8 Items Your Family will Save Money on When Shopping in Bulk

In case you don’t already have one, consider going out to get a membership at Costco or Sam’s Club and save money on many of your household needs!

  1. Milk- If you are a family with kids, a small restaurant owner or just someone who likes milk, buying this in bulk saves not only money but the time it would take you to go grab a gallon of milk in the morning because you realized you were out and your kids are going through a cereal-only phase for breakfast. With many options of brands, types and sizes, everyone who enjoys milk can benefit from this cost savings.
  2. Bread- With almost every option I see in a typical grocery store bread is a great item to buy in bulk. At Costco you can get two giant loaves of your favorite bread for about the price of one normal loaf! Worried you wont eat it fast enough? Put the extra loaf into your freezer until you are ready for it.
  3. Eggs- From organic to 5-dozen at a time, eggs are a must buy at a warehouse store. If you don’t think you’ll eat them all before they go bad, ask your neighbors or family if they want to share the cost of some warehouse items with you and split them up after purchasing. This method comes in handy with roommates or community living situations when space and money may be limited.
  4. Spices- Every chef should know about the great prices on large containers of spices at warehouse stores. For restaurants, events, and avid home cooks, having enough spices on hand is very important. With long shelf lives, it is not a worry to buy a giant container of Taco Seasoning.
  5. Snacks- The snack section at warehouse stores is great for families with kids who need daily lunches for schools and college kids needing quick, cheap on-the-go food. Luckily, the need for adult on-the-go snacks for the working professional has been recognized and hardy protein bars, trail mix packets and other organic snacks can now be found at warehouse stores too.
  6. Toilet Paper- This is one that pretty much everyone should be taking advantage of. Stop paying more than you need to for something you will need every day for the entirety of your life. Bulk toilet paper at warehouse stores is much cheaper than buying it at a regular store. Compare prices for each brand to find the most cost efficient brand that is just right for you.
  7. Paper Towels- Another household essential for most people. Buying these in bulk will save you time and money. This is another great supply for small business owners to purchase locally when in a pinch between supply shipments.
  8. Hygiene Products- While they don’t have every brand every person desires, they do have a lot of things for a discounted prices such a shampoos, soaps, medicines and shaving supplies. Next time you’re in a warehouse store browse through the hygiene/personal care section to see if they carry the brand you love. If they don’t, check back later as I’ve noticed those brands are interchangeable.

 

4 Scientifically Based Benefits of Being in Nature

 

More studies are coming out claiming that being in nature benefits your health; here are some of the benefits you can gain from spending some time in nature.

Vitamin D: Even if it is cloudy, you body is still getting some of the Vitamin D we Alaskans are so often deficient on. Instead of dosing up on a lot of supplements, try getting the thing your body needs naturally by spending more time outside. Even if it is just reading on your deck, getting some sun rays on you is a good way to get some extra Vitamin D and boost your energy.

Improved Sleep: When we get out more and expose our eyes to bright natural light, you might sleep better than if you spend your whole day inside staring at artificial lights and electronic screens. Aside from the benefits on your eyes, getting outside helps your brain and body have an accurate internal clock. Even just 20-30 minutes outside in natural light could result in a more restful night sleep. Whether you are in a nursing home and need more time outside, or an office worker who should spend their breaks outside, getting more exposure to natural light should improve sleep patterns.

Exercise: You can’t go outside without getting some form of exercise. Even just a quick walk, or a long walk along a favorite trail, you are getting some much needed exercise. If you don’t like going to the gym, try doing your own workout routines outdoors in natural light and fresh air. Studies find that outdoor air is cleaner than indoor air, so a workout outside is not only good to be active, but the fresh air should feel good, too. Try going for at least one 30-minute walk outdoors each day, this way you’ll get your natural light exposure, fresh air and a little exercise.  Don’t want to go alone? Bring your dog or a friend to keep your company and motivated.

Psychological Health: It is true; being outside simply makes you a happier person. Feeling down? Go spend some time outside in the quiet and the clean fresh air. Get in touch with nature or spend a bit of time sitting on a rock at the beach or by a creek, relaxing and enjoying the scenery.  According to scientists, being outside boosts your serotonin levels which is responsible for your happiness and good feelings. Additionally, studies are showing that spending time outdoors helps people with depression and enhances their mental wellbeing.

5 Medical Therapies Olympians Use

Many of us are watching as records are being shattered, history is being made and the Gold Medals are stacking up for Team USA at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics right now. The hard work, athleticism and good health of these athletes is something to be noticed and wondered how they do it. Many Olympic Athletes claim that they five types of medical sports therapies help them recover faster and have an edge over their competitors.

  1. Cupping: If you watched the swimming competition at the Olympics recently, you may have seen the dark circular bruises all over Michael Phelps shoulders and back. As the best Olympian of all time, Phelps uses the traditional Chinese Medicine treatment called Cupping to help his fatigued, sore and tight muscles recover quickly. It is thought that this is helping give him an extra edge in the pool, all while taking care of his body. The Cupping treatment uses a certain style of suction cups placed all over the effected area to help loosen the muscles using negative pressure. While the treatment itself isn’t painful, the bruises do last upwards of a week. By stimulating flow and energy along the meridians of the body, muscles are able to recover faster. Although there is no scientific proof that cupping actually works, with it being used by top-notch athletes around the world, it is leaving people to wonder if it will help them. Ask your chiropractor or acupuncturist about cupping if you have hard to treat aches and pains in your body.
  1. Massage: Sports Therapy Massage is a common use of treatment by many elite athletes around the globe. Aside from the aiding in tired, tight and sore muscle recovery a good massage could be just what an athlete needs to relax and get in the zone for the next big competition. It has been said that Michael Phelps gets two massages a day to help his body recover from his intense 6 hours 6 days a week workout routine. If you are a weekend warrior or avidly exercise, you might benefit from some regular massage therapy.
  1. Acupuncture: While this form of treatment isn’t as commonly used among athletes, throughout the years many Olympians have talked about the benefits they receive from acupuncture.  Instead of being a quick in between events fix like a massage or cupping might be acupuncture is used to help treat injuries and help athletes take care of their body, preventing injuries.  Since the substances that athletes can take are severely regulated, they will often turn to drug-free forms of therapies for pain and injuries such as acupuncture to treat pain, anxiety and other symptoms.
  1. Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care is a standard part of Team USA’s sports medicine practices. With Chiropractors on hand for Team USA at the games, it is clear that they are very valued among the coaches and athletes alike. Keeping the body aligned properly and making sure the muscles and tendons are where they are supposed to be before putting a lot of strain on them is very important. While the average person probably may not have a lot of aches and pains, any athlete, weekend warrior, or ex athlete understands that sports take a toll on your body over time, and identifying the pains you feel before continuing to workout is very important. From runners, to swimmers chiropractors are very valuable to the athletes.
  1. Kinesiology Tape: As seen on athletes such as Keri Walsh Jennings as well as many others, Kinesiology tape is said to be an aid to athletes in stability, muscle recovery and endurance. As a strong long lasting sports tape, Kinesiology tapes popularity is spreading. While there is no scientific proof that the tape actually aids athletes the way that they think, with so many of the best athletes in the world using it, it might just help you with your weekend hikes, or sciatic nerve pain. Ask your chiropractor about Kinesiology tape if you have muscle problems that could use some extra support.

6 DIY Tricks to Deter Wasps

 

Aside from keeping your food inside, sealing up your house and trashcans, avoiding sweet smells and bright colors, you should try these six tricks to deter the pesky and sometimes aggressive wasps around you and your house.

  1. Water and Pennies: Many agree, while they don’t know why, that putting water and some pennies in a clear Ziploc bag and hanging it over your door frame flies, wasps and other flying insects will stay away. Although if, how well, and why it works is still in question, it seems to be doing the trick for many people with severe flying insect problems.
  2. Peppermint Oil: Bugs are not a fan of peppermint oil, especially spiders and wasps. Put some oil and dilute it with water into a spray bottle to spray on yourself and around your house to help deter unwanted bugs.
  3. Hang a Fake Nest: While you can buy a fake wasp nest in the store, it is much easier and cheaper to make one at home out of a brown paper bag. Hang the bag slightly wrinkled and crumpled upside down outside in a tree or near your home where a wasp nest might normally be. The fake nest is said to deter wasps from either building their own nest, or encourage an already established nest to move somewhere else avoiding conflict. This would be a great trick to do early in the season next spring to help combat the wasp problem before it really gets started.
  4. Make a Trap: There are many types of aesthetically pleasing or guaranteed to work wasp traps you can buy in the store, but again there is a version that can be made at home using common household supplies. Use a large empty soda or water bottle. Cut off the top section, turning it upside down to rest with the mouthpiece inside of the bottle. Tape the two pieces together. Next, cover the mouthpiece in jam and fill the bottom of the water bottle with soapy water. This trap will draw the wasps into the narrow hole with the sweet jam. Once inside, the wasps will have trouble getting out. After some time, they will fall into the water and drown. These traps are small and easy to make so they can be placed all over the outside of your home and yard.
  5. Spray them away: Instead of dousing one self in bug repellent everyday, try dousing the bugs themselves! Using common household goods like dish soapy water, hairspray and cooking oil you can spray the wasp until it is dead or slowed down enough to squash it. Spraying a wasp with just water will only aggravate it so avoid that method.
  6. Destroy Nests Carefully: If dealing with a live wasp nest just isn’t your idea of a good time, wait until the first freeze of the winter when the temperatures kill off the wasps and their nests become easy to remove and destroy. If you must deal with your wasp nest right now, check out this article: Natural Wasp Control for some nest removal tips.

5 Ways to Maintain Weight while Lacking an Appetite

Stay healthy and energized with these tips.

  1. Snack Between Meals: Sometimes waiting too long between meals can cause someone to be so hungry their stomach hurts and they no longer have an appetite. Additionally, if eating large meals is hard on your tummy, snacking throughout the day can help alleviate the hunger pains and might spark an appetite for a dinner after work. Try things that energize you as well, such as avocados, cheese, nuts and dried fruits.
  2. Avoid Overhydrating: Try eating breakfast before drinking your morning coffee, as caffeine is a known appetite suppressant. Even if it is just a granola bar, yogurt or some trail mix, getting something in your tummy before filling up on liquids is a good way to help fight weight loss with appetite struggles. In addition, be sure to eat most of each meal before finishing whatever drink you are having with the meal. Water and juice can make the stomach feel full when it isn’t. Keep an eye on liquid intake throughout the day to note if that may be making your appetite struggles worse.
  3. Exercise More: If you are having trouble getting hungry for each meal try a quick exercise or walk around the block to get your body moving. Try going for regular swims or bike rides; not only will this increase appetite but it will increase overall energy levels as well.
  4. Make Eating Fun: If eating has become a struggle for one reason or another, try making things easier on yourself. Make eating appealing and simple. If coming up with meal ideas is proving too difficult after a long day of work be sure to have easy-to-make or pre-made meals ready to go in your house at all times. If that isn’t doing it, have a short list of affordable yummy places to go out to eat, as the photos of food on the menus, and the fact that you don’t have to make the food yourself might just make eating food easier. Lastly, try adding more colorful food to your plate to mix things up by adding new ingredients that might spark your appetite. If you don’t have any idea where to start, try browsing cooking websites and TV shows to new ideas that always look mouth watering delicious.
  5. Try Nutrition Shakes: Lastly, if all other methods to eat normal food simply aren’t working for you there are always the failsafe way to get the proper nutrients you body needs each way and those are called nutrition shakes. Whether you mix the needed ingredients and make it yourself, or you find the flavor and brand that works for you nutrition shakes are probably the easiest way to make sure you maintain your weight while struggling with your appetite. There are plenty of options out there such as Ensure, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast and Kirkland Nutritional Shakes just to name a few. Do research on what vitamins are nutrients are in each one to make sure the one you choose has what you need.

*Lack of appetite is in no way a normal thing that happens for no reason, so if you are experiencing a lack of appetite it is advised that you speak to your health care professional about it.

 

 

7 Foods to Avoid for a Better Night Sleep

While diet is only one factor to getting a better night of sleep, it is an important thing to pay attention to if you are having trouble sleeping. It is advised to stop eating at least three hours before bed if possible.

  1. Dark Chocolate: A nightly sweet tooth might be hard to avoid, so it is best to try and avoid dark chocolate as it is packed with caffeine. While dark chocolate is the healthiest chocolate to eat, it is the worst one to eat just before bed. Tea, cocoa and coffee are also high-caffeine items that shouldn’t be consumed before bed.
  2. Spicy Foods: Spicy foods and tomato-based foods typically cause some sort of indigestion and heartburn, so consuming these foods before bed is really not a good idea. Sleeping with heartburn can be next to impossible, so if you know you’re going to a late night taco night be sure to take an antacid before hand.
  3. Alcohol: Although many of us may use alcohol to relax at the end of the day, it will likely cause a disruption in sleep, making the REM sleep cycle hard to reach.
  4. Fatty Foods: Greasy, fatty foods like cheesy pizza or lasagna takes longer to digest. When eaten on a regular basis, or right before bed, it can give you unwanted extra energy when you need to be sleeping. Additionally, high protein meats are hard for the body to digest as well, so the odds are if you chow on a big steak before bed, you’ll have a much more restless night of sleep.
  5. Beans: The stomach has a hard time digesting beans, causing it to grumble and have gas. Avoid eating foods with beans before bedtime to sleep better and have a happier stomach.
  6. Water: While drinking plenty of water is important to keep hydrated, if you drink too much in the evening hours, you may need the bathroom in the middle of the night, interrupting your sleep. Try drinking more water throughout your morning and daytime, so that you aren’t really thirsty at night.
  7. Candy and Carbonated Drinks: While neither of these items have caffeine listed as an ingredient, caffeine can be found naturally in the sugars and other ingredients in carbonated drinks. The high amounts of sugar found in gummy bears and sour patch kids will give your body a sugar spike and a burst of energy. Snacking on some candy and washing it down with a soda at the end of the night is a sure way to have a restless night of sleep.