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Jun 15, 2018

4 Ways To Achieve A Healthier Lifestyle As A Family

This post is sponsored by Natrol but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Summertime is in full swing for many of us with school being out. Most parents have registered the kids for summer camps/activities, made vacation plans, or are simply doing the local staycation. Whatever your plans are, the kids will be ready for some fun!

Something we all have in common as parents is we want our families to be happy and healthy. Sometimes it's a bit of a challenge to get the kids on board for the healthy part. Today we will share some tips on how you can achieve a healthier lifestyle together as a family.

1. Play together! 

Whether you are at the beach, or the backyard, there are many opportunities to get active. Try challenging the kids to a race. It's a great way to get your heart pumping, and your entire body moving. Make a game out of collecting rocks or shells. Before you know it, you all would have walked more than you realized.

2. Hold a family meeting

Make it a priority each month to hold a family meeting with everyone present. It doesn't have to be super long or in a formal setting. Discuss your financial and personal goals, as well your health goals. Have each family member document those goals. Charts are a great idea for younger children. Make those health goals a top priority!

3. Meal plan together

Instead of listening to the kids whine about dinner, include them! Have each person choose a theme for a particular day of the week, and go from there. Whether it's Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday, everyone can state their likes or dislikes and agree on the menu collectively. Kids tend to be more interested in food when they were involved in picking out or planning the meal.

4. Hold each other accountable for making healthier choices

Make plans to hold each other accountable for drinking a certain amount of water each day, exercising, and taking daily multi-vitamins like Natrol Gummies. As a matter of fact, Natrol Multi Gummies are made with 26 fruits and veggies! Plus, they’re made with organic ingredients, are non-GMO, gelatin-free and vegetarian.


*As parents, we are pleased that Natrol Gummies are not only good for you, but they also taste great! They aren't super chewy so they don't tend to stick to your teeth. There is a formula for everyone in the family with the Women's Multi, Men's Multi, and Kid's Multi.


Natrol gummies are a great way to get those extra daily vitamins and minerals you might be lacking from you diet. If you're shopping and stop by the supplement aisle, just look for the purple top. We hope you and your family have a safe, happy, and healthy summer!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.
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Jun 13, 2018

How to Avoid Postpartum Depression

Having a baby can be one of the best experiences that you will have in life. The problem with pregnancy, however, is that it eventually ends when you have your baby. This shouldn’t be a problem when you are then presented with a baby to look after, but sadly all over the world, mothers experience postpartum depression. This type of depression is a very serious illness, and understanding the signs is very important. In this article, we are going to go through some of the ways that you can help yourself to avoid postpartum depression so keep reading if you’d like to find out more.
Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Get Some Exercise


One of the best things that you can do when you are going through your postpartum period is to get some exercise. Although you will be busy with a newborn, you’ll benefit from taking a short walk each day or doing something which requires you to lift your energy levels a little. You’ll find that your mood will slightly improve as you achieve these goals.

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Stay Healthy


We all know that sleeping properly can be very difficult when you have a newborn baby but if you are able to get a reasonable amount of sleep then you’ll likely feel a lot better about yourself. You should also make sure to keep up a healthy diet to avoid spiraling into a depressive state. If you can, take a break and cook yourself or your partner a nice meal while they look after the baby.

Talk to Someone

If you think that you are beginning to show signs of postpartum depression, you need to make sure that you talk to someone. Ignoring the problem can only make it worse so try your best to talk to a friend, a parent or a partner. If none of these things are working, try talking to an online therapist. Websites like AskaCoach offer great therapists that specialize in depression that can help you through this hard time.

Focus on Yourself

You need to focus on your baby and looking after it, but you should also make sure to spend some time focusing on yourself. If you can avoid it, don’t do anything that will take your attention away from recovering from childbirth. This involves making big life decisions such as moving house or getting yourself a new job. Focus on your family and what you need to do, and don’t let yourself get stressed out by other aspects of your life that can wait.

Research

Our final tip for preventing postpartum depression is to do your research. You should make sure that you know everything about this illness so that you can identify when you are starting to feel a bit down or depressed. There are plenty of resources that will help you to identify the signs and might even help you to understand when a friend is going through this illness.

Although these tips might not stop postpartum depression completely, they might be able to help along the way.
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Easy Ways to Add Value to Your Home

Are you looking to sell your home in the near future? Then we are sure you will want to try and make as much money as you possibly can on it! There are lots of easy ways in which you can increase the price of your property without having to spend a fortune.  We will take you through our top tips on how you can do this, but without having to get pricey contractors involved.
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Start with the Exterior 

The first thing that people will see when they arrive at your home for a viewing is the exterior and so you will want to make sure that this is pristine, and looks like a home where people will want to instantly move into. As soon as they see your home, they will be thinking about how much you are asking for and whether they think this price is justified. Start with little tasks such as weeding the garden, fixing the fence, and adding a fresh coat of paint to any outside windows. These little things can make a big difference!

Structural problems can also significantly decrease the value of your home, and the big one here to think about is the roof. The roof also makes up the outside exterior of your home, so it will clearly be visible to anyone viewing it, and will also most likely impact how much they want to offer. Before you start to allow viewings of your home, have any roof work repaired, and clear the drains and gutters to improve its appearance.

Finally, to complete your outdoor space, you will want to think about having some type of storage available as this will be a big selling point in your home. We would suggest getting a steel building as these are extremely cost-effective, easy to build and you don’t have to worry about labor costs. Plus, they can even be used as a garage. Armstrong Steel wrote a very useful article about how a steel building can increase a property’s value here: http://armstrongsteel.com/network/steel-building-insider/steel-building-increase-property-value/#.WxfqOEgvyUk

Brighten Up Your Home

One of the biggest things that can add value to your home is the amount of light coming in. A room that has a lot of light coming in instantly feels bigger, and so this is a cheap and easy way to increase your home’s value. A few easy things that can ensure more light is coming into your home is cleaning your windows, installing bright energy efficient lights, and installing a skylight or sliding patio doors.

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Decorating and Flooring

You would be surprised by how much value can be added to your home simply for painting a wall that is slightly drab! If you are going to be painting your home to up its value, make sure to go for neutral colors and avoid using any bright colors and this will probably be unappealing to the majority of buyers out there. The same can also be said if you are going to be replacing carpets.

Adding value to your home doesn't have to be anything over-the-top or costly. Thanks for stopping by!

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Jun 11, 2018

Cooking For Performance: Fueling Your Teen Athlete

There are parents out there who have to feed teen athletes that need to perform. The right diet can help take your teen’s athletic performance to the next level. A small improvement can be the difference between your teen being recruited by colleges or ending their athletic career in high school. A great diet cannot make up for hard work in the gym, and on the practice field. Diet can only set your teen up for success as your performance is directly correlated to your overall diet. The following are tips that will help you cook for your teen to perform to the best of their ability.
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Let Them Define Their Goals

A diet that works for one type of athlete might be too high or low in calories and other nutrients. Wrestlers might be trying to drop weight in a healthy manner, while a football player wants to gain weight without losing foot speed. Goals can change from season to season so make sure that you are up to date with what your athlete wants to accomplish. This can be done as a family as accountability when it comes to diet, and is important especially if your teen wants to become an elite athlete. If you have more than one athlete, then you are going to be doing much more cooking. As a parent, you need to set your children up for success.

Do Some Research

Far too many people do not know how to eat for performance, and they usually just eat to survive. The right ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates differ from sport to sport. Do not try out a fad diet on your young athlete, but rather feed them natural foods and avoid overly processed options. The internet is full of dietary programs for people trying to accomplish a variety of goals. If you do not trust internet experts it can be wise to go make an appointment with a nutritionist. This professional can help you by letting you know what to cook, and can even give you options that will make meal prepping quite easy.
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Use Healthy Alternatives To Cook With

Coconut oil’s uses and benefits are immense with the oil being great for the skin and hair. This is also a great alternative to cooking rather than using vegetable or canola oil. Many people think that it will impact the taste to the point of being bad tasting, but this could not be further from the truth. Other ingredients you can swap out is grain pasta. You can opt for a "riced" cauliflower instead. Small tweaks to certain recipes can make the diet of the entire family much healthier without sacrificing good tasting food. A general rule of thumb is to avoid processed foods, and have a diet full of fruits as well as vegetables. Lean proteins like chicken, bison, fish, and some cuts of red meat can help maximize protein without consuming high levels of fat.

Fuel your teen athlete appropriately and watch them reach their full athletic potential! Sometimes all your diet needs is a few tweaks to take your game to the next level.
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Travel Planning To Greece (Guest Post)

Planning for your next vacation can be both a fun and stressful time, especially if you are planning on visiting a new country. Perhaps you are bored of the countryside back home or the standard beach holidays in the U.S.?. Maybe you want to find something new and exciting such as some mykonos vacation rental, or the temples of Athens, but you are not sure where to start or how you would even navigate around a new country.

For this piece, we are going to look at Greece as a destination for new visitors. Perhaps some returning visitors will also find it useful. We have come up with some facts about the country that can help you, along with some of the most popular destinations. Also, you will find out how you can get to them and what there is to see in each location. We will focus on the most popular destinations and with this, you can make some detailed and informative travel plans for yourself.

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Some facts and figures:


The national language of Greece is Greek, with many areas having their own regional dialects. These are only spoken and not written dialects, however, in more popular tourist locations you will be able to find information, guides and tours in an abundance of languages with English being the most predominant.

The country has over 2,000 islands off the coast of Greece. Many of these islands are uninhabited, and even fewer are visited by tourist but in this location.  You can find an abundance of water and outdoor activities, along with plenty more activities to that can take place on the beach or on the mainland within the national parks.

Some 98% of the population say that they are Orthodox Christia, and this influence you will see in the architecture, conversations, and politics of the country.

Transport and accommodation are readily available in the tourist areas of the country. This can range from a basic hostel room to 5-star resorts and villas depending on the location and your budget. Athens acts as the main transport hub and we will talk about that next.

Athens:

Besides the islands of Greece, Athens is the most popular destination for visitors in Greece.  It is the place you will most likely disembark from international, and most national flights. Athens can be used as the transport base or the rest of the country or can be the sole destination that you visit, as it has a lot to offer.

It is both the largest city and the capital of the country. Athens has plenty to offer any visitor to the city. It is very modern and has everything a major city has to offer from accommodations to local and international cuisine, and more.
From Athens, you can take day trips to surrounding areas such as Cape Sounion, the home of the temple of Poseidon, and Acropolis, the ancient seat of Greek power. The city has done a great job of preserving its ancient history and developing a modern city.

Transport to the island or the mountainous north can be easily organized as part of a tour or individually depending on your time and organizational skills. Some of the islands can also be reached from the airport in Athens.

The islands of Greece:

As stated earlier, most of the islands can be reached by ferries which disembark from ports along the Greek coast, while some of the larger islands can be reached by plane or once on the island, by internal ferries.

Crete: 

This is the biggest of all the islands, and is reached by both boat and ferry. Most popular for its beaches and nightlife, you will find plenty to keep you occupied. Water sports varying from fishing to diving can be organized from the island as well as trips to other islands. Many posts recommend anything from one to two weeks on the island, depending on your interests. Other popular activities include checking out the many museums on the island, and the hiking trails that criss-cross the island.
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Rhodes:

Probably most famous for its history and as being the home to the statue of Rhodes, this island caters more for the history buffs among you who also enjoy the sun all year. The medieval city and the museums are the most popular destinations.

Following this, you can search the cobbled streets for some local cuisine and wine with each island having their own special blends and flavors. With influences of Roman, Greek and Byzantine history, or those wanting to relax and unwind with the more tranquil island experience, this I the island for you. Rhodes is most easily accessed by ferry with daily departures.

Mykonos:

A beach and nightlife haven, Mykonos is an ever the prime destination for those who want to have the more popular Mediterranean experience of lazy beach days, and exciting nightlife opportunities. With countless beaches and inlets to discover, you can spend a few weeks here on a different beachs and secluded areas.

Be sure to check out the windmills and local food tours, which are some of the most popular activities to get up to on the island. This island is best reached by ferry.

We hope some of the information we have provided helps you with your travel planning and first visit to Greece. It will more than likely not be your last!
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