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Monday, January 31, 2011


If you are one of the millions of busy-day people, you thrive on drilling everything that you can possibly fit into one day.  You are generally extremely productive. As a whole, your busy-day-drive impacts society in a positive way. The world surely needs you!
On that note - the unfortunate thing about busy day  people is  that they generally don't live out their usefulness.  Why?  Because most are geniuses at planning extemporary things, but when it comes to their own well-being, therein lies the gap - the pivotal disaster that can shorten one's life due to an unhealthy 'grab-at-will' diet lifestyle.
Taking time out to pause and plan out a healthy daily diet can certainly add YEARS to one's life!
If you tend to be a busy day person, and you're finding difficulty in getting a healthy diet due to your busy lifestyle, here are some suggestions that may make a world of difference in you so that you can continue to make a difference in the world:
1.  Check out independent companies who prepare healthy meals.  Generally, these meals are less expensive than the price of a fast food offering, and they may even deliver to your door.
2. When shopping, look for packages that are stamped with the words: lean, low in fat, sugar free, low  sodium, and 'contains no Trans fats'.
3. Prepare your meals in advance and freeze for later.
4.  Try to keep a stash of the following on hand for on-the-go busy days::
 yogurt, nuts, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, jerky, rice cakes, juices, fruit popsicles, skimmed milk, low fat cottage cheese, skimmed cheeses (string cheese is a great on-the-go healthy snack) and wheat crackers.
5.  Re-evaluate your schedule and make room for 1/2 hour that will be reserved JUST FOR YOU.  Take a 15 minute brisk walk, then settle into a nice bubblebath while enjoying a little light cranberry cocktail.

Life is good.  Life should be savored.  Take time for YOU!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Romantic Picnic Lunch Menu

Maybe your relationship with your significant other has become a little mundane, or perhaps, you have a new love interest who you are trying to impress. A delicious picnic lunch, just for two, is the perfect way to spice up a romance. With a minimum of ingredients and preparation, you can impress your sweetheart with you culinary abilities, as well as with your thoughtfulness.
A zucchini frittata, served either warm or cool is an impressive looking dish that makes a wonderful picnic lunch for two. Cut the frittata into wedges, and for a light lunch, serve with a fruit salad and a chilled bottle of Chardonnay.
Another delightful option for a romantic picnic lunch is to prepare the Italian appetizer called bruschetta. Bruschetta is basically toasted Ciabatta, or other Italian bread, drizzled with olive oil, and served with a variety of toppings. The most common topping is chopped tomatoes, basil, and garlic, but there are many other delicious options. Try combining canned canellini beans with parsley, garlic, and a twist of lemon juice. You can also buy jarred bruschetta toppings such as pesto and olive tapenade. Serve the bruschetta with a few imported Italian lunchmeats and some grapes. A bottle of Chianti will add to the Italian theme and the romance.
Finally, when preparing a romantic picnic lunch for two, it's the small details that can make the occasion extra special. Bring along a book of love sonnets to read aloud or some favorite music and a portable stereo. A few comfortable throw pillows can make your sweetest more relaxed, and don't forget the necessities like napkins, flatware, glasses, plates, and of course, a corkscrew to open that bottle of vino.

Picnic Zucchini Frittata (Serves 2)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
½ lb zucchini, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds
4 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon dried oregano and salt
Dash of pepper
1½ tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup green onions, sliced
½ small can (2 1/4 ounce can) of sliced ripe olives, drained

In a small frying pan with an oven-proof handle, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender. Remove from heat. In a bowl, lightly beat eggs and milk. Stir in oregano, salt, pepper, cheese, onions, olives, and zucchini mixture. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to pan; place over medium heat. When oil is hot, pour in egg mixture and cook without stirring. As egg mixture begins to set, lift edges with a spatula and tilt pan to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath. Continue cooking until eggs are softly set, and the top still looks moist. Remove from heat. Place under broiler about 6-inches from heat, just until tops of eggs are set (about 2 to 3 minutes). Cut into wedges to serve.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How To Pick A Good Lunch Box For Children

If you are sending your child to school with a packed lunch, consider getting her a lunch box to carry the food in. Of course not all lunch boxes are created equal. They vary in size, material and price quite a bit. Here are some suggestions on how to pick a good lunch box for children.

- Plastic Or Metal
Your first consideration should be the material of your child's lunch box. Popular choices are plastic and lightweight metal such as aluminum. While aluminum is slightly sturdier than plastic, I prefer plastic lunch boxes. They are lightweight and easy to care for. Plastic lunchboxes can also easily be decorated and customized.

- Size
The next determining factor is size. How large of a lunch box does your child need. Unless you are buying one for a growing teenager, you don't need a large lunch box. Remember, your child will have to carry the box around every day. Stick with a small size, but make sure it is large enough to hold a sandwich, juice box and a small cup that you can put a side dish like fruit salad in.

- Insulated Or Non-Insulated
The last thing I would like you to consider is if you need an insulated or non-insulated lunch box. For most children, a non-insulated lunch box will do just fine. Unless you are planning on fixing lunch items that need to stay cool to avoid spoiling, stick with a simple plastic lunch box. If you do end up fixing something that should stay cool, like a chicken salad wrap for example, pack a Ziploc bag of ice cubes along with the wrap. Use a small thermos to send hot items like tea or soup to school with your child.

Of course the next question what to pack in the lunch box itself. Here are some great pack lunch ideas for kids http://www.kinderinfo.com/articles/pack-lunch-ideas.htm
Give the lunch box you and your child picked a personal touch with this lunch box craft idea http://www.kinderinfo.com/crafts/design-your-own-lunchbox.htm

Article Source

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Games for your Corporate Office Lunch Parties

Submitted by Janelle Fischer

You’re in a conference room that lacks character and windows. You’re surrounded by your group of colleagues and long table of random potluck dishes and paper plates. You do these things to celebrate co-workers’ life milestones. Baby showers, birthdays, going-away parties, wedding showers, welcome back parties. Whatever the corporate event, there is definitely a way to liven the spirit of your work day!
Here are some game ideas that are sure to be a hit in your work place! Take on the role of ‘office party planner.’ You will gain the respect of your co-workers for being organized and inventive, and all your hard work will pay off when the whole room is rolling with laughter!
Going-Away Party Game idea:
If the event is focused on celebrating for one person – make a quiz to see how much your co-workers know him/her. I’ve used this at a Bon Voyage lunch party:
1. What is Tim’s favorite food? _____________________________________________
2. Which Internet browser does Tim use most? _________________________________
3. What is Tim’s favorite TV show? ____________________________________________
4. Where is Tim’s favorite place to shop? _______________________________________
5. What month is Tim’s birthday in? ___________________________________________
6. What brand of cell phone does Tim use? _____________________________________
7. Where was Tim’s first-ever job? ____________________________________________
8. What was Tim’s phone extension? __________________________________________
9. What kind of car does Tim drive? ___________________________________________
10. What town was Tim born in? _____________________________________________
A simple Word document will do. I put the leaving co-worker’s company mug shot at the top of the quiz too!
Any Event Game Ideas:
Desk Robber
1. After hours – take one thing from each co-worker’s desk (i.e. green stapler, bobblehead, lotion, can of tuna, etc.) without them knowing.
2. Bring the items in a paper/shopping bag to the party
3. Hand out paper and pens to guests
4. Explain the concept of the game to the group
5. Pull out one item at at time to showcase and have everyone write down who they think it belongs to (ask the group to not give it away when you show their item!)
6. After all items are out of the bag, go back through and tell whose item was whose.
7. Whoever got the most correct wins!
Office Family Feud
1. Send your coworkers an email with 15 questions that you think the group will give similar answers to.
Here is an example of questions to ask:
1. What is your favorite restaurant?
2. Favorite type of music?
3. Favorite Christmas song?
4. Favorite Shampoo?
5. Favorite hobby?
6. Favorite celebrity?
7. Favorite place to shop (specific store name)?
8. What is the color of your toothbrush?
9. What time do you get up for work in the morning?
10. What do you like to do on the weekends?
11. What college did you attend?
12. Name your favorite kind of pie:
13. Name your favorite breakfast cereal:
14. How do you like your steak?
15. How fast do you drive when the speed limit is 65?
Collect everyone’s answers and tally to find the top two to five in order of popularity. Set up the questions in a Family-feud style on note cards. Saying “20 Marketing Employees were asked – top three answers are on the board.”
Break your group into an even number of teams with four to ten people on each team. Place chairs facing each other in two rows. The first person in the row of each team comes to the front. These two people face each other across the table that has a tennis ball or other small soft object on it.
A whiteboard or chalkboard should be where everyone can see it, with the numbers one through three or six on it (this is the number of top answers you have on your list).
Now ask the first question (for example, “Name the top four favorite restaurants”). The first person to grab the ball gets a chance to answer the question. (If someone grabs the ball early, stop reading the question and make him/her give you an answer before reading anymore.) If the person with the ball gives an answer that is on your list, write it besides the corresponding number. If this person has not guessed the number-one answer, the other player gets a turn to guess. The person who guesses the highest answer on the list gets to choose whether his/her team will play or pass.
After this, each team gets three strikes (wrong answers). The team that is playing gets the chance to guess the remaining answers on the board. Give each person a turn with fifteen seconds to answer. Once the playing team gets three strikes, the other team decides as a group what one answer they want to give to try to fill in one of the remaining blanks.
If the first team fills in all the blanks they win the round, but if the opposing team guesses one of the remaining answers, they win the round. Keep track of each team’s points on the board. As you get further in the game, you can double or triple the points.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Comfort Food for Rainy Days : when Eggs & Toast Win Out Quite Often

This was a classic French Oeufs en Cocotte recipe to which I added a twist with the addition of a crunchy breadcrumb topping. Method: First I made sure I had a kettle of hot, boiled water at the ready and the oven heated to 350F. Then I buttered the inside of a ramekin. I cracked open two small Marin Sun Farm eggs, one at a time, onto a saucer before gently transfering them to the ramekin, being careful not to break the yolks. I placed the ramekin in an ovenproof dish and the poured water into the dish up to a level half way up the ramekin, before popping it into the preheated oven. I took a handful of fresh white breadcrumbs, a few leaves of fresh thyme, pan-toasted them in a knob of butter until crispy and golden, then set them aside. I took a spoonful of creme fraiche and heated it gently over medium heat until it was reduced by half. After the eggs had been in the oven 5 minutes I kept checking regularly until I saw that the white had just lost its translucency. The egg should still be soft and wobbly, but it will be cooked through. I was brave enough to try and turn the cocotted eggs onto a plate without breaking the yolks. I succeeded and then spooned the warm cream over the eggs before sprinkling with the bread crumbs, but you could more easily eat the eggs in situ, still in the ramekin.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

The best meals for the best deals

I haven't logged a lot of miles at Dine Out Vancouver because restaurants aren't quite themselves during the annual event. Regular menus are replaced in large part by a prix fixe, sta look a little worse for wear and customers parachute into restaurants they wouldn't normally visit. As a critic, I wouldn't be getting an accurate read so, mostly, I sit it out and get to stay home. (I know, boo hoo, right?)
But, were I to join the rumble for reservations, first and foremost, I'd elbow my way to a reservation at one of my favourite high-ends.

$38 meal at an A-list restaurant is the big score when you consider it'll cost but a few dollars more than a regular entree.
In the $38 category, you darn well should get the same quality of food and service. Restaurants such as Bacchus, C, Chambar, Cin Cin, Diva at the Met and West would be nuts to downgrade or short-shrift their product and service for Dine Out. That would be short-term gain for long-term damage to a valuable reputation.
As Rob Clark, executive chef overseeing C, Raincity Grill and Nu restaurants (all part of Dine Out) explained to me, it's not about profits -- they're thrilled to fill seats and be able to retain valuable staff over the slow winter months and keep the cash flow circulating.
(In fact, C is offering five courses instead of the usual three courses. Nu will be offering four courses and I've heard the albacore tuna with moussaka, green beans, parsley, pickled red onion salad and saffron lemon sauce is to die for.)
I notice db Bistro Moderne is in this $38 category and while a regular tab at db wouldn't be as much as at West or Bacchus, it's tempting to take advantage of Dine Out and check out the food from the new chef, Nathan Guggenheim. (And who knows? Maybe I will.)
And if you haven't tried Cru, Glowbal Grill, Goldfish, Kitsilano Daily Kitchen, L'Abattoir, Coast, Raincity Grill -- same thing. They're not top-of-the-heap expensive to start with, but still, nothing to sniff at -- they're defi-nitely worth a try in the $38 category.

Scrolling through the $28 off erings, let's see ... I'd leap for Nu. It's perfect timing to try out the change of cuisine there. Everyone's been urging Harry Kambolis to do good Greek food; he's finally done it, so go already!
I love Campagnolo (I see it's first-come, first-served at this place). I'd recommend the ceci (crispy spicy chickpeas) because I've tried it, and the red-wine braised beef polenta with kale, marrow and salsa verde because the act of reading that started a waterfall in my mouth.
Maenam's a very good bet, considering it's the best Thai restaurant in town and if you haven't been, you should go.
And Our -- it's worth $28 just to sit in the stunning room and gaze up at the origami lantern snaking down its length. I'd start with crispy squid and spicy salad, move on to their fabled sake kasu sable-fish with gingered tomatoes and sweet miso sauce and end with Vietnamese coffee pannacotta even if it meant a sleepless night (and it would if I know Vietnamese coff ee).
Cobre serves intriguing Latin American cuisine and I can't imagine being disappointed there. If you haven't been to Salt Tasting Room, you oughtta. It jump-started the charcuterie with wine fever in Vancouver and still has the best scene.

And holy cow, I see Sanafir is offering an $18 menu. I'd sure be interested in following its "Silk Road" flavours. (The dishes are tapas sized.) I'm intrigued by the chicken, chorizo, poached egg salad with caramelized onions, paprika honey vinaigrette and the Punjabi butter chicken with mango chutney, raita and pappadum. There's only one dessert, but who's going to complain about five-spice chocolate cake with cardamom yogurt and berry compote?
And at Au Petit Chavignol (that which sparkles on an uninviting strip of East Hastings), you could do comfort (squash and apple soup with Gorgonzola fritters; four-cheese macaroni and a plate of cookies) or play hip, urban young thing and nibble your way through Italian prosciutto di Parma, a fromager's plate with cheeses, duck rillettes, cornichons and spiced quince preserves. Finish with warm chocolate cookies, which I've had, served in a brown paper bag and I'm tellin' you -- it's got healing powers. Not bad for an $18 setback, huh?
Blog: vancouversun.com/miastainsby
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Rainy Day Relief

A meal to keep you cozy on a rainy day. Sausage, Beans And Broccoli Rabes Soup, Italian Grilled Cheese -N- Tomato Sandwiches.

1.Sausage, Beans and Broccoli Rabe Soup
Heat medium soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and sausage and brown. Add veggies, bay leaf and beans. Season with salt and pepper. Cook mixture 5 minutes to begin to soften the vegetables. Add rabe and wilt. Add stock and cover pot. Raise heat and bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 15 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve soup with grated cheese, for topping.

2. Italian Grilled Cheese-n-Tomato
Heat a grill pan over medium low to medium heat. Heat oil and garlic in a small pot over low heat. Brush 4 slices of the bread with garlic oil on 1 side. Place garlic oil side down on the grill. Top with sliced cheese, tomato and basil. Place another slice of bread on top of each sandwich. Brush sandwiches with garlic oil. Press sandwiches with heavy skillet or a brick covered with tin foil. Toast sandwiches on both sides to melt cheese.

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Convenient Prepared Meal Delivery Choices Available For Senior Citizens

Most daughters and sons who take care of an aging parent, or elderly parents, usually do not imagine themselves as caregivers. They simply imagine themselves as taking good care of their parents. A caregiver is synonymous with someone who offers assistance for another individual which may not be in a position to live on their own because of physical, psychological, budgetary, as well as emotional limitations.

Caregivers are often thought to be specialists or volunteers who drop by the home of the person they may be looking after as required. In instances where a professional might not be required, the duty will most likely fall on the brothers and sisters in the family. This tends to consist of errands, housekeeping, lawn maintenance, taking care of financial circumstances, food shopping, and making meals ahead of time.

Surveys vary, but approximately 80% of all caregiver services in the U.S. are provided by members of the family. This converts to almost 50 million people, and almost a third of every U.S. family has an unpaid caregiver attending to the needs associated with an older parent in some capacity. 86% of caregivers are usually relatives, and 66% are usually female. The usual family caregiver will assume this responsibility for up to nine years.

While there are plenty of jobs and commitments a family caretaker may take on, 65% of all services involve food preparation, and 40% are generally maintaining special nutritional diets. 75% of family caregivers say food shopping is usually a standard part of their duty. Senior citizens make up the greatest percentage of men and women in society who require diabetic, weight loss, low sodium, and heart healthy eating plans. Setting up meals in advance for parents is a substantial task alone. Preparing meals for special diets, necessitates additional understanding with respect to both food shopping, and cooking.

Family caretakers who live in the area could have a much easier go of food preparation and taking care of their aging parents compared to those living further away, and even in another state. With the busy lifestyles of employment and rearing their own families, it is no wonder 40% of family caregivers find taking care of a mother or father, or parents, is often a burden. 32% say it is a high responsibility and results in emotional pressure, but when it comes to looking after an aging member of the family, it is often a labor of love.

Prepared Meal Delivery Solutions Nourishing an aging parent, or parents, may be one of the most regular, and time intensive chores a family caregiver can provide. Getting prepared meals delivered, in some quantity, is often a potential answer that assists both the family caregiver and the parent. Choices can be as straightforward as one supper each day, to a complete menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many organizations that provide ready made meals ship their food frozen and can easily be heated in a microwave.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Simple food swaps for a healthier diet

It’s a new year and we all want to get healthier. But that doesn’t have to mean diet-deprivation, far from it.
By simply replacing certain ingredients, you can turn favourite meals into nutrient powerhouses. These simple tips will help make this your healthiest and most delicious year yet.
Let’s take a closer look at our nutritional all-stars.
Swap out: Pasta
Swap in: Spaghetti Squash
Why: When cooked, the flesh of this winter squash closely resembles spaghetti pasta in both appearance and texture. Not only does it keep pasta dishes lighter in calories and carbs, it bypasses all refined flour and gluten while providing a ton of nutrients such as beta-carotene and vitamin C.
Use it: Slice squash in half lengthwise and de-seed. Rub the open side of the squash with olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Use in any recipe that calls for pasta.
Swap out: Refined sugar
Swap in: Raw Honey
Why: Refined sugar is not kind to our bodies. It robs our bodies of important nutrients (B-vitamins and certain minerals), compromising our immunity while causing increasing stress. Compare this to raw, unpasteurized honey, which contains phytonutrients and highly regarded anti-viral properties.
Use it: In place of sugar in baked goods, as a beverage sweetener, and in salad dressings.
Swap out: White rice
Swap in: Quinoa
Why: White rice is highly processed and devoid of fibre and other nutrients. By replacing it with a grain-like superfood such as quinoa, you get great flavour plus fibre, manganese, and iron.
Use it: Cook as you would rice, simmering for approximately 15 minutes until water is absorbed. Use in a grain pilaf, as a hot cereal, in stir-fry and stews.

Swap out: Breadcrumbs
Swap in: Ground almonds
Why: Breadcrumbs are typically made from nutrient-poor refined flour, negatively impacting our immunity and blood sugar levels. Ground almonds have the same appearance and texture as breadcrumbs, but they’re rich in monounsaturated fats (the good fats that promote healthy hearts). These nuts are also super for our skin, since they are packed with vitamin E.
Use it: Grind almonds in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs and use it to coat fish and chicken when baking, or to top casseroles. They’re also super as a salad-topper or smoothie ingredient.
Swap this for that, eat and enjoy! Wishing you a healthy, happy New Year.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

No Fast Food

No fast food

With each fast-food feast, you significantly increase your carbohydrate and fat intake as well as the calories you eat. So plan your meals, simplify your schedule, cook, and eat dinner as a family. Fast food may save minutes in your day, but it's taking years off your life—most chains don’t advertise that on their "value" menu. 

  1. Don't eat fast food today.
  2. Start the habit of switching one fast-food meal per week to a healthier alternative.
  3. On days you do eat fast food, ask for the small size.
  4. Never supersize your meal. The price and value may be tempting, but your health pays the greatest price.
  5. Plan your meals at least a few days in advance.
  6. Go to the store and buy fresh or organic food.
  7. Pack a healthy lunch or cook dinner at home today.

  • $180 billion is spent every year on fast food, compared to $6 billion in 1970.
  • Over 50% of the U.S. population eats fast food once a week, with 20% eating fast food at least every other day.
  • 30% of children's meals consist of fast food.
  • 24% of high schools offer popular fast-food brands.
  • More than 1 in 5 children between the ages of 6 and 17 are overweight.
  • There is a 79% likelihood of adult obesity if a person is overweight during adolescence.
  • Large portions, value meals, and supersizing create serving sizes that are double and triple the recommended daily allowance.
  • Billions of dollars are spent each year on fast-food advertising specifically targeted at children.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Canadian first: Nutrition rules for street food

Health-conscious standards proposed for new vendors in Vancouver
Battered fish and chips may be Vancouver's favourite comfort food, but you won't find those deep-fried golden slabs with tartar sauce at any of the city's street food vendor stands. At least not without fruits or vegetables on the side.
That's because Vancouver is about to become the first city in Canada -- and quite possibly North America -- to apply minimum standards for what it considers wholesome, nutritious food that can be bought on the street.
A staff report proposing the expansion of street food vendor licences to an eventual 140 from the existing 80 also recommends that all new vendors offer items that aren't going to cake a person's arteries or cause a heart attack on the street.
"Our goal is to provide more diverse, healthier food options on the street," said deputy city manager Sadhu Johnston. "It's not just about providing healthy foods, it's about diversity, improved food access and affordability."
Along with forbidding things like stand-alone chip stands and not approving any more hotdog vendors, when the city opens the door to new street food licences next month, it won't look favourably on proposals to sell items that are high in sodium, fat or sugar.
But if vendors want to throw on some healthy extras like vegetables, fruits -- even sauerkraut -- that balance out that cholesterol-laden gourmet beef patty or other high-fat food, they may just get past the city's food police.
Vision Vancouver Coun. Andrea Reimer sees nothing wrong with the city acting as Big Mother.
"If somebody wants to sell a deep-fried Mars bar or whatever, that's their prerogative. But when you are using public streets or public space or land to sell food on, I think you should be using it to promote the goals of the public body and one of our goals is around nutritional outcome," she said.
City staff are recommending to city council that it expand the number of street food vendors by 60 over the next four years to a total of 140. The expansion would include 20 new licences for mobile vendors -- similar to ice cream trucks or bicycles -- offering a range of non-prepackaged foods.
The city's move toward better street food choices began last year when it approved 17 pilot food stands that offered anything but hot dogs. With the vast majority of the city's previously existing 60 licences devoted to the dog, the city wanted diversity.
The new initiative gave life to street burritos, dim sum, elk burgers, satay, even southern barbecue. But every one of those had to meet minimum standards as set by community nutritionists at the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
That rigour is now going to be applied to all new licence applications. Johnston said he isn't ruling out the possibility of a fish and chips stand making it to the street. But if it does, it will be because it has included healthy options that make it more palatable.
"It is all of the deep frying that makes it an unhealthy choice," he said. "Just like there is a healthier way to do hotdogs, there is a healthier way to do fish and chips. I would wager you will get some pretty creative solutions. This is a very creative food town."
Johnston said the new diversity of food on the street helped convince at least six hot dog vendors to change or expand their menu, and he's hoping that as time goes on, the number of hot dog stands will decline. But he says the city has no agenda to get rid of all the hot dog vendors.
At least one new street food cart approved last year does offer a version of fish and chips, and even poutine. Fresh Local Wild operates a cart at Robson and Granville and on its menu are unbattered salmon and chips and a "chanterelle poutine."
But for diehards determined to eat battered fish and chips while sitting on a park bench, there are still -- for now -- some seasonal places. Joyce Courtney, a spokeswoman for the Vancouver park board, says the city's concessions stands in Stanley Park, Spanish Banks, Locarno Beach and New Brighton Park still have fish and chips on the menu.
But the park board menu has already given way to some healthier choices. It now offers paninis and some gourmet foods. It has also switched its concession deep fryers to canola and the fish meets the Oceanwise label for sustainable fisheries.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Moving day meals

When waiting for moving day, don't forget to plan a few meals, taking into account the need for convenience and speed. (Just order some food by phone! 604-968-3333 EasyPeasy!)

Preparing for a household move is both an exciting and a dreaded time. While it can be fun to look ahead to a new home and neighborhood location, it can be stressful to arrange all the details that go into relocating a home and a family.
One of the more important things to arrange is what the family will eat during the day of your move. It's tough coordinating the removal of things from one home and receiving them at the next one. Family members may be scattered between both locations and running around on a variety of errands. Yet everyone needs to eat something to keep from becoming worn out or weak. If you are in charge of meals for the day, here are a few ideas that can help:

1. Use fast food coupons. While some drive-through food isn't that good for you, it is possible to make healthier selections occasionally, although you don't as readily find coupons for items like soup and salad. Even if you have the burgers or fried chicken, it's only for a day, and chances are everyone will burn off the extra calories by moving furniture or unloading the truck. When planning a move, store up your unused fast food coupons and take advantage of them at this hectic time.
2. Cook and freeze ahead. Many people pack up the kitchen last, so you may be able to hold out on the refrigerator and microwave well into the moving day. If so, cook ahead and freeze individual portions of tasty meals like beef stew, meatloaf and garlic potatoes, or even lasagna. Then everyone can pop his or her entree into the microwave when they're ready to eat, since it is unlikely everyone will get to sit down at the same time. You also can use the crock pot to make sloppy joes or homemade soup, using disposable plastic dishes for serving. The crock pot can be unplugged and put in the car when you're ready to go.

3. Brown bag it. The day before, make everyone's favorite cold cut sandwiches (or whatever type they prefer). Bag and store them in the refrigerator or a cooler until the next day. Add packets of raw veggies and keep a bottle of salad dressing in the cooler, too. Don't forget a carton of pop with some chips or cookies and no one will go hungry the day of the big move. Just pass out the bags when everyone or anyone is ready to eat.

4. Get by with snacks. If everyone is too busy to sit down for a meal, have several snacks on hand for quick or frequent nibbling. Crackers and cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, beef jerky, hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, apples, and brownies will provide enough nourishment to get each family member through the day. Don't forget individual cartons of juice or drink tap water.

5. Go out at the end of the day. If your moving activities proceed on schedule, you may want to plan a relaxing dinner out. Fast food could work, or you may prefer going to a family restaurant for full service where you can take your time and enjoy the pleasure of dining. You can take home leftovers for the next day or order an extra serving of the entree in lieu of the next day's cooking, since you will probably be busy getting settled in your new home for several days yet.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vancouver Dining : Enjoy Vancouver BC Restaurants. Award Winning Fare for All Tastes!

The Vancouver dining scene is arguably the most vibrant in the country. An astounding assortment of fresh, local ingredients are coupled with highly skilled, award-winning chefs and set against a stunning backdrop of ocean and mountains.
Top Chefs in Vancouver
Many of Canada’s best chefs live and work here, and Vancouver has also attracted some top chefs from around the world. Enjoy a meal prepared by a three-star Michelin chef, or check out the latest creation by Canada’s first Iron Chef.
Remarkable Variety of Dining Experiences
Vancouverites have a passion for food, and that passion is evident in the number of restaurants and the range of dining options available in the city:

West Coast cuisine takes full advantage of the local bounty of seafood, produce and artisan foods with a celebrated “farm-to-table” approach
Vancouver’s incredible ethnic diversity has helped shape the city’s culinary landscape
Try one of the local favourites
Join the hip and trendy crowd at one of the city’s hottest new eateries
Experience some of Vancouver’s outstanding fine dining
Combine exceptional food with an exceptional view
Take advantage of Tourism Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver promotion in January. For a limited time enjoy three-course meals at some of the city’s finest restaurants for a low, fixed price. This event is very popular, so be sure to make reservations in advance.

Vancouver Sustainable Dining
Fresh, local and sustainable are three words that are taken very seriously in Vancouver, by chefs and diners alike. Want proof? The 100 Mile Diet was born here, as was Ocean Wise, a program developed in partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium that encourages restaurants across the country to make sustainable, environmentally friendly seafood choices.

West Coast Cuisine
John Bishop, owner/chef of Bishop’s restaurant for almost 25 years, was one of Vancouver’s pioneers in terms of sourcing the best local ingredients and creating culinary masterpieces. Mobil four-star restaurant West serves expertly crafted regional cuisine as well as creative cocktails from the much-lauded bar.

C Restaurant showcases the best in local seafood and was the founding restaurant partner in the Ocean Wise program, while Raincity Grill features a unique 100 Mile Tasting Menu.

Asian Cuisine
Vancouver is known as one of the best places outside of Asia to enjoy Asian cuisine. Visit Vij’s restaurant, described by The New York Times as “Easily among the finest Indian restaurants in the world.” Try the cricket paranta, an Indian flatbread made with ground crickets!

Another must is Tojo’s, where master sushi chef Hidekazu Tojo is credited with inventing the ubiquitous California Roll and the BC Roll. Order Omakase and trust the chef to create your perfect meal.

Sample Vancouver’s famous Dim Sum at the multiple-award-winning Kirin Restaurant, and see what the critics are raving about at Phnom Penh, a Cambodian-Vietnamese restaurant located in Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Casual and Local Favourites
No discussion of dining in Vancouver would be complete without mentioning local institution the White Spot. Try the legendary Triple “O” burger. Another local chain, the Cactus Club Café, boasts a series of signature dishes by Vancouver’s own Iron Chef, Rob Feenie.

Bin 941 and Bin 942 – the Bins, as they’re called locally – were instrumental in establishing Vancouver’s love affair with tapas, or small plates. A Japanese twist on this concept is the wildly popular Hapa Izakaya, one of a handful of izakaya restaurants in the city. Salt Tasting Room put their own spin on the idea and started a local wine, artisanal cheeses and charcuterie craze.

The unassuming Go Fish operates out of a small shack at Fisherman’s Wharf right on the harbour. The fish comes straight off the boats. Be sure to try the salmon tacones, wrapped in a tortilla shell.
New & Trendy
At the top of many critics’ lists is the quaint La Quercia with its authentic Italian dishes. Also causing a stir is MARKET at Vancouver’s new Shangri-La Hotel, under the direction of internationally renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

Other hot spots include Cibo Trattoria, which emphasizes simplicity and freshness, and Voya, with its sumptuous décor and French-Asian cuisine.
Fine Dining
Lumière, an exquisite French restaurant recently re-opened by superstar chef Daniel Boulud, has received awards and honours from across the globe.

Cioppino’s Mediterranean Grill & Enoteca in trendy Yaletown was named the 2009 Restauraunt of the Year by Vancouver Magazine. Its chef/owner Pino Posteraro was the magazine’s Chef of the Year in 2008.

Blue Water Café + Raw Bar is one of the city’s best destinations for wild and sustainable seafood, and the raw bar offers up expertly crafted sushi and sashimi. Also a must is the elegant Il Giardino, run by iconic local chef Umberto Menghi.
Dining with a View
Five Sails, located in Canada Place on the Vancouver harbour, is a AAA/CAA Four Diamond Restaurant with breathtaking views that take in Stanley Park and the Coast Mountains.

The Salmon House, perched on the hillside in Vancouver’s North Shore, has been charming diners for more than 30 years. Try their Uniquely BC menu, with options from every region of the province.

Ride the gondola to The Observatory, located atop Grouse Mountain. Enjoy the spectacular view of the city and indulge in fresh, regionally sourced cuisine. The Sandbar restaurant on scenic Granville Island offers some amazing signature dishes coupled with views across False Creek toward downtown Vancouver’s towering skyline.

Must Visit
And speaking of Granville Island, there are some special food places that you have to experience while you're in Vancouver:

Granville Island Market: With its mounds of fresh fish, meat, poultry and produce, not to mention crusty breads, savoury soup stocks, and handmade pastas, the market is where city cooks head for inspiration. Few leave the market without succumbing to lunch from the mouthwatering food stalls, best taken al fresco and often accompanied by musical entertainment.
Richmond Night Market: During weekend evenings in the summer, wander from stall to stall, sampling dim sum and aromatic Asian specialties. There are more than 400 stalls at the Night Market, offering a uniquely Asian shopping and eating experience.
Steveston: This charming fishing village in Richmond now offers an array of excellent seafood restaurants but for most, the true Steveston experience will always mean sitting on the pier with a paper cone of crisp fish and chips.

Read More~

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Healthy lunch at the office: It is possible

In today's fast-paced environment it often seems impossible to sit down
and enjoy a good lunch. A busy day at the office means most Canadians either eat at their desk or grab some fat-laden fast food.
 So what's the solution?
 The Dietitians of Canada suggest planning ahead and setting realistic goals.
 "The major problem is taking time to get away from your desk, sometimes it is just not possible," says Susan Mah, a registered dietitian in Toronto. "The best solution is to bring the food to you so that even if you can't leave you know you always have something healthy on hand."
 Mah offers these tips for making it easier to lunch well at work:
 - Stock your desk with non-perishables such as fruit cups, dry cereal, crackers, peanut butter, canned soup, and dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
 - Keep some utensils, napkins and a can opener at your desk.
 - If you have access to a fridge, keep it stocked with yogurt, fruit, sliced meat and hard-boiled eggs. Be sure to label your food and date it.
 - If you do have to have fast-food one day, choose small portions and look for grilled or broiled sandwiches instead of the deep fried ones. Load up on the vegetable toppings and skip dessert.
 - Frozen entrees can be convenient, but portions might be small. Round out the meal with extra vegetables and whole grain bread. Have fruit or yogurt for dessert.
 Obviously it is better not to eat at your desk, but Mah stresses that whatever the circumstances, always find a way to eat. "Ideally, go out for walk, get air, relax, but if not - bring the food to you," she said.
 Planning ahead
 If you do plan to keep good, healthy food on hand, then it will take some organizing.
 According to Mah 50 percent of Canadians don't consider their meals until the last minute.
 Instead of wandering aimlessly around the grocery store, Mah suggests you make a grocery list and organize it so that it follows the layout of the store. That way you can shop quickly and efficiently and still end up with all the items you'll need to make sure you always have ingredients for lunch.
 Other tips include:
 - Always have a good stock of basic pantry foods such as pasta, rice, eggs, milk, cheese and frozen vegetables.
 - On the weekend make large batches of soup, muffins or banana bread that will last you for the week.
 - Cook extra noodles or rice when you make dinner, then use the left overs to make a fast lunch.
 - Precut vegetables such as broccoli and baby carrots are handy. They are more expensive, but worth it if it means you'll get your daily serving of veggies.
 If you do break the habit of having nothing but mustard in your fridge, here are some quick and tasty lunch ideas, that can be made ahead of time and taken to the office:
 - Clean and cut up raw veggies and pack them in containers or plastic bags so that they are ready to eat.
 - Next time you reach for your usual coffee, tea or soft drink, try milk or juice instead.
 - Hard boil extra eggs for quick egg salad sandwiches, to chop and put in a salad or to eat as is.
 - Pull together a quick meal-in-one salad. Start with lettuce or other greens, add small cubes of cheese, chopped cooked egg, chick peas, canned tuna or salmon.
 - Canned bean or pea soup make a healthy lunch. Enjoy with a whole wheat bun.
 - Pack a pita with whatever strikes your fancy. Be adventurous and try something new!
 - Toast a cheese English muffin and add a slice of cheese and a slice of tomato.
 As National Nutrition Month moves forward the message remains that it is possible, with minimal planning, to eat well both at home and work.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Craving For Chicken Wings? Try this! Zabu chicken on Robson Vancouver

by Ted Park (yummyweb)
"Awesome korean style deep fried chickens!! Crispy outside & tender inside. Radish pickles that come with chickens are tasty too."

by Steven S. (yelp)
The chicken is actually really, really good. Savory mixed with a little sweet is the main flavor and I must admit a nice change over typical buffalo hot wings.
I will get some tasty bird from Zabu again, though I doubt I would eat in Zabu as there are not apps to dine on while waiting but they do sell beer. They do deliver so that is a good option

Zabu chicken Delivery Call : 604-968-3333

Friday, January 7, 2011

Food Delivery Plans: Pros and Cons

It was fun having fresh and interesting meals delivered right to my front door, but as MANY of you pointed out, there are a number of not-so-great things about food delivery services.
Personally, a food delivery service is just not for me, but I think they can be beneficial to many people for a variety of reasons. So, I’ve created a pro-con list for food delivery services, like The Fresh Diet. Feel free to chime-in with your own thoughts on food delivery plans.
Convenient; delivered right to your door
No shopping for groceries or spending hours in the kitchen
May help you lose weight; takes the work out of counting calories and watching portions
Variety in meal options
Fresh food delivery services (instead of pre-packaged food) can provide you with your daily allowance of fresh fruits and vegetables
Nutrition information and food labels provided for all meals
Lots of packaging; not environmentally-friendly; wasteful
Usually an expensive service
Portion sizes are typically small; may cause you to overeat later on
May include lots of preservatives and/or artificial flavors

Read More~

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Did you know that you can order Beard Papa's cream puffs by phone?

                                                             Call 5delivery! 604-968-3333

*ring ring*
Mom: Hi! Where are you?
Me: On Sawtelle.. getting cream puffs.
Mom: Oh! From Grandpa Beards?
Me: Yes, Mother. From Grandpa Beards.
*slaps forehead*
Yeah.. "Beard Papas" is a pretty weird name but no worries, nuthin' weird about their cream puffs! Just creamy goodness enveloped by a light and crispy crust!
I recommend vanilla and green tea. :)
                                                                                                                                                    -Jessica r.

Crazy great. Have one a year.
Is Beard Papa supposed to be Santa Claus or Hemmingway?
                                                                                                                                                    - Mario D.

I've been coming here for a few years now and really have yet to find a place that could match Beard Papa's mastery of making the fluffiest puffs with the lightest custard filling.  It's like biting into sugary creamy air! Delicious! I love the vanilla flavor the most but always enjoy eating the other flavors they come out with.  So far I've seen vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, green tea and pumpkin (seasonal!) on their menu.  They rotate flavors during the week and somehow I've always missed the green tea puff on their menu.  Apparently they have it on Mondays and Tuesdays and I can only make it to the shop on weekends.  It's a great dessert shop and I highly recommend it!                  
                                                                                                                                                - Caroline K.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

다운타운에 철가방이 떴다

밴쿠버 최초 배달 전문 음식 사업을 시작한 신종민씨

밴쿠버에서 가장 분주한 곳 다운타운. 이곳에 한국에서만 보던 철가방이 등장했다. 철가방의 주인공은 바로 ‘5딜리버리(5Delivery)’ 대표 신종민(30세)씨. 철가방 하나로 다운타운에서 유명인사가 된 그는 1년 전 밴쿠버 최초로 음식 배달 전문 사업을 시작했다.

◇ 현재 하는 일을 소개해달라
“배달이다. 음식을 주문받고 식당으로부터 음식을 받아 손님에게 배달해 주는 단순한 사업이다. 처음에는 식당 4곳과 계약을 맺고 시작했지만 현재는 14곳의 식당과 계약을 맺어 한식을 비롯해 중식, 일식, 인도 음식 등 다양한 음식의 배달 서비스를 도맡아 하고 있다. 다양한 음식 덕에 한국인 40%, 캐네디언 40%, 중국인 20%로 고객층도 다양하다”

◇ 어떻게 사업을 시작하게 됐나
“처음 공부를 목적으로 밴쿠버에 왔다. 학교에 다니면서 이곳 사람들과 어울리는 기회와 문화를 접할 기회가 많아지다 보니 한국에 발달해 있는 빠른 배달 문화가 이곳에 도입되면 좋겠다는 생각이 들었다. 사업을 결심하기 전 요식업을 하는 분께 의견을 물었을 때 ‘나도 생각해봤어’ ‘그런 것이 있으면 좋을 것 같긴 하다’ 라는 반응뿐이었지, 실제로 실천한 사람은 아무도 없었다. 그래서 ‘내가 직접 한번 해보자’라는 생각에 도전하게 됐다. 마음을 굳히고 나서 한국에 있는 가족에게 부탁해 철가방을 공수해 오는 등 차근차근 사업을 준비했다”

◇ 생소한 사업이라 시작하는데 어려움이 많았을 것 같다
“학생이란 신분이 사업을 준비하는데 걸림돌로 작용했다. 특히 생소한 사업이다 보니 은행, 시청어려움이 계속 따라다녔다. 만나는 사람마다 사업 내용을 자세히 설명했다. 지금 계약을 맺고 있는 식당 주인들도 처음엔 반신반의했다. 설득의 반복이었고 힘들었지만 집념 하나로 밀어붙였다. 그런 노력을 보이니 조금씩 주위에서도 알아주기 시작했다. 사업을 시작했을 때 매일 14시간씩 일하면서도 한 달 배달 수가 고작 15건이었다. 하지만 지금은 크게 늘어 매달 1200여건 이상 배달하고 있다”

◇ 철가방을 고집하는 이유
“철가방을 고집하는 이유는 바로 철가방만이 가지고 있는 특징 때문이다. 나는 철가방이 철가방 특유의 보온기능과 편의성을 가지고 있다고 생각한다. 또한 처음에 배달을 시작했을 때, 걸어서 배달했기 때문에 무게가 가볍고 잡기가 편해야 된다는 생각이 들어 철가방을 선택하게 됐다”

◇ 철가방에 대한 손님들의 반응은 어떤가
“한국 손님 대부분은 ‘한국에서만 봤던 철가방을 이곳에서 다시 보게 돼 반갑다’는 반응이었다. 반면 한국에서 배달문화가 흔히 ‘못 배운 사람들이 하는 일’이라는 고정관념이 있어서인지 보자마자 반말을 내뱉고 배달지연에 욕설을 퍼붓는 등 사람을 낮춰보는 경우도 있었다. 캐네디언의 경우에는 철가방을 낯설게 느끼고 신기해 한다. 이들 대부분은 늦은 시간 배달에 놀라고 철가방이라는 물건에 한 번 더 놀란다. 지난 할로윈 때는 코스프레 복장의 캐네디언 몇 명이 다가와 철가방을 들고 도망간 적도 있다(웃음)”

◇ 내년 계획이 있다면
“일단 주문의 편의성을 극대화 하기 위해 스마트폰용 응용프로그램(App)을 준비 중이다. 이를 통해 음식을 쉽게 주문하고 주문내역, 도착 예정 시간 등을 실시간으로 손님에게 알려줄 계획이다. 또한 배달 지역 확대와 홍보를 위한 사업 투자자도 찾고 있다. 투자자를 통해 현재 다운타운으로 한정된 배달 지역을 확대하고 이름을 알릴 계획을 하고 있다”

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

How to Eat Right and Have Healthy Food Delivery

What’s the number one stress buster for time challenged professionals and families alike? Healthy food delivery!
After a chaotic and stressful day what superior treat than not to have to cook? Not too much! Long workdays leave very tiny time for anything else, especially cooking.
In the United Says today, the workday has increased from an eight hour day to often ten or twelve hours. In the workforce, stress is prevalent above everything else.
Lets grappling it, regular chores are time consuming. By the time you do your home work, go to work, drive the children around and run errands you are to exhausted to cook a healthy meal let alone consume it. Can’t move to go to sleep so you can wake up and do the same thing tomorrow.
This is when healthy food delivery can be a real godsend. When you order from menus that are healthy and nutritious, you do not have to worry if your family is getting the proper nutritional value from their meal.
You and your family will get to order exactly what they want to take from the big menu options. The good thing about healthy home delivery is that apiece one of your family members gets to select the food that he or she prefers, avoiding the headaches of preparing multiple dinners.
When you order healthy food for delivery, you will always receive the perfect portion plate that a professional chef has prepared. Each menu item is carefully prepared to your order specifications and delivered to your door in a short amount of time.
For someone who doesn’t like to cook, or doesn’t have the time this service is right up their alley. Let’s grappling it! There is probably nothing more time capturing than cooking healthy meals, so we give in to fast food or junk food to get us through the meal.
Bad Idea! When you don’t have the time to take right, intake junk or fast food only complicates the problem. You know! That situation they speak about on the national news each night, obesity.
With healthy food delivery having no time or can’t cook is no problem. Just go and get one of those delicious healthy dinners you picked, heat and enjoy. The ideal part about it, after the taste sensations have died down, is the fact that your body will love you for feeding it healthy food.
When you stop and think about it, your day is hectic enough without having to worry about what to cook for dinner. When you use a healthy food delivery service, you will be healthy to spend more calibre time with your family and friends.

Read more~

Monday, January 3, 2011

Top 10 New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year resolutions make our top ten list?

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. Make plans to meet up with friends for an evening of comaraderie at favorite Pittsburgh restaurant or take the family to one of these popular Pittsburgh places for family fun. Work shouldn't always come first!

2. Fit in Fitness
The evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better. Why not make this the time to start getting in shape for one of these popular Pittsburgh Area Charity Walks, Runs or Rides? 
More: Getting Fit in Pittsburgh

3. Tame the Bulge
Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year's resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions of Americans who made a New Year's commitment to shed extra pounds. 

4. Quit Smoking
If you have resolved to make this the year that you stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you've tried to quit before and failed, don't let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life! Even Allegheny County is trying to go smoke-free, and it's taken them a few tries as well. Locally, there are a variety of free support services, hotlines and smoking cessation classes to help you kick the smoking habit. 

5. Enjoy Life More
Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that "enjoying life more" has become a popular resolution in recent years. It's an important step to a happier and healthier you! Consider one of Pittsburgh's holistic healing centers for products designed to bring balance to your body, mind and soul. Or just get out and try something new! Take up a new hobby or try your hand at skiing. Go to a theater performance, or head to the local spa. Pittsburgh offers a wealth of artistic and recreational activities to meet just about anyone's wishes. 

6. Quit Drinking
While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available. Pittsburgh Alcoholics Anonymous offers meetings throughout the greater Pittsburgh area. There is also a Pittsburgh group for Parents of Teenage Alcohol and Drug Abusers. There are also a number of treatment-based programs, as well as support groups for families of alcoholics. 

7. Get Out of Debt
Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the millions of Americans who have resolved to spend this year getting a handle on their finances. It's a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead. 

8. Learn Something New
Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you'll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year's resolutions to keep. The Community College of Allegheny County offers a wide variety of "lifelong learning" courses, and local YMCA's offer great recreational training for beginners of all ages. Most local colleges and universities offer distance and adult education programs. Or if the arts are more your thing, places such as the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts offer adult studio classes.

9. Help Others
A popular, non-selfish New Year's resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help. The Pittsburgh Cares organization makes it easy by connecting volunteers with projects to fit practically any schedule. Or if your time is really in short supply, maybe you can at least find it in you to donate the furniture, clothing and other household items that you no longer need, rather than leaving them out by the curb to fill up our landfills. 

10. Get Organized
On just about every New Year resolution top ten list, organization can be a very reasonable goal. Whether you want your home organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it, these tips and resources should get you started on the way to a more organized life. Pittsburgh has quite a few professional organizers who can help you reduce the clutter in your life and find peace in your home. Professional Pittsburgh organizer Patty Kreamer even offers a a six-month But I Might Need it Somday! ecourse.