Loving Yourself to Guilt Free Eating

Loving Yourself – Guilty or Good?

I’m going out for lunch today with some old friends. This can be tricky when you are loving yourself enough to choose the foods that love you back. I say this because there are a multitude of reactions to   healthy  eating when you have made such lifestyle changes.

Some may feel guilty at you being ‘good’. This is the dieting mindset and it is destructive because you may want to stop their discomfort by eating foods that do not love you. Don’t! This is not loving yourself. Just explain to them that food is just fuel and you are now choosing the foods that fuel your body best. Then invite them to eat whatever they like and enjoy every mouthful.

A few people may go further and try to encourage you to have a dessert. This happens to me even when I have told them that I’m seriously addicted to sugar. As yet, most people are not taking sugar addiction seriously. So my response it to tell them that research shows sugar is 8 times more addictive than cocaine. If that doesn’t work I ask them if they would try and encourage an alcoholic friend into drinking a glass of wine. That definitely works!

Useful Tips

With people I have not seen for a long time I find it best to be up front and tell them of my new lifestyle and how I am now loving myself. Firstly I impress on them that this isn’t a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Then I explain that most of the time I do not eat refined foods or sugar. I say most of the time because as we all know when we tell ourselves we can never again have something, we crave it even more!

Life is for living and food is to be enjoyed. This is part of the process of loving yourself. So secondly, I think ahead about the foods I really love and that love my body. Then I consider the carbs that work better for my body by triggering a slower release of insulin such as brown rice, sweet potato and quinoa. Now I am in a focussed mindset to choose food that I really love to eat and that love me back.

Finally, when the meal arrives I switch my mind onto my body and eat consciously. This can easily be done when chatting to others and it does a number of things.

  1. Slows down your eating.
  2. Allows you to really taste and enjoy the experience of the food.
  3. Allows you to know when it’s time to stop eating (one more mouthful takes away from the pleasure you have had eating the meal).
  4. Raises your enjoyment of the whole experience of eating.

Give it a try and help your friends and family to move away from the insanity of a dieting mindset and support you loving yourself through your lifestyle change.

What Are the Characteristics of Healthy Skin

Each of us has their own definition of what healthy skin is. What are the characteristics of healthy skin? Basically healthy skin should be smooth, blemish-free, glowing and radiant. This is the ideal characteristics of the skin. Is it possible to attain? Yes it is but it may require some efforts from you such as:

1. Being healthy – maintaining a balanced healthy diet is one of the necessities of a healthy skin. As the saying goes “You are what you eat” is true. Some nutrients in the food that we eat are not only to nourish the body but also needed to have a healthy skin. Eating healthy makes your skin glow and healthy.

2. Good skincare regimen – to have a good looking, healthy skin is to have a good skin care routine. Cleanse, tone and moisturize should be the basic on your beauty regimen. Also, choosing the products to use for cleansing, toning and moisturizing is also equally important. Know your skin type. Products for dry skin have different desirable components than those that are for oily skin. There is also a different component to look for in a product that is desirable for sensitive skin. Finally, use products that contain only natural ingredients to avoid harmful side effects.

3. Avoid the sun – although the sun is also needed for Vitamin D to be absorbed, too much sun causes the skin damage by burning it. Therefore, getting a tan is a misconception of being healthy. Using products with a sun protection factor, avoiding the time of the day when the sun’s heat is very intense and using protection gears like sunglasses are the best action to protect the skin from the sun.

4. Vitamin and mineral supplement – aside from having a healthy diet, as you go older you may need to support good food with vitamin and mineral supplements. There are vitamins and mineral that acts on the skin cells rendering its function effectively. Free radicals increase in numbers causing damage to the skin as you age, but most vitamins and mineral supplements today are anti-oxidants that are effective in fighting free radicals leaving the skin healthy and glowing.

Everything About Life Insurance!

I want to start off this 2010 with an article regarding Life Insurance. Many people find this topic morbid but believe me when I say this contract is as important as a Will and should be taken just as seriously as health insurance. Due to the length in details of this article I have provided chapters for easy reading. I hope this will educate you on Life Insurance and the importance of its necessity. (Note: For better understanding “You” is the policy owner and the insured)

Chapters:

1= Introduction

2=When/If you have Life Insurance already

3= Difference between a Insurance Agent and Broker

4= Types of Policies

5= What are Riders and popular types of Riders

6= The medical exam

1) About general Life Insurance:

This is a contract between you and an insurance company to pay a certain amount (the premium) to a company in exchange for a benefit (called the Death Benefit, face amount, or policy amount) to the beneficiary (the person you want to get paid in the time of your death). This can range based on the type of policy (which will be discussed momentarily), your health, your hobbies, the Insurance company, how much you can afford in premiums, AND the amount of the benefit. It sounds overwhelming but it is not if you have the right agent or broker.

Now many people can say that Life Insurance is like gambling. You are betting that you will die in a specific time and the insurance company bets you won’t. If the insurer wins, they keep the premiums, if you win…well you die and the death benefit goes to the beneficiary. This is a very morbid way of looking at it and if that is the case you can say the same for health insurance, auto insurance, and rental insurance. The truth is, you need life insurance in order to ease the burden of your death. Example 1: A married couple, both professionals that earn very well for a living have a child and like any other family has monthly expenses and 1 of the couple has a death. The odds of the spouse going back to work the next day is very slim. Odds are in fact that your ability to function in your career will lower which RISK the cause of not being able to pay expenses or having to use one’s savings or investments in order to pay for these expenses NOT INCLUDING the death tax and funeral expenses. This can be financially devastating. Example 2: lower middle income family, a death occurs to 1 of the income earners. How will the family be capable of maintaining their current financial lifestyle?

Life insurance is about the ability of lowering the risk of financial burden. This can be in the form of simple cash or taxes via estate planning.

KEY Definitions:

The Insured: The person that is covered by the insurance company (He/She does NOT have to the policy owner)

The (policy) Owner: The one that pays the premium, controls the beneficiary, and basically owns the contract (Does NOT have to the insured…hope you understand it can be either/or).

Face Amount: Also known as the death benefit. The amount to be paid to the beneficiary.

The Beneficiary: Is the person/persons/organization who will receive the face amount (death benefit)

2) When/If you have Life Insurance:

First, you should review your beneficiaries once a year and your policy approximately once every 2-3 years. This is free! You need to make sure the beneficiaries are the people/person you want to get paid! Divorce, death, a disagreement, or anything of the sort can make you change your mind about a particular person to receive the benefit so make sure you have the right people, estate/trust, AND/OR organization (non-profit preferably) to receive the benefit. Furthermore, you need to review every 2-3 years because many companies can offer a lower premium OR raise the benefit if you renew your policy or if you find a competitor that sees you have been paying the premiums may compete for your business. Either way, this is something you should consider to either save money or raise the policy amount! This is a win-win for you so there should be no reason not to do this.

3) Life Insurance Agent or Broker, what is the difference?:

The major difference is an Agent is usually an independent sales man that usually works with different insurance companies in order to give the client the best possible policy while the Broker works for a particular company. My personal advice: always choose an Agent. Not because I am one myself BUT because an agent can look out for your benefit by providing different quotes, types, riders that are available (explained later), AND pros/cons regarding each insurance company. If you don’t like a particular insurance company, tell the agent and he should move on to the next carrier (if he persist for some odd reason, fire him). Buyers BEWARE: The Agent should get paid by the carrier that is chosen, not by you specifically. If an Agent asks for money upfront for anything, RUN! There are also Insurance consultants that you pay but to keep things simple, see an Agent. Consultants and Agents are also great in reviewing current policies in order to lower premiums or increase benefits.

4) Types of Policies:

There are 2 main categories: Term and Permanent Insurance. Within each of the 2 categories have sub-categories. I will explain them at a glance in order for you to make the best possible choice for you and your loved ones. Remember, you can have estate/trust or a organization as the beneficiary. (Note: There are even more sub-sub-categories within these sub-categories but the difference are so small and self explanatory that I have not included it in this article. Once you speak to an agent you will have enough knowledge by this article that you will know what questions to ask and know if you agent is right for you).

Term Insurance: A temporary policy in which the beneficiary is paid only upon death of the insured (you) within a specific time period (hence the word “Term”). Term Insurance is usually less expensive with a smaller death benefit. Some do not require medical exams BUT expect to pay a higher premium since the risk of the insurance company is unknown. Also, term insurance normally does not accumulate cash value (explained in permanent insurance) but can be purchased on top of your permanent policy (for those that may have coverage already):

Convertible Term: Ability to convert policy to permanent. There are some REALLY GOOD policies that require no medical exam, driver history, or hazardous avocations at a certain point in order to convert to permanent coverage guaranteed with all the benefits that permanent insurance policies has to offer.

Renewable Term: Able to renew a term policy without evidence of insurability.

Level Term: Fixed premiums over a certain time period than increases (great for those that are young adults and expect within 10 years to have a increase in pay).

Increasing/Decreasing Term: Coverage increases or decreases throughout the term while the premium remains the same.

Group Term: Usually used for employers or associations. This covers several people in order to reduce premiums. (Great for small business owners)

Permanent Insurance: Just as the name states, this provides coverage throughout the lifetime of the insured. This also builds cash value which is fantastic for tax purposes because if you loan out money to yourself using this cash value there are no tax implications. Few policies may have in general withdrawal tax-free. However in most cases, If you withdraw the cash value you pay the only the taxes on the premiums (the amount that grew) which is fantastic. Just make sure your agent knows not to have the cash value grow larger than the death benefit otherwise it is subject to 10% taxes! Surrender charges may also apply when you withdrawal so PLEASE consult with an agent who can assist you with these details. You should consider Permanent Insurance if you have a family and don’t mind an increase in premiums (amount you pay) by a few dollars compared to term.

Traditional Whole Life: Pay a fixed amount of premium in order to be covered for the insured’s entire life which includes accumulating cash value.

Single-Premium Whole Life Insurance: Whole life insurance for 1 lump sum premium (usually that 1 lump sum is very large in order to get a great death benefit).

Participating Whole Life Insurance: Just like Traditional Whole life except it pays you dividends which can be used as cash OR pay your dividends for you! There is no guarantee that you will be paid the dividends, this is based on performance within the insurance company.

Limited Payment Whole Life Insurance: Limited payments for whole life but requires a higher premium since you are in fact paying for a shorter amount of time. This can be based on payment amounts (10, 20, 30, etc payments) or a particular age (whole life is paid up at age 65, 75, 85, etc).

Universal Life Insurance: Flexible premiums with flexible face amounts (the death benefit) with a unbundled pricing factors. Ex: If you pay X amount, you are covered for X amount.

Indexed Universal Life: Flexible premium/benefit with the cash value is tied to the performance of a particular financial index. Most insurance companies crediting rate (% of growth) will not go below zero.

Variable Life Insurance: Death Benefit and cash value fluctuates according to the investment performance from a separate account of investment options. Usually insurance policies guarantee the benefit will not fall below a specified minimum.

Variable Universal Life Insurance (also called Flexible Premium Variable Life Insurance & Universal Life II/2): A combination of Variable and Universal which has premium/death benefit flexibility as well as investment flexibility.

Last Survivor Universal Life Insurance (also called Survivorship or “Second to die” Insurance): Covers 2 people and the death benefit is only paid when both insurers have died. This is FANTASTIC and somewhat a necessity for families that pay estate taxes (usually High-Net-worth individuals).

5) Life Insurance Riders, what is it and why is it very important:

Rider is the name of a benefit that is added to your policy. This provides special additions to the policy which can be blended and put together. There are SO MANY types of riders that I would have to write a different article regarding Riders (and insurance companies add new types of riders often) but I want to at least name the most popular (and in my opinion, the most important) that you should highly consider when choosing a policy. Riders add to the cost of the premium but don’t take riders lightly; it can be a life saver!

Accidental Death Benefit Rider (AD&D): Additional death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary if you die from a result of an accident (ie: Car accidents, a fall down the stairs). This is especially important if the insurer travels often, relatively young, and has a family. Please note: You can buy AD&D Insurance separately.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Rider: Same as above BUT if you lose 2 limbs or sight will pay the death benefit. Some policies may offer smaller amounts if losing 1 eye or 1 limb. This is great for those that work with their hands.

Disability Income Rider: You will receive a monthly income if you are totally and permanently disabled. You are guaranteed a specific level of income. Pay attention to this detail, depending on the policy it will either pay you depending on how long the disability lasts OR time frame of the rider.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider: Ability to purchase additional coverage in intervals based on age or policy years without having to check insurance eligibility.

Level Term Rider: Gives you a fixed amount of term insurance added to your permanent policy. This rider can add 3-5 times the death benefit or your policy. Not a bad deal!

Waiver of Premium Rider: If you become disabled which results to the inability to work/earn income, the waiver will exempt you from paying the premiums while your policy is still in force! There is a huge gap between policies and insurance companies so the devils in the details with this rider.

Family Income Benefit Rider: In case of death of the insurer, this rider will provide income for a specific time period for your family.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: An insurer that is diagnosed with a terminal illness will receive 25-40% of the death benefit of the base policy (The decision is made between the insurer and the insurance company). This will lower the death benefit however depending on your finances or living lifestyle, this rider should not be taken lightly and should seriously be considered.

Long-Term Care Rider: If the insurer’s health compels to stay in a nursing home or receive care at home, this rider will provide monthly payments. Please Note: Long Term Care insurance can be bought separately for more benefit.

6) The Medical Exam:

This section is not to scary you away but to mentally (and possibly physically) prepare you for the medical exam so this way you know what to expect and can get the lowest possible premiums while receiving the highest possible death benefit. This really shouldn’t be a concern if you work out regularly and maintain a healthy eating habit (notice I said habit and not diet. Diets don’t work for long term).

The exam is mandatory for most insurance policies. Many term insurance do not require one but expect a low death benefit and/or higher premium. The idea of the exam is not just to see if you’re insurable but to also see how much they will charge the insurer/policy owner. The exam is done by a “paramedical” professional that are independent contractors hired by the insurance company who either come to your home or has an office where you/the insurer visit. They are licensed health professionals so they know what to look for! In very few cases the insurance company may ask for an “Attending Physician Statement (APS)” from your doctor. This must be provided by your doctor and NOT copies by you. TIP: The “paramedical” job is to give the insurance company a reason to increase your premiums so don’t give any details that are not asked.

First part (either called Part 1 or Part A) is complete by the Agent or by you. Part 2/B is the paramedical or physician portion. The best bet is to have your agent contact a paramedical that specializes in mobile exams for an easier exam for you. Paramedical will contact you to schedule an appointment. The exam is not optional so it’s not a matter of yes or no but when and where. This entire exam will cost you nothing except time so make the time, life insurance is important!

The paramedical/physician will take your medical history (questions), physical measurements of height and weight, blood pressure, pulse, blood, and urine. Additional tests will vary based on age and policy amount (yes, the higher the death benefit = the more tests that must be provided). Now if the policy is substantial, the insurance company may not send a paramedical but require an actual Medical Doctor to exam you. Of course, this is chosen by the insurance company so remember my tip earlier! This exam may even include a treadmill test and additional crazy exams in order to see if you qualify for that substantial amount and low premium. On the flip side, if you choose a low insurance policy, you will just have a paramedical doing simple tests that mentioned earlier with no additional exams.

What they are looking for: Paramedical/Physicians are looking for health conditions that may shorten your life. Remember, insurance companies are here to make a business and if you’re a liability then it might be a risk they do not want to take or raise the premium to make the risk tolerable. Blood and urine is taken to see the following:

– your antibodies or antigens to HIV

– Cholesterol and related lipids

– Antibodies to hepatitis

– Liver/kidney disorders

– Diabetes

– Immunity disorders

– Prostate specific antigen (PSA)

– Drug tests such as cocaine

The Results: They are sent directly to the insurance company’s home office underwriters for review. Many times you can request (must be written request) to receive a copy of the results however many insurance companies will automatically do this. Many times they will find abnormalities but it’s usually not a concern and just speak to your medical professional for a follow up (remember: the insurance company will look at these exams with a “fine tooth cone” in order to see what the risk are). The underwriters will look at the exam results and the application (remember part 1/a? well, now they want to see if your also lying) and determine the premium amount. Smokers pay more; any nicotine in your system will consider you a smoker, even if it is just socially.

The premium is determined by a category that you fit in. This really depends on the insurance company on how they factor but the general rule is if you are a higher risk, you pay higher premium. If you are standard risk, you will pay a standard premium, and if you are a preferred risk, you will pay a low premium.

You can decline the policy after you receive the final quote after the exam but do remember this: All results will become part of the MIB group’s database (Medical information Bureau). This is a clearinghouse of medical information that insurance companies use to store information after you apply for Life/Health/Disability Income/Long Term care/Critical Illness insurance. So for seven years it will be on database. You can receive a free report annually (like a credit check) at their website which I included at the bottom of this article.

Now that you know practically everything there is to know about life insurance. I hope you realize how important it is. It may seem like a lot but the hardest part is simply choosing what type of policy is right for you. This can be done with the help of your Agent. In the end, everyone is different and everyone should analyze their own situation and need for the beneficiaries. If you have even the slightest concern for a loved one regarding what will happen if you was no longer with us then you should consider life insurance. There truly is a feeling a relief once you know you and your loved ones are covered regardless of how much you or that person makes. For many that feel that their loved ones don’t need the death benefit due to whatever the case may be (“they earn enough money to survive” is the biggest reason I hear against life insurance), this can be a simple last gesture of “I love you” or appreciation for them being part of your life.

I hope I was able to educate you in Life Insurance and if you have any additional questions please feel free to email me.

MIB website: http://www.mib.com/html/request_your_record.html

The Importance of Nutrients in Your Diet

  Healthy  eating means giving yourself all the essential nutrients you need on a daily basis. There are 40 types of nutrients your body needs in order for it to maintain its health. I mean, that is a lot of nutrients. It is easy to remember all these nutrients by categorizing them so you can ensure you eat all the foods you need.

Water

The first category to remember is water. Water is essential for our daily living for without it, we become dehydrated. Water needs to be replenished in our system regularly as we lose it through sweating and other bodily functions. As you may already know, 8 glasses is the daily recommendation. You can also get water from fruits such as watermelon and oranges, as well as from fruit juices.

Protein

The other category of nutrients we need is protein. Proteins are derived from meat, legumes and soy products. They provide the necessary amino acids to build muscle tissue and also some of the hormones in our bodies. Protein also helps in the production of red blood cells.

Fats and Carbohydrates

Our bodies also need fats and carbohydrates so we can be properly energized during the day. Fats and carbohydrates can help us with the energy we need when we exercise or do any form of intense activity. They can also be stored in our bodies so we have to be careful of the amounts we take if we are stay slim and  healthy . If you are not eating enough fats and carbohydrates, your body can use the protein it receives to provide the energy.

Vitamins and Minerals

Then we have vitamins and minerals. These we get from fruits and vegetables, milk and other natural food sources. You can even enhance some of the foods you eat, like bread, to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs. Some of what you need are vitamin C and D, iron and thiamine.

Once you eat a  healthy  variety of foods you don’t need to worry about getting all the vitamins and minerals necessary for you. However, you can also take supplements if you are concerned that your body lacks any of the essential nutrients it needs to remain  healthy .

The Ultimate Healthy Snack Food For Big Hungry Kids

Are you maintaining your body for its best performance? I hope so. We will be talking about the ultimate healthy snack for your big hungry kids. When I say big kids, I don’t necessarily mean children exclusively. In fact, I consider myself a big kid as well. Why shouldn’t I? I find it highly enjoyable to be a big kid at times.

We will discuss about healthy snacks and the alternative to sugar and those other chemically-laden snacks which are so readily available on the shelves of the supermarket. What can we do? What can you do for your family, and how can we live and eat a little better in our life? The answer is quite simple: By choosing the correct snacks. When I say snacks, I mean the type of food that you can just grab in between meals, just to tide you over until the next meal. A snack can be anything and we find that there are so many available today and that’s what we will be talking about. We are very excited about the different types because you can literally eat healthy all day, and not worry about what you’re consuming. The question is, “Do you have some great snacks that you’d like to share, which you know are healthy, and are not laden with chemicals or sugar?” I hope so, because so many of them are available out there.

So why is it important to talk about snacks? Believe it or not, the reason why a lot of people are overweight and have health issues is because they constantly eat stuff which they are not supposed to. It’s the incorrect types of food that they put into their mouths and the reason why we do this is because we are bored, we need some sort of additional nutrition, some energy level boosts, and many other reasons as well. The main reason why we pick this stuff is because they are easily there, in front of us.

What happens then, if you replace these things with other health alternatives? Would it do you better? Absolutely! And if you are part of a family with kids, this is most important because kids are always saying that they’re hungry and would constantly ask for something to eat or something to snack on before lunch or a meal. It’s important since kids have big appetites because they are growing up, not to mention are highly energetic. However, they are not particular with what they put in their mouths. They would just eat when they’re hungry and move on. Feed them with healthy alternatives to keep them fit and in shape.

There’s a great way to get around the subject of craving for something sweet, chemically-laden, or your unhealthy choices. We have to think smart, think of great combinations of healthy food, not just plain and boring presentations. It’s all about eating a great variety or taste. After all, since God gave us taste for a reason, we might as well use them and fulfil them to the best of our ability. In a healthy manner, that is.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because I too have children and they are constantly asking for things to eat, for additional snacks, at anytime during the day. It’s good to be able to feed them other great alternatives rather than just going straight for the packaged foods on the cupboard. We can give them some great healthy alternatives, and there are some of them that you can do as well.

If you live a busy life like us, there’s absolutely no excuse on why you can’t do them as well. We all get busy, and we all get waylaid, and we may forget to do a bit of shopping from time to time, getting us stuck with nothing on the cupboard. We have to get clever, put our imaginations on overdrive, and make something up from scratch. Kids usually like to have something fulfilling. Big kids do too. So instead of reaching for the chocolate bar or the chips to tide you over until the next meal, these are some great healthy alternatives instead: FRUITS and VEGETABLES. That’s right. They are the obvious answers, and they make great and healthy snacks. They work very well in my household. The kids love them because they are presented in creative and enticing ways.

VEGETABLE CHIPS

Some of the best snacks we have at home include snow peas, green string beans, carrots, and celery. There’s a little trick that you have to make sure of before you offer them. That is, they have to be FRESH and CRISPY. If they are not, they will have a bitter taste, and will turn them off as snack foods, even before they have begun their service. So, before you hand them over to your children, or your spouse perhaps, make sure they are fresh, crispy, and tasty. What we do is we put snow peas, green string beans, carrots, and celery in a lunchbox. With the carrots, make sure to choose the young ones because they are sweet-tasting and not bitter, unlike the old ones. We slice them into little pieces and place them together in the lunch box. What we end up having is a variety of vegetable chips. They make a great snack, with a crunch when we bite into them. Our kids love it, and they always have because we always present it to them in a fun and loving manner. You chop it up well, keep the vegetables young and fresh, and when you present it to the children, sometimes as a little game, they eat it up without any problems at all. They really enjoy them, and these snacks are also easier to place on the fridge or on their lunchboxes when they go to school.

RAW (FINGER) VEGETABLES

These are only some of the basic snacks. There are still so much more. For instance, have you ever tried eating a raw asparagus stem? It is really nice and crispy. Especially if it’s fresh and young, it’s really quite sweet. The other thing with raw foods is if you chop them really small, you have to keep them away from open air so they don’t go all brown-looking and horrible. They are really tasty. Another one we use is sweet potato. You will find that you will really enjoy the taste, once you’ve chopped it up into little pieces. The younger ones are better tasting, of course. They are low GI foods and are really good for power-packed energy. They will fill you up and will last for quite a while. We also eat raw broccoli stem. The top may be a bit bitter, but the stem is really tasty, nice, and crisp. To tell you the truth, I could even eat a whole stem in a matter of minutes because it’s really chewy and tastes great. Not to mention it is nutrient-packed, which is great for the body.

FRUITS

Now I’ve probably said a lot about the vegetables. Some fruits, on the other hand, which are good, are apples, oranges, kiwi fruit, blueberries, and a whole lot more. However, there are other different alternatives to these which you can try as well.

THE ULTIMATE HEALTHY SNACK

Next is the secret ultimate healthy snack for the big kids. They are the Banana Smoothie and the Mango Smoothie. They are sweet, really filling, and are delicious. Guess what? They have no sugar as well! That’s the best thing about them. They are really healthy, filling, great, and there’s no sugar! Everybody loves them! So, here’s what we add to our Mango Smoothie.

Mango Flesh

Whole Milk

A tablespoon of honey

Raspberries

Approximately three drops of vanilla extract

Ice cubes

One whole egg

Half a banana (optional)

You mix them together in a blender, and it is absolutely scrumptious. We try to do this every week if we can because it is absolutely delicious. Everyone really loves it. The reason why it’s the ultimate snack food for kids is because it fills them up immediately, gives them great energy, and they don’t ask for snacks time and again. You just have to be careful not to give it too close to meal time because they won’t eat their meals anymore. It would make a great afternoon snack.

POPCORN

So, what are the other great snacks that we would like to talk about? Well, one of my favourites is popcorn. Just plain old popcorn, without any additives. It’s quite cheap and keeps the kids occupied for quite some time. They will make a great snack for your children. The good thing about it is it will be ready in just two to three minutes. It is great for kids and for you. There are no additives, no worries about salt and sugar, and no oils or fats in them as well.

AVOCADO and CRACKERS

Another great snack that we’d love to share is avocado and crackers. Not everyone may like plain avocado, though. However, if you get some rice crackers and put some avocado on it, similar to guacamole, you lay on the avocado, nice and soft, then you put a slice of tomato on it, some cracked pepper, and then a little bit of salt, that, my friend, is one great snack. It is great for morning or afternoon snack, and even for school. Even the big kids will love them as well. They are really filling, and I do enjoy them as well. It really does wonders.

BANANA

Now another great snack that I find, especially for the lunch box, is a banana. It is full of potassium and is a great source of energy, especially for your children. They are a really great snack food. That’s what you would want for your kids. You would want them to have a burst of healthy energy so they can go run off and really enjoy being a child. That’s the good thing about snacks. You don’t want to give them a full meal, just a light snack in-between, so they will have enough energy to play and run around and do stuff that kids usually do.

CHEESE

Another snack that could be added to the lunchbox is fresh cheese. I don’t mean the one wrapped up in plastic, I meant the one gained from real milk. That is full of proteins and it gives children a great energy boost and is very filling as well. I’m saying a couple of cheese cubes will do, along perhaps with a couple of crackers, and probably some grapes and nuts surrounding them as well. You’ll find that they will really, truly, enjoy this snack.

NUTS

Now I mentioned nuts, however, you have to be careful with them because some children are allergic to them. But you know your own child. If you do have friends over, you might want to find out first whether or not they are allergic to nuts before serving it to them. There are many different types of nuts. We personally love almonds, macadamia nuts, peanuts, cashews, walnuts, and many others as well. Don’t forget the seed variety too such as sunflower seeds and others which you can mix together in order to create a healthy nut mix.

Now, do you see what’s happening? We’re talking about snacks here and everything we’ve mentioned so far is really great for you. It is not full of fat, it is not laden with chemicals or sugars, and yet we’ve spelt out probably 20 or 30 healthy snacks which are great for you and your children. They really help tide you over when you are craving or a bit hungry for food in between meals. The ultimate great snacks are there and if you make great combinations of them, your children will really appreciate it and will ask for more of them.

So why don’t you do an experiment? Instead of feeding your child some packaged foods, feed them these types of snacks instead. Create a combination or mix of these fruits or vegetables, or these healthy snacks, and see what their reactions are, especially if you eat these with them. You could sit down with them and talk, have a conversation with them about their day, and watch their faces light up while eating these healthy snacks, especially if the vegetables that you used in the snacks are fresh, crispy, and not bendy. Now I’m not saying give them a whole bowlful of these, I only meant a couple or so sticks of carrots, for example, or little pieces of celery sticks perhaps, or a snow pea here and there. Introduce these things slowly and watch them as they will eventually love these types of snacks in their diet every day. But only as a snack, not as a meal.

Raw vegetables will really do them wonders. If you look at fruits, you can create a great combination or mix of them and make a fruit salad, perhaps, as an afternoon snack or for their lunchbox. You just have to watch out when you chop up fruits because they tend to oxidize fairly quickly, turning them brown. You could spread a little bit of lemon juice on top of them to seal them off so they don’t go brown almost immediately, or keep them in sealed containers. Best yet, give it to them whole. Allow the children to bite into a fresh apple, or peel their own banana. Watermelon is another great fruit which is fantastic for hot days. It gives them a burst of energy because it has natural sugars and it is very filling as well. You will have to supplement these later though, because you do burn through a watermelon pretty quickly. But, as you can see, this group of snacks could just fill up your whole cupboard and fridge! You could do this every single day and stand out as a bit of a hero for trying different foods such as strawberries, or blueberries, or raspberries. They’re all really wonderful fruits and they can do wonders to your body.

So why not go out and buy some? Why not give it to your family as a snack? It is a great alternative to packaged foods. It is very important that you understand that there are so many foods out there which are just as great tasting and wonderful in terms of nutrition as well.

Selling Final Expense Life Insurance Over the Phone

Have you ever thought about having the luxury of working from home and sitting in your underwear whilst the money rolls in? Well, this could be a reality with final expense sales, as there are numerous opportunities for the hard working and resourceful person to make money without ever leaving their favorite armchair.

Just think – you ring someone up, give them your generic sales pitch (that has been carefully thought about before) and then see whether they would be interested in the services that you offer. There are only two responses they can give – yes or no, and if it is the latter a good dialer will simply connect you straight through to another potential customer. If they say yes, then obviously that is when the real selling begins.

This technique only requires the initial cost of a dialer and however much the list of different seniors sets you back. There are no leads to buy, as the cold calls you are making are serving as the leads themselves.

There is always the option selling final expense life insurance over the phone after purchasing the leads as well. This is a double edged sword though, as it will give you a number of leads to follow up, but conversely buying these leads can be an expensive way of doing business. Each lead can cost about $20, meaning that the cost of just ringing five people per day will be $100 – a cost that many just can’t afford to risk their business on.

In fact, these leads are the biggest challenge that any final expense insurance agent has, as the cost is just so prohibitive to running a good business. Many people claim that they have an excellent system that makes profits a foregone conclusion when using leads to sell final expense over the phone. It is my opinion though that when using leads, meeting customers face to face is the only way that a business can guarantee making a healthy profit every single week.

Should you really not want to get out there and sell though – maybe because it is not convenient to you due to childcare or illness – then without doubt the best option is to purchase that list and dialer and get generating leads yourself. With the focus to discipline yourself in to not stopping until a sale has been made, this can be a good way to earn a living without the hassle of even having to start up your car, or even getting changed out of your underpants.

This is the only way that it will be possible for most to mix final expense and telesales in to a business that works financially for you. If you get licensed in more than just your own state, then there will be an even greater pool of possible customers for you to ring, and it will also enable you to identify areas that are particularly receptive to your calls.

There are a number of websites that will be able to guide you through the finer details of selling final insurance over the phone, many of which are inexpensive to join and are run by experts in the field. Not only will they provide all the theory needed to succeed, but they will also enable you to ask questions and get great answers back from people who have many years of experience.

Sporting Weight Loss, Motivation, and Mental Attitudes

Introduction to a   Healthy  Lifestyle, for weight loss and well being

A  healthier , happier and more successful you with weight loss through sport and an active  life  style.

You can become a  healthier , happier and more successful person by making a few simple changes to your lifestyle. You will have to make changes to the overall you, not just change the amount of exercise you do or your diet. The secret to achieving happiness and a  healthier  you is to balance your body and mind, it is only when we are balanced in physical health, mental and spiritual that we are truly  healthy .

I will write about the value of meditation at a later time.

If we are  healthy  then we are happier and can reach success more easily in  life , This is some of the ways you can bring back harmony and balance to your life

Exercise is an essential part, it helps to tone our body, keep our heart and lungs  healthy  and detoxifies.

Pick a sport any sport

find out if a coworker plays in a net ball team or has a touch footy team, Hey I love my Triathlon so I will always tell you to find a club who can give you some good advice and fellowship.

Exercise can be anything from more vigorous routines such as aerobics to simply walking, pick your favorite activity and set aside a specific time of day and commit yourself to devoting a half-hour per day towards getting your body back into shape.

Eating right is the next essential step

To maintain a well-balanced life; our bodies need the right amount of vitamins, nutrients and minerals to work at its best. Making changes to our diet is easy, keep away from fast foods which contain a lot of saturated fats and sugar.

I at this point in time will not presume to influence your diet and if you should eat something that has a face etc, but I do know from experience the more you get to a raw food diet, abundant in fruit and vegetables the more energy and energetic you will feel. So start including more green vegetables and try to eat fresh fruit instead of juice when available.

Along with making changes to your diet and until you get a feeling for how your body is going you should include supplements such as vitamins, nutrients and minerals.

Be aware

Modern farming methods and fast food mentality, strip many of our foods of the minerals our bodies require and now just provide us with the basic nutrients. Due to this we might be lacking in certain minerals and vitamins, by including in your diet  raw organic fresh fruit and vegetables  you can to ensure we still get all the vital minerals, nutrients and vitamins we need in our daily diet.

Reducing the amount of stress

This is where the role of sport has the added benefit of being a great reliever of Stress, which can do much damage to our body and mind.

It has been linked with “burnout”, fatigue, sleep problems, depression and it lowers our immune system. Learning techniques on how to cope with stress and worry are essential to keeping yourself balanced and full of energy.

One of the things that people with depression have to deal with is the perception of others around them. Depression, in the many forms that it may come through as, is considered by many to be a mental illness

Trying to live a normal life while living with these circumstances can be very difficult because of how others see the person who suffers from depression.There is definitely a social stigma attached to being a depressive.

Employers, co-workers, teachers and even friends who you have known for years may view you differently if they become aware of what you have to deal with.

Yet, how can you hide it and really why should you have to?. There is always a way out if you find yourself sliding to that point ,try to reach out ,this is where sport has the added role,of not only the physical but emotional well being of social interaction.

Simple breathing exercises

There are a variety of techniques which can be done anywhere, at anytime, to yoga which is a full system for relaxation and de-stressing to meditation.There are many books, DVDS and CDS available on the subject or there are courses you can attend. Bikram yoga is a great way to loosen up

Lastly but by no means the least important is keeping life fun, doing something which you enjoy doing and makes you feel relaxed and happy each day.No you are not being selfish by taking time out each day just for yourself, this time is essential.

Just be aware of the time you are putting in to your new found lifestyle does not impact on a family situation, here balance is the key

It is just as important as exercising, eating right and reducing stress, your time could be spent doing a hobby or pastime that you enjoy, sitting quietly and reading, taking a hot bubble bath while listening to your favorite music or spending quality time with your family or friends.

Smoking, Can it Harm My Skin?

Yes it can harm it in several ways. Here are more reasons to quit smoking now.

Skin is fed from within. The foods we eat are broken down into nutrients and waste. The nutrients are absorbed by the bloodstream which transports them around the body to the various organs, the largest of which is the skin. Oxygen is also transported and delivered in the same way. The cells absorb the oxygen and this is vital for the health of the organs and the life process itself. This whole process takes place automatically when we breathe……..

Except when we are breathing in smoke!

When we inhale the smoke from a cigarette the carbon monoxide from the smoke is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood. Carbon monoxide is a colorless odorless highly toxic gas also found in the smoke from car exhausts. The blood can absorb carbon monoxide 200 times as fast as oxygen so a lot of the oxygen is displaced by carbon monoxide. The organs including the skin are starved of life giving oxygen and slowly poisoned by the carbon monoxide.

But that’s not the end of it. Cigarette smoke also contains the following deadly cocktail of chemicals. Ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, butane, nicotine, carbolic acid, collidine, formic aldehyde, lutidine, parvoline, prussic acid, pyridine, arsenic and cadmium. This list is by no means complete.

The affect on the skin of all these is catastrophic. The liver goes into overdrive trying to expel these chemicals from the body and cannot perform its normal functions properly. The skin loses its healthy glow and takes on a yellowish-grey cast. The more cigarettes smoked, the worse your skin will look.

Smoking also causes premature aging in two ways. It uses up vitamin C in the body, about 35 mg for each cigarette. Vitamin C is an unstable vitamin and cannot be manufactured by the body. One of its functions is the preservation of the collagen in the skin, the substance that gives skin its plump and youthful appearance. The collagen beaks down causing premature wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.

The physical act of smoking causes us to squint, exaggerating the wrinkles around the eyes. Every time we purse our lips we deepen the wrinkles around our mouth as well.

Do yourself a favor! Stop poisoning yourself. Qit smoking now. Save the money you spend on these toxic weeds and go out and treat yourself to a facial or a new skin cream instead.

Your skin will thank you for it!

Healthy Meat – Which Meats Are The Healthiest?

Man is used to eating meat it has been part of our diets for centuries, however in recent years many nutrionists have warned us about the dangers of meat. This article will separate the hype form the reality of eating meat.

Let’s look at which meat is the best to eat and what meat should be avoided and some of the Conclusions may surprise you!

Beef

Per 100g 136 calories 5.1g fat

About half the fat in beef is monounsaturated fat which is similar to the heart  healthy  fat that you find in olive oil.

Look for organic cuts. The reason for this is these cattle are more likely to have been fed on grass and not grain which makes the fat  healthier  and will contain more omega 3 which is heart friendly.

Pork

Per100g 123 calories 4g fat

Pigs tend to be intensely reared which increases the chance that pork will contain harmful chemicals. It is more important than ever in pork to go organic.

Lamb

Per 100g 156 calories 8.3g fat

Lab has a reputation as being unhealthy as it is a relatively fatty meat however lamb is one of the least intensely reared animals (the complete opposite to pork) and is relatively  healthy  and a great treat.

Ham

Per 100g 107 calories 3.3g of fat

Packaged ham can contain up to 37% water and have high doses of salt and even flavourings. Ham really is a meat that should only been eaten in moderation because of this.

Venison

Per 100g 120 calories 2.4g of fat

Tends to be wild or non intensively farmed it is therefore a very  healthy  choice for red meat lovers and one of the  healthiest  of all.

Bacon Per 100g 215 calories 16.5g of fat

Just like ham very high in salt and preservatives that are the subject of cancer scares. Like ham only indulge occasionally.

Chicken

Per 100g 116 calories 3.2 fat minus skin

Full of iron, zinc and vitamin B12 a great choice, but make sure its organic chickens are one of the most intensely farmed meats and these can be full of things, well you really don’t want to know!

Turkey

Per 100g 119 calories 1g fat

Is one of the leanest meats and good source of protein. Turkey is Rich in B vitamins and zinc and a great source of tryptophan a brain boosting nutrient. Like chicken a very  healthy  meat – Go organic.

Duck

Per 100g 11.2 fat

A very fatty meat containing a lot of saturated fat, but also contains a lot of health benefits to with big doses of Iron and Zinc and B vitamins.

As you can see there are several excellent  healthy  meats with turkey being the best all round choice. All of the meats above can be eaten regularly with the exception of bacon and ham and beef is not as bad for as many nutritionists claim 0 In fact its good for you!

Man is a carnivore and many of the problems and health scares to do with meat are created by man, but if you go organic you can enjoy meat anytime and be  healthy  and happy – Enjoy!

Living a Balanced Life – How to Live a Healthy, Balanced Life in 3 Easy Steps

Today is the age of living a balanced life. More and more people are starting to get into the  healthy  habit. They have realized that it is now necessary to change their lifestyle. Maintaining balance and staying  healthy  are the new in-things to do.

However, don’t treat it as a passing fad. It’s a lifestyle that should be ingrained in the hearts and minds of everyone.

Here are 3 simple steps on how to go about living a balanced life.

Step 1: Be Active.

Exercise is the most effective and cost-efficient way of living a balanced life. You might not enjoy moving around very much, but there are a couple of ways you can make exercise more fun.

If you want to work out with friends, why not invite them to join an aerobics class with you? Or perhaps even a yoga class.

If you don’t feel like shelling out money for exercise, you can simply turn on the music at home and start dancing to the beat. Even just doing the chores, running errands and walking the dog ought to do the trick. Other people like to play sports after work as well.

Step 2: Schedule Time Out To Play.

All work and no play can be bad for your health. And to your spirit too. Living a balanced life requires you to take time off from work every once in a while.

You don’t need to go on an expensive vacation to have your play time. My suggestion is to call your friends and invite them over for dinner. Or perhaps you can go visit the spa and have your muscles massaged by experts.

3) Avoid Vices.

Living a balanced life is easier without vices like smoking and excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages.

If you’re a chain smoker, it’s best to start quitting before you incur any serious health problems. You don’t have to stop smoking at once since your body will probably break down from withdrawal. What you can do though is to smoke one stick less at a time. The same trick applies to alcoholism. Get rid of your vices as early as you can. You can thank me later.

Living a balanced life is easy if you’re really determined to make something out of yourself. Don’t allow yourself to be bogged down by excuses. Set goals. Do what it takes to keep yourself  healthy  and happy.