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Striped Crochet Washcloth Pattern (Beginner Friendly)

I absolutely love crocheting bath and spa items. And, adding fun colors to these projects is such a joy! This striped crochet washcloth pattern features a modern minimalist look. They are easy to make and great for beginners and advanced crocheters. 

This crochet pattern comes together very fast. You can whip these babies up in a couple of hours, making these washcloths great for gifting or selling online. This washcloth is perfect for self-care time as it’s super soft. Made from 100% cotton, it is great for sensitive skin. 

I wanted to create a washcloth that had an elegant look without being too much work. I love when projects come together fast and I can get it done while binging my Netflix shows. (Made this one while catching up on Manifest!)

This striped crochet washcloth features 3 colors and 2 stitches: single crochet (sc) and half double crochet (hdc). Stitches crocheted in the back loops create the lovely texture in this washcloth. 

You are welcome to sell any items you make from this pattern and I always appreciate pattern credit.  You are not allowed to sell this pattern as your own. 

Let’s get started!

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

Striped Crochet Washcloth Pattern

Striped crochet washcloth pattern

Supplies List: 

100% Cotton Yarn (I used white, mint, and dove)

I9 crochet hook

Stitch Markers


Needles to weave in ends


Single crochet (sc): Insert hook into stitch, yarn over, and pull through stitch (2 loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through both loops. 

Half double crochet (hdc): Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over, pull through 1 loop (3 loops on hook). Yarn over and pull through all loops. 

Pattern Notes: 

  • chain 1 at the beginning of each row does not count as a stitch. Start in the first stitch. 
  • Weave in ends as you change colors. This will make it easy for you so you don’t have to weave everything all at once when you finish. 


Foundation: Chain 34 (Dove yarn)

Crochet foundation chain

Row 1: Hdc in 2nd from hook. Hdc in remaining stitches. Chain 1 and turn. (33 stitches)

How to make crochet washcloth

Row 2: Sc in the back loop of the first stitch. Sc in the back loop until 2nd to the last stitch. Sc in both loops in the last stitch.

Single crochet back loop

Row 3-4: Repeat row 1 and 2

Change Color – Mint

Crochet washcloth Color change

Row 5-8: Repeat row 1-4

Change Color – White

Row 9-12: Repeat row 1-4

Row 13-24: Repeat rows 1-12

Fasten off and weave in ends. 

Striped crochet washcloth

Did you make this pattern? Comment below! Tag @by.bindi on IG. I’d love to see your creations. 

Want more free crochet patterns? Try these crochet face scrubbies or single crochet washcloth

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New Blog Traffic Analysis: 2 Month Review (Feb-Mar 2021)

We are now into month 2 of this blog! I’m proud of my consistency and growing this site. With 60 days behind me, I wanted to take the time to write up some new blog traffic analysis

Creating this blog has been a long dream in the making. I just tend to get excited at the beginning of new goals and then it fizzes away. So many ideas sit untouched or discarded. This blog is different. So far I’ve made it to 2 months! This is the most consistent I’ve been with any of the blogs I’ve created in the past. I’m really enjoying this process.

New Blog Traffic Analysis: Month 2

I started this blog in January 2021 with my first blog post on Jan 9 (How to Make Reusable Crochet Face Scrubbies in 10 minutes).

I created this blog to comprise everything mind, body, and soul. This is a place for creative tutorials, positive guidance for self-improvement, and healthy DIY recipes. 

After the first-month learning curve, there are things I have done to help build this blog and key learnings I came across to improve my goals. You can take a peek at my 1 month blog review here

Let’s take a look at my month two analytics. 

Things I Have Learned in 2 Months of Blogging

Blog Research

It’s important to stay updated on blog research. I continued to read more about improving on-page SEO and how to create a better user experience. 

blog research with laptop and coffee

Here are some great articles and websites that I found useful this month. 

Answer the Public

I stumbled upon this site recently. This site aggregates what people search for online to help you find keywords for your articles. For example, let’s say my keyword is crochet pattern. I type it into their search box and it gives me different questions such as “How to read a crochet pattern.” I can then use this specific topic for my next blog article as I know people want answers to these questions. This site is super helpful, though you do need to sign up for their premium package if you want more than 3 searches a day. I have not done this yet, but might in the future. 

How to Add Table of Contents to WordPress

As I focus on quality blog posts that are more in depth, adding a table of contents to help users navigate the page has been on my to do list. This article from Hubspot details how to add a table of contents to your WordPress either manually or through plugins. I have not used any plugins on the list, but I will try Easy Table of Contents plugin and see how that works. 

The Definitive Guide to On-Page SEO

This on page SEO guide from Backlinko has 7 chapters that walk you through optimization processes and tips. 

Website Updates: 

In creating a better user experience, I aimed to make sure my site looked clean and was organized properly. I also added social media buttons through Sassy Social Share Word Press plugin to further my blog post marketing. Now it’s super easy for my readers to share my content!

I also added Yoast SEO plugin to improve my keyword optimization. I’m still learning about the best practices, but I do like working at it until the SEO icon turns green! It feels like quite an accomplishment. 

I am considering updating my blog theme to something else next month. I am a little vary of overhauling the blog as I’m worried about errors, but this would be a good time to do it. My blog is still new. 

Month 2 Review

I wrote 7 blog posts my first month. 

In month 2, my goals were to write more posts (at least 11) and to write longer-worded blog posts. I wrote 11 blog posts this month –  I hit my goal! I also kept a consistent publishing goal of one blog post per theme (mind, body, soul) a week so that I would have at least 3 posts within my niche every week. 

These 11 blog posts break down as follows: 

February 15, 2021: Beginner’s Guide to Crocheting: How to Make a Slipknot

February 16, 2021: Easy Beginner’s Crochet Washcloth Pattern

February 18, 2021: 17  Inspirational Self-Love Quotes for Mental Clarity

February 20, 2021: How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

February 23, 2021: New Blog Traffic Analysis: 1 Month Review

February 24, 2021: How to Make Personalized Vinyl Decals With Cricut

February 25, 2021: Dealing with Long Term Grief

March 2, 2021: Want Long, Thick and Luxurious Hair? Try these Indian recipes

March 4, 2021: How to Single Crochet for Beginners

March 5, 2021: Micro-Goals are the Key to Success

March 9, 2021: Best Natural Acne Remedies that Actually Work

Aside from the 10 days that I took off at the beginning of February for my wedding, I wrote 3-4 posts a week. I took off on the weekends. 

I’ve always had a hard time staying consistent with my goals and I know the #1 reason why new blogs fail is giving up. I want to keep a consistent schedule without being overwhelmed. 

Month 2 New Blog Traffic Analysis

This month, I saw a rise in traffic from my last month’s numbers. This is mainly due to some marketing tactics I undertook.  

blog traffic analysis

The number one reason for the improved traffic is social media and blog engagement groups. I joined a small group on Facebook that helps provide views, comments, and marketing strategies. Because the group is on the smaller side, it is genuine and like-minded individuals. 

If you’re just starting a blog, I suggest looking into these Facebook groups for blog engagement. You will start to receive global views in a short amount of time. It’s a great way to jumpstart traffic to your blog. 

Here is the overview from Jan 9 – Feb 9 (Month 1)

  • 28 first time visitors
  • 270 monthly page views
  • 130 user engagement events

Here are my Month 2 Stats (Feb 9 – March 9)

  • 83 first time visitors – 196% increase 
  • 1.2k monthly page views – 344% increase 
  • 617 user engagement events – 374% increase

It’s exciting to see this upward increase! Baby steps will lead to great things. 

I am trying to get up to a goal of 100 page views per day, or approximately 3,000 page views a month. In my second month of blogging, I’m at 1/3 of my goal. I may be able to reach this milestone hopefully in month 5 or 6.

Page Views and Blog Post Word Counts

Last month, I discussed how  I came across a lot of advice suggesting to write 1,500 to 2,000 words for blog posts. And Neil Patel suggests 2,500 to 3,000 words ! Longer blog posts have a better chance of appearing higher in Google searches because the posts are better optimized and give the user all they need in one place. 

This also increases the time spent on your site!

blog page views

Knowing this information, I went into month two with the mindset of aiming for at least 1k words and 1 post that is over 2k. While not every post met these requirements, I did a pretty good job overall.

Here are the word counts for my 11 blog posts for February 2021: 

Beginner’s Guide to Crocheting: How to Make a Slipknot  (428 words)

Easy Beginner’s Crochet Washcloth Pattern (650 words)

17  Inspirational Self-Love Quotes for Mental Clarity (1,339 words)

How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off (2,484 words)

New Blog Traffic Analysis: 1 Month Review (1,254 words)

How to Make Personalized Vinyl Decals With Cricut (1,114 words)

Dealing with Long Term Grief (1,316 words)

Want Long, Thick and Luxurious Hair? Try these Indian recipes (1,239 words)

How to Single Crochet for Beginners (452 words)

Micro-Goals are the Key to Success (1,044 words)

Best Natural Acne Remedies that Actually Work (1,598 words)


Blog Posts under 1Kwords: 3/11 (27%) | Blog Posts Over 1k words: 7/11 (64%) | Blog Posts Over 2k words: 1/11 (9%)

My most viewed article in month 2 was Want Long, Thick and Luxurious Hair? Try These Indian recipes with 91 monthly views. Previously my most viewed post was 5 DIY Lip Scrubs with Essential Oils with 36 monthly views. 

It will still some time to see how on-page SEO and long-word posts help drive traffic. I believe I should have more data on this after six months of consistent blogging. 

Blog Revenue and Monthly Cost Breakdown

new blog traffic analysis

In month 1 of my blog, I made $0 in revenue. Month 2, I still have not made any revenue. Since this blog is still new, I don’t expect to be able to monetize until 3-6 months. Probably closer to 6 months. 

Here are my monthly costs to run the blog: 

Total for Month 2: $37.98

Overall Total for 2 months: $81.98

I want to keep track of how much I spend each month so once I am able to monetize I have a better picture of where I stand. 

Blog Marketing Breakdown

As I got more comfortable with my blog, I branched out and looked at different ways to market this blog. 

Here are some things I added to my marketing plan: 

  • By Bindi Youtube channel (post videos directly related to blog posts at least once a week)
  • Started using Twitter to promote the blog within writing communities. 
  • Joined a blog engagement group on Facebook. 

My goal for Youtube is to post 1-2 videos a week that directly correlate to my blog posts. Then I can cross-promote these videos within blog posts as well as Pinterest. Plus videos are great additions to my creative tutorials. 

Here are the videos I created in month 2 along with stats. Nothing to rave home about yet. It’ll be interesting to see when/if traffic goes up with this channel. 






What’s next for this blog?

Based on month 2 new blog traffic analysis, I have learned some things that I want to implement for month 3. 

Month 3 Goals: 

  • Continue to post 3-4 times a week (Try adding Sunday to the mix)
  • Have minimum 11 posts for the month
  • Stay consistent with marketing on Pinterest, Twitter and Youtube. 
  • Write a 3k word blog post (this may be a reach, but I want to continue to push myself)

I’m excited to see what month 3 has in store for me! Have any tips or guidance for a new blogger? Comment below!

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Best Natural Acne Remedies for Clear Skin That Actually Work

Best Natural Acne Remedies for Clean Skin

I’ve battled acne since I was 13 years old. My face has seen all kinds of damage over the years and I have the scars to prove it. Through my years of combatting pimples,  I’ve come across the best natural acne remedies for clear skin. With consistent use, they can help improve skin tone and texture too. 

It’s taken me almost two decades of trying everything under the sun.  I’ve had prescriptions such as tretinoin, Accutane, and clindamycin. Over the counter, I tried everything from clean and clear,  Clearasil to chemical  peels,  Proactive, and Murad. 

I don’t even want to know how much money I’ve put into finding an acne treatment that works. 


wasting money on expensive acne treatments

Over time I became more aware of what I was putting in my body and on it and switched to natural, non-toxic products. My skin has been so much clearer and I hardly ever breakout anymore.  Relieving acne naturally is one of the best things you can do for your skin. 

Best  Natural  Acne Remedies for Clear Skin That Work 

What causes acne?

Before we can look at treating pimples naturally, we need to know and understand how and why acne is caused. Acne occurs when the pores in your skin get blocked due to debris, excessive oil, bacteria, and dead skin. Your skin produces sebum, an oil, to lubricate the skin. The sebum comes out of your pores. If there are bacteria and clogging in the pores, your skin reacts adversely. 

Pimples are your body’s response to the build-up in your pores. 

how does acne form, what causes acne

Different types of acne:

As if it wasn’t difficult enough that we have to deal with breakouts, acne occurs in a couple of different forms. 

  • Whiteheads
  • Blackheads
  • Nodules
  • Cystic

Why Natural Acne Treatments?

When I was younger,  my mom always told me to watch my diet and use natural products on my skin.  I didn’t listen. I didn’t think it mattered and focused my energy on chemical-laden products that  I thought were superior. 

As the popular saying goes, “You are what you eat.” This is so true. Feed your body a poor diet of junk food and sugar and your skin will dearly pay for it. You are also what you put on or in your skin. 

Many chemicals in acne products have awful side effects.  Accutane is some heavy stuff and while I managed to escape with minor side effects, others were not so lucky. 

Natural products work with your body and not against it. They nourish it and provide the essentials it needs.  Yes, hormonal and puberty acne is super difficult to control.  

natural products to combat acne

However, with gentle care and consistency, you can control it as I did.  

Combat Acne with a Consistent Skincare Regimen

When you have acne, you want to fix it right away and get rid of it within hours.  I’ve been there I know the anguish of cystic acne exploding over your face before a date or work presentation.

Most acne treatments fail because we tend to switch products too quickly, use too much or too many products when dealing with acne. 

The best natural acne remedy is to pick one regimen and let it do its thing.  Stick with it even if you don’t think it’s working.  Things take time to improve. It can take at least a month to 3 months to see changes in your skin. This is because you have to wait for your skin layers to turnover/shed to start seeing a difference. 

Once I simplified my acne treatment routine and stayed consistent, my skin returned to normal.  

Best Natural Acne Products and DIY Recipes for Clear Skin

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

Aztec Healing Clay

My sister introduced me to Aztec healing clay and it was a game-changer. It made my skin so soft after one use and the notorious pulsing feels weird at first,  but I’m addicted to it. And, this product is insanely popular because it works. 

Don’t believe it? Check out the 43k plus reviews Aztec healing clay has on Amazon

Aztec healing clay mask for acne treatment, natural skincare product

How to Make a Face Mask with Aztec Healing Clay: 

Mix 1-2 tbsp of Aztec Healing clay powder with enough apple cider vinegar to form a paste consistency. Make sure it isn’t too runny or thick. You can also use water to mix with the powder, but I find vinegar is better. It also is great for helping treat acne!

The mixture will bubble. I like to add a drop of tea tree oil and lemon essential oil for extra healing power.  Plus it smells nice! Make sure to mix ingredients in a non-metal bowl.  I like to use this mask bowl and spoon. Plus it’s so cute!

Apply to face and wait 15-20 min. If you have sensitive skin,  you might want to wash it off sooner. After 5 minutes or so you will feel your skin pulsing. This is normal and don’t get scared!

When you wash it off, your face will be red.  Make sure to properly moisturize. Your skin will return to normal within a couple of hours.  

How often to Use this Clay Mask?

Use once a week for best results.  Don’t use it too often or you’ll over dry your skin. 

Exfoliating Cinnamon Honey Mask

This nontoxic face mask recipe is a relatively recent addition to my routine and it’s amazing!  I love that it’s easy to make and made of all-natural ingredients. Plus it is cheap! Win-win.  

exfoliating cinnamon and honey mask for acne treatment

Why this Mask Works:


Cinnamon can shrink pores and reveal softer and smoother skin. This is perfect for those such as myself who have uneven skin tone from acne scarring. It’s also anti-bacterial which helps in combatting the bacteria that cause pimples. 

The granules from the powder also help exfoliate the skin when you wash it off. 

Cinnamon is considered a “hot” spice. Make sure to test for any reactions first and always wash thoroughly if you feel as if it is too much for your skin. 


Honey is an ancient skin remedy that was readily used by the Egyptians. This sweet food is more than just an addition to your morning tea. This potent ingredient is anti-bacterial and can help eliminate excess oil from your skin. This helps to keep pores clean. Also, it’s gentle and won’t irritate your skin. 


Nutmeg is great for improving hyperpigmentation and discoloration that is left behind by acne scars. This spice also improves oily skin and aids in gentle exfoliation similar to cinnamon powder. 

How to Make a Cinnamon Mask: 


1 tbsp Cinnamon powder

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp honey

1 drop Cinnamon essential oil (optional)

1 drop Nutmeg essential oil (optional)


You can omit the essential oils if you don’t have them or if you’re skin is sensitive.  I personally love them and they add extra microbial and antibacterial elements.  

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  Carefully apply to face.  The mixture will be sticky and can drip so be careful and wear old clothes if you need to. Leave the mask on for 5-10 minutes. If you are sensitive to cinnamon, it may tingle.  If it stings, immediately wash it off. 

I like to gently exfoliate my skin in circles when I’m washing it off. The cinnamon granules are perfect for smoothing skin out.

You’ll be left with super soft skin after this mask.  My skin always glows the next day! Store any leftover mixture in an airtight container and you don’t have to refrigerate it. Just be sure to use it up within a couple of weeks to a month. 

Natural Lavender and Tea Tree Face Wash

This DIY face wash is my morning and night go-to. It is so easy to make and lasts a really long time. This is great because it won’t break the bank as other acne cleansers do. Lavender and tea tree oil are great natural acne remedies.

Lavender, best natural acne remedy

Why it Works: 


Lavender has so many great benefits for our skin, it’s no wonder it’s commonly used in skincare products. This plant and essential oil helps reduce redness in skin, can combat acne and helps even skintone. It also has anti-aging properties as well. 

Tea Tree: 

Tea Tree oil is one of the most popular natural acne remedies. This potent oil is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. This helps to keep pores clean and reduces redness. 

Jojoba Oil: 

Jojoba oil is very moisturizing. When treating acne, we want to make sure we don’t strip our skin and have it dry out. This oil is noncomedogenic and won’t clog pores. 

How to Make this Lavender and Tea Tree Oil Face Wash: 


1 (4) oz amber spray bottle

1/4 c Lavender castile soap

1 tsp jojoba oil

1/2  tbsp honey

6 drops Lavender essential oil

6 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Distilled water


Add all the ingredients to the amber glass bottle. Top off with distilled water. 

How to Use Your Face Wash: 

Spray a generous amount onto your palm or face scrubby. Wash face in a circular manner and wash off thoroughly. Use morning and night for best results. Follow with skin serum or moisturizer. 

best natural acne remedies

These natural acne remedies work to keep skin clean, help calm redness and even skin tone from acne scarring. With consistent use, you can help keep your breakouts under control. 

Did you try any of these products or recipes? Comment below on your experience. 

Want to try more DIY recipes? Check out these recipes for hair masks and natural lip scrubs.



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Micro-Goals are the Key to Success | How to Use Small Steps to Achieve Your Dreams

micro goals are the key to success

rome wasn't built in a day

Micro-Goals are the Key to Success



weekly planner, micro-goals for success


turn ideas into reality

Manageable is the key to not quitting. 


micro goals are the key to happiness


micro-goals are the key to success

You've got this!

Micro-Goals are the key to success and one step at a time, you too can achieve your dreams!

Want more tips for success? Try these 50 Journal Prompts to jumpstart your journey. 

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How to Single Crochet for Beginners | Basic SC Stitch Tutorial

how to single crochet tutorial

Are you a beginner crocheter? You’ve probably come across basic stitches and wondered how to single crochet

The single crochet stitch (sc) is one of the easiest stitches to learn and it’s a great one to learn for beginners. This stitch is one of my favorites. Once you master this stitch, you will have a foundation to start working on crochet projects such as a simple scarf. 

In this free beginner-friendly crochet tutorial, you’ll learn exactly how to do the single crochet stitch with a step-by-step guide along with helpful pictures and videos to get you started!

How to Single Crochet for Beginners: 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let’s get our supplies together. 

  • Yarn (I’m using 100% acrylic yarn in medium weight 4)*
  • Crochet hook (I’m using I9)

*When you are a beginner, you want to use medium-weight yarn as this is easier to work with.  Match the crochet hook size to the yarn you use. This information will be available on the label. 

Single Crochet (sc) Stitch: 

The single crochet stitch is done by inserting your hook into the stitch

how to single crochet with photos

Then you will yarn over. Now you will have three loops on your hook. 

how to single crochet step by step guide

Pull through the stitch and you will have two loops on your hook. 

how to single crochet

Yarn over and pull through both loops. 

single crochet tutorial

Here is how you do a Single Crochet Stitch from Start to Finish

Tie a slip knot onto your crochet hook. 

Foundation: Chain 10

Row 1: Single crochet (sc) in second from hook. sc to the end. Chain 1 and turn.

Row 2: Skip first stitch and single crochet to the end. (9 stitches)*

Repeat as many times as you would like to practice. 

*There are two ways of starting a new row. Sometimes crocheters will count the chain one at the start of a row as a stitch. In this case, you will start your single crochet in the second stitch. If a pattern says that chain one does not count as a stitch, then single crochet into the first stitch. 

However you choose to do it, make sure your stitch count is correct to ensure straight edges as you proceed from row to row. 

Are you a visual learner? Here is a video tutorial for the single crochet. 

And if you’re looking for a full tutorial with how to make a slip knot, foundation chain, and single crochet stitch, check this video out. 

Great job! Now you have mastered the single crochet stitch. If you continue adding rows, you will end up with a nice thin scarf in no time!

You can apply your single crochet skills in this beginner-friendly crochet dishcloth pattern.

Did this tutorial help you? Comment below!

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Want Long, Thick and Luxurious Hair? Try these Natural Indian Hair Masks! (Free DIY Recipes)

long thick and luxurious hair, indian woman

Who doesn’t want long, thick and luxurious hair? Indian hair is highly sought after in the wig industry for its shine and length.  

how to get healthy long hair naturally

Ever wonder how Indian hair gets to be so healthy and beautiful? My whole life my friends, co-workers, and random people on the streets complimented my hair.  

I routinely grow my hair for 3 years and then chop it off to donate.  It grows so fast,  one time I chopped it off and a month later a friend remarked, ‘it doesn’t even look like you cut it, it’s long again.

The thing is, I wasn’t doing anything crazy with my hair. I just followed what my mom and grandmother did. And, it works because it’s natural.  There aren’t weird ingredients and things you can’t pronounce.

Just good old ingredients right from nature. 

Read on for all the natural hair secrets for long, thick, and luxurious hair. You’ll have healthy hair in no time.  

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

Why use Indian tips to Get Long, Thick, and Luxurious Hair?

Did you know that India is the largest supplier of human hair for wigs and extensions? Women go to temples in India to shave off their long tresses. The hair is then sorted, cleaned, and auctioned off. One temple in India makes anywhere from 25-40 million dollars a year selling the hair. 

Indian’s are genetically blessed with thick hair, but they also use a lot of natural hair care products that have increased the value of their hair. 

The Secret To Healthy and Long Hair

The one thing Indians do routinely for healthy hair is oiling it. We deep condition our hair with nutrient-dense oils once a week.  

hair oils for long thick luxuriousd hair

When I was younger,  every Friday night was oil night. My mom brushed my hair until it was smooth and tangle-free. This took some time as a kid,  I always had tons of knots!

Then she’d use this green oil that had a distinctly Indian scent. She’d massage into my scalp and work it all the way into the ends. After 10 minutes, I’d feel so relaxed. For best results, we always slept with our hair oil mask overnight and washed it out the next morning.  

Put it in a braid and sleep with a towel over your pillowcase to avoid staining.

Why Hair Oil Masks Work Wonders

Oiling your hair injects moisture into your hair.  There are many health benefits to an oil hair massage. 

  1. You stimulate your scalp which allows hair follicles to strengthen and be more active. 
  2. Nutrients penetrate better with massaging 
  3. It helps with hair loss
  4. Shinier and stronger hair

What are the best oils for healthy hair?

My mom always used Indian oils on my hair as a kid.  It’s green and very potent. Usually, it is made with Indian Amla (gooseberry). Amla oil helps stimulate your scalp, controls premature greying, and helps with hair growth as it strengthens hair follicles. 

Indian Gooseberry for healthy hair

As I got older,  I experimented with all kinds of oils.  I now use a combination of oils to maximize the benefits.  Here are commonly used oils:

Castor Oil:

Castor oil comes from a plant that is native to Asia and Africa. It is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans. Castor oil is known for its thick consitency and it is better to mix this oil with others due to its stickiness. This oil is rich in healthy fats such as the fatty acid ricinoleic acid. 

This vegetable oil helps lubricate the hair shaft and protects it from damage. Fatty acids provide proteins and nutrients to hair follicles. It also can help those with dandruff issues. 

Olive Oil:

This popular oil comes from Meditteranean olives. While we traditionally use this in our foods and with yummy breads, olive oil has tremendous hair care benefits as well. 

This oil has a moisturizing effect on the hair and it gives it softness and strength. Olive oil is great for getting that shine that makes hair sparkle. If you have a dry scalp, this is the perfect oil for a head massage due to its moisturzing properties. 

Jojoba Oil: 

Produced from jojoba seeds, this oil is native to southwestern USA. Jojoba oil is rich in many vitamins that are vital for hair growth. This oil is great for preventing hair loss and promoting hair growth. 

Jojoba oil also is moisturizing like olive oil and great for dry scalps and combating dandruff. 

Coconut Oil: 

Coconut oil is my favorite oil to use in my hair serum bases. It was also my grandmother’s go to as well. This oil smells great and has so many great benefits for our hair. This popular oil moisutrizes hair, protects it from enviornmental damage, and helps prevent protein loss and damage when wet. 

This vegetable oil is a powerhouse for hair care. Use fractionated coconut oil for best results. This oil stays liquid at all temps and won’t solidify. 

Honorable Mentions: 

While I personally don’t use these oils in my hair serums, they are also great for hair growth and care so they deserve a mention!

Avocado Oil

Sweet Almond Oil

Essential Oils for Hair:

While adding essential oils to hair oils isn’t a traditional Indian thing to do,  I’m adding it to the list because essential oils are powerful, potent and non-toxic. They make great additions to hair serums and smell great too!






Tea Tree

DIY All Natural Hair Serum Recipes:

Use these hair masks once a week for the best results. You can change it up to maximize the benefits to get long, thick, and luxurious hair in no time. 

Deep Conditioning Hair Mask:

1 tbsp fractionated coconut oil

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp castor oil

1 tsp jojoba oil

Essential oils (optional)

This mask is great to use when your hair really needs some TLC. Watch your hair turn silky soft overnight. 

Thick Hair Mask:

1 tbsp fractionated coconut oil

1 tbsp jojoba oil

Essential oils (optional)

This hair mask recipe will thicken hair when consistently used. 

Shiny Hair Mask:

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp fractionated coconut oil

Essential oils (optional)

Your hair will bring all the shine with this olive oil-based hair mask.

Long Hair Mask

1 tsp castor oil

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp olive oil

Essential oils (optional)

Feel free to experiment with the oils and use them more or less depending on your hair length. If your hair is on the drier end, use more. Be sure to wash well the next day. I usually wash my hair twice to get all the oils out. My hair is always left silky soft and never greasy. 

Other Indian Tips for Healthy Hair:

Along with maintaining good hair hygiene and routine oiling, here are some other things to try for long, thick, and luxurious hair. 

  1. Wash it 1-2 times a week instead of daily. Overwashing removed oils and dries out your hair. 
  2. Use natural cleansing methods such as yogurts and chemical-free shampoos.
  3. Braid hair loosely and avoid tying it up too tightly. Tying it tightly leads to breakage and pulls on your skin which will lead to premature wrinkles.

Did you try these DIY natural hair masks for long, thick, and luxurious hair? Comment below!

Interested in other DIY non-toxic recipes? Try our 5 DIY Natural Lip Scrubs with Essential Oils.


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Dealing with Long Term Grief and Coping with the Loss of a Loved One

Today’s blog post will be a personal one as today marks the 16th death anniversary of my grandma (or Ba as I called her). I knew I would always miss her, but dealing with long-term grief was not something I fully accounted for. 

I started this blog to post helpful tutorials, advice, and tips about everything self-fulfilling, creative and healthy. I think that while we should strive for a positive outlook, life is filled with ups and downs. Grief is a natural part of life and it should not be put into a corner. 

It is perfectly normal to grieve the loss of a loved one over time. There is no expiration on grief and it will come in waves. 

My Zaver Ba

My grandmother, Zaver Ba (the Gujarati word for grandmother) was my rock. She moved to the US from a small village in India a little before I was born and she lived with us in CT until she died. 

I don’t have enough words to say how grateful and lucky I am to have spent so much time with this kind, gentle, woman. She raised my sister and me while my parents worked long hours. She played every game we could think of and watched all of the 90s TV shows we us. Even though she barely understood English.

She only wanted to spend time with us. She held our hands for our hours when we were sick, yelled at anyone who mistreated us, and taught us about our Hindu culture and traditions. 

She was a strong and smart woman who learned to change with times.

Born in 1912 in pre-Independence India, she grew up in a poor household in Gujarat, India. She was orphaned at a young age, as well as married at 12 to a much older man. Due to the Spanish Influenza wiping out the population in India, my great-grandfather made the decision to marry his daughters off so that they would be provided for in the event of his death. 

My grandmother dealt with a lot in her early life. Though she never once complained about her life to me or others in her later years. She was happy with the way her life shaped out, her 7 children who settled in America with a growing brood of grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

She had a simple mindset. Do good, think positive, and live by our Hindu Gods’ moral ethics. She was deeply devout and prayed for hours daily. You could always find her chanting Hindu hymns while she got her daily steps in or reading from the Bhagavad Gita. She found happiness in simplicity and it was so beautiful to see how content she was. 

A Loss I was Not Ready For

I was 18 when my grandmother passed away. It was my sophomore year of college and I’ll never forget that dreaded phone call from my dad. My grandmother was in excellent health at 90. She practiced yoga every morning up until a couple of days before she passed. She had been ready to go for some time, telling us she lived a great time and when time is time, she would embrace it. 

But, I was not ready. I was embarking on a new journey away from my home and I lost the person who raised me. It was a huge blow that took years to recover from. 

That is the thing about grief. It comes in waves and can hit you when you least expect it. Most days I am fine talking about my grandmother, telling strangers about the lovely memories we shared. 

But, then there are milestones that trigger an avalanche of feelings. Coping with the loss of a loved one as you move through life’s major events is difficult. I wanted to hug her when I graduated college, I wanted to call her when I moved across the country to LA, I wanted to see her smile when I told her I got my first job at a major movie studio. 

Every achievement and life event came with the realization that there was a person missing in my life. A hole that cannot be filled. 

I got married a couple of weeks ago and it really hit hard that my grandma was not at the ceremony. She would’ve been so ecstatic to see this day. She probably would’ve grabbed a duffle bag and started dancing with it like a drum. She was always the playful one. 

Dealing with Long-Term Grief 

There’s no easy answer to this question. For me, it’s about honoring my grandmother’s memory, living a life she would be proud of, and being happy. 

I know that is all she would have wanted for me. She would not want me to be sad about her loss. She would want me to build upon what she taught me, and to grow every day. 

I take comfort in knowing that she is still a huge part of my life, through my personality and actions. She instilled values in me that will never disappear. 

Everyone deals with grief differently and there is no right or wrong way to handle your feelings. My sister writes a birthday card to my grandmother every year and keeps her sweater as a security blanket. 

I keep a framed photo of my grandma and me from my childhood on my office desk as a daily reminder of an unconditional bond. 

Celebrating Your Loved One

Every year on my grandmother’s death anniversary, I wake up with heavy sadness. It takes me longer to get out of bed and to move through my day. 

The one constant that I have kept up with every year is to pay a tribute to her on social media. Every year I write a post with memories, stories and little tidbits. I love these posts as it lets me reflect back on things I may have forgotten. It also lets me celebrate the woman my grandma was. I love sharing about her, it’s one of the easiest things to do. 

Today, I shared some fun memories: 

  • Zaverba fueled my love for horror. I am obsessed with all things supernatural even though it scares the crap out of me. My grandmother started this fascination by telling me ghost stories when I was young. Some were tales that she heard from others and some were true stories. The one that sticks in my mind was the time she told me my grandfather seemed possessed by a ghost and started speaking in different voices. She promptly called the village priest to perform an exorcism.
  • Despite living in a foreign country where she barely knew the language, she was confident. However, there were times when she would get really scared. When I was a baby, the fire alarm went off (a sound she was unaware of and had no idea what to do). She grabbed me and ran down the street to an Indian neighbor’s house. We laugh about it now, but she must’ve been so terrified. And, this was before cell phones. 
  • My grandmother loved everyone and never saw any difference in people regarding race, class, gender. During Pre and Post Independence in India, Muslims were persecuted in Gujarat (this is a lot of Hindu/Muslim fighting that happens). My grandmother had Muslim friends she loved. She gave them Hindu clothing and hid them so they would not be harassed and killed. She is definitely someone to look up to. 

Moving Forward

As I get older, I’m more aware of the memories I will build without my grandmother. It’s been 16 years and there will be more years added to that number. I’ll always miss her and will probably deal with long-term grief my whole life. 

This is okay. 

I know that she would want me to live a happy and healthy life. And, I will keep doing that. 

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How to Make Personalized Vinyl Decals with Cricut

Have you seen those cute personalized vinyl decals and thought, “Hey, I want to try to make this at home?” 

Well, you can with this beginner-friendly DIY guide!

Personalizing items is so much fun! It’s probably one of my favorite DIY Cricut projects. In this free tutorial, you’ll learn how to make personalized vinyl decals with Cricut that you can use to decorate any item you want!

Why should you make personalized vinyl decals?

You can use these name decals to personalize coffee mugs, wine glasses, and much more! They are great for jazzing up drinkware in your home. This past new year’s I made my own 2021 champagne flutes and didn’t have to buy them!

They’re also great for bachelorette and wedding DIY projects. Creating custom gifts is so easy. 

Personally, I also sell these on my Etsy store and I have sold many of these worldwide. 

What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

How to Make Personalized Vinyl Decals With Cricut

Supplies List: 


There are many types of vinyl out there and what you use will change based on your project. I use Oracle 651 for my permanent vinyl projects and Oracle 631 for temporary vinyl. These types of vinyl work with hard surfaces such as glass. 

Oracle 651 brand is great to work with and it can be used outside as well. For this tutorial, I used Oracle 651 in gold

Note: Oracle 651 is not an iron-on vinyl. This won’t work with T-shirts and fabric. 

Transfer Tape

Transfer tape is used to remove your personalized vinyl decal from its carrier paper to help you transfer it to your project surface. 


Cricut Mat


A weeder is used to help you remove the excess bits from the carrier paper. 


When you first start out with creating your personalized vinyl decals in Cricut, you want to stick to clear legible fonts and larger sizes. As you get more comfortable, you can move to a cursive font. This is because smaller fonts and scripts are delicate and harder to weed. It requires more expertise and patience. 


Open a new project in Design Space:

how to make personalized vinyl decals in circut design space

Click the text box from the left-hand panel:

how to add text in cricut design space

Write your desired name. For this tutorial, I’m using my name (Bindi). 

how to make personalized vinyl decals in cricut design space

Change font in the top panel. For beginners, first, start with an easy thick font.  Once you get comfortable with the process, you can experiment with other fonts. I chose Arial and Bold for style. 

how to change font in circut design space

Next, we will change our size. 3 inches width is the smallest size you should go with as a beginner. Note that if your name is long, it will appear smaller as it will have less height than a shorter name. Here are some examples of how names change based on character length. It’s important to take this into account when you are determining the width size. 

how to change text width in cricut design space

Here is the name Alexandra with a width of 3 inches. You can see it’s a much smaller font to make it fit. 

cricut design space, longer character names have shorter height compared to shorter character names

Once you have your text the size and font you want,  set the color to match your vinyl.  I changed mine to gold. 

how to change color in cricut design space

Select Make it in the right corner.  

how to make personalized vinyl decals with cricut

On the next page choose the size of your vinyl.  Mine is 12 x 12. Move to next page.  

how to make personalized vinyl decals in cricut design space

Change the dial on your Cricut to Vinyl. 

Load your mat and hit the flashing C to cut your project. 

Once Cricut finishes. Cut the name from the sheet of vinyl and start weeding. 

How to Weed a Vinyl Decal:

Using your weeder, carefully lift the edges of the vinyl up. Use the weeder to help peel away the excess material. 


Sometimes, you may see some cutting problems with Cricut depending on the type of vinyl you use.  

I have had issues with Paper Studio and Glitter vinyl not cutting through because they are thicker.  In these instances, you will need to experiment.

You can increase the cut pressure by selecting custom on your dial and browse materials.

how to change material settings in cricut

Play around with the settings and add multi-cut if needed.  

how to change material settings in cricut

I’ve also found success with the Iron-On setting.  

When you are ready to apply to a surface, apply transfer tape to the decal. 

Vinyl Application Instructions:

  1. Clean the application surface area with alcohol or soap & water. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Using a squeegee or credit card, press firmly on the back of decal to ensure that the decal sticks to the application transfer paper (clear tape).
  3. Peel the paper backing away from the decal very slowly. If the decal is still on the carrier paper, using credit card again to firmly rub until decal lifts on to transfer paper completely. Go slow and press firmly from all directions. 
  4. Apply decal to cleaned and dry area, pressing firmly using squeegee or credit card to adhere decal to application surface. Be sure to go slowly to avoid any bubbles. It’s best to start pressing from the center outward.

Vinyl Decal Aftercare and How to Seal Your Vinyl Decal: 

Please note that your item after the vinyl application is NOT microwave or dishwasher safe. You can handwash your items for maximum longevity. 

If you would like your vinyl decal surfaces to be microwave and dishwasher safe, there are some things you can do to seal the vinyl.

  • Epoxy Resin:
    • This is one of the more popular methods to seal vinyl. Vinyl stays put and resin keeps the decal’s vibrant colors. 
    • The downside is that epoxy resin is toxic and very tough to handle. Using this method requires a lot of preparation and time. Follow proper instructions and make sure to use gloves and a ventilating respirator mask to avoid breathing fumes. 
    • This tutorial is a great resource if you’re looking to use this method. 
  • Mod Podge:  
    • Mod Podge is dishwasher and microwave safe is used to paint over your decal surface. 
    • This sealant is water-based so it is non-toxic.
  • Spray Sealant: 
    • A spray sealant helps with building an even coating on your surface. You’ll need a liquid polyurethane spray. 
    • Use in a well-ventilated area and wear proper masks. 
    • This is a good sealant spray. 
  • Crystalac Brite Tone
    • This is a great epoxy alternative as it’s non-toxic. 
    • It goes on in thin layers so it can take time to build-up to the thickness you like. 

Hope you enjoyed this step-by-step guide to make personalized vinyl decals with Cricut. How did your decals turn out? Comment below or tag your photos on Instagram – @By.Bindi. I would love to see your creations. 




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New Blog Traffic Analysis: 1 Month Review (Jan 2021- Feb 2021)

new blog traffic analysis

It’s been a month since I started this blog. I’d wanted to create a blog for years but was never consistent with it. I had so many ideas, but no follow-through. Flash forward to 2021: now I’m 1 month into this blog. With 30 days behind me, I wanted to take the time to write up some new blog traffic analysis

Why I started this Blog

As cliche as it is, in the new year I wanted to give something a shot. So, I looked to blogging. This time I went in more equipped with a theme for the blog as well as research on how to succeed. My goal for this blog is to provide free resources for people to help them in their everyday life and to monetize it so that I can have more passive income. 

new blog traffic analysis

After working in a corporate job for 6 years, I realized that I don’t want to be chained to a desk. I’m too creative to live the same day twice. I want the flexibility to live life on my terms. Also thinking about the future, my husband and I want to start a family. It would be great to build an income online where I can work from home. I also want to supplement my Etsy store. 

So, I set about on a journey to see if I can make some money blogging and how long it would take. 

I want to document my blogging journey for myself as well as others to show realistic new blog traffic analytics. 

New Blog Traffic Analysis: Month 1

I started this blog in January 2021 with my first blog post on Jan 9 (How to Make Reusable Crochet Face Scrubbies in 10 minutes).

As someone who loves arts and crafts and living a healthy, non-toxic lifestyle I decided to focus my blog around the theme of mind, body, and soul. I want to provide creative tutorials, positive guidance for self-improvement, and healthy DIY recipes. 

Everything I read said to narrow down a niche. But, I just can’t limit myself to one thing. Thinking long term, I am genuinely interested in bettering myself on all three fronts so I’m going to make that my theme and write around that. 

This may turn out to be too big of a playing field, but time will tell. 

How to Start a Blog Research

I was/am relatively new to the blogging game so I decided to read as much as I can. I devoured articles on the following topics: 

I dove right in and set up an Amazon Affiliate account, even though I had zero page views. I also submitted for Google AdSense but was rejected. After more research, it looks like Google Adsense prefers websites that are over 3 months old and have proven traffic. 

Looks like I jumped the gun there. For any new bloggers out there, I suggest doing research on Google Adsense eligibility before submitting. There are a lot of good resources out there, such as this one.

new blog traffic analysis

I quickly learned that blogging is a long-term project. To see traffic and ad revenue, you need at least 50-70 posts. So, I set about writing daily. 

Month 1 Review: 

I wrote 7 blog posts my first month. I didn’t hit my goal of writing a post every day, but I also got married, so I’m giving myself some slack there! 

These 7 posts break down as follows: 

January 9 2021: How to Make Reusable Crochet Face Scrubbies

January 15, 2021: Using Non-Toxic Remedies for Cold Sores

January 25, 2021: Top 10 Self-Care Ideas for a Happier Life

January 26, 2021: How to Make Confetti Hearts with Cricut

January 28, 2021: Cook and Workout: 5 Minute Veggie Quesadilla Workout (With Recipe)

January 31, 2021: 50 Journal Prompts for Success

February 4, 2021: 5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils

There was one week where I wrote 4 blog posts. That momentum felt great, but it was hard to keep it going when I spent 2 weeks of the month traveling for my wedding. I found that writing every day is a tough goal and I want to now aim for 3-4 posts a week. 

The hard part about blogging is staying consistent and the #1 reason why new blogs fail is giving up. I want to make sure I maintain consistency without burning out. 

new blog traffic analysis

Month 1 New Blog Traffic Analysis

Now for the nitty-gritty numbers. They are pretty dismal as I am just gearing up. I’m only using Pinterest to market my posts. I may add a Twitter to supplement the marketing down the road. 

Here is the overview from Jan 9 – Feb 9. 

New blog traffic analysis

As you can see, the spikes correlate to consistent blogging. The week where I posted 4 blog posts was my most viewed week. This is good to know for the future. 

Here is a summary of page views by the article: 

New blog traffic analysis

Here is a summary of page views for the month: 

New blog traffic analysis

A total of 28 users visited my blog with 270 monthly views. This roughly breaks down to 9 visits per day. I have a long way to go to reach my goal of 100 views per day. 

Page Views and Blog Post Word Counts

In my blog research, I came across a lot of advice suggesting to write 1,500 to 2,000 words for blog posts. Longer blog posts have a better chance of appearing higher in Google searches because the posts are better optimized. I did aim for higher word counts, but I was not able to hit a 2k word post this month. 

Here are the word counts for my 7 blog posts for January 2021: 

How to Make Reusable Crochet Face Scrubbies(643 words)

Using Non-Toxic Remedies for Cold Sores (420 words)

Top 10 Self-Care Ideas for a Happier Life  (1126 words)

How to Make Confetti Hearts with Cricut (486 words)

Cook and Workout: 5 Minute Veggie Quesadilla Workout (With Recipe) (1032 words)

50 Journal Prompts for Success (541 words)

5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils (1385 words)

I had 3 articles over 1k words and 4 that were under. My highest views article was 5 DIY Natural Lip Scrub Recipes with Essential Oils at 36 page views. This was also the article with the most words.

Looks like high wordcount blog posts do result in more page views. 

Blog Revenue and Monthly Cost Breakdown: 

new blog traffic analysis

In month 1 of my blog, I made $0 in revenue. This is okay as I wasn’t expecting to make anything the first month since I need to build the foundation. Right now I’m aiming for some revenue within 3-6 months. As long as I hit the target, I’ll be on track!

Here are my costs to run the blog: 

Total: $44.94

What’s next for this blog?

Based on month 1 new blog traffic analysis, I have learned some things that I want to implement for month 2. 

Month 2 Goals: 

  • Post 3-4 times a week
  • Have minimum 11 posts for the month
  • Stay consistent with marketing on Pinterest
  • Write at least one 2k word blog post

I’m excited to see what month 2 has in store for me! Have any tips or guidance for a new blogger? Comment below!





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11 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off: A Newbie’s Guide to Weightloss Concepts

11 Ways to Lose Weight and Keep it Off, A Newbie's Guide to Weightloss Concepts

Before my 30s, I never gained weight. I could eat anything and everything. And I did. It didn’t matter that my cholesterol climbed because I maintained weight. I never had to search “how to lose weight and keep it off.”

Then my 30s hit, and my metabolism disappeared. I quickly put on 20+ pounds in a matter of two months.

My diet was atrocious. Bags of chips and dip daily, cakes, cookies, fast food, and coke. You name it; I ate it. I also was sedentary, and I knew nothing about nutrition or working out. I had a gym membership that I used maybe once a year. I was a vegetarian who rarely ate fruits and vegetables, and I drank two glasses of water a day.

how to lose weight and keep it off

Suffering from health issues and general overall crappiness, I embarked on a journey to change my lifestyle and learned quite a bit along the way.

Here are 11 ways to lose weight and keep it off

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!

1.) Find your BMR

Basal metabolic rate or BMR is the number of calories your body burns in a day to keep it alive. It would be the bare minimum you would need if you did nothing but sit all day. There are many free BMR calculators available online.

BMR is an important number to consider in weight loss as many people overestimate what they burn in a day, which leads to overeating and weight gain.

how to lose weight and keep it off, invest in a fitness tracker

It doesn’t matter which one you get, but it helps track how many calories you burn in a day. This number will be different than your BMR as it will consider daily activities. If you are sedentary (desk job), then your calorie burn will be lower vs. an active person, such as a waitress.

For a week, wear the tracker and go about your day as usual. At the end of the week, note how many calories you burn in a day. Let’s say, for example, you end up with an average of 2000 calories.

Eating anything more than 2000 calories in a day will lead to weight gain.

I use a Fitbit to track my activity levels. I’ve had it for 2 years now and I absolutely love it. You can track your calories, food intake, compete with friends and family through walking challenges and track your sleep and heart levels. It’s a pretty great tool for fitness and health maintenance. 

how to lose weight and keep it off, calorie deficit

A caloriedeficit is the only way to lose weight. You don’t need fancy diets or pills to lose weight. Pretty much every fad diet works because it’s putting you in a deficit. Paleo, keto, whole 30, intermittent fasting, all work through a deficit.

It’s a simple equation. If you consume more than you burn, you will gain weight. If you eat less than you burn, you will lose weight.

It is important to note that a calorie deficit is controlled starvation to achieve a specific weight goal.

How does calorie deficit work?

It takes 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound per week. To lose that in a week, you would need a deficit of 500 calories a day.

For our example, a person that burns 2000 calories a day will need to eat 1500 calories a day to lose a pound weekly.

Slashing calories is one way to lose weight. Adding a fitness regimen can increase caloric burn during and post-workout. This expends how much you burn in a day, thus making it easier to stay in a deficit.

For example, if you walk for 30 minutes and burn about 150 calories, you’ve increased your daily burn to 2150. Subtract 500, and now you can eat 1650 calories and still lose a pound weekly.

When starting any fitness regimen, it’s essential to start slow and be consistent. You might not see changes right away, but you definitely will if you keep at it.

I started my journey by walking 30 minutes daily. From there, I switched to 30 minutes of cardio three times a week, then five days a week, and now I work out six days a week with a combination of weight training, walking, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

how to lose weight and keep it off

Fitness should not feel like punishment. For you to stay consistent, you have to like it. Find something that interests you. It could be group classes, dancing, weight training, or cardio. If you get bored, change a bit up. Don’t do something because you feel like you have to.

Also, permitting you are able, continue to challenge your body as your fitness levels increase. Doing 30 minutes of cardio at the same speed for six months won’t have the same effect as adding resistance or increasing speed.The body adapts to stimuli meaning it gets more efficient the more you do it. You will, in turn, burn less than you think.

There are many resources online if you need ideas for workouts. Free workouts are all over YouTube and Instagram. Follow personal trainers. If you have the money, invest in a gym membership and or trainer. Sometimes having somebody watch over you and push you out of your comfort zone is something you might need.

how to lose weight and keep it off, get a calorie tracking app

It’s effortless to overeat calories. One tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories. A tablespoon of peanut butter has approx 90 calories. A whole avocado is a whopping 300+ calories. Yes, all of these are healthy, but eating too much of any will lead to weight gain.

Using a fitness tracking app takes the guesswork out of it. It can be annoying to track your food, but it gets more comfortable with time, and it’ll become a habit.

Apps such as Myfitnesspal can even be linked to fitness trackers such as Fitbitor Apple Watch. Calorie tracking apps also can show you breakdowns of what nutrients you are getting. This can help you become more attuned to your diet and reveal any deficiencies.

On a calorie deficit, you can pretty much eat anything and lose weight if you consume less than you burn. Yes, that means you can eat 1–2 bags of chips a day and lose 1 pound a week.

That doesn’t mean you should eat anything and everything.

Junk food is high in calories and low in nutrients, thus less satisfying and will lead to overeating. We all know eating chips is like eating air.

One way to stay satiated is by eating a high protein and high fiber diet. Protein and fiber will keep you fuller longer, and both are low-calorie. Meaning you can eat more and stay within your calorie budget.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat fiber

The average person needs a minimum of 25 g fiber per day, and most are getting far less. Some high fiber foods are lentils, legumes, broccoli, and oats. When building your plate, try to add a fruit or vegetable and a healthy protein source. For fats, only focus on the healthiest ones over saturated and trans fats.

Water is also underrated. Most of us are walking around severely dehydrated, and often hunger is mistaken for dehydration. Drinking a glass of water before and after a meal keeps not only keeps your body working as it should, it also helps you stay fuller longer, which is essential when you’re trying to stay in a deficit.

how to lose weight and keep it off, drink water

Water is always a better choice than sugary drinks such as coke and even juices. A lot of those drinks have empty calories, meaning you are adding calories to your daily budget, and you’ll be left hungry. If you currently drink a lot of soda in a day, try swapping it out for water. You will experience overall clarity, fewer sugar spikes and lose weight.

how to lose weight and keep it off, one step at a time

Too often, people want to lose weight in an unreasonable timeframe. If it took me two months to gain 20 pounds, there’s no way I’m losing it in a week.

In actuality, it took me nearly six months to lose it, and I’ve kept it off for a year. The tortoise was definitely onto something.

Of course, I wanted to lose it fast. My jeans didn’t fit, and I wanted to change that now. But, I knew quickly wouldn’t be sustainable in the long run.

Instead, I focused on really paying attention to how I was fueling my body as I maintained a steady pound loss weekly. It wasn’t always easy. Some weeks I hit my goal whereas others, I stayed stagnant. But, I didn’t quit. It’s important to note that weight loss is not a downward linear path. There will be ups and downs, but over time it will be downwards if you’re consistent.

I read and researched whatever I could about healthy foods. I started to incorporate different recipes into my diet, focusing on nutrient-dense foods. Every week during a grocery shopping trip, I bought at least three mixed vegetables. I searched recipes specifically for these items to keep them interesting.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat healthy

Along with nutrition, I learned about different exercises and ways to target the whole body. There’s a misconception that you can spot reduce by training a particular body part. Fatloss happens all over your body, and there’s no way to tell where it will come off. Therefore, doing crunches won’t make you lose your belly fat, nor will lunges make your thighs slimmer.

However, those exercises combined with others over time will gradually help with weight loss, which in turn will slim you everywhere.

The other benefit with slow and steady is that it will lead to sustainable habits. It takes time to create a schedule and lifestyle you can stick to.If you do something for over three months versus two weeks, it most likely will become second nature. This will lead to maintaining weight instead of gaining it back.

The number 1 way to stick to healthy eating is to enjoy what you eat. Healthy eating does not need to be boring. Usually, people hear a healthy lifestyle and think a few sticks of celery and carrots.

If you like pasta, you can still eat pasta. Carbs will not make you fat. Overeating more calories of pasta than you burn in a day will make you gain weight.

how to lose weight and keep it off, eat your favorite foods in a healthy way

Find better alternatives to traditional pasta. For example, regular pasta doesn’t offer much in terms of protein or fiber. But, lentil pastas are rich in both. I like the Banza brand that are made out of chickpeas. There are even versions for mac and cheese that are very good. And, an added bonus of extra protein!

If you like ice cream, try a frozen banana mixed with Greek yogurt and berries. Regular chocolate can be replaced with dark chocolate, and peanut butter can be substituted for oil-free PB powder.

Finding creative ways to eat what you like can be fun and satisfying. You’ll stick to your goals and still feed your cravings. We live in a significant era where Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook offer many recipe options.

Stick to wholesome foods that have ingredients you can pronounce. There are way too many additives and chemicals in our diet. Natural foods are better for overall health and weight loss.

Packaged foods tend to be lower in nutrition, which could lead to overeating as your body won’t be satiated.

When it’s possible, try to find simpler foods. For example, sprouted wheat bread in lieu of enriched white bread. Or better yet, shop at farmer’s markets to get freshly baked breads. And, you’ll also support small businesses, which is a win-win.

Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too. In moderation. When I was actively trying to lose weight, I never restricted any food group. I also enjoyed eating out sporadically. This is because heavy restrictions can’t be sustained over time and will lead to binge eating.

How to lose weight and keep it off, enjoy your cheat meals in moderation

Healthy eating can be sustained with an 80/20 rule. Follow healthy habits 80% of the time, and 20% of the time, enjoy what you want to. This could mean eating a piece of chocolate with dinner or Taco Bell for lunch one day.

I found that with time, I naturally stopped craving sugar and salty foods. I still eat cookies and chips now and then, but nowhere near the outrageous amounts I previously scarfed down.

Adding treats and cheat meals to your week also keeps your metabolism in check. As mentioned before, a calorie deficit is controlled by starvation. Your body will start holding onto calories to protect itself, and you might stall your progress. Adding more calories here and there can help the process along.

Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, is notorious for posting his cheat meals on Instagram.  He happily enjoys his cookies and pizza once in a while, and still maintains his gains.

At the end of the day, none of this is punishment. If you add negative feelings to food groups, it’ll affect your relationship with food. Focusing on healthy eating is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. Also, enjoying a treat or high-calorie meal here and there won’t screw up your hard work. Don’t beat yourself up if you overeat one day. The next day is a new day to start over.

how to lose weight and keep it off, ditch the scale and take measurements

The scale is not everything. It is a data point when you are trying to lose weight, but we are often emotionally tied to it. If the number goes up, our mood changes. If it goes down, we’re happy. This can fuel disordered eating as well as depression. You are so much more than a number on a scale, and a healthy weight looks different on everyone.

There are so many reasons why the scale goes up and down — water retention, hormones, overeating sodium, and much more. Progress photos taken once a week or month can keep you stay focused on the gains you make. As with measurements as well. These are tangible ways to see that the time and investment you put in for your body are working.

Losing weight is a process, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. Whether you want to lose 20, 50, or 100 pounds, start with small steps that work within your schedule. A 10-minute walk one week or hummus and veggies instead of a cookie. As you become more comfortable, you can do more.

People generally quit because they attempt too much too quickly and then get frustrated when results don’t happen overnight, or they get burnt out.

Small, consistent steps will lead to continued progress. Trust the process and know that you can achieve your goals.

Hope these 11 ways to lose weight and keep it off help you on your weight-loss journey!