Probiotics #bebetter52

1.jpg

“Go with your gut.” Some sound advice we have all heard at some point in our life. Well, this week at the Be Better Movement we are taking the saying literally. As it turns out, there’s a great deal our guts can tell us, and it doesn’t all have to do with our intuition. Our gut is actually an entire ecosystem composed of trillions of strains of bacteria that make up what is called our microbiome. Making sure the good bacteria are thriving can do wonders for your overall health. In fact, an imbalance of gut bacteria is suspected by many healthcare and functional medicine professionals to be linked to autoimmune diseases, mental health conditions, digestive problems, skin conditions, and a variety of other health complications. So it is incredibly important to keep your gut happy and healthy! There are a myriad of ways to do this, but the most popular and effective way is through incorporating probiotics in your diet.

Probiotics have become pretty trendy in this health-focused day and age, so it’s likely you’ve heard the term buzzing around your circle of friends or at your local farmers’ market. This week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to incorporate probiotics in your diet, or to find new creative ways of doing so if you already do. While many choose to get their probiotics through supplements, we’d like to highlight the many delicious foods that contain probiotics. We recommend the Kefir probiotics since it is one of the most probiotic rich foods available to us!

3.jpg

Kefir, unlike yogurt, contains bacteria that can actually colonize and attack pathogens and bad bacteria in your gut! It has been shown to boost immunity, support strong bones, and improve digestion among other benefits. Kefir can be found in a variety of forms including dairy kefir, coconut kefir, and water kefir. Another great source of probiotics are cultured vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi. Since these foods are fermented, they are high in enzymes, not to mention they add a certain tang to your favorite meals. If you’d prefer to reap the benefits of probiotics through a refreshing beverage, kombucha may be a good option for you. It can be found at most grocery stores and markets and comes in a wide variety of flavors so that you’re sure to find one that hits the spot for your afternoon energy boost. If you subscribe to My Be Better Box, then you received a Kefir Start Kit from Cultures for Health. Let us know how your kefir starting experience goes by posting a picture on social media with #bebetter52.

A few more foods that support gut health include miso soup, tempeh, apple cider vinegar, raw cheese, pickles, sourdough bread, and even dark chocolate!

As you can see, there is no shortage of gut-friendly foods to enrich your diet and improve your health. We are excited to see all the ways our 52ers “go with their gut” this week!

Additional resources:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/gut-microbiome-and-health

https://draxe.com/kefir-benefits/

https://draxe.com/probiotic-foods/



Letters of Love #bebetter52

2.jpg

This week’s #bebetter52 challenge will focus on LOVE, not just romantic love, but the love we experience from all different types of relationships in our lives.

When people think about February, they often think about Valentine’s Day, which leads to either a warm, fuzzy feeling – or a feeling of loneliness. Every Valentine’s Day we are flooded with messages of romantic love. From pastel candy hearts with flirty messages to bundles of red roses scattered throughout every grocery store, the holiday’s emphasis on romantic relationships is loud and clear. But remember back to when you were in elementary school, when the holiday was not about romantic love but about showing love through cards and candy. It is no secret the world needs more love, so let us open our hearts and share love with more people in it. Whether it be our partner, a family member, a friend, or perhaps someone we have never met before.

BEBETTERMOVEMENT-1927.jpg

This week’s challenge is to spread love to those who least expect it through love letters! A fun way to complete this week’s challenge is to write letters of love and leave them around your community or in library books, for example. Spreading love can have a profound impact, especially when unexpected and to a stranger. You can also hand deliver letters of love to neighbors, leave them around the house for family members or roommates or, of course, by snail mail.

Another powerful way to write love letters to people you have never met is through the website, More Love Letters . It connects us with new individuals. They offer two ways to become involved. The first way is to write a letter to one of the people nominated, (Joe, Regina, Shelby, Anthony and Erica) who are real people in need of words of love and encouragement. You read their story, write a letter, and mail it to the address provided.

This week’s challenge reminds us to opens our eyes and see where expressions of love might positively affect those who may be overlooked or feeling down.  And it helps us realize the boundless power behind simple, small gestures that can make enormous differences in people’s lives.

Happy Valentine’s Day #bebetter52 friends! Let’s get writing!



Mindful Eating #bebetter52

Copy of Copy of Copy of Unproductive #bebetter52-2.jpg

It’s happened again! You’re getting ready to leave for work or to take your daughter to school when you suddenly look at the time! Breakfast will have to be eaten in the car. You spend your lunch break responding to emails and, before you know it, your salad has disappeared, and you can’t even recall what you just ate.

BEBETTERMOVEMENT-1947.jpg

Because our lives can be so busy, routine moments like sitting down and eating a meal are often low on our priority list. However, this week’s #bebetter52 challenge is to mindfully eat by eating at least one meal with your non-dominant hand. This will help you slow down and actually taste your food. This practice essentially involves paying attention to what you are eating, chewing slowly and appreciating the flavors, and listening to your body’s hunger cues. Other mindful eating techniques include: putting away any electronics during the meal, setting down utensils between bites and chewing food 20 times per bite. We have found these tips lend themselves to a mindful eating experience.

There are many benefits to engaging in the practice. According to US News, mindful eating can help you lose weight and avoid type 2 diabetes! Eating slowly helps you have a better sense of when you are full, allowing you to eat less while actually enjoying your food more. Additionally, according to Medium, mindful eating promotes better digestion and absorption of nutrients. The digestion process actually begins as you chew your food. By breaking the food down more, you make it easier on the rest of your digestive system to process and make use of the nourishment you are providing it.

Mindful eating can also be incredibly beneficial for your mental health as it allows you to take some time in your day to practice meditation. You have to eat no matter what, so why not make it a time to be present and to express gratitude? We can’t wait to see what delicious meals and peaceful moments are in store for our 52ers this week!



Dark Chocolate #bebetter52

Copy of Copy of Copy of Unproductive #bebetter52-2.jpg

Who doesn’t love indulging in chocolate? Whether it be Valentine's Day chocolate, birthday treats, or winter holiday decadence, chocolate seems to follow us through every season! Although the thought of chocolate may cause some of us to stress about keeping our diet healthy, dark chocolate has been discovered to hold a number of health benefits!

For this week, we have a fun and simple challenge! Enjoy a bit of dark chocolate! It is a wonderful source of antioxidants and is the healthiest form of chocolate to consume. Studies have shown that dark chocolate benefits the heart and brain. Eating moderate amounts twice a week can actually lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, help prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke.

Trying to get in all your vitamins for the week can be challenging. Dark chocolate may help solve that problem because potassium, copper, magnesium and iron are all found in this sweet treat!

BEBETTERMOVEMENT-1943.jpg

There are multiples ways to incorporate dark chocolate into your week. Whether dipping a banana in chocolate, enjoying chocolate-covered almonds or finding small chocolate thins to munch on in the car, you have a surplus of products and ways to help you receive all the health benefits while fulfilling your sweet cravings. Take a photo of your favorite dark chocolate snack this week and post with the hashtag #bebetter52!

We personally love the brand Theo’s chocolate! Their chocolate bars are vegan, non-GMO, and they specialize in a variety of fun dark chocolate bars. Whether it be turmeric dark chocolate, peanut butter dark chocolate, or sea salt dark chocolate, they have a variety to fit everyone's taste buds.

Links:

Theo Chocolate

Ways to Eat Dark Chocolate

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate



Post Affirmations #bebetter52

Copy of Connect with Elderly-3.jpg

Sometimes all we need are a few words of encouragement. But who says those words have to come from someone else? Giving yourself a boost can bring you motivation, patience, self-love, and positivity to keep your life moving in the right direction. And receiving these upbeat messages from yourself is sustainable and empowering! That’s why this week at Be Better, we are tapping into the power of self-affirmation.

For this week’s #bebetter52 challenge, we would like you to visually display three positive messages. They can be uplifting and motivational quotes or ones specifically written by you. Post them in places you will see frequently, a bathroom mirror, the refrigerator door, or even your steering wheel, so you can be filled with positivity. You could use a sticky notes, a simple piece of paper with some tape behind it or cute affirmation cards--anything that’s easy to use. Make it simple. Each note should contain a different positive message.

IMG_7548.JPG

Affirmation tips: These notes should be your chance to build yourself up. Think about something you love most about yourself. Or better yet, focus on one of your weaknesses and use this as an opportunity to become more confident in that area. Let’s say you are self-conscious about the way you talk loudly and come off too strongly at times. Write down how you love how bold and passionate you are because it allows you to accomplish your dreams. This note is an exercise in loving your whole self, even your perceived “flaws.” Self-love is a journey and a conscious effort, so simple affirmations can be the perfect way to reignite that positivity.

BEBETTERMOVEMENT-1948.jpg

Our challenge to you is to write these three notes and leave them up for a week. However, feel free to write as many notes as you like and leave them up for as long as your heart desires. And don’t forget to observe the way it enhances your days and improves your life more than you ever anticipated. Post photos of you and your positive affirmation notes with the hashtag #bebetter52 so we can all see what wonderful traits the Be Better community has. We are so excited to see the transformations these positive notes can create for you, 52ers! Until next week!

In the Box:

If you are a My Be Better Box subscriber, we hope you enjoy the handmade inspirational cards that fit perfectly in your wallet or can be taped to your mirror. They are also totally adorable for surprise notes to add in your kids’ lunch boxes.