Fast Food, Slow Death?

The all too familiar story: no time to cook, kids are late for soccer practice and McDonald's is on the way. Since it will not take more than a few minutes to shoot through the drive through we'll do the fast food stop. Or all too familiar story number 2: lunch hour at work and I need to pick up my dry cleaning, fill a prescription, and take the car to get gas and find time to eat. Sure enough Taco Bell is on the way and they have a drive through as well. These real life situations play out for all of us, millions of us, everyday. Since time has become one of our most precious commodities the sacrifice we make is often in our diet.

And yet it does not need to be this way. By following a few healthy practices you can still go to your favorite fast food chain and, 30 years from now, live to tell about it. The key is knowing what to select from the menu and balancing that meal with the rest of the day's food intake.

Choose Your Menu Items With Care

Choose a main dish item that is low in fat. As an example, when faced with the choice of a bacon cheeseburger or a regular hamburger, the regular hamburger wins every time. In the battle of the regular hamburger or the grilled chicken breast sandwich the chicken wins hands down. Why? Here's an example:

Wendy's Ultimate Chicken Grill Sandwich has 360 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 0 trans fat. Compare that to the Wendy's Big Bacon Classic which has 580 calories, 29 grams of fat and 1.5 grams of trans fat. Put either choice with a medium fry and you have added another 440 calories and another 21 grams of fat. Choose, instead, the Baked Potato with Sour Cream and Chive and you add 320 calories and 4 grams of fat – a better choice indeed.

Choose side salads and salad bar vegetables as these provide extra vitamins and add dietary fiber. In addition they fill you up without adding lots of extra calories. Be sure to use low fat or non-fat dressing or better yet, a simple vinaigrette dressing. More dietary fiber can be found in the choice of whole wheat or whole grain buns and rolls.

If your sweet tooth kicks in have fresh fruit or frozen yogurt. Or go for the reduced fat ice cream versus the shake. Again an example, this time from McDonald's: 16 oz. Triple Thick Vanilla Shake has 550 calories and 13 grams of fat. The Vanilla Reduced Fat Ice Cream Cone has 150 calories and only 3.5 grams of fat. Granted the lower calories alternative is not as decadent but it also will not clog your arteries by increasing your cholesterol intake and it will satisfy the sugar craving.

Watch Your Portion Size

Portion control is also a key element to successful fast food dining. Although many restaurants have discontinued the super size trend, most portions are simply more than we need to consume. These large portions look like real value when viewed in the monetary sense but when measured by way of their contribution to weight gain and its complications they are simply not worth it.

Choose the smallest size possible especially if you are having hamburgers or fried foods.

Share large or high items with someone else.

Eat half your order and take the rest home. Yes, I know we are provided to clean our plates because there are children starving in China. At least that's what many mothers over the years have been heard to say. The fact is being a member of the Clean Plate Club will also get you entry into the Fat Club, the High Cholesterol Club, and if your really fortify the Heart Disease Club.

Remember These 3 Key Points

1. Reduce total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
2. Increase intake of whole grains
3. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Fast food is one of the great innovations of the 20th century. Here in the 21st century we need to manage how we take advantage of its limitless access. To do so will maintain a balance between food as satisfying fuel that keeps our human engine running and toxic waste that will eventually lead to shorten life spans.

Culinary Arts Education – Degrees For a Job in the Hospitality Industry

There are many people that dream of a career in the hospitality industry and the most popular job is, of course, the head chef. To attain this role within a quality restaurant you will need to go through a culinary arts education course that will prepare you for working as a professional chef. These courses include the actual hands on preparation of food as well as the theories and lessons you will need to work in the industry. The courses run for anywhere from three to five years and even longer in you choose to complete a double degree.

There are many schools offering culinary education including everything from local community colleges through to world class cooking schools such as Le Cordon Bleu. Most of these schools offer professional degrees in culinary arts and will provide you with an opportunity to get a great job in the industry. However, it is more than likely you will need to get experience as an assistant, or sous chef, before you will be promoted or offered a job as a head chef. Like most other graduates you will need to make your way up the industry until you reach the top.

It is important to compare the different culinary arts education courses that are offered. Consider that some of the courses will not offer a formal degree so it is a good idea to put plenty of research into your decision. Create a short list of schools as it is a good idea to apply to more than one school in case you are not accepted by your first choice.

If You Thought You Missed The Internet Profit Revolution Try CryptoCurrency

When most people think of cryptocurrency they might as well be thinking of cryptic currency. Very few people seem to know what it is and for some reason everyone seems to be talking about it as if they do. This report will hopefully demystify all the aspects of cryptocurrency so that by the time you’re finished reading you will have a pretty good idea of what it is and what it’s all about.

You may find that cryptocurrency is for you or you may not but at least you’ll be able to speak with a degree of certainty and knowledge that others won’t possess.

There are many people who have already reached millionaire status by dealing in cryptocurrency. Clearly there’s a lot of money in this brand new industry.

Cryptocurrency is electronic currency, short and simple. However, what’s not so short and simple is exactly how it comes to have value.

Cryptocurrency is a digitized, virtual, decentralized currency produced by the application of cryptography, which, according to Merriam Webster dictionary, is the “computerized encoding and decoding of information”. Cryptography is the foundation that makes debit cards, computer banking and eCommerce systems possible.

Cryptocurrency isn’t backed by banks; it’s not backed by a government, but by an extremely complicated arrangement of algorithms. Cryptocurrency is electricity which is encoded into complex strings of algorithms. What lends monetary value is their intricacy and their security from hackers. The way that crypto currency is made is simply too difficult to reproduce.

Cryptocurrency is in direct opposition to what is called fiat money. Fiat money is currency that gets its worth from government ruling or law. The dollar, the yen, and the Euro are all examples. Any currency that is defined as legal tender is fiat money.

Unlike fiat money, another part of what makes crypto currency valuable is that, like a commodity such as silver and gold, there’s only a finite amount of it. Only 21,000,000 of these extremely complex algorithms were produced. No more, no less. It can’t be altered by printing more of it, like a government printing more money to pump up the system without backing. Or by a bank altering a digital ledger, something the Federal Reserve will instruct banks to do to adjust for inflation.

Cryptocurrency is a means to purchase, sell, and invest that completely avoids both government oversight and banking systems tracking the movement of your money. In a world economy that is destabilized, this system can become a stable force.

Cryptocurrency also gives you a great deal of anonymity. Unfortunately this can lead to misuse by a criminal element using crypto currency to their own ends just as regular money can be misused. However, it can also keep the government from tracking your every purchase and invading your personal privacy.

Cryptocurrency comes in quite a few forms. Bitcoin was the first and is the standard from which all other cryptocurrencies pattern themselves. All are produced by meticulous alpha-numerical computations from a complex coding tool. Some other cryptocurrencies are Litecoin, Namecoin, Peercoin, Dogecoin, and Worldcoin, to name a few. These are called altcoins as a generalized name. The prices of each are regulated by the supply of the specific cryptocurrency and the demand that the market has for that currency.

The way cryptocurrency is brought into existence is quite fascinating. Unlike gold, which has to be mined from the ground, cryptocurrency is merely an entry in a virtual ledger which is stored in various computers around the world. These entries have to be ‘mined’ using mathematical algorithms. Individual users or, more likely, a group of users run computational analysis to find particular series of data, called blocks. The ‘miners’ find data that produces an exact pattern to the cryptographic algorithm. At that point, it’s applied to the series, and they’ve found a block. After an equivalent data series on the block matches up with the algorithm, the block of data has been unencrypted. The miner gets a reward of a specific amount of cryptocurrency. As time goes on, the amount of the reward decreases as the cryptocurrency becomes scarcer. Adding to that, the complexity of the algorithms in the search for new blocks is also increased. Computationally, it becomes harder to find a matching series. Both of these scenarios come together to decrease the speed in which cryptocurrency is created. This imitates the difficulty and scarcity of mining a commodity like gold.

Now, anyone can be a miner. The originators of Bitcoin made the mining tool open source, so it’s free to anyone. However, the computers they use run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The algorithms are extremely complex and the CPU is running full tilt. Many users have specialized computers made specifically for mining cryptocurrency. Both the user and the specialized computer are called miners.

Miners (the human ones) also keep ledgers of transactions and act as auditors, so that a coin isn’t duplicated in any way. This keeps the system from being hacked and from running amok. They’re paid for this work by receiving new cryptocurrency every week that they maintain their operation. They keep their cryptocurrency in specialized files on their computers or other personal devices. These files are called wallets.

Let’s recap by going through a few of the definitions we’ve learned:

• Cryptocurrency: electronic currency; also called digital currency.

• Fiat money: any legal tender; government backed, used in banking system.

• Bitcoin: the original and gold standard of crypto currency.

• Altcoin: other cryptocurrencies that are patterned from the same processes as Bitcoin, but with slight variations in their coding.

• Miners: an individual or group of individuals who use their own resources (computers, electricity, space) to mine digital coins.

o Also a specialized computer made specifically for finding new coins through computing series of algorithms.

• Wallet: a small file on your computer where you store your digital money.

Conceptualizing the cryptocurrency system in a nutshell:

• Electronic money.

• Mined by individuals who use their own resources to find the coins.

• A stable, finite system of currency. For example, there are only 21,000,000 Bitcoins produced for all time.

• Does not require any government or bank to make it work.

• Pricing is decided by the amount of the coins found and used which is combined with the demand from the public to possess them.

• There are several forms of crypto currency, with Bitcoin being first and foremost.

• Can bring great wealth, but, like any investment, has risks.

Most people find the concept of cryptocurrency to be fascinating. It’s a new field that could be the next gold mine for many of them. If you find that cryptocurrency is something you’d like to learn more about then you’ve found the right report. However, I’ve barely touched the surface in this report. There is much, much more to cryptocurrency than what I’ve gone through here.

Organic Gardening – Watermelons Are a Summertime Favorite

Sweet, succulent watermelon grown in your own home garden are a summertime favorite. There is nothing better than there sweet, cool, refreshing and delicious taste on a hot summer day. This warm climate crop thrills with the growing growing seasons in warm climates, but there are varieties for cooler areas that will preform just fine and as tasty.

When planting, choose a location that will get full sunlight and with a good air circulation. They can grow in many different types of soil, but prefer a good healthy soil structure that is light, loose, fertile and well drained. Working in a generous amount of compost, composted manure or composed leaves into the soil will greatly benefit the soils structure for your watermelons to thrive. A soil that keeps moisture well is very important when growing watermelons, they like a steady supply of water.

Sow seeds directly into the garden once all dangers of frost have passed, soak the seeds for a half hour before planting in compost tea will help the seeds germinate. Plant on hills with 4 seeds per hill and space the hills 8 to 10 feet apart for vine type or 3 to 4 feet apart for bush type. Once the seeds have germinated remove 2 of the seedlings leaving the 2 best plants.

Watermelons are heavy feeders and need a steady supply of water, giving them a feeding of compost tea every two weeks will add the nutrients needed for your plants to thrive. Do not overdue it with nitrogen, especially once the flowers form.

Harvesting your watermelons can be a tricky task. There are three methods that can be used in figuring out if a watermelon is ripe. Look, listen and feel are what it takes to check for ripeness in a watermelon.

First sign is visual, the underside of the fruit that rests on the ground will turn a gold color or yellow straw color. Next look for the curly tendril that is attached to the vine closest to the fruit, it will be dry and brittle when a watermelon is ripe.

Second is the thump test, tap the watermelon with your knuckles and it should make a hollow sound when ripe. This method will take some practice, but once you get the feel for it you will most likely you this method the most.

Third is feel, if you run your fingers around the center of the watermelon you should feel ridges on the rind when it is ripe. This is done around the center and not from end to end or from stem to blossom. A watermelon that is not mature will be smooth.