17 articles Tag healthy

Keeping Kids Healthy At Home

It can be difficult to find ways to keep the kids healthy and active when it’s necessary to spend most of the day at home. Many parents find themselves lost for ideas and feeling uninspired. With a little bit of imagination and some supplies you probably already have at home, it’s easier than you might think to get the kids up and active. Here we have some fun ideas to try out – you won’t hear them saying “I’m bored” for a while when they are enjoying these fun activities!

Make an Obstacle Course or Play Sports

Kicking off our guide to fun, healthy activities for children is the classic obstacle course. You might be thinking you don’t have enough space or the right equipment to set one up, but it’s quite likely you have everything you need already at home. An obstacle course can be set up in the garden using various outdoor toys, and rocks can be used in the place of cones. It’s also possible to do an indoor obstacle course – encourage your child to climb on the sofa, crawl under chairs or commando crawl under a blanket. You can also set things up for them to jump over, or use simple household items like cans of food as ‘dumbbells’.

Indoor sports are also possible with a little care. The hallway is perfect for practicing batting a soft ball, or playing football with a small, soft ball. You could even set up a net on the kitchen table to have a game of ping pong!

Work or Play in the Garden

healthy kids

Activities to do at home don’t have to be done inside the house – on a nice day, it’s great to get some fresh air and venture out into the garden. Kids can help with simple gardening jobs such as digging up weeds and tidying up, and they will also love to plant seeds and check on them each day. If the weather is nice, they’ll love using the hose to water the plants, and themselves!

Playing in the garden can be loads of fun too. There are many great toys out there which are perfect for using in the garden. If space and finances allow, a slide, trampoline, or swing set are great for kids to burn off excess energy. However, there are loads of great, cheaper options also available which will still entertain kids no end. Balls are always a winner amongst kids of all ages, and they will surely have hundreds of ideas on games to play with them. Simple toys such as hoola hoops always seem to be loved by children too – they are ideal for indoor or outdoor use.

There is plenty of toy ideas over at tncore.org if you’re stuck for ideas.

Follow an Exercise Video

Any kind of exercise of course comes under the category of healthy activities, but doing it from home might be new. Thankfully, YouTube is packed full of all kinds of exercise videos, many of them perfect for kids of all ages. Most of these online exercise classes don’t need any special equipment, and they can be done at any time. You can find anything ranging from aerobics to dance to yoga – there is sure to be something out there to interest your child.

Make a Treasure Hunt

Perhaps one of the most fun indoor activities to do with kids is setting up a treasure hunt! They can wait in one room whilst you prepare and hide clues, each of which leading to the next one. At the end, leave a simple treat to reward them for their hard work, such as their favourite snack. A scavenger hunt can also be fun. Prepare a list of things for your child to find around the house, and sit back and relax as you wait for them to bring their goodies to you!

Enjoy Active Games

Board games are a great way to pass time with the family, but there are also a few games out there which can help kids to be active. Twister is a classic, and is fun for the whole family to get involved! If you have a Wii Fit or similar, this is another great game to keep kids active whilst also having loads of fun at the same time.

Play Party Games

It doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday for kids to enjoy playing party games! There are loads of great party games which can be enjoyed on a rainy day spent indoors, and will also help get your child up and moving. Musical statues is always a winner, especially when your child picks out their favourite songs to dance to. To make it even more fun, call out the names of different statues to pose as when the music stops. Another wonderfully simple yet fun game is throwing a balloon around and trying not to let it touch the floor. This is a great game for one child to play alone or for siblings to enjoy together. The final fun party game idea is playing with and popping bubbles. Kids of all ages love bubbles – no one can be sad when there are bubbles around!

How Can Golf Contribute to a Healthy Lifestyle

Unfortunately, many people exercise only when they want to burn calories and lose that extra weight. However, getting fit is not the only benefit of working out. In fact, playing sports can do wonders for your mental health. Golf is the perfect example since it not only promotes social interaction, but it also improves your concentration and focus. In addition, it is an outdoor sport, so you get to spend time in attractive lush settings and get some fresh air. Whether you are in your 20s or your 50s, golf is a sport that deserves your attention. Just read the following list and see why you should give this game a chance.

Reconnecting with nature

https://unsplash.com/photos/-xvKQuNtOhI
As you might know from your own experience or from the movies and TV shows, golf is usually played in attractive locations with green rolling hills, lakes and fairways. While exercising alone has many benefits, playing sports in such pleasant landscapes positively affects one’s self-esteem. Therefore, next time you feel drained from a long day at the office, instead of going to an indoor gym, grab your golf clubs and spend some time on a golf course. This game is not reserved just for nice weather. If you want to enjoy a more challenging game, feel free to play during cloudy or rainy days

Making friends
It is no wonder that many businessmen choose to discuss work on a golf course. There they can spend several quality hours with clients or partners, have conversations between shots and discover mutual interests in serene surroundings. Golf is a sport that promotes sociability and allows people to meet others, make friends and enhance relationships. Since golfers often play in teams, this game helps avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness. These positive interpersonal interactions lower the chances of developing mental health problems, whilst relaxing outdoors reduces the stress levels and the risk of a stroke.

Collecting thoughts
Golf is a sport that requires a high amount of concentration. You need to keep an eye on where the hole is in relation to the ball, figure out the amount of force required to hit the ball and get the trajectory right tin order to score that famous hole in one. When your mind is completely focused on one task it won’t drift to negative or stressful thoughts. This is one of many reasons why a round of golf is a great way to unwind after a long day. When you are playing golf you are not thinking about anything else – just golf.  Therefore, when you need to recharge your batteries hit the golf course and get that well-deserved break.

Getting enough exercise
Due to its moderate activity level, golf is a sport for everyone. However, don’t let that fool you, this game will still provide a stimulating challenge. In an 18-hole game, you will need to walk more than 10,000 steps and if you do it three to five times a week, you’ll get an optimal amount of exercise for your heart. If you want to benefit even more from a round of golf, pull your clubs or carry them. Although when it comes to golf the risk of injury is low, injuries can still happen especially if you use the incorrect technique and don’t warm-up and stretch before playing. Therefore, before you grab your clubs warm up with gentle movement and mobility exercises paying particular attention to your back, shoulders, and arms. In addition, make sure you use good equipment including shoes, gloves, and clothing. If you’re not sure which golf equipment you should get, you can find amazing and thorough reviews on resourceful sites such as Hombre Golf Club  . When you step onto the golf course, make sure you wear sun protection especially between September and April where heat is at its highest.

Golf is great for your health and your heart, it improves your muscle tone and endurance, helps you stay fit and lose weight and body fat. In addition, it is a great way to keep in touch with friends, meet new people and reduce your stress levels. If you are interested in reaping all the benefits of this amazing game, take lessons to acquire the fundamental skills before hitting the course.

5 Activities That Encourage Children to Bond

5 Activities That Encourage Children to BondSpending time with friends is not only vital for a child’s happiness and wellbeing, but it also provides an ideal opportunity for them to develop crucial social skills. In this post, we’ll discuss a few activities — from team sports to laser tag for kids — that allow children to bond with one another. 

Every child is unique and will react positively to different activities and scenarios, so it’s important to explore the various options out there to find something that suits their needs and allows them to evolve both mentally and physically. Bonding with others is highly beneficial for children and can have a positive impact in many different ways, making finding things to do that encourage them to spend time with others well worth the effort.

  1. Team Sports

Let’s start with something that is and has always been a go-to activity for team building, socialising and fitness. Many of the world’s biggest sports are team-based, examples of which include football, rugby and basketball. Aside from the primary benefit of being extremely fun, they allow your children to meet new people, get in shape and learn how to work efficiently as part of a team. 

Although kids take part in these types of activities at school, finding teams or clubs outside of school can provide additional benefits, as they’ll be able to widen their social circle and may even take on a new long-term hobby.

  1. Laser Tag for Kids

Think paintball, minus the pain and with the added intrigue of modern technology, and you’ve got laser tag. An exciting, immersive experience that offers realistic combat scenarios in a safe environment, the nature of the sport is perfect for kids who are fascinated with action-packed films and television shows. More importantly, though, it’s an ideal alternative to video games that encourages kids to exercise and spend time outdoors.

So where does one go for a brilliant day of laser tag? GO Laser Tag London is one of the UK’s leading laser tag facilities. There, your children will be able to enjoy adrenaline-fuelled action and a variety of game modes while immersing themselves in an enormous forest battlefield. You’ll even get a free pizza for every player. Lunch and a fun day of laser tag — what more could your child want?

  1. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have become more and more popular in recent years with both adults and children, as it’s not only an engaging experience that requires creative thinking, but it also demands the need for efficient teamwork. Problem-solving is an essential life skill that can benefit people no matter their age, but for children, these skills prove crucial throughout their education and career. 

A quick search online will give you a decent idea of what escape room experiences are near you, but if you’re looking for something special, it’s worth checking out some of the best escape rooms the UK has to offer.

  1. Hiking

Not all bonding activities require teamwork or a competitive environment. In fact, activities such as hiking can be an effective way of improving your child’s communication skills and fitness while encouraging them to explore the great outdoors. While on a hike, your kids will have plenty of time to engage in conversations with both children and adults. 

Whether they’re discussing everyday topics, navigating the terrain using a map or talking about something else, talking to others in real life, rather than online, is vital for the development of essential social skills and general confidence in social surroundings.

  1. Zorbing

The thin line between excitement and fear is one that many of us love to walk from time to time, and adrenaline activities offer children an engaging and unforgettable experience in a safe environment. One great example is zorbing, which consists of one or two participants getting inside a huge inflatable ball and rolling down a steep grass hill.

Although this is one of the more simple activities on the list, especially as it doesn’t really require any effort or teamwork, that isn’t to say that it’s not a brilliant bonding experience. There are also three different zorbing options to choose from; harness zorbing, aqua zorbing and black hole aqua zorbing. 

The “aqua” options involve 40 litres of water inside the inflatable sphere, which creates a waterslide-style experience with the added excitement of rolling down a steep hill. The black hole option is a blacked-out sphere, which creates an immense sensory two-person freestyle aqua ride unlike anything your children will experience at a theme park. Plus, the addition of water makes it perfect for cooling down during a hot day.

5 Habits To Change For A Healthier Summer

With summer almost here, it’s all about spending time with family and friends, enjoying the sunshine, going out for trips to the seaside and having as much fun as you can. However, 2019 should be the year you aim to be at your very healtiest, so here are a few tips to help you have a healthy Summer.

Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

Touch everything once

This means that instead of doing the cooking and leaving the washing up in the sink until later, do it right then, right there, and it’s done, meaning you have more time to do other things, things you really want to do. Use the frying pan – clean the frying pan – touch everything once! By putting things off, you’re cluttering up your mind with things ‘to do’ raising your stress levels and worrying about things that don’t need to be thought about at all. Or perhaps you’ve got clothes to put away, you’ve taken the clean clothes upstairs and left it on the bed to do later….STOP!! Do it now, and then it’s done so you can go and play with the kids, make yourself a lovely home cooked meal or go on a trip out somewhere.

Quit smoking

Something most smokers aim to do at some point but keep putting off to another time. By stopping smoking you will not only be saving yourself money, but you’ll also feel better within yourself, you’ll smell better and reduces the chance of you getting smokers likes – https://www.siobeauty.com/blogs/news/smokers-lines has a few tips to help get rid of any that may already be in place.

Sleep

Although making sure you have 8 hours sleep a night is important, sleeping in until lunchtime at the weekend isn’t healthy and such a waste of life! By getting to sleep at a decent time, it means you get more out of the day – time to go out with friends, see family or have some ‘you’ time. Turn off your phone an hour before you go to bed and don’t watch tv, try reading a book instead to help your brain switch off.

Take-Aways

Ditch the takeaways and junk food. One ‘simple’ and quick way to make yourself so much healthier this Summer. Most of the time, takeaways don’t fill you up for long anyway and won’t taste as great as you think they will.

Hydration

Did you know the average female should be drinking at least 2 litres of water a day to maintain their bodies an in hotter weather, it should be even more than this. However, on average in the UK we aren’t drinking anywhere near what we should be. This will lead to headaches and sun-stroke early on, but more importantly, this could lead to further and more serious problems. So make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also, one thing to note is NEVER to drink water that has been left out in the sunshine in a plastic bottle as the heat from the sun can mean some of the chemicals in the plastic disperse into your water.

 

No Time to Make Meals

Guest Post

One of my biggest struggles as a mum is trying to find time to cook decent meals for my kids that they will eat and that I feel good about them eating. I know they will always eat all the mac and cheese and chicken nuggets I make for them, but what about their broccoli, fruits and other foods that their little bodies need?

There will be many times where I will work extra hard to make something for my kids that I think they will like and that I feel good about, but then they refuse to eat it. We can sit together at the table and have a battle of wills over who will hold out the longest, but nobody wins there. Honestly, I don’t have time for that kind of struggle. I need to find foods that they will eat without a problem and that I don’t have to feel guilty about.

The Extra Effort

I found that if I make the food fun, then that can help my kids to eat it. I cut the fruits into shapes like stars and dinosaurs, and the kids love them. Some of my kids are so picky about the kids of foods that most kids will eat without a problem. Bananas, strawberries and apples are all tough foods to get my kids to eat, but once I make it fun for them, then they will tend to eat it without an issue. Making the extra time to make food interesting and exciting to them is tough to do sometimes, but it is worth it. I find that if I prepare things the night before, then I have the extra time I need throughout the day to get other stuff done. If we spend an hour and half on lunch, then I feel like my entire afternoon is shot, so I try not to put elaborate meals on my schedule for noontime.

The Sneaky Meal

Another way I manage to get my kids to eat food without spending a lot of time making something is to take foods that they like and add a bit of nutrition to it. So, I make the aforementioned mac and cheese and add just a hint of broccoli to it. Other veggies can go in there as well. I have added cooked carrots to great effect as well, and I know there are some kids that will pick through their food and pick out the pieces they don’t like. If you make the pieces of veggies or whatever else small enough, though, then your kids might be less inclined to take them out. It’s hard for them to complain about something so small, especially if you cover everything in cheese so that they can’t tell what is good for them from what is creamy pasta. This works pretty well, and it doesn’t take a lot of extra time.

I am constantly trying to find ways to give my kids the food they need to have without spending a long time in the kitchen, and this is a doable solution. I do the same thing with pizza, adding some pineapple or whole tomato pieces onto it, but I run into the pickiness problem there sometimes. Kids are likely to pick things off their pizza that they don’t like, so I have to encourage them to eat all their food if they want dessert or something like that to get them to overlook the healthy stuff on their pizza. There are ways to deal with even picky kids when you want to incorporate some healthy food into their regular diet, and every kid is different. There are a few tricks that work for me, but I can’t promise they will work for you.

Make Lots of Food

Probably the biggest time saver I ever use in the kitchen is just mass producing whatever I am cooking. If I am making a casserole, I make two dishes of it. If I’m making a soup, I use my largest pot. That way, there are plenty of leftovers, and I can just heat them up later in the week to feed myself and the kids. If I did a good job on the food and the kids like it the first time, then they have no problem eating it again. They despise eating leftovers that they were not too crazy about in the first place, though.  

I try to only make large portions of those foods that I know my kids will love. Otherwise, I can be stuck eating it all by myself over the next week. Sometimes, when I mass produce the food, I end up neglecting my chores around the house, so I like to hire a cleaning company, for example Diamond Clean Calgary to take care of things for me for that day or just ask my husband to pick up some of the slack. One way or the other, I make some concessions and do things a bit differently so that I have time to make the food I need to make.

There is a chance that when you make foods in large quantities like this that something will go wrong. The more you make at once, the more likely it is to all just burn or fall flat or something. So, I take my time and try not to multitask too much. And when I do that, it usually turns out okay.

I know some kids are really difficult when it comes to finding foods for them to eat. It can also be time consuming to try to cook different things throughout the week to see what your kids will eat. I say just stick to the things they like and spice them up in some different ways or give them something tangentially related to what they like. Hopefully, my methods will work for you, but you may have to come up with some of your own for dealing with your kids.

10 Benefits Associated with Quitting Alcohol

How many times have you told yourself that this is the last time you will have that massive hangover again? That you are taking your very last bottle? The struggle to quit drinking, especially when it has become such a central part of your social life can seem endless and impossible to win. However, if you think about all the positive health benefits that will come with quitting, your resolve to stop will be strengthened. Here are a few of those benefits.

1. You will feel better

Alcohol has a numbing effect on the brain. Alcohol weakens your body and also compromises your reasoning capacity. It actually turns your brain into mush. When you are addicted, you go through life with every function of your body reduced to 60 percent efficiency, which is not good for you at all. Detoxing from beer and wine is not an easy process, but you can be assured that as soon as you begin the process, and manage to handle the withdrawal, you will feel healthier.

2. You will look younger

Did you know that alcohol is a natural diuretic? It dehydrates the skin and reduces its elasticity. When you have been drinking for a long time, collagen levels are depleted making you look much older than your actual age. To make matters worse, if you get cirrhosis, which damages the liver, your skin will turn yellow because of jaundice. When you give up alcohol, your collagen levels start getting replenished slowly, and if you adopt healthier dietary options, your youth and radiance will last longer.

3. You will get Social and emotional stability

People develop serious social problems and become isolated when they develop drinking problems. The main reason people get isolated is that the society does not have a high tolerance for alcoholics. Many friendships, marriages, and even family relationships have been dissolved because of alcohol addiction. When you are not drunk, you will be in a position to have healthy relationships with others and restore the social balance.

4. You will save money

Alcohol, just like any other addiction will cost you a lot. The money problem is even worse because unlike hard drugs that are sold in privacy and mostly abused in secret, alcohol is part of social interactions, which makes it costlier. When you add issues like DWI cases, legal problems, losing licenses and having to get a cab everywhere, you realize alcohol is a costly habit.

5. You will lose weight 

Did you know that alcohol contains almost double the caloric content that protein and carbs have per gram? Your body converts alcohol into fat and stores it under the skin or in the abdomen, which explains beer bellies. When you remove the alcohol calories from your diet, you will experience a dramatic loss in weight.

6. Your heart health will improve

Drinking alcohol causes problems such as high blood pressure and cardiomyopathy, which increase the chances of heart health conditions such as cardiac arrests and failure. After you quit alcohol, the chances of developing heart problems drop significantly.

7. You get a healthy liver

If you have been drinking for a while, it is possible that you have damaged your liver. If you stop drinking, there is a chance that you can heal the damage which has already occurred because the liver regenerates itself.

8. You will get your life back on track 

After you quit drinking, you make amends with the people who you wronged when you were addicted. You will have more time for friends and family, and you will get back to chasing your goals in life.

9. You will sleep better

Chronic alcohol consumption leads to sleeplessness, nightmares, frequent urination, and an erratic sleep pattern. When you stop drinking, you get to relax for longer hours, and you wake up better rested and ready to face the day.

10. Better thinking capacity

When you quit alcohol, the process of reversing the damage it had done to your brain starts immediately. You free up your mental energy and stop going through life foggily. You focus on what is important and do everything possible to achieve it.

These are the many benefits that you get from quitting alcohol. Whatever your dreams are, whether it is looking healthier, getting a promotion or writing that book, you will only achieve it when you quit alcohol completely.

Why I’m Back on Keto

Back in January 2017, I decided that I needed to take my health a lot more seriously, and I started dieting and exercising in an effort to lose at least 4 stone. Given the fact that I’m a type 2 diabetic, I decided after a lot of research and advice from Husband that a low-carb, or ketogenic, diet would be best for me and I started cutting down drastically on the amount of carbs I was eating. I also started a program of weight lifting and the weight started falling off of me. I noticed a change in my shape in just a few months and I was really enjoying lofting heavier weights each time I went to the gym. For more information on the ketogenic diet, see this.

However, halfway through the year, a few things happened – my birthday was in June and then midway through July I went through some pretty bad stress, and the whole thing knocked me totally off the wagon. I’m an emotional binge-eater and when my willpower reserves are low, it only takes the slightest thing to make me revert to negative behaviours. Husband tried to gently warn me when I was at the beginning of the slide, but it didn’t sink in and 18 months after starting, I’m now back to the weight I was when I started.

Why I'm Back on Keto

We had some friends over a couple of weeks ago to watch the football and they asked how I was going with the gym and diet, and I had to admit that I’d let it all go, but while I was talking to them, I realised how much I’d missed it all. Overeating actually gets really boring after a while and I’d been enjoying lifting weights while I was doing it, so I made a decision. I needed to get back to it.

This time, however, it’s a little trickier. I’ve started eating keto again and I’m definitely felling better for being on a low-carb eating plan but the gym side of it hasn’t fallen into place yet. Maureen can only really be left alone for an hour at a time, and the gym is a 20 minute drive from home, which means I’d have 20 minutes to workout, unless someone is at home to puppy-sit.

However, from next week, Burrito Baby is going to be going to a childminder for one day a week, which means that as well as being able to get some work done without an endless stream of Sam and Cat playing on Netflix int he background, I’ll also have a bit more time to exercise. Husband got my bike out of the shed recently and bought me a new chain, so this weekend we’ll be fixing it up so that I can at least start doing some cardio a few times a week. I’m excited to get back into it, as not only is my physical health better when I exercise, but my my mental health seems improved too.

Have you ever tried a ketogenic diet? I’d love to hear about it, so please leave me a comment below.

Teaching Kids to Bake WITHOUT Making Cakes!

bake with kids - cauliflower cheeseAs you’ll know if you read this blog (or The Keto Life) regularly, 2017 has been a year of lifestyle changes in our house, not just for Husband and I but for the girls, too. The summer was a bit of a lapse for us all, as we ate and drank what we wanted (which included a few too many Krispy Kreme doughnuts!) but now that school has started again we’re all trying to get back to a healthier lifestyle. The problem with this is that the girls and I absolutely love to bake together and we don’t want to give up just because we’re not eating cake, so we’ve been trying to cook together but deviate from the usual biscuit and cake offerings!

One of our favourite things to make (and eat!) is our own low carb take on cauliflower cheese, which is really easy to make, tastes incredible and is simple enough for the girls to get involved with. www.worktop-express.co.uk have asked us to share our recipe with you:

Keto Cauliflower Cheese (vegetarian, gluten free)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A flourless caulflower cheese, perfect for a low carb, high fat diet.
Author:
Recipe type: Keto
Cuisine: Baking
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • A head of cauliflower
  • 200ml double cream
  • 100g cream cheese
  • 250g mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 tsps garlic powder
  • 20g grated parmesan
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and par-boil for 10-15 minutes, until it just starts to go soft (there is nothing worse then HARD cauliflower in cauli cheese, if you ask me!)
  2. In a separate bowl, place the double cream, cream cheese, 200g of the cheddar (keeping some back for sprinking on top before baking) and garlic powder and microwave on high for 1 minute, or until melted together. Stir to combine fully.
  3. Drain the cauliflower and allow to cool for a minute (this will allow more moisture to evaporate away and stop you from ending up with a watery sauce at the end)
  4. Place the cauliflower in an even layer in a 9"x9" Pyrex dish and pour the cheese mixture over evenly
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar and the parmesan over the top
  6. Bake at 180° for 25 minutes and the finish under a hot grill for a minute or two to get a really browned-off finish
Nutrition Information
Serving size:  Calories: 432 Fat: 38.2g Saturated fat: 24g Carbohydrates: 5.8g Sugar: 2.5g Sodium: 58mg Fiber: 1.5g Protein: 16.7

This cauliflower cheese contains just 5.8g of carbs and is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, especially if you’re trying to avoid carbs. It feels like a rich, cheesy treat which won’t derail a low-carb diet and making it with the kids is really fun, especially if you’ve got kids of different ages – one can chop cauliflower and one can mix ingredients so they both feel involved and get to do things at their own level.

Do you bake with your kids? Have you got any fab healthy baking recipes to share? I’d love to see them.

4 Steps to a Healthier Life

With spring in full effect, everyone seems to have woken from their winter slumbers. Suddenly everyone is out and about, making plans and brushing the dust off those summer clothes. The breeze is warm, the blossom is bright and it’s a good time of year for a bit of a shake-up. So try these tips for making your life that little bit healthier. It’s not about dieting or weight loss; it’s about feeling good and enjoying yourself!

Cooking from Scratch

I love cooking from scratch — when I get the time, that is! Sometimes I’m surprised at what can be achieved in just an hour (let’s be honest: Jamie’s 30-minute meals always take longer than he claims…). We all tell ourselves we should do this more often. Well, you should!

We all remember the news story about how much sugar there is in off-the-shelf pasta sauce, right? If you make your own, you’re reducing the amount of fat, sugar and salt that you consume. Why not just make a bigger batch and freeze most of it? Or you can keep tomato sauce in the fridge for a couple of weeks if it’s in an airtight container. When heating it back through, maybe throw in some capers, basil, or cheese and you’ve got a quick and easy meal for the kids.

P.S: Cook the onions for your tomato sauce for as long as possible before you add the tins of tomatoes. This makes the sauce sweeter and tastier…

Vitamin D

This next one comes straight from the horse’s mouth. The NHS recommends vitamin D, as it is “needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy”. While you can acquire vitamin D from some foods, it’s most commonly absorbed through sunlight, so get out in the sun as much as possible this summer and keep your bones and bodies healthy. Don’t forget your suncream!

Some people even suggest that vitamin D is “a natural way to make you shine”. If you’re feeling down in the winter months, maybe it’s due to a lack of it. Try and be outdoors as much as possible while it’s still light. You could even get some vitamin D tablets from the pharmacy — some people swear by them.

Eliminate Vices — Cigarettes and Alcohol

I know, I know: it’s the same story as always here. We all know these vices are bad for your health and, in excess, could be life-threatening, but they really do have a negative impact on your body. While drinking alcohol responsibly can help you live a little longer (my dentist even suggested drinking ale to keep my teeth healthy), the sugary drinks you mix it with add to its high-calorie content. This can cause all kinds of damage to your teeth and body.

Cigarettes are a given; I won’t lecture you on them. However, unlike alcohol, cigarettes have a healthier alternative. You’ll have no doubt heard of the electronic cigarette: the NHS  actually recommends electronic cigarettes for people trying to quit smoking. There are plenty of studies that show how electronic cigarettes are healthier than traditional cigarettes. Here’s a list of some of the best e-liquids of 2017 to get you started.

Smiling

Perhaps the simplest piece of health advice ever given: just smile! While it might sound like an old wives tale, there are many reasons why smiling is good for you. You know what endorphins are, right? Not only do they reduce stress levels, but they are what’s responsible for making you feel happy. Well, movements in your facial muscles help release them.

Not only this, but it is thought that smiling can help develop your brain to think more positively and allow it to remain positive for longer periods of time. It can even affect the way your cells work, making them less rigid, helping us to relax. After all, I’ve never met someone who thinks being happy is unhealthy. So, keep smiling and embrace your healthier life!

Little Emergency Guide for When Mums Need Help

With mother’s day approaching, there are plenty of cards in the shops that are dedicated to the perfect mommy. Mom knows best, the best mother ever, wonder mommy, you name it, there’s a fair bet that the shops have it already! Or if they haven’t, you can probably make you own on an online card provider, so that’s you sorted in a matter of clicks. But to come back to the main topic, mothers, it does happen that sometimes even mommies need a little help to get by. So if you are a mom and you are going through a lot of stress to sort things out, here are the top 6 cases where you can ask for professional help without feeling guilty at all.

Even Mommy needs help

#1. Picking The Perfect Home

If you are looking to move house, you have probably already experienced the difficulty to find the perfect house at the perfect price for your family. For some families, finding their ideal nest can take several months up to a year, and sometimes even longer! It is often a hard task that requires a lot of research and a lot of visits and appointments. More importantly, there’s also the problem of getting a mortgage, preparing for the move and decorating the new place. It’s no wonder that moving house is the third most stressful event after bereavement and divorce. While you can work with a professional estate agency to get on top of the latest properties on the market, you can also set up notification alerts on real estate websites. This will keep you updated with the new houses available in your preferred locations, and it will also help you when you are preparing your application for a mortgage.

#2. Managing Money Effectively

Managing the household budget can be a tricky task, especially when you are facing sudden and unexpected expenses. Financial matters have become a lot more complex nowadays, with the introduction of credit cards, different interest options and dangerous loan scams that promise easy money and drain your budget in repayment. As if things were not complicated enough, the cost of energy and education are rising dangerously too! In short, moms have difficult tasks to keep the budget under control. If you find yourself struggling with repayment to multiple creditors, it may be time to ask for debt management support. This will put you in touch with financial experts who work out a repayment plan that is fully tailored to your personal case. Expenses are easier to manage when you can plan ahead for the end of your worries.

#3. Staying Healthy Every Day

Health is no matter to take lightly. Whether you are looking after your eyesight, your teeth, your skin or even your bones, there are very little elements that you can control about your health. In truth, what you can do is make sure that you have an active lifestyle and a healthy diet so that your body receives all the nutrients and energy that it needs. But you still need to book a regular medical appointment to check your health and the one of your family. Think of the big ETC: Eyes, teeth, and cardio. Additionally, if there is any known issue in your family, such as diabetes or allergies, it’s always a good idea to get it tested regularly for those who are likely to develop similar problems too.  

#4. Recharging Your Batteries

Sometimes everyday pressure gets you. Whether it’s stress at work or family problems, it is difficult to keep a cool head when too much is going on. You need to plan every week a few hours that are entirely dedicated to your mental health. This will help you cool down and relax. What you do during this time is entirely up to you, but it’s best to leave the house and let someone else look after your nerves. A visit to your local spa centre can be just the thing you need. If you’re not one for a massage, have a look at your local gym for yoga classes. Not only this will keep you fit and active, but yoga is great to soothe the soul and the mind during hard times. So make time for yourself and let someone help you relax.  

#5. Maintaining The Home

Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a working mom, there are certain areas of your home maintenance activities that you can’t do by yourself. Checking the roof, the quality of the insulation and the plumbing and heating systems are some of the elements that need to be trusted to professionals. You will find the exact list of home maintenance and renovation works that you need to rely on professionals within your home insurance contract. Indeed, certain types of work can invalidate your home insurance if they are not performed by a certified expert. Additionally, if you are a working mom, there’s no reason not to hire someone to keep the house clean when you are at work. After all, you surely want to spend more time with your family when you are at home.

#6. Going On Family Holiday Together

There’s no such thing as easy family holidays. Indeed, when you are planning holidays for the whole family, it’s never easy to find the best deal and the best package for your situation. This is why you need to trust travel agencies to help you organise the best vacation at the best price for your family. Whether you only need children-friendly places, or whether you are also looking at specific travel insurances to cover for medical needs too, travel agents have direct access to hundreds of options and travel packages in a matter of a few seconds. They can find the best solution for you while you wait on the phone. This can save a lot of your holiday stress!

In short, whether you are looking after yourself, your budget, your health, your home, your holiday or your family, there’s nothing that says that a super mom can’t use a little help from the experts from time to time. In the end, you want to save as much time as possible to be with your family, so cut the stress and get in touch with qualified advisors.