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Don’t Buy That! 10 Foods You Should Make at Home

Don’t Buy That! 10 Foods You Should Make at Home

Some very delicious packaged foods have some seriously disgusting ingredients (who knew ice cream’s dirty little secret?). Others are ridiculously over-priced for how easy they are to make. And some just taste so much better when you make them yourself.

Here are 10 super simple things you should never buy pre-made again.

Whipped Cream

Cakes_Really_Vanilly_lg

    Once you make whipped cream at home you’ll realize that, whatever it is in those pressurized cans, it’s not the same as what you just put on your pie. You hardly need a recipe to make whipped cream at home. It’s just cream, powdered sugar, and a touch of vanilla extract all whipped together. But here’s a recipe from the Food Network just in case.

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    Vanilla Extract

    Vanilla-Bean-Bundle-1-of-11

      True, making vanilla extract takes a tremendous amount of patience, but you’ll save a bundle making it yourself. All you need is vanilla beans, clean glass containers, vodka, and a couple months. You can get everything you need (aside from the vodka) as well as the recipe at Beanilla.com.

      Chicken stock

      If you have ever wondered why your homemade soup just doesn’t measure up to your favorite restaurant’s, you probably only need to make one small adjustment: start with homemade stock. As the base that all the other ingredients build on, the stock is pretty important flavor-wise. Most canned and boxed stocks have very little flavor, just a lot of sodium. Martha Stewart has a very reliable recipe, which is a great place to start.

      Salad dressing

      If you don’t care for a little titanium dioxide with your salad, steer clear of store bought salad dressings. Found in paint and sunscreen, titanium dioxide is a great ingredient for turning dingy, overly-processed substances bright white; but not so good for your health. Instead whip up a batch in your blender in just a couple minutes. The Pioneer Woman offers a great recipe on the Food Network web site (ignore the preparation time since most of it is just chilling the dressing in the fridge).

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      Hummus

      Hummus

        Once you discover all the delicious things that pair nicely with hummus (vegetables and pita for example), you’ll want to have it around all the time. A cheaper alternative to buying it pre-made is to make it yourself, and it’s really easy. Try this recipe from About.com or if you’re more of a perfectionist, this one from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen.

        Lemonade

        Lemonade

          Whether you find bottled lemonade too sweet or just want to try a little DIY experiment, you’ll be pleased by the results of homemade lemonade. The Pioneer Woman comes through again (as she so often does) with a refreshing lemonade recipe that will please your own little punks every time.

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          Ricotta

          rich homemade ricotta

            Not only does homemade ricotta taste so much better than store bought, it’s also a lot cheaper. If you can boil water, you can make ricotta. Just follow these excellent directions over at Smitten Kitchen.

            Peanut Butter

            MAKE YOUR OWN PEANUT BUTTER

              A staple in practically every American mother’s pantry, peanut butter is a pretty healthy food, as long as it’s just peanut butter. Skip the whole hydrogenated oil business and make your own using a really, really easy recipe from A Beautiful Mess. There are only two ingredients, so it really couldn’t get easier.

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              Pancake Mix

              Whole Wheat Pancakes

                If you don’t recognize the ingredients on the box, it’s time to make your own mix. Try this one from the health monks at Tassajara Meditation Center where flipping sublime pancakes is just one way to reach Nirvana.

                Granola Bars

                Chocolate Granola Bars

                  Making your own snacks is a great way to cut out unwanted sugar and to customize food to your tastes. Tweak this recipe from the Daily Green to make it exactly how you want it.

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                  Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                  10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                  10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                  There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                  One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                  In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                  Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                  1. Cat Camel Stretch

                  Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                  Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                  Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                  Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                  2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                  This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                  Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                  The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                  Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                  Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                  3. Jumping Jacks

                  Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                  Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                  4. Abductor Side Lifts

                  Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                  Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                  5. Balancing Table Pose

                  This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                  Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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                    6. Leg Squats

                    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                    7. Push Ups

                    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                    8. Bicycle Crunches

                    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                    9. Lunges

                    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                    10. Bicep Curls

                    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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