Opening Your Own Bakery

Do you have a baking addiction and would also like to turn it into a profitable business? It can be a very lucrative idea, especially if you are a skilled baker and have exceptional entrepreneurial skills. To make your bakery business profitable in this industry, you need to understand how to plan and effectively run the company. To generate enough revenue in order to stay in business, planning is very essential. The following steps will help you to learn how to open your own bakery.

Decide On The Type Of Bakery

First thing you will need to do is choose the type of bakery you would like to open and what kinds of baked goods you want to sell.

As for types of bakery you have several options. Your bakery can sell only baked goods or you can additionally sell coffee and sandwiches. You can open a bakery as just a shop or with a seating area for customers. It can also be an online service of baked goods delivery and you can start a home-based baking business.

Choose the baked goods you want to sell. Do you want them to be conventional, organic, vegan or gluten-free?

bakery

Research the Local Competition

Before starting out any business, one of the first things on the list is research of competition and demand for the product or service. In your local area do some research to see if the people would be ready to buy your baked goods. Also check the competition. Is it over-competitive in your area? If not, think of what you can do to stand out. For example, open a bakery with specialty baked goods. Also offer a seating area, where the visitors could enjoy them with coffee.

Write a Thorough Business Plan

The business plan should contain all the details on the calculated costs of the location, equipment, staff, taxes, marketing and supplies. Determine who will be managing the business, your marketing strategy and how you will finance the business. Then determine the profit you plan to make in the first couple of years by projecting the costs against the projected income. To help you with the financial part of the business plan, you might need help of an accountant to make sure that no expenses are overlooked.

Find the Perfect Location For Your Bakery

Research the areas of your city and select a location where you could have many potential customers. The ideal location should be easily accessible, shoudn’t have any zoning guidelines, has plenty of traffic passing through and meets all the safety requirements.

Register Your Business

Before opening the bakery you will need to register your business with the city. To sell the bakes goods you will also need a sales permit. Check with the state’s health services department.

Get and Install the Equipment

Depending on the baked goods you will be selling, determine the equipment you will need. You will need a commercial oven, mixer, commercial blender and more. Make sure that you buy all the professional equipment that is safe and up to the code.

Determine the Menu and the Ingredients

Develop you standard menu. Calculate the ingredients and how much you will need for each of the items on the menu. Find suppliers and buy enough materials.

pastry

Hire Employees

Make sure that the staff you hire is friendly, trustworthy and efficient at work.

Advertise

Place an ad in a local newspaper and online, and give out flyers.

You are ready to open!

How To Become a Chef?

If you are passionate about cooking and would like to make it your profession, then consider becoming a chef. The career of a chef can be really rewarding, but the path to becoming one is also not that easy. It involves long hours and there’s heavy competition. But as a chef you will have the opportunity to run a kitchen or you could go further and run a restaurant. To start your career as a chef, you will need the following education and experience.  Continue Reading

Staying Healthy With the Foods You Eat

Our health greatly depends on the foods we eat. But healthy eating does not mean following strict dietary limitations or avoiding the foods that you love. Eating healthy is more about the foods that give you energy and make you feel great. By following some simple health-building principles you can achieve looking your best and feeling great. Continue Reading

Sating my Hunger with a Travel Nurse

I was up in New Jersey this weekend. I wanted to go to Hoboken, New Jersey for a couple days. For one, I wanted to go to the Cake Boss store. Although I am a health nut, I enjoy a sugary snack every once in awhile. I should have more snack days in my diet, to be honest. What also interests me about this store is how the Valastro family turned it into such a successful (multi-million dollar) business. It was popular way before it was ever on television. That cake store has been a local favorite for years.

My question is how it got there. I went around asking some locals about the cake shop and how they heard about it. I asked a lot of people but the majority of them were not from the Hoboken area. Those people heard about the shop via the television show. However, I did run into a travel nurse that is originally from Jersey City. Which just south of Hoboken.

Her name was Jamie. Jamie travels to remote areas of the country to work as a nurse in hospitals that are usually understaffed for a couple months. She can also choose where she wants to go depending on the job offers available. She told me that one of the things she looks for is a good downtown restaurant scene.

Jamie told me if the city does not have good native restaurants then she does not even consider the job unless the money is too good to refuse immediately. Jamie also happens to be a figure competitor and constantly trains and looks for good restaurants to support her lifestyle and eating habits. She took me to this place called Muscle Maker Grill.

This restaurant was spectacular. I have never been to a restaurant that blends fast food and healthy eating habits together so well. The only restaurant that even comes close is Chipotle. Even Chipotle does not have the creative food options of this restaurant. They offer the full package. I really enjoyed this restaurant, my time in New Jersey, and the new friends I made. Hopefully, I will be back soon.

Cleanliness in Preparing Food is the First Step in Healthy Eating

Cleanliness in Preparing Food is the First Step in Healthy EatingThere are a lot of ways to stay healthy these days especially when it comes to eating. The good thing is that more people are now becoming aware of the benefits of healthy eating and how it could make their body better. If you are one of those who wanted to change your habits this year and make it more suitable to a healthier lifestyle, then you are moving towards the right direction.

You can start with going organic in buying ingredients for cooking. Let go of canned goods or products that have already been manufactured with chemicals and other substances. If you can cook from scratch, then it is much better. The good news is that there are a lot of organic markets that are opening these days. Even if you have to spend more money buying from these markets, you are still investing your money properly. After all, you will reap the benefits of this move.

Cleaning the ingredients

When everything is ready, the next thing that you have to do is to prepare the ingredients for cooking. Items that are not yet going to be used must be sealed properly. They should be kept in the fridge or in the cabinet where they can be easily used for future cooking.

Before you start slicing or preparing the ingredients for cooking, you need to clean them up first. Once you have peeled the vegetables for instance, you have to wash them again. It is not enough to rely on heat to kill all the bacteria. Earlier on, everything has to be cleaned. This is true for meat and other dry ingredients as well.

Get the best kitchen faucet

To make things easier for you, it is important to have the best kitchen faucet. You need to install the best kitchen faucets so you can easily prepare the items needed for cooking. More modern faucets are designed to be easily controlled. When you are dealing with more fragile ingredients, it is not really a huge problem. You can adjust the flow of water easily. You can check out the best options through kitchen faucet reviews. Once you have the best one at home, then you can wash all the ingredients easily.

Cleaning up after cooking

Once you are done cooking, you will serve what you have prepared and also arrange the table for dining. It is important that you also keep the area you have used for cooking clean. Make sure that everything is arranged so that you won’t have a hard time later on. The good thing is that there are also kitchen faucets that can be adjusted so they can act as a hose that can be used to clean the entire sink easily.

Cleanliness is definitely a part of healthy eating. It is not enough to have organic ingredients with you. It is also important that everything is germ free so you are assured of you and your family’s health.

Keeping Fit All Year Round

fitness, sport, training, gym and lifestyle concept - group of sThere is always joy and satisfaction each time I explore the waters. Whether I go sailing, boating, scuba diving or simply collecting marine samples, I feel totally satisfied. This is why I have not missed a chance to go to the sea whenever I can. I have also traveled across the world in search of different marine organisms. I love studying them, as they are totally amazing. I also love studying the seas and find ways to clean up the dirty waters. Despite the fact that they are satisfying, they can also be very exhausting. When the trip involves lots of swimming, then I feel so tired at the end of the day.

This is why I always make sure that I am physically capable for the job. Before heading to the waters, I train myself first so I can stand the test of time. I need endurance and stamina if I want the trip to be productive.

 

Hitting the gym

Of course, this is already a part of what I need to do before going to the seas. I need to do cardio for endurance. I also try weight lifting to build muscles and gain more strength. Recently, I discovered cross fit. These are intense workouts that combine different workout techniques, but are taken into a whole new level. The techniques are totally out of this world. It seems like no human being can do all those stunts. At first, I thought they were all impossible to do. When I started, I began with basic moves and eventually moved on to more difficult stunts. This is when I realized that it is indeed a great workout challenge and it is something that I can do. I hit the gym for cross fit more often now with the best crossfit shoes, the best affordable crossfit shoes for that matter, to keep me safe while doing the difficult stunts. You can also buy the best shoes for crossfit enthusiasts even if you are a beginner if you are thinking of giving it a try.

 

Eating the right food

You also need to be energized when you hit the waters over a longer period of time. You need to eat food that can sustain you for a long time. You need energy giving foods. You might think about carbs right away. You can do a carb loading technique when it comes almost close to your water adventure. Prior to that, you can limit your carb intake so you won’t be out of shape.

 

Breathing techniques

You also need to breathe well when you are on the waters. This is why you have to do cardio exercises whenever possible or walk a flight of stairs instead of using the lift all the time. You have to train your lungs to endure longer hours of work on the open seas.

 

Once you have done all these techniques, you are now physically ready for the challenge. There are a lot of things that are yet to be discovered in our waters. We need to help each other unlock the mysteries of the water to sustain marine lives and eventually, our own lives.

Juicin’ on the Beach!

Juicin' on the Beach!I always go to the beach, but for swimming, sun bathing or swimming. I love exploring the ocean. If I see good-looking people while I am on the beach, then it is a bonus. Even if I have a different objective for going to the beach, I have as much fun as everyone else who goes the beach.

I also have one very important tip for those who always love heading to the beach- bring your own juicer. It might sound weird, but it actually works. Take note that when you are out there, it could be very hot. You will easily feel thirsty and you run the risk of dehydration. When your juicer comes in handy, you can prepare healthy fruit juices and you are good to go. It will quench your thirst right away.

Another benefit of having a juicer when you are on the beach is that you stay away from being tempted of beers, sodas and other carbonated beverages. There are a lot of beverage stores out there. It is easy to just pay for a can of soda when you are thirsty. Even if you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle, seeing these thirst quenching beverages will easily make you change your mind. When you have a juicer, you immediately have a healthier option right there. Besides, wouldn’t it be fun if you do sunbathing with a healthy glass of fruit juice on your side table? It will make you feel the heat of the sun on your skin more and ultimately enjoy summer the way it is supposed to be.

 

Not a hassle

If you think bringing juicers is such a huge problem, you are wrong. You might be thinking of huge and outdated juicers. There are smaller options available these days that you can easily bring with you wherever you go. Whether you are to head to work or on your car for a long trip, these juicers are perfect. You can just squeeze them in your baggage and you are good to go. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about bringing one on your beach adventure.

 

Making the right choice

There are juicers that can work well with almost any type of fruit or vegetable you wanted to be juiced. Make sure that it is made from high quality materials and a lot of people have said something great about it. You also have to check the price. It must be affordable enough to not hurt your budget. There are a lot of choices when it comes to juicers. They also come in different sizes just in case you wanted to prepare juices for a large group.

You can just check out the best juicers here. You can also read reliable juicer reviews for more information. Once you have chosen the best juicer, go ahead and buy it. You can now plan your trip to the beach knowing that you have the best juicer with you.

 

Trust me, I know that it works. I understand living near close to the waters as I have lived this life for years. It will really benefit you.

Stay Healthy with Running & Cross Training

Running is great exercise, but all the pounding is very hard on the body. That is why cross training is an important tool that serious runners use to build cardiovascular capacity and muscle strength without overloading the body with too much running.
One of the best things about cross training is that there are so many options to choose from, runners are bound to find something that they like doing. Here are a few options that top athletes use to increase their training volume.

1. Pool Running – Pool running is the secret weapon of élite runners and those with a history of injury. To do pool running, a flotation vest is always used in the deep lane (a minimum of 5 feet deep) of a lap pool. Some say pool running is boring, but it is the closest thing to running on dry land while still minimizing gravity’s impact. While other cross training workouts may focus on other muscle groups than the ones needed for running, pool running is the most running-specific form of cross training around. You can decrease the boredom factor by making it fun – running sprints between the lines, racing against the clock, focusing on form. Just be sure to keep your heart rate up and your cadence high to reap the full benefit.

Top Tip – Pool running also has another important aspect not many people know about and that’s if a runner or any athlete becomes injured then pool running is perfect for rehabilitation, exercising in water prevents aggravating the injury but still enables you to exercise during your recovery.
If you pick up an injury during training don’t try to continue with your routine this could cause longer term damage, if you can still move around without too much pain try visiting your local pool and pool run until you’re fully recovered.

2. Yoga – Yoga does not give much of a cardiovascular workout, but does offer excellent core strengthening, balance and flexibility benefits that make it an ideal way to help prevent injury and run pain-free. If you are running more than 4 times per week, try switching out one running workout for yoga to reap these benefits.

3. Spinning – Top running athletes often turn to spinning as a way to work out at a high cardiovascular capacity without impact. Spinning is a high cadence workout performed on stationary bicycles, usually in a fun class setting that mimics a hard ride on the open road. It is a good way to get a feel for cadence and strengthen the hip flexor muscles without pounding the soft tissues of the lower leg. It can lead to tightening of the hip flexors though, so be sure to stretch afterwards!

Top Tip – When spinning or cycling it’s important to wear a quality pair of shoes to prevent chafing of the heal, the first time I attended a spinning class my shoes where not designed for a HIIT workout resulting in damage to both my heals, this prevented me from training for seven days.
I purchased my latest shoes from http://www.dsstuff.com the site has a comparison chart for cross training shoes, I opted for the Brooks Glycerin 12 read the full review here after a few months of using these sneakers for spinning class I am very happy with how they have performed but most importantly no damage to my heals.

4. Swimming – Swimming provides a great low impact, upper body and core workout that really gets your heart and lungs working and helps prevent over training of the muscles. And although swimming uses completely different muscles than running, they do share one muscle group in common – the glutes. Learning to swim properly with engagement in the kick can actually help your running, as “sleeping glutes” are a problem that affect many swimmers as well as runners.

5. TRX – Something new in the world of exercise and cross training is TRX training. TRX developed by the US Navy SEALS and uses the body’s own weight to give an effective workout that can target any area of the body. Some of the most impressive benefits of TRX are its ability to build a strong core and increase endurance by working muscles dynamically throughout the entire range of motion. Many fitness clubs are now offering TRX classes, and it can also be practiced in the privacy of your home with minimal equipment.

The benefits of cross training include reduced impact to the joints, reduced likelihood of injury and over training, and the opportunity to spice up your workouts and keep things fresh. So get out there, and try something new!

Pizza is healthier than you think!

Although pizza is delicious, there are many people who say it’s not good to eat because it’s greasy and has a lot of calories per slice. Pizza is one of the most popular foods in America, and it’s believed that it’s been around since the 1st century BC, but many compare it to other types of fast food that you can find at chain restaurants. Even though it might be a bit greasy at times, pizza isn’t as bad as some say, and it can actually offer plenty of vitamins and nutrients that you may not have known about.

The Sauce of the Pizza

That sweet and savory sauce is much more than just a topping for the crust. It’s made from fresh tomatoes that have antioxidant properties and are good for the body. It’s believed that the antioxidants in tomatoes have the ability to help fight certain types of cancers. There are other ingredients commonly found in pizza sauce that also contribute to good health, including onions and red peppers. Both the onions and peppers contain vitamin C, along with a few other vitamins too.

The Proof Is in the Pizza

Did you know that a pizza study has actually taken place? The idea of the study was to scientifically prove that pizza does, in fact, offer plenty of benefits to those who consume it. A total of 8,000 people participated in the study and the results were quite interesting. Those who chose to eat pizza at least one day out of the week were less likely to end up with mouth or stomach cancer. There are also other studies that have been done on pizza, including one that says pizza may help to prevent people from having heart attacks. It seems those who want to improve their health aren’t doing any harm by indulging in a slice of tasty pizza after all.

Multiple Food Groups in One Slice

When you eat a pizza, you’re eating food from multiple food groups. For example, the cheese on top of the pizza is a dairy product, and it offers the calcium you need to keep your bones strong. The dough, much like the pizza sauce, contains antioxidants that are good for the body. You can even add healthy toppings, such as sliced broccoli or green peppers and onions, to include even more food items from the various food groups.

In the past, people may have told you not to eat pizza. They may have explained that it just isn’t healthy or good for you, no matter how good it tastes. But now, you can prove to them that they’re wrong. Don’t feel guilty when you have a slice of pizza because you’re actually giving your body the antioxidants and vitamins that it needs to stay healthy. And, you’ll have the research from the studies to back you up just in case those pizza haters don’t believe you. Pizza is a delicious meal, but it’s not something that should be compared to other types of fast food, because it’s a lot healthier than most people realize.

Health Tips For New Parents

New parents will know how tough it can be to adapt to a completely new lifestyle. I know many women in my family and circle of friends who have struggled with staying healthy once their new baby arrives. All the focus is on the baby and many forget to spend some time on their own health and fitness. In today’s post I want to address some of the issues and also provide some very simple and easy ways to get fit and lose the baby weight after pregnancy.

Before you make a decision to get fit again you should always check with your family doctor to make sure that there is no medical reason for you to not start exercising again. This is especially important if you had a difficult pregnancy or a caesarean. Picking the right time is crucial.

One of the first things you can do is start walking on a regular basis even if it is just for short distances. This gets your body used to regular movement and it is a great way to burn even just small amounts of calories.

Once you have improved a little bit you can start doing some light and short distance running. For many moms it will be difficult to do this as partners are often at work for most of the day. But there is a solution that will suit parents with babies that are old enough to fit into a jogging stroller. These types of strollers are designed in a way that will allow you to bring your baby along for a run, providing comfort to both your baby and yourself. Over at BabyWheels.net you will find some fantastic information on how to choose the best suitable jogging stroller.

Swimming is also a fantastic way to get active again and it is probably the easiest on the body. If you suffered with sore joints and spine during your pregnancy then going swimming will likely be one of the best solutions to easy your body into exercise again. When you are in the water all the weight is removed and your joints will not suffer, while at the same time you can burn a load of calories. The only problem is finding the time to go.

Healthy eating is also vital at this stage and what you eat will greatly depend on whether you are breast feeding or not. For moms that do not breastfeed, they will be a lot more flexible in adapting their diet. Make sure you do not make changes too drastically as your body has gone through a lot of changes in the past 9+ months. Obviously you should reduce your fat intake and sugary carbs, but it is very important that you do not starve yourself. Being a mother is very energy consuming, so do not fool yourself into thinking you require less energy intake to keep you going.

The next steps can then involve going to the gym for certain types of exercise that you simply cannot do at home. A lot of mothers I have talked to have also found that Yoga and/or Pilates are a great way to get their bodies’ back into shape. This is especially the case if you did this during your pregnancy, which makes it a lot easier to get back into it.

Food to Try in Saigon

One of my favorite places to visit has been Vietnam. Vietnamese foods have so many choices, and wonderful flavors. On my latest trip through Southeast Asia, I was able to spend a few days in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh). I met up with some good friends and new acquaintances and had a blast going out every night. As always, I tried to sample some new foods. But before that, one of the first things my friends took me to do was play paintball.

Paintball?
Yes, paintball. Not exactly my thing, but who am I to say no to my hosts. Apparently, paintball is a very trending thing in Saigon right now and my friends are obsessed with it. It turned out to be very fun, so I was glad I decided to go to a place unoriginally called Paintball Saigon. It was unexpectedly quite cheap and the rental Tippmann 98 Customs (full review for an idea) were easy and fun to use.
If you are traveling make sure to expand your comfort zone. It is always a good time to try new things, but travelling makes it very easy. Anyways, back to the food.

If you were going to travel to Vietnam what kinds of foods should you try?

Pho
The top food of Vietnam, Pho is a rice noodle dish with chicken or beef added to it with some type of flavorings. The meat and noodles come with a delicious broth.

Chao
Chao is the Vietnamese equivalent to grits. The rice is creamy and salty with fish, chicken, or pork added to it. The meat is not the only addition to the dish; it also comes with light and colorful spring vegetables.

XOI
One of the most common street foods found in Vietnam, XOI, found in any type of restaurant or street vendor. The main ingredient is sticky rice, mixed with different types of ingredients.

Ngheu hap xa
The ultimate of finger foods, this simple dish has mouthwatering clams served in a lemon grass broth. The clams are the only silverware you will need to use as you eat the dish.

Banh mi
The popular sandwich, Banh mi is everywhere throughout Vietnam. The ingredients that are in the sandwich depend upon where the person lives. The basics of Banh mi are meats and vegetables, with some herbs to give it a little more flavor.

Banh Cuon
The Vietnamese equivalent to a burrito, Bahn Cuon takes ground meat, mixes with herbs, and inserts it into a wrap made from rice flour. In many cases, the chef will make it from rice noodles. Accompanied with a sauce to dip the Banh Cuon in, it is simple but delicious dish to have any time of the day.

Bun cha
What goes better with a handful of herbs and a bowl of fish broth, a sausage patty? The pork is crispy, the chef cooks it the delicacy over a grill. The grill also give the patties a char flavor, giving the food a special flavor.

Bun bo nam bo
Many Vietnamese dishes come with broth. Bun bo nam bo has no broth but plenty of noodles and meats. The dish also comes with plenty of herbs to give it extra flavor. If you are feeling very adventurous, the dish can come with chili peppers for added flavor.

It does not matter when you travel to Vietnam, or if you look for Vietnamese food at a local restaurant, there are so many dishes that you can choose that you will need to keep going back to the restaurant, and try all of the food they have to offer.

Aramark Now The Official Caterer At LP Field

In April, the Tennessee Titans announced that they chose Aramark to become the NFL franchise’s exclusive provider of catering and food in their home stadium in Nashville, Tennessee – the LP field. The parties have agreed that Aramark will not only manage the restaurants within the stadium, but also all other aspects of the stadium’s concessions, suites and VIP guest levels. The NFL team plans to cooperate with the company to develop an extraordinary food and catering program reflecting the culinary preferences of the region and will especially attach importance to service, quality and value.

Aramark, or more precisely, the Aramark Corporation, was founded in 1936 by the Brothers Henry and Davre Davidson in Southern California. At first the company only provided vending services to workers in the aviation sector. A little more than 20 years later, Aramark joined with the Automatic Retailers of America, to form ARA and to become a publicly traded company in 1960. Today, Aramark offers services in various areas, like food, clothing and facilities and works with regular businesses, but also federal institutions like prisons, schools and hospitals. The company had about 13,500 million US dollars in revenue in 2012 and is under the Top 30 largest employers with about 260,000 employees. Aramark has a long history in providing services at sports events, for example they have serviced more than 15 Olympic Games, starting in Mexico in 1968, over Athens in 2004 and finally Beijing in 2008.

The NFL team Tennessee Titans was founded by Bud Adams as the sixth of 8 teams in the American Football League in 1959. The team was known as Houston Oilers at first then changed their name to Tennessee Oilers with their relocation from Houston to Tennessee and finally, in 1999, they became the Tennessee Titans. The teams’ current stadium LP field was also officially opened in 1999 under the name Adelphia Coliseum. Between 2003 and 2006, the Titans couldn’t find a sponsor for the stadium and it was simply called The Coliseum. Today it is called LP field after Louisiana Pacific.

The Tennessee Titans as well as Aramark are positive that their cooperation will take the services in the stadium to the next level when it comes to variety and quality. To reach that goal, Aramark will offer many new jobs in the stadium. They are currently looking for a supply chain purchasing manager, several technical account managers and a health, safety and environment manages. To better serve the need for regional food, they are also looking to expand their team of food scientists, food technologists and are looking for a new research and development manager. Aramark is known to be a good employer offering high salaries, good health and social plans and very flexible work hours to only name a few. In addition to that, in an NFL stadium like LP field, you will also have the weekly option to watch NFL football games during the NFL season. This will probably be the most attractive side of the job for some people.

The coming weeks and months will show if Aramark can deliver on their promises and really put together food and catering services that will help position LP field as one of the best NFL venues.

The Healthy Way to Gain Weight and Build Mass


Tired of being too skinny?

In today’s world of unhealthy foods we usually are accustomed to having to find ways to cut down and lose weight to maintain a healthy body. But some people have the opposite problem – being too skinny or underweight, which can also be equally dangerous for your health.

Being underweight can lead to issues relating to self esteem, cardiovascular issues, or immune system suppression. So what can you do about it? The solution is to gain some weight!

Gaining muscle mass – Self-esteem and health of young males

Many young males in the bodybuilding or weightlifting field are particularly interested in gaining weight, primarily for aesthetic reasons. And while there is nothing wrong with this (so long as one does not become narcissistically self-absorbed!), some people incur serious damage to their health by attempting to gain weight with improper methods or techniques. These can include:

  • eating too many calories too quickly
  • eating the wrong types of calories (fats)
  • taking too much dairy a la GOMAD diet

People want results fast and this instant gratification mindset can be detrimental for overall health and even aesthetic goals. So let’s take a look at some of the proven ways one can gain weight and muscle mass that is both wholesome, safe, and healthy:

Methods of weight gain

1. Healthy eating, calorie counting, good macros!

If you want to do things the natural way, then you will have to learn to eat right, count your calories and make sure you have good macros. Let’s break these down one by one.

Healthy Eating

Here we are talking about getting good nutrition – lots of vegetables, whole grains, good sources of protein (i.e nuts, chicken, tofu – less red meat). It also means cutting out all the junk food . This includes:

  • refined sugar
  • unhealthy fats (trans, animal, saturated)
  • refined grains (white rice, white bread, white pasta!)

Calorie Counting

To gain weight, you need to consume more calories. The number of calories you need to maintain your current weight is called your TDEE, and it can be calculated over here. For moderate weight gain, we suggest eating 10 – 20% extra calories compared to your TDEE. This will ensure you don’t gain too much bad weight rapidly.

To keep track of your daily calories, I highly recommend using the MyfitnessPal app. This little app has a huge database of information regarding the amount of calories in various foods. This makes it easy to track how many calories you have consumed. The app also displays your macro nutrient breakdown, which brings us to our next point:

Good Macros

Macronutrients talk about how you divide your calories into the 3 main sources : protein, carbohydrates, and fats. We need all three to have a healthy body, but optimal health depends on the breakdown percentages.

Typically when you are trying to gain muscle, you want to have a macro breakdown that is high in carbs and protein with lower amounts of fat. Once again, the MyfitnessPal app automatically calculates this breakdown for you. How convenient!

 2. Supplementation with Mass gainers / Weight gainers

The second way that you can safely gain mass / weight is to use supplements. There exists a large number of powder shakes that you can purchase which are designed to allow you to gain muscle mass or general weight/mass. The advantage to using a supplement shake is that it makes it very easy to consume extra calories (via liquid). Many people have trouble gaining weight from eating food alone because their appetites are just not as big as their goals. A liquid gainer shake can easily add 400 -1200 calories to your daily consumption!

There are many supplement products in the market and it can be hard to know what is the best mass gainer for you. In my research I came across a great blog, bodybuilderscience.com, which uses peer-reviewed scientific articles to make the best supplement (protein, best pre workout supplement, creatine, etc) recommendations  for your health, fitness, and aesthetics goals.

They have a great article that reviews the best mass gainers / weight gainers, which you can read by following the link. Most of these supplements can be bought online on amazon for very reasonable prices. The good thing about mass gaining powders is that you don’t have to take them forever, only when you are looking to gain weight. Once you reach your desired goal you can reduce your calories to a more normal level. Here are some of the most highly recommended gainer supplements:

  • ON Serious Mass (massive calorie dosage!)
  • ON Pro Gainer Complex (very well balanced, but pricey)
  • Dymatize (Super Mass Gainer – Cheap and decent flavor)
  • Universal Gains
  • CytoGainer
  • MuscleMilk

In general here is what I have to say about these supplements:

Choose a quality product

Supplements come in varying qualities. Make sure you get something that has a good mix of protein, not just a whole pile of carbs, sugar or maltodextrin. Some of these gainer products (like ON Serious Mass) can have high levels of saturated fat or cholesterol, depending on whether you decide to take the full dose or not. Check to see what sort of macronutrient breakdown

Don’t Over Do it

We know you want your results RIGHT NOW, but be patient. Don’t overuse your gainer powder otherwise you will end up gaining a lot of unwanted fat and potentially mess up your insulin sensitivity!

Bottomline

Being skinny can suck, both health and self-esteem wise. If you are looking to lose the skinny malnourished, small look, then try eating more or try to add some supplementation to your daily nutrition. Be careful when choosing / using a mass gainer supplement, as not all are made equally. Choose quality and don’t overuse it, the gains will come if you are patient and consistent! Whether you choose food or supplements, make sure you go to the gym regularly to stimulate your muscles. Get a good hypertrophy program going and lift hard!

Simple Kiddie Snacks That Will Make You The Talk Of Toddler Town

As I was sitting with my niece on our swing at her home porch, I came up with a great idea for a post. There are some wonderful things that I like to prepare for little kids when they come over, whether it’s for my niece and nephew or maybe some friends who have kids of their own. I don’t think I’ve ever had any posts about foods for the little ones so here are some great ideas that you can whip up pretty easily the next time you’re expecting a visit.

Apple Smiles

My mom used to make these when we were growing up and they’re excellent for breaking the ice for a kid you just met. We read about them in a small picture book called Kids Snacks back in the day but they are just as easily accessible on Pinterest these days. Cut an apple into two small slices. These will be our lips! All that is left is to spread some peanut butter on each side and then grab a few small marshmallows to stick onto the slices and voila–apple smiles! Easy as pie…

PBJ Sushi

A fun way to serve an old classic is with some PBJ sushi bites. Take a slice of bread and remove the crusts. Proceed to fashion long, rectangular strips. These will be our sushi roll-ups. Spread some peanut butter and jelly (choose whichever flavor you like or use more than one for multi-color sushi) along the bread strips and then roll up into appetizing sushi! Perfect for when there are friends over… you can always count on a curious parent or two to give you a call asking about the PBJ sushi you served to their kid.

NOTE: For either of the preparations above, substitute peanut butter with Nutella for some delicious choco delights! Fantastic!

Creative Gelatin Molds

There’s always room for Jello, right? Well, it’s also super easy to make and will look super impressive to the average toddler as long as you serve it in cool, awesome shapes! Take a trip to your local department store and search for some great novelty ice cube trays or anything similar that you may want to use as a mold. Prepare the your Jello (or any other gelatin product) into the tray by mixing the crystals into some hot, filtered water. I always filter my water at home with one of these bad boys. Throw that tray into the fridge and you’ll be ready to serve up some funny shapes to your little guests whenever they happen to come around.

PROTIP: These trays will also be very useful for making some Jello shots for the grown-ups!

Conclusion: Some Happy Kids!

Kids are super easy to please and with a little creativity, you can be sure that your children will be the envy of all their friends when everyone finds out all about the awesome snacks mom prepares for them. I love writing about food in general (I’m sure any of you have noticed that by now) so I’ll spend some time with my niece on her porch swing again and try to come up with some more ideas for you all.

Take your reputation to the next level with some of these super simple kiddie snacks today!

Best Meat Might Be the Meat You Hunt

I have recently been doing some research about wild game and I am very intrigued by the health benefits. Because the animals are constantly active and eat a natural diet the meat is much leaner and higher in Omega 3, Iron and Zinc. You also don’t have to worry about things like antibiotics or steroids in your meat. I am heading up to Winnipeg, Manitoba for Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. My friends who live there will be preparing wild turkey for me.

My Canadian friends are avid hunters and they have both bows and shotguns. This wild turkey we will be eating was shot with a bow and arrow as that is the hunting season that is on right now. They are gearing up for rifle season though and they have also promised to teach me how to fire a gun. They have targets set up in their back field. They also said I could help with reloading ammunition. I didn’t even know what that was so I looked it up. It is when you reload the spent casings using a combination of bullets, and gun powder. There is even a loading press that you can use to make the whole process easier. It is a good practice for saving money on ammunition especially if you do a lot of target shooting which they have been in the recent weeks. I have been told I will be the one responsible for using the reloading press.

The Thanksgiving weekend was a success. I learned how to fire a gun, and reload ammunition with the reloading press. I spent a lot of time with their adorable five year old and my friend and her husband are fantastic cooks.

We had frittata for breakfast the first day made with fresh eggs from their chickens, fresh herbs and vegetables from their garden, and really tasty venison sausage left over from last year’s hunting season. The only thing from the store was the cheese. We had a light lunch of a homemade minestrone soup and sour dough bread. For dinner we had homemade fish and chips made with potatoes from the garden and fish that had been caught locally. My friend also made homemade coleslaw and tartar sauce to go along with it.

For breakfast the second day we had waffles with whipping cream and a berry sauce from berries they had picked in their field. For lunch we had a hotdog roast outside complete with homemade relish and pickles. For dinner that night my friend roasted a duck that they had shot the previous year. It was fantastic I have no idea what she put in the sauce and she won’t divulge the information.

On the Monday we had our main Thanksgiving meal as a lunch. My friend really outdid herself. The wild turkey was cooked to perfection and really juicy. She also had roasted potatoes, potato salad, a tossed green salad, brussels sprouts cooked with bacon and wild mushrooms, gravy, and a stuffing made with spicy venison sausage wild rice and mushrooms. For dessert we had homemade pumpkin cheesecake.

My Trip to Asturias – Beaches, Cheeses and Juices!

” class=”alignleft” width=”300″ />There has been a lot of research and studies that show that having regular holidays are essential to maintaining your health and well-being. You might think that a visit to somewhere as beautiful and inspiring as Asturias would be enough to deliver you that health-beneficial boost, any in many ways it is. Simply having a change of scene, getting out of your normal routine, will definitely reduce your stress levels and help you to put things in perspective. But there is a bit more to it than that. Here are a few hints and tips and bits of advice on how to make sure that you return from your holiday just a little bit healthier than when you started.
 

Get plenty of exercise

For many people, the idea of a perfect holiday is just to go somewhere where you can sit and do nothing. If that’s what you’re looking for then there are plenty of options for you in Asturias – sit on beaches of Lanes, Ribadesella, Gijon, or Cudilero, grab a long cool drink and watch the waves roll in. While sitting on a beach doing nothing is definitely good for your mental health, it’s important to also get some physical exercise on your holiday. It doesn’t have to be anything too strenuous, but just getting your heart rate up for thirty minutes each day will definitely be good for your overall health. Why not head to the Picos de Europa national park or the Covadonga Lakes to go for a walk, get some fresh air and enjoy some of the stunning scenery of this beautiful part of the world that is known as “Green Spain”.
 

Keep an eye on your diet

Asturias is famous for its food and you are going to want to try it all on your holiday here. Apart from the ultra-fresh seafood, there are traditional local specialties such as cabrales cheese, the bean stew known as fabada, and also the incredibly delicious cider made from local apples. While it’s great to be able to treat yourself, indulge a little, and relax and enjoy the local cuisine, you also need to keep an eye on what you’re eating to make sure that you’re not eating too much and that you’re keeping some balance to your diet. One of the best ways to make sure that you are getting all of the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs is to start each day with a glass of fresh juice. If your accommodation in Asturias doesn’t come equipped with a juicer, it’s really easy just to pack your own – there’s some really innovative portable juicers now available. Visit The juicer fanatics for juicer reviews of the best juicers to bring along with you for your next vacation.
 

Keep your mind active

Staying healthy is not just about the body, make sure you keep your mind active too – the cultural monuments of Asturias will give you some great insights into the history and people of this region. Museums, cliff walks, and loads of local culture – take your pic!
 

The ancient, fascinating and beautiful Principality of Asturias. My one tip for you if you are considering going; Make it a memorable holiday but also make it a healthy holiday.

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