What is acupressure and why should you do it?







What is acupressure?

Acupressure is the application of firm pressure to specific points of the body to relieve tight muscles, increase circulation, and boost endorphins.  It stems from traditional Chinese medicine and is based on the belief that the body is interconnected  by different channels of energy, called Qi, and if one or more of these channels get blocked, illness and pain develops. Acupressure is the practice of breaking up these energy blockages, thereby allowing for energy to flow freely again. Some of the most common ailments treated with acupressure include pain, stress, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive conditions.

How to perform acupressure

The great thing about acupressure is that you can do it yourself! Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and take deep breaths. Using the pads of one or more fingers, apply firm pressure in a rotating motion to the specific acupressure points (see below) for 4-5 seconds.

Common acupressure points

Feng chi (aka: GB20 or Gallbladder 20)

Location: On the side of the head below the ear bone, where the head meets the neck

May help with: Headache, low energy

Tai Chong (aka: LV3 or Liver 3)

Location: On top of the foot, between the big toe and second toe, about two fingerbreadths down

May help with: Stress, low back pain

Nei Guan (aka: P6 or Pericardium 6)

Location: Inner forearm, about 3-4 fingerbreadths down from the wrist, centrally located between two tendons

May help with: Upset stomach, headache

Zhong Zhu (aka: TE3 or Triple Energizer 3)

Location: Top side of the hand, space between the 4th and 5th knuckles

May help with: Headache, upper back pain, neck pain

He Gu (aka: LI4 or Large Intestine 6)

Location: Between the base of the index finger and the thumb

May help with: Facial pain, neck pain, stress, headache

End notes

One of the great things about acupressure is that you can do it from anywhere – including from the comfort of your own home! If you suffer from one or more of the ailments above, give acupressure a try!




References and further reading

https://exploreim.ucla.edu/self-care/acupressure-and-common-acupressure-points/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5574337/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5388088/



Top 10 Reasons to Practice Mindfulness




Mindfulness means living in the present moment, taking in your surroundings, and not thinking about tomorrow or what happened yesterday. Being mindful will absolutely maximize the quality of your life, and we personally strive to be more mindful everyday.

Here are our top 10 reasons to practice mindfulness:

1. Mindfulness reduces anxiety and stress, including our body’s innate “fight or flight” response.





2. Mindfulness reduces addictive and compulsive tendencies.





3. Practicing mindfulness during a workout greatly improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the exercise.





4. Practicing mindfulness at work increases productivity and efficiency, meaning you can get more done in a shorter amount of time!





5. Mindfulness increases confidence at work and in your social life.





6. Mindfulness leads to clearer thinking to make better decisions.





7. Practicing mindfulness helps to improve relationships with your significant other, friends, family, and at work.





8. Mindfulness improves your memory by increasing attention and focus.





9. Mindfulness prevents overeating and snacking and helps to get you to your ideal weight.





10. Practicing mindfulness increases overall energy and decreases fatigue.





 

7 Benefits of Meditation Backed By Science




There are so many amazing benefits of meditation. Not only does it make you feel good in the moment while meditating, but it also actually changes the way your brain operates, and scientific research has proven it.

You’ve probably heard about all of the elite athletes, business leaders, and other successful people talking about the power of meditation. Here are 7 benefits, backed by science, to help you better understand how a daily meditation practice can improve your life.

 

1. Lowers Stress

“Meditation has been proven to decrease mood disturbances and stress symptoms in both male and female patients…” Read the entire study here

2. Reduces pain

“After four-days of mindfulness meditation training, meditating in the presence of noxious stimulation significantly reduced pain-unpleasantness by 57% and pain-intensity ratings by 40% when compared to rest.” Read the entire study here

 




3. Increases brain grey matter (which helps process information)

“Meditation practice has been shown not only to benefit higher-order cognitive functions but also to alter brain activity. ” Read the entire study here

 

4. Improves happiness

“A short program in mindfulness meditation produces demonstrable effects on brain and immune function. These findings suggest that meditation may change brain and immune function in positive ways.” Read the entire study here



 

5. Improves body awareness

“Results indicated a linear relationship in coherence, with meditators having highest levels… We conclude that the coherence between subjective and cardiac aspects of emotion is greater in those who have specialized training that promotes greater body awareness.” Read entire study here

 




6. Enhanced focus and attention

“Brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators.” Read the entire study here

 

7. Improves handling of difficult emotions

“Meditation may be associated with structural changes in areas of the brain that are important for sensory, cognitive and emotional processing. The data further suggest that meditation may impact aggregated declines in cortical structure.” Read entire study here

Break Your Bad Mood With These Quick Tips

Nobody likes to be in a bad mood, but sometimes we inevitably slip into one and it negatively impacts our entire outlook for the day. The good news is that there are simple ways that we can get ourselves out of the bad mood funk and into a more positive mindset!

The first key is to recognize that you are in a bad mood, then you are primed and can follow these 8 tips to get yourself out of it!

 

Listen to music


We all have those songs that remind us of a happy time every time we listen to them. Turn it on, soak it in, and let the music put you back into a positive mindset.


 

Get outside

Nature has a way of calming us and letting us step back from ourselves and into the bigger picture of life. Science has shown that being in nature can help lower blood pressure and your heart rate, a great way to offset a bad mood and turn into a good one!


 

Have a good laugh


Laughter will not only cheer you up instantly, but can also decrease any anxiety you may be having (often a driver to put us in a bad mood). Pull up your favorite funny clip on Youtube, think about a funny memory, or phone a friend that always makes you laugh.


 

Meditate


Taking even just a few minutes to sit in silence while focusing on the breath can quickly take you out of your bad mood funk. Deep diaphragmatic breaths have a way of calming us and can help you lower anxiety.



 

Play with a pet


They don’t call dogs “man’s best friend” for nothing. Pets won’t judge you for being in a bad mood, and at the same time can help you instantly feel happier.


 

Express gratitude

Thinking about the things that you are thankful for in life is an amazing way to flip your mood. Even better, write them down as a “gratitude list” then revisit whenever you’re in a bad mood.


 

Get present

Bad moods can often be attributed to worry about the future and stress about the past. By bringing yourself to the present moment (the time that really only matters anyway) you can “hack” your mind into a more positive state.



Move around


The body and mind are intimately connected, so use that to your advantage. When your mind is failing you with a bad mood, move around your body (jumping jacks, jog in place, shadow box, etc) to release those positive endorphins and put you into a good one!

Top Brain Boosting Foods You Should Be Eating




Your brain is inarguably the most important part of your body, and keeping your brain healthy should be a top priority. There are certain foods that can help to boost parts of your brain involved with attention, focus, and memory and so understanding which foods do this is vital!

 

Read below for a list of the top brain boosting foods:

Leafy greens

This includes vegetables such as spinach, kale, and collard greens. These greens are especially high in Vitamin E and Vitamin K, both of which believed to help prevent brain abnormalities linked with dementia.



Coffee

Coffee is incredibly healthy because it is packed with antioxidants and other compounds that are good for not only your brain but also your entire body. One key brain boosting ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which has been found to be beneficial for your brain for a number of reasons, including keeping you alert and focused, and possibly boosting memory and preventing cognitive decline. Read more about coffee’s brain boosting effects here.

Almonds

Almonds are high in Vitamin E and magnesium, both of which have been linked to improvements in memory, learning and cognition.



Fatty fish

Fatty fish such as salmon, contain omega-3 fatty acids EPA/DHA which help protect the brain from inflammation and oxidative stress. These types of omega-3s found in fatty fish may prevent cognitive decline with age. Read more about this here.

Blueberries

Blueberries are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and are fantastic for your health in general. They are especially good for your brain because the types of antioxidants in blueberries have been found to protect against age-related changes in the brain and to help protect against cognitive decline. Read more about this here.



Dark chocolate

Chocolate lovers rejoice! Dark chocolate is considered a brain healthy food due to its high content of compounds called flavonoids. Studies have found that these compounds may slow age-related changes in the brain and prevent mental decline. There is actually a great deal of research on this (who wouldn’t want to research the benefits of chocolate!?) read more about this here.

Egg yolks

Eggs are on just about every healthy food list because they really are incredible. Eggs are good for your brain for many reasons because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients, but one nutrient in particular is choline. Increased levels of choline intake is linked to better memory and cognition. Just make sure you eat the yolks because that is where the choline is located. Read more about this here.



Main takeaways…

Try to get the foods above on rotation in your diet, your brain will thank you!

Works Cited

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20182054

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16216930

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4192974/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23810791

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22717142?dopt=Abstract




Top 12 Bad Habits of Office Workers





If you are someone who goes to an office everyday or several days a week, you may have accumulated some bad habits along the way that may be negatively affecting your health. Through my experience, I have noticed the following bad habits of my office worker patients…

1. Your work area is a mess

Think messy desk, messy mind. Prevent distractions and keep a clear head by keeping your work space neat and tidy.




2. You don’t take time to prepare a healthy breakfast

If you aren’t taking a few minutes in the morning to prepare a healthy and satisfying breakfast, there is a good chance you will just grab a pastry or muffin on your way to work. Don’t make this mistake and take just ten minutes to prepare something healthy for breakfast such as eggs.

3. You order delivery

Ordering food to your desk is a mistake for a few reasons, most notably that this means you likely won’t get up from your desk or leave your office. This means less walking and less activity for your body. Instead, try to pack a healthy lunch most days of the week. 

4. You dine out every day

Dining out is better than ordering delivery, however, this means that you will likely not be getting a very healthy meal and it’s more costly than bringing your own lunch. Also think about the time you waste waiting in line to order food. Again, try and pack a lunch and bring it to work.



5. You don’t take a walk at lunch

Getting outside and getting some light exercise is great for both your body and mind. Even just getting ten minutes of activity is helpful for boosting the feel good hormones, plus sunlight is great for giving you a boost of energy to get through the rest of the afternoon.

6. You don’t keep a water bottle at your desk

If you don’t have water easily accessible at your desk, you are less likely to drink much water during the day. Dehydration can lead to a number of negative consequences including decreased productivity, headaches, and fatigue. Having a water bottle at your desk serves as a reminder to keep yourself hydrated.



7. You get an afternoon coffee and pastry

That afternoon coffee and pastry might sound like a nice treat, but you will pay for it later. Having caffeine later in the day can lead to sleep problems at night and the pastry causes a spike and subsequent drop in blood sugar. Instead, just take a walk outside and leave the coffee for the morning.

8. You don’t practice good posture

If you sit at a desk and use a computer, there is a good chance you are hunching over a good amount of the day. Hunching your back leads to back and neck problems.

9. You don’t stretch at work

Sitting at a desk all day leads to aches and pains most notably in the back, shoulders, and neck areas – especially if you aren’t practicing good posture. Take a few minutes a day to stand up and reach your hands above your head and then sweep them down to your toes, do some head circles, and take some twists. Doing these small moves will help to prevent aches and pains from coming on.

10. You have a snack drawer

A snack drawer is way too tempting – it makes it too easy to snack all day! Instead, eat a healthy and filling breakfast and a good lunch to prevent needing to snack.

11. You eat at your desk

Eating at your desk is a bad habit for a number of reasons, most notably that you will be easily distracted by what is on your desk and/or by your office workers who are in the near vicinity.

12. You don’t get up from your desk for hours at a time

Sitting all day can lead to stiffness and back problems. Make a point of getting up from your seat at least every hour.

Main takeaways…

Think about whether you are making any one of these bad habits at your office, and if so, aim to change these into good habits to benefit your health and your quality of life.




Social Norms That Are Blocking Your Success

Social norms are designed to keep you…well….normal. Let me be the first to say, those people that succeed in life and especially those in business, those people that you probably look up to as an embodiment of success, are definitely NOT normal. They have carved their own path and have decided that being normal was too easy and in their one life, they wanted to do something bigger.

If you too are looking to achieve great things in life (my guess is that you are if you’re here reading this), then you’ll want to avoid these 5 social norms and instead do the opposite:

 

1. Social Norm: Do what everyone else is doing

Ok I admit, this seems obvious…But, it’s so easy in our lives to just fall in line and do what those before us have done. Whether it’s following a similar career path of our bosses, or dating someone your “supposed to date” – doing what everyone else is doing is going to give you the same results they had, nothing special. However, if you do have one friend or someone that you look up to that carved their own path and succeeded, do ask them for advice, but don’t try and replicate how they reached success – every person and every journey is different.

 

2. Social Norm: Fitting in

Sadly, this social norm starts at a very early age. You probably remember back in grade school when the last thing you wanted to do was stand out from your classmates. You probably also remember thinking that those few kids that did stand were quite weird (for lack of better terms). When it comes to succeeding in adulthood, standing out is exactly what you want to do. This is blatantly obvious in corporate culture where a “good” middle manager type may be stuck there for 20+ years, never getting that promotion they think they deserve. But really what their boss and bosses boss are looking for is someone that stands out with different ideas, not someone who just falls in line (often referred to as “yes men” or “yes women”).

 

3. Social Norm: Upgrading often

When you get that big raise, fat bonus, new higher paying job, etc. – it’s most common in today’s society to start upgrading. You get that bigger house (and bigger mortgage payment), nicer car (and higher car payment), etc.- showing off to society (especially your neighbors) that you’ve “made it”. But really all you are doing is increasing your liabilities and putting even more pressure on yourself to get that paycheck. Not to mention, upgrades never stop. Maybe for a few months you’re happy with that new car, but then you realize there is another level up and you inherently want that. Stop upgrading material things! Upgrade your skills instead.

 

4. Social Norm: Taking advice from those close to you

Though they may be coming from a “good place”, those family and friends closest to you actually want what is best for them and their relationship with you. Instead of taking advice from those closest to you, try and find someone who can give you an honest and objective opinion.

 

5. Social Norm: Take the “safe” route

Safe is…well, easy. It’s predictable and has a much lower downside then doing something risky – like starting a business. But there is one major flaw to the “safe” route – it has a very limited upside. The upside is where real success and fulfillment comes into our lives. It’s what helps us grow by pushing us out of our comfort zone. Next time you find yourself taking the safe route, take a step back and see what gains you’re missing out on – those will never exist when just trying to limit your downside risk.

 

 

The 5 Steps to Finding Your Big Ideas




Looking at the great creators in history – Steve Jobs / Elon Musk / Thomas Edison – to name a few, they all not only came up with big ideas, but truly executed them at scale. What sets them apart from others was their ability to combine their skills and passions to create big things in this world. You too have both skills and passions, so follow these 5 steps to start creating your own big ideas today!

 

1. Ideate

You need to first create the space and time to just think and let your ideas flow freely. It’s no coincidence that some of our best thoughts happen while in the shower – that’s because there is nothing in your environment to distract you from just letting your ideas flow. Whether you think most clearly in the morning, before bed, or mid-day when out walking – you know when you are primed to think big. Plan accordingly.




2. Document

An idea is nothing if you forget it. We’ve all been there when an epiphany hits us, then 10 minutes later we can’t remember it. So write down your ideas – yes, all of them! I like to put a date on my ideas and then revisit them in the future. Some ideas won’t make sense for you to pursue in the present, but may makes sense months or even years later.




3. Refine

Review your ideas for the day / week / month or whatever timeframe best suits you and start to build them out. The initial idea that pops into our head is RAW and needs refinement to actually turn into something great. What often happens during this phase is that one or a few of your ideas start to combine / evolve into one really big idea.




4. Choose

The key here is to try and find the combination of where your INTERESTS and SKILLS intersect. These ideas will be the ones that you are passionate about and also have the skills to tackle. If only one of the two areas is satisfied, you’ll likely find yourself bored or frustrated with the idea in the future and won’t bring it to fruition.




 

5. Pursue

Take action on one idea – “single-tasking” truly is a super power that the great creators of this world know all too well. The thing is, a lot of people get to steps 1-4, but never actually pursue anything. These people I like to refer to as “idea people” – you know them…always talking about their big ideas, but never delivering anything. Don’t be an idea person, be a creator!



10 Tips From The World’s Most Accomplished Strength Coach




We recently attended the Bulletproof conference in Pasadena where we got to listen to the top experts in the field of health and wellness. One of these speakers was Charles Poliquin, who is defined as the world’s most accomplished strength coach. He has trained several olympic medalists, professional athletes, and fitness world champion’s. He definitely knows his stuff when it comes to getting and staying fit!

Below is a list of the main takeaways we got from his session, some tips we knew and we’ve shared with you before in other posts on our website, but it was great to hear him echo the same things we teach as well!

1. No Steady-State Cardio

There were some choice words to describe steady-state cardio, but the main takeaways  were that it ages the brain and that it promotes muscles wasting and fat gain. Yikes!



2. Yes to high intensity interval training (HIIT)

He describes exercise in the form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) as not being cardio, and as being a highly effective way to burn fat and gain muscle. If you are a runner or biker add sprint intervals to reap the benefits rather than longer exercise at a steady-state pace.



3. Eat protein on rest days

Rest days are when your muscles are recovering and building back up to be stronger. The building blocks of muscle comes from amino acids which are found in protein.



4. The first thing in your mouth dictates the rest of your day

What you eat or drink first thing in the morning sets you up to burn or gain fat for the rest of the day. For this reason, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.



5. Meat and nuts for breakfast

He does not recommend a specific macronutrient requirement for breakfast, but does recommend starting each day with a mix of meat and nuts to start the day.



6. Magnesium at night time

Taking magnesium at night time aids  muscle recovery and helps with sleep. I didn’t catch how much he recommends, but I recommend 400 mg or more at night time – note that taking too much too can cause diarrhea.



 

7. One hour of strength training 4 days a week

You can get super fit if you workout smart. He recommends one hour sessions of strength training, 4 days a week. If you can’t go for a full hour every day (I normally can’t) then just make the workout sessions shorter and go 5-6 days a week. Note: He is speaking about how to get super ripped for a competition or something of that nature, you likely do not have to even do this much to get fit!



8. More muscle equals longer life

He equates the amount of muscle is an indicator of longevity – the more muscle you have, the longer the life.



 

9. Lose fat with strength training

To lose fat you need to start strength training. Strength training builds muscle, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. Also after strength training this causes your body to expend energy trying to repair itself, meaning you burn an elevated amount of calories even after the workout is done.



10. Stick to basic exercises

Avoid over thinking exercise. Stick to the basics to see the best results. Exercises recommended included deadlifts, squats, chin-ups, and overhead presses.



12 Positive Affirmations for Success




Positive affirmations help to change your thinking and beliefs, in order to drive real change and positive results. It’s all about the mindset!

How to use them:
1. Take a deep breath
2. Speak or think your affirmation
3. Visualize yourself applying it to your life

Here are 12 of our favorite positive affirmations for success, enjoy!

 

1. “I live a positive life and only bring the best into my life.”




2. “Today, and every day, I choose to be happy.”




3. “My life overflows with happiness and love.”




4. “Today is full of opportunity and I open my heart to receive it.”




5. “Today, and every day, I choose to be confident.”




6. “I am completely in charge of my life.”




7. “I act daily with courage and confidence.”




8. “I open my life to the world and the world gives me love in return.”




9. “I act, think, and communicate like a true leader.”




10. “I inspire others to be their very best self.”




11. “Today, I choose to leave my old bad habits behind and take up new, more positive ones.”




12. “Everything that is happening to me now is happening for my greater good.”





 

Healthy Meal Ideas on a Budget




If you read my article on the cheapest health foods to buy (read here) then this article will help to put those foods and more into easy meal ideas for you. I had to learn how to prepare healthy meals on a tight budget when I was in college for several years, and these are the meals that I ate in college and some that I still eat today – some I got to burnt out on and don’t eat on the regular anymore 😉

Read below to learn simple, healthy, and cost effective meal ideas:

Nut butter banana sandwich

This is my all time favorite sandwich that I lived off of in college and I still make it all of the time even today. This sandwich is so simple, takes very little prep, and is super cheap! All you need is a nut butter of your choice, a banana, and bread or pita or a wrap.

Recipe: 

1 tortilla wrap, 1 banana, 2 tablespoons almond butter. Add all ingredients to the wrap, fold in half and enjoy.

Cost: around $1.50 per sandwich



Loaded oatmeal

I made oatmeal almost every single morning in college, but I added more to it to make it healthy and delicious. I normally would start with oats, then add chia seeds for some fiber, stir in an egg to get high quality protein, and then stir in a banana and/or top with frozen berries. All of the above ingredients are super cheap and healthy, and really make this oatmeal filling.

Recipe:

1/2 cup oats, 1-2 eggs or egg whites, 1-2 Tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 banana, 1/4 cup frozen berries. Mix all together on a stove and add water to the consistency of your preference.

Cost: $1.50 to $2.50

Eggs with eggs

Eggs are the all around best food you can buy for your money! They are one of the healthiest foods you can eat plus they taste great and are super cheap! I recommend always going for organic or pasture-raised eggs.

There are SO many ways to enjoy eggs, but one easy recipe is just cooking eggs on the stove and eating them on their own.

Recipe:

4 eggs. Crack in a pan with cooking spray or coconut oil. Enjoy!

Cost: $1.00 to $1.50 per meal (4 eggs)



Oatmeal banana cookies

These are my FAVORITE cookies and they are so simple and super cheap to make. Literally all you need is a couple bananas and some oats, but you can also add cinnamon, vanilla, or other spices of your preference. You can either have these as a snack or make as a meal.

Recipe:

1 banana, 1/2 cup oats, cinnamon. Mix all together. Form into balls and place on baking sheet at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cost: about $0.50 for the above recipe

Vegan quinoa salad

Quinoa is the only grain that is a complete protein, making it a great protein choice for vegans and vegetarians. Quinoa is incredibly versatile and pairs well with just about anything.

Recipe:

1 bag frozen vegetables, 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa. Roast the bag of veggies and cook the quinoa on the stove. Option to add 2 Tbsp of hummus or other dip, spices, and sauce such as soy sauce or teriyaki sauce.

Cost: $3.00 to $3.50 per meal

Non-vegan tip: Take the recipe above and add organic chicken, fish, or eggs for extra protein. This will mean adding on somewhere between $1.00 to $5.00 to the cost.



Chicken salad

When I refer to “salad” I don’t just mean leafy greens, but cooked vegetables as well. You get more bang for your buck with cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower compared to leafy greens. This is because cruciferous vegetables have more fiber and more nutrients, meaning they will fill you up and make you feel more satisfied. As I stated in the article about buying healthy foods on the cheap (read here), I recommend buying frozen vegetables and uncooked organic protein to save money.

Recipe:

1 bag frozen vegetables, 1 chicken breast. Roast the veggies in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Cook the chicken breast on the stove with coconut oil. Option to add 2 Tbsp of dip such as hummus, spices, and sauce such as soy sauce.

Cost: $7.00 to $8.00 per meal

Egg salad

If you don’t want to go to prepare chicken or fish then try eggs instead. Eggs are a complete protein just like other animal products, but are easier to cook and are less expensive.

Recipe:

1 bag of frozen vegetables, 2-4 organic eggs. Roast the veggies in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Choose your favorite way to prepare eggs (hard boiled, fried, poached, etc) and top your veggies with the eggs. Option to add 2 Tbsp of dip such as hummus, spices, and sauce such as soy sauce.

Cost: around $3.50 to $5.00 per meal



Protein smoothie

Smoothies are great because they are an easy way to pack in a ton of nutrition and keep you hydrated at the same time, plus if you are in a rush you can take them on the go with you and drink along the way.

Recipe:

There are so many ways to make healthy and cheap smoothies – I could dedicate an entire article to that! – but the most simple recipe is a scoop of protein powder, 7 cubes of ice, 1-2 cups of water, 1/2 cup frozen berries or 1/2 frozen banana all added to a blender.

Protein powder tip: I recommend finding a protein powder that has 5 or less grams of sugar, less than 10 net carbs, and around 20 grams of protein per serving. Also make sure you like it! If you don’t like the taste, you won’t want to make the smoothie.

Cost: $2.00 to $2.50

Paleo pancakes

These are the simplest pancakes and only require two ingredients: banana and egg. They are also very healthy and packed with protein to keep you full for hours.

Recipe:

1 banana 2-3 eggs. Mix the banana with the eggs, cook on the stove. Enjoy! You can eat the pancakes just like this, or add nut butter on top for some healthy fat and extra nutrients.

Cost: $1.00 to $1.50 per meal



Avocado egg salad

Avocados aren’t necessarily the cheapest food, but when you pair them with eggs it makes for a super healthy and cheap meal! It’s fine to go cheaper and buy non-organic avocados because the thick outer shell should protect the inside from pesticides and other chemicals.

Recipe:

1 small avocado, 2-3 hard-boiled eggs. Mash the avocado and add to chopped hard-boiled eggs. Option to add spices such as paprika, pepper, and hot sauce.

Avocado tip: I recommend buying small avocados so that you can use the entire avocado for one meal.

Cost: $3.25 to $4.00 per meal

Main takeaways…

These are just a few of many healthy meals you can make on a budget. You can certainly make variations of the above, omit or add other ingredients to your preference, and use this list of healthy cheap foods to guide you. No excuse not to eat healthy anymore! 🙂




 

Crucial Tips To Save Your Skin From Sun Damage





You should be wearing sunscreen every. single. day. to prevent damage of your skin – everybody knows that. But here are some more tips and recommendations that you may not have heard and to keep in mind every time you are exposing your skin to the sun.

Here are 11 tips to help you stay safe while in the sun:

1. Apply sunscreen before getting dressed


This will prevent you from missing areas that were semi-covered by your clothing or undergarments, and also gives the sunscreen time to sink in – most sunscreens needs 30 minutes or more to sink in to give you optimal coverage.

2. Sunscreen spray should be sprayed a maximum of 4-6 inches from your skin 

You want to make sure you are getting concentrated sunscreen on your skin, spraying from farther distances means less sunscreen on your skin and more lost in the air.

3. Rub in sunscreen after spraying

Your skin should have an even sheen after spraying and you need to make sure to rub this in  to ensure coverage – don’t miss this crucial last step!



4. Wear sunscreen of at least 15 SPF and no more than 50 SPF


Don’t worry, you will still get some color even if you are wearing sunscreen at this level. Studies have shown that SPF above 50 really doesn’t give you much more protection – but will cost your more money – so no need to go above this.



5. Wear clothes

Clothing is your first line of defense. Clothing does not give you 100% protection but it still definitely helps protect your skin from damaging sun rays.

6. Wear a hat


The best would be a wide-brimmed (3-inch or greater) hat to give your face complete coverage, but even a baseball cap will help, just be sure to always apply sunscreen to your ears and nose.



7. Wear sunglasses

Sun rays can damage the eyes, eyelids, and the thin skin directly surrounding your eyes. It is important to protect your eyes year-round because even overcast sky can be harmful and cause damage to the eyes. Your best choice includes large frames that wrap around to prevent light penetrating from all angles.

8. Zinc oxide

This is the safest and most effective sunscreen agent because it sits on top of the skin and provides full spectrum coverage by reflecting UVA and UVB rays away from the skin. Another great thing about zinc oxide is that it starts working immediately once applied – no need to wait for it to sink in like chemical sunscreens. Look for the zinc oxide percentage to be over 10%, the greater percentage means greater the coverage.



9. Reapply sunscreen

This means after getting out of the ocean or pool, toweling off, after exercise where you are breaking a sweat, and/or every 1.5 to 2 hours. This is especially true of chemical sunscreens, zinc oxide will give you a little more leeway, but regardless you need to make sure you reapply if you are directly in the sun.



10. Aim for shade 10am-4pm

The suns rays are the strongest between 10am and 4pm, so good idea to stay in the shade during this time – along with wearing your protective garments and sunscreen 🙂

11. Your body needs  a shot-glass full of sunscreen

Most individuals do not apply enough sunscreen to fully protect their body and face. At least a shot-glass, or two tablespoons, of sunscreen is needed for adequate coverage.