Archive - November 2017

Fruits and Vegetables That You Should Grow In Your Backyard

Fruits and Vegetables That You Should Grow In Your Backyard

In many houses, there are plenty of unused spots in the backyard that can be tilled and enriched with organic compost. The produce that we get in supermarket is often commercially grown, which is potentially exposed to pesticides, herbicides and factory-made fertilizers. Fortunately, we can grow many of them in our backyard and we can be sure that they will remain safe for consumption. Strawberries are vulnerable to bugs infestation and it is quite rare to find those without pesticide contamination. Fortunately, strawberry is easy to grow in our own backyard. In order to avoid bugs infestation, we could use a closed hydroponic and aquaponic garden.

Lettuce, spinach and other leafy produce could also be grown in our house. Leafy vegetables represent a broad group of plants, which may include spinach, cabbage, lettuce and others. When growing vegetables in our backyard, we should avoid using manure or any kind of fertilizer made from fecal matter. Harmful bacteria could find their way into nooks and crannies of vegetables; which make salad quite dangerous. Contaminated vegetables could cause the outbreak of salmonella or E. coli. Again, it is a good idea to choose aquaponic garden to grow your lettuce and other leafy vegetables.

Fertilizer that is typically used in aquaponic garden should be quite safe, because it doesn’t come from fecal matter. Handling traditional garden can be quite tricky; because when it rains, it could be quite muddy. Buying tomatoes from the supermarket can be particularly risky. In fact, the plant is the first ever that was altered genetically. Scientists aimed to make tomato plants that can be harvested better, yield bigger tomatoes, are more resistant to drought, can withstand pests and have better flavour. There’s still a huge controversy associated with GMO or genetically modified organisms. Because the genes of these plants are altered artificially, the consumption of modified fruits and veggies could have harmful effects to our health, such as antibiotic resistance, allergies and cancer.

When growing tomatoes at home, you should learn how to eliminate pests, bacterial and fungal outbreak. As an example, blight is a very contagious type of fungus that can eradicate tomato crops really quickly. Peppers can also be grown easily in your home and they could also become a wonderful snack, as an example, grilled bell pepper. In many areas, bell pepper is quite expensive, so growing your own can be a wonderful option. Not to mention that bell pepper that you purchase may contain some amount of pesticides and other chemicals.

Celery is also a wonderful plant that we can use as snack. A big stick of salary with some peanut butter should become a tasty and nutritious snack. You can also add granola, raisin and roasted sunflower seeds to improve the taste and nutritional level. Just like other vegetables, celery can also be exposed to pesticides and chemicals. It is also a good thing to know that celery grows quite fast.

How Commercially Grown Produce Can Be Risky For Your Health?

How Commercially Grown Produce Can Be Risky For Your Health?

Fruits and vegetables are healthy, but industrially grown produce may not be the healthiest for you. The way they are processed and stored could reduce vitamin content. Pesticides are the most likely chemicals that contaminate your food. They are intended to kill bugs and you may ingest chemicals that are intended to eradicate living organisms. When pesticides enter your body, they could stop at anywhere. Other than for killing bugs, commercial growers also need to eradicate weeds and other unwanted plants. They steal nutrients from the soil, which are intended for the actual vegetable plants and fruit-bearing trees. Excessive uses of herbicide could be linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer and other cancer types.

Preservatives could also be used to ensure that food remain usable longer. It is not only intended to slow down the natural decay, but also the visual appearance. The shelf life of the food could be reduced by the contamination of bacteria and the effects of enzyme. Foods with sulphites added are preserved. People who have allergic reactions to preservatives could suffer from sneezing, breathing difficulty, swollen throat and hives. Sulphites neutralize thiamine or vitamin B1, which is essential for the prevention of diabetes, inner working of nerve impulses and the metabolism carbohydrates. Genetic modification could be implemented to make plants grow better and produce more food. Some variants of canola, corn and soybean are genetically modified, which could have an effect on our body. Protein and fatty acids from these plants could also be slightly modified as unwanted side effects, which may cause problems in our body.

Processed fruits and vegetables could have food additives to lower costs, enhance flavours, improve appearance and increase shelf life. The FDA already approved more than one thousands of additives. Constant consumption of food additives could cause brain damage, birth defects, kidney damage, liver damage, migraine headaches, allergies and cancer. The sheer availability and common usages of food additives make it very hard for us to avoid them. However, we could be able to significantly reduce exposure by consuming fresh produce. If we need to eat processed food, as an example during camping and emergency situations; you should read the ingredients on the labels. A general rule is that if a substance has numbers in its name or difficult to pronounce, then it is likely artificially manufactured or heavily processed from existing natural sources.

Food can also be irradiated to destroy insects, viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms. In reality, irradiation also degrades texture, smell and flavour of the food. Studies have shown that animals fed with irradiated foods could cause various health problems. Risks of consuming irradiated food may include stunted growth on toddlers, immune system failure, organ damage, mutation, stillbirths, tumor, cancer and premature death. Food storage and transport could also reduce the nutritional values of food, especially if they are stored for a prolonged period of time in specific places. Because eating commercially grown fruits and vegetables are risky; you should know where you get them.

Why You Should Incorporate Discipline In Your Lifestyle?

Why You Should Incorporate Discipline In Your Lifestyle?

In our modern lifestyle, we are often hard-pressed to protect ourselves against the onslaught of various chemicals and toxins that can affect our lives each day. Our food supply and external environment may contribute in poisoning us. Unhealthy food and behaviors won’t contribute well to our lifestyle. In fact, we sabotage our own health and it happens when are influenced quite easily by suggestive environments. One of the most difficult things to do is to ensure that we are able to stay discipline. It is an essential factor if we want to maintain good lifestyle. On the other hand, people seek to be able to anything they want. However, you should know that discipline actually ensures your freedom. By being disciplines and do the right things each day, you will be able to ensure a better future and opportunity for yourself.

It is important to know how to implement discipline in our lifestyle. We need to start by doing little tasks regularly each day and they will start to stack on top one another. It means that you will be affected by less concern and stress. You will be able to experience more freedom. Lack of discipline could eventually cause various problems of our lives. People who neglect to brush their teeth will have reduced quality of life and they won’t be able to enjoy eating with comfort. Discipline is about maintaining a consistent daily habit. Obviously, there are many things that happen in our lives and we could miss a day, due to specific situation. However, because we have done the same tasks each day, it will be relatively easy to keep up.

Having a good discipline is also about having a healthy lifestyle. As an example, we will consume the right combinations of food and we count the amount of calories for each of our meal. We also determine the duration and intensity of physical exercise to know how much calories we burn each day. This will prevent us from having calories surplus, which will result in weight gain, overweight and eventually, obesity. You should know that healthy lifestyle is simple to do, while being sick is complicated. There are easy preventative tasks that we can do right now, which will have immense effects on our physical condition, if we are able to do them consistently for years. Small tasks that we do consistently each will have big impact and they can actually be life changing.

You are the one who knows best what little actions that you can do today, tomorrow and every day, which will have big impacts in your lives. It often starts by having a decision to become a disciplined individual and being able to stick to it. Eventually, you will find that discipline has become a second nature and abandoning this kind of lifestyle will have an unwanted impact on your quality of life. You shouldn’t be bogged down by procrastination, because it will be quite destructive. You need to gain freedom by being disciplined!

How To Freeze Fruits Properly?

How To Freeze Fruits Properly?

Fruits don’t last long, especially after they are peeled. Deep freezing is convenient and easy, because you can eat small cubes of frozen fruits directly. However, when freezing fruits; you should know more than a few details about them. You need to treat fruits that are low in acid content before deep freezing them. Once cut, fruits with low natural acid could go brown and discoloured. Discoloration can be prevented by adding some amount of ascorbic acid to your fruits. Because ascorbic acid is essentially vitamin C, we also make the fruit more nutritious. However, you should determine the amount carefully and it is a good idea to avoid adding too much of the substance.

When you do this, you should mix two pints of cold water with 1 ½ teaspoon of powdered ascorbic acid. Cut fruits into bite-sized cubes and soak them in the solution for about 5 minutes. Drain the fruits and you can proceed with the deep freezing step. This method should work well with apricots, apples, bananas, avocados, nectarines, cherries, quinces, persimmons, pears, plums and peaches. Fruits with high acid content will freeze especially well and you don’t need to soak them in ascorbic acid solution. They don’t get discoloured when cut, frozen and thawed.  Berries have relatively high acid level. Before freezing, you can wash them ice cold water and dry them before freezing. Black and red currants can be frozen quite well and won’t degrade too much when thawed.

After being thawed, currants and berries can be used to make pies and jam all the year around. Other fruits with high level of acid include raspberries, boysenberries, blackberries, sour cherries, rhubarb, strawberries, oranges, grapefruits, guavas, gooseberries, papaya, melon, plums, pineapple, lemon, mango, pineapple and passion fruits.  Before freezing, you remove the stone, core and peel. Good container should be polyethylene bag and you remove the air inside the bag. Then you can seal it with a wire twist. This will allow you to thaw the frozen fruits more quickly with flowing water, without soaking the fruits. Half frozen fruits can be eaten with icing sugar or condensed milk, if the fruit is sour and has low sugar level.

There are many ways you can do to process frozen fruits. You can use sugar syrup for fruits with higher acid level that is not too sweet. You should be able to improve the taste of fruits, by using the syrup sugar. It is a good idea to ensure that the frozen fruits can be consumer directly, by preparing it for immediate consumption with only toothpicks. When putting fruits inside the polyethylene bag, you should leave about one inch of head room, so there’s a space for liquid to expand. Whatever you do, the bag should be sealed carefully, labelled and then frozen. You may also freeze boiled fruits. Sour-tasting fruits can be boiled in sugar syrup to improve the taste. Drain and put them in the bag for easier freezing process.

How To Reduce Health Risks Of Grilling?

How To Reduce Health Risks Of Grilling?

When summer finally hits the neighbourhood, it is time to move the cooking space outdoor. Food generally tastes really nice when grilled and it’s a wonderful thing when you can eat under the shade. The direct touch of fire could work wonder on our food. However, the usual summer treat comes with own hidden dangers and they can be overlooked quite easily. The underdone steak and burned finger tips are the least of your worries. The smoky and charred flavour of barbecued food is unbeatable for some people. However, you could actually generate some amount of cancer-causing substance in your food. When meat proteins and fats interact directly with high temperatures through barbecuing, frying, grilling and broiling, HCA or heterocyclic amines will form in greater amount.

HCA is known as a type of carcinogen and it is associated with the higher risks for colon cancer. Due to this concern, you should try to make grilled food healthier. The first thing that you can do is to go meatless. Grilling doesn’t have to be associated with meat and in many cases; you should be able to take meat out of the overall equation. Marinated sliced potato, tomato and onion could taste really good. You can marinate them with some spices, cider vinegar and olive oil. When you do this, it is a good idea to choose a steady medium fire. With good non-meat alternatives, you should still get the wonderful smoky flavour, with the dreaded HCA threat. If you can’t remove meat from your grilling session, you should avoid chicken whenever possible.

Grilled chicken could have 17 times of HCA of well done steak, 70 times compared to grilled salmon and 100 times compared to well done burger patty. By properly marinating your food, it is also possible to reduce the amount of HCA. Rubbing your meat with virgin olive oil mixed with salt, pepper, lemon juice, finely chopped garlic and onion should significantly reduce the formation of HCA, because the meat surface isn’t directly exposed to open fire. Rubs based on rosemary extract could make your grilled steak tastes much better. Chlorophyll and other substances in green leaves are natural protection against cancer-causing compounds. So, it is important for you to increase the intake of chlorophyll-rich food in our summer diet.

Cytochrome P450 is a type of enzyme found in our liver and it could cause toxic molecules, HCAs to become a sticky, as an unintended side effect. It means that these compounds could bind with the internal surface of the intestines quite easily. This causes stomach and colon cancers become more likely to happen. You may eat good portion of lightly steamed vegetables and swallow a chlorella tablet after a meal of grilled food. Simple freshly peeled fruits is a good dessert for you food. It is recommended to eat fruit as is. Anything you add to your fruit could increase the intake of sugar, which is not a good thing. Pineapple, papaya, mango and watermelon could be consumed directly as dessert. Peel these fruits directly after you finish your main meal, so you are able to obtain the maximum freshness of the food.

How To Incorporate Happiness In Your Lifestyle?

How To Incorporate Happiness In Your Lifestyle?

It’s often said that happiness isn’t about what you are or what you have, but more about what you think. All of us want to be happy and if you are consistently sad, then there’s a problem with your lifestyle. For many people, although they have achieved all that they desire, their happioness is remain elusive and unreachable. You should know that happiness isn’t about being ecstatic and feeling joyful. Happiness is more about a positive state of mind, which affects your emotions, thoughts, behaviors and verbal communications. Contentment and joy are not happiness; there are just the effects of you being happy. Fortunately, happiness is a matter of personal choice and you can choose to be happy, regardless of the external factors.

If you want to be happy, you should look for ways to have and maintain positive outlooks in your lives, so you can be entirely happy. Obviously, you need to be realistic, because material ownership is a necessity if you are living in modern society. It’s true that money can’t guarantee happiness, but sadness is nearly guaranteed if you don’t have money. However, happy people see material ownership with their own perspective. For them, money is just a tool to make them happy and it’s not their lifetime goal. They won’t sacrifice things that are sacred in their lives for the pursuit of money. There are tried and tested measures for you to be happy and it’s often by making slight changes in your mindset and activities. This will slowly expand and develop, until you completely transform your lifestyle in a positive way.

A simple thing that you can do is by spending time outdoor and it could work like a charm. It is essential for people who have anxiety with the claustrophobic situation of the workplace. It is not a healthy thing to stay indoor for too long and you need to allow yourself to have enough time and freedom to explore your surroundings. You should also try to get enough physical activity and with only 10 minutes of physical activity, various happy hormones, such as serotonin, oxytocin, dopamine and endorphin will be released. After a brief physical activity, many people feel better.

Another requirement of happiness is having a good sleep quality and you should have at least 7 hours of proper sleep. This is essential if you seek to have a lively spirit throughout the day. A good sleep quality should relax your body and release any tension. You will be able to do a lot of things. People who lack sleep tend to become groggy and grumpy. You should also try to remove any kind of unneeded negativity in your lives. You shouldn’t have the habit of constantly ruminating over outdated things that no longer have relevance to your current life. Negative thoughts will constantly appear beyond our control, but you should already anticipate to neutralize them with your own set of positive thoughts and activities.

How To Maintain Basement Sump Pump?

How To Maintain Basement Sump Pump?

You need sump pump to ensure that water can be diverted away from the basement. The structural integrity and foundations of your house will be maintained. Sump pump is needed in different times of the year. As an example, snow melts during early spring and there are usually heavy rain during summer. When the weather is dry, it should be a good time to check the sump pump to make sure that it is working properly. At this moment, it is a good idea to plan ahead to ensure that the pump will run as needed. If the sump pump fails, you may end up with a flooded basement. That is the reason you should maintain basement sump pump.

It takes no more than ten minutes to complete the sump pump maintenance task and you need to make sure that you have everything you need. There should always be a cover on the sump basin. This should prevent animals and children from entering it. The cover should also prevent debris to fall into the basin. The cover may also reduce the level of evaporation and smells. Before testing the pump, you should always remove the debris. The inlet screens should be free from any kind of residue and debris build up. This will ensure that the operational efficiency of your sump pump is kept high.

You may need a pressure washer to wash down the debris, so it won’t cause clogging. Electricity and safety are also things that you need to consider. The system should be protected electrically using GFI or ground fault indicator. This should allow you to remain safe. You need to examine the cable routing to make sure that it is correct. The cable should be in a perfect condition and if it’s still in good condition, you need to ensure that the cable doesn’t touch the water, which can be a dangerous situation. Cables should be secured and not loose, because loose cable could fall into the sump.

Discharge pump should be checked and the check valve should always be fitted. If the arrangement doesn’t work properly, it is possible that the sump will be refilled. If the sump is refilling, the pump may run quite frequently. Discharge line should be checked frequently for damage and leak. It is important to ensure that everything looks intact. The next step is to water test them pump and you can do this by slowly filling the sump. This should allow you to evaluate how the sump pump works. Watch the float switch and make sure that it rises along with the water level, freely and easily.

The float switch should be checked and it is considered as among the weak points of the sump pump. You should make sure that the switch is operating normally. You also need to listen to the pump and determine whether there’s no funny noise. Rough noise and excessive vibration could be an indication that the internal mechanism has work out. If this is the problem, then you need to replace the sump pump.

How To Choose Stylish Floor For Your Kitchen?

How To Choose Stylish Floor For Your Kitchen?

Kitchen is an important part of your lifestyle, especially if you want to maintain a stylish house. It is a place that we frequently use and there are many ways for us to improve it. As an example, we can change its flooring to improve its style. There are different types of flooring that suit every budget and taste. You should consider how to plan for your kitchen flooring and choose the best possible material. Unfortunately, budget limitation often restricts the type of material that we can use for our kitchen. Although the stylish flooring may look appealing, we should also focus on its strength, ease of maintenance and durability of materials. You should be aware that installing the kitchen flooring is already an expensive proposition and you shouldn’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong type of flooring. It means that you will need to have your floor redone.

The stylish feel of your kitchen floor also depends on how it feels on your feet and whether it is resistant to wear and tear. Kitchen is a high-traffic area and accelerated wear will ruin the appearance of your floor. It is also important to avoid choosing the type of flooring that’s slippery and glossy, which will increase the overall hazard. You should make sure that the installation is performed properly. Linoleum wooden flooring should be an affordable option that you can choose. It’s made from ground limestone, pine resin, linseed oil and wood powder, which are safe for indoor usages and non-toxic. Linoleum is known for its good durability and very easy to maintain. There are different color options for linoleum flooring. Again, you should choose the color that matches well with the indoor decoration of your kitchen.

Vinyl kitchen flooring is also a great option and like linoleum, it’s also affordable, durable and easy to maintain. Vinyl should also be long lasting and resilient, with different options of patterns and textures. Vinyl should be perfect for your kitchen, because it is resistant to water and spill. Another option that you should consider is stone flooring, which has great resistance to wear and quite resilient. However, whether you should choose stone flooring depends on your cooking style, because stone will absorb stain more easily. Wooden floor can also be used to create a stylish kitchen, but its maintenance is rather high. High humidity and heat in the kitchen could cause wooden board to change shape.

You may also consider using cork kitchen flooring due to ease of installation. Cork is also known for its excellent shock absorbing capability, which improves comfort when you are standing for a long time in the kitchen. Well treated cork flooring should remain protected from mold and termite infestation. It is also fire resistant and won’t rot in wet environment. It can be installed on concrete layer easily. However, you should be aware that the cork flooring should undergo a period of acclimatization, because it will contract or expand slightly after being installed.

How To Choose A Dog That Matches Your Lifestyle?

How To Choose A Dog That Matches Your Lifestyle

Dogs can brighten up the life of many families. These pets are not only terrific companions, but can also make us feel safer at night. It is often about choosing the right dog breed for our family and there are things to consider, before you plan to have a commitment to bring a puppy home. Each family has different situation and it means that each is suited to different kinds of breeds. It is important that the new addition to the family will make your family comfortable and it is also essential to ensure that the dog is also comfortable with our home. Just like with having a new child, adding dog to our family also means that we need to offer enough attention and we also have new responsibilities that we need to take care of.

First of all, you should decide what kinds of traits that you want from the dog. This could vary depending on the breed of the dog and the way the dog is raised. As an example, you may want a breed that is known for its intelligence and can be trained more easily. Some breeds are more appropriate for children, because they have small posture even during adulthood. Some breeds are beefy, high-energy types, while others are low-energy, lap dogs. You should make sure that you have the best possible breed in the house, which can have a significant impact. Beagles, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and many Spaniel breeds are known for their compatibility with children. Each dog also has dominant temperament, so you should make sure that it matches yours.

You should know that although some dogs are known for their favourite traits, they may also have drawbacks, like daily exercise requirements, prone to specific medical issues or stubbornness. You should do enough research to make sure that the breed of dog has the most similarities with your lifestyle. After knowing the type of dog that you want, you should meet with the breeder. Make sure that the puppy has obtained the proper initial training, so it will be more adaptable to the conditions of your house and your family members. It is a good idea to bring most, if not all family members to the breeder, so they would be able to get to know more about the new addition to the family. This is an opportunity for the dog to sniff all family members as the early familiarization step.

By making your dog becoming more adaptable, you will be able to reduce stress for anyone involved. You need to make it easier for the dog to settle. As an example, you could buy a baby blanket to give more comfort for dog during nap or sleep time.  The blanket will eventually become a familiar part of the dog’s habit and by adding familiarity, your dog will be more comfortable easily in your house. Comfortable dog will become less irritable and more responsive to commands.

Places You Need To Visit In Rome

Places You Need To Visit In Rome

Rome is an ancient city and the former capital of the Roman Empire. There are many interesting spots in the city that you can find.  The Sistine Chapel has various priceless artworks and it is known for beautiful, painted by Michelangelo. The famous artists originally refused to work on the ceiling, because he was a sculptor. Pope Sixtus IV pressured Michelangelo to perform the project and he suffered from long term back and neck problem for the remainder of his life. The surrounding of the Sistine Chapel is worth the visit. Between 1981 and 1993, the paintings were restores to eliminate centuries of grime on the paint. The project takes for longer to complete than the original work, due to the careful and meticulous way of restoring the painting.

Many museums are filled with objects to commemorate the lives and works of famous and rich. But in Ostia Antica, it is about the ancient commoners of Rome. It is intended to commemorate the common people who live on the street and contributed to the great Roman Empire. In the ancient times, the Ostia district was a commercial area and located at the mouth of the river Tiber. It’s an excellent museum to visit and we could find original ruins of theatre, baths and office rooms of Roman merchants. Some areas in the Ostia district date back to 300 BC. It is a good place if you want to see the commercial parts of the city during the old times. We all know that it was the ordinary people that brought Rome to its glory. They fought in legions and were excellent merchants at the time.

Cinecitta Mussolini is a newer part of the city. It is a film studio that was established when the fascist power of Mussolini was at its height. In 1937, the cinema was used as an ideal propaganda tool. Even so, it is interesting to glance back to the old era to see the documentary evidence and newsreels of the Il Duce’s era. After the war, Cinecitta contributed a lot to the Italian film industry and it produced a very famous film in 1958, Ben Hur. There are other films that were produced by this studio, such as Cleopatra, Farewell to Arms, Three Coins in a Fountain, Roman Holiday and Quo Vadis. Cinecitta is open to public during summer and it is a great place to visit for people who are familiar with the Golden Age of Italian film industry in 1950’s and 1960’s.

Another place that you should visit is the Spanish Steps, which is consisted of 138 individual steps with 12 flights. Due to the differing widths, these steps can be challenging for the leg muscles. Nearby there’s the famous Barcaccia fountain. The Catacombs are old underground cemeteries under the city. Christianity forbade cremation and at the time, ancient Christians don’t have a land in Rome for burying their dead. The solution was to build underground facilities where people can be buried. The subterranean passages can be dug up to four level deeps.