Healthy Gift Ideas for Any Price Range

by Head Health Nutter on December 17, 2014

Alright, Live Lighter readers, this is the last of the last-minute holiday-related submissions! And just in time for the last-minute shoppers out there! Read today’s guest post by Adrienne, who gives us a total of 10 gift ideas (with different price points) for those on your list wishing for a little health this season.   

Living healthy can often be a little pricey, not to mention a challenge during holidays that revolve around food. That’s why a healthy gift is the perfect gift for friends and family this holiday season!

dead-sea-mineral-soapWhatever your price range, you’ll find multiple healthy presents to choose from and surprise people with this year:

Under $25

1. Dead Sea Mineral Soap: $2.85

For someone into beauty, relaxation or anything organic, this dead sea soap is a great choice. It exfoliates, cleanses deeply and is made from all-natural ingredients.

pasta-portion-cup2. Portion Control Pasta Basket: $8.50

Perfect for someone who counts calories and watches their diet, this strainer measures out the appropriate amount of pasta for meals. It’s not limited to pasta, however. You can also use it for vegetables or fish.flavour-infuser-water-bottle

3. Flavor-Infuser Water Bottle: $15

This is great for anyone who likes to exercise or drinks a ton of water. It has a special compartment to keep the fruit and water separate so you can add any type of fruit you want. It’s healthier than buying powdered mixes and reduces the use of plastic bottles.

$25-50

1. Acupressure Mat: $29.87

accupressure-matFor someone who suffers from back pain or needs to relax after an intense workout, this mat can help. Thousands of acupressure points reduce back, hip, shoulder pain and much more, contributing to better circulation, sleep and digestion.

energy-light2. Energy Light: $39.95

This little box is good for anyone who gets a case of the winter blues. It emits natural light to combat the depressing effects of winter like tiredness and irritability, and because it’s so small it can fit in any home.

$50-100striiv-smart-pedometer

1. Striiv Smart Pedometer: $59.99

For those runners or hikers, a pedometer always comes in handy. This one, however, goes beyond the normal features by charting your progress, motivating and challenging you, and providing you with entertaining games.

2. Women’s Running Shoes: $65

Sneakers are an awesome gift for anyone into exercising or whoever needs a good pair of shoes. These particular sneakers are breathable and lightweight. They’re also a long-term investment so the recipient will use this gift for a while.convertible-workout-jacket

3. Convertible Workout Jacket: $90

If you know a girl who constantly going between the gym and regular activities, then this jacket is for her. It converts in many different stylish ways to fit whichever activity or location she happens to be in.

$100+

1. Tea of the Month Club Membership: $100-175

For any tea lovers out there, this is a good gift to keep them stocked with all the world’s best and rarest teas. Memberships can be purchased for six or twelve months, so they will be able to enjoy your gift all year long.tea-of-the-month

2. INSANITY DVD Workout: $144.80

If you know someone who loves to exercise or is looking for a new way to push him/herself, consider this collection of INSANITY DVDs. Ten discs provide you with a personal trainer who leads you through intense drills and aerobic exercises, and it includes online access to help you stay motivated and gain online peer support.

insanity-dvd-setIf you haven’t finished shopping yet, it’s not too late – many retailers offer expedited shipping options to make sure your gift arrives on time and in good condition. Also, in the days leading up to the holidays many brick and mortar retailers have great sales, too, if you can snap up the gifts you want soon enough.

About the Author

Adrienne is a blogger and freelance designer passionate about healthy living, good food, and fitness. You can see more of her work by following @foodierx on Twitter or visiting her blog, Foodie Fitness.

What are you getting for your health-conscious friends this holiday season? Share your gifts of choice in the comments below!

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Celebrating the Holidays on a Dime

by Head Health Nutter on December 16, 2014

Christmas is only a little over a week away, and so because of this, I’m going to publish several guest articles back-to-back, then give you a few days off so you can DO something with the information! So the last 2 posts were some healthier-for-you cookie recipes. Here are a few ideas in how to spend a fun, cost-effective holiday with your loved ones by guest blogger, Stu Lieberman! 

national-lampoons-christmas-vacation There are many ways to celebrate the holidays. But if thoughts of expensive tea outings and trips to big Christmas productions in town have your wallet worried, take heart. Not every activity this time of year has to break the bank. Here are some fun and frugal ways to celebrate the season:

  1. Check Out Local Productions of Holiday Favorites. A ticket to Handel’s Messiah at the big theater downtown could set you back $100 or more per ticket. But did you know many local schools put on their own versions of holiday classics? The middle school up the street from my house just put on a wonderful performance of The Nutcracker. The cost? Whatever you wanted to donate. You can often find upcoming local productions listed in neighborhood papers. Or, simply call your local middle or high school to see if they have any performances planned.
  2. Take a Tour of Neighborhood Lights. Nothing thrills or amazes my kids more than an elaborate light display. Many people go all out to decorate their homes this time of year. Take a drive around your neighborhood to find your favorite decorated house. Or, enter your zip code at Christmas Light Finder to find displays near you. Best of all, this activity is absolutely free.
  3. Volunteer. Have you ever seen a child’s face light up when they’re listening to ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas? It can warm your heart. Consider volunteering to read holiday books at your local library or children’s hospital.
  4. Host Your Own Tea Party. Having tea at an upscale hotel can be pricey. Instead, host your own tea party. Have the kids help you make little finger sandwiches and tiny treats. Make some flavored tea and hot chocolate. Get dressed in your Christmas best. Put on some holiday tunes. And, enjoy everything a fancy hotel party offers in the comfort of your own home.
  5. Have a Holiday Movie Night. From Elf to A Christmas Story there are holiday movies that delight all ages. Schedule a holiday movie night with your family. Make some popcorn. Put on your pajamas. And snuggle up together on the sofa to enjoy a favorite.
  6. Invite Friends Over for a Cookie Exchange. One of my favorite holiday activities with my kids is baking cookies. Sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, and my favorite…chocolate chip. To add even more festive cheer to cookie baking, consider starting a cookie exchange. Invite your kids’ friends (and their parents) over with their own cookies. The kids can exchange cookies with each other while you enjoy some adult time with their parents.
  7. Make Homemade Gifts. Your mom does not need another sweater. Instead, make her something from the heart. This year I purchased a couple of painter’s canvases from a craft store and had my kids paint their grandmother pictures. They turned out great. It was a fun activity for them. And, they can’t wait for Grandma to unwrap them on Christmas morning. Other homemade gift options: ornaments, wrapping paper, and picture frames.

About the Author

This article is written by + Stu Lieberman the writer for Nutri-Health.com, an online High Quality Probiotics and Health Store. Assisting people and helping them find quality natural probiotic supplements and health products online is what Stu has been doing for over 2 years. Nutri-Health.com carries Digestive Supplements to Probiotics to Joint Health.

What are some of your favourite ways to spend the holidays without breaking the bank?

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2 Holiday Recipes to Bake With Essential Oils

by Head Health Nutter on December 15, 2014

Our last post gave you 10 holiday cookie recipes. Here are 2 more made with essential oils, contributed by guest blogger, Heather Koenig! 

With the holiday season comes presents, good cheer, and delicious food. And what better way to celebrate the holidays than bake up some scrumptious recipes for your friends and family?

cinnamon-oil Many of us are working tirelessly to churn out those delicious holiday treats. But are you tired of using those same recipes every year? Why not add a healthy new kick by using food grade essential oils?

100% natural food grade oils

While it’s always recommended to research the brand before you apply internally, food grade oils can complement your recipes in tasty, innovative ways. Applied sparingly in your baking endeavors, these powerful natural ingredients can add flavor and scent to all different types of foods. For example:

  • Use orange, lemon, and peppermint for desserts
  • Use marjoram and thyme for savory foods like soups
  • Use lavender for sweet candies and desserts like chocolate

Why are many essential oils safe for consumption? Well, first off, they are not synonymous with perfume or other chemically-derived fragrances. Surely, they have aromatic benefits, but therapeutic grade essential oils are manufactured without artificial aggregates. In short, essential oils are natural compounds of plants, found in everything from stems to seeds to roots and flowers.

So without further ado, innovate your baking techniques by trying one (or two) of these delicious holiday recipes.

Gingerbread Men

  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar
  • 1 cup of molasses
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 5 drops of cinnamon essential oil
  • 5 drops of ginger essential oil

Directions

  1. Heat molasses until it begins to boil
  2. Pour molasses over sugar and butter in a large bowl
  3. Stir in vinegar until you have a nice smooth blend
  4. After cooling, add in the egg and essential oils
  5. Sift and add all dry ingredients to molasses mixture and blend until smooth
  6. Chill the dough in a covered container for at least a couple hours
  7. Roll dough and cut with a gingerbread man cutter
  8. Bake 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees

Peppermint Cookies

  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 6 drops of peppermint essential oil
  • 1/2 cup of thoroughly crushed candy canes
  • 5 teaspoons of warm water
  • 3/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Beat sugar and butter until you get a nice creamy mixture
  3. Blend egg and then stir in flour, salt, and crushed candy cane
  4. Roll a tablespoon of dough into a ball and lay out on cookie sheet
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is firm, then cool for about 1 minute
  6. Mix up water and confectioner’s sugar to create the icing
  7. Layer the top of each cookie with icing
  8. Feel free to sprinkle any extra crushed candy for an added kick

Before incorporating essential oils into your recipes, be sure to use both the right type of oil and a safe 100% natural brand. Read the label to ensure that the oil is safe for ingestion. Once you have all that figured out, showcase your new holiday recipes to your friends, family, and colleagues!

About the Author

A teacher and natural health guru, Heather Koenig is passionate for all things organic. In addition to living a natural lifestyle herself, Heather loves sharing her prowess with others on her website, Essential Oils US (www.essentialoilsus.com/).

Which healthier-for-you cookie recipes will you be trying this year?

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Light Cookie Recipes to Enjoy This Christmas

by Head Health Nutter on December 13, 2014

It’s coming! Christmas is almost here! One of the best ways to gift someone is with delicious baked goods. Especially if they are on the healthier side (relatively speaking, of course). I’m pleased to present guest blogger, Adrienne, with her list of 10 cookie recipes for those who wish to give a little (and only a little) sugar to their loved ones this season.

hot-chocolate-cookies_4 Photo by: Chocolate-covered Katie (chocolatecoveredkatie.com).

Already worrying about packing on the holiday pounds? Concerned that you won’t be able to resist the temptation of piles of sugar-packed, nutritionally barren cookies and snacks? While you may need to stay savvy when it comes to your holiday treat choices, there’s no reason you can’t fit in a few guilt-free–or guilt-light–indulgences this Christmas.

For 10 mouth-watering places to start, check out our list of lighter, healthier cookie recipes:

  1. Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
    Any recipe with “oatmeal” in the title is likely to be a winner. Fiber rich oats are not only heart-healthy, but stay with you longer. That full feeling will help you cut your indulgence off at a few cookies, rather than a few dozen. Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, cranberries ensure that a zesty pop of nutrition will accompany every indulgent bite.
  2. 2 Ingredient Coconut Cookie Dough Balls
    This recipe hits all the right notes: healthy, easy, and simple. With only two ingredients–coconut oil and pitted dates–this recipe avoids the trio of frowned upon ingredients: sugar, flour, and butter. What’s more, this no-bake recipe is easily adaptable. Feel free to spice it up with a few nuts or coconut flakes, dried fruit or even a few carob chips if you’re looking for an extra boost of flavor.
  3. Blueberry and White Chocolate Chunk Ginger Cookies
    Take the good, take the bad, take them both and you have these delicious white chocolate treats. Health-friendly ingredients like blueberries and ginger help balance out less nutritious ingredients like sugar. Luckily, reviewers agree that this recipe is just as good (perhaps better?) with less sugar than originally called for. Try experimenting with lower quantities until you find that perfect balance of sweet and healthy.
  4. Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Enjoy the delicious combination of chocolate and banana without the guilt that comes with your run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookies. This recipe calls for soy instead of whole milk and canola oil instead of butter. Bananas add a helping of potassium, and heart-healthy oats help prevent over-indulgence.
  5. Christmas Sugar Wafers with Vanilla Icing
    Sugar can often seem like a four-letter-word. With its links to obesity and oral health issues, it’s sometimes easy to see why. However, like any other food on the naughty list, sugar is perfectly fine to enjoy in moderation. These Christmas sugar wafers are just that: a moderate but delicious sugary treat.
  6. Almond and Honey-Butter Cookies
    These cookies take longer to make–thanks to a refrigeration period–but their delicious flavor more than makes up for time spent. What’s more, this recipe is low in carbs and diabetes friendly. That honey in the title? It takes the place of sugar, providing a healthier dose of sweetness.
  7. Snickerdoodles
    This classic holiday cookie is surprisingly low in fat and calories. This simple recipe will earn a place as a holiday favorite thanks to the delicious flavors of guilt-free seasoning like cinnamon.
  8. Hot Chocolate Cookie
    Cookies that taste like hot chocolate, need we say more? If you need an extra reason to try these delectable treats, know that they’re also packed with healthy dates and made with coconut oil instead of sugar.
  9. Caramel-Cream Cookie
    Looking for something low calorie, sweet, and easy to make? This recipe is only 77 calories and takes just minutes to make. What’s more, it only requires three store-bought ingredients: chocolate wafers, dulce de leche, and whipped cream. As an added bonus, these treats look more time-consuming and elegant, so you can fool friends or relatives into thinking you spent hours in the kitchen instead of mere minutes.
  10. Coconut Cream Shortbread
    This healthy recipe is perfect for holiday parties. Not only is it tasty and refined-sugar-free, it also avoids major dietary restrictions such as nuts, gluten, soy and corn. If you want to mix things up a bit, try adding a low-sugar fruit-glaze to the top.

About the Author

Adrienne is a blogger and freelance designer passionate about healthy living, good food, and fitness. You can see more of her work by following @foodierx on Twitter or visiting her blog, Foodie Fitness.

Do you have any healthier-for-you cookie recipes to share? Use the comment section below!

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The Expecting Mother: 5 Ways to Stay in Shape While Pregnant

by Head Health Nutter on December 11, 2014

If you or someone you know is pregnant, you’ll enjoy this guest post by Lizzie; especially if you already have a workout routine in place. 

The Expecting Mother 5 Ways to Stay in Shape While PregnantMany women worry about permanently losing their figure and tone while pregnant. While weight gain is normal and healthy in pregnancy, there are several ways that you can safely stay in shape while expecting. [click to continue…]

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Shed the Pounds: Knockout Workouts to Try in 2015

by Head Health Nutter on December 8, 2014

We’re wrapping up another year soon and will begin another January 1st. This newness generally activates motivation and it’s in our best interest to use this extra energy to pin down a workout schedule that works for us. Part of doing this is finding activities we enjoy. Check out a few examples from guest blogger, Brooke Chaplan. 

Shedding the pounds is no simple task. It takes a lot of work, especially if you are not used to exercising. If you follow these steps to losing those pounds, it starts to feel less impossible, and more a reality. Depending on how many pounds you want to lose, and how focused you are in reaching your goals, you can quickly lose weight.

With that said, your weight-formula is going to require, on your part, due diligence, healthy eating habits, and a strong regime. Cardio is the number one type of exercise that will help burn those calories, and keep the fat off, which is what these workouts will focus upon.

Shed the Pounds Knockout Workouts to Try This YearBicycling
Bicycling can be fun as well as healthy. Depending on how fast you like to go, bicycling burns calories fast. Unless you are restricted by the boundaries of time or weather, bicycle outside. Bicycling outside can vary your exercises with the various twists and turns on the changing landscapes. If you are restricted, you might want to invest in a quality indoor bike, or use the one at your local gym. Bicycling can burn roughly 500-1000 calories per hour.

Swimming
Swimming helps lose those body pounds you don’t need. The summer is the best time to commit yourself to doing laps up and down the pool. If you swim for an hour, you can lose up to 800 calories. Also, you can tone the majority of your body since swimming is a full-body exercise. A maternal care specialist, Dr. Gilbert Webb recommends pregnant women do more stationary exercises in the pool and use It more for therapy. [click to continue…]

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5 Stress-Busting Tips to Help Get You Through the Holidays

by Head Health Nutter on December 4, 2014

One of the most stressful times of the year for most people are only a few short weeks away. Don’t let stress mess with the feel-good holiday feelings! Take a few of the tips that guest blogger, Stu Lieberman, shares with us today and keep the holiday spirit alive for the entire month of December!  

The holidays are supposed to be a time of goodwill and cheer, right? Well, maybe for some. But for others it’s a time for stress. Lots of stress. There are gifts to buy. Food to prepare. And let’s not forget about the extended family time that can make you feel like hiding out in the bathroom.

woman exercising fitness zumba dancing silhouetteThe American Psychological Association (APA) has found that nearly half of all women in the United States experience heightened stress during the holidays. And what do these women rely on to get them through the holidays? 41 percent of women use food and 28 percent use alcohol as comforting mechanisms during that time.

It’s impossible to avoid all stress. But how you deal with stress can make a great difference in your health. Here are five stress-busting tips to help you get through the holidays. [click to continue…]

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Stress is a normal part of life but when the holiday season comes along, it can become downright overwhelming! Check out today’s guest post by Dixie Somers to find a few tips in handling this year’s holiday hustle.

Whether you feel stressed because of your demanding job, busy schedule, or complicated relationships, you will eventually need an outlet for pent up stress. Prolonged stress can make you feel moody, depressed, anxious, isolated or overwhelmed.

Sweat for Stress Relief - The Best Exercises for Relieving Stress in Your LifeStress isn’t just a product of negative events, like financial problems and work deadlines. Even positive changes, such as marriage or a promotion, can cause stress.

Your body releases hormones called endorphins during exercise. Endorphins make you feel good. They improve pain tolerance, boost energy and alleviate fatigue. No matter the reason for your stress, here are the best ways to relieve it through physical activity:

Walking
A brisk stroll will get your heart pumping and release endorphins. A scenic outdoor environment reduces mental fatigue and can produce an almost meditative state, according to research from the University of Washington and the United Kingdom’s Heriot-Watt University. Walk with a friend to ease feelings of isolation. Have a dog? Take him with you. In addition to giving you another reason to get moving, spending time with pets can increase your dopamine and serotonin levels. These chemicals help you sleep better, improve your concentration and memory, and balance your mood.

Yoga
[click to continue…]

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How to Eat Cleaner at Work

by Head Health Nutter on November 28, 2014

It was the American Thanksgiving yesterday, and the holiday season is right around the corner. With all these food-filled celebrations, the winter weight can be difficult to manage. Here’s guest blogger, Adrienne, with a few great tips in how to manage your weight while at work!  

Nibbling on the job can be a real problem. From the vending machines’ processed junk to the takeout burritos your company loves ordering in – eating at work can create a daily health crisis. It doesn’t have to, though. All you need to eat better is discipline and dedication. If you’re interested in cracking down and improving your at-work diet, here’s what you need to do:

quick lunchBuy a Lunchbox

Invest in a lunchbox and begin packing your lunches. When you depend on restaurants or vending machines, you’re bound to turn to processed or fatty foods. If you can prepare your meals ahead of time, though, you will have healthier options at your disposal. Packing ahead also helps to avoid the dilemma in which you’re starving and want to devour the first thing you can get your hands on – regardless of how unhealthy it may be.

Stock your pantry with food storage containers and get creative. Pack whole grain cereal in a container and almond milk in a bottle; try hummus and fresh-cut vegetables. Sandwiches made with whole wheat bread and lean meats alongside fruits are a good bet, too. Mix it up – home-packed lunches don’t have to be boring.

And Ice Packs

[click to continue…]

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Tips On How To Choose Supplements To Increase Testosterone In Men

by Head Health Nutter on November 25, 2014

Another excellent article by guest blogger, Chelsea Sawyer, with some advice to consider before you start taking testosterone boosting supplements.

For men in their thirties and over, boosting testosterone levels through a healthier diet, lifestyle changes and supplements are all important. With healthy amounts of the male hormone in the body, they can ensure good health well into their golden years and beyond. Many studies conducted have shown that a lot of the health woes of aging men arise due to decreased levels of testosterone. Some of the most prevalent health issues associated with aging and lower amounts of the male hormone include erectile dysfunction, prostate cancer, osteoporosis, heart disease and depression.

building strength with pushupsAs mentioned earlier, change in diet, lifestyle alterations and taking testosterone boosters can help greatly in maintaining the right levels of the important hormone in the body. Among these though, supplements are believed to be the fastest-acting solution. Currently, the market carries a vast selection of these supplements to increase testosterone in men. The selection of options can be quite overwhelming; the all-natural and organic tonics alone are in the hundreds.

If you’re having difficulty choosing, provided below are some tips that can help you make the best decision. [click to continue…]

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