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Processed Foods…Are They All Bad?

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You can hardly go to the grocery store without buying processed foods, and buying fresh all the time isn’t always feasible. Besides, some processed foods you can’t buy fresh… like oatmeal, or flour. The point is… just because it’s processed doesn’t mean it’s bad. Below we go through the basics of what processed food is and give a few example of good vs bad.

What are processed foods?

Processed foods have been altered from their natural state, either for safety reasons or because it makes them easier to store or easier to use.

We usually think of processed foods as being bad. In truth, many of them are, but some types of processed foods are beneficial.

The most frequent processing methods are canning, freezing, refrigeration, dehydration, and aseptic processing. It isn’t really the method of processing that makes some processed foods so bad – it’s the ingredients used in those products. So processed foods made with healthful ingredients are fine for your diet – just avoid those that are high in calories, sugar, fat, and sodium, or that have little nutritional value. Watch out for chemical processing too, as most common brands of fruit and vegetables have been exposed to growth hormones and other unnatural chemicals.

Good Processed Foods

Milk is processed food because it’s pasteurized to kill bacteria and homogenized to keep fats from separating. Low- and non-fat milk are good for most people who can digest the lactose (milk sugar).

Breakfast cereals are processed foods that can be good for you when they’re made with 100-percent whole grain and fortified with additional nutrients.

 Unfortunately, many breakfast cereals are made with too much sugar, and they’re low in fiber. Read the nutrition label on the package, it will help you decide if the breakfast cereal is good or not.

 Frozen foods are processed foods too. The best frozen foods are vegetables and fruits that don’t contain any sauce, sugar or syrup.
 Freezing preserves most vitamins and minerals and makes the food convenient to store, cook and eat all year round.

Fruit and vegetable juices are beneficial most of the time, but look out for the brands with added sugars or that are high in sodium. Some juices, like certain brands of orange juice, are fortified with calcium, which makes them even better.

Oatmeal, frozen fish and seafood (not fish stick or breaded varieties), canned salmon and tuna are healthful. Dried fruits, roasted nuts and seeds, and 100-percent whole grain bread are also examples of processed foods that are right for you.

 

Bad Processed Foods

Processed foods made with trans fats and large amounts of sodium and sugar aren’t good for you. They’re low in vitamins and minerals and eating too much of them is bad for your waistline and your health.

Avoid these processed foods, or, at least, eat them sparingly:

  • Canned foods with significant amounts of sodium or fat
  • Pasta meals made with refined white flour instead of whole grains
  • Packaged high-calorie snack foods such as chips and candies
  • Frozen fish sticks and frozen dinners that are high in sodium
  • Packaged cakes and cookies
  • Boxed meal mixes that are high in fat and sodium
  • Sugary breakfast cereals
  • Processed meats

Try looking for recipes that don’t need alot of packaged foods. Anything that grows, goes.

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Amazon Introduces Kindle Kids Edition!

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If you want to get your kids to read more instead of watching TV, Amazon hasn’t forgotten about you or your kid. Alongside the Fire HD 10 Kids Edition tablet the company announced today, Amazon took the wraps off the Kindle Kids Edition, its first-ever e-reader aimed at children. For an additional $20 over the cost of a normal Kindle, the Kids Edition comes with one of four colorful cases, a two-year worry-free guarantee and one-year of complimentary access to the company’s FreeTime Unlimited service.

Read Next: 5 Ways to Become Instantly More Productive

With the two year guarantee, Amazon says it’ll replace the device for free should anything happen to it. FreeTime Unlimited, if you’re not familiar, offers some 20,000 kid-friendly books, videos and apps. It works across multiple devices, so you have a backup when your kid wants to do something else. You can add it to your existing Prime subscription for $2.99 per month. Otherwise, it costs $4.99 per month. Amazon also has prepaid yearly options for families with either one or more children.

Kindle Kids Edition theagendadaily.com

Amazon has also added a variety of new software features to keep kids reading. In addition to the Kindle’s built-in dictionary, the Kids Edition includes a feature called Word Wise that will automatically define any difficult words. The e-reader will turn any word a child looks up into a flashcard for later review. There are also achievement badges to earn, as well as more fun wallpapers than the ones that come standard with the company’s other Kindles. It’s also worth mentioning the Kids Edition is based on the Kindle update Amazon announced in March, so it includes an adjustable front light.

At $109.99, the Kindle Kids Edition is more expensive than the $89.99 Kindle but not as pricey as the $129.99 Paperwhite. The Kindle Kids Edition is available to pre-order starting today, and it will ship on October 30th. If you buy two of the e-readers at the same time, Amazon will give you 25 percent off the total price of the two products.

Here’s a full list of the Kindle Kids Edition new software features:

  • Achievement Badges: Kids can earn badges like Book Worm and Over Achiever when they make progress toward pre-defined goals.
  • Easy Discovery: With enhanced browsing and search, kids can locate titles without the exact spelling. And with smart recommendations, kids can find books related to the genres, authors and characters they like.
  • Word Wise: Kids are automatically provided short and simple definitions above difficult words, so they can keep reading with fewer interruptions.
  • Dictionary: If kids come across a difficult word, they can select the word to look up the definition via the built-in Kindle dictionary.
  • Vocabulary Builder: Words looked up in dictionaries are automatically added to Vocabulary Builder and turned into flashcards for future review and learning.
  • Kid-friendly Wallpaper: A unique set of lock screen wallpapers designed specifically for kids are included.
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Working for Yourself: Pros and Cons

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featured image working for yourself

Most of the people who leave their jobs and start a business of their own do this on an impulse. The reason is simple. Working in an organisation means you are answerable to the people higher up the success ladder. Often due to office politics, even the right decisions by you aren’t appreciated.

It is always fun to think that you are working for yourself. You do not have any fixed schedules to adhere to. You do not have anyone to dominate you or fire you. The independence that a personal venture brings along with it is always thrilling.

Yes, there sure are countless benefits of working for yourself. Here we have listed out a few prominent benefits that usually lure people to starting their own venture.

Advantages of working for yourself

1. You Do Not Have Boss Above You:

The most annoying aspect of a job is a boss who is there to dominate you. If you have a good and understanding boss, you are lucky. But most often bosses tend to be bullies who exploit their juniors and extract maximum work from them. People who are under such bosses would surely prefer to have their own venture.

When you start your own business or startup, you can work on your own will. You do not have to abide by anyone’s orders. This is particularly good for people who do not possess the knack of diplomacy. People who do not know how to handle different types of people or convince others in a gentle fashion should opt for a personal business or venture.

working for yourself is better than killing yourself for another job

2. You Can Opt For Flexible Schedules:

Many people complain that their office schedule is so hectic that they do not get ample time with their loved ones. This is one problem you won’t face if you have your personal venture. You can schedule your work such that you get ample time with your near and dear ones.

There is no restriction regarding the time you should reach office or the time you should leave office premises.

This lack of restriction in a personal venture allows you sufficient flexibility to balance personal and professional lives. It also helps to reduce the level of stress that is very common in job life.

3. You Can Explore and Experiment:

Most creative and thoughtful people despise their jobs because the job gives them very little opportunity to explore and experiment. An age-old organisation with a set reputation will never bear the risk of experimentation from an employee. Most employees thus experience stagnancy after 2 or 3 years in a certain organisation.

This is not the case when you start your own venture. You need to be alert all the time. You need to come up with new strategies and ideas that help to increase growth of the organisation. These aspects of a business make it much more interesting than a job.

4. You Can Avoid Office Politics:

There are many individuals who are not good at tackling office politics. They do not enjoy going with the flow if they think the decision is wrong. This attitude can jeopardize their job in the long run.

A person who starts his own venture does not have to go through the ordeal of convincing the people ongoing ahead with wrong decisions out of peer pressure. You have the freedom to take the right decisions. You also have the freedom to make choices. This way you can completely avoid the politics part of the work management and ensure work gets done without wastage of time.

5. You Are The Boss:

The best part is that you are the boss when you start your own venture. You get to meet people at higher positions. You get special benefits as a businessman. You get respect in your family and social circles. No one has the right to rule over you. You have the complete control over your situation.

Disadvantages of working for yourself

Everything that has a good side has a bad side too. While there are many benefits of working for yourself, you cannot completely ignore the disadvantages. The risk is elevated in the case of a personal business. It may not be a good idea for you personally to start your own venture.

You need to possess the courage to take such risks. You also need to possess the foresight to predict the growth of the business. There are some major drawbacks of working for yourself. Here we have listed these out for your knowledge and reference.

balanced scales working for yourself

1. You Need to Have a Strict Code of Discipline:

A high level of maturity is essential to ensure that you prosper and grow in your business. This means that you need to have a fixed set of personal etiquettes and a proper code of discipline. These are necessary to ensure that your business grows and expands.

People who lack a strict discipline may misuse the funds from the business for their personal needs. This can eventually lead to the failure of the firm and organisation. Individuals who have strong principles are capable of controlling their urges.

They make sure that they set aside a certain amount as business funds and use the rest to grow their business. They tend to use just about 20% for their own personal needs.

2. Any Failure Could Mean Monetary Loss To You:

In the initial stage of the business, any loss could mean that you need to put money from your pocket. You need to have some backup money to handle such situations. Usually traditional families are not very supportive in case of businesses.

You may not have family support and if you are not confident about your venture, their words could demotivate you. People who are capable of foreseeing such possibilities and tackling them smartly can start ventures and succeed.

3. Progress Could Be Slow and Gradual:

Patience is an important quality that every businessman should possess. Business ventures do not grow in a day. They require time, effort and dedication. They require you to consistently put in efforts. Instant gratification happens only in fairytales and if you expect the same in your life, you are being foolish.

You must try to grow gradually and save a small amount as profits. This way, the profits you save can later be used for further expansion without disrupting your income.

4. There could Be Lack of Job Security:

When you are working for a firm or organisation, you have job security if the firm is doing well. When the firm is in a loss, you simply need to switch the job and if you are good in your field, you will continue to make money.

This is not the case with a business or startup. Inspite of all the research, it is not always possible to predict whether a firm will make a profit or loss. Everyone may not be capable to handle this kind of job insecurity. This simply means that you need to plan your finances properly.

5. You Need to Have a Proper Growth Plan:

You need to have a well defined growth plan when you have your own venture. You should have a clear idea how much money you wish to make at the turn of the year and how you plan to grow.

A proper plan will help you allocate funds and grow your network accordingly. If you don’t have a proper growth plan, there are greater chances of misuse of money and finances.

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Extremely Useful Tips for First Time Health Insurance Buyers

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There’s nothing quite as confusing and bewildering as realizing you need to buy your own health insurance. The world of insurance policies and deductibles can be an intimidating place for newbies. So we have put together a list of extremely useful tips for first time health insurance buyers which will simplify the process and guide you past making any big mistakes.

Don’t go shopping without doing your research

First time health insurance buyers, STOP. There are some things you need to know before you call that number! Make sure you familiarize yourself with common insurance terms, what they mean, and what things are best for you and your lifestyle.

Health Insurance Terms:

  • Premium: the upfront amount you’ll pay each month to have health insurance
  • Deductible: the amount you’ll pay for health care services before your insurance kicks in
  • Co-payment: Also called a copay, it’s a flat amount you’ll pay for specific services or medication, even if you’ve reached your deductible.
  • Coinsurance: Unlike a copay, which is a flat amount, coinsurance is a fee you pay that is a percentage of the cost of a covered service.
  • Out-of-pocket maximum: This the the most you’ll pay for covered health services in a single year, including your deductible, your copay, and your coinsurance. In 2020, the out-of-pocket maximum is $8,150 for individuals and $16,300 for families.
  • Subsidy: Subsidies are the government’s way of helping you pay for health insurance. Obamacare technically provides three subsidy types: advance premium tax credits, cost-sharing reductions and Medicaid (more on these in a minute).

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Conduct a Self Check-up

Determine how much coverage you need — and what you can afford.

If you rarely get sick or injured it might be a good option to go with a higher deductible and lower monthly cost, but if your lifestyle sees you in the doctors office more often than not, look into a low deductible and a low/no copay.

Unless you have a qualifying life event, you cannot apply whenever you want

Yes, that’s right, you cannot go without health insurance for half a year before deciding you had better buy some. Unless you have a qualifying live event, such as pregnancy or turning 26, (you cannot be insured by your parents after your 26th birthday) then you must apply during open annual enrollment. Companies typically hold open enrollment in the fall, while the U.S. government begins accepting applications on Nov. 1.

There are two types of networks

Deductibles and premiums aren’t the only factors to consider when choosing a plan.

You may also need to choose between two types of networks: PPOs and HMOs. A PPO gives you access to a broader network of doctors than an HMO, but PPOs generally cost more. Research what insurance companies your primary care physician accepts before purchasing a plan so as to not lose access to your doctor.

First-time health insurance shoppers may feel lost if they’ve relied on employer-sponsored health insurance up to this point. But health insurance doesn’t have to be complicated. Once you know what you’re looking for, where to shop, and how to keep it affordable, health insurance will be a regular part of your health – and your financial safety net.

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