I LOVE the idea of emotional first aid. It sounds bizarre, but this Ted Talk does a great job of explaining the importance of practicing self-care from a young age. In mental health, we often focus on treatment and solving problems once they begin. Unfortunately, this does not allow us to prevent issues. The vast differences in how we treat mental vs. physical illness is striking. If we learn how to take better care of ourselves, cope more effectively, and provide a space to discuss mental wellbeing, we can both prevent potential crises and increase mental wellbeing overall–sounds like a pretty good deal to me. I can’t wait to hear what you think of the talk!
What do you think of mental first aid? Can you imagine a world where we give mental health the same priority as physical health?
I’ve made a greater effort to choose plant-based options over the past few months. While everyone is different, I wanted to share a few reasons why I’ve made the slight shift. I am definitely still eating plenty of animal products, but here are some of the main reasons I’m opting for more plant-based options:
It’s better for the planet. Plant-based options have a smaller carbon-footprint; these foods often require less transportation and have fewer environmental side effects (decreased carbon emissions, decreased methane gas–ehem, cows).
Animals are cute (ethics). While some people think eating animals is entirely unethical, I do not personally fall into that camp. I take more issue with eating animals and byproducts of animals that have been treated poorly. Choosing cruelty-free, local, grass-fed options makes a huge difference, but often those options are more difficult to come by and are more expensive.
Nutrition. There is a ton of evidence that eating a plant-based diet has numerous positive effects on health. The China Study, one of the few large-scale, reputable nutrition studies, was conducted by Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. The study found individuals with a plant-based diet where most protein comes from plant sources have decreased cancer rates and lower prevalence of bone fracture, among other health benefits. If you’re curious, read more here.
It’s not all or nothing. I think this is a huge misconception in our world of extremes. Everyone thinks that you must choose a label and stick with it, but I prefer to stay flexible, eat what I want, and eat to feel good. There is no need to be a strict vegetarian or vegan, but trying to make mindful choices and choose plant-based options a little more often can add up to big benefits.
I love Nuzest protein powder. This is a simple one…I fell in love with Nuzest protein powder when I first tried it. This is a super simple pea protein with very few added ingredients and it tastes great. Look out for recipes using this powder coming to the blog soon!
I am starting a new series: Ted Talk Fridays! I absolutely love Ted Talks, but know that sometimes there are just too many options and choosing one can feel overwhelming. I am planning to post one of my favorite Ted Talks to the blog every Friday. I hope you enjoy!
Today’s Ted Talk is “Radical Self-Love” by Gala Darling
What do you think of radical self love? What are some steps you might take to put her ideas into action?
I consider myself a little too well-versed in podcasts…according to the NPR One app on my phone, I listed to over 28,000 minutes of podcasts throughout 2016. I am not sure whether I should feel proud or embarrassed…but, I do think it means that I know a good show when I hear one! In honor of the new year, I wanted to put together a list of my favorite podcasts. Most of these podcasts are available on the NPR One app, which you can download to your phone. The app is like Pandora, but for podcasts; it gets to know your preferences, gives your news updates, and makes new recommendations based on what you like. Definitely download-worthy! Whether you do or don’t want the app, these podcasts are fantastic and will keep you engaged for hours.
Note to Self,The host of this NPR podcast, Manoush Zomorodi, connects technology, health, and wellbeing through this engaging series that tackles even the heaviest subject matter with a dose of humor. Topics range from “information overload” to the ethical considerations of parents posting photos of their young children on social media. A recent episode released from early January discusses New Years Resolutions and is FANTASTIC!
2) The Pulse, I could listen to this podcast non-stop. If you are interested in health in any way, then I am sure you will enjoy this show. Every episode has a topic like “Rock and a Hard Place” or “Challenging Our Assumptions” and weaves together an engaging narrative that touches on numerous aspects of health, technology, and ethics.
3) On Being, In an effort to explore my own spirituality, I started listening to this podcast and fell in love. The host, Krista Tippett, has the most soothing voice and interviews inspiring individuals across numerous sectors. Most recently, she interviewed one of my personal heroes, Congressman John Lewis.
4) Radiolab, I might be slightly biased because the host, Jad Abumrad, attended my high schoool alma mater, but it is well worth a listen. I’m not sure where to begin, but if you have a curious cell in your body…you will enjoy Radiolab episodes!
5) Hidden Brain, the description from NPR reads, “A conversation about life’s unseen patterns.” Now, this might not sounds all that interesting, but don’t let that deceive you. The podcasts generally center around psychology and questions about human behavior. One recent episode that I particularly enjoyed discussed the word “literally” and how its use has changed over time–integrating culture, linguistics, and history.
6) Impact Theory, I just recently started listening to this new podcast hosted by Tom Bilyeu, one of the founders behind Quest Nutrition. The podcast is unique and features some amazing guests with some great discussions on topics related to positive psychology and personal success.
Do you like podcasts? What are some of your favorites?
I am majoring in Psychology and Human Health and have become completely enamored with the field of Positive Psychology. Positive Psychology is not about mental illness, but instead focuses on positive mental health and improving wellbeing. I have been lucky enough to take classes on the topic and learn about simple lifestyle choices that lead to happier, and often healthier, lives. The quote on my Yogi Tea the other day was a reminder of a key focus of Positive Psych: focus on your strengths. Our strengths are a mixture of natural talent and hard work (I would argue mostly hard work and perseverance!), but utilizing them and letting our strengths shine is a wonderful way to maximize our abilities and feel successful. It is easy to focus on where we are lacking or areas where we struggle, but if we focus on our strengths and how to use them to achieve our goals we can maintain a positive mindset.
In no way do I believe that we should not strive to improve and challenge ourselves–that is a huge piece of happiness and growth! Striving for improvement is crucial to success, but it is important to maintain appreciation for your strengths throughout the process. What are your strengths? How have you used them today?
On a less serious note, the NuNaturals giveaway has been extended to December 31! Enter here for your chance to win:
I don’t know about you, but I am far more likely to stick with workouts that I find fun, challenging, and effective. My personal favorites are blogilates workouts; they are fun and bring me so much joy! Find an exercise you ENJOY, fitness does not (and should not) have to feel like a chore. The calendar is free easy and I find peace and satisfaction knowing that I have workouts planned for me. The videos usually focus on one area and last for about 45 minutes. Confession: I usually skip the first (cardio) video of each day because I hate cardio, but it keeps me working out about six days a week. The pop pilates videos get my heart rate up, Cassey (the founder of blogilates) keeps it real, and I feel the effects both in increased strength and mood.