Friday, 19 June 2015

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Tea

Research, commissioned by Cravendale Milk, found that in Britain we drink a staggering 165 million cups of tea per day, or 60.2 billion a year. 
If you're putting the milk and teabag in first, then the water (cringe) let us show you how to make the perfect cuppa! 

1. Add 200ml of freshly boiled water to your tea bag, in a mug/cup.
2. Allow the tea bag to brew for 2 minutes. Someone once told us to dunk it 20 times exactly but this depends on your commitment to the cause...
3. Remove the tea bag.
4. Add 10ml of milk.
5. Wait 6 minutes before consumption to reach its optimum temperature of 60 degrees centigrade.
Leave it until after 17 minutes and 30 seconds (exactly!) and the tea will be past its best. 
Add Borders Luxury Biscuits for extra oomph ;) 

Tweet us @Office_fruit if you have the recipe to make a better cuppa!

Friday, 12 June 2015

Become a Technology Hero

Think you're clued up in the IT department?
A quick conversation with speccy Steve from Desktop Support about the keyboard issue that you're having will quickly bring you back down to earth; you know, the one where every time you typed nothing happened, but then it turned out to have been a disconnected wire... ah yeah...

We're going to run through basic, and we mean BASIC, support for your everyday technology woes...


RULE 1.)

If the email looks dodgy, it probably is. Didn't order a mail bride? Didn't have an accident in the last 12 months? Didn't speak with Erikka from Latvia about bedroom concerns?
DO NOT OPEN SPAM/JUNK EMAILS. Please don't forward them on either, IT's clever virus scanner will blame and shame you in an All Staff email.


"It's a bug". The most annoying and non small critter related term that a web developer could use to bamboozle you when they've made a change to the system but haven't thought of the knock on effects. 
You've asked for a new function to your customer account sign up process and suddenly, no one can create a new customer account. It must definitely be a bug, and no way related to the recent change to the customer account sign up process... 


"I didn't get your email."
Okay, we've all heard this one a few times and sometimes it just hasn't hit the inbox and gone straight to Junk. You could well have one of those cryptic email addresses so that no one can ever get it correct unless you email them - e.g.  Nine times out of ten, it actually did come through but you were so busy being hypnotized by the 36,789 unread emails in your inbox that it was overlooked. 
LISTEN and I mean LISTEN UP PAL - Delete the ones that you don't need. Surely you must feel some sort of Zen after doing this? Surely?! 
Then there's only 25,657 to say that you didn't receive, liar. Hop to it!


Excel. DUN DUN DUN...

"Once you know how to use it, it's real easy...", they all said and laughed along knowingly. Well, actually when you're asked to create Sparklines... SPARKLINES?! Who on earth knows how to do that.
So here's some random intermediate Excel things that Youtube tutorials can save your a** on:


Just don't show yourself up by asking the following questions before checking...
  • "My mouse doesn't work!" - Is it plugged into the back of your PC? Or if remote, has it got batteries?
  • "I moved my screen and now it's gone black!" - Check the power cord is in, and that you didn't touch the soft standby switch around the back, please.
  • "The numbers will not work on the side of my keyboard!" - Is Num Lock on? Press it. 
  • "It won't print!" - Have you chosen the correct printer? It is it set to CutePDF and now you have saved 100 PDF files to your desktop? Yep, that's why.
  • "My PC has turned off?!" Did you kick the plug socket, well, did you?

Tweet us with your Tech Talk @Office_fruit

Friday, 5 June 2015

Super Cool Stationery

Are you the office crazy with a secret stash of mega cool post-it notes and animal shaped pens?
YEP, our desks are like that too.

No matter how old (or professional) you are, who can resist a strawberry shaped note pad? We sourced these bad boys from the key to our stationery shaped heart, Paperchase

Do you really appreciate all the careful thought that your Office Manager has put into the office fruit delivery? It takes some serious skill to know that you need 7 Braeburn, 4 Kiwi, 14 bananas and just 16 Tangerines precisely. Gift them with a cute strawberry mug

Check out the Happy Veggies range for more cute gift ideas.

We also love the Happy Jackson stationery range. 
It has plenty of sarcasticly remarked stationery to prompt you on that To-Do list! 

Tweet us @Office_fruit with the mega cool stationery on your desk!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Portion Control

Image source
Portion Control doesn’t mean that you need to eat tiny amounts or measure out precisely the number of peas on your plate (FYI if you are actually counting your peas we need to talk...) It's making sure that we aren't over/under eating per meal in order to control our body weight. If we’re eating too much, then we may need to retrain our brain to see a smaller-than-normal portion as satisfying. If we're not eating enough then we're going to be really hungry and probably really irritable (hunger>mood).

Here are 8 tricks to control your portions per meal:

1. Use a smaller plate
A standard-sized portion will look small on a larger plate, making you feel dissatisfied. Use a smaller plate to prevent overloading.

2. Don’t double your carbs
If you already have some starchy carbohydrate with your meal, do you need bread or naan as well? You could be doubling your portion, so if you like to have some bread on the side, cut down on the amount of starchy carbohydrate going on your plate.

3. Give measuring cups a go
Finding it difficult to gauge the right amount to eat? Try using measuring cups, but you don’t need to have special cups, you could use any teacups, mugs or containers that work for you. It’s just a simple way of measuring the amount for you every time.

4. Be selective with your seconds
Finish your meal with fruit rather than chocolate cake. An apple will help to fill you up more than a couple of squares of chocolate, but both contain similar amounts of calories.

5. Don't pick at leftovers
Wasting food certainly isn’t ideal, but it doesn’t mean you need to finish off everyone else’s dinner... Avoid the temptation to polish off children’s or grandchildren’s meals or to nibble leftovers when there’s not quite enough for a whole portion.
If you find it happens regularly, then get into the habit of cooking less or have a plan to use up leftovers in another meal.

6. 20-minute rule
Think you haven’t had enough? Wait for about 20 minutes before reaching for a second helping. It can take a little while for you to feel full after you have eaten. So avoid the temptation to keep eating and see if you get that feeling.

7. Check food labels
Make sure you know what portion the nutrition information on the front of pack relates to. It might be different to the amount you would normally serve yourself.

8. Ask for less
When you’re eating out, watch out for supersized portions. It’s easier to avoid temptation if the food isn’t on your plate to begin with, so say no to the bread basket and think about whether you need to have chips with your burger.

Here's some handy references that we found online for measuring portions:

Image source

Image source

Friday, 22 May 2015

Breakfast - The Most Important Meal of the Day

Eating a balanced breakfast in the morning provides you with the energy and nutrients that lead to increased concentration, motivation and productivity at work. It also helps with overall wellness and helping to maintain a healthy body weight.

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Here's 6 simple tips on how you can incorporate a healthy breakfast into your day:

  • Pick 2-3 foods, including at least one from each of the following food groups:
    -Bread and grain (i.e.cereal, toast, muffin)
    -Milk product (i.e. low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk)
    -Fruit or vegetable group (i.e bananas, apples, carrots)
    You can order all breakfast supplies for healthier staff, from your office fruit supplier :)
  • You should stock foods like fruit, low-fat yogurt, whole grain breakfast bars, or granola bars for those mornings when you have to eat breakfast on the go. When your fridge has healthy foods in you're most likely to grab those on the go, rather than stop by the cafe!
  • Replace or accompany that morning cup of coffee with a glass of fresh orange juice.
  • Use that time spent flicking through your iphone in bed and get up 15 minutes earlier. You can prepare and eat a healthy breakfast in 15 minutes or less. If you don't feel like eating straight away, get into work early and nibble away at your cereal whilst getting ahead on your emails.
  • Plan ahead to eat breakfast. This means you should decide what you are going to eat for breakfast before the next morning. Write it down - make a weekly meal chart and stick to your healthy regime. You can save time by putting out the box of cereal (if you do not have a curious cat) or cutting up some fruit the night before.
  • Need to get a post-gym protein fix? Make an omelette in ten minutes! You can shorten preparation time by chopping up your vegetables the night before work.

    Tweet us @office_fruit with your breakfast ideas!

Friday, 15 May 2015

#GetFruity - Apple Swans

Have you ever wondered about the fruit displays on tropical islands? When you’re feeling peckish on holiday and venture off to the hotel restaurant to grab a bite to eat (or stalking someones holiday food photos on Facebook)... The chef manages to make the food dishes so bright, colouful and artistic!

Well over here, at Fruit for the Office HQ – with the second May Bank Holiday acomin', we thought we’d keep you in the holiday mood and challenge you to get fruity with your very own fun creation from fruit! 
Get your colleagues to join in and have a “fruit off” –  see who can make the best creation. The winner is off tea duty all day!

Use your Office Fruit Delivery wisely and pinch an apple... we've found the coolest idea to make apple swans:

You will need:

  •  A good sized apple
  •  A sharp paring knife
  •  A chopping board
  • 2 x Butter Knives (optional)
How to:

Cut your apple at a slight diagonal so that it cuts right through the centre of the apple core.
This is important, because it will give you access to the seeds inside, and you will need two of these later on.

Take the half of the apple that still has the bottom attached, and place it face down on a cutting board.
Use the two butter knives placed perpendicular to the top and bottom. 

Now use your knife to carefully cut down into the apple from the top, and just to the right side of the apple core.  You should be able to press down until the knife bottoms out on the other two butter knives, and then use the butter knives as makeshift spacers to line your knife up, and cut in from the side.

When the two cuts meet, you may feel a little "pop" as the wedge is released.  If not, it means the cuts haven't fully met yet, so just gently wiggle the blade from both directions until the cuts align.

Repeat the process on the other side of the apple so that you're left with two apple wedges similar to those seen in the pictures

The goal is to cut each of these new wedges into 3 smaller wedges, then layer them together to give the effect of feathers and wings.

The process is very similar to how you cut them before, only this time, rather than slicing in from the side, try turning the wedge over to the left, and slicing down.  This should give you more control (and save you a few potential cuts to your fingers).

When both wedges have been cut, layer the pieces back together to form a tear-drop shape, and replace them back into the apple "body".  The effect should be two beautiful swan wings.

We still need to make a place for the head to sit, so make a couple of precision cuts near the front of the body, and remove the pieces to leave a clean, and fairly deep, groove, as seen in the picture.

To form the head, use the other half of the apple and place it in-between the butter-knife spacers, as we did the other one, except this time we're not going to cut out any wedges.

Carefully cut sideways along the butter-knives to create an apple slice about 1/4" thick.

If you repeat this 3 or 4 times, you'll end up with different cross sections that sport a variety of shapes and sizes.

Pick a piece that looks like a heart that's been flattened at the top.

All we need to form the head are three strategic cuts into the apple slice.

Make one cut at the top at about a 45 degree angle, then a 2nd cut horizontal, and to the right.  The last cut near the bottom was sloped at about 30 degrees down and to the left.  You should be able to see that the top cut was started just on the other side of the apple centre, and this is done on purpose to give the sloped face, and the effect of a swan's beak.

Holding the piece up now should leave you with something looking similar to that in the picture.  

To finish up, just take your apple seeds and place them when you'd like the eyes to go, then press them into place with the side of one of the butter knives.

When both eyes are in place, simple drop the neck down into place, and your apple swan is finished!

(Spritz with a little lemon juice to help prevent it from turning brown!).


Post your favourite pictures to @office_fruit #GetFruity

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