The Possibility of Improving Cellular Fitness Through Exercise and Cellular Stress Tests

Who doesn’t want to get healthier, slow the aging process, and possibly live longer? Life is such a beautiful experience with so many possibilities. Still, to take advantage of the most it has to offer, it is crucial to look after individual health and wellness.

Recently, researchers have recognized the growing need for mental health, allowing for a shift in stigmas surrounding counseling and therapy. While the focus on mindfulness and mental health is encouraging, the primary goal is to reduce stress to limit its overreaching and adverse effects on health and wellness overall.

There is a growing trend linked to cellular fitness, specifically how cellular stress can result in rapid aging and declining muscle function. The idea is based on customizing exercises and nutritional practices based on individual physiology rather than generalizations.


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How Does Cellular Fitness Work?

According to practitioners, cellular fitness is a new way of looking at physical activity. For years, the focus of physical fitness has revolved around the ideas of high-intensity workouts or interval training. While each program has its advantages and works for most people, there are limitations and the potential for burnout and injury.

Researchers are beginning to understand how too much exercise or intensity during a workout can result in lasting damage. When your cells are placed under significant stress, they cannot perform optimally, meaning your body experiences greater wear and tear, weakened defenses, inflammation, possible health problems, and potential weight gain.

Cellular fitness programs use “cellular stress tests” to determine how your system reacts to the stress of specific workouts or routines. These tests measure the damaging by-products in your body to determine the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of a workout on any given day. With accurate measurements, there is hope that an individual could tell which days are best for pushing themselves to get the extra rep and which are better for taking it easy.

While the process seems out there, several organizations are taking the open-mind approach. In fact, the NBA has been using similar technology and physiological insights for years, providing individualized goals and routines to suit each player by analyzing information from a wearable device.

Is There Any Truth To the Claims?

According to recent research published in the journal Nature Communications, the idea that exercise can improve cellular health is possible. During the study, scientists notice a direct link between exercise and the production or renewal of mitochondria, the cellular powerhouse. 

In essence, when workouts are effective, the body produces new and healthy mitochondria, replacing and forcing the old out of the muscles and bones. Ultimately, exercise contributes to better health and longevity, which people have known for a long time, but now researchers see the improvement on a cellular level.

Unfortunately, most research into cellular fitness is still fairly new, with limited studies expressing its true and proven advantages. However, there is a decent amount of circumstantial evidence to suggests a possible correlation between individualized exercise regimens and cellular health. What do you think of the ballooning trend and its potential for the fitness community? Leave a comment below.

Sugar-Free Gum: Good for Your Child’s Teeth or Not?

As a parent, you want to take good care of your child’s teeth. At the same time, getting them to brush after every meal probably isn’t realistic. Can sugar-free gum help prevent cavities?

Is Chewing Gum Good for Your Kids’ Teeth?

Chewing is a great way to reduce cavities for kids and adults alike. When kids chew, their mouths produce more saliva. This helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing the acid that causes cavities. Saliva also washes away leftover food particles. Sugar-free gum isn’t a replacement for some good old-fashioned brushing, but it’s a nice way provide dental hygiene after lunch or dinner.

That said, the type of gum you choose is very important. The kind of gum your kids want you to buy — bubble gum with fruit fillings — is definitely NOT good for teeth. Instead of preventing tooth decay, bubble gum encourages bacteria to grow. It also pushes the sugar right up against your child’s teeth, easily causing a bunch of cavities.


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Is Sugar-Free Gum Safe for Kids?

This is a tricky question because it actually involves two things: if artificial sweeteners are safe for kids and if gum is dangerous as far as choking is concerned. The answers can vary depending on your child and your family.

The Oral Health Foundation recommends not giving gum to kids under the age of seven. At the same time, it acknowledges that parents are the best judges of when children are ready.

As far as the safety of artificial sweeteners goes, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that there’s no evidence these ingredients can hurt children at all (unless you have a rare condition called phenylketonuria). Also, sugar-free gum has relatively tiny levels of artificial sweeteners compared to other products.

To give you an idea of the amount, a stick of chewing gum has around 6–8 milligrams while a can of diet soda has 180 milligrams. Your kids would need to eat the equivalent of 24 sweetener packets to meet the FDA’s max limit. If you’re still concerned, choose gum made with xylitol, erythritol or other natural sugar alcohols.

Is It Bad for Kids To Swallow Gum?

This is part myth and part rare-but-weird concern. First, nothing usually happens if school-age kids swallow gum. It will literally be out of their systems in a day or two. The only exception to this is if children are constipated and swallow a LOT of gum. So, take this urban legend with a grain of salt.

Are There Any Alternatives to Sugar-Free Gum That Kids Like?

Remember, it’s the act of chewing, not sugar-free gum itself, that helps prevent cavities. Depending on the age of your kids, you can offer them naturally crispy or chewy foods instead. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Apple slices
  • Celery sticks
  • Snap peas
  • Jicama
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Rice cakes
  • Whole grain bagels

My kids love foods with a crunchy texture, so these veggies are a big hit. I also keep a few packs of sugar-free gum around for when we need something quick to chew. I’ve noticed that as long as I have everything already cut in the fridge, they actually go for the fresh fruit and veggies more often than gum.

Is This Fish Oil Really Helping My Joints?

I never used to have problems with my joints, but that’s changed in a big way as I’ve grown older. In an effort to help my joints feel better, I’ve been taking fish oil supplements every day. It seems like I’ve always known that fish oil was good for joints in some way, but the other day I caught myself thinking, “Is this stuff really helping?”

I realized that I didn’t know much about fish oil at all, and my lack of knowledge started to make my confidence in the product wane. So I decided to do some research and find out exactly what it is about fish oil that can supposedly make my joints feel better. Here’s what I found out.

There’s Nothing “Fishy” About Fish Oil

Despite my worries that fish oil is just a great big fish tale, I discovered some impressive things about it during my research. I found out that the secret to fish oil’s ability to help aching joints lies within its content of omega-3 fatty acids. Though the name isn’t super appealing, omega-3 fatty acids are pretty powerful for joint health. Here’s how they work.

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil contain high levels of these two fatty acids in particular:

  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)

According to research, both of these fatty acids are effective at lowering inflammation. It’s their inflammation-curbing properties that make these fatty acids so valuable for people with joint conditions. Many conditions that cause joint pain are due to excess inflammation within the joints.

According to one study (published in the British Journal of Nutrition), DHA and EPA from marine sources (such as fish oil) provide help with the following:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • The use of joint-related pain medication
  • Morning joint stiffness

These are all benefits I can stand behind! So I’ll continue my daily habit of taking fish oil pills so they can go to work reducing inflammation in my joints.

How Fish Oil Reduces Inflammation

I’m a naturally curious soul, so it wasn’t enough for me to learn that DHA and EPA can reduce inflammation. I wanted to know how they do it. So I decided to dive into the topic a lot more. Here’s what I discovered.

EPA and DHA work in tandem to lower inflammatory molecules in the body (such as C-reactive protein and tumour necrosis factor alpha). They’re a little bit like The Wonder Twins when it comes to protecting our bodies from the negative effects of systemic inflammation.

DHA seems to be more effective at reducing multiple pro-inflammatory proteins, while EPA seems to target primarily one type. But EPA does have the added benefit of boosting immune function regulation. So when you’re looking for a fish oil supplement, look for one that contains both of these important components. Like the old song goes, “some things just go better together and probably always will.”


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There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

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What To Look for in a Fish Oil Supplement

As with any nutritional or dietary supplement, fish oil supplements are not all created equal. Here are a few things to look for in a quality supplement:

  • Make sure the supplement you choose contains both EPA and DHA.
  • Look for good purity and authenticity standards.
  • Always check the date on the bottle and don’t use it after the printed date (fish oil goes rancid over time).
  • Look for free fatty acids (FFA), phospholipids (PLs) and triglycerides, and reformed triglycerides (TG and rTG) instead of ethyl esters (EE).

Keeping these things in mind when shopping will help you select a quality fish oil supplement that will give your joints (and your body in general) maximum anti-inflammatory benefits.

These Are My 4 Favorite Milk Alternatives

Cow’s milk is rich in nutrients such as calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium and amino acids, or protein. If you're planning on switching to a milk alternative, you need to fill those nutritional needs. Which are the best milk substitutes?

1. Soy Milk: Super-Nutritious, Mild but Weird

Soy milk is a nutrient superfood, which makes it one of the best milk alternatives for your health. It has almost the same amount of protein that cow’s milk does, a filling 7 grams per cup. This protein contains all the essential amino acids that your body can’t make on its own, which is why vegetarians and vegans benefit a lot from drinking soy milk.

There’s only one tiny catch, at least for me: the taste. I’m not a huge fan of the flavor of soy milk or tofu (another high-protein food made from soy).

What I would recommend is to start yourself off eating soy yogurt. After you get used to the texture and flavor, mix soy milk with fresh fruit and enjoy a nutrient-packed morning smoothie.

2. Almond Milk: Thick, Creamy, and Delicious

Personally, I could drink almond milk all day long. It has a slightly sweet, nutty taste and an amazing texture. Imagine drinking a creamy glass of whole milk, but way better for your waistline.

This is my go-to option for recipes that call for milk, such as baked goods or creamy Italian dishes. I also love it with coffee because it’s like having a shot of amaretto and cream.

Any downsides? It's low in protein. So, while almond milk is an excellent replacement for cow’s milk flavor-wise and calorie-wise, it doesn’t fill your protein needs completely.


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There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

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3. Coconut Milk: Sweet, Great for Weight Loss, But High in Fat?

If you haven’t tried coconut milk yet, trust me, go out and buy yourself a carton. This sweet treat will put a big smile on your face.

But is it healthy? Yes and no. This tropical drink gives you lots of vitamin D, vitamin B12 and other nutrients. But it also has the same amount of fat as whole milk.

The interesting thing is that some scientists think the type of fat in coconut milk and coconut oil can actually help you lose weight. These MCTs help your metabolism burn fat instead of storing it. They may also calm your appetite and improve your cholesterol levels.

4. Macadamia Milk: All-Around Amazing but Expensive

This rising superstar would be my favorite milk alternative … if it wasn’t so darned expensive in the stores near me. Macadamia milk has it all: great flavor, lots of protein, a smooth texture and few calories.

As long as you choose a fortified version, you’re getting magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and vitamin B6. Plus, this creamy nut milk has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids too, which are amazing for heart health. Macadamia milk is low in carbs, making it ideal for keto dieters.

All in all, with half the fat of cow’s milk, one-third the calories and the same amount of protein, this nutty milk is a homerun for parents and kids. Just maybe not for your wallet.

The Best Alternative Milk for Your Family

Honestly, no one said you had to choose just one. Try a few kinds and settle on the ones that fit your lifestyle. It’s OK to use some for coffee, some for cooking, some for smoothies and some for drinking happily.

Are You Eating Enough Calories?

Culture seems to be diet-centric anymore. A new dietary claim is made almost every month or so, and countless people jump aboard the rumor train toward unknown health benefits or problems. 

For decades, the idea of counting calories appeared to be rational — calories in, calories out, right? While calorie-restricted diets can be safe when monitored, ensuring participants are getting appropriate nutrients through food choices, people can often get carried away with the level of restriction.

1,200 calories are the bare minimum for calorie intake, which is for female resting metabolic requirements. Dipping below this number is rarely advised, and when it is, it is with the strict supervision of a medical or dietary professional.

More often than not, diets of 1,200 calories are referred to as unsustainable. The benefits of such restrictive dieting often result in less than optimal results for those trying to lose weight, especially as it can motivate a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting.

When beginning a diet, especially a calorie-focused diet, it is crucial to understand the warning signs of under-eating. You should correct course and reevaluate your calorie intake to avoid any recurring issues.

Irritability and Lethargy are Only the Beginning

You have likely heard the term “hangry” before, meaning hungry and angry. There is a legitimate psychological component to eating and food. People often associate food with joy, relationships, and other pleasurable events and feelings. By taking those foods away, your brain can react negatively, causing a rise in cortisol and other hormones contributing to irritability or testiness.

Beyond feeling on edge all the time, you need to remember that calories are the body’s primary source of energy for tissues and functions. If you are eating the bare minimum, your body will need to prioritize what systems access energy and how much. The restrictions result in feeling tired, with many tasks seeming more challenging and less appealing, even those tasks you enjoy.

Unfortunately, irritability and lethargy are only the beginning of your troubles if you continue to eat too few calories. Eating less can also lead to sleep and digestive problems.

Restful Nights Might Become a Thing of the Past

Blood sugar levels depend on a balanced diet. Eating fewer calories than necessary can prevent the liver from producing enough glycogen during sleep to stabilize blood sugar levels. 

When the liver doesn’t produce enough glycogen, the body must use gluconeogenesis to produce glucose. The process is possible only by releasing cortisol and adrenaline, and with enough of these hormones in your body, you might find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


Digestive Problems Can Become a Permanent Diet Companion

A common symptom of consuming too few calories is persistent constipation. The problem often results from not consuming enough fiber. Fiber is essential to keep the digestive system moving along.

Dehydration is also a possibility of constipation. If the body does not have enough water in its system, it can not perform digestive tasks effectively, regardless of fiber levels. Unfortunately, many people struggle to differentiate between hunger and thirst, often confusing one for the other.

Consume Enough Calories Without Starving Yourself

Do not assume 1,200 calories is suitable for you. Talk to your doctor about calorie intake; they can offer a professional opinion based on gender, age, weight, and current health. Additionally, most fitness and nutrition experts agree that cutting your present daily calories by 200 to 300 calories per day combined with 30 minutes of exercise is enough to start a weight loss journey.

How many calories are healthy for you? Leave a comment, and join the conversation.

Ranking Salad Dressings From Most Healthy to Least Healthy

There's nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy a variety of salad dressings. These days, you have a lot of options for giving salads a kick of flavor. What are the best healthy salad dressings?

The Healthiest Salad Dressings

These are my favorite dressings, and they won't add to your waistline:

  1. Vinaigrette: These dressings are full of flavor and focus on a few simple ingredients. What I love is the endless variety. You can go for balsamic vinegar, orange juice, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar — even strawberries! And with basil, cilantro and other herbs, all I can say is “yum.”
  2. Green Goddess: It’s easy to find green goddess dressing made with a base of Greek yogurt. This gives you the creaminess you crave without the fat. Along with probiotics from the yogurt, you’re getting lots of vitamins from olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and green onions.
  3. Greek or Mediterranean Dressings: Think creamy Italian dressing, minus the cream. Many Greek dressings use avocado oil and extra-virgin olive oil for thickness. Both of these oils give you lots of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins.
  4. Sesame Ginger: My kids love Asian-style dressings, and I think they spice up meals at home. Look for real garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar in the ingredients, and try to keep sugar down with nut butter.
  5. Honey Dijon: Both Dijon mustard and honey make dressings thicker and smoother naturally. If you’re adding a salad to a meat-and-potatoes meal, try this dressing. The reason it's near the bottom is that you have to keep an eye on sugar and calories with store-bought versions.

The Least Healthy Salad Dressings

Basically, anything with the word “creamy” in its name is going to shock you into falling backwards when you look at the fat content and calories. This includes blue cheese, Caesar dressing, thousand island, French and (sigh) everyone’s favorite ranch dressing.

Now the good news. You can find reasonably healthy alternatives to each. Some replace mayo with avocado oil, coconut milk or Greek yogurt. Others go big on flavor from high-quality ingredients (like more blue cheese) to reduce the amount of other ingredients. Herbs and spices such as chipotle, jalapenos, basil, dill, parsley and chives add a boost of flavor all by themselves.

The Benefits of Homemade Salad Dressings

Homemade dressings offer a lot of benefits:

  • You control salt and sugar levels
  • Non-refined, natural oils give you more heart benefits than many store-bought dressings
  • Fresh ingredients provide more vitamins and minerals
  • Homemade dressings offer more flavor with less fat
  • Dressing you make at home doesn’t have any preservatives

That said, as a mom, it’s not always easy to find the time. Don't feel guilty if organic from the store is the best you can do.

A Sensible View of Dressings

I like to take a balanced view of mom-hood and weight loss. Focusing too strictly on every calorie can make healthy eating a chore. Isn’t encouraging your family to eat more salad a good thing?

It keeps you and your kids munching on fresh ingredients: romaine lettuce, arugula, alfalfa sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, yellow peppers and avocados. That's WAY better kids begging for pizza every night because they're tired of plain vinaigrette with every salad.

More salad + healthy dressing options = more omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate and more! That’s a win in my book. So, don't punish yourself if you buy (gasp!) the tiniest bottle of (double gasp!) Ranch dressing sometimes.

Inspecting the Claims and Reality of Cleanse and Detox Diets

A cleanse diet, designed around the notion of your body needing help eliminating excess toxins, has grown in popularity exponentially over the last decade, despite having little scientific backing or merit. Celebrities, manufacturers, and self-proclaimed nutritionists have hopped aboard the cleansing and detoxifying train to riches. Unfortunately, those unsubstantiated claims of detoxing and cleansing needs can result in health issues.

In any other context, the idea of depriving your body of food or essential nutrients would appear illogical. While the severe caloric restrictions of these “fad” diets do contribute to rapid weight loss, the loss is not a symptom of eliminated toxins; it is merely a consequence of severe calorie deprivation. Yet, it is no longer fair to consider these diets fads because popularity continues to grow. Cleanses are now a trend. The question becomes, is there any relevance to cleanse diets, or are any results purely speculative hokum?

Toxins and Your Body

In reality, your body has several organs and systems dedicated to removing toxins and bacteria — the liver, kidneys, intestines, etc. The human body, in general, effectively eliminates problematic toxins and harmful chemicals without any necessary interference or aid.

Most cleanse and detox diets claim the body needs help because of increased contaminants in the atmosphere and food, especially through environmental crises like global warming. However, despite the claims, there is little, if any, rational or well-researched evidence or logic to support such claims.

On top of misleading marketing, you will find it challenging, if not impossible, to find any cleanse or detox explaining what toxins the diet eliminates. The producers of these products and services cannot make such claims because it is considered fraud without proof. Instead, most cleanse services state generalities about health and wellness. Manufacturers might even discuss the potential benefits of specific ingredients in juices or supplements. However, in nearly every case, the company falls short of making any direct or conclusive statements about toxins. 

Explaining the Positive Effects of Cleanses

Many people participate in cleanses, and some even do more than one cleanse per year. The drive or motivation is often based on the belief the diet makes them more focused or energetic. While an individual might feel healthier during a cleanse diet, the improvement is likely based on eliminating unhealthy foods and the increase of healthy options, like fruits and vegetables, not the cleanse.

Anyone who alters their diet to include more fruits and vegetables while eliminating refined sugars and processed meats are sure to feel some change. However, the difference is the result of healthier choices, not a specific cleanse or detox.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


Risks of Cleanses

Despite the focus on health and longevity, several cleanses can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies or dehydration. Still, several others can increase the potential risks of overdosing on diuretics, supplements, or laxatives. Because of the loopholes and lack of regulation in the supplement market, some labels might be inaccurate. While many might not see the risk of overdose on supplements or dietary products as a threat, it is potentially fatal, depending on the supplement.

There is a continued obsession with dieting, so much so that people now feel like health is reliant on the next new and improved fad. It is a constant and unwinnable game of whack-a-mole. In truth, all anyone needs to do is focus on consuming a healthy and balanced diet. If you do not know how or where to start, speak to a licensed nutritionist or primary care physician.

5 Reasons Why Fiber Is So Important

I like to think I know the basics of good health. But periodically, I learn some new health fact that catches me by surprise. The importance of fiber is one of those health facts I didn’t really grasp until recently. Sure, I’ve always known fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but I didn’t realize just how necessary it is for optimal health and digestive function. Here are five reasons why fiber is so important for all of us to consume regularly.

1. Helps Control Blood Sugar

If you struggle to keep your blood sugar under control, eating fiber may help. It’s especially helpful for people with diabetes to consume sufficient soluble fiber to slow down their body’s absorption of sugar. For those of us who don’t have diabetes, eating insoluble fiber may help us avoid developing it.

2. Promotes Normal Bowel Movements

Nobody likes to talk about their bowel movements (unless you’re my over-sharing Aunt Kathy), but how often you go is really important. The consistency of your poop is also really important. If it’s consistently runny, adding some fiber to your diet can give it a little bulk so you’re more regular and can pass your stools more easily.

Whew. Now that we got that topic over with, let’s move on to the next reason why fiber’s so important!


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


3. May Decrease the Likelihood of Hemorrhoids

OK, so going from bowel movements to hemorrhoids isn’t exactly a step up. But it’s important to talk about how fiber can potentially help us avoid developing hemorrhoids. That reason alone is good enough for me to increase my daily intake of fiber!

In addition to decreasing your likelihood of getting hemorrhoids, studies show that a high-fiber diet may also lower your risk of developing colorectal cancer. Research is still being done to understand exactly how fiber helps prevent colorectal cancer, but it’s thought that it has something to do with how fiber ferments in the colon.

4. Assists With Healthy Weight Maintenance

It’s generally easy to put weight on, but difficult to take it off (unless you’re someone who can’t seem to gain weight no matter how hard you try). When you’re trying to let go of a few extra pounds, you probably think about exercising, cutting out sugary foods and drinks, and eating healthier. But if you’re neglecting to eat sufficient fiber, you could be making your weight-loss journey more difficult than it needs to be.

High-fiber foods are typically more filling than foods with little to no fiber. That means the more high-fiber foods you eat, the easier it will be for you to manage your appetite and keep your weight in check. Additionally, foods high in fiber typically require more chewing, which means you’re expending more calories to eat them.

5. Reduces the Risk of Some Diseases

One of the most surprising things I have learned about fiber is that it may reduce your risk of developing some diseases. According to studies, there is a link between increased dietary fiber intake and reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. So if you have a family history of cancer, make sure you add fiber to your daily healthy eating plan!

Though fiber has a lot of great benefits, it’s possible to eat too much of it. If you feel like your fiber intake is clogging you up and messing with your regularity, it may be time to cut back a little bit. The Institute of Medicine recommends that men aged 50 or younger consume 38 grams of fiber daily. Women aged 50 0r younger should aim to consume 25 grams of fiber per day.

Some good sources of fiber include vegetables, seeds, nuts, fruits, whole-grain products and legumes. Figure out how to incorporate these foods into your daily meals and you’ll start reaping the benefits of a high-fiber diet.

Can Positive Stress Really Be Good for Your Body?

The idea of stress that is good for you seems weird. You’re probably thinking that the words “positive” and “stress” don’t even belong in the same sentence. But it’s true: certain types of stress produce beneficial effects instead of negative ones.

What Is Positive Stress?

We’re not talking about situations that make you feel terrified or anxious. Instead, healthy stress is associated more with activities that are challenging but also produce excitement, fun and happiness.

Positive stress makes life worth living. It’s about overcoming obstacles. It’s about celebrating accomplishments. It’s about trying new experiences. Positive stress gives every day more zing.

What Are Your Healthy Stress Sources?

Everyone views stress in a different way. Some writers love deadlines and get more done with them (I’m not one.) Do any of these situations get your blood flowing in a good way?

  • Work assignments
  • Fixing your car
  • Flying
  • Having a baby
  • Preparing for vacation
  • Working out
  • Taking care of DIY projects
  • Throwing a party

Someone who loves working on automobiles will probably see taking care of minor repairs as something enjoyable. That’s positive stress.

The same thing goes for dating. Falling in love makes your heart beat in a good way. You stay awake at night, maybe a little anxious, but mostly because you’re excited and can’t wait to see the person again.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


What Are the Benefits of Positive Stress?

Unlike chronic stress, which weakens your immune system, gives you headaches and triggers inflammation, positive stress has great effects on your mind and body:

  • It motivates you: Reaching your goals can give you a sensation that’s even better than chocolate. It can give your life meaning. It also improves your self-esteem. Running a business can be stressful, but for entrepreneurs, it’s really rewarding to see their company flourish.
  • It improves your creativity: Feeling excited about a project helps you produce better results. My best work is always with topics that I feel passionate about. A little positive stress can help you come up with incredible ideas and solutions, too.
  • It feels amazing: If you’ve ever heard about sports enthusiasts talking about the “adrenaline rush,” that’s what positive stress is. Whether you’re into skydiving, rock climbing, skiing or snowmobiling, adrenaline makes your brain happy.
  • It helps your immune system: Excitement is good for your body’s defenses. Science has shown that good stress activates your immune cells and even helps your body heal faster after injuries. That’s one reason why doctors often recommend that people who are depressed take the time to exercise regularly.
  • It gives you energy: When you have a goal you’re trying to reach, your body literally feels more energized. Imagining yourself fitting into that tight red dress can give you the energy you need to swim, bike, hike or Zumba like never before.

How Can You Boost Positive Stress Levels?

Personally, I find that being a mom is my source of positive stress. I’m nervous sometimes, but also excited and happy. Hearing that “I love you Mommy” is irresistible, and according to science, it’s good for my health, too!

Get more positive stress in your life by doing things that are worth it to you, things that are exciting. Set aside more time for family adventures.

Go on a road trip. Ride a roller coaster with your eyes closed. Try new recipes. Make new friends. Visit new places. Zumba. Find something to be excited about every day!

The 5 Healthiest Meal Prep Delivery Services

Food that comes in a package and that is delivered straight to your door via UPS, FedEx, USPS or another postal delivery service cannot be healthy, right? While it seems too good to be true, some meal prep delivery services actually help consumers eat better than if they were to do the grocery shopping on their own. However, the keyword here is “some.”

Like anything in life, not all meal prep delivery services are created equal. A handful standout for their use of wholesome, healthy ingredients, and for their recipes that are as healthy as they are tasty. Check them out below.

Green Chef

As the first meal-kit delivery company to become USDA-Certified Organic, Green Chef is a highly sought-after service for anyone who is interested in leading a more sustainable and responsible lifestyle. More than 90% of the service’s ingredients are organic and, to up its eco-friendly rating, its packaging is made from mostly compostable, recyclable and reusable materials.

Green Chef caters to various dietary preferences, including paleo, plant-based and keto. While you will have to pay more for meals that cater to more complex diets, Green Chef is relatively cheap, starting at just $10.99 per meal.

Fresh N’ Lean

Fresh N’ Lean is a meal-kit delivery service that caters to the meat-eaters of the world. Starting at $75 per week, the subscriptions are a bit steep, but you get a lot of bang for your buck. Each meal is customizable for various dietary preferences, including low-carb, paleo, Keto and even vegan, but you can count on each meal to contain ample amounts of protein. Unlike many meal delivery services, which cater more to convenience than they do health, Fresh N’ Leans ingredients are always fresh, never frozen.


Soup’s On!

There’s a new science-backed, all-you-can-eat soup diet that has folks losing 7, 10, even 12 pounds in a single week.

Fastest Soup Diet Ever


Fresh Direct

Founded back in 2002, Fresh Direct has had nearly two decades to hone its offerings to appeal to a wide variety of taste and dietary preferences. When ordering, you can narrow down your weekly options based on the cook time, list of ingredients and kit type to find meals that are best suited for your lifestyle. The meals are creative and full of flavor and, most importantly, contain nothing but quality, gourmet ingredients. Meal kits start at $13.

Sunbasket

As a certified organic handler that uses organic ingredients whenever possible and that delivers meals only approved by an in-house dietician, Sunbasket is an increasingly popular option for busy individuals who want whole, nutrient-dense meals in little time. Though Sunbasket has traditional kits with ingredients customers prep and assemble themselves, some of their most popular offerings are their microwaveable meals. These meals come fully prepared and ready to cook in bamboo containers meaning, with this service, you can eat in as little as six minutes.

You can also order breakfast and lunch through the service. Meals start at $10.99.

Urban Remedy

Urban Remedy’s motto is “food is healing.” As such, its selling point is that each of its ingredients was chosen specifically for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties. Though the offerings are limited to just eight meals, the brand claims that all eight meals contain immune-boosting, inflammation-fighting ingredients. The service also offers individual drinks, protein bars and smoothies. Meal plans start at $117 a week.

Despite what the past has led many people to believe, convenient food does not have to mean unhealthy food. Each of the above five meal kit delivery services is a testament to that.