Beach Bodies Workouts


Oldies but goodies. I’ve got a lot of hits on an earlier article Beach Bodies Workouts so I decided to give it a face lift and bring it to the front of the line.  If you want to see more of my early articles you can use the search bar at the top of the page and I’ve also added an archives tab to the right.  Happy Reading.

 

 

1. The Spartacus Challenge.  This routine has really proved its place at the top.  I have completed the workout shown countless times  and can attest to is effectiveness. Be sure to stretch out those muscles while your cooling down or your legs will hate you for a few days!

2. Body Rock.  From every workout available this is still my favorite. While zuzana has stepped to  the side allowing another buff energetic gal to take you through the workouts the quality of the site has remained the same and will always be my go to site. It is perfect for any level and offers recipes and other helpful advice.

3.  All about the six-pack .This is a routine I recently ran across while playing online that I thought was really fun and easy enough even for beginners. This is a quick 12 minute workout all you need is a couch and the will power. This is the routine I have used all along with The Spartacus Challenge and some of Zuzanas routines. Enjoy. 

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Eating Organic for less.


  My roommates and I used to say a blessing before our meals the went something like ” May this food nourish our bodies as it failed to do so for our wallets.”  It is no secret that food costs are on the rise especially if you opt for fresh and organic choices but it doesn’t have to. Try out these tips to eating organic for less.

1. Buy in Bulk – Many dry good items are much cheaper bought in bulk and have an amazingly long shelf life if stored properly.  Oatmeal, rice, beans, and flour are all good examples of items to buy in bulk and they are all easily kept.

Beans – Many food experts are of the opinion that dried beans can be kept without losing their nutritional value for up to thirty years.
Flour – The shelf life of flour really depends on what you are using if you use a particular kind not listed here let me know and I will track it down for you. All purpose flour will last in a cabinet sealed for up to eight months and twelve if kept refrigerated. Corn Flour is easily kept for up to a year and once again this is increased with refrigeration.
Rice – Properly sealed and stored, polished white rice will store well for 25 to 30 years after opening it should be used within 18 – 24 months.
Oatmeal – Processed oatmeal has a longer shelf-life than natural oatmeal because enzymes in the grain are destroyed by the heat of steaming and rolling. Processed oatmeal has a shelf life of about 18 months. Natural oatmeal can be stored in an airtight container for months, but once opened, it needs to be used as soon as possible (within weeks) because the enzymes breakdown.

 2. Find a local butcher – You may have to dig around but finding a local butcher and supplier can be a wonderful way to give yourself and your family with fresh organic meat at a fraction of the price. A couple of years ago my family purchased half a cow from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. It was grass-fed, locally butchered, and lasted us through the winter and then some for just a few hundred dollars. Pound for pound we saved money and you can really taste the difference.

3.  Casseroles – Pan dishes are great because you can divide the finished meal into portions to use later. One casserole can feed a family of four two or three times and can be sent to  school or work for a healthy homemade lunch.

4. Grow your own veggies – Starting your own garden may seem like a daunting task but it’s really very simple. There are thousands of articles online to help you get started and with the rise in interest of urban homesteading its easy to find ways to grow in little to no space. Think vertical gardens.

5. Check out your local farmers market – What could be better than supporting your local farmers while eating healthy at a fraction of the cost. Find out where your local farmers market is and take a day to look around. The produce varies with the season and you can usually haggle with the vendors for a price and amount that fits your household and wallet.

6. Raise your own – If its possible raising chickens is a great way to get your own organic eggs and in a pinch meat. Chickens are great composters, bug eaters, and fertilizers. Many areas are now allowing households to keep a limited amount of chickens inside city limits. Another idea is beekeeping if your up to it and I have heard you can get financial help in this area because of their declining numbers in the wild.

What ways do you and your family eat organic for less?

A life in plastic – new uses for old bags


 

 If your like me chances are you probably have a hidden stash of plastic grocery bags hidden under your sink or in a spare drawer.  The Wall Street Journal reported that US consumers go through over 100 billion plastic bags each year. Although many of them are recycled, the majority of these are tossed in the trash ending up in landfills, along roadsides, and in the oceans. These easily discarded carriers pose suffocation and other health threats to humans and animals alike.  In hopes of putting my dent in the growing epidemic that is plastic waste I’ve compiled a list of some easy fun recycling ideas.

 

1. Plarn- Plarn is “yarn” made from plastic bags that are cut into strips and crocheted to make any number of things I am particularly fond of baskets and rugs but you can even make sandles! The plastic creates durable stiff products with very little maintenance. (just hose them off.)

2. Plastic bags can be used as a quick replacement in the kitchen standing in for pastry frosting bags just snip the corner. I used this method recently to make filled cupcakes and it worked perfectly.

3. Packing material – instead of shelling out your hard-earned money on packing peanuts try using balled up plastic bags and newspapers to cushion your package for free.
4. Painting – Do you like the look of leather? It is easy to achieve and all you need is paint and you guessed it a plastic bag!  Heres a link to that project http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/decorative-paint-technique-leather/index.html

5. Get creative – bracelets, flowers, soccer balls. With a little imagination and some trial and error there’s no limit to the uses you can find for what would otherwise get tossed. Remember one person trash is another’s treasure!

  I am still looking for more ways to reuse the bags that will permanently keep them out of landfills and would love to hear your ideas!

Indoor gardening


For christmas I received a wonderful present. It is a bamboo palm planted in a cute face mug.  It is pleasing to look and I was surprised to find that it is in the top rankings of plants used to clean the air. Also known as a Reed Palm it thrives in shady indoor spaces and can produce flowers and small berries. I have read that it is poisonous if ingested so I wouldn’t recommend it in homes with small children or pets.  However, I have compiled a list of plants that grow easily indoors, and are safe to have around children or pets. I really love the idea of an indoor hanging garden and would like to use the one found here http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2E2NLZ to grow plants, flowers, or herbs for natural medicine and consumption. The link above is a page I came across that shows multiple variations of the hanging planter with different prices. I really like the florafelt panels because they are waterproof and made from recycled materials.  You could probably use the design and create a similar planter from recycled materials if you have the creativity gene.  

 

Here are a few plants I would like to see growing in my home, and some that are kid and pet friendly.

1. Spider Plant – These plants are easy to grow and thrive best in temperatures between 65 and 90 degrees F. They are known to grow about two feet high, and regularly have flowers. Spider plants have been known to cut indoor air pollution.

2. Garlic – Garlic has been used throughout history for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is closely related to the onion and is extremely easy to grow. In fact if you leave a bulb in your fridge long enough your likely to find green shoots within a few weeks.

3.  Aloe Vera – My grandma always had a couple of these growing around the house, and would break off a stem to treat minor burns and some bug bites. This is another hardy plant that is easily grown indoors.

4. Hen and chickens – This is my favorite plant out of the ones listed. They are very cute and can be grown in any soiled nook or cranny. Another one of my childhood memories, my grandma use to grow tons of these in red clay pots on the porch. They eventually produce pretty flowers.

5.  Peppermint – Peppermint grows best in moist conditions and spreads quickly. The fresh or dried plant can be used for a variety of purposes. One fun thing is to freeze fresh washed leaves in ice cubes to use in your favorite teas or mojitos. You can also dip them in melted chocolate for a sweet and healthy snack.

 

 

I would love to hear your feedback. What plants do you currently have in your home? Would you try the indoor planter? If so, what plant would you grow?