This is one of my favorite ways to help the homeless or others in need during the holiday season — especially because you know that your gift or contribution will be used for food and drink. After all, it can be weird to hand over cash to a total stranger. No matter how ‘in need’ they seem, you’re never quite sure how they might use the money. So instead, why not try something I’ve been doing for years: pick up a couple of $5.00 Gift Cards from local coffee or snack shops (like Starbucks, etc.) and keep them handy for when someone on the street asks you for a handout.
By giving them the gift card, you’re giving them a gift of a warm drink or even a small meal or snack. This way you know your gift is truly being used to make someone in needs’ season a little more comfortable. And even though Starbucks gift cards are pictured here, I’m not saying it has to be Starbucks. (In other words, this is not a paid endorsement — LOL!) However, I do usually buy Starbucks gift cards for this purpose of holiday giving to the less fortunate, because there are lots of Starbucks around and, therefore, it’s easy for people to use the gift cards there without much travel.
If you have similar or different giving ideas for those in need, share them here. Together we can spread more JOY to the world! (Fa la la la la!)
Time magazine has asked 5 experts if they think people should be drinking diet soda. And the results were thumbs down across the board. Along with sharing each expert’s opinion, the article adds “A recent study in Nature shows that zero-calorie artificial sweeteners might mess with gut bacteria in a way that predisposes mice to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.”
As some of you may know, when I weighed over 450 pounds, I was drinking 6-12 cans of diet soda a day. Giving up that (and soda all together) and replacing it with water was one of the ways that I took off over 250 pounds of excess weight and one of the contributors to my keeping the excess weight off for well over a decade.
Photo Source: Time Magazine
Those of you looking for something new to prepare for your healthy eating regime (along with any lucky family members or guests you decide to also cook for), might want to check out this healthy and clean recipe — Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Black Beans, Avocado & Lime Cream. According to Clean Eating Magazine, this satisfying and meatless dish combines sweet and tender sweet potato with spicy beans and creamy avocado and yogurt. For the full recipe (including a printable version), click here.
Photo Source: Clean Eating Magazine
As dieters, we often get caught up in what we don’t have (a certain waist size, skinny jeans, self-acceptance – you name it). This is why the Thanksgiving season can be a good reminder to be thankful for what we do have.
In fact, more and more researchers are finding that “Thank You Therapy” (reminding ourselves of reasons to be grateful) can help increase our happiness quotient, our self esteem and out overall outlook on life.
It doesn’t take a self-help guru to realize that this kind of changed attitude will attract a lot more reasons to be thankful — not to mention likely bring more positive results to our weight loss and overall health efforts. Therefore, why not take a cue from this season of gratitude and begin a Thank You Journal?
Any blank notebook or pad of paper will do. Once a day, list 5 reasons you have to be happy. They can be small. They can be big. But list 5, every day (many people do this at night, just before bed).
I often make entries in my gratitude journal in the morning – after my morning workout, but before I begin my workday. Sometimes I’ll doodle in the journal. Sometimes I’ll write down an inspirational quote I don’t want to forget. And other times I’ll makes lists of reasons to be grateful. For myself, doing this in the morning certainly has a positive effect on the rest of my day – not to mention on my diet and healthy eating efforts. Try it yourself, every day for a month, and see how it affects your “attitude of gratitude” – and, perhaps, even your physical health.
Here’s more information that will make starting a gratitude journal easy:
For a quick primer on keeping a gratitude journal: Click Here
For 5 ways to amp up your attitude of gratitude: Click Here
To learn about more ways that gratitude affects your overall health: Click Here
By the way, I would love for you to add comments below, letting me know some of things you’re most grateful for this 2014 Thanksgiving season. And while we’re on the topic, please know I’m sincerely grateful to all of you for helping to inspire me – and this blog – on a daily basis.
Photo Source: ComicRelated.com