Fitness is a state of the human body that allows it to function up to its full potential. It is the ability to do regular jobs without any strain, while being alert and energetic enough to endure any stressful activities. It is basically a condition wherein, all the major parts of the body, heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, bones and muscles are in proper working condition. Continue reading
Coffee – THE Drink of Choice
Did you know coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. How did coffee get this ranking? What country first figured out coffee was safe for consumption? When was the first drink of coffee prepared? Where did the first coffee shop come in being?
There are many questions about the starting point of drinking coffee. It has been so long ago no one really knows all the facts. But, one thing is for sure, coffee is the most consumed beverage on the planet.
The Beginning of Coffee
It looks as if the first trace came out of Abyssinia and was also sporadically in the vicinity of the Red Sea around seven hundred AD. Along with these people, other Africans of the same period also have a history of using the coffee berry pulp for more than one occasion like rituals and even for health.
Coffee began to get more attention when the Arabs began cultivating it in their peninsulas around eleven hundred AD. It is speculated that trade ships brought the coffee their way. The Arabs started making a drink that became quite popular called gahwa— meaning to prevent sleep. Roasting and boiling the bean was how they made this drink. It became so popular among the Arabs that they made it their signature Arabian wine and it was used a lot during rituals.
After the coffee bean was found to be a great wine and a medicine, someone discovered in Arabia that you could also make a different dark, delicious drink out of the beans, this happened somewhere around twelve hundred AD. After that it didn’t take long and everyone in Arabia was drinking coffee. Everywhere these people traveled the coffee went with them. It made its way around to India, North Africa, the eastern Mediterranean, and was then cultivated to a great extent in Yemen around fourteen hundred AD.
Other countries would have gladly welcomed these beans if only the Arabs had let them. The Arabs killed the seed-germ making sure no one else could grow the coffee if taken elsewhere. Heavily guarding their plants, Yemen is where the main source of coffee stayed for several hundred years. Even with their efforts, the beans were eventually smuggled out by pilgrims and travelers.
Coffee Shops Appear
Around 1475 the first coffee shop opens in Constantinople called Kiv Han two years after coffee was introduced to Turkey, in 1554 two coffee houses open there. People came pouring in to socialize, listen to music, play games and of course drink coffee. Some often called these places in Turkey the “school of the wise”, because you could learn so much by just visiting the coffee house and listening to conversations.
In the sixteen hundreds coffee enters Europe through the port of Venice. The Turkish warriors also brought the drink to Balkans, Spain, and North Africa. Not too much later the first coffee house opens in Italy.
There were plenty of people also trying to ban coffee. Such as Khair Beg a governor of Mecca who was executed and Grand Vizir of the Ottoman Empire who successfully closed down many coffee houses in Turkey. Thankfully not everyone thought this way.
Coffee Tips Arrive
In the early sixteen hundreds coffee is presented to the New World by man named John Smith. Later in that century, the first coffee house opens in England. Coffee houses or “penny universities” charged a penny for admission and for a cup of coffee. The word “TIPS” (for service) has it’s origin from an English coffee house.
Early in the 17th century, Edward Lloyd’s coffee house opens in England. The Dutch became the first to commercially transport coffee. The first Parisian café opens in 1713 and King Louis XIV is presented with a lovely coffee tree. Sugar is first used as an addition to coffee in his court.
The America’s Have Coffee
Coffee plants were introduced in the Americas for development. By close to the end of the seventeen hundreds, 1,920 million plants are grown on the island.
Evidently the eighteen hundreds were spent trying to find better methods to make coffee.
The Coffee “Brew” in the 20th Century
New methods to help brewing coffee start popping up everywhere. The first commercial espresso machine is developed in Italy. Melitta Bentz makes a filter using blotting paper. Dr. Ernest Lily manufactures the first automatic espresso machine. The Nestle Company invents Nescafe instant coffee. Achilles Gaggia perfects the espresso machine.
Hills Bros. begins packing roasted coffee in vacuum tins eventually ending local roasting shops and coffee mills. A Japanese-American chemist named Satori Kato from Chicago invents the first soluble “instant” coffee.
German coffee importer Ludwig Roselius turns some ruined coffee beans over to researchers, who perfected the process of removing caffeine from the beans without destroying the flavor. He sells it under the name Sanka. Sanka is introduced in the United States in 1923.
George Constant Washington an English chemist living in Guatemala, is interested in a powdery condensation forming on the spout of his silver coffee flask. After checking into it, he creates the first mass-produced instant coffee which is his brand name called Red E Coffee.
Prohibition goes into effect in United States. Coffee sales suddenly increase.
Brazil asked Nestle to help find a solution to their coffee surpluses so the Nestle Company comes up with freeze-dried coffee. Nestle also made Nescafe and introduced it to Switzerland.
Other Interesting Coffee Tidbits
Today the US imports 70 percent of the world’s coffee crop.
During W.W.II, American soldiers were issued instant Maxwell House coffee in their ration kits.
In Italy, Achilles Gaggia perfects his espresso machine. The name Cappuccino comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.
One week before Woodstock, the Manson family murders coffee heiress Abigail Folger as she visits with her friend Sharon Tate in the home of filmmaker Roman Polanski.
Starbuck’s Hits the Coffee World
Starbucks opens its first store in Seattle’s Pike Place public market in 1971. This creates madness over fresh-roasted whole bean coffee.
Coffee finally becomes the world’s most popular beverage. More than 450 billion cups are sold each year by 1995.
The Current Coffee Trends
Now in the 21st century we have many different styles, grinds, and flavors of coffee. We have really come a long way even with our coffee making machines. There’s no sign of coffee consumption decreasing. Researchers are even finding many health benefits to drinking coffee. Drink and enjoy!
Believe it or not, there is a formula to muscle and fitness.
I know that sometimes the fitness industry can be quite confusing. As you start your search for your fitness solution, you are flooded and bombarded by all of the “quickies”. If you aren’t familiar with this term in reference to fitness, it is probably because I started using it myself. I use it in reference to anyone that is looking for a quick sale, and have no care for truly helping their customer get the muscle and fitness solution that they want. I am going to help you to find some focus and direction to guide yourself through the storm to your muscle and fitness potential. Continue reading
In 1976 the technology that is used to brew Nespresso, some of the most expensive coffee cup for cup, was invented by the Nestle corporation in Switzerland. Since then the product has gone through many stages of development that have led us to a very popular product that brews perfect high-quality coffee with a rich layer of crema on top every single time. With coffee capsules that sell for one dollar each, Nespresso justifies its price with exceptional quality and has been becoming more and more popular worldwide in the past few years.
If you are wondering what the fuss is all about, consider how rare it is, whether it is at home or at a coffee shop, that a shot of espresso has that perfect layer of thick tan foam resting on top. This is known to coffee connoisseurs as crema, and is an indication of high quality coffee that’s been perfectly brewed. Once brewed, Nespresso has a full rich flavor and an aroma that wakes up the senses of coffee lovers, along with a beautiful layer of crema on every single cup.
There are several factors that are considered and a number of steps the Nespresso company takes to ensure that their coffee is so exceptional. These begin where one might expect, with the coffee.
The Highest Quality Coffee
Acquiring the perfect coffee is a very high priority for the people at Nespresso. It is the coffee that the customer drinks, and it is therefore the primary consideration when it comes to customer satisfaction. Second best just won’t do for Nespresso. To begin with, the firm only uses the best Grand Cru coffee. This terminology, generally used to describe the finest wines from the best regions is used by Nespresso to describe the top harvests from the greatest coffee regions in the world.
The beans used in the production of Nespresso coffee are chosen using a very specific methodology. Only the best beans from the top harvests are used, and the roasting and grinding of all of the beans is very closely monitored to make sure that the coffee comes out as it should.
In addition to this, Nespresso makes sure that it offers the variety its customers need by providing various coffees from many well known top quality sources to give their clients a wide variety of flavors and a wide variety in the level of intensity.
The coffee is sold in hermetically sealed aluminum capsules that measure the perfect amount of coffee, preserve its freshness, and are integrated optimally into the Nespresso coffee machines.
The Perfect Coffee Machines
The other thing that makes Nespresso Coffee loved all over the world is their coffee machines. The machines were created to be used with Nespresso capsules and only Nespresso capsules. There are many top quality coffee machines available, but Nespresso machines are unique.
Nespresso Machines Are Well Designed
The very first thing that you will notice about Nespresso machines if you look through a catalog or browse them in a store is that they are all very well designed. They are not only designed to make the perfect coffee but to be nice to look at. This makes them ideal for display both at home and at the office. The colors of the machines are well balanced and attractive and fit well at home or at the office.
Most people are unaware of the risk of consumption of carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks are non-alchoolic and are prepared from water, caffeine and a flavoring agent. Giving up the consumption of these products is probably one of the most effective things you can do in order to improve your general health. In the following we wil present some of the most important side effects of carbonated juices. Continue reading
There is coffee and THERE IS COFFEE! You likely know about the generic quality coffees you find at the supermarket, using the inferior Robusta beans. And, in contrast, there is the alternative: the coffee regularly termed Gourmet Coffee you buy direct from roasters around the country. Popular large volume roasters, like Starbucks as well as most of the the smaller roasters dispersed about town, essentially utilize this far better grade, high altitude, shade grown Arabica bean.
That being said, and broadly known by all nowadays, how can you siphon out the crème de la crème of gourmet coffee beans to purchase?
To begin with, let’s hone in specifically on taste. Nowadays, coffee has become a “drink of experts”…
evolved into an art of reflection! We’ve begun to savor our coffee…flavor identify and define the subtle hints and nuances, as well as the qualities that identify the bean’s continent of origin. You as a coffee drinker, can begin to explore and experience the undertones of your coffee’s region, but better yet, begin to revel in the independently specific flavors of the bean defined by the specific hill and farm where it’s grown.
Coffee Cupping: Defining Coffee by its “Underlying Flavors”
There are, nowadays, a limited number of coffee roasters that independently test their coffee beans for taste observations and aromas. These beans are graded and assessed just like fine wine. This activity is called Coffee Cupping or Coffee Tasting. Professionals known as Master Tasters are the assessors. The procedure involves deeply sniffing a cup of brewed coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it draws in air, spreads to the back of the tongue, and maximizes flavor.
These Master Tasters, much akin to wine tasters, then attempt to measure in detail, every aspect of the coffee’s taste. This assessment includes measurement of the body (the texture or mouth-feel, such as oiliness), acidity (a sharp and tangy feeling, like when biting into an orange), and balance (the innuendo and the harmony of flavors working together). Since coffee beans embody telltale flavors from their region or continent of their origin, cuppers may also attempt to predict where the coffee was grown.
Many people have turned to organic fruits and vegetables (and even meats) in recent years, striving to live healthier, longer lives. You may be one of these people. But did you know that organic coffee is now available, too? If you can’t find it at your local health food store, then you can definitely find it online.
How Organic Coffee Differs From Traditional Coffee
The coffee plant has traditionally been grown in the company of shade trees and other food and cash crops. This approach made for healthier soil and prevented water contamination. Unfortunately, many coffee growers have abandoned this approach in favor of larger crops and hence larger profits. However, synthetic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers have become necessary to maintain these crops, and along with them the taste of the coffee has suffered, the soil has suffered, and no one knows the potential impact they may have on the future health of the coffee consumer.
In addition, the loss of the shade trees has had a direct impact on migratory song birds. While an obvious connection may not immediately come to mind, the relationship has actually been symbiotic. These birds used the shade trees as their habitat as they migrated, and as a result they provided a natural defense against many of the bugs and pests that can ruin a coffee crop. Without them, pesticides must be used to do the job.
Unlike the large, commercial coffee plantations, organic coffees are generally grown on small farms with plenty of shade cover. There are plenty of migratory birds to control insects, and pesticides are unnecessary. In fact, the United States requires that organic coffees be grown on shaded land and be completely chemical free for three consecutive years.
Tips For A Great Cup of Organic Coffee
Whole beans should be used within a week of purchase in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee.
Avoid vacuum-packed coffee, even organic vacuum-packed coffee. The process of vacuum packing cannot be done immediately after roasting. The coffee must sit for nearly a week before it can be vacuum-packed. This degrades much of the flavor.
Coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container, not on the shelf in the paper bag you brought them home with from the store. And in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee, you should grind only the amount you intend to use just before brewing.
Whole coffee beans that will be stored longer than a week should be placed in an airtight glass container that’s kept in the freezer.
As with any coffee blend, organic or not, grind the beans according to the brewing method you intend to use. Keep in mind that if you grind your beans too fine your coffee may end up bitter and muddy; if you don’t grind them enough, your coffee may end up flavorless.
Often overlooked, many people consider the most important step toward a good cup of coffee to be the proportion of water to coffee. Experts recommend 2 tablespoons for every 6 ounces of water.
Nothing has been more distortive to muscle building information than the low profile prevalence of steroid use. What else can explain the vast amount of lousy and even useless training techniques for natural trainers that have become the prevailing wisdom in the bodybuilding industry? There’s an ongoing discord between fantasy and reality in what constitutes an effective natural muscle gaining routine. That discord is most likely attributable to the obvious yet often unaddressed contrast between the physiology of a steroid user and that of a non-user.
This contrast is the only explanation for bodybuilding’s longtime miring in misinformation; a muddling that’s often resulted in almost humorously contradictory recommendations and advice.
Here’s a list of strange observations I’ve made over the years that I think can be linked, either directly or indirectly, to some of that misinformation:
o In 1988, I attended a bodybuilding seminar put on by one of the top Mr. Olympia contenders of the time. When asked by an audience member about a specific workout routine, the pro bodybuilder answered that the workout schedule in question would be worthless for putting on muscle mass. Within a month, I saw that exact workout/recovery schedule being recommended in a bodybuilding magazine by the then-Mr. Olympia.
o In the ’90s, that same Mr. Olympia had a morning workout television program for mainstream fitness. During an episode, I heard him talk to Geraldo Riviera about the evils of “anabolics” (code-word for steroids). He was apparently trying to dissuade youngsters from using them. Yet he admitted within other mediums that he used them regularly (of course he used them; he was a pro bodybuilder).
o During the aforementioned seminar in 1988, that Mr. Olympia contender told the audience that when he began bodybuilding, he was able to put on “ten solid pounds of muscle per year”. He went on to reveal that in his advanced stages in the sport, he was lucky to add “two pounds of muscle a year”. These words were from an elite professional bodybuilder who admitted to regular steroid use. Yet we’re treated to claims of gaining “twenty pounds of muscle in twelve weeks” from average Joe’s on the Internet. (no wonder I don’t see pictures with these claims).
o In the late eighties, there was a bodybuilding book that claimed you could gain 30 pounds of muscle in six weeks from doing “super squats” and drinking a lot of milk. That book should have been titled ‘How to become an over-trained gasbag within a month and a half’.
o I’ve actually heard a top professional bodybuilder say he didn’t believe in over-training; only “under eating and under sleeping”. So, even though our bodies are designed to burn and renew a finite amount of energy each day, just stuffing them with more food than they can process and sleeping until we’re drooling on our pillows will compensate for excessive muscle teardown? A very misleading statement.
o In the early ’90s, a bodybuilding guru was espousing an extremely high calorie diet for gaining muscle. I think he was the guy who started the “no such thing as over-training – just under-eating and under-sleeping” nonsense. Anyway, in order to make sure we could all take in our recommended 10,000 calories a day, he’d sell MCT oil to everyone. Just dowse some on your meals and add a whopping 120 calories per tablespoon so you can be in an “anabolic state”. The funny thing was that he recommended doing aerobic exercise each day to burn excess calories. Now let’s see, I think I’ll spend money on extra calories so I can try to burn them off each day before I turn into Jabba the Hut. Yeah… that makes a lot of sense. Yet there were write-ups about this guy in magazines as if he were a genius.
o I read an old interview of Arnold Schwarzenegger in which he estimated that anabolic steroids only gave bodybuilders like him a five percent edge over what they’d accomplish without them. Did he expect readers to believe that? Why would anyone risk their health for such a meager boost? If that were true, couldn’t he find a way to make up that little five percent in a less destructive manner?
o Back when the andro thing was big, a bodybuilder who worked in a supplement store tried to talk me into buying some. He said he gained five pounds of muscle in three weeks from using it. I knew he wanted to get super big, so I immediately wondered why he wasn’t continuing to cycle it so that he could gain umpteen pounds for the year. I told him “I’m not impressed; I can gain or lose five pounds of water weight in a single day”. Within a few months, he did a steroid cycle. I wondered what happened to his belief in andro.
o A competitive, steroid-built bodybuilder who works out at my gym sidelines as a personal fitness trainer. I witnessed him simultaneously train two people on a leg workout that had those unfortunate clients wobbling for the door as if he’d turned their underpinnings into wet noodles. He’d coaxed them to perform set after set of forced reps on a leg press machine. They were shaking their heads in disbelief as he wore an expression of self-indulged smugness. I guess he forgot to tell them they’d need to make secret trips to Mexico in order to recover from such a “workout”.
Some of these are kind of humorous, but not that last one. I’ve seen too many people hand over their hard-earned money for instruction in natural bodybuilding from those who don’t build their own bodies naturally. That’s money being paid oftentimes to merely feed the ego of someone that probably knows less about your body than you do. In the case I described above, he sure doesn’t know enough about bodybuilding to realize that the simplistic “harder you train – the more you gain” mantra most often leads to wasted time and disappointment.
My advice to natural bodybuilders: Seek unorthodox methods for making muscle gains. The routines that keep getting regurgitated in mainstream bodybuilding and fitness magazines are usually not the most conducive to long-term muscle gains.
Potatoes, squash, or fruit that is round will be difficult to cut. Because the fruit is not very stable when attached to a cutting board. If you slip, you can cut your hands.
To keep your fingers are not cut when cutting vegetables uneven, use the following techniques, as reviewed by FoxNews:
Step 1: Use a sharp knife, thinly sliced potatoes or other vegetables to make a flat side on the bottom.
Step 2: Cut the potatoes in a downward direction on a cutting board. The way to ensure a stable and potatoes will not roll. Potato slices as desired and then stop when it became wobbly and difficult to handle.
Step 3: Change the position of the potatoes with a wide field and a flat side on the cutting board attached. This makes it easy to cut the last piece the hard cut. Continue slicing as desired.
Keeping physically fit requires resolve! Nothing is more important than deciding to follow a fitness plan. Around the holidays so many of us make a New Year’s resolution to get fit and healthy, but I’m here to tell you that everyday is the time for a health and fitness resolution! Though we often blame outward circumstances for our poor health (e.g. office treats, fast food, “the holidays,”) in reality, the true barrier to preventing us from reaching our fitness goals is our own procrastination.
How often have we told ourselves, “Someday I’ll fit into that dress,” or “I’ll get back to my college weight eventually”? Time and time again we delay our health a fitness resolutions until a future date. It is time to stop this incessant procrastination because all we end up doing is having a perpetual desire… endless wanting. Make the resolution to turn these dreams into a reality. The time for delay has come to an end. As Shakespeare says, “Defer no time; delays have dangerous ends.”
The secret to living a healthy life is rooted in the realization that tomorrow never comes! Our tomorrow is nothing but the consequences of decisions that we make today. When we think about it, it becomes obvious that today is all that we have. The past no longer exists. The future has yet to come. The present is all that exists! The person you want to be in the future, therefore, will only come into existence when the person that you actually are resolves to do something… NOW. Again, everyday is a health and fitness resolution!
To reach your long-term fitness goals requires a commitment. There are no short cuts! What this will entail is different for each person. The best way to maximize your time and efforts is to work with a personal trainer. He or she will help determine which exercises and diet is best for your physical make up and life situation. It is much easier to reach your fitness goals when you have an everyday plan directing you how to get there.
Despite the numerous gimmicks, fad diets and fancy exercise plans, reaching your optimal health and fitness goals is really quite simple. It requires two ingredients; 1) an exercise plan that fits your body type and goals, 2) your determination and resolution to follow this plan, each and everyday! I’m not saying you have to train every day, it’s the mentality that you want to be on top of. Armed with this two-pronged attack, physical fitness will lose its mysterious and elusive quality. Exercise and diet plans are out there. Finding a program that works for you is very possible. The real question that you must ask yourself is this; “Do I have the resolution and determination to work towards my goals each and every day?” Do I sincerely desire everyday to be a health and fitness resolution?
The great secret to happiness in life is the realization that today is all that we have. The seeds of the future you are present in the little decisions that you make today. Each and everyday is an opportunity and invitation for you to become the new and improved you. You want to be healthier? You want to increase your level of fitness? Then make the resolution today, and everyday, to do what is required! Make everyday a health and fitness resolution.