Parabolic Solar Oven

Mention solar power to someone and they immediately think of solar panels. A parabolic solar oven, however, has a much more practical use when it comes to feeding ourselves.

Parabolic Solar Oven

While searching for ways to reduce the use of nonrenewable resources, you might encounter solar power. Solar power, or solar energy, is the use of the sun’s rays to either create energy (electricity), charge a battery, heat water or other fluids, passively heat homes through glass windows, or even cook foods. When solar power is used to cook food it’s often in the form of a solar oven, which can be used in place of firewood and other fuels in order to cook meals. One popular type of solar oven is the parabolic solar oven, used over others for many reasons.

A parabolic solar oven collects the sun’s rays by using a reflective surface in a parabola, or curved shape. There are many different styles of parabolic solar ovens available, and there are instructions available to create most of them. The parabolic style allows for food to cook at much the same rate as a conventional oven, making it more convenient than other outdoor cooking methods such as campfires. Additionally, since the parabolic solar oven doesn’t use wood or other fuel, it’s quicker to start cooking and requires little time to set up – whereas with a campfire, you’ve got to spend time hunting for firewood, as well as lighting the fire and waiting for it to get hot.

One easy way to start building your own parabolic solar oven is by using a ready-made satellite dish (of course, use one that someone has discarded). Its parabolic shape is perfect for creating the oven, and all you need to do is coat the inside with a reflective substance, such as a mirror finish reflective aluminum sheet. Other people prefer to start their parabolic solar oven with more of a bowl shape, as they believe this allows food inside to cook better and helps to shelter the food from the wind.

Once you have the parabolic solar oven, you need to consider the cooking pot. The pot needs to be of a dark color. It also needs to be placed in the correct position. The parabolic solar oven should be oriented to the sun. The pot should then be placed on a small stand so that it sits at the point of focus for the oven. If you imagine a magnifying glass, the pot should be located where the glass focuses its beam. Once in position, the oven should work for 60 to 90 minutes. If the food is not cooked by then or another pot needs heating, the oven should be readjusted to the orientation of the sun.

When using your parabolic solar oven, be sure to always wear UV (ultraviolet) protective sunglasses that are darkly tinted. The reflection off the aluminum that helps to cook the food at a quick rate also can burn your retinas quite easily. You’ll also want to make sure to cover your parabolic solar oven whenever it’s not in use – this will prevent accidental flashes of light from blinding people as well as prevent the oven from heating up when it’s not needed. If you follow these simple steps, having your own parabolic solar cooker can be a great asset to your environmentally conscious lifestyle.

How To Meet Your Behavioral Goals To Make Yourself A Better Person

There’s an intriguing study that demonstrates that there might be a trick to meeting our behavioral goals more promptly. The mystery? Consider yourself in the third person as you measure your progress.

The study evaluated the progress in 2 groups of individuals who were attempting to make a favorable change in their lives. The individuals who took part in this study were separated into 2 groups. One group was encouraged to imagine in the first person. The 2nd group was encouraged to consider their progress from an outsider’s viewpoint.

Interestingly, the participants who thought of themselves from an outsider’s position enjoyed a quicker path to betterment.

As you carry out the process of bettering your self-image and increasing your self-confidence, attempt to consider yourself as a separate individual. See yourself as a stranger who is on a path towards favorable change. Make sure to observe this individual’s achievements!

Psychologists asked participants in a study to picture a certain event from their lives either out a first-person or third-person view. The volunteers then measured how much they believed they had changed since the event had happened.

For instance, in one study thirty-eight university students who had been in psychotherapy were expected either to remember their first appointment through their own eyes (1st person) or “from an observer’s visual position” (3rd person). Those who remembered their appointment from a 3rd -person position reported that they had made significantly more advancement in treatment than did those who took a 1st -person position.

The investigators likewise discovered that memory perspective may impact behavior. They recruited university students who stated they had been socially clumsy in high school and expected them to visualize an affair of their social clumsiness either from a 1st- or 3rd -person position. Not only were those who recollected their clumsiness from a 3rd -person view more likely to state they had changed, but they likewise were more likely to be more socially proficient — originating conversations, for instance — just after the experiment when they didn’t know they were being watched.

Once participants remembered past clumsiness from a 3rd -person view, they felt they had changed and were now more socially skilled. That led them to act more sociably and look more socially skilled to the research helper.

A 3rd -person position accents perceived alterations when individuals seeking self-improvement are centered on differences between their present and past egos. But once the volunteers were asked to center on similarities from the past times by envisioning a past event that was favorable, like something they were pleased with, the 3rd -person position tended to raise perceptions of continuity between the here and now and a favorable past self.

Put differently, remembering memories from a 3rd -person position gives rise to judgments of higher self-change when individuals are inclined to seek evidence of change, but lesser self-change when they’re inclined to seek similarities of the past or grounds of continuity.

The research indicates that the saying, “It hinges upon how you view it,” has literal fact when it comes to measuring personal change.

Hold in mind that altering our behavior is an essential step to bettering self-esteem. If we wish respect, we need to communicate to other people that we’re worthy of regard. We need to accept responsibility for our own level of self-regard. Blaming other people for the past won’t get you the self-esteem you wish in the here and now. Center on what you want, be aware of your self-talk, be determined to make the essential changes and treat yourself with value.

Everything About Life Insurance!

I want to start off this 2010 with an article regarding Life Insurance. Many people find this topic morbid but believe me when I say this contract is as important as a Will and should be taken just as seriously as health insurance. Due to the length in details of this article I have provided chapters for easy reading. I hope this will educate you on Life Insurance and the importance of its necessity. (Note: For better understanding “You” is the policy owner and the insured)


1= Introduction

2=When/If you have Life Insurance already

3= Difference between a Insurance Agent and Broker

4= Types of Policies

5= What are Riders and popular types of Riders

6= The medical exam

1) About general Life Insurance:

This is a contract between you and an insurance company to pay a certain amount (the premium) to a company in exchange for a benefit (called the Death Benefit, face amount, or policy amount) to the beneficiary (the person you want to get paid in the time of your death). This can range based on the type of policy (which will be discussed momentarily), your health, your hobbies, the Insurance company, how much you can afford in premiums, AND the amount of the benefit. It sounds overwhelming but it is not if you have the right agent or broker.

Now many people can say that Life Insurance is like gambling. You are betting that you will die in a specific time and the insurance company bets you won’t. If the insurer wins, they keep the premiums, if you win…well you die and the death benefit goes to the beneficiary. This is a very morbid way of looking at it and if that is the case you can say the same for health insurance, auto insurance, and rental insurance. The truth is, you need life insurance in order to ease the burden of your death. Example 1: A married couple, both professionals that earn very well for a living have a child and like any other family has monthly expenses and 1 of the couple has a death. The odds of the spouse going back to work the next day is very slim. Odds are in fact that your ability to function in your career will lower which RISK the cause of not being able to pay expenses or having to use one’s savings or investments in order to pay for these expenses NOT INCLUDING the death tax and funeral expenses. This can be financially devastating. Example 2: lower middle income family, a death occurs to 1 of the income earners. How will the family be capable of maintaining their current financial lifestyle?

Life insurance is about the ability of lowering the risk of financial burden. This can be in the form of simple cash or taxes via estate planning.

KEY Definitions:

The Insured: The person that is covered by the insurance company (He/She does NOT have to the policy owner)

The (policy) Owner: The one that pays the premium, controls the beneficiary, and basically owns the contract (Does NOT have to the insured…hope you understand it can be either/or).

Face Amount: Also known as the death benefit. The amount to be paid to the beneficiary.

The Beneficiary: Is the person/persons/organization who will receive the face amount (death benefit)

2) When/If you have Life Insurance:

First, you should review your beneficiaries once a year and your policy approximately once every 2-3 years. This is free! You need to make sure the beneficiaries are the people/person you want to get paid! Divorce, death, a disagreement, or anything of the sort can make you change your mind about a particular person to receive the benefit so make sure you have the right people, estate/trust, AND/OR organization (non-profit preferably) to receive the benefit. Furthermore, you need to review every 2-3 years because many companies can offer a lower premium OR raise the benefit if you renew your policy or if you find a competitor that sees you have been paying the premiums may compete for your business. Either way, this is something you should consider to either save money or raise the policy amount! This is a win-win for you so there should be no reason not to do this.

3) Life Insurance Agent or Broker, what is the difference?:

The major difference is an Agent is usually an independent sales man that usually works with different insurance companies in order to give the client the best possible policy while the Broker works for a particular company. My personal advice: always choose an Agent. Not because I am one myself BUT because an agent can look out for your benefit by providing different quotes, types, riders that are available (explained later), AND pros/cons regarding each insurance company. If you don’t like a particular insurance company, tell the agent and he should move on to the next carrier (if he persist for some odd reason, fire him). Buyers BEWARE: The Agent should get paid by the carrier that is chosen, not by you specifically. If an Agent asks for money upfront for anything, RUN! There are also Insurance consultants that you pay but to keep things simple, see an Agent. Consultants and Agents are also great in reviewing current policies in order to lower premiums or increase benefits.

4) Types of Policies:

There are 2 main categories: Term and Permanent Insurance. Within each of the 2 categories have sub-categories. I will explain them at a glance in order for you to make the best possible choice for you and your loved ones. Remember, you can have estate/trust or a organization as the beneficiary. (Note: There are even more sub-sub-categories within these sub-categories but the difference are so small and self explanatory that I have not included it in this article. Once you speak to an agent you will have enough knowledge by this article that you will know what questions to ask and know if you agent is right for you).

Term Insurance: A temporary policy in which the beneficiary is paid only upon death of the insured (you) within a specific time period (hence the word “Term”). Term Insurance is usually less expensive with a smaller death benefit. Some do not require medical exams BUT expect to pay a higher premium since the risk of the insurance company is unknown. Also, term insurance normally does not accumulate cash value (explained in permanent insurance) but can be purchased on top of your permanent policy (for those that may have coverage already):

Convertible Term: Ability to convert policy to permanent. There are some REALLY GOOD policies that require no medical exam, driver history, or hazardous avocations at a certain point in order to convert to permanent coverage guaranteed with all the benefits that permanent insurance policies has to offer.

Renewable Term: Able to renew a term policy without evidence of insurability.

Level Term: Fixed premiums over a certain time period than increases (great for those that are young adults and expect within 10 years to have a increase in pay).

Increasing/Decreasing Term: Coverage increases or decreases throughout the term while the premium remains the same.

Group Term: Usually used for employers or associations. This covers several people in order to reduce premiums. (Great for small business owners)

Permanent Insurance: Just as the name states, this provides coverage throughout the lifetime of the insured. This also builds cash value which is fantastic for tax purposes because if you loan out money to yourself using this cash value there are no tax implications. Few policies may have in general withdrawal tax-free. However in most cases, If you withdraw the cash value you pay the only the taxes on the premiums (the amount that grew) which is fantastic. Just make sure your agent knows not to have the cash value grow larger than the death benefit otherwise it is subject to 10% taxes! Surrender charges may also apply when you withdrawal so PLEASE consult with an agent who can assist you with these details. You should consider Permanent Insurance if you have a family and don’t mind an increase in premiums (amount you pay) by a few dollars compared to term.

Traditional Whole Life: Pay a fixed amount of premium in order to be covered for the insured’s entire life which includes accumulating cash value.

Single-Premium Whole Life Insurance: Whole life insurance for 1 lump sum premium (usually that 1 lump sum is very large in order to get a great death benefit).

Participating Whole Life Insurance: Just like Traditional Whole life except it pays you dividends which can be used as cash OR pay your dividends for you! There is no guarantee that you will be paid the dividends, this is based on performance within the insurance company.

Limited Payment Whole Life Insurance: Limited payments for whole life but requires a higher premium since you are in fact paying for a shorter amount of time. This can be based on payment amounts (10, 20, 30, etc payments) or a particular age (whole life is paid up at age 65, 75, 85, etc).

Universal Life Insurance: Flexible premiums with flexible face amounts (the death benefit) with a unbundled pricing factors. Ex: If you pay X amount, you are covered for X amount.

Indexed Universal Life: Flexible premium/benefit with the cash value is tied to the performance of a particular financial index. Most insurance companies crediting rate (% of growth) will not go below zero.

Variable Life Insurance: Death Benefit and cash value fluctuates according to the investment performance from a separate account of investment options. Usually insurance policies guarantee the benefit will not fall below a specified minimum.

Variable Universal Life Insurance (also called Flexible Premium Variable Life Insurance & Universal Life II/2): A combination of Variable and Universal which has premium/death benefit flexibility as well as investment flexibility.

Last Survivor Universal Life Insurance (also called Survivorship or “Second to die” Insurance): Covers 2 people and the death benefit is only paid when both insurers have died. This is FANTASTIC and somewhat a necessity for families that pay estate taxes (usually High-Net-worth individuals).

5) Life Insurance Riders, what is it and why is it very important:

Rider is the name of a benefit that is added to your policy. This provides special additions to the policy which can be blended and put together. There are SO MANY types of riders that I would have to write a different article regarding Riders (and insurance companies add new types of riders often) but I want to at least name the most popular (and in my opinion, the most important) that you should highly consider when choosing a policy. Riders add to the cost of the premium but don’t take riders lightly; it can be a life saver!

Accidental Death Benefit Rider (AD&D): Additional death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary if you die from a result of an accident (ie: Car accidents, a fall down the stairs). This is especially important if the insurer travels often, relatively young, and has a family. Please note: You can buy AD&D Insurance separately.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Rider: Same as above BUT if you lose 2 limbs or sight will pay the death benefit. Some policies may offer smaller amounts if losing 1 eye or 1 limb. This is great for those that work with their hands.

Disability Income Rider: You will receive a monthly income if you are totally and permanently disabled. You are guaranteed a specific level of income. Pay attention to this detail, depending on the policy it will either pay you depending on how long the disability lasts OR time frame of the rider.

Guaranteed Insurability Rider: Ability to purchase additional coverage in intervals based on age or policy years without having to check insurance eligibility.

Level Term Rider: Gives you a fixed amount of term insurance added to your permanent policy. This rider can add 3-5 times the death benefit or your policy. Not a bad deal!

Waiver of Premium Rider: If you become disabled which results to the inability to work/earn income, the waiver will exempt you from paying the premiums while your policy is still in force! There is a huge gap between policies and insurance companies so the devils in the details with this rider.

Family Income Benefit Rider: In case of death of the insurer, this rider will provide income for a specific time period for your family.

Accelerated Death Benefit Rider: An insurer that is diagnosed with a terminal illness will receive 25-40% of the death benefit of the base policy (The decision is made between the insurer and the insurance company). This will lower the death benefit however depending on your finances or living lifestyle, this rider should not be taken lightly and should seriously be considered.

Long-Term Care Rider: If the insurer’s health compels to stay in a nursing home or receive care at home, this rider will provide monthly payments. Please Note: Long Term Care insurance can be bought separately for more benefit.

6) The Medical Exam:

This section is not to scary you away but to mentally (and possibly physically) prepare you for the medical exam so this way you know what to expect and can get the lowest possible premiums while receiving the highest possible death benefit. This really shouldn’t be a concern if you work out regularly and maintain a healthy eating habit (notice I said habit and not diet. Diets don’t work for long term).

The exam is mandatory for most insurance policies. Many term insurance do not require one but expect a low death benefit and/or higher premium. The idea of the exam is not just to see if you’re insurable but to also see how much they will charge the insurer/policy owner. The exam is done by a “paramedical” professional that are independent contractors hired by the insurance company who either come to your home or has an office where you/the insurer visit. They are licensed health professionals so they know what to look for! In very few cases the insurance company may ask for an “Attending Physician Statement (APS)” from your doctor. This must be provided by your doctor and NOT copies by you. TIP: The “paramedical” job is to give the insurance company a reason to increase your premiums so don’t give any details that are not asked.

First part (either called Part 1 or Part A) is complete by the Agent or by you. Part 2/B is the paramedical or physician portion. The best bet is to have your agent contact a paramedical that specializes in mobile exams for an easier exam for you. Paramedical will contact you to schedule an appointment. The exam is not optional so it’s not a matter of yes or no but when and where. This entire exam will cost you nothing except time so make the time, life insurance is important!

The paramedical/physician will take your medical history (questions), physical measurements of height and weight, blood pressure, pulse, blood, and urine. Additional tests will vary based on age and policy amount (yes, the higher the death benefit = the more tests that must be provided). Now if the policy is substantial, the insurance company may not send a paramedical but require an actual Medical Doctor to exam you. Of course, this is chosen by the insurance company so remember my tip earlier! This exam may even include a treadmill test and additional crazy exams in order to see if you qualify for that substantial amount and low premium. On the flip side, if you choose a low insurance policy, you will just have a paramedical doing simple tests that mentioned earlier with no additional exams.

What they are looking for: Paramedical/Physicians are looking for health conditions that may shorten your life. Remember, insurance companies are here to make a business and if you’re a liability then it might be a risk they do not want to take or raise the premium to make the risk tolerable. Blood and urine is taken to see the following:

– your antibodies or antigens to HIV

– Cholesterol and related lipids

– Antibodies to hepatitis

– Liver/kidney disorders

– Diabetes

– Immunity disorders

– Prostate specific antigen (PSA)

– Drug tests such as cocaine

The Results: They are sent directly to the insurance company’s home office underwriters for review. Many times you can request (must be written request) to receive a copy of the results however many insurance companies will automatically do this. Many times they will find abnormalities but it’s usually not a concern and just speak to your medical professional for a follow up (remember: the insurance company will look at these exams with a “fine tooth cone” in order to see what the risk are). The underwriters will look at the exam results and the application (remember part 1/a? well, now they want to see if your also lying) and determine the premium amount. Smokers pay more; any nicotine in your system will consider you a smoker, even if it is just socially.

The premium is determined by a category that you fit in. This really depends on the insurance company on how they factor but the general rule is if you are a higher risk, you pay higher premium. If you are standard risk, you will pay a standard premium, and if you are a preferred risk, you will pay a low premium.

You can decline the policy after you receive the final quote after the exam but do remember this: All results will become part of the MIB group’s database (Medical information Bureau). This is a clearinghouse of medical information that insurance companies use to store information after you apply for Life/Health/Disability Income/Long Term care/Critical Illness insurance. So for seven years it will be on database. You can receive a free report annually (like a credit check) at their website which I included at the bottom of this article.

Now that you know practically everything there is to know about life insurance. I hope you realize how important it is. It may seem like a lot but the hardest part is simply choosing what type of policy is right for you. This can be done with the help of your Agent. In the end, everyone is different and everyone should analyze their own situation and need for the beneficiaries. If you have even the slightest concern for a loved one regarding what will happen if you was no longer with us then you should consider life insurance. There truly is a feeling a relief once you know you and your loved ones are covered regardless of how much you or that person makes. For many that feel that their loved ones don’t need the death benefit due to whatever the case may be (“they earn enough money to survive” is the biggest reason I hear against life insurance), this can be a simple last gesture of “I love you” or appreciation for them being part of your life.

I hope I was able to educate you in Life Insurance and if you have any additional questions please feel free to email me.

MIB website:

Advantages of Colon Cleanse Products

Allow me to state some facts that are concerned with the advantages of keeping the colon clean. Liver is an important organ that is commonly attributed to the synthesis of the food. There are some products that the liver cannot synthesize, and these are transported to the colon, where they accumulate in due course of time. Sparse amounts of the same will be present in the liver and the concentration of these will keep on increasing with the passage of each day. Finally, one fine morning the liver might stop working and if proper medical attention is not provided then it will lead to the demise of the patient.

The entire scenario might sound scary, but this is the truth. The good news is that you will be able to eliminate such toxins from the body. The bad news is that people are not aware of such policies and end up sick. There are various advantages to choosing some of the very best colon cleansing products. The primary function of these products is to flush the toxins from the human body. The flushing is done through excreting the toxins after unclogging them from the body. A clean colon is necessary for a clean and healthy lifestyle.

Colon cleansing products are primary derived from natural products and synthetic products. As always, stick with the natural colon cleansing products. They are known to act in the same manner like their counterparts. Besides, they do not pose any serious health implications on the body. You see, such products have an addictive nature associated with them. This addictive nature is commonly found in the synthetic compounds and less on the products derived from natural substances. Certain healthy practices will ensure that your colon is always kept clean.

Certain other advantages of keeping the colon clean using the colon cleansing products are listed in the rest of the article. Colon cleansing will lead to loss of weight. Ask any diet specialist, they will be listing colon-cleansing products as one of the best ways to get started in the weight loss paradigm. Drowsiness is another symptom associated with a clogged colon. People hate to wander all around with drowsiness, and if you too are experiencing the same, switch to some of the best colon cleansing products. The metabolism rates will be increased as a direct result of ingestion of colon cleansers.

This will lead to an increase in the levels of energy and people tend to actively partake in their day-to-day activities without fail. The nutrients present in the foods consumed will be absorbed more effectively – this is also an outcome of the increased rate of metabolism. Some skin specialists list colon cleaners for improving the complexion of the skin. The moods will be uplifted greatly and the chances of constipation are reduced. Always seek the advice of your personal doctor or a physician before resorting to administering colon cleansers. I would like to advise that you should always invest on natural colon cleansing products.

Get in Great Shape – What It Really Takes

Commercials bombard you with promises you can easily get in great shape. Supposedly those beautiful people used an ab machine for 10 minutes, three times a week and now, they look fabulous. Or, skimming past the checkout line, you notice magazine headlines: Eat what you love and lose. Walk your way to a trim you. Or, lose 30 pounds in 30 days.

It’s time to be logical and realistic with yourself. How many thousands of meals did it take you to put on all those unwanted pounds? It took years of poor nutrition and exercise habits to get out of shape. The weight won’t just suddenly come off with some hyped-up product or 10 minutes of exercise!

Stop looking for weight loss shortcuts. Accept that getting in shape requires effort and knowledge.

The solution to achieving a fabulous physique requires excellent diet and physical activity lifestyle habits. Don’t waste one more moment looking into those appealing diet pills, tummy crunchers, meal replacement bars, or fat burners.

There is a lot of bogus information. For example, it doesn’t work to overeat every single weekend. You spend all week just burning off your weekend calories. Many people at the health club workout religiously yet they never lose weight simply because they overeat every single weekend.

You may falsely believe you can eat whatever you want because you exercise. That is wishful thinking. Working out is not enough to lose those unwanted pounds.

Weight loss requires a caloric deficit. Even if you exercise, you still need to count how many calories you consume daily. Is this popular advice? No! But, do you want popular advice or effective advice?

Getting in great shape requires knowledge, physical activity, plus good eating habits. Once you get the weight off, you need to continue your high level of physical activity plus eat well for the rest of your life.

Decide that you are seriously ready to work at weight loss. You are tired of being fat, depressed, discouraged, angry, and letting food and laziness control your entire life.

Learn from someone who understands the diet lies. When I believed the weight loss lies, I lost NO weight!

It is time to get serious about change. What are you waiting for? Fitness IS within your grasp. Take that first step!

Knowing How to Make Money Online

Knowing how to make money online is one of the greatest and most profitable gifts of knowledge anyone could ever have. The wonderful thing about making money online is that you can do it from home. What that means is that you are provided the opportunity to break away from your miserable day job and live the life you have always wanted to live, on your own terms.

Regardless of what you have heard, there are tons of ways to make money online. One of the golden opportunities that lies await out there for anyone who is interested is blogging. A blog is actually a weblog, which is simply a page full of information, articles, and links to click on about a particular subject. There are several ways to start your own blog. is one of the easiest and quickest ways to get started blogging without having to know too much about creating a web page.

The way you make money is by monetizing your blog with Google and Amazon. It’s very simple because all you have to do is write about whatever interests you using search terms on your page. Those who are searching for information on the subject you are blogging about will be directed to your page. When they click on a Google ad, you will get paid.

There are also directories where you can submit your blog and make even more money. It usually takes some time, but within a year or two, you can easily be making hundreds or thousands per month. Top bloggers make millions per year, but that is only because they keep at it and know how to make money online.

Another way to make money online is by affiliate marketing. The great thing about this particular method is that there is very little work involved. All you have to do is post links, send emails, and advertise. The more people you can get to click on your links, the higher chances you have of someone buying your product. When someone makes a purchase through your link, you make money online. It’s that easy. There are literally thousands of people who make money this way, and a pretty good bit at that!

If you are more into writing, then freelancing might be the route you need to take. All a person needs to become successful at freelance writing is a little bit of creativity and an ability to pay close attention to grammar and punctuation. Pay in this career field will tend to vary depending on whether or not you write for a website or have personal clients. A personal website advertising your services is usually very helpful.

Other ways to make money online include filing out surveys, network marketing, selling supplies, and graphic design. Everyone has the opportunity to stay at home and make a living. It’s the most comfortable lifestyle anyone could ever ask for, and it’s convenient.

How to Be Fit and Healthy

Is there a way to say with certainty what it means to be fit and healthy? – or are there stages of fit and healthy, as in ‘fit and healthy, fitter and healthier, fittest and healthiest?’ Personally I believe the latter to be true. To believe that there is only one way of being fit and healthy would almost certainly disqualify almost every person on the planet, and most of us might decide that we are so far removed from the ideal that it is not even worth trying to attain it.

Most of us think of ourselves as reasonably fit and healthy, but definitely able to aim for greater fitness and health. If we were cars, we would go for required oil changes and mechanical check ups, and we would always have gas in our tanks. But gas only needs to be topped up, if it actually gets used. A car that sits in the garage with a full tank does not need a new fill.

Food is our fuel. Good, nutritious food supplies our bodies with the energy they need to perform the tasks we are required to do. Repeat after me: Good, nutritious food! Trying to top up a full gas tank will spill and thus waste the fuel. Our bodies, by comparison, will not spill extra food; our bodies will convert it to fat and store it as extra fuel. Our bodies will store and carry around extra fuel until it gets used up. If it does not get used, it’ll stay there. That thought alone is reason enough to get off the couch.

Too many people associate being fit with being thin. If that were true, underdeveloped countries would have the fittest and healthiest people on the planet. Obviously the opposite cannot be true either. What many people in underdeveloped countries lack, just as many people in first world countries have in excess. Can we strive for a healthy medium? This is not a compromise; it is the smart and logical choice.

We cannot stay fit by fuelling our bodies with less than they need on a daily basis. Similarly, we cannot stay fit by exercising our bodies without feeding them. Let us once more look at the car comparison.

When your gas tank is empty, it needs a new fill. It needs this in order to continue to take you wherever you need or want to go. Depending on the type of car you drive, you choose from a variety of fuels. You choose the one best suited to the needs of our vehicle. I don’t even need to ask what would happen if you filled the tank with water. While the tank would be full, even a 6 year old could tell you that a car does not run on water. Water is lacking essential ingredients.

Can you think of a comparable human fuel? How about rice cakes? Possibly you might lean more towards healthier fruits or vegetables like celery, oranges, strawberries, tangerines, grapefruit, carrots, apricots, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelon, cauliflower,apples, hot chili peppers, and zucchini. Some people call these fruits and vegetables ‘negative calorie foods,’ because our bodies need more energy to digest them then they contain. Besides that, they contain vitamins and minerals which are important to our well being. But could we live on nothing but the above? Of course not. That would be akin to trying to run your car on water.

The keyword here is ‘balance.’ Simply stated, if you want to maintain the status quo, caloric intake must equal calories burned. Let’s for the moment forget about vitamin or mineral content. If more calories are taken in than are burned, the body stores them as fat, and weight is gained. If more calories are burned than are taken in, the body takes from what is stored as fat, and weight is lost. Simple arithmetic!

So how do we determine ‘fit and healthy?’ This is an important topic for every one. Healthy aging depends on feeding our body nutritious food, avoiding harmful activities and exercising according to our best ability. It’s not just for body builders, but they can certainly show us the way to a healthier, fitter lifestyle.

4 Key Reasons for Relationships

I found a wonderful person on the internet 3 years ago, but he was separated from his wife and decided to go back to her. So we recently went our separate ways after the most heavenly two year relationship. He felt it difficult to start afresh with me for a variety of reasons including his age, despite the deep love we had for each other, and I have to respect that. But what a fellow and what a friendship, especially as we were chalk and cheese in every sense of the word: culturally, racially and in philosophy!!

The passionate feelings are still there between us but I have to move on, I guess. But I would not have missed the journey for the world. It all adds to our learning experience. He certainly provided the litmus test and yardstick for what makes me happy in a relationship and I give thanks for it. That’s why I am so certain of what I want now and feel good at having the skills to detect whether it is there or not in any potential date.

The 4 Reasons for a Relationship

Many of us do not know this, but people come into our lives for one or more of four different reasons:

1.To teach us something, or for us to teach them in turn – and the lesson could be either positive or a negative wake-up call; AND/OR

2. To guide us out of a depression or bad patch in our lives;AND/OR

3. To build up our confidence to deal with the next person in line – who could even be the big one for us – AND/OR

4. To be the genuine article – our long-term soulmates or partners.

So hankering after lost loves in bitterness, anger or vengeful hostility is the worse thing you could do to yourself. They have served their purpose and moved on. It has to be accepted with LOVE and FORGIVENESS for your life to progress too.

I thought David was the real thing because of the intensity and length of the relationship. But, he was type No.1 and 2 – there to teach me about real, unselfish love and guide me out of my crisis while I taught him an alternative view of life. And boy, did we learn!! He will always be a beacon for me. I thank him so much because I am a different, much better, person now than when I first met him.

Unrealistic Expectations

However, the main problem with seeking a new partner, with meetings which flounder and with many relationships which end up being shorter than expected, is that most people believe every person they meet and like will be the BIG ONE, No.4! But nothing could be further from the truth.

The trick is to let that first contact gradually reveal the nature of itself without too many expectations, while taking an interest in that person. Instead of just focusing on yourself, be detached, yet reciprocal, to give yourself some enjoyment and happiness in the learning process. Often we are too busy focusing on our needs, wondering how the relationship is going to shape up that we miss the early incompatible signals. But they are ALWAYS there!

For those in failing relationships which are proving increasingly unhappy, let it go! You have both done your jobs and are merely preventing each other from carrying on your work elsewhere, from personal self-fulfilment or even meeting the REAL one. Painful, I know, but it is really about choices and results. The ones you want for your life. If you have genuinely tried to keep it going without much change, hanging on will only lead to a bottomless pit of unhappiness and frustration which robs you of self-esteem and makes you feel worse. If you are not being validated and affirmed, you will feel awful, which shows in your actions and body, making you unattractive to others.

New Beginnings

One of the first tell-tale signs of an unhappy relationship are people who rarely smile, with haunted looks in their eyes and weighty bodies! It never fails. But they don’t even realise that’s how they look! I weighed 157 pounds during the last months of my marriage. Today I am a slim 135 lbs and my confidence and happiness know no bounds. Proof that letting go of a dying relationship creates space for something new and, more likely, something magical.

You could be surprised at the outcome!

A former boyfriend, from whom parting was mutually agreed, recently came back into my life, as a great friend and handy shoulder, having dealt with his own issues. I was appreciating this new comfortable friendship between us when he said out of the blue, “You are a really gorgeous lady.” Top that if you can!! And thanks for that Jas. You made my day – and the feeling is most reciprocal!

When we let go, it is ALWAYS for a good reason which is not visible at the time and the rewards are usually unexpected. We just need the courage to ACT.

What’s It Take To Be Happy?

I’m not into completing surveys and questionnaires. When they appear on my screen, I usually bin-them. For some reason, however, I decided to respond to one from the World Values Survey. Now, I know that there is debate about the methodologies of international surveys of happiness, but given that this seemed like a reputable research project and all I was being asked was to identify the world’s happiest country, I oped to give it a go.

Amazing! Even allowing for the fact that the data being used was from 2010, my selection was way-off. According to World Values Survey, the country that came in first was Nigeria. I had to double-check, Nigeria was considered to be the world’s happiest country.

I don’t consider myself a sore-loser, but I decided to check-out further this selection. I found that approximately 92% of the population of Nigeria live on less than $2-a-day. I also learned that, according to mental health researchers, anxiety disorders and depression are far less common in so-called poorer countries, for which Nigeria would certainly qualify.

Enough, already! How could this finding in relation to Nigeria be justified?

Perhaps the people’s expectations are lower? Or maybe happiness is relative: when people aren’t surrounded by examples of more pleasant lifestyles, they don’t rank their own situation so poorly? The problem with questions like these is that they seem to imply that people doing it tough don’t know any better. There are many examples that show this interpretation is definitely not the case.

I remember one of the realisations made by Holocaust-survivor Viktor Frankl when he claimed that you can only comment on something, in his case motivation, when you are stripped of everything, including life itself (death might have been a better alternative to eking out an existence in a death camp). Whether it’s forced interment, poverty, hunger, or whatever, facing the reality of one’s own vulnerability can have unexpected benefits.

I don’t know if increased feelings of vulnerability necessarily leads to happiness. We do know, however, that ageing is usually involves a shift from feeling bulletproof to being aware of one’s own vulnerability. And this shift seems to happen in the blink of an eye. There’s also an increasing amount of data to show that feelings of happiness increases with ageing. As people age, there is generally a decrease in importance of ‘badges’ such as wearing the right brands, job titles, and other status symbols. It seems that, when there’s less to latch onto, there are choices you don’t have to make, and this changes things whether you’re living in Nigeria or New York.

Back in the fifth and sixth centuries BCE, Heraclitus assured us that the only thing that is constant is change. No doubt that applies to our views on happiness, too.

10 Reasons Why You Should Start An Online Business

Whether you are attracted to an internet business because you hate your current job, want to improve your circumstances, or would like a more flexible lifestyle, the internet offers all these opportunities.

Why An Internet Business?

1- Flexibility

Many people come to find themselves with an internet business through necessity rather than deliberate creation. For me, I needed a flexible job which I could work around contract work. It didn’t come in often but when the phone rang, I needed to take the work. This presented all kinds of problems. Normal work didn’t pay as well and employers didn’t want me taking large chunks of time off when the other work came in!

I tried juggling several jobs over a number of years but nothing seemed to fit. At around the same time I was attempting to use e-bay to buy and sell for a bit of extra money. It wasn’t until later that I discovered affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing, for those who don’t know is a kind of referral selling. You point links from your website to other people’s goods and services. The link is tracked so that when you make a sale you are rewarded for it with a commission.

Once you know how to do this you can set up links from your online content to other people’s products and services. You can also use paid advertising to find people all over the world to sell to. This was perfect for my work because I could take my laptop anywhere with me and as long as I had an internet connection I could work. It didn’t interfere with the work when it came up, I had no boss to answer to so it was the perfect solution.

2 – Automation

There’s also a number of other reasons why I chose an internet business – and why you should too! The flexibility of the business was my primary concern. I wanted to be able to choose my own hours so I could take work when it came without any complications. But the other reason I chose this particular model was the ability to use technology to ‘leverage’ my time and income.

Once I had a website and content up and running, it kept going and I was able to make sales and deliver products without being physically present. This is the ‘magic’ of an online business. The automation involved with an online business means that you can do the work once and let that work keep running in the background. You can make sales and deliver products over and over through the same piece of content or advert, which can run an virtual autopilot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.

Each piece of content you create can send people to a landing page and sell a product. By creating many pieces of content and sharing them online you can build multiple sources of income which can all run continually, working as your own ‘automated sales team’.

3 – Ability To Scale

Along with this amazing automation is the ability to scale your business. Because there is no human intervention in the ‘sales loop’, multiple sales can happen instantaneously through the same platforms. Your content and advertising can be grown over time and scaled instantly (in the case of paid advertising). As your content gets more shares and more people flow through your website and content, your sales grow as a result. If you use paid advertising you can also scale a profitable campaign up easily by increasing your daily budget.

The automation of an online business makes it very easy to scale. In the case of a physical business this often means more staff, sales tools, larger office space and a whole lot more expense and hassle. With an online business everything is already in place. You simply need to send more customers through the automated sales systems with content and/or paid advertising methods.

4 – Low Startup Costs

When I started an online business I did it from my own pocket. I didn’t need a massive loan and I worked at a level which suited my budget. An internet business is very cost effective and you can start from scratch from pretty much any budget. If you have more to invest you can grow it faster with paid advertising. But, if you are on a budget like I was when I got started, you can get started easily and cheaply.

With a regular ‘bricks and mortar’ business there are many overheads to consider. Your costs include a business premises, staff, hardware and stock. Then there’s advertising and delivery costs. With an online business you just need a laptop and an internet connection – two things many people already have. Your main cost is getting the right education and learning the best strategy to build on.

5 – Simplicity

Technology has made it much easier than was previously possible to set up your own website and learn how to use simple online platforms to connect people to products and services. Advertising and content creation is now available for anyone to use. Websites can be set up with a few clicks and anyone with an email can learn to use the tools and strategies of online marketers.

Whereas previously website building was the domain of the tech savvy programmer, now anyone can use simple user friendly platforms and programs. An online business sounds like something for a technical person, but anyone can now learn the skills needed to build their own online business.

6 – Control

An internet business gives you control over your life. Of course it takes time to build up to a stage where it can replace your current income. But the flexibility of an internet business means you can work it around your existing employment until you can make this happen.

Once your income is beyond that of your employment, you are in a very good position to take charge of your life. You don’t have to do the daily commute, or put up with an uncomfortable working situation. If you don’t like your job you can quit. Don’t like your boss? Fire him/her!

One of the very best things about an internet based business is the control it gives you over your life. You can also build your work around your lifestyle, rather than the other way round. Most people are forced to put work first in everything they do. Family time, holidays and hobbies all tend to depend and evolve around work. An internet business allows you to prioritize the things in your life which mean the most. It can put you back in the driving seat of your life, both in terms of what you earn and how you spend your time.

7 – Work From Anywhere

Not only does an internet business offer great flexibility in terms of working hours but it also offers you the choice to work from anywhere globally. This appeals to many people who would otherwise be more trapped by conventional work in a localized workplace.

For me, it was the flexibility of being able to choose my own hours and not have a boss. But for many the ability to travel anywhere globally is the most important factor to owning their own online business.

Take your laptop anywhere with an internet connection and work while abroad and travelling.

8 – Learn Life Skills

The skills I have learned from building my own internet business also make me much more employable. I also worked for an internet based company with the skills I learned from my laptop while sitting at home!

Being able to reach people globally and target specific types of people is a great skill and very desirable in business too. I was also able to use the knowledge I learned online to build one of my other physical businesses much more quickly by using both my website building skills and paid advertising.

The internet is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to be able to improve themselves, learn new skills and build another source of income. Skills learned are yours for life, whether or not you continue down the path of building an online business.

9 – Independence

We might believe ourselves to be independent but many of us are very dependent on our work for income. As such, our employers tell us how much we can earn, how much holiday we can take and what we will be doing while at work. Financial independence is the ultimate freedom.

When we are financially independent we can take a holiday whenever we please and work in our own time and on our own agenda. An online business gives you the automation and independence to live life on your terms, without the agenda of an employer running your life.

10 – Sovereignty

Being an owner gives you sovereignty. The ability to call the shots in your business is what many entrepreneurs aspire to. As a business owner your actions determine whether you make a success of your business or not.

Having a successful online business gives you the kind of freedom which most people will never see in their lifetime. The ability to create your own life on your terms is the reward of having worked hard on your business and on yourself.

Not having a boss, choosing your own working hours and choosing who you spend time with are all luxuries which are earned from working hard on your own business.