A fun and frugal

Science Behind Matcha Tea

cup-of-matcha

Matcha is not your typical tea. No, this tea is unique. The science behind this tea is so powerful it leaves other green teas in their dust.

No wonder why matcha powder is often called superfood; what we have here is an amazing nutritional powerhouse that’s packed with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and many other natural health boosters.

Let’s see how you can benefit from daily matcha tea consumption from a scientific point of view.

People with stressful and busy life would definitely benefit from regular matcha tea powder intake. The naturally occurring combination of L-Theanine and caffeine elevates the mood and enhances cognitive ability. This combination induces the activity of alpha brain waves as well, thus leading to relaxation without a feeling of drowsiness.

The inhibitive action of the EGCG on catechol-o-methyltransferase is another benefit. This enzyme breaks down adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine into inactive compounds. These catecholamines increase energy levels and help you focus better.

Matcha also improves blood pressure and blood cholesterol profiles. Studies have shown that organic matcha decreases low-density lipoproteins responsible for plaque build-up within arteries. Moreover, it helps prevent low-density lipoproteins from oxidation and decreases systolic blood pressure which protects the cardiovascular system.

Chlorophyll is the biomolecule essential for the process of photosynthesis. This compound gives matcha its verdant green color. Chlorophyll is loaded with antioxidants that improve your general health and strengthens the immune system.

Following are some of the matcha scientific studies:

  • USDA organic matcha linked to weight loss – American Society of Nutrition study;
  • Effectiveness of matcha on teeth and gums – a study published in Journal of Periodontology;
  • Matcha prevents chronic gastritis – study by UCLA School of Public Health and Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA;
  • Matcha boosts exercise endurance up to 24% – Biological Sciences Laboratories of Kao Corp. study.

The matcha trend is invading the world. Don’t wait longer – grab a pot and matcha and start reaping the matcha benefits today!

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posted by Sheryl in Food,Health,Healthy Eating and have No Comments

Consider Crafty Roses for Valentine’s Day

Crafty moms can make their partners and friends better Valentine’s Day roses than money can buy, right in the comfort of the own homes.

IdunnGoddess twisted paper roses - video still

@IDunnGoddess YouTube channel has a great how-to video showing folks the way to make paper roses, in any colour, and after making twelve such examples,  how to shape them into a lovely bouquet that makes an ideal, extremely creative and original, and timeless present. Its timeless because unlike other roses these flowers will not decay (for ten years or more).

Also I read a fascinating piece on Buzznet called Reasonably Pretty Preserved Roses wherein the author went around town dipping roses in various compounds to try and find the perfect sealant.

I just love this picture of a waterproofed rose even though I don’t recommend trying this at home, as the finished product created by Bill Korenowsky of Royal Waterproofing in his basement in Toronto was not that impressive. And the sticky black rubber membrane will stain your clothes.

Reasonably Pretty Preserved Roses for Valentine's Day photo 1

Custom treated roses for Valentines Day appeals to Pop-Up retailers like Matthew Robert White, who makes a lot of money selling romance to homeward bound Toronto commuters on Feb 14th.

The story related on Arob12 is that Matthew White contacted Bill to try and make roses that were as good as, or better than the shiny black specimens made by Rob Campbell with flat roofing tar.  You can see the emerging bouquet here. The red rose on top has been waterproofed by Bill, while the two below are slick with flat roofing bitumen that Rob made by dipping roses in roofing tar.

Reasonably Pretty Preserved Roses for Valentine's Day photo 2

True Love Bites blog does a good job listing all the colours of the roses and that piece concludes that Black Roses are the most unnatural and yet the most universally fashionable.  Their meaning can change with every occasion, sex and age demographics, culture and perspectives.  Historically speaking black roses are usually associated with death and hatred but Goth kids and Emo kids see it as hope reborn and beauty in darkness. Punkers, Rockers Skaters and Blazers just think they’re cool.
Reasonably Pretty Preserved Roses for Valentine's Day photo 3

Reasonably Pretty Preserved Roses for Valentine's Day photo 4Rob Campbell made black roses by dipping red roses in flat roofing tar and fostered a barrage of comments and applause all across the web. His story sparked interest by Matt White who will be carrying a line of black roses in his Pop-Up Retail stores on Feb 14th 2015 all across Toronto.

Rob left a pretty good explanation detailing the process of making black roses with flat roofing tar on Homesteading Today discussion forum where he gave a step by step account of the treatment.  He worked alongside the guys from ToughRoof flat roofing repair company in Toronto and used their equipment which was hot and ready when he arrived, and so he didn’t have the smell or expense of doing all that hard work prepping the petroleum bitumen substance himself. The material is shipped in solid 10lb blocks and needs to be heated at the job site in 500 degree propane fueled boilers, or ‘tar pots’.

The act of coating objects with tar bitumen is very old.  Early man dipped wooden baskets, bowls, and boats in tar to seal them and make them black and beautiful.  The tar pits were sacred spots. Sometimes rival clansmen were executed using bitumen found here. To be tarred and feathered was an excruciatingly painful and humiliating form of capital punishment.

Reasonably Pretty Preserved Roses for Valentine's Day photo 5

Bill Korenowsky, who is getting married later this year, was influenced by the examples set by Rob and Toughroof and after being conscripted by Matt he went out and bought a dozen red roses from a local florist and dipped them in waterproofing tar – he tried many different chemical treatments until he found one that preserved the rose forever. Unfortunately it just wasn’t that pretty.

Reasonably Pretty Preserved Roses for Valentine's Day photo 6

Rob wrote up Bill’s story about waterproofing roses for Valentine’s Day on Fuel Ghoul.  And was honest in his reporting of how the red reoses really didn’t turn out so great when waterproofed with rubber membrane Bakor 720.

Bill Korenowski with rubber rose from Basement Waterproofing Toronto

Rainbow Roses have four colours injected into the flower intravenously.  These creations are very expensive, usually priced around $120 dozen online, or ten bucks each.  If you buy online you may not see the warning or even the disclaimer telling you these flowers are artificially coloured. Most Rainbow Roses are intravenously tinted which means that some florist with a needle injects color into the stem of the rose and capillary action draws the tint up into the flower. The dye will not rub off of the petals, but the color may emerge where stems are cut or leaves are torn from the stem, especially when wet.  This powerful dye with definitely stain clothing your hands and clothes.

Rainbow Roses from Toronto, artificial colouring

Rainbow roses are not ideal presents for Valentines Day as they send mixed message to lovers, but they’re great for weddings, corporate events or sporting events.  Consumers can customize appearance with up to 4 different colors.

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posted by roberrific in Beauty,Crafts & Games,Date Night,Home Decorating,Improvements and have No Comments

Shasha Bakes Bread With Sprouted Grains

Shasha, sprouted grains, baking bread, Ezekiel breadI was reluctant to add bread to the long list of processed foods we won’t let our children eat anymore.  We have already stopped buying ketchup, BBQ sauce, margarine and ice cream. We don’t buy hotdogs or sugary breakfast cereals, Kraft dinner or frozen pizzas anymore. And now… we have stopped buying bread, from large commercial bakeries.  That’s because there’s healthier alternatives produced in artisan bakeries right here in town.

This photo from Smart Canucks post on Shasha Sprouted Grains describes Shasha’s bakery in Etobicoke Ontario.

Even the brown bread or whole wheat bread you find in the market is terrible stuff. Commercial flour processing today strips away most of the bran, germ, B vitamins and vitamin E, chromium, magnesium, manganese and zinc from flour. In total, about twenty minerals and vitamins are taken away to make the dough tastier, easier to cook, and easier to shape into square loaves. Chemical oxidizing agents are used to help make the flour white as snow. Currently the Health Protection Branch in Canada allows the addition of over two dozen different chemicals to ‘enrich’ the dough and replace the natural components that were removed in the food processing.

So do not let your family or friends eat white bread made from bleached white flour. It’s not natural and spikes blood sugar levels and causes long term health problems.

sprouted grains at shahsa bread coThere’s an informative article about Shasha Bread Co, Baking with Sprouted Grains in Toronto is Awesome this month that shows off the interior of the bakery.  The story follows the sprouted grains through the mill, documenting how staff dries them, grinds them and works the grains into flour. The sprouted lentils you see in the picture contain more Vitamin C than before they were sprouted, and the sprouting neutralizes the phytic acid in lentils which means more vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by the human body in the digestion process. When Shasha’s team sprouts lentils, they’re actually starting the germination process, which changes the composition of the seed. Sprouting dramatically increases the amounts of vitamins and minerals in the lentils, especially B vitamins and carotene because its a mini biological launch sequence.

Name:  sprouted-grains-grinder1.jpgViews: 118Size:  30.5 KBThe whole grain is used to make a sprouted flour which is worked into a rich bread dough the bakery’s famous Ezekiel sourdough bread product.

Shasha’s sourdough breads promote healthy digestion and don’t subject consumers to the kinds of gluten intolerance and digestive issues that overly processed white bread does. These breads do not need to be chemically enriched, as they have all of the original nutrients from the seeds still inside them. And you can taste the difference.

Shasha has a gristmill on site where a worker grinds ancient grains into a course flour. There is a longer description of the flour mill and sprouted grains flour produced at Shasha bakery that shows what’s available for sale to bakers in the Organic Food Store on site.

On Zoomers magazine I found this super informative video of Shaun Navazesh the CEO of Shasha Breads discussing why he bakes with sprouted grains.

Sourdough baking utilizes an extended fermentation period, but not all sourdough breads are created equal.  When the sourdough techniques are combined with an ‘organic, slow & careful’ processes, you can go back to enjoying your daily bread.

Raj the Master Breadmaker at Shasha bread coFind a baker that takes the time to prepare your bread the traditional way.  Read labels to ensure that the right baking techniques and whole-grain ingredients are utilized. If you do choose gluten-free products, don’t be fooled into thinking that items that these items are healthier. Many gluten-free products have high fat and sugar contents and low nutritional values. Always read your labels and eat food that is organic, healthy and high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Remember; if your grandma wouldn’t recognize it, it’s probably not real food!

Lots more of great pictures taken inside the sprouted grains bakery at Shasha Bread Company on the NewHive.  The background of that lens is this terrific picture of Raj the Master Baker.

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posted by roberrific in baking,Diet,Food,Health,Healthy Eating,Mom stuff,Parenting and have No Comments

2013 Born To Style Win Hair School Tuition Competition Gathers Steam Toward March 1st Submission Deadline

Are you Born to Style?

Everyone has friends who work in fashion and beauty related jobs, and by and large these folks are happier than the people who work at the bank, or have their own stores, or have IT jobs in office towers downtown. Men and women that become personal stylists are usually pretty happy with themselves – they turn into honest reliable friends who are quite fulfilled because they feel satisfied with what they do everyday, which is to help other people look and feel their best. And they can get wealthy too, just like the rest of them – there is a lot of money to be made in this line of work. The truly gifted stylists do indeed feel like they were called to the job from a higher power – they feel like they were born to style.

Born to Style is a video contest that you can enter and perhaps win your entire tuition (about $10K  of high quality education) at one of four different Aveda Institutes across Canada.

Aveda Institute Canada asks if you are Born to Style, make video, win tuition to hair school

hair cutting, hair stylist, making hair cuts, celebrity stylist

Devin is now a professional stylist at Canada’s busiest and most beautiful hair salon, Civello on Queen Street West in Toronto. There is another terrific story on the Aveda Institute Canada Blog, entitled Catching Up With Winnipeg’s #BornToStyle 2012 Winner, Robyn Thompson

The 2013 Born to Style Hair School Scholarship Contest is on again, brought to you by Aveda Institute. The competition is the exact same structure as last year and I should have written more about it here sooner because the open submission window closes March 1st 2012.

This social media contest was created to help talented art students who have just learned hair styling, or perhaps do not even know yet the basics of cutting hair, start bold new careers as hair stylists. The competition is designed to help these ‘undiscovered’ artists find themselves by becoming hair and beauty stylists, and of course there is a very good chance in each and every city in the world that they will also find a satisfying career at the top of the food chain. There are four full scholarships available – one for each of the AVEDA Institutes in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver.

AVEDA Institute Canada challenges young people to step up and prove they are Born to Style again in 2013; applicants need to show contest administrators they deserve to be included in each city’s top five finalists group. They need to display on video what they will do when asked to perform in a live hair styling competition in front of important guests, and be judged by celebrity hair stylists in four cities across Canada.

There will be four hair showdowns, one in each city Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Vancouver. Stay tuned to the social media channels in each of the cities for the dates.

Follow along on social media,
In Toronto, keep an eye on application updates by liking Aveda Institute Toronto Facebook Page and @Aveda416 on Twitter
In Winnipeg, like Aveda Institute Winnipeg Facebook Page and follow @Aveda204 on Twitter.
In Calgary, like Aveda Institute Calgary Facebook Page and follow @Aveda403 on Twitter.
In Vancouver, like Aveda Institute Vancouver Facebook Page and follow @Aveda604 on Twitter.

If you are thinking about doing this, you might want to look here at the 2012 Vancouver hair school scholarship showdown.

 

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posted by rob in Beauty,Business,Career,Improvements,Misc Tips,Self Help,Students and have Comment (1)

The Challenges Faced By Startup Businesses

Are you a startup fighting hard to succeed? There are hundreds of such businesses in all sizes small, medium and large all over the world. Regardless of the size of your business or your niche industry, one thing that is common with all startups is the challenges faced by them. No business can escape these challenges and these challenges in fact only make your business strong provided you manage to fight your way through these challenges without succumbing to the pressure.

One of the drawbacks with startups is that the business owner or owners would like to do all by themselves in their enthusiasm. They show very little interest in getting professional assistance in setting up their business and in managing their business. This is where everything starts. The initial struggle itself discourages most entrepreneurs. If you too are one such entrepreneur don’t give up. There are different ways of winning and achieving your goal. You just need to be flexible so that you don’t resist the opportunities that you have before you.

As a startup you should have very reliable clients acquisition strategy upon which you can build your business. Unless you have experience in strategic clients acquisition you cannot expect to turn your business into success overnight. Even experienced entrepreneurs have to put up a very strong fight. If you take a closer look at the most successful businesses in your own niche that can be categorized under your size of business you will notice that they have not relied totally upon their own skills and abilities. You too should not mind getting external help as long as your help comes from reliable quarters.

Sheamus J. MacLean, Economic Performance ArchitectOne of the top business consultants that has been assisting startups of your size in strategic clients acquisition is Sheamus J. MacLean. Working with business professionals like Sheamus J. MacLean will help you deal with the initial struggle every startup has to go through in the most resilient manner. You will not have to worry about succumbing to the pressure of competition and other factors that hamper the growth of the startups. As a highly experienced business consultant Sheamus J. MacLean will help you steer through the challenges in the most effective manner.

The biggest challenge that you will face as a startup will be in the form of clients acquisition. This becomes such a big challenge because there are already hundreds of players in the industry competing for their share of clients and you are one more element that adds on to the pressure. Your lack of experience in the field will only double the pressure. However with the help of Sheamus J. MacLean a renowned business consultant, clients acquisition and content marketing will no more be a nightmare even if you are just a startup.

You will be able to position your brand in a very decisive way and take your competition head on with the guidance of Sheamus J. MacLean. You will have access to practical clients acquisition strategies that will work for your industry when you choose to work with Sheamus J. MacLean.

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posted by Sheryl in Business and have No Comments