A few things I’m doing right now to lose weight and tighten up

In no particular order, I’ve incorporated these rules into my life recently and I’m progress in my weight loss and health goals.

I’ve lost three pounds in ten days (and I haven’t even been exercising, but that’s about to change).

half of a tomato slice face matched with half of a bicycle tire to create a circle

(photo compliments of SuperTracker.usda.gov)

1. Consume nothing but plain ol’ tap water after 8 o’clock. Breakfast is around 10 in the morning. If you’re only eating 10 hours a day, it’s easier to trim calories. Besides, I’m not hungry when I’m asleep.

2. Use USDA.gov’s SuperTracker to create goals and track my calorie intake. Reduce calorie intake to 1600 or fewer daily.

3. Drink 10-14 glasses of water daily. This helps me stay full, energized, and saves me from feeling hungry when I’m actually just thirsty. Also, I want my skin to glow and stay hydrated as I make these changes and lose weight, too. Chant with me: No more stretch-marks. No more stretch-marks. Twelve more

Detox diet advice

cruciferous vegetables including Arugula, watercress, cabbage, Napa cabbage, daikon, wasabi, turnip, rutabaga, broccoli rabe, bok choy, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale

(photo compliments of healthyurbankitchen.com/blog)

I’ve been striving to eat clean(er).

I’ve read about The Master Cleanse or lemonade detoxification diet, and it was recently recommended to me, too. I follow a blog that raves about it, mythineats (great blog, by the way), so if it’s for you, power to you.

It seems too simple, though. And potentially unhealthy. So I kept reading and consulted my Dad, a hobby ‘hoping-to-turn-semi-pro’ nutritionist.

His bottom line: you don’t need to throw your body into shock and deprive it of key nutrients to detoxify. Garlic will wipe the metals out of your system, eating clean detoxifies and regulates your body naturally, and anyone will get the awesome results of this Master Cleanse if they quit eating garbage and had two bowel movements (sorry, had to say it) every day for 10 days.

I don’t want the easy way out. I want to learn positive habits that keep me free of toxins.

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How to save money on your home energy use. Seventeen energy-saving steps that green your home

piles of folded blankets and quilts that appear maybe homemade sitting on aged/vintage chairs in a yard with a background of trees

(photo compliments of laundry.co.uk)

Saving money on energy and home bills and conserving energy and the environment are the same thing. You want lower bills, everyone needs greener air. Win-win!

Check out a few tips for how to save your wallet and the planet:

  1. Cuddle up at night. Lower your heat at night to save. Pile on the blankets, cuddle up, and remember to wear socks. Keeping your feet warm at night helps you fall asleep faster. Continue reading

Thirteen auto tips for saving gas and lowering car repair costs

car fuel gauge, orange arm on a black background with white E and F, indicating an almost empty tank

(photo compliments of black-and-right.com)

Everyone knows the cost of gas. Everyone complains about the cost of gas. Chances are, if you are drawing a blank on small-talk topics, gas prices will be popular.

So how do you take care of your car and drive to maximize your miles-per-gallon (mpg)?

  1. Get the lead out–of your trunk. Your car’s trunk is a handy place to store all sorts of things–car stuff, sports stuff, that return-bound bag of cement you never used for that fencepost project. Whatever it is, it adds up, and every one hundred pounds removed can improve fuel economy by 2 percent, according to a Federal Trade Commission report.
  2. Walk! Park your car and get some exercise. The best way to stretch your gas money is to leave your car parked and walk instead. It is rumored that short trips of 1 mile or less are the number-one reason for most American car trips. And, according to the Web site www.walkscore.com, a study in Washington State found that the average resident of a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood weighs seven pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood. | So next time you think about climbing in your car to drive somewhere nearby, stop and think–can I walk there? Can I ride my bike? The life (and the money) you save may be your own. Continue reading

Twelve hobbies and crafts that will lighten your family budget

(photo compliments of blog.phaseonelandscapes.com)

Need a hobby? Need to revisit an old craft or skill? The following tips are ways crafts or hobbies can save you and your family money.

  1. Paint for a new look. Jennifer gets tired of furniture easily, but instead of rushing out to buy new, she reaches for a paint can. A fresh color, and the world looks bright and shiny again. But old wooden chairs at garage sales, give them a quick coat of new color, and change the way your dining room looks. You’ll spend far less than if you headed for the mall furniture store.
  2. Decorate with blooming plants. Instead of treating yourself to cut flowers on your dinner table (unless you can cut them for free in your own garden) buy a flowering indoor plant. It is less expensive to buy one pretty plant than a series of bouquets. Continue reading

Garden: the easiest way your family can save money, eat healthier, help the environment

basket of fresh garden vegetables like carrots, lettuce, cabbage in a basket sitting in a garden

(photo compliments of wayetlighting.wordpress.com)

If you have a yard, start a garden. The financial benefits of gardening are extensive, the health benefits are obvious, and the environmental benefits are substantial. You don’t need a huge garden, and your family can help out and bond through the care of it.

Here’s a list of ways to maximize the benefits of gardening in your life:

  1. Make your own fertilizer. Get in the habit of composting your vegetable and garden scraps. You will do something nice for the planet, put less into the waste stream, and get free fertilizer for your garden in the process! You can find information on building your own compost bin at www.bluegrassgardens.com.
  2. Plant a money garden. With an eye towards increased interest in vegetable gardening, the Burpee Seed Company has developed a “Money Garden” seed packet. Six different kinds of vegetables are included for $10. The company says the plants will produce $650 dollars worth of produce. Continue reading

Nineteen tips for how to save money by cooking up these simple, natural, healthy, quick recipes for the family

round loaf of fresh bread on a wooden cutting board, a bread knife laying to the left

(photo compliments of artisanbreadinfive.com)

Alright, while reading 573 Ways to Save Money by Peter Sander and Jennifer Sander, I found a few super simple recipes I really liked. They use a few real ingredients, and are cheaper than their pre-made or packaged counterparts at the supermarket with mystery chemicals and preservatives. Save money, cook with healthier ingredients and get creative in the kitchen? This is great.

  1. Make your own smoothies. Get out of the habit of expensive fruit juice smoothies and get into the habit of making them yourself at home. Bananas, berries, ice, yogurt, juice, and a blender are all you need. Visit www.smoothieweb.com for a great selection of smoothie recipes.
  2. Stuff baked potatoes. An inexpensive and filling way to feed a family is with stuffed baked potatoes. Bake them, scoop out the insides, and mash with a bit of milk, butter, and sour cream, then add in chopped and spiced meat or cheese or vegetables.
  3. Simple pasta is the best. This inexpensive pasta meal is perfect–plain pasta, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Add salad or a loaf of bread you’ve made yourself, and you have a budget gourmet meal. Continue reading
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