So we all love to talk about money - whether we have it or don't.
But how often do we talk about a much more important concept: our health? And how often, if ever, has a conversation around our health been correlated to currency?
Introducing Wellcoin: self-deemed "the world's first healthy currency." Here's how it works: for every healthy activity you engage in - whether it be sleeping more than 7 hours a night (tough, I know), socializing with your girls (do drinks count?), or making a healthy food choice - you will gain a certain amount of Wellcoins. Although you might not able to cash these in for real money, you can cash them in for real healthy living rewards, like a workout class. So instead of paying you for your hard work, Wellcoin pays you with an experience that will continue to better you on your quest for optimal health.
Here's the thing: you have to prove that you actually engaged in the activity - through a photo or Instagram post. After all, they can't just be giving away these Wellcoins for free! Take sleeping for 7+ hours, for instance. If you use FitBit to track your healthy living activity, you can screenshot an image proving your healthy sleep cycles from the previous night and upload it to your activity feed.
Pretty sweet, right? I don't know about all of you, but I'm digging this idea so much that I just signed up. Looking at the activity feed, it sort of reminds me of the health community activity that already exists on Instagram - except that it's tracking measurable lifestyle choices!
To sign up, simply visit the app or the website on your desktop.
If you're about to sign up, or have used this app before, let me know in the comments or shoot me [Christina] an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Wednesday! Love ya'll!
This beautiful story has been written and contributed by a TCM reader, Jessica Cassle. Check out her Instagram handle (@theplantbasedeatery) for gorgeous and inspiring healthy recipes.
Stress affects people in many different ways. A common way people manifest their stress is through the food they eat. Whether we over eat, eat something we normally wouldn't or don't eat at all, stress-induced eating disorders are more common than one may think. Stress causes chemical and hormonal changes in our bodies that can either cause us to feel full or feel hungry. The science behind it is still not completely understood but in my case... I was never hungry.
Hi my name is Jessie. I am a 28 year old registered nurse, plant-based food advocate and mother to a newly 6 year old boy. Let me take you back 5 years and introduce you to my 23 year old self; I was adjusting to my new roles as nursing student and young mother, while simultaneously recovering from a broken heart and a complicated labor without any adequate emotional support.
To some it up, it felt like my world was spinning out of control. This cocktail of events also triggered an anxiety disorder that lead to taking anti-anxiety medications (side effects include decreased appetite.) That feeling of helplessness made me want to control the one thing I knew I could: what I put it my mouth. I wasn't starving my body to be thin. I was starving for control. Starving for control of my own life.
These unhealthy habits landed me at an all time low weight of 82 pounds just 6 months after giving birth (at 148 lbs) and caused massive hair loss. When I look back at pictures of myself at this weight I am horrified at my gaunt figure. You can see in my eyes how unhappy I was.
My recovery was a slow one. It took many years for me to regain my weight and develop healthy eating habits. I can say now, with confidence, that I would never allow stress to affect me in that way again. I am too strong now and I've come too far!
I did go to therapy for a short amount of time but it ultimately took me accepting my situation, refusing to be a victim and loving myself to truly heal.
You may wake yourself up from it or you might not even know you do. If you’re not sure, ask your partner.
You nod off during the day, and not just when you intend to nap. You find yourself falling asleep during daytime activities - like driving or during conversation. It’s normal to feel tired after a poor night of sleep, but continued, excessive sleepiness should be followed up with a physician that specializes in sleep and sleep disorders.
Trouble shutting down
Psychological conditions like anxiety and depression can make it difficult to shut off your brain off at night and fall into a peaceful sleep. Trouble falling and staying asleep are tell-tale symptoms of insomnia, as are tension headaches and moodiness.
If you wake up with a headache, you might suffer from sleep apnea. Migraine headaches occur in direct relationship to the number of REM sleep cycles that one experiences throughout the night. This relationship is even more pronounced with cluster headaches.
Fibromyalgia is a medical syndrome that causes widespread pain and stiffness in the muscles and joints and sleep problems/chronic daytime fatigue. Fibromyalgia and sleep disturbances are closely correlated; the pain makes sleep more difficult and sleep deprivation exacerbates pain. Though it continues to be a misunderstood syndrome, Fibromyalgia has become seen as a real problem, affecting between 2% and 6% of people worldwide.
Tips to a better sleep
While you should consult with a doctor if you have any sign of a chronic sleep disorder, there are some basic tips to follow to improve your chances of a better night's sleep.
The spa at the Edition Hotel in Miami Beach has lots of options to achieve relaxation. One of those is...sleeping.
Through their "Power Nap" service, Biotic Wave cables are attached to the subject's ear lobes like clip-on earrings. These cables deliver low, alternating electrical currents, intended to propel the subject into a deep, REM, state of sleep. In this 20 minute treatment, the subject bypasses the other usual sleep cycles, reaching this dreaming phase much faster than he/she would if he/she simply went to sleep. After a few hours of treatment, the subject apparently experiences a surge of energy.
This phenomenon of synchronizing brainwaves, called Cranial Electrical Stimulation (CES) or “electrosleep,” was developed in 1949 to treat sleep disorders. It has additional implications in treating pain disorders, anxiety, and depression, which are often correlated to those with poor sleeping habits.
A gift from the gods? Maybe. But for only $25 dollars, it's worth the try.
Whatever your New Years' goal may be -- eating better, getting fitter, learning a new language or even dating again -- no goal is accomplished without careful planning. Follow these simple steps to stay on track with your New Years' resolution(s):
1. Even if your goal is big, break it down into small, measurable parts. This way you can stay on track and won't get overwhelmed by the size of your aspirations - though the larger the better!
2. Create a timeline for your goals, and schedule check-ins. Every week might be tough, depending upon your goal, so aim for every month. From there, make to-do lists that meet your objectives.
3. Focus on the why. Like anything you want to achieve, there will be challenges, and at times, even pitfalls. So, stay focused on why you're doing what you're doing so you can deal with the sacrifices it requires to get there.
4. Stay focused. The hardest part of achieving anything is the middle ground, when the initial excitement wears away, the hard work begins and the end seems no where in sight. But again, remember that you are working towards a certain outcome, defined by you!
4. You and your friend have a similar goal? Don't compare your pace to others. Everyone will take their own unique path to achieve their aspirations. Slow and steady wins the race.
Watch the alcohol.
Alcohol is caloric, and too many drinks can most certainly affect your waistline, not to mention lower your immune system. Plus, impaired thinking can lead to bad, often greasy, food decisions. Limit the alcohol.
Don't overindulge in desserts.
Pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, ooey gooey caramel bars and so much more! Yes, the desserts are a perk of the holiday season. Just don't let them get the best of you! Indulge mindfully.
Make plenty of time for family & friends.
Socializing is a vital part of your health. There is no better time to gather together than the holidays. Make it a priority to spend this season with the ones you love.
Get enough sleep.
The most sure-fire way of consuming too many calories and throwing your whole defense system off is by skimping on sleep. Don't let the parties get the best of you . Get enough rest; it will keep your stress levels in check and your mood elevated, which is the most festive way to be during this holiday season!
Keep Vitamin C in your routine.
Vitamin C will keep your immune system revved and ward off sickness. Eat apples, oranges, strawberries or grapefruit. If necessary, take a supplement (though eating the foods is preferred!)
Don't skimp on your workout.
The colder weather and cozy holiday season makes it easier to say no to the gym. But don't! The fastest way to lose track is by skipping the sweat your body needs.
Be cautious of sugary drinks.
Egg nog is delicious, but also caloric. If you're going to indulge - no worries - but just count this into your overall food intake. (It's easier to forget drinks!)
1. Change your lightbulbs.
Switching to compact fluorescent bulbs results in a major reduction of pollution.
2. Turn off your laptop.
Instead of leaving your laptop on 'Sleep Mode', you can save 40 watt-hours per day, adding up to 40 cents a day and $14 a year.
3. Recycle all glass.
To all of my candle hoarders: you must let the glass containers go! You can help reduce air pollution by 20%.
4. Use both sides of the paper.
Yes, we understand you don't like the back-side of the paper, but the trees do.
5. Skip the bottled water.
Rather than getting your daily Smart Water fix, purchase gallons of water and use a refillable water bottle.
Information credits to 50waystohelp.com
A warm thank you to Gretchen Otte, Founder of Type One Type Happy, a website committed to inspiring fellow Diabetics to live empowered, happy lives. We, at TCM, so appreciate this honest story on overcoming that "something," in order to embrace your passion and uncover a silver lining.
This story has not been edited and is printed as told from Gretchen, herself.
My mom saw me swaying and pulled me down to sit on a hot cobblestone curb of ancient Pompeii. She shoved Italian sweets into my mouth to help stabilize me. I burst into tears, sobbing over the fact that I couldn’t even walk a simple trail on a tour without having a crashing low. I knew that continuing a Mediterranean cruise when I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes overseas was going to be difficult, but now it seemed impossible. We both cried in frustration, then wiped each other’s tears away before catching up with the group.
Our next scheduled stop was lunch at the Italian beach town of Sorrento. Before the meal, I went to the bathroom to give myself the insulin that I had packed on ice for the day’s journey. As I fumbled around in the bathroom stall, I discovered that my syringe had been forced-plunged into my purse and the needle had broken off. I doubled over, furious and sad. All I wanted to do was run away, but everything I wanted to run from came along with me.
My mom heard me sobbing from the bathroom and came in to commiserate. We eventually found our assigned table and sat down with red, wet eyes. We tried to feign some sort of conversation with the other lunch guests. My mom apologized, telling them that we were struggling with some issues. The couple at the table, a man and a woman, asked if it was a medical issue. We said it was.
The man smiled. “What is it? I’m a doctor. Maybe I can help.”
I told him about my Type 1 Diabetes diagnosis and shared with him all my struggles on this trip. His face turned serious and he locked eyes with me.
“You’re going to be alright without the insulin for now, but I want you to hear this: everyone has something. No one gets through life without battling,” he said. “This just happens to be your ‘something.’ No, it’s not fair that you have to deal with your something so young, but this was given to you and it is up to you how you live with it.”
His frankness stopped me completely. I stopped thinking. I stopped judging myself. I stopped killing myself with guilt. I simply accepted my something. It was as if a great weight had been lifted off me for the rest of the trip.
When I returned home, I made it my mission to learn about Type 1 diabetes and how to help my body. And now when I’m feeling frustrated with the unrelenting process of managing my blood sugars. I think back to that doctor’s gaze, take a deep breath, and remind myself that it’s my choice to take care of myself.
No one is perfect. When I was diagnosed, I was caught up with the notion that everyone is normal, and if your aren’t “normal,” you are different– and different is bad. No, being different is not bad. It’s wonderful. It pushes me beyond my limits.
The ideology of a “something” is an idea that I came up with during my first few weeks of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. A “something” can be a diagnoses, an addiction, a broken leg, family problems, death– anything that can be considered a “setback.” This notion that everyone has to deal with a major “something”, a setback, at some point in their life helped me to battle anger and depression and to change my perspective about my diagnosis.
My “something” is unique. It is difficult, but it can be empowering— my Type 1 diabetes moves me to prove my strength to myself. Perspective is what changes it all. Perspective can hold the key to let your “something” be a part of you and to not let it hold you back.
For more information on Gretchen's journey, visit her Instagram (@typeonetypehappy) Facebook (TypeOne TypeHappy) or Twitter (@type1typehappy.)
To submit your own personal story about your journey into health and happiness for a chance to see it featured here, email email@example.com SUBJECT: press.
Doesn't it seem that some things can be swept right up from under your feet? Money. A relationship. That favorite pair of undies [where did I leave it?] Sometimes, life seems to change so quickly, it feels hard to hang on to, well, anything…
But, in honor of another month our #TCM journey, here’s something to hold onto: your dream.
Sure, it sounds cliché, and you’ve heard it since you were a little kid. Dream BIG. Go for the gold. Show them what you're made of.
The dream, your dream in this instance, may be really big. But it can also feel quite small, in the scheme of things. What makes it big is not the goal, but its meaning to YOU. That’s something no one can ever take away. No business [a.k.a. a competitor.] No boyfriend. No lost material possession [see undie line, above.]
Trust me, there will be days when this dream seems really far away. Like that time [recently] when I yearned for an apartment that had finally opened in my 'dream' city of San Francisco. I knew, however, with the personal rate of my dream today, it just wasn't in the cards for me [a nicer way of saying I couldn’t afford it. ] I had taken nearly all of my money that I had made from my consulting business [minus food for Bear, my precious Chorkie] and put it into this magazine. There are days in which I am frustrated. Others, in which I wish I had a mentor. But then, I look at this journey I’m on, take a step back, and think, wow. The vision might change. The company might evolve. My own journey through health and wellness might take surprising new turns. But the point is, that the dream is still strong. The dream to own another company; to consistently find heath and happiness in myself and all things; and to inspire and empower others to do the same. To make a living from this dream doesn’t make it any more important. It just makes it more tangible.
My advice to you would be this: whatever you’re dreaming of, keep at it. Whether it’s a passion you explore between jobs, on a Saturday night when your friends are out partying, or amidst chatter at a coffee shop. It’s yours for a reason. It may change and grow with you. But the point is that it’s still yours. And so long as you set an intention to work towards it, visualize whatever that end-goal may be, and keep pushing at it, even when it’s hard, I promise that you’ll get there…in your own, sometimes messy, but always worthwhile, way.
The Clean Method Lifestyle: Green Living Tips, Environmental Conservation, Sustainable Choices, Local Food, Organic Farming / Gardening + More
I love food, fitness, fashion & anything else that's motivating. Have an inspiring story you want to share?