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Every person on this planet thinks about their health on a daily basis. Whether you are a starving mother in a developing nation wondering about how you’re going to feed your children, a body builder in Ohio going for an extra rep on the bench, a software developer in Silicon Valley trying to lose a few pounds, a teenager struggling with acne, and so on, you think about your health in one form or another, daily. Today, our health is a topic with an enormous amount of information at our fingertips — this blog, that TV show, this doctor/‘expert’/coach preaching that diet/workout/product. It is overwhelming and, to be quite honest, unreliable. The answer to being healthy and balanced is not in a fad diet, crazy workout plan, or over priced skincare line. It is easy, simple, and stems from decades of scientific research — and you can learn all about it here. 

Nourish is not a fad. It is not a quick fix. It is not a gimmick. It’s not a paycheck. It is based on real, evidence-based science. To put it simply, it is the truth about your health. Just the simple, honest truth. Finally. 

My name is Lisa Eberly, MPH, RD, and I created Nourish. I am a public health and nutrition masters and registered dietitian in Seattle. I received a biology degree from USC. Following my passion to make the world a healthier place, I received my masters degree in public health and clinical nutrition. I also obtained my registered dietitian license, completing a fellowship in pediatric pulmonary & high-risk infant nutrition and clinical experience in oncology & cardiology. In Fall of 2015, with my education, research, and clinical experience in tote, I created Nourish. 

Nourish offers one-on-one nutrition counseling, group classes, events, discussions, and collaborations with brands, companies, and business to offer nutrition consulting and workshops in the Seattle area. Nationwide, we also partner with brands and companies to promote healthy living through our website and blogs.

Specialties

Nutrition, Wellness, Lifestyle, Fitness, Health, Dietetics, Weight Management, Nutrition Counseling

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Wellness

Reach any Goal by Daydreaming with Purpose

Lisa Eberly

Hello hellooo...

Where have I been? Well...in the past month or so I have gotten engaged to the man of my dreams, found my dream home, purchase my dream home, and have generally been reaching my goals in life across the board -- at work and personally. I am living my dream life. So, I figured this was an apt time to explain an important piece of how I got here, but more importantly, how you can too. Did you always say you wanted to be an engaged homeowner with the perfect job for you in your mid 20s? Did you want to travel the world but never did? Maybe you still want to do these things...but you're just not sure how? 

A particular pet peeve of mine is those who have goals but don't do anything in their day to reach them. This can be caused by a number of things, but can arise when our goals are too far away from our present, making that first step in the right direction unclear. 

For instance, I have several friends who cannot wait to find the right person for them and settle down, but don't go on first dates. Another example is someone who has always daydreamed about writing a book, but hasn't written one page. Or maybe you want to be a leader, but you've never spoken up at work. Where you want to be and where you are may be quite far apart -- and that is 100% OKAY. The real question is: what can you do today to move you one baby step closer to your dream life. 

I wanted to meet the man of my dreams --> I went on dates, met new people all the time, and put myself out there openly to find him.

I wanted my dream job --> I got a masters and hustled my way into my field and connected with dietitians left and right so that an amazing start up could find me. 

I wanted to own a home --> I downloaded Redfin and started looking. 

These big dreams all started with a tiny step: a date, a LinkedIn account, the Redfin app. 

Dreams can be big or small, but they always start with one baby step in the right direction. Want to travel the world? Save a few bucks a day. Want to nail that dream job? Reach out to an employee on LinkedIn. 

Maybe you're not even 100% sure what your dream life looks like. 

My very good friend Sondra is a goal reaching expert and I invited her to Nourish to explain the beautiful art of daydreaming with purpose, something she taught me how to do that has served me well. This visualization of your dreams is basically a mash up between meditation and goal setting -- and it works. All in only a few minutes out of your day or week. 

See Sondra demonstrate visualization and read her description of its benefits below! 

_________________

Traditional goal setting can be a daunting task. There's a lot that I want to accomplish in my life so when I make a list of personal and professional goals, it can leave me feeling overwhelmed. How the heck am I supposed to get from where I am now, a 27 year old with a 2 year old business, to a millionaire living on a yacht? 


It's a natural reaction to limit our goals with traditional goal setting. Let's say I'm only making $35,000 per year right now but I really wish I were making $100,000. That $65,000 jump can feel out of reach so maybe I'll "reason" with myself and say well, I'd be okay with just making $60,000 next year. . .


I've also found that traditional goal setting is a trap for creativity. It's easy to fall into socially prescribed goals like: I want to be married, have babies, make money, have a house. Maybe these really are your goals but they're also really broad. It's important to be specific about the things you want to accomplish.


Power Up is a new way to set goals that helps you tap into what it is you truly want for yourself. It takes you out of the mindset of "this is waiting for me in the future" and puts you in a place of experiencing that point in your life, even if only for a moment.


The exercise is simple. You can set a timer or just let yourself run free. I usually do it for 3 to 8 minutes at a time. Start by taking a deep breath. If your mind is feeling chatty, take a few more breaths, enough to get to a point where you feel a bit settled. Close your eyes, if you like. Now, begin to say out loud your vision of a really happy life. Describe what time of day it is. Are you inside or outside? What does the space look like? Who is there with you? How old are you? What are you doing? Dive into as much detail as you wish, always describing it in the present tense.


As you melt into this world, notice how your body feels. Are you smiling? Are you relaxed? Excited? Pay attention to these small signals as you continue to dive even deeper into the tiny details of this vision. When you're done, take another deep breath and open your eyes.
How do you feel? If you have a writing utensil nearby, jot down the emotions you notice. I also suggest picking one thing you can do that day or that week that brings you one step closer to this reality.


I've been practicing this exercise for about a year now. In that time, I've envisioned and manifested my true internal desires. For instance, I painted a clear vision in my mind of what perfect office space would be like. I saw it having a water view, being within walking distance to fun cafes and shops, having space for the events that I host and within a price point that I feel comfortable paying. Within a few months, I hopped on Craigslist and found my dream office space in Fremont. I knew it was my dream space because I had already envisioned it.

When you have a clear vision of what you're hoping to accomplish and you finally reach that point, it's silly how fulfilling it is. Without that preconceived vision, the accomplishment isn't as sweet or may just pass you by. 


What I love about this exercise is the sky is the limit. It's daydreaming with purpose. Allow this to be the time in your day when you release whatever limitations you're used to putting on yourself. Let your creativity run wild. Go in the direction that feels right to you, it's unmistakable. Repeat this exercise every day, every week, or at any interval that you feel will serve you best. It's okay if your vision changes each time, it's your heart's way of figuring out what it is you actually do want for yourself in this life. Just notice the patterns and you'll start to find your true path.

-Sondra

The next PowerUp event is in Seattle on Tuesday, April 26th! 
 

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Date: a girl’s night.

Lisa Eberly

V-day girl’s nights are a MUST. I really love planning fun girl’s nights, especially in winter months when it is 100 times more fun to pj-party it up.  

There’s also so much room for fun decor and desserts and such, that V-day makes for the perfect occassion for a glam girl’s night.

 

The Activities

  1. Throw it back with a ‘spa night’ -- when I was a little girl and I had a friend sleepover, my mom would set up a “spa night” for us (adorable, right?). We’d do facials, paint each other’s toenails, and do skin treatments. No matter how old you are...this sounds like too much fun. Make a homemade avocado facial and coconut oil skin treatment for your girls! Bonus: skin brush party favors.

  2. RomCom night. This is a classic, and in my book, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A classic romcom movie night, equipped with 90s classics like Clueless and 10 Things I Hate About You, of course. Or, you could opt for a marathon of Bridget Jones. PJs mandatory, onesies preferred. BYOB: bring your own blankie.

  3. Clothing Swap Night. Clothing swaps can be so much fun! My girlfriends and I have one coming up next week and I am too pumped for it. Bring a couple items of clothing or accessories you no longer want and trade them up for someone else’s unwanted goods. Everyone leaves with new threads!

The Food

  1. Make your own pizzas! Equipped with a pizza toppings bar and prepped dough, everyone could make a mini pizza of their choosing! So cute!

  2. Adorable finger-food tapas. If you love to cook like me, I’m sure you have a list of tapas you’ve been dying to make...

In my opinion, keep the food light and focus on what really matters….dessert.

The Dessert

  1. Crepe bar. Nutella, whipped creams, strawberries, cinnamon, almond butter, need I say more? Set up a line up of these crepe must haves and let everyone make a few of their own masterpieces! This could also double as the dinner meal!

  2. Classic movie night snacks. Popcorn, red vines, swedish fish, sour patch kids, m&ms…. Little bowls strewn about with these is always adorable for a movie night in!

  3. Cupcake decorating bar. Cute pink and red sprinkles, candy hearts, and more adorableness...

 

The Drinks

  1. Endless pitcher of Sangria, French 75s, Moscow Mules, or mulled wine is a must.

Let’s be real though, no matter what the food ,decor, or drinks are, it’s a night with your girls, so it’s guaranteed to be amazing.

 

 

A Romantic Valentine's Day on a Budget

Lisa Eberly

I am not a big Valentine's Day person. I definitely used to be, but as of late I really haven't been. The hype is so stressful to me that it takes all the fun out of love! Valentine's Day is meant to be a day to appreciate the human you picked out and show them how much you love them, but it's turned into a day full of lofty, unrealistic expectations and overbooked, crowded restaurants. 

Geez I sound like the Valentine's Day Grinch! 

I really love romance, but I love real romance. The romance that causes Patryk to put a blanket on me when I fall asleep on the couch, or that makes me write him little postits of sweet nothings in his lunch. My life is full of daily moments that remind me how loved and appreciated I am and how much I love and appreciate him. So Valentine's Day isn't that appealing to me. 

A big reason for this is that V-day is just so. darn. expensive. We're big savers, so dropping $150 a head on tiny portions shoulder-to-shoulder with another couple does not sound as nice as a quiet night in. 

(Patryk, if you're reading this and have booked us a reservation somewhere, sorry, but it's true! Oops!) 

So, here are a few tips for a romantic and special Valentine's Day on a budget, without the cheesy chocolates and fancy dinner. 

The Day

1. Go on a bundled hike! Sure, it's chilly out, but it's just heating up enough for the ice to melt and short hikes nearby to become a little more inviting. Spend the day outside! 

2. Become a tourist in your own city. This can be such a fun way to experience new things together. Whether it's a free art museum or your city's landmark, you'll find yourselves talking all day log and reminiscing on memories in your city together while making new ones. 

3. Have a cozy movie marathon. This is the most underrated thing a couple can do. There are few things I love more on a freezing, gray day than cozying up under a blanket with Patryk and watching movies all day. PJs required, onesies preferred. 

4. Create a scavenger hunt of significant places in your relationship with clues at each place and take him on it! 

The Dinner

1. COOK TOGETHER! There are few things I find more romantic (and sexy!) than cooking a meal together. Throw on some Al Green, dim the lights a touch in the kitchen, feed each other tasters, and make something delicious together. Need some food-spiration? Check out our Eat blog and try our Balsamic Brussels Sprouts or Mini Chicken Parmesans. Make something light, like a few tapas or fish, because we all know V-day is really all about....

2. DESSERT! Dessert is obviously key on Valetnine's Day. My go-to? Chocolate covered strawberries. They're my favorite dessert anyway, and can easily be whipped up in just a few minutes. Bonus? Make a delish homemade flavored whipped cream to go with them. My favorite combos are mint whipped cream, basil whipped cream, and vanilla whipped cream. If your guy loves spicy, cayenne spicy whipped cream is amaze too. (My homemade whipped cream recipe is simple: 1-2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1 tsp of sugar, 1-2 tsp of flavoring (minced mint or basil, vanilla bean paste, or cayenne pepper), whisk with an electric hand mixer and viola!) 

Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe
(from The Kitchn!)

Ingredients:
1 pint-basket (1 pound) fresh strawberries
2 cups (12 ounces) dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/2 cup (3 ounces) white chocolate, optional for drizzling

Equipment: 
Double-boiler or heatproof bowl and saucepan
Heatproof spatula
Parchment, wax paper, or Silpat
Baking sheet
Small plastic bag

Instructions:

  1. Wash and dry the strawberries: Rinse the strawberries under cool running water and gently pat dry. The strawberries need to be completely dry before dipping, so spread them out and let them air-dry if necessary.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate: Fill the bottom of the double-boiler or saucepan with an inch or two of water and bring the water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Transfer all the chocolate into the top of the double-boiler or the heatproof bowl and set this over the simmering water. Let the chocolate melt, stirring occasionally, until no more lumps remain. Remove the bowl with the chocolate from heat. (See Recipe Notes.)
  3. Prepare your workspace: Set the bowl of melted chocolate in front of you on a towel. Place the dried strawberries to your left. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place this on your right. (Reverse if you are left-handed.)
  4. Dip the strawberries: Working with one strawberry at a time, grasp the strawberry by the top leaves and dip it into the chocolate. Turn or swirl the strawberry as needed to completely coat it in chocolate. Lift the strawberry out and shake gently to remove excess chocolate.
  5. Lay dipped strawberries on the baking sheet: Carefully lay the dipped strawberry on its side on the baking sheet. Repeat with dipping the remaining strawberries.
  6. Let the chocolate set: Let the strawberries sit until the chocolate coating is set and dry to the touch. You can put the baking sheet in the fridge to speed this along.
  7. Prepare the white chocolate drizzle: When the strawberries are ready, melt the white chocolate just as you did the dark chocolate. (Alternatively for this small amount of chocolate, melt it in 15-second bursts in microwave, stirring between each burst). Transfer the melted white chocolate to a small ziplock bag.
  8. Drizzle strawberries with white chocolate: Push the melted white chocolate to one corner of the bag, then snip a small corner off the bag. Squeezing the bag gently, quickly drizzle the white chocolate over the strawberries. Use big sweeps, moving back and forth over the whole baking sheet. (See Recipe Notes.)
  9. Let the white chocolate set: Let the white chocolate drizzle set (or place the baking sheet in the fridge again for few minutes), then serve. Dipped strawberries can be kept for a few hours at room temperature. They can also be refrigerated for a few days, though they don't look as pretty.

Drool, right? Moving on....

The Drinks

I am all about craft cocktails and specialty drinks. Every couple weeks we have some couples come over for dinner and we base the whole dinner off of a special drink we create. Our bar cart is getting crowded! For Valentine's Day this year, I went with a spin on two classics: limoncello (made at an incredible local distillery in Seattle!) and hot toddies. It has been so chilly lately that a hot toddy on rainy V-day seemed like a must. We also just recently toured Letterpress Distilling, a really cute local Seattle distillery that makes vodka, limoncello, and seasonal blood orange liqueur. (Uh hi amazing date night idea!), so using their delish locally crafted limoncello felt like a must. 

Letterpress Limoncello Hot Toddy

Ingredients: 
2 oz limoncello
1 oz bourbon
1-2 oz fresh lemon juice
1-2 tbs raw honey
4 oz almost boiling water
Lemon or orange zest and cinnamon stick for garnish

Directions: 
1. Stir all ingredients and garnish with a lemon or orange zest and a cinnamon stick! 

Romantic, cozy, and perfect for a V-day date night in. 

The Decor

Like I said, I like to do a mellow Valentine's Day, so I'm not big on candy hearts everywhere and streamers from the ceiling. In my opinion, a few candles (3 to a room tops!), some light music (something funky, sexy, maybe jazzy), and a clean home is all you need. Some mood lighting to match those candles would also be good in my book. Almost like you tried to dress it up, but didn't. ;) 

The Gift

I am all for homemade gifts. Especially if you've been together a while! I don't like spending too much money on material things unless I know for sure that Patryk really wants it and will use it a lot. This year, he's getting one material thing he has been really wanting (a nice Vince Camuto black turtleneck sweater), a sweet homemade gift (see #1 below), handwritten card (A MUST!), and one of my favorite books that I thought he'd like too. 

1. Make a rainy day jar. I wish I had a picture of this for you all but I'm still making it so it's not ready for its close up! It is a big mason jar with a simple tag on it that says something witty ("in case of emergency!" or "elixir" or something else like that). In the jar are little squares of paper folded once into triangles (they're about 3x3in), and each one has something I love about him, a special memory of ours, or a sweet thing we say written on it. The jar is meant to be kept in our home and gone through gradually. So for instance, if it's an average Tuesday and I'm working late or come home cranky or we haven't spent a lot of time together or he is stressed out from work or something, he can open the jar and  take a card. It'll instantly lift his mood and remind him of something lovely from a less stressed/cranky/busy time. 

2. Write the book of your lives. This one is intense, and requires planning, but get a big blank notebook and fill up the first little bit of it with journal-style stories from significant moments in your relationship thus far, scattered with less significant but just as special ones. For instance, the first night you met, your first date, that time you guys went on that hike, that time you guys spent all day in bed, when he did something hilarious and embarrassing, when you met his parents, etc etc etc.... then infer that the book still has so many pages to be filled up! Bonus? Add little photo cutouts to the book pages. 

3. A cute photo of you two in a frame. Bam. Simple. Classic. Awesome. 

4. A bottle of his favorite alcohol. Bam. Simple. Classic. He will LOVE it. 

Phew! Okay, I need to get back to making that big jar of love! 

Coming soon: VALENTINE'S DAY GIRLS NIGHT! 

xo

Future Friday: Lending a Hand

Lisa Eberly

As someone very independent, it took a bit of time before I was comfortable asking others for help and it still is something I don’t always want to do. I find that asking for something can always create some sort of ‘debt’ to the other person and because of that I often get selective with who I will ask for help and how often.

What I’ve learned is that in personal and professional careers, there isn’t much you can achieve without asking for a bit of help. Be it a friend reviewing a resume, a teacher giving advice on a career or a parent calming you down when you attempt to fit in too many social and professional events.

The other piece of asking for help, however, is being open to sharing information. I’m not talking about spilling the beans on a nondisclosure, but I am talking about helping out those who might be looking to follow in your footsteps. I think a big part of growing up is just being comfortable with sharing tips or being open to helping someone else out in their career. Sure, they may get a job that you thought you should have, but if they got it then something stood out on their resume or in their interview.

I personally would be nowhere if it wasn’t for a Oscars length list of people who have spent time talking to me and showing me the ropes of an industry I want to get into. My tidbit of advice for you, is to seek out people in positions you want to be in on LinkedIn and just send an email. Ask for a few minutes on the phone to pick their brain and be prepared with questions. You’d be surprised at how much you can learn just speaking to someone who is in the industry and even more surprised at how willing people are to help you out.

-Arin

Future Friday: Balancing Act

Lisa Eberly

It's that time of the month again, where we let our intern, Arin, take over Nourish with her insight and wisdom into being an almost-adult! 

_____________

Balance. I can’t tell you how many times in the last four years someone has said ‘make sure you have a good balance’ and for a while I just nodded my head in agreement and continue on with my day. Balance is this weird concept where until you figure it out, it won’t make sense...so bear with me.

Until this year, I definitely had my priorities a bit imbalanced, and to be honest, I still work daily on making sure I give enough time to the various aspects of my life. I think what changed in the past year was various experiences that have made me grow up. Be it traveling alone or having jobs and internships that required me to stay accountable to even just having a group of friends that grew, each of these things has created a need for balance.

When it comes to my life now, and this is by no means the answer, I try to make sure that each week I spend time working on my personal growth, academic well being and career success. I’ll break each of these down in a minute, but let me preface it by saying that I’m single so my life may look a bit different than someone in a relationship.

What has worked for me in the past six months has been making sure that I reach out to someone every few days that I might not see regularly. These little conversations have made relationships easier to maintain with those who aren’t living down the street from me. At the same time, I’ve also made sure that I give myself an hour of ‘me time’ each day, be it at the gym or in bed reading a book.

From an academic and career standpoint, I’ve started to shift from focusing all my energy into the classwork I have to job searches and preparing for what happens after graduation. This balance was tricky to get the hang of initially, since I don’t want grades to slip, but working on my organization and using all the calendar tools and resources I have have made it easier.

The last piece of this balance puzzle has been figuring out how to save time where I can, and spend time where it needs to be spent. Tools like meal prepping, planning out a calendar with ‘empty blocks’ and making social events serve a dual purpose have helped. Lisa and I will break down meal prepping, scheduling your calendar and the tips to social events in the coming months, but my advice for now is to start making notes of where you might be falling short in life and take a step back to evaluate where you can commit a bit more or a bit less time. Even the smallest change can make the biggest impact.

-Arin

Nutrition & Yoga in Seattle

Lisa Eberly

yoga-seattle

Hi all!

I’m so excited to announce a collaboration with LEAGUE, Urban Yoga Spa, and Nourish for 2016! This will allow all of you in Seattle to benefit from the services of each of us at a very (very!) low price.

Here’s the deal:

Every month, you get…

- Unlimited yoga at Urban Yoga Spa downtown (you can find me there daily!)

- 2 one-on-one nutrition coaching sessions with me!

- 1 nutrition class with me!

- Access to all of LEAGUE’s wellness experts

...all for only $129 per month.

 

Okay, so unlimited yoga is typically $120 per month, 2 appointments with me is about $200 per month, a class is $25….and you get all of that for only $129. 

Yep.

So, if you’re in Seattle, now is your chance to book! The program starts January 25th, so book today!! Coupon code for the $129 price point is "goseattle"!

 

Sign up on League here!



Debunking the Microbiome, Probiotics, and Probiotics

Lisa Eberly

In case you haven’t heard, your gut microbiome is SUPER important. You have 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on your body than there are human cells. FREAKY, RIGHT? You’re actually more bacteria than you are human. 

Any way, I find that I am explaining why these bacteria are so important and how to make your bacteria “healthier” with pre and probiotics quite a bit. Still, it’s difficult to understand how and why tiny bacteria inside your digestive tract help you fight disease and live a long and healthy life. 

This video is absolutely amazing, and beautifully describes how it all works. If you want to learn how bacteria in your body works and how pre and probiotics can help you, watch!



#FutureFriday: Goals & Dreams

Lisa Eberly

future-friday-goals

New year, new editions of Future Friday! Future Friday is the insightful and intelligent ramblings of Arin, one of Nourish’s esteemed team members. To read the first Future Friday, click here.

PS - Arin didn't even know this, but she wrote this while I was working on a video collaboration to help all of you with setting and reaching your goals in a totally exciting and new way! Can't wait to share it with you all!!! 

__________________________

If you don’t remember Lisa’s post from November 11th, she talked about making goals instead of just having a set of dreams and wishes. As someone who has some lofty goals and dreams of what I want my life to look like, I enjoyed this post. It’s important for us ‘youngins’ to set small goals that all add up to the larger dream.

As I near the end of college, I’ve had to think long and hard about where to go next with my life: ie. what cities would I want to live in, what kind of lifestyle to I want to have, what sort of work environment fits me best, etc and because of that, I’ve come up with certain ‘dreams’ and certain ‘goals’. Ideally, I’d have a lofty income, a vacation home and be able to live in London, but in reality, it takes a lot of work and hustle to get there so I’ve started working on some short and long term goals to get me there.

I find that like life itself, the path and goals necessary to achieve any dream are not always one particular line and instead, ebb and flow with the changing nature of your everyday life.

As we begin a new year, set goals that will help you to achieve those dreams. Maybe it means saving a few extra dollars each paycheck to help with that move or reading more books about the industry you wish to be successful in. Maybe you want to achieve more personally and set goals to be more social. Whatever that goal is, set it now and revisit it every few weeks to see how you stand.

Share your goals and dreams with us below!

-Arin

Dear Disney.

Lisa Eberly

More important than any other post -- if you believe in what I'm trying to say below, please share and spread the word. Let's get Disney 'on board.' (A little cruise pun for ya there!) 

As many of you could see from my Instagram and Snapchat (lisaeberly), last month my family and I took my niece and nephews on the Disney cruise. Let me start by saying — Disney really knows how to do it right. Most everything was absolutely amazing and so well done, all with true Disney magic. My niece hung out with Minnie, Belle, Ariel, and was — I kid you not — on a first name basis with Cinderella by night 4. My nephew dressed up like a pirate and sword fought with me under fireworks in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. 

In all this amazingness, there was one huge and very saddening problem on my mind throughout my trip. One that I’m disappointed Disney didn’t take the opportunity to solve. 

I would argue that Disney has more magic and power over people at an early age than any other company. Disney shapes toddlers and young children’s interests, self image, and passions. My niece dresses up like a princess daily, my nephew sings the Mickey Mouse clubhouse theme song in the car. Even my 8 month old nephew can recognize the famous mouse. I myself remember dreaming about becoming a princess — all because of what Disney taught me. They are our first introduction to brand recognition and idolization in life. Before we grow up to want an iPhone or to look like a celebrity, we want a Mickey doll and to look like Cinderella. 

What Disney has is opportunity to reach into the brains of young children and mold them before anything else has a chance to. 

What is one of the biggest problems facing children in America today? Childhood obesity and overweight. Disney not only doesn’t aim to mediate this issue, but they blatantly contribute to it. 

If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know that overeating is not only inevitable, it’s downright encouraged. A ship that targets kids is even worse. My options for lunch were chicken tenders, fries, mac n cheese, pizza, burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, pasta, and the list goes on. This was all placed across from the tiniest salad bar I’ve ever seen — an option of browning romaine or wilted spinach and a few veggies still defrosting. I understand that it’s difficult to get fresh fruits and vegetables on a cruise ship, but considering this ship ports every few days, I feel Disney could do better.

More important than my vegetable options are those of the children on the ship. All day long I saw overweight and obese children walking past, one hand holding a bowl of fries and the other an ice cream cone. Disney had opportunity — families are on this ship for a week, attending Disney restaurants, workshops, kids clubs, and seminars. I did not see a single class, event, activity, workshop, or anything about healthy eating or active living. Many of these families wouldn’t have any access or awareness of nutrition education if not on the ship — this was their chance. 

So, I’ll conclude with this: 

Dear Disney, 

Please find it in your hearts to take advantage of your Disney magic, brand, power, and influence to help make the world a healthier place. I see the small steps you’re taking — the healthy option on kid’s menus, the apple slices for sale at Disneyland — but let’s go BIG. You have more opportunity than any other company to solve, or at least lighten the load of, childhood obesity, giving children longer lives to tell their grandkids about the magic of Disney, more energy to run around your parks playing, and improved confidence to find the princess or prince charming in themselves. 

And hey, if you need a dietitian to help you, my door is wide open. Let’s get to work. 

Your pal,

Lisa Mouse, MPH, RD

Again, if you agree, please share this (click any button on the left!) to help us get Disney's attention to take action! 


New Years Resolutions

Lisa Eberly

Hey team! 

Raise your hand if you made a new years resolution! 

I've done resolutions in the past, and I've skipped them in the past. I’ve stuck to some and not to others. 

I definitely figured out one things for sure: if I’m trying to fulfill a resolution totally solo it ain’t happening. 

This year, P and I are cutting out red meat (due to all the research that came out this fall!). It’ll be super easy and manageable for us, since we really don’t eat red meat anyway. That is, until summer BBQs and family holidays…

We have other resolutions as well. He plans to bake fresh bread regularly (yes please), I plan to carve out more ‘me’ time (aka a few minutes at least every day just for myself, no work or chores), and a few other small things. 

The benefit of tackling resolutions as a team is that we can keep each other accountable. If I see he hasn’t made bread in a few days, I can hint to wanting bread; if he sees I’m working till all hours of the night, he can send me out for a solo walk with my book. 

This is actually one thing I love about my job. I get to help people be more accountable to reach their goals. Pretty dope. I get to help people achieve their resolutions. Best job ever, right? 

I really freaking love what I do, which makes my job the absolute best. Because of this, I created a whole special package for New Years. 

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So many people have major resolutions — sleep better, have more energy, complete a triathlon, lose weight, gain muscle, etc — I get to be the person who holds them accountable and makes them more successful. 

I’m basically the fairy godmother of new years resolutions. 

On that note, if you have any sort of health resolution, I have only a couple spots left for my new years resolution package! I guarantee we make your big goals more accessible and reach them together. Act fast, we've only got 2 spots left! :) 

The Gift Guide

Lisa Eberly

Not sure what to get your roomie for Christmas? Your bestie for Hanukkah? Your Secret Santa? We've got your back. We've even got you covered for that white elephant party. 

Our team has curated our top 12 favorite gifts this year, and we think you're going to love them! Also, be sure to check out our shop to find gifts for the health enthusiast in your life. In the spirit of giving, take 50% off your purchase in our shop with code GivingTuesday today only! 

1. Aeropress - your new Starbucks. 

2. Ab wheel - this is seriously the hardest ab workout ever. I dare you to try it. 

3. FitBit - the classic - a perfect gift for someone with 2016 fitness goals

4. Thug Kitchen - fan-fucking-tastic cookbook 

5. Resistance Bands - so compact and easy to store, perfect for home workouters! 

6. FlipBelt - the perfect solution for those of us who go running holding our phone, keys, chapstick, etc etc etc in our hands!

7. The Power of Habit - great book for anyone with big resolutions for 2016...

8. Aromatherapy Kit - make zening out easy! 

9. Nike Fly Knits - because half the fun is working out is a cute pair of shoes.

10. Spice Rack - an amaze gift for the friend who loves to cook, because everyone always needs random new spices for this recipe or that one, so you know it'll go to good use!  

11. Plaid Mug - 'tis the season for mulled wine and eggnog out of this gem. 

12. Whatever you think, think the opposite - this bestselling book is a game changer. I mean, just look at the title. 

Happy shopping! :) 

#FutureFriday: Living in the Moment

Lisa Eberly

I am very excited to announce that today is the first installment of a new series for Nourish, entitled Future Friday. Our team has a fabulous member named Arin, who is currently a college student heading toward what we call ‘adulthood.’ As an ‘adult’ myself, I regularly question what being a ‘grown-up’ means and if anyone ever actually feels like they’re an ‘adult.’ I also really feel like someone should teach a class on adulting; and if any of your know of a class like this, where do I sign up? As the very forward-thinking Arin embarks on this journey to adulthood, she’s graciously going to share her thoughts, feelings, advice, and wisdom with us every other Friday...which I think is pretty rad. 

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I have always been the type of person to plan ahead, much further than necessary, and at times I forget to simply live in the moment. Maybe it’s just me, but in talking to others it seems as though I’m not the only one. My generation has been told to prepare for success, get ahead, etc, and I think this may be causing us to be so wrapped up in the next step that we forget to just enjoy the step we are on. 

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” But maybe we don’t need to reach out for newer experiences until we have been satisfied fully with the ones in the present.  

I found studying abroad last year to be my wake up call to just enjoy the moment. I had the opportunity to travel for a month following the program before I had to be back at school and spending bits of time in a handful of new cities, I tried to make the most of each second I had. Sure, I knew that someday I’d head back, but I also knew that the experience would never be quite the same. 

One of my favorite song lyrics is by an artist named Ben Rector and it goes “life is not the mountain tops, it’s the walking in between.” Sure he is talking about a relationship in the song, but that lyric in particular has been posted around my room for a few years and serves as a daily reminder to appreciate what I’m doing that day. Granted I still plan for the future, but I try not to let it consume me. 

I challenge you to spend the next week really living in each moment, the good and the bad, and see what you may have been missing. Simple tip: Just keep your eyes up and pay attention to your surroundings as you drive or walk to work.

-Arin

Friday the 13th: get that gray cloud outta here

Lisa Eberly

I, for the most part, am a very happy, upbeat person. However, we all have those days where everything is just going wrong. Maybe you slam your head on the refrigerator door, the outfit you wanted to wear is in the laundry, you are all out of eggs, your puppy suddenly forgot she's potty trained, you stubbed your toe while brushing your teeth, and before you've even gotten out of the door you're just like OKAY, TODAY, I'M OVER YOU. 

These days are rare, but I've had a couple of them recently (I think they really increase in frequency when skies are gray, which is daily in Seattle Fall). Case in point: I am usually really good about saving articles while I'm writing them but I was on a roll with today's article and when I was finishing up the last sentence of a GREAT off-the-cuff piece my computer crashed and I lost it ALL. So this is round two. I'm going to need to check a couple things off this list when I'm done writing. *clicks save again for good measure*

Any who, what better day to talk about these sorts of days other than Friday the 13th! Pretty sure today is famous for being just the worst. So, here are my tips for getting through days that are kind of just YUCK, and I've learned from experience they work! If you have any great tips, please share in the comments! Always looking for new ways to brighten up gray days! 

1. Take a lap. Getting outside for a quick walk can seriously do wonders. Taking a deep breath, throwing some earbuds with a great audiobook or jam, and hitting the pavement for a brisk walk around the block can literally change everything. Even if it’s only 10 minutes, getting your blood pumping and that fresh air in your lungs feels soooo good. You might even pass a cute puppy on a walk and I mean you can’t be having a bad day while petting a puppy. 

2. Change your scenery. I work from home, so if I’m having a Friday-the-13th kind of day, I turn things around by getting out of the house and going to a coffee shop. Just changing up your location can really change the mood, and getting in different sights and smells can turn your luck around. 

3. Go workout! I know we hear this all the time: working out boosts mood, working out gives you endorphins, blah blah. It’s true — but let’s be real, it’s SO hard to do when you’re having a day that’s just YUCK. Trust me though, once you’re there and in it, you’ll be so grateful you did. Even just 5 minutes into a workout you’ll be like “Aaaahhhh thank you Lisa!” My favorite workout for these days is yoga because it is also calming and meditative. 

4. Meditate. Meditation is seriously amazing. Whether it’s guided meditation or solo meditation, walking away from meditating really puts things into perspective and makes you feel just on track again. If you’ve never meditated before, try the Headspace app. It’s a great, convenient guided meditation guru. 

5. Eat the damn chocolate. If you’re restricting your diet in any way and are having a rough day, I’m not suggesting you totally gorge and throw your plan and structure out the window, but you should give yourself a small treat and enjoy it mindfully. Chocolate has caffeine in it to boost energy and can give you endorphins so it’s sort of like magic. 

6. Treat yoself. If possible, just walk away from the day for a couple hours. I know this is a luxury, but there was a day that was really a struggle from the get-go for me and you know what I did? I blew it off for two hours. I took a long lunch and quite literally “treated myself.” I got my nails done and did an at-home facial and enjoyed a delicious solo lunch of this amazing pasta that I never eat. I got back to work with a satisfied stomach, pretty nails, and refreshed skin — relaxed and ready to tackle the rest the day had to offer. 

If these don't seem to work, try out my perspective exercise! If you have any other great go-tos, please share them in the comments! :) 

A Spot of Tea

Lisa Eberly

I am a total tea addict. I usually have 3-4 cups a day. Luckily, tea is incredible for you and here’s why:

→ Tea helps fight free radicals. Tea is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity, which is a fancy way of saying that it helps destroy free radicals (which can damage DNA) in the body. This protects against a ton of different cancers, neurodegenerative disorders (like Alzheimers), and other chronic diseases.

→ The antioxidants in tea also help to give it an extra cancer-fighting boost.

→ Tea keeps weight in check. In one research study, participants who regularly consumed hot tea had lower waist circumference and lower BMI than non-consuming participants.

→ Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.

→ Polyphenols in green tea may help maintain the parts of the brain that regulate learning and memory.

→ Tea can boost exercise endurance. Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which improves muscle endurance.

→ Tea contains fluoride and tannins, which keep dental plaque at bay. So, tea keeps your teeth and gums healthy and beautiful.

→ Drinking tea may help your body’s immune system fight off infection. When 21 volunteers drank either five cups of tea or coffee each day for four weeks, researchers saw higher immune system activity in the blood of the tea drinkers.

The downside of tea? It stains your teeth worse than coffee!

11/11: Don't make a wish.

Lisa Eberly

...or don't. 

So about a year or two ago, someone asked me: If you could have dinner with a famous person, who would it be? 

Naturally I start thinking about the most badass female scientists and leaders I can think of, I ended up listing one of them that was up there on my list.

A few months ago, I found out that person was speaking at a research center I happen to dabble in. Obviously I had to go.

Her lecture was brilliant and so, so interesting. I was talking to a colleague about how nervous I was to introduce myself to her and how much I’ve read her work over the years. They reply: Well, what are you doing tonight? 

“Oh you know, just going to the gym and making dinner.”

Nope. You’re going out to dinner with a famous person.

Turns out, the scientist who was supposed to take her out to dinner was sick. They needed someone to entertain this brilliant woman after her lecture. 

Needless to say, dinner FAR exceeded my expectations. This inspiring scientist was hilarious, approachable, and down right BRILLIANT.

That 4 hour dinner was like a concentrated lesson on life and everything in it. Politics, public health, science, medicine, nutrition, family, her career and future, my career and future…

Every word of of her mouth was totally spontaneous, yet was so full of intelligence, wisdom, and experience that it felt calculated and deliberate. She would say seemingly trivial things that resonated strongly as a straight-up write-this-down life lesson.

Anyway, the topic of goals and ambition came up, of course.

I was talking about how lucky I was to be able to have dinner with her and she quickly shot that down. It wasn’t luck that brought me to that dinner, it was choice.

In life, we make several — and when I say several, mean thousands upon thousands — of choices. Every day. We choose to stay up late and order a pizza. We choose to wake up early and go for a run. We choose to snooze. We choose to stay late after work. We have the opportunity to make a choice at almost any given moment in the day.

Those choices shape our futures. Those choices, one by one, present us with the opportunities we have. Yes, there are several other factors that contribute to opportunity (I would even argue that luck is one of them), however, choice is a significant one.

Achieving what we want out of life is our choice. Reaching your goals is your choice. Being successful at what you do is a choice. My writing a blog post on a Sunday night in the hopes to one day be an advocate for health is my choice.  My waking up in the morning to work on Nourish in the hopes to one day be an influential leader in nutrition is my choice.

Years ago, I chose to stay up late in my dorm room reading about longevity and cancer. I chose to seek out research and scientists doing what I wanted to one day do. I chose to continue research. I chose to have the kinds of conversations in which we think about what kind of famous scientist we would have dinner with. I chose to speak up for myself at the research center I work at, so I would be trusted to converse with such a person. I chose to go to a science lecture for fun. I chose to introduce myself to an infamous role model. I chose to go to dinner.

That dinner didn’t happen out of luck, it happened out of choice.

Well, that’s what she said anyway.

TL;DR? Don’t make wish and hope for them to happen, CHOOSE what you want and CHASE after it like your life depends on it!

The Wedding Series: What I Learned About Myself after Getting Engaged

Lisa Eberly

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I am so excited to share something really special with you guys! Nourish is going to have a Wedding Countdown Series with a special prenuptial article every Monday! Our marketing coordinator, Tenessa, recently got engaged and is very generously not only writing about her pre-wedding planning and experiences, but also her tips and tricks to be healthy inside and out leading up to the big day. 

With that note, I'm passing today off to Tenessa! 

____________________

What I Learned About Myself after Getting Engaged

I got engaged about 3 weeks ago! It was absolutely perfect. I am still on cloud nine and catch myself staring down at my ring every day.

While I am so excited to spend the rest of my life with the man of my dreams, another emotion came over when he popped the big question. Am I ready? Now this was an unexpected feeling for me to experience because I know I am ready to marry him. I knew it after only dating a few weeks, we are a perfect match, I can just feel it in my bones. But what I was feeling had nothing to do with him or us, it was about me.

I started thinking to myself, “I need to be the best me when the big day comes.” “I need to step up my work-outs, my skin care regimen, my organization, my financial planning!” I started going through all of the different things that I have been working on for myself and thought in my head, “I need to accomplish ALL of this before the wedding day. I need to be perfect when entering in this partnership for life.”

So instead of basking in the glow of being newly engaged, I started stressing out. Frantically scribbling down routines and check lists of things I NEEDED to accomplish. After realizing I was a bit stressed, my fiancé (still weird to say that) said that I didn’t need to have it all together before we got hitched. He has loved me now and will still love me even if I am not my “perfect” version of myself. He really put it into perspective for me. I need to enjoy this time with loved ones and celebrate! Does anyone else feel like this? Like you need to be the best you RIGHT NOW and if you are not, you are a failure. This is something I have struggled with my entire life. I want to be the best version of me that I can possibly be but I get so upset with myself if I don’t wake up in the morning to complete my work out, if I have eat too many pieces of chocolate, or that sometimes I would rather sit on the couch in my sweats than go out.

But as my time of singledom is slowly coming to a close, I realize that I don’t want to be thinking about things I “should” be, it is time to learn to love myself as much as my fiancé loves me.

Instead of using my energy to stress and over-complicate things, I decided to take a deep breath and relax. If you are anything like me, you are a perfectionist and sometimes that hinders and paralyzes us. I think, “If I can’t do it fully, I won’t do it at all.” This is something that I am trying to pull away from thinking.

In order to do this, I put my skills and strengths to good use and made a to-do list. This helps me stay organized and focused but also allows me to de-stress and not put so much pressure on myself. 

So without further ado, here is my list of things to work on before the big day. I am looking at this list of not only things I can work on before my wedding, but also things that I can do in order to learn to love myself to the fullest. I know when I feel my best inside and out, I am my best self with others, with my work, and inside my own head. Stay tuned as I go through each of these in depth as the wedding process begins!

  1. Start keeping a journal. Write down all thoughts and feelings leading up to the big day.
     
  2. Start a realistic fitness journey (incorporating meditation). Kick up my fitness routine but stay realistic and healthy. Also, start using 5-10 minutes per day to meditate and de-stress.
     
  3. Buy a water bottle and stay hydrated. Hydration is KEY when losing weight and being healthy. I need to find a good water bottle in order to hit my goal of at least 8 glasses of  water a day.
     
  4. Become organized with finances. As I will be putting my finances together with my fiancé once we are married, I want to make sure that everything is set and ready to go for that. Also, I want to make sure I keep close track of a wedding budget.
     
  5. Start skin care regimen. I want to have beautiful, glowing skin on my wedding day. I have always struggled with my skin, especially in my 20s which is worse than having acne as a teenager in my opinion. So finding a skin care regimen that works for me is very important to me.
     
  6. Meal planning to save money and stay healthy. This ties in with my other goals of getting healthy and saving money. I need to find a routine that works for me each week which will allow me to meal prep and stay on point with meals.
     
  7. A personal book club. I want to read at least a book a month this year leading up to my wedding. The topics ranging from a self-improvement, relationships, beach reads, and classics.
     
  8. Find a wedding venue. Start the journey in looking for a venue!
     
  9. Ask bridesmaids to be in wedding. Who to ask and cute, personal ways to ask!
     
  10. Have open conversations with my fiancé about wedding and all things life. Continue to have serious conversations about our life goals, important things to us, wedding process. We are already very honest and have had many of these conversations before our engagement but I also want to be prepared for married life and don’t want anything not out in the open.

If you are engaged or married, leave your fun tips and tricks in the comments below! Also, if you have any blog posts you want me to touch on throughout my wedding planning process, leave ideas in comments and I will make sure to touch on them.

The Myths of Honey

Lisa Eberly

Many people think honey is a magical elixir filled with endless health benefits. Many other people think honey is just sugar. Which team are you on? Which team is science on? 

Let's get into a few of these myths. 

Myth: Honey is antibacterial. 

Some honeys are lighter, others are darker. The darker the honey, the stronger its antibacterial and antioxidant powers. In the lab, honey has been shown to restrict the growth of food-borne pathogens like E. coli and salmonella, and to fight certain bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. BUT, it hasn't been proven to have these effects in humans. 

Myth: Honey can cure your allergies.

yth honey will make your allergies worse. 

Myth: Honey is great for diabetes. 

Myth: Honey is terrible for diabetes. 

Myth: Honey is better for you than sugar.

Myth: Honey is worse for you than sugar.

Myth: Honey can cure your wounds. 

Why did I only address one myth? Well, when I set out to myth bust all of the honey myths I could find out there is was OVERWHELMED. This is is only the tiniest snippet of a bigger list of claims about honey. What is the real story, already?!

Well, the story is just an example of a much bigger problem. Nutrition research. Nutrition, as I've said before and will say again, is science. It requires real research to make claims from. The trouble with the research is that it is very difficult to do and requires tens of years to complete. Studying how food affects people is hard because there are TONS of different factors to control for (exercise, genetics, sleep, other foods...), and we can't exactly lock people in a room and control their diet for their entire life. 

Research around honey has pointed in several directions. One study will "prove" its effects on allergies, another will "disprove" the effects. The same applies for all other topics around honey. 

The answer? We don't know yet. 

Isn't that crazy? Scientists as a whole, do not know for certain how honey affects us because we have not completed enough rigorous research around the topic. 

So should you be eating honey? 

I wouldn't trust honey to cure all your aliments, but I also wouldn't trust it to cause them. Honey, as with most other foods, I'm sure is perfectly fine in moderation. I have a teaspoon of it in my tea every few days. Moderation is key! 

Have any of you experimented with the benefits of honey? Share your honey story in the comments! 

Photos by Tania Arceo

10 Easy Ways to Show Gratitude in your Relationship

Lisa Eberly

gratitude-relationship

'Tis the season for giving thanks! There's really no better time than November to remember to give thanks and gratitude for the countless people in your life for whom you're thankful. I put together this list (with the help of my handy-dandy boyfriend, Patryk!) to help you think of new, simple, easy ways to show the one you're with how grateful you are for them daily. 

1. Post it notes! My boyfriend and I always leave cute little post-it notes for the other to find throughout the day! I'll stick one on his work laptop to find later, or he'll put mine in my workbag. It always brightens my day and reminds me that he's thinking of me! (They say anything from "Love you!" to "Yep, I'm probably thinking about you, too." to "Go crush it in that meeting today!") They're wonderful. 

2. Make a toast. When we have dinner together, no matter how rushed or crazy it is in our home, we ALWAYS stop for a moment to toast to something. Even if it's just delivered pizza, we always toast. Our toast is either to each other, or something great that happened for one of us, or even just a moment to reflect on the progress of our relationship. It only takes 30 seconds, but feels so good to make the world stop turning for a moment to pause and reflect. 

3. Adding gratitude to our routine. He does things daily for me, I do things daily for him. That's how relationships work, give and take. He wakes up early to take our dog for a walk, I make us dinner. No matter how many days in a row this happens, we always are sure to still thank the other for it. Even if it's routine, never take it for granted. So, a simple 'thank you' and tight hug does wonders, no matter how many times it happens! 

4. Check each other out. I know this is silly, but you're attracted to your partner. Sometimes in relationships, it's easy to take that for granted. You see them every day, and sometimes you forget that you picked this human out of a crowd to be with them! Complimenting their appearance with give them an extra spring in their step and remind them how attracted you are to them. I call my boyfriend 'stud' or 'handsome' all the time, or will tell him how good he looks before he leaves for work in the morning. Always gives him a big smile!

5. Tiny gifts! Similar to postits, I love hiding tiny little gifts in my boyfriend's bag! A piece of his favorite chocolate, a little nick back he'd like, anything, really! It is so easy and simple to do -- I'm at the grocery store and his favorite candy is right by the register -- and has such a big impact! I remember after complaining about not having a good thermos for coffee, I was at work, opened my bag, and found this amazing thermos full of fresh coffee! He had put it in my bag when I wasn't looking! Something so easy to do brought me SO much happiness. 

6. Letters. Written letters are the most romantic and special thing you can do for someone (in my opinion, at least!). My boyfriend and I will write letters to each other to thank each other for something or to just tell each other how we feel. They are always so, so meaningful and special. They should be reserved for special things (we wrote them after traveling around Europe together, or after spending a weekend with my family out of town, or after getting our puppy), but are so very romantic. Hand writing your feelings are such a strong way to show appreciation and gratitude. 

7. Put yourself in the other's shoes. I know we hear this a lot, but it really can do wonders. If you're getting frustrated with your partner, just take a beat to imagine what they're thinking and going through. Sometimes I get frustrated when my boyfriend doesn't rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, but then I take a step back and think about his day and how tired he must be after work and how happy I am he does our dishes! Or, if I know he's extra tired in the morning after being up with our puppy, I'll jump to make the bed before he can help out just to do something nice. 

8. Personal time. No matter how much you love your partner, if you spend 24 hours a day with them it is nearly impossible to not take them for granted. Spending countless hours with someone else and not taking time for yourself can be toxic in relationships, and makes it difficult to appreciate everything your partner gives you. Taking some personal time to fulfill what you want and love to do allows you to come back to your partner appreciating your time with them and what they bring into your life so much more.

9. Listen, communicate, compromise. Disagreeing is almost inevitable in a long term relationship. However, the way in which you disagree with the other person can be greatly improved with some gratitude. By listening to their side of things without interrupting, clearly communicating your side, and finding a middle ground rather than a winner and loser, you're both able to show gratitude even when arguing! An example of this is when we were moving: he wanted a projector in our living room, I wanted a television. We each clearly articulated why we wanted what we did and listened to the other. We knew we needed one or the other so we tried out each option for a few days. We couldn't find a good spot to mount a TV, and the project actually ended up super cool. Neither one of us "lost," but rather we both "won" and now curl up with an awesome projector to watch movies.   

10. If you feel it, say it. Don't be afraid to share how you feel, no matter how vulnerable! Nobody has ever said, "Gross, he said 'I love you'!" or "Ugh she told me I'm amazing"!! If you're feeling something -- say it! They deserve to hear it and will trust and appreciate that you're always being open and honest with them. Additionally, telling them how you feel or reminding them of your feelings is a great way to show them how much they mean to you. 

Do you have any go-to actions to show your gratitude? Spill in the comments below! :) 

How Perspective can Change your Entire Life

Lisa Eberly

Have you ever had those days where you're just like: nope. not today. 

Those days where everything is sort of 'bleh' and you're just not finding your usual happiness in things? 

Then you have those other days, where everything is amazing and beautiful and happy?

Or maybe you usually have those 'bleh' days, but you really wish you were the kind of person who was happy literally all the time? 

I'm a mix. Most of the time I'm really joyful and happy-go-lucky and positive, but I have my days when I'm not. 

Particularly recently, actually, I've had to work extra hard to be my overly cheerful self. Last week I started my own business, moved in with my boyfriend, and got a new baby puppy. All in a span of three days. CRAZY. Needless to say, life has been a little hectic. 

I have been SO stressed about all this -- there's boxes all over my apartment, there's a puppy running the show, there's a mile long list of emails I haven't read yet, for some reason X, Y, and Z aren't working on my site, my Saturday night plans were missed due to falling asleep on the couch at 8, and the majority of my previously romantic conversations with my boyfriend have been regarding our dog's bowel movements and feeding schedule. What happened to my happy-go-lucky, carefree, romantic life of wonder and opportunity and excitement? Wasn't owning my own business and living with the love of my life and an adorable puppy in a big beautiful apartment with a view supposed to be living the dream?!  

I took a step back and looked at my life. I'm such an idiot. 

After a yoga & meditation session I looked at my life again. This time, I shifted my perspective, shook my head, and laughed.  

I. am. so. blessed. 

I have to pick up dog poop 3+ times per day? suddenly became: My dog is healthy. 

There's boxes all over the place! -- We are so lucky to have so many nice things to put in boxes. 

I have 5879378247 emails I haven't replied to yet! -- Wow! People know my business and want to email me! 

I fell asleep on the couch at 8 pm...again. -- Well that's good, I need the energy to work hard tomorrow! 

How are the floors already dirty? -- e have floors to play fetch on and a roof over our heads to keep us safe. 

My boyfriend and I have had more conversations about our dog than anything else this week. -- I'm so lucky to have found someone so caring and able to love and share a little creature with me.

The kitchen is a mess! -- Man, we had so much fun cooking a lovely dinner together last night.  

Perspective is key. You can look as aspects of your life from several different lenses. Sometimes, life can seem pretty dismal (far worse than my trivial problems), but if you try hard enough, you can find the light. If you can't find it, be it. 

So today, take a step back and look at the challenges in your life through a different lens. Share in the comments your old challenge and new perspective, I'd love to get more ideas! :)  

Photos by Mariya Moore

Your brain is what you eat: gut bacteria & the brain

Lisa Eberly

"You are what you eat" rings a little too true when it comes to the intestinal microbiota (aka "gut bacteria"). Did you guys know that most of the cells in our body belong to bacteria?! A huge majority of our cells, in fact. 

We create this bacteria from what we eat. That's why probiotics and probiotics are so good for you -- they promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in your gut. This bacteria has major effects on us -- it influences our immune system, long term disease risk, weight, and, now, we've discovered: the brain. 

This year, the US National Institute of Mental Health spent more than $1 million on a new research program aimed at the microbiome–brain connection.

An example of this exciting research includes a team working on intestinal bacteria transplants in mice. They transplanted gut microbiota between different strains of mice and showed that behavioral traits specific to one strain transmitted along with the microbiota. So, for instance, shy mice would exhibit more outgoing behaviour when carrying the bacteria of more-adventurous mice. There was a significant difference in behavior of mice based on their gut bacteria. 

Unpublished research suggests that taking fecal bacteria from humans with both IBS and anxiety and transplanting it into mice induces anxiety-like behaviour, whereas transplanting bacteria from healthy control humans does not. This is crazy cool! 

Researchers are starting to discover ways that bacteria in the gut might be able to get their signals all the way up to the brain. Some have shown that in mice, microbial metabolites influence the basic physiology of the blood–brain barrier (basically, the big locked "gate" to the brain). Gut bacteria breaks down complex carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids with a bunch of effects, including the fatty acid butyrate, which fortifies the blood–brain barrier by tightening connections between cells. 

The effects of the gut bacteria on the brain can be summed up in three very basic categories: 

1. Serotonin: bacteria in the gut produce serotonin, one of the 'happiness' neurotransmitters. 

2. Immune system: bacteria in the gut can stimulate the immune system to make cytokines that influence neurophysiology (the way the brain functions).

3. Molecules produced: some of the molecules made by bacteria (i.e. butyrate) may change the actions of cells in the blood-brain barrier. 

Why is this important for you? 

Well, even though science hasn't proven these effects on humans quite yet, we're almost there and it's better to be safe than sorry. Keeping the bacteria in your gut healthy and happy is just as important as keeping the rest of your body in tip top shape -- and may have a positive impact on your brain! So, don't forget your probiotics and fiber!