4 Health Benefits of Napping

Sure, everyone loves napping, but did you know that it might actually improve your health? Your favorite rainy afternoon activity could be just as beneficial for your body as eating your vegetables, and that’s something that we can really get on board with.

  1. It improves your mental state. Although you probably know this based on personal experience, napping has a number of psychological benefits. It improves your mood, decreases anxiety, and makes you feel happier overall.
  2. It improves performance. Studies have shown that napping for just 40 minutes can improve your performance by 34% and your alertness but an impressive 100%. The next time you feel like you simply can’t concentrate, try taking a short nap.
  3. It improves your memory. Naps improve your brain’s performance when it comes to long-term memory and working memory. Your brain transfers recent memories to the neocortex while you sleep, which stores long-term memories and helps you to recall them.
  4. It improves your physical health. While napping is very good for your mind, it’s beneficial for your physical health as well. Sleep deprivation causes added stress from too much of the hormone cortisol, and it leads to abdominal fat, weakened muscles, and a shoddy immune system. Napping encourages the production of growth hormone, the natural antidote to cortisol.

How to Power Nap – And Why You Should [Real Simple]
Napping [National Sleep Foundation]
Unleash the Power of the Nap [The Art of Manliness]

Happy National Dog Day!

National Dog Day is celebrated August 26th annually and serves to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledges family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Dogs put their lives on the line every day – for their law enforcement partner, for their blind companion, for a child who is disabled, for our freedom and safety by detecting bombs and drugs and pulling victims of tragedy from wreckage.

Here are some ways to celebrate:

1. Adopt a dog from your local shelter or pure breed rescue organization. Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to walk a dog or play with a dog, clean cages or anything else they need help with.

2. Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.

3. Have a National Dog Day party and invite all your friends and their dogs!

4. Spend the day taking photos of your dog and then enter our photo contest!

5. Assist an ill or elderly neighbor by walking their dog.

6. Have a portrait painted of your dog to suspend the fleeting magic of dogdom.

7. Buy your dog a fun new dog toy….or two…or five.

8. Give your dog some fun exercise by taking him or her to a doggy play resort.

9. Give your dog a massage or holistic spa treatment.

10. Teach your dog a new trick.

Thank you to all the wonderful dog & dog lovers out there!

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.

Fresh Herbs Make an Appearance in These Summertime Cocktails

You often raid your windowsill herb garden for fresh seasonings for tonight’s dinner, but did you know that herbs also make a wonderful companion to your favorite liquor? Herb-infused cocktails are becoming quite a trend, and with their fresh, flavorful tastes it’s not difficult to see why. Check out these three summertime cocktails guest starring fresh herbs.

Lillet-Basil Cocktail [Martha Stewart]
Sometimes the most unlikely combinations make the very best pairings, just like the cinnamon and basil in this spicy cocktail. Lillet Blanc and gin give it its boozy buzz, while tonic water and fresh orange juice tone down the flavor. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, cucumber spear, and some bountiful basil for a light and breezy cocktail that’s ideal for Sunday brunch.

Herb-Infused Pisco Sour [Saveur]
Instead of the usual Whiskey Sour, mix things up a bit this summer with a complex Pisco Sour infused with fresh herbs. The Pisco, rosemary and mint are muddled overnight to create a deep flavor, and an egg white adds a frothy finish.

Blackberry Herb Cocktail [Epicurious]
Just like herbs come into season in the summer, plump, juicy blackberries do as well. Combine a sparkling Prosecco with blackberries and rosemary for a unique flavor that’s also cool and refreshing.

Congrats Seahawks!

The team at Tera says, "Go Hawks!" and congratulations on your outstanding recognition at the ESPYS!

As Pete Carroll is fond of saying, "it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish".

The Seahawks managed to do both on Wednesday night, when they won the first and the last awards presented in the nationally televised ESPYS ceremony from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.

The first – “Best Breakthrough Player” – went to All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman. The last – “Best Team” – went to the Super Bowl XLVIII champion Seahawks. It was a fitting both-ends sweep in what has been a magical run for the Seahawks in their fourth season under Carroll.

Read more here!

Feeling the Burn? Here’s How to Treat Minor Sunburn

If you've ever been afflicted by the prickly heat of sunburn, you know how it can put a damper on summertime fun. Should minor sunburn strike this season, here are some remedies for easing the burn. (If your burn is especially painful or blistered, consult your doctor!)

1) ​Pop a few pain pills.
Over-the-counter ibuprofen will help reduce inflammation, redness, pain, and swelling.

2) Apply a cool compress.
Soak a washcloth in cold water and place it upon the affected area for 15 minutes at a time. This will help take some of the heat out of the burn. A short soak in a cool bath can work here, too, along with chilled 100% aloe vera gel.

3) Hydrate.
Drink plenty of clear fluids. This will help your body repair the damage to your skin cells.

4) Moisturize.
Slather on quick-absorbing lotions to help keep your skin supple. Avoid ointments, however, as they create a barrier on the surface of the skin and actually trap in the heat.

5) SPF.
Of course, the very best remedy for sunburn is always prevention. Be sure to liberally apply sunscreen before venturing outdoors, and reapply every hour or so.

When might sunburn require medical attention? [Mayo Clinic]
What's The Best Remedy For A Bad Sunburn? [NPR]
Treating Sunburn [American Academy of Dermatology]
How To Treat a Sunburn [About]

Summer Superfoods That Pack Major Health Benefits

Good health and nutrition are just as much about being strategic with the foods that you consume as much as it is about choosing the right ones.

By combining certain superfoods — those foods with numerous nutritional benefits — your body profits even more than healthy eating alone. Those health benefits range from an extra boost to the immune system or lowering your risk of cancer, to giving you better skin. We've rounded up a bunch of superfoods that, when consumed together, pack a mighty punch.

Read more here.

Here’s How to Segment Citrus Fruit Like a Pro Chef

If you’ve ever gotten squirted in the eye while trying to eat an orange, you know how frustrating it is to peel and eat citrus fruits. These impressive tips will show you how to segment lemons, oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus fruits in just a few simple steps.

  1. Cut off the top and bottom parts of the fruit. Cut just about low enough to hit the end of the peel, so that the fruit stands on its own when you stand it on the counter.
  2. Peel the fruit. Start from the top and cut down toward the bottom, in sections. It should take you a few cuts to get the peel off all the way around the fruit.
  3. Trim off the white parts. Unless you’re a perfect cutter, you’ll likely have some white pith left over from the peel. Trim these pieces off by gently scraping the knife across the surface.
  4. Cut along the edges. All citrus fruits have naturally sectioned pieces, so you want to extract those from the fruit. Examine the surface and place your knife along the first edge you find, cutting just until you hit the center of the fruit. Then cut into the other side and the piece should fall out on its own.
  5. Repeat all over. Repeat this process all over the fruit, being careful not to cut into the membrane, until you’ve segmented the entire thing. You’ll be left with smooth, perfectly rounded pieces that are ideal for fruit salads.

How to Segment an Orange (Or Any Citrus Fruit) [The Kitchn]
How to Segment an Orange [Waitrose]
{How To} Segment an Orange [Plum Pie]

Easy Ways to Introduce More Calcium to Your Diet

Dairy products are usually cited as the main food sources of calcium, which can be difficult for those who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply dislike dairy. Luckily there are a number of non-dairy sources of calcium that aren’t as well known, and many of them are quite surprising. Here are a few of the best.

  1. Nuts and seeds. Healthy snacks like nuts and seeds don’t just quell your hunger, they also provide you with a beneficial dose of calcium. Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and chestnuts are some of the most calcium-rich nuts, and they taste great in salads or on their own. Seeds like tahini, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds are also wonderful sources.
  2. Green vegetables. As if you needed another reason to eat your veggies, many greens are very high in calcium. In fact, it’s much easier for your body to digest vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach than it is to digest milk.
  3. Tofu. Everyone’s favorite meat substitute isn’t just a great source of protein, it’s also filled with healthful calcium. Many brands of tofu are fortified with a calcium sulfate, which can easily be found on the ingredient list.

18 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium [Greatist]
18 Surprising Dairy-Free Sources of Calcium [HuffPost]
Surprising Calcium Sources for Dairy Haters [Reader’s Digest]

How to Find Farmers’ Markets Near You

If you’re frustrated with the lackluster produce and crowded aisles at your usual grocery store, maybe it’s time you take your food shopping outdoors. Farmers' markets are popping up in just about every town around the country, and shoppers love them for their local goods and enjoyable atmospheres. Here’s how you can find farmers' markets in your area.

The PBS Website
The Public Broadcasting System website isn’t just for finding educational programming, it’s also a great resource for finding farmers markets nearby. A detailed map offers red dots for the location of each major farmers' market to help you visualize where they’re located, while a list of both local and national resources will help you to narrow down your specific area.

Local Harvest
Local Harvest is an organization dedicated to connecting farmers both to one another and to consumers in order to create a more farm-to-table grocery shopping experience. The website contains a search tool that allows you to browse by farms, CSAs, farmers' markets, or co-ops, and it offers a helpful field to enter your specific location as well. This is especially handy when you’re traveling and you want to check out the farmers markets in an unfamiliar city.