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  • Quick + Easy: No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites

    Happy Friday! Here is a super easy recipe to try over the weekend. These Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Bites require no baking, no flour and almost no work. You can store them in the fridge and eat them throughout the week for a boost of energy. Enjoy!
    No-Bake Oatmeal and Peanut Butter Energy Bites

    Click the ingredients below to buy! 

    Ingredients
    1 cup rolled oats
    1/4 cup ground flaxseed
    1/4 cup almonds, chopped
    2 tablespoons chia seeds
    1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    1 tbsp salt
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 tsp vanilla extract
    2 tbsp chocolate
    1/4 cup ground peanuts or ground almonds

    Directions
    Combine oats, almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir.
    Melt peanut butter in microwave for 30 seconds and allow it to cool slightly. Stir in honey and vanilla extract and mix. Pour peanut butter into oat mixture and mix well with a spoon then bring together with your hands. Once mixture is sticking together, fold in chocolate chips.

    Roll dough into golf-ball sized balls. Roll outside of balls into the ground peanuts or ground almonds until coated. Enjoy at room temperature or store in the fridge on parchment paper.
    no bake energy balls

  • Protein Banana Bread

    Banana bread is hard to resist - but now you don’t need to. You can actually feel good about eating a piece (or 2…) of this 100% natural, healthy and protein packed banana bread. If you're looking for a quick and easy box version of this recipe, try Now Foods, Gluten Free Banana Bread Mix available here

    Did you know... traditional banana bread is mostly made out of sugar, white flour, and butter. Even though it has one powerful banana in it, you can't really call it healthy. Give this a try instead.
    Click ingredient name to BUY. Get measuring cups here

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    100% Natural Protein Banana Bread
    Ingredients
    • 6 eggs or egg whites
    • 2 overly ripe bananas
    • 1 tbsp raw honey
    • 1 cup banana flavored whey protein
    • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
    • 1/2 cup coconut flour
    • 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 cup chopped raw pecans or walnuts
    • 1/2 tsp baking sodaPreheat oven to 350 F
    In a large bowl like this one, combine all ingredients
    Pour into bread muffin mold
    Bake at 350 F for 40 to 50 minutes or until lightly browned
  • 10 Tips to Clear Up Your Skin Naturally

    Get rid of annoying acne pimples and blackheads with these 10 tips for clear skin.
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    1. Drink water
    Water cleanses your body of toxins and flushes out the bad stuff. It hydrates your skin and rids it of oils and dirt. You should drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weight 100 lbs. (45 kg) drink 50 oz of water each day. Tip: use a refillable water bottle (like the ones below) to track your progress throughout the day. Buy here
    waterbottles

     2. Cleanse daily
    Use a gentle and natural cleanser daily. Many products from your local drugstore or grocery store contain chemicals that will over dry your skin and make it worse. Natural products have healing ingredients that will treat, sooth and won't disturb your skins natural balance. For dry skin we recommend Zia Natural Skincare, Skin Basics Moisturizing Cleanser. For oily, combination and acne prone skin we recommend Nubian Heritage, African Black Soap Bar. For sensitive skin we recommend Avalon Organics, Facial Cleansing Milk with Lavender.  If you suffer from Rosacea we recommend Face Doctor, Complexion Soap.
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    3. Use witch hazel
    Apply toner with witch hazel to your skin immediately after cleansing. Use a cotton pad or clean hands and rub entire face and neck. Unlike alcohol astringents that irritate skin and dry skin, natural toners with witch hazel use vitamins and plant extracts to treat, soothe and moisturize. Witch hazel is a completely natural ingredient that is derived from the bark of trees. The ingredient is high in tannins which is known to tighten skin and shrink pore size. For sensitive skin we recommend Thayer's, Lavender Witch Hazel with Vitamin E and Aloe Vera. For normal skin we recommend Thayer's, Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera.
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    4. Ensure a proper diet
    Eating healthy and taking vitamins can do wonders for your skin from the inside out. Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, etc. This will provide your body with the rawest form of nutrients for a glowing complexion. For clear pores and healthy cell function we recommend Now Foods, Vitamin A 10,000 IU.  To decrease oil production and protect against bacterial infections and inflammation we recommend Metagenics, Zinc A.G. To reduce stress (a main cause of acne), improve circulation and maintain a vibrant skin tone we recommend Thompson's B-Complex with C. To enhance tissue repair and help the skin fight free radicals we recommend 21st Century, Vitamin E-400. If  you're looking for a convenient way to get all the essential vitamins and minerals to clear up your skin we recommend an all-in-one multivitamin, like Futurebiotics, Hair, Skin and Nails Formula.
    To see our entire selection of supplements for clear skin, click here.
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    5. Use natural makeup
    If you wear makeup be sure that the ingredients are natural. Makeup that contains chemicals and synthetic ingredients can irritate skin and clog pores which leads to blackheads and pimples. All natural makeup is easy to find these days. In fact, our entire selection of cosmetics are made with natural ingredients. Using these products can actually make your skin clearer because of the vitamins, minerals, plant and flower extracts used to make them. Click here to shop natural, top brands like Ecco Bella, Annemarie Borlind, Desert Essence, Beauty Without Cruelty, e.l.f. and more.
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    6. Exfoliate Twice a Week
    Use a facial scrub to exfoliate your skin 2 to 3 times per week. Never exfoliate every day as this will irritate your skin and dry it out, leading to your face over producing oil. However, it is beneficial to exfoliate occasionally as this helps to loosen dirt and bacteria from your pores. It will also give your skin a smooth, even texture. We recommend Alba Botanica, Natural ACNEdote Facial and Body Scrub. Never rub too hard on your skin as this will cause inflammation. If you are worried about being too rough we recommend using Earth Therapeutics, Softouch Complexion Brush. The gentle bristles caress skin while cleansing away surface bacteria and dirt that dulls the skin.
    Facial Scrub

    7. Exercise daily
    Spend 15 minutes a day exercising. This will get your heart pumping and blood circulating. This allows your cells to reproduce and transport oxygen throughout your body. Poor circulation of your blood can lead to clogged pores, dark circles, wrinkles and uneven skin tone. If you're looking for supplements for working out, check out our selection of more than 6,000 Sports Nutrition products! Click here. Don't forget to wash your face after working out. We recommend keeping Alba Botanica, Good and Clean Exfoliating Towelettes in your gym bag to wipe your face clean after a workout.
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    8. Drink tea
    Add a cup of tea each day to your diet. Not only is it delicious, but it also helps clear up your skin. Make sure the tea is caffeine free, as caffeine can cause you to break out. For normal to dry skin we recommend Yogi, Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin Tea. The herbs promote circulation, regeneration, moisturization and hydration to your skin's tissue. For oily and acne prone skin we recommend Pukka Herbal Teas, Cleanse Organic Nettle Fennel and Peppermint Tea. It is a unique blend of fortifying properties that will cleanse and detox your skin.
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    9. Avoid alcohol and tobacco
    Drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes can have a big impact on your skin. Alcohol is a toxic substance and is difficult for the liver to filter. Cigarettes affect the circulation and blood vessels tighten up in response to the nicotine. All  of these can affect the elasticity, pigment, texture, oil production and quality of your skin. To help you stop smoking we recommend using one of these effective products. To detox your liver from alcohol and other toxins we recommend using one of these medical-grade products.
    alcohol tobacco

    10. Treatments
    If you suffer from breakouts consider trying one of these highly effective natural treatments. To unclog pores, draw out impurities and reduce oil we recommend using Queen Helene, Mint Julep Masque one time per week. For extremely dry skin in need of hydration we recommend using the relaxing Queen Helene, Olive Oil Masque one time per week. The olive oil and avocado work together to restore elasticity, suppleness, softness and vibrancy to your face.
    TREATMENTS

  • Top 5 Health Benefits of Reading

    Everyone knows that exercise keeps the body physically healthy. But, did you know that reading is actually a mental exercise that keeps your brain healthy? Think of it like any other bone in the body - it will only stay fit if you use it regularly. Here are 5 health benefits of reading that might just get you to pick up a new book

    Reading Reduces Stress

    Since a good book can absorb you and take you to another world, you can forget about whatever issues you have in your life - even if it's only for a little bit. Plus, research shows that when you stop reading you will be able to face your issues more calmly and think more clearly. This is because reading actually reduces cortisol levels, lowers blood pressure and eases muscle tension.
    Reading Keeps You Young
    Research shows that people who do mentally stimulating activities like reading, puzzles and playing chess have a slower cognitive decline than those who don't. Did you know: Regularly doing activities like reading can help ward off cognitive problems like Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
    Reading Calms You Down

    Different types of books have different benefits on your health. For example, studies show that reading religious or spiritual books help lower your blood pressure and calm you down. Reading self help books can improve your mood, ease depression and even cure mild mental illnesses.How to Find Relief from Anxiety and Depression 

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    Reading Improves Concentration and Focus

    These days everyone and everything moves so fast. We are constantly multitasking and being pulled in a million directions. Reading improves your concentration because all of your attention is focused on one thing. Reading for a short time every day improves your long term ability to concentrate and increases your productivity.

    Click to shop health products for focus and attentionInline image 5

    Reading Improves Your Knowledge and Analytics

    When you read your brain stores that information, which adds to your knowledge. You never know when you will need this knowledge, so it's always useful to have it. Knowledge is proven to improve creativity, solve problems and help discover your personal opinions, views and thoughts on life. Reading also strengthens your analytical skills. This is because when you read you are often piecing information together and figuring out what will happen next. Your brain picks up on clues that the author has put in the book and begins to form a picture of the ending. This develops your critical thinking skills which can be applied to many other areas of your life.
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  • How To: Find the Best Personal Trainer

    This post was submitted by guest writer, Daniel. Daniel is a passionate blogger and works as a personal trainer in Uccle. He likes to write various blogs on fitness and in the post, he is sharing a few tips to find the perfect personal trainer for your workout.
    To submit a guest post for our blog please email aschneider@healthdesigns.com

    Click to Shop HealthDesigns.com!

    Are you worried about your excess weight? Are you planning to lose weight or build muscle? Hiring a personal trainer may be a step in the right direction. Your personal trainer will help you set a goal for your weight loss program and make sure you do the workout accordingly. Choosing a good personal trainer Uccle is intimidating.
    how-much-does-a-personal-trainer-cost

    What is a personal trainer?
    A personal trainer’s job is to assess your fitness level and design a workout program accordingly. A personal trainer should be educated and certified through a reputable fitness organization. He/she will try to push past your comfort level and keep you motivated to do more exercise to achieve fitness. A trainer also provides guidance on reaching your goals. As they are trained personnel, he/she will give you information about various exercises, cardio training. Apart from training, a personal trainer will keep a record of your progress and make changes in your workout regime to help achieve more weight loss. Choosing a good personal trainer can be intimidating. However, you can follow some tips mentioned below to hire the best trainer in your area.

    1. Set Defined Goals
    You must know what you want before you start looking for it. Hence, your first step would be to list your fitness goals and assess them. This will be useful when you hire a trainer because they will plan workout according to your needs.

    2. Keep Patient
    Having patience is the key to a good trainer-client relationship. A good trainer will understand that what works for one client might not work for another client. Trainers should find a comfortable pace for their clients as every client has different rates of speed.

    3. Improve communication
    Communication works two ways. Try to build a connection with your trainer. Your trainer may not be with you every time. You should be able to understand what they explain and expect through talking on the phone.

    4. Check for Professionalism
    Even though you must maintain a good relation with your trainer, there should be a level of professionalism in your trainer. The clothes that your trainer wears should be simple and apt for the situation. The focus point of the trainer should be improving your fitness or aid in weight loss.

    5. Education
    They must have proper certification from recognized fitness institute. To be certified in the USA, trainers have to undergo exams through accredited organizations like the American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Strength and conditioning Association (NSCA) or National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). The course covers nutrition for body, anatomy of body, exercise physiology and weight management.

    6. Should Have a Pleasant Personality
    Your trainer must have a pleasing personality and with whom you will feel comfortable. You must be sure that your trainer is capable of helping you reduce weight and increase fitness. Once you have decided on these points, you can start your search for a trainer and see if they have all these traits in them.

    7. Plan Your Budget
    Even if the trainer is very good, you must make sure that his/her fees are within your budget limit. You can do some survey and compare the prices of different trainers. Apart from fees, make sure you both have common free time wherein you can schedule your workout sessions.

    By keeping these few tips in mind, you'll be able to find the best trainer within your location and budget.

    Daniel is a passionate blogger and works as a personal trainer in Uccle. He likes to write various blogs on fitness and in the above post, he is sharing a few tips to find the perfect personal trainer for your workout. Contact Daniel at daniel@nettecho.com

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