Healthy Helpers

Healthy Helpers


Nowadays, you turn on your TV to watch your favorite show and, if you haven’t noticed, basically every other commercial is about weight loss. You hear all of these “miracle” stories about how someone lost 50 pounds in one month. These commercials are not only misleading, but are also giving an unhealthy message.
If you want to lose weight, you do NOT need to buy any type of pill, or go on some extreme liquid diet. All you need to do is focus on is having healthy and balanced meals each day. It is less expensive, more rewarding, and 100 percent natural. Many people I talk with “start a diet” to begin eating healthy, but that’s also where many people fail. I don’t like using the word “diet” because it entails your only eating healthy for a specific time period. I prefer to use the word “lifestyle.” Simply switching out one word for another allows peoples mental attitudes to alter in a way that makes them think and know that their eating habits will be changing for good, not just for a month or two!

Like any new commitment, the hardest part is getting started. Obviously, the majority of us would take a cheeseburger over a salad any day, but there are small, yet significant, ways you can lose weight without all dreadfulness that you might think comes along with it. These easy and healthy tips will guide you exactly in the right path for a new, and healthy, lifestyle:

1. Eat within a half hour of waking up each morning. Whether it’s fruit salad or toast and eggs, getting food into your system first thing in the morning will allow you to burn maximal calories throughout the day.

2. Fruit, Fruit, Fruit! Especially in the summer, fruit is so sweet and refreshing that it is more enjoyable than a heavy chocolate bar in the middle of a beach day. You can have fruit with any meal as well. Explore the produce section, pick your favorites, and eat up!

3. No more whites. This might be the simplest switch that any person could make for healthier living. Anytime you go to order dinner, make a sandwich, or go grocery shopping make sure you grab whole wheat or multigrain breads/wraps/etc. Most restaurants today have whole-wheat options to make it that much more convenient too.

4. Keep it grilled. Any meal, sandwich, wrap, or salad that involves chicken within it; make sure it’s grilled. Plain and simple.

5. Explore burger options. Yes, it is summer and yes, it is prime BBQ season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose a healthy option. I was pretty reluctant making this change myself, but swapping out a beef burger for a turkey burger or veggie burger is nutritious and delicious.

6. Ditch the coffee. This one may be the hardest for some of you, but coffee entails nothing but lots of sugar and hard crashes. I dare you to try tea. Iced tea, hot tea, peppermint, lemon, citrus, anything and all of it. It is better for you, doesn’t make you crash, and gives you the same, if not more, energy than coffee does each morning.

7. For all of you with a sweet tooth. Next time you go out for ice cream, get frozen yogurt. My personal favorite is vanilla fro-yo with peanut-butter sauce and M&M’s. Not all healthy, but the elimination of ice cream does make a huge difference. Almost all custard stands and grocery stores have this option and, once you try it, you can’t even tell the difference.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Sweet Potatoes Are The Most Underrated Vegetable Of All Time

Everything you need to know about the pieces of edible gold we call "sweet potatoes" and why they will always perish over any plain old potato.


The potato. The heart of the American food industry. A versatile vegetable crop soaked in grease that brings us some of our favorite appetizers and sides. From french fries, to curly fries, to tater tots, to baked potatoes, to hash browns, this hallowed vegetable has become the Johnny Depp of the vegetable family. Now, we are all aware that the configurations of potatoes are limitless, but we commonly disregard the potato's delicious and neglected brother: the sweet potato. I, a credible food connoisseur and highly experienced eater, am here to tell you why you are missing out on a world of flavor if you choose to dismiss the beloved sweet potato and its many entities.

Let me first start this tirade by proving to you my credibility...I, too, once believed that regular french fries were better than sweet potato fries. I scoffed at the idea of choosing those ridiculous orange sticks over my tried-and-true plain boys. I could not be convinced that any sweetness should impede on my savory snacks.

These were dark times.

It was not until a mere month ago that my mind was changed forever.

It was a sunny (scary) Sunday morning, and my pounding head led me on a mission to indulge myself in the finest breakfast foods. I entered my favorite breakfast diner, Angelo's, and waited anxiously for my waiter to stroll over. She filled our water cups and asked if we wanted to start with any appetizers. Before my stingy self could even decline the offer, my best friend ordered a round of sweet potato fries for the table and the waiter scurried away. I stared blankly at her for a solid minute. I could not wrap my head around the concept of munching on sweet potato fries at 8 in the morning. She just stared back and said, "Trust me." Suddenly, a tray of blood orange sticks and a mysterious tan sauce appeared in front of my face. As much as I wanted to ponder the morality of this decision, the hunger began to take over, and I shoved one of the fries into my mouth.

In an instant, it was as if time and space had lost all meaning. When my teeth hit the fry, the perfectly crusted outer shell crunched softly making a sound much like your foot crushing a dried leaf. The now exposed inside of the fry was the perfect blend of mush and warmth that felt like your mouth was receiving a hug. The flavor...unbelievable. It didn't take me long to realize that this wasn't a fry — this was a culinary experience. This fry single-handedly blew the roof off of any predisposed ideas I had about American cuisine.

I am well aware that my fry experience cannot be simulated again by any average food-goer, but I challenge you, the reader of this article, to get out there and enjoy a sweet potato in any form. Stray from your basic fries or tater tots and dabble in a sweet treat which will undoubtedly bring you flavorful satisfaction.

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