5 Things Smokers Don’t Want to Hear

To this day, I have no idea how I didn’t end up being a smoker. I can honestly say it’s not for lack of trying. In my teen years, growing up in Haiti, smoking was THE cool thing to do. So I tried it… and tried it… and tried some more. To no avail! It was as if I liked smoking but it didn’t like me back. And in the end I gave up.

I count myself lucky, and I am guilty of what this article’s author describes as an increasingly hostile attitude towards smokers. But I also realize that this attitude just makes them retreat further into their habit, much like the overweight kid who gets picked on at school and seeks comfort in food.

So I reached out to a smoker  with the question: “What is the most useless advice you have received over the years, and what kind of support would actually help you quit smoking?”. Quite an eye-opener.

I’ve been a smoker for about 15 years. I never intended to take on that label; in fact, I hated the smell of smoke when I was a kid. But somewhere between childhood and becoming a teenager, I thought it would be a good idea to take up the cigarette habit.

What started as a social thing turned into a pack-a-day addiction that I still haven’t managed to kick. I’ve tried nicotine patches, gum, going cold turkey, slowly reducing how much I smoke, electronic cigarettes, hypnotherapy, and even Chantix. While each method had its merits, especially on a short-term basis, none were enough to help me quit for good.

I remember being able to smoke in the mall and inside restaurants when I was younger, but society is becoming increasingly hostile to those of us who choose to pollute our lungs with tobacco. These days, even standing outside with a cigarette draws hateful looks (and the occasional rude comment). While I fully agree that non-smokers should not be forced to breathe secondhand smoke, I also think people could stand to ease up on the hate just a little.

Everyone has opinions about my smoking habit, and they aren’t afraid to share them. (I can only imagine what would happen if I walked up to someone and made “helpful” suggestions about how to lose weight.) Here, in no particular order, are 5 pieces of advice about smoking that I could do without:

  1. You know, that’s bad for you!” REALLY? You mean smoking isn’t healthy? Wow. I never would have figured that out on my own. I had no idea that smoking can cause lung cancer, COPD, emphysema, and countless other health problems. It’s not like the packs have warning labels or anything. Thank you, kind citizen, for educating me.
  2. My [relative] used to smoke, and s/he quit using [method].” Believe it or not, I am aware that lots of people quit smoking every year. I am also aware of the various methods of quitting, many of which I’ve tried. I never know what I’m supposed to say to those remarks. “Wow, how wonderful for your cousin! Tell him congratulations!”
  3. You know, if you quit smoking, food will taste better.” Yes, because that’s exactly what I need. Food tastes pretty damn good already, so I might as well park a chair in front of the fridge if it’s going to taste even better. Cigarettes act as an appetite suppressant, and while that’s not a good reason to smoke, it’s a bad argument for quitting. So I’m supposed to give up a habit that I enjoy, AND I might get fat? Oh gee, sign me up!
  4. I don’t know how you stand that smoke smell.” So now you’re saying I stink? This just keeps getting better! Here’s a pro tip: Most smokers are not those disgusting people whose skin is saturated with nicotine smell. I don’t smoke in my house, and I only smoke in my car on long trips. My clothes don’t smell like smoke unless I go to a bar. While I admit my senses are probably dulled compared to a nonsmoker, I know that stench all too well. And I hate it too.
  5. Smoking is expensive! You should quit!” Yeah, thanks. My habit costs me about $1300 a year, and it would be much more if I didn’t live in Kentucky (our prices stay low in support of tobacco farmers – can’t drive away business!). Since it comes out of my wallet, I’m well aware of the expense. But saying I should quit because it’s expensive is like me saying you should stop buying groceries because they’re expensive. You can’t just magically stop doing something that’s become almost as natural as breathing.

What to Say to a Smoker

If smoking really bothers you and you’d like to help, the first step is to keep judgmental comments like the above to yourself. We are physically addicted to nicotine, and nothing you say will change that overnight. Nagging just makes us want to escape and take a smoke break. You may find the habit disgusting, and I understand that. But you probably do disgusting things too, and I don’t tell you about it.

Just once, I’d like to hear someone say, “If you ever decide to quit and want some support, I’d be glad to help.” Just that and nothing else, ever. That would let me know the person cares but doesn’t feel compelled to lecture me. And if the day ever comes when I’m ready to quit smoking for good, those are the people I could be around without needing a cigarette as a crutch.

What to do when you have body issues

Anyway, let’s focus on you. i completely understand how you feel. i listen to friends of mine every day talk about how awesome they are at starving themselves — “oh, i only ate three pretzel chips today!!”…. kill me. that is not healthy, and i don’t care how effing skinny you are, IT’S UNHEALTHY. so don’t do that. you’ve got to start taking your own advice, because if you don’t, then the advice you are giving to others is empty. if you can tell someone else that weight doesn’t matter and they are beautiful no matter what size they are, but you don’t believe that and apply that to yourself, then those words mean nothing to that person. you have to believe what you say and you have to understand that you aren’t unworthy of feeling beautiful. you have a boyfriend who clearly loves you for you, and you are very lucky in that, because i know plenty of people who cannot say the same — and they range from sizes 2 to 20, so it’s not about the weight.

I’m not sure what you are thinking if you are reading this, but you might be thinking, “why should i listen to this random stranger?” well, i think you should listen to me because i am literally the same person as you — or at least i was. after my last breakup my ex decided to lash out at me and told me that no one will ever love me again because I’m fat, that he was always embarrassed to be seen with me, that people always wondered what a guy like him was doing with a girl like me. and i got depressed, and i stopped working out, and i ate. a lot. and i gained — a lot. i felt like, what is the point? then one day i woke up, and i snapped out of it. i got up, and i started to exercise again (which I always enjoyed, because i was a soccer player myself, but never thin like your cousin). and i did it for me. and i lost the weight i had gained, and i felt so much better about myself! it no longer mattered what my mom or my friends or my ex or some person on the street thought about me or my clothes, all that mattered was how I felt in my clothes and in my own skin. you have to get to the point where you get SELFISH and start taking care of YOURSELF because YOU deserve it, not because anyone else thinks you should (even your own mom).

and here’s another little piece of info that once i accepted, i slept better at night: no matter what size you are, no matter what you look like, someone somewhere will have a problem with it. whether I’m a size 6 or a size 16, someone will have something to say. maybe it won’t be about weight, maybe it will be about my hair color, or my skin color, or my choice of clothes that day, or my nose, or something. people will ALWAYS find something to say, because it makes them feel better about their own insecurities. and understand that it’s natural to feel insecure — EVERYONE feels insecure at one time or another, and anyone who says they don’t is lying through their teeth.

just start waking up in the morning and focusing on the things you DO like about yourself, and try to eat healthy and keep up that good workout, and you’ll start thinking and feeling better about your body. I’m sure you are way too critical on yourself, as most people are (I know I am)…and it’s okay to critique yourself from time to time. but remember that you’ve got great things going for you — you’re in college so you’re smart and you will be successful, and your mom loves you (despite what she says about your cousins) and your boyfriend loves you. take a deep breath — a lot of people out there are a lot worse off, right?

Help With A Persistent Dry Cough

Having a persistent dry cough can be really irritating , sometimes in can make you lose your sleep at night and generally bring you down emotionally. During the course of this article I will look some of the causes of a chronic cough and look at some remedies.

Reasons

There are a number of reasons why you make be experiencing a persistent dry cough. It could be related with a viral infection that you may have picked up, more seriously it may be linked with bronchitis or a strong bout of flu. Only a trip to the doctors will be able to give you a proper diagnosis for your symptoms. There are however many over the counter treatments which will help provide some relief for your condition.

One of the underlying reasons for you cough could be linked to dehydration, this can easily be cure by taking in more water and see if your symptoms subside. Another reason could be due to your daily environment. Are you working in hot dusty dry conditions? ,  this can make the passage in your throat dry up and hence bring on a persistent dry cough. Obviously purchasing a humidifier can help here although this may not always be possible, if not take a bottle of fresh water with you to work and take regular sips throughout the course of the day.

Treatments

There are many over the counter remedies which will give you instant relief for you dry cough. Usually cough syrups come in two forms either for dry coughs or chesty coughs, they look the same but make sure you buy the one for a persistent cough. This type of remedy is referred to as a symptomatic treatment, it provides relief to the patient before a proper diagnosis of the cough is given.

Other treatments can involve steam therapy which involves taking in steam 2 or 3 times a day. Honey is always a good idea as it will keep the throat moisturized, that is why you will find many of the over the counter based treatments are honey based.  The use of suppressants and iodides can help too with a persistent dry cough in relaxing the airways.

Summary

As you can see there are a number of reasons why you may have this condition. This cough is very common in smokers and the best way to remove your cough is to cut down on your intake of cigarettes. If it does not ease up then apart from a trip to the chemists for a syrup you should consult your doctor and seek out a proper diagnosis for your symptoms.

Pooping Blood… What does it mean?

Pooping Blood = Rectal Cancer?

According to studies, almost 80% of people will suffer from hemroids sometime in their lives. Experts agree that of those suffering, many will experience symptoms that aren’t only physical, but mental symptoms as well. Namely, anxiety and panic attacks. Ironically, in many cases the panic attacks caused by the hemorrhoids can be far more harmful than themselves.

The symptom of panic attacks, like hemroid symptoms, can range from slight irritation to full blown pain. Symptoms of panic attacks include problems breathing, chills, feeling like you are going to faint, adrenaline rush or racing heart, profuse sweating, and even an irrational fear and general feeling of impending doom or death. The best way to deal with panic attacks related to hemroid problems is to educate yourself on hemroids, and then find a way to treat the problem.

Understand What Hemroids Are

The first step is to realize what they are. They are a very common ailment that the majority of people will suffer from at some point in their lives. Simply knowing that almost 4 out of 5 people will someday deal with this problem should help put you at ease. Hemroids are simply an inflammation of the anal region. Although they can be painful, they are not life threatening, and have been treated successfully for decades.

Identify If You Have Hemroids

To help battle panic attacks caused by hemroids, make sure you have them to begin with and aren’t worrying for nothing. Figuring out if you have them is a very easy process. Do you bleed from your anus when going to the bathroom? Do you find blood on your toilet paper after wiping? If so, there is a good chance you have a hemroid. More severe symptoms can make this diagnosis even more obvious, and include uncontrolled defecating, swelling of the anus, and lumps around the anus.

Know That They Are Treatable

Because hemroids affect so many people, it should come as no surprise that several treatments are available. These range from dietary changes to invasive surgery. While it is true that some of the treatments may cause a person suffering from panic attacks to feel even more uneasy initially, such as the elastic band treatment which uses rubber bands to suffocate and kill the hemroid, in the long run knowing these treatments will help a person have a better sense of control by being aware of all options. And knowing that there are treatments that are both painless and fast, like the one at amazon shop will quickly crush the panic attacks. That’s what happened to Phil H, as the following story will show.

Real Life Example Of Overcoming Them

Phil H., from San Francisco developed hemroids. It seemed like a sever case as well, with his doctor telling him that surgery would be the only answer to his problem. Of course this caused a lot of anxiety, and panic attacks just thinking about surgery. Luckily Phil found the manuals and methods at here to be a great help, and using a method he learned from there he stopped the bleeding in just two days, and after his problem was taken care of, his panic attacks left as well. Remember that if you are suffering from panic attacks caused by hemroids, do the following. Learn about them, identify if you have them, know the treatments, and take action today!

South Beach Diet Phase 2 tips

A lot of individuals that are currently attempting the south beach diet program have created a requirement for a lot of info of the diet part a pair of. The plan is one among the latest trends within the health business and has been terribly successful for plenty of individuals. the simplest half regarding this diet is that the indisputable fact that anyone will do it. it’s not designed for a particular age cluster or body kind. it’s solely designed to urge your body to urge use to eating healthy foods and to chop down on cravings of your unhealthy, guilty pleasure foods.

Due to the very fact that this regimen may be a comparatively new trend on the scene, there’s not abundant detailed info out there regarding how it works. this is often particularly the case for the second section of the diet. plenty of the knowledge that’s out there on-line does not properly make a case for how the second part of the plan works. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the primary part, you ought to analysis it before following the guide on the phase 2 that’s below.

During the 2nd section of the program you’ll begin to eat the foods that you simply cut out of your diet throughout the primary section. this is often what most of the guides on-line say and this is often correct, but the quantity of those foods is very unclear in most guides and tutorials. the foremost vital issue to recollect is that the second part solely permits you to eat these foods attributable to the success of the primary part. South Beach Diet Section 2 is suppose to bolster the items that you simply learned throughout the primary one.

When you begin introducing these foods back to your diet plan you ought to solely do therefore if you actually need to own them. They should not automatically be brought back to your program. In fact, if you are doing not have any cravings for these foods and might comfortably go while not, you should. usually|this can be} the quantity one issue that’s often misinterpreted in an exceedingly ton of the net guides.

During the diet phase 2  you ought to be in complete management. this implies that you easily shouldn’t continue you with the diet if you’re still having uncontrollable cravings for the foods that you simply cut out throughout part one. If you expertise these cravings or the other lack of self management you ought to resort back to part one. In most cases the initial a pair of weeks of the 1st part are enough, but some folks could need to extend this era and this is often fine and safe.

When the section 2 begins you need to be paying shut attention to your cravings and the way several of the foods that you easily consuming that you originally cut of your plan throughout part one. If you discover yourself resorting back to your recent habits you ought to immediately begin the program over. The second part should last for as long as you would like to succeed in your required weight.

How to Ripen a Pomegranate

Pomegranates are grown on large bushes that drape like fountains. They get to be about four inches in size and have a “crown” on the bottom of them. Inside is a mass of membranes that aren’t any good for eating and sacs of juice, pulp, and seeds that are quite tasty. For sweet fruit it is important that they be ripe. Under ripe fruit will remain sour or bitter and lack the sweetness and tastiness of ripe pomegranates.

Ripening on the tree.

The best way to ripen your pomegranates is right there on the tree. The pomegranate fruit will be ripe about seven months after it has flowered. You can test it by tapping on the outside of the fruit. If it makes a metallic type of noise it is likely to be ripe. You can then open it up. Ripe fruit is usually dark inside, but there are varieties that will be pale pink when ripe. Tasting at bit of the juice, pulp, and seeds will help you to determine whether or not the fruit is ripe because it will be sweet and juicy.

Ripening off the tree.

Ripening off the tree is somewhat problematic and not always a sure fire science. In most cases fruit that is sold in the store or at a farmers´ market will be picked after it is ripe because the pomegranate has a long shelf life. This allows farmers to pick the fruit after it is ripe, transport it, and sell it all over the country while still having a viable product for sale. However, should you have unripe pomegranates for some reason there are a couple of things that you can do to encourage ripening.

Wait.

The first option is to place your pomegranates in a dry, cool place and wait it out. You will want to make sure that you are checking your fruit often to make sure that it isn’t rotting. When it appears ripe, enjoy it. Most pomegranates can stay fresh for at least a month in a cool, dry place and some will last as much as two months.

Sun.

Some people recommend ripening pomegranates in the sun. You do this by placing it in the window where it will get plenty of sun. Leave it there for a couple of days and check it by tapping on it. If it makes the metallic noise then it’s ripe. You can then enjoy it!

Your best bet for ripening a pomegranate is to leave it on the tree. However, when that isn’t a possibility you can try to ripen it in a cool, dry place or in the sun. Neither option is a guarantee, but you are likely to have some success.

How to make spicy food for kids

It is very important to introduce kids to different types of foods as they grow up, to ensure they are exposed to a wide variety of tastes, ingredients and nutrients. Fortunately, as Parents.com points out, spicy foods can be eaten by young kids as soon as they are able to eat regular table food. As such, the challenge becomes making spicy food that children will be enticed to eat because it looks tasty and inviting. Read on if you are interested in hearing the best tips of how to make spicy food for kids.

Do not make it too spicy

Try using fewer hot peppers when making Mexican food. For example, you can use jalapeno peppers instead of red chillies, habaneros or other spicy chillies. In your supermarket, you can select a mild taco kit or mild hot sauce if you are concerned that too much spice will be a turn off to your children. However, you might be shocked by how much your kid loves spicy foods once they first try it.

Make it fun

Children love testing the limits and it will make it fun for them to try mom or dad’s ‘extra spicy’ recipe. Adding spicy flavors will make your food more exciting to your kids and will make spicy food available that they will eat. Remember that people eat with their eyes, so consider a fun presentation to go along with your dish such as a bread bowl for spicy chili.

Try old favorites

Children tend to be creatures of habit and like the routine of similar foods. To accommodate this, try making a spicy spin on your famous meatloaf, penne bolognese, or any other recipe your kids are accustomed to. People often like familiar foods best so use this tactic if you are expecting to serve food to a picky eater!

Also try world flavors

There are plenty of fun and exciting international cuisines to entice your young ones, such as Indian, Chinese, Thai or even Japanese. Children will have heard of these foods and will be curious to see what they are all about. Allow your children to explore these unique flavors. They will want to eat it.

As you can see, getting your kids to eat spicy foods is not that difficult. This article provides many useful tips to make spicy food even children can eat, and though it is not exhaustive, it represents a great start for people experimenting with this style of cooking. So happy cooking and enjoy exposing your children to spicy food and exciting flavors!

Cooking Tips how to Save Time in the Kitchen

One of the many complaints from householders is the need for more time in the day. Our lives are tightly packed with commuting to and from work, school, after school activities for children and a number of personal errands. Frankly, it has left us exhausted at the end of each day. No wonder many are unable to include wholesome foods in the daily dietary plan. Due to the time factor in the preparation of a meal, many of us resort to grabing a quick meal at one of the various eateries. 

Securing a meal at an eatery is convenient, quick and fairly tasty; however, ultimately our waistlines pay for it. The regular consumption of these meals can lead to obesity related illnesses like diabetes, hypertention and a host of other ailments. Because our health depends on a healthy consumption of meals, it is vital that we find ways to save time in the kitchen. Cooking at home will provide you with the peace of mind knowing your family is indulging in quality and wholesome ingredients.

One of the best things one can do to have control and save time in the kitchen is to plan ahead. Planning your daily meals ahead of time will allow you the opportunity to purchase the ingredients for each meal  in advance. This will prevent the omission of  an important food item. No one wishes to be in the midst of preparing a dish of macaroni and cheese and suddenly realizes that cheese was not purchased. That means wasting precious time and petrol to head to the store.

Stock your pantry and refrigerator with the right and common staples on hand. The pantry should be stocked with rice, pasta,couscous, canned fish like salmon and sardines. Always try to keep canned tomatoes and beans in supply. These are lifesavers to whip up a tasty and quick meal when time is against you. Purchase and stock the freezer withomega fatty acids ingredients like salmon and tilapia. These fish can be pan seared or broiled quite quickly.

Use the week end to prepare some base meat dishes. For instance, a couple roasted chicken could be consumed one night as chicken and potatoes, another as pot pie by adding frozen and fresh vegetables. Diced chicken could be used in a hearty soup by adding root vegetables and a little pasta. Chopped meat like turkey or beef is ideal to have on hand. This could be used to prepare a big pot of succulent meat sauce.Toss in a few frozen vegetables for extra nutrients.  During the week, all is needed is your choice of pasta or any other carbohydrate.

Save valuable time in the kitchen by placing and keeping your cutboard and knives in close proximity to the stove. Thus, you can cut and drop ingredients like vegetables in pot. Have your spice rack away from heat but close by in a cool place for easy usage. Practicing and incorporating all these habits will certainly give you control and also save time in the kitchen. The extra time could be spent bonding with the members of your family.

Coffee Health Facts

It is not surprising that many people are confused about how much coffee is too much coffee, because there is so much conflicting advice about the health effects of coffee, and whether it is good or bad for you. However, there does seem to be a consensus of opinion from health experts about how much coffee it is safe to drink, based on what is known about the health effects of caffeine.

Caffeine in coffee is known to cause a slight increase in blood pressure and heart rate, and too much coffee can cause irregular heartbeat. Caffeine can also have negative affects on mental health.

According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch, medical research on coffee health risks shows that caffeine in coffee does have negative health effects, but moderate coffee drinking is quite safe.

The Mayo Clinic recommends that any adult consuming more than 500 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day ought to think about cutting down on coffee and other caffeinated drinks.

Mayo Clinic staff point out that measuring the exact amount of caffeine in each cup of coffee can never be precise, because the caffeine content can vary according to the brewing time, as well as on the process of roasting and grinding the beans.

Obviously the strength of the coffee, and how much coffee goes into each cup, will also affect the caffeine content of any individual cup of coffee. Even drinking coffee in the same coffee house or coffee shop chain each day, there will be a slight difference in the amount of caffeine contained in each serving.

An average cup of instant coffee may contain anything between 27 and 173 milligrams of caffeine. A cup of brewed coffee, made from ground roasted beans, generally has a higher caffeine content of between 95 and 200mg. A 16oz coffee brewed by McDonald’s will contain around 100mg of caffeine, while a 16oz Starbucks Latte has around 150mg of caffeine, and a small 1oz espresso provides at least  40mg. Even a cup of decaffeinated coffee can contain between 4 and 25mg of caffeine.

Results of a medical investigation, on Coffee, Caffeine, and Risk of Depression Among Women, published in 2011, show that a woman who only consumes only one cup of coffee daily, or drinks coffee less frequently, is slightly more likely to suffer from depression than a woman who drink two to four cups of coffee a day regularly. This investigation was not able to prove conclusively that caffeinated coffee is an effective antidepressant, and some further evidence is required to substantiate that claim.

Studies on caffeine dependence, carried out at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, reveal that a small amount of caffeine acts as a stimulant. An early morning coffee will lift a person’s mood when the body has suffered slight caffeine withdrawal during the hours of sleep. 

Regular coffee drinking throughout the day can lead to a serious caffeine dependence, which is more likely to have a negative affect on mood and behaviour, often increasing anxiety and restlessness, causing headaches and other temporary symptoms.

Cutting out coffee completely, along with other caffeinated items, can cause a number of disturbing symptoms, so much so that caffeine withdrawal has now been officially listed as a psychological disorder.

All these recent studies of the health effects of coffee agree that excessive coffee drinking is not good for health. Drinking between two and four cups of brewed coffee a day is not harmful, but five or more coffees a day could be too much, if it means that daily intake of caffeine is more than 500mg.

It is wise for any coffee drinker to be aware of the effects of caffeine and to know how much coffee is too much. The health effects of coffee are both good and bad. A good cup of coffee can be enjoyed every day, as long as it is not the sixth, seventh or eighth cup of coffee consumed that day.

Chewing Gum Past and Future

Chewing gum can be so annoying. Nothing grates on the nerves more than the “chomp chomp chomp” of some oblivious computer nerd whilst you are trying to write a 10-page paper on dendrochronology. However, in spite of the annoyances it has, with modern advances that are being made in gum manufacturing today, chewing gum could become the next best treatment for all sorts of dental disease. Of course, if you don’t have any issues in the teeth department, you can always chaw down on a good piece of (insert your favorite gum flavor here.) for nothing more than enjoyment. One question you may have, as your mandibles are bobbing up and down, turning the wheels in your head, is “who came up with the idea of sticking a piece of rubber between one’s pearly whites and chewing over and over and over again?” Well, let’s see…

Chewing gum is often thought of as a fairly modern innovation, but actually, it has been around for thousands of years in one form or another. According to Discovery News, One Scottish archaeology student in Finland actually found what may have been a piece of chewing gum, chawed between the molars of prehistoric man almost 5000 years ago . It was not hard to make – just heat up a piece of birch bark, let the ooze cool, and it was ready for chewing. While ancient gum did not have the variety of flavors that mankind enjoys today, it certainly did have some antiseptic benefits, as the birch gum would contain carbolic acid. It could be that they just enjoyed the stress-relieving jaw-moving action that people today find in gum chewing. Whatever the case, it’s been around for a long time. Even though more modern components are used today (butyl rubber and all sorts of natural and artificial flavorings), one can’t help but wonder how on earth ancient man figured out that birch bark could be so useful.

The health benefits (and side-effects) of gum chewing are fairly well-known, but perhaps a glimpse into the reasoning behind these benefits is necessary. In a more modern version of its birch bark counterpart, the chemical Xylitol has been found to have antibacterial effects when added to chewing gum, as can be seen in this article from the British Medical Journal. Xylitol is a “sugar alcohol”, which is known to give bacterial strains such as Streptococcus pneumoniae a bad day, so scientists examined if it would have any effect on dental infections. They found that children who chewed xylitol-infused chewing gum had not only had reduced amounts of bacteria in their mouths, but also experienced a lower chance of ear infection.  Chewing gum could even be used to remineralize enamel by using gum containing Casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) nanocomplexes, according to the Journal of Dental Research. This unique delivery system could keep choppers shiny and choppy for children for years to come, if the right chemicals are used. With more time and research, maybe you won’t have to even see the dentist. Just go to the dentist’s office and buy a piece of teeth-cleaning anti-cavity super-gum! Okay, maybe that’s a little too far, but you never know.

So, next time you chomp down on a stick of stride, double mint, big red, trident, or whatever, take a moment to pause and remember the amazing journey through history that chewing gum took to become what it is today. And more importantly, imagine the future of what gum could be – not just a favorite pastime of multiple Type A personalities worldwide, but a treatment option for people with dental problems everywhere.          

Check out that Food Label

Food labels are an important part of keeping healthy and well informed. Accuracy is now demanded by the Food and drug administration. It is important to learn how to properly read the label; it is not as simple as it seems. Some of the ingredients are hard to decipher. Having a specific purpose in mind such as gluten free, salt free, allergies, contains nuts, will help in keeping you on track. When in doubt about some ingredient, call the company. Most often a telephone number is listed. Your call will be welcomed.

Sample labels:

Mostly we read labels to see what ingredients are listed. This is important in special diets. Gluten-free will be written on the package or can in larger letters and apart from the Nutrition Facts and Ingredient section. Ingredients in bag of sesame and seaweed rice chips (Lundberg) are as follows:

Ingredients: Brown rice, brown rice flour, organic masa corn flour, white rice flour, safflower or sunflower oil, organic sesame seeds, dried seaweed flakes, evaporated cane juice, salt, torula yeast, dehydrated garlic, yeast extract, sesame oil, dehydrated onion, honey powder, cultured whey (contains milk), paprika, ginger, cayenne pepper, citric acid, trilcalcium phosphate (anti-caking agent); steam distilled oil of ginger; natural caramel color. The serving size will be listed first, then calories, then calories from fat. (On a bag of gluten free rice chips – gluten-free – will be written on the package.)

Fat is the next in order and the amount will be given in percentage of daily as well as amount in one serving. This bag of chips – serving size – about ten chips -has 7 grams of fat which amounts to 11% of a daily need for fat. There is 0 Trans fat which is good. Had that been listed, since that is a bad fat, I would not have bought this item. Likewise Cholesterol is 0mg.

Next listed is Sodium – salt – listed as 90 milligrams and 4% of daily the daily requirement. Total Carbohydrates in these ten chips are 18 grams which supplies 6 % of the daily recommended amount by dietary departments. Fiber is listed under this category and here has less than 1 gram. This supplies 3% of the daily required amount. There are 0 sugars.

Proteins are listed next. There is two grams and no daily percentage is given. The vitamins: Vitamin A0%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 0%. Moving on down and reading underneath the nutrition facts this: “This product contains 11% organic ingredients”. Following that extensive list of ingredients the company that produces the product and the country of origin.

Why is it important to read the labels even though we are not allergic to milk, peanuts, have no gluten intolerance, and have no particular salt or sugar restrictions – to our knowledge? There will be other directions such as heating and cooking precautions, how to open the package successfully, hints that peanut or milk or wheat products – while not listed as an ingredient – was processed in the same plant.

Much of the information is printed in very small print and therefore carrying a small magnifying glass in your pocket while grocery shopping is often a help. Don’t expect much help from employees since they are courteous and helpful to show where to find the item, but when it comes to what is inside that box, can or bag, you are on your own.

Cauliflower Health Benefits

Cauliflower has never been the most popular vegetable, in fact to this day it remains one of the most underrated vegetables in the culinary world with most people only using it as a side order for a Sunday roast or smothering it with cheese. But cauliflower contains so many essential vitamins and minerals and it also has a host of medicinal properties.

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous or brassicaceae family, this family contains other vegetables such as cress, cabbage and bok choy. And whilst the most commonly used type of cauliflower is white, there are also purple and even orange cauliflowers available.

Its taste might not be as popular as it ought to be, but its nutritional benefits can not be called into question, with around 100g of cauliflower delivering 80% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for a healthy body and immune system. It is also rich in B vitamins, offering generous amounts of vitamin B6, B1 and B3, these vitamins are necessary for energy production and healthy organs.

What many people do not know about cauliflower is that it contains high levels of cancer fighting ingredients such as sulforaphane. This not only reduces your risk of developing cancer, but it also protects the lining of your stomach meaning that you are less likely to suffer gastro intestinal upsets such as ulcers or gastroenteritis. Another ingredient responsible for this is known as glucoraphin which is present in cauliflower.

Cauliflower contains large amounts of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin K, both of which have been shown to be effective in the treatment of arthritis and joint pain.

Cardiovascular disease is one of the biggest killers in the world, taking the lives of one in three people in the United Kingdom. Cauliflower can help to protect against cardiovascular disease because of its anti oxidant properties and high levels of vitamin C. It can also help to protect against conditions such as strokes.

Fiber is an essential part of any diet, and 100g of cauliflower will provide around 3.5 g of dietary fiber, this will help to maintain a regular and healthy bowel.

Cauliflower may be used in soups and cauliflower cheeses, but it is a delicious, healthy vegetable in its own right. It has so many health benefits from high levels of vitamins and cancer fighting ingredients to fiber and ulcer protection. 

Beer Reviews Blue Moon Belgian White

Given my beer tastes, it should be no surprise that Blue Moon Belgian White is one of my favorites. I like wheat beer. I like beer with some hint of a fruit or honey flavor. Most of the time, I like light beer better than dark. And I do not like bitter, hoppy tasting beer. On all of these counts, Blue Moon Belgian White delivers.

I was very surprised to learn that Blue Moon is made by the Molson Coors brewing company, which is better known for the generic beers Molson and Coors. Generic American beer, I heartily dislike. I forgo beer rather than drink Budweiser, Miller, or Coors. And Molson, though Canadian and slightly better, is a little too hoppy for my liking.

Blue Moon is of a quality that can easily compete with microbrews and imports. Indeed, Molson Coors markets it as if it were made by a microbrewery. The bottle’s label mentions the “Blue Moon Brewing Company,” with no hint of Molson Coors. A web search for Blue Moon beer turns up a site for the Blue Moon Brewing Company, again implying that they are separate entities.

According to its brewer, Blue Moon Belgian White is flavored with coriander and orange peel. Hops underly the overall flavor without giving it a blatantly hoppy taste. The orange peel and coriander give it the barest hint of a flavor that is not quite fruity, not quite spicy, and just sweet enough to offset the bitterness of the hops. The citrusy flavor melds with the hops surprisingly well. It tones down the bitterness of the hops without making the beer downright sweet, just as seamlessly as a teaspoon of sugar in a cup of coffee takes the edge off the bitterness.

The Wikipedia description of Blue Moon Belgian White describes it as “orange-amber in color with a cloudy appearance because it is unfiltered.” I would describe it as simply amber, as light beer tends to be. It does have a cloudy appearance. And it is more flavorful than many light beers.

Blue Moon Belgian White is available in stores year round. It is also available in many bars, though has never been on tap in any I’ve been to. There are also four seasonal versions, available only certain months of the year.

I have tried the autumn version, Harvest Moon, which is a pumpkin ale. I have also tried the summer version, Honey Moon. The Harvest Moon is a little hoppier than I prefer. The Honey Moon is decent, but Belgian White remains my favorite. There is also a Blue Moon winter beer, Full Moon, and a springtime one, Rising Moon.

Molson Coors’s decision to market Blue Moon as if it were a microbrew may have been intended as an advertising ploy, but it actually reflects the truth of what this beer is. The taste of Blue Moon Belgian White, and the other Blue Moon beers, rivals a good microbrew. It bears little resemblance to generic American beer.

Authentic Turkish Imam Bayildi Recipe

This classic Turkish dish is unusual and served cold. Stuffed with a tasty combination of tomatoes, raisins and onions, its name literally means “the cleric has fainted.”

The cleric has fainted is probably one of the strangest names for a dish you’ve ever heard. The legend behind its name goes like this: a certain Imam (Muslim religious leader) had just finished a long, spiritual fast. When this dish was set before him by devout students he was overcome with the delectable aromas and fainted.

What the dish was called before that incident occurred is anyone’s guess. After his fainting spell the meal was renamed in his honor.

This dish also has a Greek counterpart. Although Greece and Turkey are far from friendly, they have traded their recipes over the centuries. Therefore the curious situation exists that many of their dishes overlap … even their coffee. The Turks claim their “Turkish coffee” and the Greeks claimed the Turkish copied their “Greek coffee.” Many of their dishes have a claim and counterclaim.

If you add two tablespoons of breadcrumbs and a pinch of nutmeg before cooking Imam Bayildi, you’ll have the Greek version of this dish. Both are equally good.

4 – 6 servings

Ingredients

4 eggplants
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 cup of butter
4 thinly sliced onions
2 crushed garlic cloves
6 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded and chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 1/4 cups of extra virgin olive oil

Preparation

Cut the eggplants in half and hollow out four deep slits 1/4-inch wide crosswise in each half. Reserve the scooped out flesh. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and degorge for 30 minutes. Then drain the eggplants and set aside.

While the eggplants are degorging, melt the butter over medium heat in a large frying pan. After the foam subsides add the onions and garlic and cook while stirring occasionally for about 5 – 7 minutes until they are soft and translucent (but not brown).

Next add the tomatoes, raisins and reserved eggplant flesh, the remaining salt, pepper, thyme and parsley. reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring periodically. It is ready when the mixture has pulped. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. When the mixture has cooled, spoon it into the slits you cut in the eggplant. Spread the rest of the mixture over the top of each half.

Place the eggplants in an ovenproof dish (such as Pyrex), large enough to hold all the halves in one layer. Spoon 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top of each half and then pour the remaining oil around them. The oil should be about one-quarter of the way up the sides of the eggplants.

Now bake for 1 3/4 hours. When they are done the eggplants should be very soft and a slightly sticky residue will have gathered on the bottom of the dish.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Then chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour until they’re very cold.

Remove from the refrigerator, transfer each half to a serving platter and serve as an appetizer with with fresh bread and chilled yogurt.

To serve as a main course add rice pilaf or couscous lightly toasted with fried, minced lamb and allspice.

African Mint Cocktail

Sometimes, there is real beauty in simplicity, which is often the case when it comes to a good mixed drink. That is certainly the case with the African Mint cocktail! Combining the cooling flavors of creme de menthe and the rich, caramel taste of the Amarula, this cocktail has an exotic flair that sets it apart from just about every other mixed drink out there.

Amarula originated in South Africa, which is what gives this cocktail its African name. Somewhat similar to Bailey’s Irish Cream in its consistency and sweetness, this liqueur has really only just begun to hit its stride here in the United States. Be a step or two ahead of the trends by mixing up this cocktail and show off your savvy shot-making!

One nice thing to note about this liqueur is that sales of it help to support elephant conservation, helping to fund the efforts at the Amarula Elephant Research Programme at the University of Natal in South Africa. So you can boast that your delicious, unique cocktail is helping to save the planet, one sip at a time!

AFRICAN MINT COCKTAIL RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

3/4 measure creme de menthe, chilled
3/4 measure Amarula, chilled

DIRECTIONS

1. Chill a shot glass by filling it with cracked ice and very cold water. Because Amarula should be drink very cold, you may wish to sit the shot glass in the freezer for a minute or two as well. Empty the ice and cold water from the shot glass once it is very cold to the touch.

2. In the bottom of the shot glass, add the creme de menthe, being sure to reserve a few drops.

3. Very slowly, pour the Amarula into the shot glass over the back of a spoon in order to create a layer over top of the creme de menthe.

4. Finish the drink by drizzling the last few drops of creme de menthe on top.