July 29, 2010

How to save water

Don't wash food bits before putting dishes in the dishwasher. Don't pre-rinse either, it's a waste.

Use ice cube trays instead of the freezer's ice maker.

Put plastic bottle with some sand and place in water tank of toilet.

Water plants at dawn, when the sun isn't strong, twice a week.

A free way to get rid of weeds

Put leftover boiling water over weeds, but be sure not to pour accidentally over plants.

If a package of poultry says 15% solution, it means it was injected with salt and water. Therefore costing more!

July 27, 2010

Everyday Things You Shouldn't Trust

You know you can’t rely on that friend who always cancels plans at the last minute. You also know you’re probably better off filling your gas tank before it’s on “E” instead of trusting the accuracy of your gas gauge. In fact, after a lifetime of trial and error, all of us have learned that it’s sometimes safer to be less trusting.

Still, it’s not good to always be looking for problems. Research has linked certain personality traits—including distrust—to a higher risk of heart problems. The key, then, lies in knowing what to trust…or figuring out a way to work around things you know you can’t. Here’s some help doing just that.

Don’t trust: The numbers on your scale
You step on your scale after getting home from the doctor’s office, and the readout doesn’t match what the nurse wrote on your chart. The scale at your gym gives you another reading. And the one at your weight-loss group offers yet another.
Trust this: To test your scale at home, take a dumbbell that’s 10 pounds or heavier, and center it on the scale. Figure out how much the scale is “off” so you can calculate your actual weight. Or don’t worry about the exact number—just use the number as a guide. Weigh yourself once every morning, and see if it’s the same as yesterday. If the number goes up by more than 2 pounds, adjust your diet and exercise program to get back on track.

Don’t trust: Calorie-burn readouts on exercise machines
The number of calories you burn during an activity depends upon factors you can’t input into an exercise machine’s computer, such as what percent of your body weight is muscle. One study found that these machines may overestimate calories burned by 10 to 30%.
Trust this: Focus on the machine’s time and distance readouts. Both are usually fairly accurate, since one is just a measure of time and the other is calculated based upon how many times the treadmill or bike wheels cycle around. Write down your workout minutes and mileage each day. Try to go a little farther in the same number of minutes each week—or exercise for a few more minutes at the same pace. Either way, you’ll know you’re improving.

Don’t trust: E-mails from coworkers
Two recent studies looked at how honest people are when they e-mail, compared with when they write a letter using pen and paper. The findings: E-mail makes it easier for people to lie. In fact, in one study, e-mailers lied over 92% of the time, while those using the pen were untruthful less than half of the time.
Trust this: Face-to-face talks about important issues may be more reliable, since you can pick up on nonverbal cues. Also, you’ll be less likely to misinterpret what someone is saying—a definite problem for people who e-mail. If getting together isn’t possible, ask your coworker to send you a handwritten note through the mail. Experts say that people may feel that statements written in ink carry more legal weight than those typed on a computer.

Don’t trust: Feeling a forehead to check for fever
In a recent study, when moms felt their child’s forehead, abdomen, and neck to check for a fever, they didn’t usually “miss” a fever—but they sometimes thought the child had one when he didn’t. (Doctors who used the touch-test had the same problem.)
Trust this: You can feel the forehead first, but follow up with a thermometer. If your child is age 4 or older, use a digital thermometer held under the tongue. (Ear thermometers can give inaccurate readings if they’re not positioned right or if there’s earwax in the way.) If your child just ate or drank something hot or cold, wait 15 minutes before taking his temperature by mouth. For instructions on taking a younger child’s temperature, talk with your pediatrician. Also ask how high the temperature should be before you call their office for help.

Don’t trust: When someone who’s ill says, “I’ll be fine!”
You’re at a get-together and someone complains of shortness of breath, nausea, lightheadedness, or cold sweats. They say they just need to sit down. Don’t trust it: These are just a few of the sneaky symptoms of a heart attack.
Trust this: Not all heart attacks look like the ones in the movies. Most heart attacks begin with mild pain or discomfort—often in the center of the chest—and worsen slowly. But some heart attacks cause discomfort or pain in one or both arms and/or the back, neck, jaw, or stomach. Women are more likely than men to experience these less “classic” symptoms.

When in doubt, call 9-1-1 within 5 minutes. If a heart attack is occurring, the person can receive help up to an hour before they would if they were driven to the hospital by car. To learn the warning signs of stroke and cardiac arrest, too, visit the American Heart Association Web site at americanheart.org.

Foods that ease asthma attacks

An asthma attack -- in which one can't get enough air -- can be an extremely frightening experience. So, of course, you'd do anything to avoid one. And it turns out watching your diet may be one such thing.

According to internist Dr. Alan Gaby, an unrecognized food allergy or intolerance is a contributing factor in at least 75 percent of childhood asthma cases and about 40 percent of adult cases.

"As early as 1959, Dr. Albert H. Rowe, a pioneer in the field of food allergy, successfully treated 95 asthmatic patients with dietary changes alone," says Gaby.

Asthma is a chronic disease that affects the pathways that carry air in and out of the lungs. When a person has asthma, those airways become inflamed and sensitive to a variety of substances (in air, food and the environment). The response is similar to an allergic reaction, which is one reason asthma is often linked to allergies.

The immune system of someone with asthma mistakenly identifies substances, such as pollen, dust, dander and certain foods, as being dangerous. It overreacts to protect against the substance by creating inflammation in your lungs and narrowing your air passages. Muscles around the airways tighten up, allowing less air in; the airways become even more swollen and narrow, and it becomes harder to breathe.

Dairy products top the list of foods most likely to provoke asthma. Other suspects include tree nuts (such as cashews, almonds and walnuts), milk, eggs, soy, chocolate, wheat, corn, citrus fruits and fish. Tartrazine (yellow dye No. 5), which is used in many foods, including cereals and soft drinks, is believed to be a trigger for thousands of people. And, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, foods with sulfites -- such as beer, dried foods, processed potatoes, shrimp and wine -- may also trigger asthma symptoms in susceptible people.

Knowing that some foods can make asthma worse, you might wonder if there are foods that can help calm asthma symptoms.

You may not be able to completely wipe out asthma symptoms with food, but emerging evidence points to the fact that higher intakes of omega-3s and vitamin C from food (especially fresh fruit) and supplements can certainly help.

Because asthma is an inflammatory condition, to fight that response make sure your diet contains foods rich in natural anti-inflammatories, such as omega-3's (found in cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna) is a really good idea. The plant flavonoid quercetin, found in apples and onions, is highly anti-inflammatory, as is the spice turmeric.

"In my experience, increasing the intake of plant-based fat (avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, almonds), fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help considerably", says nutritionist Cynthia Sass. She adds that probiotic and omega-3 supplements may also help.

Another supplement that might be helpful is the oil of the shea nut. Shea nut oil extract with a high tripertene content has been shown in more than 30 clinical studies to be highly anti-inflammatory. It is available in an over-the-counter supplement called FlexNow.

Low intakes of vitamin C from food or supplementation can lead to increased risks for asthma. A 2005 study done by researchers from the Asthma and Allergy Research Institute in Australia found that the blood concentrations of vitamin C were markedly lower in patients with severe asthma. A review article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that "symptoms of ongoing asthma in adults appear to be increased by exposure to environmental oxidants and decreased vitamin C supplementation."

Studies have shown that one to two grams of vitamin C per day is most helpful. This level is also helpful for those suffering from allergies. Foods high in vitamin C include peppers (green and red), kale, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, guavas, oranges, grapefruit, kiwis, peaches, oranges, strawberries and pineapples. Although it's best to get your vitamins from food, you may need to include supplements in your diet to get adequate amounts.

Following a Mediterranean diet has been shown to improve asthma control, possibly because of the high content of omega-3's and vitamin C. This diet is full of fresh fruits and vegetables. The ones mentioned above can help you get your requisite C, and omega-3s are plentiful in the olive oil, nuts, avocado and fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, which the diet features. A 2008 study in the journal Allergy found that high adherence to a Mediterranean diet reduced the risk of noncontrolled asthma by a whopping 78 percent. Those people who were controlling their asthma had significantly higher intakes of fresh fruit in their diet.

And, since these foods are so good for you anyway, they certainly couldn't hurt.

July 19, 2010

Money Saving Tips

If your out of toothpaste, then fill a glass with hot water and put tube for 1 minute then squeeze immediately.

If low on lotion, then cut off bottom of tube.

If your printer says no more ink, print anyways, because more often than not it has at least 20% of ink. If the ink isn't enough, then blow dry the cartridge, place it back, and use immediately.

If condiments like mustard, ketchup, etc are running low then add a couple of capfuls of white vinegar and shake.

If laundry detergent is low, then remove cap and water, close then shake.

To remove stains from T-shirts, add an aspirin to the wash once its full of water.

July 15, 2010

What is your body telling you?


White tongue coating

Could mean: You have a yeast infection—the oral type, that is, says Bruce Robinson, M.D., of the American Academy of Dermatology. Your mouth maintains a fine yeast-bacteria balance, but when foreign stuff (think: antibiotics) throws that out of whack, the yeast portion grows unchecked and coats your tongue. A prescription antifungal rinse should clear things up. If it doesn't, revisit your doc.

Inflamed gums

Could mean: You're knocked up. "Your dentist is often the first to know," says Sassan Rastegar, D. D. S., a dentist in New York City. "Swollen gums are one of the early side effects of the hormonal changes that come with pregnancy." If your gums are puffy or bleed when you floss—and your period is late—it may be time to take a pregnancy test.

Your guide to a perfect smile.

Cracked mouth corners

Could mean: You're vitamin deficient, says Wilma Bergfeld, M. D., a dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. ("Otherwise," she says, "you're a big lip licker. Stop that!") A lack of B vitamins— specifically, B2, B6, and folic acid—can dry out the sensitive skin on the outer corners of your mouth, causing unseemly cracks on your kisser. Adding nutrient-rich eats such as leafy greens and watermelon to your regular diet should smooth out any rough patches, says Vandana Y. Bhide, M. D., a board-certified internist in St. Augustine, Fla.

7 Pains you should never ignore.


Sparse outer eyebrows

Could mean: Your thyroid isn't pumping out enough hormones, says internist Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of From Fatigued to Fantastic! More than 27 million Americans have thyroid disorders, and eight out of 10 of those are women. The right prescription meds should get your hormones—and brows—back on track.

Dark under-eye circles

Could mean: You have allergies, says Jennifer Wider, M. D., of the Society for Women's Health Research. Nasal congestion from allergies can dilate and darken the veins around your eyes and nose. Once you pinpoint and treat your allergen culprits—often with OTC meds—your under-eye shadows should fade.


Thinning hair

Could mean: You have a thyroid issue. If you've been noticing more breakage when you blow-dry, head to your G. P. for a thyroid test, says Kent Holtorf, M. D., founder of the Holtorf Medical Group in Los Angeles. Brittle hair can also be a sign of malnourishment—specifically, deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin A. So for the love of your hair (and your health), steer clear of any lownutrient crash diets.


Brown splotches

Could mean: You've had a self-tanner mishap... or you have a benign condition called melasma that's often associated with oral contraceptives, says Dina D. Strachan, M. D., a dermatologist in New York City. Doctors aren't sure why some birth-control pills cause these dark patches on the forehead, cheeks, or upper lip, but they do know UV exposure makes them worse. Your M. D. might recommend a hydroquinone cream.

Small yellow bumps

Could mean: You're looking at fat deposits caused by high cholesterol, says Svetlana Kogan, M. D., an internist in New York City. The yellowish bulges can appear anywhere (yes, on thin people too) but are most common on the knees, elbows, hands, and feet. Make an appointment with your doc for a simple blood cholesterol test.

A rash on your rump

Could mean: Celiac disease, which is triggered by eating gluten, can manifest itself as an itchy red rash or blisters on your derriere. Ten to 15 percent of people with gluten intolerance get this inflammation, which can also appear on your elbows and knees, says Howard Sobel, M. D., a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City. Fortunately, once you cut pasta, wheat bread, and other gluten sources from your diet, you'll kick the butt blisters too.

Build a better backside with this leg and booty-busting workout.


Brittle nails

Could mean: Your frail nails might indicate nutritional deficiencies like low calcium, vitamin D, or zinc, says Andrea Cambio, M.D., a dermatologist in Cape Coral, Florida. Sporting nude nails more often and maintaining a balanced diet may help. Or you can try soaking your nails in water for five minutes at night before moisturizing them with an alpha hydroxy cream.

July 3, 2010

Great remedies

Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately -- without the unpleasant side effects caused by traditional "pain relievers."

Did you know that Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns?

Before you head to the drugstore for a high-priced inhaler filled with mysterious chemicals, try chewing on a couple of curiously strong Altoids peppermints. They'll clear up your stuffed nose.

Achy muscles from a bout of the flu? Mix 1 Tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then apply it as a massage oil, for instant relief for aching muscles.

Sore throat? Just mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey and take 1 tablespoon six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria.

Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly -- even though the product was never been advertised for this use. (Note: Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine is not the same and contains aspirin, which can cause stomach bleeding if you have ulcers.)

Honey remedy for skin blemishes... Cover the blemish with a dab of honey and place a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing. Works overnight.

Listerine therapy for toenail fungus... Get rid of unsightly toenail fungus by soaking your toes in Listerine mouthwash. The powerful antiseptic leaves your toenails looking healthy again.

Easy eyeglass protection... To prevent the screws in eyeglasses from loosening, apply a small drop of Maybelline Crystal Clear nail polish to the threads of the screws before tightening them.

Coca-Cola cure for rust... Forget those expensive rust removers. Just saturate an abrasive sponge with Coca Cola and scrub the rust stain. The phosphoric acid in the coke is what gets the job done.

Cleaning liquid that doubles as bug killer... If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

Smart splinter remover...just pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter sticks to the dried glue.

Hunt's tomato paste boil cure...cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

Balm for broken blisters...To disinfect a broken blister, dab on a few drops of Listerine ... a powerful antiseptic.

Heinz vinegar to heal bruises... Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds up the healing process. Kills fleas instantly.

Dawn dish washing liquid does the trick. Add a few drops to your dog's bath and shampoo the animal thoroughly. Rinse well to avoid skin irritations. Goodbye flees.

Rainy day cure for dog odor... Next time your dog comes in from the rain, simply wipe down the animal with Bounce or any dryer sheet, instantly making your dog smell springtime fresh.

Eliminate ear mites... All it takes is a few drops of Wesson corn oil in your cat's ear. Massage it in, and then clean with a cotton ball. Repeat daily for 3 days. The oil soothes the cat's skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.

Quaker Oats for fast pain relief...It's not for breakfast anymore! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain.

July 1, 2010

For Pregnant Women

No matter how painful childbirth is never, ever agree to an epidural. An epidural is an injection given right on the spine bone to make childbirth less painful, but afterwards you will feel pain in your spine for as long as you live.

Health Tips

Memory foam mattresses are allergens, hang them on a line outside for days and squish them once in a while to release the allergens.

Scented candles emit a lot of chemicals, more than the ones outside! Use flameless candles instead.

To kill 100% of washing machine germs, pour one cup of bleach and run it on the hottest setting without any clothes.

Pay before the due date

You should pay your bill or cancel an account before the due date, because if you wait, you might get charged more or continue being charged for that account.