Improve Your On-the-Road Eating Habits

Business travel and road trips can prove to include poor eating habits. There are ways, however, to make your meals and trips heart-healthier.

Take Out

One study recently revealed a significantly higher risk of developing atherosclerosis disease amongst business travelers. Atherosclerosis is a slow, steady, clogging of the arteries. The main culprits in this social business diet are large meals mainly consisting of high-fat foods and lots of alcohol.

Being that cardiovascular disease causes over 17 million deaths annually, it behooves us to be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies. Granted, it’s not just poor eating habits that lend to our risk of heart disease. Lack of exercise, sleep and overwhelming amounts of stress also contribute.

Three Courses

The study examined the health effects of three different types of eating plans. One plan was the Mediterranean diet, which consisted of fruits, veggies, fish, legumes, and nuts. Another was the Western diet, which included red and processed meats, dairy products, and refined grains. And the other, the social-business plan, looked a lot like the Western diet but included more unhealthy snacks and excessive amounts of alcohol.

The results were recently published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology. According to fMRI and ultra-sound test results, those who ate the “business” diet revealed a “significantly worse cardiovascular risk profile” than the Mediterranean diet folks.

Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine
Turmeric Curcumin with Bioperine

On the Road Again

It can be tough avoiding fast foods when you’re on the road. And sometimes they can seem appealing—until you’re finished with the meal and feel regretful and gross. Here are some tips for making your road trip or business trip healthier overall:

– Drink more water

Drink less sugary beverages and limit alcohol consumption

– Carry around snacks like nuts, low-sugar granola, fruit, and baby carrots

– Avoid red meat; substitute grilled poultry or fish

– Salads are great—keep the dressing healthy and low-fat

– Plan your meal ahead. Figure out when, where, and what, beforehand. With everyone running around, getting “hangry”, you’re bound to make impulsive food decisions.

– If you’re driving, keep a small cooler in the car filled with non-sugary drinks and crunchy raw veggies

– Get good rest. Meetings don’t need to go late into the night. Also, for safety’s sake, you don’t want to be driving when you’re tired. While traveling, “early to bed, early to rise,” is a wise choice.

– Take brisk morning walks. Use hotel swim or gym facilities. Carve out time during the day (even a few minutes) to move your body. Driving and working all day without stretching is awful for your posture (back and neck, too.)

If you’re the kind of person who eats well and lives a healthy lifestyle at home, there’s no reason you can’t continue those behaviors while on the road. Coming home feeling like you need a vacation or a detox isn’t any fun. Safe and restful travels…

5 Surprising Natural Remedies For Anxiety You’ve Got To Try!

Daily, there are millions of people taking medication for depression, anxiety and/or practicing stress-reductions techniques. Generally, experts recommend the same handful of suggestions as natural remedies for anxiety. Those suggestions can be effective, but here are 5 more that may surprise you!

Tried and True

By and large, health practitioners similarly advocate a few main elements to de-stress. These include:

  • Getting more rest
  • Improving dietary habits
  • Exercising
  • Meditating
  • Seeking therapy or counseling

Clearly, this is sound advice. As a result, it’s been proven helpful to many. But, did you know there are at least five other natural remedies for anxiety that may help, too?

No Surprise!

The standard strategies for relieving stress are fairly well known. For example, if you cut down on sugar and caffeine, you’ll sleep better. If you exercise more fervently, your endorphin levels should increase. Therapy, along with behavior- and thinking-pattern changes, should benefit your overall wellbeing. Ultimately, practicing these techniques should make you feel better and less anxious.

Yes! Surprise Natural Remedies For Anxiety

Some folks are just not comfortable with taking medication. Additionally, medication may not be the “cure all” for others. Hence, experimenting with natural remedies is often the go-to solution.

Most noteworthy, whatever works for you (within healthy bounds) is the most awesome choice. Everyone is different and one organic stress-reliever may work for you. But not for someone else. And, vice versa. 

Let’s explore some anti-anxiety strategies that may seem revelatory…

#1 Tennis Anyone?

Table tennis, also known as ping-pong can be a definite stress reliever. This sport requires concentration, strategy, and distinct body movement. These elements force your mind to attend. You can’t possibly harp on your worries while you’re playing ping-pong!

Aside from that, you can actually get real exercise! Table tennis can increase your seratonin and dopamine levels. This action can boost your mood, better your sleep quality, and improve your attention span. How about that for an anti-anxiety activity?

Bonus: Ping-pong as exercise has a low risk of injury.

#2 Lemons Don’t Have to Be Sour

Actually, it’s LEMONGRASS that we’re addressing here. To take it a step further, it’s really lemongrass essential oil that’s the hero. It has the ability to be one of the natural remedies for anxiety. That what makes it sweet.

Lemongrass essential oil has many significant, health-enhancing properties. Many Thai and Chinese dishes use lemongrass in their recipes. The oil is extracted through steam distillation from the leaves. The oil has been known to decrease pain, but also counter feelings of depression and anxiety.

Furthermore, it has the ability to act as a sedative. It can boost spirits and help alleviate anxiety. Lemongrass essential oil can be used in a diffuser, inhaled, or applied (diluted) to the skin. One of our favorite lemongrass natural remedies for anxiety can be found here.


Now Foods Essential Oils, Lemongrass Oil, 1 fl oz
Now Foods Essential Oils, Lemongrass Oil, 1 fl oz


#3 Put On A Happy Face

Believe it or not, smiling makes you feel good, even when it’s forced. You may not feel like smiling, but research has shown that when you smile or laugh, “feel good” chemicals are generated.

The brain releases dopamine when we smile. The simple action of pulling up the corners of your mouth is one of the natural remedies for anxiety. Smiling makes us feel happy, makes others feel happy, and can help relieve stress with no cost. Smile at yourself in the mirror and feel your worries fade away.

#4 Let Them Bake Cake!

Sometimes we stress eat. Cake is yummy, but eating it won’t make you as happy as if you bake it!

Baking requires focus with all its measuring, mixing, etc. Hence, it provides a mental escape from stressful thoughts. It can also be a great form of creative expression. Decorating the finished product can also be a feel-good activity. Also noteworthy, baking a cake for someone else can make the effort more significant. Anyway you look at it, baking a cake is a positive remedy for relieving anxiety.

#5 Desktop Tidy Time

A huge source of stress can come from clutter. Oftentimes, the stacks of papers or the massive amount of files overwhelm us. Cleaning and organizing can actually have a positive therapeutic effect.

Choose one section of your desktop and commit to combing through. When we organize, cortisol levels have been shown to decrease. Furthermore, you may want to try and finish an unfinished project. Cleaning may distract you from anxiety. Yet, the results may be equally relaxing and fulfilling.


Different people will choose various strategies in an attempt to decrease tension. Consequently, you will pick what works best for you. Hopefully, one or more of these natural remedies for anxiety will benefit you. Here’s to happiness!

Click HERE for more articles on lowering stress and maintaining best health.



Magnesium for Sleep May Finally Get You the Rest You Need

Forty percent of Americans claim they suffer from insomnia. Within that number, there is a large percentage of people who regularly have trouble sleeping. Alas, a natural supplement may just be the ticket you need to slumber throughout the night. As a result, magnesium for sleep may help your body and mind get the rest it needs.

Tic, Tock, Tic, Tock…Why Can’t I sleep?

There are many reasons why someone may experience insomnia. Some of the most prevalent are:

  • Anxiety from day-to-day concerns
  • Chronic stress from emotional trauma
  • Clinical depression
  • Physical Pain
  • Too much caffeine
  • Alcohol use
  • Medications
  • Eating too late or too much

In addition, another significant factor is an imbalance. The imbalance lies in our internal clock. You may need more magnesium. Seems like a magnesium deficiency can be the cause for this imbalance.


How Does Magnesium Fit in?

Our internal clock manages our sleep-wake cycles. This timekeeper is also called the circadian clock. Each person has his/her own internal rhythm. Hence, this is the reason why some people are early birds. And, others are night owls, for example.

The University of Edinburgh published the results of a study. The focus was on magnesium levels in human cells. It was discovered that the level in cells went up and down over a 24-hour sleep-wake cycle. Also, it appeared that higher levels of magnesium improved cellular function. The circadian clock became more balanced.

With lower levels of magnesium, cells are unable to process energy with optimum efficiency. The amount of the element found in our cells is linked to how and when we burn energy. Most notably, it directly relates to our sleep-wake cycles. Then, it follows that it would be beneficial to have a plentiful amount of magnesium for sleep.


What’s the Best Way to Get Magnesium?

The best way to get any vitamin, nutrient, mineral, or element into your body is through a natural food source. Here are some suggestions:


  • Spinach and other leafy greens can contain almost 40% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for magnesium



  • Black beans contain 20% of the RDI


  • Almonds, cashews, and brazil nuts contain 15% of the RDI


  • Bananas, fatty fish, and some whole grains contain approximately 10% of the RDI for magnesium


Now to Get to Sleep…

Another common way to get the magnesium your body needs is through supplementation. The National Institutes of Health currently recommends approximately 320 mg a day for women over the age of 30. However, dosage can vary.

Always check with your health care provider before taking supplements. If you’re on any type of medications, certain vitamins and minerals can interfere with absorption or create side effects.

When choosing supplements (and food), try to shop organic. The quality will make a difference. As for magnesium for sleep, there are also teas available to help soothe and assist with a restful night.

In conclusion, our cells require magnesium. We especially need it to balance our sleep-wake cycles. Getting the amount you need from food, pill or liquid supplements, or even tea will help get your internal clock back into tip-top shape. Sweet dreams!

Check out Get Thrive! for more articles on sleep, supplements, and best health practices.



7 Essential Tips to Boost Your Mental Energy at Work

Let’s climb aboard on the premise that you’ve had a good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast, and you really enjoy your job. Even in the best-case scenario, inevitably your mental energy at work will wane at some point. Truly, after four, six, or eight hours, we all need some kind of boost.

Recharging the Mental Battery

Grabbing a coffee can be helpful, but there are several other ways to positively lift and rejuvenate focus, productivity, and spirits. A couple of the following suggestions you may have heard, read, or practiced before. Reminders can still be helpful, right?

Trying New Energy Boosting Techniques

Some of the following tips may come to you as a surprise. Think in terms of not just adding positive benefits, but also reducing or deleting negative aspects from your typical workday. Below are 7 essential mental-energy boosting tips that will provide you with an even more satisfying and successful day on the job.

1) Eat Productively. Is eating breakfast necessary? This has become a slightly controversial topic. Some nutritionists don’t believe you need to eat right after waking. All will agree, however, that you need to nourish your body properly in order for your brain (and body) to work at it’s best.

One tip is to prepare a protein smoothie at home before work. Bring it with you for your commute or for when you arrive. By then, you will probably feel some hunger pangs. Fresh produce with protein will boost your mental energy and keep you from snacking on “bad” foods like doughnuts, vending machine sweets, and sugary drinks. The latter will ultimately zap you of focus (and add inches to your waistline!) Click here for some great smoothie recipes.

At lunch, eat moderately and nutritiously. This will help you have a productive afternoon. You can also snack on nuts or grab a coffee later in the day for another pick-me-up. Just veer away from the pumps of mocha or flavored sweeteners in your caffeinated beverage.

2) Work Nicely and Happily with Others. This is one of those tips that will allow you to feel your natural, positive self. By getting along with others in your environment, it will keep them from draining your energy. In the best of circumstances, a great team will fuel your mental tank.

Smiling goes a long way; it’s also contagious. If others want to be miserable, that’s their problem. You can only control how you feel. Doing a good job and being a model of happiness around others could improve an overall environment!

In fact, one study published in Forbes reported, “The happiest employees are 180% more energized than their less content colleagues, 155% happier with their jobs, 150% happier with life, and 50% more motivated.”

3) Shake a Leg. Or an arm. Or your booty!  Sitting too long can adversely affect your physical and mental health. Research has proven that moving your body will boost your energy level and brain power.

Some tips for utilizing movement at work to improve mental focus can be to: hold walking meetings; use your water bottle as a weight for arm lifts (and don’t forget to hydrate!); take stairs to another floor for the restroom.

4) Rest Your Brain. Give your brain a break every so often. A study out of the University of Illinois showed that participants who were given short breaks during a 50-minute task performed better than those who worked straight through.

Some tips for relaxing your brain are: deep breathing, meditation, and closing your eyes and guiding yourself to a peaceful place. Some call this a “virtual vacation” and imagine themselves by the sea, in a forest, or by the mountains.

5) Give Yourself the Gift of Green. Surely, green as in money would boost your mental state, but in this case, we’re talking about the green outdoors. When you have break time, instead of chatting or checking social media, try and find an outdoor space for fresh air, sun, and/or something pleasant on which to focus.

According to Urban Greening Research at the University of Washington, adult office workers report more enthusiasm for their job when there’s opportunity for access to green space or nature during the workday.

6) Follow Through with One Task. Multitasking is not necessarily productive. In fact, it can create feelings of anxiety and stress, which actually zap your energy. Try following through and completing one task at a time and watch your mental stamina grow.

Some suggestions for becoming more successful at task completion are: prioritizing assignments (by keeping them on your to-do list in order); putting electronics aside (don’t check messages or emails for a given period of time); take breaks when a task seems too lengthy.

7) Keep it Clean. Keeping a messy desk and computer desktop can rob you of your mental energy. Believe it or not, a million post-it notes, food wrappers, half-full coffee mugs, and whatever else may be hiding (or in plain sight) are a distraction. Distractions can cause depletion in your energy level.

Taking a few minutes to tidy up can provide you with hours of sanity. A clear headspace makes for a happier worker and chances of greater productivity and success.

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Why You Must De-Stress Now (And How)

Is there anyone who enjoys feeling stressed out? Maybe we feel that way so frequently that we associate stress with our commonplace state. It doesn’t have to be that way, nor should it. In fact, if you plan on being healthy and living a long life, your only hope is to start de-stressing now.

Whole Lotta Stressin’ Going On

Yes, many of us are burning the candle at both ends. We’re trying to make a living, build a career, take care of our family, our health, our community, and the list goes on. Then there are those of us who aren’t necessarily active but stressed out by thoughts of the things we aren’t doing.

Then, of course, there are life circumstances that fall into our laps and we haven’t the coping skills to keep from freaking out. Short stints of stress are part of life. If we combat them and are able to move on, it may not wreak too much havoc. But when we live with chronic, long-term stress, the effects on our body and mind can be devastating.

Whichever your scenario, just be aware that stress can and will impact every cell in your body if it reigns freely. If you experience any of the following conditions, it’s a sign that you’re still in need of stress management. (There are other causes, too, for such symptoms and ailments, but stress also played a hand in their development.)

  • Fatigue – tired, listless, unmotivated
  • Inattention – focus wanes, lack of concentrationh
  • Headaches – blurred vision, dizziness
  • Changes in skin – loss of tone and/or moisture
  • Decreased immunity – catch colds and viruses easily
  • Changes in gut microbiome – digestive issues, leaky gut
  • Increased blood sugar- narrowing of arteries, higher blood glucose
  • Increased cortisol – hormonal imbalance, thyroid imbalance
  • Weakened muscles – protein breakdown
  • High blood pressure – hypertension
  • Inflammation
  • Auto immune disease – IBD, Crohn’s, MS, colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, Hashimoto’s, and others

Although autoimmune disorders can be set into motion from varying factors, studies show stress is linked as a trigger. Up to 80% of those diagnosed with an AI disease reported extreme emotional stress before its onset. Furthermore, the disease itself also causes stress, which creates a vicious cycle.

How to Manage the Stress

Everything you’ve read up until now about stress management still remains true. There are several paths of action to help yourself and you probably already know what they are. It’s all in the implementation. Knowing and doing are not equally effective in this case. You must be proactive and treat yourself kindly.

  • Try to rid yourself of the source of stress. If you can, then it’s actually a simple fix. Sometimes, however, this is just not possible. So, if the stressor remains in your life, your next course is to learn how to manage
  • Seek counseling. A specialist can offer coping tools.
  • Talk to a therapist. Talk therapy and cognitive behavior therapy can help you find ways to reframe your thoughts. The way you perceive things in your life may be a cause of undue stress or anxiety.
  • Exercise and get outdoors. Walking in nature calms the soul and lowers blood pressure. Exercise helps release hormones and chemicals that relieve stress in the body.
  • Practice yoga. Yoga distracts the mind from ruminating and improves your mood. It strengthens the brain’s neuroplasticity, increases flexibility, and boosts your immune system.
  • Meditate. Sit quietly and imagine yourself in calm, beautiful surroundings. Don’t think about any responsibilities. Unplug your phone and electronics and give yourself the time you deserve.
  • Get a lot of rest. Eight hours per night is recommended to keep your mind and mood in tip-top shape. You need that strength from sleep in order to reduce stress.

Today is a good day to start de-stressing. For other helpful articles on health management, click here.




Migraines Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke

A recent study links women with migraines to heart attack or stroke. In fact, they are twice as likely to suffer a cardiovascular event.

My Aching Head!

In the past, a specific type of migraine headache has been linked to stroke. It’s called a “migraine with aura”, which affects one in four male or female migraine sufferers. These patients can be affected by bright light, experience vision blurriness or even distorted vision.

The results of a new preliminary study were recently presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016. For three years, 917 women were evaluated for risk of heart disease. After a six-year follow-up, those who had suffered migraines had a 225% increased risk in a future cardiovascular event.

Study Specifics

This particular study was conducted with just female participants. Their average age was 58, and over 75% were Caucasian. One of the lead researchers, Dr. Rambarat, claimed that after factoring other risk factors, the women who had migraines were twice as likely to have cardiac problems.

Additionally, after the six-year follow-up, the increased risk of stroke turned out to be much greater than having a heart attack.

Some of the “other” risk factors were: age, BMI, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and family history of heart disease. The study doesn’t claim that migraines cause strokes. However, the connection between the two shouldn’t be ignored.

What to Do With This Information?

The data from the study can inform women with migraines and their physicians. Perhaps preventative heart disease measures should be considered. Rambarat suggests that maybe now migraines need to be regarded as a possible risk factor for future cardiovascular event.

Whether you suffer from migraines or not, it’s always a wise move to make heart-healthy choices. Even if you’re a young woman, it’s never too early to practice cardiovascular-disease prevention. Here are some suggestions:

-quit smoking; if you don’t smoke, please don’t start

-manage stress; practice what relaxes you (reading, swimming, dancing, yoga, cooking, etc.)

-eat lots of vegetables and fruits; avoid foods that lend to high cholesterol

-get rest; allow yourself eight hours per night

-avoid estrogen-based birth-control pills

Finding out what triggers your headaches is a great way to try and avoid getting them, if possible. Some possible triggers are: stress, neck or back injury, allergy (especially to MSG), and sugar substitutes. Check out Thrive for more updates on health and taking care of yourself and your family.