Healthy Resolution Ideas to Set for Your New Year

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Happy New Year, LifeVest friends! We’re excited to kick off 2015 with you, and want to take the time today to help you create some healthy goals for the year ahead. Goal-setting is important for driving motivation and focus so you can stay on the path towards a healthy, happy you. As they say, New Year, New You. Determine the “you” that you want to become, and then set the goal(s) that will take you there. A dream written down becomes a plan you can achieve.

While resolution-making is a common New Year tradition – 40% of Americans will set one this month –  we know getting started can often feel like a challenge. We’ve got some ideas for you below to help get the wheels spinning. Choose one, or use it to inspire your own goal-making for finding health and happiness this year. Let’s see those dreams to reality, together!

Your 3-step plan:

  1. Choose a goal.
  2. Make it specific. Perhaps your over-arching goal is to “lose weight” or “get healthy” or “be happier”. To make that objective achievable, break it down into smaller goals. Consider setting a different goal to focus on for each month of the year that will take you towards your larger goal.
  3. Write it down. Putting pen to paper is proven to make you more successful in actually achieving your plan.

Healthy Ideas to Get You Started: Read the rest of this entry »

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2014 Health: Renew with the Chinese New Year

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Today marks the 2014 Chinese New Year, ushering in the year of the horse. It also stands as the one month marker from when you set your resolutions at the outset of the month. This is a great time to revisit those goals and evaluate whether or not you’ve been staying on track.

Use the Chinese New Year to renew and refresh. Whether you’re still riding pretty or you’ve seem to fallen off your horse, it’s never too late to pump up the energy and really put your goals into action. Haven’t set a resolution yet? We can all benefit from working towards positive initiatives. Make the Chinese New Year your New Year, and spend some time today to declare a resolution.

Need some extra inspiration? Following are some ways to use the year of the horse to your advantage.

  • Giddy up [off the couch]: The horse is part of a 12-year cycle of animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. Each hold different characteristics bestowed to those born in that year. A primary one for those in a horse year is “energy”. Yee-haw.

It is said that this year, all past horse babies will embody an even extra amount of vitality. Good for them. But what does that mean for the rest of us? Well, it’s simply a good excuse to try to tap into some of that energy for ourselves. Let this year be the year you establish a regular workout routine, and find the exercise that fits you best. Whether it’s unwinding after a day of work with an evening yoga class, getting up bright and early for an awakening morning walk, hitting the tennis courts on a Saturday afternoon, or joining a group class, there are tons of ways to get active. Allow yourself to try new activities until you find the one(s) that fits you best. Research shows that exercise fights fatigue, meaning we call all make this the year of our most energized self. The key is just a bit of regular movement! Yee-haw to that too.

  • Taste the tradition: While our New Year seems to be more about imbibing brews and booze, the Chinese New Year is one filled with culinary traditions. Many of the foods they use to signify good luck could also bring your body good health. Plan a celebratory dinner that starts out with a plate of long, leafy greens, meant to signify and wish upon a long life for your parents. Check out this recipe for Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce. Tackle a whole fish for the main event of the meal. The word for fish in Chinese sounds like, and is associated, with the word for abundance. It’s important that the fish be kept whole to represent a good start and finish and to avoid bad luck throughout the year. This recipe for Fragrant Steamed Fish with ginger and scallions from PopSugar sounds like a winner to us. Finish with a simple dessert of fresh oranges, which denote luck and wealth. Bonus points if they still have their leaves, a symbol of longevity.
  • Keep your house pure and clean: It’s Chinese tradition to thoroughly sweep every corner of the house before and after the New Year to rid it of bad luck and negativity. (Take note: don’t clean on the actual New Year, today, for this is said to sweep away good luck!) While cold weather lurks, dance around with your broom, and burn some calories while doing it. This is also a good time to take a look at your cupboards and rid them of unneeded junk. After all, your body is your true home, meaning it’s the most important thing to keep clean if you want to embody good fortune. Let’s raise a green smoothie to that.

Wishing you all a prosperous year ahead, Gong Xi Fa Cai.


14 Soup Recipes to Jumpstart 2014

“Lose weight.” Year after year, this remains the top ranking resolution made by goal-setters across the nation. Perhaps you’ve made that goal once or twice yourself. Maybe it tops your list every January. As part of the process towards becoming your healthiest self, it’s not a bad aspiration to lay out on the table. But lay it out, and spread it out, you must.

The hard truth is, 35% of us who make New Year’s resolutions break them by the end of the first month. And only 23% of everyone who makes a resolution will fully see it through to completion. So what’s the solution to sticking with your resolution? If you want to avoid putting the same goal on repeat every New Years, you need to break your objective down into small, achievable steps.

When it comes to losing weight, that means drawing up specific plans geared towards both your diet and exercise routine. What better place to start than in your soup bowl? We’re calling it your healthy eating soup-lution.

Whether striving to slim down or not, soup can be a great way to detox without feeling like you want to scream “more ice cream please.” We could all benefit from eating a bit healthier, and nowhere in that goal should depriving yourself be included. Juice diets? No thank you. At LifeVest, we’re all about drinking our juice, and having some soup, too. Check out these 14 soup recipes to jumpstart your 2014 in a warm & healthy, satisfying style. Consider making a plan to cook up one per week. Small steps like this can help you stick to your health-based goals, and make your big picture ideas come to life.

14 Soup Recipes to Jumpstart 2014

Soups to Jumpstart your New Year

Coconut Sweet Potato Spinach Soup via Many Kitchens

Read the rest of this entry »