Tag Archives: living

Living Well From Your Suitcase

vine vera presents Living Well From Your Suitcase

James Bond; international spy. Always jet-setting across the country, tending to mysterious assignations and covert operations, complete with a full supply of weapons, infrared binoculars, microchip voice recorders, and knives that can be concealed in his cufflinks. You may wonder, where does he pack his three-piece suits? Living out of a suitcase can definitely be limiting. Luggage weight limits, different activities, and changeable weather are only part of the things that make packing for a trip challenging. However, if Bond can do it so can you. Here are some ways you can use your Bondlike powers to maximize your luggage capacity.

Mix and Match
One of the greatest challenges to suitcase living is finding a matching outfit. You may find the perfect sweater mercifully at the top of your bag, but the matching pants nowhere to be seen. Pack versatile pieces that you can easily mix and match. That way, not only will a coordinated outfit be easier to find, you will also have a variety of outfits to chose from using the same five or so pieces. A good rule of thumb is: if it can’t be a part of at least two different outfits, leave it out.

Color Scheme
A good way to make sure your clothes match is by sticking to the same general colors. Dark and neutrals tend to be the easiest to work with. Bring a lot of white, black. and gray and add in pops of color, like red or teal, to keep it interesting.

Dress Up or Down
Usually, trips require both dressy and casual outfits, some of which will require some on the spot wardrobe adjustment. Accessories are the answer. Bring outfits that can go either fancy or sporty with the addition or omission of different shoes and pieces of jewelry. Shoes are great outfit transformers. Skinny jeans can instantly go from day to night be swapping your tennis for some super spiked heels.

vine vera presents Living Well From Your Suitcase

Layers
Layers are both practical and fashionable, especially when you’re traveling. Weather is hard to anticipate and even seasonal averages are no guarantee. Layers are a crucial component to keeping comfortable while traveling. Make sure to throw in a few scarves, tanks to go under shirts, hoodies, hats and extra socks, that can be easily removed or added.

Packing
Packing is often something learned from mistakes. Begin with shoes and toiletries and be sure to multitask socks and underwear by using them to protect nice shoes and fragile jewelry. Shove the rest of the undies into crevices. Roll up your jeans, camisole, sweaters, and t-shirts for maximum space and minimal wrinkles, and put them in the suitcase next. Blouses and dress shirts should be folded minimally and placed on top. You may want also want to put the pajamas on the top for easy access after a tiring trip. Ironing spray is your best friend; it will eliminate wrinkles without the burden of a space-hogging, heavy iron.

Do you have any traveling tips for us? Be sure to take some time from your jet setting to make a few notes. We would love to hear from the experts.

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Living A Junk Food-Free Life

vine vera banner presents Living A Junk Food-Free Life

You walk into a movie theater. There it is, in shining lights, bright as day, the concession stand. The lure of the brightly popping corn, the larger than life boxes of Milk Duds, the smell of hot buttery kernels, the super-sized fountain drinks. You walk past. Halfway through the movie, you find yourself unable to concentrate; the smell, the sounds of happily munching neighbors reaching into the giant buckets for another buttery handful. You burst out of the theater, money in hand, “Give me the extra large.” You demand. If this is you, you may be having a hard time kicking junk food. After all, it’s so convenient, so cheap, so addictive, so delicious, so childlike, so seductive, so fattening. You need help. Here are some tips for living a junk free life.

Kicking Junk Food
We all know it’s hard to kick junk food. It’s set up that way. Junk food is big business and manufacturers are prepared to take full advantage. Manufacturers aim for the “bliss point’ in the product. This may think of as sort of a junk food orgasm, with the later experiencing the height of pleasure, the ultimate balance between the sweet, the salty, and the fatty. At this point, your brain reacts in a similar way to the way it would with cocaine addiction. This is the point at which temptation becomes hardest to resist, but there are ways:

Plan Ahead
A good way of handling cravings is to make sure you always have a healthy alternative prepared. This will reduce what researchers refer to as your “food cue activity”, or the time in which you are most susceptible to the influence of food advertisements, smells, and conversations pertaining to food. Aim to plan your weekly meals at the beginning of your work week. Go grocery shopping, stocking up on easy to prepare foods, like brown rice, beans, roasted and stir-fried vegetables, and cold salads. Store them in containers or foil to make them easy to grab before work in the morning. Fruit also travels well and can be an easy afternoon snack option.

vine vera banner presents Living A Junk Food-Free Life

Shop Around
….and by this, we mean around the edge of the store. The dairy, fish, produce, heart healthy and meat sections are typically located on the perimeter of a grocery store, while processed foods are kept in the aisle. By purchasing from these sections, you will begin to get used to eating whole grains, proteins, fruit, and vegetables, gradually weaning yourself off junk foods.

Healthy Fats
Not all fat makes you fat. Your body needs a little fat, as long as its heart healthy. While you should avoid the trans fats and saturated fats lurking in pro chart -healthy fats, like the kinds found in nuts and avocados will reduce cravings and help you to feel full.

Change Your Thinking
Ah, the power of negative thinking! A 2013 study demonstrated that when participants were trained to look at junk food in a negative way, their desire for it decreased. Junk food junkies were asked to view the objects of their cravings as if they: We’re already full; Just saw someone sneeze on the item Could save the food for later; We’re told that the food would have a negative impact on them (weight gain, stomachache)

Eat the Rainbow
Try bringing some new foods in your diet to keep it interesting. Eating diverse foods across the color spectrum keep you from boredom and reverting back to junk food. Plus, eating the rainbow can improve health and prevent disease. Try some purple grapes, red beets, orange mangoes, green spinach, and blueberries for some healthy psychedelia.

Let us know how your battle with junk food is going. What are your best tips for resisting the “bliss point?”

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Summer Wine List

friends drinking wine

Ah, sweet memories of summer. You and your significant other drinking wine slushies on the back porch watching the sun go down. You and your significant other drinking pineapple moscato sangria in bed watching the sun come up. You and your significant other drinking rose spritzers on the beach watching the sun go down again. Summer just wouldn’t be summer without wine. So, whether you’re barbecuing, throwing a little get-together, or just sipping for enjoyment, here are some of the wines you need to have on your summer wine list.

Rosés For Summer
When most people think of summer wines, rosés inevitably come up first. However, most wine aficionados would agree that any time can be a good time for any wine, and most who have had rosés in the winter would agree. As long as you pair the wine with a complementary dish, the weather kind of fades into the background. In fact, according to Allie Poindexter from Henrietta Red in Nashville, “During the summer months when there is a wider array of produce available, our menu gets lighter, with heavier items replaced by simple and seasonal offerings that pair will with subtler wines.'” Below are a few favorites that Poindexter says are, “all perfect for sipping on hot summer nights;” and she’s not necessarily limiting her selection to rosés:

Corvezzo Terre si Marca Prosecco, Veneto, Italy
Pondexter point sour that this prosecco, naturally fermented and made from organic grapes, may be a little different from what you expect from the typical sparking. Poindexter says its,”subtle effervescence and floral, funky quality…makes it the perfect pairing for cheese and charcuterie.”

Friends' get-together with wine

Christoph Hock Kalkspitz Pet Nat, Kamptal, Austria
Pet-nats are made using a traditional method of producing sparkling wine in which the wine is bottled without additives before the primary fermentation is finished. The result is an unfiltered naturally carbonated wine with a taste comparable to apple cider.

Pouillon And Fils Premier Cru Brut Rose, Champagne, France
This rose and sparkling wine combo is unique in that the Pouillon family grows their own organically farmed grapes; a process not normally used in the region. The result is a pleasurably drinkable wine perfect for summer nights.

Quinta do Montalto Medieval de Ourem Rose, Lisbon Portugal
Poindexter notes that, while the dark ruby color of this wine may not be typical of most roses, drinking the wine will clarify it as pure rose. “It drinks like a rose with lots of red berry fruit and a soaring acidity,” she says, “It has an interesting woodsy character, the result of being aged in chestnut barrels.

Mica Vinho Verde, Minho, Portugal
Made from biodynamic, organic grapes, Poindexter described this vinho verde as, “super light and drinkable, ” adding that it has a “pronounced mineralogy and a low ABV of 10 percent.” and is a “fantastic pairing for oysters and crudos.”

wine glasses clinking

Arndorfer Kamptal Vorgeschmack White, Niederosterreich, Austria
Poindexter informs, “Vorgeshmack means appetizer in German, and like an appetizer this wine is meant to be an introduction into the Arndorfer family vineyards.” Apparently, it’s an enticing one. The chef says, “Reisling lands fruitiness and dynamism while Gruner Veltliner brings florals and spice.”

What are you drinking this summer? Cocktails? Or are you more of a strict wine purist? Let us know!

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The Healthiest Summer Foods

So you’ve made it past winter. Past the comfort foods, the mac and cheese, the long cold nights on the couch the endless turkey leftovers, the pumpkin spice lattes, the pumpkin spice potato chips, the pumpkin spice nut muffins and the pumpkin flavored ice cream, and now it’s summer. Time to turn over a new leaf, and hopefully one with a vegetable attached. Summer is time to get healthy, and that means eating healthy. Here are some great healthy summer foods to set you off on the path to health.

woman eating watermelon

Watermelon
It wouldn’t be summer without the taste of watermelon, and the added perks: the fruit can also help keep your memory sharp, your body cool, and your mood balanced. The great thing about watermelon is that it’s 92 percent water, which not only keeps your body hydrated but can also help to keep your weight down. Research shows that the water in the melon keeps you full without adding calories. Another watermelon plus: the lycopene will protect your skin from the sun.

Corn on the cob

Corn
Ah, sweet corn, a must for your summer barbecue, and get this, it actually may be nature’s sunglasses. The antioxidants in corn, lutein and zezxanthin form a macular pigment that actually helps to filter out the sun’s more damaging rays while helping to lower the risk of age related macular degeneration.

woman drinking iced coffee

Iced Coffee
What better way to start your summer morning than with an ice cold glass of coffee? Better yet, in doing so, you may be reducing your risk of skin cancer. According to a study of more than 9,300 women published in European Journal of Cancer Prevention, those who drank a daily cup of caffeinated coffee lowered their risk of non-melanoma cancer development by about 10%, and the more they drank, the lower the risk.

Cherries

Tart Cherries
It’s cherry eating season and if you’re looking to slim down, you may want to do a whole lot of it this summer. Scientists at the University of Michigan Health System found that rats who supplemented a high-fat diet with tart cherry powder gained less weight and body fat than those who got the same amount of calories from carbohydrates. Apparently, the anthocyanins in tart cherries activate a molecule that boosts fat burning in the body and decreases fat storage. Another tart cherry bonus: drinking tart cherry juice can help you sleep better and relieve pain after a taxing workout.

woman harvesting tomatoes

Tomatoes
Not only do tomatoes make a lovely addition to a summer salad or sandwich, they can also help to keep you from sunburn. Apparently, the lycopene, which is the carotenoid responsible for giving tomatoes their red color, can also protect skin from sunburn. In fact, according to one study, participants exposed to UV light had almost 50% less reddening after eating 2 1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste for 10 to 12 weeks.

What are you eating this summer? Let us know how you’re staying full and healthy this season. We want to know!

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