How You Can Boost the Nutrient Density of Your Meals

If you find yourself eating the same dull things every day, it may be time to mix it up and take your diet up a notch. We are constantly scrolling through Pinterest looking up recipes and pinning them to our boards, but how often is it that we start trying new things. The best way is to start small and ramp up what you already got. Continue reading “How You Can Boost the Nutrient Density of Your Meals”

Top 10 Uncomfortable Situations and How to Deal with Them

Life is full of awkward and uncomfortable moments. We can’t avoid them altogether, but we can handle them with grace. Here are ten Continue reading “Top 10 Uncomfortable Situations and How to Deal with Them”

Frustrated With Life?? … What is Happiness and How Can We Learn To Cultivate It?

What is Happiness?

This elusive concept seems to be rather poorly defined for how much effort we tend to exert trying to attain it.

I will give you my definition of happiness. Continue reading “Frustrated With Life?? … What is Happiness and How Can We Learn To Cultivate It?”

How to Fake Being More Confident When You’re Just Not Feeling It

Confidence can be an enviable quality. Being completely assured of yourself and your abilities gives you the courage to take risks and accomplish great things. But confidence doesn’t always come easy, Continue reading “How to Fake Being More Confident When You’re Just Not Feeling It”

How to Become Financially Independent and Retire Early, With Vicki Robin

In this episode we talk to Vicki Robin, the co-author of the bestseller Your Money or Your Life: 9 Steps to Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence. Continue reading “How to Become Financially Independent and Retire Early, With Vicki Robin”

There might be dangerous chemicals in your tap water — here’s how to stay safe

Remember the movie “Erin Brockovich”? Of course, you do.

But unless you’ve rewatched it recently, you may not remember that Brockovich—in real life, and in the movie—was fighting a company suspected of polluting a small California town’s drinking water with a cancer-causing contaminant called chromium-6 (aka, hexavalent chromium).

Fast-forward 20 years, and it may shock you to learn that chromium-6 is still a threat to 218 million Americans, including residents of every state. That’s just one of the many findings of a just-released Environmental Working Group (EWG) report on the state of our nation’s drinking water.

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“We’ve known about chromium-6 since Erin Brockovich, but it’s still a pervasive problem, and there’s no federal legal standard for it,” says Nneka Leiba, MPH, the director of Healthy Living Science at the EWG.

Unfortunately, chromium-6 isn’t the only dangerous chemical of concern. After examining data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and almost 50,000 public water systems across the nation, the EWG found 267 different contaminants in our nation’s water supply—more than half of which have no established legal limit.

How could this be, you ask? “The Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t put a new contaminant on its regulated list since 1996, which is when the Clean Water Act was passed. We’ve learned so much more about chemicals since then, but we still haven’t made any improvements in our policies,” Leiba explains.

Arsenic, lead, the agricultural herbicide Atrazine, perchlorate, and perfluorinated chemicals are just a handful of the hundreds of contaminants the EWG found to be widespread in public tap water systems. Many of these chemicals have been shown to be carcinogenic, impair thyroid function, and cause harm to fetal growth and development.

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When asked for a response, an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spokesperson was quick to point out that “more than 90 percent of the country’s drinking water systems meet all of EPA’s health-based drinking water standards” and that the EPA has “set drinking water standards for more than 90 contaminants, including microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, inorganic and organic chemicals, and radionuclides.”

How you can protect yourself

Start by plugging your zip code into the EWG’s database to learn what contaminants are in your local tap water.

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  • Your bottled water has 24,500 chemicals

Next, check out the EWG water filter guide and buy one, stat. You can input contaminants of concern and find filters that are third-party certified by NSF International, a product testing, inspection, and certification organization.

“In most cases, activated carbon water filters will reduce many or all contaminants,” Leiba says, referring to the pitcher-style water filters many of us already use. “Having one is especially important if there’s a vulnerable population in your house—someone who is pregnant or sick, or a baby,” Leiba says. (One EWG-approved filter to try: Brita Chrome 8-Cup Water Filter Pitcher, $40, amazon.com)

Put your water filter to good use with this de-bloating sassy water recipe:

One thing you shouldn’t do: turn to bottled water.

“In many cases, bottled water is just filtered tap water, so it’s the same thing you’d get using a filter,” Leiba says. “But bottled water is much more expensive, and it can also expose you to contaminants leaching into your water from the plastic bottle itself.”

Protecting future generations

Leiba says we all need to “raise our voices” and let elected officials know we need greater source-water protections and infrastructure upgrades (contact information for local government officials can be found on USA.gov.) “Our water utilities are constantly dealing with the influx of contaminants, but the onus isn’t only on the utility,” she says. “They’re usually within federal safety limits, but being within federal limits does not mean our water is safe. In many cases, we’ve done the science and the testing, and we know that these contaminants are unsafe, but there’s been no action taken.”

7 Helpful Tips on How to Manage Jealousy

If you want to build a relationship with someone you love, sooner or later you’ll have to deal with jealousy. Sometimes you can even be happy to see that your partner is jealous, because that means he loves you very much and he doesn’t want to share you with someone else. Perhaps you are an extremely jealous person. Then you should certainly find efficient ways to settle down and manage your emotions. Otherwise your jealousy will only damage your relationship. That’s why you need to be reasonable and wise. The tips below will help you to cope with your excessive jealousy.

1. You Should Be Reasonable
First of all, a person who is always jealous should try to clear up if there are any reasons for such behavior. Consider all the things that spark your jealousy. Maybe they are not worth being paid much attention to. You need some time to understand what the problem is. It may take you from a few hours to several days. Having discovered that your jealousy is not reasonable, you should note it down in order to recollect it next time when you can’t control your feelings.

2. Trust Your Man
Surely, you would be nervous and angry to see another girl flirting with your guy. I should say it is really an unpleasant situation. Some girls can be too active and even chase your boyfriend insistently. Though, that is not a reason for you to get upset. Try to focus on the positive side of this problem. It is great that your man attracts attention of others. Aren’t you happy to realize that you have a handsome and attractive guy? Bear in mind that just your trust will help you to build a strong and lasting relationship. It’s impossible to control your man all the time, so you should keep calm and trust him.

3. Identify Insecurities
In most cases our jealousy starts from insecurities. If you think that those women who surround your partner, either his colleagues or his friends, are more beautiful and slimmer than you, then the feeling of jealousy will drive you crazy. Whenever you feel jealous of some girl who is near your man, you should find out insecurities and concentrate on your strong points that make you a unique person. I would advise you to be more confident about yourself and never let your emotions prevail over common sense.

4. Forget the Past
When it comes to relationships with men, our previous experience may be useful for us, even if it was unpleasant and we have only bad memories about it. We should take into consideration certain mistakes that were made and not to repeat them in future. Nevertheless, when you meet with a new man and you really love him, you shouldn’t let your past influence your relationship with him. For example, if your ex has cheated on you, don’t be obsessed with thoughts that a new boyfriend can do the same. Actually, all people are different and not everyone behaves badly. The best way to be happy with your man is to let go of the past and enjoy what you have now.

5. Spend More Time Together
There are lots of couples that can’t spend much time together due to some circumstances. For instance, you may work away, study in another city or simply you have a job that requires a lot of time. Being unable to see each other often, young people start arguing. Usually jealousy is the main reason of their misunderstanding. In spite of all the work you have to do, try to spend more time with your sweetheart and appreciate every moment of your love and happiness. Undoubtedly, it will improve your relationship.

6. Ditch Social Media
Maybe it sounds a bit strange but for most people social media is the major source of jealousy. I have plenty of friends who always suspect their partners of communicating with others through social media. To avoid numerous problems and quarrels you’d better ditch social networks. By doing this you will definitely strengthen your relationship with the one you love. After all, there is a wide range of other ways to keep in touch with your friends and relatives.

7. Clarify the Situation
Stressful situations and misunderstanding are an indispensable part of every couple’s relationship. The point is how often these situations happen. If you frequently see that your guy behaves oddly and you can notice clear signs of cheating, it is necessary to discuss the problem with your partner and clear up its reasons. Possibly, there is no need for you to worry about his behavior and you will come to a common agreement. Clarifying the situation is a wonderful way to stop your jealousy.

In conclusion I would like to say that jealousy is one of those factors that can ruin your relationship, especially if this feeling is uncontrolled. Thus, you should learn to manage your emotions and feelings. Remember that you should be patient and think thoroughly before you start arguing with your man. Are you a jealous person? Do you often have quarrels with your partner because of jealousy? How do you usually cope with the problem?

7 Reasons Your Team Fails to Make a Breakthrough

Nowadays many people strive to become successful managers, create professional working team and reach success. They wholeheartedly believe that leadership, intelligence and good organizational skills are enough to reach this goal. It is not enough, because modern world is not as easy as it seems.

Your employees are human beings who are vulnerable to stress, anxiety, high pressure situations and burnouts. Good manager is not only a clever and emotionally tough leader, but a psychologist who can read the minds, take wise decisions, reduce stress, motivate and inspire the whole team. Check out what things, rules or decisions discourage and destabilize your team.

1. Multitasking is a culprit


Managers who think that multitasking can increase the productivity of their teams are mistaken. At first, it can give desirable results, but your busy bees will soon burn out and become non-productive.

People cannot be efficient and productive when focusing on many tasks at a time. Multitasking steals a lot of energy and doubles the amount of mistakes. If you want to get the ball rolling, you should encourage monotasking. As a manager, you should learn how to prioritize the tasks, because monotasking requires effective prioritization.

2. There is a negative atmosphere in the office
It is difficult to be creative and elicit your potential in a stressful office environment. Many managers state that workers’ stress levels are rising and they cannot stop this contagious problem.

As a manager or boss, you should realize that you are responsible for both financial and emotional well-being of your team and company. You should instill confidence in the minds of your employees and create the atmosphere of happiness in the office.

Favorable working environment will help the members of your team feel comfortable and uninhibited. If your business is based on creativity and extraordinary ideas, then the atmosphere of well-being will play into the hands of your company’s interests.

3. They are plunged into work even outside the office
Many perfectionist bosses adore those employees who find it difficult to unplug from work. These always-on team members often work extra-hours even during a day off. Bosses should understand that the employee is not a perpetual energy source, but a human being and a person.

People who live and breathe their work sooner or later become miserable, because they have no time and energy to build their lives and happiness. Everyone needs time for relaxation, entertainment and recreation. Just make it a rule not to email or call your employees after 8 p.m.

4. They have no idea how to cope with chaos
If you are a mindful, successful and emotionally strong person, you should teach your employees to deal with chaos, uncertainty and stress. It does not mean you should organize psychological seminars or mediation sessions.

Just share your experiences and give valuable pieces of advice on how to develop mindfulness. Today many people create useful mental habits and train brains by using modern apps. If you know some effective mindfulness apps that help people navigate stress, share them with your team.

5. They lack physical activity
Sedentary lifestyle is a silent killer. It can ruin people’s lives and turn them into depressive pessimists in the twinkling of an eye. If you want your company to be successful and prosperous, take care of your working team members’ health.

If flextime does not correspond to your business interests, then at least provide more physical activity opportunities for your employees. Let them take a break to do some physical exercises during the day.

6. You are too hard on them
No matter how emotionally strong your employees can be, if you are too hard on them, sooner or later, they will burn out and break down. It is hard for extremely demanding and ambitious managers to find the balance between exactness and empathy. If they are too mild and sympathetic, then employees can take too much advantage and even brass.

If they are too hard on everyone and keep them on their toes all the time, the team just breaks apart. Do not fear to be kind and empathetic with your team. These qualities will bring maximum benefit, because reasonable empathy is good for both people and business.

7. They never take vacations
If you want to become a successful manager or boss, you should get rid of the habit of squeezing cons to the very last drop from the employees. This negative habit can only disgrace your name and give birth to hatred in the hearts of your team members.

People who work in 24/7 environment without vacations often suffer from insomnia, absent-mindedness and other psychological disorders. If your team works without breaks, consider changing your attitude towards them, because greediness and irrational use of human resources can seriously destabilize your business or company.

Start making positive changes today, because the success and prosperity of your company depend on you. What other things can affect your team’s productivity?

7 Questions to Consider Before Asking for a Higher Salary

Mostly, raises happen when we ask for them, but still there are bosses who are not greedy and are ready to share their money with us. If you are not lucky enough to have a generous boss, then it may be time to go for a higher salary. The consequences of your request might be pitiful, so before you ask for your dream raise, consider the following questions:

1. What is the office’s pulse?


If your boss has never shown any signs of a greedy attitude but still they do not raise your salary, chances are the company has some problems or is undergoing some serious changes. Figure it out before you ask for a higher salary. Otherwise, you will not only hear a firm ‘no,’ you will also make your employer feel uncomfortable and even ashamed. They will remember that.

2. What kind of person is your boss?
Not all bosses are the same. If your employer is always ready to discuss the office as well as personal problems with their employees, chances are they will not get mad when you ask for a raise. Even if they say ‘no,’ they will try to explain the reason. However, if you are sure that your boss will start yelling as soon as you say a word ‘raise’ or ‘promotion,’ you have to be prepared to give facts that prove you really deserve that raise.

3. Are you working hard?
You are arriving at 9 and leaving at 5 and get crazy when you have to stay a minute longer. You are scrolling through Facebook, doing some shopping, chatting with friends and gossiping when you should actually be working. You say ‘no’ to new tasks and responsibilities and do the minimum. Be honest with yourself. If all those things sound familiar to you, forget about the raise.

4. Are you doing amazing work?
When you do amazing work, you do not have to go beyond your 9 to 5 schedule. You can work for 2 hours but accomplish fantastic projects that help the company grow. Show your boss that you are doing amazing, and most importantly, effective work. This way, it will be easier to ask for a higher raise.

5. How much do other people with your job earn?
The comparison is bad, but in certain cases, it is a must. Do some research to figure out the salaries of the people who have the same job you have. Are they higher than yours? Find out more information about the companies they are working for, and discuss your investigation with your boss. Perhaps, they are too busy to do the researches like this.

6. What did you already add to your company?
Write down your biggest achievements in the company. Successful projects, bright ideas, you name it. Of course, you are not going to boast and tell your boss that the company would not be so successful without you. But knowing your value is important as well. It will help you figure out how much money you need or want and realize that you deserve that raise.

7. How much money are you going to ask for in a salary negotiation?
You cannot just come and say, ‘I want to have a higher salary.’ You have to know how much to ask for and explain why you want that amount. If you make $10,000 and would like to earn $15,000, ask for $18,000 – $20,000. Not only will you have more chances of getting your dream raise, but you will also have all the chances of getting more than you want.

Now that you are ready to ask for a higher salary, the last thing to consider is what you will do if your boss says ‘no’? Will you understand your boss? Leave your job? Ignore your responsibilities? Remember, every company has its ups and downs. Your boss may want you to get a higher salary, but they cannot do it right now.

How to Correct Your Thoughts to Prime You for Success

It is time to let you in on a little secret. Every day we are bombarded with stories of success and how to not give up on our dreams, but no one gets down to the nitty-gritty to really provide you with the methodology. Are successful people wired differently? Are they superhuman?

Most importantly, you probably think, “I do everything they do, but I am not where they are. What am I doing wrong?” Here is the truth – it is not what they are doing differently, it is what you have not thought of yet. Let me ask you this: when was the last time you purposely looked at something, anything, from a different perspective?

Successful people tend to think differently from those who would call themselves “unsuccessful.” This altered state of the mind is actually a learned adapted, a skill. The good news is that it is attainable for everyone, and I am going to tell you how to start opening your eyes and freeing your mind.

correct your thoughts to prime you for success
Rethink your positive affirmations
I have talked about positive affirmations in some other articles I have written about motivation and goal accomplishment. I have also used this method extensively. So I am not going to say ditch the positive affirmations, because 10-20 minutes a day reciting kind things to yourself will not stop you from repeating nastiness phrases for the other 23 hours and 40 minutes.

No, I am just going to ask that you reconsider what you are telling yourself. Saying, “I am wealthy, abundant, and positive,” only to later think, “I am no good” or “I suck at …” causes inner turmoil. Your emotions collide.

I say, let your emotions run freely. Successful people understand what they are feeling and why. When something goes wrong, they do not resort to negativity. Instead, they reroute their affirmations into something constructive, like, “If I want to be wealthy, I need to stop procrastinating. What can I do to turn myself around?”

Self-inquiry paves the way to building plans for yourself. Instead of creating a rigid image, be flexible. Fragment the goal to construct your future at a pace you can handle.

Think in terms of possibility
Never limit yourself to saying something is impossible. For example, saying you can’t aim for a higher position at work because you just got hired a month ago is silly. You are a human being with unbridled potential. So give yourself some credit.

Think to yourself, “What if I could get assigned to that project?” “What if I did become a part of that team?” Do not give a single answer. Just think about what that would mean for you. Furthermore, ask yourself who you can talk to for insider information on the roles and what’s expected to get the part. Dig into what you can do to make your dreams reality.

This also works in relationships. Surround yourself with people who look at the world as mutable and performing at the level you want to reach or will support your endeavors.

Use your imagination
Rather than thinking in a linear perspective, diverge and create. There is no one-way journey in this world, and there is not one door to the destination but billions.

Question everything. Question what others assume is right. Not to get all mathematical, but there’s the Theory of Substitution. If you do not have X or do not like X, replace it with a variant. For example, we all know there is an infinite number of ways to make cake healthier.

Get creative with your ingredients, just do not go with what is written down in the recipe. Experimentation teaches you how to change perspectives once in a while to unearth more possibilities.

When it comes to priming yourself for success, the best way to begin is to change the way you view the world. Fettering yourself to a single definition of success or beating yourself up over past mistakes will only bog you down. Instead, see everything with kaleidoscope eyes and a reflective mind, and you will find a world of difference.