Monday, July 29, 2013

7 Ways to Curb Your Appetite

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

Hope you've had a great weekend. I certainly had an eventful one!

My husband's entire family came to visit, so I spent the weekend catching up on news and helping to feed people!

This morning I'm still full from an amazing dinner that my husband made for the whole clan: five-layer lasagna made with turkey sausage, triple-layer chocolate cake with a cheesecake & ganache filling and cheesy garlic bread. This, after appetizers of cheese and crackers and homemade maple-flavored smoked salmon made by my brother-in-law (under the direct supervision of his doctoral advisor who made him swear to secrecy!).

All of this is well & good, except that my favorite jeans are now way too tight!

The whole summer has been one of over indulgence while trying to trick my body into thinking that I'm still eating healthy! This hasn't worked, however, and so now I'm forced to explore ways to eat less. Hence, today's article: 7 Ways Reduce Your Appetite Naturally.

Summer indulgence (all those family dinners & barbecues!) is so common, that I think even ESL students can benefit from this article. After all, ESL students are people first and students second!

Thank you for reading and have a great week!

7 Ways to Curb Your Appetite

Summer means indulgence for many people, especially when it comes to food. There are more parties and free time, so people have more chances to eat their favorite foods. All this makes summer more fun, but it can also mean weight gain for some people. There is nothing wrong with gaining weight, unless you don't want to!

chocolate being poured

If you want to eat a little less at your next party, try these strategies.

1. Eat chicken breast!

Chicken breast is lean white meat, which will help you to feel full. Also, try eating a chicken breast half for breakfast. Studies show that eating an ounce of protein in the morning will reduce your appetite all day.

2. Eat your vegetables!

Vegetables take up space in your stomach. This will help you to feel full longer. Add some chicken breast or lean beef to your vegetables, if you can. This will help you to feel full for hours.

3. Take B12

Vitamin B12 reduces your appetite naturally, about 12 hours after you take it. Think about when you are most hungry. Then take vitamin B12 twelve hours before that. Remember to ask your doctor if it's alright for you to take B12!

4. Say “I don't”, not “I can't.”

Saying “I can't” makes you feel like you are victim. Instead, remind yourself that you are in control. If someone offers you food that you crave, but don't need, say “I don't eat that, thanks!” Other ways to say this are:

I don't eat a lot of sweets, but thank you.
Thank you, but I don't eat chips.
I don't really eat cake, but thanks.
Thanks, but I don't usually eat that.
No thank you. I don't usually have dessert.
Thank you, but I don't eat ice cream.

5. Use hot sauce.

Hot sauce and pepper contain capsaicin. Capsaicin is reduces your appetite and helps you to feel full faster.

6. Stay away from artificial sweeteners.

Diet foods often contain artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet or Splenda. These sweeteners increase your appetite and make you want to eat more! Instead drink a cup of green tea or peppermint tea.

7. Have some lemon.

Add lemon juice to your salad or soup. Or, make yourself a drink of hot water squeezed with lemon, after dinner. This will help with digestion. The sourness of the lemon will also make you want to eat less!

Try these strategies to reduce your appetite today!


1. What is meant by “free time”?
2. What is one way to help you to feel full?
3. If you feel hungry at 10 o'clock at night, what time should you take B12?
4. What is the difference between “I don't” and “I can't”?
5. How does pepper reduce appetite?
6. Why is Nutrasweet bad for you?
7. What is it about lemon that reduces appetite?


* What are some things that you do to help you eat less?
* Why do you think so many people want to eat less or lose weight?
* What is a dish that you enjoy that is healthy? Describe it and tell how to make it.
* Many people are told by their doctors that they need to eat less or lose weight, but they don't listen. How do you feel about this? Why do you think this is so? 

Society often makes us feel that people who are thin are better than people who are fat. This message is sent in many ways. What are some ways that this is done? How do you feel about it?

Thank you for visiting!
Faiza Raintree

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Is Your Home Safe? - ESL Article

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

Today's article is about keeping your home safe from thieves. Many people go on vacation in summer, leaving their homes vulnerable to thieves. ESL students are no different, with many traveling to their home countries or to other states or cities to visit friends. Here are some tips your students (and maybe even you!) can use to keep their homes safe.

Thank you for visiting and have a great week!

man leaving home

Is Your Home Safe?
How to Protect Your Home From Thieves

Did you know that someone is robbed every 15 seconds, in America? Most of the time it is homes that are robbed. This is scary when you think about it. Almost everyone has either been robbed or known someone who was robbed. Losing your things is not the worst part. Things can be replaced. The worst part is having a stranger break into your home. Yet, you do not have to sit at home, feeling helpless against robbers.

There are many ways to protect yourself from break-ins. Here are some tips to try:

1. Take your name off your mailbox. This is one of the easiest ways to protect your home. A thief who has your name can get your telephone number easily. Once he has your name and number, it is very easy to find out if you are home or not.

2. Ask a neighbor to park one of their cars in your driveway. This way, it looks as though someone is at home. Offer to do the same when your neighbor goes on vacation.

3. Keep a television or radio on, while you are away. Thieves always look for homes that are empty. Hearing noise will make it look as though someone is at home.

4. Lock your doors and windows. Believe it or not, many people leave their doors unlocked. Even more people leave their windows unlocked. Do not make this common mistake!

door keyhole

5. Protect your spare key. Most people keep an extra key near their back door. Thieves know this! They also know where to look for this key. Keep your spare key in a digital safe. Digital safes cost less than 100 dollars. Yet they are a valuable way to protect your home.

6. Dogs are not always the answer. People think that dogs protect homes. This can be true, but not always. Did you know that many robbers carry dog treats to help keep dogs quiet? Don't make your dog your only strategy for keeping your home safe!


1. How many homes are robbed every hour?
2. What is meant by the worst part?
3. What happens when you take your name off your mailbox?
4. What is the benefit of leaving your television on?
5. What are two common safety mistakes that people make?
6. How do thieves rob homes that have dogs in them?


* Have you ever been robbed? When did it happen? What was taken from your home? Talk or write about your experience.

* Do you agree with the tips in this article? Why or why not?

* What are some tips that you use, to protect your home from robbers?

* There is a fine line between protecting yourself and living in fear. How are these two ideas similar? How are they different?

* THINK & WRITE The average thief steals about $2000 worth of stuff. Only about 15% of thieves are caught. Why do you think robbers have been so successful? What can governments and police do to help stop theft?

Labels: , ,

Sunday, July 14, 2013

5 Tips to Save Money

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

Thank you for visiting today! 

I'm still out in the country in Upstate New York, still on Linux dial-up (Oh, all the things to be grateful for!). I'm glad to have Internet, but I still need to keep the articles very simple while I'm here. 

Even so, I'll still post articles each Monday as promised. As soon as I'm able, however, I'll upload the PDFs for the articles I've posted.

Today's article is about saving money, with questions and activities to follow.

Thank you for visiting and have a great week!

100 dollar bills fanned out


More people are looking for jobs, forced to retire or have taken pay cuts than ever before. At the same time, prices have gone up. Clothes, gas and even food costs more today than a year ago. This means that more people are trying to save money and cut costs than ever before. Here are 5 easy tips you can use to cut costs everyday.

1. Cheap Gas

Gas prices have gone up greatly in the past few years. Yet, you can still get good prices on gas! However, you will need to look around. Drive around your neighborhood to find a gas station with lower prices. Then, fill up first thing in the morning. You will get more gas for your money when you pump cold gas into a cold tank.

Also, remember that gas prices are always changing. Drive around every couple of months to make sure you are still getting a good price for your gas!

2. Make a List

Do you shop for food after work, when you are hungry? Most people do this. Yet, it's not a good idea. There are two ways to take care of this. First, eat a snack before you go grocery shopping. This way, you will find it easier to buy only what you need. Also, make a list! Make your list early in the day. Then check it again before you leave. Do this for any kind of shopping, be it groceries or clothes. Making a list will help you avoid impulse buying.

notepad & pen

3. Compare Prices

Know the prices of things at your favorite stores. Choose items that cost less. Also, know which stores have lower prices. When you find a store with low prices and quality items, do your shopping there. Make sure you buy only what you need. Never buy something just because it is on sale!

4. Save on Phone Bills

Use Skype to make long-distance and video calls. This can save you hundreds of dollars each year on your telephone bill. If you and the other person both have Skype, then Skype calls are free! You must have high-speed Internet for Skype.

person making a video call

5. Use Your Library

It is true that the library contains free books, magazine and films. However most libraries have so much more. Many libraries have classes, talks and activities for children. Summer is a great time for fun activities at the library. Check out your local library to benefit this summer!

stack of books


1. What is meant by “fill up”?
2. What are 2 ways to avoid spending too much at the store?
3. What is meant by “on sale”?
4. What are two ways to compare prices?
5. How is video calling different from a normal call?
6. What are the usual things one might find at the library?
7. What kinds of activities might a library have in summer?


* Which tips did you find useful? Which tips did you find not useful?
* What are some tips that you would add to this list?
* People say that it is too much trouble to try and cut costs. Do you agree? Why or why not?
* Have you ever spent a lot of money without meaning to? Which store was it? What did you buy? What made you decide to spend the money?
* Many older people are being forced to retire, to make way for younger employees. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
*People blame credit cards for their money problems. They say using a card makes you spend more. Do you agree? Why or why not?

Advertisements are a major reason that people spend so much in stores. Therefore, the government should restrict the kind of advertisements that should be allowed. They should stop advertisements from being too persuasive.  Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

Thank you for visiting!
Faiza Raintree

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Three Spinsters - A Fairytale - ESL Worksheet

Good Morning & Happy Monday!

Hope your Monday has been easier than mine! I am on an archaic computer that uses linux and is suspicious of every possible link in existence. If I get my post out today it will be a miracle. (Here's to hope and determination!)

Today's activity is a story and questions, a fairytale in fact. It's taken from those published by the Brothers Grimm, but modified slightly in order to fit on one page.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to upload the PDF for some reason, but I've included the story and questions below. Printing it as is should you give about a page, but you can always decrease the font if need be. As soon as I can get to a library, I will upload the PDF, etc.

In any case, I hope you enjoy the story and thank you for visiting!

Illustration of al-Hariri Maqamat spinning wheel - Wikipedia


Once upon a time, there was a lazy girl named Rose. Rose was beautiful and for this her mother was very proud. However, Rose's mother did not know what to do with such a lazy girl. One day, Rose's mother told Rose to spin some flax. Rose did not do anything. Instead, she sat and looked at herself in the mirror. At the end of the day, Rose's mother found that Rose had not spun anything. She became very angry. She hit Rose and sent her out of the house.

Rose sat on the porch and began to cry. It so happened that the Queen was passing in her carriage, and heard Rose crying. The Queen looked and was amazed to see such a beautiful girl. She asked Rose what was the matter and Rose told her. The Queen took pity on Rose and took her to the palace.
Now this Queen had a great hall full of fine flax near the palace, but no one to spin it. The Queen had an idea. She told Rose: If you can spin all this flax in three days, you shall have the Prince for a husband. If you do not, then you must leave the palace. The Queen did not need wealth, but wanted a good and beautiful wife for her son. 

Rose did not know what to do. She knew that if she went back home her mother would be angry. Yet she was too lazy to spin all that flax. As Rose sat looking out of the window, three spinsters walked by. They were as ugly as ugly could be. One had a huge fat lip. Another had a huge flat foot. The third had a thumb as big as an egg. The three women stopped when they saw Rose crying. They asked her what was wrong. Rose told them.

The spinsters had an idea. They told Rose: We will spin all this flax for you on one condition. You must invite us to your wedding. You must call us your aunts and let us sit at the wedding table. Rose agreed and the women began right away. They worked for three days and nights without stop. When they were finished, there was a great hall full of the finest and softest linen you had ever seen. The spinsters told Rose: Do not forget what you promised us. We will see you on your wedding day.

The Queen was pleased and set a wedding date. On the day of the wedding, Rose's family came and so did the three spinsters. They all sat at the wedding table. The Prince was repulsed at the sight of the spinsters and asked Rose who they were. Rose told them that they were her aunts. The Prince asked the spinsters what gave them such a big lip, a big thumb and a large foot. They told the Prince it was from spinning all day. The Prince was so shocked that he told Rose never to touch a spinning wheel again. And so it came about that Rose was free from spinning forever


  1. Why was Rose sent outside?
  2. Why did the Queen take Rose to the palace?
  3. What task did the Queen give to Rose?
  4. Why did Rose agree to invite the three spinsters to her wedding?
  5. What is meant by "and so it came about"?
  6. Was the Queen was wise in choosing Rose for her son? Why or why not?
  7. Describe Rose. Choose from the following adjectives: smart, creative, good-looking,
    wealthy, clever, kind, selfish, active, silly, aggressive, lucky, friendly, elderly, single, simple, sophisticated, attractive, young, brave, bold, hardworking.


    • Is it okay to hit your children? Why or why not?
    • What is one lesson that can be learned from this story?
    • Describe the ideal husband and the ideal
    • wife.
    • Do you think that lazy behavior should be rewarded?
    • What kinds of lessons do fairy tales teach? How do you feel about them?
    • Give a summary of your favorite fairy tale. Write 5 sentences.
    • Why do you think fairy tales are still so popular?
    • THINK & WRITE Some people marry for beauty while others marry for wealth or status. Why do you think people do this? How do you feel about it?


Labels: , , ,