Saturday, March 31, 2007

Gout And Nutrition

Gout is a disease that is due to an inborn disorder of the uric acid metabolism and is also referred to as metabolic arthritis. When you suffer from this disease monosodium urate crystals are deposited on the articular cartilage of joints and in tissues such as the tendons. Then also causes an inflammatory reaction to the tissue and the deposits get larger and burst through the skin to form sinuses discharging a white material.

The bloodstream usually carries only a tiny amount of uric acid but if there is an increased concentration then crystals are deposited on the cartilage and tissues that surround the joints. If you have high levels of uric acid in your bloodstream it can also result in uric kidney stones.

The common effects of gout include the sudden pain, swelling, redness, warmness, stiffness in the joint, and sometimes a low fever may persist. Those suffering from gout are in pain because of the crystals inside the joint that cause pain whenever the area is moved, as well as the inflammation of the tissues around the joint which tends to cause swelling and soreness.

Gout commonly affects the big toe but can affect other area such as the joints in the ankle, heel, knee, wrist, instep, fingers, and spine. There have been instances where gout appears in the joints of the small toes which have become immobile because of an impact injury which leads to poor circulation and gout.

Hyperuricemia is a uric acid level higher than 420 µmol/L in males and 380 µmol/L in females. High uric acid levels don't always lead to gout. If it is suspected that you are suffering from gout the serum urate test should be repeated once the attack has subsided.

To get an accurate diagnosis of gout you must have a light microscopy of joint fluid aspirated from the joint to show intracellular monosodium urate crystal in synovial fluid polymorph nuclear leukocytes. Only a well trained specialist can distinguish the difference from other crystals.

If you aren't able to get immediate medical attention there are a few things that can provide temporary relief to the pain and swelling commonly associated with gout. NSAIDS including ibuprofen can be used to reduce the pain and inflammation, but stay away from aspirin as it has been known to have adverse affects. You can also apply Preparation H ointment to the affected skin to reduce swelling.

You can also apply ice to the affected area for 20-30 minutes multiple times throughout the day. Some may think that uric acid crystallization is increased with low temperatures but a recent study proved that those who use ice packs experienced a relief in pain without negative effects.

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Friday, March 30, 2007

Simple Sports Nutrition 101

In bodybuilding, sports, and everyday activities, nothing is more essential than nutrition if you want to build and maintain your best body. To maximize muscle gains, stay active and get your body in excellent shape, you need proper nutrition. If your nutrition is lacking in any department, all of your training and hard work won't amount to much ... nutrition is key to a champion body.

Proteins help in the repair and maintenance of our body. They are essential for bodybuilding and sports of all kinds. Carbohydrates are your body's major energy source during exercise and high-intensity training. Fats and especially EFAs are also needed to build muscle and provide energy. Steroid hormones in the body are produced from cholesterol which is a type of fat. Other important nutrients for your body include vitamins and minerals. And water, although not a food source is also very important for optimal performance.

Here are some tips for everyday bodybuilding and sport inclined people on nutrition:

• Eat about 6 times a day in evenly distributed times.

• Keep the proteins high throughout the day. (Tuna, chicken, lean beef, protein powder...ect.) Take in about .8-1.5 gram of protein per lb of your bodyweight depending on your goals.

• The complex carbohydrates should start out high in the morning and decrease by the evening. (Brown rice, sweet potatoes/yams, whole grains, oatmeal...ect) Stay away from carbs altogether about 4-5 hours prior to bedtime. (For example, you can eat stir-fry with veggies & meat or drink a protein shake)

• Take a fish oil supplement at least 3 times a day. Stay away from sweets and eat your veggies.

• You can include nuts like almonds & cashews for a healthy snack.

• Stay away from fruit due to the high sugar contents except maybe a serving at breakfast.

• Drop the use of all dairy products during the cutting phase due to the high amounts of sugar and saturated fat. Use almond or rice milk in place of it.

• Drink lots of water, a 200 lb man who body builds should make it a goal of at least a gallon a day.

• Take at least one daily vitamin or vitamin pack a day. This can help in the utilization of other nutrients we ingest not to mention the other important roles they are known for. It is almost impossible to get everything everyday we need out of food. Vitamins are a good way to insure we do so.

• Always be prepared when it comes to your diet. With our hectic schedules it is always smart of premake all of your meals for the day and the week. This is best way to keep track of your diet and will keep your from making detrimental mistakes in nutrition by eating fast or processed foods.

Solid, whole-food nutrition is a great way to fulfill your body's needs, but nutrition supplements can take your body to the next level. If you exercise intensely or are an athlete, the best nutrition in the world sometimes can't fill the gaps caused by nutrient depletion. That's where nutrition supplements come in. A great way to complement a good nutrition plan, nutrition supplements can help you get your daily nutrient requirements and build lean muscle. Nutrition supplements can also be used as quick "mini-meals" during a hectic day when you don't have time for a sit-down meal.

Stay on top of your supplementation and nutrition. Read and learn as much as you can. Experiment with different foods to ensure a proper balance. If you are looking for a set diet, I suggest starting with the South Beach Diet or any other kind of Mediterranean health food program. They have all around balanced programs with great recipes.

That's pretty much it. Don't make it too complicated. Keep it simple and enjoy whatever you are doing whether it is bodybuilding, sports, or other daily activities. Nutrition is the key to healthy living. It's up to you to keep up with the maintenance of your body.

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Natural Health Way To Lose Weight

If you are overweight, but have decided to live a natural health life style, you will have to deal with your weight problem. Lots of people have recently used trendy diets, with mixed results. Even so the importance of controlling your weight gets a lot of media coverage, so you are constantly being reminded of this natural health requirement.

It is not easy to fit a regular period of exercise into your life, when work and other considerations make heavy demands on your time. Weight loss supplements are sometimes advertised as being available to assist with weight loss, but may omit to emphasise that regular exercise is vital to your progress.

You must also adjust your diet in the knowledge that food is fuel, and any intake surplus to your requirements, will be stored as fat. Therefore, you should be careful not only about the nature of your food but also of the quantity. You will require to know which foods contain saturated and hydrogenated fats, and seek out natural health alternatives. There is an abundance of these natural health foods available, including delicious fruit and vegetables. Mother nature will provide if you will only listen to, or read, what she has to tell you!

Regular exercise is vital, and walking and cycling could even be included in getting to and from work. You could join a gym, or if that is not practical, take your dog for longer walks that will benefit both of you. Once you realise that you have been missing out, there are so many ways that you can add healthy exercise to your routine. You will be pleasantly surprised how this assists with losing weight.

There are many people who believe that they would find it difficult to afford to eat the natural health way. However, it need not be expensive if you utilise your existing garden to grow your own fruit and vegetables. You do not require a particularly large garden, although if that is what you have it could further enhance your natural eating possibilities. Nevertheless, a well-planned small to medium sized plot, could provide the opportunity to grow a range of organic fruit and vegetables.

What could be more natural than reaping the fruits of your own labour? What could be better than spending a little more time outdoors, engaging in a little gentle exercise, with the bonus of fresh air, and the reward of natural health food? It is not difficult to create an interest in natural health and weight control. Those who need to lose weight can do so naturally. It will then become less of a diet, and more of a way of life, and it only really involves making better use of what you already have. There are numerous resources to help you in your quest for natural health food, including books, television programmes, and garden centres with their personal advisors.

So there is no need to put up with being overweight. Look into the desirability of naturally controlling your weight, and maintaining your general health, in the best possible way. By embarking on a new hobby, or rekindling an old interest, you can lose any surplus weight without really trying. Let's face it, it is the really trying, that makes it really trying!

There are many supplements that are designed to help you cut down on your calorie intake, or suppress the overactive appetite, which has prevented you from losing weight. Always be aware of the ingredients, to ensure that your natural health diet is properly sustained.

Natural health preparations are the best choice, because they are designed to assist with promoting consistently good health. Chemical concoctions may provide a quick fix, but they are likely to do more harm than good, in the long term.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fine Olive Oil Vs Extra Virgin Oil - Which Is Better?

Why do we use olive oil ?

Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (mainly oleic acid), which, unlike saturated fats, do not adversely affect blood cholestrol levels and may even help to lower them slightly. For those suffering from constipation, take more olive oil often as it helps to lubricate the intestines and eliminate waste from our bodies, thereby curing your constipation.

Olive oil also provide natural antioxidants (called polyphenols) which help to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.

Why are there so many kinds of olive oil ?

The flavor of olive oil varies, depending on the source, the variety of olive, the soil conditions, weather, etc. Some of the primarily source comes from Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Turkey Portugal, Tunisia, Morocco, and California. Some olive oils is from a single variety of oils, others, like most Italian oils, are blends of oils from different types of olives and different countries.

What is the difference among "Virgin", "Extra virgin", "Fine" and "refined" olive oil?

Oil extracted from the first pressing of ripe olives is classified as virgin. Extra virgin simply means an oil from the first pressing that is particularly low in acid - less than 1%. Virgin olive oil may have as much as 4% acid. Fino or fine olive oil is a blend of extra virgin and virgin olive oils, with an acid content not above 3%.

After the first pressing, more oil is extracted in subsequent operations using a combination of pressure, heat, and chemical solvents. These refined oils may be blended with virgin oil to replace some of the flavor lost in the processing, and are sold as pure olive oil or just olive oil.

In some countries, you may also stumble upon light olive oil, which is not lower in calories, but which has been so finely filtered as to remove most of its color and fragrance (and flavor). It has a higher smoke point than the other types of olive oil, though, so it is well suited to high-temperature frying

For the best qualities, we should go for the "Virgin" or "Extra virgin" olive oil because they have a fruity and rich flavour, wouldn't turn rancid so fast and are more easily digestible than refined oil.

For nutritional values, they are the same. However, lower acidity oils, such as extra virgin, tend to have more antioxidants.

Where is olive oil used?

Compared with other vegetable oils, only olive oil has enough flavour to replace butter and margarine for a healthier choice. Because of its pure state, extra virgin oil is often used as a dressing in salads or as a dip for breads.

Refined or light olive oil is suitable for deep frying. It may seem pricey to use it to fry food but the fact that such oil is four to five times more heat resistant than vegetable oil would mean you can reuse it to fry foods many more times before the oil begins to break down.

Will olive oil loses its nutritional value when heated ?

Olive oil, when heated at high temperature, will cause its alcohols and esters to evaporate. The esters are what make up the olive oil delicate taste and fragrance. So heat will only change the flavor of olive oil but not its nutritional contents. We recommend you use a cheaper olive oil like refined/light oil for frying and then add a more flavorful olive oil after cooking.

Will cooking in olive oil reduces the nutritional value of the food when heated ?

Heating food will break down its nutritional value. High heat such as frying is worse than moderate heat such as steaming, which is worse than eating vegetables raw. It is not the cooking oil per se, but the high heat of frying.

Most nutritionists recommend lightly steaming vegetables or eating them raw. A touch of a flavorsome olive oil added at the table will add taste and healthful anti-oxidants. This is what "Mediterranean diet" is about, which has been shown to help prevent coronary disease and have other health benefits.

How to store Olive oil ?

Keep away from heat, ie the stove, to prevent ageing of the oil. Better to keep a large container in a dark, cool cupboard and pour a small amount into a dispenser for everyday use. The container can be made of plastic, stainless or tinted glass.

Alternatively, you can store oil in the refrigerator or freezer, which will greatly extend its shelf life. Do not worry about the crystallized waxes in the oil when chilled. All you have to do is to warm the oil back to room temperature to re-liquefy it.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The South Beach Diet

Dr. Arthur Agatston, a cardiologist, developed the South Beach diet that is described as "neither low-fat nor low-carb". The South Beach Diet is a method to teach participants how to eat the 'right' carbs and seek out the 'right' fats. The diet plan is divided into three Phases. Phase One is a strict 14-day program where nuts, cheese, eggs and regular-sized portions of lean protein are allowed. Phase One incorporates three meals a day with mandatory snacks in an effort to ensure the dieter is not left with hunger pains and give up. This strict Phase One eliminates sweets and starches to abolish cravings for these foods from the participant. Phase Two continues until the dieter has achieved their optimal weight and includes the reintroduction of dairy foods and whole-grain breads. The final maintenance Phase Three is geared towards establishing a healthy eating lifestyle that should, ideally, be adopted by the participant for the rest of their life.

The South Beach Diet is emphatic in reminding the participant of the foods they are allowed to eat and how to avoid the foods that are best left alone. Many restaurants in Miami cater to the South Beach Diet which goes by the credo "now you can eat like a movie star- and look like one". On the South Beach Diet, eating in restaurants is permitted, snacks are mandatory and flexibility is stressed. There is an overall cutback on carbohydrates and the diet allows for sufficient fats and animal proteins contained in meats. Fish, turkey, chicken, nuts, yogurt, cheeses and milk are recommended.

Highly processed foods are, of course, eliminated. Baked goods, snacks, soft drinks and breads fall into this category. Participants are encouraged to steer away from low-fat prepared foods, as they are often prepared with additional carbohydrates.

In the three phases of the South Beach Diet, the initial phase cuts carbohydrates from the diet dramatically. The theory behind this is that when avoided, the craving for carbohydrates decreases and once they are reintroduced into the diet, the body will properly metabolize them. Phase One completely excludes alcohol, sugar, pasta, rice, fruit, bread, potatoes, fast food and baked goods from the participant's food options. After this 14 day period, pasta, cereals, fruit and bread are gradually added back into the diet but not to excess.

The South Beach Diet does not require exercise for comprehensive weight-loss within this diet plan.

Once this diet is in the maintenance phase, a wide range of foods and permission to indulge occasionally on some high-fat and high-carb foods is included in the diet plan. The South Beach Diet participants report a lower level of bad cholesterol and increase in good cholesterol when adhering to this diet. A study of 40 overweight people who participated in the South Beach Diet shows that, on average, their weight-loss was maintained at 13.6 pounds. The South Beach Diet is currently among the top five diets in the USA, with many celebrities touting their success and proving to fame-obsessed Americans that you can 'look like a movie star- and eat like one, too'.

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Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Role of Nutrition in Prevention of Illness and Health Maintenance

"Given the history of Western medicine to date, many people seek empowerment in the health care of themselves and their families; nutrition is really basic component of preventive medicine and also an area that can be effective in corrective medicine for many common health problems." *

Nutrition is a basic element of health and should not be overlooked during disease. Some well renowned practitioners state that every disease is a result of improper dietary habits.

Because of the rapid increase in cost of medical care and desire to live longer and healthier, higher and higher percentage of the population is becoming concerned about nutrition and maintaining their health. Without a doubt, nutrition plays a big role here.

Proper nutrition and regular physical activity can help us avoid taking drugs or even have surgeries to correct the results of fast-paced, fast-food consuming, multitasking life with no exercising.

Healthy dietary habits (the way we eat) are the foundation of healthy nutrition. Choosing nourishing (whole, unprocessed, without chemical additives) foods alone is not enough.

Simpler meals (with specific combination of foods for better digestion and absorption) are becoming the top-choice of many, who are oriented toward optimum health.

However, the factors that are often overlooked, but just as important in healthy nutrition are:

  • the way our food is prepared and served,
  • the time of the day when we eat,
  • the setting in which we eat and
  • how we feel when we eat.
The way of the Western world is that poor nutrition is readily available everywhere, any time and cheap. Farmers' markets and health-food stores, on the other hand, are harder to find in some areas. In the end, all comes down to common sense. Our body is sending us messages all the time and if we would only learn to listen to these messages again, there would be no need whatsoever for trying out all the countless diets which don't work. So, even though our biofeedback is a perfect messenger, we tend to override the signals and follow heavily advertised addictions.

This kind of behavior affects the way we feel now, as well as over the long term. Being overweight is mostly the result of poor nutrition and low activity level. The only way to lose extra pounds permanently is to change the lifestyle. Choosing less fattening foods is a good choice, but not sufficient.

Because certain emotions and fear of creativity and change also promote unhealthy (over)eating habits, we need to choose personal growth (over addictions), decide what we want and stay focused on our goals.

Dietary habits and eating patterns from our family's traditions affect us all in our young age. As adults, however, we are making our own choices and decisions and we should keep asking ourselves why we're doing the things we do - and keep the answers in our sight.

When body is in a detoxification stage (like during cold or flu when bowels, secreting cells and mucous membranes become more active), it is simply trying to eliminate the buildup of toxins we consumed throughout the longer period of time. Eating lightly (especially fruits and vegetables) and drinking more liquids (clean, fresh water and herbal teas), supports the cleansing process.

Our dietary needs are changing with the seasons of the year as well as with our age. Growing children need richer diet to construct and expand tissues. When we stop growing physically, we only need to maintain our body, which calls for lighter, fiber and nutrient rich natural foods. As we age even more and our metabolism slows down, our food requirements decrease further.

Just like fitness activity is equally important at any age, so is the low level of stress. While under stress, our body may not digest and absorb the necessary nutrients so well and sometimes the additional supplements are needed.

When we lose our appetite in response to the stressful situation, that is a very helpful reaction. As mentioned before, in stressful times our body does not process foods so well. Not eating will allow us to "hear" better what the only body we have for this life, is signaling us, and explore our feelings.

Human body needs food as a source of energy and as a fuel to maintain life. It is quite obvious that nutrition plays a major role in health as well as sickness. Fortunately, there are more and more practitioners available who are nutritionists. There are also more and more choices of wholesome, nutritious foods offered online and in the brick-and-mortar stores. Information is plentiful. But it's up to us to decide to do and choose what's best.

*Haas, M.D., Elson M.. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. 1. Berkeley, CA: Celestial Arts Publishing, 1992.

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tasty Butternut Recipe - Squash Is a Healthy Dinner Vegetable

This butternut recipe for squash is a tasty and healthy vegetable for your family meal. Butternut squash is a power food - an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and beta carotene and has been shown to have anti-cancer properties as well as other health promoting benefits.

Unfortunately, we don't cook butternut squash often and most people don't know how to cook it properly. It is a very versatile vegetable, it can be cooked as a savory dish or sweet with sugar and spices. Most recipes that call for pumpkin can be made with butternut squash as well.

Butternut Squash is a winter squash with a thick skin that helps to preserve it. Trimming away this thick skin is the hardest part of the recipe below. Many people don't peel it, but halve it and roast it in the skin, scooping the squash out at serving time. For this recipe you need to peel the squash and cube it before roasting.

Baked Butternut Squash Recipe

1 large butternut squash (about 1 – 1 ½ pounds)

salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons anise seed, crushed

1/8 teaspoon cardamom

2 – 3 teaspoons brown sugar

8 Tablespoons butter, melted

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Peel and cut open the squash. Remove and discard the seeds and fibers.
  • Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes and place into a buttered 2 quart baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper, anise seed, cardamom and brown sugar.
  • Drizzle the butter and lemon juice over all.
  • Bake uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until tender.
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    Friday, March 23, 2007

    Alzheimer's - Caregiving To Parents, Would You, Could You, Should You

    Are you cut out for caregiving? Is Alzheimer's disease within your midst, prodding thoughts on how best to soothe your degenerating parent? Whether the latter resides with you, or at assisted-living or nursing residences, both of you require sustenance.

    Having been her full-time caregiver, I am grateful that my Alzheimer's-affected mother, Mary, bestowed upon me that privilege. Over the past decade, I concentrated on fulfilling her palliative needs. When she died a few months ago, I was overwhelmed by mingled sorrow and awe. The realization kept striking me, how often her unconditional love for me had poured through her, despite her eroded brain. I would never have been graced with potent, surfacing expressions of my mother's devotion, had I not chosen the role of dominant guardianship.

    Is an inchoate call nudging you, to minister to your elder's suffering, within close proximity to pain, on a round-the-clock basis? Knowledge is key.

    (A) Self-Query Per Four Considerations:

    Alzheimer's is the most common type of dementia. The length and intensity of the affliction, and the individual's behavior patterns vary. Insurance eligibility barriers and insufficient income exacerbate an already worrisome situation. It's reported that close to $175,000 (and it's escalating) in subsistence costs will be expended during an Alzheimer's patient's lifetime. Currently, since 2002, the number of cases has crested to five million from four million. More families feel submerged by conflicted goals. Let's contemplate if an at-home program seems feasible for you as primary attendant.

    First, Your Sense of Purpose: Does the thought of home care evoke a feeling of vocation -- or of obligation? Is your relationship with your parent such, that old inner wounds have healed, and will not jeopardize pragmatic chores? Will you respond with patience, fortitude, compassion? Is your genuine motive, guilt or filial love? Will other immediate kin feel displaced, by the necessary ferocity of focus you will direct towards the invalid?

    Your Aptitude For Tending: Would you stay motivated, during periods -- and there will be -- when siblings, relatives, friends, cannot or will not proffer support? Do you think you could operate devices such as those testing blood sugar? Are you too squeamish to handle injections, bathing, dressing, feeding the shut-in? You love your parent, but do you like her or him -- like enough, to alleviate the heavy boredom that threatens to plunge the bed-ridden one into despair? Would you read the newspaper to your father, despite the fact you've only had two hours sleep, after allaying his fears all night? Would you amuse your mother with silly jokes, while secretly dispirited, having just deciphered the latest lab reports on her impairment? Would you remind yourself during a crisis, when your ward rebuffs, even insults you, that it is the sickness babbling, not your revered parent? Do you emanate balance, trusting when to insist on rules, and when to deviate? Is there adequate discipline in you to organize doctor appointments, and adhere to fixed intervals for administering medications? Would you be capable of dealing at times, with an ungovernable mind, yours as well as the dependent's?

    Your Resilience: Do you experience claustrophobia, whereby being detained bedside, for hours on end, would affect you adversely? Have you the stamina to push a wheelchair through a mall? Do you possess the physical vigor to lift your parent from chair to bed to chair to bed, ad infinitum, during the day? Do you have creative inner resources, that will help you muster fun and laughter for the both of you? For example, I refused to view my mother as a victim; she was hampered by Alzheimer's but not solely defined by it. Humor and lightheartedness, her essence, would always be a part of her life, I had vowed.

    Your Learning Capacities: Does a daily routine, a highly structured life, bore or benefit you? Would you consider yourself informed, avid for geriatric study, so that you may confer confidently with specialists, per their diagnoses and recommendations?

    Also, could you separate your loved one from the realm of statistics? Would you uncover the degree to which this unique individual emits what I term an "R and T" factor -- being Reachable and Teachable? To my delight, my mother diligently recited her name, Mary, and recalled it ever after. Would you instruct a resilient, and willing parent? My mother had been an independent person. Confirming my instincts, she welcomed avenues, however minor, in which I could relinquish control to her. I would cut her food, then produce a serving spoon, with which she could scoop the morsels and steer them to her mouth. When radically enfeebled her last few weeks, confined to the armchair she favored over hospital-type beds, she let me curl her fingers around the utensil. Subtly I guided her hand, so that she felt she was feeding herself. It will startle you, witnessing a muted personality heralding itself against immense odds on rare occasions.

    Your Modified Relationship: Could you bear living with someone you know, who doesn't know you? Will you accept your unsettling new identity, as a stranger who now must earn affection, formerly an offspring's entitlement? Will you risk interactions, with someone you love who will decide whether or not to love you back? Can you remain centered, even contented, in the present moment, where the dear one resides?

    Thus, are you suited for caregiving? If so, and your desire to protect matches, if known, your parent's wishes, and your revenue sources accommodate the decision, you and your charge are truly blessed.

    If circumstances dictate otherwise, such a boon is not exclusive to at-home environs. You may transfer home care skills to professional facilities. Your purposefulness in showering empathy, in your responsiveness to details others overlook, will matter indeed (visiting frequently, unwrapping treasures such as baby-soft blankets; re-adjusting the slant of mattress when you surmise your parent's discomfort; re-filling the water cup, quenching thirst before asked; scrutinizing the attentiveness of staff, or just sitting quietly, stroking his/her brow). Your fidelity immeasurably elevates the quality of living for an otherwise isolated, inactive, often speech-impaired frail being.

    The proposals below may still be germane to your case, in feeding, guarding, and stabilizing conditions for your parent, during each of your encounters. Moreover, they reinforce the significance of self-care. Even if you dwell a sizeable distance from failing relatives, their fluctuating viability most likely weighs palpably on your mind, and you deserve to feel uplifted.

    (B) Preparation:

    Peruse magazines, books, and websites on the topic of caregiving. Seek out support groups, to heed the dilemmas and irony of parenting your own parent. If possible, enroll in a class on CPR techniques. Discuss with doctors, the merits of depression-screening to avoid confusion with dementia. Analyze visiting-nurse ramifications. If caregiving is not an option, appraise the value of Alzheimer's-geared assisted-living over nursing homes; go online and Google "Alzheimer's placement referral services" if need be.

    Access intelligible articles from websites such as;; and Learn about an intriguing discovery, SORL 1, a potential gene factor that may trigger Alzheimer's. Discern activities appropriate for early stages, such as walking, or crossword puzzle-solving.

    Investigate free transportation and other services, that governmental agencies implement. A few social, groups sponsor a one-day small "scholarship," meaning a paid, carefree caregiver's holiday spent any way envisioned -- buying a book, viewing a movie, dining in a café, whatever respite is most life-affirming for you.

    Also, consult with close relatives and friends. Allow them to vent objections, and to reveal how they would like to contribute. The more everyone fathoms Alzheimer's disordered progression, and what to expect from each other, the more harmonious, the outcome.

    (C) Appreciate Unforeseen Marvels:

    Throughout your service to your parent, recognize the intangible jewels embedded in the experience. Yes, Alzheimer's brings beauty as well as burden.

    Because you are supervising 24/7, you may witness wondrous occurrences unavailable to those who sporadically visit. Alzheimer's drowns memory. In my mother's case, I perceived that the insidious amnesia was not constant; forgetfulness flowed in waves. There were moments of billowing joy for us, when she suddenly would turn lucid, pat my cheek, utter my name, and hug me. Many days, weeks, months might ebb, before cognition upsurged again. Yet those idyllic moments of re-connection, sustained me.

    (D) Accept Ends, And Beginnings:

    As the disease advances, symptoms change, and no two illnesses mirror each other. The weakening effects of Alzheimer's may creep along or erupt in stunning form. A few weeks before my mother departed, her legs gave way with no forewarning. I am thankful that until then, she could enjoy shuffling to the wheelchair, with my aid. Before her last 24 months of tribulation, she displayed enough agility to stroll with me for morning "constitutionals" year after year.

    At the preliminary levels of Alzheimer's, not just my mother but many others who remain mobile may tumble into terrifying phases of running away, or hiding. Only uninterrupted monitoring of their whereabouts will anchor them to safe surroundings. A childlike urge to pry goads them. If still strong, they might straddle the banister; climb out windows; toss a bowl at the t.v. screen to capture the attention of the people "trapped inside." They may become caught in the act of tasting inedible curiosities, such as a packet of dishwasher gel my mother chewed, which garnered her a swift visit to the hospital. You may have to re-think household design and customs. Clearing lower cabinets, fastening safety locks atop bathroom doors, inserting sturdy gates at stairways. At dinner, no chicken bones, no heavy glassware. How would you protect a toddler? Develop the same mind-set.

    In the acute stages, a chronic pain inexplicably might vanish. Sometimes, your loved one may appear to rally, only to relapse, then re-group again. To avert a traumatic jolting from a false sense of hope, don't lose sight of the uninvited but inevitable big picture. Unless a new cure abruptly materializes, a medicine or miracle intervenes, overall direction for the invalid is downward. Whether you're religious or not, the well-known prayer, Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference, proves consoling for many caregivers. I know it was and is for me. When the moment of parting arises, an awareness fortifies you, that you had provided, not just an efficient home-based hospice, but a haven, for your loved one.

    In the days before her passing, for precious intervals, my mother would grip my wrist, while laboring to formulate the word "love." Our relationship had swirled full circle, with her maternal impulses roused, intent on emboldening me for whatever the future unveiled. Whether at the end she was asserting our biological ties or anointing me her "honorary" daughter, our link proves insoluble.

    If you have spiritual inclinations, I encourage you to hold a constructive, even Bigger Picture in mind -- if you trust, as I do, in divine love, a tremendous reassurance will envelop you, With gratitude, we may sense that those whose passing we will mourn, shall explore a greater unseen eternal reality, savoring a vast capacity to be present to us, and cherish us. May you and your loved one resonate with peace.

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    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    French Recipe For Roasted Pumpkin, Onion And Cumin Parcels

    Makes 8
    v 1 large onion

    v 200g pumpkin flesh

    v 4 tbsp olive oil

    v 1 sprig of rosemary

    v 2 cloves garlic

    v 1 tbsp fresh pesto

    v 1 tsp cumin

    v 4 sheets of spring roll pastry, 20cm x 20cm

    v salt & pepper

    v 1 egg white


    1. Finely chop onion, peel and scoop out the seeds of the pumpkin and cut into 1cm cubes. Crush garlic, chop rosemary

    2. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan add olive oil and all the prepared ingredients (pumpkin, onion, garlic and rosemary) and also add the cumin. Fry over a high heat until golden brown then transfer to a roasting tray and roast in a medium oven until the pumpkin in soft. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

    3. Take 2 sheets of the spring roll pastry, cut into four equal squares, around 10cm x 10cm. Lay them out on a bench and lightly brush them with beaten egg white. Take the other 2 sheets, repeat the process, but this time place a square of pastry on top of one of the other squares - however offset it so that you have a star shape. Repeat this with all the eight pieces of pastry until you have eight star shapes ready to be filled.

    4. Re-brush all the pastry shapes with the egg white. Divide the pumpkin mix evenly between the eight pieces of pastry, placing it in the centre of the pastry.

    5. Using your fingers gently pull all the corners together to form the pouch, and push together firmly in order for it to stick.

    6. Set in fridge for 20mins to set, deep fry in clean oil until golden brown, and serve immediately.

    Serving Suggestions

    As it is coming into party season we have done this quick vegetarian dish for you to try - it is great as a party finger food served perhaps with a crème fraîche dip, or as a starter served with an accompaniment of your choice - you could try a mild curried chutney to go with it.

    Advanced preparation

    These can be made at least 2 or 3 days ahead of time if you wish, but just deep fry them at the last minute, just before serving them.

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    Wednesday, March 21, 2007

    Which Low Carbohydrate Diet Is Best For You?

    We've heard that diet plans don't work the same way for everyone, even if they collectively claim that they can reduce the amount of "bad" carbohydrates in our bodies. But if that's the case, how are we supposed to know which low carbhoydrate diet plans would work best for us as individuals? The answer lies in careful study. Look into the requirements and benefits of each diet plan, and based on what you've learned, decide on the plan that would give you the best returns, in terms of time, money and effort.

    Here are three of the more popular low carbohydrate diet regimes. Check them out and see how each one relates to your lifestyle and routines:

    1. The Atkins Diet - This is currently the most popular patented diet plan in the market. The creator of this plan, Dr. Robert C. Atkins, is known as "The Father of Modern Low Carb Diets." This diet promotes cutting back on carbohydrate intake, but stresses that different people have different nutritional needs, and therefore the diet plan must vary from person to person. The Atkins books contain information on a "carb ladder," which details the amount of carbohydrates a person may introduce into the body, based on one's glycemic load. The books also advocate balancing Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids. All this means you need to pay close attention to the amount of food you eat when you're on this diet.

    2. The South Beach Diet - This diet scheme, recently patented by Dr. Arthur Agatston, is thought of as a modified Atkins diet, with a few significant changes: while both Atkins and South Beach promote the elimination of "bad carbs," the South Beach diet actively discourages eating the dark meat or butter of poultry, as they are fraught with saturated fat that produces "bad carbs." Atkins poses no such restriction.

    3. The "Caveman" Diet - This low carbohydrate diet advocates a return to our ancestral roots, in a liberal sense; it simply promotes the elimination of artificial processed foods from regular meals. In this diet you can eat pretty much anything except foods that contain sugar, salts, and seasoning. Most dairy products are not allowed either, as they are often found in processed form in this modern age. Meat, eggs, fish, fruit, most vegetables, and nuts are okay. This may seem somewhat permissive, but it is still a rather tough call if you live in a country like the United States, where it isn't easy adhering to an all-natural organic diet scheme.


    Monday, March 19, 2007

    4 Fat Loss Myths - Are You Exercising On Bad Information?

    The exercise business attracts a lot of shady people, and it's not just the late night infomercial people. It's also the people who write fitness and diet books. Every couple of months another new exercise book comes out with the same old myths. This article will expose 4 common fat loss myths and why they are myths.

    Myth #1

    Do a cardio workout in the early morning before eating breakfast. Okay, it's true that early morning is a good time to exercise. You have the most energy then and you give yourself energy for the rest of the day.

    But there's nothing special about 5:00 AM, especially in the winter. Your body burns calories and fat just as well at 9:00 PM. If you oversleep and miss your morning workout, don't think, well, I missed the most optimum time to exercise. In reality, it doesn't matter when you exercise, as long as you exercise with intensity.

    Myth #2

    Make sure you're in your fat burning zone when you do cardio. Fat burning zone equals low intensity. You'll burn more calories from fat, but less calories overall if you stay in your fat burning zone.

    Also, fat burning zone training doesn't cause your body to burn calories after exercising. But with interval training, for example, you burn calories for hours after training, which leads to greater fat loss.

    Myth #3

    Fat burning kicks in only after 20 minutes of cardio. Come on people, there's no "fat burning" on / off switch in your body. What if you do 19 minutes and 46 seconds on a stationary bike…no fat burned? Enough said.

    How much fat you burn during a workout is just not that important. What's your metabolism doing the other 23 hours of the day? Is it still burning fat?

    Myth #4

    You'll lose weight by eating negative calorie foods. A negative calorie requires more energy to eat it than it provides you. Spinach is a negative calorie food. If you ate nothing but spinach, I guess you would starve to death.

    But wait…Popeye only eats spinach. And he isn't dead; I just watched him this morning. Actually, there's no such thing as a negative calorie food, it's some diet guru's catchphrase. Popeye should kick his butt.

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    Sunday, March 18, 2007

    Nursing Careers are in Great Demand World Wide

    Today, there is an extremely high demand for health care workers and especially nurses in every part of the world. Advanced technology is helping us to understand the human body and giving us the capacity to live longer than ever before. Now that America's baby boom generation is beginning to retire, even more health-care professionals are needed. The future career prospects for the nursing industry are great.

    The need for more nurses is a problem found in almost every city in the United States. A nurse can move to practically any city in the world and easily find employment.

    The career description of today's nurse includes performing diagnostic tests, providing emotional support and medical advice to patients and their family members, treating and educating patients on various medical conditions, as well as helping patients and their families to understand how to manage their illnesses. Explaining post treatment home care to patients and their families is yet another responsibility of today's nurse. Some nurses also have the responsibility of grief counseling for people who have critically injured relatives. Nurses also provide vital services to communities such as local blood drives, health screenings, immunizations, health seminars, health screenings, along with other health related community needs.

    A smart Nursing Student will elect to specialize in one particular field of study. Nurses have many fields of study to choose from. Some of which include mental health nursing, private duty nursing, hospital nurses, clinic nurses, emergency room nurses, surgical nurses, as well as career opportunities in oncology nursing, geriatrics, pediatrics, pulmonary medicine, family and elder care nursing and many other options. To widen their field of expertise many nurses today will study in more than one of these specialized fields.

    There are career opportunities for nurses in every country of or world today. Finding employment is the easiest job of today's nurse!. With the shortage of nursing staff it's more likely a nurse will have problem scheduling time off. Taking time off from work for vacations and personel days can be tough for nurses today.

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    Saturday, March 17, 2007

    Hidden Trouble – Drinking Water Contaminants

    With an ever-growing emphasis placed on the eating of whole, organic foods, society continues to turn a discerning eye to the food and beverages we put in our bodies. Savvy shoppers attempt to keep toxins at bay by avoiding packaged and processed foods that contain a bevy of chemical additives; and it couldn't be soon enough – experts agree that toxins that we ingest – in addition to the toxins present in our environment – are responsible for a variety of disease including cancer. So as we strive to minimize the risks, we have to take a hard look at the things we take for granted; and one such thing is our drinking water supply. The truth is that there are drinking water contaminants that greatly compromise the quality of our water supplies and do more to damage our health than increase it.

    There is an inherent level of toxins found in both public water supplies and even in bottled water. Most often – and especially in the United States – these levels are well within safe standards and the health risks are negligible. But in those areas where the drinking water contaminants are above these levels, the quality of the water is severely compromised and health issues can result. In the United States, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set forth legally enforced guidelines for water safety known as the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations – or Primary Standards. These Primary Standards allow for a maximum level of drinking water contaminants; if these drinking water contaminants exceed this maximum level they could result in serious health complications including gastrointestinal illness, bacterial illness, and even cancer. These drinking water contaminants enter our water supply through chemical plants, soil runoff, and as naturally occurring environmental contamination.

    The National Secondary Drinking Water Regulations - or Secondary Standards - are not federally enforced – but rather recommended – guidelines set forth by the EPA that sets a maximum level of drinking water contaminants that produce more surface effects – such as water that has a bad taste, smell, or discolors clothing or skin. It is up to each individual state to decide if they wish to make the Secondary Standards enforceable.

    It is up to each of us in our towns and cities across the nation to ensure that drinking water contaminants are minimally present in our water supply. If you are still concerned about toxins that may be ingested through your water you may want to look into the purchase of a drinking water filter system that can be permanently installed in your home or the ongoing delivery of a water cooler system.


    Friday, March 16, 2007

    Substitute Flavor for Salt at Every Meal

    Many people don't worry about sodium in their diet unless their doctor has specifically told them to cut down on it. So they sit down to an otherwise healthy meal absent of high fat and calories and then spoil it by using an excessive amount of salt.

    Even without adding sodium to your plate, your diet is probably already exceeding the normal limits of what the FDA recommends. Since most people habitually add salt to their meals, the doses they're receiving cause them to take in up to three times as much sodium as necessary.

    This overdosing on salt leads to over 150,000 deaths each year, so it's vital that you shake your sodium habit and learn to infuse flavor without risking your health. One way to add flavor without the negative side effect salt delivers is to use a quick spray of lemon juice or a pinch of sugar on your foods instead. Both of these options help bring out the natural freshness and flavor of vegetables.

    Garlic, dill, basil, and parsley also allow you to pull out the flavor of the food without having to rely on sodium to do the job for you. While sodium is the flavor enhancer of choice for most households, many canned, processed, and even frozen foods are already full of this ingredient. In fact, a single fast food meal can supply more than twice your daily limit of sodium.

    The biggest offenders for over-delivering on sodium are cheese, bacon, and soy sauce. Instead o fusing these ingredients, spice up your dish with ginger, rice vinegar, or lime juice.

    Some foods mask their sodium content so that you don't even know it's in there. A Java Chip Frappuccino from Starbucks packs in 300 mg of sodium. Baked cookies, doughnuts, and bread can contain baking soda, which houses 1,259 mg of sodium per teaspoon.

    If you want to cook some vegetables and flavor them up, instead of reaching for the salt shaker, try roasting them in an effort to caramelize their natural sugars. This brings out a rich flavor that will replace your craving for salt once your tastebuds get used to it.

    Make immediate choices to cut down on the excessive sodium in your diet. Too much of this ingredient can cause fluid retention, blood pressure problems, and artery damage. It can also bring an elevated risk of certain cancers and cause stomach disease, and osteoporosis. Give yourself at least 30 days to begin enjoying the natural flavors of food again and you won't miss the salt you've been adding to your diet.

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    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    At Last... a Miracle Drink, Water

    Water, it's impossible to live without it. It is the most essential element the body needs for survival. One of the most effective ways you can improve your overall health is very simple…drink more water. Proper Hydration is vital for everyone, not just active individuals. Water regulates body temperature, protects internal organs, improves digestion, transports essential nutrients, and flushes waste and toxins from your body. Water is also the ultimate moisturizer for our skin.

    With all the things Moms have to do, it's no wonder you may not drink as much water as you should. Frequent headaches and fatigue are among the most common signs of dehydration. Many of us don't realize we suffer from dehydration because we blame headache, fatigue and dizziness on other causes.

    How can you tell if you are dehydrated? An easy way is to check the color of your urine. If your urine looks like the color of apple juice you are probably dehydrated. Urine should be very pale yellow to clear. A caution, however, certain vitamins and prescription medications can cause the urine to appear darker. Check with your pharmacist.

    How much water do you need? The correct answer, of course, varies from person to person. Every day you lose water from sweating, exhaling, urinating and bowel movements.

    The most common rule is the "8 glasses a day rule". This is a general starting point, but here are several factors that can influence your water needs:

    1. Environment – Hot or humid weather requires additional water intake to help lower your body temperature and to replace what you lose.

    2. Exercise – If you exercise or engage in any activity that makes you sweat you'll need to drink extra water to compensate for the fluid loss.

    3. Health conditions – Fever, vomiting, diarrhea can cause your body to lose extra fluids.

    4. Pregnancy or Breast feeding – women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require additional water to stay hydrated.

    Bottom line. Drink before you are thirsty. Thirst alone isn't always an adequate gauge of your body's need for a drink. Thirst tells us we are already dehydrated. Make water drinking a daily part of your normal routine. Keep a water bottle on hand and drink from it throughout the day. If you have difficulty with enjoying water, try squeezing some lemon or lime juice into it.

    Start drinking your way to better health today. Your body will thank you.

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    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Most Famous Bengali Recipe

    Bengali sweets or Misthi are the integral part of all the celebration in Bengali families. "Misthi Mukh" (sweetening the mouth) is ritual followed in bengali home whenever there is good news.

    Some of the mouth watering dishes are : Manohara, Payesh, Dilkhsh, Misti doi, Nalen gurer sandesh, Rasomalai etc.
    During sankranti ( a post-harvest celebration in January) Pithae like chanar pithae, a coconut and chana dal sweet; Patishpata, a coconut filled pan cake etc are prepared.
    All bengali sweets are usually Chenna or cottege cheese based, this is unique feature as in other part of india sweets are usually khoya based or dey sweets like besan ka laddu or modak or boondi ka laddu.

    Specialty of Indian recipe is use of spices and herbs in most the cuisine and longstanding and widespread practice of vegetarianism in Indian society. India is multi-society, multi-culture, multi-religion and multi-state country. These variety is clearly reflect in Indian Cuisine and recipe. Indian cuisine is characterized by a great variety of foods, spices, and cooking techniques. Furthermore, each religion, region, and caste has left its own influence on Indian food.
    Certain part of west bengal have come to be associated with and famous for peticularswets named Bardhman - famous mihidana and shitabhog (both are made of chenna in syrup).
    One of bngal most famous exports is "Chenna ka rasogolla" and more famous and mouth watering recipe is sandesh(made from chenna).

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    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    Eating Healthy To Stay Trim, Fit And Healthy

    Eating healthy is fast becoming a way of life. American's are living longer, however, the goal of many is not to simply live longer, the goal it is to live a longer and healthier life. Simple everyday fruit can help.
    Recent studies have indicated that the antioxidants in fruit provide a whole host of health benefits: the anti-aging power of blueberries and the joint pain relieving properties found in cherries to name a few.
    The multitudes of health components found in fruit are truly a gift from Mother Nature. Here are a few everyday fruits for healthy living in 2005:

    Cherries – The Supercharged Fruit:
    Are cherries truly fruit for a healthy you? Recent studies have revealed that cherries offer an assortment of health benefits including the ability to offer natural relief from joint pain caused from gout, arthritis and joint inflammation.

    The wonder of the cherry is the anthocyanins. According to research from Michigan State University tart cherries contain anthocyanins and bioflavonoids, which inhibit the enzymes Cyclooxygenase-1 and -2, and prevent inflammation in the body. These compounds have similar activity as aspirin, naproxen and ibuprofen.

    Further investigations revealed that daily consumption of cherries has the potential to reduce the pain associated with joint inflammation. Many are choosing to drink cherry juice, eat cherries or consume tart cherry pills for relief of gout, arthritis and joint pain.

    Linda L. Patterson is a living testimony of the soothing affects of cherries on her joint pain. "I enjoy crocheting and lately my hands have been so painful, I couldn't crochet for more than about 30 minutes.", says Patterson. In an attempt to find relief from her pain, she located Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry capsules, ( a supplement made from red tart cherries. "Within the first week of taking the tart cherry capsules my hands felt so much better.", says Ms. Patterson. "I am now able to crochet without the pain in my hands."

    Blueberries – Nature's Top Antioxidant Fruit:
    Blueberries emerged as the top antioxidant capacity fruit in a laboratory testing procedure called ORAC - Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity developed by the USDA*. ORAC has become the definitive measurement of antioxidant capacity.

    James Joseph, Ph.D, Chief of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, is working with blueberries to examine their potential to help improve motor skills and reverse the short-term memory loss that comes with aging.

    "The blueberry has emerged as a very powerful food in the aging battle," said Joseph. "Given the possibility that blueberries may reverse short-term memory loss and forestall other effects of aging, their potential may be very great."

    Terry Johnson, a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan, munchies on dried blueberries for the convenience and taste. "I work behind a computer for eight hours a day and I like to snack. I began eating dried blueberries instead of a candy bar from the vending machine. Now I feel good when I snack because I am eating fruit instead of candy."


    Studies have shown that strawberries can help promote a healthy digestive system and help lower blood cholesterol. A handful of strawberries can go a long way to a helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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    Monday, March 12, 2007

    An Apple A Day

    The digestive tract and our modern lifestyle

    A good friend of mine once said "You can eat your way to health". the viewpoint being that, whatever ailment you have, mother nature has provided us with the right food to cure the ailment. Sometimes a little tweaking is involved, such as creating vinegars for stomach ailments or distilling essential oils from various plants to create more potent products. The bottom line though, is that all of the ingredients are there, inside the plants that we eat.

    It seems to me that if the statement "You can eat your way to health" is true, then the opposite is also true. You can eat your way to illness. I see this evidenced in the diet of most people. All the food we really like to eat has a terrible effect on our digestive system. The wheat products, sugars, starches and fatty foods have one longterm effect on our system. They clog up the digestive tract with an unhealthy sludge and this sludge has a twofold effect.

    1.) It slows down our body's process of elimination and

    2.) It prevents our body from absorbing all the nutrition from the good food we do eat.

    The process of elimination

    When I say "process of elimination" I'm sure you know I'm talking about our body's ability to get rid of already digested food. This process of elimination is quite functional and healthy in the early stages of our life, but as we get older, the accumulated residue of countless meals begins to build up in the digestive tract. All sorts of discomforts begin to manifest. Heartburn becomes more frequent, sometimes an ulcer will develop, maybe two or three. Our energy level begins to drop and we feel sluggish and tired. Getting out of bed in the morning is not as joyful an experience as it was when we were young. All of this because our process of elimination has slowed down and our once healthy digestive tract, has become filled with a toxic sludge, coating the walls of our intestines and slowly poisoning us.

    Eat yourself healthy

    Okay, don't eat yourself. Eat your way to better health. There are some foods that Mother Nature has provided, that can actually help to relieve us of a lot of toxic waste in our system. High fibre unprocessed foods will go a long way towards helping your digestive tract get back to a workable state. Apples are a gift from heaven. An apple a day? I would take that one step further and say "Go on an apple diet". Take 3 weeks and eat only apples, even if you slip up and say "Please, No! not another day of just apples". Even if you give up half way, you would have done yourself a great service. Incorporate an apple a day into your diet and you won't regret it. You can eat yourself healthy, the choice is yours. This is one area of research you should never sneer at.

    Drug companies will not make you healthy in the real sense of the word. They can maybe help you with a specific ailment. The doctor can prescribe drugs or recommend surgery to fix a problem, but only you can choose a lifestyle and mental attitude that will bring you the happiness you desire and deserve.

    Sunday, March 11, 2007

    Best Way to Lose Stomach Fat: 3 Exercise Tips to Obtain a Sexy Waistline

    The best way to lose stomach fat and obtain a sexy waistline can be achieve in the following ways:

    Tip #1: Utilize the following exercises either at your gym or at home: The Ab Rocker: which relies on the abs to rock back and forth; The Bicycle Exercise: This exercise, which targets your abdomen and waist, is the best way to shape those abs; The Exercise Ball: A great exercise to strengthen abs; The Vertical Leg Crunch: is great for abs and the waist; The Full Vertical Crunch: this allows you to use your entire body to work the abs; The Long Arm Crunch: is designed solely for the upper abs; The Torso Track: is used in gyms; The Reverse Crunch: are tiny movements producing huge results; The Plank on Elbows and Toes: is meant to build strength to the abs and the back.

    Tip #2: If you live in a neighborhood, all you need is twenty minutes and a clear day to begin your workout. Start out slow to warm-up and then kick it in gear. Walking works all the muscle groups of your body. Be careful to avoid rocky terrain or uneven pavement as they could cause injuries to the ankles and the knees.

    Tip #3: Dancing works the entire body in general, and the abdominal region in particular. There are new dance steps every day, so you need a strong core just to perform them. Let's face it; who doesn't love to dance? It's fun and the beat of the music keeps the body energized and motivated. Why not create a CD of your favorite fast-paced tunes; in this way, you can play and exercise whenever you have twenty free minutes. Move to the beat and burn some calories in the bargain!

    Just think how much you can benefit from just 20 minutes of exercise a day. This is the best way to lose stomach fat and to increase your overall health and well being. Whether you choose all of the aforementioned tips, or all – know that you will be helping to get rid of the stomach fat and showing off your sexy waistline. In addition, maintaining good exercise routines and proper diet regimen will assure success in keeping the weight off.
    As a reward, you can even purchase a brand new sexy outfit to boot!

    One more thing, do not equate sexy with thin! You are who you are, and the purpose of losing weight is to become healthier not skinnier. Plus size women are just as sexy as women who wear size 12 clothing. You may not be able to lose all of the stomach fat; but you will be healthier as a result.

    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Foods With Vitamin C Nutrient

    Different fruits and vegetables vary in the amount of vitamin C content they have.

    Five servings of fruits and vegetables daily will average to be about 200 mg of vitamin C. Some foods with vitamin C included are orange juice, grapefruit juice, tangerines, grapefruit and strawberries. Tomatoes, sweet red peppers, broccoli and potatoes also contain vitamin C nutrient.

    While vitamin C is available in many forms, any form you use is considered effective. The natural versus the synthetic vitamin C has been shown to be basically the same.

    Vitamin C is often called ascorbic acid. Because mineral salts of ascorbic acid are less acidic. Many people find them less irritating to the gastrointestinal tract than ascorbic acid. They are a class of water-soluble plant pigment that are often found in vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables. These are thought to serve as antioxidants.

    Studies have found that commercially available ascorbic acid and its Esters-C have very little difference.

    As with most other food and drugs, very large doses of vitamin C can create problems. These problems include birth defects, cancer rebound scurvy, excessive iron absorption. One study has shown that rancid fat molecules can react with vitamin C products and to form products that could potentially harm DNA

    Many drugs are known to lower the vitamin C levels. In this case there would need to be an increase of vitamin C intake. High doses of vitamin C have also been found to interfere with the interpretation of some laboratory tests.

    Remember, all things in moderation and you will live a long and healthy life in the areas of live where you have control. Most things in life can be harmful when done to excess. Vitamin C is no different.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    Solving The Mystery Behind Fat To Diet Healthy

    Lots of people are on diets and their efforts should be commended for it. Or should they? The idea of watching what you eat is always a good idea, however many of us don't have all the information we need to make the right decisions, even though we may think we do. We assume we're eating what's good for us, but are we really? A big part of the problem stems from the mystery around fat. How can incorporating fat into a diet be healthy? we ask. Well, you might be interested to know that there is such a thing as healthy fat and also that we need a certain level of it in our bodies to ensure proper function and good health – 3 to 9 servings a day to be exact. Yes, it sounds confusing. That's why we've listed each of the most common types of fats here for you with a good outline of what each is, including whether or not it's one we need to incorporate into our diet or avoid at all costs.

    Saturated fats raise our LDL levels and result in the bad cholesterol of our blood. Thus, it is obviously one of the fat types we want to avoid in mass consumption because aside from high cholesterol, the effects it has on our body can also lead to heart disease. Saturated fat is mostly found in food products that result from an animal source. However, some also stem from plants as well and are widely used in commercially made products, e.g. junk food. So it's always a wise choice to check the nutrition labels on any processed and prepared, packaged foods that you're thinking about buying before you put it in your basket and take it home if your goal is to follow a diet that is healthy. Here's a list of some of the foods that contain saturated fat:

    • Butter

    • Cream

    • Cheese

    • Coconut Oil

    • Palm Oil


    Trans fats and trans fatty acids are bad, bad, bad. Of course, just like saturated fats, they taste good. So if you must, consume in very small quantities but definitely not on a consistent basis. And always keep in mind that they raise our bad cholesterol and lower the good (figures). Trans fat, or TFA as is also known as, start out in a liquid form and are then commercially processed to become solid at room temperature, as in shortening. When you see the terms 'hydrogenated' and 'partially hydrogenated' listed as an ingredient on that bag of chips or numerous other forms of unhealthy snacks, this is what it's referring to as well. Trans fat is used in these products to increase their shelf life so that should be sending up a red flag for you anyway and telling you that they will not keep your diet healthy. Trans fats are also used to enhance the flavor of fried food, which unfortunately they do. And they're also used in some brands of margarine as well – which is kind of good news for all you butter lovers. You'll start seeing the actual phrase 'Trans Fat' on more and more nutrition labels in the very near future as the FDA has enforced this requirement within the commercially processed food industry.


    These two types of fats are actually good for you. They raise the good cholesterol in your blood while lowering the bad. To keep your diet healthy, choose more foods that contain these fats instead of the other two discussed above. The list of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated-rich food includes:

    • Avocados

    • Sunflower Seeds

    • Sesame Seeds

    • Canola Oil

    • Olive Oil

    • Peanut Oil

    So now that the fat mystery is solved, take advantage of this information and use it to your benefit so that you can keep your diet healthy.

    Thursday, March 08, 2007

    Help Lower Your Cholesterol by Reading Food Labels!

    Very often shoppers don't pay enough attention to food labels while grocery shopping. People shop when they are in a rush and just can't be bothered to examine each and every item. If you suffer from high cholesterol and are attempting to stick to a "cholesterol diet" in order to lower your cholesterol it's an extremely good idea to read those food labels and find out what is actually going to be going into your mouth! It is also mandatory for food manufacturers to list pertinent and correct information about what each food is comprised of.

    Here are the essential things to look for on food labels when you want to lower your cholesterol and gain or
    maintain good health.

    • The label should identify the food product and brand name. You can find this on the front of the label.
    • Check the ingredients to find out if the food is healthy enough for you to consume. The ingredient that is listed first on the list is the ingredient with the highest percentage in the food item. Take note that sugar is often the first or second ingredient in products like breakfast cereals. This means that the cereal is made up of mostly sugar!!
    • Look for foods that are cholesterol-friendly. They should contain very few saturated fats and no trans fats whatsoever . Most commercial baked goods are loaded with trans fats. Choose foods that are also low in cholesterol. Foods with dietary cholesterol (animal sources) can cause cholesterol levels to rise. Unfortunately, a label that claims "cholesterol free" does not guarantee a healthy product. Very often these "cholesterol free" or "light" products are very high in sugar and fats, which can send your cholesterol and triglyceride levels soaring.!

    • The manufacturer's information should include origin of production, if it was imported and contact information.
    • Look for expiration dates before you purchase. This will let you know that you need to use or consume the food item before that date. If you are not vigilant about this you may find yourself with products that have exceeded their expiration dates.

    • . Check the portion size, fat content and fat types. The less fat in the product the better off you are.
    • Make sure the food item contains little or no sodium (salt). Choose food items that have lots of fiber. Fiber helps keep your cholesterol levels steady. Soluble fiber helps remove cholesterol from the body.

    The exception for having food labels is fresh produce and bulk foods. It is understood that these foods are healthy and don't have any fat or high percentage of cholesterol.

    Some eating establishments have realized the importance of food value information. They have implemented their own lists for the health-conscious patrons. Many of these restaurants have also started offering healthy meals containing minimal amounts of fat.

    In summary, if you are on a cholesterol diet, increased knowledge and understanding about the different
    foods which raise and lower cholesterol means increased ability to make smarter and more educated choices about your health. So, read up on which foods to be careful about and make sure you read those food labels carefully!

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Grandsun SG2000 Ultrasonic Home Spa - The Negatives

    The Grandsun SG2000 ultrasonic home spa is basically an ozone generator. Ozone is a highly toxic gas that is classified as an environmental pollutant. It is highly reactive and can degrade even the rubber it comes into contact with. Long term exposure to this gas can lead to irreversible lung damage, while short term effects include headaches and breathing difficulties. For this reason, ozone generators are no longer approved for sale in the whole of Canada and many parts of the USA (i.e. California). This is not to say that ozone is completely useless since we rely on ozone up in the atmosphere to protect us from the harmful UV (ultraviolet) radiation from the sun; however, it is toxic to humans below the upper atmosphere.

    Although legislature does not approve for the sale of such devices, this product comes with a "CSA" approved mark on the box of the device. Critically examining this "mark", one can come to a conclusion that the mark is lacking an LR or reference number. The same "CSA" mark is also not found on the device itself, thereby implying that the CSA mark may be a counterfeit. The CSA Audits and Investigations department were unable to verify the authenticity of their proclaimed safety certificate because neither the manufacturer or the model came up in their database! Health Canada has also verified that I should not be able to find such a device on the shelves.
    Since ozone generators and hence the Grandsun SG2000 ultrasonic home spa is not approved for sale in Canada, private individual representatives are privately importing these devices into Canada and the USA. They are a multi-level-marketting based business which implies that they will charge an unreasonable price for the product, since MLM distributors can make over 50% profit alone! After the distributor's supervisor and/or headoffice gets a share of the profits, the $2000 CAD home spa is worth no more than a couple hundred dollars!

    If the consumer researches this device by viewing the company website, they may find that this device can emit infrared radiation which can benefit their health. For those who does not have a strong background in the physical and chemical sciences, infrared radiation can be beneficial and is basically the heat we feel from the sun, except the sun offers an extra hint of UV ultraviolet radiation. In a physics or chemistry laboratory, I would say the only method to generate infrared radiation is to heat a solid (rare oxides) object up to 2000 degrees celcius. It is NOT POSSIBLE for the Grandsun SG2000 home spa to heat up to 2000 degrees celcius and therefore DOES NOT emit infrared radiation. The only source of infrared radiation comes from the HOT WATER you initially fill into the bathtub even before you turn on the spa unit. That is to say, we all get the benefits of infrared radiation (heat waves) from a regular bath, without a $2000 device.

    This article offers only a very small alternative aspect of the Grandsun SG2000 home spa and it is up to the consumers to further research and decide if they would want to purchase such a unit for their homes.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Top Foods To Avoid With Gout

    Did you know that gout is the only form of arthritis that can be relieved by what you eat? Therefore, if you have had a gout attack or gout runs in your family it is wise to understand which foods to avoid with gout to stop any of the nasty symptoms.

    Gout is tremendously painful and it's on the increase. It used to be an affliction that made the lives of the rich a misery because of their rich diet and high alcohol consumption. Nowadays, as society has got wealthier we are leaving ourselves wide open for gout due to our reliance on processed foods, red meats and increased alcohol consumption.

    Traditionally effecting men, more than women, bouts of gout are increasing for both groups.

    Gout is caused by a condition known as hyperuricemia. This is where there are raised levels of uric acid in the blood. Although not dangerous in itself, hyperuricemia can lead to the development of gout.

    When uric acid levels reach saturation point in the blood stream, small deposits are made in the spaces and connective tissues of the joints. These deposits crystallize, causing sharp, jagged needles that are the reason behind the swift swelling, redness and pain characterized by a gout attack.

    Hyperuricemia is caused by an increase production of uric acid in the blood or the kidneys being unable to process uric acid effectively. This can be for hereditary reasons or by eating too many purine-rich foods, drinking alcohol heavily and becoming dehydrated.

    Purine is a natural compound found in a lot of our food, particularly animal proteins. When ingested the body goes to work, breaking the purine down and producing uric acid as a result. Purine is found in high levels in processed foods and some alcohol, beer in particular. It stands to reason that having a diet high in animal and purine-rich foods, along with drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to gout, especially if it is a condition that runs in the family.

    Staying hydrated is a good first step in your defense against gout. By drinking at least 8 - 10 eight ounce glasses of water a day, you are ensuring that the uric acid in your body is diluted, allowing your kidneys to efficiently deal with eliminating the excess via your urine.

    However, to really go about lowering uric acid levels you need to look at your diet and make some amendments, as there are a few foods to avoid with gout. Among the worst offenders are:

    Most meats


    Meat extracts

    Game meats

    Processed meat


    yeast extracts







    Caffeinated beverages

    Legumes ie. peas, beans & lentils



    These foods are very high in purine and should be avoided, especially during a gout flare-up. Once gout symptoms are under control, small volumes of these foods can be eaten, however, it must only be moderation and you will be running a risk of experiencing further gout attacks.

    The best way to manage your gout through diet is to look at changing the foods you eat as a lifestyle choice rather than a diet. That way you bypass the feelings of 'missing out' and your new food choices become habit.

    Although the list of foods to avoid with gout is fairly extensive, there are plenty of other delicious foods that are okay to eat. Find out more on our site where you can sign up for a free newsletter.

    Monday, March 05, 2007

    Hydrogen Peroxide Can Help Cure Nail Fungus

    Some people have successfully treated nail and foot fungus by using hydrogen peroxide. This type of treatment is called oxidative therapy. Recent research indicates that we need hydrogen peroxide for a multitude of chemical reactions that take place throughout the body. For example, vitamin C helps fight infections by producing hydrogen peroxide, which in turn stimulates the production of prostaglandins.

    The best way to get hydrogen peroxide from fruits is to juice them. When you drink a glass of fresh carrot juice you can feel the effect of the hydrogen peroxide because you get a warm sensation around your neck and your face feels flushed. Drink freshly made juice within 10 minutes because the cells have been crushed and disturbed and the taste will quickly change. Cranberry juice is another great source of hydrogen peroxide. The tops of beets are loaded with hydrogen peroxide because of the chlorophyll.

    A topical hydrogen peroxide 3% solution is commonly used for home remedies. If the concentration exceeds 3%, it may lead to significant skin irritation. If it is being used to treat a nail fungus infection, then the affected toenail should be soaked several times daily. If used externally hydrogen peroxide is considered safe.
    Some people use a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar as a soaking solution to help heal toenail fungus. This method of healing usually works but it can take several months. Used properly, hydrogen peroxide is one of the safest and most cost effective ways to treat toenail fungus. Learn other methods for home remedies for toenail fungus treatment at our site.


    Oxidative therapy- Using the principles of oxidation to bring about desirable changes in the body.
    Hydrogen Peroxide: a substance that helps cure infection

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Natural Weight Loss - The Safe Way To Lose Weight

    Are you sick and tired of that extra weight you are carrying around? If you want to get rid of that extra pounds on your body, you should undergo a natural weight loss process. Although there are many diet programs and weight pills that would entice you with some great testimonials from people who have successfully finished their weight reduction program, crash diets and diet pills are not long term solutions to your weight problems.

    If you are really serious about losing weight and keeping off that extra weight from your body forever, you should lose weight the natural way. Unlike those crash diet programs and those diet pills where you will eventually gain back all the pounds that you shed off right after you stop taking the pills and starving yourself, you will more likely be able to stay slim if you lose weight the natural way.

    Eating a proper diet to lose weight naturally

    The secret of natural weight loss is to eat right and exercise more. If you have been living an unhealthy lifestyle, make some changes immediately. Proper diet and exercise are good for the body. People who eat a balanced diet and do some daily exercise routine are generally a lot healthier than those people who don't really bother to exercise and watch what they eat.

    One of the best ways to lose weight naturally is to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables while avoiding fatty foods. Fruits and vegetables are high in soluble fibers that facilitate good digestion. If your digestive system is healthy, your body will be able to process food more easily. According to experts, unlike fatty foods, which tend to clog your system, high fiber food will help you cleanse your colon.

    Fatty foods are generally harmful to your body. Aside from building up fats in the most unflattering areas of your body, a fatty diet could lead to so many types of fatal diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. To lose naturally, avoid eating fatty foods.

    Drink plenty of water. Drinking at least glasses of water a day should be your goal. Water can help you lose some weight and it makes you feel better too.


    Aside from eating right, you should exercise daily. You do not have to go through some power exercise routine if you do not want to. Just doing some simple exercise daily will be enough to shed off a few pounds. In fact, you can exercise while going to your workplace. If you happen to work in an office building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Climbing stairs is a very good form of exercise and it's free too.

    Another way for you to exercise while going to work is to walk. If you have been fighting for that coveted parking space nearest to the entrance of your office building, give it. Park at the far end of the parking and then walk the rest of the way. Walking across the parking lot and climbing stairs just to get to your office is one of the best natural weight loss routine that you can have.

    Saturday, March 03, 2007

    Herbal Weight Loss

    Herbal weight loss is all the rage for many avid dieters. Whether you want to lose a lot, a little or even if you just want to maintain a healthy weight, herbal weight loss products are on the top of the list of effective strategies. However, there are some things to consider before using this kind of supplement.

    The first thing to consider is looking into how herbal weight loss really works. The herbs are helpful because the rev up your metabolism. Since this is the case, you might feel some side effects. The side effects include increased heart rate, nervousness and sleeplessness. Herbal weight loss is definitely not for everyone, especially anyone who needs to avoid stimulants.

    If you consider how you feel when you work out you will be able to understand the unusual term. The body temperature rises and you actually feel warmer when you work out. The herbal weight loss products work to rev and heat your body to promote weight reduction.

    Safe products are on the market but you definitely want to talk to your doctor before going on any weight reduction program including natural ones. Herbal weight loss products come in different forms, some safe, some not so safe.

    Cayenne is a really safe herbal weight loss product that is usually added to give your food a little spice. The product helps you digest your food, making the process run faster and more effectively. It also raises your metabolism safely.

    Green tea is one of the hottest products on the market today. Not only does this herbal weight loss product help you burn fat. It also helps you get your daily dose of antioxidants. It also satiates your appetite and gives you something to ingest that is really satisfying. Drinking green tea is a great way to lose weight.

    Seaweed is an unusual supplement that has proved to do wonders for the thyroid. This natural herbal weight loss aid does a great job but since it does affect the thyroid you really need to talk to your doctor before taking the product, especially if you think that your thyroid is the problem causing the extra pounds.

    Herbal weight loss products that should be avoided at all costs are ephedrine, herbal laxatives. These products offer temporary results but they also may cause serious health problems.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    Careers in Nursing are Plentiful Today!

    Nurses and other health care workers are in great demand today! Advanced technology is helping us to understand the human body and giving us the capacity to live longer than ever before. With the average age of Americans steadily rising more and more health care professionals will be needed. A career as a nurse today and in the foreseeable future is a career in great demand.

    Nursing careers are available in just about every city in our country. Nurses today perform a wide variety of duties including giving emotional support and medical advice to patients, helping patients and their families understand how to manage medical problems, and performing diagnostic testing, among others.

    Yet another responsibility of nurses today is teaching patients and their families how to perform home care. Some nurses even have the responsibility of providing grief counseling to family members of patients who are critically ill. Nurses are also crucial when it comes to health screening, blood drives, health seminars, local immunizations, and other community needs.

    Today lots of nurses elect to specialize in one particular field of study. There are countless fields of study nurses have choose from. Some of which include mental health nursing, private duty nursing, hospital nurses, clinic nurses, emergency room nurses, surgical nurses, as well as career opportunities in oncology nursing, geriatrics, pediatrics, pulmonary medicine, family and elder care nursing along with many other options. Some nursing students will choose to study in two or more specialized fields.

    Nursing Schools often find themselves struggling to keep up with the demand for more and more qualified nursing graduates. Many countries today are faced with aging populations and these are the places where the demand for nurses is greatest. Career opportunities can be found for Nurses in every country of the world today.

    Nurses today seem to have no problem at all in finding a job. With the shortage of nursing staff it's more likely a nurse will encounter problems in scheduling time off. Collecting on earned vacation time and personal time may be tough in certain clinics and hospitals.