Monthly Archives: February 2017

Stress – How Perceived Stress Vs Actual Stress Affects Your Health

Stress affects your health in a variety of ways, all negative. Without going into all the biochemical specifics, suffice it to say stress, perceived or actual, floods your body with powerful stress-related chemicals that would be very useful if you were literally fighting or running for your life, and are very health-destructive otherwise.

Effects Of Stress On The Body

  • Stress cause blood platelets to stick together, which raises blood pressure.
  • Stress causes your body to burn essential nutrients at a rapid rate, which can lead to nutrient deficiency leading to poor organ and gland function.
  • Stress interrupts digestion, which means food goes partially undigested and you get only a fraction of the nutrients from the food you would get otherwise.
  • Stress floods your system with homocystine and cortisol, which are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease and a tendency to gain weight.

Types Of Stress: Actual And Perceived

Actual stress, which is largely unavoidable, includes environmental stress such as air, water and noise pollution, and other environmental factors including extreme temperature, dangerous weather and so on.

Actual stress, which is fully avoidable, includes things like smoking, excessive drinking, a junk-food, fast-food, high-sugar, nutritionally deficient diet, lack of sleep, pushing yourself physically beyond your limits, and doing anything that obviously works against your health and well being.

Sources of psychological stress, most of which is avoidable or certainly capable of being modified, may include things like relationship issues with a spouse, child or anyone;  job-related issues; financial issues; self-esteem issues; goal and achievement related issues, personal integrity issues and so on.

When something happens that directly, physically impacts you, it is an ACTUAL stress.  Drinking polluted water, dropping a hammer on your foot, eating a bag of cookies and washing it down with a quart of sweet tea; these are sources of actual, real stress.

Perceived stress is not actual, perceived stress has to do with the story you tell yourself about what something means.  If your spouse runs late without calling, and you get all upset because you decide that means he or she is having an affair, then you upset yourself abut something that may or may not ever happen, and being upset about the thing you IMAGINE produces the SAME negative cascade of powerful stress-chemicals that flood your system as if an actual physical stress had occurred. 

Perceived Stress May Be More Health-Destructive Than Actual Stress

If you think about something that has not happened, and your thoughts upset you, the stress response to those imagined events is a REAL STRESSOR that affects your health.  This is how someone can use their mind to destroy their health, and while the stress is imagined, the damage is real.

A study published in The Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine reports that perceived stress is more destructive to your immune system response than actual stress.

Using blood samples taken over a 16-month period from study participants who had been vaccinated against meningitis C, researchers determined that people with high levels of PERCEIVED STRESS consistently measured fewer protective antibodies than all other groups.

Participants were divided into 3 groups;

1) Group one had Low ACTUAL Stress with no stress conditions beyond the ordinary. 2) Group two had High ACTUAL Stress with unusually high stressful circumstances. 3) Group three had High PERCEIVED Stress.  Most participants in group three had low to normal stress levels, however, they perceived their lives as being highly stressful.

The group with high-perceived stress frequently had very low actual stress.

The group with HIGH PERCEIVED STRESS tested 80% fewer protective antibodies in their blood than either of the other two groups.

Discussion: The message here is clear; there is a DIRECT and MEASURABLE connection between your immune system strength and the way your react to the world around you.

The most notable thing about this study is the clear distinction made between ACTUAL STRESS and PERCEIVED STRESS.

Several of the study participants experienced the loss of a parent during the 16-month study period.  By any standard, the death of a loved one is a highly stressful event, yet even those in this highest stress group had perfectly normal levels of protective antibodies.

Twenty seven percent of the participants reported high levels of perceived stress during the study and, to a person, this 27% had up to 80% fewer antibodies, even though in most cases, their ACTUAL stress was far less than other participants.

The message is clear.  If you think you are stressed you get the negative health consequences whether or not the stress is real.

How does perceived stress weaken your immune system?

When you feel stressed your brain produces a cascade of powerful bio-chemicals called neurotransmitters.  There are many different kinds of neurotransmitters, but the long and short of it is that stress related neurotransmitters can be HIGHLY DESTRUCTIVE to your health.

Constantly feeling stressed means you are constantly flooding your body with powerful chemicals that weaken your immune system and leave you more vulnerable to illness and disease.

Practical Application: The practical application of this information is obvious.  Take control of your emotions and never let little things, (or big things), get you down.

Stressful situations occur, but ACTUAL STRESS, stress that you recognize, deal with and move on, will not harm your health.

Monitor your feelings and emotions.  If something is bothering you, DEAL WITH IT.   Your health is too important to let things bother you for very long, and besides that, (to quote my dad), what difference will it make in a hundred years?  And to quote my wife, what difference will it make in an hour?

Remember this . . .

Stress-related bio-chemicals damage your health and those chemicals are made IN DIRECT RESPONSE TO YOUR PERCEPTIONS, not in response to the actual situation, and that means, simply controlling your response to things may go a long way to helping protect and preserve your health.

Remember, excellent health is a choice you can make, and you make that choice every day with your diet, nutrition and lifestyle decisions.  So learn everything you can… and choose wisely.

Internet Cookies – Are They Harmful?

Many people ask the question of whether cookies are harmful for their computers. The answer is generally no, but it is not nearly as straightforward as it sounds. While cookies are often stored in text files, only used to track information that is already provided to various websites, and are set to expire in short periods of time, they can be used for malicious purposes in certain instances. You will need to work with cookies – however, if you know when to delete them and when not to, you can still enjoy the conveniences they provide.

When Cookies are Good

Cookies are used by websites and browsers to store basic information about your Internet use. If you visit a pet store online and commonly look at cat products, the store will install a cookie that saves your preferences and tracks which pages you look at, not only telling the company what their customers are viewing, but giving you targeted results on the front page.

Additionally, browsers use cookies to store login information that you may not want to enter repeatedly. If you ever click the “save password” button below a login form, you are installing a cookie on your computer that will automatically insert your password into the fields. For those with multiple logins, this can be convenient and time saving.

In addition, bulky information such as IP addresses and browser preferences for a website can be stored in a cookie, saving time when loading a website you often visit. Generally, cookies are used as a shortcut to load information that you have already provided to a website, presenting no security risk on well known, established websites.

When Cookies are Bad

It is on websites that are not well known and established that cookies may become a concern. Because they can be installed without your knowledge, cookies can be installed by a third party from a website that is less than desirable. If you enter login information on a website that installs a cookie on your computer for malicious purposes, that individual can then take the information stored in that cookie and try to use it to steal other pieces of your information. This is easily solved in most cases by setting a higher security level for cookies, requiring that the browser ask you before saving any cookies to your browser or hard drive.

Another possible way in which cookies can negatively affect your computer is when they are stored on your hard drive for too long. Generally, the information there is safe because it is non-executable text files. However, if malware or spyware is installed on your computer, it may be possible for it to access those cookies and start retrieving your login, email, and personal information and sending it back to whomever installed the spyware.

Being Safe with Cookies

Cookies are necessary to run an Internet browser. They make it possible to visit most websites and can actually speed up and make your browsing experience safer. To feel more at ease and safer with them on your computer, you should set your browser to delete cookies on a more regular basis. Some may save up to 30 or 60 days automatically. With a third party privacy tool or by setting the browser to delete them every day, you can remove them from your hard drive before anyone can access and use your information. In combination with a good spyware removal tool and sensible browsing habits, you can overcome the possible negative effects that cookies might have on you and your PC’s privacy.

Brown Rice and Brownie Points for Health

When you see a weight-conscious person or a diabetic turning away reluctantly from a ladle of rice, you can’t help but sigh with sympathy. After all, rice has the unfortunate reputation of being on the other side of health.

However, modern lifestyles and improved information about food categories, sourcing, processing, and distribution have enabled us to make smarter and not-so-harder choices.

Take the case of brown rice. When you shop for a reliably-organic and health-oriented brown rice, you make an informed decision about going for something that works better than other rice forms for its variety of factors. It has a lower glycemic index than many others to start with, which makes it a better choice for those concerned with glucose and carbohydrate levels.

Since brown rice is mostly constituted of both the bran and germ along with the endosperm part of the grain, its fibre component and therefore the health advantage goes up a notch. Its nutrition value is better and being a slow carb or a complex carbohydrate allows it to make sure that when you eat it the sugar levels will not spike immediately.

It is also a relatively slowly-digestible form of rice, so it helps with other fitness concerns. The presence of adequate fibre, as well as minerals like magnesium, selenium, manganese assigns many other health points to this category. When it is hand-pounded, like in the case of sonamasuri raw rice, the richness and organic impact rise manifold. Other rice forms come from rice mills and hence their chemical component is higher for obvious reasons.

It is encouraging to see growing adoption of both organic brown and sonamasuri white rice in the culinary communities of India. The ease with which a varied range of preparations can be also be made, makes it stand equally high on taste as it does on the health plank.

Because of its processing specifics, and organic growth, the nutrients are kept intact in a richer and a more absorbable form. The presence of cholesterol and Trans fat is also notably low in this group. Further, the difference in prices when one compares the medium/short grain variety to a basmati variety makes for an extra factor for this choice.

It is very easy to use and often experts recommend soaking this rice for a few hours to ensure good cooking and to get the desired taste. The absence of stickiness and difference in softness as compared to a long grain are also worth noting. The taste and texture of this rice may vary considerably and hence it would be advisable to allow oneself some time before getting used to its consumption.

However, experts recommend shopping in reasonable quantities as brown rice may have a smaller shelf or storage value than its precedents. One can refrain from buying in bulk.

One can also find a number of new recipes that are now possible with brown rice and organic varieties of rice.

Now, even a health-wary person can walk towards a pot of rice without guilt or worry. Rice when grown organically, processed for nutrition maximization and cooked in the right way is as much of a healthy food as the other alternatives out there. Just make sure that the next time you think rice, you have all the information and alternatives before you buy or cook something from what your habit dictates.

Join the organic food revolution and be a part of a new tribe that is spreading health, fitness, and longevity in the world. Welcome to the revolution.

How Long Does It Take For No Bake Cookies To Set?

I made a batch of no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies and they didn’t set. I ended up with lumps of gooey mess.

Does this sound familiar?

Although most no bake cookie recipes are fairly easy, it is important to follow the recipe, specifically for the amounts of ingredients and the cooking time. When a recipe says ‘boil’ it means that the mixture should have rolling bubbles for the recommended time. Because we are so used to bringing food to the boil and then simmering it, many no bake cookies fail if you turn the heat to simmer before it has boiled long enough.

Another reason for the failure of no bake recipes occurs when ingredients are left out yet other ingredients are not increased. It’s all about volume. For example, if a recipe calls for 8 ounces of milk, but you only have 4, your mix will be to dry to set and may end up being a crumbled mess. The missing 4 ounces of liquid needs to be made up with another liquid, such as water, or, juice.

It’s perfectly acceptable to reduce, or, avoid, ingredients you don’t like, but unless you also cut down the same proportions with the other ingredients, you may run into problems. So, if you want to reduce the amount of oats by 1/2 cup, try making up the volume with 1/2 cup of cereal and your cookies will turn out just fine.

Not letting your cookies set for the recommended time can also lead to failure. Even though you have made a fabulous batch of cookies, if they don’t get enough time to set firmly, they will fall apart. Some cookies can be ready to eat in as little as 30 minutes while others require an hour or two before they are ready to eat. It’s hard to leave cookies to sit when they look good enough to eat, however, it’s the difference between eating a perfect cookie and having a handful of goo or crumbs.

Swasthavritta – The Preventive Therapy in Ayurveda and Its Relevance in the Present Era

The word swastha means calm or unperturbed by diseases or emotions. Vrtha means observation of rules. So swastavrtha is observation of the rules for a healthy life.

Each scientific discipline has its one basic aim and ways. The science of ayurveda is one that is intended to give instructions for protecting and preserving ayu or life. But is can not be taken simply as one that give instructions for treatment alone.

Generally speaking, ayurveda has two sections – swasthavrtha (regimen for a healthy life) and athuravrtha (on the studying of diseases and treatment). That is ayurveda give more stress on the importance of prevention of diseases – on prophylaxis. Swasthavrtha is the section which expounds on the necessary observance for preserving a healthy life. Athuravrtha is a section which presents remedial measures when diseases attach us.

Since we are today facing with the problem of meeting with so many new diseases, the necessity of awakening the people to be conscious of their own way of life, is more. Hence the guideline of ayurveda as presented in the form of instructions on swasthavrtha is very useful and hence more relevant to the times.

Now, we have before us the Alma-ata declarations of the World Health Organization (WHO); the essence of which is the insistence on the cooperative activity of various medical systems so as to bring to utilization of the facilities of all of them as per the suitability regarding the time and place. Since the health problems of the present times is so varied and complex, which can not be tackled by the efforts of any one single systems alone, however advanced it may be.

If we have to work out this plan for such utilization, we must have a clear knowledge of the fundamental approach of each of these systems, their aims and meaning and methods of their treatment techniques. We have also to endeavor to improve them by modernizing them but without giving a chance to shed away any of their basic qualities in the light of new knowledge promoted by advanced systems. Now it is to be noted that the up to date researches now going on in the advanced fields of modern science has proved to be a justification of the approaches of the old medical systems and aimed at developing new perceptions and new techniques for investigation, research and treatment methods.

Generally the term sastra in sanskrit is translated as science in western vocabulary. But the aim of the approach to the old sasthra towards men and universe, and the motivation of the new sciences that took shape and flourished along with the developments of the industrial era are directed towards two aspects. Of course they are not opposed to each other. The sastra stand for presenting precise instructions on what we have to do and not to do for the promotion for our progress in material and spiritual fields as to have freedom from diseases and a secure life of happiness. The word sastra means that which is commanded. Here the topic of discussion is concerned with the relationship of man and universe. How the acts of men and the changes of nature are interrelated and what are to be done to correct the aims and ways (methods) of our actions to make them orderly.

Here in this approach the knowledge of the basic structure and changes of the universe is essential. But that study has to depend primarily on the nature of the reactions to actions. The science that advanced in the industrial period had tried to study and promote science with the interest and outlook of a consumer. Study of nature by analysis was done with the intention of examining them structurally. So the material particulars taken from them can be used for producing commodities that can increase material amenities and pleasures and for luxurious life. So the term Exploration of nature had come in do vogue.

But the outlooks of the old medical systems as the hypocatic medicine of Europe (Grease) the traditional medical systems of Egypt, India, China etc are all based and developed with the former out look. While the Europine medicine that advanced later has progressed with the later outlook (industrial out look) of course. By adopting such an outlook they could make a major advance also. Because this science provided immense help to improve the number and quality of medicine for treatment and also the instruments the location and their environment. The successes gained in controlling and conquering the epimimics of infectious diseases is no doubt a great boon for the world. The advancement gained in the field of surgery is also impressive. But some serious omission and weaknesses also were noticed.

It is true that the developments of the branches of sciences as physics, chemistry and others (inert sciences) helped to produce articles and conveniences for the luxurious pleasure seeking life of people. But the study of man who has to make use of these articles of enjoyment was not promoted. The main reasons for the unprecedented spread of serious, even lethal diseases, as degenerative diseases, diseases due to mental stress and other stresses, is realized as due to the failure of science in helping citizens on the necessity of carrying life without alienating themselves from nature and society.

Realizing this, today modern, western, scientists also are now on the way of rethreading; understanding the importance of the old out look of the sasthras which give weight on the importance of the relationship of man with the universe. So they also are know proceeding with research activities, giving prominent to such old out look.

According to Ayurveda body and mind are an inseparable integral whole, related and responding to the environment mental diseases affects the body also and physical diseases the mind too. Mind and body are therefore taken only as two seats of disease as the purity of the body makes the mind also pure. So man with a pure mind only is healthy is equally true.

Since ayurvedic concepts are based n functions it insistences is that maintenance of health of mind and body is possible only is we realize that it is primarily dependable on our way of life. It is that which is not properly responsive to the environment that becomes the cause of disease. When we speak of environment we mean two types of environment nature is ever changing as daytime can be distinguished as of three periods so night also. Day has dawn noon time and evening as three periods. Night also has dusk, mid night, and termination period of night. These diurnal changes influenced our body and mind. Our physical activities and mental moods also.

Similarly the stages of age as childhood, youth, and old age, also create differences in the nature of our responses. When take food the reactions inside the body, at the beginning stage of digestion at its middle stage and end stage are different, when the season change. There are corresponding changes in the body responses also. Our internal conditions and function also undergo changes when we are affected with emotions of happiness, sorrow, anger etc. It is known that the food taken in, when accepts by passions does not digests easily and properly. So if we do not adopt our ways of life our life also to accord with the changing natural environment.

The irreconcilable conditions upset the internal balance of the body also. Then the natural activities of the body intended for nutrition, elimination of unwanted wastes, and similar once of a self-protective nature are upset. In these condition of increased wastes and impurities in the body impairing the internal functions create diseases. So in order to avoid the occurrence of diseases the main attention is to be paid for critical examination of the study of our environment and our waste of life for correcting the anomalies ourselves. All ayurvedic texts start with advices for following a course of life which is in harmony with nature, set up with due understanding of nature and the society in which we life. What are the protective steps or duties to be performed on all days and as per the changes in different climates in the alternatives to be made in the menu and other routine the precautionary duty to be performed to avert diseases and similar topics are given preference in these texts. But here what is worthy of special attention is the insistence given on performing the moral duties, which is deemed absolutely essential for a reconciled harmonious life with the society in which we live. These are instructions for a disciplined life governed by rules of self control. For the affliction of diseases can be avoided only if we proceed with self control. Being aware of the changing conditions of times and guided by rules to harmonize the activities of our sensory and motor organs and mind with self control and understandings.

Here insistence is on the importance of prevention of diseases. It is racer wiser than treating a diseases after allowing it to occur. The cause for all disease is the violation of these rules of conducts.

How we have to manage life properly as per the changing times is the theme more orderly discussed by ayurvedic preceptors what is presented in Ashtangahrdaya of Vaghbata is one that deserves our main attention.

Diseases never affect any one who is careful in dietetics matters and behaviours and carried a nature controlled and thoughtful action, owns a mind which does not become slavish to passion one who cherishes a selfless noble generous nature, truthfulness, patience and firm wisdom. Such a person is not affected with any disease.

History of Baking

Baking has been many cultures' favorite technique for creating snacks, desserts, and accompaniments to meals for many years. Now, it is very well-known as the method for creating sweets and all sorts of wondrous mouthwatering pastries. In ancient history, the first evidence of baking occurred when humans took wild grass grains, soaked it in water, and mixed everything together, mashing it into a kind of broth-like paste. Then, the paste was cooked by pouring it onto a flat, hot rock, resulting in a bread-like substance. Later, this paste was roasted on hot embers, which made bread-making easier, as it could now be made anytime fire was created. Around 2500 BC, records show that the Egyptians already had bread, and may have actually learned the process from the Babylonians. The Greek Aristophanes, around 400 BC, also recorded information that showed that tortes with patterns and honey flans existed in Greek cuisine. Dispyrus was also created by the Greeks around that time and widely popular; was a donut-like bread made from flour and honey and shaped in a ring; soaked in wine, it was eaten when hot.

In the Roman Empire, baking flourished widely. In about 300 BC, the pastry cook became an occupation for Romans (known as the pastillarium). This became a very highly respected profession because pastries were considered decadent, and Romans loved festivity and celebration. Thus, pastries were often cooked especially for large banquets, and any pastry cook who could invent new types of tasty treats, unseen at any other banquet, was highly prized. Around 1 AD, there were more than three hundred pastry chefs in Rome alone, and Cato wrote about how they created all sorts of diverse foods, and flourished because of those foods. Cato speaks of an enormous amount of breads; included amongst these are the libum (sacrificial cakes made with flour), placenta (groats and cress), spira (our modern day flour pretzels), scibilata (tortes), savaillum (sweet cake), and globus apherica (fritters). A great selection of these, with many different variations, different ingredients, and varied patterns, were often found at banquets and dining halls. To bake bread, the Romans used an oven with its own chimney and had grain mills to grind grain into flour.

Eventually, because of Rome, the art of baking became widely known throughout Europe, and eventually spread to the eastern parts of Asia. Bakers often baked goods at home and then sold them in the streets-children loved their goods. In fact, this scene was so common that Rembrandt illustrated a work that depicted a pastry chef selling pancakes in the streets of Germany, and young children surrounding him, clamoring to get a sample. In London, pastry chef sold their goods in handcarts, which were very convenient shops on wheels. This way, they developed a system of "delivery" baked goods to people's households, and the demand for baked goods increased greatly as a result. Finally, in Paris, the first open-air café of baked goods was developed, and baking became an established art throughout the entire world.

PET Plastic Containers Vs PVC Plastic Containers – What’s The Difference? And Why You Should Care

Plastics come in many varieties and it can be difficult to figure out which types to use for our various needs. Seemingly similar, different types of plastics vary more than just in their names, but also drastically so when it comes to how they are produced and how they should best be utilized. Ways that may be unseen or unconscious to consumers or customers, can impact the product housed in or around the various types of plastics.

One common type of plastic is Polyvinyl chloride, familiar to many as PVC. This is a cheap plastic that is widely used in construction, and may often times be seen when creating pipes, hoses, cables, and roofing material.

Another type of plastic is called PET. PET, technically called Plyethylene terephthalate, is commonly used in packaging with containers for storage or food. PET is a lightweight and durable and ideal for use around a multitude of products such as food or nonperishable supplies.

Unlike PET, PVC actually breaks down with exposure to UV rays. PVC will break down over time regardless of sun exposure, and it also leaches chemical onto whatever it is in contact with. From the very beginning PVC emits dangerous compounds, and well after it is disposed of the material can still have negative impacts. PVC ends up either in landfills or incinerated. When burned PVC emits hydrogen chloride and dioxin gases that can be very harmful to everything around it.

Since PVC can add chemicals to whatever it comes into contact with, it would not be a safe option when storing or displaying food or edibles. Even products that are not edible may be harmed by the chemical output of PVC, and the product can be changed or damaged over long term exposure to PVC.

PET contains and UV stabilizer that makes it last through contact with the sun and UV rays. PET can be recycled and remade into future plastic containers or plastic items, and can also be remade into various new products such as clothing. PET also has a higher recycling rate than most types of plastics.

The recycling process of PET has minimal impact on the environment, and is very similar to the process behind recycling paper. No harmful gasses are emitted, and the PET containers can be completely remade into more PET containers, eliminating high levels of material loss through the process. Recycling PET is also easy to do, and can be deposited in most neighborhood recycling pickup deposits instead of complicated recycling procedures that can be a hassle.

PET is far more versatile than PVC. PET has no harmful impact on the variety of types of materials that may come into contact with it, whereas PVC should be limited to mainly industrial use in building or construction. PET is also much more environmentally friendly than PVC and can be recycled. PET also has more long term lasting power since it will not harm or alter materials stored in or around it over long periods of time.

A Do It Yourself Wedding in New York City For $10,000 Or Less, Is It Possible?

A do-it-yourself (DIY) wedding in New York City sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be done. There are various ways of complying with that statement above and all for under $10,000. Well, under $10,000. You can still have quite an extravagant wedding, even an over the top wedding for under $10,000 AND in New York. Let me show you how it can be done, including your honeymoon. Now I know you’re thinking that is an impossibility. My husband and I did it and so can you.

It mostly depends on just what it is you want your fantasy day to say and whether or not one thing is the most important item or if you would prefer to have featured several things. For me I wanted the colors of our wedding to be featured, my dress and the water feature for my husband at the reception. At another time I will tell you about my excursions to and from the various locations to secure, just what I wanted for my wedding. Right now, I will give you the nitty-gritty about what I reaped from my excursions.

What if you only wanted one thing to be the major featured item? Of course, it does not have to be just one thing, it can be several, but just so you don’t go crazy, I suggest you choose one to two items rather than a whole slew, but if you want more than that, don’t do any more than five. Most brides start off believing they can do it all and realize within eight to six months of the wedding that they can not. A friend’s help comes in quite handily, after all your really close friends will have asked you all along what they can do to help. At about ten to eight months out from the wedding is the best time to take them up on their offers. I did. More about me later, though. I have a friend who did a wedding with a potluck reception at a very famous church here in Manhattan and even though it was phenomenally delicious, to my idea that was not even the featured item in her wedding. I am getting ahead of myself though.

Her wedding had a committee of three women -the project managers- to help her stay within her budget which was WAY under $10,000. I believe she and her new husband paid no more than $6000 for their entire wedding, which included the reception space in that very same famous church. They did not pay for catering which can be quite pricey when it comes to weddings. In fact, the wedding couple paid nothing for the food at the reception, so plus the cost of the space, If they’d paid for catering it would have run close to the $6000 for their 150 guests. By having a potluck, she paid nothing other than the cost of the hall. The Riverside Church Chapel for me cost $800 (In a previous article, I said $1200, but in reality it was $800 for mine.) in 2005, but for another friend of mine last year, she paid $1500. I got the members’ cost, but last year, there was no differential between members and nonmembers, so even though she is a member, she had to pay big bucks.

My friend’s wedding costs are an approximation, because I didn’t pry that much,.. yet. She is out of the country now, so I can not ask her at all, but I am judging from her comments to me at the time. Forgetting about the cost of hers and her husband wearing apparel which I can tell you he had his own tux in his closet and her wedding dress was bought from a non-wedding wedding store on sale.

  • Since my friend is a singer too, she had friends who sang during her wedding, that were of course gratis or gifts. Basically that is a win-win situation all around. Since you tap your friends, you tap the voices you want singing your songs of choice. That’s what I did and both she and her ex-husband sang at my and my husband’s wedding.
  • Here’s a big tip if you don’t want to spend big time money on your dress, if it’s to be one of the featured items, go to a non-wedding store in search of your gown. Personally I went to Filene’s Basement bridal store, a year before my wedding and bought a dress for $536 with tax, so it is possible to pay for a dress under $3000. But my friend did not go the bridal store route. She went to Paramus Mall to Lord & Taylor. I don’t remember exactly how much she paid, but I do know it was almost half as much as my dress.
  • She also did not go with a traditional veil, but went with a tiara alone. For mine, I had both, but did not pay a premium for either. I made up my own veil for less than $10 and found a tiara that didn’t look cheap at Claire’s Accessories for less than $20. She wore a tiara as well. A gold tiara, which costs no more than a $100.
  • For her reception, she had no music, we’d had plenty during her wedding ceremony. In another article I’ve already told you about using your own Mp3 player and saving big bucks in that respect. If you do want to hire a DJ or reception host, I suggest you go with a friend of a friend who is just starting to spin, but that the friend can vouch for their abilities, if you have not experienced them for yourself. Remember, whatever you do, GET a contract. One that spells out exactly what you want and expect them to do at the party. That means the songs you expect and when. That way, the surprises won’t have anything to do with dancing. That way both you and your guests can be happy without much annoyance on anyone’s part. New DJ’s can start as low as $75 an hour and go up from there. If you want an established DJ, it could be as much as $125 – $350 an hour. This again is if you want to stay within your budget of $10000. Just remember you will need your DJ for at least four hours, so do your multiplication from there.
  • Transportation: Ah, you can go the traditional route with the white limos, or you can go with black limos, too. Did you know that the color of the limo can determine the price. White limos are more expensive and if you mention wedding additional money is added for that special day. Just be glad that you are not going to prom, because that is the limousine’s big day(s) for money making. Limousines can be anywhere from $500 for a two and half hour rental to, of course thousands. To really save money, if you are friends with a special car association you could rent or borrow the owners’ cars. Or now with the Internet companies, Zip Car, Drive Mint or even Connect By Hertz you could rent a car of your dreams for a great rates. Each of these dot com hourly car rentals can save you a bundle. Think about it.
  • Did you guess already that the featured item for my friend’s wedding was the dress? Well, if you did you would have been correct. The bride wore, what appeared to be gold. In actuality, the dress was a copper lace with a light pink undergarment that peeked through, which made the dress upon entrance and even as she continued to walk down the aisle appear to be molten liquid gold. She was drummed in. Of course, the bride is usually the center piece of most weddings, but as they say in the theater, people were humming the dress the rest of the evening, especially since she was able to match the dress with a cape, that was already in her closet.
  • Transportation – Getting to and sometimes from the wedding ceremony can be challenging when it comes to keeping costs down, but with these suggestions you can be home free.

Dress $536

Tux Rental $56

Cake $825

Limo/Catering $375/$625 = $1000

Special added catering $0 Wedding gift from Mother-in-Law

Professional Photographer $400 for 5 hours – childhood friend of groom

Video $0 Best Man’s gift

Ceremony/Minister $800 Christ Chapel Riverside Church

Flowers $375 from Flower wholesaler

Reception rental and 2 cases of champagne $1251

DJ $250 – 4.5 hours

Printer $68 printing wedding invitations & thank you notes

Papers Invitations, Envelopes, (Inner/Outer) Thank You Notes/Envelopes $82

Save-the-Date magnets $16

Miscellaneous Favors, candles, material, silk rose petals, disposable cameras, decorative Chinese boxes, & tissue paper $350

Honeymoon Cruise & extras $1391

Our total expenditures in 2005 Wedding/Honeymoon $7400

  1. Car Rental for the weekend: Go Green with http://www.ConnectbyHertz.com $160.33/weekend day whether it is for 6 hours or 24 hours. Go with the 24 since you can use it for those last minutes things that come up before the wedding. That is for a smart Fortwo, talk about making an entrance. Keep in mind with Hertz you can pick the car up at one location and drop it off somewhere else, as long as they have a lot. That could save you some time. For instance: pick up at a Hertz on the upper west side and drop it off at one of their hotel locations especially if you’re not going away to your honeymoon right away..
  2. Car rental for the 3-day weekend from Speedy-Rent-A-Car $205.00
  3. Rental from Zipcar.com or DriveMint.com are by the hour from $11.00 – $17.00 for the weekend depending on the car. A Scion Xb or smart Fortwo on the low end hourly or a Mercedes on the high end hourly at DriveMint.com
  4. Or offer relatives and friends a couple of dollars, depending on your budget, to chauffeur you and your wedding party around for a couple of hours.
  5. What if you want to have your wedding catered, it is still possible to do it economically in a big city, whether it is in New York City or Chicago, or even Boston, you just need a bit of ingenuity to stay within your budget. If you’re a curious detailed oriented person like I am, then you’ll decide this is the fun part, the chase or the journey to end that you really want. It is actually the magic part about the entire wedding, I think, because you are at the stage where you are shaping the outcome of the day. It will take patience and possibly legwork, to see just what you might be getting for the day of event, but the hunt (for the guys) is on and it can be a great deal of fun. Here are a few tips:
  6. Decide on the type of wedding and plan your food accordingly. Such as casual, spiffy-casual, or formal, (usually sit down) While casual and spiffy-casual may come very close to looking like the same thing, they really are quite different when it comes to food. I have seen casually catered events start as low as $12.95 per person or just under $1200 for 85 people. This is strict buffet style, no seating provided, but stand-up cocktail tables in various spots with food arrangements on them along with some passed appetizers, as well.
  7. My friend’s wedding although it had a very high-church of various cultures feel to it had a casual reception, since all the guests were expected to bring something. With her committee of ‘wedding corralling ladies’, the guests with each acceptance of the invitation was then asked what were they bringing. By doing it that way my friend saved all sorts of money and even had leftovers. Wedding party paid nothing, zero, zip, for that feast. Their reception had everything from appetizers to desserts including rum balls, (YUM!). Some of us were getting high just smelling the rum balls, additionally there was even a fruit bowl.
  8. Another casual reception could be to have a stand around party with a huge sandwich or various pizzas or have your new mother-in-law make something for the crowd. You can probably strike up a deal with your favorite pizza store once you pass 10 pizzas. Figure at 3 slices per guest and you’ve got it made. For instance, a pizza usually has 12 slices and for 80 guests, you’d have to have 20 pies feeding each person 3 slices each. My neighborhood pizza store sells a large pie for $16 each, but if I ordered 20 pies for 85 guests, my budget for food would be at around $350. Even as much as $350, you must give your guests something to wash down the pizzas.
  9. For more organic less oil, use whole grain flat breads; American or Italian version with different toppings, as your starter rather than bread and cheese.
  10. Perhaps as I did you can get a combination price with another feature of the wedding. My limousine company managed a caterer and so I got a combination price. Plus, my new mother-in-law, made something special in large quantities for her son. We had 85 guests and our total with the 4-hour use of the limousine and caterer was $625. My new mother-in-law’s food was gratis. Ours was a casual formal of sorts. It was buffet style with seating.
  11. The formal caterer or sit down with service is where you’ll have to weigh your options on how much is too much. These types often run as low as $27 per person and up into the thousands. If you’re trying to do a wedding for under $10,000, as I am advocating then you’re probably priced out of this market unless you can strike a deal with one of your favorite restaurants. Perhaps Carmine’s, in which the food is served family-style, but everyone is sitting. This could be a possibility. My friends took me there for graduation and we ordered one full meal and had left overs for two additional people.
  12. If using Carmine’s works for you, I am betting that it can work for your budget as well. Think about it, a main dish for a meal is $21 – 25, which easily feeds 5 – 6 people. If you have 12 tables of 8 could still be pricey, but your guests will be full and have potential doggy bags to take home. Roughly your pricing could still be under $1000, even with the addition of salad, garlic bread and dessert. YUM! A pure feast to behold.
  13. Decorations is another item that can run into lots of pennies. In this instance, I am talking about the flowers for the bride and the wedding party and the extras for the reception to make it wedding theme oriented. The extras could include tulle and floating or almost infinite ideas as motifs or table decorations of some kind. Here are few of my favorites with pricing of the day:
  14. Check any of the websites that sell pre-made flowers and you’re good to go. Flower arrangements start as low as $29.95 and go $79.95 for our purposes. Flowers can, of course go into the hundreds from these websites and upward if you use a florists.
  15. To cut cost further, the bride and matron/maid of honor could be the only people to carry flowers and then everything else could be decorated at the ceremony venue with tulle or aisle candles.
  16. At the reception venue, the theme could be carried further with floating candles on the tables as centerpieces instead of flowers. If, like we did, you have a water feature, add some floating candles, larger than the table candles, to it and call it a day. Candles at the reception venue could run you a whopping $100 to start unless you want or have a half an acre to decorate.
  17. Add some special candies or other cheery items for the table; M&M’s or Jordan Almonds or Junior mints. We went with special made-to-order M&M’s. I bought 3 bags and that was all I needed, at $11 per bag, it was a steal. And you get to choose your colors so they can coordinate with your wedding colors. Pretty cool, I think and inexpensive, too.
  18. Don’t forget those disposable cameras, so your guests can snap some fun pictures as well. Check out various websites and you might be able to get 9 cameras all for $35, just like I did.

So, it can be done with a bit of ingenuity, verve, and flair. Dreamers can.

The Best Hospitals in Rio De Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city of Brazil and was the capital of the country up to 1960. Rio is the third largest metropolitan area in South America. The headquarters of many international oil, telephone, media and communication companies in Brazil are located here. Rio will also host the final match for 2014 Football World Cup. Rio de Janeiro has been Brazil’s primary tourist center by virtue of its world famous Mardi Gras parades, beaches and many world famous landmarks such as the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer, Corcovado Mountain.

Rio de Janeiro is a major center of research and development in the country and also houses many world-class hospitals that offer latest medical treatments. These well equipped private hospitals have special international patient sections and offer service of English speaking staff.

This is a short description of some of the popular hospitals in Rio de Janeiro.

Hospital Copa D’or located at Rua Figueiredo Magalhães, 875 – Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro is owned and operated by the Rede D’Or group. All of their hospitals are internationally accredited and follow international standards in their management.

Hospital Copa D’or, Rio has latest generation of equipment and eminent doctors providing care. The hospital offers the best possible service in their surgical center, post operative center, center for diagnostic imaging, neuro-intensive treatment center, out-patient hospital, adult and pediatric emergency rooms, physiotherapy, speech therapy, psychiatry, infectious diseases, hemodynamics, clinical nutrition, pediatrics and coronary care unit. The surgical centers of this hospital are state-of-the-art, they can perform the most complex surgeries.The hospital has centers for intensive care including intensive care unit, cardio intensive care unit, semi- intensive care unit and even a special pediatric ICU. The hospital accepts all major health insurances. Tel:e 21 2545-3600

Hospital Samaritano located at Rua Bambina,98 -Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro is one of the well trusted, modern private hospitals in Brazil provided  with state-of-the-art medical  technology and service of eminent doctors. The hospital offers a complete range of medical and surgical service of global standard in all relevant departments. The well known cardiology department of this hospital has excellent coronary unit, hemodynamics laboratory and cardiac surgery center.

Hospital Samaritano‘s specialized sections include imagery diagnostics department with computerized tomography, radiology unit, magnetic nuclear resonance and PET-CT and modern nuclear medicine department with scintilography, myocardial scintilography and sentinel linfonode research. The hospital has an accredited emergency room staffed by physicians approved by the American College of Surgeons for trauma care. All the beds in this section are provided with modern equipments for trauma care like portable monitors, breathers, defibrillator and artificial pacemakers.

The Intensive Care Unit of Hospital Samaritano is notable with newest facilities and has 10 beds, all provided with breathers, infusion pumps, artery pressure, oxygen level, and heart beat monitors. Hospital Samaritano is also a pioneer in medical education, research and training. This is a favorite hospital among the foreign communities and all major health insurance companies are accepted here. Phone (21) 2537-9722 • Emergency: (21) 2535-4000

Hospital Sao Jose is another reliable hospital in the city with modern health care facilities. This hospital founded by the Santa Catarina Congregation, a religious group with wide reputation, has been providing effective and modern medical service to the people at a reasonable cost since1923. This large hospital with an area of more than 625 sq miles has full fledged departments in all major branches of medicine. The hospital’s emergency department including a 5-bed special cardiac ward offers round the clock service. Sao Jose Hospital’s international patient section with English speaking staff is also well known for providing complete medical service and best personal care. Tel: (21) 2741-4300.

Wholesale Business: How to Start a Beverage Distribution Business

Combine Wholesale Distribution with the Beverage Industry and you get one of the most profitable and fun businesses in the world.

This article will give you an introduction into this great business, how you can start and how much money you can make on each case of beverage sold. Is beverage distribution for you? Find out right now.

Beverage distribution is one of the easiest and most profitable businesses I’ve seen.

I like it because you don’t need a lot of customers to make a lot of money. You can easily make an extra $5,000 with a few customers.

You will see why beverage is one of the best businesses in the world. I started in beverage while I had my tool and novelty distribution business. I was looking for new products, products that I did not need to exchange so often and that I could sell over and over again to the same customers. This last part was key.

You see, when I was selling tools I figured that I could sell up to 1,000 tools per day or more but every customer was unique. In other words, if you buy a hammer at a store on Monday chances are you will not go on Tuesday and buy another Hammer. Even if it only costs $1.98!

Don’t get me wrong, the “tool distribution business” is a wonderful business and I still love it. I was just looking for another type of product to add to my current items.

I figured out that in order to sell the same product over and over again it would have to be a food product. So I started going to trade shows and looking at chocolate, potato chips, candy, and other products. I even looked at name brands like Hershey’s. The problem was that I could not buy directly from the manufacturers and the profit margins were super low, about 12%. I was used to up to 70% profit margins.

Finally I ran into a beverage manufacturer of an Energy Drink. They were just starting with their product and it was easier to become a distributor.

Now let me tell you a bit about Energy Drinks. Energy Drinks are the new Super Profitable products. Everybody makes money, the manufacturer, the distributor and the retailer. You see, Energy Drinks sell for $1.99 to $2.40 at the stores for 8 to 16 ounces. This is incredible if you consider that you can buy a soda that’s the same size for $0.50 to $0.75. Even a 20 ounce soda runs you about $1.25.

Distributors love the product because they make about $8 per every case they sell compared with about $2 to $4 for their other products.

Let’s get back to the Beverage Business. The great part of this business is that if you have only one customer going into the store buying your product you sell at least 1 case of that product per month.

You see; if you sell a soda someone can buy a soda every day, compared to a hammer, where people don’t buy a hammer every day. So you need fewer customers because you sell more per day.

For example: Let’s say you have only 100 stores that you service yourself and sell 3 different beverages. You sell one Energy Drink and 2 Sodas. You make $8 from every case of the Energy Drink and $3 from every case of soda.

If you sell only 1 case of the Energy Drink per week per store and 3 cases of each soda you’ll make about $600 profit from the sodas per week and another $800 profit per week from the Energy Drink. That’s $5,600 profit per month with only 100 stores and only 3 different products. It’s very easy to ramp up to 5 or even 8 products. This is why I love the beverage business.

Now let me tell you a bit more about Energy Drinks. They are the category that is growing the fastest of any other drink. It grows up to 70% per year in the US compared with 2% growth for soda. Companies are still growing from 100% to 300% per year every single year. The best part is that there is no end in sight.

Not only that, the Energy Drink Business is incredibly fun. You get advertising and promotion from companies, you get to do club and store promotions, get t-shirts, hats, gifts, extra commissions and free product from the Energy Drink companies. You also get free racks, coolers, sometimes even refrigerators.

Copyright 2006 Cube 17, Inc.

10 Foods to Avoid With Endometriosis

There are certain foods to avoid with endometriosis. In fact, many women who suffer from endometriosis can improve their condition and their symptoms naturally by simply controlling their diet. Knowing what not to eat can make a significant difference in the way an endometriosis sufferer feels.

Creating an endometriosis friendly diet is about eliminating foods that increase prostaglandins. Prostaglandins stimulate estrogen, which is the main hormone that wreaks havoc in an endometriosis sufferer. Estrogen is responsible for symptoms including painful menstrual cramps, as well as meorrhagia (heavy menses), diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.

However, when you learn what foods to avoid with endometriosis, you will discover that not all prostaglandin are bad. For instance, prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) actually helps to relieve symptoms, while prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin F2a (PGF2a) contribute to the symptoms mentioned above.

The following are 10 foods to avoid with endometriosis –

1. Sugar – Sugar, in all its forms (refined, artificial, natural), can produce a more acidic environment which can encourage the inflammatory pain of endometriosis. Therefore, it’s a good idea to limit the consumption of chocolate, sweeteners, drinks and sweets with high levels of sugar, and honey.

2. Wheat – Wheat contains phytic acid which can aggravate endometriosis symptoms. Furthermore, wheat contains gluten, and studies have found that many endometriosis sufferers appear to have gluten sensitivity which can cause and increase painful symptoms. Products containing wheat and gluten should be avoided or limited.

3. Soy products – Like wheat, soy contains phytic acid; however the levels of phytic acid in soy are considerably higher than wheat. Phytic acid is known to irritate the digestive system and reduces mineral absorption, especially calcium. Soy is found in many food products including granola, pasta, imitation meat, soy milk, soy based cheese, etc.

4. Caffeine – Caffeine, especially when consumed in high amounts, has been found to increase estrogen levels, which can trigger endometriosis attacks and cause the condition to develop. Caffeine foods to avoid with endometriosis include coffee, tea and soda. Consuming more than two cups of coffee a day may cause estrogen levels to rise.

5. Alcohol – Alcohol eats up vitamin B stored in the liver. Liver function plays an essential role in clearing out excess estrogen which helps to control endometriosis. Eliminating alcohol on the body puts excessive stress on the liver, hindering it from expelling other items from the body.

6. Dairy products – Dairy products stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a, which can worsen symptoms. The primary dairy foods that you should avoid with endometriosis include milk and cheeses. To help keep calcium levels up you can find other sources of calcium in sesame seeds, almonds, salmon, sardines, seaweed, figs, and calcium fortified foods (I.E. tofu, orange juice, etc.) Note: Remember to be careful when substituting dairy products such as pasteurized milk with soy milk, as soy can also aggravate symptoms.

7. Red Meat – Meat promotes PGF2a production. Furthermore, red meat may contain growth hormones that include estrogen. If meat is your main source of protein, you can obtain the protein you need through other protein-rich foods such as beans, tofu, tempeh, walnuts, cashews, chestnuts, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and peanuts.

8. Saturated fats and oils – Foods that are high in fatty acids stimulate the production of PGE2 and PGF2a. Fatty acids are found in saturated fats, oils (IE coconut oil, palm oil, etc.), butter, margarine, lard, organ meats, and plenty of fried foods.

9. Refined carbohydrates – refined carbohydrates (I.E. white bread, pasta, flour, pastry, cakes, etc.) have had most of their natural nutrients removed. Refined carbohydrates deplete the body’s nutritional stores as they are needed in order for the body to absorb the nutrients in the refined carbs. This can lead to endometriosis symptoms. Instead of refined carbs, stick to unrefined carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, pasta, rice, etc.

10. Additives and preservatives – processed, frozen and pre-packaged are foods to avoid with endometriosis as they are full of additives, preservatives chemicals, and many other ingredients that promote ill-health and PGE2 and PGF2.

An Introduction To Vending Machines

The very first vending machine was said to have been invented by Hero of Alexandria, a 1st century inventor. His machine accepted a coin and then dispensed a fixed amount of “holy water.”

Basically, a vending machine is a machine that dispenses merchandise after a customer deposits money. Vending machines have a currency detector which determines if the money inserted is sufficient to purchase the desired item.

Common locations where vending machines are usually placed include: next to the entrances/exits, next to the water fountain, in front of the restroom, in the break room, by the coffee maker, next to the other vending machines, by the receptionist, next to the cash register, next to the listening station at a music store, next to the change machine or in the waiting area.

The items sold in vending machine vary. In the U.S. vending machines may even carry alcoholic beverages such as beer and cigarettes. This practice is increasingly rare though, due to concerns about underage buyers. I

n Japan, there seems to be no limits to what is sold by vending machines. These include: drinks and cigarettes, bottles of wine, cartons of beer and pairs of underwear. Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita, with about one machine for every 23 people.

Vending machines are classified mainly according to the products it carries. Below are just some of them:

Newspaper vending machines

With newspaper vending machines, a customer could open the box and make off with all of the newspapers after paying for one. Such assumes that the customer will be honest.

Candy vending machines

Candy vending machines are mechanical machines that vend a handful of candy, a bouncy ball, or perhaps a capsule with a small toy or jewelry, for one or two quarters.

Soda snack/vending machines

Soda/snack vending machines are, as the name suggests, sell cans or bottles of soda and/or small packages of snacks. For operators, soda/snack machines have the advantage that many locations recognize their need for such machines.

Specialized Vending

Specialized vending machines are those that dispense personal products, typically in public toilet facilities. These vending machines are often found in toilets used by transient persons in high traffic locations, such as bus stations and truck stops.

The machines in ladies restrooms typically sell sanitary napkins, tampons and tissue paper. In men’s rooms, the vending machines contain tissue paper, cleansers and sometimes condoms.

These vending machines use a spiral kind of mechanism to separate and to hold the products. When the machine vends, the spiral turns, thus pushing the product forward and falling down to be vended.

Most vending machines are designed as large safes. They have also been extensively tested and designed to inhibit theft. Like any machines, vending machines are susceptible to malfunction. The causes are many-fold.

Coin acceptors often jam up, especially if a child inserts a bill or other foreign object into the coin slot. Bill validators sometimes falsely reject a legal tender bill that happens to be crumpled, ripped, or dirty. Vending machines usually have a phone number that angry users can call for service.

One of the newest vending innovations is telemetry, which is made possible by the advent of reliable, affordable wireless technology. With telemetry, data can be transmitted to a remote headquarters for use in scheduling a route stop, detecting component failure or verifying collection information.

Choosing Candy For Your Vending Machine

The bulk candy you use will be the third biggest choice besides the vending machine you chose and the locations you get. Most new vendors never really give the bulk candy they use any thought and how it will affect their sales. I am telling you right now you can have a very good location and not even know it if you use the wrong candy. Another thing you want to think about when choosing your candy is this is your business and you make the final decision. I had a bulk vending machine at an investment company in Murrieta Ca.

I asked the lady at the front desk what kind of candy does she want in the machine. She gave me a couple of suggestions so I put the candy in there that she wanted. Every month I came back she wanted a different type of candy in there. So my kindness back fired, and I lost money trying to please her with the candy she wanted. So my advice to you can take suggestions but this is your business and you make the final decision.

What Kind of Bulk Candy to use?

This can be a mystery or you can stick with the statistics. The best selling bulk candy hands down is peanuts m&ms. Now wait before you leave this website and go to the store. If you are not careful the m&ms can be very messy. Imagine a hot summer day and your bulk vending machine is placed near a window, I don’t care if that office has the thermostat down to 60 degrees, if that sun is beaming down on your vending machine those m&ms will melt and you will lose that location quick when the lady in the office gets chocolate on her hands and accidentally gets it on her blouse, believe me I know firsthand. So if you are going to use peanut m&ms please be careful where you put your vending machine.

My favorite Bulk Candy Mike and Ikes

Man I have had a lot of success with these colorful tasty little bad boys. If you never had any of them I compare them to jelly beans. I love these things and so do other people. Mike and Ikes do well in the winter and in the summer but just like the m&ms please be careful in the summer. In the summer if your bulk vending machine is in a hot location the Mike and Ikes can stick together and become one big ball. To stop this from happening you can lightly spray the Mike and Ikes with Pam or your favorite cooking spray, and you shouldn’t have a problem in the summer time. I ignored this tip and when I went to a couple of my locations I was wondering why the Mike and Ikes hadn’t moved at all since they had been a success in previous months. Well after opening my vending machine all my Mike and Ikes were stuck together and on the top of that the owner was complaining because people were asking for their money back because they didn’t receive any candy. So please don’t ignore this tip or you could be sorry like I was at first.

Skittles

I use Skittles a lot in my bulk vending machines and I stick with the original Skittles. Yes there seems to be about a million different types of Skittles now but I stick with the original type. I have tried other types but I had the most success with the original so I have just stuck with it over the years. I never really had any problems with this candy. It has a nice hard shell so it does well in the winter and in the summertime.

Gumballs

Gumballs are your best friend in your business. They are by far the highest profitable bulk candy you can buy, and they are indestructible. The only tips I can suggest on these gumballs are after a couple of months in your machine please check them by biting into a gumball every now and then. Sometimes these gumballs get real hard and after that you are going to want to get rid of them. Another thing is do not get cute with the gumballs. As with skittles these things come in a variety of flavors and colors. Don’t get cute with buying Halloween colored gumballs because if you don’t sell them within a month nobody is probably going to buy them with Christmas comes around. Now I have bought gumballs that have looked like little baseballs and I had great success, but the baseball season is six to seven months long so I had plenty of time to sell them. If you are just starting out just stick with the basics until you are making money and getting comfortable with your vending route.

Bouncy Balls

How did I almost forget. These can be great these bouncy balls never go out of style and they never spoil or anything like that. Just be careful where you place them because little kids can choke on them. When I use the bouncy balls I put a sticker on my machine stating ages 5 and up. Most people might put 3 years and up but I don’t want any problems so I put age 5 and up. Bouncy balls can be great; I use them at a lot of pizza places since there are probably other vending machines than mind there that have gumballs, so I use the bouncy balls.

Peanuts and pistachios

I have used both peanuts and pistachios and they will work if you have the right location. I have a bulk vending machine in an old folk’s home in the hallway and I can’t keep that bulk vending machine full. It is always emptying out. I use vendesign vending machines and two of the canisters hold pistachios and the other two canisters hold regular peanuts. Those seniors love there peanuts and pistachios. I do not use any bulk candy at this particular location.

Runts, Boston Baked Beans and other Bulk Candy

I know there are some people that love runts out there but I have never used them. I just never really thought of Runts as a serious candy to use. I know Runts are cheap but every time I see a bulk vending machine with runts, it always looks abandoned or not taken good care of. Now don’t get me wrong I know there is somebody out there that is doing good with runts, I just don’t use them. Boston Baked Beans I have never used either. I love them and buy them every now and again when I go to a gas station, but I haven’t tried them in my vending machines.

Someone please let me know how you are doing with runts or Boston Baked Beans so I can give a better account of these two candies, or anything else you are using that I haven’t mentioned on this page. Lastly do not buy off brand cheap bulk candy, this will just make you miserable when you walk up to your vending machine and realize you haven’t made any sales. Don’t be cheap!

Advantages to Computers in the Food & Beverage Industry

Computers have revolutionized the food and beverage industry as they have nearly every other industry. Computers have had positive, measurable effects on the front end and back end of hospitality operations. Computers systems have improved employee performance, and food and beverage quality and consistency. Within the food and beverage industry there is no longer a question of should technology be used, but rather a question of which technology to use? In the food and beverage business, computers are here to stay.

In the hospitality industry, customer service is an absolute critical factor for success. Computers are helping in this area in several ways. In many restaurants, the wait staff can process various forms of payment at guest tables, which allows guest to leave directly from their table without the need to stop at a centralized checkout station. This has removed long unsightly lines, which annoy customers, and disrupt the flow of traffic in food and beverage businesses. This service is made possible by either small hand held computers which handle credit card transactions using wireless technology, or via remote point of sale systems that interact with a central computer system. This improves the customers dining experience, which should be the goal of any food service business.

A key management concern of any food and beverage business is the profit margin. In this vital area of business, computers have also proven to be an indispensable tool. Computer systems help manage the entire food service process from ordering the ingredients needed to produce menu items, to forecasting the amount of items to prepare for each dining period based on historical patterns. This helps to reduce wasted food, which is very expensive and comes out of the businesses profit. It also helps in preparing menu items before hand, which reduces customer wait time. Computer can also forecast with high accuracy rates the volume of business to be expected which allows managers to properly staff their business. This is vital because having too much staff on hand can consume unnecessary amounts of payroll, and not having enough staff on hand will cause customer service problems.

Computers are also being used in very innovative ways by some food and beverage businesses. For instance, Darden Restaurants that owns and operates the Red lobster and Olive Garden chains uses computers to help choose new building sites. This computer system uses a software program called the Darden Site Analyzer. The software gathers critical information needed to select a site, such as demographics, distance to other restaurants and customer information specific to the Darden business model. The program then analyzes the site and provides a series of reports to help Darden make the final decision. Darden plans to improve the software so that it can evaluate things such as whether a new Darden restaurant will negatively effect other Darden restaurants in the same area.

Computer systems have become a vital part of all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they help with purchasing decisions, inventory control, employee scheduling and training, and customer acquisition and retention. A leading indicator of this growing trend is the fact that many hospitality training programs now include computer and technology courses in the curriculum.

Each year innovators are creating more unique ways that technology can be used to enhance the overall commercial dining experience. Computers make out of home dining a more enjoyable experience for the consumer and a more profitable manageable experience for business managers and owners.

(c) 2006, Marcus Barber

5 Effects of Good Nutrition

The effects of good nutrition on the body are as visible as the effects of bad nutrition on the body. The difference is that bad nutrition can destroy the body, while good nutrition only supports and builds up the body. Hence, the better goal in life is to maintain a lifestyle that promotes good nutrition. This will cause many positive effects, including the following 5 effects of good nutrition.

5 Effects of Good Nutrition:

1. Maintain normal body function

This includes better learning, proper balance and pH in the body tissues, to stabilize and regulate body systems like blood pressure, rebuild tissues, and maintain proper blood sugar levels

2. Maintain healthy weight

This includes proper blood pressures, less likely to allow diseases like Diabetes, heart malfunctions

3. Prevent disease

This includes prevention of cancer, tissue disease, parasitical invasions, bacterial infections

4. Pass along good start to future generations

Healthy babies, immune system, healthy pregnancy

5. Provide stress relief

Reduce side effects of drugs, boost immune system, maintain calm and coping abilities

If you can enjoy these 5 effects of good nutrition, you will be well on your way to a better, healthier body that is able to function properly.

One key to getting good nutrition regularly is to avoid excess. Balance food intake between the major groups, and eat appropriate amounts. You need a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. A multi vitamin may be helpful if you are not sure about your food intake but it is not a substitute for eating properly. Water is essential to body functioning, moving nutrients into cells, and handling waste disposal.

You can obtain and follow the standard daily food pyramid and recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) put out by the government. It is adjusted according to age because dietary needs change as a person ages.

This pyramid is composed of nutritional groups of: calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, vitamins and minerals, and includes lists of antioxidants and herbs that are beneficial to health.

Besides age, the body’s nutritional needs change with use of drugs, or disorders and diseases that affect the body’s ability to meet those needs, or interfere with absorption or intake of food nutrients.

There are more than the above 5 effects of good nutrition, but these go a long way to getting you started in a healthy lifestyle if you pay attention. By the way, if you cant pay attention, you may need better nutrition! Avoid excess sweets and highly refined food, because they can cause bacterial excesses that can even have a lethal result if left unchecked (Candida). By providing the proper fuel (food) to your body, you enable it to function at its optimum capacity, keeping you healthy, happy, and fit for years and years, with benefits extending even unto the next generation.