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11 Technologies to Check Out

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Your school papers, your precious hours of sleep, and your tight deadlines have suffered long enough. Technology is great, but Facebook, Twitter and e-mails on smart phones and other handheld gadgets can get in the way of what needs to be done. Luckily, not all gadgets are distractions waiting to happen. With a little bit of persistence, you can find technology that will truly make your life easier. So that you don't have to waste even more time on the Internet, we have compiled a list of some of the coolest "productivity" gadgets that can make your life easier in the classroom, at the office, and even at home.

Self propelled suit case: This suitcase is great for the business traveler. Although it will not roll along next to you, when you pull out the handle and begin towing, this suit case's wheels automatically move for you. Talk about taking a load off your back!

USB Vacuum: This vacuum is the perfect size for Barbie's Dream House, and it's perfect for your desk, too! This miniature vacuum plugs right into the USB port on your computer and is ideal for zapping up the crumbs from your lunch.

USB-Powered Microwave: Some might categorize this invention as an accessory to laziness. However, when you are working under a tight deadline and you can't take yourself out of the zone; this gadget is perfect for your grumbling stomach. This microwave plugs into your USB port and has the ability to heat up a single-serving item.

USB-Powered Refrigerator: In keeping with the USB theme, this USB-powered refrigerator is genius for saving time spent getting up to quench your thirst. Enjoy lunch with warm soup and a cold drink! The capacity for one drink will ensure that you don't drink enough for bathroom breaks to consume your day either!

8GB Video Watch: Nowadays television goes where you go. This is an understatement for the stainless steel video watch, which allows you to watch episodes and movies from a 1.8 inch screen on your wrist. Beware; this gadget could be more troublesome than new Facebook notifications. How to use this gadget productively: Use the few hours you would spend watching television or your favorite movie to be productive with whatever you need to get done. Then, watch your watch while waiting in the long line at the bank!

Bluetooth Virtual Keyboard: This gadget is great for those lacking proper desk space or for those who spend twice as long trying to type on a sensitive touch-screen. Powered by Bluetooth, this cell phone-sized gadget projects a virtual keyboard on any flat surface, reading your finger movements to document keystrokes.

The SmartShopper: Speak into this handheld gadget to add items to your grocery list throughout the week. Instead of sitting down, trying to think of everything to add to the list, this virtual grocery list adds one item after another at the touch of a button. When it's time to go shopping, a printed, categorized list is ready for you!

Transparent Toaster: You can even save time with your toaster! Everyone has the mornings where the bread in the toaster is forgotten about. Suddenly the smell of burning bread sparks your memory, but it is too late. The toast is black as charcoal and you have to start over. This transparent toaster is exactly what it sounds like, transparent! You can see your toast reach the perfect degree of doneness, just don't walk away and forget about it!

Laser Scissors: Straighten your projects and save time with these handy scissors. Lose the ruler and pencil and forget spending extra time trying to straighten those crooked lines. All you have to do is follow the line projected by the built-in, pin-point laser on the scissors.

Illuminating car slippers: Alright, so maybe this is a stretch of our productivity imagination, but how many times do you get up in the middle of the night and fall over anything and everything because somehow you forgot it was there? The LED lights built into these car slippers are triggered by footsteps and create 30 feet of light. Productivity translation: Get more sleep by lessening the time spent tendering your stubbed toe and feel more awake during the day!

Solar Powered Lawn Mower: Save hours spent on mowing the lawn with this robotic, solar powered lawn mower. This too-good-to-be-true invention mows your lawn after a bit of programming. The hard part is deciding how you are going to spend your gained hours!

As with any technological invention, these gadgets can either help you gain time or waste even more time. The point is not to watch your robotic lawn mower do the work for you for two hours, but to finish those papers, meet those deadlines, and catch up on sleep. Meeting all three criteria will, in the long run, reduce stress that will translate into even more productivity! Now, close the Internet browser and get back to work!

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Healthy Substitutions for the Foods You Love

Thursday, December 22, 2011

There is a reason why athletes choose to eat pastas, fruits and vegetables rather than fast food burgers and fries before their next competition, and it is not solely to avoid performing on a queasy stomach. The perfect balance of calories and nutrients gives athletes the stamina they need to perform at their best. Healthy eating is an essential part of life beyond athletics as well. Whether competing in half marathons is your thing or taking a stroll through the park sounds more appealing, making smart food choices is essential to boosting energy levels and maintaining a healthy lifestyle overall. Although it is difficult to be sure that your nutrient scales are in balance, starting with these simple substitutions will get you on the right track.

  • Almost every version of a product can be found in reduced-fat or fat-free versions. Fat is one of the worst suppressors of energy. Replace your salad dressing, mayonnaise, hot dogs, crackers, and dairy products with reduced-fat options.
  • Replace whole milk with skim milk, 1 percent, or 2 percent and spare fat grams while keeping up on your protein supply.
  • Feed the ice cream craving with sherbet or frozen yogurt.
  • Replace greasy bacon with Canadian bacon, lean ham or turkey bacon.
  • Swap two egg whites or egg substitute for that whole egg, and keep your morning sunny-side-up with lower calories and cholesterol!
  • Although limited amounts of raw nuts are encouraged as part of a daily diet, this snack is high in fat. If eating too many nuts in a day is a problem, try dried fruit such as raisins or dried cranberries instead.
  • Cook with corn, cottonseed, olive, canola, safflower, sesame, soybean, or sunflower oil instead of coconut oil and palm oil.
  • Change up your sandwich with mustard instead of mayo.
  • Enjoy your bagel with 2 teaspoons of cream cheese or jam instead of all that butter.
  • If you need a salty snack, replace potato chips with baked chips, pretzels, or unbuttered popcorn. The popcorn option saves you 60 calories per ounce!
  • Eat a granola bar or banana instead of a candy bar when you feel that sweet tooth coming on.
  • Replace white rice with brown rice.
  • Snacking on crackers can get you in big trouble! Choose low fat and reduced sodium crackers and be sure to count out the serving before you snack.
  • Celebrate with angel food cake instead of chocolate, yellow, or pound cake.
  • Enjoy a treat with graham crackers or reduced fat cookies instead of regular cookies.
  • Start your day with an English muffin or a bagel instead of a donut, scone, muffin, or pastry.
  • Dip your chips in salsa instead of guacamole dip or refried beans!
  • Drink Lots of Water!. The benefits of drinking water are endless. Water helps flush toxins out of your body that, among other things, reduce your energy supply. Stay hydrated with 6-8 glasses of water per day!
  • When in doubt, grab fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and veggies throughout the day adds countless benefits to your health. The fiber and nutrients gained from this snack will make you feel brand new!

If you are not sure where to start, head to your cupboard and your fridge and write down every food that could be replaced with a healthier substitution. Next time you go to the store, keep these tips in mind. Come up with new recipes and explore foods you have never tried before; stocking the food cupboards will become more fun! There is no better day to change your lifestyle for the better than today!

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Useful Stocking Stuffers

Monday, December 19, 2011
Dig through the stack of boxes in your basement and you will probably find gifts from an assortment of occasions that you have used once, or worse, never even opened. It is bad enough when you don't remember ever using a gift, but then there are the ones you don't even remember who you got it from. Are you one of those gift givers? Will your friends and family dig up an inflatable fruit cake in a few years and wonder how it ever came into their possession? In lieu of the holiday season, we want to help you kick start your shopping list with a few stocking stuffers that are sure to go a long way.

For the Busy-Bees:

• Around the holidays, gifts that promote health and fitness are not hard to come by. Whether for a fitness guru or someone trying to squeeze in extra time to get on the right track, there are many items that could help your friend start his/her New Year's resolution a few days early. Technology is a great motivator and frees up time that would be spent on tracking progress with a traditional pen and paper. The latest craze in iPhone technology, Jawbone's UP bracelet, sends eating, sleeping and exercise data straight to an iPhone or iPad. Looking for a priceless gift? Make a pact to get on track with your friend - a little support goes a long way!

• There is nothing more useful than a gift that helps a busy-body relax. The everyday stressors of life - work, school, or even holiday shopping can really take a toll on someone. You can use a gift as a subtle way of telling your mom, brother, or friend that they need to take some time for themselves. Yoga is a great tool for relaxation and a means for a healthier lifestyle, both of which can reduce stress. Gaiam's Yoga DVD's span from beginner disks to power yoga and beyond. Foot massagers also provide incentive to relax, as they go hand-in-hand with other subdued activities such as reading. Devices like HoMedic's Shiatsu Foot Massager will motivate your friend or family member to take some time to sit and relax. Music, such as Apple's Ambiance app or calming CDs also makes perfect stocking stuffers for the over-worked!

For the Cluttered:

• Do you have friends or family members who could use a little help with controlling their "organized mess" or who complain about how cluttered their desk at the office is? Stocking stuffers for the cluttered can be as inexpensive or as pricey as you want, but the benefits of every one are priceless! For example, cords on any desk or in any room can be a pain. Simple gifts like the Pivot Power by Quirky®, a Cord Control Kit or CableDrop™ Cord Clips add character to any space and remove some of the hassle that comes with tangles of cords.

• Cords are only one small part of a mess that can add to the confusion of everyday tasks at work or school. High-tech gifts like the Echo™ Smartpen help clear the clutter in the brain that builds up during a lecture or conference. Smartpens have the capability of recording audio, as well as sending handwritten notes to desktops and Internet services, such as Google Docs. If you are looking for something a little lighter on the wallet, you can always find useful, quirky gifts that make for a good laugh, such as the Butt Station Desk Organizer.

Gifts that increase productivity and organization are sure to go a long way among family and friends who are always on the move or looking for ways to simplify their days. We hope this list gets you started in the right direction and puts an end to re-gifting in your family. If you are still searching for a simple stocking stuffer that can go a long way, 5 hour ENERGY® is also the perfect size! Happy holidays!

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Tis the Season! 5-hour ENERGY® Holiday Decorating Contest

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Whether you are spending long hours hanging up holiday lights that may or may not stay lit, cramming for final exams, sneaking out after the kids go to bed to finish up wrapping gifts or putting in extra hours at the office to close out another successful year, it's definitely the season for 5-hour ENERGY®! Looking back on memories of 2011 may get you in the sentimental spirit, but there's no stopping the clock. As the year comes to a close, don't get your tinsel in a tangle. The only task left is to figure out what to do with all of those empty 5-hour ENERGY® bottles. That’s why we’re asking you to show us your holiday spirit, by participating in the 5-hour ENERGY® Holiday Decorating Contest.

When you are decorating your home, office, dorm room or tree, we'd like you to add a little 5-hour ENERGY® cheer for the chance to win a year's supply of 5-hour ENERGY®! Instead of dusting off all of those boxes of ornaments, dangle 5-hour ENERGY® decorations from your branches. Light up your room with illuminated 5-hour ENERGY® bottles or show off your decorating skills to your coworkers with an office 5-hour ENERGY® candy cane. Keep it merry with 5-hour ENERGY® Berry! Ring in a good time with Lemon Lime! Create a holiday escape with Grape! No matter how you spread your 5-hour ENERGY® cheer this holiday, we want to see a picture of your creation.

To enter, submit your photo or video between December 6, 2011 and January 13, 2012 on either the 5-hour ENERGY® website or the official Facebook contest page.

This year, 5-hour ENERGY® is asking all fans to round up their inner elves and get in the holiday spirit and claim the top prize with your holiday masterpiece! Each photo/video will be reviewed by a panel of judges and the two best 5-hour ENERGY® holiday decorations will receive one of these prizes:

Grand Prize: 1 year supply (365 bottles) of 5-hour ENERGY®

Second Prize: 6 month supply (180 bottles) of 5-hour ENERGY®

Good luck 5-hour ENERGY® fans, we can't wait to see what you come up with this year!

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