Some people mistakenly think that protein and exercise are only for picture-perfect bodybuilders who live and breathe pumping the iron and going to the Rouse Hill gym. But protein is basically important for anyone who wants to make the most out of exercise routines, and is not in any way limited for the pros only.

When we exercise, our body effectively tears and breaks muscle fibres apart. Protein and their amino acids are essential for providing the building blocks to help build, repair and maintain the muscles that are affected during exercise. Protein also gives us the energy we need to execute the needed physical activities during routines.

But unlike carbohydrates and fat, our body doesn’t have a storage for protein, which means that it doesn’t have anywhere to draw on when it requires a new supply. So what our body does instead is it uses any available protein that our body has to help work on the muscles and also to replace glycogens.

That is why fitness specialists and personal trainers highly recommend anyone who is body building, strength training, or exercising in general to eat protein before or after a workout session. That is also the reason why we regularly see people at the Rouse Hill gym or 24 hour fitness centre who drink whey shakes or eat protein bars after their workout session.

But before you head out and buy special bars and shakes for your body’s required protein intake pre- or post-workout, keep in mind that you can also get protein from better food sources – which we will be discussing also.

Carbohydrates also play a vital role in helping our effectively body absorb protein as they are the ones that provide the energy our body needs to use the protein for its functional and structural properties, which in turn helps produce more muscle mass.

And because of the well-documented synergy between healthy protein and quality carbohydrates, the meals or snacks you eat before or after a routine should contain the right amount of each, which is high for protein and low for carbohydrates. Here’s a short list of foods that have just that:

  • Fish – Certain types of fish, such as salmon, offer omega-3 fatty acids that are good for the heart, and contain less fat than meat.
  • Nuts – Almonds, cashews, and peanuts offer a good amount of protein and heart-healthy fats per serving. And the fact that nuts are easy to carry around makes them a great snack when on-the-go.
  • Eggs – Considered as the best source of protein, eggs are capable of providing all the amino acids you need on your diet. What’s even better about eggs is that there are a lot of different ways to cook or consume it, which makes eating eggs a fun, delicious and healthy experience.
  • Chicken – Skinless chicken is known for being an excellent source of protein. Also, just like eggs, chicken is savoury and cooking it is an enjoyable experience.
  • Whole Grains – Whole wheat bread is a great source of protein and fibre. Like protein, fibre is a dietary nutrient that helps with muscle building.

But protein does more than helping our muscles for exercise, because it is also a significant building block of blood, skin, cartilage, and bones. So whether you are a fitness buff or not, protein can benefit your body in more ways than one. There’s no denying, however, that its power is more beneficial for those who exercise.

If you are reading this you are researching or getting a solar panel system for your home or commercial solar panels. Within your research there’s also a huge probability that you ran into the terms “off the grid or off-grid and solar power systems” while researching the different types of solar energy options on the internet.

If you don’t fully understand what an off-grid solar PV system we have put together this short article containing all of the essentials.

There are three main types of solar energy systems: on-grid, off-grid, and hybrid.

To help you better understand what an off-grid system is, let’s define what an on-grid system is first.

What Is an On-Grid System?

On-grid, also known as a grid-feed or grid-tie solar system, is a solar PV system that is tied to the system of your local utility company and only generates power when the utility power grid is available. Most residential homes use this type of system because with it you have the option to send excess energy back to your grid’s power company, enabling the residential property owners to build credit that can be cashed out at the end of the year.

Off-Grid Systems

On the other hand, an off-grid solar PV system is not connected to your grid’s utility company or power system. This means that your energy use is 100% self-sustaining and your energy needs are 100% covered, given that you have enough battery capacity to handle your home’s requirements. Since it is not connected to the electricity grid, this system comes with battery storage units where you can store power for immediate and future uses.

However, one of the downsides of an off-grid system is that your overall costs with it are much higher than with an on-grid system, as you’ll be needing to buy expensive inverters and batteries to complete your off-grid setup.

Fortunately battery costs are going down each year, so the market for off-grid solar PV systems have been steadily increasing over time.

Do you understand now why they call it an off-grid system? Good.

Now, let’s quickly learn about two of the off-grid systems’ main components: the battery bank and the backup generator.

  • Battery Bank

Unlike on-grid systems that send excess energy back to the grid, off-grid systems send any excess power to the battery bank, which stops receiving energy once it is full. During cloudy days or night time, when your solar energy system is not working, the batteries are the ones that will supply power to your appliances. As earlier mentioned, it will definitely make you energy self-sufficient.

  • Backup Generator

Whenever the weather is unforgiving for long periods of time and your batteries are running low, the backup generator is responsible for providing power to your home. In order for the backup generator to perform excellently, you should get an adequate-sized gen-set that is based on your home’s energy requirements.

When Is an Off-Grid System the Ideal Solar Power Option?

Because of how an off-grid solar PV system works, it’s ideal to be used on homes located in remote areas where there is zero access to electricity, or where power lines are somewhat far from the property. So if you own a home or a farm that is slightly isolated from civilisation and has no source of power nearby, then going for an off-grid system is the way to go for your energy needs.

But if you really want to go off the grid despite having a nearby power grid to connect to, it is also a good option due to the advantages that this type of solar PV system presents, including zero monthly electricity costs, immunity to grid-tied blackouts or power failures, and total energy self-sufficiency.

Amazing homes of spectacular opulence can only be achieved if you have a lot of money. When I said money, I mean anything around millions or billions of dollars.

This article contains five of the most spectacularly opulent houses in the world, which are owned by none other than some of the insanely rich individuals or most important people in this planet.

These architectural masterpieces are not only extremely expensive, but they are also incredibly wonderful and fascinating. And even if we can’t afford to buy them, it doesn’t hurt to learn about a couple of them and dream about getting them – right? Anyway, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the world’s most opulent houses:

  1. Buckingham Palace (London, United Kingdom)
Buckingham Palace, London

Situated in the City of Westminster, the Buckingham Palace is the home and administrative headquarters of the United Kingdom’s Queen. According to a report by Homes and Property UK in 2016, the Queen’s residence is worth a whopping £2.2 billion British pounds. Isn’t that impressive? If you’re wondering why it’s that expensive, it’s because apart from possessing classic British elegance and style on its exterior architecture, the Buckingham Palace also holds over 700 rooms in its interiors, including 19 state rooms and 188 staff rooms.

  1. Fair Field (New York, USA)

With a value that is estimated to be around $248.5 million, Fair Field is a 29-bedroom house that sits in a 63-acre oceanfront compound in The Hamptons. Aside from its wide array of bedrooms, the property also features 39 bathrooms, 2 courtyards, 3 swimming pools, an orangery, a synagogue, a bowling alley, a basketball court, a 164-seat home theatre, a 91-foot long dining room, and even its very own power plant. From its massive collection of luxury facilities to the sizeable size of land it occupies, Fair Field is certainly among the most opulent houses in this planet.

  • Antilia (Mumbai, India)
Antilia (Mumbai India)

In the traditional sense, the Antilia isn’t actually a home. However, it was built by the richest man in India, Mukesh Ambai, to function as his mega-house whenever he’s in Mumbai, so it rightfully deserves to be in this list. Anyway, the Antilia is a 27-story skyscraper that covers over 400,000 square feet. This massive structure, which towers in downtown Mumbai and is the first billion dollar home in the planet, contains three helicopter pads, six underground parking floors, and numerous luxury facilities. Do you know what’s even impressive? The Antilia was designed in a way that two floors of the gargantuan house are not the same, making it incredibly unique from designing to materials used. Oh, I forgot to mention that a 600-person staff is required just to maintain the Antilia.

  1. Fleur de Lys (Los Angeles, USA)

Though the Fleur de Lys is not as expensive as the other houses in this list, it’s still among the world’s most expensive mansions at around $100 million. This 41,000-square-foot place, which was previously owned by Mariah Carey, features 12 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, a 3,000-square-foot wine cellar, an elegant ballroom, a two-storey library, a spa, and a pool. Aside from that, this magnificent house also boasts tennis courts, ornamental gardens, rolling lawns, a lavish garden folly, and a staff quarters, among others. Additionally, the mansion just looks oh-so lovely from the outside all the way to the inside. Everything that the Fleur de Lys has and is makes it absolutely deserving to be included in this list.

  • Villa Leopolda (Villefrance-sur-Mer, France)
Villa Leopolda (Villefrance-sur-Mer, France)

Built by King Leopold II of Belgium back in 1902, Villa Leopolda is a massive estate worth $750 million. This 50-acre property is comprised of 11 bedrooms, 14 bathrooms, a commercial greenhouse, a swimming pool, an outdoor kitchen, a helipad, and over 20 acres of lush gardens that require 50 full time gardeners to maintain. The garden boasts a gorgeous collection of cypress, olive, lemon, and orange trees, among others. As for the estate’s interiors, you can easily tell that it’s actually worth its hefty price tag by looking at its design, furnishings, and more.

Brian Wansink, the best-selling author and Cornell professor of nutrition science and consumer behaviour, has made a career out of studying the ways people accidentally eat more than they intended to.

His work examines how environment shapes eating behaviour, and how our human predilection toward mindless eating doesn’t have to mean overeating.

In an entertaining interview with Mother Jones, Wansink takes us through what almost reads like a rundown of his greatest hits — some of the most interesting findings his research has uncovered on the ways we can use mindlessness to improve our eating habits. Here are some of our favourites.

In a restaurant:

  • Ask to be seated by a window. Wansink’s data show diners who eat next to a window are 80 percent more likely to order salad.

  • And if you’re trying to avoid sweets, don’t sit at a booth near the bar — according to Wansink’s research, people who sit in that location are 73 percent more likely to order dessert.

  • Choose a brightly lit restaurant with soft background music and you’ll enjoy your meal more — you’ll also consume fewer calories.

  • Order whatever it is you actually want. “If you tell people to be mindful of what they order, they don’t like it as much and they make up for it later,” Wansink told Mother Jones. “They tell themselves they deserve ice cream since they virtuously ate a salad for dinner.”

  • Wansink’s research even shows some very specific rules to remember should you find yourself dining at a Chinese buffet: Eat with chopsticks. Choose a smaller plate. Survey the entire buffet before making your selections. Don’t sit close to the buffet, and make sure you’re facing away from the food.

 At home with the kids:

  • Serve fruit in colourful bowls. Wansink’s research on schoolchildren has found that kids eat double the amount of fruit when it’s served in a colorful dish, as compared to a plainer, metal one.

  • And cut up their fruit first. Again, in his research in schools, Wansink observed that when schools served sliced apples, 48 percent fewer apples were thrown out without being eaten.

  • Improve on vegetables’ #branding. Wansink’s data show that kids can be tricked into eating 35 percent more veggies when their veggies are given funny names (X-Ray-Vision Carrots! Silly-Dilly Green Beans!)

 At the grocery store:

  • Spend at least 10 minutes browsing the produce section. Wansink says people who do end up buying more fruits and veggies than shoppers who speed their way through the produce aisles.

  • Buy the cheaper, bigger box of cereal. Just make sure to divide it up into small containers at home; people tend to eat less when food is served out of a smaller container, according to Wansink’s research.

  • It’s okay to buy the bagged salad. “Purist cooks say, ‘You’re a lazyhead. You should be doing this yourself.’ That’s what my wife says,” Wansink told Mother Jones. “But when she’s not around, it’s often what I buy. It makes me a whole lot more likely to have a salad, because it takes three steps out of the process.”

 We get it life it just so so busy. From working to running around for your kids it is hard to keep up with even the most basic chores around your house. Put it into perspective the average working adult spends 38 hours per week away from home just to make a living even more hours when you are a full time parent or if you add parenting into the mix.

Much-needed chores such as deep cleaning of bathrooms, cleaning the fridge, changing of linen, gardening and lawn mowing get put to the side.

What are your options?

  1. Practice time management so you will be able to do the house cleaning work yourself (possibly between the hours of midnight and 3 am) or

  2. Bite the bullet and enlist the services of a professional cleaning company

If you are not totally convinced here is some further points to consider

  1. Professionals do quality work

When a cleaning company advertises that they do quality and professional work, chances are that it’s actually true. Professional cleaning companies care about the reputation of their business and the satisfaction of their customers, because these two aspects determine whether or not their business would succeed. And since they care about excellence too much, you can expect that they will be providing services of the highest standard to your property.

Other than that, professional cleaning companies have well-trained and -equipped operatives.

Most cleaning companies can also offer additional services such as carpet cleaning, gutter cleaning and even window cleaning.

2.  More quality time with your family

I use to spend the weekend running around doing all my housework now that I have hired a cleaner means I get to spend more time with my family.

3.  Value for money

Time is money. I picked up the phone and called a cleaning company after tracking the time I spent cleaning in one week, this was amount I should pay myself. I used this number to weigh the cost benefit of hiring a cleaner. A professional cleaner is also a lot faster than me.

I am totally hooked on my cleaning service in Wollongong. What do you think? Have you had a cleaner or use a cleaning company? Would love to hear your feedback.


500g potatoes scrubbed and cut in quarters
Olive oil
4 eggs (or however many for your family)
250g haloumi cut into thin slices
200g baby spinach leaves

Mustard Dressing
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs white balsamic vinegar (I only had brown)
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 shallot – chopped finely
1 tbs honey


Cook the potatoes on the stove top until tender – Heat a large frying pan and add olive oil and the potatoes – cook until golden brown. Season and remove from the pan adding the haloumi and cooking until golden brown. Make the dressing by adding all the ingredients and giving them a good mix together. After the haloumi is cooked, add half the dressing to the pan and turn off the heat. Gently toss together the spinach, potatoes, haloumi. Serve topped with poached eggs and drizzled with warm mustard dressing. Season and serve immediately.