Lara Symonds

10 Easy Ways to Eat More Healthy this Holiday Season

10 Easy Ways to Eat More Healthy this Holiday Season

  1. Use unsweetened applesauce in place of sugar or butter or oil in recipes. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Recipes will retain the right consistency and sweetness, while knocking much of the calories (for example, one cup of unsweetened applesauce is about 100 calories, whereas one cup of sugar is more than 770 calories). If you use applesauce in place of sugar in recipes, decrease your liquid in the recipe ...
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Keeping an Optimal Balance during the Holidays

How to Keep an Optimal Balance during the Holidays

We in America tend to do our holiday season like we do most everything else—big, bright, extravagant, and pressured. We even, unlike most other countries, gave ourselves an additional holiday (Thanksgiving) during this time of year, just to keep things lively.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, and wouldn’t pass on Thanksgiving (or the turkey) even if I could. However, I wine2

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How to Ease Your Child’s (and Your Own!) Transition Back to School (and Other Life Events) in 10 Steps

How can you ease your child’s (and your own!) transitions? Check out these 10 simple, but powerful steps:

  • Sleep—make sure that you set your child up for success by removing all possible obstacles to getting a good night’s
    Aidan sleepingsleep.  For example, remove electronics at least two hours before bedtime; make sure your child’s room is completely dark; make sure bedtime is at an ...
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7 Steps to a More Caring and Fun Relationship

7 Steps to a More Caring and Fun Relationship

By Lara Symonds, MA, LMFT

  1. Create list of caring behaviors that your partner does, used to do, or you would like them to do—be very specific and concrete (e.g. “You surprise me with flowers”, not, “You surprise me”). Ask your partner to do the same.
  2. Exchange said lists and go over your partner’s list, rating each item as “easy for me to do,” “difficult for me to do often,” and “not willing to do this ...
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A Senses-ible Approach to Soothing Yourself

We all soothe ourselves when feeling stressed, distressed, tired, lonely, angry, and/or hungry, among other negative emotional states, but often we don’t realize that what we’re doing is soothing. Also, our methods for self-soothing are often destructive to ourselves and others.

wine2We over-eat, we shop impulsively, we drink alcoholically and/or abuse other drugs, we fill our computers with pornography, we gamble, we watch TV, ...

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Who has time to take a break? You do…see how

male criticMany people working in today’s overtime corporate culture think taking time off means squandering opportunities, losing business, or wasting money. But, if it’s done right, taking time off can actually provide more energy, add a new perspective to old situations, and increase effectiveness.

If you’re one of those people who don’t take all the time off you need, you’re not alone.

In 2006 Expedia reported that 36% of people polled don’t plan ...

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The Top 10 Dos and Don’ts for Getting Your Optimal Sleep

We all want and need to get a good night’s sleep in order to feel our best every day.  Unfortunately, increasingly, our industrialized habits have encouraged an extended day which squeeze our precious hours for sleep on either end, leaving the majority of us chronically sleep deprived.

Here are my top 10 Dos and Don’ts for a Getting Your Optimal Sleep:

  1. Being too sedentary: when your body hasn’t had enough physical activity, your brain may be tired, but your body isn’t tired ...
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The Three Pillars of Optimal Mental Wellness

normal name tagOne of the most frequent questions I get asked by my clients is “Am I normal?” This question generally elicits from me a shrug and the rejoinder—what is normal? I’m not trying to let them down easy, or avoid the question. It is really increasingly absurd to determine “normal” in a culture that embraces all kinds of extremes that used to be considered very abnormal. For example, it never ...

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Can You See It?

“If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” –Zig Ziglar

 

Those of us who actually remember Kevin Costner when he was kind of hunky and not so dorky, will recall his movie Field of Dreams in whichbaseball field he builds a baseball field following a voice and a vision instructing him to do so.  Ultimately, (spoiler alert!), the act of building the baseball field brings about a fulfillment of his ...

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