New year new career move thinking about what’s the next step, what about being a social media influencers! Sure it looks easy and yes you can make tons of money so why not find out more about it? Well let’s see what it takes to actually make money across some of the top platforms according to http://www.cnbc.com:
Social media influencers can make big money on platforms such as TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. But it all depends on followers and views.
While big stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Kylie Jenner and soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo, (who each have well over 200 million followers on Instagram), can pull in more than $1 million per post, according to Instagram analytics tool company Hopper HQ, everyday influencers don’t need as many followers as you may think to make some cash.
According to a new “social salary” calculator from music licensing platform Lickd.co, here’s how many followers you need on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok to generate $100,000 in earnings.
According to the calculator, You need a minimum of 1,000 YouTube subscribers and about 24 million yearly views to generate $100,000.
In order to make money on YouTube, you need to be enrolled in YouTube’s Partner Programme (YPP), which allows you to make money through ads on your videos. To join YPP, an influencer needs at least 1,000 subscribers, accumulated more than 4,000 “valid public watch” hours in the last 12 months and have a linked AdSense account, according to YouTube.
Influencer Marketing Hub’s YouTube calculator estimates that the average YouTuber generates $7.60 per 1,000 views with 45% of that revenue going to Google.
You need a minimum of 5,000 Instagram followers and 308 sponsored posts a year to generate $100,000.
That may be easier than you think: A recent HBO documentary showed how everyday people can manipulate Instagram and other platforms to become famous online influencers.
An influencer with over a million followers can reportedly make more than $250,000 per post from brands.
You need a minimum of 10,000 TikTok subscribers and over 270 million views a year to generate $100,000.
TikTok, like YouTube, has a partnership program called the TikTok Creator Fund. To be eligible, creators need to be based in either the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Spain or Italy, be at least 18 years old, and have at least 100,000 followers and a least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days. The account also has to be aligned with TikTok’s community guidelines and terms of service.
To find out how much money your followers can get you on various social media platforms, you can use Lickd.co’s calculator.
Has 2021 and wearing a mask just left your skin feeling not so fresh maybe a little patchy looking? No time to go get a facial and don’t want to break the bank buying tons of product. No worries there are lots of brands in your local drugstore, beauty store, amazon, or target that you can pick up for a good deal. Check out this brand review from http://www.glamour.com and most of these products are available at target!
Few brands have revolutionized the way we shop for skin care the way The Ordinary has. Before the Canadian brand blessed us with the best The Ordinary products, accessibility to cheap, high-quality options had mostly been restricted to makeup. Even with so much innovation among drugstore skin-care brands, few affordable finds really rival what luxury serums and moisturizers have to offer.
That’s why buzz for the best The Ordinary products (like this TikTok-beloved peeling solution) refuses to die down. The brand takes a clinical, science-based approach to skin care and specializes in single-ingredient-driven products that deliver targeted results. The best part? Nothing costs more than $20. In fact, the majority of it clocks in for less than $10. This is largely in part thanks to The Ordinary’s dedication to transparency, resulting in prices that aren’t significantly marked up.
But despite its low price point, the brand can be intimidating. Because the names of the products refer to skin-care ingredients–not results—they all sound like something out of an advanced medical textbook. Meaning you’re left trying to decipher what the hell ascorbyl tetraisopalmitate (a vitamin C derivative) or epigallocatechin gallatyl glucoside (an anti-inflammatory compound in green tea) does. That’s where we come in.
Our editors went through hundreds of dollars of The Ordinary skin-care products to help explain the cryptic descriptions of each and narrow down what’s actually worth adding to your top shelf. Read on for our honest reviews of the best The Ordinary products.
All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
1/22The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5I read the internet, so I know properly moisturized skin depends on more than just a nice lotion. For true, deep moisture, you’re supposed to use a serum or acid that can penetrate deeper than your standard emollient. Enter hyaluronic acid, which I’ve wanted to use for months but have never purchased because the one time I went into a store (which shall remain nameless) to shop for one, a woman there recommended a brand that retailed for $185. No! So I jumped at the chance to test this serum with vitamin B5 (an anti-inflammatory that can help decrease puffiness), which costs less than $10. I’ve used it for about three weeks and don’t know if I’ve detected a major difference in the texture of my skin, but I have benefited from the serious glow it imparts. It leaves my face dewy but not oily. I like the finish so much I’ve skipped makeup for most of the month. And if that doesn’t sell you, maybe this will: Out of all the options out there, Glamour readers voted this the best hyaluronic acid serum in our 2020 Beauty Awards. —Mattie Kahn, culture director$7The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand 2/22The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling SolutionYes, part of this product’s appeal is that it looks like you’re doing an at-home blood facial (you can see what it looks like on in our full review of it), but the results are just as Instagrammable. The mix of alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) deeply exfoliates to clear up congestion, dead skin cells, and hyperpigmentation. My skin looked brighter and smoother after one use—with no irritation to my sensitive, acne-prone skin. And for about 100th of the cost of a vampire facial? A no-brainer. —Bella Cacciatore, beauty associate$8The OrdinaryBuy NowADVERTISEMENThttps://f9976b0a111887ffc5fd510c86725b6d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
courtesy of brand3/22The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HAThe Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA is perfect for dealing with dryness—and I like to apply a pea-size dollop after washing my face with a cleanser. The moisturizer comes out with a sunscreen-like consistency, but it blends in with my skin in seconds. After a week of using it, my cheeks are plump and flake-free, probably because it has hyaluronic acid, which helps skin cells retain moisture. With such noticeable results for a low-maintenance moisturizer, I’m counting on this for the rest of the year. —Halie LeSavage, contributor $6The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand4/22The Ordinary “Buffet”I just turned 25, and I’m ready to start thinking about upping my anti-aging routine. However, I’m on serious topicals for my acne, so anything too aggressive was out of the question. This serum, which uses a combo of peptides and hyaluronic acid to plump and firm, feels like a good place to start. I noticed my skin looks much more bright and bouncy when I use it, and it’s helped curb some of the irritation from my topicals. It also feels much more luxurious than the price would lead me to believe, and I look forward to using it every day. —B.C.$15The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand5/22The Ordinary Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2%I’m typically a generous person (playing Beauty Santa is among my favorite things about my job), but there are two things I won’t share with anyone over my dead body: Sunday Riley Good Genes and Dr. Dennis Gross Hyaluronic Marine Oil-Free Moisture Cushion. The first is a $122 lactic acid serum, which is considered the gold standard of lactic acid (it delivers the gentlest type of exfoliation and is great for sensitive skin types like myself). The latter is a $60 hyaluronic acid (or H.A.) moisturizer that gives you dewy baby skin. In other words: My expectations are high. But for $7, I’ll be damned if this isn’t a wonderful alternative for someone who can’t afford to drop nearly $200 on half their skin-care routine. The mornings after I use it (usually three times a week), my skin is brighter, glowier, and a smidge bouncier. While it’s still no Good Genes, it’s a great runner-up. —Lindsay Schallon, senior beauty editor$7The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand6/22The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone PrimerThe first thing I noticed about The Ordinary’s High-Adherence Silicone Primer was its texture, which feels just like a creamy moisturizing lotion. Once applied, it made my skin feel so soft that I almost didn’t want to put on makeup for fear of losing the silkiness. I, of course, eventually did, and it was a good thing: My makeup went on smooth and stayed matte throughout the day. My one complaint is that I wish the labeling explained the effects it would have, since I probably would have totally passed by this in a store for that reason. But at least now you know. —Marla Goller, supervising video producer$5The OrdinaryBuy Now
7/22The Ordinary Pycnogenol 5%I came across this oddly named serum after stumbling on a viral Tiktok review of how it totally transformed a girl’s acne and I was sold. Why wouldn’t I try it when it’s only $10 and my maskne has been out of control? Let me just say the reviews don’t lie. I’d never heard of pycnogenol before, but apparently, it’s an extract derived from pine trees that has the ability to boost collagen and elastin production in your skin. Plus, it’s great for hydration. My skin looks and feels healthier after using it. —L.S.$10The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand8/22The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed OilThis oil is one of my most beloved must-haves. After searching for an inexpensive rosehip oil (I personally don’t believe in paying over $20 for a single oil), I finally decided to try this one, and I’m so glad I did. It’s great for moisturizing and nourishing my skin, yet it still feels lightweight. Using it in tandem with a retinol has significantly faded my postacne hyperpigmentation, and it definitely makes a difference in the glow factor. I will say it has a slightly earthy smell, but for skin this good, I’m willing to overlook it. —B.C. $10The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand9/22The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning SolutionMentally, the idea of putting something called a “direct acid” on my face feels disturbing. But in reality, chemical exfoliants are much gentler and better than physical exfoliants, like face scrubs or loofas. This glycolic acid toner visibly resurfaces my skin, and it’s pretty gentle—though you shouldn’t use it more than every other night. Plus it’s affordable and lasts forever. —Jenny Singer, staff writer $9The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand10/22The Ordinary Coverage FoundationI’m like Goldilocks when it comes to foundation. I need a high-coverage formula to cover pimples and scarring, but I hate the look and feel of thick makeup. This foundation has a lightweight serum texture, but it’s packed with pigment so I get the coverage I need. The finish is natural, it doesn’t really add shine or mattify, and feels like nothing on my skin. Plus, the price is so good I can keep my summer and winter shades on hand at all times. —B.C.$7The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand11/22The Ordinary ConcealerI’m also notoriously picky when it comes to concealer, since I want something thick enough to cover pimples but luminous enough to hide my insomnia-induced dark circles. Right off the bat, I was intrigued by the texture. It somehow manages to be creamy and thick yet very lightweight and spreadable. Plus, it was easy to blend in. Just like the description says, this stuff is pigmented. Only a few dots blended with a finger or sponge quickly covered my lack of sleep, and the concealer seamlessly blended into my foundation on my pimples. I did have to build up a few layers on my deep red acne scars, but everywhere else, I found a drop or two was enough. —B.C.$6The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand12/22The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%I’ve always been curious about azelaic acid, since I’ve heard it can treat both acne and dark spots while being safe enough to use even during pregnancy. (Although I’m not expecting, for the record.) The texture felt super luxe and absorbed nicely, and while I didn’t notice an improvement on a stubborn breakout, my postacne dark spots looked less opaque than they had. —Deanna Pai, contributor$8The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand13/22The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCGI’ve honestly never believed a product could help with sleepy undereyes until I tried this one. While it doesn’t help with dark circles (sadly, not much will), the lightweight serum instantly depuffs and smooths out any baggage I’m dealing with. It brightens my eyes in seconds and makes it look like I got a full eight hours of sleep. —B.C.$6.70The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand14/22The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid* 2% EmulsionI’m incredibly cautious with retinol because of my rosacea, but now that I’m in my thirties, I really need its skin-rejuvenating abilities. I’m happy to report that this is an incredibly gentle option. The serum is an almost milky consistency, and after a month of using it, I started to see a few fine lines on my forehead fade. It’s also been a wonder for smoothing out the texture of my skin. —L.S.$10The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand15/22The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%The only issue I have with this Ordinary vitamin C cream is that it doesn’t come in a larger size. I’ve been on the hunt for a strong but nonirritating option for a while, and this formula is just that. Perfect for my prebedtime ritual, it’s only $5.80; plus it can be mixed with my other favorite serums to reduce its somewhat gritty texture. If you’re looking to fight wrinkles and even out your skin tone, this one is a great bet. —Sarah Morse, contributor $6The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand16/22The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%I never had acne as a teenager, but lately, I’ve been getting these hormonal breakouts around my chin and forehead. I decided to give this serum a try after reading hundreds of rave reviews. The lightweight combo of niacinamide and zinc has been super-effective at controlling excess sebum (read: oil) production, and after a few weeks of daily use, the blemishes that appeared out of nowhere seem to have disappeared. —Talia Abbas, associate commerce editor $6The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand 17/22The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived SqualaneSqualane is fantastic for hydrating—it’s nonsticky, fast-absorbing, and has humectant (meaning, moisture-drawing) properties that work in tandem to make your skin look crazy plump. The downside is that it’s traditionally derived from animals. But that’s not the case with this serum. Instead, it’s powered by plants, so I feel even better about using it when I see dewy, bouncy skin in the mirror. —L.S.$8The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand 18/22The Ordinary Retinol 0.5% in SqualanePlease save yourself hundreds of dollars on luxury antiaging treatments and buy a retinol from The Ordinary, which costs less than an hour of minimum-wage labor and is backed by rigorous research instead of random claims of “pearl essence” or whatever. I particularly like this one because it’s lower-strength and delivered with squalane, so it’s a bit less irritating than other ones out there. Start by using it one to three times per week, use it only at night, and know that if you don’t wear SPF after using it, it will damage your skin. Play by those rules and be wowed. —J.S.$6The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand19/22The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin FThe name of this sounds insane (and impossible to pronounce), and I’ll admit that, going in, I had no idea what it did. After a little research and a test-drive, though, I’m sold. It’s basically a form of vitamin C (which helps brighten and even out your skin tone), while vitamin F is a fatty acid rich in omega-6 that helps maintain your skin barrier (when it’s disrupted, all kinds of things like acne and redness occur). I noticed a major difference in the condition of my skin after just one use—it was noticeably smoother, firmer, and overall much brighter and more radiant. Like I said, sold.—Stephanie Griffin, contributor $18The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand 20/22The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HAMandelic acid is really slept on—and hard to find—so it’s exciting to see this hyperpigmentation-fighting superstar available at a lower price point. It’s super gentle yet has helped reduce some of my acne as well as the scars it leaves behind. I can’t wait to keep using it. —B.C.$7The OrdinaryBuy Now
Courtesy of brand21/22The Ordinary Resveratrol 3% + Ferulic Acid 3%Want to reduce the appearance of acne scars and dark spots? Have this product on deck. My dry skin isn’t the biggest fan of strong actives, so this serum-oil hybrid felt a good place to start. The formula delivers 3% resveratrol and ferulic acid—two antioxidants known for brightening and evening out skin tone. I personally appreciate that the formulation isn’t super-aggressive, but if you want even more of an antioxidant boost, you can always mix two or three drops in with your vitamin C. —T.A.$8The OrdinaryBuy Now
22/22The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% MasqueThis exfoliating charcoal-colored mask is the only thing that’s helped with my quarantine breakouts. I rate it highly for both skintertainment and effectiveness: It gives me a bright, exfoliated glow without irritating my skin, and when it’s on my face it makes me look like Dick Van Dyke doing the chimney sweep dance in Mary Poppins. There is simply nothing more I want from a product. —J.S.$12The OrdinaryBuy Now
Making the list of all the goals you are trying to achieve for 2022, paying down debt should always be top of the list. Sadly we don’t all have money growing on trees to pay all debt or we wouldn’t be in debt! One bill you can take care of which is probably the most painful each month mortgage. Did you know by making a small extra payment a month to your mortgage can really make a huge difference. Check out this link from http://www.pennyhoarder.com to see how you can pay off your home much faster:
Thirty years is a long time. If you’re chipping away at a mortgage each month, it can feel even longer.
But what if you could eliminate that financial ball and chain by paying off your mortgage early?
The truth is, if you can scrape together the equivalent of one extra payment to put toward your mortgage each year, you’ll take, on average, four to six years off your loan.
You’ll also save tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments.
We’ll break down exactly how it works, how much you can save and strategies you can use to squeeze an extra mortgage payment out of your budget.
How It Works
Most people can’t afford to buy a house outright in cash. Instead, you pay a percentage of the total cost, known as a down payment, and take out a loan for the rest. That’s your mortgage, and it’s typically paid back over 20 or 30 years.
Principal and interest are the main components of your mortgage payment. The principal is the original amount you borrowed and interest is what mortgage lenders charge for lending you the money.
Your regular monthly payment may also include private mortgage insurance (PMI), a fee that goes away once you’ve paid off 20 percent of the principal.
In the beginning, most of your monthly mortgage payment goes to interest because your loan balance is so high. Only a little goes toward paying off the loan principal.
Paying down the principal means you owe less interest each month because your loan balance shrinks.
Making extra mortgage payments — and applying them to the principal — reduces your principal balance little-by-little, so you end up owing less interest over the life of the loan.
And when you owe less interest, you can trim years off your mortgage term.
Additional principal payments also build home equity and help eliminate PMI faster.
The cost of PMI for a conventional home loan averages 0.58% to 1.86% of the original loan amount per year.
If you put a 5% down payment on a $275,000 30-year loan term, you could be paying $126 to $405 a month for PMI alone. The sooner you can get 20% of your principal paid off, the sooner you can eliminate this additional monthly cost.
Here’s How Making One Extra Mortgage Payment Can Save You Thousands of Dollars
Curious what kind of impact an extra mortgage payment can make?
Let’s say you have a 30-year mortgage on a $275,000 home with a 4.5% interest rate. Your regular monthly payment is $1,393.
Pay-off date: November 2051
Total interest paid: $226,618
See how the total interest nearly adds up to the purchase price of the house? Ouch.
If you make an extra monthly payment of $1,400 each December, you’ll pay off your 30-year mortgage 4.5 years ahead of schedule and net nearly $40,000 in interest savings in the process.
Pay off date: May 2047
Total interest paid: $186,999
You read that right: $40,000 you won’t be paying in interest.
But we realize that coughing up $1,400 around the holidays can be tough.
So instead let’s imagine you increased your mortgage payment by one-twelfth ($117) each month. Instead of paying $1,393 you’d pay $1,510.
The results are nearly identical, although making an extra mortgage payment at the end of the year saves you a tiny bit more money on interest.
Pay off date: June 2047
Total interest paid: $188,301
3 Ways to Make an Extra Mortgage Payment
There are a few different ways you can make extra mortgage payments in a year.
No matter which method you choose, it’s important to tell your loan provider that you want the extra payment applied to your principal balance. Otherwise, extra payments might go toward the interest — which doesn’t help you pay off your mortgage faster.
One Lump-Sum Payment
Save up money throughout the year and put it in a special savings account. At the end of the year, empty the account to make your 13th monthly payment.
You can put extra money from tax refunds, bonuses at work or other unexpected income into the account to build it up faster.
Divide your monthly mortgage payment by 12 and add that amount to each month’s payment.
That extra amount should automatically get applied to your principal loan balance, but verify with your mortgage company just in case.
Paying a little above the minimum payment each month is easier for some people than making a lump-sum payment.
Some mortgage servicers let you sign up for biweekly mortgage payments. This lets you pay half your mortgage bill every two weeks instead of once a month.
Doing so results in 26 half-payments — or 13 full monthly payments — each calendar year.
Be aware that some lenders may charge extra fees if you opt for biweekly payments, while others may not offer this service at all.
Before You Start Making Extra Payments
Before you start making extra mortgage payments, talk to your loan company.
Some lenders charge prepayment penalties if you pay your mortgage off ahead of schedule.
If your mortgage includes this clause, you can still repay your loan early, but you’ll need to save up extra money to offset the prepayment penalty amount.
As we discussed earlier, it’s crucial to make sure any extra payments apply to your mortgage principal. Most companies give you this option online but you may want to call them to confirm that your extra cash is going to the right place.
Finally, make sure your finances are in good shape. You’ll need to examine your entire financial picture and determine if your dollars are better spent elsewhere.
Is being completely debt-free your top financial priority, or could your money be working for you in other ways?
If the interest rate on your mortgage is low, it might be wiser to put extra money in your company’s 401(k) plan, save for a child’s college tuition or pay off other debts with higher interest rates, like credit cards and student loans.
You also need to maintain a healthy emergency fund, with enough money left over to cover your monthly expenses.
As long as you’re not neglecting other financial goals and your budget can afford it, making an extra payment each year is a smart way to pay off your mortgage sooner.
You won’t see the fruits of your labor right away, but your hard work will be worth it when you own your home free and clear years ahead of schedule.
Rachel Christian is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance and a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.
2022 are you looking to work on diet, budget, or maybe just want to have a healthy lunch time. Check out the great recipes from http://www.loveandlemons.com these are all healthy meal prep for all mealtimes breakfast, lunch, & dinner. Review choices, make a shopping list, and plan out your day or week for chow time:
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Breakfast
On a busy morning, there’s nothing better than having a healthy breakfast prepped and ready to go. P.S. Many of these breakfast meal prep recipes can also double as snacks!
Overnight Oats Don’t have time to make hot oatmeal in the morning? Mix up these overnight oats the night before! Stored in a Mason jar, they’re a perfect grab-and-go breakfast.
Healthy Banana Bread Store it at room temperature for up to 4 days. After that, freeze slices to have on hand for busy mornings. ~30 seconds in the microwave are all it takes to thaw a piece of this moist, warmly-spiced bread.
These healthy meal prep recipes are my favorite ones to pack for lunch. They’re filled with fresh veggies and herbs, so they’re light and flavorful, but ingredients like whole grains, beans, chickpeas, and/or avocado make them substantial enough to fill me up.
Orzo Salad I had this one on repeat throughout the summer! Serve it as a side dish with dinner one night and save the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Sesame Soba Noodles This recipe is one of my all-time favorite meal prep ideas. The nutty dressing tastes fantastic on a wide variety of veggies. Toss in whatever you have on hand!
Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing Unlike tender lettuces, kale holds up nicely once it’s dressed, making this salad perfect for meal prep. Dried cranberries, toasted seeds, and the bright carrot-ginger dressing pack it with fun textures and flavors.
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad I especially love making this salad in late summer and early fall, when tomatoes, peppers, and fresh herbs are at their best.
Vegan Burrito Bowls Meal prep all the components on the weekend, and you’ll look forward to lunches all week! For a fun veggie twist, substitute cauliflower rice for regular rice.
Best Buddha Bowl A sunny turmeric-tahini sauce takes this veggie and brown rice bowl over the top.
Healthy Lunch Wraps These zingy wraps are one of my go-to meal prep recipes right now. Fully assembled, they’ll keep for a day or two in the fridge, but if you prefer to prep for the entire week at once, you can store the components separately and put the wraps together throughout the week.
Fresh Spring Rolls Good news! You can assemble these peanut spring rolls entirely in advance, so they’re great for busy workdays. Served with extra peanut sauce for dipping, they’re such a fresh, yummy lunch.
Soups and Stews
If you ask me, soups and stews are some of the best easy meal prep ideas. Here’s why:
They’re great for both lunch and dinner.
They often taste better on the second or third day, after the flavors have had a chance to mingle.
And they freeze super well.
Get ahead on your weekly meal prep by making a double batch of soup this weekend. Eat half this week, and freeze the rest for a busy week down the road. (These are my favorite containers for freezing soups and stews. They’re also perfect for prepping salads and bowls! Win-win.)
Easy Vegetarian Chili This smoky chili is a perfect one-pot meal! Thanks to the beans, it’s packed with protein, and it’s also filled with veggies like corn, onion, and peppers. If you like, top it with avocado and pickled red onions.
Easy Coconut Curry If you’re looking for easy meal prep recipes, add this curry to your rotation ASAP. It’s super simple to make, and it tastes just as good on day 3 as it does on the day it’s made.
Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup Adapt this recipe to use whatever veggies you happen to have on hand. Squash? Spinach? Bell peppers? They’d all be great here.
Cannellini Beans and Greens Make this recipe on a lazy Sunday when you’re hanging out at home. It takes some time, but it’s almost entirely hands-off.
Best Lentil Soup This soup’s lightly creamy broth and rich curry flavor have made it a Love & Lemons reader favorite. It keeps well for up to 4 days in the fridge and freezes like a dream.
Black Bean Soup Take your weekly meal prep to the next level by baking homemade cornbread to pair with this soup. They’re a match made in heaven, and both freeze perfectly.
More Freezer-Friendly Meal Prep Recipes
Soups and stews aren’t the only healthy meal prep ideas that freeze well! Make casseroles, patties, and more in bulk and freeze them to reheat on busy weeknights.
Easy Baked Ziti What’s better than saucy, cheesy comfort food on a chilly fall night?! To freeze this recipe, assemble the casserole up until the point of baking. Cover and freeze it in the baking dish. To reheat, bake, covered in foil, at 350°F for one hour, or until warmed through. Uncover it for the last 20 minutes of baking to brown the cheese on top.
Crispy Baked Falafel Jam-packed with herbs and spices, these homemade falafel balls are SO darn flavorful! Freeze them after baking. Then, reheat in a 400°F-oven for about 10 minutes, or until crisp and heated through.
Easy Black Bean Burger Freeze the cooked patties for up to 2 months. Reheat by baking them in a 400°F-oven until heated through, about 10-20 minutes. Then, pile them onto buns with your favorite fixings! I recommend pickles, onion, lettuce, tomato, and a big slather of chipotle sauce.
Best Vegetarian Lasagna Stuffed with roasted veggies, this recipe is a healthier version of the classic comfort food. To freeze and reheat it, follow the same method as the one listed for the baked ziti above.
Homemade Taquitos A super-fun appetizer or light dinner! After baking, freeze them for up to a month. To reheat, pop them in a 400°F oven for about 25 minutes, or until crisp and warmed through. Enjoy them plain, or serve them with plenty of salsa and guac.
Basic Healthy Meal Prep Ideas
Up to this point, I’ve shared healthy meal prep recipes for complete dishes. But one of my favorite ways to meal prep is actually by preparing components – not full recipes – that I can use in a variety of ways throughout the week. A pot of rice, baked tofu, a flavorful sauce…
I recommend this method if you don’t want to eat the exact same thing every day of the week. Here are some of my favorite components to prepare, along with my go-to ways to use them:
Whole Grains Perfect for bulking up grain bowls and salads, serving with curries and stir-fries, or tossing into fried rice. These grains are the ones I meal prep most often:
Roasted Veggies Serve them as a side dish, add them to a salad or bowl, fold them into tacos or burritos, stir them into pasta, bake them into frittatas…the options are endless! These veggies all keep well if you roast them ahead of time:
Flavorful Sauces Use them on salads, grain bowls, tacos, burritos, sandwiches, and more! If you meal prep a flavorful sauce, it will punch up so many of your meals throughout the week. Here are some of my favorites:
If you love to garden you know how important it is to keep track of calendar dates for seeding, fertilizing, and harvesting. Everything depends on zones and time of year to make sure your garden is always looking it’s best. Here are some helpful tips before you head down to your local nursery or homedepot, make sure you go in with a list, so you don’t have to keep going back:
Keep your garden looking great with our monthly gardening calendar
Month by month you will see your outdoor space change throughout the year and there will be times when you want to be spending more time outdoors relaxing and less time hard at work. So do tasks like weeding little and often to free up more time for other things.
January’s the ideal time to plan for a color and scent-filled new gardening year. With Christmas decorations packed away, make the most of the downtime to review your garden. Check last season’s photos, noting any gaps in the borders. Could there be more structure/color/interest? Are there new projects you’re itching to try? Researching and planning are essential parts of your January gardening jobs.
Get outside when weather allows. Wrap up warm, and avoid walking on frosted grass. Pick sprigs of the best winter flowering shrubs like viburnum and sarcococca to perfume your home.
5 top jobs for January
It’s the perfect time to build paths and patios, while plants are still dormant, so organize any new landscaping ideas now, before contractors get busy.
Prune the best climbing roses if they weren’t done in fall. Remove a few of the oldest stems from the base and cut back any side shoots to 15cm, and tie in long shoots.
Deadhead winter-flowering pansies weekly, to keep them blooming.
Boring, maybe, but necessary – clean pots and sharpen and oil tools for the new season.
Check winter planters in case they need watering – freezing weather can prevent them taking up water.
It’s still winter, but there are definite stirrings of spring: small bulbs and early flowers are popping up in pots, garden borders and at garden centers. On fine days, get ahead with your preparations before things get crazy busy next month. You can start some proper gardening now, weeding and clearing your borders.
Provided the soil is workable, not waterlogged or frozen, you can dig new beds and borders and prepare sites for new lawns. While you’re outside, enjoy plants for spring scent like daphne, and the sight of bumblebees coming out of hibernation to feed on early flowers like lungworts.
5 top jobs for February
Prepare new lawn areas by weeding, digging them over, treading level and raking. Then let the soil settle before turfing later.
Start feeding up your soil now, ready for the growing season. Organic feeds like fish, blood and bone and chicken manure pellets take around six weeks to release their nutrients. Fork them carefully into the soil around existing plants and water in.
If the grass begins to grow, you can mow the lawn in mild weather. Put the mower blade on the highest setting so you don’t scalp the grass.
When winter heather has finished flowering, trim them lightly back with shears.
Prune the clematis that bloom in early or late summer now. (Don’t prune spring-flowering types like montanas or you’ll lose the flowers.) Cut back to knee-height, just above a pair of buds. Water and feed with bonemeal after pruning. There’s more tips on how to prune clematis in our guide.
This month, our gardens begin to react to the lengthening days, with flowering daffodils and fat buds of blossom on the best flowering trees preparing to erupt.
It’s time to enjoy the great outdoors again and head into the garden for your spring garden jobs. Tidy up the borders and buy new plants from the garden center, all of which is guaranteed to put a spring in your step.
Any new purchases establish well if planted this month and there’s the opportunity of buying and planting bare root trees, hedging and fruiting plants at bargain prices – the growing season starts with gusto, so it’s time to get planting!
5 top jobs for March
Trim deciduous grasses before the new leaves emerge. Miscanthus sinensis can be cut back from mid-March to April.
Mulching around shrubs using a thick layer of composted bark will keep weeds at bay and retain moisture.
If the weather is fine, mow the grass. For the first cut raise the blade to its highest level
Take stock of borders, plant new perennials and cut out dead stems of dormant plants.
Start dahlia tubers into growth. Bury in pots of compost, leaving the old stem exposed place in a light, frost-free spot. There’s more tips on how to grow dahlias in our guide.
Clean bird baths and bird tables once a week to reduce the risk of disease.
As the spring weather begins to warm up, April is the time of the year when the garden begins to come to life. The days start to get longer and it’s time to get prepping for summer with lots of seed sowing for an abundance of flowers, fruit and vegetables later in the year.
It’s also the time of year when autumn planted bulbs display their glory. If you followed our advice on when to plant tulip bulbs, they will now be the stars of the show.
Get organized now with your planting and you will be rewarded for your hard work throughout the summer!
Top jobs for April
Spend some time repairing bald patches of lawn by following our tips on how to plant grass seed. Keep the soil moist while the seed germinates.
Sweep up any patio areas removing any dead leaves or foliage and use the best pressure washer to clean the paving of mildew.
Grow tomato seeds in a seed tray and keep in a propagator or heated greenhouse
Tie in rambling and climbing roses as they grow to prevent unruly shoots sticking out.
Prepare the soil in your vegetable beds that haven’t been used yet by covering them with black plastic to keep it drier and warmer in preparation for planting.
This is the time of year when the garden gets busy! As the risk of frost subsides, bedding plants are ready to bring instant color to the garden, while everything seems to rapidly grow as the weather warms up.
Following the best methods for how to get rid of weeds now will mean you can reap the benefits during summer.
It’s an important time to stay on top of spring lawn care too, cutting grass regularly and watering during dry spells. Investing in the best lawn mower will help you make light work of this task in your monthly gardening calendar.
Tender vegetable varieties should now be ready to harden off in the warmer days so they can be planted out after the last frosts.
Top jobs for May
If you’re learning how to grow potatoes, earth them up regularly as the foliage grows, keeping any tubers well covered.
Feed and cut your lawn regularly and make sure it is well watered during dry spells.
Keep on top of weeding, checking the beds regularly for any new growth.
Check hedges and long grass for wildlife before clipping or strimming. Don’t use hedge trimmers during the bird nesting season.
June is a glorious month in the garden, with more lush growth than at any other time of the year and any new flowerbed ideas will begin to take centre stage.
Shrubs with vibrant new growth fill the gap between spring bulbs and summer perennials and there’s plenty to enjoy at lower level, including alliums, foxgloves and newly planted tender plants, while scent is provided by philadelphus, wisteria, roses and the first of the sweet peas.
The next three months are the busiest in the productive garden, for sowing and planting, and there’s nothing more summery than harvesting your veg and cut flowers!
Top jobs for June
Water cacti and any succulent garden ideas when the compost is dry. Place citrus trees, cymbidiums and other houseplants outdoors for a summer holiday
Now the weather is warmer, slugs and snails are about. Follow our tips for how to get rid of slugs and go on a torch-lit hunt so you can protect vulnerable young plants.
Drape netting over blueberries, currants and cherries to keep the birds off. And if you’re learning how to grow strawberries, make sure you protect them from birds before the fruits color.
Deadhead perennials such as catmint, geum, astrantia and scabious before seed sets to encourage a second flush. Trim back faded hardy geraniums hard.
Sow biennials for next year such as wallflowers, honesty, foxgloves, Sweet Williams, forget-me-nots and Canterbury bells.
Give tomato plants in the greenhouse a shake to help pollination and ensure a good crop. Pinch out the side-shoots of single-stemmed cordon tomatoes.
Summer is in full swing in July as gardens burst with blooms and many fruits and vegetables are ripe for picking. Some bedding and border plants may start to flag a little by the end of the month, after weeks of strong sun and not much rain, but with a little care you can perk them up and prolong their performance.
Lawns can be left to grow a little longer during hot spells, which will help them through periods of drought and give you more time to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
Top jobs for July
Mow the lawn just once a fortnight to keep it healthy during dry periods – the taller leaves develop longer roots which can withstand drought better.
Consider garden water saving tips like not irrigating yellowing lawns, which will soon green up again when rain returns.
Plant autumn bulbs such as colchicums and nerines.
Most trees should be pruned in winter, but cherries, plums and damsons are best trimmed in summer to prevent silver leaf disease.
Learning how to grow wisteria? Cut back the whippy stems to within five or six buds of the main stems – they will need another more drastic cut in winter too.
This month is one of the busiest in the monthly gardening calendar so follow our simple steps to keep your plot looking good this month.
Keep your flowers blooming by deadheading flowers, and trim off any faded foliage. Pick flowers regularly to encourage more blooms. Keep watering the garden too as August is often the driest month.
Pay close attention to containers and hanging basket ideas, which dry out quickest, and you’ll also need to keep up the regular liquid feeds once a fortnight.
If you grow your own fruit and vegetables they’ll need watering daily. Your lawn will need some TLC too, especially during hot spells. Most important of all, spend as much time in your garden as possible when doing your August gardening jobs to enjoy the benefits of all your hard work…
Top jobs for August
Keep all your plants, containers and home grown fruit and vegetables watered well, especially if it’s hot. The best time to water is in the early morning. Aim the garden hose at the roots of the plants not the leaves.
Give lavender bushes a trim as soon as they finish flowering. Use the best secateurs to trim away the old flowering spikes and the top inch (2-3cm) of leaves. Don’t cut back into older wood as the flowers will grow from this next year.
Collect seed heads from the garden. The best time to do this is when the seed heads or pods have ripened and are dry and brittle. Gather them on a dry day, ideally after a rain-free spell, as they need to be completely dry when stored or they will go moldy.
Deadheading flowers and plants as soon as they start to fade will encourage more blooms. Always keep your secateurs clean and sharp to avoid damaging plant stems and spreading disease.
Take cuttings from plants such as tender perennials like pelargoniums before you lift and store them over winter. The cuttings will give you more plants and also act as insurance in case the parent plants don’t survive the winter.
The only thing that’s certain about September is uncertainty! One day you might be basking in the heat, almost blinded by the sunlight bouncing off the heleniums, rudbeckias and red hot pokers in your borders; the next you may be huddled in a raincoat, wondering if it will ever be warm again.
Either way, your September gardening jobs are about getting the garden ready for the months ahead – by collecting seeds, sowing hardy annuals and winter veg and keeping on top of the falling leaves.
Top jobs for September
If you have a lawn, now is the time to show it some TLC with some autumn lawn care. Rake it thoroughly with a wire rake to remove the moss and thatch and then spike it to aerate the soil and improve drainage. A sprinkling of phosphate feed wouldn’t go amiss either.
Ponds need attention too – clear any duckweed or algae, cut back overhanging plants and net the surface to stop leaves falling in and suffocating your fish.
Trim and mulch hedges (when the soil is damp, to conserve moisture).
Plant alliums, crocuses and daffodils – but not yet tulips – ready for spring.
Order winter bedding plugs such as cyclamen and primula from catalogues or online and plant them out when they arrive
The days are noticeably getting shorter now and there is a chill in the air, signalling the sign of fall. It’s a time when the leaves begin their glorious show of color and is one of the most stunning times in the garden.
It’s also a good time to get prepared for next year, cutting back perennials, mulching borders and harvesting autumn vegetables.
Think of it as a fall clear out, with time on your hands to get key October gardening jobs done like cleaning the greenhouse and ordering seeds and plants for next year.
Top jobs for October
After flowering, prune climbing and rambling roses and tie in stems securely to prevent any breakages in extreme weather.
Mow the lawn before the weather gets too wet and cold, re-seed bare sections or re-turf. It’s also a good time to aerate a lawn by using a garden fork as waterlogging can be common over winter.
Empty out old pots and tomato plants from your greenhouse and give it a good clean to help tackle any pests and diseases over winter.
As leaves begin to fall, regularly sweep up and don’t leave them on grass. Put the leaves to good use by learning how to make leaf mold, which once well rotted, can be used as compost or a mulch.
Lift tender perennials such as pelargoniums and gazanias so you can overwinter them indoors and protect them from the winter weather.
It’s all about protecting plants this month, checking tree ties and tying in shoots on plants where needed to prevent any damage occurring from the harsh winter weather. While there are fewer November gardening jobs outdoors, it’s still an exciting time to plan for the year ahead.
If you’ve got any bare patches in borders or want to change the layout, use this time to research and plan for next year. It’s also important to order any plants or seeds well ahead before stocks run out.
Top jobs for November
Continue to stay on top of fallen leaves by collecting on a regular basis.
It’s now the best time for when to plant tulip bulbs in pots and borders, ensuring there is good drainage to prevent the bulbs from rotting.
If there is a dry spell, water garden planters and make sure they are lifted off the ground so they don’t get waterlogged during winter.
Give garden tools a good clean and sharpen secateurs ready for pruning.
This month, the days are short but filled with pale winter sunshine and there’s a refreshing nip in the air so every reason to get outside and enjoy what your garden has to offer at this time of year. It’s a forager’s delight when it comes to natural decorations for the festive season.
Plants for winter berries are bursting out all over, interesting twigs and skeletal seed heads take centre stage, and armfuls of evergreens are just waiting to be gathered to deck the halls with natural garlands and wreaths.
But there are some December gardening jobs to be done outdoors. It’s time to prune climbing roses, dig over empty borders for next year’s planting, move winter pots to a sheltered spot, fill up your best bird feeders and think about ordering seeds for next year. Exciting times!
Top jobs for December
Following strong autumn winds check climbing plants are securely attached to their supports with ties. Check tree ties and stakes to ensure that trees are still secure.
Dig over empty borders and pile manure on top. It doesn’t have to be perfect as you can leave it to the worms and frosts to break up the soil.
Lift and divide established clumps of rhubarb to renew the plant and get more. Sections taken from the outside of the plant are better than those from the centre.
Keep looking after your lawn. Clear leaves off to prevent dead patches. If the weather is mild, continue to cut your lawn but raise the height of the mower blades. Spike with a garden fork to improve drainage and aeration.
What month do you start gardening?
As our monthly gardening calendar show, there are plenty of gardening jobs to be done throughout the year. The busiest times tend to be when the winter frosts have passed and the soil should have warmed up enough to start sowing veg and flower seeds for summer.
The flush of growth in summer means that there’s plenty of weeding, watering and deadheading to do to keep the garden healthy. Then pruning back takes place in the colder months when the garden has gone to sleep.
What should I be doing in my garden every month?
January – Make a plan for the year ahead
February – Get ahead with preparations for spring
March – tidy up beds and borders
April – Sow seeds for summer
May – Add bedding plants and feed and cut the lawn
June – Harvest vegetables from your kitchen garden and deadhead flowers
July – Water and feed beds and borders
August – Collect seed from your plants
September – Sow hardy annuals and winter veg
October – Plant spring bulbs
November – protect plants from frosts
December – Harvest foliage for seasonal decorations
Happy New Year everyone another year come and gone hoping this one is far better from 2021! Whatever goal you set for 2022 health, finance, or new career remember slow and steady wins the race. Do your research, set up a plan, and keep track of your progress so you don’t give up. Anyone wanting to learn some new skills for 2022 here is a 5 good ones:
These are the 5 most valuable skills to learn in 2022, says futurist—and where to find free online courses
While 2022 may throw a few curveballs, the beginning of the new year is always a perfect time to focus on career growth.
According to the Department of Labor, the economy is rebounding and some industries have recovered their job losses from the early days of the pandemic.
As a futurist and business strategist who’s trained thousands of executives to navigate booming markets, I’ve identified five skills that can make you an especially valuable professional in 2022 — and free online courses that teach them.
In the future, it will pay to think critically and creatively about your work — and to add unique skills, experiences and connections to your professional toolkit.
Your efforts to exist outside-the-box will not only help you come up with novel solutions, but will give you the tools to communicate that you are capable of solving new and exciting problems.
For example, time spent analyzing a different kind of business or connecting with folks in a different industry may help you find new ways to think about a problem or new tools for your team to use. That’s what employers — and customers — are looking for in a rapidly changing market.
Highlights: Learn how to pick a type of brainstorming — alphabet brainstorming, grid brainstorming, morphological chart — to apply to a challenge.
2. Strategic planning
Futurists don’t predict the future. We identify trends in society or a market and consider the impact that these trends might have.
By using “what if” scenarios to role-play different strategies and their outcomes, we help people determine which strategic direction to take — and plot alternate strategies in case of a sudden, unexpected turn in the future.
You can apply that same technique to your own career or business. Learning how to consider the different directions that your industry or career path may take in the future can help you intentionally map your future moves, come up with a plan B, and protect yourself against uncertainty.
Highlights: Learn how to create a compelling mission, gather key business intelligence and assess potential opportunities to chart a winning course forward.
We will all be called on to make fast and impactful choices in 2022. This is true even if we don’t have the same level of information or the time to plan as we did in the pre-Covid era.
Feeling unqualified to do that? Join the club: Making mistakes was the biggest fear in the workplace even before the pandemic.
Ninety-nine percent of leadership is a willingness to keep making decisions. Coach yourself on how to exercise good judgement and trust your instincts, and you’ll stand out from those who are too nervous to be decisive.
Highlights: Learn how to absorb and rationally analyze data in the face of uncertainty.
A recent study published by McKinsey & Company found that companies who scored in the study’s top-quartile for ethnic or cultural diversity on executive teams were 33% more likely to have industry-leading profitability.
People who will achieve business success in 2022 and beyond will know how to draw on a wide range of talents, perspectives and skills. That requires the ability to really listen to other people and their opinions.
Highlights: Learn how to gather insights from others and deepen connections through active listening.
If your day-to-day schedule looks like controlled chaos, you’re not alone — and you may need to mentally prepare for 2022.
Deadlines are getting tighter and job responsibilities are getting greater. In the next few years, you’ll be called upon to think like a project manager, even if that just means finding more effective ways to cram in after-school activities with your kids on top of a hectic remote work schedule.
The secret to success here is mastering the art of logistics. If you can manage to get to grandma’s house this year for the holidays — through crowded airports, travel restrictions and all — you’ve got what it takes to efficiently prioritize your time and other resources.
New Year’s Eve is here regardless if you are celebrating at home or having company over you have your choice of drinks to ring in the New Year! Check your liquor cabinet and fridge, make the shopping list and go early to avoid the lines. Check out the options below and best of all these are all vegan recipes:
2021 is almost over had you reviewed all your retirement accounts 401k, IRA, saving, etc…. Or maybe you don’t have one and need to start looking into retirement? Whatever your current status is just remember to check your deadlines so you can plan how best to fund your account. Roth IRA is a great way to go and be tax free when you go to retire. Check out these two links for those who have accounts and those needed to set up one!
The new year is rapidly approaching, but you still have time to max out your Roth IRA contributions.
“You have all the way up until the tax deadline,” Laurie Allen, a certified financial planner at LA Wealth Management tells CNBC Make It. “And if it doesn’t get delayed like it has been in previous years, that’s going to be April 15.”
With a Roth IRA, you invest money that’s already been taxed. When you withdraw it in retirement, you get the gains tax-free, assuming you follow the withdrawal requirements. That’s why, if you haven’t already, you should be sure to max out your contributions or invest as much as you can afford to.
“The sooner your dollars are in, the sooner you’re getting the rewards of investing” thanks to compounding, says Charles Sachs, chief investment officer at Kaufman Rossin Wealth. “Compound interest is a gift that you really don’t want to miss out on.”
Both Allen and Sachs recommend spreading your investments over the year so that you don’t find yourself making one big investment before the deadline.
“We encourage our clients to make contributions throughout the whole year so they can hit the market on different places,” Allen says.
She adds that this strategy is especially useful in reducing stress around the end of the year.
“You’re more likely to hit the max [contribution],” she says. “You don’t want to stress about it right around the holidays when you’re trying to buy Christmas presents, pay taxes or anything like that.”
These are the key differences between 401(k) and Roth IRA retirement plans
This story is part of CNBC Make It’s One-Minute Money Hacks series, which provides easy, straightforward tips and tricks to help you understand your finances and take control of your money.
If you’re thinking about starting to save for retirement, chances are good that you are looking at both Roth IRA and 401(k) plans. Both offer tax benefits and can help you grow your wealth over time, but there are several key differences between the two. The biggest one? When you want to pay taxes — now or later.
If you have access to an employer-sponsored 401(k) account, you pay taxes when you withdraw your earnings in retirement at whatever rate your tax bracket is at the time. The account is funded with pre-tax dollars diverted from your paycheck by your employer, which lowers your taxable income each year that you contribute.
Roth IRAs, on the other hand, are funded with post-tax dollars, so the money grows tax-free. You can also withdraw your contributions at any time (but not your earnings) with no tax penalty, unlike 401(k)s which typically hit you with a 10% penalty if you access any of the money early.
Many employers offer to match a certain percentage of employee 401(k) contributions, effectively doubling a portion of your investment each pay period for free. If your employer offers a contribution match, don’t leave any money on the table.
“We always encourage people to contribute enough to get the maximum employer contribution,” says Sarah Hampton, co-founder and partner at wealth management firm 6 Meridian.
The maximum amount workers under 50 can put in their 401(k) in 2021 is $19,500. Those 50 and older can also put in an additional $6,500 in catch-up contributions. With Roth IRAs, investors younger than 50 are limited to contributing $6,000 in 2021, and those 50 and older can contribute an additional $1,000.
“Contribute early and often, because you can’t catch up later,” Hampton says of 401(k) plans. “Once the calendar year is gone, you can’t go back.”
When it comes to the control you have over your money, 401(k)s limit you to pre-screened funds that have been approved by your employer’s plan, whereas a Roth IRA gives you a wider range of options including stocks, bonds, ETFs and index funds.
However, if you can afford it, Hampton recommends contributing to both a 401(k) and a Roth IRA. “You get a more tax-favorable outcome this way,” she says. “Your Roth IRA and 401(k) can continue to compound their growth on each other, as opposed to having to pay tax as you go.”
No matter what you choose, the earlier you decide to start investing, the better you set yourself up for retirement.
Getting enough sleep every night is key to me or I just can’t function. Some days turning off your brain is easier than others but here are a few helpful tips. Try one or try all see which works best to get that good night sleep you so badly needed:
We all know that our lifestyle choices can impact the quality of our sleep. According to Kelly O’Brien, a board-certified health and wellness coach at Proper, what we eat plays a critical role in just how soundly we rest every night. “There are many delicious, nutritious, and natural foods that can help with achieving good sleep,” she explains, noting that several have snooze-boosting natural iterations of melatonin, magnesium, and tryptophan built in. Ahead, a list of foods that will ease your ability to drift to sleep—and some snacks that hinder it.
Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts offer natural sources of melatonin, as well as the amino acid tryptophan (yes, the magical compound in turkey that makes you so sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner), says O’Brien, which plays an important part in the production of serotonin and melatonin. “Additionally, they’re filled with magnesium, an essential mineral for bone, brain, heart, and muscle health,” she says. “Like nuts, seeds, such as flax, pumpkin, and sunflower, may support healthy sleep due to their high levels of tryptophan, which also supports serotonin and melatonin production.”
Dairy and Milk
Drinking milk (especially warm milk!), snacking on plain yogurt, or eating cottage cheese are all great options when it comes to dairy-rich foods that support sleep, O’Brien shares. This is because they, like seeds and nuts, also include tryptophan.
CREDIT: BORIS JOVANOVIC / GETTY IMAGES
O’Brien notes that bananas can improve sleep quality; in addition to potassium, they contain magnesium and tryptophan. “Kiwifruit is another strong option: It contains a high concentration of antioxidants and vitamins, such as folate,” she adds. And you can’t go wrong with tart cherries or cherry juice, both of which are natural sources of melatonin and may lead to improved sleep duration and quality.
Foods That Are Deleterious to Sleep
On the other hand, there are certain foods and beverages that should be avoided if you’re hoping to improve sleep quality. Stay away from processed foods that contain high amounts of carbs and sugar, which can be activating and inflammatory. “If it comes in a package and has more than five or so ingredients, it’s likely processed and best avoided if possible,” O’Brien explains. “Greasy and spicy foods can cause bloating and indigestion, making it harder for sleep to take hold.”
If you’re eating foods with the end goal of a good night’s rest, finish snacking at least three to four hours before you plan to tuck yourself in, says O’Brien. Additionally, you should create an intentional wind-down period before falling asleep—and always avoid alcohol before bed. “Even though a glass of wine, beer, or liquor helps you relax and fall asleep, it can really impact sleep quality,” she explains. “Getting into the important sleep stages that help us rest and repair can be hijacked by the alcohol.”
Well the New Year is around the corner do you want to feel better in 2022, check out some of the advice from http://www.marthastewart.com. A few tips to save you discomfort and maybe a trip to the doctor in the near future:
The wrong foods or a lack of exercise could be contributing to your digestive distress. Your gut health relies on the presence of certain healthy bacteria in your stomach, which is why people consume probiotic supplements and drink kombucha. “Bacteria in your gut are a reflection of your overall health,” says Dr. Shaham Mumtaz, a gastroenterologist at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, “and improving gut health is more often about your lifestyle.”
But how do you know if you’re experiencing a normal stomachache or if you should talk to a doctor about a more serious issue? Constipation and consistent pain in specific parts of the abdomen can be symptoms, says registered dietitian Melissa Halas, MA RDN CDE. Unintentional weight loss, tarry or bloody stool, persistent vomiting, fevers, difficulty swallowing, yellower skin, and night sweats can also be signs of a larger problem, notes Dr. Mumtaz. You may be diagnosed with treatable conditions, including Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). When you visit a doctor, they’ll rule out underlying health concerns including cancer, inflammatory diseases, and ulcers. “But if we learn that you don’t have any of those conditions,” Dr. Mumtaz says, “what it often comes down to is lifestyle: diet, exercise, sleep, and other stressors.” Ahead, five things that absolutely could be hurting your gut health—and how to fix them.
“In my experience, diet is the biggest culprit of GI issues,” explains Halas, who is a partner with MyMenuUSA. Particularly, patients who aren’t consuming enough fluid and fiber will experience discomfort. “When you haven’t been getting enough fiber for years and years, you’re creating this unhealthy microbiome [in your stomach].” And foods you do eat are as important as the foods you don’t. Registered dietitian Melissa Nieves, LND, RD, MPH points to fried and heavily seasoned foods, caffeine, and alcohol as common factors impacting gut health—especially if patients already have certain medical conditions. Dr. Mumtaz advises patients to reduce the amount of sweets and processed sugars they consume, since some studies show “they can increase the amount of bacteria in the gut.”
Thankfully, incorporating balancing foods into your diet can help treat GI issues. Dr. Mumtaz suggests fruit, vegetables, chicken, and fish to nurture healthy gut bacteria. Halas often recommends the FODMAP diet, a short-term eating plan that eliminates certain sugars to help you figure out exactly which foods may be upsetting your stomach, to patients; it’s best to attempt this diet under the supervision of a professional.
If you aren’t sleeping well or find yourself in stressful situations at work or at home, the effects can show up in your gut health. “When you get less sleep or experience higher stress,” Dr. Mumtaz says, “some studies show there is a negative outcome in terms of the quality of the bacteria in your system.” Stress hormones and inflammation can change this bacteria, but stress can also drive you to eat larger amounts of the foods known to affect gut health.
Lack of Exercise
Dr. Mumtaz explains the exact correlation between minimal physical movement and gut health is currently being studied, but we know enough to understand that there is a connection. “When there is more blood flow through the body, it can change the bacteria that will live in your gut,” he says. Moderate aerobic exercises are especially effective at promoting healthy bacteria, and Dr. Mumtaz advises patients to work out for at least 115 minutes per week.
Certain Medical Conditions
While diet, alcohol consumption, stress, and other lifestyle factors can affect any person’s gut health, Nieves emphasizes that people with certain medical conditions can be especially sensitive to these factors—particularly if you have esophagitis, gastritis, IBS, celiac disease, acid reflux, H.pylori infection, or diverticulitis.
“Only use antibiotics when prescribed and as necessary,” Dr. Mumtaz stresses, since the overuse of this medication can disrupt the amount of healthy bacteria in your gut and lead to a serious condition called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, which requires medical intervention to treat severe diarrhea and colon inflammation.
Try these probiotic rich foods to help your general health.
We have all heard the expression, “You are what you eat,” but we could also take this one step further and say, “You are what you feed the bacteria that live in your gut.” The lining of your gut is mostly covered with bacteria, otherwise known as tiny organisms that create a micro-ecosystem called a microbiome. In fact, the healthier your microbiome is, the healthier you are. Balance in the microbiome depends on two things: stimulating the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut by giving them the foods they like (prebiotic) and adding living microbes directly to your system with foods rich in probiotics. Here are five gut healing and probiotic-rich foods that you can start to include in your diet.
Yogurt is one of the most well-known food sources for gut health—and for good reason. Yogurt is formed when bacterial cultures are added to milk, resulting in a fermented or cultured milk product. Not all yogurts contain probiotics, however, as they can be destroyed during the pasteurization process; look for “live and active cultures” on the ingredient label. Look for the strains Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Streptococcus—they have been widely researched and linked to better health outcomes, including improved immune system function and better digestive health.ADVERTISING
Kimch is a spicy, fermented Korean side dish made of cabbage, other vegetables, and ingredients like ginger, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Kimchi can contain many different strains of probiotics, with lactic acid bacteria being the dominant strain. Research has shown that kimchi can boost cognitive and immune health and aid in weight loss, among other benefits. Enjoy kimchi alongside typical Korean dishes like spicy tofu soup or bibimbap, a rice dish with plenty of vegetables, meat, and a fried egg; you could also add it to your own soups or stir-fries.
When you hear “miso,” do you think first of miso soup? If you do, you’re not alone, but it’s far more than just a type of broth. Miso, a Japanese seasoning, is actually a paste made from fermented soybeans, salt, and koji (a type of fungus). The main strain in miso is called Aspergillus oryzae and has been shown to reduce gastrointestinal symptoms. Miso soup is the go-to option for including miso in your diet, but you can also use it to flavor other broths, marinades, sauces, or spreads.
Your favorite burger topping also has probiotics! Just make sure to choose pickles whose brine is made from a salt and water solution that naturally ferments and forms probiotics, as opposed to vinegar, which does not contain probiotics. Look for “live and active cultures” on the label.