The DO’s and DON’Ts of summer alimentation

First of all, this goes out mostly to people who live in places with 4 seasons, but also to those who live in very a warm climate. The Russian summer, for example, is very different from the Australian summer. These may seem as no brainers (I have to admit, most of them seem so to me), but I decided to write this after I noticed that really many people don’t really know what’s good for them when “things get hot”. The fast food culture has spread its long dark wings and whether we want to admit a lot, not that many of us eat healthy.

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Summer is the favorite season of most; whether this love is caused by great weather, vacation or mini skirts, one thing’s for sure: nobody wants to have a summer spoiled. A lousy summer alimentation is a top candidate at ruining your summer and also your health. Here are just a few things you should look for and look out in this wonderful season.

The DOs

Natural liquids

The first thing which summer requires from you is drinking more liquids than you would do in the rest of the year. This is caused by the heat which causes dehydration. Having enough fluids means you can work at full capacity and find pleasure in almost everything you do. In general, you should drink at least 2-3 l of liquids, but not everything works so you should really be careful what you drink. Here’s where this liquid could come from:

  • Natural juices;
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    summer is the natural time for many fruits (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, oranges, bananas, etc), and this juice not only is great for hydration, but it’s also very healthy, containing numerous vitamins your body needs to feel good. It’s the healthiest thing you can drink and the biggest step you can make towards a better summer and a better health.
  • Fruits;

    if you can’t or won’t make juices, there’s still something you can do, just as good: eat fruits. They also contain the same liquids and vitamins and just as the juices are, they’re really tasty. What you should do is resist the temptation of eating them really cold. It may seem good, but what you’re really doing is applying big termic variations to your body, which is not helping you at all.
  • Tea;
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    it’s a miracle maker since the dawn of manking. Every civilisation used it, and for good reason. Mint and green tea could be helpful as they have a soothing action, but any tea is good. Also, especially in extreme heat, people used to drink warm black tea, because it prevented sweating, thus the body remained hydrated for a longer period of time.
  • Water; tap water is great when you don’t have any of the above, but it’s recommended that you have a bottle of water with you wherever you go. Just be careful where you put it (especially in the car) as it could get really hot.
  • Light food

    Now more than ever is the right time to think about what you eat; you have quite a lot of alternatives and it’s time to give up the barbeques and stakes, and instead go for salads and other lighter food, especially because your appetite is mostly lower in the summer. Here’s what you could eat:

  • Vegetable salads;
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    if you’re thinking they’re not tasty, now more than ever is the time to change your mind. Tomatoes, salad, cucumbers, potatoes, everything is at its best now; and you don’t have to use just veggies, actually it’s great to add something else. Some olive oil (no pun intented), pepper, cheese (any kind), they all do wonders both for the taste and the nutritional qualities.
  • Cakes;
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    especially fruit cakes are a must in this time of the year. We all want something sweet once in a while, and this is the best way to suit our needs. Also, learning how to do this will almost definitely be a skill that will help you further along
  • The DONT’s

    Now that we took a look at the good things, let’s browse the “enemies”, which can really ruin what could be a fantastic summer, and could have a big impact on your health and mood too.

  • Alcohol; perhaps the biggest enemy of summer, alcohol can have a series of detrimental effects on you; and since summer is all about partying, alcohol is often in the center of attention, and people tend to forget the dark side of the coin. First of all, it was made by a process of boiling (or something similar), which makes it penetrant and makes it “dry out” your inside, without you even feeling it. Also, we tend to be less resistant to its effects in the summer, especially because dehydration.
  • Cigarettes; quitting smoking is not really as hard as you’d imagine. Every moment is a good time to start quitting (because it’s recommended that the quitting process is not done at once, but in steps), but summer could give you the mental boost your need. Ever felt that you just can’t get enough air because of all the heat?? Cigarettes amplify all that, because one of their first effects is to reduce lung efficiency and your ability to make effort and resist in harsh conditions.
  • Stakes and other “heavy” foods (fast food included); do I really need to say anything else here ?? Eating pork, sausages, stakes, and any other such food is virtually a mood killer, making you feel tired and sweaty. They’re really bad for your health too, as I’m sure you already know.


  • Credits for this great pic

    So after we draw the line, it’s obvious that what we’re supposed to be eating and what we are eating are definitely not the same thing; as a matter a fact in most cases they’re not even in the same league. What you need to understand is that you have to keep a balance, meaning that even if you can’t eat all healthy all the time you really should at least avoid succumbing to unhealthy foods, as it the one you are doing harm to is yourself. So without further ado, go and have the best summer you can possibly have, you’ve probably earned it.

    Insomnia? just a bad dream!

    I’m wide awake in my kitchen
    It’s dark and I’m lonely
    Oh, if I could only get some sleep
    Creeky noises make my skin creep
    I need to get some sleep
    I can’t get no sleep….
    ~Faithless~

    Tired of staring at the ceiling for endless hours night after night? Frustrated because others can sleep without any problem? You’re definitely not alone as more and more people suffer from sleep disorders. Insomnia is caused most of the times by unhealthy habits which affect people’s ability to sleep. So this is why a few changes in your schedule should be enough to sleep again and to be more healthy and productive.
    – Create a sleep schedule in order to wake up at about the same hour everyday. Waking up one day at 6 AM and the second day at 12 AM will do nothing but to affect you in a negative way. If your work schedule is flexible choose an hour to wake up and this will also allow you to do other things around the house or just to spend more time doing something pleasant.
    Don’t stay in bed more than you used to before having insomnia! This way your body will not be tired and it will be more and more difficult to fall asleep. Choose an activity which is not too challenging instead such as walking, or going out with your friends. Continue reading

    Smoke free! 10 ways of giving up smoking for good!

    Nightmares made of hash dreams, the devil in my shoes
    What have I done wrong?
    Yeah nothing can go right with me it must be that i’ve been smoking too
    Long
    ~Placebo~

    What makes you start smoking again? Anger? Stress? Boredom? Tiredness? The first two are universally known to make people return to this bad habit. Each of these make you want to kill for a smoke, but cigarettes do nothing but to increase stress and to affect your health and even social relations. Learn to handle these situations and not to turn to cigarettes!
    1. Take care of yourself! By depriving your body of smoking, assure that it won’t suffer because of this. Try to have a balanced diet and choose healthy, nutritious food. Ask a specialist about what you should eat and about what you should avoid. Fresh fruits and vegetables should help you the most! Give good quality “fuel” to your body and drink more water to be hidrated. Avoid drinks which have too many chemicals as you need to purify your organism. Take vitamins as nicotine has emptied your body of nutrients, in order to recover faster. Still, ask your doctor for a recommendation!
    2. Give up caffeine! Drinking coffee in a time like this might make you nervous even angry so try reducing the quantity of coffee you drink every day. Even a simple coke can have unsuspected effects so you may even give up on it totally for a while. These two habits are usually associated so you may gain a lot more by forgetting about both of them!
    3. Take a warm bath! It’s an excellent way to relax and to get rid of stress. Add just a little salt and it will be perfect! Relax and think about something pleasant. A little time spent like this everyday may bring even more benefits to both your body and mind.
    4. Have a massage! If you can’t go to a specialist or you don’t have the time for that ask a friend or your partner to help you with that. You will also have time for a little chat and you will forget about how much you need a cigarette. Keep this habit in the future too as it’s pleasant and useful. Remember: even 15 minutes can do miracles! Continue reading

    5 Lessons for a Happy Life

    A guest post by Shilpan Patel, from success soul

    If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a month — get married. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
    – Chinese Proverb

    While driving on the highway, I stumbled upon a billboard that read, “Be happy now”. I, for a moment, felt jolt of happiness in my body. It was inexplicable but the feeling was real.
    I pondered along the way about happiness and its sources. Where it comes from? I started feeling nostalgic. My mind started wandering into the past in an intense search for the traces of happiness. It was exhilarating thought to find the roots of happiness that lie nowhere but in my own thoughts and the ability to react to different circumstances.
    I have a habit of writing a journal. The journal tracks my life. It tracks my setbacks, it tracks my success and it certainly tracks my happy days. I went through the journal to capture the lessons of happiness that I can share with you.

    Lesson # 1: Make someone happy:
    A successful surgeon practices surgery daily; a successful lawyer practices law daily. To become happy, you need to make someone happy. Engage in random acts of kindness. Try to serve others with your time and money. Making someone happy makes you selfless. I have always felt happy when I do not expect any return for the service I rendered. It always makes my day fulfilling.

    Lesson # 2: Become debt free:
    Debt is an imprisonment to our happiness. It shackles our ability to think and pursue true happiness. Imagine if you are living by paycheck to paycheck, it is hard to have anytime for things that bring happiness when you have to work to make money to pay debt without any relief. You can cut out fat from your spending to work towards paying off your debt. If you start living life of simplicity, you will accentuate your freedom from the debt-ridden life.

    Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have, it depends solely upon what you think.
    – Dale Carnegie (1888-1955) American writer.

    Lesson # 3: Choose to be positive:
    Our ability to choose our thoughts allows us to think positively. If we learn how to replace self-limiting thoughts with affirmations, we develop habit of positive thinking. For instance, replace self-limiting thought of – “I do not have enough time to enjoy time with my family.” with “I have plenty of time to spend time with my family”.

    Lesson # 4: Be transparent:
    I constantly remind myself that to earn trust from friends and family, I have to remain transparent about my actions. I have to show honesty and sincerity in the pursuit of happiness to get support from my alter ego. I have to show her that I’m committed to her pursuit of happiness as much as I’m to mine. Develop transparency with the attitude of showing all your cards to others involved in your life. They will in turn show you their cards; together everyone wins.

    Lesson # 5: Live a simple life:
    The modern day life is an entangled web of complexity. We live with cell phones, laptops, and pagers. These devices are convenient and they definitely add flexibility to work anywhere in the world. However, we pay steep price for these conveniences. We clutter our minds with information overload. We tend to ignore our inner voice of simplicity to feel true happiness. We tend to ignore the pristine value of our time with family; we definitely ignore the pearls of joy in sharing our laughter with our children. I’m not advocating that we give up on our pursuit of the burning desire, I’m suggesting that we shall always be mindful about de-cluttering our physical as well as mental space to live for a happy, fulfilling life.

    Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
    – Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) Preeminent leader of Indian nationalism.

    Photo Courtesy of Smugmug

    The best decision for both – choosing the perfect dog for you

    Oh lord it’s a dogs life
    Oh lord it’s a dogs life dogs life
    I’m feeling Kinda Irie
    It’s bubbling inside me
    Straight up it’s a dogs life
    ~Kottonmouth kings~

    Dogs seem to be the perfect animals for every family so maybe it’s time to bring one to your home too! By simply following a few pieces of advice you will get a perfect companion for you and the ones you love.

  • Talk to a veterinarian
  • A specialist can give you the best information you need about certain breeds and can help you make the best choice without being subjective as dog breeders can prove to be. You can also find out about what diseases the breed is most likely to have, and how to prevent and protect against them.

  • Ponder family’s daily routine.
  • Are you or is someone else home frequently enough to feed, walk and take care of the pet? That’s not even half of it – a dog needs to feel loved and wanted, and they’re really dependent on their feelings. Also, think if the animal has enough place to run, and do all those things that if absent, make the dog unhappy.

  • Think about your family, and talk to them!
  • If there are small children in your home, choose a breed that is known to be fond of children preferably not a very large one. Check for allergies, aggressivity, among others. Also, a surprise puppy can be just fantastic, the best present in the world! But if somebody is allergic, or doesn’t like puppies… wouldn’t be that much of a surprise Continue reading

    Stuck together- how to get along with your roomate

    So happy together
    How is the weather
    So happy together
    We’re happy together
    ~The Turtles~

    A roommate can be two things: your best friend or your worst enemy. When things go bad it’s quite easy to blame everything on him or her and their behavior. But could it be that simple?
    Following a few simple rules will ensure you a good relationship with the person you are living with even if you will not become best friends.
    1. Try to get in touch with your roommate before school begins even if you don’t know him or her and try to decide together what each of you should bring. It might be hard but try to adapt to your roommate’s wishes and decisions as much as you can.
    2. Remember the fact that appearance might deceive you so try not to jump to a decision as soon as you see him or her!
    3. Decide together about the way you would like your room to be like and try to reach an agreement about it which will be satisfying for both of you. Continue reading

    More spare time! – how to improve your schedule

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    “Relax, take it easy
    For there is nothing that we can do.
    Relax, take it easy
    Blame it on me or blame it on you.”
    ~Mika~

    I am sure most of you reading this article found themselves at least once in the situation of not having enough spare time. Classes, endless hours spent everyday at work and then home sweet home…or maybe not. As soon as you return your phone starts ringing. When did you last do something just for your own entertainment? If the answer is “a long time ago” it is a clear sign that you must change your routine. And it’s not hard at all!

    STEPS
    1. Decide what your priorities are. Each morning create a schedule for the day in each you have settled some time for yourself. Do your best to stick to this schedule!
    2. Try to become more organized and to improve your time management.
    3. Keep an agenda of everything you do. See where you spend most of your time and decide on what you can change. It is also a method to become more efficient!
    4. Try to choose a certain order in which you will handle your errands. Try to solve everything at once in order not to waste time returning to town to buy something you’ve forgotten. Try to shop on the Internet as much as you can.
    5. Hire a maid or a gardener if you afford one in order to save more time. A few more hours for yourself can prove priceless!
    6. Make technology your friend. Use the cell phone, the e-mail and the Internet as much as you can to gain time and also to become more efficient.
    Continue reading

    Nothing can bring me down! how to be optimistic

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    “it’s just me and my puppy
    together were so very happy
    and a bit of world won’t bring us down
    i’m looking on the bright side of things”
      ~Lissie~

    A study made by the University of Yale shows that optimism can grow your life expectancy with at least seven years. Optimism decreases the effects stress has on people and improves their balance, both physically and mentally. And changing your mood is not difficult at all!
    1. Chat! Gossip can prove to be very useful in some situations. Chatting with your friends and family helps you create a “social web”. Studies show that sociable people are more likely to live happily ever after. Phone chats have useful effects on brain activity and blood circulation. A long-lasting friendship can worth as much as not smoking or being active. It’s also important to meet your friends in person. Phone calls are useful, but not enough!
    2. Dear diary…The benefits of keeping a diary are well-known. It’s important not only to talk about what makes you unhappy, but also about the good moments, even about the small pleasures of life. Studies show that the people who are grateful for everything that happens to them are more satisfied and tend to be physically stronger. You can write in your diary once a week or just from time to time. What is important is not to regard this as another duty.
    3. Be generous! Generosity increases the level of happiness hormones. You don’t have to give valuable items, just make unplanned surprises to acquaintances and to strangers. Offer your bus seat or give some food to a hungry homeless man. You will feel much better about yourself and the others’ gratefulness will make you feel appreciated. “Generosity has therapeutical effects” as scientists often claim. So why not help yourself by helping the others?
    Continue reading

    That job is mine! how to manage a job interview

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    I won’t pay, I won’t pay ya, no way
    why don’t you get a job
    say no way, say no way, no way
    why don’t you get a job
    ~The offspring~

    BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
    Information- get informed about he company-whether it is national or multinational, about its domains of activity, about the number of employees. The company’s website is one of the best sources so you would better take a look on it. One of the questions could actually be: “Have you seen our website?”
    Practice– think about possible questions and practice with a friend until you are totally sure that you can handle it.
    The clothes– if you are Continue reading

    Stop staring at my plate! – 10 simple rules when eating out

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    “I eat dinner at the kitchen table
    By the light that switches on
    I eat leftovers with mashed potatoes
    No more candlelight
    No more romance
    No more small-talk
    When the hunger’s gone”
    ~Rufus Wainwright feat Dido~

    I am sure most of you were invited at a certain time for lunch or for dinner. It happened to me too and unfortunately I noticed that everyone at the table was staring at me. If you don’t want to find yourself in the same situation follow some simple rules:
    -no one starts serving before the host. Take only from what you are served and don’t stare at dishes that are not offered to you. Moreover, try to keep your comments for yourself in order not to spoil everyone’s evening.
    -don’t take the biggest piece of steak. Everyone will see that and will only think you are selfish. Take the piece in front of you no matter how it is. It’s just a matter of luck.
    don’t stare in anyone’s plate. Even if someone spilled something on the table pretend that you haven’t noticed that.
    don’t ask for food no matter how hungry you are. If the host forgets to ask you whether you want something…that’s it. You will get something to eat on your way home.
    -don’t put your elbows on the table. Keep them close to your body. You can only put your wrists on the table, close to the plate. Try to stay close to the table in order not to drop anything on the floor. Sit on the whole chair not only on one of its edges.
    don’t stretch over the table to get bread. Ask the person next to you to give you some bread. When offering the bread, take the whole basket not just a slice. Don’t make supplies; take no more than two slices!
    -never wipe your mouth with the bread. If you don’t have a napkin, ask one from your host.
    -try to eat as silently as you can in order not to attract the others’ attention and not to be considered someone who doesn’t know how to behave.
    don’t spit the stones to your plate or in your hand. Put them in a spoon brought near the lips and then in the plate one by one
    eat everything from the plate. Don’t leave anything, but never use a piece of bread to clean your plate!
    So this is how you can avoid unpleasant situations and create a good impression of an educated person. So what more could I say than “Bon apetit!”