Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Nuts and Seeds in Your Diet

Nuts and Seeds in Your Diet
By Mark Snare

Nuts and seeds are rammed full of dietary essentials and easy to add into your diet, they can be hard to digest so mill them in the blender or grind them up in your single auger juicer to help your body get the best from them. Milling or grinding will break the seed or nut down a little and make them easier for your body to digest. Nuts contain protein, fiber, vitamin E and a good selection of minerals. They are potent and calorie rich though so you only need a few.

Nutty butters: some juicers excel at making nut butters, the single auger machines are the best for this, they double up as pestle and mortar style homogenizing machines that allow you to make pastes, nut butters, baby foods and other goodies.

Nutty hint: common sense this one but always buy non salted nuts, salt is everywhere in our diets, you don't need to add any salt in the form of salty nuts, that's for sure! Also salt makes things very moreish, so you'll find it hard to stop eating them!

Nuts and seeds go great in smoothies and mill into dust in a decent blender. Mill them up before you put the fruit and vegetable ingredients in so they are ultra easy for your body to use. This is a super way of introducing vegetable protein to your diet as well as essential fatty acids, my favored seeds are Hemp or Flax seed.

Nutty warning when you make a smoothie for someone, make sure the do not have a nut allergy! Take extra care when making drinks for children as they may be completely unaware of their allergies and intolerance.

Nut storage nuts are easy to store, you just need some screw top or lever seal containers, like any food they do need to be in air tight containers! They will then last 2-6 months quite easily, put a few grains of rice in with them to absorb moisture.


Seeds again are natural powerhouses of nutrition we like linseeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp, sesame seeds and pine nuts which are the seed of the pine tree, expensive I know but great tasting and a fine source of vitamin E. We think the reason they are expensive is the cost of extracting them from such a spiky tree!

Apple pips are not good to eat, make sure you core or quarter the apple and remove the pips from them!

Seed sense! Seeds are potent, you only need a few regularly, and buy them hulled and keep them in sealed containers, flax seed oil is a good source of essential fatty acids.

Well I hope you found that useful and it helps you in some way, the importance of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is clear to see and we thing juicing has it part! We think juicing and smoothie making is one of the best ways of getting a healthy diet and remember that nutrients can be fragile so keep it raw!

Mark makes a lot of fresh juicer and blender drinks and tries to be as healthy as he can be

For more ideas on juicer and blender recipes and healthy foods have a look at our information archive

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Popular Ideas For Wedding Party Gifts

Popular Ideas For Wedding Party Gifts

A good bridesmaid can be an absolute lifesaver during the planning stages of a wedding. She helps make decisions, keeps track of the budget, and holds your hand when you become overwhelmed. There is no simple way to express everything that she means to you. The token gift that you give her as an expression of appreciation should show her how special she is to you, and that you realize how much she has done for you.

There are many different choices for bridesmaid’s gifts, and your decision will be based on your budget, how close you are to the bridesmaids, and personal taste.

Budget: Nothing that has to do with a wedding is inexpensive. With all the must haves, including flowers, reception hall rentals, and food, it is easy to leave off the smaller things like bridesmaids gifts until the last minute. By that time, you budget is even tighter, and you may also have less time to make a choice. To get the best gift for your money, start thinking early about what you would like to give your bridesmaids.

Relationships: If you are very close to your bridesmaids and it is a small group, you may want to spend a little more than if you have a larger group of more casual friends. Of course, if you have family members as a part of the wedding party, you are intimately familiar with them; there is no reason to go overboard with the gifts to the bridal party because one member is a sister. You can present her with the same gift as the rest of your bridal party, and, if you want, give her a special remembrance later, in private.

Personal Taste: Your personal taste should definitely be considered when choosing a gift for the wedding party. If the wedding is a casual, on the beach affair, beach towels, personalized tank tops or even bikinis make great gifts. If the wedding is a formal, evening event, a delicate necklace or bracelet makes a special gift.

Regardless of what you choose to give your wedding party, remember that, while it is an honor to serve in a wedding party, they are also doing you a favor, often at no small cost, to be a part of your wedding party. If you are hosting a high budget affair, the bridal party should not be gifted with trinkets. However, if you are hosting a small, casual affair, most members of your bridal party will understand and not expect jewelry or other expensive gifts. One rule of thumb is to choose something that people will use; then you are not just throwing your money away on nothing.

So, what are some popular gifts for bridesmaids? Personalized tanks and tees are a fun option. Many brides give members of their wedding party tote bags and small coolers, particularly if they are hosting a destination wedding. Because weddings and photographs always go together, consider a digital photograph key chain as a unique gift. Cosmetic bags, zipper pulls and memory or jewelry boxes are also popular choices.

If you want to play up the girl power aspect of your bridal party, consider a gift of nail polish, a sterling silver heart shaped compact or lip gloss. If you have been a little high maintenance in your demands, you may want to acknowledge the fact, and gift your bridesmaids with bath soaking salts, body scrubs or other spa gifts.

Jewelry is always appreciated, if it fits in the budget. Earrings, necklaces and even belly button rings make a nice, and sometimes unexpected, gift for your best girl friends. Charm bracelets can be added to as new events happen in your lives: more weddings, babies, anniversaries…the charms can be a way to symbolize and maintain your close bonds as you grow.

When you are shopping for gifts for the members of your bridal party it is important to consider that they have spent a good deal of time and money to help make your day special. Although none of us like to think that we make unreasonable demands or are difficult to get along with, the fact of the matter is, weddings are stressful. Although it will be worth it to you when it is over, your bridesmaids get nothing out of the experience but the sight of you being happy on your perfect day. Take the time to choose a nice gift for each of the people that you have asked to be a part of the bridal party.

By: Arianna Jordan

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Arianna Jordan writes about topics pertaining to weddings and other family events. Ms. Jordan offers suggestions for ways to make an event standout such as offering interesting wedding gifts.

Mortgage Rates Prediction

Mortgage Rates Prediction
By Mark Bennett

Mortgage rates predictions can't be trusted - at least, not completely - in this current uncertain economic environment. When life moved a slower pace, and when mortgages were less widespread, movements in mortgage interest rates predictions were much less significant than they are today.

Mortgage rate predictions depended simply on the interaction of the amount banks had to lend, and the number of prospective borrowers competing for the funds. There were many limitations on the supply of capital for mortgage lending in those times. Borrowers would save a sizeable deposit, or down payment, to demonstrate their ability to budget and save, before daring to apply for mortgage finance. At the end of the day, these limitations created a more stable environment for making mortgage rate predictions.

Over the past few decades, thinking has shifted radically, and so have mortgage interest rates predictions. A culture of owning a home with "nothing down" or very little equity has become the norm. A systemic increase of risk like this will inevitably impact on interest rates predictions.

Worse than that, when you feed ever-increasingly risky practices into a financial system, you make it increasingly likely that one new shock will bring the whole system down. No economy grows forever without the occasional correction, and it is naive to think that such a thing would ever occur - we must expect bad times every so often. As the economy slows and credit contracts, the mortgage interest rates wolf will be at the door, and in this case it is a particularly large wolf indeed!

It is the people who currently have a mortgage who stand to gain most from mortgage rate predictions. For many people, mortgage interest rate predictions are for lower rates than their current 30-year mortgage. If mortgage rates are lower than your current 30-year mortgage rate, then you should talk to a mortgage broker about refinancing.

Don't be dismayed by the dire reports on TV. Refinancing your mortgage at today's low interest rates, and fixing your repayments for 30 years, could be the smartest financial move you have ever made. If you have a higher mortgage payment than you need to have, you are just throwing money away. Make the temporary low interest rates into a permanent benefit by refinancing now. We have never seen such a level of political involvement in financial market decisions, and as a result we now have a rare golden opportunity to lock in a lifetime of benefit.

Mortgage rates predictions are always subject to variables beyond our control. Today's global economic crisis and the associated worldwide political involvement in money markets has made mortgage rate predictions even less of a sure thing. While this may be so, you can be sure of one thing. You won't see mortgage rates this low again for a long time. It is hard to imagine an easier way to reduce your mortgage repayments than refinancing at a lower rate of interest. If you are currently meeting your mortgage payments, this is a rare and valuable opportunity to reduce them dramatically.

Today's Mortgage Rates
Mortgage Rates Predictions
Mark Bennett is a staff writer for, and contributes regularly to other financial sites

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The (Aging) Parent Trap

The (Aging) Parent Trap
By H. Les Brown

"Nothing's certain but death and taxes," they say. I have to ask, "What's so certain about death and taxes?" The only certitude that we really have is that stuff will happen: some of it enjoyable, some of it painful, some of it avoidable, most of it not. There's an aspect of midlife that becomes painfully obvious once you've entered into it: people you know . . . and people you love . . . begin to fall ill and die. The stuff that happens in life in life remains incredibly unpredictable, and yet, just as a matter of statistics, the longer you live, the more painful experiences you'll have around those you know and/or love.

If you're on good terms with your parents, and if you're blessed with having them with you as you go through the midlife transition, you'll begin to experience that well-known role-reversal as they become less able to care for themselves adequately and you become more capable of becoming a care-giver. Even if your parents retain their strength, acuity, and vitality as they age, eventually their decreasing independence and your increasing capacity for responsibility will necessarily intersect. Under those circumstances - which are the very best you can hope for - you will be called upon to become a care-giver. At very least, your sense of vigilance toward them will be heightened: like your children, you know that they need their independence, yet you feel responsible for keeping them safe at the same time.

I'll be eternally grateful for the experience I had with my own parents. My dad lived to be 87, my mom lived until she was 84. They died eight months apart. They were incredibly active, sharp and independent right up until the end, each of them was sick for only about six weeks, and, during that time, they experienced a minimum of discomfort. They both passed away with their family around them. If I were to have designed ideal circumstances for the closing chapter of people's lives, I couldn't have imagined a more ideal situation. And yet, even under such circumstances, still today I can't explain to anyone else, who hasn't experienced the loss of both parents, the overwhelming impact that it had on me. Try as you might, nothing can really prepare you for it. There comes a moment (at least it did for me) where you suddenly realize what it feels like to be an orphan. Regardless of how old you are, there's nothing quite like that sense of being left alone entirely on your own for the first time.

I'm well aware how easy my family and I had it with our parents. Few people have to deal with so few complications as we did. On one hand, there are all the problems that seem to drop at random into people's lives: accidents, serious illness, genetic predispositions to chronic conditions (like Alzheimer's disease). As the safety net little by little dissolves under the corrosive influence of adverse economic pressures, the tremendous burdens involved with providing the kind of care our parents deserve revert back to where it used to lie: on the immediate (and extended) family. Only today, the extraordinary fiscal and social pressures on that family in most cases make it practically impossible for people to provide the kind of quality personal care and attention that their parents deserve. We no longer have an agrarian society where the family together looks out for one another; and we no longer have a social situation where having a stay-at-home caretaker is the rule.

On the other hand, while your parents need and deserve their independence, those who will someday (soon?) become their caretakers are in no position to dictate their choices for them. Even when you know that you'll eventually bear the brunt of poor decisions (involving health care or finances in particular), your opportunities for influencing their decision-making process remain severely limited. You may realize that, at a certain point, the optimal approach to maintaining financial stability for the elderly involves transferring as much property as possible out of their control as early as practicable, convincing your parents to let other members of the family control their finances may be just plain impossible. The same could be said for decisions regarding their health care and living conditions. Although the stresses on aging parents elicit a lot of sympathy, there's a lot less attention paid to the stresses on you folks going through midlife. For many - if not most - people, this can be a thankless or even impossible task.

Although there are a number of practical things that you can do to prepare yourself and your family for the responsibilities that will, sooner or later fall to you (assuming that you haven't yet passed through that phase of your life): the most important (and, perhaps the most effective) of these approaches will be actually sitting down and talking with your parents and the other members of your family on an on-going basis. These are difficult conversations, and no one enjoys taking on themselves the responsibility of broaching these subjects. However, the earlier and more often you're able to do this, the more manageable the situation will be later on. Whether or not there are practical solutions to the problems posed (and faced) by aging parents, the more communication there is around these topics (with whomever is willing to listen), the more awareness there will be, and the less aggravation you'll experience from an already difficult situation.

Providing care for aging parents will necessarily involve making some very difficult choices. The earlier and more openly you're able to face those choices, the more choices there will be. Ignoring the situation, hoping it'll go away solves nothing, because, sooner or later, these issues will land in your lap and you will have to make decisions based on your sense of love and obligation as a child as well as on the options that you've provided for yourself. You can't avoid the midlife stresses that aging parents will inevitably present; but you don't have to fall into the aging parent trap. You can have choices if you'll only face the issues openly and thoughtfully.

H. Les Brown, MA, CFCC
ProActivation® Coaching

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Copyright © 2008 H. Les Brown

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Twitter For Real Estate Professionals: What's All The Tweeting About

Twitter For Real Estate Professionals: What's All The Tweeting About

Tech savvy real estate agents understand the importance of using the Internet's global reach to their advantage. They build informative websites that are optimized for search engines, they blog regularly, and have started to create profiles on various social networking sites like ActiveRain and Squidoo.

A relatively recent addition to the social networking sphere is Twitter, a place where you have only 140 characters to write something about your day, ask a question, or link to an article or website of interest. Some consider Twitter to be a place where users "micro-blog," while others see it as more of a chat room with thousands of users 'chatting' all at once.

The original premise of Twitter was to provide a venue for people to post short, simple status updates; to answer the question: What are you doing? Users share stories about their pets, upcoming appointments, their moods, and much more. You can follow the adventures of other users, and accumulate followers of your own. You can direct questions and answers to specific people, or send out calls to everyone all at once.

The appeal of this type of technology baffles many real estate agents who've never used the service, but those who have stuck with Twitter see the benefits of this new type of networking.

Rather than trying to see Twitter as a revenue producer, it's important to understand that Twitter is first and foremost a networking tool. Don't be overtly promotional in your posts (known as "tweets"). If self promotion is your primary M.O., you'll quickly lose followers. Users aren't interested in being bombarded with spammy posts, so if you want to use the site to advertise your services, be very subtle and make sure that your personal posts far outnumbers the more professional ones.

While it may seem counterproductive to be laid back when you're trying to promote your real estate business, you have to keep in mind the intention of social networking sites. They are meant for people to connect with others who share similar interests, or who live in the same community. The mood is casual and definitely more personal than your business website. Grammar and spelling rules are relaxed, and you can talk about the pizza you ate last night or the rotten movie you just watched. People following you will find your posts interesting because you're being authentic.

The more people that get to know you and like you, the more opportunity you have to gain clients in the future. It's the same as expanding your circle of contacts in the real world, and it can be invaluable for your business in the long run.

The idea of social networking being effective over the long term is critical to understand. Unless you are very lucky, you probably won't gain any new clients right away, but you're building a solid foundation of online friendships that may develop into business relationships.

In addition to being a vehicle for finding potential clients, Twitter is also a great venue for networking with other agents. You can share tips, ask questions, and refer clients to agents outside of your service area. Other agents will do the same for you. Building relationships with other real estate agents can be educational and emotionally satisfying, as they can relate to the stresses you encounter on a daily basis.

Twitter is free and it only takes a moment to create an account. Search your area for people with accounts, or see if anyone you already know has an account. You can start to follow their tweets and engage people in conversation. Soon you'll have followers too, and you'll begin to appreciate the possibilities that this kind of networking can offer. Be open-minded and creative, and soon you'll see how you can make Twitter work for you and your realty business.

By: Karrie Rose

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A Deceiving Cover - Great Black Cod (chilean sea bass)

A Deceiving Cover - Great Black Cod

By Allie Moxley

There is a huge variety of fish in the world but a lot of times people are hesitant to try something new. Fish can be a difficult thing to prepare due to how quickly it cooks and the risk you run of drying it out too much. Luckily there is fish like black cod that have a higher fat content so the margin for error is, thankfully, a little more forgiving. Learning how to cook black cod does not have to be a stressful experience since there is a very large chance that the dish will come out perfectly delicious.

If someone were to suggest a meal featuring black cod and you had never crossed paths with the fish previously, you would probably not be biting at the bit to try some. Black cod is also known by more neutral names like sablefish or butterfish. While black cod might not sound appetizing, it most definitely is. The fish is found only in the North Pacific and resides in extremely deep waters, sometimes up to a mile beneath the surface. There is a solid population of black cod so they are a sustainable source of food and a good alternative to the endangered Chilean sea bass. The taste and color of black cod is comparable to that of the Chilean sea bass so it is much more environmentally sound to go with the cod. The fat content also makes it a forgiving fish when someone is just learning how to cook black cod.

The fat on the fish also makes it a great choice for smoking. It is important to remove the large pin bones that are in the body if that was not already done before you bought the fish. This can be done rather easily with needle-nosed pliers. The soft white flesh of the fish contrasts starkly with the dark black skin that inspires the name, and along with great flavor this meat is an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. Black cod can be prepared in a variety of ways and is a great addition to a diet that seeks to remain on the healthier side of life. It is important to try a range of recipes when attempting to learn how to cook black cod.

One great and extremely simply recipe is for baked black cod with spinach and tomatoes. This low fat recipe only calls for a six ounce bag of baby spinach, four black cod fillets, fresh ground pepper, a 14.5 ounce can of crushed tomatoes, and ½ cup reduced fat shredded cheese. To begin, preheat the oven to 375°F and rinse the baby spinach. Place the spinach at the bottom of a medium sized baking dish and then season the black cod fillets with the ground black pepper. Place the fillets on top of the spinach and pour the can of tomatoes over the fish. Sprinkle the cheese over the entire dish and place it in the oven, allowing it to bake for fifteen to eighteen minutes. This is a delicious and easy way of learning how to cook black cod.

Alaska is home to an abundant variety of seafood, and offers some of the purest marine, freshwater, and upland habitats on the planet

From the clear crystal waters comes seafood that is delicious and healthy. Alaskan seafood is low in fat but big on flavor and Omega-3 oils. You can study thousands of pages of nutritional research. Or, simply observe the amazing health and longevity of people in countries where seafood is the most important part of their diet. Either way, Alaska seafood is as healthy as it is delicious

Are you are looking for a meal that is low in saturated fat, filled with nutrients and packed with good heart healthy Omega-3s oils? Then you should start with Alaska Seafood

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