Tips on how to choose the best SEO Packages

Tips on how to choose the best SEO Packages

When choosing the best SEO packages can be quite a task given the large number of companies offering different packages at different rates. Your choice of package should not depend on the variety offered on the packaging or not.

Most people choose or are looking for a cheap SEO package habit. While it may look good in the interim, it is likely that the package will not be cheap when you decent results, as search engine optimization can be quite expensive. To choose the most relevant search engine optimization plan, here are some things you should do:

Consider your budget

While you may desire more, better package as far as you need to invest in optimizing your website higher search engine rankings. Truth be told, it cost a lot of success to get your site ranked highly on search engines. Most search engine optimization company often have different and different SEO packages and price of each and every one of them is different.

Your site must be

Sometimes the web site must be redesigned completely or partially converted there is a need. Factors such as the link structure is to be taken into consideration when choosing an SEO package. For example, a website that has good graphics, but lack the proper linking structure is less likely to rank highly in search engines, and one without a design, but proper site-wide link structure is more likely to get ranked highly. Professional SEO company will ensure that both, in this case, graphics and appropriate links are linked together to create a perfect, loving the site search.

Methods, procedures and tools

SEO packages of the different methods are different. For example, one package may be 20 One Way Links, and the other will be the 50th One package may boast with 15 social media sites, while another may be the 50th They all have an impact on site rankings.

But the most important thing is to find one that suits your current needs, budget and intentions. If you can not afford the expensive one, go off the SEO package. As you earn more money, you can upgrade.

Sagbee work full-time professional SEO copywriter for a company that helps small, medium, and win business online brand management and promotion by using the advanced link building services. To learn more permanent and high quality one way link building methods, such as marketing of unique, high PR contextual link building, Squidoo lens design, development and promotion of the hub, the forum link building, link building education and more, take a few minutes to explore SEO P

View more cheap and affordable SEO packages on <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:_gaq.push(['_trackPageview', '/outgoing/article_exit_link']);” href=”http://www.seocompanychandigarh.com/seopackages.php”>SEO packages</a>


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5 Tips for a Kick-Ass CD Packaging

5 Tips for a Kick-Ass CD Packaging

Statistics show that the CD format is dying but the CD legitimizes you as musician especially if you’re still a new act. Every musician I know that’s serious about his/her career has a CD no matter what the statistics say because they know it’s a big tool for branding. Having a CD is saying ” No, Im not one of them. I am investing in my career because I believe in my talents. Here’s to make it official.” With millions of new bands competing for attention, you have to step out of that sea of newbies by coming up with a CD. It just shows that you’re confident enough with your talent and that you really mean business.

How do you attract people to buy your CD? By having really, really good music (this is a given), and by having a kick-ass CD packaging. Artists are becoming more and more innovative and creative with their CD/Vinyl/USB packaging because they now understand that the CD packaging is not only there to package their ‘goods’ but also to build their image or brand.

If the CD is in fact dying, then the best way to save it is by having a kick-ass CD packaging. A creative CD packaging can convince regular fans to buy the real thing instead of illegally downloading stuff on the internet. I have no statistics or proof that the CD packaging really affects sales but the top vinyl sales of the year (2010) all have really attractive packaging. I do not think it would have the same result if they didn’t put much attention to their CD packaging.

So what makes a kick-ass CD packaging? Here are some of my tips…

Avoid clichés. A design becomes dull when we see it hundreds of times even if it was once the wittiest one around. There are cases wherein an artwork is an homage or parody, well that’s okay…actually some of those could still be very brilliant (and people love collecting them), but what I’m saying here is when a design/concept is a cliché. What are the most common clichés? Hmm…off the top of my head, musicians behind a brick wall, Hip-hop artists with lots of bling riding a cool bike, couch photos. Totally forgettable, right? If you’re going to have a cliché cover, don’t expect people to TALK about it. Don’t expect people to pay attention to it.

Go to your nearest record store and look for the most overused concepts. Or, you can just Google CD artworks and list down the ones that get your attention and the ones that are boring. Brainstorm with your designer. He has a keener eye to these things.

Appeal to other senses. I know artwork should be visual because the best way to attract attention is by appealing to the sense of sight. Make your artwork LOOK stunning and people won’t miss your CD packaging.

But if you want more attention and if you want your fans to feel like they’ve got their money’s worth, then do what Katy Perry did to her latest album. Her artwork is about candies and other sweet things so they made the paper smell like cotton candy! You can smell a faint smell of cotton candy when you flip the pages of her booklet.

Now, what about for the sense of touch? Add texture or add softness perhaps. If you have an album artwork that looks yucky, you might want to make the packaging feel ‘yucky’ too. Be creative. It will pay off, I promise! Maybe not financially, but it will have good pay-off to your career.

Include free items. Everybody loves free items! Even if I become filthy rich, I think I’d still love the word FREE. You do not have to spend thousand or hundreds-in fact, you don’t have to spend a cent at all. Just come up with a good idea. Think of items that you already have right now that you think your fans would love.

Limit text. If you only have a few panels, do not overcrowd it with text. Just put the very important ones and simply lead them to your website for more info. The shorter the text, the stronger the impact. This is because people do not like reading very long sentences with very small font.

Pair with a hardbound book. Coffee table book, your band’s bio, a set of poems, what have you. You can bundle your CD with a hardbound book for the super fans. Make sure you already have super fans before you produce thousands. In fact, do not manufacture thousands when you are not yet as famous or as rich as Madonna. Just make a few copies (say a hundred?) and mark it as “limited edition” book.

If you are scared to lose thousands, then try offering this to your website and let fans pre-order. You can also try posting a project in Kickstarter. It is a website where artists like you can post their projects and ask for funds. I’ve seen lots of musicians that receive funds for their music videos, CDs, etc. It’s a good place to offer ‘pre-orders”.

I bet you’re now too excited to brainstorm with your team! Do not worry too much about the financial returns as of now. A creative CD packaging serves as a good investment for your long-term goals. Good luck and enjoy getting creative!

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www.voidfillpackaging.com Make your own bubble wrap void fill with FP Pillow Pak’r. Visit fpintl.com for more information on this product.
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Tips On Getting The Best Deals Available On A Las Vegas Package

Tips On Getting The Best Deals Available On A Las Vegas Package

If you a planning a Las Vegas package then here are some ways to make the most of your trip. Take this opportunity to enjoy as many of the perks offered in a package deal as you possibly can. Many Package trips have the airfare included in the price and they usually have other extras such as meals included or free tickets to your favorite shows.

If you’re on a package trip to Las Vegas then you may even get some cash back to spend in the casino of the hotel. You may be lucky enough to stay in a hotel that offers daily spa treatments as part of the deal.

You’ll probably find there is a lot of choice once you start looking for a Las Vegas package. Is this an annual vacation, or are you celebrating a birthday, or do you want that special someone to have the time of his or her life. Maybe you want an exciting Las Vegas wedding filled with romance and all the things that will make it the trip of a lifetime.

Check out the golfing deals if you’re thinking of a package for yourself and your golfing buddies. No matter the reasons for visiting the desert state you’re sure to get the deal that is best suited to your needs.

Sometimes people book a week-end getaway and regard taking many breaks through out the year as a way of spreading their vacation time rather than taking it vacation all at once. 3-day weekend Las Vegas packages are becoming more and more popular as people are looking for greater relaxation at the end of a grueling week.

You can get package trips that are especially geared towards these 3-day weekend getaways. And you may still get some really good deals that include free tickets to local attractions, discounts on the hotel for booking in advance or other money saving advantages.

If you are looking for perfect Las Vegas package, you may want to do a bit of homework to ensure that you are getting the best deal for your needs. Make a list of the things you might expect from a good Las Vegas package – don’t forget to see if there are any extras for special occasion trips such as a birthday or a wedding, or maybe even just a trip with the guys. The first point of call should be your local travel agent to see what specials they might have on offer. You stand more chance of getting a great Las Vegas package the further ahead that you book.

Check out the internet, you can often find some great deals on packages, especially if they are late cancellations. You may also get a better idea of the perks offered on different packages. The internet is a great way of being able to compare the best deals all in one place. It’s also much easier to book yourself a holiday from the comfort of your own home.

Summary:

When traveling to Las Vegas, make the most of the special perks that are offered on a package deal. Enjoying all that there is on offer is the best way of getting the most out of your Las Vegas package holiday.

Brooke Hayles
Check Out More Helpful Information About Las Vegas Package For FREE!
Visit Las Vegas Package Now!


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Low Cost Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen

Low Cost Tips for Organizing Your Kitchen

There are a number of reasons why organizing the kitchen can be a great idea – having an organized kitchen can save you both time and money, while keeping you healthier by preventing the buildup of various germs that can make you sick. You might even find yourself losing weight because of your organized kitchen, since it will make it easier for you to cook at home and adopt a healthier diet. One of the primary excuses that is used to keep from organizing a kitchen is how much it can cost to redo a kitchen design in order to make it more organized; this does not have to hold you back, however, because there are a number of low-cost solutions to getting your kitchen organized that can be done on even the tightest of budgets.

Organize Your Kitchen into Zones

One easy way to get started organizing the kitchen which does not cost a thing is to divide your kitchen into clear zones, with each zone having a specific purpose. All that this requires is reorganizing your existing kitchen layout, grouping items into existing drawers and shelving so that everything within each zone works toward the purpose of the zone. Most common zone layouts include anywhere from three to five zones, with three being generally agreed upon as the minimum number that can be used efficiently. Zones generally include a cooking zone that contains the stove and microwave, a prep zone that contains all of your bowls, whisks, cutting boards, and other prep materials, and a clean-up zone where your sink, dishwasher, and your cleaning and sanitation supplies reside. You might want to have a separate serving area as well, with your plates, cups, and silverware kept there instead of using kitchen space for storage of these items.

Make Use of Existing Storage Options

A number of items around the house can find a new purpose as part of your kitchen organizing plans. Small boxes that you receive with checkbooks and similar containers can be placed inside of drawers to make their storage much more efficient, and you can label the boxes to help you find exactly what you are looking for. This can help you save time as well. Larger boxes and baskets can be used to organize under-sink storage, helping you to reduce clutter and be able to find cleaning supplies or other items under the sink faster. Old baby food jars and other glassware can even be cleaned and then used to store spices and other small items, giving you the option of sealing the jars to keep the contents dry.

Keep Papers Organized

One of the main sources of kitchen clutter is paper goods, ranging from appliance instruction manuals to take-out menus and recipes to old newspapers. Instruction manuals and other booklets can be kept in gallon-sized freezer bags, letting you keep them all in a single convenient place so that you will always know where to find any manual that you are looking for. Menus and recipes can each be kept in their own binder, using plastic page protectors to keep them readable while making sure that they stay organized and safe from damage. The binders can then be kept in drawers, cabinets, or even on a bookshelf if you are trying to get everything that is non-essential out of your kitchen.

Sort the Cabinets

The cabinets in many kitchens are cluttered areas full of food, dishes, and the occasional storage container. Make better use of your cabinet space by working on an organization plan and getting rid of the clutter. Buy clear storage containers that you can fit on the shelves of your cabinets so that you can keep everything contained while still being able to see exactly what is in each container. Buy square containers if possible, as the use of square storage containers in your cabinets can not only help to keep them organized but will also allow you to store more in the space provided than the use of round containers would.

Make Use of Vertical Space

Countertops, drawers, and cabinets are not the only places for you to store kitchen utensils that you will be using; the walls of most kitchens are relatively bare and can be a great place for you to store those items which you use most often. Using a combination of small hooks and pegboards, create spaces on your walls to hold spatulas, slotted spoons, measuring spoons, and other utensils and small items that would otherwise have to be stored in a crowded drawer. Not only will this reduce the amount of clutter that you have to dig through in order to find what you need, but you will also be able to better organize your kitchen into zones if you can put the utensils for each zone within arm’s reach.

Shawn Thomas is a freelance writer who focuses on personal motivation and organization. Mr. Thomas often writes about specific areas of organization such as kitchen storage.


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Primitive Country Decorating: 7 Must-Have Tips For Decorating Your Kitchen!

Primitive Country Decorating: 7 Must-Have Tips For Decorating Your Kitchen!

If you spend a lot of time in your kitchen you’ll really enjoy being in that room once you’ve implemented the decorating ideas found within this article.

We spend a lot of time in our kitchens cooking for our family and friends. It’s important that we feel good about being in this room.

Fabrics play a huge role in a kitchen decorating plan. Once you have chosen a theme for your kitchen there are multiple fabric choices to be made to coordinate with that theme. Window treatments are a great place to begin.

A few other fabric choices to be made in a kitchen might be linens and towels, potholders, appliance covers, placemats and table cloths.

Canisters can be found in most kitchens and in just about any theme you might dream up. They come in all shapes and sizes and are easily added to the décor.

Collections are a great way to decorate a kitchen. A collection of items can quickly and easily be acquired by going to garage sales and flea markets in your area.

Clocks and cookie jars are a few of the favorites for people who have collections for their kitchen.

For an interesting accent wall place a collection of clocks on a single wall.

A great place to display a collection of cookie jars is on top of cabinets. They’re not taking up any usable space and are easily seen by all who enter.

Colanders or strainers can make a beautiful display in a kitchen. They can be hung on an accent wall in a random pattern or from a pot rack over an island.

Bottles are another item that people enjoy collecting. Since most things are made from plastic in this day and age, bottles are definitely items that most people can’t just go out and purchase in their local discount store.

You may have inherited a collection of silver utensils from your great grandmother, but don’t want to use them. They can still be added to your decor by bending them and attaching them to a board. This can then be used to hang keys on.

Earthenware or stoneware crocks are a beautiful collection to have in a home. The crocks can be displayed around your home or turned into usable items. You might place one next to your door to put umbrellas in. You might use one to place kitchen utensils; spatulas and spoons in. You could even use them to place the mail in when you bring it in from the mailbox.

So, now that you’ve learned about several options for decorating your kitchen go ahead and use what you’ve learned in this article to begin the transformation of a warm and inviting primitive country kitchen in your home!

Tammy Matthews has published widely on the subject of primitive country decorating to help give you the tools you need to create the decor you love to come home to. If you found the information in this article helpful, claim your Free Report on The 5 Biggest Primitive Country Decorating Decisions, available at =>
http://www.jklcountryprimitives.com/list.html


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Tips for Pest prevention: Maple Pest Control Toronto

Tips for Pest prevention: Maple Pest Control Toronto

Pests can be found anywhere in the world and they can be most annoying in homes and the places where we work. There are many Pest Control companies in Toronto that offers chemical solutions to Pest Control problem but a few who offers green treatments and methods to get rid off pests. Maple Pest Control is a leading firm in Toronto that offers eco-friendly best pest control services for all kind of properties including house, cottage and other premises. Maple Pest Control Toronto is licensed from the Ministry of Environment and has been serving the Greater Toronto Areas and other areas including Mississauga, Oakville, Markham Richmond Hill, Woodbridge Brampton and City of Vaughn from along time.

Maple Pest Control Toronto has best pest control experts in the industry who cannot only help you in eliminating pests from your place but also can assist you in growing your business and to follow the legal terms appropriately.

 

Before you request for Pest Control services from Maple Pest Control Toronto, you should think about the reason of pest infestation at your place. Here are some tips to prevent your property from pests before pests enter in your house.

 

Remove all the wood piles or collections of old branches and shrubs, as pests can hang out in them. Most of the pests such as carpenter ants, termites and spiders may feel secured at these places. These things attract pests and allow them to enter in your residence by this way. If you really want to keep piles of lumber to build a fire, make sure they are not in close connection with your structure and if possible, keep them away.

 

Make sure your place is completely sealed up to close the entrance gate for bugs. Crawl Spaces such as attics and tiny holes in other areas of your place can invite bugs in. Check linen closets and low areas such as under shelves for hidden areas that might be having holes or gaps.

 

Sweep and vacuum your place on regular basis and clean the spills immediately with soap to prevent from pest infestation.

 

Do not keep ripe fruits outside. Make sure that all the food items are placed in plastic containers or glass jars those have rubber seals or snap-on lids instead of those with screw-top jars.
Vacate the trash daily and if possible keep the garbage outside the house.
If you own a pet, clean the bedding regularly and the place where your pet rests.

 

 

 

 

For more information please visit Maple Pest Control Inc for best pest control services.


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Tips to Manage Honeymoon Package Cost

Tips to Manage Honeymoon Package Cost

Honeymoon is the traditional holiday taken by newlyweds immediatley after wedding and remains as the most dreamy and memorable moments in anyones life. Here are some tips on how to go about planning your honeymoon and save some money.

Finalise the destination
Decide where you want to go for your honeymoon and what type of travel plans that will entail. Most places you travel to will have resorts that have all inclusive honeymoon packages that will appeal to a variety of interests.Try out recommendations from friends for a Good your operator. Take suggestions from friends who have been recently married.

Check out for the activities in the destination
One thing to remember when booking a honeymoon package is that you need to ensure that it is not boring.If you want to opt for a beach honeymoon it will be fine but you need to ensure that you wont be bored staring at each other on the 5th day of honeymoon. So Plan for a detailed daily itinerary.

Compare Cost of different Packages
Most of the packages include essentials such as food, lodging, daily activities and entertainment . In some cases travel expenses such as air fair and transportation via shuttle to and from the airport to the resort are part of the vacation package. The cost information should be found either in the brochure provided by tour operators or on their websites. If you have questions about what is included as a part of the package any reliable tour operator would be happy to assist and help you with your queries.

How to compare packages?
You need to compare apples against apples and oranges against oranges and ensure that your decisions is not governed only by price.At first glance few packages can seem a bit expensive but you need to check out whether this is a one time cost and includes just about everything you will need to have a romantic and stress free honeymoon leaving you free to enjoy a hassle free honeymoon . In fact if you were to add up all the costs associated with going to the same destination and paying for things like meals, snacks, alcoholic beverages, activities, lodging, and local transportation chances are an all inclusive package deal will probably save you money.

Many tour operators may take you for a ride by offering you packages with reduced prices but the inclusions may vary when compared to an expensive package and at the end of the day you may shell out more money for that tour package.

An all inclusive 4 night / 5 days in Kerala Honeymoon Spots may cost from Rs. 22000 – Rs.35000 depending on the hotels and travel dates as well as the facilities that is on offer.

Some tips from us
# Be sure about confirming the meal options as a part of the honeymoon .At the end of the day you may not want eating at the same restaurants and being stuck with the same entertainment options everyday. Try to leave the resort and explore the surrounding areas but be aware that this type of activity will cost extra so you will need to bring along extra money for excursions outside of the already paid for all inclusive resort options.

# Involve your spouse is deciding what you want out of your post wedding trip. If you want to spend your time exploring the local countryside and experiencing all that your destination has to offer then an all inclusive package may not be for you. If, on the other hand, you just want to kick back, relax, and have all your wants, needs, and activities taken care of then all inclusive may be the perfect choice for your honeymoon.

#Any Travel Package will have three components- Stay, Meals and Transportation. Decide on what you would like to compromise on what you would like to enjoy more.

 

Matt Hardy is Interested in writing about Travel and related Projects. He is a travel expert based in North Carolina.Check out some of the his recommended affordable Kerala Honeymoon Packages and that he recommends be customized the way you want it.


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High-speed ABB FlexPicker robots equipped with specially developed grippers are making sure that Peperami salamis are packaged at the highest cycle rates at Unilever’s plant in Ansbach, Germany. The robots are fitted with triple grippers which are able to pick up three randomly positioned salami snacks one after the other from a conveyor belt in a one step process, and place them individually in a rollstock machine. The positioning and location data required comes from an upstream image processing system which is positioned to capture the information on the individual sausages and pass it on to a master computer. Unilever commissioned ABB Robotics partner, robomotion GmbH from Stuttgart, to plan and design the fully automated solution; and install and commission the entire system at Unilever within 10 days. “This high-speed technology is not only of interest in the foodstuffs sector, as it can be used anywhere where small items have to be handled at high speeds” says Andreas Wolf, a director of robomotion. Unilever’s chief engineer, Carim Gad, concludes “With the new system, we’re running the packaging machine at full capacity, giving us a performance increase of up to 25 percent compared with manual loading. The ability to cover peak loads is of particular interest. For example, in the run-up to the Football World Cup, special production shifts were operating at the weekend. This alone gave us a competitive edge, enabling us to deliver Peperamis to our customers on
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Tips for healthy living and diet

Tips for healthy living and diet

Healthy Eating
Easy Tips for Planning a Healthy Diet and Sticking to It
BY WISDOM JOHN and CO

Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition philosophies, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about feeling great, having more energy, and keeping yourself as healthy as possible– all of which can be achieved by learning some nutrition basics and using them in a way that works for you.

Healthy eating begins with learning how to “eat smart”—it’s not just what you eat, but how you eat. Your food choices can reduce your risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well as defend against depression. Additionally, learning the habits of healthy eating can improve your health by boosting your energy, sharpening your memory and stabilizing your mood. Expand your range of healthy food choices and learn how to plan ahead to create and maintain a satisfying, healthy diet.

Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.

Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety and freshness—then it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart.  Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking.  As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet.  The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts.
Think of exercise as a food group in your diet.

Find something active that you like to do and add it to your day, just like you would add healthy greens, blueberries or salmon. The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise may even motivate you to make healthy food choices a habit.

Healthy eating tip 2: Moderation is key

People often think of healthy eating as an all or nothing proposition, but a key foundation for any healthy diet is moderation.  Despite what certain fad diets would have you believe, we all need a balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.

Try not to think of certain foods as “off limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. Later you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.
Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entrée, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms and start small.  Visual cues can help with portion sizes—your serving of meat, fish or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards. A teaspoon of oil or salad dressing is about the size of a matchbook and your slice of bread should be the size of a CD case.
Healthy eating tip 3: It’s not just what you eat, it’s how you eat

Healthy eating is about more than the food on your plate—it is also about how you think about food. Healthy eating habits can be learned and it is important to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids.

Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.
Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of what is in our mouths. Reconnect with the joy of eating.
Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.
Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.
Healthy eating tip 4: Fill up on colorful fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet—they are low in calories and nutrient dense, which means they are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Fruits and vegetables should be part of every meal and your first choice for a snack—aim for a minimum of five portions each day. The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases.

Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day—the brighter the better.

The brighter, deeper colored fruits and vegetables contain higher concentrations of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—and different colors provide different benefits. Some great choices are:

Greens: Greens are packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, vitamins A, C, E and K, and they help strengthen the blood and respiratory systems. Be adventurous with your greens and branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce—kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options.
Sweet vegetables: Naturally sweet vegetables add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets. Some examples of sweet vegetables are corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes or yams, winter squash, and onions.
Fruit: A wide variety of fruit is also vital to a healthy diet. Fruit provides fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.
Don’t forget to shop fresh and local whenever possible

The local farmer’s market, fruit stand or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group are great ways to get access to fresh, local produce. To find local growers, farmer’s markets, and CSAs in your area, visit Local Harvest.

Avoid: Fruit juices, which can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar per cup; avoid or dilute with water. Canned fruit is often in sugary syrup, and dried fruit, while an excellent source of fiber, can be high in calories. Avoid fried veggies and those with dressings or sauces—too much unhealthy fat and calories.

Water—a vital part of a healthy diet

Water makes up about 75% of our bodies and helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins. Yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy and headaches.
Caffeinated beverages, in particular, actually cause the body to lose water. Fresh fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, contain plenty of water and can help with hydration, especially when you are looking for an alternative to your eighth glass of water for the day.

Healthy eating tip 5: Eat more healthy carbs and whole grains

Choose healthy carbohydrates and fiber sources, especially whole grains, for long lasting energy. In addition to being delicious and satisfying, whole grains are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, which help to protect against coronary heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. Studies have shown people who eat more whole grains tend to have a healthier heart.

A quick definition of healthy carbs and unhealthy carbs

Healthy carbs (sometimes known as good carbs) include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable.

Unhealthy carbs (or bad carbs) are foods such as white flour, refined sugar and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber and nutrients. Unhealthy carbs digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.

Include a variety of whole grains in your healthy diet, including whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley. Experiment with different grains to find your favorites.
Make sure you’re really getting whole grains. Be aware that the words stone-ground, multi-grain, 100% wheat, or bran, don’t necessarily mean that a product is whole grain. Look for the new Whole Grain Stamp. If there is no stamp look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat,” and check the ingredients.
Try mixing grains as a first step to switching to whole grains. If whole grains, like brown rice and whole wheat pasta, don’t sound good at first, start by mixing what you normally use with the whole grains. You can gradually increase the whole grain to 100%.

Avoid: Refined grains such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain.

Fiber: An essential component of a healthy diet

Dietary fiber, found in plant foods (fruit, vegetables and whole grains) is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. Fiber helps support a healthy diet by helping you feel full faster and for a longer amount of time, and keeping your blood sugar stable. A healthy diet contains approximately 20-30 grams of fiber a day, but most of us only get about half that amount.
The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and can also help to lower blood fats and maintain blood sugar. Primary sources are beans, fruit and oat products.
Insoluble fiber cannot dissolve in water, so it passes directly through the digestive system. It’s found in whole grain products and vegetables.
Healthy eating tip 6: Enjoy healthy fats & avoid unhealthy fats

Good sources of healthy fat are needed to nourish your brain, heart and cells, as well as your hair, skin, and nails.  Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats called EPA and DHA are particularly important and can reduce cardiovascular disease, improve your mood and help prevent dementia.

Add to your healthy diet:

Monounsaturated fats, from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans) and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame).
Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils, and walnuts.

Reduce or eliminate from your diet:

Saturated fats, found primarily in animal sources including red meat and whole milk dairy products.
Trans fats, found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
Healthy eating tip 7: Put protein in perspective

Protein gives us the energy to get up and go—and keep going. Protein in food is broken down into the 20 amino acids that are the body’s basic building blocks for growth and energy, and essential for maintaining cells, tissues and organs. A lack of protein in our diet can slow growth, reduce muscle mass, lower immunity, and weaken the heart and respiratory system. Protein is particularly important for children, whose bodies are growing and changing daily.

Here are some guidelines for including protein in your healthy diet:

Try different types of protein. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, trying different protein sources—such as beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu and soy products—will open up new options for healthy mealtimes.

Beans:  Black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils are good options.
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans are great choices.
Soy products: Try tofu, soy milk, tempeh and veggie burgers for a change.
Avoid salted or sugary nuts and refried beans.

Downsize your portions of protein. Most people in the U.S. eat too much protein. Try to move away from protein being the center of your meal. Focus on equal servings of protein, whole grains, and vegetables.

Focus on quality sources of protein, like fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, beans or nuts. When you are having meat, chicken, or turkey, buy meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.

Complete, incomplete and complementary proteins
A complete protein source—from animal proteins such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, cheese and eggs—provides all of the essential amino acids.
An incomplete protein—from vegetable proteins like grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and beans—is low in one or more essential amino acids.
Complementary proteins are two or more incomplete protein sources that together provide all of the essential amino acids your body needs. For example, rice and dry beans are each incomplete proteins, but together they provide all of the essential amino acids.
Do complementary proteins need to be eaten in the same meal? Research shows that your body can combine complementary proteins that are eaten within the same day.
Why are complete and complementary proteins important? Complete and complementary proteins that provide all of the essential amino acids will fill you up longer than carbohydrates because they break down more slowly in the digestive process.
Healthy eating tip 8: Add calcium & vitamin D for strong bones

Calcium and vitamin D are essential for strong, healthy bones—vitamin D is essential for optimum calcium absorption in the small intestine. Recommended calcium levels are 1000 mg per day, 1200 mg if you are over 50 years old. Take a vitamin D and calcium supplement if you don’t get enough of these nutrients from your diet.

Great sources of calcium include:

Dairy products, which come already fortified with vitamin D.
Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as kale and collard greens
Dried beans and legumes

See Osteoporosis, Diet and Calcium for more about the role of calcium in your diet.

Healthy eating tip 9: Limit sugar, salt, and refined grains

If you succeed in planning your diet around fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and good fats, you may find yourself naturally cutting back on foods that can get in the way of your healthy diet—sugar, salt and refined starches.

Sugar and refined starches

It is okay to enjoy sweets in moderation, but try to cut down on sugar. Sugar causes energy ups and downs and adds to health problems like arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, headaches, and depression.

Give recipes a makeover. Often recipes taste just as good with less sugar.
Avoid sugary drinks. One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it! Try sparkling water with lemon or a splash of fruit juice.
Eliminate processed foods. Processed foods and foods made with white flour and white sugar cause your blood sugar to go up and down leaving you tired and sapped of energy.
Salt

Salt itself is not bad, but most of us consume too much salt in our diets.

Limit sodium to 2,300 mg per day, the equivalent to one teaspoon of salt. Most of us consume far more than one teaspoon of salt per day.
Avoid processed, packaged, restaurant and fast food. Processed foods like canned soups or frozen meals contain hidden sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended teaspoon a day.
Healthy eating tip 10:  Plan quick and easy meals ahead

Healthy eating starts with great planning. You will have won half the healthy diet battle if you have a well-stocked kitchen, a stash of quick and easy recipes, and plenty of healthy snacks.

Plan your meals by the week or even the month

One of the best ways to have a healthy diet is to prepare your own food and eat in regularly. Pick a few healthy recipes that you and your family like and build a meal schedule around them. If you have three or four meals planned per week and eat leftovers on the other nights, you will be much farther ahead than if you are eating out or having frozen dinners most nights.

Shop the perimeter of the grocery store

In general, healthy eating ingredients are found around the outer edges of most grocery stores—fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and poultry, whole grain breads and dairy products. The centers of many grocery stores are filled with overpriced, processed foods that aren’t good for you. Shop the perimeter of the store for most of your groceries (fresh items), add a few things from the freezer section (frozen fruits and vegetables), and the aisles with spices, oils, and whole grains (like rolled oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta).

Cook when you can

Try to cook one or both weekend days or on a weekday evening and make extra to freeze or set aside for another night. Cooking ahead saves time and money, and it is gratifying to know that you have a home cooked meal waiting to be eaten.

Have an emergency dinner or two ready to go

Challenge yourself to come up with two or three dinners that can be put together without going to the store—utilizing things in your pantry, freezer and spice rack. A delicious dinner of whole grain pasta with a quick tomato sauce or a quick and easy black bean quesadilla on a whole wheat flour tortilla (among endless other recipes) could act as your go-to meal when you are just too busy to shop or cook.

Stock your kitchen to be meal ready

Try to keep your kitchen stocked with recipe basics:

Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
Recipe and soup starters such as garlic, onions, carrots, and celery.
Healthy staples like brown rice, white Basmati rice, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa, and wild rice.
Whole wheat bread and tortillas for healthy sandwiches and wraps.
Beans such as lentils, black beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, fava beans, and lima beans.
Frozen corn, peas, and other vegetables to add to recipes or for a quick vegetable side dish.
Frozen fruit and berries to make smoothies or frozen desserts.
Dark greens for salads, plus salad add-ins like dried fruit, nuts, beans, and seeds.
Fresh and dried herbs and spices.
Healthy fats and oils for cooking, such as olive oil and canola oil. You can also try specialty oils like peanut, sesame, or truffle oil for adding flavor.
Unsalted nuts for snacking, like almonds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts, and pistachios.
Vinegars, such as balsamic, red wine, and rice vinegar for salads and veggies.
Strong cheeses, like aged Parmesan or blue cheese for intense flavor in salads, pasta, and soups.


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8 Eco-Friendly Lunch Packing Tips

8 Eco-Friendly Lunch Packing Tips

Today I was in a local toy store and saw a lunch box for children with a sticker price of …honestly, what’s that all about?  Do people really pay for a lunch box?  I don’t care if that lunch box lasts me all year; I’m still not going to pay for it! 

Truth be told, if we all take a step back in our own homes, we will find a few different options we can use right there to pack lunches every day; we just need to get creative!

FYI-follow these tips for money saving and eco- friendly lunch packing tips:

1-Reuse baskets, tin cookie containers, gift bags or small coolers as lunch boxes.

2-Purchase small ice packs to keep lunches cool and from spoiling OR freeze water in a plastic water bottle, leaving ½” head room, and use to keep lunch cool.  The extra bonus is the ice will be melting and will provide your child with fresh and cool water at lunch.

3-Instead of plastic baggies, purchase wax eco-friendly bags, or reusable nylon snack or sandwich bags.

4-Utilize a small, flat plastic container or Wrap-n-Mat for sandwiches or wraps.

5-Small glass jam jars work really great for everything from cut vegetables to yogurt to trail mix.

6-Send along a cloth napkin for use as napkin and/or placemat.

7-Stainless steel or BPA free plastic water bottles replace the need for juice boxes or sugared drinks.

8-Send a little love note from home in your child’s lunchbox.  If he/she can’t read, a small picture or smiley face will do the trick.

About the Author

Nichi Hirsch Kuechle supports moms during pregnancy, birth, postpartum and beyond as a health coach, craniosacral therapist and birth & postpartum doula in Minneapolis.   She publishes a bi-monthly e-newsletter called Natural Family, which offers tips, ideas and resources for naturally raising your children.  She also teaches a variety of live and virtual workshops.  You can get Nichi’s New Parent Tool Kit, for free, by going to: http://www.myhealthybeginning.com

 

It includes a hospital-birth checklist, home-birth checklist, a list of her favorite natural baby care items, creative ideas for helping siblings adjust, and much more.  Get yours today, while it’s free!


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