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Makes sense, right? Of course not! And because you thought “no!”, you should instantly hit reblog because this seems to be how Hobby Lobby and the Supreme Court ruling today make it look! So disgusted with this. I’ve been seeing and reading stuff on the recent Hobby Lobby ruling all day and I can’t help but be embarrassed by it. How does the inclusion of the attacked contraceptives in health plans “substantially” burden the exercise of religion? (If you aren’t aware, Hobby Lobby prides itself on Christian values and also is a strong opposer of gay marriage). If it’s against your beliefs, don’t force that on a group of employees that keep your business running.

The fact that individuals are having health care barriers placed in front of them is pathetic. Isn’t our health care system complicated enough as it is? Health is something we all have in common, so shouldn’t we all be fighting to all have the right to access the care/services/etc. that we need? Everyone faces their own struggles. If barriers were placed in front of the medical needs of families like those who own hobby lobby because it was against someone else’s religion/beliefs, I bet they’d have a different view on it. We are not all the same and businesses do not deserve the right to tell a woman (or anyone) that her health needs are not important.

Here are a couple quick links if you feel out of the loop on the issue:

Supreme Court Rules for Hobby Lobby’s Contraception Challenge

What the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision Means (CNN)

Hobby Lobby Wins Contraceptive Ruling in Supreme Court (ABC)

Let’s lose the negative stigma that comes with doing anything “Like a Girl.” Young girls (and boys!) should be exposed to positive messages that build them up and not ones that suggest that one gender/sex is better than another. Stereotyping of any type, including gender stereotypes, benefit no one - let’s break them! Thanks for a great campaign #Always!

(Source: always.com)

What #100HappyDays Meant to Me.

Over the course of my participation in the 100 Happy Days project, several people mentioned how inspiring my participation was to them. Now that the 100 days have passed, I have spent some time reflecting on what this project meant to me. Hopefully I will even encourage a few of you to try it out as well.

I am guessing that if you are reading this you know a little about this project, but if not, here is a very simplistic explanation: Each day, for 100 days, post a picture of something that made you happy that day.  As someone who loves pictures and has a pretty optimistic and happy outlook on life, I loved the project idea. Aside from that, I had several question marks in my life when I started and it seemed like the perfect project to turn the question marks into exclamation points.

A few days into the project I set a daily alarm on my phone that would remind me to make a post for the project in case the business of a day let it slip by me. Well now the project has ended and I still have the alarm set. Why? Because what I took from the project was valuable and shouldn’t be lost after 100 days, it should be a habit.

The first week or so was easy. It was fresh in my mind and I sought out the great things in those days. Inevitably though, those days come that are busy and sometimes, dare I say it, there are bad days – ones where life just seems to be getting the best of you and forcing you to put up a fight. You know what? That’s okay, it’s life. What did I do on those days? I posted my happy day post. That’s what I found to be the beauty of the project. On those days, the project was more important than on the days where life was grand. It persuaded me to find the happiness in the day. “Maybe the day wasn’t great, but what got you through it?” This is the question I would ask myself. Maybe it was a hug, maybe it was the simple coffee for a tired day, maybe it was knowledge that something good was on your horizon. Sometimes it was a quote that captured what you needed to remind yourself of in order to keep going.

Happiness is a perspective, an attitude, a habit of sorts – this is the perfect summary. I changed my perspective on the hard days to find it. It truly became a habit to look at each moment and when possible capture it in a photograph that I could reflect on when I want to remember the great blessings I have in life. Happiness truly showed to be a habit. Now each night when my alarm goes off to post my 100happydays, I find that I take a moment to reflect on the day – sometimes it’s a few seconds, sometimes it’s a few minutes. The project may be finished for me, but what I took from it will not be lost. If I can share a perspective, attitude and habit of happiness with others I will be grateful.

100HappyDays isn’t about having 100 great and wonderful days – it’s about finding something to smile about in each one of them, the good and the bad. It’s about creating a mindset of positivity and training yourself to find the happiness perspective, attitude and habit. Try it out! Set an alarm and start sharing with others what  makes you happy and what gets you through your days. Here’s the great part – this is for you. If you miss a day, you won’t be punished. Just jump back on the next day. Sometimes you’re too busy being happy and enjoying life to post and that is what it’s all about – doing what you love, living life and finding the happiness in its chaos. Here’s to #morehappydays.

 

While some jobs have people on their feet and moving all day, others of us can be stuck behind a desk and only have a short 30 minutes to eat lunch and, if we’re lucky, get some exercise into our day. So how do we make the most of our 30 minutes? Well, I find it’s easiest to cheat a little! Yes - I’m encouraging you to cheat your lunch - here’s how:

  • Pack a variety of food in your lunch. For example, I usually pack a small tupperware of salad or a sandwich for the main portion, then a mixture of nuts, crackers, carrots, apples (any fruits really), granola bars and anything that is easy to eat throughout the day
  • First 5-10 minutes: Eat the salad or sandwich (or main course), whichever takes the longest or deserves the most attention to eat.
  • Remaining 20 or 25 minutes: Go Walk! It takes no more than a minute to slide into your tennis shoes. I often wear layers in the summer so I can take off a cardigan and walk in a tank top on the hot summer days. I use the MapMyRun app to calculate when I’ve walked about a half mile and then turn around from wherever I am. It only takes about 15-17 minutes to walk a mile at a decent pace! If you don’t have an app, just keep an eye on the watch. 
  • Cheat and Eat: Now that ‘lunch’ is over (and congrats, you’ve walked a mile!) it’s time for the cheating part. Throughout the afternoon I casually eat the remainder of my lunch. It keeps me attentive and fueled from the afternoon slump, especially now that my heart rate is elevated. I often find that I don’t eat everything I’ve packed. I almost consider the lunch walk as a way to discourage overeating! 

After a lunch walk, you will be amazed at how much more alert you feel. At my job I have ways to measure my productivity and it always increases after I’ve been out moving around. Best part? If I don’t have time for a workout in the morning or night, I don’t feel guilty because I know that I got a good mile of walking in at lunch. I try to minimize my phone use on my walks, as I get plenty of screen time during my work hours, but somedays I have things to do and it happens. If lunch is your social time, walk with a friend! Agree to meet about 10 minutes into lunch and walk and talk as much as you please! 

Try it out - even if it’s only a couple days a week! Your eyes, mind, and overall body will thank you!

The World as 100 People: Such a ‘tangible’ way to look at the world, its people and how we all differ. Often numbers in the thousands, millions, and billions seem too large to comprehend, but when you break it down to just 100 people, suddenly some facts seem to be significantly more powerful, such as 48 people in the world live on $2 or less a day . It’s important not to lose sight of the diversity in our world - good and bad. It’s important in building an open minded and conscious person, and in health education efforts across the globe. http://www.100people.org/index.php 

So happy to see something like this exists. A neurologist, along with some well known artists in the Hip Hop industry came together to make health education not only fun, but memorable for kids. Who doesn’t remember those school lessons that were learned with a song?! This is just one of many songs from the group. From Stroke to Calories to Physical Activity, they bring important messages to a level that kids can understand. The following link will take you to the kids page (I created an account so I could see the videos, comics, games and more - it just took a username and password!): www.hiphoppublichealth.org. More information about the Hip Hop Public Health Project and those behind it can be found here: www.hhph.org

After watching two of the videos, I found the songs stuck in my head, which can only be promising for educating kids! Health educators, camp directors, school educators, parents and so many more people should be aware of fun educational tools like these.

The Kind Campaign is marking the 10 year anniversary of the Mean Girls movie with this campaign: You CAN Sit With Us. It’s a beautiful message and powerful twist to a quote from the movie that many girls know all too well: You CAN’T sit with us. Fight to end girl-on-girl bullying by sharing this photo from the Kind Campaign. Every girl (and boy, for that matter) should be welcome at the table. Www.kindcampaign.com. Follow them on instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well!

I typically make smoothies at home, but currently am unable to do so. Knowing I would need breakfast on the run in the morning, I went to my local food coop for a smoothie. I picked up two bottles on the shelf and could not believe the ingredient list on the Bolthouse smoothie. At home I use spinach and/or Kale, two to five fruits, occasionally another vegetable or two, then a tablespoon of Greek yogurt and a small amount of almond milk. So few ingredients. So why do some companies use so many? I was happy to find the second smoothie with ingredients I both recognized and could pronounce. Smoothies are often seen as a healthy alternative, but unfortunately they can often be loaded with added ingredients! While many sugars are natural, be careful - the sugars do add up and the ingredient list will inform you of any added sugars, which you would want to avoid. Read the labels and remember: A healthy concept doesn’t always make a healthy product!

I saw this on Upworthy today and all I can say is rock on Amy Poehler! One of my favorite pieces of advice in this is when she says to talk about your own body like you were talking to your sister or friend about theirs. Such a great perspective! I say look in the mirror and become friends with that person - it will be good to have them when you’re ready we in life or need to celebrate and be happy. Love yourself :)

Whether you’re 3 or 103, being active and getting outside is important for physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual health. Don’t lose the spirit and curiosity to explore, move and find joy in the natural and simple pleasures of life. When I see a swing, I still want to swing. When I see a tree, I still desire to climb. When I look out a window, I am still motivated to move to the other side. Whatever it is for you, fulfill it. I promise, your TV and game stations are far less invested in your relationship than you - it may be time to reassess your playstation.

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