Your Health Tip of the Day!

5 Top Ways to Avoid Overeating
South Beach Diet followers are encouraged to eat until their hunger is satisfied — but not to stuff themselves. For those of us who are used to restaurant-size meals, it can be hard to know what a sensible starting portion is. When it's time to sit down to a meal, try these tactics to avoid overeating:

*Eat slowly and savor your food. It may seem like an obvious point to make, but remember — it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal to your brain that you are full!
*Begin your meal with a salad or a clear broth as soup.
*Drink water before and throughout the meal. If you're having trouble slowing down when you eat, put your fork down halfway though your meal and take a minute to sip some water.
*Chop some of your favorite fresh vegetables and place them on the table with the rest of your dinner. Snack on them frequently, and have another handful when you finish the rest of what's on your plate. Don't like raw veggies? Cook them up instead, and give yourself a generous amount.
*To avoid unnecessary second helpings, assemble your plate of food and then wrap up and store any leftovers before you begin eating.

Erin & Lynda

Twelve Ideas for Edible Facial Masks!

I think I just might do some of these!!! Enjoy!

Healthy Skin From The Fridge
Have you ever squished a piece of ripe banana and applied it all over your face? Or, have you ever taken a spoon of raw sugar and scrubbed your hands with it? What about a touch of butter on your lips, or sliced cucumber on your eyes?

These are all grandma’s recipes for a glowing complexion and healthy skin. I also read somewhere that Cleopatra even bathed in milk.

Why don’t we take a moment to revive those good old, natural, eco-friendly ways of using food stuff to maintain healthy skin? These treatments won’t cost you extra money because you are using only a tiny portion of your everyday groceries. You will reduce your trash, and the water you use to rinse your skin is free of chemicals. The best part: these are all edible!

Eat Your Face Mask
Here are some time tested ideas and a few of my own. Find out which methods your skin likes the best.

1.Squish a small piece of ripe banana and mix it with a spoon of honey. Apply on face, let dry, rinse with cool water. Pat your face with a soft towel.
2.Using a pestle and mortar, pound some mint and basil leaves. I have even used this on a skin rash that I developed on my hands for unknown reasons. Amazingly the rash disappeared after one application!
3.Mix together a teaspoon of milk cream and whole wheat flour to a smooth paste.
4.Make a paste of 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt and flour.
5.Grind a cup of raw, dry garbanzo beans into a fine powder. Store it in an airtight jar. Use a teaspoon full mixed in water or milk once a week as a facial scrubber. You can use it as an alternative to soap, too.
6.Apply a pinch of clarified butter or ghee to heal dry, chapped lips. Go ahead and eat it!
7.When you eat an orange, save the skin and let it dry completely. Grind into a coarse powder and use it as a face scrubber. Also, take a piece of fresh orange skin, squish it and rub the juice on your face. These smell heavenly as well!
8.Wet your palms and take a teaspoon of unrefined sugar. Scrub all over your palms. Rinse with cool water.
9.Make a paste of any over ripe fruit or vegetable such as strawberry, watermelon, banana, cantaloupe, cucumber or squash and apply as a face mask.
10.Gently massage your face with a spoon of olive oil. Scrub with a teaspoon of flour. Rinse with cool water.
11.Grind a cup of blanched almonds to a smooth paste. Mix in 1 tablespoon honey. Store it in an airtight jar.

Erin & Lynda

Playing Outdoors: Keeping Kids Safe in the Sun!

While one solution to protect children from harmful UV rays may be to keep children indoors away from the sun, in the long run it is more harmful for children. All of us, especially children, need some exposure to the sun to stimulate production of vitamin D for healthy bones, hair and hearts. In addition, indoor play is linked to activities that are less physical, like video games, and the sharp rise in childhood obesity is another reason for our children to get outside and run around on the grass. As long as you know what protective measures to use for your children, they can safely enjoy the health benefits of outdoor activity in the sun.

The sun is at its strongest around the noon hour, from approximately 10am - 2pm, and ultraviolet (UV) rays are the most damaging at this time. This is because the rays have to travel a shorter distance through the atmosphere to get to the Earth. Avoiding outdoor play in this range of time is a good preventative measure. Outside of this time range, going out into the sun can be made safe with protective clothing like hats, sunglasses, and sun protective swimwear. Specialized swimwear has been developed specifically to minimize the amount of UV rays through a few different mechanisms. The most reputable companies use a nylon-lycra blend that carries a 50+ ultraviolet sun protection factor (UPF). This means that the fabric keeps out 98-99% of harmful UV radiation.

You may choose to put your child in long sleeved shirts and jeans rather than invest in sun protective clothing, however, you will not be receiving the same level of protection, and you can increase their risk of heatstroke or dehydration. This type of clothing is specially manufactured to be lightweight, yet with closer-knit fabric to provide sun protection and allow air to pass through the cloth. Regular summer clothing usually has a UPF of only 5, whereas sun protection clothing has UPFs of 30+. They are a sound investment to minimize your child's risk of UV skin damage.

Teaching sun protection measures early in your children's life is an important step in helping them ward off the risk of skin cancer later in life. Everything, including sunlight, should be taken in moderation, and the best way to get just the right amount of sunlight is to wear sun protective clothing. Skin cancer is a very real danger, so it is important to take it seriously.

Oz Swimwear sells Sun Emporium, a leading Australian brand of quality swimwear - designed to offer excellent UV sun protection to delicate young skin.

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Erin & Lynda

Rainbow Fruit Salad

Good as a side dish or dessert, this salad made form fresh fruit is naturally low in fat, saturated fat and sodium, and is cholesterol free.

Fruit Salad

1 large mango, peeled and diced

2 cups fresh blueberries

2 bananas, sliced

2 cups fresh strawberries, halved

2 cups seedless grapes

2 nectarines, unpeeled and sliced

1 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced

Honey-orange sauce

1/3 cup unsweetened orange juice

2 T lemon juice

1 1/2 T honey

1/4 ground ginger

dash nutmeg

1. prepare and combine all fruit

2. combine all the ingredients for the sauce and mix

3. just before serving, pour the sauce over the fruit


Erin & Lynda

Enjoy the Outdoors at Farmers Markets!

We have become really excited about Farmers Markets lately. They are cheaper than the market and offer more varieties on fruit and veggies! Many Farmers Markets sell organic foods, which are grown without the use of conventional pesticides. You can find a farmers market at To get the most from your market, follow these tips - * Go early when the selection is best * Bring enough bags to keep raw and cooked foods separate, for safety's sake * Branch out. Try a new fruit or veggie that you haven't had before. select colorful produce; its often the healthiest. If you have little ones, let them choose. * Buy fresh cut produce, such a melon slices, only if its in a cooler or on ice to lower the risk of food poisoning * Take foods home right away so that they don't spoil Happy Shopping!
Erin & Lynda

When Does My Kid Need a Phone?

My daughter is only 3...but I hear 6 year olds are carrying around phones now! So I guess I better do my research now!

Your kids are pestering you for a phone, giving various reasons that their friends have one, they need to call you to pick them up, they need to ask their friends for the homework of the day and they use the ultimate reason: you would want to know where they are, wouldn't you? So how do you decide when is the time that they really need a phone?

- Time spent outdoors
Your kid only needs a phone whenever he or she is out of home, else the house phone serves the purpose of asking for homework or chatting with friends. Then, think of where your kids would be most of the time when they aren't at home. If they are at school, there is easy access to phones whether public ones or at the headmaster's office. If they hang out at their friends' places a lot, then they don't need a phone as well as you can easily reach them and vice versa.

- Responsibility level
Carrying a phone takes responsibility. Even adults misplace or drop them all the time. You wouldn't want to spend a couple of hundreds only for your child to lose it a few weeks or months later. Not only that, your child must also be able to use the phone responsibly enough, else you will get a huge bill at the end of the month, not only for calls and texts but also downloads and data usage.

- Expenses
Are you ready to pay for another phone in the household? There are numerous plans and packages that you can opt for your child should you decide to get him or her one. It is best to take one that has a relatively low limit. It is recommended to speak to your child and make it clear that they are entitled to, say a $20 reload credit monthly and anything else after that will come from their own pocket money.

It is indeed useful to be able to contact your child at any time, which is what you will be able to do if he or she has a phone with him. With the increase in crime nowadays, it is better to just spend a couple of hundred for the ease of mind in knowing where your child is. You just need to have control over their usage and the phones for kids will be of good use.

Anna has been writing articles online for nearly 3 years now. Not only she is a part time tutor, you can also check out her new website Princess Phone to learn more about different types of cell phones for kids.

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Erin & Lynda

Common Potty Training Mistakes....

For all my dear friends going through potty training! Good Tips!

Many parents make some terribly obvious mistakes when potty training a child. Fortunately, you won't have to make the same mistakes.

From not preparing their child for what's coming, to not preparing their household for the impending event, lack of preparation is the number one thing that impedes parents from successfully getting their child fully trained in a short period of time.

Despite this being the number one hurdle standing in the way of happy families sorting through their toilet training, it is also the easiest to fix.

Simply take the time, maybe a week before you expect to start potty training process, to explain what's happening to your child and let them know not only what is going to happen, but what your expectations of them actually are.

Another big roadblock for many parents is that they have unrealistic expectations. With everything from in-laws to bragging parents and the playgroup, it's easy for parents to feel insecure about their parenting abilities. Don't let this happen to you.

Potty training isn't necessarily easy, but it doesn't have to be hard. When you enter the process with realistic expectations, you multiply your chances for success. By thinking that it can be done in one, two or even three days, you are setting yourself up for failure at the first accident.

And there will be accidents.

Don't let this deter you, it's all part of the process. Remember the same lessons you would want your child to learn: we only fall so that we can learn to stand up.

One mistake that can be difficult to avoid, depending on what's actually happening in your family, is expecting your child to learn to use the potty at a time when there is emotional upheaval in the home.

If you're in the middle of a move, a divorce, extra stress at work, or any oversize difficulty that will unnecessarily add stress, time, and hardship to your intended toilet training, it is best to wait.

There is one thing that can stop the potty training process cold and that is a false start. If you have a toddler who doesn't want to be trained, and you give them the rope to pull that will stop the process, the polar like it was a string that would burst a piƱata!

Avoid the most common mistakes that parents make when potty training and you'll have a healthy, happy, toilet trained toddler in no time!

Nicole T Spencer is a freelance writer whose passion is helping loving parents raise happy children. Get more help with by visiting the Potty Training Power website, which is full of great potty training tips. While you are there, download the free "7 Potty Training Mistakes Most Parents Make" report.

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Erin & Lynda