A hundred years ago, it must have been easier to focus. Today is a different story- just walk down a city street and your attention can be pulled in 500 directions. Bright LCD billboards, advertisements in every store window, brand names and symbols on every car, t-shirt and pair of shoes all vie for your attention. Not to mention the smartphones that keep silence out of our lives with texts, phone calls, and emails following us literally everywhere we go. We can hardly have a complete conversation with someone face to face without a cell phone interrupting. Want a list of more common distractions? Recently, something in an article about meditation jumped out at me. It said that regular meditation, even for just 2 months, already helps the brain out. It actually makes the memory center of the brain - called the hippocampus - bigger! Chronic stress, on the other hand, actually makes the hippocampus smaller. Tips to help you focus: Get enough sleep Exercise regularly Take breaks regularly Try meditating Try using airplane mode on your phone for a set amount of time Choose a place where you will not be interrupted Set priorities (what is really the most important?) and manage your time so that you can be 100% present in what you are doing. The most important things will plague your mind all day, so take care of those first. Communicate to your friends and loved ones when you will be able to respond to their call or texts; you don't have to do it right away (unless it is a work phone and part of your job). Jot down nagging thoughts that won't leave your mind alone & deal with them later. Have more ideas on how to focus? Please comment below! :)
It's the kind of question that our mothers harass us with. When we voice our answer, doctors stare at us disapprovingly. This is also the reason we avoid dietitians, or outright lie to nurses and grandmothers. When you're old, you won't want to move much anyway, right? What am I talking about? Calcium! It's National Osteoporosis Day, so in the spirit I calculated yesterday's calcium intake: Almost Zero (you know, if you count a piece of cake or 2 miscellaneous eggs). As much as I'd like to ignore this and pretend I get plenty of calcium, I don't want to have a hunchback at 60 years old. My great aunt is 90 and still travels the world! Talk about inspiring. So how do you get more calcium? And not just in your diet - how do you make sure it gets into your bones and stays there, after you're old and prone to falling from natural declines in your sense of balance? I'll give you a hint: dairy doesn't make your bones any less frail. So what are good sources of calcium, then? Click the link, or read on: leafy greens (especially kale), nuts (almonds!), seeds, soy, and white beans. See Whole Food's list for more ideas. Exercise is also great for strengthening bones, but it needs to be weight-bearing, like these workout ideas (floating in the pool doesn't count). Try yoga, running, or dancing! Do you have any favorite workouts or calcium-rich recipes?