Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Key Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients You Need For Young-looking, Glowing Skin – Part 2

In Part 1 of this article, I discussed a handful of vitamins and nutrients that you can take internally to benefit your skin. You can also “feed” your skin by applying biologically-active vitamins and nutrients topically. Here are eight vitamins, minerals and nutrients you can apply to your skin for anti-aging skin care – to achieve a more youthful, vibrant appearance.

Please note there are many products on the market that contain the following ingredients. I personally favor cosmeceuticals – skin care products that contain the purest pharmaceutical-grade biological actives. While this article isn’t a product review, if you need help deciding which products to buy, I encourage you to contact my office (see my information at the bottom of this article).


Vitamin C, available without a prescription, has emerged as the wunderkind of topical skin repair agents. Its antioxidant action is clinically-proven to reverse damage caused by free radicals while also stimulating collagen growth. This is a good thing. More collagen equals visibly younger-looking skin. One caveat: vitamin C preparations are notoriously unstable, and can actually cause free-radical damage once they degrade. Therefore, make sure to store your vitamin C cream or other preparation in a cool dark place and discard if the color changes. An anhydrous (non-water containing) vitamin C cream, or one that also contains ferulic acid, enhances the vitamin’s stability.

Retin A, also known as tretinoin, is a form of vitamin A available by prescription. A tretinoin cream works in a variety of ways to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to minimize the signs of aging. Some of these ways include increasing the skin’s thickness, regulating oil production, stimulating collagen production, and even possibly turning back the aging clock of skin cells. Take care with using Retin A, though, as some people develop local irritation when using it.

Copper peptides are absorbed deep into the dermis, where they’re effective in stimulating the skin to heal and repair itself. The result is increased collagen production and decreased wrinkles. A copper peptide product is also good to use following the exfoliant use of alpha hydroxy acids and Retin A to promote optimal healing and repair.

CoEnzyme Q10 levels diminish in the skin as we age. A cream containing this vitamin-like compound increases your cells’ ability to produce energy. The likely outcome for users of topical CoEnzyme Q10 is diminished wrinkles, improved texture and increased elasticity – in other words, better, younger skin.


Hyaluronic Acid, which also diminishes in our skin through aging, attracts many times its weight in water. A moisturizer containing hyaluronic acid can “plump” skin, filling fine lines for a noticeably younger appearance. One note: in dry climates, the hyaluronic acid may try to pull water from the skin instead of the air. Be on the lookout for drier skin, and increase your moisturizer use accordingly.


Alpha hydroxy acids, present in many moisturizers, are clinically-proven to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and to even out skin tone. Look for preparations that contain at least eight percent AHA but that don’t exceed 15 percent (at least not without the supervision of your dermatologist).

Niacin A was featured in a recent 12-week study, and showed that a five-percent niacin preparation reduced fine lines and wrinkles, faded extra pigmentation and blotchiness, and smoothed rough skin. A bonus: this topical vitamin is very safe and easy to use.

Vitamin K is a vital component of the blood’s clotting factors. Along with a diet rich in vitamin K or a supplement, a vitamin K cream can be applied topically to reduce dark under eye circles.

With a practical routine of repair, hydration and smoothing, a vibrant, youthful appearance is close at hand when you “feed” your skin with biologically active vitamins and nutrients.

Nagpur Hotels: Experience Luxury at Its Best

The city of Nagpur is renowned worldwide for orange orchards, verdant vistas and 18th century relics of various forts and beauteous temples. Tourists visit the city to enjoy a break from the melancholic life of cities and are well-connected with the historic heritage of the region. With the growing economy there is an ample amount of hotels in Nagpur to avail comfortable accommodations to the visitors. These properties are meeting with international standards of hospitality and are ideal for enjoying a long and peaceful holiday. These Nagpur hotels are laced with all modern comforts and are merely one or half km away from airport to avail comfortable base for both business as well as leisure travelers.

From a lot of elegant and stylish properties a few of the finest hotels in Nagpur are:

Hotel Tuli International: Hotel Tuli is situated at the center of the city and is beautifully nurturing the ancient Indian tradition of treating the guests with the best. The property is well surrounded by natural beauty and is thus an ideal locale for a holiday. The beautifully furnished rooms and suites are well-equipped with royal interiors and all modern amenities such as color TV, ISD and STD direct dialing facilities, refrigerator, personal safe and more. For dining one can head towards multiple eateries in the hotel including The Four Seasons, The Frontier Post and Rhythms and Blues.

Hotel Pride: This 5 star property is situated merely half a kilometer from the airport and is strategically located in the industrial belt of the region. The property is ideally known as an oasis of tranquility and luxury. The fabulous property has plush multi-cuisine restaurants with bar where it serves delicious Indian as well as International cuisines. Beautifully landscaped swimming pool, gymnasium studded with all modern equipments and fully-equipped Business Center and conference hall are some of the highlights that makes Pride Hotel one of the finest hotels in Nagpur.

VITS Hotel: This is a brand new luxury class hotel which is considered ideal for business and leisure class travelers alike. This newly built property made a buzz in the hospitality industry with its contemporary design and upgraded appliances and technology.

Sun-N-Sand Hotel: The property avails five star comforts and the luxury of staying in the heart of the city. A luxurious ambiance is where guests are provided star-like treatment. The property with a mighty exterior and even the interiors are equally flamboyant and chic. Oozing out elegance and class the fine eateries and bars at the hotel cast a magical spell at everyone who visits them. On-the-Rocks, Woods-the 24 hour Coffee Shop, Kabab Hut and Aqua Splash are the specialty restaurants inside the hotel.

These and many more luxury Nagpur hotels are committed to availing premier class services and a mesmerizing experience to their guests. These hotels with their flawless services, lavish interiors and upgraded state-of-the-art amenities offer a grand treatment to impress even the most discerning travelers. Constantly competing with their contemporaries and ameliorating their existing standards these luxury class hotels in Nagpur have created a benchmark in the world of hospitality business.
If you are not interested in overhead crane brakes , then you have already missed a lot.

Happy New Year: Feeling Good in January

Hi All, hope you had a really festive and restive (sp) Christmas and New Years.

January I find is always the hardest month to get yourself through: Christmas is gone, you’re back to work and the mornings are still dark and cold. Everything warm and fun seem so far away. It’s also the time most of us will end up breaking our resolutions. Most people (some figures put it as high as 90%) will join a gym and never go after January. Infact this is so predictable that many large chain gyms rely on that to make a profit.

Wellbeing is one side of health that is often overlooked by fitness professionals. We get so caught up in body composition, reps and sets and healthy eating that we can often forget to make sure our clients are happy (incidentally, its this inclusion of well being that prompted me to change my designation from personal trainer to coach. Some times even Coach). I’d like to share a few things that help me through this part of the year and a couple of resolutions that I have made in the past.


With the sun seemingly at the centre of some other solar system we can find ourselves lacking in Vitamin D. Go get yourself a boost of sunshine (ideally by going on holiday somewhere nice) by getting outside for a few minutes, even if you just stand and watch the birds. You’ll find yourself uplifted. Also, get a shot of sunshine in a bottle and grab some vitamin D supps (anything around 5-15μm a day is fine, some supplements are higher). You’re looking for the D3 (cholecalciferol) form as this is the type synthesized in the skin. Remember though that supplements are just that: supplemental. Its no substitute to a few mins outside in the fresh air. Oh and guys, essential for testosterone production. (I don’t recommend the use of sunbeds, ever).

The Vitamin B complex is water soluble, making it pretty hard to overdose on and has a number of important roles in humans. In particular B12 can ‘improve’ moods and outlook. 2-3μg is an ideal amount, and most people get this through diet. I’ve found that due to the physiological stress ( anyone who knows me would hardly call it mental stress) of what I do a little extra Vit -B goes a long way.


With the dark and cold weather the temptation is to get home and fill up on stodgy comfort food (I do it myself, I have a huge risotto in the fridge, home made chicken and pork stock, with pesto, peppers, spinach… is this helping?). We often find ourselves bloated and sluggish on this diet, so make sure you get in plenty of fibre. Oats are my absolute favourite source, if you’re not keen on eating grains there is plenty in a variety of fruits and vegetables (sweet potatoes for the win here, especially the skins). Personally I find the govt RDA ridiculously low on this (15g just isn’t enough at all) and aim for somewhere between 40g and 50g a day. Bear in mind though thats with almost 4500 kcals. If your caloric load is less, try going for about 25g. It’ll help you poop, and THAT will make you feel better.


Resolutions are tricky things: they are meant to point out to us what we could improve in ourselves in the coming year. People set their sights wildly high with these and are doomed to failure and feeling glum in no time at all.

How then can you set a good New Years Resolution? Try this:

1 Set something you can actually achieve

2 Set something you’ve never done before (but you’ve always wanted to)

3 Set something you’re going to enjoy

4 Set something cheap

5 Set something FUN!

It doesn’t all have to be about weight loss and exercise. My all time favourite resolution was a couple of years back when I decided it’s time I learnt to juggle. Not only was it great fun learning (its one of the only times I can honestly say I FELT myself learning something) it’s a great stress reliever, has improved my coordination in and out of the gym, and is fun to show people. I’m still learning now (four balls is really hard). It cost £6 for a decent set of balls and a DVD showing me the basics.

Pick something that YOU have always wanted to do and find the time to learn it. It doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside a head full of B vitamins, a gut full of fibre and a 3-ball outside cascade are pretty good.

Good luck,


P.S The advice in this article does not presume to be, nor should be taken as, dietary recommendations or a therapeutic regime.

How to Treat Wrinkles

History tells us that medieval European women drank large potions of poisonous arsenic and even covered their faces in bat’s blood in an effort to preserve their unwrinkled image. There is evidence that Roman women used warm male urine in an attempt to exfoliate their skin, but now, commercialism has jumped on the ‘wrinkle’ bandwagon and turned the ever declining dermis into an industry now estimated to be worth in the region of $160 billion a year. To put it another way, sensible Americans, those people that gave us Kellogg’s cornflakes, Gillette razor blades and even put a man on the moon now spend more on getting rid of wrinkles than they do on educating their children. You see, it is all a matter of perspective. Just try relating that fact to the old grey Kenyan lady shuffling along the red murram track with her two young grandchildren on their way to school.

So, what are wrinkles, how do we get them and why do we hate them so. To understand wrinkles, we have to understand skin. Everybody’s skin is made up of three layers: the outer protective epidermis, the inner dermis, and another deeper part, (which is not technically part of the skin) called the subcutaneous layer. When we are young, the differing layers work as one unit to allow the skin to stretch and remain supple by retaining moisture. The inner dermis at that stage has an elastic quality because of collagen building blocks and lots of fibres called elastin. These proteins interact to keep the skin looking and feeling young. However, over time, the outer layer gets bombarded with ultra-violet light, attacked by chemicals and the inner layer gets saturated with poisons from cigarette smoke and the ravages of time and the collagen building blocks begin to disappear.

To put it another way, let us imagine two houses in a village in Leitrim. One has recently been built and has become the nest of a fledgling family, continually painting the walls, dusting the cupboards, and washing the floors. The other is the residence of an older gentleman in the sunset years of life, satisfied with passing away his latter years with the odd trip to Mc Govern’s local pub. The first house is like new skin, the proud housewife never allows toxins to settle too long in case they harm her children, the proud father paints walls and hangs wallpaper to make their nest as habitable as possible. Both, pander to traditions as old as time immortal.

In the second house, the old man will keep up appearances by painting the outside walls, if the ‘yanks are coming home’. This is akin, to the aging lady who wants to look her best for her daughter’s wedding. This is because both events evoke emotions that make us remember how things used to be. The mother remembers herself on her wedding day and how times have changed her, the old man remembers how the house looked before Michael left and went to America. Both parties have feelings of guilt, of allowing neglect to take the place of repair. Maybe, it was for financial reasons or possibly, it was just that Old Man time just happened to creep unpon them unnoticed. To understand the mechanism of how skin ages and ultimately wrinkles; we can take the analogy of the old man’s house a little further. The whitewash lime paint that the old man goes out and buys and eventually gets somebody to put on the outside walls to give an ‘impression of repair to the yanks’ is like the putting cream on the epidermis. Of course, it will protect the house against the sweeping rains coming in from the Leitrim braes, but eventually it will just dissolve and be washed away.

The old man knows, if the long lost brother who went to America wanted to return home to the house of his youth, he would have to put in new windows, plaster the inner walls, possibly even replace the roof and the ceiling joices in order to make the place habitable again. By analogy, the wooden timber supporting structure that holds up the roof and forms the windows is akin to the basic building blocks of a protein called collagen, which is present in our dermis. The plaster on the inner walls of the house, that wraps around the window ledges and hides the ceiling spars is akin to another flexible protein called elastin. However, despite this analogy, there is one big difference between the house and our body…our skin has its own built-in repair system. This means if we fall, little repair cells called fibroblasts, come like fleets of handymen from the local village to immediately repair the problem. What happens, is that over a period, the repair cells become less, the timber is not repaired, the plaster begins to fall off, and dreaded wrinkles appear.

What are the main causes of wrinkles?

Most wrinkles are associated with reduction in the amount of collagen and elastin in aging skin. This process, like the decaying house in Leitrim is considered to be a natural process. Frequent exposure to the elements, especially sunshine results in premature skin wrinkling and increased pigmentation (liver spots). Unfortunately, the type of ultraviolet light in sunshine also increases the likelihood of skin cancer. Frequent exposure to cigarette smoke delays the repair mechanism of skin and is one the main environmental factors that increase premature wrinkling of the skin. We can do little to decrease the rate of skin aging, but it is within our power to stay out of the more powerful suns rays and of course to STOP SMOKING.

Common Causes of Wrinkles

Wrinkles can develop because of:
Sun exposure
Normal aging changes in the skin
Skin Type
Genetic factors
Dress sense

How Do We Treat Wrinkles?

Vitamin A Acid (tretinoin, Retin-A, Retinova).
These creams are the only ones that have been subjected to clinical trials and show some promise in reducing wrinkles. Retin-A has some limited ability to reduce other signs of aging, such as mottled pigmentation and rough skin. The effects are usually temporary and the creams must be used on an ongoing basis to maintain the effect. Many patients complain about the fact that they initially cause redness and peeling. Although this can be unpleasant for a while, it is essential to achieving an improvement once the peeling stops.

There is some evidence that the vitamins A, C, and E, as well as beta-carotene provide a certain amount of sun protection and some formulations of Vit C can help in the reduction of very fine wrinkles. In some ways, they are a step above regular over the counter creams, which usually promise quite a lot but do not contain any of the above substances. Allergan the makers of Botox ® have just released a new anti-oxidant called Prevage ® .

Glycolic acid peels use fruit acids such as the alphahydroxy acids (AHA) (glycolic, lactic, etc.) to remove some of the outer layer of skin. In fairness, these superficial peels can make a very slight difference in the intensity of fine wrinkles and have little effect on deep wrinkles. AHA peels are more commonly used to treat rough, dry skin and improve texture. They may be mixed with a bleaching agent to correct uneven pigmentation. They can be applied to the whole face or to an isolated area, such as the upper lip.

TCA peels use ingredients like trichloroacetic acid (TCA or salicylic acid (SA) to remove the outer layer of skin and penetrate deeper into the dermis. These deeper peels are more capable of removing fine wrinkles. Phenol peels penetrate deep enough to remove deep wrinkles. In general, however, the deeper the peel, the greater the risk of side effects, such as long-lasting pigment changes (changes in skin colour) and scarring. TCA peels may require some twilight sedation to help ease short-term but intense discomfort.

Botox® or Dysport ® are probably the most common therapeutic agents used in the treatment of wrinkles. Treatment is typically used to treat forehead frown lines and wrinkles around the eyes. The treatment only takes a few minutes and discomfort is minimal. Results appear after 3-5 days with maximum benefit appearing after 1-2 weeks. Results tend to last up to 6 months with the effect fading gradually. The treatment is very popular as it only takes a few minutes, discomfort is minimal and the results tend to last up to 6 months with the effect fading gradually.

Soft tissue fillers, most commonly the Hyaluronic Acids such as Restylane, Juvidem, Matridex, or Matridur are used to help fill in wrinkles. These products last between 6-12 months. Collagen was once widely used but is being rapidly replaced by a safer synthetic version called Evolence. This product will last about 18 months. Less biodegradable fillers such as Outline or Radiesse are increasing in popularity as their safety profile shows they will remain in skin without many problems for about 24 months. These fillers can also add fullness to the cheeks and lips and can be used alone or in conjunction with other resurfacing procedures such as Microdermabrasion and laser Photorejuvenation.

Collagen stimulators such as poly-L-lactic acid (New-Fill) (Sculptra) work from deep within the dermis to stimulate new collagen and remove wrinkles. They also tend to smooth and firm areas of the face and restore the skins natural elasticity. This compound, although recently used in cosmetic medicine has been used in plastic and reconstructive medicine for more than 20 years. Clinical trials have shown the effects of New-Fill can last for 1 to 2 years.

Isolagen® or Autologous Fibroblast Therapy is a unique process that uses the patient’s own collagen-producing cells, (fibroblasts) to repair and rejuvenate the skin, producing effects for up to 10 years. The effect is long-lasting because the patient’s immune system recognises the injected cells as the patient’s own and does not reabsorb or reject them as it does with other foreign materials. The Isolagen process can soften wrinkles, lines, and scars, giving your face a lasting, youthful appearance. Best of all, since the Isolagen process relies on your skin’s unique collagen producing ability, its benefits are long lasting. Unlike the results of temporary skin treatments, which typically last only a few months, the benefits of Isolagen continue for years

Microdermabrasion is a procedure that is performed by using a hand piece that the operator passes over the skin two or three times. This evenly removes the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of skin. The underlying epidermis is also stimulated by the abrasion and the vacuum. Recurrent treatments promote the generation of new collagen, which thickens the dermis and improves fine lines and wrinkles. It would be unfair to say that it is of benefit to most wrinkles unless they are comparatively new. The average microdermabrasion procedure takes less than thirty minutes, depending upon the skin condition, the area to be treated, and the desired outcome. Many will notice improvements in the texture and appearance of their skin immediately after the first treatment.

Dermabrasion is a surgical procedure in which the physician attempts to reduce wrinkles or more often scars less noticeable by sanding them away with a small hand held tool. The technique is sometimes performed under general anesthesia and the end result is dependent on the skill and experience of the operator. Dermabrasion can result in excellent improvement, but can also produce significant side effects, including scarring and permanent changes in skin colour.

Laser resurfacing is a technique that aims to reduce wrinkles by using an ablative laser to remove the top layer of skin. In essence, doctors can achieve results similar to those of dermabrasion with greater reliability and precision. There are two ablative lasers, the CO2 and the milder Erbium YAG. Both lasers will tend to remove the whole of the outer layer of skin (epidermis) in order to expose the inner layer (dermis). A second effect, collagen synthesis appears over the next months, which also helps to reduce wrinkles. Procedures may need to be repeated once or twice at 6 to 12 month intervals to maximize improvement. They are, however, associated with pain, lengthy healing times, and potential for permanent pigment changes and scarring.

Non-ablative laser resurfacing. Newer lasers such as the Polaris ® attempt to stimulate collagen synthesis under the skin without peeling or damaging the epidermis. This is one of the latest FDA-approved nonablative procedures for maintaining a youthful appearance. Another similar device called the Thermage, uses radio-frequency energy to try to reduce wrinkles. The Polaris uses an associated laser system to improve skin texture and skin colour. This causes the collagen to contract and tighten as well as reducing redness and brown blotches. Data on the effectiveness of the Thermage and the Polaris are still preliminary, but many trials suggest that results for fine lines and wrinkles may approach those of invasive laser resurfacing. Treatment can be painful but there is little or no redness, peeling, or “down-time” afterwards. Noticeable improvement may involve several repeated procedures over a few months.

Fraxel Laser, unlike the other ablative lasers already on the market, which remove the top layer of skin, produces tiny, microscopic areas of thermal wounds in a dot-like grid, leaving areas of untouched healthy skin in between. Patients receive a series of 3-5 treatments, spaced weekly, where the entire face is safely resurfaced. Each treatment takes roughly 20-30 minutes and can be done up to 5 times a week.

Curl Lift ® procedure also called the Soft Lift, is a minimally invasive face-lifting procedure that involves the placement of special nylon threads in a loop fashion and then pulling them upwards. The threads are placed with a needle through a small incision in the hairline and then tensioned according to the degree of suspension required. Threads can easily be removed, added or changed. The entire procedure is performed under local anesthesia, with most patients able to return to work in 24 hours.

Plastic surgical procedures:

Surgical facelifts, brow lifts, and similar operations can be very helpful for selected patients in order to remove wrinkles. The procedures are commonly performed whenever cosmetic medicine can be of no more advantage. The face-lift is particularly useful in improving wrinkles and the appearance of sagging by tightening the skin and facial muscles. The degree of improvement varies from individual to individual, and is influenced by the physical traits of the skin, and the amount of sun damage, the underlying bony structure and a variety of other factors. This operation takes from 3-5 hours depending on what eventual effect is required for the patient. This procedure is performed in an outpatient facility under general anesthesia.

10 Ways to Be the Perfect Partner

Part of the challenge us technology communicators have is the very job itself – being buried in the latest stuff to bring you the ideas and insights that will make your life easier, more fun and more effective.

But by the same token it can often make our downtimes more limited, and in themselves more challenged.

I’m the first to say ‘I neglect you’ to mine other half when I should be able to bellow from the rooftops, ‘I have given you everything’.

I think the old, ginger one out of the Spice Girls said it best. Recounting her last relationship (and there have been a few…) with a geek in ‘Say You’ll Be There’, she squawked:

I’m giving you everything all that joy can bring this I swear
(I give you everything – that’s the other ones that sang that)
And all that I want from you is a promise you will be there
Say you’ll be there (Say you will be there)
Won’t you sing it with me

So, don’t let it slip or slide. There are times when your work is the most important thing on earth. Least, that’s how it feels in the moment. But then think back to when you were in the moment of a spot of ‘lover lover’ and I’m sure you’ll agree, work is worthless, vapid by comparison.

People love people – not productivity. So when your computer tugs you by the sleeve (or you could just have a thread caught between the Y and U keys) or you duck out of bed for a late-night coding sesh, remember this: your partner wants you to show you…

1. Care. Steal moments from the job in hand. Get down the shops and buy her some nice cereal. Or he. Let’s be honest, us geeks don’t all have dangly bits. Care means being there but it also means being excitable and spontaneous. Do something out of the ordinary. And if taking him/her to the theatre doesn’t do the trick, push them, fully-clothed, into a fountain.

2. Can. Be true to yourself and make the impossible, possible. Because you know my friend, there’s no such thing as can’t. Genuinely. I’ve seen numberless examples of things that looked out-of-this-world that were brought down to an Earth level by a stiff constitution and a determination we can all aspire to. And maybe a large whisky.

3. Are strong. You don’t have to pull a cart round the town centre to demonstrate your lack of fragility. Being strong is about making decisions.

Challenge for you: Go for a month without saying ‘I don’t mind’, or ‘it’s up to you’. Within reason – if it’s his/her birthday, you might choose to forego making the choice once or twice. But seriously this stuff is gold: not only does seizing the day, or Carpe Diem to you Romans, make a big, positive impression on S/HWMBO – it also makes you enormously aroused as to your potency. Try it: it’ll make everyone smile.

4. Can cook. I’m totally down with this one. I have this secret hankering to be a chef. I read Londonelicious, and all those blogs where people go to restaurants every flickin day and rattle on about how incredible their dining habits are. And you know what? It’s because there’s an invisible connection between eating and loving. You eat good, you love great.

Secret 1: Oven avoiders can make a huge impact by following Delia Smith’s ridiculously simple How to Cheat at Cooking book. Get yourself a basket of pre-concocted ingredients from M&S (mince beef in gravy in a tin) and a bag of spuds, and you got yourself a lush cottage pie. And a juicy lady or guy who will adore you forever (or at least until you burn the ice cream on your next culinary adventure).

5. Have fun. Don’t be serious – be a Lebowski, dude. Be prepared to poke fun at yourself, to laugh big.

Here’s secret numero 2: the bigger you laugh, the better you are. In business, in the bedroom. Shocked? Think about it. You network to a serious level, you get into a conversation about work – the economy, greenhouse gases, why Gordon Brown is an utter ‘tard, something like that. One of you sparks up with a light-hearted aside – you bellow like a fool. It’s a way of diffusing the tough times and making a new friend. And snatching a contract from under the nose of your staunchest competitor. The same rules apply at home – kind of.

6. Can say sorry. In the kitchen, in the car, in the conservatory – be the first one to apologise. It doesn’t matter whose fault it is, just clear the goddamn air. Disagreements are natural and part of life but don’t get bogged down in the detail. I know this: whatever you’re arguing about isn’t what you care about. You just want a snarl, and now you got it. So drop it, move on, make a little love, cook a little pie. But for heaven’s sake, crack a joke and motivate yourself out of your rabbit hole of uselessness. Debates are fine – disagreements are poisonous. See their side, and whether or not they see yours, you’ll be doing yourself a favour to get rid of the situation. And make a note to next time chew on a rope instead.

7. Have a smart inner geek. Everyone knows the ladies love a smartly turned-out gadget herbert. To be a technologist you have to be extraordinarily clever. Girls and boys love the intelligence thing. It means you’re an expert communicator (even if you don’t have the confidence, you ARE, believe me) and can see like Superman through problems that other homo sapiens would struggle with. Man/woman, you’re incredible. So covet and treasure your ample abilities and go shine on your cohort.

8. Think alternatively. Lateral cogitation is like your sixth sense. Your friends in manufacturing may have an aptitude for sproggets and bobbins but you, my friend, are in the zone when it comes to new ideas. They say you need to conquer your inner entrepreneur, technician and manager: but people look to you to spark inspiration. This applies equally to your love kingdom. Switch off the TV and show him what the lounge was really built for. Guys, recreate the cover of Scandal ready for your lady friend to return from work. Learn parcour and go jump off a building. I tell you one thing that works above all: making a picture of their face comprised of tiny little pictures of the places you’ve been and the things you’ve done together. Man, that rocks. I want one: Princess?

9. Help others. Get down the soup kitchen, rock out with those less fortunate than yourself. Help the homeless in Haiti with a contribution of your skills, be the next Chris Moyles and join your local Talking Newspaper group so the blind have to suffer current affairs junk, too.

10. Read widely. Don’t do what I do, do what I say… I have a library stacked full of business propaganda masquerading as fine advice. It’s not big or clever to bury yourself in manuals, guides and Dummies books the whole day long. Experiment with fiction.

Secret 3: there’s a mind-boggling site that sends a few minutes of stunning reading material to your inbox or RSS feed every day. It’s called DailyLit and it means it’s safe for folks like you and me to fork intellectually without leaving the comfort of our screens. Books and pixels in perfect harmony!

11. Can write. Evidently ‘can count’ is missing from this list, for personal reasons. A message a day keeps the counsellor away. After making the Coco Pops sing as they endure third-degree burns in my scalding pot of milk, popping a Vit C, dishing out the Actimel and packing a lunch fit for a tiny queen (for she eats like a sparrow with constipation) I create a piece of prose on a green slab of cardboard. It is thrust with adulation into the carrier bag containing such miscellaneous digestibles as a foil-wrapped pair of Oreos (neither of us like them but I can’t bear to throw them away – all those hungry people…) and perhaps some Haribo Starmix. It makes her day and it kickstarts mine. Ready to foist myself into the hot seat to create a blog post worthy of your time.

Well, was it? Let me know if any of these tips, y’know, resonate. If not, why not?

Posted via email from 10 for 10

60-Inch Plasma TV – LG 60PK950 – Review


Just before a major sporting event is a great time to buy a new large screen high-definition plasma TV. The LG 60PK950 60″ TV arrived at my door for the 2010 World Cup. I needed to replace a Phillips 60″ TV which arrived for the 2006 World Cup. The LG is my second HDTV but first plasma HDTV. I had not seen it in the store; I’d just seen the advertising and read some reviews. The best price I found was at the Sears online store. I am writing this review as an owner who has used it every day for a few months. It’s a fairly long review because it’s a fairly expensive TV. Buyers may benefit from reading as much as possible to make an informed decision.

First Impression

My first thought after turning on the TV: “Wow, people look so lifelike – like they are in my living room!”


It’s called a 60″ television, but that refers to the diagonal length. The actual size is about 55″ x 34.” The “frame” or trim all around the TV is black. It is not equally wide all the way round; it’s about 1.5″ on the sides and top but about 3″ at the bottom.


It is extremely thin at only about 3″ deep. That’s pretty impressive for a TV this large. It was a huge improvement from my 60″ Phillips which is about 2′ deep! It is therefore perfect for mounting on a wall, but the wall mount kit does not come with the TV. There is a set of sockets on the side as well as the back so you can neatly mount it and discretely hide wires.


Although the LG 60″ is very thin, it is very heavy. It really needs two people to move it. Two delivery men set it up for me quickly when it arrived. The large plasma screen is completely protected by a sheet of glass about 1/8″ thick. I first put the TV on a table but after only a few days there was a permanent dip in the middle because it’s so heavy.

Viewing Angles

Instead of permanently mounting it on a wall, I decided to use the stand that came with it. I wanted the option to adjust the angle to view the TV squarely from two different positions in my living room: straight in front (from an armchair) and off to one side (from a couch). The range of movement for the stand is limited to about 30 degrees but that was good enough for me. As you would expect with a plasma, the LG looks good from any angle. This makes it ideal for a large viewing audience in a bar or at home. It was a big upgrade from my Phillips when looking at it from the side, because the brightness and contrast remain the same instead of dropping much lower.


LG thinks its Protective Skin Glass (TM) is a big deal judging by how big those words are on the cardboard box in which it is packed. The surface is very shiny like glass so there’s a lot of glare and reflection if you watch the TV during the day. The payoff presumably is you don’t have to worry about damaging the plasma because it is always behind thick glass like a rare artifact in a museum. But you could buy good curtains to reduce the glare.


LG makes a few different 60″ TVs with the difference being contrast. I got this one because it offers more contrast. It costs more but not a lot more. I considered the contrast ratio of 3,000,000:1 but decided to get the 5,000,000:1. However, now I’m not sure if I’ve really seen the benefit of the extra contrast. It may only be noticeable for certain movies or programs.


The saturation of the color is beautiful. I immediately noticed the richness of the reds beyond anything I’d ever previously seen on a television. I didn’t notice any color problems nor any tonal defects. Nothing was too dark, too light, or lacking sufficient contrast.

Custom Color

You can change the color temperature quite easily from the Picture wizard. You move the sliders from 0 to 100. But there aren’t the amount of custom color controls for the level of precision you might expect for a high-end plasma TV.


There is a huge difference in screen quality between the different Picture options (Game, Off, Cinema, etc.), so you should test them all out when you first get it. What looks normal on one setting completely blows out the highlights in another setting. People’s skin tone gets really bright, unnatural, and weird.


There are several picture ratios: 16:9, Just Scan, Set by Program, 4:3, Zoom and Cinema Zoom. The picture quality with Zoom of course is worse but it looked okay for HDTV programming; however it is not very good for non-HDTV shows. Zoom can look better than stretching because at least the proportions of the picture are more natural, even though everything gets cropped.

Unforgiving Quality

You may not notice people with bad skin until you get a plasma TV like the LG 60PK950. It is extremely unforgiving. Back when plasma was in its infancy, some famous women were reportedly upset with the new technology. Makeup artists had to pick up the slack, but they don’t cover everything. The sheer screen size of 60″ makes it difficult to miss acne scars, moles, bad shaving, etc. The screen gives them an unflattering sort of 3D look. Closeups can be shocking.

Freeze Frame

When you freeze a frame the good news is it doesn’t quickly dim, black out, or start a screensaver like some plasma TVs. This lets you enjoy the frame as a picture for a while like it’s a beautiful painting in your living room. But after a few minutes, the LG will automatically lower the contrast. It’s not a huge drop to barely visible levels. Thus you need to be careful about pausing to avoid the plasma screen getting burn damage.


Overall the sound quality is okay, but I didn’t find it to be impressive like the picture. The bass could be stronger; even at the maximum setting of 100, I wanted a deeper bass. Some buyers will definitely want to use their own sound system with this TV. Be sure to test different sound settings from the Options menu when you first get it, especially Clear Voice, which eliminates a lot of background noise. I noticed the improvement immediately and made it the permanent setting.


When you hit the Mute button on the remote, there’s a quick oversized graphic on the TV to confirm it, which really isn’t necessary. The Mute message lingers too long, but at least it doesn’t keep the word “Mute” on the screen all the time like an old 60″ Phillips! When it’s on Mute and you hit the remote to lower the volume, it immediately cancels the mute, which isn’t ideal when you’d set the volume high, and want to lower it without waking up the neighbors. Mute should be independent of the Volume Up/Down settings. Even when you have it on Mute and change the picture setting (e.g., from Cinema to Sport), for some weird reason it also cancels mute. That’s a design flaw.

Intelligent Sensor

I thought there must be something wrong with my new TV when I first got it, because the brightness kept changing every few minutes while I was watching soccer matches at the World Cup. I had started watching the games before reading the entire manual. But before I called Technical Support, I went online and discovered it was the “Intelligent Sensor.” I hadn’t realized Intelligent Sensor was the default setting. This technology adjusts the brightness depending on the light level in the room or what it thinks is the ideal setting. I found this clever idea rather annoying and turned it off. It’s a bit jarring and distracting. LG needs to figure out how to make brightness levels transition gradually so you don’t notice the shift.

Power Consumption

The LG is wise and modern in the number of options it provides users to reduce energy. Plasma TVs can use a tremendous amount of energy, but the LG offers several different settings, including: Minimum, Medium, Maximum, and Off. You can quickly change the power level from the remote using the green energy button at the top left corner. The lower the setting, the less bright the picture. Depending on what you are used to seeing, you may be perfectly content with a lower level. It was similar to my old TV’s brightness and contrast levels. But even if you are used to more brightness and contrast, you might find you can get used to a lower setting after a while. One of the best features is it lets you completely turn off the screen in three seconds, which I find is perfect when I want to listen to music broadcast over cable. It saves the screen and saves energy.


Although it’s thin don’t think for a minute it will stay cool. It radiates heat on normal settings fairly quickly like a portable heater. I noticed the room temperature difference in the summer. But you can easily reduce the heat by lowering the power level as noted above.


The remote is too cheaply designed for a high-end plasma TV. It’s not the best companion. You would expect more from LG–an expensive TV deserves a high-quality remote. The button positions are not very intuitive and the remote’s edges are slightly sharp. It does have a backlighting button, but it shuts off automatically too quickly.

Power Consumption

The LG is wise and modern in the number of options it provides users to reduce energy. Plasma TVs can use a tremendous amount of energy, but the LG offers several different settings, including: Minimum, Medium, Maximum, and Off. You can quickly change the power level from the remote using the green energy button at the top left corner. The lower the setting, the less bright the picture. Depending on what you are used to seeing, you may be perfectly content with a lower level. It was similar to my old TV’s brightness and contrast levels. But even if you are used to more brightness and contrast, you might find you can get used to a lower setting after a while. One of the best features is it lets you completely turn off the screen in three seconds, which I find is perfect when I want to listen to music broadcast over cable. It saves the screen and saves energy.


Although it’s thin don’t think for a minute it will stay cool. It radiates heat on normal settings fairly quickly like a portable heater. I noticed the room temperature difference in the summer. But you can easily reduce the heat by lowering the power level as noted above.


The remote is too cheaply designed for a high-end plasma TV. It’s not the best companion. You would expect more from LG–an expensive TV deserves a high-quality remote. The button positions are not very intuitive and the remote’s edges are slightly sharp. It does have a backlighting button, but it shuts off automatically too quickly.

Slide Show

There are a few USB ports for standard memory sticks. The ports on the side of the TV are easiest to use. The picture quality of the slide show is surprisingly gorgeous. A half-decent photo off a modern digital camera shows up on the plasma screen at the same quality level as HD programs. The resolution is so high you can easily read text on clear images. You can adjust the slide show speed to Slow, Medium, or Fast. You can also change the setting to Full Screen. It lets you start the slide show from any image; just use the arrow keys to scan through the thumbnails and then hit Enter.

YouTube and Picasa

The 60PK950 lets you watch YouTube videos and see Picasa pictures. Just hit the NetCast button on the remote.

Viewing Distance

First-time large screen TV buyers should be aware that distance can make a big difference. There are charts online which tell you the best distance for the screen size. I’ve tested different distances and notice that a program can be much more absorbing, not to mention better to see, when you’re closer to the screen. This is not just because of the distance but also the clarity of the picture and the degree to which it fills your field of vision. You should certainly consider the issue of distance before you permanently mount the plasma on a wall. One chart says 94″ (just less than 8′) is the optimal distance for a 60″ TV with 1080i. I usually watch from 12′ away and don’t feel the need to move closer.

Quirks and problems

Slide show

The picture load speed is dependent on image size. Smaller file sizes load quickly and larger files slowly. That’s fine if all files are about the same size, but not very good when they vary. Each slide should appear at the same speed no matter what file size. When you turn off the slide show and cycle pictures individually, it gives you too much information (file name, date, dimensions, and size). Users don’t want that unless they’re on a computer. The file management info disappears automatically after a few seconds, but it shouldn’t appear in the first place. The default slide show speed setting is Fast; it should be Medium. After you watch a slide show, and turn the TV off, but then return to the slide show, you see it has saved your place so you can start up right where you left off, but it reset your slide show speed. The pause button on the remote doesn’t pause slide shows.

Music format

The LG lets you play music from your USB drive just like it lets you view pictures, so I tried to play some of my m4a files that were in my iTunes folder. But it wouldn’t accept them. It may only accept mp3 files.

Static line

The top or bottom of the TV occasionally shows a line of “static.” It is similar to what you sometimes see on old VCR video recordings. I didn’t see this on my previous HDTV, so I assume it’s only on the LG. It’s annoying but fortunately it’s rare; I’ve only seen it about once a week. Sometimes it’s just a single commercial; but at other times it’s an entire program. When I want to see the program, I’ll zoom in to cut off the top edge. It seems LG didn’t crop the top properly, or the video editors of some shows or commercials didn’t do complete cropping, and the Plasma isn’t forgiving.

Blu-Ray Player

A regular DVD player won’t give the quality of Blu-Ray. Blu-Ray is HD and the perfect partner for HDTV. I have a Sony Blu-Ray player and it’s fantastic for watching the famous BBC nature series.

HDTV Video Recorder
A regular DVD recorder or VCR won’t look very good on the 60PK950 even if you record a show that was broadcast in HD. One option is a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) or equivalent; it is a hard drive which records HD programs in HD so when you play them back you see them in crystal clear HD.


My LG wasn’t grounded. It’s annoying when you get a brand new large high-definition plasma TV, expecting a perfect visual experience, only to see faint purple bands rising all the time from the bottom to the top of the screen! And the bonus is a background hum. This isn’t a defect by LG. It’s a common TV grounding problem. There are different ways to solve it. One is to get your cable provider to ground the TV; another way is to buy a cheap Dayton VIT-1 Isolation Transformer from Parts Express, which reduces the problem by 80%. There’s another trick to deal with the last 20% of the A/V imperfections.


LG says you have to keep the huge cardboard box it comes in for the first month in case you need to return it, so make sure you have enough storage space. The box is a lot bigger than the 60″ TV.


The LG 60PK950 60″ TV is a very impressive piece of technology. It had the Wow Factor when I first tried it, and I still love the TV a few months later. The picture is very sharp and the sound is okay. The remote isn’t great and there are occasional annoying issues, but you easily forget them when you are enjoying a rich visual experience. Sporting events look spectacular and nature programs are stunning. Cartoon graphics are very sharp. Movies are out of this world. Everybody in the family can thoroughly enjoy the LG 60PK950 60″ TV.

Care For the Skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body. There are 3 types of skin; Dry, Oily and Normal skin. Care for the skin will be discussed under three categories.

-care for dry skin.
-reducing/removal of stretch marks
-removal of wrinkles

Care for dry skin.
Dry skin results from lack sebum or oil production. Sebum is an oily material made within the skin cells and is vital to having healthy, elastic skin. Dry skin does not make enough oil. The issue must addressed both internally and externally.

Addressing the external issue is finding a moisturizing cream that is rich and not overly heavy. Creams that contain soothing ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile.

Addressing the internal issue requires you looking into your diet. Consume balanced diet and use supplements like vitamin E which also enhances fertility so caution is required, complex B vitamin

Removal/reduction of stretch marks.
Stretch mark is simply a mark you get if you lose weight or gain weight. If you are a woman who has given birth, or even a woman who has dieted and lost a noticeable amount of weight, you may have ended up with some stretch marks. Apply olive oil with a few minutes of massage to reduce stretch marks. Do this therapy religiously everyday and the stretch marks will eventually disappear.

Reducing/removal Wrinkles.
Castor oil is a cheap and effective eye cream that allows the skin to retain necessary oils for a smooth complexion. Massage it around the eye area before bedtime for a powerful boost to the skin around your eyes. For another wrinkle buster for the eyes, soak two cotton pads in orange juice and lay one pad on each eye. Relax for about ten minutes. Orange juice tones and tightens skin to make fine lines and wrinkles disappear. It can also be used in wrinkle-fighting mask: beat one egg white together with two teaspoons of orange juice, one-half teaspoon of lemon juice and a few drops of sweet almond oil. Mix these ingredients thoroughly and apply to your face. Let it dry for thirty minutes and then rinse.

Undoubtedly one of the cheapest and best ways to prevent wrinkles is through your diet.Make sure your daily meals are full of antioxidants and vitamins(especially Vit A-E) to assist your skin in fighting off free radicals and loss of elasticity.

Gout: No Need to Ever Suffer in Silence or Use Potentially Harmful Drugs!

As a sufferer of gout I am all too aware of the problems. When Gout attacks it can come during the night so you have no warning until you wake up in great pain and you can’t even leave a sheet covering your foot!

So what is gout?

Gout is a form of arthritis that affects the joints. A disturbance in protein metabolism in which production of uric acid is increased, resulting in crystals of uric acid being deposited around the joints. In many people it affects the big toe. Uric acid is a break down product of nucelic acid and found in all cells in the body.

If left untreated gout can cause severe disfiguration as seen in the photo above. Fortunately we have ways to control gout. Strong anti inflammatory pills can help control the severe pain of gout. And we have medication like Allopurinol that can lessen the amount of uric acid your body produces, and therefore makes gout attacks less likely, although when you first start taking medication, you may suffer more attacks initially.

The problem is, medication MAY cause side effects. Some side effects can be serious. Dr’s in today’s world are far too eager to hand out prescriptions for drugs. That’s my opinion. The thing is, it is far easier to do this than to sit down with each patient and explain what they need to change with their diets. Dr’s in big cities especially are over worked and have too little time allocated to each patient. Add this to the fact that when they train, Dr’s spend very little time being taught about real nutrition. Its all about what medication (pharma drugs) treat what condition. This makes little sense.

The old saying “you are what you eat” holds true. The foods we put into our body effect every single cell we are made of. There are reports of people taking gout medication for many years being more susceptible to heart problems, muscle loss and more. I think these are unacceptable for most people, when some simple diet and lifestyle changes can prevent the need for this.

For acute attacks, pain relief is needed ASAP and if I were to have a full blown attack I would still reach for the indometicin. These affect me in negative ways but after weighing up the pro’s and cons, the side effects are worth it. I hope however never to have another attack! Below are some ideas for you to try to keep gout attacks at bay. I was told to start taking 300mg of allopurinol every day for the rest of my life, which I have not done and I believe some of the things below have helped me stay away from these.

WATER – I drink lots and lots of water. Distilled, fresh spring. Toxic free if you can, but water is a must. The last two attacks of gout I suffered were after I was sick with some form of bug / food poisoning and could not eat or drink for a couple of days. The more water you drink the more you pee and the more likely you are to excrete uric acid. I believe drinking two to three litres a day is a must.

JUICING – I try to Juice every day. I started juicing for other reasons but I noticed that a pleasant side effect was that pain in my big toe joint disappeared, and stayed away even though I eat allot of the high purine foods that I should not. I also drink more beer than I should! Try to juice fresh organic fruits and veg. The base of most of my juices are cucumber, celery and carrots. I juice a whole cucumber, a whole bunch of celery and 4 or 5 carrots normally post work out.

FISH OILS – I used to think fish oils tablets were THE reason that my gout was staying away at one point. Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti inflammatory effect in the body. I feel that fish oils are the easiest way to get good quality Omega 3 fats. Flax can be good too but I have read too many articles that say allot of flaxseed products are rancid before they reach the buyer. I will look into this in more detail at some point, but for now I stick mostly with fish oils.

VITAMIN C – There have been a few studies that have shown that 500mg to 1000mg and more per day may lower gout attacks by 45% in men. If you are going to take 1000mg + per day I have to tell you to talk this over with your GP. Men suffer with gout more than women. Vit C helps prevent gout by assisting the body in excreting Uric acid so that it doesn’t build up to high levels in the blood. It is also though that Vitamin C has an anti inflammatory effect.

FOLIC ACID- It is thought that folic acid will neutralize an enzyme called xanthine oxidase. This encourages the production of uric acid in the body. If that enzyme is blocked to any degree, it might halt some of the excess uric acid from being produced and stored within your body. Of course, with less uric acid comes less pain, and less frequent gout flare-ups

PANTOTHEINC ACID – VIT B5 – 500 mg of pantothenic acid (B5) in divided doses to assist the body’s conversion of uric acid into harmless compounds.

CELERY SEEDS – These seeds are quite effective in relieving gout by eliminating uric acid from the body. According to James Duke, Ph.D., a medical botanist formerly with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, celery seeds contain about twenty different anti-inflammatory agents.

BROMELAIN – 500 mg twice daily acts as an anti-inflammatory.

DARK CHERRY – I have used this only during an attack along with other remedies so I’m not sure how well this works exactly but there is some good info about it online. Doctors and scientists believe that the anthocyanins contained in cherries are what causes a decrease in blood urates and what makes cherry juice a good gout relief. Now there are lots more ideas on web sites, I’ll put a couple of links below but the ideas above are ones I have used. I think drinking plenty of water, taking Vitamin C, fish oil tablets regularly and juicing are most beneficial. You may find only one things works well for you or a combination of things but be prepared to give it a go. At least all of the items above have other positive effect within the body when consumed where as prescription medication can cause severe harm.

Whilst writing this article I felt the pang of pain in my joint on my right foot. I laughed at the irony and then upped my Vitamin C intake throughout the day and my water. A day later on the Thursday it was a little worse and I found myself limping a little when I had my work shoes on, on the friday I put some soft shoes that i have on and I was fine. Friday night I let my girlfriend talk me in to using a foot spar in the evening, after I had been to the gym and used the leg press machine (stupid idea don’t try this) and by night time i thought I had a full blown attack. I had to leave my foot elevated on a pillow all night and out of the bed sheets.

By this time I had a couple of anti inflammatory pills, I don’t like to take them but some times you have to. Now Friday before bed I took 5 Serrapeptase tablets. Saturday morning i was struggling a little with walking but not too bad with the soft shoes on. Later I was supposed to be going out for a birthday drink / meal.

Now, I have been playing about with some concoctions and I finished off a two week old batch of a drink I had made. Before I went out Saturday night at 7pm, I had actually ‘felt’ my foot get batter! I was like a miracle. I walked to the pub where we were meeting, I was originally going to get a cab as even Saturday morning, the 20 minute walk seemed far too much. My foot seemed amazingly better.

In my humble opinion this is what people should try the following things when an attack hits –

Serrapeptase, Fish Oils, Vitamin C, lots of water, and My pineapple mixture that I actually stole from Mr Pantalleresco. See his video on the fermented papaya link on my site which is listed in the resource box. Watch the Papaya video and simply swap the papaya for pineapple. I believe this drink will help you out LOADS!!!

How to Start Eating Healthy

Start Eating Healthy

To be able to eat healthy, you need to understand what the body needs to stay healthy and functional. Your body needs food for three main reasons. Firstly as fuel, to keep us warm and supply the energy we need to stay alive and to move about and work. Secondly, food supplies the necessary materials for growth and to repair worn tissues. Thirdly we need vitamins, minerals and other substances that are necessary for the chemical processes that take place inside our bodies.

The energy supplied by food is measured as kilojoules. Two-thirds of this energy is used to maintain our normal body temperature, the normal tone of our muscles and to keep our heart and other vital organs functional and healthy. Even when we stay in bed all day we will still need about two-thirds of our normal food intake to maintain our metabolic systems. Normal activities such as getting dressed, eating, walking, working and playing requires about 3350 kilojoules. A housewife uses about 9200 kilojoules to perform her basic household tasks.

The harder we work and the more we move about the more kilojoules we use up. Whatever kilojoules we use up in our daily activities, is supplied by food, but if we consume more kilojoules / food than the body needs you will gain mass. The aim of Eating Healthy is to get the balance right.

If you are NOT currently eating healthy, it can be difficult to start such a plan. IF you truly want to live the best lifestyle possible, then it is important for you to follow these tips to start eating more healthy. Firstly, rid your home of all foods that do not fall into the healthy categories. Keep junk foods and beverages out of your house, so that you will not be tempted. Keep healthy snacks like carrot sticks, yogurt, fresh fruit, or whole-wheat crackers on hand. In case you cannot bear to toss out the sweets, try keeping something on hand, like chocolate chips. Eating a few of these won’t ruin your diet but also will give you that little sugary fix you rave.

Secondly, take a few moments to learn about what foods are the healthiest for you and how they work in the body. Most people understand what fruits, vegetables, and low-fat means and that dairy products are good for you, but few people understand why.

What Does Vitamins and Nutrients Mean?

Vitamins and Nutrients nourishes the body. They consist of micro- and macro-nutrients which is essential for good health and is consumed in small amounts. These are absorbed by the body unchanged and have catalytic functions. Vitamins are classified as fat-soluble (A, D, E and K) or water-soluble (B and C). The former and vit. B12 tend to be stored in the body. Many elements present in food are essential for health such as calcium, phosphorus and potassium. Others termed trace-elements are iron, zinc and iodine.

Carbohydrates, fats and proteins are macro-nutrients and when digested turns into glucose, fatty acids, peptides and amino acids. Macro-nutrients are interchangeable sources of energy. If sufficient non-protein calories are not available, the body cannot produce proteins for tissue maintenance. Tissue replacements and growth does not occur and considerable more dietary proteins is required for positive nitrogen balance. The polyunsaturated fatty acids are termed essential fatty acids (EFA) and must be included in your diet. The EFA and B6 is crucial in the functions of the metabolism.

Fiber mainly a complex mixture of indigestible carbohydrate material is a natural and much neglected component of the normal diet. Fiber components act in various ways for instance, prevention of constipation. Many intestinal diseases ie: colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, obesity, varicose veins and hemorrhoids are associated with the lack of fiber in the diet. Fruit and vegetables rich in pectins reduce plasma cholesterol by enhancing hepatic cholesterol, to bile acids and reduces the forming of gallstones. Fiber is the most important part of any diet.

Five Basic Groups of Nutrients

The key is learning about nutrients. When you understand how specific nutrients work in the body, you will be more likely to make healthy choices.

No single food is essential to our diet. What is important is to eat a variety of foods, there are five basic groups:

Proteins for building up the body. Throughout life there is a continuous breakdown and loss of body tissues. If a person does not get enough protein to make up for this loss, some of the less vital protein tissues in the body, such as muscles are broken down to maintain vital organs like the heart and kidneys. Illnesses cause a considerable loss of protein like infections, burns, broken bones and the stress after surgery.

Carbohydrates provide energy. Carbohydrates is a collective term for sugars, starches and cellulose. Most sugars are eaten in the form of sweets, jams, biscuits, cakes and drinks. A small amount is from fruit. Starches are found in potatoes, rice, pastas, wheat and maize. When we eat starches it gets broken down to glucose which is absorbed into the blood stream as a form of sugar. Cellulose is not a source of energy but it is needed in the diet, because of it’s major source of fibre or roughage. It stays undigested in the intestines to promote regular bowel movements.

Fats provide energy and flavour. Fat is contained in milk products like cheese, cream, butter and meat (visible around tjops or hidden in the fibres), fatty fish like pilchards, kabeljou and eggs. Fats have several roles in the diet directly because of its nutritional value and indirectly in improving foods and making them easier to chew and swallow. Vitamins like A,D,E and K are found in these fatty foods and following a low fat diet you need to supplement these shortfalls. Fats are very important because of the energy it provides, it is twice as much as carbohydrates or protein. Fatty foods remain longer in the stomach than low-fat foods, so they provide a greater feeling of fullness.

Natural or Organic?

The term “Health Foods” include natural and organic grown fruit and vegetables, various pills and herbs. Some of these foods are nutritionally good and some such as herbs and ginseng are unproven. The term “Health Food” is very misleading since it implies that all other foods are unhealthy.

Vegetarianism: There is nothing nutritionally wrong with being a vegetarian, in fact most nutritionist recommend this type of diet because it is high in diet fibre, low in fats, more fruit and vegetables. Many vegetarians eat eggs and drink milk, on the other hand some don’t use animal products at all and are as far as known very healthy.

Whole Foods: Whole foods are better than refined foods. This means that wholewheat bread and flour are healthier than white bread and flour. Choosing unrefined rice and maize rather than refined. Brown sugar is very little different from white sugar.

Organic Grown Foods: Most farmers and gardeners fertilize their soil with sulfate of ammonia, potash and phosphate ect. They also add manure and compost as much as they can find. Advocates of organic farming claims that the use of chemicals is artificial and that foods that are grown naturally are more superior. In fact there is no difference between them. Organic farmers avoid the use of chemicals, weed killers and pesticides. A few tasting trials that were carried out, could not distinguish which are organically grown and inorganically fertilized foods. Nutritionally they are the same.

Sea salt: Most salt comes from underground mines and is highly purified. It usually have some magnesium carbonate (a harmless mineral salt) added to make it flow freely. Sea salt contains natural Iodine.

Honey: Honey is simply sugar and water with very small traces of several vitamins and mineral salts. The food value of a teaspoon of honey is the same as a ¾ teaspoon of ordinary table sugar.

Cider Vinegar, Kelp, “Live” Yogurt and Ginseng: Cider vinegar is made of re-fermented cider, meaning, it is made in a similar way as wine vinegar. Nutritionally it provides a few calories and nothing else.

Kelp is a seaweed and a source of iodine which is an essential nutrient with a few mineral salts of lessor importance. It has no special food value.

“Live” Yogurt contains the bacteria which turned the milk into yogurt, whereas ordinary yogurt has usually the bacteria killed by pasteurisation. If it was made of full cream milk instead of skim milk powder, it would have tasted better and of nutritional value, not because of the bacteria that are still alive. The bacteria do not survive inside the human intestines and do not provide any benefits.

Ginseng is the root of a bush that grows in China and Korea. A vast range of magical properties is attributed to it, again no evidence or truth that it works has ever been found.

Balanced Vitamins: Most health shops sell tablets of balanced vitamins that have been extracted from wheat, yeast or liver instead of being synthesised in a factory. They were balanced so far as the wheat plant or the yeast or the animal’s liver were concerned BUT they are not balanced for Human needs. Wheat contains very little B2. Vit B1 in yeast extract steadily falls while it sits on the shelf. The B vitamins in the liver extract will depend on how the animal was fed.

Herbs: Herbs have a mystical appeal since they were used as medicines for centuries. Some of them have no effect, some contains poison like Comfrey and Rhubarb and some contain small amounts of drugs like Fennel. Some modern medicines are extracted from herbs, quinine was originally extracted from tree bark. Pleasant drinks can be made from some herbs, leaves and petals but they have no beneficial effects.

Healthy Eating at a Restaurant: Is it Possible?

If you and your family love to eat out, you may think that this lifestyle is not good for a healthy diet. In many cases, you would be correct. You can still enjoy eating out at restaurants and maintain your healthy diet. It’s all about making good food choices, which starts with learning about the nutritional value of the food you eat and what your body needs to stay physically healthy, mentally stable, and active.

When you pick up the menu, start by skipping over the alcoholic drinks section. Although you may be tempted to enjoy a beer or mixed beverage with your dinner, these usually have many “bad” calories, which is not good for your body. The exception to this rule is when it comes to wine, especially red wine, which can be fine if you have a single glass.

Skip the appetizer menu, unless it’s a salad. The appetizers at restaurants are usually high-fat foods that are not meant to fill you up and can in fact make you crave for more. Examples of these are mozzarella sticks, potato skins, and chicken wings. Simply focus on the main course or if you must indulge, share a single serving with someone at your table.

Choosing the main dish is very important. Look at the ingredients of the dish. Anything with cream sauces or high-fat meats should be avoided and pass the potatoes and onion rings. Instead order side dishes like green salad and vegetables or ask for just the main course when possible.

Remember that portions is everything. Try to order from the lunch menu whenever you can, and ask for a doggie-bag right away. Split your meal in half from the start, so that you are not tempted to eat the entire plate, which is usually enough for two or three portions.

SKIP the desert menu, just like you did with the appetizers. If you have to have desert share or split your portion in half. Many fancy desserts at restaurants have more calories than your entire meal, so keep this in mind before you flag down the waitress to put in an order! Of course, on special occasions, it’s alright to cheat a little, but overall healthy eating requires lots of resisting temptations around you.

Healthy Eating While Traveling

Sticking to healthy foods while traveling can be one of the most difficult things to do in your life. If you learn how to make smart choices, then healthy eating is really not that difficult. This is probably not the best time to start a healthy eating program, but if you are currently making healthy choices in your foods already, modifying your diet slightly to accommodate travel is not as it first may seem.

When you are traveling by airplane, you may have to eat airplane food which can often be of poor quality, depending on the selection. When you book your flight, ask about your food options and ask if a vegetarian dish is available. Vegetarian dishes are sometimes more nutritional in this case, but it really depends on what they will be serving. If you can eat a larger meal before your flight, you don’t have to eat the meal that is served.

When driving or taking a bus, you may be tempted to stop at fast food restaurants. Avoid this whenever possible! If you’re on vacation, you may wish to splurge a tiny bit, but having fast foods more than once during a week can really be bad for you. If you must, choose the healthiest options available chicken breasts and diet soda is good choices.

Remember that you can take your own food when traveling. Carrying a loaf of whole-wheat bread or pita wraps, some lean lunch meat, and low-fat cheese in a cooler is a great way to avoid high-fat and high-cholesterol junk food meals. These are much better choices and you’ll save a lot of money as well. Call ahead to ask if there will be a refrigerator in your hotel room.

Lastly, make smart choices when you eat out. If you choose salads or pasta get the dressing on the side and ask about low-carb options. In fact, many places print these options directly in the menu for the health conscious people. Control your portions by ordering lunch menu sizes or splitting the meal in half and don’t forget to get a doggie bag. You’ll be well on your way to healthy eating, even away from home.

Yes, eating healthy foods when you travel can be a challenge. Your health is worth it. When you eat good foods, you will also fight off illnesses that you are likely to encounter when traveling and you will be more alert so that you can enjoy your trip.

Healthy Eating and Peer Pressure

Whether you are on a diet or simply enjoying a healthy lifestyle, you probably know that peer pressure to eat foods that are not good for you, is a major part of your life. If you are concerned about the food that goes into your stomach, don’t worry, there are ways to overcome peer pressure. It simply takes a little know-how to get people off your back!

Parties are a major source of peer pressure, especially with alcohol. Alcohol contains hundreds of calories in just one drink take beer for an example: “one beer equals a loaf of bread” so when you go to a party, people might be pressuring you to have a drink and relax. It can be difficult to say no when they are constantly trying to convince you. Offer to go with to a bar instead. That way, you become the designated driver, they won’t want you to drink and drive, in fact, they will not pressurise you to drink. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Other times when you may feel under pressure to eat, is at work, when the boss orders lunch for everyone at a meeting or when you have to visit a client. Instead of giving in to temptation, simply politely decline the food by letting your boss know in advance or order a meal that is healthy and split the portion in half so you have a meal for tomorrow’s lunch as well.

Baby showers, weddings, birthday parties, and other special events can also wreak havoc on your diet, even if you are good at resisting temptation on your own. When someone hands you a piece of cake and won’t take no for an answer, it can be difficult to know what to say! Here a little white lie might be appropriate. For instance, say that your stomach was upset earlier in the day, will convince a person that you don’t want to eat at the moment or pretending to have a chocolate allergy, will get people to allow you to enjoy the party without a hassle surrounding food.

Refusing bad foods is fine, you should be eating good foods.

If you do not change your eating habits, disorders can develop, which will give your family, friends and doctor a real reason to be worried about your health. It’s ok to say no to peer pressure, but don’t say no to food in general!