HealthSimplified: An Interview with “Stuck Where You Are” Author Alan Neal

Stuck Where You AreRecently we got a chance to talk with Alan Neal, consultant and author of the new book, Stuck Where You Are. Both Courtney and Gordon are big fans, which is how I heard about the book. Alan refers to himself as a student of human behavior, and has been consulting for companies and individuals, as well as leading seminars, for decades.We at SmartyPants aim to simplify your health journey, to make it easier to understand what health actually is and how to achieve it. While the word “Health” is often used to mean health of the body, achieved through proper diet, supplementation, and exercise, it can also mean health of the mind. Learning to unplug from our phones and our computers, learning to sit and do nothing, and – perhaps most important of all – learning how to face our internal demons and resolve the messages from our past that secretly run our lives can be just as important as reaching optimal physical health. In truth, Health is not defined as either one of these or the other – Health includes wellness of our bodies, wellness of our minds, and wellness of our souls.With that in mind, I bring you Alan Neal:(more…)

HealthSimplified: A Video Interview with Vedic Meditation Teacher, Charlie Knoles

Charlie Knoles

Recently I got a chance to sit down with Vedic  meditation teacher, Charlie Knoles.  Charlie is a visionary meditation teacher at the Veda Center who has been formally meditating since the age of 4.  Following in the footsteps of his father, Thom Knoles who also teaches at the Veda Center,  Charlie is unusually adept at distilling complex and arcane topics to their essential elements so that they can be easily communicated and understood by meditation students of all levels.  He regularly teaches meditation all over the world, from Los Angeles and New York to the Himalayan mountains in India and the coast of Bali. (more…)

New Years Resolutions: 25 Worth Sticking To

New Year ResolutionHabits.  They sneak up on you when you're not looking, and then they overstay their welcome.   And with new year resolutions having become an annual American tradition, every new year brings with it mixed feelings of dread and excitement when thinking about changing these sticky patterns.  What surfaces most when we think about resolutions and changing habits are judgment and hard work: "I am doing something wrong" and "It's going to be hard to fix it". This year, as yet another opportunity for enhancement arises, instead of pronouncing your faults, think about how you can capitalize on your strengths to improve your life. Read on to find worthwhile measures that are certain to make a difference in the quality of your life in 2013 . (more…)

HealthSimplified: An Interview with Dr. Greg Dillon

Dillon, Greg MDDr. Greg Dillon is a psychiatrist with a private practice in New York City at Lower Fifth Psychiatric. He completed his Residency in Psychiatry at New York Presbyterian Hospital – Cornell, his M.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. at Brown University. Dr. Dillon is Board Certified in Psychiatry and Neurology, and he is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the Weill Cornell Medical College of New York Presbyterian Hospital – Cornell. Dr. Dillon is a longstanding member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. (more…)

Exercise and Brain Function

brain health and exerciseRegular exercise is vital to help manage daily stress, anxiety, and improve mood. The psychological effect from a little bit of physical activity can be felt immediately, as exercise seems to clear the mind. But, a researcher from Dartmouth named David Bucci has decided to look deeper at how exercise affects the brain and its function. Bucci believes that exercise actually permanently changes the brain, in ways we never realized. He has identified a gene that is expressed during exercise that leads to improved mental function and may have implications for use in the treatment of certain mental illnesses. (more…)

Technology and Attention: Is Multi-Tasking Really Effective?

Technology and Attention: Is Multi-Tasking Really Effective?Sit down.  Place your hands on your legs, palm down.  Set a timer for two minutes. Now, recite "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in a sing-songy voice in your head, while visually paying attention to your hands.  Work hard to place your whole attention on both your hands and the song.  What did you notice about your attention?  Perhaps you noticed that you could fully observe your hands with the nursery rhyme singing back-up on "auto pilot" in your head.  Our brains have an interesting structure called the reticular activating system (RAS) that allows you to block out a lot of extra stimuli.  What you've likely gleaned, however, is that, while you could partially attend to the song and your hands, you could not wholly tend to both.  While we can shift attention from one thing to another or divide it, do we miss something along the way? (more…)

Coffee Has Many Health Benefits, Studies Say

health benefits of coffeeWe all know that a cup of joe will put you on the go, but can it also help your health woes?  More and more,  the research seems to say yes.  We have been on the fence about this one ourselves for some time but now we have seen enough science to believe the good outweighs the bad and are embracing our daily ritual- but like all things, its how you consume it that makes the difference.  (more…)

Unplug Your Life: Tech Exhaustion And How It Shapes Us

exhaustion from devicesUnplugging.  The one word that can send some people (like me) into near panic mode.Have you ever sat down and thought about what it would be like to unplug?  Truly unplug? (more…)

Cell Phones and Our Health: Are They Safe?

radiation caused by cellular phonesIt used to be books.  In waiting rooms.  Bus stations. On the beach.  Sometimes even in restaurants.  But now, paper has gone hi-tech, and cell phones have swiftly replaced those novels, magazines and newspapers.Clearly convenient.  But at what cost to your health? (more…)

Sleep Patterns of Kids Improve When Media Habits Changed

child and televisionA recent study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development indicates that a simple change in media habits in children can greatly improve their sleep patterns.

Study Details

A total of 565 children 3 to 5 years old were included in the study of media habits and sleep patterns, with two groups being studied: a control group whose media habits remained unchanged and the other group (intervention group) whose parents were instructed to replace inappropriate media with programs and video games that were nonviolent and educational in nature.  (more…)
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