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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Big Benefits

It can be overwhelming — advice for a “healthier you,” different diet trends, fitness fads, buzzwords like “self-care,” and the list goes on! Add that to your daily to-do list, and the swirl can prevent us from making any changes at all! Here are some proven, small changes you can incorporate into your regimen that can help realize big benefits over time!


Stretch in bed, before you even get up!
Before your feet hit the floor, stretch your body! Something as simple as pulling your legs into your chest, some light Yoga moves like “Happy Baby,” “Cat/Cow,” and “Child’s Pose,” and rolling yourself up to seated, can prevent us from feeling stiff or pulling anything later in our day. You’d be surprised at how a couple of minutes of good stretching can get things going!

Start your day with lemon water.
Easy enough, right? A proven digestive aid, warm lemon water help you “get things moving” in the morning, and it’s also a great source of hydration, some vitamin C and potassium, and flushing toxins is great for our skin!

Choose to park farther away and take the stairs when possible.
This may or may not require packing a change of shoes — but rather than seeking the closest parking spot and gliding up the elevator or escalator, build in some extra time and park farther away, and take the long way in to work, the store, etc.

Read for pleasure.
How many of us tend to focus on reading for work, for school, and forgetting to find time to immerse ourselves in some good old-fashioned, fun reading? Even blocking 15 minutes a day — the type of reading material can be a source of “meditation” in a way — closing off the noise and stepping away from reality for a bit. A dear friend of mine calls it “magazine time.” Whatever you choose to read, make it fun and interesting, and let yourself get sucked in!

Plan your meals ahead of time, and designate time to shop and prepare.
This one can involve something as small as blocking time consistently on Sundays to shop, to going all out and doing a weeklong “meal prep.” Don’t put too much pressure on yourself if you’re new to this. Baby steps! Start with making a detailed shopping list that aligns with two or three meals or lunches you want to prep this week. If it resonates with you, explore purchasing meal prep containers and buying food in bulk, spending an afternoon prepping for the week! It works for single folks and families, and can help cut down on food costs while helping us make better food choices — from increasing our veggie and protein intake to preventing us from hitting the drive thru.

Try a new fruit or vegetable.
Sound silly? Some of us are simply not well versed in fruits and veggies. I had never tried Brussels sprouts until my sister brought them to a family function. Now, I roast them up and eat a giant bowl as a meal. Mangoes? Had never purchased them. After a friend told me how to properly cut them, it’s become a favorite snack. Explore new ways to prepare fruits and veggies and sneak them into meals — you may find a new favorite!

Forced disconnection.
Sometimes we can inadvertently set expectations others have of us if we respond immediately to emails, texts, social media messages, etc. that are not urgent, or if we are firing off notes afterhours. Consider setting the Do Not Disturb on your phone during meals, from say, 9pm to 7am. This can also improve sleep habits greatly. Give yourself plenty of “cushion” time from your last glimpse at a screen to the time you turn off the light. Some studies say we need up to 90 minutes of screen-free time before hitting the sack. As for daytime disconnection, sometimes I turn the phone off and hide it under the mattress. I sure do get a lot done around the house that way. Ha! In all seriousness, we’ve gotta find ways to cut down on the screen time and be present and engaged. If it means hiding the phone or laptop from ourselves, so be it.

Explore meditation and mantras.
If you’re new to meditation, you can start with literally two minutes each morning — hide in the bathroom or closet if you have to. Consider setting a timer, some even wear ear plugs. Traditional mantras are words or phrases that, by reciting them, can raise the level of consciousness by bringing about greater awareness. Many practitioners choose to go with the primordial “Om,” or a particular holy verse or monosyllabic word. Others may choose to try to clear their minds completely for meditation. Some choose a more modern approach, seeking meditation as a way to incorporate self-care mantras into their day, with phrases like “I am confident and loved,”  “I can do anything I set my mind to,”  “It’s going to be an amazing day,” etc. It’s your private, quiet moment — use it as you see fit. There are many, many books and courses out there to help with learning meditation and mantras — it’s a very interesting practice!
Practice positive recognition.
    

In today’s hectic and, unfortunately, sometimes negative world, let’s remember to push the positive energy out into the universe. We can sta rt with a simple “thank you.” Did someone do something kind for you or make you feel welcome, accepted, happy, loved, appreciated, etc.? Was someone at the restaurant you ate at yesterday especially warm and friendly? Did a co-worker help you solve a problem? Did your neighbor pull your trash can up from the curb for you? Have you been too busy to sit down and talk with a dear friend or family member for a while? Whoever it is and whatever it is, we can all increase our gratitude levels and take a moment to recognize others’ situations (while also being aware of how they may feel about recognition. Sometimes, private is better than public). Tell their boss, shoot them a text, send a hand-written note. Who doesn’t love hand-written notes? They will never go out of style (I hope).

Explore new ways to move, heal, and care for your body.
Simple enough? It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. This can mean walking the dog around the block and being cognizant of your posture and pulling your abdominals towards your spine as you walk, scheduling a massage to work out any knots or fascia issues, checking out local float therapy, getting a facial, learning about Alexander technique, trying a new fitness class or scheduling a private training session, or joining a dance class — any way to improve the movement of your body, the stimulation of your cells and tissue, the release of endorphins and expelling toxins, and most importantly, anything that leaves you feeling amazing afterwards.

Move. is proud to be Bloomington-Normal’s only fully equipped Pilates studio. Owned by Pilates instructors Georgia Thomson and Jennie Durchholz, Move. offers a variety of group classes as well as private training. For more information, please call 309-808-3302 or visit our website at MovePilatesBloomington.com. Located at 712 East Empire, Bloomington, IL 61701.

 

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