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For the Health of It!

1. Dressing for Success

Having a salad for dinner is smart, but drowning it in fat – free dressing isn’t. A recent study at Iowa State University found that without dietary fat, your body doesn’t absorb some of the disease – fighting nutrients found in vegetables. Using fat – free dressing consistently does not allow your body to absorb carotenoids, antioxidants that have been linked to improve immunity. Choose dressings that contain healthy fats form olive or nut oils or make your own!
2. Chill Out
There are several very good reasons for why you should turn your thermostat down two degrees this winter. One: “snuggle – inspired bed sports”.  Two: it may help you keep off the winter weight. With the room cooler, your body will have to work harder in order to keep its regular temperature, hence making your body burn calories. Three – you can shave 5% off your heating bill. A slight chill in a single home spares our green Earth about 353 pounds of emissions per year.

3. Skip the Nightcap
Spiked eggnog may seem like the perfect liquid lullaby, but alcohol actually has opposite effects on you. It may help you fall asleep faster, but once your body begins to remove it from your system, it acts as a stimulant. Four or five hours after your last drink, you’re likely to wake up and find it hard to fall back asleep. So skip the glass of merlot, and begin a nighttime ritual that actually promotes sleep: Take a warm shower. When you step out, your body begins to cool off, a process it goes through before you doze off.
4. Don’t Just Brush it Off
If you can’t remember the last time you properly cleaned your makeup brushes, you might be swirling bacteria and fungus on your face. Your makeup brushes pick up and accumulate dead skin cells, oils, dirt and any other bacteria that may be on your skin. Your brushes become stiff with separated bristles, causing streaky makeup and eventually ruining your tool. Plus, touching your face everyday with a dirty brush can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Take the time to clean your brushes and you’ll reap the benefits of clear skin and save money by not having to buy new brushes as often!

5. Find Your Zen Zone
These next three weeks are going to be anything but relaxing for everyone. Try this simple, but effective meditation exercise that helps you be hyperaware of where your body is holding stress, and allows you to physically let go of it. Close your eyes and settle into a comfortable position. Relax every muscle, starting with your toes and moving upward. Focus on your breathing. With every inhale, sink deeper into your body. As you exhale, imagine the tension leaving your muscles. As a New Years resolution, vow to start each day with this exercise and notice how your life becomes more calm and peaceful.
Tips compliments of Women’s Health magazine and Fitness magazine. 

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