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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sneaky Ingredient Swaps That Boost Nutritional Value

Trying to eat healthy? Join the club. According to a recent survey, a majority of Americans claim to give “a lot” of thought to the healthiness of their diets. Even if you already understand the basics of healthy eating, you might be struggling for creative ways to make your everyday meals more nutritious. Instead of completely changing the way you eat, try using some of these superfoods as substitutes for run-of-the-mill ingredients.

Kale for Cabbage

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past five years, you have probably heard about the health benefits of kale. Because kale is so nutrient-rich, it can take less-than stellar dishes and turn them into stars. For example, coleslaw is a favorite summer side, but it is packed with mayo and sugar. Make your cookout contribution a little healthier by losing the cabbage and making kale slaw instead. You might still eat gobs of mayo and sugar, but at least you’ll get monster doses of calcium, vitamin A, and iron, too.

Sorghum Flour for Regular Flour

Wheat flour is the core ingredient for most baked goods. However, certain types of wheat flour leave much to be desired nutritionally. Next time you go on a baking spree, try supplementing your wheat flour with sorghum flour. Sorghum is an ancient grain that is rich in antioxidants and is easy on the digestive system. It has a natural sweetness, so baked goods containing it require less added sugar.

The health benefits of sorghum are becoming more well-known, but if you want to start enjoying those benefits now, look to food manufacturers who are ahead of the curve. For example, Hampton Creek has been using sorghum flour in their baked goods since 2014. Their cookies do not require as much added sugar as those of comparable brands, but they are so delicious that you would never know the difference. Oh, and their cookies come in four flavors, so even though sampling each flavor is a must, at least you will be getting some extra antioxidants while you do it!

Quinoa for Rice

Rice is an adaptable grain, so it is a valuable player in of many types of dishes. However, even the most valuable players need to step back sometimes. Although whole grain rice is good for you, the most commonly used variety is the nutritionally weak white rice. You can make more out of your meals by using quinoa anywhere you would use rice. Quinoa is a complete source of protein, is high in important vitamins and minerals, and has a pleasing flavor and texture. It is worth noting that quinoa is significantly more expensive than rice, but you should at least give it a try if possible. You can still enjoy the benefits of quinoa even if you only eat it occasionally.

Small Changes Lead to Big Results

Striving to eat more healthily is important, but there is no point in making big changes to your diet that you cannot maintain long-term. Instead of leaping headfirst into caveman cuisine or going absolutely organic, try beginning with small changes that feel manageable to you. Incorporating a small proportion of healthier foods will help you get to know their flavors and begin to feel their effects. As you grow more comfortable with these smaller changes, you will gradually be able to make more substantial and permanent ones.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Benefits and Risk of Laparoscopic Techniques During Weight Loss Surgery

We know for a fact that weight loss surgery is one of the greatest developments in the medical field, and one that continues to develop to this day. In fact, where bariatric surgery was once incredibly invasive, it is now possible to have lap band surgery through a laparoscopic procedure, which means that there is no more need for the long incision across the abdomen. Laparoscopic procedures carry fewer risks of complications with them, and recovery time is also significantly decreased.

At present, the most common laparoscopic technique requires five small incisions to be made. However, the latest development is known as Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery (SILS), in which only a single incision is made. While this sounds great, it is important to understand that it has some downsides as well.

A Brief History of Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery

SILS is the most advanced surgical procedure that exists today, improving further on the already high-tech laparoscopic lap band. In the past, a surgeon would make a single incision across the abdomen, allowing a surgeon plenty of room to maneuver in order to change the stomach. However, this procedure came with long recovery times, significant pain and discomfort, and more chances of complications. This is why the laparoscopic procedure was developed, which led to less scarring, less pain, lesser complications, and quicker recovery.

SILS Bariatric Procedures

So what is SILS? More and more surgeons now use this technique to fit a lap band, which is a silicone band that is placed around the stomach, after which it is filled in order to constrict the stomach, leaving just a small pouch accessible to the patient. It is a reversible and adjustable procedure, which is one of the reasons why it is very popular. SILS can also be used for the vertical sleeve gastrectomy, however, which is a different procedure as it actually removes 85% of the patient’s stomach in order to limit their food intake. It is a preferred procedure over the traditional gastric bypass because patients are less likely to develop vitamin deficiencies and various other problems. If done through SILS, recovery time is quicker and patients experience less pain as well.

Is SILS Perfect?

No procedure is perfect, but SILS comes pretty close. That being said, it is also far more challenging for surgeons, because of the technical difficulties that it presents. Furthermore, the SILS entry point is usually on the belly button, which improves cosmetic outcomes. This, in turn, means that the distance to the stomach is greatly increased. As a result, surgeons must retrain in SILS before they offer it as a procedure to their patients. This is also because new tools are being developed to make SILS easier and doctors have to practice using those. If you are considering a lap band or other type of gastric procedure, do ask your surgeon about whether or not they are able to offer SILS and, if so, whether you are a good candidate for it.

Friday, May 27, 2016

How Parents Can Help and Encourage Their Learner Driver Teens

Most teens are excited to learn driving skills but some are reluctant to begin their lessons. Some fear letting their parents down by not learning quickly enough and others might simply have a fear of getting behind the wheel. It is the same for parents everywhere, no matter what country they live in, some kids simply don’t want to drive. If your child wants to drive but has a fear you need to help him or her overcome, here are some pointers that just might help them relax when learning.

Help Them Really Learn Theory

Many times we simply fear the unknown. This is totally new experience for your teen and with all the horrific accident scenes in films and on telly today, it’s a wonder that any teen would want to get behind the wheel! One thing that has proven to be successful in encouraging a learner driver is to thoroughly teach the theory behind each and every aspect of driving a vehicle. From keeping the car checked periodically to safety measures on the road, sites like Toptests that offer free practice tests can help to reassure them that they really do know their theory.

Begin with Off-Road Lessons

Of course the first step in preparing a learner driver is to get them past the theory test. So, once they’ve passed that portion of the driving test they are finally ready for behind the wheel experience. Here, you probably wouldn’t want to put an apprehensive student out on the road immediately, so many parents pick a large parking lot or park in which their teen can get a bit of preliminary practice in.

Keep it Calm and Light

Even kids who were never frightened of getting behind the wheel are affected by sharp criticism from mum or dad when they make an error in the very beginning. Not only does your child long to earn your respect but sharp words or loud reprimands can have them more nervous than needs be. If you want to encourage your teen to drive, stay calm and keep conversation to a minimum and very light when you must speak.

Reiterate the Importance of Staying Focused

More accidents happen today because of distracted drivers so make sure to teach your learner driver the importance of staying focused. Did you know that even you, as the adult licenced driver, can get a ticket and a hefty fine for talking on a mobile phone while a learner driver is behind the wheel? This should serve to set a good example for your son or daughter and is probably one of the reasons why the government made this law. Also, you need to stay focused on the road because even though you aren’t behind the wheel, you are the co-driver, the co-pilot, until your child passes the actual practical driving test.
Keep these few tips in mind when teaching your learner driver how to safely handle a motor vehicle. Learning to drive isn’t about who’s the coolest kid in town with the coolest looking car. Learning to drive is about getting where you are going safely, and as a parent, it’s up to you to make sure they can do just that.

Monday, May 9, 2016

PINCHme Subscription Box Review

Hello, everyone! I am so excited to share with you today, the box I got fro PINCHme. Yup, it's a box! I used to get a few samples from them before to try, but this time, they sent me a box full of goodies.

Here's what's inside my box.

 Let's get it all out one by one.

I am not gluten free, but this cereal is really delicious. I can have this for breakfast or snack everyday!

 We love carrot juice and V8 is our favorite brand.

Now, this is a very healthy and yummy snack. Perfect when my kids are in a hurry in the morning. They can just grab and eat it on their way to school.

I've never heard of this brand before, but I'm really glad I was able to try them. Both the body wash and lotion smell great and I love that my skin feels soft and smooth after using them. Definitely buying these products again.

I love that this moisturizer is oil free. I have oily skin, so I avoid using products that will make my face look shiny. This one is perfect for me.

Purell is a great brand and I've been using it for years. I love that this doesn't leave my skin feeling dry.

My kids loved this mouthwash!

 We haven't tried this, yet. But I love that this nighttime sleep aid is non-habit forming.

 My husband prefers floss picks than dental flosses. He says this is perfect for tight teeth like his.

 These are not for me, but my daughter grabbed the box as soon as she saw it.

A nail polish usually stays on my nails only for a day. This one lasted longer.  I love that it came with a bottle of top coat.

Overall, I love all the stuff in my PINCHme box and I can't wait for the next box.

They recently launched the PINCHme monthly subscription box where you will be able to try products from leading brands, completely for FREE. What's the catch? Zilch! All they ask is for your feedback on the products. Every month, an amazing range of free samples are released on PINCHme for members to claim. These samples include grocery, baby, pet, beauty, home and personal care. Be sure to visit for this month’s Sample Tuesday on May 10th at 12 Noon EST to claim new free samples!

So, how do you get FREE samples? Just sign up for free now on using my referral link Complete your member profile, then order free samples relevant to you. Once you get your samples and tried them, give your feedback! Easy peasy, right?

Disclosure: Product/s mentioned above were sent to me by PINCHme for evaluation purposes. No monetary compensation was received to write the review. All opinions expressed here are 100%  my own. However, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Product Review: Reno Rectangle by GlassesShop

I've been hearing a lot of great things about GlassesShop that is why I was very excited when I got an email from them for a possible collaboration. I just got my new prescription reading glasses, so I chose a gorgeous pair of sunglasses instead. It's the Reno Rectangle - Brown Stripe. A week later, a package arrived at my doorstep and it's the sunglasses that I picked for my review.

As you can see from the photos, the sunglasses look really nice. The frame looks sturdy and it has a beautiful design. I actually had a tough time choosing because their glasses frames are all beautiful. I can say that the frame of my sunglasses is made of high-quality materials. Look how trendy!

I love my sunglasses and if you would ask me if I would buy from GlassesShop, the answer is a big YES. I highly recommend their cheap glasses and prescription sunglasses. Now, here's the deal. If you click now and decide to purchase from them, you can use this special coupon code GSHOT50 to avail of a 50% 5discount on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded).

Thank you GlassesShop for making this post possible and providing me with the sample/s to facilitate this review.

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