How to Celebrate Christmas Away from Home

Being a foreigner in a new country is never an easy task. In the beginning you’re trying to adjust to the new conditions and culture and dealing with a cultural shock is another issue that the new place could bring.

You will always miss your friends and family, just like the food and tradition. While everyday life could be very fast and absorbing, moments like Christmas make us stop for a second and dream about the far away land called home.

Surprisingly it doesn’t have to be that bad… The moment you are able to bring a piece of your own country to the current one, you may actually find yourself quite comfortable and content – even at Christmas time. Lots of foreign students stay in London over the Christmas period and as they will tell you, there are many ways to still enjoy the festive period.

Find a Foreign Foods Shop
It can be that easy – London has one of the largest concentrations of foreigners in the world and caters for many of them with specialised shops. When you enter a shop with familiar products and language, it feels like you just got a free ticket back to your country.

Suddenly you’re walking with several bags in your hands and even though they weigh tons, you still have a huge smile on your face. This will enable you to prepare a few Christmas dishes from home in your own kitchen and enjoy them during the holiday season.

Organise Christmas Eve with Your Friends
As they say “there is no place like home” but what about creating a new home for yourself? The moment you decide to host a Christmas dinner, you can make sure this special time of the year won’t be lonely. The easiest way, is to convince your friends to share the workload. As long as every person prepares something small, you can make sure there won’t be anything missing on your table and no one is left with a huge amount of work.

Bring the warmth of your traditional holiday to England by singing Christmas Carols with your friends and sharing lesser known traditions – that is sure to guarantee a few unforgettable hours. You never know, you might discover the next Adele or One Direction in your own living room!
christmas party

Organise a Secret Santa with your Friends
Gifts always bring out the small kid in all of us. No matter how old you are, receiving a bag with the hidden surprise, makes you believe in Santa Claus once again.

The best way to ensure everyone will get a little present this Holiday, is to play the lottery. Buying a gift for this one specific person, makes it more personal. This simple game can also show how well you know your friends and how well they know you. We can never have enough socks and pyjamas, right?

Send DIY Postcards
Everybody can go to the shop these days and get a pack of Christmas cards. This old tradition is fading away in the face of Internet. The solution for that is to create something original and unique. Inspiration can come from everywhere. You can draw something or simply transform a funny photo into a postcard with the wishes on the back.

Make sure it’s filled with love and happiness. You can all laugh about it later on chatting on Skype and opening the gifts together.

About author:
Daria Wasiluk currently writes for UKEAS, a company who help foreign citizens to follow their dreams of studying in London and the rest of the UK. Daria, originally for Eastern Europe, moved to London in her early 20’s and has years of experience living in the UK as a foreigner. Daria now works as a writer and student advisor for UKEAS in Nigeria, where prospective students can find excellent advice on studying in the UK.

Food for the brain

Best food for the brain

This article describes what food is best for the brain and what food is best for studying. Good food for the brain is important and very beneficial.

Food is very important to our brain. For the brain to function properly you will need to supply different nutrients, which all must be of good quality of course. This food is specified as food for the brain. That way you brain will receive all the ingredients it needs to perform normally. The most important food for the brain is protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and of course water. Read on about best brain food for exams.

You need to consume a lot of water

Food for the brainWater in the body acts as a transport system which supplies nutrients to the brain and also helps to dispose bad substances from your body. If you are dehydrated you may start to lose concentration, and that surely isn’t good when you are studying or when you are at work. So, the advice here is to drink a lot of water. The indication how much water you can drink in one day is your urine. If you drink enough water your urine will be in light yellow color. If you don’t drink enough water than your urine will be dark yellow.

The best water for your brain would be the so-called “ionized water”. What is ionized water? Ionized water is simply water that has mineral ions in it. Minerals are found in all natural water sources on planet Earth, and all water found in nature is ionized to some degree.

Why is ionized water good for you? The minerals found in ionized water are beneficial and necessary for your good health. You can ionize water with a water ionizer, a machine that simply concentrates those minerals in your drinking water for you, and puts a negative electrical charge on the minerals. In other words – such water is really clean and contains no bad chemicals or ingredients.

Also, you must be aware that nearly three fourths of your brain is water so in order for your brain to function properly make sure you drink at least 2 liters of water per day and every day.

Most important food for the brain

The most important food for your brain are of course proteins. Proteins are what builds your muscle, organs, nerves, heart and of course – the brain. Proteins are ideal food for your brain. Without consuming enough proteins you will not be able to enhance your brain productivity. Protein-rich food is:

  • All kinds of meat,
  • fish meat,
  • milk, cheese and all diary products,
  • grains,
  • tofu and beans.
  • The importance of carbohydrates, fat and fruits

    While digesting carbohydrates are transformed into sugar (glucose), which is the main source of energy for the brain. If glucose level is constantly fluctuating, you may experience mental confusion, dizziness, convulsions and even unconsciousness. Most carbohydrates are found in cereal grains, fruits and vegetables. There is one more important factor when it comes to healthy food – fat. When people think of fat the always believe that fat is bad for the body. But this is not true. Fat is very beneficial to the body!

    The importance of the two polyunsaturated fats, omega-6 and omega-3 (EFA) just can’t be overlooked. There is evidence that both types of omega-3 fat may influence the increase in brain size and the number of brain cells, improve vision and help in learning. This kind of fat can be found in fish meat (salmon, tuna fish), mackerel, sardines, nuts and seeds.

    The importance of fruits and nuts for the body is really high. Fruits contain a lot of water, vitamins and minerals, especially nuts and good oils. It is very important if you want to increase your concentration and learn more to consume such food.

    There was an interesting study, made by a university in Germany. Different students were given different kind of food for lunch. Studies have shown that students who had only candy (mostly sugar) for lunch performed poorly on tests of memory and concentration (barely the results of 70-year-olds). Another group of students ate a high protein lunch. They performed the best on the same test.

    Also, students who have had sandwich with beans for lunch has very good results too. The study also showed that breakfasts are very important – breakfast should consists sufficient amount of glucose so that the body and the brain can operate normally.

    An interesting tip: Eating strawberries and blueberries will improve your coordination, concentration and short-term memory.
    Raisins: If you suffer from hypertension, have raisins stirred into your morning cereals. Combine raisins with nuts. For best results, eat a handful of raisins three times a day to lower your blood pressure levels.
    Eat more fiber. Fiber cleanses your system and soluble fiber (see below) helps control your blood sugar levels. Most vegetables are high in fiber, especially those with leafy greens. Many fruits, nuts, and legumes are also rich in fiber, as are whole-wheat products.

    Your brain cannot function properly without vitamins and minerals

    What is good food for your brain? Vitamins and minerals are very important for the growth and functioning of the brain and body. To obtain all of the necessary minerals you need to eat different food which was already described above in food for brain section. Here are some important vitamins that you should consume:

  • Vitamin B; The brain particularly needs B complex vitamins, which are necessary to generate energy.
  • Vitamin A; you need a lot of vitamin A if you want to improve your memory. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, fish oil, spinach, leeks, butter, milk and egg yolk. Egg yolk contain a lot of cholesterol, so consume in moderation. Find out which are normal cholesterol levels in this article about cholesterol levels chart.
  • Vitamin C; you can find it in black and red currants, kiwi, strawberries, raspberries, mangoes, citrus fruits, peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, tomatoes, pomegranate, papaya and gvajava.
  • Vitamin E; that can be found in wheat germ, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, olive oil, turkey, asparagus, nuts, avocados and peas.
  • All this vitamins are also strong antioxidants.
    To supply the brain with the energy it needs you must provide a lot of magnesium and manganese and sodium. Try drinking sparkling waters – they usually have this minerals added. Potassium and calcium have an important role in communication between nerve cells and facilitating the transmission of messages. In order to reliably provide all the nutrients necessary for optimal brain function, many doctors recommends a multivitamin and mineral supplements.

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    If you have any comments on article best food for the brain for exams, say it below.

    How to save some money and still have fun

    Current economic situation is generally pretty bad, at least in most countries. It is even worse for financially weaker social groups – for example pensioners or students.

    A money well spent is a money well spent, but sometimes a student needs to be more conservative and try to save some money for the future. So, how can you save money and not waste your young years? Here’s a few do’s and don’ts for you.

    First of all, ask yourself why are you saving money? For a big Euro-trip? For a dream car? Buying an apartment? The next question would be – is it really worth it?

    Going for the movies or drinks, buying new cloths every week, stop drinking coffee at bars etc is an easy thing to rule out. But would you really skip summer vacation or winter ski vacation to save some money? After all, you are young only once and every wasted year is a lost one.

    My point here is to have priorities. Money is important, but not the most important thing in your life (if you have enough to eat every day).

    So, if buying relatively expensive stuff is not an option any more, what is? Well, there’s plenty of options. You can buy second-hand stuff, buy things from your friends or purchase stuff from the Internet. Factory.com offers some nice options for you. It works in a way that it compares prices from on-line top retailers sites and offers you the cheapest thing available. Everything from books to clothes to “you name it”.

    At the end of the day there’s plenty of stuff that money cannot buy. Family, friends, pure happiness. Invest in these, too. Don’t just focus on the money all the way. Because when you are old, money suddenly loses value and all you have is memories. Make sure you’ll have good ones.