By developing good, proper habits, you and your family can minimize the risk of common health conditions, and live to a ripe, old age.
Regardless of what generation you belong to, there are some life hacks which can give you and your family enough energy to enjoy life to the fullest.
However, because lifestyle design has nowadays become such a booming industry, it can be difficult to nail down what habits are worth forming, and which ones are the most beneficial, especially when the entire family is getting involved.
Today, we’re going to share the essential top ten habits which are going to help you and your family live their best life. So, let’s jump straight into it!
#1 – Talk About Your Body Positively
The way you speak your inner dialogue, and how you relate to your body is the way your children are going to grow up and see themselves. Because of this, it is vital that we speak in a kind and caring manner with ourselves so that our future children will inherit the same healthy habits.
Even if there are parts of your body you don't like, don’t forget to always focus on the things you love about your body. For instance, you can be thankful for the strength you have to lift your children and play with them.
#2 – Don’t Eat Too Many Packaged Foods
We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve grabbed a bag of chips or cereal box and just started eating straight out of it. In the long run, this habit might become a problem because it's close to impossible to portion your food when you're too hungry. Also, because of eating impulsively, you'll end up feeling guilty. What you could do instead of this to prevent you from overeating, is portion everything out. If you don't want your kids to pick up these habits from you, it's best to teach them early on how to eat and portion their food.
#3 – Eat Enough Fruit & Veg
The recommended daily dosage is five pieces of fruit and veg every single day, and it’s surprising how many families don’t manage to eat this amount. If you want to rip the benefits of healthy eating, you can start by simply having a piece of fruit with breakfast and then another one at lunch. After dinner, you can also eat another fruit. Regarding vegetables, you can add two types with your dinner, so you'll easily hit your five of day goal! Extra fruits and veggies, which you can add, will also be incredibly beneficial to your well-being.
#4 – Have a Meal as a Family Daily
It doesn't really matter which meal it is, as long as you eat it with your family. It's important for families to spend time together, and mealtime can become an incredible occasion to connect and communicate. To improve family relationships, simply chose one meal a day where you can all sit together and catch up on everything that’s been going on.
#5 – Let Kids Help you Out
When you're making dinner, it can be a good idea to get your children involved. If you let your kids help out, you can have more quality time together. Besides, if they help prepare the food, the chances to eat more vegetables are far more likely.
#6 – No Distractions in Family Times
After following the advice above, it is crucial to eat in a mindful manner when you're eating dinner as a family. Once sitting at a table, avoid using smartphones, tablets, computers or TVs. Let these distractions be something reserved after dinner when you can cuddle up on the sofa.
“Practice being mindful at the task at hand, rather than dividing your and your children’s attention up over different activities” shares Nina Smith, a health blogger for State of Writing and Eliteassignmenthelp.
As a parent in a relationship, it’s important you put your relationship with your partner first, even before the one you have with your children. Even if you have one date night a month or glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed, it's essential to spend some time together.
After all, the happier you and your partner are, the more joyful your entire family unit becomes. Focus on your relationship first, so you can further nurture and build your relationship with your kids.
#8 – Get Outside Together
It’s quite hard to stay angry, in a mood or upset when you’re walking around outside with your family. Also, it's good to make walking a weekly habit. Whether you chose to walk in your local park or your neighborhood, you need to make sure you and your family get enough fresh air.
Leave devices and electronics at home and really engage in actual conversation with your family members and enjoy the time you’re having together.
#9 – Play Games
“As we get older, we tend to forget how the world looks like through a child's eye, and we stop appreciating the simple things in life, like the ability to be playful. We have a lot to learn from kids, but we need to be willing to be with them first! My advice to you is to play games with them and connect on a deeper level,” explains Sarah Hardy, a lifestyle writer, and blogger at Academized and Bigassignments.
#10 – Be Open About Life
There many things which a lot of parents are afraid to share or don’t want to talk about to their kids. For instance, you can be the one to teach them about safety plans in case a natural disaster occurs (if you live in a prone area), fireworks, disease, drugs, sex, alcohol, and many other things.
However, if your children don’t learn about them from you, they’re going to find out some other way which might not be the best way. In the end, it would be beneficial for both you and your kids to be open about everything.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can optimize your family's level of well being. By introducing these simple and healthy habits that everyone can follow, I can assure you your life will get a lot easier. The more often you follow through with these habits, the easier they’ll get, so why not start today?
As many of you are aware, our family has chosen to be Telus Ambassadors.
Volunteering is an Integral Part of Our Family
Telus' mission to provide digital services beyond devices and a connection, with a focus on community, customer care, environment and giving back is a natural fit for our family.
Our relationship with Telus began 5 years ago when our family was invited by a friend to participate in the Telus Days of Giving #GiveWhereWeLive.
It was a day full of gardening, painting and washing to help Canuck Place Children's Hospice get their property and transport ready for the season. What an experience knowing that all over the country, Telus employees, friends and family were volunteering their time to help their local communities.
In 2016 alone, Telus donated $42 million to local communities across Canada and contributed 870,000 volunteers hours.
Over the years our relationship has strengthened, and Team Telus has become great supporters of the WLFM Tribe and our vision to help others lead a healthier, happier life with richer relationships.
Each year our family uses the Telus Days of Giving as a reset. A reminder to give back, to be open to opportunities to help others, to share and inspire.
The Telus Days of Giving #MillionHours has officially kicked off!
The goal to reach 1 million volunteer hours to celebrate #Canada150. We invite you to join us and the 21,000 participants volunteering in more than 1500 activities across the country.
For further information visit telus.com/millionhours or simply respond to our email letting us know how you have decided to gift an hour of your time, and consider sharing how you give back via social using #MillionHours.
Obviously our family is not currently located in Canada at the moment, but that's not stopping us from participating in the #MillionHours initiative. There are a few volunteer opportunities available in Bali and we are awaiting to help with the next beach cleanup and hopefully assist with a local orphanage (supposedly they need people to just hold the newborn babies for the human contact, fingers crossed we are accepted).
Volunteering can be an ongoing relationship or the odd opportunity when you are capable. We encourage you to check your local listings. Whether it be local soup kitchens, community clean ups, food banks, beauty nights, community centres, churches, the hospitals or assisted living homes.
Monetary donations are always appreciated, but taking time to personally contribute sparks something totally different within you.
For further inspirations, last year we organized a simple shoe drive for Ruebens Shoes. Collecting 120 pairs of gently used shoes for children to be able to attend school and get an education. With the generosity of Telus we also raised $1400 donation to assist with Reuben Shoes newest project of building an actual school while handing out Vice Cream on a crazy rainy day in downtown Vancouver.
Where can you give back in your local community?
Every little bit matters. What may be simple to us, matters more than you know to someone else.
If you have volunteer ideas or suggestions, please let us know or post in the Facebook group. We already know some of you volunteer on a regular basis, total awesomeness. Thank you for your continued efforts to give back.
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This post is sponsored by TELUS. The opinions and views are wholly my own…
And to be absolutely clear, this is my disclaimer: “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.”~ Coach Moose
“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.”
When Elizabeth Gilbert wrote this statement in her acclaimed book, Eat, Pray, Love, I don't think she knew how profoundly it would connect with people everywhere. Our deep desire need to pay back is both unnerving and at times down right stressful. The idea that we owe someone for doing something nice for us is ridiculous in my books. People like to help people for the sake of helping people, not for the hope that someone will now have to reciprocate the kindness just because.
Maybe, just maybe, if we changed our focus to paying it forward and not paying it back we'd then see a global mindset shift to an altruistic approach to helping for the sake of unconditional love of our fellow, less fortunate global citizens.
I felt this was the case when I was first introduced to TELUS' #theGivingEffect and Day of Giving initiatives.
Who would have thought an invite from a TELUS team member four years ago, inviting my family to take part in the TELUS Day of Giving, would become a long-term relationship with a company that is all about giving back to local and global initiatives.
This year as a Team TELUS Advocate I've had some amazing experiences. From private musical performances atop the newly built TELUS Garden roof-top to box seats at We Day and the BC Lion's game opener, but none is as rewarding as our recent opportunity to run our own fundraising event to help a local Vancouver non-profit called Ruben's Shoes.
Who is Ruben and What is the charity ‘Ruben's Shoes'?
When we were first introduced to Ruben's Shoes at a CrossFit competition years ago we were immediately drawn in to their cause. I can't explain it as well as the following video so have a quick watch to learn a bit more about the organization:
Why were we inspired to create a local Giving Effect?
Each year our family is amazed with how much TELUS contributes in time and resources, so when we were invited to take part in #theGivingEffect initiative earlier this year, we felt inspired to see what we could do personally.
Our belief is that every act of giving inspires another, so my family and me invited people in our local community to join us in Yaletown (an area in Vancouver, Canada). Giving is simple and fun (and can be tasty too), and with the generosity of TELUS we were able to share a local Vancouver company's healthy alternative to ice cream. We partnered with Nice Vice to offer an ice cream treat for either a cash donation or shoe contribution for Ruben's Shoes.
The forecast was optimistic, but true to Vancouver weather fashion, and with some incredible luck, when it rains it pours!
With Passion-fruit, Strawberry and Chocolate on the Nice Vice menu, the rain didn't stop Eventbase‘s Jeff Sinclair's generosity to give. Jeff, while walking his dog in the park, felt compelled to ask why a group of people were standing on the corner handing out ice cream in the pouring rain. He gave the time for us to explain The Giving Effect and our initiative to collect gently used shoe contributions and cash donations for Ruben's Shoes while sharing ice cream with the community.
Jeff returned with two colleagues and purchased ice cream for his entire office – the giving effect at work!
Between Jeff's kindness (or pity, but after speaking with Jeff and his team, giving is definitely a company core value), the wonderful TELUS, and the fabulous families of Yaletown who braved the rainy afternoon, we collected 120 pairs of shoes along with $1400 in cash donations to help Ruben's Shoes.
Paying it forward creates a giving effect
Seeing local children approach the Nice Vice truck with such pride, handing over their shoes, some knowing why, some learning why and some just there for the free ice cream, but either way each pair of shoes provided helps a child overseas receive an education. Seeing many of their eyes widen when they heard the reason their kindness mattered was worth bearing the wet event in itself. Whether the day entailed simply 10 or 1000 donations, the giving effect was in full effect. Because it all starts with one act of kindness…
Thank you to Jeff and the Eventbase team for ensuring the freshly hand crafted ‘ice cream' was consumed!
Thank you to the moms, dads, grandparents and children who took the time to sort through their shoes and give them to Ruben's Shoes.
Thank you to Nice Vice for sharing their healthy ice cream alternative with the community.
And thank you to everyone at TELUS for inspiring us to spend a few hours of our time GIVING!
If you feel inspired to pay it forward and create your own giving effect, let me know. I'd love to help you get the word out – email me anytime at coach (at) daimanuel.com – until then, keep sharing smiles, your time and energy to help make this world a better place. Through one act of giving at a time, I feel we can create a tsunami of kindness which can inspire people everywhere to be instruments of giving.
Motivating kids to do something that’s actually good for them can be a handful; try telling them to eat the green healthy vegetables they so meticulously pick out and put aside. Yea, you know where that one’s headed! Well, it is possible, you’re just going to have to be a tad bit clever with that and you can still manage to get the natural goodness of veggies into their systems.
But what about exercise?
The unfortunate reality is that kids rarely get the ‘healthy for you’ talk, and are more inclined towards doing things that are unhealthy – or fun. Not that unhealthy things are fun, but you probably get the point. So how exactly do you go about motivating your kids to do some sort of physical exercise as often as possible?
11 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Exercise More Often
#1) Start small
That’s the key to it all. Trying to do too much, too soon can often end up being more discouraging as opposed to motivating. And this is one mistake that a number of parents end up making. For your kids, running 10 laps around the block might sound like a lot, but if you tell them to start with just a couple of meters, they’ll like the idea even more and they will eventually increase their threshold as time goes by. But if you’re going to overburden them in the start, they’re going to hate exercising just like they hate doing other household chores.
#2) Make them walk the dog
Walking is one of the best exercises to keep your mind and body active throughout the entire day. Not to mention, it’s great for musculoskeletal health and for decreasing the early onset of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. But you know how kids feel about walking – most of them don’t even like to walk to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water for themselves. So how do you motivate your kids to adopt this exercise? Well, if you’ve got a dog, then it’s pretty simple; just ask them to take the dog out for a walk and mission accomplished. Make them do it more often. Besides, even the dog could use a stroll outdoors to empty its digestive tract.
#3) Timing is crucial
Time is a big reason; if you get the timing right, you might not even have to press your kids so much to exercise. Kids usually have a favorite show or two on TV and they’re more than unwilling to move from in front of the idiot box when their favorite show is on air. Obviously, if you’re going to tell them to do anything let alone exercise during that time, they’re not going to be happy about it. Sacrifice is an important lesson to teach your kids, but you should pick a time for their exercise or fitness routine that doesn’t clash with other activities of theirs. Pick a time for a light workout when you know they won’t resist; like right after dinner, or after school?
#4) Don’t limit your ideas
Ok, so exercise isn’t just walking and working out at the gym; at least not for kids. If you want to motivate your kids into adopting a healthy lifestyle and pick up exercise more regularly, you need to add some variety to the mix so that fitness regimes don’t end up feeling and looking like a military dictatorship. Adults often forget that playing too is a form of exercise. If you make them walk the dog one day, play a game of soccer with them the next. And stacking could be the third. For kids, exercise isn’t and shouldn’t be about the gym alone; as long as it gets them moving and working some, if not all of their muscles, it’s good.
If you need an extra hand in the motivation department, feel free to invite one of your kid’s friends for a hike. When they know that their friend(s) is coming, they’ll be even more excited and motivated. You could even use this as an opportunity to get to know your kid’s social circle even better by inviting their entire family.
#6) Track everyone’s progress
In fact, this has to be one of the best motivational techniques ever. Set fitness and exercise goals for the entire family, keep a calendar separately for this purpose and mark everyone’s progress on it. That way, everyone knows what everyone’s up to and where they stand. Watching others progress is a great way to induce motivation especially if your kids have the competitive gene in themselves.
#7) Connect with nature
Another way to motivate your kids to exercise more often and thus live living healthy lifestyles is by getting them to connect with nature. Be it spending more time outside of home away from technology or connecting with nature in a more literal sense by indulging In outdoor yoga, the more your kids embrace nature, the closer they’ll get to it. And it wouldn’t be long before they realize how important it is to make healthy choices in life. Not only will they be motivated to love healthy, they’ll also want to eat healthy and exercise more. If not for nature, then at least do it or a cause. Is your family a bunch of couch potatoes? Well, tell them that things are about to change!
#8) The Five Minute Warning
If you’re having difficulties in getting your kids to commit to exercising, motivate them by saying that they only have to give you five minutes – which is actually long enough for anyone to break a small sweat. However, the trick is that it never ends at five. In fact, a five-minute routine usually ends up turning into more than ten, which is better. Do that a couple of times and they’ll be used to it before you even know it; you wouldn’t even have to motivate them with the five-minute line the next time.
Once your kids are getting the hang of exercise, making a weekly schedule is going to motivate them even more. Like adults, kids too respond better to a structured schedule; it just takes them a little longer to get used to it. You might want to set a date and time for the planned exercise and write it on the family calendar – if you’ve worked on one that is.
#10) Let them pick
In fact, if there’s a particular sport or exercise your kid enjoys, try doing that more often; let them be the decision makers for once. That way, they’ll be more motivated to take part and you wouldn’t have to spend a good fifteen minutes trying to convince them over the benefits of exercise. So if your kid likes bicycling give them some care instructions on cycling and let them ride. You could even ask your kids to take charge of the family fitness program for a week. That would build their interest even further simply by being in an authoritative position. Everyone likes to play boss after all!
#11) Bring in some competition
Competitions are always a great motivator especially when it’s the parents vs. kids types. You’re obviously going to win, but if you want to motivate your kids to work harder in achieving exercise and fitness goals, and work harder in general when faced with a challenge in life, it’s the idea of keeping ahead of their competition that’s going make them successful in the long run!
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Author Bio: Zyana Morris
Zyana Morris is a passionate health and lifestyle blogger who loves to write about prevailing trends. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and lifestyle industry. You can find her using twitter @ZyanaMorris
Is giving back just about kindness? Is it so we can feel good about ourselves? Or is it because we just can’t help but give back?
Do you know what giving does to your brain?
‘Tis the season of giving, not just to our families but to the people who would benefit greatly from some holiday cheer. And although the season might make us feel warm and fuzzy about giving back, there may be a scientific reason behind it.
A 2013 study found that humans are hardwired to give back. Scientists used MRI machines to see how the brain reacted when the subject made a donation. The scans revealed that when the subject made the decision to make a donation to a charity of their choice, the part of the brain that controls cravings for food and intimacy lit up.
Operation Christmas Child is on… time to make an impact!
It isn’t just about feeling good. Giving back also creates community and social consciousness. Take the annual Operation Christmas Child campaign. The campaign has helped millions of children around the world. Shoeboxes are filled with everyday items and toys for boys and girls of all ages around the world. These boxes are then shipped off to over 100 countries. The campaign also helps provide clean drinking water, medical supplies and more. This year, OCC is also introducing packing a box online (which might be easier given our busy lives).
Operation Christmas Child is an amazing cause and one worth supporting… click here to learn how you can take part
Samaritan’s Purse says there are children who received the boxes years ago who have since migrated to North America. These teens, men and women now pack their own boxes to give back to others in need.
It’s a cycle that keeps on giving.
Those smiles warm the heart, don't they? Join OCC today and make an impact
Because one person helped this child, this child is now giving back to another child. It becomes a cycle based on giving and community, which not only makes us feel good but enriches the world around us.
Look familiar? Getting kids to eat their veggies is often a negotiation
Getting kids to eat their greens can sometimes be a nightmare (and even at times, fruits are met with hesitation).
Almost every kid hits a point where somewhere in their little developing mind, they decide for one reason or another that they are no longer trying anything new. Parents, you are not alone in dealing with this.
Time and again, parents become exhausted with trying to reach the recommended nutritional goals for their kids. Tears, threats, crying and bribery can be exhausting and rarely work. Here are some ideas for pulling off switches, hiding, and even upfront ways to introduce new (and healthy!) foods.
5 Sneaky Tips and Tricks to Get Your Kids to Eat their Fruits and Veggies
Tip 1: Learn to Love Making Smoothies
Smoothies are an amazing way to hide veggies and fruits from your kids. Most children won’t turn down a smoothie with a popular flavor, like strawberry – which is really just crushed iced, berries and juice. Now let’s say they hate carrots.
Try this out: juice some carrots, add a quarter cup to the blender, followed by the ice and strawberries, as well as a shot or two of skim milk or dollop of unhurt. Blend at warp speed and ta-da!
They will drink it down, without any knowledge of what is really in it. For a fruit medley, especially those including citrus, you are really good to go. Citrus is strong-smelling and most of what you taste comes from what you smell. Throw together carrot juice, oranges, pineapple, a dash of skim milk or yogurt, and blend.
It is amazing what you can’t taste with citrus added-in.
Tip 2: When is a “Treat” really a Treat?
The same idea for smoothies can be used for “shakes”. Real shakes have loads of fat. While this tactic won’t get their vegetables in, it just might be a way to sneak in fruit or other healthy foods.
Apple slices and caramel dip is a great snack… as a “treat” mind you.
First, lose the ice cream. Replace it with frozen yogurt, fresh strawberries (a cup or so), crushed ice and skim milk. Blend for a delicious strawberry shake. A blueberry shake can be made the same way AND because of the dark blueberry color, you can toss in some carrot juice or even, if you dare, pureed broccoli. This may also be a time to sneak in a child-oriented nutritional supplement, such as SmartyPants.
Nutritional drinks can be chalky or vitamin-like and not all kids dig them. But if you hide the flavor in a homemade shake, you’ll be good to go. Another option is to simply serve up healthier treats – like a simple fruit salad topped with yogurt, or frozen yogurt in their favorite flavor topped with fruit and granola.
Of course, kids should know that “treats” are not another meal and should not be expected all the time.
Tip 3: Snack-time equals Fun-time
Salsa is a fabulous way to get vegetable servings in. Serving salsa with salt-free pretzels or baked tortilla chips cuts the fat and salt out. Salsa has peppers, tomatoes, and onions, and almost no fat. It is a fabulous snack.
You can also try cutting up fresh vegetables and serving them with a fat-free ranch or dressing of their choice. Apples are much more enticing with a caramel dip, but that is a lot of fat and sugar. If you’re going to go this route, opt for a low-fat, low-calorie caramel sauce.
Lunchables – or other pre-arranged, bite-sized meals – are all the craze and are ridiculous in the amount of fat, salt and calories they serve up (plus the cost!) Make your own, using low salt pretzels, cubed or sliced Swiss or mozzarella cheese, seedless grapes, and turkey cut into shapes. All of these are healthy, filling, and easy-to-grab snacks.
Banana Sushi is an epic treat for kids! And fun to make too. [Image care of FitFoodFinds]
If you work and your kids come home for lunch or after school with unlimited access to the fridge and kitchen, invest in some square Tupperware containers or one better a PlanetBox lunch kit and leave prepared snacks for them. This approach helps to cut the chances of your kids eating dinner ahead of time, or munching on fatty snacks that will spoil their appetite.
Tip 4: Mealtime Mecca
If possible, pack your child a lunch on school days. It can be a hassle, but at least you are in better control of what they have in front of them.
Healthy kid's lunch box made up of pita bread ham and salad, fresh fruit, sultanas and drinking water.
A lot of times kids will switch lunches and “trade”. While that’s beyond your control, try supplying them with a variety of foods that they actually like and will want to hang onto. If they refuse wheat bread, then buy “white wheat” bread.
Include fruit (either straight up or with a dip), water or sugar-free juice, and cut up vegetables with a low-fat dressing or peanut butter. As for eating at home, letting them help prepare their meals is huge. Children feel responsibility and pride in helping.
Anything you make with a red sauce (lasagna, spaghetti, etc.) is an extremely easy way to sneak in vegetables. Puree the vegetables ahead of time and add them to the sauce. They are almost guaranteed not to taste it, yet they are getting their share of vegetables.
Tip 5: The Secret Benefits of Hidden Vitamins
Besides hiding fish oil in shakes, a chewable, gummy vitamin like SmartyPants, may be for those really picky stages or really picky kids. It may not be the first choice, but a supplement will keep your mind at ease and their bodies healthy.
Not to Worry, Compromise Works Wonders
Kids work in stages – some start trying everything and anything and seem to never complain. But they may grow, hit a certain stage and boom – it may seem like they aren’t willing to touch anything.
Sometimes it’s the opposite. You know how your kids work best – meet them halfway, but don’t be afraid to sneak in some extra nutritional benefits when you can.
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I'm very excited to announce my partnership with #SmartyPants the creators of #TheGoodGummy. The science speaks for itself — SmartyPants produces the only all-in-one multi that also has omega 3s and vitamin D. In the Complete + Fiber formula, they've ALSO added soluble fiber to the mix.
I had the opportunity to connect with their team at the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Francisco earlier this year and they absolutely wowed me. The company's vision for family health, giving back to local and global communities and the belief that everyone deserves good health was enough to put me over the edge… sign me up! How can I help?
Over the coming month, I've teamed up with SmartyPants to offer some fantastic info on the following:
This is my disclaimer, “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.”~ Moose