VAMANOS's Secrets of Success | SparkPeople
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Secrets of Success

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.

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Establish Your IRA Before the End of the Year

Although you may still be able to contribute to it up until April 15 of next year to get this year's tax break (speak to your IRA custodian to be sure), it MUST be established before the end of the year. Your bank will also probably have a minimum deposit requirement, but a Self-Directed IRA custodian might not, or it might be lower. Don't keep putting it off--a year becomes 10 or 20, and before you know it, you are retirement age with no savings. Learn the time value of money, start now!

- Submitted by VAMANOS 12/27/2010 in Saving Money | 1 Comment
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Maintaining a Positive Outlook Keeps You Healthy

Have you ever noticed that when your mood is gloomy, you don't feel well? Maybe you thought your mood was gloomy BECAUSE you don't feel well. Scientific studies bear out that people are healthier when they remain positive. Take advantage of all the positive energy that flows within SparkPeople to lift your mood. You'll feel more like exercising and eating healthy, and the vague malaise that can turn into real illness will just melt away. Mind over matter works!

- Submitted by VAMANOS 12/25/2010 in Staying Healthy | 12 Comments
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Know Your Options for Retirement Savings

Many people are unaware that they can direct their own IRA investments without tying themselves to one provider's options. A Self-Directed IRA gives you many investment choices that aren't available through traditional means. Real estate, among other options, can be held, turned for quick profit or can secure loans made from your IRA, tax-deferred or tax-free. If you like more control or different investments than you are currently offered, check out Self-Directed IRAs.

- Submitted by VAMANOS 12/24/2010 in Saving Money | 2 Comments
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Eat That Frog

If you really hate to do something that you know you should and have committed to yourself to do...like exercise, for example, emoticon , get it out of the way rather than putting it off. It's too easy to find excuses NOT to do it, so do it first and then it's over with.

- Submitted by VAMANOS 9/27/2010 in Motivation | 0 Comments
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Double Whammy

Cooking for two can be tricky, especially if one is eating healthy and controlled portions and the other--isn't. I look for healthy, well-balanced one-dish meals like casseroles, soups and skillet meals that feed four. My hubby requires nearly twice as many calories as I do, and could stand to lose a few pounds too, but hates me trying to manage his food. When I cook a meal for four, I carefully measure the portions, putting away one for tomorrow's lunch (secret #1) and serving my plate with

- Submitted by VAMANOS 9/10/2010 in Healthy Eating | 3 Comments
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Damage Repair

Even though I track my nutrition diligently, and measure my portions when possible, I can't always plan ahead. Often, I'm forced to eat in restaurants where healthy choices aren't always available, and it isn't always possible to 'save up' calories to offset those meals. When I've gone over on fat, carbs, proteins or sodium one day, I do my best to balance it all across a week's worth of tracking. If it isn't balanced for the previous 7, cutting back for the next few days works, too.

- Submitted by VAMANOS 9/5/2010 in Weight Loss | 1 Comment
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De-clutter and clean 15 minutes at a time

If the whole house has too many items in it and needs an old-fashioned cleaning instead of the surface cleaning we do when we're busy, try this trick: First, list what needs to be done. Be as detailed as you want, you're not going to do it all at once.
Now tackle it in 15-minute spurts, one room at a time and always on the same day of the week. 15 min for cleaning, 15 min at another time for de-clutter. You'll be surprised how soon your house sparkles! Add one more 15 min for maintenance!

- Submitted by VAMANOS 9/3/2010 in Organization | 6 Comments
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Super Filling Lunch

When I'm feeling hungry or need to improve my potassium intake for the day, here's my go-to meal:
Average Yukon gold potato, microwaved
1/2 C frozen chopped broccoli, microwaved
topped with 1/2 C lowfat cottage cheese and Mrs. Dash seasoning
Delicious, healthy and under 300 calories.

- Submitted by VAMANOS 8/18/2010 in Healthy Eating | 0 Comments
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Thrift Store Fashionista

With big weight loss comes a wardrobe money crisis--but it doesn't have to be. There's a blog called New Dress a Day, about a girl who takes thrift store horrors and with a few simple sewing moves, turns them into cute clothes, for under a dollar a day. The same techniques could save your own.

- Submitted by VAMANOS 8/14/2010 in Saving Money | 4 Comments
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