Things You Should Never Carry in Your Handbag

hand bag

A handbag holds everything – everything you need to survive each day, from money in both cash and credit card form to a tiny umbrella and various medications. Because they hold so much for us, handbags are usually quite heavy, and take effort to lug around. Although you may be able to fit just about anything in your own, there are a few items you might want to consider leaving at home. Whether for safety and security reasons, or simply messy reasons, think about keeping the following things out of your handbag next time you leave home.

Crucial Government Identification

With the exception of your driver’s license, which you need any time you drive or make a purchase with a credit card, it’s a bad idea to take your government-issued identification items with you on a daily basis. Do you really need your Social Security card, your passport, and your birth certificate everywhere you go? All of these items are key to identity thieves, and if your handbag gets stolen you’ll immediately regret carrying these with you. Leave them at home, in a safe place, and bring them only when you need them.

Messy, Goopy Makeup Products

Who doesn’t carry a few makeup items in their bag? Lipsticks, eye shadows, mascaras, powders – all of these typically end up in a handbag, and all of them can make a huge mess. Minimize the damage done to your handbag and everything inside of it by leaving the messiest of these items at home. Don’t carry around lotions, skin creams, or even bottles of liquid that can easily twist open, pop their lids off, and destroy your handbag.

Your Checkbook

It might sound like an odd item to leave at home, especially if you use your checkbook often, but those blank checks sitting in your handbag are a fantastic find for identity thieves. Your checkbook contains both blank checks, your bank account number, and your account’s routing number – all of which a thief can use to steal your money. Play it safe and carry your checkbook only when you know you’ll need it; most things can be purchased with credit or debit cards anyway.

“Fresh” Foods or Leftovers

Planning on taking a snack break at some point throughout your day? Packing a granola bar, a sealed bag of pretzels or chips, or an apple is fine, but don’t toss your leftover lunch or anything that could potentially smell. Your handbag isn’t a refrigerator, and it can’t keep very much safe – most are soft and easy to smash, meaning whatever’s inside could not only seep out of its packaging and ooze into the rest of your belongings, but could cause disgusting rot. Keep your handbag clean and food-free by leaving food at home.

Why Teenagers Should Not Diet

Teenager

The idea of dieting first pops up in our lives when we enter adolescence – the years during which our bodies begin to undergo dramatic and sometimes surprising changes. Uncertain of what bodies will ultimately look like, and worried about fitting in with the rest of their age group, teenagers are frequently tempted to alter their eating habits and begin diets when in high school. However, embarking on a dieting frenzy at such a young age isn’t a healthy idea. Dieting too early on can cause health problems and hinder self-esteem that last well beyond the teenage years.

Why Dieting Isn’t Smart

With childhood obesity an ever-present problem today, why shouldn’t teens be encouraged to begin diets? After all, excess weight in younger years causes problems that make staying healthy as an adult a huge problem. Unfortunately, many teens don’t choose to diet because they are obese; instead, they are pressured by standards surrounding them in society. It’s the desire to be as thin as possible that leads as many as 60 percent of high school girls to diet, and as many as 80 percent of ten year olds to do the same.

When children and teenagers of such young ages start to limit their calorie intake, according to medical researchers, they are more likely to resort to extreme measures in an effort to lose weight. Instead of choosing healthy options like increased fruits and vegetables, teens rely on vomiting, diuretics, or even laxatives. These methods do nothing beneficial for the body; instead, they lead teenagers to develop problems with drugs, alcohol, and obesity as adults.

Dieting Becomes Emotional

In addition to the physical problems that come with young dieting, emotional problems arise quickly as well. Years of research has shown that teenagers who diet develop more than just poor and negative self-esteem. It’s the teenagers who already feel badly about themselves who are the most likely to diet in the first place – and teens who diet have been found to be unhappier with their weight even if they are healthy. Dieting teens “feel fat” even if they are at a perfectly healthy weight, and feel as though they have no control over their lives. Additionally, these teenagers grow distant from their families, friends, and lives at school because of their intense emotional dissatisfaction.

So, instead of attempting to diet as a teenager, children should be encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles by eating well, maintaining regular activity, and feeling confident about themselves no matter their weight.

Stretch Marks are Common During Pregnancy, but They Can Also Occur Other Ways

stretch marks

Stretch marks are one of the unfortunate side effects of our bodies changing. Most commonly, these angry red marks that turn into scars appear when women are pregnant. During pregnancy, women’s bodies undergo drastic changes in shape and size, and as a result 90 percent of mothers develop stretch marks. Although most stretch mark treatments are often targeted for new moms, or for women in general, pregnancy isn’t the only stretch mark culprit. In fact, there are many different points throughout life that can cause these marks to appear – whether you’re a mom, a dad, a teenager, or even an adult who’s never experience significant physical changes. In fact, 70 percent of women who have never been pregnant and 40 percent of men all claim to bear stretch marks somewhere on their bodies – so where do they come from?

Stretch marks always form in the same way, whether you’re pregnant or not. As skin stretches throughout our lives, its inner layer named the dermis must adapt and lengthen. The collagen present in our skin helps it to both stretch and revert back to its original size and shape, meaning that as our bodies move, the skin is meant to bounce back. However, with prolonged stretching and snapping, the dermis loses its collagen – especially with age – and the skin itself begins to break down, tearing and turning into scar tissue. As our skin ages, that scar tissue starts to show through the topmost layer of skin, the epidermis… and we’re ultimately left with stretch marks.

When stretch marks first occur, they are red or purple in color, very bright and easy to see. As they become part of our bodies, though, these areas of skin tears fade and take on a pigment closer to that of our actual skin color – though they usually end up white, which causes them to stand out as well.

As our bodies go through many changes throughout life, more than just movement and aging can lead to formation of stretch marks. In fact, they appear whenever there’s a hormonal change as well: during puberty, during pregnancy is most common for stretch marks to develop, and in those who lift weights, in obese individuals, and even upon the skin of those suffering from Cushing’s disease. During these life moments or situations, the adrenal glands secret increased amounts of certain hormones that prevent collagen from performing its work – so, for example, when a child is growing throughout puberty, their body is undergoing great changes in height and size yet their skin’s collagen cannot adapt to the changes due to hormonal changes.

So, if stretch marks appear and pregnancy has never been a plausible cause, don’t panic. Stretch marks are a very normal part of life, appearing any time our bodies change. Although they aren’t the most pleasant of discoveries, there are many different ways to lighten and treat them.

Great Snack Ideas to Pack in Your Kids’ Lunch

GRANOLA BAR

Packing lunches is more than stuffing a simple sandwich into a brown paper bag. You want to ensure that your children are getting the best, the healthiest, and the most delicious lunch they can in the midst of their busy and active school days. So what is important to include beyond the usual turkey or tuna sandwich? Branch out beyond the most ordinary ideas, and aim for healthy snacks – according to scientific research, giving children healthy food in their lunchboxes helps them learn even more each day. Ease and convenience are, of course, important for you, but the products that are the simplest to pack are often filled with unhealthy fats, increased calories, and excess sodium.

Instead of relying on pre-made products that are easy to grab and go from the supermarket, try to fill your children’s lunches with snacks that help their minds and their bodies well beyond the typical. Increase the amount of healthy food available each day for snacking, and you’ll prepare your child well for a busy day of education – and play. The following packable snacks are delicious, exciting, and nutritious in nature.

Sweet Potato Crisps

Potato chips in readily packaged bags are fried and full of sodium, but if you make your very own version at home from a healthier ingredient, your kids will certainly look forward to lunchtime. Swap out those salty, fattening barbeque-flavored chips for a bag of sweet potato crisps, seasoned with smoked paprika. Bake them in your oven each week, and your children won’t miss regular potato chips at all.

Homemade Fruit Leather

Have a fruit roll up fan in your household? Don’t allow their sweet tooth to take reign; instead, make your own version at home. Blend together ripe, delicious pears and spicy cinnamon to make your very own strips of stretchy fruit leather – but it does require a bit of baking in the oven, and time spent drying out on your kitchen counter. Be prepared to make this snack ahead, as it can take up to 6 to 7 hours to properly dry.

Cinnamon Oranges

Want to give your kids a sweet treat in the form of a healthy dessert? Skip the typical treats like Twinkies or cupcakes; instead, make cinnamon oranges from nothing more than oranges, cinnamon, orange juice, lemon juice, and a bit of sugar – this recipe sweetens a favorite fruit into a snack that makes lunchtime desirable.

Homemade Granola Bars

If you want to offer a snack that’s an excellent choice in both the morning and afternoon, make your own homemade granola bars for your child’s lunch. Instead of tossing a ready-made variety into their lunchbox, which typically contain high-fructose corn syrup, excess sugar, and very few healthy benefits, make your own varieties from oats and fruit. Blend together any type of oat, your favorite granola, and your child’s favorite dried fruits like raisins, and bake them for a healthy snack any time.

When Is Too Young To Have Kids?

kids

Having kids and raising them is a huge responsibility. That’s why before deciding to have one, there are a lot of factors to be considered. For someone in their twenties or early thirties who still do not have kids, that uncomfortable question of why you still don’t have one is hanging in the air. And if you are anywhere younger than that, you may have been asked why you had kids at such a young age. But how young is really too young to have one?

According to sociologist John Mirowsky, the late teens or early twenties are the best age to have kids because the reproductive system is at its peak. The chances of having miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, infertility and stillbirth is still low and at that age, chronic health problems are least likely to have developed. Although biologically it is ideal, unfortunately, it is not the only factor there is to be considered.

The person’s maturity also plays an important role. Because raising another human being is such a huge responsibility, you have to gauge how prepare you are or how mature you are to be able to handle a responsibility as big as this. It could take a toll on women as young as 17 or 18. There is a possibility that they could get overwhelmed and they wouldn’t be able to cope.

Another thing is the financial standing. This baby will have her own needs – clothes, vaccination, doctor’s fees, diapers and milk (if you choose not to breastfeed). You have to be ready for all of these. And these babies grow and will soon go to school.

The decision to have kids is not a question of how young or old you are. It’s not the age. It’s a combination of a lot of things. You have to ask yourself if you are physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and financially ready for it.

Top 5 Exercises To Help You Lose Weight

weight training

Weight is often associated with the overall well-being and fitness of a person. In most instances, weight loss is often connected to fat loss from a person’s body. In essence, to lose weight, your daily activities must be enough to burn your daily calorie intake. For people who are above their normal body weight, doing the right exercise can be an effective way to lose unwanted fat.

Running

Running, or even jogging, is still considered to be the best exercise for weight loss. For a more intense fat-burning running session, do a full sprint at maximum speed for about 30 seconds every 5 minutes in your run. As you progress, you can try going up to a minute of full-speed sprints for every 5 minutes of jogging or running. This will enable your body to burn off calories for hours after you have finished your run.

Burpees Or Squat Thrusts

Start from a standing position with your feet planted wider than your shoulders. Bending your knees and hips, squat downward until you can place your palms on the floor, then immediately kick your legs backward to assume a pushup position. Immediately reverse the movements and quickly stand up. For a more fat-burning workout, try to jump up from the squatting position instead of just standing up.

Skipping Ropes

Including this exercise in your routine can help lose weight in your thighs and stomach. Aside from being easy to do, this exercise is also entertaining. For a 5-minute routine, try skipping normally for 20 seconds and intersperse that with 10 seconds of fast, high-intensity skipping. It is better to jump on both feet during this workout, and remember to keep your back and knees straight.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell exercises are great for a whole body workout. Since kettlebells are not evenly distributed, it involves the whole body to provide stabilization and counter the weight of the ball. These exercises strengthen the core and provide increased metabolism even after you’ve finished your workout.

Weight Training

Many think that weight training is not essential in any weight loss program, but any diet needs at least a little time in the gym. Weight training builds up your muscles. The more muscle mass you have, the more calorie it needs to burn to provide energy. The best part? Calorie burning continues even after 48 hours of your workout.