Simply Living Blog Carnival December 2013 Call for Submissions: Gift Giving

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Gift Giving Gift giving is the cause of much stress for many families. Some families make handmade gifts while others find it more simple to purchase items. Gift exchanges and drawing names add more gifts to find, and budget often plays a part for many families. What do you do to keep gift giving simple? Submission deadline: December 10. Carnival posting: December 17.

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by December 10. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on December 17.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Simply Living Blog Carnival November 2013 Call for Submissions: Food

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Food Food and eating take up a portion of every one of our days. How do you view food in your version of simple living? Do you make everything from scratch? Do you go for easy to make items? Do you eat out a lot or have a food swap with others? Do you plan menus or have specific meals on certain days? Perhaps you are struggling with food allergies or budget constraints. Are you feeding a large family? Perhaps you have a favorite recipe that simplifies your life. Share with us how you simplify food.

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by November 12. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on November 19.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Simply Living Blog Carnival October 2013: Enjoyment

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Enjoyment What is life if we aren’t enjoying it? What do you do that you enjoy? Do you have hobbies or other things you love? How do you fit those things into your life? Tell us what you enjoy doing!

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by October 8. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on October 15.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Simply Living Blog Carnival September 2013 Call for Submissions: Money Matters

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Money Matters Everyone seems to have a different financial system or ways to simplify their finances. Do you have great budget? Do you save money? Are you a thrifty spender? Do you outsource some things in order to simplify your life? We want to hear what money matters are important to you!

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by September 10. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on September 17.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Simply Living Blog Carnival August 2013 Call for Submissions: Celebrations

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Celebrations There are many events in our lives worthy of celebrating, but often times those celebrations get out of control to the point that we no longer enjoy them. Do you plan lovely simple parties? do you have family traditions that are extra special to you? How do you keep the sanity in celebrations?

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by August 13. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on August 20.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.


Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Helping Kids Simplify

Welcome to the July edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - With Kids cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about keeping things simple with our kids. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.

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I considered writing about many different aspects for this post, but one of the main questions I hear from parents is about how to get kids to let go of things. This isn’t what they really want to know, but feeling overwhelmed, this is what comes out. What they really want to know is how to raise kids who want to live a more simplified life free from a need to hoard material objects. They want to know how to help their kids from drowning in stuff. To some extent, they want to know how to help their children, and their families, to not turn to items and let stuff rule their lives.

Is it even possible to raise children who are not obsessed with stuff in a society which revolves around the acquisition of the latest and greatest new toy, whether that is a talking doll or a smartphone? Yes. The world may have changed, but children haven’t. Children are born full of love and acceptance, and learning from the most important people in their lives – you! The most important way to help your children keep things simple is to be there along the way.

  • Embrace simplicity. So many parents complain about how their kids keep everything under the sun, but a lot of those same parents are modelling just that. Learn how to hang onto what is important and let go of what isn’t. Model it. Talk about it. And if you are one of those minimalist parents who is feeling overwhelmed by your child’s desire for stuff, remember, he is a child. You have a had a long time to reach the place you are. He is just learning and figuring things out. Look to help and guide rather than force. And then, to some extent, you may just have to let go.
  • Listen. It isn’t bad to want things. It’s okay for your children to look at an item and think it is really cool or mention how they would like to have it. In fact, it is healthy to feel that you are worth something. Talk to a child who thinks she doesn’t deserve anything because her life holds no value, and you will see exactly what I mean. That doesn’t mean you need to buy everything your child wants, but you can acknowledge her feelings. An item may really be cool, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it fits within your budget, your home, or with your goals. You can still wish, and if something is really important to your child, it will probably come up multiple times. You might even suggest that she add it to her wishlist or that she save up for it.
  • Explain. We know the reasons why we don’t purchase items or even bring home a bunch of free items, but does your child? If you don’t  talk about your reasoning, don’ t assume he understands. Listening to others’ thought processes can help us develop our own reasoning skills. The next time you are faced with a potential purchase, getting rid of items, or some other decision about stuff, say your reasons out loud.
  • Be there. To this day, my children do much better at tasks such as cleaning out their special shelves in their closet if I am there. My involvement may only be holding items up while they make decisions, but having me there seems to help. They feel less overwhelmed about going through items, and sometimes they need to not touch the items. A friend, when listening to me explain this, pointed out an article which she read that claimed that it was easier for people to get rid of things if they didn’t touch them. Once the individuals touched the items, there were more likely to become sentimental and keep the items in question. From my experience, that seems to be true.
  • Fit the space. We have a certain amount of space in our home, and if our stuff is overflowing, we know that it is time to declutter. When we rotate toys, we gather up all of the toys together and my children go through them, deciding what they really want out to play with for now, what they want to pack away for the time being, and what they are willing to let go of, whether it is to the garbage bin or to someone else who can use the item.
  • Keep it manageable. While we have always been good about keeping toys manageable, I admit that I didn’t always do as good of a job with the art supplies. I wanted the kids to have access to everything so as not to stunt their creativity. By having to much stuff out, I was stunting their artistic inclinations. I have since recognized what I was doing and now we have a pretty good system set up. We have staple items available at all times, with some items up higher where older kids can access them but younger kids need help. Other items are brought out and rotated so they are new and exciting, inspiring new creativity, and others are up out of reach but visible and can be brought out at any time by request.
  • Don’t bring it in. As much as parents complain about how much stuff their kids have, if your children are young, it didn’t just magically appear. Most likely, some adult made that purchase. If this is the case, there is a simple solution: STOP! Don’t do it. When well-meaning adults ask for gift suggestions, give other ideas. Memberships make great gifts, as do magazine subscriptions, time with the said adults, consumable products such as art supplies, or quality books for your home library (still stuff….but hey, I’m a bibliophile).
  • Give them your presence. You have probably heard the saying that children want your presence and not your presents. It’s true. You are the most important people to your kids. Be there for them to help navigate life. Explain and model. Teach by example, and talk about your values.
  • Let go. At the end of the day, your child is her own person. While minimalism may be your ideal, you can’t force that on someone else. Give your child a space that is hers and let her keep her stuff there. Don’t throw away someone else’s stuff. That is bound to backfire on you with your child trying to keep control by keeping even more items. Recognize that different people do things differently and work together to meet everyone’s needs. Remember, it is not about stuff.

 

photo credit: Shagamaroo via photopin cc

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Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple living and parenthood. We hope you will join us next month when we discuss celebrations!

 

 

Simply Living Blog Carnival July 2013 Call for Submissions: With Kids

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

With Kids Despite what the media may have us believe, many families are finding that simplifying their lives is very important to keeping life with kids running smoothly. Many families are cutting back on the number of activities. Others are cutting back on the number of possessions. Still others are insanely organized. What does your family do in order to simplify your life with kids? 

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by July 9. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on July 16.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Keeping it Simple at Home

Welcome to the June edition of the Simply Living Blog Carnival - Around the House cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. This month, we write about what we do to keep the little things from overwhelming us. Please check out the links to posts by our other participants at the end of this post.

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One of the things many people comment on when they come over is the fact that our home usually doesn’t seem cluttered. We are by no means minimalists, although I have a secretly harbored dream of being a minimalist. We have kids. I have a husband. We have a dog. And, frankly I would never be willing to give up my books. And as decluttered as we are, my home can get trashed just like any other. It seems like any time I get sick, I come out to find that a cyclone has hit the house. The good news is, that even as quickly as my home can become trashed, and it can happen in remarkable speed, we can just as quickly get everything back in order.  Here are a few quick tips on how we do this:

  • Have less stuff. Sure, it sounds simple enough, but this idea is overlooked a lot. The more stuff you have, the more stuff there is to put away, and the more stuff there is to clean. I don’t know about you, but while a may be a decluttering diva, I don’t particularly want to spend hours each day cleaning or even picking up. There are other ways I prefer to spend my time. So, clear out the excess stuff that you probably don’t even need. Better yet, don’t even bring it in the house at all. Keep your money, and your sanity, by keeping things simple.
  • Everything needs a place, and only one place, to have as its very own home. When items don’t have a home, they never go to their spot, and you spend your time moving them from place to place. That is a lot of work, and it just adds frustration. If the item is important enough that you use it, you need it, you love it, or it adds to your life in some way, it is important enough to have its very own location.You won’t waste your time playing musical locations and you will always know where the items goes. Even better, everyone in your household will know where the item goes, saving you the time you once spent answering the question, “Have you seen….?”
  • Clean as you go. This is an easy one to forget, especially when you are tired and busy. However, cleaning is so much easier if done right away. Just ask me about the time that I went ahead and stayed up late decorating a birthday cake but decided to clean up in the morning. Dried icing is not your friend. Besides, if you are cleaning a little bit all of the time, there is no build up and cleaning is easier.
  • Quick pick-ups. This is a must at our house. Five minutes can make the difference between chaos and calm. A quick pick up throughput the day is easier than letting everything pile up. With everyone pitching in, it may not even take the entire five minutes. Even on busy days, quick pick ups need to happen for us before bedtime. Our days start out so much better when we wake up to a clean house. It gives us a clean slate, and keeping everything going is much easier.
  • Be realistic. That artful display of carefully organized whatever supplies in neatly stacked containers may look nice when you first put it together, but is it really realistic? Are you going to take the time each time you need something to put everything back the way you had it? Is your family? Part of keeping things organized means being realistic in your expectations and making things easy. Keep it simple to keep it done.
  • Make things functional. The organized mail rack in the living room isn’t doing you much good if you bring mail in through the kitchen. It makes more sense to have the kids’ art supplies near where they actually work on art projects. Keep things you use often where you can easily get to them and save the more long term stored items in the out of the way places. Only keep out things you are using. If the kids tend to not play with play food when they are in a dollhouse mood, switch them out so that you only have the current item out.
What tips do you have for keeping a home simple?

 

photo credit: the bbp via photopin cc

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Thank you for visiting the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. Read about how others are incorporating simple ideas around their homes. We hope you will join us next month!

 

 

 

Simply Living Blog Carnival June 2013 Call for Submissions: Around the House

Welcome to the Simply Living Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children, Laura at Authentic Parenting, Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, and Joella at Fine and Fair. We hope that you will join us on the third Tuesday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline will be the second Tuesday of each month.

Around the House House work never seems to end. What tips and tricks have you figured out to help keep your home running smoothly? Help others simplify their homes and their lives.

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com anddelilahfineandfair{at}gmail{dot}com, and fill out the webform by June 11. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on June 18.

We want you to use creativity and to express yourself as you see fit. To that end, you are welcome to post at your discretion with a few guidelines in mind. Please be respectful in your posts. Avoid excessive profanity and poor grammar or spelling. As the co-hosts of the carnival are all advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Simply Living through Simple Living! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways we simplify our lives.

Vegetables That Promote Bone Health and a Recipe for Fennel-Dill Artichokes

I am happy to host a guest post today from Elaine Rosales. As our family continually strives to work on  our diet regarding food allergies and healthy living, nutrition is a topic which comes up at our house more and more. We are attempting to balance simplicity with nutrition and moderation. Check out Elaine’s awesome recipe!

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Vegetables That Promote Bone and Joint Health

artichokesMany people, especially those nearing their senior years, are now looking for effective ways to take good care of their bones and joints. This is very important, because as you reach your 30s, your bone mass will start to gradually decline.

Many think that the best way to stop or reverse bone loss is to take high doses of supplements, such as calcium. But here’s the truth: you can actually keep your bones strong and healthy simply by modifying your diet. You will be surprised and happy to know that there are natural substances that can help keep your joints and bones healthy even as you age.

The Potential Benefits of Fennel

According to one study in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, eating fennel seeds may have a beneficial effect on the loss of bone mineral density, as well as on bone mineral content.

The research says that fennel helps reduce osteoclast differentiation and function, which helps to decrease bone turnover markers and offers a protective effect on the bones. Osteoclasts are cells that break down weakened bones, while osteoblasts are cells that build them back up.

Fennel, also called bronze fennel or common fennel, is a plant that produces both a seed-like fruit and a leafy growth used as an herb. It is actually a treasure trove of nutrients: it contains folate, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, phytonutrients, and antioxidants.

Try This Simple Fennel Recipe: Fennel-Dill Artichokes

Ingredients:

4 artichokes

1 cup carrots, quartered lengthwise

1 cup fennel or celery, thinly sliced

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup melted coconut oil

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

2 tablespoons or more fresh dill, chopped

½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper

 

Procedure:

  1. Trim the tips of the artichoke leaves and cut off the stems, so they sit upright.
  2. Put the artichokes in a large pot, add water until they’re properly covered, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat, and let simmer until just barely tender. This takes about 15 minutes. Drain.
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Mix the carrots, celery, and fennel, and then spread evenly in a baking dish. Put the artichokes in an upright position on top of the vegetables.
  5. Mix the coconut oil, olive oil, fennel seeds, lemon juice, salt, dill, and sprinkle with black pepper. Pour all over artichoke mixture.
  6. Cover the baking dish and bake until all the vegetables are tender. This takes about 45 minutes.

This recipe makes four servings. Remember that this is a high-starch dish, so eat it in small amounts. You can also combine it with a protein and fat meal.

Don’t Miss Out on Other Healthy Vegetables

Fennel is just one example of a vegetable that has beneficial effects for bone health. High vegetable intake is actually associated with positive effects on bone mineral status for many years. Vegetables supply your body with bone health-promoting nutrients, like potassium and vitamin K1.

Potassium is needed by your body to help keep your body fluid pH levels at an optimal range. Sufficient potassium intake can help optimize your sodium to potassium ratio, which is an important factor for ensuring optimal bone mass.

However, if you eat a diet loaded with processed foods (which are high in sodium but low in potassium), there’s a high chance that your potassium to sodium ratio will be far from optimal and will set the stage for many health ailments.

In conclusion, eating a diet rich in high-quality, organic, and locally-grown vegetables – while ditching high-sodium processed foods – will help you to increase your bone density and strength naturally, and will help decrease your risk of developing fractures.

Remember, though, that healthy eating is just one aspect of bone and joint health – you need to combine it with other natural lifestyle strategies, such as optimizing your vitamin D levels, exercising regularly, and getting enough  high-quality sleep.

About the Author

Elaine Rosales enjoys reading articles written by Dr. Mercola. She is currently researching different treatment protocols for joint pain, and how optimal joint health greatly depends on various natural lifestyle strategies such as proper diet, exercise, and sufficient rest.

photo credit: minwoo via photopin cc