Saturday, June 30, 2007

Choose Your Diet Carefully

In today's big bad world of fast food, obesity is the order of the day. It has become more and more essential to be careful about not only what we eat, but also how we cook the food we eat. Low fat recipes have become the norm for the health conscious, and its a good fad.

A great source of aft in our foods is the cooking oil. But there are some types of cooking oil which are actually beneficial to your health - Canola oil is one of them. Canola oil is just one of many sources of fat that’s actually good for your body and well-being – in moderation of course. Omega-3 fat (a type of fat found in canola oil and many other foods) is a form of polyunsaturated fat that helps to prevent heart disease, control cholesterol levels, enhance mental health, and reduce the inflammation of arthritis, amongst other things.

Seems like this is one fat you should do your best not to avoid.

Although it may sound like the name of a Starwars battleship, “The Omega-3” is actually a fat (or fatty acid) that is needed by the body and must be consumed as part of any healthy diet; even as little as 2g a day can make a difference.

While most foods are made up of many types of fat, certain foods are more omega-3 rich than others. Consider the following for good sources of omega-3:

Plant foods and oils

Very high in omega-3 (55%)

Flax seed (Linseed) oil

High in omega-3 (8-15%)

Canola oil, canola margarine, soybean oil, mustard seed oil

Fair in omega-3 (5%)

Wheat germ oil, walnut oil, soybeans (whole), lecithin (soybean)

High in omega-3 (3% or 3g in 100g fish)

Salmon (pink or red), tuna, sardines, herring mackerel

Moderate source of omega-3 (1.5% or 1.5g in 100 g fish)

Mulloway, trout, orange roughy, pilchards, mullet, yellowtail

Fair amount of omega-3 (0.5% or 0.5g in 100g fish)

There are many other low fat recipes that you can find out and use to your body's advantage!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Melbourne - A Tourist Heaven

Situated atop Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne is Australia's second largest city. A tour to Melbourne would be akin to Mecca for shoppers. The phrase "shop till you drop" holds true for Melbourne, as there is such an exciting range of shops, malls and boutiques. Melbourne is the favored destination for the fashion fraternity and lovers of fine art. Hotels in Melbourne are world class and cater nicley to both the domestic and the international tourist.

Exploring Melbourne
If you want to settle for a joyride you can board a City circle tram service. You can take a tram ride to St. Kilda and take a walk by the quayside. The art lovers can enjoy themselves by having a look at the National Gallery of Victoria, the Victorian Arts Centre and the Myer Music Bowl.

The history buffs can have a trip down in time by visiting the Captain Cook's cottage in Fitzroy Gardens, Ripponlea near St Kilda and the Old Melbourne Gaol. Other major attractions include St Pauls Cathedral and the Rialto Towers observation deck on the 55th floor.

Being a popular tourist destination, Melbourne accommodation offers its tourists a lot of options to choose from, ranging from extremely luxurious to economic accommodations. Melbourne is the home to a lot of popular events and festivals. Booking for Melbourne hotels in advance during a tourist season is recommended.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Silver - A Precious Metal

Silver, like other precious metals, may be used as an investment. For over four thousand years silver has been regarded as a form of money and store of value. As an investment product, silver is available in coin or ingot form. Ingots are generally silver ingots of pure bullion cast in a convenient size and shape. Coins have a currency value or they are actually defined as ingots.

There may never be a better time for buying silver bullion than right now. World demand for silver now exceeds annual production, and has every year since 1990. Above ground stockpiles of silver bullion are low, shrinking rapidly and approaching zero.

Through Monex Deposit Company (MDC) you can purchase silver or other precious metals for immediate personal delivery or arrange for convenient and safe storage at an independent bank or depository. For over 30 years, the Monex companies have been America’s silver and precious metals investment leader.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Art of Meditation

Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed and focused. Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.

Meditation is most commonly associated with monks, mystics and other spiritual disciplines. However, you don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy its benefits. And you don’t even have to be in a special place to practice it. You could even try it in your own living room!

Although there are many different approaches to meditation, the fundamental principles remain the same. The most important among these principles is that of removing obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies, and calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of activity.

The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbors, bossy officemates, that parking ticket you got, and unwanted spam– are said to contribute to the ‘polluting’ of the mind, and shutting them out is allows for the ‘cleansing’ of the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.

Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds, and nothing to touch – and try to detach themselves from the commotion around them. You may now focus on a deep, profound thought if this is your goal. It may seem deafening at first, since we are all too accustomed to constantly hearing and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise you will find yourself becoming more aware of everything around you.

If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening – those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions – you need not worry. The principle here is to be in a comfortable position conducive to concentration. This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and even walking.

If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that would be a good starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not tense or tight. In other positions, the only no-no is slouching and falling asleep.

Loose, comfortable clothes help a lot in the process since tight fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.

The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. You might want an exercise mat if you plan to take on the more challenging positions (if you feel more focused doing so, and if the contortionist in you is screaming for release). You may want to have the place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.

Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine. Pleasing scents also help in that regard, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t such a bad idea either.

The monks you see on television making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.

You do not need to perform such; however, it would pay to note that focusing on repeated actions such as breathing, and humming help the practitioner enter a higher state of consciousness.

The principle here is focus. You could also try focusing on a certain object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.

One sample routine would be to – while in a meditative state – silently name every part of you body and focusing your consciousness on that part. While doing this you should be aware of any tension on any part of your body. Mentally visualize releasing this tension. It works wonders.

In all, meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are well worth the effort (or non-effort – remember we’re relaxing).

Studies have shown that meditation does bring about beneficial physiologic effects to the body. And there has been a growing consensus in the medical community to further study the effects of such. So in the near future, who knows, that mystical, esoteric thing we call meditation might become a science itself!