Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • Spa trends in 2010

    Spa Finder has just released its Spa Trends for 2010. If you like to go to the spa or are interested in going…here are some of the things you can look forward to during your experience:

    1. Prevention versus Pampering: In the past, spas have been seen as a place to be pampered. In 2010, Spa Finder predicts that prevention will become the focus of spa visits instead. Especially in light of recent health care concerns, people are looking for ways to prevent the onset of illness (Hallelujah!). Spas will market their services as ways to prevent and reduce stress and health issues…not just the "feel good" aspects.
    2. Hammam Rebirth: Recently, you have seen this trend percolate in Vegas. Spas are incorporating more DIY and heat therapies, such as steam and sauna…including Hammam. Hammam is an Eastern European/Middle Eastern tradition that incorporates cleansing and detox through scrub, massage and heat. It is often an experience that extends over a couple of hours…so you truly get
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  • 5 Misconceptions about healthy eating

    In a recent discussion with a friend, she blurted out "healthy eating and dieting are the same thing." I winced. If that is true, then I must have been dieting for years! How awful!

    Contrary to popular belief, healthy eating and dieting are two very different things. Unfortunately, healthy eating is really misunderstood and there's a chance most people have acquired some preconceived ideas about healthy eating and what it actually entails. Here are five misconceptions I just have to put to rest.

    1. Misconception 1: If you eat healthy, you must be on a diet. Too often, the word "diet" is confused with the concept of dieting. Most people equate dieting with deprivation, especially as related to foods they love. Whether you are at your ideal weight or trying to lose weight, eating healthy is NOT dieting. It IS eating a healthy diet, however, which is a proactive lifestyle choice. If you want to eat healthy, you are choosing to do so. You choose to optimize the way you eat to look and
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  • 3 Keys to lasting change

    I really believe in the mantra "Small changes for big impact." When it comes to creating change in our lives, it can be really challenging. Let's be honest: The older we get, the more difficult habits are to break. The more we have done something one way, the more difficult it is to do it another way. And, the longer we have a perspective, the harder it is to change the way we see things. This is human nature.

    So, why do we assume that when we want to create a change in our lives that it should be easy and that we can succeed within only a few short days? Well, that is human nature too. Many of us suffer from a need for instant gratification and when something takes too long, we give up or move on.

    Unfortunately, when it comes to creating change in our lives, the instant gratification we yearn for is the last thing we will see. The secret to making big changes that last is to realize that change takes time and that every big change requires many small steps. Here's why:

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  • Walnuts for a good night sleep?

    I'm a big nut lover (keep it clean, people). In all seriousness, I love nuts: They have a wonderful taste that makes most dishes robust and flavorful. Nuts, in general, are wonderful for your health. And, if you are a vegetarian, are a great source of protein. This season, enjoy the powerful little nugget, as they offer tons of benefits:

    1. Omega-3 Dense: Although walnuts are also high in Omega-6s, one serving provides almost 91% of your daily value for Omega-3 essential fatty acids. This is important because our body can't manufacture essential fatty acids on their own. Omega-3s are known to protect our heart, promote cognitive function and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.
    2. Immune Booster: Due to its containing ellagic acid, an antioxidant, walnuts are wonderful in supporting the immune system.
    3. Decreases Cholesterol Levels: Due to their high content of monounsaturated fats, walnuts may be helpful in reducing cholesterol and as a result, can potentially reduce
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  • 3 Tips to manage stress in the new year

    Stress is an inevitable part of life that comes in many forms. We experience stress physically, mentally and even, environmentally. And although some stress in life is normal, too much of it in our lives can take a tremendous toll on our health and well-being. And if stress isn't managed properly, it can ultimately contribute to heart disease and cancer. I think it goes without saying: diminishing stress and its effects is an important part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

    Not only will reducing stress positively impact your health, but it will increase productivity, improve relationships and help you have a more enjoyable life all around. This New Year, resolve to reduce stress and its impacts on your life.

    1. Acknowledgment: Acknowledging what causes you stress is the first step to understanding how to diminish it. Stress can become so "typical" in one's life, however, that it can become difficult to even know when you are under it. As a result, start paying attention to your
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  • 7 Reasons you shouldn't diet in 2010

    You may be making a New Year's Resolution to diet in 2010. Let me stop you there. If you are planning on losing weight in 2010, save your money and time, and instead, resolve NOT to diet. No, I'm not kidding.

    I know, I know…you want to lose weight. You want to have the body you had 5, 10, maybe even 20 years ago. Your skinny jeans are folded neatly under piles of clothes, just waiting for you to squeeze into them. Sound familiar? Many of us at some point have gone through this. But I'm going to tell you a secret…dieting doesn't work. Sure, these diets work in the short term, but after a dieter stops dieting, they most likely put back on some, if not all of the weight.

    In 2010, I'd like you to resolve not to diet. Here's why they don't work and what are better solutions for 2010:

    1. Malnutrition: Contrary to popular belief, most diets are not healthy and may actually border on malnutrition. Many urge us to do extreme things, forgo our favorite foods or cut major food groups in
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  • 5 Tips to help prevent pesky bladder leaks

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesBladder control is no laughing matter. Millions of women suffer from involuntary loss of urine…whether it is a few drops that no one else will notice…or a large amount that can become terribly embarrassing. Urinary incontinence can result from a variety of reasons…everything from pregnancy and childbirth to menopause to physical problems due to aging.

    Believe it or not, there are natural ways of improving your bladder health, without medication. To help eliminate pesky bladder leaks, you here are five tips:

    1. Kegels: You probably could have guessed this one…but it is true. The very exercises you do to strengthen your "hoo-ha" can also strengthen your bladder. The good news is this: "Doing bladder control exercises for just 5 minutes, three times a day, can make a big difference in your bladder control." To effectively do kegels, you should imagine that you are trying to stop passing gas or stop the flow of urine in mid-stream. Squeeze the muscles you would use. If you sense a
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  • 4 Reasons you are "fake hungry"

    Our appetites can be quite the pranksters. They often fool us to think we are hungry, when often, we may be suffering from something completely different. Distinguishing between false hunger and true hunger will help you know when your body really needs food and when it needs something else.

    1. Hunger Due to Eating the Wrong Food: Symptoms include craving high sugar foods or feeling "hungry" soon after eating a meal. If you just had a big meal that is high in simple carbohydrates and did not contain fiber, protein or healthy fat, all of which help provide a sense of satiety, you may have experienced a drop in blood sugar. In this case, have a healthy snack, such as a piece of fresh fruit and nuts, or cottage cheese or celery and peanut butter or 1/2 of a sandwich on whole grain bread).
    2. Emotional Hunger: Sometimes, our appetites can go haywire when we are experiencing boredom, fear, anxiety, stress or loneliness. Try taking a walk, journaling, listening to some favorite
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  • Tips for Eco-Friendly Entertaining

    If you want to throw a successful and enjoyable party, but also make less of an impact on the earth, here are some suggestions for ways to do so.

    Invitations: has an easy to use website that allows you to create invitations that are then sent by email. It offers online RSVP options and other party management features.

    Menu: Create your menu with seasonal and locally grown foods. Your eco-conscious guests will appreciate seasonal selections that were grown close to home and not transported thousands of miles to the market. Purchasing organic foods is also important to the environment, but some family farms can't afford the huge fee to get organic certification. So be sure to ask the farmer if their products are pesticide, hormone, and antibiotic-free.

    Decorations: Nature is one of your best resources for decorating in an eco-friendly way. Scour your backyard for fallen branches, sticks and leaves. Arrange the branches in an old water pitcher or other decorative

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  • 3 Musts to make food journaling work

    In a study done by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, those participants who kept a food diary lost almost twice the amount of weight of those who did not journal. Further, those who kept a diary managed to keep the weight off.

    What really makes a food journal successful? Obviously, recording what you eat and how much of it you eat is definitely an important component to track. But is that enough? I'd argue…no. Tracking your caloric intake is undeniably important, but it doesn't address the emotional side of eating. Many of us use food as a form of comfort…whether it be to fill a void…to alleviate emotional pain…to calm nervousness…or to offset boredom. In order to create sustainable lifestyle changes, knowing what triggers you to eat is arguably, just as important.

    Mindfulness of the hows, whys, whats and whens of your food consumption promotes balance, choice and acceptance of what is. To practice this mindfulness, keep a journal to document how you feel physically

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