Surviving Spring Allergies This Year

We all love the spring, except if we suffer from allergies.

Spring is the main time when pollen and other environmental outdoor allergens rear their ugly heads and become an eye-watering ordeal.

And it is not just pollen, but grass seed, mold spores and a whole host of other allergens that can have you tearing up or sneezing everywhere.

For 10 great tips on how to deal with spring allergies, have a look at this article:

It will help you make the most of the brighter, sunnier weather!


The Great Depression-Could You Be Depressed?

A lot of people talk about the Great Depression which started with the Stock Market Crash of 1929, but we have certainly been undergoing another Great Depression since the markets took a tumble in late September and early October 2008, and there seems little good news at the moment with respect to recovery from this recession.

The stress and strain of bad news all the time and everyone being worried about making ends meet can take their toll. Money-related stress can be responsible for many health conditions and symptoms. Depression can also be triggered by stressful events in your life, particularly if you have been suffering from health problems.

Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. While only a doctor can make a diagnosis on depression, there are several well-known signs and symptoms that accompany clinical depression which can help identify if you are just feeling a bit down or ‘blue’ or have a condition that requires treatment.

Even if you have had a major life event that is happy, such as the birth of a new baby, this can led to stress and/or depression. Up to 10% of women report suffering from post-partum depression. Many people avoid seeking treatment for depression because they believe depression is an embarrassing illness that shows they are ‘weak’ or ‘crazy’ or can’t cope. But it is a treatable medical condition no different from cancer or diabetes-if you would not be embarrassed to get help for them, you should not be embarrassed to seek help for depression.

Other people avoid seeking help because they think the only treatments available are harsh drugs with lots of side effects. The truth is that there are many different effective and safe treatments for depression, including natural remedies. They can be used alone or in combination with one another.

If you are feeling like you are dragging in the morning, or you seem to be lacking in motivation or often find yourself easily irritated, it might be time to get to the root cause of your moods and consult with your doctor to see if you are suffering from stress, or depression.

How to Cope With Money-Related Stress: Dealing With Financial Stress During the Recession

Transforming Stress Into Success: How to Minimize Stress and Maximize Success in Today’s Economy

How to Cope with Postpartum Depression

Treating Depression and Anxiety with Natural Remedies


You Are Never Too Busy to Keep Fit

Many people claim that they do not work out because they have no time in their busy day. One of the main reasons for this is because a lot of people think that exercise is something which only takes place in a gym for hours at time and involves a great deal of agony.

The good news is that studies have shown that any physical activity can count when it comes to keeping fit. Even a simple walk will help you improve your fitness. But other things can all add up as well, from cleaning the house to cycling with the kids or even a round of golf.

So now that you know these all count, you need to do more of them. But if you say that you have no time, you need to thing again. How are your hours really passing by? You might work 9 to 5 like a lot of people, or go to school, but there have to be at least a few ten-minute breaks in your day for you to work in some fitness activities.

Yes, that’s right, even as little as 10 minutes, 4 times a day, has been proven to be as effective as a single 40-minute burst of activity.

So, to sum up, all activity counts, and no matter how busy you are, even a short session can all add up to big results. That being the case, you should now start to look at ways you can work in fitness during your daily routine.

Start as soon as you get up with a few minutes of stretches, yoga, calisthenics, Pilates or tai chi. You don’t even have to get out of bed for some of these activities.

Look for ways to work movement into all of your daily activities. For example, when you are on your way to the office, walk or take your bike. If it is too far, and you take public transport, get off a stop earlier, or a stop later, and walk from there. You will not only get in more exercise, you will get a whole new change of scenery as well.

If you are doing the housework, turn up the music and pick up your speed. Go up and down the stairs several times as your own free stair-climber.

Are you stuck in the office with barely a break? You don’t have to be. Take a walk at lunch time, get a little pedal cycle to put under your desk, or try desk yoga. Talking on the phone? If you are in a cubicle, jog in place, do knee to chest lifts, and more. If you have your own office, put them on speakerphone and do yoga, toe touches, and more while you work.

Heading home from work? Park the car but don’t go inside. Walk around the block a few times, and get the family to come with you.

At the end of the day, when you are watching TV, don’t just sit there. Get up and walk around, stretch, sit ups, crunches, jog or dance in place, use hand weights, do yoga. Try your kids’ Wii system and do Dance Central, and more.

Don’t exercise too close to bed time, as it can be very stimulating and boost your energy level, but a walk before bed, using some light weights, or doing some yoga can be an excellent way to end the day.
Fitness has been proven to give many health benefits, especially if you do a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. It’s a new year, and time for a new you. Why not grab your iPod and a water bottle, and get moving for better health.
Fitness Basics: How to Add Exercise Easily to Your Day, Every Day (Health Matters)

Outdoor Fitness Fun for the Whole Family (Health Matters)

New Year, New You (Health Matters)


Is Your Fussy Eater Getting All the Nutrition They Need? Part 3


(Continued from Part 2)

While most cases of vitamin and nutrient deficiency are pretty easy to spot, realize that certain ones such as calcium may not be as obvious. It might also be hard to spot poor nutrition in an older child because their rate of growth will not be tracked on a chart any longer to make sure that they are within normal range.

If you have concerns about whether your child is getting everything they need from their fussy choices, talk with your child’s pediatrician first. They may be able to suggest a multi-vitamin or other option to help you see that your child gets the things their diet is lacking.

Keep in mind that if your child suddenly experiences a lack of interest in foods they once enjoyed, it could be something more serious. It is not uncommon for a child’s eating habits to change when there is a sudden alteration in their lives, such as a new school, new home,  parents have strife, an illness or another significant event.

Also remember that we are now living in a culture that places a great deal of emphasis on personal appearance. There may be nothing wrong with the way your teen looks, but they may develop an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia in order to achieve ‘perfection’ and be starving themselves and damaging their health in the process.

Still other children might be obese, but still not be getting adequate nutrition because they are not eating a balanced diet and are making bad choices.

If you are concerned about your child’s eating patterns or whether they are getting all the vitamins and minerals their body needs, do not hesitate to get help. Your pediatrician can help put you on the right path with tips and suggestions for getting your child the foods they need.

They can also determine if supplements or multi-vitamins are necessary to get your child where they need to be in terms of health, nutrition, and a healthy weight and lifestyle.


Is Your Fussy Eater Getting All the Nutrition They Need? Part 2

(Continued from Part 1)


Here are some signs your child may be lacking in one or more areas of nutrition, and things to do if he or she is.

-Poor or Slow Growth

One of the reasons children have so many appointments when they are young is to monitor their growth rate. If your doctor notices your child is not growing at a normal rate or suddenly starts slipping away from their prior rate of growth for their current age, they may very well ask you about the child’s dietary habits. From there, they will make a decision as to how to proceed to make certain your child is getting all the nutrients their growing body and mind needs.


Developmental Problems

Some children who are not receiving adequate nutrition will start to show slowing or no progress in certain developmental areas to do with their physical and mental abilities. It might be a sign of another underlying illness, or it could just be poor nutrition.


Energy Levels below Normal

Deficiencies in iron, found in red meats, spinach, beans and more, can usually be a cause of low or decreased energy levels. If your child seems to be less spry or more sleepy than usual, think about how their diet may have changed. Most problems with lack of iron can be corrected by adding iron rich foods to the diet.  You might have to smuggle the spinach into their diet, through a shake or smoothie, for example (see Mara Michaels’ great smoothie books for more information) but it will be worth it.


Others may require a supplement in order to maintain proper levels of iron in the body. Talk with your pediatrician if your child refuses to eat foods with iron, in them or shows signs of listlessness, which could be an iron deficiency.



Continued in Part 3


Is It a Yeast Infection? Or Something Worse? Part 2

Part 2.

Once you know the signs and symptoms of a yeast infection, you can decide on the best way to handle it.


The most obvious symptom of a yeast infection is the discomfort in the affected area. This is certainly one of the revealing and most common symptoms of a yeast infection. The kind of discomfort is often described as an intense burning or itching sensation.


Pain when urinating is caused by the irritated lining of the vaginal area. In severe cases. the infected individual may experience extreme discomfort, such that carrying out normal daily activities such as walking can be affected.


Sexual intercourse too becomes painful for most affected women and indeed, should not be undertaken without a condom or barrier because of the risk of passing on the infection and/or getting re-infected. Oral sex should be off limits for the same reason.


Another way which will help you consider the likelihood of a yeast infect ion is by taking note of the appearance of the affected area. Most individuals afflicted with a yeast infection describe the area looking white and having the appearance of curdled milk. Redness and soreness is evident in the affected area most of the time as well.


A discharge may or may not be present, depending on the case. Note that only about 20% of women afflicted the infection report the presence of a discharge in the vaginal area. The discharge may be clear to whitish or slightly yellowish, and may be anywhere from thin to thick consistency.


Lastly, another sign that may help how to confirm a yeast infection is the distinct odor. The discharge may or may not be accompanied by a starchy odor, the kind that resembles bread or beer when it is being made.


Note that yeast is used in bread making as a leavening agent, and in beer making for fermentation. That is because the infection basically is a fungal infection, commonly caused by Candida albicans, a form of yeast.


Some people recommend that if you are prone to vaginal yeast infections, you should avoid eating a lot of products with yeast in them, and eat more yogurt and items with natural bacteria in them. Whatever your decision about diet, beware of using too many over the counter medications to treat yeast infections.


Stay clean, wear cotton underwear that is loose enough to breathe, not synthetics, and beware of thongs, as they can transfer bacteria from the back to the front of your body more easily than a regular pair of panties.


Be sure to go to your doctor for regular pelvic exams. And if you are sexually active but not in an exclusive relationship, then be sure to get a thorough check up and practice safe sex at all times.


Yeast infections can be uncomfortable and inconvenient, but they are not nearly as bad as a sexually transmitted disease. Both can be prevented if you take the right steps to look after your health.