Fashion Design Skills 101 – Skills That Fashion Schools Don’t Cover Nearly Enough

In fashion school, most of your time was spent learning to create fashion illustrations, draping, sewing, and flat patternmaking. While these are good skills to have, they aren’t very practical when you’re trying to land your first job in the fashion industry. In the real world you’ll be expected to know how to create computerized flat sketches, develop garment specs, CADs, and presentation boards. And I know some of you are thinking “But I learned those things in school too!” To which I reply: You think you know, but you have no idea! Take it from experience: fashion schools don’t focus on those skills nearly enough to fully prepare you for your first design position. In this article I will discuss each skill and its importance in the fashion industry.

Draping and Patternmaking – Low Importance
While patternmaking and draping are valuable skills, they usually only come in handy when you deal with a lot of fits. However, fittings are usually conducted by technical design teams so if you got into fashion for creative reasons, you’ll most likely be miserable in this type of position. On the creative side of design, all you need is a basic understanding of what creates a good fit, and how to fix a bad one. In the majority of design positions, hands-on patternmaking skills are not necessary, unless you plan to enter Project Runway!

Sewing – Low Importance
On the creative side of design, sewing isn’t that relevant. Yes, it’s good to understand the general concepts of garment construction, but you don’t need to be a great seamstress. On the job, if you need to know how a certain garment is constructed, there are tons of references available: from clothes at the stores, to “how to” books and online articles. The point I’m trying to make is: if you’re sewing skills leave something to be desired, don’t stress over it.

Illustration – Almost Unnecessary
Sadly, fashion illustrations are a dying art in the industry – they are scarcely used by designers in the real world. The fashion illustration has been replaced with computer drawn stylized technical sketches (floats) or more accurate technical flats, which are faster to sketch and much more practical. Not only do they present a clear representation of design concept, but they are a must have for production. Flats can be turned into CADs and can be used in mood/presentation boards. Fashion schools have not followed this shift and still focus more heavily on illustrations, and not enough on flat sketching.

Computer Programs – Must Know
I can’t stress enough the importance of knowing popular computer applications for creating floats, flats and CADs. Most companies expect proficiency in Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and Microsoft Excel since they are relatively affordable in comparison to more industry specific software. Unfortunately, the coverage of Illustrator and Photoshop provided by fashion schools does not meet the actual demands of the fashion industry. Many companies are also requesting knowledge of WebPDM, so if your college offers a course in this program, it would be to your benefit to take it. If your school does not teach this program, find a school or venue that does offer this program and take it!

Flat Sketching – Must Know
While interviewing candidates for design positions, we’ve seen applicants’ portfolios filled with beautiful illustrations and then say “That’s nice, but can you flat sketch?” If flats are included in their portfolios, they are usually basic, lack important details, and are not visually appealing. If the candidates sketches are halfway decent; my next question is “do you know Illustrator and Photoshop? ” Almost everyone says yes, but it’s usually far from the truth.

A lot of fashion school grads seriously believe that they know these programs well, but what you learned in school isn’t enough – fashion schools don’t teach these skills well enough for entry level designers to be competent within the fashion industry. Schools just cover basics, which are usually forgotten without practice. Take the extra effort to practice and become comfortable with Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and other programs beyond what schools teach: read books and take additional courses (offered in either classroom or online settings).

Creating Specs in a Copycat Industry – Must Know
Knowing how to spec (measure and detail) a garment to create garment specifications, or “specs” is a fundamental skill. Many companies create their spec sheets using Excel. Although garment sizes and measurements vary from company to company, depending on different market segments and categories, if you know the principles, you’ll be able to quickly adapt to the standards of any company. You don’t even need to know how to develop specs from scratch!

As a head designer, to set spec standards for a company, I usually went to different stores, found garments with a good fit and copied the basic measurements. This is quite common – the fashion industry is a copycat industry- most fashions hanging in the stores are knock-offs of another company. Once, during a shopping trip in London, a store salesperson noticed I was a fashion designer collecting style ideas. He mentioned that his store received a constant flow of American design companies such as Calvin Klein, whose designers come to knockoff their merchandise. That’s right – even top designer brands use knockoffs for their ready-to-wear collections. There are even official terms: a “knockoff” is when a style is copied and a “rub-off” is when patterns are copied.

Educate Yourself!
Many fashion schools such as FIT in New York (Fashion Institute of Technology) offer important classes like “flats and specs for the fashion industry”, but believe it or not, these courses are not required by the curriculum! Another handy course that should be taken is “creative fashion presentation.” Salespeople use presentations a lot as visual aids. In addition they create a good impression and convey creativity level. If you can make outstanding presentations you’ll be assigned to do them often, and believe me it’s more fun to make boards than do fits or send faxes and organize showrooms.

To sum up: in order to get a job before the rest of the entry level fashion design candidates, you need to focus on refining skills that are highly demanded in the industry. Become proficient with flat sketching, include flats in your portfolio, and be extremely comfortable and knowledgeable in Illustrator and Photoshop. Not only will you be ready with the skills you need to succeed in fashion, but discussing how you went the extra mile to keep up with industry standards will definitely impress any prospective employer!

For your reference and use, we have posted lots of industry standard flat sketches and CADs in JPEG and vector (Illustrator) formats on If you can improve your skills to reach the quality of those shown, you’ll be in a very good shape

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The Role of Speech Therapy in Autism Centers

Children with autism not only have trouble communicating socially, but may also have problems behaving. The goal of speech therapy is to improve all aspects of communication including auditory processing.

Speech therapy sessions will vary greatly depending upon the child and the therapist. For example, the Direct Instruction language program called Language for Learning may be helpful for teaching spoken language to school aged children with autism. This program is typically directed towards children aged 10-11 and includes daily 20 minute sessions. One study found that after just three months of this type of therapy, children with autism were able to correctly say words to identify certain objects.

Medical Autism Clinic in Alabama

Many scientific studies have demonstrated that most forms of speech therapy are able to improve the communication skills of children with autism and most autism centers offer some form of speech therapy. For example, the Medical Autism Clinic (MAC) affiliated with the University of Alabama, Birmingham, was created to be a roadmap for parents as they deal with the diagnosis of autism. MAC localizes specialists in genetics, nutrition, occupational therapy, speech therapy, rehabilitation, sleep disorders and audiology in to expedite the evaluation of children with autism. While all these areas are supported at MAC, special emphasis is given to feeding, sensory, motor, sleep, gastrointestinal and nutritional issues. MAC attempts to address these problems in a thorough and interdependent way. Parents and their children are referred to MAC by their pediatricians; first they complete a questionnaire, and then the children are evaluated by the staff at the autism center. Having all services under one roof allows the parents to leave the appointment at MAC with a therapy plan and a list of resources.

Vermont Rural Autism Project

A different model of an autism center can be found in Vermont. The Vermont Rural Autism Project uses applied family-centered practice during speech and language therapy. Applied family-centered practice is a specific intervention developed in the late 1980s that encourages therapists to include parents and families as part of the therapy program. Families are encouraged to participate and collaborate with therapists. The Vermont Rural Autism Project was a 3-year project that started as a family-centered program with specially-trained speech therapists. Working closely with families can be challenging for some speech therapists. Some families may be overly critical of the therapist and others may be unwilling to help in the therapy. Some therapists and families, however, are able to connect in special ways that are incredibly beneficial to the child.

Learning More about Speech Therapy

Autism is a condition covered under the United States’ Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004. The cost of speech therapy is often covered by the government through this act.

A Healthy Diet: Nutrition Advice

The importance of a healthy diet and proper nutrition will be discussed here.

Nutrition is essential in providing your body’s cells the necessary materials that support life.The sciences of nutrition involve examining the metabolic responses your body has to the various foods you eat.Understanding the principles of nutrition can easily show that many health problems can be avoided by following a healthy diet.The sciences of nutrition look at the steps our body’s cells take starting with digestion and through the point when they change the digested food from one form to another.This is a process of metabolism.

We watch the science of human nutrition slowly evolving. A healthy diet is what is necessary for maintaining and improving health. A healthy diet is possible by eating fresh, unprocessed foods instead of eating processed foods. To maintaining a healthy diet you must eat a sufficient quantity of all nutrients and consume enough water. For this you will require a balanced amount of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats as well as vitamins and minerals.

The importance of a healthy diet on our health is enormous. The maintenance of a healthy diet is crucial to the prevention of diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. A healthy diet will also go far to improve your mental health. There has been much research that has shown the eating of healthy nutritious meals has a beneficial effect on memory and brain functions.

A healthy diet:

Selecting a diet with a bounty of starchy foods such as rice, with plenty of fruits and vegetables for a good start. Add some protein like meat, fish, and chicken and a little bit of milk and dairy foods should give you a sufficient amount of nutrition. The key to eating a healthy diet is maintaining the proper balance of these nutrients: a good selection of varying foods in the proper proportions. Avoid too much fat, sugar and salt.

There are basically five different food groups. Eating a proper balance of foods from these groups daily is the essential foundation of a healthy diet. It is the recommendation that everyone receive the proper balance from these five basic groups. The five groups are:Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, Meats and beans (including eggs and fish), Milk and Dairy, and foods containing fat and sugar.

Fruits and vegetables:Vegetables: 2.5 cups daily, Fruits: 2 cups daily

We recommended you consume five portions per day of fruits and vegetables. A 1 cup per serving measure is a good gauge.The risks of diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer should be decreased.

Grains: One third of daily food intake

Including foods like bread, rice, potatoes, corn and pasta are the starchy foods which should make up the largest portion of your daily diet. Whole grains are esspecially important as they contain the fiber we need to aid digestion and nutrient absorption. Grains are a good source of energy and provide fuel for the body.

Meat and beans: 15% -20% of total daily calories

Meats and bean provide good sources of protein. Additionally they contain several vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc and B vitamins. Protein is necessary for cell growth and repair.

Milk and dairy foods: 3 cups per day

Milk and dairy products including cheese and yogurt are great sources of protein. Dairy foods are also a major source of calcium.

Fat and sugar

Fat and sugar should be eaten infrequently. Eating too much causes our bodies to consume more energy than it burns leading to obesity and increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The consumption of fat should be limited to mostly mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. A smaller amounts of saturated fats is also acceptable. Trans Fats should be avoided.

Being healthy is one of the most valuable aspects on our lives that we need to take with great precaution and utmost importance.

7 Reasons Why Weight Loss Programs May Not Work for You

Weight loss programs have been dominating the internet marketing scene for several years and they continue to compete with each other emphasizing upon several aspects of the mystery behind the fat syndrome.

The basic tenets of all weight loss programs are centered on a proper mix of diet and exercise. A growing number of internet marketers is also of the firm belief that nutritional supplements in the form of pills and potions can do miracles to overweight bodies. There are some who advocate yoga as a panacea for all ills. Then there are die-hard proponents of calorie based diets that assume a minimum or maximum percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, not to forget the old school professors who remind us of the age-old balanced diet approach to healthy living.

All said and done, weight loss programs may not work for you for reasons more than one. Here are a few reasons:

1. Being overweight might not be the problem: Almost all plans start with the wrong presumption that being overweight is itself the issue. It could, in all probability, be the symptom of a problem. This necessitates the need to consult your physician first and take proper medical advice.

2. What works for others may not work for you: Not all are made equal. What works for a set of people might not actually work for you. Does it mean that you must try each and every one of those programs until one eventually works for you? Not at all. Just avoid joining the rat race unless the prognosis matches with the diagnosis. Unfortunately, most of these programs talk of prognosis and never discuss the diagnosis.

3. Individual traits and attitudes matter: Not the least important is the fact that your mindset is the toughest stumbling block that might undo the expected / promised results of these plans. It requires a lot of determination and effort to be put in to derive the promised results (if at all they work). Determination requires a strong mind and will power to follow or adopt a disciplined course of action.

4. Dieting is an expensive affair: Never underestimate the high cost of dieting! Almost all programs invariably prescribe a diet to be followed by you to achieve the promised results. Assuming that a particular really worked for you, it might not take much of a time for you to spring back to your original weight once you bid farewell to the prescribed diet and this could be taxing on you.

5. Laziness is the enemy of exercise: Generally, laziness is attributed to one being overweight. Although, it is not true all the time since several normal weight people also exhibit this trait, nevertheless, when it comes to exercising regularly, tendency of most people is to skip the same at times with a self-promise to make up for that later. Since regular exercise is an essential part of several of those plans, it requires a gritty mind to undertake the task.

6. Your environment can cause a hindrance: Apart from a mindset, things that can cause a hindrance during your proposed engagement with any diet plan are basically related to your environment. Support and encouragement from your partner and family members is a vital ingredient that will not come from the weight loss program. For a homemaker, it is indeed a tough challenge to carry out household duties while undergoing a strict diet and exercise regimen. For a working person, stress related issues could take a toll and spoil the path undertaken to reduce weight.

7. Weight loss programs are not 60-day affairs: Though the genuine ones promise to refund your money in 60 days (or less) if you do not get the promised results, it does not mean that weight loss programs are for a brief period only. The prescribed course or way of living has to be followed into the future unless, of course, you end up with a bigger problem than the original.

So, before you resolve to embark upon a weight loss program, make sure you have considered the above points carefully. Keeping your weight in check is a must for a healthy living but more important is a strong commitment and grit.

First Aid Burn Treatment

Babies and small children are more susceptible to burns than adults. Contact with hot liquids and household appliances such as hot irons and kettles often cause injury to the skin. Some minor burns can be safely treated at home by administering first aid. There should not be any delay in providing first aid burn treatment to the victim, even in the case of a minor injury. However, major burns require immediate specialist medical care.

Depending on the injury caused to the skin, burns are commonly classified as first, second, and third degree burns. Of these, only first degree burns that cause damage to the top layer of skin can be given first aid burn treatment. In the case of second and third degree burns, it is necessary to seek urgent medical assistance.

During the process of providing first aid burn treatment, the aim must be to cool the burn, provide relief from pain, and cover the burn. First, remove clothing from the burned area as clothing can retain heat, even in a scald burn. Be cautious not to remove anything sticking to the skin covering the burned area as this may cause more damage and result in infection. Cover the burn with abundant amount of cold liquid. Do not use ice or iced water as the burn may take a longer time to heal. Dress the burn with a sterile pad or bandage. Applying oils, creams and sprays on the burn may add to the risk of infection, hence these products should not be considered during first aid burn treatment.

In situations of burns arising from flames, put out the flames by rolling the person on the ground and cover the victim with the help of a blanket or jacket. In case of electrical burns, the victim ought to be detached from the supply of electricity before administering first aid burn treatment.

Lisbon, Portugal’s Best Hospitals

Lisbon, Portugal is an ancient city whose history can be traced back to the 6th century. The history of the city intersects with the history of Julius Caesar who renamed the city “Felicitas Julia”. As both the capital city of Portugal and a major port city, Lisbon is still bustling with activity in modern time. You can conveniently find both private and public hospitals throughout the city.

Set up in 1967, the Hospital Particular de Lisbon has been a leader in providing modern and quality healthcare services to it patients. The hospital trains its staff and conducts research in order to better serve its patients along the lines of family medical care, emergency medical situations and certain medical specialties. The hospital also admits many patients from around the country. The hospital contact details are as follows: Av. Luís Bívar nº 30, 1069-142 Lisbon and +351 213 586 200

Three hospitals were merged together to form the new and modern Lisbon Western Hospital Center. The hospital has a fairly large capacity of 900 beds to admit patients from around the country. The hospital provides inpatient care for a range of medical issues and also provides 24 hours emergency services. This hospital is notable for the promptness of its service.

The doctors at The British Hospital are among the best in the country, and the resident permanent physician is always available to offer guidance and care to the patients. In addition to the excellent staff, the hospital also utilizes the latest and greatest modern technology. This technology equips the hospitals other amenities such as inpatient care, the intensive care unit and transfusion services.

The constant research and medical training that takes place at Lisbon North Hospital Center enables the center to provide above average diagnostic and treatment services. As a result, the hospital admits patients who are both locally and internationally referred. The modern infrastructure and qualifications of the doctors also add the reliability and reputation of the hospital.

Santa Casa da Misericórdia is an old charity mission that has been in operation for over 500 year. In addition to all the other charity work, the hospital also provides healthcare services to the economically disenfranchised. They have seven healthcare centers and two mobile health units. Their contact number is 21 861 86 00. Their services include nutrition counseling, family planning advice, maternal care and diagnostics. All nine units are equipped to provide health consultation and treatment to children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens.

Setting Up The Rug Doctor To Clean Your Carpets

The Rug Doctor is obviously a popular piece of equipment for rug cleaning DIY’ers and those wanting to save a bit of money over professional carpet cleaning services. Does the Rug Doctor work? Yes, it absolutely does! The problems with the Rug Doctor surface when the people who rent it either have a poor understanding of the machine or limited experience with cleaning carpets all together which often leads to a poorer than expected result after they are finished.

Today, I am going to explain the proper way to set up a rug doctor so the next time you get one home, you will walk away completely satisfied with the job it does on your carpets. Let’s get started!

1. When you get the Rug Doctor Home, unlock the handle and swing it out and up into the upright position. There are 4 to choose from. Choose whichever one seems like it will be the most comfortable for an extended day of cleaning (we are speaking of ergonomics here!)

2. When operating, the 2 needle jets on the bottom of the machine deliver a measured amount of cleaner through the nozzles and onto the rug. The row of bi-directional brushes operate at 3200 cycles per minute allowing every side and angle of the carpet fiber to get scrubbed. A vacuum extracts 80% of the cleaning solution from the carpet right after use. The Rug Doctor is fairly bulky, therefore you will need to remove all of the furniture from the room before starting the machine.

3. Give the carpet a thorough vacuuming to remove and surface dirt and debris. This will allow the deep cleaning of the Rug Doctor to be more effective.

4. To add the Rug Doctor cleaning solution to the machine, fill a bucket with approximately 8 liters of warm tap water. Shake the Rug Doctor solution thoroughly and then add 150 ml to the bucket of warm water. This will be enough solution to clean one full sized room.

5. On the Rug Doctor, there are 2 compartments for fluids, one at the bottom (this is the compartment to put the clean solution) and the upper tank, which is where the cleaner goes after it is used and sucked back up by the machine. In order to reach the red base tank to fill it with clean solution, you will need to remove the upper recovery tank.

To remove the recovery tank, simply un-clip the retaining handle from the top of the unit, and fold it down and out of the way. Once un-clipped, the recovery tank will lift easily out of the way giving access to the lower tank. Now, you can pour your bucket of clean solution into the lower tank. Once your solution is in the lower tank, replace the recovery tank and re-clip the handle to hold the components in place.

6. The last step needed for your Rug Doctor setup is to look on the top of the machine. That is where you will find a white rocker switch. One setting on the switch is for ‘hand tool’. The other side of the switch is for ‘carpet cleaning’. Make sure the switch is set to ‘carpet cleaning’ in order to commence the job.

If the switch is set to ‘hand tool’ it will spray a continuous steam of cleaning solution onto the carpet soaking it far too much (as well as getting your carpets far too wet) to be cleaned properly. Just make sure before you start cleaning to have that switch set properly.

That concludes the simple steps needed to be taken in order to set up your Rug Doctor for proper carpet cleaning. Later, I will be examining the proper steps to take to do the cleaning itself. Stay tuned!

10 Deadly Twitter Sins

With the coming of giant social media sites like Twitter there are bound to be a large number of people using the site in the wrong way. They may have good intentions but are going about it entirely the wrong way.

These are the deadliest of the many Twitter sins that you will see happening everyday out there. And how you can avoid them so they you do not fall misfortune to their trap.

1.) Your Profile Pic – Do you have an imagine of yourself posted in your Twitter account? If you do not it is important that you put a picture of yourself. Usually a close up picture of your face is best so people can tell its you very easily.

2.) Twitter Background – Is your Twitter background still the default? If it is, you must change it because your Twitter background is seriously one of the most powerful ways to personally brand yourself to all of your followers.

3.) User Name – Does your user name brand you as a professional? If your user name on Twitter says something funny or outlandish that is all good. But if you are using your account for business then you will probably want to use your own full name.

4.) Your Tweets – Do your Tweets reflect the Three E's of Twitter? Every single one of your Tweets should do one of the following as a general rule of thumb. Entertain, Enlighten, or Enrich.

5.) Twitter Links – All of your Twitter links should send people to a place of value and great content. No more landing pages or sales pages. If people like your message and who you are they will naturally want to learn more about you.

6.) Twitter Bio – Does your Twitter bio grab peoples interest? If it does not you are doing it all wrong. The purpose of the bio is to get people interested in what you have to say. If it's something that sparks curiosity, then you are on the right path.

7.) Are You Favoring Your Tweets? Many people do not know about this for some reason but you can add a star to any your favorite Tweets by clicking on the star in the upper right hand corner of any Tweet.

8.) Conversation / Interaction – Are you interacting with your followers? The most important part of being on any social media site is interacting with your followers because they are real people just like you. Treat them as such.

9.) Updates VS Followers

– Are your amount of updates relevant to the amount of followers you have? If you have thousands of followers but hardly any updates, people will think of your as a spammer.

10.) Twitter Value

– How many people talk to you first? By the amount of people that try to initiate conversations with you will tell you how well your presence on Twitter is being perceived. You want good recognition and great things said about you. If you got that, you are on the right path.

High School Medical School Programs

There are medical school programs available at almost every institution of higher learning, as well as high schools, vocational schools, and junior colleges. The list of health care related professions is appears to be exhaustive and continues to grow with rapid speed. The professions that are undergoing the greatest rise in demand are CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistant), RNs (Registered Nurse), LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurse), and NAs (Nursing Assistant). People who obtain any of these licenses are able to work in a broad field of medicine, including dentistry, psychiatry, pediatrics, rehabilitation, and end-of-life care.

Students may begin training for a career in nursing or other health profession while still attending high school; some schools offer psychiatric aide and nurse training. While most of these classes are taught in vocational high school or at local community colleges, they are not strictly aimed at h.s. students. Anyone who wishes to apply for a tuition waiver must first consult their local or state board of education. For example, Cape Cod Regional Technical H.S. in Harwich, Massachusetts offers the following courses for adults:

  • Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program
  • Advanced Medical Coding for Physician Services
  • EKG / Cardiovascular Technician
  • Home Health Aide
  • Medical Billing
  • Medical Terminology
  • Dental Assistant Program

Courses at Cape Cod Tech range in price from $199 to $3,800 and do not include licensing fees. Some courses, such as the Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program include the cost of the required uniform shirt, text book, and CPR Training, while the most expensive – the Dental Assistant Program does not. Applicants must pay an additional $300 to cover the cost of the textbook, school supplies, and uniforms. On the other hand, if you are interested in taking courses online, courses in health care are just $89 each. Courses include Veterinary Assistant nutrition, medical coding and more. If you are interested in a career in medicine, this high school offers a terrific selection of medical school programs – on and off line.

Other private schools or adult education programs offer a free High School Diploma for those students who wish to concentrate in the Health Care programs, albeit their all other courses are fee based. For those high school students who are lucky enough to live in a district where public funding is set aside, students can earn a healthcare aide certificate, along with high school credits, for free. For example, courses that would normally cost $3,000 are free to students who attend St. Joseph H.S. in Alberta, Canada; courses are taken at Norquest College. Similarly, BOCES in Albany, New York also offers high school students free access to college medical school programs at Schenectady County Community College. It offers a free one year Nurse Assistant program, preparing high school juniors and seniors (grades 11 and 12) for the New York State Certified Nurse Assistant examination. Students must be in good standing and meet academic standards, which require that students attain a minimum competency level of 8th grade reading and 8th grade math. This medical school program prepares h.s. students to be hired in numerous health care related positions including:

  • Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA)
  • Personal care attendant
  • Rehabilitation aide
  • Nursing home/adult home assistant
  • Hospital nurse assistant
  • Transportation aide
  • Central supply aide

Whether you are an adult returning to school, with or without a h.s. diploma, or a high school student interested in entering the medical field, there are many opportunities for you to enroll in medical school programs. It is advised to take advantage early of any scholarships or free programs, as government funding is limited.

L-Arginine – A Supplement for Health and Increased Sex Drive

L-Arginine has been a favorite of bodybuilders for many years, but is also being taken by many for its general health benefits and the fact that it is one of the best supplements to boost sex drive naturally and is nicknamed “natures Viagra”

Lets look at its health benefits in more detail

L-Arginine is what is called a semi-essential amino acid.

Our bodies cannot make it naturally, and we have to get it from our diets. L-Arginine is found in founds such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, raisins and chocolate.

You can also buy it in tablet form, either alone or in combination with other proteins.

What Does L-Arginine Do?

Lets look at its general affect on the body first and how it can boost sex drive as well

Many studies now prove that L-Arginine is useful in basic bodily functions, such as the secretion of hormones, boosting the immune system, and is a great anti-oxidant (helping the body remove free radicals and toxins) from the body.

L-Arginine is partially responsible for the production of nitric oxide in our body, which is a ‘vasodilator’ (helps veins expand or dilate).

L- Arginine & the Blood

Understanding this quality, doctors often use L-Arginine for cardiovascular ailments (high blood pressure, angina, and so on). Also, the same principle of vasodilation to help treat erectile dysfunction and even infertility as you need nitric oxide to create an erection

Other studies indicate that L-Arginine taken as a dietary supplement can aid in lowering the levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol, regulating our normal salt levels, and even assisting in the metabolism of fats.

A Bodybuilder’s Discovery?

Physical culturists and body builders are very fond of L-Arginine for their own reasons.

o It aids in the synthesis of proteins, and thus body mass

o As it’s a vasodilator it will aid in the rapid growth of muscle

o Its role in nitrogen retention also aids muscle growth

o Its immune system boosting keeps the bodybuilder more healthy

Bodybuilders regularly add large amounts of L-Arginine in their dietary supplementation.

Is it Possible to Get Plentiful L-Arginine Naturally?

The answer is yes. If you eat plenty of raw seeds and nuts (such as pistachio, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (or their products, such as tahini), organic and natural raisins, you can add grams of usable L-Arginine to your diet.

The old Arabic sexual manual,

The Perfumed Garden, was referring to foods with high L- Arginine thousands of years ago to increase sexual potential potency.

The sages that wrote that work did not have the luxury or aid of modern chemistry, but nevertheless they had a great power of observation.

Certain foods produced certain effects and getting more Nitric oxide from L-Arginine has been medically proven to help make sex drive

The fact is Nitric oxide insufficiency can stop the penis from becoming erect.

Nitric oxide is critical to the erection process as impulses from the brain and nerves cause the release of nitric oxide.

This causes the muscles of the penis to relax and blood flows into the spongy tissue of the penis to create an erection.

Nitric Oxide declines with age and many men who are getting older do not need to take Ciallis, Viagra or other prescription drugs they simply need to increase their production of nitric oxide and get an increase of nitric oxide and L- Arginine does this.

A study published in 1994 showed an 80 percent improvement in the erectile function of men given 2.8 grams of argentine a day after just two weeks.

Dosages of up to 3 grams are taken by many people now to aid with all the above and can be taken without prescription.

All men getting older may like to consider this supplement for their all round health and sexual well being.

Moving House Tips

Moving house is generally said to be the third most stressful thing that you can do in your life after death and divorce. There's a huge unknown factor when moving house and a certain amount of uncertainty as you pack up all your possessions and move from one place to another.

Some people may only move once or twice in their life whereas others may move house every few years but either way, there is usually a time and cost factor when you move house but fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to prepare yourself in good time ahead of your move to reduce many of the unknown factors as well as reduce the subsequent stress factor.

Use the following moving house tips for your next move;

1) Get out the pen and paper and make a list of the things to do

Compile a checklist of the companies you need to notify of your house move and make sure you notify them in good time, especially if you need post redirected. A list of things to do will help you maintain perspective of the situation and keep you proactively working towards checking off each item on the list.

2) Use your packing as the perfect opportunity to have a spring clean of your things.

As you begin to sort out every item in your house you could benefit from the chance to throw away junk items that may have mounted up over the years and give clothes that may no longer fit you to charity or your friends and even sell unwanted items on eBay.

If you can take the time to reorganise the possessions in your current home, you will find it much easier to pack and move the items you actually want to keep into your new home.

3) Pack anything you have no immediate need for

In the months leading up to your move you can begin to think about the items you will not have any need for before you move house and which can be safely packed away into temporary storage to save you time on the final packing.

4) Make sure you have enough packing materials

When moving house the last thing you want to find is that you do not have enough boxes to pack all of your possessions. You may find it easy to go from room to room to gauge a rough idea of ​​how many boxes and of what type you may need for your packing. Alongside the boxes you will need a few rolls of brown tape, bubble wrap and a few black markers to clearly label your boxes.

A specialist packing and storage company may be ideal for you to buy your packing materials from as there will be a wide range of box sizes and types to choose from and you can also purchase specific packing containers for items such as clothing, bed linen and special boxes for items that need to be kept hanging such as suits, wedding dresses etc.

5) Use common sense when packing your boxes

It may sound obvious but items such as books and paperwork can be quite heavy when bulked together and will be difficult for you, or even the removals men, to lift. Use smaller and thicker boxes for bulky or heavy items that can be swiftly transported from your home to the removals van.

Delicate items and breakables should be carefully individually wrapped in newspaper or bubble wrap to give support when in transit. Also ensure you carefully label them. Similarly, it's also wise to label any hazardous chemicals so that both you and others can transport with additional care.

Make sure you also know where your valuable items are at all times. Important paperwork and jewellery should be packed last and it may be advisable to keep these items with you during the move.

Also advisable is to keep one box handy at all times that contains essential items such as toilet paper, the kettle and tea bags and a few mugs and potentially matches and some spare light bulbs for the new house.

With careful preparation, time and due care, there is no reason to think that moving house need be at the top of your list of most stressful things.

Heart Disease – It’s Your Choice

Heart disease is the #1 killer in the United States today. This may not be a surprise to many of you. What may surprise you is that a heart attack is avoidable in many cases. Unfortunately heart defects do not fall into this category and can not be prevented but you can take actions to prevent much of the heart disease that causes heart attacks.

Through quick response and education most heart attacks are not fatal. 75% of men and 60% of women survive and continue living at least a year. Still it has been reported that 150,000 people die each year of heart attacks.

Heart attacks occur more frequently in the morning hours. This is because the blood platelets are especially sticky and more prone to clots. The average age of heart attack victims is 66 for men and 70 for women. The risk increases for men after the age of 45 and for women after the age of 55. Now I don’t want all the women reading this report to wave it in the face of their favorite man quite yet because men that survive a heart attack usually live longer than women that survive an attack.

Enough of the gruesome facts, let’s get on to how it is our choice. What can we do to prevent missing lunch or worse, the rest of our lives? There are three things within our control that play a big part in the likelihood of suffering a heart attack.

  1. Weight
  2. Diet
  3. Fitness

Control your weight.

It has been a long known fact that obesity increases a person’s risk of heart disease. Something that has just recently been discovered is that waist size plays a bigger role in a person’s risk than BMI (body mass index). Lopez-Jimenez and his colleagues from the Mayo Clinic tested nearly 16,000 heart patients who participated in one of four previously conducted studies. More than one-third of the patients died during the studies, which ranged in length from six months to more than seven years. They found that people with a high BMI had a 35% greater chance of survival than those with a larger waist size. When a high BMI was coupled with a large waist the chance of survival was cut in half. So, what’s the choice? Decrease your waist size or increase your risk of heart attack.

Control your diet

Both quality and quantity of the foods you consume are vital in keeping your arteries fit and functioning. The quality of your consumption will keep your arteries clean and let blood flow smoothly. When you eat too many foods that are too high in saturated fats you increase your risk of building up cholesterol plaque. Most of us are aware that we have two kinds of cholesterol the “good”, HDL, and the “bad”, LDL. Let me help you understand the difference.. To put it as simply as I can, LDL is considered bad because it carries the cholesterol to the cell and if it carries to much, or more than the cell can use the LDL just hangs around and builds up into plaque. HDL gets the good reputation because it carries the cholesterol away from the cell back to the liver to be broken down or eliminated from the body as waste. So, what’s the choice? Increase your HDL and decrease your LDL or increase your risk of heart attack.

Control your fitness

Your heart is just like any other muscle in your body. If you don’t use it you lose it. You have heard it time and time again. All it takes is 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 4 times a week. With obesity and heart attack stealing our lives at an amazing rate it is time to fight back. Get that heart pumping. Aerobic exercise does not mean running marathons. It does not mean fitness club fees. You could drastically reduce your risk of heart attack and heart disease simply by taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood 3 or 4 times a week. If you don’t currently get much exercise you should start slowly and work yourself up to walking a mile and a half in 30 to 35 minutes. Of course you want to check with your Dr. before making any changes to your diet or fitness program. You have your car checked for road worthy before any long trip, don’t you? So what’s the choice? Increase your heart rate three to four times a week or increase your risk of heart attack.

So you see, the choice truly is yours. When you take control of your weight, your diet and your fitness, you take control of your life.

Beware The Health Problems Of Processed Foods

If you want to keep to a healthy weight and lifestyle, it’s important to keep yourself informed about the health risks of processed foods and restrict the amount that you eat.

Processed foods are those that come in a box, can, bag or carton and often modified to extend shelf life leading to little or nutritional value. They are usually high in calories and have a tiny proportion of the nutritional value of natural, unprocessed foods.

What’s In These Foods?

The more processes your food undergoes before you eat it, the less nutrition it provides. Food manufacturers use refined sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, preservatives, steroids, trans fats and other unhealthy preservatives to prolong the shelf life of their food products.

The more things you do to a natural ingredient like a fruit or vegetable, the further you remove its nutritional value. When all the nutritionally poor ingredients mentioned above are added to that product, it becomes even more unhealthy.

Adverse Effects of Processed Foods

Processed foods often deliver ’empty calories’ which cause you to overeat because your brain continues to send signals that you’re still hungry. It sees you have eaten very little nutrition, so it tells you to eat more. Due to the fact processed food, on many occasions, is very addictive, you eat more of the low-nutrient food you just ate, and develop an unhealthy eating cycle.

Becoming overweight and eating the wrong foods all lead to the danger of developing diabetes. Diabetes heightens your possibility of having heart disease and suffering from a stroke. Diabetes is also a major cause of blindness and kidney disease. Additionally, high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure are common with people who are overweight.

How to Avoid The Poor Health Effects of Processed Foods

Processed foods generally deliver next to no nutrition, and trade naturally healthy ingredients with unhealthy chemicals and compounds.

To avoid the health risks of processed foods, eat more raw foods, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables with as little processing as possible. Try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables if at all possible. Frozen varieties are really good choices as they are not packed in salted water or syrup.

Grapes, cherries, berries, apples, mangoes and bananas are delicious alternatives for processed desserts and cakes. If you’re eating a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps on a daily basis, replace it with a natural carbohydrate like an apple or an orange. This will not only cut some of the calories out of your day but it will also boost your consumption of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

Treatment For Gallstones – 5 Symptoms That Tell If Gallstones Treatment is Necessary

Based on medical records, gallstones sufferers do not experience any signs or symptoms that indicate the presence of gallbladder disorders. Often, it will only be detected as a result of examination procedures related to some other diseases.

If not, it is said that it can go undetected for as long as 5 years before the symptoms will finally surface. Once the symptoms become evident, it is an indication that your gallbladder has taken a turn for the worse. How then can we tell that treatment for gallstones is now necessary

The accumulation of gallstones over the years will result to gallstone blockage at the common bile duct. This very blockage will result to the accumulation of fluids that will swell and stress the ducts as well as the gallbladder.

This cannot be prevented from happening because the liver will continue to secrete bile fluid that will cause the ducts to swell and enlarge. The very swelling will cause what is known as biliary colic reaction, which will signal the need for treatment for gallstones.

Biliary colic will bring about signs to indicate that the gallbladder disorder is worsening. Here are the following 5 signs

1. The sufferer will feel a constant abdominal pain which does not go away but will only vary in its intensity. In some cases, the pain can be felt at the upper right part of the abdomen.

2. The intensity can last for 15 minutes or even for 4 to 5 hours. Should the intense pain last for more than 5 hours, it is an indication that complications have already taken place. There is now a possible need for surgery as treatment for gallstones.

3. In most cases, nausea may accompany the intense pain.

4. The pain can sometimes take place around the shoulder blades area while in some cases it can be felt just below the breast bone which can be mistaken as a symptom of a heart attack.

5. The pain will subside but will not really go away. The explanation for this is that, the gallstones have shifted positions in the bile duct area where there is less swelling.

As a person grows older or gains more weight, the undetected gallstones will likely result to complications. The bile ducts will be requiring surgery due to the excessive stressful effect of the fluid buildup. This complication will now call for surgery as the best way to remove the gallstones.

In some cases a person’s health condition will render him as not suitable for anesthetic administration, thus the treatment recommendation will be non-surgical or alternative forms of treatment for gallstones

Digestive System Diseases and Nervous Disorders

Conditions which affect the stomach, esophagus, bowel, colon, liver or pancreas are considered digestive system diseases and disorders. Many people wonder about nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract and conditions such as anxiety, depression, stress and emotional trauma may all aggravate symptoms, but it is unclear whether any of these cause digestive system diseases and disorders. In fact, in most digestive system diseases and disorders the causes are unclear. There are only theories about what the causes may be and what may worsen the conditions or aggravate symptoms.

There are many digestive system diseases and disorders. Some are very common and easily treated, while some are more serious, difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. There are some nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract. These are sometimes classified as symptoms or related conditions and sometimes as possible causes of digestive system diseases and disorders, because in some cases it is unclear which came first, the digestive disorder or the nervous disorder.

The most common of the digestive system diseases and disorders is heartburn. Heartburn affects an estimated 25% of people in the United States on and other western countries on a monthly basis according to a study from the Mayo Clinic. In contrast only 11% of those living in Eastern Asian countries have heartburn once or more per month. Excess stomach acid is what causes heartburn, but stress and anxiety are nervous disorders that can affect the digestive tract and increase stomach acid. Heartburn is a symptom of another of the common digestive system diseases and disorders; acid reflux.

Acid reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms include heartburn, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation of stomach acid and/or food, hoarseness, coughing and irritation of the larynx, throat and/or esophagus. This is one of the digestive system diseases and disorders that can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated. For example, acid reflux or GERD is one of the major risk factors for esophageal cancer. As with heartburn, anxiety and stress are nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract and can aggravate acid reflux symptoms.

Ulcerative colitis is another of the digestive system diseases and disorders. This one can be very serious and when symptoms are severe may require surgery to remove diseased portions or the entire colon. Anxiety, stress, depression or emotional turmoil (all nervous disorders that can affect the digestive tract) are often experienced by people with ulcerative colitis and can worsen symptoms. It is an inflammatory bowel disease, similar to Crohn’s disease. Whereas irritable bowel syndrome is not considered an inflammatory disease, but because the names are similar, people sometimes get them confused.

Irritable Bowel System or IBS is one of the common digestive system diseases and disorders. Somewhere between 25 and 55 million Americans suffer from IBS and most of them are women. IBS is not life threatening and it does not lead to other more serious digestive system diseases and disorders, but it can still be hard to live with. IBS and nervous disorders that affect the digestive tract, such as stress and anxiety may cause a vicious circle in a person’s life. Meaning, IBS may make a person anxious about when he/she will have to find a bathroom and the anxiety can aggravate symptoms of IBS, which increases anxiety, etc.

These are only some of the many digestive system diseases and disorders and while nervous disorders that affect the digestive system are not believed to cause any of these conditions, it is possible that they may aggravate symptoms, particularly when it comes to stress and anxiety. Eating too fast, too much, on the go, in the car, in front of the TV or computer are all poor eating habits that are very common. When treating digestive system diseases and disorders like IBS, acid reflux and heartburn, doctors typically advise that these eating habits may worsen symptoms. It has been shown that by slowing down and reducing stress in one’s life, many of the symptoms of the most common digestive system diseases and disorders may be reduced or prevented entirely.

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