Factors to Consider When Selecting Breeds of Cats

There are many different breeds of cats from all over the world. When selecting a particular cat breed, you will want to consider many factors of the breeds. Important aspects would include cat origin, body type, coat and fur pattern, allergy sensitivity, grooming maintenance and your family lifestyle. Each breed is quite unique. You will want to make sure that you are selecting one that best suits your needs.

Different breeds of cats have their own particular body shape and style. For example, the American Curl cat breed has distinctive backward curling ears. The Abyssinian breed has dramatic facial markings. The tail length and markings can also be quite unique within the various breeds of cats.

Coat and fur patterns differ greatly among breeds of cats. The categories of coat patterns include particolors, tortoise shell, pointed, van pattern and tabby. A cat’s coat pattern remains the same from birth. Through maturity, however, the pattern may become more prominent. Each breed will have short, long or curly fur. When researching this factor, allergy sensitivity should be considered.

Many people have allergies to cats. This is due to the various allergens that the cat produces. If you have someone in your family whom is allergy sensitive, there are some cat breeds that have low allergy sensitivity. Some examples of these breeds of cats would be the Siberian, Russian Blue and Abyssinian breeds. Cats that are neutered or spayed reduce allergy sensitivity as well.

Grooming maintenance is different for each cat breed. Some breeds of cats require more time and effort than others. For example, the Persian cat breed needs daily grooming and brushing. Whereas, the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cat breeds, need very little grooming. You will find that some breeds of cats only shed twice a year. It is very important to know your cat breed’s maintenance. This animal is soon to become a part of your family and will have an effect on everyone.

Cats can live up to fifteen years. It is important that you choose a breed that blends in with your family and lifestyle. If you have children in your home, you will want to consider their age, allergies and educate them on the grooming/maintenance needs of your cat. One important aspect to consider when selecting your cat is the activity level of the breed. Some cats are laid back while other cats are very active.

Whether your cat will live indoors or outdoors is another important factor to consider. If you live in a hot and humid climate, you be faced with flea issues. There are many wonderful products available to curtail this problem. Just make sure you are knowledgeable about the many concerns with owning a cat. If you have children in your home, some breeds of cats might be more suitable for you. Examples of these breeds would be the Japanese Bobtail, the Maine Coon, the Ragdoll and the Somali. Some cat breeds are not suitable for active family lifestyles. Two such breeds would be the Chartreux and Manx.

There are many factors to considering when selecting from one of the many breeds of cats. Each breed is very unique. Cat breeders are available to assist you with your careful selection. These furry felines are a beautiful addition to the proper family environment.

Benzene Awareness – How to Write a Benzene Awareness Safety Program That Will Pass ISNetworld Review

Writing a benzene awareness safety program is not as difficult as it may first seem. If your company is a subscriber to ISNetworld and you want your benzene awareness program to pass their review team you are going to need to include, at a minimum, these seven elements.

Please be aware that benzene awareness and benzene exposure are two completely different things. We will only be covering benzene awareness with this article.

1. Your safety program needs to discuss possible locations where your employees may be exposed to benzene. These locations may not only include areas at your facility but also areas at facilities where your employees may work. Petroleum refineries, storage tanks and pipelines are perfect examples of where benzene may exist.

2. All the physical characteristics of benzene should be included in your safety program. Your employees need to know that benzene is not only toxic but colorless, flammable, has an aromatic smell (sweetish odor) and won’t dissolve in water. For more physical characteristics you may want to reference benzene’s MSDS.

3. Your safety program should mention the potential health effects of benzene. Short term overexposure to benzene may cause eye irritation, nose and skin irritation, dizziness, irritability, nausea, headaches and euphoria. Long term overexposure can result in blood disorders like anemia and leukemia.

4. Proper PPE (personal protective equipment) should be discussed in your program. If there is a potential that your employees will be exposed to benzene, then your safety program must specifically state what types of PPE they must wear.

5. Your safety program should mention safety precautions when working around stored benzene such as no smoking and no eating or drinking.

6. Benzene vapors are highly flammable. Your safety program should mention that fire extinguishers will be readily available to all employees that work near stored benzene.

7. The last item of your benzene safety program needs to mention the contingency plan in case of an emergency. This contingency plan should not only cover your facility but also any facility that your employees may be working. Most offsite facilities will have an evacuation plan in place but it is important that your employees are aware of this plan and what the proper procedures are in case of an emergency. Your employees should be made aware of where benzene is stored at any offsite location and of any site specific safety rules and procedures.

Benzene can be very dangerous and like most items that are potentially dangerous your employees have a right to know what they are dealing with and how to work safely near stored benzene.

Cycles of Depression – Disguises Itself As an Emptiness During the Ascension Process – Part 3

The ascension process can be challenging, because it creates a kind of depression that is like being trapped in your cocoon, not knowing where you are going or what you will turn out like. It is a feeling of being lost, alone and a feeling of hopelessness in a deep dark cocoon. It is the transmutation stage from going from one state of being to another.

To address and solve your issue problems and challenges can be broken down into 4 categories.

1. Depression Disguises Itself

2. Empty Feeling of Nothingness

3. Final Release and Ultimate Surrender

4. Medication Puts You into a Tail-Spin

Let’s take a look at each category.

1. Depression Disguises Itself – A mental or physical depression feels very superficial and egotistical and because depression is such an insidious energy it masquerades itself as many emotional moods and physical conditions. Depression and overwhelm accumulates over lifetimes and through the journey of evolution of self and the ascension process unfolds this build up. Spiritual depression has nothing to do with mental imbalance or emotional manipulation and it can surface at anytime of your life when you, at your core are ready to begin your awakening process. Spiritual depression can hit when you are a child or a teenager and this issue can reflect within many teenager violence and suicide incidents. Sometimes this energy can lurk under the surface disguising itself and masquerading itself through other physical activities and may hit at menopause and this can be confusing due to today’s conflicting fast lifestyle especially if abuse is involved.

2. Empty Feeling of Nothingness – Spiritual depression is where you have such a deep empty feeling that you have woven your web into such a tight cocoon that you think you can’t get out of that nothingness. In this state you can’t talk about yourself, you actually loathe yourself and you can go into deeper hiding. Because you feel that you have been abandoned and betrayed by spirit, you feel so flat, alone and shut down. Everybody you know can’t help or support you because they are at a similar level of consciousness to what you are leaving behind so you feel that there is nothing left in life. The loss of your passion and drive is the death of your identity story, of who you think you are. It may feel that you want a physical death, but in fact ascension is a natural process of letting go of your story, not just in this lifetime, but for all of your lifetimes.

3. Final Release and Ultimate Surrender – Why does the ascension process seem so difficult and why do you have to have the lows to discover the highs? Humanity holds onto beliefs that life should be hard, with lots of struggles and suffering to appease a false god and in doing so, that statement ‘No Pain-No Gain’ reflects that belief. Change doesn’t have to be that way, it doesn’t have to be difficult and brutal or a cruel way to go through ascension, but until mass consciousness can release such beliefs, and get out of their locked-in perceptions, change will always be tough. Look at the affairs of the world and you will see that often change brings destruction – the releasing of the old for the birth of the new. Humanity is living out what they believe in. Energy responds to consciousness! Humanity still lives with rules and toolbars stating that you have to be harsh and strong to get others to learn and be good, otherwise punishment is enforced, so they give themselves the hardest and the biggest crowbar to dig themselves out of that human condition. The lowest of the low, and the worst of the worst is felt in the ‘black night of the soul’, your spiritual depression is the final release and the ultimate surrender of your identity story. It is a natural part of the awakening process of ascension.

4. Medication Puts You into a Tail-Spin – Medication cannot help a spiritual condition, it has a band-aid short term affect, but it creates a bigger problem when you come to re-address your depression later. It flat lines a natural process of the cycle patterns of ups and downs. Medication suffocates and separates your spirit self from your physical self, because the related wave form, the energy cycle that is not obvious to the conscious mind is the antithesis of the depression, it is a wave form on the non-physical realms that is no longer in balance with your physical self. It is cut-off your energy so your spiritual energy doesn’t have a corresponding partner on earth.

Medication makes you feel better for a moment, but in the long run you get into a tail-spin of repetitive victim cycles when you go ‘cold-turkey’ and during or after medication there is a danger of suicide or the mind hungers so much for these highly addictive drugs that only feeds and creates an emotional imbalance. These social quick-fixes along with your expectations create a monster in your ascension journey.

Anxiety Panic Attacks Caused by Malfunction in the Inner Ear – Motion and Visual Related Phobias!

The inner-ear processes all motion-related information. If it is impaired, you may be hypersensitive to horizontal motion, vertical motion, clockwise motion, counterclockwise motion, or any combination of the above.

Depending on what types of motion you are sensitive to, and your degree of sensitivity to each, the movement of a boat, plane, car, elevator, escalator, or even a rocking chair can provoke any or all of the following symptoms:

o Anxiety, and related symptoms

o Dizziness

o Light-headedness

o Nausea

o Vomiting

o Retching

If your anxiety is severe or uncontrollable, phobias may result.

Motion-Related Phobias: An Example

Chris has a motion-related fear of flying. Notice how his fear is specifically related to horizontal motion sensitivity:

“I’ve only been on an airplane once. That was enough. It was during takeoff. The plane started picking up speed, and suddenly I was pinned to the back of my seat. I couldn’t move. I could barely breathe. My stomach was inside out. It was as if I had lost control of my body… like I was having some kind of seizure. As soon as the plane stabilized I felt a little better, so I started drinking. I don’t remember much after that.”

An inner-ear dysfunction can also result in motion insensitivity. Individuals with this problem need to be in motion and become anxious when they are stuck, trapped, tied down, or unable to move literally or symbolically. This motion-related claustrophobic anxiety can result in a wide variety of phobias.

Some individuals have the worst of both worlds. They are hypersensitive to some forms of motion and hyposensitive to others. These individuals often suffer from numerous motion-related phobias.

VISUAL PHOBIAS

The inner-ear system processes all visual information. If this system is impaired, you may be hypersensitive to bright lights, fluorescent lights-even certain colors. Any or all of these may provoke anxiety.

A wide variety of visual distractions can also provoke anxiety, including: flickering lights, blurred images, the dark, and various hypnotic patterns as tiled floors, moving cars, oncoming headlights, crowds, wallpaper patterns, food displays, etc.

If visually triggered anxiety is severe or uncontrollable, various phobias may develop, including: fear of the dark, fear of bright lights, fear of crowds, fear of supermarkets, fear of driving, etc.

A Visual Tracking Problem:

Sensitivity to visual distractions is often the result of a tracking problem. The inner-ear system guides the movement of our eyes, enabling us to track the movement of visual information in our environment. If this tracking process is impaired, the eyes may be incapable of keeping pace with this visual information and anxiety may surface.

Gloria’s fear of driving stems from a visual tracking problem. Note how she describes her fear:

“Driving has always terrified me. Even if I’m being driven somewhere, I can’t look at the road all of the time I get overloaded. I thought that if I could learn to drive I wouldn’t be so frightened, so I signed up for a driver’s education course. I quit as soon as we started driving on big streets. I just couldn’t handle it. There were too many things to watch for, cars in front, cars behind, cars on your sides, lights, signs. And everything seemed to be coming at me so fast. I had no time to react. I froze in total panic. The instructor started to scream at me. Then the car behind us hit us. That was the end of my driving career.”

A COMBINATION EFFECT

Many visual phobias are partially determined by underlying balance and/or compass and/or motion-related problems.

When our senses of balance, direction, and/or motion stability are impaired, we often become more dependent on visual information to compensate, and think of how getting a visual fix on land suppresses motion sickness.

If the brain is not receiving this necessary visual information, balance, compass, and motion-related problems are aggravated. This triggers anxiety. Although the anxiety is provoked by visual distractions, it really stems from other, inner-ear problems.

The interaction of visual and balance problems can be clearly seen in Charlotte’s description of a frightening panic attack:

“We had gone to see a Broadway show and my husband didn’t tell me that he had gotten balcony seats. There was a mirrored ball that hung in the middle of the ceiling. Flickering lights would bounce off the ball and spin around the theater while the skaters skated in a circle. I was looking down from the balcony, and the place suddenly started to spin. I panicked. I literally had to crawl out, pretty much on my hands and knees, to get out of the balcony seat. I got so dizzy… just from watching the skaters going in a circle and the lights and the ball spinning.”

The vast majority of phobias can be traced to a physiological problem: a malfunction within the inner-ear system! The inner-ear system plays an important role in modulating and controlling anxiety. In my blog, please click on the link below, I have further discussed these problems.

How Anxiety Can Affect Your Self-Confidence

Anxiety is good for you as long as your anxiety is mild. Mild anxiety helps in increasing your concentration on dealing with a stressful situation. You become alert and focused on things needed to be done. In contrast to self- confidence, mild anxiety boosts your self- confidence. You get to find yourself with a drive to accomplish what is to be done and expected of you. This is one way on how anxiety can affect your self- confidence.

On the other hand, anxiety that turns into panic is not healthy for you when dealing with stressful situations. Panicking makes your perception narrowed to a degree where it will be hard for you to think of a way to get out of a situation you do not want to be in. You do not digest the advices and suggestions being said to you by other people. All you think of is how to free yourself. Decision making skills are lost, and once you make a wrong decision it will lead to another wrong decision that decreases your self- confidence. You would most likely say to yourself – “whatever I do, I am a failure.” That should not be your attitude. You need to help yourself cope up with the things that happen in your life.

First of all, to fight anxiety that leads to decreasing your self- confidence, you need to find out who you are and what you are capable in doing. Reflect on what you know about yourself and what others see in you. Use the positive feedback to give you a sense of well- being to develop self- confidence. As for the negative feedback change to be a better person and prove others wrong. You get a positive feeling when you prove others wrong. It makes you smile and feel happy inside that increases your self- confidence.

Second, you will need to start living a healthy lifestyle. If you smoke cigarettes, you better quit. Nicotine found in cigarettes is a stimulant that induces panic attacks. If you drink a lot of caffeinated drinks, you better cut down the number of cups. Caffeine, a stimulant as well, triggers panic attacks and gives you panic attack- like symptoms. Get a good night sleep. Sleeping within the average sleeping time will help in making your brain function well and rest your body for stress. Having a healthy lifestyle will not only prevent panic attacks but it will also boost your self- confidence.

Third is to meditate. Meditation helps in clearing your mind from unwanted thoughts that get in the way of your daily work. When you meditate, think of positive thoughts, happy thoughts and your future plans. This will help you construct your own methods in order to meet your goals. It will give you the positive energy you need then you will feel confident enough.

How anxiety can affect your self- confidence is perceived to be crucial to deal with but can be managed on your own. So following these few steps can help you in dealing with panic attacks and not compromise your self- confidence.

What Happens When The Brain Doesn’t Produce Enough Melatonin

Almost everyone knows that the depletion of hormones in the body can effect the way the body functions so it should come as no surprise that the decrease or lack of melatonin can have significant effects on your ability to get the proper amount of rest you need.

Let’s take a look at how Melatonin regulates sleep How deprivation takes place, and what sleep remedies may be available in order to help us get the rest we need to function in today’ society.

Melatonin:

Melatonin is a hormone that is released when we are getting ready to sleep so how does it work? Our body’s need hormones to function correctly, And our brains need melatonin to make them work properly. It is produced deep in the brain and released in extremely small and minute doses. One of the functions of this hormone is that it allows the body to know when to sleep and how much sleep to get. Melatonin is triggered by the decrease of light. Therefore this hormone is released at night when we need to get sleep. If our brain does not produce enough Melatonin either due to no decrease in light or a hormone imbalance it is very likely that sleep disorders including:

Lack of good quality sleep.

You may fall asleep, but, you won’t stay asleep and though in some cases you may not even realize that you are waking up you may awake dozens or hundreds of times during the night resulting in lack of rest and adequate sleep to function as you should.

Insomnia.

Some times you will find it impossible to fall asleep. You may lay awake all night tossing and turning. You may feel exhausted, but still you will not sleep.

Wakefulness.

You may fall asleep for a short period of time only to find yourself a few minutes or an hour or two into sleep, wide awake and unable to return to sleep. Even when it is early in the morning you will get out of bed and you will feel exhausted.

In most cases normal sleep remedies have little or no affect on people who suffer from melatonin sleep disorders. Who is Most Likely To Suffer From Melatonin Depletion There may be medical reasons why some people suffer from melatonin sleep deprivation but, in most cases lifestyle is the main cause for this hormonal imbalance. If people work funny hours then they seem more at risk especially if they are surrounded by bright lights. If you travel long distances especially through different time zones,and also if you do not go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Remedies For Melatonin Depletion.

If you think that you may be suffering from Melatonin sleep deprivation you should seek medical attention before embarking on any sleep remedies to cure this problem. You need to know why you aren’t getting the quality sleep that you should be having.It might just simply be your brain is short of Melatonin.

If the cause of your sleep deprivation is low Melatonin levels there may be several sleep remedies that can help including changing your lifestyle and allowing enough time for your Melatonin levels to readjust. Any other sleep remedy should be discussed with your doctor and he or she may subscribe a sleep remedy that will help restore your Melatonin levels.

Copyright (c) 2011 P& D publishing

Discover How to Get Dreadlocks Instantly

Are you considering putting dreadlocks in your hair? Are you totally freaked out about how to get dreadlocks and hate the thought of waiting 6-8 months for your hair to lock up? Well let me ease your mind. You can get dreadlocks and completely lock up your hair today!

Starting your dreads does not have to be a complicated procedure like some people make it seem. I know from experience when I put the first dreadlock in my son’s hair that it’s not complicated. However, you must know what you’re doing or what you’re getting into.

There are actually five ways to dreadlock your hair. They are:

1. Backcombing Method

2. Gel and waxing Method

3. Twist and Rip Method

4. Natural Method

5. Latch Hook or Interlocking Method.

With the Latch Hook method you will instantly dreadlock your hair. You will never have to use gel to retwist your growing locks ever again.

You can start one dreadlock at a time with the Latch Hook or Interlocking Method without ever having to use gel, backcombing, beeswax, etc. This method is instant. You don’t have to wait 6-8 months for your hair to actually lock up. This is how to get dreadlocks and lock up your hair instantly.

What’s really awesome about this method is that any hair type can be instantly locked up. It doesn’t matter whether your hair is permed. It also doesn’t matter whether you are Caucasian, Chinese, etc, you can use this method to lock your hair instantly. You can start your locks with this method yourself or have a Loctitian do the job for you.

If you go to a loctitian that specializes in the Latch Hook method it can cost you anywhere from $500 and up just to get the dreads started. Once your hair is done, you can then maintain them on your own. Remember, not all loctitians specialize in this method. Some are not familiar with it. So make sure you find the right loctitian before getting started.

With the Latch Hook method you take your time, one dreadlock at a time, using a special tool, like the Nappylocs dreadlock tool, the Latch Hook Crochet Needle tool, a twisted bobby pin, etc. For example, What you’re doing is actually threading the Nappylocs tool with your hair and sewing your hair.

The Nappyloc tool actually looks like an oversized needle. To actually lock the hair, you would section the hair, and then the hair is actually woven from the tip all the way to the root. So what you’re actually doing is sort of braiding the hair backwards.

You can actually do this with your fingers and then after you reach close to the root of the hair, then you use the Nappyloc, Latch Hook crocheting tool, etc to tighten the root. You can use this method with dreadlocks of different sizes.

It can be a long, tedious start using this method, but when it’s done, what you’ll have are stronger, instant locks without the damaging effects of beeswax, and gooey gel that ends up leaving residue buildup overtime.

You don’t have to retwist your locks often, and you can wash your hair right after you’re done without worrying about the locks getting undone. This is what I call, “The new age of dreadlocks!”

Home Remedies For Impetigo That You Ought to Know

Impetigo is a contagious bacterial infection on the surface of the skin. Its mostly common amongst children but people who engage into close contact activities are also susceptible to this. Its classified into two types, Non-bullous impetigo; it is the common form where small blisters appear and then form yellow or honey colour crusts. Then there is Bullous Impetigo where a blister is formed causing the breakdown of the top layer and lower levels of the skin. The common symptoms of this infection are itchiness in the affected area, burning sensation, fever, rashes on the skin and irritability. Also one experiences pain in arms and legs and skin lesions with crusts.

Impetigo being a highly contagious infection spreads not only through close physical contact but also through towels, toys, utensils and other goods of common use. The bacteria can enter the body through any breakage in the skin and once the infection is caused, it spreads to different parts of the body. Hence it becomes very important to have proper knowledge about this infection and also cure it as early as possible.

Primary step towards preventing the spread of impetigo is in maintaining good hygiene. People suffering from the same should use medicated soaps and take bath regularly. One should let the infected area remain as dry as possible and try not to use the same cloth in drying other parts of the body. In order to combat impetigo, one can also use topical antibacterial creams. The main concern in case of impetigo is to prevent its spread to other parts of the body.

Natural home remedies can greatly help in curing impetigo. One such remedy is mixing tea tree oil in bathing water and then applying calamine lotion after it. It is said that turnip is highly beneficial in the treatment of impetigo. Eating chopped turnip immersed in natural vinegar or rice water for 6 hours, helps combat impetigo. Another remedy is making a paste of Vaseline and cornstarch and applying onto the infected area. Here Vaseline helps heal sore irritated skin and cornstarch helps in drying up the rash. Calendula cream can also be used after a bath in order to cure impetigo.

In a severe case of impetigo one should take bath in every 4 hours. A hydrogen peroxide application (3 parts of water and 1 part of 3% peroxide) may also be used. The removal of crusts results in a rapid cure. This can be done by applying soaks or warm compresses to the crust. At night, charcoal poultices can be applied and left overnight.

Impetigo can also be cured by using a mix of 50 gm Aloe Gel, 12 drops of lemon grass and 12 drops of Patchouli oil. This mix should be applied 3 times a day on the infected area. People suffering from impetigo must be careful with the infected areas. The areas should never be scratched in any situation. Also impetigo is highly contagious, thus one must strictly restrain from touching the lesions. One should also avoid going outdoors until completely cured.

Urgent Care Centers Info

Urgent care centers were founded in the 1970s and have been developed over the years to what they are today. Now, they are a place where you can go for your minor emergencies for a flat fee and be treated almost immediately. They are comparable to an emergency room only they have much faster services because the services they provide are for quick and minor problems.

This type of center is fully staffed with a team of skilled professional doctors that are quick at what they do. They take in patients of minor level needs up to minor burns, stitches and bone breaks so everyone can get treated quickly and get out quickly.

The purpose of these facilities is to treat everyone fairly and as quickly as possible. That is why they don’t take major problems like internal bleeding and strokes. Problems like that take precedence at emergency rooms and that is why the people of lesser concern are overlooked for so long. The doctors are busy taking care of major emergencies first. This is why everyone at the emergency room with minor injuries should know about urgent care centers.

If you have thrown your back out and need a prescription, the places are staffed with real professional doctors that can take care of that for you. You can get medication for the pain by coming in and seeing a chiropractor. They may be able to help with stretches and icing.

They can help with skin conditions like dry skin, acne and poison ivy. If you wanted to make an appointment for that it will help you wait a shorter amount of time still because of course they do treat minor emergencies like animal bites and sprains which might be more of an emergency.

They do treatments for breathing and various illnesses such as strep throat and respiratory infections. These things can be contagious so they will want to be treated as quickly as possible as to not infect other patients waiting in the waiting room too. Vaccinations are available for preventing these and other viruses such as hepatitis and tetanus. You can walk in for these or make an appointment but it shouldn’t take long for this at all.

Depending on the department, urgent care facilities are not over packed because not too many people have caught on to places like these. Many people are still waiting around in the waiting room of the ER. Your goals will be met efficiently and the services will be satisfactory at an urgent care center.

How to Make a Fruit Basket

When Making a Fruit Basket, Buy the Best Fresh Fruit You Can Find

You’ll want to buy fresh fruit from the local farmer’s market or directly from orchardists in your area. If those aren’t accessible, go to a local grocery store that you know to have the best produce. Buy lots of fruit varieties including apples, oranges, pears, grapefruit, etc. Examine the fruit selection carefully and hand pick only the biggest pieces without bruises and blemishes. If there are any exotic fruits like pineapple, mango, and kiwi, pick up those too as they can make good accent fruits for your fruit gift basket. If you want to include smaller, more perishable fruits like strawberries and blueberries, you’ll need to also purchase a hard container to protect them from getting damaged.

What Other Items Can I Put in a Fruit Basket?

In addition to fruit, you can add flavored mixed nuts, milk chocolate covered cherries, summer sausages, award winning garlic cheeses, dark chocolate covered almonds, yogurt covered pretzels, smoked salmon, pistachios, dried fruit, gourmet popcorns, honey wheat crackers, raspberry preserves, shortbread, salsas, chocolate covered toffee, a bottle of sparkling cider or wine, or any other gourmet items. If you know of a favorite food, even something as simple as a Twix candy bar, be sure to include that as it shows that you had your recipient in mind when you made the gift basket.

What About the Basket Itself?

A lot of people will find a simple wicker basket at a thrift store for their fruit basket gift. But remember, the basket itself will be the only thing left after the fruit and gourmet items are gone. High quality keepsake baskets will be put in your recipient’s living room as a reminder of your kindness, cheap ugly ones will be thrown away quickly. So spend a few extra dollars on a nice basket and it will be showcased and be a reminder periodically of how much you care. Remember the value of a gourmet fruit basket is worth much more than just the dollar amount you spend.

Packing Materials You’ll Need to Prepare the Fruit Basket

You can find all the packing materials you’ll need at your local craft store. You’ll need packing grass for cushioning and stabilization between fruit pieces, tape for, well a lot of things, gift tissue paper, heat-sealable plastic gift wrap, ribbons and bows. A note on the packing grass, you can use the green or other colored packing grass you would use in a typical Easter basket, but there are some really nice packaging grasses made out of thin shavings of wood that make a better presentation.

So How Do You Start Making the Fruit Basket?

Put about an inch of packing grass in the bottom of the basket to cushion the fruit. Wrap the biggest apples, oranges, and pears in two layers of gift tissue paper and pack the entire bottom of the basket with a layer of fruit. Wrap additional fruit for a second, third, and maybe a fourth layer. Your goal now is to create a pyramid of fruit, each layer getting a little smaller. Add packing grass between each layer with the top layer ending with only one or two pieces of fruit on the top. If the basket is circle, you’ll end with one at the top, if your basket is oval, you’ll probably end with two. The reason you will want to only use apples, oranges, and pears, is because you are building the foundation of your fruit basket, and you don’t want to include fruit that will easily bruise or damage when you build on top of them.

Finishing up the Packing of the Fruit Basket

Now with your pyramid of wrapped fruit packed in the basket, think of how you will now use the remaining fruit and gourmet items to cover up the pyramid. Lay all your remaining fruit and gourmet items and decide which ones you’ll use to build a layer all the way around the basket. Leave about one inch in between the items so that you can put the packing grass in between for protection and stability. Alternate fruit types, colors, and gourmet items as you place them. For example, don’t put two green apples next to each other. You want your fruit and gourmet items to stay in place without the help of the plastic gift wrap so when it is removed, the fruit basket can stand on its own. Once you’ve finished the first layer, build the second, third, etc., until you cover your pyramid of wrapped fruit. Another nice accent is to take an orange and wrap it in gold foil and include that on one of the outside layers.

Sealing Up the Fruit Basket for Delivery

You will want to use a heat-sealable plastic gift wrapping to protect your fruit basket in transit. You can buy plastic gift wrapping in different colors and designs so look for appropriate themes for your gift basket occasion. An important note, when using heat-sealable plastic gift wrapping with edible arrangements such as fruit baskets, make sure that it is approved for direct food contact. Cut the plastic gift wrap to be three times the size of your basket. Place the fruit basket in the middle of the plastic and bring up the sides over the top of the basket handle. Secure the plastic and use the hot air from a blow dryer to seal the bag. Lastly, embellish your gift basket with ribbons and bows.

Is This Abdominal Pain PMS Or an Ovarian Cyst?

About two weeks before your period is due you start retaining water, feeling bloated and irritable, and craving various foods. You’re constipated and have severe abdominal pain. Is it PMS? Or could you be subject to reoccurring ovarian cysts?

I am sorry to tell you that it could be either, and it is probably both. I know that is not what you wanted to hear.

It could be either one and is probably both because both are caused by the same 3 major factors: Diet, Toxins and Stress.

There is one major difference between PMS and cysts. PMS will, generally, give you a couple week peace between periods. An ovarian cyst is likely to be painful 24/7 all month. And month after month.

Your doctor can tell by a routine pelvic exam if a cyst is present. If your condition is severe, it is certainly advisable that you make and keep an appointment.

Conventional medical treatment for both ovarian cysts and PMS fail miserable. They may help you with your current symptoms, but they do nothing for the long term. They do not get to the root of the problems.

For instance, doctors often suggest birth control pills as a remedy, but this hardly works because excess estrogen is not the problem. It may work temporarily because your body will handle the additional estrogen as best it can to re-balance your hormones. But, after a month or two your symptoms will return and they may be worse than before.

Actually one of the side effects of birth control pills is PMS. So the treatment is causing the problem. What kind of sense does that make?

Some doctors are prescribing a drug called Sarafem. It is promoted as a new drug for PMS. But, it isn’t new… it is repackaged Prozac, the antidepressant. Stay away from this. It is not your head that is screwed up, it’s your hormones. Of-course you’re depressed. All this drug can do for you is cover up your symptoms. No real help.

The truth is drugs and other conventional treatments don’t work whether your abdominal pain is PMS or ovarian cysts. If fact they will likely damage your delicate reproductive system.

The only way to solve cyst or PMS problems is to treat the root cause and work with your body so it can heal itself. No matter what kind of doctor you see, doctors don’t heal. Only the body can heal itself.

But you can help. Your hormones can become unbalanced for a number of reasons. As mentioned above the three major ones are toxins, diet, and stress.

There are natural remedies for these problems. The best ones address all three critical areas and teach you to change your lifestyle just enough to keep your hormones balanced as nature intends.

Is the abdominal pain PMS or ovarian cyst? It doesn’t really matter, as you want the same treatment for either one. But, you need to be sure, so see your doctor. Don’t take chances with your delicate reproductive system.

Home Treatments For Vaginal Yeast Infection Using Natural Cures

Does that itch refuse to go away? Is the soreness keeping you up all night?

Vaginal yeast infection is an extremely common dermal condition, which could affect women of all age groups. It is an irritating skin condition, causing extreme discomfort and painful bruises. Vaginal Candidiasis or vaginal yeast infections are caused by increase in the amount of a fungus commonly called Candida albicans. This yeast abounds and thrives in moisture, and often accumulates in places that remain sweaty, or humid throughout the day.

Vaginal candidiasis, also known as Vaginitis is caused by a zonal decrease of particular bacteria known as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, which inhibits yeast production. It might be caused by antibiotic abuse, excessive antibiotic usage, use of perfumed vaginal sprays, or if the patient is undergoing chemotherapy.

Let me make it explicitly clear that vaginal yeast infection is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), and recurrences are uncommon. Common identifiable symptoms often can be observed in the form of burning, soreness and itching of the vaginal region, leaving rashes and ugly scald-marks. You can generally identify it by a whitish discharge of a granular texture, or the moldy white sediment on the vaginal walls.

Are you scared of artificial medication like Candidisil? You are not alone, as most women prefer home treatment for vaginal yeast infection. As astounding as it may sound, vaginal yeast infection is actually curable by things used for domestic purposes, found around the house! Here are some of the natural treatments for vaginal yeast infection:

Yogurt, for one, is an extremely effective remedy for this yeast. This yummy, yet unsweetened (sugar being extremely conducive to the production of the yeast) food contains rich deposits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus bacteria, which arrest the growth of the yeast. You should apply it directly on the moldy sediment with a tampon, or a disinfected cotton swab, and should be kept for at least six hours.

Another great home treatment for yeast infection is a mixture of apple cider vinegar and lukewarm water, applied directly to the infected area. Vinegar helps to control the spread of the yeast, and should sooth the infected area. It does not affect the inflamed skin.

Garlic has also been found to be extremely effective in treating vaginitis, as it kills the candida fungus, and generally, is not harsh on the skin. Garlic dehydrates the area, absorbing excess moisture, and checks the yeast growth. Cloves or strips of garlic could be inserted into the vaginal cavity, and kept for some time. Use it regularly for about 10 days, and bid farewell to those annoying skin rashes, forever!

Water, mixed with some amount (15-25 gms) of potassium sorbate is also an effective home treatment for yeast infection. It is a disinfectant that cures vaginal yeast infections on regular application. Potassium sorbate is easily available at any chemist, and many households use it as food preservatives.

Boric powder, concentrated honey and Tea Tree Oil are also greatly effective in treating vaginitis, if continually applied for a week. These reliable remedies will take care of vaginal yeast infections in no time. But personal discretion is best exercised, if you have sensitive skin.

Food Remedies For IBS – Pineapple

I am a firm believer that natural foods we eat everyday has healing properties to assist our body to recover from non critical ailments and aid in recovery process as well. If we take the right food, in the right amount, the vitamins and minerals found in the food will strengthen our body systems. It can improve digestion, which in itself is a prerequisite in healing of the body. With better digestion, the body can absorb the necessary minerals and vitamins, which in turn will repair the body. This is especially true for IBS sufferers.

So the first food remedy for Irritable Bowel Syndrome sufferers is pineapple.

Pineapple helps in digestion. Find a fresh ripe pineapple and eat it fresh. Make sure only ripe pineapples are eaten. Unripe pineapple has poison which can cause drastic purging. If fresh ripe pineapples are not available, you can resort to the canned ones. Cutting the pineapple is an art. Be generous in cutting the skin of the pineapple. You need to remove the crown, rind, eyes and core. A method to remove the eyes is to slice crosswise. You can only eat the flesh. Chilled fresh pineapple is not only refreshing but also delicious. As much as you may like pineapples, do not over eat pineapples either since excessive pineapple can cause fiber balls in the intestinal tract. Just like everything else, excessive consumption should be avoided. In right quantities, it is a healing food.

The acidity of the fresh pineapple can cause irritation of the tip of the tongue. A trick to reduce the acidity is to rub a little salt on the pineapple before eating or soak the flesh in water with a pinch of salt for a short while before eating. With canned pineapples, it is normally soak in syrup which diminishes taste and freshness.

Pineapple is diuretic and is a natural cleanser, removing toxins from the body. It is high in vitamin C and also contains a special enzyme, called bromelain, which helps the body’s digestive system and also able to reduce inflammation caused by arthritis, gout and sore throat. It also helps in the healing process of wounds after surgery or injury. It is believed that pineapple contains micro-nutrients which can protects against cancer and the micro-nutrients also break up blood clots and is beneficial to the heart. Pineapple juice is a natural intestinal worm killer as well.

Immediately after each meal, eat one slice of pineapple and it will help digestion – thus reducing burping, gas build up and stomach discomfort, all common symptoms of IBS. Taking a slice or two a day is fine for most IBS sufferers; just don’t eat the entire fruit by yourself everyday. If you are just trying, just take one slice and increase it later.

Another way to eat pineapple is to juice it by blending. If you are not milk intolerant, then adding some yogurt and blending them together in a food processor produces a lassi drink. This is an Indian traditional drink. Do not add any sugar especially if you are using canned pineapples. If you like you can add a little water or ice.

Dealing With a Breakup – How to Stop Feeling Sick and Start Feeling Better

A good friend of mine called me the other day. Her boyfriend broke up with her the day before and now? She was sick as a dog. “My life sucks,” she croaked. “It’s not bad enough I got dumped… now I get the flu.”

Sound familiar? If you’re anything like my friend, breakups literally make you physically sick. I’ve seen it happen to my relationship coaching clients… heck, I’ve gone through it myself. If you’re coping with a breakup and suffering from what I call ‘Breakup Flu’, keep reading. I’ll tell you exactly why you’re feeling sick, and how to start feeling better fast.

Is it normal to get physically sick after a breakup?

Everybody knows breakups are stressful. What some people don’t know is just how stress affects your body. Your immune system crashes, leaving you vulnerable to catching whatever bug happens to be going around. Not only that, stress brings along symptoms of its own. Here are the most common physical symptoms I’ve seen (and experienced) that come on after a breakup:

  • racing heart
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • headaches
  • insomnia
  • numbness in hands, fingers, feet
  • cold/flu symptoms – coughing, congestion, fever, aches and pains

How to overcome feeling sick after a breakup

The stress and anxiety of your breakup are causing your symptoms. Here’s how to treat the stress, so your symptoms clear up quickly:

1. Take a day or two off. Breakup Flu is grounds for calling in sick (just don’t tell them that’s what you have!) You’ll need some time to focus on taking care of yourself, and added stress from work doesn’t help. Then you need to…

2. Learn how to relax yourself. Find what works for you to get your body and mind to release tension. If your mind starts racing and you feel physical anxiety, stop and take some deep breaths, or do some light exercise. If you’re achy, lie down with a heating pad or take a hot bath. Distract your mind – read magazines, do a hobby you like, or watch funny movies (or, if you’re like my friend, crime shows…Bill Curtis from American Justice makes her feel better!) If all else fails, sleep. Which leads me to…

3. Cut the caffeine. Coffee, energy drinks and soda contain caffeine, which will increase your heart rate, keep you awake and add to the jitters in your stomach. If you must have caffeine, try tea or go for half-caf coffee. Or, stick to one caffeinated drink per day, and keep the rest decaf. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try herbal ‘relaxation’ teas or supplements containing Valerian root, chamomile, catnip or lavender.

4. Avoid sugar and junk food. Loading up on ‘comfort food’ may make you feel better emotionally (for about a minute), but it isn’t doing your body any favors. Cakes, candy and chips don’t have the nutrients you need to get your immune system back on track. But at the same time…

5. You gotta eat. Stick to nutritious stuff: meats, veggies, fruits, eggs. If you’re like me and have no appetite when you’re stressed, try soups (chicken soup is good). It’s a good idea to take a daily multi-vitamin as well. If your stomach is really upset, peppermint or ginger tea will help ease it.

List of Pus and Mucus-Forming Foods

The word “mucus” is from the Latin mucus which means “slime, mold, snot, etc.” Mucus refers to a thick, viscous, slippery discharge that is comprised of dead cells, mucin, inorganic salts, water, and exfoliated cells. It also refers to the slimy, sticky, viscous substance left behind by mucus-forming foods in the body after ingestion. The word “pus” is from late 14c. Latin “pus” (related to puter [putrid] “rotten”), from Proto-Indo-European*pu- compared to Sanskrit. puyati “rots, stinks,” putih “stinking, foul.” Pus often refers to a thick white, yellowish, or greenish opaque liquid produced in infected tissue, consisting of dead white blood cells, bacteria, tissue debris, and serum. It also refers to the substance that dead animal flesh is chemically changed to after being consumed or while rotting in one’s digestive tract. The ingestion of meat and dairy products create pus residue in the body, while starchy and fatty foods are mucus-forming.

The word “mucusless,” or mucus-free, refers to foods that are not mucus-forming. Such foods digest without leaving behind a thick, viscous, slimy substance called mucus. These foods include all kinds of fat-free, and starchless, fruits and vegetables.

All foods that are pus/mucus-forming are acid-forming. The word “acid” is from the early 1600s meaning “of the taste of vinegar,” from French acide (16c.) or directly from Latin acidus “sour, sharp,” adjective of state from acere “to be sour,” from PIE root *ak- “sharp, pointed” (see acrid).In chemistry it refers to a class of substances whose aqueous solutions are characterized by a sour taste, the ability to turn blue litmus red, and the ability to react with bases and certain metals to form salts. From a mucusless perspective, pus and mucus-forming foods are understood to be “acid-forming” inside the human body. Such foods create an acidic internal environment that is detrimental to wellness.

The following is a list of pus, mucus, and acid-forming foods:

FLESH (PUS-FORMING)

  • Blood of Animals
  • Eggs (All Kinds)
  • Lard
  • Meat (Beef, Chicken, Horse, Dog, Mutton/Lamb, Turkey, Veal, Pork:
  • Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Gammon, Chitterlings, Pig Feet; Wild Game: Bison, Buffalo, Ostrich, Rabbit, Venison, etc.)
  • Margarine (Made with Animal Fat)

FISH (PUS-FORMING)

  • Crustacean (Crab, Crawfish, Lobster, Shrimp)
  • Fish (All Types)
  • Mollusks (Clam, Oysters, Mussels, Snail, etc.)
  • Roe (Caviar)
  • Salmon
  • Shell Fish

DAIRY PRODUCTS (PUS-FORMING)

  • Butter, Cow
  • Buttermilk
  • Cheese (All Kinds)
  • Cream
  • Crème fraîche
  • Kefir
  • Milk (All Animals and Kinds; Raw Organic, Skim, 1 or 2 %, etc.)
  • Yogurt

CEREALS (MODERATELY MUCUS-FORMING)

  • Barley
  • Breads (All Kinds; Barley, Black, Rye, White, Graham, Pumpernickel,
  • Zwieback, etc.)
  • Cereal Grains (All Kinds; Maize, Farina, Kamut, Millet,
  • Oats, Quinoa, Spelt, White Rice, Brown Rice, Whole or Refined Wheat, etc.)
  • Cornmeal
  • Pseudocereals (All Kinds; Amaranth, Buckwheat, Chia, Cockscomb, Kañiwa, Quinoa, etc.)
  • Pastas

BEANS (MODERATELY MUCUS-FORMING)

  • Beans (All Kinds and Forms; Black Beans, Black-eyed peas, Fava Beans, Butter Beans, Cannellini Beans, Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans, Edamame, Great Northern Beans, Italian Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Mung Beans, Navy Beans, Pinto Beans, Soy Beans, Split Peas, String Beans (Green Beans), White Beans, etc.)

NUTS AND SEEDS (MUCUS-FORMING)

  • Nuts (All Kinds; Acorns, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Peanuts, Pecans, Pistachios’, Walnuts, etc.)
  • Seeds (All Kinds; Sunflower, Pumpkin, Hemp, Sesame, etc.)

PROCESSED FOODS (PUS AND/OR VERY MUCUS-FORMING)

  • Dried Convenience Foods
  • Fast Foods
  • Frozen Convenience Foods
  • Packaged Convenience Foods
  • Processed Meat

CONFECTIONERIES/CANDY/SWEETS (PUS AND/OR VERY MUCUS-FORMING)

  • Baked Goods (All kinds including pies, cakes, pastries, etc.)
  • Candy (All Types; Bars, Caramels, Chocolate, Fudge, Jelly candies, Rock
  • Candy, Taffy
  • Gelatin (Jello)
  • Ice Cream (Dairy and Non-Dairy)
  • Marshmallow

ACIDIC, FERMENTED, OR DISTILLED DRINKS/SYRUPS (ACID-FORMING STIMULANTS)

  • Alcoholic Beverages (All Kinds; Ale, Beer, Brandy, Champagne, Hard
  • Cider, Liqueur, Mead, Porter, Rum, Sake/Rice Wine, Gin, Herbal Wine, Lager, Fruit Wine, Vodka Whisky, Tequila, etc.)
  • Syrups (Brown Rice, Barley Malt, Chocolate, Corn, Artificially Flavored)
  • Cocoa
  • Coffee
  • Kombucha Tea
  • Soft Drink (Soda Pop)
  • Tea (All Kinds from the Theaceae family)
  • Vinegar (White, Apple Cider)
  • Old-fashioned Root Beer

FERMENTED FOODS AND SAUCES (ACID-FORMING STIMULANTS)

  • Fish Sauce
  • Fermented Vegetables (All; Kimchi/cabbage and other veggies, Olives
  • Pickles/cucumbers. Sauerkraut/cabbage, etc.)
  • Miso
  • Sauces with Vinegar (Hot Sauce, Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Relish,
  • Tartar, Barbecue, Salad Dressings, Salsa, etc.)
  • Soy Sauce

VEGETARIAN/VEGAN PROCESSED FOODS (MODERATELY MUCUS FORMING)

  • Chips (corn, potato, plantain, etc.)
  • Frozen Vegan Breakfast Foods (waffels, etc.)
  • Hummus (processed chickpeas)
  • Lab Grown Animal Tissue
  • Margarine
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Pasta (egg-free)
  • Pasteurized 100% Fruit Juice (potentially acid-forming)
  • Plant milks (grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes including soy, rice, etc.)
  • Plant-based butter (nuts, seeds, and legumes including soy, peanut, etc.)
  • Plant-based creamers
  • Soy Lecithin (food additive)
  • Tempeh
  • Texturized Vegetable Protein (‘mock’ meats including soy, etc.)
  • Tofu
  • Vegan Baked Goods
  • Vegan Confections (All Types; Chocolates, Ice Cream, etc.)
  • Vegan Cheese Substitutes
  • Vegan Mayonnaise
  • Vegan Whipped Cream
  • Yogurts (Plant-based)

OILS (FATTY AND MILDLY MUCUS FORMING)

  • Oil (All types; Avocado Oil, Chia Seed, Coconut, Corn, Cotton Seed, Cotton Seed, Flax Seed, Grape Seed, Hemp Seed, Nut Oils, Olive, Palm, Peanut, Quinoa, Rapeseed (Including Canola), Safflower, Soybean etc.)

SALTS AND SPICES (STIMULANTS/POTENTIALLY ACID-FORMING)

  • Black Peppercorns
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Chili Powder
  • Cream of Tarter
  • Curry Powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
  • Salt (Celery, Crystal, Iodized, Sea)
  • Vanilla Extract

STARCHY OR FATTY VEGETABLES AND FRUITS (SLIGHTLY MUCUS-FORMING)

  • Artichoke
  • Avocados
  • Cassava
  • Cauliflower
  • Coconut Meat
  • Corn
  • Durian
  • Fungus (Mushrooms)
  • Green Peas
  • Olives
  • Parsnips
  • Peas (Raw)
  • Plantain
  • Plantains
  • Pumpkins
  • Raw or Baked White Potatoes
  • Raw Squashes (Winter, Acorn, Butternut, etc.)
  • Raw Sweet Potatoes
  • Rutabaga
  • Turnip
  • Unripe Banana

What are Deceptive Mucus-Formers?

Here is a list of foods that many people do not realize create mucus:

  • Rice (great for creating glue to bind books, bad for the transition to a mucus-free diet)
  • Avocados (fatty item that may be used on the transition, but are highly addictive. Although technically a fruit, if used it is best to combine them with a mucus-free combination salad or vegetables to aid elimination. However, it is recommended to stay away from them if you are not already stuck to them.)
  • Nuts (Mucus-forming, but may be used on the transition. It is best to eat with dried fruits like raisins to aid with elimination.)
  • Plantains (Starchy)
  • Tofu (Slimy and mucus-forming.)
  • Un-ripened fruits like green bananas (the riper the fruit you eat the better).
  • Corn (It does not eliminate well. When cooked corn or corn chips are eating it becomes mushy and slimy in the intestines.)
  • Corn chips (Some people use them on the transition, but they are very addictive and do not eliminate well)
  • Beans (They are starchy and mucus-forming. But, they may be used sparingly on the transition within close proximity to green-leafy salads)
  • Starchy Vegetables (Some vegetalbes are starchy and mucus-forming in raw or cooked forms, such as white potatoes. But, many other vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, become almost mucus-free (starchless) after proper cooking.

The Transition Diet

It is very important that people learn how to transition from the most harmful mucus-forming foods to the ones that leave behind the least amount of waste. To learn more about this transitional process, check out Arnold Ehret’s Mucusless Diet Healing System: Annotated, Revised, and Edited by Prof. Spira.