Health & Beauty Posts

Three tricks to reduce your chocolate intake

Let’s get one thing straight – chocolate is generally pricey and bad for your health if eaten in excess. This is largely due to its high fat and sugar content, which can lead to high blood sugar levels and weight gain. There’s no need to give it up completely. After all, if eaten in moderation it can have positive effects on your health. With this in mind, here are three tips that should help you from overindulging on chocolate – in the process, improving your health and protecting your finances.

Sweet alternatives

You’re actually just giving into your sweet tooth whenever you purchase chocolate for yourself. However, you can actually satisfy your craving with the right fruit and vegetables. Raisins, for instance, are naturally sweet but also high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Other dried fruit – such as peaches and prunes – are also packed with the same benefits while still retaining that sweet kick you’ll be after.

Flavourings

There’s no need to chow down on a bar of chocolate just because you can’t resist the taste. Instead, you should find that chocolate flavourings meet your needs while containing nowhere near as much fat and sugar. Take, for example, a glass of chocolate-flavoured milk. It will still taste like chocolate but you’ll also get the goodness that comes from mixing it with a fresh pint of calcium-heavy milk.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is typically harder to eat than normal chocolate because of its bitter taste. While it’s difficult to wolf down in excess, what you do consume will actually have many more health benefits than normal chocolate. Why? Well, the flavanols in dark chocolate are capable of improving your blood flow and lowering your blood pressure. In addition, the high level of antioxidants are a great tool to help your body fight disease. Therefore, always try to dig into dark chocolate over the normal kind.

Give it a go!

No one’s saying that you should quit eating chocolate. It’s just that you should try to cut down to a reasonable amount. If you’re keen to discover other amazing tips that will improve your health and protect your budget, check out Voucherism.

The benefits of drinking water between alcoholic beverages

A good old-fashioned knees-up is sometimes mandatory. This is especially true when you’re celebrating a birthday or attending a wedding. Unfortunately, a drinking session can have its downsides – in particular, it can hit you hard in the wallet and throw off your diet. So what’s the solution? Rather than RSVP ‘no’ to an alcohol-heavy social occasion, try drinking a glass of water in-between rounds. Here are four benefits you can expect to enjoy.

Limits the hangover

There is really no way to avoid a killer hangover if you insist on drinking large quantities of alcohol. However, you can limit the likelihood of feeling completely horrible the next day if you refrain from drinking in excess and consume as much water as possible in-between. This is because, whereas alcohol leaves you dehydrated, water keeps you hydrated and allows your body to maintain its function.

Quenches thirst

Admittedly people don’t order another glass of wine because they’re feeling thirsty. However, thirst does play a part in people’s drinking habits. You’ll find that you have an urge to drink less – especially large beverages like pints of beer – if your body feels like it has had its fill of liquid from drinking water. Just one less drink can make all the difference to how much energy you have to exercise the next day.

Keeps social

It can put a real downer on the night when you have to stop drinking. In particular, it can make you feel self-conscious when others point out that you’ve not got a drink in your hand. Rather than feeling like the odd one out, you could potentially go under the radar by ordering a glass of water. This, for all intents and purposes, can masquerade as a clear alcoholic beverage and not arouse suspicion.

Saves money

Tap water is free. Alcohol, on the other hand, is not. If you’re drinking water then you’re not splashing out cash on your beverages. The money that you save from using this trick can be put towards something that will help your diet, such as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Give it a go!

Don’t let your health slip because there’s an occasion coming up when you’ll feel obliged to drink alcohol. Instead, drink water to save money, preserve your diet and maintain your fitness levels. For similar tips, check out Voucherism.

Health benefits you’ll experience if you do your own cleaning

You work hard all week long to earn a living, so understandably you don’t want to spend the entire weekend cleaning your own house. This is one of the reasons why more and more people are calling in the professionals to help make their home immaculate. It must be said though, if you go down this route you’re not only wasting money but also missing out on some very important health benefits. Here are three health-related perks that come from cleaning your own home.

Exercise

Yes, cleaning your house can be a chore, but it can also have similar benefits to a workout. Whether you’re scrubbing away on your knees or hoovering your stairs, you’re actually partaking in some valuable physical activity. It sure beats lounging on the couch while someone else does the job for you! Think of the task as a form of exercise that could even rival a short trip to the gym depending on how much you break a sweat. It costs less too!

Calmness

It can actually be quite therapeutic to get your hands dirty and get things just as you like them. In fact, you should begin to feel calmer as you establish order in your home. In 2004, research carried out by Indiana University even found that those people who regularly clean their home were more likely to have better mental health as opposed to those who didn’t.

Immune system

You risk becoming ill if you expose yourself to copious amounts of germs and bacteria on a regular basis. These harmful microprobes build up in places that aren’t cleaned, especially kitchens and toilets. A cleaner can only tackle this dirt when they’re there – and when they’re not there it will only increase. You could say it’s about time you took the state of your immune system into your own hands since it’s you that risks becoming ill.

Reap the rewards

You were probably under the impression that a clean house is only visually rewarding. However, cleaning your home is also something that can lead to increased health benefits. It’s certainly something to think about if you’re keen to get fit and improve your wellbeing. For further help improving your health while on a budget, check out Voucherism.

Tips to stay active at work

In an ideal world, you’d spend your time in work eating healthy, fresh food and then nip to the gym for a quick session once you’ve clocked off. Sadly, this isn’t always possible when you’re stuck for both time and money. This is why you need to wise up to some of the shortcuts that you can take to stay active while doing your job. Even the lightest bit of exercise can improve your fitness levels – and there’s absolutely no reason why it should cost a penny either. With this in mind, here are three ways you can stay active in work.

Lunch

Don’t spend your entire lunch break just sat at your desk tucking into a snack. Instead, use the time wisely by going for a walk. A brisk pace will be enough to elevate your heart rate and help you to lose weight. The benefits all add up if you do this on a day-to-day basis, so you should find yourself looking and feeling healthier than those people who remain inactive during their lunch hour.

Stairs

Lifts and escalators are not your friends. While they may get you from A to B just that tiny bit quicker, they don’t measure up to the fitness benefits that come from tackling flights of stairs. Just think of all the calories you could be losing if you walk up the stairs before your shift and then down them again once your day is finished.

Stand up

Experts are warning that the world is falling victim to a phenomenon known as ‘sitting disease’. This is the term used to describe a lifestyle where people typically sit down for long periods of time, especially while at their desks at work. You can combat this by standing up as often as you can – whether it’s when you’re on the phone or simply chatting with a colleague.

Give it a go!

These three tips alone – which conveniently won’t cost you a penny – are a great way to boost your fitness levels while in work. If you’ve set your sights on getting healthy despite your budget, check out Voucherism for more help.

New year healthy living on a budget

One of the most popular ways to improve your health with clean eating and exercise is to follow the Paleo diet, but it can work out to be quite expensive. So how does the family on a budget eat healthily?

The key point of the Paleo diet is to eat like cavemen in order to stay healthy and disease free. It also requires movement and exercise as our ancestors would have been far more active than we are today with our sedentary lives, trapped behind a computer screen for hours on end. You don’t have to go full Paleo to reap some of the benefits of this fad diet, and you can apply some of the concepts and stick to your budget!

Eat local, eat seasonal

The best fruits and vegetables to eat are those that are in season and grown locally, and usually they are the ones at the best prices in the fresh food section of your local grocery. Rather than filling your trolley with ready-made meals or processed foods, choose more vegetables and fruits. See if you can get eighty percent of the food in your trolley from the fresh food section. Choose a range of colours and types: green leafy vegetables, root vegetables, seasonal fruit, and legumes. This kind of eating is also a very good way to control pre-diabetes. Not only will eating this be good for your waistline, but it will be a natural way of getting a range of vitamins and minerals in your diet!

Try new proteins

Paleo diets are not protein heavy, like some believe. However, they do require high-quality fresh protein alongside healthy vegetables, which does not mean eating loads of sausage rolls but using meat creatively and wisely. Certain cuts of meat are far cheaper than others, while providing all the nutrients you need, including healthy fats. Chicken thighs can be bought cheaply, and are a great addition to a meal of roasted fresh food. Try new meals from other countries that utilise cuts of meat you might normally not consider. Chicken liver piri piri from Mozambique or pork trotters in a traditional Zimbabwean recipe. Think creatively and you’ll be surprised just how much you can do with cuts of meat you might previously have ignored.

Have fun on the run

Healthy eating is only one aspect of a healthy life, to have that lean, muscular body, we need to do some exercise. This doesn’t mean taking out a costly gym membership because of a New Year’s resolution, but incorporating exercise into your life in a fun and natural way. There are a whole range of body weight exercises that you can do at home without any extra expensive equipment. Many free smartphone apps exist that will train and encourage you to begin an exercise routine such as doing push-ups or building you up to run 3 miles. You’re more likely to do exercise if you enjoy it, so take up something you’ve always wanted to do and get fit without resenting your exercise.