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10 things that made us smile this week​

uplifting, happiness, hope

Looking for a reason to smile? Here are 10 of them.

Feeling blah? Need a little pick-me-up? Having a "no-bones" day? Unsure of what a "no-bones" day even is?

No worries, we've got you covered on all counts.

Each week, we round up 10 tasty morsels of joy to help you hop through the weekend with more pep in your step. If you're feeling even a little bit blue, here are 10 doses of dopamine to flip that frown upside down. (Trying to see how many cheesy colloquialisms I can squeeze into one intro. Forgive me. It's Friday.)

Enjoy, friends!


1. First, let Noodle the pug predict if it's a bones day or a no-bones day.

@jongraz

plan your day accordingly 🔮🦴🔮 #nobones #bonesday #noodletok #pug

Noodle the 13-year-old pug has become a huge viral sensation with his daily fortune telling. If Noodle stands on his own four feet, it's a bones day. That means a day filled with energy, productivity, ambition—all the things! But if Noodle flops back down onto his bed, it's a no-bones day. That's a day to take it easy, practice some self-care, leave the hard stuff for a bones day. "No hard pants on a no-bones day," as Jonathan says. Read more about Noodle and his predictions here.

2. Ever seen a baseball player do ballet on the field? Now you have.

The fact that there's actual baseball being played in the background while Zack Frong dances ballet is hilarious. But that's intentional. The Savannah Bananas are a bit like the Harlem Globetrotters of baseball, selling out all of their "baseball circus" home games since they formed in 2016.

Check out the amazing story of how the Savannah Bananas got their start, thanks to the vision of one man:

3. Sweet puppers anxiously waits for her bestie to get off the school bus.

That tail wag, though! She can hardly contain her excitement, even though this probably happens every day. It's too dang much.

4. Speaking of cute puppers, this chihuahua is the cutest bather everrrrr.

Why is this so cute? Why? Literally everything about it makes me want a dog, and I'm 100% a cat person.

5. If you need a boost of confidence, just watch this pony overcome a humongous, enormous, practically insurmountable hurdle.

Can't you just hear the pony's internal pep talk? And that little"Yes! I did it!" dance at the end! If this pony can push through her fear of That Big Gigantic Step, you can do anything.

6. Son being surprise-woken-up by his dad who had been on deployment—PHEW.

Sorry to make you cry when we said we'd make you smile, but tears of joy borne of love totally count. Father-son love is a beautiful thing.

7. Keep that tissue handy, cuz here comes another good dad tears of joy video.

This is one lucky, lucky baby girl.

8. Squishy the chipmunk. Enough said. 

Squishyyyyy! (Seriously, though, how does a mouth that small hold so many nuts that big?) Brad the human has a page where he shares videos of his chipmunk friends he's made in the past five years: Dinky, Squishy, Mooshy, SpongeBob, Boris, Stinky, Bubba, Hershel, Crazy, Chippie, Shooshi, Inky, Squeaky, Hishkabibble, Mr. Fuji, Betty, Squeegee, Cookie, Stubby, SweetPotato and Friends. SERIOUSLY, BRAD? You are the best.

9. 4-year-old called the police in New Zealand to show them his toys.

How adorable is this? All of the adults handled it so perfectly. And there's seriously nothing cuter than a preschooler with a New Zealand accent. Read the full story here.

10. One more sweet dad-kiddo video, but this one is just pure, unadulterated joy.

BRB, starting a petition for every flight to have the pilot's adorably proud kid on board from now on. So darn precious.

Hope that brought a little joy to your day! Join us next Friday for another roundup of happiness and hope.

Health

4 simple hacks to help you meet your healthy eating goals

Trying to eat healthier? Try these 4 totally doable tricks.

Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Most of us want to eat healthier but need some help to make it happen.

True

When it comes to choosing what to eat, we live in a uniquely challenging era. Never before have humans known more about nutrition and how to eat for optimal health, and yet we’ve never been more surrounded by distractions and temptations that derail us from making healthy choices.

Some people might be able to decide “I’m going to eat healthier!” and do so without any problem, but those folks are unicorns. Most of us know what we should do, but need a little help making it happen—like some simple hacks, tips and tricks for avoiding pitfalls on the road to healthier eating.

While recognizing that what works for one person may not work for another, here are some helpful habits and approaches that might help you move closer to your healthy eating goals.

man pulling chip out of a chip bagOur mouths loves chips. Our bodies not so much.Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Goal: Snack on less junk food

Tip: Focus your willpower on the grocery store, not your home

Willpower is a limited commodity for most of us, and it is no match for a bag of potato chips sitting on top of the fridge. It’s just a fact. Channeling your willpower at the grocery store can save you from having to fight that battle at home. If you don’t bring chips into your house in the first place, you’ll find it a lot easier to reach for something healthier.

The key to successful shopping trips is to always go to the store with a specific list and a full stomach—you’ll feel much less tempted to buy the junky snack foods if you’re already satiated. Also, finding healthier alternatives that will still satisfy your cravings for salty or crunchy, or fatty foods helps. Sugar snap peas have a surprisingly satisfying crunch, apples and nut butter hit that sweet-and-salty craving, etc.

slice of cakeYou can eat well without giving up sweets completely.Photo by Caitlyn de Wild on Unsplash

Goal: Eat less sugar

Tip: Instead of “deprive,” think “delay” or “decrease and delight”

Sugar is a tricky one. Some people find it easier to cut out added sugars altogether, but that can create an all-or-nothing mindset that all too often results in “all.” Eating more whole foods and less processed foods can help us cut out a lot of ancillary sugar, but we still live in a world with birthday cakes and dessert courses.

One approach to dessert temptation is to delay instead of deprive. Tell yourself you can have any sweet you want…tomorrow. This mental trick flips the “I’ll just indulge today and start eating healthier tomorrow” idea on its head. It’s a lot easier to resist something you know you can have tomorrow than to say no to something you think you’ll never get to have again.

Another approach when you really want to enjoy a dessert at that moment is to decrease the amount and really truly savor it. Eat each bite slowly, delighting in the full taste and satisfaction of it. As soon as that delight starts to diminish, even a little, stop eating. You’ve gotten what you wanted out of it. You don’t have to finish it. (After all, you can always have more tomorrow!)

colorful fresh food on a plateA naturally colorful meal is a healthy meal.Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash

Goal: Eat healthier meals

Tip: Focus on fresh foods and plan meals ahead of time

Meal planning is easier than ever before. The internet is filled with countless tools—everything from recipes to shopping lists to meal planning apps—and it’s as awesome as it is overwhelming.

Planning ahead takes the guesswork and decision fatigue out of cooking, preventing the inevitable “Let’s just order a pizza.” You can have a repeating 3-week or 4-week menu of your favorite meals so you never have to think about what you’re going to eat, or you can meal plan once a week to try new recipes and keep things fresh.

It might help to designate one day a week to “shop and chop”—getting and prepping the ingredients for the week’s meals so they’re ready to go in your fridge or freezer.

woman holding blueberries in her handsOrganic foods are better for the Earth and for us.Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Goal: Eat more organic/humanely raised food

Tip: Utilize the “dirty dozen” and “clean 15” lists to prioritize

Many people choose organic because they want to avoid pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Organic food is also better for the planet, and according to the Mayo Clinic, studies have shown that organic produce is higher in certain nutrients.

Most people don’t buy everything organic, but there are some foods that should take priority over others. Each year, researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyze thousands of samples of dozens of fruits and vegetables. From this data, they create a list of the “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15” fruits and vegetables, indicating what produce has the most and least pesticide residue. These lists give people a good place to start focusing their transition to more organic foods.

To make organic eating even simpler, you can shop O Organics® at your local Albertsons or Safeway stores. The O Organics brand offers a wide range of affordable USDA-certified organic products in every aisle. If you’re focusing on fresh foods, O Organics produce is always grown without synthetic pesticides, is farmed to conserve biodiversity, and is always non-GMO. All animal-based O Organics products are certified humane as well. Even switching part of your grocery list to organic can make a positive impact on the planet and the people you feed.

Healthy eating habits don’t have to be all or nothing, and they don’t have to be complicated. A few simple mindset changes at home and habit changes at the grocery store can make a big difference.

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Family

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Health

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