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Archive for March, 2015

Apple, pear and spinach juice

Awaken the body to a cleansing juice featuring apple, pear and spinach.

  • Ingredients
  • Nutrition

Equipment

  • You’ll need a juice extractor.

Ingredients

  • 3 large packham pears, quartered
  • 3 large granny smith apples, quartered
  • 100g baby spinach
  • 5 fresh mint sprigs
  • Ice cubes and mint sprigs, to serve

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Smoothie Slayer

strawberries-and-bananas

Today’s smoothie ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 tbsp ginger

Benefits:

  • Almond Milk: has no calories or saturated fat, but is high in healthy omega fatty acids which keep your heart healthy and prevent high blood pressure.
  • Baby Spinach: one cup of fresh spinach blended in a smoothie provides almost 200 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K. Vitamin K contains bone-building nutrients that decrease the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Strawberries: love the vibrant red color of this delicious berry? This pigment is because of anthocyanins which have been shown to display antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti-carcinogenic activities.
  • Banana: this funny fruit has high levels of tryptophan, which when consumed is converted into serotonin, a happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.
  • Ginger: has a warming effect on the body and stimulates circulation in the bloodstream.

Nutritional information:

Calories: 311 Carbs: 60 Fat: 7 Protein: 6 Sodium: 388 Sugar: 33

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Pears provide a very good source of fiber and are also a good source of vitamin B2, C, E, copper, and potassium. They

 also contain a significant amount of pectin, which is a water soluble fiber.
Pears are actually higher in pectin than apples. This makes them effective in helping to lower cholesterol levels and in toning the intestines. They are often recommended by health care practitioners as a hypoallergenic fruit that is high in fiber. They are less likely to produce an adverse response than other fruits. Pears are often recommended as a safe fruit to introduce to infants. Pears are an extraordinary source of dietary fiber when the skin is eaten along with the flesh. Pears are also an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin E, both powerful antioxidants and essential nutrients.

Pears are often recommended as a hypo-allergenic fruit that is high in fiber but less likely to produce adverse reactions. Pear juice is safe to be introduced to infants as they are mild, yet healthful.

Blood pressure: Pears have anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen glutathione which help prevent high blood pressure and stroke.

  • Blood pressure: Pears have anti-oxidant and anti-carcinogen glutathione which help prevent high blood pressure and stroke.
  • Cancer prevention: The high vitamin C and copper content act as good anti-oxidants that protect cells from damages by free radicals.
  • Cholesterol: The high content of pectin in pears make it very useful in helping to lower cholesterol levels.
  • Colon health: When not juicing, eat the pear whole for its precious fiber that are highly beneficial for your colon health.
  • Constipation: The pectin in pears is diuretic and have a mild laxative effect. Drinking pear juice regularly helps regulate bowel movements.
  • Energy: You can get quick and natural source of energy from pear juice, due largely to its high amounts of fructose and glucose.
  • Fever: The cooling effect in pear is excellent in relieving fever. Best way to bring a fever down quickly is by drinking a big glass of pear juice.
  • Immune booster: The anti-oxidant nutrients in pears are critical in building up your immune system. Drink pear juice when you feel a cold coming.
  • Inflammation: Pear juice has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps relieve sufferers of much pain in various inflammatory conditions.
  • Osteoporosis: Pears contain high level of boron. Boron helps the body to retain calcium, thus prevents or retards osteoporosis.
  • Pregnancy: The high content of folate (folic acid) prevents neural tube defects in infants.
  • Shortness of breath: The summer heat may cause children to have shortness of breath with excessive phlegm. Drink pear juice during this period to help clear the phlegm.
  • Throat problem: The pears are in season during the summer for a reason. Drinking pear juice every morning and night helps to cool your body down during this time. It nourishes the throat and helps prevent throat problems.
  • Vocal chord: Boil two Chinese pear juice with some raw honey and drink warm. This is extremely healing for the throat and the vocal cord.
  • Fiber: Pears are an excellent source of natural dietary fiber. One pear will give you 24% of your recommended daily allowance of fiber. Fiber contains no calories, and is a necessary element of a healthy diet as it helps sustain blood sugar levels and promotes regularity.

Pectin is a type of soluble fiber that binds to fatty substances in the digestive tract and promotes their elimination. This seems to help lower blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber also helps regulate the body’s use of sugars.

Studies indicate that diets high in fiber may reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

How do pears rank on the Glycemic Index?

Pears have 26 net grams of carbs. The carbohydrates in a pear are low on the glycemic index and have a low glycemic load. This basically means that the carbs in pears are slow to convert to sugar and enter the bloodstream. Pears are a good choice for getting healthy carbs.

Vitamin C:

Fresh pears are a good source for Vitamin C. One fresh pear contains 10% of the RDA for Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid).

Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant for normal metabolism and tissue repair, and helps prevent free radical damage (destructive by-products of the body’s metabolic process). Vitamin C promotes healing of cuts and bruises and helps guard against a number of infectious diseases.

Potassium:

Fresh pears offer 5% of the recommended daily allowance (190 mg of potassium) per serving

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Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

 “Do you buy fresh flowers everyday???”. This got me thinking about some of the things I do to make sure there is always at least one vase of flowers in the house, despite the fact I probably don’t buy flowers more than twice a month and I never spend more than about £8 on any bunch I buy.

Tip one: The basics

Im sure most people know all of this but when you make a flower arrangement, to make it last as long as possible, cut the stems diagonally so they can take in as much water as possible, change the water frequently and always remove the leaves – they should never be submerged in the water. Also, don’t over-crowd your flowers, allow them the space they need to survive as long as possible.

Tip two: Never buy bouquets

I learnt a long time ago that even though beautifully arranged bouquets of flowers look very tempting and seem like the easy option, they actually never look quite as good once they are unwrapped and they are not good value for money. When you buy flowers always choose your own, even if that can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry if you have the florist loitering behind you or you’re not sure which flowers go with which, just grab a few of anything you love the look of.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tip three: Make a few small arrangements instead of one big one

If you want a glimpse of colour and cheer in most rooms, it is far easier to achieve this for less by creating several small arrangements, rather than one large one –

 If you worry about not having enough vases use jam jars, kilner jars, empty spice bottles, jugs, even a mug! Group flowers together by colour, size, texture or height or a complete mix: there are no rules. However, make sure you only include in any arrangement an odd number of stems i.e. 1,2,3,5,7,9 and so on (I know 2 is not an odd number but this is the only exception to the rule). This will always look better than an even number of stems. Also, cut your flowers to different heights as this will make a more interesting lokking arrangement.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tip four: Grow your own flowers

The best way to save money on flowers and to have a readily available supply is to grow your own. You do not need a garden for this, a small outdoor space will do, but you need to choose what you grow carefully. I have two Hydrangea plants on my balcony because I know they will give me flowers throughout summer and when you cut them, they last for ages – cut them at an angle, put them straight into cold water and if you have extra time and energy a spritz with water on the petals is a good idea as they feed through their petals. I also grow a Lavender plant, which is very hardy, easy to look after and has lovely flowers throughout summer and gives scent to the home. Plant a container of wild flowers, too, if you can, as they make the most beautiful, rustic arrangements during spring when not a lot else is in flower. Don’t be afraid to use herbs in your floral arrangements as these are really easy to grow and add an unexpected element to a posie – I use Mint, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tip five: Recycle

Keep an eye on your floral arrangements, don’t just leave them to languish. If a stem is dying take it out and throw it away leaving the rest to continue. If the head of a flower is fine but the stem has collapsed, remove the head and place in water in a bowl or tea cup – they can last for ages this way. Also, if you have a few small arrangements, when they start to fade salvage the freshest looking and bring them together to form a new arrangement that will last that bit longer.

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tip six: Plant bulbs indoors

Such an easy thing to do but adds so much colour and cheer and you have fresh flowers in your home for weeks for nothing!

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

Tips for having lots of flowers around the house without spending a fortune www.apartmentapothecary.com

So there you go, my six top tips for adding flowers to your home for a minimal amount of money. It may seem a lot of effort, but once you start getting in to flowers, it almost becomes a bit addictive and the joy of having even the smallest posie sitting next to you as you sleep, eat, watch TV or work is just delightful.

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TIME

No one intends to raise spoiled brats, but it’s sometimes hard to see the consequences of your actions several years down the road.

Ron Lieber, personal finance columnist for The New York Times, offers his advice on the subject in his new book The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous and Smart about Money.

Here are his eight most practical tips:

Hand out on a regular allowance.

Commit to doling out the funds once a month or once a week, and offer raises on birthdays.

But there’s a catch: Allowance money shouldn’t be given to children as a reward for chores completed.

“If they do (their chores) poorly, there are plenty of valuable privileges we can take away, aside from withholding money. So allowance ought to stand on its own, not as a wage but as a teaching tool that gets sharper and more potent…

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