Boris Johnson out-charms George Osborne in China

Mr Johnson then turned to a Chinese student, asking: “The yin and the yang. What do you say for a harmonious, sounds like one of those Chinese fireworks, a harmonious dove or something like that? A pair of harmonious doves. What is that in Chinese?”

After she looked back blankly, Mr Osborne said: “I think she likes the yin and yang comparatively.”

Earlier, the mayor could not resist a friendly dig at Mr Osborne, who in a speech at the university mentioned that his 10-year-old daughter was learning Mandarin.

Mr Johnson then told the same audience that not only was his daughter learning the language but also planned to visit China next week.

Mr Johnson said: “George mentions his daughter, I have a 16-year-old and she is not only learning Mandarin George, she’s coming here next week to pursue her studies.”

After the speeches, Mr Johnson proved more popular in a question and answer session, with just one question directed at Mr Osborne.

The mayor and the Chancellor have long been touted as successors to David Cameron as Conservative Party leader and their visits come at a time of thawing relations following a diplomatic row over the Prime Minister meeting the Dalai Lama last year.

Both Mr Osborne’s and Mr Johnson’s trips have been in the pipeline for months but the timing of the Chancellor’s visit was revealed more recently than the mayor’s.

Yesterday, Mr Johnson stressed he was “very pleased” that Mr Osborne was visiting while admitting the timing was handled by the Government.

Sources: ITN/PA

TIPS TO HELP YOU BUILD HEALTHY EATING HABITS

 

 

The first thing people do when they say they want to be healthier and lose weight (aside from working out) is to go on a healthy diet – and that’s a great first step! But most believe a healthy diet means a really restrictive diet that involves cutting out all sugar, junk food, restricting carbs, etc. It’s great to want to cut down on processed foods, but over-restricting will lead to failure. After two weeks you’ll be craving all the food in the world and then dump your diet and maybe even your workout routine for good.

So, what should you do?

Develop good habits instead! Bad habits can cultivate a bad relationship with food, while healthy habits can help you build a positive one that fosters long-term and sustainable results. That’s the importance of healthy eating habits – they pave the way to a balanced diet that provides your body with the vitamins and essential nutrients it needs to help your body function properly and help you achieve your goals for the long-term, not short-term. These are the best omaha lunch spots.

So, the best way to approach dieting and attaining any fitness goal is by focusing on creating healthy habits that way you reach your weight loss or muscle-building goals and build good habits that stick with you for the long run!

Keep on reading to learn more about the importance of building healthy eating habits, plus tips on how to develop them so you can start eating healthy without making it seem like you’re actually dieting!

HOW TO DEVELOP HEALTHY EATING HABITS

A healthy diet is different for everyone. Some prefer to cut out carbs and sugar because it works for them. However, it’s important to remember that what works for someone might not work for you.

The tips below will help you not only create better eating habits, but they’ll also help you create a diet rich in essential nutrients that works for you! You’ll be able to design a healthy diet plan that isn’t overly restrictive, enjoyable, and sustainable.

RESTRICT, BUT NOT TOO MUCH 

Diets have food restrictions for a reason. They are meant to help a person shed fat or build muscle. You can’t just eat unhealthy all the time and expect to get results. Plus, that won’t even fuel your workouts properly!

Some might prefer to restrict carbs altogether in order to decrease body fat faster, but it’s only for a limited amount of time – that’s what diets are for. We’re trying to build sustainable healthy eating habits and to do that we must learn to put fewer restrictions on our daily diet and allow ourselves to eat our favorite, not-so-healthy foods every once in a while.

A good rule of thumb to follow is the 80/20 rule. Eat nutritious foods 80% of the time and allow yourself to indulge in less healthy food for the remaining 20% of your meals. The foods you eat should mostly consist of whole foods like fresh fruit, veggies, meat, chicken, fish, whole grains, healthy fats, and dairy products. This is what will provide your body with the nutrients it needs.

The key is to try to limit the number of processed foods you eat. Most processed foods like chips, ice cream, candies, sugary drinks, etc., are highly palatable. Highly palatable foods can lead to overeating. Try to keep those to a minimum by replacing them with other, healthier options. Like replacing seltzer water for soda or replacing fruit juice with a homemade smoothie filled with fruit, dairy-free milk, or other healthy add-ins! Doing this will help you still enjoy the foods you love in moderation, while finding new and healthier alternatives that you’ll end up loving!

PLAN AHEAD

Set aside time once a week to sit down and plan ahead. Grab your planner, calendar, or phone and plan your meals, shopping list, and even your workouts! Having a set plan will help you stay on track with not only your workouts but with your nutrition! 

Making a small change like this, sitting down for 30 minutes, and planning your week, will save you time and set an intention for success. So there’s a higher chance of you making better choices like making that healthy meal you planned instead of getting takeout.

SET MICRO GOALS

Everyone sets their big fitness goal, it could be to lose a certain amount of weight or build muscle in a specific area, but rarely do people set smaller goals. Smaller goals, known as micro goals, are the roadmap to your bigger goal. They basically help you set a good plan to how you’re going to achieve your big fitness goal. But the best part is, they build habits and self-discipline.

Setting micro goals is easy, there’s really no right or wrong way to do it! Just think about your big goal, and come up with smaller daily or weekly goals that can help you get there. For example, you can set a goal to track your macros five times a week, which will help you stick to healthy eating and build habits! You can even set a goal to cook at home an x amount of times a week. There are many ways to go about it! Just make your micro goals realistic. Aiming for the stars is great, but be realistic about your goals and only do what you can handle.

By doing this you’ll have a plan on how to achieve your goals, and build healthy habits along the way!

SHOP SMARTER 

Don’t shop without a grocery list, you’ll only be increasing the risk of temptations. Write down all the foods you need for the week (make sure they are nutrient-dense and mostly whole foods) and throw in a few healthy snacks to treat yourself. Having a grocery list will help you make better food choices while shopping. 

Aside from that, shop smarter and read food labels! Some foods that are labeled as fat-free, or are considered to be diet-friendly, can have some not-so-healthy ingredients that can be doing more harm than goods. When selecting a product compare nutrition information on the labels and select the product with the lower amount of sodium, added sugar, saturated and trans fat, and try to avoid partially hydrogenated oils.

A good rule to follow is to shop mostly in the perimeter of the store, so in the outer aisles. Usually, the perimeter of the store contains all the whole foods like vegetables, fruits, meat, and dairy. The inside aisles are where you find mostly processed foods which can be tempting to buy… But there are still healthy options in those aisles!

Start by shopping the perimeter, and find the rest of the things on your list in the inside aisles like condiments, spices, whole grains like brown rice, nuts, and seeds, and more. By doing this you prioritize whole foods, then everything else comes second.

The American Heart Association recommends the following foods to help you adopt a healthier lifestyle. Keep this in mind when planning your next grocery list…

Include these

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish (preferably fatty fish with omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Poultry
  • Red meats (but if you’re cutting down on fact, go for the leaner cuts)
  • Plant-based proteins

Limit these

  • Sweetened drinks
  • Sodium and salty foods
  • Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol
  • Refined carbohydrates like added sugars and processed grain foods
  • Full-fat dairy products 
  • Tropical oils such as coconut and palm oil

KEEP A FOOD DIARY

This one is not going to be for everyone, but we wanted to include it because keeping a food diary is a good way to make sure you’re eating what you need to be healthy and for your goals. So, if you want to keep track of the food you are eating to make sure you’re eating enough of the good stuff then keep a simple food diary for all your meals and snacks! 

If you want to go the extra mile in order to achieve certain fitness goals then consider tracking your macros. If It Fits Your Macros or IIFYM is extremely popular in the fitness world because it’s a form of flexible dieting that has no restrictions. All you have to do is track the amount of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) you eat, no calorie counting is needed (although some still do). You can do this by calculating your macros using an online macro calculator. It will calculate your macros based on physical information like body fat, weight, height, activity level then it takes into account your fitness goals – weight loss, build muscle, or maintenance.

Once you get your information, you can start tracking your macros! This will help keep you on track and ensure you’re eating enough protein, carbs, and fats for your goals. There are no forbidden foods, so if you don’t hit your macros for the day you can allow yourself a little treat of your choice that will help you reach the number of macronutrients you need for the day. This removes the pressure and guilt that comes with restrictive diets, while still getting results! 

BE MINDFUL OF PORTIONS

Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can’t gain weight from it. Eating too many calories, no matter where they come from can still lead to weight gain. This goes for healthy foods and unhealthy foods. Tracking your food will help you in this department. Keep this in mind when you indulge in a treat, make sure it fits your macros (going a little bit over is fine). 

If you prefer not to track, be mindful of your meal portion sizes. A good healthy eating tip is to fill half of your plate with vegetables (or fruit for breakfast) and split the rest between lean protein and whole grains. Keep snacking to a minimum, only eat when hungry, and when you treat yourself make sure it’s planned accordingly with your meals and physical activity.

COOK AT HOME, BUT SPICE IT UP

Make cooking at home fun! Just like we need variety in our workout routines, we also need variety in the foods we eat. Many people end up ordering take-out, even when they have food at home because they are bored by the foods they eat. Eating healthier food doesn’t mean having boring meals every day. Add your own twist to your salads, roast veggies with new spices, switch out boring chicken breast by making shredded chicken, etc. 

Aim to try a new healthy recipe at least once a week. This will help change up the foods you normally eat and nutrient intake. Plus you’ll add a new recipe to your usual lineup! You can even try to make a healthier version of a favorite family recipe or one of your favorite meals from a restaurant. Doing this will help you eat out less and help you build better-eating habits. 

An extra tip: Be smart when you eat out and plan ahead. If you happen to have a dinner date or brunch with friends and you want to keep it relatively healthy then look at the menu beforehand so you know what options will be available. That way you can choose a healthier option and reduce the risk of temptation you’ll get in the moment. Or if you plan to use your outing as a treat then you can plan the rest of your meals accordingly. 

Tax relief is just the ticket to placate hard-hit commuters

And yet for millions of people who have to use buses every day – and who have no choice about which mode to use – the feeling is very different. If you have to use public transport morning and night, then you know that it can take a huge slice of your income – and that is why we politicians cast around so desperately for ways to reduce the burden.

Every autumn we face the same dilemma. If we follow the pleas of our officials, and raise fares – to cope with inflation and the cost of investing in our systems – we are tightening the squeeze on people who have already seen their disposable income shrink over the past five years.

If we are irresponsible, on the other hand, and we fail to replenish the “fare box”, then we risk disaster. We are coping with the oldest underground train network in the world, and with a city that is growing faster than any other European capital. If people are to have any hope of living near their place of work, we have to supply them with adequate trains, buses and Tubes. We cut costs at every opportunity – selling buildings, introducing automation, axing bureaucracy – but the trouble with a universal fares freeze is that it takes a huge chunk out of the budget. It means indefinitely postponing or cancelling schemes that are essential for growth, such as replacing the clapped-out signalling on the District line, or ordering new trains for the Piccadilly.

And then there is a second problem with an across-the-board fares cut – namely, that it is a hopelessly blunt instrument. Think of me luxuriating there on the Oxford Street bus, on my once-in-a-blue-moon shopping trip. Do I need a fare cut? Think of the millions of tourists who use our transport networks every day, and who probably don’t even notice how much they are paying. Would they be any more inclined to come to this country if the cost of their urban transport was a little lower? Do they need or deserve an abatement in their fares? I don’t really think so.

Look around you on the bus, and you will see that almost 40 per cent of the complement are travelling free or at cut price: the pensioners with their Freedom Passes, the kids, the veterans, the disabled, those in search of work. No politician is easily going to remove these concessions (try telling the affluent bourgeoisie that their Freedom Pass is at risk, and see what mayhem ensues).

The result is that the entire burden of fare-paying is carried by the 60 per cent – and that includes the people who make this country work, the people on low or moderate incomes who travel large distances every day to their places of employment and who have absolutely no choice in the matter. It is time we did something specifically to help them, and that something is to give tax relief on travel.

We need a scheme that is analogous to the government help currently given to child-care vouchers or cycle-to-work schemes. Employees should be allowed to pay for their season tickets from their pre-tax income.

To see what I mean, take a customer who buys an annual bus pass for £784. At present, he or she buys that season ticket after paying tax. Under the tax relief scheme, the employer would buy the season ticket and deduct the cost from his or her pay packet – and only then would the employee be assessed for tax. With their taxable pay reduced, the employee would save £251 in tax and National Insurance, and the employer would save £108. The administration costs would be kept minimal by doing it all online, and of course the relief would only apply at the basic rate.

Yes, there would be a cost to the Treasury – but then every year the government spends huge sums trying to hold fares down. This scheme strikes me as one George should consider further. You would allow continued investment in transport, and you would target your help at exactly the people who need it – not the millionaires and the tourists and the casual shoppers, but the hardworking people who are really turning the wheels of recovery.

Crystal Palace exhibition hall ‘to rise again’

A new Crystal Palace on “the same size and scale” as the original gigantic iron and glass structure is to rise again on the south London site.

The surrounding public park is also to be restored “to its former glory through landscaping, planting and new and improved facilities for the public,” a spokesman for Chinese investment firm, ZhongRong Group, said.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson welcomed the development, saying south London “will once again acquire a world-class cultural attraction”.

The original Crystal Palace was designed by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. It was later expanded and relocated to south London, but was destroyed by fire in 1936. The area became known as Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace was built by Joseph Paxton for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park (Photo: REX FEATURES)

Boris Johnson grilled over political future on radio phone-in

London Mayor Boris Johnson said he did not know whether he would stand again as an MP after being repeatedly questioned about his ambitions by a caller on live radio.

There has been growing speculation that the mayor could stand for Parliament before the end of his term in 2016 and David Cameron has discussed the possibility of Mr Johnson returning to the Commons.

Asked about his ambitions on LBC 97.3 he said: “It was very kind of the Prime Minister to say what he said and obviously I want to be as supportive as I can. But I’ve got a very big job to do and that’s what I’m going to do.”

But caller Tony from Woodford pressed Mr Johnson to give a “straight answer” to the question about his future ambitions.

Asked whether he would like to become an MP the mayor replied: “I would like to play rugby for England … this is worse than Jeremy Paxman.”

A return for Boris MP is embraced by Cameron

When asked later if he wants to lead the Conservatives, Mr Johnson said: “My leadership chances are, as I may have told you before, about as good as my chances of being reincarnated as a baked bean.” But he added: “Which are probably quite high actually.” He then refused to rule out running in the 2015 election. The Prime Minister has been overshadowed by Mr Johnson at previous conferences. In his speech yesterday the mayor urged party activists to “cut the yellow Lib Dem albatross from around our necks” by helping Mr Cameron to an outright victory in 2015.

The Prime Minister told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that he would give Mr Johnson a “warm welcome” if he returned to Westminster politics.

“My message to him is that … it would be great to have you back in the House of Commons at some stage contributing to public life,” Mr Cameron said.

He later said that “it’s not for me to pick my successor [and] the Conservative Party will do that when the time comes.”

He told Five News: “He’s a very talented member of the team and I like the fact that I have got talent on the team. That is good for the Conservative Party and potentially very good for the Government.”

Mr Cameron said he has had “conversations” with the mayor about the possibility of him returning to Westminster.

“Boris and I talk all the time,” he said. “There is no agreement or deal or anything like that but we have friendly conversations about this but my view about this is very simple – it’s up to Boris.”

Mr Cameron also said he would be putting himself “forward for a full term” in the 2015 election.

Despite backing Mr Cameron, the mayor used his speech to criticise George Osborne, the Chancellor, over the “baleful” impact of stamp duty. He said it is “stamping on the fingers” of people trying to climb the property ladder.

He also said that British young people lack the motivation and work ethic of Eastern European immigrants. He backed comments by Jamie Oliver, the television chef, and said the Government needs to encourage teenagers to see “menial” jobs as “stepping stones”.

Mr Johnson praised the prime minister as the “only statesman in the European Union” capable of delivering reform and a referendum for the British. He said that voters will have to choose between the “fool’s gold” offered by Labour and a Conservative Party that has taken “difficult and sensible” decisions.

Sketch: Boris dives into the glorified sheepdip

Boris and David Cameron are supposed to be on good terms at the moment – the Prime Minister even told the Today programme that Boris should “absolutely” be an MP again. After the speech, a mob of journalists – or, if you prefer, a ginormous convocation of worms – followed Boris round the exhibition hall, asking him whether he agreed. He didn’t seem desperately keen to answer.

Would he look for a seat in 2015? “There’s been no change in what I’ve said in the last five years, and I’ll continue to say it until I’m blue in the face and blue in every other portion of my anatomy!” What seat would he like? “It’s got a kind of spongy bottom, and it swivels, and it’s to be discovered in the office of City Hall!” Was he going to keep fudging the question? “Yes.”

Around the hall, little old ladies looked up from their tea, waved excitedly and trilled, “Ooh, hello, Boris!” Others pointed admiringly at his hair, which more than ever resembled an upturned colander of spaghetti. Goodness knows how he gets it looking so messy. It must take hours of preparation.

Fortunately for the convocation of worms, when Boris is in what Bridget Jones calls “full autowitter” he generally blurts out a gobbet of truth sooner or later. “My leadership chances, as I may have told you before, are about as good as my chances of being reincarnated as a baked bean. Which are probably quite high, actually…”

What did it all mean? Was Boris really plotting a Westminster comeback? Or had he privately concluded that Mayor is the job that suits him best: maximum publicity, minimum pain? Does anyone know? Does Boris?

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