Author Archives: 24fast

Tips for Quick and Easy Iced Coffee

Coffee is a fantastic drink at any time of day, during any season of the year. That being said, a steaming hot cup of java isn’t always welcome once summer rolls around. Don’t let the summer heat deprive you of your favorite beverage when you can switch to iced coffee!

During the warmest months of the year, iced coffee makes for a refreshing change of pace. While most cafes and coffee shops serve these cold concoctions, you may be wondering how to get iced coffee at home. Here are my tips for serving up delicious iced coffee without having to break a sweat:

o Get ice.

This may seem obvious, but you need ice to help you make iced coffee. If you don’t plan ahead by freezing some cubes, you won’t be able to make iced coffee when you want it. While plain old frozen water will do, I prefer freezing several of my favorite Keurig coffee brews in an ice cube tray. When combined with your freshly brewed coffee, these coffee cubes won’t water the drink down.

o Brew coffee.

Next, brew your favorite coffee variety. While you’re welcome to use a regular drip brewer or instant coffee, I prefer my Keurig single cup coffee maker. To make a cup of coffee in less than a minute, all I have to do is pop one of the K Cup portion packs into the machine and press a button. This allows me to brew multiple cups and different flavors very quickly – which means I can pour the fresh coffee over the coffee cubes and start drinking iced coffee that much sooner!

o Mix things up.

Once you’ve poured your freshly brewed coffee over your frozen coffee cubes, you can either drink it straight or add a splash of your favorite liquor. I recommend the flavors of coconut rum, Irish cream, butterscotch schnapps or crème de menthe. If you’re in the mood for extra flavor but don’t want alcohol, try adding a few drops of vanilla or adding some Italian-style flavored syrups.

o Try something different.

If you’d like a more slushy drink, skip the hot coffee. Simply throw a cup of the frozen coffee cubes into a blender and give it a few pulses. Don’t over do it with the blender or you’ll end up with soup. Pour the crushed coffee cubes into a mug and serve with a straw or spoon.

Another fun idea is to create a coffee dessert by freezing your favorite brew in an ice pop mold. If you don’t have an ice pop mold, freeze plastic spoons into the coffee cubes you make in an ice cube tray. Once your coffee pops are frozen solid, remove them from the tray and enjoy. Be careful not to consume your chilled treats too quickly – it might be the first time you get brain freeze from your coffee!

Fitness Personal Training for Healthy and Fit Living

It’s never easy to avoid being a victim of food. Chocolates, ice cream, cake, etc., how can one resist? It’s really hard to avoid digging in to a plate of delicious goodness. But, if you want to stay healthy and fit, do you have to neglect eating?

The answer is no! There’s no need to watch out keenly over your diet. You can lose those extra ounces of fat in your body without having to starve to death. The secret to a healthy and fit life is fitness personal training. Continue reading

Best Way To Keep Fit

If you want to have and keep a healthy well-toned body, a good gym or health club can offer you a variety of equipment and services to help you meet your goals. But remember that not all fitness clubs are equal.

You want a fitness club that’s in it for more than your cash. It should be fully committed to health and quality service so that you see positive results as quickly as possible. It should offer an informed professional staff that can guide you through your workouts and show you how to use new equipment. And it should offer a variety of programs that focus on different aspects of fitness and health. Having a professional nutritionist on staff is another important feature you should look for.

One health and fitness club you can count on is 24 Hour Fitness, with have five types of clubs to meet your unique needs. The Ultra Sport club offers all the amenities and is set up for every type of workout you can imagine, from basketball and volleyball to saunas and spas. You can even sharpen your rock climbing skills. There’s a kids’ club, so you won’t have to hire a baby-sitter and a complete juice bar for dietary health. After your workout, you can get a wonderful massage or visit a tanning booth. 24 Hour Fitness’ Super Sport Clubs include many of the same amenities, without the massage or rock climbing. Similar to the Super Sport, the Sport Club doesn’t offer tanning. The Active club type focuses on the basic – weight training, cardio workouts, sauna, steam room, and a kids’ club. Finally, the Fitlite club offers a complete cardio workout and some group classes.

Operating since 1983, 24 Hour Fitness is the biggest privately owned and operated fitness center chain in the world with over 385 clubs. For years, they’ve maintained a expert staff to help their clients get the most out of their exercise program, and they use qualified nutritionists to complement working out with great advice on the foods you should – and should not – eat.

Signing up to a new club only to find that they have incomplete facilities and gaps in their equipment offering is a real disappointment and a waste of time and money. You won’t be disappointed at 24 Hour Fitness. They maintain state-of-the-art fitness equipment for every workout need. You’ll never have to stop your workout because the equipment broke down, and you won’t have to wait until a machine becomes available to get the exercise you need.

They offer team sports facilities and group classes to help you learn new skills and enjoy your friends at the same time. 24 Hour Fitness classes cover a wide range of exercise interests, such as pilates, strength training, aerobic workouts, yoga, and water workouts. Their worldwide instructor team includes over 7000 professionals, and 24 Hour Fitness keeps them up on the latest techniques by offering in-house training for Group Trainers.

You can choose from a range of membership types to meet your schedule and your budget at 24 Hour Fitness. Four types of all-club memberships give you privileges at facilities everywhere, and three different one-club options allow for savings, great workouts, and short-term fitness programs.

Since they have facilities all over the world, travelers will want to take advantage of the Passport Program, where you can workout at other private fitness centers as part of your membership in 24 Hour Fitness. All you need is your 24 Hour Fitness Passport Program ID and a reasonable fee to get a great workout at any Passport Program member’s facility.

In 2000, 24 Hour Fitness made a bold move when they entered into partnerships with five world-famous athletes to advocate fitness and make fitness a way of life for all of us. Representing the qualities 24 Hour Fitness values (determination, hard work, persistence, and a positive attitude), these sports super stars are role models and living proof of the benefits of exercise and good health. Lance Armstrong, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Andre Agassi, and Jackie Chan signed on to represent 24 Hour Fitness and bring good health to the people.

Key Certifications for Culinary Careers

There are several key certifications for culinary careers. The first and most important is the Culinary Arts Certificate, which serves as a stepping stone into many careers in this field. As culinary professionals continue their educational path to reach their career goals they may also decide to complete a Chef’s Certificate, Master Baker Certificate or any number of other certifications to prove their areas of specialization. Since the Culinary Arts Certificate is one of the most important key certifications for culinary careers, this article will focus on the educational programs for the CAC.

A Culinary Arts Certification program can be completed in two years or less at a technical / vocational school, community college or specialized culinary institute. There are other certificates that may follow depending on whether you want to work in a restaurant, bakery, hotel, catering company or in the management side of things. You will learn about food preparation, nutrition and sanitary practices during your culinary certification. Your courses will include subjects such as Baking and Desserts, Baking for Restaurants, Cooking Poultry/Fish/Meat, Food Service Sanitation and Nutrition for a Healthy Lifestyle.

In order to complete a CAC or any other culinary certificate program, you will need to prove that you have mastered the skills involved in that program. Basic food prep skills will not suffice. Culinary certificate programs involve much more than simply learning how to cook and keep your work station sanitary, too. You will learn how to present dishes, use all the major food preparation methods of the world, take necessary safety precautions, prepare nutritiously balanced meals and properly use all the tools of a chef’s kitchen.

After earning a Culinary Arts Certificate you will have an excellent foundation for a rewarding career in the culinary industry ranging from cook to caterer to restaurant manager to food stylist to sommelier. You will also have the foundation to complete more advanced certifications and take your career to the next level. Without any sort of education or certification, however, you will have a more difficult time climbing the steps of the professional culinary ladder.

Coffee for Health Benefits

Talking about coffee, a lot of people who still think that coffee is bad for health. Actually it’s not entirely true. Coffee, provided that consumed wisely, it is actually beneficial to health. Whatever, not just coffee, if consumed in excess is definitely not good.

Benefits of Coffee
consumption of several cups of coffee a day may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the formation of kidney stones, colon cancer, Parkinson’s disease, liver damage (cirrhosis), heart disease and prevent cognitive decline in brain power. Continue reading

Is Junk Food Good For Your Health

Do you like to eat junk food? If you are like me, then you like them very much. Most of them are very tasty and it is really hard to resist them. They are found almost everywhere. But eating excessive junk foods is a food habit that you should really get rid of as early as possible. Why? Before knowing why you should avoid them you should understand what foods can be classified as junk foods.

What are Junk foods?

The foods which have little or no nutrient value can be classified as junk foods. These foods contain very low amount of vitamin, mineral and protein but high amount of calories from fat or sugar. Generally they are highly processed and contain higher amount of fat, sugar, salt and lower amount of fiber. Some of them also contain preservatives and artificial colors. Some popular and well known junk foods are: fast foods, potato crisps, french fries, sauces, salted snacks, chips, very sweet dessert items and carbonated beverage items.

Some Junk Food Facts

You need to know some facts to understand whether these kinds of foods are good or bad for us. Without giving you some facts it would not be easy for me to make you understand the effects of eating these kinds of foods. Now, let’s know some facts about junk foods.

1. Artificial colors and preservatives: Many junk foods contain artificial color and preservatives which do no good for our body, rather they act like poison. Sweden’s National Food Administration is a government food safety agency. With their cooperation a research was carried out at Stockholm University. The research showed that baking or frying carbohydrate-rich foods, such as potatoes or cereals, formed acrylamide. International Agency for Research on Cancer, found that acrylamide induces gene mutations. It is also known to cause damage to the central and peripheral nervous system.

2. Lower amount of nutrients: Most of the junk foods have very low nutritional ingredients like protein, vitamin and minerals rather they contain higher amount of fats, sugar, salt. They are also very low in fiber.By eating too much junk food we are giving our body only carbohydrate and depriving it from the other nutrients. Therefore, in return our body will also deprive us from a healthy physical condition.

3. Higher potential of suffering from health problems: If you are habituated to eat junk foods almost everyday or very regularly you are sure to be an overweight or obese person unless you do a good amount of physical work everyday. There is absolutely no doubt about that. This overweight or obesity will lead you to some serious health problems like heart diseases, joint problems, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes. Besides those serious problems they are also responsible for faster tooth decay, constipation, problems related to digestion and tiredness.

4. Junk foods are a real threat for the children and younger age groups: If your children eat too much junk foods, then you should really control their food habit. Because if they eat too much junk food they will eat fewer amount of nutrient foods. This in turn will not ensure proper nutrition for their proper growth and they will suffer from tooth decay, loose bones and gaining overweight in earlier ages of their lives. Junk foods contribute lack of enthusiasm, headaches, tummy aches and poor concentrations to children

In context of the above mentioned facts I think I will be safe to say that, junk foods are bad for our health. My dear friends, I know it will be hard for many people to eliminate junk foods from the daily food list. For our busy daily routines many of us have become so much dependent on them that they would not try to think about not eating these foods. Most of them are easily available and easy to carry. But, considering the side effects you should at least take some fewer amounts of them from now on. Junk foods act like slow poison in our body. It is hard for you to feel the negative effects of junk foods overnight. But, if they are in your food list almost everyday or very regularly then you will definitely observe some negative effects on your body. Only the time to observe the effects may vary from person to person. Therefore it is up to you to make the choice. I hope you will do the best for your body.

Which Ingredients Make Good Pet Foods?

When you are considering which pet food to choose for your pet the most important consideration should always be the ingredients. The quality of the ingredients are what truly set premium foods apart from the poorer grades of foods.

When you look at a pet food label the ingredients are required to be listed in order of weight or predominance in the food. However, this can be slightly misleading. This is weight prior to processing. This means that if whole chicken is used in the food it may be listed first in the ingredient list, which sounds very appealing to the customer. Whole chicken contains a great deal of moisture. By the time the chicken is processed it weighs much less. For this reason, some people prefer to see things like chicken meal, or lamb meal in the first few spots in the ingredient list since these ingredients have already had the moisture removed from them prior to weighing for use in making the pet food.

According to the respected Whole Dog Journal, and other sources, for dogs it’s good to see multiple sources of animal protein in the first five ingredients of a premium dog food. It’s especially important to have a good source of protein in the first couple of ingredients. The exception would be with foods that are sold as pre-mixes, such as dehydrated or freeze dried foods, which are intended to be supplemented with protein sources by the owner. In these cases you would not expect to see protein sources among the first few ingredients.

Many concerned owners look for the following in their pet foods:

You should avoid generic ingredients such as “meat meal” or “animal fat.” Instead look for named sources such as beef fat, chicken fat, lamb meal, fish, etc.

Look for human grade, USDA approved ingredients. Pet food cannot, by law, be sold for human consumption, but look for companies that are committed to using human grade ingredients. You can also seek out hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. All poultry is already raised hormone-free in the U.S. but other meats are not necessarily raised this way unless specified.

Try to avoid foods that use corn gluten meal and other glutens. Many dogs are allergic to corn. Corn gluten is often a cheap protein filler and waste product from other industries. There can be similar problems with wheat gluten and rice protein concentrate, which are also used as fillers.

Avoid “meat by-products” and “meat digests.” When reading pet food labels look for specific, named sources of protein, such as lamb, chicken, tuna, beef, and so on. The term “meat” is a catch-all phrase that allows the pet food industry to be very unspecific about what kind of meat it’s using, so you don’t know what you could be feeding your pet.

There’s also a vast difference in preparation between “whole” chicken, chicken “meal,” chicken “by-products,” and chicken “digests.” Each term describes different preparation and parts of the chicken used. As a consumer and pet owner, you want to purchase foods which rely primarily on whole foods and meals. These are the foods which are closest to their original, live form and contain the most nutrition. By-products and digests contain necks, feet, intestines and other parts of the animal that you would not consider fit for human consumption.

Many foods may contain these ingredients as well as the more premium ingredients. But the primary ingredients you should look for should be whole foods and meals made from named meat sources.

Avoid BHA, BHT and Ethoxyquin. These are artificial preservatives and often used in poor quality foods. Ethoxyquin is banned in foods for human consumption except as a color preservative in spices.

Avoid artificial colors, sugars and sweeteners.

Another thing to watch for on the ingredient list is “splitting” — many times an ingredient such as corn is split into multiple listings — ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, and other corn sources. Singly they are not a big presence, but added together, corn can become the biggest ingredient in your dog’s diet.

Taurine was added to cat foods in the 1970s when cats began going blind and dying due to taurine deficiencies. Dogs were thought not to need taurine but now links are being found that suggest they do require it. Some companies have begun adding it to dog foods.

Many people also prefer to buy from companies that have U.S.-grown ingredients. This isn’t simply patriotism. The United States has some of the strictest regulations in the world for growing and manufacturing foods. Some companies list the source of their ingredients on their Web sites but it is more difficult to find out this information from other companies.

Some people prefer to feed their pets so-called “exotic” protein diets — venison, buffalo, duck, trout, etc. They may be trying to find foods that won’t trigger allergies in their pets. In general, it’s considered good advice to avoid feeding your dog (or cat) such unusual proteins unless he or she already has an allergy problem. If your pet does well on a more common protein it’s a good idea to stick with it and save the exotic proteins for a time when it’s needed. That way you know you have some options if you run into problems. If your pet should develop an allergy to the exotic proteins you would have nowhere to go.

High protein diets are very popular at the moment. The old ideas about excessive protein possibly harming your pet’s kidneys seem to have been debunked. However, if you wish to try a high protein diet, or one of the new grain-free diets, make sure that you find a food that has the AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy statement. You want to make sure that you are feeding a food that is nutritionally balanced.

Keeping a Fitness Log For Weight Loss

Losing weight is difficult, but one thing that can make it easier is looking at where you have been and how far you have come. This is what a fitness log is for, and many nutritionists and personal trainers encourage their clients to use them. A fitness log will allow you to keep track of what you are doing and what kind of progress that you have made. Putting together a fitness log will be enormously beneficial to you if you want to lose weight and get fit!

While there are many different fitness logs and workout journals that you can purchase at the bookstores and hobby shops, you will find that you can just as easily use a normal notebook. Just remember to date every page and soon enough you are going to have a lot of data that is quite valuable to you. You do need to keep up with it every day, and the more information that you put in, the more useful it will be.

When you are interested in keeping a fitness log, what should go into it? One of the easiest things to record from day to day is going to be your weight. Weigh yourself every day at the same time and you will soon be able to see what your progress is like. While your weight is going to fluctuate from day to day, there is going to be a clear line of progression that allows you to figure out how well you are doing. You may also want to record how you feel that day and whether you feel that your health is going. This can be an instrumental factor in tracking what affects your weight.

Another thing that you can put down in your fitness log is what kind of food you ate that day. Even the act of writing down all the food that you eat can make you more mindful of the dietary choices that you are making. Even if no one looks at them but you, you will find that you are in a perfect place to see how what you eat affects how much weight you lose or how much weight you gain. Having a record of how different foods affect you can also help you make better food decisions in the future.

Keep track of your exercise routines as well. When you keep track of them, you are going to be able to figure out what kind of routines work well for you and which ones strain you too much. You will also be able to see how consistent you are being about your workouts and whether you are sticking with your goals. You can always mark of a successfully completed week through stickers or a star in your fitness log.

Fitness Training Programs

Physical fitness is the state of the human body when it is in perfect health. Being fit is very important to stay alert both physically and mentally and also to ward off certain diseases that attack as the body ages. Fitness programs are schedules that allow a person to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. There may be many reasons for taking up a fitness program: to gain strength, to lose weight, to lose body fat, to fight certain disabilities, or just to become more fit. Continue reading