Oct 252016


7 Not So Junky Junk Foods to Grab on the Go

Road trips, gas stops, no time for lunch; we’ve all found ourselves at the convenience store for a fast bite on the go. While a bag of chips or chocolate bar may be an option we later regret; there are fast bites that can actually offer some health benefits. Dr. Christopher Calapai a board certified expert in osteopathic medicine specializing in longevity offers some junk food options to consider the next time there’s no time for an actual meal.

1 – Blue M&M’s and Blue Gatorade – Don’t get the blues about all food dyes. From candy to sports drinks, the unnatural colors of foods today can make you cringe at the thought of what’s making them colored. But, not all colored dyes are as bad as you may think. Research done by scientists at the University of Rochester found that Brilliant Blue G (BBG), found in blue M & M’s and blue Gatorade, could help reduce damage from spine injuries. When BBG was injected into lab rats with spinal cord injuries, it sped up their recovery time and ability to walk.

2 – Cheeze Whiz?? No way!! – Fat isn’t always a bad word. The FDA has stated that not only are all trans fats not bad, some are actually good for you. Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs), although high in calories can help fight cancer, weight gain, diabetes and arthritis. It’s hard to believe, but CLAs are found in Cheese Whiz.

3 – Pork Rinds – Just the words pork rinds sound like instant heart attack. However did you know they are a fantastic source of protein? A one-ounce serving of this fried snack has seventeen grams of protein, seven times the amount of found in a serving of potato chips. Plus, 43% of the fat found in pork rinds come from oleic acid, the same healthy fat found in olive oil.

4 – Beer – Some studies have found that beer can actually help increase bone mineral density because it contains silicon, making bones stronger and less likely to fracture. A Harvard University study found that beer could prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke. Italian researchers found that beer can raise HDL, the good cholesterol in your body. Opt for a light beer with fewer calories to avoid that full feeling.

5 – Graham Crackers — They are the next best things to cookies if you’re trying to keep your health in mind. Graham crackers contain much less sugar than regular cookies and are still sweet enough to satisfy a craving. Plus, they are made with flour that undergoes a special milling process, preserving more of the whole wheat than in usual milling.

6 – Popcorn — This is a snack that gets two thumbs up. Popcorn is packed with fiber and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that help to protect us from heart disease and certain cancers. Surprisingly, popcorn has more iron than eggs and spinach! It is also gluten-free, which makes it an option for those with Celiac Disease and other gluten allergies. Lastly, popcorn is mostly air. This means it fills you up, helping to stave off hunger cravings.

7 – Beef Jerky — Forget about the leather-tasting jerky of years past, today’s gourmet jerky is delicious and can be healthy. Beef Jerky, just like its non-dried version of meat, is high in protein, iron and zinc. It, also, contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Be sure to look for natural beef jerky as the newer gourmet styles that are packed with flavor and free of nitrates.

About the Doctor: Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham’s, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

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Can You Live With Bad Credit?

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Aug 172012

There’s tons of advice out there on improving your credit score and setting yourself up for a sweet financial retirement. Unfortunately, most people out there don’t have the extra income required to take advantage of that advice. When your credit is trashed and you are scraping by between paychecks, your question is essentially what you have to do to survive despite your bad credit. The fact is that bad credit isn’t the end of the world. Here is what you should know about your credit, and why you can live with bad credit after all.

It’s a Blessing in Disguise

Credit scores rise up or down based on your history and other factors. If it starts looking like you’re getting in over your head, your credit rating will drop. It will become more difficult to borrow money, but that’s actually not a bad thing. In fact, it could be argued that your low rating is a blessing in disguise. Unable to get more loans, you may be forced to focus your attention on paying things off and cleaning up your financial act. In the long run, that’s much better than being able to dig yourself deeper into debt and more trouble.

Cash and Carry is Smart

It’s true that you may not have the credit to go out and buy a big screen TV at the drop of a hat, but you can still save up for those little extras in life. The biggest difference is that your little extras will be paid for. There is an incredible feeling that comes with knowing your goodies are fully owned by you. The next time you feel envious of your brother with his high credit lines, remember that he’s probably paying a small fortune in interest every month.

Separate the Credit Score from Your Personal Worth

A bad credit score is often the start of a vicious cycle. You feel guilty about the low score, it makes you feel worthless, and you start sinking into depression. Depression clouds the mind and makes it harder to arrive at smart decisions. You might even resort to shopping for therapy, and that will make things even harder. It’s vital that you separate the credit score from your own personal worth. They are not intertwined. Keeping a clear head during this time and avoiding the pitfalls of depression will help you make smarter financial decisions.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Your credit didn’t sink into oblivion overnight, and it will take time to bring it back from the brink. Be patient, focus on making smart financial choices, and make sure you live within your means. You might want to consider investing in PPI credit insurance, so your payments will be covered even if you lose your job and don’t have the money to make them. Over time, your credit will start to improve. In the meantime, you will continue making money, loving your family, and enjoying your life.

When it comes right down to it, bad credit is not going to destroy your life. While you should slowly work on improving it by making better choices, you don’t have to stress out and beat yourself up over it. Focus on paying cash for the extras you want and eliminating expenses where you can. With time, your credit score will creep up again, but life will continue as normal in the meantime.

This post is a guest post written for the readers of Coupon Saving Family by Clifford Watts who is a freelance blogger that writes on behalf of PPI Claims about using payment protection insurance as a way to maintain and improve your credit score.

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Tips for Hosting a Pool Party

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Jun 222011

A pool party is the perfect way to cool off during the hot summer months. Pool parties are also a great way for kids to celebrate the end of the school year or a summer birthday!

As fun as they can be for kids, parents sometimes get stressed at the idea of having the responsibility of watching other people’s children. Here are some things you should know before planning a kids pool party as well as some fun ideas to make the party a blast for the kids!

  • Guest List: Work with your child to build a reasonable guest list for the pool party. Keep the number manageable, depending on how many adults you plan to have to supervise. Also, make sure that all of the children know how to swim—ones that don’t will need to stay in the shallow end.
  • Additional Supervision: During the party, never leave the children unattended by the pool. This is where having multiple adults is helpful. Undoubtedly, you’ll need to go into the house to prepare the food or get towels. If you have some friends or other parents that can help supervise, that’s idea. Another option is to hire a local lifeguard for the afternoon to watch the kids. Many local lifeguards are high school and college students who’d love to earn some extra cash!
  • Invitations: Once the guest list and logistics are worked out, send out festive pool party invitations a few weeks in advance to let the kids and their parents know the details of the party. Use phrases like “Dive right in for a fun pool party!” on the invitations to build their excitement. You might want to include a rain date if you live in an area where the weather can be a factor. Punchbowl offers a variety of pool party invitations that are ideal for the occasion.

  • Games: Plan some fun pool party games to keep the kids engaged during the party. Since the kids will already be wet, focus on water-based games that will keep the kids cool. Some great pool party games for kids include a water balloon toss, diving to retrieve colored rings, and watermelon seed spitting contests. You can also set up a slip and slide or let kids run through the sprinkler. 
  • Food: Swimming and playing in the pool will surely leave the kids hungry for snacks! Plan a menu full of appropriate pool party foods like popsicles, fresh watermelon slices, chips and guacamole, and fresh lemonade. If you want to provide more than just snacks, fire up the grill and cook burgers and hot dogs for the kids.
  • Decorations: Pool parties don’t necessarily require decorations, however if you want to give your backyard an extra special touch there are a number of pool party decoration ideas that are easy to execute. Tiki torches along the perimeter of the yard are fun and keep bugs at bay. You can also toss a few light-up creatures in the pool to add to the festivities.
  • Music: One of the best ways to create a fun and festive pool party is to add music. Create a playlist that includes songs by the Beach Boys as well as pool party classics like “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin, “Summer Nights” from Grease, “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vendellas, and “Summertime” by Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

Lastly, make sure to have plenty of extra towels available in case kids forget theirs or if their towel gets too wet. There’s always that one that ends up in the pool!

A Special Thanks to the nice folks over Punch Bowl for allowing me to share this article – be sure to visit Punch Bowl of all your party ideas.

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Do It Yourself Projects for Kids

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Jun 012011

Kids love showing off their creative sides with fun Do-It-Yourself arts and crafts projects. DIY arts and crafts projects give parents and kids the opportunity to bond with one another and create memories that will last a lifetime. The best part about doing arts and crafts with kids is that you don’t really have to spend a lot of money to keep them entertained. Arts and crafts can be done with the simplest household products, which makes them both affordable and convenient options for maintaining order in the home. This article will discuss a few fun and creative Do-It-Yourself projects for kids that parents can enjoy just as much.

Pet Rock Paperweight

Kids love googly-eyes on basically any object you can imagine. With this project, you’ll need the following items: a rock, googly eyes, glue gun, and extra decorating accessories such as sequins, glitter, etc. (optional). Before beginning the project, each of the kids and you will need to find the perfect rock for your pet rock paperweight. You can look in your front yard or hunt one down at a nearby park. Try and choose the smoothest rock possible so it can function properly as a paperweight. Once everyone has found the perfect rock, you can all come back home and let the craft making begin. Have the children lay out the eyes and other decorations exactly as they want it on their rock before handing it to the parent to be glued on. After all of the decorations have been secured with the glue gun, let it dry for a little while. Once the project is complete, kids will have a fun new friend for their desk!

Paper Plate Fish

Here’s what you’ll need: two paper plates per child, poster paints, glue and sequins. With one paper plate, draw a line with a pencil perfectly down the middle and cut along the line. If you have child-friendly scissors, kids can do this all by themselves. If not, parental supervision will be necessary. Cut one half in half, again. The large half will be used as the tail for the fish, which will go at the end of the whole paper plate, while the smaller halves will be its fins on either side. In the whole plate, you’ll need to cut a small triangle for the mouth. After all of these parts are secured with glue, kids can go wild with the decorations. You may even want to use some of the leftover googly eyes from the last project. Kids can color, paint and decorate their fish for a personal design. The final product can be hung in their bedroom or on the refrigerator for a full display of their unique creation.

Ribbon Hair Accessory

For the girls of the family, this do-it-yourself craft is always a fun and easy way to make your own beautiful hair accessory. All you need is an elastic hair band and several different colored ribbons. Cut each piece of ribbon about 16 centimeters long and have the children tie each one to different parts of the hairband. After just tying all of the ribbons to the band, you’ll have a brand new colorful hairband. Kids will look forward to showing off their personal creation and will love all of the bright colors and ribbons. The project is so easy to make, they may even want to create a few for their friends or relatives.
Do-it-yourself crafts with the kids is a great bonding experience that will allow parents and children alike to express themselves through their own creations. You’re both sure to enjoy the experience and the final products.

 About the author: Diane Johnson writes about a number of her interests including shopping, online classes, and traveling.

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Guest Post: How to celebrate this New Year by keeping cash in your wallet

 Ways to Save Money, Worth Reading Comments Off on Guest Post: How to celebrate this New Year by keeping cash in your wallet
Dec 262010

Author’s Bio: RP is a regular writer for various finance related Communities including CDFA, ECI, Debt Consolidation Care etc. She is a PG degree holder from in Marketing and Finance and right now working in a reputed bank as a relationship manager. She is well equipped to write articles on debt consolidation, debt settlement, saving, frugality, etc.

How to celebrate this New Year by keeping cash in your wallet 

New Year resolutions – don’t you think that they are made to be broken? As the New Year is approaching, celebration doesn’t always have to be expensive. After Christmas, the celebration is just not over yet. Even after spending your most out of your wallet for your Christmas celebrations, you’re still enthusiastic to celebrate the coming of the New Year. Throwing a pompous party or going out for a long vacation can be harmful for your budget. However, you can easily prevent such an extravagant celebration and save your hard-earned dollars. Read on this article to know about the ways in which you can save money in order to make your New Year celebration memorable as well as within your affordability. 

  • Clink the glasses at a low cost: While hosting a party is an inseparable part of New Year celebration, you can keep it small and simple by inviting some family members and friends. You do not require calling a line up of guests and outdoor crowds because this will waste a lot of money. Ask each guest to bring a bottle of wine as this will help you spread the bill of the drinks among your guests. If the host wants to sponsor the food, he can easily do so by offering small dishes of cheese crackers as such food will never be wasted.
  • Shop second hand and look for discount: Most financial experts are of the opinion that frugal living is the best way to save money. Though shopping second-hand may sound too frugal when it comes to New Year celebrations, this can help you save a huge amount of money. There are some thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales that offer goods at a discount rate. Even if you have the affordability to shop at different places, make sure that you shop from discount stores in order to save money in the long run.
  • Avoid visiting the bar: It may happen that your friends ask you to visit the bar in order to celebrate by drinking. Try avoiding visiting a bar as it makes you extravagantly spend a lot of money. Ask your friends to come to your house and have their bit of drink. This is the best way to save money on the admission fees and the high cost of the drinks.
  • Make a comprehensive market research: Before you decide to go to restaurants to celebrate New Year’s Eve, make sure you’ve made a comprehensive market research. Go through the ads in the newspapers and roads where they advertise the restaurants that may charge lesser fee than the others. There are some restaurants that will charge a low fee for an appetizer, desert and drinks. Try to opt for such restaurants as they may help you cut costs considerably.
  • Celebrate frugally: There are many cities that arrange fireworks shows on the New Year Eve. If you get to know about some such celebration, make sure you call your family and friends and plan a low-cost celebration there. You may also spend the eve by watching movies at home.  Create your own decorations and buy the party supplies to cut down the cost of celebration.

Thus, you can easily have a memorable New Year Eve even if your funds are short. Check in your current finances before planning your New Year Eve celebration. Create a frugal budget for realizing your New Year’s getaway plans and make it the most memorable one.

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