The Detox Diet Controversy

Detox or Starvation?

The detox diet has come under harsh scrutiny over the past few months. There are ample claims that the only weight lost is the water weight form the initial fast and the natural weight loss occurs from cutting caloric intake. The detox diet is quite restrictive, to the point where some people are calling it a starvation diet. There have been countless articles written by “experts” that state that the detox diet endangers people, stating that it creates yo-yo dieting, an unhealthy relationship with food, and even can contribute to the development of an eating disorder.

We also know that the vast majority of the “experts” who write these articles are those in the health and weight loss industry, such as nutritionists, health program supervisors, weight loss counselors, and lay people with an extreme interest in health and fitness. While I am certainly not suggesting that anyone is fabricating evidence or creating thought processes that are not accurate, I am however, indicating that when a person is educated to see things in one specific manner, it can be very difficult for them to see the same principles in a varying manner. For example, if a dietician goes to college and is taught that green beans cause cancer, that dietician will graduate believing that green beans cause cancer. If the same dietician returns for occasional classes to keep her education current, and over the course of the next ten years, the dietician is once again taught that green beans cause cancer, then the dietician will continue to believe this and teach her clients this as well. Fifteen years later someone comes along and points out to the dietician that green beans don’t cause cancer, how likely is the dietician to believe that green beans don’t cause cancer?

This phenomenon is not solely related to dieticians and health related fields. This phenomenon actual relates to every field. As a writer I was taught that you never speak in double negatives. It’s a basic principle I apply every day. If someone tried to convince me that the rules had suddenly changed, right or wrong, it has already been ingrained in me that double negatives are inappropriate and you shouldn’t use them. Thus, if I criticize this new theory without completely re-educating myself on the basic rules of English and grammar, then I am relying solely on my previous knowledge to dispute this issue.

So let’s break away from conventional dieticians and explore the detox diet with a completely blank slate. I am not a dietician. I am just a writer is interested to know whether the detox diet is a healthy form of purification, or if it is a hidden form of starvation that does nothing but allow some water weight loss and makes you believe you are healthier. I have assembled three people who have done the detox diet and three who have not. Granted, this is not a huge percentage to pull from, but I am not using them as test subjects, only to ask them to verify or deny detox diet statements that are made from both testimonials from detox dieters and criticism from dieticians.

Fasting and Purity

For centuries people have fasted for purity. If we look back through even ancient texts, we will find that the fasting was not for spiritual purity alone, but for physical purity as well. Fasting for purity often left the spiritual seeker feeling initially drained and then once again reenergized within a thirty six hour period. The purity that they felt within their spirits was also a purity that they felt through their body. This argument can be easily criticized that they felt their body’s purity because of their spiritual lifting. All three detox dieters, who were not in search of spiritual enlightenment, all agreed that they felt weak from the initial starvation, but began to feel “clearer,” before the end of the second day. None of them agreed that they were experiencing starvation. They all felt their fasting led to at least some form of physical purity.

In medical science, there are times when doctors recommend fasting. Not including pre surgical procedures, most fasting requirements are for some form of “readying” or purity. Prior to starting diets that treat illnesses, such as the ketogenic diet, there is a period of fasting required beforehand.

Critics of the detox diet claim that the headaches and general all over yucky feeling people experience in the first week of a detox diet is from a lack of food. However, champions of the detox diet say that the headaches and the generally “yucky” feeling they get when fasting coincides with a noticeable change in their excretions. My three detox dieters all agreed that when their urine and bowel movements became noticeably more “aromatic” they found themselves with headaches and a feeling of overall fatigue. They did not contribute this feeling to fasting.

I did an online search and found eleven dieticians that negated the detox diet. Each one of them claimed that the headaches were from the fasting, however, each of them offered their own version of the detox diet. Interesting. The dieticians’ versions included what could almost be considered fasting. Their idea of not fasting was eating some fruit and yogurt. Most detox diets do not include a total fasting period.

The critics of the detox diet are not impressed with the detox diet weight loss. They claim that the detox diet weight loss comes from the loss of water weight during the fasting period and will be regained quickly when normal eating is resumed. The detox diet weight loss comes from various sources. If you are doing a complete detoxification, including the colon, all three of my detox dieters claim that you can see where some of the weight loss comes from as you are flushing it down the toilet. Two of my detox dieters had to call plumbers from the excessive waste they produced. Their detox diet weight loss has remained, and two of them started the detox diet more than six months prior to this writing. Detox diet weight loss remained in all three of my dieters because they make better choices. They resumed normal eating habits, but they did not return to ingesting large amounts of junk foods. They claim that the detox diet showed them how important maintaining a low toxic level was to their overall health.

Just Another Diet Trend?

The critics of the detox diet claim that this diet trend, like all those that came before it, is no more effective than anything else that has been put out there. Whenever a new diet trend comes along, people rush to participate, and then claim that it doesn’t work. Not all diets will work for everyone. I tried the Atkins diet for awhile with little or no results, but a man I knew lost nearly thirty pounds on it. However Atkins doesn’t work very well for people who are not significantly overweight, according to some critics and apparently my body. So, does that mean that the detox diet is more than just another diet trend, or will it fall to the wayside after a bit like every other diet trend. Of my detox dieters, 2 out of three say it’s not a diet trend. It is a method of cleansing the body, which other diet trends simply don’t do. The 3rd dieter says it is a diet trend, but a highly effective diet trend, and if a diet trend is effective then who cares if it’s a trend? Interesting point.

Diet trend and fads usually don’t carry much weight behind their claims. They are simply a theory produced to suggest that the latest Diet trend is the most effective weight loss plan and everyone needs to jump on board before their obesity claims them forever. The detox diet has a different aim, so I really poked around when trying to determine if this was simply just a diet trend or more of a health revolution.

There is overwhelming evidence that Americans and Canadians are in the poorest health overall, considering the health care we have available. The healthcare we have at our fingertips should make us one of the healthiest nations in the world, but we rank very low on the list. Most doctors and scientists contribute this to the foods we put into our body and the chemicals we come in contact with when eating, working, and playing. For the health choices that we have available to us, we have one of the highest rates of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and childhood cancer rates in the world. Of course, we also rank ridiculously high on the list for overweight and obese citizens.

The detox diet is concerned with addressing the overall health of Americans, not just their waistline. The diet trends that have come along have been concerned with treating the waistline issues, but not the overall health. So, is the detox diet just another diet trend? By technical definition, a diet trend meaning any new method of eating introduced into society that creates a sudden onslaught of followers, well then yes. However, it can’t be considered a diet trend by any other definition. It was simply not developed for the same reasons or the same fashion that diet trends hit the market.

Thin people can benefit from the detox diet. Overweight people can benefit from the detox diet. Everyone in between can benefit from the detox diet. The detox diet isn’t targeted for weight loss. Thus it is really about a healthier lifestyle. Detox dieting is geared toward permanent health. After a significant purge of the body’s chemical and toxic build up, the detox diet is geared to long lasting non-toxic lifestyles rather than diet trends, which tend to be geared toward lifestyles that manage weight.

Decide for Yourself

Discover for yourself the difference in a good quality detox diet and just another diet trend. The best consumer is an informed consumer. Check out detox manual and decide for yourself about the power of a good detox diet. After the research I did for this article, I am definitely stopping at detox manual and taking my own detox diet trip.

Locksmith Training

Locksmith training is for the creative and ambitious person with a mechanical aptitude, good hand-eye coordination and the patience to work with delicate mechanisms and parts. Members of a profession that is never likely to go away, locksmiths are entrusted with the safety of people, property, information and other resources. If you are an honest, bondable and personable individual, a career as a locksmith can be highly lucrative and rewarding.

Locksmith courses train new specialists in the profession and upgrade those who have already obtained some skills. As well as the traditional skills of lock picking, lock fitting, key cutting, rekeying, and safe opening, locksmith training now includes more recent technologies – electromagnetic lock systems, digital locks and combinations, and computerized security systems. Much of the background knowledge required for these new technologies can only be taught in a formal course setting (rather than on the job), and there is a definite trend toward credentialing and licensing for locksmiths, so locksmith schools are more and more in demand.

In the United States, midrange annual earnings for locksmiths are about $31,000. Earnings tend to be higher in the northeastern states and in the District of Columbia. Predictably, credentialed professionals who have succeeded in formal locksmith training have an easier time starting their own businesses and are favored over other candidates by employers. Those who invest in continuing education to stay up to date by taking locksmith courses will naturally maintain a good reputation with people who use their services.

Employment opportunities for locksmiths and safe repairers are expected to increase modestly between now and 2014: about 16 percent. Regionally, the increase in opportunities will be greater: America’s Career InfoNet predicts that Idaho, Utah, Virginia, Nevada, and New Mexico will all require more than 30 percent more locksmiths and safe repairers by 2014. Again, graduates of locksmith training programs will be in the best position to take advantage of these opportunities.

Most colleges and schools that offer locksmith courses have websites now and are happy to provide information to potential students. To investigate and compare locksmith schools, visit websites and request information packages. Various educational formats are available, including on site, on line, and distance locksmith training.

Wedding Trends for 2014 That We Love!

  • Pink… High Necklines… Sparkly!!!!!

Pink is back. We love the baby pink that brides will be wearing this year. It brings a whole warmth to the wedding and makes the photographs amazing. All the catwalks have been championing high necklines with lace and delicate finishes making the most fantastic Audrey Hepburn feel. Bringing glamour and grace to the big day. Our other favourite is hand embellished dresses with crystals on bodices and belts sparkling on beautiful summer days. Beautiful brides are always in fashion but check out these styles that bring the whole look on trend.

  • Go Short for Drama

There is an increasing demand for shorter hemlines this year. If you have the legs (and ankles!!) then short is good. Most designers have included hemlines above the knee this season. Its cute and it saves dragging the train through the dirt.

  • Theme Your Day for Glamour

Think “Breakfast at Tiffanys” or ” The Great Gatsby” and infuse an elegant style into your wedding. Brides are going for long white gloves, classic gold rimmed china, beautiful flower patterns are creating a grand, powerful and glamorous feeling. It brings together colour and lines to your day and your imagery.

  • Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

Big garlands of trailing flowers are bang on trend and making their way back in 2014. Long trails of oranges, lemons and lime greens are really spicing things up. Long arrangements that run down the centre of the table. We love!!

  • Less is more

Invitations sre getting smaller and cuter. We love tiny traditional block pressed invitations that emboss the wording onto the paper. Paper choice is also under scrutiny. Choose neutral textured paper, that give that quality feel.

  • Music that Charms

String quartets playing Coldplay or Bluegrass Bands playing Sinatra. Don’t under estimate the power of music and what a great atmosphere it can create. Make sure that the music you choose really fits in with the theme that you have chosen for the day.

  • Having your Cake and then not eating it!

Dusting and glitter seem the must have cake this year. But inspiration for cakes that seem to good to ever eat that then Bridal Guide has the most amazing selection of what to feed your guests. Their are ideas and inspiration that will blow you away.

What ever style, colour or dress you choose for this most precious of days the one thing that brides are more and more taking control of learning to pose for the photographs. The photographs are one of the biggest investments you make on your day. Then ensure that you get the most from your images. More and more brides are striking poses with photographers in tow. Do your homework before the day and speak to your photographer to discuss what you want to achieve. Look at websites and magazines and really study the poses. You may feel a bit of a “charlie” but the results with definitely worth it.

Furnished Holiday Lettings – A Tax Guide

Where a furnished rental property is designated as a ‘furnished holiday letting’ (FHL) there are several advantages over a normal let property as it is basically treated as a trade for certain tax purposes. This includes tax relief to be claimed on expenditure on fixtures and fittings and also provides entitlement to various capital gains reliefs when the property is subsequently sold, replaced or gifted.

Owners of FHLs should endeavour as far as possible to comply with the specified letting rules outlined below, thus ensuring that the property qualifies for the favourable tax advantages.

Qualifying letting periods

  • The FHL property must be available for commercial holiday letting to the public for at least 210 days per year AND be actually let as holiday accommodation for 105 days per year.
  • It must not normally be let for a continuous period of more than 31 days to the same tenant in seven months of the year.

There are two ways to help owners of FHLs to reach the above thresholds. If an owner owns more than one FHL the ‘averaging’ election might be helpful and if a FHL meets the thresholds in some years but not in others, then a ‘period of grace’ election is currently available.

Location of property

  • All FHL properties which are located in the UK are treated as one ‘business’ and all properties located in other EEA states are taxed as a separate ‘business’.

Capital allowances

  • Expenditure on fittings, furniture and equipment (and certain integral features) qualifies for a 100% annual investment allowance (AIA) up to £250,000 pa for expenditure incurred between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2014.
  • The availability of the AIA means that expenditure on such assets installed in a qualifying FHL property can be wholly written-off for tax purposes in the tax year in which the expenditure is incurred.
  • Note however that there are no capital allowances available on the cost of the property itself or the land on which it stands.

Pre-Letting Expenditure

  • Revenue expenditure incurred in the pre-letting period, such as advertising costs or repairs can be deducted against rental income received during the first tax year.
  • Expenditure incurred in renovating a property so that it is brought into a condition fit for letting are treated as capital costs.

Personal Use

  • Where the property is used by the owner (or their family at a nominal rent) then any qualifying expenditure must be restricted by the private use proportion on a just and reasonable basis.

Treatment of FHL losses

  • Where a net loss, after deduction of any capital allowances, is incurred on UK located FHLs it can only be offset against UK FHL profits of a later tax year.
  • Likewise where a net loss is incurred on FHLs located elsewhere in the EEA then it can only be carried forward against future profits of the same properties.
  • ‘Sideways’ loss relief, which prior to 2011 allowed losses on FHLs to be set against other types of taxable income, is unfortunately no longer available.

Capital gains tax advantages of FHL

Qualifying FHL properties continue to be treated favourably for CGT. FHLs are classified as ‘business’ assets and are therefore eligible for the following CGT business reliefs:

  • Entrepreneurs’ Relief ~ resulting in a CGT reduced rate of 10% payable on any capital gains arising on the disposal of the property (up to a lifetime limit of £10 million)
  • Gift Relief ~ which means that where a property is gifted the capital gain arising can be frozen and will only become liable to CGT on a subsequent disposal by the recipient.
  • Replacement of Business Asset Relief ~ which allows a capital gain arising on the disposal of a FHL to be deferred by setting it against the cost of a replacement business asset acquired within three years of the disposal.

Inheritance tax position of FHL

  • Following a Tribunal decision made in favour of HMRC in January 2013, 100% Business Property Relief is only likely to be available on furnished holiday lettings where the services provided are at a substantially more significant level than those provided on a standard let property.
  • Therefore in the vast majority of cases a FHL left on death will be treated as investment property (rather than business property) and as such fully chargeable to Inheritance Tax as part of the deceased’s estate.
  • For lifetime transfers, a FHL property will only become chargeable to IHT should the donor die within seven years of the date the property was gifted.

Value added tax position of FHL

  • The rental income from a FHL is regarded as taxable turnover for VAT which means that if an owner is already registered for VAT then they must also charge 20% VAT on the FHL rentals payable by tenants.
  • Where the rents from a FHL taken together with turnover from an unregistered business exceed £79,000 in a 12 month period, then that person should register for VAT.
  • Where however a FHL is jointly owned with a spouse then the rental income is received in a different capacity so VAT should not be an issue.

The Health Care Reform Act Penalties and the Requirement For Buying Individual Health Insurance

In December of 2009, the United States Senate passed the Health Care Reform Act, which was later adopted by the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010. This bill represents monumental changes in the American medical system, both for consumers of health care, as well as employers and insurance providers. Among other things, the Bill requires health care policies to be approved by the government, and provides monetary penalties for citizens not covered by approved health care insurance. The reason for such penalties, as described in the Bill, is that by allowing citizens to go uninsured they become significantly less likely to seek preventative care for conditions they may experience. This translates into increased costs for the health care system as a whole, and indirectly to the taxpayers.

But wait a minute. You may be asking yourself, what does this mean for me? To begin with, rest assured that if you are currently covered by health insurance, you will be unaffected by this change: all existing health care plans will be grandfathered in by the Bill. Furthermore, if you are currently uninsured, the government will not penalize you until the Bill comes fully into effect in 2014. Even then, the legislation provides exceptions for individuals who cannot afford health insurance, those who object for religious reasons, are incarcerated, or citizens who do not currently reside in the United States.

The penalties thereafter will begin at $95 for uninsured persons in 2014, increase to $325 in 2015, and $695 in 2016. Under the House’s amendments to the Bill, the final amount of the penalty is $695 each year for each person for whom the taxpayer is liable. This can accrue up to either $2,250 (for three uninsured individuals) or 2.5% of the taxpayer’s household income, whichever is greater. Some of the Bill’s proponents feel that this figure is too lenient, as it allows taxpayers to simply pay the penalty until they require a medical procedure. They can then purchase insurance which would normally be more expensive, especially for individual health insurance not provided by an employer. This type of “adverse selection” could potentially be detrimental to the social health system, though it is possible that a future amendment may increase the penalties for uninsured persons to prevent this.

The effects of the Bill will not be felt until 2014, though some regulatory acts will come into effect sooner, including regulations on medical plans renewing after September 23, 2010, requiring greater transparency in any existing health care plans, as well as the creation of a federal high-risk pool that will begin this summer.

The Bill represents an unprecedented change in the United States government’s stance on health care. The goals of the Act are certainly very ambitious, and time will tell whether it achieves its goals. Though the Act may be changed by future amendments, and even challenged legally on constitutional grounds, it is imperative that taxpayers, insurers, and employers alike understand the Bill and its implications, since they will have a profound and lasting impact in the landscape of America’s health care.