Refuel and Replenish by Eating These Foods After a Workout

The foods that you eat before your workout help to increase your energy level, but it’s the food that you eat afterward that’s really important. What you eat after exercising helps to repair muscle tissue and to replenish glycogen, which is an important aspect of building the lean, toned body that you strive for. Here are some of the best foods to refuel with after a workout.

  1. Bananas. Bananas are high-glycemic carbohydrates, which provide you with an instant boost to replenish your energy quickly. Try slicing one up and eating it with peanut butter on top of a rice cake.
  2. Greek yogurt with berries. Greek yogurt is packed with protein, which is very important in building muscle. Your muscles are depleted of their usual amino acids after lifting weights or performing an intense cardio workout, and this healthy snack helps to build them back up.
  3. Tuna sandwich. The combination of healthy carbs and proteins is one of the very best things to eat after working out. Spread some tuna on whole wheat bread to refuel after that gym class.
  4. Water. Replenishing your body’s fluids is just as important as replenishing its food supply. Be sure to drink plenty of water after working out to avoid becoming dehydrated.

6 Smart Snacks to Eat After Your Workout [Fitness Magazine]
What to Eat After You Work Out [Spark People]
Food as Fuel – Before, During and After Workouts [American Heart Association]

5 Uncommon Uses for Fabric Softener Sheets

There are a number of different household uses for dryer sheets other than reducing static cling and making your laundry smell fresh. If you want to learn how to use dryer sheets around the house, check out these creative ideas.

  1. Freshen a pair of stinky gym shoes. When your sneakers or daily loafers smell less than fresh, stuff a dryer sheet inside to absorb the odor and leave only a fresh scent behind.
  2. Remove pet hair from furniture. No matter how often you scold him, you just can’t seem to get Fido to stay off of the furniture. If your couches are covered in dog hair, rub a dryer sheet along the surface and it will lift right off.
  3. Clean dried food from a pan. When last night’s casserole is stuck to the pan this morning, lay a dryer sheet in the bottom and fill the pan with water. In a few hours, the food will be much looser and easier to clean off.
  4. Keep books fresh in storage. If you’re a bibliophile with too many books for your shelves, keep them smelling fresh even while in storage. Tuck a dryer sheet between the pages of a few books and you’ll feel much more confident about storing them in the dusty attic.
  5. Clean your blinds. Rub a dryer sheet along the top and bottom of venetian blinds to remove dust with ease.

12 Surprising Uses for Dryer Sheets [All You]
25 Alternative Uses for Fabric-Softener Dryer Sheets [Curbly]
20 Household Uses for Used (Yes, Used) Dryer Sheets [Apartment Therapy]
10 New Uses for Dryer Sheets [Real Simple]

4 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Tea

Whether you prefer a soothing green or an English breakfast with a splash of milk, tea is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed a number of different ways. Even the most experienced tea drinker may not know everything about this steaming beverage, so here are a few fascinating tea facts.

  1. The word “tea” comes from the Chinese word “t’e,” which refers to the plant from which tea leaves are sourced. It's believed that tea was first discovered in China around 2737 B.C., when emperor Shen Nong found that a few leaves fell from the tree into water that his servants were boiling.
  2. All teas, from black to green to oolong, come from the same camellia sinensis plant. Their leaves are plucked from the same bush, but the fermenting process gives them their unique styles. Interestingly enough, herbal teas do not come from this plant because they are not true “teas” at all.
  3. Tea wasn’t grown in countries outside of China until the 19th century. Today, China still supplies around 29 percent of the world’s total tea, although its residents are not the biggest consumers. The United Arab Emirates takes that title, with each individual citizen consuming an average of 14 pounds per year.
  4. Green tea is considered the healthiest of all teas, and some even call it a “superfood.” Studies show that regularly drinking green tea may prevent against heart disease, certain forms of cancer, and diabetes!

Tea Facts [UK Tea & Infusions Association]
10 Interesting Facts About Tea [Food Network]
Tea Fact Sheet – 2013 [Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc.]
26 Things You Didn't Know About Tea [Fine Dining Lovers]

Kick Back and Relax With These Summertime Mocktails

If you prefer a drink that’s light on the alcohol but still big on taste, there are a number of tasty summertime mocktails that will cool you down on a hot day. Forgoing the gin, vodka, or Prosecco doesn’t make these delicious drinks any less perfect, and they even look just as pretty as the real things. Here are three warm weather mocktails that are perfect for sipping by the pool.

Pear Sparkler
This sparkling beverage goes down smoothly and tastes sweet, but it also offers warm, hearty undertones more commonly found in autumn recipes. Pear juice is a unique alternative to the usual fruit juices found in most cocktails, and adding fresh herbs, ginger, honey, and lemon juice creates an even more complex flavor.

Virgin Grapefruit Mojito
When it comes to mocktails, many people prefer to take a tried-and-true cocktail recipe and simply remove the alcohol. This virgin mojito contains the same roughly torn mint leaves as the original rum-filled version, but it incorporates grapefruit soda and pieces of fresh grapefruit to give it a taste that’s all its own.

Mango Lassi
If you feel left out from icy summer cocktails like margaritas and daiquiris, you’ll adore this cold Mango Lassi. Fresh, juicy mango is blended with ice to create a sweet base, while buttermilk, honey, and cardamom add a warm, rich taste. For even more flavor, top with toasted pistachios.

Tart Meets Sweet in These Fresh Berry Desserts

Sweetening up the tart flavor of fresh berries with simple sugar is a popular flavor combination in many desserts, and it tastes especially appropriate in the summertime. There are a number of different ways to combine tart and sweet flavors, especially if you use a bit of creativity in the kitchen. Here are three favorite fresh berry desserts.

Strawberry Shortcakes [Martha Stewart]
Strawberry shortcake is made with a hearty, crumbly cake topped with sweet strawberries and a hefty dollop of whipped cream, and Martha Stewart’s recipe for individually-sized shortcakes doesn’t stray too far from the original. This dessert calls for just a few simple ingredients and about an hour of your time.

Berries with Mascarpone [MyRecipes]
If you prefer a no-cook dessert that’s equally juicy and decadent, a fancy pudding cup filled with ripe berries and topped with a sweetened-up version of mascarpone cheese makes a beautiful end to any dinner party. Simply combine the mascarpone with sugar, vanilla, and whipping cream to create the fluffy topping.

Blackberry Ice Cream [Coastal Living]
If you’ve never made your own ice cream before, you’ll be surprised about how simple it is to do. Using your own fresh berries cuts down on the additives found in store-bought versions, creating a decadent dessert that you can feel good about eating!

3 Brunch Cocktails to Greet a Lazy Sunday

From savory omelets stuffed with melted cheese to maple syrup-drizzled French toast, weekend brunch is arguably the best meal of the whole week, made even better by a sip of a bloody Mary or a bellini. Whether you're serving brunch to two people or twenty, these three brunchtime cocktail recipes will get your Sunday off to a great start.

Champagne Punch [Martha Stewart]
Not only does Martha's take on champagne punch taste great, it looks pretty in the pitcher. Her recipe combines fresh blueberries, raspberries, sliced peaches, ice, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a pitcher, then champagne is poured over top.

New-Look Bloody Mary [Bon Appetit]
This bloody Mary receives a spicy kick from the unique combo of sriracha sauce, horseradish, black pepper, and curry powder. Dill pickle and lemon juice brighten the mix, while celery stalks and lemon wedges provide the finishing touch.

Pamplemousse [Food & Wine]
Kick off your Sunday with this refreshing cocktail, which is relatively low in alcohol. The juices of grapefruit and lemon are shaken with gin and elderflower liqueur, then garnished with a basil leaf.

How to Keep Your Fridge Squeaky Clean—and Smelling Fresh!

From spills and splashes to food that's less than fresh, your fridge is subjected to a lot of grit and grime during its lifetime. It's no surprise, then, that cleaning a refrigerator can be a Herculean task—but it doesn't have to be! The easiest way to clean a fridge is to break down the task into smaller chores performed more frequently. Here are a few tips:

1) Wipe down spills as they occur. Use a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water to wipe up spills before they have a chance to harden and "set" on the shelf. (Prevent sticky situations by giving jam and syrup jars a good wipe-down before parking them back in the fridge.) Wipe down the outside and top of the fridge with the same vinegar solution.

2) Pick one day a week, like the night before trash day, to go through your fridge and toss expired items and produce that's seen better days. Keep leftovers identifiable by labeling them with their date and contents.

3) For a fridge that smells clean and fresh, soak a cotton ball in vanilla extract and place it in the back of the fridge. You could also go the traditional route with a box of opened baking soda.

4) If the shelves and drawers are especially grimy, remove them for a bath in warm, soapy water. A toothbrush is the perfect tool to use for removing dried food and spills from creases and crevices in the fridge.

Caring for the Kitchen Workhorse [Martha Stewart]
Speed-Clean Your Refrigerator [Real Simple]
How To Clean & Organize a Refrigerator [Apartment Therapy]
Clean and Deodorize Your Refrigerator [RD]

3 Tips to Simplify Your Spring Cleaning Routine

Spring has sprung! It’s time to open the windows wide, scrub the floors, and replace your heavy, winter down comforter with something light and fresh. These three tips will help you plan your spring cleaning attack.

  1. Stock your cleaning supply kit. There’s nothing more frustrating than going to polish your furniture and realizing that you’re out of wood oil. Before you begin your spring cleaning, make sure that you have new bottles of window cleaner, bathroom scrub, oven cleaner, white vinegar, baking soda, and all of the brushes, towels, and sponges that go along with them.
  2. Begin by de-cluttering. Throw away or donate anything that you no longer use, and pack away heavy winter coats or large blankets that you won’t need for the next few months. This will give you more elbow room for deep cleaning.
  3. Get the whole family on board. Spring cleaning is a task that’s much too large for one person, so plan a day when the whole family can help. Plan it in advance to ensure that everyone can take part in the action, and assign tasks to stay on track with your plan.

Top 10 Spring Cleaning Tips [HowStuffWorks]
Ultimate Spring Cleaning Guide [BHG]

Enjoy Yoga? Download These 3 Yoga Apps!

While you may not be able to actually complete your yoga class from your smartphone, it can certainly help you manage your fitness goals. There are a number of yoga apps made especially for the tech-savvy yogi, offering everything from yoga music to actual classes. When you just don’t have the time (or, occasionally, the energy) to get to the studio, these yoga apps will help to keep your Chi in check.

YOGAmazing
Offering over 50 different video yoga classes on one affordable app, YOGAmazing is ideal for the at-home yogi. Each session is just 25 minutes long, much shorter than a typical class, but still provides you with the same invigorating, healing yoga feeling that you love. As a fun bonus, YOGAmazing also offers beautiful yoga-inspired iPhone backgrounds to keep you focused on your practice every time you look at your phone.

Daily Yoga
Whether you want to browse individual poses or complete an entire class, Daily Yoga has it all. This all-inclusive yoga app offers HD videos for more than 45 yoga classes, which make you feel just like you’re at a real yoga studio. With three skill levels, individualized training plans, and 18 background music options, Daily Yoga enables you to create a completely customizable yoga routine at home.

Pocket Yoga
Combining three types of practices, three skill levels, and three class durations enables the user to choose from 27 unique yoga sessions right from the Pocket Yoga app. A simple and attractive interface also makes perfecting each pose easy and effortless—well, almost!

No Time to Keep a Journal? Try These 4 Apps

Diaries seems to be becoming a thing of the past, but keeping track of what happens during your day-to-day can prove useful later on when trying to recall memories. Plenty of smartphone apps are now available to help you track your life while on the go. Use these great apps to keep a journal on your phone, and don't worry about anyone finding your dairy under your bed!

STEP
Track where you've been, what you did, and how you felt with this private journal app. Self-described as a "smart journal," users can add pictures, express feelings with emoticons, and add text. It's easy and quick to use.

InFlow
We spend a good portion of our lives trying to figure out what makes us happy. InFlow lets you track your emotions during different times of the day. When the automatic reminder pops up, record your feelings. You can then see when you're happiest and commit more time to those activities.

Chronos
Let your phone do the journaling for you. Chronos will record your everyday activities, like when you wake up, travel to work, go to the grocery store, and any other activities you participate in. Look back to see exactly what you did during the day and mark favorite activities.

Everyday.me
This app collects all your social media activity in one place. Updates from Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Instagram are stored so you have a complete picture of what happened during your day. You can add thoughts directly to Everyday.me along with smiley faces to record your mood.