I will be the first to admit – staying lean has not always been my domain. Over the years, I gained weight, and I lost weight, but after the age of 25, I no longer could stay slim permanently.

It was partly caused by lack of physical activity, partly by extended work days (as a software developer, you tend to sit at your desks a lot), but mostly by my very bad diet habits.

More than occasional fast food, sodas, pasta, bread, whatever take-away I could find for lunch – I was guilty of all that.

Gaining weight is a tricky game. You don’t notice an immediate change from one day to another. It is a pretty slow processes – slow enough for us not to notice long after others can tell that you’re getting obese.

My moment of truth came when one year, I decided to go for a weekend of skiing While packing my gear, I was shocked to realize that my skiing jacket was suddenly way too small for my… and I only bought it a year ago. Man, if I can’t fit into my jacket, things are turning bad.

I bought a different jacket, but I also made a solemn promise to myself to finally face this issue, and solve it for good.

Based on common knowledge, your weight is 70-80 percent related to diet, and only 20-30 percent related to exercise, or lack of it.

Therefore, diet is where I decided to focus most of my efforts initially.

Surprisingly, I didn’t take a lot of changes to see great results. I went from 90 kg to 80 kg in a matter of less than 3 months. The most important ones can be summarized in just 5 points.

1. No food after 7:00 PM

Eating at night has been one of my greatest sins. I would often stay late, coding, or (true story) binge watching Netflix, and eating snacks. Or even worse, I would get a delivery from a Chinese take-away, and it eat it 1:00 AM.

I decide to stop any food after 7:00 PM, at the same time forcing myself to go to bed no later than 11:00 PM.

Initially, it was probably the hardest change. I failed on many days, feeling remorse, but at the same time cheating myself that a small bite here and there will do no harm.

Looking back, I think my strategy was similar to when a smoker decides to quit gradually instead of instantly. Even though I violated my principle, I slowly reduced the amount of food I ate after 7:00 PM, up to a point I actually achieved my goal.

One extra change was going to bed even earlier, around 10:00 PM, on most days. It had the extra benefit of feeling so much better the next day, more refreshed.

2. No bread for breakfast 6 days of the week

Coming originally from Europe, I love good bread. But bread makes you fat, period.

I changed my habits completely. No bread for breakfast for me anymore, except on Sundays (my treat day).

I will have scrambled eggs with vegetables, or just some fruit, but no bread.

3. No sugar in any obvious form

I don’t obsess about avoiding sugar – I know it’s hiding in so many products that I can’t eliminate it completely. It exists naturally in many products, including in most fruit, after all.

However, I consciously avoid obvious sources of simple sugars. That means:

  • no more sodas, just plain water for me now;
  • no sugar in my tea or coffee any more;
  • no cakes, doughnuts, etc.

4. Dehydrated fruit and veggies for lunch

Not every day. But I decided to make some significant changes to my lunch menu. Before, I would order something for take-away or just go out for lunch to a restaurant. I still do it, but only twice a week (I just like it to much, especially going out).

But three times a week now I bring a box of dehydrated fruit and vegetables I prepare myself on the weekend. They are nutritious, healthy, and stay fresh long enough that I don’t have to worry about my lunch every day.

If you’re curious, there are plenty of options for the right dehydrator. You can use it not only for vegetable and fruit, but also for meat. Dehydrated beef is something I am planning to try very soon.

I researched my options at https://fooddehydratorshub.com/ – they have a solid guide to dehydrating, and reviews of individual models.

5. Moderate excercise

I know I mentioned that my focus was mostly on the diet, but I added a bit of physical activity to my life. Once a week, I play squash with a friend of mine, and once a week I also do light jogging – something live 7-8 km over 60 minutes. Very slow and relaxing for now, but I am slowly getting more stamina, and I would to improve my pace.

I also try to visit a swimming pool regularly, which in total gives me three days involving physical activity per week. I am not sure if it’s contributing to my weight loss, but it definitely is helping with my mood. And having positive attitude definitely helps when your goals is to lose weight, and maintain it later.

Cake pops are emerging in popularity.Cake pop paired with a hot cup of espresso is all you need for the perfect evening. For a perfect cup of espresso get an espresso machine from ekuep. A lot of people now want to know how to make cake pops of their own. Baking them does involve a lot of steps, but knowing how to make cake pops can really help people present something unique at a bake sale and at a lot of other similar occasions. Fortunately, baking them is not actually difficult so much as time-consuming, so it is still something that people are going to be able to repeat often enough. This is something that people can do in between something else as well, since baking cake pops is going to involve a lot of waiting in between the different parts of the process.


Making cake pops takes time. People are often going to need a couple of hours in order to successfully roll them and put them together in most cases. Even baking the initial cake is going to take some time. Usually, people are better off trying to set aside around an afternoon or so to make cake pops, depending on the number of cake pops they are interested in making. These are versatile creations that will let people make lots of great stuff.


How to Make Cake Pops


  1. Start by baking a cake of your choice. People will need a cake mix box that contains around 18.25 ounces in order to get enough cake for the recipe. Finish baking the cake and let it cool completely. Baking the cake the night before everything starts and letting the cake cool overnight can be a good strategy for the people who are trying to use shortcuts and who want to be able to save some time with their baking.


  1. Crumble the cake into a large mixing bowl and add seventy-five percent of a container of frosting into the bowl. Make sure that everything has been thoroughly combined, but also make sure that the cake balls are not overly moist. If they are, scraping some of the frosting out of them could help, and having some spare cake on hand can help the people who are trying to plan ahead for potential problems. Some people might choose to mix in more sugary ingredients in order to make the cake pops taste a certain way at this stage.


  1. Roll the mixture into a number of different cake balls. Then set them all on a baking sheet and let everything stand for around twenty minutes. This allows the cake pops to dry enough that they are going to fall into a particular shape and a particular pattern.


  1. The next goal should be to make the balls firm but not completely rock-hard. This can be accomplished by putting them in the freezer for around fifteen minutes or so or putting them in the refrigerator for around two hours or so.


  1. Take forty-eight ounces of candy coating and melt it all in the microwave. The candy coating should not be so hot that it is bubbling, but it should be warm enough that it is going to be easy to spread onto the cake pops. The candy coating needs to be appropriately melted on the same day as the cake pops are made, however, or the consistency and texture will not be right for the people who are trying to prepare the cake pops adequately.


  1. Take a number of different lollipop sticks and insert them into the center of the emerging cake pops in order to get them ready. The cake pops will need to be firm enough in order to make this possible in the first place. Otherwise, they might need to be chilled some more.


  1. Coat all of the different cake pops with the melted candy coating. Try to get the distribution right in order to make sure that all of them are going to have the right flavor. If the coating doesn’t spread well enough, it might have to be melted more first. Some people might choose to add sprinkles or some other dusting of candy in order to give the cake pops an additional color, texture, or flavor that they can use.


  1. Allow all of the cake pops to cool on a surface that is going to accommodate them well enough, such as a Styrofoam surface.

Knowing how to make cake frosting at home can really save people a lot of trouble. Frosting is one of those things that people have a tendency to run out of at the worst possible moment. Being able to make it independently can make a huge difference for the people who routinely do a lot of baking and who are tired of having to make emergency runs to the grocery store.


Cake frosting is also very versatile. People often decorate cookies using cake frosting. Other people will decorate nearly all of their different desserts using cake frosting, which will really allow them to make some brownies and other kinds of desserts that are very different from the ones that a lot of other people are going to make. Cake frosting is also delicious enough that some people are going to eat it independently. Ideally, bakers would be able to create cake frosting that really was just that delicious.


How to Make Cake Frosting at Home


People need to start out with some basic ingredients in order to create some delicious homemade frosting. Many frosting types are going to start out with butter as a base, and butter is a great choice for the fat for cake frosting. The cake frosting that people will be able to make in this manner is going to be healthier than a lot of the different types of cake frosting that people will get in stores, which will often use fats containing partially hydrogenated oil and a lot of other sources of trans fat. Butter has a much better image in recent years as people learn to embrace more natural foods and natural ingredients, and butter makes a delicious base for frosting.


Frosting otherwise uses milk and powdered sugar. The powdered sugar is one of the most important ingredients, of course. Some flavors of frosting will use cocoa powder in order to make chocolate frosting, vanilla extract to make vanilla frosting, and different types of food coloring in order to make the frosting different in terms of the coloration if not the flavor.


To make ice cream frosting that uses butter, people can start by beating six tablespoons of butter using a whisk or electronic mixer until it is all light and fluffy. They can then mix in four thirds of a cup of sifted powdered sugar, which should be sifted in advance or sifted fairly quickly. This powdered sugar should be beaten in, and a tablespoon of milk can be beaten into the mixture twice in order to give it all that essential consistency and texture. When all of these ingredients are spread together, they truly can be used to create delicious buttercream frosting.


Some types of frosting can essentially be melted ingredients in their own right, however, which can allow people to skip a few steps. Mixing some eating chocolate with sour cream and putting it all in a bowl that rests on boiling water can allow people to make some delicious chocolate frosting. When the chocolate is melted and the two ingredients can be combined, people will end up with some delicious chocolate frosting that will really give people some great options when they are trying to find some chocolate frosting around the house.


Cream cheese is another great base for frosting. Cream cheese can be beaten with butter in order to really give people a base for frosting that is going to spread well and that will deliver a really great flavor over and over again. Cream cheese can also create a really light and fluffy sort of frosting that will work in many different recipes.


As long as people have butter, cream cheese, sour cream, and similar types of light and fluffy fats they should at least be able to get started with making cake frosting. These fats, in addition to the powdered sugar, will constitute the most important ingredients. People who routinely have a lot of chocolate, sugar, sprinkles, and candies around the house will be able to get creative with the cake frosting that they make, and they will be able to do some truly different things with what they have. Making cake frosting at home is relatively easy and rewarding.

Some people may spend a lot of time in their kitchen cooking a meal for their entire family. Based on their level of expertise, they may even enjoy cooking various kinds of meats, vegetables, pastas and a host of other delicious dishes that everyone in the family will enjoy. However, when it comes to baking cakes and other sweet deserts, they may need some advice or recommendations to improve their skills sets. Specifically, if they are only baking their favorite cakes from time to time. So, for those of you want to start at the lower level of baking cakes for beginners, here’s a few tips that may help you with getting started.


Tip 1 – Understand that Baking Good Cakes is an Art

The best bakers in the industry may not feel comfortable with tell you their secrets, especially those that disclose how they make the best cakes in the industry. However, they may feel free and comfortable in telling the beginner that baking is considered to be an art. In fact it is important to note that baking takes time and quite a bit of patience in preparation and waiting on the ending results. So, it will not only take quite a bit of time in coining the art, but also in making mistakes and finding out what works best and what does not.


Tip 2 – Gather all of the Tools and Equipment Needed before Getting Started

As previously stated, baking good cakes takes time. A big part of the time goes into the actual preparation, which is before the mixture is placed into the oven. Therefore, seasoned and beginner bakers alike should make sure that they have all of the utensils, tools, and equipment needed prior to starting the process. For instance, before baking a cake from scratch, the cook will need to make sure that they have big bowls, large spoons, mixers, measuring cups and other associated items to start and complete the process. All of which are usually noted on the recipes that the person will be following.


Tip 3 – Read the Ingredients thoroughly

In addition to making sure all of the tools and equipment are available before starting this process, it is very important that the person does a good job of reading the ingredients thoroughly. Since each type of cake can vary greatly in ingredients as well as how long that it will take for it to bake, it is very important that the cook reads and understands what they will be tasked with doing well in advance. For instance, the cook should preheat the oven by placing the oven on the appropriate temperature that is noted in the instructions. Further, before adding all of the ingredients into a mixer, everyone should make sure that all of the ingredients are fresh and not expired (i.e. fresh eggs). This is because ingredients that have expired can completely ruin the taste of the cake.


Tip 4 – All Flour Products are not the Same

All flour products are not same. In fact, they can differ greatly in use based on the recipe. For instance, if an individual is baking yeast bread instead of a cake, the cook will need to use wheat flour instead of all purpose flour. In this case, if the wrong flour is used, the cook will make a very heavy cake versus a light cake that will melt in the mouth. Therefore, all bakers, novice and seasoned must know the differences between each kind before they make their purchases. If any doubt, it is always best to read the instructions.


Tip 5 – Make an Invest in Quality Ingredients

If you want to make cakes that people will always enjoy, you will need to invest in top quality ingredients. Even though the recipe may call for any brand of nuts, chocolates or fruits, buying any kind can contribute to major mistakes. In fact, seasoned bakers can attest to the fact that the ingredients can make a break a good recipe. So, do not make a common mistake by using off brand fruits and nuts that do not add any value to a good recipe.


Tip 6 – Ready All Ingredients Before Starting the Process

Similar to carrying out an experiment in a chemistry class, each ingredient must be made ready in advance. Meaning if the person measures everything prior to carrying out the instructions, it makes it much easier for you to follow the recipe as written.


If you have mastered the art of making good cakes, you may be thinking about starting your own business. Fortunately, the market for good cakes can be just what your local area may need. However, before getting started, it is important for all aspiring business owners to know that one of the essential keys to starting a successful cake bakery is in the planning. In fact, with adequate planning, the owner can start a very profitable venture. Therefore, for those of you who are interested in baking cakes as a business, here’s are some of the basic guidelines.


1 . Research Your Local Area for Marketability and Demand

Even though starting a bakery may be a good ideal for anyone who has the special skill sets, there are numerous factors that must be considered in advance. If the baker expects to be successful in their ventures, they must have consumers who will be willing to buy the cakes that will be made at a price that they can afford. In some cases, the market for good cakes may be wide open if there is no bakery in the local or surrounding area that they are considering. Meaning this may be a good ideal for the baker. On the other hand, the new cake baker may find that there are several bakeries in a particular locale that has the areas all wrapped up and there is no real room for any more competitors. Whatever the case or situation, this is research that must be done well in advance to see if there is a high enough demand for the products that they will be offering.


2 .Determine If its an Independent Venture or a Franchise

Fortunately, there is more than one way to start a new business. Meaning people who bake the best cakes can decide which one will fit or suit their needs. Franchise or an independent venture are two of the more of the more common options or alternatives. So, the choice is normally based on what the new owner foresees as their new role and how much money that it will cost them to get started. For instance, if the baker is expecting to sell and promote their own specialty cakes based on their own recipes, the best choice is normally starting an independent venture that will allow them to do their own thing. Either wise, the new baker must be willing to duplicate recipes of the franchise so that they can make their fair share of the profits in their own location.


3. Identify Funding Needs

Starting a profitable business does not always come cheap or without certain embedded expenses. Unlike starting a business online, there are expenses that will need to be funded. From buying flour and other ingredients in bulk orders to purchasing business equipment for the bakery, these expenses can easily add up to several thousand of dollars at a time and more based on the venture. Therefore, the new baker must make sure that they have identified all of the initial start-up cost and the amounts going forward to ensure that they have the financing for their new business. In some cases, the initial start of this type of business may begin in the home. When this is the situation, the expenses may still be costly, but can often be kept to a minimum. Regardless to the decision that is made, the option selected will be based on the individual, their personal preferences and the cost associated with the start-up.


4 . Write Your Business Plan

After the type of business has been selected and other related decisions are made, the baker can begin creating their business plan. This plan will consist of quite a few essential factors including outlining what the business will be located (in the home or in an offsite facility), what type of business venture is expected (franchise or independent venture), identifying the financing needed and a wide variety of other factors that will describe the business. More importantly, this business plan can also be used to solicit funds from interested in investors. Specifically, those people who have been encouraging the baker to sell their cakes to others outside of their circle of friends and family members.


It is great to be able to serve a homemade cake on a special occasion such as a birthday or wedding either to your family or customers if you are in business. You can easily find the perfect recipe from a friend or online. At the same time, cake baking is not a simple task. You have to follow the instructions provided in the recipe precisely. You have to ensure that you will avoid the following commonly made mistakes as well.


Using Cold Ingredients

This is one of the biggest cake baking mistakes people make. If the ingredients are cold, this can result in lumps and other issues with the texture of the batter. You would certainly not want your creation to be ruined by such a silly mistake. All ingredients have to have room temperature when they are added together for the making of the batter. For this, you need to take out the ones which are stored in the fridge such as eggs, milk and butter around one and a half hours before you start baking.


Not Using Fresh Ingredients

This is probably the most common mistake that people make. They’ll buy a huge bag of flour and use it for a year, or dig an old jar of yeast out of the cupboard and then wonder why nothing will rise and why everything is heavy and chewy instead of light and fluffy. Dry ingredients do get old and stale and they simply do not perform well. Flour, baking soda, baking powder and yeast in particular, need to be fresh for any type of baked goods to turn out well.


Not Following The Recipe Step by Step

If the recipe says two cups, it really means two cups – not two heaping cups or two big handfuls! Measure your dry goods in proper measuring cups and spoons and your liquid in liquid measures. Don’t pack your flour down into the cup, simply scoop it into the cup and level it off with the back of a knife. Leaving out ingredients is a big no-no too. There are certain key components to any pastry or baked goods and they all need to be there in order for them to turn out. While you may decide to skip the walnuts in the brownie recipe because you hate nuts, you definitely can’t skip the eggs because you’re all out of them! Brownies without eggs will become flat chocolate bricks!


Not Allowing The Cake To Cool

First of all, you have to resist the temptation to take your finished product out of the pan or off of the baking sheet until they cool. If it is still warm it will lead to half of it sticking to the pan and the other half coming off. Allow sufficient time for your dessert to cool so that the whole dessert picks up cleanly and easily. A second reason why you might fall victim to this mistake is that the pan that it was baked in was not a non-stick pan or was not lined with oil, flour, or butter. This simple step in the beginning of your baking process is necessary to ensure a successful final product, so always remember to follow through with it.


Adding Frosting to a Warm Cake

If you make this mistake, the frosting will simply melt and lose its original texture and look. The cooling to room temperature typically takes about one to two hours. You have to provide for this time when you start with the preparation of the recipe. You can speed up the process by leaving the pan on a cool counter-top. You must not place it in the fridge while it is still warm.


Using The Wrong Oven Temperature


When you take your cake out of the oven, if it is well cooked on the outside and under-cooked in the center, then it is likely that you used the wrong oven temperature. Before you place your dessert in the oven, be sure that you are setting the oven temperature to the appropriate setting. If your oven is set to 450° instead of 350° you have created too much heat for your cake. Putting your cake back in the oven will only lead to a burned cake, so the solution to this problem is to double check your temperature settings.


Not Understanding Your Oven

Every oven is slightly different. Some heat un-evenly, some are a little hotter or colder than others. Get used to how your oven works and adjust baking times and temperatures accordingly. If for instance your oven is a lot hotter at the back, turn your pan around halfway through the baking.


Baking is something that most of us enjoy. At times, baking is not really a piece of cake and can turn out to be overwhelming, especially for first timers. The secret here is to understand the different ways in which you can bake a cake and choosing one that suits you best.


Cakes are mostly baked in ovens. But that isn’t the only way to go. If you have always used an oven for baking delicious cakes, you could try out the alternatives as they look just the same and taste just as good. You have two options besides the oven: Pressure Cooker and Microwave. Given below are two alternatives to using an oven for baking cakes and the ways in which you can do so:


  1. Pressure Cooker

Most people did not own an oven and had resorted to utilizing a pressure cooker to take care of their baking needs. There are a few things to consider while using a pressure cooker for baking:

*A pressure cooker reduces the amount of time taken for baking a cake.

*An aluminum pressure cooker works best, so therefore avoid a non-stick one.

*A separator (steel tray that the cake tin sits on) and baking tin (cake tin) are required to be placed in the pressure cooker.

*Keep away the whistle and gasket as they are not required.


The following steps need to be kept in mind while baking a cake in a pressure cooker:

  1. Pre-heat the pressure cooker for around ten minutes on high flame.
  2. Place the separator inside the pressure cooker. This separator will ensure that your pressure cooker does not get damaged. You can alternatively line the inside of the pressure cooker with parchment paper, but a separator and baking tin is the easier option.
  3. Once you have prepared the cake batter, grease the baking tin and the pour the batter into it.
  4. Tap the sides of the baking tin to avoid air bubbles from forming.
  5. Place the baking tin onto the separator in the pressure cooker.
  6. Cover the pressure cooker and reduce the flame.
  7. Allow the cake to cook. The time will depend on the batter and baking tin size.


  1. Microwave

In recent times with the invention of the microwave it was soon discovered that the microwave too, can handle a bit of baking. The coolest thing besides using a microwave to bake a cake is that you can bake one within a couple of minutes as well! The recipes available on the internet are numerous and have one thing in common: They are super easy. The most recent craze in microwave cakes are mug cakes as they are baked in a mug within minutes. They taste delicious and can be baked hassle-free.


All you need while baking a microwave cake are:

*Microwave safe bowl or mug depending on how you would like your cake to turn out. Ramekins are the safest and best option for baking a cake in a microwave

*Oil spray to grease the baking bowl, mug or ramekin.

*Plastic wrap to cover the baking bowl, mug or ramekin while in the microwave.


Follow the ways given below while using a microwave to bake a cake:

  1. Combine the various ingredients to make your cake batter.
  2. Grease the baking bowl, mug or ramekin.
  3. Pour the batter into the baking bowl, mug or ramekin.
  4. Cover it with plastic wrap
  5. Leave a bit of the plastic wrap open. This allows the steam to get out.
  6. Bake it in the microwave. The minutes will depend on the batter and recipe. Remember every microwave is different and therefor it is a must to have adequate knowledge on the working of your microwave lest you may overcook the cake.
  7. Once baked, take off the plastic wrap and with the help of a butter knife you can easily get it onto a tray.


Even if you are not one who is comfortable with experimenting, these baking alternatives are guaranteed to give you the desired result. You can give your oven a break and try the pressure cooker or microwave for a change. And if you do now own an oven, no issue! Because you do not need to buy one, thanks to the alternatives.