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…

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

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

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.

Give a Little, Get a Lot

As any regular reader of this blog will know, getting attention for your event is getting more and more difficult.

The whole sector is overcrowded and there is now an even greater battle to secure those funds and donations you so desperately need. So what can you do to help your event or cause stand out from the crowd?

A great way of getting attention and support is by giving something away in order to get something in return. Sometimes people struggle to see how they can participate in events or where to start when it comes to organizing events in their own right, so by giving them a step by step “how to”, you’ll bring them closer to your way of thinking.

Sharing information online is easy and doesn’t need to be hugely time-consuming. Using downloads and e-books will help you share your thoughts with a huge audience at little or no financial cost and with minimal time investment, if you’re well prepared. One company that we know who signs up to this philosophy is Virtual Business Source. They’re a company that specializes in outsourced bookkeeping and even they manage to find a way to give a little and get a lot. On the home page of their website, they offer a Free Download that gives 10 Ways to Ease Your Bookkeeping Pain.

This is a clever way of getting people to sign up to their download because they’re giving them something they really want .On your blog or your website, you can offer downloads or e-books to help people buy into your concept.

Here are our Top Tips for making sure your effort in producing a ‘give-away’ is well rewarded:

1. Plan exactly what you want to achieve. Before you rush off and spend time producing an e-book or download to put on your blog or website, make sure you know exactly what purpose it is going to serve. It needs to be orientated towards achieving one (or more) of your objectives, otherwise it’ll be effort wasted. It may be that you decide to do a ‘Top 10 Tips’ to organizing a fund raising event or you might want to tell the story of an event that has been a success. The choice is yours; just make sure its purpose ties in with your goals.

2. Make sure your message is clear. As with any document that you write, it’s important to make sure that the message speaks in the right voice for your target audience. If you’re aiming for teenagers, then make sure the language you use to communicate is theirs and not yours. If you’re appealing to CEOs, of course you’ll need a different approach.

3. Get the design right. With all the online design tools that are available now, there’s no excuse when it comes to making your document look great. Think colour, layout and lots of white space as well as a good structure that makes it easy for people to find what interests them most.

4. Pitch and promote. Once you’ve got your document planned and produced, make sure you give it good exposure on your website. Only by promoting it properly to the right people will you get the right result.

Healthy Eating and Fitness: Get inspired to Fight Childhood Obesity

Obesity is a public health problem, very often caused by poverty. Fast food and processed food is usually more affordable and healthy food and exercise are usually unavailable to households with limited resources.

Childhood obesity is especially one of most serious public health problems worldwide, with an estimated 42 million overweight children under 5 years old in 2010. Fourteen million children and adults in Australia are overweight or obese. Health problems resulting from obesity are diabetes, heart disease, asthma, cancer, high blood pressure, and children are especially at risk. We need to teach our children to eat healthier and exercise, and also help out families in need to live healthier lifestyles.

There are several inspiring actions that parents, teachers and the community can take to help children and family get healthy. Here you’ll find three points of inspiration to live healthier and teach your child to eat healthy as well as some child fitness tips.

NoTime to Wait
Obesity Australia launched a report “Obesity: A National Epidemic and its Impact on Australia” on March 27, 2014 at a Parliamentary Breakfast in Canberra. 25% children from 5 to 17 are overweight or obese in Australia according to the report. The organization has waged war on obesity in all fronts, by looking at the causes and finding solutions together with government support. In the nicknamed “No Time to Weight” Report, the organization recognized as sources of obesity the abundance of food and sedentary lifestyle, in a population where 90% are already predisposed genetically to obesity. During pregnancy, if the mother’s diet is insufficient in calories and protein, the child will become predisposed to an unhealthy balance between hunger and satiety, which will cause accelerated weigh gain as they grow up. And lastly, an important cause of obesity is unhealthy lifestyle, with unhealthy food choices, and lack of exercise. Based on this report, some of the most important actions to take for everyone struggling with obesity, or even every parent who wants to prevent obesity and health problems, is healthy and sufficient eating during pregnancy, healthy eating for children and adults alike and exercise.

Let’s Move
One of our favorite actions has been Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move movement. While other US First Ladies would bake cookies, Michelle Obama took it upon herself to fight obesity in her country. In the US childhood obesity is present in three to five children and especially the African and Hispanic communities are affected. Children are moving less, with gym hours cut at school, bigger portions offered, increased snacking between meals, time spent playing videogames and watching TV, etc. The Let’s Move initiative was created to help both children and parents to make healthy choices and exercise, to ensure that schools have healthier food, and to ensure that all families can access affordable food. We find this movement particularly inspiring as the First Lady has taken action to prevent obesity in all fronts. The initiative inspires and teaches people to eat healthy, and especially eat healthy on a budget and it teaches children and families to get active.

Food Revolution Day
Jamie Oliver is one of World’s favorite chefs. Not only is he a genius with great creations and recipes, but he’s also taken it upon himself to teach America to cook, eat healthy, but most importantly, to teach children where food comes from. Food Revolution Day, calls for all children and families to take action to learn how to eat healthy, and spread the word. Jamie is also sharing recipes that even children can cook themselves.

Why is this inspiring? With all the processed food and fast food available, our children have forgotten where food comes from. Governments, lobbyists and corporations can ignore health violations and continue the abhorring meat farms (where animals are treated harshly) more easily, in a world that is increasingly becoming more ignorant of what we’re eating. This revolution, or movement, can teach children how food is made, where it comes from, how it is grown, so they can grow an appreciation for the meals we get each day on our table, and so they can learn to cook and eat healthy, instead of eating unhealthy food from fast foods and restaurants all their lives.

While we encourage you to check out these movements to find out more about healthy recipes, here are some children fitness ideas to fight childhood obesity, as recommended by the American Council and Exercise:

1. Soccer and Basketball: Apart from being very fun and active sports, these two sports promote teamwork and teach children how to be social, make friends, care about others, while exercising. It also promotes hand/eye/foot coordination and increases attention span.

2. Martial Arts and Dancing: Apart from physical activity, martial arts and dancing promote coordination and discipline as well. Watch Karate Kid, the Jaden Smith 2010 version, and learn how Kung Fu taught by an inspiring Chinese Version of Miyagi played by Jackie Chan, can teach your child to pick up his/her clothes from the floor. Dancers just like martial artists, love what they’re doing so much, that they develop the discipline to keep going and become better at it. Moreover, for parents that cannot afford martial arts and dancing classes, Youtube is the place to go, to find free classes.

3. Bike Riding and Swimming: These are activities parents can do with their children. Many cities worldwide are becoming more and more bike-friendly, but this is an activity you can also do in the park. You can also take your child to learn how to swim very early in public pools, the beach, or appropriate swimming facilities.

4. Obstacle Courses and Jumping Rope: We used to play jumping rope, or jumping obstacles at gym and with our friends, but children today prefer videogames. Persuade your children to try these activities and you will find that they will ask themselves why they didn’t go outside sooner.

5. Board Sports and Skating: Winter Olympics were just a few months ago and we are all inspired to try any of those sports. In-line skating, Ice-skating, skiing or snowboarding are especially fun for children or for our inner child, as these sports speak to our love for sliding and letting go. Children can get started snowboarding as early as 8 years old. Don’t forget to buy the appropriate headgear to protect them and look for the best snowboard brands to start your adventure. Maybe you’re going to have a little gold-medal winner in your family.

Nutrition on a Budget

For many people across the globe, hunger is a real issue. Statistics reveal that hunger affects almost one billion people worldwide. Whether it’s a severe case of an individual facing acute-malnutrition or a case of a family having to rely on regular trips to a food bank, hunger is a global problem.

Poor diet and under-eating can lead to serious nutritional problems, acute-malnutrition being one of them. This occurs when the body does not receive the energy it needs from food and so it begins to attack itself – eating away at body fat and muscle. The longer this continues, the more tissue is damaged and the more severe the condition is. For some people this danger is a reality whilst for others, although hunger is an issue, serious nutritional problems can be avoided.

For many families throughout the world affording food is difficult yet many still have access to supplies. Food banks have been set up by charities across the world, offering families vital supplies. Most food banks operate by asking members of the public to donate supplies at their local supermarket and charity events are also organised to raise funds to buy goods.

In the UK 13 million people live in poverty – with redundancy, rising costs, static income and underemployment all being contributors. Many individuals, although working, struggle to feed themselves and their family and this is where food banks and charities can help. Many set up food boxes containing imperishable goods that offer nutritional value and offer these out to families across the country – each food box usually contains three days worth of meals.

There are of course other people that struggle to pay for food shopping but don’t want or need to rely on a food bank. For these individuals, shopping on a budget is crucial. But with costs always rising, how can a food shop be cheap and full of good nutritional products?

A misconception by many is that eating poorly (processed foods, junk food) can be a lot cheaper than eating healthily. Whilst this can be true for some products, some fresh produce and healthy goods are a lot cheaper than some may think.

Fresh vegetables are a great way to boost nutrition. Kale is packed with vitamin K which promotes healthy bones, spinach is packed with iron which promotes good oxygen flow around the body and broccoli is full of vitamin A which can help the immune system. All of these vegetables can be bought in large volumes for £1 or less from supermarkets and if used in salads can provide a lunch for three days. Other vegetable and salad items like cucumber, tomatoes and celery are all packed with vitamins and can be bought fairly cheaply.

Other food that can help organ function and general health are fruit, nuts, dried fruit, sweet potatoes, tinned vegetables and eggs. Canned goods are also an essential buy as many are cheap and most have long expiry dates.

For families trying to stick to a budget creating food shopping lists and dividing products into nutritional values like carbs, dairy, protein and fats is a good way to ensure good nutrition whilst sticking to a budget.
Using a notepad or laptop (which can be bought cheaply from somewhere specialising in wholesale computers) individuals can write shopping lists and create meal plans. Not only is this an effective way of ensuring all nutritional needs are met, but it’s an effective way of sticking to a budget.