Tips for Increased Happiness and Productivity

Happy woman

Everybody faces different challenges within their lives, and, when this happens, it is sometimes all-too-easy to fall into a bit of a rut. Rather than letting that happen to you, here are a few tips that will no doubt help you to increase your happiness and boost your productivity at the same time.

Reflect on Your Life
It is always important to take some time out of your busy schedule every once in a while to reflect back on your life. From the good points to the bad, start keeping a journal of your reflections, as this will help you to see where all of your decisions lead you to, and can really help you to make beneficial changes in the future.

Woman in gym attire eating salad

Improve Your Diet
The food that you put into your body has a direct impact on your state of mind, as well as your energy levels, meaning that a few tweaks to your diet could really help to boost your happiness and productivity. While junk food may be easy and convenient, this will zap you of energy and dull your mood, so try to stick to a diet that mainly consists of fresh and whole foods.

Regular Exercise
If you tend to avoid exercise as much as possible, then this will be slightly harder to implement at the beginning, but you will also notice huge changes quite quickly. Exercise releases endorphins within the body, and these trigger the happiness impulse in the brain. In addition to this, regular exercise will leave you with so much more energy during the day, which can then be used to make your day more productive.

Woman relaxing by reading

Learn to Relax
Many people think that they simply do not have time in their busy day to relax, but human beings were not designed to be continuously expelling energy. Instead, the body works best when it experiences periods of recovery and restoration, which is exactly why you need to be dedicating sufficient time each day to relaxing and unwinding. This will have a significant impact on your happiness and productivity, so make sure that you schedule in regular breaks throughout the day, and spend this time actually relaxing, rather than thinking about the next task you need to do.

Wake Up Earlier
If you really enjoy lying in, the idea that waking up earlier each morning can lead to an increase of happiness, as well as productivity, may sound hard to believe, but do give this a try. Waking up just an hour or so earlier in the mornings will make it seem as though you have so much more time in your day, and will give you the chance to take part in more activities that make you happy, whether this may be meditation, reading, or walking your dog.

Woman cuddling dog

With the increasing stressors that people are now facing in their day to day lives, seeking out ways to boost happiness and productivity are important. From learning how to relax to reflecting on your life, following these tips will soon result in significant changes when it comes to having a positive outlook on life.

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Three Aspects of Healthy Living

While there are many different aspects to consider when it comes to healthy living, there are three that are absolutely key. From physical health to mental well-being to social relationships, make sure that you place a priority on each of these parts of your life.

Woman running

Physical Health
There are a number of factors that contribute to an individual’s physical health, but two that you can have full control over are diet and exercise. In today’s world, it is all-too-easy to get the diet part wrong, especially since supermarket shelves are lined with unhealthy, processed foods. Improving on a diet can often seem daunting, so take this one step at a time, making easy and gradual changes rather than dramatic, difficult ones. For example, incorporating a new vegetable into your meals each week could be a great first step, as could making your own healthy smoothies at home. Exercise also plays a huge role in physical health, with the majority of people out there not getting enough exercise at all. Again, this is something else that can seem challenging to initially get motivated about, so begin by picking a few forms of exercise that you genuinely enjoy, such as a certain sport or a dance. Once your fitness levels begin to improve, it will be much easier to branch out and see what else is out there.

Woman meditating

Mental Health
Mental health is an extremely broad topic, but one of the key causes of poor mental health in today’s world is stress. When you experience stress, this triggers an emergency response in your body, which sends the hormone cortisol coursing through you. Chronic stress, which means consistently elevated levels of cortisol, will increase your risk for so many mental health problems, from depression to other forms of mental illness. When it comes to keeping your stress levels under control, you may need to experiment with different tactics before finding one that works for you, whether this may be doing some form of exercise, spending an hour gardening, or spending time on a new hobby.

Friends having dinner

Social Bonds
Healthy relationships are a vital part of healthy living, and there is plenty of research out there that shows that strong social bonds are linked to a longer and happier life. Not only do healthy relationships mean that you are 50% less likely to die prematurely, but they can also boost your immune system and help you to deal with stress better, which, in turn, will be a boost to your mental health. If you are looking to expand your social circle but do not know where to begin, look into local groups or clubs where you can meet people that share similar interests to you, or ask your existing friends to introduce you to some new people.

When it comes to healthy living, there are always areas in which you can improve on. Whether this may be making improvements to your diet to support your physical health, or expanding your social circle to support both your physical and mental health, be sure to pay close attention to each of these three aspects of healthy living.

I Dream of Flawless Skin

A smooth and flawless complexion is a lifelong dream of many, but, with a little bit of dedication, you can soon turn this dream into a reality. From making the correct lifestyle choices to using the very best of skin care products, these steps will lead you to the flawless skin of your dreams.

Woman applying eye cream

Personalized Daily Skin Care Routine
Truly flawless skin can only be achieved through the use of an effective daily skin care routine, but, since everybody’s skin is different, your skin care routine should be tailored to your individual skin. This means that you need to first identify your skin type, be it normal, combination, dry, oily, or sensitive, and then do some research into the various ingredients that are best suited to your skin type. When it comes to putting together your skin care routine, cleansing is always an essential first step, followed by the use of a toner to re-balance your skin’s pH level, which cleansing usually disrupts. You can then begin to apply your skin care products, beginning with the lightest and working your way up to the heaviest. This will usually mean serums, followed by an eye cream, and then a moisturizer, but, again, each product should be chosen based on your skin’s specific needs.

Woman making a smoothie

Healthy Lifestyle Choices
While you may think that you already take the best possible care of your skin, it really does not matter how many quality products you apply if you are still making the wrong lifestyle choices. Smoking, drinking and drug use will soon lead to everything from breakouts to a dull complexion to premature aging, while chronic stress, which causes the stress hormone cortisol to constantly run through your body, will do the same. A sedentary lifestyle will also lead to multiple skin issues, whereas those who begin to exercise on a daily basis will quickly notice a healthy boost to their complexion. One of the most important healthy lifestyle factors is diet, as processed foods, that are high in sugars and other unnecessary ingredients, will hugely detract from your complexion. The best way forward is a largely plant-based diet, with plenty of whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables.

Recognize Bad Habits
If you have already been following all of the above steps but still find yourself suffering from seemingly random breakouts or moments of redness and sensitivity, then it is likely that you have some bad skin care habits that you are not aware of. Pressing an unclean cell phone against your face multiple times a day is a common one, and can be easily avoided by wiping down your phone a couple of times a day. You should also ensure that your pillowcase is frequently cleaned, as is your towel, as both of these can quickly transfer bacteria to your skin. Your hands are another part of your body that touches numerous unclean surfaces throughout the day, and if you tend to usually place your hands on or near your face, then this is another habit that needs to be stopped.

Many people dream of flawless skin, but it does take some effort to achieve this. While it may seem like hard work at the beginning, this dedication will soon pay off, making your dreams come true.

Reducing the Appearance of Cellulite and Sagging Skin

Cellulite and loose skin often go hand-in-hand with aging, mostly due to the way in which the skin begins to lose elasticity, especially after the age of 50. Fortunately, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce the appearance of these skin issues, from eating foods that boost elasticity to using products that will help to tighten your skin.

Woman  eating healthy food

Diet and Nutrition
The foods that you eat have a huge impact on your skin, and if you are trying to reduce the appearance of cellulite and sagging skin, it only makes sense to eat more of the foods that are able to help you on this quest. Foods that are low in calories but high in protein will help to strengthen your skin’s connective tissues, while fruits and vegetables will contain plenty of beneficial vitamins and nutrients. Another easy way to boost your skin’s elasticity is by ensuring that you stay hydrated, as dehydration will only exacerbate any cellulite or sagging skin. If you have a difficult time keeping your diet on track, it may be worth investing in some vitamins and supplements to ensure that your skin is receiving all of the nutrients that it needs.

Creams
There are so many different cellulite creams out there, and if this is a route that you want to take, it is important to remember that, chances are, the results that you will see are only going to be temporary. Products that contain caffeine are great for temporarily tightening the skin, while those containing vitamin A will help to thicken the outer layer of skin, therefore making any bumps much less visible.

Woman brushing legs

Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is a technique that has been practiced around the world for centuries, but only became popular in the US in the 1960’s. Dry brushes are easily available, and while this may seem like a method that is slightly too simple to help with the seemingly impossible task of banishing cellulite, it is actually extremely efficient. Dry brushing works by softening the hard fat cells that gather under the skin, thereby helping to distribute them more evenly around your body, while also clearing away the toxins that cause damage to the skin’s connective tissues.

Self-Tanner
Using a self-tanner is another temporary method to reduce the appearance of cellulite, and to make your skin appear much tighter overall. The darker your skin color is, the less obvious your cellulite will seem, but it is important to only use a sunless tanner, as UV rays will only break down your natural collagen even more. There are many different self-tanning products out there, from lotions to sprays, making this method ideal if you need a quick and easy fix, as well as a boost in confidence, for a day at the beach.

Cellulite and sagging skin are both extremely common, and while women all over the world may spend millions each year on anti-cellulite treatments, it is always worth seeking out the more gentle and natural solutions first. From adding collagen-boosting foods to your diet, to dry brushing your cellulite away, these methods are all worth trying if you are looking for skin that is smooth, firm and tight.

Diminishing Eye Circles and Discoloration

Nobody wants their eyes to be surrounded by shadows, puffiness and discoloration, but these issues are, unfortunately, extremely common. If this is an issue that regularly seems to plague you, read on for some top tips on how to diminish those pesky eye circles and areas of discoloration.

Woman having water

Adjust Your Diet
It may seem like an all-too-easy fix, but adjusting what you put into your body will have a huge impact on your skin, and, subsequently, any eye circles and discoloration. The amount of water that you drink can alone make a significant difference, because, if your body is dehydrated, it will try to hold on to as much water as it can, which then leads to puffiness and discoloration. Likewise, you should also be avoiding certain foods, in particular, ones containing caffeine, alcohol, sugar and salt, as these will simply make your discoloration worse.

Woman applying eye cream

Invest in a Retinoid Cream
Creams that contain retinoid are fantastic for evening out any discoloration, and also to provide a boost to your body’s production of collagen, which, in turn, will help to smooth and tighten the skin. Regular use of a retinoid cream in affected areas will soon result in your skin looking brighter and healthier. There are also serums available that are designed to complement different retinoid creams, so take a look at these too as you are likely to experience quicker results by using them both together.

Woman cleansing face

Never Forget to Cleanse
If you are someone that often crawls into bed at the end of the day, forgetting to remove your makeup and cleanse, then this is a habit that you need to break immediately. Leaving your makeup on at night, along with all of the impurities that build up throughout the day, will irritate your skin, causing fluid to rush to the area around your eyes. To help remind you to remove your makeup each night, keep some makeup wipes next to your bed, and you will soon see the benefits that this positive habit will bring.

Woman sleeping

Amount and Quality of Sleep
Everybody needs a slightly different amount of sleep in order for their bodies to perform at the optimum level, and, the amount of sleep that you get each night has also been linked to eye circles and discoloration. While sleep deprivation is one of the most common causes of eye circles, too much sleep can cause the same thing, so an ideal balance needs to be reached in order for the clearest skin. You should also take a good look at the position in which you sleep, as lying down flat can cause fluid to build up around the eyes. By propping your head up with a couple of extra pillows as you sleep, you will be encouraging any fluid to drain down into the rest of your body, minimizing the amount of puffiness that you will experience the next morning.

Eye circles and discoloration will never do any favors to your complexion, only making you look tired and much older than your years. From altering your diet to investing in the best skin care products, these tips will ensure that you enjoy a clear and bright complexion for years to come.

What to Add to Your Winter Diet

Research has shown that the food that you eat in these colder months has a significant impact on the way in which your body, as well as your mind, deals with this harsher weather. To keep you in the healthiest shape possible, OROGOLD has put together a quick guide on what you should be adding to your winter diet.

Clementine

Winter Fruits
There are certain winter fruits, especially of the citrus variety, that bring the body some amazing health benefits. Clementines are packed with vitamins, nutrients and plenty of fiber, all of which help to boost the immune system – something that is needed in the winter. Grapefruit is full of antioxidants, and will also lower cholesterol and curb hunger, while stimulating collagen production for fresh, glowing skin. Pomegranates are another fruit that help to stimulate collagen production, while lemons contain some powerful electrolytes.

Walnuts.

Nuts
Nuts are low in saturated fats and high in vitamins and minerals, as well as the mono-saturated fats that are required for a healthy heart. OROGOLD recommends stocking your pantry with a variety of nuts, from walnuts to pecans to almonds, and incorporating them into as many meals as possible.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal
A warm bowl of oatmeal is a fantastic snack during the winter, as oatmeal is a complex carbohydrate that is high in fiber, meaning that it will give you more energy for longer. Winter is also the time of the year when the serotonin levels in our body are quite low, as this feel-good chemical needs sunshine for maximum production. Luckily, certain foods, oatmeal included, are able to boost serotonin production within the body, helping to restore the levels in your brain to what they were at the height of the summer.

Beet salad

Root Vegetables
Root vegetables are able to warm the body, and most of them contain high levels of beta-carotene, which is essential for your immune system during the winter. Beets are packed with nutrients, and also contain tryptophan and betaine, two chemicals that are able to create a sense of happiness within the brain. Sweet potatoes are another root vegetable that have so many different benefits, and since they have a relatively long shelf life, you don’t need to eat them all straight away. Many root vegetables are also able to withstand the cold, meaning that you are likely to be able to find fresh produce throughout the winter.

Broccoli.

Broccoli and Cauliflower
Broccoli and cauliflower are both packed with vitamin C, which your body needs in large doses throughout the winter t keep your immune system in top shape. These two vegetables are a great defense against those pesky winter sniffles, and even if you can’t find them fresh, OROGOLD advises that you still look for frozen varieties, as these are still extremely nutritious.

With a slight adjustment to your diet, it does not need to be hard to stay healthy this winter. From incorporating a range of winter fruits into your daily diet, to sticking to healthy snacks, such as oatmeal or nuts, these winter foods are guaranteed to get you through even the coldest of months.

Beach Foods That Won’t Leave You Feeling Bloated

Whether you prefer to pack your own lunch or eat at a beachside cafe, there are certain foods that you should be avoiding, to prevent you from feeling cramped and bloated. OROGOLD takes a look at some of the different foods that will leave you feeling invigorated and full of energy – perfect for a day at the beach!

Tortilla wraps served in a plate

Wraps
Not only do conventional sandwiches tend to get soggy, but they also easily fall apart at the beach, which is why tortilla wraps are one great alternative. They are also extremely easy to make at home, and should include plenty of dark leafy greens, as these are a fantastic way to add some volume without the heavy calories. Another alternative would be to make lettuce wraps, which, although more inconvenient, are much easier to eat with one hand than a salad. Once you have created your lettuce wraps, OROGOLD recommends wrapping them in foil, which you can then easily peel back and eat at the beach.

Healthy dip with an assortment of vegetables.

Healthy Dips
Fruit and vegetable slices with a healthy dip is a great snack to pack along to bring to the beach with you, and is extremely cooler-friendly. Apples with peanut butter is a perfect balance of fruit and protein, while hummus with fresh vegetables will fill you up without weighing you down. If you are bringing along a dip that contains dairy, OROGOLD reminds you to also pack a thermometer, so that you can ensure that the dairy doesn’t fall below a certain temperature.

Fruit salad on a plate.

High-Potassium Fruits
If you aren’t bringing any food to the beach with you, fruit is an easy one to find at most beach vendors. Fruits that are rich in potassium, such as bananas, melons and papayas, will help to offset any excess sodium in your body, which is one of the main causes of bloating. Fruits will also help to keep you hydrated during the day, and will give your body a boost of antioxidants, which will help you to look and feel even healthier.

Greek Yogurt

Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a much healthier alternative to the frozen yogurt you buy in stores, as that is usually packed with sugar. In addition to being full of protein, Greek yogurt also helps with digestion, which will ensure that you don’t feel cramped or bloated. Greek yogurt is easy to find at beachside convenience stores, but, for an extra treat, OROGOLD recommends freezing some at home the night before, and taking along some chopped frozen fruit to mix with it at the beach.

As satisfying as it may feel to indulge in a massive spread at the beachside pizzeria, or chow down on some burgers from the beach bar, the satisfying feeling won’t last for long, and you will soon end up feeling heavy and bloated, and unable to fully enjoy the rest of your day. OROGOLD recommends always bringing along some healthy beach snacks, just in case you can’t find any good alternatives while you are there.

How to Get Ready for Swimsuit Season – OROGOLD Reviews

With summer quickly approaching, it is now time to start thinking about swimsuit season. Whether you need to set some workout goals, improve your posture, or find the right sunblock, OROGOLD has some useful tips on how to get ready for swimsuit season.

Office goers climbing up the stairs.

Get Moving
In the weeks leading up to swimsuit season, you need to make the effort to get moving as much as possible. Whether it’s just taking the stairs at work, signing up to a zumba class, or just turning on some music and having a dance at home, every little bit of exercise will start to add up. Set a goal with your workouts, as this will give you a greater sense of accomplishment when you reach it. If there are certain areas of your body that you are looking to target, then come up with a good exercise routine. Push ups are great because they target six different muscles at once; your biceps, triceps, deltoids, abs, pecs and gluteals.

Olive oil being poured in a salad.

Fresh Produce with Less Calories
If you’re still eating as though you’re hibernating away for the winter, now is the time to stop. Try incorporating as much fresh produce as possible into your diet, with at least 50% of it being made up of fruit and vegetables, and the other half containing leans proteins and healthy fats. Try to cut back on refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white pasta, white sugar and white rice. If you eat salads often, make sure that they are healthy, and do not contain excess calories in the dressing or in extra additions, such as with added bacon or cheese.

Woman buying a bikini at a store.

Shop For Your Shape
Now is a great time to begin looking at all of the swimwear collections that are out, and start planning what you will be needing to purchase. OROGOLD recommends always remembering to shop for your shape rather than getting sucked in to the latest trend, which may not flatter your figure in the best way possible. If you are fuller in the hips and thighs, high cut bottoms will help to make your legs look longer and leaner, whereas if you have an hourglass figure, you are lucky in that most styles will look great on you! Be prepared to spend some time shopping for swimwear, as you may need to try on several different styles before you find one that fits your body perfectly.

Woman applying sunscreen by a pool.

The Right Sunblock
Skin cancer kills more women than any other form of cancer, yet many still do not seem to recognize the importance of a good sunblock. Look for a broad spectrum UVA/UVA sunblock, one that has an SPF factor of at least 30. OROGOLD suggests that you apply it half an hour before heading into the sun, and keep reapplying it every two hours for maximum protection.

It is always important to start preparing for swimsuit season in advance, giving yourself enough time to get your body into shape. With a little planning and preparation, you will be able to excitedly anticipate the start of the summer season rather than dread its arrival!

Is it Worth Buying Organic? OROGOLD Reviews

Rather than dying down after a few years, the hype around organic food is still steadily growing. Ten years ago, it would have been hard to find a good selection of organic produce in the shops, but now, not only are the shelves full of organic products, we are being actively encouraged to choose these over the regular varieties. ORO GOLD tries to help you understand whether it makes sense to buy organic.

Fresh red and yellow capcicums

What Exactly is Organic Food?
Before the growth of industrial-scale farming, organic food would have just been called ‘food’. It is generally assumed that organic food has been grown without the use of any chemicals, but this is not exactly true. Instead, organic produce is grown with a minimal use of chemicals, with farmers still having access to a small selection of pesticides. In comparison, non-organic produce is repeatedly sprayed with many toxic chemicals, which work their way into the plant, ending up in your body.

Does Organic Food Cost More?
You will generally find that organic food costs more, often being 10% – 100% more expensive than the alternatives. The reason for this is because organic foods are much more labor intensive to grow, and can often result in smaller yields. The high price of organic products is usually what steers many people away, which, for some items that do not contain a high level of pesticide residue, is absolutely fine. However, certain products soak up much more of the toxic chemicals, meaning that by prioritizing the organic products that you buy, you will be able to keep your ingestion of these chemicals to a minimum.

Fruits and Vegetables
The most common fruits and vegetables that contain high levels of pesticide residue are celery, apples, carrots and lettuce. Any non-organic products that have been made with these ingredients, such as apple juice or carrot cake, would also contain the same chemicals. To keep your shopping simple, opt for organic varieties when you plan on eating the outside as well as the inside of a fruit or vegetable, and choose non-organic for the rest.

Cheese and ham on a chopping board.

Meat and Dairy
The term ‘organic’ applies to meat and animal products as well as to fruit and vegetables. In this case, non-organic meat production involves injecting antibiotics into the animals, which end up in your body when you eat the animal products. The growth hormone that is commonly given to cows has been linked, on numerous occasions, to the development of certain cancer cells in women. When it comes to meat and dairy, it is usually best to buy organic whenever possible.

Imported Organic Foods
If a product with an organic label has been made in another country, be sure to do some research before trusting in that label. Many countries, such as China, export common organic products, including tea and tinned tomatoes. However, their standards are much lower when it comes to organic rules and regulations. If you are unsure, it is best to stick to a variety that is made as locally as possible.

Organic food has been proven to have many more health benefits than non-organic, so in many cases, it really is worth buying. However, keep in mind that these still do contain some level of chemicals, so be sure to thoroughly wash all fresh produce before cooking or eating.

OROGOLD Tips on How to Quit Processed Foods

Various cans of processed foodProcessed food simply refers to any food item that has been altered from its natural state. Thus, even though it is contains natural ingredients, the organic baby spinach that you purchase from the markets and the frozen chickens are all examples of processed food. However, what this article mostly concerns itself with is a subsection of processed foods that are packaged using sodium, artificial ingredients and sugars. For example, a powdered cheese, canned soup or partially hydrogenated food items are likely to have sodium and other artificial ingredients in massive quantities. All such food items are quite harmful for your diet and they should be avoided. Although this seems to be easier said than done, here OROGOLD offers a few tips on how to quit processed foods.

 

Look out for packaged food items that have better ingredients

Search for brands that offer you with better and healthier ingredients. The ingredient list can differ from one brand to the other even when both are selling the same product. Ideally, you should be choosing the lesser of the two evils. This might not be the perfect start to your journey of quitting processed foods, but it’s still a start.

 

Learn to cook

You don’t need to become a master chef, but learning how to cook a few healthy and easy dishes can go a long way in ensuring that you stay away from processed food. Buy a decent cookbook, follow the instructions and practice whenever you’re free. You should be able to cook properly after a few tries. This helps you to quit the macaroni and cheese from the box and switch to something healthier instead.

 

Read the labels

Keep track of the labels before you buy food items. Make it a habit to check out the ingredient list for every product that you buy. Learn about products that are particularly beneficial for the body as well as products that are harmful. Keep this in mind when selecting products and food items for your kitchen.

Processed meat - bologne

Avoid magic potions

There’s nothing called magic. It’s all an illusion. So, when you hear about magical food items that state “just add water!!”, run as far away as possible. The problem with such items is that they usually disintegrate while you consume it and reintegrate into a congealed blob after ingestion. Don’t base your decisions on those super duper commercials. Base them on facts and realities. Remember, the magical world only looks good in story books.

 

Change your habits. Switch to real food

Start changing your food habits slowly, but steadily. Processed food items have a lot of sugar and sodium. If you fall into the habit of eating such food, real food will no longer seem appealing to your taste buds. The best thing to do is to slowly change your habits and add fresh food, real food into your palette. Remember, the taste of real macaroni and cheese is miles apart from the taste of the packaged one. The health benefits are also known to be poles apart. Try to make your own macaroni and cheese. Eat it slowly and savor the combinations. The fresh noodles are likely to feel wonderful and the savory taste of the cream should invigorate your senses. But, you need to give them a chance.