5 Steps to Healthier Living

5 Steps to Healthier Living

Would you like to increase your energy and mental clarity? It isn’t as hard as you’d think to turn yourself around and get going in a better direction. Start with these 5 steps to healthier living:

1. Make Good Eating Choices

Tried every extreme diet out there? Making healthy choices is easier if you focus on some simple goals. The next time you go grocery shopping or eat a meal, try the following:

• Focus on eating lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains and lean meats.

• Eat on a small plate and take small portions.

• Eat slowly and stop eating when you are full.

• Limit sweets, added sugars, and fried foods.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Studies suggest that 1 in 3 adults don’t get the sleep they need to function at their peak. Good sleep helps us to:

• Control our appetites.

• Eliminate stress.

• Have better health.

• Perform better at work.

• Have better emotional health.

Most people need between 7-9 hours a night. The National Sleep Foundation suggests you can get better sleep by:

• Turning off electronics at least one hour before bed.

• Using techniques like yoga or music to calm you down.

• Reducing caffeine, especially in the evening.

3. Make Exercise a Daily Routine

You really don’t need to hit the gym or lift weights to get into a healthy exercise routine. The best way to exercise is to make it a part of your day or to do something fun with friends. Even 30 minutes a day will make you healthier and also help you sleep better. Try the following:

• Go for a walk after lunch or dinner.

• Park farther away from the entrance.

• Take the stairs rather than the elevator.

• Do your own housework or yard work.

• Meet up with a friend for a game of tennis or for an aerobics class.

4. Keep a Good Personal Hygiene Routine

If you are under stress, you may feel like there isn’t enough time to take a daily shower or really follow the dentist’s instructions. However, neglecting your body not only makes you less attractive to others, it can make you feel uncomfortable or even ill. So be sure you:

• Bathe or shower every day.

• Use deodorant and antiperspirant.

• Brush your teeth and floss.

• Avoid smelly foods or brush afterward.

• Wash your clothes and air your shoes.

• Drink at least 8 glasses of water.

5. Have a Good Laugh

Laughing about the absurd neighbor, the difficult coworker or the crazy teenager won’t just relieve your stress. It can help lift your mood and even boost your immune system. Studies show that if you want to improve your mood, you should just smile and laugh more. Smiling can help reduce anxiety and fear.  Smiles also make you more attractive to other people which can improve your relationships.  Better social relationships are key to better health.

The Bottom Line

The truth is that if you live healthily, you live better and longer. Think of it this way, your daily habits are one thing you do have control over in your life. Whatever else happens, you can make good choices to eat well, sleep well, be clean, exercise, and most of all, laugh!

Creating a Healthy Work Environment

Creating a Healthy Work Environment

A healthy work environment is the best way to keep employees happy. Most employers understand what it takes to make the work environment physically healthy, but emotional health is just as important for your employees. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to ensure an environment that is both physically and emotionally healthy for your employees.

The Physical

Keeping your workplace clean and up to safety code standards is a given. But that isn’t the extent of what you can do to provide a healthy environment.

1. Clean Air

With so many people in close quarters for hours on end, having clean air is essential. One of the best ways to clean the air is by using plants. Some plants purify the air better than others. In addition to the practical aspect, plants help provide a more comfortable, friendly appearance.

2. Ergonomic Furniture

Whether it’s a chair, a keyboard or an adjustable desk, having ergonomic furniture will eliminate many of the work-related aches and pains that come from working in the same position all day.

3. Personal Space

Decorative screens between desks can let employees feel have some breathing room. Personal space is more comfortable than constantly being “on display”. Physical walls create a division that can make employees feel isolated. Screens allow for a general feeling of connectedness while still providing personal breathing room.

The Emotional

Emotional health has been found to directly affect physical health. When creating a healthy work environment, you need to take emotional well-being into account. Here are some ways to do that:

1. Provide recognition

So often those in charge speak up when something goes wrong. Take time to recognize when things go well. Have “good news” meetings where you acknowledge what employees have accomplished.

2. Discourage cliques

When people separate into groups, others get left out. This opens the door to things like bullying. Make sure your employees realize that each person is a valuable member of your team. Enforce a no-bullying rule and don’t allow favoritism.

3. Listen

Let your employees know your door is open to them. Be willing to listen to their thoughts regarding the business. Allow them to come to you with personal issues that may be affecting their performance. Welcome suggestions and input.

4. Respect the individual

Your employees are so much more than “that man in Accounting” or “The Receptionist”. Make it a priority to learn everyone’s name, and use it. Learn about their personal lives. Who’s married? Is someone’s child having health problems? When you show your employees you see them as humans, not just workers, they feel respected and this leads to a positive mental state.

Final Words

These are a few of the ways you can make sure you’re providing a healthy working environment for your employees. If you haven’t done these things in the past, it’s never too late to start. If you have, continue them. In the end, it turns out as a win win for your business and your employees.

15 Ideas for Summer Office Fun

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15 Ideas for Summer Office Fun

In the summer our ability to focus on work gets shorter as the days grow longer. We all want to get outside, feel nature between our toes and have some fun. Summer is also the perfect time to blend fun and work to strengthen your team and company culture.

But how can you combine summer fun and work productivity?

Here are 15 ideas to build your team and have fun in the summer sun!

1. Road trip! Jump on a bus and take a road trip to the zoo or local amusement park. Build friendships and team by taking a break.

2. Cool off with a sundae bar every Friday afternoon. Hot fudge and extra rainbow sprinkles for me, please.

3. Participate in a charity event. It could be a charity softball game or a 5K race. Practicing and working out prior to the event will bring your team closer together and you’ll raise money for a good cause.

4. Friday Potluck! Yummm. What could be better than everyone bringing in their favorite summer dish? BBQ and Watermelon coming right up! Or step this up and have a Company Picnic with families too. Make sure to have some fun activities and prizes for the kids.

5. Hire an Ice Cream Truck to come by the office. Bomb pops and Big Sticks for everyone. Or have a Food Truck Friday and have a couple of gourmet food trucks come by to show your gratitude to your employees.

6. Employee appreciation day with chair massages. OMG, this is awesome!!!

7. Hold an open house so employee’s family can come in and see what their loved one is up to at work. Make sure to have a couple of work related projects for the kiddies to work on too.

8. Take up a company wide team sport like softball or bowling. Besides building teamwork and employee relationships, your employees will be working out and getting in shape.

9. Charity food drive. Hold a charity food drive for your local food bank. Their resources get a little thin during the summer. Have your employees get their families involved. Give the employee that brings in the most food a paid day off.

10. Tacky/ugly Hawaiian shirt contest. The winner gets a gift card or a couple of hours off. In the winter, change the contest to an ugly holiday sweater.

11. Get out to the ball game. Cheer your local baseball team whether major or minor league in person with your employees.

12. Volunteer for the local Habitat for Humanity. Have your team come together to do something inspiring.

13. Karaoke lunch! Rent a Karaoke machine and find out who your next American Idol is. Or have an after hours Lip Sync Battle like Jimmy Fallon and The Rock:

14. Hold a Chili Cook Off. Have your employees whip up their best Chili. Have the employees that aren’t participating vote. It’s a win win. The cooks get to do what they love … cook and everyone else gets to eat. Remember to give your cooks some petty cash to help with expenses.

15. Yoga Lunch Fridays. Bring in a Yoga instructor and have the whole company take a Yoga class. Downward dog anyone?

The summer is all about the sun, fun, family, and friends. Make sure to include employee families in some of the fun. A company that laughs and has fun together is an engaging workplace.

Walking Down the Coolest Block in America

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Walking Down the Coolest Block in America

A few must-see places to visit if you’re taking a summer stroll in Venice, CA

The town of Venice, California conjures up images of sunshine, the beach, and the breezy Pacific Ocean. But Venice is also home to an eclectic mix of retail stores, restaurants, and more, and Abbot Kinney Boulevard perfectly represents that vibe.

Moreover, Abbot Kinney beautifully captures the laid-back feel of Venice that both visitors and residents love.

Among the many shops, restaurants, and bars along the mile-long stretch of Abbot Kinney Blvd. are Intelligentsia Coffee Bar at Venice Beach, Industry of All Nations, and Bazar. Each of them represents the forward-thinking feel and style that is the Abbot Kinney shopping experience.

Intelligentsia Coffee at Venice Beach

If coffee is your passion, then the Intelligentsia Venice coffee bar is the place to indulge yourself. Its atmosphere captures the area’s beachfront vibe and has an open space designed to enhance a customer’s experience. You won’t find traditional barriers between customers and baristas at Intelligentsia, as the layout encourages interaction and conversation.

Started 21 years ago, Intelligentsia introduced the Direct Trade concept to the coffee industry. It focuses on its partnership with growers while also adhering to sustainable farming and environmental practices.

Patrons can enjoy delicious fresh-roasted coffee at five locations across the U.S. Intelligentsia in Venice Beach is located at 1331 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Industry of All Nations

Industry of All Nations, located at 1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd., follows a company model that says shopping is as important as voting while trying to raise the prestige of shoppers. They aren’t “creating a new brand just to fill up shelves,” but instead they’re introducing iconic, everyday goods from around the world.

The company specializes in clothing that comes directly from its original country of origin. It also has a keen eye for sustainable and clean business practices; for example, its packaging and displays are all recycled.

Another one of IOAN’s goals is to allow any producer – small, medium, or large – to have a wider playing field to display their products. In turn, this creates more options for consumers and more opportunities for producers.


Perhaps no store represents the Abbot Kinney vibe better than Bazar, which is one of the boulevard’s longest standing shops. Bazar offers a tantalizing mix of antique furniture, vintage and contemporary clothing, and racks of hard-to-find international brands.

Venice native Tina Wakino opened Bazar at 1108C Abbot Kinney Blvd. in 1998 while importing and exporting furniture from France. A 1920’s French canoe – no longer for sale – hangs over the cash register and has become the store’s “mascot.” Bazar also offers special merchandise from almost every continent, including unique pieces of jewelry and vintage clothing.

Bazar includes a children’s section that’s packed with gift options and accessories you won’t find in a traditional toy store.

With its unique mix of shops like Intelligentsia, Industry of All Nations, and Bazar, Abbot Kinney Boulevard offers a sophisticated, trendsetting shopping experience. Indeed, it just might be the “coolest block” in America.