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7 Tips for Workplace Wellness

tips for workplace wellness
 
In order to take good care of your work you first have to take good care of yourself. Taking care of your well-being will not only help you in life, but it will help you in the office as well.

  1. Get Quality Sleep
  2. Fuel Your Body Effectively
  3. Exercise
  4. Prevent Eye Strain
  5. Decorate Your Desk
  6. Learn to Unwind
  7. Have Pursuits Outside of Work

Believe it or not, but even an office job can have its own hazards. You may not think about it but everything from vending machine food and sitting all day can cause serious health problems. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to combat these workplace hazards and increase office wellness. This can mainly be done by having a work-life balance. Everyone always seems to be talking about having a good work-life balance, but what does this balance really mean? Ultimately your wellness at work is about taking care of your physical and mental health.
 

Take Care of Your Body

physical well-being
 

Get QUALITY Sleep

Sleep is a factor that greatly affects your performance throughout the day as well as your physical and mental well-being. But it isn’t enough to just go to bed and hope for the best. You don’t just want enough sleep you want quality sleep. There are ways you can optimize your sleep so that you are getting the most out of your nights.

Go to bed and wake up at the same time

This will help your body to adjust to a regular schedule. Once your body is used to this schedule falling asleep each night and waking up each morning will become much easier. Set an alarm or reminder for when you need to start getting ready for bed to help you learn to wind down at the same time each night.

Stay hydrated

You actually get dehydrated as you sleep which can cause a dry and hoarse throat in the morning, leg cramps during the night, and an overall lack of quality sleep. You lose hydration in the night through breathing or a dry or warm environment in your bedroom. Another thing that can cause night dehydration is exercising late in the evening. To combat this issue, hydrate yourself well throughout the day, keep a water bottle on your nightstand, and keep your room temperature on the colder side with a humidifier turned on while you sleep.

Fuel Your Body EFFECTIVELY

Your body is like a complicated machine and in order to work at top performance levels and feel its very best your body needs fuel that it can work with. There are a lot of foods out there today that might be quick, easy, and immediately filling, but they won’t provide your insides with the proper nutrients to function at full capacity and eventually you’ll feel this as you feel more and more lethargic throughout the workday. You can fuel your body with a lot of things, but only certain nutrients will give you effective nourishment to give you optimal health and energy.

Eat wholesome meals

Make healthy meals at home and take healthy meals with you to work. Many of your coworkers might be going out to eat every day and though this might be fun in the short term it probably isn’t beneficial in the long term. Healthy homemade lunches will improve your physical wellness and improve your spending! You can also start bringing in healthier treats for your coworkers to help improve workplace wellness as a whole.

Eat wholesome snacks

If your stomach is growling for the majority of the day, you will likely crash before the end. Make sure you have the right nourishment going into your body and it will pay off. Even simple snacks can help keep you going between meals. Nuts, fruits, and cut up vegetables can really give you the energy you need to make it through the day.

Cut down on sugars

One of the biggest issues office workers fight on a typical workday is lethargy. Sugar intake can be one of the major contributing factors to your lethargy. Take note of the sugar content of what you are consuming in a regular day and you’ll see how prevalent this ingredient has become in a lot of our foods.

Then remember, while you pick your foods each day, that each gram of sugar adds to unpleasant feelings like bloating and tiredness. Make sure you take these tips to heart in order to keep your body happy and healthy throughout the workday and throughout your life. You will be grateful when you still have energy after retirement!

Stay hydrated

You would be shocked to know how much staying hydrated can improve your workplace wellness. There is nothing more important than drinking enough water throughout the day. It doesn’t matter whether it is summer or winter, your body is made up mostly of water and you need to continually replenish it. Don’t wait till you are thirsty to start drinking. It is much better to have a set amount that you plan on drinking throughout the day.

In general it is advised that you drink 8 glasses of water a day. It can help to have a designated water bottle that you keep with you throughout the day to drink from. If you have trouble getting yourself to drink enough water each day try drinking with a reusable straw. This can make drinking enough liquids faster and easier. Another thing you can do is put things in your water to make drinking water more fun! You can add cut up fruits and vegetables, mint leaves, and many other things to your water to make staying hydrated healthy, tasty, and fun.

Exercise

Exercise may seem like a dauntingly intense habit to get into, but it’s actually one of the easiest ways to boost your well-being because any amount of it will help. Even if you only go out of your way to exercise 20 minutes on weekdays, that’s still better than no exercise at all.

The average person is advised to get 75 to 150 minutes of physical activity into each week. This averages out to be around 30 minutes a day. Thirty minutes really isn’t asking too much of your time and there are a million ways you can get this 30 minutes of physical activity into your day without having to do crazy intense workout sessions at the gym. You can simply go on a walk, plan a hike for the weekend, go swimming, biking, or take a physical class like dancing or yoga.

Put Exercise on the Agenda

You can implement a routine of exercise into your day before or after work. Getting yourself to exercise will be easier if you schedule it into a specific time of day. In fact, a study found that working out at the same time each day made exercise more effective.

Work Out at Work!

You can also find ways to grab some exercise while you’re at work! There are hundreds of exercises you can do at your desk. Everything from simple stretches to replacing your chair with a stability ball can greatly improve your health.

Whatever you choose to do, change things up and get your body moving as much as possible. By the end of the day when most of your coworkers are crying about sore backs and tired limbs, you will be ready to keep going with your day.

Office Friendly Exercises

  • Practice good posture
  • Leg raises
  • Chair dips
  • Use weights at your desk
  • Ab workouts with your swivel chair, or stability ball
  • Lean on your desk to do planks or pushups
  • Use a standing desk
  • Go for a walk around the building
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Prevent Eye Strain

If you work in an office chances are you also get a lot of screen time at work. Staring at screens all day can put a strain on your eyes and even cause headaches and nausea after a while. But you can help prevent eye strain by getting a blue light filter on your screen, or blue light filter glasses to wear at work. It is also a good idea to take a break or two from your screen while at work to give your eyes a rest.
 

Take Care of Your Mind

mental well-being
 

Decorate Your Desk

Decorating your desk will make you happier, and liven up your workspace. You can get plants, you can set up some photos, you can decorate with cool looking bulletins and white boards, or splurge on a special mug or thermos just for your desk.

Learn to Unwind

You don’t have to pay for an expensive spa to still have your own personal spa day. There are endless things you can do to unwind and everyone relaxes in different ways. For some people relaxing may include hanging out with friends and going out. For others, relaxing may mean staying home, taking a warm bath, watching TV, or reading a good book. In order to learn how to unwind you need to learn more about yourself and what relaxation techniques work best for you.

  • Learn about mediation
  • Keep a journal
  • go outdoors
  • listen to music
  • have a spa night
  • read a book

Have Pursuits Outside of Work

It will give you a special sense of accomplishment to have your own personal pursuits outside of your job. And if you need help with funds to make your club or go on a weekend getaway you can use a Check City Personal Loan!

  • Volunteer
  • Join a book club
  • Start your own group or club
  • Join a recreational or intermediate sports team
  • Make personal goals
  • Plan vacations and getaways
  • Take a class

Having workplace wellness is all about having a work-life balance. Having a work-life balance is all about taking care of both your body and mind. If you remember these key principles of taking good care of yourself than not only will your life and health improve, but you will actually become more successful and productive at work as well!


READ MORE
Read “Workplace Wellness” from Mental Health America (MHA) to learn more ways you can improve the overall well-being of your employees.

Read an NPR report about how effective wellness programs are in the article, “How Well Do Workplace Wellness Programs Work?

Read an article from Corporate Wellness Magazine called, “What is Workplace Wellness Really? “ to learn more about what workplace wellness means.

For more tips about workplace wellness, see our article, “How to Stay Healthy at Work.”

The Rise of the Workout Apps

friday
In our previous posts we’ve discussed how you can track your financial fitness with the help of apps for your phone or tablet. In today’s post we’re going to cover some ways that you can track your physical fitness with the help of apps for your phone or tablet.

If you’re the type of person that is always on the run, picking up your morning coffee, off to work, then meetings, and then picking up your kids from the daycare just in time to start working on dinner, you just don’t have the time to work out. This can be frustrating when you are trying to lose weight or diet. That’s why technology has decided to make your life easier by creating a few apps that can help you with your diet or exercise.

Count Your Steps

If you really don’t have any extra time to exercise, you can at least measure how much you are getting done in a day. This app will count how many steps you’ve taken in a day and how many calories that means you have burned off. This will help you with your diet in deciding what you should and should not eat.

Counting Calories

When you are eating on the go, you might not be sure how many calories are in the food that you’re eating. MyFitnessPal.com will now allow you to look up restaurants and their foods and how many calories or grams of fat are in them. This will help you measure your intake and allow you to work the rest of your intake for the day into your diet. Weight Watches also has an app that will tell you how many “points” something is that you eat if you measure your meals by that instead of calories.

Workouts

Let’s face it – no one can afford those workout videos that you only watch once anyway. But of course, there’s a (free) app for that. If you’re looking for some short and simple workouts that you can do anywhere, there are many different app workouts available for download. Anything from ab, cardio, and arm workouts to even butt workouts have been very popular recently.

Map Your Route

If you do have time for a run or jog every day, you may be interested in mapping it out. This will tell you the exact locations and distance of where you run, how long it took you to run it, and what your average speed is. It will even keep in consideration your break times.

Food Diary

If you have trouble actually keeping track of all those calories and points you know you’re eating, you need an app that will be able to do it for you. Fill in the blanks of what you ate and the app will do all the math for you. You can find anything from fast food meals and home cooked meals to small snacks like “five carrots.”
With apps like these, you don’t have to waste any time wondering how much you can eat, how much you’ve eaten, how much you need to work out, or how much you have worked out. All these questions and more can easily be answered with just an app or two that can be downloaded onto your smart phone for free. Search for the fitness app that is best for you today.

How to Gain Weight on a Budget

budget-gain-weight
 
Losing weight isn’t the only way to stay healthy. Nowadays we understand that when it comes to weight, less isn’t always better. Whether you simply need to gain weight, or you’re trying to gain muscle mass, these tips can help you reach your weight gain goals.

While most people in the country are looking for ways to lose weight, some people are looking to do the exact opposite. For every person that has trouble losing weight, there is somebody struggling to gain weight. This could be because they want to bulk up and gain more muscle, or because they have a higher than average metabolism that makes it difficult for them to gain and maintain a healthy BMI.

To Maintain a Better BMI

For those that do not know, BMI stands for Body Mass Index. This is a weight-to-height ratio that helps indicate where you are on the spectrum between being over or underweight. The US Department of Health and Human Services has an easy to use BMI calculator that tells you whether you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. All you have to do is input your height in feet and inches, and your weight in pounds.

Why Is Being Underweight Bad for Your Health?

Knowing your BMI is important because it isn’t healthy to be overweight OR underweight. We hear a lot these days about how unhealthy it is to be overweight, but many studies have shown that it can be just as unhealthy to be underweight.

  • Worldwide, underweight children are at greater risk for childhood mortality and disease, particularly pneumonia.
  • Underweight pregnant women have a greatly likelihood to suffer complications during pregnancy, like Intrauterine Growth Retardation (IUGR), which affects the healthy development of the fetus.
  • Underweight men are at greater risk for early all-cause mortality than men in the normal weight range.
  • Being underweight can cause osteoporosis and protein deficiency in the elderly.

To Gain Muscle Mass

Maybe you’re not underweight and you just want to gain muscle weight. Either case will find the following tips helpful. Some people want to build up muscle for sports, weightlifting, an acting role, or a job that requires physical work.
Whether you’re looking to bulk up with muscle or just add some curves to your physique, gaining weight can be expensive. Luckily there are some simple ways to gain weight on a budget. It doesn’t have to entail crazy dieting measures like binging unhealthy fast foods or eating out of cans everyday either. You can gain weight the healthy way while on a budget with these simple principles.

How to Gain Weight

Carb Load

The main way you gain weight is by increasing your daily calorie intake. A calorie is a unit of energy used in reference to the body. One of the main ways our bodies get energy (calories) is through carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are a type of nutrient that provides your body with a source of energy. Your body changes carbohydrates into glucose which then helps power your body, tissues, and organs on a molecular level.
Carbohydrates come in two forms—complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates are generally better for you, are less processed, contain less sugar, and take longer to digest so you’re left feeling more satisfied. Simple carbohydrates are more processed, have more sugars, and take less time to digest so you’re left feeling hungry again sooner.
Most foods have carbohydrates in them, but some of the best carbohydrate candidates are bread, rice, oatmeal, pasta, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. Other fruits, vegetables, and dairy products can also be a great way to intake healthy carbohydrates, but grains really are the star when it comes to carbohydrates.
Bread is really not that expensive and you should be able to find oatmeal and other whole grain pastas for very cheap at the store. By choosing the right grains you can dramatically increase your caloric intake.
 
carb-load
 

Protein

Proteins are made up of amino acids and do a lot of the work in the body’s many cells. If you think about anything having to do you’re your body’s cells, you can bet proteins are there doing all the hard work. Proteins also help our bodies have strong bones, muscles, and skin. Increasing your protein intake is a great way to build up healthy muscle mass and weight.
Great sources of protein include meat, nuts, beans, and animal products like dairy, eggs, and cheese. Protein from meat and animal products are complete proteins with all the amino acids that our bodies need. Plants are incomplete proteins meaning they don’t have all the amino acids your body needs. If you only eat plant based proteins you just have to make sure you eat lots of different plants in order to get all the different amino acids you need.
 
protein
 

Healthy Fats & Oils

Fats and oils are an important part of any diet. While you may hear a lot of people telling you to not eat fats or oils, there are some healthy ones you should be eating. Some healthy examples of fats and oils that are good for you are extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, fish, avocado, nuts, yogurt, and peanut butter. Peanut butter is a great way to get healthy fats and oils on a budget because it’s fairly cheap and is loaded with calories and protein as well.
There are three kinds of fats—saturated, unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated), and trans fats. You want to consume unsaturated fats and avoid saturated and trans fats. Healthy unsaturated fats are good for you because they protect your heart from disease and lower bad blood cholesterol.
 
fats-oils
 

Exercise

If you’re trying to gain muscle weight then obviously you need to exercise. But if you’re just trying to gain weight you can benefit from exercise as well! Cardio workouts are great for building your heart and lung health, but cardio exercises are primarily helpful in losing weight. Strength training is the kind of exercises that will help you gain healthy weight and build muscle mass.

How to Plan Your Weight Gain Budget!

After gaining a better understanding of the nutrients your body needs and the costs of basic healthy groceries, you can budget and make a plan.
health-quotes

Make Your Goals

Not only do you need to create goals for how much you need to budget out for food, but you also need to know your specific weight gain goal. This will help you create an effective meal plan that works for your body and your budget.

  1. Decide how much you want to spend on groceries each week.
  2. Then choose your healthy groceries full of complex carbs, protein, and healthy fats and oils and stay within that weekly grocery budget goal.

This is why it helps to make a grocery list before you go shopping because at home you can pick your groceries and calculate the cost of everything to make sure you stay within budget before you even get to the store!

Organize Yourself

You should be keeping track of your caloric intake in three separate amounts—how much of your calories are proteins, carbs, and fats. If you keep a log of these three key numbers and use the food pyramid to balance things out, you will be surprised at how much you are able to gain.

Maintain a Balance

While your major goal may be to gain weight don’t forget to still eat vegetables and fruits. Vegetables and fruits have essential vitamins and minerals so keep them in your diet as well. It’s important that you not only eat to gain weight, but that you eat to be healthy as well.
 
We all need to eat and we all have physical goals about our health and our weight. But while you go about planning, remember that you aren’t just reaching short term goals, you are creating a lifestyle for yourself. Remember that it’s not just about gaining weight, it’s about practicing a healthier way to live. It’s also important to still eat things you like even if you are on a weight gain diet. Enjoying your diet will make it feel more like a meal plan, and ensure you keep these healthier habits in the long run.


READ MORE
Read more about effective ways to gain weight in the Mayo Clinic’s article, “ What’s a Good Way to Gain Weight if You’re Underweight?

Don’t Wait, Start Setting Goals Today!

New Year’s Resolutions

Each year, we have the opportunity to set new resolutions and goals. The opportunity to reevaluate and start your life fresh each year is a great gift that humans enjoy. Too often, people do not achieve their full potential due to the misuse or neglect of proper goal setting. The power of goal setting is extremely important and can help you reach your full potential.

Millions of people have proven that goal setting is a powerful tool to increase knowledge, broaden experience and help us be the people we want to be. If you are willing to set and follow through with a goal, you will be able to achieve anything you desire.

Don’t wait, start setting goals today! Here are some great tips to keep in mind when you are setting goals.

Make Smaller Goals

If you’ve taken the first step and decided to start setting goals, it’s important to make the goals achievable. Rather than creating broad or vague goals, break your goals up into manageable pieces. Think of your small goals as stepping stones towards a larger goal. When you are learning how to set goals, this is very important.

Break each goal down into manageable chunks to make the goal doable. Here are some great examples:

  • If you want to become more well-read – set a goal to read a book every month. If you struggle reading, consider joining a book club to increase your ability to discuss what you read and help you reach your goals. Start with books that are easier to read, then slowly ease into more difficult books.
  • Save Money – set yourself a stringent budget, and consistently stick to it. Set small goals like a food budget, or working a 2nd job. Before you know it, your savings will start to increase.
  • If you want to be more politically informed, start reading from numerous sources. As you broaden your exposure, you will eventually become better well-rounded and will be able to discuss politics with co-workers and friends.
  • If your job requires you to learn new computer skills, such as Microsoft Excel, begin by creating spreadsheets for your own budgets. Set practice goals and you will be a pro before you know it.

Write Your Goals Down

Once you have decided on your goal, write it down. When you write your goals down, you increase the likelihood of achieving them. You build a sense of accountability into your goal-setting that will keep you honest as you strive to attain your goals.

Make a Plan

It’s very important to have a plan when striving to achieve your goals. You’ve heard the saying, “Failing to plan is to plan to fail.” Well, when you are setting goals you have to plan to put your goals into practice. Just as you broke your goal into easily digestible parts, you will need to plan each step of the way. If you aren’t consistently striving to achieve your goals, you will not attain them.

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, find healthy/low calorie recipes and plan your meals daily. A good trick is to make your meals ahead of time and portion them out. If you create delicious meals and snacks, you will be less likely to cheat. It is always important to get aid from the resources around you. Many people do not accomplish their resolutions simply because they are not aware of the multitude of helpful resources that are available to them

Each goal you set is a potentially life-changing endeavor. You can increase your happiness and expand your horizons when you set and achieve quality goals. By setting and planning worthwhile goals you can accomplish much more than you ever imagined. You can increase your marketability, expand your knowledge and make yourself a better person, just by setting and keeping your goals. We hope you have enjoyed these tips. Don’t wait, start setting goals today!

Diet During the Holidays With These 5 Tips

The holidays are a great time to take a break, kick back, and enjoy the company of friends and family. There are a lot of different reasons to love this time of year. After all, the weather is crisper, the leaves change colors, and there is more time to relax and enjoy life. The holidays are also full of delicious food, and it can be very difficult to resist. With all of the big and luxurious meals come the extra pounds. Meals are going to be heavier (especially on the holidays themselves) and people are not going to be as active (because of the colder weather). Therefore, metabolisms are going to be reduced and the natural opportunities to work off weight are going to be much less present during the holidays.

As such, it is a good idea to come up with a healthy diet plan for these times during the year when everyone around you is eating. While we do not suggest skipping Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (far from it) we just suggest a more balanced diet that is full of healthier foods. Here are some tips, tricks, and suggestions on how you can diet during the holidays while still enjoying yourself:

Make a Plan

Coming up with a plan of action is the best way to set up a diet and to be successful with it. Don’t go into the battlefield unprepared! Making a plan ahead of time will help you be more careful, avoid over-eating, and help you to make meals that are healthier and less fattening. So, what is your plan of action? We suggest you plan weekly. Plan out a balanced diet that allows you to eat healthy and still enjoy yourself.

Does your family make huge holiday dinners? Do your research ahead of time to see what food is healthy and what you should avoid. If you want to enjoy yourself, but don’t want to overeat, we have a great solution for you. Don’t show up to the party really hungry. Simply have a protein shake, or a green smoothie beforehand so you won’t be hungry enough to overeat.

What to Eat?

Consider eating more leafy green and purple salads during this season, as well as eating fruit. These are good alternatives to completely filling up and encourage good digestion and better conversion of food into energy. Eat lighter foods in order to encourage better results for your body. During the colder months your body will crave more heavy foods, unhealthy sugars and carbohydrates. Try to settle that sugar craving with healthy sweet foods like fruit and veggies.

Chew Gum?

If you are starting to get hungry, and it isn’t time to eat yet, try chewing a piece of sugarless gum. This works well when you are trying to not snack on all of the food that is constantly around you during the holidays. It also brings great flavor without having to eat anything.

Don’t Skip Meals

Skipping a meal usually means splurging and eating too much later on. Don’t skip meals if you are trying to diet during the holidays. If you show up to the party really hungry, you will most likely eat unhealthy. Try and eat a balanced breakfast and lunch to avoid overeating at dinner.

Save it

Make the extra effort to eat healthy during the non-special days so you can enjoy yourself for the holidays. It is important to stay healthy throughout the year and be consistent with your eating habits. Make it one of your new year’s resolutions to consistently eat healthy. We hope you have learned how to diet during the holidays. Thanks for reading!

Save Money by Couponing with These 5 Tips

Save Money with Coupons!

Coupons are a great way to find great deals and save money. If properly used, coupons can really help you save a lot of money. I know you may be thinking, “Couponing is such a hassle.” But in this interconnected world we live in, couponing is actually easier than ever.

Today, you have access to many different couponing options. Yes, we just said that. You can find coupons outside of your local newspaper! How, you may ask? We are here to show you. Here are some great tips to help you save money by couponing.

Sunday Paper

The good old paper will always be there for your couponing needs. If you take the Sunday Newspaper, you can usually find an entire coupon section. You can sort through the coupons you are most likely to use and cut them out.

Get the App!

In today’s world, you no longer have to wait for the Sunday paper. For most people, coupon apps are the most convenient way to coupon. There are dozens of great coupon apps out there to choose from. Research and find one that best fits your needs!

Your phone is most likely with you at all times, so the convenience is already there. Don’t wait, save money by couponing today!

Coupon Software

Although apps are very convenient, some people prefer a physical copy of their coupon. No worries, we have you covered. Many websites now allow you to print your coupons. With these sites, you can stay current on the latest offerings. All you need is a computer and a printer!

In the Mail

Don’t worry, there is another great couponing method! The mail! That’s right, you can have your coupons delivered in the mail. Don’t search for your coupons, have them find you. Have your coupons delivered to you in the mail and save money by couponing today!

The Extreme Couponer

Learning how to extreme coupon isn’t hard. The extreme couponer will plan for their shopping trip like they are heading into battle, with a well thought-out battle strategy. If you have this level of commitment, you can save some serious money!

Therefore, it is a good idea for people who want to save money to make a habit of using coupons from several different sources in order to get the best results overall. We recommend you try out multiple couponing methods, so you can find different deals to different stores. We hope you have learned how to do extreme couponing!

Always remember, just because you have a coupon doesn’t mean you need the item! It’s important to look for items that you need and use. If you don’t coupon properly, it can possibly have a negative impact. As you learn the tricks of the savvy couponer community, you can save even more than expected. Don’t wait, save money by couponing today!

Healthy Meals on a Budget

Eat Well on a Budget

Healthy meals on a budget can be a very difficult task, especially if you are just starting out. Preparing and cooking healthy food on a budget can seem very overwhelming, but don’t worry, it’s not!

The good news is that with the health revolution of recent years, cheap healthy meals have become a reachable goal for most Americans. Cooking shows and articles are everywhere to show how to make bland sounding brown rice or vegetables into a feast your family will want to eat!

Depending on your diet, here are a few healthy alternatives:

The Staples

Brown Rice is a nutritional powerhouse. More importantly, it is fiber rich, which will make your family feel fuller longer! Learn to love brown rice for the health of your family, and your wallet. Branch out and find different ways to cook your brown rice.

Beans are another great choice for a budget friendly food. Beans are high in protein and fiber. Black beans are a great alternative and taste very good! Beans are a great item to add to your cheap healthy meals.

Fresh vegetables are a healthy and nutritional choice. Salads are filling, and will help your family nutritionally.

Meats

Meat can be very expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Try and find promotions and stores you like that sale great tasting meat at a good price. If possible, try and buy your meat in bulk to help cut costs. Good meat is always nice with your healthy meals on a budget.

Spice it up

Herbs and spices are a must to keep your meals fresh and delicious. Herbs and spices are low in calorie and will add that twist you are looking for!

Most spice companies now make spice blends. Spice blends come in varied flavors from Garlic Herb, to Jamaican Jerk.

Sales and Coupons

Keep your eye out for sales and coupons when shopping. Check out your local grocery stores upcoming sales going on. Couponing can save you a lot of money and will really benefit you. Couponing is no longer difficult with having to cut everything out and save it. You can now coupon online!

Buying healthy ingredients to a meal and preparing them at your home will save you staggering amounts of money previously spent on unhealthy and expensive pre-made meals.

5 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

Although it can be difficult at times, it is very important that your kids are practicing healthy eating habits. The more healthy foods you can encourage your kids to eat, the better their health will be. We are here to give you some healthy lunch ideas for kids, while keeping them appealing at the same time.

1. Keep it Simple: A Sandwich

When you are ready to pack healthy lunches for kids, start with a simple sandwich. It’s fairly easy to make a delicious sandwich. Some kids may prefer the same meal every day, but most kids will get bored. So try some new ideas to make the simple sandwich irresistible to your kids:

  • Try 100% whole wheat tortillas for wraps. Take note that tortillas come in many different ingredients. Find the most healthy option
  • Use a 100% whole wheat Pita Pocket as your bread
  • Add shredded carrots, avocado slices, or shredded cabbage to the lettuce
  • Buy a block of cheese and slice it at home. You’ll save money, and it will taste better
  • Cut the sandwiches into a fun shape with a cookie cutter
  • Use a grilled chicken breast in place of lunchmeat
  • Cut carbs and make a lettuce wrapped sandwich in place of bread

2. Pack Leftovers

Pack the lunch in a mini cooler to keep the food cool and fresh. Double up your children’s favorite meal from the night before and pack it for lunch the next day. When finding healthy school lunch ideas, packing leftovers is a great tip.

3. Having Fun with Food

Let your kids have fun with their lunch. Consider these great mixtures:

  • Pair Apple or Pear slices with peanut butter or low-fat yogurt
  • Celery, Carrots or broccoli can be paired with hummus, homemade bean dip, or a fresh salsa
  • Whole grain, low sodium crackers can be dunked in warm tomato soup
  • Mix nuts or low-fat granola into some healthy yogurt

4. Healthy Alternative to Sugary Snacks

Substitute sweets for fruits and yogurts to allow your kids to still have the sweetness they love. Instead of a king size chocolate bar, give them an apple or grapes.

Let your kids be part of the packing process. Let them help you pack the lunch and pack the bags. If your kids are excited about what’s in the bag, they’ll be more likely to eat the lunch.

5. Set a Good Example

Finally, a really good way to get your kids to eat healthy at school is to eat healthy at home. If your meals are delicious and healthy at home, then your kids will be used to eating this way. Use your discretion and your best judgement when packing lunches for your kids.

We hope you have enjoyed reading these healthy lunch ideas for kids!

6 Simple Tips for a Portion Control Diet

Whether you are looking to lose some weight or having more control over your dietary intake, exercising a portion control diet throughout the day is one of the best ways to get results. Portion control is all about being able to define the limits of the food you eat throughout the day. It also is going to be one of the effective ways to lose weight and keep it off. Use the following tips to monitor your portions.

1. Track What You Eat

It will be hard to cut back on foods and start a portion control diet if you don’t even realize what you’re eating. Set aside a week to track every single thing you eat. This means your meals, your beverages, your midnight snacks, and the stuff you mindlessly snack on at the office. You may be eating or drinking many more calories than you realize.

Once you’ve tracked your eating habits for a week, analyze them. Are you surprised by how many of your calories are coming from beverages? Do you eat more sugar than you realized? After you’ve analyzed your habits and found the problems, you can start making positive changes.

2. Drink Plenty Of Water

Your body has a hard time telling the difference between thirst and hunger. Staying hydrated will help you know when you are actually hungry, and when you aren’t. Be sure to stick to water—other beverages contain lots of calories and sugars that will slow down your progress—save the calories for food that will actually leave you feeling satisfied.

3. Avoid Eating Your Meals “Family Style”

It may be convenient to bring all the serving dishes to your dining table while you eat—but it won’t help you with portion control. Prepare your plate in the kitchen and then take it to the table by itself. You’re less likely to keep eating if there isn’t a tempting pan of lasagna right in front of your face.

4. Switch Out Your Dishes

Something simple like switching to smaller plates, bowls, and glasses can make it easier to control what you eat. Portion control plates and portion control containers are very helpful. It is tempting to fill up whatever plate you have, no matter what size it is. Choose a smaller plate, or a plate with sections designed specifically for portion control to keep your portions in check.

5. Prepare Snacks Ahead Of Time

Snacking throughout the day can help you stay energized, but only if you do it right. Instead of hitting the vending machine or mindlessly eating chips from a bag, pack healthy snacks for work. Healthy snacks are important when participating in a portion control diet.

Healthy snacks include:

  • Carrot sticks
  • Apple slices
  • Greek yogurt and berries
  • Hummus and veggies
  • String Cheese
  • Almonds

If you choose to eat something like crackers, don’t eat them straight out of the box, instead set aside a small portion and put the rest away.

All of the snacks listed are healthier than most vending machine options—a little preparation can get you through your midday slump without derailing your weight loss goals.

6. Listen to Your Stomach

It takes a few minutes for your brain to get the message that your stomach is full. Slow down when you eat meals to avoid overeating. Set your fork down between bites and sip water as you go. It will help you stop eating when you are full, not stuffed.

Exercising Daily

One of the best ways to get into better shape and to enjoy a better standard of health is to exercise daily. While this bit of advice will doubtlessly seem like common sense taught at every age, the face of the matter is that it works.

Daily exercise is one of the best ways to build and define muscle, improve energy levels, and develop better endurance. You can get better results for yourself by exercising for a mere 15 minutes every day. 15 minutes is definitely something each one of us can achieve, even if we live very busy lives. How many of us have spent more than 15 minutes a day idly watching TV or surfing the Internet? The average person spends an hour or more a day on the Internet, so that alone offers a window to free time that could be spent elsewhere.

It is important to note that these 15 minutes a day do not have to be grueling workouts, by any means. Merely going for a walk or doing sit ups or jogging lightly count as the exercise for the day. The point of these efforts is to get your body up and moving, circulating the blood and flexing the muscles.

Done consistently, people should be able to notice a pronounced set of positive results stemming from their efforts. Metabolism will be improved due to the body become more efficient with its energy processing as a positive result of this endeavor. You also will be able to notice increases in energy and mood alike, as the body gets better circulation and flow.

When it all comes down to it, exercising daily is something that we all can do. Even the busiest of us should be able to clear out a measly 15 minutes in order to get their body moving. The payoff is worth it!

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