Blog Posts by Brett Blumenthal - Sheer Balance

  • Do you stand up for what you believe in?

    Many times we're faced with situations that ask us to compromise our values. It could be a job offer with a company you don't respect. Or, your beliefs might be in the minority and you risk losing friend or family as a result. Or, maybe you don't agree with your boss…but are afraid to rock the boat for risk of losing your job. When confronted with these situations, it is sometimes difficult to stand your ground.

    Unfortunately, the more we compromise our beliefs, the more of a negative impact it has on our mental wellbeing. And, the more we compromise our values, the more we continue to do so. On the other hand, when we stand up for what we believe in, the benefits have an enormously positive impact:

    1. Self-Confidence: When others tell us what we should think, feel and do, it eats away at our self-confidence. We begin to distrust our own instincts and lose the ability to decipher what we really believe versus what everyone wants us to believe. Although it may be difficult at
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  • 3 Tricks to reduce sodium intake

    Salt, also known as sodium, is essential to our health and well being when consumed in the right amount. It is instrumental in:

    • Maintaining the right balance of fluids in your body
    • Transmitting nerve impulses
    • Influencing the contraction and relaxation of muscles

    Too much sodium, however, can contribute to health problems - namely high blood pressure - which can lead to cardiovascular disease and kidney disease. As a result, it is best to keep consumption to no more than 1,500 to 2,400 milligrams (mg) a day for healthy adults. The lower your sodium intake, the more beneficial it is to your blood pressure.

    Sodium is found in both table salt, and in processed and packaged foods. Is a matter of fact, much of the salt we consume is found in pre-packaged foods. So, it is best to watch your intake of both. In order to lower or minimize consumption, follow these tips:

    1. Read Nutrition Labels: Salt comes in many forms. Here are some ways to find it within

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  • 4 Ways to ensure a mentally healthy baby

    We often think of mental wellness as something we deal with as children, adolescents and adults, but it turns out, much of our mental health can be dependent on what happens when we are in the womb. Recently, I had Dr. Alan Logan, author of The Brain Diet: The Connection Between Nutrition, Mental Health, and Intelligence, as a guest on the Healthy Living Show and we discussed our diets and how they correlate to brain function and health. A good portion of the show focused on women and pregnancy and its influence on the mental health and brain development of their unborn fetus. As Dr. Logan suggests, it is never to early to take care of our mental wellbeing.

    So, what can moms-to-be do to ensure the best mental health for their soon-to-be child? Here are Dr. Logan's top four suggestions:

    1. DHA Omega-3s: Especially in the third trimester, Omega-3s are important for brain development and early childhood. Pregnant women should make sure they get enough DHA Omega-3s into their diet,
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  • 7 Reasons to grow your own veggies

    Growing up, springtime often meant it was gardening season. We never grew vegetables or fruit, but we definitely had our fair share of plantings, bushes, flowers and trees. Given my parents' passion for creating a beautifully landscaped property, I'm surprised we never embarked on the idea of a vegetable garden. Although I don't have my own outdoor space today, I yearn to grow a vegetable garden. Here's why:

    1. Rewarding: When we create and grow things ourselves, there is a huge sense of accomplishment and pride that one feels. It is much more gratifying to eat the food that you grow and raise yourself then if you buy it at a store.
    2. Organic at Home: When you grow your own vegetables, you choose the methods of how you grow them. You get to decide if you want to use chemicals, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers or if you would rather grow them organically. Since you make the decisions of how you will grow your garden, you know what you are really getting. It is the safest
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  • Ban negativity from your life for good!

    Have you ever had a conversation with a friend that left you feeling down, empty or alone, in spite of being in a good mood at the beginning of the discussion? Do you often find yourself worrying about the possible negative outcomes of doing something than the positive? Or, does the thought of going to work every day make you feel sick? If you said yes to any of these questions, you most likely have negativity in your life.

    Negativity doesn't always present itself in an obvious way. There are three sources from which negativity usually breeds: from your relationships, from yourself and from your environment. Whether you are receiving it from one or all sources, here are some things to do to reduce it in your life:

    From Your Relationships

    1. Minimize Toxic Relationships. Toxic relationships often come hand-in-hand with negativity. If an individual makes you feel bad about yourself, what you do, how you are, then the person is toxic. Toxic people often make others feel badly in
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  • 6 Foods to spring clean out of your diet

    I love spring cleaning. I rip open my closets and remove all of the items that seem to "weigh me down." Let's just say that the Salvation Army has come to expect a significant uptick in my giving in May. Spring cleaning, however, can also be applied to your health. This spring, aim to eliminate the foods that are taking a toll on your energy, your weight and your overall well-being. Here are six types of food worth cleaning out of your life for optimal health and an extra spring in your step!

    1. Refined Sugar and Sweetened Foods. Avoid foods with refined sugars as well as high fructose and regular corn syrups. Candy, soda, syrup, jelly, cookies and baked goods are on the "avoid list." Instead, eat foods that are naturally sweet or sweetened with fruit or 100-percent fruit juice. You can also use natural sweeteners, such as honey or pure maple syrup.
    2. White Flour, Refined Flour, Enriched Flour. Avoid eating bread, cereal or grain products that have been processed, refined or
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  • Can you find your soulmate in yourself?

    You've probably heard the saying: "To love, you have to first love yourself." This saying truly gets to the heart of Lauren Mackler's Solemate: Master the Art of Aloneness and Transform Your Life.

    I have to be completely honest, I'm biased in writing this review. Lauren Mackler was my career coach and instrumental in inspiring me to start Sheer Balance. So when it came to reviewing her book, I was sold even before I had my very own signed copy in hand. Although I never hired Lauren as a life coach, Lauren's methodologies and approach as a career coach were sound, practical and results oriented. After reading Solemate, I can honestly attest that the same holds true for her approach to life coaching.

    While many of Lauren's contemporaries and colleagues fall into the "Law of Attraction" arena, which for some of us seems way to ambiguous, dreamy and borderline "hoo-haey," Lauren's approach to finding happiness is packaged neatly into a step-by-step process that is commonsensical,

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  • How to find the best Pilates instructor for you

    Because the title "Pilates" can be used to describe any type of exercise that incorporates some aspect of the original Pilates method, finding a legitimate, effective, and safe studio with reputable instructors can be a consuming process.

    The original method designed and taught by Joseph Pilates is practiced today at studios that trained under the Romana's Pilates Method or Authentic Pilates Method. Romana Kryzanowska was Joe Pilates' protégé and the one he chose to carry on his legacy before he died in 1967. Today Romana is in her 80's, is still teaching through out the country, and continues to be the foundation of his method. Many branches of Pilates beyond these methods have altered or diffused the original system and have implemented new exercises and techniques that are not technically Pilates. The original method and its followers subscribe to a very high standard of practice.

    The Original Pilates Method:

    1. Is taught by instructors that either trained directly under Romana
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  • Are you limiting your oxygen intake?

    We take breathing for granted: it is an unconscious act. However, actively thinking about it puts you in touch with your inner self. Most of us take shallow breaths from our upper chests. When we are stressed, our breath becomes even shallower, limiting the amount of oxygen we take in, making us feel even more tense, short of breath, and anxious. When you focus on breathing deeply, and accessing your diaphragm or abdomen along with your lungs, you release stress and tension and connect to your core.

    Practicing controlled breathwork has many benefits. It helps us restore natural breathing patterns, it reduces tension and relieves stress, and even aids in digestion.

    The chart below provides the difference between shallow and deep breathing.

    Level of Breath Amount of Air Breathed Impact
    Chest About 1 teacup of oxygen Chest breathing makes your brain create shorter, more restless
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  • 3 Moves to get your butt into swimsuit shape

    Summer is just around the corner...and you know what that means: Time to fit into your swimsuit! Many clients complain to me that their worst fear is "butt ooze" out of the back of their bathing suit. The good news is that your butt is one of the easiest areas to tone. There are tons of great exercises that you can do that don't require a gym membership. To avoid bathing suit "butt ooze" you want to firm, tone and lift the muscles to give your behind a nice shape.

    Although the videos are a bit on the "home-video" side, these are my three favorite exercises for toning and lifting your butt:

    Butt Blaster: Floor Kick Backs

    Butt Blaster: Side Leg Lifts & Bends

    Butt Blaster: 90 Degree Lifts

    Originally posted on

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