Keep green in plain sight
Forget keeping fruits and veggies in the crisper: The more we see healthy (or unhealthy) choices, the more likely we are to eat them, reveals new research. The study says even foods we see in commercials can influence the choices we make later.
Try it today: Put the good stuff in view. Keep fruit in a clear bowl on the kitchen counter. Or paste snapshots of your fave fruit- and vegetable-rich recipes on the fridge (think of it as your own real-life Pinterest board)!
Photo by Yagi Studio/Getty Images
Paint yourself into an amazing mood
Boost your spirits by channelling your inner Picasso. A new study out of the University of Illinois at Chicago reveals that people who create (or enjoy) art or music on a regular basis are kinder, more active members of society than their less arty counterparts. Researchers say the mere act of going to a gallery or museum improves tolerance, increases compassion and may even spur us to perform more random acts of goodwill.
Try it today: Instead of going for cocktails with the girls, meet the gang at a gallery opening or get tickets to a play-and reap the reward of wellness. -Kari Pritchard
Get your Van Gogh on with one of our 10-minute projects.
Illustrations by Julia Schwarz
Soothe sore muscles with DIY physiotherapy
The Acuball was created by Dr. Michael Cohen, a Toronto-based chiropractor and acupuncturist, to improve posture, ease muscle tightness and provide serious pain relief. "It's designed so your body weight does the work," he says.
Acuball kit, $60, acuball.com.
De-stress at your desk: Sit in your chair and place the Acuball against the small of your back (wherever you need it most), so that its centre aligns with your spine. Lean back, take three or four deep breaths and relax.
Nix neck and shoulder pain: Lie on your right side (if that's the hand you use to mouse at your desk). Place the Acuball under your side, by your shoulder blade. Move gently until you find the tense area. Breathe deeply and relax.
Erase headaches: Place the small nibs on the bottom of the Acuball against your scalp, forehead or temples and gently massage the area in small circles. Breathe deeply and relax. This will help increase blood flow and reduce tension.
Combat the common cold (naturally)
Hit the gym: American researchers say those who exercise five or more days a week are 43 percent less likely to get the sniffles.
Stock the pantry: A Canadian study says upping zinc intake (think oysters and dark chocolate) can shorten the duration of your cold.
Sing it, sister: Harmonizing in a choir twice a week can boost immunity, say German researchers.
Eat early, snack less laterMake time for breakfast and we promise you'll make healthier choices all the way to dinner. A new study shows people who miss an a.m. bite indulge in more fatty, high-calorie foods. British researchers reviewed MRI scans and discovered the area of the brain associated with "food appeal" went into overdrive for people running on empty before noon, making belly-bulging treats look way more tempting. Plus, brekkie skippers unintentionally ate 20 percent more at lunch!
Play away those pesky cravings
Next time you can't get sweets off your mind, try this trick: Go old school and make fun shapes with moulding clay. "Our research shows that when people crave any substance or activity, they imagine how it will make them feel," says study leader Jackie Andrade. "However, tasks that compete with this kind of craving imagery can distract from them altogether."
Bottom line: Playing satisfies your brain-and your stomach!
More from Chatelaine:
- Five cool things to do this week
- February's Ms. Chatelaine is the ultimate DIYer
- Find happiness by being busy but not rushed
- Do your boobs make you happy?
- Find happiness by rediscovering your inner child
Connect with Chatelaine: