Monthly Archives: March 2018

Sample Great-Tasting Food and Drink

Are you looking to go on France villa holidays that give you the opportunity to indulge in sumptuous food and drink? If this is the case, you may want to consider booking villas in Provence.

While a visit to this part of south-east France at any time of year is sure to prove a delight of the senses, choosing to travel in November could be particularly advised if you are something of a gastronome.

Over the course of the month, the region holds a variety of food and drink-related festivals and events, which are almost certain to tickle your tastebuds.

And if you’re a fan of truffles there is perhaps no better time of year to visit Provence than November. As this is when the truffle season begins, you are sure to find a holiday here provides you with the opportunity to sink your teeth into the fantastic-tasting fungi.

Towns throughout Provence host weekly markets dedicated to truffles, so you should be able to tuck into black Perigord and burgundy truffles to your heart’s content! Carpentras and Riez are just two of the locations that have such markets, so you will be able to travel around the region while tasting the local produce.

However, you may also want to spend time in Richerenches. Each November, the Provence village hosts Ban des Truffes – a festival held to mark the opening of its truffle market.

As you browse the markets, you may want to purchase enough fungi to take back to your villa so you can create fantastic dishes with the ingredient and have an authentic French meal.

But there is much more than truffles for you to tuck into while on holiday in Provence.

Gilete and Fontan are just two of the towns in the region that hold a chestnut festival every November.

If you’re looking for something to wash down all that fantastic food, you may be glad to know Provence is also home to a number of wine festivals. Why not check out the Cotes du Rhone festival? Held in Avignon on the third Thursday of the month, the event gives you the chance to sample a variety of wines from the Rhone valley region.

Tips for Handling Unlimited Food and Drinks Without Gaining Weight

Even four years after being lap-banded, the idea of going to an all inclusive beach resort makes me more than a little nervous – seven days and nights of unlimited food and drinks. I had been looking forward to this trip all summer. Sun, hot weather, crystal clear water, music, great company, and happy kids are my idea of a perfect vacation.

My only fear was navigating the open bars, the restaurants, and the buffet. I painfully remember all the vacations that I didn’t really enjoy because I hated the way I looked; I was embarrassed to be seen in a bathing suit. Depending on where I was in my yo-yo dieting cycle, I’d either be starving myself, or eating and drinking everything in sight, and loathing myself for it!

I was reminded once again that it’s all about my choices. There are good choices for me and there are bad choices for me. I know what they are. I made good choices. I also found myself people watching. Some people can seemingly down 800 calorie drinks and plates of desserts without paying the consequences. Others, like me, can’t. I am responsible for me and what my body needs. My choices certainly weren’t perfect yet I used my lap band on vacation and it worked!

I had a great vacation. I didn’t feel pressure. We had fun. We laughed, we played, we swam, and we kicked back. I am proud when I see my healthy, fit, active kids loving an active life.

When I came home from the trip, I weighed myself and much to my surprise I was actually down 2 pounds! Now to be honest, I think that those 2 pounds are really a result of the work I did prior to vacation that didn’t show up on the scale right away. But still I didn’t gain weight on vacation! I had a great time even if I still haven’t made peace with the loose skin on my thighs.

What I re-learned is that it’s still all about choices and having a plan. Here are some tips that worked for me on vacation:

• My band still restricts high quality solid foods even in a Caribbean paradise but…liquid calories – especially frozen drinks could easily be my downfall; water is the best choice at the pool bar.

• I kept up my physical activity – I used the gym, swam, joined in on the water aerobics, and had fun keeping up with my kids.

• At the buffet – I walked the buffet without a plate. I surveyed the choices and developed a plan for what to put on my plate. There were lots of good choices but I had to “just say no” to my trigger foods.

• I didn’t deprive myself. I planned for some “treats” in tiny portions. After all, when I relax and allow myself to really savor my food, that first bite always tastes best. I allowed myself to try some of the treats I really wanted – one bite of my daughter’s profiterole; a tiny scoop of ice cream. (These are not triggers for me; my triggers are starches, breads, pastas, chips etc.)

• I wasn’t afraid to ask for what I didn’t see on the menu – no plain salad at the seafood grill was easily resolved.

• I brought protein powder – I always had my plan “B.”

• I had a great time and allowed myself to enjoy living in my body!

• Even if I had blown it, I would have gained a few pounds, but I wouldn’t have returned home at 232 lbs; I still have my lap band and I know how to use it.

Food and Drink Serving Etiquette for Restaurants

The etiquette of serving food is a set of rules which are adopted by restaurants, caterers and even at private dinner parties. Use these rules as a guide, they are not official rules and can differ between cultures and countries.

While some of these techniques may sound petty and a bit over the top, most have a sound explanation. Making service appear smooth and faultless allows the customer to relax and not be interrupted by service staff. It dates back to when servants were required to serve their masters without being noticed.

The order of who to serve first starts with the guest of honour and anyone else of importance. Followed by the eldest woman all the way to the youngest male. The host is to be served last. This is for all service to the table including taking food and drink orders and serving them (if serving all at once isn’t possible).

Food and drinks are usually served from the left and cleared from the right but this varies in different regions of the world.

Plates are only cleared when everyone on the table has finished. To make sure everyone has finished, ask the table if they have finished followed by ‘Was everything OK?’ Although, this is fine, try ask a open question so you receive feedback rather than a yes or no.

Never rush your guests, allow for a break between courses especially before desserts. Obviously drinks are served before any food orders are taken. The bill is only given to the table once it has been asked for.

If the table has wine or champagne, remember to periodically top up their glasses. However there is a fine line between being intrusive and neglecting your customer. Avoid letting your customer pour their own drinks unless they have expressed this.

Remember to be human; you want your guests to be relaxed and comfortable. Build rapport with your guests, but don’t become friends with them. Avoid making remarks about your guests, such as don’t comment on a clean plate as that could imply your guest is greedy or fat.

Food and Drink

When we think about losing weight through our diet, we tend to focus on eating less food. Yes, consuming fewer calories will definitely help you to lose weight. But when your goal is to burn pounds and fat, keep in mind that along with exercising, certain foods and drinks will help you to burn weight and fat faster. Here are some of the best foods to help you meet that goal:

Almonds

If you want to boost your metabolism, then go nuts about almonds! The essential fatty acids contained in them make your metabolism higher. As word of caution, eat almonds in moderation since they’re extremely high in calories.

Apple

Make sure to eat the peel! The fiber in apples requires your body to burn extra calories, in order to break it down for digestion.

Cinnamon

Not only will this help to add some pizzazz to your food and drinks, but it will also metabolize sugars more efficiently.

Coffee

This doesn’t provide an excuse to drink a gallon of java per day. Make sure to keep your coffee consumption in moderation. The caffeine contained in two or three cups of coffee would be enough to boost your metabolism-without making you feel ready for liftoff.

Grapefruit

While all fresh fruits are beneficial to your health, grapefruits are one of the “super fruits”. They reduce your body’s insulin levels, which cause it to store fat. Grapefruits are also high in fiber, so your body will burn more calories, in order to reduce it to usable energy. This is a fantastic way to start your morning!

Green Tea

What makes green tea so special? It’s an outstanding source of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Green tea helps to boost the speed of your nervous system and brain, thus resulting in your body burning additional calories. While the Chinese have been drinking green tea for thousands of years, modern dietitians are rediscovering the health benefit of this super-healthy food.

Jalapenos

These peppers burn additional calories hours after you consume them-thus boosting your metabolism.

Soy Milk

The high amount of calcium helps to increase your metabolism.

Spinach

You should forgo the canned spinach and Popeye eats, and stick to the fresh stuff. Besides boosting your metabolism, this “super food” is packed with vitamins and minerals.

Turkey

No, it’s not just for Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey is high in protein, which helps to add on lean muscle tissue to your body. This allows you to boost your metabolism and burn additional calories. If you want to lose weight, then that’s a good thing!

Yogurt

While many of us have the notion that full-fat foods should be absent in our diet, recent research is proving otherwise. For example, the high amount of protein contained in full-fat yogurt requires a whole lot of energy, in order to process it. And more energy used translates into more calories burned!

Facing Funeral Catering

Funeral catering is tough. Unfortunately, being faced with having to arrange a funeral or wake is something that nearly all of us will face at some point in our lives. In the midst of grief and bereavement, having to think about catering for a loved one’s departure is likely to be the last thing you feel able to do but at the same time you also want to give your loved one the best send- off you can. From a funeral catering point of view, the venue and likely numbers of guests is key information to have before you can start thinking about the food and drink you may like to serve.

Food options range from cold buffets, hot-fork buffets to even a sit-down meal, although this tends to be less common at funerals. Buffets allow flexibility for the numbers of guests to change slightly and also gives people the choice as to how much they feel like eating. Many guests will also appreciate the variety of food a buffet offers. Often, guests at a funeral are feeling a bit fragile and will appreciate comfort food and sweet things. Food choices can vary according to the time of year and things like salads, pasta, pork-pies and sandwiches can be replaced by mini-Yorkshire puddings, warm tarts and mini-pies in colder weather. You could also serve a large bowl of rice with big bowls of accompaniments such as a curry dish, beef stroganoff or chicken fricassee on the buffet table and allow guests to help themselves. A dish such as mashed potato is also very comforting. Desserts may include things like trifle, pavlova, chocolate fudge cake or fruit salad.

You may also want to consider any favourite foods of your loved one or even create a theme such as the colours of their favourite football team to trigger happy memories. You will also need to think about what drinks you will provide. Hot tea and coffee, water and fruit juices are always comforting and refreshing but it is also common to serve alcoholic drinks. You may want to think about whether you would want to limit the supply or how to avoid younger guests getting their hands on unsuitable drinks in this case though. As you can see, there is a lot to think about and it may be worthwhile considering employing the services of a professional company experienced in funeral catering.

A good company will be sympathetic and understanding of your needs at this difficult time and can guide you from start to finish. They are likely to have a wide range of menu choices and can suggest the best options according to your venue and budget. Finally, on the day, a good catering company will transfer all food and drink to the venue for you, provide plates and cutlery, serve the food and clean away afterwards relieving you of the stress of having to think about all the small things and allowing you to focus on giving your loved one a beautifully memorable send-off.