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How to Have a Great Dining Experience the Budget-Friendly Way (From a Restaurant Insider)

Posted from http://www.lifehack.org/674185/how-to-have-a-great-dining-experience-the-budget-friendly-way?ref=rss

You know that you have total control over the ingredients, the preparation, and the portions when you’re preparing food at home. It’s the safest option. It’s healthier and cheaper than eating out too. However, sometimes you find yourself eating out due to necessity or just because you want a nice night out.

There are so many great restaurant options out there now that target very specific dietary requirements, from vegan to paleo. Once you’ve settled on a place that looks good, how do you get the best experience from the restaurant?

Along with working in fitness and nutrition, I’ve spent years working in restaurants, so I’ve seen a lot along the way. Let me share seven great tips to get the most out of your dining experience.

1. If you want a table for two, book a table for three

Every square foot in a restaurant means money. Tables of two can be stuck anywhere and tend to be pushed to the side or lumped all together. If you’re looking for a comfortable and more private night out for the two of you, reserve a table for three. It will get you a better location and more room.

2. Look for these first two indicators of a good restaurant

I’ve worked with secret dinners and one of the big ones on the list is the bathrooms. This will give you a good indication of not only the cleanliness of the place but the attention to detail. Washrooms should be spotless. If you see a messy and dirty bathroom, I can promise you the kitchen is in a similar condition. A dirty kitchen ends up serving dirty food.

The next indicator of a good place is the type of bread and butter, or free starters that come out. How often have you had a rock hard roll and frozen butter that tears it apart when you start to spread? I’m pretty sure the rest of the meal was nothing to write home about.

A good restaurant should serve warm, fresh and ideally baked in-house that day bread with soft spreadable butter. Bonus points if they serve butter with grain mustard or an assortment of oils and balsamic kinds of vinegar. This is a good sign that they take pride and care in the preparation of their food.

3. Look out for the decoy effect

If you’re a wine drinker, purely for the antioxidant benefits.., look out for what’s called the decoy effect. The decoy effect works like this: If there are two wines on the menu for $9 and $16 which would you choose? There’s honestly not a huge difference price wise and not a huge scale of reference. Now if you add a $47 wine into the mix most of the time people will go for the $16 one. The perceived value has changed and something you may not have bought because it seemed too high now appears as inexpensive and good value.

Wine lists will always have a few of these very expensive decoy wines at the top of the list to make the other ones appear cheaper. The trick is to have a few favorite wine and get familiar with the pricing and look for those ones whenever you dine out.

4. Have them make your own salad dressing

Any restaurant worth its salt should be making everything in-house including sauces and salad dressings. Even though they are made from scratch, many salad dressing can be high in fat and even sugar. If you’re in a chain restaurant, ditch them all together as you’re guaranteed to be getting a dose of trans fat *cough* Caesar salad *cough*.

Instead, ask them to make you a simple olive oil and red wine or balsamic vinegar dressing to come on the side. It’s the healthier option and you can control the amount you use.

5. Ask your server what they eat

I do this everywhere I go. After a while of working in a restaurant, all the dishes and items tend to just become products to the staff and they’re probably bored of most of them. If you want to find the best stuff on the menu, ask your server or hostess what they eat when they’re there. It’s a good way to find the really best stuff on the menu.

6. Avoid ice in your drinks

O.K time to get a little gross. Ice machines are not regularly cleaned, trust me, it’s a pain. This leads to a lot of bacteria growth that ends up in your drink. Six out of ten restaurants have been found to have more bacteria in the ice than in the toilet water.[1] This is because the toilets are more regularly cleaned than the ice machine. Even though it’s cold, bacteria still grows.

7. Avoid fruit in your drinks

I’m a very clean person and am aware of keeping my hands clean. But when I was a bartender, it was pretty impossible. Hands used to grab dirty glasses are then grabbing fruit that goes into your drink. A lot of the time, the fruit at the bar is never washed and is easily contaminated by whatever else the bartender has touched from dirty dishes and utensils to the rims of glasses other people have drunk out of.

Just to concern you further on this fruit issue The Journal Of Environmental Health took samples of lemon slices from 21 different restaurants and found 70% of the samples to contain twenty-five different microbial contents.[2]

Everyone loves a good meal out and it’s always a great eye opener to see what real chefs can come up with using simple ingredients. I’m sure you’ve had good restaurant experiences and plenty of bad ones too. Hopefully with some of these tips, you’ll be able to set yourself up for some more good ones.

Just don’t forget to check the bathrooms…

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

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The post How to Have a Great Dining Experience the Budget-Friendly Way (From a Restaurant Insider) appeared first on Lifehack.


By |February 20th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

You're Thinking About Sales All Wrong

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/2I7uejhJsnE/309106

Selling is impossible if you don't understand the value you bring to the table.


By |February 20th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

How to Hack Your Brain and Reprogram Your Habits (Like a Computer)

Posted from http://www.lifehack.org/673096/how-to-hack-your-brain-and-reprogram-your-habits-like-a-computer?ref=rss

Do you struggle with overcoming bad habits? Do you find it difficult to stick with an exercise routine and constantly find yourself back where you started? If so, what would you think if I told you that you could reprogram your bad habits similar to how a computer programmer programs code? Sounds crazy right? Yet, it’s not.

Similar to programming computer code, it is possible to reprogram deeply ingrained habits. Computer coding is a perfect metaphor for writing, hacking, or reprogramming our own instructions. We see this when we compare computer coding to habit formation. Think of trying to break bad habits and form new positive habits. Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit remarked,

What we know from lab studies is that it’s never too late to break a habit. Habits are malleable throughout your entire life. But we also know that the best way to change a habit is to understand its structure – that once you tell people about the cue and the reward and you force them to recognize what those factors are in a behavior, it becomes much, much easier to change.

So what exactly is computer coding, habit formation, and how can we reprogram our deeply ingrained habits?

What is Coding?

Coding is a finished set of instructions known as a program. We must write a code in a specific way for the program to work. In essence, we must write code in a language for which a computer can understand it. Many different computer languages exist, such as: HTML5, CSS, C, C++, Python, and JavaScript.

Think of our life as a finished set of instructions. In order to reprogram it, we must write our own code in a way that will change our bad habits. Essentially, we must find a reward system our mind and body can latch on to.

Vomputer code is similar to human DNA and it operates exactly like the code in computer software. Juan Enriquez informs us,[1]

Sequencing DNA decodes its programmatic intentions through its relationship to a combination of four letters of our alphabet: A, C, T, and G.

DNA is a self-replicating material present in all living life-forms and carries our genetic information. Tom Bunzel demonstrates the similarities in his book DNA is Software, Who “Wrote” the Code?  by placing a sequenced genetic code side by side with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), which is the code for a web page.

Coding as a Metaphor for Writing Instructions for Life

My intent here is not to ask who or what wrote our life code (or even how it is done). My intent is to demonstrate that computer programming language (code) is a metaphor for life. The computer program is our life, where the computer code is our habits.

We can change our habits and switch genes off and on through epigenetics. We know that contemporary geneticists are able to switch genes on and off using DNA internal software. Essentially, they are copying and pasting code.[2]

Moreover, coding is writing instructions for computers, where a finished set of instructions is a computer program. Life is no different. Just as coding is writing instructions for a computer, our daily actions and habits are writing instructions for life. Learning to code will create a better computer program, so why not learn your code to build a better you?

Coding (Habit Breaking) Instructions

Charles Duhigg writes that every habit starts with a psychological pattern called a “habit loop” which is a three-part process.[3]

First, we find the cue or trigger informing our brain to go into automatic mode. Second, we identify the routine, which is the behavior itself. Third, we identify the reward, which is the thing that makes our brain remember the “habit loop” in the future.

Let’s examine how Duhigg used the “habit loop” to break his habit of going to the cafeteria and buying a chocolate chip cookie every afternoon.

Step 1: Identify the routine

Similar to understanding the structure and components of computer code, Duhigg writes that we must first understand the components of our loop.

Step 2: Experiment with rewards

We use specific inputs when we code, so why not change the inputs to see if we get a different output. Similarly, Duhigg experimented with his reward by adjusting his routine to see if it would deliver a different type of reward. For example, instead of walking to the cafeteria, he walked around the block.

Step 3: Isolate the cue

Duhigg says that we can ask ourselves (and record our answers) five things the moment an urge hits us in order to diagnose our habit. These questions are key to hacking our code (habits).

  1. Where are you?
  2. What time is it?
  3. What’s your emotional state?
  4. Who else is around?
  5. What action preceded the urge?

Step 4: Have a plan

Duhigg found once we figure out our “habit loop” we can shift our behavior. This is similar to rewriting code.

“Put another way, a habit is a formula our brain automatically follows: When I see CUE, I will do ROUTINE in order to get a REWARD.” – Charles Duhigg

Following Duhigg’s advice, we can reprogram or hack our code (habits) by actively making choices. We do this by making plans and a great strategy for this is through implementation intentions.

If-Then Strategy

An “If-Then” strategy is no different than computer language. IF you write a code, THEN you will get an output.

This is where the computer coding // human life metaphor makes the most sense to me. For example, let’s first imagine we are born as a blank smartphone.

Now let’s visualize two different outputs for a sprite or image on our phone (representing us). This image represents two possibilities for our future life. We can become a healthy and fit person or we can become an overweight and depressed person.

We must learn to code or write instructions in order to become the healthy and fit person. Essentially, we must learn to reprogram (or code) our life.

We can write instructions for our finished program (our life). I have identified specific instructions coded for my life in the image below. These instructions can also be imagined as habits.

Let’s examine some of the larger blocks of code I have built (where the output has created a healthy and fit person): morning routine, exercise, nutrition, water, knowledge, education, family, spirituality, and employment.

Essentially, IF we following a morning routine, we can THEN jump start a healthy morning workout.

IF we exercise, hydrate and eat right, we can THEN look and feel better.

IF we strive to improve our knowledge and experience a close relationship with our family, THEN we can live a happy and healthy life.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

Reference

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The post How to Hack Your Brain and Reprogram Your Habits (Like a Computer) appeared first on Lifehack.


By |February 20th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

7 Strategies You Can Use to Improve Your Memory

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/p3qzGz_Z2bM/309083

Want to remember more of what's important? Use these strategies to improve your memory.


By |February 20th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

Daymond John's Rise and Grind Habits for a Successful Business and Life

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/tc7G-3uylh8/308779

The Shark investor shares his success secrets.


By |February 19th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

8 Quotes on Motivation, Hard Work and More from Basketball Legend Michael Jordan

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/MpiWuD5N6eU/308941

For his birthday, check out these inspirational 'Air Jordan' quotes.


By |February 17th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

How 2 Friends Quit Their Jobs and Pursued Their Dreams of Purple Ice Cream That Gets Thousands of Likes on Instagram

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/Y-r2kOUhVxs/309177

The founders of Soft Swerve in New York City discuss the creation of their signature product and how they keep customers coming back for more.


By |February 17th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

Hip Hop Legend Damon Dash Explains How His Street Mentality Catapulted Him to the Top

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/xmeWYDptgUs/308982

Dash is best known for co-founding Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z and Kareem "Biggs" Burke.


By |February 17th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

Get $3 when you sign up for Swagbucks during February

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/mrsjanuary/~3/NnIFR6HC5F8/

Looking to boost your budget in February?

All throughout this month you can earn big bonuses at Swagbucks, the rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you’re probably doing online already, like searching, watching videos, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Walmart, Target, or PayPal cash.

As a bonus, when you sign up through me this month, you can earn a $3 bonus! Here’s how:

1. Sign up using this link

2. Earn 300 SB total before March. You’ll get a $3 (300 SB) bonus for it!

3. That’s it. It’s super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I’ve earned THOUSANDS in rewards!

The post Get $3 when you sign up for Swagbucks during February appeared first on Coupons & Deals, Frugal Living.


By |February 16th, 2018|blog|0 Comments

Marvel's 'Black Panther' Is More Than a Movie, It's a Model for Mentorship

Posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/entrepreneur/latest/~3/sDQbD7k_MiA/309170

Look to Ryan Coogler and company's example when creating opportunity at work.


By |February 16th, 2018|blog|0 Comments