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June 2018

Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna Steak Recipe

Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna Steak Recipe  by Ralph Serpe

Tuna is truly an amazing food with a number of benefits that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Tuna is rich in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and has been known to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also low in fat and cholesterol making it a great alternative to beef. Not only is tuna a powerhouse of nutrition, it is also one of the most delicious sources of lean protein that you will ever sink your teeth into.

Tuna is also easy to cook. Its a hardy fish and holds together well on the grill, in the oven, or on the stove top. The following recipe is one of my favorites and is fairly easy to prepare.

I made this particular dish the other day and it was absolutely wonderful. My wife, who normally does not eat big portions, cleaned off her plate and wanted more, so that is a very good sign.

The thickness of the tuna steak you use really depends on how rare you like your tuna. Because you are only searing the outside of your tuna steak, it will not be in the pan for very long. So the thicker the steak, the more rare the center will be.

I personally do not like my tuna too rare, so I usually make this recipe with thinner cuts of tuna. This is just a preference, not a requirement. Many people, including chefs say the only way to eat tuna is rare. I guess you will have to be the judge.

Let us move on to the recipe shall we?

Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna with a Cilantro, Garlic and Lime sauce..

I should mention one thing before we begin this recipe. I do not follow exact measurements in recipes. I measure everything by eye, so the following measurements are only to be used as a guide. So don't get too mad at me!

This is optional, but I like to toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan first before I put them on the tuna. The seeds become nutty and aromatic when you toast them. This is highly recommended if you have the time and is quite easy to do. Simply heat a dry pan over medium heat, then add the seeds shaking the pan occasionally. You may have to do this in batches, depending on how many seeds you are toasting. You do not want to overcrowd the pan. Keep an eye on the seeds and make sure they do not burn. Toast them until they darken a bit and start to become fragrant. Remove and let them cool before adding them to the tuna.


1/4 Cup Black Sesame Seeds
1/4 Cup White Sesame Seeds
1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
2 - 6 ounce Ahi (Also known as Yellow Fin) Tuna Steaks
Salt and Pepper to Taste


1/ 2 Cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce (Who needs the extra sodium, right?)
1 Lime (Juice and Zest - If you want more lime flavor, add another)
1- 2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
2 Tablespoons of Honey
1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
2 Tablespoons of Freshly Chopped Cilantro Leaves

1) Prepare the marinade. Add all marinade ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Reserve half of this marinade in a separate container to use as a dipping sauce.

2) Get a glass baking dish or other non-reactive container to marinade the tuna in. You want the tuna steaks to fit snuggly in the dish so that they are surrounded nicely with the marinade. Pour the marinade into the dish and put the tuna steaks in and kind of swirl the marinade around so that you coat the fish well. Cover with some plastic wrap and refrigerate. Another option is to pour the marinade in a large zip lock bag, add the tuna, and then squeeze out the air. Marinade for 30 minutes to an hour, turning the tuna about half way through.

3) Remove tuna from fridge and let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes or so.

4) Remove tuna from marinade, shaking off any excess marinade and dry on paper towels.

5) Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. The oil should be hot but not smoking.

6) While the pan is heating, arrange your sesame seeds on a flat dish. Roll the tuna around in the seeds pressing down as you roll ensuring the seeds are packed into the tuna nicely.

7) Add the tuna to the hot saute pan and shake it a bit to make sure the tuna does not stick. Sear for 30 to 40 seconds on both sides.

8) Remove and serve with the reserved dipping sauce.

For side dishes with this recipe I usually keep things pretty bland as I don't want anything to compete with the flavors in the tuna. So I usually prepare a side of steamed green beans with a bit of butter, salt and pepper or other vegetable along with some lightly seasoned jasmine or basmati rice.

There you have it. I do hope you enjoy this Seared Sesame Encrusted Ahi Tuna recipe. I am not a big wine drinker, but for those of you who like a glass or two with dinner, I heard a nice Pinot Grigio goes quite well with Tuna. Buon Appetito!

Ralph Serpe is a passionate home cook and founder of offers great recipes and cooking tips for aspiring chefs and home cooks. Visit us today for more healthy seafood recipes.

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Cardio - Long and Easy or Short and Hard?

Cardio - Long and Easy or Short and Hard? by Ben Greenfield

Even if you've got the greatest abdominal workout in the world, it's not going to slim your waist unless you also burn off the fat. Trust me...there are many of people out there who have great muscular tone and balance in the mid-section, but don't even know it because those nice abs are covered in a layer of fat. Remember, a combination of three factors is necessary for a slim waistline: a good abdominal workout, smart cardiovascular exercise, and proper nutrition. In this article, I'm going to explain how to choose the proper cardio workout structure for burning the most amount of calories and burning the proper ratio of carbohydrates and fat.

When it comes to cardio, the question I probably receive most is: long and slow or short and fast? This question actually reflects the most important concept behind a good cardio routine. The truth is, it depends. Let's begin by looking at total amount of calories burnt.

Say I ask you to travel a mile on foot. I don't care how you do it - walk, jog, or run. Many exercise professionals will tell you that you'll burn the same number of calories any way you do it, as long as you're covering the same distance. This is simply not true. Studies have shown that the faster you cover that distance, the more calories you burn, period. There is a higher metabolic cost to moving quickly than to moving slowly. So you're going to burn the most calories by pedaling, running, rowing, swimming, or doing any other cardio you do as fast as possible. The added bonus is that the faster you move, the higher your post-exercise metabolism becomes, meaning that you burn more calories throughout the day after your workout than if you had moved at a slower pace.

Here's the catch - the faster you "move" across that mile, the more you rely on carbohydrates for energy, and the less you rely on fat. Although burning carbohydrates is beneficial, your body should also be learning how to efficiently use fat as an energy source. The "fat-burning" zone varies from person to person, but a good rule is that when breathing becomes labored or the muscles begin to burn, you've crossed the threshold to utilizing carbohydrate as a primary energy source. The basic science behind this is that it takes more oxygen to burn 1 calorie from fat than it takes to burn 1 calorie from carbohydrate, so as your body begins to work harder and get lower on oxygen, it turns more to carbohydrate as an energy source.

So here's the application part. If you are pressed for time in your workout, go short and fast (i.e. 10-20 minutes, at an intensity level of 8-10). You will burn more calories, both in your workout and throughout the rest of the day. Ideally, however, if you have the time, you should also be incorporating long and slow cardio workouts into your routine (i.e. 20-60 minutes, at an intensity level of 6-8), essentially "training" your body to burn fat as a fuel. Often, I have my clients work in both zones by performing their short and hard cardio efforts prior to weight training on their "difficult" days, then performing their slow and long cardio efforts on their "easy" days. The added bonus is that the slow and long cardio efforts allow the body to recover more quickly from the previous day's difficult efforts, which means better results.

Let's finish with a sample workout that will keep you in both zones during the same workout. This is an "interval" routine. Here's how it works:

5 minute graded warm-up, gradually working up to a hard intensity by minute 5

1 minute hard-fast effort (labored breathing)

2 minutes easy-medium effort (conversation possible)

2 minutes hard-fast effort

1 minute easy-medium effort

repeat 1x

3 minutes hard-fast effort

3 minutes easy-medium effort

4 minutes hard-fast effort

4 minutes easy-medium effort

repeat 1x

5 minute cool-down, gradually working down to a very easy effort by minute 5.

Ben Greenfield holds bachelor's and master's degrees in sports science and exercise physiology (University of Idaho), Ben is the owner of Pacific Elite Fitness online multi-sport coaching,personal training service and is director of sports performance for Champions Sports Medicine He is also available as a private wellness coach. E-mail

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Three Landscaping Ideas

Three Landscaping IdeasThree Landscaping Ideas by Ryan Wolfe

Your outdoor space is just as vital and important as you're inside space. Landscaping can not only raise your property value and make your neighbors happy; it can be an exciting and creative project, a new spin on yard maintenance. So maybe you've just bought a home with a big back yard space, but it's just sitting there like a blank canvas in serious need of some lawn care. On the other hand, perhaps you've let your former design go, and you're ready for something fresh, either way, lawn care, can improve not only the aesthetics of your life, but also the financial value of your home. You'll want to start thinking about designs, what types of yard care are you interested in. With so many to choose from it can be hard to discover what you want, there are, Japanese, Chinese, modern, classic, do you want stepping stones or gravel walk ways, should you have water features? There are so many choices; we couldn't possibly cover them all, so we'll talk about three ideas to help inspire you to start your yard care project.

1. The Country English Garden
To fans of Jane Austen, and the like, it won't be hard to find inspiration in this classic form of garden. You'll want to spend hours reading beside the common aromatic plants so often found in the classic English landscaping design. At the time it was practical as well as aesthetically pleasing, and now, it can help add a sweet and constant fragrance to your space. Some ideas for types of herbs to plant would be sage, and lavender, both have strong but highly pleasant scents. If you plant these near the door, you'll find yourself wanting to leave the door open and let the scent in. The lavender will add not only scent but also one of the staple colors of the country garden. The English garden design offers you a infinite supply of romance, and a place to enjoy yard care. These are just a couple features of the limitless English country design.

2. The Tuscany
The rich earth tones of Tuscany designs are not only popular but also work well in almost any environment. The lush design often either features stonework, in the form of outdoor tile, or graveled off areas that could easily be used to entertain. Consider adding things like creeping vines to give your yard a more rustic and authentic look. Create your own private get away by using tall shrubbery, or perhaps a wall of grape vines to accentuate the rest of you space. Your yard care will be a breeze in this rich and rustic getaway.

3. The modern garden
Modern gardens are all about clean lines, richness, yet keeping things under control as to offer low lawn maintenance, for a modern lifestyle. This look is accented by walkways made of clean rectangular blocks spaced reasonably apart, and often emphasized by lots of lush greenery. Moss can be used between the walkway stones to make the gray pop and add contrast to the lines.

These are just three ideas, which would add value to your outdoor space, keep in mind the yard care that suits you best.

Ryan Wolfe is a landscape designer in Portland, Oregon. His company, Valley West Landscapes, provides landscape design, organic yard care and lawn maintenance services in Portland, Oregon.

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Pet Food Economics

Pet Food Economics  by Jeffrey Weber

Many people are familiar with the old saying that "you get what you pay for." This couldn't be truer when it comes to choosing a pet food. Understandably, in tough economic situations many pet owners will choose a food because of a lower price. However, it is important to understand that these pet foods have a lower cost because they use lower quality ingredients. Some of these ingredients are as follows:

Meat by products: These by products are things such as organs and other parts that are undesirable or deemed unsuitable for human consumption. Often this may include bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feet, and feathers. This may also include meat from the 4 D's, dead, diseased, dying or disabled. There is also what some people consider the 5th D which is drugged.

Grains: Ingredients such as corn, corn gluten, wheat and wheat gluten offer little nutritional value and are extremely difficult for our pets to digest.

Meat and Bone Meal: This is a generic term for an inexpensive source of animal proteins. The meat source can be from any meat source or several meat sources usually a by-product of our own meat manufacturing processes and determined unsuitable for human consumption. It is notable that a protein meal that consists largely of bone meal may prove difficult for our pets to digest and provides inadequate nutrition.

Animal Fat: Another generic term for a fat source of questionable origin. While it certainly may contain rendered animal fat from various sources it can also include restaurant grease as well as other rancid oils deemed unsuitable for human consumption. Always look for a named fat source such as "chicken fat" or 'beef fat" that is naturally preserved with vitamin E or tocopherols.

Food Processing By-Products: Sometimes called "food fragments" these are the by-products of another food manufacturing process. Some examples may be wheat bran, or a by-product of the alcohol industry known as brewer's rice.

Sweeteners: Ingredients such as corn syrup, cane molasses and sugar are often added to lower quality pet foods to make them more palatable to our pets. It should go without saying that these types of sweeteners can create many health issues including diabetes.

Beef Tallow: Sometimes called beef fat, is obtained from the tissue of cattle in the rendering process. Our dogs and cats like the taste of this fat so it is often used to make the food more appealing in taste to our pets. Beef tallow is very low in linoleic acid and is therefore a cheaper alternative to a high quality fat such as chicken fat or a good quality vegetable oil.

Chemical Preservatives: These include BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), propyl gallate, propylene glycol (used as a less-toxic version of antifreeze), and ethoxyquin. BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin have all demonstrated carcinogenic properties and any studies on the long-term build up of these chemicals in our pets are non-existent. However, all three of these last three chemicals listed have been banned in Europe due the harmful effects on humans and pets.

Understanding that the ingredients listed above offer very little if any nutritional value to our pets at best and that some may be potentially harmful to our pets, we can now make a more educated comparison between pet foods. In this example we will choose dog foods, two less expensive brands and two "premium" brands. Please keep in mind that this comparison is to help you, the reader, understand how to make a reasonable comparison between pet foods and make a more educated decision, it is by no means absolutely conclusive on which is the best of all pet foods. Also it is important to point out that while we are using dog food in this example all the information presented here applies to other pet foods as well.

Ol' Roy Dog Food Ingredients

Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, ground whole wheat, corn syrup, poultry fat, Meat and bone meal (Animal Fat Preserved with BHA and Citric Acid), Chicken by-product Meal, Rice, Animal Digest, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin D and E Supplement, Niacin, Copper Sulafate, Manganous Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Meadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex Source of Vitamin K, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Folic Acid

34 lb bag $32.82 or 96.5 cents per lb

Blue Buffalo Lamb and Rice

Deboned Lamb, Lamb Meal, Whole Ground Barley, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Rye, Whole Potatoes, Fish Meal, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Sunflower Oil (natural source of Omega 6 Fatty Acids), Natural Flavor, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Flaxseed, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Kelp Meal, Taurine, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Green Tea Extract, Turmeric, Garlic, Herring Oil (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Fructooligosaccharides, Monooligosaccharides, Dried Chicory Root, Black Malted Barley, Oil of Rosemary, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin C, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Beta Carotene, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Folic Acid, Biotin, Choline Chloride, Calcium Phosphate

30 lb bag $48.99 or $1.64 per lb

Keeping in mind that ingredients on pet food labels are listed by weight, look closely at the first four ingredients in these two dog foods. Where as Ol Roy lists three grains and a sweetener, Blue Buffalo lists a whole named meat followed by a named meat meal, followed by two whole grains. What this tells us is that the Ol' Roy brand is deriving the majority of its protein from grain sources, which is difficult for our pets to assimilate whereas the Blue Buffalo gains its protein from animal sources, which suits our carnivorous companions much better. The grains in the Blue Buffalo are more easily digested by our pets and along with the potatoes, provide carbohydrates. Whereas the Ol' Roy brand lists generic animal fat preserved with BHA and citric acid the Blue Buffalo uses named oil sources such as Sunflower Oil and Herring Oil offering essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids along with flaxseed and is naturally preserved. Both foods offer vitamin supplementation, however the Blue Buffalo is more complete and offers taurine as well.

Purina Dog Chow Ingredients

Whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), meat and bone meal, brewers rice, soybean meal, whole grain wheat, egg and chicken flavor, animal digest, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, added color (Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, Vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, brewers dried yeast, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin D-3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

20 lbs $12.99 or .65 per lb

Orijen Adult Dog Food Ingredients

Fresh boneless chicken, chicken meal, fresh boneless salmon, turkey meal, herring meal, russet potato, peas, sweet potato, fresh boneless turkey, fresh whole eggs, fresh chicken liver, fresh boneless lake whitefish, fresh boneless walleye, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fiber, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), organic kelp, pumpkin, chicory root, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, blueberries, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium.

29.7 lbs $67.49 or $2.27 per lb

Again, if we note the first ingredients listed we see that the Purina Dog Chow's primary protein source is a grain followed by a generic poultry by-product meal. The generic "animal fat" is naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols but that is of little value considering the fact that the following ingredient is of an unknown origin followed by brewers rice, a by-product of the alcohol industry. The Purina Dog Chow also uses artificial coloring, which makes the food more visually appealing to the pet owner but means little to the pet. The Orijen starts with a named whole meat followed by a named meat meal then another whole meat and two named meat meals. It contains a named fat source, which is naturally preserved. It is also notable that the Orijen uses pre-biotics and pro-biotics which are beneficial in the digestion process.

There are two important points to keep in mind when looking at these examples. First, while the "premium" foods cost two to three times more they are made with higher-grade ingredients. This means that your pet can more readily assimilate and utilize the nutrients in these foods. This in turn means that your pet can acquire their nutritional requirements with smaller portions. Because you are able to feed smaller portions you will find you get more meals out of the "premium" food than you would out of the same size bag of the lower quality food. So while the "premium" food may be higher in cost on a per pound basis, most people find that the cost on a per portion basis is about the same for both foods. The second point to consider is that with the "premium" foods you are feeding a healthier diet without chemicals, artificial coloring, or artificial preservatives helping to avoid health issues associated with these types of ingredients. Again, the higher quality ingredients in the "premium" foods offer your pet more of what they need to maintain optimal health thereby reducing the chances of major or chronic disease and lowering the cost of veterinary care.

In the long run, every moment of your pet's life will be greatly enhanced with the choices you as a pet owner make such as providing them with the best available nutrition found in higher quality food. Be sure to always read the food labels carefully and take into consideration any health issues your pet may have such as food allergies, diabetes and so on. Making informed decisions can lead to many happy, healthy years with your best friend. As always if you have concerns or questions consult with your veterinarian.

Jeffrey Weber has been a long time and avid pet lover. He has had the privilege to learn from pet professionals, as well as from his own experience. In an effort to strengthen the bond between people and their pets he shares his knowledge on his blog Family Pets. In addition Jeff offers quality pet supplies at

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Choose Your Home Business Carefully

Choose Your Home Business CarefullyChoose Your Home Business Carefully  by James Hicks

Choosing a home business online can be a bit of a jungle. There are many of them around and also you need to watch out for scammers who just want to make some fast money out of you. You will need to be careful!

You cant dispute that there is money to be made on the internet, there are countless individuals across the world making large amounts that more than equal full time wages. You need to put in some hard work though and be prepared to educate yourself, to make it work.

The two main business models I deal with are Network Marketing (MLM) and Top-Tier direct sales. There are also affiliate marketing models, where you just sell someone else's product and earn a commission one time.

With an MLM business you will be developing a team of distributors under you. You will earn a commission for the sales that they make. There's no doubt this is an extremely good business model, get enough people under you and your residual cheques will be coming in for work that you did just once. I'd highly recommend you look into this one.

Direct sales/top tier pays you when you make a product sale, usually it's a large commission, there is however little residual income, or you might just be paid one level deep. High buy in products are called 'High Ticket', they are expensive to join, thus the high commissions, they can be extremely profitable but you will probably have to prospect more folks in order to make a sale. Of course higher profits has its advantages, you have a much better margin of profit and will probably be able to invest more into promotional activity.

The business I am involved with pays $2,000 for each sale I make, so if I pay $1,000 in advertising to make 5 sales, obviously the profit margin is excellent as opposed to selling a product that will pay me $500 profit.

When choosing any opportunity, you want to check out their history and see if you can dig up any dirt before joining. 99% of the time you will need to find a sponsor, someone you will join under; you need to pick wisely. Its a fact of the industry that there are people around who don't deliver on their promises of support and coaching. Once you have joined some will magically disappear or become difficult to contact!

Make sure you research any proposed mentor and test them out, email them, phone them, satisfy yourself they are genuine and will give you the help that you will need.

Look into the time the company has been around. It can be advantageous to get in early with a newly launched company, but you run the risk of it not working out and being a massive flop. It's often easier to recruit into a new company than it is into one thats been around for donkeys years. Follow your instinct and always consider if the products would sell well, even if there was no compensation plan attached to them.

Whatever the business that you look at and sign up with, there are several concepts that you must be aware of, miss one out and is could be devastating to you future prosperity.

This information is provided by YourNetBiz mentor James Hicks. He has helped many people succeed in the home business industry, you can read his YourNetBiz review by visiting the link.

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Barbell Floor Press Challenge Week 30




I was able to exercise at the gym last week. All of the smith machines were being used so I did other exercises instead. Here are the results of the workout:


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

seated lateral chest press

170 lb x5x1

170 lb x4x4


standing dumbbell overhead press

50 lb dumbbells in each hand x 30secs x5


seated machine overhead press

120 lb x5x3


The lateral chest press is a decent substitute for the barbell floor press, and I was pleased with the results. The other exercises were also good for me.

I'll gradually work back to the heavier weights that I'm accustomed to. I'll keep you posted.


But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear ; do not be frightened." 1 Peter 3:14


***Like us on Facebook!!!***

I'm living fit, healthy and happy(SM). Are you?

"Barbell Floor Press Challenge Week 30" copyright © 2018 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). Are you?



Bird Watching Is A Recreation Anyone Can Enjoy At Anytime Of The Year

Bird Watching Is A Recreation Anyone Can Enjoy At Anytime Of The Year  by Robert Benjamin

Do you ever have a day when you have nothing to do ?, You know them times when your on the internet in some chat room, and you type 'I'm bored!', or your flipping through the TV channels, and you say to yourself or out loud '250 channels, and nothing good to watch!', yes, you know what I am talking about. Now you have something you can do on them so called boring days, go bird watching.

No matter where you live you probably have birds of some kind, even folks in New York have central park and other places where they can go bird watching. There are three things you should have when bird watching, these are a pair of binoculars, a notebook, and a bird guide.

Binoculars can be purchased for under $60 at most Kmart or Walmart stores. Binoculars with a magnification of 10 x 50 are perfect for bird watching. Don't think that a more powerful pair of binoculars like 20 x 60 or 30 x 80 are better, this is not the case. Stronger binoculars are fine if you are into star gazing, but they are horrible for bird watching. The higher powered binoculars need a tripod to use them without shaking, and even without a tripod, the powerful binoculars are larger and can be very heavy to carry around, the 10 x 50 ones are perfect for every occasion.

A small tablet or notebook can be purchased at most stores, don't get nothing expensive just a small spiral one will do fine. Now the last thing is the most important item when it comes to bird watching. If you are truly going to watch birds, you should know what type of birds you are looking at when you spot a new one, so visit your local book store or look in the birding section of an online bookstore, such as amazon, at the end of this article I have a website address that has some of Amazons best bird guides, videos, binoculars and more.

Ok, so you have your binoculars, notebook and pencil, and your bird guide, now let's go outside and go bird watching. I am sure you won't have to walk very far to spot a bird or two. I am lucky enough to currently live here in the country, all I have to do is open my door and I will hear the sounds of birds. If I step outside my front door, I can often see sparrows or finches, in the spring time the yard always has a couple robins hopping around, and crows flying around the nearby woods, high overhead I often see turkey buzzards soaring against the blue sky. One time I opened my front door and across the road in the top of a large tree a horned owl was sitting, it stayed there for about 10 minutes, turning it's head often as it looked around.

If you have any grassy, wooded or open areas with trees or bushes, you can usually find birds. One of the best things about bird watching is anyone can do it, even if your in a wheelchair, you can sit and watch birds. It's a great recreation for anyone that is alone, or for the whole family to do together.

When you go out, remember to take your bird watching items with you, your binoculars, notebook and pencil, and bird guide. When you spot a bird look in your binoculars too see all it's beauty in close detail, if you do not recognize the species of bird your seeing, get out your bird guide and look it up. When you realize the type of bird you see, write down in your notebook the following information; ' the name of the bird, the area where it was spotted, the date, and time '. The information in your notebook, helps you understand what types of birds frequent your area, it also is pretty neet being able to read back and see when you spotted a new or rare bird.

If you have a yard, tree or even a window you can attract birds by installing a simple feeder. Bird feeders are very inexpensive and they have feeders that can hang on a tree branch, or fence, or even stick to the outside of a window.

Attracting different species of birds often requires different types of bird seed and other food. Hummingbirds are attracted to red, pink and orange flowers, they especially like trumpet vines or other tubular-flowered plants, they are also very attracted to hummingbird feeders filled with sugar water or red sweetened kool-aid. Robins like mowed lawns, so in the spring and summer if you want to see robins, mow your grass, the birds come looking for bugs and earthworms that are more easily accessible because you cut the grass length. Goldfinches love thistle seed, thistle is more expensive then most common bird seed, but you cannot beat it if you want to attract goldfinches. Blue Jays are large and sometimes noisy, but if you want to bring them, put out a feeder full of black oil sunflower seeds. Cardinals are very neat looking, there is nothing nicer than looking out the window in the winter, and seeing a bright red cardinal sitting on a nearby tree branch or feeder. Cardinals are like Blue Jays, in that they both love a diet of black oil sunflower seeds. If you want to attract sparrows, a bag of plain mixed bird seed will do just fine.

There is Computer Software that is made just for ' Bird Watching '. The software is called: ' Bird Watcher Professional ', you can read the details and download a trial version of it for free at this website address:

Here is a website address that has some of the best Bird Guides (Books), Videos, Binoculars and other birding equipment that Amazon sells:

Robert W. Benjamin has been in the software business on the internet for over 5 years, and has been producing low-cost software for the past 25+ years. He first released software on the AMIGA and C64 computer systems in the late 1970's-80's.
RB59 Software

Copyright (c) 2006

You may publish this article in your ezine, newsletter or on your web site as long as it is reprinted in its entirety and without modification except for formatting needs or grammar corrections.

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Grilled Pizza - A Perfect Outdoor Entertaining Choice

Grilled Pizza - A Perfect Outdoor Entertaining Choice  by Mary Mechler

Warmer weather reminds me of having pool parties and cooking outside. One meal that guests really appreciate is grilled pizzas. I think there are a couple of reasons for this. First, they taste really good! Second, your guests can personalize them to their own taste. For the host, this is a great make ahead idea.

Here's what I like to do. I make the dough ahead of time - usually the day before. If you put the dough in a large zipper bag in the refrigerator, it will rise overnight just fine. Then, you can just punch it down and roll out individual pizza rounds. I'll include a recipe at the end for pizza dough. I will typically roll out the dough into about eight-inch rounds and grill them lightly- at a medium temperature - on one side. Then, I stack them between paper towels after they're cool. The grilled side is where toppings go. Put the assembled pizzas on cookie sheets dusted with cornmeal for easy transport to the grill. 5 minutes on the grill should cook the raw side of the dough as well as the toppings. A good tip is also to crumple up two or three paper towels and pour a bit of vegetable oil on them. Use a tongs to rub this over the grate on your grill to help prevent sticking.

Some ideas for toppings include bowls of cooked Italian sausage, pepperoni, chicken breast pieces, Mozzarella, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, basil leaves, sage leaves, Italian parsley, thinly sliced tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed onions, pizza sauce and whatever ingredients you may prefer. These are some that I use.

Keep in mind these are thin pizza crusts, so the more advanced prep you do for the toppings, the better result. For example, you would not want to put raw sausage on them because there isn't enough time to cook it through before the crust would burn. Likewise for the onions and mushrooms. It would be difficult to fully cook them on the grill, so sauteing in advance is a good idea.

If you set up an assembly line of sorts for the ingredients, it is easy for guests to put together their own pizzas.

Kids especially like making their own pizzas, so this is a fun party idea.

If you prefer not to make your own pizza dough, you can purchase it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store - or, you could use flour tortillas. But, I think the dough gives a more authentic flavor to the pizzas.

Pizza Dough

2 tsp. active dry yeast
1/4 c. warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 2/3 - 3 c. all-purpose white flour
1 tsp. salt

Sprinkle yeast over the water in a bowl. Stir until dissolved. In the mixing bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 2/3 cups of the flour and salt. Pour in the wet yeast mixture. Gradually mix it into the flour, adding a little more warm water, up to 1/3 cup. Allow the mixer to knead until very smooth, soft, and no longer sticky, about 2 minutes. You may need to add additional flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. It should still be fairly wet.

Oil the dough and put it back into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If you prepare the dough the day before, lightly oil it and put it in a large zipper bag. It will rise in the refrigerator overnight. Punch dough down and turn it onto a floured surface. Use a pastry cutter or a thin sharp knife to divide the dough in half. Divide each half again, and each piece one more time, so that you have 8 portions. Roll each piece out into 8 inch rounds.

You may keep the dough in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or you may freeze it up to 2 months. If frozen, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before preparing.

Mary Mechler has been cooking and baking since she was 5 years old. Mary is excited to share her love of cooking and great cooking tools with others who are cooking enthusiasts, through the website, which offers kitchen cookware, chefs knives and kitchen cutlery. If you find something you like, and place an order, we'll include a free copy of Amy Coleman's cookbook while supplies last!

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The Right Way To Do Pilates Reformer Exercise

The Right Way To Do Pilates Reformer Exercise  by Wayne V. Sanches

Those who haven't tried exercising on a pilates reformer think that there can only be one exercise move done on the equipment. Well, that notion is wrong. There are several pilates reformer exercise movements which help you trim down and which tone specific body parts. If done continuously at regular intervals, the pilates reformer workout can help you attain the perfect body that you want to achieve.

Read on some pilates reformer exercise below and try doing the movements yourself. You can try asking your instructors about this workout and have them perform it with you so you can do it the right way.

Pilates Reformer Exercise: The Side Lying Leg Exercise

In a leg pilates reformer exercise, you have to position yourself on the carriage in a left side lying position. You can relax your head flat on the board or you can support it using both your hands. Next, you have to put your left foot under the foot bar in the highest position. Do the sidekick by raising your right leg and swing it in front of you.

Repeat the movement five to ten times on each leg. You can also raise both your legs as high as you can and go back to a normal position on the platform. This move also has to be done for ten times. This pilates reformer exercise can help you build stronger and leaner leg muscles.

Pilates Reformer Exercise: The Basic Mermaid Exercise

A basic mermaid move can be performed on a pilates reformer exercise. Lie down comfortably and straighten your spine to achieve a neutral position. You can place your hands on the back of your head or you can lie down flatly on the carriage. The right leg should be placed on the foot bar first and perform some "kicking" movements. After ten repeats, do the same move with your left leg. If done properly and if practiced at regular intervals, you can have longer and slimmer legs in no time.

Pilates Reformer Exercise: Getting Flat Abs

Getting flat abs can be achieved when you perform the pilates reformer exercise correctly. First, you have to pull your shoulders and grab the straps or ropes to bring your arms high in the ceiling. Raise your legs and make sure they are aligned with your hips.

The lower abdominal muscles will be energized once you do this movement. Breathe in and out while you are doing this exercise. Repeat it for several times until you feel your belly muscles tightening. If done continually for a month or so, you can get the flat abs that you desire.

If you love this article, you will also love another article written by this article's author on treadmills review and Vision fitness treadmills.

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Benefits Of Having A Well Maintained Lawn

Benefits Of Having A Well Maintained Lawn by Ryan Wolfe

Few surroundings can bring as much joy to the soul and relaxation to the body as a personal, well maintained lawn. Where bustling urban life brings constant sirens and horns, a lawn is the quiet oasis where one can escape to the deep countryside. Vibrant grass, bursting with creativity and life, can bring healing to the sick and happiness to those in despair. Lawn maintenance can make a world of difference in a home. There are several benefits of having a well maintained lawn.

Some of the most appealing aspects of a neighborhood are all the beautiful lawns that adorn homes. Grassy areas serve as an aphrodisiac bringing serenity and comfort. Flowers full of bloom and color draw natural light to home while showcasing the interior and exterior of a home. If trying to sell a home, nice landscaping can draw in potential buyers and increase the property value as well. Curb appeal matters. Everyone dreams of having a lawn that impresses those who pass and that the neighbors envy.

There are more benefits that a well maintained lawn can bring than just an improved appearance. After yard maintenance, an area draws the mind to dream of backyard barbeques, games with the kids, and outdoor summer parties. A grassy lawn can provide a safe area where kids can play at free will and you don't have to be concerned with the normal detrimental factors that a public park might have. Grass can reduce the shock of a fall and provide a cushion. More leisure time with family and friends is a huge benefit of having a well maintained lawn. Even in the sweltering summer heat a lawn can serve as a stage for entertainment. A yard is much cooler than concrete or asphalt and could make an area more than 14 degrees cooler.

If the receipt for an annual landscaping visit is becoming bigger than your wallet, keeping it well maintained throughout the year could save money. Soil can become unhealthy quickly if the grass is not kept at the proper height and the roots are not receiving the proper nutrients. If the soil does become damaged and is not given what it needs then it will bring havoc to turf and plants. With regular lawn maintenance, the pH of the soil can be checked and attended to. By keeping plants healthy and trimmed neatly will also save time and money in the long run.

A well maintained lawn is also smart for the environment by providing natural resources to the ecosystem. Healthy, dense lawns absorbs water much more efficiently than bare soil or hay and prevents run off and erosion of the imperative top soil. It also traps millions of dust and dirt particles that escape into the US atmosphere annually, penetrating our lungs and antagonizing our allergies. Lawns also serve as a water purifier before entering underground aquifers, capturing and breaking down pollutants by use of the microbes found in soil.

Ryan Wolfe is a landscape designer in Portland, Oregon. His company, Valley West Landscapes, provides landscape design, organic yard care and lawn maintenance services in Portland, Oregon.

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