Healthy eating

We all know how important is sport in our lifes. Last month I decided to keep fit and signed up to my local fitness club. I must say I really liked that! Not only cardio like aerobic or jogging on the treadmill but also weight lifting. It’s very important to build your muscles if you want to achieve perfect and healthy body.

But no matter how often you visit your gym, you will never get what you want if you forget about healthy eating. It’s time to say goodbye to all salty snacks, sweets, sodas or white bread. I know it’s hard to remember exactly what is good for you and what’s not. The first thing you would probably think of is that you can avoid fat because of huge amount of calories. Well, it’s not truth. Of course you should throw out your deep fryer but not your bottle of oil. Why? Let me explain that to you.

FOCUS ON PROTEIN 
Protein will make you feel fuller for longer, so you’ll be less tempted by snacks, and it’ll also provide the nutrients needed to repair muscles for growth. protein requires more calories to digest than carbs, which means it helps you burn more fat too.

DON’T AVOID FAT
Eating fat does not make you fat. In fact you need unsaturated fats (found in olive oil, avocados and nuts), and saturated fat (in red meat) is fine in small amounts. You should avoid trans fats – but you find these in processed foods, which the meal generator avoids. 

GO HEAVY ON VEG 
Feel free to pile your plate high with green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and leafy greens – it’s almost impossible to eat too many and they are full of important nutrients.

 

BREAKFAST

EAT THESE: mushrooms, tomatoes, oats, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes, melon, milk, kippers, strawberries, eggs, natural yogurt, spinach, good-quality sausage, hazelnut butter, raspberries, smoked salmon

AVOID THESE: cereal, dried fruit, margarine, bagels, shop smothies, muffins, fruit juice, bread, cereal bars, jam, croissants, standard yogurt

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LUNCH

EAT THESE: sardines, chicken, celery, beans, mackerel, beetroot, quinoa, hard cheese, cottage cheese, avocado, salad leaves, artichoke, home-made soup, tuna, peppers, ham, soft cheese

AVOID THESE: pasta salad, coleslaw, quiche, sandwich fillers, wraps, crackers, low-fat mayonnaise, oat cakes, baked potatoes, baguettes, tinned soup, sandwiches

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DINNER

EAT THESE: broccoli, turkey, sweet potatoes, peas, lamb, cabbage, butternut squash, onions, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, prawns, aubergine, white fish, salmon, beef, leeks

AVOID THESE: pasta, pies, takeaways, booze, ready meals, creamy curry, couscous, potatoes, risotto, rice, noodles, pizza

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Summer Fruit Wines

When we think of wine, the most common image that enters our minds is that of expansive vineyards in exotic locales, and a rainbow of grapes having the juice pressed out.  This, in turn, is put into barrels and set to ferment into that delicious panacea, wine.  But this is a very narrow view of what wine is, and today we’ll be discussing some of the more exotic wines that are not, in fact, made from grapes.  There is a veritable panorama of wines made from something other than grapes, and today I’m going to discuss a few that can add a splash of the exotic to your table without breaking the bank.

Maui Blanc Pineapple Wine

First off we will travel to the white sand beaches of Hawaii under the bright tropical sun.  There, in the Ulupalakua vineyards, is crafted a rare and unusual wine, hand-crafted from the beautiful pineapple fruit into a veritable bouquet of sweet and tropical flavors.  The first burst of this wine across your tongue is going to fill with you an appreciation for the richness of the pineapple flavor, followed by a smooth caramel taste that gives it the essence of a rich tropical pastry.  There is a danger here for those who dislike pineapple, if it’s a taste you abhor, you will not enjoy this wine, as it is the very essence of the exotic fruit defined.  No matter where you are in the world, one glass of this light dry wine will carry you away to the sunny tropics.

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Honeywood Red Currant Wine

                There are wines whose very color speaks of pure, untainted richness.  This wine glows with the light of the setting sun, its warm red color promising the tartness of the fruit from which it’s made.  Is it any wonder given the jewel-like appearance of this fruit, that it was manufactured into a beverage with such bright color and unique flavor?  To those who have an appreciation for a light, tangy wine with a color like liquid rubies and a slightly sweet flavor, this wine will take you away.  It is particularly popular in the mid-west of America, and goes fantastic with just about any white meat that isn’t fish.

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Honeywood Rhubarb Wine

                Rhubarb, that great fibrous plant that adds its distinctive flavor most commonly to strawberry rhubarb pie.  This plant is infamous for its ability to add a tart bit of interest to what would otherwise be a remarkably bland, if sweet, strawberry pastry.  Our second selection from Honeywood out of Salem, OR, is another take on the slightly more unusual flavors out in the world.  The rhubarb is tart, just like the Red Currant mentioned above, but for those who perhaps lack the tolerance for such a strong kick, rhubarb is instead mellow and tangy.  A light commentary on the deliciousness of the plant from which it’s made. With it light pink color, it also adds a delicate appearance to the table, making it an excellent and unusual addition to any bridal shower.

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These are just a small sampling of the amazing variety of wines in the world, and a very small sampling indeed of the variety of exotic non-grape wines out there.   It is a common misconception that wines are only made from grapes, and we hope that here, today, we have opened up a whole new world of possibilities for you in the vinting world.   Expand your palette, and your table, and you’ll discover whole bouquets of wines you’d never have believed existed!

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5 Things to Remember When Making the Perfect Cake

1.     TONE DOWN THE SUGAR

For some reason, the western world has an unhealthy obsession with sugar—the sweeter, the better. Obviously, this is unhealthy. But that’s not the only downside. When trying to make a really good cake, putting too much sugar in it can mask the actual flavor you were aiming for—be it chocolate, orange, lemon, or anything else—and your cake will end up just tasting like, well, sugar. If you want a cake that is sweet and nothing else, wouldn’t it just be easier to go down to the supermarket and buy one? Usually, when I’m making a cake from some recipe I’ve found that sounds good, I reduce the sugar by about 25%—so if the recipe calls for, say, 2 cups of sugar, I use about 1 ½. Of course, you can taste the batter in the a little before you bake it to make sure that it’s sweet enough, but for me, it always is. Also, it’s important to remember that if you plan on icing your cake, that will automatically make it much sweeter anyway, so you can afford to cut down now.

 Too much sugar can take away from the flavor.

2.     DON’T LET THE BATTER SIT TOO LONG

If you don’t have enough time to wait for the cake to bake now, don’t think you can mix all the ingredients now and bake the cake later. The ingredients that you’ve added, like eggs and baking soda/powder, undergo chemical reactions with each other, and if these go on for too long (i.e. an hour or more of sitting on the counter), there’s a very big chance that you’ll end up with a flat and soggy cake that will give you an awful stomachache if you decide to try and eat it anyways.

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3.     MIX THE NUTS/RAISINS INTO THE FLOUR FIRST

Most cake recipes are made up of 2 main parts or mixtures: the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. If you like adding walnuts, raisins, or anything like that to your cake batter, you’ve probably found yourself wondering why they always go straight to the bottom and stay there, and what you can do to prevent this from happening. The answer is actually really simple—mix the nuts or raisins into the DRY ingredients BEFORE you add the wet ingredients, and toss a bit to coat them in the flour mixture. This will keep them from sinking to the bottom of your cake during baking, and they should end up pretty evenly distributed.

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4.     MIX THE BAKING SODA/POWDER INTO THE FLOUR REALLY WELL

If the baking soda or powder is unevenly distributed, then your cake might well grow unevenly—that is, one end of it may grow nicely, while the other end is flat. Also, you could end up with all sorts of tunnels and holes inside the cake, which don’t look very appetizing at all. Avoid this by slowly whisking these ingredients together before adding them to the wet ingredients.

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5.     USE COFFEE OR JUICE OR TO ENHANCE FLAVOR

Many cake recipes call for water. I find that substituting water with other liquids can really improve the flavor of the cake. Of course, they key is to choose a liquid that will make the desired flavor stronger than it would be otherwise—for example, you can add black coffee to a dark chocolate cake, or orange juice to cranberry orange bread. Keep in mind that adding juice to your batter instead of water can impact the overall sweetness of your cake, so maybe do a little tasting as you add it to make sure you don’t overdo it.

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My Little Green Coffee Adventure

Since this is essentially a lifestyle blog about pretty much whatever happens to be going on in my life,  I just thought I should mention the green coffee weight loss supplement I’ve been taking for the last little while, and that sadly…it just hasn’t worked. So many people have been talking about how it supposedly speeds up your metabolism and burn fat faster…but to be honest, the pills have done nothing for me. It looks like I’ll have to go back to Zumba and salads…not that that’s a bad thing :)

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Snacks that are good for you!

With all the calorie-counting frenzy these days, it’s easy to forget that calories don’t always have to be bad—I mean, come one, everyone needs to eat! Especially if you plan on exercising, it’s important to have enough energy.

Carbohydrates and fat are things that are body needs—in limited amounts, of course. And when I say carbohydrates and fats, I don’t mean the ones you’d get from eating 3 Big Macs and washing them down with a milkshake.

Here’s a short list of energy-rich foods that are good for you!

1. Raw Granola

Perfect for a midday sugar-craving, and full of iron and magnesium, it’s sure to give you that extra kick you need to make it till dinner.

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2. Honey

Add a sweet drizzle of honey to your yogurt, tea or muesli to boost your energy with this natural sweetener. The energy obtained from honey is released slowly over a few hours, so it doesn’t give you the sudden high-and-then-low effect you get from regular sugar.

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3. Apples and Bananas

Cheap and easy to carry around in your purse, and great sources of vitamins—who could ask for a better snack? And if you have a bit more time at home and love to bake, why not make these delicious and nutritious fruits into super-moist banana bread or apple pie?

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4. Dark Chocolate

Got a sweet tooth? That’s not the end of the world. Besides being a great way to satisfy that craving, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and not too hard on the waistline!

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5. Sweet Potatoes

Rich in vitamins A and C, these are make a substitute for French Fries—just cut them and toss them with a bit of olive oil and a spice or two and bake till crispy. You could make a tasty dip too, using plain or Greek yogurt. So good!

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Planning a party?

Nowadays planning a party isn’t as big of a deal as it was in the past. Today, you don’t even need a pen and paper to do it. There are plenty of planning applications for every electronic device, so you can be sure your plan won’t get destroyed by your dog or won’t just disappear into thin air.

So the only thing you’ll need to use is your Notes iPad App…and my tips.

How big is your home?
Before inviting your friends, think deeply how many people your home can actually hold. If you can’t fit that many people inside, don’t invite all of Facebook. Decide which friends you’d most like to have at your party.

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Products your friends like
Will you be buying all the products on your own? If so, buy different kinds so each of your friends can grab what they like. To make things more interesting, maybe consider buying some interesting decorations. How about some funny labels for your alcohol bottles or other beverages?

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Hips don’t lie
Music is the cornerstone of a good party. You should be sure that there will be many kinds of music on your playlists. And don’t take only your own music tastes into account, either—everyone at your party should be having a good time. And how about some karaoke? That’s always a lot of fun!

Five attractive friends singing together at a karaoke party

Warn your neighbors!
While having fun you can forget that there are likely a lot of other people around you, who might just be going to work the next day. Before throwing your party tell your neighbors about your plan. That will help you avoid drama just when your party is really taking off.

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The only one left thing is to dress up, put a smile on and dance until dawn!

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The easiest bracelet ever!

In my free time  I love making jewellery. Sometimes I like to take on a bigger challenge and make something more complicated, like a knotted twist bracelet–but  as pretty as that is, sometimes you just don’t have enough time… So today, I’ll be giving you a few tips on how to make a bracelet.  This is one of my favourite kinds of bracelet – easy to make, and easy to adapt colorwise to what you want to wear.

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This is the one I made for my sister…

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And this is the one for me:

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What do you think about it?Making jewellery has never been easier! And it costs…almost nothing!!!

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St. Patrick’s Day As It Was Meant to Be!

St. Patrick’s Day is a fun time of year for many people. Many Irish people wait all year for March 17th to come. St. Patrick’s Day is a day for Irish people to let their hair down, party, and for some, drink their weight in alcohol. The best part of St. Patrick’s Day is that you don’t have to be Irish to party like a rock star on March 17th.

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On St. Patrick’s Day, some people choose to party at their favorite bar. Others choose to go bar hopping, trying to get as many bars under their belts before last call. Some choose to have a party and invite friends and family to celebrate this day made especially for corned beef and cabbage and liquor.

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If you are having a St. Patrick’s Day party it is a good idea to create some St. Patrick’s Day inspired cocktails. Many people serve green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. While this is a fun idea, everyone is already doing it, so your party guests will love these St. Patrick’s holiday cocktail ideas.

The Irish Tea Party

This cocktail is excellent for St. Patrick’s Day. The green color of the drink will put you in a festive mood and nothing says St. Patrick’s Day like Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 4 parts of sweetened green tea, chilled
  • ½ part Pernod Absinthe
  • Slice of lime

Begin by rinsing a rocks glass with the Pernod Absinthe. Next add ice and pour the Jameson over it. Finally add the green tea and garnish with a lime slice.

The Leprechaun Leap

This delicious cold drink offers a smooth texture with a fruity taste. The green color of the cocktail will make you believe that it was actually prepared by a leprechaun.

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz of Ketel One vodka
  • 1 oz of Domaine de Canton
  • 1 whole kiwi, peeled
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ ounce of lemon juice
  • ½ ounce of Simple Syrup

In a large mixing glass, mix up the kiwi until it is pulpy. Add the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously until the ingredients are fully incorporated. To make this cocktail even colder, shake for about 30 seconds in ice and strain the drink back into the glass. If you choose, garnish this cocktail with a slice of kiwi.

Shamrock Shaker

This drink is not only delicious, but you’ll think you’ve found the end of the rainbow thanks to the dusting of green and gold flakes sprinkled on top of the drink.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz of Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1 ounce of amaretto liqueur
  • 3 ounces of milk
  • Edible green and gold powder for garnish (these flakes can be found in the baking aisle of your local supermarket or at any cake decorating supply store)

Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, which contains ice. Strain the drink into a chilled cocktail glass. Finish by sprinkling the green and gold flakes over the top.

While making drinks for party guests will please them, being able to send them home with a custom party favor will make them even happier. One excellent party favor idea is to make one of these amazing St. Patrick’s Day beverages, bottle it up and apply a personalized label to it.

The first thing that you need to do is find bottles to hold the cocktail mix. These can be found in local craft stores. The size of the bottle is up to you. Keep in mind when you are choosing bottles you will have to double or even triple the cocktail recipe depending upon how many bottles you plan on giving away.

 

Next, create decorative personalized labels to place on the bottles. On the labels, be sure to inlcude St. Patrick’s Day and the year, the name of the drink and the name of the host or hostess of the party. Adding a green background color to the label and a shamrock shape will liven up your label a bit.

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Strawberry Eton Mess

This is an all-time classic British dessert. This just goes to show that simplicity is a wonderful thing!

Ingredients

4 cups strawberries
2 teaspoons caster or vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons pomegranate juice
2 cups whipping cream
1 packet individual meringue nests

How to do this?

1. Take care of strawberries first. Hull and chop the strawberries and put into a bowl.

2. Add the sugar and pomegranate juice and leave to macerate while you whip the cream.

3. Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft.

4. Roughly crumble in 4 of the meringues nests – you will need chunks for texture as well as a little fine dust.

5. Take out about half a cupful of the chopped strawberries, and fold the meringue cream and rest of the fruit mixture together.

6. Arrange on 4 serving plates or glasses and top each with some of the remaining macerated strawberries.

7. Share it with your relatives and enjoy the taste as quickly as possible

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You can also prepare Blueberry Eton Mess…

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… or Raspberry Eton Mess

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