Recently there has been a lot of talk about low grade inflammation in the body. It has been linked to all kinds of health problems including osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, fibromyalgia, cancer, dental issues, and multiple sclerosis.
The longer your body remains inflamed, the greater your risk of developing these diseases.
So what causes low grade inflammation? Stress is definitely a factor. You should do all you can to reduce or eliminate your stress. Great ways to do this are to exercise, meditate, get plenty of rest, and avoid difficult situations whenever possible.
Diet is another extremely important factor and is the main cause of low grade inflammation. Certain foods will increase the acidity of your blood, making your body work harder. These foods include soda, artificial sweeteners, processed foods, fast foods, meat, and dairy products. If most of your diet consists of these items then you probably have low grade inflammation.
Now I know what you're thinking. How on earth can you cut these food items out? They are the mainstay of the American diet. The good news is you don't have to. Instead, you just need to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables along with these items. Fruits and vegetables are very alkaline and will neutralize the acid in your blood. That is why our government is pushing at least 5 servings a day (and ultimately 9) for good health.
If you're not a fruit and veggie eater you can start out slowly. Have a salad with a meal or make a fresh juice to sip with that cheese and cracker plate. Eventually increase your servings of the healthy stuff. You will find that you get full quicker due to the fiber content of fruits and vegetables. You will also likely lose some weight. Best of all, you will go a long way in preventing disease.
Recently, several of my close friends lost love ones. There is little we can do to help alleviate the pain of a loved one that has passed. We often send flowers or food with our condolences. But then I found a great craft idea that offers encouragement.
Pennies from Heaven is a concept that someone that has passed is thinking about you. So when you find a penny, you pick it up and keep it in a jar to remind yourself of your loved one that has passed. I made several and handed them out to my friends. They still comment about how much they and their families appreciate the comfort they get from them. ~Liza
Everyone always wants the best for their kids, but parties tend to get expensive. Some birthday parties tend to have more significance than others; the 1st, 10th, 13th, 16th & 18th. It’s understandable that you may spend a little more money on those celebrations. Here are some birthday ideas to keep it easy on your wallet.
Try to Keep it at Home to Avoid Rental Fees
o Try a slumber party--indoor fort or outdoor tents
o Movies--outdoors on garage or screen, or indoors
o Craft party--pick one or two fun crafts for the kids to allow them to take home in lieu of party favors
o Create a fun scavenger hunt indoors or outdoors or combo of both
o Have a pampered party--nails, hair, mud masks
o Play board games you already have or have kids bring their favorite game to play
o Have a teddy bear and tea party
o Have a lego party and build a city
o Have a story book party and have children come dressed as their favorite character. They can even tell the story or read the book associated with it.
o Have a home dance party
DIY the Decorations
o Make your own themed decorations
o Use solid color plates and napkins that match the scheme instead of patterns
o Buy table clothes and balloons from a dollar store
o Use what you have at home instead of buying new
o See if family or friends have decorations you can borrow
o Play music from TV, Ipod, home playlist
Make as much food as possible yourself. Kids are simple and tend to like simple food choices presented in a unique way.
o Fruit kabobs (bite sizes pieces of fruit on a wooded skewer)
o Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches into fun shapes
o Make deviled eggs and use a tooth pick to wedge a piece of cheese to look like a sailboat
o Make cupcakes or a homemade cake. If you don’t have baking talents consider using your local grocery store instead of a specialty store. Consider substituting cake with donuts, pie, or ice cream.
Share with us some of your ideas or a favorite party you attended!
Spring is here! We have waited a long time for it and now you look outside with dread at the amount of work to do in your garden, lawn, decks and patios! Do not fear, you can manage it! First, make a list of what you want to do and space it out. This strategy will help your back and your budget!
Try to do as much as you can yourself. Labor is expensive. If you cannot physically handle spring clean-up tasks, consider hiring local teenagers to assist, they are more affordable than professional services. Or if you have nice neighbors, maybe you can make them dinner in exchange for their labor services.
Lawn fertilizer can be purchased at your local stores (price compare) and apply it yourself to keep costs down.
Consider repainting winter worn furniture or purchasing affordable cushions or pillows to hide wear. It is more affordable than replacing them. Many people replace their furniture in the spring, so keep an eye out for furniture that can be easily repaired on the curb or in local resale ads.
Spring is time to split many over-sized plants. Consider forming a neighborhood swap of available cuttings to keep the cost of new plants down.
Go to local outlet stores to purchase perennial plants. Perennial plants typically come back the following year and make your investment last longer. Avoid annual plants as they will only last this year before they die.
Buy seed packets and plant flowers and plants in repurposed containers that you have stored in the garage and basement. Not only is it more affordable, but it is fun to see the process of plants sprouting and growing.
Consider planting fruits and vegetables so that you not only have green plants, but profit from the fruits and vegetables that will grow all summer and fall.
Read online tips for common problems with your yard (brown grass, dying plants, pest control, etc.) Often they will have home remedies that are very affordable.
If you buy mulch or firewood to be delivered, consider including your neighbors to split only one delivery fee.
Please share with us any budget friendly tips that we didn't mention! Happy Spring!
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