Friday, November 24, 2017

Healthy Habits: 4 Ways To Beat Holiday Stress

The holidays are supposed to be relaxing, joyous and fun, but for millions of Americans they bring stress, anxiety and even depression.
Numerous studies have shown upwards of 70 percent of Americans feeling stressed as Christmas bears down on them. A survey by Think Finance revealed that 45 percent of 1,000 respondents would prefer to skip Christmas altogether.
Why has the national mood swung from Santa Claus is Coming to Town to The Grinch Who Stole Christmas? A lack of time, shortage of money, an excessive amount of expectations and a burdensome commitment to gift-buying are some of the top reasons people list for their stress levels reaching higher than the top of the Christmas tree.
To make the season more enjoyable, and to reduce stress, Dr. Raj Gupta says people should make their overall wellness a higher priority on their long holiday to-do list.
"Physical exercise makes the mental strain of the season much more manageable and can substantially decrease the stress one feels from all the demands," says Gupta (, author of Wellness Center Solution: How Physicians Can Transform Their Practices, Their Income and Their Lives, and founder of Soul Focus Wellness Center. "Exercise and some refreshing thinking and relaxing techniques help if done on a consistent basis."
Gupta lists 4 ways to beat holiday stress:
  • Walk somewhere besides the mall. A brisk half-hour walk a day relaxes the brain and improves sleep. A study by California State University found a 10-minute walk increases energy, alters mood and can bring a positive outlook for up to two hours. "There’s a rhythm to it that relaxes the brain," Gupta says. "It’s a proven stress-reducer. Movement makes the worries keep their distance."
  • Be a "chairman" if you’re bored. Most of working America is sedentary, and now much of shopping America is as well given the growth of online purchasing. A chair dip exercise is a handy way to tone and energize between your computer screen times. You use two chairs facing each other, about three feet apart. Sit on the edge of one chair and grip the edge with your hands. Place your heels on the edge of the other chair. Slide forward so your rear end clears the edge, then lower yourself until your elbows are between 45-90 degrees. Slowly push yourself back up. "It works your triceps, shoulders and your core," Gupta says.
  • Drink heavily … water, that is! Many people over-imbibe during the holidays and it has a detrimental affect on their wellness. Water brings weight loss and keeps your body in balance for all kinds of stressors. "A whopping 75 percent of all Americans are dehydrated," Gupta says. "Staying properly hydrated is a panacea for what ails you—from daytime fatigue to headaches to back and joint pain to losing weight. Why wait ’til after the holidays to lose weight?"
  • Give gratitude. In the rush to get everything done, we forget to appreciate what we have. Gupta says pausing to reflect brings a perspective that calms you down. "Take a few moments to really relish your health and all your blessings," Gupta says. "The holidays are a perfect time to remember all that."
"People who are over-burdened often make time for everybody and everything but themselves, and that takes a toll," Gupta says. "People troubled every holiday season by all the pressures must ask themselves, ‘Do I want to enjoy this?’ If so, they need to step away for a few minutes each day, get in a sweat, and get in tune with themselves."
About Dr. Raj Gupta

Dr. Raj Gupta (, who has more than 20 years experience as a chiropractor, is the founder of Soul Focus Wellness Center. He also is author of Wellness Center Solution: How Physicians Can Transform Their Practices, Their Income and Their Lives. He has a doctorate in chiropractic from Life University.

Mealtime Magic: Ginger Whiskey Cider

Courtesy of Brooklyn Crafted
  • 2 oz. Hard Cider
  • 1 oz. Whiskey
  • Brooklyn Crafted Ginger Beer Mini in Traditional, to fill
  • Crushed Ice
In a 12-16 oz. high ball glass, combine the hard cider and whiskey. Fill the glass with crushed ice and top with Brooklyn Crafted.

This recipe makes a great fall and winter adult drink - the flavors of apple cider all grown up!

Shopping Savings: Virgin Mobile

Each person who joins the Inner Circle by Virgin Mobile between Black Friday and Cyber Monday will receive a $200 Visa® Prepaid Card and Virgin Mobile will donate 200 meals toFeeding America® for each one of those new members. Virgin Mobile has already committed to donating more than 1.6 million meals through 2018 to Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

Shopping Savings: Target Cyber Week

Fire up the wifi: Target has just announced more savings throughout Cyber Week! This year there’s a full week’s worth of daily deals across categories so you can score big on everything from apparel to beauty, electronics to home. All the details you need to scoop up the best Cyber deals next week are listed here on A Bullseye View

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Caring Causes: MercyCorps

Mercy Corps helps 22 million people across more than 40 countries survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. Most recently they've been responding following Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, where they have already provided $50,000 in cash cards to vulnerable families such as Aide’s, 45, and a mother of seven children.

Mercy Corps also works in some of the most conflict-affected countries in the world such as Syria and South Sudan. In Jordan for example, they are providing psychosocial support to Syrian refugee children experiencing toxic stress from the war. Their ability to be there when others can’t is in large part thanks to the generous donations of individual donors.

As an example of what a charitable donations can provide, a displaced person in Nigeria can eat nutritious food for one month for just $10, and a woman-led Somali household of six people can have two weeks of essential services and goods like food, water and hygiene items for $50.

Black Friday Gift Ideas

Caring Causes: How One Vineyard is Helping Warriors All Year Long, Especially During the Holidays

This holiday season there will be millions of bottles of wine sold. According to the Wine Institute, there are 11,496 wineries in the country, and each year there are around 949 million gallons of wine consumed. Many people like to give wine as holiday gifts, take a bottle to holiday dinner parties, or keep some on hand for when company stops by to celebrate the season. Of those wineries, there is one, Tackitt Family Vineyards, that has made the commitment to help warriors with every bottle sold.
“This holiday, people can easily help our warriors by opting for EOD Cellars wines when selecting a wine to drink or give,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “We are honored to have the support of Tackitt Family Vineyards, who give back so much. They truly appreciate all that these warriors have done for our country and make it easy for people to give back simply by purchasing their wines.”

Leon and Cindy Tackitt, owners of Tackitt Family Vineyards, offer a line of wines called EOD Cellars, and a portion of every bottle sold goes to the EOD Warrior Foundation. That money is put to good use helping warriors and their families who are in need. The foundation provides financial support to warriors who need financial assistance with everything from college scholarships for their family members to picking up the tab for therapeutic treatment to help with such conditions as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The EOD Warrior Foundation is an organization that helps the families of the 7,000 people in our military who are Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, and perform bomb disposal duties. Engaging in the most dangerous job in the military, EOD technicians often sustain serious injuries, lose limbs, or are killed in action.

EOD Cellars wine collection includes four varieties of red wines and two types of white wines, and they are available in boxed gift sets and 6-packs. The wines are available for purchase online, as well as in select stores. The wines range in price from $21 per bottle to $32 per bottle. They have all been specially bottled to support the EOD Warrior Foundation. Tackitt Family Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery that is located in Paso Robles, California. They specialize in premium wines and offer several varietals for the EOD Cellars Wine. Specific wines in the collection include The Keeper, Basic Blaster Red, Senior Blaster Red, Master Blaster Red, Willie Pete White, and Det Cord White.

To view the EOD Cellars wine collection, visit the Tackitt Family Vineyard site online:
The EOD Warrior Foundation helps this elite group by providing financial relief, therapeutic healing retreats, a scholarship program, care of the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin AFB, Fla. and more. Their work is supported by private donations and the generosity of those who support the organization.  To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, or see their fundraising events calendar, visit their site at:
About EOD Warrior Foundation
The EOD Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help EOD warriors and their family members with a priority on wounded EOD warriors and the families of fallen EOD warriors. Specific programs include financial relief, college scholarships, hope and wellness programs that include therapeutic healing retreats, and care for the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin AFB, Fla. To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, or see their events calendar, visit their site at:

Soul Sustenance: 3 Ways Stress Can Steal Your Health – And Holiday Joy

Stress doesn’t take holidays off. In fact, the opposite is often true: Stress saps the joy out of the season for many people.
Stress is manifest in many forms of poor health or bad lifestyle habits during the holidays, when people typically put a long list of errands, shopping, baking and parties ahead of being good to their own bodies. They might get sick as a result – or expedite a path to long-term health problems.
“Stress is often more pronounced during the holiday season, and the effects it can have on our health are widespread and potentially very damaging,” says Dr. Sanda Moldovan (, a board-certified periodontist and nutritionist with practices in Beverly Hills and Manhattan, and author of the upcoming book HEAL UP!: How to Repair, Rebuild and Renew Naturally .
“The holidays are such a hectic time, and people need to slow down a bit, realize how susceptible they are to all kinds of problems, and what they can do to avoid them.”
Moldovan lists different ways stress materializes and how to avoid or lessen the associated problems:
  • Teeth grinding. Also called bruxism, this can cause cracks in the teeth that can lead to tooth loss. Teeth grinding also causes wear, which can collapse the bite and cause pain in the jaw. Cutting back on certain foods and drinks that contain caffeine – colas, coffee, sweets – can help stop teeth grinding.  For persistent grinders, two things that help, Moldovan says, are a custom-made mouth guard and mouth yoga. “Take the time to stretch your jaw muscles in the morning,” Moldovan says. “Five minutes go a long way. Open your mouth wide and massage the sides of your jaw.”
  • Migraines. Migraine sufferers really have to watch it during the holidays, Moldovan says. Triggers include processed and fried meats, too much caffeine or alcohol, and chocolate. “Lack of sleep and lessened physical activity are also culprits,” Moldovan says. “Six to eight hours of quality sleep is recommended to help prevent headaches, but so many people run themselves ragged until late during the holidays. And too many people stop exercising. Being sedentary invites problems.”
  • Overeating/poor nutrition. Stress often manifests in folks stuffing themselves, relying on comfort foods or holiday junk. “It’s easy to say, ‘Well, everyone overeats during the holidays and consumes lots of sugar,’ “ Moldovan says. “But that doesn’t have to be you. Don’t let the holidays be a food free-for-all. Overindulging adds to stress and can bring all sorts of health issues.” Among them: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dental woes such as periodontitis, cavities and oral ulcer. “People are overfed and undernourished and this wreaks havoc on their bodies inside and out,” Moldovan says. “It also leads to accelerated aging and a lesser-performing immune system.”

“Too many people let the holidays get away from them in terms of packing so much in, worrying about so many things and letting their health slide,” Moldovan says. “This holiday season, give yourself the gift of de-stressing a little. At least step off the gas some so your health doesn’t suffer.”

About Dr. Sanda Moldovan
Dr. Sanda Moldovan is an award-winning board-certified periodontist and nutritionist, with practices in Beverly Hills and Manhattan. As an authority on biological dentistry, anti-aging, and oral health, she is in demand nationally and internationally as a continuing education provider for dental and medical professionals. Her latest book on alternative medicine, HEAL UP!: How to Repair, Rebuild and Renew Naturally is being published in 2018. A former ambassador for Waterpik, Dr. Sanda can be seen on “THE DOCTORS” TV show, as the go-to oral health expert. She welcomes your questions at

Shopping Savings: Small Business Saturday - Baby on Grand (St. Paul)

Baby Grand is one of the exclusive retailers of LILLEbaby, and they will be offering special deals to their customers this Saturday, November 25 for Small Business Saturday.

LÍLLÉbaby, the brand that creates functional and beautiful carriers for families, recently started a program to reward local shops and retailers who have been selling their products over a period of time. Baby Grand offers a number of styles and colors of the popular baby carriers.

LILLEbaby is hugely popular amongst parents who baby wear, particularly because of the brand’s fashionable and stylish offerings. Parents see the baby carriers not only a safe place for their child, but also a fashion accessory. The carriers make a great gift.

Thrifty Thinking: Small Business Saturday

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is encouraging consumers to visit their local small businesses this Saturday. Partnering for the seventh year in a row with American Express, they are promoting a national campaign to “shop small” here in Minnesota.
“Traditionally, the holiday shopping season has kicked off with Black Friday, but we are encouraged each year by the number of people that are participating in small business Saturday. Last year it was its largest ever, with 112 million shoppers patronizing small businesses throughout the country,” said Mike Hickey, Minnesota State Director for NFIB. “The idea is simple: Instead of sitting at home and ordering online or driving to the nearest shopping center or big-box store, you shop at small, locally-owned businesses for things you simply cannot find at the mall.”
The campaign to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving began in 2010 to help small businesses that were struggling to recover from the great recession. Last year,according to the post-holiday survey released by NFIB and American Express, 15.4 billion dollars were spent in small businesses nationwide.
“Small Business Saturday isn’t about getting up before dawn, fighting traffic, jostling with crowds and standing in long lines to save a few bucks. It is a day to celebrate and support the small, family-run businesses that do so much throughout the year to support our community,” continued Hickey. “And instead of dealing with temporary workers who don’t know the merchandise, you’re likely to deal directly with the owner, who has a vested interest not only in selling you something that day but in making you want to come back time and again throughout the year.”
Hickey added that money spent in a small business, for the most part, remains in that community. “When you shop at a chain store, most of the money goes back to some corporate office somewhere, but when you shop on Main Street, that money stays on Main Street.”

NFIB is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small and independent business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB’s powerful network of grassroots activists sends their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America’s free enterprise system. NFIB’s mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information is available online at