Vegetarian Diet Plan for Weight Loss

There are many reasons that someone will choose to take on a vegetarian lifestyle. It might be that you are concerned about the treatment of animals. Perhaps you are trying to be get healthier by cutting out red meat. You might not realize that a vegetarian diet can also help you to lose weight. If you choose to start a vegetarian diet for weight loss you need to make sure that you are making healthy choices. By cutting out meat you can see dramatic changes in your waistline, but you want to do it the right way. If you change to a vegetarian diet plan and all you eat is bananas, you are not going to give your body enough fuel to keep you moving throughout the day.

Changing to a vegetarian diet for weight loss is a great idea; just make sure that you pay attention to what you are eating. This way you are sure to get all the nutrients you need. It is not just about cutting out red meats or fatty animal protein; it is about making lifestyle changes to help the way you look and feel.

Here are five areas of nutrition that you need to be aware of when cutting meat out of your diet. The average meat eater gets these vitamins and minerals from meat, so you have to keep an eye out for these things in other places.

1. Protein – no doubt you have heard people say to vegetarians “how do you get enough protein?” There are actually lots of places to get protein that do not come from animal flesh. Protein helps to fuel our bodies and keeps our muscles working properly. You can get plenty of protein from other foods like legumes, nuts, whole grains, and soy or tofu.

2. Iron – again people tend to think that vegetarians are all anemic because they don’t get enough iron in their diet. This is something you need to pay attention too, but just like protein there are many other places to get iron. Iron helps to keep your blood flowing and strong. You can get iron from whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, dried beans, and dried fruit. Keep in mind that your body needs vitamin C to properly absorb iron, so make sure that you are getting plenty of that in your diet as well.

3. Vitamin B12 – the truth is, most people do not get enough of this vital vitamin in their diet. Vitamin B12 can help with the production of red blood cells. This can dramatically affect energy and mood. There are only a few non animal related places where you can get vitamin B12; dark and leafy vegetables are one of them. You can also find this vitamin in eggs, cheese, and other dairy sources. If you are cutting back on dairy you might want to consider taking a supplement.

4. Calcium – this mineral keeps bones strong as well as teeth. Everyone knows that you can get calcium from dairy, but often vegetarians try and cut back on dairy products as well as other animal products. Dark green vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach all have high amounts of calcium in them.

5. Zinc – this is a lesser known mineral that people typically get from eating meat products. Zinc helps your body to create enzymes and which help process protein in the system. On a vegetarian diet you can get zinc from wheat germ, nuts, soy, and whole grains.

If you are able to watch the levels of all of these vitamins and minerals you should be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Being a vegetarian means paying attention to the foods you eat and how much you are taking in to stay healthy.



Optimizing a Healthy Lifestyle

The human body is a highly evolved biological machine. Lifestyle plays a big role in optimizing your general health. It’s in your best interest to adopt a healthy one. I know it’s not easy to develop one; but, doing so can definitely do wonders to your body for the long haul. But, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to do walking, swimming, running and biking, even in your twilight years?

Consider how you think, eat, train, recuperate, plan, focus and more. It goes without saying that these core essentials of lifestyle alone could stand a level-up in each of our lives as persons, parents, professionals who may also be into the military, sports, creative pursuits on top of “life” itself.

In life, knowing that energy is everything and everything depends on this vital energy is essential. The thing is, the energy we’re talking about most of us have taken for granted for far too long because you can’t see it or touch it.

Nonetheless, you experience this, your primary source of energy, every minute of every day, and while you know when it’s depleted you often won’t know how depleted until you hit the wall-an athletic term to describe depleted energy. It’s your battery power, your body is the battery, and it’s easy to misinterpret how much power you have unless you are informed and skilled. It’s because we’re living with an underlying personal energy deficit that compromises human function and therefore your lifestyle which reinforces the vicious cycle.

If you think that energy is merely the result of what you eat and drink or how you think (psychology) and that you go to sleep merely because it’s dark, everyone else is doing it and your tired (but don’t know why), chances are you are living in a chronic state of energy deficit because you don’t value sleep enough or understand the profound impact it’s having on your life or the lack thereof.

The food you take in can either heal or harm. You make that choice every day by what you put on your mouth. Most of the food consumed by humans has been carbohydrates. In fact, plant foods are comprised mostly of carbohydrates: vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices. These foods contain slowly released sources of sugar that prevent surges of blood sugar and insulin.

Too much insulin causes heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, and even dementia. Carbohydrates contain almost all the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to operate normally and optimally. They also contain fiber, which helps normalize our digestive function and slows the absorption of sugar and fats into the body, keeping us balanced. The bonuses in plant foods are phytonutrients, a colorful healing compounds made by plants to protect themselves, but that also protect us against aging, obesity, brain damage, and more.

Success breeds success. This is true if you optimize your lifestyle by tending your meals to reflect a troubled time of day when you’re pressed for time and squeezed for energy, and you come up with a solution, all of your mealtimes will transform.

Lifestyle optimization is not a matter of “discipline,” but of choice.



Building an Eco Friendly Home

You may be thinking of building your first dream home and might be considering going down the Eco Friendly route. Then the questions emerge, like where do you start? What is an Eco Friendly home design? Is using the majority of building materials that are renewable enough to call your new home Eco Friendly? Are the building codes in my area open enough to build the way I’m wanting to?

These are all valid questions! The best place to start is to consider how you use your home. Do you spend most of your time in a living area, a dining area, or an office area? Are you entering and exiting the home a lot i.e. kids running inside and out to a garden. Doors being opened create the biggest loss of heating or cooling which could be reduced with the use of an enclosed patio area at the entrance that is most used. Does your family sleep in or are they early rises? These factors will impact the direction you face your home, as you may prefer bedroom light in the morning and living area light in the evening. What is your local climate like? Can you utilise the sun for heating in winter and make adjustments like using directions shutters for protection from the suns heat in summer.

With these things in mind it’s now time to talk to an architect. Finding an architect that specialises in eco friendly home designs is a great idea as they often have some unique ideas specific to your location. If you cant, you will need to give your architect clear criteria. Here are some important considerations you may wish to discuss:

Water Conservation: Capture and use and reuse of water

Energy Efficiency: insulation, natural heating/cooling, and Solar energy

Building materials: Recycled, recyclable, renewable and toxicity

Appliances: Energy efficient and conservative with water

Remember, The most important factor for your design is how it fits you, your family and your activities. Your home must fit your families’ physical and emotional needs to ensure you live happily in your new environment.

Being Eco Friendly should not just be a home design choice, but a lifestyle choice. Use Eco friendly soaps and detergents; if you’re recycling your grey wastewater, your garden will thank you. Minimise your use of plastic bags when shopping, reusable bags can be obtained from most grocery outlets. Eat healthy, minimise consumption on foods with non-natural additives and flavourings. Keep active and enjoy your new home.



Farms And Farming Regions in NZ

As the largest industry in the country, accounting for two-thirds of exported goods, agriculture in New Zealand attracts interest from both investors and workers looking for a change of lifestyle and pace. There’s no one sector that the country is popular for in particular either – nearly every type of farming has its place, something that not every country can proudly boast.

Maybe farming is just one of the opportunities you’re interested in exploring or maybe you’re already looking at farms for sale in NZ and you want to know what is available and what each region can offer you. Get a better idea of what will suit and take a look at these popular farming types and regions.

Dairy Farming

Dairy farming has grown from humble roots to become one of the most important aspects of our modern economy. Each year milk products account for over 8 billion NZD in exports; New Zealand may be a small country, but they are responsible for 2.2% of milk produced worldwide.

The wetter regions tend to be better for this type of farming making Southland, Waikato, Taranaki and Northland some of the most popular places for dairy farms.

Livestock

More than 50% of the total land area in New Zealand is dedicated to crop and cattle with the majority of this space used for the latter.

Sheep and cattle are the main commodity in New Zealand and the central focus of the livestock sector. While the country is jovially known around the world for its large population of sheep, numbers have fallen from where they sat at their peak in 1982 at nearly 70 million to just over 34 million when last counted in 2009. The change might seem dramatic, but there are still 9 sheep for every one New Zealander. This large population is reflected in the high volume of sheep exports: each year the country sees more than 250 million NZD of mutton exported, 900 million NZD of wool product and over 2 billion NZD of lamb.

The South Island is popular for sheep farming; Canterbury is the leading region with over 7.5 million sheep. Otago and Southland also have substantial numbers with close to 6 million sheep each while both Manawatu and Hawkes Bay in the North Island are also popular.

Beef cattle numbers sit just over 4 million, an impressive figure in its own right when you consider the 1.5 billion NZD in yearly exports of beef and veal. Manawatu and Waikato in the North Island are the most popular regions for beef cattle with Canterbury in the South Island a close third. Northland and Hawkes Bay have high numbers too with over 500,000 beef cattle each.

It’s a big industry, and there’s always room for more farmers in New Zealand, so once you’ve decided on a region and type of farming you’d like to pursue, then the next step will be looking into real estate prices for farmland in your chosen area.



Symptoms of a Pregnant Cat – Know What to Do

When owning a cat, it is important to know what the symptoms of a pregnant cat are. When a cat becomes pregnant, pregnancy symptoms are initially noticed at approximately the three week stage of pregnancy. The average gestation period for cats is 63 days.

Listed below is a basic timetable of pregnant cats to enable you to detect the symptoms of a pregnant cat.

o Week 3

The nipples of your pregnant cat will begin to enlarge and be pinkish in color. There will be no signs of swelling in her belly during this period.

o Week 4

It is during this week that your cats belly will begin to swell slightly. The swelling will also be more apparent in her nipples. Your cats’ appetite will also begin to increase.

o Week 5

It is advised by many cat experts that you consult your vet for a growth formula. This will satisfy the increased diet of your pregnant cat.

o Week 6

It is by this point that the pregnancy of your cat becomes obvious. The symptoms of a pregnant cat will now include changes in her behavior. She will begin moving around with great care. Stretching and twisting actions will also be avoided by her, and if she generally ventures outdoors, you may find that she will prefer to remain indoors. Her appetite will also continue to increase throughout the sixth week.

o Week 7

The largest symptoms of pregnant cats are their behavior. She will undoubtedly begin to show signs of excitement. This behavior is referred to as “quickening”, and it the stage of the cat pregnancy when the fetus begins to move. She will roll and stretch and begin her search for a place to give birth. For this reason, it is advised to keep your cat indoors to ensure that she does not make her nest outdoors.

o Day 61

Labor can begin as early as 61 days after conception and as late as 70 days.

The symptoms during labor will include:

o Stage 1

Your cat will begin to show signs of restlessness, and begin either growling or purring rhythmically. This behavior can last for a few hours or as much as 24 hours.

o Stage 2

She will now begin with the contractions. The contractions may initially be once every 30 minutes or even longer. The contractions will then gradually begin to become more frequent until just before the first kitten is born. The contractions will then occur every 30 seconds. The cat may continue to growl and repeatedly
lick her vaginal area to stimulate the arrival of the remaining kittens.

It can take as long as 24 hours before all of her kittens are born, especially if she is having a large litter. Four is the typical size of a litter for a cat.

Therefore, recognizing the symptoms of pregnant cat is of great importance, to ensure that she remains healthy during the complete process.



The History of Mustang Jeans

Mustang is one of the most popular trademarks all over the world and biggest manufacturer of customized jeans. This brand has a total look strategy and also produces denim and leather jackets, skirts and dresses, pullovers, underwear, shoes, accessories and perfume. Mustang creations are preferred and worn by many celebrities, for instance, John Bon Jovi, Scorpions and Bjork.

The history of the brand began in 1932 when a factory was established by Luis Hermann to manufacture uniforms for workers. However, postwar Germany was in ruins and nobody was interested in the development of textile industry. The new life of the brand started in 1949, when the new company’s owner, Albert Zefranek made up his mind to start manufacturing jeans. This decision was revolutionary, because until then denim industry was a fiefdom of Americans. The first jeans sewn by Mustang were the spitting image of original custom jeans made in the USA. The next step Mr. Zefranek made was the improvement of his production range. 1953 he presented the first model of jeans created specially for women and in 1955 he experimented with velvet jeans. 1958 is the year when the name of the new trademark – Mustang – appeared. From now on jeans are made of quality American denim in Germany.

In 1961 Albert Zefranek was the first one to create stretch jeans. And he was in the right place at the right time, for in the end of the 60s jeans era started. Jeans became a symbol of new generation and new lifestyle. Advertising campaigns of Mustang brand demonstrate seminude beauties, responding to triumphant march of sexual revolution.

In 1980 jeans by Mustang can already defy competition with American brands Levi’s and Wrangler on domestic market. Besides, one forth of the productions is from now on exported to Austria, Switzerland, Holland, France and Scandinavian countries. The brand’s collection was divided into three themes: “Fashion”, “Basics” and “Modern Classics”. Yuppies of the 80s put velvet jeans out of fashion, delivering a considerable stroke to the company, an essential part of which was concentrated on manufacturing velvet. However, this occasion helps Albert Zefranek to focus on classical custom jeans models. He starts to cooperate with Italian designers. And famous couturiers start to show interest for customized denim.

In 1990 the son of Albert Zefranek, Heiner, becomes the owner of Mustang brand. He inherits the helm of his father and makes the trademark even more successful all over the world. Today it is an international brand which manufactures 20 000 pairs of jeans a day and combines classics with the most innovative ideas in fashion. Mustang makes denim clothes for those who want to reveal their lifestyle and emotions in their look. The company’s slogan “Genuine style will never die” speaks for itself.



Zone Diet – Vegetarian

Dispel the notion that Zone diet is meant only for those who eat non-vegetarian foods. If you are a vegetarian you can convert your diet into a Zone diet vegetarian meal. This excellent diet is not based on being vegetarian or non-vegetarian. It is purely a diet based on carbohydrates, proteins and fat, but in a precisely fixed ratio. The ratio is 40:30:30. In simple words your meal should consist of 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat and 30% protein. What makes up the protein portion is not the question.

If you need to know more about this, pick up Dr. Barry Sears’ “The Soy Zone.” Dr. Barry Sears, a former research scientist at the Boston University School of Medicine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, created the Zone diet.

The Zone Vegetarian Diet

In the main, vegetarians consume carbohydrates more than they consume proteins. It is an incorrect notion that meals high in carbohydrates help in reducing weight and give you a healthy life. Diets high in carbohydrates lead to increased Insulin levels in your body which leads to gain and storage of fats. Vegetarians need to consume vegetable proteins to balance the carbohydrates they intake.

Your Zone diet needs to be in the Right Proportion and in the Right Portion. Not only should your diet be in the 40:30:30 ratio but your meal portion also needs to be precise. That is why you get to consume your diet in the number of Zone blocks. Calculation of Zone blocks depends on your weight and height in addition to other minor measurements. An average male consumes, say, 14 Zone blocks and an average female 11 blocks in a day.

Assume an average Zone diet consists of:

· Skinless chicken or turkey breast (proteins)

· Black beans and Raw Broccoli (carbohydrates)

· Avocado and Macadamia nuts (fat)

To make this into a vegetarian Zone meal, all you need to do is replace the protein portion with Soybean based meat substitutes, such as Soybean hot dogs or hamburgers. Tofu, Soy-based products, Cheese, Nuts, and meat substitutes, such as seitan and tempah make for great protein substitutes for vegetarians. However, you need to be careful when selecting vegetables. Green beans, for example, have high protein and carbohydrate contents. If you opt for these, you may upset the carbohydrate to protein ratio. This is where you need to juggle your contents.

The Bottom Line

Make sure you use favorable carbohydrates and fats in your Zone diet vegetarian meals. Opt for fruits and vegetables that contain low starch, and avoid bananas and prunes due to their high sugar content. Use monounsaturated fat only. You can consume avocado, macadamia nuts, peanuts, almonds and shun butter, vegetable shortenings and creams. Use olive oil and peanut butter, instead.

It is worth repeating that Zone diets should be consumed in the Right Proportion and in the Right Portion. This is a wellness diet that will help reduce your weight and keep you healthy. It is never too late to make that lifestyle change.



How to Reuse Plastic Bags

Using reusable bags has caught on with grocery stores across the country, but many other types of businesses are slow to catch on. At some point or another, you’ll most likely be taking a plastic bag from some type of store. When you accumulate plastic bags, how can you reuse them?

Plastic bags became popular because they are a cheap, affordable way to bag groceries and goods. The bag could be thrown away after a single use. While it’s convenient in theory, disposable plastic bags have grave consequences for the environment. A single plastic bag will never disappear. Unlike other materials, plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it simply breaks apart into smaller pieces of plastic (which is actually far worse than larger pieces because they can’t be collected).

Plastic bags:

  • Never biodegrade.
  • Cause animals to suffocate and die.
  • Use fossil fuels to create them, increasing our dependence on foreign oil.
  • Are an eyesore and get caught on car antennas, mufflers, and twisted into engines

Plastic grocery bags can first of all be recycled. Many grocery stores will accept plastic bags to be recycled (usually you’ll find the receptacle near the entrance or near the can redemption center).

Recycling Plastic Bags vs. Reusing Plastic Bags

Recycling almost always uses more energy than reusing. By reusing, you’ll be giving the product a second life. When your recycle something, you’ll be using energy to turn that product into something else, which can use energy and produce emissions.

Five Reasons You Should Bring Your Own Bag

Plastic has a hugely negative effect on the environment, and also on our society. The cons far outweigh the positives of these disposable nuisances. Here are a few reasons you should consider switching to reusable bags instead of plastic:

  1. Bringing your own bag means you’ll be carrying less to and fro. Most reusable bags hold far more than traditional disposable bags. Less trips back and forth from the car!
  2. Each time you use your own bag, you’ll get a small credit back from grocery stores. It’s usually between 5 and 10 cents, which can add up over time.
  3. Using your own bag reduces our dependence on foreign oil. Plastic uses fossil fuels, which are largely found in countries that don’t have the best intentions Western World. Cast your vote for locally made reusable bags instead.
  4. You won’t have to worry about throwing away, recycling, or reusing your disposable bags. By reusing your own bags, you’ll have less clutter and less trash.
  5. You’ll be sending a green message to your children. When they see you using your own bags, they’ll take notice and want to do the same in their lives.
  6. If you’d like to reuse your plastic bags, they have hundreds of uses.
    Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Bags

    • One of the most popular ways to reuse plastic bags is to use them as a trash bag.
    • Place them in small trash barrels in the bathroom, bedrooms, cellar, and near the cat’s litter box.
    • Another popular use for them is to use them as doggy poop bags. If you’re going out for a walk, bring along a couple of these bags.

  7. You can also reuse plastic bags as packaging. If you’re shipping out an item on eBay or shipping something to a friend, the bags can act as a cushion, much like packing peanuts, if you use enough of them.
  8. Keep a plastic bag in your car to contain all of the trash that accumulates in your car. Then, simply tie off, throw away, and use another bag.
  9. Donate your plastic bags to a local thrift store or charity. These prevents them from having to buy brand new bags.
  10. Post an ad on Craigslist for your bags. A local business may want to use them (you can’t beat free!).
  11. Use your bag to contain messy foods and leftovers that might otherwise leave spills. This is especially useful with soups and liquids.
  12. Think of things that you traditionally would use plastic for and replace them with your grocery bags. If you usually put your lawn leaves in trash bags, save up your bigger shopping bags and put the leaves in there instead.
  13. Wrap a bag around bags of flour, sugar, and other messy baking ingredients. This can help contain the mess and make for an easier clean up.



Winter Blues

Frustrated by the over-commercialization of the holiday season? Overwhelmed by rising costs and dwindling income? Not only do we see people spending money that they cannot afford around the holidays we also see people become nicer, more giving. It is easy to feel annoyed when we see people “into” the spirit of being a nice person for this short period of time only. A lot of talk and a lot of noise along with the pressure to buy, buy, buy – others find the holidays a time of additional stress because they are alone.

Many of us dream of attaining a simpler lifestyle and we can see the demand by all the information posted online and the newsletters on living a more simplistic or sustainable life. Use your favorite search engine to find them to find a myriad of articles, books and two positive radio programs that will help you in your journey.

Families are now going back to earlier traditions of making gifts by hand rather than buying them (plates of goodies, crafts, art, dried arrangements, dried or processed vegetables, herbs and jams from their gardens, etc). Some are making the most of family fun during the holidays by creating treasure hunts (as opposed to wrapping the gifts) – which is good for environment because it reduces waste. Many families are taking on environmental themes in their holiday gift giving by choosing gifts that will benefit the recipient and the environment.

Another sure way to break the blues is to make someone else’s life a little brighter. Do you have a relative or neighbor that finds it difficult to wrap gifts? Help them with the task or purchase some reusable gift bags and boxes for them to use. Individuals and groups of friends can volunteer at several places around their community, if only for an afternoon; check with the local volunteer office if you are looking for places that need a hand.

Occasionally look through your closets, pantries, library shelves and storage areas for things that have not been used in the last couple of years or items you longer wish to own. Choose one section of the home at a time if you have a lot to go through. Donate the items to the less fortunate through food kitchens, shelters for the homeless, women’s support centers and missions. Send books to the library and your local literacy programs – and don’t forget to drop off items to thrift stores that raise funds for charities or hospitals.

If you have a few dollars to spare, even $20 would do, take the family down to the local grocery or pet shop and try to get as many items as you can for that money. Go down as a group and donate them to a food bank or animal shelter. If you can, try to purchase one item per family member as a donation for the food bank every time you go shopping. Even one can of tuna a week can make a world of difference.

Some families have taken on the task of repairing broken toys purchased at garage sales and thrift shops, which they then donate to others during the holidays. Perhaps you have a talent at a craft such as knitting mittens and slippers that you can use to help others.

Creative ideas like these are guaranteed to take the blues right out of your season, while getting the family involved in your community. Doing various holiday activities gets us out of our houses and into some fresh air. Living a more frugal and simplistic life encourages bonding between family and friends. Meanwhile we are able to make a measurable difference in our community. These kinds of ideas bring more life, adventure and love to us all for an extended period of time – they are memories and legacies that will last a lifetime.