Author: Kara Kenan

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 31 – Celebrate

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


Day 31: Celebrate!

Image result for celebrateIt’s the final day of our “31 ways, 31 days to a healthier, happier, less-stressed you” challenge! Congratulations for learning about and taking small steps to improve your physical and mental health and well-being! Today is a great day for us to talk about the health benefits of celebrating. Celebrations, you see, are essentially reflections on things we’ve accomplished. Reflecting on and paying attention to those successes puts us in a positive mindset. Studies show that when people take time to celebrate their successes, they are generally more optimistic, take better care of themselves, tend to be less stressed, and have an increased sense of well-being. Image result for success

So today, take some time to celebrate your success. We’d love to hear about any changes you’ve made or things you’ve found particularly useful during this month. Share your successes this month with us in the comments and tell us how you are celebrating making those small, healthful changes in your life!

Thanks for joining us!

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 30 – 10 Minutes

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


Day 30: Take 10 (minutes)

Image result for 10 minutesAwhile ago, a friend challenged me to take 10 minutes a day to do absolutely nothing. Of course, I agreed to the challenge, but even day 1 was harder than I’d expected. I found myself getting up to straighten the kitchen, planning meals, planning what I’d do when the 10 minutes was up, thinking through the problems of the day. I couldn’t be still for even 5 minutes, no less 10. Each day of that challenge, I tried. And failed! I noticed though, that when I was aware of the lack of my ability to just be still, I was able to slow improve. By the end of the month, I had made it consistently to 8 minutes of stillness, with a day or two of success at 10 minutes! And I really was able to see some of the immediate benefits. I felt calmer, even in stressful situations. I had more energy to face the challenges of the day. And dare I say, I made better decisions when I was less frazzled from a hectic pace.

Sure, during these 10 minutes, my friend was essentially challenging me to be more mindful. And while we’ve already covered the enormous benefits of mindfulness, it’s worth repeating. People that practice mindfulness regularly experience increased feelings of calmness, compassion and empathy, decreased stress levels and feelings of depression, better healing and coping from disease and disability, improved resilience and better overall health.

Taking 10 minutes to be more mindful is helpful in other ways, too. If you are trying to change some habits, taking 10 minutes to decide before you act on an urge can help you make better decisionImage result for sit quietlys and stick to your plan. Having a late-night snacking craving? Wait 10 minutes before you get up to grab a snack. Spend the time thinking about your weight loss goals, and all the hard work you’ve done working toward them. Feeling angry after an argument and wanting to bicker or lash out emotionally? Take 10 minutes to think through the situation. Take a deep breath and use the time to calm down and focus on what’s really important in the situation.  10 minutes is a short amount of time, but can have a big impact in a lot of ways.

Today, we encourage you to take 10 minutes to be more mindful, and find some calm and quiet in your day.

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 29 – Food Swaps

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


Day 29: Food Swap

Image result for food swapsSometimes we grow so accustomed to eating the same foods, we forget that there are often more healthful (and just as satisfying!) alternatives.

Today, we’re sharing lots of food swaps, and we hope you’ll share your ideas too! We hope you find these swaps appealing, lower in calories, and swapped for healthier, more digestible fats and other nutrients.

If you normally eat Swap it with
Sour Cream Plain Greek Yogurt
Fruit Juice Fruit Infused Water
Pasta (even lasagna noodles!) Spiralized or thinly sliced zucchini noodles
Mashed Potatoes Mashed Cauliflower
Tortillas, bread, buns Sturdy greens, like lettuce, cabbage, kale or chard
Table Salt Himalayan Pink Salt
Hash Browns Spaghetti Squash
Mayo Mashed Avocado
Butter (in baking) Applesauce
White Rice Brown or Cauliflower Rice
Fruity Candies Frozen Grapes
Milk Chocolate Dark Chocolate
Bagel Sprouted Grain Toast

 

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 28 – Prep it

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


Day 28: Prep it

Image result for quotes about preparationFood prep is all the rage these days, but this healthful activity isn’t really new to the scene. Families have been prepping food in advance of when it’s consumed for ages. There’s even a well-known quote by Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Well, today it’s time to prepare for success! It is much easier to make healthy eating choices when healthful foods are prepped and ready to eat or use. If we could all take back the not-so-great eating choices we’ve made when we are tired and unmotivated and there’s nothing easy and ready to eat, we’d all have smaller waistlines and healthier bodies.Image result for food prep

Pinterest and the rest of the internet is literally swamped with thousands of ideas for easy food prep and clean eating food prep. Take some time on a Sunday (or whenever you have a couple of free hours to set aside for this healthful task) to prep your food for the week. Even if you just roast a few vegetables, prepare some basic whole grains, and clean and cut some fresh veggies for snacking, you’ll be making a healthful start to the upcoming week.

Image result for food prepToday, we urge you to spend some time in the kitchen, prepping your food for the week. Having healthful choices at the ready is a great way to support your healthful eating all week long! We’d love to hear what you prep for the week!  Share your prep and ideas in the comments!

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 27-Go Explore

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


 

Day 27: Go Explore

Image result for exploreSometimes our routines can make us feel down, stuck in a rut, and that can really affect our stress levels and overall mental well-being. Take a little time today to explore something new. Take a drive somewhere you’ve never been, go for a walk at a new park.

Image result for explore

Make a new friend. Change up the routine. And, if you can’t get away to explore, try approaching your daily routine with fresh eyes. A new perspective can be just as useful in breaking the rut.

 

Share what you explored today and how it made you feel.

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 26 – Walk the Plank

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


 

Day 26: Walk the Plank

Ok, maybe not walk it…  but definitely do them!

Image result for plank exercisePlanks are one of the best exercises you can do. They work more muscle groups in one exercise than many combinations of other movements, strengthening your core. Planks help to improve your posture, strengthen your back, legs, arms, and chest, in addition to that core. A 1-minute plank per day is a small commitment with a big payoff.

If you’ve not done planks, you may need to work up to a minute, and that’s fine. Make sure to check out this video on how to properly do the plank exercise.

Alright! Now, Ahoy matey. Let me see those planks!

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 25 – Closing Time

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


Day 25: Closing Time

Image result for eating before bedIt can be hard to resist the bedtime munchies, but studies suggest we should. While there isn’t enough evidence to support a connection between bedtime munching and weight gain, plenty of evidence shows that eating within 2 hours of going to sleep can be detrimental and disruptive to your sleep patterns. Digestion of food impacts your blood sugars, and rises and drops in blood sugar levels impact your sleep cycles. This is particularly true if those bedtime treats are high on the glycemic index, full of fat, sugar, and calorie-dense. Image result for eating before bed

One tip to promote healthful sleep (and avoid any nighttime weight gain, should the studies ever prove the link) is to close your kitchen down for the night shortly after dinnertime and definitely at least 2 hours prior to bedtime. Turn the lights off, go brush your teeth, and cuddle into bed with a good book. Stick to caffeine-free tea or water to satiate any craving you have. Sweet dreams!

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 24 – Stretch it Out!

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


 

Day 24: Stretch it Out!

Image result for morning stretchIt’s no wonder a “wake-up stretch” is an iconic visage of a morning routine. Stretching has a number of health benefits and is a great way to start your day. Stretching your muscles is known to help prevent injury, release tension and stress, improve posture, and some studies suggest it can even reverse the hardening of arteries.

Image result for morning stretch

Check out these 8 stretches to start your day, written by our friends at Spark People. Remember that deep stretching, which is the kind that leads to real benefits, should be done with warm muscles, so after an exercise routine or warm shower is best. These stretches are great any time of day, not just in the morning. If you are feeling stiff at work, go for a short walk and incorporate these stretches to really reap the benefits.

 

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 23 – Mindfulness

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


 

Day 23: Think About It

Image result for mindfulnessOne of the most effective tools for enacting change in your life is the practice of mindfulness. But what does it mean to mean mindful? Mindfulness is the conscious awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness is your acknowledgement and calm acceptance of the present moment. Mindfulness is not something you can switch on or off. It is, if nothing else, a practice. Image result for mindfulness

The practice of mindfulness, as little as 10 minutes a day, can lead to some fantastic outcomes. Mindfulness practitioners experience increased feelings of calmness, compassion and empathy, decreased stress levels and feelings of depression, better healing and coping from disease and disability, improved resilience and better overall health.

Interested in learning more about being mindful? Sign up for a mindfulness class at Going Beyond the Pink, and check out this video.

 

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31 Days / 31 Ways: Day 22 – Six Small Meals

Looking for a simple New Year’s resolution you can actually keep?

We know that sweeping changes can be overwhelming and hard to stick to. Instead of over-committing and experiencing the inevitable let-down this year, join us for 31 days of simple ways to improve your health, happiness, and stress level. Going Beyond the Pink is thrilled to share this 31 Days / 31 Ways Challenge with you. Follow along here each day, or check out our Facebook challenge group for added support. We’ll be sharing 31 simple ways you can be happier, healthier, and less-stressed this year.

No overwhelming commitments. No cost. Just a fun, simple, and effective challenge. Join now and share with your friends.

 


 

 

Day 22: 6 Small Meals

Image result for 6 small mealsWe hear a lot about eating 6 small meals a day, particularly in weight loss circles. But does the frequency with which you eat really matter? In terms of weight loss, science says no. In fact eating more frequently may lead to more frequent over-indulgences. Calorie intake must be carefully monitored if you are going to follow the 6-meals-a-day rule for weight loss.

Image result for snacks

If that’s the case, why then does this “rule” persist? Well, because science also shows us that after 3 hours

without eating, our blood sugars begin to drop. After 4 hours, our bodies have already digested whatever food we ate earlier. After 5 hours, blood sugars begin to plummet, and that’s when we are more likely to reach out and grab absolutely anything to refuel (and those choices, traditionally, are not our best).

Image result for 6 small mealsThe outcome of this debate? It’s smart to eat 6 small meals a day, refueling your body approximately every 3 hours, providing your cells with a constant stream of energy and nutrients. The key is to fuel your body with good for you food (veggies & protein) and drink plenty of water.

Is it snack time yet?  Share your healthful eating strategies in the comments.

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