MENTAL & PHYSICAL NIRVANA

Looks like the start of a really great blog! Trying to follow some cool fitness blogs and I’m really interested to see where this one is going to go! thanks for sharing!

FIT QUEEN JO

11038565_10207707198704779_5175948144227206388_n FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY MOTIVATION, TIPS, & VIDEOS:  FIT_QUEEN_JO

So, I have to admit, I told myself I would never fall victim to the blogger life…but here I am. Deciding to share my passion and dedication of fitness with those who wish to succeed physically, mentally, and spiritually.

First things first, as a former D1 college tennis player, high-school Heisman, 4-time MVP, and Scholar Athlete, I know a thing or two about hard work. Tennis, my first love, taught me the most important thing about success: Mental Discipline. Without the proper mind control, one cannot begin to fulfill success within the body. By achieving balance between the mind, body, and soul, you can achieve that “dream” body and be proud of who you have become.

Through extreme work, mental toughness, and physical discipline, all in the name of fitness- I am on the…

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July in Blogging U.: Blogging 101 and 201

Cool article I found- I’m trying to get back into blogging so this is super helpful!

The WordPress.com Blog

Note: Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 cover the same content each time they are offered.

Have you just started blogging (welcome!), or are you looking to breathe new life into a blogging habit that’s fallen by the wayside? Blogging U. is a great way to get on track, with bite-size assignments, a supportive community, and staff to support you. We’re offering two courses in July — learn more:

Blogging 101: Zero to Hero — July 6 – 24

Blogging 101 is three weeks of bite-size blogging assignments that take you from “Blog?” to “Blog!” Every weekday, you’ll get a new assignment to help you publish a post, customize your blog, or engage with the community.

You’ll walk away with a stronger focus for your blog, several published posts and a handful of drafts, a theme that reflects your personality, a small (but growing!) audience, a grasp of blogging etiquette — and a bunch of new friends.

Blogging 201:…

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Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Travel

Daria Ibn-Tamas
Holiday Travels

It’s that time of year again- the season of giving, merriment and visiting relatives and loved ones to enjoy the Holidays with one another.  While all of these things are undoubtedly events to look forward to, unfortunately, travel during this season can be a nightmare. With everyone trying to get home for the Holidays, airports are more crowded than usual, flights are delayed, people are getting bumped from flights- you may wonder how you’ll ever get home to your family. The following are some suggestions for ways to remain calm and have a stress-free travel experience!

1. Preparation is Key: In order to not get overwhelmed in a bustling airport, make sure you are completely packed and prepared the night before your trip. Have everything laid out and ready so you can wake up the next day and hit the road on time, avoiding any last-minute snags. Be sure to arrive early for your departure as well, so you won’t have the worry of missing your flight (or bus or train).

2. Know the Truth About Travel Safety: Concern with the plane crashing tends to heighten stress & anxiety for travelers.  Many people don’t know- or forget- how rare instances of plane crashes are, and that it’s actually safer to fly than drive.  Do some research to put your mind at ease.

3. Make Yourself as Comfortable as Possible: The second you get to your seat, try to get yourself as comfortable as necessary so that you can relax and not feel anxious or frustrated with your trip. Bring a billow, have a beverage, bring a book or magazine- anything so you can feel at ease as quickly as possible.

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Home for the Holidays

4. Expect the Unexpected!: During the holiday season, travel is notoriously fickle. Expect delays so that when they occur, you won’t be devastated.  In all honesty, if the plane takes off on schedule, you will be having much better luck than a lot of people during holiday travel season!

5. Remember your destination: At the end of the day, you’ll be home soon and with your loved ones.  That’s really what matters. The flight/travel experience may not be the best during this busy time, but you’ll be where you’re trying to go before you know it. Keep the end goal in mind to help calm you down.

To read more about tips for stress-free travel, check out this post form Pop Sugar. Happy Holidays everyone, and safe travels!

Staying Happy Throughout Winter

Daria Ibn-Tamas

Don’t let winter get you down!

With winter rapidly approaching, the weather drops and skies look like they can’t hold any color beside grey – but don’t let that play a part in the way you feel this winter.  Just because it looks miserable outside does not mean that you have to be to, and it doesn’t even require a trip to the Caribbean.  An article published in Health Magazine incorporated an interview with Sonja Lyubomirsky, a professor at the University of California, Riverside and author of The How of Happiness, who explained:“There are simple things you can do to stay positive.  It’s important to keep your mood up because it can help you avoid everything from gaining extra pounds to feeling lethargic,” (The Secrets to a Super-Happy Winter, Health Magazine).  Here are some other tips about how to keep your mood souring positively through these winter months:

First, it’s important that you socialize.  This can be hard to do on days after a harsh night’s snowfall when the wind seems just a bit too nippy to tackle outdoors.  But remember, this is what winter’s like and you can’t let it get to you.  Socializing is an extremely beneficial way to lift your mood.  Esther Sternberg, MD and author of The Balance Within, suggests:

“Instead of holing up in your house until spring, set aside some time each day for a ‘buddy moment,’ whether that’s grabbing a quick lunch with a co-worker or meeting your sister for a spinning class,” (The Secrets to a Super-Happy Winter, Health Magazine).

So next time you’re contemplating sitting on your couch and watching Christmas movies, fight the temptation to stay in and go see your friends or family.

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Try to enjoy the winter months!

Another good piece of advice that Health Magazine suggests to follow this winter is to resist eating too much fatty, sugary, comfort foods.  Yes, we know it’s the holidays and there is no better time to make sugar cookies with your kids, or feast over pumpkin pie with you partner, but the fact of the matter is that you cannot eat this way for the whole winter.  Holidays are exceptions, but just beware of how you feel after you indulge in these treats.  Health Magazine notes that “highly refined carbs and sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar level, which can leave you feeling cranky,” (The Secrets to a Super-Happy Winter).

A last piece of advice to keep serotonin levels elevated for the winter would be to embrace the season.  This is a time where you can find happiness ice skating on ponds, knitting warm blankets, and sipping hot cocoa by the fireplace.  One of the most effective ways to stay happy is to actually be happy.  So don’t dwell on the negative aspects of winter, focus on all the good things that come with it!  Remember, you can only make snowmen if you have snow.

For more tips on how to gain and maintain a happy mood this winter season, read Health Magazine’s article here.

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Benefits of a Vegan Diet

Daria Ibn-Tamas

Vegan Lifestyle

Veganism, as a health choice, is one that many people meet with skepticism. Much of people’s opinions about being vegan comes from the perceived ideology that drives it. And while it is true that many people turn to a vegan lifestyle out of a concern for animal welfare, it is also true that many people report very real health benefits. In a recent article in Shape, a writer details the positive effects of her own vegan experience.

The writer admits to having had a vegan phase in her 20s that was comprised mostly of bread, fried potatoes, and soy ice cream. But 12 years after that ended she decided to revisit the idea but with a more mature, healthy mindset. What she found was a series of changes in the way her body looked and felt, all of them positive. Below is just a sampling of her experience.

Skinny Jeans? No Problem!

All of us tend to gain weight during particular times of the year. We all dread putting on the skinny jeans during those periods for fear of how many inches we put on. However, the writer found that when she put on her skinny jeans in September – when she normally packs on a few pounds – she found that slipped on without so much as a wiggle.

Smell The Roses…And Everything Else

Not many people realize this, but dairy can contribute to sinus congestion. The author had been suffering for years with chronic sinus pain that had resulted in two CT scans, a regimen of daily nasal sprays and antihistamine use, and a recommendation for sinus surgery. But after two months of being dairy free, she found that she could breath easier and smell without pain.

Clearest Skin Ever
Her waistline, her nasal passages, and even her skin benefited from the jump to veganism. She found that the pimples she had been dealing with were replaced with smooth, soft skin that was more supple and what she calls a “natural glow.” All this after a month of getting off dairy.

Read more at Shape.

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Brazil’s Silver Lining

Daria Ibn-Tamas
Brazil Fans

There is no question that Brazil’s loss to Germany was a tremendous blow to the nation’s morale.  As a unit, Brazilians were embarrassed and devastated over their country’s loss.  However, despite what one may expect, Brazilians everywhere let out a collective sigh of relief as Mario Gotze scored the one and only goal of the final game, leading Germany to a victory over Argentina.

Though it may be hard to believe, Brazilians gathered to watch the final game at the Maracaña stadium, celebrating the German’s win in the final.  This win made Germany the first team hailing from Europe to take home a World Cup that was played in North or South America.

Post-game, a Brazilian fan was quoted, saying, “ Argentina winning would have been the worst thing I could think of.”  While this may seem like a harsh sentiment, many would say Brazilians were warranted in this attitude.  Leading up to the final, tens of thousands of fans from Argentina had flooded Brazil, setting up camps wherever they could and consistently heckling Brazilians over their crushing loss to Germany, followed shortly after by their loss to the Netherlands.

On the other hand, Argentina also had reason to be enthused.  This year was the first time Argentina had made it to the World Cup Final in the past 24 years, thanks to Lionel Messi, their super-star player who many revere as the world’s best soccer player.

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German Fans

The interesting thing about this rivalry between Brazil in Argentina is that many fans seem to be unaware of the grounds for it in the first place.  “We hate them, and we don’t even know why,” commented Flávia Torezani, a Brazilian fan who cheered until her voice was lost for Germany over Argentina.  “They’re our rivals. We don’t want them to win, ever.  This was almost like Brazil winning today.”

While Brazil is still licking their wounds from their loss, they were able to at least rally some camaraderie and cheer on the falling of their rival.  To read more about Brazil’s sentiments on the cup at large and the final fate of Argentina, check out this article.

Does Winning the World Cup Ensure a Detriment to the Economy?

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Fifa World Cup 2014

When it comes to the World Cup, one would think that the winning country would benefit the most- in terms of recognition, bragging rights, attention, tourism in the future, and so on.  However, an interesting article in Forbesmagazine suggests that the winner may not really take all when it comes to economic growth following the game.

In a gathering of data by the World Bank, results yielded that in six out of the past seven world cups, the winning country saw a decline in their gross domestic product following the year of their win.  This interesting pattern dates back to 1986, when Argentina won the cup, and has continued every year, aside from Spain’s win in 2010.  That being said, the only growth Spain saw in GDP was by 0.1%, much lower than one would expect for the country that had just won the world cup.

Worse yet, is that out of the countries that did experience a decline in GDP following their world-cup win, 5 out the 7 total experienced a continued decline in the second year after their winning of the world cup.  Interestingly enough, it seems that this trend is already on its way to taking hold once again.  Between this year’s finalists, Argentina is already seeing an improvement in their economy- seeing a 3.0% growth in 2013, while Germany only saw a 0.4% increase that same year.

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The German Soccer Team of 2014

Experts are speculating on why this is the case, and are quick to say that only 7 years of observation is not enough data to solidify this pattern.  Some economists believe that the time the people of a country spend watching the world cup results in a detriment of the economy, as people are not focused on their careers and their daily lives. That being said, this does not seem like something that could be that severely detrimental to the economy, and for such an extended period of time.  Not to mention, this trend is solely relative to the World Cup- it is not seen during the Olympics, NBA finals, the Superbowl, or any other widely-viewed sporting events.

Only time will tell when it comes to learning more about this pattern and its causes.  To learn more about this interesting trend, check out the Forbes article here.