Sunday, May 26, 2013

Supermarket gardening - How to repurpose food

Did you know there are a lot of vegetables and herbs you can "repurpose" from the supermarket?

This instructable will be about  garlic, potatoes, and boiling onions. But you can also do pineapple, celery, lettuce, mango, avocado, lemon, scallions... the list is quite large. Now, do every repurposed edible survive and give a good yield? not always, but it is worth a try.

Lets repurpose!!!

For your "ingredients" you can choose any of these:
- Boiling onions, red, yellow or white.
- Potatoes, any kind
- Garlic

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Ask an Engineer Powerpuff Girls Style Puppets

This ible was made up as I went along.  I guess the lesson is you should plan out things and maybe even have a set of plans or diagrams.

Rummage through and see what material you have on hand.

The puppets are made from scraps of fleece, felt, and electronics.

You will need something to stuff the puppet.  I had a bag of polyester fiberfill.

Learn how to sew and solder.  Do it safely.

Yes, you could do all the sewing by hand but a sewing machine makes it a whole lot easier and faster. Better yet if you have a serger.   I think a serger is a good tool to have if you are prototyping things that are sewn.

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Carrot Cranberry Salad

The results of a new 10-year study from the Netherlands showed the intake of carrots and risk of cardiovascular disease. Participants who had the least carrot intake had the least amount of CVD risk reduction, even though they still received risk-reducing benefits from their carrot intake. However, participants who ate at least 25 more grams of carrots (with 25 grams being less than one-quarter of a cup) had a significantly lower risk of CVD. And the groups of participants who ate 50- or 75-grams more had an even more greatly reduced risk of CVD! We're not sure how any study could better demonstrate how easy it can be to lower disease risk by making a food like carrot part of the everyday diet in such achievable amounts.

One cup of carrots or about two medium carrots provide the following vitamins and minerals and their daily amounts according to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the U.S.A. )

vitamin A 407.6%

vitamin K 20.1%

fiber 13.6%

vitamin C 12%

potassium 11.1%

manganese 8.5%

vitamin B 68.5%

molybdenum 8.1%

vitamin B 36%

folate 5.7%

vitamin B15.3%

phosphorus 4.2%

vitamin B 24.1%

vitamin E 4%

Calories (50) 2%

Source of information: (Whole Foods Market)

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Focus More on Your Brain and Less on Your Diet to Lose Weight

Weight loss is tricky business. Obviously what you eat has a huge impact on your health and body weight. But anyone who has ever tried to modify their diet for the sake of losing weight knows it isn’t so simple.

Most of us understand intuitively that broccoli is healthier than cookies. We can talk about sugar, fat, gluten, and antioxidants all day, but that doesn’t change the fact that cookies taste good and you still want to eat them. Any weight loss plan that simply tells you what to eat and neglects why you make the choices you make is unlikely to help you in the long run.

Nutrition knowledge is important, but it is only one piece of the puzzle. The real secret is understanding your behaviors and motivations at their roots, and using this information to have a meaningful impact on your health. In this sense, good health starts in your brain, not on your plate.

The first thing you need to understand is that we don’t have as much control over our food decisions as most of us assume. We tend to believe that we can call on willpower anytime we wish and use it to order a salad instead of a burger, and if we fail to do so it is our own fault. However, self-control is not something we can simply turn on or off, and as a result the process of decision making––particularly when it comes to food––is much more complex.

Approximately 20 percent of the calories we expend daily are used by our brains. Because brain activity is so costly, things like self-control and decision making cannot be relied on indefinitely. As a result, willpower is a limited resource. Like a muscle, willpower becomes fatigued when exercised too frequently. All the decisions you make throughout the day deplete your willpower, and when you start running out of steam your ability to choose healthy food over more convenient food rapidly diminishes. Ironically, increasing your blood sugar can help restore willpower to some extent. But finding a healthy way to raise blood sugar in a state of depleted willpower can pose quite the dilemma. Tired brains find it much easier to just grab a cookie.

The way our brains cope with the willpower conundrum is to automate as much of our decision making as possible. It does this by creating habits. Habits are specific behaviors that occur in response to a trigger or cue. They are also always associated with some kind of reward, which in turn reinforces and strengthens the trigger. For example, a buzz in your pocket is a cue to reach down, grab your phone, pull it out, and glance at the screen. The information you see causes a bit of dopamine to be released in the reward center of your brain. We humans love novelty, which is why most of us have a reflexive response to checking our mobile devices when we receive a notification. This is how habits are born.

Once established, habits occur automatically without expending any willpower or mental effort. Scientists have estimated that up to 90 percent of our daily food decisions occur as a result of habits. This saves our brain energy for more difficult decisions where habits cannot be used.

For one thing, it shows that willpower is not particularly reliable as a means to achieve lasting weight loss, and we’re better off spending our efforts creating healthy habits.

It also teaches us that any habit we wish to develop needs to impart a meaningful reward in order for it to stick. You can probably guess that some vague promise of future thinness is not sufficient––the reward for any habit needs to be immediate and tangible. This means that in order to achieve long-term weight control you need to find healthy foods you actually enjoy eating, physical activities you like doing, and spend your time making these as convenient and accessible as possible.

Fabulous news, right? Using willpower for restrictive dieting is difficult and incredibly unpleasant. We can all let out a collective sigh of relief that it doesn’t actually work. To achieve true success in health and weight loss, we’re better off quitting diets altogether and focusing on building healthy habits we enjoy. Try starting with something as simple as breakfast. Warm muesli with a splash of almond milk and cinnamon only takes two minutes to prepare and is absolutely delicious. Invest in a pedometer and challenge yourself to reach 10,000 steps a day. Setting and achieving an attainable goal is a very powerful reward, and is one of the reasons so many people love videogames.

Since our brains are easily overwhelmed, don’t try to develop too many habits at once. Work on just two or three habits at a time, and build from there. Habits take anywhere from two weeks to six months to take root, but on average about two months. Start with the easiest ones and work your way up. Once you’ve built enough good habits, your health will take care of itself.

Focus More on Your Brain and Less on Your Diet if You're Serious About Losing Weight | Summer Tomato

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Avoid Dealer Advertising and Delivery Fees to Save Big Buying a Car

You already know that dealers will try to hit you with thousands of dollars in fees when you negotiate the price of a new car. What you may not know is that some fees are completely optional, and can be removed if you push back. the "Dealer Prep," "Advertising," and "Delivery" fees, to name a few, are all prime examples.

Over at US News Money, Gary Foreman explains that these are just a few of the fees you can avoid if you insist they either be removed outright or trimmed because you know what they really are. Like many charges by car dealers, they're tacked on in the hopes you just assume they're appropriate and don't question them:

Delivery charge. Since Henry Ford and the Model T, manufacturers have been levying charges to ship cars from the assembly plant to the dealership. Many buyers view the destination fee as a reasonable charge. In fact, it's listed on the window sticker and included in the invoice price of a car.

However, some dealers have started tacking on a delivery fee above-and-beyond the destination charge – essentially charging you twice for shipping.

There's no reason you should have to pay twice to have the vehicle transported to your dealership, and it's completely reasonable to insist that at least one of those fees has to go. In fact, many dealers will waive one of them when the haggling gets heavy anyway. He goes on to explain how many dealers try to hit your with an "Advertising" fee not once, but twice:

Advertising fee. To help pay for advertising auto manufacturers add a charge to each car they deliver to the dealer. (That charge is included in the invoice price to the dealer.)

But, once again, some dealers will try to get customers to pay twice: first, as part of the invoice, and then again as a separate fee when the purchase is finalized. Be vigilant, and if you see a duplicate fee, ask the dealer remove it.

As for the "Dealer Prep" fee? It's essentially a price to make sure that the car is ready to drive when it's put up for sale on the lot. If the vehicle is new, the only thing the deal does—if they even do it at all—is check the fluids and the tires, then wash the car down. That's it. If you're buying used however, the fee may be more substantial, and make more sense—but it does give you leeway to make sure they put in some elbow grease into making your used car look as good as new before you sign on the dotted line.

Hit the link below to see some more areas you might be able to save some money the next time you buy a new car.

7 Car Dealership Fees and Services to Avoid | US News Money

Photo by Alden Jewell.

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How Do I Know If My VPN Is Trustworthy?

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