Health

5 resources which show how different countries deal with Cannabis

Once upon a time drugs were something of a taboo subject. More recently, things have changed. We seem to be moving further away from the strict approaches that we once all knew, and to a more progressive culture.

Countries from all around the world deal with drugs in different ways. Today’s post takes a glimpse at five nations, and some resources which help to explain how they deal with the topic.

United States: Things are constantly changing

The sheer size of the United States means that drugs policies are always a difficult issue. In short, its policies are quite “standard” when compared to most other countries in the world. The link to the infographic we have featured perhaps highlights this the most, with the most renowned drugs controlled in some shape or form.

However, there have been some developments over more recent years. For example, in 2012 we saw Colorado and Washington legalize marijuana, and since then this has expanded to the likes of Alaska, Minnesota and Oregon. Other drugs have also been decriminalized, with the psilocybin and low-THC hemp falling into this category in certain regions.

Canada: It’s not as lucrative as you might think

As we all know, Canada has been in the news a lot over recent times due to its stance on cannabis. In 2018, it became only the second country in the world to formally legalize the drug – and this naturally created huge headlines.

The interesting part of this is that it hasn’t impacted society in the way that some may have initially anticipated. While the jury will still be out on the social impact, it’s the effect on businesses that we found the most interesting. Contrary to what most people may have thought, businesses aren’t really taking advantage. In actual fact, cannabis use has stagnated – meaning that many businesses who thought they would profit on the back of the new laws have been forced to close.

Dubai: One place where you certainly don’t want to hold drugs

A lot of the countries we are talking about today are quite accepting of drugs, but that can’t be said of this next nation. Out of everywhere in the world, Dubai has some of the strictest rules around and in some cases, will even sentence those caught with drugs to death.

Of course, not every case results in the death penalty, but this article is enough reason not to even consider drugs if you are planning a trip to the UAE.

Portugal: The big success story

As we’ve already seen, more and more countries are taking a more liberal approach to drugs. It would be fair to say that in a lot of these, the results are somewhat mixed. In the case of Portugal, this isn’t the case in the slightest.

Let’s remind ourselves that Portugal had an utterly terrible drugs record in the 90s. Then, in 2001, they changed everything. They decided to decriminalize all drugs, and the results speak for themselves. Instead of 1% of the population being supposedly addicted to drugs as they were previously, the country has turned on its head and has one of the best records in the world.

The Netherlands: The old classic

We don’t need to say much about the Netherlands’ policy on drugs; it has something of a reputation since it became the Netherlands-as-we-know-it back in the 70s. Over more recent times there have been some calls to have a more regressive approach to drugs, which have been condemned by many quarters. This article talks about some of these developments in more detail, to show some of the challenges what the Netherlands is facing when it comes to drugs.

News

Staying Sharp (in the Kitchen): 7 Essential Kitchen Knives

According to one survey, about 53% of Americans actually enjoy cooking. 

Whether or not you are part of the population that enjoys cooking as a hobby, you’ll need some tools to be able to make everything you want. 

Do you want to make sure that your kitchen is well-equipped? We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn about the essential kitchen knives to have on hand!

1. Chef’s Knife

A chef’s knife may be one of the more important knives you should own. This is the one that you will most likely use the most, so you should make sure you get one that is high-quality.

It may be a little bit more expensive, but if you treat it well and take care of it, then you’ll be able to use it for years to come.

A chef’s knife is used to slice, chop, and julienne almost anything. You can even cut watermelon or carve a roast with this kind of knife. 

This knife is strong but also lightweight. It has a long blade and a handle that fits perfectly in your hand. 

You should shop around when buying this kind of knife. You want to make sure you’re buying a good brand, and you want to buy one that fits your hand and that you feel comfortable with.

Chef’s knives normally come with either an 8 or 10-inch blade, so you should buy whatever is comfortable for you to handle. 

If you want a good, high-quality chef’s knife, check out this Foxel Knife.

2. Santoku

The santoku is also an important knife to have in your kitchen, and it is a Japanese workhorse knife.

This is similar to a chef’s knife, but there are a few differences.

These knives are normally shorter and have more compact blades. Their blades are only about 6 to 7 inches long. 

If you want a shorter downward stroke, this will help you achieve that. With the chef’s knife, you’ll have more of a rocking and chopping style. 

This knife was designed to be between a Western double-bevel and a Japanese chisel. 

When choosing a good santoku knife, you should look for one that is incredibly sharp but still lightweight. You should also find one that is comfortable for you because everyone has their own preference for the type of knife they want. 

3. Paring Knife

A paring knife is also important. 

This might be the second-most important knife you can have in the kitchen, but you may not use it as often as the chef’s knife. 

If you need to cut something small or fragile, you should use this knife. If you’re peeling a lemon, for example, you would use this paring knife.

A paring knife has a narrow blade that lets you accomplish all the odd cooking things you need to do. 

Don’t pay too much for this kind of knives because you won’t have to use it too often. You should find a really sharp one, but since you won’t use it a lot, it will last you a long time. 

4. Serrated Knife

You can use this knife for either hard or soft foods. If you want to saw through something gently while not squishing the interior of the food, you should use this.

You can cut crusty bread or tomatoes easily with this kind of knife. 

The knife has small grooves on the blade to help it keep its sharpness. You may use this knife more than the paring knife, and a good one will be able to last you a long time.  

5. Cleaver

Depending on what you’ll be cooking, you may also need a cleaver. 

This is a knife with a really heavy, rectangular-sized blade. If you need to cut through large chunks of meat (or possibly even bones), this knife may be perfect for you.

It kind of looks like a small hatchet, and will be able to get the job done that your other knives can’t. 

However, you shouldn’t confuse this with a Chinese cleaver, which is used for vegetables and more precise cutting work. 

6. Carving Knife

A carving knife isn’t always necessary, but it can be really helpful to have.

These are longer and a little bit thinner than a chef’s knife, but they can really carve up a Thanksgiving turkey for you and your family.

A carving knife has a sharp point at the end of the narrow blade, which helps it cut around the cartilage and bones.  

7. Bread Knife

You’ve probably seen a bread knife and noticed it because it has a saw-tooth edge to the blade.

This helps it slice through bread without squishing the bread too badly. 

The one problem with this knife is that once it gets dull, it’s hard to sharpen. You will either need to get a new knife or to get it sharpened by a professional. 

Because it won’t last as long, you shouldn’t spend too much money on a bread knife. Depending on how much your knife was, it may be cheaper just to replace it when the blade gets dull. 

Buy These Essential Kitchen Knives Today!

These essential kitchen knives will really help you when preparing your meals and will make your experience in the kitchen a lot more enjoyable.

Before buying a knife, make sure you do your research and then take care of it and sharpen it to make sure it stays sharp.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure you check out our website for others just like it! 

Health

10 Easy Healthy Diet Hacks

Eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to have the time (or energy) to prep and cook elaborate meals at home.

The key to eating healthy and staying healthy is making lifestyle changes that become good habits. Incorporating a few diet hacks into your routine now will lessen the time you spend planning nutritious meals later.

If you have limited time in the kitchen, or you don’t have time to waste on developing a weekly nutrition plan, use these tips to work towards a healthier you.

1. Prep Meals in Advance

Sure, making three meals a day — plus snacks — for seven days ALL at once sounds intimidating. It’s actually easier than you think. You’ll thank yourself when you’re late for work on Monday morning and can grab your lunch from the fridge and go.

Pick one day a week to plan your meals, go grocery shopping, and prep for success. Prepare several meals that you can easily heat back up throughout the week.

Take the time one night a week to portion out your snacks into individual baggies. Cut, raw vegetables are perfect as snacks. This way, they’re ready for you to grab so you won’t run out for fast food or opt for chips at the office instead.

2. Order Your Own Appetizer

When you go out to eat with friends, you probably split an appetizer and order your own entrée, right?

Surprise! You can eat healthier by having an appetizer all to yourself and splitting the entrée.

Most appetizers are more appropriate for one person than the gigantic entrees most restaurants serve. Unless you order the appetizer sampler — that doesn’t count.

When you’re with friends, you’re more likely to order an unhealthy app as a group. On your own, you can choose a salad or soup as a starter to fill you up before sharing the main course.

3. Sneak in Your Veggies

Blending veggies and sneaking them into recipes isn’t just for parents trying to trick their toddlers.

Whenever you can, sneak veggies into your meals by blending them with other ingredients. If you like smoothies in the morning, this is an easy decision. A handful of spinach will add a healthy dose of iron, magnesium, and calcium to your breakfast.

You can use this hack when dining out, too. Order a burger without meat, such as an Unbeetable Burger, to satisfy your cravings while cutting calories.

4. Roast Vegetables for the Week

If you like vegetables, try roasting a big batch of your favorites to munch on throughout the week.

Roasting veggies brings out their natural flavor and adds a slight sweetness that they don’t have when raw. Try lining a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and roast combinations of veggies light broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, and red peppers.

As you prepare meals during the week, add these crisp veggies to lunch salads or into an omelet for breakfast. You can even serve them as a side dish.

5. Skip Frying and Bake or Grill

As much as you love adding oil or butter to the bottom of your pan to keep ingredients from sticking, know that it adds unnecessary calories to your meal.

If you grill foods, there is nothing for them to stick to. This is the same when baking foods with the indirect heat in your oven. In most cases, you’ll find that grilled or baked foods (meats especially) will be juicer, more tender, and more flavorful than when they’re fried.

6. Eat Protein First

If you usually eat larger portions than recommended, try eating your protein first to fill up before eating extra carbs and sugar.

Protein is super satisfying and will give you more energy than bread or pasta. Eat your main first, then move on to the sides if you’re still hungry.

7. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand

You’re more likely to stop by the vending machine at work if you don’t prepare by bringing a snack from home or stock your office with healthy options.

Keep healthy single-serve snacks with you at all times. Preparing them doesn’t have to be a hassle. Choose convenient snacks such as trail mix, apples, clementines, nut butters, or popcorn.

Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and eggs are also nutritional snacks if you can keep them refrigerated throughout the day.

8. Stockpile Frozen Foods

Life is busy. It’s easy to buy produce and let it rot on your countertop or in your fridge and pick up takeout on the way home.

There’s nothing wrong with stocking up on frozen foods!

Most frozen foods are flash-frozen, meaning they are picked at the optimal ripeness and nutritional value is retained. Keep staples in your fridge such as edamame, cauliflower, corn, peas, and spinach.

You can also buy protein such as chicken, shrimp, and fish in bulk and freeze it. This will make cooking at home much easier.

9. Don’t Cut Out Sugar Entirely

When dieting, most people opt for an all-or-nothing approach to consuming sugar. This isn’t always the easiest plan to stick to, and you’re more likely to fail if you don’t give yourself a break.

The more sugar you eat, the more you will crave. As you lessen your intake, the cravings should subside. So, treat yourself every once in a while. Just don’t make it a habit.

10. Go for the Ice Cream

Speaking of sugar, most people believe that opting for a popsicle or sorbet is the smarter option over ice cream. Wrong.

Cream-based desserts have less sugar than sorbet per cup. So, indulge in an ice cream cone for that rewarding treat you’ve been waiting for.

Turn These Diet Hacks Into Healthy Habits

Which of these diet hacks will you work into your weekly routine to make eating healthy easier?

Making small changes to your cooking habits and food decisions will have a big impact on your daily nutrition. You’ll consume less sugar and empty carbs while increasing your intake of vital minerals and vitamins.

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