There is something indubitably delectable for everyone to prepare – the homemade pizza. While it is argued that preparing a scrumptious pizza is an art, there are some secrets to the way of making the perfect pizza at home that can turn even an inexperienced person into a seasoned pizza expert. With a little essential knowledge and a lot of enthusiasm, the perfect homemade pizza is but a few steps away.
Use a pizza stone for your pizza dough to be crusty
Use a proper pizza oven to guarantee a perfect crust and flavour (check some options here)
A baking sheet (flat), to be used as a peel
A pizza slicing wheel for proper cutting and serving
For making a 12 inch pizza:
Warm water: 1.5 cups (about 110 degree F)
Active dry yeast: 1 packet – 2.25 tea-spoons
Bread flour: 3.5 cups
Olive oil: 2 table-spoons
Salt: 2 tea-spoons
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
Cheese: shredded parmesan / mozzarella
Mushrooms, Bell peppers (remove stems & seeds) – sliced
Cooked Sausage (Italian)
Pesto (A sauce made out of crushed basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil)
Dough – The recipe for the dough is short and simple – olive oil, flour, yeast, salt, and water. Add warm water in a large bowl of electric mixer. To it, add yeast and leave it for 5 minutes until it gets dissolved completely. Stir it if need be. Then mix in Flour, Olive oil, Salt & Sugar and mix it for about a minute at low speeds. Now using a dough hook, mix the ingredients at low speeds in the electric mixer, until the dough becomes smooth & elastic- usually takes 10 minutes to get this stage. Add a little more flour, if the dough gets too wet. If you don’t have a mixer, just follow the same process by hand.
Now, coat the dough with a layer of olive oil and cover in a plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place (about 80 degree F) for about 1.5 hours, until it doubles in size.
At this point, remove the cover and place it on the pizza stone (which is preheated to 400 degree F, for about an hour or so). You can make two balls of dough with this serving and cover each round ball again with plastic and leave them for about 8-12 minutes. Then with each round ball, flatten it in an outward fashion, until it reaches a 10-12 inch diameter. Flatten it uniformly and apply some Olive oil. Now, your pizza base is ready for the toppings.
Few tips regarding Dough:
The first and foremost secret of the perfect homemade pizza is the dough. Using ready dough for the pizza base is an easy shortcut many people resort to because of lack of time. Supermarkets sell raw and frozen dough of different brands, and trying them can help to discern the best one. Another way of obtaining the pizza dough instantly is to get a dough ball from the nearest pizzeria.
For enthusiasts, mastering the art of preparing the perfect dough is rewarding, for the overall scrumptiousness of the pizza depends greatly on the quality dough. Naturally, the goal is to achieve a thin crust rather than a thick one, for a crispy effect that does not overwhelm the ingredients on top of the pizza base. The dough to form the base of the perfect homemade pizza should not result in a tough and bland crust after baking, and it should not be fluffy either. Experts on pizza dough insist that to achieve the best flavor and the necessary crust texture, the dough should be prepared at least a day prior to using it, and preparing it a week earlier is even better. To achieve a good dough texture, mixing some honey with the water and the yeast is recommended to help the yeast become active. It is especially important to leave the pizza dough to rise naturally. When the dough has risen enough, it should have doubled in size, which can take different periods of time, depending on the room temperature. For aficionados of healthier dough varieties, adding half white and half wholemeal flour is even better. Some people use dough recipes which are for bread dough, and they work finely, especially when some olive oil is added. It makes a nice difference for a rich, velvety texture, so it is worth replacing a couple of tablespoons of water with the same amount of olive oil for a delectable scent. Homemade dough can be frozen and kept handy in the fridge for several months. Then people who decide to make their homemade pizza know they have the material for the base ready and just need to defrost it.
The Toppings: The pizza base is now placed on the peel and make sure it doesn’t stick to it while being slid into the oven. Apply sauces, sprinkle cheese and your desired toppings on the flattened dough.
The question of ingredients is difficult to answer. There are zillions of recipes of traditional pizzas, like the ubiquitous Margherita for example, and also recipes for richer and toppings cluttered pizzas that are difficult to follow closely, as some ingredients are not often found in people’s homes. People who have their favorite pizza types can stick to the recipes, or they can experiment by adding toppings that they have in their fridges and cupboards tomatoes, vegetables – either fresh or frozen, sliced, diced, grated, different pieces of meat, sausage, salami, etc. Some people insist that the scrumptious homemade pizza should always include mushrooms and grated cheese on top which acts as a sealer and adds the final touch to any pizza.
Tomatoes are another staple in pizzas, and the homemade pizza simply cannot exist without them. Whether fresh slices of tomatoes, or canned diced tomatoes, the tomato layer at the bottom of all the ingredients is the perfect foundation for a homemade pizza masterpiece. Tomatoes are a great solution for newbies and for busy people.
Sauces: For people with more experience and eagerness to make a difference to their homemade pizza, a sauce such as marinara is much better. Homemade sauce is like homemade pizza dough – unsurpassed in flavor and delectability. In fact, preparing marinara sauce is not as difficult as some people might think. Furthermore, the advantages that no preservatives or additives are used, and preparing homemade sauce saves money, are worth experimenting. In addition to diced tomatoes, add garlic, onion, olive oil, spices which are obligatory to form the flavor such as basil and oregano, a little cayenne for a spicy touch, and if there are some extra carrots, shredding them and adding to the sauce help to relieve some of the acidity. A timely reminder here is that low fat sauces are definitely better and health friendly.
The question of preference for cooked or uncooked pizza sauce is a matter of personal taste. Uncooked pizza sauce is faster to prepare; on the other hand, cooked pizza sauce enables dried herbs to blend their flavor in it, which is an advantage in winter, a season in which fresh herbs are hard to find.Continue Reading...
Recently, I had to do a very quick auto trip up to the New Jersey area. I did not look forward to going anywhere near New York with a car, but my wife insisted that we drive into New York for one day and see an old friend. Believe me, I have never been so glad to get back to Palm Coast. Even with the threat of fires and hurricanes, and “Very Senior Drivers or (VSR’s), it is still heaven here compared to the traffic on the Jersey Turnpike and New York! It is always good to come back home. The drive is not the focus of this column, however. I came upon a couple of interesting recipes from the old campfire outdoor cooking area. The only thing, they were being used by Cracker Barrel, the restaurant people. It started me to thinking that you do need to go on a camping trip to cook up some of the really great recipes that are simple and a lot of fun. The only difference is that you do not need an open fire, use your grill. Not only are these recipes simple, but the kind of things that the family can do together-husband, wife, granddad, grandmother, children, teens, etc.
This is one of the two recipes from the Cracker Barrel menu that started my thinking. They take a half-chicken cut it into pieces and warp it in foil with fresh vegetables. These can be corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes, onion wedges, carrots, and redskin potatoes. All of this is cooked in its natural juices. I would add some chopped garlic, a little salt and pepper and possibly a little olive oil with about a ¼ cup of water or wine vinegar. This should cook up well on a medium hot grill in about 30 minutes or less. Try it a few times and adjust the time to your need. Serve from the tin foil pouch. You may make multiple ones of these so that each person may have his or her own or you can do one for up to four people
This is an old Girl Scout trick. To make Omelettes-in-Bag you will need: 1-2 eggs per person- a little milk for each-add ins you may like: cheese, ham, onions, you get the idea-a large freezer zip-lock bag-Pita Bread (optional)
What You Do: Bring a pan of water to boil. Each person puts 1-2 eggs in a bag and adds a little milk. They can add any other items they like that you have. Squeeze the stuff in the bag to mix it. Be sure it is closed tightly!!!!! Place bags in boiling water and cook until done, about 3-5 minutes. Instant Omelets you can eat right from the bag, or put it in a pita bread for a breakfast sandwich. The best part—no pan to clean!!
Pizza Hot Dish
2 pkg. Crescent rolls
8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 jar Pizza Sauce
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1-1/2 LB Ground Beef
Brown ground beef, drain. Line Dutch oven with 1 pkg. of Crescent rolls. Spread pizza sauce on dough. Add browned beef, the cheese and use second pkg. of rolls to form a top crust. Bake 30 minutes or more in medium hot covered grill.
Dough: 2 cups warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 packet yeast (approx. 1 Tbsp)
1 tsp. salt
6 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup olive oil
Mix water, yeast and sugar and let bubble. Add salt, 2 cups flour, olive oil and mix. Add approximately 4 more cups of flour ½ cup at a time till you have workable dough. Let it rest. Divide into eighths. Flatten into pizza thin rounds on floured board. Put ¼ cup pizza filling of your choice on each round, fold over and seal. Bake in the middle of a very hot Californo mobile pizza oven for approximately 15 minutes. This is also good with chili beans and with curries.
This is the other recipe from the Cracker Barrel menu. They believe that this is a great way to finish off a great campfire meal. They melt real Hershey chocolate, mix in marshmallows and layer it between two graham crackers crusts. Then they top it with two scoops of their Vanilla Bean ice cream and hot fudge. You may use the basic recipe to do other things like roasting your marshmallows on a metal skewer and then placing them on unmelted chocolate squares that have been placed on a graham cracker. Let the hot marshmallow melt the chocolate and place another graham cracker on top.
Try the ideas out and let me know if you find some interesting results. Do not forget to visit the forums. You will find a lot of information there about Planking (Grilling on wood planks), The Mini Gas Stove, The Large Dutch Oven Stove and much more. I am told that the Flagler Beach Rotary Club may have a firm date for their BEACH, BLUES AND BARBECUE. As soon as I know for sure, I will make a special announcement about it.Continue Reading...
Trendy Shades for the Very Stylish
Years ago Jennifer Lopez made the metallic framed classic aviator sunglasses all the range, by bedazzling the bottom corner of them with a sparkly heart. Another classic style of shades is getting a makeover and it’s on its way to being all the rage in the new year. The plastic framed medium sized Ray-Bans are making a comeback in a big way.
The sunglasses are reminiscent of the ’60s when music artist donned these shades, they also made a comeback in the ’80s and ’90s and technically they have never really gone out of style. However, they are re-debuting keeping the young in mind by coming in bright neon colors and a variety of sizes.
The array of super hot colors like the trendy turquoise, red hot red or retro tortoiseshell, means there is a shade for everyone. The price isn’t too bad compared to the typical $300 price tag of other designer glasses, they come in at around $100 to $250 (for special edition styles).
Buying The Sunglasses
However, not every teen can afford $100 sunglasses. With every hot trend stores will definitely be carrying similar shades in a larger variety of colors and at a more affordable price, usually clocking in at around 20 bucks. That will totally erase the fear of crushing your expensive sunglasses by leaving them on a chair that your friend decides to unknowingly take a seat on. If you hit the trendy fashion street in your city, not the upscale street but the one where the fashion world takes inspiration from, you can find these shades. If you have patience this fashion trend should be trickling into your local mall soon.
Another way to avoid shelling out 100 bucks for these hot shades is to scavenge. When Tom Cruise wore Ray-Bans as he slid across his living room floor in tighty whities and a white collared shirt something happened. The 1983 flick Risky Business made the black plastic Ray-Bans a hit with teens everywhere. This means that at your local thrift store or better yet your own basement/attic there may be a pair of Ray-Bans or ’80s knockoff versions of the iconic shades hiding.
Almost anyone can pull off these sunglasses because in truth they look a bit quirky on every face. Color is another story, those who are a bit adventurous can pull off any color they like, but if you want something that will go with anything and everything stick to the classic, black or tortoiseshell.
They do not offer the absolute best sun protection because they don’t fit in a curve close to the face, indeed they sit farther away allowing the sun to come in from the sides. There is an advantage to this because they do not curve and any prescription can be put into the lens which isn’t possible with a curved sunglass lens. Also, the frame style is great for driving since the sides of the shades sit really high and do not block side vision, allowing for quick checks of your blind spots when driving
Whether you choose to pick up a pair of named brand shades or their $20 counterparts, to be sure you’ll be on trend this upcoming season remember two things: make sure they’re plastic and in a fabulous color.Continue Reading...
Modern and Classic Aviator Styles for Summer
Since their initial launch in 1937 by sunglass giant Ray-Ban, the classic aviator is still going strong, but current styles vary slightly this season. Popular with celebrities such as Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Kate Moss, and Victoria Beckham, these classic shades are now available in embellished versions, a ’70s retro look or futuristic plastic frames. Think Tom Cruise in Top Gun and Farah Fawcett in Charlie’s Angels: retro metal is once again hip and hot.
Favored by the Hollywood set, from Marilyn Monroe to Madonna, Ray-Ban sunglasses are the best selling (and probably the most recognized) eyewear in the world; with brands like the Aviator and Wayfarer, Warrior and Predator.
The History of Aviator Sunglasses
First designed by Ray-Ban in 1937, Aviators were first worn by the pilots of the U.S. army pilots and that is how they got their name. Later they were spotlighted on the movie screen by Tom Cruise and James Dean, and today more and more women are wearing these iconic sunglasses.
Aviators are characterized by their reflective drop-shaped and distinctive double-bridge lenses, which are two or three times the area of the eye. The shape and the size of the lenses are preventing most of the light from entering into the eye, no matter what the angle. Initially, the design was based on the flying goggles which Ray-Ban were selling to the Navy and the military. Aviators are also popular with North American police forces, due to their extensive eye protection and reduction in glare.
How to Wear Aviators
Aviators are a good investment as they remain timeless. Classic sunglass styles of this type rarely go through a major overhaul like other areas of fashion, so they will transcend seasons.
However, whether it’s iconic Ray-Bans or other designer labels, every year there are slightly new twists on the classic frame. This year there are sunglasses with different types of embellishments, elegant colored drop-lenses as well as different flirty and retro plastic frames.
Aviator sunglasses are ideal for everyday wear as they can make feminine frock look tougher or provide a street look with a bomber jacket and jeans. Fashionising.com suggests breaking with convention and going for a unisex style or a style intended for the opposite sex, which makes a very individual fashion statement.
In addition to Ray-Bans, other well-known designers such as Burberry, Dolce & Gabanna, Gucci, and Prada have their own branded versions. One of the most stylish for 2008 is the large Burberry Retro Aviator 3020, with thick arm-frame. For something a little more delicate there’s Prada’s 56IS or 65IS with diamante studs along the arms.
One of the hottest runways looks at the moment, being promoted heavily by online stores such as Net-a-Porter and Asos, is Matthew Williamson’s oversized aviators. According to Net-a-Porter, “these oversized and super-chic classic aviators will last for summers to come.” To get an idea of the many aviator styles available, and which best suit your face shape, dedicated online sites like SunglassHut offer a wide selection of designer brands and style advice.Continue Reading...
Most colored contact lenses available in the market today are tinted contact lenses. Tinted contact lenses are pigmented with certain dyes embedded into the naturally clear lens material. The color of the die is responsible for the tint or the hue or tint of the eye. Depending on the strength of pigmentation, the moisturizing colored contact lens can either mask or completely change the tint of the eye.
There are four major kinds of tinted contact lenses available, namely visibility tinted contact lenses, enhancement tinted contact lenses, light filtering tinted contact lenses and color tints.
Visibility tinted contact lens is a lens that has been treated to have a very light blue or green tint for the sole purpose of helping you see it better during application and of course in case you drop it. They are also quite easy to spot in a solution case. Due to the lightness of the tint, these lenses do not change the appearance e of one’s eye, and when worn, you see no coloration through them either.
Enhancement tinted contact lenses are treated with single bodied pigments so as to give the lens a solid translucent color. These are meant to change the color of your eyes, but only to a certain extent and only for certain types of eyes. These are recommended for people with naturally light colored eyes. The extent of the change in color depending on the contract between the wearer’s natural eye color and the color of the lens. The more the contrast, the more vibrant is the result.
Only recently made available to the general public are light filtering tinted contact lenses, designed to help the wearer excel at sports. These tinted contacts do that by filtering out certain wavelengths of light and as a result up to the visibility of other colors, which enable the wearer to see shaper, clearer and in some cases farther as well as protect their eyes from harmful Ultra Violet (UV+) rays. They’re being branded as “Super Lenses for Superstar Athletes”. The amber tinted contact lenses block out the blue wavelength of light and heighten the red, making it easier to see the ball in fast-moving sports like baseball, football, and soccer. The green-gray tinted contact lenses are better suited for slow-moving sports such as golf, which are played out in the open under bright sunshine and these help the golfer distinguish between the various greens of the course easily.
Color tinted contact lenses are solid, opaque tinted lenses used specifically to change the color of the eyes. They are made with multi-layered patterns of different colors fused together to give them the look of the normal cornea. The resemblance between the colors and patterns on these lenses and the cornea of the natural eye are in most cases, picture-perfect copies. They differ from enhancement tinted contact lenses in the fact that they are tinted with solid (opaque) colors and thus are suitable for use on dark colored eyes. These contact lenses are made available in a variety of colors, ranging from violet to green to gray to hazel. Decorative/theatrical contact lenses are classified as color tinted contact lenses, even if they are hand painted vampire contacts, goth contacts or even Chronicles of Riddick contact lenses.
What more should you know before you get yourself a beautiful pair of contact lenses?
Tinted contact lenses are usually sold as Plano or zero power contacts, meaning they can be worn by anyone and technically do not require a prescription. For those who have already prescribed contact lenses, you can let the contact lens retailer know what diopter(power) your eyes have been tested as, and they can make custom contact lenses in the same look as you want for you. However, one should expect to pay a premium for these. A sensitive topic that must be addressed is whether you should purchase contact lenses from a retailer who doesn’t require a prescription. A striking fact may lens buyers are unaware of is that as per law, a retailer can’t sell contact lenses without a prescription, even if they are Plano (zero power), since 2005. This was a result of an increase in the number of reported eye damage cases due to the sale of spurious tinted contact lenses by certain online retailers. The US FDA(Food and Drug Administration) has conducted various studies and has published a list of chemicals that are approved for use in the manufacture of tinted contact lenses. As an informed consumer, one should always check that the retailer conforms to these specifications and constraints their use of chemicals only to the approved one.
Getting a prescription along with a check-up is essential in the interest of your own eyes. If you choose to purchase your lenses from an unknown online store or from a foreign one, it is best to let your optometrist have a look at their site and make sure that you are choosing
Many horseback riders need some degree of vision correction, and others worry about eye protection while riding horses. Which is best?
Unfortunately, traditional glasses, sunglasses and contacts can get in the way of equestrian sports. Glasses tend to bounce around on the nose if they are not fitted correctly, while dirt and dust can agitate contacts. And any type of eyewear can become a hazard while riding horses.
When the goal is to protect both the eyes and the eyewear for horseback riders, the options are definitely limited.
Eyeglasses for Equestrian Sports
Glasses are a problem because they are not attached to the head, and helmets and other head protection devices can compromise the earpieces of glasses. When simply hacking around the arena or taking a leisurely trail ride in the woods, glasses should not pose much of a problem, but what about active equestrian sports?
Although there are currently no equestrian-specific eyewear options on the market for horseback riders, it is a good idea to explore safety eyeglasses as an alternative. These special glasses follow rigid ANSI rules to ensure eye safety while involved in equestrian (and other) sports and activities.
They typically have plastic and hard coated lenses that will not shatter in an accident, and often have wrap-around frames that ensure better protection around the ears and brow. Other safety features to consider when purchasing eyeglasses for horseback riders include:
- Brow guard for impact absorption
- Side guards
- Flexible nose bridge
- Scratch-resistant surface
- 99.9 percent UV protection
- Breakaway cords for clip-on attachments
It is possible to find eyewear for riding horses that are both attractive and functional, so do not worry about the aesthetic aspect at first. Instead, horseback riders should carefully evaluate the constitution of glasses for comfort and safety, which are infinitely more important.
Riding with Sunglasses
Everyone knows that the sun’s intensity can destroy an otherwise pleasant ride. Sunglasses help to cut down not only on the painful and annoying aspects of sunlight while riding horses, but also the dangerous effects of riding with unprotected eyes.
In most cases, it is possible to fit a pair of regular safety eyeglasses with alternative lenses to make them sunglasses. Horseback riders can also use clip-on shield attachments that do not replace the lenses at all, but simply provide a protective shield.
Many horseback riders have discovered that polarized sunglasses are ideal for equestrian sports. These specialty glasses are manufactured to reduce not only the direct light from the sun, but also the glare from glossy surfaces, such as water, metal and plastic.
Horseback riders should make sure that all types of eyewear, including sunglasses, are sufficiently comfortable for equestrian sports. From the nose bridge to the ear pieces, the glasses should fit snugly to the face with no shifting as the wearer moves.
Additionally, it is important to remember that sunglasses attachments that fit over existing eyeglasses can constitute a safety hazard. For example, if the attachments are made of glass rather than plastic, wedges might make it under the eyeglasses in an accident, damaging the eye.
Riding with Contacts
Some horseback riders do not like eyeglasses at all, and prefer the flexibility and inconspicuous nature of contact lenses. However, contacts are difficult to wear while riding horses because if dust, dirt and other debris find their way into the eye, the contact lens can aggravate any damage or irritation.
Consequently, most horseback riders keep a pair of safety eyeglasses for the barn, or wear polarized sunglasses over their contacts as an additional preventative measure. There are also amber-tinted contact lenses that will create a similar protection to sunglasses.
Should dirt or debris find its way into the eye while wearing contacts, horseback riders should remove the lenses immediately and wash out the eyes with water. Nearby water hoses work well for this purpose, and some riders even wear safety goggles over their contacts to avoid such a situation.
Evaluating your Options
Horseback riders should talk to their optometrists when soliciting fittings for eyewear. Whether they prefer eyeglasses, sunglasses or contacts, a professionals can help riders to find safe, comfortable solutions for any equestrian activity.Continue Reading...
Where to buy the best value top quality sports prescription sunglasses for mountain biking with wrap around styling to protect eyes from dust, mud and wind.
Mountain bikers who wear glasses for vision correction have two choices when it comes to sports sunglasses; either wear contact lenses with an ordinary pair of sunglasses or invest in a pair of prescription sports sunglasses.
This article looks at the best sports prescription sunglasses you can buy for mountain biking with wrap-around styling, where the prescription is built into the lens.
Prescription Cycling Sunglasses
Sports cycling prescription sunglasses come in two main types: either an insert known as a clip-in lens which simply clips to the inside of the frame at the nose-piece, or an in-frame prescription lens, where either the entire lens has corrective power or just the central portion.
The problem with wrap around styles of sunglasses is that it is far more costly to produce a curved lens with full corrective power, which is why many branded prescription lenses from companies like Oakley or Rudy Project only offer corrective power in the center of the lens; the result is a loss of periphery vision when looking sideways. The best option is to buy sports prescription sunglasses with full corrective power over the entire surface of the lens.
Prescription Designer Sunglasses with Mirror Lenses
Many mountain bikers prefer designer style sunglasses with mirror lenses which look super cool on the bike, but if you need prescription lenses, adding a mirror finish increases production costs even more, not to mention a complicated eye prescription which may need to allow for astigmatism or a higher power level outside the standard prescription range offered by Oakley, which, for example, is between +2.0 and -3.0.
It is possible, however, to get cool wrap-around styling with a fully built-in prescription lens, both polarized and mirror finish, for a lot less than the +$400 price tag charged by many of the top brands.
Cheap Sports Sunglasses with Prescription Lenses
The way to find cheap sports sunglasses with prescription lenses is to buy direct from an optical laboratory that offers personalized service and even international delivery. Most optical laboratories have a complete range of sports sunglasses including wrap-around styles for cycling with UV anti-scratch and anti-mist lenses as standard and frames made from “virtually unbreakable polycarbonate.” Bifocal and varifocal options are also available.
To avoid any confusion over ordering the correct prescription, customers are asked to purchase online first and are then called personally to give prescription details. Alternatively, customers can ring the company direct or send an e-mail if they are not sure whether a particular lens is the right one for them.
Either way, buyers have access to a comprehensive array of styles and lenses and the assurance that their exact prescription can be built-into the best prescription sports sunglasses available in the market, at a far cheaper price than buying from an optician.
Buy Wrap-Around Prescription Sunglasses for Cycling Online
If you want to buy wrap-around prescription sunglasses for mountain biking or road cycling, look for great value, stylish sunglasses that are high quality and built to last. After all, why pay more for a branded pair, when you can get the same look for less?
If you’re a brand junkie, then read about the best prescription sunglasses for cycling before making a purchase. If you don’t need sunglasses for vision correction, an ordinary pair of sports sunglasses for cycling will be fine, either a unisex pair or a great value pair of cycling sunglasses for men.Continue Reading...
Most people rarely think about their eyes until the day comes when the newspaper has to be held farther away to be read. A decrease in vision as we age is normal, but there are many other problems that can causes vision decrease early and impair eye health. Some of those problems can be avoided with foresight and preventative measures to help maintain healthy eyes for life.
Wear Sunglasses When Outdoors
The sun’s UVA and UVB rays can damage eyes just like it damages skin. The cornea of the eye can be sunburned when eyes are not protected from directed sunlight with sunglasses. Fortunately, a sunburned cornea is usually reversible, but there is also cumulative sun damage that occurs to the eyes with sun exposure over time that is not as easy to reverse, like cataracts.
Wearing sunglasses when outdoors will prevent sun damage to the eyes and help maintain eye health. For those who wear prescription corrective lens, lenses such as transition, which automatically darken when exposed to sunlight, will protect the eyes from UVA and UVB rays. Contact lens are also available with UV protection.
Add Antioxidant Rich Foods To Diet
Antioxidant rich foods, especially those rich in lutein and omega-3 fatty acids, keep eyes healthy by protecting the eyes from age-related eye disorders like cataracts and macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the major cause of blindness in people aged 50 and above.
Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are nuts and fatty fish like salmon. Lutein rich foods the dark green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, peas and kale.
Adding a small daily amount (a quarter of a cup) of antioxidant rich foods to a daily diet will help keep eyes healthy for life.
Take a 20/20 Eye Break
Avoid eye strain and dry eyes when working on the computer or doing other up-close work by taking an eye break every 20 minutes. Stop the up-close work every 20 minutes and look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
See An Optometrist
Barring any earlier eye problems, by age 40 it’s time to see an optometrist for a baseline eye exam, even if there has been no change in vision. After a baseline eye exam, follow up eye exams are usually recommended every couple of years. This allows the optometrist to detect an early signs of eye problems for easier treatment.
Eyes are meant to last a lifetime. Keeping eyes healthy for life does require a little foresight by eating foods rich in antioxidants and wearing sunglasses to protect eye health, taking frequent eye breaks and seeing an optometrist.Continue Reading...
Cycling specific sports sunglasses and lenses are available in a wide range of styles from leading eyewear manufacturers. While some riders may prefer to wear an ordinary pair of sunglasses to save having to buy two pairs, it’s important to understand that cycling glasses offer far more than just good looks from a top designer eyewear brand.
Why Wear Cycling Sunglasses?
Good quality sports sunglasses for road or off-road cycling protect the user from harsh sunlight but also keep out dirt, flies, dust and wind, especially important for riders who wear contact lenses. The wrap around styling that keeps undesirable light and objects out also provides a snug fit, meaning glasses won’t move around, a huge plus point if riding at speed in a competition.
Advances in technology mean that there is now a wide range of different colored lenses on the market, made specifically for varying weather and light conditions, as well as photochromatic options and a plethora of different lens coatings for both fashion and function.
Key Features of Cycling Eyewear
In addition to wrap around styling, look for the following features when buying sunglasses for cycling:
- Polycarbonate lenses – Most good brands offer polycarbonate lenses which are up to twenty times stronger than ordinary lens glass.
- Interchangeable lenses – Useful for varying light conditions and also as spare lenses should one set become scratched. Most good brands offer dark, light and clear lenses, the latter being useful for evening or night riding.
- Photochromic lenses – Allow smooth transition from low light to bright light without the need to interchange lenses; useful for competition riding.
- Comfort – Good cycling glasses fit neatly underneath a cycling helmet without pinching the side of the head; they have a comfortable non-slip nosepiece and side arms that don’t snap easily. If possible, try on glasses while wearing a helmet to ensure a good fit. Look for glasses that can be adjusted if, for example, a sweat band is required under a helmet in hot conditions.
- Weight – Sports sunglasses should be light and offer enough ventilation within the wrap around styling to prevent glasses misting up in humid conditions or when riding hard uphill. A good example is the innovative vented lenses on the Oakley Jawbone (see picture below).
- Polarized lenses – These offer riders improved clarity of the contours of a trail as, according to Al Gleek of lens maker Carl Zeiss, Inc. polarization “blocks scattered light and lets in only very focused light.”
Cycling Prescription Sunglasses
Riders who need prescription sunglasses can buy cycling specific branded glasses with either clip-in or in-frame lenses. The cost is higher for in-frame lenses although cheaper non-branded options exist from specialist optical laboratories and may be preferable to paying the high cost of a custom made prescription lens with a mirrored finish.
Sports Sunglasses Brands
The main brands offering cycling specific sports sunglasses are Bolle, Rudy Project, Oakley, Adidas, Bloc and Specialized.
All offer stylish sunglasses with a variety of features such as “thermogrip nosepads”from Bolle, affordable clip-in prescription lenses from Adidas or Bloc’s innovative “8 based curve” which offers a close fitting frame with improved peripheral vision. Expect to pay between $80 and $250 depending on features and type of lens.
Buying Sunglasses for Cycling
Whilst it is possible to wear an ordinary pair of sunglasses for bicycling, most riders prefer the key features offered by cycling specific sports sunglasses; practical wrap around styling and interchangeable or photochromic lenses that suit varying light conditions. Just remember to choose a style that fits comfortably under a cycling helmet.Continue Reading...