Naturopathic Medicine

naturopathicLiving things have an innate ability to heal themselves. Our vital force promotes self-repair, self-cleansing, and self-healing. This process can be achieved by focusing on the hormonal, immune, nervous, and elimination or detoxification systems of the body. Restored health is a probability once these systems are in balance.

Naturopathic medicine is a complete alternative care system that uses a wide range of approaches such as nutrition, exercise, acupuncture, herbs, manipulation of the body and stress reduction. (more…)

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

alternativeAlternative medical systems are built upon complete systems of theory and practice. These systems have evolved apart from and earlier than the conventional medical approach used in the United States. Examples of alternative medical systems that have developed in Western cultures include homeopathic medicine and naturopathic medicine. These systems have developed in non-Western cultures include traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda.

Mind-body medicine uses a variety of techniques designed to enhance the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms. (more…)

Food That Can Improve Your Writing

Writers don’t think twice about using programs, books and workshops as a way to improve their writing, but how many of us take the time to consider how much our diet affects what – and how – we write research papers or essays for example. Here, we’ve rounded up five foods that can help improve your writing and your health.

1. The Most Important Meal of the Day

It’s okay … no one’s looking, you can admit mom was right on this one. A healthy breakfast is the best way to set the stage for a productive morning and a day filled with healthy choices. Opt for fresh fruit, whole grain breads and healthy beverage options like almond milk, fruit juice and green tea. Stay away from heavier foods such as butter, eggs and fatty meats which can leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic before the day has even begun.

2. Almonds, Cashews and Hazelnuts

Craving a crunchy savory snack when the morning munchies hit? Reach for roasted or raw nuts and give your body a healthy dose of the good fats your body – and brain – need to perform at their best. Snacking on nuts has also been linked to successful weight loss and improved joint health making it the ideal choice for those of us in a profession which requires long periods of sitting.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Most people have heard of Omega-3 fatty acids thanks to coverage on television and in magazines. While most media sources focus on heart health, these fatty acids are also responsible for improving your gray matter. There are a number of supplements to choose from but these fatty acids are easy enough to get if you stock your diet with fish, edamame, wild rice, walnuts, flax and beans.

4. Folic Acid

More commonly associated with health benefits in pregnancy, folic acid may offer the writer’s biggest weapon in the war against Writer’s Block. Folic acid has been linked to better cognitive performance when levels are maintained in order to counterbalance homocysteine, another amino acid which can have adverse effects on the heart and brain.

5. The Unknown

While stocking your diet with these staples can help improve your writing habits, focus and concentration, writers ultimately need to experience as much as possible. Eating outside your comfort zone by experimenting with bizarre culinary creations can help you to develop a better palate and a different perspective.

Using Your Smoker to Cook Vegetables

In these warm summer months, many cooks prefer the outdoors to the kitchen when preparing for family meals and community gatherings. Many websites are devoted to tips and tricks to use when smoking meats like pork and brisket. But did you know that great vegetable sides can also be cooked using your smoker? Here are a few easily cooked dishes which will smoke alongside your meat. Please note that we recommend an electric smoker, as they are generally safer and better for the environment than charcoal smokers.

Corn on the Cob

A classic side for any outdoor barbecue, corn on the cob cooks beautifully on your smoker. This recipe is simple, and little preparation is required. Soak your ears of corn in water, with husks still on, for about 10 to 20 minutes. Pat the corn dry with a clean paper towel, and rub the husks with olive oil. If you like, you can also rub green onion, garlic or sea salt onto the corn, pulling back the husks. Place your ears of corn directly onto the smoker rack, and allow to cook for about 2 hours. When finished, the husks will be a beautiful brown, and your corn will be cooked to perfection.

Campfire Potatoes

Campfire potatoes require a little more preparation than corn on the cob, but are well worth it! Cut one small, washed potato per serving into approximately half inch squares. Don’t worry if a few pieces are smaller; even the most finicky eaters will enjoy the more “toasted” bits of potato. In a large bowl, add 1/4 onion per serving to the potatoes, and drizzle the mixture with olive oil to lightly coat. Add sea salt, garlic and black pepper to taste. For an extra kick, try cayenne or red pepper. Once your ingredients are combined, scoop each serving onto a square of aluminumm foil. Fold two opposite sides toward the center, secure with an additional fold, and then roll the two remaining two poen sides toward the center, sealing your foil puch. Allow to cook on your smoker for 1.5 to 2 hours.

“Sundried” Roma Tomatoes

Little preparation is required to make these tomatoes, but they do take 8 to 12 hours on the smoker. Choose a flavorful wood such as pecan or hickory, and be sure to periodically check your smoker’s temperature; around 200 degrees is ideal. In preparation, cut the Roma tomatoes in half. Lightly coat the halves in canola or olive oil, and apply sea salt generously. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on your smoker rack and walk away. The tomatoes will cook to a sundried texture, but impatient chefs may pull them off the racks early and serve them as a side dish to steak or pork.

Don’t hesitate to experiment with your smoker. As in the case of smoked meats, patience is key to consistently and fully cooked vegetables. Find the best electric smoker for cooking vegetables by asking your friends what they’ve used and by researching reviews on the internet. Electric Smoker Central is a great resource for tips and hints on how to smoke your vegetables, including optimal cooking times and temperatures. Finally, use precaution when smoking meats and vegetables together, to avoid cross contamination. Most importantly, have fun, and enjoy creating new recipes!

Trampoline Safety Vs. Health Benefits: Which Wins Out?

So your kids are asking for a trampoline? Here’s what you need to know about trampoline safety, as well as the many health benefits of jumping on a trampoline.


Of course, every kid of a certain age wants to get a trampoline. I’m sure you wanted one (or maybe you even had one) when you were growing up. As a parent though it’s a lot harder to justify purchasing one of the injury factories, right?
Well, that’s not necessarily the case anymore. Recently, there have been many advances in trampoline safety that greatly reduce the risk of your kids getting hurt while having fun and getting exercise.
Today, almost all trampolines come with the option (if not mandatory) safety enclosure. If you haven’t seen what I’m talking about, check out these trampolines for an idea. Essentially the “safety enclosure” is a net that prevents children from being flung off the trampoline mat during a high bounce. The highest percentage of trampoline injuries occur when a person has a hard landing on the ground from a misguided jump.
Of course, it’s advisable to maintain the enclosure annually to ensure that it doesn’t weather out and become weak.
Another fantastic precaution that is practically guaranteed with any trampoline purchased today are spring pads. These pads cover the exposed metal springs that allow the mat to give the bouncer “bounce”. I remember a time or two when I was young and got a leg (or a head) stuck between these springs. Not fun. These protective pads aim to eliminate this risk.
The combined efforts of the safety enclosure and the protective pads means there is very little that can be done by any child to injure themselves. However, supervision is always recommended when more than one child is bouncing on the trampoline. Unintended injuries often occur when kids get too excitable and jump recklessly. Make sure you lay down house rules before allowing your children (and especially visiting children) to jump on your trampoline.

Health Benefits

Ok, so we’ve covered the safety aspects of owning a trampoline. Do the health benefits outweigh the risk of injury? Take a read and decide for yourself, and your family.
Cardiovascular exercise is one of the most important types of exercise for people young and old. This is the kind of exercise that works your heart and keeps your circulatory system working efficiently. “Rebounding”, or jumping on a trampoline, is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise. It’s an especially effective form for children, because most kids actually enjoy jumping on a trampoline and won’t even realize they are burning calories and giving their heart a workout to boot!
Rebounding is a fantastic way to stimulate the lymphatic system and clear toxins out of your body! That’s right, jumping on a trampoline is an easy way to get heavy metals, cancerous cells, dead tissue and many more toxins out of your system. Who knew?
Rebounding is a low impact exercise. This means that it’s easy on your joints, which is great for kids going through growth spurts and for adults who are at the age where they care about their joints! Due to the absorbent nature of jumping on a mat suspended by springs, it’s quite easy on your ankles and knees.

So, while the trampolines of yesteryear might have posed a significant safety threat, today’s models are much more sophisticated, providing more fun than fear! Of course, this a decision to be made by the adults of the family, but perhaps a trampoline would be a nice addition to your family’s health regime this summer?

Curing Common Pregnancy Ailments

4 Ways to Cure Common Pregnancy Ailments

Like anything in life, becoming pregnant comes with its joys as well as its displeasures, and you must be prepared for all the good as well as the bad. Being pregnant comes with its issues, such as common physical ailments and the occasional sickness; and knowing how to treat the symptoms of these aliments and their causes will make your pregnancy smoother and more enjoyable for yourself and the whole family.

Here we list a number of common pregnancy aliments and some of their solutions:


Another of the most well-known pregnancy ailments, nausea, is caused by an unknown combination of factors that are most commonly:
• A combination of hormones and an increase in hormones
• Relaxation of the digestive tract (making digestion less efficient)
• Increased stress, or
• Skipping meals
Some of the best means to treat nausea include a pregnancy diet, eating smaller meals, eating in bed, or sometimes a pharmaceutical option such as Diclegis—a newly released drug approved by the FDA to treat pregnancy nausea and vomiting. There are many more treatments available to help during pregnancy.
Heartburn + Acid Reflux.

Progesterone, the hormone that suppresses further ovulation during pregnancy, can also play a role in increasing heartburn in women. Progesterone relaxes the vale at the entrance of the stomach, and makes your esophagus more exposed to stomach acid. A baby can also press on the stomach, pushing stomach acid upwards. Lying down, coughing, or straining have also been shown to induce feelings of heartburn.

If you or someone you know is experiencing heartburn during pregnancy, consult a family doctor as to whether you should use a pharmaceutical or over-the-counter antacid. Some other common recommended treatments for pregnancy heartburn are ginger, a spoonful of baking soda, or bananas and apples—which are shown to have natural antacid properties. There are many more tips available on treating pregnancy heartburn.
Low Iron.

A very common aliment in pregnancy, low iron (anemia) is caused by a nutritionally deficient diet and/or an increase in your body’s demand for haemoglobin—the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to other cells. The body of a pregnant woman produces up to 50 percent more blood than usual (150 percent) and requires significantly more iron, and thus haemoglobin, to support itself and the developing fetus. Cures for this ailment are simple and are usually administered in the form of a simple pill or a change in diet.
Backache/Worsening Posture.

Backaches and awkward posture are very common during pregnancy and are usually a result of a shifting of the center of gravity in the body along with a significant physical change in the body. Backaches are often caused by poor posture and are responsible for a significant amount of pain and stress for pregnant women. Two of the most common ways to treat poor posture and backaches are with pregnancy yoga/exercise and stretches and/or a posture corrector.

7 Camping Health Tips

Outdoors is a fun approach to get family and companions together to delight in the outside. Take after these tips and utilize the pressing agenda to help guarantee your outdoors outing is protected and sound.

1. Get immunized.

Immunizations can help secure against specific ailments and conditions while outdoors. Check with your specialist or medical caretaker to check whether you’ve had the majority of the suggested immunizations. He or she may prescribe tetanus, pertussis (whooping hack), meningitis, and/or hepatitis A, contingent upon your restorative history, goal, and different components.

On the off chance that it’s short of what 4 prior weeks’ you abandon, you ought to still see your specialist or travel center. You may even now profit from shots or drugs. You can additionally get other data about how to ensure yourself from ailment and damage while voyaging.

In case you’re a parent, make sure to check your tyke’s inoculation records. A few antibodies are proposed at more youthful ages if kids go outside the United States. Converse with your kid’s specialist about whether your child needs to get any early immunizations or promoter shots.

2. Plan solid and safe sustenance.

Bring solid sustenance along on your outdoors trek. Take after these steps to keep your nourishment safe: Pack groceries in tight, waterproof packs or holders. Keep them in a protected cooler. Wash hands and surfaces regularly. Utilization hand sanitizer if water is not accessible. Separate crude food from cooked nourishments. Cook food to fitting temperatures (case in point, ground meat ought to be cooked to an inner temperature of no less than 160 degrees). Chill certain foods immediately.

3. Incorporate safe physical exercises.

Outdoors is an extraordinary approach to get physical action. Do things, for example, strolling, climbing, biking, or swimming to keep you dynamic throughout your outdoors excursion. Make certain to bring defensive apparatus, for example, head protectors, strong shoes, and life coats. Maintain a strategic distance from toxic plants, in the same way as toxin ivy, poison oak, and toxic substance sumac. Know your breaking points, and make moves to dodge damage throughout exercises. Never trek or swim alone. Watch kids nearly. Grown-ups ought to get no less than 2½ hours a week and children ought to get no less than 1 hour a day of physical action.

4. Secure against carbon monoxide harming.

Carbon monoxide is scentless and drab and can result in disease or passing in individuals and pets. Never utilize fuel-blazing supplies, for example, gas stoves, warmers, lights, and charcoal barbecues inside a good tent like Coleman 8-Person Instant Tent , camper, or other encased safe house. It can result in perilous levels of carbon monoxide to develop.

As option high temperature sources to fuel-smoldering apparatuses inside an encased sanctuary, campers ought to bring satisfactory sheets and attire and ought to expend additional calories and liquids throughout the excursion to avert hypothermia (a hazardous misfortune of body warmth that can result in death).

5. Dodge wild creatures, and ensure family pets.

Some wild creatures convey maladies that are risky to individuals, including rabies, hantavirus, Giardia disease, and that’s just the beginning. Abstain from touching, nourishing, and getting close wild creatures. Appreciate viewing them from a safe separation in their common surroundings. Keep groceries put away in fixed compartments and out of the scope of creatures. Verify your family pets are inoculated and dependably keep a nearby eye on their whereabouts. Check for ticks, and evacuate them expeditiously. Verify pets have a lot of water, nourishment, and safe house.

6. Battle the bug chomp.

Mosquitoes, ticks, and different bugs can result in specific infections. Case in point, mosquitoes can result in West Nile Virus, and ticks can result in Lyme malady. To help battle the chomp, apply creepy crawly repellent holding DEET to uncovered skin. Repellents holding 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can secure up to a few hours. Apply the bug repellent permethrin to garments to help keep ticks from appending to them. Make sure to take after bearings on the bundle. Check for ticks every day, and evacuate them quickly. Wear long sleeves, jeans, and other light-shaded garments to help avert and spot ticks all the more effectively.

7. Avert temperature-related sickness.

To help avert hypothermia throughout cool nights, bring sufficient sheets and apparel to stay warm. Utilize a plastic ground fabric under your favorite tent to help keep you dry. To help avoid high temperature related disease throughout hot days, drink a lot of liquor free and without sugar liquids. Don’t hold up until you’re parched to drink. Wear layers of light-weight, light-shaded, and detached fitting attire. Rest frequently in shady territories.

Should I Introduce My Children to Martial Arts?

Almost all parents are constantly preoccupied with ensuring their children are well tended to and taken care of. After all, parents are the only people children can depend on. Since their days of birth, they constantly look to their parents to nurture them in every way. They certainly deserve the endearment, as there is no other way for them to evolve and progress towards greatness. It is imperative for adults to ensure that they are setting up their children to succeed in whatever it is that interests them.

Every child will go through several phases in their lifetime, in which they tend to become interested in several different things. It is a vital necessity for the parents to ensure that their child pays attention to just a few things. Taking interest in too many things is certainly a great thing for anybody, but too many activities can become a bit overwhelming for most people. Instead, the child should direct towards the activity that can benefit them in more than one way.

One of the activities that every child should engage in is sports. Sports encourage children to partake in healthy lifestyles, while making them strong, healthy, confident, and happy. Not only do they learn how to cooperate and persevere, but they are also instilled with great amounts of discipline and patience. One of the sports that can have a great effect of instilling discipline is martial arts. There are many benefits to be attained from learning about the many forms of martial arts. However, the child must first begin with the basics of the field.

Martial arts is contrived of many different types of fighting forms. Each martial arts forms teaches the fighter to display their skills through discipline, patience, awareness, strength, stamina, endurance, and determination. All of these qualities are attributes that can make an individual as strong as their limits allow them to.

Martial arts is mainly used for self-defense purposes. It enables the fighter to delve into their inner-selves to reach great senses of self-esteem and confidence. By enrolling a child into a martial arts program, they will grow up to have a very strong sense of self-identity.

Martial Arts is a great way to improve the confidence of a child, especially if that child is being bullied at school or in the playground. Learning a martial art will give the child the means to defend them self but the self control to not do more harm than is necessary” – Pedro Sauer Martial Arts Instructor (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu)

They will always look back and recognize what it takes to achieve a certain goal. Since there are different steps and levels to achieve in the martial arts program, the student will become accustomed to working hard to go up a notch in their training. Such an understanding of their very own accomplishments will enable them to succeed in just about anything they put their mind to. The confidence that is attained from learning about martial arts is incomparable to any other life lessons.

Martial arts training consists of many different types of exercises that benefits the child’s health in the short and long run. They will gain an incredible amount of strength through body weight exercises and drills concentrated on stamina. Therefore, the utilization of heavy weights is not really incorporated into the training, which is always a concern for parents. They will become stronger, faster, sharper, and smarter through the natural training methods of martial arts.

Improve Your Posture, Improve Your Life!

“Stop slouching!” a horrified mother exclaims, berating her teenage daughter.
“Shoulders back!” an army sergeant barks, looking over his new recruits with disdain.

Though the words and scenarios vary, almost all of us have had our posture critiqued in the past. If you’re like me, you probably agree. Sure, good posture is appealing, but it’s just a matter of appearances, right? Many of us have heard that good posture exudes confidence, but recent research proves that posture affects the body far more than originally thought. The way we sit and stand has a surprisingly large impact on our brains, our bodies, and the way we perceive ourselves and our world.

Research by social psychologist and professor Dr. Amy Cuddy has recently proven that striking an “expansive” pose (in which an individual stands with his or her feet apart, hands on the hips) can boost testosterone levels in the blood while also reducing subjects’ cortisol counts. Standing in this confident, healthy posture for a mere two minutes a day was enough to enact powerful chemical changes in the body, positively influencing pose-strikers for a quarter of an hour up to a day.

It is well-documented that one’s mentality can influence one’s posture. Confidence often inspires a tall, open posture, whereas meekness or sorrow is often reflected by a hunched, closed-off pose. Though an individual’s attitude may indeed affect how they posture themselves, recent studies have also proven that one’s posture can also directly impact one’s emotional state as well, for the better or worse. Walking with a slump often made test subjects feel more depressed, with lower energy levels and feelings of decreased self-worth.

It’s easy to acknowledge that one suffers from bad posture. Merely acknowledging the issue, however, won’t remedy the problem at hand. With a full 90% of Americans suffering from poor posture in the neck, shoulders, and back, one must make significant changes to combat this pervasive bad habit. The most effective means of actively correcting posture are through regular stretching and exercise as well as through the application of a high-quality posture brace. These two remedies are particularly helpful when combined. With a proper stretching regimen and a brace to retrain the muscles of the back and shoulders, it is possible to ultimately modify your posture for the better.

Though posture cannot be corrected overnight, the physical and psychological benefits are well worth the effort. Better posture will improve your emotional well-being and self-confidence. An improved stance can also reduce headaches, back pain, stomach conditions, and jaw pain, and may boost lung capacity and athletic performance as well. One study has even proven that good posture generates more self-confidence in the workplace than the job itself.

The benefits of good posture are being documented more everyday. Taking action against bad posture is a step towards better mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Perhaps that relative or coach who berated you for slouching was right after all. Standing up straight is more important than we realized.

How Exercise Bikes Help Heal Knee Injuries

bikingThe way your knee is constructed is very complex. It is the biggest joint in your body, and it is extremely vital to your gait and exercise. Because of this composition, it can be extremely susceptible to injury. Many knee injuries can be treated with non-surgical methods, just by using rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE method). Some knee injuries may require rehabilitation, though, and one common approach to knee rehabilitation involves regular and stationary bike riding.

Recognizing the Signs of Knee Injury

Injuries of the tendons and muscles that surround the knee are caused by acute hyperextension or hyperflexion of the knee or by overuse. Your pain may come and go, and might not occur right away when you are going through your daily activities. The pain may also be delayed as inflammation starts to develop.
After suffering a knee injury, the tendons and ligaments are weakened, and the joint often becomes unstable. Your healthcare practitioner will often recommend rehabilitative exercises that strengthen joint structures and muscles that surround and support the knee. This therapy is designed to increase flexibility and range of motion and improve stability.

Bicycling: Excellent Therapy for Injured Knees

There are exercises that help with knee therapy that includes cycling on a stationary exercise bike. The exercise provides pain relief and can help prevent further injury. Before venturing out and purchasing just any exercise bike. It’s best to do some research to get the best exercise bike for your needs that will also aid with the healing process for your knee.

A bicycle regimen is easy on weight-bearing joints such as the knees and will often help favor that area of your body. The cycling motion you make when you pedal the bike will involve only the hinge joint section of your knee’s function. Because of this, there is a low chance of damaging rotational torque on your knees. Using a stationary or standard type of bike helps build up the quadriceps muscles, which is the main biomechanical barrier protecting to your knees.

Matching the Bike to Your Lifestyle

If you want to look at the different types of stationary bikes available to you then you may want to start with the Best Exercise Bike Guides. The website discusses the four main types of exercise bikes out there:

  • Spinning exercise bikes
  • Recumbent exercise bikes
  • Upright stationary bike
  • Pedal exercisers

You will want an upright bikes if you are extremely athletic, but if you are older or have back or hip issues, a recumbent or reclining bike may be more suitable for you to use. You will want to make sure that your seat height is correct to effectively rehabilitate your knee. Not having the right seat height can actually cause other types of injuries, such as Achilles tendonitis. A bad seat height and improper positioning of shoe cleats are the most often cited reason for Achilles tendonitis.

Your seat should be set at a height that allows you to keep your knee almost straight at the bottom pedal position. If your knee straightens all the way or bends more than just a few degrees, adjusting the seat should help. The bike seat should also be flat instead of tilting downward or upward. Be sure to keep your feet and knees pointed straight ahead.

Recommended Exercise Duration and Recovery

Start out by cycling for about ten minutes a day at light resistance for the first few weeks. Then add an extra minute every day until you’ve built up your routine to about 20 minutes daily. As the knee strengthens you can begin to gradually add some resistance to it. As with all forms of exercise, be sure to consult with your physician before starting any exercise program.

Once your knee heals, you can begin to resume your regular activities. If you only had your regular bike for exercising, you may have found that on bad weather days or cold weather months that you sacrificed exercising on your bike. A stationary exercise bike helps you get around bad weather days and cold winter months when you can’t ride your bike outdoors. You won’t lose any of the endurance you built up riding your bike outside if you use your stationary bike–so no more excuses!

Is It Safe To Eat Fish While Pregnant?

My first pregnancy took place in two countries. My doctor in New York City handed me a “Fish List,” outlining seafood to veer away from for the next 35 weeks. I wasn’t surprised. Earlier that same week I’d tried (and failed) to do two other things that women in their first trimesters are urged to avoid — get my roots dyed and go to the dentist — and in the end, I opted out of all three. I figured, if eating fish was going to expose my unborn baby to toxins and pollutants, why chance it?

Then, when I was about 10 weeks pregnant, I moved to Rome. My Italian doctor never once mentioned eating — or not eating — anything. When I asked him about his “Fish List,” he looked surprised and said, “Fish? Why are you afraid of fish? It’s good for you!” I had three babies in Italy (and also colored my hair regularly, but that’s another story) and started reading up.

The Rumor: Pregnant women shouldn’t eat a lot of seafood because it’s contaminated with stuff like mercury

Pregnant ladies in other countries eat seafood, so are we being too cautious, or should we send fish back to the sea until after delivery?

The Verdict: Eating fish during pregnancy is linked to better brain and eye development in babies

Ironically, fish is considered an extremely healthy food; it’s low in calories, high in protein and packed with omega-3′s. The problem is the harmful chemicals — most often mercury and pesticides — absorbed by fish swimming in today’s polluted waters. This is where things get confusing and quite often contradictory.

Most sources agree that certain fish are more prone to soaking up pollutants: shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish. So you may want to avoid those. According to Choose My Plate, the U.S. government’s nutrition site, pregnant women are also supposed to limit themselves to light chunk tuna once a week, and to only eat fresh salmon, never farmed.

Other experts say that pregnant women can eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood each week, as long as they stick with varieties that are less likely to be contaminated: scallops, clams, tilapia, catfish, sardines, shrimp, king crab, sole, flounder and croaker. They’re also advised to check with their state or local health departments’ fish-safety advisory committee before eating any sport-caught fish. (This link from the Environmental Protection Agency is a good place to start.)

Why all of the hullabaloo? Because rumor has it that eating polluted fish while pregnant has been linked to preterm birth, miscarriage and the risk of both physical and developmental delays in babies.

That said, sources big and small have been singing a different tune for the past couple of years. New research says that the benefits of eating seafood while pregnant — such as healthy brain and eye development in babies, and a lower depression rate for mothers — outweigh the potential risks, many times over.

“Pregnant women do not need to be afraid to eat fish,” says Jennifer Margulis, author of The Business of Baby. “Fish is a staple in both Japan and Norway, and women in those countries have among the healthiest pregnancies and best birth outcomes in the world. Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help a gestating baby’s brain and nervous system, especially in the last trimester. Fish is also an excellent source of protein, which pregnant women need, and high in vitamin D and selenium.” (Note: Research found that Japanese mothers who ate a lot of seafood during pregnancy had a 40 percent lower risk of depression.)

Bottom line: The solution is not swearing off fish while pregnant, it’s eating fish that are less likely to contain toxins. Anchovies, sardines and shrimp are all excellent choices for pregnant women. In fact, in 2011, the USDA recommended that Americans — especially those who are pregnant or breastfeeding — should eat more fish.

A study done in the Republic of Seychelles, an island nation near Madagascar, found that the kids whose mothers ate the most fish while pregnant had the highest verbal IQ scores. And in the U.K., the Daily Mail reported, “Women who eat fish during pregnancy are more likely to have brainy and sociable children, according to new EU-funded research.”

The truth is, our knowledge of what’s healthy may evolve again in years to come. But for now, the science shows that fish is a powerful source of low-calorie protein with omega-3′s that can’t be beat — which makes it prime pregnancy food. “Eating fish twice a week, or more, can help you have a healthy pregnancy,” says Margulis. Just make sure it’s the safe kind.

Building A Garden Shed Can Be A Great Project For Families

A garden shed is most likely the first structure that every Tom, Dick and Harry builds by themselves. Garden sheds are usually one of the most exciting, useful and easy-to-build projects for families to embark on over the weekend. Garden shed is a life saver to the gardener for keeping the plants flourishing and having a central place for packing gardening tools among other things.

Building it Yourselves as a Family

Many people have learnt to build their own garden sheds themselves nowadays. A lot of people will prefer to setup the shed by themselves rather than ordering it from their local shed store or online. It helps to do it as a family. You know, get everyone involved in building the structure. This is a great outdoor activity and can easily be done over a weekend. This way, there is some sort of division of labor and exchange of ideas on the plan of the shed.

Speaking of garden shed plans, everyone must have seen one or more designs that they liked. Exchange ideas and also look around for some good design and building ideas. This needs to be done right because a garden shed can promptly turn out to be center of attraction of your backyard. You can choose to make it match your home’s design or make it outstanding from what is mostly obtainable in your neighborhood. Build it to depict your family’s identity and get other family members to contribute and help build the ultimate plan. With everyone involved, it will become a fun weekend activity.

Choosing Site for the Garden Shed

The first stage in building the shed is deciding where it will be positioned. A number of factors will determine this such as the size you’re going for, it’s nearness to your garden and the local permits and regulations governing the building of a shed in your area. Sometimes the law stipulates the maximum height and distance of the garden shed. You should also consider whether you’re building a temporal or permanent garden shed.

Garden Shed Building Materials

Now you’ve chosen the site of the shed, the next thing is to start building the shed in earnest. This is where all hands should be on deck. If you’re building from scratch, you will have to gather your own building materials but if you are building from a purchased kit, then your building materials are probably provided or listed for you.

Building a garden shed can get tasking but when you make it a family thing, it really becomes fun. You may not all have the time to come together to do this on a regular day but weekends are great for such a project. With virtually all family members involved in building the shed over the weekend, it tends to become less of a job and more of a fun outdoor activity for everyone.


1 2 17