A dozen healthy recipes to help you keep your New Year’s resolution

Want to make some healthy changes this year? KitchenAid’s Vegetable Sheet Cutter Attachment makes it easy to create nutritious alternatives to your favourite dishes.

Lose weight. Get fit. Eat healthily. Do these sound like familiar New Year’s resolutions? We know how difficult it can be to stick to goals particularly after the month of January. Busy schedules get in the way and motivation is lost somewhere along the line.

Opting for healthy living is a lifestyle change and begins right in your very kitchen – with your kitchen appliances. Having small appliances that make cooking a breeze can be all you need to remain encouraged on your healthy-cooking journey.

Thanks to KitchenAid, it’s easy to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your everyday meals with the Vegetable Sheet Cutter Attachment. Like all KitchenAid attachments, it’s a cinch to use and sparks creativity in your dishes!

The possibilities are endless with this attachment – think sheets of sweet potato, zucchini and apple to name a few – but we’d love to give you a (yummy) head start.

We’ve gathered some of our favourite recipes from KitchenAid so that you can add sheets of wholesome goodness to your diet. Here are a dozen dishes you won’t regret trying, and ones that will be household favourites for the kids too!

Find even more recipes from KitchenAid by downloading the PDF here. Tell us what you love making with the Vegetable Sheet Cutter Attachment in the comments below!

The toxic reasons you need an air purifier

Did you know that dangerous particles could be lingering in the air in your home? We knuckle down on the facts and explore the features of two powerful humidifiers that could be your answer to a breath of fresh air.  

Imagine living on a hill, out in the open, breathing in fresh air from the clean breeze that blows over beautiful seas. Ahh, bliss.

Why is it that the oxygen in one environment can make us feel very different to the oxygen in another? The answer is simple: air quality.

Homes are busy places. They occupy adults, children and pets, and store everyday possessions such as clothes, shoes, furniture and just about every other thing you can think of.

It’s no surprise that even the cleanest of homes gather pesky dust particles and the nasties that the eye can’t see – allergens, bacteria, mould, viruses, toxic fumes… you get the idea.

You may not realise it, but you’re breathing all of these types of dangerous particles into your body, harming your health and provoking allergies.

Not convinced? Well according to the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, the air in your home can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside! It’s time to start facing the (gross) facts.

Air purifiers

Surely it’s enough to open the windows wide and let the sunshine in? While that helps refresh the home, most of us don’t have the opportunity to do so on a day-to-day basis. And of course, there are the colder months and nights when airing out the home seems impossible.

With revolutionary technology and intelligent designs from trusted brands, air purifiers are here to blow you away (pun intended!).

Let us introduce you to a couple of our favourites and their incredible features.

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool™ Link

Dyson is known for innovative technology, and this purifier is no exception. Its high-efficiency HEPA filter is so powerful that it removes 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns! (Laboratory tested to EN1822, of fine particles from the air.)

The 360° Glass HEPA filter has a layer of activated carbon granules too. What does that mean? Well, not only does it filter particles, it filters odours too. Even toxic odours such as paint fumes won’t go past this Dyson!

Want something for asthma and allergy sufferers? This purifier would be your top choice. It’s the first humidifier to meet the asthma and allergy-friendly standard and has been approved by National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice® program.

As the name suggests, it’s simultaneously a heater and a fan that’s bladeless. (Yes, it really does do even more.) The temperature control means that the whole room will be heated or cooled evenly with a powerful stream of purified air flow.

It’s also acoustically engineered, so you’ll barely notice it’s even on! And the automatic night-time mode still monitors and reacts to the air in the room but purifies with the quietest settings and a dimmed LED display. Now isn’t that clever?

And you can control it all from a smartphone with the Dyson Link app. There’s the cherry on top.

Sharp KCA60JW Air Purifier with Humidifier

Sharp’s air purifier uses a 2-in-1 system with a HEPA and an active carbon filter to capture 99.97% of dust particles. A mesh pre-filter also prevents larger particles from clogging up the main filter so that your purifier lasts even longer.

This purifier reduces microorganism growth (the spreading of the nasties we mentioned earlier) by maintaining the right humidity level in your home. It has a smart sensor that detects a change in room temperature and reacts by picking up water from the tank and releasing moisture into the air.

Plasmacluster Ions are also released in the process. This technology is cool because it efficiently deactivates any airborne viruses, mould spores and eliminates odours from cooking, garbage and cigarette smoke. It’ll get rid of any lingering scents from pets, too!

You can also leave it to operate at night without fear of it disturbing anyone’s sleep. It features a low mode operation so that the noise level is ultra-quiet.

It’s important to note that this Sharp air purifier has been given the Seal of Approval from the British Allergy Foundation. So if you’ve got an allergy sufferer in the house, they’ll benefit greatly from the reduction of allergens in the air.

Check out the quick demonstration below to see how the filters tackle smoke!

Kambrook Blitz2Go makes personal blending easy!

Here’s a product that has already flown off our shelves in the few days we’ve had it in stock – and you know it’s a winner when even our staff are clamoring to buy one. It’s called the Blitz2Go, and it’s… well, blitzing our stores even as I write this!

What’s the worst thing about blending something for yourself? I can actually think of a few things, including the washing up of multiple tools, the heavy lifting of the glass blender, and let’s face it, the wasted space of a large blender for a personal amount of ingredients.

These things may discourage you from blending the odd healthy drink now and then, unless you’re gung-ho about your diet and fitness. But for those that just want an easy way to blend fruit, vegies and even icy drinks, the Blitz2Go is a dream come true, for many reasons!

So here’s how it works. You put all of the fruit and perhaps vegies that you want to blend straight into the bottle, use the blender blade and screw it on, then turn upside down so that the bladed lid is inserted into the motorised base of the Blitz2Go. Press the pulse button and before long your ingredients will be blended. Then, you simply lift off the bottle, unscrew the blade lid and replace with the bottle’s drinking lid and that’s it.

I’d say that’s why the Blitz2Go has indeed blitzed it in terms of demand since it was released a few days ago. It’s a simple system without extra washing up – the bottle is the blender container! And you can imagine with a couple of extra bottles, you could make use of the fresh ingredients you bought, prepare a few more bottles’ worth and put them in the fridge for drinking at a later time.

Speaking of ingredients, here’s a recipe from the manual that’s included in the Blitz2Go package. There’s a whole set of different recipes to try; this one is called the Antioxidants Overload.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 strawberries, hulled
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 70g red grapes
  • 125ml cranberry juice
  • 125ml pomegranate juice
  • 3 medium ice cubes

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, grapes, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice and ice cubes into the 600ml bottle; securely attach the removable blade holder to the bottle.
  2. Secure the bottle onto the motor base and press the ‘PULSE’ button for 15 seconds or until smooth.
  3. Unscrew the removable blade holder and attach the drinking lid on top of the bottle.

Surprisingly simple, right? And with spring in the air and summer only a few months away, this is the best time to get healthy and looking good for the sunny times ahead.

Check out any Bing Lee store or you can purchase the Blitz2Go online right now.

Have a great weekend!

The Healthy Way to Sit at Your Computer

With more people spending longer hours working at a computer terminal, the rate of strains and pains is on the rise. Ergonomics is the practice of arranging your workspace to develop a safe and comfortable work station. Avoid eye strain, neck pain and more, by simply setting up and using your computer in the healthiest, more ergonomic way possible.

Your Chair

Choose an adjustable chair which will enable you to sit at the optimal position for your physical attributes. To correctly position your chair, begin by pushing your hips as far back in the chair as possible. Adjust the height of your seat so that your feet are touching the ground with your knees equal to or slightly lower than hip level – use a footrest if necessary.

If your chair has armrests, these should enable you to position your arm with relaxed shoulders. Remove the armrests if they get your in your way.

Your Monitor

Place your monitor directly in front of where you are sitting, rather than off-centre, as this may cause shoulder and neck pain due to twisting posture. You monitor should be approximately an arm’s length away from the back of your chair in order to avoid eye strain, however if you work with a large monitor (20”+), you should sit even further back.

Position the top of your screen on level with your eyes by either slightly lowering your monitor or raising your chair. By ensuring your screen isn’t too low, you will avoid having to tilt your head forward, causing neck pain. Similarly, you can avoid neck and shoulder pain as well as headaches caused by glare from overhead lighting by ensuring that your monitor isn’t too high.

Your Keyboard

Position your keyboard directly in front your body, centring your keyboard at the section you use most frequently. The height of your keyboard should leave you with relaxed shoulders, elbows at an angle of around 100 – 110 degrees, with straight wrists and hands.

Use a wrist rest to help you maintain correct wrist alignment. However remember to only use it to rest your palms when not typing.

Breaks and Rest Pauses

Even with your workstation arranged ergonomically, you should still avoid remaining in a static position for prolonged periods, as this inhibits blood circulation. Take a minute or two for a quick stretch every 20 to 30 minutes, then after each hour of work, take a break away from the screen. As well as giving your body a rest, don’t forget to periodically rest your eyes by looking away from your monitor and refocusing them on something else at a distance.

Surprising Meals You Can Make in Your Microwave

Most households only ever use their microwave to reheat leftovers, but few know that they can use a microwave to prepare a scrumptious homemade meal? After all, anything that applies heat to food must be able to cook it. In fact, the short cooking times in a microwave destroy fewer nutrients than other methods. Here are a few dishes that are quick and easy to make using a microwave.

Appetizer: Bacon-wrapped Pineapple

[source: http://www.food.com/recipe/bacon-wrapped-pineapple-appetizers-microwave-72417%5D Start your meal off right with these tasty appetizers. You’ll need: • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks in juice, drained (reserve 3 tablespoons juice) • 2 tablespoons soy sauce • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger • 1 dash garlic powder • 6 slices bacon, each cut into thirds Directions: Combine the 3 tablespoons juice, soy sauce, ginger and garlic powder in small bowl. Marinade the pineapple chunks in this for 1- 2 hours then drain. Wrap a piece of bacon around each chunk and secure with toothpicks. Line microwave carousel with several layers of paper towel. Arrange around the outer edge of carousel with space between each one. Microwave until bacon is lightly browned (5 to 9 minutes).

Main Course: Enchilada Casserole

[source: http://www.food.com/recipe/enchilada-casserole-21410%5D A delicious centrepiece that will satisfy the most voracious appetites, you’ll need: • 5 -6 flour tortillas • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef or chicken • 1 package taco seasoning • Chopped onion • 1 can refried beans • 1 can enchilada sauce • Sliced black olives and jalapeno (optional) • 2 -2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese (Sharp or Mexican are good) • Cooking spray Directions: Brown the beef, with onions and jalapenos. Drain, add the Taco mix as directed. Spray a casserole-baking dish with oil spray. Add the flour tortillas in layers, laying them flat. Spread each tortilla with 1-2 tablespoons of beans. Distribute desired amount of meat mixture on beans. Spread beans and meat with 2-3 tablespoons of enchilada sauce. Add some olives and cheese. Continue to layer until desired amount of tortillas are used, stopping with beans, meat, sauce, and cheese. Heat until thoroughly hot in microwave.

Dessert: Cup Brownie

[source: http://www.squidoo.com/fiveminutebrownie%5D This one has been a favourite in internet circles for years. You’ll need: • 4 tablespoons flour • 4 tablespoons sugar • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa • Dash of salt • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil • 2 tablespoons water • 1/3 teaspoon vanilla • Small handful of chocolate chips (optional) Directions: Whisk together dry ingredients in a coffee mug, standard size (11 oz.) or larger. Add oil, water, and vanilla and mix thoroughly, making sure to scrape the bottom and sides. Mix in chocolate chips if desired. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. The finished product should be soft and chewy. So you see, your microwave can create delicious fare after all – and much healthier meals than a deep fryer!

Dyson Delivers Revolutionary Convenience

If you want an example of space-age technology being used in even the most mundane applications, you couldn’t do better than Dyson. Company founder James Dyson realised the limitations of conventional vacuum cleaners in 1978. After just a few minutes, the vacuum would rapidly lose suction power. That marked the beginning of a five year journey that would lead to the development of the world’s first cyclonic vacuum cleaner. The centrifugal force inside a Dyson vacuum can reach 100,000 G, or 100,000 times the force of Earth’s gravity. A later innovative development was the Dyson Air Multiplier, which allows air to be circulated inside the vacuum without the need for blades. Each and every year, Dyson improves its designs and looks for new ways to raise the quality of its products to never before seen levels. Ultimately, Dyson doesn’t manufacture products. It creates breakthroughs.

Revolutionary Products

In the span of less than a decade, Dyson changed the way the world looks at vacuum cleaners, fans, and washing machines. Designs that had been in use for well over a century were suddenly seen as inadequate and out-of-date and new designs came into existence that were truly revolutionary. Dyson continues to make use of brilliant researchers throughout the world to create solutions to problems that many weren’t even aware existed. Dyson is a symbol of a new age of technological innovation, a true brand of the future.

Promoting Cleaner, Healthier Homes

Dyson products are all about improving your quality of life. When you use Dyson products, you can enjoy a cleaner home, cleaner clothes, and even cleaner air. Allergy sufferers can finally find relief thanks to the innovative technologies introduced by Dyson. Since the introduction of bagless vacuum technology, vacuum manufacturers around the world have improved their designs to be functional, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient. Today, nearly every modern vacuum on the market utilises some variant of cyclone or air multiplication technology.

Comfort and Style

Dyson fans offer an attractive addition to any contemporary room and can provide cool, clean air without the noise associated with blade fans. All Dyson products are made with your comfort in mind. When you choose Dyson, you are choosing a cleaner, quieter environment that the whole family can enjoy.

Should I Buy a Dehumidifier?

The purpose behind a dehumidifier is relatively simple to understand. It lowers the air humidity by condensing and removing moisture from the air. While this might seem to be a rather unusual function to some, the effect this can have on our homes is great, especially during the warmer months. It’s quite common for people to get a dehumidifier purely for comfort reasons because humidity plays an important part in how we perceive the temperature. Since we are cooled by sweat evaporation, if the amount of moisture in the air is high, then that process slows down considerably or could stop entirely. Removing that moisture, then, gets our natural cooling systems working more effectively, reduces that “muggy” feeling, and makes a sweltering day far more bearable. There are some cases, however, where your home might need a dehumidifier. Too much humidity can cause all kinds of effects on just about anything in your home. Wood products (including the house itself) can warp, paints can peel and some metals can accumulate rust. If you see any of these things happening in your home, a dehumidifier may be a good investment simply for the upkeep of your belongings. Regulating the humidity level can also be necessary for health and hygiene reasons. Moulds and fungi generally thrive in high moisture environments and may prove a serious health concern if you or someone in your household is prone to allergies. Many pests prefer an environment with higher humidity – in particular, cockroaches, mosquitoes and spiders are all turned off by low moisture environments. With a dehumidifier you can prevent mould and fungi growing and unwanted visitors showing up in the first place. It’s worth saying, however, that having too little moisture in the air can also be problematic. As well as causing some materials to become brittle, low humidity can irritate the throat or cause dry skin. You should check for humidity-related problems before deciding whether you should purchase a dehumidifier, but being in control of the environment in your home will always be a substantial advantage.

Health Advantages of Steam Mops

With the proliferation of cleaning products and appliances available, knowing which one is the best for you and your family is certainly a challenge.  A major consideration for many of us is what repercussions our choice in cleaning products may have on our health.  One product that offers excellent cleaning results and health advantages is the steam mop. Steam mops use the power of steam to both clean and sterilise floor surfaces.  Steam mops can be used on timber, vinyl, marble, tiles and carpets, however consumer models are generally only suitable for hard floor surfaces. Although each make and model of steam mop is unique to each manufacturer, they all operate on the same principle, using steam jets passing through a microfibre pad that is contact with the floor.  The steam blasts dirt from the floor surface while the pads trap and lift it away. There are three main health advantages of steam mops: A Sterile Clean When water reaches boiling point, steam is created.  With its intense heat, steam is capable of destroying around 99% of bacteria and mould spores. Steam can effectively destroy germs even in hard to reach places, reaching more deeply into surfaces including tiny cracks most cleaners would miss. In contrast, other cleaners such as disinfectant liquids only clean the areas they come directly into contact with.   This means that a steam mop not only cleans but also sterilises, making your home a healthier germ-free living environment. A Chemical-Free Clean Most household disinfectant cleaners use harsh chemicals to kill germs.  Many of these products also contain toxins and carcinogens that can cause cumulative damage over the long term, as well as burns or illness in the short term, particularly for children who may accidently come into contact or ingest these chemicals. To use a steam mop, all you need to do is fill the reservoir with tap water and wait for the unit to heat.  No other soaps, chemicals or sanitizers are needed because the steam does the job of disinfecting. A Green Clean Many chemicals used in cleaning are washed down drains and seep into our water supplies and soil– all of which has harmful consequences for vegetation, wildlife and human beings.  The microfibre pads used by steam mops are long lasting and re-usable, reducing the amount of waste from chemical packaging and other disposable cleaning products that end up in landfill.  Therefore, by eliminating the need to use harsh chemicals, steam mops make for a healthier planet Earth. So if you are looking for a simple, cost-effective method for cleaning your home, improving your health and helping the environment, a steam mop is definitely one appliance you should consider buying.