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What it Means to be “Zen” and Why You Should Care

Sometimes, we hear the word “Zen,” and it calls to mind images of hippies and peace signs. But the truth is that Zen as a practice is more than an aesthetic – it’s a very real approach that helps millions of people. And even if you aren’t interested in incorporating the concept of Zen into your daily life, there’s something we can all learn from this approach to benefit ourselves and our mental health. 

What is “Zen?” 

Specifically, Zen describes a type of Buddhism in which meditation is used to stay present, intentional, and non-judgmental. In more general terms, Zen describes a feeling of peace, enlightenment, and oneness. In the context of today’s modern world, being more “Zen” refers to slowing down, calming the chaos of everyday life in order to feel more centered. 

How does it support a healthy lifestyle? 

The effects of stress on the human body have been well-documented. They include increased headaches, higher blood pressure, an increased risk of anxiety and depression, digestive issues, a higher risk of diabetes and heart conditions… the list goes on. Practicing a more Zen lifestyle is a great way to reduce your overall stress level on a daily basis – and that’s a good thing for your health in every way. 

How can you be more Zen? 

You don’t have to become a Buddhist monk or a yoga fanatic to be more Zen in your daily life. Here are some quick tips: 

        • Practice mindful breathing. Pull a big inhale through your nose, filling up your lungs, while saying the word “let” to yourself. Then, exhale deeply while telling yourself “go.” Repeat this several times to achieve a sense of balance and calm. 
        • Try a mini-meditation session. Set aside five minutes to simply sit in a comfortable position and breathe deeply. Try to observe your thoughts as they pass by – don’t concentrate heavily on them, just imagine them passing as you relax. 
        • Be silly. Laughter, as they say, is the best medicine. And being happy is a key part of being Zen. Do something silly to make yourself laugh – skip instead of walking, make a funny face. You’ll be surprised at the way it calms and centers you. 

Try Being More Zen

Being present and intentional. Taking a moment to slow down amidst the chaos of everyday life. That’s what Zen is all about. Make a point to try and be more Zen this year, and watch how it improves your mindset as time goes on. 

 

Naturals2Go Healthy Living Blog

Ways to Protect and Improve Your Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness Month – there’s no better time of year to think about ways you can protect your mental health, and even improve upon it. Here are four tips: 

Rely on your support system. 

What kind of support system do you have in place around you? Family? Friends? Coworkers? These people are absolutely essential to your mental health and well-being. In fact, a lack of social support has even been linked to physical health ailments, like depression, cardiovascular disease, and an increased likelihood of substance abuse. So, whether it’s keeping in touch with a family member or spending quality time with your friends on a regular basis, rely on your support system. Humans are social creatures, and interaction with others is an important ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. 

Make it a daily practice. 

Improving your mental health isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And the best way to keep your mental health protected – and to make it better – is to make it a daily practice. That can mean different things for different people. Some practice yoga, meditation, or breathwork. Others go on the same walk during their lunch hour. Whatever it is, make time for yourself every single day, and keep this sacred time set aside for you and only you. 

Outsource things that tax your mental health. 

Think about the things that really drain you and put a strain on your mental health. Can you “outsource” them to someone else, or get rid of them entirely? Hiring an accountant to do your taxes; relying on a delivery service for dinner one night rather than cooking; bringing on a babysitter to take care of the kids one night a week. Whatever it is, getting some kind of outside help to give yourself a break can really make a huge difference.  

Ask for help. 

If you find yourself struggling with your mental health, talk to someone. That doesn’t mean you have to set up an appointment to see a psychologist. You can use a mental health app to talk to a professional confidentially or set up a telehealth visit with your doctor. Professional help is available to you if you need it – don’t be afraid to ask for help. 

Improve Your Mental Health This Year

This spring and beyond, focus on improving and protecting your mental health. It’s important in so many ways!  

 

Naturals2Go Healthy Living Blog

Women in Franchising – Top Franchises and Business Opportunities for Women

Naturals2Go is extremely proud to provide amazing business opportunities to women across North America!  In the latest issue of Franchise Consultant Magazine (May, 2022), Naturals2Go Owner-Operators Lyndsey Wolfsmith and Dyanne Savage were highlighted.

 

You can see the full article below or visit Franchise Consultant Magazine to read.

 

And, if you’re looking to start and grow your own successful business, we would love to support you.  One of our highly experienced business consultants can work with you to determine the right options, plans and support to fit your needs.  Contact us today! 

 

 

 

How the Pandemic Reprioritized Mental Health in the Workplace

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lot of long-lasting effects on our lives and society at large, including in the workplace. And strange as it may sound, not all of them were bad. One silver lining of the pandemic is that it cast a new light on the importance of mental health in the workplace. Today, companies who are acknowledging the importance of mental health to employees are succeeding – and those that aren’t are falling behind.  

Why the renewed focus on mental health? 

When the pandemic hit, it cast a shadow of uncertainty over the world. At the same time, many employees who used to work on-site suddenly started working from home for the foreseeable future, many of whom are still doing so. And all of that uncertainty and isolation made for a poor mental health environment – many workers were more stressed, burnt-out, and mentally unhealthy than ever before.  

How have employers responded? 

Companies and employers who take their employees’ mental health seriously have responded in a variety of ways as the pandemic shifted a new focus onto this area of our lives. Some companies gave employees extra mental health “recharge” days, started encouraging regular breaks throughout the day, or even provided financial stipends to help families cope during difficult times. Other companies provided training to management so that leaders could help their team members cope, or started hosting virtual meditation sessions or happy hours to help employees feel connected and supported. 

How can becoming an entrepreneur help? 

The pandemic also demonstrated for many people how important and rewarding it can be to take charge of your career by being your own boss. Becoming an entrepreneur is one of the best ways to do that. It means you can make your own hours, working when it’s best for you – that means better work/life balance and an even higher level of job satisfaction. 

Take Charge of Your Career – And Your Mental Health

Looking for a great way to become an entrepreneur with the support of a successful company at your back? Enter the healthy vending space with Naturals2Go. It’s a great time to capitalize on the shift toward wellness and healthy eating, and it’s the perfect way to benefit your own mental health, too. Contact a member of our team to learn more. 

 

Naturals2Go Healthy Living Blog

Recognizing Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month! We think spring is the perfect time of year to focus on this extremely important topic. Mental health can often go overlooked, especially when compared to our also-important physical health. But the truth is that your mental health is equally important to your overall well-being.  

What does “mental health” mean, exactly? 

Mental health encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and affects how we think, feel, and act, according to mentalhealth.gov. When a person has poor mental health, it can affect them negatively, leading to physical health symptoms as well as strained relationships, mood swings, the inability or struggle to perform daily tasks, and much more.  

 

When a person has positive mental health, on the other hand, they’re able to enjoy positive relationships with others, cope with life’s daily stresses, and make meaningful contributions to their families, work, and society at large.  

What does Mental Health Awareness Month involve? 

During May, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) joins the national movement to raise awareness about this part of health. Every year, the organization fights the stigma against mental health and provides support, educates the public, and advocates for policies that support people suffering from mental illnesses and their families.  

 

For 2022’s Mental Health Awareness Month, NAMI’s goal is to amplify the message of “Together for mental health.” The organization aims to advocate for mental health and increase access to care through NAMI’s blog, personal stories, videos, digital toolkits, social media engagements, and national events.  

How can you improve your mental health? 

Looking for quick ways to boost or maintain your mental health? Here are some ideas: 

        • Practice gratitude. Be thankful for the good things in your life, and remind yourself of them daily.  
        • Take care of yourself physically. Physical health has an important and inextricable connection with your mental health. Exercise regularly, eat well and get enough sleep every night. 
        • Connect with others. Humans are social creatures. Having a good support system around you, such as family and friends is extremely important. 
        • See a professional. If you’re struggling with your mental health, see a professional. Talking to a therapist is extremely beneficial for many people, including those without any kind of diagnosed mental illness. 

It’s Time to Better Your Mental Health

This month, take steps to better your own mental health and advocate for others as well. Download NAMI’s 2022 Awareness Event Guide, take action when opportunities arise in your community and consider sharing your own mental health story to encourage others to prioritize their mental health. 

 

Naturals2Go Healthy Living Blog

Healthy Living Podcasts You Should Listen To

In search of a new podcast? Want content related to healthy living? Check out these examples of great healthy living podcasts:  

Happier with Gretchen Rubin

In this series, host Gretchen Rubin shares her secrets to living a happy life – something all of us can learn from. Most episodes include Rubin’s co-host, Elizabeth Craft, and the pair share practical advice and insights into making the most out of every situation. If you’re looking for a healthy living podcast that focuses on emotional wellness and mental positivity, Happier will fit the bill.  

The Wellness Mama Podcast

Katie Wells hosts this weekly podcast for women and mothers who want to live a healthier life. Every episode features an expert guest and covers some kind of health topic, from sleep and emotional wellness to organizational skills, exercise tips, and much more. If you’re looking for a podcast you can pick up any time, focusing on one specific issue and diving deep, The Wellness Mama is a great choice for you. 

The Psychology of Eating

Marc David’s The Psychology of Eating focuses on helping clients transform their relationship with food using his unique blend of psychology and nutritional advice. Whether it’s binge eating, emotional eating, or the inability to lose weight, you’ll hear real-life people work through their issues with food during each episode. Recent episodes cover topics like ethical veganism, bulimia, and finding a natural relationship with eating. 

The Model Health Show

Creator and host of The Modern Health Show, Shawn Stevenson, interviews experts and also does solo episodes covering all sorts of health-related issues. Topics include stress, weight loss, brain health, financial health, self-empowerment, and much more. The podcast makes even in-depth medical and health information easy to understand for the layperson, and its wide range of topics make it suitable for just about anyone interested in health and wellness. 

The Doctor’s Kitchen

Covering topics about food, medicine, lifestyle, and the points at which they intersect, The Doctor’s Kitchen from host Dr. Rupy Aujla explores how to live your healthiest life. Episodes include subjects like mental wellbeing, building good fitness habits, and nutritional medicine, so you’re getting a wide range of subject matter to enjoy. Explore more here. 

Transform Your Health

Whether you’re looking for inspiration in your own health journey or you’re just interested in a new perspective, give some of these podcasts a try.

Take Your Passion for Healthy Living to the Next Level

Vending Inventory Ideas by Location: Apartment Complexes

Apartment complexes have long been a prime spot for vending machines. These locations are full of people who are coming and going frequently, whether they’re heading to work, picking the kids up from school, or running errands. And those people often need something quick and easy to snack on while in transit.  

Here are some great inventory ideas for your vending machines in apartment complexes: 

Snack Bars

Granola bars and other kinds of snack bars are tried-and-true vending machine inventory items, and for good reason. They’re easily portable, packed with protein, easy to eat with little mess, and delicious. Apartment complex residents can rely on snack bars as a quick pick-me-up between errands, or as a full breakfast when needed. Be sure to keep your machines stocked with snack bars, as they’re sure to be hot sellers.  

Packaged Salads

Many people who live in apartment complexes visit the vending machines to pick something up for lunch on the way to work, or while they’re running home on their lunch break. For consumers looking for something a little healthier, a packaged salad is a great addition. Consumers can take the salad with them to the office and store it in the break room until lunch, or take it to their apartment if they’re eating at home. 

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are full of fiber, which helps us to feel full faster. That’s what makes them a great vending machine inventory item – consumers can grab a quick snack to hold them off between meals. And nuts and seeds are easy to eat on the road, too.  

Drinks

Consumers like to grab a healthy juice in the morning on the way to work or a bottle of water before they head to the gym after office hours. Drinks are a consistently high seller in vending machines no matter where they’re located, and apartment complexes are no exception. Make sure to keep your machines well-stocked with drinks and juices of all sorts.  

Let Us Help With Machine Placement

One of the great things about choosing Naturals2Go as your healthy vending machine partner is our location procurement service. We’ll help you scout and identify the top locations for your machines in your area. Learn more about our services and get in touch with a member of our team today. 

Learn More About a Naturals2Go Vending Business

Healthy Eating Series: What Are Superfoods?

Spend some time in the healthy living space and you’re bound to hear the word “superfood” sooner or later. While it’s not an official nutritional or medical term and is in fact more of a marketing creation, superfoods are nonetheless very real. But what exactly is a superfood, and what are some examples? Let’s take a closer look at superfoods and why you’ll want to include them in your diet. 

What is meant by “superfood?”

The term “superfood” refers to any food that is rich or dense in nutrients and potentially has the capacity to affect one’s health positively. In short, it’s any food that is very good for you with almost no nutritional detriment.  

What are some examples of superfoods?

There is no definitive list of foods that are superfoods and those that aren’t. But there are a few common examples of the top superfoods. They include: 

          • Dark green leafy vegetables – Veggies like kale, collard greens, and Swiss chard fall into the dark green leafy vegetable category, and they’re considered superfoods because of their dense nutrient profile. These vegetables are jam-packed with nutrients like zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin C, folate, and fiber.  
          • Salmon – Salmon is one of the healthiest fishes you can eat. It’s packed with healthy fats, protein, potassium, and selenium. Salmon also contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation around the body and aid in your skin and hair health.  
          • Berries – Blueberries are often thought of as a superfood, but the truth is that a variety of berries including raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and strawberries are also very good for us. They are very high in antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and a variety of other inflammatory conditions. 
          • Nuts and seeds – Common nuts and seeds like almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, pistachios, walnuts, and others are chock-full of fiber, heart-healthy fats, and antioxidants. They are calorically dense, however, so it’s important not to go overboard.  

Why are superfoods important to include in your diet?

It’s obvious why it’s a good idea to include superfoods like those listed above in your diet. They’re very good for you. Including these foods as key players in a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to get yourself and your family the proper nutrition in every meal.  

Feed Your Family With Superfoods 

This week, try some recipes that include superfoods. Or, just snack on some between meals to give yourself that extra nutritional boost. Your body will thank you! 

Take Your Passion for Healthy Living to the Next Level

Career Advice I Would Give My Younger Self

In business and in life, with age comes experience and wisdom. For all of us, there are probably lessons we would like to pass down – to our younger selves if it were possible! Here are a few pieces of career advice most people would probably like to give to their younger selves:  

Trust Your Gut

That gut instinct you have when it comes to a career opportunity, or a bad fit, or a toxic boss? You should trust it. Your gut instinct is a very real indicator of whether something is positive or negative for you. Don’t force yourself into a bad move because it seems like the right thing on paper, or because it will look good or impress your family or friends. Do what’s right for you and your career, and believe in yourself – you know what’s best for you and your work life.  

Build Career Skills Early

From internships in college to mentorships at your first job to simply asking for advice from more experienced coworkers, it’s always a good idea to start building your career skills early. You can always learn something, and the more knowledge and experience you gain early on, the better of you’ll be regardless of where you want to take your career.  

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Whether it’s not having a particular skill, having only X number of years of experience compared to what’s listed in the job description, or tricking yourself into thinking someone else can do the job better, we all tend to sell ourselves short sometimes. While it’s important to be realistic about the skills we have and what we can contribute, it’s also vital that you don’t sell yourself short. Be upfront about your qualifications and experience, as well as your ability to learn and grow. For many, it’s the ability to adapt and become successful that’s far more powerful than any experience or specific skill set.  

Define Your Own Success

Realize that “success” means different things to different people. For some, it’s about making a certain monetary figure. For others, it’s about having freedom outside of their work life. For others, it’s about family. Success is completely what you want it to be – figure out what it means to you early on in your career and don’t waver when trying to achieve it.  

Become an Entrepreneur With Us

Interested in a dynamic, exciting entrepreneurial opportunity? Naturals2Go might be the perfect fit. Contact a member of our team today to learn more about healthy vending and how to jumpstart your career.  

Learn More About a Naturals2Go Vending Business