Blog Posts by Martha Stewart

  • Declutter Your Life and Own Your Time in 2 Weeks Flat

    If only there were an extra hour in the day, we'd get more rest, read more books. Heck, we'd write 'em! But in our frantic world, it's hard to find even a minute. Our plan will show you how to declutter your schedule and make room for what's important -- in just two weeks.

    It's an all-too-familiar scenario: you miraculously find yourself with a free afternoon and call a friend to ask her to go for a hike (or shopping, or to lunch). Her immediate answer, probably delivered with a stress-inflected screech: "I'm too busy." Too much work, too many errands, too many obligations. Too little time.

    Chronic busyness is epidemic in our culture, especially for women. Four in 10 working moms with children under age 18 say they always feel rushed, according to a Pew Research Center survey. And nearly half of working women say their jam-packed schedules leave them with less than an hour a day for themselves. "Many people feel that their time isn't their own," says Lama Surya Das, author of

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  • 4 Smart Strategies for Work-from-Home Moms

    Although many women work from home to spend time with their children, the kids sometimes make it difficult to meet deadlines or complete assignments. Below are some tips from Ladies Who Launch members on keeping both your little ones and your finicky clients happy.

    Related: Spend Less, Eat Better: Grocery Shopping Tips for Thrifty Foodies

    1. Use Nap Time Wisely

    If you're lucky enough to have kids who nap, take advantage of the hour or two that napping affords you. "I work during naptime so I don't have to split my focus between work and my kids," says Joanne C. Jensen of Boston, who runs M&E Ideas, LLC. As the naps get shorter, "work in 10-minute intervals," she advises, "so at least you get one thing on your to-do list accomplished." And don't feel bad about breaking out the DVDs on occasion. Most importantly, "remember that the days are long, but the years are short," she says. "Children grow up so quickly. Rather than feeling overwhelmed and restricted by the lack of

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  • 10 Cold-Weather Health Threats You Can Totally Avoid

    Clear your walk, keep your car in good shape, and heat your home this season without compromising your green values -- and save on utility bills while you're at it. All it takes is a fresh approach to your cold-winter habits. Many of the ice- and snow-fighting products we've used for years present eco-issues that don't get much attention. Take the rock salt scattered on walkways. It contains cyanide, traces of which will likely end up in your flower beds come spring. Then there's antifreeze, a known poison that rarely gets recycled. Meanwhile, coal-burning power plants, outdated wood stoves, and "warming up the car" threaten respiratory health more this season than any other time of year. With these 10 tips, you'll be on your way to a healthier, greener winter.

    Related: Martha Stewart's Top Organizing Tips

    1. Choose Safer Antifreeze

    Just 2 ounces of the standard ethylene glycol antifreeze can kill a dog. Propylene glycol offers a much less toxic alternative (although with

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  • 6 One-Ingredient Grocery Store Beauty Treatments

    While spa visits are a worthy splurge, you don't need a lot of high-tech concoctions to achieve lustrous locks and a clear complexion.

    Easy, all-natural solutions abound, and you can find them right at the grocery store. Achieve a quick, affordable glow with these one-ingredient problem solvers.

    Related: 25 New Ways to Eat Avocados

    1. Sour Cream

    Moisturizing mask and gentle exfoliant

    What It Does:
    Its lactic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid) helps speed cell turnover, brightening dull complexions. Natural fats restore skin's moisture.

    How To Use It:
    Using your fingers, smooth 1 to 2 tablespoons of cool, full-fat sour cream in a thin layer over your clean face and neck, avoiding the eye and lip areas. Wait 7 to 10 minutes, then remove the mask with a wet washcloth. Splash skin with warm water and pat dry.

    2. Chamomile Tea

    Calming compress

    What It Does:
    A natural anti-inflammatory, chamomile reduces redness and puffiness around

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  • 10 Bargain Health Foods that Should Be in Your Basket

    Make your food dollar go further with these high-nutrition, low-cost choices.

    1. Beets
    For less than $2 a pound, a two-for-one deal: Eat the roots and the leaves, for a double dose of fiber, potassium, and folate, and get antioxidant betalains and beta carotene in the bargain.

    2. Cabbage
    This modest member of the brassica family is rich in potential cancer-fighting sulforaphanes, and vitamins K and C. Cooked right, it's mild and sweet -- and paying 22 cents a serving is pretty sweet, too.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    3. Canned salmon (pink)
    For as little as 65 cents per 3-ounce serving, canned salmon is a great alternative to tuna, with more omega-3 fats and less mercury. Be sure to look wild canned Alaskan salmon.

    4. Eggs
    Versatile eggs offer perfectly balanced protein, vitamin B-12, selenium, and choline. Even enhanced with heart-healthy omega-3 fats, they'll only set you back about 50 cents for two.

    5. Lentils
    A 1-cup serving of

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  • Are You Throwing Out Perfectly Good Food? (Hint: Probably)

    As a nation, we throw 40 percent of our food -- most of it perfectly edible -- into the trash. One offbeat anti-waste crusader is making it her personal mission to put a dent in the colossal pile.

    By Elizabeth Royte

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    Holly Elmore zips through the Atlanta traffic in her 1994 red convertible, sipping from an oversize to-go cup, shifting gears, and checking her phone for dir ections seemingly all at once. We are headed to meet Robby Astrove, a young arborist who volunteers for a group called Concrete Jungle, prowling the city for trees laden with unwanted fruit and then delivering the scavenged bounty to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Astrove is among the legions of foot soldiers who slog alongside Elmore in the war on food waste she began to wage some five years back.

    "I founded Elemental Impact to teach and promote sustainable operating practices in the food-service and corporate industries," the 53-year-old former

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  • 3 All-Natural Ways to Get Ahead of Your Headaches

    Are headaches as routine as your morning coffee? Three experts from the Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California-Irvine give you ways to attack the pain using basic changes in behavior.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    What Could Be Making Your Head Hurt?

    A General Practitioner's View: Wadie Najm, M.D.
    "Stress is the No. 1 condition I treat in my office, and it manifests itself in each person's life differently. My first step with patients is to take a detailed personal history and family background. Chronic headaches can often be linked to little habits they've formed to compensate for feeling overwhelmed. Fatigue and tension can be a great strain on the muscles that support the head."

    1. Target your tension. In a "progressive muscle relaxation," start with your shoulders and deliberately tense one part of your body at a time until you reach your toes. This helps loosen the tightness that can

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  • 4 Ways to Give Your Weights Routine a Lift

    As with all forms of exercise, a strength-training rut can lead to plateaus -- or worse, injuries -- but you don't have to spend hours a day to see results. Crank it up with these smart tips for a super-efficient workout.

    Related: 8 Surprising Ways to Tame Your Sweet Tooth

    Fuel Wisely

    Don't go into a workout thirsty: A 2007 study from the University of Connecticut found that athletes with less-than-normal levels of body water performed poorly on certain strength-training moves. You don't need to drink after each set, says Christopher Berger, Ph.D., exercise physiologist and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. But keep a water bottle on hand in case you start to feel parched.

    Consider eating a small postworkout snack that pairs protein and carbs, too, such as whole-grain toast with peanut butter. It can help your muscles recover by nourishing damaged tissue (skip it, though, if you're trying to lose weight).

    Crank Up the Count

    Your best bet for increasing strength?

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  • Don't Sweat It: 12 Easy, Gym-Free Ways to Get Moving

    Although there's no doubting the importance of regular exercise, incorporating more movement into your day shouldn't be limited to structured activity. Simply getting up -- out of the chair or off the couch -- can make a difference in your health.

    The challenge lies in finding and creating more opportunities for physical activity, however small. It's a process not unlike the decision to eat more vegetables. A collection of simple, healthy strategies can upgrade your daily diet of activity. Try one or two of these suggestions -- or do them all. It's up to you. Any small change you make has the potential to affect how you feel today and how you'll feel years from now.

    Related: 35 Pantry Staples for Healthy Eating

    The Benefits of Not Sitting Still

    Stand up for an additional hour each day. You'll burn an extra 5,000 calories over the course of a year.

    Every 20 steps, you burn one calorie.

    Accumulate 30 minutes of movement each day for increased energy, lowered stress levels, and more

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  • This 3-Step Decision Making Plan Will Change Your Life

    Text by Phillip Moffitt

    As a Buddhist meditation teacher, I often counsel students facing big decisions. Take Alicia, a woman in her early forties who felt burned out by her high-profile job. Her company had just hired a new president who valued her abilities and wanted her to assume more responsibility. If she quit, Alicia feared she'd miss out on a career opportunity; if she stayed, she could find herself more stressed. "Should I hang in there, despite how I feel?" she asked me. "Or should I take the plunge and leave, even at the risk of possibly regretting my decision later?"

    Like Alicia, we're all familiar with the anxiety and uncertainty that come with decision-making. The Buddha taught that this suffering arises out of ignorance -- by which he meant not a lack of knowledge, but rather our misperception of reality. In other words, if your mind is in a jumble, you're in no position to choose wisely.

    The solution, he said, lies with mindfulness, a technique that helps you pay better

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