Mind & Body Health

LIFE WORK BALANCE

Ideas worth sharing about health, life and work balance. Learning to be more productive and full of energy. 



Sustainable eating is about choosing the right foods that are healthful to our environment and our bodies. We at Mood Food Organic Catering would like to share these 7 Healthful Tips for Sustainable Eating:


7 Tips for Sustainable Eating

Unless you're a farmer, the best way to support the benefits of sustainable farming is to eat sustainably. Below are some tips to get you started.


1. Grow something. It could be herbs in a pot, tomatoes on a patio or a small plot in your yard. Not much gives you a greater appreciation for what it takes to create food than to grow your own. You understand the multitude of factors involved in making plants thrive, the attention needed to successfully grow food and how precarious the process can be. Those insights likely will influence how you buy, use and dispose of food.


2. Shop locally. Shopping locally is a fun way to support your community. It keeps your dollars in the community in which you live and fosters a healthy environment of diversity. When you purchase foods that were grown locally, it cuts down on the amount of fuel needed to ship the food to your market.


3. Initiate conversations about food. Talk with the farmers at your market, personnel at your grocery store and restaurateurs, or the growing number of people who are paying attention to how foods get on their plates. You can discover new tips, learn about new resources and find more local, sustainably-minded food producers and providers.


4. Eat seasonally. Blueberries don't grow in Montana during January, yet you can still buy "fresh" at this time. This means they're likely coming from far, far away. When possible, focus on foods that are available in season where you live and you'll be supporting sustainability.


5. Tap your tap. Liquids are some of the heaviest items to ship around the country and lots of fossil fuel is needed to tote them. Instead of purchasing bottled beverages, use a refillable bottle and fill it with water from the tap or filter.


6. Retool your grocery list. Think bulk foods, more minimally processed foods and more plant-based meals. Doing so translates into less packaging and waste and less energy and water used to produce certain foods.


7. Vote with your wallet and your fork. There's no better way to affect the direction of our food system and what grocers, restaurateurs and food companies produce and sell than to influence their bottom line. Ask your food providers to support local farmers, local producers and sustainable agriculture. Show support through your buying decisions.


(source: https://www.eatright.org/health/lifestyle/culture-and-traditions/sustainable-eating)



Mineral Water contains high quantities of minerals: especially magnesium, calcium, and sodium. Mineral water comes from underground reservoirs. Unlike regular drinking water, mineral water does not undergo chemical processing.We at Mood Food Organic Catering would like to share an article from Medical News Today discussing possible health benefits associated with drinking mineral water:


Mineral Water vs. Regular Water

All living organisms need water to survive. Not only does water support essential physical functions, it also provides vital nutrients that the body does not produce on its own.

While most people in the United States have access to clean drinking water, many people choose bottled mineral water for its perceived purity and potential health benefits.

How does mineral water compare with regular water? Based on the current evidence, the differences are not very significant.


Both types contain minerals and undergo some form of processing. However, by definition, mineral water must contain a certain amount of minerals, and the bottling process takes place at the source.


We discuss the differences between tap water and mineral water below.


Tap water

The water in household taps comes either from surface or underground sources.

In the U.S., tap water must meet the Safe Drinking Water Act standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These regulations limit the number of contaminants present in water supplied to homes.


Public water suppliers move water from its source to treatment plants, where it undergoes chemical disinfection. The clean water ultimately gets delivered to households through a system of underground pipes.


Tap water contains added minerals, including calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Hard tap water has higher mineral contents, which some consider more healthful. However, minerals in hard water form deposits that can corrode pipes or restrict the flow.


Also, despite the efforts of public water suppliers, contaminants from rusted or leaking pipes can pollute drinking water.


Mineral water

Mineral water comes from natural underground reservoirs and mineral springs, giving it a higher mineral content than tap water.


According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), mineral water must contain at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids. The FDA prohibit these manufacturers from adding minerals to their products.


Minerals that are often present in mineral water include:

· calcium

· magnesium

· potassium

· sodium

· bicarbonate

· iron

· zinc


Unlike tap water, mineral water is bottled at the source. Some people prefer mineral water due to its perceived purity and the lack of chemical disinfection treatments.


However, mineral water may undergo some processing. This can include adding or removing carbon dioxide (CO2) gas or eliminating toxic substances, such as arsenic.

CO2 helps prevent oxidation and limits bacterial growth in mineral water. Naturally carbonated water gets its CO2 from the source. Manufacturers can also infuse their water with CO2 after extraction.


The next sections discuss five potential benefits of drinking mineral water.


1. A source of magnesium

Both bottled mineral water and tap water can be sources of magnesium. This nutrient plays essential roles in regulating blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and nerve function.

Some sources have more or less magnesium than others. The amount of magnesium in water can range from 1 milligram per liter (mg/l) to more than 120 mg/l, depending on the source.


The daily recommended allowance for magnesium is as follows:

· 310–320 mg for adult females

· 400–420 mg for adult males


According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, most people in the U.S. consume less than the recommended amount of magnesium.


Below are some symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

· loss of appetite

· fatigue

· muscle weakness

· nausea and vomiting


A severe deficiency may cause some of the following:

· numbness or tingling

· muscle cramps

· low calcium or potassium levels

· mood changes

· an irregular heartbeat

· seizures


2. Lowering blood pressure

Having low levels of magnesium may contribute to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and conditions that cause irregular heartbeats.


Mineral water rich in magnesium may therefore help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

A small-scale 2004 study involving 70 adults with borderline hypertension and low magnesium levels found that drinking 1 liter of mineral water per day decreased their blood pressure.


3. Regulating blood circulation

Mineral water may contain large amounts of calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which promote blood circulation. Calcium is necessary for building and maintaining strong bones. It also regulates the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat.


4. Strengthening bones

Mineral water contains calcium, which helps promote bone strength. When bone tissue breaks down, the body deposits new bone in its place.


During adolescence, new bone is deposited faster than old bone breaks down. However, after the age of 20, bone loss can start outpacing bone formation, which can lead to brittle, weak bones.


Regular exercise and diets rich in calcium can strengthen bones and prevent bone loss.

Authors of a 2017 study compared how the body absorbs calcium from milk, calcium supplements, and mineral water. They concluded that mineral water with high amounts of calcium can, in fact, improve the body's calcium supply.


Magnesium also supports strong bones. The results of a large-scale 2014 cohort study suggested that older women with a high magnesium intake, of more than 422.5 mg per day, had more bone density than those with a lower intake of the mineral.


5. Promoting digestive health

Getting enough magnesium in the diet can help prevent constipation and improve the health of the digestive system.


Magnesium draws water into the intestines, which improves stool consistency. It also relaxes the intestinal muscles, supporting regular bowel movements.


According to the findings of a randomized controlled study, drinking mineral water containing magnesium sulfate and sodium sulfate led to more frequent bowel movements and an improved quality of life among people with constipation.


Risks

Mineral water is generally safe to drink. Very little research points to any immediate negative health impacts associated with drinking plain mineral water.


Carbonated mineral water contains carbonic acid, which can cause hiccups or bloating.

However, mineral water and other bottled water may contain specific contaminants. By definition, mineral water must contain a minimum quantity of microbes.


Furthermore, mineral water cannot undergo the same disinfection process as tap water because it is bottled at the source, so the range of microbes can vary.


Plastic toxicity

Many plastic containers contain bisphenol A, or BPA. This chemical can interfere with normal hormonal function. Microplastics, tiny plastic particles, are another potential concern. Scientists have identified microplastics in foods and drinks, as well as seafood products, beer, and table salt.


In 2018, researchers published a systematic review of current data on plastic toxicity. While they acknowledge that more research is needed, the authors report that microplastics in bottled mineral water do not appear to pose a safety risk.


Carbonated water damages teeth

Sparkling, or carbonated, water can damage tooth enamel.


Carbonated water has a lower pH than regular water, making it slightly acidic. According to a recent study, sparkling water manufactured by a soda carbonator significantly reduced enamel hardness on teeth in a laboratory setting.


However, carbonated water still has less of an impact on the teeth than drinking soda. One study showed that flavored and plain sparkling water both pose less of a risk to tooth enamel than soda.


Environmental concerns

One major issue surrounding mineral water involves the container. The large-scale production of plastic bottles causes pollution and has serious consequences for the environment.

In a 2016 study, researchers looked at the various environmental impacts of regular water treatment, mineral water in plastic bottles, and mineral water in glass bottles.

They found that tap water processing methods were the most favorable option. The scientists also noted that producing glass bottles consumed the largest amount of raw material and required the most energy.


Outlook

Mineral water contains large quantities of magnesium, calcium, sodium, and other beneficial minerals.


Studies suggest that drinking mineral water may have health benefits, though little research directly suggests that it is better for a person's health than tap water.

People who want to buy mineral water can find it in supermarkets or choose from brands online.


Also, in the U.S., the EPA strictly regulates tap water quality to ensure that it is free from harmful microbes. Tap water also contains added minerals, making it a cheaper alternative to mineral water.


Drinking carbonated mineral water may cause some tooth erosion, but not to the same extent as sugar-sweetened beverages such as sodas.


Mineral content in tap water varies by location. People in the U.S. can check the EPA's water quality reports by state. These annual reports contain information about water sources, levels of contaminants, and mineral contents.


(source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324910.php)


It’s fun to share a good laugh, but did you know it can actually improve your health? We at Mood Food Organic Catering would like to share some ways to harness the powerful benefits of laughter and humor in your life from (helpguide.org):


The benefits of laughter

It’s true: laughter is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hope, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert. It also helps you release anger and forgive sooner.


With so much power to heal and renew, the ability to laugh easily and frequently is a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health. Best of all, this priceless medicine is fun, free, and easy to use.


As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults, life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. But by seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughter, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and even add years to your life.


Laughter is good for your health

Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.


Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.


Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.


Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.


Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn approximately 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.


Laughter lightens anger’s heavy load. Nothing diffuses anger and conflict faster than a shared laugh. Looking at the funny side can put problems into perspective and enable you to move on from confrontations without holding onto bitterness or resentment.


Laughter may even help you to live longer. A study in Norway found that people with a strong sense of humor outlived those who don’t laugh as much. The difference was particularly notable for those battling cancer.

The Benefits of Laughter and Humor

Physical health benefits

Boosts immunity-

Lowers stress hormonesDecreases painRelaxes your musclesPrevents heart disease


Mental health benefits

Adds joy and zest to life-

Eases anxiety and tensionRelieves stressImproves moodStrengthens resilience


Social benefits

Strengthens relationships-

Attracts others to usEnhances teamworkHelps defuse conflictPromotes group bonding


Laughter helps you stay mentally healthy

Laughter makes you feel good. And this positive feeling remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Humor helps you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.


More than just a respite from sadness and pain, laughter gives you the courage and strength to find new sources of meaning and hope. Even in the most difficult of times, a laugh–or even simply a smile–can go a long way toward making you feel better. And laughter really is contagious—just hearing laughter primes your brain and readies you to smile and join in the fun.


The link between laughter and mental health

Laughter stops distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.

Laughter helps you relax and recharge. It reduces stress and increases energy, enabling you to stay focused and accomplish more.

Laughter shifts perspective, allowing you to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates psychological distance, which can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and diffuse conflict.

Laughter draws you closer to others, which can have a profound effect on all aspects of your mental and emotional health.


Laughter brings people together and strengthens relationships

There’s a good reason why TV sitcoms use laugh tracks: laughter is contagious. You’re many times more likely to laugh around other people than when you’re alone. And the more laughter you bring into your own life, the happier you and those around you will feel.


Sharing humor is half the fun—in fact, most laughter doesn’t come from hearing jokes, but rather simply from spending time with friends and family. And it’s this social aspect that plays such an important role in the health benefits of laughter. You can’t enjoy a laugh with other people unless you take the time to really engage with them. When you care about someone enough to switch off your phone and really connect face to face, you’re engaging in a process that rebalances the nervous system and puts the brakes on defensive stress responses like “fight or flight.” And if you share a laugh as well, you’ll both feel happier, more positive, and more relaxed—even if you’re unable to alter a stressful situation.


How laughing together can strengthen relationships

Shared laughter is one of the most effective tools for keeping relationships fresh and exciting. All emotional sharing builds strong and lasting relationship bonds, but sharing laughter also adds joy, vitality, and resilience. And humor is a powerful and effective way to heal resentments, disagreements, and hurts. Laughter unites people during difficult times.


Humor and playful communication strengthen our relationships by triggering positive feelings and fostering emotional connection. When we laugh with one another, a positive bond is created. This bond acts as a strong buffer against stress, disagreements, and disappointment.


Humor and laughter in relationships allows you to:

Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.

Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget resentments, judgments, criticisms, and doubts.

Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back is pushed aside.

Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.


Use humor to resolve disagreements and tension in your relationship

Laughter is an especially powerful tool for managing conflict and reducing tension when emotions are running high. Whether with romantic partners, friends and family, or co-workers, you can learn to use humor to smooth over disagreements, lower everyone’s stress level, and communicate in a way that builds up your relationships rather than breaking them down.


How to bring more laughter into your life

Laughter is your birthright, a natural part of life that is innate and inborn. Infants begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh out loud within months of being born. Even if you did not grow up in a household where laughter was a common sound, you can learn to laugh at any stage of life.


Begin by setting aside special times to seek out humor and laughter, as you might with exercising, and build from there. Eventually, you’ll want to incorporate humor and laughter into the fabric of your life, finding it naturally in everything.


Here are some ways to start:

Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter, and like laughter, it’s contagious. When you look at someone or see something even mildly pleasing, practice smiling. Instead of looking down at your phone, look up and smile at people you pass in the street, the person serving you a morning coffee, or the co-workers you share an elevator with. Notice the effect on others.


Count your blessings. Literally make a list. The simple act of considering the positive aspects of your life will distance you from negative thoughts that block humor and laughter. When you’re in a state of sadness, you have further to travel to reach humor and laughter.


When you hear laughter, move toward it. Sometimes humor and laughter are private, a shared joke among a small group, but usually not. More often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”


Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily–both at themselves and at life’s absurdities–and who routinely find the humor in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious. Even if you don’t consider yourself a lighthearted, humorous person, you can still seek out people who like to laugh and make others laugh. Every comedian appreciates an audience.


Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? This week? In your life?”


Simulated laughter

So, what if you really can’t “find the funny?” Believe it or not, it’s possible to laugh without experiencing a funny event—and simulated laughter can be just as beneficial as the real thing. It can even make exercise more fun and productive. A Georgia State University study found that incorporating bouts of simulated laughter into an exercise program helped improve older adults’ mental health as well as their aerobic endurance. Plus, hearing others laugh, even for no apparent reason, can often trigger genuine laughter.


To add simulated laughter into your own life, search for laugh yoga or laugh therapy groups. Or you can start simply by laughing at other people’s jokes, even if you don’t find them funny. Both you and the other person will feel good, it will draw you closer together, and who knows, it may even lead to some spontaneous laughter.


Tips for developing your sense of humor

An essential ingredient for developing your sense of humor is to learn not to take yourself too seriously and laugh at your own mistakes and foibles. As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, we all do foolish things from time to time. Instead of feeling embarrassed or defensive, embrace your imperfections. While some events in life are clearly sad and not opportunities for laughter, most don’t carry an overwhelming sense of either sadness or delight. They fall into the gray zone of ordinary life—giving you the choice to laugh or not. So choose to laugh whenever you can.


How to develop your sense of humor

Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously.


Attempt to laugh at situations rather than bemoan them. Look for the humor in a bad situation, and uncover the irony and absurdity of life. When something negative happens, try to make it a humorous anecdote that will make others laugh.


Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.


Remember funny things that happen. If something amusing happens or you hear a joke or funny story you really like, write it down or tell it to someone to help you remember it.


Don’t dwell on the negative. Try to avoid negative people and don’t dwell on news stories, entertainment, or conversations that make you sad or unhappy. Many things in life are beyond your control—particularly the behavior of other people. While you might view carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders as admirable, in the long run it’s unrealistic and unhealthy.


Find your inner child. Pay attention to children and try to emulate them—after all, they are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing at ordinary things.


Deal with stress. Stress can be a major impediment to humor and laughter, so it’s important to keep your stress levels in check. One great technique to relieve stress in the moment is to draw upon a favorite memory that always makes you smile—something your kids did, for example, or something funny a friend told you.


Don’t go a day without laughing. Think of it like exercise or breakfast and make a conscious effort to find something each day that makes you laugh. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes and do something that amuses you. The more you get used to laughing each day, the less effort you’ll have to make.


Using humor to overcome challenges and enhance your life

The ability to laugh, play, and have fun not only makes life more enjoyable but also helps you solve problems, connect with others, and think more creatively. People who incorporate humor and play into their daily lives find that it renews them and all of their relationships.


Life brings challenges that can either get the best of you or become playthings for your imagination. When you “become the problem” and take yourself too seriously, it can be hard to think outside the box and find new solutions. But when you play with the problem, you can often transform it into an opportunity for creative learning.


Playing with problems seems to come naturally to children. When they are confused or afraid, they make their problems into a game, giving them a sense of control and an opportunity to experiment with new solutions. Interacting with others in playful ways helps you retain this creative ability.


As laughter, humor, and play become integrated into your life, your creativity will flourish and new opportunities for laughing with friends, coworkers, acquaintances, and loved ones will occur to you daily. Laughter takes you to a higher place where you can view the world from a more relaxed, positive, and joyful perspective.


(source: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm)


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