Nutrition and the Guidelines You Should Follow

What makes a healthy diet? What are the building blocks of the best diet plan for you and your family? Can you really pick out any diet plan from the supermarket checkout lane magazines and lose weight but still stay healthy? Why are the foods that we love best often the worst for us? It is not an easy thing to talk about nutrition because there are so many myths and so much confusion surrounding it.

And to add to all of this confusion, you may find yourself stuck trying to figure out who to believe or which of the “truths” are true for today. New studies may come along and show that something we have believed to be true or false all along is the opposite. Think of all the controversy that has surrounded fats for instance, or coffee, red wine, and other favorites. It may be next to impossible to keep up with every single fact about good nutrition mainly because there are so many of them and so many changes that come along it seems every day.

Where Do You Get Your Nutrition Information?

Where you get your information may be as valuable as what you find out. If you rely on getting all of the information that you need for your nutrition from the rag mags and other shaky sources, you are liable to be given information that is made up on the spot. If you are reading information about a fad diet for instance, you may find that you are not getting valuable or valid nutrition information but misinformation that has been skewed to prove their case and maybe to sell their products. Anyone can write a book, and they can make it look medical and factual, but if it is not backed up by legitimate studies, then you are simply reading the words that people want you to read- whether they are true or not.

You should get your nutrition information from legitimate, up-to-the-minute sources such as your doctor, a dietitian, or a nutritionist. You may also read the news from legitimate and trusted sources – those magazines that are not just trying to push products but actually providing valid news and scientific facts.

You can also get nutrition information online, however you should be careful about the sources that you are using. If you are simply pulling up information randomly, you may get confused. You may also stumble into sites that are only interested in selling products.

What Makes Solid Nutrition?

The first thing you should know is that there is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to nutrition, although all humans need the same basic nutrients in their diet. They all need different amounts of these foods however. The number of calories that a person needs to take in each day determines how much protein, carbohydrates, and fats he or she needs to have. The number of calories varies by the height and weight of the person. The more you weigh, the more calories that you will need simply to maintain your current weight. If you are trying to lose weight, you need to reduce the number of calories that you take in, but not drastically. If you are not eating enough calories each day, you will shut down your metabolism and will not lose weight at all.

In addition, if you are dramatically reducing your calories, it is a safe bet that your nutrition will suffer in the meantime. You have to make sure that you are getting the right vitamins and minerals as well as the right number of the macronutrients.

Why is Nutrition so Important to the Body?

The body uses food to heal itself, to protect against illness and injury, and to perform the everyday, normal activities. Every single action in the body, from the smallest to the most complicated, runs on the energy we derive from the foods that we eat. If we are only eating junk foods, then we will only have poor nutrition. If we are only eating bad foods, our body will become sluggish and we will gain weight, get sick, and be unable to move around like we should. The longer our diets continue to be made up of bad foods and the longer we continue to deprive ourselves of good nutrition, the more likely we are to become sick in addition to gaining weight.

To keep the body strong and healthy, we need good nutrition. We need foods that keep up the energy level that we need to move around.

Protein Supplements and other Ways to Get Proper Nutrition

It may be difficult to get all of the protein or other nutrients that you need to meet your nutrition goals. You may be struggling to lose weight thinking that you can achieve this goal by eating way less than you really need. The problem, however, is that you are not only failing to meet your calorie goals for the day, you are probably killing your metabolism and failing your nutrition in the meantime. Having a protein supplement in place of a small meal or as a between meal snack can help you get the nutrition you need without having to add a huge number of calories to your diet.

Resort Real Estate Market Insight – Where Is The Second Home And Resort Market And Where Is It Going

Many times, it seems like there are more questions than answers about today’s real estate market. Real estate is difficult to analyze due to its local nature, with submarkets and niche-markets to take into account. At the same time, it’s a mistake to ignore the effects of regional and national market forces on what happens in our own backyard.Why is the market slow?The short answer is frenzied buying and building based on speculation resulted in an oversupply. But the good news is that both local and global economic conditions seem favorable for a market recovery. In Brian Blackstone’s and Greg Ip’s July 7 Wall Street Journal analysis, the authors conclude that the job market’s June performance, along with signs of vigor in the manufacturing sector and a buoyant stock market, suggest the U.S. economy is moving into the third and fourth quarters with a “considerable head of steam.”Even better, Blackstone and Ip point out that the economy is chugging along with inflationary pressure, enjoying what they dubbed “a Goldilocks moment – not too hot, not too cold.” Inflation appears to be in check, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) stabilized at approximately 2.5% and with a decrease in the core inflation rate (CPI minus food and energy). Thus, the influential Federal Reserve Rate remains stabilized, further building consumer confidence.Consumer confidence is one of the biggest factors in the rise or fall of the real estate market. According to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Senior Economist, “As consumer confidence improves, home sales will rise.”Moving to micro-economic factors – our area’s activity – it’s interesting to track a resoundingly negative effect of what was very positive real estate sales activity. Within the last 12 months, a South Walton beachfront home sold for $9 million cash, well into the market correction. The news of the sale elated sellers and Realtors alike gleefully used this sale as a comparable for their listings, reasoning “my property is worth at least as much on a square-footage basis.” The result was a misguided sense of pricing with sellers not adjusting prices to the actual market.The corollary of this price-focused fallacy is on the buyers’ side. Just as the $9 million sale set an unrealistic expectation for sellers, distress or otherwise low-price sales have set an unrealistic expectation for buyers. One or two of the outlying sales do not constitute the market.In both up and down markets, we typically have these “outliers.” However, their effects are exacerbated when people are particularly sensitive to small market changes. We tracked this same market phenomenon in the heyday of the amateur day-trader, who focused on often infinitesimal daily market blips. As Warren Buffett commented at the 1997 Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting, “If you’re an investor, you’re looking at what the asset is going to do. If you’re a speculator, you’re commonly focusing on what the price of the object is going to do.” Long term trends are important, and history shows it is almost impossible to perfectly time any market.So what’s the best course for someone invested in or simply interested in area real estate?Due diligence is essential to ensure that the real estate you purchase is not only a good value but a quality property. Here on the Emerald Coast, we are unique in that we have a resort market where many properties are characterized as second homes. This market sector continues to show an upward trend. NAR’s research highlights this trend in their May 2007 online article, Vacation Home Sales Sets Record in 2006, even though the real estate “slowdown impacted the purchase of second homes as well,” continued “low interest rates and a relatively high inventory of properties on the market inspired a significant percentage of home buyers to purchase vacation homes.”Resort real estate is an investment in monetary terms. But in recent years, its value as an investment in buyers’ families has often been overlooked. A vacation home is a place to spend time together and create memories. Five years ago, the typical answer to “What will you use this home for?” was “as a second or vacation home for my family, and also as an investment.” During the recent frenzied period, the response changed to “an investment we will use on occasion.”The April, 2007 NAR survey of second-home buyers revealed that a clear majority – 79% — planned to use their new home as a family retreat or for vacations. Still, more than one-third of respondents purchased a vacation home to diversify investments. Some 28% planned to use their vacation home as a primary residence sometime in the future. A quarter of buyers said they bought their second home for tax benefits; 22% for use by a family member, friend or relative; 21% because they had extra money to spend; and 18% to rent to others. We are beginning to see the return of the end user who is investing in resort real estate for the enjoyment of their family, with a realistic long-term vision of the asset’s potential appreciation.There is nothing wrong with purchasing a property that you and your family will enjoy, even if you did not purchase for a rock bottom, seller-bleeding price. If you are willing to pay for a home that is exactly what you and your family want and will enjoy for the next 10 years or more, it will be worth it. Real estate is, after all, a long-term asset.The current market correction has occurred steadily over the last 18 months, but it appears to be stabilizing. The NAR is predicting only 1% decline for 2007 and a positive pricing outlook for 2008.In our area, we foresee a trend of less negative numbers with an increase coming soon. We’ve already seen an increase in market activity, indicating buyer willingness to re-enter the market and the realignment of seller expectations with the market reality. Prosperity across the globe; low and stable mortgage rates and the fact that the net worth of Americans is at an all-time high all point to an upturn.There has been some talk about the high end of the market dodging the ill effects of the downturn. In point of fact, it all depends on how the so-called “high end” is defined. Sticking to Warren Buffets maxim to find an outstanding buy at a sensible price rather than a mediocre buy at a bargain price–some opportunity does exist at the high end of the real estate market.Some high-end communities have been negatively affected in the recent market due to multiple purchases by individuals or entities, and purchases by individuals for the sole purpose of flipping the property prior to or just after closing. It is difficult to calculate the number of these properties still hovering in the market. Some of these investors who have a lower cost basis may reap a sizable profit. High carrying costs or other circumstances may force other sellers to sell at a loss.Two years ago, our market was clearly overheated (see my article “Getting Back to Normal” published in the Emerald Coast Winter 2006 edition of Condo Owner.) Savvy buyers are now recognizing that the choice of property available, and the quality of property available, yields a rare opportunity.

Defending the Use of Music in the Arts Classroom

In education, music and visual arts have been linked in the category of “programs” or “electives” for many years, and the music and arts departments of contemporary public schools will occasionally collaborate for student performance based holiday shows, but how else are they connected? Does the act of listening to music in the arts classroom affect the mood of the room, the quality of the work, the behavior of the students?As a public school Art teacher, I continuously strive to achieve the most productive, most comfortable classroom for my students. Their artistic and educational gains in my classroom are my main priority. I focus on topics which will help to elucidate questions about perceived atmosphere in the arts classroom. Certainly there is an existing ideological framework for what art classrooms should look like in contemporary public schools. Educators are expected to display art, both from the masters as well as current student artwork, and relevant imagery, vocabulary, rubrics, and decorative elements. But what does a productive arts classroom sound like? The energy of voices, laughter, the sound of water running, paint brushes tapping canvas, the shuffle of student feet to and from the pencil sharpener, but what about music? When music is integrated into the educational setting, does it affect the delicate dichotomy of the arts classroom and student work produced therein?The use of music is so prevalent in our culture that it can almost go undetected by the individual. Calming music is used in the doctor’s waiting room, the elevator, on hold with the IRS, or any settings that often cause high anxiety. Energetic music used in the retail stores is designed to boost mood and confidence among the shoppers, encouraging them to purchase more goods. Music is clearly and integral aspect of modern culture, and one could predict that the use of music in the classroom could affect outcomes of student work or behavior, but in what capacity, and to what degree?I completed several interviews of secondary art education teachers, observed high school art classrooms using music during the creative time, and reviewed literature currently available on the effects of music on mood. These allude to a strong positive connection between the creative process of art making and the inspirational and calming effect of listening to music. Scientific evidence such as those experiments conducted using neuroimaging of the brain or participant polls suggest that music can directly effect mood and trigger positive emotions, calming or relaxing effects, or other perceived benefits that can directly translate to an art classroom, or any classroom that allows for independent work. These studies support an even greater benefit in an urban setting where additional elements such as noise, traffic, poverty and crime may cause students to carry additional stressors into the classroom setting. This research supports theories that listening to music during the creative time of an art class may allow for a more productive and successful lesson, and if the act of listening to music proves to ameliorate anxiety, it may also lessen student inhibitions around art making and diminish barriers between a vulnerable student and their full potential in the art classroom.As an art instructor and a public school teacher struggling to close achievement gaps between students, I will continue to investigate and utilize music to aide in student production of art. Classical, jazz, contemporary and world music may all be enormous assets in the pursuit of creating the most dynamic and successful arts classroom.