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The Surprising Reason Why Your Kid May Have Trouble Sleeping

child-sleepingIt’s rare for me to meet a parent who is unfamiliar with bedtime battles. This age-old struggle is crazy making, to be sure.

I have known a lot of trying situations in my life, but very little compares to the relentless frustration of trying to wrestle my toddler into bed, night after night.

Can you relate?

So, what if I told you there was something that may actually be at the root of all that irritating sleep trouble for your little one? Something simple, and something that can be corrected. Would you think it sounded too good to be true?

Well, if you’re curious, click over to Yummy Mummy Club and read the post I recently wrote about this. Because this one is not just me, conveying medical information. This is me, describing what was happening in my own family, and how I fixed it. It may not be the answer for you…but on the other hand, it just may be.

The Happiness Map: Gratitude

I write about happiness a lot. That’s because there is a pretty fascinating connection between health & happiness. And the good news? There are many things you can do to improve your own happiness level. It’s well within your control.

Recent research is proving this, but truth be told, it’s something we’ve long known. Aristotle knew it when he said: “Happiness depends upon ourselves.”

Over on Yummy Mummy Club, I wrote a post recently about a cornerstone happiness strategy: gratitude. It’s a seemingly simple maneuver that many people dismiss as being rather trite, but make no mistake, gratitude has big-time power. You can read all about it here.

Stress Much?

Most people experience stress at one time or another. So how do you cope? Many of us feel somewhat powerless in the face of stress, especially if it’s due to circumstances we can’t change.

Does that mean you just have to suffer?

No way.

What you need is a strategy.

Over on Yummy Mummy Club, I recently posted an article called: How To Create A Stress Management Plan. In it, I describe 14 different ways to deal with stress. Because the truth is, there’s A LOT you can do to help yourself–not to merely survive life’s stresses, but to actually flourish.

Healthy Mommy: Neglect The Housework…For Your Health.

Finding the time to achieve a healthy lifestyle is challenging. Big-time. Exercise takes time, preparing healthy meals takes time, getting sufficient sleep takes time. But there are only so many hours in the day, right?

To that end, I’ve got a suggestion that may help: scale back on housework.

On my blog on Yummy Mummy Club I posted an article that explores why it’s more important to go for a run than to scour the bathtub…and why it’s even beneficial to your health (and the health of your kids) to let things get a little grubbier at your house. Best bit: I’ve got research to back it up.

Check it out here.

An Antidote to Stress

The holidays are over, but does that mean your stress has magically gone away?

Didn’t think so.

Dealing with stress, in my opinion, requires a multi-pronged approach…but not all of those prongs need to be complicated.

Over on Yummy Mummy Club, I recently wrote a post about one easy thing you can do. (hint: are you getting enough of this amazing mineral?)

Got Goals? Need Motivation? Done and Done.

Most of us have good intentions. Great intentions, even. And many of them are health-related. Usually to the tune of: I want to lose 10 lbs, exercise regularly, quit smoking, floss every day…dammit (while we’re on this: why is flossing such a hassle anyway? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this a New Year’s Resolution).

So, for whatever reason, sometimes the best intentions just aren’t good enough to bring about real change. It’s not like we don’t all know what we should be doing. So what is it? What’s the problem?

Of course, there are all those old chestnuts on goal setting and achievement. Make a list. Make a chart! Make your goals specific, realistic, measurable. And all that.

But what if even that stuff doesn’t help? Well. Sometimes, you just need to up the stakes.

How about putting money on it?

My sister sent me a link recently, to a site called stickK.com The concept is cute, at first blush…but could be seriously helpful for those of us who need a little assistance in the motivation department.

Here’s what they say on their site:

stickK was developed by Yale University economists who tested the effectiveness of Commitment Contracts through extensive field research.

We all need help to reach our goals – whether it’s incentives, or support from others. Years of economic and behavioral research show that people who put stakes – either their money or their reputation – on the table are far more likely to actually achieve a goal they set for themselves.

So you register on their website (all totally free, by the way), list your goal(s) and time frame, and then if you want to, you can put your money on it. It’s a commitment contract. If you don’t meet your goal (they recommend using a third-person referee to monitor your progress) a pre-specified amount will automatically be taken off your credit card and donated to the charity of your choice.

Their cheekiest idea is the anti-charity. This is to give you that extra motivating oomph…you choose a controversial charity, one that you really don’t want the money to go to. Like the NRA or something.

So crazy, it just might work.

Healthy Reading This Week: Protein Guidelines, Healthy Cravings, and Miranda Kerr

Here’s what I’ve been checking out lately.

How Much Protein Should I Eat? (from Fit Sugar). This one’s for my vegetarian sister who has asked me this exact question. Great tool.

Train Your Brain To Crave Healthy Foods (from CNN Health). Interesting! I doubt I could re-wire myself, like they describe in this article, to the degree that chocolate would make me feel nauseated (nor would I want this to happen!). But a little of these strategies could be beneficial, I think.

How Chocolate Can Help Your Workout (from New York Times Health) I am always interested whenever they discover new benefits to eating chocolate. Always.

Can Chewing More Help You Eat Less? (from Reuters Health) Another case of science backing up what your mama always told you. Chew your food!

Yes, Miranda Kerr Does Yoga, But It’s Not Why She’s Modeling 7 Months After Giving Birth (from Blisstree) A wonderful, and very balanced, take on post-baby weight loss, celeb mommies and their workouts, body image, and realistic expectations.

Healthy Reading This Week

Pour yourself a mug of tea, sit & relax and check out some of the interesting things I’ve been reading this week:

Salt, Not So Bad For You After All? Great food for thought, highlighting the recent research that shakes up the conventional thinking that salt is a no-no for us all. (from Huffington Post Health/AOL Healthy Living)

Mistakes Made in the Bedroom: Why You Wake Up Exhausted A nice, succinct article on how to get better sleep. Must admit, I’m not convinced about the first tip, though. (from FitSugar)

The Secret to Walking Off Belly Fat Some really easy ways to get the most out of your walking regimen–and no, it does not include carrying little hand-weights a la 1986. (from Shine)

Being Optimistic May Reduce Risk of Stroke Fabulous new research throwing even more light on the happiness movement. (from WebMD)

Doctor On ‘TODAY’ Show Slams Mommyrexia As Part Of Perfectionist Culture Imposed On Mothers A discussion prompted by Dr. Nancy Snyderman’s thoughts on a disturbing trend. (from Mommyish)

The Body Positive: How Author Dayna Macy Got Out Of A Size 18 And Into A Healthy Relationship With Food More on the complicated (and fascinating) topic of body image, weight loss, and emotional health. (from Blisstree)

 

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Happy Bastille Day!

In honor of the French National Day today, I thought I’d share some links about the French lifestyle and the French way of eating (um, and also because I’m a little obsessed with this topic):

Health Lessons from the French (on Blisstree)

Mireille Giuliano on Summer and Rituals (on Treat Yourself Well)

Kate Middleton and the Dukan Diet

Mireille Giuliano’s Musings (of French Women Don’t Get Fat fame)

The Latest French-style Exercise (on Blisstree)

How to Eat Foie Gras and Still Lose Weight (by yours truly)

Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!

Dr. Kim Foster, MD. (photo credit: Tamea Burd Photography)

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