Monthly Archives: December 2013

Health & Fitness for Busy People

We’re all so busy these days, who has time for exercising and thinking about healthy eating? Here are ten tips to help you out with that dilemma!

1. Short workouts – You don’t have to fit in an hour-plus workout four times a week, try shorter, more intense workouts. For instance, here’s an example of a 10-minute cardio workout on youtube:

2.  Find what you like! Some people adore zumba, others zen out at yoga. Whatever makes you feel good, that’s the workout for you because you’ll keep coming back.

3.  Look online for super-quick recipes. Then make sure the fridge has the elements you’ll need, and zap that dinner together, giving you more time for the things you love. Or, fill the freezer with healthy MagicKitchen.com meals, and life gets even easier!

images4. Work out with your kids! Running around with your energetic kids is one of the best workouts ever.

5.  If you absolutely don’t have time for a workout, then fit fitness into your lifestyle; take stairs instead of elevators(if you’re on the 40th floor, take the elevator to the 35th floor and hoof it from there).  Walk or bike to work.  Garden or do yard work. If you have a lunchdate with a friend, offer to go for a walk rather than sitting down at a restaurant.

6. On a weekend, if you’re making a pasta, stew, soup or healthy curry, make enough for more days. Then have it waiting in the fridge or freezer for those busy nights when you don’t feel like cooking. Much better than ordering a pizza!

7. Work out in the morning- it’s better than coffee for waking you up, gets that endorphins rolling, and gets your day started right! There are various health benefits to working out in the morning, including boosting your energy.

Untitled8. Check your surfing time. If you actually clock how much time you spend surfing the internet, you may be surprised. Put a timer on your internet time and you’ll gain a few more minutes every day.

9.  You need to relax. Meditation can help. Go to Headspace  for an easy 10-minute meditation session that will ease you into your day, or help you conk out at night.

10.  Exercise while watching TV. You know you do it, we all crash in front of the tube at the end of a long day. But if you set up your exercise bike in front of the TV, you can jump on and pedal away as you watch.

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Where are the biggest Christmas light shows?

Christmas lighting started centuries ago when people put candles on their trees at night. Nowadays people and communities vie with each other for the biggest  displays. Where are the biggest Christmas light shows?

1.  Disney World’s The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

2. Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

3. Hong Kong, China Winter Festival

4. Lights Spectacular, Johnson City, Texas

5. Tokyo Midtown “The Milky Way”

6. Grand Place – Brussels, Belgium

7. Copenhagen: Tivoli Gardens

8. The Lagerstrom House – Surrey, B.C. Canada

9. Brussels: Town Hall

10. Branson, Missouri: Silver Dollar City

Those are the ten biggest we found- where are your favorites?

Melody Scott, MagicKitchen.com blogger

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Senior Gifts for Christmas

Here are ten unique and interesting gifts for seniors that they will truly appreciate!

Chicken Marsala from MagicKitchen.com

1. I would be remiss not to mention a MagicKitchen.com meal or gift certificate. For many seniors who don’t feel like cooking anymore, the meals are a real treat!

2. A large monitor for their computer- http://www.newegg.com/Large-Format-Displays/SubCategory/ID-633 – many seniors find it harder and harder to see print on a screen, this might be just what they need!

3. A Full spectrum lamp is like having sunlight indoors. It may reduce eyestrain, fatigue and headaches caused by other lighting.  http://www.firststreetonline.com/Home+Solutions/Lighting/Balanced+Spectrum+Floor+Lamp.axd

4. If your grandparents don’t have a smartphone yet, and you can afford one, it would be a great gift! Teach them how to use it and they can communicate with you (assuming that’s a good thing), and with other family members on the go!

5.  Is your favorite senior a movie buff? how about an Indie Movie of the Month membership? http://www.gifts.com/search/product/film-movement-dvd-of-the-month-club-6-month-subscription?gid=14537&prodID=357869

6. A jigsaw lover will adore this 3000 piece world map puzzle. http://www.amazon.com/Heye-29275-World-Jigsaw-Puzzle/dp/B001KOTDLC

7. Quality time- if your senior friend or relative lives alone, he or she may enjoy a night in with you. Bring a movie, or just chat!

8. If the person has a disability, like poor vision, arthritis or mobility, visit enablemart.com for lost of ideas on how to help.

9. I’m not quite a senior yet, but my night-vision is definitely not as good as it was. These night driving glasses that you wear over your prescription glasses improve night vision.

10. A baseball fanatic will really get a kick out of a bottle opener made  out of a bat used at a real MLB pro baseball game!

 

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How to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

Let’s face it, this time of year is the worst possible time to be on a diet. Temptations abound, from turkey to chocolate to delicious appetizers and of course, holiday drinks. So what can you do to avoid the usual weight gain? Here are some tips.

1. Weigh yourself three times a week. If you shun the scale, the pounds will add up. But if you get on it three times a week, you’ll see if the weight gain is starting and you will have incentive to pull back. Weigh yourself at the same time those three days.

2. Kick up your exercise routine. Get to the gym more often in these months, to be sure you’re burning off extra calories you may have eaten and imbibed. Bring out that dusty exercise bike and set it up in front of the TV. Or pull out a DVD exercise routine you haven’t seen in a while. If you exercise in the morning, it helps make you more aware of eating badly in the later part of the day. You don’t want to waste that workout, so you tend not to pig out.

3. Pick and Choose– There are healthier choices out there, like the stuffed tomatoes instead of the cheese-stuffed potatoes. Keep an eye on what’s available, don’t overload your plate, and keep to the lower-calories choices. Don’t go back for seconds, and monitor your hunger level- don’t just eat because it looks good.

4. Have some Dessert- If you say no to dessert ten times, chances are the eleventh time you’ll dig in and have four because you’ve been “so good”. Have just a bite or two of desserts to keep the calories in check.

5. Count Canapes-If the trays of lovely canapes are going around, decide before you reach how many you are going to have, then stick to that number.

6. Less Alcohol-Holiday parties abound with booze, but those empty calories will load you up before you know it. Add low-calorie soda or mineral water to your favorite spirit or wine, and nurse your drink. Be aware if you’re drinking too fast and switch to water or mineral water.

7. Never go to a party hungry- Eat a light dinner before you go to a party, so you won’t be tempted by all the high-calories foods stacked around the room.

8. Socialize! The point of the holidays is to be together with friends and family- so get out there, chat, laugh and have a blast! If you’re talking, you’re not putting anything in your mouth, right?

Melody, MagicKitchen.com blogger who intends to take this to heart!

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