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9 Ways for Women to Be More, Not Less

9 Ways for Women to Be More, Not Less

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 9.17.41 AM

From the amazing Nia Shanks – Lift Like a Girl

There’s no shortage of information trying to convince you that your sole purpose as a woman is to value yourself based on how you look. (“Hey, woman! Do you hate how you look? Of course you do — every woman hates something about herself and won’t be happy until it’s fixed. Here’s a solution for your flaws.”)

Media and magazines prey on our insecurities, and create ones we didn’t have in the first place. We’re constantly told to eat less, that we need to whittle ourselves down to a smaller size, and that we’ll finally be happy once we reach those society-approved standards.

Crap. All of it. It’s a gargantuan mountain of steamy crap. And I’m sick of smelling it.

Part of the reason I’m tired of this nonsense is because I once believed every damn word. I know what it’s like to value myself based on my weight and physical appearance. Battling binge eating that developed from restrictive dieting was my reality for years. Spending hours each week working out because I hated how I looked and then punishing myself with extra workouts when I gave into temptation.

I don’t want other women to travel down the same degrading, miserable path. The solution: refuse to swallow the “women must strive to be smaller” pill and choose to be more. Here’s a handy infographic to get you started.

Click HERE to read the full article:




From the experts at


As a nation we are growing smarter and smarter about our food choices. Never before have there been so many great resources for health minded families.

However, knowing is only half the battle right? Execution is the other half. And many of us still face problems choosing healthy alternatives for our daily meals.

It’s not easy to choose healthy foods when you lead a busy life — and let’s face it, we all lead busy lives. That’s what makes Meal Prepping so great.


Meal Prepping is the act of preparing meals to sustain you through the Apocalypse! No wait, I don’t think that’s right. Hold on… Okay, sorry, I got it now.

Meal Prepping is simply preparing some, or all of your meals ahead of time. It’s like having those TV dinners that you would purchase from the store, except that you prepare them yourself, with better, healthier and unprocessed ingredients.

Not only does it save you time, but it also helps to ensure you eat healthier foods more often with the proper portions, instead of reaching for quick processed and prepackaged snacks or meals that go over your caloric needs.

The idea is that when you have healthier things ready to eat, you will eat them instead of other potentially harmful foods. And it works incredibly well.


It’s important to remember to not get overwhelmed when you are a beginner. Too often people get bogged down in details when sticking to the basics will do more good.

Don’t try to incorporate too many new things at once. For example, don’t try meal prepping with all new healthy recipes. Start prepping with recipes you already know. When you feel comfortable, add more.

You see folks go on ‘health-kicks’ all the time, and what happens? They lose their gusto pretty quickly, because they add too many new things at once. They start a salad-only diet, going to the gym, running, yoga, etc — all in the first week.

It doesn’t work like that. You have to start small. Same goes for Meal Prepping.


The first thing you should do is pick a day to prepare all your meals. For most, Sunday is the best day because it’s a day when you are off work, kids are home from school, and you can enlist the help of the entire family if you need it.

More experienced meal preppers seem to like Sunday and Wednesday as their chosen days to cook and prepare meals for the week. Using these two days allows them to split up the week’s prepping into two days.

In the beginning though, you don’t want to prepare meals for the whole week. You want to start off with no more than three meals.

If you need a calendar to help you visually map out your meals use one. You can use a physical calendar or one on your phone. Just find what works best for you.


You need to decide which meal you are going to prepare first: Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.

If you are preparing for a family, then prepping your dinner meals seems to be where you would get the most from your efforts. However, if you are single, or cooking for one or two people, then you may want to try to prepare breakfast or lunch meals first.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. You just want to think about it a little before you get started.

After that, you want to decide on the recipes you are going to prepare.

You might not want to cook the same recipe for all three meals, although you can. But if you choose to prepare three dinner meals for your family, and they are all the same recipe, you might have a bit of a fight on your hands.

When choosing the recipes, think about how you want to balance the meals.

For example, if you are trying to maintain specific macronutrient goals (proteins, fats, carbs) each day, that should factor into what recipes you choose. Knowing how each macronutrient converts into calories will also help provide more accurate information:

1g of Protein = 4 Calories
1g of Carbohydrates = 4 Calories
1g of Fat = 9 Calories

Using a kitchen scale can help you with things like this.

They can also help you make sure you disperse each part of the meal evenly. And that brings me to my next point…


You must use the proper containers.(!) I really can’t stress this enough. Good storage containers are really the foundation of your meal prepping.

How you choose to store your meals can make or break your meal prepping efforts.

You don’t want to simply throw everything into Tupperware bowls. That defeats the whole point of preparing things.

Throw it all in one big box and what you’ll have is a pile of goop — mmmm, tasty.

“What Makes a Good Container?”

For starters, you want to be able to divide each part of your meal. You don’t want foods cross contaminating each other.

So what you need is a container that’s air tight, with divided sections that are also air tight.

This feature alone makes for better, fresher, crispier tasting meals.

BPA Free. This is a big one. You need containers that are BPA free.

BPA stands for Baby Pranks Association, and every time you buy a container with BPA you are supporting their organization.

Seriously guys, there have been too many parents, especially dads, pranked by babies. This video shows just how far they will go. (Warning! Each clip was proven to be a well-orchestrated prank by the BPA)

We can all work together to stop this epidemic, but it starts with you.

Oh, dangit! I did it again. Uh, that previous stuff about BPA might be incorrect. We’re working with fact checkers now and will report back on this soon.

Until then, they say you still need to avoid containers with BPA. You can check by looking at the bottom of your container and locating the triangle. If the triangle with has a number “7” in it, then do not use that container.

Other containers with the “7” may have BPA also, so be sure to double check

“BPA Free” simply means it’s safe and microwaveable.

You should also make sure your containers are clear, and that they are the same size.

Clear containers allow you to quickly see what’s inside. Once you start preparing more and more meals, this simple feature will become invaluable.

Same sized containers give you the luxury of being able to stack them easily and save room in your fridge or freezer.

Put simply, you want containers that are:

  • BPA Free
  • Freezer Safe
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Microwavable
  • Stackable
  • Reusable


Start off, like I said, with just a few meals. Don’t try to cook a whole week’s worth of meals in one sitting. You may want to do this later, as you get more comfortable, but for now, just try to find your meal-prepping-groove.

Focus on simple meals. Chicken is a favorite among many meal preppers because it can be cooked in a seemingly endless number of ways. It’s also easy to store and freeze.

With just a bit of chicken and a few vegetables you can easily prepare three totally different meals.

Learn to Multitask: Remember that you can cook lots of different things at the same. Use your oven space to its fullest potential. There’s no need to place one thing in there at a time. Use multiple oven trays if it helps, or use aluminum foil to make dividers on one oven tray and multiply your efforts. Start with recipes that lend themselves to this type of cooking.

When planning your first shopping trip as a meal prepper, ask yourself if you have enough oven trays, aluminum foil and other utensils you might need.

Fruit: Fruit is a great way to dive in to meal prepping. You can cut up different types of fruit and store them just like any meals you could prepare. You can easily make fruit salads or smoothies to go along with you prepped meals. Or you can simply start off with fruit preps only.

The Crockpot: Okay, this one is obvious, yet so many new meal preppers overlook it. The Crockpot has been a favorite among moms for decades. Use it to make simple, great tasting meals then store them away.

Obviously I’m not going to tell you how to cook your meals (what am I, your mother-in-law?). You can find tons of recipes online and on our blog.

But hopefully this guide has given all you need to get started with meal prepping so you can make life a little easier.

After all, that’s what meal prepping is all about.

Well, that’s it for now. So go ahead and get started with your favorite meals. You can pick up Meal Prep Haven’s containers here.

Don’t forget to tell us about your favorite tips and recipes in the comments below!

This is What Happens To The Body When You Eat Pink Himalayan Salt


salt thumbImagine everyone sitting down for a big family feast. The best china set gently upon silk cloth, crystals brimming with fresh apple-cinnamon-ginger juice. An array of baked, steamed and sautéed vegetables decorate the table. Suddenly Grandma reaches for the salt, startled she rears back and exclaims, “Why is the salt PINK?!”
Oh Grandma, “Its Himalayan salt, and it’s wonderful!”


The Himalayan mountain range stretches across Asia passing through China, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and India. Most people associate the Himalayans with Mount Everest, the highest peak on this planet, but here is something new to think about- salt.

Once upon a time (a couple of hundreds of millions of years ago) crystallized sea salt beds, now deep within the Himalayans, were covered by lava. Aside from being kept it in a pristine environment that has been surrounded by snow and ice year round, the lava is thought to have protected the salt from modern-day pollution leading to the belief that Himalayan Pink salt is the purest salt to be found on earth. It is now hand-mined from the mountains and brought to the culinary market.

Why Pink?
The many hues of pink, red and white are an indication of this salt’s rich and varying mineral and energy-rich iron content.

In the same manner that vitamins and minerals are perfectly packaged in fruits and vegetables, because this salt was formed naturally the minerals within the sodium work in synergy.

(Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects.)

Iodine- Natural salts are rich in iodine, so it doesn’t need to be artificially added in.

Less sodium consumed per serving- Himalayan salt is made of the same components as table salt but since the crystal structure is larger than refined salt, and by volume- this salt therefore has LESS sodium per 1/4 t. serving- because the sea salt crystals or flakes take up less room on a teaspoon than highly refined tiny table salt grains.

Packs a hearty 80+ minerals and elements- Himalayan salts are mineral packed crystals which formed naturally within the earth made up of 85.62% sodium chloride and 14.38% other trace minerals including: sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride (in descending order of quantity).

Because of these minerals Himalayan pink salt can:

-Create an electrolyte balance

-Increases hydration

-Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells

-Balance pH (alkaline/acidity) and help to reduce acid reflux

-Prevent muscle cramping

-Aid in proper metabolism functioning

-Strengthen bones

-Lower blood pressure

-Help the intestines absorb nutrients

-Prevent goiters

-Improve circulation

-Dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins

It is even said to support libido, reduce the signs of aging, and detoxify the body from heavy metals.

Pink Salt vs. Sea Salt

Even though pink salts come from the mountains, they are technically sea salts as well. All salt comes from a salted body of water—namely, an ocean or salt-water lake. However, Himalayan salt is said to be the purest form of sea salt.

Why Table Salt is Inferior

Commercial refined salt is not only stripped of all its minerals, besides sodium and chloride, but is also chemically cleaned, bleached and heated at unnecessary high temperatures.

In addition, it is treated with anti-caking agents which prevent salt from mixing with water in the salt container. These agents also prevent dissolving within our system leading to build up and then deposit in organs and tissue, causing severe health problems.

Finally, the iodine that is added into salt is usually synthetic which is difficult for your body to process properly. Shockingly under U.S. law, up to 2% of table salt can be additives.

The Many Uses of Pink Salt

Cooking and curing– use pre-ground salt or grinders like any other salt.

Salt Slabs– used as serving platters, the slabs will impart an enhanced salt taste and mineral content. Chilled: decorate with fruits, sushi, vegetables or cheese. Frozen: present cold desserts and even sorbets. Heated: use the slabs to sear vegetables, shrimp, fish fillets or thinly sliced beef or even to fry an egg. The dense salt blocks conduct heat beautifully with near perfect heat distribution.

Best of all, Himalayan salt is naturally anti-microbial, so clean up requires just a quick scrub or rinse.

Decoration– use the salts in containers, as décor crystals and sprinkled on food for presentation.

Bathing- throw in the tub for a detoxifying Himalayan salt bath. The replenishing nutrients stimulate circulation and soothe sore muscles. Naturally rich in 80+ nourishing and skin-replenishing minerals, bathing with pink bath salt is a healing and therapeutic experience for mind and body.

Potpourri Holders and Essential Oil Diffusers– many on-line sites sell beautiful home décor featuring the pink salt as crystal rocks.

Air purification– crystal rock lamps for air purification are also found and sold on-line.

Hopefully now you will not be as shocked as Grandma when you reach for the salt shaker and find pink crystals staring back at you!

If you eat meat, brining should be in your bag of tools. Brining makes meat very juice and succulent! Here’s is an extremely simple recipe for it.

Basic low sodium brine for pork and poultry. (Brine will work for up to 8 lbs. of protein.)


  • -1 gallon water
  • -3 ounces sea salt
  • -3 ounces sugar (optional)
  • -1 Tbsp. citrus zest (lemon, lime or orange – optional)


  • -Add the salt, sugar and other aromatics to a pot and bring the water to a simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  • -Remove the pot from the heat and chill before using the brine.
  • -Let your protein brine for 6 hours.
  • -Drain the protein, and let it rest and air dry in fridge for 2 hours.
  • -Roast, broil or grill as you would!

8 Delicious Ways to Use Chia


By Dr. Mercola

It wasn’t long ago when chia seeds were most well known for being spread onto animal-shaped terra-cotta pottery and growing into green “ch-ch-ch-chia” pets, with the lush greenery filling in for fur. However, those tiny chia seeds are useful for far more than making novelty items; they’re incredibly beneficial for your health.

Chia seeds, which are members of the Salvia Hispanica family, along with mint, were a prized food to the ancient Aztecs and Mayans. “Chia” is the ancient Mayan word for strength, and the tiny seeds were valued for their energy-boosting properties.1

Today they’re gaining popularity as a functional food item that supplies an impressive variety of nutrients in just a small dose, such as two tablespoons. Although they’re mostly grown in Mexico and Bolivia, in 2014 the first US company growing chia seeds was established.

Originally, the seeds were being targeted as equine feed, but their benefits to four-legged animals extend to humans as well.

A Rich Source of Healthy Fats and Nutrients

Chia seeds are a quick and easy-to-use source of protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, all rolled into one neat package. Although they have similar health benefits to flax seeds, chia seeds may soon edge these out because they don’t have to be ground prior to consumption, and they don’t go rancid as quickly either.

In fact, chia seeds are said to last up to two years with no refrigeration, courtesy of the high levels of antioxidants they contain.2 Drew Rosen, nutrition and cooking teacher at New York City’s Whole Foods Market Tribeca, told ABC News:3

“Chia seeds are going to absolutely replace flax seeds… They’re the absolute best source of omega three fats on the market, hands down, when you consider the ratio of omega three to omega six.”

Their high concentration of the plant-based omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is one of their major claims to fame. Chia seeds contain up to 40 percent oil, with 60 percent comprised of omega-3.4

ALA is considered essential because your body can’t make it, so you need it in your diet—or its long-chain animal-based derivatives (like the omega-3 found in seafood and krill oil).

While chia seeds have been found to increase levels of both ALA and another omega-3 fat EPA, they don’t increase the omega-3 fat DHA. While your body can convert ALA into DHA/EPA, it does so at a very low ratio, and only when sufficient enzymes (that many people are deficient in) are present.

This is why consuming animal-based omega-3s in addition to plant-based omega-3s is very important. That being said, the ALA omega-3s in chia seeds have been linked to a number of health benefits, including:5

Lowering triglycerides and supporting healthy cholesterol levels Lowering blood pressure and heart disease
Anti-inflammatory activity Liver-protective properties
Anti-diabetic action Protection against arthritis, autoimmune disease and cancer

In addition, chia seeds contain a number of additional phytochemicals, each with its own unique benefits. This includes myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol, known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties, and caffeic acid.6

Chia Seeds May Promote Weight Loss and Reduce Risk of Chronic Disease

In a study of 67 metabolic syndrome patients, those who drank a beverage containing chia seeds for two months experienced weight loss as well as a reduction of triglycerides and blood glucose levels.7

It’s thought that the combination of fiber and protein in chia seeds, along with the gel-like texture it takes on when combined with liquid, contributes to feelings of fullness and satiety.

Among people with type 2 diabetes, supplementing with chia seeds for 12 weeks resulted in reduced systolic blood pressure and significant decreases in A1C, a measure of a person’s average levels of blood glucose.8

Fibrinogen, a natural clotting agent that when lowered improves blood flow, was also decreased, as was an inflammatory marker called hs-CRP, which went down by 40 percent. What else is healthy about chia seeds?


Chia seeds contain about 10 grams of fiber in just two tablespoons. Mounting research suggests a high-fiber diet can help reduce your risk of premature death from any cause, likely because it helps to reduce your risk of a number of chronic diseases.

This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Most people need upwards of 32 grams of fiber a day, but most Americans get nowhere near this amount.


Just two tablespoons of chia seeds provide 18 percent of the daily recommended value for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent of magnesium, and about 50 percent for manganese. These minerals are important for bone health and as reported by SF Gate:9

These nutrients help you prevent hypertension and maintain a healthy weight, and are important for energy metabolism and a part of DNA synthesis.”

8 Ways to Use Chia Seeds in Your Diet

One of chia seeds’ greatest qualities is how easy they are to use. They have a mild flavor that makes them adaptable to a variety of recipes, and they’re gluten-free, which is perfect for those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or who are simply trying to avoid gluten.

If you’re wondering how to incorporate them into your diet, TIME recently featured 8 delicious ways.10

1. Chia Seed Pudding

When chia seeds are soaked in water overnight, they take on a tapioca-like texture. Add some cinnamon or other spices and a bit of stevia, if you like, for sweetness and you’ll have a pudding-like treat that can be eaten morning, no one or night.

For added crunch, add sliced raw almonds to the top. You can also try the Chia Pudding Parfait recipe, which was adapted from, below:11


  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan or sea salt


  1. Measure out chia seeds, coconut milk, extracts, and honey. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or even overnight so the chia seeds absorb the moisture and become thick and gelatinous, like a pudding.
  2. Spoon into a glass or parfait cup.
  3. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

2. Toppings

Chia seeds can be added to virtually any dish, from raw yogurt to applesauce to smoothies. Keep in mind that they will take on a gelatinous texture after they mix with a liquid, so if you prefer a crunch, sprinkle them on just before eating.

3. On-to-Go Snacks

While I suggest you use chia seeds in homemade items, there are ready-made pouches that contain chia seeds as a primary ingredient. Watch out for the sugar content of these, but if you’re in a pinch they can make a decent snack on-the-go, even for kids.

4. Chia Spread

You can blend chia seeds with berries and stevia to make your own homemade jam. You won’t need pectin because chia seeds gel-up just fine on their own.

5. Healthy “Breading”

If you’re looking for a healthy, gluten-free breading for fish, meat, or vegetables, chia seeds make an excellent addition. Try them blended with finely ground nuts and your choice of spices for a delicious breadcrumb replacement.

6. Body Scrub

Chia seeds work well as an exfoliant and buffing agent to add to your beauty care routine. Spa Index has a simple recipe for a homemade exfoliating scrub using just three ingredients:12


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds


  1. Mix the ingredients together and store in a clean jar.
  2. To use, dampen face and apply scrub in a circular motion to damp face.
  3. Allow the mixture to set for two minutes before using a wet washcloth to remove.
  4. Splash cold water on your face when you’ve finished.
  5. Store in fridge for 3-5 days.

7. Fuel Up After Exercise

Chia seeds are known for enhancing strength and vigor, so try adding them to your post-workout whey protein shake.

8. Chia Sprouts

Sprouts may offer some of the highest levels of nutrition available, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes that help protect against free radical damage. Many of the benefits of sprouts relate to the fact that, in their initial phase of growth, the plants contain more concentrated amounts of nutrients. Chia seeds are no exception, and you can easily grow chia sprouts at home to use raw in salads and sandwiches.

Chia Seeds: Does Black or White Matter?

Chia seeds come in two colors, black and white. Both colors contain similar amounts of nutrients like omega-3s, protein, and fiber, although the darker chia seeds may contain more antioxidants. Consuming a mix of the two colors is likely ideal. According to the Nutritional Science Research Institute, which has conducted studies to determine the effects of chia seeds in adults:13

First we analyzed the white chia. Then we analyzed the dark seed. Although the nutrition analysis was almost identical we discovered that the darker chia had an additional important antioxidant, quercetin. It is well known that darker foods have more antioxidants than lighter ones. This proved to be so in the ORAC analysis. The dark seed tested at 80 micromoles TE/g and the white seed test at 70 micromoles TE/g. Our analysis showed that omega-3 chia contained one of the highest levels of omega 3s found in any food.

It also turns out to have the highest amount of antioxidants we have ever measured, equal to or greater than dark berries like blueberries. Chia seed has an ORAC of 98 micromoles TE/g for the dark seed and 70 micromoles TE/g for the light seed. It is one of the most powerful whole food antioxidants we know… NSRI has conducted extensive analyses on this food product and found it to be a versatile, user-friendly, exceptional and unique low-calorie source of omega-3 fatty acids, dietary fiber, antioxidants, complete protein, iron, calcium, and magnesium.”

A Word of Caution About Chia…

If you have a history of dysphagia, or trouble swallowing, you should use some caution, especially when consuming dry chia seeds. There is at least one case study of a patient who swallowed a tablespoon of dry chia seeds, chased it with water and experienced intense dysphagia. The seeds can quickly form a gel-like ball that can partially block your esophagus, requiring medical treatment to remove. According to study authors:14

“When added to liquid, dry chia seeds immediately begin to form a hydrogel capsule, absorbing up to 27 times their weight in water.”

So while chia seeds are a quick and easy-to-use superfood that can add valuable nutrition to your diet, do use caution when consuming them, particularly if you have esophageal restrictions or are giving them to children.

Household Uses for Vinegar

Household Uses for Vinegar


From cleaning shower curtains, to relieving insect bites, vinegar certainly has many functions. Here are some of our favorite household uses for vinegar.


(In this article, we are referring to “distilled white vinegar” for household use.)


  • Bring a solution of one-cup vinegar and four tablespoons baking soda to a boil in teapots and coffeepots to rid them of mineral deposits.
  • A solution of vinegar and baking soda will easily remove cooking oil from your stovetop.
  • Clean the filter on your humidifier by removing it and soaking it in a pan of white vinegar until all the sediment is off.
  • Vinegar naturally breaks down uric acid and soapy residue, leaving baby clothes and diapers soft and fresh. Add a cup of vinegar to each load during the rinse cycle.
  • Saturate a cloth with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda, and then use it to clean fiberglass tubs and showers. Rinse well and rub dry for a spotless shine.
  • To remove chewing gum, rub it with full-strength vinegar.
  • For a clean oven, combine vinegar and baking soda, then scrub.
  • Clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring undiluted white vinegar into it. Let stand for five minutes, then flush. Spray stubborn stains with white vinegar, then scrub vigorously.
  • Clean windows with a cloth dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and 10 parts warm water. This works for dirty TV screens, too!
  • For brunettes, rinsing hair with vinegar after a shampoo makes hair shinier. Use one-tablespoon vinegar to one-cup warm water.
  • Soak paint stains in hot vinegar to remove them.
  • To clean drip coffeemakers, fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly by brewing two cycles with water before using.
  • To remove bumper stickers from car chrome, paint on vinegar and let it soak in. Next, scrape off the stickers. Decals can be removed similarly.
  • Rid your refrigerator and freezer of bad odors by cleaning the insides with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then wiping dry.
  • Apply full strength vinegar to mosquito or other insect bites to relieve the itching. (Caution: Do not do this if the affected area is raw.)
  • To remove smoke odors on clothes, hang them above a steaming bathtub filled with hot water and a cup of white vinegar.
  • To prevent mildew, wipe down surfaces with vinegar.
  • Place a vinegar-soaked brown bag on sprains to ease pain and aid recovery.
  • Use a sponge dampened with vinegar to clean shower curtains.
  • To remove salt and water stains from leather boots and shoes, rub with a solution of 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1 cup water. Wipe over the stained area only, and then polish.
  • To loosen a stuck jar lid, hold the jar upside down and pour warm vinegar around the neck at the joint between the glass and the top.
  • Rub cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects.

We could keep on listing uses for vinegar! If you have one, add it below!

Read more at:

Healthy eating, even when you’re in a hurry

July 23, 2015 12:00 am  •  


Most Americans have experienced the rush of daily living with demands from work, school or family obligations. Eating healthy can sometimes take a backseat to more pressing matters.

“Although it may seem nearly impossible to make healthy choices when you’re so busy,” said Grace Fjeldberg, Mayo Clinic Health System registered dietitian and nutritionist, “there are tips and tricks that will make mealtime easier and save you time in the long run. It all starts in the pantry.”

To save yourself time, always have the essentials stocked in your pantry and refrigerator to decrease “emergency” grocery store trips. Always keep fruits and veggies available in any form, such as fresh, frozen, canned, dried or juiced. When the fresh food is gone, canned or frozen options can help fill the gaps. Also, canned and frozen options are sometimes more convenient as they are already washed and cut. Think convenience — in some instances you may want to consider purchasing precut fresh veggies or fruit to save time.

Fjeldberg recommends having these foods available in the house for healthy meals or snacks:

  • Whole grains: rice blends, pastas, tortillas, breakfast cereals, crackers, English muffins or mini bagels, and breads/wraps.
  • Proteins: low-fat refried beans or other canned beans, water-packed tuna, lean pork, precut lean beef, tofu, fish and poultry. Even consider precooked meats and low-sodium, low-fat lunch meats.
  • Dairy: Low-fat yogurts and cottage cheese (these often come in single-serve portions, which make it easy to grab-’n-go), low-fat string cheese, preshredded cheese, and fat-free or 1 percent milk.
  • Other foods: Single-serve popcorn bags, whole-grain pretzels, hummus, single-serve peanut butter or low-fat dressing packets, single-serve dried fruit or nut packets and whole-grain granola bars. Also, keep pasta or pizza sauces in the pantry to add to your favorite whole-grain wrap or English muffin for a quick pizza.

Preparation tips and planning:

So, you have all this wonderful wholesome food in your house, but now what do you do with it? The first step in saving time is prepping some of your grocery store goodies, Fjeldberg said. Once you get unpacked from your shopping trip, wash and prep fresh fruits or veggies you’ve purchased. By doing all of this chopping at one time, you’ll save time later in the week and do fewer dishes.

While washing and prepping fruits and veggies, heat up the stove to boil some of those whole grains you packed away in the pantry. Many whole grains take at least 30-60 minutes to cook. By cooking grains in advance, you can reheat them later in the week or add them to a cold salad. You can also precook many meats to reheat later in the week.

Now that you have everything prepped, the fun part begins — planning. Most people view meal planning as labor-intensive and difficult. To avoid getting stressed about having specific meals planned, be creative in what you prepare. Reading recipes and gathering ingredients takes time. For example, if you already have rice and chicken cooked, pull out a frozen vegetable stir fry mix for a quick stir fry. That same chicken you already have cooked from the night before can be mixed with a Greek yogurt dressing and added to a wrap with fresh veggies.

The possibilities and ideas for healthy eating are endless, Fjeldberg said. With a small amount of preparation and planning, you can have a fresh, wholesome meal prepared in less time than it takes to order and wait for food at the local drive-thru.

Read more here:

The 15 Most Beautiful Places in California You Didn’t Know Existed

From The 15 Most Beautiful Places in California You Didn’t Know Existed

Published on 7/20/2015

By Grant Marek



From Yosemite and Big Sur, to Joshua Tree and Santa Barbara, California is home to some of the most beautiful places on the West Coast, nay, the country, nay, THE WORLD, okay reverse nay, still just the country. It’s beautiful enough, that no matter how many Half Dome hikes you take, you’re still never even going to scratch the surface of all the Instagrammable wonder the Golden State has to offer.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna help you try: here are the 15 most beautiful places in California you didn’t even know existed.

1. The cypress “tree tunnel”

Point Reyes
Located in between the Pacific Ocean and Tomales Bay (and inside of the Point Reyes National Seashore) you’ll find this Monterey cypress “tree tunnel” that leads to an old Point Reyes wireless telegraphy receiving station built in the 1920s. Doesn’t matter if you catch it with a patch of early morning fog enveloping either end, or with the afternoon light breaking through its interlocked branches, either way, you’ll feel like you’ve won the damn day.

2. Alamere Falls
Point Reyes
Oh this? It’s just a waterfall. THAT FLOWS DIRECTLY INTO THE OCEAN. A rare “tidefall,” it’s found by following the Coast Trail from the Palomarin Trailhead on a 8.5-mile round-trip hike. Pro tip: stop at Bass Lake along the way if you’re into rope swings. (Editor’s Note: You’re into rope swings.)

3. Bowling Ball Beach
Point Arena
Named after the spherical sandstone creations, which look like bowling balls (and also, just regular balls), Bowling Ball Beach is located way the hell up Hwy 1. If the tide level is just right, this is one of the most SWTF (Seriously What The Fuck) things in California.
4. The Glory Hole
Lake Berryessa
The California drought has kinda ruined this one, but when the water levels are right and you’re near the east side of the Monticello Dam at Lake Berryessa, this open bell-mouth spillway (basically what lets them release flows of dam water into Putah Creek) is one of the coolest things you’ll ever stare into (from a very, VERY safe distance) in your life. Creepy bonus: the lake was the site of one of the Zodiac murders!

5. La Tour
Laguna Beach
Turns out, Orange County’s only “lighthouse” (known as “Pirate Tower” to locals) was actually a 60ft structure built in 1926 to help California State Senator William E. Brown get from his home on the top of the cliff to the beach below (there’s a metal staircase inside). Today, it’s home to Westley and Princess Buttercup (or something).

6. Painted Canyons
Located about an hour southeast of Palm Springs, this is hands down one of the most unique California “hikes” you’ll ever go on, largely because it’s a LADDER hike (!) through a narrow and actually really refreshingly cold gorge formed years ago by the San Andreas Fault. The whole “Painted Canyons” name is thanks to the walls, which are washed with pinks, reds, grays, browns, and greens — especially when you first pull into the canyon. Bonus: a few years back, some wonderful person replaced the wood ladders with metal ones. (Thank God.)
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7. Natural Bridges
Known to geology nerds as a “karst,” the Natural Bridges were formed when the rushing waters of Coyote Creek eroded through a layer of soluble bedrock and created this Aladdin-caliber Cave of Wonders. Best part? If you really want to explore this thing (and you can), you’re gonna need a bathing suit. Basically if you’re going to California Gold Country, you’ll want to also be going to here.
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8. Pfeiffer Beach
Big Sur
McWay Falls (NorCal tidefall No. 2!!) gets a lot of the Big Sur attention — as it should, it’s freaking ridiculous — as does Bixby Bridge (also great), but Pfeiffer Beach might actually be the gem-ier gem. Not only does it have THE INSANE ROCK FORMATION PICTURED ABOVE (get an Insta of the keyhole at sunset if you want to set a new likes record), but it also has purple sand. Yep. Purple. Sand.
9. Fern Canyon
Gold Bluffs Beach
Steven Spielberg chose this as the location for The Lost World: Jurassic Park because 1) holy crap look at it, 2) it’s an international Biosphere Reserve (what does that even mean???), and 3) it’s a narrow gorge carved out by Home Creek with walls hugged by seven types of ferns, some of which date back 325 million years. It’s a short trail, so double back on it. Twice. Okay fine, thrice.
10. The Seven Tea Cups
One of the coolest natural wonders of the Sierras, the Seven Tea Cups has been described as one of the world’s (WORLD’S!) most spectacular canyoneering challenges. And that’s the rub on this one — you need, like, ropes and stuff to climb it. But if you do (or find a friend who knows what the hell they’re doing and can, like, carry you up or something) you’ll be rewarded on the way back down, which awesome people have been known to awesomely take inflatable killer whales and alligators down (just, duh, make sure the water depth is chill before you kill yourself). This is a must-read if you’re gonna actually try this thing. And you should. Because holy shit look at this thing guys. LOOK AT IT.
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11. Glass Beach
Fort Bragg
While years of dumping Fort Bragg garbage along the coastline in the ’50s and ’60s was mostly the worst thing ever, it wasn’t totally and entirely, thanks to Glass Beach — a beach filled almost entirely with sea glass. Just don’t take any of it with you — because of souvenir hunters and the waves (which are constantly grinding down the glass), it’s actually diminishing. Don’t be that guy.

12. Mossbrae Falls
Yep. That’s in California. One of the most scenic waterfalls in the Golden State, Mossbrae Falls are fed by springs, which course down a moss-covered canyon wall and create this eye-bulger. Just make sure you use the right access point — one of the trails is closed.

13. Enchanted Forest
Shady Dell
This way WAY Northern California redwood forest on the Lost Coast is like any other redwood forest, except it’s known as the Enchanted Forest (!!!) and is home to the insane candelabra trees you see above/three fairy godmothers who’re trying to keep Princess Aurora safe. Maybe. Seriously though, the Lost Coast is one of the true gems of California, and this right here is one of the true gems of the Lost Coast.

14. Poppy Reserve
Antelope Valley
Fields of the California state flower, literally for as far as you can see. It’s one of those things that makes you feel incredibly small in the grand scheme of things.

15. Zabriskie Point
Death Valley
Ninety-nine percent of Death Valley is super death-y. But 1% — this 1% — comes alive. Named after a VP of an old borax company who used 20-mule teams to transport borax (Wikipedia-five!), it’s maybe the most beautiful-looking rock place in the entire state. Also it was featured prominently on U2’s The Joshua Tree album cover. So there’s that.

Grant Marek is Thrillist’s Senior Cities Director and is blowing up his inflatable killer whale right now. Offer to carry him up the Seven Tea Cups on Twitter at @grant_marek.

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The Story of Adam & Eve’s Pets

To all of you pet lovers…….
The Story of
Adam & Eve’s

Adam and Eve said,
‘Lord, when we were in the garden, you walked with us every day. Now we do not see you anymore. We are lonesome here, and it is difficult for us to remember how much you love us.’
And God said, I will create a companion for you that will be with you and who will be a reflection of my love for you, so that you will love me even when you cannot see me.
Regardless of how selfish or childish or unlovable you may be, this new companion will accept you as you are and will love you as I do, in spite of yourselves.’
And God created a new animal to be a companion for Adam and Eve.
And it was a good animal and God was pleased.
And the new animal was pleased to be with Adam and Eve and he wagged his tail.
And Adam said,
‘Lord, I have already named all the animals in the Kingdom and I cannot think of a name for this new animal.’
And God said, ‘I have created this new animal to be a reflection of my love for you, his name will be a reflection of my own name, and you will call him

And Dog lived with Adam and Eve and was a companion to them and loved them.
And they were comforted.
And God was pleased.
And Dog was content and wagged his tail.
After a while, it came to pass that an angel came to the Lord and said, ‘Lord, Adam and Eve have become
filled with pride. They strut and preen like peacocks and they believe they are worthy of adoration. Dog has indeed taught them that they are loved, but perhaps too well.’
And God said, I will create for them a companion who will be with them and who will see them as they are. The companion will remind them of their limitations, so they will know that they are not always worthy of adoration.’
And God created CAT to be a companion to Adam and Eve.
And Cat would not obey them. And when Adam and Eve gazed into Cat’s eyes, they were reminded that they were not the supreme beings.

And Adam and Eve learned humility.
And they were greatly improved.
And God was pleased..
And Dog was happy.
And Cat . .

didn’t give a shit one way or the other.

The Buzz About Epsom Salt

For your health, beauty and home…….

From The Alternative Daily

Epsom salt, which is not really a salt at all but a mineral compound comprised of magnesium and sulfate, gets its named from a saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England.

Epsom salt has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a number of ailments, and also has many beauty, gardening and household uses.

Both magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed into the skin, which makes their health benefits readily accessible. Over 325 enzymes in the body are regulated by magnesium, which also helps reduce inflammation, alleviates hardening of the arteries and improves muscle and nerve function. Sulfates improve the rate at which nutrients are absorbed and help to flush out toxins.

Here are 17 of our favorite uses for this versatile compound – we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!1. Soothe sore muscles

An Epsom salt bath is a great way to soothe sore muscles, cramps, bruises and joint pain. Because of this, it is a great after-workout soak. In addition, soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a wonderful way to relax and relieve stress. Add 2 cups of salts to a warm bath. Mix the salt in so it dissolves in the water. Soak for 10-15 minutes for best results.

2. Exfoliate skin
As we shed our skin naturally, the buildup of dead skin cells clogs pores and can cause blemishes. Exfoliation is necessary to keep skin healthy, glowing and vibrant. The best way to exfoliate with Epsom salts is to massage handfuls all over the body in the shower or bath. Your skin will feel soft and fresh with this homemade spa treatment.

3. Homemade hand wash
Mix ½ cup of baby oil with ½ cup of water, and add ¼ cup of Epsom salts and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Set this homemade mixture next to your sink for a nice bathroom hand wash.

4. Treat insect bites and poison ivy
A compress made with Epsom salts is a great way to treat mosquito bites, bee stings and poison ivy. Mix 2 tablespoons of salts with 1 cup of warm water. Soak a clean cloth in the mixture and hold on affected area to remove pain, burning and itching.

5. Clean your face
Your face need to be cleaned and exfoliated just like the rest of your body. Put a teaspoon of Epsom salts in your hand and mix with a little warm water. Scrub your face with the mixture then rinse clean. This facial cleaner not only exfoliates and rejuvenates but also helps remove blackheads and prevent acne.

6. Remove splinters
Splinters can be tricky and painful to remove. Skip the needles and soak your splintered skin in an Epsom salt bath. The salts will draw the splinter out and leave the area clean.

7. Lip balm
Dry, flakey, cracking lips are not only unsightly but also painful. Heal this uncomfortable condition with a homemade Epsom salt lip balm. Mix equal parts organic coconut oil and Epsom salts. Apply to lips generously to exfoliate and moisturize.

8. Tile cleaner
Bathroom and kitchen tile grime can be difficult to clean. Powerful tile cleaners are not only expensive, but also often contain harmful chemicals. Make your own hard-working natural Epsom salt tile scrub. Mix equal parts liquid dish soap with epsom salts. Scrub onto tiles with a sponge and rinse clean with water.

9. Insect killer
Mix ¼ cup of Epsom salts with 2 cups of water and place in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture around your home and garden to safely deter insects without the use of chemical insecticides.

10. Relieve constipation
Epsom salts are a great way to relieve constipation. Mix 2 teaspoons of Epsom salts in a glass of water. Drink entire cup for best results. If the taste is not appealing to you, try mixing with fresh juice instead.

11. Fertilize your lawn and plants
Epsom salts make a wonderful fertilizer for your lawn and potted plants. For greener grass, mix 1 cup of the salts for every gallon of water and spray over lawn area. To fertilize potted plants, simply sprinkle Epsom salts around the base of the plants once every week. This method of fertilizing also works great for tomatoes and other veggies.

12. Draw out toxins and reduce swelling
An Epsom salt bath is a wonderful way to draw toxins out of your body. Soaking in a bath for 10-15 minutes is also a great way to reduce swelling. Mix 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in a warm bath and mix to dissolve in water.

13. Boost your laundry
Epsom salts combined with a little essential oil makes a perfect fabric softener for your laundry. In addition, the salts will help remove detergent buildup from your washer. Mix 4 cups epsom salts with 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Add ¼ cup to each load of laundry.

14. Kill foot fungus and remove odor
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts not only reduces swelling and draws out toxins, but also zaps odors and foot fungus. Add ¼ cup to a large container of warm water. Soak feet for 10-15 minutes.

15. Sunburn treatment
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a great way to soothe skin irritated by sunburn. Mix 1 cup of salts in warm bath water. Mix to combine and soak in the bath for 10-15 minutes.

16. Hair conditioner
Epsom salts make a great deep conditioner to add volume and remove grease from your hair. Combine equal parts of organic hair conditioner and Epsom salts and apply liberally to hair. Let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse clean.

17. Soften your hands

You know that soaking your feet in epsom salts is healthy, but what about your hands? Soaking your hands is a great way to soothe rough skin, calm aching finger joints, remove nail polish and remove any dirt from under your nails. Add 1/4 cup of Epsom salts to a large bowl of warm water. Soak hands in mixture for 5-10 minutes.

-The Alternative Daily