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Archive for February, 2014

5 Tips On Fighting The Sun

Posted on: February 25th, 2014 by Quik Shade

quik-shade-instant-canopy

The best way to protect yourself from skin cancer and premature aging may be easier than you think. Incorporating certain natural foods into your diet, along with a few regular skin care practices, may be helpful in fighting damage caused by sun exposure.

Skin cancer has become the number one form of cancer here in America. Women ages 39 and younger have the highest risk of developing serious skin cancer, otherwise known as melanoma. Only breast cancer is as common among women in this age range.

High SPF Sunscreen Just A Start

We are already aware that wearing a high spf sunscreen before heading out is the best protection, as well as covering our sensitive scalp, ear, and facial areas with a big floppy hat or other covering. Tanning and using tanning beds to achieve a sun kissed look has fallen out of fashion in recent years as awareness of these practices’ damaging effects has grown.

We’ve gotten a lot better at protecting our skin in these ways, but what many of us may not know is that diet can have a big effect on protecting our skin too.

How Does Diet Affect Skin Cancer Risk?

New research on how diet affects the risk of getting skin cancer started out with studies on Mediterranean people, who are well known for spending time outdoors. Despite their sun soaked lifestyle, Mediterranean people have a much lower risk of getting melanoma than Americans.

Scientists believe it may have something to do with their diets and how different they are from the typical American diet. A Mediterranean diet is mostly plant based, with fruits and vegetables taking center stage along with lots of fresh fish, olive oil, nuts, and fresh herbs. Researcher’s are focused on the antioxidants found in these foods as the main culprit in the lowered risk of skin cancer.

Here are 5 ways to incorporate skin cancer fighting ingredients into your diet.

1. Flavor your food with herbs.

Fresh herbs pack a punch when added to soups, salads, meats, and so much more. Not only will your meals taste better, but you’ll also benefit from the fortifying effects fresh herbs have on your skin.

Herbs are packed with antioxidants – some herbs have more in one tablespoonful than in one piece of fruit. Sage, rosemary, parsley and basil have the highest amounts. Use a single type of fresh herb every day or combine them for maximum results.

2. Sip on tea.

Both iced and hot teas can help fight the cellular skin damage caused by sun exposure. Green and black teas contain antioxidants that literally prevent the proteins that cause skin cancer from developing. Drinking just one cup of tea a day can have an effect. Drinking two or more cups of tea a day reduces the risk of cancer by 35 percent.

3. Drink wine.

The benefits of drinking red wine daily have been known to us for years. Drinking just one glass of red, white or sparkling wine each day can reduce the risk of cancer by 27 percent. Antioxidants found in these wines inhibit the growth of cancer cells and protect tumors from becoming cancerous.

4. Stock up on fruits and vegetables.

Incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet brings all the skin benefits of antioxidants as well as contributing to general good health. A good rule of thumb is to eat a rainbow of produce, including carrots, squash, spinach, kale, tomatoes, watermelon, apricots, and many others.

5. Nuts and fish are important too.

These foods contain vitamins and antioxidants that are also important for skin health and general health as well. Selenium, vitamin C and vitamin A are good nutrients to add to your roster of skin cancer fighting foods.

Taking Your Adventures To New Heights

Posted on: February 15th, 2014 by Quik Shade

extreme-adventures

If you love the adrenaline rush of a new outdoor adventure, there are a ton of places and experiences out there to satisfy your craving for excitement. If the excitement of your usual favorites has begun to wear off, it may be time to try something new and altogether different.

A lot of extreme outdoor enthusiasts are always are the hunt for something different to try. Get creative or check out the following list for some ideas on how to take your extreme outdoor adventures to new heights. You may think you’ve done some crazy things in your time, but this list may change all that.

There is always going to something more daring or dangerous that you haven’t tried. These ideas all carry a risk, which is what makes them so exciting. But they are also all activities that have been done before by many others, so the path has already been laid out for you.

1. Cage of Death, Darwin, Australia.

The name says it all. This adventure is only for the serious adrenaline junkie. At Crocosaurus Cove, visitors can book a 15 minute dive into the croc tank where they come face to face with the reptiles during feeding time. Dives can be taken alone or with one friend.

The cylindrical dive tank allows for a 360 degree view of the crocs up close and personal. The outdoor park in Darwin Australia is one of the only venues to offer this type of diving experience. The dive is thrilling, but you are guaranteed safety by the protective glass of the tank.

2. Taming of the Bulls, Tamil Nadu, India

Not to be confused with the running of the bulls in Spain, this event is much more intense. A specific breed of cattle is bred for the event. The bull’s horns are sharpened and participants are not allowed to use any kind of weapons.

Money is sometimes tied to the bull’s horns to encourage participation. The event has attracted controversy in recent years, despite being an ancient tradition of the region. Many people have been seriously injured and killed. There is concern over the welfare of the animals as well.

3. Plan your own kidnapping, Paris, France

For a whole new kind of adventure you can purchase a kidnapping package from Ultime Realite, a company that provides an entire kidnapping experience for around $1,129.

The four hour package includes being taken without warning, held in an undisclosed location, and being gagged and bound. The experience is truly frightening, but you know in the end you’ll end up safely released and able to go home.

4. Cageless Shark Swimming, Galapagos Islands.

Visiting the Galapagos Islands gives you the opportunity to swim in open waters with hammerhead sharks. The excursion begins as a normal snorkeling adventure and leads you to shark invested waters.

You will come within several feet of the sharks, who are actually more interested in eating sea lions and fish than you. Hammerhead sharks rarely attack humans unless they are startled or confused. You better hope these sharks are in a good mood when you encounter them.

5. Shaman Tours, South America

These shaman led outdoor tours happen all across South America and give participants an experience they will never forget. Get up close and personal with the jungle, which often means participating in a healing ritual with the shaman himself.

Be prepared to have a mind altering experience after drinking the ritual tea made from local cactus that the shaman has prepared for you. You won’t soon forget it.

photo credit: YIM Hafiz via photopin cc

Make It A Trip To Remember: 5 Places To Visit This Year

Posted on: February 8th, 2014 by Quik Shade

cape-town-south-africa

These five destinations may not be what you expect but will each offer something unique to experience. If you’re ready to build memories that will last a lifetime on your next vacation, read on for some of the best destinations for 2014.

1. Cape Town, South Africa

The city is currently undergoing a reinvention, and its position as 2014’s World Design Capital makes Cape Town a perfect destination for those who are looking for a destination rich in arts and culture for their vacation. Cape Town will be celebrating design in all areas and putting forth all the talent found in its artists.

Expect to find fashion shows, architecture tours, open houses, open studios with artists, and finally a visual arts conference as part of the February finale. All parts of the city are participating and using the opportunity to make changes happen. Townships are opening homes up as galleries and performance spaces, using their land to illustrate sustainable farming practices, and encouraging tourists to visit.

2. Christchurch, New Zealand

The city might be known for the large quake that ravaged it three years ago, but Christchurch is intent on making a comeback. The city’s resident are focused on rebuilding their city as a unique destination and are succeeding at it through the use of their creativity and determination. Empty lots are being transformed into gardens and other creative spaces, and the downtown area is being rebuilt. Several programs are working to bring culture and community back to the city.

The Gap Filler Program has turned vacant lots into performance spaces, dance floors, and even a mini golf course. Revival is obvious all across Christchurch through new architecture, innovative uses of repurposed materials, and new ideas for bringing people together. 2014 is turning out to be the year to witness all the change firsthand.

3. Mendocino Coast, California

The rugged beauty and wide array of wildlife found on the coast 130 miles north of San Francisco have attracted nature lovers for decades. The rugged bluffs offer perfect views of the coast and the marine life which often includes sea lions, whales, and many others.

Nearly 1,300 acres of wilderness has now been opened to the public for hiking and exploration. With more proposals coming in the near future for more funding and maintenance for the whole area, the Mendocino coast is ripe for exploration.

4. Albanian Coast

This often overlooked country’s coastline offers ancient ruins, rugged outdoor beauty and an easygoing culture comparable to those found in Italy. Tourists can enjoy these attractions and much more for a fraction of the cost of visiting a major European city. Albania is a small country just north of Greece and about 45 miles east of Italy’s heel.

Here you’ll find limestone beaches, ancient ruins, and quaint accommodations right on the water. For those looking for a uniquely European experience without spending a fortune, the Albanian Coast is the perfect destination.

5. Downtown Los Angeles

The Downtown LA filled with desolate streets and crime you see in movies is gone and has been replaced with a food and culture lover’s dream destination. Museums here are thriving and the restaurant scene has grown tremendously. Be sure to check out Grand Central Market, an indoor venue with 30 of the city’s best food vendors.

The revitalization of Downtown LA has been going on for awhile and is most evident with the restaurants. You’ll find the country’s best new restaurant, Alma, here as well as the newly opened Ace Hotel. Retail destinations will soon follow with several openings of major label outlets in the works.

photo credit: coda via photopin cc

Use A Canopy To Your Benefit This Summer

Posted on: February 1st, 2014 by Quik Shade

quik-shade-tent-canopy

Sun protection is one of the biggest concerns during summer fun, and throughout the year as well. Nothing can ruin summer activities than a nasty sunburn, or even worse, heatstroke. It’s painful and unattractive, as well as a great risk to your health. Make sure you stay protected by taking the proper precautions when spending time in the sun. This can include:

Wearing a high spf sunscreen at all times

Spf 50 or higher is recommended, and be sure to reapply liberally after excessive sweating or after swimming. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of applying sunscreen before you even leave the house.

Staying hydrated when spending time outdoors and temperatures are high

This will ensure you don’t get heatstroke. Bring a large reusable container of fresh water with you and refill with fresh, cool water any chance you get.

Don’t neglect the hard to reach places

Your scalp, ears, lips, and feet can get sunburned too. You can ensure they stay protected by applying sunscreen to those areas. Spray on sunscreens and balms work great for those areas. Wearing a hat is always an effective way to protect the scalp and ears.

Stay covered

If you don’t have to be out in direct sunlight, then find a shady place to stay. You can do this by wearing a hat or long sleeves, or better yet, by creating your own shade with a canopy. Canopies are more versatile and portable than ever and make spending time outdoors less stressful.

How A Canopy Can Change Your Summer

There are various sizes and styles available for any type of summer activity imaginable. The portable canopy has come a long way. Some of the styles to choose from include:

Portable Canopy

These are great for a single person or couple to use for quick day trips to the beach or a park. Portable canopies are small and lightweight enough to easily carry to any destination. These canopies are made with convenience in mind. They fold easily to be set up without any hassle and packed away neatly into an accompanying carrying bag. The canvas top may be smaller and more lightweight than other canopies, but it still provides the UV protection and air circulation that larger canopies are known for.

Commercial Canopies

These larger, sturdier models are great for anyone with a small business or who frequently hosts outdoor events. Commercial canopies provide professional grade protection and looks for a variety of events such as outdoor markets, farmer’s markets, festivals, and even more formal events like weddings.

The frames on these canopies are reinforced to ensure extra strength and protection from wind and other outdoor elements. Canopy tops look elegant in white and allow air to circulate so guests stay cool and comfortable. With the addition of canopy accessories, commercial models become even more versatile. Zip up privacy walls or screens shield guests from insects and other pests while creating a more intimate atmosphere for the event.

Affordable Canopies

These are for people who want the protection of a canopy without paying a fortune. For the average person, a canopy is a great addition to a backyard barbeque, camping trip, tailgate party, or a gathering at a park. This is the canopy model you’re probably most familiar with. The simple yet effective design allows for cool air circulation while protecting from harmful UV rays. These canopies come in several colors for you to choose from and can also be used with accessories.