Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

Sweet or dry? Wine choice reveals your personality

June 25, 2010


A taste for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay or a liking for Merlot or Shiraz can indicate more than just a preference in wines. It could also reveal personality traits.

New research showed that drinkers who preferred a sweet taste in wine were more likely to be impulsive while those who chose dry varieties had greater openness.

 According to the Australian researchers, participants with a sweet taste preference were significantly higher in impulsiveness than their dry preference counterparts.

 Researcher for Sheffield Hallam University added that apart from impulsiveness and openness, no other personality trait was significantly different between the two groups.

“There is some support for the notion that sweet preference develops early in humans and thus could drive the development of impulsiveness,” said the researchers

They tested the wine preference of 45 people from Sheffield in South Yorkshire and divided them into two groups — those who liked sweet or dry wine.

 Each group was also given personality tests to evaluate their impulsiveness, empathy, openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

The researchers said there is some evidence that a preference for sweet tastes fluctuates throughout life. It seems to be heightened during childhood and then declines in late adolescence.

 Source: Reuters


Easy recipes for a balanced breakfast and lunch

June 21, 2010


With people showing increased interest in what they are eating nowadays, it is more important than ever to be able to find recipes that are both easy to make, are nutritionally balanced, and taste good, too. There are always easy recipes to find for dinner, but breakfast and lunch are often overlooked. Here are a few favourites to make that are both tasty and healthy.

Hearty and Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Banana-Berry Smoothie

This is a great recipes because it is quick and you can take it on the go. It will make two delicious servings, which contain fruit along with soy protein and fiber.


  • 1-1/4 cups orange juice, with calcium
  • 1 medium banana, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 2 ice cubes, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey, optional


Mix banana, orange juice, tofu, and crushed ice in a kitchen blender; cover and blend till smooth with a little froth on the top. Sweeten to taste with sugar (or honey). Serve immediately.

Triple B Pancakes


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries, sliced in half


  1. Add all ingredients (except the blueberries) into a medium mixing bowl. Mix with a wire whisk until well blended.
  2. Fold in the blueberries.
  3. Cook on a griddle with a low-fat cooking spray.

Makes about 8 pancakes.

Pleasing Lunches that are Low in Fat

Lunch is often overlooked as an important meal of the day. Because of this, the menus and recipes for this meal are sometimes rather sparse. Here are a few healthy and tasty lunch time recipes.

Greek Tofu Salad

This is a quick salad that can be made into a meal. Add your favorite low-fat beverage, and you will be definitely be satisfied.


  • 1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Mix together the feta cheese, red onion, Kalamata olives, lemon juice, oil, and oregano in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the tofu and mash together all ingredients until well blended.
  3. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from fridge and add tomato, cucumbers, and parsley.
  6. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired, by lightly sprinkling on top of the salad.

Italian Lunch Omelet

This is an omelet with an Italian twist. It is wonderful with almost any combination of herbs. Try dill, parsley, or even marjoram, and you won’t be disappointed.


  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat ricotta


  1. Place onion and 1/4 cup water in a small nonstick skillet and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Cover and cook the onion until it is slightly softened (about 2 minutes). Uncover and continue to cook until the water is completely evaporated (about 1 to 2 minutes). Drizzle in oil and stir until onion is covered. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the onion starts to brown (1 or 2 additional minutes).
  2. Add the egg substitute until the egg starts to set (about 20 seconds). Continue to cook, lifting the edges so the uncooked part of the egg is allow to flow underneath until it is almost set (30 seconds more).
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Sprinkle in salt and pepper, herbs over the frittata then spoon cheese on the top. Lift up an edge of the frittata so that you can drizzle the rest of the 1 tablespoon of water under it. Now cover and cook until the egg is completely set and the cheese is hot (2 minutes). Use a non-stick spatula to slide out the frittata and serve.

From start to finish it take about 10 minutes.

Healthy cooking should not be just a dinner option. If you truly want to watch your nutritional intake and keep yourself healthy, you need to include breakfast and lunch recipes in the routine. It’s fun to try new recipes, and places like and make it easier.

Read more at Suite101: Easy Recipes for Healthy Cooking

Football – A balance between speed, power and finesse

June 14, 2010


Football , or Soccer as it is called in the US, is truly the global game with an estimated 240 million people regularly playing the game.  Brazilian legend Pele called it “the beautiful game” and it is so true as all aspects of agility, balance and fitness are embodied in this game.   

On the one hand minimal (but logical) rules, an elemental appeal to the instincts of combatant and juggler, a minimum of paraphernalia. On the other an almost infinite range of tactical variations, of combinations between set plays and improvisation, of balances between technical finesse, speed, power and physical bravery.


Red wine and fish – The mismatch explained

June 8, 2010

“Red wine with red meat, white wine with fish” is one of the standard and well known wine pairing rules and Japanese scientists has found ‘evidence’ to back this rule.

Scientists in Japan have claimed that the unpleasant, fishy aftertaste noticeable when consuming red wine with fish results from naturally occurring iron in red wine.

Takayuki Tamura and colleagues note that wine connoisseurs established the rule of thumb because of the flavour clash between red wine and fish. They point out, however, that there are exceptions to the rule, with some red wines actually going well with seafood. Until now, nobody could consistently predict which wines might trigger a fishy aftertaste because of the lack of knowledge about its cause.

The scientists asked wine tasters to sample 38 red wines and 26 white wines while dining on scallops. Some of the wines contained small amounts of iron, which varied by country of origin, variety, and vintage.

They found that wines with high amounts of iron had a more intensely fishy aftertaste. This fishy taste diminished, on the other hand, when the researchers added a substance that binds up iron.

The findings indicate that iron is the key factor in the fishy aftertaste of wine-seafood pairings, the researchers say, suggesting that low-iron red wines might be a good match with seafood.



Braai- Part and parcel of the South African household

June 3, 2010


South Africans are proud about our traditions and way of life. We have great weather which makes us more outdoor people and we love to braai.

 Braai is much more than just a South African barbeque. Preparing food on an open fire is not unique to South Africa but the whole braai experience is part and parcel of the South African household. 

Andre Morgenthal  from WOSA said: “We don’t only braai on weekends or “special occasions”.  I know people who braai over lunch time, with an umbrella when the weather is bad and even early in the morning.  Because we can, the fire is welcoming and we like it.  This is intrinsically part of a South African experience and should be mandatory on visitors’ itineraries”

Will you entertain foreign guests in the next Football crazy month? If so, what are you going to braai?

Will a glass of red wine keep tooth decay at bay?

June 1, 2010

For those who value their super-bright smile, it has always been the drink to avoid. But red wine could actually be good for your teeth, scientists have claimed.

They have found it contains chemicals that could ward off decay by stopping harmful bacteria from sticking to teeth.

The findings, due to be published in the journal Food Chemistry, suggest a daily glass of red could help to keep teeth healthy and reduce the need for fillings.

In contrast, a recent study showed white wine could damage dental health because its high acid content erodes the enamel that coats the surface of a tooth.

Red wine, when drunk in moderation, is already thought to have a protective effect against heart disease and some forms of cancer.

But in recent years, scientists have also been investigating whether it could help to prevent dental decay. Last year, a team of U.S. researchers discovered that chemicals found in large quantities in the discarded seeds and skins of grapes pressed to make wine blocked the ability of corrosive bacteria to bind with tooth enamel.

Red more on:

The concept of balance in wine

May 27, 2010

This is a concept that on the surface seems very simple, but that turns out to be quite challenging. It is important to have some familiarity with what balance entails if you are to become a good wine taster.

Balance in wine refers to the interaction and harmony between two or more of the wine’s constituents. By far the most straightforward balance is that between sugar and acidity. Not all wines, of course, have residual sugar, though all have some acidity. Sugar-acid balance is thus limited to wines which have an interplay between these two elements.

There is no accurate formula for calculating the perfect acid-sugar balance in a wine, despite the fact that there are some people who advance that very notion. In its simplest sense, a wine which has a good acid-sugar balance tastes neither too sweet nor too acidic: the sugar exists in the right quantity for the acid, and vice versa.


Enjoy your wine and food- regardless of the paring rules

May 26, 2010

Some food and wine connoisseurs have made food and wine pairing so rigid that they are missing the point completely. Traditionally, certain wines are recommended to be served with certain dishes. The “rules” state that red wine will complement red meat, while white wine is recommended with fish or fowl.

Some people who are not huge fans of white wine, instead, prefer a Pinot Noir – which is a light-bodied red wine – with salmon or fish. If someone does not particularly enjoy red wine, you simply can’t force them to pair a Cabernet with steak.

New food and wine pairings are all about bending the rules to suit your palate. For example, uniquely South African Pinotage with medium body is also delicious served with seafood such as salmon.

The only “rule” to remember is to match the wine intensity or body with the flavour of the food so that the wine does not overpower the food, or vice versa. Even a so-called untrained palate seeks what it likes – trust your tastebuds and mix and match until you find something that you enjoy.

Rules? You know what to do them! Wine is simply something that must be enjoyed – regardless of perfect pairings.


Moderate wine drinkers have healthier lifestyles

May 20, 2010

Moderate wine drinkers have a healthier lifestyle than teetotallers, according to a surprising new study.

This is because those who enjoyed a few glasses of wine a day tended to take more exercise, have a higher social status and suffer from less stress, according to researchers

Researchers from the Public Assistance Hospitals in Paris looked at nearly 150,000 people and concluded those who enjoyed low or moderate intake of alcohol tended to exercise more, have higher social status and suffer from less stress compared to people who never touched a drop or drank to excess.

The volunteers included more than 97,000 men and 52,000 women. Researchers split them up into five groups that consisted of no alcohol consumption, low alcohol consumption, moderate drinkers, heavy drinkers and former drinkers.

The results showed those who drank moderately were more likely to have lower cardiovascular disease risk, heart rate, stress, depression and body mass index (BMI).

“Importantly, the findings showed moderate alcohol consumption is a powerful general indicator of optimal social status, and this could be a key reason for improved health  in these subjects,” study author, Dr. Boris Hansel said.

Moderate drinkers also scored higher on health measures such as respiratory function and physical activity.


Laughter and red wine: The key to longevity

May 17, 2010

Two separate research groups have released findings that might confirm what you may know: Laughter and red wine and a handful of walnuts or peanuts are the best longevity, disease-fighting and anti-aging secrets out there.

Reports from the Montefiore Einstein Cancerdefine Center at Montefiore Hospital are that they have been using ‘strength through laughter’ therapy to cure patients for the last five years.

During the laughter therapy session, the patients crack each other up and laugh to forget their own illness; they also use good film comedies, books and stand-up specials during the session.

The American Cancer Society and other medical experts say that laughter is the best therapy to reduce tension and relax the body. It lowers the blood pressure, reduces stress hormones define and increases muscle flexion.  Many medical experts laud laughter’s unique internal organ massage benefits.

To add to this, Harvard researchers have made claims they have a critical key to unlock the secret of aging. The Harvard studies showed that resveratrol also found in the crust of peanuts and walnuts, in grapes, peanut butter, pistachios and other foods seemed to ward off the effect of age on heart, bones, eyes and muscles.