Dust Without Scratching Delicate Surfaces

Dusting is necessary in order to keep your home clean and to reduce the amount of allergens within the home that can cause serious problems for allergy sufferers, like myself. According to the American Lung Association, dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed off the particles found in dust and these can trigger some serious allergy symptoms. However, when you dust, you need to take care not to scratch up the delicate surfaces within your home.

Some of the most delicate surfaces that need special care include electronics, glass, veneering, wooden shelves, floors and baseboards. Using the wrong tools to clean with or spreading dust around with a cloth can easily scratch up these surfaces making them appear old and worn out. To avoid this problem and to keep all of your delicate surfaces looking like new, there are 5 steps you can follow.

Step One:

Use the right tool for the job. When cleaning glass, use an ostrich feather duster and this will pick up the dust particles gently without spreading them around. When you need to actually clean the dust off the glass, use a soft cloth and glass cleaner.

Step Two:

When dusting the electronics in your home, use a dry microfiber cloth. These will clean without creating static and or grinding the dust into the unit. If you use a spray of any kind, spray the cloth and then wipe. Never use hash chemicals like ammonia on these items or it can cause lots of damage.

Step Three:

Wipe wood surfaces such as shelves, window trim, baseboards and furniture with a clean soft cloth. The cloth can be damp but it should never be wet and dripping.

Step Four:

Warm water and cider vinegar can be used on wood floors. This cleans very well without scratching. However, it’s vital that you choose a good mop that doesn’t have sharp edges that can dig into the floor causing damage.

Step Five: Treat all surfaces gently and with care to avoid causing unnecessary damage that can ruin the look of your décor.

When you choose the right products and dust regularly, you can protect your investments and keep all of the surfaces in your home looking like new for many years. You put a lot of time and effort into choosing your furniture, electronics and the other décor in your home. It only makes sense that you take steps to protect it, even when dusting.

Jet Lag Remedies to Make Your Trip More Enjoyable

As any frequent flyer will tell you, jet lag is an irritating nuisance to your travel. Who wants to waste their own trip tired and irritable, trying to cope with a new time zone? If you travel often and suffer from jet lag, read this article to pick up a few jet lag remedies that can ease your symptoms.

One way to try to prevent jet lag from even starting to affect you is to gradually adjust your bedtime and waking time each day for three days to your desired time zone. For example, if you were traveling west, you would go to bed one hour later and wake one hour later. The next night, it would move to two hours, and move up to three hours the following night. Conversely, if you were going east, you would go to sleep and wake one hour earlier each night for the three nights instead of later.

There are also supplements and homeopathic remedies for jet lag. Melatonin supplements increase the body's ability to adjust to a disorder in internal sleeping patterns. Homeopathic remedies also exist and are made from naturally occurring substances, no chemicals. A very popular homeopathic drug that many travelers will swear by is No Jet Lag. It is available in many retail and convenience stores.

Interestingly, there is an herb that is said to induce sleep. It is called Valerian. This herb helps with jet lag by helping in sleep at your desired time if you are having trouble falling asleep on your own. Valerian is not as effective as a prescription sleep aid, but as it is natural, you can miss the groggy feeling the next morning. It is also not habit forming.

If you want to enjoy your next trip across time zones, try one of these jet lag remedies. Do not spend your whole trip with insomnia, irritability, or disorientation. Look into one of these methods of relieving jet lag symptoms and travel more comfortably!

Stop Boredom Eating

"Hello! I need some advice please! I try to eat healthy and work out on a regular basis, but I always eat when I am bored, even though I am not hungry. Kinds of snacks. "" How do I stop this habit? "

While there are many diverse reasons for overeating, boredom eating is surprisingly common. Research has reported that nearly half of all adults sometimes turn to food to stifle feelings of boredom or to manage a negative mood. Most people realize that food is only a temporary distraction from boredom and not a cure. So, if you boredom eat every now and then, do not be too hard on yourself. However, if boredom eating has become a coping habit to suppress awareness of your emotion, you may miss the important message lying beneath your boredom. In addition you may be inadvertently gaining weight, and developing a sense of helplessness about your ability to stop your eating behaviors.

What is Boredom?

Boredom is a complex emotion and an important signal that your life is not being lived to its fullest, most enjoyable expression. Boredom tells you that you have become weary of a life that has become dull, monotonous, repetitive, and routine. You are tired of living in a certain situation or with a definite way of thinking and acting. However, you also believe that you are stuck and unable to change things for yourself. Because you believe you can not live or act differently, you begin to feel disinterested in your life, lethargic, and unfocused.

The Benefit of Boredom

There is good news! The reason you are feeling bored is because you are temporarily stuck between here and there. While it does not feel good to feel trapped and unable to move, the operative word is "temporarily" stuck. Inside you are ready to shed certain limiting beliefs about yourself and step into a fuller and larger life. You want to change and be more alive, but you also have certain beliefs that say you can not make that change happen. Therefore, boredom is the result of having your motor running while also having your foot on the brake. If you continue to remain in this situation, your inner conflict can escalate to much misery, including feelings of loneliness, emptiness, sadness, despair, or even depression. Over time, your desire to live life differently continues to increase, while your belief that you can not change increases in equal proportion. No wonder people turn to food!

Eating and Boredom

Eating can serve to distract you from your conflict and the ensuing boredom. Eating can sometimes ease the tension for a short period of time. However, no matter how much you eat or how often, the conflict inside you remains. A helpful perspective is to realize that your boredom reflects an important desire for personal growth into new ways of thinking, acting, and living. Boredom invites you to take a breath and delve a bit deeper to explore personal passions and desires. Eating to suppress your boredom only serves to put your life on hold.

Food is a Temporary Band-Aid

Certainly, food can bring moments of feeling good. For some it is a joyful sugar rush, or the comfortable numbness of an overly full belly. For others the calm comes when food triggers the release of the soothing brain chemical serotonin. Using food to alleviate an uncomfortable physical feeling is not a bad thing. Everyone wants to feel better, and no one is a bad person for turning to food to ease the discomfort of boredom. There is no reason to punish yourself for doing something pleasurable. What you might notice is that boredom eating does not make the actual boredom go away. At best, it creates a few moments of distraction, or some temporary relief. At worst, boredom eating leads to a soon unconscious, yet powerful repetitive habit of eating to feel better, and many unwanted pounds. What you need is not temporary distraction or numbness, but more authentically joyful alive moments! It is up to you to find or create joyful experiences that are even more rewarding, and more gratifying than eating.

The Pursuit of Joy

Food pushes down the emotions of boredom, and temporarily leaves you feeling better. However, what you need is not sedation but instead new challenges. Although change is risky, deep inside you want to be more alive than you are right now. Perhaps boredom is your way of showing yourself that you have outgrown your level of aliveness. Boredom is a signal you give yourself to allow greater joy, and greater aliveness. It may take some effort, but you can have a huge effect on how much joy you allow yourself to experience. The joy and aliveness you seek do not come from outside sources such as food or temporary entertainment, but from internally deciding to focus your energy on actions that support your own dreams.

Ending Boredom is a Process

Most likely, you will not overcome your boredom, or your boredom eating, in a single day. Instead, feeling more excited about being alive is a process that involves curiosity, introspection, and out action. It may take some time to explore and discover what you find interesting. It may help to ask yourself, "What actions or desires do I want to focus my energy on?" Check inside and notice where personal interests lie. Maybe creative activities such as writing, art, dance, a new career or business, helping people, getting involved in a sport, going back to school, learning, nature, socializing, or book clubs might sound interesting? Maybe there is a personal goal that has important meaning to you? Decide to write down a list of alternatives to boredom eating, a list of things you like to do. Carry this list with you, or tape it to your refrigerator. Decide to explore different directions, act on the decision, and take note of each success.

The next time you are bored and about to engage in boredom eating, stop for a moment. Realize that beneath your uncomfortable emotions you want more for yourself. You want to feel more alive and more joyful! Eating is not going to help you achieve what you want. Your mission in life is to discover what brings you more passion, playfulness, and joy. Use the examples above and take one step into a more exciting life today!

Insomnia Herbs – Sleepless? Try These!

Disturbing thoughts have plagued man for millennia, inducing sleepless nights. Insomnia herbs have been in use for just as long. When modern medicine came into the picture, there came a proliferation of chemicals and sedatives to help give space-age society its clamored-for rest–as well as other addictive side effects. A search for safer alternatives takes us back to the insomnia herbs of ancient times, and we have rediscovered that nature’s compounds are often still the safer alternative.

Caffeine is an addictive drug. While it keeps you energized on nonetheless lethargic mornings, it will likewise prevent you from having some wanted sleep at night. Because of a restless night in bed, you’ll be lethargic again the following day, and also nervous and touchy and you’ll dash madly towards the neighborhood Starbucks the first chance you get.

It is self-propagating, and must be stopped. If you can’t cut your dependency from caffeine totally, at least try to reduce your consumption. Doing this includes cutting off the consumption of colas, chocolate, and yes, the ubiquitous Starbucks. Have some insomnia herbs instead.

Valerian root is the best choice. It is “the safest and most effective sleep aid with no side effects,” according to British scientist turned herbal guru Dr. Malcolm Stuart, who says the best time to drink it would be around 8 PM. Thirty minutes before going to bed, use one to two teaspoons of the dried root to make a sleep-promoting tea. Unlike sleeping pills, valerian causes no side effects. And unlike its equivalent pills, which may trigger an addiction, you will not develop a dependency on this natural cure.

Alike to valerian root in terms of its sleep-inducing effects is catnip. Not only is this herb used as a answer to insomnia, but it is also thought to relieve nervousness, anxiety, and even migraines. Taking catnip is again just like valerian–one to two teaspoons of the dried herb for one cup of boiled water and set aside to soak for about ten minutes. Do not boil the herb along with the water as this may destroy some of its active ingredients.

Chamomile is milder and is safer for children to take, more so when the young ones are hyper. The usual dosage is two teaspoons of dried chamomile flower for a cup of tea.

Lavender also makes for a very soothing brew at night (three flower heads to one cup of boiling water, soaked like catnip), and inhaling a few drops of its oil or mixing it with your bubble bath has the same relaxing effect. It can also be rubbed onto your skin through a massage and its flowers and seeds stuffed into your pillows.

In Chinese Traditional medicine, the longan fruit and sour jujube seed are both known to relax the soul. The former is used to treat insomnia, while the latter complements stronger cures.

While the insomnia herbs cited above may be taken alone, you may also mix an herbal cocktail if you like. Try blending valerian with chamomile, catnip, or some other mild herbs like hops and passionflower. Add a small amount of the natural sweetener stevia to taste if you find the taste somewhat too robust to your taste. Don’t consume it excessively to spare yourself from sleep-interrupting trips to the bathroom.

While there is nothing fundamentally bad with using insomnia herbs, homeopathy, and aromatherapy to induce sleep, it is still best to go the natural way and permit your body to fall asleep on its own, the way it’s built to do. To make your body to perform at its prime, a lifestyle realignment is in order.

To not have sleep disorders, having an exercise routine, proper stress management, and sticking to a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables is the the healthiest way to go, aside from taking your favorite serving of insomnia herbs. In the meantime, why don’t you have a cup of soothing chamomile-valerian tea? Cheers!

B Vitamins Work Best Together

“Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” – Mark Twain

Many vitamins are essential players in the natural biochemistry of your body. B vitamins are particularly important for proper functioning of your brain and nervous system. Although you can sometimes buy each vitamin by itself in a health food store, it is best to take B vitamins together. Doctors refer to them as B complex vitamins to emphasize their interactions and interdependence.

Many of the B vitamins were discovered and eventually isolated during the first half of the 1900’s. They include B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 pantothenic acid, B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin), folic acid or folate, and biotin.

These vitamins are water-soluble and are known in more technical terms as “coenzymes.” That is, they help the enzymes of the body properly run the biochemical reactions we need to operate the functions of our cells. Food sources of B vitamins include whole grains, nuts, liver, red meats, green leafy vegetables, and brewer’s yeast.

For instance, B1 or thiamine is important for the proper utilization of carbohydrates in the diet. B6 or pyridoxine is essential for processing the amino acids from proteins in the diet. In addition to iron deficiency anemia, lack of adequate amounts of certain B vitamins, such as B6, B12, and/or folate, can itself lead to different kinds of anemias, with fatigue, weakness, and poor tolerance of exercise. Alcoholics often deplete their supplies of thiamine and folic acid, making it essential to include vitamin repletion in treatment for this common and serious problem.

B vitamins play a major role in proper functioning of the nervous system. Low levels of B vitamins such as B6 can impair the ability to synthesize common brain transmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. This is the kind of situation when taking a drug for depression, for instance, may not help as much as it could, because of the brain’s inability to make the brain chemicals that the drug works on. Inadequate B6 can even lead to seizures in severe cases.

In older people especially, low levels of B vitamins can lead to poorer cognitive (thinking) abilities. People at the lowest levels of several B vitamins in their diet and/or blood levels have the poorest memory and general cognitive function. Some people lose the ability to absorb B12 because of changes in their stomach and manufacture of intrinsic factor, which is necessary for B12 absorption. People who can’t make intrinsic factor typically need B12 shots to get the vitamin into their bodies.

Many other people, however, as they age, lose the ability to make stomach acid. They have intrinsic factor to absorb B12, but the low acid condition in their stomach makes it hard to release the B12 from foods. In this situation, taking B12 supplements by mouth in capsules or tablets that dissolve easily or via liquid supplements can replace the body levels of the vitamin without needing shots in most cases.

In recent years, there has been increased interest in folate, B12, and B6, which are important in different steps for processing and detoxifying the amino acid homocysteine. Homocysteine can build up in the bloodstream and cause damage to blood vessels. In addition to cholesterol, homocysteine is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease. The good news is that taking supplements of folate, B12, and B6 can often lower elevated levels of homocysteine and perhaps side-step or at least delay or lessen the health risks.

Many people do not realize how interactive the body’s biochemistry really is. For instance, thyroid hormone regulates use of vitamin B2. In turn, vitamin B2 is needed to catalyze a reaction that generates the active form of vitamin B6. To clear out homocysteine, there are many metabolic steps, some of which require adequate amounts of B6, folate, and B12. In other words, the B complex vitamins are part of a biochemical network. Pushing the dose of any single vitamin might imbalance the interactions with the rest of the network. So, the bottom line at this point is to take a good multivitamin including all of the B complex vitamins in adequate amounts (at least the recommended daily allowance and perhaps a bit more).

Be careful of excess B vitamins. Although they are water soluble, high doses of B6 (200 mg or so per day for many months) can cause damage to peripheral nerves. Daily doses around 10-25 mg/day are probably OK for most people (but consult your physician for your own case). Excess folate can lead to insomnia and/or GI distress. People probably need somewhere between the RDA of 0.4 mg and the amount suggested for pregnant women to prevent the birth defect of spina bifida, of 0.8 mg/day. Higher doses may over-activate the nervous system and cause insomnia or irritability.

So, more is not always better, but the right amount for you is essential. In the world of complex interactions in networks, linear relationships are not common. Think instead of an upside down or inverted ‘U’ shaped graph – too little or too much is bad, but somewhere in the middle is just right.

(Permission is granted to reprint this article, unedited, provided proper attribution is made and the signature line is kept intact.)

Embarrassing Toes – Use A Foot Fungus Treatment

Before heading to the beach this summer is the perfect time to look into an effective foot fungus treatment. With summertime nearly upon us, you will want to drag out your sandals and flip-flops. When you bury your toes in the sand, it should be from the enjoyment of the sand between your toes not trying to hide an unsightly foot fungus!

Fungal infections of the nail are called Tinea or ringworm of the nail. The fungal infection is caused by fungi living on the outer layer of the skin or nails. Tinea is a Latin word meaning gnawing worm. The condition causes toenails to become thick and discolored. One of the most beneficial foot fungus treatment is to use an antifungal medication.

A nail infection can be caused from fungi such as Candida, more commonly known to cause yeast infections. Fungal infections also occur from not using sanitary nail equipment, especially in nail salons, where the same tools are used on numerous clients receiving pedicures.


Signs of a foot fungus toenail infection include pain, redness, itching, and pus in or around the nail area. Thick, unsightly and somewhat yellow nails are a sure sign of fungus. As foot fungus grows, smelly, moist fragments can be seen under the nail. Your toe may hurt from the pressure of a thickened toenail or the buildup of debris.

Fungal Infections

A variety of fungi can be found everywhere in the environment. The darkened, dampened surrounding inside footwear makes the feet especially vulnerable to fungal infections. Most fungus is not dangerous unless the skin is broken and compromised. A small cut or a foot injury is all that’s necessary for the fungus to cause a separation between the nail and the bed of the toe.

Foot Fungus Treatment

Fungus usually attacks a small portion of the nail and spreads slowly. The best foot fungus treatment is started at the earliest signs of infection. Accumulating debris underneath the nail can lead to an ingrown toenail or even a more harmful infection that may spread to other areas. Topical and oral medications may be prescribed for foot fungus treatment.

Athlete’s Foot

As the fungus that is responsible for athlete’s foot grows, it spreads out in a circle, leaving a normal patch of skin in the middle. This makes it resemble a ring. At the border of the ring, the skin appears irritated, red, and scaly. Foot fungus is often called ringworm because it looks like a worm is under the skin.

Fungal infections can be spread from person to person. Most types of fungi thrive on damp surfaces such as public shower floors or gym locker rooms. Your pets can even transmit a fungal infection to you. Livestock, dogs, and cats can be infected with funguses. In animals there will be a tell tail patch of skin where the fur has fallen out.

The moist skin between your toes is an ideal place for a fungus like athlete’s foot to grow. The skin is likely to become red and extremely itchy. The infection may spread to the toenails. Here it causes the nails to become crumbly and thick.

Foot Fungus Treatment

Oral medicines may be necessary for you to get rid of fungal infections. There are some newer medicines available that work with fewer side effects than previously prescribed medications. Rest your weary feet and make this the year of rebellion against foot fungus.

10 Good Things Beetroot Juice Will Do For Your Body

Beetroot juice not only has a stunning color but is also packed with nutrients. It is a terrific source of vitamins and minerals. The beets contain vitamins B1, B2, niacin, B6, B12, Vitamin C potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulfur, iodine, iron and copper.

It is rich in antioxidants – carotenoids and flavanoids, which help reduce oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

It has an anti-carcinogenic color. The deep red color comes from betacyanin, a substance which prevents colon cancer.

Beets are also great source of silica which is essential for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones. Calories wise one medium beetroot contains just 35 calories.

The Magic of Beetroot Juice

An intake of one glass of beetroot juice will do wonders to your health –

  1. It is the only plant source of B12
  2. contains easily assimilated iron
  3. Contains Betaine, which helps maintain liver function
  4. It can drastically reduce high blood pressure
  5. Popular for being a great liver cleanser
  6. Beetroot is also believed to regenerate the cells of the immune system, build and purify the blood and improve the circulation
  7. The juice is claimed to be beneficial in the treatment of gallstones and kidney stones.
  8. Fights cancer
  9. For women, it improves the menstrual problems as well as cures anemia
  10. used for curing eye fatigue & tiredness

Before you start drinking Beetroot Juice or making any other diet change, seek a doctor’s advice on the plan. Your physician will be able to advice you after a physical examination, if this plan is right for you.

Top 10 Health Conditions Beetroot Juice Is Used For –

  • Anemia
  • Bladder Problems
  • Circulatory Problems
  • Eye Fatigue
  • Kidneys
  • Liver Problems
  • Menstrual
  • Menopause
  • Skin Problems
  • Tiredness

Beetroot juice is very potent, and it is recommended that you drink the raw juice diluted or mixed with other vegetable or fruit juices so as not to push the body into detoxifying too quickly. Here is one of the juicer recipes I like most- Combine Beetroot Juice with cucumber and celery to balance it’s sweet taste.

Herbal Joint Pain Relief Oil To Get Rid Of Arthritis Stiffness In A Safe Manner

People who suffer from joint pain, swelling and redness after doing physical exercises may be suffering from arthritis. Joint pain due to arthritis can cause morning stiffness, pain, tiredness, rashes, night sweats and weight loss. The constant burning and hurtful pain in joints and muscles can make it difficult for the person to do every day work.

In case of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the sprain injury won’t go fast. The pain can worsen in nights. Some women with RA suffer from pain in heels due to plantar fasciitis which is a foot disorder that happens due to swelling in the bottom of foot around heels. The person suffers from dryness as the glands stop producing moistures and this can cause eye disorders as well. While other forms of arthritis have pain due to weakness or due to wear and tear to joint tissues, the problem of RA happens because of the inflammation to the joints. To get rid of arthritis stiffness, one needs to identify the symptoms and try to use ways to prevent pain. Theories of immunity and body’s self-defense are also suggested for RA, but there is not enough evidence for it.

Even in case of osteoarthritis the pain in joints is experienced, but RA pain remains for more than a week and OA (osteoarthritis) lasts for few hours. The symptoms resemble that of gout. Sometimes, the problem is assumed to be overexertion but it can happen due to rheumatoid arthritis. Studies find for low back pain and to get rid of arthritis stiffness the method of massage involving herbal joint pain relief oil, work well.

Although there is lack of many evidences but massage oil therapy and using medicated oil for joint pain and stiffness, reduces inflammation, relaxes mind and has long term relieving effects. There are some herbal joint pain relief oils that have wonderful effects in joint pain, in both young and aging patients. Medicated oil penetrates the skin surface and cures body’s weakness in a body friendly manner. The person gets relief from pain, depression, headache, insomnia, indigestion, respiratory disorders, swelling, inflammation and various other complications by using the methods of medicated oil massage. The essential oil contains saturated and unsaturated hydrocarbons, ketones, aldehydes and various other compounds that relieve the pressure points to get rid of arthritis stiffness.

It is believed that the pressure points are built from imbalance of airy element in the body and these blockages in the flow of energy can be removed by applying herbal joint pain relief oil. Oil seeps to the pockets, glandular hair, pores, specialized cells and intracellular spaces to get rid of infections and inflammation. Rumatone Gold oil is popular herbal oil that can get rid of arthritis stiffness as it contains extracts of Celastrus Paniculatus, Evolvulus Alsinoides, Acorus Calamus, Nardostachys Jatamansi etc. Celastrus Paniculatus is extensively used for alleviating inflammation. If the extract of Celastrus is individually taken orally, it reduces cholesterol to healthy levels. It is also effective in protecting brain and improving cognition. This is supposed to be a powerful herb for neurological conditions.

Read about Natural Arthritis Joint Pain Relief Oil. Also know Back Pain Herbal Massage Oil. Read about Herbal Pain Relief Oil. 

Successful Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment of Infertility

The ability to conceive and procreate is a beautiful gift from God and comes with a natural, inborn instinct to continue the race. Parenthood is a natural culmination of marriage for (most) couples. The inability to conceive can come as a shock and cause severe distress to both men and women. In addition to multiple possible medical causes, increasingly busy and stressful lifestyles have contributed to increasing infertility levels in many young, married couples.

Men can have problems related to poor sperm count, poor sperm quality, and issues related to erection and ejaculation. Ayurvedic herbal medicines can be successfully used to treat these issues comprehensively. Herbal medicines have multiple advantages in these treatments since these are safe, effective, and improve sperm quality and quantity while also improving performance and mutual satisfaction. Associated medical issues like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes etcetera should be considered and taken care of. Side effects of ongoing medication should be considered. The couple should take out time from their hectic work schedules and learn to relax. They should be together during the most fertile period, about 10-20 days from the commencement of the last menstrual period, of the wife. This simple fact is often overlooked by even educated and well informed couples.

Infertility issues in women relate to causes such as hormonal imbalance, underdeveloped organs, ovulation failure, blockage due to growths (cysts or tumors) or inflammation, failure of conception due to sperm antibodies, or failure of implantation and embryonic growth due to infections. Barring a few exceptions which are amenable to surgical intervention, most such conditions can be safely and effectively treated with Ayurvedic herbal medicines. A detailed treatment description is out of scope of this article; however, the main principles of treatment include treating hormonal dysfunction, promoting a healthy growth of pelvic organs, regulating diet to prevent and treat chronic inflammation, maintaining a healthy environment in the intestines and uterus, using herbal medicines to treat inflammation and blockage, and inducing regular ovulation. Severe menstrual pain and chronic constipation also need to be treated aggressively, since these usually contribute to the infertility.

More than a third of affected women fail to conceive in spite of all relevant examinations and reports coming out normal. Ayurvedic treatment again has several advantages over other treatments in such a scenario, since the treatment is completely safe, can be given for long periods safely, and tends to help solve the issue without creating any new problem or side effects. Most women who take such treatment on a long term basis invariably conceive and go on to have a normal, full term pregnancy. Ayurvedic herbal treatment can be continued throughout the pregnancy in order to prevent complications both to the mother as well as the unborn child, as well as to achieve a safe and healthy offspring.

Ayurvedic herbal treatment can thus be utilized to successfully treat both male and female infertility. Treatment is both safe as well as highly economical. Detailed investigations help in determining the exact cause and providing specific and effective treatment.

Best Eye Cream Dark Circles – Removing The Darkness In Your Eyes

Women are constantly searching for the best eye cream dark circles. What is even more surprising is that men are joining in the search as well. With hundreds, maybe thousands, of eye cream products in the market today, it just becomes so frustrating when you cannot find an eye cream that would suite you best. Not to mention the time spent in searching, the effort exerted in applying it day and night, and the money wasted on products that do not deliver the result that you wanted. It is like searching for a gold needle in a stack full of silver needles.  They all give promises to serve a purpose and only one is suitable for the job.

Cause Of Dark Circles

Dark circles under the eyes are caused by weak capillaries under the eyes. They are the smallest of all the blood vessels and are involved in microcirculation. They are so small that they only allow only a single blood cell to pass formed in a line. When the blood pressure changes, it allows some of the red blood cells to escape through the capillary walls, being permeable. Imagine if it did not do so. They would pop and we would be dead. The diffused blood cells will then settle in the areas around the blood vessel. Since the skin under the eyes is very thin the spread of the blood vessels become visible when it starts to oxidize. It is just like a bruise on other parts of the body when you get struck by something and the blood is unable to exit the skin. The body has its own clean-up crew to do the job but it cannot do it overnight. It would take some time, thus the use of best eye cream dark circles is recommended to hasten the process.

You should also know that dark circles are worsened by smoking, drinking, too much salty food that causes dehydration of the skin, allergies, vitamin deficiency. Lack or no sleep at all causes the skin under the eyes to be pale making the vessels underneath visible but it does not directly cause dark circles.


1.      Haloxyl – an active ingredient that has natural enzymes to aid in breaking down the blood that has oxidized underneath the skin under the eyes. It also strengthens the capillaries at the same time preventing the blood leakage from recurring giving clear and glowing skin under the eyes.

2.      Matrixyl 3000 – is a very popular ingredient in eye cosmetics today. It is composed of Acetyl Hexapeptide-8 also known as Argeline, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, and Palmitoyl Oligopeptide that reduce skin sagging and wrinkles by 45%

3.      Syn-Ake – another active ingredient that battles wrinkles by as much as 52%.

4.      Vitamin K – is a very effective ingredient in strengthening the capillaries and reducing skin discolorations. It has been proven to be very effective in reducing dark circles.

5.      Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone – is taken from lemon and oranges and aids in reducing the leaking of capillaries and is also an anti-inflammatory agent.

These are but a few active ingredients that are suitable for a best eye cream dark circles.

And now, if you are looking for the best eye cream for dark circles or the best eye cream for wrinkles , you should visit http://www.eyecontourgel.com to discover the best ingredients you should look out for and why it is important.

Barbara’s Ovarian Cancer Story, Part III

Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Barbara’s continued Ovarian Cancer Story:

It’s been two years since my last article and I have a lot to share with you. Presently, I’m sitting in my cozy little office/guest room, in my cozy house on Whidbey Island, Washington. Rosie-the-cat is reclining on the windowsill and we’re both staring out at the wind-whipped trees and billowing, dark clouds being blown across the sky. It’s very beautiful and I’m very grateful to be here!

At my last writing, I had just completed eight cycles of heavy-duty chemotherapy for advanced ovarian cancer and was in remission, ready to celebrate a very special Thanksgiving with my family. (See articles 1 and 2 on the “articles” page at http://www.dstress.com.) Those holidays were wonderful. I felt healthy, had hair, was working and exercising and planning my retirement date, (September 2005), and subsequent move to our home in Washington. Being an inveterate planner/list-maker and worrier, I organized the retirement and move to within an inch of its life. I knew when my last day of work would be; how much vacation time I had on the books and what day we’d be packing up. John made his plans to close his office and relocate his business. We were done with cancer and ready to move on! Well, as we all know, life has a way of not always going according to plan. We were about to be thrown a real curve-ball.

In March, we took a great trip to Arizona to celebrate my birthday. On the drive from Phoenix to Bisbee to visit friends, we marveled at the lush green desert, abloom with flowers after recent rains. Locals told us that this beauty lasted about two weeks before fading to gold and brown, and people had learned not to take it for granted. Well, that’s true about anything, isn’t it?

The day after we returned from our vacation, a message on the answering machine said a new suspicious mass had been found on my most recent CT scan, the one I had done before we left for Arizona. I was devastated and furious and terrified! I ranted and I raved and I screamed, scaring John and the cat. What about my plans? My retirement? Moving to my new home? What about my life? I don’t want more surgery, more chemo! I don’t want to lose my hair again! I feel fine and healthy- how can this be happening AGAIN? I had taken for granted that the first surgery and chemo had worked and I was cured. But in fact, 70-90% of people have recurrence at some point in time. I just didn’t think I would be one of them. I had to completely let go of my carefully orchestrated master-plan and face this challenge head on.

June found me back at UCSF for major surgery for removal of a tumor that was very close, but not on, the liver. Because ovarian cancer cells tend to migrate to the spleen and gallbladder, they also removed those organs. I was lucky to have access to one of the best surgeons in the country and post-op reports stated that they had completely removed all the cancer! I used all the same tools to prepare pre op and postoperatively as I had for my first surgery and my recovery was good. I was home in five days and back to work in five weeks. I started chemo in July.

On December 1, 2005, I had my last chemo cycle. Other than a very low blood count (I was very anemic and my white count was very low), I tolerated the treatments fairly well. Acupuncture, visualization, exercise and supplements all played an important part in my work to stay as strong and healthy as possible. My hair thinned considerably, but I didn’t have to wear wigs or cover-ups. With the particular drug regimen I was on, there is a 60% chance of hair loss. Before treatments started, I researched the web for any products that might minimize this side effect. I found a product called E.V.P.3 Chemaid. The website is:www.evp3.com. It provides good information and research so I decided to give it a try. I don’t know if it was the chemaid, the different type of drugs regimen and dosage, supplements or all of the above, but I kept the majority of my hair. Seems like such a minor thing when you are fighting for your life. Yet sometimes those small things make a difference in quality of life. I felt that I looked healthier and “normal” and that translated into not feeling like a cancer patient.

The new year brought new resolution to finally make our plans to retire and move. My labs were good, my scans were clear and we moved to Whidbey Island in May. We’ve been involved in projects ever since.

First on the agenda was painting the inside and the outside of the house. Just as John and I have been a good team in my healing process, we’ve made a good team in working on our home. And it’s been fun! We dug a garden using picks and shovels. We built planter boxes and created a Zen rock garden; we yanked out a huge juniper bush and planted roses and dahlias. At the end of the day we collapsed into recliners with such a good feeling of accomplishment. I’ve never used my muscles like that before. I’d be exhausted by 8pm-it was such a good kind of tired. One of my favorite activities was sitting in the dirt, pulling weeds. The sun on my shoulders, eagles soaring overhead, the smell of earth and flowers and growing things became a huge part of my healing process. I visualized my immune system plucking out and “disappearing” any unhealthy cells from my body with each weed I pulled. Working in the garden has become a wonderful meditation for me. I clear my mind and totally focus on the task at hand. Learning how to live in the moment is an ongoing lesson, and I have to continually find a balance between artful planning and my natural tendency to organize the future. I’ve learned a greater appreciation of each sunrise and sunset. I notice the rhythm of my breathing and muscle movement when I walk and hike. I take time to pick up interesting bits of wood from the beach and decorate my garden with them. I revel in the love of my family and dear friends. I consciously practice NOT taking anything for granted and I try to live each moment joyfully. I have a favorite mantra that I recite to myself on my daily walks. “thank you for all the blessings I enjoy; thank you for my health today; thank you for my family and friends; thank you for allowing me to spend time in this beautiful place; thank you for the gift of life! And wouldn’t it be very, very nice if abundance cascades into my life and into those I love-abundance of health-physical, emotional and spiritual; and financial abundance.

I wish I could say that with all the meditation and mantras, I now lead a joyful, positive life. The truth is that I have my ups and downs; my incredibly joyful moments along with times of fear, sadness and anger. I go into worry-mode when it’s time for lab work and waiting for results. I get fearful about any new ache or pain (does this mean the cancer is back?) I vacillate between should I go ahead and spend money on redoing the kitchen now or keep that money in savings a little longer. Sometimes I feel caught between living in the moment and wanting to plan future projects for next year, two years from now, five years from now. And I still get angry that this happened to me, even though I’ve learned many lessons in the past few years. One of the main lessons I’m starting to grasp is that life is an act of faith. When I was planting the garden, I mostly put in vegetables and flowers that would reward me with bouquets and crops right away. My act of faith in the future was planting a cherry tree. My daily prayer is that I’ll be around to enjoy the blossoms and pluck the cherries.

This year we will celebrate Thanksgiving in our new home. We’ll share our gratitude with friends and family; we’ll feast and watch football; and we’ll toast to health, happiness and prosperity. The garden hibernates now beneath a blanket of red and gold leaves. The tulips, daffodils and hyacinths I planted last week rest and wait until it’s their time to burst forth into colorful splendor. And I rest, write, clean closets and enjoy indoor projects as I wait for spring, when I’ll burst out to nurture and be nurtured in my garden.

Here’s to rainy days and warm fires NOW and digging in the dirt in the FUTURE.

Happy Thanksgiving

Barbara Ehlers-Mason

Whidbey Island, WA

Nursing Pads – Pros, Cons, Rights and Wrongs

I’d seen and heard of nursing pads before I had my first baby, but it never occurred to me that I’d be in any rush to buy them.  I had nothing against them from an outsiders perspective, but until you actually start breastfeeding, it’s hard to imagine liquids gushing forth from your nipples. 

That’s why I was surprised when, on about day three after giving birth ( I was still in the hospital with baby), I woke up with rocks (they turned out to be my breasts) attached to my chest and the odd smell of rotting milk… which turned out to be the breastmilk painting rivers down the front of my shirt.  

So reason number one for nursing pads– the SMELL. At least in the first few weeks when the milk is most concentrated.  If you are wearing nursing pads and they start to smell, you can always replace them with fresh ones. In my case, I didn’t have any with me and I don’t think I had a change of clothes left.  In had never crossed my mind to purchase pads before I went to the hospital, so I contacted a friend of mine who’d just finished breastfeeding and asked her if she could send over a few day’s supply, which she did.

And so began my nursing pad education. First of all, these things can be found under almost as many names as brands, fabrics, shapes and sizes. Nursing pads, breastfeeding pads, bra liners– they’re all basically the same thing. What sets them apart from each other at the end of the day is how well they work.

I started out with disposable ones because I wasn’t sure if I would need them for long enough to justify the cost of the washable ones.  I found that the price difference between the expensive, brand-name ones and the cheapie generic ones was huge. I couldn’t imagine why I would opt for the more expensive ones– at first. And then one day I looked down to see my dear son sucking away with what appeared to be a mouthful of foam. It turns out that he pad I had been sleeping with had disintegrated and bits of it were clinging to my nipple. As you can imagine, it was very distressing for me to see bits of bleached paper fibre inside my newborn’s mouth. I vowed not to use that brand again and instead switched to another cheapie brand– with the same results.  Once I figured out that these things tend to fall apart, however, I was a little wiser about letting my son latch on before checking the area for debris.  Still, it was time to move on.  There are some things in life that are just not worth dealing with, and disintegrating nursing pads are one of them.

By this point, I figured out that I was a big leaker.  Between this fact and the unfortunate disintegration incidents, it seemed prudent of me to switch to the more expensive pads. In the brand-name price category, there are pads that wick, pads that are breathable, pads made of all sorts of materials and combinations of materials. There are pads that boast noiselessness– no crinkle crinkle. Some pads have indentations for your nipples some advertise super absorbency. Personally, I found that any of these things worked for me. I just had to remember to keep enough on hand to be able to change them as often as I needed. 

What’s important to note is that yeast, aka thrush when it’s growing on your nipple and your baby’s mouth, will thrive in a warm, wet environment. So you either have to be diligent about switching pads as necessary or else you need to get ones that wick moisture away from your skin.  

Buying reusable pads was another step up. Obviously, there are environmental benefits to this, and there is the added bonus of not having to worry about all of the chemicals from the manufacturing process being transferred to baby since you’ll probably be washing them quite often.

Things to take into consideration when choosing nursing pads:

– Shape and Size: These two features will determine how visible the pad is underneath  your shirt. So I guess it depends on the kinds of clothes you like to wear and also the season. Bigger pads are not necessarily more absorbent, but you may find them to be more comfortable and the seams might be less prominent when they’re not pushed right up against the front of your bra cup. With a bigger pad, you also have to worry less about it shifting inside your bra and ending up out of reach of the leaky nipple. The thickness of the pad might also make a difference to how much it shows through.  There is such a thing as a thin yet absorbent pad.

– Fabric: The absorbency of pads depends largely on what the pad is made of.  The fabric or material also will contribute to how hot the pad feels, if it keeps the moisture next to your skin or if it’s wicked away, and it can also contribute to the smell or lack thereof.  When it comes to disposables, you’re mostly looking at papers, plastics, and cotton, though there are some that contain absorbent gels such as those found in baby diapers. Washable ones range from simple cottons to flannels, hemps, and even wool pads. There are even adhesive silicone pads available out there that somehow prevent leaks from happening at all and which can be worn in the water with bathing suits or without a bra– now, that’s a novelty when you’re breastfeeding.

Nursing pad reviews are available on line, and some sites that sell pads will also have readers comments underneath.  If you’re looking for the economy and sustainability of reusable pads but haven’t decided  which ones to invest in, you can always invest in a box of disposables until you’re ready to take the plunge. Disposables are also good for keeping handy in the baby bag for trips and for those unexpected events.


My friend of many years called me to tell me that her husband is dying of cancer and has perhaps six months to live. One of the first things she said to me is: "I am going to be a widow."

Those seven words were spoken in a similar fashion to: "I had fish for lunch.", Or, "I am going on vacation." It was quite matter of fact. What else was it that I heard in her voice?

My friend Laura has been married since 1968. Laura and her husband Phil have had their ups and downs over the years. I met both of them when my ex husband introduced us in 1970 – you remember what 1970 was like; We all partied like it was 1999. Laura and Phil are both six years older than I. We were all on the front of the hippie years. To call us all dysfunctional would be kind. Dysfunction followed us all, like shadows. Some of us walked away from the druggie lifestyle. Some of us did not.

Laura and Phil spent a couple of years separated while Phil languished in jail for possession of drugs. Laura, never one to wait patiently, began an affair with another friend while Phil was incarcerated. The affair was known to many of us in our circle of friends, yet it was discreet. However, Laura's first child was a product of the affair.
When Phil gets out of jail, he and Laura took up where they left off. No one was condemned in those days for 'fooling around'. Fooling around was something everyone did, some of us were more careful about it than others. These were the days pre-AIDS. Phil and Laura may have been reunited, but their habits did not change for many years. As long as there were drugs to be had, many of the people in our circle of friends did them. I do believe that a few of us had the sense not to fall completely into the drug trap. Phil, Laura, myself and my ex husband never got into injecting drugs. A good thing; It may have been pre-AIDS, but Hepatitis was rampant.
When all the fun, and home brewed drugs began to disappear, pharmaceuticals were eagerly chased. These made for interesting times; They were legal, they were cheaply had and it seemed that every doctor wrote notes for them. In hindsight, although I do not recommend drug use to anyone, today's alternatives are not much different. There are drugs to make you sleep, drugs to make you thin, drugs to give you an erection, drugs to make you not feel pain or depression. Some things never change, except that now, all those drugs are advertised on the nightly news ….

Laura and Phil rode along on this train of drugs and existentialism for years. When the effects of the drugs began to take their toll on their children, they distanced themselves from most of them, and many of the people who had been part of the circle of friends. In the mid 1970s many of us, a bit more mature and needing to move on, took jobs and blended into regular society. We would all still see each other now and then, but weeks were not spent on speed highs at which no one slept and things got a bit out of hand. I've heard it said that the hippies all went to work for IBM; There is a line in an old Eagles song that goes something like this:
"I saw a Deadhead Sticker on a Cadillac". In my case this was almost true; I went to work for a Fortune 500 company, it could be said that I started late on my career goals. Phil got a job too, and began working as an engineer in the city. In those days, engineer jobs in high rise apartment buildings were very cush. The hours lent themselves well to the ex-druggie and there was lots of freedom as long as the work needed to be done was completed.

In 1980, AIDS raised its ugly head and we lost more friends to infection from dirty needles. In 1982 I lost track of Laura and Phil as I left my ex-husband to find a more upwardly mobile life.

It was years before I connected again with the old friends and by that time most had either died, were in jail, moved away or went 'straight'. When I saw Laura and Phil again, they had bought a house in the suburbs, were raising their two boys and except for a bit of marijuana, had stopped doing drugs. Life became pretty normal except for the fact that we survivors seemed to have X-ray vision of a type – we saw through the ordinary, we reached beyond the suburban life of our parents.

Since 1982, it seemed that although Laura and Phil had stopped doing drugs, they did not grow. They did not seek beyond the home and sheltered life they built for themselves. It was a sad life in which they both missed those party days – the days of staying up all night, all weekend, of excitement and enthusiasm. They missed the companionship of the circle. Now and then, someone would return to the city for a visit and we would all get together and talk about who was doing what, where they lived, how many kids they had. Sometimes talk got around to things like: "Remember when we all went out and did such and such with so and so". "Remember when we had the head shop on Lawrence Avenue?"

More years rolled by ….

When I married my current husband, it was mostly Laura who I remained friends with. Phil appeared to have lost a lot of his life juice. He became withdrawn, he did not want to go out much, do much other than watch TV when he was not working.
It was like he came down from a heavy weekend of speeding and never quite found his natural energy again.
Laura and I would talk about things; She always hinted at being rather unhappy in her life. Her health suffered, Phil's health was not what it once was. Phil was abusive, or so she claimed, he was not interested in sex anymore, he spent too much time at work. The two boys were no longer boys anymore, but they still lived at home and were a drain with their constant drama and angst. It appeared that "Empty Nesters" would never be something that Laura and Phil would experience. One of their sons was diagnosed as having some sort of mental disorder, probably thought about by Laura's drug use when she was pregnant. The second son, Phil's child, shown great promise, but he too grew up in a home where lack of energy or enthusiasm for life was never ending; He had no goals, no dreams, no desires.

A point in my life came when my husband, (who was never part of that circle of friends), and I decided it was time to move on with our lives. A circumstance had greatly changed our lives, and the direction we had been taking. We moved into a smaller, nicer home, put some money into it, renovated and decorated it. It was pretty nice – quite the change from my hippie girl years. More and more I found myself divorced from the remaining friends from so long ago. But Laura and I still stayed in touch.

A couple of years ago, out of the blue, Laura called to tell me that Phil had lung cancer. She was worried about him, he was taking chemotherapy and not doing well. Her words and predictions about his health were dire. But Phil hung in there – two years of radiation and chemotherapy, medical marijuana and part time jobs.
It was last summer that Laura told me that the cancer had returned and Phil was terribly ill.

When Laura called today to tell me that Phil was put into hospice, that the doctors had told them there was nothing further they could do for him and at best he had six months to live, she told me she was very sad.
Now, I understand sad. It is sad to watch anyone die, and sader still to be the principal caretaker of someone who has a terminal disease. But what was that sound in her voice as she told me she would be a widow soon?

Was it relief that Phil would not have long to suffer? Was it relief that she would be free of the weight of caring for him after these three years? Was it possible that she could see some change coming into her life?
After all, unless both a husband and wife die at the same moment, we all are destined to be either a widow or widower. Perhaps it is best that this happens while we are still vital enough to seek another lover. Perhaps the long death that is anticipated is worse for the one who lives than it is for the one who dies.

I remember going out with Laura and a number of other girlfriends long ago on a Friday night. We used to all like to dress up and go out together to nightclubs and dance and drink and flirt. Most of us did nothing more than flirt. Others of us did much more than flirt. I guess it could be said that we tested our desirability in the marketplace of the singles bar. Laura was one of those.
One night, there were six of us women out for fun. We all agree to stop drinking and leave the club by 1 AM, go out to breakfast, and then home. All of us but Laura were at the appointed place at the right time. Laura had come to me, hanging on some disco boy and begged me to wait at the restaurant for her. She was going to have herself an adventure.
Hours later, disheveled and looking radiant, Laura shown up at the restaurant. We were all beginning to worry a bit about her – as well as wonder what our husbands would say about being so late. It was the last time we all went out together. It may have been the last time that Laura felt wanted as a 'hot babe'. I do not know. It never mattered.
Just as it does not really matter now, except that I wonder about the despair in the house where Laura and Phil still stay.

One of their children, the youngest son, Phil's son, still lives at home. Laura has been progressively falling apart for most of 10 years. Knee replacements, hip replacements, carpal tunnel surgeries, you name it – Laura has probably had it.
My husband and I have thought that some of Laura's problems could have summed up as due to lack of attention from Phil. Lack of self esteem too, Laura never had it in spades anyways, and as she has aged, it seems to have taken a vacation.

So what is in the words "I am going to be a widow."? Am I hearing a sadness that such an integral part of her life is going to soon be gone … maybe when passion is gone from marriage, the comfort of a long time friend still remains. Is that what Laura will miss? Will she miss the companion that knows her so well – in fact, knows her so well that he can ignore who she is for years?

I hope that Phil's death does not drain Laura of that life force she once had. That same life force which made her cavort with disco boys and have affairs and dance all night. I hope that at the end of it all, Laura is not lost to despair or anger. I hope that all of the years of caring for Phil, for their kids, which weighs on her today, is replaced by a measure of security and satisfaction.

The words: "I am going to be a widow" are words that we all might be uttering one day. And who can say how we will feel about them as we say them?

How to Stop Your Morning Sickness and Get Back to Living Your Life

Its not long after the first feelings of nauseaa start to happen and then the vomiting into the toilet or bucket that women often search for the answer to how to stop morning sickness and get back to living a normal life.

Some women who experience the nausea and not the vomiting may have it easier as compared to the ones who vomit. Usually for those that suffer the vomiting your life is put on hold because most of the time you are attached to a bucket or heading for the nearest toilet.

You usually have to give up work for a while and may even find it difficult to look after your other children let alone yourself. This is why it is particularly difficult for those women who suffer from morning sickness right up till they give birth. So how do these women stop morning sickness and get back to their lives?

The first thing they should do is make sure they are consulting their doctors and midwives.They may be able to give you some advice or remedies to use that may alleviate your nausea and vomiting. Other things you can do is ask other mums around you what remedies they use, many pregnancy websites offer remedies that have helped many women either alleviate the symptoms or end the morning fatigue completely.

Always remember though to inform your doctor and or midwife what things you are trying to stop your severe morning sickness so they are aware of everything that is going on with your health.

The Food Service Industry Faces The HIGH Cost of Doing Nothing!

Unfortunately, the FACT is that electricity costs are NOT going down – EVER.

Why are electricity rates rising?

  • Inflation of all costs and devaluation of the dollar
  • Rising oil, gas, and coal costs
  • Rising utility operating costs (union wages and benefits, insurance)
  • Rising distribution costs (power line easements, copper cable costs)
  • Rising regulatory costs which have caused HUNDREDS of power plants to close while electricity demand continues to grow!

In addition, your electric bill has become a source of funding for politicians and government agencies. Like taxes on gas and your telephone, numerous surcharges and taxes have been added to your electric bill to fund:

  • “Green” alternative energy development subsidies
  • The unpaid bills of businesses and households
  • The repayment of expenses for storm damage repairs across the U.S.
  • Incentives for energy-efficiency

The last item above – incentives for energy-efficiency – is HUGE! Here in Arkansas, Entergy Arkansas has accumulated a fund of over $9 MILLION earmarked for energy-efficient projects 2013. This is money collected from customers – not Entergy’s profits!

On top of these factors must be added a future “Cap and Trade” system that will tax power generation and all levels of consumption of fossil fuels. Note: the intention of “Cap and Trade” is NOT to increase the supply of electricity but to increase the COST – and to generate revenue for completely unrelated government spending.

President Obama stated, “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” “Skyrocket” has been defined as electricity and other energy prices at least doubling, and likely tripling!

The food service industry is particularly impacted by high energy costs. (Food service includes not only food processing, but grocery and convenience stores.)

Consider these statistics:

  • Refrigeration and lighting account for 50 to 65 percent of total energy use in the average super market? (Source: EnergyStar)
  • Food service is the most energy-intensive commercial market sector, with restaurants using up to three times more energy per square foot than most other types of commercial buildings? Typically at least 50 percent of this electricity consumption can be attributed to lighting and refrigeration. (Source: US Dept of Energy)
  • Refrigeration consumes large amounts of energy in cold storage warehouses – normally over 50 percent of the total utility bill. (Source: MG&E)

This dependency on refrigeration and susceptibility to energy costs also applies to other businesses and organizations including schools, florists, funeral homes, liquor stores, etc.

What can be done to combat rising electricity costs?

There really are only TWO choices:

  1. Businesses and facilities can identify ways to drastically reduce energy demands. Unfortunately, a viable business has limited options when it comes to turning off equipment and lights – especially busineses that are open 24-hours per day! The only possible alternative is to install more energy-efficient technologies.
  2. Or – the business can attempt to increase gross revenue at a rate faster than rising electricity costs. This would require increasing sales and/or raising prices.

Many businesses and organizations operate by wishful thinking. They have refused to confront these choices. They have preferred to operate in “blissful ignorance” that rising costs will not, in fact, put them out of business!

For businesses that think they can increase sales or revenue to stay ahead of electricity rate increases, look at this example:

Year 1 electricity costs: $10,000 per year, for example.

Year 2: after a nominal 5% rate increase on the SAME consumption – that is, assuming there is no increase in electric demand in any way – electricity costs will now be $10,500 per year.

Year 3: $11,025.00 after another 5% annual increase.

Year 4: $11,576.30.

Year 5: $12,155.10.

As you can see, electricity costs do not increase “linearly” or by a straight $500.00 per year. The 5% annual rate increases result in COMPOUNDED price increases of 122% over just five years. The 5% annual rate increases will also result in a COMPOUNDED price increase of 155% over ten years.

These increases do NOT include added surcharges, taxes, fees or the looming “Cap and Trade” penalties.

Now consider how much sales need to increase to offset a 5% increase in electricity costs: (For this example we will assume a “generous” profit margin of 20%.)

Year 1: the business will need to sell $50,000 of products or services just to pay for $10,000 in electricity costs if it has a 20% profit margin. This ratio also applies to budgetary revenue in the case of a non-profit organization or institution.

Year 2: to pay $10,500 the business will now need to sell $52,500 of products or services.

Year 3: to pay $11,025 the business will now need to sell $55,125.00.

Year 4: to pay $11,576.30 the business will now need to sell $57,881.50.

Year 5: to pay $12,155.10 the business will now need to sell $60,775.50.

The bottom line – that MOST businesses ignore – is that to be able to pay for a LOW 5% increase in electricity expenses over FIVE years, sales will need to increase by 152% just to break even! Anything less will result in lower net profits.

Likewise, a non-profit organization, government agency, school, etc. will need a 52% increase in their budget to offset these higher expenses!

The reality is that few – if any – businesses or institutions can plan on increasing sales or their budget by 50% in the next five years.

And that brings us back to the only other alternative: reducing energy demands.

Fortunately, there are MANY options. As mentioned previously, here in Arkansas, Entergy Electric has massive funding available to subsidize the cost of energy-efficiency projects. The scope of projects includes lighting, refrigeration, and HVAC upgrades.

For example, technologies now exist that reduce energy consumption by commercial refrigeration systems (walk-in coolers, freezers, and retail refrigeration) by as much as 80% without any changes to business operations!

Companies including FridgeWize have developed and install retrofits on commercial refrigeration systems that save businesses hundreds (and in many cases, THOUSANDS) of dollars per month in electricity expenses.

These huge energy savings produce cost savings that are actually are GREATER than the retrofit project costs!

Businesses recognize that every dollar in expense reductions AUTOMATICALLY increases NET profits by the same dollar. This ratio is NOT dependent on profit margin. Net Profit always equals Sales minus Expenses!

The FASTEST way to increase profits (or a budgetary surplus) is to reduce expenses! It is a 1 for 1 ratio, EVERY time.

So every $1,000 reduction in electricity costs by making upgrades to refrigeration systems with advanced, energy-efficient technologies automatically adds $1,000 in NET profits. This is ALWAYS true without any increase in gross sales volume.

On the other hand, as shown above, to add $1,000 in net profits would require a $5,000 increase in gross sales for any business with a 20% profit margin.

So what does it cost to retrofit commercial refrigeration systems with these energy-efficient solutions?

The REAL cost is NOTHING! No really: ZERO!

Remember, the energy savings are continual month after month, year after year. These expenses savings are cumulative and are GREATER than the cost of installations! In addition, many businesses finance the costs with low monthly payments that are LESS than the savings on their electric bills.

In either case, these businesses literally MAKE MONEY by reducing expenses by upgrading their refrigeration systems!

Now if a business or organization could make refrigeration upgrades and their electricity cost savings ONLY EQUALLED the price of the installations, their net cost would be ZERO. But when these facilities actually save MORE than the costs, they are literally being PAID to make energy-efficient upgrades!

If this wasn’t enough, utilities such as Entergy Electric here in Arkansas provide rebates for these installations. In the case of Entergy Arkansas, energy efficiency programs qualify for rebates of up to 75% of the project costs!

This is worth repeating: over and above the ongoing electricity costs savings provided by refrigeration upgrades – that we have already established provide 100% net profits – utilities such as Entergy Arkansas pay cash rebates.

How much can upgrades to refrigeration systems (such as those installed by FridgeWize) save YOUR facility?

How much will your local utility pay your business OVER AND ABOVE these costs savings?

The answers to these questions can only be answered by an evaluation of your refrigeration systems by an energy-efficiency consultant. Such audits may require a paid contract, however Entergy Arkansas and FridgeWize offer free on-site evaluations. These evaluations will provide the savings projections required to make an informed business decision.

Whatever the details of your refrigeration system, there are upgrades available that can provide costs savings – and profit increases – in as little as 30 days. And businesses need to remember that these energy-saving upgrades have a low, one-time cost and then provide compounded expense reductions month after month, year after year!