5/22/20

Recumbent Bike vs Upright Bike: What's the Difference?


Are you an avid cyclist, or do you ride leisurely and occasionally? Are you athletic, or do you suffer from arthritis? All these questions and more will help you select the best bike option for your riding style and body type. While many people want the newest trends, like womens hybrid bikes, others prefer the traditional self-propelled models. However, in the world of cycling, there is a great debate rising on the horizon between recumbent and upright bikes. Which bicycle do you prefer? If you are unsure, there are at least six comparisons that can help you decide.

1. Body Position

The primary difference between recumbent and upright bikes is the rider position. While everyone is likely familiar with the standard rider position on a traditional upright bicycle, the rider is reclined on recumbent bikes for women or men, with their legs out in front. The recumbent posture may seem odd to most traditional riders, but it can allow for a better center of gravity, meaning better balance.

2. Seat Style

One of the typical hassles for most traditional cyclists is finding a comfortable bike seat. The triangular seat, while necessary for correct leg position, is not the most comfortable, especially for heavier individuals. There is a resolution to the seat problem on a recumbent women and men's bike. The rider position requires not only a larger seat but also a backrest, meaning that cyclists receive a more chair-like and comfortable seat, which is beneficial for longer rides.

3. Pedal Position

Traditional bicycles position the pedals under the operator. Unfortunately, the under-mount position leads to riders standing when riding, which allows for wobbly posturing. If a cyclist isn't careful, they can hurt themselves. Recumbent bicycles do not allow for standing operation because the pedals are out in front of the rider.

4. Joint Impact

Recumbent bikes are low-impact compared to upright bikes. The laid back design keeps the pressure off of the hips and upper body, which is beneficial to those riders who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. However, bicycles, in general, are lower impact than most cardiovascular exercises because the feet and legs do not absorb shock with every extension of the legs.

5. Injury Risks

Recumbent bikes are a safe option for riders. The low design, improved center of gravity and inability to stand make the possibility of injury minute. With upright bikes, the balance or stability of the bicycle is based on the rider alone, making the risk of a spill more likely.

6. Overall Safety

Regardless of the advantages of one bike over the other, any rider should be safe while riding. There are risks involved with cycling that are out of any rider's control. Make sure you wear a helmet and pads, and if you choose a recumbent bike, be sure to install a safety flag.
No one can tell you whether to ride a recumbent or upright bicycle. The decision comes down to personal preference. However, if you would like more guidance on making a choice, contact a local bike shop to discuss your options.


5/21/20

Unpacking Auto Insurance Policies


Auto insurance, like all forms of insurance, can get complicated. Numerous factors determine the price of premiums, different states have different coverage requirements, and you'll have a lot of additional coverage or service options to consider.
Unpacking Auto Insurance Policies



If you're a first-time car owner and need insurance or you're dissatisfied with your current policy and want to switch, take the time to understand the ins and outs of auto insurance. Doing so will help you make an informed decision, find the policy that best fits your needs, and secure the best deal.

The Piecemeal of Car Insurance Policies

While people typically refer to "car insurance" as a singular, unified entity, auto insurance plans are actually a bit more complicated. Within any car insurance plans, there are coverage subcategories with separately-calculated costs. Furthermore, states set their own insurance coverage requirements, so not all states mandate the same elements.

Mandatory Coverage

Almost every state makes it mandatory for car owners to carry certain auto liability coverage. These include:
  • Bodily Injury Liability– This form of coverage applies when you (or anyone else driving your vehicle) causes an accident that leads to injury or death of another person. The insurance covers their medical bills and lost wages in the case of an injury. Bodily injury liability can also pay for funeral costs if there's a fatality.
  • Property Damage Liability– Property damage liability insurance will cover the costs of repair for the damage you (or someone else driving your car) causes to another vehicle or property. For example, if you hit another car, a fence, or utility pole, property damage liability pays for the repair or replacement expenses.
Commonly Required Coverage

Concerning auto insurance coverage, laws vary from state to state. Many states require the following forms of car insurance. Even in states that allow drivers to go without this coverage, many car dealers require it for rented or leased vehicles.
  • Medical Payments/Personal Injury Protection (PIP)– If you or your passengers are injured in a car accident, PIP reimburses the medical expenses associated with any injuries. It can also compensate you for lost wages while you recover.
  • Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage– This form of insurance comes into play if you get into an accident with an uninsured or underinsured person. It also applies in hit-and-run scenarios. Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage reimburses medical expenses and costs associated with property damage.
Optional Coverage

There are a few coverages options that you may not be legally mandated to carry. However, having such coverage could save you from significant out-of-pocket expenses and give you greater peace of mind while on the road. These are three optional forms of coverage that may be worth considering:
  • Collision– This form of auto insurance protects you, the policyholder. If your car sustains damage from a collision with another vehicle and you're at fault, collision insurance covers the repair or replacement costs. Also, if your car flips over or is damaged by a pothole, you'll be covered.
  • ComprehensiveMake sure you have comprehensive car insurance to cover all damages caused to your car by elements outside of your control. Comprehensive car insurance takes care of losses that result from theft, vandalism, or natural occurrences such as storms.
  • Glass Coverage– There are certain parts of your car, such as windshield, rear windows, side windows, and glass sunroofs that are more susceptible to damage. If your auto insurance policy doesn’t cover these parts for damages, you may want supplemental coverage for broken glass.
Understanding Your Needs and Demographic

Once you understand the individual parts of insurance policies, it's time to start researching providers and getting quotes. But before getting started, take time to assess your own needs and what rates you can expect based on your demographic.

The insurance rates that providers offer vary significantly from person to person. To better understand your premiums, get to know the factors that insurance providers use to determine rates. For example, insurance companies consider the following variables:
  • Your driving record
  • Where you live
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your credit score
  • Your car's condition and value
Make the Right Choice for You

Auto insurance is required for car owners, but it isn't a one-size-fits-all investment. When researching plans and comparing quotes, keep in mind that your insurance policy and premiums should reflect your needs and your lifestyle.


Efficient Ways to Relieve Stress and Feel Relaxed in a Busy World


Excessive stress is the most common affliction of the modern world. For students, mothers, workers, entrepreneurs and anyone facing daily responsibilities that involve other people’s expectations and deadlines, stress and anxiety are difficult to avoid. Thankfully, even though stress sneaks upon us in many pervasive ways, we have many effective methods to fight it off and regain control over our mental and emotional life.


Let’s delve into some details and see what changes you can implement in your life to relieve stress and reach a state of relaxation easier in this fast-paced, busy world.

Join the CBD Revolution
CBD oils and tinctures have been getting a lot of hype lately as more and more studies show that CBD, or cannabidiol, is a strong stress reliever. This is the chemical compound in the cannabis plant responsible for the feelings of relaxation and calm. Taking CBD does not produce the state of high typical of cannabis, which comes from the THC compound.

Besides being easy to administer, CBD induces relaxation immediately, regulates sleep and alleviates symptoms of anxiety. To enjoy these benefits, make sure you’re buying genuine products with real CBD. For more details, head to Rave Reviews.

Take Regular Walking Trips

Exercising is among the most efficient ways to combat stress, but if you’re not the type of person who enjoys workouts and gyms, you probably find the thought of exercising itself very stressful. The good thing is that any physical stress on the body counts towards relieving mental stress. This means that walking counts too.

People who walk for at least half an hour daily have a longer life expectancy and experience less stress and anxiety. Ideally, you should walk in a natural area, with no disturbance from cars and urban noise. Walking in nature releases endorphins, lowers the body’s stress hormones and feeds your brain with calm and soothing images.

Keep a Daily Journal

A big cause of stress is mental clutter. When anxious thoughts, worries and concerns occupy our minds regularly, we lose the ability to fall into a state of relaxation and calm. We’re always on the edge. A good way to handle and reduce both stress and anxiety is to write things down in a journal. All you have to do is jot down whatever comes to your mind, not worrying about logic, grammar or flow.

Writing things down has a powerful therapeutic effect because it helps you get control over your thoughts. You can write down things that upset you to see them from a clearer perspective, but you can also write down things that you’re grateful for, thus regaining a feeling of balance. A gratitude journal can be the right tool to lift your mood in stressful times.

It’s difficult to feel calm and relaxed in a world where everything seems directed at putting more pressure on your shoulders. Caring about your mental health is, however, a crucial element of your long-term happiness and fulfillment. Test various de-stressing strategies and stick with the ones that fit your personality, habits and lifestyle.

5/19/20

Cooking with Kids: Tortilla Wrap Pizzas


Easy lunches are currently the name of the game in our little corner of the world. These tortilla wrap pizzas are the perfect go-to lunch that that kids will love to help make and eat! Whether you opt for a typical plain pepperoni and cheese tortilla pizza, make it a meatless tortilla pizza or choose a handful of random veggie and meat leftovers for toppings--a few toppings go a long way with this easy lunch idea.What is our recipe for this super simple, Tortilla Wrap Pizza recipe?

Pizzas with tortilla wrap crusts and pepperoni and black olives


Ingredients for 1 Tortilla Wrap Pizza
1 Whole Grain or Regular Burrito Sized Tortilla Wrap
1 Dash Each Garlic Powder/Parmesan Cheese/Italian Seasoning (optional)
2 Tbsp. Marinara Sauce or Pizza Sauce

6-8 Pepperoni Slices
Chopped Vegetables: I offer up an assortment: sliced olives, diced onion, tomato, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli---I set up ingredients in individual bowls and let the girls pick and choose their toppings.
1/3 c. Shredded Low-Fat Mozzarella Cheese  

Instructions for Meatless Monday Veggie Tortilla Pizza 
Prepare oven and baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a cookie sheet with a strip of aluminum foil and/or spray with olive oil flavored cooking spray. 2 Burrito sized tortilla wraps will fit on a standard, large cookie sheet.  

Add the sauce to the “crusts”. Place the tortilla wraps on the prepare cookie sheets.  Sprinkle with a little garlic, Parmesan Cheese and Italian Seasoning if desired.  Top the wraps with 2 Tbsp. of Marinara or Pizza Sauce per wrap. I spoon the sauce onto the wraps and let the kiddo spread it out with the backs of spoons or "paint" it on with a basting brush.  


I love these silicone brushes.  They are dishwasher safe and the brush heads are removable making them easy to clean.  They also hold and spread sauces very well making them especially easy for the kids to use.   

Pinnable image for a tortilla wrap pizza recipe

Set up a pizza building station. Kids are “grab and go” creatures. I set up a bunch of individual bowls with all of the available ingredients—even the shredded cheese--and let them just go at the pizza topping accomplishment. Expect them to snack a bit as you top the pizzas—so they may actually eat MORE veggies with this lunch than usual! The toppings will not cook thoroughly as the “pizzas” bake—so if the kiddos prefer soft veggies, you may want to pre-cook them a bit before offering them for pizza building.  

I often  make these tortilla wrap pizzas the day after we build tacos or nachos for dinner!  We always have veggie leftovers after setting up a dinner-time nacho bar with the kids and these pizzas are a great use of those pre-cut leftovers!

Top the Tortilla Pizzas. Let the kids spread the sauce and sprinkle toppings onto the tortilla pizza crusts. The crust won’t support as many toppings as thicker crust pizza—so a kid-sized sprinkle of each and about an-eyeballed 1/3 c. of shredded cheese may be the goal. 


Bake the tortilla wrap pizzas.  I bake the tortilla pizzas about seven minutes or until cheese is thoroughly melted.  

Serve. We serve with a salad (another GREAT way to use up those leftover dinner ingredients)

and fruit—and the girls are always happy with these since they control the toppings.


5/15/20

A Delicate Dance of Souls Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway


With a lot of downtime over the past few weeks--I have added a lot of books to my reading list! Today, I am sharing my review of a spiritual, mature romance novel. Check out my thoughts on A Delicate Dance of Souls, learn about the author & enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Series Title A Delicate Dance of Souls by Karen D. Hamilton
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 266 pages
Genre Romance, Spiritual
Publisher: Yes and Also Press
Release dates:   March 10, 2020
Content Rating: R
for some profanity, sex scenes (not very explicit), discussion about rape (doesn't happen in book).
 
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“Matt and Nicole’s sexual relationship is built upon mature expectations and open conversations... [that] involve psychological grappling: with the inner child, dark parts of the human psyche, and reconciling the past. ...[T]heir relationship is vulnerable and eye-opening.” Foreword Clarion Reviews

“In Karen D. Hamilton’s tale of friendship and self-acceptance, the main characters must learn to trust others and to identify internal demons. ...Readers will steadfastly follow the characters’ journey of self-discovery... Infused with spiritual lessons, this story about two lost souls finding their way back to themselves proves a satisfying read.” BlueInk Review


About the Book 

When souls intersect deeply, but their paths are separate...

After a harrowing experience from his service in the military, Matt returns only to find his marriage to the love of his life is over. In the midst of his darkness, Matt seeks peace camping in Wyoming, where he meets Nicole, an intriguing woman who shifts his perspective, and changes his life forever. As their connection deepens, their relationship uncovers the fears that are holding both of them back.

Matt isn’t the only one with an unresolved love in his past. Waiting in the wings is Sam, Nicole’s business partner and best friend. The pair have a history of more than just catering and event planning, but Nicole has always been afraid of letting Sam get too close.

In this novel of self-discovery, compassion and healing, Nicole and Matt are brought to a greater understanding and acceptance of themselves, and who they are in the world.

My Review


A Delicate Dance of Souls is More than a Romance. Readers get to learn about the backstories of the characters as the romance develops--and they become flies on the wall as the couple share life stories that make each who he/she is. I am not a romance novel fan--but I am a fan of a romantic tale with more profound life stories that allow the characters to learn, grow and find themselves (and maybe a love interest too). This novel is an in-depth look at lives and imperfections--and doubts and fears--as well as spiritual growth and healing. The book offers a lot more than a love story.  

Readers will Find Real-World Characters in A Delicate Dance of Souls.  Readers will quickly fall into place into the characters' lives and the dialogue. The conversations and emotions are presented realistically from relatable, real-world characters. Readers will easily recognize traits and experiences relayed in the story from their own lives or of someone they know. The author does a great job creating believable characters without really creating cliche characters.  

Would I recommend A Delicate Dance of Souls? If you enjoy a romance with more than a sappy, instant-attraction, love story--and prefer a little realism in your romantic fiction--this is a great romance to add to your summer reading list. The book does delve into a lot of spiritual thought and healing, but the author tries to balance it with real-world characters and storylines as well. I enjoyed this novel and recommend it to readers who prefer to see some imperfect characters' growth and reformation.

 

About the Author

Karen D. Hamilton’s spiritual journey has spanned decades and has included several teachers with transformative perspectives. Believing that life is a wondrous gift, she strives to appreciate all aspects of the human experience. Karen loves the excitement of thunderstorms, the silence of falling snow, the chirping of late summer crickets, the meditative art of weaving, and the natural beauty of mountain streams. She especially loves being with family and friends. She currently lives in Colorado with her husband and fluffy cat, Merlin. Karen hopes her work will give readers a broader and more compassionate view of their own lives.

Connect with the author:    website ~ facebook



Enter the Giveaway



 

5/11/20

The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook Book Review


As we finish up the 2020 school year, many parents are now parenting high school graduates planning to move off to colleges in a few short months!   My middle daughter is a high school junior--but, college visits and planning are part of our daily life as we prepare for 2021!  As a mom, I have been my daughter's "health" resource for almost 17 years.   When she moves away to a college dorm and begins to grow into a young adult--she may not be so ready to ask me questions about her health and well being!  I recently had the opportunity to read and review The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook by Dr. Jill Grimes.  What did I think of The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook?  Read my thoughts on this handbook and learn about the author in this book review feature.




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Should you purchase an item via our links--we may receive slight compensation from an
affiliate partner.  

About the Book

Consider this College Health 101—a guide to what students really want (or need) to know about their mental and physical health when they're away from home.

College students facing their first illness, accident, or anxiety away from home often flip-flop between wanting to handle it themselves and wishing their parents could swoop in and fix everything. Advice from peers and “Dr. Google” can be questionable.The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook provides accurate, trustworthy, evidence-based medical information (served with a dose of humor) to reduce anxiety and stress and help set appropriate expectations for more than fifty common issues.

What if you can’t sleep well (or can’t sleep at all) in your dorm room?  What if a pill “gets stuck” in your throat? What if your roommate falls asleep (or passes out) wearing contacts, and wakes up with one painfully stuck? Your friend’s terrible sore throat isn’t Strep or Mono? What else could it be? What if everyone from your group project thinks they’re coming down with the flu the day before your presentation?

Dr. Jill Grimes has the answer to these questions and many more. Her guidebook is designed to help you: 
  • Decide if and when to seek medical help
  • Know what to expect when you get there
  • Plan for the worst-case scenario if you don’t seek help
  • Learn how you can prevent this in the future
  • Realize what you can do right now, before you see a doctor
  • Understand the diagnostic and treatment options

The topics of tattoos, smoking, vaping, pot, piercings, and prescription drugs will also be tackled throughout the pages of this handbook, ensuring you, your roommates, and your friends have a healthy semester.

My Review

The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook Offers Real Life Advice for College Students. While I had to pause a bit when I encountered the section covering hangovers so early in the handbook--I had to quickly remind myself that this is why this book is so valuable for young college students! The doctor offers advice on topics ranging from headaches, coughs/colds, test-taking anxiety, sore throats, insomnia--to issues such as hangovers, sexual situations, piercing problems, smoking/vaping, etc. College students may not want to ask mom or dad about some of these topics--but that doesn't mean that questions, concerns, and issues about alcohol, sex, drugs, etc. aren't going to arise! This book is an excellent handbook that touches on most of the everyday health and wellness issues that may present themselves to college students--especially the ones that teens may want to "handle on their own" without talking it over with a parent!

Dr. Grimes Writing Style Creates the Perfect Health and Wellness Guide for College Students. The author has a very simplistic writing style that blends realistic advice with medical facts--and even addresses some common myths that college students encounter when seeking help from friends or the internet. The sections of this book are straightforward and written in a concise manner that will answer a young adult's questions credibly while being suited to those instant information-seeking teens! 

Would I Recommend The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook by Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP? As I read through the advice presented in this book--I felt comfortable suggesting that my daughter follow the advice! The book is presented in an authentic, no-nonsense fashion that gives the information honestly, matter-of-factly---and clearly enough that a young college student will be able to understand the risks/reasoning without panic and follow the advice without doubt or embarrassment. I recommend this handbook for any parent seeking a little peace of mind as they send high school graduates off to a college campus.  I loved this handbook--and I have already put a copy onto my daughter's college packing list.

Buy the Book
Amazon

About the Author


Jill Grimes, MD, FAAFP, is a nationally recognized medical media expert, award-winning author, medical editor, and Board-Certified Family Physician. Her passion is prevention, and her message spans print (Parenting Magazine, Glamour, etc.), online (Refinery29, Foxnews.com, etc.), and television and radio talk shows (Sirius XM Doctor Radio). After two decades of private practice, Dr. Grimes now enjoys seeing patients part-time at the University of Texas in Austin. She is a proud mom to two awesome collegiate daughters. Academically, Dr. Grimes enjoys educating healthcare professionals by speaking at national AAFP, Pri-Med®, and Harvard Medical School conferences, and remains on clinical faculty at UMASS Medical School.


Connect with the Author