Friday, November 25, 2016

I Have Never Felt Healthier and Happier in My Life

Are You Eating the Right Omegas? Most Americans Aren’t 

We hear a lot about the importance of getting enough Omega-3 fatty acids in our diets — and with good reason. They’re heart-healthy fats that help decrease inflammation, plus they’re important for brain development and function. The other Omega fatty acids — the Omega-6 oils — are also considered “essential fatty acids” that are needed for several body processes. But some of them can also cause inflammation when eaten in excess. So while we do need adequate amounts of both in our diets, most of us are getting way too much Omega-6 and way too little Omega-3.

“In the standard American diet, people are getting about a 20-to-one ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3,” says Chris D’Adamo, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology and public health, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “Ideally, that ratio should be more like three-to-one.” The trouble is that Omega-6 fatty acids have become ubiquitous in our food supply in a way that they were not several decades ago. They are found in vegetable oils — like corn, sunflower, safflower and soybean — that are a staple ingredient in so many refined, processed and packaged foods. And when modern agricultural methods meant a shift from livestock that grazed on Omega-3-rich grasses to livestock that was fed Omega-6-packed grains, the balance in our diets shifted even more.

A recent editorial in Open Heart, the journal of the British Cardiovascular Society, discussed the importance of a balanced ratio of Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids when it comes to prevention and management of obesity. The authors write: “High dietary intake of omega 6 fatty acids as occurs today leads to increases in white adipose tissue and chronic inflammation, which are the ‘hallmarks of obesity.’”

To improve the ratio of Omega-6s to Omega-3s in your diet, focus on:

  • Increasing consumption of Omega-3-rich foods — such as salmon, sardines, flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Opt for beef and dairy from grass-fed livestock whenever possible.
  • Limit your intake of processed foods in order to reduce the amount of vegetable oils in your diet.

Sally Wadyka is a Boulder, Colorado-based journalist who writes about nutrition, health and wellness.



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Home Neat Home: A Curated, Functional Wardrobe

Welcome to my closet!

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My closet is a walk-in that I outfitted with Easy Closets when I moved in. (I had help with the installation from a handyman – no way I could have done that on my own despite the company name!) It’s a bit tight, but it has room for all the essentials. I’m just happy I actually have a real closet in this house, and I don’t have to share.

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For context, my closet history:

  1. My first apartment had a decent-sized walk-in that I shared
  2. My first house had a walk-in that was my own but was on the small side with just hangers.
  3. In my Cville rental house I had a whole small room (I sort of miss that!)
  4. Here’s that controversial video of my IKEA closet in house #3 🙂
  5. And finally, here are glimpses into my current closet in my Tidying Up post

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I recently listened to another Lively Show podcast interview with Jennaea Gearhart, that had every organizing gear in my brain turning. While the second half of the podcast gets into some deep thoughts about intention resistance, the beginning is all about clothes and creating the perfectly curated wardrobe. Jennaea’s descriptions of the Values-based intentions for her wardrobe had me salivating to organize mine. I loved her word choice: “Functional. Considered. Effortless. Me.” Everything she articulated resonated with me, and I want my wardrobe to speak the same language.

So of course I went home and organized my closet that afternoon.

Jennaea talked a lot about how the wardrobe she had built over the years no longer served her in her current profession. I could totally relate to this! Long gone are my office clothes and formal pants and blouses. As a work-from-home mom, I live in jeans and pretty tops on a “good” day, and leggings, tunics and athletic wear on the others. I’d much rather be warm and comfortable than look dolled up, and that is just a fact (and a lot more so in the winter when warmth wins over everything else). So I weeded out my closet with Functional in mind.

I like that Considered was also one of Jennaea’s intentions because that means she still gives thought to the pieces she owns that do fit her lifestyle. Just because I don’t leave the house some days doesn’t mean I don’t want to still look nice in my athletic wear, leggings, and tunics! Thus, I want to build my wardrobe from pieces in those categories that I truly feel good in. Also, I go out with friends frequently so to consider the variety of occasions when I do need to dress up a bit more is important too. One reason I don’t think I could do a capsule wardrobe that really minimizes clothing options is because I have a lot of things that I don’t wear often, but when I do wear them I love them, so I wouldn’t want to reduce my wardrobe much beyond its current size. However, I let go of things that I rarely wear and don’t make me feel my best, even if I paid a lot for them. It pains me every time I give something away that I didn’t wear out, but I always hope someone at ThredUp, Goodwill, or one of my friends will love it more than I do.

Effortless. This was my favorite word of the bunch. Jennaea admitted that she literally feels bad for the clothes that don’t get worn in her closet. I feel the exact same way!! Sometimes I will wear something that is uncomfortable or that I just don’t love because I feel bad for it. That is nonsense! I want to be able to love my clothes equally, and when I reach for something I want to feel confident that I will feel great wearing it both from a comfort standpoint and a fashion standpoint. To me this is the biggest challenge, because often my more beautiful clothes are not comfortable. But I just love the idea of taking the overthinking out of getting dressed and anything I reach for will be a good choice. Still working on this one!

And finally, me. I am not a fashionista, so I don’t really have a certain style. My style is defined by my zip-pocket workout jackets! Lol. However, I don’t want to dress in all grays and blacks, so I do like a focus on choosing pieces that have some personality. But most of all, I want to feel like my confident, happy self in my clothes, so to ‘dress like me’ means for me to shine through rather than the clothes doing all of the talking.

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(If you’re wondering, I still don’t fold my workout clothes and sleepwear :mrgreen: After reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up I tried to fold them for a while, but I just realized how much time I save when I don’t bother!)

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In the spirit of a big shopping week I wanted to share a few of my closet staples. You know those things that you love so much you are tempted to go buy them in 10 colors?!

First, these pants. I bought them at LOFT this year because they are the softest pants I have ever tried on! I wear them in the mornings when I first get up and right before bed. And all day if I’m feeling lazy : )

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This bra I picked up from aerie in Richmond. I love the racerback style that has come into fashion – bralettes I think they are called? They are like sexy sportsbras with lacy backs and t-shirt fronts. I love the backs on this one and this one from GAP! The one I have is very comfortable, and the racerback provides extra support just like a sports bra would. I like how this is a t-shirt bra with lace trim rather than lace all over. It’s my new favorite!

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These 7/8 tights from Athleta are my favorite leggings. They are good for shorter folks like me, and they have just the right amount of compression. They also aren’t too low rise, so they don’t fall down. Love them under tunics and dresses, and I wear them all the time. I would like them in another pattern or color sometime in the future but they aren’t cheap, so on hold for that for now : )

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For sleeping, I bought several of these nightshirts and love them because they keep my shoulders warm when I read in bed but I don’t get too hot. I haven’t worn nightgowns since I was little, but I really like the nightshirts. I have this one from GAP and this one from Victoria’s Secret. Add leggings to stay warm at breakfast : )

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And finally jeans! I learned about Level 99 from Stitch Fix and have three pairs that I love now (the Lilly are my favorites)! They aren’t cheap but they fit me like a glove, and I wear them all.the.time.

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I also live in my slippers all winter long, and my Toms from last year are looking quite grubby. I have my eye on these from J Crew – 40% off today….hhhhhhmmmm….

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