Monthly Archives: April 2016

How To Buy And Store Vegetables

Short of curing cancer and promising never-ending longevity, vegetables are accredited with so many health benefits it’s a wonder that their daily consumption is not a common obsession. Rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, vegetables are THE cornerstone of a healthy diet. Once the exclusive domain of vegetarians, vegetable-only meals are being incorporated into a growing number of weekly menu plans. And why not? They’re good for health, they help with weight loss and they’re easy on the budget.

With increased demand comes increased availability and today’s supermarkets and grocers offer an exciting diversity of vegetables. If you’re shopping for lettuce, what type? Good shops will have at least 5 varieties of hand. Check out the cos, iceberg, mignonette, green coral, red coral, butter endive, rocket and radicchio. And potatoes? Look for the pink eye, desiree, pontiac, king edward, new and sebago. Capsicums are available in a multitude colours. Asian vegetables such as bok choy, chinese cabbage and ginger are plentiful and fresh.

There are lots of books that shows versatility of vegetables. It is used almost in every dishes. Don’t you ever think why people don’t like spinach when it has lot to offer?


When shopping for vegetables, it’s worth remembering that freshness is important. Buy only what you need – shopping for small amounts of vegetables a few times a week is much better than once weekly shop for everything. Plan meals with vegetables in seasons. These will be the freshest and most reasonably priced vegetables available. Watch the weather – long periods of rain can reduce the supply and the price will rise. If you establish a good relationship with your fruit and vegetable provider, they will be able to assist you in the best buys from week to week.

Also keep in mind that frozen vegetables can be added to soups and simmering dishes. Despite being frozen, they still contain nutrients and can be extremely handy if you don’t have the time to shop every couple of days.

Lettuce and leafy greens

Looks for lettuces and leafy greens with crisp shiny leaves. The base of the lettuce should be dry and not slimy. Wash the lettuce, remove the core and, if possible, spin dry in a salad spinner or pat dry in a tea towel. Store the lettuce in a plastic bag or wrap in wetted absorbent paper in the crisper section of your refrigerator. Lettuce should keep for up to 7 days for the crisper varieties, softer leaf types will only last for 3-4 days. Salad leaves deteriorate after a few days, so it’s best to only buy what you need; some supermarkets are now selling prepackaged salad mixes that last up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Root vegetables

Avoid root vegetables with blemished skin, green or purple marks, a musty smell or that have started to sprout. Carrots, potatoes, parsnips, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, beetroot, celeriac, sewedes, Jerusalem artichokes and turnips are all quick to show signs of spoilage, When purchased, carrots should be firm with no signs of wrinkles. Store most root vegetables in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator for 6-8 days. There are many different varieties of potatoes available for cooking; the two main groups being floury and waxy. Floury potatoes are suited to baking, mashing and frying while waxy potatoes are good for boiling. Potatoes should be bought with the dirt still on to protect them from bruising and exposure to light. If stored in a cool dark placecc in a hessian bag, potatoes can last for up to 1 month.

Whole pumpkins will keep for months in a cool dark place. Wedges wrapped in a plastic can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Unless you have a good, sharp and large knife, it is probably best to buy pumpkin bu the wedge. Check that the seed area is moist, but not slimy, and that there is no mould.


Store tomatoes at room temperature as refrigerating will soften the flesh. To ripen tomatoes leave them on a window sill in a sunny spot in the kitchen. Unfortunately, the colour of a tomato is no longer indicative if the flavour. Vine ripened tomatoes that have been, as the name implies, left to ripen on the vine usually have a stronger sweeter flavour. Roma or egg tomatoes can also be sweet.


Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts are quick to show signs of spoilage. With broccoli and cauliflower, look for tightly packed florets that show no evidence of yellowing or tiny flower. Cabbages and brussel sprouts should be dense with crisp out leaves.


Purchase onions with skins intact and no soft spots, green sprouts or any signs of moisture. Spring onions (also known as green onions) should have crisp green stems with moist roots.

Peas and Beans

The best way to test the freshness of a beans is to bend it – if it snaps it is fresh, it it bends it is on its way out. Try to purchase beans loose as this allows you to pick your own. Store them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for 2-3 days. Sugar snap and snow peas (also known as mangetout) should be crisp and bright green with no sign of blemishes; they should be eaten on the day of purchase. Buy peas in the pod and shell them just before cooking – 1 kg peas will yield 500 grams shelled peas. About the only way to tell the sweetness of a pea is to put it to the taste test.


Look for capsicums (also known as peppers) with shiny waxy skins; they should also be heavy for their size with no signs of softening. They can be stored at room temperature for 1-2 days or in the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator for 4-5 days

Celery, Fennel and Asparagus

Stalky vegetables should be crisp with upright stalks. Celery should have bright green leaves. Look for asparagus with firmly closed buds. Store stalky vegetables in the vegetable crisper for 2-3 days.


To select a ripe avocado, gently press your thumb into the top near the stem and if it gives slightly it’s ready to eat. Ripe ones should be eaten with 2-3 days of purchasing. Store unripe avocados at the room temperature.

Sweet Corn

Corn is best purchased in its husk. Peel back the husk and silk and check the kernels for signs of drying. Also, the silk should no be starting to moisten – the whiter the silk the fresher the corn. Corn is best eaten soon after purchased.


Look for clean white mushrooms with a fresh earthy aroma and tight caps. Exotic mushrooms are usually sold in trays covered in plastic so check carefully for any signs of decay. Mushrooms last longer when stored in paper bags in the vegetable crisper in the refrigerator. Do not wash or peel mushrooms; brush clean with a piece of absorbent paper towel.

The Correct Notion About Herbal Health Stores

Since herbal supplements became very popular, the number of herbal health stores gradually increased. These shops sell products that claim to be excellent skin conditioners, beauty improvement products, culinary ingredients, fitness supplements, weight loss solutions and health remedies.

However, consumers should understand that not all claims are truthful especially with regards to curative capability. While it is true that most herbs are natural products and free from chemical contents, the ability to cure diseases has never been proven.

You will need to get expert medical advice before buying herbal products that are being hyped as containing medicinal value. For the meantime, fresh and dried herbs can be used solely to enhance the taste of your meals or as components of household solutions.

The FDA and Herbal Products

The Food and Drug Administration or FDA classifies herbal products only as dietary supplements. They are not subject to the same benchmarks as prescription and non-prescription medication manufactured by pharmaceutical firms. In other words, these herbal companies are not required to provide evidence for the value and safety of herbal products that they distribute in the market. Producers of herbal products are only mandated to provide truthful information regarding the quantity, contents, directions in using and the manufacturer’s profile. The FDA also demands a listing of serving size; ingredients that have something to do with dietary and non-dietary aspects; scientific description and terminology of the plant; and, serving size.

This regulatory agency prescribed a special category to control herbal supplements. Dietary supplements have their own set of guidelines. Incidentally, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act refer to a dietary supplement as a product that is consumed orally, tablet, capsule or liquid form. The purpose is to support the diet and contains a label stating needed facts on the front part of its container.

Effects of Herbal Supplements

Herbal health stores sell supplements but before you even think of making purchases, it is advisable to consult a physician because of possible harmful side effects to adult’s especially pregnant mothers. Active ingredients of botanicals may be detrimental to the health of unborn babies.

As responsible consumers, you must know that even if products have been categorized as natural, it does not imply that these are already safe and nourishing for adults and children. You need to do considerable research on such products, their benefits and downsides. Take note of warnings issued by medical professionals and contraindications that can happen if the herbs are taken for an extended period. Consuming herbal products in huge amounts may lead to negative effects.

Drug interactions may also come about if an herb is ingested. Combining herbal products with another prescription drug may be dangerous since this can get in the way with the activity of the herb or drug and produce a decrease of the drug.

How to Buy Health Insurance Online

In today’s fast paced society the way we shop for things has changed. We no longer are bound and held captive to the old way of brick and mortar shopping. We do not need to go to our local mall to buy a shirt and a pair of pants. We can simply click to our favorite store on the internet to buy what we need. The same is true for health insurance.

The time has come where you do not need to sit with a broker watching the clock to waiting for them to finish their sales proposal. Now you can shop and buy your coverage right over the net and with your telephone. However, buying clothes and selecting a health insurance plan are very different in terms of risk. I am going to discuss how to buy health insurance online so you have peace of mind and feel safe in what you have purchased.

1. Search for a local health insurance broker for a quote.
To do this all you need to do is go to your favorite search engine like “Google” or “MSN” and type Arizona Health Insurance (change Arizona for the state or city you live in). Be sure that the site you select is affiliated with a local broker. This is very important for a couple of reasons: One, you want to make sure you are working with a person not a computer program. It’s important to be able to have someone answer your questions and help you with all your concerns to the last detail. And two, if you get a quote from a generic quoting site you will be bombarded with calls from multiple agents. Trust me this is a real head ache.

2. Research your Broker.
Once you have found a local broker in your area there should be a few things to look for to make sure he or she is legitimate.

o Check your state’s Department of Insurance to make sure they are properly and currently licensed. For example, the web site for the Arizona Department of Insurance is Search the page for “Customers” and perform an agent lookup.

o See if your broker offers any free information on their website, like articles or brochures to help you with your process of selecting a plan or showing you ways to save on your monthly premium. You want to make sure on the outset that they know what they are talking about.

o Make sure they are an “independent” broker not a “captive” agent. “Independent” brokers DO NOT work for a specific company; they are truly there to find a plan for you. It does not matter to them if you choose Blue Cross Blue Shield, American Community, or United Healthcare. Also as a side note, by using a broker you get the same pricing as if you were to buy direct from the insurance company. Local independent brokers provide you with personalized service and care about your needs.

3. Request your quote.
Once you have researched the broker you have selected, now fill out their “FREE QUOTE” page. Once the page is completed you should immediately receive your quotes or be directed to a page thanking you for the quote request. This page should also include the broker’s name, contact information and notifying you that they will contact you with the desired information you requested.

4. Select a plan from a quality company.
This does not necessarily mean that you select a plan that you have heard of before. There are a lot of great companies that are not as well known as others, but offer fantastic coverage and are a lot less expensive. You want to make sure that the company has a long history. If the company has been around for awhile, even though it may not be as large or not as well known, it has stood the test of time that it can pay claims and provide protection for their clients. In addition you may also check AM Best for their ratings on insurance companies. Their website is

The internet has made life a lot easier and has provided more time for family and loved ones. Hopefully now you are equipped with a little more knowledge resting your mind at ease when buying a health insurance plan online. Now you don’t have to bother with the time and agony of setting appointments and putting up with pushy sales people sitting at your kitchen table. The process does not need to be scary if you know what to do. Thank you for the opportunity to help you with your health insurance needs.

Matt Irons is the owner of Irons Family Insurance in Queen Creek, Arizona. Matt Irons is dedicated to the well being of his clients, by providing peace of mind and helping them find quality Arizona health insurance at an affordable price. He cares by giving honest answers and advice to solve your health insurance needs.

Buying Health Supplements

Are you interested in buying health supplements? Do you think that they could help you to take your body to the next platform? If so, you need to consider all of the supplements that are on the market today. You must remember that the health supplement industry is on the up and up. For this reason, if you do not do enough research you may not end up getting what is best for you. Luckily, there are plenty of places that you can search for the details that will point you towards what to buy.

The first place to start is online. While this may sound a bit cliché by now, the fact is that the internet is the largest information portal in the world. For this reason, you can find details on price, availability and benefits of every available health supplement. You may want to check out a health articles directory so that you can also get first hand accounts from people who have taken these supplements in the past. There are several high quality health articles directory that are known to have solid information on supplements as well as other health care topics.

Now that you know what supplements are best, you need to actually find out how you are going to buy them. And guess what? The internet may be the best place for you to start. When you shop for health supplements online you will have the chance to choose from many available options, while also getting the best price possible. When you take all of this into consideration, it is not hard to see why buying health related supplies online has taken off.

But don’t forget, you can also purchase health supplements at a drug or grocery store. You may not have a large selection, but finding something that is beneficial should not be a problem.

Start your search for health supplements online and then slowly work out from there. This will give you the best chance of getting what will take your body to the next level.