Opening Your Own Bakery

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.

Continue Reading

How To Become a Chef?

culinary-arts-schools

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

healthy eating

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

A Kitchen Upgrade Means a Health Upgrade

I recently spoke to a great friend of mine whom I knew was trying to lose weight and get healthy for some time now. She was telling me about all the things she had done over the last year to get into the best shape of her life. Sharon has done a complete turnaround from the person she was a year ago and I was so impressed to learn about her progress.

She lost weight, cleaned up her diet, and began to make some amazing changes that will surely add years to her life. She got a kick start with a natural energy supplement and then after seeing some progress with her weight loss went on to follow a pretty stringent exercise program that was tailored to her age group.

What I found so interesting was that she not only made changes to her diet and exercise routine she also enacted change to her lifestyle. This I believe is key when you want to have a lasting change in your life.
I was particularly interested in her new kitchen upgrade; she had a reverse osmosis unit installed. I had heard of reverse osmosis but not since high school. She raved about how pure her water was so I decided to do a bit of research myself.

Reverse Osmosis is a process by which your regular tap water is forced through various filters to clean and purify it. These little units can fit under your kitchen sink or for ease of filter changes they can be installed in a basement. Water is pushed through up to 7 different filters and emerges from a separate tap on your kitchen sink clean, clear, and free of contaminants. The RO unit also has a little holding tank that usually contains about three gallons of pure water so you don’t have to wait for the process to take place before getting a glass of H2O.

They are fairly efficient and need no electricity to operate. They are reasonably priced with the most expensive ones coming in around $500 and many high quality units selling for $200. The key to remember is that all reverse osmosis systems do the same thing for the most part you pay more for the quality of the filters. Also remember that you can have from four to seven filters. Depending on what water issues you have you may be able to get by with four or if you have very poor water you may need all seven. Check out this home improvement website for a great article on reverse osmosis and their top recommendations for affordable reverse osmosis units.

I have to say that I love Sharon’s new look and am so proud of her amazing health improvements but I am a bit jealous of her fancy new ro unit. Now that I have done my research and know that I can get this healthy upgrade for well under $500 I think I may have a new Tap Master or iSpring system in my near future too!

Let’s Talk Organic!

I’ve been doing research on and off for the last 2 years about eating organic. And even though I’m totally into budgeting our food every month and eating organic can be expensive – it’s totally worth it. Pesticides are chemicals that are used to control or eliminate a variety of agricultural pests. Insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides, etc are all pesticides used to kills weeds and rodents. And if they are killing weeds and rodents what the hell do you think they do to your innards when you eat the food they are sprayed on?! So obviously, we have become an organic family. With a budget of $900 per month to eat. In the beginning of my “we only eat organic” rave – we weren’t eating very much. I think my husband thought my intention was to starve us. We weren’t eating very much quantity of food because I had a hard time keeping our budget at $900 and getting very much food in our house. Vegetables are ridiculously expensive and try buying sourced meat for a decent price! (I shouldn’t say “decent” price because you can never put a price on great health – but sourced meat isn’t cheap!) So I really had to spend a lot of time doing research about where I should buy locally – and yes, I actually have to do some driving around and some coupon clipping to make it work.

That was until a few months ago… I was doing some research about whey protein because our boys are completely allergic to soy. And after researching soy I will never put that in my body again either! Anyhow… I have been looking for the best source of protein and I definitely have to settle on whey. Undenatured whey protein. I’m a big “protein shake” girl and I found the best way to get whey into your body is to find the best absorption rate. Long story short I gotta go with Isagenix protein shakes. I found this girl online at loveisalife.com. It’s a super funny and informative website which caught my eye so I decided to give her a call. She actually answered my call and spent about 30 minutes on the phone with me talking about her kids and how the protein works and the results they have seen.

So – now we all have a shake for breakfast which costs $11 for breakfast every day. Perfect organic meal for cheap-O cost. That leaves me $570 per month for lunch and dinner. My husband has actually increased my budget by $150 so now I’m up to $1,150 that I get to spend so it’s super easy. I often will have another shake for lunch for $2.85 or a protein bar from loveisalife.com that is $3. Then I serve him a huge steak for dinner and he thinks I’m the Queen. In the meantime I’m getting slim and trim and I feel amazing!

Eating organic is not cheap by any means but the long term benefits far outweigh the costs (i.e. disease, sickness, chronic ailments and just plain not feeling your best!). I definitely pick and choose what we decide to buy organic which takes some education but I have noticed a difference in my families health and wellbeing and to me that is 100% worth it!

What to eat to help the body recover after a hard training session

Knowing what to eat to become more fit and in shape is imperative, but knowing what to eat after a hard training session can be equally if not more important. Most mistakes are made when the body is not rehydrated properly. Apart from stretching and drinking water to relax the body’s muscles, it is necessary to eat foods with high protein as well so that energy can be restored.

To start out, most individuals who complete a training session should know that injuries can become more common if their diet does not consist of good quality foods. For example, foods that are not solid and have a lot of carbs in them can make a person become dehydrated a lot quicker. This can lead to bloating and an upset stomach. Ways a person who is training can avoid this would be to eat real food. Real food doesn’t mean processed food. Nowadays there is a lot of processed chicken and beef that is easily accessible on the shelf. It is priced fairly cheap and encourages people to buy it. The downfall to this is that it doesn’t carry the same amount of nutrition as the traditional chicken and would not give you the same amount of energy your body typically needs. Eating baked chicken, steak and fish however can have more positive effects.

Protein shakes are not always considered the healthiest because of some side effects that may occur down the line. There are other shakes or drinks that are more natural you can make. Start out by adding ice and a little water into a blender. Adding water versus milk allows the drink to enter and exit your body much easier and quicker. It can flush out your system leaving you less likely to get sick over time.

If you are looking for something fruity and somewhat sweet, feel free to add in some strawberries, grapes, or mangos. Don’t add any extra sugar to sweeten the shake because it will only defeat the purpose of your constant training. Any extra sugar will turn into fat and the training will be for nothing. In addition to this, water isn’t the only thing you should want to have in your diet. Sodium can help in ways to prevent cramps, keeps a steady heartbeat as well as helps your brain activity function well. Too much sodium may not be as healthy, but having a significant amount can make all the difference.

All in all, it is important for people to be educated on the ins and outs of what to eat and how to remain healthy after a hard training session. Remember to avoid sugars and breads, and focus on solid foods such as protein, vegetables and water. All of these foods will give you the amount of energy your body needs and will keep you physically able to do what you want to do.

Never sell yourself short by cheating in your diet because in the end there can be consequences at stake.” – Alan Belcher Personal Trainer and Professional Fighter.

Healthy Eating Tips For Expecting Moms

As my readers know, I’m all about living a healthy life and choosing a diet that helps promote that. One of the most frequently asked questions I get from my readers is how they should eat while pregnant. We all know that the nine months of maternity leading up the birth of a child are a crucial development time and that diet plays a huge role in how it turns out. Women find themselves in a situation where they’re now taking in more calories than they’re used to, and have different cravings than ever before. This can be a jarring time in a woman’s life when it comes to eating, but there are some tried and true tips that every expecting mother should take to heart. Below I’ll discuss some of my favorite tips to give to mothers who are concerned with healthy living while being pregnant.

No Calorie Counting – When you’re trying to stay fit and in shape it’s common to count calories as a way of keeping your diet in check. Its pretty simple, just set a standard daily goal of calories and don’t exceed it. However, when you’re pregnant its a different story. The calorie counting should go out the window because your body will be craving all the nutrients that it can get. Now, this isn’t an excuse to eat a ton of junk food, but rather a guide to eat more of the healthy food that you’re used to. Setting up an arbitrary goal won’t work as your caloric needs may vary throughout the pregnancy. Its best to just eat enough to stay satisfied throughout the day. And if that means sneaking a midnight snack then don’t worry about it.

Avoid Caffeine – Coffee in the morning helps plenty of women stay alert during the day, but expecting mothers should put it on hold for a few months. The main factor in this tip deals with a pregnant womans’ sleep cycles. Mothers will see that their sleeping patterns start shifting as they move through each trimester – and by the third one they’ll be requiring plenty of sleep at night and naps during the day. Caffeine in the morning has a way of tampering with this cycle in a bad way, putting mothers on an irregular pattern that’s hard to get off of. For any mother who is having trouble sleeping, doctors often recommend sleeping aids like pillows to make it a more comfortable endeavor. You can find the best pregnancy pillows at this great resource which will help you sleep better.

Postnatal Vitamins are Critical – After delivering a child, mothers should plan on returning to their previous levels of eating and stick with whatever healthy eating choices they’ve been making. Even with a healthy diet, women still need a good number of standard nutrients to pass onto their infant through nursing. The best way to obtain this is a combination of healthy eating paired with postnatal vitamins. These vitamins are designed to carry the right amount of nutrients that make for a nourishing milk. Its common practice for mothers to either nurse at home or wear one of the best nursing bras seen here which allow them to do it anywhere they please.

Cheat Days to Stay Sane – Even the most strict diets can spare some cheat meals along the way. Mothers will find themselves with cravings for food they never knew exists. Trust me, it will keep you sane to give into the cravings every once and a while and spoil yourself with a cheat meal of your favorite junk food.

Is Juicing as Good as Eating Fruits & Veggies?

Talking about juicing can sometime bring about fights and arguments. But, putting aside any differences, it is true that with juicing you are able to much more fruits and veggies in your body than you would if you ate them. Not everyone likes the way the veggies taste and so juicing is sometimes the only way to get veggies in your system. If the taste still bothers you, add in a bit of fruit to drown out the taste of the veggies. Depending on the your tastes, you may or may not enjoy juices as much as consuming them regularly.

When juicing, depending on the juicer you use sometimes you don’t get enough fiber in the juice. But there are many different kinds of juicers to choose from. Some of them take out all the fiber from the fruits and veggies and some don’t. This is one of the reasons it’s good to do your own research when deciding what kind of juicer to get. They normally range from $30 to $300. There are tons of websites that highlights the pros and cons of juicers. It’s generally smart to read some in-depth reviews to get an idea of the kind of juicer you want. Some of them are very loud and some can make less noise than whisking an egg. I’ve found that you can always start of with a juicer that fits your budget and then you can work your way up from there if you fall in love with juicing.

If you’re ready to give juicing a whirl, you may find that you have more energy than before because you now have an easy way to get fruits and veggies into your diet. Juices also are almost magical when trying to get your kids to consume some greens. I’ve had many friends who have had many failures when trying to get their kids to eat their veggies. Luckily their problems vanished when they started making fresh juice for their kids.

Now, if you want to eat the fruits and veggies directly without juicing, a good goal is to consume two fruits and four different types of veggies a day as this will give a good variety of vitamins and minerals. This is about equal to 5 ½ cups a day for a 2,000 calorie diet.

Eating and juicing fresh fruits and veggies gives you much more nutrients than you would if you purchased “100% juice” or “fresh squeezed juice” in the grocery store. Because even if it says those marketing terms it doesn’t say how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. They add preservatives into the juice that makes it so it can sit there and not go bad. When you make your own juice or eat fresh fruit it doesn’t last weeks and when juicing yourself it’s always best to drink it right away so you get the best nutrients from the juice. The longer it sits the less nutrients it has.

Some people would say that juicing is better than eating whole fruits and veggies because the body can absorb the nutrients easier and it gives your digestive system a break from having to digest all the fiber which is one of the reasons you can juice for constipation. Juicing can also help boost your immune system, helps prevent against cardiovascular disease, get rid of toxins in your body, reduce the risk of cancer, help digestion and even help with weight loss. There isn’t any scientific evidence which says that juicing is healthier than eating the fruits and veggies; but at the same time, if you aren’t eating fruits and veggies now, I can guarantee you juicing will help you improve your diet.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

My Jogging Life

Jogging is great! Jogging helps you to stay fit and active and as it is an outdoors activity, it helps you get out of the house and lets you connect with nature. Nowadays, we spend plenty of time indoors: we work indoors, our kids study and play indoors most of the time, and most other activities we do are often done indoors as well. Fresh air is definitely underrated and we should all start realizing that being active outdoors is a great way of improving our health and sense of well-being. As I have recently found out by going out for a daily jog, it is a great way to have fun!

Jogging is an aerobic exercise, and it helps you build and strengthen muscles and burn plenty of calories. It is also a good activity for maintaining a healthy weight. Furthermore, jogging helps you improve your cardiovascular fitness which will enable your heart and lungs to work more efficiently. For many people, jogging also is a good way to manage depression, anxiety and stress.

I really like to stay active and healthy as I feel it’s an important part of life so a while ago I started jogging alongside my sister. I like jogging with her as time would go by faster with the two of us together and it is a lot more enjoyable than jogging alone. Jogging is one of the most popular forms of exercise and that’s because it can be done at any time during the day and needs no gym, it´s as easy as getting some spare time to go out and get moving!

Recently my sister gave birth to a beautiful daughter. My sister enjoyed tagging along and jogging with me so she thought that it would be great to continue to exercise after birth. It would also be a good way to lose those extra kilograms every woman picks up during pregnancy. As soon as she recovered from giving birth, we resumed our little jogs and quickly got back to shape. As soon as her baby daughter has grown enough, my sister decided to start bringing her along on our jogs and bought a new jogging stroller for the purpose after doing some online research. It is working out great and is keeping the baby very active.

My sister and her baby enjoy their time out together with some fresh air. At the same time, both I and my sister got to follow our ideals on healthy living and share those moments with the baby who from a very young age would learn and see the benefits and fun of exercising. Seeing close relatives from a very young age doing this type of activity would definitely influence her in the future and would help her decide to exercise and stay active in the future. A jogging stroller is a great way to get children active and healthy from a very young age; my niece loves her jogging stroller and always looks forward to going out in it.

A Trip to London

I’ve just been on a trip to London, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. I stayed with a friend who lives pretty centrally. We spent the first day walking around seeing all the sights, and started off at Buckingham Palace, sadly the Queen wasn’t there to greet me, but we did see the changing of the guard which was quite a spectacle, the British are certainly great at putting on a good show.

Next we went to Trafalgar Square, then headed down Whitehall to see Parliament and Big Ben, what beautiful buildings they are. After that we walked over the Thames and went on a trip on the London eye. This was one of the highlights of the day for me, the views were fantastic, could see all along the Thames and the whole of London.

In the afternoon we walked a long way along the Thames past The Globe where Shakespeare first put on his plays – we had a look inside the building, think it was a reconstruction but it was fantastic to see a 16th century playhouse. After that we headed to the Tower of London and took a walk around inside it, and saw the Crown jewels which were pretty impressive.

By this time we were getting pretty tired to decided to get some food, and then in the evening we went to see a show – Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, based on the Steve Martin film. It was really excellent.

The next day we took in some art galleries, we went to the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery nearby. And then walked around Leicester Square and Covent Garden. London is such a great city but the only negative thing I noticed was the huge amount of pigeon droppings everywhere. I heard that they’d been banned from Trafalgar Square and a bird of prey is used there to keep them away but seems like they’ve just headed elsewhere in the city and lots of building were stained with pigeon droppings, such a shame with such beautiful buildings. At one point I was eating a sandwich and a pigeon dropping narrowly missed me. I’m not sure what pest control companies in London are doing, but seems like more action is needed to get rid of the pigeons. But that’s a small thing, and no other moans, although perhaps the weather could be a bit better! The food was great though, I’m not sure why people say British food is no good, we had food from all over the world and some great pub food as well.

On our last day we went further afield and took the book up to Greenwich and looked around the Royal Observatory and then took a look around Docklands where all the big businesses are set up, it’s full of huge sky-scrapers. Lastly we took a cable car across the Thames, which was a great experience.

So all in all a great trip and I can’t wait to head back to London.

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!

Post Navigation