Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Health and Fitness including running, cycling, and healthy eating

Geocaching Benefits

Geocaching Benefits

Last month my family began Geocaching. Geocaching is basically modern day treasure hunting. Somebody hides a “cache” and posts the GPS coordinates on a geocaching website. Others then go and find that cache, sign a log (piece of paper) to say they have found it and log their find on a geocaching website. The caches vary from small (tip of your pinky finger) to large (ammo cases). Some contain only the log to sign, and others have treasures inside with the notion that you leave behind something if you take something out. We have found not only geocaches in our area, but also geocaching benefits.

Geocaching Benefits for you and your family by Life as a Convert #geocaching #geocache #cache

Exercise
This is perhaps the greatest benefit. Many caches require you to walk a short distance in order to find them. Some caches are also tough to find and leave you wandering in circles. Those circles add up! One cache (seen in #6) required us to make use of a local bike trail.

 

Map Reading / Orienteering
My boys are both boy scouts and one thing they are learning is how to read a map and compass and basic orienteering skills. Geocaching has helped cement these lessons. They are able to put their knowledge to use in a real-life setting.

 

Family Time Together
Some may argue that exercise and family time together could be contenders for the “Greatest Benefit” spot, but as a homeschooling family, we already spend a LOT of time together. Geocaching has given us additional time together participating in an activity that we all enjoy doing. There is often a little competitiveness to see who can find the caches first.
P1270214

 

Handwriting Practice
I have younger children who are still working on writing their names. Signing the logs has given them a lot of practice writing their names.

 

Environmental Stewardship
Geocaching benefits our environment too! Many geocachers will practice what is known at CITO (Cache In Trash Out) where they will remove trash and other unsightly debris in an area when geocaching.

 

Exploring new areas
When you begin geocaching you can look at a map of your area. The map may be speckled with little dots. These dots indicate caches that have been hidden. I have been able to explore a few new areas where geocaches are hidden that I wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.
Geocaching Benefits - Explore New Areas - Searcy, AR

 

Learning History
Many people who hide caches hide them near areas containing history. One example we have found was hidden near a Statute of Liberty. The cache description gave a brief history of the Statute of Liberty.

 

Perseverance
Geocaching benefits can be found in the form of character building traits too! There have been some caches we simply could not find. It took us multiple attempts to find this particular cache. Geocaching teaches you patience and to not give up. If you get frustrated, stop and come back another time.

This one took us 4 tries to find:
Geocaching Benefits - Perseverance - Berryhill Park Searcy AR

 

Geocaching benefits the whole family, but as you can see there are individual benefits too. I think it is important for families to be active together and find something everybody enjoys. For us, this has translated into geocaching. We also enjoy hiking, but now try to “hike” where geocaches can be found.

Does your family participate in geocaching?
Do you know of any other geocaching benefits?

DIY Cleaning Wipes

DIY Cleaning Wipes

Just a few short years ago I shunned all paper products in my house except cleaning wipes. Fast forward a few years and it seems to be the opposite. I am using paper products, but not paper wipes. I started making my own DIY cleaning wipes and haven’t looked back. I use them for everything. They clean better than store bought wipes plus they save me money! I know a lot of other people use them and perhaps follow a similar recipe, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to share the recipe I use.

DIY Cleaning Wipes - Homemade Wipe Recipe by Life as a Convert

I use an old plastic storage bowl and mix 1 teaspoon of liquid dish soap with 1/4 cup of alcohol and enough water to cover the wipes. The alcohol helps cut down on germs and dries fast. The dish soap helps get through even the greasiest mess. I have enough cleaning wipes to last me about 1 week, but I imagine you can store them for much longer.  I recently found some at Dollar Tree (3 for $1) so they can be found inexpensively.

DIY CLEANING WIPES

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon dish soap
1/4 cup alcohol
water
microfiber towels

Directions:
Mix all ingredients and clean, clean, clean!DIY Cleaning Wipes - Homemade LYSOL Wipes - by Life as a Convert

 

Benefits of using alcohol in your cleaning wipes:

Cleans and shines stainless steel
Dries fast
Can be used on windscreens and glass
Removes stains from cloth
Disinfects
Removes frost and dust
Doesn’t leave streaks

Natural cleaning wipes:

Alternatively, some people prefer not to use alcohol in their cleaning wipes and opt for a more natural solution. Instead of alcohol, you can use vinegar, or essential oils (lemon and lavender are both great choices). You can also use your wipes with just water. The friction created from scrubbing will eliminate most germs.

What can you clean with your cleaning wipes?

Anything, including: counters, floors, walls, toilets, showers, glass, candles, ceiling fans, cloth and more!

Don’t forget to pin this post to save for later.

Do you make your own homemade cleaning wipes? If so, what is in your recipe?

One Week of Healthy Meals at McDonald’s

One Week of Healthy Meals at McDonald’s

FTC Requires me to tell you that I am a Brand Ambassador for Central Arkansas McDonald's. While I was compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.

I constantly see people blaming the obesity epidemic on fast food. Guess what? It isn’t WHERE you eat but WHAT you eat. It’s totally possible to eat at McDonald’s 3 times a day, 7 days a week, and still make healthy choices. This menu plan – divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks – gives you One Week of Healthy Meals at McDonald’s.

One Week of Healthy Meals at McDonald's - MENU PLAN by Life as a Convert

Pick one from each Category. Mix and Match as desired. All of these options are under 400 calories each*. That means you can pick one from each category and still not be at the recommended 2,000 calorie diet.

*Calorie count does not include condiments, sauces, or dressings.

Breakfasts:

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Fruit and Maple Oatmeal
Egg White Delight McMuffin
Egg McMuffin
Sausage Burrito
Sausage McMuffin

Lunches:

Southwest Salad w/ Apple Slices
Filet o Fish w/ Side Salad
Ranch Snack Wrap
Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Mango Pineapple Smoothie

Dinners:

6 Piece Nuggets w/ Side Salad
Hamburger
Cheeseburger
Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich

Snacks:

Vanilla Cone
Hot Fudge Sundae
Baked Apple Pie
Snack Size Oreo McFlurry
Small Fry
Caramel Mocha
Small or Medium Iced Coffee
Small Latte

What would your meals look like for a day if you chose one from each category? 

I would choose: Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, Filet o Fish w/ Side Salad, Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich, and for a snack a baked apple pie.

5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy at McDonald’s

FTC Disclosure: The FTC requires me to tell you that I am a brand ambassador for Central Arkansas McDonald’s. While this post has been compensated, all opinions are my own.

5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy at McDonald’s

The New Year is quickly approaching and that means nearly every adult is thinking about getting healthy. But wait! What about the children? They can make healthier choices too! We all know that kids love McDonald’s so here are 5  Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy at McDonald’s.

5 ways to get your kids to eat healthy at McDonald's

  1. Get them involved in the choice. Go to the McDonalds website and use the meal planner to mix and match meal choices to get a fit that is right for your childrens’ nutrition needs.
  2. YOU pick the meals for them. Easy enough, right? If you are choosing the meals, then you can choose the healthiest options.
  3. Make the choices fun or educational by challenging them to stay within a certain calorie limit. Alternately, teach them about the FDAs recommended daily allowances and have them plan a meal using the FDA nutrition guidelines.
  4. Have a pre-determined list of meal options that they can choose from. Keep this list handy to allow them to make choices quickly.
  5. Eat the same meal as your children. It’s no surprise that children mimic what they see us do.  Help demonstrate healthy meal options to your children by choosing a meal that your children can copy.

Bonus! – Keep them active by letting them play at a McDonald’s PlayPlace. McDonald’s PlayPlaces are fun, safe environments where your kids are free to run, climb, jump, and slide their energy away!

Remember, it’s not where you eat, but what you eat. McDonald’s uses the same fresh ingredients found at your local grocery stores to prepare their meals. If you want to eat healthy at McDonald’s, then it’s up to YOU to make the right choices.

What is your favorite healthy option at McDonald’s?