocolate cake, the real mood-booster here is dark chocolate. If you aren’t a fan, try acquiring a taste if you want a more positive diet.

Studies show that eating 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate every day for two weeks lead to a reduce in stressor hormones found naturally in the body. The downside to all this chocolate is that consuming your daily almost-ounce and a half is about 1/6 of your regular calorie intake if you’re going off of a 1200 calorie diet.

What is the positivity-inducing ingredient in dark chocolate? According to Swiss scientists, the culprit is the high quantity of antioxidants.

Fish

Do you like fish? If not, you might want to skip this one – or learn to like it. There are enough fish out there that you should be able to find one variety that you like, cooked in some form or fashion.

Why do you need to love fish? Because of fish’s high concentration of Omega-3s. Your body doesn’t naturally produce these chemicals, but they occur naturally in fish – and they just so happen to alter your brain chemistry in a positive way. They improve your secretion of serotonin, a hormone that is linked to depression if you have low enough levels.

Saffron

In a study from Tehran University of Medical Sciences, scientists gave 50 women who experienced PMS two saffron capsules or a placebo daily over the course of two menstrual cycles. Those who took the saffron capsules reported that their PMS disappeared or severely declined.

This isn’t the only way saffron can boost positivity. Another study done likens the effects of saffron to drugs like Prozac – making it a great natural anti-depressant.

Tea

It might seem a little cliché, but tea is a drink that can definitely mellow you out and improve your mood. Studies have shown that tea illicit an alert, at ease mind through the amino acid theanine that’s been proven to increase attention. It also helps drinkers relax and boosts their mood – and different varieties of tea give drinkers different benefits.

Discovering Your Spiritual Side and How to Nurture It

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Spirituality and religion are often confused. While you can of course associate the two terms, spirituality is more a concept – it’s a state of being; an enlightenment that knows no bounds. Being a spiritual person means surrendering yourself to infinity and peace instead of stress and struggle.

In this case, spirituality is about living a more motivated, peaceful and fulfilled life through a spiritual plane. You don’t have to believe in any one higher power to be spiritual, but you do have to believe in both the existence of something greater and yourself. The great thing about living a spiritual existence is that it doesn’t discriminate – no matter what your walk of life, spirituality can work to make both your life and yourself wholly better.

But with this kind of change comes work. You can’t just throw everything down and announce that you are suddenly spiritually enlightened. It takes effort and changes. Spirituality needs to be nourished in order for it to truly grow within yourself.

First, know your intentions.

Why do you want to be more spiritual? Is it because you feel lost in life, or are you looking for a way to find a calm in your life’s storm? There are many reasons why one might turn to a more spiritual lifestyle, and there’s no one right answer. No matter why you want to be more spiritual in life, you still need to have a concrete reason.

The reason is that spirituality isn’t a catch-all answer to any problem, and it won’t make you a superhero either. While you might eliminate stress in life and renew your sense of clarity, looking to spirituality to completely overhaul your personality and skillset won’t get you what you really need.

Spirituality doesn’t do well with misplaced or false intentions. You have to both be genuine in your want to live spiritually and have a valiant or productive reason to want to change your life.

Start being more positive.

Spirituality and positivity are inherently linked. If you want to know and nourish your spiritual side, start being more positive. It’s not like there’s no room for negative feeling when you’re a spiritual person, but when you’re more at peace with yourself and the world around you, you’re less likely to be irritated, doubtful and stressed.

One way to start absorbing more positive energy and letting go of the outside stress of the world is to start doing more yoga. While it may seem cliché, yoga has been found to help reduce stress and promote overall health and wellness.

Seek spiritual guidance.

Whether your spiritual guide is a priest, a goddess or an Internet community, you should always have someone else to rely on during your spiritual journey. This person, or a place, should be your go-to for information and guidance while on your journey. It’s nearly impossible to be fully spiritually enlightened on your own, so look to someone else to show you the way.

This kind of relationship can help you grow spiritually and also introduce you to a community also going through what you are. Being together under one purpose is also a big component of spirituality that should also be nourished.

Health vs. Indulgence: Finding Food to Enjoy That’s Still Good for You

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We all want to indulge occasionally. While it’s never good to use food as a reward system, it is alright to enjoy food and occasionally give yourself a treat that you love as a method of being happy. Food isn’t the enemy – but overeating and consuming the wrong foods as a lifestyle is.

One problem those who love foods that are typically consider “junk” run into is the fact that they can’t find great substitutes if they want to stay healthy. Think about a scrumptious piece of chocolate cake. It’s hard to imagine this sweet treat without the dripping sweet chocolate, sugar-stuffed icing and crab-loaded, fatty cake bread. Yet many health food brands and recipes try to tell you they can mimic the same taste in great, healthy ways. Dubious? I don’t blame you.

However, it is totally possible to find foods that you can indulge in on occasion while not feeling guilty or bad that you’ve ruined your diet or packed on an extra pound. The trick is doing your research and actually finding foods that you like that fit the bill.

Not Being Too Ambitious

A big reason many people don’t stick to their diet is they know they’ll never be able to get a healthy recreation of their favorite greasy burger or deep dish pizza. It’s true – and that’s a good thing.

Preservatives, fat, grease and fake sugars have a distinctive taste, and after you eat them for a prolonged period of time, you get used to their taste. When you eat foods that are intended to be healthy for you, all of these unhealthy ingredients shouldn’t be present. Thus, the taste and texture will be different.

If you want to find great food that’s healthy, you’ll have to understand that that succulent chocolate cake can’t reasonably be created with natural ingredients – the reason that the “fake” ingredients were included were put there to enhance the taste and texture in the first place. This means retraining your palette and getting used to trying new things that may not be as rich as your old faves.

Blending the Good and Bad

If you’re truly opposed to the taste of healthy foods, train yourself to like them through exposure. For instance, make a healthy cake batter using vegetables and other fiber-filled ingredients, but indulge with a sugary icing. As you get used to the taste of the cake, start integrating healthier icing recipes.

Part of enjoying healthy food is getting used to the new taste and readjusting your pallet. After a while, you’ll prefer the wholly healthy recipe to your old favorite dish!


Great Treats with No Hassle

It’s not all work, though. Some healthy foods are delicious and ready to go, even if you’re apprehensive. Snacks like sea salted almonds are high in fiber and protein and can easily replace chips in your diet. You can also find sweet treats in fruit, savory treats in graham crackers and Nutella and fruit puree in yogurt is always a great dessert option, especially when frozen.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you have to keep an open mind. When you’re willing to try new things, you’ll soon discover that there are tons of healthy foods you can learn to like – or even love.

6 Ways to Stay Inspired When You’re On the Road

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If you’ve ever traveled, you’ll know it can be a daunting, dreadful experience. You eventually become dulled by the experience – your first time driving to a far off destination or flying for the first time is an experience you get excited about, but after the exhaustion and stress of security and jetlag kicks in, the rose-colored glasses come off. This is why it’s easy to lose your inspirational edge when you’re out and about.

It’s also important to note not everyone has the capability to work on long projects at home or get in those long meditation hours. If you’re on the road quite often, don’t neglect being inspired – instead, mold your inspiration to your situation.

Learn to love audiobooks.

So you don’t have time to read. It’s definitely not recommended you read and drive, and it can also be hard to read on a plan full of distractions. In short, there are a lot of reasons you may not be able to read while you’re traveling.

Instead, find a great audio book to listen to while you’re on a plane or in your car. Using CDs, your iPod or cellphone, it’s easy to listen to a great read while you’re driving or pop in some headphones while you’re trying to rest and relax on your flight.

Stretch your legs.

Even if you’re on a plane, it’s possible to keep the blood flowing. For drivers, always remember to keep alert by stopping every thirty minutes to walk around your car and get some fresh air. For fliers, occasionally get up to walk back to the bathroom, and flight attendants don’t mind if you walk the aisle for a minute.

Moving around help keeps your mind sharp and your emotions up!

Talk to others.

No matter what the reason for your trip is, don’t forget to enjoy the actual idea of traveling. You’re going someplace unfamiliar, or even if it’s an old haunt? You’re going to meet some new people on the journey there. Talk to others on your flight, or chat up residents at local spots you pass while driving. This helps enrich your journey and gives you a better experience.

Reflection.

No matter what method of transport you chose, always remember to spend some of your down time looking inward. Inspiration comes from inside yourself, ultimately. Keep your body and spirit in mind and reflect on yourself and your life’s path for 10 minutes every day, traveling or not.

Pack well.

Don’t lose sight of home while you’re on the road, and bring something with you that reminds you of where you came from when you travel. Even if it’s a small knick knack, focusing on the object can keep you grounded and your mood high.

Take time to treat yourself.

When you’re traveling, you can sometimes get some tunnel vision – go, go, go and get the trip over with. You don’t leave time for some small indulgences. Try to make the most of your time and relax with something nice. Stop by a fancy restaurant once, or indulge yourself by bringing along your favorite brand of chocolate on the road. It’ll keep your mood light and give you a better atmosphere to relax.

Think you could be a Digital Nomad?

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Millennials everywhere are breaking all the rules, and in the coolest ways possible. Many of them are dismissing old school beliefs that lured previous generations to settling down, choosing long-term careers, and having children, all before they hit the ripe old age of 30. Even those that are starting families early are recognizing that they can literally do it any way they want. Among the game changers of the 21st Century are the digital nomads. These individuals vary in trade, keeping one thing in common – the ability to work remotely.

Freedom & Independence

Bouncing from one tourist visa to the next, they stay in one place no longer than 6 months, sometimes planting themselves and their laptops in a far-away cafe for only a few weeks. The passions that fuel nomads are the same ones that have fueled most creative types for generations; freedom of exploration, professional independence, and cheaper means of living.

Here are some things to consider when making the decision to pull up your roots and go mobile:

What do you do, and can you do it from anywhere? Keep in mind time zones, especially when communicating with clients. Those with few work restrictions can focus more on keeping track of travel schedules and expenses. Or long walks on the beach. You know, the important stuff.

Are you in the process of growing your business? The nomadic lifestyle is best suited for those who are comfortable with their business’ current state and wish to focus more on their quality of life.

Self-discipline is a must! How will you ever enjoy your new digs if you can’t tear yourself away from the laptop? Just because you can work all the time doesn’t mean you should.

Choosing Locations

You can go anywhere – within reason. Unlike a vacation, you will still have priorities. You will need reliable wi-fi and a place that doesn’t break your budget. Many nomads flock to places like Indonesia, Thailand, and India. Remember, travel expenses will now rise to the top of your expenditures. Dig around online for great resources on cheap locations.

Remember taxes? Those tricky things don’t simply disappear when you do. Check out what your options are and how you will deal with taxing your income. Knowing the legal stuff will only raise your confidence and ease your stress, saving you from panic-inducing thoughts in the middle of your scuba-diving lesson.

How about relationships? This is the tough one that seems to be the big deciding factor for many a could-be nomad. Though travel is appealing, the hard truth is that you won’t be sticking around long. Take a minute (an hour, a few days…this is important stuff, after all!) to evaluate what kind of person you are and if being alone, or leaving newly formed friendships, is something you could handle.

Sound hectic? It can be. But no more hectic than buying and maintaining a home, or raising children while working full-time. The lesson here is; when you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you’ll be more apt to do it well, whatever (or wherever) it may be.

Looking for the Coolest Urban Gardening Resource on the Web? Check this out!

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This website is full of very cool ideas such as flowering plants, futuristic gardening, different types of horticulture, and bringing the outdoors inside. They had a super-awesome post last month about floral-themed Must Haves, and 10 furniture designs to welcome spring with. Founder Robin Plaskoff was born in Tokyo, and has lived everywhere from Los Angeles to Connecticut, and she focuses on telling this story from the ground up. She fully enjoys the journey that takes place from planting a seed to cultivating a garden, and Mashable named this blog “One of Ten Must-Follow Homes and Garden Twitter Accounts”. This is the season during which you want to check it out, and get stoked for some outdoor ideas of your own!

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