4 Tips to Eat Out Without Blowing Your Diet

I love to eat out, and if it is a choice between that, and staying home slaving over a hot stove, and washing a mound of dirty dishes, it’s a no-brainer. Unfortunately, if you’re watching your weight, it’s harder to practice self-control.

Here are four tips to eat out without blowing your diet:

Try Lighter Options

Restaurants are finally listening to health-conscious customers and offering lighter options with fewer calories. The Skinnylicious menu at Cheesecake Factory features favorites like Crispy Crab Bites, and Chicken Pot Stickers. Many menus now have nutritional information that you can look at before ordering.

Skip the Appetizer

You’ll do major damage to your diet if you fill up on appetizer trays that are loaded with fat. You want to save your calories for the main course. Say no to the bread basket, and skip chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant.

Sit Where It’s Quiet

A lot of restaurants have multiple television channels playing, and it’s easy to get distracted and eat more if you’re engrossed in watching a sports program.  If you’re sitting near a window, people watching can be enjoyable, but can also lead to mindlessly putting more food in your mouth. Ask the hostess to seat you in a quiet area, and wait for a table if necessary.

Limit Alcohol

If you order a drink while you’re waiting for your meal, it’s tempting to drink too much. You don’t have to completely eliminate a dinner drink, but stick to 150 calories or less. Lower calorie options include 5 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of hard liquor, or a 12 oz. light beer.

4 Amazing Benefits of Giving Back

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I’ve been reading a lot about abused animals, and the resources it takes to give them medical care, food, housing, and find a forever family to adopt them.

There are endless opportunities to give back. You may prefer to donate money to a favorite charity or  roll up your sleeves, and get to work.

Helping others is one of the best ways to skyrocket your personal growth.

Here are 4 amazing benefits of giving back:

Improves Physical Health

Of course you feel good about yourself when you’re helping a good cause, but you may also notice a difference in your physical health. According to a Canadian study, 85% of Ontario volunteers rated their health as good, compared to only 79% of non-volunteers.

Lifts Depression

When you’re depressed, you’re constantly thinking about your own situation, but helping others puts everything into perspective. You have your health, a place to live, food to eat, and some of the people you will help would love to be in your shoes. It’s very humbling to meet someone in desperate need of help with the basic necessities of life, and suddenly your problems seem a lot smaller.

Provides a Needed Service

Your job may appreciate your work, but you are getting paid to perform those job duties.  When you feel like you’re truly needed and appreciated, it motivates you to continue because people are depending on you.

Develops New Career Skills

If you volunteer at the ASPCA for example, you may find you enjoy working with animals so much that you want to make a career change. There might be paid opportunities right where you are. This is something you may not have considered if you hadn’t volunteered.

4 Portion Control Tips for Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is a favorite of food lovers, and why not? Each person has a dish or dishes that are a must for the holiday table. It is not Thanksgiving for me without sweet potato casserole and pecan pie. While I am sure these two dishes would not make the healthy food list according to the Surgeon General, substituting a baked yam and a Splenda-infused dessert just wouldn’t cut it.

However, it is very easy to overindulge in all that delicious food, and instead of enjoying the holidays, you may wind up with a giant case of indigestion. Here are four portion control tips at Thanksgiving:

Don’t Pig-Out at the Snack Table

It seems to be more of a tradition these days to put out bowls of snacks so you don’t starve to death waiting for the turkey to cook. If you’re lucky, there might be some healthy snacks such as nuts, or dried fruit. In any case, choose a favorite, and when you’re finished throw your paper plate away, so you won’t be tempted to make a return trip.

Eat Favorites First

Your plate can fill up very quickly when those holiday platters are passed around the table, so eat your favorites first. If mom’s creamy mashed potatoes and homemade yeast rolls are what makes your Thanksgiving brighter, enjoy every bite.

Take Small Portions

When you take small portions, you can enjoy a wider variety of food and not feel stuffed. Eat slowly and savor the different textures and tastes of your food. If you’re still not satisfied, you can always have a second helping.

Leftovers

Remember, you don’t have to eat all your favorites at one meal. It’s fun to create something different out of the leftovers. From the traditional turkey sandwich to something more creative like turkey hash or tetrazzini, there are more opportunities to indulge in holiday favorites.

4 Ways to Cope With Winter Allergies

Most people get allergies in the springtime when the pollen count is high, but indoor allergens such as dust mites, pets, mold, and cockroach droppings can make you miserable in the winter.

When it’s cold you crank up your heater, which can make indoor air too dry. A dry nose can lead to nosebleeds and cracking skin. Since your nasal passages are already inflamed from allergies, you’re more likely to develop an infection.

Here are four ways to cope with winter allergies:

Use a Humidifier Instead if a Heater

A humidifier puts moisture back into the air, and keeps your nose and throat moist. Best of all, you won’t be coughing and sneezing so much. Some people report that they snore less, which is always a plus when you share a bed.

Set the humidifier at a maximum of 50%.

Have Someone Else Clean the House

When you’re dusting and sweeping, you can trigger an allergic reaction, so assign housecleaning duties to someone without allergies. If you can afford it, hire a housecleaner to clean the house from top to bottom.

Don’t Use Chemicals

Use common household items such as vinegar and salt to clean surfaces. For ventilation open windows, and boil cinnamon and cloves to freshen the air.

Use Rugs Instead of Carpet

Wall-to-wall carpeting gives a room an attractive look, but it’s also a favorable environment for dust mites. Room size rugs come in all types of colors and patterns that can brighten up any room.

 

4 Essential Tips to Choose a Mattress for Back Pain

 

When you have back pain, it’s important to sleep on the right mattress, so you can get up feeling pain-free and ready to face the day. If your mattress is creaky, it’s time to buy a new mattress. Other factors pointing to replacement include a mattress over six years old, and tossing and turning all night because the mattress is so uncomfortable.

Shopping for a new mattress can be quite an experience and since this directly affects your health, you don’t want to cut corners. Here are four essential tips when purchasing a new mattress:

Shop at a Specialty Mattress Store

Yes, it’s true you could purchase a mattress that’s cheaper from Wal-Mart or a discount club, but you need to consult with salespeople who are trained and knowledgeable enough to answer any questions you might have.

Beware of Sneaky Salespeople

Don’t be fooled by mattress descriptions such as “extra plush”, “luxurious”, or “orthopedic.” This is just a sales gimmick to get you to pay more money. Any quality mattress will already have these features.

Try It Out

When you find a mattress that is a good fit for your needs, lie down and see how it feels. You want the mattress to support your spine along the spine’s natural curves. A firm mattress offers support, but if it’s too hard, it may cause pain in your hips.

A soft mattress usually works better if you sleep on your side, and can relieve back pain, but is usually more expensive, and doesn’t last as long.

Don’t be afraid to try out several mattress options until you are completely satisfied.

Consider an Adjustable Bed

There are times when your back is killing you that it is more comfortable to sleep in a recliner than a bed. In that case, an adjustable bed may be the best option. You can slightly elevate your head and knees, which takes the pressure off your back.

 

4 Nifty Tools for Hand Arthritis

Hand arthritis is common in menopause. When estrogen production declines, joints become more painful and inflamed. When you have hand arthritis, it’s difficult to do your daily activities. Symptoms of hand arthritis may include swelling, pain, redness, and stiffness.

You can purchase arthritic hand aids that can decrease your pain, and improve your range of motion. Here are four nifty tools for hand arthritis:

Thermoskin Gloves

These gloves are lined with trioxon, which allows you to wear them for long periods of time without your hands sweating. Designed to keep hands warm, these gloves have just the right amount of compression to minimize pain and swelling. A Velcro fastener keeps gloves in place, and is easy to fasten.

Jar Opener

 Are you having trouble getting lids off of jars? Jar-Pop easily opens vacuum-sealed jars. All it takes is a gentle lift upward, and the lid can easily be removed. Best of all, the lids remain sealable after opening.

Bendable Utensils

When you have limited movement in your hands, eating can be difficult, and you may end up spilling food on yourself.  The UBend-it Bendable Spoon or Fork has a twist in the shaft so you can position it at a comfortable angle when you’re eating.

Splints 

If you are still employed, a work splint allows you to type, use a computer, or whatever you need to do. A splint supports your wrist and hand joints, while decreasing your pain.  If you choose, you can wear a splint that includes support for the thumb,

Splints are made of breathable materials so they’re comfortable to wear all day long. When you take breaks and lunch, just unfasten the Velcro straps and you’re good to go.

 

 

 

 

 

Proper Foot Care for Diabetics

 

Menopause is more than enough to cope with, but when you add diabetes to the mix, it can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to take care of your feet.

Your health care podiatrist should check your feet at least once a year, and more often if you notice cuts, cracks, blisters, or ingrown toenails. It’s best to make an appointment to have your toenails trimmed, and have any calluses or corns filed down.

There are many things you can do at home to keep your feet in tip-top shape.  Here are five tips for proper foot care for diabetics:

Examine Feet Daily

Examine your feet for any sores, redness, blisters or swelling. If you’re overweight and can’t see the bottom of your feet, use a mirror or ask another person for help.

Control Blood Sugar

Your doctor can advise you on what foods you should eat, and what your blood sugar should be before and after meals. Buy a glucose meter to keep track of high and low blood sugars. Exercise 30 minutes a day, and make it something you enjoy and will stick to.

Don’t Go Barefoot

I know it’s nice to feel the sand between your toes, but many diabetics don’t have feeling in their feet, and can step on something sharp without even knowing it. If a wound is not treated promptly, an amputation may be necessary.

Wear Diabetic Shoes

Diabetic shoes can be created from a mold of your foot, and are more comfortable for foot problems like corns or calluses.  There is enough room in the shoe to insert orthotics if you need more support. Most insurances cover diabetic shoes, and you can order a pair from your podiatrist.

Use Skin Lotion

You’re more prone to dry skin if you’re diabetic, especially if your blood sugar is high. Dry skin is itchy and may crack open, which could cause an infection. Use skin lotion to moisturize your feet, but don’t apply between the toes.

 

4 Problems You May Face When You’re the Boss

 

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t read about someone wanting to start their own business. You can sleep in, go to the store or a restaurant during slow times, and vacation as many days as you want. Of course you’ll work on your business in between outings.

It all sounds great, but the reality is that you may have to work harder than when you had a regular job. Here are four problems you may face when you are the boss.

Motivation

It requires a lot of self-discipline to work on your own, and you may have to force yourself to work. There may be dogs barking outside, noisy gardeners using a blower, or telemarketers burning up the phone lines. How will you deal with distractions?

It’s Mighty Expensive

When you worked a regular job, your employer paid at least some for health insurance, and took out money for state and federal taxes. Now that you’re working for yourself, it’s your responsibility. Add payroll tax and self-employment tax, and you can find yourself short of money in a heartbeat.

No Work Socialization

When I worked a regular job, we had donuts for a breakfast treat, celebrated birthdays with a rich cake, and went out to lunch at our favorite Chinese and pizza restaurants. There was plenty of gossip around the water cooler, and I learned some interesting little tidbits.

When you work for yourself, you may be stuck at home alone, with no place to go. Sure, you can walk the dog, but it’s not the same as talking to your work buddies.

No Back-Up Plan

Your regular job may have driven you to drink, but if you screwed up and got fired, chances are you could get a job elsewhere. Now, it’s all on you, and there’s no guarantee you will be successful.

How motivated are you to start your own business?

4 Ways to Add Flaxseed to Your Diet

You’ve probably heard all the horror stories about women in menopause. Frustration with weight gain, hot flashes, and depression are enough to make you want to resign from the human race.

Finally, some good news is on the horizon. Flaxseed is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and since it has estrogenic properties, it can be used instead of hormone replacement therapy for women in menopause. As an added bonus, it can also help keep your cholesterol level down.

Flaxseed is high in soluble and insoluble fiber. That’s good news if you’re dieting, because fiber fills you up so you want less food. If you’re constipated, you’ll have easier bowel movements.

You can buy ground flaxseed at a health food store, and it’s easy to incorporate into recipes. Here are four ways to add flaxseed to your diet:

Add to Cereal

I cook my oatmeal the night before and add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed. In the morning I add raisins and a little brown sugar and I am good to go. Flaxseed can also be added to cold cereal and you just need to add a little extra milk to absorb it.

Bake in Bread or Sweet Treats

When you’re mixing your ingredients together for homemade bread, muffins, or cookies, add a tablespoon of flaxseed. The nutty taste of flaxseed blends in perfectly, and it’s another way to sneak in some extra nutrition for your family.

Mix in Sandwich Filling

You can’t make a good sandwich, in my opinion, without mustard or mayo. Switch it up and add ground flaxseed to your sandwich spread.

Stir into Yogurt

Who doesn’t love a good yogurt parfait, especially when it’s hot? Put your favorite yogurt in a bowl, cut up some berries, add a few almonds, and a tablespoon of flaxseed. It will satisfy your sweet cravings.

How do you add flaxseed to your diet?

4 Handy Tips to Combat Yellow Teeth

Have you looked in the mirror and noticed your teeth look yellow? As you age, thinning enamel can cause yellow stains. Other causes include drinking coffee or wine, smoking, and eating fruits such as blueberries, grapes, and pomegranates.

Whitening trays at the dentist’s office may cost an arm and a leg, but thankfully there are things you can do at home. Here are four handy tips to combat yellow teeth:

Drink Coffee Once a Day

Yes, you may know that coffee can cause yellow teeth, but you don’t have to give up your daily Starbucks fix. Pick a time such as your work break, and drink your coffee. Avoid swishing it around in your mouth, and rinse with tap water after you’re finished.

Make a Baking Soda Paste

Mix several teaspoons of baking soda with water or lemon juice to form a paste. Grab a paper towel to wipe affected teeth clean, and then apply the paste. Leave on for one minute, and then rinse thoroughly with water. This treatment should be limited to two to three times a week.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. A soft bristle brush helps remove the bacteria caused by food, and plaque that can darken teeth over time.

Pick a convenient time of day to floss your teeth. Use about 18 inches of floss and wind around your middle fingers. Guide the floss in between the teeth, and at the gum line, curve it into a C shape for a more thorough cleaning.

Brush with a Whitening Toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste doesn’t actually change the natural color of your teeth. It does remove surface stains caused by smoking or drinking coffee, and that makes the teeth look whiter.  If you purchase a whitening toothpaste, look for the seal of approval from the American Dental Association.