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9 Dental Health Myths That You Should Stop Believing Now

For you to keep your overall health, experts say that you shouldn’t neglect your oral health. It’s because a healthy set of teeth is one of the indicators of your well-being. Failure to take care of it is the same as letting your physical health down the drain.

Thus, it’s not surprising that a lot of people today consider their oral health as one of their priorities for having a healthy lifestyle. However, there are still some folks out there who believe in dental myths. Instead of making their teeth healthy, wrong beliefs cause their oral health to deteriorate.

To clear things, below is a list of dental myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: The More Sugar You Eat, The Worse It is For Your Teeth

dental health myths

Yes, sugar can cause cavities on your teeth. However, having tooth cavities is not much about the amount of sugar you consume, but how long it stays in your mouth.

Sugar creates acid that wears away the enamel of your tooth.

So, if sugar stays longer in your mouth, the more it produces acid and the more chances your teeth will have cavities. Thus, after eating sugary food, you should brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.

Myth #2: You Should Only Blame Sugar

It’s not true that sugar is the only bad guy that causes tooth cavity. Starchy foods, alcohol, citrus fruits, and sugar-free carbonated drinks can also cause damage to your precious teeth.

So, if you’re indeed prioritizing your oral health, you should quit eating those foods and start eating fruits and vegetables that are abundant in fiber. Fiber-rich foods can generate the flow of saliva that restores the mineral in your teeth.

Myth #3: Chewing Sugar-Free Gum is as Good as Brushing

Some people believe that chewing a sugarless gum does well as brushing your teeth. If science backs this argument, children would surely be happy. However, it’s not accurate.

Although a sugar-free gum that contains xylitol can help protect your teeth, it still won’t replace your toothbrush in providing yourself with good oral hygiene.

You still need to see to it that you brush your teeth thrice a day to make your teeth pearly clean and to clear away the bad breath.

Myth #4: Flossing is Unnecessary

Some folks out there consider flossing unnecessary and a waste of time. They argue that brushing is enough. Unfortunately, experts say that brushing your teeth is not sufficient. You should include flossing in your oral health regimen.

It’s because there are parts in your mouth that your toothbrush may find hard to reach. That would amount to 33 percent of your mouth uncleaned. To achieve optimal oral health, make it a habit to floss your teeth.

Myth #5: Hard Brushing Will Make Your Teeth Cleaner

hard brushing

It’s not true that brushing your teeth hard can make it cleaner. In fact,  hard brushing can cause bleeding and damage to your teeth and gums. It can chip away the tooth enamel that serves as a shield from bacteria.

So, it will do you better if you brush your teeth gently. If your gums and teeth are sensitive, you should use a soft-bristled toothbrush when brushing.

Always keep in mind that you should brush your teeth in a 45-degree angle to your gums. Don’t forget to work the toothbrush inside and outside the parts of your teeth. Also, clean your tongue as well as your gums.

Myth #6: Pearly White Teeth is Healthy

It’s a common misconception for many that a set of white teeth is healthy. The thing is that having a set of white teeth is not a standard for optimal oral health. That’s because humans don’t have the same natural color for their teeth.

An individual can have a whiter set of teeth than another, but it doesn’t mean that the person has better oral hygiene. Fresh breath and zero cavity are the primary indications that a person has healthy teeth.

Myth #7: Aspirin is Better at Soothing Toothache

There’s truth that aspirin can relieve your toothache temporarily if the source of pain is from the gum area. However, if the pain comes from the inside of the tooth, aspirin won’t be that effective. It’s because this medicine can’t infiltrate the inside of the teeth to soothe the affected nerve.

It’s also wrong to take too much aspirin to alleviate your toothache as it burns the gums and can cause further complication.

Myth #8: Tooth Bleaching is Bad

There was a time when tooth bleaching is terrible for the teeth. Before 1990, dentists apply acidic ingredients and highly-concentrated whitening gel in the bleaching process that cause damage to the teeth. These ingredients harm the teeth and prompt the enamel to crumble.

Today, however, dentists only apply pH neutral solution in bleaching. A pH neutral solution gives you no worries as it keeps your white teeth while keeping it unharmed at the same time.

Myth #9: A Dentist is Unnecessary When You Don’t Have a Toothache

People who fail to visit a dentist pay the price when it comes to their oral health. Even if you don’t have a toothache, visiting a dentist is a must for the prevention of oral health diseases.

You should keep in mind that you can’t see the progress of oral health problems immediately at the beginning. For instance, you won’t feel any pain when the cavities are just starting to form on the tooth enamel. It’s also true with gum disease.

For you to prevent these oral health problems from happening, you should regularly visit a dentist to check your teeth. Dental experts can give you an oral check-up to improve your oral health.

See Also: Dental Care for Children With Special Needs

Takeaway

There are a lot of proper ways to keep your teeth healthy, but there are also dental myths you have to be aware of. In improving your teeth, it’s essential that you’re cautious about those misconceptions.

The post 9 Dental Health Myths That You Should Stop Believing Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

5 Ways To Get Physically Fit Without Spending Too Much Money

According to research by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), more than 1 in 3 adults are overweight and 1 in 13 adults have extreme obesity.

The findings mentioned above are to be expected in today’s fast-paced environment. More and more people spend long hours at work to maintain their financial resources. Unfortunately, this 9-to-5 lifestyle often affects our food and lifestyle choices. Most adults on a tight budget avoid the gym because they don’t want to spend money on monthly membership fees.

It may seem like a wise investment to some, but let’s be honest. A gym or fitness center can be heavy on the pocket.

However, sticking to your budget doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your health. Getting fit on a budget is totally possible.

So, here are 5 of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to get physically fit without burning holes in your wallet.

Walk 10,000 steps a day

walk daily

Most of us take our phone everywhere. We use it to message friends, take photos, send emails, and much more. So, why not take advantage of this hand-held device and use it to track our fitness levels, too?

iPhones have an inbuilt step-tracker loaded as a standard feature. But the latest study suggests that using our smartphone to track the total steps taken in one day may not be accurate. Researchers found that the iPhone’s built-in pedometer missed about 1340 steps (almost half a mile) in a day.

This is why we recommend you to invest in a physical tracker or a pedometer as it can help you achieve your goal of walking 10,000 steps a day. Walking for 30 minutes a day has tons of health benefits and can help keep chronic illnesses at bay.

Watch what you eat

If you are looking to lose fat and build muscle, then you need to increase your intake of healthy food. Eat a balanced diet that contains protein to help build muscles, fruits and vegetables for mineral and fiber, wholesome carbs to keep those energy levels high, and healthy fats to boost fat loss. Don’t forget to drink ample amounts of water to stay hydrated.

Eating healthy doesn’t always have to be expensive. Whether you are a student or an adult living within a limited amount of money, here are 20 tips that will help you make better food choices on a budget.

Volunteer for a good cause

We are a firm believer in the idea that what goes around, comes around. Try giving a few hours in a week to your nearest nonprofit organization. Help them with physical work like garden digging, trail building or training your local sports team. You’ll experience double the satisfaction. Nothing beats the good feeling that arises after helping others and the soreness that comes from working hard for a good cause.

See Also: The Power of Volunteering

Clean up

clean up

Believe it or not, you can burn a lot of calories by cleaning, especially if it is the intense spring-cleaning sort. The exact number of calories spent during housework and cleaning varies from person to person and depends on the individual’s weight.

Stay away from toxic chemicals and don’t contaminate your environment by using them regularly. Use mild cleaners like soap, water, and vinegar which do an equally good job. Get moving by pushing the couch and cleaning underneath it. Wash the windows and get out all the extra stuff out from the garage.

Catch up with a friend

Catching up with a friend or colleague for a game of tennis, golf or swimming is a great way to combine socialization and exercise. You’ll feel motivated and refreshed after flexing those muscles and spending quality time with a cherished one. Remember, the key is to avoid picking up a pack of beer on your way back and passing out in front of the TV!

Conclusion

If you want to live a long and healthy life on a budget, think positively and work hard to achieve your goals. Visit your physician at least once a year to know more about the workout that best suits your body type. Use a waist trainer to maintain a correct posture during the workout session.

Eat home-cooked food at least five days a week. According to research, home-cooked meals are far more nutritious and healthier than convenience foods. Plus, apply the Japanese concept of living and eat till you are 80% full instead of wiping your plate clean every time. Give up smoking and drink occasionally.

Just make these small changes in your lifestyle and switch to these lifelong habits. You’ll notice a rise in your mental and physical health while staying well within your budget.

Do you have any tips or tricks that can help stay us fit without spending bucket loads of money? Share your best-kept fitness secrets with us in the comments below.

The post 5 Ways To Get Physically Fit Without Spending Too Much Money appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Avoid Decision Fatigue: Learn The Steps for Effective Delegation

Small business owners are no strangers to sacrifice. Whether it’s spending your family vacation tied to your laptop or skipping a paycheck to float the business, owners give their all to help their business succeed. But if you’re working long nights trying to do everything yourself, you’re probably not making your business grow.

Paralyzed Overthinker: Delays making choices, creating more work in the long run.
Overwhelmed Hothead: Easily frustrated and overly combative.
Immediate-Satisfaction Seeker: Takes impulsive shortcuts that favor short-term goals.

Does one of these profiles describe you?

If so, you might be suffering from decision fatigue. Decision fatigue robs your brain of its decision-making powers and has a negative effect on your business. Learning the steps for effective delegation can help you refocus on your long-term goals.

Step 1: Hire the Right Team

hire the right team

Small businesses can struggle to compete with the salaries and benefits offered by larger companies, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to find the right people. Focus on what you do have to offer. It can be flexible work hours or better company culture. Try to hire people who are a good fit for your company and are committed to sticking around.

Replacing a single employee can cost nearly a quarter of their annual salary. Specialized employees whose replacements might need additional training can cost even more. The good news is, as freelancing grows more common, you may be able to find qualified flexible staff who can work only when you need them.

When hiring contract workers keep in mind:

  • Freelancers only work when needed, but you can always offer a full-time position later
  • Find someone qualified so you don’t waste time training freelancers
  • There’s no guarantee your flex staff will be available when you need them
  • Flex staff are less invested in your company, meaning they’ll bail if a better offer appears

See Also: What Managers Should Know About Motivating Their Team

Step 2: Create a Training Manual

A training or operations manual can guide your employees through procedures and decision making even if you’re not around to provide input. Your manual should lay out procedures that are consistent, proactive, and any staff member can follow. Design your policies and procedures so they’ll scale easily as your company grows. That way, you’ll be able to save yourself from major organization shifts down the road.

When writing your training manual, be sure to include:

  • An overview of your company’s history and story
  • Your mission statement, company culture, and long-term goals
  • Descriptions of major systems and operations
  • Job descriptions for each employee, including their specific responsibilities
  • Instructions and procedures for regular operations and tasks

You can streamline your operations even more by creating form letters for responding to common client questions. With a little tweaking, your staff will be able to quickly answer queries without bugging you for input. Once you have a well-trained staff in place, you’ll be free to let go of daily decisions and focus on the bigger picture: growing your business.

Step 3: Time to Delegate

effective delegation

If you’ve prepared your business and your employees well, beginning to delegate should be natural and easy. Start by considering each employee’s skills and match their strengths to the tasks at hand. Don’t dump a whole set of new responsibilities on the same employee. Give everyone the time to adjust to a new task before asking one to take on even more.

It’s always important to keep in mind how much time each employee has available. It might be tempting to delegate all administrative tasks to your office manager, but if he’s already working late every night, you’ll need to get other staff to help out, too. Asking one employee to do too much is a recipe for disaster. Many workers will simply get fed up and leave the company.

Delegate tasks that don’t require your input or don’t match your expertise, such as:

  • Bookkeeping and payroll
  • Social media management
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Legal counsel
  • Data entry
  • Web design

Regardless of what you delegate and to whom, remember that you’re asking your staff to take on extra work and extra responsibility. Be sure to acknowledge and be grateful for their extra effort. Always offer constructive feedback and give thanks for a job well done.

To learn more about how delegation can help your business thrive, check out this infographic:

The post Avoid Decision Fatigue: Learn The Steps for Effective Delegation appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

In Sickness and In Health: How to Cope With A Sick Partner

When you get married, you might write your own vows or you might stick with something that’s tried and true. Either way, you are pledging yourself, your love, and your support to another human being through all of life’s tricky circumstances. But what happens when things go awry and life throws your relationship a curve ball? How do you cope and start dealing with chronic illness in marriage?

What Does Facing Illness or Injury Do To Your Relationship?

love in health

There are different illnesses and injuries that can occur. Dealing with a broken arm is far different than dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Either way, however, even the slightest incapacitation of a partner can change the dynamic of your relationship significantly.

All of a sudden, the daily roles to which you have become accustomed to change and things between you and your partner change as well. You become either a caretaker or the one being cared for. Either way, this can alter your connection with or perception of your partner.

Romance often takes a backseat as you and your partner adjust to your new roles. This change, along with the altered responsibilities, often causes problems for the relationship and each partner individually.

The change in a relationship when dealing with chronic illness in marriage may also lead to emotional issues. Depression is not uncommon and it can affect the both of you.

If you think that you or your partner is depressed, there are resources you can reach out for help. This is critical when the effects become long-term.

Unfortunately, these hurdles can be difficult to jump and can lead to bigger challenges than just romantic issues. The divorce rate among couples, especially younger couples, where one partner faces health issues is much higher than that of the general population.

Dealing with Chronic Illness in Marriage

So, what can you do to protect your relationship and keep it healthy, even if one of you is not?

Communicate. Each of you is going through something difficult and unique. You need to talk about it. Understanding your partner’s point of view is crucial. When you are wrapped up in the changes you are facing, it becomes easy to forget how those changes are affecting your partner. Discussing how you each feel can create empathy and respect for the other’s circumstance. Neither is easy. And although you are each facing tough times individually, you can actually support each other and go through them together as well.

communicate with each other

Seek support. Friends and family are particularly important in times like this. This is true for both of you. Stress during such time can be a lot to handle and people that care for you can provide perspective and relief. And no, you are not likely to be imposing or taking advantage by leaning on them a bit. If they are people that care about you, they will most likely be happy to be there for you. Even just a conversation to get your mind off things can help.

Remember the love. Yes, things are different and they are likely difficult. However, you fell in love and made a life together for a reason. Remind yourself of this. Pledging your life to another person really is for better and worse, in health and in sickness. You have to hold onto the good times to get through the bad. Remind your partner of these things, too. Each of you is likely to get bogged down in the current circumstances and forget to look at the big picture.

Conclusion

Regardless of the seriousness of the health issues – whether they’re temporary (hopefully) or permanent (worst case) – your relationship can survive. Certainly, the severity of the problem will impact the difficulty of keeping things together, but it can be done.

Remember that you’re not alone. Not only do you have each other but you also have resources in the form of your family and friends. Of course, there are also your trusted healthcare professionals to take care of you and your spouse during the tough times. They can help you get through things. Most of the time, all you have to do is ask.

The post In Sickness and In Health: How to Cope With A Sick Partner appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Digital Detox: Should You Switch Off For The Benefit Of Your Health?

We are a nation of gadget addicts and knowing how to disconnect from technology isn’t easy for most of us.

These days, it seems if we’re not quadruple-screening with the television, iPad, laptop, and phone, we’re checking relentless WhatsApp pings in meetings, snatching furtive glances at our iPhone’s glow in darkened cinemas and live-tweeting the births of our own children. It’s like the country – in fact, the whole planet – has hit peak internet. While the magic of the world wide web is undeniable, more and more of us are realizing that it might be time to switch off.

Considering a digital detox? Wondering how to disconnect from technology?

There are a few key stages you’ll need to work through if you’re going to survive this challenge but the benefits could be overwhelming. Here goes…

Admit you have a problem

If you’re considering an electronic detox, you’re obviously aware that your level of screen-time is getting ridiculous. It’s truly admitting that you’re an addict that will set you on the path to digital detox success.

While apps like Moment can help you monitor how much time you spend on your phone and how often you pick it up, a simple hand-written list of what gadgets you rely on, and which apps your eyes dart to again and again will help you see just how much technology rules your life. It gives you a chance to fall back in love with a pencil and paper.

Get away from it all

If seriously ousting your gadgets from daily life is a prospect too terrifying to deal with, a tech-free holiday might be your perfect compromise.

Grab some cheap and cheerful throw-away cameras so you won’t be tempted to reach for your phone. Head off to some place where the air is fresh and your biggest distraction will be the moo-ing of cows or the rustle of the breeze.

This digital detox guide by holidaycottages.co.uk gives some serious insight into the potential benefits of powering down.

Kick it old school

On the subject of a notepad and pen, one of the best ways to gently ease yourself from the clutches of gadgets is to rediscover the chilled-out, back-in-the-day alternatives to these apps.

The ‘Notes’ app on your phone can be one, for a start. There’s no purer joy than scribbling yourself a ‘To Do’ list and proudly ticking off the day’s essential tasks.

Obsessed with Whatsapp?

Tell friends that if they need you, they should give you a call. You’ll be surprised at the wonders an hour-long chat with your partner can work.

If Candy Crush is your happy place, a crossword or Sudoku may feel like hard work but after a day or two, your iPhone’s garish screen will seem painfully harsh.

Be ruthless with your rules

Set yourself some clear, manageable boundaries and work from there.

Always checking your messages? Push notifications have to go. At first it’s tough and you may find yourself checking just as much to see what’s going on inside your suddenly silent apps.

Set a time of day when you can catch up on your correspondence. If your Snapchat and Whatsapp are clogged with Kardashians memes or friends using the Impossibly Perfect filter, consider deleting the apps altogether.

Leave your phone in one place and only use it when you need to. It’s better than keeping it with you for every tea-break and toilet trip like some buzzing, bleeping security blanket.

Switch off long before bedtime

Scrolling aimlessly before bedtime is a habit many of us are guilty of, but it’s also a dangerous one.

If you need your evening Instagram fix, post or search with the lights on and then put your phone away. Take twenty to thirty minutes to read, meditate, write a diary or shower with your phone out of the way until morning.

A proper old-fashioned alarm clock or a wake-up light will get you up and at ‘em without leading you into a Youtube vortex before breakfast. Imagine!

See Also: The Negative Effects of Technology in Child Development

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Does Your Child Really Need Glasses? Here’s How You Can Tell

Approximately one-third of children (under 18) in the United States wear glasses or contact lenses. Yet, many children don’t have the glasses they need. 14% of 5th graders went without needed glasses in the last year and nearly one-quarter of teens with correctable vision have the wrong prescription. Among African-American and Mexican-American teens, that rises to one-third who are wearing glasses with an insufficient prescription.

The Role Vision in Learning

role vision in learning

Nearly half of children don’t notice they’re struggling to see until they can’t see the board in the classroom. At that point, their vision is likely already affecting their learning and performance in school.

Poor vision makes it difficult to read. It can cause headaches and tiredness that can interfere with one’s ability to focus on a task.

Parents often don’t realize their child has trouble seeing until told they need glasses during an eye exam. Kids rarely complain about poor vision because it’s all they’ve ever known. Don’t let your child fall behind – learn to spot the signs of poor vision.

Signs Your Child May Need Glasses

sign of poor vision in children

If you notice these signs that your child is struggling to see, it’s time for an eye exam:

  • Tilting head to the side or covering one eye
  • Holding books or mobile devices too close
  • Sitting very near the television
  • Complaining of headaches
  • Struggling to do well in school
  • Difficulty learning to read
  • Frequently rubbing eyes

Early Intervention for Eye Health

Early detection of vision disorders is essential to children’s learning and development. In preschoolers, poor vision has been linked to delays in cognitive and motor development. Not being able to see clearly can interfere with children’s ability to learn and early treatment can be key to preventing further loss of vision.

Head Start provides preschool education to children from low-income families and requires every child to be screened for vision and eye health. As a result, 1 in 5 preschoolers enrolled in Head Start has a diagnosed vision problem. For children not enrolled in Head Start, regular visits to your pediatrician should include an eye check and screening for indication of poor vision.

Milestones for Infants & Toddlers

If your child has difficulty reaching these milestones it could be a sign of poor vision or other developmental issues. See your pediatrician for follow-up and testing.

  • Maintaining eye contact (8 weeks)
  • Smiling at familiar people (3-4 months)
  • Watching and mimicking hand movements (5 months)
  • Looking at and reaching for an object (6-7 months)
  • Recognizing familiar faces (7-9 months)
  • Pointing at pictures in books (9-12 months)

Vision Care for Children

Don’t ignore vision care just because your child doesn’t show signs of blurry vision. Vision care includes monitoring eye health through regular check-ups, in addition to determining the need for corrective lenses. An eye exam is recommended for every child with a family history of poor vision, a recognizable eye abnormality (such as the lazy eye), or who has other risk factors for vision problems.

Check out this infographic to learn more about children’s vision and eye health:

Please include attribution to FramesDirect.com with this graphic.

How to Tell if Your Kid Needs Glasses Infographic

The post Does Your Child Really Need Glasses? Here’s How You Can Tell appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Real Ways To Help An Addicted Love One

If one of your loved ones has a drug addiction, you know that the road to recovery is typically a very long, challenging, and heartbreaking journey that the entire family will go on. You may get so overwhelmed that you decide to ignore the issue and sweep it under the rug.

However, this can cause more damage to you, your loved one, and your entire family. If you’re not sure what to say to a family member in this situation, we’ll give you several useful tips so you can help your loved one start and stay on the journey to recovery.

Understanding Drug Addiction

Before you can help your addicted loved one, you have to understand the addiction itself. Perhaps they started their drug addiction because all of their friends were experimenting, they were curious, or they wanted to numb themselves to emotional pain.

Although drug use doesn’t automatically mean that your loved one is going to abuse drugs, the line between recreational user and drug addict is often blurry, and it’s difficult to pinpoint a single point where it goes from recreational use to addicted.

help addicts

However, if drug use is starting to cause issues with relationships or in a work environment, your loved one could be slipping toward addiction. Common risk factors for drug abuse include:

  • A family history of addiction
  • Traumatic experiences like abuse or neglect
  • Mental health disorders
  • Early exposure and use of drugs

Symptoms of Drug Abuse

There are several physical and behavioral symptoms that come with drug addiction. While each drug comes with separate manifestations, and symptoms vary depending on the drug, a few common symptoms include:

  • Mood swings
  • Sudden behavioral changes
  • Glassy or red eyes
  • Withdrawing from family
  • Runny nose
  • Lack of energy
  • Changes in the sleeping patterns
  • Sudden changes in how much money they’re spending

Six Ways to Help a Loved One With a Drug Addiction

There are several things that you can do to help support your loved one as they fight their drug addiction.

1. Educate Yourself About Drug Addiction

The first thing you want to do is to educate yourself about drug addiction, the signs, symptoms, and the addiction process. Drug addiction is extraordinarily complex, but educating yourself will give you the tools you need to recognize the signs of addiction and how it affects your loved one. You’ll learn how to recognize that your loved one is struggling and needs help.

2. Offer Your Support

A lot of the time, someone who has a drug addiction doesn’t understand how much they mean to their families and how much their families love them. Talk to your loved one as soon as you notice a problem. Don’t watch and wait for them to hit their rock bottom. Let them know that you know there is a problem and that you’re going to be there to support them.

3. Open the Lines of Communication

Family members and friends worry that opening up the lines of communication can lead the loved one with the addiction to take drastic steps. While this may be true in some cases, it can also go very well. When you start the discussion, keep these points in mind:

  • Wait until the person seems sober. They’re less likely to lash out, and the can understand logical thinking more clearly. They’re also more likely to be honest with you and have a conversation.
  • Set up a time to talk when you have more than five minutes alone together. You want to have a two-way conversation where you can discuss your concerns and understand what your loved one is thinking and feeling.
  • Emphasize to your loved one that you care for them and that worry about their well being is what is motivating you to talk to them.
  • If they deny that there is a problem, table the discussion for a future date. You’re not trying to convince the person that they have a problem. You’re trying to let them know that you believe there is a problem and that you care.
  • Most importantly, know that there is no quick fix for addiction. The recovery journey is going to be a long and involved process.

4. Get Everyone United

It won’t be beneficial for anyone involved if people are not on the same page. Addiction can make people manipulative, and everyone has to present a united front. You’re all there to help your loved one. The easiest way to do this is to have all of their friends and family current and willing to offer support.

5. Ask Your Loved One to Seek Treatment

rehab center

It’s almost impossible for someone with an addiction to stop on their own. The best drug rehab treatment centers can be wonderful places for an addict to start the healing process. Treatment centers are not one size fits all, so it’s important that you find and choose the best rated rehabs for addiction treatment. They’ll be able to get counseling to help them deal with the cause of their addiction as well as learn life skills to help them cope without drugs.

6. Stand By Your Loved One as an Ongoing Recovery Process

Rehab isn’t an instant fix. There simply isn’t an instant fix for drug addiction. It’s critical that your loved one feels like they have your full support throughout the recovery process. Encourage them to seek ongoing care, attend meetings, and join a recovery support group. Your family can attend a support group for families of addicts and go through a recovery process.

Drug addiction can be a devastating and scary time for both the family and the person with the addiction. However, recovery is possible with the best drug rehab treatment centers. Additionally, these six steps can help you understand what your loved one is going through and how to help them on their recovery journey.

The post 6 Real Ways To Help An Addicted Love One appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

‘Dead’ woman wakes up in a morgue. Why does this keep happening?

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A woman was taken to the morgue and pronounced dead after a car crash near Johannesburg in South Africa. 

The only problem? She wasn’t dead.

According to the BBC, the unnamed woman woke up in a mortuary fridge after a car pile-up on June 24 which reportedly left two others dead.

The woman was discovered by a morgue worker, according to the news service, and she is now recovering in a hospital east of Johannesburg.

The woman’s family declined to comment on the incident to the BBC, but said, “We need answers.”

So, how did this happen? An investigation is reportedly underway. Ambulance company Distress Alert, who mispronounced the woman dead, told news publisher Times Live, “Equipment used to determine life showed no form of life on the woman.” Read more…

More about Death, Hospital, Morgue, Culture, and Health

How to Stop Being Lazy And Work Out

Are you too lazy to get your butt to the gym?

No matter how much time you have at hand and how much you intend to workout, you are simply unable to do it. Either it’s too hot outside, you have too much work, you can’t afford a gym membership or you have to meet someone – the list of excuses goes on.

But if you are worried about your current physique and want to get fit, being lazy isn’t going to help you.

When you feel lazy, you will always find an excuse not to exercise. However, the truth is that it’s not as straining as you imagine it to be. Manage your time well and you can get a load of benefits with the least effort.

All you need to do is devote at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, three times a week, for working out.

Here is a list of bare minimum workout guidelines and tips on how to stop being lazy and workout

Avoid The Elevator And Take The Stairs

Elevators have made all of us lazy. Do you remember the last time you took the stairs?

If strong, muscular legs are what you want, use the stairs. A simple staircase workout is an effective way to improve your fitness and overall health. It engages the muscles in your legs and with every step you take, your fitness levels are boosted.

It engages your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, depending on the pacing. From lunging through every step or taking skater steps, you can do a wide range of exercises with a staircase.

Walk At Least Once A Day for 15 to 20 Minutes

Whether it is to your friend’s place or to buy groceries, take a walk. You don’t always need a mode of transportation everywhere you go. Just use your legs. This will not only help you cut down on fuel or transport charges but also improve your health.

You can start by using every excuse to walk, like parking your vehicle far and walking the way back, taking your pet for a walk or walking around in a garden. If gasping for breath after a tiring gym session is not your cup of tea, a refreshing walk is what you need.

Become More Active In Sports

If you are someone who is lazy, you will always look for ways to avoid working out. But when it comes to sports, you tend to be enthusiastic, no matter how much physically exhausted you might be.

Enroll in a sports club or a local team of your favorite sport. It works better than spending hours at the gym. From getting your heart racing to boosting your stamina and making you fit, a good sport does it all.

If it is something you enjoy, you won’t even feel the strain while you are burning calories by the minute.

Don’t Sit At Your Desk All Day

Do you have a desk job? Then remember to stand up at least once every hour to walk around, get a snack, or say hello to a colleague.

Sitting all day while hunched over a keyboard is not good for your posture or health. Make a conscious effort to stand up every once in a while. You can use your breaks to get some basic workout done. For example, you can go up and down the stairs, go out for a walk or do some squats or lunges in the restroom.

Workout At Home – In Bed!

That’s right. Working out is not restricted to just going to the gym.

You can stay at home and still get some exercise done. All you need to know are a few basic exercises that you can do even if you are still in bed. You can try hip raises, push-ups, crunches, and pelvic twists.

Those few minutes of exercise will not only make you feel fresh but also boost and energize you for the rest of the day. And you will start seeing results within a few days, too.

These are a few alternatives if you are too lazy to hit the gym. Exercise is something you can do anywhere and everywhere. All you need to do is get your butt moving. So, start today and you will no longer repeat the excuse of being too lazy to be fit.

The post How to Stop Being Lazy And Work Out appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stop Being Lazy And Workout

Are you too lazy to get your butt to the gym?

No matter how much time you have at hand and how much you intend to workout, you are simply unable to do it. Either it’s too hot outside, you have too much work, you can’t afford a gym membership or you have to meet someone – the list of excuses goes on.

But if you are worried about your current physique and want to get fit, being lazy isn’t going to help you.

When you feel lazy, you will always find an excuse not to exercise. However, the truth is that it’s not as straining as you imagine it to be. Manage your time well and you can get a load of benefits with the least effort.

All you need to do is devote at least 20 to 30 minutes a day, three times a week, for working out.

Here is a list of bare minimum workout guidelines and tips on how to stop being lazy and workout

Avoid The Elevator And Take The Stairs

Elevators have made all of us lazy. Do you remember the last time you took the stairs?

If strong, muscular legs are what you want, use the stairs. A simple staircase workout is an effective way to improve your fitness and overall health. It engages the muscles in your legs and with every step you take, your fitness levels are boosted.

It engages your glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps, depending on the pacing. From lunging through every step or taking skater steps, you can do a wide range of exercises with a staircase.

Walk At Least Once A Day for 15 to 20 Minutes

Whether it is to your friend’s place or to buy groceries, take a walk. You don’t always need a mode of transportation everywhere you go. Just use your legs. This will not only help you cut down on fuel or transport charges but also improve your health.

You can start by using every excuse to walk, like parking your vehicle far and walking the way back, taking your pet for a walk or walking around in a garden. If gasping for breath after a tiring gym session is not your cup of tea, a refreshing walk is what you need.

Become More Active In Sports

If you are someone who is lazy, you will always look for ways to avoid working out. But when it comes to sports, you tend to be enthusiastic, no matter how much physically exhausted you might be.

Enroll in a sports club or a local team of your favorite sport. It works better than spending hours at the gym. From getting your heart racing to boosting your stamina and making you fit, a good sport does it all.

If it is something you enjoy, you won’t even feel the strain while you are burning calories by the minute.

Don’t Sit At Your Desk All Day

Do you have a desk job? Then remember to stand up at least once every hour to walk around, get a snack, or say hello to a colleague.

Sitting all day while hunched over a keyboard is not good for your posture or health. Make a conscious effort to stand up every once in a while. You can use your breaks to get some basic workout done. For example, you can go up and down the stairs, go out for a walk or do some squats or lunges in the restroom.

Workout At Home – In Bed!

That’s right. Working out is not restricted to just going to the gym.

You can stay at home and still get some exercise done. All you need to know are a few basic exercises that you can do even if you are still in bed. You can try hip raises, push-ups, crunches, and pelvic twists.

Those few minutes of exercise will not only make you feel fresh but also boost and energize you for the rest of the day. And you will start seeing results within a few days, too.

These are a few alternatives if you are too lazy to hit the gym. Exercise is something you can do anywhere and everywhere. All you need to do is get your butt moving. So, start today and you will no longer repeat the excuse of being too lazy to be fit.

The post How to Stop Being Lazy And Workout appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

UK report warns DeepMind Health could gain ‘excessive monopoly power’

DeepMind’s foray into digital health services continues to raise concerns. The latest worries are voiced by a panel of external reviewers appointed by the Google-owned AI company to report on its operations after its initial data-sharing arrangements with the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) ran into a major public controversy in 2016.

The DeepMind Health Independent Reviewers’ 2018 report flags a series of risks and concerns, as they see it, including the potential for DeepMind Health to be able to “exert excessive monopoly power” as a result of the data access and streaming infrastructure that’s bundled with provision of the Streams app — and which, contractually, positions DeepMind as the access-controlling intermediary between the structured health data and any other third parties that might, in the future, want to offer their own digital assistance solutions to the Trust.

While the underlying FHIR (aka, fast healthcare interoperability resource) deployed by DeepMind for Streams uses an open API, the contract between the company and the Royal Free Trust funnels connections via DeepMind’s own servers, and prohibits connections to other FHIR servers. A commercial structure that seemingly works against the openness and interoperability DeepMind’s co-founder Mustafa Suleyman has claimed to support.

There are many examples in the IT arena where companies lock their customers into systems that are difficult to change or replace. Such arrangements are not in the interests of the public. And we do not want to see DeepMind Health putting itself in a position where clients, such as hospitals, find themselves forced to stay with DeepMind Health even if it is no longer financially or clinically sensible to do so; we want DeepMind Health to compete on quality and price, not by entrenching legacy position,” the reviewers write.

Though they point to DeepMind’s “stated commitment to interoperability of systems,” and “their adoption of the FHIR open API” as positive indications, writing: “This means that there is potential for many other SMEs to become involved, creating a diverse and innovative marketplace which works to the benefit of consumers, innovation and the economy.”

“We also note DeepMind Health’s intention to implement many of the features of Streams as modules which could be easily swapped, meaning that they will have to rely on being the best to stay in business,” they add. 

However, stated intentions and future potentials are clearly not the same as on-the-ground reality. And, as it stands, a technically interoperable app-delivery infrastructure is being encumbered by prohibitive clauses in a commercial contract — and by a lack of regulatory pushback against such behavior.

The reviewers also raise concerns about an ongoing lack of clarity around DeepMind Health’s business model — writing: “Given the current environment, and with no clarity about DeepMind Health’s business model, people are likely to suspect that there must be an undisclosed profit motive or a hidden agenda. We do not believe this to be the case, but would urge DeepMind Health to be transparent about their business model, and their ability to stick to that without being overridden by Alphabet. For once an idea of hidden agendas is fixed in people’s mind, it is hard to shift, no matter how much a company is motivated by the public good.”

We have had detailed conversations about DeepMind Health’s evolving thoughts in this area, and are aware that some of these questions have not yet been finalised. However, we would urge DeepMind Health to set out publicly what they are proposing,” they add. 

DeepMind has suggested it wants to build healthcare AIs that are capable of charging by results. But Streams does not involve any AI. The service is also being provided to NHS Trusts for free, at least for the first five years — raising the question of how exactly the Google-owned company intends to recoup its investment.

Google of course monetizes a large suite of free-at-the-point-of-use consumer products — such as the Android mobile operating system; its cloud email service Gmail; and the YouTube video sharing platform, to name three — by harvesting people’s personal data and using that information to inform its ad targeting platforms.

Hence the reviewers’ recommendation for DeepMind to set out its thinking on its business model to avoid its intentions vis-a-vis people’s medical data being viewed with suspicion.

The company’s historical modus operandi also underlines the potential monopoly risks if DeepMind is allowed to carve out a dominant platform position in digital healthcare provision — given how effectively its parent has been able to turn a free-for-OEMs mobile OS (Android) into global smartphone market OS dominance, for example.

So, while DeepMind only has a handful of contracts with NHS Trusts for the Streams app and delivery infrastructure at this stage, the reviewers’ concerns over the risk of the company gaining “excessive monopoly power” do not seem overblown.

They are also worried about DeepMind’s ongoing vagueness about how exactly it works with its parent Alphabet, and what data could ever be transferred to the ad giant — an inevitably queasy combination when stacked against DeepMind’s handling of people’s medical records.

“To what extent can DeepMind Health insulate itself against Alphabet instructing them in the future to do something which it has promised not to do today? Or, if DeepMind Health’s current management were to leave DeepMind Health, how much could a new CEO alter what has been agreed today?” they write.

“We appreciate that DeepMind Health would continue to be bound by the legal and regulatory framework, but much of our attention is on the steps that DeepMind Health have taken to take a more ethical stance than the law requires; could this all be ended? We encourage DeepMind Health to look at ways of entrenching its separation from Alphabet and DeepMind more robustly, so that it can have enduring force to the commitments it makes.”

Responding to the report’s publication on its website, DeepMind writes that it’s “developing our longer-term business model and roadmap.”

“Rather than charging for the early stages of our work, our first priority has been to prove that our technologies can help improve patient care and reduce costs. We believe that our business model should flow from the positive impact we create, and will continue to explore outcomes-based elements so that costs are at least in part related to the benefits we deliver,” it continues.

So it has nothing to say to defuse the reviewers’ concerns about making its intentions for monetizing health data plain — beyond deploying a few choice PR soundbites.

On its links with Alphabet, DeepMind also has little to say, writing only that: “We will explore further ways to ensure there is clarity about the binding legal frameworks that govern all our NHS partnerships.”

“Trusts remain in full control of the data at all times,” it adds. “We are legally and contractually bound to only using patient data under the instructions of our partners. We will continue to make our legal agreements with Trusts publicly available to allow scrutiny of this important point.”

“There is nothing in our legal agreements with our partners that prevents them from working with any other data processor, should they wish to seek the services of another provider,” it also claims in response to additional questions we put to it.

We hope that Streams can help unlock the next wave of innovation in the NHS. The infrastructure that powers Streams is built on state-of-the-art open and interoperable standards, known as FHIR. The FHIR standard is supported in the UK by NHS Digital, NHS England and the INTEROPen group. This should allow our partner trusts to work more easily with other developers, helping them bring many more new innovations to the clinical frontlines,” it adds in additional comments to us.

“Under our contractual agreements with relevant partner trusts, we have committed to building FHIR API infrastructure within the five year terms of the agreements.”

Asked about the progress it’s made on a technical audit infrastructure for verifying access to health data, which it announced last year, it reiterated the wording on its blog, saying: “We will remain vigilant about setting the highest possible standards of information governance. At the beginning of this year, we appointed a full time Information Governance Manager to oversee our use of data in all areas of our work. We are also continuing to build our Verifiable Data Audit and other tools to clearly show how we’re using data.”

So developments on that front look as slow as we expected.

The Google-owned U.K. AI company began its push into digital healthcare services in 2015, quietly signing an information-sharing arrangement with a London-based NHS Trust that gave it access to around 1.6 million people’s medical records for developing an alerts app for a condition called Acute Kidney Injury.

It also inked an MoU with the Trust where the pair set out their ambition to apply AI to NHS data sets. (They even went so far as to get ethical signs-off for an AI project — but have consistently claimed the Royal Free data was not fed to any AIs.)

However, the data-sharing collaboration ran into trouble in May 2016 when the scope of patient data being shared by the Royal Free with DeepMind was revealed (via investigative journalism, rather than by disclosures from the Trust or DeepMind).

None of the ~1.6 million people whose non-anonymized medical records had been passed to the Google-owned company had been informed or asked for their consent. And questions were raised about the legal basis for the data-sharing arrangement.

Last summer the U.K.’s privacy regulator concluded an investigation of the project — finding that the Royal Free NHS Trust had broken data protection rules during the app’s development.

Yet despite ethical questions and regulatory disquiet about the legality of the data sharing, the Streams project steamrollered on. And the Royal Free Trust went on to implement the app for use by clinicians in its hospitals, while DeepMind has also signed several additional contracts to deploy Streams to other NHS Trusts.

More recently, the law firm Linklaters completed an audit of the Royal Free Streams project, after being commissioned by the Trust as part of its settlement with the ICO. Though this audit only examined the current functioning of Streams. (There has been no historical audit of the lawfulness of people’s medical records being shared during the build and test phase of the project.)

Linklaters did recommend the Royal Free terminates its wider MoU with DeepMind — and the Trust has confirmed to us that it will be following the firm’s advice.

“The audit recommends we terminate the historic memorandum of understanding with DeepMind which was signed in January 2016. The MOU is no longer relevant to the partnership and we are in the process of terminating it,” a Royal Free spokesperson told us.

So DeepMind, probably the world’s most famous AI company, is in the curious position of being involved in providing digital healthcare services to U.K. hospitals that don’t actually involve any AI at all. (Though it does have some ongoing AI research projects with NHS Trusts too.)

In mid 2016, at the height of the Royal Free DeepMind data scandal — and in a bid to foster greater public trust — the company appointed the panel of external reviewers who have now produced their second report looking at how the division is operating.

And it’s fair to say that much has happened in the tech industry since the panel was appointed to further undermine public trust in tech platforms and algorithmic promises — including the ICO’s finding that the initial data-sharing arrangement between the Royal Free and DeepMind broke U.K. privacy laws.

The eight members of the panel for the 2018 report are: Martin Bromiley OBE; Elisabeth Buggins CBE; Eileen Burbidge MBE; Richard Horton; Dr. Julian Huppert; Professor Donal O’Donoghue; Matthew Taylor; and Professor Sir John Tooke.

In their latest report the external reviewers warn that the public’s view of tech giants has “shifted substantially” versus where it was even a year ago — asserting that “issues of privacy in a digital age are if anything, of greater concern.”

At the same time politicians are also gazing rather more critically on the works and social impacts of tech giants.

Although the U.K. government has also been keen to position itself as a supporter of AI, providing public funds for the sector and, in its Industrial Strategy white paper, identifying AI and data as one of four so-called “Grand Challenges” where it believes the U.K. can “lead the world for years to come” — including specifically name-checking DeepMind as one of a handful of leading-edge homegrown AI businesses for the country to be proud of.

Still, questions over how to manage and regulate public sector data and AI deployments — especially in highly sensitive areas such as healthcare — remain to be clearly addressed by the government.

Meanwhile, the encroaching ingress of digital technologies into the healthcare space — even when the techs don’t even involve any AI — are already presenting major challenges by putting pressure on existing information governance rules and structures, and raising the specter of monopolistic risk.

Asked whether it offers any guidance to NHS Trusts around digital assistance for clinicians, including specifically whether it requires multiple options be offered by different providers, the NHS’ digital services provider, NHS Digital, referred our question on to the Department of Health (DoH), saying it’s a matter of health policy.

The DoH in turn referred the question to NHS England, the executive non-departmental body which commissions contracts and sets priorities and directions for the health service in England.

And at the time of writing, we’re still waiting for a response from the steering body.

Ultimately it looks like it will be up to the health service to put in place a clear and robust structure for AI and digital decision services that fosters competition by design by baking in a requirement for Trusts to support multiple independent options when procuring apps and services.

Without that important check and balance, the risk is that platform dynamics will quickly dominate and control the emergent digital health assistance space — just as big tech has dominated consumer tech.

But publicly funded healthcare decisions and data sets should not simply be handed to the single market-dominating entity that’s willing and able to burn the most resource to own the space.

Nor should government stand by and do nothing when there’s a clear risk that a vital area of digital innovation is at risk of being closed down by a tech giant muscling in and positioning itself as a gatekeeper before others have had a chance to show what their ideas are made of, and before even a market has had the chance to form. 

Eight Best Ways to Get Rid of Fleas On Dogs

When it comes to fleas, prevention is much easier than trying to get rid of an infestation once they take hold. Fleas can spread rapidly from your dog to the surrounding environment and this makes it that much harder to get rid of them.

A single flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day and the majority of the flea population thrives in grass and carpet. Only around five percent of the fleas present get on your pets.

There are several preventative measures you can take to ensure that your home, pets, family, and yard stay free of fleas.  But, what is the best way to get rid of fleas on dogs?

Do Regular Checks

regular checkup

You want to routinely check your pet for fleas at least once a week. Check under your pet’s legs, in and around his ears, and close to his skin. If you see small black moving dots, it’s a good indication that your pet might have fleas.

Groom Your Pet Routinely

Whether your dog has a long or short coat, you’ll want to set up a grooming routine. You can do it for 10 to 15 minutes once or twice a week. This should be enough time for you to check your pet’s coat for fleas that may be hiding under its coat.

This routine grooming can give you time to bond with your dog, too.

Clean up Your Yard

Your yard or garden may be the root source of your flea infestation problem. Take steps to get rid of fleas in your yard and ensure that it’s a clean and safe place for your pets.

Fleas like moist and warm shaded areas with a lot of organic matter, like dead leaves or compost. Mowing your lawn and picking up debris will give fleas fewer places to live.

Get Regular Veterinarian Checkups

Not only are regular checkups good for your dog’s health, but they can also help to catch any flea problems early on. The earlier fleas are detected, the earlier treatment can get started.

Don’t Use Old Flea Preventative Products

Certain preventative products can be expensive. This extra cost is why people like to hang on to them past their expiration date. However, once a product expires, it can lose its effectiveness.

Treat Fleas All Throughout The Year

Although fleas like warm and moist environments, they can survive all throughout the year. A good preventative measure is to give your dog an oral flea medication like Comfortis for dogs. A lot of these products last one month, and they come in a soft chew so your dog won’t have a problem digesting them. They help to prevent fleas and they also kill any current infestations.

Use Citrus to Repel Fleas

If you don’t like the idea of using a medicated product to help protect your dog from fleas, try the natural route. Did you know that citrus is a natural flea repellent?

You can take a freshly squeezed orange or lemon and rub the juice into your dog’s coat. This will be safe for them to lick off and it’s effective in repelling fleas. Simply reapply it as needed.

Use Essential Oils

You can make a flea deterrent spray to put on your dog and to spray around your house using essential oils. All you have to do is mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with one quart of fresh water and four or five drops of essential oils.

Flea repellent essential oils include lemongrass, cedarwood, lavender, thyme, and citronella. Spray this around your home and on your dog to repel fleas and freshen the air.

Three Ways to Get Rid of Fleas

If you find fleas on your dog or in your home, there are several easy things you can do to get rid of them.

1. Do a Deep Clean

You can deep clean your home to help control any fleas. Make sure you pay special attention to carpets, furniture, and areas where your pet likes to play or sleep. Using a citrus-based cleaner is a good idea.

2. Bathe Your Dog

flea prevention

Fleas don’t like water as it makes it difficult for them to hold on to your dog’s coat. Bathing your dog at least once a week can help you control the flea infestation. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to their shampoo or buy medicated shampoos.

3. Spray Your Yard

When you’re taking care of the fleas inside of your home, you also want to make sure you treat your yard. You can buy specialized sprays and apply them to your yard and around the outside of your house to kill any fleas. This can help prevent your dog from bringing them back inside and undoing all of your hard work.

Fleas can be a big problem that you need to prevent in any way you can. Our eight flea prevention tips can help ensure that you don’t have to go through all the hard work of stopping an infestation. This also ensures that you enjoy a happy home and a healthy dog.

The post Eight Best Ways to Get Rid of Fleas On Dogs appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Eight Mistakes You Could be Making with Your Health Insurance

Health insurance can be expensive, but not having it can be an even bigger mistake. Did you know that the average cost of an emergency room visit in the United States can cost upwards of $1,233 per visit. If you don’t have insurance, you could end up paying this bill out of your own pocket. There are several common mistakes people make when it comes to your health insurance, and you don’t want to make them if you can help it.

Picking Health Insurance with a Low Premium

good health insurance plan

With health insurance, your premium is the amount you pay each year for your healthcare before your insurance covers the rest. A lower premium means that you’ll pay more for any co-pays or deductibles after you have the services. A higher premium means that you pay more upfront, but the costs go down once you pay it.

If you’re generally healthy and if you have a decent financial cushion that can handle a more significant medical bill, you may benefit from having a lower premium. If you have ongoing health issues, a higher premium may be better because it’ll reduce the costs of your visit expenses.

See Also: What To Look For In A Good Health Insurance Plan

You Only Use Employer Health Insurance

Insurance through your employer might be a most cost-effective option, and it might seem like the best deal upfront. If you’re relatively healthy, you can usually find cheaper options because the employer’s insurance rates are based on their employee’s average health statistics. It is essential that you shop around and compare health insurances.

Additionally, many employer health plans cover routine doctor visits and even emergency room costs, but they might not have vision or dental options. It’s essential that you shop around and look at your employer’s plan to see what services it’ll cover and which ones you’ll have to pay for.

Not Reading all of the Fine Print

Health insurance can be very dry and difficult to understand. This is why a lot of people don’t read it, and they assume that whatever they have done will be covered by their insurance plan. This isn’t always the case, and you could get a nasty surprise in the form of a large bill.

The fine print on your insurance information will tell you everything you need to know about your plan. It’ll let you know whether or not specific services are covered, what your co-pays are, what percentage of hospital stays the insurance will cover per day, and how much you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance picks up the rest.

Don’t Find out if You Have an HMO or a PPO Plan

HMO insurances have strict in-network and out-of-network fees they can charge. It also dictates which doctor, clinic, or hospital you can visit and have your insurance pay for it. A PPO plan is more flexible, and it lets you choose your doctor or clinic, and it can also be more lenient with in-network and out-of-network care.

A POS plan is a hybrid plan of the HMO and PPO plans. These types of programs let you see out-of-network doctors and clinics, but they usually require that your primary care doctor gives you a referral so you can go to them.

Skipping Health Insurance Because You Never See the Doctor

health-insurance-benefits

Life and accidents happen, and your health is one thing that you don’t want to be unprepared for. This is especially true because healthcare costs continue to climb, and even routine doctor visits can cost you over $150 per visit.

If you decide not to get insurance and you need medical care, you’ll most likely have to pay for everything out of your own pocket. Many insurance companies refuse to backdate their services, so you’re out of luck and on the hook for the full bill amount.

Ignoring Your Flex Spending Account

Many employers let you set aside a percentage of your check into a flexible spending account tax-free. These flexible spending accounts help you pay for medical bills that your insurance won’t cover. These non-covered services could include eyeglasses, dental, emergency room visits, co-pays, prescriptions, and deductibles.

Your flexible spending account can also help you reduce the amount you claim on your yearly taxes. If you have a taxable income of $80,000 each year, your annual tax amount is 15 percent or $16,000. If you’ve managed to save $3,000 in your flexible spending account, your taxable income goes down to $77,000. The amount the government claims as taxes drop as well.

Not Having Prescription Drug Coverage

Did you know that a lot of insurance plans don’t cover prescription drugs? While this may not be a big deal if you don’t take them regularly, they add up quickly. Certain prescription costs have gone up by as much as 10 percent, and you don’t want to get stuck paying for these on your own.

Take a look at your current policy and see if it covers the medications you routinely take. You might have to call your insurance company and ask about your specific medications, especially if they’re more expensive. You could also ask your doctor if any generic versions of your medicines exist because they’re usually cheaper.

Not Renewing Your Insurance Each Year

Almost every health insurance plan requires you to renew it once a year. State plans may require a renewal every six months. Make sure that you don’t forget about your annual or semi-annual renewal paperwork. If you don’t get it, call your insurance company.

Once your insurance lapses, it may be difficult to get it active again for the same price or on the same plan you had before. If you have medical services during the time your insurance lapses, it may not backdate and cover those services. This could cost you a lot of money and drain your finances.

These eight health insurance mistakes are very common, and you want to avoid them at all costs. Your health is important, and you want to make sure that you can get the care you need when you need it.

The post Eight Mistakes You Could be Making with Your Health Insurance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Stop Smoking For Good

Everyone knows that smoking’s a bad habit. It costs a lot of money and it’s unhealthy for those around you. It’s also one of the leading causes of cancer.

It’s safe to say that there are plenty of reasons you want to quit. But, to actually tackle such a feat is as difficult as you imagine.

Nicotine is the most common substance Americans are dependent on and it’s been claimed to be as addictive as heroin.

Of the 35 million people in the U.S. who attempt to quit a year, around 85% relapse- usually within a month. With that, here are some of the most effective tips on how to stop smoking for good.

Allow Withdrawals Symptoms to Take Their Course

One of the hardest parts of quitting is the withdrawal symptoms. Many who experience them find the experience miserable. This is due to the flu-like symptoms that the body must go through in order to rid the brain of its nicotine dependency.

Though your withdrawals aren’t going to be easy, they don’t have to be as bad as some make it out to be. It’s remarkable when you consider how it’ll take less than a week to physically undo all that smoking has done to your body.

As you go through this week, keep in mind all the good that will come out of it and all the benefits one little week can bring you. If you can keep yourself open-minded through this process, you’re less likely to get those miserable cravings.

Distractions

coffee distraction

It’s only natural for your body and brain to want more nicotine. The best way to make sure you don’t give in to the temptation is to keep yourself distracted.

It’s different for everyone. Some find a cup of coffee during break helpful. Others find puzzles like Sudoku keep them more focused.

Try anything that works for you. This might take some experimenting but I promise, you will find something. You may even just find a new habit you didn’t expect yourself to enjoy.

Avoid the Substitutes

There are a variety of nicotine substitutes that are meant to ease you off of the substance. These include electronic cigarettes, nicotine gum and patches, and nasal sprays.

However, it’s greatly recommended you avoid them at all costs. At the end of the day, they’ll only be giving you the craving you’re trying to avoid. They’ll only push back your withdrawals.

With substitutes, there’s also the idea that you’re making a sacrifice. By consuming nicotine in smaller doses, you’re making the chemical seem precious.

Never forget that quitting is a choice and you’ve made this choice for a very important reason. Remember why you made that reason and let it ease you through your cravings.

Relax the Body and Exercise the Mind

effect of meditation

Many smokers often find themselves wanting a cigarette break after doing a laborious task. Usually, it’s a means of unwinding. When this becomes a habit, you’ll find yourself associating moments of relaxation with nicotine.

Just as with the distractions mentioned above, you’re going to need new habits which can make you feel at ease. Some find meditation to be a great technique while others prefer deep breathing exercises.

Just as with cigarettes, both methods are a way of loosening up your muscles and allowing your head to feel more present at the moment.

See Also: Spiritual Pointers for Quitting a Bad Habit

Don’t Be Afraid to Explore

The good majority of Americans run on a fixed schedule week in and week out.

With the same environment and routine playing over and over again, you might find quitting more difficult.

Exploring new places in the area you live in is another way to keep your mind off of smoking. Whether this is a new restaurant, park or a new street, the change in environment can do a lot for your brain.

If you can take a trip somewhere far, that’s even better. A new place will offer you a sense of excitement and might just take you out of your comfort zones.

Seek Out Support

The most efficient way for you to stay on track is to keep looking at those you care about the most. Not only is a support team a great way to keep yourself from smoking, but they’ll also provide you with assistance when times seem low.

It’s been said that laughter is the best medicine out there. There’s no better source for it than those who’re already around you.

You’d be surprised how far a simple conversation can go. Many who have quit claim that just talking to someone helped distract them from reaching for another pack.

In instances where you are at work and on a break, a phone call can be the difference between sufficiently quitting or going back to the same habit.

See Also: Where to Find Friends and Support During Addiction Recovery

Pick the Date

You have a goal and want to make it a reality. Don’t wait until the moment feels right. Pick the date you will no longer be a cigarette smoker.

With a specific time frame in mind, you’re creating an objective for yourself- something to look forward to and work towards.

Some people need up to a month while others only need a couple of weeks. Regardless of your preference, figure out a plan and a deadline for yourself.

In Conclusion

Whether that be easing off cigarettes or finding the right people for support, this whole process relies solely on time.

It’s going to take time for the withdrawal symptoms to go away. And it’s going to take time for your brain to understand that you’re no longer a smoker.

Studies show that the majority of people relapse within their first month after quitting cold turkey.

That’s because your brain is hardwired on expecting cigarettes during certain moments of your schedule. Even after physical withdrawals, your mentality anticipates another burst of nicotine.

As I’ve mentioned above, you need to find new habits in order to get over this mentality.

However, simply starting these new habits isn’t enough. You need to work on them and push yourself in ways you might not have expected.

It’s one thing to find distractions. It’s another to act upon new habits.

This is something you might want to plan out before the arrival of the date you’ve set for quitting.

With that, I wish you the best of luck and congratulate you on your decision to quit.

The post How to Stop Smoking For Good appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

About Dementia: The Silent Epidemic

Despite the notable dips in life expectancy in the United States in recent years, humans’ overall life expectancy is up. A hundred years ago, life expectancy in the U.S. was 48.3 for men and 51.1 for women. That is, of course, factoring in the exceedingly high rate of infant mortality people experienced back then.

Today, most people live well beyond childhood, their childbearing years, and even retirement. With this uptick in life expectancy has come an uptick in age-related illnesses. This makes it important that you do your research about dementia well.

What Is Dementia?

Part of the problem with treating and even diagnosing dementia is that it is not just a single condition with a single cause. The three most common forms of dementia are Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia, and dementia with Lewy bodies. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to tell which kind of dementia a patient has until after death when the brain can be examined.

Common warning signs of dementia include:

  • Memory impairment
  • Difficulty with speech and communication
  • Loss of focus or attention
  • Decreased vision
  • Poor judgment
  • Decreased reasoning skills

Dementia Is Incredibly Common

dementia

Between the ages of 65 and 74, your chance of developing dementia is only 3%. Once you make it to 75, your chances increase dramatically. That’s 17% between 75 and 84 years of age. When you hit 85, your chance of developing dementia jumps to a staggering 32%.

There are currently at least ten different known forms of dementia and post-mortem studies suggest that only 49% of diagnoses are correct. To make matters worse, any form of treatment is incredibly complicated, thanks to the blood-brain barrier which keeps foreign objects and organisms out of the brain.

New treatments seek to circumvent this issue using ultrasound technology. For now, making patients and their families as comfortable as possible is the greatest concern.

We Need Better Dementia Care Now

If we can’t cure or even treat dementia effectively, then we should exert more effort in making sure that patients can live a life as dignified as possible. We all know that dementia care is expensive. One study found that it was 80% more expensive than caring for someone with cancer.

Unfortunately, many people don’t plan for their life once they become older. This can leave loved ones scrambling to figure out how to care for them with a limited budget. The most basic care can cost $70,000 per year.

Higher quality care can lead to better patient outcomes for dementia patients. Choosing a facility with a lot of green space and residences that appear normal can encourage independent behavior. Those green spaces can even cut down aggression, a natural reaction of a dementia patient when he can’t make sense of the world around him.

Making the patient’s surroundings as familiar as possible can also cut down on confusion and make them feel more at home. Some nursing homes even make their patients’ door look like the ones they have at home.

A nursing home in Germany did something ingenious to help their residents who suffer from dementia. They carefully studied patients who tried to run away and realized one very important thing: they all headed to the bus stop first.

Their solution was to build a fake bus stop in front of the nursing home so that when a patient couldn’t be persuaded not to leave, they would have a place to go and calm down. Oftentimes, staff would accompany them to the bus stop and escort them back into the building.

See Also: Exercise Your Mind and Reduce Your Risk of Dementia With These 10 Ways to Keep Your Brain Sharp

Humane Treatment Is Imperative

Dementia has to be a very frustrating experience for a patient. Could you imagine literally being locked up in your old age? Encouraging greater independence and trying to give the patient something familiar to cling to are very important steps toward giving dementia patients greater peace of mind.

Learn more about the need for better dementia care from this infographic!
”Understanding
Source: Executor.org

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Top 5 Signs You Might Need Help with Alcohol Addiction

America is facing an addiction crisis much larger than any generation before. Now, the drugs are harder and smarter but some old ways of getting high seem to continuously plague the human population.

Alcohol has been used for hundreds of years as a relaxant and a depressive drug. For some people though, it isn’t just about having a good time but it’s something they end up living for and throwing away their lives for.

Here are the top 5 symptoms of drinking problem you need to know about:

Day drinking

If you need a drink before the drugstore is legally allowed to sell you a six-pack, it’s generally a good sign you might need to look into your decisions. Vacations are fine but when you feel the need to drink outside of traditional lunch and dinner hours, you might want to take another look at your habits.

It’s not just a solo cup but a solo night

Drinking alone is one of the biggest tips that you might be bordering on a problem. Social drinking is something that many consider as healthy. If you find the need to drown your sorrows in a bottle of tequila while watching Grey’s Anatomy, you might either be a very devoted Grey’s fan or you might have some soul searching to do.

You change your plans to drink

Canceling on people at the last minute and bailing on plans is a sign that you prioritize your bottle of beer over social engagements. If you find yourself doing this consistently, then it’s worth a second look.

You’re using money you don’t have for your beer budget

When you can’t pay for something but choose to buy it anyway, know that you have a problem with alcohol. The truth is that many alcoholics build up their debt and money troubles this way. It can only steamroll into other issues down the road.

People tell you there is a problem

If someone stops and asks if you have a problem, then you probably have a problem. The occasional drunken night is not the same as an entire week with you passed out.

All kidding aside, addiction is a serious problem. It should be addressed and treated with the help of a trained medical professional.

See Also: Can You Curb Alcohol Addiction In Its Early Stage?

The post Top 5 Signs You Might Need Help with Alcohol Addiction appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

7 Easy Ways To Spring Clean Your Health

Spring isn’t just the best time to clean your home. To ensure that your body stays in great shape, you should also take it as a time to take a good look at your health. To help you get started, here are 7 ways to spring clean your health.

Get Outside

Most Americans (as much as 50% of us) spend way too much time indoors. As we age, our outdoor time tends to decrease even more. A lot of that time is spent in front of TVs, computer screens, and other unhealthy activities.

Getting outside even for a few minutes every day can be a big mood and immune system booster. It can also increase your Vitamin D levels.

Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to a number of health issues including insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and low immune function.

Get Active

Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can promote better cardiovascular health, normal blood sugar, and fewer episodes of depression and anxiety.

Don’t care for the gym?

Now that it’s getting warmer and getting dark later, it’s the perfect time to get outdoors to get more activity. Spring is a great time to find new ways to get fit. You can go for a run, hike or bike ride.

Find a group of friends who also want to get in shape so you don’t have to go alone. Outdoor activity can be more fun if you have friends with you.

Don’t forget to take a look at and replace any workout shoes that are worn out or that you have been using for over a year. They can make you prone to injuries and pain after.

Check Your Sleep Routine

importance of sleep

An inconsistent sleep pattern can have serious implications on your health. So, take this time to start making it a priority.

Do you have trouble falling asleep?

Try developing a regular schedule that includes exercise, chamomile tea, yoga, turning off electronics, and setting an alarm even on your days off.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

Find Ways To Reduce Your Stress

High stress levels can also have serious consequences on your health as it plays a role in the development of many illnesses and chronic diseases. Find some time each day to put away your work and take time to de-stress.

If you can, get rid of some of the things that are stressing you out or stealing your peace of mind. Finding even 30 minutes a day to devote to meditation, deep breathing, reading, a hobby or just taking time for yourself can make a huge difference.

See Also: The Profound Effects Of Meditation On The Mind

Eat More Fruits And Vegetables

eat healthy

Winter meals often consist of heavier comfort foods. They are often full of carbs and can lack the important nutrients your body needs.

Spring can be a great time to plant your own healthy fruits and veggies, visit a farmer’s market or try new fruits and vegetables that are now in season. Most don’t need a lot of prep work. You can even freeze them for future meals.

Check Your Medicine Cabinet

As you are decreasing clutter in your home, don’t neglect your medicine cabinet. Check the expiration dates on your medications and get rid of anything outdated- even if they look or smell good.

The same goes for your makeup. Eye makeup should be tossed after three months. Anything else should not be hanging around for more than a year.

Schedule A Wellness Exam

Are you up to date on your immunizations, colonoscopy, mammogram, PAP tests, and dental exams?

Wellness exams are a perfect time to talk to your doctor about any screening labs and tests. You should take them depending on your health history, family history, and age group.

Don’t skip it just because you are healthy. Wellness exams are key in preventing and detecting illness and disease in their early stages.

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6 Yoga Contraindications You Need to Know

Yoga has now become very popular all over the world. Because of its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits, it has become a hit for people of all gender and age group.

Yoga mainly consists of various Asanas that give flexibility and strengthen the muscles of the body. It helps in reducing stress, provides better relaxation, and aids in detoxifying the body. Overall, it can bring balance to your body.

Although beneficial to the body, yoga isn’t really for everyone. If not done properly, it can put you at risk of injuries in the neck, back, and shoulders. It can also cause torn muscles and herniated disks.

If you want to make sure that the exercise is for you, here are the most common yoga contraindications you need to know.

Heart problems

heart condition

Though yoga is not a vigorous exercise, there are specific asanas that may not be suitable for a heart patient.

If you have been diagnosed with a heart condition or if you feel pain in the heart while doing normal physical activities, it is best to consult your doctor first before enrolling in a class. He is the best person to decide whether yoga is for you or not.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Imbalance in the ear fluid

There are people who lose their balance without any reason. Some even lose their consciousness with position changes. If you have experienced any of those things, it’s best to get your ear checked.

An imbalance in the fluid in your ears can affect your stability. This won’t only make it hard for you to complete the poses but it can also put your safety at risk.

Fracture

If you have suffered a hip, knee or back fracture as a result of a fall, then it is better to consult a doctor. Some asanas can worsen your pain and aggressively hurt you. Similarly, a person with a spinal problem should not perform yoga without consulting a doctor, too.

If your doctor allowed you to practice yoga, consider enrolling in a class and getting the help of a professional yoga teacher. He or she can help you learn the best poses that won’t compromise your bones and body.

Unsteady blood pressure and sugar level

unsteady blood pressure

If your blood pressure is unsteady or if your blood sugar level fluctuates drastically, then it is best to consult a doctor before starting a yoga session. Certain inversion poses and forceful breathing can increase your blood pressure and cause problems.

Glaucoma

If you are pre-diagnosed with glaucoma, avoid inversion poses, like the headstand and shoulder stand. Such poses can worsen your condition as they can cause the pressure in your eyes to increase.

Infectious diseases

Certain asanas that are physically demanding and which involve deep breathing and retention can be harmful to you if you have an infectious disease. Before you get started with yoga, consider getting treated first.

In practice, most people do not consult a doctor prior to yoga practice. In fact, it is not mandatory for all to see a doctor.

However, if you fit in one of the following criteria, make sure to visit your physician first:

  • If you are a male and above 45 years of age or a female above 55 years of age
  • If you have a family history of heart ailment
  • If you are currently a smoker or quit smoking within the past six months
  • If you have high blood pressure
  • If you have cholesterol
  • If you have diabetes or have a family history of diabetes
  • If you are obese and lead a sedentary lifestyle
  • If you are pregnant or given birth within the past 3 months

Thus, in a nutshell, yoga is good as far as it is done in moderation and under the supervision of a trained practitioner. Listen to your body at all times. If you feel that the stretching and pulling are too much for you, stop immediately. If you already have any medical condition like back pain, you should inform the instructors beforehand so that they can modify the poses for you.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

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15-Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout

Most of us undervalue the positive effects of a 15-minute workout.

Many people think they need to spend hours in the gym to see results. Contrary to this belief, the intensity of a workout can actually have a bigger impact on your fitness than the duration.

The American Heart Association recommends 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week to improve cardiovascular health. When you break it down, that’s only 15 minutes of exercise per day, five days per week.

What kind of intensity level does “vigorous activity” indicate?

Exercise professionals assess levels of activity by your heart rate and age group. There’s a simple equation to figure out your maximum recommended heart rate: 220 minus your age.

If your age is 37, you need to subtract 37 from 220 which gives you 183 as your maximum recommended heart rate. Vigorous activity, then, is 70 to 85% of your maximum heart rate. In this example, 183 should be multiplied by 0.7 and .85 to find the range you should keep your heart rate within(128 and 156 beats per minute).

If you aren’t wearing a device that tracks your heart rate, you check it yourself every few minutes. Simply count the number of beats at a pulse point for 15 seconds then multiply by four. Checking your pulse during active rest periods between exercises is an easy way to monitor whether you need to increase or decrease intensity.

Here’s your assignment for the workout below:

  • Calculate your maximum recommended heart rate and your 70-85% range.
  • For the next 15 minutes, try to keep your heart rate within that range while completing kettlebell the workout.
  • As a general guideline, men should start with a 16 kg (35 lb) bell and women should start with an 8 kg (18 lb) bell.
  • Get a timer that’s able to count seconds.

kettlebell 8 kg

To keep things simple, there will be just four exercises to practice. The format is one minute of each exercise followed by 15 seconds of active rest. Repeat the five-minute sequence three times. Perform the exercises at the speed necessary to keep your heart rate within your 70 – 85% range.

Active rest is different from regular rest. You’re going to be doing something that keeps you moving, such as walking or jogging in place. Pick a few movements you enjoy doing and alternate between them. The important part is that you’re still active. Don’t forget to use this time to check your heart rate.

Exercise 1: The Kettlebell Crunch (1 minute)

This exercise is great for engaging the core and back muscles.

  • Lay on the ground with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.
  • Use both hands to grasp the kettlebell by the bell instead of the handle.
  • Hold the bell above your chest.
  • Use a slow, controlled motion to roll your upper back off the ground.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

Exercise 2: The Kettlebell Squat (1 minute)

Your quads and glutes should be burning during this movement.

  • Use a shoulder-width stance.
  • Hold the bell with both hands at chest level. Your palms should be facing each other as if you’re holding a ball.
  • Bend your knees like you’re sitting down on a chair and bring the elbows to the inside of the knees.
  • Your weight should shift to your heels.
  • The kettlebell will help you balance by keeping your chest up.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

Exercise 3: Kettlebell Around the World (1 minute)

This exercise is great for grip strength, proprioception, and engaging your entire body. It pays particular attention to your obliques and other supporting muscle groups.

  • Use a shoulder-width stance.
  • Hold the kettlebell on the outer edge of the handle.
  • Pass the kettlebell from one hand to the other as you move it all the way around your body.
  • You can pass it at different heights around your body to use different muscles.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

kettlebell around the world
Via womanista

Exercise 4: Kettlebell Push Press with Lunge (1 minute)

This movement is great for your arm and shoulder muscles.

  • Use a shoulder-width stance.
  • Hold the kettlebell by the handle in one hand. Your elbow should flex so that the bell is to the side of your shoulder.
  • Let the kettlebell rest against your forearm with a loose grasp at the base of your thumb. Be careful to avoid hyperextension of your wrist.
  • Step into a lunge.
  • As your body lowers, extend your arm straight up.
  • As you rise, lower the kettlebell back to your shoulder.

Active Rest: 15 seconds

Repeat this entire sequence twice

Exercises don’t need to be complicated or lengthy to be effective. Remember that any movement is better than no movement. The more effort you put into your workouts, the shorter they can be.

Exercise is great for combating mental conditions such as anxiety and depression. The next time you’re feeling confined to your office chair, take a 15-minute break and work out!

The post 15-Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Can Cycling Actually Change Your Health And Life?

Bikes can be life-changing machines. Although they are cheap and consume a lot of time when it comes to transportation, they can have a huge impact on your life. In fact, bikes can make you better and healthier.

If you are still thinking twice about getting your own, below are some good reasons why cycling is important.

Less money on transportation

less transportation cost

Have you ever calculated how much money you actually spend on transportation in a year?

Every month, it’s the same story — you have to spend a lot of money on public transportation. If you go to work by car, you may end up spending more.

Traveling in your bike can help you save a lot of money. You’ll be able to help protect the environment, too.

It’s good for your health

Doctors encourage all their patients to do more physical activities, regardless of their patients’ ages. Well, guess what – cycling is part of this category, too.

A half-hour ride is more than enough to burn at least 250 calories. You’ll be able to get rid of that body fat in a few weeks and you don’t even have to go to the gym!

You’ll also boost your cardiovascular health, have toned muscles, better immune system, stronger bones and better joints. You’ll even look younger. All you have to do is invest in a bike and use it daily for your transportation.

Better mood

Physical activities can boost one’s mood. Doing exercises, even with moderate intensity, can help improve your self-esteem and mood, reduce stress, and prevent depression.

More time for yourself

cycling alone time

Riding a bike will never be as fast as a car but for those who ride bikes to work and back, you can actually save more time. This is when you compare the time one needs to spend enduring heavy traffic to and from work. Finding and choosing an empty parking lot can eat a lot of your time, too.

What you have to know before buying your first bike

Those who have decided to buy their first bike should know a few important things first. Here’s a quick list:

  • Consider your budget– Decide how much money you’re willing to spend on your bike. You’ll also need to prepare extra money to invest in the right accessories, like a helmet, water bottle, and pump.
  • The style– Before you actually look for a bike online or in physical stores near you, you’ll have to think of the style that suits you best. One way you can do that is to take into account the way you intend to use your bike. Decide whether you’ll use it for work, exercising, or taking short trips downtown.
  • Look for a professional bike repair shop– Once you buy your first bike, you’ll have to take it to a workshop to have it ready. Make sure you look for a reliable and professional repair shop who can adjust the bike according to your needs and wants.

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6 Keto Diet Myths You Shouldn’t Be Suckered Into

You’ve probably heard of the Ketogenic diet but you’re too scared to give it a try with all the bad things you heard about it. It’s controversial, scary, and way too confusing for beginners to understand.

But are the rumors true?

To set the records straight and to ensure that you’re fully informed before you give it a try, here are the most popular Keto diet myths finally debunked.

Myth #1: It puts you at risk of heart diseases

heart disease

Eating a high fat Keto diet can be scary for some people. After all, too much fat is harmful to the heart, right?

Well, no.

The truth is that eating a high fat Keto diet can actually reduce your risk of heart diseases.

How?

When you eat fewer carbohydrates and your intake of saturated fat is increased, the metabolic markers for heart disease risks improve.

Your blood glucose levels will drop which can reduce glycation and its negative effects on the body. Your triglycerides, insulin levels, and lipoprotein get reduced while your HDL cholesterol levels improve.

And you know what else?

A high fat Ketogenic diet can also provide your body with more vitamin D, selenium, copper, and magnesium which are all great for the heart.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Myth #2: You can eat all types of fat

While eating a high fat ketogenic diet won’t be that bad for the body, it doesn’t mean that you can eat any type of fat.

If you’re thinking of loading your diet with ham, sausages, and loads of fried foods, then you’re totally on the wrong track.

If you want to get the most out of this diet, consider replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fats. Think of oily fish, flaxseed, and walnuts.

You can also incorporate more extra virgin olive oil and fatty fish into your diet. Nuts are great, too.

Myth #3: You won’t have a hard time adjusting to Keto

Transitioning into ketosis can cause some uncomfortable experiences. You may have to deal with digestive issues, sleep-related problems, and fatigue during the first few weeks of changing your diet and lifestyle.

Also known as the Keto flu, those side effects are common and will typically go away after a few weeks. You can make them less uncomfortable by drinking more water and eating more foods rich in fibers and electrolytes.

This, however, shouldn’t scare you. Although Keto-flu is normal, it doesn’t mean that every person who goes on a Keto diet will have the same problems. There are people who experience way less issues during their transition.

Myth #4: It causes extreme dehydration

A ketogenic diet doesn’t have to cause dehydration if you know what to do.

Consuming less carbohydrates than usual can affect the way your body deals with water and electrolytes. This can make it easier for dehydration and electrolyte imbalance to happen.

Imagine this:

When you go on a keto diet and you cut back on your carbs, your body is forced to produce less insulin than usual. This means your glycogen stores will decrease.

As that happens, your kidneys start excreting more water. And as your body flushes out water, you lose essential electrolytes and minerals, too.

As your body loses a great amount of electrolytes, your heartbeat will become irregular, your energy becomes low, and your body temperature control becomes less effective.

So, how do you prevent those things?

Drink more water and consume a lot of teas, broths, and soups. Eat foods rich in sodium, magnesium, and potassium, too. They can help replenish your body’s lost electrolytes.

See Also: Top 5 Tips On How To Stay Hydrated

Myth #5: It’s good for your mental health

Keto diet requires a lot of discipline and commitment. Naturally, you’d think that it’s great for boosting your mental health.

The truth, however, is that Keto diet can affect the brain negatively during the new fat-burning stage. You’ll be more irritable and less focused than usual.

This is because your body and brain are starting to look for glucose which is its main source of energy. Your brain needs about 100g of carbohydrates a day to ensure your brain’s optimum function. In comparison, you can only get about 50 grams of it when you’re in Keto.

Take note that those effects are only temporary. They will pass and go away on their own but it can take weeks or months to happen.

The other side of the coin is that a lot of keto dieters rave about their newfound focus and clarity. They attribute this to the decrease of carbohydrates that the body processes.

Myth #6: Keto won’t let you exercise

walking exercise

When you’re on a Keto diet, it’s normal for your body to feel less energized during your exercise. This is because you get less carbohydrates which, like your brain, your body needs as fuel for such activities.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t exercise.

You can continue your workout routine even if you changed your diet. You just need to make sure that you’re giving your body enough calories and a lot of fat to support your routine. Don’t forget to provide ample time for recovery in between routines, too.

If you’re still having issues with being active, try a modified Ketogenic diet. It’s more flexible than going complete Keto.

You can also try taking supplements but be sure that they’re safe. Do your homework first and really get to know your options. Remember, not all Keto supplements are the same.

Try to find and study guides online, like this KetoDrive review. Use them in deciding which ones will safely meet your needs.

In Conclusion

Keto diet is effective whether you’re trying to lose weight or you just want to lower your bad cholesterol and risk of heart diseases. However, although effective, it doesn’t mean that it’ll work for you right away.

Changing your diet can affect your overall health. This means experiencing a few unwanted side effects, like less energy and mental clarity, as your body gets used to the changes.

Take note that those side effects don’t mean that Ketogenic diet is bad or that it’s not working for you. Your body just needs time to adapt your new diet. Give it a few weeks or months and your body should be able to see why many people are talking about the benefits of the keto diet.

Remember that the bottom line is always your health. You don’t need to follow or stick to a diet for the sake of being on one. Always listen to your body, make a lifestyle change of what works best for you, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed.

The post 6 Keto Diet Myths You Shouldn’t Be Suckered Into appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Monarch is a new platform from surgical robot pioneer Frederic Moll

Auris Health (née Auris Surgical Robots) has done a pretty good job flying under the radar, in spite of raising a massive amount of capital and listing one of the key people behind the da Vinci surgical robot among its founders. With FDA clearance finally out of the way, however, the Redwood City-based startup medical startup is ready to start talking.

This week, Auris revealed the Monarch Platform, which swaps the da Vinci’s surgical approach for something far less invasive. The system utilizes the common endoscopy procedure to a insert a flexible robot into hard to reach places inside the human body. A doctor trained on the system uses a video game-style controller to navigate inside, with help from 3D models.

Monarch’s first target is lung cancer, the which tops the list of deadliest cancers. More deaths could be stopped, if doctors were able to catch the disease in its early stages, but the lung’s complex structures, combined with current techniques, make the process difficult. According to the company,  “More than 90-percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive, in part because it is often found at an advanced stage.”

“A CT scan shows a mass or a lesion,” CEO Frederic Moll tells TechCrunch. “It doesn’t tell you what it is. Then you have to get a piece of lung, and if it’s a small lesion. It isn’t that easy — it can be quite a traumatic procedure. So you’d like to do it a very systematic and minimally invasive fashion. Currently it’s difficult with manual techniques and 40-percent of the time, there is no diagnosis. This is has been a problem for many years and [inhibits] the ability of a clinician to diagnose and treat early-stage cancer.

Auris was founded half a dozen years ago, in which time the company has managed to raise a jaw-dropping $500 million, courtesy of Mithril Capital Management, Lux Capital, Coatue Management and Highland Capital. The company says the large VC raise and long runway were necessary factors in building its robust platform.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have an investor base that is supportive of our vision and committed to us for the long-term,” CSO Josh DeFonzo tells TechCrunch. “The investments that have been made in Auris are to support both the development of a very robust product pipeline, as well as successful clinical adoption of our technology to improve patient outcomes.”

With that funding and FDA approval for Monarch out of the way, the company has an aggressive timeline. Moll says Auris is hoping to bring the system to hospitals and outpatient centers by the end of the year. And once it’s out in the wild, Monarch’s disease detecting capabilities will eventually extend beyond lung cancer.

“We have developed what we call a platform technology,” says Moll. “Bronchoscopy is the first application, but this platform will do other robotic endoscopies.”

3 Ways To Stop Your Bad Habits

Have you ever found yourself saying, “I have plenty of time, I can work on this later” or, “What I do now doesn’t matter, again I’m young”?

If so, I’m here to say that it does matter, particularly when you’re learning how to stop bad habits.

There’s a saying that I’ve been hearing a lot lately.

“Past performance is indicative of future returns.”

Now, although it’s usually said when discussing a financial institution, I believe that it can be applied to so much more.

Take habits for example.

Once learned, do you know how hard it is to break a habit? Very freaking hard.

It takes a lot of self-discipline and commitment to break a habit and even once it’s broken, constant maintenance is required to keep it broken.

Think about all the habits you learned while you were young. Look back at how you look and behave toward certain ideas. Those habits and behaviors are hard to get rid of because they are built deep within you.

But how exactly do you take them out of your life?

I’ve talked to so many people who, despite their good nature, have told me that they used to believe that they were immortal (figuratively). They used to think that they have all the time in the world.

Now, upon reflection on their lives, they’ve noticed that they’re stuck in a sense of perpetual failure. They have developed tons of self-defeating habits that they can’t seem to shake off even after so many years.

3 Tricks on How to Stop Bad Habits

Replace it with something else

When I was younger, I had several BAD habits that really hurt both my work ethic and outlook on life. After a length of time doing these things, I noticed what they were doing to me- they were contributing to my failures.

My only option was to kick the habit but I had no reasonable idea how.

So, one day, I just quit cold turkey.

I told myself that I just wouldn’t do them anymore and it worked for a while.

A few months later, I found that the desire for them was back and that I longed for the pleasure that they brought again. I’d put a lot of thought into it and I was wondering why this feeling came back.

I realized that I needed something else that would calm me- something that would help clear my mind so that I could stay focused.

Then, I stumbled upon exercise.

I found that the relief I get from it was on par with the relief that the substances brought to me. I kept exercising on a regular basis and soon found that my desires went away. I’d found my substitute.

daily exercise

With the help of sticky notes, I’ve eliminated my unwanted habits and it worked really well for me.

See Also: 16 Essential Tips for Quitting Smoking

Figure out what stimulates the habit

After you realize that a habit is unwanted, the next (and possibly the easiest) thing you should do is to figure out how to avoid doing it. This also means that you must find your trigger.

For me, it was the stagnation or the feeling of constant movement but never going anywhere. This coupled with the ever-present mistakes that made it very difficult for me to deal with the stress of life.

It took me a while to realize that.

At first, all I noticed was that I wasn’t on my stuff the way that I needed to be. But like with anything, until I knew what was causing it, there would be no way for me to avoid a similar situation.

This all comes with time though.

Just like how it took a while before I figured out what was hurting me, it will also take a while for you to realize that.

This is what we have to do:

We must reflect and realize what is contributing to our current state. It’s hard but with enough time, it can be done. And if you can’t do it yourself, go to someone who can help you.

Make yourself aware of the fact that it’s unwanted.

This is the hardest thing in the world for us to do, especially by ourselves.

A habit is something that we do on a regular basis. We get so used to them that we no longer view them as a problem. This means that we must reflect and pinpoint the issues. We must look long and hard to find the things that add to our problems.

For me, one of those issues was my substance abuse. I just had to look into myself and see what it was that was causing my current state. It took a very long reflection for me to realize that it was hurting me and how it was holding me back.

habit awareness

This is your life, and you only get so much of it. Since our time on this earth won’t last, we must make the most of it. We must rid ourselves of our unwanted habits as soon as possible. Don’t be the person that looks back and says, “Man, I knew that I needed to do this. I just never did.”

See Also: Spiritual Pointers for Quitting a Bad Habit

The post 3 Ways To Stop Your Bad Habits appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

3 Major Lessons Learned From Losing 100 Pounds

I’ve lost over 100 pounds twice.

The first time, I experienced a major injury, job loss, relocation, and the death of my closest family member. I was about 2/3 toward my total weight loss goal that time.

I kept up with exercise and good nutrition for a bit. Unfortunately, I slowly reverted to old habits and then eventually things rapidly declined. I gained seventy pounds in six months.

It took a few years for me to get inspired to try again. The second time, I wanted to lose one hundred pounds to reach my big goal. After two and a half years of hard work, lots of setbacks, injuries, and lessons learned, I did it. I SMASHED my goal!

It’s been almost four years since I hit my goal and in all candor, I didn’t keep it all off. Despite my work with coaching clients, having a book and podcast on the 100-pound weight loss journey, and working in the fitness community, I still deal with ups and downs.

Over time, I’ve come to realize that it’s a wonderful thing to be in a fantastic physical shape, eat healthily, get adequate sleep, and find some harmony in life. However, I also know what it’s like to run multiple businesses, be involved in my community, do service work, teach six to twelve yoga and fitness classes a week, put in the time and effort needed to keep a relationship fresh and exciting, write regularly, and work on my own healing and personal development. It’s a LOT.

There are many things that I’ve learned from my experiences, but I’ll keep this simple. Here’s how to change your lifestyle.

Self-acceptance is paramount

self acceptance

If we want to be healthy, we must practice self-acceptance. When we practice self-acceptance, we give ourselves permission to receive great and amazing things in this life.

When we deny ourselves the gift of self-acceptance, we block many of life’s blessings.

Self-acceptance acts as the fuel that drives us to do difficult things. It gives us the inspiration to continue onward when things get tough (and they will).

Acceptance doesn’t necessarily mean that we like everything about ourselves. Rather, acceptance means that we see ourselves as we are. We accept our attributes, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings.

We may aspire to improve but we learn to accept ourselves as we are, without needing to change who we are.

See Also: Self-Acceptance: The Key To True Happiness

We must have a compelling “WHY”

Whenever we embark on any lifestyle change, we’re doing something that we’ve either never done before or we are attempting to do something that we have struggled with.

There will be setbacks. We will make mistakes and we will get discouraged.

Our compelling WHY will keep us focused and motivated to keep pushing through these challenges.

Challenges are a huge blessing. We thrive on challenges. We don’t get stronger and smarter when things are good. We learn to thrive when things are rough. Life doesn’t get easier. We just get better.

When I attempted to lose 100 pounds the second time, I made a list of 100 reasons to lose 100 pounds. I then made 100 videos and each of them discussed one of the reasons on my list.

Over the course of two years, I continued to document my progress until I hit my goal. It’s great to have a strong WHY. I needed 100 reasons why!

And you know what? It worked!

It’s not about the destination – it’s about the journey

losing weight journey

Quite frankly, this third one used to (and sometimes still does!) drive me CRAZY.

“Enjoy the journey!”

I’ve heard this for years from yoga teachers, life coaches, and mentors. Sure, it’s great to enjoy the journey, but I want RESULTS!

However, I’ve discovered that when I reached a goal, I would plan for the next. I wasn’t content.

Our achievements do not define us. We develop skills and wisdom by our experiences. We become extraordinary in the process.

That’s where the beauty really happens – not at the end, but in the journey.

Our stories are interesting because of the trials we endure. We are fascinating because we are innovative and creative. Our legendary tales aren’t remarkable because we achieved something. They’re remarkable because we overcame SO much!

We are all on the brink of something incredible. We have goals, dreams, and a purpose. We owe it to ourselves and to our loved ones to do something remarkable with the time we have.

We can do amazing things when we accept ourselves as we are, delve deep, and discover why we want to live our best lives possible. We learn to live in each moment and appreciate the journey.

See Also: 6 Ways to Lose Weight (and Still Have Fun)

There’s so much more to come for you! Start here and you will have a great foundation.

Here’s to your continued success!

The post 3 Major Lessons Learned From Losing 100 Pounds appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Set Your Mind to Lose Weight

Have you ever asked yourself how people lose weight and manage to keep it off?

You are thinking losing weight and staying fit is a matter of genetics, metabolism, and the willpower to change one’s habits. Although those things play a part in losing weight, building muscle, and improving one’s general health, the most important component to change happens in your brain.

The two stimuli that cause a person to take action

According to Tony Robbins’ book,  Awaken The Giant Within, human beings are motivated to take action by two things: pain and pleasure.

awaken the giant within

We do the things we do to move from pain to pleasure.

That can be eating, sleeping, finding a partner in life, quitting a job you hate, drinking, smoking or gambling.

We associate eating with pleasure because it removes the pain of hunger.

See Also: 8 Bad Food Habits That are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals

We sleep to give our exhausted bodies and minds some rest.

We spend a good portion of our lives looking for a partner so we can share our joys and sorrows.

Even people who drink associate alcohol with pleasure. Maybe it’s to help them forget about their problems or to help them de-stress after a hectic work week. Perhaps, they enjoy socializing and alcohol just happened to be a part of most gatherings.

What causes a person to change his or her habits?

How do people suddenly find the motivation they need to lose weight?

I used to wonder if there was a switch you can turn on in a person’s head to make him decide to change for the better.

It turns out there is a name for that switch. It’s called the pain threshold.

Tony Robbins described crossing the pain threshold as the ultimate motivator to create change. Once you associate so much pain to something, you would do everything in your power to change it and move yourself to pleasure.

Most people who decided to lose weight crossed the pain threshold, which can be in the form of health issues.

Arthur Boorman was in so much pain from walking. So, he decided he had to lose weight or he would never walk unassisted for life.

Jared Mollenkopf was so out of shape that he got tired just sitting in front of a computer. Since he has an office job, imagine how much pain he’s in, having to sit for 8 hours a day.

Stacey Morris got embarrassed each time she had to put on extension seat belts whenever she flies. Since her job requires her to travel a lot, she had to endure that situation often.

It’s also pretty common to see people choosing to lose weight because of their family. Not living long enough to see young kids grow up or not having the energy to be there for the family during special occasions can be a good source of motivation to shape up.

How to use pain and pleasure to create change

The most important thing to ask yourself is this:

What do you really want?

Think about what is really going to give you joy and what gives you sorrow. Once you’ve figured that out, create leverage on yourself by associating pain to not changing NOW. Leverage is the key to get yourself into taking massive action.

In my case, there was a point in my life when I felt exercising took a lot of effort and I had little to no time for it.  I ate junk foods and sweets often because they tasted good.

It’s funny because I didn’t find time or energy for exercise but I could always squeeze in some time to go to the bar with my friends.

Was it fun eating anything I desired and drinking alcohol with friends instead of exercising and eating healthy? Absolutely.

Until one day, I took my shirt off and looked in a mirror.

I looked nothing like I used to be. I wasn’t really overweight, but my belly was starting to stick out. My hairline was starting to recede and my cheekbones and jawline where nowhere to be found.

I always felt like I needed more sleep and had low energy level to do anything physical.

I was in the worst shape of my life and I was only 29 years old!

The pain I felt looking and feeling older than I am was overwhelming. I knew right there that if I didn’t change something, things would go downhill fast and I was not prepared to accept that.

One thing I learned was that if I wanted to get different results, I had to do something I’ve never done. It definitely took a lot of courage to try something I knew nothing about but the pain of failing and gaining more weight weighed more than the fear of the unknown.

I took action. I bought weight loss programs online, which totally changed the way I trained. Slowly, I renewed my commitment to eating healthier, too.

The one thing that is absolutely crucial if you want to create permanent change

You’ve decided what you really want, you’ve gotten leverage on yourself, you changed your habits and approach and you’ve gotten the results you’re looking for. You started seeing results.

Well, it’s not enough that you lost some weight. You need to find a way to keep the fat off.

The danger with not creating new habits is that you can easily slip back into the things you were used to doing.

I mean, I could have stopped training. After all, I lost weight already. I could have gone back to enjoying my weekends watching movies, eating anything I wanted, and drinking beer.

But the joy I found with my new self meant more than eating junk foods and laying on the couch. My weekends were replaced by pickup games with friends or trying out new ways to do cardio, like biking, going on long walks in the park or hiking.

lose weight biking

Hearing compliments about how much weight I lost felt good and it motivated me to train harder. That’s also enough motivation for me to take it easy on junk foods and alcohol. I became committed to staying healthy.

I still have my cheat meal and beer occasionally but I don’t enjoy it as much as I used to. After all, being healthy, strong, and confident give me my ultimate pleasure.

Conclusion

Now that you understand how to set your mind to lose weight and keep it off, it’s time for you to give it a try.

First, know what motivates you and what ultimately gives you pain and pleasure.  Figuring out how to lose weight with training and proper nutrition will follow as long as you’re committed to making changes. After all, there are lots of materials available on the internet from people who have done it before you.

Just find out what will work for you. Figure out what you like and what you don’t like. Go on and take that first step.

The post How to Set Your Mind to Lose Weight appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

What To Look For In Health Insurance Plans for Parents

Finding the right health insurance plans for parents can be tough but when you know exactly what to look for, it can become a seamless process.

Old age brings with it ailments and health-related problems. If you aren’t prepared, it can put you under a lot of stress. It can cause problems not just with your finances but your relationship with your parents and siblings, too.

One of the best ways to be prepared is to invest in the right health insurance plan. Here are the most important factors you need to consider before purchasing one.

Entry Age

health insurance plans for parents entry age

A majority of the health insurance companies provide health insurance for senior citizens around the age of 60 to 70. If your parents have passed 60 years of age, consider getting a senior citizen health insurance policy rather than a family floater plan. There are different entry age guidelines for different policies so make sure you check in advance before signing up for one.

The Kind of Coverage Available

You need to know that the policy you buy provides extensive coverage. This ensures your aging parents are protected against various types of ailments and even pre-existing illnesses.

Make certain that you check all the terms and conditions well. This helps you understand the kind of coverage you get in a better way.

Sum Insured

The sum insured should be sufficient to cover your parents’ medical expenses. You need to take into account all your parents’ existing health issues and conditions they are at risk of.

It goes without saying that you need to go for a policy that offers the highest coverage. Stay informed about the medical inflation rate and then decide accordingly.

The Premium Amount

As a person ages, his insurance policy’s premium rate also increases. Premium rates on senior citizen insurance policies are on the higher side. This is because the risk element is comparatively high for senior citizens.

When finding the best medical insurance for parents, you need to consider all the coverage factors and go for the policy that comes with the lowest premium.

Network Hospitals that Provide Cashless Treatment

health insurance cashless transactions

When an emergency occurs, you can take advantage of your policy by seeking medical help and assistance from network hospitals. This gives you the advantage of gaining cashless treatment.

Although you can head to a non-network hospital (as your insurer would eventually cover the outstanding expense in time), you can go to an in-network hospital to obtain treatment without worrying about paying the hospital bills. See that the insurance policy you choose has a wide range of network hospitals on its list.

See Also: 7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance

You also need to consider the renewal age which determines when you can renew the insurance policy. These factors can make choosing a systematic and trouble-free health insurance policy for parents easier.

See Also: 5 Financial Emergencies Everyone Must Be Prepared For

The post What To Look For In Health Insurance Plans for Parents appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How to Get Flawless Skin: The Best Tips You Should Know By Now

Your skin gets exposed to harsh conditions every day. There’s pollution, UV rays, dirt, and harsh weather conditions. If you don’t take care of your skin the right way, you can end up with a lot of skin issues, like acne, wrinkles, and sunspots.

So, how to get flawless skin?

On this article, you will learn ten easy beauty tips to keep your skin smooth and elastic.

Do regular cleansing

Cleansing is one good way to make sure no dirt, dead skin cells, and makeup residues can clog your pores. In choosing the right cleanser, it’s a good idea to consider your skin type.

If you have oily skin, go for oil-free cleansers. In case you are dealing with acne, you can use medicated soaps but make sure that they aren’t strong enough to irritate your skin. As much as possible, avoid cleansers with perfume, artificial colors, and chemicals as they can cause allergic reactions.

Wash your face twice a day. Do it in the morning and before you go to sleep.

Moisturize your skin

moisturize-skin

Most people tend to forego moisturizers, particularly those with oily skin.

The truth, however, is that moisturizers are essential in making sure your skin doesn’t get dry and dehydrated. Once that happens, your skin will produce more oil than necessary and that can spell problems for your skin. Excess oil can cause acne, clogged pores, and dull skin.

Apply your moisturizer right after cleansing, while your skin is still damp. This will ensure that you seal in as much moisture as possible.

Exfoliate regularly

This is another important beauty tip that you should include in your skincare routine. Having too much dead skin cells can make your skin look dull and it can also make you prone to clogged pores. It can even lead to acne.

When exfoliating, make sure to use something light. Skip exfoliators that contain highly abrasive ingredients as they can only cause more problems. Use gentle, circular motions when scrubbing and limit exfoliation to once or twice a week.

Apply a face mask

Every time you take your skin through the exfoliation process, follow up with a good face mask. However, since they can be expensive, you can try creating your own natural face mask. You can use papaya, lemon, or even honey to bring back your skin’s natural glow.

Put on sunscreen

If you’ve been skipping sunscreen because it feels greasy, you’re probably using the wrong product. The right sunscreen should feel light and natural on the skin without compromising protection.

Apply it every single day. Even if it’s a cloudy day, UV rays can still cause damage to your skin. It can make you prone to wrinkles, sunburn, and even skin cancer.

Watch your diet

develop healthy eating habits

Healthy eating can benefit your skin, too.

If you have oily skin, then you must avoid eating too much junk foods and sweets. Eat one fruit a day and drink at least eight glasses of water to flush out toxins. Include veggies in your meals, too.

Observing this kind of diet will eventually regulate the amount of oil produced by your skin. This is one of the ways to remove warts as well.

See Also: 10 Best Skin Foods For Healthy Glowing Skin

Use an alcohol-free toner

Alcohol-based toners can work on any skin type. Daily toning eliminates dirt and excess oil from your skin. If you can’t access rosewater, you can use other alcohol-free toners to regulate sebum.

Apply ice cubes

Ice cubes help to shrink pores, hydrate your skin, remove puffiness, and improve blood circulation. Rubbing ice cubes on the oiliest parts of your skin will regulate the oil generation and tone saggy skin temporarily.

Steam

Steam is another beauty tip you shouldn’t miss. It helps open skin pores, making it easy to free your pores.

Steaming your skin daily with mint leaves or margosa leaves in hot water for approximately three minutes allows minerals from the leaves to penetrate through the pores and extract extra oil.

Bonus tip: Choose the right serums and makeup

Use the right skin serums for your skin type as they can guarantee dramatic results. You can apply them after toning and before you apply your face creams and moisturizers.

Wait for your serum and other skin care products to dry or get absorbed by your skin before you do the rest of your makeup. This way, you’ll be able to prep your skin, leaving it glowing and free from breakouts.

See Also: Unlocking Japan’s Secrets to Healthy Skin

The post How to Get Flawless Skin: The Best Tips You Should Know By Now appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Stopping Steroids Abruptly: What You Need To Know About Steroid Withdrawal

Edward Kendall from Mayo Clinic won the 1950 Nobel Prize for his research on the medical use of cortisone. This drug helped in simulating cortisol, an anti-inflammatory hormone released by the adrenal glands.

That and many other steroids, such as prednisone and prednisolone, have since been proven useful in treating an array of conditions. They help to relieve ailments, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

But, steroid use has come at a high price and that price is addiction.

Steroids Dale Guide reports that steroids can aid bodybuilders and athletes in boosting their muscle mass and overall athletic performance. But, as many have realized the hard way, steroids have an inherent risk of addiction, mainly when used for a long time.

There are several concerns that stem from long-term steroid use. These are the medication’s side effects, the imbalance in hormone levels, and withdrawal symptoms.

Steroid withdrawal symptoms occur when a patient attempts to discontinue the drug or decrease his usual dosage abruptly, causing symptoms that mimic other health conditions. In this article, you’ll learn what those symptoms are and how you can overcome the condition.

Steroid Withdrawal Symptoms

These signs will appear after extended steroid treatment has been abruptly stopped.

Abdominal pain

Many steroid users begin to experience intense pain in the stomach region. Others may suffer from a burning sensation throughout the abdomen.

Anxiety

While many individuals report that they suffer from depression, there are those who experience intense anxiety. It arises from changes in hormone levels and HPA.

A decrease in appetite

This is not surprising, given that the majority of steroids work by stimulating an individual’s appetite. When you quit taking steroids, your appetite will decline significantly.

Fatigue

Another common symptom of steroid withdrawal is fatigue. It’s because you are not taking cortisol anymore.

Muscle soreness

Some patients have experienced muscle soreness after discontinuing steroid treatment. We recommend that you purchase some over-the-counter pain relievers to ease the pain.

Physical weakness

It is also not unusual to experience a general sense of malaise. You are likely to feel very weak and achy, but this is just your body’s response to working without the drug that it has been supplied with regularly.

Diarrhea

This is more of an immediate side effect following the discontinuation of steroid use. If you fall prey to this condition, you should consider purchasing Imodium, which can be bought over the counter.

Dizziness

It’s a widespread withdrawal problem from any drug and not just steroids. Luckily, it may wear off in a few weeks or once the drug is out of your system.

Headaches

Some patients start using steroids to treat headaches. Consequently, coming off of the drug may lead to more severe headaches. Some patients may get constant headaches while others experience full-blown migraines.

Joint pain

It is also common for steroid users to feel pain in the joints because of the inadequate cortisol production. It could also stem from the inflammation that comes with the withdrawal process. If you experience joint pain, avoid engaging in rigorous activities as it will only stress your joints further.

manage joint pain

See Also: Words of Advice To Keep Your Joints Healthy

What Influences Steroid Withdrawal?

Regardless of the medication that one is taking, some factors can make withdrawal more difficult. The list includes duration, dosage, and individual physiology.

If you’re experiencing steroid withdrawal symptoms, it’s probably because of these factors:

Time Span

As a rule of thumb, the longer the time you take your steroids, the longer it will take for your body to readjust to normal functioning.

Using steroids for up to a month or a year causes your body and brain to rely on the drug exclusively. As a result, it becomes incapable of functioning well in the absence of the drug.

In contrast, an individual who has been using steroids for just a short period will have an easier time discontinuing the drug.

Dosage

Steroids are used in treating a vast range of illnesses. Consequently, the dose that your physician prescribes will rely on the condition he’s treating.

If you choose to take a dosage higher than the one you have been prescribed, you’ll have a harder time withdrawing. Conversely, those on low-maintenance dosages will find it easier to withdraw.

Individual Factors

steroid withdrawal factors

Withdrawal symptoms will vary considerably from one individual to another. People on high steroid dosages are likely to suffer severe physiological responses. Others get lucky and barely experience any adverse effect.

Just remember that the symptoms you encounter may be entirely different from what another individual will experience.

See Also: The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome

Why People Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Differently

Throughout history, researchers have questioned why some patients experience withdrawal symptoms while others don’t. This all boils down to the production of corticosteroids.

Ideally, this process is facilitated by a feedback mechanism. It involves three parts- the adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and the brain.

Scientifically, the three constitute the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPAA). When you continuously take steroids, it inhibits the HPAA mechanism.

The dose of steroid varies from one patient to another. Usually, taking high doses for a couple of days or small doses for an extended period causes adverse effects on HPAA functioning. Since there will always be a variation in the manner in which individuals take steroids, they can be affected differently.

Tests for Diagnosing Steroid Withdrawal

Given that steroid withdrawal symptoms always vary, health practitioners find it challenging to diagnose this problem. The most recommended technique is a good history and physical evaluation of the patient. The physician will need to pay close attention to the individual’s history of steroid use and treatment.

Other tests that may prove useful are cortisol level, Complete Blood Count (CBC), BUN level, and creatinine level. The cortisol test is for measuring the concentration of cortisol in blood while BUN test determines the amount of urea nitrogen in the blood. CBC, on the other hand, is essential in evaluating an individual’s overall health.

Treating Steroid Withdrawal

You may find this peculiar but the best treatment for steroid withdrawal is to administer a steroid course to the patient. Then, after a short while, your physician will start to reduce the steroid dosage gradually.

This way, your body can start adjusting to its normal functioning, including synthesizing steroids.

However, patients have different reactions. As such, health experts will have to account for the patient’s specific symptoms, type of steroids, as well as the individual’s compliance.

Based on how dependent your body had become to steroids, the withdrawal treatment can last anywhere from a few weeks to one year.

Is Steroid Withdrawal Avoidable?

Yes, there are ways to prevent steroid withdrawal. The best way is to use steroids only for the short-term and in a conservative approach.

Short-term use (although this will differ depending on the type of steroid) is highly unlikely to stimulate steroid withdrawal. However, this condition can be prevented by tapering the dosage with time.

Final Verdict

Steroid withdrawal results from the abrupt discontinuation of steroid treatment. The most common symptoms of this condition include joint pain, muscle soreness, fatigue, and anxiety.

Thankfully, you can avoid steroid withdrawal by ensuring that you take these drugs for just a short period. Also, instead of quitting steroids cold turkey, try to reduce your dosage gradually.

The post Stopping Steroids Abruptly: What You Need To Know About Steroid Withdrawal appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop suggests you use coffee to clean your poop chute. Don’t.

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No matter what Gwyneth Paltrow’s dubious health website tells you, please talk to your doctor before shooting coffee into your colon.

In an article titled “The Nuts and Bolts of Colonics,” Goop writer Dr. Alejandro Junger suggests a specific brand of enema device for people who want to use a home system and know what they’re doing. Goop links out to the device which immediately advertises itself as “a clean way to do coffee enemas” for the low low price of $135.

If you don’t know what an enema is, it’s a procedure (usually performed by doctors) to clean out someone’s colon by injecting fluid up their butt. The product linked in Goop’s article claims to work well with coffee, and also claims that shooting coffee into your colon is good for your liver, removes “toxins,” and relieves depression, confusion(?), allergy symptoms, and severe pain. Read more…

More about Health, Coffee, Gwyneth Paltrow, Goop, and Enema

Why You Should Include Nuts In Your Weight Loss Regimen

Nuts are healthy as they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. However, a majority of people on a weight loss regimen avoid including them in their diet because they fear their fats and calories.

That is a mere misconception. In reality, nuts can help you lose weight.

How?

We’ll share with you the best nuts for weight loss but first, let’s unravel the truth first.

Studies on How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss

Nuts are rich in calories. A large part of them contains fat which is a concentrated source of energy. 1 gram of fat has up to 9 calories while a gram of protein contains only 4 calories.

This high concentration of fats and calories makes many people on a weight loss diet assume that adding nuts can make them gain weight. To bust this idea, a lot of studies have been conducted over the years.

One particular study involving 8865 men and women over a 28-month period found that those who ate two or more portions of nuts every week increased their chances of losing weight by 31% compared to the placebo group. Another review involving 36 studies reported that taking nuts is not associated with increased body weight, waist size or BMI.

In a controlled study, where the participants adhered to a strict diet, the inclusion of different types of nuts to their diet did not lead to changes in body weight. More importantly, where the nuts were included in a diet of people on an unrestricted diet, nut consumption did not cause weight gain.

A study involving 65 obese patients compared a low-calorie diet which has complex carbs to a low-calorie diet enhanced with nuts. They took equal amounts of cholesterol, calories, protein, and saturated fats.

After a 24-week period, the people on the almond diet had reduced weight by 62%, fat mass by 56% and waist circumference by 50%. The groups also experienced improved cholesterol, including reduced LDL and triglycerides. The other group did not encounter such benefits.

How Nuts Aid in Weight Loss

Nuts have a complex structure, which means that unless they are chewed up completely or ground up, a large proportion only passes the gut without digestion. As such, they are not absorbed and are lost in fecal matter. It explains why nuts are weight loss friendly.

Here are some of the best nuts for weight loss you can add to your diet:

Walnuts

walnut

Apart from being heart-healthy, walnuts contain unsaturated fats which help reduce abdominal fat. They come in handy for people on a weight loss regimen as they also improve insulin metabolism. They are unique as they are rich in polyunsaturated fats, unlike other kinds of nuts that have high levels of monounsaturated fats.

Walnuts have Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA). It helps reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular and other chronic diseases. Walnuts have 183 calories and 18 grams of fat of which 2.5 grams of fat contain ALA. It makes walnuts a rich source of the essential fatty acid.

A research on 245 women showed that a diet rich in walnuts helped them lose weight, reduced the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL), and improved the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

You can add these nuts to your salad or mix them with your breakfast oats.

Cashew Nuts

cashew-nut

A serving of cashew nuts contains five grams of protein and thirteen grams of fat. Cashew nuts are also an excellent source of magnesium. In fact, a 100-gram serving of cashew nuts provides up to 73% of the daily value of magnesium.

This mineral is essential for regulating the amount of carbohydrates in the body and metabolism of fat, which helps you lose weight.

Apart from taking raw cashew nuts, you can also try spreading cashew butter on whole-wheat toast to up your intake of these healthy nuts.

Pistachios

pistachios

Their unique color and flavor make them a favorite ingredient in morning green smoothies, morning snacks, and baked recipes.

A serving of pistachios has three grams of dietary fiber which is 12% of the recommended daily intake. Dietary fiber helps the body feel satiated for long, which helps rid of intense food craving. This helps you lose weight fast and burn more calories.

A study involving participants who included an afternoon snack of pistachios achieved lower triglycerides and body weight.

See Also: How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss

Nut Recipes You Should Try Out

Banana Bread

banana bread

If you want to avoid gluten products, then this banana bread is the right snack for you. You can eat it for breakfast, dessert or snack.

A snack of gluten-free banana bread made of walnuts allows you to enjoy the benefits of ALA while enjoying the satiety of protein. Plus, walnuts can add a delicious crunch to this snack.

Ingredients

For this recipe you will need:

  • A couple of overripe bananas
  • Brown rice flour
  • Walnuts
  • Applesauce
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond milk
  • Gluten-free rolled oats
  • Coconut flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Apply oil and flour on the baking pan and set it aside.
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients (two eggs, coconut oil, bananas, honey, almond milk, applesauce) in a mixing bowl.
  4. Then, fold in the dry ingredients (baking soda, brown rice flour, baking powder, walnuts, gluten-free oats, coconut flour, salt) and combine until the mixture is smooth and thick.
  5. Pour the mixture into the baking pan.
  6. You can sprinkle some oats over the butter.
  7. Allow the batter to bake for 55 minutes until the tester comes out clean.
  8. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for twenty minutes in the baking pan.
  9. Allow it to cool on a wire rack and cut it into slices for breakfast.

See Also: 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

Conclusion

Clearly, nuts are essential for people who want to shed off a few pounds. The right proportion of the best nuts for weight loss also provide numerous other health benefits.

The post Why You Should Include Nuts In Your Weight Loss Regimen appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50

Let’s be honest.

Turning 50 doesn’t really mean much anymore when people are healthier and living longer than ever. However, society still sees this as a milestone. That being said, for some women over 50, a whole new chapter of growth and excitement could be opening up. If you are one of those women, this means a lot more free time for new experiences.

Being over 50, whether male or female, also means physical changes could be occurring in your body. For women, the list includes arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, heart disease, and a loss of flexibility. There’s the horror of menopause, too.

In the words of Dr. Christiane Northrup, a renowned expert in women’s health, “Getting older is inevitable; aging is optional.”

If you’ve seen women in their 80s and 90s doing yoga, you know this is true!

The gentle exercise of yoga and the inherent practice of mindfulness can drastically change the way you see your own body and life. It’s also an inexpensive tool to combat stiffness, arthritis, and chronic pain.

Interested in trying yoga? Here are a few yoga poses for women over 50 you can try today.

Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog

Downward Facing Dog is a yoga classic that no practice is complete without. Down Dog, as it’s called colloquially, stretches the entire back while allowing the neck to relax. This makes it a favorite for those with chronic lower back pain as well as those who work behind a computer all day. It also helps strengthen the shoulders, but exercise caution and listen to your body if you’re recovering from a shoulder injury.

See Also: Top 10 Yoga-Before-Bed Poses to Reduce your Back Pain

Modified Tree Pose

modified tree pose

Tree Pose is a balancing pose. Like all balancing poses, it brings strength to the feet and a mild workout to the abs. Tree Pose also provides a gentle stretch to the hips.

From a spiritual perspective, yogic wisdom holds that balancing poses inspire confidence. Similarly, core strengthening is meant to cultivate willpower while hip openers are said to release emotional blockages. God knows you’ve probably accumulated some of those.

To modify this pose, place your hand on a sturdy chair before executing the balancing aspect of the pose.

Crescent Pose

crescent pose

Crescent Pose, also known as High Lunge, builds strength in the legs while delivering a delicious stretch to the hips, chest, shoulders, and the all too forgotten ankles.

For a milder pose that requires less balance and muscular engagement, feel free to perform this pose with one knee on the ground. If you have knee troubles, be sure to use a thick mat or put a towel under your knee.

Triangle Pose

triangle pose

Triangle Pose or Trikonasana is one of the best poses for a full body stretch. While opening the entire front body, this pose also delivers a much-needed stretch to the ankles, hips, legs, and back. Women who are braving menopause particularly love this pose, claiming it helps relieve constipation and lower back pain.

Restorative Bridge Pose

restorative bridge pose
Via breastcanceryogablog

Restorative Bridge Pose is a modification of the Bridge Pose. It creates a more restful posture, which is perfect for nights when you can’t fall asleep. This relaxing pose is also said to help relieve digestive discomfort while opening the chest.

For this pose, you’ll need a block or bolster. Simply assume the position of traditional Bridge Pose. You can use your prop to support your lower back. Then, relax and allow gravity to deliver a gentle stretch to your lower back.

See Also: Yoga and Health: From Better Mental Health To Improved Sleep Quality

Treat Yourself

No matter what your age is, there’s no question that yoga can radically change your life.

If you’re craving for more flexibility or relief from chronic pain, yoga might be one of the most cost-effective solutions you can find. If you are dealing with menopause, yoga can help you survive those painful days and sleepless nights while the meditative aspect of the practice can help with your mood.

As a woman, you’ve probably been taking care of other people your entire life. However, you have to remember that taking care of yourself is actually the first step in helping others. Take time to do something for yourself by introducing yoga into your routine. Your body will definitely thank you for it.

The post The 5 Key Yoga Poses For Women Over 50 appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Dental Care for Children With Special Needs

Meeting and balancing the requirements of your special child can be very challenging at times. Urgent medical matters usually take preference over dental care. According to research, these children are more likely to suffer from dental problems as compared to children without any disabilities.

If your child has down syndrome, seizure disorders, learning disabilities or cerebral palsy, here’s a quick guide to proper dental care for children with special needs.

Dental Visits

dental visit

Make sure not to skip any dental visits and find a dentist who understands children with special needs. You can learn a lot from them. If your child is having a hard time sitting still during his dental exam, you can plug in some earphones with music so they can be comfortable.

Daily Oral Healthcare at Home

Allow your child to brush his teeth where he is comfortable. The bathroom is not the only place where your child can brush his teeth. Make sure to provide enough light, steady and clean water, and a good sized mirror. Have a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste ready, too.

Create a Positive Atmosphere

Your approach to oral care is important to your child. A positive attitude will make your child’s approach to dental care a lot more fun.

Explain and demonstrate all the steps to your child. Make sure to appreciate his effort the best way possible to ensure good behavior and consistent good practices.

Establish a Routine

oral hygiene routine

Developing a consistent routine can help create a sense of familiarity. This can increase your child’s confidence in taking care of his oral health. You can set the routine according to what your dentist recommends. Maintain a record of what is effective and what is not so that you can refer it to the dentist on your child’s next visit.

Nutrition and Oral Health

Make sure to kick-start your child’s dental routine as soon as you get home from the hospital by wiping his gums with a wet gauze pad. Once your child’s teeth have erupted, make sure to brush his teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Ask your dentist when you can start using fluoride toothpaste and how much you can use.

Serving healthy and well-balanced meals with limited use of sugary or starchy foods can encourage healthy teeth and limit tooth decay. They can also encourage your child’s baby teeth to grow and develop properly.

Remember to brush your child’s teeth after eating. If that isn’t always possible, have him drink water or rinse out his mouth after eating to neutralize or wash away the acids.

Make Your Child Comfortable with Oral Care

Giving your child a lot of time to become familiar with his dentist’s clinic can help reduce his anxiety to a large extent. You should help your child find his comfort zone, help him explore the dental clinic, and understand the dental procedure as much as possible.

Timings Matter

Some people are able to cope better at different times of the day and the same goes for children.

Mornings are ideal as children still have a lot of energy. However, for children who are diabetic, make sure to ask his doctor as there are certain procedures that need special requirements. One good example is blood sugar.

Break Stereotypes and Work with What Your Child is Comfortable With

It is not necessary for your child to get his dental check-up done in a dental chair as has been stereotyped for adults. He can have his check-up done wherever he feels comfortable. He can get his teeth and mouth checked whether he’s in his wheelchair or sitting on your lap.

I hope that these 8 oral health care tips help your children maintain good oral health and experience healthy and happy lives without being plagued by dental problems.

The post Dental Care for Children With Special Needs appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Theranos gets $100 million in debt financing to carry it through 2018, with some caveats

 Theranos has secured $100 million in debt financing. Yes, someone gave the blood testing company known for handing out questionable test results money.
First reported by Business Insider, the company reportedly told investors it had secured the money from Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based private equity firm that was acquired by Softbank earlier this year.
Of course, this is debt… Read More

How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss

I’ve got a secret to tell you.

Your body has one powerful tool it can use to start burning fat like crazy. That same tool can also make you gain weight and store all those excess fats in all areas of your body.

Can you guess what it is?

It’s your thyroid.

It’s that tiny gland located in your neck, right below the Adam’s apple. It has dozens of different functions and effects, but perhaps the most important one is metabolism regulation.

thyroid gland
Via webmd

What is metabolism?

In layman’s terms, metabolism is the speed and intensity of all biochemical reactions and processes happening in your body. It is defined by a lot of different factors, among which endocrine regulation plays a crucial role.

Actually, that’s why some people are naturally thin while other folks are chubby.

Imagine it as an engine and the fuel is your body fat.

The faster it goes, the more fuel it burns.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?

So, how do you kick-start your metabolism, especially if its natural rates are much lower than you’d prefer? Is there a way to safely tweak your endocrine system to boost the rate of your body’s chemical reactions?

That’s where your thyroid plays a crucial role.

Thyroxine: The Ultimate Metabolism Booster

Thyroxine, also known as T4, is one of the main hormones produced by the thyroid gland. Its primary role is to be transformed into triiodothyronine (T3), which is the active form of this hormone.

Yep, thyroxine isn’t that active. So, why do we call it the ultimate metabolism booster in this article?

The main trick here is that you can’t elevate T3 levels directly, but it is possible to improve T4 secretion. Thyroxine will then be converted into T3 and this will skyrocket your metabolism, resulting in a significant fat loss.

Now, let’s get specific and take a good look at what your thyroid needs and how to boost your metabolism through it.

The Essentials for Having Good Thyroxine

Iodine

This is the staple component of all thyroid hormones: none of them can be synthesized without iodine. Therefore, it doesn’t come as a surprise that iodine deficiency quickly results in hypothyroidism. It’s a health condition during which your thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroxine and triiodothyronine.

Studies indicate that almost 2 million people around the world have a certain degree of iodine deficiency and it often remains undiagnosed due to the mildness of the symptoms.

Weakness, fatigability, decreased mood, and excess weight are among the usual ones. Most people would think that they’re just bad effects of chronic stress and would do nothing about them.

Selenium

This essential micro-nutrient plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of your thyroid gland. It doesn’t only improve the production of thyroid hormones but it can also help alleviate the course of some health conditions, like Hashimoto’s disease. It’s an autoimmune condition that gradually destroys the thyroid, often without any prominent symptoms besides mild reduction in hormone levels.

Just imagine, taking 0.2 mg of selenium daily can improve the antibodies count by a whole 21% during Hashimoto’s!

Vitamin C and Zinc

A study published in 2008 analyzed whether there was any consistent vitamin C and/or zinc deficiency in patients with benign thyroid diseases. It turns out that all of the examined patients had low levels of these nutrients, suggesting that they may also play a crucial role in keeping your thyroid healthy.

Vitamin D

Multiple studies, including this one from 2013, showed that people with low thyroid hormone levels usually have low vitamin D levels as well. This emphasizes the importance of this vitamin in maintaining a healthy thyroid function.

On the other hand, studies affirm that over 40% of American adults have a certain level of vitamin D deficiency. Who knows, maybe this is one of the reasons why excess weight and obesity are all over US?

But, fear not.

We won’t let you go with just this vague piece of advice. Below you’ll find a fabulous list of 10 specific foods that increase thyroxine secretion. Eat them regularly and you’ll be able to boost your metabolism in no time.

8 Foods that Boost Thyroxine Naturally

Seafood

seafood thyroxine rich food

All kinds of seaweeds (algae), shellfish (oysters, shrimp, clams, scallops, octopuses, squids), and fish (preferably wild-caught) are fabulous sources of iodine.

The best thing about increasing your iodine intake naturally, instead of looking for some sort of shady supplement, is that you can’t overdose on dietary iodine. Your body will take as much as it needs, increasing your body’s thyroxine synthesis to its natural levels.

Brazil nuts

brazil nuts thyroxine food

This is one of the richest sources of dietary selenium ever. A single ounce (6-8 nuts) of Brazil nuts contains over 500 mcg of selenium!

The RDA for this nutrient is 55 mcg/day, so snacking on 1 to 3 nuts will be more than enough to skyrocket your thyroxine production. Also, these nuts are just delicious, so that’s an all-win advice.

Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds thyroxine rich food

A cup of these beauties provides almost half of your recommended daily value of zinc (6.6 mg out of 15 mg).

Bonus benefit: A study has revealed that pumpkin seed extracts could reduce the risk of breast cancer. These seeds are rich in dietary fibers, magnesium, and plant-based omega-3s, too.

Guava, Blackcurrant, Red Pepper, Kiwi

guava thyroxine rich food

Can you guess what do these 4 delicious foods have in common? They are all incredibly rich in vitamin C.

Just imagine:

A single guava can give you more than 6 times your RDA for ascorbic acid. Surely, that’s more than enough to support your thyroid.

Cod liver oil

cod liver oil thyroxine rich food

A single teaspoon of cod liver oil contains 440 IU of vitamin D. This is more than enough to cover your recommended daily dose of this valuable nutrient.

Sunlight

sunlight

This is your most reliable and accessible way to get some vitamin D. 10 to 15 minutes of unprotected sunlight exposure 2 or 3 times per week should be enough—and don’t forget to put on your sunscreen right after that!

You see, vitamin D can be produced in your body from the cholesterol in the skin and that’s a great way to get enough of it at all times.

Quick Recap

If you want to boost your metabolism and lose weight for good, one of the most reliable ways to do that is to support the function of your thyroid gland and to help it to produce more thyroxine (T4).

This hormone is inactive itself but quickly transforms into triiodothyronine (T3), boosting your metabolism big time. We can’t elevate our T3 levels directly, but T4 is under our control.

To keep it soaring and healthy, keep track of the following things:

  • Have enough iodine in your diet. Stack on seafood and don’t worry about having too much of it. You can’t get an iodine overdose from eating shrimps.
  • Control your selenium intake. Most people don’t get enough of it but if you want to have healthy thyroxine levels, you should. Snack on 1 to 3 Brazil nuts each day and you’ll be great!
  • Zinc, zinc, zinc. Another micro-nutrient that most Westerners don’t get enough of in their diet is zinc. Don’t follow their path and get your zinc straight for a healthy thyroid. To do so, just carry a pack of pumpkin seeds with you every day. These little fellas are not only a fabulous source of fibers but also a sheer zinc bomb! One cup per day gives you more than half of the recommended daily amount.
  • Keep track of your vitamin C. No, no need to eat lemons. Instead, opt for guava, blackcurrant, red peppers, and kiwi.
  • Go for a walk! 10 minutes of sunlight exposure is more than enough to make your body produce the vitamin D it needs. Just don’t forget to put on your sunscreen after those 10 minutes, not before them.

See Also: 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

The post How to Boost Metabolism: 8 Foods That Can Skyrocket Your Weight Loss appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

How Can Stroke Prevention Save Your Life

No one wants to think about the possibility of having a stroke, but someone in the United States has a stroke an average of every 40 seconds. It could be life altering or even life ending.

The good news is that it is possible to survive a stroke and it’s also possible to prevent one from happening in the first place. You should take steps to understand your risk factors, make lifestyle changes, and finally plan for your best possible outcome should the worst happen.

Do You Have Risk Factors For Stroke?

There are certain risk factors that make you more prone to developing a stroke. According to the National Institutes for Health, here are some of those risk factors:

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Personal history of stroke
  • Diabetes
  • Existing heart Disease
  • Smoking
  • Malformations of brain blood vessels
  • Age
  • High Cholesterol
  • Gender
  • Race or Ethnicity
  • Family history
  • Poor diet
  • Stress and Depression

See Also: 4 Ways To Overcome Depression Naturally

When you have any of those risk factors, it’s important to check your lifestyle and make the necessary changes to prevent stroke. Eat a healthier diet, be more physically active and quit smoking. Seeking medical treatment for other risk factors is also crucial.

stroke risk factor

See Also: 16 Essential Tips for Quitting Smoking

How To Know If You Are Having A Stroke

When you or someone you love is having a stroke, it isn’t always immediately obvious. Someone having a stroke may just seem tired or even a little drunk, so early warning signs are often brushed off.

According to the American Stroke Association, you should think FAST. It’s an acronym which stands for:

  • Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call

Another easier method is to have the person stick out their tongue and see whether it is lopsided.

No matter what, if you suspect you or someone else is having a stroke, you must get to the nearest emergency room immediately or call 911.

call 911

Stroke Prevention: Giving Yourself A Better Chance Of Survival

Obviously, getting yourself to the hospital as soon as you suspect a stroke is crucial to your survival. Preventing a stroke from happening in the first place is also a great idea. But if you know you are at risk and you have already done everything you can to prevent a stroke from happening, it’s time to plan for the worst-case scenario.

How do you give yourself the best chance of surviving a stroke once it already starts?

With a little planning, you can identify which hospitals in your area will give you the best chance of surviving a stroke. It starts with identifying the Comprehensive Stroke Centers.

A hospital with a Comprehensive Stroke Center certification is one where the doctors, nurses, and other staff have been trained to work together to ensure the best possible outcome for stroke patients. These healthcare professionals are constantly updating their training to be on the cutting edge of research that will allow patients to recover more quickly and more thoroughly.

This research is not only used to stop your stroke as quickly as possible, but it is also used to put you on the right path toward recovery. It can help you get your life back as quickly as possible.

It’s not always easy to identify which hospitals in your area are certified as comprehensive stroke centers. This is why it is important to do your research ahead of time and talk it over with your family. When you make a plan before anything bad happens, it will be that much easier to get where you need to go in an emergency. It could save your life.

Learn more about Comprehensive Stroke Centers from this infographic. A little bit of preparation could lead to a 7% reduction in death when the absolute worst happens.Comprehensive Stroke Centers

The post How Can Stroke Prevention Save Your Life appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome

The 21st century is the Golden Age of Exercise. Never before has there been such a keen fixation with being fit. People go crazy over yoga, spin class, the treadmill, the elliptical, and the good old jogging/running.

While the significance of exercise can’t be over-emphasized, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Research has shown that overtraining syndrome or engaging in too much exercise does indeed have significant side effects.

Illnesses

Too much exercise puts those who exercise for more than two hours at risk of getting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). According to the Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics Sports Journal, too much stress on the body, such as engaging in strenuous exercises, can actually cause the Leaky Gut Syndrome.

It weakens the lining of the gut, leading to the entry of germs into the bloodstream. This poisoning is a major cause of MS and a host of other illnesses.

Multiple Sclerosis has been known to bind people to wheelchairs for the rest of their lives and it would be somehow ironic to lose your mobility because you couldn’t keep your legs off the treadmill.

Abnormal heart rhythm

Another side effect of overtraining syndrome is the occurrence of arrhythmia or abnormal heart rhythms. Research suggests that excessive endurance exercises can cause changes in the heart muscles. These changes expose athletes to arrhythmia that increases the risk of cardiac death.

This is a sharp warning to those who self-righteously think that only smokers and drug addicts are at risk of arrhythmia. If your resting heart rate has increased by more than five beats per minute, you might want to pick the sofa over the treadmill. Your heart will thank you for it.

See Also: 10 Habits That Can Prevent Heart Disease

Weak immune system

It is a well-known fact that exercise makes one stronger. However, too much exercise does the opposite.

During exercise, a hormone called cortisone is produced. This hormone is essentially beneficial to athletes as it decreases swelling, stimulates gluconeogenesis, and increases the breakdown of protein in the liver. Unfortunately, it’s also immunosuppressive, which means that it can make athletes more prone to getting sick because of a weakened immune system

Weak bones

bone pain

Research suggests that overproduction of cortisol interferes with bone building.

When the hormone is in the bloodstream, there is more bone tissue being broken down than being deposited. This explains why people who are over-exerting themselves are more at risk of getting fractures. Moreover, as bone density decreases, conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis are more likely to happen.

Ill mental health

Exercising has been known to release the feel-good hormone dopamine. It’s one of the reasons why athletes keep going back to the gym.

Overtraining, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. It releases the same biochemical markers as those diagnosed with clinical depression. In addition to that, athletes who overtrain can also experience apathy, irritation, and hostility, which are similar symptoms of clinically depressed people.

Sleep disorders

sleep disorders

Too much exercise can also affect a person’s sleeping habits. People who overtrain experience insomnia at night. They may also find themselves extremely tired during the day and feel sleepy. This can definitely affect your productivity at work.

See Also: Importance Of Sleep: How It Can Put Your Health In Serious Jeopardy

Eating disorders

Less common but equally troubling is the effect of overtraining on people’s eating habits.

Most people exercise as a way to lose weight. And while normal exercise routines do deliver intended results, those that overtrain become prone to eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia. One good reason is the false belief of people that consuming food would only get in the way of them achieving the body they want.

Conclusion

While health and fitness remain key reasons why many choose to exercise, the biggest reason is still aesthetics. With images of toned arms, firm thighs, sculpted calves, and rock-hard abs continue to be in demand, who wouldn’t feel motivated to exercise?

For as long as the standards of beauty are this high, people will continue to get their sweat on. It is important, however, to keep track of how much pressure we are putting on our bodies so that we can avoid the side effects listed above.

The post The 7 Side Effects of Overtraining Syndrome appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness

Living with chronic illness comes with its own set of unique challenges but it doesn’t mean that life has to be one terrible ordeal.

Often, we don’t look ill and we can still manage to hold down a job. We have families and a bit of a social life. Despite these things, we still feel terrible.

It’s like having the flu every day, with maybe an odd hour or two of relief.

Living with a chronic illness brings with it the challenge of honoring ourselves while also living up to the expectations and responsibilities of being alive. Often, that includes extreme pain, exhaustion or a hidden disability.

The hardest part can be that because we don’t look ill and we do our best, family and friends can forget. They can even become frustrated with us. As a result, we become frustrated with them and we get angry at ourselves for being ill.

These feelings of guilt and frustration can lead to arguments. Sometimes, they can also push us into a deeper sense of depression and deprivation.

Why us? What did we do wrong?

Despite all the questions you may have in your mind, remember that there is a way to live well. It can be a challenging work but living with chronic illness is possible.

Below, I’ll show you how.

First, we need to grieve

grieving chronic illness

We need to grieve for the life we are not going to live or might never live. We need to grieve for the lost time, missed events, and missed opportunities.

And grieving is tough, especially when we are told we can think our way out of it or we, on some metaphysical level, asked for this. This ‘magical’ thinking or any other general new age BS does not help us when we are deep in the mire of seeing our lives crumble beneath us.

We are ill.

Most of us are still desperately searching for a cure. But to continue with this journey, we must accept where we are.

Grieve the loss of the life you don’t have. Grieving comes in waves and must be honored.

However, you should remember that grieving does come to an end once there’s acceptance. So, accept how life is and get on with it.

Let’s live it well- even within the restrictions of the disease.

Which means boundaries

Boundaries keep you safe. They keep your pain down and they keep you sane. They don’t mean brick walls.

Instead, think of them as flexible fences that control what comes in and goes out. Learning to set your fences can be hard. But once done, you’ll wish you were able to do it years ago.

Boundaries let you stop worrying. And when you worry, you increase your stress levels and even your pain. It becomes an endless cycle that damages you more.

Strong boundaries ensure things get done, toxic people stay away, and you stop over giving.

So, sort out what type of boundaries you need. Get others on board, remind them when they are overstepping your boundary, and stick to your guns.

The boundaries you put in place will be unique to you.

Honesty with yourself and others

I feel this follows on naturally after the grieving process and boundaries.

You are going to disappoint people.

You can’t do everything. You’ll have limits due to your illness.

Being honest about this is the best way forward. Explain that you only have so much energy. Give a warning when that energy starts to deplete and plan how you’ll leave if this has not already been done. Then when ready, put your plan into action.

Do not push through!

Pushing through is for emergencies or once in a lifetime events only. The consequences of pushing through are harsh. They mean days in bed, increased pain and increased brain fog.

And often for what? So other people will like you more?

People without a chronic illness can bounce back after 5 minutes, but what about you?

You’ll crash and can’t move.

Listen to your body. Honor when it talks to you and for the love of all that is, don’t push through!

Drop the guilt

It is not your fault that you are ill and it is not your fault that you have limitations. It’s just not your fault so stop feeling guilty.

I can’t stress this enough.

It has taken me years to drop the guilt but finally, it is happening.

This is life.

By accepting ourselves as we are, we make it easier for others to accept us as we are. If we present to the world who we really are without the guilt, the world will reflect that back to us. People that can’t honor this will walk away.

Pamper days that are more than pamper days

Pamper days to me are ‘women going to a spa’.

Well, that is not enough.

Living with chronic illness means we miss out big time.

For me, a pamper day is planning a day where I don’t miss out. I don’t do what anyone else wants or needs me to do. This day is for me to experience what I need to experience to feel alive. This may be a visit to an art gallery, a trip to friends, a simple stroll or a wheelchair visit outdoors.

Too often, we are bounded to our beds and houses and this is bad for us on all fronts.

If you can’t get out, bring the pamper day to you. Have your friends come around and cook for you, have a tea party or a picnic in the back garden. Do what feeds your soul and not what feeds others!

pamper days

But again, don’t push through.

Be strategic about coping with your energy/pain levels.

Love

I am so lucky that I have a partner who understands that I have an illness one can’t see. It wasn’t always like this, but we are now at a point where our routine honors his needs and mine. He knows I’m not pulling a fast one. He can now recognize when exhaustion sets in and if I need to be in bed, then I’m in bed.

It has taken time and patience to get here. Education and seeing medical results have been instrumental, but I’m so glad we have hung in there.

It hasn’t been easy for my daughter, either. She can’t remember a time that I was not ill. As a result, she can read me like a book and sense within a second when I’m flagging. I have done my best to parent her the best I can, but this has sadly meant she has grown up way too fast for my liking.

She spins it and says she is independent and she is. I can’t deny that her love has helped immeasurably, but at a cost to her childhood.

But, what if you don’t have love?

Join clubs or groups. You can even search for virtual ones. Facebook seems to be a suitable place for support and advice. Just try and avoid the toxic groups. We need support, not a pity party.

Which brings me on to toxic people.

What if you have a toxic relationship?

If you do, then get help or just get out. Toxic relationships stress us immeasurably.

We are far better off without them.

There is nothing worse than being ill and living with toxic family or friends. They will make you worse and you deserve better.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Alternative therapies

Alternative therapies are often complementary to the regular medical care many of us have. Some find them a bit ‘woo’ but I do believe the right ones have a significant role to play.

If we are truly fortunate, we have an integrative medic that practices both conventional and complementary techniques.

My illness, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, needs to be treated with several complementary therapies. Diet change has been one and I strictly follow the Auto Immune Protocol. My emotional and mental well-being has been improved with therapies like EFT. I take supplements to correct blood test results and they have improved my fatigue levels.

I still can’t do everything I want to do, so I do the best I can. I no longer beat myself up for it.

I don’t believe I am to blame for this illness and I will no longer allow people in my life that disrespect me because of it.

I see conventional medicine and alternative medicine as a partnership where they complement each other. Together, they can help a person live well.

See Also: Common Health Conditions Treated with Alternative Medicine

My life is more balanced, more loving and more fun. I have grieved, I have dropped the guilt, I have a fantastic doctor and I am loved. All these things make living with chronic illness a little easier.

The post 6 Ways To Live Well With A Chronic Illness appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance

Many people apply for a health insurance in the hopes that whenever they have medical problems, it can help them cover the costs.

Health insurances are pretty expensive and they take a sizable portion of your total salary. It is really helpful as it can truly cut your health expenses down.

Unfortunately, a lot of people aren’t aware that there are certain medical services not covered by insurance. Below are just some of them:

Liposuction/Weight Loss

Obesity is rampant and a number of people suffer from being overweight. This is why a lot of people undergo weight loss procedures that can cost them a lot of money.

Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with getting the procedures as long as you can pay for them. However, it’s important that you understand that they aren’t covered by your insurance so you may need to pay for them on your own.

Also, note that there are weight loss procedures that would require you to visit the doctor a couple of times and each time you visit, you’ll need to hand out cash.

Lasik Surgery

lasik surgery

If you’ve worn glasses all your life, Lasik surgery can be a godsend for you. This procedure makes use of a laser to fix your cornea and improve your vision. This is ideal for people who are suffering from astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Despite its amazing benefits, Lasik surgery can easily cost you more than $1,000 per eye. If you do not have the money to pay for the surgery, you can get a personal loan to cover the costs.

Breast Implants

A lot of women are always concerned about their figure and that is why breast implants have become quite common.

The implants and the entire operation would cost you anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000. That is pretty expensive and you might not be able to pay for it as of the time being. If that’s the case, you can request a reasonable payment plan but not all doctors will be fine with that.

Acupuncture

acupuncture

Acupuncture has a lot of health benefits. You can get this procedure to detect and even heal some of your bodily ailments.

Unfortunately, it can cost you around $100 up to $1,000 and one visit to the acupuncturist will not be enough.

See Also: How Acupuncture Can Help You Quit Smoking

Dental Procedures

Certain dental procedures are covered by your health insurance but only if they are deemed as “medically necessary”. For example, if you’ve suffered an accident where your jaw has been severely damaged, a dentist can help correct it and it should be covered by your insurance.

However, if you only plan to get dental services for the sake of cosmetics, then you may need to pay for them by yourself. This includes services like teeth and gum augmentation, braces and porcelain veneers. Prices vary depending on the dentist.

The best thing you can do is get dental procedures from a dentist who has affordable rates or you can apply for alternative funding such as personal loans or credit card line.

Infertility Treatment

Infertility is another treatment that isn’t covered by your health insurance. In vitro fertilization can cost you around $2,500 to $5,000 per cycle.

And you know what’s worse?

You’ll probably need more than one cycle.

Cosmetic Surgery

Let’s face it:

Every one of us likes to look beautiful and it’s the reason cosmetic surgeries became quite popular. Unfortunately, despite their popularity, they aren’t covered by medical insurances.

Depending on which body part you want to enhance, a cosmetic procedure can easily cost you thousands of dollars. The cost can greatly increase since you have to buy medicines for the procedures, too.

Paying For Medical Services Not Covered By Insurance

The procedures above are just some of the medical services not covered by insurance. If you are thinking of getting them, you need to be prepared as they can get costly.

So, what should you do?

Well, you can get a personal loan to pay for them. It is very easy to apply for one as long as you have a good credit score.

See Also: What To Look For In A Good Health Insurance Plan

Now, the main takeaway here is this:

If a medical procedure is purely for cosmetic purposes, there’s a good chance that it won’t be covered by your medical or health insurance.

The post 7 Medical Procedures That Are Not Covered by Health Insurance appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Early cancer-detection startup Grail is reportedly trying to raise more money

 Just months after Grail raised a $900 million Series B round, the startup that aims to detect cancer early on is looking for additional funding, CNBC reports. Prior to the $900 million round, Grail raised $100 million last year to develop initial studies of its blood test technology. Citing sources, CNBC says Grail is mostly focused on sovereign funds. Grail has reportedly been in touch… Read More

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How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents

Many of us think that safe and proper cleaning of blood spills is as simple as taking a mop and a bucket of water mixed with bleach. But to tell you a fact, there is no simple thing about a blood cleanup.

Aside from the fact that it can be potentially infectious, blood is hard to clean because of its ability to attach tightly to the fabric and penetrate into porous materials. As such, a stain might look clean but has dangerous bacteria just beneath the surface.

The harm caused by blood led the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to publish the Bloodborne Pathogen Standard. The BPS is a set of guidelines that aims to protect workers against health hazards made by bloodborne pathogens.

OSHA Standard

The Bloodborne Pathogen Standard requires employers to comply with OSHA’s guidelines and encourages them to create an Exposure Control Plans if it is highly likely that workers and employees will have contact with blood or other potentially infectious bodily fluids in the performance of their work duties.

Even though most workers and employees, such as those working in banks and financial institutions, do not perform duties in which there is an anticipation of contact with blood, employers should have the appropriate knowledge in case of bloody accidents.

In the guidelines, OSHA also demands employers to provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection.

Employers should implement the use of universal precautions, treating all blood, bodily fluids, and items contaminated with blood as potentially infected with HIV, HBV, and other pathogens. Vaccinations for hepatitis B should also be available within ten days of initial work exposure.

blood contamination

Employers Imperative

If you own a particular business, it is imperative that you follow the guidelines and regulations made by OSHA concerning biohazard waste. One way of being a good citizen is to comply with government regulations that put importance on the health and safety of everyone.

Materials Needed to Manage Minor Spills

Before you start the process of blood cleanup, you will need these materials:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Registered disinfectant product that has a broad spectrum pathogen elimination
  • Biohazard bags
  • Biohazard labels
  • Brush and dustpan or forceps/tongs
  • Leak-proof sharps containers
  • And disinfectant wipes

biohazard suit

Here’s how to clean a blood spill on a surface:

Equip

It is necessary that you equip yourself with the proper protective materials, such as gloves, gowns, masks, and protective eyewear to protect yourself from any splashing. Be sure that your protective wear fits comfortably and does not have any holes so that no pathogens can penetrate your body.

Remove

Use your available materials, such as a brush and dustpan or forceps and tongs, to remove sharp shards of broken glasses that could cut through your protective gear. Then, place each piece into a leak-proof sharps container and do not remove them with your hands.

First Cleaning

Cover the blood spill with cloth towels to absorb as much blood as possible. Keep in mind that the disinfectant will not work if the blood still covers the surface. Then, throw the towels in a biohazard bag.

Second Cleaning

Before you proceed with the second cleaning, make sure that there is proper ventilation in the room where the spill happens. Then, you can pour the disinfectant onto the surface and let it absorb for ten minutes. After that, scrub from the outside toward the center of the spill area with cloth towels. Again, discard the towels into a biohazard bag after the second cleaning.

Third Cleaning

Again, place some more towels and put disinfectant onto the surface of the spill. Then, put the towels in a biohazard bag and leave the surface to dry.

Dispose

Same as with the towels, you should dispose your protective equipment into a biohazard bag. Seal the bag and put it into a second container then label it. Call your local health department for proper disposal.

Decontaminate

You should use a registered disinfectant to decontaminate any reusable materials, such as brooms, dustpans, and buckets. Then, scrub the equipment and rinse it with water.

Check

Final checking is essential for you to be sure that your body is not contaminated. Check if there’s any drop of blood splashed onto your shirt or your feet.

Wash Hands

Wash your hands thoroughly with water and disinfectant soap. You can also use disinfectant wipes.

Report

It is crucial that you fill out an incident report. Do this following any cleanup.

Takeaway

It is vital that you know how to clean blood spill in your workplace. It is one way of maintaining the health and safety of the workers and employees in your area. This guide can help you with that.

The post How To Clean A Blood Spill: Safe and Proper Blood Cleanup from Workplace Accidents appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Revisiting What You Need To Know About Eye Health

Taking care of your eyesight has never been more important.

As we spend a lot of time in front of our computer, mobile phones, and other gadgets, the more we become at risk of having dry eyes, early macular degeneration, and other eye problems.

Although employing the 20-20-20 rule can help mitigate the negative effects of staring too long at your screens, it’s usually not enough. To help preserve your eye health for the rest of your life, here are some of the most important things you need to do.

You Only Get One Set Of Eyes

Full eye transplant is still, as of writing, unavailable in regular medical practice.This means you have to take care of your eyes so, that they can last your entire lifetime. And since you don’t know how long that will be, it’s especially important to do everything you can to protect your eyes.

You can prevent physical damage by always wearing UV protective sunglasses when you’re outside. If you are doing any woodwork or you are working with chemicals, make sure you have your protective goggles on.

See Also: Eye Safety In The Workplace: Effective Ways To Protect Your Vision

Eye Exams Can Save Your Eyes

Because eye problems, like macular degeneration, often occur gradually, you might not notice anything amiss until it is too late. This is why getting regular eye exams is crucial to maintaining your ocular health.

Common problems that are easier to treat if detected early include:

  • Cataracts – Caused by UV light exposure
  • Diabetic Retinopathy – Damage to blood vessels caused by poorly controlled diabetes
  • Glaucoma – Has multiple causes and can only be controlled with early detection
  • Macular Degeneration – Multiple causes, including blue light exposure and screen time

Most people are concerned about losing their vision but only 14% of people with existing eye problems go in for routine eye exams. If you want to avoid such problems, make sure to see your eye doctor regularly.

Proper Nutrition Can Help

proper nutrition for eyes

As the old saying goes: Garbage in, garbage out.

If you are eating poorly, it can affect several areas of your health. Diabetes and hypertension are two good examples of health problems caused by poor dietary choices. They also happen to be the two most common causes of eye problems.

To preserve your eyesight, try making better lifestyle and nutrition choices. You can start by adding the following foods to your diet:

  • Beta-Carotene– One serving per day helps your eyes absorb light energy and adjust to different light levels

Sources: Carrots, cantaloupe, sweet potato, pumpkin, and butternut squash

  • Zeaxanthin and Lutein– One serving every other day prevents macular degeneration and cataracts

Sources: Eggs, spinach, broccoli, corn, and kale

  • Zinc– Two servings a week improve liver function to protect against macular degeneration

Sources: Beef, poultry, oysters, and beans

  • Omega-3 fatty acids– Two servings a week reduce inflammation to protect against macular degeneration and dry eye

Sources: Tuna, mackerel, salmon, trout, and anchovies

  • Vitamin C– One serving daily prevents cataracts

Sources: Tomatoes, oranges, and red peppers

  • Resveratrol– Reasonable consumption can prevent problems with blood flow in the eyes

Sources: Red wine, peanuts, and blueberries

See Also: 7 Foods That Can Improve Your Eyesight

In Summary

Your eye health should never be taken lightly.

In addition to improving your diet, making lifestyle changes like quitting smoking and getting more exercise can help improve and preserve your eyesight in the long run. Remember to rest your eyes and see your eye doctor regularly to make sure problems are detected early.

To learn more about preventing eye diseases and lifestyle-related blindness, check out this infographic.

what is 20/20 Infographic

The post Revisiting What You Need To Know About Eye Health appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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6 Reasons Why You Should Not Drink Salt Water

More than half of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but most of it has a very high salt content. This makes it unsuitable for human consumption. If you are wondering why, here are 6 good reasons that will discourage you from drinking salt water.

Your body will get dehydrated

drink water

The human kidneys are only able to eliminate a small amount of salt from the body at a time through urine. In order to remove huge amounts of salt, the kidneys need to produce a lot of urine to flush the salts out.

Essentially, when you drink salt water, your body will require even more water to dilute and eliminate all of it. In the end, you will just get more dehydrated from urinating too much.

See Also: Top 5 Tips On How To Stay Hydrated

Your cells will shrink

The human cells are made up of semi-permeable membranes that allow water to move in and out of them freely.

When you drink salt water, you increase the concentration of sodium outside of your cells. So, to bring back balance, water moves from the cells to the external space and this causes the cells to shrink.

When cells shrink too much, they become unable to perform their tasks and this leads to health problems.

Your blood pressure will increase

increased blood pressure

When you have excess salt in your body, the amount of sodium in your blood circulation increases. This attracts more fluid, which increases the strain and pressure in your blood vessels.

As you get more dehydrated from your body trying to flush out as much sodium as possible, your vital organs suffer and this can lead to organ failure. If not managed properly, this condition will be followed by a comma and eventually death.

You overwork the kidneys

Your kidneys play a huge role in excreting salt and water that the body does not need.

When there’s a high concentration of salt in the body, your kidneys will have to work extra hard to maintain balance. An overworked kidney can fail anytime and this can lead to further health complications.

A scaly and dry appearance

Salt water has a way of messing up with the skin by making it dry, flaky and ashy. This happens when skin cells lose water due to dehydration. You’ll see this start on the lips before moving to other parts of your body.

Frequent cramps

Another common problem that you will get when you drink salt water is cramps. It can happen when sodium builds up in the extracellular space of the cells. The high concentration of sodium outside the cells causes water to move outside.

Cells that form muscles will start to shrink and you can end up with muscle cramps. With time, your joints will become weaker, too. Eventually, this could hinder your ability to move.

Salt water animals are able to survive in such a saline environment since their cells are different from those found in humans. Their cells act like osmotic conformers, which means that their cells have the same salinity as their environment. An intake of salt wouldn’t cause a disruption in their physiological equilibrium.

Other animals, like fish, usually have specialized cells which cope with osmosis. They excrete excess salts, which allows the fish to consume salt water without any problem.

See Also: There Are Huge Health Benefits of Drinking Water But How Much Should You Really Drink?

There are many negative effects of drinking salt water. Therefore, make sure to filter your water before drinking it. You can invest in whole house filters or portable ones, which you can easily take with you when you go camping or hiking.

The post 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Drink Salt Water appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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7 Unhealthy Behaviors That Affect Your Mental Health

Bad mental health habits are behaviors that have a negative effect on the way we think and the way we feel about ourselves.

We often believe our mood and our mental health are solely dependent on external factors and we only have little ability to control them. We often wonder why we get so easily irritated, upset, sad, lethargic, and bored in life. As a solution, we try to improve our mood and cope with stress by engaging in unhealthy behaviors. This, unfortunately, makes our mood even worse.

Yes, our mood is affected by our brain chemistry. But, remember this:

Our brain chemistry is largely affected by our behaviors and habits in life. If we treat ourselves with care and know what makes us happy, we are going to have a more balanced brain chemistry.

Here are a few common bad mental health habits that are making you unhappy and unsatisfied with your life:

Bad Sleep Routine

bad sleep routine

Even if you get enough sleep, having a regular sleep routine matters a lot.

Going to bed early promotes more happiness and energy in life. Studies have shown that going to bed late may be linked to depression and poorer mental health in general. The reason could be that negative thoughts are more likely to appear in our mind at night.

So, by staying up late, you get more and more overwhelmed with worries and negative thoughts. Also, by being a ‘night owl’, you socialize less with people and may start to feel isolated over time. You’ll also be less productive and less energetic the next day.

See Also: Get Strong, Sleep, Repeat: The Importance Of Sleeping

Not Taking Time to Relax

Many of us live with a lot of stress and have a lot of thoughts going through our minds on a daily basis. We may have a stressful job or suffer from anxiety or other problems. Most of us may be hyperactive and constantly seeking new stimuli without realizing that they are making us feel worse.

Taking some time during the day to relax and be with yourself without distractions can significantly improve your mood and well-being.

Lack of Physical Activity

It is a well-known fact that physical activity is necessary in order to maintain a healthy body. But, exercise has huge benefits for your mind, too.

When you exercise, your blood flow improves and your body releases feel-good chemicals. You are also releasing the tension build-up from excessive stress and anxiety. Your muscles feel and work better.

Spending a Lot of Time with Toxic People

We all know people in our lives that just make us feel bad whenever we are interacting with them. They may put us down, undermine our success, not respect our boundaries, and find ways to ruin our mood when we are happiest.

If you are continually trying to change those people, you are just wasting your time and making yourself more miserable. So, try to avoid toxic people as much as possible.

See Also: 8 Types of Toxic Friends That Are Holding Your Happiness Hostage

Lack of Personal Goals

Goal-oriented behavior is what activates our reward system. This has a huge influence on our mood and happiness. If you don’t push yourself to achieve your goals, even small goals, you will not feel fulfilled and you are likely to seek unhealthy ways to activate your brain reward system.

Also, not focusing on achieving your goals leaves you feeling like you are stagnating in your life and that can easily trigger poor mood and depression.

Excessive Use of Technology

excessive use of technology

Most of us enjoy our computers, phones, social media and we naturally want to watch the news and see what is currently happening in the world. Even though those tools are great at making our lives and work easier, they can also be great tools for distraction.

They also promote inactivity and tend to be overly stimulating to your brain. Your brain doesn’t like too much stimulation and you may find it more difficult to relax and unwind after spending hours on social media.

Not Being in Touch with Your Emotions

Our emotions often feel too intense and too difficult to deal with, so we tend to suppress them. We distract ourselves with all kinds of unhealthy behaviors.

The problem with that is that we don’t get to process our emotions and face our real problems. We fail to find out through attention and awareness what truly makes us unhappy, anxious, angry or sad.

Poor Nutrition

Our nutrition affects everything in our body, including our brain chemistry. A deficiency in certain nutrients can cause imbalances in our system. Even if we don’t have any serious deficiencies, our eating habits can still affect our mental health. Overeating and not eating enough are both unhealthy behaviors that can affect our relationship with food and our overall mental health.

The post 7 Unhealthy Behaviors That Affect Your Mental Health appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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You Need To Stop Telling Women Where To Breastfeed

Hardly a day goes by that you don’t see stories of women who get shamed in public for breastfeeding their babies. These stories often involve outrageous circumstances. For example, there are women who shop at lingerie stores who ask to feed their babies in the fitting rooms. Instead of being allowed, they are often redirected to an alley.

There’s also a hashtag trending on social media: #IPumpedHere. This hashtag highlights the degrading conditions in which women are forced to prepare meals for their babies upon returning to work.

In reality, however, women are allowed to feed their babies or pump almost everywhere in the United States. How is that possible? Read on.

The United States Is The Lowest Rated Developed Nation For Breastfeeding Policy

breastfeeding policy

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants be breastfed for at least 12 months. The World Health Organization, on the other hand, recommends two years. For those who can’t and won’t breastfeed, formula milk makes a great and safe substitute but it’s not the best for growing babies.

There are many reasons why women in the United States make the decision not to breastfeed. One of those reasons is the negative reactions women who decide to breastfeed in public gets.

There are laws that protect a woman’s right to breastfeed her baby in public in 49 states. There are also laws at the federal level protecting a woman’s right to pump when she returns to work.

Unfortunately, these laws only cover women who work at businesses with more than 50 people and limited to one year after the birth of a child. Because of these and many other issues, only about half of babies in the United States are breastfed until six months of age.

Laws For Breastfeeding In The Workplace

When mothers return to work, they will often need to pump at least twice a day. This helps keep their milk supply up. Without pumping, their babies will not be able to get the amount of breast milk they need to be healthy and to grow. Preventing women from pumping can also lead to pain and discomfort.

Federal law requires that companies with 50 or more employees follow these guidelines for working mothers:

  • Provide adequate break time for pumping for up to one year after baby’s birth
  • Provide a space, other than a bathroom, for employees to pump with a locking door
  • Employers are not required to compensate employees for this time
  • Provide electricity and refrigeration for pumping and storage

Why Support Mothers In The Workplace?

mothers in the workplace

The biggest reason to support mothers in the workplace is that it is the right thing to do.

When women have options, they are going to be able to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. This, in turn, will lead to stronger families. In addition to that, keeping women engaged in the workforce longer allows them to grow faster in their careers instead of having to start over from the bottom every time they take a break to have a child or care for an aging parent.

Women do the majority of the unpaid caretaking and it can take a significant toll on their earning power in the long run. And if you still need more reasons to support women in the workforce, the United States won’t be able to compete in the global economy with other industrialized nations if we keep marginalizing the talent of women and forcing them off to the sidelines when they don’t always want to be there.

See Also: Helping Women Succeed In The Workplace

Breastfeeding Mothers, Know Your Rights

Knowing your rights and being vocal about exercising them is going to be important. Don’t be afraid to talk to your company about your needs because you might find that they are more willing than you think to accommodate you with a pumping room and break time.

If you are going to be breastfeeding in public, and you will be breastfeeding in public more than likely, be ready to confront and diffuse any uncomfortable situations. Remember that you have the right to breastfeed your baby and no one has the right to tell you not to.

The post You Need To Stop Telling Women Where To Breastfeed appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Unlocking Japan’s Secrets to Healthy Skin

If there’s one trait all Japanese women share, it’s their fresh, glowing skin. It doesn’t matter if she is 20 or 60 years old, every Japanese woman seems to have a flawless, radiant complexion.

This begs the question, what is their beauty secrets to having porcelain-like skin? How do they manage to look younger and more graceful as they age?

While there’s no magic formula for youthful skin, these lovely ladies do have certain beauty secrets that help them maintain their fair complexions.

Here are some of Japan’s most treasured beauty ingredients, which are used in most of their makeup and skin products:

  • Tsubaki flower

tsubaki flower

Tsubaki, also known as camellia, is a flowering plant found in southern and eastern Asia. The tsubaki flower offers a range of benefits for the skin.

The oil extracted from camellia seeds is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and numerous polyphenol antioxidants. Its creamy, non-greasy nature makes it a great moisturizer for rough skin. The oil also has many properties that keep your skin fresh, supple and moist.

Tsubaki flower oil contains vast amounts of omega-9 oleic fatty acid, which increases the skin’s ability to retain moisture. It is absorbed into the skin as easily as water and it boosts cell growth. It lends flexibility and support to the skin, too.

The oil permeates right down to the inner layers of the skin, nourishing it from the inside and hydrating any dry patches. It is a natural transdermal carrier that transports essential proteins (elastin and collagen) and nutrients, replenishing skin cells and repairing damage caused by heat, dryness and aging.

Camellia oil is free from irritants and is suitable for use on sensitive skin. It opens up the pores and allows the body to remove harmful toxins naturally through sweat glands.

  • Yuzu

yuzu

Yuzu is an aromatic citrus fruit of Chinese and Tibetan origin. It was first introduced in Japan during the Tang dynasty. Both the pulp and the seeds are beneficial for your skin.

The fruit is known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has vast stores of vitamin C and flavonoids. Because of that, this fruit can help combat the harmful radicals that can cause premature aging.

Yuzu fruit is a popular skin revitalizing and nourishing agent. It tones the skin naturally and adds to its firmness and vitality.

Regular use of yuzu moistens and refreshes the skin layers. The oil extracted from yuzu softens and nourishes the skin, giving it a supple and radiant appearance. During winter solstice, it is an ancient practice to take relaxing and rejuvenating yuzu baths at home or in onsens.

  • Sakura

sakura

Sakura, also known as cherry blossom, is one of the two national flowers of Japan (the other is chrysanthemum). It is one of Japan’s best-kept beauty secrets and is used extensively in skin creams and perfumes.

The sakura flower is rich in antioxidants and helps cleanse the body of impurities and pollutants that damage the skin. Its store of essential fatty acids fortifies the skin’s natural barriers, making it smooth and supple.

Sakura extract promotes a firm, mature complexion, regenerating the skin from the inside out. Its anti-glycation properties promote collagen formation in fibroblast cells.

Sakura extract cleans and whitens the skin and combats signs of anti-aging. It inhibits the production of melanin, a dark-brown or black pigment, thereby restoring uneven skin pigmentation. The extract also promotes skin cell growth and combats cell death caused by advanced glycation-end products (AGE).

It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that help to soothe and heal irritated skin. Furthermore, sakura flower reduces the oxidative damage that causes signs of anti-aging.

  • Ume

ume

Ume is a flowering plant used in Japan for its medicinal and cosmetic properties. The common name for ume is plum blossom. The fruit is a rich source of natural antioxidants called phytochemicals. These substances help to combat the effects of oxygen radicals in the body, keeping the internal systems functioning smoothly. It prevents signs of premature aging, including wrinkles and fine lines.

The ume fruit has abundant stores of vitamin C, which detoxifies the body of impure chemicals. This property helps promote a radiant and healthy skin complexion. Ume contains anti-aging nutrients that help to reduce wrinkles and dark spots. You can find it in various Japanese face masks and creams that can help soothe, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin.

  • Rice bran

Rice bran is a byproduct of rice milling. It contains vast reserves of antioxidants, vitamins B and E and essential fatty acids that combat harmful radicals in the body. It is rich in tocotrienols, which are absorbed into the inner layers of the skin. They form the first line of defense against free radicals. Tocotrienols also restore damage caused by oxidative rays, repairing the skin and slowing the skin aging process.

Rice bran cleans the skin from the inside out, causing it to appear fresh and healthy. The phytonutrient and oryzanol in rice bran acts as an effective sunscreen, protecting the skin against lipid peroxidation caused by UV light. Gamma oryzanol contains ferulic acid, which has anti-aging properties.

See Also: 10 Best Skin Foods For Healthy Glowing Skin

  • Algae

Algae refers to a diverse range of photosynthetic organisms known for their nutritive and medicinal value. They are rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, such as chlorophyll and omega-3 fatty acids. This makes them ideal for treating irritated skin. They have potent antioxidant properties that help to eradicate free radicals and pollutants from the body.

Algae also combat the effects of oxidative damage to plasma and red blood cells. They support skin cell repair and growth, healing your skin from the inside out and cancelling signs of aging caused by dead skin cells.

  • Green tea

green tea

Green tea is an herbal drink made from steaming or roasting fresh Camellia sinensis leaves. It’s a popular component of traditional Japanese medicine. Today, you can find it in skin creams and beauty masks.

Green tea is very beneficial for skincare. It contains a store of antioxidants that help in flushing out toxins from the skin. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it ideal for soothing itchy skin and healing blemishes and scars.

Green tea is rich in tannin, an astringent that works really well in treating dark circles and puffy eyes. Its reserves of antioxidants and astringents help to soothe inflamed blood vessels under the eyes, thereby reducing swelling or ‘bags’.

The free radicals floating in the body cause the skin to sag, wrinkle and age prematurely. Green tea contains powerful antioxidants, such as vitamin C and catechins, which combat the dermal damage caused by these radicals.

The catechins present in green tea act as a defense against acne-causing bacteria. They also regulate hormonal imbalance in the body, one of the main causes of acne.

Furthermore, green tea acts as a natural skin toner that cleanses impurities, reduces large pores and hydrates the skin. Using it regularly can give the skin a fresh and healthy appearance.

See Also: How To Reduce Caffeine In Green Tea

These ingredients are some of Japan’s biggest beauty secrets. Using them regularly will keep your skin healthy and radiant as you age.

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How to Create and Maintain Personal Boundaries

Personal boundaries are limits we set for other people regarding their behavior towards us. Establishing personal boundaries means stopping other people from pressuring us to do what we don’t want to do or put up with things we don’t want.

There are people in our lives that can violate our personal boundaries and make us feel uncomfortable, used and emotionally drained. Many of us put up with poor treatment by others because we are afraid to make them feel angry or lose their friendship. We might also feel guilty for standing up to other people and telling them no.

If you often feel like that and have difficulties building and keeping personal boundaries, there are a few things you need to practice.

Get Comfortable with Negative Emotions

Standing up for yourself and saying no to people very often gets a negative reaction from them. That is something to be expected and you need to realize that them getting mad is not your problem and that you cannot allow your boundaries to be violated just for the sake of avoiding negative emotions.

Even though people may get angry at first, they will soon realize they were asking too much from you. And if they don’t realize that and still hold resentment, that is not your fault. You should feel free to let them go.

Don’t Reward Poor Treatment by Giving People What They Want

When people learn that they get what they want from you even when they treat you poorly, they will be encouraged to continue doing that. By standing up for yourself and not giving them what they want, you’ll be teaching them that their behavior is not only unacceptable but also doesn’t get them anything positive. We have the power to guide how other people treat us by our reactions to their behavior.

Feel Free to Say No

say no

You may be afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or appear selfish by saying no. However, you need to realize that saying yes when you mean to say no causes you to hold unnecessary resentment towards other people. That isn’t healthy for you and your relationships.

Saying no to someone doesn’t mean you are a bad or a selfish person. It means you are being honest about your feelings and desires.

See Also: The Courage To Say No

Make Yourself Unavailable

You can stop other people from violating your boundaries by making yourself unavailable physically or emotionally. Don’t answer their calls and messages or tell them you are busy. Don’t react when they try to get something out of you and don’t participate in conversations that make you feel bad about yourself. Often, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from a situation that makes you uncomfortable.

Know What You Want

To be assertive and to establish clear boundaries, you need to know what you want from people and what your values are. You need to be in touch with your own wants and feelings to be able to communicate them and recognize when they are being hurt or violated. Be introspective and ask yourself if there are things that make you feel bad or uncomfortable but you do them anyway because you feel pressured by other people.

Don’t Try to Change People

People who violate other people’s boundaries usually lack self–awareness and that’s why it’s difficult to make them change their behavior. They see nothing wrong with it.

If someone can’t understand that their behavior is unacceptable even when you explain why, there’s nothing you can do about it. Trying to make them change is a waste of time and energy.

Practice Self-Care

practice self care

Practicing self-care involves taking care of your health and body, taking alone time to relax and pursuing activities that make you feel happy.

When you practice self-care, you become more tuned with your own feelings. You learn to value and cultivate your own well-being. The more you practice self-care, the less likely you are to put up with people and behaviors that are not healthy for you.

See Also: Neglecting Self Care: The Biggest Mistake I Made (And How You Can Avoid It)

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How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight

I was always an obese dude….

The type that couldn’t fit into any clothes comfortably and started to sweat after walking 10 steps.

Now, this always sucked and it’s something I suffered from since I was a kid. I didn’t know what to do, so I continued to live this way for the first 24 years of my life.

I think I was actually starting to get comfortable with this odd figure. But then, I entered the professional workforce and things started to change very quickly.

I immediately realized how important it was to be in shape and not because of health or anything like that. It was because overweight people were treated differently.

I’d heard studies of this in college, about how overweight people were less likely to be hired because they were viewed as lazy. It’s something I always laughed about and never took seriously…

Until I started to witness these observations first hand.

I can’t say that didn’t suck but I’m honestly glad it happened.

Not because I like being viewed as lazy, but because it forced me to start my journey of losing weight and helping hundreds of others along the way.

The Start of My Journey

I knew I had a lot of work to do all around, but I first started with my diet.

I grew up not really knowing what “healthy” food was, but I knew enough to realize that it wasn’t Taco Bell and Mountain Dew.

So, I started searching around for healthy diets and finally settled on one that followed the traditional “low calorie” approach.

I liked this diet because I knew low-calorie diets were the best way to lose weight and this diet was also pretty flexible.

It told me certain foods to stay away from and as long as I stayed under my calorie limit, I’d be good to go.

After that, I took a test that they’d created, telling me how much to eat based on weight and goal. Then, I went to the grocery store right after.

I immediately stocked up on fruits and veggies, along with a bunch of Weight Watcher’s Meals that would serve as my breakfast, lunch and dinner.

fruits overload

See Also: Five Incredibly Easy ways to Add Sprouts to your Diet

I figured this was the best selection for me as the meals tasted pretty good and they’d help me keep my portions in check.

So, I started on this diet the next day. I set a deadline of 30 days before I was going to weigh myself. I don’t know the exact reason why I picked 30 days, but I knew that weighing yourself everyday would do more harm than good.

During the first 2 weeks, things weren’t really that bad. They were kinda nice actually.

I immediately realized an uptick in energy and started to lose some pounds around the midsection.

I was excited and wanted to weigh myself everyday, but I stuck to the plan and continued to stay away from the scale. However, days 15 to 21 hit and I noticed a huge shift in my mood and willpower.

I had really lost all my energy and I was absolutely hangry.

At first, I thought this was just a normal “correction” as I’d been making changes to my body, but the symptoms kept getting worse and worse.

I tried my best to plow through them and hit day 30, but I was noticing a significant decrease in my work. So, on day 25, I finally caved in and went to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch.

Now, I’ve always been a fan of BDUBs, but I’ve never eaten as much as I did on that day.

I completely destroyed a large serving of boneless wings and then had some chips and queso to top it off.

Needless to say, I was absolutely miserable the rest of the day. However, as sad as it sounds, it was still better than being “hangry”.

Then I “Yo-yo’ed”.

Even though I’d had a very large cheat meal during that day, I still wanted to go home and see if I’d made any progress over the last 3 weeks.

Right when I got home, I jumped on the scale and to my surprise, I’d actually lost 11 pounds!

Now, that felt amazing. I’d never been able to really lose weight before and you’d think that would be enough to keep me going. But, like many other “yo-yo’ers”, I told myself I’d jump back on the diet soon. I just wanted to recollect my thoughts before going at it again.

So, I continued to eat “normal” for the next 4 weeks and after that, I was ready to jump back on my diet kick.

I decided to weigh myself on a Sunday before I was going to start. To my surprise, I’ had gained all my weight back…plus 10 lbs!

I couldn’t believe it. I was actually eating a little better than I had in the past so I figured I’d stay a few pounds under my normal weight. Instead, I reached an all-time high.

This was extremely depressing and I thought this was just a “me” problem.

I figured that my slow metabolism was out to get me and that I’d never been able to lose weight. Then, I started to dig into this problem and realized many others were having similar difficulties.

The most publicized examples were actually “The Biggest Loser” contestants. During my research, I came across a lot of articles where they were losing weight during the show. Then, months after the show was over, they were gaining it back and then some!

Now, this obviously intrigued me as I was having similar issues. That’s when I discovered the concept of “ghrelin’ and “fat burning mode”.

We’ll talk about these two concepts throughout the rest of this article, but as a quick overview:

Ghrelin is known as the “hunger hormone” because it helps control your appetite. This obviously has a lot of importance with dieting and can be a good thing. However, when you use the typical “low calorie” diets that are being preached today, then it does the exact opposite.

Why?

Because this style of dieting doesn’t lower your ghrelin levels, meaning you have the same appetite as you did when you started losing weight.

Now, that’s bad enough. But, on top of this, your metabolism actually decreases when you start to lose weight.

There are some fancy words for why this happens, but in short, it decreases because you’re smaller and don’t need as much energy….

And that means you have the same appetite but with a slower metabolism, a dynamic duo that essentially guarantees weight gain, whether that be in 1 month or 1 year.

This was an important discovery for me when I came across the concept of fat burning mode. These two are what really helped me kick-start my journey.

What Is Fat Burning Mode?

So, like with everything medical, there’s a lot of geeky terms that go into it. But, in the simplest form:

Our body has two different sources of energy- ketones and glucose.

Ketones are produced when fat is burned and glucose is produced when carbs are burned.

Since we have 2 different sources of energy we can burn, that also means we have 2 different “modes” that we operate in- glycogen burning mode (glucose) and fat burning mode (ketones).

Now, to be 100% accurate, we are technically always in both modes at the same time, but there’s always a primary mode and a secondary mode.

The secondary mode always uses minimal fuel, almost to the point of non-existence. From what I understand, we keep this secondary source alive just so our body knows that the backup source is still available.

Okay, that’s easy enough. But, how do we determine which one is primary and which one is secondary?

That’s actually the easy part of the formula. Glycogen burning mode always trumps fat burning mode.

It’s not because it’s a better source of fuel or anything like that, but because our body has to regulate glucose very closely.

Why?

Because glucose is sugar and our blood can only handle so much sugar at one time. Once our blood sugar hits the limit (which doesn’t take much), then insulin has to kick in and start removing sugar from the bloodstream.

Now, this is a good thing but that only leaves so much energy left in our system. That’s why we’re supposed to keep eating small meals while in glycogen burning mode.

Makes sense? Alright, here’s the true kicker.

Guess what happens with the excess sugar after insulin removes it from the bloodstream?

That’s right. It gets converted into stored energy- a.k.a body fat.

Now, that’s bad enough and shows how easy it is to gain body fat. Here’s where things get worse.

The typical western diet is full of carbs and that means we’ve pretty much been stuck in glycogen-burning mode our entire lives.

See Also: 5 Science-Proven Health Benefits of Low Carb Diet

This is also why people work countless hours to deplete the glycogen in their body and start burning fat or, even worse, starving themselves while doing so.

And to show you the full cycle, that means it’s extremely easy to gain body fat but then you have to work your tail off just to access this stored energy.

Starting to see the problem here?

Alright, so I know that sounds depressing, but here’s the good news.

I’m a minimalist and I wanted to find ways to enter fat burning mode without living in the gym, starving myself or losing muscle along the way.

After years of research, along with the help of some unconventional doctors, I finally found that way.

And in the remainder of this article, I’m going to show you how you can benefit from this research as well:

How to Enter Fat Burning Mode Without Living In the Gym Or Starving Yourself

Step 1: Drink Exogenous Ketones

I actually came across this concept in my earlier days of researching the two different energy burning modes. Through that research, I kept seeing the phrase “exogenous ketones”.

At first, I thought the word sounded extremely fancy and it was some complex subject. However, as I soon learned, I realized that it’s really just a way of saying ketone supplements.

Anyway, when I was doing this research, I came across a story of an individual who started drinking these ketones and began to notice a great reduction in belly fat within a month after she started.

Now, she liked the results. However, she was drinking the ketones for energy and wasn’t quite sure why this was happening. So, she went to the doctor to make sure everything was okay.

It took her a few weeks to find a doctor that actually understood this subject. Once she finally did, he explained to her that by drinking these ketones, she was telling her body to burn fat.

Now, this makes sense as ketones are the source of energy that’s created by fat burn. To be honest, I was a little skeptical to think it was this easy.

So, I decided to test it out and sure enough, within 4 weeks, I had lost 7 pounds- without doing anything different!

Now, that felt great and I’ll show you how to further amplify these results in the next steps. First, you need to make sure you enter fat-burning mode by drinking ketones, so here’s what I advise:

  1. Buy exogenous ketones. I personally recommend KetoCaNa by Ketosports. Those are good enough by themselves but if you really want to crank it up, buy MCT Oil Powder by Quest Nutrition along with it. This works well as KetoCaNa is exogenous ketones and MCT Oil creates ketones once it hits your liver. So, you’re pretty much getting a military grade dosage when you do this. Helpful hint: might be best to start with just KetoCaNa before moving to the full 1-2 punch.
  2. Make a ketone shake every morning with a blender bottle full of water along with your preferred ketone source and drink it. I personally use 2 scoops of MCT Oil along with one scoop of KetoCaNa. But, again, it’s going to differ by person.
  3. Try not to eat breakfast as this ketone shake will be more than enough to get you going.
ketone shake
Via beautynutrition

And that’s it. That’s all you need to enter fat-burning mode.

This trick can work for anybody. However, if you’re diabetic, please consult with your doctor before trying anything out. Insulin sensitivity or restriction can do some funny things with glucose and I want to make sure your body is able to handle both modes before you try it out.

Step 2: Keep Carb Intake Under 20g Per Day

Now that we’ve entered fat burning, it’s important to keep this going.

Technically, you would lose some fat if you just drank a ketone shake every morning and waited to eat until lunch time. But, since we’re already getting into fat burning mode, why not keep it going. And on top of that, the process really isn’t that complex.

As I mentioned earlier, carbs create glucose and that’ll put you into glycogen burning mode. So, the only way to get around that and stay in fat burning mode is by keeping your carb intake low.

Now, everybody is a little different and there’s really not a one-size-fits-all answer, but the one route that does work for everybody is keeping your carbs under 20g per day.

So, why does this differ for everybody then?

Well, because the only time your body turns back into glycogen burning mode is when glucose hits your liver. Some of the glucose that you consume is used up by your muscles, so that’s really where most of the flexibility comes in.

In other words, if you just finished a serious workout and used all the glycogen in your muscles, then you could probably afford a little more than 20g and still stay in fat burning mode.

If you don’t eat carbs, that’s fine, too. Your body can create glucose out of protein. I’m just letting you know why you can have some carbs and still stay in fat burn.

The last thing I wanted to point out is that when I mention 20g of carbs, I mean in general- not any of that “net carb” stuff.

If you’re not familiar with “net carbs”, a lot of people will use the formula of total carbs – fiber= net carbs to determine their daily carb intake.

The logic behind this is that fiber doesn’t turn into glucose and shouldn’t be included as a carb. To some extent, I do agree, but I’ve also seen a lot of people get kicked out of fat burning mode by eating too many carbs in general.

I’ve done a lot of research on this and I can’t really find an exact answer. But, from what I’ve gathered, excess amounts of fiber can turn into glucose.

Again, don’t quote me on that, but I’ve seen what it does so I know it’s important to stay careful with it.

Alright, so since we’re restricting carbs, then what types should you eat?

I always recommend green and leafy vegetables, like broccoli.

It’s important to consume these types of carbs as they’re full of nutrients (like fiber) and they don’t turn into glucose that fast, giving you even more leeway on your total intake.

And that’s really everything you need to know about staying in fat-burning mode, well from a carb standpoint. We’ll cover the rest in the next section.

As a quick recap:

  1. Keep your daily carb intake under 20g (to start).
  2. Try and spread carbs throughout your day/meals. Try not to eat all of your daily carbs at once, but if you’re starting at 20g, you’re probably fine either way.
  3. Get your carbs from healthy sources like leafy vegetables or avocados.

That’s how you stay in fat burning mode. I know it doesn’t sound fun, but once you start to feel the effects and see the results, staying away from carbs gets pretty easy.

On top of that, you don’t have to starve yourself either, you just have to…

Eat A Lot of Dietary Fat (High Fat, Moderate Protein, Low Carb Diet)

Now that we’ve entered fat burning mode and learned how to stay out of glycogen burning mode, it’s time to take care of everything else.

And by everything else, I guess I should just say ghrelin.

Remember that hunger hormone that I talked about earlier? The one that forces everybody to yo-yo diet?

Yeah, that’s never going to go away and if we don’t control it, we’re at an uphill battle.

That’s where this next step comes into play. It’s highly important to not starve yourself and, instead, eat a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet.

Why exactly does this diet work so well? Let’s break it down into sections, starting with fat.

High Fat

The first thing I like to mention with fat is that it absolutely has nothing to do with making you fat.

Well, I guess if you ate an absurd amount of it, like to the point of vomiting, then maybe. But, as we discussed earlier, body fat is nothing more than stored energy.

And since it’s stored energy, then there’s no reason why we should believe fat is what causes fat (unless you eat excess amounts).

On the other hand, remember when we talked about how glucose is quickly converted into body fat? And not because it was a lot of calories, but because our body can only handle so much sugar in the blood at one time?

Yeah, that’s also the reason why it’s so easy to gain weight while in glycogen-burning mode. You could easily eat 3 big meals and gain some extra body fat with every meal.

Fat, on the other hand, lasts a lot longer and really doesn’t create any metabolic issues. This is why you’ll hear a lot of people eat a high-fat diet while they’re intermittent fasting, because the sustained energy can last them all day.

In other words, don’t worry about the constant small meals that you’re supposed to eat while in glycogen-burning mode.

Then, in addition to this, fat also helps control ghrelin.

This is helpful for curbing your hunger, but it’s also helpful as it lowers your ghrelin levels as you lose weight. This means you won’t run into the high appetite and slow metabolism problem that most yo-yo dieters incur.

So, how much fat should you eat then?

I’ll give you ratios in a second, but from a practical standpoint, just eat fatty foods until you’re full. Don’t worry about counting calories, weighing out food or any of that junk- there’s no need to do that with high-fat meals.

Why?

Because the body is really good about self-regulation when in fat burning mode and it’ll let you know if you need food or not.

At the same time, I realized ratios are easier to follow in the beginning. We’ll get there soon, but, first, I wanted to cover exactly what “fat” is.

I do this because when most people hear fat, they instantly think of snickers and candy-things that make us fat.

When I say fat, I mean healthy fats, like:

Grass-fed beef (any beef is okay, but grass-fed is always better)
Fatty fish (sardines, salmon, etc.)
Pork (pork chops, pulled pork, even bacon)
Butter (just make sure it’s real butter)
Full-fat sour cream
Full-fat cheese
Avocados
Eggs
Pepperonis
Cream cheese
Coconut oil
Olive Oil
Avocado Oil
Walnuts
Etc…

In all honesty, the only fats you really need to stay away from is trans fat and “seed oils”.

I think most people are aware that they need to stay away from trans fat, but here’s the problem…

Food companies are able to hide the fact that their food contains trans fat by titling it “hydrogenated oils” which is the exact same thing.

A Big Fat Recap:

  1. If you’re counting calories, try and make sure 75% of your calories are from fat.
  2. Make sure you’re eating healthy fats.
  3. Avoid trans fats or “hydrogenated oils”.
  4. Avoid seed oils like vegetable oil, sunflower oil and canola oil as these oils are highly inflammatory and not good for you.

Protein

We’ve talked a lot about carbs and fat, but we haven’t mentioned protein yet.

And that doesn’t mean protein isn’t important. That just means it’s a little more flexible than the other two.

Before jumping into the specifics of protein, it’s important to remember that protein’s main function is for muscle repair and growth, not energy.

This is also why bodybuilders love it so much and the exact reason why it’s been so severely misunderstood over the recent years.

Now, people think they can just eat protein all day and make muscle, when that’s simply not the case. Muscle has to be created from somewhere (i.e. breaking down muscle from lifting and repairing it with protein), so please keep that in mind.

The second thing I want to point out is that when you consume too much protein (i.e. more than your muscles need), then the excess protein will turn into glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis.

Now, this is also a highly debated issue. Some health bloggers make it sound like one bit of chicken creates glucose in the blood while other bloggers offset this by saying 100% protein will keep you in fat burning mode.

And I’m here to tell you they’re both wrong. I’ve tested both analogies and both strategies have kicked me out of fat burning mode.

Here’s how you can cut through the noise and avoid this.

Protein is important and something you should consume. Unless you’re lifting every day, then you probably don’t need to eat 300g of it.

Like everything else, the amount will vary by person. As a 6 ft, 175-pound male, I try and stay under 100g per day.

With all that said, from a practical standpoint, if you can eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, then you’re probably okay.

I know this can be hard at times, especially when you’re eating a lot of meat-heavy meals. So, to offset that, I’ll usually melt a bunch of butter and dip each bite of meat into it- problem solved!

Protein Recap:

  1. Try and consume 20-25% of your calories from protein.
  2. Too much protein can be a bad thing, but it takes a lot to get there.
  3. Just try and eat at least 1 gram of fat for every gram of protein, and you should be okay.
  4. Protein is important, but not the saving grace that many think it is.

Carbs

We’ve already talked about this subject and I don’t have too much more to add. But, there are some other things I wanted to relay for the purposes of clarity.

As we discussed earlier, we can only convert back to glycogen-burning mode after glucose hits the liver. That can only happen when the muscles don’t use all the glucose that you’ve put into your body.

In other words, if you eat some extra carbs right after lifting heavy weights, then you’ll probably be okay as the muscles will soak it up.

On the other hand, as we discussed with protein, your body can also make glucose with protein so you really don’t need to eat carbs. That’s why there’s no such thing as an essential carb.

But, if you are going to still eat carbs, just try and eat them from healthy sources, like berries and veggies.

These foods will help provide other nutrients and be helpful overall. Just make sure you’re careful with how much you eat. Some foods, like apples, can add up in a hurry!

Carb Recap:

  1. Try and stay under 20g of carbs each day.
  2. Try and get your carbs from healthy sources.
  3. You really don’t need carbs, just up protein if you don’t.
  4. These amounts will vary by person and how active you are.

Feel the burn…

And that is your complete guide to burning fat.

If you follow these simple steps and stick with it for a few months, I absolutely guarantee you’ll love your results and keep going.

As with any hard changes in your diet, it might feel weird at first. But, with the help of everything I’ve put in this guide about the best way to lose weight, I have no doubt that it’ll help you progress with your weight loss goals.

The post How to Unlock Fat Burning Mode: The Ultimate Guide to Losing Weight appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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10 Essential Oils You Should Have at Home

When an average person hears the words “essential oils”, he’d probably associate it with something that can improve the smell of a home. And though that is true, there’s more to essential oils than just bringing a pleasant fragrance.

So, if you are planning to get a new house, here’s an essential oils guide you might find useful.

Lavender

lavender oil

Widely used for its calming effects, lavender is, undoubtedly, one of the most popular essential oils. Of course, the reason is obvious. This oil brings a soothing effect when you’re stressed or irritated. Aside from that, it can also treat burns and relieve irritated skin.

To treat burns, simply put two drops of lavender oil on the affected area. In a few minutes, the swelling and pain will be relieved.

Peppermint

Having a hard time dealing with nausea? How about headaches? Do you want to improve energy levels?

You might need to have a bottle of peppermint essential oil at home. Massage a drop of this oil to your forehead and temples to relieve a headache. To relieve nausea, inhale straight from the bottle but be careful not to get it in the eyes.

Lemon

lemon oil

For those of you who have a congested chest or itchy throat, you will need several drops of lemon. When paired with honey, it can effectively soothe a sore throat!

If you want to use it in the kitchen, you can, too! Mix at least 5 drops of this essential oil with 4 ounces of an unscented liquid dish soap to get rid of grease in your kitchenware.

Eucalyptus

To add an antimicrobial effect to any DIY homemade cleaning recipe, make sure to add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Five drops of this oil added to 16 ounces of water can effectively inhibit the growth of mold. Also, 10 drops of this added to a bucket of water can help ease the job of cleaning the floor.

Frankincense

Although it is a bit expensive, frankincense essential oil can effectively get rid of stress and relieve headaches. It can even help make bath time extra relaxing!

After washing your body with soap, put a few drops of frankincense essential oil to your washcloth. Then, wipe it over your body while rinsing with warm water. The steam will instantly infuse with the oil, giving you the refreshing and relaxing feeling you need.

Oregano

Oregano might be a popular kitchen ingredient but it also has some other uses at home. It has antimicrobial properties that help the body combat illnesses. No wonder why it’s a must-have! To fight flu and illnesses, diffuse this oil in your favorite diffuser. It’s that easy!

Tea Tree

tea tree oil

Another powerful ingredient in homemade cleaners, tea tree essential oil deserves a spot in your home. Not only does it have soothing properties that heal rashes and itching, it also has properties that aid in stopping athlete’s foot.

Normally, this oil is diluted with a carrier oil, such as organic coconut oil, in a 1:1 ratio prior to applying to the skin.

Wild Orange

Apart from its pleasant smell, wild orange has got many good properties. It does not only work as a sedative, it can also be used for treating an upset stomach. Simply combine a tablespoon of coconut oil with a drop of wild orange essential oil for an instant massage oil.

Vanilla

Here’s something you might not be aware of: Vanilla essential oil has properties that can neutralize the free radicals present in your body. It can protect it against illnesses and diseases.

It also brings about a calming effect that makes it ideal for relieving restlessness and stress. Put a few drops of this oil into your bath or rub the oil on your temples for a quick relaxation.

Rosemary

If you are feeling confused or indecisive, you will need the fragrance of rosemary essential oil. It does a pretty good job at clearing your head and supporting digestive functions.

When combined with peppermint essential oil, it can improve one’s focus and insights, too! Just mix 3 drops of this oil with 3 drops of peppermint essential oil and rub on your upper neck. It should effectively improve your memory and keep you focused the whole day.

Actually, there are still lots of essential oils out there. These are only ten of them. Nonetheless, if you want your family to reap the benefits of these oils, then this essential oils guide can help you get started.

The post 10 Essential Oils You Should Have at Home appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss

Fresh fruit and veggie-based juices are the perfect way to get your daily dose of nutrition without the extra calories. While juicing won’t give you the figure of your dreams overnight, it’s a great way to enhance the effects of a proper diet and exercise program.

How Does Juicing Help You Lose Weight?

Here’s how fresh fruit and veggie juices can help you lose weight:

  • You’re delivering vital nutrients to your body in an efficient manner, allowing it to directly absorb vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Raw fruits and veggies are typically quite high in water content to keep you hydrated. They help control hunger, too.
  • Raw fruits contain tiny amounts of fructose. When you juice with 75% veggies and 25% fruit, you won’t be overdoing the sugar.
  • Green leafy veggies are high in protein to help build muscles while other ingredients can help with digestion and blood sugar regulation.

5 Juicing Recipes For Weight Loss

Green Gut Buster Detox

green gut buster detox

Packed with the goodness of raw fruits and green leafy veggies, this detoxifying drink helps to counter the effects of junk food, holiday binges and parties. This recipe is rich in vitamin C and health-boosting polyphenols which make it one of the best juicing recipes for weight loss.

To make this Detox juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 10 kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 2 celery stalks (leaves removed)
  • 1 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 green apples (cut in half)
  • 1 lemon (peeled)
  • 1 2 inch piece fresh ginger

Preparation Tip – Increase or decrease the amount of apples to add or reduce the sweetness. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

Fruit Punch Energy Booster

fruit punch energy booster

This sweet and tangy juice is the perfect way to start your day since it wakes you up and gives you the energy and nutrients you need in the morning. Loaded with vitamins and minerals from fruit and greens, it’s also the ideal pre-workout fuel for your body!

To make this Booster juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 apples
  • 1 cup cucumber
  • 2 cups pineapple
  • Juice of 2 limes

Preparation Tip Add lime juice and ice after juicing the other ingredients to prevent oxidization. Increase or decrease pineapple and apples as per your taste.

Tropical Carrot-Apple Tummy Tucker

tropical carrot apple tummy tucker

Carrots are rich in beta carotene (which helps your body process vitamin A), B vitamins, vitamin K and potassium. In this recipe, the sweetness of carrots is perfectly balanced with the tangy flavor of apples. It’s a drink that’s both nutritious and delicious.

To make this Tummy Tucker juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 3 large carrots (chopped)
  • 2 cups pineapple
  • 1 apple
  • 2 pieces fresh ginger

Preparation Tip – Use firm apples to produce a clear juice and add green apples if you want more tartness.

Sneaky Green-Berry Metabolism Booster

sneaky green berry metabolism booster

If you don’t tell anyone that this drink has leafy veggies in it, they will never know it’s a green smoothie. Mixed berries add a rich flavor as well as a gorgeous color to this juice, masking the “green” flavor and color of spinach.

To make this Booster juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup coconut water

Preparation Tip – Adding a few chopped beets will intensify the color and mineral content of this drink.

Flat Belly Antioxidant Delight

flat belly antioxidant delight

This drink delivers a huge payoff in terms of antioxidants, minerals, and phytochemicals from fresh carrots, citrus, and green vegetables. Carrots also help to regulate blood sugar.

This juice is so tasty that even veggie-hating kids will love it!

To make this Antioxidant juice, put the following ingredients in your juicer:

  • 1 carrot
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 stick of celery
  • ¼ head of cabbage
  • ¼ head of lettuce

Preparation Tip – Juice the oranges and add to the smoothie container with ice before juicing the other ingredients. Stir well before serving.

See Also: 4 Best Teas To Help You Lose Weight

Pro-Tips for Proper Juice Storage

There are simple tricks to help keep your juices longer.

For one, you can add lemon to slow down oxidation. You can also use a proper smoothie storage solution if you want to make larger batches of juice at a time. While green smoothies and juices can be whipped up in a jiffy if you have the ingredients at hand, it can still be a hassle to make them each time you want a guilt-free snack or healthy drink.

Smoothie bottles that pump out excess air will help keep ingredients fresh and preserve their health benefits, so you can just grab one from the fridge before leaving the house or when you want a quick snack!

See Also: 8 Bad Food Habits That Are Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals

The post 5 Healthy and Delicious Juice Recipes for Easier Weight Loss appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

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Doctor takes a break from giving birth to deliver another baby

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A doctor in Kentucky and her patient will always remember their babies’ birthdays. 

Amanda Hess, an OB/GYN in Frankfort, Kentucky, was in the hospital as she prepared to give birth to her daughter. While she waited, Hess heard another expectant mother who was closer to giving birth. 

The doctor went to the room, where a woman who happened to be one of her patients was fully dilated. The doctor on call was on his way to the hospital, but the baby was coming. So Hess stepped in and handled the delivery right before she went back to her own room to give birth.  Read more…

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