Friday, August 15, 2014

Managing Stress

Physiological or biological stress is an organism's response to a stressor such as an environmental

condition or a stimulus. Stress is a body's method of reacting to a challenge. According to the stressful

event, the body's way to respond to stress is by sympathetic nervous system activation which results in the

fight-or-flight response. In humans, stress typically describes a negative condition or a positive condition

that can have an impact on a person's mental and physical well-being.

Some Helpful Tips For Reducing Stress

1. Before going to bed, set out breakfast items and lay out everything you'll need for
work or school so you simply pick-up-'n-go in the morning.

2. Get up 20 minutes earlier so you can have a non-rushed breakfast. (if you need an
alarm clock to wake you up in the morning, you aren't going to bed on time, say sleep

3. Walk whenever possible (take the stairs instead of the elevator, hand-deliver work
papers, etc.)

4. Plan grocery shopping, banking, and post office visits so you hit the non-chaotic times
(e.g. don't grocery shop on Saturday afternoon, don't go to the bank on Friday afternoon,
and don't try to mail a package on Monday morning).

5. Go to the bathroom before leaving home or work (simple, but amazing stress

6. Look for the humor in every situation. Humor allows you to jump out of the picture so
you can get a grip on things.

7. Get an answering machine so you can accept phone calls on your schedule, not other

What are some other ways you can think of to reduce or manage stress? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic, so leave a comment below!  Have a relaxing and stress free day!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Community Service: Top 10 Reasons to Volunteer

Thinking of becoming a volunteer? See a list of reasons that will help you make up your mind.

#10: It's good for you.
Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It:
Reduces stress: Experts report that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns.
Makes you healthier: Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one's fate, strengthen the immune system.

#9: It saves resources.
Volunteering provides valuable community services so more money can be spent on local improvements.
The estimated value of a volunteer's time is $15.39 per hour.

#8: Volunteers gain professional experience.
You can test out a career.

#7: It brings people together.
As a volunteer you assist in:
Uniting people from diverse backgrounds to work toward a common goal
Building camaraderie and teamwork

#6: It promotes personal growth and self esteem.
Understanding community needs helps foster empathy and self-efficacy.

#5: Volunteering strengthens your community.
As a volunteer you help:
Support families (daycare and eldercare)
Improve schools (tutoring, literacy)
Support youth (mentoring and after-school programs)
Beautify the community (beach and park cleanups)

#4: You learn a lot.
Volunteers learn things like these:
Self: Volunteers discover hidden talents that may change your view on your self worth.
Government: Through working with local non-profit agencies, volunteers learn about the functions and operation of our government.
Community: Volunteers gain knowledge of local resources available to solve community needs.

#3: You get a chance to give back.
People like to support community resources that they use themselves or that benefit people they care about.

#2: Volunteering encourages civic responsibility.
Community service and volunteerism are an investment in our community and the people who live in it.

#1: You make a difference.
Every person counts!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Best Foods & Fitness Matchups

It’s a common problem: You’re going for the final stretch, looking for that extra push to
help you burn just a few more calories, but suddenly you’re out of gas. You’re not alone.
The muscles maximally absorb nutrients from food during the first 30 minutes after a
workout,” says Roberta Anding, M.S., R.D., national spokesperson for the American Dietetic
What to do? Fuel up with the right stuff before you hit the gym, and don’t forget a
recovery meal post-workout. Try one of these winning combinations before your next
workout, and see if you don’t find that extra oomph you’ve been missing.

Weight Training + Protein: Combining a high-protein diet with strength training can help
dieters lose more weight — and you lose fat, not muscle. Protein not only builds muscles but
it also helps repair them after a workout. “The winning combination is typically four grams of
carbs for every one gram of protein (think skim chocolate milk, energy bars, a turkey
sandwich on whole wheat),” says Anding.

Long Distance Running + Carbohydrates: For long workouts, the performance edge goes
to people who have the most glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrates). When you eat
pasta or other starchy food, the body converts those carbohydrates into muscle glycogen for
fuel. Hence the reason marathoners “carbo-load” the night before a big race. The trouble
comes in when you eat more carbs than you need, because unused carbs can also be
stored as fat!

Aerobics, Kickboxing and Spinning + Fat: For activities that involve repetitive joint action,
monounsaturated fats from fish, nuts, seeds and canola, olive and peanut oils can help
lubricate the joints while also providing high-quality protein to power you through a workout.
An added bonus: These fats also reduce post workout soreness and stiff muscles.

Yoga and Pilates + Complex Carbohydrates: The fiber from whole grains and vegetables
slows the digestion of food, allowing your body more time to absorb critical nutrients. And
since most yoga and Pilates classes require fasting for two hours before class, the long

lasting effects of fiber will help sustain you through a few hours without food.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Tomatoes Take Over Menus All Over Columbia

Restaurants Highlight Tasty Produce In Advance of Festival
By April Blake
Thursday, July 10, 2014
- See more at:

If you think you’re seeing red this coming week, it’s due to the impending Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast that starts July 11 and runs through the July 18. Thirty local restaurants are offering specials that feature the red, or yellow, or green, or hell, even purple, summer orb in a variety of dishes. Offerings include a breakfast special from Drip on Main that combines Wil-Moore Farms scrambled eggs with fresh City Roots tomatoes, spring onions, garlic, and capers on an English muffin; or, for lunch, the coffee shop's take on the classic caprese salad drizzled with a housemade spicy olive oil. Keeping with the Italian tradition of serving plenty of tomatoes, Il Giorgione is including tomatoes in every course, from a bruschetta appetizer to the spaghetti sciue’ sciue’ to salumi e formaggi, aka the Italian cold cut and cheese plate, alongside pickled green tomatoes. Columbia’s newest health food restaurant, Black Bean Company, is even getting in on the action with its honey turkey bacon club wrap with fresh roma tomatoes. The Restaurant Feast is a prelude to the Tasty Tomato Festival, which will be held on July 19 at City Roots. For more information on the Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast or the festival, check out The calendar of specials that will be available at the restaurants is getting updated daily. - See more at:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Getting To Know Your Neighbors Creates Community

In our fast-paced, stress-filled world we often don't create the opportunities that we need 
in order to get to know our neighbors. In days past, good neighbor relations were the staple 
of every strong community. Being able to share life's experiences, both good and bad, with 
those who live so close to us was once considered one of life's greatest blessings. 
 These days it is the exception rather than the rule to take the time to create strong 
relationships with the people we share our community with...and we are each the poorer 
because of it. Each one of us has a story to tell, a hand to lend, a laugh to share, and 
friendship to give. What keeps us from extending so much of ourselves to the families that 
live around our own may be those same things that prevent us from experiencing many of 
the great blessings of our parents or of our youth: A changing world that focuses more on the 
individual than the family and the need to remain isolated in order to feel "safe and secure." 
 Someone once said, "If you always do the things you did, you'll always get the things you 
got." If we want to grow as a community then we have to risk breaking free from the bonds of 
isolation that are so easily created by and for us. We must reach out to our neighbors and let 
them know that they matter and that we care. If we do that, even in the most seemingly 
insignificant of ways - like a wave as we pass on the street - then we are moving toward a 
better community and a better way to live. 
 Just because our culture has pushed us away from ourselves doesn't mean it is right, 
it just means that we have to work that much harder in order to reconnect with one another 
and create a better environment in which to live.