With the sun beating down on your everyday learning how to protect and heal your skin from the sun will help your skin stay healthy and happy this summer!

Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors and all of the fun activities the warmer weather allows.  However, with the great weather comes the necessary precautions of avoiding sunburn, preventing heat exhaustion, and general Summer safety.  With a little bit of knowledge and due diligence, you can hopefully enjoy all Summer has to offer without suffering from any negative effects.

It seems pretty obvious that sunscreen is necessary when outside, but far too often people underestimate their risk in different situations.  For example, the sun is more intense and can burn you more quickly in the mountains due to your sheer proximity to it as well as burning you more on the water (the reflection of rays and all).  Here are 5 ways to protect yourself:

  1. Wear sunscreen every day, in all weather, and in every season.  It should be at least a sun protection factor (SPF) 30 and say “broad-spectrum” on the label…meaning it protects against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.  Apply at least 15 minutes prior to going outside.
  2. Reapply sunscreen at least every 60 minutes; more often if you’re sweating or swimming.
  3. Wear wide-brimmed hats and long sleeve shirts and pants for the best coverage.
  4. Use sunglasses with total UV protection to protect your eyes from getting burned…yes, this is a thing!
  5. Avoid being out in the sun as much as possible from 10 am – 2 pm (the hottest part of the day when the sun is the most intense and likely to burn you).

Now if you have tried your best and still end up sunburned, there are some easy ways to treat your burn:

  1. Take a cool bath without soap or bubbles.  Adding baking soda (and air drying) helps relieve inflammation and itching.  You can also add apple cider or white vinegar as well (about 1 cup) since it’s a great astringent and soothes sunburn pain.
  2. Apply a “watery” type of moisturizer (not a heavy cream) to relieve the dryness.  Eucerin is a good example.
  3. Apply an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a damp cloth to your burned areas.  This will absorb some of the heat from your skin, constrict blood vessels, and reduce swelling.
  4. Hydrate from the inside out…with water AND food!  Think watermelon, honeydew, and cantaloupe.
  5. Try applying black tea bags to your face, eyelids, etc. for relief (soak in hot water, let cool, and apply).  You can also soak a clean cloth in milk with water and ice cubes and apply as a compress, mix cornstarch with water to make a paste, or apply plain yogurt to the burned areas then rinse off after a few minutes.  All of these items help to reduce the inflammation caused by the sunburn as well as ease the pain.
  6. Use Aloe Vera gel (directly from the plant is best) to soothe burned skin and help it to heal quickly.
  7. Resist the urge to peel!  Let the body keep its protective layer as long as possible to avoid any type of infection peeling might cause.
  8. Know when to call a doctor.  Some sunburns are just too severe to be treated at home so watch for the signs that signal it’s beyond your remedy:  nausea, chills, fever, faintness, extensive blistering, general weakness, patches of purple discoloration, or intense itching.  Also, be aware of the burn seems to be spreading…it could be infected.

You also need to be aware of any of the medications you might be taking make you more photosensitive (causing a severe reaction to UV rays).  Certain medications like antibiotics, tranquilizers, and antifungals can increase your sensitivity to the sun causing you to burn more quickly.  Oral contraceptives, diuretics, diabetes medications, and even PABA-containing sunscreens may also increase your sunburn risk. So the takeaway is…have fun in the sun but be aware of your personal situation and arm yourself with the knowledge that will allow you to enjoy the day without having to pay for it later.

 

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With temperatures rising it is important to know exactly how heat and humidity affect the body! Knowing and understanding this will help protect you and keep you safe!

Summer can be either dry or humid…or both…depending on where you live.  Either way, heat can negatively affect how the body functions if proper precautions aren’t taken.  Add humidity to the heat and the potential for dangerous results multiplies. Knowing how heat and humidity affect the body is critical to keeping you safe! 

Hot weather can obviously make you hot…that’s a given…but heat is also generated by the body when it’s active.  Three-Fourths of the energy we convert from physical activity turns into heat, only one-fourth into motion. When the body is active it usually generates more heat than it needs and has to release it somehow…this is when sweating occurs.  The body draws water from the bloodstream to make sweat that carries heat through pores and onto the skin surface where it evaporates and releases the heat…cooling the body. Staying hydrated is how this process works properly, cools you down, and keeps you safe when overheated.  

With temperatures rising it is important to know exactly how heat and humidity affect the body! Knowing and understanding this will help protect you and keep you safe!

Humidity is when there is an excessive amount of moisture in the air that prevents proper evaporation of sweat and keeps your body temperature high.  Once the air has too much moisture relative to the sweat you’re producing the sweat can’t evaporate and you remain too hot…along with being sticky. This is a dangerous situation that keeps your core temperature too hot and can lead to heat exhaustion.  You also lose water, salt, and electrolytes that the body needs to function.

So how can you combat heat and especially humidity so you aren’t suffering from the ill effects?  There are a few key things you can do if you notice you’re feeling overheated, fatigued, have a headache, increased pulse, and you can’t cool down:

  1. Seek shade and a cooler environment in extreme heat or overexertion  
  2. Go into a humidity controlled room (or one that’s cooled via central air) if humidity is leaving you feeling sticky and you can’t cool down
  3. ALWAYS drink plenty of water to stay properly hydrated (avoid alcohol and sugary juices)
  4. Use fans, cooling towels, wraps, clothing, etc. to maintain a proper core temperature
  5. Eat cool foods (cucumbers, watermelon, apples, etc.) and avoid warm or hot fare; eat vegetarian to avoid the energy expenditure that protein metabolism causes

 

Sometimes it’s not so easy to avoid overheating, but with a little bit of knowledge maybe you can avoid suffering when it does happen.  Always stay hydrated as the first line of defense against problems and plan ahead as much as possible to enjoy the warmer weather without issue.

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With summer here in full swing – finding healthy summer foods and recipes is crucial to helping you stay on track and working towards your goals of a healthier you! This guide will help you find the best choices and recipes this summer!

As the heat increases there always seems to be a shift in the way we eat and what sounds good for Summer dining versus Winter fare.  Certain foods are more available in each season which also dictates what we eat…and “how” we eat it. For example, corn in the Summer can be grilled or eaten cold in a bean, avocado, and corn salad…but in the Winter it’s usually just a warm side dish.  The same goes for proteins (beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and fish), grilling reigns supreme in the Summer while frying, baking, and steaming top the list in Winter.

There are hundreds of delicious Summer recipes available from a variety of great websites to get you started:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/grilling/healthy/photos/fresh-healthy-summer-recipes

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/quick-easy-summer-recipes

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/18026/seasonal/summer/

Regardless of what foods you like to eat in the Summer or how you like to prepare them, always keep in mind a few healthy rules:

 

  • Fresh Is Best:  opt for fresh fruits and vegetables you prepare yourself for the best nutritional value and to know exactly what you’re eating; if you eat an item as it appears in nature you’re doing it right!
  • Fresh Frozen is Okay Too:  many fruits and vegetables are “flash frozen” at their peak of freshness and it’s fine to use these in place of fresh items; canned usually has an overload of sugar & salt, so frozen is better than canned.
  • Select Lean Proteins:  choose lean beef and pork (no fat slabs and very little, if any, marbling), cut the fat from chicken and turkey (white meat is leaner than dark meat), and go for “white fish” varieties (cod, halibut, sea bass, etc., even shrimp) over fattier fish, except for salmon…the healthy Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely beneficial so mixing it in your menu once in a while is fine.
  • Watch out for Side Dishes:  with items like baked beans, potato salad, pasta salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, etc. it’s easy to load up your plate with a lot of fat and calories.  Try having grilled vegetables, light vegetable salads, and fruit while keeping the heavier creamy/sugary/fatty sides to a minimum.
  • Minimize Alcohol & Soda:  beer has the most calories (except for “light”, of course) and rum has the least…with vodka, tequila, and wine fall somewhere in the middle…but all can really add up and aren’t good sources of hydration in hot weather.  The same goes for soda…the calories are listed on the can/bottle and the sugar content is very high…even “diet” varieties aren’t good for you in general due to the problems many people have with artificial sweeteners. Try flavored “bubbly” water or even just plain water as better options.

 

Enjoy the Summer and eating what you love…even if it might not be that good for you all the time.  Just make most of your food selections from the healthy category and minimize the unhealthy foods and beverages to still feel satisfied while taking good care of yourself.

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Nothing slows down summer fun more than the dreaded summer cold! There are a few things you can do to ward off and avoid a summer cold altogether!

Even with the warmer weather Summer brings, a cold can get you regardless of how hard you try to avoid it.  The sneezing, runny nose, congestion and itchy or a sore throat are standard cold symptoms, but they’re also indicators of allergies.  So how do you tell the difference? A cold will also include things like coughing, sweating, and fever with symptoms usually appearing one at a time.  With allergies, all of them typically come on all at once. Allergies also tend to linger longer than a cold, but on average a Winter cold lasts about a week while a Summer one lingers.  So, how can you avoid a Summer cold, begin with? Well, maybe I can help with that.

 

First, and most importantly for all illness…take care of your immune system!  There are many ways you can do this: eat nutritious foods, avoid stress, and even take supplements that contain immune-boosting ingredients.  An easy way to help your immune system stay strong and run properly is to take probiotics regularly. Since nearly 75% of your immune system is located in your gut, it’s important to take care to keep the beneficial bacteria at proper levels so the body can fight off cold-causing germs.

 

Other important preventative measures include getting plenty of sleep, washing your hands well, and avoiding people who are sick…whether they have a cold or allergies.  These might seem like common sense things but they really are the best ways to keep from getting sick or making any allergies you’re suffering from worse, causing your immune system to work harder than it needs to.

 

Speaking of causing your immune system to work harder…something that many people don’t think about in the Summer is how often they transition from air conditioning to warm outdoor climates and then back to cooler air.  This temperature fluctuation can weaken the immune system as it’s constantly trying to cool then heat then cool the body again and again throughout the day cause germs to have a greater chance to make us sick. While you can’t always avoid these temperature fluctuations keep in mind the toll they take on you and be sure to be as healthy as you can to compensate.

 

If you do happen to get a cold there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies available that do a good job of easing symptoms and allowing your body to recover.  There are also many natural remedies that work great too:

  • Neti Pot
  • Humidifier or Diffuser
  • Decongesting Foods
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Vitamin C
  • Echinacea
  • Ginger Turmeric
  • Stay Hydrated & Rest

It’s never fun having Summer plans interrupted for a cold, but with a little bit of forethought, you can hopefully avoid getting one…or at least lessen its impact a little bit.  

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Coconut Oil seems to be amongst the coolest of the superfoods, after reviewing the many health benefits it is no surprise as to why!

Coconut oil seems to be on the lips of just about everyone you meet these days.  It’s being touted as useful for everything from a healthier cooking oil option and a super healthy fat, to a great make-up remover, hair and face moisturizer…not to mention the multiple health elements and weight loss benefits.  Coconut oil is everywhere, but is it really all that it’s hyped up to be? Actually…yes it is!

The healthy aspect of the coconut oil lies in the medium chain triglycerides (MCT’s).  These are healthy saturated fats that aren’t stored in significant amounts in the body…but instead go straight to the liver where they’re used as a quick source of energy or turned into ketones.  Ketones are an energy source that provides improved hormone balance, lowered inflammation, brain benefits, and weight loss. These MCT’s are the key to what makes coconut oil such a miraculous superfood.

The main thing about coconut oil (whether in the jar or in a capsule) is to be sure to pay attention to HOW it’s made and that the product only contains coconut.  There are keywords/phrases to look for when buying coconut oil…here they are and what they mean:

  • Cold Pressed:  the oils are “pressed” out of the coconut flesh (or meat) and no heat is used…this preserves the healthy MCT’s in the coconut oil.
  • Unrefined:  no chemical processing has been done to the “meat” of the coconut so the nutrients are preserved; also known as “virgin” or “pure” coconut oil.
  • Virgin:  used along with “unrefined” and meaning the same thing…that it has no chemical processing so nutrients are preserved; “virgin” & “extra virgin” mean the same thing when it comes to coconut oil.
  • Non-GMO/GMO-Free:  a “Genetically Modified Organism” refers to plants, animals, or other organisms whose genetic material has been changed in ways that do not occur naturally; GMO-free means the ingredients have not been created in a lab…they are natural.

Here are some of the multiple health benefits of using coconut oil…whether having a tablespoon or two of the “meat” or oil each day, cooking with it or in supplement form:

  1. Healing:  helps repair damaged tissues, assists with healthy liver function, and helps repair kidney issues
  2. Immune System:  enhances the immune system and supports a healthy body; antibacterial and anti-fungal
  3. Digestion:  promotes nutrient absorption, enhances metabolism, improves beneficial gut bacteria levels, and helps burn fat which aids in weight loss
  4. Diabetes:  helps control blood sugar levels and boosts insulin secretion
  5. Heart:  promotes a healthy heart and healthy blood pressure levels
  6. Head:  aids in reducing mental fatigue and boosting brain function
  7. Skin:  helps reduce wrinkles, sagging and dry, flaking skin; can be used as a make-up remover and moisturizer
  8. Hair:  helps reduce protein loss from hair while promoting healthy hair and scalp
  9. Bones & Teeth:  boosts bone strength and dental health

There are still calories in coconut oil and although the fats are beneficial they are still fats…so please check with your doctor to see if it’s okay for you to use.  Have fun with the many uses of this superfood…Enjoy!

If you, like many people, struggle with finding ways to consume coconut oil – try our coconut oil supplements!! They come in an easy to swallow gel cap that makes it easier than ever to get your coconut oil in!

 

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Why Your Liver Is Important Your liver has a lot of responsibility and is in charge of helping your body rid itself of harmful toxins! Taking care of it and making sure it is working will go a long way in improving your overall health!

The liver plays a central role in all metabolic processes in the body.  Its main job is to filter blood coming from the digestive tract before passing it to the rest of the body, but there are several important functions the liver performs:

–  Bile production and excretion (an important digestive liquid)

–  Excretion of bilirubin, cholesterol, hormones, and drugs

–  Metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates

–  Enzyme activation

–  Storage of glycogen (energy in the form of a sugar), vitamins, and minerals

–  Synthesis of plasma proteins, such as albumin, and clotting factors

–  Blood detoxification and purification

The liver is also the only organ in the body that can grow cells and regenerate itself.  It can be removed from the body, split in half, and transplanted into two different recipients.  Plus, a living person can donate a portion of their liver while having both portions regrow and function.  A healthy liver is important for many reasons and there are several things you can do (and not do) to protect it from damage so it can keep your body functioning properly:

 

  1. Eat a high fiber diet, including fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
  2. Load up on healthy protein (vital for fighting infections and healing a damaged liver); include low fat or fat-free dairy, lean meats, and plant-based sources like beans, legumes, and lentils
  3. Avoid trans fats found in processed foods; opt for healthy fats found in nuts, seeds, flaxseeds, avocados, olive oil, and fatty fish
  4. Stay well hydrated
  5. Avoid consuming high amounts of salty and sugary foods
  6. Control your weight…avoid obesity
  7. Limit alcohol consumption
  8. Don’t abuse over-the-counter medications (especially acetaminophen)

 

There are a few common symptoms you might notice if your liver isn’t working well:

–  Chronic fatigue

–  Gastrointestinal issues (upset stomach, nausea, vomiting)

–  Decreased appetite

–  Dark colored urine

–  Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

A liver detoxification is sometimes all that’s needed to clean out this important, multi-functional organ and get things running smoothly again.  There are many liver detox products and recipes out there, and some might be a bit too harsh for the average person. We have our Liver Detox formula that’s gentle enough for almost everyone, yet gets the job done.  The all natural ingredients help to cleanse and protect the liver so it can properly take care of you. Please be sure to check with your healthcare professional about your personal health situation and any medications you might be taking just to make sure all is clear for you to do any type of liver detoxification.  

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With BBQ and grilling season upon us – there are some easy swaps and changes you can make for healthier BBQs!! With just a few small tweaks you can cut calories and help you stay on track!

With warmer weather just starting to arrive it’s time to uncover and clean off the barbecue and commence with grilling!  While it is a bit healthier to grill foods (usually not many fats are needed) the sauces that are used can increase the sugar content too much and make a healthy cooking option not so healthy after all.  Items like lean meats, chicken breast, fish, vegetables, and even fruit, all taste fantastic when grilled and sometimes the flavors of certain items are even enhanced when cooked over an open flame.

The way you cook on the grill is almost as important as what you cook.  Proteins (meat, chicken, and fish) sometimes stick when no fats (butter or oils) are used to a little bit of olive oil is fine…just a little bit though.  Olive oil is a healthy choice and a little goes a long way. There are now nonstick grilling mats and pans specifically made for the barbecue and these, of course, require no butter or oils to prevent sticking…making them a great healthy option.  You can also cook things in tinfoil “packets”…vegetables and fish are good options for this method…so as to keep items from falling through the grates of the grill. It also steams the food so you aren’t having to use anything on the items to prevent sticking.

 

Another pitfall for people looking to eat healthy and enjoy a barbecue are the sauces used to marinate the proteins.  Sugar is usually in large quantities in these sauces as it imparts a lot of flavors when it caramelizes. Even a healthy fish filet can be rendered unhealthy by a high-calorie sauce, so whenever possible use marinades and sauces sparingly and AFTER cooking to minimize damage to your diet.  Also, remove any visible fat from meat and the skin from chicken and turkey for the best option.

 

There are many healthy barbecue recipes to try with a variety of foods and depending on your preference, there are many variations.  Here are a few links to sites offering healthy barbecue recipes that you might want to try:

 

  1. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/grilling-recipes/
  2. http://www.cookinglight.com/food/top-rated-recipes/five-star-grill-recipes
  3. https://www.delish.com/entertaining/g2167/healthy-grilling-recipes/
  4. https://www.bonappetit.com/gallery/healthy-grilling-recipes
  5. https://www.cookincanuck.com/15-healthy-barbecue-grilling-recipes/

 

Side Dishes are also an area where many people eat more calories than they realize and a diet can really be derailed due to a great side dish.  Potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and baked beans are the traditional sides at most barbecues, but they are loaded with fat and calories (and sugar as well) and aren’t on any weight loss program.  While they’re delicious, it’s best to avoid them and opt for things like grilled vegetables, a leafy green salad, bean and avocado salad, or even a baked potato cooked on the grill.

 

When it comes to dessert, a couple of good things to grill in the fruit category are pineapple slices and peaches.  The fruit sugars in these delicious items caramelize when grilled and they become very sweet. They are great options that are still healthy when it comes to barbecue fare.  Even small changes to your normal barbecue dining can mean positive results for your health and make eating better easier and easier every time you incorporate them.

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Apple Cider Vinegar has become all the rage, but why?? Is it worthy of all the buzz – here are 8 surprising benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar that you might not be aware of!

There has been a lot of mention lately about the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar and what all it can do for you…but why exactly is it so popular?  Just some of the many benefits include weight loss, possibly lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, stabilizing blood sugar, enhancing skin health, and relieving acid reflux symptoms.  But what exactly is apple cider vinegar and why is it so good for you?

Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from apples, sugar, and yeast.  ACV, as some call it, is the most popular type of vinegar in the natural health community and specifically when it contains “The Mother”…the sediment left in the vinegar when it’s unrefined, unpasteurized, and unfiltered.  This “mother” is a cloudy colony of beneficial bacteria that helps create vinegar through a secondary fermentation process. This makes a vinegar that is high in acetic acid, antioxidants, and probiotics and a better all-around choice for health than the traditional “clear” ACV.

There are many benefits of consuming apple cider vinegar due to its high potassium and enzyme levels.  Here are just a few of the ways to use ACV:

  1. Helps Stomach Troubles:  mix 1-2 Tbl. into water or juice and drink when needed.
  2. Soothes a Sore Throat:  mix equal parts ACV with warm water and gargle every hour.
  3. Prevents Indigestion:  mix 1 tsp. honey and 1 tsp. ACV into a glass of warm water and drink it 30 minutes before eating.
  4. Clears a Stuffy Nose:  mix 1 tsp. ACV into a glass of warm water and drink to help sinus drainage.
  5. Aids in Weight Loss:  the acetic acid suppresses appetite, increases metabolism, and reduces water retention so try taking about 2 oz. straight before meals.
  6. Reduces Nighttime Leg Cramps:  mix 2 Tbl. ACV and 1 tsp. honey into warm water and drink before going to bed.
  7. Helps Control Blood Sugar:  have 2 Tbl. of ACV before bed or mix equal parts ACV and water then drink before eating a high carbohydrate meal.
  8. Boosts Energy:  mix 1-2 Tbl. of ACV into a glass of chilled vegetable juice or water when you’re feeling tired.

There are also topical ways to use Apple Cider Vinegar that include getting rid of dandruff, clearing acne, fading bruises, whitening teeth, and banishing bad breath.  However, you choose to use Apple Cider Vinegar just know it’s more than something to use for dressings or to cook with. Apple Cider Vinegar is a multi-purpose player in your health regimen that has been used for centuries both internally and externally for health, wellness, beauty, and flavor!

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If you are eager to drop some pounds but cannot find the time or money for a gym, consider the yard work calories that you could burn off. You do not have to join a gym, pay fees and rearrange your schedule in order to lose weight. Weight loss opportunities are all around you, especially if you have your own yard or land. The best thing about working off calories in the yard is that you actually accomplish something while you shed the weight instead of staring at a lot of other people on stationary bikes at a gym.

Using yard work calories to lose weight is a fantastic and worthwhile way to help shape up, not only can you shed pounds but you will also be accomplishing the task of beautifying your yard!

Why Yard Work?

You could lose weight on your own time in many ways. You could easily find an exercise regimen on the Internet and follow it in the privacy of your own home. However, it takes a lot of discipline to follow these guidelines and it may require time that you do not have. Let’s face it, everybody is busy these days. If you still have a yard in which to work, you may be doing a lot of overtime or keeping up with two or three jobs. Fitting in some time at the gym can be hard to justify, no matter how important your weight problem is to you.

Yard work, however, is inevitable. You have to fit it into your schedule. You can really kill two birds with one stone here because both yard work and exercise are not very exciting tasks for most people. However, most people also understand their necessity. This should give you more enthusiasm for your yard work and your exercise. Instead of eagerly awaiting to get the minimum done before you return to the shade or the air conditioning of your home, you can take satisfaction as you put in the extra time to really accomplish some serious projects outdoors while you simultaneously drop some weight.

How Can I Calculate Yard Work Calories Burned?

One nice thing about going to the gym is that they have a lot of instruments and charts that can explain to you just how many calories you burn with each allotment of time in an exercise or with each pound of resistance. Thanks to the Internet, however, you can get some of the same information using pages derived from a yard work calories calculator. The number of calories burned at each activity depends on the amount of time that you put in and how much you weigh. The figures in the examples that follow are rough but usable.

Yard Work Calories – at 125 Pounds

If you begin this weight loss stratagem at 125 pounds, you will need to spend an hour raking leaves or planting shrubs to burn off about 240 calories. Mowing the lawn and pulling weeds will each burn around 30 more calories than that. Naturally, as you increase the strength required, you increase the number of calories burned. Digging will eat up about 300 calories per hour and chopping wood burns more than 350 calories in the same time period.

Yard Work Calories – at 155 Pounds

Since you are carrying more weight around, the same activities will burn more calories in return for the same intensity. This is one of the few times that extra weight pays off! Raking those leaves will now burn nearly 300 calories in just one hour. Mowing the lawn will use more than 330 calories at this weight and digging now burns more than 370. As a 155-pounder, you will use up 446 calories per hour while chopping wood.

Yard Work Calories – at 185 Pounds

Now raking leaves burns more than 350 calories per hour, mowing burns 400 and digging nearly 450. Chopping wood for an hour at this weight will require more than 530 calories.

How Do I Get Started?

A lot of people are unenthusiastic about yard work and simply go at it willy-nilly for a while before quitting. You should strategize about how many yard work calories per hour you want to burn. You can base your landscaping activities around how many calories you need or want to lose that day. This should help you complete plans for your yard while you shape your body.

Be Careful

It is easy to get a little too enthusiastic about shedding pounds and beautifying the scenery around your home. It is most likely that the sun will be out when you do this work and you will sweat a lot. Apply sunblock generously and drink lots of water while you work. Staying hydrated is important to help your body adjust to exercise properly and also to keep you from dehydrating out in that sun. Watch out for regional pests, such as snakes and insects that could cut short your workout with a nasty bite or sting.

 

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Molasses, whether it is pomegranate molasses, sorghum molasses or blackstrap molasses, is a healthy substitute for sugar. Believe it or not, molasses is a staple diet in America. Pilgrims brought molasses in the country when they first visited the continent centuries ago.

Some people find molasses too sour. Others find it too sweet. Meanwhile, there are those who think molasses is too rich or sugary. However different people’s opinions are, the fact is that molasses are difficult to acquire thus the need to find a good molasses substitute.

Molasses is a common ingredient used in pies, cookies, and cakes. Due to its high sugar content and the risk, this brings to one’s health, the following are a slew of molasses substitute you could use.

Molasses is a common ingredient used in pies, cookies and cakes. Due to its high sugar content and the risk this brings to one's health, the following are a slew of molasses substitute you could use.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a decent substitute for molasses in recipes. Though yogurt tastes differently from molasses, it possesses similar properties once it is utilized in cooking or baking.
Yogurt is also a good source of calcium as it contains healthy proteins. Yogurt is also ideal for vegetarians. When this molasses substitute is used in baking, make sure that it is properly strained. Proper straining requires that you put a cheesecloth over a bowl, pour the yogurt through the cheesecloth and allow it to strain overnight through the cloth. If you want to acquire the best and healthiest yogurt source, make sure you use brands, which indicate that the yogurt is made using nonfat or low-fat milk. Such yogurts not only help fight obesity, it also prevents chronic disease such as cancer or stroke.

Applesauce

Applesauce is another molasses substitute that serves as a healthy alternative. However, applesauce is not as sweet as molasses, its moisture and texture is similar. Plus, applesauce contains large amounts of critical minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It also contains fiber essential to treat and prevent stroke, obesity and other cardiovascular diseases. As much as possible, use applesauce that is low in calories and sugar.

Feel free to make your own applesauce. All you have to do is combine sliced and peeled apples in a large pot. Add water, cinnamon, and sugar. Heat this mixture until it boils. Decrease the quantity until the sauce thickens. This applesauce will definitely be nutritious as much as it is delicious.

Honey

Honey is considered as the most healthy and popular substitute for molasses in recipes. This golden liquid is naturally produced by bees and was used for centuries as a preservative and sweetener. It is also a good antioxidant and possesses anti-bacterial properties, which boosts the immune system. Honey also helps prevent fatigue when exercising. The main reason why honey is a good molasses substitute is due to its good taste. While molasses could either be sweet, bittersweet or unpleasant, honey is always sweet and pleasantly delicious. The best-tasting honey is raw honey since it has not been treated after being removed from the beehive. Take note that pure or natural honey is not really natural or pure as it has been processed thus it is inferior to raw honey.

Barley Malt Extract

Barley malt – similar to honey – is gold in color, has a thick consistency and is sweet. It is utilized to improve and sweeten foods such as ice cream, bread, cereals, and bagels. It is also used to sweeten tonic beverages and is essential in brewing non-alcoholic and alcoholic beer. Barley malt is a molasses substitute in baking due to its aesthetic qualities and nutritional value. It is also rich in easy-to-digest protein. It is similarly high in vitamin B and amino acids. Barley malt is also used to soften stool and treat children’s constipation. Barley malt could also serve as a standalone supplement and critical substitute for molasses in recipes.

Maple syrup

Maple syrup is the preferred sweetener for numerous generations. It is essentially a molasses substitute that is usually used in porridge, pancakes, waffles, French toast, and oatmeal. Maple syrup is also healthy as it contains calcium that is essential for tooth and bone health.

Other equally effective and tasty molasses substitutes include brown rice syrup, golden syrup, corn syrup, Karo syrup and muscovado sugar. Brown rice syrup is amber-colored syrup that tastes half as sweet as actual sugar. Meanwhile, golden syrup is a classic syrup that is lighter in flavor compared to molasses. Corn syrup is a type of syrup that comes from maize starch. Karo syrup is also corn syrup that is available in light and dark varieties. Muscovado sugar tastes like molasses but is actually an unrefined version of brown sugar.

All in all, recipes which require molasses include pecan pie, gingerbread, and even barbecue sauce. Molasses are specified for these recipes due to its unique color and taste. Though molasses substitution is essential, these alternatives could not duplicate the unique taste of molasses.

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