Saturday, January 19, 2019

Celebrate the End of a Long Week with Popcorn

chicago popcorn day
Whether you like it salty, sweet, or loaded with melted butter, few snacks are as diverse and health as popcorn.  While it seems like every snack that tastes good is bad for a person, this versatile treat is the true exception, as it's loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and is safe for those who may have minor digestive issues.

In honor of Popcorn Day (yep, it's really a holiday), we'd like to explore the do's and don'ts of how this snack can be a regular part of any diet.  But let's get past some misconceptions, as these things can happen to the best of us.  Okay, let's go!

You're in the mall and after a long day of looking for that special something and finding it for less than expected (winning) decide that a post-lunch snack wouldn't be such a bad thing.  I mean, it's better than having that extra fancy coffee drink or cinnamon rolls drenched in butter and cream cheese icing, right?

Well, if the popcorn is covered with caramel, fudge, or copious amounts of powdered cheese, chances are strong that a bag that stands more than a foot tall will help with your mall workout.  In fact, making homemade ice cream may be a better bet.  Additionally, like most mall food, not everything is fresh.

Let's just say that you can learn things when talking that early morning stroll inside the mall before it officially opens.

Making healthy popcorn at home does not mean eating corn-flavored styrofoam.  There are some ways anyone can be creative without breaking the calorie count by too much.  You can try -

  1.  Cooking in flavored oil, like garlic, hot pepper, or rosemary.  Or use olive or sesame oil as a butter substitute.
  2.  Use raw honey as a substitute for caramel or chocolate.  These days, hot honey is the latest foodie rage but you can learn to make your own here.
  3.  Mix in a few roasted nuts like cashews, pecans, or walnut halves.  These can up the fiber ante and with your favorite water, can make you feel fuller after a couple of bites.
Lastly, popcorn is pretty economical.  Buy it in bulk and you'll see what I'm talking about.  Also, it's healthier than the those little bags that have been sitting in oil for months.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How's Your Resolutions Coming Along? Announcement from Crazations...

We're switching gears here...and you can read about it on our newly-revamped main site.  Yep, instead of ranting about pop culture and the dying feminism movement, we've found that more readers better respond to health and money matters.  These topics resonate with me now because:

  1. I'm almost 12 years older than I was when I first started this blog.
  2. I've undergone some major health issues (cancer and high blood pressure fluctuations) in recent.
  3. And, some of my problems (probably) wouldn't have existed if I'd eaten a little better and took advantage of better money opportunities.
If you're a person that sticks to their New Year's resolutions, you're blessed with the gift of willpower.  I used to be that person until someone close to me encouraged otherwise.  When that relationship went downhill, unfortunately, some habits stuck around.

Tell me if either if these scenarios sound familiar...

You get some money you weren't expecting and want to celebrate.  Do you...
a) Put in the bank or buy stock shares with great potential.
b) Give in to peer pressure and spend it in Vegas, where not only does it partially disappear but so does the money of your partner in crime.

If I had to choose a happy medium, I'd go somewhere local.  In southern California, there are plenty of options.  The great thing about choosing option A more often is that it can cover slow periods for freelancers or people that simply hate their job.  Here's another one.

You've recently made some changes to your social scene, as there's more fun along with more eating out or junk food intake.  Do you...
a) Not care that you can no longer wear your old clothes and the fat comments from others are more frequent than normal.
b) Get on the immediate bandwagon to start eating better and offer to go grocery shopping with friends to split the cost on higher-end items like lean beef, shellfish, or green vegetables that taste good and are high in fiber.

While some diseases cannot be prevented, health is all most of us really have.  When health is greatly compromised and there seems to be no end other than meds, this can be depressing.  Not an expert but sometimes too much rest can lead to bad things like lack of circulation.  The great thing about modern exercise is there are many ways to get fir without spending a ton of money.   Find out more here.

Hate to Exercise? Here's What You Can Do Instead!

 In an age when people over 70 are doing things like swimming, hiking, and yoga, there's no reason why women in their 20s and 30s should resort to getting "snatched" to have an hourglass shape.  While a small waistline has many benefits, surgical procedures don't last forever and if a person's cutting corners, it can be dangerous as hell.

Instead of uploading some gross images and being negative, I'd like to share some methods that are better than nothing.  That's right, the minimum exercise that most people need for weight loss is 150 minutes a week, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.  While 30 minutes a day, five days week is recommended, how you break it up shouldn't affect your obligations.

Most people, including yours truly, will admit that it takes a minute to find a groove that suits them.  The most important thing is to not give up if it can be prevented.  Life happens and it's the small stuff that can lead the average individual to fall off the wagon completely.

Money is another issue.  As most people are turning to the freelance lifestyle, joining that expensive gym is becoming a thing of the past.  However, many will say that the cheap-to-average gyms are seldom worth the money.  Long lines, rude people, and most of the time, that cleaning solution is mostly water. Take that $10 a month and splurge at your local farmer's market.

So here are some ways I've come up with to workout without too much stress or money spent.

  1. Resistance bands - I just got one last week from Target for about $8 (tax included).  Had a set but I wanted a circular one for more variety.  These are portable, come in different resistance levels, and do not require a lot of jumping around.
  2. Walking around the mall an hour or so before they open - Don't get me wrong, I like walking in the park or doing marathon shopping but sometimes the latter is the safest (even if it does leave you in debt for that moment).  The reason is that some parks aren't safe and crowds can be distracting.  If you can choose a mall that's either very large or is no longer as popular, with taking stairs, anyone can burn at least 500 calories in less than 30 minutes.
  3. Housework - Not popular but necessary, as it serves a dual purpose.  If you don't remember the last time you wiped down surfaces in the living room or bathroom, chances are strong that your house is in need of serious cleaning.  However, the work is not in the task itself but how long it takes.  If it takes more than 20 minutes to clean a bathroom where the tub is only a few inches from the sink or toilet, then you're likely taking too long.  Speed not only burns more calories but gets the task out of the way faster.