Candle Scents to Help You Relax

image of candleCandle scents can help you relax and unwind with their relaxing aromas. Some of the most relaxing candle scents are made from essential oils, though synthetic fragrances can also fill your home with a calming effect.

Relax With Lavender Scented Candles

Probably the most well-known scent in essential oil Aromatherapy, lavender is known for its stress-relieving properties. If you’re seeking a scent that will restore calmness after a long, demanding and hectic day, just light a lavender scented candle, kick off your shoes, prop up your feet and turn on some low soothing music. You’ll immediately be on your way to relaxation.

Unwind With Citrus Aromas

Citrus scents like lemon or orange can instantly clear the fog from your mind and ease the tension that’s built up over the day.

Combine Pine and Vanilla

Some days may require a restful combination of scents to help you unwind! It may sound like pine and vanilla are too contrasting to blend into something refreshing, but these two scents are a great pair.

Let Go of Stress With a Peppermint Candle

The crisp fresh scent of peppermint can’t help but put you in a better mood. Even ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians recognized its benefits. They used it to treat mental health complaints, especially people suffering from anxiety and depression.

Chill Out With a Eucalyptus Spearmint Candle

Similar to the effect of peppermint, spearmint has those calming and restive properties. When mixed with eucalyptus, this candle scent becomes powerful as the one you must have on hand to help you chill when you get home every day.

Reduce Tension With a Rosemary Candle

If you’re having a bad day and feel that you’re at the end of your rope, reach for a rosemary scented candle. Rosemary is a great scent to combat headaches and mental fatigue, as well as physical exhaustion.

Reduce Stress With Honeysuckle and Jasmine

These floral scents make this candle a great choice for a stress-free zone. Light one in your den or bedroom and close your eyes to be instantly transported to a warm summer evening.

Combine Sage, Chamomile, Lavender, and Thyme

The combination of these four herb essences in a candle will fill your room with hints of an English cottage garden. These herbs relieve stress, tension, discord and anxiety.

Escape With a Bahama Breeze Candle

The name Bahama Breeze will send you into a state of peace and calm. This fragrance candle captures the imagination and can instantly transport you onto a warm beach with balmy breezes. It proves that even man-made scents can be magical.

Relax and Let Go with a Macintosh Apple Candle

The name of a delicious apple, Macintosh has to be a candle filled with all kinds of orchard aromas. Enjoy the hints of crisp apples and fruit peels. The fresh fragrance of apple will fill your home and if you close your eyes, you may believe you’re in the middle of a mountain orchard. That scent alone should be enough to melt away the day’s tension.

Chill Out and Unwind With Relaxing Candle Scents

There are many choices when it comes to candle scents to help you relax. Selecting candle scents with relaxation in mind is a great way to unwind! What could be more pleasing than to be surrounded by lovely, relaxing aromas.

Click here to learn more about candles.

How Much Water Should You Drink Per Day?

water imageThe body is about 60% water, give or take. You are constantly losing water from your body, primarily via urine and sweat. To prevent dehydration, you need to drink adequate amounts of water.

Health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. This is called the 8×8 rule and is very easy to remember.

However, some health gurus believe that you need to sip on water constantly throughout the day, even when you’re not thirsty. As with most things, this depends on the individual. Many factors (both internal and external) ultimately affect your need for water.

How Much Water Is Best?

At the end of the day, no one can tell you exactly how much water you need. This depends on the individual. Try experimenting to see what works best for you. Some people may function better with more water than usual, while for others it only results in more frequent trips to the bathroom.

If you want to keep things simple, these guidelines should apply to the majority of people:

When you’re thirsty, drink.

When you’re not thirsty anymore, stop.

During high heat and exercise, make sure to drink enough to compensate for the lost fluids.

That’s it!

For more information about water, click here.

Healthy Snacks Ideas

Healthy SnacksSnacking is an important part of life so finding healthy snacks that satisfy your cravings and keep you in line with your health goals is essential. If you are serious about maintaining your health but don’t want to give up on snacking, you just need to include healthy snacks in your diet.

Kale Chips

Unlike potato chips, kale chips are rich in B vitamins and dietary fiber. When drizzled with olive oil before cooking them in the oven, the total calories for 1 cup of kale chips is roughly half that of a cup of potato chips.

Kettle Corn

High in dietary fiber and surprisingly low in calories, at only 90 per 3-cup serving, kettle corn and popcorn is great or digestion and is very filling.

Fruit Salad

Combine strawberries, blueberries, watermelon and grapes into a healthy fruit salad will contribute a relatively low amount of calories to your diet. It will also deliver antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that your body needs to protect the immune system, prevent chronic disease and optimize digestion while keeping diabetes under control.

Avocados

Avocados are rich in vitamin E, C, K and various B vitamins. In addition to this, they contain a wide range of minerals, including magnesium and potassium. Avocados can be added to salads, but as a snack, simply add some garlic salt and pepper, then scoop out the delicious fruit with a spoon!

Fat-burning Snacks

Finding healthy snacks that actually help burn fat isn’t easy, but there are a few which help, such as pears, tofu, lentil salad, green tea and hard-boiled eggs.

Pears

With more fiber than almost any other fruit, this tart snack can help you avoid overeating by making you feel full. It also helps in regulating the release of blood sugar and insulin in the body. This can help those who are at high risk of diabetes, as well as people who can’t keep their calorie count down.

Lentil Salads

Lentils have an incredibly high level of dietary fiber, 16 grams in a single cup. Making a cold lentil salad mixed with tomatoes and cucumbers can be a protein-rich and high-fiber snack that will leave you satiated for hours. This will help to burn fat and shed those excess pounds.

Green Tea

Famed for its catechins and other antioxidants, green tea is the most popular beverage in the world, and with good reason. Studies have shown that the active ingredients in green tea can speed up the production of norepinephrine, a fat-burning hormone that can quickly help you slim down.

Hard-boiled Eggs

Thanks to the high protein level of eggs, they can give your metabolism a natural boost. When your metabolism is working faster, it is also burning calories faster, which will help you burn fat more effectively and control your weight.

Tofu

For people on a vegetarian or vegan diet, this dense source of protein can be prepared in countless ways and eaten as a snack with jam, mixed with fruits, or fried up and eaten on crackers. The protein in it increases your body’s fat-burning capacity by kick-starting your metabolism.

For more information on healthy eating habits and snacks, click here.

What You May Not Know About Elderflower

elderflowerElderflower comes from the potentially toxic Elder plant (Sambucus), which is a genus of flowering plants in the family Adoxaceae. It is often overlooked for its medicinal benefits and is most frequently used for its flavoring properties and in making various foods and beverages.

An Extract in Skincare Products

  • Reduces pore size
  • Smoothes skin
  • Anti-wrinkle, anti-aging effects
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Protects against infections
  • Reduces breakouts
  • Good for all skin types

Elder flowers are ideal in facial toners, where their cleansing and pore-reducing effects are particularly helpful.

Poisonous Yet Good For You

The leaves, stems and unripe berries of both red and black elderberry species contain cyanide-inducing glycosides which can cause a toxic buildup of cyanide in the body. When using elderflowers, be sure to remove them from all but that smallest stem attachments to keep these toxins out of your food.

Health Benefits of Elderflower

Elderflower has been used in traditional medicine all over the world in many different cultures due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. The most common uses are for colds and flu, sinus infections, and other respiratory disturbances. As a supplement, elderflower also has diuretic and laxative properties and is helpful in relieving occasional constipation. Elderflower has antibacterial and antiviral properties and may also help alleviate some allergies and boost the functioning of the immune system. Topically, elderflower might help reduce pain and swelling in joints due to some forms of arthritis and is used to stop bleeding. As an oral rinse, elderflower can be used for its antiseptic properties as a mouthwash and gargle. Elderflower also reduces blood sugar levels, very similar to the way insulin works.

Active Ingredients in Elderflower

Elderflower is rich in bioflavonoids, mostly flavones and flavonols, that are most commonly known for their antioxidant. anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The most abundant flavonols in elderflower are quercetin, isoquercitrin and anthocyanins, which have antiviral properties as well. Elderflower also contains chlorogenic acids, such as cinnamic acid, which may help with allergies, regulate blood glucose levels and have a laxative effect on the body. Triterpenoids, especially β-amyrin, erythrodiol, and oleanolic acid, are also found in elderflower. These triterpenoids offer a variety of health benefits including analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer effects.

For more information about elderflower, click here.

Be Natural Organics uses the finest ingredients available for all of our products. We use organic, wild crafted and Co2 derived plant materials in crafting each product. These ingredient are essential in producing the finest grade oils, for optimal skin nourishment and repair. Our Elderberry Balancing Mist contains Elderberry extract.

Benefits of Grapefruit Essential Oil

GrapefruitMore than just Vitamin C

Grapefruit essential oil is also used to reduce stress, stimulate circulation, increase energy, enhance mood, and improve digestion. When used as an ingredient in personal-care products, grapefruit essential oil is said to treat oily hair and skin.

Treat Acne & Prevent Aging

Grapefruit essential oil is good for skin and is quite effective in treating acne. Take a few drops of grapefruit essential oil in a cotton ball and apply it by dabbing it slowly over the affected area. You can also form a mixture by putting the grapefruit oil and carrier oil together, and then apply this mixture in the same way as mentioned above. Grapefruit oil for face is also used for the treatment of aging and other skin problems. It is also known to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Use the fruit on your face to exfoliate, detox and brighten your skin. Grapefruit is high in antioxidants, which fight the free radicals that cause wrinkles, discoloration and dull complexion.

In aromatherapy, inhaling the aroma of grapefruit essential oil (or absorbing grapefruit essential oil through the skin) is thought to transmit messages to a brain region involved in controlling emotions. Known as the limbic system, this brain region also influences the nervous system. Aromatherapy proponents suggest that essential oils may affect a number of biological factors, including heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing, and immune function.

Uses

In aromatherapy, grapefruit essential oil is typically used for the following problems:

• Acne

• Colds

• Depression

• Fatigue

• Hangovers

• Headaches

• Jet lag

Grapefruit essential oil is also used to reduce stress, stimulate circulation, increase energy, enhance mood, and improve digestion. When used as an ingredient in personal-care products, grapefruit essential oil is said to treat oily hair and skin.

For more information about Grapefruits, click here.

Be Natural Organics uses the finest ingredients available for all of our products. We use organic, wild crafted and Co2 derived plant materials in crafting each product. These ingredient are essential in producing the finest grade oils, for optimal skin nourishment and repair. Bio Recovery Evening Repair and Shimmer Oil contains grapefruit peel oil.

Benefits Of Turmeric Ginger Tea

TurmericThe impressive benefits of turmeric ginger tea include eliminating inflammation, strengthening the immune system, improving digestion, soothing pain, and increasing cognition. It also aids in protecting the heart, regulating diabetes, lowering anxiety levels, and improving skin quality.

What is Turmeric Ginger Tea?

Turmeric ginger tea is made by steeping ginger root and fresh turmeric root in hot water. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcuma longa) are widely used individually for their nutritional and medicinal effects. These two powerful herbs are also widely available and have been heavily researched on due to their global popularity. 

Nutritional Value of Turmeric Ginger Tea

Turmeric ginger tea is a delicious and healthy low calorie and caffeine-free drink. The beverage derives its medicinal benefits from:

Turmeric: Fresh turmeric root contains bioactive compounds called curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. If you cannot find turmeric root, organic turmeric powder is a great substitute.

Ginger: Gingerol, in ginger root, has anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Lemon juice: The juice of the lemon has high levels of vitamin C, an antioxidant which boosts immunity levels and enhances the skin.

Honey: Honey has high levels of antioxidants that can help lower high blood pressure and improve cholesterol.

Black pepper: A pinch of black pepper is all that is needed to unclog sinuses and keep the digestive system in order.

Turmeric Ginger Tea Benefits

Let’s look at the benefits of turmeric ginger tea in detail.

Protects Heart Health

Numerous studies have found that both the extracts of ginger and turmeric have the power to lower cholesterol levels, mostly LDL cholesterol. LDL is largely responsible for plaque deposition in the arteries and blood vessels, that can increase atherosclerosis and increase one’s risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Improves Cognition

The brain-boosting nature of ginger is well known, and the unique combination of antioxidants present in this tea can help stimulate neural activity, increase focus, and reduce the deposition of beta-amyloid plaque, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia.

Analgesic Properties

Curcumin and gingerol, the two most notable active ingredients in this tea, have analgesic properties, meaning that they can relieve pain throughout the body.

Boosts Immunity

Turmeric ginger tea boasts a number of antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiseptic qualities that make it an excellent immune system aid. Furthermore, for a cough, colds, and congestion, a combination of these powerful ingredients helps speed up healing and eliminate the underlying infections.

Skin Care

The turmeric in this herbal tea has often been used to treat skin conditions, particularly acne and inflammatory problems like psoriasis and eczema. The gingerol within turmeric ginger tea is also an excellent antibacterial and antioxidant compound that protects the skin from infection, while also stimulating the growth of new cells and preventing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and blemishes.

Aids in Digestion

Ginger possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that help settle the stomach, reduce nausea, and promote healthy digestion. It can help stimulate peristaltic motion and eliminate cramping and bloating, which can also eliminate the symptoms of constipation.

Our Daily Botanical Enzyme Peel includes Ginger root extract, to learn more about Turmeric and Ginger, click here.

Why do we procrastinate?

If it isn’t about laziness, then what is it?

“Procrastination” is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare, meaning “to put off until tomorrow.” But it also derives from an ancient Greek word akrasia, meaning “to do something against better judgement.”

It’s a self-awareness that is a main reason why it makes us feel down. When we procrastinate, we’re not only aware that we’re avoiding a task, but somehow it is a bad idea to put things off – which we wind up putting them off anyway. It’s like feeling that there will be negative consequences. It’s the negative moods altering that judgement.

So we procrastinate because of bad mood? Yes. Sort of.

Procrastination isn’t a specific character flaw or any kind of curse on your ability to manage time, but is a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt, etc.

The particular nature of our aversion depends on the given task or situation. It may be due to something unpleasant about the task itself — such as having to clean a dirty bathroom or organizing a long, boring spreadsheet for your boss. But it might also result from deeper feelings related to the task, such as self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety or insecurity. Staring at a blank document, you might be thinking, I’m not smart enough to write this. Even if I am, what will people think of it? Writing is so hard. What if I do a bad job? All of this can lead us to think that putting the document aside and cleaning that spice drawer instead is a pretty good idea.

So, how do we get to the root cause of procrastination?

We must realize that, at its core, procrastination is about emotions, not productivity. The solution doesn’t involve downloading a time management app or learning new strategies for self-control. It has to do with managing our emotions in a new way.

So find a better reward than avoidance — one that can relieve our challenging feelings in the present moment without causing harm to our future selves. That’s why the solution must therefore be internal, and not dependent on anything but ourselves.

One option is to forgive yourself in the moments you procrastinate. In a 2010 study, researchers found that students who were able to forgive themselves for procrastinating when studying for a first exam ended up procrastinating less when studying for their next exam. They concluded that self-forgiveness supported productivity by allowing “the individual to move past their maladaptive behavior and focus on the upcoming examination without the burden of past acts.”

Another tactic is the related practice of self-compassion, which is treating ourselves with kindness and understanding in the face of our mistakes and failures.

What are some other, healthier ways to manage the feelings that typically trigger procrastination?

Up your curiosity: If you’re feeling tempted to procrastinate, bring your attention to the sensations arising in your mind and body. What feelings are eliciting your temptation? Where do you feel them in your body? What do they remind you of? What happens to the thought of procrastinating as you observe it? Does it intensify? Dissipate? Cause other emotions to arise? How are the sensations in your body shifting as you continue to rest your awareness on them?

Place obstacles between yourself and temptations to induce a certain degree of frustration or anxiety. If you compulsively check social media, delete those apps from your phone. By doing this, you’re adding friction to the procrastination cycle and making the reward value of your temptation less immediate.

So, make the things you want to do as easy as possible for yourself. Eliminate the obstacles. Be inspired. Seek help from your family doctor on further methods of coping and realizing the feelings that trigger procrastination. For further information on procrastination, visit this site.

Treatments for Age Spots

age spotsAge Spots: Treatments & Home Remedies

The treatments and home remedies for age spots include the use of a laser, intense pulsed light therapy, chemical peel, dermabrasion, freezing, and medicines. There are also natural treatments for liver spots like lemon juice, yogurt, aloe vera juice, papaya, among others which are regarded as effective and safe due to the use of all natural ingredients with no side effects.

Are They Dangerous?

Age spots or liver spots are small, highly pigmented areas on your skin. They are primarily seen in the sun-exposed areas of your skin like the face, hands, shoulders, and arms, which is why they are also called solar lentigines. These spots are common in those over 40 years of age, but can also manifest due to overexposure to UV rays, genetics, and increasing age. While they look like cancerous growths, they are mostly harmless and don’t need treatment.

Medical Treatments

There are a number of medical treatments available to lighten or remove the age spots. The pigment causing age spots is located at the base of the epidermis (the topmost layer of the skin), making it necessary to penetrate this layer for any treatment. Here are some commonly practiced treatments for age spots:

Laser and Intense Pulsed Light Therapy

This therapy works to destroy melanin-producing cells without causing any damage to the skin’s surface. This treatment requires more than one sessions to fade away the age spots. Laser Therapy also has a few side effects, like slight discoloration of the skin.

Medicines

Medicinal treatment includes the use of bleaching creams, used alone or in combination with the retinoid. Mild steroids can also be used in the treatment as they help in spot removal over a period of several months.

Chemical Peel

This involves the application of an acid that burns the outermost layer of your skin, and so the age spots. After the treatment, new and flawless skin forms while replacing the burned skin.

Freezing (Cryotherapy)

In this treatment, liquid nitrogen is applied to the age spots. This destroys the extra pigment and thereby helps the skin to get rid of spots. A point to note here is that freezing can also pose a slight risk of permanent scarring or discoloration.

Dermabrasion

Dermabrasion is the process of rapidly rotating a brush over the surface of your skin. It removes the top layer of the skin and a new layer of the skin forms at its place. It can cause temporary redness or scab formation on the skin.

Home Remedies for Age Spots

Let’s take a look at some of the proven home remedy options to get rid of these unwanted blemishes:

Lemon Juice & Yogurt

Both lemon juice and yogurt act as bleaching agents as they help in lightening these spots. Other properties of lemon like citric acid, antioxidants, etc. also help in fading away from the dark spots.

Castor Oil

Age spots can sometimes be rough in texture. If the same is the case with you, apply castor oil on the spots twice a day regularly for few months. You will see a distinct improvement in the appearance where the texture becomes smooth.

Onion & Apple Cider Vinegar

Onion is a good remedy for age spots. Blend an onion and drain it, with the help of a strainer, into a bowl. Mix an equal amount of apple cider vinegar to this and apply over the spots with a cotton swab dipped in this decoction. This will certainly help in removing the age spots. You can also apply onion separately on the spots given to its Vitamin C rich composition.

Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera has been found to have great potential n treating dermatological conditions like burns and scars. Gel or juice obtained from aloe vera can be directly rubbed on affected regions to treat them.

Horseradish

Use of horseradish helps clear age spots. Mix some horseradish in a bowl of milk for 20-30 minutes and then apply the mixture on the spots. Because of its richness in antioxidants and other volatile compounds, the appearance of the spots will fade away rapidly.

Olive Oil & Vinegar

A mixture of olive oil and vinegar can be used to erase the age spots. This mixture should be washed off with water within half an hour of its application.

Papaya

Papaya pulp can be rubbed on the spotted area. Wash it off after 15-20 minutes of its application. Daily use of this remedy will help yield maximum results.

Orange Juice & Apple Cider Vinegar

2 to 3 spoons of orange juice can be mixed in a half spoon of apple cider vinegar. If this mixture is applied on the spots for about a month, you can expect a visible result.

Buttermilk & Tomato

Due to the presence of acid in buttermilk and tomato, they prove to be very beneficial in removing age spots. Not just that, they also act as an effective cleanser.

Watermelon

Rich in antioxidant compounds and vitamin C, rubbing the rind of a watermelon on the age spots will help improve the condition.

Garlic

The paste of garlic has been observed to be effective in treating age spots.

Cucumber Juice

The bleaching properties of cucumber’s organic compounds help improve the appearance of the skin by reducing age spots.

Dandelion

The dandelion stem has been proven to cure a number of skin problems. Age spots can also be effectively treated by consuming this powerful plant every day.

Radish, Vinegar, Lime Juice & Rosemary Oil

A concoction of lime juice, radish, rosemary oil and vinegar is prepared and applied to the affected area. This not only cleanses the skin but also brightens it.

Rose Water & Sandal Powder

Make a paste of these and then apply it on the affected areas. Leave it to dry for some time, and then wash it with fresh water.

Shop the best products on the market for age spots and skin care here. 

Things to do this Summer

things to do this summer

Fun free things to do this summer

Kids are out of school. What to do?

Go geocaching.

“Geocaching” is like a worldwide treasure hunt using a GPS or other mobile device to find secretly hidden containers called “geocaches.” The geocaches usually contain a logbook to let you say, “I found it!” before you re-hide it in exactly the same spot for the next geocacher to find.

Take a free factory tour.

From brewery tours to candy factories and candle makers to toy companies, hundreds of factories and other businesses across the country open their doors to visitors, often times for free or a nominal charge. Bonus: Some tours include free samples.

Visit county fairs instead of amusement parks.

Many county fairs offer rides and other fun activities, usually at a fraction of the cost of amusement parks. Some fairs also offer special discount days as well and will let you bring your own picnic or other refreshments. And, volunteering at the fair might get you a free pass.

Make homemade ice cream.

Homemade ice cream is easy and quick to make with a neat method using two different sized plastic bags, one placed inside the other along with ice and rock salt.

Go fly a kite.

Kite flying can make you feel like a kid again, and building your own kite from inexpensive materials you might already have around the house is half the fun.

Stage a summer film festival.

Choose a theme — like summer romance or vacation road trips — and have everyone bring their favorite flick for a weekend of binge watching with friends. You can borrow DVDs from some public libraries for free. Also, if you or one of your friends have an online movie streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu, you can save money by watching movies that way.

Have an epic water gun fight.

Rinse out plastic squeeze bottles from dish soap and shampoo to use instead of store-bought squirt guns for a good old-fashioned backyard water fight.

Gaze at clouds.

There’s nothing more relaxing than laying on your back in the summertime on a lush, green lawn and gazing up at the clouds drifting overhead. Make a game of it by snapping pics of formations that remind you of something then playing 20 questions with your friends to see if they can guess what you’re thinking of.

Take a hike.

TrailLink.com, powered by the nonprofit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, allows you to search for trails in all 50 states and by different activities, including hiking, bicycling, running, horseback riding and even birding.

Camp for free.

Camping in the great outdoors is almost always inexpensive, and there are even plenty of places where you can camp for free — including in National Forests outside of designated campgrounds. Some restrictions might apply, however.

Take advantage of free admission at National Parks.

America’s 400-plus national parks are truly national treasures, and all but 127 of them never charge an entrance fee. On Aug. 25 — the birthday of the National Park Service — every national park will open its gates.

Explore your local library.

Libraries aren’t just about books anymore; they’re multimedia resources with computer access, e-books, audio books, DVDs and free programs for people of all ages. And why not use their air conditioning — rather than your own — to keep cool this summer?

Enjoy a free wine tasting.

If you’re a self-proclaimed wine connoisseur — or if you just love to occasionally indulge in a glass or two — see if there are any free wine tastings in your area. Some wineries in Sonoma County, Calif., for example, offer free tastings.

Learn how to DIY at free clinics.

Home improvement centers offer a wide range of free how-to clinics for folks looking to spruce up their abodes this summer.

Take the kids bowling.

Register with the website KidsBowlFree.com so the kids can bowl two games daily for free this summer at participating lanes. Some restrictions might apply.

Dive into a swimming hole.

Swimming in a natural lake, river, stream or hot spring is literally cool fun. Swimmingholes.org lists 1,600 natural swimming holes nationwide, most of them free and open to the public.

Play in your yard’s sprinklers.

Punch lots of small holes in a two liter plastic soda bottle, then attach it to the end of a garden hose with a male-to-male hose coupling. Hang the bottle over a tree branch, turn on the hose, and enjoy a refreshing outdoor sprinkler shower.

Play a round of disc golf.

Traditional golf is usually an expensive sport to pursue, but disc golf — aka “Frisbee golf” — costs very little and is great exercise. Many public parks have disc golf courses where you can play for free, and a professional quality disc usually costs less than $15.

Volunteer your time.

Volunteering is not only a great way to help others, but it can be a lot of fun and a chance to meet new friends. Visit VolunteerMatch.org for a nationwide listing of volunteer opportunities.

Remember, when outside in the sun during actives, keep hydrated and click here for proper sun screen protection.

Nutritious and Tasty Healthy Snacks

healthysnacksIf you love great flavors in your snacks, you should definitely try healthy and delicious snacks like trail mix, cheese plates, basic burritos and fruit parfaits.

Fruit Parfaits

Yogurt is packed with probiotics and other important nutrients. Additionally, the mineral, vitamin and antioxidant levels of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries are very well-known. Together a basic fruit parfait can boost your energy levels, while also improving digestive efficiency and strengthening the immune system.

Cheese Plate

People often overlook cheese as a potentially healthy snack. A simple combination of apple slices and smoked gouda cheese is not only a nutrient-dense snack but will also provide calcium, vitamin D, probiotics, Vitamin A and Vitamin B-6. However, eat cheese in moderation, regardless of how delicious it is!

Basic Burritos

A combination of brown rice, black beans, grilled vegetables, and spices can make for a great burrito in the middle of the day. This will provide good levels of fiber, key minerals, antioxidants, and proteins, without compromising on your calorie limits for the day.

Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter

Not all chocolates are created equal, and in the case of dark chocolate, a small amount can be excellent for heart health and blood circulation. With a huge level of iron and a notable level of fiber, dipping a few squares of dark chocolate in omega-3 fatty acid-rich almond butter is an excellent snack choice.

Trail Mix

Combining nuts, seeds, granola, dried fruit and dark chocolate into a healthy trail mix is one of the most filling and delicious snacks out there. You will get an invaluable amount of minerals, antioxidants, fiber, organic acids and complex carbs from this often overlooked snack option.

For more information on healthy snacks, click here.