Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • The 7 Secrets to Success

    SuccessSuccess can mean different things to different people. Some may equate success with making a lot of money. Others may equate it with being happy. Others see it as having strong and meaningful familial relationships and friendships. And finally, to some, it means ALL of these things. No matter how success is defined, many people often attribute success to luck. We hear it all the time: "She is so lucky that she has that job." "He is so lucky to have found such a perfect wife." "They are such a lucky family to be so close." Although luck can definitely play a hand in making one successful, more often than not, it takes a lot more than luck itself.

    Regardless of your definition of success, these characteristics are paramount in ensuring that success is achievable.

    1. Know yourself. The first important thing to success is knowing yourself. How many times have you heard the story of an "ultra-successful" man or woman who had a life-changing experience causing them to fully shift gears
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  • Food Dyes and Easter Eggs - Worth the Risk?

    Food ColoringI have fond memories of coloring our Easter eggs as a kid. My mom and I would use the food coloring in our cupboard once a year for this very special occasion. Otherwise, the food coloring just sat there, unused in the dark closet. Mom may have had a sixth-sense.

    Buy Safe Easter Egg Coloring Kits: Eco-Eggs Easter Egg Coloring Kit

    In the past I've discussed ingredients and additives worth avoiding in food products. Among them, you'll find artificial colors, or in other forms, food coloring or food dyes. Beyond the fact that most are made synthetically from coal-tar derivatives and are suspected of being toxic or carcinogenic, claims about these chemical compounds should give anyone reason for avoidance. For instance, some of these colorful compounds are said to contain up to ten parts per million of lead and/or arsenic, and many have been linked to allergic reactions, fatigue, ADD/ADHD, headaches, asthma, and even skin rashes, and finally, some artificial colors can contribute to

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  • Healthy Swaps for Your Omelet

    OmeletI love omelets. So much so, that I will often have an omelet for dinner. When dining out, however, an omelet is often a huge meal: toast, hash browns, bacon, you name it are part of the deal, making your choice a danger zone of cholesterol and fat. Although ordering an omelet at a restaurant or diner can seem like an unhealthy decision, you can make some very easy swaps that will make an otherwise fatty breakfast, or in my case dinner, much leaner and healthier. Here are five simple swaps to make the next time an omelet is on the horizon:

    1. You Say Potato, I say Tomato: Your order will almost always come with carb-intense and often fatty home fries or fried potatoes. A very simple, and extremely healthy swap is to ask for tomato slices instead. Almost every time I've done this, the restaurant has happily obliged. Tomatoes provide tons of fiber, have no fat and are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, which is great for heart health, boosting memory and reducing risk of cancer.
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  • How Friendly is Your City?

    DreamstimeSmile and the whole world will smile with you. Or will it? Living in both New York and Boston, I've grown accustomed to certain cultural norms in the northeast. For instance, north easterners are known for telling it like it is…being somewhat abrupt…being a bit aggressive…and keeping to ourselves. To many, these may not sound like overly attractive qualities, but it is what it is, and I've grown to understand it as "normal" where I live.

    For the last five years, my mom has been snowbirding to northern Florida, and as a result, we've visited the area quite a bit. I'm somewhat ashamed to say it took us by surprise as to how friendly people are in the south. Not only do they say "hello," but would wave from their moving vehicles as they passed. They smile. They are friendly. And they go out of their way to be pleasant. Although it usually takes a day or two to happen, my husband and I typically find ourselves actively saying hello to strangers, and feeling good about it. And the best

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  • Healthcare and Prevention: Would You Visit a Doctor for a Non-Emergency?

    XRay of FractureAbout two weeks ago, I slipped and fell, landing clear on my tailbone. The moment of the fall, the pain was so bad that I felt it in my head. After about a minute though, I managed to collect myself and stand up. Although a little shaken up, I was able to walk and decided I was okay. Over the next day or two I iced the area, and felt minor improvements. For better or worse, I'm not one to rush off to the emergency room. I'd have to be bleeding pretty badly or feel major pain to warrant spending the time and money to sit in a waiting room.
    After several days of pain, however, both my mom and a friend expressed their concern for my not having had an x-ray. I replied "that there was little that could be done, one way or another. If it was fractured, they couldn't very well put me in a cast." The tailbone is just one of those areas that needs to heal on its own. That said, I heeded their advice and made an appointment with my doctor for an examination of the area, and a possible x-ray.

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  • Is a Vitamix Worth the Price?

    VitamixI was lucky enough to meet the Executive Chairman of Vitamix at a recent conference. During our conversation, we commiserated on how we love smoothies and choose them over juice or juicing. I shyly admitted that I did not own a Vitamix, but instead, used my Magic Bullet religiously every day. When I got home, a Vitamix was waiting for me.

    Personally, I've been solicited by many brands, many times, but unlike many writers online, I usually abstain from writing reviews, especially those that are positive unless I really believe in them or like them. So, when Vitamix so generously gifted me with their machine, a review was not top of mind. After trying it, however, I knew I needed to share my thoughts.

    You'd think a blender, regardless of brand, would all work the same. But owning a Cuisinart, a Hand Blender by Hamilton Beach, a Magic Bullet and now a Vitamix, I can honestly say that they don't. Each one comes with its own advantages, and each with its disadvantages. When it comes

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  • Women's History Month: Let's Recognize the Women in Our Own Lives

    Women's History MonthAs we continue through March and celebrate Women's History Month, I have been inspired to think about the women in my life who I admire most. This month pays tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society. Since 1981, we've been celebrating women in history through Women's History Week, which inevitably became Women's History Month in 1988.

    Today, women make such a huge impact on our world and society, it is sometimes easy to forget the arduous road they had to pave to gain equality and the "right" to contribute the way we do. Although on a commercial level Women's History Month celebrates those in history who are famous, I'm quite certain many of us are truly inspired by women who we know personally, within our own lives. I am personally thankful for my mom and my grandmother. My mother has had a tremendous and powerful impact on me as an individual. She has taught me how to believe in myself, how to be compassionate

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  • A New Concept in Wellness You Won't Want to Miss

    As a wellness and spa expert, I've learned that although many individuals would like to go to a destination spa or wellness retreat, they often don't have the time, or for that matter, want to spend $5,000 - $10,000 on that type of experience or getaway. Additionally, those individuals who do go on these type of trips can find it challenging to incorporate all that they learned and experienced while away, into their everyday life when they return. Another thing I've come to find is that when it comes to purchasing products or services in the health and wellness space, many individuals want to try something first-hand before making a longer-term commitment or purchase. Understanding these dynamics, I saw an opportunity to create a localized "urban wellness retreat" that married local experts, businesses and services in the wellness industry with the local community members looking for what they have to offer. In other words, I wanted to take the concept of the destination wellness

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  • Why Resolutions Are so Difficult to Keep

    Tips for Healthier DessertsEvery New Year, it never fails: the gym is PACKED at every hour of every day, for the first three weeks of the year. When January 1st hits, people get a new spark of enthusiasm for being healthy. Gym memberships soar, health oriented websites surge in traffic and personal trainers don't have enough hours in the day to see the new clients who've signed up for sessions. Unfortunately, the enthusiasm rampant in the beginning of January wanes after a few weeks and before you know it, gyms have membership cancellations, websites see drops in traffic and personal trainers have a more manageable number of clients. This trend is as predictable as the ball dropping in Times Square New Year's Eve.

    There may be a reason for this: Recent studies show that while 52% of participants in a resolution study were confident of success with their goals, only 12% actually achieved their goals. A separate study in 2007 by Richard Wisemen from the University of Bristol showed that 78% of those who set

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  • A New Approach to the New Year's Resolution

    Painless Ways to Cut 100 or More CaloriesWe are in full-throttle holiday season. The general trend we will see over the next couple of weeks: Eating…Drinking…Merriment…until we can't take it any longer…which propels many of us into a fast and furious resolve to make change on January 1st. As much as I like to subscribe to the resolution tradition, I've come to realize over the years that often, they don't stick. The reason is simple: it is human nature to bite off more than we can chew.
    Change, even that which is positive, is difficult. Yet, we assume it should be achievable within a very short period of time. Is a matter of fact, it takes most of us 9 weeks to fully adapt to a change. Unfortunately, the instant gratification we crave is exactly what hinders us from attaining success. The key is to acknowledge and accept that change takes time and requires a longer-term commitment…and no matter how noble our intentions, it isn't going to happen all in one day on January 1st.

    If you're embarking on a resolution for big

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