Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Delicious Promeal Recipe: Protein + Oatmeal

High-protein oatmeal is a delicious healthy meal option - and will keep you feeling full, while giving you energy to make it through the day!

I started doing a tough fitness program called P90x two years ago - and it changed my life. I had gained 15-18 pounds prior due to being ill with carbon monoxide poisoning - and P90x helped me get my metabolism going and become super fit. I decided to try something even more challenging - Insanity! The program came with a meal plan and the first recipe in it was for "Promeal." I made it - and was weary of tasting it at first - because it had a scoop of protein powder in it and I didn't know how that would taste. But, it was so delicious that my son wanted to eat it too! So this Instructable will teach you how to make it! It's easy and really makes me feel great - I can eat it and workout shortly after without any problems and it keeps me full so much longer than anything else I normally eat for breakfast! It only takes 5 minutes to make!  I'll also give you the nutritional information with the recipe.

So, I hope you enjoy this - feel free to modify it to suit your taste!

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Smoggy Displays Your Current Air Quality at a Glance

Smoggy Displays Your Current Air Quality at a Glance

iPhone: If you're particularly sensitive to particulates in the air, it's important to monitor the air quality in your city when you make your weekend plans. Though it's not packed with tons of features, Smoggy is a great way to get this information at a glance.

The app includes air quality data for over 500 US cities, and you can add multiple locations to your favorites if you're traveling. Each city displays the AQI (Air Quality Index) in a large typeface, and also provides particulate matter (the size of the particles in the air), and Ozone pollution if you want some more specifics. Though it's not a weather app by any stretch, it will also provide you with some basic info like the current temperature, chance of precipitation, and wind direction so you don't have to open another weather app for this basic information. Finally, each city includes an air quality forecast for the following day to help you plan, though it's scant on the details. For a bit of fun, the app also lists the ten current cleanest and dirtiest cities in the US (Washington state has amazing air, for what it's worth).

Smoggy is great if you remember to open it when you wake up, but automatic push notifications every morning would really take it to the next level. Still, at only $.99, Smoggy is worth checking out if you have a sensitive respiratory system, or live in a heavily polluted city.

Smoggy ($.99) | App Store via Beautiful Pixels

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Desktop owners — do you ever put your computer to sleep?

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Desktop owners — do you ever put your computer to sleep?

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Fabric Belts (Stiff Enough to Hang Things From)

Fabric belts are pretty easy to make, and I'll show you how to make them stiff enough to support bags, knives, mugs, or whatever else you can think of.  Want to make interchangeable bags to hang from your belt?  I've got you covered:

You will need:

Fabric for the shell of the belt (can be two different colours; then it's reversible!)
Fabric for interlining (you may omit this if your shell fabric is heavy and stiff)
Ultra-stiff sew-in interfacing/stabilizer (you may omit this if you don't need your belt to bear weight)
Something to secure your belt - a clasp, a large D-ring, etc.
Optional: 1-inch D-rings

If you are going to use a normal belt buckle, you will also need:
A leather punch
A belt buckle of the appropriate width

Note: If you buy things from Jo-Ann Fabrics, always use the coupons!  I never pay full price there.

Plus normal sewing things: thread, scissors, pins, measuring tape or ruler, pen/pencil/chalk, etc.

For inserting the interfacing, you will also need a hand-sewing needle and a cork, rubber eraser, or similar item.

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Five Best Airlines for Frequent Fliers

Whether you love to fly or you do it often for work or school, you probably have a preferred airline. You don't even need to fly often to have a favorite that treats you well, offers great frequent flyer perks, or is affordable and available where you live. This week, we're going to look at five of the best airlines for frequent travelers, based on your nominations.

Earlier in the week, we asked you which airlines were the best for people who fly often. You weighed in with a variety of suggestions—some surprising, others not so much, but we tallied up those nominations to find out which airlines were your favorites. Here's what you said, in no particular order:

Five Best Airlines for Frequent Fliers

JetBlue is a low-cost airline based out of JFK International Airport in New York City, but that operates across the United States and also serves destinations in Central and South America (a total of 78 destinations). Although the company only started flying in 1998, it's earned a large and loyal following among passengers that prefer it (myself included) both for its generous TrueBlue frequent flyer program but also for its approach to passenger comfort, on-board technology, and customer service. Those of you who nominated the airline pointed out that they listen to consumer feedback on their frequent flyer program, their frequent flyer points never expire, service a number of regional and smaller airports (and offer lower ticket prices at those airports, which can save you money), and hey—unlimited snacks and in-flight entertainment on every flight don't hurt either.

Southwest is the world's largest low-cost airline, one of the US's largest airlines overall, and services over 85 destinations in the continental US and Puerto Rico. Based out of Dallas, Southwest is well known for keeping its costs down (largely by only flying Boeing 737s and by pre-buying their fuel to avoid expensive fluctuations in fuel prices) and for passing those savings along to the customer. The airline has a number of programs designed for frequent travelers, from their Rapid Rewards miles program to the Rapid Rewards credit card, which is widely regarded as one of the best for travel rewards. Southwest also recently acquired AirTran (for those of you who nominated AirTran who might not know) to expand their portfolio. Those of you who nominated Southwest praised the company's egalitarian approach to seating (love it or hate it, Southwest has no reserved seating, first come-first serve), flexible flights and approach to rescheduling, and the fact that their frequent flyer rewards are based on dollars spent, not miles traveled, making the A+ level easier to reach. Are they the most luxurious airline? Not at all—but they're affordable, available, and flexible.

Alaska Airlines, despite its name, services over 91 destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Hawaii. It's responsible for almost all air travel to Alaska from the contiguous United States, and is based in Seattle. It's sister carrier is Horizon Air (for those of you who nominated Horizon), and the airline is fairly independent—it's not part of any other airline alliance. It's frequent flyer program, simply called "MIleage Plan," racks up the miles pretty quickly (especially if you're flying to Alaska), and is fairly generous. Your points never expire, and the list of partner airlines where flying gets you qualifying miles with Alaska is ridiculously long. Some of you who nominated Alaska pointed this out specifically—that even when you're not flying Alaska, you're earning miles and points you can eventually use when you do fly Alaska. Wi-Fi on all flights doesn't hurt either.

British Airways, the largest airline in the UK and a major international airline. While a number of our top five are domestic airlines with destinations in the United States, British Airways is based in London and is a founding member of the Oneworld Alliance of airlines, and after its 2011 merge with Iberia, it became one of the world's largest air carriers. BA and its subsidiaries service over 150 destinations on all six inhabited continents. BA has two frequent flyer programs: the Executive Club for BA flights proper, and the Diamond Club for British Midland International flights(which has since been rolled into the Executive Club). Membership in both programs is free, and you get qualifying points (called Avios) by flying any Oneworld partner airline (along with a few others, including Alaska Airlines!) Those of you who nominated BA praised the frequent flyer program for their exceptional redemption rate of Avios to dollars, which can make long, expensive trips extremely affordable, and for their exceptional, world-class customer service and on-board amenities for all passengers: something that many domestic carriers skimp on.

Delta is probably one of the more surprising entrants in the top five. Based on Atlanta, it's the world's largest airline if you're counting fleet size or passengers flown. Like BA, it services all six inhabited continents, a total of 247 destinations both foreign and domestic. It's also one of the founding members of the SkyTeam alliance. Many passengers have a love-hate relationship with Delta (some of you voiced as much in the call for contenders thread) but its massive size means you'll probably have to fly with them at some point. Delta's frequent flyer program is called SkyMiles, and you can earn points by flying any SkyTeam member airline along with a few others (including Alaska!), or through any Delta branded credit cards. MIles with SkyMiles never expire, and can be used for tickets, upgrades, and more. Their redemption miles/points to rewards aren't that great, but if you fly a lot, you'll probably rake them up pretty quickly. Those of you who nominated Delta praised their fleet, the fact that they're extremely convenient, and that when you are a frequent flyer, you really are treated differently. One of you highlighted the fact that they have Biscoff cookies—which weighs pretty heavily in their favor in my opinion.

There you have it, your top five airlines. Now it's time to put them to a vote and determine the all out winner:

Honorable mentions this week go out to Virgin America/Virgin Atlantic. I was personally hoping Virgin would make it into the top five, because they seem to be the last airline in the world (or at least in the United States) that actually takes the comfort and customer service of its passengers seriously. Everything from the comfort of the flight to the attention paid to your itinerary and their superior customer service are all high-points in my book, and a number of you felt the same way. Virgin walks the careful line between efficiency and efficacy. If you have the opportunity to fly with them, do it.

We should also point out that many of you nominated airlines that may not be available where everyone lives (eg, they're regional, international only, etc), and at least one of you rightfully pointed out that depending on where you live, the best airline for you is the one that has a hub closest to your home. You'll get the most perks, have the most opportunity to fly with that airline, and inevitably get the best service since the airline is based there (presumably, anyway). If you do fly often, check which airlines are closest to you, or pick an airline alliance or partner group, sign up with them, and try to stick to the airlines in that alliance—you'll rake in the miles and perks just by virtue of being a member.

Have something to say about one of the contenders? Want to make the case for your personal favorite, even if it wasn't included in the list? Remember, the top five are based on your most popular nominations from the call for contenders thread from earlier in the week. Don't just complain about the top five, let us know what your preferred alternative is—and make your case for it—in the discussions below.

The Hive Five is based on reader nominations. As with most Hive Five posts, if your favorite was left out, it's not because we hate it—it's because it didn't get the nominations required in the call for contenders post to make the top five. We understand it's a bit of a popularity contest, but if you have a favorite, we want to hear about it. Have a suggestion for the Hive Five? Send us an email at!

Photos by potowizard (Shutterstock), Aero Icarus, James, Aero Icarus, Aero Icarus, and Aero Icarus.

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Extract Clean, Drinkable Water From Plants

IMG_6471.JPGWater is the most important thing if you are stuck in the wilderness. Sure, food is important too, but you can live for a while without it; you can't survive more than a few days without water. Unfortunately, in many environments there is either a lack of water, or the water is unsafe to drink. Fortunately, there are often plants. When plants absorb water from the ground they filter out many impurities, and you can extract this clean water from them. Plants transpire water, meaning that water vapor evaporates from the leaves, and this water can be collected. The great thing is, this process doesn't harm the plant and can be repeated over and over again on different branches, and works relatively quickly.IMG_6462.jpg- A plastic bag, preferably clear (check the bag beforehand to make sure it is free of holes. If not, seal them with tape.)
- String
- A plant (I will go over what types of plants work best in the next step)

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