8 Ideas to Share the Holiday Spirit

Happy christmas couple over blue winter background.

We hope you are already enjoying your holiday season.  If you or others around you are not yet in the holiday spirit, we’re here to help whip you into holiday shape.

The holidays aren’t just about presents and delicious foods.  They are about togetherness, cheer and warm wishes.  No matter what our circumstances may be, we can all participate in celebrating our holidays, families, year end and the many wonderful things in our lives.  That is truly the essence of the holiday spirit.  And while you’re feeling full of cheer, we hope you’ll make it your mission to share the holiday spirit this year.  We have 8 ideas to help you do it:

Holiday Scents:  For days leading up to the holidays, fill your home with fragrant holiday scents like ginger, peppermint, cinnamon and vanilla.  You can do this through scented candles, air fresheners or starting your holiday baking early.  The magnificent smells of the holiday season will put everyone in a festive mood.

Decorate your Home:  It’s hard to resist the holiday spirit when your home is decked out in holiday gear.  Decorating can be especially fun for kids, but even if you don’t have any, put up decorations so your visual surroundings will stimulate holiday happiness.

Twinkle your Neighbors:  Similar to “booing” on Halloween or “egging” on Easter, twinkling over the winter holiday season means you leave an anonymous surprise at someone’s door or in their yard.  It may be several small items or one basket of goodies.  It will warm your neighbors to know you are thinking of them during the holidays.

Shop in a Good Mood:  For some, holiday shopping is such a chore.  Do your best not to be a grump or a scrooge when you do your holiday shopping.  Pick a day when you’re in a good mood – perhaps take a vacation day so you’re not distracted by work – and indulge in a great cup of coffee or breakfast treat to get your day started.  Keep a smile on your face as you do your shopping, even if you have to stand in long lines.  It will be contagious.

Invite People into your Kitchen:  Often we greet our guest, grab them a drink and retreat into the kitchen to finish last minute details while the rest of your family entertains.  They are all enjoying themselves and you’re slaving away in the kitchen, or so it seems.  This year, don’t banish people from helping in your kitchen.  Rather, let the kitchen be the gathering spot.  Allow your guests to pull up an apron and stir, garnish or taste something as you finish the festive meal preparations.

Break the Ice:  Whether you celebrate with close family or invite extended relatives, friends and neighbors, help everyone have more meaningful conversations with an ice breaker.  Yeh, sounds a little cheesy but it can be fun and productive.  An example:  ask everyone to bring one item that represents how they are feeling this holiday season or about the year that is almost over.  Give everyone a moment to talk about their item.  We guarantee it will spark deeper conversation and a sense of unity throughout the holiday.

Start One New Holiday Tradition:  Traditions are a special way to get your family in the holiday spirit year after year.  If you feel your holiday is lackluster this year, start a new family tradition.  For instance, maybe one gift to and from each family member must be homemade.  Or give a gag gift to lighten up your holiday scene.

Watch your Favorite Holiday Movies:  There’s nothing that can turn a holiday frown upside down like a holiday movie.  Keep a few of them playing on background during the holiday season.  You’ll surely soak up the holiday spirit in no time.

Happy Holidays!  We wish you much holiday spirit this season!

Why You Should Take Power Naps

Sleep is vital to our lives to rest our bodies and achieve rejuvenation.  But sleep deprivation is becoming more and more common in our modern 24/7 lifestyles.  Most mammals have multiple periods of sleep and wakefulness during their days, but humans are an exception.  We typically sleep at night and are awake during the day, for better or for worse.  Many experts believe that power naps are a significant way to curb fatigue, boost energy and improve alertness.  We’re exploring the benefits of power naps here.

Power naps are typically defined as 10-30 minutes of sleep in the early afternoon.  If you try to take a nap before 1 p.m., your body will probably not be tired enough for sleep.  If you sleep past 4 p.m., it may interrupt your nighttime sleep.  Therefore, a power nap Peaceful portrait of woman sleeping on pillowbetween 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. is best.  Studies indicate that even this short burst of sleep can greatly improve alertness and performance.  Power naps can help you most directly after the nap period and may prolong concentration for several hours later than usual.  Additionally, napping has proved to be excellent for the cardiovascular system, to reduce stress and aid in weight loss.

Sleep expert Sara C. Mednick, PhD wrote a book entitled Take a Nap! Change your Life in which she outlines the benefits of different lengths of sleep.  The 20-minute power nap, known as stage 2 sleep, is great for alertness and increased motor skills.  Naps ranging from 30 to 60 minutes offers slow-wave sleep that improves memory and helps with decision-making skills.  Even longer naps of up to 90 minutes allows R.E.M. (rapid eye movement) sleep that is associated with creative problem solving and greater brain connections.

For those who are truly sleep deprived, longer daytime naps may be in order to “catch up” on sleep.  However, shorter power naps of less than 40 minutes are refreshing without leaving the body feeling groggy from being ripped out of sleep.  Plus, most adults in the U.S. don’t have the luxury of napping for longer than 30 minutes per day.  Other cultures put a greater value on naps and schedule time for them during their workdays.  Some businesses like Google and Huffington Post offer sleep pods in their offices to help their employees catch some zzz’s during their day.  The theory is that they will be more productive and perform better if they are better rested.  Still, this is a rarity in most places of business.

So what’s an average gal to do to get in a power nap?  Well, it isn’t always easy.  Finding time for power naps may take planning.  Scheduled naps are often better than emergency naps because they help you sleep before you are overly exhausted.  If you are home with kids who nap, take a power nap while they are sleeping.  Even if you spend 30 minutes napping, chances are you’ll have leftover time to get other things done, and you’ll be even more productive at them to boot.  If you work a regular daytime job, make time for naps on the weekend to recharge your body and get ready for the week to come.

Of course, naps should not be a reason you stay up later.  Nighttime sleep is still very important.  Also, your sleep environment should be one without too much stimulation such as that from televisions, electronics and bright lights, and should be set a comfortable temperature.

Enjoy your power naps when you can!  Sweet dreams!

The Risk of Hairband Infections

If you’re like most women you’ve found yourself putting your hairband around your wrist for the convenience of having one ready at all times. We’ve all done it! Hair ties are a pain, and it always seems just after buying a fresh ring, you come find a month later they are all missing. Unfortunately, we do not know the location of your missing hair ties, and although you might think saving your last band around your wrist is a good idea, it’s actually a health hazard. In fact, there are many health risks of wearing a hairband around your wrist for long periods of time. You can cut off blood flow and circulation, and your hairband can even cause abrasions which have the possibility to turn into harmful infections.

There have been many cases surrounding infections caused my hairbands, the most recent happened to a resident of Kentucky, Audree Kopp. After several hours of unpacking and moving in her things into a new place, Kopp noticed she had a bump on her arm that kept getting bigger and more painful. After taking antibiotics and still not seeing results, she decided to go to the emergency room. The doctors told her she has an infection and discovered three strains of bacteria. They told Kopp her sparkly hairband was the culprit, and it had caused tiny cuts in her skin where bacteria had entered her body and caused the infection to build and her arm to swell. Later doctors told her the infection could have been a lot worse if left untreated, and she could have developed far worse conditions such as blood poisoning or even death.

Experts suggest not wearing anything tight around your wrist because even accessories such as watches or bracelets can cause abrasions that can lead to infections. If you are to wear a hairband around your wrist never leave it on for too long, avoid sparkly bands that can scratch or cut your skin, and always clean your wrists when you wash your hands. To prevent any hairband infections, it’s suggested to not wear one at all around your wrist.



9 Reasons Why You Should Eat Peanut Butter

Many of us know peanut butter is a great source of protein and it helps suppress your appetite giving you the sensation of feeling fuller longer, but did you know it loaded with healthy fats, antioxidants, and lowers your risk heart disease and stroke? Read these 9 reasons why you should eat peanut butter:

  1. Weight Loss: When you eat peanut butter it can actually suppress your hunger and help you maintain a healthy weight, or even loss weight. This is because of the protein and fiber in peanut butter. It keeps you satisfied and fuller longer.
  2. Good Protein: Peanut butter contains 7 grams of protein in just two tablespoons. Protein is great for the body because it helps build and repair muscles tissue.
  3. Loaded with Nutrients: Peanut butter is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants such as fiber, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin E. As you learned above, these nutrients are great for your body and can give you many health benefits.
  4. Healthy Fats: There is a healthy balance of saturated and unsaturated fats in peanut butter. By eating peanut butter you can lower the cholesterol in your blood stream and prevent disease. Be careful when you buy commercial peanut butter such as Jiff and Skippy because they will contain more saturated fats and sugars which can be bad for your body. If you want to keep to a healthier diet try all natural or organic peanut butter.
  5. Heart Healthy: Because of all the nutrients and healthy fats in peanut butter it is easy on your heart! While being high in proteins and fiber, peanut butter lowers the risk of high blood pressure and your risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and health problems later in life.
  6. Helps Fight against Diseases: With all the nutritional benefits peanut butter has to offer, there is no wonder why it’s the perfect ingredient to fight against diseases. Besides being great for your heart, peanut butter helps protect your body from Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. This is because peanut butter contains niacin, which is a source of Vitamin B and helps repair DNA and fuel the body with energy.
  7. Reduces Risks of Stroke: This treat isn’t just tasty, but protects your body from a number of health problems. Peanut butter is loaded with potassium which we have learned above will lower your risk of a stroke. Studies show that eating more foods high in potassium can lessen your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  8. Great Source of Calories: Peanuts are a perfect source of carbs and easy calories. Whether you’re looking to lose weight or build muscle, you can do this with peanut butter! Peanut butter is a cheap and easy way to eat 200 calories or less in one meal or snack.
  9. Easy to Prepare: Peanut butter is super easy to prepare. Whether you’re making peanut butter toast, peanut butter protein bars, or apples and peanut butter, it’s simple and all you need to do is scoop your amount right out of the jar! Who would have thought a snack could be this easy to make?


Full Figure Fashion: Winter Trends for 2015/2016

It’s time for our latest full figure fashion report.  We’re taking a look at winter trends for 2015/2016.  It’s a great season for flowy yet functional looks that will keep you cozy and chic during the winter months.  Sporty, bold and tailored looks are also in style, while flirty hues, sassy footwear and silhouettes keep things sexy and feminine.

Here’s a glance at the full figure fashion trends for winter 2015/2016:

Young attractive woman wearing a sweater with faux fur hood.Shaggy Chic in Sweaters and Faux Fur

The draped oversized sweater continues to make a splash this winter.  Trends include shaggy, wooly and faux fur styles in a variety of neutral colors.  This trend also works in turtlenecks, which are highly popular this season.  Keep underneath layers simple like a fitted long sleeve tee or oxford shirt and pair your comfy, cozy sweater with a pant on the tighter side to show off your curves.  Women with broader shoulders may want to draw in their silhouette with belts or ties to appear less boxy.

Leather Pants and Skinny Jeans

You can’t go wrong with leather pants this season.  With legging, pant or jean-style black leather pant options, find the fit that works best for your figure.  Feel free to play with the traditional leather pant with a slimming vertical stripe down the outer leg.  Skinny jeans also rock this winter but make sure you stay comfortable in the jean you select.  Rider boats or chunky heels look great with both of these slimming pant choices.

A-Line Skirts and Dresses

A-lines are uber flattering on many body types and are easy to achieve in short skirts, knee-length skirts, high-waisted skirts, empire waist dresses, wrap dresses and other fitted dress styles.  If you go with a skirt, wear a fitted blouse that will keep the line clean and hug your best assets.  You can even find A-line winter coats that work beautifully with every outfit in your wardrobe.

Superhero Capes and Dresses

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…no, it’s a fashionista!  Capes are super popular for winter 2015/2016.  They make terrific coat-style wraps to cover any outfit or can be a statement top.  If you really want to stand out at your holiday parties this year, look for floor-length caped dress.  No longer a costumed look, capes are super fashionable and flattering this season.

Camel and Pastel Hues

Camel-colored sweaters, wraps and coats are the perfect versatile neutral to go with everything in your wardrobe, from prints, bright colors or other neutrals including black, white, grey, brown and navy.  Camel bags also make it easy to transition from outfit-to-outfit without needing to change your purse.  Pastels are on trend this season too.  These muted colors are feminine and sweet for dresses, coats and sweaters.

Tailored Sporty Ensembles

Staying comfortable has never been so simple as this winter. Sporty looks are not just for heading to the gym, but also make chic, everyday ensembles.  Pair jeans or athletic pants with fitted sweatshirts or sporty denim and leather jackets.  And a great pair of trendy sneakers (not necessarily for actual athletics) will complete this popular look.

Heels, Gloves and Scarves

Heeled boots and stilettos are in style this winter with every look in your repertoire.  For warmth and fashion, invest in a nice pair of fitted leather gloves that don’t inhibit your fingers.  Yes, that means you should still be able to type texts while wearing them.  And if you’re feeling ho-hum about your outfit, add a bright or interesting scarf.

As always, be sure your full figure bras meet the needs of your winter wardrobe.  Have a blast putting together these full figure fashion trends this season!!

10 Ways to Use Thanksgiving Leftovers

After the Thanksgiving meal is complete and everyone is stuffed to the brim, you may look around your table and wonder what on earth you are going to do with all the leftovers.  Never fear, we have 10 ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers to re-create your Thanksgiving experience in new and exciting meals.

Sweet Potato & Turkey Soup:  Using the bones of your bird to make stock, you can create just about any type of soup from your leftovers.  One great idea for a day-after Thanksgiving soup is to puree your sweet potatoes and mix them with turkey stock and other leftover vegetables for a creamy, sweet and savory soup.

Turkey Nuggets:  Kids will delight in eating turkey nuggets for a few days after Thanksgiving.  Chunk some leftover turkey and coat it with an egg batter.  Then roll it in bread crumbs and bake to make a delicious nugget your kids can’t resist.

Turkey Pot Pie w/Mashed Potato Topping:  This amalgamation can include tons of your Thanksgiving leftovers in one simple dish.  Using a creamy soup base, combine bits of turkey, veggies and even stuffing.  Top with a thick layer of mashed potatoes.  This reheats nicely and keeps for several days after Thanksgiving.

Smoothies:  Ok, a turkey smoothie may not sound appealing, but use leftover vegetables to enhance the nutrients of your morning smoothie.  Combine peas, green beans or carrots with fresh fruit, yogurt and milk for a scrumptiously nutritious smoothie.

Cranberry Muffins:  Using your favorite muffin recipe (or even a box mix), add cranberry sauce to the mixture to give your muffins a sweet and tangy twist.

Turkey Anything:  Turkey may not be your “go to” meat at other times of the year, but it is terrific for just about anything you would otherwise use chicken or beef to create.  How does a turkey bolognaise spaghetti sauce sound?  Or maybe turkey marsala, turkey parmesan, bbq turkey or turkey tacos?  For the next week, any time you were planning to use a different meat, pull out the leftover turkey and save yourself a step.

Potato Pancakes:  Leftover potatoes can be used to make a savory potato pancakes.  Form potatoes into a patty and then pan sear them in olive oil or another natural healthy oil.  These are wonderful for any meal or snacks.

Thanksgiving Omelets:  Many Thanksgiving leftovers can be added to omelets for a reminiscent morning-after meal.  Try fun combinations of flavors and add cheese to make a tasty and healthy protein breakfast.

Thanksgiving Kabobs:  Kids will especially like eating Thanksgiving leftovers on a stick.  Using toothpicks, string together one bite of turkey, a carrot, a green bean, a ball of potatoes and a small piece of cornbread.  Serve over a scoop of stuffing to incorporate all your Thanksgiving flavors in a fun and creative way.

Thanksgiving Sandwiches:  When all else fails and you still have Thanksgiving leftovers, sandwiches are a great way to clean out the fridge.  You can make sliders using extra rolls, roll up leftovers in a wrap or make a traditional sandwich on two slices of bread.  Be sure to include all the usuals like turkey, stuffing, potatoes, veggies, and cranberry sauce for a last bite of the Thanksgiving meal.

Are You Eating Too Much Sugar?

With the holidays coming up you may be indulging in those sugary snacks and deserts a little more than usual. While it’s okay to keep our sanity and spoil ourselves every once in a while, it’s important to ask yourself, “Are you eating too much sugar?” Keeping track of your daily nutrients and staying away from consuming too much sugar is a significant thing to do in order to maintain a long and healthy life.

Sugar can cause many problems for your body including cavities, uncontrollable hunger, weight gain, insulin resistance, diabetes, obesity, liver failure, pancreatic cancer, high blood pressure, kidney and heart disease, nutritional deficiencies, and gout. Two major effects are obesity and diabetes, which has only been affecting more and more individuals as the years move forward.

The World Health Organization suggests giving no more than 5-10% of your daily calories to sugar. This is about 25 grams or six teaspoons of sugar to be precise. To put this in perspective, a can of pop usually contains 39 grams of sugar and a Starbucks Nonfat Pumpkin Spice Latte with no whip cream contains 49 grams. If you are drinking two to three soft drinks a day, along with other sugary foods, you are consuming too much sugar.

There are three different types of sugar: glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Glucose is a simple sugar that gives the body a good source of energy. You can find glucose in carbohydrates, such as bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes. Glucose is both helpful and harmful to the body because while it is used to give our bodies energy it can also be a danger if too much is consumed and your blood sugar levels fluctuate. Fructose is found in fruits and is actually sweeter than the other sugars, which is why it’s used in snacks, candy, and soft drinks. High-fructose corn syrup can be very dangerous to your health and cause cardiovascular disease. It’s important to keep fructose at a minimum, and even while fruits may seem healthy, you should still only eat them in moderation and keep to your daily intake of two to three servings. Sucrose is a combination of glucose and fructose which are your table sugars and sweeteners.

All of these sugars are metabolized differently in the body. For instance, the easiest sugar to metabolize is glucose, which is done in the blood stream and used for energy. When your body needs more energy it will use fructose, but only a small amount because it is absorbed in the liver. The rest of the fructose will be metabolized to fat synthesis. Sucrose is a combination of both and will be digested as necessary. An over consumption of all three can lead to a number of problems.

While our body metabolizes sugars differently, it’s important to keep our indulging to a minimum. If you’ve been dieting or you’re trying to lose weight and haven’t seen any results, it could be your sugar consumption. Sugar can do a lot to the body, and you may find it strange that sugar can cause addition, but it can. Many people who eat a lot of sugary foods have a hard time saying no when a desert or sugary snake is placed in front of them. Try your best to keep your sugar snacking to a minimum and always check to see which foods are high in fructose and sucrose. Remember it’s okay to eat sugar, but only in moderation. An overabundance of sugar in your diet can cause serious long-term effects on your body that can lead to disease and even death.


Unconventional Ways to Give Thanks this Thanksgiving

This season of giving thanks offers many possibilities for gratitude and giving back.  And get this:  as you are helping others, you are also helping yourself.  Studies show that actively participating in giving thanks is a great way to boost your physical health and emotional wellbeing.  While employing traditional ways of giving thanks is a wonderful way to celebrate Thanksgiving, we’re thinking outside the box this year and sharing unconventional ways to give thanks this Thanksgiving.

Honor Unsung Heroes:  Heroes in your community deserve praise. But the same popular heroes often get all the accolades, while others don’t get any attention at all.  Take some time to think about the people who make a difference in your day.  Perhaps it is the crossing guard at your children’s school that ensures your kids safely cross the street every day.  Maybe it is your mail carrier that brings your mail directly to your door when you receive large packages.  Or it could be the bagger at your supermarket who always does his job with a cheery smile and offers to help you take your groceries to your car.  Take the time to call these people out and thank them for their contributions to your community and your life personally.

Buy Goods from Local Small Businesses:  Buying locally keeps financial and intellectual resources and services thriving in your community.  Yes, sometimes local vendors charge a little more because they are not mass producing and selling goods, but those few extra dollars make the difference between their success and failure.  Holding fast to a sense of community by supporting local businesses is a true way to show your gratitude for those who work hard to keep your community prosperous.

Show the Face of Thankfulness to the Troops:  Sending letters or care packages to the troops is a terrific way to express thankfulness for those who help maintain our freedom.  But take it a step further this year and put a face behind the thankfulness.  Take pictures of your family, friends and others in your community holding up signs of thanks and include them in your mailings to the troops.  Seeing the faces of those they are protecting and having a visual of their gratefulness goes a long way in showing appreciation.  This year, go beyond the letter writing campaign and include a photography campaign as well.

Anonymously Praise Others to their Superiors:  During the season of thanksgiving, spread anonymous praise.  When your server at a restaurant or a customer service representative go above and beyond their job to make your experience great, tell a manager or write a note of praise to their corporate office.  All too often we are quick to complain, but during this season, be faster to praise others.  Even without knowing who you are, you will instill pride, accomplishment and happiness in someone who brought something good to your life.

Perform Spontaneous Acts of Thankfulness:  Be a superhero and swoop in with spontaneous good deeds for others.  Pay for the coffee of someone behind you in line at the coffee shop.  Rake your neighbor’s leaves when you’re doing your own yard anyways.  Buy dessert (or a glass of wine) for a mother you see struggling with her kids at a restaurant.  Every time you buy a small toy for your kids, buy a second to donate.  These little moments that require little effort on your part will mean so much to someone else.  And the best part is that once you share thankfulness and acts of gratitude, others will be included to pay it forward.

Adopt or Foster a Rescue Pet:  Fostering or adopting pets are a great way to contribute to your community.  Rather than purchasing a pet from a pet store, check with your local animal shelters to see what their needs may be.  Adoption is a great option if your family is looking to take in a pet.  Otherwise, try fostering a newly rescued pet that need extra love and care as it is nursed back to health.  Also, volunteering at a shelter or collecting supplies to take care of the animals is a terrific way to contribute.

Write a Letter and Mail It:  For friends and family, write personal letters and mail them.  In the age of emails, texts and social media, it is rare to get a heartfelt letter from those you love.  Let others know how thankful you are for them by writing it down and sending them a letter of gratitude.  Not only will your words mean so much, the method of delivery will make you message stick with them much longer.

Invite an Unexpected Guest to your Thanksgiving Meal:  Joyous times are meant to be shared.  We usually share major holidays with our closest family and friends.  This year, consider inviting someone who isn’t able to be with their nearest and dearest.  Perhaps it’s a college student or co-worker who can’t make it home for Thanksgiving, or your widowed neighbor who would otherwise be alone.  Spread your family’s holiday festivities to those who could use a dose of togetherness this holiday season.

We wish you a warm and happy Thanksgiving!

Decorating the Table for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is almost here which means it’s time to start planning if you haven’t begun already! Decorating the table for Thanksgiving is a fun and creative way to express yourself this holiday. If you’re having family and friends over this year, checkout these trending themes and give your guests something else to talk about than their most favorite foods:


Decorating with Fruits and Vegetables: Decorating with fruit is a fun and wonderful way to add some color and excitement to your dinner table this year. You can either use real or fake fruit for your decorations, and this can be a number of things including pears, pumpkins, squash, grapes, or berries. You options are endless! If you are planning to decorate with fruit try to find a table cloth color to go with the theme of colors you choose. Another tip is to not go overboard with decorations because you will be adding a lot of food plates to your table and you don’t want it to seem too busy and have your guests not knowing which food item to put on their plate!

Fall Colors: The first day of winter isn’t until December 22nd, and until then Fall is here to stay! This Thanksgiving try using the beautiful colors of Autumn to give you a little inspiration. You can try a colored table cloth that is either plain or one with patterns and designs. You can use colorful place mats, silverwares, dishware, and so on. Be creative! The top Fall colors are reds, purples, greens, oranges, and browns.

Let Your Food Be the Spotlight: Creating beautiful and delicious food can be a great way to decorate your table. Normally, we tend to eat a lot of orange and white foods such as turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pumpkin pies during Thanksgiving. While you might want to keep your traditional recipes, try something a little new to bring a little more color to your table. You can try different garnishes to top the foods with like large petals of basil, rosemary, or bay leaves. You can even use different fruits such as cranberries, blueberries, and other berries. If you’re really in the mood for some cooking you can change up the pies this year and add a colorful fruit cobbler or fruit salad.

Decorating with Nature: Thanksgiving falls right in between Autumn and Winter, which means there are big changes going on outside. The trees are losing their last leaves and every so often snow will fall. This Thanksgiving use nature as your decorations. You can make beautiful center pieces with leaves, branches, and other plants from either outside or at your local craft store. The nature theme will bring an organic and beautiful sensation to your dinner table!


Signs you are Eating Too Much Salt

saltLimiting salt intake is one of the basic dietary principles we’ve all heard for years.  Salt is, of course, an essential part of the human diet, but within reason.  Excess salt has negative side effects that can impact a person’s health and lifestyle greatly.  Today we’re exploring signs you are eating too much salt and how to reduce salt in your diet.

Benefits of Salt

First, the good news about salt.  In moderation, salt contains vital components necessary for normal bodily functions.  Salt is a mineral made of mostly sodium but also contains iodine and chloride.  It is a crucial electrolyte that maintains proper water retention in the body.  Salt is also responsible for muscle contractions and the enzymes and secretions vital for digestion and the breakdown of food for nutrients, absorption and energy.  A balance of dietary sodium helps ensure the body retains enough water, especially for adequate blood flow.  Without it, bodies can easily become dehydrated and not operate at their maximum capacity.

Affects of Too Much Salt

On the other hand, too much salt wreaks havoc on the body.  Specifically, excessive salt is extremely dangerous for the heart, brain and bones.  Too much salt leads to fluid retention and may cause high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke or other heart related conditions.   Salt is known to impair cognitive function over time and may even contribute to brain degenerative diseases.  The mineral is also responsible for calcium loss and therefore thinning bones associated with osteoporosis.  The kidneys, skin and digestive system all suffer from an overdose of salt as well.  The recommended daily intake of salt is just 6 grams, but most people consume well above this amount.

Are you Eating Too Much Salt?

The modern American diet is laden with salt, often in hidden places.  Many processed foods use salt as a preservative and flavor booster, but it’s certainly a health reducer.  Many fast food and restaurant foods contain excessive salt too.  Signs of eating too much salt include bloating, swelling, dehydration, thirstiness, and other conditions such as hypernatremia, which is when kidneys cannot handle excessive salt and dehydration.  If you notice any of these symptoms or are experiencing heart problems or lack of focus, you may want to speak to your physician about having your blood tested for too much salt intake.

How to Combat Too Much Salt Intake

Luckily, by making a conscious effort to reduce your salt intake, you can greatly improve your health as it is related to the negative side effects of salt.  First, limit processed foods and fast food.  When possible, read labels or research the sodium content of your favorite restaurant foods.  Seeing the numbers may help you make better choices.  In the grocery store, look for “low sodium” versions of your favorite foods and select fresh fruits, vegetables and meats rather than pre-packaged versions.  When cooking, use light salt and reduce the amount of salt called for in recipes.  Chances are you won’t even notice the difference.  Be aware of adding table salt to your foods.  If you crave salt for flavor, try different natural spices instead as these may offer great flavor alternatives.

Salt is an important part of our diet but, like most things in life, it’s all about balance.  Too much salt can negatively impact your health.  Make smart salt choices by first being aware of your salt intake and then taking small steps to reduce salt in your diet.

Search our past Q+A's.
Choose a topic that interests you to view only related Q+A's.

10 TV Moms that Taught us Invaluable Lessons
20’s flapper
2015 belt trends
4th of July
5 Ways to Inspire Those around You
6 Tips for Finding Balance in Life
8 cups a day
8 cups of water a day
9 reasons why you should eat peanut butter
a perfect 14
Active Bras
affects of too much salt
air quality in your home
Alessandra Ambrosio
allergy forecast
allergy medicine
allergy season
allergy symptoms
allergy tips
allergy-proof your home
alleviate heartburn
aloe vera
aloe vera health benefits
Alternatives to Potato Chips
Amber Riley
American Academy of Dermatology
Amy Adams
an apple a day
Angelina Jolie
annual exams for women
anti-aging solutions
anti-itch cream
anxiety symptoms
apple recipes
April showers
are you eating too much sugar
at home pedicure
Audree Kopp
Audrey Hepburn
baby doll
baby weight
back pain and large breasts
bad food
balance in life
bargain shopping
basic rules of texting
bat girl
be an inspirational person
beauty routines
beauty tools
BeautyFull Boutique
become a Monday person
bedtime habits
Bella Thorne
belly control
belts for all body types
benefit of power naps
benefits of a Mediterranean diet
benefits of traveling alone
best apple recipes
best bedtime habits
Best Belts for Your Body Type
best breakfast foods
best foods for winter
best foods to eat in fall
best holiday spices
best indoor plants
best ingredients for face masks
best jeans for your body type
best running songs
best selfie
best sports bra for plus size women
best summer bras
best sweaters for body type
best things to do every morning
best time of day to exercise
best time of day to work out
best way to start your day
Best Way to Wash Bras
best ways to improve digestion
best ways to organize bras
best workout songs
Beyond the Fitting Room
big butts and back pain
big butts are good for health
big is beautiful
bikini bridge
black bras
black dress
Black Friday
Black Friday shopping
black full figure bras
black rice
black swan
black t-shirt bra
blood pressure
Body Acceptance
body image
body types
boost energy
boost your energy
boosting your metabolism
boyshort with firm tummy control
bra calculator
bra care
bra donations
Bra Fit
bra fit tips
Bra Fitting
bra fitting tips
bra history
bra recyclers
Bra Recycling
bra recycling month
Bra Size
bra size calculator
bra sizes
Bra storage
Bra Style
bra styles
Bra Technology
Bra Wardrobe
brain games
Brain Games for Adults
brain workout
bread bowls
break your nail biting habit
break your unhealthy nail biting habit
Breakfast rules
breast cancer
Breast Cancer Awareness
breast cancer statistics
Breast enhancers
Breast forms
Breast Health
breast sizes
breastfeeding moms
breastfeeding schedule
bridesmaid dresses
brief with firm tummy control
brown rice
building relationships with coworkers
building self confidence
burn calories doing housework
Burn Calories while Spring Cleaning
burn fat for weight loss
business communication
cancer prevention
caring for indoor plants
Celebrate Mom Friends
Celebrating Women
Celebrity News
celiac disease
cellulite and varicose veins
chapped lips
charitable partnerships
chili peppers
chocolate dinner
Chocolate dinner for Valentine's Day
chocolate good for health
chocolate recipes
Christmas albums
Christmas Eve
Christmas music
circulate air in your home
clothing donations
Comfortable Bras
comfortable work clothes
compression sports bra
contour bras
cost effective
cotton bras
create a sexier bedroom
Cristela Alonzo
curve model
curvy actresses
curvy body
curvy celebrities
curvy fashion
curvy fashionista
curvy models
cute clothes
cute summer clothes
dangers of nail salons
dark chocolate
dark chocolate health benefits
dark spots
date ideas
Davids Bridal
day of the dead
decorating the table for thanksgiving
denim trend
denim trend 2015
detox ingredients
detox ingredients for water
detox ingredients for your water
detox with water
detox your body
detox your body with water
Diet Plans
digestive health
digestive system
dinner table
DIY Halloween costumes
doctor and patient
doctor patient relations
donate clothes
dressing your curves
dried fruits
dry shampoo
dull skin
earth day
earth day 2014
Easy Exercises
eat healthy
eating healthy
edible bowls
Edward scissor hands
egg nutrition
Egyptian princess
Elly Mayday
email etiquette
email mistakes
Emma Watson
Emme Plus Size Model
Emotional Eating
emotional health
energy bars
energy breakfast
enjoy life
environmentally friendly lifestyle
essential oils
exercise and spring cleaning
exercise for heart health
exercising with pets
face mask
fall colors
fall fashion
fall fashion 2015
fall superfoods
falling asleep
family history
farm fresh
farm fresh foods
fashion industry
fashion tips
fashion trends
Fashion's Night Out PLUS
Father's Day
female activist
feminine figures
finding your passion in life
First Time Bra Fit
fitness and pets
fitness goals
Fitness Trends
Fitness Trends in 2016
fitting room
flavored soymilk
flip flops
foods that are surprisingly bad for you
foods that boost energy
French maid
fresh foods
freshman fifteen
fringe trend 2015
front closure bra
front-closure bras
fruit bowls
fruits and vegetables
frustration in the workplace
Full Figure
full figure belts
full figure black bras
full figure bra
Full Figure Bras
full figure cardigans
full figure clothes
Full Figure Fashion
full figure fashion for spring
full figure fashion on red carpet
full figure fashion report
full figure jeans
full figure leather clothes
full figure raincoats
full figure sports bra
Full Figure Stars
full figure sweaters
full figure trends
full figure tut
full figure women
full figure women and exercise
full figure women on tv
Full Figured Celebrities
Full Figured Fashion
full figured women
fun things to do on Christmas Eve
gardening and exercise
gardening and stress relief
gerber daisies
germs at nail salons
get fit with your pet
get the most out of your vacation
Gift Ideas
gifts for mom
ginger essential oils
ginger oil
Giovanna Morales Vargas
girls HBO
Girls tv show
glucose levels
gluten intolerance
gluten-free diet
goal oriented
good habits
good people
grapefruit essential oils
grapefruit oil
green living
growing plants
Guide to Black Friday
gynecological cancer
habits to save the earth
hair care
hair care tips
hair color
hair growth
hair loss
hair ties
hairband infections
hairstyles 2015
Halloween costumes
Halloween season
hand wash bras
hand washing bras
hanger management
happy Monday
Harmione Granger
Hayley hasselhoff
health and wellness
health benefits
health benefits of eggs
health benefits of gardening
health benefits of hugging
Health Benefits of Pumpkins
health problems with large breasts
health risks of nail biting
health risks of wearing a hairband
health risks of wearing a hairband around your wrist
health screenings
Health Screenings for Women
healthier diet
healthiest rice
healthy at any size
healthy at every size
healthy bedtime habits
healthy diet
healthy eating
healthy eating habits
healthy fats
healthy foods
healthy foods for energy
healthy habits
healthy hair
healthy hair tips
healthy life
healthy lifestyle
healthy lives
healthy living
healthy morning habits
healthy pregnancy diet
healthy rice
healthy skin
healthy sleep habits
healthy smoothies
healthy snacks
healthy winter diet
heart disease
Heart Health
heart health tips
heart healthy diet
herbal natural remedies for anxiety
history of bras
holiday celebrations
holiday dinner
holiday dinner table
holiday scents
holiday spices
holiday spirit
holiday traditions
home pedicure
Homemade Face Masks
house plants
houseplants for better air quality
how do you wash bras
How Gardening is Good for your Health
how many bras should I have
how many calories does housework burn
how to achieve balance
How to Avoid a Wardrobe Malfunction
how to avoid hair dryness in winter
how to avoid razor burn
how to be a good coworker
how to be inspiring
how to be sexy
how to become a better hugger
how to boost energy
how to care for lips
how to combat hanger
how to correct under eye bags
how to deal with stress
how to do pool exercises
how to dress a big bottom
how to drink more water
how to eat healthy
how to exercise in the pool
how to fall asleep faster
how to find balance
how to find balance in life
how to find out your family history
how to get healthy
how to get healthy hair
how to get the best deals
how to get the best shave
how to get the most out of your breakfast
how to have a better relationship with doctor
how to have a healthy heart
how to heal chapped lips
how to identify your passions
how to improve digestion
how to improve hair health
how to improve the air quality in your home
how to live longer
how to look younger
how to love your Mondays
how to make a face mask
how to measure bra size
how to measure for a bra
how to measure your bra size
how to moisturize hair
how to prevent Osteoporosis
how to protect yourself at nail salons
how to recycle bras
how to reduce allergy symptoms
How to Reduce Under Eye Bags
how to relax on vacation
how to relieve anxiety naturally
how to relieve heartburn
how to relieve PMS
how to relieve stress
how to save money
how to shave your legs
how to slow down and enjoy life
how to stay positive at work
How to Store Winter Clothes
How to Take Care of Your Lips during Winter
How to Take the Best Selfie
How to Truly Unwind on Vacation
how to wear fringe
how to wear fringe without looking like a hippie
How to Write a Letter to your Mom for Mother’s Day
how to write thank you notes
hugging and your heart
hugs and heart
ideas to share the holiday spirit
importance of breakfast
importance of drinking water
importance of health screenings
Improve Your Digestive Health
improve your life
Improve your Relationship with your Doctor
In the Media
indoor garden
indoor plants
inexpensive oils
inspire those around you
inspiring confidence
Invigorate your Breakfast in the New Year
Is a Gluten-Free Diet Right for You?
James Early O’Brien
jazz up jeans and sweaters
jeans and sweaters
jeans for curvy women
jeans for full figure women
jersey shore
Jessica Alba
jumpsuits for full figured women
jumpsuits for summer
keeping brain active
Kerosene Deluxe
kids table
Know your family history
Knowing Your Family History
lace bras
lace full figure bras
lady gaga
large breasts
latest fashion trends
Laura Wells
lavender essential oils
lavender oil
Leading ladies
Leading Ladies We Love
leading lady
Leading Lady 514
Leading Lady bras
leaky gut
leaky gut syndrome
learning for tv moms
learning from mistakes
leisure bra
Leisure Bras
leisure bras plus size
lemon essential oils
lemon oil
Lena Dunham
Lena Dunham in Girls
Lenny newsletter
leopard print bras
leopard print fashion
letter writing
life balance
Life Goals
lime essential oils
lime oil
lips in winter
Lisa Cole
little black dress
Living with Passion
London fashion week
looking younger
losing weight
love life
lower body curves
lus size modeling
make magic with jeans and sweaters
manicures and pedicures
mayonnaise face mask
Mediterranean diet
Meghan Trainor
Melissa McCarthy
Memorial Day
menstrual cramps
mental health
mental wellness
metabolism and women
modeling industry
mom friends
Monday people
Monday person
money saving tips
morning routine
morning sickness
Morticia Adams
most comfortable bra in America
Mother's Day
Mother's Day 2016
mother's love
mothers day gift ideas
mothers day gifts
mothers day ideas
muffin top
muscle pain
nail biters
nail biting
nail biting habit
nail polish trends
nail trends
nail trends 2014
Natalie Portman
National Nutrition Month
national ovarian cancer coalition
national womens history month
natural living
natural remedies
natural remedies for allergies
Natural Remedies for Anxiety
Natural Remedies for Heartburn
Natural Remedies for PMS
negative effects of sitting
never text while driving
new skills
New Years Resolutions
non padded bras
nursing shapewear cami
nut bars
nutrition of pumpkin
office ettique
Online Shopping
organize lingerie drawer
ovarian cancer
padded bras
paleo diets
party hosting ideas
peanut butter
pedicure supplies
pedicure tools
peppermint essential oils
peppermint oil
personal finance
personal finance tips
plus size belts
plus size bra
Plus Size Bras
plus size clothes
plus size clothing
plus size clothing line
Plus Size Fashion
plus size fashion week
plus size jeans
plus size jumpsuits
Plus Size Lingerie
Plus Size Mannequin
plus size model
plus size modeling
plus size modeling agencies
Plus Size Models
Plus Size Printed Leggings
plus size raincoats
plus size sports bra
Plus Size Supermodel
plus size sweaters
plus size wedding dresses
plus size women
plus size women and leather
plus sized models
Plus-Sized Fashion
pollen count
pool exercises
pool workouts
posh spice
positive attitude
positive self image
positive thinking
postpartum nursing shapewear cami
postpartum nursing shapewear cami with tummy control
postpartum shapewear
postpartum shapewear boyshort with firm tummy control
postpartum shapewear brief with tummy control
power breakfast
power nap
power naps
pre-baby shape
pregnancy diet
premature skin aging
premenstrual syndrome
professional image
prolonged sitting
Protect Your Hair from Winter Weather
protecting your skin
protein in eggs
puffiness under eyes
pumpkins and antioxidants
push up bra
Racer Back
racer back bras
racer back sports bra
racerback bra
rain gear
razor burn
reasons for fatigue
reasons to strengthen your body
recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers
recycle bras
recycle your bras
red rice
reduce salt in your diet
reigniting passions
relationship with doctor
remedies for anxiety
remedies for heartburn
remedies for PMS
repelling insects
Retro Style
rice crackers
risk factors for Osteoporosis
Robyn Lawley
romantic Valentine's dinner
rule of five
running music
running playlist
running shoes
sale shopping
salt in your diet
salt intake
salvation army donation
Saturday Night Live
save money
save the earth
Save the planet
saving money
savory holiday spices
scar tissue
Seamless Bra
seasonal affective disorder
seasonal allergies
seasonal depression
self care
setting goals
sexy bedroom
sexy black bra
sexy black full figure bra
Sexy bra
Sexy Bras
sexy bras for Valentine's Day
sexy full figure bras
Sexy Full Figure Bras for Valentine’s Day
Sexy is a State of Mind
Sexy lace bra
Sexy Lingerie
Sexy Plus Size Bras
sexy shoes
sexy Zorro
shapewear boyshort with firm tummy control
shapewear brief with firm tummy control
shapewear cami
signs of skin cancer
Signs you are Eating Too Much Salt
skin blemishes
skin cancer
Skin Cancer Awareness
skin cancer signs
skin cancer stats
skin cancer symptoms
skin care
skin care myths
Skin care tips
skin cleansers
skin problems
Sleep and the brain
sleep and the heart
sleep habits
sleep tips
slow down and enjoy life
slow the appearance of aging
Smaller Waist
smart texting
sore muscles
sore throat
Specialty Bra Sizes
speed up metabolism
Spice Girl
Spices of the Holiday Season
spicy food
spicy food and living longer
spicy foods
spider plants
sport bra
Sport Bras
sports bra
Sports Bras
spring 2014 fashion trends
spring allergies
Spring Clean your Diet
spring cleaning
spring colors
spring dresses
spring fashion
spring fashion 2014
spring fashion 2015
spring summer 2014 fashion trends
spring summer fashion trends
Springtime Full Figure Fashion
springtime gardening
stay positive at work
storage containers for clothes
storing clothes
strange tips to fall asleep faster
strengthen your body
stress and fatigue
Stress Management
stress relief
stronger immune systems
Sucker Punch
sugar free
sugary snacks
summer budget
summer fashion
summer fashion 2014
summer wardrobe
sun safety
sun safety habits
sunglass trends
sustainable living
sustainable practices
sweet holiday spices
symptoms of anxiety
t shirt bras
t-shirt bra
taking care of yourself at work
taking vacation alone
texting rules
thank you notes
Thanksgiving leftovers
the benefits of farm fresh foods
the bra recyclers
The Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate
The Importance of Hugging
The Importance of Sleep
The Rules of Cardigans
the science behind hangry
the tutu trend
thigh brow
thigh gap
things that make you sexy
Things to do on Christmas Eve
Things Your Coworkers Hate
think more positive
thinking positive
tips for avoiding pollen
Tips for Bargain Shopping
Tips for Black Friday
Tips for Healthy Hair
tips for winter hair
tips for women with large breasts
Tips for Writing Great Thank You Notes
tips for writing thank you notes
Tips to Allergy-Proof your Home
Tips to Fall Asleep Faster
title 9
title ix
title nine
too much salt
travel clothes
travel wardrobe
trendy jumpsuits
Trendy Plus Size Clothes
trendy plus size fashion
trendy raincoats
trendy white shoes
trouble staying focused
tummy control
TV Moms
TV Moms we love
ultraviolet light
Unconventional Ways to Give Thanks this Thanksgiving
under eye baggage
under eye bags
Unexpected Causes of Fatigue
Unintentionally Slowing Your Metabolism
unprofessional email
unprofessional email etiquette
unwanted toxins
unwind on vacation
uv light
v for vendetta
vaginal bacterial infection
Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day Surprises
Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day Full Figure Fashion
Valentine’s Day ideas
varicose veins
Volunteering on Thanksgiving
wardrobe essentials
wardrobe tips
warrior princess
wash bras
ways to be sexy
ways to celebrate Thanksgiving
ways to combat fatigue
Ways to Create a Sexier Bedroom
ways to get fit with your pet
ways to give back on Thanksgiving
ways to give thanks
ways to give thanks on Thanksgiving
ways to improve concentration
ways to inpire
ways to reduce symptoms of allergies
ways to save money
ways to save money this summer
Ways to save the earth
ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers
Wear your Comfy Clothes to Work
wearing a hairband around your wrist
wedding dress
wedding dresses
weight gain
weight loss
what causes allergies?
what do do on Christmas Eve
what is a Mediterranean diet
what is a power nap
what is Osteoporosis
What is Zapping your Concentration?
what to do for faster metabolism
what to do with Thanksgiving leftovers
what to eat besides potato chips
what to eat for faster metabolism
what to pack
what to pack for women
What to Wear on Black Friday
what to wear on Valentine's Day
where to buy full figure bras
where to store clothes
which bras to wear in summer
white blood cells
white shoes
white shoes for spring
white shoes for summer
white wardrobe
white wine
whitney Thompson
whole foods
Why All Women Should Take a Trip Alone
why am I so tired?
why hugging is good for you
Why Hugs are Good for your Heart
why sitting is bad for health
why sleep is important
why we get hangry
why women need hugs
why women need mom friends
why women need strength
why women should travel alone
why working out in the morning is better
why you can't concentrate
why you should eat breakfast
Why You Should Take Power Naps
wicked witch of the west
wild rice
winter accessories
winter fashion
winter fashion trends
winter fruits
winter hairstyles 2015
winter holidays
Winter Superfoods
winter trends 2015/2016
winter vegetables
women and seasonal affective disorder
women health
women traveling alone
women who struggle with morning sickness
women's accessories
Women's History Month
women's shaving
womens health
womens health week
working out in the morning
working out in the pool
working out your brain
workout music
workout playlist
workout playlists
workout routines
workout songs
write a letter to your mom
yeast infection
yogurt covered fruits
younger looking hairstyles
youthful skin
Zac Posen