Steroids For Building Body Mass

Bodybuilding supplements or legal bodybuilding steroid supplements are basically used by the professional bodybuilders in order to build muscle extremely fast and to gain the appropriate weight that they would want at an accelerated pace. This way, they would be able to get the required body shape within a matter of days rather than months, and it is the supplementation provided by the external sources that will be able to increase the muscle mass in their body without any problems whatsoever. As a budding bodybuilder, you also have to follow this particular exercise regimen and invest in purchasing the right kind of supplements so that your body does not reject them, and you do not face any kind of problems while using it.

The enhancement in the use of bodybuilding supplements as well as steroids in order to increase your body mass basically increases the flow of blood to the muscles. This ensures that all the intensity that is needed for your work out can be supplemented by the energy that is flowing to your muscles within your body through the bloodstream.

Basically, bodybuilding supplements are classified into two types, steroids and supplements. By using supplements, which can be found in either natural or artificial form, you would be able to increase the body mass, and the best advantage of using this product is that it is perfectly legal and can be sold over the counter as well.

By the ingestion of supplements in your body, you are ingesting chemical derivatives which may or may not have any kind of side effects in your body. They can work in the long term, but in order to build your muscles fast, it is a very unrealistic approach that you are taking. Therefore, you have to be perfectly cautious about the chemical derivatives that you are putting in your body, as well as the kind of effects that it might have on your body. It is very important for you to seek the right kind of balance when it comes to using bodybuilding supplements, and doing so with your natural food will only increase its value in terms of a food product.

There is no doubt about the use of steroids, and the kind of muscle growth that it will be able to provide within a certain period of time. So, going for it is totally your prerogative, but you need to understand that there are massive side effects if you end up taking the wrong dosage.

Keep Your Pets Safe With Dog Fence

If you have pets in your house, keeping them safe is a primary condition. By employing the use of the electric dog fence, which has been designed for the security and the safety of your pet, you would be able to keep your pet from wandering off from your house and getting into unsupervised locations that can be hazardous to your dog. There are a variety of new fencing products which are available in the market due to the kind of effectiveness that it provides for the eager dog parents. These are the dog fences which are innovative in terms of design and its use.

Although, going by the requirements of proper fencing, there is a need for a certain type of a boundary. However, most of the invisible dog fences nowadays do not have any kind of discerning feature like a physical boundary that can be visible by the naked eye. These products are extremely safe, and have been tested through a wide range of conditions and control situations so as to ensure that your pet will be able to remain within a particular boundary, where it belongs.

In accordance to the newest requirements for pet owners, going for the tried and tested fencing methods is out of the picture. Nowadays, people like to make use of technological marvels, and by making use of the electric dog fence, they would be keeping up with that tradition. Going for the traditional fencing just like the chain link fencing as well as the wooden fencing may be out of the picture for the urban household, as they do not have a lot of space or the time and money to put it up.

Making use of the electric dog fences ensure that your dog would get a pretty mild electric shock in order to keep the dog in a particular space within the house without causing any kind of external damage or injury. It is this mode of correction that is known not only change the behavior of the dog to keep them indoors, but also ensures that they are not going to come in harm’s way when you are away from your house. By ensuring that your dog can be controlled through this method, you would ensure that your dog lives a healthy life without any kind of protection.

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The use of the electric dog fence provides the pet owners with a harsh but a pretty effective method on keeping their dog within a certain boundary that is pre-designated. It allows the owner to have a peace of mind when they are not in the vicinity of the house, and they do not need to constantly worry about the safety and the health of their dog. After all, being a pet parent, taking good care of your dog is one of the most important things that need to be done on a constant basis.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Basically caused due to a chemical imbalance located in the hypothalamus of your brain, the seasonal affective disorder has been also diagnosed due to the fact that there is an apparent lack of sunlight during the winter season. It is the obvious shortcoming of the day, which has led to the body trying to cope with it by decreasing the amount of serotonin and melatonin in the body. For most of the people, this could be a crippling problem, as they would not be able to function properly. They would need some sort of treatment, and getting in contact with a medical practitioner would be the first order of business for them.

For the others, it could be less severe. However, it is still going to cause some sort of discomfort for that person, and without a proper diagnosis, it would not be able to get rectified. A lot of people subconsciously suffer from this problem, and it has been found out that at least 17% of the people living in the United Kingdom have the seasonal affective disorder in its mild condition.

Some of the symptoms associated with the seasonal affective disorder include a tendency to indulge in a lot of sleeping, having a lot of difficulty in waking up in the morning, a huge amount of weight gain, a definitive lack of energy, as well as a lot of difficulty in concentrating as well as completing tasks. In some cases, people have also lost interest in their own family members, and do not like to go out in order to mingle with the others from their own social group.

Here you can read all the symptoms of SAD and how they effect you in Winter and go away in Spring.

All of these conditions are definitely going to lead to a lot of depression, as well as a definitive lack in the pleasure that one would find in leading their life in a good manner. The seasonal affective disorder has been able to channelize all the bad thoughts in a person, and try and amp it up during that particular time frame. For most women, it is otherwise known as the winter blues. For others, it is just a period of depression that they would not like to talk about. Whatever seems to be the issue and the problem, one has to realize that the seasonal affective disorder can be easily taken care of if they get in contact with the proper medical practitioner. All they need to do is to have a certain amount of exposure to the sunlight, along with taking in antidepressants on a daily basis till this mood is over.

Which Businesses Need Industrial Measurement Services?

When you look upon the needs of the production line, electricity comes to mind as the first important thing for that factory to function properly. However, one of the most important things that have to do with the manufacturing of products is the Industrial Measurement Services. Consistency with the dimensions of the product is always welcome, a few mm of deviation is tolerated but when it becomes unbearable, the entire production of that product is gutted by the client. This is not something that people anticipate when they think about the effectiveness of Industrial Measurement Services.

For an individual situation, understanding the service needs will be good as it will be able to take on the responsibility of working for the benefits of the industry. So which industries are in need of the Industrial Measurement Services?

  • Oil- The oil industry is extremely fragile, in the sense that if there are dimensions that go wrong with the pipes, mostly that for boring and getting out oil from the ground, the result would be catastrophic. The project would have to be shelved and the company would lose a lot of money. In the same vein, if the company is interested to get the maximum out of the ground, they would have to depend on the Industrial Measurement Services, as it will be able to provide them with the precise measurements that can enable them to get the best load of oil from that underground reservoir.
  • Manufacturing- We have all heard horror stories of entire products getting rejected by the client simply because it did not adhere to the norms given out by them. So when you are the owner of a company and want the best for your company, using Industrial Measurement Services is very necessary. The proper dimensions can be easily calculated and provided on the ground. It is vital, given the fact that there are a lot of people that work actively towards ensuring that the products are up to the mark.
  • Building- When architects design a building, they take minute measurements which take into account the stability and constructions materials which are to be used. They calculate the load-bearing capacity of the building and design accordingly. So with the use of Industrial Measurement Services, one will be able to see perfect measurements which stick to the drawings given by the architect. Even so, when the building comes close to completion, the use of the Industrial Measurement Services will be able to save huge hassles when it comes to landscaping the entire space.

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Is Therapy Or Medication Useful For Treating Anxiety?

With almost everyone having to deal with stress as well as anxiety in their daily lives, most of the people do not understand how they would be able to cope with it. Since they are unable to formulate a plan in treating this problem, they almost always end up having psychological problems and physical issues.

Of course, there are some people that know how to deal with anxiety, but they take the wrong path, whereby they try and round the anxiety through alcohol or some kind of addiction. Some people also get addicted to the medications that are prescribed to them by their doctors.

In this context, one has to realize that there are different ways in which people will be able to get rid of anxiety, and most of it does not have to deal with medications or any kind of addiction. They simply have to diagnose what seems to be the root of the problem when it comes to anxiety and takes proper methods in order to avoid the problem.

One of the primary methods for people to get rid of anxiety is meditation. With proper meditation techniques, the people will be able to slow down their heart rate, their breathing, which in turn will be able to help them to manage the blood flow to certain organs of the body, thereby slowing down the anxiety. If it is done in repetition, then slowly, the body will be able to evolve and take care of this anxiety the traditional.

Another aspect of trying to manage anxiety is to always identify the problems as well as the situations that are creating such kind of anxiety attacks on yourself. It is important for you to define the criteria that end up causing such kind of symptoms, and therefore avoiding it will be a wonderful way for you to tackle your anxiety. Overall, it may not be possible for you to get in contact with the other people that suffer from the same problem as yours. However, it does help if you get into a support group for people that have anxiety attacks, and find out ways in which they have been able to control their panic attacks.

 

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By relating to those people, one would be able to understand their feelings, get to know how they can vent their frustration, and help themselves to lead a better life. It is definitely better for you to focus your total attention on the kind of different things that you would be able to do in order to manage any kind of anxiety related problems. Other ways such as keeping a journal of yourself, indulging in habits, trying to watch movies as well as television shows at regular frequencies and listening to music can also help you out.

Whatever technique needs to be employed sans anything addictive should be implemented in order to see which works out well for you to control your anxiety.

Growing Flowers To Present To Someone

When we talk about our feelings, words seem to escape our memories. We find it extremely difficult to talk to our loved ones about how we feel, and at the end of the day, we are left flabbergasted at our own embarrassing situation of not being able to convey our feelings. So, what would be the ideal way for us to showcase our emotions to the opposite person without having to open our mouths and embarrass ourselves? Well, one can start with gifting flowers. It is a wonderful way to show love and affection to a person, while at the same time ensuring that the person does not feel bad in case they have conflicting emotions about that occasion.

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Flowers, particularly those that come in bouquets can be found in a variety of shape and size. They are perfect for every occasion, and therefore can be used for any occasion that you might be attending. Some of the most common flowers that you can find in the market include carnations, roses, tulips, orchids, and a few seasonal flowers. If you can include all of them within a bouquet, you are definitely going to get a lot of accolades for your choice, and the person receiving it will definitely appreciate your gesture.

However, instead of looking to purchase these flowers, you can go one step further, and have these flowers grow in your garden. These flowers can easily be grown in any garden that has conducive climate and if you are more than willing to take care of it during its blooming years. It is a feeling of accomplishment that you would feel when these flowers bloom, and you would be able to pick them out of their buds and use it for the bouquet which will be gifted to the person of your choice.

Do not think of it as a method of saving money, simply because of the fact that planting your own flower trees, watering and taking care of them, adding natural fertilizers along with a lot of other important elements takes up a lot of time. When converted into man-hours, they will definitely end up costing more than the amount of money that you would have normally spent on purchasing a bouquet with the same kind of flowers. However, it is the thought that is behind your growing such flowers and presenting it to your loved one that is going to work out in your favor.

Moreover, the experience of growing the flowers will also come in handy in case you would want to replicate your success of a flower garden and convert it into a full-fledged business. The flower business is a booming industry, and more and more people have been looking to make themselves successful through this business idea. Of course, if this is a one-time thing, then you end up learning more about agriculture and planting trees, which is only going to help in the ecosystem. Planting your own flower trees and presenting your loved one with those flowers is a sign of dedication and eternal love.

Make Use Of Medical Alert Systems On An Emergency

There are different ways in which a machine will start to function improperly. It could be due to a bad installation, or even the fact that the connecting device is not turned on. It could also be due to an apparent lack of knowledge which is normally to be found amongst the people that are old, and not have any idea about how the new technology works. There are also other reasons like the fact that the machine may not be tuned properly to the needs of the person. Whatever the issue, one needs to understand that vital machines like the medical alert system should always be prepped and ready to go.

Whenever you have a medical emergency, making use of the medical alert system is of paramount importance. That way, you can be sure of the fact that medical responders would be the first one to arrive at the scene, take stock of the situation and ensure that everything is done according to the book. They have the total medical history of the old person living in that house and will be able to administer medications or conduct processes that will be vital for making sure that the person is well taken care of. It may of course be some of the simplest things that need to be done, but it needs to be done at the earliest possible opportunity so as to not create any kind of problems for the older folks.

The medical alert system is one of the most common things that people look up to whenever they fall under such a situation where the instincts to save themselves do not kick in. It could be that an old person may have fallen down from his bed while going to the toilet, or it could simply be a person that is undergoing a heart attack at that particular moment. By having a proper medical alert system, these situations will be easily tackled without causing any kind of panic amongst the family members. Moreover, when it is a genuine emergency, it is best to leave the first aid and all the other things to medical practitioners rather than doing it all by yourself.

It is essential to choose the best medical alert systems for the well-being of your family.

Everybody has a specialty, and sticking to it should be the best way for people to look after one another. The medical alert system has the primary function of sending alerts to the medical responders, and that is what it needs to do at the earliest.

Easy to do Steps to Get Rid of Excess Fat in Your Body for Getting Abs

Most of the people that you come across in the gymnasium are fascinated with the idea of having washboard abs. Well, it is not something which is bad, but rather the fact that people spend a lot of time fascinating over that particular region of the body can seem to be a bit vain. There are other regions of the body as well which is more important in order to maintain the fitness, like the strength of your legs, as well as the entire upper body. However, with people being fascinated by the getting abs in their body, there is absolutely nothing that you can do.

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Since people are more than eager to get abs, there are a few easy things that they can do.

  • Food is one of the most important things that people would need to maintain if they would want to see abs in their body. When it comes to the procurement of food, people simply purchase everything from the shelf and eat it. The processed food only adds calories to the body, while not providing any kind of nutritional benefit. What this means is that you end up having all the saturated fat in your body, which is extremely hard to break down, and at the end of the day, it accumulates in the abdomen area, delaying the process of you getting abs. What you need to do is to always have processed food, and cook on your own. If you are not a good cook, then you can simply boiled vegetables, have brown rice and bread. These are important carbohydrates and proteins that you need in order to function properly.
  • Maintain a strict discipline when it comes to exercises. Of course, you need to have a day from every week in which you can relax your muscles. However, make sure that during that day, you do not end up eating a lot of food which would otherwise create problems for your diet. It is important for you to always stay vigilant, and never miss out on a single opportunity to exercise when you have the time.

  • The other important thing that people miss out on when it concerns exercises is to always keep themselves properly hydrated. If you need strong abdominal muscles, you need to ensure that the other portions of your body, which comprises of major organs as well as your muscles, get hydrated properly. Moreover, by drinking enough water, you would be able to take care of all the toxins which are already in your bloodstream.
  • Never let your body starts. Of course, you did not want to eat junk food, but it is a fact that you need to eat regularly, at least six times a day in small portions so that your body is never starved of any kind of nutrients. Your body needs them in order to get your cells in shape for exercises the next day.

Everyone has the Capability to Inspire

When you come back from work, the only thing that you are looking at is to have a quiet evening. You are looking at getting into your comfort zone, and getting rid of society and all the naysayers that have been bothering you for the entire day. When you are retiring into your shell, you realize that you shut down everything from the outside world so as to embrace the innermost feelings that you have. So, what exactly is wrong with this expression? Well, for a person that would like to achieve a lot more than his current stature, these exact activities are not something that he would have done.

For a person willing to be an inspiration, working hard and doing so at all times become a norm. A person will be able and willing to sacrifice a lot of his hours in order to enjoy the nectar of success. That person engages with the entire world, showcases his ideas, and starts connecting with opportunities that not only enable him to look at more possibilities, but also a lot more disappointment. However, giving up is not something that the person has.

You realize that everybody in this world has the capability to inspire somebody else. However, it has got to do a lot with the kind of action taken by the person, and not mere words that happen to be hollow. It is the action of somebody that is going to lead to exceptional results for a person, and not the opposite. One has to remember that disappointment is something of a common denominator for anybody that has succeeded in life. Not everybody has the opportunity of being born with a silver spoon in their mouth. People would have to work extremely hard in order to eventually succeed in living a life that they deem to be worthy of.

Inspirational quotes not only helps you to get your life back together but make you a better person overall. People always look at shortcuts, opportunities with which they will be able to get the job done, but without having to spend a lot of their time and money doing so. By providing proper inspiration, you would be able to guide those people into understanding that in order to succeed, going the whole 9 yards is important. Stopping in between in order to take a rest is only going to keep you back a lot longer than anticipated.

If you are looking to inspire people, always be grateful for the opportunities that you have been given. You have to remember that everybody is fighting their own battles, and the ones that you have gone through may only be a fraction of what the people have gone through. So, it goes without saying that not only do you have to worry about the benefits associated with the right opportunities, but you also have to realize that inspiring the others can prove to be a lot of difficult.

Famous Places to Travel Within Singapore

As a city and a country all by itself, Singapore has a wonderful reputation of providing the tourists with a holiday that they would remember for the rest of their lives. However, this country is not only about the fun and frolic, but also about beautiful places that the people can visit and have a wonderful time. Singapore is all the more welcoming for the single traveler as well as those that travel with their family in tow.

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So, what are the famous places in Singapore that you can visit?

  • Sentosa Island – The famous playground of Singapore, Sentosa Island is extremely popular amongst families that visit Singapore. It is a wonderful place for you to kick back and relax and have a wonderful day when your children play in the sand and enjoy a bath in the ocean. Moreover, Sentosa Island is also bordered by a lot of natural walks, restaurants, and a lot of entertainment options for you to go to. This small island is host to a lot of tourists from all across the world at different points of their journey, and everybody likes to visit this wonderful place within Singapore.
  • St Andrews Cathedral – Constructed in the year 1832, the St Andrew’s Cathedral was typically a building that was struck down by lightning twice, and was demolished. However, it has now been reconstructed, and resembles a typical Gothic style of architecture, that makes it look majestic, and is a wonderful place for Christians to pray. With white exterior and a glossy facade, this is a place that has become famous amongst tourists that would like to see a place of worship within Singapore.
  • Helix Bridge – The helix Bridge in Singapore is said to be an iconic landmark, due to the pristine architectural beauty and a unique pedestrian bridge that most through it. It is known as the first double Helix Bridge, something that is mimicking the DNA strand in the human body. Moreover, there are beautiful lighting solutions all across the bridge, and it also has around five viewing platforms from which you would be able to see the entire length and breadth of the Singapore skyline. You also get a very good look at the Marina Bay, and it also happens to be a wonderful place for you to click photographs.
  • River Safari – The River Safari is one of the most loved attractions within Singapore. It is the best and one of the first teamed wildlife parks in Asia that only has a river running through it. There are a lot of fun adventures and activities all throughout the journey, and it is particularly fun for people that have families along with them.

  • Science Center – Home to unique scientific experiments and a lot of educational materials, the science Center in Singapore is definitely a place for you to visit. You would be able to get a lot of information about technology, and also understand how technology has been able to influence our daily lives.

Best Berries for Smoothies

When you are purchasing berries, you either do them fresh from the farmers market, or you purchase them frozen from the supermarket shops. Whatever seems to be your source for purchasing berries, what you do have to realize about this product is the phenomenal help that it provides to ensuring that your health is top notch. However, berries not only have a lot of health benefits, but they also add a lot of flavor and color to any kind of food that you might be eating. However, smoothies are one of the most commonly used products in which berries are used.

Let’s have a look at the berry types that are used mostly in smoothies;

  • Blueberries- One of the most widely used berries when it comes to smoothies, blueberries has almost always been a very big part in the American diet, and it comes with a whole host of health benefits as well. By putting in blueberries in your smoothie, you are not only adding a product that contains a lot of vitamins, but also one which contains anthocyanins, one of the most powerful antioxidants that can be found in any naturally growing product. A few scientific studies have shown that by the daily consumption of blueberries, one would be able to improve the number system functioning by a great deal.
  • Raspberries- Raspberry happens to be extremely beneficial when it comes to health, but also happens to be one of the most widely used products that you can find in smoothies. They are known to promote weight loss as well as control over the blood sugar, but in hindsight, they are extremely sweet. Although they are extremely small in size, but they are also known to be particularly good when it comes to fighting cancer with the huge amount of antioxidants that they have.
  • Cranberries- Known to have a lot of vitamins C, cranberries are perhaps one of the best-known products that you can find when it comes to tackling urinary tract infection through the indulgence in smoothies. The pro-anthocyanins which are located in cranberries make it extremely hard for the bacteria to keep sticking to the urinary tract wall, thereby ensuring that the bacteria is to not have a firm grip on the infection. However, it is also a fact that cranberries are extremely tart in its taste. You have to ensure that you can unsweeten the cranberry by diluting it with the water and then blending it with the smoothies, in order to make it easier for consumption.
  • Mulberries- With obvious health benefits like a positive effect on the age as well as enhancer of cognitive functions, mulberries also find their place in smoothies across the world. They have known to possess a very mild flavor of sweetness, and if they are dried, then the sweetness becomes even milder, without losing any of their nutrients.

Did you know that berries are some of the best fruits, here is a list of berries you should be eating everyday. Berries have been used for quite a while in making smoothies all the more tasteful, and with scientific knowledge, one can even understand why they are helpful to our system.

Where to Exchange Dollars for Pesos in Mexico?

Although many stores and vendors accept U.S. currency, tourists pay a steep penalty when using dollars. This “street rate” of exchange can be 30-40% less favorable than the bank rate, and budget-conscious tourists should convert dollars to pesos prior to spending cash in Mexico.

Options When Converting U.S. Dollars to Pesos

There are many options available to tourists when exchanging dollars for pesos. Traveler’s checks and/or cash can be converted at banks or casas de cambio (exchange houses). ATM machines are increasingly common, particularly in areas frequented by tourists. However, rates of exchange differ significantly between options, and even among the same option (such as banks) within a given locale.

In addition, convenience and safety are issues that warrant consideration. Long lines, formidable procedures, and language can be overwhelming. Carrying unneeded cash risks unrecoverable loss, while replaceable traveler’s checks sometimes are impossible to cash.

Exchanging Dollars for Pesos at a Bank

Banks offer exchange rates closest to the floating rate. Instead of charging commissions, banks are compensated for exchanging funds through the spread between the purchase and sale price of currencies. For example, a bank might buy dollars at a rate of 13.62, meaning that they will give you 13.62 pesos for each dollar you exchange. At the same time, they might buy those pesos back at a rate of 13.37, meaning that you would have to give them an additional .50 pesos in order to buy each original dollar back.

Exchanging dollars for pesos at a bank can also be frustrating. Most banks discourage the exchange of dollars, either through restrictive procedures, limited time windows or simply non-acceptance, especially for traveler’s checks. One can easily spend a lot of time in a long bank line, only to find that an exchange is not possible.

Exchange Houses (Casas de Cambio)

Exchange houses are often more prevalent than banks, and are certainly more convenient. They post their exchange rates prominantly, are often open when banks are not and handle transactions accurately and expeditiously. Their rates are not as favorable as the banks, but the added convenience may be worth the cost. While a local bank may quote an exchange of 13.89 pesos per dollar, a nearby exchange house might be quoting 12.50. In other words, exchanging $100 U.S. at the exchange house would net 139 fewer pesos than at the bank, a difference of 10%.

Different exchange houses and banks typically offer different rates. This has more to do with currency inventory than a desire to compete, and tourists are well-advised to shop for the best available rate. This difference might amount to .50 peso or more, meaning that a $500 exchange could generate 250 more pesos at one location than at another.

Using Bank ATMs to Obtain Pesos

Bank ATMs are commonly found in bank entry areas, usually open even when the bank is closed. ATMs can also be found in large supermarkets, like Soriana and at some PEMEX (gasoline) stations in larger cities.

Bank ATMs offer essentially the same exchange rate as the bank counter, but are far more convenient and accessible. Fees normally are charged for each transaction, sometimes both by the Mexican bank and the card’s issuing bank. Typical fees might be $5 U.S. for each transaction plus 1% of the total amount of cash obtained. For example, using an ATM card to obtain $300 U.S. in pesos could cost $5 plus $3 (1%), for a total of $8, or almost 2.7%.

Note that these charges apply regardless of size or type of transaction. In other words, if you obtain $20 U.S. in pesos, the charge could be $5.20 ($5 plus 20 cents), for a whopping 26% fee. Even worse, if you elect to check your account balance before withdrawing funds, you could also be charged $5 for the inquiry “transaction”.

How to Avoid ATM Charges: The Best Way to Exchange Dollars for Pesos

There is a way to take advantage of the convenience of ATMs and to avoid the fees. If one uses an ATM (either at a bank or elsewhere, like a supermarket) for a bank with which they have an account, the fees may be waived. For example, HSBC and Scotiabank are based outside of Mexico, and an ATM card from either bank provides free withdrawals in Mexico.

Banamex is owned by U.S. Citigroup, and Banco Santander is partly owned by Bank of America. Using ATM cards from these U.S. banks provides free transactions at the Mexican affiliated banks. Tourists should check with the personal banks to see if similar relationships have been established.

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Using Autopista Toll Booths to Obtain Pesos

For tourist drivers, the fee booths on toll roads (cuotas or autopistas) can be another good source for pesos. Although most toll booths in mid and southern Mexico require payment in pesos, those from Mazatlan north will accept dollars, and return change in pesos. This is particularly useful to tourists entering Mexico from Arizona in a car. One can build a cache of pesos by paying tolls between Nogales and Mazatlan with twenty-dollar bills.

The toll booth exchange rates are posted and are quite favorable. Drivers, however, are advised to carry a calculator and to confirm the proper change before driving on. Multiply the posted exchange rate times the dollars you pay with, and subtract the toll in pesos to find the amount of change due in pesos. For example, if the toll is 35 pesos, the exchange rate 12.50 and you pay with a 20 dollar bill, 12.50 times 20 dollars equals 250 pesos, minus the toll of 35 equals the correct change due of 215 pesos. Mistakes do happen.

Use Different Options for Exchanging Dollars for Pesos, as Circumstances DictateWhile using an ATM card at a bank affiliated with your home bank is the easiest and least expensive way to obtain pesos, it isn’t always an available option. To be safe, be prepared to use more than one option.

Wedding Dresses: Tips for Selecting a Bridal Gown Retailer

We’ve all heard the story about brides who absolutely fall in love with the first gown they try on. It fits like a glove, she looks like a princess, and now she is free to tackle the other wedding tasks at hand…

Yet TV shows like TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress” offer a glimpse into the reality many brides face trying to find and commit to the perfect gown. For some, locating the ideal gown is like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are even those brides who will trot across the globe on a quest for the perfect wedding dress. And why not? After all it is for that one special day when everyone’s eyes will be on you!

Whether your taste teeters on the side of an artistically embellished traditional gown or one that features clean modern lines, you should be comfortable with your choice, and just as importantly, comfortable with the bridal salon you choose to buy from.

There are three concerns brides should have when selecting a bridal salon: customer service, the company’s or designer’s reputation and their ability to perform timely alterations.

Cynthia Irby, a wedding director for nybridalstylist.com points out that brides need to know how long the bridal salon has been in business: “You hear about the nightmares where a bride goes to pick up her wedding gown only to learn that the bridal salon has gone out of business. Dealing with an established company will help you avoid such pitfalls.”

“Once a bride selects a bridal salon, she should feel comfortable with her consultant. The consultant should not be pushy. She is there to offer guidance,” Cynthia adds. “Your consultant should also have her finger on the pulse of the industry and be abreast of the latest trends.”

Based on your budget, you may be visiting large bridal retailers like David’s Bridal, which dresses the bride and the entire bridal party at affordable prices or the world-renowned Kleinfeld Bridal, which carries collections from some of the world’s most celebrated bridal designers.

For brides seeking a more intimate setting or custom designed dresses, couture ateliers Mark Ingram in New York City or Michelle New York in Brooklyn may be the answer. Nita Novy, designer and owner or Nita Ideas, in Millburn, NJ, says she offers an in-house designer collection and that all production is done on premise.

“I dress individuals. You will not see anyone else in the design we make for you. I tailor my designs to each bride’s personality, her needs, her body and the venue in which the event will be held,” says the former Broadway actress, who has outfitted brides for the beach, the mountains, Jamaica and The Ritz.

 

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“The bride hosting her wedding at the Plaza Hotel would not have the same dress as another celebrating in San Trope. We spend a lot of time with the brides to build a one-on-one relationship. We specialize in designing non-traditional romantic, alternative bridal wear with a sense of softness and movement,” adds Novy.

When Should You Choose Lower Auto Insurance Coverage?

The coverage that you elect to have on your policy when you begin your coverage should be well thought out because of its potential impact on your life. You open yourself up to potential liability every time you get behind the wheel of your car and you must be aware of it at all times. When you are choosing the coverage you want on your policy you must think of what coverage you need and how much of it you should get. The question is, when do you want to have lower coverage on your vehicle?

Before we get too much into the limits you should choose and why we should discuss the role of an insurance agent. Many people have started to view agents similar to car salesmen in that they do not trust a word that they say. It is true that almost all insurance agents work off of commission, but they are also (mostly) educated and informed individuals. Consider all information provided to you by an agent and be aware that their recommendations are good, but may be based on the amount of commission they receive.

With that all being said, it is very important that you consider what type of coverage you are getting and what limit you should get. Here are a few things to think about with different types of coverage:

Collision Coverage: This is the coverage that will pay for the damage to your vehicle if you are responsible for an accident. You should question whether to get it or not if your vehicle is 10 years old or older as paying for the coverage may be cost prohibitive. If you do elect to get collision coverage you should spend a decent amount of time considering the amount of the deductible. You will have to pay this amount before the car insurance company begins paying for your damage.

Liability Coverage: This is what your insurance company will pay if you are responsible for an accident. It is usually broken into three sections (ex. 100/300/100). The first number is the amount of medical coverage provided for an individual who is injured due to your negligence. The second number is the amount of medical coverage provided for all parties you may have injured total. The third number is the amount of coverage provided to pay for property damage to a vehicle or other kind of property.

If you are living in illinois, then check out auto insurance illinois for six types of coverage. You should consider getting at the very least, 25/50/25 coverage on liability, but 100/300/100 is what most companies recommend. Remember that all of this is to protect you and your family in the event of a loss.

Bed Bug Bite Symptoms

Bed bug bite symptoms vary from person to person. While some experience an extreme reaction, others simply notice a red bite mark and nothing else. Exterminating bed bugs entirely is very difficult, so it is important to identify a problem right from the start. If you suspect you might have little creatures visiting you while you sleep, this article can help you determine if they’re bed bugs or not.

Appearance of Bed Bug Bites

Bed bug bite symptoms don’t start right away, but when they do, people notice small red bumps. These usually don’t send up red flags right away because they look like typical mosquito bites, not too small, but definitely not too big

A bed bug bite usually comes in a particular pattern, however. While mosquitoes bite humans willy-nilly in no particular order, bed bugs usually bite in a straight line. People usually see three or four small red bumps all in a line. Some experts call this the “breakfast, lunch, and dinner” marks. Although bed bugs will sometimes bite only once, it isn’t the norm.

Increasing Bite Symptoms

It takes over a week for bed bug bite symptoms to show up in people who have never been bitten before. The more frequent the bites, the quicker the symptoms appear on humans. When people do experience more severe symptoms, the bumps sometimes swell up and itch much more than a typical mosquito bite. The itchy irritation also lasts longer. Sometimes doctors misdiagnose bed bug bites as scabies, so make sure you’re armed with information before visiting the doctor.

Bed Bug Signs in the Home

If you suspect a bed bug infestation in your home, your walls will show proof. In addition to your body, use your house as a clue to a bed bug problem. Near the ceilings, in the corner of the bedroom walls, check for dark brown, black, or red marks. These marks are the blood and excrement from the bed bugs. They tend to congregate in the corners. Also, check hotel rooms for signs before sleeping in the beds. This could save you an uncomfortable week in the future.

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The thought of bed bugs is usually enough to give people the heebie jeebies. No one wants little critters crawling over them while they sleep. To actively get rid of any problem, however, you must have the ability to identify and address any bed bug problem on your body or in your home.

How to Check for Bed Bugs in Your Home

Depending on what part of the country you live in you may have hear about bedbug outbreaks in certain states. Bed bugs are crawling their way back into fashion and are affecting areas in New York City, Boston, and Detroit. You may be quick to brush these little guys off and say that it’ll never happen to me but it may be happening to you right now. Bedbugs are very discreet, resilient, and have the perfect anatomy for hiding in the tightest of places. So even though you may not see a bedbug it does not mean that you don’t have them. In fact, it’s because many people don’t see these bedbugs that infestation arises. People often spot bedbugs after they have already multiplied and spread in the house or apartment. When there’s one bed bug there is sure to be plenty more. It’s best to detect any bedbugs early on so that the problem can be tackled without much problem.

If you live in any of the areas mentioned above you may want to open your eyes and start snooping around your house to see if you can find any bugs. You may not want to do this job but it needs to be done for the sake of your comfort level and sanity. Bed bugs aren’t that easy to get rid of. Locating these bugs is the first step in treating your home. Below are some ways on how to capture a few bed bugs.

The first thing you want to do is a visual inspection. You should know that bedbugs are most active between the hours of 3AM and 5AM so you may want to set your alarm in order to wake up and stalk them. You’ll need to get down on all fours and take a look around your home. The first place that you should look is in the creases and underneath your mattress. Bed bugs like to sleep close to where they feed and they feed on you, so look in and around bedding and sofas. If you don’t see any bedbugs in your bedding it does not mean that you do not have them. You want to try and cover all areas of your home. Look on curtains, on baseboards, in piles of clothing, in outlets, and in cracks of the floor and wall. Bed bugs are especially built so that they can nudge in the smallest of places so look everywhere. Get creative and think if I were a tiny bug where would I hide. Also, when looking at your bedding check for dark spots. Bed bugs can leave behind feces which will look like a black spot on bedding. Also look for blood stains on sheets that occur from a bug getting accidentally crushed by you in your sleep.

Your visual inspection may or may not pull up any bedbugs but you should still set up a trap just to be certain. The first trap that you should try is the Vaseline trap. All you need is a bit of Vaseline for this trap. You may also want to consider sealing your mattress in plastic sheets to entrap any bedbugs in there and to also prevent anymore from inhabiting your mattress. To set the trap, apply a generous amount of Vaseline on the legs of your bed. This will prevent the bugs from reaching your bed to feed on you. They will get stuck in the Vaseline before reaching the top. In order for this to work you need make sure that your covers are not touching the floor because if they are the bedbugs can easily attach themselves to them and crawl up to reach you.

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In addition to using the Vaseline trick you can place double sided tape on the floor, all around your bed. The bedbugs will most likely crawl to reach you and they don’t just hide in one area of the house. The bugs will crawl from out of different locations so placing the tape around your bed gives you a great chance to capture some. Once the bugs crawl on the tape they will not be able to crawl off. They will be stuck there.

If these homemade traps are not working for you then you may want to do a google search for bedbug traps. There are many devices sold to capture bed bugs; from monitor tracks that use heat and carbon dioxide to attract bugs to interceptor devices that trap the bugs as they try to crawl up to your bed. It may be best to use a combination of the homemade and store bought devices.

Try Xylitol to Promote Dental Health and Reduce Cavities

My family has a history of bad teeth with weak enamel. We could brush, floss, and use mouthwash five times a day and still get cavities. When my son’s teeth came in, they had very weak enamel, and he had to have a lot of dental repair done when he was only two. This was when I started searching the internet for something that could help his teeth; and I discovered Xylitol.

Xylitol is a white substance that tastes like sugar. It is found in various items in nature including hardwood, raspberries, berries, and lettuce-it is truly a natural sweetener. It is often derived from birch. Testing confirms that Xylitol reduces tooth decay in people who are prone to dental cavities, and even in those who are not. Children who chewed the recommended amount of Xylitol gum each day (approximately 4-5 pieces) had a significant reduction in the amount of dental decay in their mouths. Xylitol works by inhibiting the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that causes dental caries. The FDA confirmed the safety of Xylitol in 1986.

Xylitol is available in a sugar form to use as a sweetener instead of sugar, but this is somewhat cost-prohibitive for the average person. However, the Xylitol dental products are quite reasonable in cost. Currently, there are a wide range of Xylitol dental products available including mouthwash, chewing gum, mints, candy, toothpaste, and baby products.

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I have tried the toothpaste, mouthwash, and gum (in the Xlear brand of Xylitol products) and found them to be refreshing and good tasting. My four year old son enjoys Xylitol candy and the fruit-flavored gum. There are also Xylitol products available for babies such as a gel to rub on gums and teeth from Xlear products, and Xylitol wipes to clean the teeth from Spiffies. Most of these products have to be ordered online, although Dentyne and a few other major gum brands now carry gum with Xylitol in it (great to chew between meals for extra teeth cleaning). The Spiffies baby teeth wipes are now available at some major pharmacies such as CVS.

Probably, what you are wondering now is if Xylitol actually works. There are numerous scientific studies that prove it works, and since my son has started using it he has not had any cavities. Like anything, you have to be consistent, and use the suggested amount on a regular basis. If you are one of those people who get frequent cavities, it is definitely worth giving Xylitol products a try.

Printable Coupons and Coupon Codes Save Money

Online shopping has become widely popular in recent years. Whether Amazon, eBay, or web-based versions of brick-and-mortar retail outlets, more people are making purchases with the click of a mouse. Before buying anything through the internet, shoppers should check out these money-saving websites for some amazing online deals.

Save Money Using Coupon Codes

A coupon code is a special number and letter combination entered at the time of purchase to receive a discount. CouponWinner offers an impressive array of online deals for a variety of products and services including computers, mobile phones, travel, flowers, and jewelry. The site offers tens of thousands of codes and discounts from thousands of online stores, making this website one of the largest on the web in its class. Shoppers can also print free coupons; no registration required.

Consumers can also put more money in their pockets shopping with CouponMountain. This site offers numerous online deals, discounts, codes, and printable offers when shopping online. Click any discount offer to go to the respective online store and receive the savings at the time of purchase. Select special offers by store, category, or new deals, some of which include free shipping. Registration is not necessary, but doing so sends email alerts and special deals to the subscriber’s inbox.

Redplum is a comprehensive discount shopping website featuring a wide variety of codes, online deals, and free coupons. Consumers can find some pretty amazing money-savers on dining, beauty, fashion, entertainment, travel, groceries, and even some fun free stuff. To find special offers using RedPlum, click any category from the left-hand navigation menu on the home page. Registration is not necessary, but doing so enables shoppers to receive email alerts, free samples, and exclusive pricing.

Get Cash Back While Shopping On the Web

Some online discount websites feature cash back on purchases. Generally they set a certain percentage cash reward, and the subscriber must reach a certain limit before he or she can redeem the savings. ShopAtHome offers cash back of 1 to 30 percent (though most are under 10 percent). The site also offers comparison shopping, free shipping for selected orders, Deals of the Week, and special cash back promotions.

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FatWallet offers shoppers discounts and coupons when shopping online while at the same time featuring a cash-back program, available for redemption when the account reaches $10. Find the latest discounts by clicking Cash Back Shopping at the top of the home page; also compare prices to get the best deals.

Before opening up the purse or wallet, consumers should take the time to log on to these savings websites. In addition to the convenience of shopping from the comfort of home with the simple click of the mouse, doing so may save a considerable amount of money. And best of all, the sites are completely free.

Healing Foods for Diabetes and controlling Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes mellitus is caused due to an impaired glucose, fat and protein metabolism, and is manifested as raised levels of the blood sugar.

Diet is a very crucial aspect of maintaining normal blood glucose levels and averting the dreadful consequences that are associated with the disease. The following foods have been proved to be highly beneficial in the optimum management of diabetes.

Bitter Melon to control blood sugar levels

Research and clinical studies have verified the hypoglycemic effect of the freshly expressed juice of the bitter melon. This vegetable exerts a powerful anti-diabetic effect and helps prevent fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. Charantin found in bitter melon is more potent than most oral hypoglycemic drugs that are used to control diabetes. The vegetable also contains an insulin like compound called polypeptide P, that makes it possible for diabetics to eliminate or cut down on the usage of drugs. Two ounces of the juice are sufficient to check blood glucose oscillations. A word of caution though, consuming excessive amounts of the juice (5 to 6 ounces) could result in diarrhea. Hence, never take more that 2 ounces of the juice. Bitter melon promises to keep serum glucose level in check without the use of OHAs (oral hypoglycemic agents) or insulin.

Cinnamon to aid in management of diabetes

Research says, cinnamon acts like insulin and lowers blood sugar level considerably. A double blind clinical trial revealed that 1 gram of cinnamon (about ¼ teaspoon) taken every day for a period of 40 days reduced the fasting serum glucose level by 18 to 29 %. The unique and remarkable benefits of the spice are due to the essential oils derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree. Thus, adding a dash of the spice to yogurt, milkshakes, cakes and muffins is greatly recommended, to keep the serum glucose levels in control.

Syzygium Jambolinum to manage blood sugar

A traditional and highly effective food remedy for diabetes, syzygium has a potent effect on the pancreas. The seeds of the fruit have the potential to prevent the conversion of starch in to glucose, thus averting a rise in the sugar level. Experts recommend drying the seeds, pounding them, and consuming them with ½ a glass of water everyday.

String Beans for diabetic patients

String bean tea is an excellent source of natural insulin and helps in the effective management of diabetes mellitus. The pods are a rich source of silica and a hormone-like compound that is closely related to insulin. One cupful of string bean tea guarantees normal levels of serum glucose.

Soy to help control diabetes and restrict blood sugar levels

The high fiber content of soy and the powerful phytosterols help improve glucose tolerance and increase insulin sensitivity significantly. What’s more, the high fiber content speeds up the excretion of cholesterol, thereby having a beneficial effect on the blood sugar level. These health benefits of soy help handle diabetes successfully.

Click here to see a picture of blood sugar levels chart in mg/dl, Type 1 diabetes happens from 90 mg/dl to 126 mg/dl.

Diabetes mellitus requires a multi-disciplinary approach comprising of a complete and wholesome diet, incorporation of certain hypoglycemic foods, administering OHAs or insulin, adequate exercise and stress management to bring about optimum care.

Tai Chi Chuan Apps — 24/7 CHI

24/7CHI iPhone App and Meridian Therapy

The 24/7 CHI app is a great introduction to meridians, and provides practical instructions for exercises and acupressure therapy. There are several Meridians or Chi energy pathways in the body. Each of them is more functional or sensitive during different parts of the day. These paths are usually associated with a major body organ and different exercises and activities are more or less beneficial depending upon the time of day. 24/7 CHI is one of the few iPhone apps available, which are useful to those interested in Tai Chi Chuan. The solution to this inadequacy, is to download your favorite videos directly to your iPhone, which is described in the article “Saving Tai Chi Videos onto an iPhone.” However, 24/7 CHI is an exception in that it helps the Tai Chi Chuan enthusiast understand the traditional Chinese perspective regarding Chi flow .

Meridian Diagrams

The 24/7 app is set up to automatically display Meridians appropriate to different time periods of the day, thus providing an easy reference. Diagrams illustrating meridians are a bit crude, but do adequately show Meridian pathways. Also, acupressure points are sometimes a little difficult to see; however succinct descriptions are given on how to locate these areas.

Chi Therapy Choices

The 24/7 CHI app user is able to select from three therapy choices related to each meridian:

  • Chi Kung Exercises—gentle stretching and breathing routines.
  • Meridian Stretches—the more strenuous Shaiatsu, Makko Ho exercise routine is described. These stretches are similar to yoga.
  • Acupressure—location and massaging or tapping special points along a meridian affects energy, emotion and body functioning.

24/7 CHI and Tai Chi Chuan

Though 24/7 CHI is not strictly speaking a Tai Chi Chuan app, it does provide insight into the idea of chi and chi flow, through the body. In Tai Chi Chuan – Biochemical Science vs. Chi, the idea of chi was compared to western medical and fitness knowledge. There is some correlation, but the ancient concept of Meridians does not correlate with modern science. However, the fact remains that many people benefit by the relaxation exercises and breathing techniques and acupuncture therapies, which are founded in chi flow and Meridian theories. For the serious Tai Chi Chuan practitioner, knowing about Meridians, will lead to a higher level of understanding regarding Tai Chi movement and energy flow.

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This iphone app cites authoritative references and even provides web links for detailed information. 24/7 CHI is an uncomplicated, useful app and at the time of writing was a free download.

Remembering 9/11 on National Geographic Channel

Giuliani’s 9.11

Giuliani’s 9.11 focuses on the former Mayor of New York City and how he handled the events of the day. Giuliani looks back at the moments that struck him about the attacks on the World Trade Center. The moment that he realized the enormity of the day was when he saw people jumping out of the tower to certain death.

With memories from Giuliani as well as actual footage from throughout the day, viewers get a close up look at how Giuliani faced the attacks and helped move the city forward. There were times when he was out of communication with the outside world, and even Governor Pataki thought the mayor might have been one of the victims. With cell phone communications stretched to the max, Giuliani forged through the day setting up command posts and helping keep the residents calm.

Rudolph Giuliani is often thought of as the face and voice of 9/11, mostly because he was the most visible person at the time. The Vice President was in a secure bunker and the President was circling around the skies in Air Force One. Mayor Giuliani was the one official who was constantly in the public’s eye during the day. He felt the enormity of the events but always had the best interest of his city and the residents in his mind. As he looks back, he describes his feelings during the day as events unfolded.

Even when he gave his first press conference, Mayor Giuliani did not realize he was speaking to the country. He wanted to assure his constituents that the city was being taken care of. Although some of his decisions have been scrutinized throughout the years, Giuliani tells the viewers of this documentary that in his mind he was acting in the best interests of the people of the city, the first responders, and those affected by the tragedies.

I was 16 years old when 9-11 terrorist attack happened, and I have clear memories of the horror. Every year after that I watch a show on the anniversary, this year I watched a documentary on Jio TV app.

Witness: DC 9.11

Witness: DC 9.11 focuses on the attack on the Pentagon. As the people of Washington, D.C. react in horror to the attacks on the World Trade Center, they themselves are the next victims.

With portable video cameras so abundant, there are plenty of scenes in this documentary that come from average citizens who were just going about their day when the plane struck the Pentagon. The footage shot by these people help put the tragedy into focus as various parts of Washington are shown throughout the day and viewers see how the city reacted and responded to the attack and the suspicion of more attacks on the horizon.

Both of these documentaries come on the heels of the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks. While many people might not want to relive the day, this is something that is a big part of the country’s history. These documentaries are tasteful and although some parts are graphic, they are done in a way that is a tribute to those who were at the heart of this day and who reached out to others to lend a hand.

First person accounts that most viewers have never heard before lend an added aspect to the historic day and give the average man- or woman- on the street’s perspective of what was happening as it happened.

New Years Chinese Salad Recipe

Losing weight, or going on a weight loss diet, is a very popular New Years Resolution with many people. Unfortunately, even with the best intentions and will power, many dieters begin their diets with a gung-ho attitude, but then after a few days, or even a couple of weeks, the motivation is no longer as strong as it was, when they made their resolution, and the diet falls by the wayside, until time to make another resolution the following New Years. There are usually many factors as to why a diet works or fails, but one contributing factor is food. If the food a dieter is eating isn’t satisfying, eye appealing, and delicious, how can a diet be successful?

This simple recipe for Chinese salad is perfect for parties and potlucks. No one will ever believe how easy it is to make, or that it’s as healthy and low calorie, as it is delicious. Try it this year, and enjoy a crisp bowl of delicious and eye appealing food while dieting.

Ingredients Needed:

  • 1 head of fresh Nappa (Chinese) cabbage
  • 1 bunch of fresh green onions (remove roots and stems)
  • 1 8oz can of water chestnuts
  • 1 8oz can of mushrooms, fresh mushrooms can be substituted for canned (whole or pieces — either works well)
  • 3/4 Cup Miracle Whip Light Salad Dressing
  • 2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
  • 1 can Chow Mein noodles

Directions:

  • Wash Nappa (Chinese) cabbage and green onions thoroughly
  • Cut off the end of cabbage and discard
  • Slice cabbage into thin strips about 1/2 inches in length (length and width is optional according to personal preference)
  • Chop green onions, and water chestnuts into bite-sized pieces
  • In a large bowl, toss cabbage, green onions, water chestnuts, and mushrooms.
  • In a separate bowl, combine Miracle Whip and Soy Sauce. Mix well.
  • Do not combine soy sauce dressing and salad until ready to eat, or the salad will get soggy during storage.
  • Store salad in an airtight container, and keep refrigerated

When ready to serve:

  • Put desired amount of Chinese salad in a bowl
  • Add enough soy sauce dressing to cover salad (Don’t over do it, a little goes a long way)
  • Sprinkle salad with Chow Mein noodles
  • Enjoy!

Make sure your dieting endeavors are as successful as possible. Keep a bowl of Chinese salad in your refrigerator, and enjoy a delicious, healthy, and low calorie snack, side dish, or entrée. This delicious and eye appealing salad keeps well in the refrigerator, and it is also a great dish for pot-lucks, and a favorite at office parties and other assorted gatherings.

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Kobo Starts Facebook Contest as The Office Features Kobo eReaders

On January 21, 2011, Kobo started a Facebook-based contest where people can win 1 of 4 Kobo eReaders. The contest connects to the January 20, 2011 episode of “The Office.” Daryl Philbin, the character who starts using a Kobo ereader, is initially reluctant because he works at a paper company, but he is won over because the Kobo is “so light, like a croissant.” By the end of the episode, Daryl is ignoring the temptations to roller skate because he prefers to read ebooks on his Kobo.

Kobo’s “Where Are You eReading in the Office” Facebook Contest

In order to participate in the Kobo Facebook contest, you need to “like” the Kobo Facebook page. Then you need to write a story about your office in the “Tell Us About Your Office” section of the Kobo Facebook fan page. You can also post a photo and be entered to win the contest. The prize is a Kobo eReader, and there are 4 available to win. The grand prize winner will get 10 free ebooks to read on their new ebook reader.

The contest entries are due to the Kobo Facebook page by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on Monday, January 24, 2011. People can vote on stories and photos in the contest until the entry deadline. The contest winners will be selected by Kobo on Wednesday, January 26, 2011. The entries do not need to be related to a Kobo ereader; the criteria is based on “funny or interesting things that happen at your office,” according to the Kobo Facebook Contest page.

The Kobo eReader: A Simple EPUB Reader

Although the Kobo ebook reader is often overshadowed by the more feature-rich Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook, the Kobo ereader is a great digital book device. I am currently reading books on the Kobo ereader lent to me by Kobo, and it is about as small as a Kindle 3. OverDrive books work with the Kobo, so you can use a Kobo ereader to when you check out ebooks from public libraries. It is extremely simple to use, and it is an ideal ereader for people who are uncomfortable with new technology because the layout is so simple.

Because the Kobo reader handles EPUB formats natively, you can download free ebooks from Project Gutenberg and Google Books to read on a Kobo. Unlike the Amazon Kindle, you can read Google Books on a Kobo ebook reader without having to convert the files. The Kobo reader is connected to the quirky, cool Kobo eBookstore as well as Borders, so it joins the Barnes and Noble reader in having an online bookstore and a physical bookstore where owners can get help in learning to download books.

It is fun to see ebook readers gain prominence in the media through product mentions such as the Kobo’s appearance in NBC’s “The Office,” and the Facebook contest is a fun way for fans to connect their daily lives with a show they love. If you are lucky enough to win one of the Kobo ereaders, you can start reading some of books in Kobo’s new etextbook program.

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Building Handwriting Muscles: With Playdoh

The colorful dough offers a fun way to make hand muscles stronger for improved handwriting and self-help skills such as buttons and zippers.

Fine Motor Skills are the things that we do with our hands. The hands are made up of complex muscles. Occupational therapy and special education programs often incorporate activities that will build hand and wrist muscles and coordination.

Daily Living Skills Using Fine Motor

  • Cutting with scissors
  • Using a computer mouse
  • Pinching (holding a pencil, pulling Velcro)
  • Poking / pushing numbers on a calculator or telephone
  • Squeezing
  • Writing
  • Buttons
  • Zippers
  • Using sign language (especially ABCs and numbers)

What to Do If your child shows tactile defensiveness and sees you cringe to touch the doughy fun, he will react in the same way. Have fun!

    • Use index finger to poke into a ball of dough.
    • Use thumb and two fingers to pinch small amounts of dough
  • Roll the dough between your hands or with your hand on the table to make a snake.
  • Use a child-sized rolling pin to roll the dough flat.
  • Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.
  • Use Playdoh presses to squeeze out pretend hair or other shapes.
  • Push dough into play baking tins.
  • Once again —- Have fun!

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Safety Perhaps you are the parent of a child on the autism spectrum. A curious characteristic of many autistic children is that they avoid unfamiliar food textures, yet they taste everything: glue, Playdoh, paint, etc.

If your child eats things that are not foods, try an edible dough mixture. A number of recipes can be found on the web. Homemade dough has an added advantage. You can add color and scent to the dough, making it an even more beneficial sensory experience for your child.

It is messy! Many parents avoid Playdoh activities because they are messy. Remember the benefits to the child (building muscles needed for everyday self-care and sensory processing). A covering such as an inexpensive vinyl tablecloth from a discount store is a quick floor protector.

Note: Not every idea is appropriate for every child. Activities represented here are ideas. Parents (not the author) are responsible for choosing an appropriate activity for a particular child and for the consequences of that activity.

Camcorder Formats: The pros and cons of camcorder recording formats

There are many different camcorder formats appearing now, this is a short guide to the the more common formats and their strengths and weaknesses. It is designed to be read with the companion article “Choosing and using a camcorder”

MiniDV/HDV

Well-established tape format which gives excellent image quality and good editability. If you want the best video quality, HDV is the way to go, and if you want the best standard definition video, MiniDV will deliver. Of course, this assumes a good quality camcorder and enough light… Your video can be transferred without any loss in quality to a computer for editing, using a firewire (IEEE1394) connector on the computer and suitable software. The best all-round choice if you are not sure at all. The main disadvantage is that it takes an hour to transfer an hour of shot video into the computer – flashcard and DVD formats can transfer the video to computer in less tame than the running time of the video.

DVD

DVD recorders are marketed on the familiarity of the DVD medium. There are numerous disadvantages of DVD in a recorder. These include poor resistance to camera vibration when recording, limited editability of the recorded video, poorer signal quality due to higher compression than MiniDV, and short recording tiems when run in high-quality modes. However, the convenience of shooting video and then peing able to replay the video on a DVD player mean DVD recorders are seen as easy to use, particularly for children and the technologically challenged. The difficulty of editing the shot video means that the may not be enjoyable viewing for others.

Flash Card

These camcorders use flash cards which are often used for digital still cameras, like SD cards and XD cards. The small capacity of the cards mean the recordings are highly compressed, which means editing can be difficult. However, the firls are small, and the lack of moving parts make the camcorders robust even recording while moving on in the rough and tumble of play

Hard Disk

Hard disk recorders record compressed files to an internal hard disk, the video is then transferred to a computer for editing and saving to a permanent medium if needed. Because the hard disk is non-removeable, this practically forces you to download and edit, which is usually good for the watchability fo the result. However, if you are going on holiday without access to a PC to transfer your video you need to watch how long you can record for at a reasonable quality – this is usually only a few hours. Some manufacturers offer combination hard disk/DVD recorders where you can transfer some of the hard disk video to a DVD to free up space. However, this often involved further video compression.

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Obsolete formats

All these formats should not be considered for purchase, though of course if you get given a camcorder some can give satisfactory results.

Digital 8 is similar to MiniDV in quality but uses an obsolete tape format. There were several analog formats – none were anywhere near as good as MiniDV. These included (in approximately decreasing order of image quality)

What are drug interactions and why do they occur?

A drug interaction is a situation where the effect of one drug is affected by the administration of another one. The second drug may be administered prior to or at the same time as the first one.

Consider a medicine interaction as the body’s response to a drug that cannot be explained by the action of one drug alone. The actions of two or more drugs must be considered.

Food Drug Interactions

There are many instances of dietary interactions with drugs like the one between cheese, alcohol, liquorice and drugs. Taking alcohol and some drugs such as flagyl causes severe cramps and headaches. Also cheese and other tyramine containing foods can cause a dangerous increase in the blood pressure if taken at the same time as some anti- depressants. Liquorice also interfes with the action of some contraceptives.

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Drug Drug interaction

These present complex problems with drug therapy. It occurs when the actions of two drugs given together are different from when one is given alone.

Why do drug interactions occur?

Many factors predispose an individual to potentially dangerous drug drug interaction including

  • Multiple doctors

Visiting more than a doctor a time is a reality for many people especially those of us in the middle to golden age group as we have more than one medical condition at a time. You may get Pilocarpine for an eye problem and Buscopan for an ulcer. They have conflicting mechanisms of action and the desired effect will never be achieved. In Africa and many parts of the developing world, the second medic may even be a herbalist or witch doctor. Herbal preparations are not harmless and can lead to terrible side effects.

  • Potent medicines

As drugs become more and more potent, their secondary effects become more pronounced and their addition more dangerous. If you take phenacetin and gentamycin at the same time for a long period of time, the negative effects on both the ears and kidneys is more pronounced.

  • Not following directions for use for medications

We become confused as to which and when to take medications. We also interpret an instruction like ‘take 4 times a day’ variously.

  • Drug abuse and misuse

Abuse or misuse of both prescription and nonprescription drugs is dangerous. Drugs as seemingly harmless as aspirin have lead to bleeding episodes and death when taken after surgery for hemorrhoids or ulcer.

Desirable drug interactions

There are situations where known drug drug interactions are exploited to produce a favourable outcome.

Examples of desirable drug drug interactions:

  • One drug may be used to increase the concentration of the other in the blood
  • One drug is used to decrease the rate of elimination of the other, prolonging the time the second one is available in the blood e.g. clavulanic acid and amoxycillin
  • One drug can be used to reduce the undesirable side effects of the other e.g. piriton and chloroquine in malaria therapy
  • One drug is used to antagonize the effects of the other e.g. poison antidotes

It is important to consult a drug interaction checker if you are taking multiple drugs at the same time.

Low Fat Cooking: Swiss Chard and Polenta Gratin

Swiss chard is one of those leafy greens that is a real nutritional superstar. Like spinach, swiss chard is high in vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, fiber, and calcium. In addition, swiss chard is high in Vitamin E.

Because swiss chard can have a strong, almost bitter flavor, it pairs well with soft grains, like polenta, and bold cheeses like goat cheese. That’s what makes this recipe such a winner.

When selecting swiss chard, look for bright green leaves and firm stems. Swiss chard comes in a rainbow of colors — red, yellow, orange, and green. Any variety will do for this recipe.

When you get the chard home, wash it thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Trim the leaves off the stems. For this recipe, chop the stems into bite-sized pieces. Discard the bottom tough pieces of stem.

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Creamy Polenta and Swiss Chard Gratin

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 6 cups swiss chard, stems and leaves separated (about 5 cups of leaves and 1 cup of stems, chopped)
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 3-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup polenta grits or yellow corn meal
  • 2 oz. semi-soft goat cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. non-fat sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large (12- or 14-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Add swiss chard stems and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add swiss chard leaves and water. Cover and cook another 3 to 4 minutes until the leaves are wilted. Remove from heat. Set aside.
  5. Heat vegetable broth in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the corn meal. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and continue to stir constantly until polenta thickens, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add goat cheese to the polenta. Stir until the cheese melts. Remove from heat.
  7. Pour half of the polenta in the prepared baking dish. Top with the swiss chard and garlic mixture. Top with sour cream, then the remaining polenta. Sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes or until cheese on top is lightly browned. Let gratin stand about 10 minutes before cutting.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Per serving (based on 6): 148 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 218 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 6 g protein, 48% vitamin A, 20% vitamin C, 8% calcium, 9% iron