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15 Items You Need to Have in Your Office Pantry

15 Items You Need to Have in Your Office Pantry

Sometimes it’s a good idea to bring food from home to the office to spice up your daily lunch routine. To make eating at work more home-like, I have compiled a list of fifteen pantry items that you should stock in your work kitchen. They compliment many foods well and never go bad.

1. Honey

Honey is one of those items that has magical properties. Synthesized by bees, honey lasts forever. This delicious sweetener has been found in ancient tombs and has a shelf life of several hundred years. Put some honey in your office pantry to go with fruit, yogurt, or tea.

2. Salt

Salt is one of those items that is used in a million different ways. It can, of course, season your food, but it is also used as a preservative in curing meats and other items. Grab a container of salt to add some flavor to every meal.

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3. Sugar

Every office needs sugar for coffee. Sugar is a delicious natural sweetener that goes well with everything. Put this on your shelf and try to resist the urge to eat spoonfuls on your own.

4. Peanut butter

Peanut butter is often included in aid packages delivered to impoverished countries. Filling and delicious, a jar of peanut butter can solve many breakfast and lunch crises. This is an essential office pantry item.

5. Canned tuna

Canned tuna has a shelf life of forever, and can be very filling. Put this on a sandwich with some mayonnaise, or over a salad, and it can really spice up a meal.

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6. Olive oil

Olive oil is great in a lot of ways. It can be used in cooking and baking, but its main purpose in an office setting is to be mixed into salad dressings. Keep some olive oil around the office pantry and you’ll thank me eventually.

7. Rice

Brown rice has a shelf life of about twelve months and can be boiled into a meal quickly. Put some brown rice on your shelf in case of emergencies.

8. Canned beans

A can of baked beans can be the perfect meal in a pinch. Grab a few cans and keep them in the office pantry in case. And when you finally eat them, you’ll thank me. They’re delicious.

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9. Almonds and other nuts

Cans of nuts are great for snacking and can last forever. Grab a few cans of assorted nuts but store them nearby to keep them safe—others will try to snack on these if you leave them in a common area.

10. Canned and bottled juice

Apple, cranberry, orange, even tomato—all these juices will last forever when canned, and can be a perfect accompaniment to both breakfast and dinner on the run. My favorite is spicy tomato juice, so I don’t have to worry much about others drinking mine. But you might have to mark your juice if you put it in the office pantry fridge.

11. Vinegar

Both red and white vinegar are very versatile items. At times used as cleaning products, vinegar can be mixed with the aforementioned olive oil to produce a delicious salad dressing. Also, if you have a stove top and a lot of time at work, slicing up some white onions and caramelizing them in vinegar will lead to a delicious addition to any sandwich.

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12. Applesauce

This childhood staple has a shelf life of about a year and a half. It can be good for breakfast in a pinch or a supplement to a balanced lunch. Bring a jar. It is an essential office pantry item.

13. Broth

The shelf life of broth is between two to five years. Grab some and put it in the office pantry fridge. Broth is great on a cold winter’s day.

14. Maple syrup

The Canadians really know what they are doing with this one. A bottle of maple syrup will last forever, and having this on hand will come in handy on the days your office caters breakfast. Yum!

15. Alcohol

We all like to have a little fun, right? Spirits such as gin, rum, and whiskey have a tremendous shelf life, so keep some around the office pantry. Just make sure that it is okay with your office policies first.

Featured photo credit: Food aisle / lyzadanger via flickr.com

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Last Updated on June 20, 2019

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

Science Says Guitar Players’ Brains Are Different From Others’

There’s nothing quite like picking up a guitar and strumming out some chords. Listening to someone playing the guitar can be mesmerising, it can evoke emotion and a good guitar riff can bring out the best of a song. Many guitar players find a soothing, meditative quality to playing, along with the essence of creating music or busting out an acoustic version of their favourite song. But how does playing the guitar affect the brain?

More and more scientific studies have been looking into how people who play the guitar have different brain functions compared to those who don’t. What they found was quite astonishing and backed up what many guitarists may instinctively know deep down.

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Guitar Players’ Brains Can Synchronise

You didn’t read that wrong! Yes, a 2012 study[1] was conducted in Berlin that looked at the brains of guitar players. The researchers took 12 pairs of players and got them to play the same piece of music while having their brains scanned.

During the experiment, they found something extraordinary happening to each pair of participants – their brains were synchronising with each other. So what does this mean? Well, the neural networks found in the areas of the brain associated with social cognition and music production were most activated when the participants were playing their instruments. In other words, their ability to connect with each other while playing music was exceptionally strong.

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Guitar Players Have a Higher Intuition

Intuition is described as “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning” and this is exactly what’s happening when two people are playing the guitar together.

The ability to synchronise their brains with each other, stems from this developed intuitive talent indicating that guitar players have a definite spiritual dexterity to them. Not only do their brains synchronise with another player, but they can also even anticipate what is to come before and after a set of chords without consciously knowing. This explains witnessing a certain ‘chemistry’ between players in a band and why many bands include brothers who may have an even stronger connection.

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This phenomenon is actually thought to be down to the way guitarists learn how to play – while many musicians learn through reading sheet music, guitar players learn more from listening to others play and feeling their way through the chords. This also shows guitarists have exceptional improvisational skills[2] and quick thinking.

Guitar Players Use More of Their Creative, Unconscious Brain

The same study carried out a different experiment, this time while solo guitarists were shredding. They found that experienced guitar players were found to deactivate the conscious part of their brain extremely easily meaning they were able to activate the unconscious, creative and less practical way of thinking more efficiently.

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This particular area of the brain – the right temporoparietal junction – typically deactivates with ‘long term goal orientation’ in order to stop distractions to get goals accomplished. This was in contrast to the non-guitarists who were unable to shut off the conscious part of their brain which meant they were consciously thinking more about what they were playing.

This isn’t to say that this unconscious way of playing can’t be learnt. Since the brain’s plasticity allows new connections to be made depending on repeated practice, the guitar player’s brain can be developed over time but it’s something about playing the guitar in particular that allows this magic to happen.

Conclusion

While we all know musicians have very quick and creative brains, it seems guitar players have that extra special something. Call it heightened intuition or even a spiritual element – either way, it’s proven that guitarists are an exceptional breed unto themselves!

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Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

Reference

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