The attitude of gratitude

Most weeks on Sundays, I write a post entitled "everything is tickety-boo", which lists some of the things that have happened this past week that have made me feel good.  It is really an expression of gratitude.


In my other blog about my jewelry "inside the artisan" I used to write a similar blog post entitled "a bird in the hand" which again, was about appreciation.

I write these blogs as a review for myself of the good things in the week and to let the people that I mention know that I appreciate them, but also to encourage you to reflect on the things that you grateful for.  Expressing gratitude can have a big effect on our quality of life.

In a 2005 study concerning gratitude by Seligman et al., study participants were randomly assigned to one of 6 intervention groups designed to improve the participant's overall quality of life.  Out of the six conditions, the longest lasting effects were caused by the act of writing "gratitude journals" where participants were asked to write down three things they were grateful for each day.  These participants' happiness scores also increased and continued to increase each time they were tested periodically after the experiment.  The greatest benefits were usually found to occur around six months after the intervention began.  This exercise was so successful that although participants were only asked to continue the journal for a week, many of them continued to keep the journal long after the study was over.

So why not give it a try. Give it a go for a week. Before you go to bed, write down three things you are grateful for that day. It doesn't have to be long. Just three quick bullet points. See how you feel.

There are even apps for iPhone and iPad that let you write down your three gratitudes each day or take a photo of them.  Look at Gratitude Rock, Gratitude Diary or  Thankfulfor, plus there are others too.

Or if you write a blog, you could start a once weekly gratitude post.  I hope you'll join me. We have a lot to be grateful for.
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Fooducate

I just downloaded a new food app to my iPhone today called  "Fooducate" .  It looks really good. It is basically an app that, through reading the barcode on food packaging, analyzes the ingredients and nutrition information and simplifies it to show you which foods are healthy and which are not so healthy.  Each food gets a grade, A - D, and then: the product's highlights are listed - both good and bad; other products are compared; and healthier alternatives are suggested.  The scoring system takes into account processing, fat content, nutrients, plus lots of other factors, thus whole foods or minimally processed foods score higher than processed foods.


Highlights they report to you include:

  • excessive sugar
  • too much salt
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • controversial food colorings
  • high fiber
  • additives and preservatives etc, etc

It utilizes the iPhone's camera to scan barcodes of food items.  If a particular food item isn't listed, it then asks you to take three photos of the item and they will then update their list.  Currently more than 200,000 unique foods are in the database.  They are also keen to get feedback from people if they think a product isn't analyzed correctly.


Screen shot of the phone scanning the barcode

The system was created by dietitians and concerned parents with the idea that people will check on items as they are doing their shopping and choose the healthiest version.

I got the free version but there is a $3.99 version too, but I'm not sure what the difference is...maybe just no ads. Fooducate won AppStore 2011 best app in Health and Fitness category. They also have a blog where they educate you even more about food. It seems a good quick guide for people to use.



Have you tried it?  Let me know if you give it a go.  I'm going to try scanning my cupboard now and see what I'll have for dinner tonight.  Eat something healthy tonight.
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