ChiCho Shredded Beef

ChiCho Shredded Beef. Recipe by Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality.

Guys…this beef…y’all NEED to make this! It is RIDICULOUS how EASY it is for such a unique flavor. “ChiCho” is short for “Chipotle-Chocolate” which is lowkey Mole in disguise. You make the broth and let a roast sit in the slow cooker with it all day, soaking in all the seasoning so it’s good and ready for dinner.

Photo and recipe by Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality

Ingredients

🥩1 beef roast

💧5 cups hot water

🐂3 beef bouillon cubes

🌶1 small can chipotle peppers

🍫Unsweetened cocoa powder

🔥Mesquite seasoning

Recipe

1)Mix last five ingredients together in the slow cooker until dry seasonings are dissolved.

2)Add the roast, and set slow cooker to cook on low for 8 hours (or high for 6 hours). Flip halfway through cooking.

3)Shred beef using two forks.

This recipe brought to you with love from:

Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality

Original post on Instagram

 

For more recipes, click here!

Best Tilapia Tacos

Tilapia Tacos

Best Tilapia Taco Recipe:

Tilapia sounds like a fancy french word to me but it is really just a common type of fish. There are almost 100 different species of cichlid fish that form the tilapiine tribe, and all of them are tasty. Especially when you make healthy tilapia tacos!

I have to give credit to my fiancé for coming up with this recipe AND finding a way to get me to like fish. I didn’t think I would ever be calling fish tasty, yet even non-fish people tend to like tilapia. Not to mention that fish is super healthy for you. Not only do you get lots of protein, but you also get enough omega-3 fats to last a whole week! These omega-3’s are cardioprotective, meaning they are very good fo your heart. They also help lower cholesterol, fight inflammation, and have even been shown to help with anxiety and depression!

When you put fish in corn tortillas like in this recipe you can also make them gluten free! So take advantage of these health benefits by cooking this recipe below!

 

Ingredients:

🌮Corn tortillas

🌽Vegetable oil

🐟Tilapia

🍋Lemon juice

⚫️Salt & pepper

🌶Salsa

🍀Cilantro

🧀Cheese

Recipe:

1) Season tilapia with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. You can also use fresh lemons and cook the tilapia with a cut up lemon for flavor.

2) Saute tilapia at medium heat in vegetable oil, using the spatula to shred it while cooking. Don’t use too much oil. A half-dollar sized dollop on the pan should be more than enough.

3) Fish is done cooking when it no longer appears shiny.

4) Assemble your taco! Use whatever flavorings strike your fancy!

 

This recipe brought to you with love from Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality.

You can read even more about the health benefits of omega 3’s here. For more recipes, click here! Don’t forget to send us a pic of your finished tilapia tacos!

Best Amore Style Overnight Oats

Amore Style Overnight Oats

Meal-Prepping is one of the best ways we can avoid the temptation of the drive through on our way home from work. As easy as it may be to stop and pick up some unhealthy fast food, if we have already prepared our meals it is just as quick, and often significantly healthier.

But mealprepping doesn’t just have to be for dinner or lunches! With this easy recipe for amore style overnight oats you can quickly lay out a healthy breakfast the night before. Preparing you to start your day on a healthy foot, without the additional time it would take to prepare a full breakfast.

Below is our best breakfast recipe for amore style overnight oats. These oats are super quick to prepare, and can be served hot or cold depending on your preference! They are amore style which means chocolate and raspberry together. Yet even with this sinful combination they are still healthy! Can it get any better than having a way to meal prep, eat healthy, and still eat chocolate and raspberries than this perfect oat recipe? We don’t think so!

Ingredients

Steel-cut oats (1/3 cup)

Chocolate almond milk (1/3 cup)

Chia seeds (1 tbsp)

Nutella (1 tbsp)

Raspberries

Recipe

1. Mix the first four ingredients together in an 8-oz jar.

2. Seal the jar, and leave the mix in the fridge overnight.

3. Top with fresh raspberries.

Variations:

There are a few ways you can change up this recipe to make it fit your needs. If you want to make it gluten free, simply ensure that your oats are gluten free! You can also get a more nutty flavor in your overnight oats by adding walnuts, or pecans when you mix in your raspberries. Don’t be afraid to mix up the fruit as well! If you are using frozen fruit, place the fruit on top of your mix before leaving it to sit overnight.

We hope you enjoy your amore style overnight oats! This recipe brought to you with love from Mingle Vitality. For more recipes, click here!

 

Happy Holi!

Buddha Eyes in Kathmandu, Nepal. Photo by Rose Auflick. Happy Holi!

Happy Holi!

This delightful Hindu festival of colors originated in India as a way to celebrate love, forgiveness, and the triumph of good over evil, and I was blessed to get to see it firsthand 11 years ago in pre-communist Nepal.

A Little Backstory

Back in 2008, my dad was working for the oil company, Aramco, and my mom and I were living with him in an American compound in Saudi Arabia. Due to our proximity to many exotic locations and the extensive perks offered by Aramco, the middle schools developed a tradition of chaperoned trips for kids to choose from every Spring Break. I remember that I had wanted to go on the Italy/Switzerland trip that year, but I ended up “settling” for the Nepal trip (spoiled, much?) since my closest friends were going there. I had no idea I was going to love it so much!

Our group for the chaperoned trip to Nepal in 2008. Happy Holi!

Our group for the chaperoned trip to Nepal in 2008.

What Holi Was Like in Nepal

We arrived in Nepal just in time for the celebration of Holi, so it was a good thing we had a lot of walking planned for that first day. Even though it was glaringly obvious that we were a group of foreign tourists, the locals wholeheartedly shared their traditions with us, throwing water balloons at us from their apartment windows and even dousing a few of us with entire buckets of water. One of our guides explained that this was a great kindness, as the water was considered a form of blessing.

Play Video

Water balloon fight/war at Nepalese apartments in celebration of Holi. (Don’t worry about the girl who looks hurt in the video; the balloon stung a little, but she was totally fine just seconds later!)

As we continued to walk the streets of Kathmandu, we saw people dancing and singing, and every once in a while, a young child would run up to our group to peg us with more water. We also encountered several people carrying brightly-colored powders, and if they held their hands out to us, it meant they wanted us to let them put some of this powder on our faces, another type of blessing. This quickly became my favorite part of Holi, and I got so excited every time I saw another powder-carrier, especially if they had a new color for me to wear.

Young me with a couple of the Nepalese locals who powdered my face in celebration of Holi.

By the end of the day, we were tie-dye-dripping messes, but we were happy and grateful to have been swept up in this wholesome tradition.

The transition of my appearance throughout Holi, from just a dash of color to a full-on wet rainbow. Happy Holi!

The transition of my appearance throughout Holi, from just a dash of color to a full-on wet rainbow.

Have you celebrated Holi before?

What’s your favorite part of this holiday?

Happy Holi, readers!

 

To learn more about the cultural significance of Holi, check out this website: click here

 

For more fun reads by us, click here!

Healing Through Cooking

Spices and herbs. Photo by Elocin91 on Pixabay. Image used in Healing Through Cooking.

Medicinal Properties of My 5 Favorite Kitchen Herbs

What if I told you that you could have more than chicken noodle soup and salted crackers on your menu when you’re sick? As it turns out, the herbs you keep in your cabinet and refrigerator have just as much—if not, more—healing power than the most trusted, all-time sickie staple. After all, herbal remedies have existed as long as time itself; the herbs in this list are just my five favorites that you can actually EAT, thereby obtaining healing through cooking!

Yup, from stomach aches to flu and even to some types of cancer, the herbs on this list can treat* just about anything. So whether you sprinkle some of these on your classic chicken noodle soup or decide to try them with a different dish your stomach can handle, you can literally eat your way to better health! Keep reading to see what basil, cumin, garlic, ginger, and lemon grass can boost for you!

*NOTE

Please note that I say “treat”, not “cure”! Big difference. You treat an illness with the hope of eventually curing it. Read the disclaimer below for more important information prior to reading this article.

DISCLAIMER

I, the author of this article, am not a medical professional nor a nutritionist/dietician. This article does not substitute for medical advice nor nutritional counseling. Please consult a medical professional prior to consuming these herbs for medicinal benefits, and avoid consuming herbs that you have a known allergy for. Be aware that excess consumption, improper storage, and/or improper preparation of these herbs could result in dangerous side effects not listed here. By reading this article, you agree not to hold any members or persons otherwise associated with Poise and Potions, nor the business entity of Poise and Potions itself, liable for damages incurred to your person or persons you share this article’s information with.

Basil (a.k.a. Sweet Basil)

Ocimum basilicum

Sweet basil. Ocimum basilicum. Photo by tookapic on Pixabay. Image used in Healing Through Cooking.

Sweet basil. Ocimum basilicum. Photo by tookapic on Pixabay.

First on the list is basil, specifically sweet basil. The vibrant green leaves of this herb have a strongly herbal flavor with a lightly sweet, floral complement. It pairs best with tomato-based dishes and can treat a little something in nearly every part of the body!

Part Used: leaves

Flavor: strongly herbal, lightly sweet and floral

Common Recipes: tomato soup, spaghetti, caprese salad

Medicinal Properties: antibacterial[1,2], antifungal[2], anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-proliferative[3]

Regional Treatments of Basil

Head: migraines[1]

Throat: sore throat

Lungs: cough[4]

Digestive Tract: abdominal cramps, colic, flatulence (i.e. is carminative), indigestion, nausea

Nervous System: spasms (i.e. is antispasmodic)

Reproductive Organs: low breastmilk production (i.e. is galactogogue)[1]

Full-Body Treatments of Basil

Mental Illness: depression[1]

Physical Illness: bronchitis[4], cancer (specifically prostate cancer and glioblastoma)[3], cold, fever[1], flu[1,4]

Energy Problems: exhaustion, insomnia[1]

Cumin

Cuminum cyminum

Cumin seeds. Cuminum cyminum. Photo by usernamehastaken on Pixabay. Image used in Healing Through Cooking.

Cumin seeds. Cuminum cyminum. Photo by usernamehastaken on Pixabay.

Second on the list is cumin, the seeds of which are typically ground into powder and incorporated into many Mexican recipes. The smoky, salty flavor makes this seasoning a great substitute for salt, and, in addition to alleviating digestive upset, cumin may serve as an aphrodisiac as well.

Part Used: seeds

Flavor: salty and smoky, a little spicy

Common Recipes: tacos, Spanish rice, chili

Medicinal Properties: antibacterial[2,5,6], antifungal[2], larvicidal[6]

Regional Treatments of Cumin

Digestive Tract: abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence (i.e. is carminative)

Nervous System: spasms (i.e. is antispasmodic)

Reproductive Organs: low breastmilk production (i.e. is galactogogue), low libido (i.e. is an aphrodisiac)[6]

Full-Body Treatments of Cumin

Physical Illness: cold, fever

Energy Problems: insomnia[6]

Garlic

Allium sativum

Garlic bulbs. Allium sativum. Photo by stevepb on Pixabay. Image used in Healing Through Cooking.

Garlic bulbs. Allium sativum. Photo by stevepb on Pixabay.

Garlic quite possibly proves to be the most diverse herb on the planet, showing up in dishes all over the world, from Italian cuisine to Chinese cuisine, and Indian cuisine to–well–EVERYWHERE. The salty, buttery flavor of it just goes with everything! Where garlic really shines as a healing agent is within your cardiovascular system, whacking high levels of cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.

Part Used: bulbs

Flavor: strongly savory, buttery, salty

Common Recipes: butter chicken, garlic bread, Pad Thai

Medicinal Properties: anthelmintic (eliminates intestinal parasitic worms)[7], antibacterial, antifungal[2,7], antioxidant[7]

Regional Treatments of Garlic

Lungs: asthma, phlegm buildup (i.e. is an expectorant)[7,8]

Gallbladder: general bile flow (i.e. is cholagogue)[7]

Digestive Tract: diarrhea[7,8], parasitic worms

Skin: general perspiration (i.e. is diaphoretic)

Cardiovascular System: arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure (via vasodilation)[7], high cholesterol and/or LDL[7,8], fluid retention (i.e. is diuretic)

Nervous System: spasms (i.e. is antispasmodic)[7]

Full-Body Treatments of Garlic

Physical Illness: cancer, chronic lead poisoning, diabetes (via reduction of glucose metabolism), fever[7], flu[8]

Energy Problems: fatigue (i.e. is a stimulant)[7]

Ginger

Zingiber officinale

Ginger roots. Zingiber officinale. Photo by congerdesign on Pixabay. Image used in Healing Through Cooking.

Ginger roots. Zingiber officinale. Photo by congerdesign on Pixabay.

Although ginger seems to be primarily favored in Asian cuisines, it has “root”-ed its way into beloved desserts in the West. Similar to licorice in that it’s sweet with a slight bitterness to it, its earthiness and spicy kick give it a strong distinction. Ginger is most widely known for its digestive upset and cold/flu remedies, but it also possesses some anti-cancer properties.

Part Used: roots

Flavor: sweet with slight bitterness, earthy and spicy

Common Recipes: ginger tea, kung pao chicken, gingerbread

Medicinal Properties: antibacterial, antifungal[2], anti-inflammatory, antioxidant[8]

Regional Treatments of Ginger

Head: headaches[8]

Lungs: cough, phlegm buildup (i.e. is an expectorant)

Liver: general function

Digestive Tract: colic, general digestion, nausea

Skin: general perspiration (i.e. is diaphoretic)[9]

Cardiovascular System: artherosclerosis[8], general circulation[9], inflammation[8], peripheral circulatory problems

Nervous System: pain, spasms (i.e. is antispasmodic)[9]

Cells: buildup of damaged cells (i.e. promotes autophagy)[8]

Full-Body Treatments of Ginger

Physical Illness: cancer[8], cold[8,9], flu[9], type 2 diabetes[8]

Lemon Grass (a.k.a. Citronella Grass)

Cymbopogon citratus

Lemon/citronella grass. Cymbopogon citratus. Photo by alondav on Pixabay. Image used in Healing Through Cooking.

Lemon/citronella grass. Cymbopogon citratus. Photo by alondav on Pixabay.

Lastly, lemon grass, the most rare herb on this list, made it here simply because of how much I love it! The tangy, citrusy flavor is so refreshing and makes my favorite Tom Kha Gai soup feel light despite how much rich coconut milk is in there. Lemon grass mainly works as an anti-inflammatory agent and a fever reducer.

Part Used: leaves

Flavor: sharp, tangy, citrusy

Common Recipes: Tom Yum soup, rendang curry, Thai larb

Medicinal Properties: anti-inflammatory[10]

Regional Treatments of Lemon Grass

Head: general brain cell production[10]

Digestive Tract: abdominal cramps, flatulence (i.e. is carminative)

Skin: general perspiration (i.e. is diaphoretic)[11]

Cardiovascular System: inflammation

Nervous System: neuroinflammation, spasms (i.e. is antispasmodic)[10]

Full-Body Treatments of Lemon Grass

Physical Illness: fever[11,12]

As you can see, although the primary goal of cooking may be artistic in the sense that a cook creatively pairs herbs with meats, grains, or veggies to create unique flavors, a good secondary goal can be scientific, for healing through cooking!

For ideas on recipes you could easily add these herbs to, check out our Recipes page!

This article brought to you with love from Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality.

References

[1]L. “Ocimum Basilicum.” Plants for a Future, by L., Plants For A Future, 2012, pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Ocimum+basilicum. Accessed 31 Jan. 2019.

[2]Liu, Qing et al. “Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Spices” International journal of molecular sciences vol. 18,6 1283. 16 Jun. 2017, doi:10.3390/ijms18061283

[3]Bayala, Bagora et al. “Chemical composition, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative activities of essential oils of plants from Burkina Faso”PloS one vol. 9,3 e92122. 24 Mar. 2014, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092122

[4]Lemos, Izabel Cristina Santiago et al. “ETHNOBIOLOGICAL SURVEY OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS USED FOR THE TREATMENT OF ACUTE RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS IN CHILDREN OF A TRADITIONAL COMMUNITY IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF BARBALHA, CEARÁ, BRAZIL”African journal of traditional, complementary, and alternative medicines : AJTCAM vol. 13,4 166-175. 3 Jul. 2016, doi:10.21010/ajtcam.v13i4.22

[5]Bag, Anwesa and Rabi Ranjan Chattopadhyay. “Evaluation of Synergistic Antibacterial and Antioxidant Efficacy of Essential Oils of Spices and Herbs in Combination” PloS one vol. 10,7 e0131321. 1 Jul. 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0131321

[6]L. “Cuminum Cyminum.” Plants for a Future, by L., Plants for a Future, 2012, pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cuminum+cyminum. Accessed 7 Mar. 2019.

[7]L. “Allium Sativum.” Plants for a Future, by L., Plants for a Future, 2012, pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Allium+sativum. Accessed 25 Feb. 2019.

[8]Tsui, Pi-Fen et al. “Spices and Atherosclerosis” Nutrients vol. 10,11 1724. 10 Nov. 2018, doi:10.3390/nu10111724

[9] Roscoe. “Zingiber Officinale.” Plants for a Future, by Roscoe, Plants for a Future, 2012, pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Zingiber+officinale. Accessed 25 Feb. 2019.

[10]Mediesse, Francine Kengne et al. “Inhibition of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced neuroinflammatory response by polysaccharide fractions of Khaya grandifoliola (C.D.C.) stem bark, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta (Lindl.) Schltr and Cymbopogon citratus Stapf leaves in raw 264.7 macrophages and U87 glioblastoma cells” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 18,1 86. 12 Mar. 2018, doi:10.1186/s12906-018-2156-2

[11](DC. Ex Nees) Stapf. “Cymbopogon Citratus.” Plants for a Future, by (DC. Ex Nees) Stapf, Plants for a Future, 2012, pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cymbopogon+citratus. Accessed 25 Feb. 2019.

[12]Clement, Y N et al. “An ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants in Trinidad”Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine vol. 11 67. 15 Sep. 2015, doi:10.1186/s13002-015-0052-0

How Sleazy, Free Webinar Scams Hook You

Pic by geralt on Pixabay. Webinar.

Advertising equals the Art of Manipulation…but that’s no surprise to you, right? You know that the fast food companies showing you melty, cheesy burgers on TV just want your money, and same goes for the technology companies showing you sleek new phones with epic music playing in the background. A lot of the time, you KNOW you’re being played, so you don’t really take it personally, even if you buy the product you saw advertised.

But what if an advertisement successfully got you to buy something…by promising you something FREE, wasting an HOUR of your time, and NOT EVEN GIVING YOU THE FREEBIE??? You’d take it personally then, wouldn’t you?

This is how many free webinars work. A lot of companies will advertise a free webinar on social media, get you to sign up and attend, and spend the whole hour making a sales pitch instead of giving you the information you came for. What’s even worse is HOW they get you to stick around for that full hour: by sneakily accumulating engagements with you using minimal effort on their part, which gets you emotionally invested in them and makes it more likely you’ll purchase one of their products.

Here is an Engagement-Hook point system that will show you how sleazy, free webinar scams hook you and get you to engage with their content.

The Ad

Stock photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay. Generic free webinar ad created with Canva.

Stock photo by PublicDomainPictures on Pixabay. Generic free webinar ad created with Canva.

FREE

The word “free” in all capital letters is the most important part of the ad; people LOVE free stuff. So the ad says, “FREE(+1) Webinar on Interesting-Topic-You-Care-About(+1)”. You are intrigued.

+2 ⚓️⚓️

Call to Action

Believe it or not, a button with the words, “Schedule now!” is more effective than just a picture ad. I learned about this technique called a “Call to Action” from Health Coach Institute which quite literally means to give your potential customers a command(+1). I guess people like being given direction, but whatever makes it so effective is why so many ads say things like, “Buy now!” or “Call us today!” Plus, if you put these words on a button, you can’t deny that clicking that button(+2) is more satisfying than clicking a link that doesn’t move(+1).

+3 ⚓️⚓️⚓️

Input Form

The call-to-action button then leads you to an input form. When input forms ask you too many questions, you’ll likely click away, so the smarter businesses only ask for two things: your name(+1) and your email address(+1). You think, “Okay, sure, I can give them my first name and email; those aren’t too personal.” You click, “Submit”. BOOM—you’re now subscribed to their email list(+1), so they can spam you! And repeated viewings of a company increases the likelihood you’ll purchase something from them.

Oh, but that’s not all; their automatic email generator now has your name, which it will include in EVERY email(+1). Well guess what? Another advertising trick I learned in school was to USE A PERSON’S FIRST NAME as often as possible, because hearing your name increases your feeling of connection.

+4 ⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️…for now…

The Webinar

Stock photo by StockSnap on Pixabay. Generic free webinar setup created with Canva.

Scheduling the Webinar

Either the input form or the first email you receive will let you choose which webinar to attend. The webinars I attended offered four different timeslots per day on at least three days of the CURRENT week.

But here’s the tea: they offer free webinars EVERY week. By only featuring the CURRENT week in their ad, people who want but cannot attend the webinar that week panic and comment on the post (+1), asking, “Are there other ones I can attend?” which offers an opportunity for the business to reply (+1).

Those previous 2 points may not be for you, so we won’t count those. But with at least 12 available timeslots in one week, you’re almost guaranteed to find one you can attend eventually. You schedule the webinar(+1), which results in the link being emailed to you(+1).

+2 ⚓️⚓️

Logging In

You open the email(+1). You click the webinar link(+1). You’re now logged in, and you see the video screen, a chat feed, and a textbox. Here’s where it starts to get MESSED UP.

+2 ⚓️⚓️

Webinar Video

First of all, you are NOT attending a LIVE webinar. This webinar was live once—the FIRST time—but the one you’re watching now has NO ONE on the other end. You’re watching a pre-recorded webinar—and that doesn’t stop the person in it from playing several tricks to make you feel like it’s live.

+A LOT, just wait…

Chat Feed

Second, the active chat you see might not even be live. In fact, you might be seeing the chat from the FIRST airing of the webinar, but it has names and comments streaming right along with the video, making it feel live(+1).

+1 ⚓️

Textbox

If the chat is NOT live, the textbox beneath the chat feed does NOT submit your comments to chat; instead, your comments get EMAILED to the business(+1), giving them the opportunity to reply(+1). Otherwise, you DO have a live chat, in which case when you submit a comment(+1), you see it appear in the feed(+1).

+2 ⚓️⚓️, per submission

Keeping You Hooked

Stock photo by LUM3N on Pixabay. Extra details added with Canva. Fishing man.

Stock photo by LUM3N on Pixabay. Extra details added with Canva. Fishing man.

These webinars typically last one hour, so the speaker has to put in a lot of work to keep you there the whole time. Remember, the longer they keep you there and the more engagement they get from you, the more invested you become with their company and the more likely you are to purchase from them, even if they gave you none of the useful info they promised in the webinar. They have this live-feeling setup which buys about 15 minutes before you lose patience and peace out, so they use the following tactics to appease you for the remaining 45 minutes:

Filler Talk

To fill up an entire hour with zero information, the speaker needs to use a lot of filler talk: vague sentences that outline the subject but have no real value to you. These are the types of filler talk I can almost guarantee will appear in a free webinar:

Power Words: things that everyone desires. The speaker will say, “We know you want confidence, money, and success.” (+1 per word)

The Index: a list of subjects you want more information about that are part of the webinar’s theme. The speaker will say, “Today, we’re gonna talk about x, y, and z.” (+1 per reference to the index)

Testimonials: information about people and/or businesses their business has helped. The speaker will say, “This is Name, the Position of Business; we helped him/her boost sales by X% within Time!” (+1 per testimonial)

Inspirational Quotes: …yup. (+1 per quote)

+4 ⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️, at least

Open-Ended Questions

The speaker will prompt you at least twice to engage in the chat. At the beginning, they’ll ask at least one personal question such as, “Where are you from?” so they can then say, “Wow, we’ve got people from all over today! We have Name1 from Place1, Name2 from Place2, etc.” This contributes to the live webinar feel(+1), because who’s really gonna scroll back through the feed to check if those people are there? The speaker will also encourage you to submit any questions you might have(+1)…even though there’s no one there to answer them.

+2 ⚓️⚓️, at least

Diversions

These are the sleaziest of the engaging tactics, because these are just straight-up LIES. The speaker will make promises to you that they won’t keep. Every once in a while, after referencing The Index, they’ll throw in a, “And I promise we’re gonna get around to this, but first I wanna mention More-Filler-Talk.” This makes you feel assured that you’re not wasting time(+1), even though you are. They’ll also promise a Q&A at the very end while requesting that you submit your questions early on(+1), counting on the fact that you’ll: 1)have already made it through the presentation by then, and 2)not scroll back through the chat feed. If they do NOT offer said Q&A, they’ll usually excuse their lack of response to the chat feed by saying, “If I’m not answering any questions, it’s because we’re gonna go fast during this part,” which also contributes to the live webinar feeling(+1).

+2 ⚓️⚓️, at least

Total Damage:

⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️⚓️

Stock photo by luntan6644 on Pixabay. Text added with Canva. Wall-mounted clothing hook.

At minimum, a typical free webinar will hook your attention TWENTY-FOUR times, and the count rapidly increases every time the speaker uses a tactic or you submit a comment. That is a LOT of interaction between you and the business with minimal effort on their end. Free webinars really are brilliant forms of advertisement, but when they’re conducted as mentioned above, it kinda makes you feel sick from being taken advantage of.

Are ALL Free Webinars Bad?

No; in fact, some free webinars are great! Granted, they ALL are trying to engage with you as much as possible for the benefit of their business, but that’s just advertising for ya. Businesses need to make money to survive. But as long as their freebies (webinars included) actually give you something useful, your engagement with them feels a little more mutual and a lot less parasitic.

Have you stumbled upon any amazing FREE knowledge sources? Feel free to share the links on our social media or in the comments below!

 

For more of OUR free knowledge, check out our other blog posts!

US-Style Street Tacos

Photo by hayme100 on Pixabay. Chicken street tacos.

We LOVE tacos and would NEVER tell anyone to give them up! Here’s how to make US-style street tacos:

Ingredients

🌮Corn tortillas
🐓Shredded cooked chicken
🥗Romaine lettuce (chopped)
💚Cilantro
🧀Shredded cheddar
🥣Greek yogurt (plain)
🌶Red salsa

Recipe

1)Shred cooked chicken breast (can be prepared any way you like).

2)Chop up Romaine lettuce and cilantro.

3)Assemble your taco with all the ingredients you love!

This recipe brought to you with love from:

Rose Auflick of Mingled Vitality

Original post on Instagram

 

For more recipes, click here!

2-Ingredient Breakfast

Photo by Enotovyj on Pixabay. Cottage cheese.

The best breakfasts are often the simplest; after all, so many folks skip it even though it’s the most important meal of the day! So here’s a 2-ingredient breakfast that is so quick and easy you won’t have an excuse to miss out! As an added bonus, this recipe gives you a good balance of your macros (carbs, fat, protein) to boost your energy levels and keep you feeling full ’til lunch.

Photo and recipe by Mingled Vitality. 2-Ingredient Breakfast.

Photo and recipe by Mingled Vitality. 2-Ingredient Breakfast.

Ingredients

🥣Cottage cheese
🍓Strawberries (or any fruit!)

Recipe

1)Hastily dump cottage cheese into a bowl.

2)Throw some fruit at it (feel free to get creative and use any fruit you want!).

3)EAT! So easy!

This recipe brought to you with love from:

Mingled Vitality

Original post on Instagram.

 

To see more recipes, click here!

Poor, Little Woman’s Guide to Belly Dance Costumes

Photo by Brett_Hondow on Pixabay. Pink princes piggy bank.

While the greatest hurdle for a new belly dancer to overcome as she transitions from lessons to her first stage performance is confidence, the second-greatest hurdle might actually be the most frustrating: finding an affordable costume that fits right. Belly dance costumes aren’t exactly mass-produced in the same way standard clothing is, so a vast majority of the time, you’re stuck browsing online through limited—and often quite expensive—options. And if you decide customization is the only way to get what you want, you’ll typically be shelling out a MINIMUM of $400.

I have yet to reach a place in life where I can spend that kind of money, so when I started belly dancing five years ago, I had to get quite creative. Sorted piece by piece, here is a poor, little woman’s guide to belly dance costumes: the tricks I learned in order to come up with belly dance costumery that helped me fit in with other dancers onstage.

Tops

I have never been comfortable with dancing in a belly dance bra top. Even though it’s the most traditional thing a belly dancer can wear, I could never get over the paranoia of my boobs popping out from a bra that failed to secure them into their proper place. Heck, I even feel panicked when another dancer in a bra top goes to bend over. Just—nope—I refuse to wear a bra top until I can get one custom-made…with extra coverage…

Since that hasn’t been an option for me, I went the unique route of wearing crop tops. Luckily, crop tops turned out to be quite cheap, and, with a bra on underneath, they offered adequate coverage of my chest (from above the nipple line to just beneath the bust). I likely would not perform professionally or at a competition wearing a crop top, but for local events and just dancing for fun, they have served me well. Additionally, I have received numerous compliments for my tops, from audience members and dancers alike.

One of my first crop tops came from Forever 21 as a gift from my mom. It likely did not cost more than $25.

My photo. Red lace crop top. Rak the Brazos! Nov. 2014

My photo. Red lace crop top. Rak the Brazos! Nov. 2014

My favorite place to shop for crop tops was Body Central, where they usually cost $15-20. The business itself is no longer open, but multiple secondhand stores still sell their brand.

Photo by Tom Adams. Black and red rose crop top. TAMU Belly Dance Spring Hafla, Apr. 2018

Photo by Tom Adams. Black and red rose crop top. TAMU Belly Dance Spring Hafla, Apr. 2018

Lastly, eBay proved to be another great resource for crop top shopping; I found tops there from $5-10! Summertime is the best season to find them, but you can still find them year-round.

Photo by Tom Adams. Black velvet turtleneck crop top. Rak the Brazos! Nov. 2017

Photo by Tom Adams. Black velvet turtleneck crop top. Rak the Brazos! Nov. 2017

Hips

Although hip-wear isn’t always required, I preferred to include it in most of my costumes. At first, I started out with basic hip scarves/coin belts, which you can find on just about any belly dance costume website for about $10 (see Full Costumes section below for links).

Also, when in a pinch, a regular scarf will do as long as it is long enough to tie around your hips. Then you can either “diaper” it (the “technical” term for tucking a scarf or veil into the sides of your skirt) or tie it (after either folding it lengthwise or into a triangle). Target seems to be the most promising place to find large enough scarves, where you can get them for around $15.

Photo by Tom Adams. “Diaper-ed” scarf. TAMU Belly Dance Spring Hafla, Apr. 2018.

Photo by Tom Adams. “Diaper-ed” scarf. TAMU Belly Dance Spring Hafla, Apr. 2018.

Photo by Tom Adams. Folded scarf. Rev’s Belly Dance Night, Sept. 2018.

The last type of hip accessory I’ve used is an imposter—and a very effective one. Somehow I came across a kid-size shawl in some of my or my mom’s old stuff, and it was just long enough to tie around my hips. The thing was beautiful, all embroidered and bordered with fringe. Although I don’t know the price of that exact one, I browsed on eBay and found that kids’ triangular shawls can be found right around $5 each.

BlueFloralKidShawl_DTTS3.2015

Photo by Michelle Ochoa. Blue floral kids’ shawl. Dancing Through The Sahara, Mar. 2015.

Bottoms

For some bizarre reason I can’t figure out, shopping for pants (or tribal pants, at least) that fit my short-legged, curvy figure is easy (see Full Costumes section below for links), but skirts prove to be a whole ‘nother story.

First of all, you can’t simply buy a maxi skirt in a store that will work for belly dance. Most maxi skirts you’ll find in department stores are made of two panels stitched together at the sides, a design that is restrictive to movement beyond casual walking. Belly dancers typically need full-length circle skirts which are, as the name implies, created from a giant circle of fabric to allow for a great range of leg motion, including the splits.

Second, if you’re short like me, most circle belly dance skirts online won’t fit you. This is because most companies who produce cookie-cutter costumes create skirts with a minimum length of 36”. The longest skirt I can wear as a 5’3” person is 34”.

Some dancers have told me that they will buy the oversized skirts anyway and roll up the waistband several times over, but I can’t stand things that don’t fit right as they are. This leaves me with having to shop online through normal skirts, which leads me to the third problem: most normal skirts are designed to fit at the waist, not at the hips like a belly dancing skirt.

So what on earth are we tiny dancers supposed to do??? Fear not; if you use the following shopping parameters on eBay, you can actually find a decently-priced ($20 or less) skirt you can dance in:

Skirt Shopping Parameters

Bottoms Size: Your Size +3. For example, if you are normally a size S, go up 3 sizes to XL to find a skirt that will sit on your hips. If you’re normally M, go to 2XL, and so on. If you worry this won’t work, go to a store just to try on oversized skirts to test which size fits the best for your hips.

Length: Check “below knee” and “mid-calf”. You’re shopping larger sizes to wear lower, so the skirt length will be longer. But also keep in mind that some eBay sellers will be lazy and just list their skirt as “long”, so you can check that box, too. Regardless of what you check, ALWAYS check the description for an actual measurement of the skirt’s length.

Style: Check “A-line”, “Circle & Skater”, “Flare”, “Trumpet & Mermaid”, and/or “Wrap & Sarong” for best results. These styles of skirts flare out either at the hips or legs, which will prevent unsightly stretching of the fabric during performances.

Here are pictures of two skirts I’ve bought using those search parameters:

My photo. Black gypsy skirt.

My photo. Black gypsy skirt.

My photo. Black velvet skirt.

My photo. Black velvet skirt.

Full Costumes

Believe it or not, reasonably-priced, good-looking belly dance costumes do exist! From experience, I’ve found that costumes on the following websites do run about one size smaller than standard US sizes, so if you’re an M, buy an L, etc. Also be sure to have caution (as I advised before) if you’re shopping for anything with a skirt; these are the kinds of websites whose full-length skirts tend to be a minimum of 36” long. Dress Lily This website doesn’t always sell belly dance costumes, but they’re worth searching every once in a blue moon. I found a lovely red costume here for only $30.
DressLilyRedCostume_FF7.2017

Photo by Tom Adams. DressLily red costume. First Friday, July 2017.

Light In The Box

You do have to search “belly dance costume” on this website, but they have so many options available (including individual pieces like skirts, tribal pants, and hip scarves). I’ve purchased two beautiful, lacey costumes there, one of which had tribal pants which fit great, and the other which had a skirt that luckily wasn’t too long for me! Most of the costumes on this site are between $10 and $30.

Photo by John Trevino. LightInTheBox black lace tribal costume. Rev’s Halloween Belly Dance Night, Oct. 2017.

Photo by John Trevino. LightInTheBox black lace tribal costume. Rev’s Halloween Belly Dance Night, Oct. 2017.

Photo by Ka’ili. LightInTheBox blue lace costume. First Friday, June 2017.

Photo by Ka’ili. LightInTheBox blue lace costume. First Friday, June 2017.

BellyDance.com

Surprisingly, I have not bought anything from this website…yet. But with so many options for $30-$50, I will eventually! Since this website is solely dedicated to belly dance wear, it’s much more organized than the previous two sites and offers dang-near everything you could ever need including bindis, props, music, and more.

Coverups

Last but not least, every belly dancer could use a coverup! For those of you who don’t know, coverups are oversized, draping “dresses” that belly dancers wear over their costumes when they’re not performing. Most dancers think of it as a formality or as a sign of being respectful to other performers, so you could think of it as our version of a business suit. It separates our “business” self from our “performing” self.

So where do we get said coverups for cheap? Ross. That’s right, the best place to get cheap (but beautiful) coverups is Ross in the dress section for a mere $10.

My photo. Blue paisley coverup, One-Size.

My photo. Blue paisley coverup, One-Size.

Well, that's everything; thanks for reading!

This has been a poor, little woman’s guide to belly dance costume shopping! What have been your best costume finds? Share with us on social media or in the comment section below!

Still not quite sure what you’re looking for? Click here to read more about the pieces that make up a belly dance costume!

Want to know more about your costume options? Click here to learn about all the ways to obtain costumes, from making them to buying them!

Healthy Homemade Burrito

Happy Friday Everyone! What better way to end the week than with 🌯Burrito Time!?🌯

 

That’s right, health-nuts; you do NOT have to give up your beloved burritos! In fact, it’s super easy to pack them with nutrient-dense goodies so that burritos can actually be GOOD for you. Here’s what’s in mine:

 

🐓Cilantro-lime chicken

🥗Spinach

🍚Brown rice

⚫️Black beans (no emoji???😅)

🌽Corn

🥣Greek yogurt (plain)

🌶Red salsa

~

Mingled Vitality, March 21, 2018

IMG_0869

Preparation

The most involved part of this recipe is the cilantro-lime chicken. I put a link to a recipe for it that I’m fond of in the listing above. While the chicken is doing its thing I like to prepare the brown rice, black beans, and corn.

Once everything is ready, I just spread my tortilla out on my plate and add the delicious fillings in whatever proportions I’m feeling that day, wrap it up, and serve. This burrito has never failed to be tasty and satisfying!

 

Substitutions

 

Now, this is just the recipe I use. This may not work for all of our readers due to any number of dietary reasons or restrictions such as food allergies, vegetarian, or vegan dietary plans. I have a few substitution suggestions to add on in case they would deprive you of delicious burrito goodness (which would just be awful, what is life without burritos?!)

There are any number of excellent gluten free options when it comes to your tortilla of choice, alternatively you can spread this over a plate of corn tortilla chips and you have delicious nachos instead!

For our vegetarians, more beans and legumes is never a bad choice, and if you’re looking for something a little different since it already includes black beans, tofu is always reliable. I haven’t tried it myself, so I can’t vouch for it, but I understand jack fruit also makes an excellent meat replacement!

And last but certainly not least, our vegan friends can certainly use some of the vegetarian options mentioned above, as well as using vegan friendly greek yogurt that you should be able to find at most any major grocery store.

This is far from an all-inclusive list dietary substitutions and restrictions, so please feel free to comment below if you have a restriction that I’ve failed to cover and would like to chime in with tips for others like yourself, or simply to ask for other suggestions if you’re curious about any ideas myself or someone else on the team might have to suit your needs!

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful Friday, weekend, and Holiday Season!

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