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Why You Need Top Potassium Supplements for Keto Diets

When people do not feed on the right meals, they end up having lots of deficiencies. While there are lots of deficiencies that people can be affected by based on how they feed, some deficiencies affect people that seem to feed right. One of these deficiencies is potassium deficiency.

Sticking to a keto diet can go a long way in keeping you healthy. It, however, cannot keep you free from potassium deficiency. The implication of this is even with the right keto diet, you will need potassium supplements. 

That being said, below are some potassium supplements for the keto diet.

Nature Made Potassium Gluconate

This potassium brand has been around for a couple of decades. Also, it can be spotted very easily because of the yellow label that it is known with. Nature Made Potassium Gluconate is a potassium supplement that has the approval of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). This means it can always be trusted. If you take diets that are low in carb, it becomes very vital that you make potassium supplements a part of your meal. While you can always get a good amount of potassium from foods like kale, bananas, and spinach that are rich in potassium, you can never go wrong by taking potassium supplements.

If you constantly take trusted potassium supplements such as Nature Made Potassium Gluconate, you will be keeping your body safe from health issues that are associated with keto diets, as well as diets that are low in carb. In the absence of the right amount of potassium in your meals, you will always have to deal with muscle cramps. This is in addition to the fact that you will constantly feel weak and irritable. In addition to all this, you might have to deal with lots of skin issues.

 

To get the best from the use of Nature Made Potassium Gluconate, you must make use of a single tablet of this potassium supplement every day. If for any reason you think you need to take more than one tablet of this supplement daily, you will first have to consult your doctor.

While making use of Nature Made Potassium Gluconate, you do not have to worry about taking in something that is not natural as this supplement does not contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Furthermore, it is free of starch, yeast, and gluten.

Solaray Potassium Supplement

When sticking to a keto diet, there are lots of potassium supplements you can take. One of them is Solaray Potassium Supplement. While it is not the most popular potassium supplement brand in the market, Solaray Potassium Supplement has been in the market longer than a lot of potassium supplement brands that are on this list.

If you made the consumption of keto diets a part of your lifestyle, you can depend on Solaray Potassium Supplements to get all your body’s potassium needs. While making use of this potassium supplements, you do not need to stay away from foods like avocado, banana, and kale that have a reputation for being rich in potassium.

Although there are lots of potassium supplements in the market, you can always trust Solaray Potassium Supplement to give your body its potassium needs because it has the approval of the United States Pharmacopeia. That’s not all. This potassium supplement does not contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives. In addition to all these, this product is certified as gluten-free. It is not just labeled as a gluten-free product, it goes through a series of tests before being declared free from gluten.

To get the best from the use of Solaray Potassium Supplements, you have to take one tablet of this supplement once every day. This should be taken alongside a glass of water as this will go a long way in helping the body absorb the Solaray Potassium Supplement capsule easily.

NOW Potassium Citrate

You can always depend on NOW Potassium Citrate for your body’s potassium needs when you are on a keto diet or a diet that is low in carb. This potassium supplement is one of the best in the market and has been in existence for about four decades. By taking this potassium supplement, you can stay free from muscle cramps, irritability, skin diseases, and other health conditions that are associated with a low level of potassium in the body.

By taking a single tablet of NOW Potassium Citrate, you can have access to 99mg of potassium. Ideally, you are supposed to take just one tablet of this potassium supplement daily. If for any reason, you want to take more than one tablet of this potassium supplement, it is vital that you obtain permission from your doctor before going on with this.

NOW Potassium Citrate has the approval of the National Products Association. Due to this, you can be sure that it adheres to all health and safety standards that standard drugs have to adhere to. Furthermore, it is covered with gelatin. This implies that taking it will be quite easy as you do not have to deal with any funny taste in your mouth while swallowing it. That’s not all. This potassium supplement does not contain dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts, and soy.

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Reviews

Best Tasting Meal Replacement Shakes Purchase Guide

Meal replacement shakes might be great for people that are looking to drop some weight. They, however, are not popular among certain people because they have a reputation of not being very tasty. While meal replacement shakes were not known to be tasty before now, at the moment, various meal replacement shake brands are very tasty. This means, if you have been avoiding meal replacement shakes because they were not so tasty, you can always enjoy them now.

Are you looking to buy some of the best tasting meal replacement shakes? If yes, below are some meal replacement shakes with great tastes.

MET-Rx

While the fact that MET-Rx comes in just two flavors might make certain people think it is not good enough for them, Extreme Chocolate and Original Vanilla, the flavors that NET-Rx comes in are known to be very creamy and delicious. Although this meal replacement shake’s strongest point is its taste, it has other strong points. It is low in fat, free from gluten, and free from aspartame.

Furthermore, MET-Rx contains 25 essential vitamins, as well as 90% of all the calcium that the body needs. In addition to these, it contains 36 grams of protein in each serving. The implication of this is this meal replacement shake can always help you stay full even without eating a real meal and also recover easily from workout sessions. While the amount of protein contained in this meal replacement shake has a role in making it filling, there is more to its ability to keep you full. Contained in each serving of MET-Rx are 250 calories which are the major reason you have to feel full after taking this meal replacement shake.

Garden of Life

protein shake

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Garden of Life can always be enjoyed in four flavors. These flavors are Lightly Sweet, Vanilla Chai, Vanilla, and Chocolate. This means you can never get tired of taking this meal replacement shake as there will always be something for you to switch to when you get tired of a certain flavor. While the fact that this meal replacement shake has a nice flavor is a good enough reason to purchase it regularly, there are other reasons you might want to purchase this meal replacement shake. 

One of these reasons is Garden of Life can help you develop lean muscles. It is a great post-workout drink. In addition to helping in the development of lean muscles, Garden of life can also help shoot up the body’s energy levels. This, therefore, makes it a replacement shake that can be taken before a workout session.

Contained in Garden of life are lots of probiotics that can help keep your guts healthy. In addition to the presence of probiotics that ensure easy digestion, this meal replacement shake also contains six grams of fiber which help with digestion. Although Garden of life has a great taste, it might not be the best meal replacement shake for people with large appetites as it contains just 115 calories.

Ample Meal

Ample meal shake is not just famous for being very nutritious, it is also delicious. Its creamy taste is a blend of cinnamon and vanilla. Ample meal shake is not just considered one of the best-tasting meal replacement shakes because people think it has a good taste, the firm in charge of producing it offers a quality and full taste guarantee. This goes a long way to tell how tasty it is.

To enjoy the amazing taste of Ample meal, you do not need to do much. You simply need to add cold milk or cold water to this product as it comes in powder form. Once cold water or cold milk is added to this shake, it becomes fit for consumption. Although Ample meal is not the only meal replacement shake that has an amazing taste, there is a likelihood that it is the best-tasting meal replacement shake available in the market.

Beyond the taste you get to enjoy when you consume Ample meal, you can also be certain that you are consuming a meal replacement shake that is made of natural ingredients. In addition to being free from artificial ingredients, Ample meal does not contain soy, gluten, artificial flavors, BPA, and artificial sweeteners.

So, if you are looking for a great tasting meal replacement shake or a  meal replacement shake that is filled with healthy ingredients, you can always resort to buying Ample meal.

Huel

green milkshake

Pic Credit: Pixabay

While Huel features just vanilla flavor, you can decide to purchase a version that does not come with any flavor. Huel does not only have a great taste. It is also vegan. It is a perfect blend of oats, sunflower seeds, coconut, flaxseed, and pea and rice protein. Although a meal replacement shake, Huel is made from real food

To get the best out of Huel, you simply need to mix it with cold water and you will be able to enjoy its amazing taste.

Iconic

Due to the fact that Iconic is made from absolutely natural ingredients, a lot of people do not expect it to be on this list. Regardless of its ingredients, Iconic is one of the most delicious meal replacement shakes available in the market. This meal replacement shake has up to five flavors. These flavors are Coconut Matcha, Golden Milk, Chocolate Truffle, Café Aulait, and Vanilla Bean. This means there will always be a flavor that suits you regardless of what your preferences are. You do not have to stick to any flavor because it is sweet, all flavors that come with this meal replacement shake have just the right amount of sweetness.

You can always have access to 20grams of protein from every serving of Iconic you consume. Furthermore, if you are into keto or paleo diets, this meal replacement shake is ideal for you. Iconic is free from gluten, soy, lactose, and artificial ingredients. 

Although Iconic has a great taste, it contains 130 calories per serving which means it is not very filing. You can, however, get the best from it by taking it alongside a healthy snack.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Reviews

How to Find the Best Tennis Racquet for Kids to Buy

Few sports can be as instrumental in child development as the game of tennis. From fine motor coordination to cardiovascular fitness, tennis helps develop a slew of characteristics.

But kids’ tennis is different from the adult sport and finding the right tennis racquet is one of its most puzzling aspects.

Why Can’t Kids Just Use Adult Tennis Racquets?

child playing tennis

Pic Credit: Pixabay

There was a time when kids didn’t get any special treatment in the game of tennis. Kids would have to practice and play on the same courts that adult tennis players used. And they would not have the option of using special gear, such as custom tennis balls and racquets.

Fortunately, things haven’t stayed this way for long. Today, kids tennis is a sport in itself. And there’s no shortage of custom gear available for children of all ages, including tennis racquets for kids. The reasoning is simple: kids are smaller than adults and their gear must account for this.

Benefits of Picking a Tennis Racquet for Kids

It pays to ensure that your child gets to practice and play with a tennis racquet for kids:

  • Less injuries Using the gear that doesn’t fit is perhaps the easiest way to end up with injuries in virtually any sport. And kids tennis doesn’t make for an exception. In fact, kids are even more susceptible to certain types of injuries than adults, since their skeleton hasn’t fully developed.
  • More comfort The feeling of psychological comfort is essential to being productive in training and performing well on the court. And being able to practice and play with the gear that fits is an important part of it. This holds true for almost every kind of sport, including kids tennis.
  • Better results Both motor development and skill acquisition happen much faster if the gear matches the child’s unique anthropometric characteristics. This in turn yields better results during training and performance, helping your child make better progress in tennis.
  • Higher consistency Seeing how your efforts bring about successful results is one of the most effective motivating factors. As your child becomes better at tennis a lot faster with the right gear, his or her motivation will rise. This will help solidify your child’s interest in the sport.

Clearly, there’s a lot to gain from simply picking the right tennis racquet for your kid but doing so can be a balancing act.

Tennis Racquet for Kids: Finding the Perfect Length

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has a set of guidelines based on the age of your child:

  • Up to 8 years old Tennis racquets of up to 23 inches in length are the best fit for this age.
    child playing tennis

    Pic Credit: Pixabay

    Along with using the red felt or foam ball, a 36′ x 18′ court, and a 2′ 9” high net.

  • 9 to 10 years old Kids of this age do well with the tennis racquets ranging between 23 and 25 inches in length. They can also play with the orange ball, on 60′ x 21′ singles and 60′ x 27′ doubles. And with the net height of 3′ center and 3′ 6” at net posts.
  • 11 years old and up Tennis racquets that range between 25 and 27 inches are a good match for this age. Besides this, kids in this age group can use the green ball. And play on 78′ x 27′ singles and 78′ x 36′ doubles. Utilizing the net height of 3′ center and 3′ 6” at net posts too.

The tennis racquet length is not the only factor worth considering, though. Grip size matters too.

Kids Tennis Racquet: Selecting the Best Grip Size

Grip size refers to the circumference of the racquet’s handle. Nearly all tennis racquets for junior tennis players come with the grip size of 4 inches. And this standard grip size works well for most kids.

If in doubt, though, it’s best to err on the side of a smaller grip size. Downsizing the grip size can be a challenge. Building it up, however, is as easy as applying grip tape on the racquet. The best strategy is to try several racquets to pick the one with the most comfortable grip for your kid.

Get Picky About Tennis Racquets for Your Kid

Having a good feel of the racquet is one way to nail it on the court. We hope our guide will help you find the racquet that will let your kid enjoy just that.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Reviews

Helping Your Child Make New Friends

kids reading

Pic Credit: Pixabay

While lots of children are very outgoing and sociable, many other children find the social aspect of school quite challenging. Lots of kids prefer to spend time alone, reading or playing video games. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, but social interactions are also an important part of your child’s development. Parents can help their children develop various social skills and encourage them to make new friends, as explored below by a junior school in the Cotswolds.

Start by teaching your youngsters a multitude of conversation starters to help get them out of awkward silences when they meet someone new at school. Beginning a conversation with certain people can be tough no matter what age you are, so teaching your kids some useful prompts will really help get them out of sticky situations and make new friends. Some examples of conversation starters are:

  • “What’s your favourite film/tv show?” 
  • “Do you play any sports/musical instruments?”
  • “I like your t-shirt/dress”

You should always be a good role model to your child when it comes to helping them learn different skills and behaviours. For instance, if you want them to be kind and considerate to others, then you must always be kind and considerate to others as well. You are your child’s biggest influence and they will often mimic your behaviour. Demonstrate confidence, curiosity and excellent manners when talking to people so that your child can learn appropriate ways to converse.

Try and encourage your child to interact with others as much as possible from a young age. Suggest some extra-curricular clubs your child could join and let them invite some of their classmates round for a playdate. It’s important for children to get to know one another in a familiar setting where they feel comfortable and at ease. 

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Reviews

Why Choosing a Cheap Dentist in Battersea may not be the Best Idea

When looking for a new dentist in Battersea, do you choose the cheaper dentist or the best dentist to look after the oral health of you and your family? Well, the choice is yours, but remember that going for the cheaper option may not be in your best interests in the long run. Especially when it comes to the health care of your loved ones.
child at dentist

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Good quality dental care in the Battersea area is pretty much assured by most qualified dental practices in the region. However, due to many dentist being put under even more pressure to meet the demands of a busy dental surgery practice, and to accommodate as many patients and they can every day to reduce waiting lists, sometimes you may be worried that they will perform dental procedures faster than they normally should.

Obviously, dentists will never want to compromise a patients dental health, but when they feel they have to rush treatments to catch up with their tightly scheduled appointments, you do wonder if they have taken enough time and care to make sure treatments are absolutely perfect. This can mean a patient going away after having a filling done for example, but still feeling that there are rough edges that haven’t been properly smoothed down. This may even cause some tongue or inner cheek soreness or irritation that would need a further appointment with the dentist to have remedied. Not good for an already busy dental practice to have to book in, and not good for your purse or wallet either!

 

Choosing the best dentists

Having high quality dental procedures done properly do take time. Quite often a dental practice will allocate you a one-hour slot with your dentist for a treatment that would normally only take one hour to complete. However, we all know that things may not go as smoothly to plan as you want. What if the patient has some anxiety issues? They may need to stop for regular breaks that can extend their one-hour session by 30 minutes or more. This means that everyone else following that patient will have their appointments delayed by at least 30 minutes unless the dentist manages to catch up some time by cutting other appointments a little short.

Ideally you will want to book your important dental procedures with a dentist that will allow a bit of extra time. This means they will be a bit more flexible and will have the time available to dedicate to giving you a complete and thorough treatment that is finished off perfectly with no rushing involved. Sounds good yes, but this will obviously come at a price. You may have to pay a little bit more to have a service like this, but doing this will not only give you a much better quality of treatment, it can also save you time, money and distress by not having to return again at a later date to have something corrected or repaired.

It is not only the time factor that is important when choosing a dentist in Battersea. There are other consideration to take on board that will make it worth your while going with a better dentist rather than a cheap one. These factors include:

  • Using state-of-the art dental equipment with the latest advances in treatments
  • Having highly trained dental assistants that receive regular updated training
  • Awards and accolades from the dental community and dental associations
  • Years of experience as well as up-to-date training in modern dentistry methods
  • Good reputation in the community with loyal, regular patients
  • Good social profile of the dental surgery with positive feedback from patients

So in conclusion, it is wise not to go with the cheapest dentist option in Battersea. Do some background research and choose the one that offers their patients the best all-round service, regardless of the price. You could actually save money and receive a much better service in the long run.

Mamma Reviews

What Age Can My Child Walk to School Alone?

The first time your child walks to school alone is a daunting experience, both for them and for their parents. Although there is no legal minimum age, it’s up to parents to use their best judgement regarding an appropriate time for children to start walking alone. There are lots of factors to consider, as explored by a private school in Hertfordshire below.

There are obviously lots of benefits for children who walk to and from school; they get plenty of fresh air and exercise and it can encourage independence and confidence. What’s more, it frees up parents’ time so that they can get off to work without being late or negotiating different hours. However, there are also some safety concerns, which what sparks the debate regarding an appropriate age. 

You need to start by thinking about how mature your child is. Do they understand the rules of the road and are they aware of ‘stranger danger’? Every child is different and while one might be extremely mature at the age of 10, another might be quite childish and silly, in which case it might not be the right time for them. 

Does your child have a mobile phone? Using GPS technology, you could keep track of your child via their mobile phone so that you can check they made it to and from school safely. Having a mobile phone will also make it easier for your child to get in touch with you or another responsible adult, should there be any problems on their commute. 

Another thing to think about is the commute itself. Do lots of other parents and children take the same route to the school every day or is it a completely secluded trip? Are there any dark alleyways or are the roads well-lit and well-paved? If you don’t like the thought of your child walking this route alone then it’s probably not the best idea; trust your gut as a parent. 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Reviews

Early signs of deterioration in children

Around 5,000 children under the age of 18 die each year in the UK, which makes for a sobering statistic indeed. Many of these deaths could likely have been prevented if healthcare professionals had spotted a deterioration in health more quickly.

Many children who pass away in hospital have often shown observable signs of increased illness in the hours, days and weeks before hospital admission.

One report carried out recently showed that around 1 in 5 children who die in hospital have avoidable factors leading to death and up to half of children have potentially avoidable factors. Other studies have examined the signs (physiological and behavioural) of deterioration that may be present in the period preceding a cardiopulmonary arrest and the fact that these features are often not recognised or acted on quickly enough by hospital staff.

Sadly, due to rising rates of conditions like asthma, diabetes and other chronic health problems in children, cardiac arrest due to complications is more likely than ever before. This is perhaps particularly the case when hospital resources are stretched and nurses may not have time to notice a child’s health deteriorating. There is also much more reliance on technology these days, giving less opportunity for healthcare providers to have a ‘gut feeling’ about a child. After all, sometimes things just don’t seem right.

Unfortunately again, although the percentage of paediatric cardiopulmonary arrests in children who are inpatients admission is said to be low, the chances of survival are worryingly poor. This is what makes spotting a child’s deteriorating health and treating them quickly so vitally important, especially as complications can result from conditions usually considered minor.

Can you confidently spot when a child’s health is deteriorating?

If you regularly work with sick children suffering any form of chronic or life-limiting condition, then spotting the warning signs can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Our scheduled CDP course – The Deteriorating Child – is ideal for clinicians at all levels who carry out assessments and manage paediatric patients in emergency, acute, urgent and primary care settings. It offers the chance to boost your skills, find out more about the latest NICE guidelines and meet others in your profession.

There are two dates available, one on the 4th December 2019 and another on 12th June 2020.  It’s a one-day course worth 7 hours of CPD, and is held at Hamilton House in London. Refreshments, all course equipment, evaluations and certificates are provided but this popular course can book up fast so it’s well worth securing your place early.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post
Mamma Reviews

Omega-3 and Vitamin D to Boost your Child’s Brain and Immunity!

Children need Omega 3 for every stage of their development. It boosts their brains, strengthens their immune systems and lifts their mood. It is also claimed to improve behaviour, reduce anxiety and helps to improve language. Sounds too good to be true – yet scientific research continues to show impressive results. We first began using Eskimo in 2015 and have used them almost every day since. I firmly believe that giving them the best start in this respect is critical and will stand to them long term. Kids are busy, between school, activities, play dates etc. We want them to preform to the best of their abilities and I really do feel that supplementing is a viable alternative. I simply couldn’t get the quantity of fish into the boys that I would like so for me the best alternative was a high quality fish supplement. I have done my research, I have spoken to other mothers online and in person and the brand that was mentioned most was Eskimo 3.

Brain Food for Kids

Eskimo 3 kids

Ready for the day, Omegas for adults and kids. Plus our sun-cream another essential component.

Omega-3s are important for every cell in the body, but for children, most of the research has focused on their role in promoting healthy brain development. Omega-3 fatty acids are the most critical building blocks of the brain – they are considered essential and must be obtained through diet or supplementation. Without these important fats, it can become difficult for children to concentrate, learn new information, and balance their moods properly.  DHA in particular is recognised as essential for normal brain function. It helps to improve membrane fluidity, which means that nerve impulses, or messages, are transmitted more effectively.   In animals, low brain DHA results in changes in behaviour and is associated with learning problems and memory deficits. In humans, studies indicate that DHA supports normal IQ and preserves learning and memory. Perhaps its the accountant in me but I like to do my research, I do read up on things to make sure I am making informed decisions. Lets face it, its our kids future I feel like I owe it to them to give them the best start in life I can. Having spoken with the lovely people at Eskimo 3, my attention was drawn to some important research which is summarised below.

A review of 7 different studies which reported on the results of DHA supplementation on school performance, found that 5 of the studies showed DHA improved school performance, including learning ability, reading and spelling.(1)  In a 2012 study (Richardson et al) found that Omega 3 DHA had a profound improvement in reading age, concentration and learning ability in children. Lower levels of DHA were attributed to poorer reading and impaired performance.(2)

One 2013 study by the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine looked at how boys responded to Omega-3 DHA. Omega-3 DHA is as important to our brains, as calcium is to our bones. It accounts for 97 percent of the omega-3 fats in the brain. In the study, (McNamara RK et al) showed that subjects who consumed less DHA had slower reaction times and exhibited lower levels of concentration compared with subjects who consumed more DHA.3  

Early omega-3 exposure may reduce incidence of children’s allergies

A recent 2017 article reported that eating oily fish or fish oil supplementation in pregnancy may be a strategy to prevent infant and childhood allergic disease, whilst a study in infants from birth to 6 months found that omega-3s were able to modify markers of immunity and potentially be protective against allergies.(4,5)  In addition, Bisgaard et al. reported a significantly reduced incidence of persistent wheeze or asthma at ages 3 to 5 years in children whose mothers took fish oil during pregnancy.(6)

All of this indicates that consumption of omega-3 during pregnancy by the mothers or intake of omega-3 in infancy may well be able to help reduce the incidence of allergic diseases, including asthma.

How much is required?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) state that you need 250mg DHA daily to support healthy brain function. Eating oily fish twice a week (think SMASH – salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring) will provide a healthy dose of omega-3 EPA/DHA.  Since it is almost impossible to get children to eat enough fish to meet the requirements, it’s smart to supplement their diet with a premium Omega-3 supplement such as Eskimo-3 Kids. If I get one fish meal a week with cleaned plates its pretty close to a miracle here. 

Vitamin D for Bones and Immunity

Vitamin D, the “sunshine vitamin”, is well known for its role in building strong bones and teeth. It’s not just about bones though. Vitamin D is needed for a healthy immune system – helping the body to fight off infections, making it a very important supplement during back to school time. The Irish Osteoporosis Society has called on parents to keep vitamin D intake top of mind. Some 88% of primary school children in Ireland have been reported to have vitamin D intakes below the recommended amount. Kids who do not get sufficient calcium and vitamin D are at increased risk for rickets (softening and weakening of bones in children, poor growth).

 

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Mamma Reviews

The journey of a fair trade coffee bean

coffee cup

Pic Credit: Pixabay

I work full time as an Accountant, have two young kids so  life is hectic to say the least, coffee is my thing.  Its not so much that I need it (although I probably do) its my five minutes of sanctuary, its the chat in the kitchen in work. I just love it.   Recent figures revealed by the British Coffee Association (BSA) paint shows coffee consumption increasing from 70 millions cups a day in 2008 to 95 million cups a day in 2018.  Obviously coffee beans don’t grow locally in Ireland or UK, and it took a lot of manpower to get you your morning pick-me-up!

And, if you’re a fan of drinking fair trade coffee, that journey is all the more wonderful and varied. You see, the journey of a coffee bean depends on which farm it came from, the grower of the bean, and how it was processed.

Obviously, a large-scale coffee plantation will operate a lot differently from a simple (and much smaller) fair trade coffee farm. Sure, you know about the ethics surrounding fair trade coffee, the issues of pay and the treatment of workers, but it goes far beyond that. The number of workers, the use of waste water, the difference in fair trade coffee production can’t be understated. The process is more eco-friendly and more worker friendly!

As an example, CIPAC’s fair trade honey and coffee co-operative in Guatemala has in excess of 140 members working for them. It may be a remote area, but it’s a fantastic area to grow coffee all the same.  Numerous farmers here are performing a trade inherited from many family generations. There’s lots for CIPAC’s farmers to do before the beans are ready to be made into the delicious coffee we know and love. So what exactly happens on the journey from bush to mug? Let’s follow some of CIPAC’s fair trade coffee growers to find out…

Harvesting coffee beans

coffee cup with beans

Pic Credit: Pixabay

Winter is typically coffee-harvesting season for many farmers. On family-owned farms, the whole family might get involved. Coffee ripens at a slightly different time within this period, depending on the climate, the altitude, the type of soil and the variety of coffee. Some farmers even live in areas with their own microclimate, which means the coffee they produce has its own particular and quality flavour!

Throughout the season, the same coffee plant can be harvested up to two or three times over. This is because only the ripe cherries are hand-plucked from the bush to guarantee a high quality coffee. On large coffee farms, the harvesters must travel up steep hills and down into valleys to collect the cherries in a basket — which can be exhausting.

The de-pulping process

Once the coffee has been harvested, it is moved on to the farmers. This involves the harvesters often having to travel up and down hills and across rickety bridges to reach the end destination, where the cherries are de-pulped within 24 hours. While large-scale plantations use heavy machinery to quickly take off the coffee-cherry skins, farmers at CIPAC either use a small electric de-pulping machine (where the cherries are poured in the top and emerge de-pulped from the bottom) or their own energy. The coffee beans are closely inspected as they’re poured into the machine, and any beans that don’t look quite ripe enough or are too ripe are taken out.

 

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What is Lock Bumping

Security is one of the most vital elements of any office or other business location. It’s critical for businesses to be able to deter theft and vandalism, which can have a devastating impact on their bottom line. That’s why ensuring that your locks are safe and secure should always be a top priority.   One of the first things you should do when protecting your business is to contact a reputable key and lock service. Every area of your business needs to be secure; from the front door, to the offices inside the building itself.     For many, security is a greater concern than ever before, especially since thieves and vandals are employing ever more sophisticated breaking-and-entering tactics. One of the more well-known ways that trespassers get onto private property is through the practice of lock bumping. This article will seek to inform you as to what lock bumping is, and what steps a good home or office locksmith can take to avoid it.

How Do Locks Work?

Before we can explain exactly what lock bumping is, we’ll need to discuss how exactly locks work. Of course, not all locks are the same, and some are much more secure than others. Most standard locks utilize the pin tumbler mechanism; an ancient, and very simple way of keeping locks locked without the proper key.  The lock itself is surrounded by a casing of steel or some other strong metal; inside of the casing is what is known as a plug. On one end of the key is a keyway, where the key is inserted into the plug. The plug itself has a number of holes in it (usually five or six) and inside of these holes there are key pins. The key pins are round bits of metal of various lengths; the different lengths means that they will not align without the proper key.    When the correct key is inserted, the pins will line up, pushing another set of spring-loaded pins known as driver pins upward. Once the key pins and driver pins are aligned and pushed upward by the correct key, they will no longer prevent the plug from rotating.     As you turn your key, the plug turns with it, retracting the bolt and unlocking your door. This method is used on most locks in homes or offices and is effective, safe, and secure. However, many pin tumbler locks are vulnerable to a tactic known as lock bumping.

How Lock Bumping Works

Lock bumping is one of several ways to gain access to a pin tumbler lock. Unlike other methods of lock picking, it doesn’t require much in the way of special equipment. However, lock bumpers do require a special type of key to gain access to pin tumbler locks; specifically a type of key known as a bump key. Bump keys are simply keys that, instead of having teeth like ordinary keys, have a serrated pattern of peaks and valleys that can align with the pins of a pin tumbler lock. These types of keys can be purchased, or they can simply be made by filling down the teeth on an ordinary key.    Lock bumping, utilized by professional home and office locksmiths for years, has also become popular among burglars due to its speed and ease of use. A lock bumper will usually carry several sizes of bump key; with them, they’ll be able to access many different locks.    The process for lock bumping is simple, however the bump key must be the correct size for the particular lock it’s being used to pick. Too large or too small of a bump key and the process will not be effective.

Lock bumping is also noisy, as it requires actually physically “bumping” the key in a loud way in order to effectively gain access to a business or residence. A spring is slid onto the bump key, which is then partially inserted into the keyway and turned slightly. Of course, the pins will not align and so the cylinder will not begin to rotate. However, the back of the bump key is then tapped repeatedly with a blunt object of some kind. In this way, the key pins are forcefully pushed upward. As they are spring loaded, they’ll quickly pop back down, but if the pins are aligned just right and the key is turned quickly enough, the cylinder will turn, the bolt will slide back, and the lock will be opened.     While the process might take a few tries for the bumper, this will allow most locks to be accessed fairly easily. In fact, the more expensive and high-quality the lock, the more easily it may be bumped, unless the proper countermeasures are taken.

How To Protect Yourself From Lock Bumping

While lock bumping can be used by a professional office locksmith to help you gain access to your building when you’ve forgotten your key, it can also be utilized by criminals and so you need to take proper security measures. You should ask your  local locksmith what they offer in the way of tamper-proof locks.    Many locks feature anti-bump features; they are often fairly simple in and of themselves. Many of them make use of additional pins; the more pins in the cylinder there are, the harder the key will be to bump.     They can also make use of specially made keys of unusual shapes and sizes; it will be more difficult for a criminal to access a lock if they don’t have the proper key blank. While most locks can be still be accessed in some way, the idea is to make your lock too difficult and inconvenient for a vandal or thief to get into. Frustrated, they’ll leave and your home or business will remain safe and secure.

Finding Anti-Bump Locks

Contact a reputable office locksmith and ask them about anti-bump and tamper proof locks. They’ll be able to make recommendations for you as to what type of lock will be most secure for your place of business. If you are in the Vancouver, Washington area, we recommend Harry’s Locksmith. They will be able to bring decades of experience with locks of all kinds to help keep your place of  business secure.

 

Note: This is a collaborative post