Tips For Healthy Eating, Exercise, and Portion Control

A healthy lifestyle is a reflection of your personal values and the habits you cultivate on a daily basis. When you prioritize, in your own mind, the importance of taking care of your own health, as well as that of your family, you’ve laid the groundwork for a healthier home environment.

One of the worst dietary habits that many families fall into is keeping the kitchen well stocked with ice cream, cookies, cheese, crackers, and potato chips. While the mantra “All things in moderation” is a good guideline to follow, many people — especially children — do not have the self discipline to put that idea into practice. As you may have discovered, motivating your kids to eat less junk food and more fruits and vegetables can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility — and unfortunately, that’s not the kind of exercise that burns calories!

A Few Ideas For Healthier Eating

Permanently purging your home of all signs of snack foods that contain “empty calories” is too extreme of a solution for most families! A more realistic alternative might be to buy snacks in limited amounts and opt for the “reduced fat” version, whenever possible.

Then, by keeping a fresh supply of apples, bananas, and other fruit in the house, you’re encouraging your family to make healthier eating choices. One way to present this alternative in a more appealing way is to make low-cal fruit smoothies for your kids, or teach them to do it themselves (if they’re old enough).

A proven method of helping to control portion size is to serve food on smaller plates. Not only does it create the illusion of a larger serving, but it helps to limit the size of second helpings. It doesn’t work for everybody all the time, but it is worth a try!

Offering ice water with meals, instead of sugary soda and fruit drinks, is another simple, but healthy habit for the family. A slice of lemon or lime can add to both the taste and visual appeal.

There are literally dozens of other healthy food choices you can incorporate into your family’s diet, but I’ll leave those details to the nutritionists, dieticians, and medical professionals. There are also several authoritative websites online that can provide you with complete guidelines, recipes, healthy snacks, and meal plans.

What About Exercise?

As you’ve probably heard, a sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading causes of health problems in people of all ages. Fortunately, there are at least as many choices for staying physically active as there are excuses for avoiding it. Even if the idea of heading to the gym four times a week sounds about as appealing as being trapped in an elevator with a door-to-door salesman, there are plenty of other ways to stay in shape. Low-impact sports, such as golf, tennis, and swimming, can provide an array of benefits for both the mind and body. When all else fails, there’s always the option of taking a family walk in the park or neighborhood. Sometimes adding a dog into the mix can provide an additional incentive to go out and “hit the pavement.”

While all exercise and dietary programs should be approved by your physician before getting started, there are quite a few common-sense approaches to improving health, such as portion control, junk food reduction, and age-appropriate physical activity (taking in account medical restrictions and personal safety.)

3 Must-Haves for a Successful Homebuying Negotiation

Purchasing a house can be tricky, particularly for those who are dealing with a high-pressure negotiation. Luckily, we’re here to help you get the best results from any homebuying negotiation, at any time.

Now, let’s take a three must-haves for those who are getting ready to negotiate a home purchase.

1. Housing Market Data

An informed homebuyer is a smart shopper. As such, this individual will obtain a large assortment of housing market data that he or she can use to make the best buying decision.

For homebuyers, it is important to understand how one house stacks up against comparable residences in any real estate market. That way, a homebuyer can submit a competitive offer that is based on pertinent housing market data.

Examine the prices of recently sold houses similar to the one that you’d like to buy. Also, check out the prices of comparable houses that are currently available. And with this housing market data at your disposal, you can boost your chances of getting the optimal price for your dream residence.

2. Self-Confidence

Let’s face it – a homebuying negotiation is stressful, regardless of whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or have purchased many residences over the years. But if you remain confident throughout a negotiation, you can take a calm, cool and collected approach, even when times get tough.

A confident homebuyer will have no trouble standing his or her ground during a negotiation. And if this individual is uncomfortable with a home seller’s counter-proposal, he or she will be willing to walk away and restart a home search.

Furthermore, a confident homebuyer will remain open to new ideas and consider the home seller’s perspective. This will enable a homebuyer to examine both sides of a negotiation and proceed accordingly.

3. An Experienced Real Estate Agent

When it comes to negotiating a home purchase, there is no need to handle a negotiation on your own. Fortunately, an experienced real estate agent is happy to offer guidance at each stage of a homebuying negotiation.

An experienced real estate agent understands what it takes to purchase a great home at an affordable price. As a result, he or she will go above and beyond the call of duty to negotiate with a home seller on your behalf.

Typically, an experienced real estate agent will act as a liaison between a homebuyer and home seller. This housing market professional will keep you up to date about whether a home seller accepts or rejects your proposal to purchase a home. He or she also will provide recommendations and suggestions to help you transform a stressful negotiation into a successful one.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent is ready to respond to your homebuying concerns and questions. He or she will provide you with the support you need to ensure you can make informed decisions throughout a homebuying negotiation.

Get ready for a homebuying negotiation – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can move one step closer to finalizing a home purchase.

How You Can Keep Kids Safe if You Live Near a School

Only parents, educators and school administrators might have more influence as it regards keeping school aged children safe than you do if you own a house in a school zone. If you’re also a parent, doing what it takes to help keep kids in school zones safe might not be much of a shift.

Safety for school kids calls for everyone to shift a little

In fact, you might already be doing a lot of what’s required to help kids stay safe while living in a school zone. You might already slow down, perhaps even before you see the flashing reduced speed signs, when you near a school zone.

Another action that you might already be taking to keep kids safe if you live near a school is to stop as soon as a school bus arm goes out, creating a clear path for children to cross the street or board a school bus. But, are you also taking the below steps:

  • Keeping an eye out for out-of-place happenings – Spot strangers approaching neighborhood kids and it might be a good idea to remain near the children. You could also approach the strangers and ask them if you can help them.
  • Encouraging children to practice safety – Don’t ask children to run errands for you if you don’t know the children, as this could encourage kids to invest trust in people simply because they see the person near where they live.
  • Promote courage – Raise your children to be self-confident and courageous. Investigate bullying or abuse experiences that your children share with you. Step in and held other school aged children who say that they are being bullied or abused. Follow up on safety and resolution measures that school administrators, public investigations and social workers take to protect these children.
  • Support academics, creative arts and physical fitness – Volunteer at sports, academic and creative arts events at your child’s school and in the community.
  • Attend school events – Be present at school events, particularly parent-teacher conferences.
  • Safe property – Cut and trim hedges and trees to keep children from being injured by falling tree limbs or prickly bushes. Repair sidewalk cracks to keep children from falling. Creating a safe property also requires you to effectively and efficiently secure pets.

Keeping school kids safe require homeowner attention and action

If everyone in a community does her part to keep school aged children safe, the numbers of children who get injured, abused or harmed in other ways might drop. Driving slower, staying alert and promoting courage are all involved in helping kids to stay safe while you live in a school zone.

You don’t need to have children of your own to take smart kid safety steps. Small actions that you and your neighbors take add up.

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