By Rob Vaux
1. Answer the Tough Questions Early
A long-distance relationship entails a number of different stressors that can capsize things very easily if they aren't discussed and clarified early on. Sit down and talk through those questions before things begin. How long is the separation likely to last? Is there a point at which one party or the other may be able to move closer? How often will you be able to get together and see each other? Where, specifically, do you both see the relationship in a year or 2 years or 5 years? As you clarify your thinking and answer these questions, you'll establish the parameters for how the long-distance relationship will work.
2. Communicate Every Day
An emotional link is key if physical links are not possible. Send emails, make phone calls and set aside a little time each day to keep in touch. Talk about your work day, ask for advice and relate little anecdotes about things that went well or poorly. Instant messaging and email is very good for
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By Rob VauxRead More »from Maintaining a long-distance relationship
By Kevin RailRead More »from Low-calorie mocktails
If you are trying to cut back on your alcohol intake and lose weight, whip up some low-calorie mocktails that fall under the category of "virgin." These can also come in handy if you've been deemed the designated driver.
Shirley Temples are a popular drink with young people. They are made with ginger ale and alcohol-free grenadine syrup, and are garnished with a cherry. To lower the calories, use diet ginger ale. For a variation, mix 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup of lemon-lime soda and 1 tbsp. of grenadine syrup. This preparation normally comes in at about 170 calories. If you use diet soda, you can knock off another 60 calories.
Get the recipe for Shirley Temples here.
Sparkling water, or seltzer water as it's sometimes called, is nothing more than plain, carbonated water. To make a low-calorie mocktail, add 8 oz. of sparkling water to a glass and mix in 2 tbsp of cherry juice extract. Add a slice of orange, lemon or lime and throw in
By Stephen HardingRead More »from How to schedule your kids' time
Providing your child a schedule and helping her follow it will not only provide her with a sense of security, but it will also teach her important skills for the future. Schedules for kids should not be overly strict. Initially it should be very basic to help your child adjust to a life of structure. You may put a schedule into effect without your child realizing it, or you may want to discuss the schedule as a family. Regardless of how you implement it, the schedule itself should fit the needs of your family in order to be successful.
Make a visible schedule on a dry erase board if you want your children to be aware of the schedule. This step is especially helpful for children who are learning to tell time. You do not have to post the schedule on a dry erase board, but you may find this a helpful technique, according to FamilyDoctor.org.
Set meal times and any other concrete tasks down on the schedule first. For example, if your child goes
By Lynette HingleRead More »from Heart-healthy fast food
Although fast food is not an optimal heart-healthy diet choice, there are times when fast food is the only available meal option. However, do not let these occasions throw you off of your heart-healthy diet track. Familiarize yourself with heart-healthy fast-food choices, and select menu items that complement heart-healthy diet standards.
Choose green salads with grilled shrimp or chicken. Although fresh salads are appropriate heart-healthy diet choices, don't ruin them with the wrong condiments or dressings. Choose low-fat, fat-free or light dressings, and stay away from bacon bits, cheese, fried chips, croutons, sour cream or rice noodles.
Choose grilled, baked or broiled chicken. While chicken may be a healthier choice than beef, fast-food establishments may use hydrogenated oils to fry their chicken, which fills the fried chicken sandwiches and chicken nuggets with anti-heart healthy trans fats. Do not add cheese, special sauce or
By Barbara AlvarezRead More »from Survive your first month as a non-smoker
You have decided that your New Year's resolution is to stop smoking. Whether you've tried to quit smoking in the past or this is your first attempt, you will need a strong set of backup activities and support to help you survive your first weeks living cigarette-free. You're tired of being dependent on cigarettes, but you're also afraid of the physical end psychological symptoms you may experience. Start developing your emotional support, activities and tools to be successful in stopping your cigarette habit.
Remember every day why you have quit smoking. You have survived the first hours, when the nicotine has left your system after your last cigarette. You should feel withdrawal symptoms for approximately three days after your last cigarette. Keep your reasons for quitting smoking list with you at all times and refer to it when you are feeling weak.
Ask your spouse, family, friends and co-workers for their emotional support as you ride out the first
By Clare SteffenRead More »from Dealing with stress
1. What Stress Is
When people think of stress, they tend to think about situations that bring us out of their comfort zone and cause feelings of discomfort. Extreme stress can result in anxiety or health deterioration but not all stress is about the extreme situation. In fact, you cannot live life without encountering stress. Stress is also about the ability to adapt and adjust to physical and emotional demands. As people develop, their mind and body learns skills that help them adapt and adjust to daily stress triggers. At times they are put under conditions that place demands beyond their ability to cope; this is where knowing how to manage stress is critical.
2. Identifying Stress
Stress doesn't always come in a brightly colored package that lets you know you are receiving stress. At times, your antenna may be off and you underestimate the degree of stress to which you are being exposed. It is important to identify the various types of stress you experience; how
By Kelley KeithRead More »from Achieve your fitness goals
1. No Excuses
"I don't have time," "I am too tired," "I have too much work to do." These are just some of the familiar excuses used to derail fitness goals. Excuses are the enemy of fitness goals. Don't make excuses; formulate ways to achieve your fitness goals. The power of positive thinking is a key part of any goal setting exercise. Visualize why you are striving toward these benchmarks. Picture that new physically fit you, running on the beach or playing with the kids.
2. Write It down
Put pen to paper and write those fitness goals down. While the reasons are not totally clear, it is a fact that if a person writes down a goal they are two to three times more likely to achieve that goal. Writing your fitness goals down is like making a contract with yourself to accomplish these items. Be sure to write the goals in a detailed and positive manner.
3. Present Tense Goals
The goals should not be vague. For example, sometimes a person will state, "I will lose weight."
By Shannon PeddicordRead More »from Foods that will help you lose weight
1. Read Labels With a Discerning Eye
Pay special attention to how many servings are in each container, remembering that the listed number of calories applies to one serving. A 24-oz. can of soda, for example, is equal to three servings, which means that it is packed with a total of 300 calories and a whopping 80 g of sugar. Watch out for high-fat, high-cholesterol foods, too, and don't neglect to check out their trans fat content. Trans fats are industrially created and should be avoided, as they have been shown to cause weight gain, raise LDL ("bad") cholesterol and put consumers at risk for coronary heart disease.
2. Use Your Culinary Creativity
Lighten up high-fat, high-sugar recipes with ingredient substitutions. Replace butter with apple sauce, eggs with egg whites or vegetable oil with fruit juice or broth. Rather than spreading mayonnaise on your turkey sandwich, spread avocado for an infusion of antioxidants and healthy fat. Switch out full-fat sour cream
By Sarah HardingRead More »from How to Start Fresh in the New Year
The New Year inspires goals of renewal and change in many women. For some this means a long list of small changes but for others it may mean the huge task of quitting smoking, shedding a few dozen pounds or pursuing a new hobby more vigorously. It isn't too uncommon for women to have a general resolution to start the New Year differently than any other year. If you desire to start the year fresh by improving your health through diet and fitness, then it is important to create a plan and incorporate small changes.
Clear out that kitchen
For an instant sense of accomplishment, spend some time ridding your kitchen of all the foods that encourage you to stray from your healthy diet plan. Toss expired or opened high-calorie, high-fat foods. Box up any other items and donate them to a local food pantry.
Examples of diet sabotaging foods include:
Cake and cookie mixes
Ice cream and
Foods that need to be fried before eating
Plan your meals
By Sarah HardingRead More »from Get Organized in the New Year
Getting organized for the New Year can be a hefty task but you can accomplish this goal by paring it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Keep a list or spreadsheet of your tasks and mark them off as you complete them to stay motivated.
Trim expenses. Cancel magazine subscriptions, monthly recurring charges for services you do not use or downgrade your subscriptions if you find that you are not utilizing them adequately.
Examine your previous years spending and create a new budget. Use software tools that have a spreadsheet option or utilize the free money-managing program that may be hiding on your computer. There are many articles on Livestrong.com that discuss ways to budget.
Create a debt repayment plan. Use the same type of tools that you used for creating your budget.
Schedule time to work out. Exercise can be invigorating and can give you more energy to fulfill the rest of your New Year's plan. Find a partner to hold you accountable or sign up for Dares at