The 10 Germiest things in your home and how to clean them

Your bathmat, kitchen sponge, remote control and your cell phone — they probably house hundreds of germs, dust and nasty bacteria. But how do you clean them?

Here’s a great chart that breaks it all down:

  
How do you clean difficult household items or areas? Leave a comment and let me know!

The ultimate bikini prep work out

Swimsuit season is only a few weeks away. And although I believe that good health should be maintained all year around, this is one of the best times to start. Follow the directions on this workout chart for great results! It will be hard your first week. But keep going. Stick to it!

You don’t need any equipment or a gym to do this work out. There is a mixture of dynamic stretching, muscle conditioning and cardio here. Your strength training will be using your own bodyweight. Go for it!

 
xxSerena 

How to measure your body correctly

Have you ever heard the old adage, “what gets measured gets done?” I believe there is a lot of truth to this. If you measure something you are more likely to follow through, pay attention, get results and succeed. Since you’re reading this you’re probably getting in shape or will start to get in shape now.

As you start to change your eating habits, become more active and change your attitude, your body will change too. But how much will your body change? You would be surprised. With consistency and action, change is inevitable. 

The first thing to do before you start: measure yourself properly!

Here is a guide to help you do this:

 
Keep at it and my advice is to take measurements once a month. Don’t stop your activity because it will take a few weeks in the beginning to see a change. Keep your eating habits as clean as you can. That means a lot of vegetables, fruits and lean protein. Eat complex carbohydrates like oats, whole grains and other carbohydrates high in fiber.

Good luck and keep going!

xxSerena 

Top 16 cheat foods and what it takes to work them off

One doughnut isn’t going to hurt, right? In the grand scheme of things it can’t be that much of a big deal. But the truth is our delicious cheat foods not only change our taste buds to start craving sweet and salty foods but they also take a lot of work for our body to work off. This could result in large amounts of weight gain over the years, decreased energy and potential for diseases like diabetes.

I definitely believe in moderation. I believe you should enjoy your food and cheat often! But I think some people take cheating to a higher level than may be appropriate, depending on your goals.

I think this is a great chart that shows realistically how much work you have to do to work off delicious cheat foods like donuts, milkshakes, candy, alcohol and chocolate.


Of course you should indulge. But realistically, and in moderation. I like this chart because I want to know that it takes 80 minutes of cycling to burn off that Cinnabon. I might think twice about eating it or I might just eat half! What do you think about the foods on this list? Are they worth it? Are you so active that these foods hardly make a dent?

xxSerena

The ultimate guide to living in the moment

There is scientific evidence and a long list of benefits, both physical and mental, for practicing mindful meditation. Taking just a few moments to block the thoughts out of your mind, concentrate on your breath, and increase the relationship between your mind and body, is an important part of life.

Mindful meditation: Just a few moments of mindful meditation can increase the quality of your life and the lives of those around you. We live in a busy world, things are always changing and sometimes we get wrapped up in the whirlwind of our physical lives.

Stresses are inevitable. They will come. But it is up to you to achieve a balance.

Focus on the present: There’s no real sense in worrying. Someone wise told me that. It’s better to focus on now. What are you doing now? Or, if the present is uncomfortable, after meditation you can ask different questions, more positive ones. What changes are you making for the better? What do you want and how are you going for it? What can you do today that will positively create the future you want? But in the meantime, breathe and let go. Live in the moment!

Here is something helpful to remind you… To practice mindfulness:


It’s a great beauty secret, I think, to slow down, breathe fully and be conscious of the relationship between your mind and your body. This practice, in my opinion, adds grace and strength to a person.

Do you practice some form of meditation? What has been your experience? Leave me a comment!

xxSerena

How to make the best homemade popcorn ever

I like making my own popcorn, and I’ve been doing it for years. Not microwave but on the stove in a nonstick pot with a lid. I typically use a combination of corn oil and olive oil. It took a couple of minutes maybe three minutes or four… Until it was ready..  sometimes I had burnt kernels sometimes many unpopped kernels. With this new technique, very few burnt kernels hardly any unpopped and it takes one or two minutes!

After trial and error, I think I have finally discovered the best recipe for making great popcorn at home.

You will need two ingredients. Coconut oil and popcorn kernels. I found some jumbo organic popcorn kernels in bulk so I used those.

   
 

The coconut oil has a high smoking point and heats up very fast. I started with a hot pan and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. You just need enough to coat the bottom of the pan liberally.

   
 

As soon as I saw the oil smoke a little bit I added enough popcorn kernels to coat the base of the pan. You don’t want any overlapping kernels. Another very important tip is to make sure you coat each kernel with oil. So move the pad around and make sure the oil has coated each of the kernels.

  
You are still on high heat here. Next, add salt! If you want sweet popcorn then add sugar here. As soon as your first popcorn kernel pops put a lid on it.

   
 

After about 30 seconds, shake the pan and reduce the heat to medium heat. 

Then don’t touch. Just listen. Keep it heat on until you hear the popping stop. Then turn off the heat and get your big bowl ready to toss your hot delicious popcorn and seasonings in.

   

While it’s hot I season with salt and Tabasco because those are my favorites. But you can do a number of great seasonings like parmesan and garlic salt, brown sugar and butter, and chili lime powder. 

   
 

2 cups of this popcorn is about 150 cal, has 48 mg of potassium 2 g of dietary fiber and total carbs of 13 g.

Here are details on the coconut oil I used: 

   

Unlike some movie popcorn or ready-made brands this version has no trans fat. Since I use coconut oil, however, it does have saturated fat. 9 g of saturated fat. And 11 g in total. So what do you think? Is this a healthy snack? It does depend on your dietary needs and diet plan. 

Great tasting popcorn though!

xxSerena  

The ultimate core workout

For flat toned abdominal muscles I found a great simple work out. These moves work out the tops, bottoms the middle and sides of your core so will result in a nice flat stomach for the summer.

As you get stronger you will be able to do more in less time or you may do more for a longer period of time. To increase the intensity you may want to slow your movements down. You may want to experiment and perform the exercises faster. 

Here is the crazy ultimate core workout, as illustrated by  Women’s Health magazine: 

  
Have you tried these exercises? Do they work? Let me know!

xxSerena

How to make spinach cheese stuffed shell pasta

let me preface this blog by saying this is not a “light” dish. Sure, the macros are pretty good, it’s low in fat, there’s no meat, but it packs quite a heavy carbs punch. My suggestion is to eat a few shells with a great big fresh green salad.

Here’s what you need:

Jumbo pasta shells:


I cooked these a little less than recommended on the box because I knew I was going to bake these:


Next, to make the filling you will need these ingredients:


   
          


So there you have it. Mix ricotta cheese, steamed chopped spinach, diced mozzarella cheese, two eggs and green onion tips along with spices. I used dried Italian herbs, garlic and salt-and-pepper:


    

Preheat your oven to 350° and get your baking dish ready by adding sauce to the bottom and stuffing your shells. Pack them close together, top with grated cheese and more tomato sauce:


  

Bake in oven, covered, for 20 minutes. After that, bake for 10 minutes more uncovered. And then let sit in oven for five more minutes to set before serving.

And there you have it! Baked pasta shells stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella and spinach.


Have a great dinner tonight!

xxSerena

Repost: 15 Dead Girls (And The People Who Bullied Them)

Amanda Todd (YouTube)All of the following cases involve girls between the ages of 10 and 16 who killed themselves after being bullied—largely by other girls. 1. Amanda Todd In September 2012, this fifteen-year-old Canadian high-schooler posted a nine-minute black-and-white video on YouTube called My Story: Struggling, bullying, suicide and self-harm. She speaks not a word…

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/ThoughtCatalog/~3/uHr4DP8c_aQ/story01.htm

How to use shiatsu self massage to get what you want 

You can use shiatsu self massage to put pressure on specific meridian points to gain clear thinking, trigger your creative juices and improve your memory. Have you tried it?

Here is a useful chart to help you:

  
Do you believe in pressure points on specific meridians of the body? For those of you who want to try this please let me know how it goes!

Have a great day! 

xxSerena