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Hotels, restaurants and resorts always look to offer the best experience for their guests by following the latest trends. In the beginning of this year, you should consider modernizing your outdoors by building fashionable and inviting areas. So what are the hospitality outdoor furniture trends for 2017 that will make you look fresh to improve your business’s image?

Trend 1: Go green and/or blue

In the hospitality industry, colors have a psychological effect on people that can make their stay unforgettable… or not. So when planning your outdoor areas, be picky in choosing colors. According to the psychology of colors study, blue, green, yellow, red, and purple generate positive vibes. But which colors are trending in 2017? This year is the year of the blue and green derivatives like aqua, sea foam, drab green. These 2 main colors represent serenity and nature respectively. Therefore, having them part of your outdoor furniture sets, will improve the guests’ state of mind, and keep the garden or patio fresh.

Trend 2: Minimize maintenance efforts with aluminum

For outdoor spaces, one of the trends was and will probably always be to have maintenance-free furniture. Therefore, picking aluminum outdoor furniture will be the right choice to offer comfortable outdoor experience and have products that require minimum maintenance. In addition, aluminum is known to be a light material compared to what it offers in strength: it is weather and rust resistant, which means that your hospitality outdoor furniture sets will live longer.

Trend 3: Combine different materials & styles

Many hotels and restaurants stick with a single theme using only one outdoor furniture style, but 2017 suggests to mix and match designs and materials. For example, if you aren’t able to decide whether to have aluminum or rattan outdoor furniture, well just pick both. Also, for spacious areas, combine several outdoor furniture collections within the same space. However, for this tactic to be successful, the two collections must go well with each other. Customized garden and patio furniture can also be an option to ensure good harmony between the different sets.

Trend 4: Create unique ambiance with solar lighting

In 2017, get rid of wires and complicated installations with the use of outdoor solar lighting, which rely simply on solar energy to recharge their batteries. Outdoor solar lights save you the trouble of finding professionals who will create a mess to install wired lamps. In addition, placing outdoor solar lighting forms a unique ambiance in your outdoor space especially if you go creative by building innovative patterns.

Trend 5: Indoors and outdoors go together

Last but not least, outdoor furniture can be used on the inside just like on the outside. Therefore, removing the boundaries between outdoors and indoors to mix up the two spaces can be a great option, of course, if done in a smart way. Opening the indoors to the outdoors gives you additional space and creates total conformity.

In conclusion, applying these trends is a tricky task that requires professionals in order to optimize your outdoors. So contact a hospitality outdoor furniture supplier that will furnish your gardens and patios in the best way possible, according to your needs.

In the current age we live in, technology has become an important component. Every day there is some new gadget or software that makes lives easier and improves on the technology and software that already exists. Making lives easier is not, however, the only role technology plays in our lives.

Technology is playing an increasing role in education. As technology advances, it is used to benefit students of all ages in the learning process.

Technology used in the classroom helps students adsorb the material. For example, since some people are visual learners, projection screens linked to computers can allow students to see their notes instead of simply listening to a teacher deliver a lecture.

Software can be used to supplement class curriculum. The programs provide study questions, activities, and even tests and quizzes for a class that can help students continue learning outside the classroom.

Technology has also become part of many curriculums, even outside of computer and technology classes. Students use computers to create presentations and use the Internet to research topics for papers and essays.

Students also learn to use the technology available to them in computer and tech classes. This ensures that after graduation they will be able to use the technology in a work setting, which may put them ahead of someone who didn’t have access to a particular technology or software in their own school setting.

As technology advances, students have better access to educational opportunities like these. When something new and “better” is revealed, the “older” technology becomes more affordable, allowing it to be used in educational settings, even when schools are on a tight budget.

Technology has also advanced to help children even before they’ve started school. Educational video games and systems for young children helps them prepare for school and in some cases get a head start on their education.

There are people who may say children are “spoiled” by technology. Instead of being able to add a long column of numbers in their heads, for example, they turn to a calculator. Regardless of these arguments, technology is an important part of today’s society. By incorporating it into the classroom, students will be better equipped to transition from the classroom to the work place.

Sumerians were the first culture to quit hunting and gathering food and begin cultivation. Like many other inventions that Sumerian culture gave to the world, they also contributed in farming and food. Sumerian food consisted mainly of barley.

The raw material of most of Sumerian food was barley, barley cakes and barley paste were accompaniments of all major meals. Wheat and millet were other raw materials used in Sumerian food. Farming yielded vegetables and fruits, chickpeas, lentils, beans, onion, garlic, leeks, cucumbers, cress, mustard and fresh green lettuce was all part of the early Sumerian food. Sumerians were the first culture to settle down and leave the earlier nomad lifestyle. With settlement they began domesticating animals for food and labor. Goat’s milk and meat, eggs, pig; wild fowl, deer and venison were an integral part of the Sumerian’s food as well.

Everyday Sumerian food was probably barley cakes with onions and beans washed down with barley ale. Fish that swarmed in the rivers of Mesopotamia were a major food source too. Over fifty different types of fish are mentioned in the early texts dating before 2300 BC and the fried fish vendors had a thriving trade in the city of Ur. Food stalls also sold onions, cucumbers, freshly grilled goat, mutton and pork. Meat was more popular and common in big cities as compared to sparsely populated towns as they would spoil in the heat. Cattle were only slaughtered for consumption when they were nearly at the end of their working lives.

Information about Sumerian food can be gathered from archaeology and written records on cuneiform tablets. These sources also indicated the importance of barley and wheat cakes as the staple diet together with grain and legume soups, onion, leeks, garlic and melon. Besides farmed vegetables, Sumerian food also included fruits. These were apples, fig and grapes. Several culinary herbs and honey and cheese, butter and vegetable oil have also been mentioned in later Sumerian food records. Sumerians drank beer often and sometimes wine too. Preservation of foodstuff had also been evolved with meats being salted and fruits conserved in honey. Various other fruits including apples were dried to preserve them and a fermented cause is also mentioned in the Akkadian texts.

Rice and corn was unknown in ancient Mesopotamia, thus barley and its flour was the staple Sumerian food. Their bread was coarse, flat and unleavened, though an expensive version was made out of finer flour. Pieces of this bread were found in the tomb of Queen Puabi of Ur, left there for sustenance in afterlife. Breads were enhanced with butter, milk and cheese, sesame seeds and even fruits and their juices. Later records show truffles being made as well. With the advent of irrigation canals lush fruit and vegetable farms with fruits like mulberries, pears, plum, cherries and pomegranates were found in abundance. The most important food crop in southern Mesopotamia was the date palm. Goats, cows and ewe were domesticated for milk; geese and ducks for eggs and some 50 varieties of fish were a staple Sumerian food. Meats were cooked by roasting, boiling, barbecuing or broiling and preserved by drying, smoking or salting. 

Over the past 15 years or so, we have been told that a healthy lifestyle is important. Scientists recommend we should be accumulating on average 60 minutes of exercises a day in order to maintain healthy levels. What exactly does that number mean? Over the course of a regular day, we should be doing some sort of physical activity that adds up to approximately 60 minutes. Whether it is in the gym on the treadmill or just in the garden for the afternoon, adding physical activity is vital.

First we need to know what actually constitutes exercise. The term Healthy activity can be broken down in to three categories; Cardiovascular, Resistance, and Flexibility.

Cardiovascular training

It is recommended to do cardio 2 or 3 times a week. Depending on your fitness level., cardio can consist of a nice walk with your dog, or a vigorous run on the treadmill. Ideally you are trying to increase your cardio capacity. which has many health benefits.

Resistance Training

Part of living an active lifestyle is by doing some sort of resistance training at least 2 times a week. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym and lift weights, you can easily do it at home by doing movements as simple as pushup and sit-ups, or by using something like resistance bands. Resistance training is just as important as cardiovascular activity and adds to your overall physical health.

Flexibility (stretching)

After you exercise, it is recommended you stretch for roughly 10 minutes, holding each stretch for 15-30 seconds. Stretching is crucial to maintain flexibility and reduce the chance of injury from exercise.

Benefits of Exercise

So now we know that working out is important, but what are the actually benefits of living an active lifestyle? Below are just 5 of the countless benefits of being active.

Reduces the Risk of Dying Prematurely – Those living a healthy active lifestyle live longer compared those who are more sedentary.

Lowers the risk of developing diabetes – Exercise keeps body fat in control and helps regulate sugar levels

Increase muscular strength – Having an increase in strength helps make daily activities less difficult.

Helps reduce the risk of heart disease – Regular exercise strengthens the heart, respiratory system, and lungs which aids to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Decreases Body Fat – Exercise along with a balanced diet will reduce body fat significantly.

As you can see there are many excellent benefits of living an active lifestyle. By adding a small amount of cardio, resistance training and some stretching to your daily routine, the overall benefits are almost endless. Essentially being healthy is about adding balance to your life. You don’t have to be a Lance Armstrong, or a Venus Williams to be considered active, you just have to add some extra activities to you routine.

 

If you’ve never heard of Collembola, you’re not alone. Until recent years, it was thought that these soil borne creatures were essentially harmless. Even doctors vehemently denied that springtails were likely to infest human hair and skin. Folks who suffered from chronic itching, biting and crawling sensations were often considered delusional, but that mindset is slowly changing. Mounting evidence suggests that these micro-tiny pests can be surprisingly invasive.

Thanks to the tenacity of folks like Dr. Frans Janssens and his colleague, Dr. Kenneth A. Christiansen, the scientific community is beginning to recognize that springtails can pose a very real threat to human comfort when present in large numbers. The two researchers collected scores of reports from homeowners, doctors, and pest control operators in several countries, including many regions of The United States. Within the gray areas between casual testimony, scientific observation and concrete medical documentation, a startling picture emerged. Collembola are everywhere, and it’s not impossible for them to latch onto humans and animals.

As inhabitants of fertile soil, springtails are likely to be found just about anywhere. The more you water the lawn and apply fertilizer, the happier they’ll be. They are considered the most abundant arthropods on earth. Since prehistoric times, they have survived frigid winters and very hot summers, but their numbers decrease exponentially under dry conditions.

Pet owners are particularly vulnerable to collembola infestation. Dogs and cats who trample through moist soil or wet grass can pick up springtails and transport them into the home; however, it’s not likely that springtails will stay attached to pets like fleas unless an animal’s immune system is compromised (for example, if there’s a fungal infection of the skin.) Springtails are easily transferred between humans and animals. Close contact isn’t necessary. These acrobatic creatures can jump three to four feet. You may not always notice them catapulting through the air. They can be smaller than the head of a pin.

If the thought of a few springtails in the house makes you paranoid, relax. Their ability to divide and conquer will largely depend upon environmental factors. Do you enjoy growing potted plants indoors? Does your basement tend to flood after a good rain? Can you smell mold behind the bathroom wall? Are you still waiting on a plumber to fix that leaky pipe under the kitchen sink? Who was president the last time you cleaned your air ducts? A moist, moldy environment is like Disneyland to a springtail.

Getting rid of an advanced collembola infestation can be difficult because springtails aren’t classified as insects. They are defined as hexapods, primitive ancestors to modern day bugs. According to organic scientist David Glassel, chemical pesticides have no effect on the hexapod. Only natural insecticides will do the trick, and the best remedy is cedar oil.

Step By Step Guide to Eliminate Collembola Infestation:

1.) Treat yourself and your pets with a topical cedar oil insecticide approved for use with humans and animals. Avoid cosmetic or aroma therapy grade cedar oil. It’s not purified, and it usually comes from certain forms of cypress trees. Cedar oil that is formulated for home protection will kill ALL TYPES of parasites on contact, including springtails, lice and all forms of mites. If you’re tempted to use an over the counter kit designed for lice control, don’t bother. It won’t work, it’s not enough to cover large areas, and it’s just plain not good for you. Such products contain Lindane, a chemical banned for use with animals by the Environmental Protection Agency.

2.) Spray couches, beds and carpets with a fine cedar oil mist. A proper household formula will be very light and pure. In other words, it won’t stain fabric.

3.) Use a cedar oil fog machine to penetrate unseen cracks and crevices in the home. Normally, fog machines are considered optional, but advanced springtail infestations require aggressive measures. If you believe your infestation is severe, or if you’ve actually SEEN large groups of springtails moving over floors and walls, don’t mess around.

4.) Use the fog machine to treat air ducts or hire a professional air duct cleaning company. Many people are shocked to discover they have mold in their air ducts. It is not uncommon for mold to develop in your heating and cooling system from the condensation of your air conditioner. Springtails feed upon mold and thrive in moist conditions. Mold can also aggravate asthma and allergies. Air duct treatment addresses all of these difficulties.

5.) Purchase the highest quality furnace filters available at your local store. Filters designed for allergen and dust mite removal are best. Change filters frequently.

6.) Hunt for places where moisture accumulates. Patch leaky roofs and pipes. Seal cracks around basement windows. Pay special attention to bathroom walls and cabinets under sinks.

7.) Remove household plants, especially decorative trees sitting in large potted containers filled with soil. Remember that springtails can be transported directly into your home via bags of potted soil.

8.) Take aggressive measures to control animal populations on your property. Double bag garbage, and don’t leave open trash barrels sitting around. Animal foods that are stored outdoors should be kept in airtight containers. Use traps or repellents to control rodents, raccoons and squirrel populations. Resist the urge to pet stray dogs and cats. Report any sightings of feral cats to your local animal control center.

9.) Beware of ultra rich potting soil and wooden landscaping materials. Based on calls placed to our pest control operation from all over the country, springtail populations are often introduced to the home when truckloads of new mulch or soil have been dumped on properties that previously had minimal landscaping. (Mulch traps moisture and promotes the growth of mold.) Seal any cracks around basement windows before distributing natural landscaping materials around the perimeter of the home. If you’re worried about collembolla populations outdoors, there are super strength cedar oil concentrates designed to repel mosquitoes and kill insect populations in the grass and soil. Pet breeders, horse keepers, and livestock farmers use cedar oil concentrates to control all types of parasites in barns, pens and pastures. A generous treatment early in the spring or summer will do a lot to destroy eggs and control multiple insect populations before they explode. Veterinarian bills are EXPENSIVE. Destroy parasites before they destroy you!

10.) Last but not least, avoid chemical pesticides. In February of 2011, USA Today ran an article titled “Exposure to Pesticides in Womb Linked to Learning Disabilities.” The study focused on peremethrin, a chemical commonly used to battle household pests. As disturbing as this sounds, the topic is nothing new. Scores of scientific studies have linked chemical pesticides to neurological disorders, breast cancer and birth defects in children living near farms where chemicals are sprayed. In a nationally televised ABC World News investigation, spot drop flea and tick medicines were found to cause 44,000 severe reactions in a single year, including multiple deaths.

Speaking about modern Ukrainian customs and traditions it is necessary to stress that the Ukrainians are proud of their colorful folk culture. They love good food and drink and have a zest for life.

Most Ukrainian middle-class and lower class urban families live in flat in multi-storied buildings; only rather rich people can afford to build cottages either inside or outside the city.

Ukrainians have a deep love of the land. Many families have small country houses, called “dacha”. They are able to grow just about anything in their neat gardens, orchards, and homesteads. Some people grow food only for their own personal consumption. They spend time canning vegetables and making compote from various fruits during the summer in order to make it through the long cold winters. They always have something in their houses to serve guests.

A modern average Ukrainian family has two parents and usually one or two children. At the same time there is a growing number of one-parent families usually headed by a woman rearing a child. Like in many other countries, there are quite a lot of young unmarried people living together and sharing a household. Bringing up a child in Ukraine is very costly now; that is why many couples decided to have only one child, or even no children. Children tend to live with there parents long after they finish school. Sometimes children have to rely on their parents in financial matters as the unemployment rate among the young is very high. A newly married couple often lives with either of their parents because they have no money to buy or to rent a house or a flat of their own. Often one or both grandparents live with their children and help take care of small children. Grandparents play a great role in raising children in Ukraine.

In the village families are usually larger, and the whole family works on the farm (or a patch of land they have) together. Most parents who live in the country want their children to get a higher education, so they send them to study to big cities. After 5 years of studies, the children get used to the city way of life and seldom go home.

In their struggle for survival people become less dependent on each other within families. But still parents think it is important to teach their children daily skills and basic values of life. The result of a resent nationwide survey showed that the most important values parents want to teach their children are honestly, common sense, purposefulness, responsibility, good manners and obedience to parents. Adults believe children should be brought up to expect that they will have to struggle to succeed.

Like most other people, Ukrainians like holidays and merrymaking. They usually try to cook many tasty dishes and invite a lot of friends and relatives to their places. Another thing Ukrainians love to do is talk (while strolling, in cafes and restaurants, or at home over a cup of tea or coffee or other drinks). Conversation tends to be light, relaxing, humorous, and sometimes philosophical. Many Ukrainians enjoy picnics in the wood or somewhere the water at almost any time of year. Picnics often involve shashlik or barbequed meat, homemade salads, and sometimes alcohol. Ukrainians love to sit around fires at night and snack, drink, and sing songs to a guitar.

Popular outdoor sports in Ukraine are soccer, volleyball, badminton, table tennis, and hiking (walking in the forest). Fitness clubs have appeared all over the place. Yoga and martial arts are quite popular as well. Mountain climbing and rock climbing clubs can be found. Scuba diving, yachting, and even golf have recently become available. Increasingly popular in Ukraine are all sorts of extreme sports (bungee jumping, river rafting, downhill mountain biking, spelunking, etc.), and, more generally, all forms of active recreation (hiking, biking, boating, horseback riding, skiing, etc.).

Not everyone will do the things we’ve described above. Some Ukrainians’ culture will strike you as incomprehensible and intolerable, while others’ behavior and attitudes will seem rational and compatible with your own.

 

Tea’s origin was China. The Zhuo (1034-246 BCE) Qin (361-296 BCE) and Han (206 BCE-226 CE) Dynasties all embodied extensive tea-drinking. Tea use for medicinal nutritional, health, fitness and longevity purposes is determined via the ‘Wuxing’ or 5 Elements School system underpinning (TCM) Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Massage, Health Qigong, Feng Shui, Keep-fit, Wu-Shu-Kung Fu, Chinese herb-use and more.

Chinese tea, purchased in boxes of sachets or in delightful crystallised blocks involves an astounding number of forms tastes, textures, herbal and nutritional ingredients. Applications-including for health, youthfulness and longevity are guaranteed by the long history of TCM. The history of the 5 Elements or ‘Wuxing’ is longer still.

Drunk at home or work Chinese tea is delightful. Consumed at Tea Houses like ‘Up Tea!’ situated in Little Newport Street is London’s Chinatown such tea-drinking can be a delightful experience.

Tea, Health and the Wuxing

The 5 Elements School ‘Wuxing’ links each of the body’s 5 major internal organs (and much more) to Elements as follows: spleen (Earth) lungs (Metal) kidneys (Water) liver (Wood) and heart (Fire). The Wuxing is a proven internal and external balancing health-system. Many teas involve remedies to cure or prevent common complaints, or encourage optimum health, youthfulness and longevity springing from the 5 Elements system still in popular and official use today.

INSTANT CHRYSANTHEMUM BEVERAGE (ju hua cha)

This chrysanthemum tea comprises 45% dried flower extract crystallised upon 55% cane sugar. Chrysanthemum tea treats irritation and inflammation in the lungs, nasal passageways and throat via its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It also encourages improved vision and helps to cleanse the liver in particular.

Wuxing Students learn how eyes and liver are inter-connected, correspond to the Wood Element and can be both naturally nourished by ju hua cha. They also practise 5 Elements Qigong routines with similar effects.

TIEN-CHI (Heaven Energy) GINSENG FLOWER TEA (ren shen cha)

Tien-chi Ginseng (Panax pseudoginseng) ginseng tea variety from southwestern China is mainly cultivated in Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces. Tien-chi plant root is used as a health product for regulating blood circulation. The flower functions as a heat clearing and toxin cleansing herb used to reduce inflammation, feverish feelings, skin eruptions and sore throats.

XIAMEN GREEN TEA (lu cha)

Green tea stimulates the heart in particular, aids digestion and banishes fatigue. Encouraging the body to metabolize more fat and thus much used in dieting and slimming, green tea also encourages longevity and general bodily detoxification.

However as it slightly inhibits iron-absorbption from the diet, green tea should be avoided by anaemia sufferers and women during their menstrual period

JASMINE FLOWER TEA (mo li hua cha)

There are several distinct jasmine tea varieties including green, jade or black. Good for oral hygiene and palate cleansing (before after or during eating) Jasmine tea’s highly aromatic soothing nature also stimulates digestion, encourages relaxation and helps prevent insomnia.

MORNING STAR GINGER BEVERAGE (sheng jiang cha)

Ginger tea stimulates and balances the activity of the heart, lungs and spleen in particular and assists the balanced functioning of the 5 major internal organs as a system in a tonic fashion. Its anti bacterial properties also make it a popular cold and flu remedy.

LUO HAN GUO EXTRACT TEA (luo han cha)

Luo Han Guo (luohanguo) aka ‘Monk Fruit’ (one of many longevity links) is member of the Gourd Plant Family and a fruit well-known for its sweet taste. Luo han cha. It is also well-known medicinally for treating coughs and sore throats and also encouraging longevity. Luohanguo has more recently been developed into a low-calorie sweetener.

When prepared this tea, dark brown and toffee-tasting, can be drunk hot or cold.

CHONG JI 5 FLOWERS TEA (wu hua cha)

This blend of 5 Chinese medicinal herbs cleans away internal heat, encourages diuresis and detoxification. It can also be used to treat sore eyes, sore throats, dysentery and constipation. Delivered concentrated upon cane sugar crystals it has a pleasant caramel taste

Overall

Drinking Chinese Tea in accord with Elements theory enhances health, youthfulness and longevity in many related ways. 5 Elements Qigong provides internal breathing and external massage routines towards the same ends.

The above brands and types of tea are readily purchaseable at your local Chinese Supermarkets the teas’ Chinese names appear in brackets. They are all inexpensive, represent tremendous value for money, are the real thing and offer the true ‘thrill of the swill’!

 

The travel and tourism industry is a massive global industry that caters for the needs of those who have to travel away from home in terms of providing facilities and services like hotel accommodation, air and road transport. Close to a billion people are involved in international travel in this industry which generates billions of dollars every year. Sometimes making a decision on which industry to work for can be quite hard given the many options available today across the globe. Below are five reasons why you should consider working in the travel and tourism industry.

1. There are lots of work opportunities. The travel and tourism industry has a lot of opportunities employment for those seeking employment. You can work in the aviation sector, road, rail and water transport, accommodation providers like hotels and lodges, leisure and business travel agents and tour guides. It is now also possible to work from home thanks to technology which is convenient for some people like mums who have a child or children and do not want to be far away from home.

2. The perks are good. The travel industry provides rewards that not many other industries do. For example those working in the airline industry can get free tickets for themselves and immediate family members to fly to any destination that the airline they work for flies to. Those who work as travel agents can get reduced travel fares and even pay reduced accommodation rates. Then there are the familiarization trips that those who work in the industry have the opportunity to take. Just think of an all expenses paid trip to places like the Seychelles, France, the Kenyan coast of Mombasa to name just a few.

3. It is a growing industry. In spite of the recent downturn because of the threat of terrorism and the world recession, travel industry players are optimistic about its growth. In good times and bad times people always get the urge to move. And with more and more places becoming accessible because of air travel and with both air travel and hotel rates coming down in order to accommodate peoples pocket there is reason to believe that the travel industry will continue to grow and more markets will be reached which is good news for service providers. Furthermore technology like the internet has made it possible to access markets anywhere in the world, at any time of the day.

4. It is never boring. Working in the industry almost means that you will meet new people from time to time. This is especially true for those who work as frontline staff in travel agencies, airline offices or hotels. Those who work in the airline industry as flight attendants have the opportunity to travel to different parts of the world, visit different towns and cities and see and experience different cultures. That can never be a boring job.

5. You do not need years of studying to work in the industry. You may love a certain profession but because of the years of studying involved in learning it you may be discouraged from joining it. Not so with the travel and tourism industry. Three to six months may be enough depending on what qualification you are studying for to get you started working for this exciting industry. Some people because of their love for the work and experience gained in certain areas of the industry have even started working and studied for the paper qualifications later.

So you’re vegan and have this passionate love of food. You would like to pursue this passion further, but you’re not sure what the vegan cooking school options are out there. Happily, there are plenty! There are quite a few schools that focus on plant-based meals, and many that aren’t exclusively vegan can be geared toward you, so you won’t find yourself chopping chickens and preparing fish if you’re not into that.

There are many casual plant-based cooking classes around the world if you’re looking for something just for fun without any fancy certification. In this article, though, I focus more on professional programs that have varying degrees of intensity. Some require only a little time and money if you don’t want to be a professional chef; others will take you the full distance to running your own kitchen.

Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list of some popular schools around the world, with some information about each.

Living Light Culinary Arts Institute
Where is it? Fort Bragg, California
What do they offer? 100% vegan and raw food instruction
When do the programs run? Multiple times a year, depending on the program
Website: rawfoodchef.com

The Living Light Culinary Arts Institute is located in a small coastal community on the Mendocino coast. If you love the ocean, temperate weather, and raw vegan cuisine, you’ll love this school. Run by Cherie Soria, the “mother of raw food”, this is THE raw foods institute. This is the one that draws people in from all around the world and produces top-of-the-line celebrity chefs of all kinds.

There are several types of courses, including a Gourmet Chef Certification Series (6 weeks), Advanced Instructor Training Certification Series (4 weeks), Raw Food Nutrition Educator Series, and the full-out Professional Chef Series, which runs almost an entire year, including a 250-day internship at the school.

Many of the well-known raw food chefs around the world went to Living Light for their training, including Chad Sarno and Jennifer Cornbleet.

The Natural Gourmet Institute
Where is it? New York, NY
What do they offer? Public classes and professional chef training that are plant-based and vegan-friendly
When do the programs run? Inquire by e-mail on their website
Website: naturalgourmetinstitute.com

The Chef’s Training program they offer is an intensive, professional course which can be taken part-time or full-time, but runs 619 hours. This school does teach people how to prepare seafood, chicken and eggs, but if you’re vegan you can opt out of that. This school teaches a wide range of cooking styles, including how to ferment, prepare raw foods and macrobiotic foods, and even Chinese medicine and medicinal cooking. The emphasis is on whole, plant foods.

The Natural Gourmet Institute offers a fun Friday night dinner, where the people enrolled in the school prepare a fine-dining experience for the general public at big, communal tables (with candlelight!), so if you’re in the area, you could swing by and see what it’s all about.

The Matthew Kenney Academyformerly the 105 Degrees Academy
Where is it? Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
What do they offer? Chef certification program in raw foods
When do the programs run? Monthly, or several times a year for the more advanced classes
Website: kenneycuisine.com

Matthew Kenney offers very small and personal raw food chef’s training classes (typically 4-8 people). It’s designed for beginners and chefs alike.

There are two 4-week training sessions – Level 1: Fundamentals of Raw Cuisine, and Level 2: Advanced Raw Cuisine. The Level 1 courses run every month and is Monday to Friday, 9am – 3pm. The Level 2 course runs 4 times a year and is the same hours as the Level 1 classes.

Cordon Vert School
Where is it? Altrincham, Cheshire, UK
What do they offer? Vegetarian leisure classes and workshops, a diploma program for professional chefs only
When do the programs run? Several times throughout the year; programs are short
Website: cordonvert.co.uk

The Cordon Vert School offers classes at their Vegetarian Society headquarters, and they even have rooms for lodging. They have a variety of vegetarian courses, ranging from 1 to 2 day workshops, classes for leisure, and professional classes. Their professional diploma class, a week in duration, is only available to professional chefs. However, their workshops and leisure courses are open to the general public, and occur frequently throughout the year.

Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts
Where is it? Austin, Texas
What do they offer? Full professional chef program that is vegan-friendly, public classes
When do the programs run? Begins every August and February
Website: naturalepicurean.com

This school specializes in vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, ayurvedic and raw food preparation and cuisine. They offer a full 900-hour professional chef training program. All of the training takes approximately a third of a year, if you jump straight from training into internship. This is an intensive course that will fully prepare you to work in a natural kitchen.

They also offer public classes, though they’re sparse and seldom due to the emphasis on the professional chef training program.

The School of Natural Cookery
Where is it? Boulder, Colorado
What do they offer? Professional training as a foundation course, with the option to go further
When do the programs run? Most are in the Fall and Spring
Website: naturalcookery.com

The foundation course at the School of Natural Cookery is a 16-week diploma course where you learn fundamentals, bread making, gastronomy, nutrition and more. If you achieve a very high mark in this course, you may take a 4-week personal chef course or teacher training course. However, in order to pursue the teacher training course, you must have finished their classes as well as have five years experience with natural food.

Courses are typically offered for a spring semester and a fall semester and run the duration of a typical school semester.

Vegan Culinary Academy
Where is it? Anguin, California
What do they offer? Online courses and a 1000 hour professional apprenticeship
When do the programs run? Anytime
Website: veganculinaryacademy.com

There are two major highlights of this school – first, someone who is looking for a professional apprenticeship opportunity will find it here, and it can be completed in six months to two years depending on how much you work, and second, they offer a distance learning program. The online program requires only that you have a camera and a computer with internet, and each student gets personal attention from the instructors in addition to all of the class materials and lessons. The apprenticeship is geared toward those who are already chefs, dietitians or food service directors.

Heaven on Earth Vegetarian Institute
Where is it? Hamilton-Stoney Creek, Ontario
What do they offer? A vegan, macrobiotic and ayurvedic 3-module program
When do the programs run? Mid-October to mid-March for all 3 modules
Website: heavenstudio.ca

This institute offers a Holistic Health Consultant & Cooking Certification program that runs in 3 modules and goes far beyond cooking. It delves into many aspects of holistic health, including yoga, pranayama, diet and lifestyle changes for preventing diseases, and of course healthy food preparation. All of the cooking is vegan with the exception of one class, where fish is included.

Natural Kitchen Cooking School
Where is it? Mercerfield, New Jersey, Haddonfield, New Jersey and New York City
What do they offer? A natural chef training program
When do the programs run? October to May, one weekend each month
Website: naturalkitchenschool.com

This school has several locations and occurs during weekends, making it more accessible. The class sizes are kept small (12 or less) so personal attention and assistance can be given.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it does cover the major vegan-friendly cooking schools out there. Every year, more and more small classes pop up in different cities, so if you’re just looking for some basic instruction and have no interest in pursuing a career in cooking, check out what your city (or nearby city) has to offer. If you are looking to get serious with preparing that awesome vegan food, there are a few great choices on this list that could help you achieve your dreams.

Today seniors can’t afford not to get moving! With all the hype around nutrition and exercise the aging population is well aware of the benefit of an active lifestyle.

Most seniors of the 55 plus group are keen to reap the rewards of healthy aging through a variety of activities. They are not newcomers to the gym so to speak. Most have kept active with some form of physical activity throughout their lives, whether it is hardcore workouts in the gym or a congenial round of golf on a summer’s afternoon. Women of this age group have also managed years of multi-tasking, most having juggled full time careers, while raising families and still found time to fit in some form of exercise. These women became well acquainted with aerobics, step classes, strength training and power walking. Also, stress relievers such as yoga and pilates were embraced to combat tension and fatigue. In many cases these activities were their salvation of an overly busy lifestyle.

It is only natural then, that these baby boomers are looking to continue their active lifestyle into retirement. Quite possibly, with the time constraints lifted at this stage in life, it leaves them to focus more sharply on their health and wellness.

A huge opportunity exists for gyms and programming facilities to cater to this senior market. The number of seniors is set to skyrocket in the next five to ten years and if gym operators are to jump ahead of this curve, they should set their marketing sights on appealing to and attracting this demographic.

How to go about this? What are seniors looking for when it comes to staying fit? Firstly it is important to see a visual image that they can relate to. Marketing success is all about seeing yourself in the picture, being that person who is strong, fit and beaming with energy. If a beautiful twenty something image is smiling back, then age becomes a handicap in the mind of the senior, derailing their good intentions, making them feel like they can’t compete. The perfect image that will empower the market they are trying to impress is an attractive fit senior pursuing the exercise of his or her choice. An ad such as this will pop with the 55 plus market, creating a role model with whom they can immediately identify and connect. Seniors like everyone else need to be able to put themselves into that ad campaign and honestly believe that it could be them looking out. This puts the wheels in motion for a positive mindset and a “can-do” attitude.

Seniors are only as old as they feel. Once again we come back to the mind-set, which is a very powerful tool. Boomers today are constantly fighting the aging stereotype that has depicted seniors in the past. Seniors in their sixties often look, act and feel ten to fifteen years younger than their actual age. Advertising should play up to this pretense which promotes this healthy reversal known as “turning back the clock”.

Another means of promoting fitness is to educate the senior who wants to get moving and who wants information as to how this will benefit them and enhance their life. They need to know the positives, what they can expect, and can look forward to as a result of embarking on the fitness journey that the marketer proposes. The campaign needs to encompass every aspect of their life, proving that properly presented, seniors will understand that an opportunity to change is being offered which will impact and alter their lifestyle. It’s within their reach, all that remains to be done, is to get out there, set realistic goals with realistic time frames and make it happen.

This brings us to another point. Marketers should focus on the enhancement of senior life overall, as a result of engaging in exercise and activities, rather than the promise that, if you join up you will achieve this enviable body or snag that hot date. The quality of life and the heightened enjoyment of everyday activities which seniors can have as a result of exercise need to be highlighted.

Marketing programs should also contain testimonials and feedback from actual seniors delighted with their progress and accomplishments, similar to that of “before and after stories of weight loss”. Seniors want to hear how it has enhanced and changed other people, who are just like themselves. They want to hear the successes, for example, how exercise lowered blood pressure, how strength training enabled other seniors to do more, how medication was reduced, how endurance was stretched. It all gives the feeling that anything is possible, if they can do it, then I can as well. It sends a message and an incentive to become a joiner.

Seniors often prefer to sample a program on a trial basis to see if it’s going to be the right fit for them. Offering special programs geared to this group is smart when limiting them to one or two classes. Fitness activities can be offered at many different types of senior living facilities. Places such as retirement communities and nursing homes already recognize the need and benefits of fitness and nutritional programs. Approaching these senior residences is an effective strategy of marketing to large groups of seniors. There are also many senior assisted living residences that do not have organized fitness classes or programs in place yet, but they will soon. Visit these places and offer a free class or program, if these programs are successful you will know that this appeals to seniors and if the need is strong enough to continue. This will help to target the senior market, zeroing in on what works and what doesn’t.

Marketers of fitness need to alter their sales approach to seniors. This age group is not impulsive and will appreciate a thorough, softer sell approach. Seniors need and want information and prefer patience. This in turn builds trust, instilling confidence in the senior contemplating buying a membership. It basically reaffirms that they are doing the right thing in taking this first step to join.

Seniors as consumers hold certain expectations that need to be met for fulfillment. As part of the packaging of the programming, seniors also need and crave socialization and to be part of the group. They need leadership, to have an instructor to safely guide them through the program, with an eye to protecting them from injury and awareness of ailments like arthritis and osteoporosis in the participants. They look for convenience, with minimal stairs and easy entry, or even better brought to their home. Lastly they want value and attention, to feel like they are progressing and that their state of well being is something that is noted.

As with any market, the sales approach needs to be geared to their age defined needs and preferences. In the year 2010 and in the coming years the greying of the boomers market will keep growing by leaps and bounds. There will be an even greater emphasis on slowing the effects of aging and possibly the reversal through movement and exercise. This, the marketers realize is what it’s all about at any age. Seniors, like everyone else, want to maintain a high quality of life and that definitely includes exercise to make it happen.