Friday, November 18, 2011

10 Uses for Lemons Around the Home...

The acidity of lemons means that they're packed full of cleaning power, with the added advantage that they're free from the chemicals contained in most household cleaning products. So next time you experience one of the following household emergencies, make the fruit bowl your first port of call!

1. Problem pans
Clean queens Kim and Aggie suggest using lemons to clean copper and brass. Simply take half a lemon, dip it in some salt and get rubbing! The acid within the lemon dissolves the tarnish whilst the salt scrubs away tougher stains.

2. Wooden wonder
Lemon juice can work wonders on wood Martha Stewart is just one advocate of this technique. In fact, many commercial wood polishes contain something called d-limonene, which is extracted from lemons and is especially effective at dissolving grease, so its ideal for wiping away fingerprints and other oily stains. Simply make up a solution of two parts olive oil and one part lemon juice, then dab a rag into the liquid and get polishing. If its good enough for Martha, its certainly good enough for us!

3. Skin saver
Suffering from dry patches on your elbows? Simply take half a lemon, sprinkle on some baking soda and twist your elbow into the lemon as if you were juicing it. Give your elbow a quick rinse and hey presto - super soft skin! Incidentally, rubbing a slice of lemon on your hands after preparing heavily scented foods such as curry, garlic, fish or onion will neutralise odours, whilst the vitamin c will help to soften skin.

4. Dirty dishes?
If you are cutting up a lemon, do not throw the leftover sections away place them in the dishwasher to give your crockery extra shine and banish any nasty niffs. The astringent qualities of lemon also help to cut through grease, which is why its the main ingredient in so many washing up liquids.

5. Messy microwaves
The average microwave can quickly take on a resemblance to some kind of crime scene if left neglected. To help loosen burnt-on stains, place a chopped lemon in a bowl of hot water and switch the microwave onto full power for three minutes. Afterwards, you will be able to wipe away those hard-to-remove stains with ease, and your microwave will smell pretty fab, too!

6. Stained shoes
All out of shoe polish? Kim and Aggie suggest using the pithy side of a lemon to shine black and dark brown shoes. We reckon the citrus scent will work wonders when it comes to masking sweaty foot odour, too.

7. Rust removal
Rust stains can be a nightmare to remove, but when it comes to rust marks on clothing, a slice of lemon might just save the day. Simply rub the stain with a lemon slice before washing as usual.

8. Ant eliminator
Insects hate the acid within lemon peel, so if you're suffering from a creepy crawly infestation, a few strips could be just the thing to keep bugs at bay simply place a few strips of lemon peel near the area in question. The secret of this tip lies in the presence of d-limonene with the peel, which is a natural insect repellent.

9. Bacteria buster
Lemon juice has anti bacterial properties, which means its an ideal disinfectant. Rubbing a slice of lemon on a chopping board wont just help get rid of bacteria but will also fade patches of dis-colouration and neutralise strong smells. It can also work wonders on graters and other hard-to-clean kitchen utensils.

10. Lemon and lime scale
The citric acid in lemons can help break down lime scale deposits use a slice of lemon to wipe down bathroom taps or for a deeper clean, use a piece of string to hold a couple of slices of lemon around the base of your taps and remove after an hour, then wipe down for super shiny taps.

12 Year Old Girl - The Only Black Child Diagnosed With a Rare Disease...

The 12-year-old girl named Ontlametse Falaste has only a few years of life. She is the only black child diagnosed with Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome, Progeria - a rare fatal disease, accelerating the aging process. Children with this disease die from heart failure at the age of 8 to 21 years, suffering from high blood pressure, strokes, coronary artery disease and heart failure.

In the entire history of mankind only two black children suffer from this disease – both of them died, one in the U.S., another in the Netherlands. Experts believe that at the same time in the world from 200 to 250 children suffering from this disease. But on 9 June 2010, it was reported that 53 people suffering from progeria.

“I call myself the first lady, because I was the first black child with the disease … You know more of a dark-skinned child with such a disease? “- Says the girl.

Top 10 Worst Excuses For Ditching Our Diets

Too poor, too busy, too sad, too happy... We come up with all sorts of reasons for ditching our diets, or for not even getting started in the first place. However, most of our excuses don’t really cut it. Here are the top 10 worst diet excuses, and the reasons why they should be dismissed.

1. It’s too expensive

Many people claim that they can’t afford to eat more healthily. However, healthy eating can be just as budget-friendly as splurging on junk food if you know what to look out for. In fact, swapping your chocolate bar or packet of crisps for an apple can actually save you money. To lose weight on the cheap, start by reducing your portion sizes and swapping unhealthy snacks for fresh fruit or veg. Stocking up on dried legumes for protein, buying in bulk and freezing leftovers are also good steps for keeping costs down.

2. I’m too busy

Most of us lead busy lifestyles, juggling work and family commitments alongside hectic social lives. However, this is no excuse for ditching the diet. Remember, fruit and nuts are just as easy to eat on the go as a packet of crisps, and a healthy salad can be whipped up in the same time it takes to peruse a takeaway menu and place your order. Furthermore, so long as you are following a healthy, balanced eating plan – rather than an overly restrictive, faddy diet – your diet should help to keep you energized and fuelled to successfully tackle your busy day.

3. I’ve had a bad day

Your boss is piling on the workload, you’ve had a bust-up with your best friend and you missed the bus home... But that bar of chocolate would surely make it all feel better? Sadly not. While you may think that giving into the temptation for a tasty treat will compensate for a bad day, it will most likely only make you guilty and bloated as well as stressed out. If you know you’re an emotional eater, it’s important to find a healthier way to deal with your feelings – such as exercising, chatting with a friend, or watching your favourite movie – to help you resist those cravings next time you’re down.

4. I deserve a treat

The opposite of an emotional eater who reaches for food in times of trouble, a celebratory eater will excuse their junk-food-bingeing blips with the reasoning that they deserve the treat as a reward for their workout session/performance in work/successful weight loss that week. However, the truth is that yes, you do deserve a treat; what you do not deserve is to punish your poor body by plying it with junk and empty calories. Rather than celebrating your achievements with cake or wine, be kind to yourself and treat yourself to a massage or pampering session instead.

5. It’s genetics

Blaming our body shape on genetics is a good way to dismiss all responsibility towards it. After all, why bother starting a diet or exercise plan when it’s in your genes to have a big bum or muffin top? However, while your genes can determine where and how easily fat is stored, you are not powerless to shift those pounds. In fact, research suggests that regular exercise outweighs the effects of “fat genes”. So, whether your family have ingrained unhealthy eating habits into you from a young age, or you feel you are genetically fat, you can still combat this with a healthy eating and exercise plan.

6. Diets don’t work for me

One of the most common (and flimsiest) excuses around... Diets just don’t work for you, right? Well, not if you approach them with that attitude! Maybe diets leave you “feeling weak”, perhaps you “don’t have the self-discipline” to stick to them, or maybe you have never achieved any significant results. Most likely, your approach to dieting is all wrong. Sampling every faddy diet that comes around is unlikely to achieve long-lasting results or leave you feeling great. Instead, kick the fad diets to the kerb, adopt a sensible, healthy approach to eating and make sure to give it a proper go before you assess its effectiveness.

7. I’ve got a slow metabolism

Many people believe they are unable to lose weight due to a sluggish metabolism. However, if you truly have a slow metabolism, the last thing your body needs is to be plied with excessive amounts of calories to burn off. Despite what you may believe, your metabolic rate is not set in stone, and regular exercise and muscle growth can actually increase the rate at which your body burns calories. Furthermore, the more weight you need to lose, the more easily your body will burn it off.

8. I’ll start tomorrow

This is the biggie; the most popular excuse for every neglected resolution known to man. However, if every time you slip up you put your plans back another day, you are never going to get started. Rather than putting off your diet until after a big event such as Christmas or a holiday, start putting in the work now so by the time your event arrives you can afford to lapse a little. Also, remember that a little wobble doesn’t need to mean the end of your diet, so don’t write off the entire day just because you succumbed to the temptation of a mid-morning slice of cake. Put it behind you and carry on.

9. I love food too much

Do you love food too much to give any of it up? Does dieting make you utterly miserable? Well, it could be that you are just not doing it right. Contrary to popular belief, dieting doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, with a bit of careful management you can still eat all of your favourite foods. Rather than completely cutting out treats, try following the 80/20 rule; eating healthily 80 per cent of the time and being less strict for the other 20 per cent. Also, remember there’s an abundance of healthy food out there, so shop around for some that you actually enjoy eating – you may be surprised what you find.

10. I don’t want to look like a stick insect

With the modern celebration of “real, curvy women”, many women use the excuse of wanting to hold on to their curves as a reason for not losing weight. After all, men like women with a bit of meat on their bones, right? Yes, but they also like them healthy and well. While having natural curves and a healthy level of body confidence is both admirable and healthy, it is important to bear in mind your healthy weight and try to stay within this range. Nobody wants you to look like a stick insect, but it is unlikely that following a healthy, balanced diet and sensible exercise regime will ever result in this.

World's First Paper Wine Bottle

A UK company named GreenBottle has invented the world's first paper wine bottle. GreenBottle has already invented the world's first paper milk bottle, and already hitting the 100,000 sale mark. Now they are expanding into wine bottles, based on the same green principles.

GreenBottle has developed a prototype paper bottle for wine that is theirs alone and is currently in talks with supermarkets and wine producers to make it available to the British public as early as next year.

The revolutionary packaging is made of paper with a thin plastic lining. The paper outer shell is compostable and biodegradable. It will break down naturally when disposed of on a compost heap and can be recycled up to seven times. On the compost heap, it will only take a few weeks to decompose. The inner liner is made of recycled plastic. It can be recycled along with other plastics in the weekly recycling collection. It takes up less than 0.5% of the space of a plastic bottle if dumped in a landfill.

The inventor, Martin Myerscough, was inspired by a discussion at the pub, with the operator of the local landfill site. Learning about the huge amounts of plastic waste accumulating there, he started thinking. He says: “The best thing about GreenBottle is that consumers just ‘get it’. We’ve found that if you offer them the choice of a paper bottle or a plastic one they’ll choose paper every time. Choosing milk in GreenBottles enables consumers to ‘do their bit’ for the environment every day."

Here are some of the benefits of paper over glass:
The carbon footprint for a wine GreenBottle is 10% of an equivalent glass bottle. GreenBottles are lighter (55g compared with 500g), non-breakable, have insulation (so they will stay cooler longer on the table) and they are the same price as a glass bottle.