3 Mishaps To Avoid For A Happy Healthy Holiday

As we stifle a turkey and stuffing flavored burp and hit the treadmill to make up for our over-indulgence this Thanksgiving, and nurse the bumps and bruises we’ve picked up in the unfettered and lamentably violent rugby scrum that is the Black Friday sales, it’s only natural for our thoughts to turn to Christmas. While the festive time is the most wonderful time of the year for many, it still has its seasonal woes and a unique set of risks that we must all sidestep in order to be as happy and healthy as possible over the holidays. As any boy scout knows, the trick to a happy and uneventful holiday season is to be prepared. As such, here we’ll look at some commonly encountered seasonal mishaps and the measures you can put in place to avoid them…

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Don’t see in the new year with a DUI

Christmas is a time traditionally associated with festive indulgence. While for many of us this means throwing the diet books out of the window for a few weeks and enjoying the food that they love as often as they like, unfortunately many of us will be drinking too much this season. It goes without saying that a festive attitude to alcohol and driving home do not mix. Although the kind of criminal defense detailed in the Alpert Schreyer website can protect you from harsh sentencing, these experienced attorneys will be the first to agree that prevention is the best cure. Be sure to abstain if you know that you will be driving or participate in a designated driver scheme with your friends and colleagues.  

Over indulgence needn’t be unhealthy at Christmas

We have gotten into the habit of expecting a little weight gain over the holiday season. While we should absolutely enjoy the food we eat over Christmas this is not to say that we must resign ourselves to an unhealthy Christmas dinner. There are many ways in which we can cut the caloric cost of the food we love without compromising on flavor.

The traditional fare of a stuffed turkey and mountains of veggies is pretty healthy, while non-meat eaters can find a plethora of healthy vegan Christmas recipes. When we limit our intake of saturated fats, sugar and other refined carbohydrates as well as moderating our alcohol intake, we needn’t feel the guilt for our festive binge all the way through March!

Unsafe driving

Most of us will likely be spending a great deal of time on the road over the holidays and so we must ensure that both we and our vehicles are fit for purpose on the road. Take your vehicle into your local shop for a winter inspection and possibly some new winter tires. Make sure that you plan rest breaks when travelling; 15 minutes for every 2 hours at the wheel is recommended. Drink plenty of water to ensure that you’re alert and responsive and try to eschew coffee as it can cause your energy levels to spike and dip erratically throughout your journey.

Be smart and stay safe this holiday season, dear reader!

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Feed the World: How Can We Make More of Our Crops?

Image Credit: ReSplashed

With a growing population of humans, the strain on the land is certainly showing. This means that we need to find new ways to feed ourselves without ruining the environment. In other words, we need to figure out the optimal way to sustain our population long term.

Enter agronomy.

This is the science of figuring out how to produce more food, keep the soil healthy and even develop healthier foods. While you might think that this depends on GM crops, it is actually much more diverse and takes in all kinds of methods such as crop rotation, the best fertilizers and pest control too.

Specialists such as MKC have been working on various agronomy techniques for years and can offer all sorts of valuable advice. You can contact us for more information, but in the meantime, here are a few things you can do yourself to make the most of your land.

Selective Breeding

One of the best ways to produce excellent crops is to select your breeding plants very carefully. Gardeners and farmers have been doing this for hundreds of years and it is quite a simple process. All you need to do is pick your best plants and breed them together, then do the same over and again until you notice the characteristics you are looking for.

If you aren’t comfortable with GM crops, you can use selective pollination to breed the healthiest plants in order to encourage those traits. Over a few generations, you should see some significant differences and be able to produce bigger crops, more resistant crops or even novel, unique crops.

Mixed Cropping

Sometimes when looking for ways to innovate and improve current methods, the past is a good place to look. Planting single crops is a relatively recent idea, but before the industrialization of agriculture, farmers would plant multiple crops in the same field. With the right crops planted together, this can still create the perfect situation for crops to grow. This is called mixed cropping.

Even on a large farm, mixing crops like maize, beans and pumpkins is a great way to improve the way that your crops grow, keeping the soil in good condition and optimizing the yield you get. With the different species of crops, you will also attract different beneficial insects, creating a fabulous biodiversity.

Technological Advances

Though we tend to think of technology as a cause of environmental problems, it is also the best chance we have of understanding the environment and optimizing conditions to improve the situation. In fact, whether you use technology to track changes, control climates or monitor results, you can certainly find a way to put it to good use.

As more and more food is required, it is important that farmers look to every possible way of improving crops and looking after the soil they grow in. Choosing the right crops through selective breeding, planting complementary crops together to create a biodiverse growing area and using technology to track results can all work together to build the future of agricultural practice.

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The Perfect Host: How to Throw Your First Dinner Party

The first time you throw a dinner party, you’re most likely going to ask for a bit of help. It depends on the number of guests, of course, and how complicated you’d like it – if you only invite your closest circle, they’re probably not going to mind it if you mess up a bit. Step it up a notch and host a dinner party for your in-laws, however, and the kitchen seems awfully hot all of a sudden.


Image from: Pexels


Don’t sweat it; here is a handful of the best advice on the dinner menu, drinks, and entertainment, to wow your guests for good.


Preparations: Invitations


Make it as easy on yourself as possible since it’s your first time. Start with inviting the guests you’d like to dazzle – and make sure it’s a group that will get along. A quick phone call is enough, or you can make the event on Facebook if you’re inviting a lot of guests. That way, they get the chance to RSVP, and you can update them all at once if you have a message.


This is also the chance you get to ask about any food allergies and vegetarian preferences. Hopefully, your guests will offer to bring something with during this conversation. Accept it immediately, unless you’re excited about showing off your culinary skills. Besides, an extra side dish or two is hardly going to overshadow your centerpiece cooking.


Preparations: Dinner Menu


Planning the dinner menu is also a part of the preparations, and you’d want to put your cards on the dishes you’ve cooked the most. You might have found inspiration for this party from a particular dish you’ve never cooked before; go ahead and serve it, but make sure you’ve cooked it once or twice before to practice. Half an hour before dinner is no time to realize how easy it is to burn a mushroom risotto.


Focus on dishes you know well and make sure it’s something on the table that everyone can enjoy. Do as much as the preparations in advance as possible, so that you avoid all the chopping and pre-cooking on the day of the party.


Two or three varieties of drinks should be offered to your guests. It’s a good idea to ask people what they like; if most of the group only drinks grain alcohol or standard beer with every meal, there is no point in stocking up on different wines. If you’d like to keep it formal – for the fun of it, try to serve drinks as they should be served according to table etiquette. Here is a comprehensive guide to formal dinner parties if you’re interested.


Hosting: Greeting and Socializing


You’re the one who sets the atmosphere at the party, so prepare to be fun and cheerful. Greet the guests in a casual and relaxed way; it’s nothing wrong with welcoming them in your slippers or even barefoot to put them all at ease.


When you manage to stay stress-free, focus on having fun and socialize with your guests, there’s nothing that can go wrong. Even if a few of the dishes are less than what you hoped or the kitchen is full of smoke, you can just laugh it off and make sure the rest are enjoying themselves.


Good music, drinks, something to eat and a lively host is everything they need to have a good time; you only need to ensure the conversation flows smoothly and that people have what they need. It’s your duty, so to speak, so pour yourself a glass and look forward to a fun evening.

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Fads Driving You Supplemental?

The world of fad diets and hard to understand medical research is growing fast. More and more people are being sucked into methods to lose weight or get fit and healthy which they don’t truly understand. Some of these methods work. But, a lot of them don’t. And, this is a shame. Instead, you should be focusing on the important parts of your diet, not the parts which someone has made up. To help you with this, this post will be going through some of the best ways to ensure that you always have the right balance of nutrients in your body. So, now, you just have to start eating right.


Cod liver oil has long been seen as a superfood. This simple chemical is packed with great benefits, like Omega 3 and vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb minerals like calcium and zinc. Without it, your body will find it hard to function correctly. Usually, you will find this sort of supplement in the form of a capsule. This capsule will contain a small amount of the liquid, enabling you to ingest it without tasting it. Having this in your diet is seen as essential if you want to be healthy. Cod liver oil provides benefits like better eyesight, improved concentration, and more alertness. There are many other sources of vitamin D and there are excellent vitamin D information guides online.


Next, it’s time to think about the bones in your body. A lot of people assume that their bones are unchanging once they have fully grown. But, like the rest of your body, your bones are constantly in need of minor repair. To complete this work, your body needs calcium which is a mineral found in a lot of different products. For example, you find high levels of calcium in both milk and marble, even though they are completely different. If you have a condition like osteoporosis, calcium becomes even more important. In this sort of case, people will usually take supplements to help them get what they need. When choosing something like this, you should look for the risks that come with them. Products like AlgaeCal have had a lot of research done on them. And, you won’t find many AlgaeCal side effects warnings online. But, of course, you should always contact a doctor before you start using something like this. They may be able to provide you with further help. And, they could even help you choose the right product.


The last supplement on this list is any that contain vitamin C. This vitamin is essential to your body’s health and healing. It is used by the body to protect and keep cells healthy. And, it’s used to help you heal wounds. Along with this, vitamin C is responsible for a lot of the functions of your body. Without the right amount of it, people will find themselves with scurvy which is very unpleasant. Foods like oranges, strawberries, and guavas are rich in vitamin C. So, it’s worth munching them down.


Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the supplements you take. It’s important to know exactly what you’re taking. And, it’s pointless to take other supplements if you don’t have the most basic needs under control.

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3 Delicious Vegetarian Recipes That’ll Make Meat Eaters Green With Envy!

It’s easy to assume that all meals should contain some form of meat, pork or poultry. The truth is, there are many delicious vegetarian meals out there. What’s more, they will secretly make many meat eater envious!


With more people becoming flexitarians (only eating meat some of the time), there is a need for good recipe ideas. Of course, there are also some people wishing to convert to vegetarianism as well. So, just what kind of veggie meals are out there that taste great?


You might not think it, but there are hundreds of meal ideas just waiting for you to try them out! Here is a selection of some of the most delicious ones to tempt your taste buds:


Image via Wikimedia Commons


Macaroni Cheese


Let’s face it; you don’t always have to create a culinary masterpiece that takes you a long time to prepare. Nor do you need to make meals with scores of ingredients. There will be times where you just don’t feel like spending lots of time in the kitchen.


Sometimes, you just want something quick and straightforward to prepare. For such occasions, Macaroni Cheese is an ideal choice! Check out http://allrecipes.com/recipe/24321/moms-favorite-baked-mac-and-cheese/ for a recipe that takes just ten minutes to prepare! All you need are a few ingredients, and you can let your oven take care of the rest.

Homemade Veggie Burger with Potato Wedges


Are you someone who enjoys eating the occasional burger? Well, the good news is that you can cook a delicious veggie burger at home.


Sure, it might not have a beef patty. But, it’s just as mouth-watering and a lot healthier too! If you feel like making a diner-style meal, either for yourself or your family, how about some homemade veggie burgers with potato wedges?


You might be wondering what your burger will consist of; after all, you won’t be using any meat. To be honest, there is a variety of recipes out there that use all kinds of ingredients. Take a look here to see a few examples!


Image via Wikimedia Commons


Mushroom, black bean or even Quorn mince burgers are a few examples that you can try. Bear in mind that it does take a lot of prep work to create veggie burgers, but the end results are superb.


Be sure you’ve got the right gear in your kitchen before you begin. For a start, you’ll need to do a lot of chopping, so some sharp, good quality knives are essential. Check out http://www.cutitfine.com/kitchen-knife-set-reviews/ for some knife set ideas. You’ll also need a robust and powerful food processor to mix the ingredients.


When it comes to the potato wedges, simply peel and chop up some potatoes into wedge shapes. You can either fry them or cook them in an oven. If you’re doing the latter, coat them with some oil and paprika if you wish to make them a bit spicy.


Pasta with spinach and pesto


Are you in the mood for something Italian? If so, how about a quick and easy yet scrumptious pasta meal? It only needs just a few ingredients:


  • Fusilli or Penne Pasta;
  • Walnuts and basil leaves;
  • Garlic;
  • Soft cheese; and
  • Spinach.

150 grams of pasta will serve a couple of people. Simply boil the pasta and while that’s happening, use a food processor to blend everything else except the spinach. Once the pasta is boiled, you can drain the water and then stir in the homemade pesto and spinach. Et voila!

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Super-licious Superfoods: What Are They And How Do They Boost Your Health?

The idea of a superfood has been around for a long time now. These are foods that have been discovered to be so powerfully beneficial for the human body that they have gained special status. But many people don’t know which foods are superfoods and which foods aren’t, thanks to the diversity of food on supermarket shelves. Here’s a rundown of which foods actually are superfoods, and how they boost your health.


Sweet Potatoes


Regular potatoes aren’t superfoods, and despite the name, they aren’t actually related to sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are most closely related to spinach and were traditionally eaten in East Asia and in North America.




Sweet potatoes were first theorized to be a superfood back in the 1990s when researchers suddenly discovered that people living on the Japanese island of Okinawa were living a heck of a lot longer than individuals in mainland Japan – or anywhere else for that matter.


They dug into the data and tried to find out what it was that was causing this fascinating longevity in the population, and why people aged 90 were still able to work in the fields as if they were forty years younger.


They soon found out that the locals got more than 70 percent of their calories from their main crop, the sweet potato, and so scientists wondered whether it was protecting them in some way. After a little bit of digging, they found out that sweet potatoes have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties, making them the perfect food for humans wanting to live a long time.




What exactly is wheatgrass? Simply put, it’s the grassy shoots of the wheat seed, Triticum aestivum. Wheat grass is now considered a dietary supplement, but it didn’t enter the Western diet until the 1930s.




Wheatgrass has been hailed by advocates as having numerous health properties, including the ability to get rid of gout, reduce constipation, prevent cancer, and quickly deal with colds, fevers and infections.


Usually, it can’t be bought fresh from the store, so it’s worthing finding out how to grow wheatgrass yourself.




Broccoli, as you probably already know, is packed with nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. But that’s probably not the star of the show when it comes to this flower-like vegetable.




The most important constituent of broccoli, and the thing that makes it a superfood is all the sulforaphane that it contains. It turns out that this little compound is responsible for clearing out our livers and making our skin appear younger and most robust. People who eat broccoli on a regular basis – a couple of servings a week – usually have fewer health problems that those who don’t.


Almond Butter


Almonds and almond butter are all the rage right now, thanks to their mild, marzipan flavor. But there’s a reason to eat almonds besides the tastiness: they also happen to be extremely good for you.




Like most nuts, almonds are great for weight loss. Even though they are calorie-dense, nuts are so filling they actually reduce the overall number of calories people eat in a day. Nuts have also been linked to longevity: vegans who eat nuts live seven years longer than those who don’t.

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Obscure Foods for Your Grill

We all have our favorite go to foods for our grill, the ones that have been with us for years and always delight the family. We also have the staples, those that are always good to have in supply for big BBQ get togethers. People need to be fed, and those ones always ensure that they leave your grilling session fully satisfied.


But then there are the other ones, the ones that don’t get a regular airing on the grill. You might not have thought to grill the foods we’re listed below before, but give it a go – you might be pleasantly surprised. And if you’re not, then no bother – variety is the spice of life and you’ll have had your heat for the day.


Source: Pixabay.com


Animals from Down Under


We all know that Australian’s know what they’re doing when it comes to setting up a barbie’. They’re the masters of it. After all, this is a nation that spends Christmas Day having a BBQ with friends and family! What you maybe didn’t know was that Australian animals can also be cooked on the grill. Think you’ve tried everything? You will be once you try a kangaroo burger, kangaroo fillet, or a crocodile burger. Some people will recoil (remember Skippy?) but those that do give it a go will have stepped outside of their comfort zone and had a meal that is utterly unique.


Straight from the Cow


If I offered you the chance to try a cow’s stomach lining, I wouldn’t hold it against you if you backed away slowly and uninvited me to every BBQ you’ll ever have. But you would be wrong, because tripe meat tastes much better than it sounds. Throw the tripe on a skewer, marinated in butter and sprinkled with breadcrumbs and scorch over high heat. Hurray, you have grilled tripe! We’re sure it’ll become a fixture on your BBQ menu for years to come.


Source: Pixabay.com

From the Sea


Seafood tastes delicious when it’s grilled, and we’re not going to lie – we’re pretty comfortable with you trying anything, because you won’t be disappointed. Salmon, shrimp, scallops…none of them will let you down. But every now and again you might want to get a little bit adventurous with what you put on your BBQ. Need suggestions? How about an octopus? They look ridiculous, have no business in being anywhere other than the sea..and they taste delicious, especially when they’re properly prepared. You can also grill clams, which are small enough and quick enough to grill that they make for a delicious pre-meal appetizer. Simply throw them on the BBQ, cover, and in two minutes you’ll have a tasty clam ready to be eaten.




Essentially, what we’re saying here is: go nuts with what you’re eating! There are no rules as to what can taste great if they’re grilled in a smart way. Spend a little bit of time learning how to prepare your obscure meat and you’ll soon have an extensive menu that’ll be the envy of your BBQ buddies.

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