Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Ex UK Cruises – Food and Drink in Russia

Delicious food and drinks are a big part of your ex UK cruises holiday.  What should you expect to encounter in Russia?

International eating options are increasingly available in Russia, but the more adventurous ex UK visitors may decide to take pot luck in a local cafĂ©.  This can result in grisly unidentifiable meat and lumpy potatoes, or you could find yourself tucking into delicious pancakes or caviar, washed down with vodka or strong Russian tea.

If you’re vegetarian, Georgian restaurants are probably your best bet as they have similarities to Turkish or Lebanese cuisine.  And if ex UK cruises visitors prefer a good bottle of wine with dinner, Georgia is home to some fine wines. Fertile growing conditions and a favourable climate produce over 500 varieties of aboriginal Georgian vine.  Try one of the following - Saperavi, Odjaleshi, Rkatsiteli, Usakhelouri, Mtsvane, Tsolikauri, Krakhuna, or Tsitska.

Ex UK cruises visitors will find that spicy vegetables are widely used in Russian cuisine.  Bulbs, roots, leaves and seeds are common ingredients, and the vegetables can be boiled, fried, blanched or stewed. Garlic is used in meat, vegetable, egg dishes, soups, salads and preserves but never for fish dishes, as it is considered to  spoil the taste of the dish. Caraway seeds are added to soups (cabbage, onion, potato), sauces, sauerkraut, pickles, bread, buns, tvorog, cheese, beer and kvas.

‘Bliny’ is a Russian traditional dish that ex UK cruises visitors will be offered for breakfast. Bliny-making was traditionally a mystery. People told fortunes on the dough, kept their recipes of Bliny a secret, and the first blinys were put on window-sills for poor people and pilgrims. The most popular blinys are made from buckwheat flour, and the thinner the bliny the better.

Main courses that ex UK cruises visitors may expect to be offered include Cheboureki (a Caucasian dish of small fried pies with a meat filling that goes down well with a bottle of beer),  Buckwheat Kasha with Liver (always washed down with vodka!), and of course Beef Stroganoff.  This dish was named after Russian Count Grigory Stroganove who was a rich noblemen who always had the best chefs. One of them invented the original dish from meat scrapings, and today varieties on the recipe are eaten throughout the world.

Ponchiki are the Russian equivalent of doughnuts, so ex UK cruises visitors with a sweet tooth will probably want to sample many of these during the trip!  Other sweet specialities include butter cake, Sochen (a folded flat cake with a filling made from cottage cheese), chuk chuk, and thin, crispy khvorost (fried cookies).

And no meal in Russia would be complete without traditional soup – ex UK cruises visitors should try bozbash (made with lamb fat), Belorussian borsch (beef cooked with pork bones), cold sweet borsch (beetroot and potatoes) or chicken broth.

Eat, drink and be merry on your ex UK cruises!

Whey protein – finding whey protein foods

Finding whey protein products is one thing, but making sure that they are high quality is another

Whey protein is derived from cow’s milk. It is sold in tablet, capsule and powder form, and is a key ingredient in protein drinks. Since it’s easy to digest and it provides the body with a high quality protein, taking whey protein supplements is becoming increasingly popular, not just for athletes but the average person on the street, too.

Before you buy any whey protein foods you should think about what you want to achieve by taking it. Is it to help you in your exercising or strength training? Is it to combat the effects of aging? Or is it to boost your immune system? The type you take and how often will depend on the reason for taking it, so it’s essential to get this straight.

There are 3 types of whey protein:

  • Whey protein concentrate
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Hydrolysed whey protein

Whey protein isolate is the purest form of whey protein, containing 90% or more protein and very little (if any) fat and lactose. Whey protein concentrate has anywhere between 29% and 89% protein depending upon the product. As the protein level in whey protein concentrate decreases, the amounts of fat and/or lactose usually increase. Hydrolysed or pre-digested proteins have been treated with enzymes to break the proteins down into smaller peptides and amino acids. If a whey protein supplement does contain hydrolysed protein it should state both the degree of hydrolysis and a table listing the molecular weight of the peptides present.

High street health food shops should sell whey protein supplements along with the usual vitamins and minerals. You’ll also be able to find them in some pharmacists. It’s online, however, that you should be able to find some of the best deals. Just make sure that wherever you buy your whey protein products from, it is a reputable company which can guarantee the quality. You’ll also find whey protein foods in supermarkets, because it is incorporated into ice cream, bread, canned soup, infant formulas, and other food products.

Corporate caterer – London food filled with passion

For a corporate caterer in London that stands out from the crowd, choose carefully.

Whatever your corporate event, you’ll want a caterer that takes all the hassle out of the organisation – where all you have to do is select from a menu of tempting delights and then get on with enjoying the occasion. You don’t need any old caterer; you need a top-flight, dedicated corporate caterer.

The passionate corporate caterer

London businesses and charity organisations have benefitted from the very best in corporate catering. It’s evident that every dish is available and even treats like old fashioned sweets. Every detail in the excellent standards of service available from London caterers matters. If you’ve ever been to a function that’s been catered by a great caterer, you’ll know exactly what we mean – and if you haven’t, now’s the time to start.

Competition for corporate caterers

London is one of the biggest finance capitals in the world and every day sees a huge number of events, dinners, receptions and launches. It’s no wonder that there’s huge competition between corporate caterers for London’s most prestigious events. Staying ahead of the competition requires constant innovation both in terms of food and service, and in terms of the complete offering the caterer can provide. The more flexible the corporate caterer, the more likely the client is to get exactly what they are looking for. As an event organizer, you’ll be looking for a corporate caterer that can:

  • Design the menu
  • Fit the food to the theme
  • Provide enough service staff for the number of guests
  • Work unobtrusively but professionally
  • Source food from quality suppliers
  • Advise on food and drink combinations

It’s not just about finding a corporate caterer. London events specialists know that it’s about finding the right corporate caterer, where passion, dedication and attention to detail are reflected in everything they do.

Weight Loss: Healthy Eating and Children

This worrying trend has its roots in the availability of a range of foods that are high in saturated fats, salt and sugar. Fast foods, combined with sugary drinks and highly processed food, together with reduced exercise means that children are more likely to put on weight, and if the issue is not tackled in childhood, they are likely to stay obese as adults, causing significant health risks, including heart disease and diabetes.

If you think your child could be overweight, then you may want to consider changing their eating habits, and encouraging them to do more exercise. The last thing you want to do is create a hang-up about weight for your child, so you should approach the change with the whole family, as we can all benefit from a healthier diet and more activity.

It’s important to remember that children are still growing and need a certain number of calories and different intakes of certain nutrients to adults, to ensure that their growth is healthy and unrestricted. The number of calories they need varies with age. For this reason, any change in eating habits should be planned by a professional dietician, with the knowledge and support of your doctor or health professional.

You may think that it will be difficult to change your child’s diet, but there are many alternatives to the foods that are currently causing your child to gain weight. Crisps, chocolate and other snacks, together with fizzy drinks and sugary juices are often problem areas for children, but with careful planning and motivation, good tasting alternatives can be put in their place.

If you are concerned about your child’s weight, then talk to us at SureSlim. We have planned eating programmes for children before, taking care to ensure that they are still receiving the right balance of nutrients for their stage in life. We will work with you to make sure that you , your child and the rest of your family understand the importance of changing your eating habits in the long-term to achieve weight loss and good health and we will do this whilst providing constant support and realistic goals to ensure that you reach your goals.

Diet: Children’s Diet

Unless there is a serious problem with your child’s weight or health, it’s usually not advisable to put them on a diet. You should, though, ensure that their everyday diet is balanced and nutritious.

By spending some time making sure that your child is eating well and sensibly, you are already doing them a great service. Children learn many of their eating habits from their parents, so if you are having a takeaway three or four times a week, snacking on crisps and sweets in between and drinking alcohol and fizzy drinks, then that’s the eating example you’re setting your children.

On the other hand, if you’re buying fresh fruit and vegetables, making homemade meals, using the right sort of bread, grains and pulses, your child will grow up with an appreciation of good food, and an in-built preference for a healthy diet. This doesn’t mean that you can’t give them sweets occasionally, or bake cookies with them, but it does mean that you need to give them an appreciation of why it’s important to take their health seriously, and support it through a balanced diet and exercise.

If your child is seriously overweight, has diabetes or any other medical condition that may affect their weight or the type of diet they can eat, you should consult your doctor or health professional. At SureSlim, we can produce a personalised diet plan for your child, based on the same scientific theory as the adult plans. We only do this for children over seven years old, and always in close consultation with parents and doctors. Because our plans include foods that you can buy from any supermarket, and take into consideration your child’s age and other requirements – taking a packed lunch to school for example – you should find it relatively straightforward to follow the plan. We will also talk to you and your child to explain exactly how the plan works, set achievable targets for weight reduction and meet with you every week to assess your progress and answer any queries you may have.

One of the most important things that children can learn is how the food they put in their mouths affects their bodies. An understanding of which foods provide them with which nutrients, and how “bad” foods such as sugary drinks or crisps with too much fat or salt can adversely affect their bodies will help them sustain a healthy diet throughout their lives.

Clocks for Children

Learning to tell the time is one of landmark moments in a child’s education. Knowing how to read a clock makes them more independent; they can learn to organise their time and recognise the routines in their day.

Ideally, children should learn to read both analogue and digital clocks and there is a huge range of both types available both to help them learn and to brighten their room.

Just as a child learns to read using books with colourful pictures and large words, so they learn telling time easiest by using clocks with bold, readable numbers, and exciting designs. You can buy clocks shaped like animals, fruit and cartoon characters, or clocks with a theme like the zoo, or Disney, or trains. Find a clock that appeals to your child, and you’ll find that they’ll want to look at it, and teaching the time will become part of your routine.

Children start telling the time with the basics – at 4-5, they should be learning how to recognise each o’clock, and then move onto half-past, quarter-past, the nearest 5 minutes and digital time as they grow older. Clocks are available which have the “telling time” values next to each number, so number one has “five past” written next to it, and number 7 has “twenty-five to”. This helps children relate the numbers on the clock to the way we talk about time.

There are many books available to help children learn to tell the time. These books usually come with moveable clocks – so that the child can position the hands in the right place during the story. Clocks like these really help with time telling, as you can move the hands to any position you like – and the child learns best from being able to manipulate the hands by itself.

Having a clock on the wall, though, is a great way to encourage your child to practice telling time. Check the time in the morning, and at meal-times, bathtime and bedtime. Make sure though, that you buy a clock with all the numbers on it; clocks that just show 12, 3, 6, and 9 won’t help your child to learn.

You can find some great items to help kids and toddlers – such as a teething necklace – at Amber Pumpkin.