Just Breathe…

Whether you are aware or not, chances are you have experienced at least a mild form of a panic attack at some point in your life. Whether it came in the form of a brief episode of anxiety, increased heart rate, a feeling of nervousness or simply the urgency to remove yourself from a situation, panic attacks are no fun.

There are a variety of options that can help you overcome anxiety. While some methods, such as herbal supplements or exercise practices may require long-term execution in order to achieve the benefits, there is one recommendation that I have heard about from a number of resources.

Meditation.

Even the most poised, professional, public figures experience panic attacks and swear by daily meditation to get them through it. According to the Maharishi Foundation, Transcendental Meditation (TM) is one easy-to-learn technique that can help you rest your mind and body. If you’re not savvy to meditation, don’t know where to start or don’t think it’s right for you, watch and listen to this story from Good Morning America and Nightline co-anchor Dan Harris.

Eat to Beat Head Pain

Do you suffer from headaches regularly? When you do, is your first go-to a prescription or over-the-counter pain killer? Well, STOP right there! You could actually be doing your body more harm than good if you go that route.

Luckily, there are a number of natural, healthy alternatives that can help you relieve pressure and pain in your noggin. Most of the time, the lack of these things in your diet may be the root cause anyway! Here are a few of our favorite all-natural go-to remedies for headaches:

spinachSpinach
This delicious leafy green is a considered a powerful “super food” helps you fight headaches due to its high content of Vitamin B2! This nutrient has a relaxing effect on your brain, which eases pain and reduces inflammation.

Bananas

Like spinach, bananas are also high in Vitamin B, particularly Vitamin B6, which is a headache-fighting powerhouse. This incredible Vitamin also increases levels of serotonin in your brain, which acts as an antidepressant, so you get added benefits. Bananas are also high in potassium, so in the case you’re suffering from a dehydration headache, this fruit will boost your electrolytes and get you back on track.

Watermelon

watermelon Speaking of dehydration – this is one of the most common causes of headaches. That’s why watermelon is one of the best food sources to help you fight head pain, as it is a water-rich food that will immediately help to re-hydrate your body. Plus, it’s a perfect summer treat for picnics and barbecues!

Cherries

Finally, these tart fruits have surprising powerful headache-fighting due to their content of a compound called quercetin, which has strong antioxidant, anti-allergy, and anti-inflammatory properties. Quercetin helps your body block sensitivity and pain, so munch on a handful or pick up some cherry juice and you’ll be good as new!

Do you have any natural go-to headache fighters? SHARE your tips in COMMENTS!

On the Road Eats

In addition to a love for health food, I also have great passion for travel. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to explore new and unique places, where I visit different eateries, vendor partners and foodies like yourselves. While the destinations provide a whirlwind of culinary choices, the venues I also stop at throughout my journeys aren’t always glamorous – namely airports, shopping malls and hotels. These are some of the most commonly frequented food venues I find myself in and it’s not always easy to find a healthy option when I’m on the go in places like these.

However, I’ve come across some great healthy snacks that you can purchase, pack, prepare or pop into your mouth while still staying on track!

Here are some of my recent favorites:

For a healthy on-the-go breakfast:

GnuFoods Fiber Love bars can now be found in airport terminal kiosks, magazine stands and most markets. They come in a variety of flavors, they are packed with fiber to keep you full throughout the morning, and they won’t leave you crashing from a sugar high like most breakfast pastries found at popular coffee shops.

 

For an in-between bite:Kashi GoLean Crisp!

Kashi GoLean Crisp! Chocolate Peanut Bar: At 180 calories and chocked full of fiber, this bar is delicious, sweet, filling, and the perfect snack for an in-between meal bite, in-between flight filler or late-night dessert.

For a quick dinner:

Wendy’s Asian Cashew Chicken Salad: This fresh, green salad is topped with fire-roasted edamame, spicy roasted cashews (which come in a separate package so you can opt to omit them for a lower calorie meal), warm grilled chicken and Marzetti® Simply Dressed® Light Spicy Asian Chili Vinaigrette (which also comes separately packaged so you can choose the amount for calorie control). This salad is light, fresh and will only set you back around 380 calories.

Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad

The most important tip to remember when flying, traveling, commuting or just plain working hard – DRINK WATER! And lots of it! Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to stay healthy, stave off hunger and keep you fueled, no matter where you’re traveling!

 

Your Guide to the Garden

lettuce

As a salad fanatic, I have mastered the art of carefully crafting the perfect plate of mixed greens topped with veggies and packed with proteins. Variety makes this deliciously healthy meal a masterpiece, and the best part is that it’s completely customizable!

Depending on your mood, the time of day, the ingredients that are in season or available to you, or the crowd you are serving, you can turn a salad into the ultimate centerpiece.

The foundation of any good salad is the right type of lettuce. This may sound like a simple step, but the type of lettuce you use truly determines the taste and texture of the meal. For example, everyone knows that Romaine works best in Caesar salads…can you imagine making it with the light and fluffy Butter variety? What would that do to the texture and feel? Would the Caesar dressing make the Butter lettuce too heavy and damp?

A common lunch time favorite of mine is a walnut, cranberry salad made with fresh spinach leaves, dusted with Feta cheese and drizzled with a light Balsamic Vinaigrette. The solid stems and specific taste of the spinach leaves pack a pungent punch, the solid leaves are strong enough to cradle the walnuts, and the Feta pairs perfectly with this unique garden variety.

If you want the greens to take the spotlight in the salad rather than the added ingredients, use a Spring Mix that includes baby Romaine and oak leaf lettuces, Swiss chard, arugula, frisée, and radicchio. This will send your tastebuds into a whirlwind of excitement and allow you to keep the additions to a minimum.

If you want the ingredients to take charge, however, you may want to stick to a more bland variety, such as a basic Iceberg. This leaf can be piled high with sauteed vegetables, sprinkled with fresh Parmesan and tucked between fresh fruits or grilled chicken.

Whatever your taste, let the garden be your palette and create your masterpiece! Click here for a simple guide to lettuce varieties from the Huffington Post.

What’s your favorite lettuce? COMMENT BELOW to share!

How to Get Your Mojo Back

It’s Friday, it’s been a long week and you’re exhausted. I know how it is. The best part of working hard is earning the ability to play hard, but what if you run out of steam and lose motivation? Whether it’s staying motivated to eat healthy, head out for a run, call back your BFF or finish that blog entry you’ve been sitting on for a few days, motivation is key to moving forward in life.

That’s why when I came across this excellent video by Shannon Kaiser of “Play with the World,” I just had to share it! I thank Shannon for being such an inspiration and hope she helps you find yours!