Aprildavis

5 Things No One Tells You About Masturbating

No longer the realm of dirty basements or teenage boys rooms, masturbating, Sex And The City style, is all the rage! We can all channel our inner Samantha or Carrie if we’re after a little more subtlety, and are wanting to find pleasure in places other than a mans groin.

RELATED: The Slow Sex Movement Takes Off

The art of masturbation, however, eludes too many of us, so for the novices out there, here are 5 things no one tells you about masturbating.

It’s not some weird thing only creepy perverts or 40-year-old virgins do

We all do it and we certainly shouldn’t feel bad about it. Your doctor does it (hopefully no where nearby), your bestie does it, even your Mum does it (although that’s one you probably shouldn’t think about too much). The point is, masturbation is a fact of life, just go with it.

Playing with your vulva for hours while binging on Netflix counts as masturbating

If you’re touching yourself an enjoying it, it doesn’t matter that you aren’t convulsing from back-to-back explosive orgasms, you’re still masturbating. Orgasms are not the defining characteristic of masturbation, you can still find pleasure from touching yourself and learn a little about your g-spot without orgasming.

If you have a boyfriend and you masturbate, you’re not a cheating skank

Even if you love the person you’re with and they always know exactly how to get you off, you shouldn’t feel guilty for seeking a little private pleasure of your own. Hell, they’re probably getting themselves off all the time, too! Also, skanks aren’t really a thing – so let’s just forget about this misconception entirely.

Using sex toys doesn’t make you the world’s worst masturbator

As a general rule of thumb, sex toys will always trump hands. You can’t magically make your fingers vibrate, and when you’re tired and just want a quickie, a quality vibrator will work wonders for your libido. That said, however…

A super expensive Triple G-Spot Orgasm Monster Sex Toy isn’t compulsory

The best thing about masturbating is that it’s free. Take a little time to learn what works with your hands, the free-est sex toy ever. It will also help you to learn what you like for when you get the real deal with your partner, or that cute guy you met at a bar after one too many drinks.

Image via Cosmopolitan

September 19, 2015

Why You Should Invest In Anti-Ageing From A Young Age

Once upon a time in a land far away, a fountain of youth flowed a plenty and all the women in the land had young youthful skin that never grew old…

Or so we’ve heard. Unfortunately, reality contains a lot more wrinkles! However, you’re not doomed to turn into a wrinkled old witch just yet – if you get in ahead of time you can help fight the visible signs of ageing and keep your skin looking smooth as a babies bottom for longer.

RELATED: Eat Your Way To Glowing Skin

Here, we look at why you should invest in anti-ageing from a young age.

Anti-ageing products speed cell turnover and build your skins elasticity, which reduces the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles. Anti-ageing, however, is best used before you age and is something you should invest in from as early as your 20s and definitely into your 30s.

Our lifestyle and skincare habits when we’re young greatly affect our appearance as we age, which is why you should look after yourself even when it seems unnecessary. Fighting the signs of ageing starts with a healthy lifestyle, ditching the cigarettes – or not smoking at all – and wearing sunscreen at all times is the first step towards maintaining your youthful glow long after your physical youth has passed you by.

A good diet, exercise and healthy habits alone isn’t enough, combined with the right products, however, you can ensure you look as young on the outside as you do on the inside. Anti-ageing products work by regenerating your skin from the inside out, but what most people don’t know, is that your skin starts ageing a lot sooner than you may think. So investing in some handy products in your 20s and 30s will put you in a much better position when you start hitting your 40s and 50s.

To keep yourself younger for longer, try out some of our favourite products:

Clinique All About Lips, $22.50

Murad Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex, $95

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum, $74

Image via Healthylifestylezone.com

September 18, 2015

Eco-Friendly Beauty Tips

Going green is all the rage and for good reason – it’s great for the environment, your mind and body!

RELATED: How To Make The Switch To Natural Skincare

One of the biggest benefits of using environmentally friendly products is that they’re natural and don’t contain any of the harsh chemicals that a lot of mass produced products sneak into their mixtures. We’re all about embracing the natural world of beauty, so read on for our best eco-friendly beauty tips!

Trade moisturiser for facial oil

Essential botanical or seed varieties of facial oil will penetrate all the layers of derma, leaving your skin feeling smooth, not greasy. Oil is perfect for making your skin as soft as baby’s skin and because you only need small amounts of it each use, you won’t need to replace your products regularly.

Brush up your act

There are plenty of makeup brushes available crafted completely from sustainable materials like bamboo. Brushes that feature synthetic bristles are also more eco-friendly and blend just as well, if not better, than those made with real animal hair.

Save water

Two gallons of water run down the drain for every minute the tap is on; an average eight-minute shower therefore dumps around 17 gallons. A great way to conserve water is to wash your face and hands with a biodegradable, rinse-free facial wipe. These gently exfoliate your skin and remove build up of dirt and oil, while using less water. Try keeping your showers to two-minutes too, these can be hard, especially when you’re washing your hair. But for the most part, you’ll conserve a lot more water and save on your water bill by simply setting a timer and washing off quickly.

Recycle your loot

Have you ever thought about what happens to all those empty shampoo bottles and tubes of lipstick after you throw them out? Every day, consumer product packaging accounts for approximately one-third of landfill waste. So next time you squeeze the last dregs from your shampoo and conditioner bottles, put them in the recycling bin, not the general waste.

Test out a natural fragrance

Natural fragrances are one of the best green beauty trends around because they’re formulated without chemicals, dyes, or phthalates. Two great brands embracing this trend are Lavanila Laboratories and Infusion Organique.

We all want to do our bit to save the planet, but who thought it could ever be this easy, or stylish?

Image via womenshealth.com

September 14, 2015

How To Save Damaged Hair

Aggressive styling techniques, like straightening, curling and colouring, or over burdening with products, long hot showers, or even excessive exposure to the sun and elements, can have a dramatic impact on the condition and health of your hair. As a result, your hair could be in desperate need of some rescue remedies.

RELATED: Winter Hair-Saving Remedies

Short of chucking a Britney Spears and shaving your precious locks off, how to save damaged hair is a mystery to many, however, it’s not as hard as you may think. Some simple routine changes and careful selection of the right products can completely transform your hair making it one of your best features!

Avoid the heat

The worst thing you can do when your hair is already fizzled out, is expose it to heat – artificial heat in particular. When you wash your hair, ditch your beloved hairdryer and towel dry it before letting it air out naturally. It may also be time to let your natural wave or kink reign supreme, rather than drying your hair out with constant straightening. Straightening your hair, however, is perfectly fine allowing that you’re not doing it every day and you use heat styling products and ensure your hair is 100 per cent dry before you let the iron hit your hair.

Great heat-free styling tips

Roll your damp hair up in an old tee shirt for some natural waves, or go old school with some foam rollers. Loose braids and messy buns are also great ways to rock a carefree, stylish look minus the heat.

Ditch the bleach

Peroxide ridden hair isn’t as popular as it once was and giving this bygone trend a miss will leave your hair screaming its thanks. Excessive bleaching or colouring can not only turn your hair into hay, in some situations the bleach will strip your hair of its natural nutrients, thin your hair, or even cause it to start falling out – literally!

RELATED: 10 Beauty Commandments

Try using softer hair colours that closely resembles your natural colour. Avoid extreme, harsh colours like bleached blonde, red, or blue – these colours may get their 15-minutes of fame, but they’ll be washed out before you know it! Also consider natural looking highlights or foils. These styles will be much gentler on your hair follicle and will help you to avoid the inevitable damage that accompanies drastic changes in hair colour. If you’re still pining after that trendy red style, try to remember that no hair colour will suit your natural skin tone and colouring as well as your natural hue.

Invest in natural or sulphate-free shampoo

If you have dry hair, using a harsh shampoo with lots of chemicals isn’t going to do it any favours. Some traditional shampoos are harmful to your hair, scalp, body and environment because of the harmful chemicals and carcinogens they contain. Natural shampoos will help improve the condition of your hair and the natural oils in it will help promote new hair growth.

Image via dailywt.com

September 13, 2015

The Best Tricks To Keep Your Kids Entertained These Holidays

School holidays are almost upon us, which means there are thousands of busy parent’s looking for ways to keep their kids entertained!

The good news is Spring has finally sprung, so there’s plenty of activities outdoors that will keep the whole family entertained for hours on end.

RELATED: Fun Things To Do With The Kids These School Holidays

Build a fort

Pull your linen cupboard out of storage and let your kids imaginations run wild as they create their own special fortresses out of sheets, pillows and blankets! This is a great hands on activity that kids (and goofy dads) love!

Arts and crafts

Finger painting for little kids or cutting and pasting for older kids, your options are endless. Hit your local crafts or two dollar store and stock up on coloured paper, glitter, glue, pipe cleaners, patty pans, colouring pencils, paints and everything else colourful and crafty your kids will love! You’ll be surprised by how long kids are stimulated by these school like activities that let them delve into their creative side.

Scavenger hunts

What kid doesn’t love a good old fashioned treasure hunt where X marks the spot? Hide some clues and treats around the house and garden and sit back while your kids search like crazy for the prize at the end of the game. You can make this extra fun by including costumes and educational concepts like puzzle solving.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Score Some Alone Time These School Holidays

Movie time

Hit the cinemas with jumbo popcorn or find some great cartoons on Netflix, or on DVD. A funny movie and some snacks will keep them quiet for at least a couple of hours and give them something to talk about long after the final credits have rolled.

Sleepovers

Pyjama parties with takeout for dinner, sugary treats, board games, makeovers…you name it! Boys and girls alike will love spending a night with their closest friends and staying up past their bedtimes.

Hold a mini Olympics

An at home mini Olympics is a great way to keep your kids active and outdoors, and will be a fun filled adventure suitable for them and all of their friends (maybe even you, if you’re feeling energetic). Sack races, egg races or hide and seek, you name it! A little healthy competition in the name of fun is always an exciting way to get your kids involved in something other than the latest video games.

Get baking

One thing is for sure: kids love cake, cookies, slices, cupcakes and anything in-between. This is a learning opportunity for children as they learn how to take basic ingredients like flour and eggs and turn it into something delicious. It also gives them something to brag about, with a sense of accomplishment. There are literally hundreds of things you can do with your kids these school holidays – you’re limited only by your imagination.

Image via Bbcgoodfood.com

September 10, 2015

7 Un-healthy Foods In Disguise

Did you know that your local supermarket is filled with foods marketed as ‘healthy’? When in reality, these foods are nothing more than sugary treats being gimmicked as healthy?

Instead of falling into these traps and spoiling your healthy diet, avoid these 7 un-healthy foods in disguise.

RELATED: Are You Addicted To These Fatty Foods

Fruit juices

Just because these drinks have the word fruit in them, doesn’t mean they’re calorie free, or even nutritious. Most of these drinks are packed with as much sugar, if not more, than popular soft drinks and are filled with empty calories that offer no nutritional value.

Muesli Bars

These are one of the biggest traps out there! These are more sugar, fat and sodium than anything else and should be avoided at all costs!

Flavoured oats

Oats by themselves are good for you, but processed, flavoured oats are full of both sugar and sodium. If you love your oats and want to get the most out of them nutritionally, stick to the regular kind and sweeten them with some chopped fruit.

Bran muffins

It’s a common misconception that these are a nutritious snack or healthy breakfast alternative, but these are a big no-no because despite being filled with bran, the other ingredients are primarily fats and sugars. If you’re set on having these as a quick and easy breakfast or morning snack, try making your own so you can control what’s going into them.

Pre-made smoothies

If you’re not making your own smoothies, you risk sipping something that’s loaded with unnecessary sugars. These pre-made smoothies may be full of flavour and fruit, but they’re also filled with all the bad stuff. Some of these smoothies can contain up to 600 calories and definitely won’t help you achieve your weight loss goals. Try making your own as home with natural sweeteners, they’ll still be packed full of flavour, minus the empty calories.

‘Healthy’ breakfast cereals

Breakfast cereals are one of the most heavily marketed food groups around. Packed with artificial flavours and preservatives, these cereals are filled with sugary dried fruits and sweeteners that add flavour. A lot of these cereals are also simple carbs, which means within about an hour you’ll be hungry again and craving your next quick fix.

‘Low fat’ or ‘diet’ packaged foods

Just because something’s labelled as ‘low fat’ or ‘diet’ doesn’t mean it’s actually healthy. One of the most common culprits is low fat and diet yoghurts. These are sneaky, because although they may have less fat than their full fat alternatives, they contain extra sugar and preservatives to compensate for the lower fat levels.

It’s always good to learn what you’re putting into your mouth; read the labels and take note of just how much sugar and fat is hidden in your favourite ‘healthy’ snacks.

Image via authoritynutrition.com

September 9, 2015

How To Banish Bacne

Summer is quickly approaching and zapping those nasty back pimples is definitely making its way up our list of priorities. Backless tops, shoestring straps and bikinis are no friends if your skins prone to pimples, which is why we’ve discovered how to banish bacne.

RELATED: 5 Cold Creams For Every Skin Condition

The good news is, it’s actually easy! You can keep your back skin clear by treating it the same way you would your face. A healthy diet and exercise always help when you’re after a glowing complexion – or in this case, a zit free body – but enlisting the help of some tried and tested products never hurts!

A fool-proof acne-fighting regimen

Your adrenal glands naturally pump out testosterone, which makes your skin produce more unwanted pore-clogging oil. It sucks, but unfortunately it happens.

Treating your back and body skin the same way you would your face, however, goes a long way towards being backless dress ready in no time. Start your new routine by using a salicylic-based acne-clearing product to exfoliate your skin and kill any pimple causing bacteria.

We recommend – Neutrogena Complete Acne Therapy System, $25.

How to target the hard to reach areas

The major problem with treating bacne is that it’s hard to reach. A simple way to combat this is using a spray! Your bacne treatment can be mist on from any direction.

We recommend – Murad Clarifying Body Spray, $37

RELATED: How To Treat Dehydrated Skin

Medicated treatments

Tight clothing, like bras, trap perspiration, which then mixes with dirt, bacteria and oil in your skin can cause breakouts.

Before you hit the gym, or leave the house on a hot day, swipe your back with a jumbo medicated pad to reduce the amount of bacteria on your skin. These are great for fighting breakouts all over the body because they contain salicyclic acid to get rid of breakouts, green tea to calm inflammation, and witch hazel to sooth and refresh your skin.

We recommend – Proactive Clear Zone Body Pads, $22

Wash it off

The right body wash used on a daily basis can treat zits and cleanse your skin all at once. Simply lather and rinse everyday for noticeably clearer skin.

We recommend – Neutrogena Body Clear Body Wash, $8.29

Image via Stylecaster.com

September 8, 2015

5 Signs That Chivalry Isn’t Dead

It’s easy to become jaded by today’s dating scene where ‘hook up’ culture reigns supreme and men are, well men are douches. However, despite popular opinion, chivalry isn’t dead.

RELATED: 49 Dating Secrets Revealed

Every now and again our faith is restored in men, when we’re lucky enough to witness an act befitting of a true gentleman! These men exude chivalry in even their smallest actions and remind us that there are still good ones out there.

It certainly doesn’t take a grand gesture or costly display of affection to win a lady over. Often, it just takes a little sincerity and a genuine display of romantic interest. To prove this to you, here are 5 signs that chivalry isn’t dead.

Opening doors

It’s surprising how few men still do this. Whether it’s opening the door to a cafe, or rushing around the car to let you in or out, this simple gesture goes a long way.

A man that goes out of his way to make sure you’re comfortable and puts your well being first is certainly a keeper.

Giving you his jacket

It’s been a long, cold winter, so a man who is willing to give up his jacket when you’re cold is basically a commodity. Once again, this shows he cares enough to put your needs above his own. Men may generate natural warmth better than women, but when it’s frosty out, they’re bound to get cold too.

Cherish this gesture because ladies, it’s the little things that count.

RELATED: 5 Rules For A First Date

Sharing dessert

You know how they say the way to a man’s heart is through food? Well any man who’s willing to share their mouth-watering dessert, especially the last bite, is a man you should never let go!

Sending flowers

Have you ever received flowers at work? I haven’t, but some of my colleagues and friends have, and let me tell you, it’s made me jealous! I’m not talking about a hundred-dollar bouquet of roses; I’m talking about something much simpler. A single stem of your favourite flower, or a bunch randomly picked up from the supermarket. Random gestures that shows he’s thinking of you are the best sort of gestures.

Holding your hand

This simple, romantic act of intimacy is thrilling, especially when you’re in a new relationship. It’s one we often take for granted but it’s also one of the things we can do to be close to those we care about without having to rip our clothes off! A man who will hold your hand is a man who truly cares because your relationship goes well beyond the sex.

Chivalry isn’t dead; knights in shining armour still exist and courteous men are not extinct!

Image via Pinterest

September 7, 2015

How To Get Rid Of Cellulite For Good

Thighs, bums, hips, boobs and bellies – cellulite has a tendency of popping up all over the place. Much to our dismay, around 90 per cent of women, and virtually no men, have cellulite somewhere on their body. So ladies, you’re in good company!

RELATED: How To Fit Exercise Into A Busy Schedule

Unfortunately there’s no quick fix and as much as cosmetic companies would like us to believe – short of going under the knife – getting rid of cellulite isn’t as easy as a trip to the chemist.

Cellulite is formed by fat cells found underneath the top layer of skin that have meshed their way in between the connective tissue, or collagen, that attaches your muscle to your skin. Sadly for us, the structure of our connective tissue is different to mens, hence why we’re so susceptible to cellulite and they’re not.

In other news, dermatologists believe that genetic factors can exacerbate the look of cellulite (thanks a lot mum and dad), so unfortunately cellulite is more noticeable on some of us. The good news is, you’re not alone and you’re certainly not doomed to be sporting a cellulite infused ass for the rest of your life. Here’s how to get rid of cellulite for good!

Exercise, exercise, exercise!

You can firm your butt and smooth your thighs in less than an hour a day with these quick and easy exercises that will banish your cellulite for good.

Walk it off

Brisk, daily walks are not only great for your health, it also helps to slim down your thighs and firm the skin around cellulite prone areas. Alternate your pace between fast and slow to get the most of your workout.

RELATED: The New Fitness Trend: The Trampoline Workout

Work it off

Thigh raise: Lying face down, raise your legs —from just above your knees — so your feet are a few inches off the ground. Bend your knees, keeping them off the ground, and hold that position. Start with five ­seconds and gradually work up to 15 seconds. Slowly unbend your knees and, with control, lower your straight legs to the ground, then repeat.

Thigh chair: Stand about a foot away from a wall with your feet straight ahead. Slide your body down the wall, until you are sitting with your thighs perpendicular to the surface. Hold this position for between 30 seconds and two minutes.

Sumo squats: Stand with your legs a little further than shoulder width apart and face your toes outwards. Slowly lower your lower body, keeping your back straight, and pushing your butt out as though there is an invisible chair beneath your bum. Hold this squatting position for 10 seconds then repeat 15-20 times. That’s one rep, repeat this three-four times.

You can try spending a lot of money on skin firming products that promise to get rid of your cellulite, and while they will make your skin supple and smooth, it won’t visibly reduce the appearance, or actually get rid of your cellulite. Exercise is the one sure-fire way to ensure you become confident in your own skin.

Image via Womens health

September 6, 2015

What Your Pee Colour Says About Your Health

Yellow, green, red, or blue – your pee can come in a variety of shades, but peeing the colours of the rainbow isn’t always healthy. That’s why we’ve done the research to determine exactly what your pee colour says about your health.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Naturally Detox For Summer

Your unusual pee colour could be the result of your hearty lunch of beetroot, or, it could indicate kidney disease, a nasty urinary tract infection, or even severe dehydration.

Some funky colours could be a lack of water, with shades of dark yellow, ranging to amber or honey hues indicating normal, but in need of some hydration. While syrup or brown ale colours could be severe dehydration, some could indicate a form of liver disease. If, however, you’re drinking a lot of water and your pee is a darkish hue, it’s advisable to see your doctor (just in case).

But before you start studying your pee with a magnifying glass, take a look at this fantastic infographic from Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic centre in Ohio, who put together a handy table to help you determine just how serious your wacky pee colour really is.

What does your pee colour really mean?
What does your pee colour really mean?

According to the study conducted at the Cleveland Clinic, pale, straw coloured pee is the optimal colour and dictates good health and enough water. If your pee is so clear it’s practically transparent, however, you might want to dial back on the water – you could be drinking too much (and yes, there’s such a thing as drinking too much water). Transparent yellow to dark yellow is also normal, but the darker you get the more need you have for water.

The colour of your pee could be harmless, but nobody ever died form playing it safe. So if you’re worried about your urine’s unusual hues, seeking medical help never hurts!

Image via Fox News, Cleveland Clinic

September 6, 2015

The Fitness Mistakes We’re All Guilty Of

Everything from over-doing the cardio to skipping your post-workout protein snack is screwing up your chances of being bikini ready by summer.

RELATED: Should You Workout At Home Or Join A Gym?

If you’re taking it easy on the weights because you’re scared of looking butch, or you’re working your abs until your blue in the face, you might not be getting the most of your rigorous exercise regimen.

Our Instagram posts might make us look like experts, but in reality when it comes to fitness, we’re pretty good at screwing up. But don’t worry we’ve got your back! Here, we look at some of the fitness mistakes we’re all guilty of.

Excessive cardio

Spending hours on the treadmill or your exercise bike might shed some calories, but it won’t help you gain muscle mass. All those perfect bodies plastered across the Internet of fit and attractive women, are bodies that combine high intensity interval training (HIIT) with weight training. Contrary to what our mothers might believe, weight training isn’t just for men. Lifting weights helps to build lean muscle and tones your fat. While doing excessive cardio won’t help you gain muscle mass, or alter the shape of your body.

Being a eat-aholic

Have you ever heard the saying, you can’t outrun a bad diet? Well it’s true! No amount of exercise will counteract the effects of a diet filled with sugar, fat, and excessive carbs.

Going steady with your workout routine

Your fitness regimen isn’t a long-term boyfriend, rather it’s like your latest Netflix obsession, it should be constantly changing. Doing three reps of 15 squats may work wonders to begin with, but give it three-months and despite all the squats, your ass will probably be looking pretty ordinary. Nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy, you need to be challenging yourself and stepping up your game with each workout.

In saying that, however, don’t do squats for a week and then ditch them entirely, you need to stick with a workout plan long enough to reap the benefits, then you can up the anti or try something different.

RELATED: Stay-Fit Tips For Busy Women

Being a workout s*#t

Your body needs rest!! We cannot stress how important recovery is for your body. More doesn’t necessarily mean better, it may be a cliché, but quality over quantity ladies! Take the weekend off, or aim for one day on, one day off. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, just do it! If you force your body to work out when its exhausted, you’ll do more harm than good. Your muscles need time to repair themselves so they can grow stronger, and it’s your job to let them.

You might be surprised by how good your body is at telling you what’s going on. When it’s sore and needs rest, you’ll know. Likewise, when it’s energised and ready to go, or something’s too easy, it will know. So just go with the flow.

Image via Yahoo.com

September 1, 2015

Strike A Pose: The Surprising Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga does a lot more than make you look bikini ready in time for summer; it also comes with a myriad of health benefits. From improved flexibility to perfecting your posture, you can’t look past yoga as an all over health treatment.

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide To Yoga

Who would have thought that striking a pose could improve your overall health and wellbeing? Well, the verdicts in and the surprising benefits of yoga are pretty fantastic.

Improves flexibility

Improved flexibility is one of the more obvious benefits of yoga and will make touching your toes that much easier. After a few yoga sessions you will feel a noticeable difference with your muscles and joints loosening and your posture improving.

Builds muscle strength

Strong muscles can protect you against back pain and arthritis and increases your strength without sacrificing flexibility. Whereas, traditional weight training to improve muscle strength often inhibits your flexibility, not to mention the lean muscle gained through yoga will make you look great in a bikini.

Perfects your posture

Poor posture can cause back pain, soreness in your neck and a myriad of other muscle and joint problems. Poor posture, or slumping can cause pain and degenerative arthritis in the spine that will be a real pain in the long-term. Strengthening your body by practicing yoga will promote good posture by developing a strong core and the flexibility you need to support the weight of your neck and head over long periods of time.

RELATED: Inhale The Benefits Of Yoga

Improves your bone health

Strengthening exercises such as yoga have been scientifically proven to decrease your risk of developing osteoporosis and can improve your overall bone health. This is because practicing yoga increases bone density in the vertebrae and lowers the amount of cortisol in the body. Too much cortisol prevents your bones from absorbing the calcium consumed through your diet, practicing yoga alters these damaging effects and ensures your bones are absorbing calcium the way they should.

Promotes relaxation

Finally, one of our favourite reasons yoga is a completely worthwhile form of exercise, is the fact that it helps you relax. Yoga encourages you to relax, slow your breath and focus on the present, shifting the balance from the sympathetic nervous system (or the fight-or-flight response) to the parasympathetic nervous system. The latter is calming and restorative, helping you to breathe slower and decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. This in turn creates what is often referred to as the ‘relaxation effect’ – the result being a calmer, more relaxed, happier you.

Image via tanzanianow.com

September 1, 2015

Melbourne’s Best Weekend Getaways

We all know Monday to Friday can be a drag, but sadly, annual leave may not always be within reach. A weekend getaway, however, could be just what the doctor ordered! So for all you Melbournian’s pining for a holiday, we’ve put together Melbourne’s best weekend getaways to help you unwind in true style!

RELATED: Victoria’s Best Kept Secret

Philip Island

Located south, south-east of Melbourne, Philip Island was formed nearly 6,000 years ago and is home to hundreds of penguins and other wildlife. From sprawling coastlines to some of Victoria’s best fish and chips, this island has it all.

Its cold climate and strategic location make it a popular meeting place for adorable penguins that will fill your heart with joy. The penguins are particularly fond of the island during the Easter and Christmas break when thousands of tourists flock to the shore to see them make their way to and from the water.

But penguins are not the only reason we love Philip Island as a weekend getaway – it’s also home to a mouth-watering chocolate factory and delightful family-fun activities like mini golf and mind-boggling mazes and optical illusions.

The Great Ocean Road

If you love the magic of nature, then the Great Ocean Road could be your perfect pre-Christmas break. Offering unmatched scenic beauty along Victoria’s east coast The road stretches from Torquay to Geelong, stopping in tourist hot spots like Apollo Bay and Port Fairy along the way. Home to the 12 apostles – one of natures greatest limestone formations and some of Victoria’s most picturesque beaches – no trip to Victoria is complete without a road trip down the Great Ocean Road.

RELATED: The Cost Of Living And How Australia Stacks Up

Daylesford

Peace and relaxation are just two of the things you can look forward to during a weekend spent at Daylesford. Housing numerous natural mineral spas and wellness centres you can live and breath the natural springs. Spend your days fishing, or strolling through the local markets and browsing the shelves of the towns historical library – if you only get two days, make them count.

Ballarat

Take a trip through times past at Victoria’s very own gold field in the town that gave birth to the historical gold rush. Pan for gold and dress up in period style attire at Sovereign Hill or walk the historical villages and embrace the town’s rich cultural history. Your options are truly endless in this thriving municipal.

You get two days a week to relax – and while it may not seem like much, it’s more than enough time to create lasting memories.

Image via skyscanner.com

August 31, 2015

5 Foods That Clear Your Complexion

We all want a glowing and radiant complexion, which is why we spend hundreds of dollars on cosmetics and skincare products that we don’t necessarily need. The trick to obtaining enviable skin that looks like it’s fresh out of magazine, is paying careful attention to the foods you’re eating, not the products you’re using.

RELATED: Beauty Superfoods For Healthy, Glowing Skin

These 5 foods that clear your complexion are the perfect additions to your diet if you want to start caring for your skin on a budget.

Berries

We’re talking the darker members of the berry family. From raspberries to blueberries and blackberries, these juicy fruits will kick your acne prone or oily skin up the butt. Berries are jammed with skin-clearing antioxidants and fibre too, which is great for controlling hunger and regulating insulin production.

Peppermint

Peppermint and peppermint tea is renowned for its healing and calming properties. It also aids digestion and relieves stress – a notorious acne aggravator, treats headaches and clears sinuses. Is there anything this miracle elixir can’t do? Probably not! But if you don’t believe us, try switching your regular brew for a sweet cup of peppermint tea. You won’t be disappointed.

Pumpkin seeds and Brazil nuts

Zinc and selenium deficiencies have been linked to acne in some sufferers, which is why introducing nuts – in particular Brazil nuts – and pumpkin seeds are a great addition to your every day diet. Consuming selenium in your diet increases the number of white blood cells in your body, increasing your potential to fight off infections and skin imperfections. If this isn’t already enough reason to start munching on natural nuts and seeds, they’re also filled with vitamin E, copper and magnesium, which are all essential to your skin health.

RELATED: 10 Simple Beauty Hacks

Water

Although not technically a food, healthy skin always starts with hydration. One of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to flush out unwanted toxins and improve brain function is to drink plenty of water. Ensuring you drink enough water also reduces stress levels and replenishes your cells so that your skin is equipped to handle undesirable skin conditions.

Brown rice

Links have been made between steady blood sugar and skin health, which indicates that foods with lower glycemic indexes can go a long way in clearing your complexion. Try switching out processed carbohydrates like white bread and pasta for more complex carbohydrates like brown rice and wholegrain breads and pastas.

Image via womenshealthmag.com

August 31, 2015

6 Things That Change After You Get Married

Marriage may only be a piece of paper, but significant nonetheless. Some people say nothing changes when you get married, while some people say everything changes. To clear up the confusion, we’re here to outline the 6 things that change after you get married.

RELATED: 10 Ways To Reignite That Honeymoon Spark

You unwittingly become an adult

That big rock on your finger starts to command a certain level of respect, but with respect comes responsibility. Marriage is all about moving forward in life and is an important marker for adulthood. Generally speaking you’ll move in together, buy a house and start thinking about the future. Marriage can easily change your whole perspective on life and unwittingly makes you put someone else first, eliminating selfishness.

People start expecting you to have kids

“So, when are you two going to have kids?” – marriage means being prepared to hear this question, constantly! Even if kids are nowhere on the horizon people become obsessed with babies and a lot of people can get very pushy.

Money becomes fight worthy

Bills, mortgages and potential holidays are just the beginning. Everything you spend money on affects your husband. If you have an abundance of money, it probably won’t be a problem. If you’re lacking money, however, it will become a common argument trigger. But it doesn’t have to be. Budgeting and careful planning can help ensure you steer clear of uncomfortable money related fights.

Decisions become a joint venture

Everything from what you eat for dinner to what colour you’re going to paint the house becomes a joint decision. Some people look at this as a lack of independence, when really it’s all about compromise. It’s important to remember that every decision affects the both of you and as such, you should each be happy with what you choose.

You would rather spend a night in, over a night out

What’s the point in going clubbing to pick up men when you already have one at home? Getting married helps you become more settled and satisfied with spending time with the one person.

You become a married woman

This one may sound obvious, but a lot changes when people start identifying you as a married woman. You’re no longer single and ready to mingle; instead you’re married and ready to go home to your husband every night. Taking pleasure in this will help to keep your honeymoon period alive indefinitely because it’s a constant reminder of how lucky you are.

Image via www.lifehack.org

August 31, 2015

Make The Move: Is Moving Overseas For You?

It’s in our nature to dream of travel, to live a life filled with excitement and adventure, but sometimes to live these dreams we need to step outside of our comfort zones and board a plane to a faraway place.

RELATED: The Cost Of Living And How Australia Stacks Up

But should you make the move? We’re not all cut out for traipsing across the globe to find a home away from home, but if you are, then the world is your oyster – literally! To help you figure out if moving overseas is for you, ask yourself these simple questions:

Are you independent?

Living overseas is never going to work if you rely too heavily on other people. Confidence is usually a good indication of independence and goes hand-in-hand with being able to look after yourself. If you’re comfortable asking for directions or boldly walking into a business and asking if they have any jobs available, then there’s a good chance you’re cut out for living in a foreign country.

Do you have a good sense of direction?

Reading a map, or operating a functional GPS is a must! There’s no point settling down in a foreign place if you can’t tell your lefts from your rights or figure out which direction the train station is. Navigating foreign cities and towns can be difficult, but is also essential if you’re going to cut it in the big bad world.

Can you handle spending time away from your loved ones?

Moving away from home can be lonely at the best of times, especially when your mum and dad are on the other side of the world! If you’re prone to homesickness or can’t go a day without a hug from your bestie, moving overseas might not be for you. If you’re more of a phone call type of girl, however, you might just be able to cut it in the big apple (so to speak).

RELATED: Victoria’s Best Kept Secret

Can you, if need be, live out of a box?

It’s hard to settle down when you’re constantly chasing the next adventure. If you’re only lusting after an exotic life, then you might want to take a holiday instead. If, however, you’re in it for the long haul, pack your suitcase and jump on the next flight – you’re moving overseas! Uprooting your life is a prerequisite for living an adventurous life in new and exciting locations. If you can handle this, you can handle anything.

Are you accepting of other cultures?

If you aren’t open to adopting, or at least accepting, other people’s way of life, then you might not be cut out for living overseas. America and England may be English-speaking countries, but they’re still wildly different to Australia. Likewise, if you move to southeast Asia, or Europe you’re bound to run into a few cultural differences. Embrace these differences with open hands and you’ll fit in in no time, reject them and you’ll very quickly find yourself on a plane home.

What’s the verdict? Are you ready to make the move?

Image via Sheknows

August 30, 2015

The Cost Of Living And How Australia Stacks Up

Have you thought about chucking things in and moving overseas? Or are you longing to escape your life for a while and go on the trip of a lifetime? Most of us have these dreams – but money usually holds us back.

RELATED: 3 Reasons to Slow Down While Travelling

Luckily, we’ve put together a handy list that spells out where’s cheap and where is not to help you choose your next destination. So if you’ve ever wondered about the cost of living and how Australia stacks up, we’ve got the answers for you.

If you’re looking for a real bargain

For a budget-friendly holiday or a whirlwind adventure across the globe, these 15 countries have the lowest cost of living and will set you back the least amount of dollars along the way.

  1. India
  2. Nepal
  3. Pakistan
  4. Tunisia
  5. Algeria
  6. Moldova
  7. Egypt
  8. Macedonia
  9. Syria
  10. Colombia
  11. Bangladesh
  12. Indonesia
  13. Georgia
  14. Morocco
  15. Philippines

If you’ve got some extra cash to splash

On the other side of the spectrum, these 15 countries are a lot more pricey. Heads up: apparently us Aussies have been blowing a lot more cash than the rest of the world.

  1. Switzerland
  2. Norway
  3. Venezuala
  4. Iceland
  5. Denmark
  6. Australia
  7. New Zealand
  8. Singapore
  9. Kuwait
  10. UK
  11. Ireland
  12. Luxembourg
  13. Finland
  14. France
  15. Belgium

You’ve probably noticed a pattern; it seems some of the most developed countries in the world with excellent health care systems are more expensive and the places exposed to poorer living standards are cheaper. Does this effect your decision?

Personally, as much as I love a fancy hotel and clean streets, what’s the point in travelling if you’re not going to experience a different way of life?

Image via philstar.com

August 23, 2015

10 Beauty Commandments

We’re all guilty of playing on the dark side – but these 10 beauty commandments will ensure you’re beauty regimen is always golden!

RELATED: 10 Simple Beauty Hacks

Thou shalt regularly wash your beauty brushes

Washing your makeup brushes at least once a week can prevent the development of acne or skin infections and reduces the amount of skin oils building up in your compact. Synthetic foundation and concealer brushes can be cleaned with regular face wash, while all your fluffy brushes and powder puffs can be cleaned with shampoo. Make sure you leave plenty of time for them to dry out before you try using them again – the last thing you want is lumpy powder.

Thou shalt get regular trims

Every six or so week’s just like the doctor ordered! The key to healthy hair is loyalty and regular trips to your hairdressers will keep those pesky split ends at bay – a good trim will keep your hair tidier and healthier.

Thou shalt indulge in a facemask

You don’t need to commit to these every other day, but using a hydrating sheet mask once a week will give your skin a moisture surge that will keep your skin glowing for days.

Thou shalt nourish from the inside out

It’s true ladies, good on the inside equals good on the outside. A diet rich in all your fruits, vegetables, protein, fibres, and healthy fats is exactly what you need to keep your skin, hair and nails healthy.

Thou shalt check your foundation shade as the seasons change

You might be white and pasty in winter, but come summer your skin develops a warmer glow. As such you should check your foundation shade as your complexion changes with the seasons to make sure you’re using the shade that’s right for you.

Thou shalt not use mascara that’s more than 3 months old

Mascara, like most other things, grows bacteria over time. Do you really want to put a bacteria filled mascara brush near your eye?

RELATED: The Lazy Girls Guide To Looking Great

Thou shalt try something new

You don’t own just one pair of shoes, so why would you restrict yourself to one type of lippie or eyeliner? Be bold and exciting by mixing your style up every now and again.

Thou shalt learn the art of smoky eyes

This is the number one requested makeup look and is sexy and sultry for any time of the day or night. Try lighter shades during the day and darker, bolder shades at night.

Thou shalt never compare oneself to anybody else

A healthier and happier you – a more beautiful you – isn’t dependent on anyone else. Love your own skin and forget about everybody else’s.

Thou shalt abolish all self-doubt

You are who you are and you should love that!

Image via idiva.com

August 23, 2015

5 Days of Healthy Snacks

Did you know that the more often you eat the more fat you’ll shed? Eating regular, small portions of  nutritious foods will help make you healthier and happier, not to mention your waistline will love you!

To get you started on your healthy journey, we’ve put together 5 days of healthy snacks that will curb your cravings and keep you fuller for longer.

RELATED: Beef and Mushroom Noodle Soup Recipe

Peanut butter banana and apple bites

Thick apple wedges topped with a dollop of peanut butter and banana slices are the perfect afternoon pick-me-ups to get you through your 3pm slump.

Apple chips

When you’ve got the nibbles and don’t fancy the guilt that comes from wiping out a whole bag of Doritos, homemade apple chips pack all the punch of pre-packaged goods minus the risk of the dreaded bloat.

All you need is two tablespoons of sugar, one tablespoon of ground cinnamon, and four thinly sliced apples. Simply core and slice the apples, coat them thickly in the combined sugar and cinnamon, and bake in the oven for two hours.

Fruit salad

Whoever said you couldn’t make friends with salad clearly never indulged in a fresh bowl of juicy, fresh fruit. From potassium rich bananas to antioxidant rich blueberries, seasonally selected fruits hold a range of dietary benefits and will give you the perfect energy boost.

RELATED: Top Snack Hacks to Beat the 3pm Slump

Cottage cheese filled avocado

This fruit and dairy combo is a clear winner for when you’re craving something rich, creamy and a bit savoury. Remove the pit from half an avocado and fill the space with two-ounces of cottage cheese. This tasty snack will score you a good dose of protein and healthy fibre.

Canned tuna and whole-wheat crackers

There’s nothing fishy about this mouth-watering, wholesome combination. With plenty of omega-3 and lean protein this is a winner in our eyes.

August 21, 2015

The Best Shampoo And Conditioner For Your Hair Type

Whether your hair is damaged, dry, or frizzy, every great style starts in the shower. Using the right hair care products is the first step to achieving those lush locks that you’ve always wanted.

RELATED: What Your Hairdresser Really Thinks: Salon Dos and Don’ts

However, a trip to the supermarket to select the right shampoo and conditioner can feel like you’re sitting in high school chemistry with no idea what’s going on!

Smoothing, volumising, moisturising, ant-dandruff, colour-safe – it’s a jungle out there. That’s why we’ve put together some tips to help you choose the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair type so you can meet your perfect match.

Your hair texture, thickness, and how often you wash and style your hair are all contributing factors.

Dry or damaged hair

Shampoo

Hair prone to dryness needs moisture rich shampoos that don’t contain sodium laureth sulfate (which is a stripping detergent). Your shampoo should gently cleanse your hair with rich conditioning ingredients like shea butter that smoothes and detangles the hair.

Conditioner

A moisturising shampoo should be used from the ends of your hair to the root, with the least amount of product being used on your scalp. Natural oils, shea butter, and protein are essential ingredients for dry and damaged hair. Leave-in conditioners applied to the ends of your hair can also help to re-invigorate dull hair.

We recommend: Schwarzkopf Professional BC Bonacure Barbary Fig Oil Restorative Shampoo 200ml and matching conditioner.

Curly, wavy, or thick hair

Shampoo

Like dry and damaged hair, thick and curly hair is prone to drying out and frizz. As such creamy and moisture rich products should be your best friend. Avoid washing your hair every day and instead let your scalps natural oils work their magic.

Conditioner

Curly and thick hair types work particularly well with conditioners that contain silicone and proteins, which coat the cuticle of the hair and reduce frizz. Conditioners with smoothing properties like wheat protein and soy will also give your hair an extra boost of moisture.

We recommend: Aveda Be Curly Shampoo and Conditioner.

Coloured hair

Shampoo

Coloured hair needs hair-products that keep your treatment looking bright and fresh. Therefore, colour-protecting shampoos that contain fewer harsh cleansers are great because they prevent fading. These types of products will help to re-hydrate your hair and restore shine.

Conditioner

Once again, targeted conditioners that are developed specifically for colour-treated hair. These products contain UV filters that act in a similar way to sunscreen that prevents colour fading.

We Recommend: Biolage Delicate Care Shampoo and Pureology Hydrate LightConditioner.

Image via wisegeek.com

August 20, 2015

Cut Your Calorie Intake With These Food Swaps

When it comes to weight loss cutting back can be difficult – but cutting out entirely can be impossible. But weight loss can be made easy if you can cut your calorie intake with these food swaps.

RELATED: How To Spot A Dodgy Diet Before It Spots You

Complete diet makeovers can be overwhelming and are hard to maintain in the long-term. Transitioning into a healthy eating plan is much more practical. Baby steps are always helpful, for example; swapping white bread for wholegrain bread or full cream milk, for skim milk. These small, barely noticeable changes can make a big difference in achieving your weight loss goals and improving your overall diet.

Here, we outline some of the easiest food swaps to cut your calorie intake and improve your wellbeing.

Swap your normal hamburger bun for an English muffin

This simple and still tasty alternative can save you up to 120 calories. A regular hamburger bun or your typical white bread roll delivers 236 empty calories – mostly from the white flour – without adding any form of nutrition. Choosing a whole-wheat muffin can give you an extra boost of fibre and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

Swap cereal for oatmeal

A bowl of store brought cereal packs 200 plus calories, while a bowl of oatmeal only contains around 150 calories, plus the added benefit of less fat and sugar and extra fibre. Add some blueberries for natural sweetness and a boost of antioxidants for only an extra eight-calories.

Swap iceberg lettuce for spinach

Although it’s not really saving you any calories, iceberg lettuce doesn’t enhance your diet with any worthwhile nutrients. However, spinach is filled with iron, magnesium, folate, and Vitamins A and C that will all keep your metabolism in tip-top shape.

Swap potatoes for sweet potatoes

You can cut approximately 50-calories from your diet by swapping one medium sized potatoe for one medium sized sweet potatoe. The great thing about potatoes is they’re so diverse! You can have sweet potatoe fries, wedges, mashed sweet potatoe, or even roasted sweet potatoes.

Swap potatoe chips for kale chips

Kale is considered a superfood for good reason – it’s packed with essential nutrients that can boost your metabolism and keep your body functioning healthily. One-and-a-half-cups of kale chips will only set you back 84 calories, while the same amount of potatoe chips will stock you up with 200 calories. Not to mention a standard serve of kale fulfils your daily intake of Vitamins A and C, with a generous amount of calcium and folate.

RELATED: Top 5 Ways To Be A Greener Cook

Swap sour cream for Greek yoghurt

Sour cream can be addictive! Whether it’s on wedges or nachos, as dressings or in soup – but it’s also filled with unnecessary fats and calories. Jumping on the Greek yoghurt bandwagon can help you easily cut back on those calories without sacrificing taste. Greek yoghurt has half the calories, tastes very similar and is filled with probiotics that help support the healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

These simple food swaps can make sure you stay on the road to success without compromising on taste!

Image via Mamamia

August 15, 2015

The Bad Skin Habits You Need To Ditch

The first step to achieving healthy, glowing skin, is ditching your bad skin habits. From popping pimples to sleeping in your makeup, these seemingly harmless habits are preventing you from achieving a clear complexion.

To do this, you first need to identify your problem habits. That’s why we’ve put together some of the worst skin habits that we’re all guilty of.

RELATED: Beauty Superfoods For Healthy, Glowing Skin

Smoking

Smoking causes premature skin ageing, makes sun damage more noticeable and can cause skin lesions. On top of this it worsens the appearance of wrinkles and can give your skin a yellow discolouration. Smoking can be incredibly difficult to quit, so we’ve started with a hard one! But quitting could put you on a road to a healthier body and mind, as well as decreasing your risk of noticeable skin damage.

Sleep deprivation

While you’re sleeping your body is actively working to rejuvenate itself and a lack of sleep can result in grey, sagging skin under your eyes, frown lines and redness around the eyes. Although this isn’t harmful to your skin as such – it’s also not giving you the bright and fresh complexion you want.

Picking and scratching

Every time you pick or scratch at any form of skin irritation or insect bite, you’re increasing your need to scratch and harming your skin in the process. It will also slow down your healing process, leaving your skin irritated for longer.

Not removing your makeup

Leaving your makeup on, especially while you’re sleeping or exercising, can build up a layer of dirt on your skin that blocks your pores. This often leads to breakouts or oily, irritable skin. Making sure you wash your face before bed and remove any makeup before you hit the sack, or the gym is really important if you want clear and glowing skin.

Not wearing sunscreen

Sun damage from Australia’s harmful UV rays can cause premature ageing, dry your skin out and most importantly, it increases your risk of developing cancerous melanoma. There are plenty of scent free, moisturising sunscreens available on the market, so there’s really no excuse to skip your slip, slop, slap.

Popping pimples

As tempting as it may be to squeeze that unsightly pimple, you’re actually doing more harm than good. Popping pimples, especially if you’re a pop-aholic, can cause permanent scarring and your pimples will take longer to clear up than if you just let them be.

We know it’s hard, but these really are the bad skin habits you need to ditch right now!

Image via makeupbymisscee.com

August 15, 2015

How Fit Are You?

Have you ever wondered just how fit you actually are? A great Instagram shot in workout gear can be deceiving and a lot of us fall into the trap of thinking thin means fit – but that’s not always the case. On the contrary, it’s difficult to judge a persons fitness just by looking at them. Likewise, a lot of us don’t really know how fit we really are! So how fit are you?

RELATED: Should You Workout At Home Or In A Gym?

Unless you hit the gym religiously or run marathons, chances are you don’t actually know how fit you are. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! These simple at home tests are a sure fire way to judge your strength and overall fitness levels.

Ask yourself these questions:

Can you touch your toes?

Flexibility is an important part of fitness because it gives an insight into the strength of your muscles. If you can’t touch your toes while keeping your legs straight then you might not be in the best shape. Inability to reach your toes can indicate hamstring tightness, which is often symptomatic of inactivity. A lot of people working in offices have this problem because sedentary lifestyles can shorten your hamstrings.

Do you start sweating straight away during a workout?

Sweating early on in a workout can actually be a good sign that your fitness is on track. This is called ‘efficient sweating’ that happens when the body is accustomed to a workout. When you start sweating during a warm up your body anticipates the need to cool down and therefore starts sweating. However, keep in mind this could depend on the room’s temperature.

Do you watch TV before bed, but then can’t sleep?

The sleep hormone melatonin is kept in check by exercise. Being unable to sleep, even after long periods of relaxation, you might not be getting enough exercise. The same thing goes for if you find yourself constantly waking up for no reason.

RELATED: Victoria’s Secret Angel Workout

Can you stand up from a cross-legged position without using your hands?

It’s surprising how many people can’t do this. Sit on the floor cross-legged and raise yourself into a standing position without touching the ground or using your arms for support. If you can do this it indicates good core strength and balance.

If you work at a desk, do you get up and move around?

Not standing up, walking around or stretching at least once every hour could be compromising your overall health and fitness, or undoing any exercise you are doing. Your blood circulation can stagnate and your muscles can stop contracting if your not moving around.

Do you actively exercise more than twice a week?

Exercising more than twice week puts you in a pretty good position health and fitness wise. Up to five-hours of moderate exercise, or two and a half-hours of intense exercise can help prevent unhealthy weight gain and decrease your risk of developing some cancers while improving blood-pressure, cholesterol and bone and muscle strength.

So, how fit are you?

Image via fitday.com

August 15, 2015

How To Beat A Bloated Belly

You’re exercising and eating properly, but for some reason you just can’t banish that bloat! Sometimes last night’s dessert is the culprit, but sometimes you’re clueless. However, you don’t need to be destined to suffer bloating for the rest of your life – there are some easy fixes. We show you exactly how to beat a bloated belly!

RELATED: 8 Ways To Naturally Detox For Summer

Abdominal bloating happens when your stomach feels full and tight from a build up of gas in the small intestine. It’s gross, we know – but this is what makes your stomach visibly swollen. For all the tips and tricks on how to get a flat tummy, read on!

Avoid Salt

Adding salt to your food may taste delicious, but you’re not doing yourself any favours. Salt is often hidden in foods too without you even knowing it – the food might not even taste salty. Some common culprits include pre-packaged sauces, soups, crackers and dressings. Reducing these salts in your diet can help reduce bloating. If you want some added flavour in your food, try switching salt for herbs and spices.

Eat your food slowly

When you eat your food quickly, you end up digesting a lot of air. This leads to poor digestion and makes your stomach bloat. You can ditch the fast-eating habit by putting your fork down between each mouthful or by chewing slowly and savouring each mouthful of your meal.

Have a 3pm snack

If you’re anything like us when 3pm rolls around, you’re hungry and reaching for anything with sugar to keep you going until dinner. Sure, this will spike your insulin and give you an energy burst in the short term, but after you’ve had that boost of energy, your insulin levels will drop dramatically shortly after and leave you feeling lethargic and hungrier.

On the other hand, many people don’t eat at 3pm because they’re too busy. This leaves a long gap between lunch and dinner, during which time your metabolism starts to slow and your blood sugar starts to drop. By the time you eat dinner, you’re starving and you eat larger portions in record times, which leads to bloating.

Eating a snack high in protein or wholegrain carbohydrates mid-afternoon will keep you going the healthy way. Nuts and wholegrain crackers are always a good choice.

Stress less

Anxiety produces cortisol and cortisol is the stress hormone that stores your bodies fat. Even if you’re following a healthy diet and exercising regularly, over-working yourself or stressing too much can undo all your hard work. Try meditation or deep breathing exercises to calm you down.

Go green

Filled with antioxidants, this delicious drink can help speed up your metabolism and prevent bloating. Two to three steaming cups of tea – or ice tea – can work wonders for that stubborn fat around your abdomen.

Image via beautyblackbook.com

August 13, 2015

Ab Myths: Fact Vs Fiction

Are you killing yourself at the gym but not seeing results? Chances are, someone’s given you some dodgy advice, and you’re the one paying the price. Here, we uncover the biggest ab myths to help you turn your exercise regime around – so you’ll be rocking some killer abs in no time.

RELATED: Should You Workout At Home Or Join A Gym?

Myth: Crunches will give you abs

Contrary to popular belief, crunches may not be the best exercise for strengthening your core. Crunches do very little to stimulate fat loss and burn calories and they only target a very small section of your stomach. If you want to achieve better results, try opting for planks and leg raises instead. However, if you’re determined to shed some weight doing crunches, make sure you maintain proper form so you don’t damage your back.

Myth: You need a gym to lose weight

Not only are they expensive, gym memberships are also unnecessary. Your own bodyweight and a little discipline can be just as effective in burning fat and toning up as fancy gym equipment. In fact, studies have actually shown that weight machines can be detrimental as they inhibit your body’s natural movements. Basic exercises like squats, lunges, mountain climbers, and much more can all be achieved with an empty space in your home or garage.

Myth: You’ll get killer abs by working on your abdominal area

Toned stomachs are achieved from whole body workouts. Yes, planking will help, but so will burpies, cardio, upper body resistant training, yoga, and Pilates! You will gain core strength from a combination of different forms of exercise. A balanced exercise routine that targets all areas of your body will be much more efficient than just spending hours doing tummy exercises.

RELATED: A Beginner’s Guide To Yoga

Myth: Exercise compensates for a bad diet

No amount of exercise will make up for eating a tub of ice cream every day. It’s okay to indulge in your favourite foods every now and again but overeating will create a layer of fat over any muscle you gain through exercise. Abs are achieved through a combination of healthy eating and targeted workouts, not from eating whatever you want, whenever you want it.

Fact: Abs take hard work and dedication

There are no shortcuts to developing abs – if you apply yourself, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet, abs are achievable.

Image via Pinterest

August 13, 2015
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