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Top 7 Reasons We Feel Stressed Out

Top 7 Reasons We Feel Stressed Out


“I’m so stressed out.” We’ve all said it, and felt  the effects of living it.

In our fast-paced, over-stimulated culture, we’re constantly pushing our  brains and bodies to the limit. Too little sleep, exercise, and lack of a  healthy diet only contribute to this feeling of anxiety, fatigue, and  overwhelmedness.

You might be surprised to learn that feeling stress enabled humans’ successful  evolution. Stress is your body’s way of responding to any kind of demand.  Back in the hunter-gatherer days, our bodies would release  stress-inducing chemicals into the blood so that we could either fight or  flee when faced with a threat. Cortisol, a stress-induced hormone, can help boost energy and  immunity, and even improve memory function in the short term. Once the threat  was over, everything went back to normal.

Unfortunately, the stress we feel today isn’t brought on by a predator or the  need to escape from physical entanglement. What we feel today is internal stress  which comes from worry about things we can’t control. Some people even become addicted to the kind of hurried, tense,  lifestyle that results from being under stress. They even look for stressful  situations and feel stress about things that aren’t stressful.

Check out the infographic below to learn seven of the most common sources of  internal stress, and some suggestions for how to de-stress your life before it  kills you.

Is Stress Killing You?

By Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So  far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is  passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent.

Image via Thinkstock


Excellent Health is found along your journey and not just at your destination. Would it make sense for us to spend several minutes together to discuss your Health Issues or Problems and how HealthyHighway can help YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life? Please complete the information on our Contact Us page to schedule your consultation today!   I look forward to helping YOU Live YOUR Optimum Life!

Live Well!

Leesa A. Wheeler

Healthy Lifestyle Coach, Artisan, Author


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What’s Your Nutrition Personality Type?

What’s Your Nutrition Personality Type?

I’ve noticed that different people respond differently to a major part of our  lives: what we put in our mouths several times a day or how we treat our bodies.

There are 5 personality types within nutrition and health.Where do you stand?

Note: You can make up your own category if you wish!

1. Don’t Care:

These are the people who eat what they like, or what is convenient, or what  they always have eaten. A major part of the population used to be in this  category.

Now, because there is now so much attention in the media on the possible  benefits of food and all the dangers of not having a healthy lifestyle, this  category is shrinking.

But this group is still huge, and the largest segment is men. Men  traditionally just don’t pay as much attention to this aspect of their lives and  rely on their spouses and eventually a doctor to take care of them. Forget about organic. Don’t bother with green.  They are too busy for that.

2. Enthusiastic:

These are people who have been introduced to some food or nutritional  knowledge, and are eager for its benefits.

He who has health, has hope. And he who has  hope, has everything.

The more positive feedback they get from their bodies, the more enthusiastic  they become! They often eagerly share their information with friends, etc.


3. Health Nut:

“If you call yourself a health nut, it’s  usually good. When someone else calls you a health nut … it’s definitely bad!”

A health nut is someone who is enthusiastic about nutrition and tries to be  on top of the most recent knowledge, but realizes that not everyone has  the same enthusiasm or beliefs.

Did you know that, ten years ago, if you talked about  antioxidants or omega-3 fatty acids, you were branded a health nut by  others?

Now it’s common knowledge. You know it is common when food packagers are  advertising that their yogurt or juice (or whatever) is now packed full of these  amazing ‘new’ ingredients.

Today’s health nut…

  • Has tried vegan, raw, or vegetarian at least once.
  • Of course, eats quinoa and green smoothies. Doesn’t everyone?
  • When asked to bring chips and dip, turns up with kale chip and homemade  hummus.

4. Obsessive:

This category could also be called the old-fashioned word, hypochondriac.

“The trouble with being a hypochondriac these  days is that antibiotics have cured all the good diseases.” — Caskie  Stinnett

Once you have experienced the different effects of food, it’s quite easy to  get obsessed about trying to control it – particularly if you are suffering in  some way.

The danger in this is that the mind is extremely powerful, and can create its  own responses in the body, even if they are not appropriate.

A further complication to this situation is that there is so much new  nutritional information coming out all the time. It’s easy to get confused by  conflicting information, or scared by dangerous toxins, etc.

. Fanatic:

Fanatics are people who have come to believe in a certain food rule, and  think that everyone else should also follow this. They believe this so  strongly that they don’t see other people’s viewpoint or don’t care. Fanatics  can be inspiring and can actually have good nutritional information, but because  they are so rigid, they can be aggressive against those who don’t share their  views.


Everyone is doing their best! Once you have been in the  health field long enough, you see that the field of health is still as much an  art as a science – that the details are constantly changing and it is therefore  just as important how you approach the goal as your specific actions.

At Real Food for  Life, Diana and I realized that we didn’t want to be ‘fanatics.’ Even though  we are familiar with all the RULES to eating, we do not want to be always  dishing them out in a rigid way, because that is not the most helpful way.

That is why we focus on principles to eating, instead of  rigid rules. We also teach Healthy Weekend Online BootCamps where people can, for short  periods of time, focus on the skills and knowledge to put  health principles  into everyday use. There are BootCamps for alkalizing your body, or losing  weight, or cooking gluten-free, all from the comfort of your home.

Where do you see yourself in this mix? Leave comments  below.

I must admit, that sometimes I stray to the dark side.  I do worry sometimes  and do judge others. Mostly, I relate most with the ‘health nut’ right now. As a  child, I was in the ‘don’t care’ category. I guess we all started out that  way!

Written by Randy Fritz, co-creator of Real Food For Life

Diana Herrington

Diana Herrington turned a debilitating health crisis into a passion for  helping others with healthy, sugar-free, gluten-free, eating and cooking. After  testing and researching every possible healthy therapy on her delicate system  she has developed simple, powerful principles which she shares in her recent  book Eating Green and Lean, and as host to Care2 groups: Healthy  Living Network and Healthy  Cooking. She is the head chef at Real  Food for Life, where she shares recipes and tips. Sign up for the Real Food  for Life weekly newsletter or catch her on Facebook  or  Twitter (@DancinginLife).


How To Live Like You’re On Vacation – Everyday

How To Live Like You’re On Vacation – Everyday

How To Live Like You’re On Vacation – Everyday

Ah, this month is a doozy isn’t it? Don’t get me wrong – I love my job, but there’s something about these first weeks in January that kills. It’s like yesterday was all a-flutter with holiday lights and celebratory cheer and today is just… well shit, we’re just smack dab in the heart of winter. Getting “back to the grind” post holi-daze can feel particularly daunting when you’ve had some time away – which, I am grateful to say, I did. On an island. In Belize. Yep, I’m That Girl. The one who returns to the office in January abnormally (annoyingly) tan and chipper? Hi there. I think there’s still sand in my shoes.

But I’ve come to realize – as my boyfriend “helpfully” takes down the Christmas tree and I weep into my latté – that we don’t have to relinquish those delicious feelings of vacation just yet. In fact (drumroll), I’m quite dedicated to the idea of manifesting the get-away vibes as a integral part of my daily lifestyle (cymbal crash! Ooh! Aah!)! Not convinced? Read on.

Island Livin’

I spent a delicious week in December on a tiny island off of Belize City. My cousin was there studying abroad, my uncle had some frequent flier miles, and the gods were smiling upon me: presto change-o, Lauren’s on a tropical island for seven days. (Deep, deep bows of gratitude.) Each morning we woke up and slapped on bathing suits and SPF before breakfast. Each afternoon we played dominoes at the bar or caught naps in the hammock. Each evening we ate fresh sea fare and coconut rice by the light of the moon. Heaaaaaaven. The week was magical and relaxing in ways I hadn’t anticipated, but perhaps most surprising about the experience was the distinct voice shouting loud in my soul upon leaving: MUST. LIVE. HERE.

Ok, nothing special, right? Who doesn’t leave an island vacation tempted to skip that return flight and start a tugboat fishing business? But this voice was louder than any I’d heard in a long time, and it wasn’t telling me to move to Belize. (Ok, maybe a little.) It was saying – deep, resonant: Must live here, in this space – breathing more, doing less.

See, I believe that an integral part of being all me all the time is recognizing both what brings me joy and what brings out the joy in me. I like vacation, but I also like myself on vacation. I’m friendlier, I’m more peaceful, I’m more present. I dig the small stuff. I laugh louder and longer. I pay more attention to what I eat and whom I’m with and how I feel. And while sitting ocean-side with an umbrella in my ahem, juice, may make these feelings seem more accessible, they are absolutely possible to manifest at home as well. And frankly – “possible”? Necessary.

So, in the spirit of the New Year (and in clinging desperately to my quickly-fading tan), let’s get our get-away on.

9 Tips On how To Live Like You’re On An Everyday Vacation

  1. Unplug. I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before. But DO IT. I didn’t wear a watch for seven straight days and it was heavenly. I know that we have kids to pick up from school and meetings to make, but take at least one afternoon a week to throw your cell in a drawer and close that computer. Tell your spouse or a friend to wrangle you at a certain time, if you must – but really, lose track of time. (It’s kind of overrated anyway.)
  2. Rock that Stop-Doing list. Lissa Rankin recently wrote a great post about changing your to-do lists into not-do lists – as in, what would you like to free yourself from this week/month/year? Those choices were made for me on the island – what with limited Wi-Fi and housekeeping service – but there was something to be said about having very little I felt that I “needed” to accomplish each day. So, do some recon into your daily to-dos and see what you can delegate, diminish, or drop altogether. Create space.
  3. Reduce the stuff. You know one reason why hotels can feel so heavenly? Clutter-free, babes. This is another one you’ve heard before, but going to sleep with the laundry, laptop, and paper piles creeping over your nightstand makes for restless slumber. At the very least, give your boudoir the hotel once-over and ditch everything that doesn’t say relaxation. Moreover, think about all the stuff you use and “need” in a week’s time – if it wouldn’t make your suitcase, get rid of it. Pack (live) light.
  4. Talk to strangers. Whether it was asking for dining recommendations, a cheerful where-are-you-from over breakfast, or bonding with fellow snorkelers in our deathtrap tugboat, I met the loveliest of people by striking up dialogues with complete strangers. I know we’re all on-the-go in our daily lives and tend to walk the streets like we’re on missions from god (though yes, obtaining take-out Chinese can often feel like a divine calling), but try talking to someone new every day. You don’t have to be ocean-side to say hello there and ask for a good lunch spot.
  5. Eat locally. So maybe you won’t get to watch a sun-kissed fellow called Captain Jerry Jerome catch your dinner and throw it on the grill (true story), but chances are there are some regional delicacies in your ‘hood that you have not yet tried. Hit up your local farmer’s market, restaurant, and street fair to embrace the natural food of your area. Allow the idea of being present to carry into your recipes, cooking seasonally and trying new things. Be a locavore.
  6. Eat longer-ly. At home, I eat dinner in 15 minutes while also checking email, catching a sitcom, or going through my to-do list. On vacation, my favorite “restaurant” was a shack on the beach called Fran’s Fast Food – my quickest meal there took 2.5 hours. This is all to say, SLOW DOWN. Savoring each bite keeps you conscious of what (and how much) you’re eating and provides powerful opportunities for connecting with friends and family. Even if you’re dining solo, select one meal a week and take your sweet time with it. (Last night, a tofu stir-fry and I spent 60 sweet minutes together. Worth it.)
  7. Celebrate the small stuff. Toast to an easy commute, a beautiful sunset, waking up on time, and not getting a parking ticket. Celebrate a great hair day, an inspiring conversation with a friend, finishing a book (or a chapter, or a page!), and a surviving houseplant. Every moment of vacation seems to yell, Yes! Hello! Congratulations! – now it’s time to take a bit of that celebratory spirit into the “real world.”
  8. Connect with nature. Not all vacations will take us to remote locales – one of my favorite vacation spots, after all, is New York Cit-ay – but I will say that my most relaxing get-aways have been deeply connected to nature. Do what you can to bring a lil’ of nature’s positive perspective into your world – as my mom used to say about Hawaii, it’s hard to sweat the small stuff when you’re sitting between a volcano and the ocean. Even in winter, make time for the great outdoors.
  9. Take the scenic route. It’s easy to get stuck in ruts of taking the same streets home and the same shortcuts to the grocery store. In our efforts to streamline our tasks, we often forget how fun it is to get lost. (See Jennifer Shelton’s great post on getting lost here!) Vacation isn’t always about the destination – it’s about jumbled water taxi directions, wrong trains, and accidental hikes. Treat your city as if you’re seeing it for the first time and you know, take a left instead of a right. Explore.

Access the joy within

There are all sorts of other ways to bring the vacation-spirit into your daily living – listening to a white-noise machine with ocean sounds, putting a picture of your dream destination next to your computer, treating yourself like a tourist at home with a “staycation” – but none of those practices feel sustainable to me. I’m not trying to trick myself into an everyday vacation – I’m trying to live there, authentically. Breathe more, do less. Access the joy within to be my most celebrated, relaxed, curious self – with or without a tan.

By Lauren Nagel

Lauren Nagel is the editor in chief of and a contributing writer for San Francisco music magazine The Owl Mag. Email her at

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