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Way to Help the Planet by Taking Care of Yourself

Man on Bike

Environmentally friendly is the new black, which means that we protect the planet, and the planet protects us on the contrary. During school and college courses you learned about ecology problems in a global way. Today, more than 700 million people live in a daily shortage of drinking water, and only in ten years this number promises to grow up to 3 billion. This is not only due to the population growth, but also because of the rapid decrease of water resources and climate change, which is partly provoked by the humanity itself. The solution in the ecological way of life but if you do not want to change your life, here are some tips how to help the planet by taking care of yourself.

Green Mode ON

Just by turning off the water in time we prolong the life of the world’s population. The importance of sorting waste should be learned by each and every one. The unnecessary copies can turn into new school notebooks, and a plastic bottle will not lie on the ground for a hundred years and will go to processing. Someone sees sense in giving up meat, someone watching the power consumption, and others are interested in planting trees. The sense of these steps is clear in perspective: everyone wants to breathe the clean air, to have a plenty of water and eat healthy food. Although, in order to start taking care of the environment, there is even more obvious motivation – the ability to look and feel better after only a week or a month of the “green mode.”

Start Cycling

The whole world is turning to the bikes for a reason. According to Spanish scientists, 225 thousand people die from the diseases caused by exhaust gasses annually. In the big cities with population more than a few million, situation is really bad: 70-80% of the total emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere is the road transport pollution, so the city bikes can be the salvation for our lungs. A half of all journeys by car and ground public transport are made at a distance of less than 5 kilometers, which a person in good physical condition and without luggage easily can overcome by bike or on foot. An hour of cycling at an average rate can burn more than 200 calories, and regular races will significantly strengthen the pelvic muscles, thighs and calves. In Western European countries bicycle rental is developed at the municipal level.

Buy Fair-trade Products

Tea, natural oils and spices, dark chocolate, peanut butter – these products have become an important part of the meal for the majority of a healthy diet fans. Typically, the raw material for them is grown in developing countries and is exported to developed countries. In addition, market prices do not reflect the true cost of production, which should also include environmental and social components.

The international social movement the Fairtrade offers an alternative trading system of “ethical” products in the best possible conditions for producers and workers in developing countries. Ecological products are grown on farms in relatively small numbers, that allows farmers to monitor the quality of the crop. In this case, the intervention into the local ecosystems is minimal, and the use of chemical fertilizers is very limited. Buying green tea, coconut oil, or bananas with a mark of “fair trade,” you support not only the economies of developing countries, but also your health.

Use Natural Cleansers

Last December Barack Obama signed the ban on the manufacture of cosmetic products with plastic microbeads, which caused a lively discussion in the media and social networks. Only in the New York State about 19 tons of micro granules are washed away in the drains each year. The tiny particles that are contained in the shower gels, scrubs and toothpaste, penetrate through the filters and water treatment plants and absorb toxic chemical pollution. Then they are mistakenly accepted as food by aquatic organisms. Many of the leading manufacturers of hygienic cosmetics like Procter & Gamble, Unilever and Colgate has pledged to eliminate the products with plastic granules.

Many of us can choose a soap or shower gel for a couple of hours, but we do not think a lot before grabbing a first available cheap dishwashing detergent from the supermarket shelf. Its composition also should be treated carefully: a lot of them contain oils like butylene, propylene, phenols esters, and phosphates or dyes. Often, even the cleaners that claimed to be eco-friendly may contain Methylisothiazolinone which is toxic and able to cause an allergic reaction in regular contact. Even if you choose eco-friendly dishwashing detergent, use rubber gloves in order to protect skin.

Lamp on Table

Save Energy in the Evening

Energy today is produced mostly by burning coal, oil and gas. Thus, there is a release of the toxic substances increasing different diseases, including cancer. Burning of fossil fuels in energy production is one of the main carbon dioxide emission sources, which is a key factor for the greenhouse effect and causes global climate change. In order to preserve life on Earth everyone must save energy in an obligatory way, and special attention should be paid to the moderate the usage of light in the evening.

The evening energy savings will immediately bring benefit to your health. The scientists recommend to prepare for sleep with subdued light and go to sleep in complete darkness. In the evening, try to use zoned lighting, and mute the brightness of the screen on electronic devices. When you go to sleep, do not forget to turn off the light in the next room and save yourself from the flashing battery chargers or adapters. A strong long sleep is a key to a good skin tone and a good health. Of course, if you are a student, this mission sounds impossible. In case of writing essays or projects, you may sacrifice your sleep, but if you are just procrastinating in Facebook, then turn off the lights and go to bed. Also, energy savings will pleasantly reflect your energy bills.

Eat Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

We all know the benefits of seasonal vegetables and fruits from the childhood, but there is another important point. The honest farmers tend to grow them in the most natural conditions – in the garden with usage of the minimum amount of chemical fertilizers. Artificial lighting, heating, and special preparations accelerate the ripening of the greenhouse vegetables, but they do not allow the crop to grow naturally and acquire the rich taste.

Pay attention to local grocery stores. Imported fruits and vegetables are treated with various preservatives for the long-term storage. In order to make them more attractive, fruits are covered with wax containing morpholine. It is a substance that is used in the systems of nuclear reactors and the production of antibiotics. By limiting the eating of non-seasonal fruits and vegetables, you will lower the demand for use groceries that is far from healthy.

Green Lifestyle: What Is It and How to Lead It

Kids Growing Plants

Every generation thinks of what it will leave to their descendants. Polluted air, cemeteries and garbage waste are not the most coveted gifts that the children want to get from their parents. An eco-friendly lifestyle is not a whim and not a fad, but a necessary condition of human existence on the planet. Students age is the most suitable to grasp some basic things about our planet. It is the time when you are open-minded, you have the will to change the world! Remember, that your impulsive initiative may grow into something bigger. Future of our planet is in the hands of modern youth. Skeptics may agree with the opinion of scientists that global warming cannot be stopped, and all the attempts to follow the ecological lifestyles are useless. Instead of arguing that humanity is doomed, and will not be able to prevent ecological disaster, you can do some steps to make your life and everything around you better!

First Small Step

Most people believe that leading an eco-friendly way of life is difficult, expensive and energy consuming. Here are some steps that which clearly proves that make life in an environmentally friendly is much easier than it might seem from the outside. If you are still far from the environment but keen to reduce your own negative personal impact on the environment, you should start with small steps. Change disposable bags and containers to reusable eco-bags and mugs. Let us talk numbers. Only one family spends about 100 plastic bags per half of the year. The usage of this bag is typically less than 17 minutes but the period of the decomposition in the ground is from 100 to 200 years. Not less harmful are supposedly eco-friendly paper bags, because of a huge amount of forest resources that are needed to produce paper bags. Cotton eco-bags are designed for a longer term of use, they do not take much space in your purse or briefcase, and designers start to make them aesthetically pleasing and stylish.

Reusable Plastic Bottles

Reusable bottles and mugs, as well as eco-bags, save both your personal and natural resources. Take a bottle of water to drink out of the house. When feeling thirsty, people often buy a bottle of water on the road, thus, increasing the number of unnecessary plastic packaging. Take water to the college from home in reusable bottles: it is possible to take the usual plastic one or buy a sports bottle. There are stylish options like My bottle and A5 one. Yes, you may think that My bottle is just a stupid trend but it is a way both to look cool and help our environment.

Give Away Your Old Things

The next step to the green lifestyle should be the second life of things. Each year, about 120 million active mobile phones are thrown into the trash just because their owners are bored or a new iPhone model has broken the market. You can completely circle the globe with all these gadgets. It is much better to give away things that you do not need anymore.

 

Car Sharing Is Fun

It is desirable to change your approach and to transport. The road transport pollution is 70-80% of the total amount of emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere.  It is reasonable to use public transport or private, such as scooters and bicycles. If you have an urgent need in the car, use it on a “car sharing” principle: cooperate with friends, college mates or neighbors. This way is not only more environmentally friendly by reducing the number of cars on the roads, but also more fun. When buying a car, give preference to the hybrid and electric cars that are gaining popularity nowadays.

Natural Cleaners

Another point is the usage of the natural cleaners. Each year about 300 thousand tons of phosphates enter the country ponds. Polluted rivers and lakes are rapidly turning into the swamps. Some traditional folk solutions can become an adequate replacement for the “toxic” household chemicals: mustard powder for washing dishes, baking soda and vinegar for cleaning all the surfaces. Well-known cosmetics and care products can be no less harmful to humans and the environment. Therefore, homemade shampoo can be used as an alternative to the professional one, or you may safely replace it by natural cosmetics and environmentally ethical brands on the market.

Recycle Mark

Eco-Friendly Supplies

You can make your home eco-friendly too. For example, by buying a sprayer faucet, appliances with high energy efficiency class (the highest of them is A +++) or observance of simple rules like “turning off the lights in the room before leaving” or “do not leave the already charged phone in the socket.” Thus, 100 liters of water is lost every week due to a faulty dripping tap. Also, it is much better to replace light bulbs with energy-saving LEDs. You also can make your college days more ecological. For example, you may use the certified paper and eco-friendly supplies that are either made from recycled materials or made up of parts that can be replaced.

Think of Responsibility

It is equally important to understand your environmental rights, by which we mean not just a knowledge of the law, but also not ignoring the world problems: you may detect violations of environmental legislation, including, for example, the excessive use of reagents or illegal dumping. Phased introduction of all the simple steps will make your life as much ecological as possible, and that would be useful not only for nature but also for you.

  • Special attention is given to the outerwear. Production of fur coats has the worst impact on 17 of the 18 environmental indicators, such as climate change, water logging of soils and toxic emissions. However, artificial fur substitutes serve not worse than these warm coats when it is cold outside.
  • Principles of sustainability can be followed while choosing a pet. As it is told, you find friends, not buy them. Therefore, the main rule is quite simple: do not buy a pet, and take it from shelters or from the street. You will both find a true friend and maybe save someone life.
  • Also, all kinds of festivals and celebrations are causing harm to the environment. Sky lanterns are not only the cause of a large fire, but simply pollute the environment as well as a huge bunch of balloons or a pile of disposable tableware. In some countries, sky lanterns are banned in order to save wooden areas.

In our next article, you will discover how to help the planet starting from yourself.

Exotic Tropical Fruits

Exotic Fruits

Notes of exoticism are in the air. Exotic fruits bring color to the kitchen. They also bring variety, great taste, and confusion. Nobody knows all the tropical fruits by name. In this article on exotic fruits, you will find the most famous representatives of exotic fruits. Short explanation, instructions for eating and taste are the most important things about exotic fruits.

Acai Berry

For quite some time, the Acai berry fruits have been traded as a superfood, as a miracle, a cure for weight loss, detoxification, and healthier living. But what exactly is behind this small, round fruit, how does it taste and what does it really do for the body?

Where Does the Acai Berry Come From?

The Acai is something between a grape and a blueberry. The berry is a small and reddish-purple fruit. The country of the berries origin is Brazil. It grows in the humid Amazon area. The taste is reminiscent of a blend of wild berries and chocolate; it is often mixed with juices or syrup.

How Can the Berry Help?

Traditionally, the Acai fruit is used in the treatment of diarrhea, parasitic infections, hemorrhages, and ulcers. In the Amazon tribes, the Acai is often mixed with other fruits and eaten as a kind of groats. But Acai berry also has other advantages.

The Acai Berry is also used for making skin younger, fat burning, and detoxification. Acai berries can be bought in the form of powder, tablets; it can be one of the components of the milkshake. Almost no one can get past Acai. But what does make the berry a panacea? Of course, its ingredients. They have a very high level of antioxidants, even more than oranges or cranberries. These antioxidants ‘catch’ free radicals that attack our cells. This slows down the aging process and helps to prevent diseases, such as thrombosis or even cancer. Of course, if you already have a lot of wrinkles, you will not be able to get rid of them by eating the Acai berry, but a preventive effect is always there. In addition, the fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

It is suitable for the following:

  1. Detoxify aging process of the skin;
  2. Healthy and balanced nutrition;
  3. Vitamin intake;
  4. Prevent diseases.

Pineapples

Pineapple

This fruit belongs to the Bromeliaceae. It consists of a large leaf rosette with up to 90 cm long and 6 cm wide leaves, which are sharp at their tips. Occasionally, there may also be marginal spines on the leaves. The flowering starts after 15-22 months. The pineapple develops into a fleshy fruit weighing up to 4 kg. The pineapple looks flaky. Its shell is not edible. The brighter the shell is, the tastier the fruit is. The pineapple is yellow or reddish in color and very juicy. The smell is deliciously aromatic. The pineapple is available throughout the year in the trade. It is grown on plantations, under glass or outdoors. However, the cultivation under open air has the disadvantage that the fruits require a longer time to ripen and the appearance is not always uniform, but the fruits are more resistant than a cultivation under glass.

The most frequent cultivation countries are Brazil, India, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Honduras, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, and Ghana.

The Value of the Pineapple

The fresh pulp contains the defense enzyme. 100 grams of a fresh pineapple have about 56 calories and contain a lot of vitamins A and C as well as the valuable minerals, such as iron and calcium.

The Storage of Pineapple

The pineapple fruits are extremely sensitive to pressure. It is best to hang the fruit or place it on a soft surface. The temperature should be between 15 and 18 degrees. Storage below 5 degrees may cause black spots. A ripe pineapple emits an intense odor. The fruit is ripe even if it still has a green color.

Avocado

Avocado

Southern Mexico is the country of origin of the avocado. This fruit was cultivated by the Aztecs many centuries ago. The avocado belongs to the laurel family. The fruit is grown in California, Florida, Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, Cameroon, West Indies, Brazil, Spain, Italy, and Israel. There are over 200 different species. The avocado is pear-sized and elongated. The fruits ripen in grapes (usually 3 to 5 pieces) on the avocado tree. The fruit peel is dark green or black, rough and with a warty surface. It is inedible. The flesh is white or creamy yellow. A large brown-black core inside of the fruit is inedible.

The Taste of Avocado

Its taste is similar to nuts. The health value of avocado: the fruit is rich in potassium, calcium, iron, and unsaturated fatty acids. The avocado is easily digestible and has a positive effect on the intestinal activity. In addition, this fruit is also used to support diets because it contains no cholesterol. Furthermore, the fruits contain essential amino acids, they are very nutritious. The avocado is a really nutritious fruit and not just the base of the world famous guacamole. Is the avocado a fruit or vegetable? That remains an open question. But one thing is certain: the avocado is full of healthy nutrients. The whole fruit has 30 percent of fat.

The Optimal Storage of the Avocado

The avocado is ripe when black spots appear on the fruit peel. They also give in to pressure. The avocado is good for food for a few days.

Cherimoya

The Cherimoya is also known as a cream apple or cream fruit because of its cream-colored pulp and excellent creamy taste. This 20 cm long, green strawberry-shaped sugar-apple fruit with its flaky peel comes from the mountainous regions of Ecuador, northern Peru, and southern Colombia. The cherimoya belongs to the magnolia family. The pulp is delicious and tastes of a mixture of banana and vanilla.

Health Value of the Cherimoya

The cherimoya is very easily digestible. It contains a lot of glucose, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins C, B1, and B2.

The Optimal Storage of the Cherimoya

The sweet fruits are very sensitive to pressure. Green fruits ripen at room temperature. The shell turns brownish in ripe fruits. They should soon be consumed in this condition. Cherimoya can be stored in the fridge for a few days. There is also the possibility that the mashed pulp can be frozen for several months.

The Cherimoya in the Kitchen

The fruits in the raw state are particularly delicious. The pulp can be spooned out. It should be drizzled with lemon juice so that it does not turn brown.

Of course, the avocado serves as the basis for the world-famous guacamole. This makes the guacamole a healthy and delicious snack.

Dates

The date palm was cultivated in Central Africa, Egypt, Spain, and India more than 6000 years ago. Dates reach a length of up to 3 cm and are thick-meaty. The color of the date is yellowish or reddish-brown. An elongated core is inside of the fruit. The taste is slightly honey-like.

The Value of the Dates

The fruits have a dextrose and fructose content of 60 to 70%. Furthermore, they contain biotin, folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C and also D. Dates have a healing effect on respiratory, nervous system, and anemia. Dates are energetic and promote the ability to concentrate.

The Storage of Dates

Dates are eatable for a few days. Frozen dates can be stored for several months.

The Use of the Dates

Fresh, dried, and also frozen dates are offered on the market. They can be consumed directly with the shell, but they also find many other uses. The fruits can also be peeled before consumption, then the aroma is even better. For this, the skin of the fruits is carved and peeled with a knife. Dates are also used in fruit salads and cakes.

Mindful Eating with Wonderful Feeling of Relaxation and Healthy Mind

Happy Person Eating

We deal actively with the topic of food every day, but rarely with the topic of ‘eating mindfully.’  That’s because we often eat unconsciously. For example, we buy the products which we already tried and save time on their cooking. Few people think of mindful food as everyday life is often very stressful and routine. But that is essential if you want to feel good in your own body. We’ll tell you all the background information on ‘eating mindfully’ and give you tips for your everyday life.

Mindful Eating as a New Form of Nutrition

In order to get to know what the mindful food mean, we should first take a look at the term mindfulness. ‘Mindfulness’ means a special form of attention and can be found in the millennia-old Buddhist methods and teachings. It is a conscious state of perception, in which all influences and experiences are absorbed without routine habits. We pay our full attention to a specific situation or a specific moment. It is important to focus on yourself instead of doing several things in parallel or having them in mind, as is so often the case in everyday life.

What Does Mindfulness Have to Do with Food?

Get to know body signals through mindful eating. An increased mindfulness during the meal helps us to eat more consciously. Mindful eating is not a diet, but a long-term dietary change to make our eating habits healthy in the long term.

It is characterized by several features: our sense of hunger is elementary and it can be described as intuition. We have a close relationship with our body while mindful eating. This means that we eat when we are physically hungry, for example, feel a stomach growling or a slight weakness. And we finish our meal as soon as our body signals us to stop eating, for example, by causing the sense of satiety.

Mindful Food Choices

Food Choice

The conscious choice of food is another point that is also taken by our bodies. Here we should also rely on our intuition, our inner voice. Ask yourself whether you would rather eat something salty or sweet / whether you would rather have a small snack or a full meal. An alternative solution is to consider whether your organism needs more energy in the form of carbohydrates or possibly something light and digestible is needed. All of this depends on the particular body and the situation. That’s why it’s so important to have a close connection with the body. This is very important for the mindfulness of eating.

Previous experience is also useful. Thus, it is a combination of gut feeling and mind. In the head, we keep information on what tastes good and what tastes bad. Not only the taste is crucial, but also what the necessary nutrients are being retained by our body.

Slow Food Supports Mindful Eating

In addition, slow food is important because it supports mindful eating and is helpful in putting the above points into practice. We have a better understanding of being well-fed when we eat food slowly. In addition, the metabolic rate is much higher. And last but not least, slow food promotes enjoyment. Thanks to mindful eating, we are quickly becoming gourmets who enjoy their food freely and without feeling guilty.

Mindful Eating at a Glance

  • Effective communication with yourself and controlling over your own body;
  • Concentrating on yourself;
  • Perceiving and responding appropriately to body signals;
  • Conscious and at the same time intuitive choice of food;
  • Slow and pleasurable eating with all the senses.

How Do I Start Best If I Want to Eat Mindfully?

Start Point

To switch to mindful food, you should analyze your previous and present eating behavior and find some ‘gaps’ in your nutrition. You should always ask yourself a few questions at the beginning.

The first question might be, ‘Why am I eating?’ Overeating is one of the causes of weight problems or an unpleasant relationship to eating. Many people eat without feeling hungry. Emotions, such as boredom and frustration are the first reason for this. Even unnatural habits, such as regularly fixed mealtimes, can play a crucial role. But then nothing has to do with mindfulness. That’s why it’s so important to learn how to work with the body again. Pay close attention to whether you are really physically hungry or there may be another reason for your craving for food.

The next question relates to the feeling  you receive after eating the food (s), ‘Is my favorite meal of the day good for my body?’ How do you physically feel yourself? Do you have more energy than before? All these questions help you find out what is good for your body. So, you approach mindful food technique step by step and learn to integrate the mindfulness into your diet.

Ask yourself what you have done during the meal before, ‘What do I do during the meal?’ We often deal with other things while we eat. But that hinders us from attentive eating. You should concentrate on the food during eating. Instead, ask yourself, ‘What do I feel when eating?’ And try to perceive and enjoy the taste and fragrance of the food as intensively as possible.

In addition to food intake, liquid also plays an important role. Therefore, you should always ask yourself, ‘Did I drink enough today?’ This means primarily water and unsweetened teas. It keeps you awake and prevents you from dying of thirst. Also, use the drink as a conscious break to take a deep breath before food intake. That really gives you strength.

Eating Mindfully as the Key to Success

Mindful eating has a special effect on us because it helps us to cultivate a more pleasurable and healthier way of dealing with junk food. That is why eating mindfully is the healthy way to lose weight. In the long term, it will cause a permanent weight reduction because we give the body exactly what it needs and do not give it more than it requires.

The change to a conscious diet also gives us a completely new body feeling as we feel better overall. It is, therefore, something like the interplay.

Those who eat mindfully have an increased well-being. This new feeling is also transferred to other areas of life. We are more confident and trust each other.  In addition, mindfulness reduces stress. This greatly enhances our quality of life.

Eating Mindfully Brings Many Benefits

  • Healthy eating;
  • More enjoyment through mindful eating;
  • Conscious eating;
  • Good metabolism;
  • We feel fit and active;
  • No annoying diets with strict rules;
  • Live without renunciation and cravings;
  • It is a long-term approach that accompanies us for a lifetime;
  • You feel more self-confident and this affects other areas.

5 Tips for Your Healthy Diet

  • Practicing: It is well-known that ‘practice makes perfect.’ This also applies to mindful eating. You may practice being mindful. Take the time you need for learning to eat mindfully. Consider each meal as a new way to eat mindfully.
  • Run away from nutritionists: Mindfulness also means being able to focus on yourself. There are no ready-made nutrition plans and diet books. They just put us under pressure and influence our mentality when eating. Learn to trust yourself.
  • Take a break: Small breaks in everyday life are essential for mindful food. You can use the little moments to take a deep breath. Close your eyes and then focus on your task.
  • Put away your cutlery: Here is a small tip for the specific situation during the meal: put away your cutlery to make the slow and mindful eating even easier.
  • Have small portions: We are often unsure how hungry we are – our eyes are larger than the hunger. If we have a full plate, we tend to eat everything in it. So, take a smaller portion first. It puts you under less pressure and you can eat mindfully.

Have you ever tried mindful food? We look forward to your comment on this blog post.

 

Where to Go on Holiday: Ideas for Every Season

Holiday Time

The world is big and the possibilities are unlimited. It can be a challenge to decide where to go.  We will help you find the most suitable holiday destinations.

The crucial question is: what do you want and what do you need? Your ideal travel destination will be chosen depending on whether you invest your free time in adventures and new cultures or you just want to relax and be lazy. Or maybe you even want everything? In any case, you should know what you really dream about before you organize optimally your vacation.

Wondering where to go on vacation? The key question is: what do you need?

Nature Spectacles

If you want to be fascinated by the marvelous natural spectacles of this world, you have a captivating solution.

Spectacular landscapes with volcanoes, glaciers, and waterfalls can be found in Scandinavia, especially in beautiful Iceland. Rent a car and race around the island – one and a half weeks are definitely enough.

Lonely deserts, such as the Sahara, can be explored on the backs of dromedaries. There are even hotels in the middle of the desert, in Morocco, in Dubai, South Africa or Abu Dhabi. Of course, the wallet plays a crucial role here. Do you look for the perfect relaxation with your soul mate? Make your own choice between romantic lakes and forests in Finland.

Unique mountain and rock formations can be admired, for example, in Southeast Asia, in the Vietnamese Tam Coc National Park or Halong Bay. Exciting mountains can be found in the Canadian Banff National Park. But Ireland also shines with stunning karst formations and mountainous landscapes. If you decide to stay in Germany, then you will be offered fascinating views and hiking tours to the Harz and the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.

Glorious rainforests are found in Colombia’s Amazon region. Here is the largest contiguous rainforest area on earth. Depending on where you go, you can explore the surrounding area in hiking tours, horseback riding, climbing or even skiing.

Are You Active Holidaymakers Who Like Canyoning?

Canyoning

Are you a mobile type of person who cannot imagine his or her life without the sport? Do you want to conquer waterfalls and fast-moving waters? Then you do not have to drive far: there are numerous providers for both canyoning and rafting in Germany.

What about a horse-riding holiday? Ranchers across the globe have specialized in guiding vacationers (even beginners) on horseback following various trails through the countryside of their homeland or along the beach. Try diving that opens up impressive underwater worlds.

Other activities that you can try out on holiday are scuba diving, snorkeling and water sports.  You will find the best diving areas in the Red Sea, but also in the Mediterranean, in the Maldives, in Indonesia or Micronesia in the Pacific, in Carriacou and the Galapagos Islands.

Numerous destinations are also available for water sports, such as sailing or surfing, for example, the North Sea and the Baltic, Fuerteventura, Lake Garda, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, as well as remote locations in the Atlantic or Pacific. You may have the benefit of an all-inclusive program or enjoy your vacation with your own individual program. Of course, it depends on your budget and your individual climate preferences.

Adventure and Foreign Cultures

Adventures

If you are the explorer and open-minded, this world is yours!

You can get to know many foreign cultures away from home. Think about what culture interests you most. For example, the Asian culture has an exotic effect on us: Vietnam, with its rice farmers and fishermen, is a wonderful destination that welcomes guests as well as offers unique landscapes and cities. Vietnam is a safe and cheap travel destination.

With an individually planned trip, you can even implement several wishes. Elements of active holidays can be integrated very well: for example, canyoning in Dalat can be reconciled with hiking in the mountains in the north and surfing in the South China Sea. You can easily learn about foreign culture in the urban bustle.

Pure Relaxation

You want to take care of absolutely nothing, neither before vacation nor on the spot, don’t you?  You just want to retire on the beach, get a suntan, and raise your arm only if someone gives you the Pina Colada or massages the shoulder. Then you need to relax in the luxury spa. Corresponding offers are available worldwide – the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Egypt, Cyprus, the Dominican Republic, Mexico or Cuba as well as the Caribbean or the USA.

Best Travel Destinations for Every Season

Each season has its charm, but not every holiday destination is optimal for each holiday season.  Here we have an overview of the best destinations for you.

  • January Holiday Destinations: January offers a family ski holiday in Bavaria, Austria or Switzerland. Where is it warm in January? South Africa or Thailand and Laos in Asia are far away destinations. Also, you have ‘festive’ weather in the Caribbean in the first quarter of the year.
  • February Holiday Destinations: February is good for a short trip to the mountains for skiing. Do you search for the sun? Mexico and the Dominican Republic are optimal destinations for those who would like to feel the sunshine in the winter.
  • March Holiday Destinations: If you do not want to fly so far, but still want sun on your family vacation, then Spain is a good choice. The water temperatures are still low, but the daytime temperatures climb to 23-36 degrees.
  • April Holiday Destinations: The Easter holidays are often such a wonderful thing! It is still quite cold and the grass is just beginning to head out in Europe. Bali and also large parts of Sri Lanka (remote destinations in Asia) are becoming more and more fashionable with families.
  • May Holiday Destinations: If you really want to ‘take a bath’ in your family holiday in May, then fly a little further: Seychelles and Mauritius are warm all year round and perfect for a holiday with toddlers. However, hiking in Austria, Germany or northern Italy is a super close alternative in May.
  • June Holiday Destinations: June stands for sun, swimming, beach, and sea. However, you should book hotels on time (and we mean one year in advance). The north of Australia, the USA or Toronto are far-travel destinations. However, consider the hurricane season in the South of the US, which runs from June to November.
  • July Holiday Destinations: You do not have to be afraid of frost even in the northern climates. Sweden attracts families with the Bullerbü romance.
  • August Holiday Destinations: August is the main travel time for many families. Popular holiday regions like to double their prices. We recommend visiting the beautiful regions of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand just to spend the last summer month with pleasure and not regret it!
  • September Holiday Destinations: Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza are perfect holiday destinations in September. The holidays are over in many states and the islands are empty. That’s why everything is cheaper. The sea is often warm enough for swimming. For example, city trips to Barcelona or Lisbon are also nice in the fall.
  • October Holiday Destinations: There are wonderful hiking destinations for family holidays in October, for example, in the Austrian Tyrol, in Italy’s South Tyrol, Bavaria or in the Swiss Engadine.
  • November Holiday Destinations: November is more severe in Europe. Many regions offer adverse weather conditions instead of hiking. However, Cyprus and Sardinia are beautiful seaside holiday destinations in this month.
  • December Holiday Destinations: Our tip is just to get away from the pre-Christmas stress and go on a skiing holiday just before Christmas. The hotels are often empty at this time and offer their clients discounts on accommodation.

Your holiday depends on your wallet, the desired program, and any regional preferences. And it is important that the destination allows you to make compromises, especially when you are traveling in pairs. Whatever destination you choose to visit, we wish you a brightening and enjoyable journey!

Plants Communicate with Us: Why Do We Need Nature?

Plants with Mouth

It was not so long ago that we acknowledged that even animals communicate with each other and some species even have their own language. Now we have something that can change your mind about the world once again. We need to understand that plants also communicate – and especially with us.

It may be difficult for many people to imagine that plants communicate, presumably because we understand communication only as our form of understanding certain sounds and gestures. But communication is much more. We also know from the animal kingdom that, for example, ants do not communicate via sounds but via fragrances. Combine the fragrances as we combine words: different fragrances can be combined into very different messages, for example, to convey warnings about intruders or information on a food source.

The Language of Plants

Alphabet

Several years ago, it was discovered that plants can communicate with each other via their roots. And far more complex than one might suspect. They warn each other against predators.

On the one hand, they use certain fragrances as a language. On the other hand, chemical messengers, electrical signals, and even Morse code. The research shows that this language of plants is far more detailed and complex than we ever suspected.

Plants can send incredibly complex information about fragrances and exchange information with each other. For example, plants tell their neighbors not only that they have been injured, but also what the pest has injured them. They can even send out a scent signal that is understood by the predators of these pests, for example, parasitic wasps. So, they warn their neighbors and call specifically for help at the same time.

In the meantime, there are so many dictionaries forming a ‘language of plants’ that this can no longer be ignored. The communication between the plants is so strongly networked that researchers speak of the ‘Wood Wide Web’ and assume that the roots of the plants form a huge, earth-spanning communication network.

The crops of our agriculture have lost many of these communication capabilities: they are ‘zombies’ that are no longer involved in this natural network. Our industrial monocultures are bald spots in the information network of nature. Plants also communicate with us. One might think that we cannot understand this chemical language of plants, but that is not the case, we already understand it. At least, our body instinctively understands it on many levels. For example, the human immune system also reacts to the fragrances, especially as other plants do.

Nature and the Immune System

How exactly does this phenomenon affect our immune system? So far, it is known that taking a walk through the forest will bring about several health-promoting processes. The fragrance messages emanating from the plants influence the number and activity of our cells, our hormone system, the concentration of various anti-cancer proteins (perforin, granzyme, and granulysin) and many other areas of our immune system.

Japanese researchers found out fragnance messages which interacts with our immune system.  As a result, two forest walks increase our immune system by about 50%. The results of recent research are taken so seriously in Japan that a separate branch of medical research was established at various Japanese universities in 2012 – ‘Forest Medicine’ – a research based on a therapy known from traditional medicine, the so-called  Shinrin-yoku (‘forest bathing’).

The Biophilia Effect

The forest sends signals not only in a purely chemical-physical way but also unconsciously communicates with us. Our body and mind have hardly changed in the last thousand years and still yearns for the security and the connection with nature.

This is easy to understand because man has evolved over millions of years with nature. A bustling city center is rarely considered to be a paradise for us. We are all yearning for idyllic nature’s silence.

A person is positively receptive to the sensations of nature in all our senses: the chemical messages of the trees, the visual stimuli, the smell, the birds, the sound of a stream, the sensation of grass under bare feet. All these impressions influence our hormonal balance, our immune system, our psyche, our brain and nervous system to a positive extent and can therefore also be used therapeutically. Nature can be a medicine we need more than ever before.

Nature as a Healer

Is it a coincidence that the prevailing diseases of our time are called ‘civilization diseases’? The fact that these diseases hardly appear in indigenous cultures certainly has to do with an increased burden of smog, industrial toxins, and radiation.

Do the body, soul, and spirit need nature to be completely healthy again? At least, we already know that nature can greatly alleviate many symptoms as shown by a number of recent studies: just being in the forest relieves pain, lowers blood sugar levels in diabetic patients, heals wounds faster, and reduces stress by influencing hormones. Cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine lower blood pressure and have many more beneficial effects. Judging from the fact that these relationships have hardly been explored so far, we can expect some interesting findings in the coming years.

Nature Deficit Disorder

The American writer Richard Louv was probably the first who found a name of ‘disease’ which is the reason for the modern society problem – a ‘nature deficit disorder.’ The young generation is especially affected like no other. In his book ‘Last Child in the Woods’, Louv explains that millions of children today no longer have access to nature and ‘prefer to play near power outlets.’

That’s an alarming trend. What do a human, a brain, and a nervous system do when the subconscious, archaically programmed yearning for nature finds no fulfillment? How does it affect the psyche of a child when forests, rivers, and tree houses are being replaced by white walls, screens, and plastic toys, which form the playing environment? What does happen to a baby’s development when looking at bare ceilings instead of passing clouds?

This concern could easily be dismissed if we did not have to acknowledge all the described relationships between forest and human as scientific facts.

Only the intense experience of being out in nature can evoke in a child this intense form of wonder, spiritual curiosity.

Is Nature Experience a Basis for Being Human?

Louv has sparked a worldwide debate. In the meantime, his theses have been confirmed by numerous studies: many mental disorders in childhood do not occur in contact with nature and can be significantly improved by re-establishing contact. In medicine, this recognition has not yet approved. People still prefer to use psychotropic drugs, instead of looking for other contexts.

The positive response of the human body to nature is instinctive and at a very deep level. Louv believes that it forms the basis of our development as a human being – a foundation that millions of children have lost today.

Back to Nature

Nature

Louv asks, ‘How would our lives change if our lives were as involved in nature as they are in electronics today?’ How would society change? That’s quite an interesting question.

Louv is convinced that today, more than ever, we need nature if we really want to survive. Our cities have to be designed in such a good way that we could combine all our technologies with nature.

The Louv’s hope is that the 21st century could become the century in which man is reunited with nature. One can only hope that he is right. The awareness that nature literally communicates with us, greatly enriches our own experience and gives us back some signals which we all consciously understand on a deep level.

The whole planet is our home. We love our home and therefore should maximally merge with nature and feel all its manifestations.

Healthy Snack Ideas for Any Trip: How to Stay Healthy ‘On the Go’

Healthy Eating

This topic is for those who have ‘built up’ a nice, healthy nutritional base in their everyday life at home.  You usually don’t have any problems with food consumption, especially if your lifestyle is not hectic. You eat regularly, you eat healthy food, you pay attention to portion sizes, you just eat properly and take care of your organism. But traveling is a completely different lifestyle. Tourists face a different environment, a different rhythm of the day, other activities, no well-stocked fridge in their rooms. They have hardly any possibilities for cooking… There are no longer the same products to buy even in the supermarket.

How can we still manage to maintain our preferred diet while on vacation? How can we eat healthy food every day?

We have an experience of a one-month rest in Hawaii, and we know how to give good answers to these questions. We got into the fast-food-trap on our California vacation last year. But our visit to Hawaii this year has changed our attitude towards a balanced diet. We had a lot better nourishment in Hawaii and learned a lot about the human body. We would like to share our best tips on staying healthy ‘on the go.’

Number 1: Discover the Possibilities… Even During the Trip

There is really something in the IKEA motto. You know the unhealthy food is not the only thing which awaits us on vacation. You should see your trip in a positive manner: we would say that every holiday will provide healthy food and different dining options that no one can offer you at home! In Hawaii, we could pick fresh, exotic fruit from the trees; there were everyday markets in Mallorca where tourists could try nuts and fruits of all types. We could grab a bite at vegan restaurants or pubs during the trip to Berlin or Barcelona. We want to point out that restaurants cook meals that suit all tastes. Before we go on trips, we study not only the tourist attractions in guidebooks but also inform ourselves extensively about the local specialties and restaurant menu.

Number 2: Plan Your Snack Stops in Advance

Bus Stop

Despite many trips make your daily routine uncertain, especially when you’re traveling a lot, you should start thinking about how your day will go by and when to schedule your meal right in the morning. We mostly had breakfast and small snacks in Hawaii. Then we thought about whether we would like to have a great picnic lunch somewhere in the countryside or whether we would rather just grab a bite and have dinner in the evening. That scheme worked very well! We think there is nothing worse than being on the road all day, not having the smallest sandwich or fruit in your bag. It’s better to save money on really luxurious dinner somewhere in the restaurant. Try to ‘tame’ your hunger.

Number 3: Listen to Your Feeling of Hunger

It is not such a negative thing that the entire daily rhythm is interrupted on holiday. So, you also give your body the chance to get rid of old superfluous habits. Is the latte with extra cream really necessary at half past eleven in the morning? And what about Ferrero sweets at work to stimulate your brain? Do you really need it or not? We have the feeling that we have learned a little more about trusting our own hunger in Hawaii. The body does not always need something when the clock hits 12:00 noon. We sometimes eat a lot in the evening, even though we actually only wanted a plate of salad. Sometimes we can plan our snacks so well. But actually, our tummy knows a lot better. That was a beautiful experience of healthy eating!

Number 4: Drink Water More Than Usual

We read in one article that people spend most of their holidays in much warmer climates. And more heat means more drink! Unfortunately, our habit of drinking water is getting out of hand with the change in the daily routine. The fact that we’re drinking too little water on vacation is true! We should take 2-3 liters of water or unsweetened tea daily. You should consume large quantities of water in case you`re involved in sports activities, including walking. We noticed how much water our bodies need at the beginning of the Hawaii vacation. The heat was simply unfamiliar to us. In addition, the long flight and the air conditioning deprive our body of water storage. So, we were more thirsty than at home. The first days we took a 1-liter bottle of water for our day trips! Much too little! At some point, we decided to buy a 5-liter canister of water and put it in the trunk. In addition, we were drinking a lot of cocktails and coconut water almost every day.

Sufficient drinking is not only better for our fluid balance, it also positively affects our eating habits.  Many of us can no longer distinguish their thirst from the feeling of hunger and interpret the body signals. As a result, we try to fill our stomach and eat more than we need (but drink too little).

Number 5: Snacks, Snacks, and Snacks

Snacks

One of the most important lessons we learned about food in Hawaii is the importance of having small and healthy snacks for the day. We always had something to eat. Fresh fruit, nut mix, dried berries, muesli bars (without sugar), fruit slices… With this stock of food, we were able to successfully resist almost every fast-food-temptation and satisfy our feeling of hunger in a healthy manner. In fact, it was actually quite consciously when we ate fast food because we needed something quick to eat.

Variants of Quick Snacks

  • Tip1: Bananas

Banana is the classic snack for any tourist. As you know, bananas contain a lot of carbohydrates and are super healthy.

  • Tip 2: Mini Sausages

Little sausages do not only taste great but also are quickly consumed while driving. There are soy sausages for vegetarians.

  • Tip 3: Cucumber Slices

Cucumbers are an ideal snack with thirst quenching effect when it is too hot.

  • Tip 4: Blueberries

Blueberries are recommended not only for smaller children but also for adults. The little blue vitamin bombs can be eaten while driving a car. The fun begins even before the holiday!

  • Tip 5: Apple Slices

Buy sweet as possible apples, peel them, remove seeds, and make small pieces of them. This product has lots of vitamins and can be eaten without little fuss in the car.

  • Tip 6: Butter Sandwich

Butter sandwiches are classic for the long journey. Smear some butter or margarine and enjoy your snack. It’s quite possible to create your own recipe for sandwiches. As for Carl, he likes sandwiches with Nutella. Delicious and nutritious snack!

  • Tip 7: Organic Bars Without Chocolate

You should not be skeptical about this snack as there are very delicious organic bars that are healthy, delicious and eager to be eaten by almost every child.

  • Tip 8: A Bottle of Water

A bottle of water is something you wouldn’t survive without during your journey. Oh, maybe, prepare a 5-liter canister to feel comfortable for sure.

Safely packed and fresh snacks are above all. They are much healthier, cheaper, and tastier than products in stores. Basically, it’s best to travel funny and tasty. Vacation trips can really make you hungry! Greasy food can put a strain on the stomach and slow down the circulation. Lots of fresh fruit and vegetables are great variant! These give energy and keep you fit on long journeys.

We hope that you are better prepared for your next vacation now. Traveling is not as difficult as you often think. Of course, self-discipline is needed as well, but once you’ve discovered the healthy options your particular destination offers you, then almost nothing can go wrong.

Travel with your belly full!