How to boost your metabolism

Your metabolism is based on your metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn throughout the day.

Your body constantly burns calories to keep going, while you are eating, sleeping, exercising or simply running chores. A slow metabolic rate can cause your body to store fat, which is why keeping your metabolism charged is an important part of a healthy weight-loss program.

Depending on your body type, age and your needs, the typical calories intake is a minimum of 1, 200 to 2, 000 calories a day.

If your calories intake is too low, your metabolism slows down in order to conserve calories rather than burn them.

It also forces your body to break down muscle tissue to get the necessary energy.

Loosing muscle is bad for a number of reasons. For once, more muscle means a faster metabolism and less body fat.

Tips for boosting the metabolism naturally:

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Eat a balanced diet and make sure you eat enough calories. What you should consider having in your diet: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, lean proteins and fresh herbs and spices, to give you energy and keep blood sugar level even.

Healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, seeds, nuts) promote longer lasting energy levels.

Lean proteins( white poultry meat, fish, soy foods, lean meats, lean diary) offer essential proteins for better digestion and muscle building.

 

  1. Drink water

Try to aim at at least 8 glasses a day. It will help your digestion, keep your skin well hydrated (may help with your fight against wrinkles as well) and help your body function efficiently.

 

  1. Eat breakfast

Eat a balanced, healthy breakfast within an hour of waking to jump start your metabolism. Try to include proteins like eggs or soy foods.

 

  1. Eat on a regular schedule

Don’t go more than four waking hours without eating. If you don’t give any food to your body, it will go into a starvation mode and preserve the calories as much as possible. As a consequence the metabolism will slow down.

 

  1. Eat metabolism-boosting foods

Add metabolism-boosting foods to your meals. Include celery, cabbage, apples, grapefruit, spinach and berries.

These foods are natural metabolism boosters. Proteins containing omega 3 fatty acids have also been proven to have positive effects on metabolism.

 

  1. Get your sleep

Getting enough sleep will help your metabolic functions.

 

  1. Exercise regularly

For optimal metabolism boosting and fat burning, a combination of aerobic exercise (running, treadmill, stepper, dance) and resistance training seems to be the best.

Toys “R” Us Canada recalls Aqua Dots

My son has been asking for months for this Aqua Dots toy. Luckily for us, I did not buy it.

The toy consists of hundreds of coloured beads that can be arranged into various shapes and designs, and it’s approved for use by children ages four and above in Canada.

With a special 4 colour chamber pen you arrange the beads on a template, then spray water and wait for it to dry.

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Yesterday Toys “R” Us recalled the popular toy after it was discovered that a similar product in Australia releases a hallucinogenic drug when swallowed by kids.

The Australian version of the toy- called Bindeez- was found coated with a chemical that releases the drug gamma-hydroxy butyrate, also known as GHB or fantasy, when swallowed.

GHB, also known as liquid ecstasy, is a depressant that can lead to euphoria, lowered inhibitions, increase sexual desire, as well as dizziness, drowsiness and memory lapses. High doses can cause severe side effects, including hallucinations, seizures, vomiting, black outs, coma and death.

Bindeez, sold by Moose Enterprise in Australia, has been named toy of the year 2007.

Two kids landed in hospital after they swallowed some beads but recovered since then.

It was not immediately known where Bindeez is made.

Aqua Dots, distributed in North America by Spin Master Ltd  will not be available at Toys “R” Us for the foreseeable future. Spin Master noted that both Aqua Dots and Bindeez are manufactured by Moose Enterprise .

According to the media release from Moose Enterprise   they voluntarily recalled the Bindeez from Australian market and is fully cooperating with health and consumers organisations.

The products are manufactured by internationally approved Chinese toy manufacturers.

So the mistery is solved: the toys are manufactured in China.

Media release
7 November 2007

Organic food on a budget

Is there any way to buy organic food without going into bankruptcy?

Yes, if you select carefully what you buy.

Some things labeled ‘organic’ might not be that organic after all. Products like cleaners, cosmetics, even seafood does not face the same requirements as meat and vegetables.

 

What is worth buying organic:

– Fruits: Apples, cherries, grapes, pears, berries, peaches, nectarines, plums

– Vegetables: Celery, potatoes, spinach, bell peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, green beans

– Meat: Beef, pork, poultry

– Eggs and dairy

– Baby food

 

What is not worth it:

– Fruits: Bananas, kiwis, mangoes, papayas, pineapples, oranges

– Vegetables: Asparagus, avocados, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, onions, sweet peas

– Meat: seafood

– Processed food (including pasta!!), cleaning products, cosmetics

 

The price on organic meat and eggs very often is 100% more than regular one; the reason is the expensive organic feed for animals.

Alternative: consider antibiotic and/or hormone free meat

 

Long time I thought that free-range eggs were coming closer to the organic version. Actually I was wrong. Free-range means that the chickens are not living in cages, but allow roam freely within the farm and they are going to feed on greens and insects. But that does not mean they are going to be fed organic food.

The good part is that eggs from free-range chickens have higher nutritional value, more Omega 3, Vitamins A and E and lower levels of total fat.

From my shopping experience I can say that the price difference between free-range eggs and organic eggs is not that big, but if you buy on a budget it can be taken into account.

 Another way to budget your organic shopping: look for what’s on sale. Also, buy fruits and veggies that are in season when pricing becomes much more competitive.

Beachfront properties in France

Dreaming about moving to France?

Let’s take a look at France’s regions

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Cannes, the Riviera… the perfume of old times.

France enjoys miles of stunning beachfront property. Depending on your preferences, you can choose between the calm, family-friendly resorts of the Normandy coast, the rugged beauty of the Celtic Brittany shores, the sandy immensity of the Landes, the thrill of the surf on the Atlantic by Biarritz, and the timeless charm of the Mediterranean in the south, among other destinations. Needless to say, this is not the cheapest sector of the property market, but on the whole it represents good value, and there are still affordable areas if you look hard.

 

The Riviera

Properties along the Riviera tend to be pretty expansive. Prices have risen over the past couple of years and now rival those in Paris, but it is still possible to find compact studios in these coastal towns for under $150,000.

But you can still find a ready-to-move-in one-bedroom apartment of just over 450 square feet with a view of the sea in Marseille for $137,000.

 

Beachfront Property in Normandy

With its 400 miles of clean, uncrowded coastline, and easy access to Paris, beach land and beach lots here are much sought after-you’ll be competing with Parisians looking for an easy weekend getaway, and, with the arrival of a low-cost airline in Deauville, with Brits eager for the same. Low-key Trouville is popular with families, yet close enough to the casinos of Deauville for entertainment. Honfleur still draws crowds at weekends except in the depths of winter, and the old-fashioned resort of Granville has a slow charm of its own.

How to make an exotic trip hassle free

 

Typically when you are to travel you have two options: to book an organized tour or to hop on the plane and go.

The organized tour might be the most convenient having the hotels, meals, activity all booked in advance. You go to see or do what you like, but at the same time what you don’t like because the organized tour is designed to accommodate a common denominator.

Hopping on a plane and blindly going somewhere could be terrifying and time consuming when it comes to finding accommodations at your destinations. Then you spend time checking local travel agencies to see who has the best local tour at the best prices.

To make an exotic trip less stressful there is another solution: get in contact with local travel agents. First gather your information on the place you want to go.

Check the sites of Lonely Planet or TripAdvisor, along with their forums, to start with.

Once you have an itinerary in mind and the clear budget you are willing to allocate for this exotic trip, try to find a good, reliable local travel agent.

When you are pleased with your choice, gave the full information to your chosen travel agent and book your flight.

 To find the cheapest flights, check out kayak  which checks most airlines against each other and gives you the cheapest options. You can even set an alert to warn you if a cheap flight is advertised at the last minute.

If the flight is long, involving many hours and a few stops, maybe it’s a good idea to schedule a day or two to spend somewhere in the middle of the trip, Europe for example.

One important thing to remember is that is important to trust and listen your chosen travel agent, rather than second-guessing him. Often what you see in brochures or online bears little resemblance to what you find when you finally arrive at your destination, so having someone who has actually been there would be a valuable asset.

Your on-line agent will arrange all local transportation, including personal pick-up and drop-off at each airports and might provide you with a local 24-hour phone number in case you might experience difficulties.

 

One last tip: Cell Phones

You phone with a current Canadian provider’s card would be very expensive.

Take a GMS cell phone  that takes a SIM card. Make sure that the phone is ‘open’, meaning that you can use any service with it.

Resist buying the SIM card before you travel.

You can get one at the airport when you arrive. I will cost you usually less than $20 and it will come bundled with several hours of connect time.