All posts by Racheal

COWBELL

2016 Cowbellpedia National Competition Is Here Again!

For those who have been waiting for the next competition, here it is. Cowbell National Secondary Schools competition is here again! This year, in the month of march, who will emerge the winner?

The winners of the Cowbellpedia Secondary Schools Mathematics TV Quiz Show in both Junior and Senior categories will be going home with a whooping sum of N1 Million EACH.

2nd and 3rd place winners will get 750,000 and 500,00 cash prize respectively.

So hurray and register your school at www.cowbellpedia.ng

Western dreams Hotel

Hotel Review: Western Dreams Abuja

So myself and Hubby took a short vacation to Abuja in order to grace an occasion with a family member. Right before we left our home, we booked the hotel of our choice based on the reviews we garnered online. As you read, please know that this is a honest review.  Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by the Security man on ground that assisted us with our luggage.

My first observation and admiration was the beautiful scenery, it ‘s such a relieve to walk or drive into such a quiet and peaceful environment. So seeing the environment, I expected nothing less from the moment I walked into the Hotel.  The reception hall didn’t say much about what to expect, so while the receptionist was confirming booking, I patiently waited, itching to get  pass the glass door.

Western dreams reception

Alas! from the staircase climbing up to our room, it felt like I was  in a hospital environment as the first turn off was the colour of the wall paintings. I exclaimed  ”who does this for a hotel? what kind of colours are this? I have always thought hotels uses bright colours like white , off white, cream colour to brighten up the lobby and rooms but using green and black OMG! it was a big time turn off.

Western dreams Room

Well we told ourselves we would just blind our eyes to the colours and count down to the check out day.

The room we paid for was well arranged but really overpriced and overrated online because the services we expected to have and enjoyed that was advertised was actually meant for the lower rooms. As I said earlier the colour combination was not  appealing .

As we walked into the rooms, Hubby’s first touch was the bed, he loves his bed soft but this mattress was as hard as a rock. Gosh…. had we made a mistake booking this hotel? I thought to myself. Then we check the bathrooms, it wasn’t welcoming, just there like a normal bathroom in someone home. What got me pissed further was the dull white towel they hanged for guests. That towel although dry cleaned is old enough to be use as foot rag in my house. I wondered how much it would cost to buy fresh white towels , I wondered if the General manager or Hotel supervisor does a routine check on the rooms to know what needs replacement.

Room Service

The room service too was very poor as we had to call with our mobile phone for every single thing that was supposed to be in the room but wasn’t there, like an additional towel, fixing the table phone intercom, changing of the towels enabling wifi etc it took hours before we got response.

Meals
The meals tested good but overpriced. We had the opportunity to eat just once as we spent more time with friends and families.

Breakfast@ western dream

Conclusion
Would I say we had three great evenings there? Obviously No!
Would we come back to Western Dreams Hotel again? I don’t think so.

Advice: Never be fooled by pictures and recommendation you read online. Seeing is believing

3 Star hotelAbuja HotelHotel ratingsHotel reviewsHotelsWestern dreams hotel
Fry egg

How To Test An Eggs Freshness Before You Crack Them

There is a popular saying that goes’’ Curiosity kills a cat.’’

But for me ,I would say,’’ Curiosity makes you discover the unknown.’’ Hahaha.. So very recently, I discovered the best way to detect a bad egg from good ones. Hum.. i hear someone saying ”Old news.” Well better late than never.

Having been away home for a while and still in the vacation mood, I just wanted to make an easy going meal I could prepare in less than 10 minutes. So I opted for Omelet and sliced bread. As I grabbed the egg.. Alas! I asked myself, would this eggs still be fresh because I know I had the eggs two weeks before my trip. So just to know if it was, I cracked one egg to see. Hum.. the smell gave it away. How could I throw all this eggs away? How can I detect the ones that are still very good ? I thought out loud.

I remembered while very young, my mum being a caterer made use of lots of eggs for the wedding cakes she baked and I remembered seeing her perform some kind of experiment with the eggs in a glass cup of water. So still curious I did my own experiment, and noticed some eggs sank down the cup of water while other eggs kept floating on the water.

My eyes lighted up in amazement as I quickly research why and soon discovered that when eggs float in a cup of water as seen in photo 1, This means that the egg has reached its prime and not  healthy to eat so straight the trash.

But If the eggs sinks down the cup of water, as seen in photo 2, its still very healthy.

Egg raw2

 

 

Bad eggschicken eggsHealthy eggsHow to eat safe eggsRaw eggs
coca-Cola-Life

Coca-Cola Launches Newest Brand In Order To Reduce Obesity

Coca-Cola announced it has launched a new brand in Great Britain “Coca-Cola Life” which is made with a mix of sugar and natural sweetener. Its UK and Ireland boss says the product proves Coke’s commitment to tackling the “challenge of obesity”.

The company said  that Coca-Cola Great Britain has reduced the amount of sugar in Coca-Cola Life and upped the stevia content. That means increasing its artificial leaf sweetener.

The new drink contains a higher proportion of plant-based sweetener stevia, containing 19 calories per 100ml.  A 33cl can of Coca-Cola Life will now contain 76 calories and 19g of sugar.

The company further explained today that the new recipe for the Coca-Cola life contains 45% less sugar than regular colas, with an equivalent drop in calories. The first version of Coca-Cola Life, launched in the UK in September 2014, contained a third less sugar.

At last week’s launch of its global marketing strategy for Coca-Cola which sees all variants of Coca-Cola come together under one brand, executives said stevia still required further development,.

A spokesperson for the company Jon Woods, general manager, Coca-Cola GB, said ”The new recipe is “specific to GB” (Great Britain) and Investing in reformulation is just one of the actions we are taking to help people reduce their sugar and calorie intake alongside offering smaller pack sizes, putting colour-coded nutrition labels on the front of all our bottles and cans and increasing the marketing investment in our no sugar colas.”

The company said Coca-Cola Life is now worth GBP35m (US$50m) in sales since its launch. The new version of Coca-Cola Life will be available from April.

Photo credit: japantoday.com

fast food restaurant

Hellofood To Sell Food Online In Kenya

KFC Kenya and South African sea food restaurant, Ocean Basket, have partnered with Hellofood to sell food online. According to Hellofood it will now deliver food bought from the two restaurants on its online platform to customers across Nairobi.

More and more people have realised that they can order for food online from their mobile phones or computers and have it delivered to their office as they work.  According to MD, Hellofood, Duncan Muchangi he said  ”We are happy to partner with KFC and Ocean Basket to continue to offer this convenience.”

In line with the partnership, both food chains will be looking to maximise on sales by tapping into the robust online market fuelled by a young tech savvy generation and a rapidly ballooning middle class in the country.

Sugar Image

Tips That Can Help You Reduce Your Sugar Intake

Since we began a fresh year, what new decision have you and I taken to have a better health? Is it to eat healthy? Or cut down on the amount of sugar we consume? Or to Reduce or cut down on alcohol? Whatever your decision or mine may be, we need to be 100% committed to it.

Talking about Sugar, If you recall, in this post  10 Healthiest foods , we listed some healthy foods you should start eating.  So in as much as we try to  eat healthy, we need to be careful with the amount of sugar we take into our body.

According to Lisa Dreyer a nutritionist she says “We’ve seen an increase in risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, simply by consuming just one to two sugar-sweetened beverages each day. The WHO recommends adults and children reduce their intake of added sugars to less than 10% of their daily energy intake — and says that reducing it to below 5% is even better. Managing sugar also means managing other aspects of your diet, including portion sizes.

But how can we regulate our sugar intake so we don’t go above our limit? Here are a few tips:

TIPS TO HELP YOU MANAGE SUGAR

  1. Look at the ingredients list, If sugar or any one of the following terms are listed high on the label, you want to avoid that food.
  2.  Gradually cut back [on sugar] and consume more protein and fiber-rich foods, It can actually help curb sugar cravings as well. When we consume protein and fiber, ”it slows the rise in blood sugar if we consume it with a sugar-containing food. It can help satisfy us and help us reduce our sugar intake as well. ” says Drayer.
  3. Here is an advice from my doctor; add vegetables to your daily meal, that way the amount of sugar in your meal would be less pronounced.

So cutting down on sugar is not impossible. But, like other aspects of dieting and nutrition, it requires a conscious effort to manage.

Photo credit: CNN

Airline meal

Are Airlines Serving Healthy Foods To Passengers? Tips To Help You Improvise

There’s so much to dislike about air travel. There are the long lines and the delays, and of course, there is the bad airplane food. A recent survey  from Charles Platkin, nutrition professor at Hunter College and City University of New York found that airlines have a long way to go in making their meals and snacks nutritious and low in calories.

Talking about healthy food, it isn’t just about keeping the calorie count in check.  We should also take into account the amount of protein, fat and sugar content. The survey says even without looking at the nutritional information is that air plane food in general contains high levels of sodium. It could be the price you pay to get any enjoyment out of your air plane food. “Your taste buds change at high altitudes and you need more salt for the foods to have flavor.

So Here Is A Recommendation

Professor Platkin  encourages travellers to consult his survey, as well as their airline’s website, before their trip. Make a plan before you head to the airport, he said. If you are about to fly an airline that doesn’t have any healthy snack or meal options for you, try to eat a substantial meal before you leave and pack nutritious snacks, such as nuts, fruit and energy bars, Platkin recommended.

You can also usually find a list of airport restaurants online and pick up food to carry on at one of them. The important thing, when it comes to eating in the air, is that you never want to improvise.

Credit: Cnn

coffee

Why Ethiopia Is The Biggest Coffee Producing Nation

In Africa, Ethiopia is regarded as the birth place of coffee. Infact, Ethiopia produces some of the most unique and fascinating coffees in the world.

The country is Africa’s biggest producer and ranks fifth globally. Last year it exported 190,000 tonnes of coffee beans, earning around $700 million, and in 2016 Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa will host the 4th World Coffee Conference, a high-level gathering of global experts.

In Ethiopia, consuming coffee has traditionally been a ceremonial affair with a deep, spiritual meaning, conducted at home. The beans are roasted in an open pan so that their rich aroma draws family, neighbours and other guests to gather.

After they are ground with a mortar and pestle, the coffee is brewed in a jug and poured into small cups from a height, with an up-and-down motion. Cups are filled to the brim, representing a wish for “fullness of life” for the guest, and there are three servings, the last of which is called baraka, or blessing.

Ethiopians are coffee drinkers with a history of drinking and enjoying coffee for over 1,000 years, little wonder why the nation is called a home of coffee.

Photo Credit: Cnn

The Italian Wine and Food Advocates Alfresco Dinner

Alcohol Use During The Holiday Season: What TO Be Aware Of

Everyone right now is in the holiday spirit. Many diners spend the holiday with family and friends, and alcohol is often a part of the celebration. If people get caught up in the excitement, they may consume too much of alcohol. So as you try to enjoy the groove, please drink wisely.

Here Are Some Tips to Enjoy This Festive Season Safely.

  • Eat before drinking
  • Space your drinks
  • Never drink more than what you can handle
  • Alternate alcoholic drinks with water
  • Don’t be shy to refuse drinks that come your way.
  • Drink slower

Reasons Why You Need To Drink Moderatly

A study, published in Preventing Chronic Disease, found that excessive alcohol use shortened the lives of those who died by about 30 years. Also, more than 30,700 people in America  died in 2014 from alcohol-related causes, including alcohol poisoning, the Washington Post reports, citing new federal data. Those causes did not include deaths from drunk driving or homicides committed while drunk.

Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It accounted for about 88,000 deaths each from 2006 to 2010, health officials said.

By not drinking too much and supporting community efforts to encourage others to not do so, you can reduce the risk of harm to yourself and others.

Enjoy the merry mood.

Sharwama

Why You Shouldn’t Indulge In Too Much Of Shawarma Snack

I remember writing about making my first home-made Shawarma on this blog, I was super exited about making it at home each time I crave for it. You can see recipe here.

I notice each time I walk through the vicinity of Lagos and it’s different neighbourhoods, almost every shop in each complex I enter have a Shawarma stand. Unlike few years ago where despite the price only those who could afford it would  have to drive down to the likes of Mr Biggs or a well known eatery to buy shawarma.

But right now, those of us who fall slightly above the low income earners can gladly buy Shawarma whenever we crave for it.

Of course Sharwama is very  healthy to eat but bear in mind that too much of it isn’t good for your body. Why ? You may ask; In as much as we love this nutritiously packed snack,  it is quite important to note that anyone who indulges excessively in Shawarma consumption stands a chance to become overweight or even obese as the snack is of high calorie based on the ingredients and the average size of one serving. With this high calorie value, it could also spike sugar level.

So how do we enjoy this snack? One of such ways to enjoy the snack without the fear of high calorie is to share with a friend or your siblings. That way, you have avoided consuming about 1000kcal out of the recommended 1900-2000kcal/day for an adult.

Remember, it is meant to be a snack and most likely, you will be consuming other meals that will add to your calorie and eventually increase your weight wish if not properly controlled might result into serious health conditions.