Saturday, September 29, 2012

What is Love? The True Definition of Love

Love - What is love Are you curious to know what love really is? Do you want to know if your significant other loves you or not? There are many different ways to define love, but there are only a few real ways to love someone. Love is very precious and cannot be taken lightly or seriously. It is something that makes us blind, deaf, mute, and many other things. Here is the true definition of what love really is.

Love is an action. When someone say's. “I Love You", then turns around and acts like they could care less to be with your or around you, then they do not love you. When someone says that they just stopped loving their significant other it is not a feeling that they lost, but an action they stopped taking part in. Love is by far an action and not just a feeling. Sure there are feelings that go along with it, but love is an action.

Now that we know it is an action we need to go a little further to get to the true meaning of love. Let us start by looking at the very popular 50/50 relationship. This means that each partner is suppose to give 50% to the relationship. This is a bad way to measure any relationship because if all you give is 50%, then you are only giving half of yourself. Love is a 100/100 relationship.

This is a relationship where both partners are willing to give 100% of themselves no matter what. If you truly do love someone, then you should not think about whether you are on the giving end or the taking end, but you should be willing to give, give, give, and then give some more. This is the only way that a relationship can truly work and be a loving relationship.

Now love is also forgiving and understanding of the fact that we are all humans and we do make mistakes. There are many imperfections in a loving relationship, but the difference is that those imperfections are understood, accepted, and forgiven when they cause hurt. This is a true sign of a loving relationship and forgiveness is one of the deepest forms of love that can be expressed.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Benefits of Black Pepper

 The many benefits of black pepper

Black pepper has more healthy properties than most people know about.  Black pepper isn't like salt that can make food less healthy if too much is added. Black pepper is a spice that has the potential to make food more beneficial when used in various recipes and as a table spice.

The History of Black Pepper

As far back as the ancient eras, the spice we know as black pepper actually had monetary value.  It was used in the market place and in other places in place of money.  It was used to appease ancient gods in the temples.  Even now, black pepper is a commonly used spice.  Fortunately for us, it is always in great supply and it costs very little.

We get our black pepper from the pepper vine that can grow at least thirty feet tall in the stifling climates of the tropical parts of the world.  The pepper vines actually bear fruit—small white flowers that turn into berries called peppercorns.  Manufacturers take the peppercorns and collect them as whole berries or as ground black pepper.

The medicinal benefits of black pepper reach beyond its taste and flavoring of your foods.  Research studies have shown that black pepper actually has healthful properties.  Of all of the benefits of this spice, it is its ability to enhance the function of the digestive tract that makes it a good reason to put it in the dishes you cook.

Another benefit of black pepper is its ability to diminish the amount of gas in the intestinal tract.  This leads to less flatulence and bloating and is believed to be another benefit of increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

For those who understand the benefits of antioxidants, you'll be glad to learn that black pepper is known to have a great amount of antioxidant properties.  It also has benefits against bacterial growth, particularly in the intestinal tract.  The good news is that all you need to do is put a little bit in your food every day.

Black Pepper in Cooking

How do you like your pepper? If you're a professional cook or just someone who likes the best in cuisine, you probably grind your peppercorns in a peppercorn mill.  You can get fresh peppercorns at the grocery store, on the internet and at organic food stores.  When you grind your own pepper, you enhance the freshness of the pepper and probably get a better health benefit from it.  In addition, the outer skin of the peppercorn most likely enhances metabolism, leading to a higher probability of weight loss.

If you're the type of person who just wants to shake their pepper on, do yourself a favor and purchase the best brand of pepper you can buy.  The supermarket shelves are full of ground pepper and going with the cheapest brand probably won't give you a quality product.  You don't need to buy gourmet pepper but buying a brand name will go a long way toward giving you a quality product.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Becarefull : Determine Wheter You Are Anemia Or Low Blood

low blood 300x300 Differences Between Anemia With Low BloodMost people usually think of anemia and low blood pressure (hypotension) is the same condition. Despite similar symptoms, but two conditions are actually different.
One of the misconceptions that people believed was someone who had hypotension must have thought he was anemic, too. In fact these two conditions are not always interrelated.
Anemia and hypotension have different definitions, making it the second disease is not diagnosed in one. This difference in anemia and hypotension.
Anemia is a condition where a person does not have a healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen demand in each tissue and organs, this condition usually starts with a sense of fatigue. Due to the volume of blood is less able to cause health problems due to red blood cells contain hemoglobin which carries oxygen to body tissues.
If these conditions are not handled properly, it can cause complication including fatigue and stress on body organs are not getting oxygen and nutrients.
The symptoms usually varies, usually include fatigue, pale, rapid heartbeat and irregular, shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, cognitive disturbances, cold hands and feet and headaches. Originally anemia is so mild and go unnoticed, but over time the symptoms will increase and exacerbate the condition.
Hypotension (low blood pressure)
Normal blood pressure is if you have a systolic (the upper limit when the heart is working) 120 mmHg and diastolic (the lower limit when the heart breaks) 80 mmHg or often referred to 120/80 mmHg.
Well people said to suffer from low blood pressure if systolic pressure (top number in blood pressure readings) is less than 90 mm Hg or the diastolic pressure (bottom number in blood pressure readings) is less than 60 mmHg.
Causes of low blood pressure can be due to dehydration to disturbances in the brain signals that regulate the blood pumping. Low blood pressure can cause symptoms of dizziness to fainting that trigger heart damage, endocrine or neurological disorders.
The symptoms of hypotension is the body to feel dizzy even to feel like fainting, lack of concentration, blurred vision, nausea, body feels cold, pale skin, shortness of breath and fast, fatigue, depression and the emergence of thirst.
Still can sometimes hypotension associated with anemia, such as a person who suffered malnutrition such as vitamin B12 and folic acid can trigger anemia. If there is anemia, the body can not produce enough red blood cells that cause blood pressure to be low or declining.
So it can not be distinguished. Anemia associated with the amount or volume of blood in the body is lacking. While low blood pressure is the force in suppressing blood vessel wall.

How to Choose Food For DIET

The MOST Important Part Of Selecting Foods & Adjusting Your Diet

Remember how I was able to answer all of those questions about diet organization and meal structure before with one simple statement?
Well, guess what? I’m going to do it again with this new set of questions…
Choose foods and adjust your diet in whatever way is most enjoyable, sustainable and all around preferable for you. Whatever you need to do to ensure you consistently eat the right total amount of calories and nutrients each day (and get those nutrients primarily from higher quality sources)… THAT’S what you should do.
In all honesty, that’s the true best answer to any question you ever have about which foods you should and shouldn’t eat and what diet adjustments you should and shouldn’t make.
What’s funny (or just sad) about this is that while virtually all of the smartest people in the nutrition field will usually agree with this statement 100%, it’s a stance that is definitely part of the minority.
How could that be, you ask? Well, brace yourself, it’s about to get scary in here…

Welcome To The Cult-Like World Of Diets & Food Choices

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed over the last 10+ years, it’s that the diet world is a strange, religiously fanatical, cult-like place.
Every single nutrition related concept has its own group of “followers” who all share the same opinions, beliefs and preferences that surround that way of eating.
And, every single one of those groups feels that THEIR way is the BEST way for EVERYONE.
It doesn’t just fit their preferences. It’s not just ideal for their needs. It’s not just what’s right for them. No… it’s what’s universally right for everyone!
These people gather in groups via forums and blogs to praise and promote their ways and piss on everyone else’s. It’s their way or the highway… period.
Most groups have some type of a leader (or leaders)… usually some fitness guru, author, doctor, trainer, strength coach, big name blogger or something similar who is usually the person (or persons) most responsible for putting those methods out there in the first place for all of these cult-like groups to form around.
Coincidentally, that’s also usually the person making the most money from the use of those methods. But, that’s a fun topic for another day. Back to the diet cults themselves…

I’m Right, You’re Wrong! Na Na Na Na Na Na!

Most of these kinds of people don’t get along at all with those who are outside of their little diet circle. It’s kind of like a stereotypical high school movie where the nerds all sit at one table and the jocks all sit at another and generally hate each other.
Now just replace “nerds” and “jocks” with “low carb fanatics” or “anti-grain people” or “paleo dieters” or “vegans/vegetarians” or “raw foodists” or “gluten-free people” or “100% clean eaters” or any of the other seemingly infinite number of groups who feel that their dietary preferences are far superior to everyone else’s.
(Before you send your angry email, please note that I’m not saying that everyone who eats a certain way is like this. I’m just talking specifically about the ones that are.)
Every group has a specific set of foods that are allowed and another set of foods that are restricted. Compare one group’s list with another’s and you’ll see that the foods one group tells you NOT to eat are the very same foods the other group says you SHOULD eat.
Crazy, right? Trust me, it’s crazier than you can even imagine.
And so the low carb people fight and argue with the moderate/high carb people, the grain eaters fight and argue with the anti-grain eaters, sane people fight and argue with the anti-fruit people, and so on and so on and so on.
In the end, no one ever gets anywhere. Each diet cult is set in its ways to the point where they can never become unconvinced that the way they choose to eat may not be the ideal way for EVERYONE to choose to eat.

What Causes These Fanatical Diet Groups To Exist?

There’s a ton of different reasons each diet group allows, restricts, or places other specific guidelines on certain foods or food groups.
In most cases however, here’s what I’ve found to be the most common causes:
  • Misunderstanding (and/or cherry picking) of research. Studies are done all the time, and I spend A LOT of time reading and sorting through them all on an almost daily basis. The thing is, many of these studies are just crap, and their conclusions are hardly ever truly conclusive. However, if you take some inconclusive research and put it in front of a crazy diet fanatic, they will often (and gladly) spin it however it needs to be spun (or just misunderstand it altogether) to help prove that their way of eating is superior. These are the same people who will then usually ignore all of the other research showing that their way of eating may not be so superior after all.
  • It’s problematic for certain people. You see, certain foods are indeed problematic for certain people. There legitimately are food allergies, intolerances, and other digestive issues that do affect SOME people. Many crazy diet cults are built around this very fact. However, rather than just say “if you have a problem with Food X, don’t eat Food X,” they instead like to say “No one should EVER eat Food X EVER!!! It’s the devil!!! It’s killing us all!!!! Run and hide!!!!” Why do they do this? Because crazy people do and say crazy things… and these people are all definitely crazy. I personally have issues digesting diary, but you’ll never hear me say “don’t eat dairy.” You’ll only hear me say “don’t eat dairy IF you have a problem digesting dairy.” Why? Because I prefer common sense over insanity.
  • Personal beliefs. Some people, for whatever reason, feel that certain foods just aren’t supposed to be eaten. For example, vegans/vegetarians, paleo dieters, and even certain religions. Honestly, that’s all fine by me. However, often times it’s not good enough for them to follow through with their own personal beliefs. They feel you should too. Who cares what you do and do not believe or feel is right or wrong… this is how they feel, so you should feel that way too.
  • Personal requirements. Some people need to “eat clean” and avoid “dirty foods,” never touch a white potato or white bread, never drink alcohol, never have a cheat meal, never eat after 7pm, never eat less than 6 small meals per day, and so on. Why? Because it’s what helps them stick to their diet. Some people will stray too far from the way they are supposed to be eating if they do (or avoid doing) certain things. Basically, it’s what they’ve found works best for THEM. So, do they say “hey everyone, here’s what works best for me!” No. They say “this is what works best… period.” They automatically feel their dietary requirements should be EVERYONE’S dietary requirements.
  • Personal preferences. Some people just like/dislike eating a certain way more than other ways. It’s just their personal preference. Sometimes it’s specific foods, and sometimes it’s entire food groups. For example, carbs. Some people feel tired and sluggish if they eat a higher carb diet. Others feel perfectly normal. Some people prefer to lose weight with a lower carb diet. Others lose weight just fine with a moderate-higher carb diet, and prefer it that way. Of course, that doesn’t matter to the low carb fanatics. To them, low carb is the ONLY way for EVERYONE to eat. Screw your preferences and adopt theirs instead.
Like I said back at the beginning, the diet world is a scary, fanatical, cult-like place, and these are just some of the most common reasons why.
The question is…

Who’s REALLY Right and Who’s REALLY Wrong?

Um… everyone. Everyone is both right and wrong at the exact same time. Here’s why…
If you’ve found a way of eating that you feel is best for you for whatever reason, then you’re right. Even if the research supporting it is inconclusive (or nonexistent), whatever you feel is right for you IS in fact right for you.
If it meets your personal preferences, beliefs, and requirements, and keeps you happy, healthy, satisfied and most importantly of all… eating the right total amount of calories/nutrients per day for your goal… then I fully support whatever method of eating you’ve discovered.
But, that’s just you… not everyone. And by failing to realize that, you’re wrong.
Seriously. Who the hell are you (other than a brainwashed, obsessed, cult member nut-job) to go around and tell everyone how they should eat and what’s best for them?
Unless there is conclusive research that clearly shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that your way is in fact the BEST way for everyone (which there isn’t and likely never will be), then you’re just trying to pass off what’s right for you on everyone else.
Unfortunately for your crazy point of view, we all have different preferences and needs. We all like and dislike different foods. We don’t all have problems digesting the foods you happen to have a problem digesting. We don’t all believe or require the same things you do.
I have no problem at all with you being “proud” of your method of eating and wanting to tell people about it. Feel free. But, let them decide if that’s what’s right for them. If it is, then great. If it isn’t, be fine and understanding of the fact that not everyone should eat like you do.

A Major Difference Between This Diet Plan & All The Others

And that brings us to why I named this guide The Best Diet Plan… because it’s all about doing what’s best for YOU.
I mean, sure, there are certain caloric and nutritional guidelines that must be met in order to reach your specific goal (losing fat, building muscle, etc.) as effectively as possible, and really just for optimal health and function in general.
But beyond that, I never once tell you what you should and shouldn’t do like every single one of these cult-like diet groups do.
Instead, I tell you to just do whatever you feel is best for you. Once the most important stuff is all set up, fill in the smaller details in whatever way is most ideal for you.
I personally don’t give a crap what that way is or isn’t. I have no emotional interest, I won’t make or lose money either way, and I’m not a brainwashed diet fanatic that feels my specific way of eating is ALWAYS RIGHT FOR EVERYONE like most of these people do.
I won’t get all angry when someone disagrees with the way I prefer to eat, I won’t cherry pick research to prove my way is better than yours (and then cover my ears when you do the same), and I won’t cry or argue every time someone recommends doing something different from the way I choose to do it.
Why? Because I think all of the above is pure insanity, and because I just don’t have a “way” of eating. My “way” is that everyone should do it their preferred “way,” whatever that “way” may be.
In fact, if I were to ever be a part of any cult-like diet group, it would be one based around the concept of “doing what’s best for you.” That’s the only diet cult that I’d be a proud member and supporter of.
And that brings us to the action portion of this recommendation. How do you actually do what’s best for you?

How Should YOU Choose Foods & Adjust Your Diet?

Well, I’ve said it 100 times already and I’ll say it again… the most important part of your diet plan is eating the right total amount of calories each day, getting those calories from an ideal amount of protein, fat and carbs, and getting those nutrients from mostly higher quality food sources as opposed to processed, useless, junk.
Beyond that, here’s what it all comes down too:
  • Choose foods you actually enjoy eating.

There is no specific food that you must eat. If you don’t like the taste of it, you don’t have to force yourself to eat it… even if it’s on some diet cult’s list of “foods you must eat!”
Trying to make yourself regularly eat foods you don’t truly enjoy is a fantastic way to end up hating your diet and eventually straying off it. However, if you fill your daily diet with foods you actually like, the odds of you sticking to it long term are pretty damn high.
So, while Food X might generally be considered a healthy, nutrient-rich, super amazing food, if you don’t like it.. don’t eat it! The same goes for Food Y, Food Z, and every other food on the planet.
It’s not rocket science, folks. If you don’t like it, don’t make it a part of your diet.
  • Choose foods you don’t have physical problems eating.

Like I said before, food allergies, intolerances and other problems with digestion do exist. So, if there is a food that fits this description for you… don’t eat it!
Do you have a nut allergy? Don’t eat nuts. Have a problem with gluten? Eat gluten-free. Does dairy or grains cause digestive issues for you? Avoid dairy or grains.
On the other hand, if you are one of the MANY people who have no problems eating these (or any other) foods, then by all means, eat them! Anyone who tells you not to is either an idiot, a member of some diet cult, or most commonly of all… both.
  • Choose foods you don’t have emotional problems eating.

For example, Paleo dieters feel that humans were meant to eat the way cavemen ate back during the Paleolithic period. Vegans/Vegetarians feel that we shouldn’t ever eat animals or animal products.
If you agree with these or any other styles of eating that are based around a certain set of beliefs, then by all means… eat that way!
You honestly have my full support.
Seriously, who is anyone to tell you what is or isn’t right for you? If you want to meet your ideal daily calorie and nutrient intake each day by following a vegetarian diet, a Paleolithic diet, or anything similar… go for it!
However, if you’re one of the MANY people who likes eating meat, then a vegetarian diet is NOT for you. And if you really couldn’t care less about how cavemen used to eat and/or just enjoy eating the types of foods a Paleo diet would restrict, then a Paleo diet is definitely NOT for you.
The same goes for any other diet that restricts foods/food groups that you would personally prefer to eat.
Once again, it’s not rocket science. Do what’s right for you, and don’t make yourself do what isn’t.
  • Choose foods that are convenient and “doable” for you and your life.

On paper, it’s really easy to say “these are the foods I should eat.” But in real life, sometimes it just doesn’t work out so well.
For example, certain foods are less common in certain parts of the world. Some foods are in or out of season depending on where you live. Some foods cost a lot more than others. Some foods take a lot more time to prepare. Some people don’t have easy access to farmer’s markets or organic grocery stores.
Not to mention, some people aren’t just cooking/shopping for themselves. They have wives or husbands or children that may need to end up eating that same meal for dinner that they are, and that’s a whole other set of preferences that might need to be taken into account.
So, while a food can seem “right” for you, you might find that it’s not so right after all when you actually try to make it a regular part of your diet and your life.
Should you keep trying to make it work despite how inconvenienced you become as a result? No!
Long term diet adherence is all about doing what IS convenient and ideally doable for you. Doing what isn’t is a recipe for failure.
  • Make the adjustments that truly suit your preferences and requirements.

Of the 3 macronutrients that will supply your daily calorie intake (protein, fat, carbs), would you prefer eating more or less of one than the others?
I don’t even care what your reasoning is. Maybe you feel better eating a lower or higher carb, fat or protein diet, or maybe you just enjoy the taste of high carb, high protein, or high fat foods more or less than anything else.
Whatever your reason is, you should adjust your diet to fit that preference. Here’s an example of how you’d do that using carbs.
Earlier in this guide, you may have noticed that I gave a range for what your ideal protein and fat intake should be each day.
So, if you wanted to eat a lower carb diet (or just wanted to eat a higher protein and/or higher fat diet), all you’d need to do is eat at the higher end of your ideal protein and fat intake range and then just lower carb intake to compensate calorie-wise.
On the other hand, if you wanted to eat a higher carb diet instead, you’d just do this in reverse. Eat at the lower end of your ideal protein and fat intake range, and then increase carb intake to compensate.
Your calorie intake still remains what it needs to be for your goal, your protein and fat intake both still remain within their ideal ranges, and carbs are adjusted up or down to fit the way you prefer to eat.
And if you’d rather just have a nice balance of everything (this tends to be my default recommendation), then just set protein and fat in the middle of their respective ranges, and carbs will end up being in a moderate (neither high nor low) range as a result.
As long as your calorie intake still remains what it should be and everything else still falls within their ideal ranges, you’re welcome to adjust your diet how ever the hell you want to (or need to) to keep you happy and consistent.
This is just one example of how to make that happen.

Do Only What’s Right For You… Not Someone Else

Like I said before, this isn’t rocket science. All that really matters is this:
Choose foods and adjust your diet in whatever way is most enjoyable, sustainable and all around preferable for you. Whatever you need to do to ensure you consistently eat the right total amount of calories and nutrients each day (and get those nutrients primarily from higher quality sources)… THAT’S what you should do.
Every person’s diet should be put together based solely on their own personal needs and preferences, not anyone else’s. Ignore the diet cults and focus on doing what’s right for you and only you.

What about you? What’s right for you? How do you prefer to eat?

In my case, I don’t adhere to ANY specific style of eating or method of food selection.
I’m basically a big fan of balance, and getting that balance from a variety of healthy foods that I truly enjoy eating. Simple as that.
There are absolutely no special restrictions placed on my diet beyond limiting typical junky/processed garbage, avoiding foods that I personally have issues digesting (in my case, dairy), and avoiding foods that I just don’t like the taste of (for example, sweet potatoes).
I get the majority of my protein intake from foods like chicken, turkey, fish and eggs. The majority of my carb intake often comes from brown rice, white potatoes and plenty of fruits and vegetables. The majority of my fat intake comes from nuts (usually almonds, peanuts & walnuts), olive oil, and fish oil supplements (more on those later).
I never force myself to eat foods I don’t like, and I never avoid foods I have no legitimate reason to avoid. I do what’s best for me 100% of the time.
Doing so not only allows me to meet my daily requirements for calories, protein, fat and carbs without any problems whatsoever (which is always goal #1), but it also makes my diet as enjoyable, sustainable and all around preferable for me as possible.
And that right there is the true definition of the BEST diet plan.

Your job is to figure out what’s right or wrong for you and do it just the same.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Thousand Activity Holiday for Children

UK family holidays

1. Take a cottage holiday in Devon and explore some of the UK’s most beautiful coastline.

2. Delight the kids with a holiday on a working farm. You can bottle-feed the lambs, collect the eggs, help milk the cows, and choose from fabulous locations in locations in Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset. See the latest special offers. If want to camp in style, stay at Feather Down Farms which has beautiful fixed tents at 20 farms across the country.

3. You may have been to the Isle of Wight many years ago, perhaps on a school trip. If so, you’ll be pleased to know that it hasn’t changed a lot, and is still one of the best cheap family holidays in the UK.

4. Rent a cottage in Cornwall to explore surf beaches, rock pools and family-friendly attractions, whether you opt for a stylish seafront apartment or a rustic fishermen’s cottage. There are some great special offers. If you have a dog, you can find a dog-friendly cottage.

5. Children between 7 and 17 can head off to summer camp with Camp Beaumont which has locations in the UK and France and a great selection of multi-activity holidays that include quad-biking, caving, kayaking, zipwiring and archery.

6. Join the camping craze! If you have your own kit you can pitch up at one of 23 Haven Holiday parks around the British coastline. Each has great facilities. Alternatively, rent a spacious caravan holiday home, a three-bedroom tent or African-style safari tent. Find more camping holiday ideas.

7. We’ve found some great family-friendly hotels in the UK. We love Gwel an Mor in Cornwall which has its own wildlife centre and accommodation in wooden lodges. On the North coast of Cornwall, the Sands Resort Hotel is perfect for kids of all ages (see the latest special offers). If your kids love activities and watersports, head for the Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel.

8. If you’re by yourself, try this inspiring selection of single parent activity holidays.

9. If you want to go holiday with a one or two other families, why not rent a large property. You can find some superb large houses in the UK and abroad at The Big Domain. Some very grand houses in private grounds are very reasonable when you divide the cost between a few families.

10. Renting a boat or barge to explore some of the UK’s most beautiful rivers and canals is a fun family holiday and great value. Full tuition is provided so you don’t need any experience at the helm, and you can choose from 1,600 boats across the country. Find out more from Waterways Holidays.

11. If you’ve never tried a family holiday in the Lake District you’ll be amazed by the natural beauty of the region. It’s ideal for children of all ages, whether you have teenagers keen to conquer peaks and explore slate mines, or toddlers paddling in lakes and riding steam trains. For value, rent a holiday cottage.

Best family beach holidays in Europe

1. Turkey is set to be one of this year’s most popular family destinations, not least because it’s outside the Eurozone. In our view, the Aegean Coast ranks among the most beautiful in southern Europe. You can stay in a luxury villa with private pools or a family-friendly hotel such as the Kalkan Regency or Bördübet. You can also take a luxury gulet cruise along the coast, or try a land-and-sea combination.

2. On Portugal’s Western Algarve, set within a national park, the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel is a stunner. It’s genuinely family-friendly and chic. The beach is gorgeous and there are all sorts of activities and clubs for kids aged from 6 months to 8 years.

3. On the West coast of France, the Vendée is a relatively undiscovered regions with miles of beautiful unspoilt beaches. There are lovely villas with private pool and great value holiday villages including Le Mas de St Hilaire,, near a safe sandy beach. See the latest special offers.

4. For value, it’s hard to beat a holiday parc in Brittany. You’ll find everything on site to entertain children of all ages and you can pick up some great special offers.

5. We rate Corsica as one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean, yet few Brits know it well. The beaches are superb, and ideal for young children. We’ve found a great selection of villas with pools on the west coast, St Florent in the North East and Porto Vecchio in the south. View the child discounts.

6. Sardinia is one of Europe’s great family holiday destinations. The island boasts some of the finest, unspoilt beaches in Europe, plus it has great child-friendly hotels including Forte Village and Chia Laguna Resort, and low-cost flights. Check out the latest special offers.

7. If you’re on a budget, hop across the Channel to Camping Duinrell where you can rent a family-sized tent or mobile home on a gorgeous site close to a beach. It’s located just 30 miles from the car ferry terminal at Hook of Holland and is ideal for kids of all ages with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, crazy golf, pedalos and a climbing wall. And there is also a water park next door. Not impressed? Try these other camping holidays across Europe.

8. A Mediterranean beach club is a great solution for both very young children and active teens. At Mark Warner there are kids clubs for ages 2 to 17 and free watersports. We like the Sea Garden Beach Resort in Turkey – one of the best all inclusive family holidays in 2012. Find special offers

9. Most people associate Spain with the Costas, but Northern Spain has some beautiful beaches, along with rolling countryside, mountains and cultural treasures. You can fly there or take an overnight ferry, and stay in one of these self-catering cottages or traditional small hotels.

10. For great value family holidays in France and Spain, stay in a self-catering apartment in a car-free holiday village complete with aqua parks and slides, golf courses, farms and tennis courts. Belle Dune in Normandy is just an hour’s drive from Calais.

11. Croatia has one of Europe’s most beautiful coastlines with great opportunities for boat trips to idyllic islands. Choose from a handpicked selection of hotels, guesthouses, cruises and apartments plus cruise options. Check out the latest special offers.

Best family activity holidays

1. Head to a Mediterranean beach club to try out a variety of watersports. This holiday – with childcare provided – works well for kids of all ages, from babies to teens. We recommend Club Vounaki in Greece which has its own sailing school. After a few days learning the ropes you can set sail on a flotilla sailing holiday.

2. We love the family adventure holidays developed by walking specialist Ramblers. These expert-led group trips are great value and designed for children aged 6 – 16. They include canoeing and cycling in Burgundy, zip-wiring and glacier-walking in Austria, and cookery lessons (and lots of splashing around in the pool) in Italy. Other destinations include England, Greece, Crete and Morocco.

3. A family walking holiday can be a great bonding experience, particularly if you are strolling through lovely unspoilt countryside. We think the Austrian Tyrol is a perfect location with lush pastures and sparkling Alpine peaks, well-marked paths and friendly family-run hotels with swimming pools. Another great option is to go walking with donkeys in Spain.

4. Take the kids on a cruise on a traditional Turkish gulet to explore the beautiful coastline of Turkey, Greece or Italy. It’s both adventurous and lazy, and private guides will show you around local sites of interest, so there is culture thrown in too.

5. If your kids are aspiring sports stars, get them down to the gorgeous La Manga Club on the coast of Spain. It has a 28-court tennis centre, three championship golf courses and junior academies in golf, cricket, football and dance. Opened in 2011, there is a junior golf academy run by Lee Westwood.

6. You can introduce your children to skiing – and the beauty of the mountains in winter – from about the age of four. You’ll get a good deal if you choose the right resort, and find a special discount. For something special, head to the Canadian Rockies and the charming small family-friendly resorts of Fernie and Kimberley. For luxury family skiing in Europe we recommend gorgeous San Cassiano in Italy.

7. Enjoy summer in the French Alps. Drink in the fresh mountain air and work up an appetite with summer skiing on the glacier, mountain biking, white-water rafting and hiking. Esprit Alpine Adventures offers child care from 4 months old and great value accommodation. For a more upmarket version, we recommend Powder Byrne which has unique children’s programmes in the Swiss Alps.

8. Give the kids something to look forward to when winter comes by booking a trip to visit Santa in Lapland. It’s not just for tiny tots – there are loads of outdoors activities to keep older children and teenagers happy, too.

9. PGL is best known for its summer camps in England, Scotland and Wales for ages 7 to 17. But it also has a great range of 4-night and 7-night activity holidays for families in the UK and France. Accommodation options include hotel-style rooms and chalets.

10. Want something different? How about a family volunteering holiday where you combine activities and sunshine with useful work such as feeding and building shelters for animals before they are returned to the wild. Best family destinations include Costa Rica.

Best family villa holidays

1. There’s a lot more to Mallorca than tacky overcrowded resorts. Get out into the countryside and you’ll find some superb villas to rent, ideal for families who want some privacy. We also recommend Menorca for family villa holidays. It has superb beaches and is ideal for young children. See the latest villa deals.

2. On the south-west tip of Spain, the Costa de la Luz is an unspoilt strip of white sand beaches, pine forests and fishing villages.

3. Corfu is a lovely island once you escape the package resorts. The best part is the north-east coastline where CV Travel built its reputation with some wonderful villas, such as Villa Aktea which has breathtaking views and even a separate swimming pool for toddlers.

4. The Costa Brava has a poor reputation, but there are superb parts. Let’s call it Catalunya. Rent a villa and explore the delightfully rugged coastline. See the latest special offers.

5. Crete is one of the most interesting of the Greek islands with lots to do, charming villages and countryside and a long season. We love the Pendamodi villas – a small collection of detached houses with private pools.

5. If you like your Greek islands small, head for tiny undiscovered Meganissi. Covering just 20 sq km, it is perfect for quiet family villa holidays. Top pick is Villa Eleni.

6. The tiny Greek island of Paxos, too small for an airport, is a lovely place to laze around your private pool and rent a boat to explore the coastline. One of our favourite family summer holidays. Find more holiday ideas in Greece.

7. The South of France is prime villa territory. The best way to experience both South West France and Provence is in your own private house with pool.

8. Think beyond the Med. Florida has some great homes with pools in and around Orlando – a good-value base if you want to do the theme parks and discover more of the Sunshine State.

9. Further still … you could go as far as New Zealand. and rent a beautiful beachfront home. Favourites include the charming Inlet Villas on Waiheke Island, and Quarters on a 700-acre coastal farm on the Mahia Peninsula.

10. If you want to push the boat out, check out Scott Dunn’s luxury staffed villas. The properties are gorgeous, plus you get the services of a chef, host and fully-qualified nanny.

11. If you’re travelling in a big party and a villa might be too small, why not rent a Chateau in France. There are some beautiful properties available such as Chateau de Tille in the Loire Valley, which sleeps 16 and has a swimming pool, and tennis court.

Best family hotels in the Med

1. In Cyprus, the InterContinental Aphrodite Hills Resort in Cyprus has great facilities including a 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, an award winning spa and two beach clubs. Its kids clubs cater to aged 6 months to 17 years.

2. Lanzarote is a year-round destination just 4 hours away. For the ultimate family treat, check into the Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort. The children’s clubs offer everything from treasure hunts and five-a-side football to theatrical performances and mini discos. Another great luxury hotel in the Canaries is Abama Golf & Spa Resort in Tenerife.

3. It’s not easy to find a small, classy, family-friendly hotel on the Cote d’Azur, but the 3* Deluxe Hotel l’Arena mid way between Cannes and St Tropez fits the bill perfectly. One child under 12 stays free when sharing a room with two adults.

4. On the Greek mainland, Sani Resort is one of Europe’s finest family resorts. It has three superb hotels stretched out along a protected beach, plus a charming harbour with shops and restaurants, lots of sports activities and open spaces where children can run around safely. Families particularly enjoy the Sani Beach Club.

5. Club Med is one of the best places for all-inclusive holidays whatever the ages of your children. More than 40 of its beach and ski resorts worldwide are specifically tailored for families. It offers excellent child care from 4 months and lots of activities. See the latest special offers.

6. The Algarve is another destination with a long season, making it a great choice for Easter and half terms. You can’t beat the Sheraton Algarve set on clifftops above a fabulous uncrowded beach with wonderful sporting facilities, family suites and high class kids clubs.

7. We love Daios Cove on the island of Crete. It’s a luxury contemporary style resort in Crete where Scott Dunn has set up its own exclusive summer children’s clubs. Each family gets its own private pool, plus there are tennis courts, a fitness centre, spa and three restaurants, watersports and dive centre.

8. Puglia in the south of Italy has some beautiful white-sand beaches and many cultural treasures. The Borgo Egnazia Golf & Spa Resort is a stylish, family-friendly hotel with a free kids club in summer for ages 3 to 12.

Adventure holidays with kids

1. South Africa is one of the must-see destinations of the year. It’s great value right now, and a 13-night self-drive holiday can take in Cape Town, the Garden Route, Grootbos Nature Reserve, and four nights at Amakhala Game Reserve for a “Big Five” game reserve.

2. If you fancy beach and safari, we recommend this 12-day wildlife and beach family safari in Kenya. Other options include a horseback riding safari in Kenya or Botswana.

3. Egypt is packed with cultural treasures, amazing sights and child-friendly adventures. It may also be appearing on your children’s history curriculum. Check out these family tours in Egypt for ages 5 to 17, and the latest special offers.

4. All children love America, and there are some great family-friendly ways to see this amazing country. Enjoy the freedom of the open road by renting a motor home or take an escorted coach tour through California, Alaska, the South West or New York. Finally, you could see bears in Algonquin National Park and get splashed at Niagara Falls on a self-drive holiday in Ontario and Québec.

5. Asia is packed with eye-opening, exciting destinations for children. We love this 11-day Chinese Checkers tour of China. Or try one of these family holidays in Vietnam, which include highlights such as a junk cruise in Halong Bay, the ancient town of Hoi An and the villages of the Mekong Delta.

6. South America is a fantastic destination with plenty of wildlife, beaches and natural wonders. For Brazil, Peru and Argentina, we recommend Dehouche, a British company based in Latin America.

7. Play cowboys on a dude ranch holiday in America where you not only ride but also you can also visit a rodeo and try whitewater rafting, fishing, skeet shooting, line dancing, cattle driving and camping out in the wilderness. For luxury in the wild, we recommend Echo Valley Ranch and Spa in British Colombia.

8. See all the best bits of Australia in a fortnight. Try this two week winter sun holiday which is perfectly timed for the Christmas holidays.

9. Sri Lanka is a wonderful destination for families: full of excitement, friendly and good value. Try these adventure holidays in Sri Lanka. We particularly like the Elephant Paradise adventure, which includes a dolphin cruise, a jungle safari, climbing Lion’s Rock and time on the beach.

10. The Adventure Company has a great selection of family adventure holidays for kids of all ages, from ages 2 right up to high-adrenalin teen adventures. We particularly like their photography holidays where children learn at the hands of experts in dazzling locations such as Northern India and Morocco. You can also go stargazing together such as this family astronomy holiday in Egypt.

11. If your kids love nature, there are few more exciting destinations than the Galapagos . Follow in Darwin’s footsteps to enjoy close up encounters with seals, turtles, iguanas and giant tortoises. We took our twins there recently and it was one of the best holidays of our lives. We particularly recommend this Galapagos on Land and by Sea land-sea combo.

12. We also recommend Families Worldwide which has an inspiring collection of active family holidays, including a Rainforest & Volcanoes in Costa Rica. It offers both escorted small-group trips and tailor-made private tours all designed with kids in mind. Its most popular destinations include Egypt and Thailand, along with Morocco and Sri Lanka. See its special offers.

13. If you want to visit Africa as a family, Tanzania is a great option. Take a safari and beach holiday and you’ll get your fill of wildlife at the tented Selous Impala Camp before decamping to the coast and relaxing at The Tides, a charming hotel with cottages dotted along a pristine beach.

14. Zambia is a great safari destination for over-12s who can experience the thrill of walking safaris in South Luangwa National Park and white water rafting near Victoria Falls.

15. Even if your children are tiny, you can still take them away with The Adventure Company. Its group adventure trips start from just two years old in Morocco while 3-year-olds can tackle Malta & Gozo or Tuscany.

16. Powder Byrne has a collection of Air & Space family adventure holidays including this fabulous trip to Oman that includes desert safari camps, learning to drive a 4×4 in the desert, camel rides, wild swimming, snorkelling and stargazing at night by the campfire.

Long haul family beach holiday holidays

1. Antigua is a great island for families with tot-friendly beaches and great all-inclusive hotels including the Verandah Resort & Spa, which is set in 30 acres of beaches and gardens and offers free watersports, children’s playgrounds and a great gym and spa for mum and dad.

2. The Cayman Islands are safe, sophisticated and great for kids with lots of things to do including swimming with dolphins, visiting pirate caves, kayaking through mangroves and hiking through an iguana reserve. The Cotton Tree cottages are great value.

3. The Maldives are not just for honeymooners. Kids are well catered for at One&Only Reethi Rah which has its own KidsOnly club.

4. Mauritius is a great beach destination with superb luxury hotels and no jet lag, which makes it ideal for young children. The Residence Mauritius has an amazing kids club and special offers including free children’s rooms and VIP upgrades. For all-inclusive Mauritius, we recommend Beachcomber Hotels which have free kids clubs. Check out Le Victoria which has two-bedroom family apartments.

5. The Seychelles are not just for honeymooners. There is a great range of family holidays from luxury hotels to small hotels and island resorts. On the small island of La Digue the main mode of transport is bicycle. You’ll see turtles and giant tortoises, and relax on the beautiful Anse Source D’Argent beach. Stay at La Domaine de L’Orangeraie.

6. The Caribbean has several great family hotels including Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Jamaica and Cobblers Cove in Barbados, which has some fab family summer deals. Beaches Resorts are action-packed all-inclusives with endless things to do. On the Caribbean coast of Mexico, we recommend the wonderful Dreams Tulum and Dreams Riviera Resort & Spa.

7. Oman is great for winter sun, with guaranteed warm temperatures and a touch of Arabian mystique. Stay at the extraordinary Six Senses Zighy Bay where you can stay in a spacious villa with a private pool beside a superb beach ringed by mountains. Even the airport transfer is exciting – the last part of the journey is by speedboat.

Tips in buying modern House

A Modern Semi-Detached House. 20th Century Styles

Is Your House Modern?

Fashions in architecture have fluctuated wildly throughout history, but from the end of the twentieth-century through to the new millennium, we are now seeing a bigger mix of styles and design than ever before. The properties in every town, village and city are an eclectic mix of the old, the new and the ground-breaking. Materials, scales and styles vary to the extreme, and with some builders moving away from the formulaic replicas of period properties, a revolution in British house building has taken place.

Why Do Modern Houses Look Like They Do?

It's a revolution driven by innovative new methods of construction, the huge emphasis on the eco-friendly and sustainable, by government planning regulations, and by consumer demand for something more interesting than bog standard. Plus, today we have a range of sophisticated computer software packages, where designs in three-dimension are easy to create on screen, allowing us to see every angle of a possible new home at the click of the house- before it is built.
In fact, in terms of the "eco-friendly" drive (a big moral compass today) a recent survey showed that over 43 per cent of Brits consider environmental features important when they are looking to buy a property- a home that is efficient in terms of the construction method, energy use, CO2 emissions and everyday carbon footprint. We want a high performance yet sustainable home. And while some Britons will always love a period property- Georgian, Victorian, Gothic, Arts & Crafts, 1920s or 1930s, perhaps opting for a classic building but with modern conveniences- in essence, today we want the right balance between function and design.

The Benefit of Cucumber

    cucumber health benefits
  1. Cucumber (Cucumis sativus) is a vegetable that belongs to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, which includes gourds, melons, and squashes.
  2. Keep body hydratedCucumber has 96% water content that is more nutritious than regular water, which helps in keeping the body hydrated and regulating body temperature. It also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.
  3. Skin careThe high water content, vitamins A, B & C and the presence of certain minerals like magnesium, potassium, and silica make cucumbers an essential part of skin care. Facial masks containing cucumber juice can be used for skin tightening. Ascorbic acid and caffeic acid present in cucumbers can bring down the water retention rate which in turn diminishes the puffiness and swelling under the eyes. Cucumber skin also can bring relief to the skin caused by sunburn or windburn.
  4. Fight cancersCucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol – three lignans that have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer.
  5. Control Blood PressureCucumber juice contains a lot of potassium, magnesium and fiber that work effectively for regulating blood pressure. This makes cucumber good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.
  6. Beneficial for teeth and gumsCucumber juice is also beneficial for people with teeth and gums problems, especially in cases of pyorrhea. Cucumber is a good source of dietary fiber and this fiber massage in the teeth and gums.
  7. Aid digestionDigestive disorders like acidity, heartburn, gastritis and even ulcers can be cured by the daily consumption of fresh cucumber juice. The high water content and dietary fiber in cucumber are very effective in driving away the toxins from the digestive system and hence aid digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.
  8. Promotes Joint healthCucumber is an excellent source of silica, which known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues.
  9. Treat tapewormsCucumber seeds are used as a natural remedy for treating tapeworms. Bruised cucumber seeds mixed with water are also effective in the treatment of swellings of the mucous membranes of the nose and the throat.
  10. Nail careThe high silica content of cucumber also helps to prevent splitting and spoiling of nails of the fingers and toes.
  11. Relieve gout and arthritis painCucumber is rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium, when mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels.
  12. Cures diabetesThe cucumber juice has been found to be beneficial for the diabetic patients. This vegetable contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
  13. Reduces cholesterolResearchers found that some compound called sterols in cucumber may help reduce cholesterol levels.
  14. Stimulate hair growthCucumber contains silicon and sulphur and thus a regular intake of cucumber can help promote healthy hair growth. For best results, mix cucumber juice with the juices of carrot, lettuce or spinach.
  15. Acts as a diureticThe water content of Cucumber acts as a diuretic. It encourages the elimination of waste products from the body through urination. Regular intake of cucumber helps to dissolve bladder or kidney stones.
  16. Aid in weight lossDue to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who looking for weight loss.