Category Archives: Wellness Articles

Best Seated Office Exercises For Energy and Performance

Instantly energize your work day and improve your performance with this quick routine of the best seated Office Exercises.

Best Office Exercises For Energy

Photo Credit Mark Kuroda

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Putting in too much time in the chair is dangerous, yet so many of us are pulling crazy hours at work and our health is paying for it. Spending too much time sitting has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and earlier death. Not to mention the rising increase of desk job related injuries like: carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, frozen shoulders, wrist strain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, hip pain, and lower back pain.

We are built to move. It’s stress and not moving that is the hardest on our bodies and health long term.

Have you ever had an achy back from a long day of sitting? Or a serious headache from too much time staring at a computer screen? Lucky for you the solution is simple and doesn’t require a ton of time. I am here because I want to help you feel better. And I promise you: simply taking the time to move more will dramatically improve how your body feels.

Living a more active life starts with a mindset shift. You have to be willing to drop the all-or-nothing mindset and look for ways to get moving every chance you get. Exercise is not limited to your workouts. Don’t aim only to be active for 30 minutes three times a week—aim to integrate more activity into your daily life. Doing so will help keep you mobile, happy, and fit. You’ll be up for anything—a mover who can handle life’s challenges with ease.

I want to teach you some of my favorite Office Exercises that can be done anywhere for improved energy and performance. These simple movements can be integrated throughout your work day to ease tight, tense muscles and relieve stress. Use the entire video routine or pick your favorite exercises to mix into your busy day to help yourself be your best. I loved filming this routine for you and I hope it serves you in work, wellness, and life.

The Best Office Exercises for Energy and Performance Video Routine

Remember: Wellness is so much more than preventing disease and living longer. It’s the secret to thriving in work and being fully engaged in life. I believe personal well-being drives professional well-being. The healthier you are in your life, the better you are in your life.  

“We have been living under a collective delusion for a long while now that burnout is necessary for success, that if you really are serious about succeeding, building a company, climbing the career ladder, then you just have to accept that’s going to require burning the candle at both ends.”- Arianna Huffington

There is a more sustainable course to success — one that allows time for health, personal fulfillment, joy and giving back. In fact, prioritizing well-being and happiness can actually make you better at your job. You have time for a few quick exercises at work. By taking a little time for yourself and prioritizing your health you will find incredible benefits. 
I want to help you “work smarter not harder” to achieve both professional and personal goals. I am here to help you to continue to develop healthy habits that give you strength and allow you to take care of yourself so that you can thrive in work, wellness, and in life. Next time you are feeling tired or stressed at work, try this simple video routine of Office Exercises and let me know if it helps in the comments below. Make movement a priority in your work day and help yourself perform better.

I hope this video routine serves you in feeling and being your best. If you liked this video, hit LIKE, share it, and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more feel good fitness. 

I’m on a mission to be a positive force for preventative health and help be the change in work wellness. Learn about my corporate wellness services here and contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com to discuss ways we can work together to improve the health of your company.

Caroline

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It gives me great joy to help people enhance their success through health. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the health of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

Foods and Supplements To Help Heal From a Bone Fracture or Injury

Foods and Supplements to Speed Healing From a Bone Break or Injury.

What are foods and supplements you can take to help speed healing from a bone break or injury? Here are some of the foods and supplements I’ve used to help my body heal.

injury-bone-heal

As some of you know I fractured my Sesamoid bone in July 2016. When it happened, I had no idea how serious of an injury it was. I thought I’d be back in no time. I was wrong. I later learned that a Sesamoid injury can often be a lifelong struggle for many athletes and active individuals. But recovery IS possible and I am determined to be one of the success stories.

Recovery from a bone break or serious foot injury like the Sesamoid is a long, tortuous process. It is often an emotional roller coaster of ups and downs; good and bad days. Taking a proactive approach to healing has helped me stay positive and focused throughout this challenge. It helps me to know I am doing everything I can to be good to my body and promote healing. This means making sure to follow all of my physical therapy exercises, listen to my body’s needs, eat a nutrient rich diet, invest in healing supplements, rest, and work on keeping my mind in a peaceful place. The mindset piece of injury recovery really is the hardest part – staying positive, patient, and focusing on what you can do to make progress really helps.

I filmed several hurt foot workout videos for my Youtube channel throughout this recovery. These exercise videos are safe to do with a foot, ankle, or toe injury. Creating this content helped me connect to others who are experiencing the similar pain and frustration of injury. Knowing I could contribute in helping someone else through a challenging time lifted my spirits and reading the kind comments below the videos is often the fuel that keeps me moving forward. It’s a full circle – the best exercise for the heart is reaching down and lifting someone else up. I am so grateful for my community online and off who has been my support system throughout this process.

heal from bone injury with these foods

I hope to use all of the valuable experiences I’ve gained from this injury to help others through my work. I feel that the lessons I’ve learned (and continue to learn) can help others who face a painful injury in life. 

If you are struggling with an injury right now I want you to know: you are not alone. I know how you feel and my heart goes out to you! I want to share the foods and supplements that have helped me in healing from bone break injury in hope that my story can help you in some way.  Of course, everyone’s needs are different, so always consult with a doctor / nutritionist before changing your diet or adding supplements. These recommendations are based off my own personal bone break injury recovery experience. I share them with you with the hope that the resources below help you stay positive, make progress, and recover to full health.

bone break foods

Foods and Supplements to Help Heal From Bone Break or Fracture

Following an anti-inflammatory, high quality, nutrient rich diet is a powerful way to support your body in recovering from a bone break, fracture, or injury. There are also a few specific foods and supplements that can further aid in the process. Here are the foods and supplements I have found to be most effective.

  • Vitamin D. The jury is still out on whether or not vitamin D supplementation actually leads to bone healing after a fracture, but evidence suggests that a vitamin D deficiency often plays a role in broken bones. In that way, vitamin D does play a role in bone healing, at the very least indirectly. If you have a broken bone, getting out in the sun is ideal because getting vitamin D directly from sunlight is really important for bone growth. I did this a lot with my injury in the beginning – I made an effort to go out by the pool and get sunshine! During the wintertime, investing in a Sun Therapy Lamp can help in healing (and seasonal depression).  You can also take 5,000 IUs of vitamin D twice a day for three months to help heal broken bones fast.
  • Calcium. Calcium is an essential structural component of the skeleton, which makes it vital for both health and bone healing. That’s why a calcium deficiency can contribute to broken bones — and why eating more calcium rich foods can aid bone healing naturally. You can get calcium from green leafy foods like spinach, broccoli, kale, arugula, and raw fermented dairy products. In addition to eating calcium rich foods, I like to take a calcium supplement to ensure I’m getting enough. 
  • Magnesium. In order for your body to even use calcium, you also have to have magnesium because research shows magnesium and calcium metabolism are closely related. Eat magnesium rich foods like green leafy vegetables, Flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds, Grass-fed beef, Swiss chard, Almonds, Avocados, and Black beans. You can also add a magnesium supplement, I take the Source naturals magnesium daily. 
  • Vitamin C. Many studies tout the benefits of vitamin C on bone healing. Eat foods rich in vitamin C like vegetable juices, orange juice, true oranges, lemons, bell peppers, kiwis, broccoli and asparagus.
  • Protein. Getting enough protein is always important, but especially when you are healing from an injury. Bone is made of living protein upon which mineral crystals are implanted. By volume, about 50% of bone is protein. When a bone fracture takes place, the body starts collecting protein building blocks to create new bone. Increasing protein consumption promotes growth factors such as insulin like growth, which has a positive effect on skeletal integrity, muscle strength, immune response, and bone renewal. Make sure you know and work to meet your daily protein requirement with high quality nutrition. I follow a healthy, clean diet and supplement extra protein in recipes with all natural, plant based Vega protein powder (its my favorite). Getting enough protein ensures that your body has what it needs to repair and restore.
  • Collagen. I was really skeptical about collagen at first, but then I purchased a bottle at Whole Foods Market, and have been hooked ever since. Collagen is the mechanical strength of bone. It helps to build bone matrix, repair connective tissues for improved elasticity, improve blood vessel circulation, and promote wound healing. I take 6 capsules of Super Collagen+C Type 1 and 3 in the morning before breakfast. I also put Nunaturals collagen in my morning bowl of oatmeal for an extra dose. It doesn’t have a taste, but makes the oatmeal super thick!
  • Turmeric. Turmeric supports a healthy inflammatory response and heart, joint & liver function. You can add turmeric spices to foods / recipes or take a supplement to promote healing. I take the Gaia herbs turmeric supreme 3 times per day with meals. I’ve also tried taking Curamin (main active ingredient in turmeric) directly. I feel both have made a difference in my healing. 
  • Bone broth. Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation. It is a rich source of chondroitin sulfate, which has an anti-inflammatory effect and has been found to also help alleviate joint pain, improve blood circulation, promote intestinal healing, help in calcium- or- magnesium-deficiency-related insomnia, irritability, fatigue and anxiety. I prefer this brand because it’s low in sodium, but there are a lot of options to purchase at your local market and healthy ways to cook up your own at home. 
  • Apple Cider Vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is considered to be a potent remedy for illnesses and overall health. You can read all about it’s diverse and incredible health benefits here. I drink an apple cider vinegar detox drink every day and swear by it’s magic powers.
  • Epsom Salt. Taking regular epsom salt baths has been powerful for me in dealing with pain and promoting recovery. Epsom salt contains magnesium and sulfates which help flush toxins, improve absorption of nutrients, help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins. I take a hot bath several times a week to promote circulation and healing. 
  • Arnica. Arnica functions as anti trauma aid and can be taken immediately after fracture.
  • Zheng Gu Shui. You’ve probably never heard of zheng gu shui but let me tell you: it’s a game changer. Zheng Gu Shui  translates to ‘mending bone water’ in English. Zheng Gu Shui is a liniment especially designed to relieve pain associated with fractures, bruises and other types of mild trauma. I put the ointment on my foot nightly and also found it helpful with sore muscles, aches, and pains.

A quality bone healing diet consists of lots of nutrient dense anti-inflammatory foods, vitamins, and minerals. It’s important to stay away from foods that tend to be overly acidic, conventional meat and dairy products, alcohol, excess sodium, and sugar (which is the DEVIL and creates inflammation). Those will acidify your body and actually leach minerals out of your body and cause your bone healing and growth to slow down.  If you want even more insight in how to fuel your success, I highly recommend JJ Virgin’s work. This video is one of my all time favorite resources to share with clients.

Exercise can also Speed Bone Break Fracture Healing!
Exercise is an important way to accelerate fracture healing. The healing process requires good blood circulation, and a satisfactory flow of nutrient replenishing blood to the bone break fracture area. However, your exercise choices need to be SAFE and not put ANY stress on the bone break fracture. Check out my hurt foot workouts to help get ideas on exercises you can do with a hurt foot or injury. 

I know how incredibly frustrating and challenging dealing with a bone break or an injury can be. It helps to stay positive, patient, and focus on the steps you can take right now to move forward. It’s a long, slow, process but I know this for sure: you will grow stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually from the injury challenges you face. Have faith, practice patience, trust the journey, and take small steps in healing every day. Be kind to yourself and treat your body, mind, and spirit with love. If you need more tips to help keep your mind in good shape while you heal, read “How to Stay positive with an Injury”.

Your turn: Have you found these foods or supplements helpful in your own life? What have you found to be most effective in healing from injury?

I hope this post serves you in feeling your best. I want you to know that I am cheering for you.

Stay strong and stay positive my friends.

Love,

Caroline

For more support in living your best life, check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape.

If you liked this post or have a loved one who could benefit, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

The #1 Secret to New Year’s Resolution Success

Want to be a New Year’s Resolution success? Read on for my top coaching steps on how to be a New Year’s Resolution success and the #1 secret to make your positive resolution results last. 

new years resolution success

Did you know only 8% of people that set a resolution actually achieve their goals?  92% of people have good intentions but just abandon them after a few weeks or so.

We can do better than that. I know it.

And 2017 is the year to make what you want HAPPEN.

I want to help you succeed and make your goals a reality! I want to help you be the person you want to be. What do you want for your life in 2017? Here are my top coaching steps on how to be a New Years Resolution success and the #1 secret to make your positive resolution results last. 

Steps for New Years Resolution Goal Success:

  • Create a clear vision. Creating a clear vision helps you choose where you want to go in life and motivates you even when the going gets tough. What is the outcome you want from your resolution? What will your life look like if you achieve your goal? That is your vision, the positive end result. 
  • Make a powerful visual reminder. Creating vision boards is considered by many to be a vital step on the road to success. Since positive, focused thinking is the key to achieving goals, pinpointing what those goals are and having something tangible to symbolize them is an essential part of the process.Read my guide on how to make a Vision Board for goals that have lasting power. I make one for every new year and swear by it’s magic powers.
  • Pace yourself. There’s no better way to get sick of something than to do it too much, too hard, and too often, to the exclusion of other pursuits and activities. Take your time and don’t hurry things. There’s no need to do several marathons in your first year of running or become fully sugar free in 30 days. Slowly build upon layers of learning, growing, and small wins. With that approach, you’ll be able to accomplish your resolutions without burning out.
  • Get SMART. Goals make resolutions real. Your resolutions need to be SMART to work: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time Bound. When helping clients set goals, I always tell them to act like a news reporter. If your goal was on the news, what would be the who, what, when, where, and why? Cover all the bases when defining and describing your goal. For example: Goal: “I want to get strong”Specific goal: “I will complete a strength routine using 10 to 20 exercises, targeting all my major muscle groups, for 20 minutes at least twice a week to build strength and fitness”Goal: “I will be less stressed.”Specific goal: “Every workday at 3:00 p.m. I will take a regular break to get outside, go for a walk, and de-stress.”Goal: “I will eat healthier meals.”

    Specific goal: “I will make a grocery list and shop every Saturday morning for at least five days of meals and snacks per week.” Or “I will use eatingwell.com for meal plans, grocery lists, recipes, and guides.”

    Having specific and measurable goals will lead to success, because the goals are attainable. It’s easier to make progress when you know you are making progress.

  • Avoid quick fixes and extremes. Quick-fix solutions like a “30-Day Diet,” “Fit in 5,” or “10 Days to Calm.”  are typically not sustainable long term and can lead to negative outcomes. When we expect immediate results or it’s too much to handle all at once, we get discouraged, burnt out, and quit. It doesn’t have to be that way, you can accomplish your resolutions without resorting to extremes. Just go about it in the right way. Customize your approach to your resolutions by setting SMART goals tailored to your personality, prefrences and unique lifestyle. Use chapter one of  Balanced Body Breakthrough to help you.
  • Come up with solutions for potential challenges. Think about what has gotten in your way in the past or potential excuses that might prevent you from achieving your goals. Forgetting? No time? Losing interest? Not knowing where to begin? Write down foreseeable challenges and create strategies in advance for dealing with them. That way you won’t get sidelined or lose forward momentum when they arise. Think ahead and be prepared to overcome obstacles on your path to success.
  • Drop the “all or nothing” mindset. This mentality sets you up to feel guilty eventually and is why so many people struggle to succeed. Expecting to stick to a structured plan for an extended period of time without ever deviating is unrealistic. Things happen and life can get in the way – through illness, other obligations, exhaustion, different opportunities, etc – it is impossible for everything to go “perfectly”. Let go of the black and white thinking and make achieveing your goals about progress not perfection.
  • Embrace mistakes. You can’t make positive change if you beat yourself up every time you mess up. Mistakes are part of the process. Whats important is what you choose to respond from slipups. Learn, grow, and pick yourself up. Mistakes are proof that you are trying and as long as you choose to grow better from each one, you’ll make progress. Remember it doesn’t matter if you fall down, it matters if you pick yourself back up.

All of the above will help you be a New Years Resolution success. But what’s the #1 key that will make all your positive accomplishments last?

Support 

This is the key.

When it comes to achieveing goals, people are generally accountable only to themselves and often that isn’t enough. Having a strong support network helps ensure that you will remain on track and maintain positive changes in your life. What people, resources, systems, and environments can you draw on to help you realize your resolutions, overcome challenges, and sustain positive change? Communicate your goals to your network and ask them to support you. Choose to surround yourself with people who have a positive impact on your lifestyle and goals. No person is an island, it’s truly challenging to accomplish goals or live a positive life without a community supporting your success.  Find your tribe and make your support network. You do not have to do this alone.

Every month, I host large events to help you connect with other positive people who can support your mental, physical, spiritual health. At these events you’ll meet others who can support you in your resolutions and in making 2017 healthy, happy, and fulfilling. Some of my closest relationships have come because of these meetups. My next event is January 10th 2017, a “ROCK YOUR RESOLUTION” workout to give you what you need to get 2017 started on a high note. Join the party and connect to those who can help you make the New Year better for you. Register here. 

What do you think is the #1 key for achieving a New Years Resolution goal? Let me know in the comments below. 

When we set out to achieve a New Years Resolution, change a habit, or bring a dream into being, ultimately we are involved in a bigger act of conscious self-creation. Rather than being stuck with the way we are now, we can actually choose the habits of the mind and the qualities of the soul we wish to be. We can consciously choose the behaviors and skills we wish to learn, the life we wish to have, and follow through to a successful conclusion. In this way, creating a new habit brings us to precious spiritual gifts: hope – that our future will be brighter than today through the efforts we make – and faith: that we can bring into being more of what we desire in ourselves and in our lives. What more do we need to weave a life of meaning, purpose, and beauty?

And while you’re out there making decisions instead of excuses, learning new things, and getting closer and closer to your goals, know that there are others out there, like me, who admire your efforts and are striving for greatness too. Each of us has the opportunity to change and grow till our very last breath. Keep going. Keep growing. Keep creating a life you love. I’m cheering for you my friend.

Wishing you a happy and blessed New Year,

Caroline

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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Struggling with the Holiday Blues? You are not alone. Here’s How to Cope.

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photo credit Kuroda Studios

Struggling with the Holiday Blues?

You are not alone. Here’s How to Cope. 

The holidays are hard.

Wait, did I just say that?

I know it’s supposed to be the “most wonderful time of year”, but I’m just going to be real with you. They can be hard for me. And hard for others too.

Sure on Facebook, everyone’s holidays look perfect. Shiny things and families smiling. But that’s just social media for you. Everything looks like a good time when you scroll online. Let’s be real. No one’s life is perfect like a Christmas card and sometimes a smile signals great strength despite life’s obstacles.

The holidays can trigger sadness, anxiety, stress, and depression for a lot of people (eight out of 10 Americans according to the American Psychological Association). I’m one of them. As a recovering perfectionistic people pleaser, the holidays often challenge me to stay well mentally. Over the years I’ve learned how to better work with the season and created self-care strategies to help me stay grounded, positive, and present (which I go into deeper detail in my book). But that doesn’t mean the holidays are a walk in the park.

For me, it helps to identify and be mindful of triggers to seasonal sadness so that I can better move through the holidays in health. Some “holiday blues” triggers include:

  • Financial Stress. Not enough money, fear of not having enough money, guilt around spending money, or feeling like you can’t afford to celebrate or give the gifts you want to give.
  • Too Much To Do. The added stress of events, shopping, and planning when you’re already overworked and tired can feel overwhelming. We try to fit everything into an already tight schedule which can be exhausting. When my plate is too full it makes me feel frazzled and burnt out. I feel defeated when I feel like I “can’t keep up with it all” or “half-ass” on commitments I want to be there for.  
  • Loneliness and Grief. Missing those we love, reminiscing on past memories, or facing deep emotional feelings. Tis the season. 
  • Interpersonal Relationships. There’s no such thing as the perfect family or relationship. The holiday’s can serve up a lot of psychological or emotional stress in dealing with complicated family/friend relationships.
  • Divorce/Breakup. If you’re newly divorced, the holidays may remind you of happier times and accentuate your grief. It’s especially difficult for children of divorce who have to balance seeing two sets of parents. The stress is multiplied for married children who have three or even four sets of parents to visit.
  • High Expectations. Expectations of a magical holiday season can create physical and mental stress. High expectations of a happy family gathering can end in disappointment. We put pressure on ourselves to make the holiday “perfect” and when it doesnt turn out the way we expect it to, we feel let down or sad. 
  • People Pleasing. Trying to be there for everyone and everything – can make you feel guilty and like you’re not doing enough.
  • Holiday Travel. Having to deal with airports, traffic, hotels, and getting from point A to point B during the busiest season for travel can be exhausting. Not to mention dealing with jetlag and maintaining your health while on the road.
  • SAD. Many people experience the blues during gloomy weather due to decreased sunlight, called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I am absolutely one of those people! Summer is my favorite holiday 🙂

Do any of the above factors make you feel stressed, burnt out, sad, sick, or depressed? Well let me tell you, you are not alone. I’m right there with you. But you can make the holidays easier on yourself by following the below tips for success.

Here are a few ways I’ve learned to handle holiday stress triggers and manage the season without losing my marbles:

  • Set reasonable expectations and let go of perfection. Don’t try to do too much or match some ideal of the “perfect” holiday. If you’re comparing your holidays to some abstract greeting card ideal, they’ll always come up short. Strive to keep expectations in balance and drop the need for perfect. The best moments happen when you stop to enjoy them and real is so much better than perfect.
  • Commit to self care. Whatever it takes, take care of yourself. When you are traveling make time for exercise. Commit to getting enough sleep as much as possible. Make time for rest and for yourself. Remember the old airplane order: You put your oxygen mask on first before you can take care of everyone else.
  • Don’t overbook! Leave space. It’s tempting to fill in every waking minute of the season with events.  Don’t do this to yourself.  Leave space. Not feeling overbooked and having space will significantly reduce your stress.
  • Practice healthy drinking habits. Alcohol is a depressant and can exacerbate feelings of stress and sadness. Too much alcohol can also interfere with healthy sleep and interrupt natural sleep cycles.  Not to mention, getting too drunk at your family event might not help you improve relationships. If you accidentally overdo it, read my “holiday hangover cure” here.
  • Move Your Body to Move Your Mood.  While the physical benefits of exercise are great, I exercise to keep my mind in good shape (especially during the holidays). Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce depression and anxiety, decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Endorphins really are the best natural happy drug in the world and even a short daily walk can have a big impact. If it’s too cold in your area to enjoy a walk or run, check out a fun group fitness class or press play on my youtube videos for effective, no-equipment needed home workouts. There are also dozens of smartphone apps that can also guide you through a workout and I include my favorites in my book.  
  • Nourish Yourself. There’s nothing that spells mental meltdown faster than going too long without a real meal (sorry, cheese and crackers at the holiday party do not count as a balanced diet). Make sure to get a solid breakfast, eat all the healthy vegetables you can, and commit to quality nutrition during this time. For me this means eating light, eating clean, and eating often. Keeping myself well fueled with real food helps me maintain my energy levels and keep stress at bay.  I have snacks on hand and prepare healthy dishes to bring to events so that I know I’ll have options.  Real food = happier mood and staying well fueled = keeping your cool.
  • Kick sugar to the curb. Processed white sugar is known to contribute to depression and can exacerbate the holiday blues. Plus sugar is toxic and causes stress on the body (no one likes a sugar hangover). When you begin to notice how what you eat affects how you feel, it becomes easier to make smarter choices with sugar. Being mindful of your sugar intake during the holidays can significantly help manage anxiety and boost your mood.
  • Budget your bucks and get creative with gifts. Overspending during the holidays can lead to continued stress down the road. Set spending limits and stick to them. Or get creative and give gifts that you can’t buy in a store (experiences, memories, homemade crafts, etc).
  • Limit Social Media. Even though you know that most people only post their happiest moments on social media, it’s easy to lose perspective and get a serious case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Comparison is the thief of joy and you can’t compare yourself to others’ highlight reels of their lives. Limit your consumption of Facebook, instagram, snapchat, and instead  reach out to your close friends via phone or text message when you feel like connecting with people. You’ll get more satisfaction from spending real, face time with people rather than scrolling down a feed of tons of people you haven’t seen in years.
  • Create time for yourself during family gatherings. This one is huge for me. I love people and get a lot of energy from social events, but if I don’t have mini breaks, I lose my sh*t. Take a walk outside, find a quiet corner in the house, or make a quick trip to the store to gather your thoughts and relax.
  • Reframe Your Holiday. If you feel isolated, it’s important to remember you’re still in charge of your life. The way to bring more abundance into your life is to give first. Find opportunities to volunteer. Meet people. Attend events. Instead of feeling left out of others’ holiday plans, think of the break as free time to do whatever you wants — even if that means spending the day at home making vision boards or watching movies.
  • Eliminate stress by pre-planning. Plan any shopping, errands, and cooking in advance. Setting a schedule and making priorities will prevent too much from piling up at the last minute.
  • Set Aside Differences. Christmas dinner at Aunt Maud’s house doesn’t have to be the annual free-for-all or tension-filled affair as in past years. Make a pact with yourself to accept family members and loved ones for who they are without any expectations. Hopefully, they will do the same for you. But if they don’t and someone tries to pick a fight, just smile and wish them a Merry Christmas. This is not the time to air grievances, although it might be a good time to walk away.If there is someone you haven’t spoken to in a while, send them a holiday card. You don’t have to say anything other than “thinking of you and wishing you well.” It will make both of you feel better.
  • Talk to someone. If you are feeling down during this time of year, seek support. It’s totally OK to ask for help and talk to someone.  Infact, if you are struggling with anxiety, sadness, depression, or your mind, talking to someone may feel like a huge breath of fresh air. Lean on a friend or family member you trust, or seek out a mental health professional. You can try an online service like Reflect, an incredible online talk therapy resource.
  • Renew Your Spirit. Wellness is so much more than being fit, it’s being fulfilled in spirit. Take the time to connect to the people, places, and things that help you feel most alive and find purpose in your life. If you need some guidance, read the Spirit section of my book which is filled with suggestions, tools, and resources to lift you up.

It took me a few years to personalize healthy lifestyle habits that help me manage seasonal stress and feel my best. So if you are struggling this year, take some solace in the fact that no one’s life is perfect and you are not alone. It can be the most bittersweet, highly charged time of year (even though that’s the part that we don’t talk about). But I’m positive that this can be your best holiday yet if you are open to changing some of your old traditions that bring you down and trying new holiday habits that can lift you up.

Want more tips so you can keep your mind in good shape no matter what life brings you next? Check out my new book  Balanced Body Breakthrough. There is an entire section of the book dedicated to mental wellbeing with tools, resources, and suggestions to keep your headspace in good shape. Wellness starts in the mind and spirit. Pick up your copy here and help your mind feel better.

Do you struggle to cope with any of the above? Are the holidays challenging for you too? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Wishing you a happy, healthy, and blessed holiday full of health. Always here for you –

Caroline

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Lessons On Living A Positive Life I Learned From My Mom

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On Mother’s Day, you might give your mom a book or a thoughtful card. You might call to tell her you love her. You might take a moment to reminisce about your fondest memories together.

But one of the greatest gifts you can give your mother is recognition. Whether it takes a few words or a few hours, acknowledging your mother’s hard work is music to her ears.

Today I’d like to take the time to acknowledge my Mom for being a positive, powerful influence in my life. Here are a few of the valuable lessons she has taught me on living well and being a happy person inside and out:

Lessons On Living A Positive Life I learned from my Mom:

  • Move your body. My mom taught me that taking care of your body is crucial to being the happiest person you can be.  If you don’t have your physical energy in good shape, then your mental energy (your focus), your emotional energy (your feelings), and your spiritual energy (your purpose) will all be negatively affected. Sure exercise keeps your weight in check and you feeling confident in your favorite pair of jeans. But exercise actually has the power to make you a happier person. Moving your body creates chemical responses in the brain, which lead to both temporary and long term mental health benefits. It releases dopamine (“happy chemicals”) in your brain, eases stress, increases energy, combats insomnia, and does wonders for your confidence. Taking good care of your body can and will keep your heart happy, help you maintain a healthy weight, and bring you a positive outlook on life.
  • Eat An Inspiring Diet. To eat is a necessity but to eat intelligently is an art. My mom brought us up to eat a colorful diet filled with whole foods and variety. She would shop at the farmer’s market, garden, and cooks real, delicious food. There was always room for indulgences (she is famous for her chocolate chip cookies) and she was an excellent role model for an “eat to live not live to eat” mentality.  Growing up dinner time was a family event and we often cooked something with the fresh ingredients from our backyard fruit and vegetable garden.  Because we are what we eat, we can literally transform our minds into happier ones by eating an inspiring diet. She raised me to learn that when you eat good foods you feel good too, and happiness comes from being well- fueled.
  • Help Others. My mother worked full time as a pediatric nurse but even when she was off the clock she was always lending a hand to others. She taught me that happiness is attained by giving it away without expectation and those who help others are eventually helped.  As far as physical health benefits, performing an act of kindness releases serotonin in your brain. Serotonin is a substance that has tremendous health benefits, including making us feel more blissful.  Selflessly helping someone is a powerful way to feel good inside. The happiest people you will ever meet will be those who lose themselves in the joy and challenge of helping others.
  • Learn to forgive. My mom’s typical response to a negative or upsetting event is forgiveness. She’ll would something like, “It’s ok. I’m going to let it go and move forward.”   This is an excellent way to handle conflict because harboring feelings of hatred or resentment is horrible for your well-being. That’s because your mind doesn’t know the difference between past and present emotion.  When you ‘hate’ someone, and you’re continuously thinking about it, those negative emotions are eating away at your immune system. You put yourself in a state of hate and it stays with you throughout your day. In contrast, showing forgiveness is a form of compassion and love, which is a much happier state of living your life. My mom showed me that forgiveness is a constant attitude of choosing happiness over hurt – acceptance over resistance. And that forgiveness creates a space to let go and love more.
  • Live in gratitude. When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your life will bring you a deeper sense of happiness.  My mother lived in a state of gratitude and was constantly affirming the things she was grateful for. Studies have shown practicing gratitude can center you, help you live in the moment, enhance your relationships, help you overcome hurdles, improve your health, and motivate you to reach your goals. Feeling grateful for what you have can produce the good feelings that keep you moving towards the happy life you want. Click here to learn more on how to practice gratitude in your life.
  • Live by the Golden Rule. My mother raised us by this rule: “…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” or “treat others the way you want to be treated”. It’s known as the “Golden Rule”  or ethic of reciprocity. Mom was right again: the rule of treating others as you would want to be treated in their place will ultimately lead to your own happiness. Think about it: let’s say you apply the Golden Rule in all of your interactions with other people, and you help your neighbors, you treat your family with kindness, you go the extra mile for your co-workers, you help a stranger in need. Now, those actions will undoubtedly be good for the people you help and are kind to and people will treat you better. But, beyond that, you will find a growing satisfaction in yourself, a belief in yourself, a knowledge that you are a good person and a trust in yourself. Of course, there are exceptions and logic arguments with the Golden Rule and if taken to extremes it falls apart. I’m not concerned about that stuff. The truth is, on a day-to-day basis, living by the Golden Rule will make those around you happier, will make you a better person, and will make the community you live in a better place.
  • Savor life’s joys. My mom taught me that the best things in life are free. There is absolute joy and wonder to be had in the simplest of moments.  Watching the sunset over the horizon or spending time with a family member making jam in the summer (triple berry anyone?). Deep happiness cannot exist without slowing down to enjoy the joy.  It’s easy in a world of wild stimuli and omnipresent movement to forget to embrace life’s enjoyable experiences.  When we neglect to appreciate, we rob the moment of its magic.  It’s the simple things in life that can be the most rewarding if we remember to fully experience them. Make it a point to regularly celebrate all of the little things in life and you will be a happier person inside and out.

My mom taught me that all of the lessons above are habits and thoughts we can choose to bring more happiness into our lives. That’s the thing about living a positive, happy life: it is a conscious choice. It’s not always an easy choice and creating healthy habits may challenge you at times. But doing so will allow you to break free from the mold and truly live more of  life – to experience it and enjoy it to the fullest, instead of settling for a mere existence.

To my mother who taught me how and showed me the way: Thank you. I love you. I will celebrate the momentous mother that you are today and always.

Happy Mother’s Day to you,

Caroline

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Sitting At A Desk Hurts. How to Get Fit and Get Fixed Fast.

Sitting Hurts. Here’s How To Get Fixed, Get Fit, and Feel Good During Your Work Day. 

Sitting Hurts! Here are my tips on how to feel your best throughout your work day.

You’ve been working working working day and night and now all of a sudden everything hurts. The last thing you feel like you should do is exercise, you think it will make everything worse. But actually, exercise is exactly what you need to feel better fast.

Typically, when we think about enduring an injury, we imagine we have to do something — and usually do it wrong — to bring on the pain.

But sometimes discomfort is due to doing nothing whatsoever. Case in point: sitting at a sedentary desk job.

Spending too much time sitting has been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, metabolic syndrome and earlier death, and unfortunately even the most dedicated exercise regimens won’t undo all the damage. Not to mention the rising increase of desk job related injuries like: carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, frozen shoulders, wrist strain, neck and shoulder pain, sciatica, hip pain, and lower back pain.

I believe we are built to move. It’s stress and NOT moving that is the hardest thing on our bodies and health long term.

Have you ever had an achy back from a long day of sitting? Or a serious headache from too much time staring at a computer screen? You are not alone. 99% of my corporate clients struggle with pain from too much time at a desk and dealing with work related stress. Lucky for you the solution is simple and doesn’t require a ton of time. I am here because I want to help you FEEL better. And I promise you: simply taking the time to move will dramatically improve how your body feels.

If you work at a desk and/or spend a lot of time on tech, I’ve got some life hacks you can use to get rid of nagging pain in your life. Here are my secrets to success, are you ready to feel better yet?

Sitting Hurts. How To Get Fit and Get Fixed Fast. Guide for a Feel-Good Work Day.

  • Move every hour. Aim to get up and out of your seat at least every hour. Since most desk-related jobs demand your constant attention, it’s important to remind yourself to move around. Try setting a small timer to remind you when your break is due. A kitchen timer, watch, or smart phone is simple and easy to use. Eventually you’ll look forward to this break and find it only helps your concentration, energy, and mood. 
  • Move at your desk. Improve your concentration and work out the kinks with simple seated desk exercises. There are SO many ways to move more without even standing up. The video gives you simple stretches you can do while sitting at your desk

  • Boost circulation with large movements every hour. Get up and walk, take the stairs, march in place… whatever works. It doesn’t need to take more than 2 minutes. Researchers find that adding two minutes of light exercise to each hour of your day lowers your risk of dying prematurely by 33 percent. Get your blood flowing, heart pumping, give your energy a boost, and rev your metabolism every hour with 2 minutes of large movements.
  • Use the yoga tune up therapy balls as often as possible to soothe tight muscles and improve mobility. You can use them right at your desk or against your office wall. The video below demonstrates how you can use the yoga tune up therapy balls against a desk to self massage tight forearms and tricep muscles from typing and overuse. You can find more Yoga Tune Up video ideas and resources here on my YouTube channel.
  • Use An Activity Tracker. Working with a step counter or more sophisticated activity tracker can tell you exactly how active you are during the work hours. This may provide you good insight as to the importance of fitness during your hectic workday. Im addicted to my fitbit 🙂
  • Have walking meetings. Is your day jam packed with back to back meetings or calls? Walk as you talk. Invite colleagues to join you on a walking meeting or take your calls on a headset and walk around. Researchers at Stanford University found that the creative output of people increases by an average of 60 percent when they are walking. Indoor walks were found to be just as effective for boosting creativity as outdoor walks. Get “sweatworking” and find a way to incorporate movement into your meetings. 
  • Never go 2 hours without moving. You can do it!
  • Set aside specific times to unplug from your tech, connect to yourself, and enjoy your life. It’s happening outside of the screen

Your body was not meant to sit at a desk attached to tech. A muscle in tension stays in tension until you change its position. Want to get rid of aches and pains? Unplug for a second and move around.

If you don’t make your body a priority it will get cranky and create pain in your life. But I believe that if you follow my suggestions above, you will feel better. When you feel better you work better. It is that simple.

My youtube channel is a great resource to inspire movement wherever you are. Subscribe and stay motivated to move and feel your best. You deserve to feel good and live without pain.

How do you stay active and pain free throughout your work day? Let me know in the comments below.

Till next time, keep moving my friends.

Caroline

Companies who live well together work smarter together. I offer corporate wellness consulting and custom corporate wellness programs to support your employees in beating stress, finding health, and maximizing their productivity.  I work with both large and small companies as a wellness speaker, consultant, teacher and coach. My programs are geared towards changing company culture for healthy employees. I drive wellness programs in and out of corporate settings to enhance the health of the community. Clients include: Genentech, Google, Fitbit, Sephora, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Reed Smith LLP, RMC Water & Environment, DDB California, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Litekey Technology, and Hines. 

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the heath of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

If you liked this post or have a loved one who could benefit, please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

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Fix Your Neck and Upper Back.

Do you have neck or upper back pain that won’t go away? Read this post with helpful tips on how to fix your neck or upper back pain.

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Photo credit Kuroda Studios 

Do you have nagging neck or upper back pain that won’t seem to go away? Yea, I’ve got a bit of it too. Frustrating! It could be caused by a number of things: tight muscles, weak muscles, stress, muscular imbalance, or maybe the after effects of a tough workout. But the one thing I believe causes it the most? All of our time on TECH.

Think about it. You sit at a desk and work on a computer. As the day goes on and work demands climb, your posture goes out the window. Your phone has become attached to your hand. You constantly text and are addicted to instagram (Im right there with you). You finish extra emails on the commute to work and the corporate shuttle seats cause you to slouch. Looking down at a screen has become a normal thing. You spend 80% of your day with your chin down, shoulders rolled in, and upper back in a dome.

No wonder your neck hurts! Whats the solution? MOVEMENT. A muscle in tension stays in tension until you change its position. Want to get rid of your neck pain? Unplug for a second and move around.

You are not alone. 99% of my corporate clients struggle with nagging pain in their upper back, neck, and shoulders. I want to help you FEEL better. And I promise you: simply taking the time to move will dramatically improve how your body feels.

If you work at a desk and/or spend a lot of time on tech, I’ve got a habit you can create to get rid of upper back and neck pain in your life. Here’s my secret, are you ready to feel better yet?

Movement Program for a Happy Neck and Upper Back: 

    • Do small movements every 40-60 minutes. There are SO many ways to move more without even standing up. The video gives you simple stretches you can do while sitting at your desk to fix your neck and upper back.

    • Do large movements every 90-120 minutes. Get up and walk, take the stairs, march in place… whatever works. Doesn’t need to take more than 5 minutes. Just get your body moving.
    • Use the yoga tune up therapy balls as often as possible to soothe tight muscles and improve mobility. You can use them right at your desk or against your office wall. The video below demonstrates how you can use the yoga tune up therapy balls against a wall to self massage tight upper back and shoulder muscles. There are more video ideas and resources on my YouTube channel.

  • Never go 2 hours without moving. You can do it!
  • Set aside specific times to unplug from your tech and enjoy your life. Its happening outside of the screen 🙂

If you dont make your body a priority it will get really cranky. I believe that if you follow my suggestions above, your upper back and neck will start to feel happy fast. Every week I post a new youtube video to inspire movement wherever you are. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and get videos delivered into your email inbox (for FREE) to motivate you to move more and feel your best. You deserve to feel good and live without pain.

Till next time, keep moving 🙂

Caroline

Did you LIKE this video? Hit “like” and SUBSCRIBE to my channel! Please SHARE it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Everyone deserves to be healthy and live a life they love. 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

Other Things to Check Out:

Companies who live well together work smarter together. I offer corporate wellness consulting and custom corporate wellness programs to support your employees in beating stress, finding health, and maximizing their productivity. My programs are geared towards changing company culture for healthy employees. I drive wellness programs in and out of corporate settings to enhance the health of the community. Clients include: Genentech, Google, Fitbit, Sephora, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Reed Smith LLP, RMC Water & Environment, DDB California, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Litekey Technology, and Hines.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the health of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

How To Have More Energy during your Work day.

Want more energy during your work day? Here’s my #1 tip on how to instantly have more energy at work and uplevel your performance.

Feeling tired in the office? Here is my #1 tip to instantly boost your energy during your work day!

This past week I traveled to Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito to host a new wellness workshop: “Reboot At Work. Healthy strategies for improved energy, productivity, and quality of life” for Genentech’s CT&D Impact team training offsite. It was my third time hosting a wellness seminar at the beautiful Cavallo point lodge. I feel incredibly grateful to have had another opportunity to share my passion and expertise for healthy living in this space. Some of the participants had attended my wellness presentation last April in Arizona and commented that they were using my suggestions from the presentation consistently in their lives. Its always nice to know the work you are doing really does impact positive lifestyle change. My goal is to make all of my work informative, uplifting, and provide real resources participants can immediately use to improve their wellness. I believe in the power of this work, in creating an environment of awareness and support, and in inspiring positive lifestyle change in individuals and hopefully the world as a result.

During our day together, I lead the team through an engaging presentation and team building exercises designed to inform, educate, and empower individual and company wellness. Wellness means something different to everyone. However we all want ENERGY to be present in our lives and do the things we love. But when you are struggling to juggle all your priorities and perform your best in your career, it leaves you feeling TIRED. My workshop at Cavallo Point helped to raise awareness of energizing work and lifestyle habits. It nurtured environmental support and empowered participants to personalize their approach to living well and to find the energy they deserve.

energy at work

My number one suggestion to create healthy energy for a powerful work day? Movement. I believe exercise is one of the most powerful ingredients in having energy and living a healthy life. When you move your body you move your life. You want more energy? Get MOVING! Step away from your desk, unplug from your smartphone, leave your to-do list at home, and take a break for yourself. Get your blood flowing and your heart pumping. Ignite your metabolism and build lean muscles that will make you powerful inside and out. You are worth every ounce of effort.

can guarantee you that getting up and getting moving is the most important decision you can make to improve your overall health, energy, and quality of life. Exercise is proven to stimulate the release of endorphins, a chemical in the brain that is shown to to be a natural antidepressant. All forms of movement prompt you to use muscles in a different way from sedentary activity, which forces oxygen rich blood to flow throughout the body, increasing energy. The stretching and contracting of muscles and tendons relieves stiffness, pain, and tension. And the best part is improving your physical health through exercise boosts your mental strength and confidence, enabling you to better manage life’s challenges and live without burnout. Exercise is the best antidote to stress and the fastest way to have more energy in your life. 

Total fitness requires consistency and commitment. But with the right information, support, and mindset you CAN incorporate movement into your life as a regular habit. Doing so will help keep you mobile, happy, and fit. You’ll be the type of person who is up for anything, a mover who can handle life’s challenges with ease.

The seminar at Cavallo Point was a great success and I left Sausalito smiling with purpose. You know you are doing the work you are meant to do when it energizes you from head to toe. Another great way to get energy: DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

Work-life balance is a continuous commitment and constantly evolving work in progress. We all need regular reminders to take care of ourselves and to practice wellness. It is my hope is that through these workshops and events I can be a reminder that empowers self care and a healthier, happier world.  Lets work together and continue this positive healthy momentum. We are the change and can “be the change” in living with health, balance, energy, and enthusiasm. 

Do you incorporate movement into your work day for more energy? What’s your #1 tip for improved energy in the office? Leave me a comment below and tell me how you live fit at work.

Till next time, keep moving,

Caroline

I put my heart and soul into my corporate wellness programs and customize my services to benefit the unique needs of the company and the individuals within it.  I have consulted for leading companies including: Genentech, Google, RMC Water and Environment, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Litekey Technology, ReedSmith LLP,  and Hines. I believe that self-care is health care and the secret to thriving in work, wellness, and life. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together and improve the health of your company, contact me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com

 

Want to build a balanced body? Check out my book, Balanced Body Breakthrough and get your mind, body, and spirit in great shape so you can love your life.

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Healthy Lunch Ideas for Busy Work Days

Cooking up a Healthy Lunch during a corporate wellness offsite at Cavallo Point in Sausalito

Cooking up a Healthy Lunch during a corporate wellness offsite at Cavallo Point in Sausalito

My client walked into her evening workout drained. “They brought lunch into the office today. I had a full meal, but I don’t think it was that healthy. Even though I ate all of those calories, I’m still so hungry!”  Another client recently admitted she often skips lunch. “I get so busy during the day I honestly forget. Then its 4pm and I crash.”  And another one has gained 10 pounds from all-day grazing. “I don’t have the time to sit down to lunch so I end up munching on snacks throughout the day. I’m not sure how much I’m eating, but I never really feel full or satisfied. Not having a real meal makes me feel like I can afford to graze…but clearly the weight scale says differently.”

Many of my friends and corporate wellness clients struggle with the lunch time dilemma. Food options in the office aren’t always the healthiest and it’s hard to find the extra time to prepare nutritious options in advance. Some skip the mid-day meal only to backfire into an energy crash, unhealthy snacking, or bingeing later in the day. Having a healthy lunch on a consistent basis can feel to hard to stay motivated and organized for, especially during busy work days. But on average, eating out for lunch adds 158 calories to a person’s daily caloric intake. That equates to an additional 7,900 extra calories, or 2 1/4 pounds, each year if you dine out one day per week. Going out to lunch every work day calculates out to an extra 39,500 calories or a gain of approximately 11 pounds. Not great numbers when it comes to your health goals. 

So should you give up and settle for unheathier options and low energy levels? No! With a few quick life hacks, lunch time challenges do not need to get in the way of you and your health goals. Finding the right strategy to eat a healthy lunch can keep you focused, prevent energy slumps, boost your mood, and sustain your power till dinner. Not only that, but taking your lunch to work can save you money and keep your health goals in focus. You will have more control over accomplishing any of your wellness goals (eating more fruits and veggies, lowering calories, eating less fat, improving energy, boosting performance) by preparing your own lunch. With just a little organization and a few supplies, your lunch box options will be invitingly inspired. Here are a few of my suggestions to help you ensure brown bagging success every time. Are you ready to feel AMAZING?

1. Plan and prep ahead of time. Set aside a time each week to pre plan your meals, shop for ingredients, and prepare simple recipes. Sundays typically work best for most people. You can prep easy recipes (like the ones below) and have pre-portioned lunches ready to go.  The best way to save time during the week is to prepare some versatile ingredients, like quinoa and chicken to throw into recipes throughout the week. Many people get overwhelmed at the thought of meal planning or make it overly complicated. Don’t overthink it! Just write out when where and what you plan to eat, and schedule a time to grocery shop (or use a service) so that you have what you need. Hungry for a place to start? Try Eatingwell.com . They have free diet and meal plans, weekly menus, healthy recipes, and grocery shopping lists for every dietary preference and calorie budget. This content rich website is full of information and inspiration to fuel your healthy lifestyle. I love their weekly menus and use their clean recipes often.

2. Keep it separate. To prevent soggy food, pack items separately in zip-lock bags, tupperware, or bento boxes. Similarly, don’t dress leafy salads until you are ready to eat. Salt will draw moisture out of watery ingredients, so add items such as tomatoes and cucumbers to a grain salad at the last minute for the best results. Here are a few winning product finds to help you keep things in good shape:

  • Available in several shapes and sizes, Wean Green [1] (from $23; weangreen.com) and Kinetic Go Green GlassLock Food Storage [5] ($35 for set of 3; surlatable.com) locking tubs are super-reliable and microwave-safe.
  • Got soup? The screw tops on Ziploc Twist ‘n Loc Containers [2] ($4 for set of 2; amazon.com) make them good for packing liquids safely.
  • If you don’t like your rice touching your tomatoes, try a tiffin like this three-tier metal lunch box [3] ($9.50;pearlriver.com) or the sleek LunchBots Bento Trio [6] ($28; lunchbots.com), which has compartments.
  • And for the serious lunch aficionado, there’s no choice but the Zojirushi Classic Stainless Lunch Jar [4]($69; amazon.com), an insulated cylinder with three microwavable bowls, chopsticks, and a strap for transport.
3. Put leftovers to good use. The quickest way to prepare a healthy lunch, is to make more of your healthy dinner. When dishing out your nighttime meal, put your dinner leftovers in the lunchbox or lunch container right after dinner, before you wash up. That way you can portion out leftovers (if there are any) into lunch containers rather than putting things away and taking them out again.
4. Stay safe. Keep cold food cold (below 40°) and hot food hot (above 140°) as it travels. Use insulated lunch bags, coolers, thermoses, ice bags, and frozen gel packs to help with temperature control. If reheating items in a microwave, the United States Department of Agriculture recommends they reach 165° and are served steaming hot.

To make sure your lunch is balanced, look to include a whole grain, lean protein like beans or chicken, and fruits or vegetables. Here are a few of my personal favorite lunch choices that take less than 10 minutes to prepare: 

  • Quinoa Veggie Bowl. Toss together to combine your choice of fresh or cooked vegetables with cooked quinoa, fresh herbs, and a dressing such as tahini, apple cider vinegar, or mashed avocado. Here are a few quinoa veggie bowl recipes that have been inspiring me lately. 
  • Nourish Bowl. There are so many different combinations you can come up with, so it’s like your own version of the Whole Foods salad bar. Hummus for days. Recipe here.
  • Roasted sweet potato + quinoa + veggies.
  • Edamame Salad Bowl. Shelled edamame (from the frozen food section, thawed according to package instructions), mixed greens, shredded carrots, green onions, and red bell pepper. Add any light salad dressing.
  • Chicken, rice, with mixed veggies. You can add almonds and fruit along with this.
  • Black beans with lime & avocado plus a banana. Just mix a few fresh things together with black beans, and take to work in tupperware along with an avocado and a banana.
  • Dirty Rice with Roasted Carrots and Steamed Broccoli
  • Party Potato. Slice a pre-baked sweet potato and fill with your choice of toppings like beans, fresh salsa, guacamole or greens.
  • Healthy Wrap. Use large leafy green lettuce leaves as a nutrient-rich alternative to a regular wrap. Simply add your favorite fillings. Try vegetables with fish/egg, curried lentils, chilli beans, or falafels.
  • Salad. Healthy salads are packed full of everything your body needs to get through the day, full of fiber, vitamins and nutrients. But if you arent careful, a salad can become a calorie bomb and hurt you more than help you. Here are my tips to making salads that are easy AND good for you. I believe a salad a day keeps you happy and healthy. I have a meal sized salad for lunch 3-4 times a week.
Ready for a rejuvenating mid-day meal at Cavalllo Point corporate wellness team building offsite in Sausalito, CA

Ready for a rejuvenating mid-day meal at Cavallo Point corporate wellness team building offsite in Sausalito, CA

Ready to get inspired? I’ve rounded up lunch lists from around the web just for you! Click on the links below for hundreds of easy work lunch ideas to keep you fueled and fabulous. 

Motivation is the first ingredient in packing a lunch. Pair that with having helpful resources like the ones above and you’ll be the most energetic lunch lover in the office. Are you ready to feel fabulously fueled all day? Make having a healthy lunch a priority. I know you can do it! You deserve to feel good. Remind yourself of why you want to make the commitment to be healthy and eat healthy. Your health is priceless and I can guarantee eating a nutritious lunch will help you feel your very best.

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Lunch is served! Team building corporate wellness offsite at Cavallo Point in Sausalito

What is your #1 healthy, fast, and easy work lunch? Leave your favorite afternoon meal as a comment below, Id love to hear from you! And as always, if you liked this post, please share it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy, healthy life! 

Heres to you feeling good,

Caroline

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Too Tired for Life After Work? Let me help you with that.

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Photo Credit: Toni Alejandria

You get home from a long day and feel the fatigue hit you when you walk in the door. You had hoped to go for a run, check out that yoga class, or meet a friend for dinner but you are just…. so…. tired. The only thing that sounds good is pouring a large glass of wine and turning on BRAVO. It’s just too easy to get on your pjs and cancel everything, who cares if its only 7pm?

Sound familiar? You are not alone. We all struggle with that “5 o clock somewhere” exhaustion. This often leads us to look for relaxation in sources that have a “numbing” sensation. A few cocktails, real housewives episodes, or snack foods later we are ready for bed, without ever REALLY relaxing or renewing our energy from a long work day.

Heres the irony in it all : the less you do, the less energy you are going to have. The more you do the more energy you are going to have. It’s just like exercise. The more you exercise, the more energy you have; the less you exercise, the less energy you have. Intuitively, we know this is true, but it can be hard to put into practice, especially after a stressful work day.

What can you do if you don’t want to spend ALL of your nights with the remote, the couch, and the television? Here are my suggestions for ways you can shake off post-work fatigue and transition into your evening with energy for a personal life beyond the T.V.

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Work to Life Transitions. Strategies to Prevent 5 O Clock Exhaustion from sidelining your life. 

      • Have a healthy, stress busting ritual you put between work and the rest of your night. Plan ahead and prepare something RELAXING you can do just for you immediately when you get home from work. Take a hot bath, do ten minutes of yoga, get outside and go for a walk, the options are endless. Get creative and personalize a few feel-good transitions that work for you.
      • Unplug for 10-20 minutes (or more). Put your work phone, email, or to-do list away for a “digital detox”. Being overstimulated from a constant stream of texts and emails causes exhaustion and stress. I like to set a specific time to unplug from all tech. Any time you take to unplug will help you feel more grounded (and less likely to dive head first into a bottle of wine) when you get home.
      • Head to the gym, a workout class, a run club, or a sports practice straight from work. Pack all your clothes, a water bottle, and a healthy snack in your gym bag to bring with you so you don’t have to run home and get anything. Movement is medicine. Exercise might not sound enticing after a long work day, but is always a good decision. Think of how good you’ll feel after a workout, let this motivate you to follow through with your exercise plans no matter how drained you feel from your work. Even a short workout session will help clear your mind and restore your energy.
      • Make healthy dinner plans with your friends or loved ones. Friends don’t let friends eat dinner in front of the iPhone. Make the dinner table a no-tech zone and engage in real, quality conversation with those you love. You’ll get to 1. unplug from work and 2. create meaningful relationships over a healthy meal. This is much healthier and happier for you than multitasking mindlessly while eating. Break the habit of reading work emails or watching reruns while you eat. Focusing on what you’re putting into your mouth can help you slow down and really pay attention to the task at hand. Enjoy it, savor it, and your mindfulness will help you digest well, feel full, and appreciate every bite.
      • Walk or bike ride as your commute to work. This can be a great way to get fresh air and create a buffer between work and home.
      • Get OUTSIDE.  Do you have a beautiful, open space where you can walk? A track? A path? A loop that you enjoy that gives you energy, that makes you feel good, and gets you out in nature? Take a detour after work to a park, beach, bridge, ANYWHERE outdoors that allows you to exhale.
      • Pay in advance and sign up for a workout class, session with a personal trainer, or hobby class (cooking, art, etc) after work. When you have paid and registered you are much more likely to show up for yourself.
      • Make a phone date with a good friend. Schedule a call with someone you love for after work. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will. Make time for the people who make your life meaningful and allow this time to help you decompress from your day.
      • Don’t let alcohol be your transition. Many of us get in the habit of having a drink after work, to relax and take a load off. Find a healthy replacement for the after-work drink. Develop non-drinking means of relaxation. Build awareness into your habits when it comes to alcohol. If you feel you need it to relax, think about other activities that are relaxing and enjoyable to you – working out, taking a walk outside, listening to music, reading, etc – and schedule those into your life as a means of unwinding instead of looking for stress relief in a drink.
      • Don’t use food as your transition either! It can become a habit to hit the appetizers right when you walk in the door…. adding up to hundreds of calories and you haven’t even had dinner. Have a light snack if you are REALLY hungry. If you are not physically hungry and are eating to get rid of the work day, go do something to help clear the stress that doesn’t involve emotional eating. Food is not a fix.
      • Put on some music that you love. Whatever tunes you need to feel some relief from a long day – turn up the volume and sing along if it helps you blow off steam.
      • Do a quick youtube stretch or foam rolling video. Its easy, free, and works with your schedule. Make a pinterest board of your favorite go-to videos so all you’ll have to do is press play when you walk in the door. Here are a few of my personal favorite end of day stretching routines:

Its always going to be a challenge to move your mind from a busy work day into a present and positive personal life. I believe if you build the habit of healthy transitions from one world to the next you’ll be enjoying much more than Real Housewives. You’ll be living a more balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life.

Whats one healthy way you transition from a busy work day to a relaxing evening? Leave me a comment below with your favorite way to ease into your evening.

Bottom line: You must make time for yourself at the end of your workday. You’ll feel better, sleep better, and LIVE better with healthy downtime just for YOU. And isn’t that whats life all about? LIVE WELL – lets make this one life COUNT!

Yours in happiness,

Caroline

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I work with a variety of companies to create, write, and develop wellness programming designed to enhance the success and health of their staff. I have hosted corporate wellness workshops and offsite events across the United States. Some of my past presentations include:

“Thrive: Wellbeing At Work”
“Thrive Wellbeing on the Road”
“Digital Detox. Healthy Tech Wellness”
“Reboot at Work! Simple Strategies for improved energy.”
“RX Series. Stress Relief Strategies that Work”

I have consulted for leading companies including: Genentech, Google, RMC Water and Environment, Credit Karma, TaskRabbit, Litekey Technology, ReedSmith LLP,  and Hines. I work to customize each program to meet the unique needs of your team. My goal is to make each offering engaging and provide resources participants can immediately use to improve their wellness and life. I believe that self-care is health care and the secret to thriving in work, wellness, and life. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss ways we can work with together, please contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com . 

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