5 Foods That Boost Your Metabolism

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Sometimes we forget to view food as the fuel for our body.

It’s so important to remember that what we put into our bodies is what gives us energy, not what gives us comfort, cures boredom, or alleviates stress.

Many foods even have the power to actually give our metabolism an added boost.

Our metabolism’s function is to break down our food and beverages into molecules, and convert their calories into energy to help our bodies function better.

Chili peppers

Health.com shares that chili peppers do more than just give your food a kick—they give your metabolism one, too! Chili peppers contain a chemical compound, capsaicin, which helps give an added boost to your metabolism. They also contain Vitamin C, which helps lower cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

Coffee and green tea

Whether you’re a morning coffee or green tea drinker, you’re in luck! The caffeine found in coffee and the EGCG plant compound found in green tea support your metabolism and burn fat.

Lentils

Protein is vital to your metabolic health, which is why lentils are a must-have. According to MindBodyGreen, 26 percent of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein—making them ideal as an energy-boosting food.

Spinach

Okay, so everyone tells you to “be sure to eat your greens,” but do you know why spinach is so good for your metabolism? According to Medical News Today, this leafy green is packed full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Spinach has been found to increase bone health, reduce your risk for cancer, help your digestive system, and even improve the appearance of skin and hair!

Salmon

According to HealthyEating.com, iron, zinc, niacin, vitamin B6, and B12 are just a few things that make salmon a metabolism super-food. The omega-3 fatty acids found in the fish are also great for heart and blood pressure health.

Share your favorite way to incorporate these metabolism-boosting foods in the comments below!

“A Learning Experience” In HIS Words

by:  Richard M. Kline Jr., M.D.

learning is a giftI think the biggest thing I learned was how important it is to have providers you trust when you are facing surgery. For me, this was relatively easy, as my wife worked with these people all the time, and I found them immediately likeable when I met them. But how is a lay person to know who to place their trust in? I think the initial step is selecting your surgeon. He or she should immediately look you in the eyes, really listen to everything you say, answer questions honestly, and never be afraid to say “I don’t know.” I think it can help if they have already operated on people you know (as I mentioned, this surgeon had operated on my Dad), but that’s usually not going to be the case. Once you have found a surgeon you trust, the rest should start to fall into place, because they will select the best team they can to help them take care of you. As it turned out, my surgery took longer than expected because it they couldn’t do it laparoscopically, and had to “open me up.” This bothered my surgeon, but it didn’t bother me. I had trust in my team, and felt that however it worked out, it was for the best.

 

I also noticed that, by and large, everyone I came in contact with on the day of my surgery seemed to be “tuned in” to how I was likely feeling at an unusually vulnerable time. I had previously lacked firsthand experience of the importance of that empathy to patients.

 

I think that I also gained some appreciation for how the patient can sometimes contribute to a good outcome. I think my preoperative efforts to lower my blood pressure and improve my overall fitness were helpful.  On the morning of surgery my blood pressure was normal, and I think my postoperative course might have been a little easier because I was in a little bit better shape due to the exercise.

 

And I will still prescribe to my patients those Lovenox shots, because I care about their safety – but I will do it with much more sympathy.

Hey doc how are you

7 Ways to Fit into Your Itty-Bitty Bikini

girl in yellow polka dot bikiniOkay, do you hear that ominous music in the background? It sounds a lot like “dun dun dunnn.”

Oh wait, that’s just the sound of bathing suit season rapidly approaching!

Don’t fret—we’ve come up with 7 ways to get you back in that itty-bitty bikini in no time!

These aren’t crash diets either. They are just 7 easy and healthy tips to incorporate into your day to lose those extra winter pounds.

Here’s to being bathing-suit ready this year!

1.    Fill up on vegetables

Waiting to eat until you’re absolutely starving can lead to bad cravings and poor eating choices, so it’s important to eat consistently throughout the day.

Recommendation #1: don’t skip meals.

Sure, you might not be hungry right then, but that hunger will come back with a vengeance later—and it might be in the form of a pizza.

Recommendation #2: fill your plate up with veggies. Vegetables are incredibly filling, and you can pile your plate full of them.

2.    Start the day on a healthy note

Yes, you’ve probably been beaten over the head with this one. Why? Because it is SO important. The National Weight Control Registry, which monitors people who have been successful at weight loss of 30 pounds or more, reports that eating breakfast is one of the weight loss behaviors that most successful participants share (78%).

Starting the day eating something healthy will also help you stay on the right track for the rest of the day. A good rule of thumb is keeping breakfast to 300 calories or less. Try whole grain toast with natural peanut butter. If you’re not usually hungry around breakfast, a fruit smoothie will still stave off snacking later.

3.    Get rid of temptations

Are you serious about cutting the calories? Rid your house of temptations. Trash or donate anything in your cabinets and fridge that call your name in moments of weakness.

Instead, fill up your kitchen with easy go-to healthy foods. Keep ready-to-grab cut-up fruits and veggies always in hand. Using pre determined serving-size tupperware containers are a great way to prevent over-snacking.

4.    Eat less, exercise more

Sure, this one is kind of a no-brainer. But think about it as a math equation. Calories in=calories out.

You can’t lose weight if your calorie intake is substantially more than what you work off. Keep track of how many calories you take in throughout the day and compare to how many you’re burning at the gym.

5.    Stay away from sodium

Foods and beverages with a large concentration of salt make your body retain water. Skip the margarita and salty snacks, and shoot for something with lower amounts of sodium.

Be careful—make sure to check the label; sometimes it’s surprising which foods have a large salt content. In addition, make sure to drink lots of water to flush out impurities in your body.

6.    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Staying hydrated is the golden rule of weight loss. The Mayo Clinic recommends women drink 2.2 liters and men drink about 3 liters. When you drink plenty of water, your body is able to flush out toxins, and you’re able to stay fuller longer.

7.    Burn calories throughout the day

By just making a few changes to your daily routine, you’d be surprised how many calories you can work off! Here are a few recommendations:

  • When you wake up in the morning, do a five-minute exercise routine of jumping jacks, squats, and sit-ups.
  • Park in the back of parking lots so you can walk a little bit farther.
  • Take quick breaks after 45 minutes at work to walk around your building or do some jumping jacks—it’ll help you stay more focused, too!

Join us at the Breast Friends Forever Pink Ribbon Run March 6-7 in Myrtle Beach. Click here for more information…

Detox Water: 3 Recipes to Cleanse Your Body

water with lemon and cucumberDetox water. It’s all the rage.

But is this new fad healthy? Absolutely! Just add it to your normal daily routine.

Detox water has a balance of fruits and herbs that flush fat, support liver and kidney health, and give your metabolism a jump-start.

Each of the ingredients in these recipes contain natural health benefits—and most you can find already in your kitchen!

Mix up a big pitcher of these 3 water detoxes or pour into a water bottle if you’re on the go.

Pre-Bathing Suit Season Detox

 

Ingredients:

  • ½ gallon spring water
  • ½ grapefruit, sliced
  • ½ cucumber, sliced
  • 2-3 mint leaves
  • ½ lemon, sliced
  • ½ lime, sliced

Why it’s good for you: The cucumbers serve as a natural diuretic, and help your body release water you’ve been retaining. The enzymes in grapefruits help you burn fat more easily. In addition, the lemons and limes help your digestive system. This detox will flatten your belly and have you bathing suit ready in no time!

Lemon Ginger Detox

Ingredients:

  • 1 12-ounce glass water, at room temperature
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 inch knob of zested ginger root

Why it’s good for you: The properties of zested ginger act as a detoxifier that help give your metabolism a jump-start. Lemons serve as a diuretic and improve digestive health to release toxins. Having a glass of lemon ginger water is a great drink for first thing in the morning to get your metabolism moving.

Fat Flush Detox

Ingredients:

-1 gallon of water

-Chopped-up watermelon in squares (about 3 slices)

-1 whole sliced cucumber

-1 lemon and/or lime

-Fresh mint leaves (about 10-13)

Why it’s good for you: The mint leaves are not only refreshing, but they also help cleanse the liver and relieve stomach cramping. Watermelon and cucumbers help filter your kidneys and liver. Lemons help to regulate your digestive track and break down fat. This is a great after-weekend detox to get your body back in tip-top shape.

Have a favorite detox recipe? Share on our Facebook page!

Places to Stay Fit and Healthy in Charleston

Every city has its “go-to” places to stay fit and healthy, and Charleston is no different. In fact, because of Charleston’s charm, the places shared below go above and beyond your average gym or healthy eatery.

Health and fitness have always been an important part of our world. From the use of natural herbs to thwart illnesses, to the ancient Eastern tradition of yoga, humans have a vast history that includes thousands of ways people lived and practiced healthy living.

However, in the recent decade, health has been front and center of our culture. Some would say the growth of the Internet led to the spread of important information about staying fit and healthy. And as a result of America’s deep interest in fitness and health, dozens of new health-focused businesses — as well as already established businesses — have successfully grown here in Charleston.

We’d like to highlight those below.

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OrangeTheory Fitness

OrangeTheory Fitness applies a unique approach to working out.

According to their website, Orange Theory is:

Backed by the science of post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), our heart-rate monitored training is designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. The result is the Orange Effect – more energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn for up to 36 hours after your workout!

Their healthy living claim is they can “produce 12 to 20 minutes of training at 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate.” And we know a lot of Charleston locals and guests would be interested in getting better results in less time.

To try this unique approach to working out, check out OrangeTheory Fitness: http://www.orangetheoryfitness.com/

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EcoFitness

EcoFitness is a locally owned and operated health club that offers:

  •  Indoor cycling
  •  Core Barre
  •  Group exercising
  •  Blue turtle yoga
  •  Personal training

When we looked at their website, we discovered they have a ton of different activities and dozens of instructors to choose from. If you’re looking for flexibility in your workouts, and want to make sure you have a trainer available to fit your schedule, EcoFitness is worth checking out.

View more about EcoFitness on their contact page: http://www.ecofitness.com/about/contact/

Alluette’s Cafe (Holistic Soul Food)<alt="Alluette’s Cafe"/>

Did you know there’s a southern food eatery in Charleston that’s both mouth-watering delicious AND healthy?

Alluette’s takes southern favorites and transforms them into healthier specialties by using natural ingredients. They also avoid frying their foods, yet they still find a way to make it just as good as the “real thing.”

Just about everything is homemade, including the ketchup and cole slaw (with no mayo). You can even finish off your meal with freshly baked vegan cookies — what a treat!

Hmm… farm fresh, vegan friendly, and tasty food. This one’s definitely staying on our list!

Find more info about Alluette’s here: http://www.alluettescafe.com/contact

Charleston Farmers Market

Last, but not least, on our list is the amazing Charleston Farmers Market. There was absolutely no way we could leave this one out.

At the Charleston Farmers Market, you’ll always find what’s in season. You can be sure to find the latest produce as well as live entertainment each Saturday at Marion Square. Come check it out!

Details and times included in the following link:

http://www.charlestonfarmersmarket.com/

Summertime Treats for Better Health

<" alt="cherries" />Summertime means sunshine, picnics, and an abundance of seasonal foods like the ones we feature below.

You might commonly associate the word treat with candy, ice cream, or pastries. While those are treats, they’re not the only kind of treats out there. The dictionary definition of the word treat means “something that gives great pleasure.” A strawberry pie may taste good, but fresh and juicy strawberries taste good AND are healthy…two treats in one!

Here are some of our favorite healthy summertime treats to enjoy this summer:

Corn

Fresh and sweet corn is a staple summer treat. Corn also has way of providing you protection from the sun. Thanks to two antioxidants in corn—lutein and zeaxanthin—eating corn assists in the formation of macular pigment filters. Additionally, corn helps combat age-related macular degeneration: the leading symptom responsible for blindness in people over the age of 60.

Tart Cherries

Drinking cherry juice is a common way to get better sleep and combat workout fatigue. But juice isn’t the only way to get the benefits of cherries: you get a full spectrum of health benefits from eating them whole. (Minus the pits, of course.)

Researchers found tart cherries provide weight management benefits. The test subjects in the study that ate cherry powder did not gain as much weight or belly fat as those who did not. Additionally, cherry eaters had lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Tomatoes

Fighting the burning sun requires sunscreen. Layering on a protective lotion or oil keeps you safe from UV rays. The next time you consider what sunscreen to put on, consider what you can put in your body to protect yourself, too! Nature provides a wide assortment of natural sun blocking foods, one of them being the tomato.

Eating tomatoes obviously should not replace wearing sunscreen to protect your skin, but consuming them does provide a much-needed extra boost of natural protection, thanks to their high lycopene content.

Iced Tea

When the sun is beaming, there’s nothing better than an ice-cold drink. Instead of reaching for a sugary juice, satisfy your thirst with some iced tea instead. It provides the same treat-like satisfaction and has way more benefits than processed drinks.

Tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which lower the risk of Alzheimers and diabetes, and provide healthier teeth, gums, and bones.

It doesn’t matter what variety you choose to drink—black, oolong, green, or herbal—because all tea contains flavonoids. To preserve the flavonoids in the tea, squeeze a lemon inside the pitcher before storing it in your fridge. The citric acid and vitamin C in the lemon (or lime or orange, if you prefer) will work its magic on its own.

Watermelon

There’s no doubt the best thing you can do during summer is drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated keeps your body from overheating. Thanks to watermelon, you get both the benefit of hydration (because watermelon is 92 percent water) and skin-protection (thanks to lycopene).

Additionally, eating foods full of water, like watermelon or kale, keeps you satisfied on fewer calories. Out of all of the treats shared here, watermelon is our favorite and most nutritious choice.

Do you have a favorite treat to eat in the summertime? Please let us know and share it in a comment below!

Photo Credit: motumboe

5 Ways to Use That Leftover Turkey

Ways to Use That Turkey

It happens every year, and it doesn’t matter if you buy a smaller turkey or invite more people to Thanksgiving dinner.

You’re going to have leftover turkey. A lot of it.

Here are a few ways to use it—some serious, some lighthearted. We’re thankful to have that leftover turkey, and sharing it is one of many options.

Send it home with your guests.

Often, we don’t think of this because the tryptophan in the turkey makes us semi-comatose. When everyone leaves, sending home leftovers just doesn’t register! Pack goodie bags for your guests right after dinner. Maybe you can steal everyone’s keys and put them in the goodie bags, so no one can leave without their turkey.

Try some new recipes.

Visit a recipe website, and learn something new while using up that turkey! Good recipe sites include Food Network, All Recipes, and Real Simple. If you’re more the Martha Stewart type, try her website. (Or if you’re not much of a cook, just cut it up and add it to everything you eat for the next week.)

Surprise your coworkers.

The people you work with want more turkey, don’t they? Whip up some turkey sandwiches and take them in for lunch the first workday after Thanksgiving. They’ll love you for remembering them. Won’t they?

Freeze for later use.

When you’re completely “turkeyed out,” parcel what’s left into small bags and put them in the freezer. You can always use that turkey later for delicious comfort food like turkey and noodles and turkey pot pie.

Finally, give it to the dog.

We’re thankful for the dog, and the dog is thankful for us. Why not spread a little Thanksgiving cheer and give him or her the last of the turkey?

Tell us on our Facebook page what you do with leftover turkey!

 

Cool Salads to Beat the Heat

salad recipes

What better way to eat light than a cool salad? Whether you prefer the crispness of spinach and water chestnuts or the sweetness and bright colors of a fruit mix, you’ll be satisfied and happy with a salad.

A salad should never be boring, and while you can simply toss some greens with some chicken and cheese, try some of these flavor additions:

Bacon bits
Mushrooms
Sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Raisins
Cranberries
Freshly ground pepper
Sea salt
Almonds

Following are some of our favorite recipes. Enjoy! To make any of these salads a meal, add protein in the form of eggs, meat, tofu, cheese, or Greek yogurt.

(Recipes from www.simplyrecipes.com)

Asian Tuna Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

10-12 ounces of canned white albacore tuna packed in water, drained

8-10 small radishes, cut into wedges

1 large carrot, shredded

1 clove garlic, smashed and minced

1 tsp minced ginger

½ to 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced (taste for heat and adjust, can also sub some chili pepper flakes)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp dark sesame oil

3 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (or plain rice vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar)

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

1 whole green onion, chopped

Optional: 8 ounces (dry) soba noodles* or fresh lettuce

*If mixing in with soba noodles, cook soba noodles according to package directions, and rinse with cold water.

 

Place the drained tuna, radishes, shredded carrot, garlic, ginger, chile, vegetable oil, dark sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a large bowl. Gently toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

When ready to serve, stir in the chopped cilantro and green onion.

Serve with lettuce, or mixed in with cold, cooked soba noodles.

 

Black Bean Salad Recipe

Make sure to rinse and drain the beans, if you are using canned beans.

INGREDIENTS

1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, thoroughly rinsed, and drained (or 1 1/2 cup of freshly cooked black beans)

1 ½ cups frozen corn, defrosted (or fresh corn, parboiled, drained and cooled)

½ cup chopped green onions or shallots

2 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced, or 1 whole pickled jalapeño pepper, minced (not seeded)

3 fresh plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks

½ cup fresh chopped cilantro

¼ cup fresh chopped basil

2 Tbsp lime juice (about the amount of juice from one lime)

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ to 1 teaspoon of sugar (to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the beans, corn, onions, jalapeno chile peppers, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, basil, lime juice, and olive oil.

Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste. (The sugar will help balance the acidity from the tomatoes and lime juice.) Chill before serving.

 

Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) and Tomato Salad Recipe

Prep time: 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 15-ounce cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

4 tomatoes (about 2 lbs.), cored and chopped

4 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

2 cups of chopped sweet onion (Vidalia, Walla Walla, or another variety)

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

6 Tbsp of white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

1 tsp salt

Freshly ground pepper

Chopped parsley for garnish

Combine the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, eggs, and onion in a large bowl.

Separately mix the dressing ingredients in a jar or a small bowl – olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over salad ingredients. Sprinkle on chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

You can chill the undressed salad up to six hours, until ready to serve.

 

Persimmon Pomegranate Fruit Salad Recipe

INGREDIENTS

3 fuyu persimmons, peeled, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces), seeds (if any) discarded

¾ cup pomegranate seeds

1 Granny Smith or Fuji apple, peeled, cored, chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces)

7-10 leaves fresh mint, thinly sliced crosswise (stack them, then roll them up like a cigar and take slices from the end)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp honey


Gently toss all of the ingredients together.

Keeps for at least a couple of days in the refrigerator, but best eaten same day it is made.

Berries! A Nutritional Quick Guide and Recipes

Strawberries have vitamin CBerries pack a powerful punch nutritionally, and they’re delicious and easy to build recipes around. They’re low in calories and full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. For example, one cup of strawberries contains as much vitamin C as a glass of orange juice, potassium, and magnesium. Blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries may help reduce risk of cancer.

For best results, purchase berries from farmers markets or pick your own. If that’s not possible, buy berries in season at the grocery store, or try frozen berries. The advantage to frozen berries is that you can buy them in large quantities and not have to worry about spoilage.

The most common way to eat berries is straight from the bag. Other ways to enjoy berries include:

  • Mixing them in with cottage cheese, ice cream, cream cheese, or Greek yogurt for a delicious treat.
  • Combining with protein powder, other fruit, water, and ice to make a healthy smoothie.
  • Sprinkling them on salad, oatmeal, or cereal.

Berries make a flavorful, sweet addition to any recipe. Here are a few we know you’ll enjoy:

Strawberry Basil Salsa

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch Ground black pepper

2 tablespoons minced shallot

2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

1 package (16 ounces) Driscoll’s Strawberries

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.

Stir in shallot and basil.

Hull strawberries and chop (you should have about 3 cups.)

Add to lemon juice mixture and stir until evenly blended.

Healthy Blueberry Bran Muffin

1 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cups packed brown sugar

1/3 cups flaxseed meal

1/3 cups raw wheat or oat bran

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

1/4 cups orange juice or water

2 large eggs

1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/3 cups) Driscoll’s Blueberries

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Line 12 muffin cups with papers or coat with cooking spray.

Combine flours, sugar, flaxseed, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl; stir well.

Stir together yogurt, oil, eggs, and juice in a small bowl.

Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture; stir just until blended.

Fold in blueberries just until batter is completely moistened.

Divide batter between prepared muffin cups.

Remove muffins from pan and cool on wire rack.

Bake 18 minutes or until golden brown and pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Mascarpone Dip with Basil Blackberries

1/3 cups balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

1 package (6 ounces or 1 1/2 cups) Driscoll’s Blackberries

2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves

1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Large pinch of fleur de sel or other flaky salt

1 container (8 to 8.8 ounces) mascarpone cheese

Crackers, for serving

Bring vinegar and brown sugar to a boil in a nonreactive small saucepan over high heat. Boil until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Pour into a medium bowl. Let cool.

Gently stir in blackberries, basil, pepper, and salt.

Fill a bowl with hot water. Dip bottom of the mascarpone container in water for about 5 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, unmold mascarpone onto a serving platter.

Spoon blackberry mixture over mascarpone, being sure to scrape all juices out of the bowl, and letting berries fall randomly.

Serve with crackers.

Source: http://www.driscolls.com/recipes

7 Ways to Defy Your Age

Sure, no one wants to be 21 again—some misadventures and irresponsibility are better left in the past. But to feelyoung again? Now that’s a different story!

Rediscover the zest and optimism you felt when you were younger for a happier life now. Just follow these simple stepsto reclaim the energy, zeal, and sense of well-being you enjoyed in your youth:

Hit the hay early. Getting your beauty sleep is the simplest way to feel younger right now. Resting up gives your brain and body the chance to fully recharge. But in all likelihood, you’re not getting as much as you need. Make the effort to turn in early and get 8 hours of sleep for 6 weeks straight. After 6 weeks, you’ll have a healthy sleep schedule formed, and feel the difference.

Eat healthy food. You are what you eat—so fuel your body with age-proof meals. Start every meal with a fruit or vegetable and a tall glass of water. Loading up on the vitamins and antioxidants in fruits and veggies will make you feel refreshed, recharged, and reenergized.

Build up your strength. The right kind of strength-training can help you feel decades younger. When done properly, weight-training makes microtears in the muscles, which leads your body to generate thicker, stronger muscle fiber. Strengthening your muscles in this way leaves you less vulnerable to injuries and builds your stamina.

Indulge your vanity. Forget the nips and tucks—there’s no such thing as eternal youth. But don’t underestimate the power of taking care of your looks. There’s a vast difference between trying too hard to look 10 years younger and trying to look your best at whatever age you are. So schedule that salon date and invest in a good face cream, guilt-free. It’s good for you.

Throw in a little spontaneity. Doing the same thing in the same order everyday is a surefire way to make you feel run down. Give your brain the stimulation you did in your youth by keeping your day fresh and trying new things. Just make little, out-of-the-ordinary changes like stopping at a different café for your morning latte or trying a new workout routine.

Get nostalgic. Load your iPod with your favorite tunes from your youth, and have a nice long stroll down memory land. Harvard University found that people who were placed in an environment that resembled their youth—with movies, music, and memorabilia from the past—experienced marked improvements in their memory, vision, happiness level, and overall health.

Play up the positive. Age has a way of making you clearly see the gloom in the world, from natural disasters to divorce and lost jobs.That’s why the final step to feeling younger is to shift your focus from what makes you unhappy to the things that make you happy. This isn’t an exercise in denying what is unpleasant—rather, it’s a way to tap into your gratitude. In turn, your optimism will motivate you to live your life fully and meaningfully.

What are some ways you cultivate your youthful vigor?