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Archive: Mar 2012
  1. 7.16.12

    Donations to your Favorite Charity are a Click Away

    Courtesy of Hamed Saber

    By Anne Piccolo

    In the past, donating to charity traditionally meant taking out your checkbook and signing away x amount of dollars. With the help of the internet and a desire to make donating more interactive, a number of organizations have started to utilize a new way of getting donations- clicks.

    In a prior article, we talked about Free Rice and how, through correctly answering vocabulary questions, money is donated to the United Nations World Food Programme. Listed below are similar sites that make donating fun, easy, and even educational!

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  2. 7.11.12

    A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

    Courtesy of HaPe_Gera

    By Anne Piccolo

    People have been practicing meditation for over 3,000 years, for both the mental and physical benefits. In 2007, the US government reported over 20 million adults had meditated within the previous year, and the trend is still growing.

    While there are no set in stone rules about meditating, we want to share some guidelines to help practitioners get the most out of the activity. If you’ve been considering learning meditation, there is no better time than the present to begin.

    If you have ever been frustrated when someone tells you that a problem is “all in your head,” meditation is the answer to solving your conundrum. Even at just a few minutes a day, meditation has been known to increase serotonin levels, which positively affect mood and behavior.

    Meditation also creates relaxation on deeper levels, which can help prevent insomnia by sending you off into dreamland with ease. With practice, everyday distracting thoughts, or “mental chatter,” will decrease, and result in better focus, concentration, and memory.

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  3. 6.27.12

    The Art of Upcycling

    Green living includes reducing, reusing, and recycling. Don’t forget the fourth ‘r’: repurposing. Repurposing, also known as upcycling, is a means of taking something old and making it new again by turning it into something else.

    The term was first coined in the book Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things, by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. The authors claimed upcycling maintains or improves the quality of material.

    Many of us upcycle out of necessity when we need something in a pinch, but can’t seem to find it.  For instance, we wrap gifts in newspaper or turn an old jar into a cup. But as our awareness to take responsibility for the earth heightens, upcycling turns from a trend to a way of life.

    In fact, one company in Phoenix, AZ, started designing and building prefabricated living spaces out of old shipping containers. Upcycle Living isn’t your average pre-fab home manufacture. These trendy, chic living and workspaces are not only green, but also quite spectacular.

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  4. 6.26.12

    Flavor Your Water Naturally

    Courtesy of Pink Sherbet

    By Anne Piccolo

    Hydration is crucial during the hottest months of the year, but sipping on plain water gets a little old. Rather than reaching for sugar concoctions loaded with unwanted calories, spruce up your H20 with these healthy suggestions.

    Key Ingredients
    Summer offers crispy fruits and veggies that add tremendous flavor to your water. Toss in a little sliced cucumbers to get an antioxidant boost– and the added benefit of healthy skin. Also try sliced watermelon, strawberries, and oranges for a sweet twist. For an extra kick, a dash of cayenne pepper will pump up your metabolism and keep down your blood pressure and cholesterol. Tangy ginger can also cure stomach aches, while mint can help keep your mind relaxed and your breath fresh.

    Pucker Up!
    Lemons are the perfect zest when you’re in a pinch. Studies show that lemons help stimulate liver enzymes and aid in digestion. The citric acid in lemons relates closely to natural stomach acids, which helps to smooth out the digestive process and lower levels of acidity in your body. Some researchers suggest this, in turn, helps to promote healthy weight loss.

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  5. 6.13.12

    Out with the Old: Best Ways to Donate Used Goods

    Is your home feeling cluttered? Maybe it’s time to clean out some of your old stuff and donate it to a a person in need. You might ask- how or where can I donate my used belongings?  LesserEvil Life posted this blog to tell you where you can donate your unwanted used goods.

    Courtesy of Ashley Vowinckel

    You have so many good memories with that old couch, but now it’s taking up space in your basement. Sometimes you have to let go of your old stuff, but finding the right organization to donate used goods isn’t always easy. Luckily non-profits have come up with smart solutions by setting up drop-off points and pick-up services in convenient locations.

    Here are some great ways to breathe life back into your things by donating them to someone in need.

    Business attire. You get a lot of good wear out of your work clothes. When it’s time to clean out your closet, several organizations collect business wear to provide interview clothes for those who are looking for work. You may donate men’s work attire and toiletries to Career Gear and women’s work attire to Dress for Success.

    Cars. You had some great years with your old car, but now it just sits in your driveway taking up space. Rather than creating a neighborhood eye sore, why not donate it to a worthy cause. The American Red Cross accepts used cars- whether they are working or not—and many chapters have services that come pick them up. To find out how to donate your old car, click here for the nearest Red Cross chapter.

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  6. 6.12.12

    You Can Have Your Cheese and Eat It, Too!

    Are you lactose intolerant or think you might be? Our blogger Amelia Winslow wrote this article to help people like you ward off those unpleasant side effects. These and other helpful articles can be found at LesserEvil Life.

    If your stomach rumbles every time you eat dairy, you might be tempted to swear off this food group  forever.

    But sometimes you can find alternatives.  People with lactose intolerance can usually enjoy some dairy products, without suffering the unpleasant consequences they may have become accustomed to.

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  7. 6.6.12

    LesserEvil Chicken Souvlaki

    This Recipe comes from our friend Kellie Davis over at Mother Fitness.  When we saw that she had a Less Evil version of Chicken Souvlaki, we couldn’t resist sharing it with our fans.

    Chicken Souvlaki, Olive Relish, and Pinto Bean Hummus

    Certain meals take time, but are so worth the effort. This is one of them. Mediterranean food is always a hit in our house and one of my favorite things to make.

    These recipes are great for family dinners or to make as party food.

    This meal makes about 8 servings.

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  8. 6.4.12

    Less Evil Homemade Granola

    Healthy Homemade Granola

    You wouldn’t eat a cookie for breakfast, would you?  But a big bowl of granola?  Sure!

    What if I told you that most granola is essentially a cookie in crumbled form?  And that if you’re eating packaged granola from the grocery store, it may contain hydrogenated oils (i.e. trans fat) huge amounts of sugar, and other non-nutritious additives?

    Not quite the quintessential “health food” we thought it was, is it.

    Even homemade granola can be deceiving, because although you won’t find the weird additives, most recipes contain as much (or more) butter and sugar as you’d find in a cookie recipe.  And since most of us don’t view granola as a treat like we would a cookie, we’re likely to eat it often and in bigger portions, not realizing the effect it’s having on our waistlines.

    Luckily, you can enjoy good granola without sacrificing your health.  Making a healthy version of it at home and eating it in small portions are the two key steps.  Here’s a Less Evil Granola recipe we love.

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  9. 5.31.12

    Forgiving for Better Health

    Do find yourself digging your heels into the ground and holding grudges when really it would be much easier to forgive? Check out this article from LesserEvil Life, there is science behind forgiveness:

    The words, “I can never forgive you,” may be more damaging to your health than to your relationships. A study performed at Mayo Clinic showed the negative effects of holding a grudge on the cardiovascular system, reporting elevated blood pressure and heart rates in those who can’t let go. Reports also showed an increase in muscular tension and the feeling of being out of control.

    Courtesy of Slightly Everything

    Forgiveness can also have positive effects on your mental well-being. Research shows that helps reduce grief, depression, anxiety, as well as anger. Being hurt and angry are normal reactions toward offensive acts such as betrayal and abuse.

    Things turn unhealthy when you are unable to acknowledge the anger and process the events that occurred. Forgiveness doesn’t have to mean you condone the offensive behavior or that you excuse what happens. It simply means that you acknowledge the hurt and let it go.

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  10. 5.24.12

    A Planet that Laughs Together

    What do you have to Laugh about these days? Check out this excerpt from LesserEvil Life.

    Courtesy of Qamar

    “The first Sunday of every May is World Laughter Day. Created in 1988 by Dr. Madan Kataria, this celebration is intended to evoke global consciousness of friendship and unity through laughter.

    Dr. Kataria popularized the Laughter Yoga Movement and now has over 6,000 Laughter Clubs around the world. The idea behind the Laughter Movement is to release endorphins (feel good hormones) through a good chortle, causing a sense of relaxation and happiness. It brings hope that everyone in the world all tee-hees together, we will achieve world peace.

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