Tag: Ways

8 Drug-Free Ways to Calm Anxiety in Minutes

Pretty much everyone deals with anxiety at some point in their lives, and you don’t have to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to need a release—so we spoke with experts about how to identify anxiety (and how to deal with it).

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“Anxiety can show up in our lives in many different ways,” says Ginger Poag, MSW, LCSW, a licensed therapist at Brentwood Wellness Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. “But the most common are often irritability, lack of patience, worrying, difficulty sleeping, avoiding certain situations or people, inability to focus or concentrate, inability to relax, stress eating, tense muscles, and headaches.”

If you’re dealing with anxiety, it can be tough to keep going, and while there are a lot of ways to reduce anxiety in your life, we found some very specific options that you may want to try.

1. Listen to This Song

It may sound weird, but research suggests that listening to this song could help reduce anxiety by up to 65 percent. Music therapy has been shown to help reduce anxiety for patients undergoing procedures—and it may even help reduce pain.

Try This: Block out a few minutes and pop in your headphones to listen to this song. (Yes, I tried it. And yes, it actually works.)

2. Get App-y

Anxiety can make you feel like you’re on an island, which is why it can be super helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Some people process things verbally, so talking about what’s going on in your head can help you begin to understand and cope with your anxiety.

“We can begin to catastrophize the problem and make ourselves believe the problem is much bigger and worse than what we originally believed,” Poag says. “I encourage clients to talk their anxiety out with a trusted friend or family member—by getting out our concerns verbally, we can begin to see the reality of our worries.”

However, sometimes it can be hard to talk to your friends and family when you’re feeling anxious, and therapy can be expensive or overwhelming.

Try This: Download an app like 7 Cups to work through any anxiety that pops up in your life. The app offers free trained “listeners” who are other users of the app, group chats, and even virtual therapy sessions to help when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Even just working through the app’s guided activities can help improve your overall emotional wellness and distract you when you’re feeling anxious.

3. Drop Into Cat-Cow

Need to relax fast? There’s a yoga pose (OK, a lot of yoga poses) for that. However, cat-cow pose is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety so you can focus on your breathing.

Studies show that a regular yoga practice can have a significant impact on anxiety levels in your daily life, so taking the time to find your zen can be good for both reducing existing anxiety and preventing more in the future.

“A regular yoga practice can teach you how to become aware of the present moment,” says Lauren Zoeller, a certified yoga instructor and Whole Living Life Coach. “When you learn to live in the present moment, your body and emotions are able to cope with anxiety more efficiently.”

Try This: Using a yoga mat, blanket, or the space behind your desk (we won’t tell anyone!), position yourself onto your hands and knees with your shoulders aligned with your wrists and your hips over your knees.

With your weight balanced evenly, inhale as you slowly look up and let your stomach drop toward the floor. After a brief hold, exhale and tuck your chin to your chest. Moving gently, draw your navel toward your spine and round your back up toward the ceiling. Repeat slowly for one minute.

4. Breathe With a .GIF (Seriously)

This might sound a little redundant—hello, we’re already breathing—but experts agree that deep breathing can have a serious impact on stress and anxiety.

“Deep breathing allows the brain to receive more oxygen, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, lowers heart rate and blood pressure, which allows the body to experience calmness and relaxation,” Poag says.

Translation: The parasympathetic nervous system is what helps you relax, which is definitely helpful when you’re feeling anxious.

Try This: Use the handy .GIF below to focus on your breathing. Set a timer to give yourself a mini-break and turn your phone on silent while you breathe.

“Two minutes of controlled breathing can significantly change your attitude and will immediately decrease your stress level,” Zoeller says. “Even if that means locking yourself in the bathroom stall at work.” a .GIF of a geometric pattern
Don’t worry about controlling your thinking or needing to find your zen, which can sometimes leave you feeling more anxious. Be gentle with yourself and focus on the movement—and getting that sweet oxygen—as much as possible.

5. Take a Five-Minute Break

“It is proven that a regular meditation practice can help you cope with difficult situations, ease mental and physical pain, and eliminate the common factors associated with anxiety,” Zoeller says. “Five minutes of meditation a day can drastically your decrease your anxiety level.”

In fact, one study showed that 20 minutes of mindful meditation practice for four days cut anxiety levels by nearly 40 percent. Yep. That much.

Meditation has long been known for its benefits, and they’re totally backed by science. Not sure where to begin? Turns out you only need five minutes to get started.

Try This: Poag suggests downloading a guided meditation app to help the process along, or you can try watching a video on guided meditation on YouTube. It only takes a few minutes to reap the benefits of meditation, making it a perfect tool to combat anxiety.

6. Turn Anxiety Into Excitement

If you’re feeling anxious about a big work project, a date, or karaoke night, studies suggest that traditional anxiety-relieving techniques might not do as much as we’d like.

Try This: Harness your anxiety and focus on turning it into excitement instead. Research on performance anxiety in highly skilled musicians shows that those who view anxiety as a good thing are more likely to perform better.

And, honestly, it makes sense: Perception matters, and science suggests that a little bit of stress can actually be beneficial. We spend a lot of time talking about getting rid of stress and anxiety (which, let’s be real, totally makes sense). But in reality, those things—in small doses—aren’t actually the worst things for us, so long as we perceive them as good.

7. Chew Some Gum

Chewing gum might not be the first remedy you think of when it comes to anxiety, but studies suggest that it may reduce fatigue, stress, and anxiety, and even boost your mood. Of the 101 study participants, chewing gum was also associated with a better perception of work performance.

A small study concluded that chewing gum helped reduce anxiety and increase alertness, and another determined that chewing gum reduced stress-related responses in the brain.

Try This: Pop a piece (or two) of gum into your mouth. This isn’t the time for casual chewing—one study suggests that the best benefit comes from more, uh, enthusiastic chewing.

8. Use the 5-4-3-2-1 Method

Project LETS—a nonprofit organization dedicated to erasing the stigma surrounding mental illness, diversity, trauma, and neurodivergence—suggests the 5-4-3-2-1 method as an emergency intervention for panic attacks or anxiety.

It involves using all of your senses and engaging your mind to find calm in the midst of anxiety. Plus, it’s something you can do out loud when you’re alone or in your head if you’re around other people.

Try This: Look around the room you’re in, and name 5 things you can see. Next, name 4 things you can touch or feel. Then, you’ll look for 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can smell, and—finally—one thing you can taste.

It might take practice, but the Mayo Clinic suggests that trying this grounding technique when you’re feeling anxious can help take the focus off your thoughts and place it on your surroundings instead. This might not seem like much, but disrupting anxiety before it builds can actually make it easier to cope in the long term.

The Bottom Line

Anxiety can make a big impact on your life, even if it’s not something you regularly deal with. If it is—and you’re struggling to identify the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder—try talking with a doctor or therapist.

“Anxiety is often related to an event or situation and tends to only last for the duration of that situation or event. Everyone may feel anxiety at some point, such as when a deadline is approaching,” Poag says.

Anxiety disorder, she says, is different in several ways. It can pop up for no specific reason, it’s often long-term and not situation-based, and it can seem impossible to control—especially if you start avoiding certain people or situations and worry excessively.

“Individuals should seek professional help if they have tried to control the anxiety and worrying with no success, and it has lasted for at least six months,” Poag says. “Or when anxiety begins to negatively impact relationships, work, or routine tasks.”

Stress and anxiety might be unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to prevent them from negatively impacting our lives.

Jandra Sutton is an author, historian, and public speaker. She lives in Nashville with her husband and their two dogs, and Pluto is still a planet in her heart. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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17 Extremely Good Ways to Save Money When You Are Broke As a Joke

Being broke can teach you how to live very thriftily—trust us, we spent years figuring out how to live well on next to nothing. This is not one of those “Here’s how we saved $ 50k while only earning $ 20,000 a year” stories because, hi, that isn’t a real thing. Instead, we’re here to offer small, actionable steps you can use to help you get your money right so you can go from scraping by to building your savings.

1. Go through every meal kit subscription in the universe.

Seriously, try them all. Just remember to cancel your subscription after those $ 60 off, first-five-meals-are-free coupons have stopped kicking in.

2. Make a list of your luxury items and see what can stay and what can go.

Do you really need a paid Spotify account when the free one also works extremely well? How about your Hulu, Netflix, Mubi, and HBOGo accounts? You can cut back on two and get a library card—most libraries let you rent DVDs and stream movies and TV shows now too.

And ask yourself if some of your other monthly expenses are really that necessary. Is the super-fancy gym membership necessary, or would a more basic gym be Just Fine? (It would. And you can bring your own expensive shower products—worth it).

3. Family plan it up.

And when you decide that yes, yes, you really do need Hulu, Netflix, Mubi, HBOGo, and a paid Spotify account, start up a share system with friends and family. It takes a few minutes of planning, but if everyone in your group subscribes to one service, you’ll all save big bucks.

4. Be the host when you hang out with friends.

If your house becomes the hangout spot, you can avoid spending wildly overpriced bar prices for a glass of wine (and bonus, you don’t have to worry about finding your way home if you party too hard). Or create invites for BYO drinks-and-snacks picnics in the park—everyone shares, and you don’t even have to clean your place after.

5. You can find really, really good stuff used.

If you check out garage sales and secondhand shops, you’ll find plenty of clothes (not to mention furniture and a seemingly endless supply of charmingly mismatched, shabby-chic glassware) for cheap. Try searching your town’s name plus the word “garage sale” in the Facebook search bar to find a ton of local postings.

For furniture, sites like Craigslist and online community boards like Nextdoor are fantastic. You can get practically brand-new, high-quality items by just throwing the name of a brand you’re interested in (“Crate & Barrel”) into the search tool. And check out sites like Thredup that are basically gigantic online thrift stores. You can get really well-made, designer clothes for 1/16 of the retail price, and it’s a far more environmentally friendly way to live.

6. Get your cash right.

While lots of different savings accounts offer interest, credit unions typically have better rates and higher limits. You can also try the Mint app—it can help you figure out what you’re spending where and how to do better—use the discount-code-whiz Honey app whenever you shop online (it’s kind of amazing), and give the cash-back Ibotta app a go, because why not.

7. Check out discounted services.

Groupon hasn’t been as popular in the past few years as it used to be, but redownload it—it’s not just for restaurants. You can find everything from haircuts and spa services to dental and eye exams.

8. Do odd jobs.

This one kinda goes without saying, but if your paychecks aren’t stretching and you have some free time, a side gig is always helpful. You can always opt for Lyft and Taskrabbit, but don’t forget the classics like babysitting gigs (which you can find on Care), dog-walking (Wag!), or using sites like Upwork to make a few extra dollars doing creative tasks. Plus, having a fun side-gig like dog walking to occupy some of your free hours will keep you from overspending (… and the bonus cash doesn’t hurt).

9. Revamp your dining style.

Meal prepping can help you with eating healthy while saving money (and avoiding waste). Also, check out food co-ops to save money on fresh produce, always buy dry goods like paper towels in bulk, and don’t overlook the cheap (and delicious) benefit of starting your own garden.

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You can also create budget-friendly rules for yourself, like prepping food for meals you’ll be eating alone, which can create a little room for a dining-out budget with friends. And pro tip: If you start meeting friends for breakfasts instead of dinner and drinks, it’s way, way cheaper—and a really lovely way to start the morning.

If you’re someone who just hates meal planning and is always going to eat lunch out every day, try a service like Mealpal. You can buy a bundle of lunches from local spots for less than $ 6 a meal, and the company has great intro packages (like we’re talking 40 percent off) too.

10. Think before you spend.

It’s really easy to see something you want and drop a stack right then and there. But what if you just… didn’t? Adopt a two-week to 30-day policy before spending money on non-emergencies. Corporations spend a lot of time and money researching the absolute best ways to get you to spend before you have the chance to think, but you can avoid their Jedi mind tricks if you spend some time thinking first, do price comparisons, and assess value. Think first; spend later. It’s less fun in the moment but more fun when you realize you totally have the cash to go on vacation later this year.

11. Dust off your bike.

You can save so much money on transportation (plus give yourself a good cardio workout and avoid using fossil fuels) by opting for a bike ride over taking a train or a car. Don’t want to make the investment in a bike of your own? Check to see if your city has a bike-share program and hop on one of those bad boys—your wallet will feel the relief as much as your feet.

12. Put a personal trainer in your pocket.

These days, there are so, so many different options for in-app fitness, and they’re all super customizable for your workout needs. So even though having the one-on-one attention of a personal trainer is the bomb.com, we guarantee there’s a muuuuuch cheaper way for you to get that workout and still have it be, well… personal. At least until you win the lottery, that is.

13. Two words: Trader Joe’s.

This—and every other brand shoutout in this article—is not an #ad. But the entire Greatist office is obsessed with TJ’s, and we don’t care who knows it. We’ll shout it from the top of a tower of Trader Joe’s almond milk because it’s only $ 1.99 so we can afford it!

Seriously—not only do we love their products (have you had this?! Or this?!), but you can’t beat the prices on typically expensive items like quinoa or blueberries. Trust us when we say that the amount of food you can get for your money will practically double what you’d scrounge together at another grocery store. Long live the Hawaiian shirt!

14. Get scrappy with your movie/festival/concert candy.

Should you break the rules at the movie theater? Of course not! Great, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way: Who hasn’t snuck candy into a movie theater? You’ve gotta get crafty sometimes (jackets with pockets on the inside) because bag checks are (rightfully) common at theaters, but hey—drugstore candy is just cheaper and every bit helps. This also applies to festivals, concerts, and plays, so if you need to BYOC… we won’t judge.

15. And it’s OK to fool your friends into thinking you’re fancier than you are too.

Yeah, we’re not above refilling an old Aesop soap bottle with cheaper Mrs. Meyers so the bathroom seems nicer than it is. See also: upcycling the glass containers from nice candles into bud vases and mini planters for succulents (which you’ll kill, but oh well), and serving your friends from carafes of sangria, which you made with a few bottles of TJ’s “Two-Buck-Chuck” cab sauv, an apple, and a couple of oranges (no one ever needs to see the label).

16. Be your own ATM.

You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind,” right? We’re pretty sure that phrase originated when debit cards became a thing. Try taking out cash on Sunday night or Monday morning and let that be your allowance for the rest week—those Jacksons will feel infinitely more real in your hands than they do in your bank account.

17. Go for free.

Take advantage of the free cultural events in your area. You can get into some interesting things this way and, worst case scenario, it’s not the most amazing time you’ve ever had but at least you didn’t get spendy for it. We’re into free museum days, outdoor concerts, improv shows, cemetery walking tours… whatever’s happening, we’re game to try anything twice.

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7 Ways to Turn a Box of Pasta Into a Globally Inspired Meal

This article was created in partnership with Barilla® as part of Together at the Table.

If you think spaghetti only has a place on your table if it’s served with red sauce and meatballs, allow us to illuminate the possibilities. A box of spaghetti is a blank canvas: Add a few unexpected mix-ins and you’ve got a knockout meal.

To prove it, we turned to our friends at Barilla® and their recipe builders for inspiration. Then we created seven internationally inspired pasta combos you can whip up with just a few simple ingredients.

To get a steaming bowl of al dente goodness, boil Barilla Collezione Spaghetti one minute less than directed on the package. Next, sauté your ingredients in a pan until cooked through, toss with spaghetti, plate, and serve. Better yet, invite a friend or two to sample your handiwork.

Spaghetti Dinners
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25 Ways to Run Faster—Stat

Usain Bolt makes sprinting look easy. It’s almost as if he doesn’t have to try. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: Sure, Bolt is more of a natural runner than we are, but he still has to work at it in order to keep himself in top form. Even better news? There are tons of steps you can take to run faster, smoke the competition, and maybe even sent a new PR. 

1. Nail good form.

The key to running (at any speed) is to practice proper running technique. That means keeping your upper body tall yet relaxed, striking the ground with your mid-foot landing under your hip, and swinging your arms forward and back (not side to side!) at low 90-degree angles.

2. Count your steps.

Get familiar with stride turnover—the rate of steps you take while running, regardless of pace. The fastest, most efficient runners have a cadence of around 180 steps per minute and keep their feet close to the ground with light, short, and speedy steps. To find your magic number, run for one minute, count the number of times the right foot hits the ground, and multiply by two.

3. Try interval training.

Short on gym time? Try interval training. Alternate periods of high and low intensity while exercising to build speed and endurance—and burn major calories in less time too!

4. Don’t forget to sprint.

There’s a reason you see all those “real runners” doing short sprints before the big road race. Strides are a series of comfortable sprints (usually eight to 12, between 50 and 200 meters each) to improve acceleration technique.

5. Make the treadmill your friend.

The treadmill’s belt assists with leg turnover, so it’s actually easier to run faster. Plus, you have the power to push the pace right at your fingertips. Just make sure you get on the machine before turning up the dial.

Stretch

6. Stretch daily.

The jury is still out on static stretches—it’s unclear if they really prevent running injuries.  Stretching and injury prevention: an obscure relationship. Witvrouw E, Mahieu N, Danneels L. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 2004, Dec.;34(7):0112-1642. But leaders of the pack know stretching daily (especially targeting those hip flexors) increases flexibility for better strides.

7. Switch up your pace.

Fartleks is a funny Swedish word (yes, our inner 10-year-old finds it hilarious) meaning “speed play.” Alternating jogs and sprints gradually builds up speed and endurance, plus you call the shots in determining when to switch it up.

8. Jump rope.

Take a lesson from boxers and add jump rope workouts to your routine. Boxers know that fast feet mean fast hands. But for runners, fast feet just equal fast feet.

9. Trade up for lighter shoes.

We’re not saying you need to embrace barefoot running, but sneakers are getting lighter and lighter to mimic your foot’s natural movement and improve your stride. Try a minimalist pair to see if less weight means more energy for faster feet.

10. Work out your core. 

Stronger core muscles (especially lower abs) allow runners to tap into more force out on the road. The best part? Just 15 minutes of core work a few days per week is enough to help you speed up. Does core strength training influence running kinetics, lower-extremity stability, and 5000-M performance in runners? Sato K, Mokha M. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 2009, May.;23(1):1533-4287.

11. Change how you breathe.

Learning how to breathe while running at faster speeds takes practice. Use both your nose and mouth while inhaling and exhaling to get the maximum amount of oxygen to the muscles. Also, try belly breathing—fill the stomach, not the chest, with air on each inhale.

Running Uphill

12. Head for the hills.

Hill repeats are shown to improve speed, build muscle strength, and add a boost of confidence too.

13. Skip the sweets.

Junk food guarantees a sugar high and slows you down. Stick to whole grains and pasta before runs, which provide long-lasting energy—without the crash.

14. Play with resistance.

Try a running parachute for added resistance, or if your budget allows, see what it’s like on the other edge of the resistance spectrum with an anti-gravity treadmill.

15. Lift weight.

Stronger, leaner muscles will help you get to the finish line faster. And while runners shouldn’t take up bodybuilding, two short strength training sessions per week can go a long way in improving your speed.

16. Lose weight.

On the other hand, research shows that shedding the pounds (fat, not muscle) can help runners shave time off the clock—cutting an average of two seconds off your mile time for every pound you lose. Of course not everyone has the weight to lose, so remember to consult a physician before starting any weight-loss program.

17. Look ahead.

Looking down at your feet or turning your head to check out the competition can waste precious time. Instead, focus on what’s directly in front of you—about 10 to 20 meters in the distance—and keep those eyes on the prize.

Man Spinning

18. Go for a spin.

Indoor cycling gives your hips a workout while forcing your legs to get comfortable moving from slow leisurely rides to all-out sprints. The same goes for running. So hop on a bike and get ready for some cross-training.

19. Pay attention to your toes.

The whole body plays a role in speed—from your head to your toes! Try dorsiflexion (arching your toes up toward you shins) while running. That way less of your foot hits the ground for a quicker stride turnover.

20. Keep it steady.

Slow and steady may win the race, but fast and steady builds speed! A tempo run challenges runners to find a “comfortably hard” pace and hold it for a 20-minute period. Just don’t burn out before the run is over like that silly little hare!

21. Drink coffee.

Turns out drinking caffeine before running gives you an extra jolt of speed. Even more good news? It’s a totally legal performance enhancer.  Caffeine and sports performance. Burke LM. Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquee, nutrition et metabolisme, 2009, Mar.;33(6):1715-5312.

22. Do mountain climbers.

The combo of moving your feet quickly while assuming a plank position will make you crazy fast. 

23. Try yoga.

Get a leg up on fellow runners by adding yoga to your training plan. The increased flexibility from runner-specific positions makes you faster and speeds up aids recovery.

24. Get enough shut-eye.

Studies show well-rested athletes have better reaction times and clock faster finishes.  The Effects of Sleep Extension on the Athletic Performance of Collegiate Basketball Players. Man C, Man K, et al. Sleep. 2011 Jul 1; 34(7): 943–950.
 And think about it—the faster you run, the more time you have to kick back and relax!

25. Strip down.

When it’s finally race day, take it off! The extra layers and fuel belts, that is. The less clothing and gear on your body, the faster your time—which is why the pros practically get right down to their skivvies to run.

Originally published January 2012. Updated February 2014 and April 2017.

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9 Ways to Use Leftover Pasta Sauce So It Never Goes to Waste Again


Raise your hand if you’ve ever opened a jar of marinara sauce, placed the leftovers in the fridge, and then a month later realized it’s grown little blue fuzzballs. We get it. The intention to use the leftovers is there, yet you find yourself face-to-face with wasted sauce. Again.

We’re helping you turn those half-used jars of pasta sauce into some seriously tasty and healthier options. We’ve broken down the recipes into fast and easy (a win-win), single-servings (sometimes we just want to cook for ourselves), and those for feeding a crowd (because we like to party).

Fast and Easy

Pasta Sauce Recipes: One Pot Three Bean Chili

Photo: The Healthy Maven

For a quick and hearty meal that will serve a large crowd (or make for lots of leftovers), this one-pot beef and three-bean chili couldn’t be easier. Chop up onions, bell peppers, and tomatoes; combine with ground beef, sauce, and spices; and dinner is on its way. And because it makes everything better, top with some avocado.

Pasta Sauce Recipes: One Pot Chicken Cacciatore

Photo: Jessica Gavin

As the name suggests, this recipe is easy, quick, and will leave you with just one pan to clean up (score). Toss in mushrooms, peppers, and zucchini along with pasta, chicken, and that extra tomato sauce for a colorful, light pasta dish that will be ready in half an hour, tops.

Pasta Sauce Recipes: Vegan Tempeh Sloppy Joes

Photo: Dietitian Debbie Dishes

If the phrase “Sloppy Joes” brings back awkward summer camp memories, we don’t blame you. But give this updated vegan version a chance, especially on nights when your heart says burger, but your brain says bring on the veggies. This spicy sandwich is filled with tempeh, a great vegetarian substitute for ground beef, as well as onions and peppers. Swap out the tomato paste for your leftover tomato sauce, and you’ll feel like you’re at a grown-up cookout in no time.

Single-Serving

Pasta Sauce Recipes: Eggplant Parmesan For One

Photo: Betsy Life

When eating by yourself, it can be tempting to just toss something frozen in the microwave. But with just a little extra effort, you can have a meal that’s way more satisfying and nutritious. This easy eggplant parm recipe will have you wishing you could cook for one for the rest of your life.

Pasta Sauce Recipes: Single Serving Shakshuka

Photo: Seek Satiation

Don’t be fooled: This dish is a lot easier to make than it looks—and can be done using a single pan for minimal cleanup (we won’t judge if you eat straight out of the steaming pan either). Called shakshuka, it’s a classic Middle Eastern dish that’s high in protein and spices. Eat shakshuka for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or put it on top of fiber-rich crackers or Ezekiel bread as a post-gym snack.

Pasta Sauce Recipes: Lasagna in a Mug

Photo: Bigger Bolder Baking

So you want lasagna, but you don’t feel like going through the hours-long process of cooking a whole pan, especially when it’s just you tonight. We’ve been there. With this mug recipe, you’re just 10 minutes away from warm, saucy comfort food in a cup. If you want a slightly less-rich version, substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta.

Feeding a Crowd

Pasta Sauce Recipes: Pizza Hummus

Photo: Sinful Nutrition

Who doesn’t love pizza? The crowd-pleaser can get a bit messy (and expensive) when served whole, so welcome an easy, dippable solution: pizza hummus. This dish is the perfect last-minute addition to a party—just blend chickpeas, tomato sauce, and spices; top with diced tomatoes; and serve. Pair it with veggies, fresh bread, or pita chips… and maybe make a second batch, just in case.

Pasta Sauce Recipes: Avocado Chicken Meatballs

Photo: The Wholesome Dish

Avocado adds a fun surprise to this cold-weather classic. Even your pickiest guests will appreciate the simple ingredients that go into these meatballs—all you need is an egg, ground chicken, tomatoes, chilies, sauce, and spices. If you want to take the health factor up a notch, sub in rolled oats or crushed flax for the bread crumbs.

Pasta Sauce Recipes: Quinoa Pizza Bites

Photo: Jessica in the Kitchen

This recipe combines two of our favorite finger foods: pizza and muffins. And while the bites taste indulgent, they are packed with protein from the quinoa, making them a healthy alternative that guests will love on game days. Chop up some of your favorite toppings (olives, broccoli, or mushrooms sound good to us) and toss them into the muffin tins for an even more filling snack.

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We Could All Learn Something From This Teacher’s List of 101 Ways to Stress Less

Trying to be a real person is stressful. Lucky for us, one all-star high school teacher (shout out to you, Mr. Philips!) made a list of 101 ways for his students to stress less. Just reading through it made us feel more relaxed.

One of Philips’s students tweeted screenshots of the list, which includes suggestions like “learn the words to a new song,” “dance a jig,” and “schedule play time into every day.” Check out all the tips below:

stress less list Photo: Alina Ramirez Photo: Alina Ramirez

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