Wine and beer are good for us yes second in a series

This is my second in a series of articles about the pleasantly surprising health benefits of some of our favorite indulgences. I hope you’ll read my related articles on coffee and tea, and chocolate. Wine drinking began more than 7,000 years ago in the mountainous region of Iran, where the wild grape Vitis vinifera grew. People discovered that breaking the skin of the grapes allowed the yeasts, which naturally gathered on ripening grapes, to mingle with the juice, thus starting the fermentation process that turns grape sugar to alcohol. By 2500 BC, the Egyptians were stomping grapes in wooden vats with their bare feet. The Greeks encouraged the production of wine in France and Italy, and from there viticulture slowly spread north. Medical researchers have known for some time that drinking alcohol in moderation has a beneficial effect on health, particularly on heart disease. In the early 1990s, researchers discovered the “French Paradox”: French people have a much lower risk of heart attack than Americans, despite similar dietary fat levels.

Wine drinkers appear to live longer than non-drinkers and people who drink other forms of alcohol. The American Heart Association guidelines recommend that people who drink do so in moderation—no more than two drinks per day for a man, one drink for a woman. Red wine is recommended for protection against colorectal cancer. Like coffee and tea, beer and wine are associated with a decreased risk of kidney stone formation. Researchers found a significant decrease in all-cause mortality among wine drinkers compared to non-wine drinkers at all levels of alcohol intake.

Light drinkers (one to seven drinks per week) had a lower risk of death from heart disease or cancer, but the risk was further reduced for light or moderate drinkers (eight to 21 drinks per week) who drank mostly wine. Heavy drinkers who drank wine were at less risk for death than heavy drinkers who avoided wine. Several large-scale studies link moderate wine drinking to lower mortality from heart disease and stroke. Wine, too, contains flavonoids. Grapes are about the only fruit that has resveratrol, a plant estrogen—a substance that acts like a hormone—so some people who do not drink wine may be able to gain some of the same benefits by eating grapes or drinking grape juice. Resveratrol has been shown to help slow the formation and growth of cancers.

Beer brewing became possible with the establishment of agricultural society and the cultivation of cereals such as barley and wheat. Around 4000 BC, the Sumerians discovered the effects of drinking gruel that had been left to ferment. This ale became more alcoholic once brewers began malting the barley. Germinating the grain, then drying and heating it so that the starch turned to sugar, produced a more powerful fermentation and stronger flavor. In northern Europe, where the cultivation of wine grapes was unknown, but where grain flourished, brewing probably developed independently.

It was a French doctor who discovered that yeast is the microorganism responsible for the fermentation process. Beer also reduced the risk of cardiovascular death. As with tea vs. coffee, it is uncertain whether the relative healthfulness of beer vs. wine might be due to social and economic factors. Wine drinkers were found to have higher IQs, more education, higher socio-economic status, and a better diet than beer drinkers. A recent study corrected for such factors finds no difference between the two. The definition of moderate is about the same for beer as for wine—one or two a day for men, one for women. In favor of beer, some of the nutrients in wine do not survive the filtering process. Barley and wheat, commonly used in beer making, are both loaded with a variety of vitamins that do survive fermentation and filtering. Too, many unfiltered beers are on the market. European peasants of previous centuries actually derived a major portion of their nutrition from beer. Is there any reason not to consume alcohol? Drinking in excess has a reversed effect on life expectancy. It can cause cancer, specifically breast cancer in women; the American Cancer Society recommends that women with an unusually high risk of breast cancer consider giving up alcohol. Those who should avoid alcohol include those with gastritis or liver disease; those on blood pressure medication; and, because alcohol has lots of calories, anyone with a tendency toward obesity. Otherwise, we can drink up without guilt. Cheers!

50 less cooking

50% Less Cooking without hitting the fast food button! Don't you just cringe when some clever kitchen type tells you what you could be doing with the leftovers in the fridge, when it's plainly obvious the leftovers will stay there until they walk out by themselves! More often than not, saving money with leftovers, although a great idea, takes a lot of time in preparation and relies on many other ingredients being available. So.......... Design your own leftovers! Cooking twice as much as you need 'by design' allows you the extra time tomorrow with the added bonus of knowing what you're going to cook. Dithering around in the kitchen working out who wants what and what you forgot to buy, takes ages. If you know you've already got a portion of the evening meal ready in the fridge, life becomes a lot less stressful. Most 'in-the-pot' dishes like bolognaise, chile, casseroles and stews can all be made in double quantities in very little extra time. Make sure you thoroughly reheat meat dishes until very hot. The only real problem with in the pot recipes is that you're obliged to eat the same meal two nights in a row. Although you can serve it with rice, pasta, or potatoes to add some variety. If you've managed to cook enough rice to feed the neighborhood, don't throw away the leftovers. Let the rice cool completely, place in a bowl, cover with plastic food wrap, and refrigerate. Then the following evening you have a base for a new and exciting meal...try these ideas: Egg Fried Rice: Make a plain omelette and remove from pan. Cut into small pieces and set aside.. Put cold leftover rice in the pan and stir gently. Add omelette pieces, stir and heat until hot right through. Serve with Chinese style ribs, or veggie sausages. Special Fried Rice: Fry in olive or nut oil a finely chopped onion, tomato, green pepper and a few sliced mushrooms. Add leftover rice to pan. Stir gently. Add sweetcorn for colour and a few chopped walnuts if liked. Serve with any meat, fish, egg or veggie dish. Rice Salad: In a large bowl, mix leftover rice with fresh raw chopped vegetables; onion, tomato, sweet pepper, celery, sweetcorn, and any other favorites hanging around in the fridge. Chill for half an hour before serving. A half mayo-half natural yogurt dressing can be gently stirred in if liked. To create a whole summer meal in a bowl, add chopped boiled egg, cooked flaked fish, pieces of ham or cooked chicken or even nuts and raisins! Potatoes can easily be turned into 'designer leftovers' Cooking a whole tray of jacket potatoes will take no longer than cooking one or two, just a few extra minutes scrubbing time needed. Store leftovers in the fridge. Flat Fries: Slice and shallow fry leftover jackets in hot olive oil and some mixed dried herbs or cumin spice. Turn occasionally. Serve hot with anything. Family Omelette: Peel and dice leftover jackets and gently fry in olive oil, with a chopped onion. Pour over beaten eggs and add some grated cheese. Cook gently for a few minutes. Turn and cook the other side. The omelette will probably fall apart during this manouevre. Just push it back together. No-one will know! Serve hot with a green salad. Rough Potato Salad: Peel leftover jackets and chop roughly. Mix in a large bowl with sweetcorn, tuna and a little chopped onion or chives. Serve with a mayonnaise sauce. Hot mashed potato, served with a delicious gravy, is always a family favorite. Make twice as much and delight the family two days in a row! Cool the leftover mash thoroughly. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate. Baked Mash: Put leftover mash into a large bowl and stir in cooked flaked white fish, bacon pieces, or cooked vegetables. Place in a greased ovenproof dish, top with grated cheese and bake in a medium oven until hot right through. Burger Mash: In a large bowl, mix leftover mash with a little beaten egg, some chopped chives or very finely chopped onion. Then form small balls in your hands. Flatten slightly and, if available, coat with breadcrumbs or chopped nuts. Fry as you would a burger! Cottage Pie: Cook minced beef, or veggie equivalent, a chopped onion and a tin of tomatoes together and place mixture in a large lightly greased ovenproof dish. Spoon leftover mashed potato over the top, and sprinkle on a little grated cheese, if liked. Heat through thoroughly in a medium to hot oven and serve hot with green vegetables. Cook a slightly larger chicken and keep the leftovers covered - and maybe hidden - in the fridge. A vegetarian equivalent of chicken will work equally well with these dishes. Quick Chicken Curry: Pour a home made curry sauce or a jar of ready - made over cut up leftover chicken pieces and heat through thoroughly in a hot oven. Always make sure re-heated meat is steaming hot right through. Serve with rice or jacket potatoes. Chicken Salad: Mix cold leftover chicken with a finely chopped onion and stir in a half mayo, half natural yogurt dressing. Add a few walnuts for an extra special treat. Chill for 30 minutes and serve with any dish.. Chicken Stir Fry: Put cut up chicken pieces in a frying pan with a little olive or nut oil. Mix in thinly sliced sweet peppers, onion, tomato and any other bits in the fridge that look healthy enough to eat. Cook gently for a few minutes, ensuring the chicken is thoroughly hot. Then mix into a bowl of hot cooked noodles. Serve with an oriental style sauce. Hot Tip: Planning a few menus in advance will mean you are always in control of nourishing and tasty meals, and no need to lean guiltily on the microwave waiting for the latest TV dinner to cook!

Quick guide to wedding catering part two

So you’ve tasted the offerings of the caterer and you’ve selected your main menu options. What about drinks? What’s on tap Much like selecting the menu options, you will need to factor in what kinds of drinks everyone would like to drink. The easiest way to take care of this is to offer a full service bar. In this way, guests can have mixed drinks of all varieties or they can stick to wine and beer. You want to plan this option out carefully as you may end up paying more than you would like. Check with the provider as to how many drinks each guest can have, or can expect from the supply that will be brought. In most cases, there is no limit. A word of advice: Don’t ever have a cash bar. Making your guests pay for their drinks when they may also have paid for their outfits and transportation is just a lot to ask. What to choose for everyone In terms of wine and beer, tastes and varieties are enormous—how does someone choose? The best advice is to select four to five different kinds of beer with each one having enough to fill everyone’s glass. This may surprise you, but sometimes all of your guests will like the same thing and you may want to make sure that they can have it. As for wine, you may want to have at least one of each a red varietal and a white varietal. This ensures a milder and more acidic selection. A way to make sure that everyone is happy is to find blends of each of these wines. By blends, this means to find a red that includes a merlot, syrah, and pinot noir, while the white might include a chardonnay, reisling, and zinfandel. These can be tricky to find, but they are crowd pleasers. Champagne for toasts Toasts are just not toasts without a little glass (or two) of champagne. It’s common sense to make sure that the new couple and their wedding party have the very finest in champagne (as determined by the budget), while the rest of the guests have another variety. In many reception halls or catering services, the champagne for the wedding party is provided. Of course, there will also be designated drivers at the wedding, so you will also want to have water, sodas, coffee, and juices available as well. When you’re planned it thoroughly, everyone will be well-watered throughout the evening.

Are you getting enough color in your diet

Vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber—the good guys in the food we eat. They make our bodies strong to help us fight disease and slow the natural aging process. So how do you know if you are getting enough of these food superheroes? Think color! White Bananas are well-known to be an excellent source of potassium. They are also high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese. One large banana contains 15% of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. At just over 6 calories one-quarter cup of raw cauliflower provides almost 20% of the daily recommendation of vitamin C and is high in fiber. Cauliflower is also an important source of folate. A member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, it is recognized as possessing cancer-fighting properties. Adding onions and garlic to your meals can boost calcium intake, and provide chromium, a trace mineral important in maintaining blood sugar levels. Regular consumption of onions and garlic has been shown to significantly lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure. America’s favorite white vegetable, the potato, is an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin B6, niacin and thiamin. (Don’t think that makes it okay to pig-out on fast-food fries, or bury your baked potato under butter and sour cream! You know better.) Yellow/Orange Yellow fruits such as pineapple and papaya contain large amounts of both vitamin C and vitamin A giving a generous boost to your immune system. One half cup of pineapple delivers almost half the daily recommendation of manganese yet weighs in at only 40 calories. Think yellow bell peppers for vitamin C. A one-half cup serving provides 300% the daily recommendation of vitamin C. That’s a lot of antioxidant power. Most of us associate beta-carotene, one of the earliest identified anti-oxidants, with carrots. But you can also find beta-carotene in oranges, apricots, squash and other orange fruits and vegetables. Not just candied yams at Thanksgiving anymore, sweet potatoes are an amazing package of vitamins and minerals as well as being high in fiber. One baked sweet potato with provide significant amounts of phosphorus, vitamin E, thiamin, iron, copper, magnesium, pantothenic acid, potassium, vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin A (over 1,000% RDA). Green Avocados have gotten a bad reputation as being high in fat. But they are also high in fiber, folate, potassium, pantothenic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Go green, like honeydew melons, green peas, spinach, and collards to supply important carotenoids that reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Also included in the green group of vegetables are broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, which are, like cauliflower, cruciferous vegetables and contain powerful carcinogen blockers. Red Add tomatoes to your diet to provide lycopene, an antioxidant associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. Surprisingly, cooked tomato products are richer in lycopene than uncooked tomatoes. You can also get the benefits of lycopene from watermelon and pink grapefruit, plus vitamins A and C. Don’t peel your apples! The skin of a Red Delicious is packed with two very powerful phytochemicals called epicatechin and procyanidin. Apples are also rich in pectin, a fiber that has a high capacity to absorb water and improve regularity. Purple/Blue Eat purple grapes or drink Concord grape juice to provide quercetin in your diet. Quercetin has been identified as an important phytochemical in the prevention of blood clots. Blueberries, plums, purple cabbage, eggplant and purple onion provide another phytochemical group prevalent in purple food, anthocyanins. These anti-oxidant phytochemicals have been linked with preserved memory and brain function during the aging process. Add color to your plate. Your eyes will enjoy the sight and your body will be receiving important nutrients vital for optimum health. Jean Fisher - http:// whatsfordinner. net

Taco pie

This is an easy recipe that also allows you to make use of those crumbs that accumulate in the bottom of the taco chip bags! (My husband really loves taco chips, so maybe we end up with more crumbs than your average household. . .) 1 pound hamburger 1 small onion chopped taco seasoning or chili seasoning 1 cup sliced black olives 2 cups crushed taco chips 1/2 cup sour cream 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese Crust: 2 cups flour 3/4 cup of warm water 1 package of dry yeast (or 2 teaspoons bulk yeast) 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup dry oatmeal Cook hamburger, add onions and add taco seasoning or chili seasoning to taste. Add olives and sour cream. Heat well. Crust: Dissolve yeast in warm water, add remaining ingredients and roll out to fit a large pie pan. Sprinkle one cup of crushed taco chips over the crust. Add meat mixture. Put remaining taco chips on top of the meat. Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the chips. Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Note: If you would rather not use taco seasoning or chili seasoning (due to problems with acid reflux or heartburn), I have used catsup in the recipe. My husband and I laugh about it because in one of those "you know you live in Wisconsin if" things, one of the items is, "you know you live in Wisconsin if you think catsup is just a little too spicy." Norwegians don't seem to care much for really spicy food. My husband is not of Norwegian descent, but I am . . .

Spanish food the tasty tortilla

It certainly is a poor man or woman who cannot find a few eggs, a couple of potatoes and an onion in their store cupboard! The ever-practical Spaniard realized this and thus created their marvellous "tortilla" - an easy-to-make dish that could be savoured by rich and poor alike. Not only cheap to make the tortilla, or Spanish omelette, is immenseley adaptable: you can eat it hot or cold, depending on the weather and your mood; you can enjoy a small slice as a "tapa" (snack) in between meals; or, accompanied by a multi-coloured mixed salad and crusty, fresh Spanish bread, you have a marvellous main meal! Should unexpected guests come knocking at your door ... just whip out the ever-adaptable toritilla, pour them a glass of smooth, Spanish wine and they are bound to be delighted! Unlike the better-known French omelette which should be made quickly and over a high heat, the Spanish omelette needs to be cooked more gently, so that the middle is not too runny. The French omelette is best eaten straight away and always hot. Its Spanish counterpart, on the other hand, improves if left to rest for at least five minutes before eating, keeps well for a couple of days in the fridge, and can easily be re-heated in the microwave, unless you prefer it cold.

As with the French omelette, the Spanish tortilla is made in a frying pan (preferably non-stick) but, unlike the French version, both sides need to be cooked. For this reason, it is possible to buy special tortilla frying pans - a sort of double pan which allows you to just swish it over and cook the other side! I have to say, I prefer the traditional method of placing a plate on top of the pan, turning the tortilla out and then returning to the pan to cook the underside. But, perhaps the simplest method is to just place the frying pan under the grill to brown the tortilla. Whichever way you choose to prepare it, once cooked, leave it to cool a little, cover with a large plate, then gently ease the omelette out. It should be circular, about an inch-and-a-half thick, and it is usual to cut it in slices or wedges. Having said that, you can divide it into small cubes, pop a cocktail stick on top, and serve along with other "bits and pieces" as apйritifs. Spanish recipes for tortilla vary slightly from region to region - also what you have in the fridge and what you fancy!

You can replace the potato with, say, spinach, leave out the onion, add a bit more garlic, etc, etc. Just use your imagination! Below is a recipe for a traditional potato-and-onion tortilla. TORTILLA - Spanish Omelette Ingrediants: Olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed with 1 teaspoon salt 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced Black pepper 6 eggs, beaten Method: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add onion, garlic, pepper and potatoes. Gently fry until golden-brown and potatoes slightly softened. Tip potato-and-onion mixture into bowl containing the beaten eggs. Stir and transfer to a large frying pan containing clean oil. Cook over a low heat for 10-15 minutes. Transfer pan to a preheated hot grill until top is browned. Alternatively, turn upside down onto a plate and return to pan to brown underside. Carefully tip onto plate and slice as you would a cake.

Best recipes strawberry banana milkshake

There’s nothing more delicious and nutritious than strawberries and bananas together. Now you can have these two delicious fruits in a scrumptious milkshake. Strawberry Banana Milkshake is a great drink to have any time of day. Bananas and strawberries are good for you and go perfectly with milk. You’re probably used to having them on your cereal, but now you can see how delicious they are in a tall, frosty glass filled with this wonderful milkshake. Enjoy. Strawberry Banana Milkshake 2 bananas 10 oz. box frozen strawberries, partially thawed 2 cups milk 2 pints strawberry ice cream Directions Slice the bananas. Combine bananas, strawberries, milk and 1 pint of the ice cream in blender, in batches. Blend until smooth. Top each with scoop of remaining ice cream.

Health benefits of tea

Tea: It Does the Body Good Studies that support the health benefits of tea drinking keep filling the headlines. There’s simply no denying that a daily spot of tea does the body good. Even though researchers can’t quite agree on every aspect, I’m sold on the fact that a few cups a day will do its best to protect me from heart disease, a stroke, cancer, and more. What Makes Tea Good for the Body? Tea contains high levels of antioxidants, some of which are called polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins, and all of which take on the “free radicals” in the body and prevent them from harming the healthy cells on board. In other words, sending in antioxidants is disease prevention in its finest form. Antioxidants are ready and waiting not only in teas but also in several fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats, and even wines (see my health benefits of wine article). If that were not enough, tea also contains flouride which benefits your teeth and has bacteria killing properties which helps control bad breath and the formation of plaque. Are All Teas Equally Good for the Body? This is a question researchers are still squabbling over. Does green tea have more antioxidants than black tea? Should I drink instant tea or loose leaf tea for better health benefits? Is hot tea better than iced tea? And here’s what it comes down to: Higher quality teas may have more catechin antioxidants than lower quality teas. White tea has more antioxidants than any other tea. Green tea has more catechin antioxidants than black tea since black tea goes through more processing. Unfermented rooibos tea has more polyphenol antioxidants than fermented rooibos. Freshly brewed teas have more polyphenol antioxidants than instant or bottled teas. More researchers seem to agree that brewed (cold or hot) or caffeinated tea has more antioxidants than instant teas. Here’s a short preview of the hundreds of recent studies that boast the health benefits of tea and its antioxidants: Heart Benefits: Study finds tea drinkers have lower blood pressure (Archives of Internal Medicine, 2004). Tea may lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease (Journal of Nutrition, 2003). Black tea may lower “bad” cholesterol (United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, 2003). Tea consumption may help heart disease patients (Circulation: The Journal of the American Heart Association, 2001). Cancer Prevention: Green tea could help stem esophageal cancer. (Harvard Medical School, 2004). Green and black tea can slow down the spread of prostate cancer (Center for Human Nutrition at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, 2004). Tea may protect against cancer caused by smoking. (Journal of Nutrition, 2003). Green tea and white tea fight colon cancer (Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University study, Carcinogenesis, 2003). Hot tea may lower risk of some skin cancers (University of Arizona study, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention (Vol. 9, No. 7), 2001). Green tea consumption may lower stomach cancer risk (University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health study, International Journal of Cancer (Vol. 92: 600-604), 2001). Hypertension-Reducing Benefits: Green and oolong teas reduce risk of hypertension (National Cheng Kung University study, Archives of Internal Medicine, 2004). Immunity-Boosting Benefits Tea believed to boost the body’s defenses (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2003) Leukemia-Fighting Benefits: A green tea component helps kill leukemia cells (Mayo Clinic, 2004). Alzheimer’s-Fighting Benefits: Drinking tea might delay Alzheimer's Disease (Newcastle University's Medicinal Plant Research Centre study, Phytotherapy Research, 2004). AIDS-Fighting Benefits: Tea may play a role as an AIDS fighter (University of Tokyo, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2003). In Conclusion: So how do you get started in doing your body some good with tea? To get the most health benefits out of your teas, choose high-quality loose leaf teas from your local or online tea shop. Brew it up and enjoy. And of course, don’t throw out the idea of enjoying instant or bottled teas when you’re on the go. You just might have to drink a little more. Don’t wait any longer. Sip, savor, and fight disease today. It's never too late to enjoy the many health benefits of tea!

Best recipes strawberry orange milkshake

Love strawberries? Love orange juice? Well, now you can have them both together in this divine Strawberry Orange Milkshake. Makes a great fruit smoothie if you’re looking for a simple smoothie to have any time of day. Strawberries and oranges have their own unique tangy fruit flavors and mixing them with ice cream is oh, so delicious. Plus, there are many health benefits from strawberries and oranges, so you get a delicious, nutritious drink that’s also easy to make. Drink up! Strawberry Orange Milkshake 1/2 cup strawberries 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream 1 tablespoon sugar Directions Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend for 10 seconds.

Best recipes yogurt

INGREDIENTS: Dry skim milk, enough for 1 quart of milk 3 cups water only 1/4 cup yogurt Mix milk-powder and water; slowly bring to boiling point; then cool to lukewarm temperature. Thin out yogurt by adding about 1/2 cup of the lukewarm milk; stir well to make it smooth. Add yogurt mixture to the rest of milk, blend thoroughly. Pour into serving size cups. Cover them with thick towel. (Paper toweling between cups helps maintain even, warm temperature). Leave undisturbed for about 5 to 6 hours (free from drafts and jolts). Refrigerate after it solidifies. Save some yogurt to start a new batch. For this yogurt less water is used in proportion to drymilk than when making fluid skim milk. This produces a more concentrated product. Appetite comes with eating!!!

How to concentrate in 4 magic steps

One of the main problems that deter a person's success is their lack of concentration. Lapses encourage disturbances to get in the way and stall progress. If ones wishes to proceed on their road to success, it is imperative they learn how to concentrate. Here, we show you some easy to learn exercises that are easy to implement. 1) Silence or Noise: Most people cannot concentrate when it is too noisy, but others work better with music or others in the midst of a crowded room. If you are not aware as yet what best suits you, then try out the different environments. How? Take a notepad and a pencil or pen with you and try and write down a letter in all the three circumstances in a set amount of time. Ten minutes. That is all you will need to determine where your source of concentration lies. How? Check not only for length but also for development as that is more important. 2) Focal Point: Every morning, before you leave for work or on the way, stare at any object for ten minutes. You can do this while in the toilet, car or bus. You will find this difficult, but whatever happens, do not move your gaze away. Hold it. Wait. And then, as the minutes pass you will find yourself deeply meditating about things that happened to you yesterday or challenges you have to face in a few minutes. Congratulations. You have just conquered the art of meditation. 3) Deep Breathing: In the beginning, you can do this while staring at the object from tip number two, but if you wish to move towards real concentration, do this separetly. Sit down on the floor. If its hard, place a cushion. Close your eyes. Breathe. Count the number of inhales. When you have reached 100, start counting backwards but this time count the exhales. Mastering this will take you a while, but once you do move on to other kinds of mathemathical calculations such as naming the months of the year from December backwards or alphabetically. After that, make up exercises as you like. 4) Movement: Focus on an animal: cat, dog or even ant or bird. Follow their every movement as if they exist in a vaccumm. Study every tiny spot on their body. The point of this is to learn how to diversify your concentration in such a way that movement does not deter you from your goal. Conclusion: Practice the above four tips and like magic, you will start enjoying life to its fullest because you will be able to focus on the things you want to focus on and disregard those that disrupt. Practive the above tips daily and you will be that much more closer to achieving your dreams and goals. Best of Luck!

Fun facts about ice cream

To this day, the history of ice cream remains a mystery. However, many say that the first ice cream is credited to Emperor Nero of Rome. It was a mixture of snow, nectar, fruit pulp, and honey. Others proclaim that Marco Polo, a 13th century adventurer, brought ice cream to Europe from the Far East. However, regardless of where it came from, today's average American consumes 23.2 quarts of ice cream per year, with the first ice cream parlor in America opening in 1776 in New York City. So, which countries like ice cream the most?

The United States, New Zealand, Denmark, and Australia top the list. The favorite flavor is the classic vanilla. Then comes chocolate, strawberry, neapolitan, and chocolate chip. How do these line up with your own list of favorites?

The most popular topping for ice cream ---- chocolate syrup. Who would of thought ; ) Around 13% of men and 8% of women will admit to licking the bowl clean after eating ice cream. Biggest ice cream sundae - 12 ft tall! This one was made with 4,667 gallons of ice cream in California in 1985. The average single-scoop ice cream cone takes 50 licks to finish. Try it out with the following recipe. Quick Strawberry Parfait: Ingredients 1 quart of strawberry ice cream 1 pint of whipped cream Instructions Mix the strawberry ice cream with the whipped cream at serving time. Serve in a glass of your choice and top with whipped cream, with a strawberry on top. (Feel free to top your parfait with other fruits as well.) This recipe will fill eight glasses. For other parfait flavors, simply use a different flavored ice cream.

Stylish ways to dine al fresco

California is famous for its luxurious coastlines and the mild weather that graces the state almost year-round. And while the rest of the country looks forward to the few short months each year when they can entertain outdoors Californians are lucky enough to be able to celebrate outside all year long. In Italy, dining outdoors has long been embraced as a relaxing way to unwind after a long day. So do as the Italians do and take advantage of the gorgeous surroundings by gathering your closest friends for a stylish evening of dining al fresco. It's easy with a few stylish tips from Ecco Domani Italian wines: * Make the decor divine. Whether you are entertaining on the beach or in your own back yard, it's simple to add some pizzazz to your surroundings. Colorful paper lanterns cast a warm glow once the sun goes down. Small, stranded lights also enhance the mood. String them in trees or around a deck to add glimmer and ambience to your setting. You can also use serving dishes to enhance your decor. Colored ceramic dishes with bold patterns are an easy way to add flair to your table. Don't be afraid to mix and match colors. Red and yellow dishes on a royal blue tablecloth may seem hodgepodge in a dining room, but in an outdoor setting, this look imparts an eclectic, funky charm. * Master the art of mood music. Get creative with your music selection. Consider tailoring the music around the type of cuisine you are serving. For an Italian meal, play an assortment of Italian opera compact discs. To keep the mood light and playful, you can't go wrong by enhancing the outdoor theme with reggae music. Or get your guests involved by inviting everyone to bring their favorite CD to the party. Set your disc player to shuffle so that everyone's music selection gets playtime during the meal. It's a simple way to incorporate each person's personal style. * Create a stylish menu. Eating outdoors lends itself to fresh, easy-to-prepare foods. And you can add flair to any basic dishes with just a few additions. For an Italian meal, a tomato, basil and mozzarella salad is always a crowd pleaser. Drizzle chicken and fish with olive oil and lemon for a fresh, light flavor. And dust colorful veggies with Italian seasonings to bring out their natural flavors. Whatever your menu is, be sure to select a delicious wine to accompany the meal. Ecco Domani 2003 Pinot Grigio is a perfect wine for dining al fresco because of its crisp, fresh flavor. Whatever you serve when dining al fresco, remember that it is easy to infuse any outdoor setting with glamour by adding a few small touches. Every selection you make will reflect your personal style. And in the end, nothing says style like dining underneath the stars. - NU

How to bet on the superbowl

Since the SuperBowl is the last game of the season you have an advantage that you do not have during the beginning of the season. With 2 weeks to go till the SuperBowl we know that the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears will be the ones representing their divisions in the biggest game of the year. Many people like to bet on sports to make them more exciting, and the SuperBowl is no exception. It is common for many offices to have a SuperBowl Pool, and it is very common for friends to bet on the outcome of the game with each other, it just increases the fun of watching the game, but how do you know who to bet your money on? There is no guaranteed way to know who will win without cheating, but comparing the states can help in making an informed decision. There are many things to take into account: Some teams have a great passing game; some teams are strongest on the run, so you have to look at whom are they playing and what is there defense best against. If you have a team that has a great running back, and the defense is weak against the run then that is a definite advantage to the team that likes to run the football. The location of the game is also important the SuperBowl is always played in a Domed stadium so the weather is not usually a major factor in the SuperBowl but, if the stadium has Astroturf as apposed to real grass then that can effect a team, lets say one team has turf in their home stadium and he other team has grass, then this can be an advantage to the team who has turf. The physical and mental state of the players must also be taken into account before placing a bet on the SuperBowl or any sporting event. Come the playoffs many teams have players on the injured list, but many players will try to come back for the playoffs to help their team, but often this backfires because they may not be playing at 100% and can re-injure themselves so that they are playing hurt during the big game. This means they will not be playing at their best, and this gives an advantage to the opposite team. The mental state of the players can affect a players even more then an injury can. If a player is playing hurt he still has his head in the game, but a player with marriage or financial problems is not concentrating on the game, they may be thinking of their own problems. This can cause a player to drop balls or make stupid mistakes. After researching all these issues you will start to form a picture in your head of who is the better team going into the SuperBowl, and this will allow you to make an educated guess as to who will win. Remember this guide will only help improve your odds of winning they are not a guarantee that you will pick all the winners.

History of the mendocino county wine industry

The history of wine production in Mendocino dates back to the mid 19th century. The first Europeans to settle in the region were Russian hunters and trappers. They made their living selling seal and otter pelts. The Gold Rush caused the population of the San Francisco Bay Area to expand dramatically. The local timber industry took off with the increase in demand for building supplies. The first grapes were grown during 1850s by failed gold prospectors. The wine produced during this era had a mainly local customer base due to the isolation of the region. In 1851, the Anderson Valley was discovered by accident. Italian immigrants planted vineyards on the sunny hillsides of the valley during the ensuing generation.

Even when the railroads were extended north, Mendocino's Wine Industry remained relatively unknown in the national and international markets. Despite the region's obscurity, there were over 5000 acres of vineyards and several wineries during the late-ninteenth century. Phylloxera and Prohibition Most of California Wine Country was hurt by the spread of the Phylloxera Louse in the late 19th century. Despite the damage, the isolated region fared better than some other parts of the state. The industry rebounded after the utilization of Phylloxera resistent rootstocks. In the 1910s, there were close to 6000 acres of vineyards in Mendocino County. Prohibition was almost a death sentence for the region's wine industry. With a few isolated exceptions, almost all was lost. A few Zinfandel vineyards in the Mendocino Ridge survived and are thankfully still alive today. However, all of the wineries were closed during Prohibition. The Parducci Family is credited as being the stewards of the wine industry during the ensuing difficult years. In the 1960s they owned and operated the only winery in the county. It is located near the Redwood Valley. The Renaissance The industry began to come alive with the rest of the California wine industry during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1968, the Fetzer family established a winery near the McDowell Valley. Finally the Parducci Family had some company. Substantial investment went into planting vineyards, but not much wine was actually produced in Mendocino. Most of the region's grapes were sold to non-resident wineries and used in faceless blends. Thankfully, this has changed. There are currently many high-quality wineries in the county. In recent years, the region has gained a reputation for producing many varietals exceptionally well. The practice of shipping grapes to other regions for production lessened as the large AVA's renown increased. It currently contains over 15,000 acres of planted vineyards.

Grilled albacore tuna steak recipes

Grilled albacore tuna steak recipes add flair to your dinner table. Asians have a way of spicing up any fish dish with their own wasabi powder. This is a Japanese horseradish and many chefs today use this spice to bring a very unique flavor to tuna steak. Here is just once example of grilled albacore tuna steak recipes that use the spice above. You will need to have the following ingredients to prepare this delectable meal; tuna steaks, Ѕ cup of teriyaki marinade, 4 ounces of butter or margarine, 1 tablespoon of wasabi powder, 2 chopped green onions, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, peanut oil, or vegetable oil, salt and pepper. First you will need to marinate your tuna steaks in the teriyaki marinade. You should place the tuna steaks in the marinade and turn to coat the entire steak in the marinade.

Marinate for at least one hour in a covered dish in the refrigerator. You can marinate overnight if you prefer. When you ready to cook your meal, mix together the wasabi powder and green onions in a bowl and set aside. Get your grill ready; lightly brush your tuna with the oil and season with the salt and pepper. You can use the remaining marinade to baste your tuna steaks while they are grilling. Grill your tuna steaks to desired doneness and serve with the butter.

Instead of using the wasabi butter recipe for your grilled albacore tuna steak recipes you can make your own unique sauce to accompany your delicious meal. You may enjoy a spicier sauce, if so you should try this one. You will need 1/3 cup of your favorite steak sauce, ј cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of hot sauce or pepper sauce, ј cup butter of margarine melted, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, salt, and Ѕ teaspoon of curry powder. Mix all of these ingredients together and use as a marinade. Also baste your tuna steaks while grilling.

What you should know about specialty coffee and tea

Coffee and tea has long been a traded commodity in the orient. It has been considered as a drink only for royalties and kings. These two commodities are processed in almost the same manner for it to become a soothing and relaxing drink. Knowing Good Quality Specialty Coffee and Tea Specialty coffee and tea should be made from the best coffee beans and tea leaves in the market. Coffee and tea experts believe that the best brews come from homegrown and handpicked batches. But this handpicking process can just be a myth since it really does not affect how the taste and texture comes out. The one thing that could affect the flavor and texture of coffee and tea is the climate since this can affect the humidity and moisture of the raw products. It is important to know the quality of specialty coffee and tea since top quality produce are prized at a bigger rate than that of mediocre quality ones. Having to know the difference can give you the edge in the specialty coffee and tea market by going to specialty coffee and tea shops that are willing to give you the right value for your money. A good hint to detect a medium or a mediocre type of specialty coffee and tea commodity is the smell of burnt beans from roasting. These kinds of produce are intentionally burnt because it gives out a good flavor if it is in this state. Adding Flavor to Your Specialty Coffee and Tea In the past decade the specialty coffee and tea business has exponentially grown. Many specialty coffee and tea shops have been sprouting and eating up each other’s neighborhood market shares; each of then brewing and concocting their own original flavors and mixes. The way coffee and tea is consumed has drastically changed over the years. Before coffee and tea was only taken hot and straight out of the coffee maker or from an instant foil pack. Now, specialty coffee and tea drinks are made hot or cold depending on the consumer’s preference. Vast variety of flavors and other ingredients such as grounded biscuits and whip creams are added to the drink to have that perfect specialty coffee and tea concoction. But these are just flavors and ingredients to enhance the specialty coffee and tea experience. A good flavored specialty coffee and tea should not be overpowered by the taste of its other ingredients. The aroma, texture and flavor of the original coffee and tea must still be present to give coffee and tea drinkers the full experience.

Petals for your tea

I'm sure you've heard about green teas. And you've probably have had your share of iced teas. But have you tried flower teas? Never? With the mad rush to drink green tea as recommended by every fitness and healthy living nut, it's no wonder that flower teas and its benefits are paid little attention. Let me clue you in about flower teas. Flower teas are mainly of Chinese origin. They are essentially green teas (like the ones advocated for fitness and healthy living) scented and enriched with flower oils.

Jasmine blossoms are the flowers usually used for flower teas. The flowers bloom nightly and they are put in an area that is quite cool until nightfall. Just before they bloom, they are placed on heaps of dried and heated leaves of good-quality green tea. As a result, the leaves take on and absorb fragrant oils from the flowers. When the flowers and leaves heat up again, they are re-arranged for the next cycle of scenting. Ordinary flower teas are scented for only 2 or 3 times while special teas are scented for up to 7 times. For fitness and healthy living, flower teas are highly prescribed by Asian medicine.

Because in addition to green tea benefits, flower teas also have benefits from flowers. In particular, jasmine tea is especially good for anti-aging, digestive problems, and as an anti-bacterial drink. First, it improves the body's defense system against diseases by boosting body immunity. Second, flower teas also raises the body's chances against cancers and heart ailments. Studies have shown that flower teas actually prevent bad cholesterol absorption by keeping the walls of blood vessels from rigidity.

It also prevents mutation of cells which causes cancer. Third, it stimulates the circulatory system and heart which ensures steady supply of oxygen and nutrients to every part of the body. Flower teas' effects are not exclusive to the internal body system. These teas also prevents oral problems such as tooth decay, cavities, and bad breath. Researches show that flower teas contain flouride and tannin which improves tooth enamel. Fitness and healthy living are also judged based on healthy skin and youthfulness.

Flower teas also benefit the skin by flushing toxins from the body out. Also, the flouride in it promotes better bones for good posture. Improvement of body functions also aids in preserving the body's youthful appearance. Lastly, as flower teas are aromatic, they are also good for aromatherapy. It relaxes and soothes the senses resulting in a better sense of well-being which is essential for fitness and healthy living. Why not toss that coffee and treat yourself to a relaxing flower tea experience.

What are the benefits of organic food

There is much discussion today about the pros and cons of organic food. People want to know whether organic food is better than non-organic food. They wonder whether the term “organic” is nothing more than the latest money-making marketing term being thrown about. They question the regulatory oversight bodies that determine whether the food that’s labeled organic really meets all of the criteria. These are difficult questions to answer with certainty especially since the answers often depend on who is asked. Regardless, there are several very real benefits of consuming organic food. Here is an overview of the most common. Organic Food Tastes Better The people who eat organic food claim that organic food is more flavorful and studies have actually been conducted that confirm this belief. The chemicals that are used in the production of non-organic food definitely affect flavor. Organic Food is Better for the Body The United States Environmental Protection Agency now lists many of the chemicals used in the production of pesticides and fungicides as potential cancer-causing components. It makes sense then, that when non-organic foods are consumed, so too are these cancer-causing ingredients. Since these types of chemicals cannot be used to grow organic foods, they simply are not present and therefore, they cannot be ingested. Eating organic foods won’t unfortunately prevent cancer because there are plenty of genetic and environmental factors that can cause it to develop. However eating organic food greatly reduces the chance that certain cancers will develop. In addition, organically-grown produce contains up to 50% more of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants the body needs to stay healthy and perform at optimum capacity. If you’re trying to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet, you can double the benefits by eating organic ones. You Can Feel Good about What You Eat When you eat organic food, you know what you’re not getting. You know you’re not eating food that’s been genetically altered or shot up with growth hormones and antibodies. You know that the skins of your fruits and vegetables aren’t a thick covering of chemicals and other harmful ingredients. The bottom line: You know that you are fueling your body with healthy fuel. Centuries ago, people did not have as many health-related issues as they do in these more modern times. Plenty of people feel it is our food that is killing us. You Help Protect Environment When pesticides and fertilizers are applied to plants, there is no way to keep the chemicals used in their production from covering the ground. Rain and irrigation cause these chemicals to be absorbed into the ground. As they absorb into the ground, they percolate down to the underground water tables. Ultimately, the chemicals leach into nearby water bodies. The soil as well as the water begins to be contaminated. Over time the birds, fish and other animals living in these environments become affected. Since organic foods are grown without using these dangerous chemicals, their growth will never impact the environment in this manner.

All about chinese tea cups

As you all know, the Chinese are so meticulous when it comes tea wares. Perhaps this is due to the fact that tea wares like the Chinese tea cups and tea pots play a very important role in the tea preparation. A tea ceremony would not be successful without the use of tea wares. As many people said, the true essence of a Chinese tea ceremony would not be felt if tea wares are lacking. One of most necessary item in a typical Chinese tea set is the Chinese tea cup. Well, tea cups come in different designs and forms these days. They even differ according to their uses. In this article, I will mention three of the most well-known and highly purchased Chinese tea cups these days. Note that these tea cups are now available in the market and you can even found them online, particularly at http://EnjoyingTea. com. Consider the following varieties of a Chinese tea cup: Filtering Tea Cups As the name implies, filtering tea cups or mugs are used by tea drinkers to primarily filter the tea. Most of this kind of Chinese tea cup are designed and crafted with internal filters. Here are few samples of filtering tea cups: • Yixing Clay Filtering Mug – This tea mug is made in Jiangsu province, an area situated 120 miles northwest of Shanghai China. For centuries, the Yixing wares are known to be the best vessels for tea. They were made in purple clay and are said to absorb the aroma and flavors of the Chinese tea. These Chinese tea cups are also said to have the ability to withstand high temperatures and are slow to conduct heat. Therefore, the handle remains comfortably cool even when enjoying very hot tea. And, to enhance the practical usage, this Chinese tea cup has an internal filter. • Poet Filtering Tea Cup – This Chinese tea cup is actually a porcelain mug which is deemed as a perfect companion for enjoying loose tea leaves. It comes with its own lid and an internal porcelain filter, allowing room for tea leaves to expand and provide full infusion of the leaves. Today, this variety of Chinese tea cup depicts a picture of a Tang dynasty poet inspired by outdoor beauty. Cast Iron Tea Cups • Black Cast Iron Tea Cup – This item has long been considered as perfect for enjoying tea. It can serve as a great companion for any cast iron teapots and being a classical teapot, it is made from sturdy iron and has enamel coating on the interior to prevent rusting. It is worth noting that this Chinese tea cup now comes in different color. Specialty Tea Cups • Small Peony Flower Gaiwan – As the name implies, this porcelain Gaiwan has a lovely peony flower design. Gaiwan actually originated from Ming Dynasty and became popular during the Chine Dynasty in China. Accordingly, this Chinese tea cup is large enough to accommodate tea brewing, yet small enough to be held comfortably for drinking. • Four Season Character Tea Cup – This is but an exquisite porcelain tea cup. It has four season calligraphy character at all sides, so the name bears it.

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