Share Heart-to-Heart Hugs

Around the world, humans are hugging loved ones liver to liver. Instead, let’s embrace heart to heart! Here is the technique. It has long been forgotten, and we are working to remind the world of heart-to-heart hugs.


Happy mother embracing and kissing her sonLean to the right. Bring together left shoulders to come together heart-to-heart, embrace one another, and share heart energy (add a kiss if you desire). When we hug heart to heart, our energy fields expand together.

Lead by raising your left arm and dipping your right arm. What happens when
you do this? In this time of creating a habit with the heart-to-heart hug, the other person may get thrown off balance, take a miss step, or stop in their tracks and beseech you with an inquisitive look.

If this happens, take a moment and explain that “this is a Heart-to-Heart Hug.”

njabuls-heart-to-heart-slowdanceLike a dance, this hug is choreographed by leading with left arm raised, taking a slight dip to the right, and embracing so that our hearts physically connect, sharing heart feelings; love, compassion, empathy.


This is a shift from our current habit of hugging with our right shoulders coming together. In this embrace we share the energy of our livers where our emotions of anger, resentment, and trauma are stored. No thank you!

Instead, let us come together in heartness, heart to heart. Connect and share appreciation with each other—hugging stimulates your nervous system, decreases loneliness, combats fear, increases self-esteem, defuses tension.

Open your heart to give and to receive. Linger in the embrace. Go through the moment of discomfort and allow your self to relax. Take a breath. Feel the gentle drumming of two hearts in a chord of accord.


“We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.” — Virginia Satir

A hug has an almost immediate impact on health, lowering heart rate and inducing a calming effect while also leading to an improved mood! Hugging is as beneficial for the person giving the hug as for the person receiving the hug due to the reciprocal nature of touch.

Your body produces oxytocin in response to physical touch. The neuropeptide oxytocin, released by your pituitary gland, is a naturally occurring hormone in your body with incredibly powerful, health-giving properties.


So, hugging is an incredible way to bond with others and to boost physical, and emotional, health. Make an effort to hug the people close to you and get hugs in return! Make every hug a hearty heart-to-heart hug.

With experience spanning multiple industries and over many decades, Tamara Parisio brings a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to find the opportunity in every challenge. With acute clarity, Tamara hones a marketing message for impactful, compelling communication across channels. Tamara’s optimism delivers a can-do approach to meet or beat expectations.

“My goal is to be ICONIC in what I do so that I can invest and spend resources as I desire to enrich the world! And I intend to give fabulous gifts to family and friends, wrapped in particularly pretty packages! … What’s yours? #ScriptYourShift” — Tamara Parisio, Strategic Wordsmith & Creative Director

Tamara Parisio is a Scottsdale-based Strategic Wordsmith and Creative Director with Parisio & Co, LLC. For more information, visit TamaraParisio.comand

Managing Stress & Making It Work

Seven No-Cost Stress Busters That Are Worth Your Time

It is saddening that many feel the need to trip out on drugs in order to “cope” with the stress of their day. One single mom defended that spending her last $10 on her fix was important to give her a break from the stress of not being able to make ends meet, to feed her children and take care of them.

Oh, dear, perhaps your choices are leading to your inability to feed your children—$10 can buy a loaf of bead and a jar of peanut butter, and a jug of milk. That’s many meals …

The need to rejuvenate is fully understood. And supported. However, when you look at your options and your resources, there are choices that would serve you better. Spend the money on food to feed your self and your family. And spend some time to refresh your soul. Here are seven of the many ways one can “escape” with a little time, and no money at all.

MOVE. Get in motion. Go for a walk. Dance in your room. Stretch or strike a yoga pose. March in place. Do jumping jacks! This will elevate your mood and help your health. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. They interact with receptors in your brain to reduce your perception of pain. This is a key benefit of regular physical activity. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body. That feeling is often accompanied by a bright outlook on life. Exercise also leads to improved self-esteem.

MIX IT UP. Get a new perspective. Rearrange your habits. Take a different route on errands. Straighten your closet or your room. Step back and ponder the patterns of your life—the daily routines that shape your existence. How could you tweak your routine to make your day more pleasant? A simple adjustment in a daily regimen can make a huge difference in your happiness.

MASTURBATE. Give yourself a hand. Love you. Escape in a moment of personal pleasure. When just thinking about sex, the brain releases dopamine, giving us a sense of pleasure. As we engage in sexual activity, endorphins are released, providing a sense of well-being. Learn to love yourself and you will be more open to love from others.

MAKE SOMETHING. Create a poem. Hum a new tune. Draw a picture of a daydream. Enjoy the journey as you manifest anew. Activities that put you into the “zone” slow your brain waves and stop the constant mind chatter. Whether it is cooking, painting, writing, sewing, gardening, photography, or working with clay, do something imaginative. Let it inspire you and lift your mood.

MEDITATE. Stop. Breathe. Ponder. Pray. And find a supportive mantra to repeat so you have this peace any time of the day. You can repeat a simple, neutral sound such as AUM for several minutes—or use a word or phrase with meaning to you (this can have stronger psychological impact). Close your eyes. Inhale through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Ponder or say your word or phrase silently as you breathe out. When stray thoughts come by, gently release them. Continue focus on your mantra. Do this exercise for 10 to 15 minutes each day. Mindful self-compassion can relieve anxiety under conditions of chronic psychological pressure.

MELT DOWN. Cry. It can be therapeutic. It is one of the most cleansing experiences you can experience. Deep sobs open your chest and your diaphragm. This releases bound-up energy and helps to free your heart of muscular tension. A good cry will enhance oxygen delivery to your cells. And, crying stimulates release of neuro-chemicals in the brain that promote relaxation. Tears are also considered to be healing—evidence suggest that the nerve growth factor in tears has medicinal functions. In any case, a good cry feels like relief.

MEET UP. Get together with a friend. Swap stories. Laugh. Cry. Communicate your way to a brighter mood through connection. When we feel connected to another, we feel more calm. When a friend expresses support, sympathy, and compassion for your difficult situation, it reduces anxiety. This act of kindness goes a long way to relieve tension and provide a sense of comfort.

There are many more possibilities. Make time for yourself every day. Take a break from the info-stream and the constant press of info. Step back and look at the opportunities to serve your highest and best. Please share how you cope, productively, in times of stress.

With experience spanning multiple industries and over many decades, Tamara Parisio brings a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to find the opportunity in every challenge. With acute clarity, Tamara hones a marketing message for impactful, compelling communication across channels. Tamara’s optimism delivers a can-do approach to meet or beat expectations.

“My goal is to be ICONIC in what I do so that I can invest and spend resources as I desire to enrich the world! And I intend to give fabulous gifts to family and friends, wrapped in particularly pretty packages! … What’s yours? #ScriptYourShift” — Tamara Parisio, Strategic Wordsmith & Creative Director

Tamara Parisio is a Scottsdale-based Strategic Wordsmith and Creative Director with Parisio & Co, LLC. For more information, visit TamaraParisio.comand

A Moving Experience

tableware-555203_960_720The commitment of moving in with your significant other is fun—like breakfast in bed, housewarming parties, or decorating together. It’s a big step for your relationship; also for your stuff. Sort out things beforehand for a smooth move.

First, build a strong foundation for your finances. Financial aspects of your new life together can affect everything from rent or mortgage payments to grocery expenses. Create a plan to manage your debt, expenses, and credit. Then outline living arrangements such as chores. Take these steps to get a handle on matters and smooth out details ahead of time, so you’ll avoid disagreements and hard feelings later.

BUDGET Disclose your gross income and your liabilities, and what you afford for household expenses. Then outline the budget for your combined monthly living expenses. Include these items.

  • Rent (or down payment and mortgage)
  • Utilities- Gas, Electric, Water, Cable, Network
  • Household Insurance
  • Food and Supplies
  • Miscellany – including saving for repair, lean times*
  • Entertainment – hosting a party, decorating

Also figure out when your monthly bills are due to avoid late payments. Track your spending as a couple (apps and online programs can link to your bank and savings accounts, as well as sync yours and your partner’s app accounts for these). Stay aligned with your financial commitments and goals.

ACCOUNT Open a joint checking account, and an attached joint savings account. Savings* is where you keep a minimum of $1000 and aim to have enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses should an emergency strike. Commit to ante up for share of bills on a certain date monthly or weekly (if one of you brings home a significantly larger paycheck than the other, you might choose to divvy up the responsibility differently).

Maintain separate accounts for personal savings, investments, clothing, cellphone, medical, treating one another, dates, and etc.

CHORES Outline chores. Split them. Be flexible.

ROLES Define roles will each of you play in running the household. If you rent an apartment, both partners should put their names on the lease. If one of you is renting and the other is the owner, clarify responsibilities of landlord and tenant.

STUFF Living together likely means you won’t be able to keep all the stuff you both have so take time together to choose what stays and what goes. Invest in a storage space for personal items that don’t fit in but you desire keeping.
Rearrange your space together.

  • Keep track of furniture and household goods ownership for.
  • For major purchases that are separate, keep them documented.
  • Make joint purchases in both names.

Remain unattached to most things. Focus on what is most essential. Be respectful of one another.

COMMUNICATE Consider how you will manage disagreements. Remain objective when discussing perspectives about spending and saving and sharing. You don’t want to resent your partner because you ended up paying for something you didn’t think was fair. Check in with one another always. Express appreciation to one another for everything.

AGREEMENT  The above outlines your agreement and reflects validation of the importance of your relationship by your willingness to put in writing your rights, responsibilities and obligations to that relationship, and to one another. Be firm and flexible as you commit to the well-being of your partner and your relationship.

Summarize how much each partner will pay for rent, who will cover what household duties, when bills are due, and other space-sharing arrangements. Revisit this agreement whenever necessary, such as when one partner’s income level changes. Revise it as you require.

Merging household and finances can be stressful. With planning and open communication, you can smooth the merger. Should moving in together expand to marriage or children, you may require taking budgeting to another level. Evaluate and re-evaluate finances as a couple under one roof as a practice that will ensure staying aligned.

Designate responsibilities to make sure that one person isn’t taking on more housework than the other. Then move on to the fun of setting up your household. Manage expectations and set up ground rules before sets you up for a smooth move.

With experience spanning multiple industries and over many decades, Tamara Parisio brings a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to find the opportunity in every challenge. With acute clarity, Tamara hones a marketing message for impactful, compelling communication across channels. Tamara’s optimism delivers a can-do approach to meet or beat expectations.

“My goal is to be ICONIC in what I do so that I can invest and spend resources as I desire to enrich the world! And I intend to give fabulous gifts to family and friends, wrapped in particularly pretty packages! … What’s yours? #ScriptYourShift” — Tamara Parisio, Strategic Wordsmith & Creative Director

Tamara Parisio is a Scottsdale-based Strategic Wordsmith and Creative Director with Parisio & Co, LLC. For more information, visit TamaraParisio.comand

May the Force Always Be with You  …  Age and the Workforce

In the cycle of life, we round the corner into the era of an “aging” workforce.  We have been here before, and we will return here, again and again.  This lifecycle affects companies, small and large, and employees at every level of their careers.  So, whatever role you play at whichever stage of your career, this is a history lesson for here and now.

Lesson 1:  People Retire, Talent Thrives
With experienced employees reaching retirement, companies lose rich resources from the day-to-day goings on.  Companies can still tap the talent.  Many retirees wish to spend time with colleagues and enjoy the stimulation of work.  Also, they have earned a balance that includes more leisure time.  So, consider the flexibility of consulting.  Retirees are the perfect pinch-hitters for projects that need extra person-power.  The pool of experience is a ready resource for varying demand.

And, if you are one of those entering retirement, and you wish to keep a toe in the workforce, offer your skills as a consultant.  For employees still circling the water cooler, keeping in touch with exiting colleagues is a great way to have a comrade to whom you can turn for advice.

Lesson 2: Build Bridges
Companies and individuals can benefit from mentorship bonds within the organization or within the community.  The mentor-mentee relationship promotes understanding, and leads to mutual investment in success.  Often, these relationships flourish beyond the work environment.  If your company doesn’t have a mentor program, reach out and set up your own network.  Select a teacher if you are just beginning, choose a protégé if you are more tenured.

When nearing retirement, thwart resentment toward career beginners, especially if nurturing hurt from falling short of personal goals.  Be mindful of your personal motivations.  Make peace with your self.  When one is okay with one’s self, there is no need to make another wrong.

Throughout a blossoming career, it is wise to learn from those who have blazed the path before, even while making your own mark.  Be respectful.  Open your mind to the possibility that, even though you may “know it all,” there are still some treasures to be found.  One gentleman posted this for all to learn:  Everyone has an Opinion; Judgment is from Experience.

Lesson 3:  Stay In Touch
No matter what stage in your career, it is vital to stay current with trends, innovations, and technology.  Embracing new ways of doing things keeps talent fresh.  Cross-pollinating industry ideas spawns inventiveness. When entering the workforce, while advancing in the workforce, and as one gets ready to depart the workforce, do not leave “learning” behind.

There are creative ways to accomplish this.  Companies can encourage learning in many ways, one of the most efficient being on-site seminars.  Employees can inspire educational programs by working with HR or launching “brown bag” lunch events.  Here is an opportunity to enlist the senior staff members to give presentations in order to share their expertise.  And, newbies can find presentation experience by researching and lecturing about a topic.  Sharpen the pencil, the wit, the mind and feed the soul of an ever wiser organization.

Lesson 4:  Work Today & Plan for Tomorrow
One of the most helpful benefits a company can offer in support of retirement is the 401k.  With or without matching funds, the 401k brings mindfulness to saving, and makes it easy.

If one is fortunate enough to have enlisted in a program early in one’s career, one will find a nice nest egg to support their dreams after the “9 to 5” gig.  And, there is a world of opportunity for both work and play in the after-retirement-life.

Lesson 5:  While Talent is Tops, Character Commands
At any age, kindness, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, perseverance combined with ability will be the meter of our life’s work.  As the world’s children learn the pillars of character at home and at school, adults should further develop and encourage mindfulness of virtue ~ especially as ethics are challenged in an increasingly competitive world.

Companies can encourage truthfulness, respect, fairness, caring, responsibility, citizenship, and other virtues through business practices, policy, and by annually rewarding such behavior and the person who personifies character through the course of business.  Employees can bring these qualities to every facet of their lives.  Let the best of you rule you.

Got questions?  Got comments?  Let me know. Live well and live in peace.

Tamara Parisio is a freelance writer and an entrepreneur.  With a blended perspective from Journalism, Advertising, Toys, Giftware, Entertainment, Real Estate, and Beauty, to family life and personal interests, Tamara reflects upon her experiences to provide hope-filled musings on beauty and wellness, business and living for people of all ages. With experience spanning multiple industries and over many decades, Tamara Parisio brings a seasoned eye and a fresh perspective to find the opportunity in every challenge. With acute clarity, Tamara hones a marketing message for impactful, compelling communication across channels. Tamara’s optimism delivers a can-do approach to meet or beat expectations.

“My goal is to be ICONIC in what I do so that I can invest and spend resources as I desire to enrich the world! And I intend to give fabulous gifts to family and friends, wrapped in particularly pretty packages! … What’s yours? #ScriptYourShift” — Tamara Parisio, Strategic Wordsmith & Creative Director

Tamara Parisio is a Scottsdale-based Strategic Wordsmith and Creative Director with Parisio & Co, LLC. For more information, visit TamaraParisio.comand


10 Blessings You Can Give Your Self

Love Your SelfHere are Ten Blessings you can give your self to enjoy love and prosperity in your life. This from a mediation by Moira Shepard.

1. Love Your Body. Show your body kindness and appreciation to create radiant health and well being. You will feel well in your skin. Be at peace in your body. Shower your body with appreciation every day. Understand that your body deserves … Imagine light emanating form every cell of your body. Notice how perfect your body is. Clasp together your hands and give thanks for the body you have.

2. Use your mind mindfully. You become what you think about. If you want love, think kind thoughts. if you want wealth, think prosperity. The difference between the thoughts that help vs the thoughts that harm:  invite an inspiring thought to your conscious mind. Hold it. See it. You are mindfully using your mind. You can be more effectively motivated by joyful thoughts … understand and illuminate the power of your mind …

3. Honor Your Heart. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings. You have every right to feel how you feel right now. You don’t need to hold on to the feeling. Acknowlege it: I am feeling this way right now. Ask yourself: Could I let go of this feeling? Would I let go of it? When? Notice how letting go makes room for joyful feelings to enter.

4. Safely Speak Your Truth. Tell others what you want. Others will respect your feelings when you voice them in a calm way. It is safe. You are worthy. Say what you feel and what you want in a way that is respectful to your self and to others. Realize that it is safe to be you. It’s safe to say what you feel. It’s safe to ask what you want.

5. Do Away With Difficulties. Reduce or remove your problems. Know who you are and you can recognize habits that are problematic so you can drop them before an obstacle builds. Breathe in violet light at the base of your brain. Then at the back of your heart. Finally breath in violet light at the base of your spine. Do away with difficulties.

6. Embrace the Positive. Find and hold on to positive thoughts. Let go of the addiction to pain and negativity. Feel safe. Know infinite love in every cell of your being. Realize that it is safe to feel love, rich, peaceful. Imagine a radiant rainbow lighting up your neurology and every cell in your body.

7. Recognize Your Worthiness. It is as much a part of you as your breath. You are good enough. You are worthy of abundance. Understand and illuminate your worthiness from the highest truth—feel safe in recognizing your worth right now. Imagine violet light illuminating every cell in your body. You are worthy. You have had it all the time.

8. Follow Your Calling. Answer the call of your soul. Your life purpose. Follow your calling and realize the flowering of your life. It benefits you, your loved ones and others. Imagine a golden trumpet playing an irresistible music that penetrates your entire being. Let yourself dance to it. Follow your calling.

9. Nurture Your Self. Beyond the bubble bath, encourage, support and act upon your dreams. Feed, clothe and nurture your body. Give your heart kindness. Let your spirit express creatively. Take care of yourself and the universe will take care of you. The universe follows  your lead. Nurturing your self makes  you more loving, motivated, alive … Imagine a cloud sparkling light with glints of pink and blue, descending to envelop you in a warm embrace.

10. Decide to Have Love and Money. Stand right here right now in the presences of god as the anointed author of your life. You have full authority, permission to have it all right now. Consciously choose to have wealth and love. It is okay with god. You are worthy and ready. Recognize that you are still you. Align with the universe. You have lasting love and permanent prosperity. See it right in front of you. Pick it up. Hold it over your head and let it fill you. Lasting love. Pour it over you and let it drip inside you. Permanent Prosperity. Pick it up and place it over your head. Let it shimmer through the souls of your feet, anchor into the earth.

Enjoy … do a happy dance. Move your body to reset this transformation.

via Moira Shepard


Girls Night Out

Gathering with girlfriends is a cornucopia of goodness.  Here are a couple gems from the treasure of last night’s soiree.

  • Where we met: Figlio’s.
  • What we drank: Michael David Chardonnay and Hahn Pinot Noir.
  • What we ate: Polenta Fries and Calamari followed by seafood dinner plates.
  • How we solved the world’s woes: Collaborative conversation. And hugs.

The topics we covered were as diverse as the days we each have experienced between our memory making moments when we cross paths. Having forged our friendships in college, celebrated careerImages and weddings and children and adventures, we raise our glasses with gratitude for the here and now. And salt.

Two salts we praised for flavor and health benefits were Celtic Coarse Light Gray Sea Salt and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt to add minerals, texture and a pinch of panache to the food we enjoy. Salt Works offers a nice guide to artisan salts and offers a selection online. Or check out the food section at T J Maxx for a deal that makes trying something new so much easier.

Onward, we tackled the almighty question of “what do I want to be when I grow up.” For our selves. For our children. For those we advise. A wonderful resource employed by a few became the curio for us all. Aptitude testing is a great adventure that has helped shaped the career paths for our children (and it is never to late to give it a go). And we enjoy the conversation about our strengths, weakness, hopes and dreams.

So the evening wraps up with hugs and promises to keep in touch until we gather again. Girl friends. Women who are changing the world.


Four Questions for Creatives • Danielle LaPorte

The story of Freddy & the iPhone — and 4 questions for Creatives • Danielle LaPorte: white hot truth + sermons on life.

1. What have you got in your archive that can be turned into art today?

2. Analyze it — what interested you in your past?

3. Your life is content — what do you do well everyday that you might be taking for granted?

4. How can you bring your personal story into your work?

What comes naturally to you is your greatest distinguisher.

Model. Role Model.

Role Model

Stand for something.

I wished to be a model. A role model. Yes, I hoped to be considered attractive, but I knew not to lean on being pretty or cute.

Standing before you, standing for something, my purpose is to inspire. Even as I fumble with my words, my ways, the goal of communicating to the soul drives me. I have been called intense. I am considered, at times, irritating. But that’s because I ruffle something so we all think about it. And when there is an “aha” moment, my heart sings.

Model. Role Model.

Mindful Eating

Image: Brookstone

You’ve heard of smartphones and even smartwatches, but how about a smart… fork? Designed to help you become more aware of your eating habits, HAPIfork keeps track of a variety of information when it comes to mealtime, including number of  “fork servings,” time it takes you to eat your meal and built-in timer. You can then upload your data to for analysis, coaching and tracking progress. The forks are Bluetooth compatible, and the accompanying mobile app is available for Android, iOS or Windows mobile. Price: $99.99. Reposted via 13 Gift Ideas for the Woman in Your Life.

& This advice from MeQuilibrium.

Eat mindfully.

When you aren’t aware of what you’re eating, you tend to eat a lot more—and enjoy it a lot less. Try slowing down and tuning in at mealtime, and you’ll not only reduce the negative effects of stress, but ease digestion, heighten your senses, and even eat less.

What to do: Put everything you want to eat on your plate, rather than skimp and go back for seconds. Turn off the TV; put away the phone. Take a few deep breaths before diving in. Tune in to the appearance, textures, and flavors of your food.

If you’re eating with friends or family, pace yourself with the slowest eater at the table to slow yourself down.

Get more good fats.

Don’t be afraid of fats! Contrary to what you may think, fats don’t make you fat, but are necessary for healthy brain function and heart health, sustained energy, and the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins and minerals. Include more healthy fats in your diet.

What to do: Snack on healthy plant-based fats like those found in nuts, nut butters, and avocados. Use healthy oils in your cooking: olive, canola, and sunflower oil. Eat fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and anchovies. Take an omega 3 supplement.

Detox your drinks.

Skip the bottled, sugary, caffeinated beverages and drink only water today. Hydrating often can keep you alert and your skin looking great, and even help with calorie control.

What to do: Invest in a good glass pitcher or bottle to keep on your desk all day. Add cucumber, mint, and lemon or lime for flavor. Drink sparkling water with a splash of pomegranate or grapefruit juice (consider a Sodastream machine which turns tap water into bubbly water.)

Take a culinary adventure.

In a food rut? Stop by your local farmer’s market. Fresh, locally grown produce is not only great for your health, but can add a little zing to your same old, same old.

What to do: Let your senses guide you. What looks inviting and healthy and delicious? Buy what appeals to you and you can find a recipe later. Buy something (fairy eggplants, or a different Asian green) that you’ve never seen or tried before.

Talk to the farmers and growers. These people know their produce inside and out. Ask some questions about how to use or prepare foods and you’ll leave with new insight and a recipe or two. Take home your new foods and enjoy (sooner the better). You’ll feel great that you bought something that supports local growers and your health at the same time.

Get more magnesium.

Magnesium is a mineral that’s abundant in our bodies; it plays a vital role in our stress response system. Consuming the right amount of magnesium can help restore optimum levels and calm and energize you.

What to do: Talk to your doctor about having your levels checked; he or she may recommend a supplement. Up your intake with these natural magnesium-rich sources:

  • beans
  • dark leafy greens
  • grains like barley
  • millet
  • buckwheat
  • nuts
  • shrimp
  • oyster
  • halibut

Bring your lunch.

When you don’t plan for lunch, you may forget to eat it altogether—and end up eating something less than healthy out of desperation. Pack a healthy meal and you’re sure to sustain your energy throughout the day.

What to do: Pack your lunch the night before. Put a portion of your dinner aside for tomorrow to take with you the next day.

Throw it over some greens. If you had cooked salmon for dinner, save a portion in the fridge. The next morning, put it over some salad greens and you have a fancy chilled salmon salad that would normally cost you $15.

Try a sushi sandwich. For a low-calorie, nutrient-dense option, roll a few slices of turkey with some avocado and mustard in a nori seaweed wrap and you’ve got a lean, low-carb sandwich.

Clean out your cupboard.

Eating healthier starts with what’s in your cupboard. So, clean it out and replace it with healthier alternatives and you’ll have what you need on hand to eat well, every day.

What to do: Toss: Old oils (especially the ones that smell rancid—and trust us, you’ll know). Replace with: heart healthy olive or canola oil (look for cold- and expeller-pressed).

Toss: Old herbs and spices. Do you even remember when you bought them? Spices have a long shelf life, but if you can’t smell them, they won’t do you much good. Replace with: Fresher versions of spices you know you’ll use: cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, and any others your favorite recipes call for. Skip the economy size and opt for smaller you can use up.

Toss: Packaged goods that contain: transfats, loads of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, dyes, and anything else that is nutritionally void and just taking up space. Replace with: Shelf-stable options that have a shorter ingredient list, lower sodium, and contain foods—not chemicals whose names you can’t pronounce.

Eat fish twice this week.

Fish is a healthy, lean protein and a powerful addition to your diet, as it’s lower in calories and saturated fats than other meats.

What to do: Opt for fatty, cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel to get a potent dose of heart-healthy omega 3s. Try anchovies in your pasta or sardines over brown rice for lunch or dinner, or toss some shrimp into a stir fry.

Widen your net. Eating a wide variety of fish can help reduce exposure to environmental contaminants, as can eating smaller fish (think anchovies versus swordfish, which has a higher concentration of mercury). Try some you haven’t before, like herring or smoked trout or kippers, which are available at most supermarkets.

Have a smoothie for breakfast.

Skip the bagel and coffee, and front-load your day with healthy fruits and veggies instead for energy-boosting nutrients with lower calorie counts while avoiding the sugar crash.

What to do: Smoothie recipes abound online, or you can experiment with a few of your favorite ingredients. All you need is a good blender. Try:

  • Frozen berries, bananas, an apple, and some spinach (you won’t even taste it).
  • Throw in some flaxseed meal for healthy omega 3s and fiber.
  • Add some soy or almond milk for texture.
  • Blend until smooth, and take along with you!

Swap your snacks for real food.

We’ve been taught that snacks are their own food group and usually come prepackaged—but in fact, food is food, and when you’re hungry, you should eat it.

Skip the snack packs and instead upgrade your between-meal bites to include actual fruits, veggies, grains, fats, and proteins. You’ll sustain your energy and avoid the sugar crash.

What to do: Cut up veggies and hummus or tahini sauce. Choose a sliced apple with some almond or peanut butter. Have a small cup of greek yogurt with a few nuts. Enjoy a cup of soup with some cheese and crackers.

The Weighty Issues

Get active and count calories (and make sure your calories count). This is the formula for keeping a fit figure. At every age there are variables to accommodate. For instance, after one is fully developed, calorie needs diminish.  Of course, if pregnant or nursing, calorie needs increase. Hormone changes affect diet needs. At menopause, usually in one’s early 50’s, metabolism takes its greatest hit and muscle loss accelerates.

Keep moving through the aches and pains (as okay with your health provider). Being active may even reduce joint and muscle pain that comes with aging.

Stretching is an important aspect of your regimen at every age. Try it between “sets” when strength training, and notice how your body responds with new vigor.

The “formula” in general includes a varied form of cardio on a daily basis. Variation will help prevent injuries from overuse. It will also keep things interesting. Stick with strength training at least three times a week. If you do more, be sure to vary muscle groups to allow for recovery. And, stretch regularly.

Fold this in to your daily routine and enjoy the energy that comes with fitness. Additional benefits are delivered such as mood enhancement and an increased threshold for pain that comes with endorphins released during a workout. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter produced in the brain during and after exercise, can provide a natural high. Mind, spirit and flesh benefit.

Eat to fuel your body (and do so in a pleasurable way). Fresh foods are best. Searching out seasonal produce helps keep things interesting. And ensure adequate protein. Fish, fowl, and meat can replenish amino acids which are the building blocks of muscle. Beans, nuts, eggs and dairy are also good sources of protein. Again, vary your intake to give yourself a full range of flavors plus nutrients. Make sure every day is filled with FWB’s – Foods With Benefits. Supplement only as needed.

When reducing, trim calories by increasing vegetables proportionate to protein and starches. For support, consider an app such as MyFitnessPal or MyNetDiary.

Make a habit of healthy eating and keeping active as soon as you can. And carry it with you always. It will help you feel good and be well in your skin.