Foods and Drinks

Need a Productivity Boost? 3 Tech Tools You Need in Your Life

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There are days when you work like a fired up robot; then, there are times when you just want to sit and do nothing all day. For some people, the latter happens more often. So if you’re someone who needs a boost in your productive juices, here are five of the most useful tech tools you need your life right now:

For your physical fitness…

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Fitness bands, watches and clip-ons are a brilliant tool to motivate you to stay in shape, physically and mentally. Fitness gizmos from brands like Basic Carbon, Fitbit, Garmin and Nike are some of the most reviewed and trusted. Some of them are compatible with most operating systems like Windows and Mac, Android and iOS. Some can track heart rates, sleep, calorie intake, weight and more. In other words, you day-to-day activities will be tracked helping to motivate you do more for your physical wellness.

For office productivity…

Although laptops are still the go-to gadgets when it comes to office work, there are now high-end devices that help make you corporate life easier. Take for example the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4. LTE. It’s an ideal tool for a business environment because it’s light, convenient and has the ability to simultaneously run multiple screens and apps, making it perfect for video conferencing and taking notes. The ODIN, a portable smart projector that’s so small it can fit right in your trousers’ pocket and runs on battery, is a fantastic gadget to pair with your smartphone.

For keeping things in check while on the go…

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If you’re someone who needs to monitor your investments, keep a tight schedule, check emails, track sales and the like, you need to stay online all the time. And since you can’t bring a router with you when you’re outside the office or your house, you need a pocket Wi-Fi or mobile hotspot that you can take wherever you go. With this nifty device, you won’t miss any Skype calls from clients, miss a very important appointment, neglect your emails or lag behind whatever you need to do online. In addition to the tech tools mentioned above, there are several apps developed to help people be more productive. These include Toggl, Priority Matrix and White Noise, among many others. If you need more tips to keep you motivated, check back on our blog.

Top recipes for using superfoods when juicing

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Superfoods are a great addition to any diet and all of them have their own special properties that benefit certain parts of the body. To give ourselves the best possible chance of ensuring we’re healthy from head to toe, it can be tempting to cram our meals full of these foods. However, it can all feel a bit overwhelming and time consuming. Surely there has to be an easier way of getting all of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients we need?

Juicing is becoming an increasingly popular way to consume superfoods. It’s a quick and easy way to up our intake of fruit and vegetables and it is often more flavorful for those of you whose pallets don’t enjoy certain superfoods. However, for juicing to be a sustainable option you need to find a few recipes that works for you. Here are a few great options to make juicing superfoods an enjoyable experience.

Superfood Juicing
Superfood Juicing
  1. Green superfood juice

Green juicing is often the trickiest to master as many people are put off by the thought of drinking vegetables. However, this recipe is tasty and easy to do.

What you need

Two celery sticks

Three to five pieces of dino kate

Half a cucumber

One handful of parsley

Fennel bulb or stalk

Handful of spinach leaves

Note: This serves one so you’ll need to double up if you’re making it for another person as well.

How do you juice them?

Simply pop all of the vegetables into the juicer and blend. You can even add water if you want to loosen the consistency.

  1. Antioxidant smoothie

When people talk about their favourite superfoods two of the top performers are often coconut oil and berries, so it makes sense to create a smoothie that contains both.

This is a recipe if you want to ensure you’re full of antioxidants and its refreshing flavour makes it great for the summer.

What you need

Two table spoons of raw virgin coconut oil

Two cups of berries (choose your favourites)

Two cups of unsweetened almond milk, vanilla flavored

10 ice cubes

How do you juice them?

Start by putting in your ice cubes and then add your berries, coconut oil and milk.

Note: This serves two, simply half for a single portion.

  1. Best of both worlds juice

Fruit and vegetables work well together – just look at the results when you put apples or strawberries in salad – so don’t be afraid to combine them when juicing.

There are plenty of combinations out there but you need to be careful that the flavours complement each other.

What do I need?

Half a lemon

One Golden Delicious Apple

Two kale leaves

Two stalks of celery

One handful of Italian parsley

One cup of spinach

A small bunch of dandelion greens

How do you juice them?

Because we’re dealing with different food types juicing is a bit more complicated for this drink.

Start by juicing your greens. You might want to do this twice to create a more pleasing consistency.

Once you’ve done this put it aside and juice the celery, apple and lemon. Combine two mixtures and stir. Pour this over ice and you have a great juice that is packed full with superfood goodness.

7 Top Tips When Working With Fondant Icing

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If you’re new to the world of sugarcraft, getting to grips with fondant icing for the first time can be a bit tricky. It’s all too easy to jump right in and end up with icing stuck all over the place, crinkly and bubbly finishes, and tears and cracks all over the place.

Sugar Craft
Sugar Craft

But don’t give up! These 7 tips will help you master the art of fondant icing decorating in no time.

  1. Keep It Under Wraps. Fondant icing can dry out very quickly. Any icing that you’re not working with should be wrapped in cling film to make sure it doesn’t dry out until you need it. Once it dries you’ll never be able to get the smooth finish you need, and the icing will crack and break easily.
  2. Dust Your Surface And Tools. As you work with fondant icing it begins to become pliable but also very sticky. This means it can stick to your work surface, your rolling pin, your hands and anything else and soon become torn and damaged. To avoid this give your worktop and any tools a sprinkling of icing sugar.

    Fondant Icing
    Fondant Icing
  3. Don’t Refrigerate It. Once you’ve decorated your cake with fondant icing, don’t put the cake in the fridge. In a cold environment the icing will sweat and the sugar in it will begin to melt slightly, ruining the appearance of your cake. Instead cover your cake or place it in a sealable cake tin and leave it in a dark cupboard.
  4. Always Knead It. You can’t just roll out fondant icing straight from the pack if you want the best results. Take your icing in hand and knead it on the work surface, roll it between your hands and generally give it a good going over. You can the icing to become pliable and easy to work with, but if you over knead it you can dry it out and cracks can appear. It’s a delicate balance but one you’ll quickly understand.
  5. Don’t Use Too Much. When it comes to fondant icing, don’t go overboard. An incredibly thick layer of fondant icing can be overpowering so try to keep it about 3mm thick if possible. Also, working with large lumps of fondant can be difficult for novices so at first work with smaller amounts so your hands and wrists get used to kneading it.

    Icing Art
    Icing Art
  6. Don’t Use On A Refrigerated Cake. If you’ve had your base cake in the fridge overnight, or for any amount of time, allow it to return to room temperature before applying fondant icing. The coolness will affect the consistency and make a good finish difficult to achieve.
  7. Don’t Use Dry Icing. If your icing has dried out or you’ve over-kneaded it you will find that cracks and splits begin to occur in it as you work with it. Excess icing should be wrapped in cling film and stored in an airtight container between baking sessions.

Fondant icing is an incredible medium for all aspects of cake decoration, from simple coverings to detailed models, and it works equally well on huge wedding cakes down to a batch of cupcakes. Keep theses 7 tips in mind when you’re using it and your cakes will look simply stunning.

If you want fondant icing in a huge range of colours visit Renshaw Baking today.

It’s All about Lifestyle | Five Ways to Avoid Acquiring Diabetes

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Diabetes is one of the most common diseases that lead to a number of complications such as renal failure and glaucoma. Before, many people had this medical condition because it was passed down to them by their relatives, especially their parents; but today, research suggests that the primary cause of Diabetes is lifestyle. As such, it means that it could be easily prevented by changing routines. Below are some ways to avoid getting Diabetes.

Reduce Stress
Reduce Stress
  1. Reduce stress. Stress is proven to be a factor triggering sugar elevation, which in turn, makes us prone to having Diabetes. There are various ways to address stress such as taking advantage of technology—from engaging in MMORPGs to spending a day with our friends and family.
  1. Be more active. Physical activities like biking, walking, running, and other exercises help us lose weight; and since there is a correlation between weight gain and higher risk of having Diabetes, it may be safe to assume that more active lifestyle leading to healthy weight loss translates to not developing Diabetes.
  1. Exercise regularly. Doing physical exercises every so often is never enough. We should, at least, spend 20 to 30 minutes a day or 150 minutes a week sweating. Studies show that people who exercise on a regular basis have lower risk of having Diabetes.

    Exercise Regularly
    Exercise Regularly
  2. Monitor caloric intake. Good diet is key to a healthy life. To avoid Diabetes, we should eat balanced meals. Also, it would be helpful to monitor our daily caloric intake to make sure that we eat only what we need; and that we can burn excess calories. There are trusted smartphone applications that which we can use to count the calories we consume everyday against the recommended amount.
  1. Eat frequently. Eating frequently helps not only in the digestive process but also in weight loss because we can avoid overeating since we do not starve ourselves and we eat smaller portions.

At the end of the day, Diabetes control is all about having and maintaining healthier lifestyle. Although it may be a bit hard to change our usual practices, we must always remember that staying physically fit has a number of advantages—from looking more attractive to lowering the risks of getting health troubles like Diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.