What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

Diabetic Nutrition – Meal Planning In Action

Diabetic nutrition, diet, and weight control are the foundation of diabetes management. The most objective in dietary and nutritional management of diabetes is control of total caloric intake to maintain a reasonable body weight and stabilize the blood glucose level. Success of this alone is often with reversal of hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes. However, achieving this goal is not always easy. Because nutritional agreement of diabetes is so complex and a registered dietitian who understands diabetes management has major responsibility for this aspect of therapeutic plan. Nutritional management of diabetic patient includes the following goals stated by American Diabetes association, Evidence-Based Nutrition Principles and Recommendations for the Treatment and Prevention of Diabetes and Related Complications, 2002:
Provide all the essential food constituents like vitamins and Minerals needed for optimal nutrition.

Meeting Energy needs

Maintaining reasonable weight

Avoidance of huge daily fluctuations of blood glucose level, with blood glucose level close to normal as is safe and practical to reduce risk or prevent the possibility of complications

Decrease serum lipid levels to reduce the risk of macro-vascular complication

For those diabetic people who require insulin to help control blood glucose levels, maintaining as much consistency as possible in the amount of calories, and carbohydrates ingested at the different meal time is essential. Additionally, precision in the approximate time intervals between meals with the addition of snacks as necessary helps in preventing the hypoglycemic reaction and maintaining the overall glucose control.For obese with type 2 diabetes, weight loss is the key treatment. Obesity associated with an increase resistance of insulin is also a main factor in developing type 2 diabetes. Some obese who requires insulin or oral anti diabetic agents to control blood glucose levels may be able to reduce or eliminate the need for medication through weight loss. A weight loss as small as 10% of total weight may significantly improve blood glucose. In other instances wherein one is not taking insulin, consistent meal content or timing is not as critical. Rather, decreasing the overall caloric intake assume most importance. However, meals should not be skipped. Pacing food intake throughout the day places more manageable demands on the pancreas.Long-term adherence to meal plan is one of the most challenging aspects of diabetes management. For the obese, it may be more realistic to restrict calories only moderately. For those who have lost weight, maintaining the weight loss may be difficult. To help diabetic people incorporate new dietary habits into lifestyle, diet education, behavioral therapy, group support and ongoing nutrition counseling are encouraged.Diabetic Nutrition Meal Plan
Diabetic Meal plan must consider one’s own food preferences, lifestyle, usual eating times, ethnic and cultural background. For those who are under intensive insulin therapy, there may be greater flexibility in timing and content of meals by allowing adjustments in insulin dosage for changes in the eating and exercise habits. Advances in insulin management permit greater flexibility schedules than previously possible. This in contrast to the older concept of maintaining a constant dose of insulin and requiring the a diabetic person to adjust his schedule to the actions and duration of the insulin.The first step about meal planning is thorough review of a diet history to identify eating habits and lifestyle. A careful assessment of weight loss, gain or maintenance should also be undertaken. In most circumstances, those with type 2 diabetes requires weight reduction.Diabetic meal Planning [The Making]In teaching about meal planning, you must coordinate with a registered dietitian and if possible he must use educational tools, materials and approaches so you can fully grasp the idea of your nutritional requirements. Your initial education approaches the significance of consistent eating habits, the relationship between the food and insulin and the provision of an individualized meal plan. Then in-depth follow-up sessions which focuses on management skills, such as eating at the restaurants, reading food labels and adjusting the meal plan for exercise, illness and special occasion. An instance like there is an aspect of meal planning such as the food exchange system which may be difficult to learn or understand. You may ask him every meeting for clarification or might as well, leave him a message. Just remember that the food system provides a new way of thinking about the food rather than a new way of eating. Simplification as much as possible grants a good understanding during the teaching session and provides an opportunity to assess doubts and a need for repeat activities and information.Caloric Requirements
Caloric requirements or your calorie-controlled diets are planned by means of calculating your energy needs (individual energy needs that varies in every person) and your caloric necessity based on your age, gender height and weight. Activity element is factored in to provide actual number of calories required for maintenance.In the Diabetic Exchange List compiled by American Dietetic Association and American Diabetic association 2008, the appropriate amount of calorie controlled diets are depicted but you must approach a registered dietitian to closely assess you with your current eating habits and achieve realistic and individualized goals. This is so important because practically, developing a meal plan should be based on individual’s usual eating habits and lifestyle to effectively control the glucose level as well as the weight loss maintenance. The priority for a young patient with type 1 diabetes, for example, should be a diet with enough calories to maintain normal growth and development. Initially, the target aim may provide a higher calorie to regain lost of weight.Here is a reliable and simple Food Exchange List For Diabetic Meal Planning I got from Diabetes Teaching Center at University of California, San Francisco via Google.Please Take note of all these and believe that there’s no harm in trying!Diabetic Nutrition Caloric Distribution
Diabetic nutrition in your diabetic Meal Plan also focuses on the percentage of calories that come from carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In general, carbohydrates have the greatest effect on blood glucose levels because they are more quickly digested and converted than other foods.CarbohydratesThe American Diabetes Association recommends that for all levels of caloric intake, 50% to 60% of calories should be derived from carbohydrates, 20% to 30% from fats and remaining 10% to 20% from protein. Carbohydrates are consisted of sugar and starch. Most of the carbohydrates that are generally consumed came from starch, fruits and milk. Vegetable has also some carbohydrate. All carbohydrates should be eaten in moderation to prevent postprandial high glucose level. Foods high in carbohydrates such as sucrose are not totally eliminated from the diet but should be taken up in moderation up to 10% total calories only because these foods are typically high in fats and lack in vitamins, minerals and fibers.Carbohydrate counting method is very important because it makes you conscious about your approximate amount of serving. The more carbohydrates you ingested, the more your blood glucose goes up. It is also a tool use in diabetic management because carbohydrates are the main nutrients in the food that influence the blood glucose level. This technique provides flexibility in food choices, can be less complicated and allows more accurate management with multiple daily insulin injections. When developing a diabetic meal plan using carbohydrate counting, all food sources should be considered. Once digested, 100% of your carbohydrate intake are converted to glucose. Around 50% of protein foods (meat,fish and poultry) are also converted to glucose. The amount of carbohydrates in foods is measured in GRAMS so you have to know which foods contain carbohydrates,learn to estimate the number of grams of carbohydrates in each food you eat and sum up all the grams of carbohydrates from every food you eat in order to get your total intake in a day. Examples of common food that contains carbohydrates; potatoes, legumes (e.g peas), corn, grains, dairy products (e.g milk and yogurt), snack foods and sweets (e.g cakes, cookies, deserts), and Juices (soft drinks, fruit drinks, energy drinks with sugar).Lets say, you aim 50% of your total calories must come from carbohydrates. One gram of carbohydrates is about 4 calories. So, divide the number of calories you want to get from carbohydrates by 4 to get the number of grams. Example, you aspire to eat 2000 calories a day and get 50% of calories from carbohydrates.Computation:
0.50 x 2000 calories = 1000 calories

1000 / 4 = 250 grams of carbohydrates

Take note that there are people who has lower tolerance of physical activity and there are also those who needs low-calorie diets and therefore, the carbohydrates need in every person really varies. In order to further master your caloric intake and your diet, feel free to contact a professional dietitian.In terms of estimation on the amount of carbohydrates in every serving, you can refer to Food Exchange List or here are some examples taken from the food exchange list:These Foods contain 15 grams of each serving:
Biscuit – 1 (1 1/2 inches across)

Bun (hot dog or hamburger) – 1/2 bun

Pancake (1/4 inch thick) – 1 (4 inches across)

Pita bread – 1/2 pocket ( 6 inches across)

Waffle -1 (4 inch square or 4 inches across)

Cooked barley 1/3 cup

Cooked Pasta – 1/3 cup

Cooked quinoa 1/3 cup

Cooked white or brown rice – 1/3 cup

Cassava – 1/3 cup

Corn 1/2 cup

Green Peas – 1/2 cup

Animal Crackers 8 crackers

Rice cakes, 4 inches across 2

Dried Apple 4 rings

blueberries 3/4 cup

dates 3

Fruit cocktail 1/2 cup

Mango juice 1/2 cup or 1/2 small

papaya 1 cup cubed (8oz)

Grape Juice – 1/3 cup

Although carbohydrate counting is now commonly used for blood glucose management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, to some extent it affects the blood glucose to different degrees regardless of equivalent serving size. Thus, you have to be consciously noticing the fluctuations of your own blood glucose level and take action against any warning signs.Diabetic Food Pyramid
The Diabetic Food Pyramid is another tool use to develop meal plan. It is commonly utilize for those with type 2 diabetes who have difficulty in abiding with calorie controlled diet. The food pyramid is consist of six food groups: 1.Breads, grains and other starches; 2. Vegetable (non-starchy vegetables); 3. Fruits; 4. Milk; 5. Meat, meat substitutes and other proteins; and 6. Fats, oils and sweets. The pyramid shape was chosen to emphasize that the foods in the largest area, the base of the pyramid (Starches, fruits and vegetables) are the lowest in calories and fats and highest in fiber and should make up the basis of the diet. For those with diabetes and as well as the general population, 50% to 60% of daily caloric intake must be from these three groups. As you move up the pyramid, foods higher in fats (particularly saturated fats) are illustrated; these foods should account for a smaller percentage of daily caloric intake. The very top of the pyramid comprises of fats, oils and sweets that should be sparingly by the people with diabetes to attain weight and blood glucose control and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.Fats and Diabetes
The recommendation regarding the fat content for the diabetic diet include both reducing the total percentage of calories from far sources to less than 30% of the total calorie and limiting the amount of saturated fats to 10% of total calories. Additional recommendations include limiting the total intake of dietary cholesterol to less than 30 mg/day. This approach may reduce risk factors such as elevated serum cholesterol levels, which are associated with the development of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death and disability among people with diabetes. The meal plan may include the use of some non animal sources of protein to help reduce saturated fats and cholesterol intake. In addition, the amount of protein intake may be reduced to those who have early signs of renal disease.Fiber Has a Lowering Glucose power
The use of fiber in diabetic diets has received an increased attention as the experts study the effects on diabetes of a high carbohydrate, high fiber diet. This type of diet plays a role in lowering the total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood. Increasing fiber diet may also improve blood glucose and decrease the need for exogenous insulin.There are two types of dietary fibers: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers in foods such as legumes, oats and some fruits plays more of a role in lowering blood glucose and lipid levels than does insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is thought to be related to the formation of a gel in the gastrointestinal tract. This gel slows stomach emptying and the movement of food in the upper digestive tract. The potential glucose lowering of the fiber may be cause by the slower rate of glucose absorption from the foods that contain soluble fibers. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grain breads and cereals and in some vegetables. This type of fiber plays more roles in increasing stool bulk and preventing constipation.One risk involving the increase of fiber intake is that it may require adjustment of insulin dosage or oral anti diabetic agents to prevent hypoglycemia. If fiber is added or increase in the meal plan, it should be done gradually and with the actual consultation with a dietitian.Misleading Labels
Food labeled as “sugarless” or “sugar-free” may still provide calories equal to the equivalent sugar-containing products if they are made with nutritive sweeteners. Hence, for weight loss, these products may not always be useful. Additionally, you must ‘not’ consider them as “free” to be eaten in unlimited quantity because they may elevate your blood sugar. Foods labeled “dietetic” are not necessarily reduced calorie foods. They may be lower in sodium or have other special dietary uses. They may still contain significant amounts of sugar or fats. Snack foods with labels like “Health Foods” may often contain carbohydrates like honey, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Additionally, these supposedly healthy snacks frequently has saturated vegetable fats, hydrogenated vegetable fats or animal fats which may be contraindicated if you have elevated blood lipids level.So read the nutritional labels carefully to count the nutrients that your food contains… Sweeteners
Using sweeteners can be acceptable for the diabetic people especially if it assists their overall dietary adherence. Moderation in the amount of sweetener used is encouraged to avoid potential adverse effect. There are two main types of sweeteners: nutritive and non-nutritive. The nutritive sweeteners contain calories and non-nutritive sweeteners have few or no calories in the amounts normally used.Nutritive sweeteners include fructose (fruit sugar), sorbitol and xylitol. They are not calorie free; they provide calorie in amounts similar to those in sucrose (table sugar). They cause less elevation in blood sugar levels than sucrose and are often in “sugar-free” foods. Sweeteners containing sorbitol may have a laxative effect. Non-nutritive sweeteners have minimal or no calories. They are used in food products and are also available for table use. They produce minimal or no elevation in glucose level. Saccharin contains no calories. Aspartame (Nutra Sweet) is package with dextrose; it contains 4 calories per packet and losses sweetness with heat. Acesulfame-K (Sunnette) is also package with dextrose; it contains 1 calorie per packet. Sucralose (Splenda) is a newer non-nutritive, high intensity sweetener that is about 600 times sweeter than sugar. The Food and Drug administration has approved it for use in baked goods, non alcoholic beverages, chewing gums, coffee, confections, frosting and frozen dairy products.

Alternative Financing Vs. Venture Capital: Which Option Is Best for Boosting Working Capital?

There are several potential financing options available to cash-strapped businesses that need a healthy dose of working capital. A bank loan or line of credit is often the first option that owners think of – and for businesses that qualify, this may be the best option.

In today’s uncertain business, economic and regulatory environment, qualifying for a bank loan can be difficult – especially for start-up companies and those that have experienced any type of financial difficulty. Sometimes, owners of businesses that don’t qualify for a bank loan decide that seeking venture capital or bringing on equity investors are other viable options.

But are they really? While there are some potential benefits to bringing venture capital and so-called “angel” investors into your business, there are drawbacks as well. Unfortunately, owners sometimes don’t think about these drawbacks until the ink has dried on a contract with a venture capitalist or angel investor – and it’s too late to back out of the deal.

Different Types of Financing

One problem with bringing in equity investors to help provide a working capital boost is that working capital and equity are really two different types of financing.

Working capital – or the money that is used to pay business expenses incurred during the time lag until cash from sales (or accounts receivable) is collected – is short-term in nature, so it should be financed via a short-term financing tool. Equity, however, should generally be used to finance rapid growth, business expansion, acquisitions or the purchase of long-term assets, which are defined as assets that are repaid over more than one 12-month business cycle.

But the biggest drawback to bringing equity investors into your business is a potential loss of control. When you sell equity (or shares) in your business to venture capitalists or angels, you are giving up a percentage of ownership in your business, and you may be doing so at an inopportune time. With this dilution of ownership most often comes a loss of control over some or all of the most important business decisions that must be made.

Sometimes, owners are enticed to sell equity by the fact that there is little (if any) out-of-pocket expense. Unlike debt financing, you don’t usually pay interest with equity financing. The equity investor gains its return via the ownership stake gained in your business. But the long-term “cost” of selling equity is always much higher than the short-term cost of debt, in terms of both actual cash cost as well as soft costs like the loss of control and stewardship of your company and the potential future value of the ownership shares that are sold.

Alternative Financing Solutions

But what if your business needs working capital and you don’t qualify for a bank loan or line of credit? Alternative financing solutions are often appropriate for injecting working capital into businesses in this situation. Three of the most common types of alternative financing used by such businesses are:

1. Full-Service Factoring – Businesses sell outstanding accounts receivable on an ongoing basis to a commercial finance (or factoring) company at a discount. The factoring company then manages the receivable until it is paid. Factoring is a well-established and accepted method of temporary alternative finance that is especially well-suited for rapidly growing companies and those with customer concentrations.

2. Accounts Receivable (A/R) Financing – A/R financing is an ideal solution for companies that are not yet bankable but have a stable financial condition and a more diverse customer base. Here, the business provides details on all accounts receivable and pledges those assets as collateral. The proceeds of those receivables are sent to a lockbox while the finance company calculates a borrowing base to determine the amount the company can borrow. When the borrower needs money, it makes an advance request and the finance company advances money using a percentage of the accounts receivable.

3. Asset-Based Lending (ABL) – This is a credit facility secured by all of a company’s assets, which may include A/R, equipment and inventory. Unlike with factoring, the business continues to manage and collect its own receivables and submits collateral reports on an ongoing basis to the finance company, which will review and periodically audit the reports.

In addition to providing working capital and enabling owners to maintain business control, alternative financing may provide other benefits as well:

It’s easy to determine the exact cost of financing and obtain an increase.
Professional collateral management can be included depending on the facility type and the lender.
Real-time, online interactive reporting is often available.
It may provide the business with access to more capital.
It’s flexible – financing ebbs and flows with the business’ needs.
It’s important to note that there are some circumstances in which equity is a viable and attractive financing solution. This is especially true in cases of business expansion and acquisition and new product launches – these are capital needs that are not generally well suited to debt financing. However, equity is not usually the appropriate financing solution to solve a working capital problem or help plug a cash-flow gap.

A Precious Commodity

Remember that business equity is a precious commodity that should only be considered under the right circumstances and at the right time. When equity financing is sought, ideally this should be done at a time when the company has good growth prospects and a significant cash need for this growth. Ideally, majority ownership (and thus, absolute control) should remain with the company founder(s).

Alternative financing solutions like factoring, A/R financing and ABL can provide the working capital boost many cash-strapped businesses that don’t qualify for bank financing need – without diluting ownership and possibly giving up business control at an inopportune time for the owner. If and when these companies become bankable later, it’s often an easy transition to a traditional bank line of credit. Your banker may be able to refer you to a commercial finance company that can offer the right type of alternative financing solution for your particular situation.

Taking the time to understand all the different financing options available to your business, and the pros and cons of each, is the best way to make sure you choose the best option for your business. The use of alternative financing can help your company grow without diluting your ownership. After all, it’s your business – shouldn’t you keep as much of it as possible?