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Ways to Enjoy Dried Fruit as a Snack



The word snack has become so synonymous with salty or sugary treats that we often now have to add the word “healthy” to distinguish it. This is unfortunate, however, since there are so many ways to easily enjoy healthy snacks. Natural dried fruit as a snack, for example, provides a nutrient-packed alternative to salty, oily, fatty or sugary processed snacks.

How can we incorporate dried fruit into our daily snacking? Is it just a question of eating it out of a packet? Are there any more creative ways?

1. Eating Directly

First, let’s do the obvious thing which is to enjoy dried fruit directly as a snack in and of itself. Dried fruit comes with a natural sweetness that is often compounded by the drying process, making it even more enjoyable to eat. There isn’t any need for added ingredients, and you can enjoy all manner of dried fruit directly, from dried apricots and raisins to dates, prunes, dried bananas, dried goji berries…the list goes on and on.

The best way to enjoy dried fruit as a snack is to ensure that you make it as healthy and organic as possible without any added preservatives. Most important is to favour brands that don’t put in extra sugar. Some companies, in an effort to sell more of their fruit, make it into  more of a candy-like product, which negates many of the positive health benefits that dried fruit gives.

2. Create Mixes

Another way to enjoy dried fruit directly is to create your own trail mix or other fruit and/or nut mixes. Dried fruit is a nice way to sweeten and soften the texture you experience when eating various kinds of crunchy nuts and seeds. These two food groups go together beautifully to make nutritious and satisfying snacks that will keep you going between meals without resorting to junk food.

Besides trail mix, you can also make your own granola mix with dried fruit. Dried coconut in particular works well in granola, but so too do many other fruits. You can tailor your granola to suit your own tastes. Mixes are easy to store in food bags and keep in any location where you might just need to grab a quick snack — in your car, at the office, in your home workspace, and so on.

3. Baking

Dried fruit is a natural ally in the world of baking, too. Raisins have long been used in baking cookies, muffins, bread and other cakes, for example, but it doesn’t have to stop there. Adding apricots, prunes, peaches and other dried fruit is an easy way to enrich the taste of most things you’re baking. They make for the perfect hand-held snack on a busy day!

If you try to find healthier baking recipes, you can enjoy more dried fruit without worrying too much about excessive calorie or sugar intake that’s normally associated with many baked goods.

4. Cheese

If you’re having a more indulgent snack time with something like a cheese and charcuterie platter, for instance, then dried fruit is another fantastic way to enhance it. There are some cheese makers who even use it in their cheeses, especially dried apricot and cranberry. All manner of dried fruit will sweeten up that platter though and make it a really premium snack.

5. Jams and Compotes

Believe it or not, you can even use dried fruit to make jams and compotes which you can then easily incorporate into your other snacks. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich will taste even better when more of it is truly homemade.

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Tips on Protecting Carpets from Stains




For some, carpets come like a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they look fantastic and help add warmth and comfort to a room. On the other hand, we’re all afraid that sooner or later there will be a disastrous spill, or some mess from a household pet, or something else that will come along and ruin it.

Of course, just about any stain can be fixed if you call up carpet cleaning services in Melbourne, but why should you have to always rely on the pros like that? It’s a better idea to try and take whatever steps possible to protect the carpet from stains. Nothing is 100-percent foolproof, of course, but the following tips and strategies should help minimize any risk.

Tip 1: No Outdoor Shoes!

You might not have the habit of asking visitors or housemates to remove their shoes indoors, but if you’ve got carpeting down, it’s an absolute must. Perhaps your outdoor shoes don’t look dirty on the outside, with no mud or other nasty stuff visible on them, but the fact is that they pick up dirt and grime just by being used outside, and over time it will build up on your carpet, creating stains, discolouration and worse.

Get everyone used to the idea of leaving their shoes at the door and switching to indoor footwear like slippers, flip-flops and similar things. Your carpet will thank you for it!

Tip 2: Got a Kid? Give it a Lid!

Young kids are among the most prone to make a mess on carpets, mostly because they have a certain proclivity for slips and spills with their food and drink. A lot of kids’ drinks are also brightly coloured red, orange, pink, etc. These colours are not the friend of your carpet, so for the kids, you should invest in sippy cups or other cups with lids that will minimize or even eliminate the risk of spillages.

The best thing is that kid-friendly cups with lids typically come in bright, vivid designs with their favourite TV and film characters on there, which helps them come around to the idea of having to use these new cups in the first place. That will help avoid any tantrums or resistance.

Tip 3: Bath Time for the Pets

If your carpets are in a space which you can’t keep the pets out of, then you will need to get into the habit of bathing them after they’ve been outside, especially if they’ve been anywhere they could pick up mud and other contaminants on their feet. If you’ve just walked your dog around the neighbourhood, a full bath might not be necessary but could wipe off their paws before letting them in.

Remember though that when it comes to pets, especially dogs, they frequently get dirty in more places than just their paws. If they’ve been swimming in a river, rolling in the grass or doing other similar things that dogs love, their whole body is a walking carpet stain waiting to happen.

Tip 4: Use Mats and Rugs

Adding in various strategically placed mats and rugs here and there can help bolster stain defences for your carpet against kids, pets, and even your own possible mishaps. Mats and rugs are movable, and therefore much easier to wash separately and more vigorously if needs be. If they are ruined by a stain, you can more easily throw them away and replace them than you can with carpet.

Tip 5: Use a Carpet Protectant

If you don’t have or want lots of additional mats and rugs, then an alternative is to use a carpet protectant. These products create a protective barrier that stops whatever you’ve spilt or dropped from soaking into your carpet, giving you time to clean up and prevent any stain from taking hold. That’s a handy weapon to have in your arsenal.

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Cocktail Recipes: What Does Cherry Vodka Liquor Go With? 3 Fun Ideas




Is Cherry vodka liquor not enough to please your sweet tooth? Or is it too sour for your tastes? Then look no further.

We’ve created this article to teach you 3 simple and fun recipes that’ll spice up your drinks. You can mix Cherry vodka with almost anything, like club soda, tonic water, or orange juice.

Keep reading to find out more exciting drink ideas to throw into your vodka cocktail recipes.

1. How to Make a Cherry Moon Cocktail

There are many ways you can mix this irresistible cherry vodka cocktail. According to this recipe, a Cherry Moon cocktail includes only 4 ingredients.

The ingredients you’ll need to mix this interesting combination include:

  • 1 1/2 oz. of Grey Goose Cherry Noir
  • Flavored vodka
  • 3 parts lemon-lime soda (use Sprite or 7-up)
  • 1/2 oz. grenadine

To prepare this vodka cocktail, fill up your glass of choice with ice cubes. Don’t be afraid to fill it to the brim of the glass. Then, add your ingredients in the order listed above, but make sure there’s a 1/2 of space from the top of your glass.

Once all the ingredients are added, give your drink a good stir. Finally, add a straw and a cherry for garnish.

2. How to Make a Midsummer Breeze

Get your favorite martini or cocktail glass and breakout that special cherry vodka. It’s time to learn how to make a Midsummer Breeze.

For this drink, you’ll need four ingredients, minus the ice cubes. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 parts cherry vodka
  • 5 parts cranberry juice
  • 1 2/3 parts pink grapefruit
  • 1 twist grapefruit

Mixing this drink is simple. Fill your favorite highball or whatever type of glass you want with ice cubes. Then add all the ingredients in the order they’re listed. Finally, garnish this cocktail with grapefruit.

3. How to Make Cherry Vodka Limeade

For this vodka cocktail recipe, you’ll need five ingredients, plus a cherry for topping. You can add more than one cherry if you’re feeling adventurous.

The ingredient’s you’ll need for Cherry Vodka Limeade include:

  • 2 oz. cherry vodka of your choice
  • 1 oz. lime juice (either fresh or concentrated is fine)
  • 4 oz. Sprite or 7-Up
  • 1/2 oz cherry juice (can use cherry juice from a jar or buy it bottled)
  • 1 cherry (add more as desired)

Fill any 16-ounce glass of your choice with ice cubes, or crushed ice. Add the first four ingredients listed above to your glass.

Give the mixture a thorough stir for good measure. Finally, add as many cherries as you want to your drink.

This recipe is quick and easy to make. So, even if you’re a beginner at making vodka cocktail recipes, you won’t have a problem with this drink.

Cherry Vodka Liquor: What I Know?

Now that you know how to make three excellent drinks with your Cherry vodka liquor, let’s talk about safety. It’s important to practice responsible drinking habits.

If you’re making easy cocktail recipes, with vodka, make sure you’re over the legal drinking age. Always remember to drink responsibly and know your limit with alcohol.

For more articles about the best vodka cocktail recipes, check out our website today.


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Sedentary Lifestyle Can Abruptly Damage Your Health



Having a sedentary lifestyle can quickly damage your health as it can lead to serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Massive and prolonged lockdown protocols in the US have forced many to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. The need to limit COVID-19 transmission led a lot of citizens to spend more time sitting at home and forego daily commutes. According to experts, most Americans are now spending a daily average of six (6) hours sitting as compared to the daily average of four (4) hours prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most citizens, even the typically active ones, are now adhering to a more sedentary lifestyle with physical activity dropping to almost one-third of pre-pandemic times. Those who used to be sedentary became even more sedentary, as well, asserts a recent research published in the Psychiatry journal.

These alarming trends stipulate, then, that the average American has a more sedentary lifestyle at present as compared to any other period in history. “We have definitely seen instances of increased sedentary behavior, especially with more people at home during lockdowns, and more unemployment,” mentions Dr Richard Yoon, orthopedics chief at Jersey City Medical Center. “Not only the physical effects but also the mental challenges posed by the pandemic have taken their toll. And I have seen that some of my patients are less active and visiting the fridge more often because of the loss of their old routines,” Yoon adds.

An increased sedentary lifestyle leads to several health issues including heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and even death. The prevalent trends of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and distance learning schemes further exacerbate the problem.

“It definitely takes less time for an unhealthy lifestyle to take hold than an active, healthy one. Once you get into a routine of not doing much, you can start feeling the effects right away,” Yoon points out. “Muscle breakdown can start in as little as 24 hours, and aches and pains start to creep in,” he stresses.

Furthermore, sitting all day can even lead to an increased experience of back pain which, then, encourages people to perpetuate a more sedentary lifestyle. People who do not feel well tend to decrease their physical activities and the tempting idea of staying immobile takes hold.

“Sedentary behavior and lifestyle have a very strong link to the development of back pain,” asserts Dr Medhat Mikhael, a pain management specialist at the Spine Center of the MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Weight gain that puts a load on the spine and weakened abdominal and back muscles together with weakened ligaments would lead to further load on the spine,” he continues. “All of these effects and changes would create a vicious circle of back pain and further physiological and mechanical deterioration of the spine.”

The vicious cycle that results from adopting a sedentary lifestyle gets further supported by the gradual appearance of different health issues as more and more Americans follow the lockdown protocols mandated to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, there is a need to exert some effort, even when remaining at home, so that this sedentary lifestyle does not take hold—and encourage the onset of several physical and mental issues.

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