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Tag Archives: Food

How I enjoy holidays parties without food guilt.

by Isabel De Los Rios
Just too good not too re-post…
Today I want to share with you how I keep up my healthy eating regimen even during all the holiday parties and events.

Actually, the strategies you’ll find below are NOT just specific for the holidays, you can use these methods for any social gathering and party that you may be attending.

Just last Saturday, I hosted my own little party for the parents from my kid’s school. It was really great. A lot of us only see each other during drop off and pickup so it was nice to get to know the other parents outside of the school parking lot.

Many of these parents don’t know me at all…so they don’t know how passionate I am about nutrition and health or that we are completely gluten free and don’t eat any processed food. My goal for the party was to choose foods that would make everyone happy, without having to resort to unhealthy “party” foods.
isabel
Here is what I served:

Corn chips (organic, non GMO) and home-made guacamole
Rice crackers and goat cheese
Raw cheese platter
Veggies and Greek Yogurt Dip
Fruit salad

The party was a huge hit! By the amount of food that was left (almost none) and the wonderful compliments I received, I could safely assume that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the food and did not go home feeling lousy.

Now, a party at my house would be super easy to work with, BUT what if the party you’ll be attending is not quite an Isabel bash? What do you do then?

Here are my top 3 strategies for surviving your next social event or party. These are methods I personally use all the time so I am always excited about any social event or gathering regardless of the food being served.

1. Offer to bring something to the party. I very rarely go to anyone’s home without bringing something homemade (and my friends and family really look forward to it). The host or hostess is always so grateful and at least I know, if nothing else, I can eat the item I brought. Many of the items that I served at my last party (shown above) are also some of the items that I bring to parties. I have also been known to make cocktail meatballs (made from grass fed beef), chicken skewers (made from pastured poultry) or smoked salmon on cucumber slices. You may want to give your hostess/host a few options and see which one appeals to him or her the most. (Tip: Guacamole and fresh veggies is almost always a huge hit everywhere I go!)

2. Eat before the party. Do not arrive starving! If you really don’t think the party will offer anything that is an acceptable option for you, eat beforehand so that you are not partying hungry. If someone asks why you’re not eating, you can use any of the following responses and none of them would be lying: “I had a really late lunch and I’m not quite hungry yet. Everything does look great and I’ll be sure to try something out,” OR “I’m definitely going to grab something here in a sec. Thanks for asking,” OR my personal favorite, “I get pretty sick if I eat any wheat or dairy so I try and stay away from it. I definitely would not want to get sick at this great party.” As far as I’m concerned, none of those are rude, nor are they lies (especially the last one!) I actually use a very similar response for my children, “My kids get very sick if they eat wheat or dairy so I try and keep them away from it.”…No more explanation needed. I find that the people that truly care for you will want you to be healthy and would never want you to get sick, especially at their party!

3. Focus on something else besides the food. This is where having 2 toddlers really comes in handy (so if you want to borrow mine, please let me know). Many times, I really can’t even focus on the food and what’s being served because I need to tend to my children (every parent reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about). But, you may not have kids, or you may be attending this particular party without them. Focus on catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a long time, engage in conversations you don’t have the opportunity to have otherwise, and maybe even get your “groove on” on the dance floor (c’mon, what’s a party without dancing?). Keep your focus on the true goal of the party and that’s to enjoy yourself with family and friends, not to focus on what food is being served or what you should or shouldn’t be eating.

And most importantly, I want you to NOT beat yourself up if the party just doesn’t go the way you wanted. Maybe you had one too many cocktails, maybe the brownies were just too good to say no to, or maybe you just ended up eating every single thing that came in your direction. Leave that party behind you and move on. Today is another day and another opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle. One party will not make or break your weight loss goals or your health.

The most important thing you can do is see it as one night or just one party, and not as a reason to let all of your healthy efforts go to the way side. I know this time of year can pose some challenges, so arm yourself with the tools above and remember that this season is about happiness, joy and the togetherness of family and friends.

In health and happiness,

 

 

 

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5 Hottest Niches for New Business Startups

Oklahoma Health Care Authority

Oklahoma Health Care Authority (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The desire to start a business is just the first step in success. Choosing the right business to start can mean the difference between success and failure. For those looking for businesses that are more likely to succeed, it may be helpful to look in these high demand sectors for startup ideas:

 

1. New Tech Trends

 

The face of the Tech industry is changing rapidly. New trends are moving toward iPhone apps and online services, rather than boxed software and game specific hardware. Sales of console games have been steadily declining while phone gaming apps and social networks have gone viral. Even office software suites are now online as a service and not installed on computers. Printing has changed as well. New 3D printers are selling well as print quality increases to a whole other level.

 

Best Tech Ventures

 

  • iPhone Apps
  • Software as a Service
  • Online Gaming Platforms
  • Social Network Gaming Platforms
  • 3D Printer Manufacturing

 

Online and Phone driven trends help small developers deliver apps without having to manufacture, package and market physical CDs. The entirely online format creates a far more level playing field for individuals and small businesses to compete with huge corporations. The timing is perfect for independent developers to create fun and useful programs to present as online services, games and apps in 2013.

 

2. Think Green

 

While most construction and materials have suffered a serious slowdown, sustainable green building is the one exception. With huge increases in the cost of electricity and traditional fuels, saving energy has become a means of economic survival that will rapidly pay for itself. No matter what effective means a family uses to increase energy efficiency, it will pay for itself in less than eight years.

 

  • Sustainable Green Construction
  • Green Remodeling and Home Improvement
  • High R-value Insulation
  • Green Building Materials
  • Green Energy Production
  • Energy Saving Devices
  • Aquaponics Technology
  • Solar Panel Manufacture

 

There is room within the green sector for a wide range of skills. Construction workers, craftsmen, would-be farmers, tech developers, inventors and engineers can all find a niche under the green umbrella. Most people find being part of the green revolution intensely satisfying as well as profitable.

 

3. Health Care and Wellness

 

America’s aging population has an ever-increasing need for health care services. Unfortunately, health care and insurance is very expensive. The demand for affordable health care services, wellness measures and ways to reduce health care cost is overwhelming. Hospital security technology and data management are also in demand. The interest in yoga has risen sharply in the 21st century. Millions of American doctors are actively indorsing yoga as an important step toward wellness.

 

  • Yoga Lessons, Books and Merchandise
  • Wellness and Holistic Care
  • Home Health Care
  • Online Glasses and Contacts
  • Generic Pharmaceutical Manufacture and Sales
  • Health Care Technology
  • Medical Data Management and Security
  • Cognitive Fitness Apps to Combat Alzheimer

 

There are opportunities for people of many different backgrounds and educational levels to build businesses around good health. Both holistic and traditional medicines are in demand. The main point is affordability. Of course, all health care businesses must be safe, legal and appropriately licensed or certified.

 

4. Education and Consulting

 

The need for training and specialized expertise has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Many people are seeking new career fields, struggling with new technology and seeking a bit of motivation as well. It is hard for most people to adjust to the vast and rapid changes taking place. People long to be reassured, encouraged and advised by someone they feel confident in. There is also a need for educational materials including books and instructional videos.

 

  • Trade Schools
  • Universities
  • Education Technology
  • Self-Improvement
  • Motivational Speaking
  • Business Consulting
  • PR and Damage Control

 

There are many opportunities in the area of education and consulting. People should consider their experience and hobbies and then create courses and educational materials to help others learn new skills. Much of this type of work can be handled online, creating yet another work at home niche.

 

5. Food Products and Distribution

 

While traditional restaurants are a tremendously high-risk investment, many other food related opportunities are presenting themselves. The demand for candy, hot sauce and low-cost alcoholic beverages is soaring. Another trend is toward food vans and food trucks that serve fast food on routes. Taco trucks, hot dog trucks and burger trucks are very popular in large cities. Small casual fast food restaurants are also popular.

 

  • Candy
  • Low Price and Wholesale Alcoholic Beverages
  • Fast Food/Casual Restaurants
  • Food Trucks
  • Hot Sauce Manufacture

 

The key to selling food in 2013 is low cost. Keep costs down by providing a streamlined menu and low-cost ingredients. Providing wholesale distribution of foods and beverages is also a great option. Don’t forget about health inspections and all necessary state and local licensing for each food related venture.

 

Featured images:

 

 

Eb5investors helps entrepreneurs with EB5 Visas, a program that ensures investment in the U.S. economy and more jobs for US residents.

 

 

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A Customer Service Story

by Mike McCartney  Sooteyeout Publishing

How many hours a day do you put in running your business? 14, 15?

There is a little coffee roasting shop in San Jose I go to on weekend mornings. The old guy who runs it hires only young girls and has them dress like Hooters. Today there was only one person behind the counter. She was running back and forth doing everything from making drinks to making coffee urns to taking orders and running the cash register. There was a long line across the whole shop.

The old man who owns the place was standing watching her. He ran out to tell another merchant from the shopping center who walked in that he would get her coffee when it slowed down, and ignored the rest of the line, she was special I guess.

He went behind the counter and hovered over the poor girl for a minute and then came down by the corner of the shop by me and hid, so he could watch from there. I asked him: “Why don’t you help her?”

He answered, “I am.”

I left and got coffee somewhere else, and thought afterwards: “He does not even know how to make the coffee drinks he sells or how to run his own cash register.”

There are just time that you pray for the likes of Gordon Ramsey to walk in and start swearing at people like that.

- Fresh Flakes – Frank Zappa

They don’t do no good
They never be workin’
When they oughta should
They waste your time
They’re wastin’ mine
California’s got the most of them
Boy, they got a host of them
Swear t’God they got the most
At every business on the coast…

“I’m a moron ‘n’ this is my wife
She’s frosting a cake
With a paper knife
All what we got here’s
American made
It’s a little bit cheesey,
But it’s nicely displayed
Well we don’t get excited when it
Crumbles ‘n’ breaks
We just get on the phone
And call up some Flakes
They rush on over
‘N’ wreck it some more
‘N’ we are so dumb
They’re linin’ up at our door…”

“Well, the toilet went crazy
Yesterday afternoon
The plumber he says
“Never flush a tampoon!”
This great information
Cost me half a week’s pay
And the toilet blew up
Later on the next day ay-eee-ay
Blew up the next day WOO-OOO..”

* Flake Response—

“We are millions ‘n’ millions
We’re coming to get you
We’re protected by unions
So don’t let it upset you
Can’t escape the conclusion
It’s probably God’s Will
That civilization
Will grind to a standstill
And we are the people
Who will make it all happen
While yer children is sleepin’,
Yer puppy is crappin’
You might call us Flakes
Or something else you might coin us
But we know you’re so greedy
That you’ll probably join us…..”

 

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Gifts You Can Give Your Boss without Looking Like a Kiss-Ass

Whether it’s his birthday, the holidays, or any other occasion, it’s never easy to pick out the perfect gift for your boss. You want to impress him, but you don’t want to do it with scoffs from your colleagues. The gift you give to your boss should show him that you appreciate him without going over the top. He makes more money than you, so don’t spend a lot. If you spend more than $50 on a present, you’ll seem like a kiss-ass for sure. There are plenty of nice gifts you can give that are thoughtful, reasonably-priced, and not screaming for a promotion. Here are some gift ideas for your boss that won’t annoy him or your coworkers.

A Bottle of Spirits

If your boss likes to enjoy the occasional drink, consider getting him a bottle of his favorite liquor or a nice bottle of wine. The bottle you choose will show you’re paying attention to his tastes, but if you’re not sure, you can never go wrong with red wine. A bottle of wine is a great gift because you can almost never have too many, and there will always be a future occasion to drink it.
A Fancy Wine Opener

If you don’t want to go with the traditional bottle of wine, you can take a more practical route and get him a nice wine opener. There are lots of different wine openers on the market, so go for something that’s a little more high-end, such as a sleek-looking electric wine opener that will look good on a countertop and make opening wine a breeze.
A Wine Decanter

Okay, perhaps at this point it might seem like your boss is an alcoholic with all these drinking-related gifts. But drinking-related gifts are good for one reason – the show you have a jovial spirit (no pun intended). Whenever there is a gift-giving occasion, it’s likely a cause for celebration. A wine decanter is another gift that will give a happy, celebratory vibe.
Travel Accessories

If your boss travels a lot in his position, you can give a thoughtful, practical gift with a travel accessory or two. Good travel accessories include neck pillows, travel shoe bags, necktie cases, and toiletry bags. They all serve a useful purpose and can make his travelling easier or more stylish.
Fun Tech Accessories

For the boss with an iPad or iPhone, there are lots of fun accessories you can get that will show you have a sense of humor. For example, there’s an accessory that will turn your iPad into a mini arcade game, or a case that will make it look like an Etch-a-Sketch.
Bluetooth Headset

Bosses are always on their phones. If yours doesn’t have a hands-free Bluetooth headset yet, it will be the perfect gift for you to give him. They are not very expensive at all, and they will make it easier for him to talk while driving and multi-task in general. Just remember if he starts wearing it 24/7 around the office, it’s your fault.

Charlie Adams is a tech guru and internet expert who works and lives in the Las Vegas area as a consultant. If he ever needs to blow off some steam or entertain guests from out of town he simply takes them out to experience the Vegas nightlife.

Photo Credit: Cindy’s Epic Cakes

 

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The 49 Worst Foods for Your Diet

Researchers in New Zealand have identified what they believe to be the 49 worst foods for weight loss. Here’s the list.

In an effort to help dieters keep it straight, obesity researchers at Otago University in New Zealand have identified a list of 49 foods that they say are extremely calorie-dense, but are almost totally lacking in nutritional benefit. Published in the current issue of the New Zealand Medical Journal, researchers say the list was primarily developed to help overweight and obese people easily identify which foods they should avoid. Lead researcher Jane Elmsile says it’s important to note that the list represents not only high-calorie foods, but also foods that are almost totally lacking in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Here’s the list, in alphabetical order:

1. Alcoholic drinks

2. Biscuits

3. Butter, lard, dripping or similar fat (used as a spread or in baking/cooking etc.)

4. Cakes

5. Candy, including lollipops

6. Chocolate

7. Coconut cream

8. Condensed milk

9. Cordial

10. Corn chips

11. Cream (including crème fraiche)

12. Chips (including vegetable chips)

13. Deli meats

14. Doughnuts

15. Energy drinks

16. Flavored milk/milkshakes

17. Fruit canned in syrup

18. Fruit rollups

19. Fried food

20. Fried potatoes/French fries

21. Frozen yogurt

22. Fruit juice (except tomato juice and unsweetened black currant juice)

23. Glucose

24. High-fat crackers

25. Honey

26. Hot chocolate, chocolate milk

27. Ice cream

28. Jam

29. Marmalade

30. Mayonnaise

31. Muesli/granola bars

32. Muffins

33. Nuts roasted in fat or oil

34. Pastries

35. Pies

36. Popcorn with butter or oil

37. Puddings

38. Quiches

39. Reduced cream

40. Regular powdered drinks

41. Salami

42. Sausages

43. Soft drinks

44. Sour cream

45. Sugar (added to anything including drinks, baking, cooking etc.)

46. Syrups such as golden syrup, treacle, maple syrup

47. Toasted muesli, granola, and any other breakfast cereal with more than 15 grams of sugar per 100 grams of cereal

48. Whole milk

49. Yogurt with more than 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams of yogurt

For more fitness, diet, and weight loss news, follow @weightloss on Twitter from the editors of @EverydayHealth.

 

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Top Three Office Perks

There are some things about certain offices that really make you jealous. Whether it’s the fancy modern glass building or the person they hire to bring round food at lunch time, other offices always seem to have things in – or visiting them – that you want. Heck, yours might even actually have better facilities and yet the grass will still always look greener on the other side. But what are the most popular perks available in the contemporary office, and would your working life actually be dramatically improved by having one – or all – of them at your disposal? Read ‘em and weep…

  • Sandwich delivery

This is great for those of us who find ourselves short of time or, worse yet, working into our lunch breaks. Local bakeries and cafés in big cities often offer a sandwich delivery service (or perhaps the building canteen if your company is based in one big enough), which generally involves staff coming round the office with baskets or trolleys full of food. Frequently – and especially if the company in question is a bakery – other foods are available (sometimes drinks as well), typically other kinds of baked goods such as cakes and cookies.

When the boss books you and your coworkers monthly massages in the comfort of your own office then you know you’ve got it good. Aside from being great for more obvious problems such as aches and pains, they can also help relieve stress, lessen the risk of repetitive strain injuries and leave you feeling relaxed yet energised enough to take on the rest of the day. Today there are a number of companies that offer on site massage services, which usually take place in a quiet room in a special massage chair with no need for any messy oils or even removal of clothing. Bliss.

  • Office cleaners

You may think this hardly worthy of being called a perk at all, but without cleaners life at your office would be far less pleasant. As such, you should show them a suitable amount of courtesy should you encounter them in their day to day work. Without cleaners – who probably get paid much less than you – you wouldn’t have nice, clean staff bathrooms, desks and carpets (despite the fact that you’re the one who spews crumbs all over your office space in the first place). However, if your office is really trendy then maybe you have a Roomba.

Mark Johnson worked as an office cleaner while he was at uni, but now he’s one of the annoying desk workers that gets in the way of those long suffering folk.

 

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5 Tips for Making Virtual Meetings Work

Online meetings and phone conferences have freed businesses from the limits of geography. While these tools can be a huge benefit in cost savings and efficiency, doing business at a distance can create challenges. You may never meet some of the people you do business with face to face, so it’s more important than ever to take steps to ensure that you create a connection that fosters a positive business relationship.

1. Start virtual meetings on time.

Because virtual meeting attendees cannot connect until the host starts the meeting, your group cannot fill the time while they wait for you chatting with each other. Instead, they are left sitting with their own thoughts, which will inevitably turn to wondering what you think is more important than they are.

2. Don’t eat during phone conferences. 

Seriously—they can hear you. Phone conferences can give you a false sense of security about how much you can do under the radar while attending the meeting.  There’s a huge difference between eating with colleagues at a face-to-face lunch meeting and being the disembodied sound of chewing that resonates through a phone meeting.

3. Don’t answer e-mail during phone conferences.

While the sound of chewing is kind of gross, the sound of someone clicking away on a keyboard is downright insulting. It sends the message that you are not giving your full attention to the meeting. While some have tried to pass off their multi-tasking as note taking, most attendees are wise to what’s really going on.

4. Respect time differences. 

When working with associates in different countries or time zones, avoid requesting meetings during their lunch time or calling them just before the close of business. While everyone must make adjustments in our increasingly global marketplace, you can increase the odds that everyone will be on the same page if you show an awareness that everyone is not in the same time zone.

5. Make a personalized connection.

Acknowledge holidays and other special occasions as well as the successful completion of large, long-term projects. Gourmet corporate gift baskets are an excellent way to express thanks, congratulations and good wishes. There are many services where you can get a corporate gift basket online. For a team leader or important client, consider sending a basket with a seasonal flair, such as a grill-themed basket, to mark the beginning of summer. A more general business gift basket with tasty treats is a handy way to say thank you to a team or larger group.

When the only way you “meet” people is through technology, invest a little extra effort to ensure that you make a strong connection. Strong, positive connections will facilitate productive and collegial meetings—and isn’t that what all meetings should be?

Jessica writes about a wide variety of topics.  She especially enjoys writing about gifts. You can learn more about Corporate Gift Basket Online at http://www.greatarrivals.com/

 

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