How investing in a healthful diet can pay off

A healthful diet is a mainstay to a healthy, fulfilling life. Without it a person may be subject to a variety of health problems later in life.

Someone who eats a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates and fats will find that they have more energy throughout the day while someone who eats a lot of refined carbohydrates throughout the day will find themselves lagging by mid-morning. This lagging sensation is caused by blood sugar fluctuations and the best way to prevent these is to eat a balanced diet.

A sensible diet will help a person maintain an ideal weight. In addition, adopting a healthful diet will also aid a person in losing weight. Eating foods that are too high in sugar are the biggest offender in weight gain and the inability to lose weight. Cutting down on the sugar will, in turn, lead to a noticeable weight loss. In addition, eating some fruits and vegetables will add fiber and reduce belly bloat. Continue Reading…

How living in a food desert affects diet, health and nutrition

Food deserts are large areas where it is difficult or impossible to find healthy food. They commonly appear in poor and undeveloped areas. People living in these neighborhoods usually have limited options for meals. The only meals available might be canned products from a convenience store or fast food. The problem becomes very serious when residents do not have access to a car or public transportation. Food deserts affect health, diet and nutrition in a number of ways.

No access to fresh foods

Food deserts do not contain large grocery stores that have a diverse selection of products. This means the people living in the area have no access to fresh produce or fresh proteins. This can make processed foods the main part of every meal. Processed foods contribute to a diet that is high in sodium, sugars and simple carbohydrates. This can increase the risk of obesity and diseases like diabetes. Continue Reading…

Hunters Helping the Hungry

Today I want to focus on a group that has helped feed millions of people in the state of Virginia. The group “Hunters for the Hungry,” has been receiving millions of pounds of venison (deer meat) donations since 1991. To date there have been 5.2 million pounds of venison donated which according to the Hunters for the Hungry website, www.h4hungry.org, is roughly equal to about 20.9 million servings. The program itself is very simple. A hunter will go out and kill a deer and bring it to their local processing facility to be prepared to be consumed. After the deer has been processed the hunter can chose to donate a portion of the meat to Hunters for the Hungry or they can donate the whole deer. The program offers incentives by waiving the processing fees if the hunter donates the entire deer. The processing facilities then send the meat to Hunters for the Hungry where they then distribute the meat to local food banks or other non-profit organizations that feed the needy. Hunters for the Hungry also puts on friendly competitions to try and boost donations by offering prizes for the hunters that bring in the biggest deer. Right now they are averaging 250-350,000 pounds of meat a year but their goal is to be able to have 500,000 pounds of meat donated annually.

When I first heard about Hunters for the Hungry I wanted to educate myself more on the actual hunting aspect of the program. I know next to nothing when it comes to hunting and so my initial views were that you simply go out and find a deer and kill it. To me I didn’t understand why more hunters weren’t donating if it was seemingly an easy task. Boy was I wrong! I had no idea what it took to successfully “bag” a deer. Deer hunting season in Virginia, for example, is only legally open between October4th and the 3rd of January. On top of only being a short window of time to actually get out and legally hunt u have to make sure you are using the right weapon during the right season. For example you can’t use a rifle during archery season. Furthermore the hunter is even more restricted by having limits placed on how many deer he is allowed to kill in a year. As of right now, (August 2014) a hunter is limited to only 6 deer a year in Virginia. I did not realize that there were so many rules and regulations regarding hunting! After even more research, (my interest was thoroughly peaked now,) I found out that even though you can only legally kill a deer in certain months of the year, for most dedicated hunters it is a yearlong process. They have to identify where different herds of deer or other game like to congregate and start tracking them. Sometimes they will set up a feeder and use what’s called a game trail camera to monitor the deer. The camera, such as the ones found at www.gametrailcameraguide.com , can take pictures or videos of potential targets so that the hunter knows where to start setting up blinds or tree stands for when hunting season is in full swing. Hunting for most, I found out isn’t so much a hobby as it is a lifestyle.

After learning some of what it takes to actually hunt deer I immediately started to be thankful that hunters are donating at all! That deer took months of hard work and planning to kill! It makes organizations like Hunters for the Hungry that much more impressive. These hunters aren’t making a simple donation that doesn’t cost them much time or effort they are contributing parts of their lifestyle and passions to help others in need. Virginia is not the only state to have programs like this either! I found this link http://huntingprograms.nra.org/hunters-for-the-hungry-information-clearinghouse.aspx that shows all the different programs in each state that donates fresh game meat to organizations that feed the hungry. A lot of these organizations are privately funded by donations of generous people in their state. So if you are looking for an opportunity to donate money to good organizations that help feed the needy check out the above link to start the process. Or if you are an outdoorsmen that was unaware of these programs and what the opportunity to help others in need check by donating your hard earned game go ahead and check out the above link to see where to get started. I hope that you the reader were encouraged by reading about a great organization like Hunters for the Hungry and have a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices these hunters make to help out their fellow man. Until next time!

Video sharing is changing charity for the better. Here’s how it’s done right.


The internet is such a powerful tool. It has changed the way we communicate, learn, relax, become informed and more. It has also changed the way we run and organise charities. 

In the past it was impossibly hard for a charity to reach out and be heard. Now with the advent of the internet, blogging and social networking such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it is much easier to get your message in front of an audience, especially when your message is a strong one. We see it all the time now on Facebook – a video or a website will go viral, be seen by millions and millions of people and help their cause greatly. 

Viral content in filmmaking

Unfortunately, whilst is has become much easier to both create a piece of media to share, it has become very hard to make it shared. It’s the old adage of being able to take a horse to water but not being able to make it drink. 

In this article we’re going to have a look at some very brilliant viral campaigns for companies and causes doing immense good it the world.

We will have a look at what they have done well and how you can also have their success.

 

1. Money from beggars

This video is super powerful because it taps into our guilt. By showing how generous the people are who have nothing and how unthoughtful and un-generous people who are well off are, it holds a mirror up to ourselves. 

 

2. One by One.

This video uses a brilliant music track to punch along. It really explains its message through interviews.

 

3. Africa first world problems.

Humor is the greatest tool here. Plus it really puts all trivial problems in their place. There are many great examples of humour being used in messaging for awareness, from raising water for africa to riding across India to spreading awareness about embarrassing skin conditions, humor can really be a great angle to take.

 

So now lets look at what you can do to create a video that can be virally successful.

1. Simple concept.

If you can keep the concept of your video simple, more people will be able to engage with it. They can spend more time soaking in your message instead of trying to figure out what the hell is going on. This can be seen evidently in MONEY FROM BEGGARS video.

 

2. Production value.

Some videos have great production value. Having fantastic production value will go a long way to getting your message shared. You can invest in a good camera, like a DSLR or a Canon C300 that shoots beautiful video for a fairly cheap price. This will make your video look better. There are also different video editing platforms like Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere where you can buy effects and plugins from various companies such as ‘Light Leak Love’ who’s video effects were used on the ‘One by One’ video. These effects can make a video look even more polished and sharable. 

 

3. Make sure they can hear you…clearly. 

Sound should really be tied in with production value, but it is so important that it definitely deserves its own blot point. Invest in good sound equipment. People will put up with bad video (most of the time) but they will never put up with bad sound. So if you are interviewing someone, make sure you can hear them loudly and clearly. The same goes for any voiceover or narration you decide to use.

 

4. Make ‘em laugh

Laughter is the best medicine

Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine, even if the message you are trying to get out there is a serious one. This is the case in the AFRICA FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS video. By having disadvantaged young africans read out the ‘first world problems” of the western world they have created a funny and interesting thought piece.

We can all learn from other peoples successes, and making a viral video is no different. 

Implement these steps and you will be on your way to success.

Best Foods To Ensure Bowel Movement After A Vaginal Surgery

When someone has surgery it’s especially important for our bowels to function on a continual basis. Things like constipation can cause hurt, pain, and much suffering for the surgery sites as well as overall sickness. Being aware of what foods to eat to maintain proper bowel function is essential. It’s also essential to know what foods not to eat that would cause blockage, constipation, or irritable bowels.

Many foods rich in micronutrients will help our bodies heal after a vaginal surgery (if you are female in your forties and have abdominal pains read this guide on transvaginal mesh available here) and provide us with the best overall healing for our bowels as well as surgery areas.

Foods To Eat To Provide Optimal Bowel Function

1. WATER – Keeping hydrated is the best thing for anyone to keep bowels moving productively if you’ve had surgery.

2. RAW FRUITS AND VEGETABLES – Depending on what type of surgery one has had, they may need to be juiced or mashed for consumption for your overall comfort.

3. OATMEAL AND CREAM OF WHEAT – These are soft grains that will help produce a bowel movement. Make sure to choose ones that are not quick cooking but have all of the husk intact for the best results.

4. SOUPS – The more liquids one has, the better. Foods with high water content is best.

5. WATERMELON – This has a high water content and helps promote urinary tract health as well as promote bowel function.

6. COCONUT OIL – This is one of the best things for the whole body including digestion, and bowels. This contains a substance called lauric acid that is a natural laxative and is only found elsewhere in human breast milk. This also helps heal internal organs. Make sure it’s raw, organic, and unrefined. Take 1 tbsp. 2 times a day for best results.

7. EPSOM SALT IN WARM WATER – Taking 1 tbsp. of Epsom salt in 8 ounces of warm water will produce a bowel movement. This is safe and can be used twice daily. Bowel movements generally come 1-3 hours after doing this. This is a preferred method for many elderly and younger children who can’t seem to eat anything.

8. POPCORN – It’s high in fiber and a tasty way to promote bowel movements. Opt for the air popped, and do not load on any butter. Pop corn is a whole grain food as well which naturally cured constipation and stagnancy.

9. PRUNES, DRIED FRUIT, RAISINS, AND APRICOTS – These are high in fiber, they taste great, and will keep your system working nicely.

10. GARLIC – Garlic is so beneficial for the digestive tract and bowel movements. Chopping up a couple cloves and eating them can really get things moving. However, if you have stomach ailments, ulcers, or digestive issues in general then opt to stay away from this as it can cause irritation in some sensitive individuals.

Avoiding All Of These Foods After Surgery Is Best

1. PROCESSED FOODS – These contain harmful chemicals, additives, and some things can cause horrible constipation and delayed digestion. Something we avoid to give even in our feed the hungry food drives.

2. CHOCOLATE – Although yummy, it’s not a great thing for the digestion.

3. FOOD HIGH IN FAT – Foods like dairy cheeses, rich ice cream, and whole milk can be hard on the digestive production. As well as high in fat fried foods like fries and fried chicken.

4. BREADS AND BAKERY PRODUCTS – These items take longer to digest and will cause delay for production. This includes pizza, and bread products with many other things on them.

5. FOODS HIGH IN REFINED SUGAR – Anything high in sugar isn’t beneficial but, if you are having a craving for sugar try a tsp. of raw honey or pure organic cane sugar in your coffee. Things like corn syrup and refined sugars that are found in many processed food are not that beneficial for anyone’s digestion.

6. FIBER – Fiber is the most preferred for optimal bowel movements. However, it can also cause severe constipation if your daily diet doesn’t consist of plenty of water. So make sure you always make sure you’re consuming plenty of water each day to ensure proper bowel movements as well as optimal digestion.

One of the reasons I create this list is because of a recent mesh implantation surgery a friend of mine went through that caused her to so much constipation and pain that she had to continue her new job related onboarding training from home for a whole week. Thankfully the company she got hired with, Walt Disney, has an excellent enterprise portal (the Disney Hub) which enabled her to catch up quickly with the program so as to not fall behind the other new hires.

Portable Generator Repair Shop Sponsoring Our Next Live Event

We have 2 announcements to make today with regards to our next live event. We think it will be a huge success thanks to our new sponsor who are providing some funding, some quiet and powerful inverter generators to power our sound equipment at the event and also providing a raffle (with donations going to fight hunger) to win 1 of 2 of the portable generators at the event. So if you are interested in helping the cause, and also listening to some killer local music, drinking some beer and eating some burgers then read on to find out more.

Announcement 1

First off the most important news: we found a sponsor for our next live event. The company is providing prizes for the raffle and also providing the portable power for the event. I’ll talk more about those details below in Announcement 2. The event is a small-scale music festival at the local park. It is a ticketed event with proceeds going to Action Against Hunger. The tickets must be pre-bought and are $25 each. We expect about 200 people to pre-buy these tickets so don’t miss out. The event is 3 Fridays from now and will run 7pm – 10pm with a plethora of food and beverage options inside for an affordable price.

We have 4 bands and 2 comedians on the cards with each getting a 30 minute spot. Each has donated their time to ensure maximize amount gets donated to Action Against Hunger. With food, tickets, drinks and raffle proceeds we expect to donate about $10k.

Announcement 2

Announcement 2 is that our sponsor has volunteered to raffle off 2 portable generators because they are so passionate about this cause of fighting hunger. The raffle will be a 50-50 raffle except all the proceeds will go to the cause because you buy the ticket for the chance to win 1 of 2 really awesome portable Yamaha generators that would be perfect for camping trips or tailgating. Each has a value of $1000 and the raffle ticket $10 so not a bad deal if you win! Also think about the odd of winning it… If 250 people show up that is 2 in 250 chance of winning it.

Further Event Details

We found a sponsor, have booked the talent, booked the location and have all the equipment ready to go for an epic night of music, comedy, food and beer. Be sure to pre-buy your tickets as tickets at the door the price goes up.

There’s no dress code. There is lots of parking close buy. And we expect to be able to generator $10k for a good cause. Action Against Hunger is trying to build self-sufficiency throughout 40+ countries by funding 5,000 staff to assist with hunger issues of 7 million people each year. It is a hugely beneficial cause.

Be sure to invite your friends and family and buy your pre-buy your ticket.

5 Steps For Starting A Not-For-Profit Food Truck Soup Kitchen

5 Steps For Starting A Not-For-Profit Food Truck Soup Kitchen

Food trucks started in big US cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, but are becoming a huge nation-wide trend; an easy way to put out fast-food; and could be coming to a street near you. Food trucks are a fun business to consider, though still a business, and requires lots of mindfulness; a food truck may be a good start for the young restaurant-owning hopeful. One great, and possible under-utilized concept, is that of the food truck as a soup-kitchen (possible being funded as a not-for-profit.) The benefits of a food truck are plenty – namely, moveable location and, if well done, a direct and personal social media presence.

Here are 5 tips for starting a food truck soup-kitchen.

Bonus tip: You don’t need a truck! Even if you already have a 6+ passenger car, you can use that. It just has to be a relatively big vehicle.

1. Get funding.

It may be hard to start up your food truck if you go the not-for-profit route. However, there are investors out there. One idea would be to set up a workers cooperative with friends and people you trust – basically, with this idea, not one person would own the business but everyone would hold equal shares. This is a good way to split the bill evenly on starting your new business and getting it above water. Once you’re running, it will be a lot easier to get further support from churches, other businesses and city programs.

2. Build a brand.

Social media is going to be your best tool to build an efficient food truck. With social media you have the ability to up-date customers on daily specials and build a relationship with your audience. Another advantage of the food truck business is that of becoming part of your local community’s culture; if you’re in the same few spots every weekday /weekend, people are going to recognize you, even expect you to be there. Building a brand will further cement your identity in this culture and people will remember you much easier.

3. Run a tight ship.

Running a tight ship meaning: be mindful of all the small, business things that need imperative attention. Despite being not-for-profit, you’re still running a business. Things like food-portioning, food costing, source of food, book-keeping etc are acted out as efficient as possible. Although it shouldn’t be as stressful as keeping a brick-and-mortar restaurant alive and fruitful, neglectfulness or over-looking of any of this things could lead you straight into the red, fast.

4. Location, location, location.

As mentioned earlier, you’re going to want to establish yourself as a cultural staple. Fortunately you have the advantage of knowing what you’re about – that being a not-for-profit food truck distributing food to low income persons. Find out what communities would benefit from your services most, try to pick at least three locations, and stick to them.

5. Know the law.

Food trucks are still a growing industry and it’s important to you know your local laws as they differ from state-to-state. It’s not likely you are going to get hassled too roughly, but it’s always a good idea to have the heads up on the do’s and don’ts. Most likely, you might have to pay to reserve your parking spot, but this may be the only stop on the road. Talk to your local government and make sure everything is going to go smoothly to avoid any unwanted surprises.

The Challenges of a Mobile Kitchen

The fight against hunger takes us to remote corners of the world. One of the biggest challenges in preparing food for the hungry in many of these locales is maintaining equipment. The rigors of travel is beyond what most food preparation equipment is designed to handle. But we’ve found some creative tools and methods that help us get consistent performance and results from our mobile kitchens.

Preparing consistently nutritious and balanced meals can be challenging for many of us under the best of circumstances. But imagine trying to feed 250 people in an extremely remote location, on a limited budget, and often with inconsistent or no utilities to speak of. This is something that we’re faced with on a daily basis.

For the most part, the food we prepare needs to be shelf stable. Refrigeration is a luxury that we just can’t make happen while out on location. This means that most of our meals are based upon food preserved in cans, dry goods, and whatever we can find locally. We try to carry a minimum of equipment. But the tools that we do carry are the necessities.

Tools of the Trade

Obviously preparing a hot meal is a priority. This means some sort of gas burning stove. Nothing fancy here. Just a burner hooked up to a propane tank. The pots and pans we use are light and sturdy. They can hold up to the abuse of being packed and unpacked over and over again.

Everything is done with budget in mind. We try to make our food dollars stretch as far as possible so that we can feed as many of the hungry as humanly possible in a specific area.

One area where we haven’t skimped is on heavily used utensils such as knives. A reliable knife is important in any kitchen, but especially in the sorts of locations where a replacement can’t be found no matter how much you’re willing to pay for it. Maintaining your knives is obviously important too. For this we have a couple of field knife sharpening systems. They are simple to use, and keep our knives razor sharp. You can see the exact model we use here.

Sanitation is Key

In most of the areas we work, sanitation is a huge priority as well. And since hauling bleach around is cumbersome and heavy, we rely upon sanitizing solutions in tablet form. Simply drop a few of these bad boys in a few gallons of water and stir. Within 15 minutes you can drop just about anything you want in there and have it come out microbe free. These guys will even work in water that isn’t safe for drinking. To give you an idea of the weight savings, it’s about 25 to 1. This leaves us more room for food and other supplies.

It’s not an easy task trying to deliver nourishing meals to those in dire need. But it is extremely satisfying work. The look on a mother’s face when her child gets their first hot meal in weeks is worth any amount of trouble. And while our systems aren’t perfect, we’re constantly evolving and adapting to become more efficient.

Different Ways to Raise Money for Charity

As a volunteer organisation, we rely on volunteers like you in order for us to function. We rely on you to gather up the cash that we need to be able to hold feeding programs. We rely on you to be able to make food and deliver it to those who need it. We need you to run the soup kitchen. Needless to say we will not function without volunteers and their big, charitable hearts. If you are not yet a volunteer but are looking to increase your involvement, well… here are a few ways for you to help by raising money to give to your favourite charitable organisation. Of course you can also volunteer, but if that is far too much commitment for you right away, then a charitable donation brought about by the below methods (or other methods!) will always be appreciated by those who need it.

Run in a Marathon
You hear about people who run marathons in order to raise money for charity. They usually get sponsors or pledges of cash that they can then collect when they finish. You can do the same thing–get friends and family to pledge small amounts for when you finish. Take it the extra mile and ask local small businesses to help out with sponsorships. In exchange you can wear their logos pinned onto your clothes, or run holding a flag with their logo on it. Always remember to stretch properly, warm up and cool down and also train properly so that you avoid any type of personal injury. There’s no point in raising money when you end up injured in the end!

Food Sale
Are you good at making certain kinds of food? Or perhaps baking cakes and other pastries and treats? Or do you know someone who is? Then you can make or bake food, then sell them for profit at your next church gathering or other event. You can even go door to door selling them. Gather up the cash and then put it towards a donation to your favourite charitable organisation. It’s up to you if you want to recoup the costs of your ingredients and incidentals, or if you are willing to forget those and donate everything instead.

Yard Sale
This is something that you can do yourself, or you can get your community involved. Gather up all the things you no longer need and have a yard sale then put the proceeds towards charity. Get the community involved by asking for donations of things they no longer need or want then hold a giant yard sale where everyone can attend. It can be like a swap meet of sorts. This is a great way to declutter and make money for charity all at once!

Gather Donations at Church
Approach your priest/reverend/pastor or religious leader and inform them of your intent to donate to charity. They can then help you to ask for donations during or after the service. Or you can coordinate the donation through your church to make it easier for everybody and make people less wary of giving their money to a stranger, that is if they do not know you well enough. If you would not feel comfortable asking for cash donations, then you can just ask for donations of things that are no longer needed. Leave a box at the church for people to leave their things in. You can gather this over time then hold a yard sale when you have enough inventory–that way you will make enough money to donate without going through too much hassle.

How Helping, Health, and Green Tea Benefits the Fight Against Hunger

How Helping, Health, and Green Tea Benefits the Fight Against Hunger

There are approximately 7 billion people on earth. Our current industries produce enough food to feed 11 billion people. So why are 1 billion people, with all of the technological advancements we have made over the past decades to avoid mass hunger, starving around the world? The National Center for Health and Statistics reports that, as of 2009, obesity rates have doubled in the U.S. since the 1970s, with two-thirds of the population being either overweight or obese. In fact, the average American consumes enough food for 32 Kenyans. The question simply becomes a matter more intuitive than why some areas of the world are starving.

Contributing Without Compromise

A variety of factors ranging from political to natural to social affect hunger around the world, but the fact of the matter is that poverty itself extends to more than simply hunger. A want of the basic necessities that a person cannot provide for himself or herself can lead to homelessness. The Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness (2013) states that the homeless are three to six times more likely to suffer from serious illness or injury. For those with pre existing conditions–especially ones that would prove manageable under normal circumstances–homelessness only intensifies pain and discomfort. I think that more than one of us can, however unwillingly, vouch for the fact that we have seen those commercials of starving children in underdeveloped nations, ignoring, or perhaps even turning, the channel to avoid feeling guilty about not extending donations.

Sacrifice can be hard work, often because we feel that it would be a detriment to our own well-being. How many of us have shifted in our seats when prompted to donate and said, "I'd love to give, but I just can't right now"? Fortunately, there are ways to help someone in need without compromising your lifestyle. You could be vacationing in at a Sandals' all-inclusive resort in the Bahamas, and still donate to the Sandals Foundation. The Sandals Foundations, which has been in operation for five years, not only allows you the luxury of vacationing in the beautiful Caribbean islands, but also provides the opportunity to improve educational and environmental conditions in impoverished Caribbean communities. For more information, go to sandalsfoundation.org.

There are also ways to help your community with expertise in your particular field. Blinds.com, a website that sells blinds, shutters, shades, draperies, and more, partners with charitable organizations, including the Houston Food Bank, a private, non profit organization with a main mission in fighting against hunger. In 2010, Blinds.com partnered with The Furniture Bank of Houston and other local artists to furnish the homes of less fortunate individuals. Whether you are into blinds or brushes, you can do something to make a difference in your community.

How Health Fights Hunger

Even with all these efforts, there are still other ways to reduce, and eventually (and hopefully) eliminate hunger, on a smaller–but more compromising–scale. Joseph Pilates said, "We retire too early and we die too young." Health and wellness expert Sarah Wilson suggests that the reason we do so badly with diets is because we can't restrict our current behaviours. We should focus on eating green vegetables and whole grains meditate for our mental benefit, and exercise every day. Getting healthy to fight hunger can be compared to green tea benefits. Green tea boosts your metabolism (so you won't be hungry all the time), which helps with weight loss. There are numerous studies on how tea can improve one's health.  In fact there are just as many studies on black tea benefits and how one should incorporating black tea into one's daily routine.

Diet, Lifestyle and Nutrition – A Volunteers Trifecta

To nail the trifecta of a balanced diet, healthy lifestyle and optimum nutrition, you have to work hard – it’s a task that isn’t achieved by many people.

With a lot of emphasis being placed on pre and post workout nutrition in sports circles, it’s tough to know what constitutes and healthy diet and lifestyle for the average man, who’s not looking to learn how to bench press the weight of their house. Well what if I were to tell you that there’s a way to have a healthy lifestyle, while watching your diet and still getting ample nutrition?

There’s a simple and effective way of doing this, and it’s called kayak fishing. In short, kayak fishing combines a steady form of exercise with obtaining highly nutritious lean meat in the form of white meat fish. Where eating just fish is not going to do your diet any good, consuming them within a balanced diet holds substantial benefits, due to their high protein and oil rich content.

So what do you need to know about kayak fishing to get started? Well first of all, it’s a remarkably cheap hobby. With a more than usable fishing kayak only setting you back around one hundred dollars, and rods available for hire at all good kayak fishing outlets, kayak fishing is one of the cheaper hobbies available to the outdoor lover. For around the one hundred dollar price mark, you can get yourself an inflatable kayak well equipped for fishing. These kayaks are incredibly buoyant and stable, so if you’re nervous about getting onto the water then have no fear, you’re perfectly safe. They will also deflate and fit into the standard cars trunk no questions asked, making them supremely portable and easy to use.

With inflatable fishing kayaks, or any fishing kayak really, stability and maneuverability are the key ingredients for success. Tracking effortlessly across the water, they will keep you active from paddling movements, but not exhausted, striking the perfect balance between exercise and leisure. By all means nothing is stopping the more fitness conscious of readers from going all out and busting a gut by racing kayaks, but for the more relaxed of us, leisurely kayak fishing has real fitness potential. Equipped with ample space for all of your fishing gear, and attachable anchors to prevent drifting when you’re trying to reel in your dinner.

You also have the satisfaction of catching your own dinner. With many lakes across the USA now letting you keep a sustainable proportion of what you catch provided you have the correct fishing licence, you can take home some spoils for your days labor. The fact that these spoils are low in fat, high in protein and containing essential oils such as omega-3 is just an added bonus. As a cheap way to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle, as well as the added convenience of being able to throw it all in the back of the car when you are done, kayak fishing has a lot to offer, and should be considered by anyone looking to stay active and eat well.

How Food Banks are Supporting the UK’s Poorest Families

Recent research by an all-party parliamentary inquiry into food poverty has discovered that the poorest UK households spend 40% of their income on housing, food and fuel. As a result, many families are turning to food banks for support, as they haven’t got the funds to cover the cost of all their bills.

While the UK economy is growing at a unexpected rate, it appears many families across the country are still struggling to pay for essentials. Households up and down the country are struggling due to the recent recession, with many people losing their jobs, resulting in a backlog of bills, bankruptcy and people turning to debt management companies like Churchwood Finance to eliminate their growing debts. Many families are also having to choose whether to pay for the roof over their heads or for food in their cupboards.

According to reports, one million Britons have visited a food bank for additional help in the past year. Rising housing and energy costs has undoubtedly added pressure to income, as households spent a combined total of £34.3bn on energy in 2013 alone.

It is no surprise 600 church leaders and 40 Anglican bishops have signed a letter to call on David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband to tackle the growing food poverty crisis once and for all. The religious leaders are urging the UK government to review low wages, cap rising food prices and improve inadequate welfare reforms.

The Trussell Trust is one Christian organisation that aims to empower local communities, with the aim of making poverty a thing of the past for UK residents. Local communities can therefore work together to create their own food banks, with the help of the organisation.

It is believed that 14,218 people were supported by The Trussell Trust in the UK between 2012 – 2013; while it supported 71,428 people in the past financial year – proving that food poverty has grown at a significant rate in the past twelve months. In fact, some communities are now struggling to offer enough supplies, as the West Island Gazette recently reported that shelves were empty at some of their local food banks.

It is therefore more important than ever that we donate as many supplies as possible to local food banks. We must support our local community when possible, until the government realise that more help is needed to help UK families get back on their feet.