Archives for May, 2012


Mental Health Month Challenge #5: Healthy Cooking

It's the last week of Mental Health Month 2012, readers!

Over the past month, Your Body, Your Mind has challenged you to:

Laugh every day.
Begin each day by saluting the sun.
Find the right gear so you can finally start (or restart) that exercise you've been putting off.
Take the stairs, both literally and figuratively.

The final challenge?

Well, with all that mental and physical activity going on, I thought we'd wrap up the month with some body and brain nourishment!

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Physical Activity

Mental Health Month Challenge #4: Take The Stairs

So far this Mental Health Month 2012, we've discovered the importance of laughter (and worked it into our daily lives!), tried starting each day with a Sun Salutation, and finally took the time to find the right gear to help us get started (or restart) that exercise or physical activity we'd been putting off.

This week's challenge?

Take the stairs.

I mean that both literally and figuratively.

For years, doctors have touted the benefits of making small daily changes to boost our physical health. Taking the stairs over the elevator or an escalator is probably the most popular example of such a small daily change.

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Mental Health Month Challenge #3: Find The Right Gear

"I always feel good after swimming laps but I [don't have a pool anymore/can't find a swimsuit that fits right/don't want chlorine in my hair]."

"Long walks used to give me time to myself. I'd start again if only I had [somewhere safe to walk/the right shoes/more time in the morning]."

"I know yoga can help me with breathing and focus, but don't I need [to take a class/buy lots of gear/wear certain clothes]?"

Sound familiar?

We've all been there. We know doing [whatever physical activity] brings both physical and mental health benefits, but we don't do it.

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Physical Activity

Weekly Weigh-In: Did The Sun Salute You Back?

Good morning, YBYM readers!

It's Friday - our Weekly Weigh-In Day - and I'm dying to know how your Mental Health Month Challenge #2 went!

If you're new or don't remember (shame on you!), earlier this week I challenged you to begin each day with a simple series of yoga poses called a Sun Salutation.

The goal was to help you start your day by warming up your body and your mind, and helping you carry that focus throughout the day.

So, how'd it go?

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Physical Activity

Mental Health Month Challenge #2: Salute The Sun

This week's 2012 Mental Health Month Challenge is especially for those readers who either a) don't do much physical activity during the day or b) haven't yet discovered the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of yoga.

Your challenge this week is to begin each day with a Sun Salutation.

Rather than a single yoga pose, the Sun Salutation (also known as the Salute to the Sun or the Surya Namaskar) is a series of poses.

Don't let that scare you, though: Even if you've never tried yoga or you aren't yet in great physical shape, you can do a Sun Salutation.

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Healthy, Vegan, Gluten-Free Chia Seed Pudding

The first time someone had me try chia seeds, I wasn't sure what to do.

Part of me wanted to spit the gelatinous mouthful out (gelatinous is not always a fantastic adjective when it comes to describing food), but another part actually... liked it.

The chia seeds had been soaked in almond milk and flavored with a little bit of raw cacao and cinnamon, and once I got over the weird sensation, I realized that all I was truly tasting was creamy cinnamon.

Chia seeds don't have much taste, but they do have loads of protein, Omega 3's and fiber, making them the hot new thing for health foodies and normal people alike. Since my first meeting with them, I've grown to enjoy their gelatinous texture (they remind me of tapioca), and have developed a taste for chia seed pudding - which isn't really pudding at all.
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Weekly Weigh-In

Weekly Weigh-In: Was Laughter The Best Medicine?

Happy Friday, readers!

Earlier this week, I gave you some information about Mental Health Month (it's this month - May 2012 - in case you're not caught up!) and told you that, in honor of Mental Health Month, we'd have a weekly challenge here at Your Body, Your Mind for the duration of May.

This week's challenge was simple: Laugh!

Laughing is one of the easiest things to do and it brings some awesome health benefits: You can enjoy an improved immune system, a boost in endorphins, better sleep, more relaxation, and even distraction from laughter.

Still, I realize laughing on purpose (well, producing genuine laughter on purpose) isn't always easy, so I gave you some examples (watching funny movies, learning a few funny jokes - you get the idea) to help get you started.

How'd you do?

As for me, I took my own advice and made funny faces at my dog.


...I let her make funny faces at me!

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Mental Health Month Challenge #1: Daily Laughter

Happy Mental Health Month, readers!

In case you're not familiar, Mental Health America first celebrated Mental Health Month in May 1949 to "raise awareness of mental health conditions and mental wellness for all." Since then, a strong focus on mental health advocacy, awareness, and education in May is tradition.

Mental Health America is focusing on two areas for Mental Health 2012: Do More for 1 in 4 and Healing Trauma's Invisible Wounds. Please feel free to check those out!

Here at Your Body, Your Mind, we're going to do things a little differently.

For each week during May 2012, you'll receive a "challenge" of sorts - something to try during the week to improve your physical and mental health.

This week's challenge? Laughter!

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