5 ways to listen better

5 ways to listen better

TED

In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening – to other people and the world around you.

 

 

Julian Treasure is a sound consultant and studies sound and advises businesses on how best to use it.

Why you should listen

Julian Treasure is the chair of the Sound Agency, a firm that advises worldwide businesses — offices, retailers, hotels — on how to use sound. He asks us to pay attention to the sounds that surround us. How do they make us feel: productive, stressed, energized, acquisitive?

Treasure is the author of the book Sound Business and keeps a blog by the same name that ruminates on aural matters (and offers a nice day-by-day writeup of TEDGlobal 2009). In the early 1980s, Treasure was the drummer for the Fall-influenced band Transmitters.

This talk was presented at an official TED conference in July, 2011.

 

 

 

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10 ways to have a better conversation

10 Ways to have a better conversation

TED

When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great conversation: Honesty, brevity, clarity and a healthy amount of listening. In this insightful talk, she shares 10 useful rules for having better conversations. “Go out, talk to people, listen to people,” she says. “And, most importantly, be prepared to be amazed.”

Celeste Headlee’s years of interview experience gives her a unique perspective on what makes for a good conversation.

Why you should listen

Celeste Headlee, writer and radio host, has worked in public radio since 1999, as a reporter, host and correspondent. She was the Midwest Correspondent for NPR before becoming the co-host of the PRI show “The Takeaway.” After that, she guest hosted a number of NPR shows including “Tell Me More,” “Talk of the Nation,” “Weekend All Things Considered” and “Weekend Edition”. Celeste also anchored election coverage for PBS World in 2012 and was a regular guest on CNN.

Celeste holds multiple degrees in music and still performs as a professional opera singer. She appears on the album “Classically Blue” from gospel artist Lea Gilmore. She’s the granddaughter of composer William Grant Still.

This 12 minute Ted talk was presented to a local audience at TEDxCreativeCoast in Savannah, United States, an independent event in May 2015. 

Visit Celeste Headlee’s web site On Second Thought

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Ted Talk-Want to be happy? Be grateful

David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be Grateful.

The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.

Certainly food for thought.

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Being Energy Efficient

Using energy efficiently can save us money and help the environment.

By following the Utility Warehouse tips below, you could save even more money by reducing the amount of energy you use.

Insulation

  • A well insulated building is cheaper to heat.
  • Draught-proofing windows and doors is very cost effective.
  • Effective loft insulation: the minimum level of loft insulation is 270mm, but the more you have the more energy you will save.
  • Cavity wall insulation can reduce the amount of heat lost through your walls.

Water heating tips

  • Insulate your hot water cylinder and water pipes. Lagging jackets need to be at least 80mm (three inches) thick to be effective.

Lighting tips

  • Ensure lights are switched off in empty rooms, and adjust curtains and blinds to let in as much light as possible.
  • Replace light bulbs with low energy light bulbs.

Heating tips

  • Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1 degree celsius could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.
  • Place foil behind radiators fitted onto outside walls.

This Advice is Courtesy of the Utility Warehouse discount club 

Ver: 05/15

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Utility Warehouse

Utility_Warehouse_pig_rgb
I am pleased to announce that I am now an Independent Distributor for the Utility Warehouse (watch Terry Wogan explain).

You may not have heard of Utility Warehouse before – that’s the secret to saving lots of money! The company does not advertise in the national press or on TV. Instead, it relies on personal recommendation; satisfied customers and Independent Distributors letting their friends, family and colleagues know about the savings they have made. The company passes the savings it makes on to its members – by charging less.

Unlike many other utility suppliers, the Utility Warehouse’s award-winning customer service centre is located right here in the UK. So, should you need to contact them, you can rest assured that you will be speaking with a highly trained adviser who will deal with your query personally, professionally and as quickly as possible.

As a member of Utility Warehouse, you SAVE…

  • Single supplier for all your utilities
  • Award-winning customer service
  • Value that’s unbeatable
  • Easy to switch

There are also business opportunities for people who would also like to be a Utility Warehouse Distributor. Check out the opportunity.

Join the Club (It’s free to join)

homephone_2015internet_2015mobile_2015gas_2015electricity_2015cashback_card_2015

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Elizabeth Nyamayaro: An invitation to men who want a better world for women

Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Political Scientist (heforshe.org)

Around the world, women still struggle for equality in basic matters like the right to drive and to marry when they choose. But how to enlist everyone, men and women, as allies for change? Meet Elizabeth Nyamayaro, the inventor of the #HeForShe Twitter campaign, which created 1.2 billion conversations about a more equal world. She invites us all to join in as allies in our shared humanity in this 12 minute TEDWomen 2015 Talk.  .

Elizabeth Nyamayaro is the founder of Africa IQ, a social impact organisation that promotes Africa’s sustainable economic growth and development, as well as head of UN Women’s blockbuster @HeForShe campaign.

Why you should listen

Political scientist Elizabeth Nyamayaro is the senior advisor to the Under Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. She has worked at the forefront of Africa’s development agenda for more than a decade in both the public and private sector, and has held positions with UNAIDS, the World Health Organization and the World Bank.

Nyamayaro is founder of Africa IQ, an innovative social impact organisation with a mission to promote Africa’s sustainable economic growth and development. She is also the driving force behind the @HeForShe campaign, which mobilized more than 100,000 men in every country around the globe. The campaign created 1.2 billion Twitter impressions in just one week, rallying men as advocates and change agents in ending the persisting inequalities faced by women and girls globally.

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Alcohol Unit & Calorie Calculator

Wondered how many units and calories are in your drinks? Drinkaware has an easy unit and calorie calculator to input what you drank and it will work out the number of alcohol units and calories you consumed.

Here is a link to the Unit and Calorie Calculator you may be shocked at the results!

The Mail Online also did an article on this MailOnline Article which is well worth reading and could be a wake up call.

 

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How Easy is it to Notch Up too Many Alcohol Units?

Group of Three Friends in a Bar Having DrinksIf we logged our drinking each week and added up the number of units consumed would we be within the recommended amount?

 

 

 

 

The NHS recommends:

  • Men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units of alcohol a day but no more than 21 units a week.
  • Women should not regularly drink more than 2-3 units a day and no more than 14 units a week.
  • Men and women should have at least two alcohol-free days a week.
  • If you’ve had a heavy drinking session, avoid alcohol for 48 hours.

“Regularly” means drinking this amount every day or most days of the week.

Read more at NHS Choices – Alcohol Units

According to Drinkaware, the simplest way to understand the government’s lower risk guidelines is to see what they equate to in common types of drinks. Knowing this makes it easier to stay within the guidelines.

This means, each day we should not drink more than:

  • One large (250ml) glass of wine (13% ABV) for men or medium (175ml) glass of wine for women, or
  •  A pint and a half of lager or ale (4% ABV) for men or pint of lager or ale for women, or
  • A pint and a half of cider (4.5% ABV) for men or pint of cider for women, or
  • 4 single (25ml) spirits (40% ABV) for men or 3 single (25ml) spirits for women

As a guide these are the units of some popular drinks:

  • Small 125ml glass of wine (ABV 12%) – 1.5 units
  • Medium 175ml glass of wine (ABV 12%) – 2.1 units
  • Large 250ml glass of wine (ABC 12%) – 3 units
  • Pint of lower strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 3.6%) – 2 units
  • Pint of higher strength lager/beer/cider (ABV 5.2%) – 3 units
  • 330 ml bottle of lager Bottle of lager/beer/cider (ABV 5%) – 1.7 units
  • 440ml can of lager/beer/cider (ABV 4.5%) – 2 units
  • 275ml alcopop (ABV 5.5%) – 1.5 units
  • Single small (25ml) shot of spirits (ABV 40%) – 1 unit (standard single measure in England and Wales)
  • Single large (35ml) shot of spirits (ABV 40%) – 4.4 units (standard single measure in Scotland)

How easy is it to notch up more than the recommended daily and weekly units?

Well I for one can’t have one glass of wine and then put the bottle away for another day. Some people can but the majority I suspect have a ‘stop’ button that kicks in a few drinks further into the drinking session.

PubScene_07.03.14A couple of large glasses of vino after work or at home in the evening is 6 units a day and 42 in a week more than double the recommended guidelines. Increase this to 3 large glasses (or a bottle) of wine we are up to 9 units a day or 63 units in a week which is around 3 times the recommended guidelines.

Those of us that prefer 3 or 4 pints of 4% ABV beer, lager or cider each day after work or at weekends can be looking at 7.5 to 10 units a day or 52.5 to 70 units a week. This is two to three times the recommended guidelines.

If we drink 6 to 9 units a day Monday to Thursday and boost it a little at weekends with more wine, beer and a few shots thrown in we could soon be knocking on the door of 100 units a week!

Add to the total the extra drinking at weddings, parties and other celebrations and our consumption may be frighteningly dangerous.

If pubs, restaurants and hotels had a decent range of alcohol free beers and wine rather than the token Becks Blue alcohol free lager it may help us cut down on alcohol. I for one have decided to go AF (Alcohol Free) and party sober.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Party Sober

I have just read How to Party Sober: A Step by Step Guide to Socialising Without Alcohol
Author: Rachel Black

My rating: 5 Stars (Amazon combined rating 4 plus Stars)

Socialising without alcohol is feared by many who wish to remain sober. Will they ever have fun again? This step by step guide shows you simple techniques to use in all social occasions to avoid the temptation to drink while enjoying yourself too. Without alcohol your social life will never be the same again; it will be so much better!

Biography

Rachel Black lives in Scotland with her husband and two children. At the age of 40, she suffered the opposite of a mid-life crisis and decided to do things properly for once and for all. Blogging and writing all the way, Rachel tackled the wine first. An increasingly ‘normal’ habit of drinking wine most nights had taken a firm grip. Her first book ‘Sober is the New Black’ details this acknowledgment, the desire to control her drinking, and finally, acceptance that she cannot moderate her intake of wine and she embarks on a journey of self discovery as she stops drinking for good.One year later her diet demons take centre stage. Having previously been held in check to allow copious amounts of calorific wine, they now rampage free. Cakes, biscuits, chocolate and desserts have gone from occasional treats to daily indulgences and now the scales hover at dangerous heights. The time to change came one day when Rachel was afraid to wash her jeans, knowing they would return to their original size and no longer fit. ‘Sweet and Sober’ is her second non-fiction book and details of decades of disordered dieting and chaotic eating. This heart wrenching account examines her past, from anorexia to binge eating, and tries to understand why we can control many many desires, except that to eat.

Rachel still eats cake and continues to try to moderate it. She is pleased cake does not make her drunk or hungover and her favourite is Carrot Cake, because it’s healthy, right?

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Timeline of Tea

Although the great British cup of tea was not introduced in Britain until 1669, it’s history dates back to 2,737 BC, over 4,750 years ago!

I will be doing an ongoing series of blog’s on tea, the different kinds, health benefits, history, tea regions, how to brew and so. This first blog shows the timeline of tea from it’s discovery until the beginning of the 20th Century and will be edited and added to as a result of ongoing research.

2737 BC
Tea was accidentally discovered by Emperor Shennong in ancient China

Late 6th Century AD
Tea is introduced to Japan

780 AD
Tea is taxed and the first Book of Tea is written by Lu Yo of China

1368-1644 AD
Green, black and Oolong teas first appeared in the Ming Dynasty

Early 1600’s
Tea first arrives in the West

Mid 1600’s
Tea arrives in the New World
(New Amsterdam, a Dutch settlement at the southern tip of Manhattan Island that became New York city)

1669
East India Company brings first tea shipment to England

1773
The Boston Tea Party took place
(This was a political protest against the Tea Act of May 10, 1773 in which demonstrators destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company)

1810
First planting of Taiwan Tea

1823
The birth of Indian Tea
(The Assam tea plant was found growing wild on the side of the Brahamaputra in North East India)

1834
The Tea Committee was formed by Lord William Bentinck
(This was a new charter focusing on the administration of tea production in India)

1838
The first consignment of twelve boxes of Assam Tea were exported to England

1839
The first consignment of eight chests of Assam Tea was auctioned in Calcutta

1856
Tea cultivation was expanded to south-west India in the state of Kerala and the district of ilgiris in the state of Tamil Nadu

1869
Formosa Oolong tea is first exported

1881
The Indian Tea Association (ITA) is launched to promote the interests of the Indian tea industry

1888
Imports of Indian tea into Britain exceeded that of China and continues to the present day

1893
United Planters Association of Southern India (UPASI) was formed
(UPASI is an apex body of planters of tea, coffee, rubber, pepper and Cardamon in the Southern States of India, namely Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka)

1897
The US Tea Act is passed to ensure quality standards of all tea imported into the States

1908
The Tea bag was invented in the United States

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TED Talk – How to buy happiness

In this 11 minute talk at TEDxCambridge in April, 2012, Michael Norton, who is a social science researcher, shares fascinating research on how money can, indeed buy happiness — when you don’t spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.

Through clever studies, Michael Norton studies how we feel about what we buy and spend.

Why you should listen

Michael I. Norton is a professor of business administration in the marketing unit at the Harvard Business School. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and English from Williams and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Princeton. Prior to joining HBS, Professor Norton was a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. His work has been published in a number of leading academic journals, including Science, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, and the Annual Review of Psychology, and has been covered in media outlets such as the Economist, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

His research has twice been featured in the New York Times Magazine Year in Ideas issue, in 2007 (Ambiguity Promotes Liking) and 2009 (The Counterfeit Self). His “The IKEA Effect: When Labor Leads to Love” was featured in Harvard Business Review‘s Breakthrough Ideas for 2009.

 

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Change the Tune

I’m not a Green Party voter, however, their Party Election Broadcast this evening was so entertaining.

Rather than talking to the viewer, they put on a spoof boyband who, after a brief introduction, sang the Green’s message. The four ‘members’ of this boyband were portrayed as David Cameron. Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage and Ed Milliband.

Leaving politics aside, I thought it was the most entertaining Party Election Broadcast this campaign to date. I wonder if they will rise up the music charts or get on X Factor?

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Dover Police DashCam Confessional – Shake it Off

Take a look at this version of the Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” that has had more than 34 million views in the first 15 weeks!

Delaware police officer Jeff Davis, who became an Internet star via a dash-cam video showing him dancing and lip-syncing to Taylor Swift’s pop hit, talks to Carson Daly about his new found fame and shows him a few moves.

Hope you enjoyed it, and here’s an interview with the Delaware police officer Jeff Davis:

Viral ‘Shake it Off’ cop strikes again:

Hope you enjoyed this trilogy of YouTube videos.

 

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Tour de Yorkshire is coming to Addingham

After the huge success of the Tour de France last year, Addingham will have the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire coming through the village on Sunday 3rd May, 2015 at about 3.30 pm.

There are 18 professional teams competing in the Tour de Yorkshire including Team Sky and Sir Bradley Wiggins’ own team, Team Wiggins. Yorkshire’s Olympic Gold Medalist Ed Clancy will race for JLT Condor.

Throughout the morning there will also be The Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride or “sportive” and around 4,000 amateur riders will pass through the village.

Here is an Addingham Tour de Yorkshire information sheet that you can download.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

 

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Supermarket Loyalty Cards

Last year, Morrison’s introduced a store loyalty card called ‘Match & More’. Tesco and Sainsbury’s already had loyalty cards (Sainsbury’ one is the Nectar Card), giving card holders points for every £1 you spend in store and also do a price comparison* and give you a voucher to redeem against your next shop to cover the price difference (if lower elsewhere in stores they match against).

Tesco Clubcard give points for every £1 you spend and a voucher to redeem against your next shop for the amount you would have saved if you had done a comparative* shop at the cheaper of Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons.

Sainsbury’s Nectar Card members get Nectar points for every £1 they spend and a voucher to redeem against your next shop for the amount you would have saved if you had done a comparative* shop at Asda.

This is not the case with Morrison’s Match & More card.

With the Morrisons Match & More card you do not get points for spend (except when buying fuel, which is 10 points for every litre of fuel).

This means that, apart from fuel you only get points if you spend more than £15 (no minimum spend at Tesco or Sainsbury’s although you need to buy at least 10 items) and then you get 1 point for every penny that you could have saved on your comparable* groceries at the cheaper of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Aldi & Lidl.

* Comparable groceries, is a ‘shopping basket’ of groceries the supermarket decides on and you have to have at least one of the products in the supermarkets comparable ‘shopping basket’. This means that you only get points on the negative price difference on the products you buy that are in the supermarkets comparable ‘shopping basket’, not comparing your whole shop.

In my mind, Morrisons are selling us short. At least with Tesco and Sainsbury’s you get a voucher at check out for every shop where there is a negative price difference on the comparable ‘shopping basket’ products you buy to spend on your next shop. In addition you get points for every £1 spent to turn into vouchers.

Sainsbury’s Nectar Card points can be redeemed through Nectar to spend with any participating partner.

Tesco Clubcard vouchers do not need to be spent at Tesco or Sainsbury’s stores. My wife converted our Tesco vouchers for Pizza Express ones (we got £80 to spend on Pizza, as Tesco give you 4 times the voucher face value to spend at Pizza Express). There are numerous other participating Tesco partners.

In Summary

The Morrisons ‘Match & More’ card allows you to collect points when buying fuel (10 points per litre) and a point per penny that you would have saved on any product in their comparison ‘shopping basket’ if bought at the cheaper of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, Aldi & Lidl. You get a £5 voucher to spend in store for every 5,000 points.

Tesco gives you a voucher to redeem against your next shop for the amount you would have saved on any product in their comparison ‘shopping basket’ if bought at the cheaper of Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons. Plus you get 1 Clubcard point for each £1 spent in store or online and for every litre of fuel bought. Every 150 points is worth £1.50 and this can be boosted up to 4 times the value by converting them to ‘Boost’ tokens’ for spending with a Tesco Boost Partner.

Sainsbury’s gives you a voucher to redeem against your next shop for the amount you would have saved on any product in their comparison ‘shopping basket’ if bought at Asda. Plus you get 1 Nectar point for each £1 spent in store or online and for every £2 of fuel bought. Every 500 points is worth £2.50.

As far as I’m concerned, the Morrisons ‘Martch & More’ card is price comparison card rather than a loyalty card and offers far less benefits than the Tesco Clubcard or the Sainsbury’s Nectar Card.

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Where Can I Buy Alcohol Free Wines, Beers & Ciders?

I am building a record  of what the national supermarkets are offering in the alcohol free wines, beers and ciders range. Click on the following links to check out your supermarket.

ASDA

Co-operative (Coop)

Morrisons

Please note that this is being added to as I visit a supermarket for the first time to check the range.

 

 

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Alcohol Free Beers and Wine Range – Asda

ASDA Logo

I checked out the alcohol free range at ASDA today, there was a good offering of alcoohol free and ‘light’ alcohol wines but no alcohol free beer available today 23 April, 2015.

I do know, however, that ASDA normally stock a selection of alcohol free lagers and I will list the ones I have seen in the past.

San Miguel 0.0% lager – 330 ml bottles (0.0% ABV)
Bavaria 0.0% Original lager – 330 ml bottles & cans (0.0% ABV)
Beck’s Blue lager – 275 ml bottles (not more than 0.05% ABV)

Eisberg Riesling Alcohol free white wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.05% ABV)
Eisberg Rosé Alcohol Free rosé wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.05% ABV)
Torres Natureo De-Alcoholised Muscat white wine – 75 cl bottles (0.5% ABV)
Torres Natureo De-Alcoholised Syrah red wine – 75 cl bottles (0.5% ABV) This is my favourite offered by supermarkets.
Torres Natureo De-Alcoholised Syrah-Cabernet Sauvignon roseé wine – 75 cl bottles (0.5% ABV)
Fre De-Alcoholised Merlot red wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.5% ABV)
Fre De-Alcoholised Chardonnay white wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.5% ABV)
Fre De-Alcoholised White Zinfandel white wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.5% ABV)

Although not available at ASDA Harrogate today but ASDA do have their own-brand alcohol free wines. These are not de-alcolised as they are made from Muscat grape juice concentrate blended with sparkling water, this makes it more like a Shloer type drink and not a wine drink. The choice available from ASDA is:

ASDA Extra Special Alcohol Free Sparkling Muscat – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.0% ABV)
ASDA Extra Special Alcohol Free Sparkling Pink Muscat – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.0% ABV)

There is also a good range of ‘Light’ wines that have an ABV of up to 5.5%.

To see the UK legal definitions of a non-alcoholic beverage check out my blog Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol Drinking.

Like Morrisons, ASDA has also made a decent effort to provide for those customers that want a wine, beer or cider that is alcohol free from time to time.

Back to Where Can I Buy Alcohol Free Wines, Beers & Ciders?

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Alcohol Free Beers and Wines Range – Morrisons

Morrisons Logo

Morrisons has certainly made an effort to offer a reasonable range of alcohol free beers and wines.

In april, 2015 I visited the Morrisons store in Skipton, North Yorkshire and the following was the range of alcohol free beers, wines and ciders:

Bavaria 0.0% Original lager – 330 ml bottles & cans (0.0% ABV)
Cobra Zero lager – 330 ml bottles (0.0% ABV)
Fosters Radler lager – 300ml bottles (o.o% ABV)
Beck’s Blue lager – 275 ml bottles (not more than 0.05% ABV)

Kopparberg Alcohol-Free Pear cider – 500 ml bottles (0.o% ABV)
Kopparberg Alcohol-Free Mixed Fruit Cider – 500 ml bottles (0.0% ABV)

Morrisons also have there own brand 1% ABV apple cider in 500 ml bottles (classed as low alcohol)

Eisberg Chardonnay Alcohol free white wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.05% ABV)
Eisberg Cabernet Sauvignon Alcohol Free red wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.05% ABV)
Eisberg Rosé Alcohol Free rosé wine – 75 cl bottles (not more than 0.05% ABV)

Morrisons also do a range of wines that are ‘light’ in alcohol but at 5.5% ABV they can’t even be classed as ‘low alcohol’ although it has less than half the strength of normal wine.

To see the UK legal definitions of a non-alcoholic beverage check out my blog Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol Drinking.

Well done Morrisons for a decent effort to provide for those customers that want a wine, beer or cider that is alcohol free from time to time.

Back to Where Can I Buy Alcohol Free Wines, Beers & Ciders?

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Alcohol Free Beers and Wines Range – Coop

Co-operative logo

I live within 100 metres of a Coop supermarket, I’ve visited many others and checked the Co-operative online shopping site. Guess what? As of 22 April, 2015 the Coop offers no alcohol free wines, ciders or lagers that I have seen!

Shame on you Co-op, you are supposed to be the peoples co-operative!

If the situation changes, I’ll list any future offerings here.

To see the UK legal definitions of a non-alcoholic beverage check out my blog Alcohol Free and Low Alcohol Drinking.

Back to Where Can I Buy Alcohol Free Wines, Beers & Ciders?

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Good Pasta Bad Pasta

With the 2015 London Marathon taking place on Sunday, the runners will now be ‘carbing up’ on pasta prior to and on the morning of the big day. Indeed, the London Marathon organisers hold pasta parties on the weekend of the race.

Does that mean that pasta must be so good for us and a great provider of energy?

The answer is yes and no.

White Refined Pasta

The pasta that is generally sold and eaten is made from white refined durum wheat semolina, which is mixed with water, made into shapes, and then dried. Sometimes pasta may contain optional ingredients such as eggs or vegetables.

Unfortunately any white refined carbohydrate such as pasta, rice, bread and sugar contain a lot of empty and unsatisfying calories.

This means that eating refined white pasta does not give your body the nutrients it needs. Additionally, white refined pasta does not satisfy you for long and actually leads to more carbohydrate cravings and overeating.

Refined pasta and indeed any refined carbohydrates are likely to lead to weight gain and therefore more likely to be overweight or obese, which puts you at risk of developing chronic health conditions such as heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer and digestive issues.

Whole Wheat Pasta

The main difference  between white and whole wheat pasta lies in the processing. Whole wheat contains 3 parts of the grain:

  • The bran (the outer layer of the grain)
  • The germ (the sprouting section of the seed)
  • The endosperm (the large starch centre)

During the refining process of white pasta, the first two parts, the bran and the germ, is forced out of the grain, leaving just the third part, the endosperm behind.

Although the endosperm has a lot of nutrients, a lot are lost after the refining process due to not retaining the bran and germ.

Whole wheat pasta on the other hand, provides the most nutritional benefits including the bran and germ’s vitamin E, the major B vitamins, antioxidants, appetite represent fibre, protein and healthy fats. As it is an appetite represent you are less likely to put on weight by overeating and your energy levels will be boosted for longer.

A number of studies have shown that eating 3 x 118 ml portions of whole wheat pasta a day can reduce the risk of heart disease, type II diabetes, cancer and digestive issues.

Eating Whole Wheat Pasta

I find whole wheat much more flavoursome with its strong, nuttier and grainy consistency. I switched my step-children from white refined pasta to whole wheat pasta without telling them and they have not noticed a change, they simply like it!

Whole wheat pasta is readily available in all forms from major supermarkets as well as health shops. Look out for 100% Durum Wholewheat Semolina on the label ingredients.

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