7 Healthy Tips for the Impulsive and Impatient

by Charlotte on December 6, 2011 · 26 comments

 

Likewise, may you not go to jail for 4 years for killing him either. I love someecards.

One of the things I find most mystifying about this season (besides wondering why nobody ever writes new Christmas songs – I’m a fan of all the big holiday hits but a girl can only hear Jingle Bell Rock so many times, especially if it’s Mariah Carey singing it) is why people want to wait until January 1st to do things. See, I’m impatient. And impulsive. And while the two combined have resulted in many a comical life disaster (ask me about the time I showed up to a job interview wearing a dress that I had shortened with a pair of scissors ten minutes beforehand in the parking lot), the good thing is that once I decide to do something I do it. Right then. Even if it is the middle of the night. People love this about me. So much so that my husband now takes sleeping pills and refuses to discuss anything of import with me after 10 p.m.

So in the spirit of the New Year and a toast to immediacy, I offer you seven healthy changes that you can do right now. Today! Maybe even this very second! Why waste a month (or a good hem) in waiting?

1. Move your fruit bowl to the middle of your table. A) It’s a pretty centerpiece so people will think you decorate and stuff and b) you’re more liable to eat it if you see it first thing when you walk into your kitchen. Studies say that the average American eats less than 2 servings a day of fruits and vegetables. While I find that hard to believe about my readers – if I have learned one thing doing this blog it is that you are hardly average! – we could all use a fiber barrier between us and the eggnog* cooling device.

2. Call your sister. In the famed Harvard longevity study, one of the most surprising correlations they found was that people who had a good relationship with a sibling – particularly a sister – lived longer and were happier. I’m fortunate to have two very smart sisters whose sole purpose in life seems to be entertaining me via the hands-free attachment of my cell phone. It’s gotten to the point where my kids think Aunt LaLa is really my imaginary friend who appears during Mommy’s Crazy Time (i.e. the hours between dinner and bedtime) to talk me down from the ledge.

3. Laugh. A popular axiom points out that babies laugh an average of 50 times a day and while it fails to point out that the little nippers also cry 50 times a day, it is worth noting that we seem to lose some of our good humor as we get older. A good belly laugh releases a flood of endorphins and all that fizziness counteracts the bad effects of the stress hormone cortisol. What was YouTube invented for if not to make you giggle? A fast connection and plenty of bandwidth and the world is your oyster! (Shhh…surprise kitty!)

4. Meditate. Quietly pondering life, the universe and everything – or nothing – has many benefits. If you are the kind who doesn’t like to just sit and stare at your eyelids, try moving through a couple of gentle yoga postures. Sure you’ll have to wear those stupid head bands Mischa Barton has been pimping and say things like “groovy” but it’ll be worth it when you can bust out the calming breaths the next time the cashier closes the line right before you.

5. Write with your left hand. You know what’s fun at parties? Showing off your ambidexterity! If you’re single you can write down two numbers at once, although how you juggle two dates at once without anyone pulling a Tiger Woods is up to you. Plus it’s like insurance in case you ever have to cut off one hand to save your life (what? It happens!). Seriously though, research has shown that doing small tasks like eating or writing with your non-dominant hand or tying your shoelaces backwards is like steroids for your willpower muscle. And everyone needs beefed-up willpower this time of year whether it’s holding your tongue when your mother-in-law plays Rorshach with the stains in your carpet (“Hmm… this one looks like vacuum! Wonder what that means?”) or the tray of Christmas bon-bons left on your doorstep. My favorite way is to do a my daily crossword puzzle – yes, I’m in the AARP – with my left hand. See? Healthy can be fun!

6. Notice 5 new things. How often do we rush through our days without really seeing what’s around us? Case in point: yesterday I didn’t see a man behind me who apparently wanted to open a door for me. I opened it myself and he chastised me for not waiting for him. (His exact words, weirdly enough, were, “In Texas women are real ladies.” Ok, then!) Anyhow, we both would have felt better had I noticed him there and allowed him his gentlemanly act. Although now that I’ve just typed that out, the situation seems oddly creepy. So whether you are noticing the creepy gentleman behind you or the way the light shines off the snow on the tree branches, taking note of the novelty around you will sharpen your senses, brighten your day and make you grateful.

7. Do something kind for someone else. Nothing will make you feel better faster than this. Need an idea? Abby, the hilarious writer behind the blog Abby Has Issues┬ájust came out with her first book and she’s donating ALL the proceeds to the Humane Society to save shelter animals. “Buy a book, save a kitten (or a one-eyed hamster)!”

Finally, healthy changes you can actually do in Just 15 Minutes a Day! While it won’t get you Washboard Abs or even a washboard, I guarantee it will make you feel better and that’s more than most diets can say.

*confession: I don’t really like eggnog – it’s just so much more fun to type than “chilled water.” My fave holiday beverage? Spiced cider, or as I like to call it from my days as a serving wench in the Rennaisance Festival (true story – I even got to carry the rum pudding and light it on fire) – mead! (Now having just typed that it occurs to me that since I went to school in Utah, mead may not actually be spiced cider but rather an alcoholic holiday beverage. I could google it. Or I could let my ignorance stand and just go to bed.)

What is your favorite do-it-right-now healthy tip? What is your favorite holiday beverage?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

KymberlyFunFit December 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm

As always, you crack me up. Now about that part to call my sisters, does it count if I call to yell at them? Or just at one certain twin sister? What if I incorporate the word “ambidexterity” into the conversation? Do I gain smartypants-ness and better health? Well, off I go to contemplate something or another. Ta ta

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Kay in India December 7, 2011 at 12:51 am

Favorite holiday beverage? Anything that’s warm and with Bailey’s [have to force myself to ignore the fact that one serving of bailey's is like eating a chocolate brownie].

It’s kinda sad that I’m an only child. Does my life span get automatically shortened because I can’t call a sibling…ever?? But then I also have a cat–which, I’ve read, tend to increase longevity. So maybe my lack of a sibling gets ‘canceled’ because I have a cat.

Definitely missing the Holiday Season-ness of Canada over here.

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Sue December 7, 2011 at 1:26 am

My favorite holiday beverage is mulled wine. I’ve shown a lot of restraint and only (!) had 3.5 mugs so far. It’s just so delicious!
I don’t have any siblings I could call, but maybe I should get over my shyness and call a friend.
A few years ago I taught myself how to use the computer mouse with my left hand. That’s kind of neat, as I can simultaneously click away and take notes. Boy, I must be so smart! ;)
My personal get-healthy-in-15-minutes tip is going for a walk. You (well, me) get away from your desk for a while, get to stretch your legs, get your heart rate up, and get to breathe in some oxygen. Win-win-win-win!
P.S. Mead, also called honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution of honey and water. (Source: Wikipedia) It can be served hot or chilled and is quite delicious. (Source: me)

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Sarah December 7, 2011 at 1:38 am

Fav holiday bevarage has got to be Baileys, or mulled wine. Not very original there.

Fav do-it-right-now tip … you planned to exercise but don’t feel like it – do 10 minutes anyway. You might feel like doing the rest of it, and if not, hey 10 mins is 10 more minutes than 0 mins.

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Crumpled Moments December 7, 2011 at 4:35 am

My favorite holiday beverage is hot cocoa with a candy cane used for stirring it.
Does keeping my big dopey mutt from going to a shelter count as doing something kind? I caught all 80 lbs of that mutt standing on top of my kitchen table. She’s 14 years old and has never done it before. I don’t even know how she was able to get up there, but I’ll bet she’ll never do it again.

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Miz December 7, 2011 at 5:18 am

we did it!!

seriously.

that’s my comment.

and.
quickfastinahurryyoursrockedSCENE.

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Abby December 7, 2011 at 6:01 am

Just when I thought I couldn’t love you more…

Anyway, that’s as mushy as I get, so I’ll reply to your question instead. I don’t have a hard time staying on track during the holidays, but I do think just doing SOMEthing active for 30 mins a day is a lifesaver. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care. As long as I get those 30 mins in of riding the bike, walking, doing yoga–anything active–I’m relatively sane. Relatively.

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Michelle December 7, 2011 at 6:43 am

Favourite holiday drink – an after eight- dark hot chocolate, peppermint schnappes and whipped cream

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Jenn December 7, 2011 at 6:52 am

No… number 6 is just creepy. It would have been one thing if he got there first and held the door open for you… but you were supposed to notice him behind you and just wait for him to open the door for you? Since when are REAL ladies completely helpless and just expect things like that from total strangers? I might make a comment if I get a door dropped in my face or someone who ignores me holding a door for them (“You’re WELCOME.”), but expecting someone to wait for you to get to the door to open it for them… that’s just weird.

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redhead December 7, 2011 at 7:18 am

Yeah, my first thought reading that was “well, in the rest of the states, real men don’t get their panties in a bunch if a random woman they know is capable of doing something for herself.” But then I wondered if I was the only one and overreacting! Haha.

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Katie December 7, 2011 at 7:34 am

When I was in high school I really wanted to be ambidextrous. I took notes with my left hand, did homework assignments, wrote notes to my friends (in study hall, of course) and everything. I got pretty good at it too.

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Dr. J December 7, 2011 at 7:46 am

8) Visit Charlotte’s blog!

Nice list!!

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cbuffy December 7, 2011 at 8:35 am

Best “do it right now” tip? DRINK WATER! Right now. Grab your handy water jug and slug some back. With winter here (it’s going to be 40 in Florida tonight!!!! WHAT???) we are all more likely to be dehydrated. (I add a little grapefruit essencial oil to make it tasty…)

My fave holiday beverage? Homemade eggnog using my sister’s recipe! Maybe I should kill a bunch of birds with one stone, call my sister while making her eggnog and sipping on water… LOL

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geosomin December 7, 2011 at 8:37 am

Mmmmm…mead is a delicious strong wine/ale made with honey. A local microbrewery makes blackberry mead in the holidays. It is divine.
I really tried to be ambidextrous as a kid. It *so* did not happen :)
I like the fruit bowl on the table thing. I’ll have to try that…

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AD'Angelo December 7, 2011 at 10:00 am

Hello Charlotte…just found this terrific blog! What a joy to read…
Ok, so my favorite holiday drink would definitely have to be Icewine from the beautiful region of Niagara.
Best tip you can do right now? Start keeping a journal. I started keeping a personal journal years ago…recorded my diet plan and even included my thoughts and feelings along the way. It’s proven to be priceless for me today as I can often go back and recall things I did or not so well on my own personal weight loss journey. Makes for great hindsight…and even greater learning going forward into the new year.

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Heather December 7, 2011 at 10:25 am

Doing something for someone else is by far my favorite holiday tip!

Though, I also like the ambidextrous thing. It’s entertaining if nothing else.

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Jasmine December 7, 2011 at 10:30 am

Fruit bowl, that’s genius! I’ve been debating over what to do with my table since the fall bouquet in a basket isn’t very seasonally appropriate anymore.

I personally love warm eggnog, but the proper kind, with farm eggs and heavy cream turned into a custard, a sweet meringue folded into it, with a good dose of healthful spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and vanilla. Mmm… Too rich to drink more than a small yeacupful, but so very good.

I also like mulled wine for when I have company over. Out comes the big crockpot, into it goes a sack of spices and a few bottles of good Malbec, by the time dinner’s over the house smells divine and we all enjoy a cuppa seasonal brew.

I love the holidays!

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Ty December 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

Hmmm… I like the seasonal teas. Sugar cookie, ginger bread, sweet plum, and pumpkin spice. Yummy.

I am “left-handed” in that I write with my left hand but I tend to do everything else (use a mouse, use scissors) with my right hand.

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Tony - Coach Calorie December 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Compliment another person on their fitness. Not only does this give self confidence to that person and validate all their hard work, but it helps to inspire and motivate you to be fit.

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Blaine December 7, 2011 at 6:17 pm

#7a: Get a dog from the Humane Society that needs lose 20 lbs whose breeds needs lots of exercise. This translates to me getting lots of exercise.

As for drinks, hot chocolate is a favorite among the family. Although during the winter, the quantity of hot chocolate consumed is significant, we keep the companies in business during the summer also.

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Abby December 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Hmmm, I don’t think I actually like holiday beverages! Maybe sparkling cider. That stuff is pretty tasty with a nice pile of latkes. (I make up for not drinking things like eggnog by eating large amounts of fried potatoes, lest you think I’m healthy at this time of year or something.)

See, I always told my mom she should have given me a sister! It was definitely about me wanting to live longer and not about my 6-year-old annoyance at having to share my toys with a boy :)

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Jody - Fit at 54 December 7, 2011 at 8:00 pm

I am loving these posts Charlotte! Being kind, laughter, notice 5 things – all of them – LOVE!

Do right now – LEARN! Never think you know it all! ;-) Beverage – I love my flavored coffee!!!!

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SinnerElla December 7, 2011 at 9:54 pm

You are my favorite A.D.D. parenthesis user on the planet. (other than me, but that sounds a bit narcissistic)

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bath chairs December 8, 2011 at 6:00 am

how can i write with my left hand:( its really hard

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Tamara December 8, 2011 at 9:07 am

My favorite meditative yoga practice is a simple cat-cow flow. Sometimes I toss in some downward dogs. Good stuff!

As for beverages, I’m a fan of Silk Nog, but haven’t been buying it the last year or two as I can’t drink a whole pint by myself and hate to waste it. I consume dairy but like the Silk Nog because it’s lighter, yet really delicious. I believe I saw some So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog somewhere, might have to try that this year!

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Roseanne Lusby April 12, 2012 at 9:38 am

amazing info you are putting out there. i would like to see more read from you keep up the amazing work.

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