If the pantry shelves are home to a half-eaten bag of Halloween candy and spice jars that smells like dust, it's time for a little pantry spring cleaning. Even if you keep a well-edited kitchen, it's good to survey what's lurking on those shelves. Here's a guide to what needs to find a new home in the trash can and what can stay.
Toss It: Trans Fats
Sometimes you want to geek out and know the exact reason why something is bad for you, so here's the deal with trans fats: they are made in an industrial process by adding hydrogen to vegetable oils in order to extend the shelf life of processed foods you might have in your pantry. Companies love them because they're cheap and easy. You don't need them, though, because they raise your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and lower your "good" (HDL) cholesterol, increasing your risk of developing heart disease. And did you know that's the number one killer of American women? Go ahead and toss anything in your pantry that lists partially hydrogenated
Blog Posts by Sarah McColl, Shine staff
If the pantry shelves are home to a half-eaten bag of Halloween candy and spice jars that smells like dust, it's time for a little pantry spring cleaning. Even if you keep a well-edited kitchen, it's good to survey what's lurking on those shelves. Here's a guide to what needs to find a new home in the trash can and what can stay.Read More »from Spring clean your pantry: Toss this, keep that
Can food boost your mood? The answer is a resounding yes. We're not talking instant smiles or a cure for depression, but more and more research shows that what you eat affects how you feel (which anyone who has rolled onto the couch in misery after a burrito dinner already knew). More specifically, your diet can alter your metabolism and brain chemistry, ultimately affecting your energy level and mood. New research indicates processed food can lead to depression, adding even more evidence to the case for whole foods. Here are some ideas on what to add to your diet for more feel good, taste great potential.Read More »from The feel-good diet: 7 foods to boost your mood
Ruts look different for everyone, but they feel the same for all of us. Suddenly everything -- even stuff you normally love -- has a pall over it, and life seems desperately drab and uninspired. In moments like this, sometimes a cure is just a a shot in the arm of something out-of-the-ordinary away. And you don't have to get extreme and book a skydiving appointment. Little, creative tweaks in your perspective and routine can change just about everything:
- Let the kids decide what's for dinner. You're tired of menu-planning anyway, so why not? Make dinner together with one kid chopping, another stirring, another setting the table. If their picks are totally unhealthy, just roll with it. In an otherwise healthy diet, no one's growth will be stunted from having ice cream for dinner once, and it will make the evening stand out as a truly special occasion.
- Make a vegetable bouquet. Why not pair chard leaves, as big and wide as palm fronds, with round, voluptuous dahlias? Or
The word of the week is yoga. We've already covered quick easy poses you can do anywhere, and which yoga style is right for you, but now you need the goods. Well, need might be a little strong, but it always feels nice to look the part.Read More »from Ridiculously cute, super-cheap yoga gear
- Sarah McColl, Shine staff | Makeover – Wed, Feb 3, 2010 5:00 PM EST
You may know Gretchen Rubin from her blog here on Shine or you may be a regular visitor to her main site, The Happiness Project. Now our hometown girl has gone and written a New York Times bestseller. Here, Gretchen shares some of her tested ways to get happy.Read More »from The Happiness Project's Gretchen Rubin shares tips on getting happier
What is a Happiness Project?
A "happiness project" is an approach to changing your life. First is the preparation stage, when you identify what brings you joy, satisfaction, and engagement, and also what brings you guilt, anger, boredom, and remorse. Second is the making of resolutions, when you identify the concrete actions that will boost your happiness. Then comes the interesting part: keeping your resolutions.
What were your three favorite, most successful aspects of your Happiness Project?
1. To test the notion that "novelty and challenge bring happiness," I started a blog. My blog, The Happiness Project, has turned into a gigantic engine of happiness for me.
2. To foster friendship, I followed the resolution to "Join or
We're talking about yoga this week as a way to makeover your attitude, your body, and your life. And when you can squeeze in more than a quick yoga break, your curiosity about the full-on class experience might get the better of you. With so many options, though, how's an aspiring yogini to choose? Here, a cheat sheet for some of the most popular styles:Read More »from What kind of yoga is right for you?
Anusara If your idea of a complete yoga class is one that includes philosophy, as well as poses, Anusara might be your thing. Anusara, which means "flowing with grace," was founded by John Friend in 1997, and is a "heart-centered" practice, meaning that while you're learning about ideas that emphasize the good in all people, you can expect lots of heart-opening back bends.
Ashtanga If you're looking for a new way to get your cardio on, the vigorous, flowing practice of Ashtanga might be a good fit for you. K. Patthabi Jois popularized this ancient practice for us moderns, and willowy, fit devotees like Gwyneth Paltow and Madonna have
Nobody, and I mean nobody, is Suzy Sunshine all the time. Bad moods happen. So after you've pouted and sulked, how can you makeover a bad mood? Here, some ways to turn that frown upside down, or, at the very least, get it back to a neutral position.Read More »from Make over a bad mood
Say thank you. Say it to barista at your coffee shop, say it to the bus driver. Say it for all the little things you take for granted in your life: the crisp feeling of the sheets when you climb into bed, the amazing soup from the deli on the corner, your new red shoes that are somehow comfortable and fierce at the same time. Say thank you, too, for the big things we take for granted every day: a roof overhead, a loving partner who cleans the bathroom, and a sound body and mind.
Move. I doubt you want to hear that exercise will cheer you up, but what if we call it "movement"? That could mean a yoga break, dancing around the living room to your favorite song, or window shopping. Just get up from your funk and move. To get endorphins and
This 8 Days-A-Week planner's got more than enough room for the usual daily reminders to pick up the kids at soccer practice and show up at the neighborhood potluck with a dish to pass. But with an extra column labeled "Someday," you've got a space for those to-dos that can't be pinned down, whether that be to call the doctor (whenever you can find the time) or learn to bake challah. The dates are blank so you can start using this planner whenever the organizational spirit strikes, and the cheery mod color scheme makes you feel that even an ordinary Tuesday could be something great.
Whether it's a petty problem like forgetting to pick up your favorite dress at the dry cleaner or something more seriously annoying like a cold you just can't shake, for all of us, it's more than easy to get swept up in the stress of our day-to-day lives. In times like this, what you need is a week of aromatherapy and massage, but what you'll settle for is five minutes of self-centered bliss. And really, it's not being selfish-in order to keep functioning as a top-notch mom, employee, wife, or friend you have to take time to refuel. Because honestly, if you're running on empty, how are you going to have anything to give? Here are five ways to replenish your energy reserves in less time than it takes to actually fill up your gas tank (and for a teeny fraction of the cost!).Read More »from 5 ways to relax in 5 minutes
Have a cup of tea. You don't have to be British for this one. Put a kettle on and drop a bag of your favorite black tea in a proper ceramic cup (preferably painted with your favorite flower). You probably already
There's an aphorism that rings in my ear every morning when I wake up: "The way you spend your days is the way you live your life." The truth is, when we don't pay attention to the little moments, the days turn into months, the months into years, and we allow life's subtle, truly beautiful moments to pass us by. So how do you ensure that you make the most of each day? Here are some ideas to get you started:Read More »from Make the most of your daily life: Part 1
Consult the past. Do you remember your ten-year-old self? She was probably pretty scrappy and filled with curiosity about insects and how to play the violin. Before she started obsessing about eyeshadow and pimples, she was likely open to the world and interested in finding her place in it. Did she want to be a philosopher? A fashion designer? Sit down and remember yourself at this age. What got you most fired up? Did you love to read? Explore in the woods? Have tea parties? Really spend some time thinking about what occupied your mind and interests at this age, note which of these