• The Five Best Pre-Workout Meals

    Eating healthily when you work out is vital for performance. As Manuel Villacorta R.D. points out, you will work out harder if you consume the correct food to power your exercise regime.

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    You need to avoid dietary fat and protein heavy in fat whilst filling up on carbohydrates. So what are the best pre-workout meals?


    Oats are filled with slow-release carbohydrates that keep your energy levels up during a workout. They are also packed with vitamin B, which converts the carbohydrates into extra energy. A bowl of porridge with some honey is a perfect pre-workout snack.

    Wholegrain Bread

    Wholegrain bread is packed with carbohydrates to power your work out, and you can add low-fat protein like hard-boiled eggs or sugars like honey and fruit jam if you are a morning exerciser. If you tend to work out during your lunch break, try a couple of slices of turkey with your bread to mix carbohydrates and high-quality protein. Dieticians recommend that you mix 30 grams of carbs with 20 grams of protein at this time of day to keep your energy levels up.


    Bananas are the perfect food for a workout because they are filled with carbohydrates to power your exercise, and they are packed with potassium to help muscle and nerve function. Bananas are also especially good if your exercise regime is in the morning. They will give you a great energy boost when consumed thirty minutes before you start to work out. Bananas are also a great source of iron, although there are some excellent iron supplements that can also top your system up and help with your exercise regime. They are available from companies such as https://www.blueiron.co.uk/blueiron.html.

    Fruit and Yogurt

    As well as bananas, all other fruits are high in carbohydrates and will break down quickly to provide an energy boost when you are working out. If you combine blueberries, for example, with some Greek yogurt, you fuel your workout with the fruit, while the slow-release protein from the yogurt will keep your energy levels up though the rest of the day after exercising.

    Always remember that food is fuel for the body. Take care over your diet and the supplements that you use, and avoid fatty junk food. A healthy dietary regime will produce much better physical results from your exercise.

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  • Getting the best from your new website

    If you have been asked to design or redesign a website for your business  or the company you work for then you might not know where to begin. If you have enlisted the help of a professional website design company then they will have asked for a brief which involves detailing everything that you want your new website to be. For web design in Devon, visit http://vuonline.co.uk/web-design/. Here are some important points to include when writing a brief:

    • An Introduction – the company need to know about your business so they can get a feel for what kind of design would suit your needs best. Include a couple of paragraphs about the products you sell or the services you provide. The size of the company and whether you are an international operation or not is also good to know. Explain how long you’ve been established and try to describe your business in a few great adjectives.
    • Show them your old website – decide what works well with the old one and what needs to be changed. How long has it been active and how much traffic does it currently receive. Where are your visitors from and what are top browsers that are visiting your site. Who is responsible for the site and how often do you get a genuine sales lead from it?


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    • Decide what you need from the new site – outline your aims and decide who your target audience will be. Work out how your target audience will be accessing your site, via phone, tablet or desktop. Is the new site part of a product launch or a rebranding?
    • Determine what industry you will be aiming the website at and research what your competitors are up to.
    • Outline your budget so you can get an accurate quote for the work and find out if there will be ongoing support and maintenance for the site. Does anyone in your company have the skills and expertise to regularly audit your site and if so, what happens if that staff member leaves? It may be easier to ask the web design company to provide such assistance.
    • Have a look at and note down some websites that you like the look to help give your designer an idea of the kind of thing you are looking for.
    • Resist the urge to rehash the old content on your old site as this is clearly not working as it should and you need something fresher.
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  • Have the best Aisle Style

    So you’ve set the date for your big day but now you need to think about your dream dress. This can be a real minefield as there are hundreds of dresses to choose from but you will want a dress that suits your height and body shape. Take the time to try as many styles as possible so you will look amazing on your wedding photos. For a Hampshire Wedding Photographer, visit http://www.lemontree-photography.co.uk/ Continue Reading…

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  • Greatest Treasures of the Jurassic Coast

    The Jurassic coast in Dorset, is home to some the most beautiful beaches and stunning scenery in the world. Named ‘Jurassic’ because it is a great site of archaeological and historical importance. The rock around the coast is layered to reveal the earth’s history for 185 million years, and all three periods can be seen here, the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous. In 2001, it was designated the first natural World Heritage site in 2001, due to its great importance to earth science.

    Fossils found along the Jurassic coastline have been greatly instrumental in enabling us to reconstruct the world as it was when dinosaurs ruled the land. Some of them are so well preserved that bite marks, scratches and even the contents of a creature’s stomach can be seen! Some of the rarest fossils in the world have been found on the Jurassic coast, fossils of reptiles that date back as far as when reptiles first came out from the seas to dominate the land Ichthyosaurs, giant Pliosaurs and a dinosaur called Scelidosaurus. These come from all different parts of the Jurassic coastline, showing how rich an area it is for fossil hunters!


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    The Jurassic coast is a very beautiful and incredibly diverse coastline. Just a few miles down, the scenery and rock can completely change, and this makes up so much of the charm of this unique coastline. For example, Durdle door, one of the most photographed places in the world, is part of the Jurassic coastline. A natural limestone arch out in the tranquil sea – it is easy to see why so many visitors are attracted to it! Chesil beach, is another part of the Jurassic coast, but geologically a very different place! Chesil is a huge, 15-mile-long natural beach, which stretches all the way from West Bay to the Isle of Portland. Portland, is an Island attached by a thin piece of land to the mainland, that is home to the famous Portland Bill lighthouse. Some of the most beautiful views can be seen from the island, Portland stone is the main business here, but modern businesses such as web Design Dorset company https://www.xlcreative.design/ work harmoniously alongside this older industry.


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    Of course, Weymouth bay, just down from Portland is the reason that most people flock to this Dorset coastline. The beautiful Blue Flag sandy beach is heaven to families and children looking for sandcastle building and an opportunity to splash in the shallow waters of the bay. Another beauty spot is the Golden Cap – the highest point on the South Coast of England. Of course, these are only a few of the wonderful treasures that make up the Jurassic Coast – explore for yourself and you will not be disappointed!

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  • How is cork Flooring Made

    Cork is increasingly popular as a material of choice for flooring, in part because of its green credentials, in part because of its excellent insulating properties, and of course because of its appearance. Granted, it can be somewhat controversial, but there is no doubt that in the right setting a cork floor can be beautiful and elegant.


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    What is Cork

    What we call cork is in fact a layer of water resistant cells that separate the outer layer of bark from the tree body and can be found on almost all trees. It varies in thickness depending on the tree, and the tree that is generally used for commercial cork production is the Quercus suber, or cork oak tree, which grows in the Mediterranean, principally in Portugal. This tree produces a thick layer of cork which can be removed every nine years or so, without causing damage to the tree. This can be repeated for the rest of the tree’s life which can be up to 150 years.

    How is it Made

    The cork is removed by hand, using a specially designed hand axes. The highly skilled workers make horizontal incisions into the tree, being careful not to cut into the living cells below the bark. They can then peel away the cork in long strips or planks.

    The planks need to be dried in the sun for up to six months to drive out the moisture in the cells. The outer layer of bark is then removed by boiling the planks. The separated cork is then dried and cured again, in a carefully controlled environment of specific temperature and humidity, and in darkness. It is then ready for manufacture.

    Cork Usage

    The vast majority of cork is used to make cork wine stoppers. The waste material – planks full of holes, basically – goes to make, among other things, cork floor tiles. It is ground up into small pellets, then moulded into blocks and baked to produce cork tiles. Cork can be a Marmite choice, so you can’t get cork floors just anywhere. You would think that a major outlet such as ukflooringdirect.co.uk would have an excellent range. Sadly not.

    Where to Get a Cork Floor

    Better to try a specialist such as The Cork Floor Company.

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  • Common Office Chair Mistakes to Avoid

    The chances are you will spend more time in your office chair than any other. We are all familiar with the hazards of a sedentary lifestyle and the health and safety aspects of office work. Postural correction, safe screen distances and reduction of office-related conditions such as RSI are all factors to bear in mind when choosing an office chair.


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    When choosing office furniture, ensure you are buying from a reputable retailer who provides excellent customer service and post-sales support. All office chairs should be supplied with a guarantee. This will safeguard you in the event of damage or malfunction.

    Style Over Substance

    Don’t prioritise looks over ergonomics. Although aesthetics are important in an office, you shouldn’t have to compromise on comfort.

    Instead, focus on the key features which will make your chair comfortable and health-promoting. Look for designs with lumbar support, adjustable height, adequate seat width, adjustable backrest and high-quality breathable fabric.


    A glance at the product ranges of any specialist company who sells office chairs online will demonstrate the wide array of fabrics that are currently used in the manufacture of office furniture. Vinyl is great for easy cleaning, and leather is soft and stylish but not ideal for sitting on for a long period of time. Breathable fabric such as the type used for the pioneering ’90s Aeron chair designed by the Hermann Martin company is the best for comfort, especially in the summer.

    Colour Scheme

    Ergonomics must be dealt with first. However, particularly if you hold client meetings in your office, your chair has to fit in with your overall design scheme, which ideally should reflect your branding. The colours and patterns you use on your logos and sign writing should be reflected in your interiors.


    Be realistic about the actual footage of your office space. Avoid the temptation to go for the ultra-plush but space-hogging executive throne if you already can’t swing a cat in your office. There are plenty of chairs of all shapes and sizes, so make sure you choose one which is dimensionally appropriate for your circumstances.


    Make sure you are not just going for the cheapest option – unless you are absolutely on a shoestring, of course. Instead look at long-term value. A high-quality, expertly engineered, solidly manufactured chair will easily last ten years.

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  • Finding the right jeans for your body shape

    Jeans are a wardrobe staple for many women and a timeless trend that shows so sign of getting old.


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    With one report in PR Newswire suggesting that the average woman owns up to seven pairs, they are probably something we all wear regularly.

    But finding the perfect fit isn’t always straightforward. With so many womens jeans available on the market it can be hard to find the right style to fit and flatter your individual body shape. Here are some tips on determining the right denim for you.

    Hourglass Figures

    If you have an hourglass figure then a tapered, wide legged and mid rise jean will help to flatter your curves while simultaneously slimming down any problem areas. Stretchy denim is a new type that is great for this look – as comfortable as it is flattering, it can be slimming for all body shapes and hugs your curves exactly where it should giving you a more defined shape.

    Curvy Figure

    For curvier or plus size women, a high rise jean can be great for holding in the areas you may deem unflattering. A contoured waist band can also offer further support and sculpt unflattering muffin tops that can occasionally crop up after a big meal.


    For petite ladies who want to give the illusion of height, a high waisted jean can definitely make you look taller while a flared fit may also elongate the legs. Just be wary of wide fitting or super-high waists though as these can make your bottom half look out of sync with the rest of your figure. Cropped jeans, although different, can also offer a cute and kooky look on smaller framed women, providing that they are properly hemmed.


    Tall and slender women are blessed to be able to pull of most styles of jean, making buying online from sites like http://www.cuba-clothing.com/womens/jeans.html relatively risk-free . Baggy or boyfriend jeans can give a relaxed, cool look while skinny or figure-hugging jeans can show off their pins. Why not opt for a detailed jean (ripped, dyed or distressed) to create a multitude of different styles and looks.

    Big bottomed

    If you are conscious about having a lot of ‘junk in your trunk’ then jeans with large pockets can detract attention away from the areas you’d prefer to conceal.

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  • The benefits of energy efficient windows

    Everyone wants to save money on their energy bills, with energy efficient windows also making your home a quieter, more peaceful place in which to live.


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    Energy efficient windows look smart and aesthetically pleasing, eliminate unpleasant draughts and chills and could save you as much as £160 per annum, and your green credentials will be pretty impressive as you will be reducing your carbon footprint. Insulated windows also mean less condensation, which in turn leads to fewer damp issues. Less condensation on your windows will mean less damp in the house and also makes cleaning your windows less arduous due to fewer water marks.


    Insulated windows can be double or triple glazed and can have a layer of gas such as argon, krypton or xenon between the layers. The level of efficiency depends on a number of factors, with the regulator BFRC (British Fenestration Rating Council) grading products according to how successfully they will insulate your property. Low-E glass is usually the most effective, as it incorporates a metal oxide coating that prevents heat loss.

    Frame options

    Different types of frame bring different benefits to your property. uPVC frames are completely recyclable; therefore, these are a great option if you have environmental concerns. They are incredibly durable and will be a cost effective investment; in addition, uPVC frames are weatherproof and require little maintenance to keep looking great. Aluminium and steel frames are another durable and recyclable option.

    Timber frames have a lower initial environmental impact and are an aesthetically pleasing option. They are particularly suited to period homes; however, they are more high maintenance. Composite frames combine the beauty of timber on the inside and the convenience of uPVC on the outside, providing the best of both worlds.

    Double or triple glazing should improve the levels of condensation within your property; however, period properties can be poorly ventilated and can require specialist input. Companies that install windows and doors in Dublin and double glazing in Dublin can advise you on the most appropriate options for your home.

    Period properties

    Historic properties that are listed or located in a conservation area usually have restrictions on the type of replacement windows you are allowed to install. In this case, your best option is to contact your local council for advice.

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  • 4 Simple Ways to Look After Your Lawn

    Now that winter is coming, many of us will be hanging up our gardening gloves until spring. But your lawn still needs a little care and maintenance over the colder months.


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    A report from the BBC highlights the importance of seasonal ‘pick-me-ups’ for your lawn, so now that we are in the throes of autumn with winter in touching distance, here are some of the ways you can prepare your lawn for the colder months and give it the resilience it needs to be lush again come spring.


    Fertilising your soil before winter is the optimum time to give your lawn a pick-me-up and replenish it with nutrients that may have been lost during the drier months. Once the cold weather hits, the soil will retain this last dose of fertiliser and use it and feed the grass roots throughout the winter. Use natural fertilisers instead of synthetic ones – not only are they better for the environment, but they have also been proven to create greener, healthier grass.

    Mowing Techniques

    During winter the grass will barely grow, so you’ll have one less chore when it comes to garden maintenance. However, you should now be adapting your mowing strategies to prepare your lawn for this period of inactivity. It’s important that your grass is as short as possible, as long grass will attract mice and other burrowing animals seeking shelter in the cold. They can cause damage to your lawn. But don’t do one last dramatic chop: instead lower the cutter on your mower to gradually reduce the length. Hand propelled petrol lawn mowers from http://www.chiffchaffoutdoor.com/tiger-tm4016hp-40cm-16-hand-propelled-petrol-lawn-mower.html and reel mowers are good for this.


    Aerating the lawn is something you should do all year round to improve drainage and allow more air into the soil and root system. During winter this is particularly important, as the colder weather will lead to soil compaction even more. Use a fork, spike or aerating tool to prod holes into the soil and allow it to breathe.

    Give It a Rest

    Try to keep off the lawn as much as possible when it is cold or frosty, as grass plants will become brittle and break. Remove any toys or garden furniture from the lawn before the first frost unless you want to see an imprint of it there in the spring!

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  • Could This Be the Kitchen of the Future?

    The Sky Is The Limit

    Belgian designer Xavier Bonte has collaborated with the company HI-MACS and come up with a truly inspiring “pod” style kitchen, aptly named “The Sky Is The Limit”. Bonte states that his idea for the design came from a dream about a cloud and it was certainly a big hit at the 100% Design Festival at Earls Court in London, where it was named as being among the top 20 designs to watch.


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    Essentially, the pod unfolds to reveal hidden units and appliances including a hob, sink and tap. Everything you need in a kitchen is concealed in this amazing, cloud shaped island; ideal for modern accommodation where space is at a premium. You can see this futuristic design at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-29376759) .

    Green Issues fundamental to future kitchens

    It is very probable that environmental concerns will be one of the driving forces behind what the kitchen of the future will look like, indeed domestic appliances and the way they consume energy are likely to need to be redesigned completely as we go forward. Retailer Ikea have carried out recent research into what consumers will require from a dream kitchen in 2040; and as well as the room being the “hub” of the whole household, the survey confirmed that energy efficiency is a key concern for householders. Recycled materials are likely to feature heavily in the kitchen of the future and the lines between the kitchen and garden will blur, with more home grown, organic food actually being produced inside.

    In fact, all domestic and commercial catering companies could be selling fridges of the future that will actually allow food to be grown inside them (rather than simply stored) as a standard feature, using a clever combination of hydroponics and nutrient supplies. Of course, land and resources will be under ever increasing pressure in years to come; and coupled with climate change, consumers will be forced to rethink the excesses of past lifestyles.

    Beer and drink fridges have in the past had a major impact on greenhouse gas emissions. If older models are replaced by more modern, energy efficient ones (which you can see at http://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk) consumption can actually be cut by up to 75% just for this one appliance. These figures go to show the importance of more environmentally friendly kitchen appliances in the war on climate change and how they can contribute to conserving our ever depleting natural resources.

    But more eco friendly appliances are likely to be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to changes we will see in the kitchen of the future. In fact according to the Guardian, the whole design of our living spaces will need to change in order to accommodate lifestyle changes and pressure on resources. The main feature of this, they predict, is that homes will not actually have separate, designated rooms for bathrooms, kitchens etc but rather will have movable walls to allow householders to make the most of limited floor space, as well as making more use of materials which would previously have gone to landfill such as agricultural waste.

    All this is certainly food for thought as we look to the kitchen of the future.

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