Stay Healthy With Green Drink Recipes

Most diets you come across claiming to help you lose weight, fight fatigue and lower your blood pH will inevitably have you removing food from your diet. This is what people typically think of when starting a new diet and to be honest, it’s what scares most people away. We hate not being able to eat the foods we love! Well, I’m sick of doing things the hard way and you should be too.

This approach has you adding things to your diet instead of taking away and will leave you healthier than ever. By utilizing green drink recipes, we can easily do this. Adding a healthy green smoothie or drink to your diet will have a profound impact on how you structure your meals. This is how it works:

  • Add a green drink or smoothie to at least one meal a day (breakfast is probably the best choice).
  • Drink it before you eat the rest of your meal.

What does this do?

Since green drinks and smoothies consist of very pure, nutritious ingredients like leafy greens, fresh fruit and fresh vegetable or fruit juices, this is a fantastic way to consume all your necessary vitamins and minerals without having to resort to a multivitamin.

It also allows you to eat less “junk food” because your stomach will be satiated from the nutritious green drink and you won’t have enough room for a giant meal afterwards. This is great for people who have a problem with overeating.

How will this help you lose weight? Simple, you’re eating less junk food and more low calorie nutritious food.

How will this help you fight fatigue? By adding a fresh green drink to your diet, your body is getting all the vitamins and minerals it needs to operate at full capacity.

How will this lower your blood pH? Green leafy vegetables are extremely alkaline and eating alkaline foods will lower your blood pH which helps remedy all sorts of dis-eases.

Soon, your body will start to crave food that is of higher nutritious quality and because of that, you will naturally start to eat better, lose weight, and be healthier overall.

Here’s a recipe you can try out:

6 strawberries

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1 apple

1 stalk of celery

1 peach

1 handful of red grapes

1 handful of fresh spinach

1 banana

1 cup water

Just toss everything into a blender and blend until your desired consistency. Enjoy!

Food Photography Techniques for Capturing Minimalist Cooking

The rise of minimalist cooking is changing the art of food photography. The following is a look at some of the techniques adopted by photographers to capture the simplicity and the spirit of this modern cuisine. Whether it is because of the recession or a genuine desire to downsize and simplify, minimalist cooking has become extremely popular.  Everything from expensive and hard to acquire  ingredients to rarely used, specialized utensils and equipment have been pared back to the bare minimum. Less is definitely more. Many photographers have noticed this change, either consciously or intuitively and are evolving and adapting their techniques to suit. The old sumptuous saturated glistening overfilled image just doesn’t seem to be a good match for this new approach to cooking and food in general.

The photographers who get this and have a feel for the subject have started to utilize a few specific techniques which serve to emphasize the subject matter but in a much more understated way and this article will lay out a few of these basic techniques. It is not intended to be a comprehensive photography primer and most of the techniques will not require expensive equipment. It needs to be stated though, that even a basic dSLR camera will be capable of much more flexibility than even the best point and shoot due to the amount of control available to the operator. This does not mean however that perfectly acceptable results cannot be achieved with the point and shoots, just that the range of possibilities is smaller.

Simplicity is the Key

When composing the shot keep things very simple, plain white plates and brushed steel or plain counter tops work very well. If the image needs a bit of additional color, a sprig of a fresh herb such as sage is more than enough. Shoot on a level with or just a few degrees above the food. We are used to looking down on food and, in photography, offering a fresh perspective is always a good idea as it wakes the viewer’s brain up. It also adds interesting possibilities for lighting but more about that later.

A blurred background is generally a good thing as this emphasizes the subject. This can be achieved by either using a long lens e.g. a 300ml with a wide aperture from a few feet away with a dSLR or by utilizing the macro setting on a point and shoot and getting in really close, normally within a foot of the subject. Both of these approaches have the added benefit of giving a very narrow depth of field. This means that only a small proportion of even the main subject is likely to be in focus. This concentrates the viewer’s attention even more. 

The Tripod

The only piece of equipment that is essential for taking high quality food photographs, other than a camera of course, is a tripod. It may not be required for every single shot but not having one would rule out a lot of potentially good shots. The choices would be between a small  tabletop model, probably best with the smaller point and shoot camera. This would enable the tripod to be set on the same surface as the item being photographed, very useful when the camera has to be close to the food. There is a small tripod available that has flexible legs enabling it to be wrapped around objects such as  tree branches and signpost poles. This type of support would come into its own for say, picnics or barbecues. The bigger dSLR cameras tend to be too heavy for the smaller tripods  and generally require a normal sized model. The advice usually given to photographers is to buy the most expensive tripod that they can afford. I would say buy the tripod that will do the job without breaking the bank.

Whatever tripod is used always either release the camera’s shutter remotely or use the timed delay function built into just about every camera now on the market. Pressing the shutter causes the camera to vibrate so doing this off camera or giving the camera time to settle down before the shutter release makes for a much sharper photograph. This leads us to the main reason for using a tripod: the photograph can be taken in natural light, i.e. flash isn’t essential. As a rule of thumb good natural light is always preferable to artificial if the choice is between one or the other but often the best photographs use a combination of the two.

Lighting

While the above applies to food photography in general  there are specific lighting approaches that give a more minimalist feel. The use of a very strong  back light is one such approach. The best source is a window that occupies the entire background. This will give a very bright background with any colors reduced to pastels and objects such as trees, cars or other buildings reduced to abstract shapes. Now if this were the only light source used the food itself would be silhouetted and appear far too dark so a little fill light is needed. This is a blast of light from the camera’s flash that is not as powerful as it would be if there was no ambient light but is powerful enough to illuminate the main subject. Point and shoot cameras generally have a setting that automates this process while a little more experimentation may be required with dSLRs and flashes.

A couple of quick points about lighting that applies to all photography. Direct light is harsh and produces heavy sharp shadows. I think that it is safe to say that in all minimalist food photography this is a bad thing so we need to soften the light. This applies to both natural and artificial light. With expensive off camera flashes a small diffuser that fits over the bulb is usually enough. In the case of smaller cameras with built in flashes a little ingenuity goes a long way. If the flash can be covered with a piece of semi transparent clear plastic or even a piece of greaseproof paper results can be improved dramatically. The worse light source for photography is the small built in flash units on cheaper cameras. As for natural light, direct sunlight is to be avoided which is why a North or south facing window is best. If direct sunlight is the only option then a semi transparent plastic shower curtain attached to a frame of plastic piping makes for a great diffuser.

The Computer

Of course the process does not end with pressing the shutter. Once the session is finished, or even during the session, the images are uploaded to a computer and edited. Usually the editing consists of little more than a bit of sharpening, a slight color correction or a minor crop. It is possible to use the computer for just these technical chores but, with a little imagination, the computer, can become a creative tool in it’s own right. A minimalist approach to photography requires an awareness of what is essential to the image and what is incidental. It is often possible to lose information by increasing the exposure at this stage, often an increase of two thirds to a full stop can really make an image pop. Part of the reason that this is so effective is because it makes dull and off  whites bright. This effect is often used in fashion photography but works equally well with food. 

Technique and Eye

There is no great mystery regarding what makes for great minimalist food photography. The best advice, as with all types of photography, is to find images that you like which were taken by others, see which techniques were applied, then practice. Hopefully a combination of good technique and a practiced eye will produce something unique. The following techniques work well for me: diffuse natural light from behind the subject and fill flash to fully illuminate the subject; a low point of view, get close to the same level as the food; blur the background and aim for a small depth of field; on the computer, sharpen the image a little, crop and color correct if required. Above all, experiment and have fun. One day I may be practicing and writing about a technique that you have discovered.

Dangers Of Metabolism Boosters And Energy Drinks

The main purpose of metabolism boosting substances is to assist body when exercising. They are there to accelerate calorie burning process. There is a common misperception that metabolism boosters can replace the role of physical activity in losing weight. Fault for this belief lies partly by online diet marketers. Last 5 years are known as "diet spamming" period. Majority of e-mail owners were receiving at least 1 "lose weight – no exercise needed product" mail weekly in their inbox. Although it is true that those products will make body burn more calories even with no exercise, dangers of such doing overshadow by far those severely measurable weight loss effects.

Untrained body of overweight people is simply not up to the increased heart rate and blood circulation that energy drink or metabolism booster can cause. Heart attack can be the consequence. Each body needs time to adapt on faster blood circulation. Any instant shock caused by metabolism boosting diet product is a health hazard. This is especially important for people who face weight issues and have one or another kind of medical condition related to: high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels or any kind of heart muscle disorder.

Overweight people, who have long neglected physical exercises, should avoid dietary products that promise weight loss with no effort needed. Those products are predominately based on extracts of different citrus fruits, alcohol and in 90% of cases they will content caffeine. For individuals just starting with their weight loss program, other kinds of dietary supplements should be considered. Here it should be emphasized that there is an important difference between overweight and obese individuals. No obesity case should ever be addressed without proper medical guidance.

One should also never underestimate the power of drinking water. Water is an effective and gentle body stimulant, with no negative side effects. Metabolism boosters and energy drinks should find their place in fitness studios with people who are daily devoted to hard physical exercise.

Healthy Food For Optimal Health

When I learned I had breast cancer, I decided that I needed to find out as much as I could about how my diet might impact my health. I absorbed everything I would get my hands on that discussed the importance of nutrition in regaining health and preventing a recurrence of cancer. Shortly after I learned I had cancer, I also found out that I am allergic to dairy and eggs. I needed to make changes to my lifestyle – fast.

The first thing to go was dairy. All of the years that I was consuming massive amounts of cheese was taking a toll on my health. Almost immediately upon giving it up, the majority of my migraine headaches disappeared. Another astonishing revelation was when, just as quickly, I no longer needed the Afrin nasal spray I had come to depend on to clear my sinuses for 35 years! I couldn’t leave the house without it. Now my need for it had disappeared. I had no idea that all of these issues were being caused by dairy.

Suddenly it was obvious, but for years I went along consuming dairy and suffering side effects without ever putting the two together. To improve my health on all counts, I realized that I needed to get back to basic, simple foods. No more processed junk foods, no more saturated fats, and no more refined white flours and sugars. So, along with dairy, I cut them out of my life. I now eat a mostly plant-based diet that is rich in nutrients and full of vitamins.

I buy organic when possible to avoid the pesticide and herbicide residues that are so prevalent in conventionally grown produce. I cook my meals from scratch. No more cans, packages or boxes (with a few exceptions). I now use my creativity and Google savvy to put together healthy meal ideas that work for my family. I noticed an immediate improvement to my health. I not only started to lose weight, and ultimately slowly and steadily lost 50 pounds, but I started to feel like my younger self again. More energetic, less achy, clearer skin.

I found that by merging elements from a vegan diet and a raw food lifestyle I could satisfy my family’s needs of eating healthy. The elements that I incorporated from the raw food diet is not only eating more vegetables in their raw state, but also eating foods that are “pure”. In other words, foods that are not processed or otherwise adulterated. They don’t contain chemicals or additives as they are mostly freshly made and consumed. However, it was not feasible to prepare only non-cooked foods 100% or the time. Although, I do try to eat at least 50% raw each day.

I needed to include hot healthy foods into my diet as well. In the northeast the winters are cold and it is just not possible for me to cut out all warm food. As far as veganism, I have eliminated all animal products, with the exception of some fish on occasion for the omega 3 benefits.

My diet now focuses on a plant-based diet and includes whole grains, beans and nuts. With all of the changes I have incorporated into my life, I have reduced my risk of having a recurrence of cancer substantially. Consuming less saturated fat, including an exercise regime, cutting out alcoholic beverages and more leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables all cut my risk. But my new regime is not only one that is good for those who have cancer. It is a lifestyle that we should all incorporate elements of into our everyday lives. It is healthy and promotes optimal health. Healthy food is key to optimal health. Making small changes in lifestyle can add up to big benefits over time. The next time you consider picking up a loaded burger, consider your health!

Caring For a Pregnant Akita

Caring for an Akita bitch during pregnancy is basically commonsense. She should be watched carefully and made as comfortable and happy as possible. You should ensure that she has a dry bed, ample clean drinking water and regular feeds of good quality. For the first five weeks she will probably behave quite normally. She may have her “off” days. She may be extra hungry. She may display a slight change in temperament and be more careful how she carries herself, but so long as she is obviously healthy and happy, that is all that matters.

As soon as you suspect that she is pregnant, it is a good idea to contact your vet so he can enter the date of the expected birth in his diary and monitor the bitch’s progress. Akitas do not carry much water with their puppies, nevertheless a considerable amount of weight will have to be carried as the weeks progress. It is generally not advisable to give lots of extra food in the early weeks. Experience has taught us that overloading a bitch with food will put weight on her puppies, and she will also put on extra weight. This causes two problems. Firstly, she will not exercise so well, and so she will not be keeping her muscles toned up. Secondly, the puppies will be fat, which means they will be larger and will experience a more difficult passage down the birth canal. And when they are born, they will be fat and lazy.

It is far better to have an active mother and lean, vigorous puppies, who will fight to get to the teats to fill themselves with that all-important mother’s first milk. We have found the best policy is to feed a balanced diet with an increase in food after about five weeks. Naturally the future mum will be hungrier, but rest assured that whatever food you give to her she will pass on to her unborn babies before she takes it herself. She is a natural in parental care. Additives in the form of calcium and perhaps iron are a good idea, again after the five-week deadline. These days most foods are carefully balanced and numerous additives should not be needed. Indeed, the general view is that they can do more harm than good. But if the bitch suggests that she may have a deficiency, you should take her to the vet so that proper tests and analysis can be undertaken.

Akita bitches “hide” their puppies very well until at least five weeks, more often six. They may show no signs at all that they are pregnant, and this can be extremely annoying to the owners, who obviously want to know if they are to expect a litter so they can make the necessary preparations. Probably the best indication is a swelling of the bitch’s teats. From as early as three weeks these can “pop”, or enlarge slightly and become pinker in appearance. In our experience this is the only “sure” sign. Ultra-sound scanning can also give a definite diagnosis, but this is costly and sometimes the hair on the bitch’s side or underside has to be removed.

Your bitch may show signs of thickening in the rib or loin earlier, but it is most unlikely. Akita Inu bitches do not generally carry their babies across their loin like most breeds. They hide them under their ribs and then later “drop” them and carry them in the belly, rather like a cow carries its calf. Whether you observe positive signs or not, it is wise to contact your vet and book the expected date of birth into his diary so he will be available if necessary.

Seven weeks into the pregnancy, introduce the bitch to her whelping place. A suitably sized box should be prepared and the absolute minimum measurements for this would be about 4ft 6ins by 3ft. This will allow the bitch to lie fully stretched on her side. The box can certainly be larger, but not so big as to allow the puppies to crawl away from their mother and so get lost. Make sure the bitch is happy with the box and its position. After a few days she will welcome the peace, quiet and solitude of this area and so will accept it as the natural place when the time comes to give birth. If she is at all unhappy you must give in to her and make other arrangements. She probably has a good reason for not wanting things the way you do. So listen to her and adjust. She may accept the box, and then on the day of whelping, she changes her mind and wants to go somewhere else. Again, you must give in to her request. She may return to the box after she has had her first puppy, but let her decide. It is worth all the upheaval to have a happy, contented bitch who comes through her pregnancy successfully and delivers her puppies safely, without causing you – – or herself – – any undue anxiety.

Book Review – Healthy Carb Cookbook For "Dummies," by Jan McCracken

I have been part of the low-carb community for several years, and I find it interesting to watch the trends and the ups and downs of low carb advocacy. I've always leaned towards a healthy version and moderation.

From the beginning, I preferred "real food" made healthy, and this delightful book, Healthy Carb Cookbook For 'Dummies' (Wiley Publishing, 2005), by Jan McCracken, offers a wonderful variety of down to earth and delicious, "real world "recipes.

This book is a realistic and humorous guide for living a healthy life for real people. It addresses ease of preparation, economy of effort, consideration of meal budgets, and most importantly abundance of flavor – all with health as the underlying factor. I love every recipe I've tried so far.

As any "Dummies" reader knows, there's more to a "Dummies" cookbook than recipes. And in this book, there are terrific, common sense, and again, realistic segments, from advice and tips to information on how to get the most benefit from living right in this fast-paced world. I also appreciate that the author obviously knows her chops, so to speak. She has done her research and provides information that I have not found readily available about low and healthy carb.

I've been researching and reading about all angles of low carb eating for several years, and this book actuallyave me some fresh information, new perspectives and a fun read. If you have any curiosity or interest in low or healthy carb cooking, I highly recommend getting a copy of this book.

The Real Reason Counting Calories Doesn’t Work

Most people have the right idea when they want to lose weight that they should track their calorie intake. It’s true that calories do matter when it comes to weight loss but counting calories has some serious errors. These errors are typically what breaks a diet and leaves the dieter frustrated and back at square one.

Many nutrition labels are inaccurate when it comes to the calories listed. The tallies are oftentimes wrong. We know that one gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories, one gram of protein contains 4 calories, and one gram of fat contains 9 calories. Next time you see a nutrition label, pull out your calculator and do a little check for yourself. You will notice the number you get from your calculations is not the same as that of the nutrition label. There could be a difference of enough calories on a consistent basis (that you’re consuming) that is preventing your weight loss results because the true calories are unaccounted for.

Another big error occurs when you track your calories using only a volume measurement. Here are some examples:

– A regular bag of quick oats says a serving size is “1/2 cup (40 grams)”. Most people will measure out a 1/2 cup serving and count the calories of a 1/2 cup serving and go about their day. The problem is that a 40 gram serving when weighed on a scale is actually less than 1/2 a cup measurement. A 1/2 cup measurement of quick oats is somewhere around 54 to 56 grams which is a difference of around 60 calories that are unaccounted for. If you have 1/2 a cup per day, at the end of the week this is an extra 420 calories. Those 420 calories can be preventing you from losing weight or slowing down your progress.

– All natural peanut butter has a label that reads one serving is “1 tbsp (16 grams)”. Most people take either a regular dinner spoon and scoop out their serving or they take a true tablespoon and measure the peanut butter by volume. If you are not leveling off your volume measurement, it’s likely you’re taking more peanut butter and calories in than you’re accounting for. It’s easy to take a spoonful of 32 grams instead of what the nutrition label reads as 16 grams. This could be a difference of

nearly 100 calories that are unaccounted for. If you do this daily, by the end of the week that is almost 700 calories you’re eating which is more than what you thought. This extra 700 calories can completely stall weight loss.

Trying to “eye-ball” or estimate too often can prevent weight loss. It has been shown that people do a very poor job at estimating calories. When you are consistently estimating, it’s simply that, an estimate, it’s not accurate. It’s possible for a small brownie to contain upwards of 600 calories depending on the ingredients in it. Most people might estimate a brownie as only 200 calories, that is a 400 calorie difference that is unaccounted for.

So now that we’ve seen where the errors can occur, what can we do about them?

Track your macro-nutrients. Your macro-nutrients are your proteins, carbohydrates and fats. When you keep a log of your macro-nutrients using a smartphone app you will always hit your daily target calories because the calorie total is more accurate than a nutrition label.

Use weight instead of volume to measure food. By using a small kitchen scale to weigh your food you will be significantly more accurate when tracking your calories. You will also understand what true portion sizes are when you visually see food and liquids weighed out. Now, keep in mind that you don’t have to weigh your food forever but weighing your food when losing weight is going to give you the most accurate numbers and therefore the best results.

As we can see, there can be quite a few errors with tracking calories alone. When you become accurate with your tracking, you will finally get the weight loss results you want with ease.

Six Ways to Get Your Energy Back

So, there you are, dragging your patooty through one gray day after another, wondering where your brain went, why your body aches and if you'll ever feel good again.

Even if your doctor checked for thyroid problems, and the flaky blood tests actually found the problem, you probably ended up on the ineffective medication Synthroid or its generic equivalent. It helps almost nobody.

But you do not have to be hypothyroid to lack energy and joy. Perhaps your thyroid's in a world of hurt because of what you've been doing to it, but it'll work if you let it.

Either way, here are six tips to stop beating up on your thyroid and get a power boost.

• Do not eat bread, cookies, cakes, etc-at least, not any you buy. And not because of calories. Commercial bakeries started using bromine, a fire retardant, as a dough conditioner in the 1980s, and bromine is death on the thyroid, which just happens to control our metabolism and energy.

Here's how it goes. Our thyroid hormone needs iodine to work Bromine is chemically very similar to iodine, and when it gets into our bodies, it pushes iodine out of the way and hijacks our thyroid hormone. Well, bogus thyroid can not cut the mustard, so you're toast. You're pumping out hormone with no power. Zilch, zero, nada.

But here's the kicker: Blood tests can not tell real thyroid from bogus thyroid. You may be dragging bottom, but the test says you're good to go. Even if you're verging on comatose. The blood test has spoken.

• And everything I said about bromine goes for fluoride-in spades. Do not drink fluoridated water. Do not use fluoridated toothpaste. Do not bathe in fluoridated water. Do not take fluoride-based antibiotics. No fluoride; no way, no how.

Fluoride's murder. And, no, it does not help anyone's teeth; fluoride has mottled and weakened the teeth of nearly half the kids in the US There's nothing good to say about fluoride.

• Eat plenty of protein, including red meat at least every other day. Our thyroid glands, as part of the endocrine system, thrive on protein. They live for protein. They can not make it without protein. And red meat has micronutrients we need and can not get anywhere else.

But (and why is there always a 'but'?) Do not eat just any protein. Beef from factory farms contains hormones, antibiotics and, because of the cow's unnatural diet of grains, a whole lot of disease-causing Omega 6.

Gotta get grass fed, grass finished beef-and milk, butter and cheese-with no hormones and no antibiotics, just a bunch of omega 3 to bless your socks off.

• You do not want to cut off the fat, either. Our bodies make their hormones from saturated fat. Our brains need fat to function. And we need to eat saturated fat to absorb nutrition from our food. No fat means no nutrition.

• And for pity's sake, I'm begging you, do not eat soy. Or drink soy. Or put soy lotions on your body. Just do not have anything to do with soy.

Beside depressing thyroid function-ie energy levels-soy comes chock-a-block full of bogus estrogen, which messes with the entire endocrine system-especially estrogen, testosterone and progesterone. Do you really want to do a number on your reproductive system? And tell me, sir, is it really your heart's desire to have breasts? Well, then, soy will get that job done. Of course, there's the little additional matter of prostate cancer to consider.

Want more? Soy sucks the minerals out of your body and causes kidney stones, too. How much fun is that?

Here's the hard part: Eliminating soy means avoiding processed foods-fast food, meals at most chain restaurants and meals that come out of a box.

• Take quality vitamins and minerals to give your body the ammunition it needs to fight the good fight. Food alone can not do everything that needs doing, so you have to supplement. But you have to supplement intelligently. Picking up any old thing in the grocery store does not work.

It took me years to figure out the vitamin / mineral gig, which is probably why I jump up and down about nutrition these days.

So there you have it. Six ways to boost your health. A tip of the proverbial iceberg to be sure, but a strong beginning for your health revolution.

How To Be Sane In An Insane World

Are you happy? Are you happy every day? Do you wake up happy? Do you go to sleep happy? My answers to all four questions are: YES! I do not want to go to sleep at night because I am enjoying life so much that I just want to stay up and continue being happy. I've fallen asleep on the couch more nights than I care to admit, as I tried to stay awake. I realize I'm in the minority here and this is not how it is for most people. I started to think about how I live my life and came up with the following list of things that keep me "sane in an insane world".

Workout: I started working out in high school and will be doing it for the rest of my life. The gym is my second home. The endorphin high relieves stress and alters negative states of mind. Exercise tells your cells that they should grow instead of decay. If you do not make time for exercise, you must actually make time for illness.

Diet: How and what we eat affects our bodies (both inside and out), energy and mood. It's important to stick to a healthy diet most of the time and "cheat" only once in a while. I am currently within 3 pounds of my high school weight and plan to be in that range for the rest of my life.

Meditation: Once you experience the benefits of meditation, you will not be able to live without it. You will actually crave it. You become more intuitive and are able to remain calm in stressful situations. If I do not get a chance to meditate, I'm not as peaceful and grounded as I like to be.

Spiritual / religious foundation: Believing in a higher power gives us strength in both good times and bad. It grounds us when we have been coming from our ego and reminds us that we are spirits in a material world. My weekly Buddhist class always brings me back down to earth if I start to get to take myself too seriously.

Sleep: Most people need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep. Your body needs to renew itself at night. If you regularly have trouble sleeping, do the things on this list and you'll find that you'll be able to fall sleep easier.

A Passion: I love, love, love my weekly, Latin dance class. I would not miss it for the world. I'm in a childlike state the entire class – joking around and laughing. You have to have something to look forward to every week that makes your spirit sing. Find your passion.

Music: When you start to take life too seriously, you can change your mood instantly by listening to music that moves you. If you're feeling down, play something upbeat. I usually have relaxing music playing in the background at home – it instantly changes the whole vibe.

Reading: Just like your body, you need to feed your mind. You become more attractive when you are well read and can carry on an interesting, intelligent conversation. I am addicted to reading and as a result, can talk to anyone about almost anything.

Meaningful Conversations: I have a ton of friends but I'm lucky to have 3 great friends who I can talk to about anything and they listen actively and give me honest, intelligent feedback. We all need someone to talk to – it's a lot less expensive than therapy.

Pampering: Life is about balance. You need to take care of the body, mind and soul equally. When you feel stressed out, pamper yourself. Sometimes a luxurious bubble bath with music and candles is all you need.

Massage: This is usually viewed as a luxury, but I believe it is a necessity. The benefits of massage range from improved immune system to improved joint flexibility and everything in between. If you can not afford to do it on a regular basis, go to a massage school where the rates are much lower.

Love: Love is all around you. It can come from anywhere – a romantic partner, a parent, sibling, friend, neighbor, pet or nature. Be as open to giving it as you are to receiving it.

News Blogs Vs The Newspaper

Grapevine has it that the paper boy may soon be out of business with the emergence of news blogs on the internet. Conventionally, most home owners, especially those belonging to the older generation are used to reading the daily newspaper in print in order to stay updated with current global news. However, this trend is experiencing a change where the new generation now looks to the internet when it comes to staying updated with the latest events around the world.

This shifting trend poses a threat to many of the conventional print headlines. So much so that many of them have initiated the move to go online. Many newspaper companies have experienced a drop in their sales due to this new emerging trend. However, the danger for news agencies is far from over because they are being rivaled by another creation of the web that comes in the form of news blogs.

These are basically online websites that deliver round the clock updated breaking news from around the world. These news aggregation websites do not only give you the daily news as quoted from other news sources but they also give you the opportunity to watch original news programs covering your favorite niches. Many of these blogs feature separate sections, writers, videos and original programs on politics, business, sports, entertainment, biz and tech and much more. In essence a news blog is everything that a newspaper could ever wish to be.

There is no denying the fact that news blogs offer the news seeker a much more enhanced experience. At the same time however it has had a significant impact on journalism. This is because readers are given the opportunity to comment and give feedback on anything they read, see or hear on these blogs then keeping the journalists in check. Unlike conventional media where it is difficult to identify a twisted agenda, with news blogs intentions are always kept in check.

When examined in detailed this phenomenon comes across as a very important and vital development of our century. In an era where the media is being blamed for promoting vested agendas, news blogs deliver impartial breaking news and headlines from around the world in an unbiased, unprejudiced and informative manner.

The newspaper in print can never even dream to match the value that news blogs have to offer. This is why you will find them to be increasing in terms of popularity all over the world where the sales and popularity of the conventional printed paper seem to be dwindling fast.