Difference Between hGH and Steroid Abuse

The hGH is a naturally occurring hormone that is secreted from the pituitary gland. Therefore, if the person is suffering from a lack of body mass, then inserting the hGH from an outside source into its body will be able to work two fold; it will be able to increase the metabolism of the body, so much so that the body mass will be increased, and it will also ensure that there is an increase in the production of hGH from the pituitary gland. These are definitely wonderful things that can happen to any human being, particularly if they are suffering from a very lean physique.

However, the same thing can be witnessed when there is a rampant steroid use. One of the good things to realize about steroid is that it will be able to work wonders within a very short period of time, and ensure that people are not left with the lean physique that they might have had a few months ago. However, steroid abuse is also something which is pretty rampant, due to the fact that this addiction can get out of hand pretty easily. Steroids are known to build immunity towards its use after a certain period of time, and when bodybuilders need to ramp up their physique, they simply end up ingesting more dosage of steroids than what they would originally do, in order to increase its effectiveness. When this gets out of control, then it is known as steroid abuse.

As a person looking up for the best body mass, it is very important for you to realize that going for steroid abuse is like digging your own grave. You are not going to like the end result, particularly because of the fact that steroid abuse can have serious ramifications on your own health as well. There would be an enhancement in the muscle growth, but you would not be able to go a single day without putting legal bodybuilding steroid supplements in your body. After a while, the purchase of steroids is going to be a problem due to your impending financial situation. Therefore, inserting hGH is the safest way for you to increase your body mass without creating any kind of problems for yourself.

Moreover, if you feel that you are susceptible to steroid abuse, is very important for you to get yourself checked by a medical practitioner. Doing it as early as possible is not only helpful to save you the trouble of getting yourself admitted into a clinic, but you can also prevent any kind of harm from happening to your body.

What Can You Do If You Have Seasonal Affective Disorder?

For people suffering from seasonal affective disorder, they experience a lot of negative thoughts, which obviously leads to depression. For those living in the northern hemisphere, seasonal affective disorder is bound to affect you at one point of time. It is definitely going to impair your judgment in terms of meeting people socially, or even have a lot of problems in order to enable you understand about the social cognitive ability which might be impaired. Apart from the fact that this is a serious disorder, if you do not treat it properly, you might also find yourself suffering from anxiety and a whole host of other problems.

At least until the year 1984, seasonal affective disorder was not diagnosed as a medical problem, but rather it was known as the winter blues. Affecting the women the most, this would go on to create an urban legend where the women would always be susceptible during the winter season about having negative thoughts in their life.

So, what can be done in order to get rid of the seasonal affective disorder?

  • Therapy- Therapy is one of the most important steps to be taken in order to get rid of seasonal affective disorder. By removing any kind of symptoms that may be associated with seasonal affective disorder, one would be able to tackle this problem. Doing therapy in a light filled room is going to help you tackle any kind of negative thoughts that you might have with the day shortening during the winter season. Moreover, it is this therapy which will be able to increase the quality and the quantity of light permeating through your eyes into your brain. The light therapy has been known as one of the most effective ways in which patients have been able to get rid of seasonal affective disorder.
  • Intervention- In the buildup to the winter season, one has to realize that getting affected by seasonal affective disorder may be a sure thing. Therefore, for the people that have experienced this disorder, taking antidepressants, or even talking with some close people can help them to get rid of the negative thoughts. Of course, it is not intended in order to replace the proper health related supplements that you can take in order to increase your functionality on a daily basis. However, when you consume antidepressants, you will be able to get rid of the excruciating depression that you are in, and you will be able to tackle any kind of problems coming your way.

Read articles and reviews on this site about the best sad lamps and seasonal affective disorder that mostly happens in the season of winter.

Natural Supplements That Can Control Anxiety

A recent study conducted by the Institute for mental health, there are at least 40 million people in America alone that suffer from some sort of anxiety. However, this number only includes the adults, leaving aside the children that suffer from some sort of anxiety attacks on a regular basis. According to this research, one of the primary causes for a mental health problem is alcohol, and substance abuse amongst men, and alcohol amongst women.

Anxiety happens to be a primary reaction to any kind of stress that the individual is feeling at that particular moment. It could be beneficial for various situations like when the person is going for a test or giving some sort of a speech. It is this anxiety which will motivate the person in order to prepare thoroughly and therefore will not have to worry about any problems with last-minute revisions.

In the same manner, when a person also has full blown panic attacks, or they are experiencing some sort of anxiety, they would want to get rid of that issue. Currently, there are a lot of natural supplements that you can find in the market which will be able to relieve the stress of anxiety without creating any kind of addiction in the individual.

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Let’s look at some of the natural supplements;

  • Passionflower- Only a plant, passionflower has been known to make its presence felt in modern day medicines. It has been known to take care of problems such as insomnia, narcotic drugs withdrawal, gastrointestinal problems, as well as anxiety. According to the scientific evidence gathered by the comprehensive database of natural medicines, there is a lot of evidence to suggest that passionflower can possibly be an effective natural supplement for anxiety. It will also be able to effectively reduce the reliance that people have on synthetic drugs to take care of anxiety.
  • Kava- Kava is something which has been used in the South Pacific islands for the last 300 years in order to relieve anxiety. It has also been proved that Kava can take care of anxiety, as well as any kind of depression that you might be feeling at that particular moment. According to the FDA, Kava has the potential for liver damage. However, the sales of this product have not been banned in the United States of America. Of course, if possible, avoiding this medication should be the primary feature, but in case there are no other options, it can definitely work to take care of your anxiety.
  • Valerian- Known to be a wild plant that grows white or pink flowers, Valerian has had numerous studies done to prove that it has a sweeping relief for the people facing anxiety. They have also been known to treat a lot of other problems such as hysteria, irritability, as well as menopausal disorders. It was widely used in the World War I in the form of a tranquilizer in order to treat the people that were in a shell shock.

Is It Right To Look At Medical Alert Systems Reviews?

Helping their seniors stay in their own houses with a sense of independence is one of the greatest things that any son can do. It is all about maintaining a sense of dignity and discipline in the lives of his parents, and in order to do that, he has to ensure that they are taken care of in the best manner possible. It is not always about having a household help to take care of those everyday things, but also about ensuring that whenever they are in an emergency, the proper response team gets to them first. For medical emergencies, there is no telling as to what might happen to the person if the medical responders are late by even a few minutes. This is why most of the people that have older folks living in their house purchase medical alert systems.

Now, from the early 1970s, the medical alert systems have been one of the basic products which have been used in the day-to-day life of the older folks. Costing about $ 3000 at that time, it has come down steadily to only a few hundred dollars nowadays. However, it also brings to account the obligations of the medical alert systems on the kind of services that they provide to the people. Therefore, when you are in the market for purchasing the medical alert systems, it is always a good idea for you to have a look at the medical alert Systems reviews before you settle down on a product.

Of course, most of the medical alert systems come with a whole lot of functionalities, most of which you might not use, or have no use for, regarding the older folks in your house. However, those bells and whistles might come in handy, which is the reason why most of the people have now started doing a comparative analysis of the medical alert systems. Most of the companies have now started making medical alert systems which are waterproof and ensure that they have a proper range all throughout the house which will be able to alert the right people at the earliest possible time in case there are any accidents.

Check out medical alert systems reviews to find the best medical alert system for you or your family member.

Of course, by looking at the medical alert Systems reviews, you can easily make up your mind about the best product in the market and purchase them for your own folks. It is definitely going to be a lot better than you being present physically at all times.

Fastest Way to Get Abs

Developing your abs over a certain period of time does not contain any secret formula or recipe. All you need to do is to work hard, follow the proper nutrition, and only then will you be able to succeed in your quest of getting abs in your body.

A lot of websites will try and sell you their own method of how you would be able to get your abs pretty fast. They promise you the next Holy Grail of miracle supplements that give you super energy, and promise you a whole lot of benefit. If you have been able to develop abs on your own, you realize that it is all hard work, and it has nothing to do with any kind of flashy advertising campaigns or any kind of marketing promises made by companies selling you supplements. Of course, some of the videos that you see online and also edited in order to give you a sense that you can get your abs pretty fast if you follow their work out.

With so many promises being made, is it really possible for you to get abs fast? Well, there are a few things that you can do in order to fasten up the process of getting your abs. They include;

  • Eating enough protein is on a daily basis will go a long way into ensuring that you can get your abs pretty fast. Proteins help you to build the lean muscle, and which is also responsible for burning all your body fat. There are a lot of macronutrients that has thermogenic effect on the entire body. However, what is the most vital thing about eating proteins is that it can help your body get rid of a lot of calories by simply breaking it down.
  • Eating carbohydrates after your workout is extremely good. It is not only going to ensure that your body will be able to recover from the strain of the exercises, but it would actually help you to get proper minerals and macronutrients into your body.
  • Consuming healthy fats is a must for any person. Healthy fats contain saturated fats, which are found in healthy products like nuts, olive oil, fish oil and a lot of other substances.
  • One of the most important things that you need to understand when you want to get abs pretty fast is to always have a lot of focus on your diet. There is absolutely nothing better than to keep stock of the situation, understand that your diet is something that can make or break all your plans about getting abs pretty fast. The pre-workout diet, the post workout diet, as well as the normal diet that you have on a daily basis will need to be governed pretty well. You have to get in the amount of calories required by the body, and you should not start binge eating.

These are a few things that can help you to get your abs pretty fast. Here is one of the best guides for the top Ab machines of year 2017 to get your ready for the next summer.

How can you be inspired today?

Inspiration is now looked upon as a very critical part of our lives. If we are not inspired, we do not know how we are going to get what we want. As it has been famously mentioned by Einstein, it is pure insanity to do the same thing over and over again and keep expecting a different result every time. What you have to remember is that committing the same mistakes over and over again is not the answer to your problem. The obvious answer is how you would be able to change yourself, get inspiration from the right sources, and act accordingly.

Quality of your work decides the amount of accolades that you would get. If it is a lackluster job, then you can be sure that you are going to get brickbats. If it is a good job, then everybody would be pleased with you. Of course, this may seem to be a pretty easy question, but there are a lot of other variables that come into play as well. You may have done a good job, but your superiors are jealous. They are not going to credit you properly for the work. Well, at this given moment, there is nothing that you can do. You have got to keep your own energy level up, and start learning about how you can navigate through the murky world of office politics in order to come up trumps.

Inspiration is something that can be perceived on a daily basis. For example, the ant in your house can inspire you to work beyond your means, and always do so for the general good of the population. Your servant that comes to work with you can inspire you to keep working, even though the compensation may not be able to fulfil their household needs every month. The person that drives your car can inspire you to understand how life continues to travel on a daily basis, and although everything works out at the end, the journey in itself is a lot treacherous than what many might anticipate.

With so many people to take inspiration from, it is dependent upon the individual to find out from there he would be able to take inspiration. Of course, for most of the people, inspiration stems from the fact that they would only get inspired by the famous personalities. What they forget is that these personalities have gone through their own failures, they have witnessed a whole lot of problems, and now when they are at the pinnacle of their success, they realize that they have gone through a lot of hardships which they would not like to go through again. This is the reason why these are people that are extremely knowledgeable, and inspires a lot of others in the same situation as well. So, as a person looking out for their own good, and trying to get inspired on a daily basis. You can find some of the best inspirational quotes to help you succeed at your job.

How Can You Grow Berries in Your Garden?

Eating fresh berries are not only good for your physical health, but also happens to be extremely good for your mental health as well. However, there is also a financial factor, whereby you realize that having berries on a regular basis can be pretty expensive. It is primarily due to the fact that there is a very small window in between the harvest and the decline wherein the berries should be plucked and sent of to the packaging centers.

In order to circumvent this problem, what you need to do is to plant your own berries. It not only enables you to take up gardening, which is a stress busting activity, but also helps you to get rid of the financial strains that you normally face when you have to purchase berries on a weekly basis.

Let’s have a look at the list of berries that can be grown in your garden;

  • Blackberries- Currently, there are two variants of blackberries that you can find in the market; the one that grows upright, and the one that sends out horizontal runners. The latter variants mostly tend to set their boots down, and then take off all across the garden towards the end of the growth season. It is during the autumn that the terminal growth will be able to grow into the soil in order to form a new plant, which could be a problem if you do not want all the plants in your garden. Managing the garden is extremely easy, but in the beginning, you would have to learn a lot of new techniques to do so properly.
  • Raspberries- Raspberries happen to be semi-erect, which only means that as soon as they start getting taller, they would need appropriate support. Therefore, you would need to put up a post in regular intervals all across the length and breadth of your garden, so that it will be able to form somewhat of a turnbuckle, where the berries will be able to grow wider and taller. The most common variant is the black raspberries, which are slowly gaining popularity in the given market scenario.
  • Blueberries- When growing blueberries in your garden, make sure that it is in a spot where there is a lot of sunshine. Any kind of obstruction and you are not going to get the proper type of growth in your blueberries. The other thing you need to remember about blueberries is that it needs regular watering. So, if you live in an area which does not receive a lot of rainfall, then be prepared to have some sort of watering solution which will enable you to maintain the perfect hydration of your plants. The soil in your garden should also be well draining, or you could use a raised bed. Try and incorporate some sort of peat moss in order to provide it with the appropriate nutrition.

There are tons of berries out there and we never know what to eat, check out this post: My list of berries that I try to eat every week. Growing berries in your garden can not only be financially inclusive, but extremely beneficial to the people living with you.

Waterpik W-100 Ultra Dental Water Jet Review

The Waterpik W-100 Ultra Dental Water Jet is an extraordinary device that enhances the oral hygiene. Though it comes at an extra cost than the earlier models, it is worth it. This is because, it has not undergone just cosmetic changes but also lot of functional improvements is also introduced in this ultra new model. This is wonderfully molded with exceedingly good looks and utilities. It is smaller in size than the earlier models. This comes with 8 different attachments, each for specific purposes.

The effectiveness of this dental tool is not a myth but has been proved by a team of experienced medicos that oral care by water jet process is 93% more effectual than the flossing. This score over Panasonic model in its ability to spray water constantly at 10 different pressure settings. Even after few applications, you can be assured of the same results. I was of the view that flossing will take care of dental health and now after using it for more than 2 months, I can feel the change. Trust me, flossing alone will not rescue from chronic dental problems. For an incredibly dazzling teeth and healthy gums a combination of regular brushing, flossing and water jet technique is necessary.

The W-100 Ultra Dental Water Jet is an ideal all in one gizmo that flosses the teeth without causing any pain or hurting the sensitive gums. The pressure range from 10 to 90 PSI coupled with 1200 pulses per minute facilitates to enhance the performance of this water jet. The water is carefully sprayed with such a pressure that it effectively removes the food remains and other undesirable stuff trapped between the teeth and minute gap in the gums. This protects your teeth from plaque and tartar formation. Within two weeks you can feel a visible change and the teeth gloss and glean like never before. This makes you feel fresh and fight against the bad breath. This acts a good massager to increase the blood flow in the gums.

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This works great for people with braces and diabetic patients. The reservoir comes with a cap to ensure that the water is not contaminated and safe to gargle. This has 3 each of standard jets and tongue cleaners, 1 pik pocket for going deep into the space and cleaning and 1 special orthodontic tip for making the braces spotless. I am not satisfied with the tongue cleaner.

Blood Sugar Testing: How to Maintain One’s Blood Glucose Levels

When it comes to knowing how high or how low a person’s blood sugar levels are, there is no such thing as having a “sixth sense”. The only way to know for certain is by frequent daily diabetes blood sugar testing. However, there are other ways a diabetic can learn more about the body’s system and the signals it gives that will alert one to blood glucose highs or lows.

One way is by taking classes on hypoglycemia recognition and prevention, as well as understanding what the hyperglycemia cues are. When a person is able to recognize the signs, one will know that it is time to test diabetic blood sugar. Once one has taken such a class, and understands how important diabetes blood sugar testing is, the diabetic is often surprised at how frequently he/she thought everything was okay when it really was not.

How Often Should One Perform Diabetic Blood Sugar Testing?

It is up to the person and his physician to determine how frequently testing should be done. If one has Type 1 Diabetes, then levels fluctuate throughout the day. If the diabetic bases the amount of insulin taken on the results of the previous diabetes blood sugar test, then the individual should check at each a meal, snack or planned an injection—this will work out to approximately 4 Diabetes blood sugar tests per day.

If the goal is merely to avoid hyperglycemia or ketosis, one may only need diabetic blood sugar testing a couple of times each day.

Type 2 Diabetes Testing

For Type 2 Diabetics, blood sugar testing may not need to be as regular, since levels do not vary as often. However, while the physician(s) is adjusting the amount of insulin needed, it is necessary to check levels more often, to prevent rises and falls. Be sure to do blood sugar testing before bed and before breakfast to see how well the medication is working.

As a Type 2 Diabetic, blood sugar testing is up to the individual and how much one’s lifestyle and budget allows. (The more one tests it, the more it costs.) However, anytime a diabetic patient feels like something “isn’t right”, it is wise to do blood sugar testing.

Regardless of whether an individual has Type 1 Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, testing blood sugar levels helps one to stay close to the normal blood glucose levels of 80-120 mg/dl before meals and 100 to 140 mg/dl before bedtime. Keeping a journal of one’s blood glucose readings and noting when they drop or spike will help determine if any changes in medication, diet or level of physical activity need to be adapted.

Here are blood sugar levels chart by age, even though blood pressure values do not change with age.

Constant diabetic blood sugar testing can be aggravating, but it is worth it. Don’t give up! With a bit of planning, goal setting and consistency in blood glucose testing, the diabetic can continue to live a normal life.

How to Lose Weight Fast by Changing Snack Foods

Every dieter yearns for fast weight loss, however it is difficult to keep away from fat inducing snacks. This article outlines the role of healthy snacks.

In order to bring about fast weight loss, it is necessary to reduce calories and increase activity. Over time, this will produce weight loss, however for most people the only way they know how to lose weight is via sacrificial dieting. While this produces weight loss, the tendency to revert back to poor eating habits brings about a reversal of the weight loss process. By integrating healthy snacks into your diet, it becomes possible to lose weight quickly without having to sacrifice tasty food.

The Role of Snack Food in Dieting

In theory, it is possible to diet by eating three full meals per day with no snacks; however, in practice on a calorie deprived diet it is difficult not to snack.

To begin with under caloric deprivation, the body is craving nutrients. The longing for snacks represents not only a desire to eat, but also a need for nutrition. Consequently, snacking can actually be a support to the dieting process, however, it has to be the right kind of dieting.

For instance, in a study on obesity and eating activities carried out by the Journal of The American Board of Family Medicine, sugary beverages account for 40% of the sugar in the average American diet. This is only sugary drinks. When we add in other snacks such as candies, potato chips and cookies which add fat and carbohydrates to the equation, we can quickly see why these ordinary snacks need to be avoided.

To put this into perspective, a person must burn 3,500 calories to lose 1 lb. of fat. Furthermore, it is important when dieting to keep fat levels low, in the 10-20% range. By eating snacks containing 30% fat and 60% plus carbohydrates, we are not doing ourselves any favours. High fat levels as we all know are bad, not only for weight loss, but also for cardiovascular health. Equally important, excess carbohydrates are stored in the body as sugar, which over time can bring on diabetes—a scourge of many people in today’s society.

The answer then lies in healthy snacks, which will help the weight loss process because the frequent intake of nutrients and calories is good for the body. This might sound like a strange idea, however it is important to maintain a steady stream of calories when dieting; calories are necessary in order to maintain metabolic functioning in the body. Only excess calories are bad for you.

So in the case of the dieter, they have a challenge to maintain enough calories and nutrients to keep the body healthy while maintaining an overall state of calorie reduction. This is where healthy snacks will help, both physically by maintaining the body’s metabolism and psychologically by reducing the hunger pangs which go hand and hand with crash dieting.

Substituting Healthy Snacks for Unhealthy Ones

How then can we substitute healthy snacks?

This is not as difficult as it might at first appear to be. Most of us have been raised on a diet of highly processed foods and snacks, and it is hard to readjust our mind-sets to something a little different. What many do not realize is that these processed snack foods are part of the vicious cycle of fat gain, in that they possess empty calories—calories with no nutritional value.

Empty foods rapidly raise our sugar levels, both through carbohydrates stored as sugar and through the inherent high level of processed sugars they already possess. Also because the carbohydrates are simple ones, they are released straight into the blood stream, which results in an energy crash shortly after they have been eaten, followed by renewed hunger pangs. This all results in a terrible cycle of hunger pangs followed by junk food, which leads to further hunger pangs and once again junk food.

Contrary to popular opinion, dieting should not be full of hunger pangs. While dieting always involves some form of restriction, healthy eating throughout the day will provide the body with the nutrients and energy which it needs and consequently hunger pangs should be minimal or non-existent. It is the reliance on processed foods which leave the body gagging for energy and nutrients. So the best thing you can do to aid your weight loss is to shift towards healthy eating habits in order to make the dieting experience a far more comfortable one.

So we need to shift to healthy snack foods, which have low sugar and complex carbohydrates, rather than simple carbohydrates. Although, this will take a little bit of imagination, there are a lot of online resources to help you. For instance the real simple website has a list of 24 delicious and nutritious snacks, which will make for a good beginning. You will notice when reading about the delicious recipes in this site that none of these are amazing foods which you have never heard of, rather, it’s all about understanding your foods and been a little creative in how you use them. It is a good idea to begin to read food labels and work out what provides the better bang for your buck. For example rice cakes and honey are just as tasty as candy but without the high calories.

Here are a few examples of healthy snacks:

  • Rice cakes and honey
  • Bran flakes, raisins and honey
  • Bananas, pears, peaches, apple and grape fruit all together in a bowl
  • Natural yogurt and any kind of bran or muesli. If you mix with muesli, keep the muesli quantities low, otherwise calories will be high. Also you can add wheat germ and some honey or even some fruits in order to add to the taste
  • Toasted homemade brown bread and tomatoes with a little basil and oregano for flavouring
  • Cottage cheese and Ryvita crackers
  • Cream crackers, cottage cheese, cucumber and tomatoes

Remember it’s all about applying a little bit of imagination to foods which you know are good for health and low in calories. Also watch out for sugar. Some dieters are experts at avoiding fats and high calories, however they still take in too much sugar, which is bad for the body when in excess. Honey is a good example of this. While healthy, it is also high in sugar and it is important not to take vast quantities.

Losing Weight the Snack Food Way

I am not for one minute suggesting that you give up on regular dieting, nor should you eat excessive amounts of healthy snack foods. Rather, I am suggesting that by shifting towards healthy snack foods, it becomes possible to assist the weight loss process both physiologically by maintaining regular nutrient and energy levels in the body, and psychologically it assists because the dieting process becomes less of a drag when you are allowed to eat something tasty, even if it does taste a little bit different from what you are used to.

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Different Types of Skeletal Muscle

Voluntary, or skeletal, muscles do work by contracting in response to conscious control. Connected to tendons most, but not all, connect on their ends to bones on opposite sides of a joint. While all skeletal muscles do work via the same mechanism, the sliding of thick (myosin) filaments past thin (actin) filaments, they can be subdivided into groups dependent upon the speed at which the myosin protein works.

Basic Muscle Biochemistry

All muscle cells create ‘tension’ or force through the action of the actomyosin complex. Thick filaments, largely composed of the myosin heavy chain protein, are able to latch onto and slide along thin filaments, which are largely composed of the protein known as actin. Myosin heavy chains are all enzymes. They can attach, slide to generate force, and release to start the cycle over because they utilize their enzymatic activity and the energy stored in ATP, the near universal source of cellular energy.

Fast Twitch Versus Slow Twitch Fibers

While all muscle fibers use actomyosin to contract and generate force, there are differences in the types of myosin heavy chain protein used by different muscle fibers. In direct relationship to the type of myosin heavy chain that is used, muscle fibers can be characterized as either ‘fast twitch’ (or type II) or ‘slow twitch’ (or type I). Muscle twitch type is reflected in the speed of contraction, fast twitch contracts very rapidly, while slow twitch contracts at a slower speed.

Twitch Type Differences Are Not Limited to Speed

While there is a clear difference in the rate at which a slow twitch muscle fiber contracts versus the rate at which a fast twitch fiber contracts, there are more biochemical differences between these two types of skeletal muscle. For example, slow twitch muscle fibers fatigue a good deal more slowly than do fast twitch fibers. And while fast twitch fibers contract more rapidly they typically can generate more force than slow twitch fibers.

Separating Fiber Types in the Body

Not surprisingly, the differences in the biochemistry of different muscle twitch types lend them to be better able to perform different functions. Since slow twitch fibers tire more slowly they are often found in muscles important for postural control, things like holding the spine steady and keeping the legs planted firmly beneath the body when standing. On the other hand, fast twitch fibers are utilized for bursts of power and contraction. When you sprint you use the power generated by fast twitch muscles.

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In the human body, individual skeletal muscles tend to have a mixture of twitch types. There are a few examples of where one twitch type predominates over another. The soleus muscle in the lower leg is almost entirely slow twitch fibers while some muscles that control the jaw and those that control eye movements are almost all fast twitch fibers. On the other hand, many of us have practical experience with the separation of twitch types in bird muscle. That Thanksgiving turkey, or that roasted chicken, has very clear separation of twitch types. Slow twitch muscles have many higher numbers of mitochondria and myoglobin and thus appear reddish or dark. This is not true for fast twitch, white meat.

Common Chemotherapy Drugs: Vincristine

Types of Cancer Treated with Vincristine

Oncologists and nurses administer vincristine to patients with blood cancers such as leukemia. particularly acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Vincristine is also commonly used to fight neuroblastomas, a type of cancer that originates in the nerve cells, most often in those of the adrenal gland. Neuroblastomas, incidentally, are one of the most common childhood cancers and can even be diagnosed in a developing fetus. Vincristine is also given to patients with lymphoma, both Hodgkins and non-Hodgkins, and used against a type of kidney cancer called Wilm’s tumor. Patients with breast cancer or small-cell lung cancer are sometimes prescribed vincristine as well.

Though patients usually receive vincristine intravenously, this is usually done by administering an ordinary fluid solution such as normal saline, and then injecting the dose of vincristine into a sterile port in the intravenous tubing over the span of one minute. Care must be taken, however, not to inject it via a solution with which it is incompatible, or in conjunction with another incompatible intravenous medication such as furosemide or cefepime. Vincristine does not mix well with the chemotherapy drug idarubicin, either.

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Side Effects of Vincristine

One of the most common side effects of vincristine is peripheral neuropathy–nerve damage that shows up as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. This can be so severe that it can cause foot drop. Fortunately, this neuropathy can often be reversed after the treatment regime has ended. Experts advise that doctors perform a neurological evaluation on patients before each dose of vincristine, and to withhold a dose if the patient is having weakness in his or her arms, legs, hands, or feet.

 

Hair loss is often common in patients receiving vincristine, and so is constipation. The latter can become so severe that the patient gets a paralytic ileus, in which bowel function shuts down. Many oncologists advise taking stool softeners or even stimulant laxatives while being treated with vincristine. Vincristine is also a vesicant, which means it can destroy healthy tissue surrounding the intravenous administration site if intravenous access has not been correctly achieved. Perhaps most importantly, like other chemotherapy medications in the plant alkaloid family, vincristine is FATAL if given intrathecally–i.e., through an epidural or spinal catheter.

Crispy Roast Duck Recipe Cuts Fat, Checks Sauce a l’Orange

A Toronto restaurant was kind enough to provide the following crispy duck recipe upwards of three decades ago. But since that time this writer has been regularly roasting duck, resulting in this tried and true technique, tested perhaps 30 – 40 times. And with each duck dinner has come accolades from poultry and game bird aficionados who have flocked to the Starkman residence.

Duck is notorious for being a fatty fowl, and difficult to prepare and devour in the home for this reason. Accordingly, many opt for dining out on duck in Chinese restaurants or simply taking out from Oriental barbeques a la Peking Duck. Fair enough. However, poultry-philes are often attracted to the low-fat nature and otherwise healthy character of this class of meat, so a salty soya sauce and sugar based marinade detracts from the duck’s appeal and ruffles the feathers of many.

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A quick gander at the recipe reveals features sure to entice:

  • The duck can be prepared in stages, and even frozen part way through the process, thereby enabling the cook to have a relatively easy dinner day
  • The recipe lives up to its billing, centering upon fat removal and ensuring a crispy skin
  • Rather than be restricted to traditional duck a l’orange, any sauce can be used, spiked with one’s favorite flavor of liqueur.

Crispy Duck Recipe, with Choice of Liqueur Sauce (orange or otherwise)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized frozen duck
  • Salt
  • Choice of sauce (see details below)

Preparation:

  1. Defrost duck
  2. Remove all excess fat and skin from both ends of duck, then salt well on inside and outside
  3. Place duck in roasting pan, breast down, and add water so that 1/3 to ½ of the duck is covered with water
  4. Back in preheated 450 – 475 oven, uncovered, 40 minutes, then turn duck onto back and bake another 40 minutes, uncovered
  5. Pour all liquid into bowl, and refrigerate, covered
  6. Refrigerate duck, covered, 1 – 3 days, or it can be frozen at this stage
  7. The day of serving, cut duck into quarters, and place bone side down on wire rack in baking dish, and place in 450 oven for about 35 minutes
  8. In the meantime, remove fate from refrigerated liquid, and use remaining gravy to make favorite sauce (i.e. orange or berry flavor using flavored liqueur, following duck sauce recipe from any cookbook)
  9. Remove duck from oven and place in frying pan over medium heat for 15 – 20 minutes, turning frequently so that all surfaces get dark and crispy and any remaining fat is lost
  10. Return to oven immediately before serving, for about 5 minutes or until once again very hot
  11. Serve with sauce on the side, any wild rice recipe, and two mixed steamed vegetables of different colors such as carrots and broccoli

How to Give Over-the-Counter Medication to a Dog: Learn Dose Info and What Human Medications Are Safe For Dogs

Many “human” medications can be given to a dog who’s sick, but most dog owners don’t know which over-the-counter medications are safe for dogs and what medication doses should be given to a dog.

“It’s vital that you consult your dog’s veterinarian before giving any over-the-counter medication to your pet. Some medications like Ibuprofen and Tylenol are deadly to dogs. Other human medications will interact with any other medication that the dog is taking. And a few over-the-counter medications cannot be taken by dogs with particular medical conditions. It’s really important to clear it with your veterinarian before trying to give medication to a dog,” explained Dr. Michael Levine, DVM.

There are many over-the-counter medications that can be safely given to dogs in most cases. These medications should always be included in Pet First Aid Kits in the home.

The following is an overview of what medications are safe for dogs, along with dosing information that specifies how much medication should be given to a dog at each dosing. Common medication side effects for dogs are also noted, along with other medication cautions.

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Aspirin Dosage and Side Effects for Dogs

Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) with pain-relieving properties. Aspirin can be safely given to dogs on an one-time basis or long-term for moderate pain and inflammation.

The dosage for aspirin in dogs is 5 mg for each 1 pound of body weight. Aspirin should be given every 12 hours. Aspirin should be given with food, as even buffered aspirin tends to cause stomach upset and vomiting in dogs.

Aspirin should never be given to a dog who is experiencing bleeding or bruising. Dogs who have undergone surgery or dogs who have a flesh wound should never be given aspirin because aspirin thins the blood, resulting in uncontrolled bleeding.

Aspirin side effects can include vomiting, loss of appetite, stomach ulcers, diarrhea and kidney and liver problems.

While aspirin is a safe pain reliever for dogs, Tylenol and Ibuprofen are two drugs that should never be given to a dog. Tylenol and Ibuprofen are deadly to both cats and dogs.

In addition, aspirin is deadly to cats and should never be given to felines.

Benadryl Dosage and Side Effects For Dogs

Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is an anti-histamine medication that’s given to dogs to treat allergic reactions that include itching and swelling.

The most common Benadryl dosage for dogs is 1 mg per each 1 pound of body weight, therefore a 20-pound dog would receive a 20 mg dose of Benadryl. Benadryl should be given to the dog every 12 hours.

Drowsiness is the most common side-effect seen in a dog who has been given Benadryl.

Pepto Bismol Dosage and Side Effects for Dogs

Pepto Bismol is a safe medication for dogs who are suffering from vomiting and diarrhea.

The Pepto Bismol dosage for dogs is 1 teaspoon for every 20 pounds of body weight, given every 4 to 6 hours.

The most common side effect of Pepto Bismol in dogs is a dark, black colored stool. In a few rare cases, Pepto Bismol may be ineffective for dogs who are not tolerant of silicates.

Pepto Bismol is toxic to felines and therefore, this OTC drug should never be given to cats.

A similar drug called Loperamide (sold under names like Immodium and Kaopectate) is safe for both dogs and cats with diarrhea. Kaopectate and Immodium can be given to dogs and cats at a dosage of 1 teaspoon for every 20 pounds of body weight, given every 4 to 6 hours.

A Few Cautions on Giving OTC Medications to Dogs

Dr. Levine reminds dog owners that a veterinarian should always be consulted before giving a medication to a dog, cat or other pet. “Just because a medication is generally safe for dogs, this doesn’t mean it’s safe for your dog. Drug interactions, drug allergies and health conditions can all cause a dog to have a bad reaction to an over-the-counter medication.”

In addition, pet owners should also remember that while some “human medications” are safe for dogs, this does not mean that these same medications are safe for cats. An example: aspirin and Pepto Bismol are two OTC medications that are safe for dogs, but Pepto Bismol, aspirin and other pain relievers can be toxic to cats.

Pet owners should also remember that Tylenol and Ibuprofen are toxic to dogs and cats.

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Children’s Cold Medicines Warnings: The FDA says stronger warning labels are needed

Over the counter cough and cold medicines are not meant for children under the age of 2, and have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in children under the age of 2. The labels caution parents to consult with their pediatrician before giving these medications but do not discuss the possible fatal results if they ignore this warning.

In fact some of the OTC cough and cold products such as those that contain antihistamines have not been proven to be safe in children under 6. The CDC (centers for Disease Control) reports that there were more than 1500 reports from emergency rooms across the country of health problems including 3 deaths of children linked to cough and cold medications in 2004 and 2005.

The FDA reports receiving 54 reports of deaths of children from 1969 to September 13, 2006 that were linked to decongestants such as pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, and ephedrine. And 69 reports of deaths from antihistamines such as diphenhydramine, brompheniramine, and chlorpheniramine.

The bulk of these ER instances including some of the deaths were in children under the age of two and were due to overdoses by using more than one OTC cough or cold product at the same time which contained the same active ingredients.

The fact is that many of these medications have been on the market for years and have never been tested for effectiveness in children. The doses for children are extrapolated from mathematical formulas that determine adult dosages.

Although the cold medicines for children instruct parents to contact the physician for instructions for use in children under the age of two, some of the products are labeled as “infant drops.” There are over 800 OTC cough and cold medicines available for use in children.

The FDA wants the labels changed to stronger wording stating that these medicines are not recommended for use in children under the age of 2, and for antihistamines that they are not recommenced for use in children under the age of 6.

It is essential to read and compare OTC medication labels when taking these medications or administering them to children. Most of these medication contain the same ingredients. If you want to switch from one name brand to another such as from one containing Tylenol to another containing Advil, you must wait the appropriate 4-6 hours before taking another dose. Otherwise overdosing occurs.

Medications that may work well for adults are not always suitable for children. Consult with your pediatrician before giving any medication to children. Never give aspirin to a child under he age of 12.

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Fluids, including hot soup, jello, sorbet, Popsicles, and sherbet, along with rest and the use of a humidifier will provide the best treatment of a cold for adults and children alike. A little lemon juice and sugar mixture can help with a cough. Don’t give honey to children under age 2.

Often a cough can result from post nasal drip. Raise the head and shoulders on pillows to keep this dripping from triggering a cough in the back of the throat. Dry throat can trigger a cough as well. Drinking plenty of liquids can help to ease the dryness.

Handwashing and avoiding crowds and others who are ill can help to prevent the spread of cold and cough germs.

Saving Money on Medications: Purchasing Inexpensive Prescription Drugs Online

Many chronic medical conditions can require a patient to take pills to alleviate symptoms and keep pain at bay. Pills can also reduce the chance of recurrence for patients who have experience a life threatening illness and increase chances of remission. Unfortunately pills can be very costly. Even if the patient has prescription medication coverage the coverage may be limited in scope. Not all medications are covered. Some may only be covered in dosages that can be quite inconvenient.

Online Pharmacies

One way to work around this problem is to look for alternative sources to purchase medications. The internet has allowed the growth of online pharmacies. Purchasing medication from an online pharmacy can allow a patient to save money and even get medication that may not be available in certain countries.

Someone considering the prospect of using an online pharmacy should investigate the pharmacy in question thoroughly first. Check to see that an actual pharmacist supervises the distribution of the medication. Make sure that the pharmacy in question does indeed offer the medication necessary. Sometimes medications come under different brand names. Ask a doctor for a list of alternative names for common medications. Contact the Better Business Bureau to find if there have been complaints against the pharmacy and ask for a list of satisfied customers.

A patient can also check with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to make sure the pharmacy in question meets all medical standards.

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Prescription Copy

Once a pharmacy has been decided upon there are several steps that must be taken before any medication can be ordered from the pharmacy. Most reputable online pharmacies will require that patients submit an original or copy of their prescription before an order can be filled.

If the patient does not have a copy of the prescription they can contact their doctors for a copy. A doctor should allow a patient to get copies of the prescription in question for their own personal usage. The copy should contain the patient’s name, the name of the medication, the dosage required and the number of times the medication can be renewed.

Many pharmacies will allow the patient to fax or mail a copy or the original to the pharmacy’s physical address. Once the copy is received the patient can place an order. Make sure the dosage is correct. A typical order from an online pharmacy will run cover roughly two to three month’s supply of medications.

After the order has been placed the medication should arrive within a certain time frame. Often the medication may take up to three weeks to arrive. Some online pharmacies will agree to expedite orders via priority mail and some will not. Find out in advance about a particular pharmacy’s policies. The information should be online.

Order prescription medication online can be a great way to save money on medications. Patients who have limited medical coverage can benefit greatly from using reputable such sources to purchase their necessary drugs.

Acid Reflux: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Heartburn

Gastrointestinal reflux refers to the chronic digestive condition commonly called acid reflux. The lower esophageal sphincter functions as a valve. This muscle located in the esophagus remains closed most of the time. It opens to allow food and fluids to pass to the stomach. In the presence of acid reflux, the lower esophageal sphincter does not close completely or may open spontaneously for varying lengths of time. Food and acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus. Acid blockers, which include H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors, are a group of medications used to treat acid reflux.

Causes of Acid Reflux

Medical experts acknowledge a malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter as the mechanism for acid reflux but the exact cause for this problem remains unclear. According to the Medical News Today website, certain conditions, foods and habits contribute to the incidence of acid reflux.

Women can experience acid reflux during pregnancy and especially during the third trimester. As the baby grows, increased pressure is applied to the stomach resulting in the reflux of food and acids into the esophagus. In an article published in the January 2006 issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, Douglas Corley reports the documented link between obesity and acid reflux. A review of 20 studies on this subject confirmed an association between increased body weight and the incidence of acid reflux.

Eating large meals and certain foods, such as fatty or fried foods, spicy foods and foods containing tomatoes, worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.

Smoking increases the production of stomach acids, weakens the esophageal sphincter and slows the process of digestion. The delay in the digestion process causes the pressure in the stomach to remain high for a longer time. Increased stomach pressure results in acid reflux.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

A burning sensation spreading from the stomach up to the throat is the most common symptom of acid reflux. This sensation of heartburn occurs following a heavy meal, when bending over or lifting a heavy object or lying down. Most people with frequent acid reflux experience heartburn at night. Another commonly experienced symptom is the sensation that food is trapped in the chest. Less commonly experienced symptoms are a chronic sore throat and persistent hiccups.

Treatment of Acid Reflux

The aim of treatment for acid reflux focuses on acid suppression. Prescribed medications reduce the amount of acid produced and correct the function of the lower esophageal sphincter are referred to as acid blockers. This group of drugs includes H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.

The H2 blockers block the histamine receptors which are located on the acid producing cells found in the stomach. Initial treatment employs over- the -counter H2 blockers. If the symptoms of acid reflux are not relieve with over-the-counter strength H2 blockers, a physician will order the stronger prescription strength form of these drugs.

Proton pump inhibitors are used if symptoms are not relieved with H2 blocker treatment. The proton pump inhibitors work by blocking the proton pump or acid producing enzyme found in the stomach lining.

By inhibiting the final step in the production of stomach acid, proton pump inhibitors effectively reduce acid levels.

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Treating Bladder Infections

Bladder infections are not in and of themselves life threatening, but they can become more serious if not treated properly. Additionally, bladder infections cause a lot of pain and discomfort and need to be dealt with as soon as possible.

Causes and Symptoms of Bladder Infections

Bladder infections, also known as cystisis, occur when bacteria goes through the urethra and gets into the bladder. They are more common for men than women because women have shorter urethras than men.

Bladder infection symptoms include frequent urination, pain and burning during urination, cloudy urine and at times blood in the urine. In more severe cases, bladder infections may also cause chills, fever and nausea.

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Antibiotics for Treating Bladder Infections

Since bladder infections are caused by bacteria, antibiotics are a common mode of treatment. Some of the most common antibiotics used for treating bladder infections include the following:

  • Bactrim. Side effects of Bactrim include yellow and blotchy skin, rashes, and paleness. Respiratory problems such as shortness of breath and coughing are also possible. Joint pain and sore throats may also be caused by Bactrim. If any of these symptoms occur while taking Bactrim to treat bladder infections, a doctor should be contacted immediately.
  • Clindamycin. Clindamycin, which also goes by the brand name Cleocin HCI and Cleocin Pediatric should not be taken by by patients with a history of kidney and liver disease, colitis or Crohn’s disease, Patients with a history of asthma and eczema should notify a doctor of their history before taking Clindamycin for the treatment of bladder infections.
  • Ciproflaxin. Ciprofloxin is commonly referred to as “Cipro” and is another antibiotic used in treating bladder infections. Patients with a history of liver and kidney disease, joint problems, a history of seizures and diabetes should inform their doctor before taking Cipro for bladder infections.

Natural Remedies for Treating Bladder Infections

Although it’s important to seek expert medical attention for the treatment of bladder infections, the following natural remedies can be used in a supplemental way in the treatment of urinary tract infections.

Antibiotic prescription container open.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to reduce inflammation in the bladder. Since turmeric is not easily absorbed when taken alone, it should be taken with pineapple or black pepper. Though turmeric is safe for children in small quantities, it should never be given to a child straight without consulting a physician.
  • Parsley tea is an excellent diuretic and can also help reduce bacteria. To make parsley tea, boil two bunches of parsley in a quart of water for approximately 20 minutes. Strain and drink.
  • Celery seeds are believed to reduce some of the symptoms and causes of bladder infections since they have antiseptic and diuretic qualities. However, it is important to note that while the medicinal benefits of celery seeds have been tested on animals, they have not been tested on humans.

Bladder infections, also known as cystisis, are treated with antibiotics. Home remedies such as turmeric, parsley tea and celery seeds can be used as supplemental treatments for bladder infections.

Auto Insurance for Senior Citizens: Save on Car Insurance Coverage for Aging Drivers

Even though experienced drivers in their 50s are considered the safest drivers on the road, as people age past that point, car insurance costs tend to rise. Following are some tips to save money on auto insurance for senior citizens.

Number One Way to Save on Car Insurance of Any Type for Anyone

Auto insurance for senior citizens is often significantly more expensive than it is for drivers who are even just a little bit younger. This is because car insurance agencies anticipate higher rates of accidents and claims from aging drivers, and to make up for their potential loss based on that, higher monthly premium rates for coverage are charged. However, raising the value of the deductible will directly lower monthly rates, because doing so means that the provider is responsible for less upon a claim, and the driver will cover more. Rates for car insurance coverage for senior citizens thus decrease, as they do for any drivers, including teen drivers, when deductibles are raised.

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Senior Citizen Auto Insurance Discounts for Large Policy

Another way to save on car insurance coverage is to insure multiple entities with a single insurance agency. Covering more than one car, or a home, boat, or any other insurable entity in addition to a car with the same company under the same policy almost always qualifies a policy holder for discounts. Communicating with different agencies to find out the best ways to save by qualifying for multiple policy discounts is best to find out how much can be saved with different companies.

Drop Extra Coverages that Can Increase the Cost of Car Insurance Rates

Extra auto insurance coverages, such as collision and comprehensive coverages are optional, but they contribute to the cost of monthly premium rates. For senior citizens, these optional insurances are more costly, raising the premium rates higher than they would for most drivers of other age groups, because agencies anticipate higher rates of claims from aging drivers. But anyone trying to lower costs for coverage should consider dropping these coverages, especially if insuring a low valued car, and senior citizens can really save money on car insurance by foregoing collision and comprehensive insurance.

Save on Auto Insurance for Senior Citizens: a Straightforward Tactic

Maintaining a great driving record is the best way to prevent rates from rising too high. Auto insurance providers fear poor driving from aging drivers, and that is why they raise rates, so keeping a clean record is a basic way to keep the cost of car insurance coverage from spiking.

There are some insurance agencies and organizations that cater to the needs of senior citizens, such as the AARP. Often the lowest rates for car insurance for aging driver will come from AARP or AAA, so contacting them can really help senior citizens find ways to save money on insurance.

Quit Smoking for Real: In Consideration of the People Around You

For the sake of those you love and hold so dear to your heart always, as a smoker PLEASE QUIT SMOKING FOR REAL.

Quit Smoking

Every year and most especially on special occasions people get presented with gifts and endearing complements to show how special they are. When your friend or someone you hold in high esteem overlooks your special day/moments especially a birthday, graduation, anniversary, etc you are not happy and feel some bit of hurt and disappointment.

Conversely, you do everything possible to avoid and steer clear of people you consider are out to harm or injure you. This is so natural with everyone of us.

Smoking is not only dangerous and hazardous to health, it reduces the quality of life of smokers and their loved ones too.

Non-smokers also follow suit and partake of the smoke that fills and spreads around them while any smoker indulges in this habit or past time.

It might be possible that you are among those who have made attempts at quitting but only for a short while before making a comeback a few days later. Others consider it out of place to quit smoking simply because they are wrongly persuaded through bad influence from peers, colleagues and at times parents that it is out of vogue not to smoke however small this might be.

Did you lose your sense of belonging among your group of friends when it was discovered you had quit smoking before only to return again. You must realize and fight against the fear of rejection and not being accepted which continues to scare and imprison many smokers.

Starting from this moment, you must realize as a smoker that there is help for you because you need to make up your mind and fnally decide to quit smoking and end a life of addiction to cigarette and other tobacco related products. You can enjoy the unflinching support from your spouse, children and other family members.

These are the first set of people your smoking affects tremendously. Next in line are your non-smoker friends.

Look at things this way; people who are not smoking are indeed doing exploits and making it big in life. They gain recognition, enjoy acceptance from both the young and old, socialize and actively participate in humanitarian campaigns among other noble and ideal things.

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Why should things be different with you as a smoker?

I am persuaded that the global campaign for a smoke free, pollutant free, eco friendly environment will have a greater impact on the society and the people in the communities when the issue of Non-smokers exposed to great risk around cigarette and/or tobacco related products smokers having a smoke or puff is taken into consideration and addressed alongside those who are mainstream (regular) smokers.

You must realize the potential hazard involved with smoking because non-smokers around constitute a latent crop of would-be “second-tier” smokers considering the level of exposure they suffer while around mainstream/ direct smokers. This reinforces the cry and call to smokers to Quit Smoking for real.

Quit smoking please for your loved ones’ sake, will you?

We really don’t need to keep pretending all will be well when we are silently breeding potential smokers in the nearest future and a sick populace seeing non-smokers who can be considered the ignorant and unsuspecting individuals partake of the cigarette smoke (side stream) released into the atmosphere.

Non-smokers especially family members, colleagues and neighbors require regular medical checkups too. Will the government foot their consultation and treatment bills at the end of this exercise? I doubt this.

This is food for thought for every local authority on the subject of burnt cigarette fumes and environmental pollution resulting from the consumption of tobacco related products by smokers in general.

Considering that there is freedom to do as anyone wishes in the society (backed up by legislative laws) who requires medical care and attention more- the non-smoker of course. They suffer more from nicotine addiction and cigarette smoking considering the fact that they become unduely exposed to a lifestyle that is not their own making nor their preference to say the least.

You possess the courage, boldness and will to stop smoking today and you can count on the support, encouragement and love of your family members and well-wishers.

How to Estimate the Cost of a Rehab Investment

We’ve all heard about the potential riches available to us by investing in real estate. We have also heard the horror stories. There are important steps that must be taken when purchasing and investing in real estate. This article specifically looks at the step of estimating the cost of a rehab investment. If this is done properly, you stand to secure your investment. If your estimates are too far off, your investment could end up costing you money.

When you are out looking at investment property, you should always carry a notebook with you to take detailed notes. If you are not a handyman or contractor yourself, see if you can get one to come with you. Bring catalogs with you from local home improvement stores to help you look at costs. Not knowing the true cost of something can be detrimental. For instance, if you estimate your trim work to cost around $500 and it costs $2014, that starts eating away at your potential profit. If you do that repeatedly, you will have no profit left to gain.

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Begin with the exterior of the home. Does it need landscaping? Painting or new siding? How does the roof look? Keep in mind if you are in a neighborhood that has by-laws, such as a subdivision or township. Paint colors may have to be approved as with other exterior changes. Keep a list of all things you need to do, and mark an “N” next to that item. Make a list of a things you want to do, and mark a “W” next to that item. This will help you determine what to nix if you need to cut costs.

Enter through the front door. How is the front door? Will it need replaced? Now, look at the flooring. Most rehab properties need new flooring.

Systematically go through each room in the house like this. Look at everything. Don’ forgot about the things that are not always visible, such as the home’s wiring, furnace system, hot water tank, etc. If the home is on a well and septic system it is imperative that you get those checked. In most areas, a well runs about $3000 to $5000 and a septic system can run upwards of $20,000. A huge amount of money, especially if you haven’t planned that into your budget.

If you are unsure about some things with the house, have a home inspection. The typical cost of a home inspection can run $200 to $300, but you get somebody to systematically walk through the home and investigate every nook and cranny. With the information from the home inspection, you can better negotiate your price of the home, or even walk away from the deal if it is too bad.

Once you have your detailed list of what needs to be done in your rehab, go through with your contractor, or your catalog of prices and price everything out. If you are paying someone to do the work, don’t forget to calculate labor costs. Another important cost to consider is holding costs. What will your monthly obligations be, including mortgage if you have one, utilities, permits, homeowners association, etc.

Once you have the dollar amount needed to rehab the property, add 10 to 20% to it for overages. If you are new and just beginning, it is best to estimate 20%. There are things that will come up along the way that you will need to address. If you are a seasoned rehabber, 10% may be enough. For instance, if you calculated $20,000 and you are a newbie, add another $4,000 to that for overages.

Being thorough when estimating the cost of a rehab investment can save your deal. Leave no stone unturned. As you become more proficient with this, the process will move smoother and more timely. Figuring out how to estimate the costs of a rehab investment should be your most important lesson learned when becoming a rehab investor.

Tips to Help Decrease Stomach Pain and Swelling

Stomach pain and swelling can cause extreme discomfort. A swollen stomach makes your clothes fit tighter and can cause labored breathing. Pain can go along with the swelling and add to the unease. Stomach swelling and pain can occur at any time, usually when we least expect it. Develop a plan to combat the discomfort and end the swelling and pain.

Reduce Bloating by Controlling Gas

Eliminate the foods that create gas to help when the stomach swelling is caused by intestinal gas. Experiment until the correct food is found that is causing the gas problem. Once you have eliminated one food, wait see if the swelling returns. If so, reintroduce that food and remove another suspicious food. Medications are available to reduce bloating and pain. These medications come in over-the-counter or prescription strengths. Decrease the intake of processed foods, carbonated drinks and alcohol. Lower the intake of fat. Fat is the culprit of many cases of the stomach swelling and pain. Curbing salt intake for can have an encouraging effect on some people who have had a recent episode of the stomach swelling.

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Herbal Remedies can Help Reduce Stomach Pain and Cramps

Herbal remedies can are often safe and gentle on the body. Ginger can be very helpful to the digestive system. Ginger works by raising digestive fluids and neutralizing acid. Fennel and mint can help treat heartburn. Pelargonium graveolens can help reduce stomach pain and cramps.

Medical Conditions can cause Stomach Pain and Swelling

Stomach swelling can be caused from underlying conditions that exhibit themselves as stomach pain. Pain or swelling that isn’t alleviated through traditional means should be reviewed by a doctor. Lactose intolerance, costochondritis (rib cartilage inflammation), pneumonia, shingles, food allergies, nerve irritation, protruding hernias, constipation and scar tissue has all been found to cause stomach swelling or pain. Sometimes, a heart problem can also cause stomach discomfort. Stomach discomfort has been listed as a common symptom of heart attacks. For this reason, consider being evaluated by a doctor when episodes come on suddenly or are of personal concern.

The Benefits of Water and Exercise

Drinking plenty of water (at least eight 8 ounce glasses) every day can help a person to reduce stomach swelling. A food journal will help keep up with the foods that are eaten. The journal will be useful in determining which foods have been removed and, which have been cleared. Fresh fruits can help reduce stomach pain. Some fruits create stomach and intestinal gas. Different people have problems with different fruits. These should be identified and avoided. Exercise isn’t just for weight loss. A few sessions of exercise per week can help eliminate the pain and swelling. Losing excess weight can also help to get rid the body of the stomach swelling and pain.

Losing Weight with Lentils

What is a Lentil?

Lentils are legumes, like beans and peas. They come in a wide variety of colors from red and gold to green, brown, and black.They cook quickly and unlike most dried beans, do not need to be pre-soaked. They are high in iron, protein, water soluble fiber, B vitamins and folate. USDA research shows that the black lentils are also anti-oxidants, providing some protection from heart disease, cancer, and aging. Lentils are the mainstay of the Indian diet, served at every meal with either steamed rice or bread.

Lentils

Where Can I Buy Lentils?

In the United States, brown lentils are sold in most grocery stores next to dried peas and beans. The colored varieties can be found in specialty shops and health food stores.

How Good are Lentils for you?

Lentils are high in fiber, which helps to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. High fiber foods also help manage blood sugar levels, cures constipation and prevents digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. Lentils are high in six minerals (molybdenum, manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, potassium) and two B-vitamins (B1 and folate). There are only 229 calories per one-cup serving. They are rated in the top 130 of the world’s healthiest foods.

Benefits of Lentils

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How Do I Serve Lentils?

Lentils cook quickly, in about thirty minutes, and without prior soaking. They will turn mushy if over-cooked. They can be served hot over rice, bread, or potatoes, or cold in salads. They are often added added to soups. Raw foodists prefer to soak them and sprout them, then eat them raw. I tried them that way, but I haven’t developed a taste for that yet. Tasted very earthy – a bit like eating a raw, unwashed white potato. Cooked, they taste similar to other dried beans, but with a slightly nutty flavor.

Lentil Recipes:

Lentil Soup

  • 2 1/2 cups (1 6-oz. package) dried lentils
  • 1cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt, pepper to taste

Cook everything for thirty minutes. Scoop 2 cups of lentils into a blender or food processor. Let them cool for five minutes (so they don’t explode). Then puree until smooth. Return to the soup pot, and reheat, then serve.

Lentil Stew

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt, pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a large pot. Cook for 30 minutes over medium heat, adding more water as necessary. Season to taste, and serve.

Lentil Salad

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • mustard, salt, pepper to taste

Cook lentils in water about thirty minutes until done. Stir in feta cheese, cucumber, onion, and celery. In a separate small bowl, whisk together juice, oil, and seasonings. Pour dressing over lentils, and chill up to eight hours. Serve.

Lentil Chili

  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lg can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • paprika
  • salt, pepper to taste

Put it all together and cook for thirty minutes or more, until lentils are cooked through. Serve.

Lentil Sandwich

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped finely
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • tomato slices
  • lettuce or spinach leaves
  • sesame seeds
  • whole grain bun or pita pocket

Cook lentils in water with garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Lightly toast the bun. Ladle a heaping spoonful of lentils into the bun or pita pocket, top with lettuce, tomato and sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Today’s Menu:

  1. apple, banana
  2. whole grain crackers, raisins
  3. large salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc.
  4. tangerine
  5. lentil stew, more salad, 1 glass white wine

Today’s Exercise Plan:

Walk the dogs. My exercise is getting very boring. I need to unpack the Pilates DVD and get going on that again. And as soon as snow falls, I’ll run the dogs! Yeah, Mushing Season will be here soon!

Australian Capital Territory Introduces New Drink Driving Laws

The ACT Legislative Assembly passed reforms to drink driving laws that became law in the Australian Capital Territory on 1 December 2010. There are over 1,500 drink driving offenders detected every year in Canberra and at least one third are repeat offenders.

According to the ACT Chief Minister and Minister for Transport, Jon Stanhope, Australia-wide about 1 in 150 driver exceed the legal limit when subject to random breath testing, but in the ACT 1 in 70 are over the limit. Driver impairment is a serious road safety issue as drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs have a much higher risk of being involved in a crash. The new laws also allow for roadside drug testing.

ACT Changes to Allowable Blood Alcohol Concentration

The blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) for certain drivers and drivers of certain types of vehicles has been reduced from 0.02 grams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or 210 litres of breath to zero. The zero tolerance rules apply to the following:

  • Learner drivers
  • Provisional drivers
  • Supervisors of learner drivers
  • Probationary drivers
  • Restricted drivers
  • Drivers of dangerous goods vehicles
  • Drivers of heavy vehicles over 15 tonnes
  • Drivers of public passenger vehicles (eg taxis, buses, hire cars
  • People learning to drive heavy vehicles over 4.5 tonnes

The prescribed alcohol concentration for ordinary drivers remains at 0.05g of alcohol in 100mL of blood or 210L of exhaled breath.

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Different Penalties for First Offenders and Repeat Offenders

Under the new laws introduced on 1 December repeat drink drivers face higher penalties under the Act, including longer automatic disqualification periods. A “repeat offender” now means anyone with a conviction for a drink driving or relevant offence, irrespective of how long ago that conviction was recorded.

Anyone caught drink driving on or after 1 December 2010 who is a repeat offender will not be eligible to apply for a restricted (“work”) licence while they are disqualified. In addition range first offenders who exceed the applicable alcohol concentration by 0.05 or more (i.e. for full licence holders , a alcohol concentration of 0.10 or more) will also be denied access to a restricted licence.

Higher Penalties for Higher Alcohol Limits

The penalties for drink driving offences depend on the level of alcohol concentration and there are 4 different levels:

  • level 1 is less than 0.05g
  • level 2 is 0.05g or more but less than 0.08g
  • level 3 is 0.08g or more but less than 0.15g
  • level 4 is 0.15g or more

For each level there are different fines, maximum penalties and default penalties, which are lower for first offenders.

Roadside Drug Testing Introduced in ACT

The new laws passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly permit roadside drug testing of motorists for the presence of cannabis, methamphetamine and ecstasy. Although the law began on 1 December 2010 random drug testing operations are not expected to commence until 2011.

Under section 20 of the Road Transport (Alcohol and Drugs) Act 1977 it is an offence for a person to drive a motor vehicle if the person has a prescribed drug present in their blood or oral fluid. Repeat offenders will receive a harsher penalty than first offenders.

Reason for the New Drink Driving and Drug Driving Laws

The new laws are aimed at curbing reckless drink driving which endangers many Canberrans every day. By having a zero alcohol tolerance for new drivers it sends the message that they have to choose between drinking or driving.

All convicted drink drivers, including first offenders, will have to attend an alcohol awareness course before they can get a probationary or restricted drivers licence. The ACT Government is advertising the new laws with a “Drink or Drive” media campaign and reminders will also appear on roadsides via Variable Message Signs and in selected licensed premises.

DuraHeat Kerosene Heaters – Portable Heaters

How to properly use a DuraHeat Kerosene Heater to maximize safety efforts and increase the lifetime of your heater.

If you are one of the many families that use a kerosene heater, or are thinking about purchasing a portable heater, you want to make sure that you are using them properly. Improperly lighting and extinguishing your kerosene heater can cause problems with odors and soot deposits, making each use of your heater more of a frustration than it is worth.

DuraHeat Kerosene Heater Models

When purchasing a kerosene heater you want to be sure you are getting the right type of heater for your home and for what you want to use it for. If your objective is to heat a garage then you will want a heater with a higher BTU (British thermal unit or a measurement of thermal energy). If it is for inside your home to help save on energy costs, then you may want a lower BTU than what you would use for a garage. (My personal DuraHeat kerosene heater is 23,000 BTU and that heats almost the entire house. Read the review on the DuraHeat kerosene heater.)

DuraHeat Kerosene Heater DH2300, 2301, 2302, 2303, 2304

  • Convection Heater
  • 23,000 BTU
  • Heats up to1,000sq. ft.

DuraHeat Kerosene Heater DH1050

  • Radiant and Convection Heater
  • 10,500 BTU
  • Heats up to 450 sq. ft.

DuraHeat Kerosene Heater DH1000, 1010, 1011

  • Radiant Heater
  • 10,000 BTU
  • Heats up to 420 sq. ft.

You can read a detailed review of this heater along with many other tankless heaters at homeluf.com, they have tons of articles on how to improve your home and what kind of products to buy.

How to Properly Use a DuraHeat Kerosene Heater

A big issue with kerosene heaters has always been the strong smell of fumes that come from filling the heaters with kerosene and from igniting and “snuffing” out the flames. The proper place to handle these issues is to do all three outside. (We go out to our garage where it is properly ventilated.)

Filling Your Kerosene Heater

(These instructions are based on the DuraHeat DH2304 Model. Other models may be slightly different. Click on the above models for full manual instructions.)

Always use water-clear 1-K Kerosene, nothing else.

  1. When filling your heater, make sure you are in a well ventilated area, as noted above, and use a funnel to keep from spilling the kerosene on the heater which will produce a strong smell for hours afterward. (Cats seem to be attracted to the spilled kerosene, so beware.)
  2. After filling, let it sit for a few minutes before igniting. (For the first initial fill, for brand new heaters, be sure to follow the instructions that come with the heater. It requires a longer wait time for the wick to soak in the kerosene.) If you do happen to spill the kerosene on your heater, promptly wipe if off to help eliminate the strong odors.

Lighting Your Kerosene Heater

Most DuraHeat models have an electronic ignition run off of batteries so you can light the heater without electricity. This system is simple to light and doesn’t require that you find matches or stick lighters. (Be sure to be in a well ventilated area.)

  1. Open the small door, just below the heater window, and press down the ignition handle located on the base. You will see a small coil that instantly glows red.
  2. Turn the wick knob below that opening to raise the wick till it meets the coil. It will ignite a few seconds after they touch.
  3. Let go of the ignition handle and a metal cylinder will drop and block the flame. Attached to that cylinder is a spring looking piece (pigtail burner handle). Grab the handle and slide it side to side to make sure the cylinder is properly in place. If not in the proper place, it may cause smoke.
  4. Shut the little door and let it burn for a couple minutes before bringing it inside.

Extinguishing Your Kerosene Heater

Carry your heater, while still lit, into a well ventilated area. (Strongly recommend taking it into a garage or outside on a deck or patio to avoid strong odors and smoke filling your home.)

  1. Hold tight to the wick knob and press down on the shut-off lever.
  2. Slowly turn the wick knob to lower the wick and extinguish the flame. (If you don’t hold the wick knob when you press the shut-off lever, the wick will just drop and there will be some smoke and odor.)
  3. After the wick is lowered all the way there will still be a flame for a few minutes. Make sure it goes out.

Safety Recommendations

  • Never use any other fuel than water-clear 1-K Kerosene.
  • Never fill heater indoors.
  • Never fill heater while lit.
  • Never light or extinguish heater indoors.
  • Never leave your heater unattended.

Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector that is functional and keep it in the same room as the heater.