Friday, March 27, 2009

Things You Need To Know About Food Allergies

Food allergies or food intolerance occur when people have an unpleasant reaction to something they ate. Food allergies are the result of the immune system mistakenly recognizing certain foods as dangerous substances and starts responding against them.

Nearly everyone is affected with this at some point in their lives. Symptoms can be as mild as skin rash, vomiting and diarrhea or as serious as anaphylaxis, which constricts the airways and requires immediate medical attention.

According to studies, food-based allergic reactions start at the early age of life, wherein some of the effects can be resolved over time. However, other food reactions acquired in infancy typically persist through life.

Here is the list of the eight common foods which cause almost 90 percent of food allergies:
  1. Peanuts
  2. Eggs
  3. Milk
  4. Shellfish
  5. Wheat
  6. Tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)
  7. Soy
  8. Fish
At this point, no studies can conclude why certain children develop allergies; what is known is that heredity is a factor: when you have food allergies, your child will most likely have them as well.

Exposing your children to different solid foods may boost their tolerance later in life. But remember: when you begin to introduce solid foods to your toddler, do so one at a time. This way, you'll find out which foods he/she can tolerate and which are rejected.

And if you’re an adult suffering from food allergies, take note of the following:
  • Strictly avoid the food you are allergic to, including any related products.
  • Diligently read food labels (hidden ingredients, particularly those containing wheat and peanuts, can be lurking anywhere). The Food and Drug Administration requires that at least the top eight allergens must be clearly stated on food labels).
  • Let the server in a restaurant know you absolutely cannot have certain ingredients.
  • For those with severe food allergies, remember to always carry a self-injectable epinephrine (often called an Epipen) in case of emergency.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Breakfast for better health

Skipping breakfast is very common nowadays. This is because of the fast faced lifestyle and having a wrong idea that breakfast is not as important as the other meal of the day.

There are studies that show young and adults specifically the teens that skipped breakfast are more likely to be obese. They are the ones who tend to eat less healthy during the day and exercised less.

Breakfast is as important as the other meals of the day. As the day starts you need something to fill your empty stomach while you were asleep and something to charge your energy. But there is more to it than not skipping breakfast. Breakfast should be healthy. So if you’re planning breakfast you should avoid the following:

  • Doughnuts
  • Cereals
  • Fruit juice
  • Waffles and pancakes
  • Bagels and toast (even whole grain organic types)
  • ALL cereals (even whole grain organic types)
It is ideal to have healthy food during breakfast or in any meal. And according to experts it is better that you should avoid whole grain breads and cereals because it rapidly breakdown sugar and stimulating insulin production. He also said that eggs, juiced fruits and vegetables are ideal for breakfast.

You must take note that in preparing meals like breakfast for you and your family you must always consider the nutritional type. And by doing this you will enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How Safe Are Your Personal Care Products and Cosmetics?

Most personal care products like shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics and make-ups are used by millions every day. But do you know how they are made and are you familiar with the ingredients they contain?

Studies show that most cosmetic companies add synthetic ingredients to their products that may cause cancer or reproductive damage over the years of sustained used. According an EWG (Environmental Working Group) survey, more than a quarter of women in the total population and one of every 100 men are using at least 15 different personal care products per day, which means greater exposure to toxic ingredients.

Based from the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database, here are some of the toxic ingredients that you should avoid:

1. Mercury

This heavy metal is known as a possible human carcinogen and a human reproductive or developmental toxin. Used in some eye drops, ointments and mascaras (it’s listed as "thimerosal" on labels).

2. Placenta

Placenta produces hormones like progesterone and estrogen, which may disrupt your body's normal hormone functions and could lead to breast cancer and other health problems. Found in some hair relaxers, moisturizers and toners.

3. Petrochemicals

These byproducts of crude oil may be labeled as petrolatum, mineral oil or paraffin. They are suspected or known carcinogens and may also break down into toxic products such as dioxane and are used in some hair relaxers, shampoos, anti-aging creams, mascaras, perfumes, foundations, lipsticks and lip balms.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are used in some nail polishes, fragrances and hair sprays. It is a plasticizing chemical classified as a probable reproductive or developmental toxin and endocrine disrupter. Two phthalates, dibutyl and diethylhexyl have been banned in the European Union.

5. Hydroquinone

This ingredient is a possible carcinogen, a probable reproductive or developmental toxin and endocrine disrupter that may leave permanent black-blue lesions on your skin. Hydroquinone is an ingredient in some skin lightening products and moisturizers.

Now that you have been warned of the hidden dangers of personal care products, it is advisable to read labels before buying anything to check if the ingredients are all-natural and safe. Here are some safe and gentle ingredients:

• Aloe Vera
• Plant extracts
• Essential Oils
• Organic oils

Your skin is the biggest organ in your body. Watch what you put on it in the same way that you watch what you eat.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How to Take Smart Risks

The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing. – Leo Buscaglia

Do you want to start your own business or invest in the stock market? Are you considering offers for jobs overseas? Or are you planning on asking your best friend or officemate on a date to confess your true feelings?

All these things involve taking risks. If you want to get the things you want and get ahead in life, you usually have to take a risk. After all, with nothing risked, there’s nothing gained.

Taking risks is something normal because in anything you do, you’re taking some sort of a risk, voluntarily and involuntarily. If you get on an airplane, there’s a chance that it may crash and get you killed. If you’re walking in the street, there’s a one-in-a-million chance that you might get hit by a car or struck by lightning.

Taking risks can be scary at first because there are negative connotations to it, like danger and possible loss. But of course, risks do have a positive side. Without risks, you can’t experience a big return on an investment. Or a future trip down the aisle all because you weren’t afraid to ask your partner out on that first date.

As part of skill building and career advice, you have to learn how to take risks because taking or not taking a risk can be either be the smartest or the stupidest thing you can do with your life.

But all risks are not equal. The smartest risks are the ones where the benefits outweigh the downsides.

So how do you know if you’re making a smart risk?

Knowing What You Want Is the Key to Taking Smart Risks

Many people are living their lives just to please other people, or are having the kind of life they think they should have, rather than living the life they really want.

Business coach and psychologist Gary Leboff says that if you don’t make an effort to get what you want, life probably won’t turn out the way you want it to. The key, then, is to know what you want first and start taking the risks that you think would get you there.

If you want to improve your social life, you should ask your friends to introduce you to other people, or you could join a new group or club. If you need more money, then maybe it’s about time to ask your boss for a raise.

Your initial risks don't need to be life-changing in magnitude. Take it slow to find the confidence you need for bigger risks in the future. That confidence will come, sooner or later, because the more risks you take, the better your judgment becomes.

Here are some things to remember that will help you make smart risks:

  • Don't risk everything. You should only risk something that won't leave you financially ruined, emotionally scarred or physically disabled in case things go horribly wrong.
  • Ask for what you want. You’ll be surprised that more often than not, you will get it.
  • Take positive risks. You should not put yourself or others at risk of physical or emotional harm.
  • Be open to failure. You should be at peace with the possibility of failure because it’s part of taking risks. Learn from your failures by finding out where you went wrong so you can apply what you’ve learned when you take your next risk.
  • Start taking risks right away. Get started on small risks like trying a new type of food, putting on clothes that are not part of your usual style, getting a different haircut or going to some place you've never been before.
  • Stop worrying about what others may think. It’s your life, your risk and your gain. People, including those close to you, will always have different views. What’s important is you know what you want.
  • If there's nothing to lose, don’t hesitate to take the risk.
Also, these six signs will tell you when it’s NOT a good idea to take a risk. Forget about risking something if:
  • There's a good chance you could lose everything
  • You’re putting so much on the line with only a little to gain
  • Too many factors are out of your control
  • You feel that the odds are against you
  • It’s impossible to fix the outcome if things go wrong
  • If there’s little time to evaluate or prepare before having to take the risk
If you’re still unsure of taking that first risk, keep in mind that there’s always a risk involved in order to get what you want.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Younger Looking Face is Double Chin Free

Double chins are an unfortunate part of the aging process. As you age, the skin around your chin and neck looses elasticity due to the forces of gravity and time. The accumulation of double chins or excess skin in the face is also caused by genetics (heredity), poor posture and excess calorie intake.

Your double chin could be something you inherited from your father or mother. You may also be predisposed to a double chin due to the shape of your neck and jaw.
Studies show that when you process more calories in your body, you also hasten the aging process. The signs of aging – a little bit of a belly, more weight in the butt and that crease below your chin – are usually more noticeable if a person is overweight and processing more calories.

One thing is for sure: double chins certainly don’t give you any points in beauty and confidence.

Nowadays, there are a lot of ways that can help you get rid of double chins, including liposuction and plastic surgery, which can be painful and don’t come cheap. But you don’t need to put your health at risk with these procedures because you can get rid of your double chin naturally and safely.

Losing weight and burning up your excess fats are the keys in getting rid of your double chin. You can tone your neckline and chin by:

  • Have a regular exercise routine. Burn the calories you consume by signing up for a gym and doing aerobic and anaerobic exercises as soon as possible.

  • Watching what you eat. Monitor and regulate your caloric intake. Eliminate or at least limit the amount of “empty” calories you consume like soda, candy, cookies and chips. Avoid processed carbs like white sugar and white flour because they easily turn into fat.

Here are other tips that will help you improve your appearance and make your double chin disappear:

  • Stand up straight.
  • Good body posture can make you look slimmer and more confident.
  • Change your hairstyle.
  • Choose a hairstyle that can remove attention from your chin and make you look slimmer
  • Accessorize wisely.
  • Wear tops that can remove attention from your chin but emphasizes your other assets.
  • Exercise your chin.
  • Believe it or not there is an exercise exclusive of your chin, focusing on muscle called platysma in which can firm your chin.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fighting the Fear of Failure

In this world nobody can say that they are perfect and never made a mistake. Committing errors is a part of the learning process but unfortunately not all can accept these mistakes. And this people are having the wrong idea that it would be more harmful if they made a mistake and they will never be able to cope up with it. And instead of having more opportunity to succeed they tend to fail more.

The fear of failure can keep your life on hold. It is said that in extreme cases, fear of failure can cause the person to restrict him/herself in doing anything that is risky or without guaranteed success. And therefore contain him/her in the same routine and not moving forward to achieve goals. Just like in the corporate world employees who try new things tend to get rewards for being innovative.

Fear of failure can also give bad impact to your health. Fear is a stress full event that triggers different glands to secrete hormones like adrenaline and dopamine which regulates increase heart rates and blood pressure. This reaction leads to fatigue, decrease of immune function and heart attack.

You have to overcome the fear to failure to be able to succeed. Here are some simple tips on how you can focus on success and overcome your fear:
  • Keep in mind that sometimes you fail.

  • Accept failure. Look at your mistakes in a positive way, instead of blaming yourself or others try to find what went wrong and solve it.

  • Remember that we all fail even the most successful person has a story of failure.

  • If you fail keep in mind that it should not be a reason for you to stop trying. Try and rtry until you succeed.

  • Talk about your fear with your family or friend. Find your strength and confidence with them.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Be a Volunteer and Enjoy its Benefits

In every community you will find people who are willing to help, somebody who dedicates their time on different charity work. But why are they doing this? What benefits are they getting?
Volunteer is a word that came from France which can be translated to “will”, a person who works in a community, doing something out of one’s free will. They may not get paid with the services being rendered but they can enjoy personal and health benefits.

In one of the survey conducted in Canada, it shows that by doing volunteer work, you may not get monetary benefits but you will be to enjoy its health and personal benefits.

Learning Something New
If you are doing volunteer work, different skills like interpersonal skills and communication skills tend to develop and increase knowledge on different health and community. It keeps your brain active and busy and which can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Make New Friends
Volunteer work keeps you working around with different people and share interest. This activity will eventually develop to friendship.

Build Confidence and Self – esteem
Volunteers require a lot of responsibility and leadership in most cases and with this you will develop your self confidence and self – esteem.

Tax Deduction Privilege
Expenses that associated with volunteering like travel expenses, convention attendance fees, etc. can be tax deductable.

There are a lot of things you will gain if you do volunteer work and that the government and many NGO’s are encouraging people to make their extra time more profitable.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Are You Ready To Walk Down The Aisle?

Marriage is the triumph of hope over experience – Samuel Johnson
Good news for women: experts predict that at least 4 out of 5 women in today's generation will eventually get married. Statistics from the National Marriage Project show that more than 90 percent of women from every generation in the records have gotten hitched.

On the downside, data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 50 percent of all marriages in which the brides are 25 or older end up in divorce for various reasons. It seems risky to get married because of the high divorce rate. But marriage has always been a risk since you don’t know how well you’ll get along with someone under the same roof regardless of how long you’ve known one another.

There is no foolproof way to find out if you’re ready to get married or not. What you can do is find out how well you really know your partner before you take your relationship to the next level and get engaged.

Here are some issues to reflect on:

Beliefs and Values
  • Do you and your partner have the same religious and political affiliation? If not, do you accept, respect and support each other's spiritual and political beliefs?
  • Do you value similar things like eating meals together?
  • Does your partner do things that you don't approve of, such as smoking and drinking alcohol or vice versa?
  • Can you put up with your partner’s idiosyncrasies?
  • Do the two of you have the same views when it comes to sex? (How often? Can you talk openly about it? Are you both satisfied?)
  • How do you handle disagreements as a couple?
Personal Lives
  • Are you aware of your partner’s medical history? (Things to consider are sexually transmitted diseases, chronic illness, history of illness in the family, special needs, etc.)
  • Has your partner ever been accused of a crime or jailed?
  • How was your partner's childhood like?
  • How do you spend your free time? Do you spend it with friends or do you prefer some “alone time”?
  • What are your partner's hobbies and passions? Do you understand and support them? Is he or she supportive of yours?
  • Is your partner open to discussing past relationships? Will you be comfortable with the information he or she reveals?
  • VERY IMPORTANT: Do you get along with your partner's parents?
Finances and Career
  • What is your partner's financial situation, including outstanding debt, credit score, etc.? (Once married, you will make financial decisions together)
  • Will both of you work?
  • Are you satisfied with your partner's ambition when it comes to work?
  • How many hours do you think should be devoted to work each week? How much time will you spend together?
  • How will you spend your total income? How much will you set aside for savings? Do you think you’ll agree on what to spend on, like vacations, cars, clothing and education of children?
  • Who will be in charge of your finances, like investments, balancing the checkbook, paying bills and taxes? Are you open to sharing the responsibilities?
Home and Family Life
  • Do you plan to buy a house and when?
  • Where do you plan to live? Are you open to relocating?
  • Do you plan to have children?
  • Do you agree on how many children you plan to have?
  • Who will stay home to take care of the kids?
  • Are you open to having any stepchildren around, if there are any?
  • How will you divide the household chores like cooking, shopping for groceries and doing laundry?
  • How will the in-laws fit in with your family life?
  • Do you plan to have pets?
  • Do you agree on where to send the children for schooling?
Marriage is one of the most beautiful things you can experience. Picking the right partner is one of the most important decisions of your life. Your future depends on your choice so don’t take the plunge unless you’re absolutely at peace with your decision.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Things You Can Do to Have Naturally Healthy and Younger Looking Skin

Skin is the most visible part of our body, having a surface area of about 15 – 20 square feet. It protects us from getting dried out and exposure from harmful toxins from the environment. And that is the reason why we need to take good care of it.

As we grow old our skin also ages usually called as internal aging process. More likely your skin will experience the following changes:
  • Collagen production slowing (collagen contributes to skin's firmness)

  • Elastin production decreasing (elastin contributes to skin's elasticity)

  • Fat cells beginning to disappear (which can lead to sagging skin)

  • Your skin losing its ability to retain moisture

  • Frown lines and "crow's feet" appearing due to small muscle contractions

  • Dead skin cells not being shed as quickly

  • Slightly less turnover of new skin cells

This changes usually results to wrinkles, dryness, sagging and discolorations such as “age spots” in which we are not trilled of having. But is there something we can do other that looking for the fountain of youth?

According to experts, diet and lifestyle can help you control the skin aging, here are some the techniques to keep your skin young and healthy:
  1. Drink more water. Nothing keeps your skin hydrated and supple better than a glass of pure H2O.

  2. Limit sun exposure and protect your skin with sun block when in the sun.

  3. Indulge in fruits and veggies. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will provide you with plenty of antioxidants that will help to protect your skin and overall health.

  4. Avoid cigarette smoke. Cigarette smoke exposes you to damaging free radicals that will accelerate the aging process by damaging the microcapillaries in the skin.

  5. Lay off the harsh soaps and cleansers. Most commercial soaps contain chemicals like tricolosan and sodium lauryl sulfate, which dry and irritate your skin.

  6. Use a good moisturizer to hydrate and plump up your skin cells.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Why Men or Women Cheat?

Have you ever cheated or thought about it? Or do you know somebody who cheated or been cheated?

Cheating is usually a sign of unhealthy relationship. And unfortunately cheating is now widespread. According to Susan Sheppard, cheating or infidelity affects 8 out of 10 marriages in the US. But what can be the reason for cheating? Are there hopes for relationship after cheating?

Experts say that reasons for cheating have evolved. Before traditional reasons for cheating for men are sexual desires but now more men are having emotional affair. On the other hand, from the unhappy relationships some women are now having sexual affairs.

Reasons for cheating vary from one person to another. But here are some common reasons why men or women cheat in general.
  • Emotional and Physical Needs
  • Emotional and physical attractions are important. There are times that when one partner needs to feel wanted, cared and understand emotionally and satisfied with their physical needs. And when this things are starting to be left out, sometimes infidelity stats to come in.

  • Constant Relationship Conflict
  • This is one of the common reasons for cheating. When a relationship is plagued with unhealthy fights and arguments, a person may seek for affection and attention from other person whom he/she feels to understand more.

  • Empowerment
  • Sometimes the need to feel that you can do things can also lead to cheating.

  • To end a Relationship
  • There are times when a person is in a bad relationship but having a hard time to break up with their mate, they tend to cheat and let their partners know it thinking that it is much easier to end a relationship.

A person has many reasons why they cheat but there is no right reason for cheating. It doesn’t matter why you cheat, what matters is that you did it and at some point you’re hurting somebody. There is still hope after one partner has cheated in a relationship. As long as they are still will to accept each other and start things all over again and never don’t cheat again.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Osteoporosis: A Silent Disease

Are you having severe back pain? Do you look smaller due to stooped posture? You might have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a silent disease in the bone. It makes the bone weaker and more likely to break that even a mild stress like coughing can cause fracture.

According to reports that in 10 people affected with osteoporosis, 8 of them are women and 2 of them are men. And it is considered as a “SILENT DISEASE”. In the early stages of bone loss, you will not feel pain or notice in any symptoms but once it became weak by osteoporosis you may notice the following symptoms:
  • Back pain
  • Loss of height over time
  • Fracture of the vertebrae
Other than age there are other risk factors of osteoporosis. According to NOF (National Osteoporosis Foundation), here are the factors that increase your risk of osteoporosis:
  • Personal history of fracture after age 50
  • Current low bone mass
  • Being female
  • Being thin and/or having a small frame
  • Advanced age
  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Estrogen deficiency as a result of menopause, especially early or surgically induced
  • Abnormal absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea)
  • Anorexia nervosa
  • Low lifetime calcium intake
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids and anticonvulsants
  • Presence of certain chronic medical conditions
  • Low testosterone levels in men
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Current cigarette smoking
  • Excessive use of alcohol
  • Being Caucasian or Asian, although African Americans and Hispanic Americans are at significant risk as well
Is there something we can do to prevent osteoporosis if we have one of these risk factors? The answer is yes. There are a lot of things you can do to strengthen your bones and decrease the risk of osteoporosis. These include:
  1. Eat a healthy diet that is rich with calcium and vitamin D.
  2. Regular exercise.
  3. Healthy lifestyle. No smoking and alcohol drinking.
  4. Visit a physician about bone density testing so that you will be able to monitor you bone density is normal to your age.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Breaking Free from Debt

Due to the worldwide economic crisis, it’s not unusual to hear people saying that they’re struggling to make ends meet. In fact, according to a Gallup survey, more than half of Americans are having financial problems. Because of the crisis, more and more people are having problems paying their bills and are racking up debt.

By definition, debt is an amount owed to a person or organization for funds borrowed. For many, borrowing cash or getting something on credit is a quick fix for money problems. However, the real problem starts when the debt starts to increase. In these tough times, staying debt-free may already be considered an accomplishment. However, economists believe that paying off debt can be easy if you are really focused on doing it.

Here are three simple steps that will help you get out of debt:
  1. Stop getting new debt.
  2. If you keep on adding on your things-to-pay list, your debt will eventually get out of control. Stop using your credit cards because they will put you deeper in debt.
  3. Save cash for emergency.
  4. You might be asking yourself “Why do I need to save before paying off a debt?” Simple – saving is more important than paying debts. This is because saving can help you cope up with unexpected expenses.
  5. Implement a debt snowball.
  6. Steps one and two may take you several months. The next logical step is to for you to pay your debts. It would be easier if you will pay your debt in increasing order. Settle the lowest balance first and then gradually pay the bigger debts until you pay off the highest. Set aside a specific amount to pay for debts every month. Always put your extra money to pay off your debt with the lowest balance.

Coping with debt is a long term process but if you have enough willpower, you will be able to get out of debt even if the economy is down. Here are additional tips to help you settle your debts:
  • Find additional income.
  • Signing up for overtime, doing consulting or finding a second job can help increase your income and decrease your debt balance.
  • Downsize when necessary and possible
  • This may sound difficult but the sacrifices will be worth it in the long run. Moving from a big house to a smaller one, selling one of your cars, eating at home instead of eating at fast foods and restaurants and decreasing your expenses can save you a lot of money to pay for your debts.
  • Keep your credit cards at home.
  • Buying only what you can and paying in cash can help you stop adding more debts.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What to do with your dry hair?

Hair is a protein filament that grows through the epidermis from follicles deep within the dermis which is most commonly found in mammals. It is a defining characteristic of the mammalian class. And in humans, generally hair is considered as a crowning glory” especially to women and a significant indicator of health and youth.

We have different hair issues but the most common is dry hair. A dry hair is a brittle and dull hair. It lacks oil and moisture. We may have dry hair every now and then because of different external factor but if the instances of dry hair are excessive, it can be a sign of a greater health issues.

Here are some of the causes of dry hair:

  1. Excessive Washing and Blow-Drying, Harsh Detergents
  2. Washing your hair too often, especially with a harsh shampoo, is a surefire way to strip moisture away. Heat from blow dryers, curling irons and electric curlers will also contribute to dryness.
  3. Environmental Dryness
  4. The climate you live in can also dry out your hair. Areas with lots of sun, dry heat and little humidity, for instance, will definitely make your hair drier than tropical, humid locales.
  5. Malnutrition
  6. A person who is malnourished does not take in the nutrients necessary for the body to maintain healthy hair. As a result, the hair becomes dry, brittle and damaged.

Basically, changing lifestyle can make your hair healthy. Eating healthy food and avoiding harmful chemicals and stress on your hair can make a difference. Here are other home remedies for dry hair:
  • Don’t overdo the shampoo and use gentle shampoo.
  • Excessive washing of hair and use of harsh shampoo can do more harm than good. It washes away natural oils and moisture.
  • Apply conditioner.
  • Little to no-alcohol conditioners can help you repair damage hair
  • Avoid the heat.

  • Frequent use of hot rollers, hot combs and blow dryers invites for dry hair.
  • Make it shine with beer.

  • Using beer after shampooing can help you regain the shine of your hair.
  • Add up additional oil.

  • Rubbing a little oil especially olive or coconut oil into the scalp can help your restore hair shine and softness.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

How to have Open Communication with your Teens

Teenage years from 13 – 19 years are considered one of the challenging years in a parent – child relationship. Parents and teenagers are having a hard time to catch with their generation gap and sometimes come to the point having a hard time communicating with each other. It is a phase wherein teens start to develop their sense of identity and that is the reason why they need more guidance.

Studies have shown that lack parental guidance and support may lead to unwanted behavior among teenagers like drinking, drugs, and having unprotected sex. And with this parents should have an open communication with their teenagers even though it can be a real struggle.

Here are some tips how you can keep communication lines open with your teenagers:

  • Asked questions and be “askable” yourself
  • Create a good, casual and interesting communication with your teens. Asked them about what happen at school, things that they do during the day. And let them feel that they can also ask you question even the sensitive ones.
  • Take your cue from your teenager - there's absolutely no point saying you want to talk, when he's rushing to get ready for a night out.
  • Try to spend time alone with your teenager and go out somewhere if there aren't any opportunities at home.
  • Treat your teenager with respect, much as you would another adult.
  • Don't overreact or fly off the handle if you don't like what you hear
  • Don't score points - like all of us, teenagers don't like being put down.
  • Don't try to impose your ideas - he'll inevitably reject what you have to offer.
  • Never put him down for his views or ideas; he needs your approval
  • Share information about what's going on in your life, but only for as long as your teen seems interested.
  • It's better to negotiate a solution than enforce your demands, so don't say, "I want your room cleaned up tonight," but "I'm getting really upset at the state of your room. When do you think you can tidy it up?"

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Things you don’t know about your cosmetics and make-ups

Most personal products like shampoo, conditioner, cosmetics and make-ups are used every day. But do you know how it is made and from what ingredient? And do you have any idea how safe it is to use?

Studies have been made and proved that most of the cosmetic companies are adding synthetic ingredients that may cause cancer or reproductive damage over the years of sustained used. According to the survey of EWG (Environmental Working Group), more than a quarter of women in the total population and one of every 100 men are using personal care products a day which mean greater exposure to toxic ingredients.

Here are some of the toxic ingredients found in most personal products that you might to avoid according to Skin Deep:

1. Mercury

This heavy metal is a possible human carcinogen and a human reproductive or developmental toxin. Used in some eye drops, ointments and mascaras (look for it listed as "thimerosal" on labels).

2. Placenta
Placenta produces hormones like progesterone and estrogen, which may interfere with your body's normal hormone functions and could lead to breast cancer and other health problems. Used in some hair relaxers, moisturizers and toners.

3. Petrochemicals

These byproducts of crude oil may be listed as petrolatum, mineral oil or paraffin on labels. They are suspected or known carcinogens and may also break down into toxic products such as dioxane. Used in some hair relaxers, shampoos, anti-aging creams, mascaras, perfumes, foundations, lipsticks and lip balms.

4. Phthalates

Phthalates are used in some nail polishes, fragrances and hair sprays. It is a plasticizing chemical that are probable reproductive or developmental toxins and endocrine disrupters. Two phthalates, dibutyl and diethylhexyl have been banned in the European Union.

5. Hydroquinone

This ingredient is a possible carcinogen, a probable reproductive or developmental toxin and endocrine disrupter and may leave permanent black-blue lesions on your skin. Used in some skin lightening products and moisturizers.

And because of these facts it is advices that before buying products read the labels and check if the ingredients are all-natural and safe. To give you an idea here are some of the safe and gentle ingredients:

• Aloe Vera
• Plant extract
• Essential Oils
• Organic oils

Monday, January 12, 2009

Foods that Can Lower Cholesterol

Generally, cholesterol is lipid or a fat like substance that occur in the body. It is said that a certain level of cholesterol is needed for the body to work. And according to American Heart Association, having cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or higher increases the risk of heart attack and high blood. Too much of it can stick to the walls of the arteries called plaques which can cause narrowing of the arteries or even block them.

High cholesterol is common to people who has a family history of it and to those who practice an unhealthy lifestyle like an eating habit of having fatty foods. It has no symptoms and can only be determined by a series of screening.

You can lower cholesterol level by taking medicine but it is better to do it naturally. According to the American Heart Association, "You can reduce cholesterol in your blood by eating healthful foods, losing weight if you need to and exercising." Here are some foods you can add to your diet to fight cholesterol.
  • Shitake Mushrooms
  • It contains an active component named eritadenine which shows to lower cholesterol.
  • Walnuts
  • It contains omega-3 fatty acids which is beneficial to the heart. And during the studies walnut can be substitute calories supplied by olives and other monounsaturated fats which lowers the cholesterol level.
  • SalmonThis fish is a
  • particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to lower LDL cholesterol while raising the good (HDL) kind.
  • Garlic
  • Numerous studies have demonstrated that eating garlic regularly reduces LDL cholesterol and raises HDL levels.
  • Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables
  • According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Family Heart Study, participants who ate four or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day had significantly lower levels of LDL cholesterol than those who ate fewer servings. Among the most powerful veggies are the dark green, leafy variety, such as spinach, kale, collard greens and Swiss chard.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Laughing: Key to a Happy Heart

Do you remember the last time you laugh your hearts out? How does it feel?

Most of us don’t even remember the last time the laugh because of the stressful world we are living in. But have you ever thought that it could give bad effects on your health. Experts say that emotions can affect your health. It is just like when you feel too much stress, anger, sadness, pain and guilt you take toll of your health. However laughter has a different effect.

A person’s ability to laugh gives a feeling of superiority and power. And foster a positive aura and hopeful attitude. And therefore helps you to have a happy heart. There were studies that show connection of healthy heart and laughter or ability to laugh. If the blood vessels vasodilation (ability to expand) is poor, it increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. During the study the 50% of the correspondents watch violent and stressful movies and the other group watches relaxing and humorous movies and checked the vasodilation. They found that:

  • Blood flow was significantly reduced by about 35 percent of the volunteers who saw the stressful film.
  • Blood flow significantly increased by 22 percent of the volunteers after watching the funny movie.
Laughter and humor is similar to exercise. A regular dose or laughing as often as you can make you feel better and help you prevent some health problems. Here are some of the positive effects of laughter and humor to your health:

  • An increase in the number and activity level of natural killer cells that attack viral infected cells and some types of cancer and tumor cells.
  • An increase in activated T cells (T lymphocytes). There are many T cells that await activation. Laughter appears to tell the immune system to "turn it up a notch."
  • An increase in the antibody IgA (immunoglobulin A), which fights upper respiratory tract insults and infections.
  • An increase in gamma interferon, which tells various components of the immune system to "turn on."
  • An increase in IgB, the immunoglobulin produced in the greatest quantity in body, as well as an increase in Complement 3, which helps antibodies to pierce dysfunctional or infected cells. The increase in both substances was not only present while subjects watched a humor video; there also was a lingering effect that continued to show increased levels the next day.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How to Spend Less this New Year

During the holiday season most of us has spent majority of their hard earned money on parties, reunions and gift giving. It is now time to pay all the debts and spend less and save more. Generally life is expensive. But that should not be reason not to enjoy life. Here are some practical tips on how to spend less from Money Saving Insights and Wealth Management:
  • Review magazine subscriptions.
  • Do you read all your magazines? Stop subscriptions that you don’t use or read and if possible ask or find the best deals for magazine subscriptions.

  • Visit a farmer’s market.
  • Most cities have farmer’s market. You will find fresh and in season produce and the best part is that it cheaper than the grocery store.

  • Take advantage of the discount rates.
  • If you’re a student, teacher or a senior citizen, most establishments offers discounted rates so don’t hesitate to grab it.

  • Ask for the best price.
  • It is always a good practice when buying products, renting cars, booking a hotel room to ask for the best price they have. This kind of establishments don’t usually offer best price immediately, most of the time you must ask for it.

  • Enjoy the outdoors.
  • Now is a perfect time to visit your area parks and forest preserves. Pack a picnic and head outside for some hiking, biking or just a little fresh air.

  • Be a volunteer.
  • Not only is this a great mood booster and excellent way to meet new people, but if you volunteer at a theater or sporting event, you'll also get free admission.

  • Cook dinner together.
  • Instead of taking the family to a pricey dinner out, stay in and cook dinner as a family. Choose something simple and fun, that kids can help with -- like quesadillas, tacos or veggie pizza.

  • Stay active, stay healthy.
  • Being active, doing regular exercise and staying healthy is a good way to save money on health bills.

  • Do home massage.
  • Give your partner a good massage. It's sensual, mutually beneficial, and free!