Everywhere you go, you hear it these days…Be Grateful! Yet we hear so many people complaining!

Gratitude is a very important part of your daily mindset. In fact, gratitude has been proven time and time again to make people feel happy, more content, less stressed, helps lower blood pressure and even can help promote better sleep habits. I am a firm believer in practicing gratitude daily. When I feel like I’m having a bad day, I stop myself, take a deep breath and think of all the things that I am grateful for such as my family, my health, finding the love of my life and all the amazing things that he has brought into my life, the love and mutual respect we have for each other is a true blessing every day. A rare and amazing man for sure xo

I often think about something as simple as having food on our table, a roof over our heads and a warm bed to sleep in as a gift in itself. After spending extended time in Mexico volunteering in dog rescue, meeting so many local residents with their dogs and families, I realized how much I have in my life. Seeing so many living without basic necessities, enduring daily abuse, literally working 12+ hours just to make enough to buy a few items was a lesson learned well by me. It made me a better person and one who will always live with gratitude and give back to those in need.

Once a week I have a ritual that I do it’s called from the heart to pen to paper. I sit and write everything that I am grateful for down on paper, think about what I wrote and put it in a glass jar that I made with pretty little accents and photos of things that I am grateful for. It makes me stop and think about what was positive in the day instead of what may have gone wrong or was negative on that day, it honestly makes the not so happy stuff seem so less dramatic and stressful.
We ALL live with some level of stress and negative encounters in a day, it is a matter of how you want to respond to those things that can potentially take your energy levels down, ruin your day and make you feel negative and complain for the rest of day, which in my opinion always feels like the more you complain and hear the complaint the more life you give it and the worse it feels!

So what kind of day do you want to have today? Start the day with gratitude and positive energy! Try my little ritual of from the heart to pen to paper and even involve your entire family in it, it turns out it can be so much fun for the kids and brings spouses closer together too!

Basic Rules of Weight Loss and Workouts

Most of us realize that whether we like it or not we have to stick to weight loss workouts if we want to shed those extra pounds the right way, the way that will keep them off. There are basic rules of weight loss and workouts to follow to help you succeed. One common mistake that many people make when on a new fitness path and trying to lose weight is that in the first couple of days of their diet they diminish their food intake too much while exercising.

Doing this will not allow you all of the energy you need in order to get through your exercise routine. You’ll tire too quickly and may not be able to follow through with your exercise program. Perfecting the delicate balance of eating right and exercise is what will get you to your goal weight and help you meet those set goals.

Many diets suggest that you cut down or even eliminate carbohydrates from your meals. However, you need carbohydrates for energy. Just make sure that you are getting the right kinds of carbohydrates. They should come from foods that are unprocessed and rich in fiber like whole grains, vegetables, fruit, brown rice and potatoes. When you eat the right carbohydrates, you’re getting all the necessary fiber and other nutrients that your body needs. You also want to make sure that you are getting enough protein and healthy fat like olive oil, nuts, seeds and fish oil. You should be eating three moderate meals and two snacks or five small meals a day in order to have the energy needed to work out.

When it comes to working out, you need to first assess your current status and determine how in-shape or out-of-shape you are. You’ll eventually want to incorporate both aerobics and strength training into your weight loss program, but if you’re just starting out you need to start with one and start with a designed program that will allow you to reach your goals in a safe and effective way. In your assessment, be sure consider how much time you can dedicate to your workouts and your preferences.

If your goal is only to lose weight, you can really concentrate on cardio activities to start. Then you should incorporate strength training to tone and build muscle mass, build up your bone density and raise your metabolism, in my opinion strength training rules for caloric burn and a toned healthy look.  You can do five minutes or so of cardio for a warm-up before your strength training routine but save the cardio workout for after your strength training routine so you have the energy for your workout. If you don’t have any real specific goals except to lose weight and just live a healthier lifestyle you could alternate days of strength training and aerobics training. This ensures that you will get both in and takes away the boredom of doing the same thing all the time. Also try to mix up what you do for aerobic training and what you do for strength training during your weight loss workouts. I love adding yoga, Barre and hiking to my workouts too. This will keep you engaged and excited for your workout routines!

Basic Rules of Weight Loss and Workouts

Five Proven Tips on How to Manifest Happiness

Five Proven Tips on How to Manifest Happiness!

Do you have dreams that you would like to make come true? How about improving your life and your relationship with others? Do you want to manifest happiness in your life? I am sure that you have heard the saying “Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe” Well it’s true the energy that you put out there is what you send out to the world and will attract the like-minded people and experiences right back to you. As a Reiki energy practitioner, I have to keep my energy high. I have amazing friends that are like minded, they are positive, uplifting and just amazing people. I believe that we send out energy to the earth every day, that it is collective and we can all change the vibe of our planet by being positive and happy, rather than negative and always looking down.

Here are a five simple tips on how you can begin to manifest happiness. Be consistent and believe in what you put out there to the universe.

1- Love yourself

To be positive and have your body and mind function properly you need to get enough rest and relaxation. Start taking care of your body. Your body is yours for life, take care of it! If you don’t take care of it now, you will have to bear the consequences later on. By taking care of your body and loving yourself, you will become happier! Exercise, meditate, take a yoga class or a walk in the park, whatever makes you feel positive!

2- Count your blessings

Take a moment each and every day to be thankful for all your blessings. Think about everything in a positive manner. You can make today better than yesterday and tomorrow even better than today! Be grateful, it is an amazing way to give back to your own energy.

3- Live your life!

You need to concentrate on yourself. Stop living your life according to other people’s expectation. Think about it, if you fulfilled everyone else’s expectation, would you be happy? I can assure you, you will not! Live life according to your expectation and you will find it more fulfilling than leading any other kind of life. Stop looking at social media and what everyone else is doing and what they have in their lives. Be happy for them and focus on your life.

4- Keep your eyes focused on the bright side of life

Stop being a pessimist! We all have trials in life it is how you respond to them that matters most. If you are always thinking negative thoughts, you will manifest negativity. Start thinking of positive thoughts instead and watch the energy shift on your life. Everyday speak to yourself in a positive way, adopt a new mantra such as “Amazing things happen to me every day” or “My life is a gift, I am grateful for all I have” and you will soon manifest positivity. You have to mean what you say and be consistent, trust me you will soon see the results!

5- Love unconditionally

Love your family and friends unconditionally. When you are giving unconditional love, you are actually manifesting love and you too will get it back in return manifold! Your relationships in life will also improve!

These are my five proven tips on manifesting happiness. Try it yourself today and soon positivity, happiness and love will be flowing into your life.

Meditation and Manifestation


Natural Ways To Lose Belly Fat

Natural Ways to Lose Belly Fat.

With all the diet pills and other weight loss programs being offered out there, it can be tempting to think that there is no natural way to lose belly fat. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The only long-term solution to toning up is through adopting a healthy eating and exercise program along with a more positive lifestyle. Everything else from weight loss surgery to quick fad diets is a quick fix and probably not the best choice.

In addition to doing abdominal exercises and cardio to lose belly fat you need to be more aware of what you eat. You should eat little and often aiming to have up to six small meals a day. This will accomplish a number of things not least avoiding bloating and cravings, two things that can put off even the most determined dieter. Obviously, you will need to make better choices and follow a sensible eating plan.

Take time to enjoy your food rather than grabbing a quick meal at a fast food restaurant or a frozen or processed dinner in front of your favorite TV show, this is a huge calorie consumer because people tend to eat mindlessly while focusing on the show and not what they are actually eating, also try not to snack straight from the container while sitting in front of the tv or computer, always put the portion in a bowl. Cooking your own food rather than relying on processed or restaurant meals will help you to lose pounds and slim down too. Taking your time and savoring every mouthful and chewing your food will help you to lose weight as well as you are far more likely to stop eating when you are full rather than just finishing what is on your plate.

Drink plenty of water as our brains often confuse hunger with thirst. If you have recently eaten but still feel hungry try drinking a glass of non-carbonated filtered water. You will often find that the “hunger pangs” go away as you quench your thirst. Don’t drink a lot with your meals though as the water will dilute the digestive juices, slowing down the whole digestion process and causing waste retention which can lead to gas and bloating. And above all, do not drink soda and sugary drinks.

Steer clear of empty calories when trying to lose stomach fat. These are found in alcohol and fizzy drinks. They have no nutritional value and will play havoc with your plan for firm abs. Having some self-control and learning to say no to some of your favorite foods will help you lose tummy fat. We can all fall in bad habits such as having biscuits every time we have a cup of tea. Cutting out these small snacks will help to reduce your overall calorie intake and thus help you to drop pounds.

But all of the above is worthless unless you start increasing the amount of physical activity you do. You need to add weight training in order to firm up those abs. You need to increase the amount of aerobic exercise as well to increase your overall fitness level but also to help you tone up your whole body, not just the belly area. Speak to the trainer in your local gym about the areas of your body that you particularly want to change and he will help you to develop a workout to target these. Given some time and motivation you will find that the natural way to lose belly fat is the best albeit it might not be the quickest! Here’s to a healthy, fit and toned new you!

Weight loss and belly fat

How Your Body Rebuilds Muscles During Sleep

This month I have a guest blogger, her name is Samantha Kent from  The title is How Your Body Rebuilds Muscles During Sleep.

Ever tried to go to sleep with a throbbing thigh or a swollen ankle? Muscle strains and sprains are painful, which can make it hard to fall asleep. However, sleeping seems to affect the speed at which your muscles recover. If you want to get back on your feet faster, your best solution may be to go back to bed for a few hours.

Many athletes can’t make time for sleep between a busy training schedule or other responsibilities. However, sleeping less than seven hours per night has been linked to multiple chronic diseases, such as diabetes and depression. In the short term, it can make you irritable and less happy about training. Also, sleep deprivation may impede your ability to recover from injuries.

Of course, if you increase your hours of sleep each night, the improvements in your athletic performance can be immediate and dramatic.

More Sleep, Improved Performance

The benefits of increasing the number of hours that you sleep may extend beyond healing your muscles faster. In one study, a basketball coach added a new requirement to the training regimen – sleep at least 10 hours each night. Well rested basketball players had faster reaction times and reported less fatigue, as expected. More surprising, their shot accuracy improved and those surveyed said that their physical and mental well-being was better after the sleep extension.

Why Sleep Is So Essential

Everyone knows that sleeping makes your muscles feel better after a while, though the feeling of lying in bed may be uncomfortable. However, scientists are now hypothesizing about the chemical processes that occur during sleep. One study suggests that certain chemicals, like growth factor 1, aren’t released as much when you’re sleep deprived. Since these components have a role in regenerating muscles, sleep loss may lead to muscle loss.

So, in addition to eating your protein (which has been demonstrated to help muscle recovery), make time for a few more hours of rest when you’re trying to recover from a hard workout or injury.

How to Rest Better

Aching muscles can keep you awake at night, but they need sleep to recover. You can overcome this situation by focusing on improving your sleep habits and comfort level in bed.

First, keep a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends. Your body calibrates its internal clock using many mechanisms, but it likes consistency. If you go to bed at 9 p.m. each night, your body will learn to start releasing sleep hormones, like melatonin, at that time. Even if you’re in pain from a rough workout, the melatonin release will help ease you into slumber.

Second, make sure your bedroom is comfortable. People need different firmness mattresses depending on their body weight and preferred sleeping position. Check mattress reviews to see if your bed is a good fit for the way that you sleep. Another way to make your room more restful is to minimize distracting light and sounds. Blackout curtains and a white noise machine may help.

Lastly, don’t exercise right before bed. In the summer, it can be tempting to wait for the cooldown of the sunset before working out. However, the rush of hormones from exercise can make it difficult to fall asleep afterward. If you must do some activity in the evening, keep it light, like easy yoga or stretching.

These tips should help you get the sleep you need to recover from tough workouts and feel better soon.

Guest Blogger @