Is a Measuring Tape Better Than A Scale?

The need to lose is something that many of us have. The truth is, however, that we should be seeking to lose fat specifically. Muscle is fine, but from fat is not.

The problem is that it can be hard to measure your progress when you’re making effort to lose weight. This is especially true if you work out regularly as part of your loss process.

If you incorporate strength training three to four times a week, you may gain muscle, which will add to your . This is not a gain in fat, but in muscle.

The Problem With Scales

scalesIf you use a scale to measure your progress, you can never tell the difference if the you lost or gained is water , fat, or muscle.

This is why a measuring tape is more appropriate to track your loss progress. By using a measuring tape, you can see if you are losing inches off your body.

When you lose inches, chances are you are losing fat. And ultimately, that’s the whole point of losing weight.

Does this mean that you should throw away your scales and rely completely on a measuring tape?

Not necessarily.

Use both to measure how far you’ve come with your loss efforts. Use the number of the scale to see if you are heading in the right direction, and reconfirm whether it is fat that you are losing with a measuring tape. This way, you get a way better picture of how things are with your loss.

Weight varies from day to day, but fat loss is less variable.

Go Beyond The Measurements

Besides the scale and the measuring tape, what else can you use to measure your loss? Well, you can judge by whether your clothes are becoming looser, and whether you feel lighter and fitter.

These may be more subjective, but sometimes all you need to confirm that you are losing is the fact that you can fit into your old jeans.

Many people also report feeling more energetic, and generally happier and more confident in themselves.

So, even if the scale shows slow progress, don’t discount this kind of evidence when it comes to motivating yourself by knowing that your efforts are paying off!

If you want the most accurate measurements possible then there are more ways to measure body fat – calipers, for example. Just know that, by tracking your progress every day or every week, you’ll help keep yourself motivated to continue.

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10 Healthy Eating Tips

My Favorite Oatmeal Breakfast

I love my morning oatmeal. I always know that I have something special in the morning but oveer the last few days my oatmeal seems to be even better.

I was apparently taking my breakfast for granted.

I used to eat Nutella on a raisin and cinnamon bagel but after a while I got tired of it and switched to apple flavored oatmeal. I realized that I really did like the taste of oatmeal and it wasn’t just that it was good for me.

Getting Started With Oatmeal Again

I started getting a bit more serious a couple years ago about my breakfast and realized that the flavoring in the oatmeal was really not much more than apple flavored sugar(how the heck do they make flavorings anyway). So I decided to find some better stuff to put in plain oatmeal.

I started with just oatmeal – no sugar even

Then I added some berries. Blueberries initially, then dried cranberries (much easier to travel with)

Then the seeds. I love pumpkin seeds, and I know that other seeds would add lots of nutrients and healthy fats.

And finally, just a few months ago when making my home made granola bars I realized that coconut flakes would be really great as well.

So here is a picture of my favorite Oatmeal. This is my great breakfast meal

Special Favorite Oatmeal

Looks pretty full of stuff doesn’t it? I have to admit that I was a little surprised but not too worried about how high the calories are in this. It tastes really good, is super healthy for you, and is quite filling.

Here is the Nutritional Breakdown for my Special Oatmeal

Ingredients Calories Carbs Fat Protein Sodium Sugar
Oatmeal (Dry), 60 g 225 41 5 8 0 2
Raw – Pumpkin Seeds, 2 Tbsp 82 3 7 4 0 0
Sunflower Seeds – Raw, 1 fluid ounce 102 4 9 4 2 0
Chia Seed, 1 tbsp 60 5 3 3 0 0
Kroger – Unsweetened Coconut Flakes, 10 grams 70 3 6 0 0 0
Light Brown Sugar – Kroger, 1 tsp (4g) 15 4 0 0 0 12
Dried cranberries – Dried Cranberries, 0.19 cup 98 25 0 0 8 21
Total: 652 Calories 85 grams carbs 30 grams fat 19 grams protein 10 grams sodium 35 grams sugar

This really is a substantial breakfast but it is a really great one with lot so nutrients and great flavor.

How Did I Take This For Granted?

Oh, and earlier when I mentioned that I was taking this for granted? I always make this as a big bag of oatmeal. I make a week or two worth at once and then just pour it out of the bag each day for a serving. Friday things changed a bit.

On Friday I had run out and decided to have something different – a sausage and egg bagel form McDonalds. The taste was great but the fat really slowed me down and it still did not energize me as much as the oatmeal.

Then over the weekend I was eating bagels with natural peanut butter – again tasted good, again not satisfying and did not fuel me like I am used to on a daily basis.

So try this out. Go to the local bulk section and get some seeds and add mix up a bowl of hot oatmeal. I always use water never milk – but try hot milk if you would like, see what you think.

If you try this for a few days you will find it is the best breakfast and you will never want to go back to boring cereal or donuts again.

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Great Natural Sunburn Remedies To Stop The Pain

Sunburn remedies are something that we always need to look for the day after we treat our skin badly in the sun.

I just found a great list of folk remedies for when you actually do accidentally sunburn yourself. I do not know where it comes from but I thought I would pass it on with a few comments along with these sunburn treatments.

I have tested some of these sunburn remedies but not all. Also remember that if you have any kind of a skin rash or irritation many of these will help as well.

The Best Sunburn Remedies are never needed

First of all I want to mention that if we are very careful in the sun then a list of sunburn treatment is never needed (plus some info from webmd). However this does sometimes happen and for that the following list of sunburn remedies is great.

Aloe Vera sunburn remedy
sunburn remediesThis is probably the most popular of sunburn remedies. Take as many leaves as necessary from an aloe plant; refrigerate; peel off top layer of leaves; apply the side of the leaf with flesh exposed directly to the sunburn.

Aloe is very effective in relieving pain and inflammation Other remedies use aloe vera juice: for mild to medium sunburn, keep the affected area moist with aloe vera juice.

Repeat frequently. This will reduce the pain and the amount of peeling.

Combine aloe juice with the amount of vitamin E. Dab on the sunburn. Vitamin E is a good moisturizer and sunburn remedies. Aloe vera ointment works well, too, as it contains oil and will not evaporate.

For a severe sunburn, keep the area moist at all times with aloe vera juice. Since aloe vera is an astringent, you may want to use aloe vera ointment or some sort of oil, such as olive or baby.

Shower as a sunburn remedy
Take a warm shower to draw out the heat of your sunburn. The warm water will increase circulation to the area while hydrating it, thereby speeding the healing process. Be sure to moisturize afterward as the water will dry your skin.

Baking soda compress sunburn treatment
Dissolve some baking soda in water and make a compress using a clean cloth. Another remedy is to add 1/2 cup of baking soda to a tepid bath and soak. Instead of drying the affected area with a towel, let it air dry. Baking soda is cooling and will help the skin retain moisture.

Apple cider vinegar
Apply apple cider vinegar to the sunburn with a cottonball, or make a cooling compress for a large area to relieve the pain. Keep the skin moistened. This remedy will prevent blistering and peeling.

Aspirin or willow bark
Aspirin kills the pain and reduces inflammation and redness of a sunburn and is one of the best sunburn remedies. It short-circuits the whole sunburn process. It must be taken within 24 hours of getting sunburned. Aspirin is preferable to ibuprofen or acetaminophen because it is less stressful on the liver and kidneys.

Herbal Baths
Add 20 drops of each of lavender and chamomile essential oils to a tubful of cool water and soak for 10 minutes. Bergamot, Add bergamot oil to cool bathwater.

Calendula Bath
Put 20 drops of calendula tincture in four ounces of water and bathe the skin until the pain goes away. Calendula is also available in gels and salves. Calendula will help soften and heal burned skin. It is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, and can be used long after the burn to heal the skin.

sunburn prevention1

Lavender Oil
I just received an email from someone that has used lavender oil topically to relieve the problems that they had with sunburn and claims that it works everytime

Cucumber rub
Rub sunburned area with fresh cucumber slices. They are very cool and will soothe the area. And they will make your skin taste good too.

Epsom salts compress sunburn remedy
Dissolve epsom salts in water and make a compress using a clean cloth.

Ice compress
Apply ice or cold water to the burned area. This will stop the burning process and cool the skin.

Lemon water
Mix the juice of three lemons into two cups of cold water and sponge on the sunburn. The lemon will cool the burn, act as a disinfectant, and will promote healing of the skin.

Milk compress
Make a compress of whole milk (or buttermilk) and apply to the burned area for 20 minutes; repeat every two to four hours. Wash the milk off so you won’t smell sour! A similar remedy suggests using a cup of skim milk and four cups of water, adding a few ice cubes, and applying as a compress as recommended above. The fat content of the milk is soothing for burns.

Oatmeal bath
Put some oatmeal in tepid bath water, soak for a few minutes, then air dry yourself. Oatmeal baths are actually very good for the treatment of many skin problems as well as one of the more powerful sunburn remedies.

Apply peppermint oil to the sunburned skin. You can also make a mild peppermint infusion and use it as a wash to cool the sunburn.

Native Americans used an infusion of ground yarrow as a wash.

Grate a potato and apply it to the burned area. The starch will cool and soothe the burn.

St. Johns Wort
Make an ointment or salve with the essential oil of St. Johns wort for burns that have not broken the skin. It is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial.

Caution: St. John’s wort makes the skin more photosensitive, so stay out of the sun if you have used this remedy or if you are taking another form as an antidepressant. The caution is courtesy of a reader named Wendi.

Tea sunburn remedy
Make some tea, cool, and apply to the burn. While any tea may be beneficial, mint tea, such as peppermint or spearmint are especially good. The teas have tannins that help the healing process.

Urtica urens
Put 20 drops of urtica urens tincture in four ounces of water and bathe the skin. This remedy is good for itchy, prickly skin.

Witch hazel
Make a decoction of witch hazel and apply with a compress.

Apply plain yogurt with live cultures, let it stand for a few minutes, then rinse off under cool water.

What not to use as sunburn remedies

No matter what you do some people swear by putting butter on a burn but this is in fact a very bad idea as it can lead to an infection if you have any kind of a cut.

Also some people say that Preparation H is good for soothing a sunburn but one of my readers says that in fact this is very bad and can cause you skin to dry out and peel instead.

So if today you got a sunburn, or if you are looking for some sunburn remedies next weekend now you know what to try and how to get rid of that nasty sunburn. Bookmark and come back next time you have a sunburn and are looking for some help with some sunburn remedies.

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The Greatness of Papaya – Healthy and Great Tasting

Papaya is a great tasting fruit that is common around the world but not so much in North America. It’s a shame because the taste and texture of Papaya is great but the health benefits are also fantastic for all of us.

Papaya Vitamins and Antioxidants

A serving of Papaya has 14% of our daily requirement of Folate (Vitamin B9)and some other B vitamins, as well as 11% of our Potassium.

Papayas also contain healthy antioxidants called carotenoids that are better absorbed than other sources into our body. They are especially high in a type of carotenoid called lycopene. Lycopene is shown to be good for our eyes, bones, brain, and a healthy heart.

Benefits of Papaya

Cancer Help – When we talk about gut health, Papayas Lyocpene has been shown to reduce cancer cells in the stomach as well as help heal from cancer treatments.

Eye Health – There are two things in the Papaya that help eyes. Lycopene of course as stated earlier but also Zeaxanthin which has been shown to reduce macular degeneration and protecting the eyes

Tooth Aches – If you can find the root of a papaya plant you can make a  make a paste and massage it on your teeth and gums for few minutes it will stop that sharp pain. Inner bark of a papaya can also be used as an alternative to roots.

Weight Loss – I have found a Papaya based diet that involves even the eating of the seeds to help to detoxify and lose weight – not sure how well this works as I have not tried it myself at all

Bone Health – The Vitamin K in Papaya is great for bone health and helps with Calcium absorption which is critical for our bones staying strong as we age.

Nice Shiny Hair – You have probably seen Papaya based shampoo before and that is because not only does it smell great but also the Vitamin A in it is a nutrient required for sebum production in the scalp, which keeps hair moisturized

Digestion – There is an enzyme in Papayas called papain that aids digestion. Often when people want to improve their digestion they will take some kind of digestive enzymes, however these are built right into this fruit

Skin care – This is a bit different. When you rub Papaya on a burn the papain in it will help to heal the burn. Some hospitals have even found this enzyme helpful for bedsores and other skin irritations.

Papaya Recipes

I found this great tasting Papaya recipe on YouTube for a Thai Papaya salad

Also there is also a lot of other ways to prepare papayas. Here are a bunch of Papaya recipes at the Food Network


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