Tag Archives: tips

Februarys Hearty Seasonal Offerings

The start of a New Year can mean new beginnings for many people in their own different ways. A common NY resolution involves some sort of “naughty” food being banished from the cupboards for as long as you can mentally bear it. Others include squeezing in more exercise, cutting down on drinking, and of course the classic – losing weight. Healthy targets such as these are great for your well-being short-term, but it’s the long term changes that really make the difference.

February brings more than just another month – Seasonal produce that you’ll see in most supermarkets will begin to offer some of the best nourishment the winter month has to offer. Below are our top four foods that are guaranteed to add a seasonal flavour to any dish:

Artichokes

Often overlooked by many, the humble artichoke is often left behind due to the daunting preparation methods required. Don’t be put off – once you start peeling back the layers, you’ll realise it’s a lot easier than you think. This vegetable is high in nutritional value, and can be very tasty when prepared properly. Artichoke is packed with antioxidants to help defend against illness, whilst providing cyanic properties to help ward off cholesterol. Serve as a side salad mixed with pesto and a generous squeeze of lemon – delicious!

Cockles

Bare with us on this one – the typical British seaside snack really doesn’t appeal to the majority. The truth is the pocket-sized cockle is rich in Omega 3 which has been proven to help protect the heart. They’re naturally low in calories, whilst being rich in vitamin B12 which literally translates to “brain food” to you and me. Steam them mixed into pasta or use them liberally in your next fish pie.

Kale

The rich deep greens of Kale play into the often spoken rule “if it’s green then it’s good for you.” Kale is a perfect example of a winter super food  sprouting from the cabbage family with an endlist list of benefits. Packed with natural sources of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium, Kale is great for your hair, teeth, skin and bones. Serve steamed as a side dish or drop into soups & stews for added nutrients.

Grapefruit

Certainly not a typical addition to a winter list of super foods  the grapefruit isn’t just for those looking to cut out unwanted calories. This juicy fleshed fruit can be found in a variety of colours, naturally low in calories making it a perfect kick starter for your metabolism. Eat it on it’s own or get creative – it works great with a leafy nutty salad!

What superfoods do you look forward to you in the fall of Winter / Sprout of Spring? Tweet us or get in touch! @healthyhideout

 

Top 10 tips to relax this Christmas!

Christmas Day is very much upon us, and with just 12 days to go, the Christmas spirit is very much in  full flow. Everyone will start to feel the stress levels increase, and our lives become jam packed with Christmas shopping, seeing family, and meeting end of work deadlines. Amongst all the “busyness” we often forgetting that our bodies and minds need time to stop, unwind and relax.

We touched on this topic lastyear, and the positive feedback from our Twitter followers (@healthyhideout) encouraged us to post an updated version. Why not try a few of the Healthy Hideout’s top 10 ways to unwind this festive month:

Find yourself a little quiet time

Before continuing with anything after arriving home from the office, be sure to spend at least 5 minutes sitting in a quiet place to relax your mind. Close your eyes and breath deeply during this time. It will allow your mind to empty the stress of the working day.

Make the work commute fun!

Enjoy this time by yourself in the car or on the train doing something you enjoy. Why not try taking your favourite novel to work and reading through a few chapters, or perhaps listen to a few of your favourite  musical numbers. You could even throw in a few Christmas classics for good measure!

Try to write everything down

If you have too many things on your mind, or are trying to juggle too many tasks, grab a pen and notepad and start to jot things down. Give yourself a quick time frame for each task, and then work through them one step at a time. There’s simply no point in trying to remember 100 things at once!

Keep your home tidy

Clutter around the house can quickly become overwhelming, and can often make you feel like you’re out of control. Take a few minutes each day to tidy away any mess, and try to keep on top of general cleaning bit by bit.

Leave work, at work

Try to avoid bringing any work from the office to your home. Mixing your working life with the comforts of your home can quickly become stressful. If you must bring work home, try to limit yourself to just a few nights a week.

Drop it at the front door

Get yourself a container or box large enough to hold your work bag or office brief case and place it next to the front door. When you get in from work, put it all in the box and don’t touch it until the next working day.

Take a bath or sauna

The bathroom is often one room in the house with a catch or lock on the door. Run yourself a nice hot bath, lock the door and escape for at least 1 hour. It’ll do wonders for your stress.

Spread your chores

Try not to pack all your “must-do” chores into a single evening. Try doing the laundry one evening, followed by Christmas shopping the next night. Spreading the load makes it easier to handle.

Recognise the ritual

Set yourself a standard “start to the evening” that you’ll look forward to at the end of each day. Even if it’s something as simple as a cup of tea at the dining table. At this point, you know your evening has officially begun.

Play it loud!

Playing enjoyable fun music throughout your home, lifts both you and your families spirits! A few sing-along Christmas carols can’t hurt, so be sure to re inject the Christmas spirit into your home!

With these tips, you’ll find the uncountable stress of Christmas becoming easier to manage. Remember this is the season to be jolly, and Christmas is meant to be enjoyed. How are your Christmas preparations coming along? Many of us at the Healthy Hideout already have our Christmas Trees up!

Easy steps to a Healthy Heart

Many people believe that in order to maintain a healthy heart, you’ll need to take on board high levels of exercise or even purchase endless medicines & diet books. The fact of the matter is, you can maintain a healthy heart by making simple lifestyle changes that can have a lasting long term effect. Several research studies have already shown the healing benefits of having a positive attitude whilst enjoying life at every possible opportunity. This can be as simple as partaking in your favourite physical activity or relaxing with family & friends.

We only get the gift of life once, so we may as well take full advantage of it!

The following tips are simple changes that anyone can make, whilst maintaining a healthy lifestyle and not spending a great deal:

Enjoy every minute of life

Many studies have shown how individuals who laugh more have lives filled with lots of activity, greatly reducing the risk of falling victim to any heart conditions. As we age, the day will come when we decide to “fly the nest,” leave our parents’ homes and sign our very own mortgage agreements. Adult responsibilities such as these tend to result in the fun & games coming to a sudden stop, one that you must be prepared for. Try to maintain your inner child by having some “childlike” fun in your everyday lives – It’ll help your health and wellbeing, whilst maintaining a healthy heart.

Don’t underestimate the power of relaxation

As we get older and our lives begin to progress through the natural stages of “getting older,” it can be very easy to forget about relaxation. Life quickly begins to gather uncontrollable pace as more needs doing, time is spent with different people doing different things, and sometimes stress levels can grow at an alarming pace. Stress increases the risk of heart disease – something that nobody needs. As the world revolves around you at a seemingly blinding speed, a speed that you can’t control, forgetting about yourself is easily done. Try to dedicate a time in the day to get away from it all in order to relax your mind. Whether its yoga, reading your favourite book, or going for a wander around the block, just be sure to give yourself time to gather and rearrange your thoughts.

Perhaps a glass of red?

Recent studies by the British Heart foundation (http://www.bhf.org.uk) have demonstrated how people who choose to drink a glass of wine with their evening meal could drastically lower their chance of heart disease risk by at least 30 per cent. There’s some truth in believing that a small amount of alcohol enjoyed each day with food or as a way to relax, may be better than practising abstinence. Of course drinking alcohol in this way is a lot better than drinking excessive amounts. Red wine in particular is associated with helping to maintain a strong and healthy heart.

Make your very own home spa haven

Knowing that spending time relaxed as opposed to being stressed can almost halve heart disease risk, so why not create your own relaxation haven in the comfort of your own home? Ensure there’s plenty of natural light, perhaps some soothing music topped with a large abundance of fresh flowers. These are just a handful of possible ideas that may work for you, but if you’re lucky enough to have a larger budget you could look into installing a personal sauna or steam room. Be sure to have a dedicated quiet space in your home to ensure you have a place to think without distraction.

Settle your soul

Believing in yourself can drastically help to keep you mentally grounded, whilst effortlessly helping to maintain a clear focus on what matters. Many studies have shown that people who utilise positive words such as “hope” and “joy” tend to outlive pessimistic counterparts by almost a decade. Why not try to embrace all the good things in your life, rather than focusing on the negatives – Without stating the obvious, being a state of happiness is better for your mental state than one of anger.

Enjoy others and party!

Our state of mind is far healthier when in the company of family and friends that we know and love. Don’t be one that makes excuses by not having enough time for others by surrounding yourself with family and friends. By helping yourself to be in a healthy mental state, your body will feel relaxed so your heart doesn’t have any extra strain.

You’ll do wonders for your state of mind and wellbeing, without even making an effort.

 

 

5 top tips for better skin

At this cold time of the year, it can be very difficult to get enough Vitamin D into our bodies to help our skin look it’s best. Of course, there’s an abundance of perfectly acceptable creams that can transform your skin from desperation into dazzling within a few minutes.

But here at the Healthy Hideout, we like to do things a little differently. Instead of spending money on some of the best make-up products available in the marketplace, why not spend your money on some super skin improving foods. The following short-list contains just a few examples:

1. Pumpkin Seeds

Halloween is now over and the pumpkins are starting to look a little sad. We certainly hope that you’d kept the pumpkin seeds from the carving stage, as they are packed with pro-skin nutrients. Bland bird food for people who don’t understand them, pumpkin seeds have been known to be packed with high levels of zinc. Zinc is very important for fighting infection and speeding up the skin healing process. Pumpkin seeds also contain essential fats which can help keep the skin feeling soft & supple whilst helping to reducing acne.

2. Oily Fish

Cold weather can leave the skin feeling dry and “shrivelled” – keeping it covered with hats and scarfs isn’t great for it either. Omega 3 fatty acids found in oily fish have been shown to contain a compound called astaxanthin which can help skin feel conditioned and supple. Find it abundant in salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines – don’t overdo it though. Nutritionists believe that eating oily fish at least two to three times a week is plenty.

3. Green Tea

Drinking green tea should already be part of your everyday diet, and if it isn’t we highly recommend you look into it. The health benefits from green tea are endless, helping to boost metabolism, improve skin condition and can combat heart disease. Green tea contains flavenoids, a class of antioxidant that really benefits the skin, providing protection from dangerous UV radiation and sunburn whilst helping to maintain skin structure.

4. Tomatoes

Is it a fruit or a vegatable? Well, it is infact a fruit, and a pretty clever one at that. Found in pretty much everything from salads to pasta dishes and stews, it tastes great both raw and cooked. Tomatoes contain a substance called lycopene – a powerful carotenoid antioxidant found in all red fruits and vegatables which helps promote a clearer, softer skin texture. Lycopene becomes more potent when cooked, so don’t be afraid to throw your tomatoes under the grill before eating!

5. Blueberries

Very well recognised as a super food that’s worth picking up when you’re in the supermarket, blueberries have one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants amongst fruits and vegetables. They also contain a high level of anthocyanidins which help to keep skin feeling plump and fresh. High levels of vitamin C also help toward skin healing as well as providing a huge boost for your immune system. Be sure to drop a few in your cereal tomorrow morning!

 

5 Home Renovation Clean Up Tips

Renovating a home is a big task. There are several things that go into such a large project, and the stress level can be immense. Even after the job is done, you may find yourself sitting in front of large amounts of trash and debris, which can be more difficult than the renovation itself. One of the biggest offenders of causing a mess is dust. This may be caused by dust from objects that have been sitting in place for long periods of time, or simply from sanding and cutting out various objects.

Regardless of how the dust got there, it is important to know how to address the problem. If not done correctly, you will end up making a bigger mess for yourself instead of cleaning up your desired area. Here are some simple steps to follow when cleaning up dust so that you do not pull your hair out.

1. Scrape off The Trouble Areas

One of the biggest reasons why debris keeps appearing is because it was not cleaned up properly in the first place. It is suggested that you take a scraper or blade and cut off anything that could eventually end up on the floor. Trimming, for example, is something that may become troublesome after the project is done. By making sure that all surfaces are smooth and have no edges, you will be able to start your cleaning process on the right foot.

 

2. Wipe The Walls Down

What most do not understand is that simply vacuuming the area will not get rid of dust. Instead, take care of the dust by wiping off the walls first. What you use to clean your walls up to you. If you use cleaning chemicals, try to use ones that are not very strong for 2 reasons. The first is that you do not want to harm your wall that you have just worked so hard to renovate. However, those strong chemicals are also harmful to yourself as well, and you do not want to hurt your lungs because of all of the chemicals. Most of the time, a damp cloth is enough unless you are trying to get rid of scuff marks and the like.

 

3. Vacuum

After that dust has settled from the walls, vacuum the floors. The vacuum is able to pick up most of the dust that has fallen on the carpet or floor. There is a slight problem with using a vacuum cleaner since the dust can be kicked back up again, but this step will help you get most of the larger pieces of dust and debris. If you want, you may also want to take the vacuum hose out and run it against the walls and ceilings so that you catch any of the other dust that may still be up there.

 

4. Mop

If you were working on a hardwood floor, follow the vacuuming with a thorough mopping of the area. Some people think that mopping creates a problem because it makes the dust wet, which can create lines of dust on the floor. This is why you want to mop after you vacuum; it allows you to pickup the finer dust particles instead of winding up with large clumps of it. That being said, you can use the wet dust to your advantage to collect smaller pieces that were missed before. Wiping the floor after it is wet will help you get most of the dust up off of the floor.

 

5. Check Back The Next Day

Leave that area alone for the rest of the day and follow up the next morning. If you still see dust, do the same steps and you will be able to get rid of the rest of the dust. By combining these steps, you be able to rest assured that you will not be finding dust for weeks after you clean.

 

This guest post has been provided by author Tim Riley whom is currently working on a new site which deals with hoover bags. He is also involved in blogging, article writing and generally surfing the net.

 

Top tips for healthy teeth!

We don’t need to remind you how important it is to take care of your teeth. After all, we only get one set (technically two if you count the baby milk teeth) so taking care of your “gnashers” is extremely important to ensure they last as long as you do. Here are the Healthy Hideout’s top 5 tips towards better teeth. If you’ve got any tips you’d like to share, simply post a comment at the bottom of this post;

  • Stick to what you know – Old wives tales are responsible for various methods that are believed to help maintain better teeth. One such method believes it’s important to store toothbrushes in disinfecting liquid to ensure they are squeaky clean and ready for the next use. The truth is that this could actually damage the bristles, rendering the brush useless. Listen only to the advice of your local dentist.
  • Get electric! – On average, many of us tend to only brush for 46 seconds. As startling as this may sound, why not try counting the next time you brush? Electric toothbrushes have been statistically proven to remove 11% more plaque than normal toothbrushes, whilst some even have a built in 2 minute timer to ensure you brush for long enough.
  • Skip the gimmicks –  A recent study of whitening toothpastes unfortunately found that they didn’t perform any different to normal ones. Bad news for some of us! Be careful what you buy into, and be sure to maintain your intake of raw fruits and vegetables, which can help remove stains from your teeth.
  • Replace your brush regularly – Remember that you are using your toothbrush for a minimum of two times a day. This kind of regular use will eventually take it’s toll on the bristles causing the brush to not clean as well. Dentists recommend that we change our toothbrush at least every 3 months. This will ensure that optimum cleaning performance is maintained.
  • Rinse when finished – With both manual toothbrushes and electric types, it important to rinse your brush thoroughly before storing upright. This will ensure that any bugs or bacteria on the brush itself are removed, keeping the risk of disease or infection to a minimum.