Why Should I Engage in Outdoor Recreation Activities?

More and more people engage in outdoors activities these days, as outdoor sports are becoming very popular. The top recreational activities include kayaking, jogging, walking, hiking, and camping.

This article is for the people who love to spend their time outdoors, enjoying new adventures in fresh air.

How can outdoor recreational activities be beneficial to you?

The foremost advantage of spending time outdoors is gaining a good mental spirit and healthy balance of your body. Not only will it help in giving you the liveliness that everyone should have, but it will also pump your life force and the love of living.

Activities such as walking, bird watching, kayaking and camping all make you feel happier while appreciating the beauty that we often forget during our busy hours at the office. Nowadays the stress level has increased so much in everyone’s life that everyone, without exception, deserves a small break to get rid of this stress. Sometimes a small walk in the park will do the trick and can lighten up your tensions and make you feel happy.

In today’s hectic life styles, we hardly find time to spend with our families and friends. Engaging regularly in various outdoor activities can help you create much stronger bonds with your family and friends. You can interact and talk more with your friends and family while sharing the astonishing experiences of a different outdoor activity each time you go out.

How can outdoor recreation help you in saving money?

Our lives are never smooth and secured; everyone comes across various difficult times in their lifetime. Taking the time to engage in simple outdoor recreations will not only help you mentally, but you will also find that it costs close to nothing. For example hiking does not cost anything when compared with cycling. All you need is a pair of good shoes and a mountaintop to hike to. Another example is simply playing outdoors with your kids. Nothing will beat playing soccer or tags with your kids, especially when you take time off from a stressful job.

While there is other activities like hunting that are somewhat costlier however they will provide you with a lot of thrills and great sense of accomplishment. If you can’t afford spending money on such activities then you still have many options that will definitely suit your pocket.

You should try to spend as much time as possible in these types of activities. You should also encourage your friends, family and kids to spend such a wonderful time together building good memories. Nothing can be more enjoyable and beneficial than gaining a good and healthy lifestyle by being in the outdoors.

Take full advantage of the beautiful world we live in and its alluring nature that surrounds us that we inheriting for centuries from our ancestors.

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High School Wrestling: Diet and Weight Loss Options

As wrestling season draws near, wrestlers begin to contemplate the weight class in which they may wrestle. Wrestlers often believe that they will be more competitive at the lowest weight they can reach without sacrificing their strength and endurance. This isn’t always the case. Too often, wrestlers end up dehydrated. They end up starving themselves and their performance suffers greatly.

If you’re looking for an article on cutting weight, this isn’t it. If you’re the kind of wrestler who can lose ten pounds in wrestling practice, this article may not interest you either. I could never sweat off a lot of weight, so I was always more interested in manipulating my diet to lose weight. There are, of course, a myriad of diets to choose from. I simply want to discuss ten diets of which I am familiar. Maybe one of them will interest you and you can research it further. Let’s explore.

1. Low Carb/High Protein Diet

The Atkins Diet is probably the most famous low carb diet. So, what exactly is a low carb diet? A low carb diet limits carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereals, grains, potatoes and other starchy vegetables, fruit, and sometimes even milk.

The theory is that carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels which in turn raise insulin levels. Spiking insulin levels is considered bad because the idea is that insulin tells the body to store carbohydrates as body fat and prevents the body from accessing body fat as a fuel source. Supposedly, if you follow a low carb diet plan you can lose excess body fat without having to drastically limit your food intake.

Some low carb diets focus on limiting carbohydrates while increasing one’s intake of fat and protein.

Some low carb diets focus more on the glycemic index. The glycemic index essentially measures how much a given food raises one’s blood sugar levels. For instance, white rice may have a glycemic index of 58 while broccoli may only have a glycemic index of 15. White bread may have a glycemic index as high as 71. The idea is that a diet composed of low glycemic foods will lead to lower insulin levels which in turn may help one lose weight.

Patrick Holford takes the glycemic index one step further and uses a concept called the glycemic load. The glycemic load takes into account the glycemic index as well as the total carbs in a given amount of food. For instance, a bowl of steel-cut oats (1 oz.) has 2 GL while a bowl of corn flakes has 21 GL. In addition, half an apple has 3 GL while a banana has 12 GL. That is quite a difference. Holford is a big fan of oats. He claims in his book The Holford Low GL Diet, “There are specific foods and food combinations that cause rapid weight loss.” He claims that you will never feel hungry on his diet. You limit the number of GLs you eat in a day and you combine carbs and protein at each meal.

Tim Ferriss champions a diet he refers to as the Slow-Carb Diet. On this regimen one avoids carbohydrates like bread, pasta, cereals, grains, potatoes, etc. Then simply choose one protein, one legume, and one vegetable for each meal. For example, breakfast might be scrambled eggs, black beans, and mixed vegetables. Lunch might be beef, pinto beans, and mixed vegetables. And, dinner might be chicken breast, lentils, and asparagus. Eat as much as you want at each meal and eat up to six times a day. But, always avoid carbs and dairy products and always include a protein, legume, and vegetable.

Some low carb diet books include Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, Protein Power, The Zone Diet, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet, The South Beach Diet, The Greenwich Diet, The No-Grain Diet, and Sugar Busters.

I suppose the main attraction of low carb diets is that one can burn fat and spare muscle while not having to restrict the amount one eats drastically. On the other hand, low carb diets can make one fatigued and irritable until one gets used to the low carb regimen. Keep in mind that there are several different versions of low carb diets.

2. Paleolithic Diet (Paleo Diet)

The Paleolithic (Paleo) diet seeks to replicate what humans ate during the Paleolithic Era. This diet may also be referred to as the Stone Age Diet, Cave Man Diet, or Hunter-Gatherer Diet. The Paleo diet is purported to promote weight loss as well as provide high fiber, protein, and omega-3 fats.

Foods You Can Eat:

  • Lean Meat (skinless chicken breast, turkey, cuts of lean beef like sirloin and extra-lean hamburger, cuts of lean pork, seafood)
  • Eggs
  • Fruits including berries
  • Vegetables including root vegetables like carrots
  • Nuts such as walnuts, macadamia, almonds, pecans, and pistachios
  • Seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds
  • Olive oil, flaxseed oil, nut oils, fish oil, canola oil, and avocado

Foods To Avoid:

  • Grains
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Cereals
  • Potatoes
  • Sugar
  • Beans
  • Dairy Products

The Paleo diet may seem similar to the low carb diet and it is in some ways. For instance, it doesn’t allow grain products. However, the Paleo Diet does allow fruits. In addition, it makes a distinction between lean meat and fatty meat which I think is beneficial. Moreover, cheese can be eaten on a low carb diet but dairy is not allowed on the Paleo Diet because it would not have been a food consumed during the Paleolithic era.

I like the Paleo Diet because it provides fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

3. Anabolic Diet

The Anabolic Diet was developed by Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale. He developed this diet primarily for bodybuilders looking for an alternative to steroids and other drugs. He states, “The Anabolic Diet maximizes the production and utilization of the Big 3 growth producers – testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin – and does it naturally. It also shifts the body’s metabolism from that of a sugar burning, fat producing machine to that of a fat burning machine.” The Anabolic Diet is a high fat/high protein/low carb diet with a twist. The Anabolic Diet employs a method called carb cycling. For example, you eat a high fat/high protein/low carb diet for five days followed by a high carb diet for two days.

A more generic term for this diet would be cyclic ketogenic diet or simply carb cycling. The idea is that you must eat fat to burn fat. You can find specific guidelines about what to eat on low carb versus high carb days online.

So, it’s not as strict as a low carb diet because you can carb up for a day or two. You still need to watch the total amount of calories that you consume because you’re not a bodybuilder trying to gain weight, you’re a wrestler trying to stay lean or even lose weight.

I’ve never tried this diet before and have no idea how it would work for a wrestler. I suppose, in theory, that one could eat low carb during the week and carb up on Saturday when tournaments are usually held. On the other hand, eating a lot of fat seems like a strange idea to most of us. If this diet interests you, I would suggest doing an internet search for anabolic diet or cyclic ketogenic diet to learn more.

4. Intermittent Fasting (IF)

This is a way of eating of that involves cycling periods of fasting (i.e. not eating) and eating. You can fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. The idea is that fasting twice a week reduces the total number of calories one takes in during any given week. For instance, you may have dinner at 6:00 pm one evening and not eat again until 6:00 pm the following evening. If you normally consume three meals a day, then you would simply skip breakfast and lunch two days a week but still have dinner on those days. Sure you might get a bit hungry, but it’s only 24 hours and you’ll only do it about twice a week. You never technically have to go a day without eating. If you eat at 6:00 pm on Monday, you can still eat on Tuesday; you just have to wait until 6:00 pm again. A good book on the subject of IF is Eat Stop Eat by Brad Pilon.

A somewhat similar fasting routine is called The Warrior Diet created by Ori Hofmekler. On this regimen, you eat one main meal at night and you have the option of eating a small amount of food during the day. You follow this routine every day. You can eat some fruits and vegetables during the day. You can also eat small amounts of lean meats and eggs or a low-carb protein shake. You eat no grains or starches during the day. At your main evening meal, you can consume essentially anything you want but in a certain order. You eat vegetables first, then protein, and then if you’re still hungry you can eat some carbohydrates.

While using the intermittent fasting method, you still want to eat healthy. While you can basically eat what you want when not fasting, you still want to eat fruits and vegetables and healthy sources of protein and carbohydrates. You can eat other foods too (e.g. a dessert) but don’t use your non-fasting period as an excuse to binge on junk food.

5. Body for Life

Bodybuilder and entrepreneur Bill Phillips was the founder of Muscle Media 2000 magazine and later acquired the ESA supplement company. He is perhaps most known for authoring the book Body for Life: 12 Weeks to Mental and Physical Strength. In this book he outlines a workout strategy and dietary strategy to transform one’s body.

The dietary strategy involves eating six small meals a day which is believed to promote stable blood sugar and insulin levels. Small meals are also believed to be easier to digest and assimilate than three larger meals.

What can you eat for each small meal? You can eat a portion of protein and a portion of carbohydrate. You are also encouraged to eat a serving of vegetables with some meals. A portion is about the size of the palm of your hand or your clenched fist. A potato the size of your clenched fist is a portion as is an apple. Two slices of whole wheat bread is a portion. A skinless chicken breast the size of your palm is a portion. You can also use MRP (meal replacement products) shakes and nutrition bars like Myoplex, Met-Rx, Meso-Tech, Muscle Meals, etc. that provide protein, carbs, and other nutrients all in one bar or shake.

Possible Meal Ideas:

  • One omelet and two slices of whole-wheat toast
  • Egg whites and oatmeal
  • Pancakes made with egg whites, oatmeal, protein powder, and fat-free yogurt
  • Combine one portion of low-fat cottage cheese and one portion of fat-free, sugar-free yogurt
  • One serving of chocolate MRP shake
  • Turkey burger on a whole-wheat bun
  • Chicken breast, steamed brown rice, and broccoli
  • Grilled sirloin steak, potato, mixed vegetables
  • One MRP nutrition bar

You are also encouraged to drink 10 glasses of water a day. You can consume one tablespoon of healthy fat a day such as olive, safflower, canola, sunflower, or flax seed oil. You can also consume small amounts of natural peanut butter and avocado.

You are encouraged to take one day off a week and eat whatever you want.

This plan is nice because you don’t have to count calories and you probably won’t get hungry eating six small meals a day. It may be hard to follow if you have a busy schedule.

6. Fit for Life

When Harvey Diamond co-authored Fit for Life, he helped bring the concept of natural hygiene into the mainstream. This way of eating isn’t just about how much you eat but also when and how you eat it. This regimen is based on the principle of proper food combining. The idea is that different foods are broken down differently by the body and therefore should be eaten separately. Harvey Diamond makes a distinction between live foods (high-water-content food like fresh fruits and vegetables) and dead food (e.g. processed foods).

The Guidelines:

  • Fruit is always eaten alone at least two to three hours away from any other food.
  • Never eat more than one concentrated food (i.e. protein or starch) per meal.
  • Never combine starches and proteins (e.g. cereal and milk, bread and cheese, pasta and ground beef, fish and rice).
  • You can combine protein with vegetables or starches and vegetables.
  • Fat (e.g. butter, olive oil) is considered neutral. However, don’t combine fat with protein.
  • Eggs and dairy products are discouraged.
  • Meat is discouraged but should be eaten alone or with vegetables if consumed.

Meal Ideas:

  • Breakfast – Fruit is encouraged because it is the food with the highest water content and is considered to be the best food to consume. So, you could eat two or more oranges or two apples or two bananas or other fruits and fruit combinations. However, if you don’t like fruit you could have scrambled eggs with tomato and broccoli (i.e. protein and vegetables) or toast with butter (i.e. starch and fat). But, do not have eggs and toast or cereal and milk.
  • Lunch – You could have a large vegetable salad with some olive oil and lemon. You could skip the olive oil on your salad and put some pieces of grilled chicken on it. You could have a vegetable salad and some bread sticks. You could have vegetable soup and some bread sticks. Alternatively, you could have avocado slices and other vegetables (e.g. tomatoes) between two slices of whole-grain bread. You could have a large baked potato with butter and vegetables (just be sure to steer clear of bacon bits, cheese, and chili).
  • Dinner – You could have fish (or chicken or beef), vegetables, and a vegetable salad. Or, you could have rice (or couscous or pasta) with vegetables, and a vegetable salad. Or, if you like potatoes, then you could have a big baked potato with butter and vegetables.
  • If you want milk, yogurt, or ice cream then eat it alone at least two or three hours away from other food.
  • If you want fruit for a bedtime snack, then eat it alone at least two or three hours after dinner.

The motivational speaker and self-help guru Tony Robbins is an advocate of food combining. I’ve never tried it before. The good thing is that it focuses a lot on fruit and vegetables. In addition, your calories may be limited (helping with weight loss) when you can’t combine starches and proteins, but at least you can still consume them if you choose.

7. High Carb/Low Fat Diet

Some doctors and nutritionists recommend a high card/low fat diet to lose weight and stay healthy – the exact opposite of the low carb advocates. Some names associated with low fat diets include Walter Kempner, Nathan Pritikin, Dean Ornish, and John McDougall. According to Dr. McDougall, his diet is “a diet of plant foods, including whole grains and whole grain products (such as pasta, tortillas, and whole-grain bread), a wide assortment of vegetables, and fruit.”

The advocates of these diets claim that a person can enjoy unlimited quantities of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains without feeling hungry. These diets contain less fat and more fiber than other diets.

According to Dr. McDougall, “Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel for daily activities and high-intensity exercise performance. Following a low-carbohydrate regime will impair performance.”

A baked potato is only about 160 calories and essentially fat free. An apple is only about 100 calories and also essentially fat free. A slice of whole wheat bread is only about 75 calories and essentially fat free. A bowl of oatmeal is about 165 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 4 grams of fiber.

In contrast, a 3 oz. patty of 85% lean ground beef (broiled) is about 213 calories and 13 grams of fat. And, a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese is about 510 calories and 26 grams of fat. Moreover, a Snicker’s Bar is about 270 calories and 14 grams of fat.

I’m not sure why everyone is so worried about cereals, potatoes, fruits, and breads. You can eat a lot of those foods for few calories if you don’t add condiments.

Martin Katahn, author of The T-Factor Diet, believes that it is mainly fat in your diet that determines your body fat. He contends that protein and carbohydrate calories don’t really matter that much. So, his approach is to count the fat grams in the food one eats and to keep the number low. He does, however, warn people to steer clear of highly processed fat-free desserts and snacks. Get your carbohydrates from fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains. In addition, eat lean meat, chicken, and fish.

8. Satiety Index

The Satiety Index (developed by Susanna Holt, PhD.) measures the extent to which certain foods provide satiety (i.e. fill you up and satisfy your hunger). Certain foods are simply better at filling you up than others.

For the most part, foods that are high in protein, water, and fiber provide the most satiety.

Carbohydrates are also better at producing satiety than fatty foods.

All foods on the index are compared with white bread which is given the rank of 100.

Some Satiety Food Rankings:

  • Croissant – 47%
  • Doughnuts – 68%
  • Yogurt – 88%
  • Corn Flakes – 118%
  • White Rice – 138%
  • Cheese – 146%
  • Eggs – 150%
  • Whole Meal Bread – 157%
  • Beef – 176%
  • Popcorn – 154%
  • Apples – 197%
  • Oranges – 202%
  • Oatmeal – 209%
  • Potatoes, Boiled – 323%

As you can see, potatoes provide a much higher level of satiety than a croissant. Similarly, oatmeal is more satisfying than a doughnut. In addition, eggs are more satisfying than yogurt. Seemingly, a sandwich made with whole meal bread with some lean beef or tuna along with an apple could make a satisfying and filling lunch.

A concept related to satiety is caloric density or energy density. Caloric density is the number of calories in a specific amount of food. Foods high in fat have the highest energy density while foods high in water content have the lowest energy density.

For instance, cucumbers, celery, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, grapefruit, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, oranges, and apples are very low in caloric density. Some other low caloric density foods include oatmeal, grapes, low-fat cottage cheese, peas, corn on the cob, potatoes, rice, and pasta.

In contrast, foods such as French fries, chocolate cake, pretzels, croissants, doughnuts, onion rings, chocolate chip cookies, bacon, milk chocolate bars, potato chips, and peanuts are much higher in caloric density. Even though pretzels are essentially fat free, they are high in energy density because they lack water and fiber.

Fresh corn (e.g. steamed corn or corn on the cob) has a caloric density of 0.92. However, a corn muffin has a caloric density of 4.14 and corn bread has a caloric density of 4.27. So, choose a big bowl of steamed corn if you’re hungry.

Some low-fat cottage cheese and grapes could make a satisfying and filling meal.

9. Food Exchange System

The food exchange system is a dietary regimen most commonly associated with diabetic individuals. However, the food exchange system can be used by any individual as a guide to help them lose weight. Following this regimen can help one to plan balanced and nutritious meals.

The foods in this system are divided up into categories: starches (e.g. bread, cereals and grains, starchy vegetables, beans and peas), fruits, milk and yogurt, meat and meat substitutes, vegetables, and fats.

You need to know what constitutes a serving size. For instance, a serving of starch could be ¾ cup of ready-to-eat unsweetened cereal, 1 slice of bread, or ½ a bagel. A serving of fruit may be one small apple, banana, or orange. A serving of milk may be 1 cup of fat-free skim milk. A serving of meat may be 1 ounce of meat, poultry, fish, or cheese. A serving of vegetables may be ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables. A serving of fats may be 1 tsp. of butter or 1 tsp. of olive oil. These are just a few of the examples. There are also free foods like 1 tbsp. of fat-free mayonnaise or ¼ cup of salsa. In addition, there are ways of determining exchanges for sweets and combination foods (e.g. casseroles, pizza, and soups).

For a 1,200 Calorie Meal Plan You May Eat:

  • 5 Starches
  • 2 Fruits
  • 2 Milks
  • 5 Meats
  • 3 Vegetables
  • 4 Fats

So, you might have a breakfast that contains 1 starch, 1 fruit, 1 milk, and 1 fat. Then you would divide the remainder of your exchanges amongst lunch, dinner, and possibly snacks. Some people find this easier than counting calories.

A somewhat similar regimen may involve using the original USDA Food Pyramid as a guide for eating. According to Jane Kirby (a registered dietitian) and the American Dietetic Association, one can use the food pyramid to plan a weight-loss diet.

A Possible 1,200 Calorie Meal Plan:

  • 5 Bread group servings
  • 3 Vegetable group servings
  • 2 Fruit group servings
  • 2 Milk group servings
  • 5 ounces total for a day for Meat group (divide up into 2 or 3 servings if you want from lean meats or eggs)

10. Counting Calories

Calorie counting is nothing new.

A Los Angeles physician named Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters published a book entitled Diet and Health, With a Key to the Calories in 1918. She recommended consuming no more than 1,200 calories per day, with somewhat more allowed after one’s goal weight was reached.

Calories in Carbohydrate, Protein, and Fat:

  • Carbohydrate = 4 calories per gram
  • Protein = 4 calories per gram
  • Fat = 9 calories per gram

Keep in mind that 3,500 calories = 1 pound of fat. Therefore if you cut 500 calories a day from your diet, you’ll lose approximately one pound a week (7 days x 500 calories = 3,500 calories).

A simple formula for losing weight is to take your current bodyweight times 10 and eat that number of calories daily to lose weight. For example, a wrestler who weighs 150 pounds would eat 1,500 calories daily (150 x 10 = 1,500). To maintain your weight, take your bodyweight times 15. A 125 pound wrestler wishing to maintain his weight would eat 1,875 calories daily (125 x 15 = 1,875).

Calorie counting is becoming popular again. For example, you may have noticed packages of 100-calorie snacks in the supermarket.

You can still find books listing calorie counts for common foods as well as restaurant foods. And, almost every food at the supermarket contains nutrition information including calories.

Calorie counting can be inconvenient. Individuals sometimes get hungry on a calorie-controlled diet. Nonetheless, calorie counting works for many people.

Final Words

The best advice I have to give is to simply wrestle at your natural weight. But, I know that many of will choose not to because you think you’ll be more competitive at a lower weight. Some of you may have to cut weight to reach a certain body weight in order to make the team.

I used to eat a lot of oatmeal and other cereals, whole wheat bread, rice cakes, potatoes, apples, oranges, bananas, carrots, green beans, milk, yogurt, cheese, and lean meat during my high school wrestling career. I counted every calorie and limited my fat intake because that’s what worked for me.

It’s interesting to look back at what I ate. I ate a lot of oatmeal which is low on the glycemic load, low in caloric density (when cooked with water), relatively low in fat, and high on the satiety index. I didn’t know all of that back when I was wrestling. I just knew that oatmeal was low in calories and provided a filling breakfast.

I also ate a lot of apples and green beans. These foods are low in calories and fat, but are high in water content and fiber. In addition, I ate a lot of potatoes which are very high on the satiety index.

You may be different.

Perhaps you’re one of those guys that can lose 5 to 10 pounds of water weight in a practice. Or, perhaps you like meat and, therefore, a low carb diet would suit you better.

Even some of the greatest wrestlers can become disheartened with dieting and cutting weight. Three- time NCAA wrestling champion and Olympic silver medalist Barry Davis cracked once when faced with the strain of cutting weight. He almost missed the Big Ten Tournament in 1982 because of the pressure of cutting weight. Many other great wrestlers have had tough experiences cutting weight as well.

On the other hand, John Smith (two-time Olympic gold medalist and winner of multiple world championships) took a different approach to weight control. He disciplined himself to maintain year-round weight control (according to Wrestling Tough by Mike Chapman). Smith kept near his competition weight throughout the year.

Other wrestlers have had success by working hard and wrestling near their natural body weight and sometimes cutting no weight whatsoever.

If you decide to cut weight for wrestling, please don’t starve and dehydrate yourself. It’s unhealthy, dangerous, and will most likely hurt your performance. Try always to eat balanced and nutritious meals. If you decide to lose weight, figure out what works best for you.

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Home Design Services

To own a home that you actually designed and created according to your taste is virtually everybody's ambition. Rather than just renting or buying a house was designed by someone else, you of course would want a place that you have planned yourself to fit your likes. But designing a house could be a very difficult endeavor. Chances are you do not have a background in architecture and could probably only draw stick figures. How then can you put into paper what you have in mind about the house of your dreams?

Fortunately, this problem may easily be solved by availing of home design services that could make the job so easy and convenient for you.

Here are among the many reasons you should avail of home design services:

-Home design services could boost your ideas and help you create beautiful house designs that you find difficult to translate into an actual plan.

-Home design serves may also work according to you budget so that you do not overspend nor would you be too stingy about your dream home.

-You can still add your personal touches because the home design service would cater to your needs and preferences.

-Home design services would do the actual sketching and drafting job for you, plus many more services that would help you build a home.

-You would not be wasting your paper and pencil because the plans that home design services make are very efficient and cost effective. They would know how best to fit the cabinets and furniture you would want to have in your house.

-Home design services could go beyond the floor plan of your house, they could also help you plan your landscape and other elements included in your dream home.

-You can get sound advice regarding technical matters such as the plumbing and the electrical wiring system of the house because they know a lot of such details. Home design services may even tell you the kinds of cooling, water, heating, and power systems you might need.

-You can ask home design services different materials to visualize your dream house such as blue prints, computer aided graphics, prospective sketches and even scale models.

-It is also better to be able to talk to someone as you plan your dream home. When you avail of home design services, you would be working other human beings and be able to share with them the joys of planning your home.

What to look for when availing of home design services:

1. Service package inclusions – the home design service provider you choose should go beyond just drawing floor plans and making blue prints. They should be able to give you different perspectives and useful suggestions regarding the house you are dreaming about. They should be able to listen to your wants and follow them as much as possible given the constraints of your resources.

2. Good Communication Channels – you would want the home design service company to be easy to deal with. The main reason you are availing of their service is that you need help to design your house, and thus you should be able to have an effective means of communication to do this.

3. Good Service – the service provider should be able to assist you with all your needs. Designing a house is a complex matter, and they should be very knowledgeable about issues of building a house.

Designing your house can be very fun and exciting and it can definitely be made easier with the help of home design services. So why not look through your local directory or search the web to check for home design services near you.

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Code of Civil Procedure Section 1179 Motion for Relief From Lforfeiture of Lease in California

A Code of Civil Procedure section 1179 motion for relief from forfeiture of lease in California is the topic of this article. This motion is made pursuant to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure section 1179 on the grounds of hardship and can be used to obtain relief against any forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement, whether written or oral.

Code of Civil Procedure section 1179 states in pertinent part that, “The court may relieve a tenant against a forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement, whether written or oral, and whether or not the tenancy has terminated, and restore him or her to his or her former estate or tenancy, in case of hardship, as provided in Section 1174.”

The party filing a motion for relief from forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement under section 1179 should include a declaration with detailed facts supporting their claims of hardship, and their claims that any breach was not willful or in bad faith. Tenants who failed to pay their rent due to losing their job but who now have the money to pay all of the back rent and all other damages and costs included in any judgment have a good argument for relief from forfeiture, particularly if they can show that they had always paid their rent on time before losing their job and that they are now employed again and plan to pay their rent on time from now on.

A noticed motion for relief from a forfeiture of a lease or rental agreement should be served and filed at least five (5) calendar days before the hearing although in certain situations the motion may be made orally.

A California Court of Appeal has ruled that a court has broad equitable discretion to relieve a tenant from forfeiture and restore them to their former tenancy in cases of hardship. The law absolutely abhors forfeitures. The Court must impose statutory conditions such as full payment of the rent that is due or full performance of all conditions and covenants of the lease or rental agreement.

Relief from forfeiture is more likely to be granted if the lessor can be placed in the same position as if the breach had not occurred. The principal reason for this is that the penalty of forfeiture is essentially designed to secure the payment of a certain sum of money. If that money is paid with interest, the true purpose of the forfeiture is satisfied.

Courts can also exercise their equitable powers and balance the equities allowing them to take into account all of the relevant circumstances such as whether the breach by the tenant was willful or in bad faith, whether the landlord has acted in good or bad faith, etc.

To view the entire text of any code section cited in this article or any other California code sections use the link shown below.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml

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What is SEO Article Writing? – SEO Copywriting Explained

Many freelancers have questions about what is SEO; what is SEO copywriting; what is SEO writing. This article explains – in detail – what this is. And, how to make money from it as a freelance writer.

What is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for the phrase “search engine optimization.” Search engine optimization is all about doing specific things to your website to drive more traffic to it so that you can increase online sales – and traffic.

What are some of these “things?”

There are many, but here we will discuss what it is as it applies to freelance writers. And, this means writing text in a certain way so that web surfers (ie, internet users) can land on a particular site.

What is SEO As It Relates to Freelance Writers?

What freelance writers need to be concerned with is keywords. What are keywords? Keywords are the words and phrases that web surfers type in when they search for things online.

For example, let’s say you were interested in starting a foreclosure cleanup business. You may not know anything about it other than foreclosures are hot in the news right now and you are interested in starting this kind of company.

So, you log onto your favorite search engine, (eg, Google, Yahoo! MSN, etc.) and type in the keywords “foreclosure cleaning business” or “foreclosure cleaning” or “foreclosure cleanup” or some other relevant keyword phrase.

Note: When you type words into a search engine to find something on the internet, the words you type in are called a keyword (one word) or a keyword phrase (two or more words with commas in between).

How Businesses Get to the Top of Search Engine Results

When you type in these words and hit “ENTER”, a bunch of sites pop up and you start to surf (ie, click on the results) and start investigating the sites to see if they have the information you need.

The sites that pop up are the results that search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, et al think are the most relevant to the keyword phrase (aka search phrase) you typed in. Companies pay a lot of money to be among the first two or three pages in the results that search engines return.

Why SEO Copywriters are So In Demand and How They Make Their Money

One of the ways they get to pop up in the first two or three pages of results is to have relevant text that contains the proper keyword phrases. And, this is where you as an SEO copywriter can make a lot of money. You write the text that their site needs to pop up high in search engine results.

Many times, companies will simply give you a bunch of keyword phrases and let you write what you want — as long as it’s a certain length (usually 300-500 words).

There are many freelance writers – hundreds of thousands, if not a few million. BUT, only a tiny minority know what SEO is and how to write this type of copy. And, this is why they’re so in demand.

SEO copywriters have an in-demand skill. And, as more and more companies move larger portions of their advertising budgets to internet marketing, there is an even greater demand for their skills.

In the SearcheEngineWatch article, The SEO Copywriter: Wordsmithing the Web, William Flaiz, underscores the importance of an SEO copywriter. He writes:

“The role of the agency SEO copywriter is unique because…. Suddenly, the writer must optimize press releases, craft articles for social news, monitor social network communications, and develop wiki content…. a strong SEO copywriter is adaptable and capable of internalizing a lot of new information extremely quickly. These unique individuals have fast become the backbone of many SEO engagements. If content is king, then they [SEO copywriters] are the kingmakers.”

And this is why SEO copywriters can charge a premium for their services. If you’re looking for a way to start or maximize your income as an online freelance writer, then SEO copywriting is they way to go.

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When To Use A Business Loan Packager

Lenders are extremely busy and are often put off by loan requests riddled with errors and/ or do not meet the basic standards of lending.

But small business borrowers with little knowledge of packaging loan requests can enhance their chances of getting funded through use of experienced loan packagers.

This is what Loan packagers do:

• Examine borrowing causes and clearly determine the borrowing need, thus eliminating vagueness and superfluous needs. Lenders are horrified by borrowers who request for loan amounts “out of the blues” based on nothing other than collateral value.

• Gather all the necessary documentation. Most borrowers are not aware of the loan documentation they need to provide to lenders. They spend weeks sending bits and pieces of information to lenders, thus agitating lenders and prolonging approval times.

• Analyze financial statements to ensure that the trends are right and all ratios make lending sense. If for example you revenues are declining, you must drill deep into the causes and mitigate them intelligently. Failure may lead to loan denial.

• Review Business and Finance Plans. Lenders have little or no time reviewing business and/ or financial plans that don’t make sense.

• Benchmark borrower business with industry peers. This helps in giving a lender the insights of the borrower’s industry and how the borrower is performing compared to the industry. If the borrower’s performance is not up to speed, then the borrower may want to undertake a business diagnosis test to identify the causes of poor performance.

• Match borrowing need with banks’ lending criteria. Banks have different lending policies based on loan amount, sector, purpose, collateral, years in business etc. Borrowers spend endless days shopping for lenders only to be denied having had several of their credit reports pulled.

• Provide insights on questions to expect from lenders. Fussy or lazy lenders will deny a loan on a flimsy excuse, such as, ‘the borrower does not maintain a budget’ or ‘the borrower is unaware of his average inventory carry’ etc.

• Advise on loan structure and terms including interest rates. Loan structure is key to getting favorable loan terms. You need to understand when to apply for a line of credit, a seasonal line, a short term loan or a long term loan. Various loans have different interest rates.

The support offered by Loan Packagers justifies the fees charged because borrowers,

• Close their loans faster

• Get very competitive rates

• Get to know their business finances better

• Reduce cost of loan-shopping

• Save on the opportunity cost of delayed or denied loans

• Minimize the number of credit reports that banks pull

The cost of loan packaging varies widely depending on the type of services provided and the complexity of the loan package.

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Grow Your Avon Business – 21 Tips For Fast Success

Are you interested in growing your Avon business? Becoming an Avon representative is super-easy and there are many resources to help you grow your business and meet your personal goals.

  1. Use Avon products yourself. One of the best ways to sell a product is to know everything about it. Your regular discount and demos allow you to save money and try the products yourself first.
  2. Ask your customers for product reviews. When you pass out orders, ask your customer to let you know how the products perform. This is a great way for you to learn about products so that you can offer more information to other customers.
  3. Share your products. If you work in an office, make sure you have hand lotion to share with your co-workers. I have gotten several orders just by letting others try the lotion sitting on my desk. Another Avon rep keeps extra tubes of hand cream for on-the-spot sales.
  4. Educate yourself with training. Make the most of your business by taking Avon’s online training courses. Every new representative should start here first as courses include everything from money management, to launching your business, to entering orders. Most of the classes are 30 minutes and have downloadable text sheets. You get a certificate after completion of each and special recognition for completing certain courses.
  5. Become an eRepresentative. Curious about becoming an eRep? Customers can order online and have product shipped direct to their home. There is usually a free or discounted shipping code on the website. I tell my customers that if they don’t see one, to let me know and I will get them one! Once you become an erep, you also have access to other customer management tools. You can set up an email marketing campaign to let customers know about new products or campaigns. My customers love the “little reminder” because they often include free or discount codes. 
  6. Use your network. Share your excitement about your new business and people will be excited with you. Most of your friends already are familiar with Avon products and so they will be your easiest customers. Everyone is a member of some organization or workplace. You have an extended network of soccer moms, hairdressers, delivery people, doctor’s office workers, etc.
  7. Wear Avon jewelry. I get so many compliments when I wear a new Avon necklace. Most jewelry comes in sets, like a necklace and bracelet. They are designed to compliment fashion or seasonal colors. I have had a few tell me they were not sure if a necklace would match their outfit, but with the no-hassle return guarantee they were not afraid to return it if it did not. Oh, and I haven’t had any jewelry returns, yet!
  8. Invest in great-looking business cards. Make sure your business cards look professional, even if you buy from a discount supplier. Include a customer reward program on the reverse side. I have mine printed with a “buy in five campaigns, get 20% off your sixth campaign order” coupon on the back.
  9. Share your business cards. Leave one with the tip for your waiter, hang them in the community bulletin board area at the grocery store, give to the checkout clerk at the mall, etc.
  10. Personalize your business cards. When I hand out my business cards, I write a free shipping code offer that is good on my website. I also mention the Avon Opportunity: do you want to earn extra money by becoming an Avon Representative?
  11. Order plenty of brochures. Brochures are really your “store.” They are designed well, colorful, and cheap. The photos are very clear and often show how the makeup looks on a real person. In every campaign brochure, Avon includes their famous scratch-and-sniff perfume circles.
  12. Keep brochures handy. I keep the latest campaign brochure in my purse, as well as an outlet sale flyer. I always preview the campaign brochure so I can target market: for example, I may say, have you seen the new Avon line of mineral makeup? There is a buy 1, get 1 half-price deal on page 32 for Smooth Mineral Makeup. Wow!
  13. Buy stickers for the backs of brochures. My stickers match my business cards and large print makes them easy to read. Stickers include my name, phone number, email address, and website address. Brochures, stickers and business cards are powerful sales tools!
  14. Don’t forget special offers. Everyone loves a bargain! Use your imagination to come up with catchy ideas. How about free wrapping for Mother’s Day? Birthday and anniversary reminders? BOGO – buy one get one? Recommend a friend and get 10% off your next order? Print out Avon Bucks and include in their bag when you hand out orders.
  15. Always upsell. This is a key sales tip that really works. Say your customer buys a certain fragrance; draw her attention to the lotion. Got an order for a necklace? Point out the ring on the same page. Did your customer choose a skincare product for aging skin? Make sure she knows about the eyelift cream.
  16. Attend sales meetings. Your district manager or DM will hold sales meetings every few months where you will get an opportunity to meet other representatives, see and try new products, share your successes, and discuss sales techniques. These meetings are encouraging and fun make sure you attend.
  17. Make samples and demos work for you. Attach a sample on the page of the newest brochure where the item is listed with a paper clip. Encourage your customers to try the product. Buy a demo and either use it yourself or give to a faithful customer to try.
  18. Holiday and special days. Remind your customer that holidays and special occasions tend to sneak up on us, and you have great gifts for just about anyone.
  19. Don’t forget the male customer. We tend to forget about the guys – but they have daughters home from college, wives who love to great makeup, and mothers who love to be treated to a thinking-of-you-mom gift. Avon has some great products especially for men. Check out the after-shave conditioners and the foot care line. Don’t forget about Bug Guard for camping, hunting, and working in the yard.
  20. Use the no-hassle Return Policy to close the deal. Avon promises, “If you’re not happy with any purchase, just return it for an exchange or your money back. No questions. No fuss. No problems.” Even if the makeup is opened, if the customer is unhappy Avon will give a no-stress return. You will take back the item and use e-Z Returns for a credit. No-hassle for reps, too!
  21. Grow your team. Be ready to share your success when someone asks about the Avon Opportunity. Some of your customers may tell you they are interested in earning extra money. Avon is so successful because of people like you and me who love the products and work on growing their business.

Focus on what attracted you to Avon and build strategies to communicate that to your customers. Were you already a customer who loved the skincare products? Your testimony can be a great asset to your business. Are you excited about the earning potential? Share how you met a financial target. Avon offers training, great products, customer service, and a support network to help you meet your goals. Becoming an Avon representative is a personal growth opportunity that is also lots of fun!  

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Why Investing Is Important

Investing has become increasingly important over the years, as the future of social security benefits becomes unknown.

People want to insure their futures, and they know that if they are depending on Social Security benefits, and in some cases retirement plans, that they may be in for a rude awakening when they no longer have the ability to earn a steady income. Investing is the answer to the unknowns of the future.

You may have been saving money in a low interest savings account over the years. Now, you want to see that money grow at a faster pace. Perhaps you’ve inherited money or realized some other type of windfall, and you need a way to make that money grow. Again, investing is the answer.

Investing is also a way of attaining the things that you want, such as a new home, a college education for your children, or expensive ‘toys.’ Of course, your financial goals will determine what type of investing you do.

If you want or need to make a lot of money fast, you would be more interested in higher risk investing, which will give you a larger return in a shorter amount of time. If you are saving for something in the far off future, such as retirement, you would want to make safer investments that grow over a longer period of time.

The overall purpose in investing is to create wealth and security, over a period of time. It is important to remember that you will not always be able to earn an income… you will eventually want to retire.

You also cannot count on the social security system to do what you expect it to do. As we have seen with Enron, you also cannot necessarily depend on your company’s retirement plan either. So, again, investing is the key to insuring your own financial future, but you must make smart investments!

Many people like to rely on 401K plans and other investments to supplement their retirement savings. This is a good practice because Social Security may not exist after the year 2029. It is never to early to start investing in Stocks and Bonds on your own. It is, however, very important to talk to a qualified Financial Advisor before you spend any money investing.

So contact a Financial Advisor such as a qualified Stock Broker and discuss your financial future with them.

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What is PP in Digital Photography?

Of course, we would like to say, that this is PP Group – a leading team in the photography branch, because this is our name! Because we are PP Group. But PP in the Digital Photography means something else.

Our research shows, that most of the people use this abbreviation – PP in digital photography conversations to say the word “Photoshop” shortly. It comes out from the first and the last letters in the word – P. Normally the Photoshop software is in use from the Professional Photography, because it offers a lot of abilities for picture optimization and getting higher images quality.

Another use for PP with the photography stuff is when people are trying to say “Post-Processing” shortly. In this case people are talking about the Post-Processing in Digital Photography or for short: “PP in Digital Photography”.

You can see the PP abbreviation, when it says “Photographic process”. It means the processing, developing photographs. As we understand there is even a book, called this way – “Photographic Processes”, which describes the PP – color-negative / color-reversal processing, shooting and developing photographs. Color and B&W (Black and White) film and print processing, as well.

And talking about print processing we remembered that there is another PP meaning, which is used in digital photography conversations. That’s right! This is the Photo Printer’s stuff or the Photo Paper’s stuff. There are even some printers’ models that are called “(something) PP”. One of them is a Canon’s model. Or photo paper, called “high gloss photo paper PP 101D” or something similar.

May be you will hate us, but we feel the need to share with you, that there is another PP abbreviation and it’s for Pocket Pouch. Believe us – we think that this is not normal too, but it is a fact. The pocket pouches for your digital cameras can be offered in some sites or pamphlets like PP for digital cameras.

Believing or not, but you may see PP like “pages” meaning in Photography as well. There are lots of lessons, courses, lectures and articles that are written on different places – mostly in the internet and they are quotations from some photography books. When it is attended by numbers it is too possible PP to be a page number. Mostly it looks like this way: pp 136-278, and means, as you know – pages 136 to 278.

Well, it is not so difficult to understand what is PP in the Digital Photography now, when you know the rest of the text. You can assess which meaning will be helpful for you and to understand the main text idea.

It is too possible to see another PP meaning as well; another not described here, because people like to use abbreviations. But, don’t forget that in general currency PP means “Photoshop”, when the conversation is for the Photography.

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How Popular Is Bodybuilding Today

In today society, a lot less people have started bodybuilding, and more people have started fitness model programs. Not a lot of people want to be huge with massive biceps and big chest anymore. Instead, they would rather want to have a lean, ripped physique of a cover shoot model. How has bodybuilding popularity declined in the last twenty years? I’ll show you how and why people shun bodybuilding and how you can make a difference.

Back in the “Golden Age” of bodybuilding, people were fascinated at how men can develop their muscles in way that makes people want to start bodybuilding themselves. Take a look at Eugen Sandow, the “father” of bodybuilding. He had a lean, muscular, ripped physique with insane ab muscles. Then came along other bodybuilding icons, like Steve Reeves, Reg Park, and many other famous athletes. But the real bodybuilding craze began with Arnold Schwarzenegger, after appearing in the bodybuilding movie “Pumping Iron”. Widely considered to be the greatest bodybuilder ever, he made bodybuilding and himself a household name. From that point on, people opened many gyms everywhere to start bodybuilding, whether it’s to go professional or just to build muscle. Movie directors recruited bodybuilders like Arnold to star in their movies. For a long time, the bodybuilding era was spreading all over the world.

But what went wrong? How did this era slowly dwindle away? Simple. People started getting “too big, too muscular”, which made people think that it looks impulsive, overbearing, and to add it all up, disgusting. Today, bodybuilders want to be bigger and muscular than their opponents. Bodybuilders like Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman are perfect examples of people are “overdone” their muscle growth and development. What really put a stop to this era was the movie “Fight Club” with Brad Pitt, where the lean, muscular body was introduced, and people realized that you don’t have to big, you just have to get lean. My opinion is that men have become “feminized”, meaning they want a body that will look more attractive to a woman and people start modeling like women, which is easy to understand why men today wear pink t-shirts or shirts that say “Real men wear pink”. This is absurd!

Let’s talk about Arnold for a moment. Why do you think he was considered the best bodybuilder? Was it because he had the biggest muscles? Or than he had a confident presence when he went on the bodybuilding stage? Maybe it could be that he gave the best advice on building muscle? It was any one of these three reasons. In the movie “Pumping Iron”, Arnold talked about having the perfect physique. He said, “You have to get you proportions right. If you look in the mirror and say “Okay, I need a little bit more deltoids. So you would go to the gym and put those deltoids on. Where as an artist would just slap his brush on a picture there it’s done. We have to do it the hard way because we building the human body. Now some people will look at you funny like you’re doing something strange, but it’s not really something a lot of people know about. And once you find out about it, you understand so much about bodybuilding that you haven’t realized before”.

You see? Arnold had the perfect proportional body, and bodybuilding enthusiasts knew that. He differs a lot compared to today’s bodybuilders, who build their bodies out of proportion. So how can you make a difference in building muscle? Get you proportions right. Let every muscle be just right, not smaller or bigger than it needs to be. Hope you enjoyed this article and will properly make the best in building muscle.

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