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Natural (Family) Planning

Feb 16,2009

For those of us who are in committed relationships and feel like we are responsible enough to have children, there is a natural way to optimize conception. All you need is a calendar and a few months to figure out what your menstrual cycle is like.

For natural planning, you should mark the first day of your period on a calendar. Also mark down the last day of your period. Do this for 2 or 3 months and then you will know approximately how many days are in your cycle.

The first day of your period occurs about 2 weeks before your egg is released from your ovary if you have a 28 day cycle.


Jan 15,2009

What is Fasting?
Fasting is a period of abstinence from all food or specific items. Fluids are consumed in sufficient quantity to satisfy thirst and physiologic requirements. During the absence of food, the body will systematically cleanse itself of everything except vital tissue. Starvation will occur only when the body is forced to use vital tissue to survive. Although protein is being used by the body during the fast, a person fasting even 40 days on water will not suffer a deficiency of protein, vitamins, minerals or fatty acids. In the breakdown of unhealthy cells, all essential substances are used and conserved in a most extraordinary manner. There is an unwarranted fear of fasting that strength diminishes from the catabolism of proteins from muscle fibers. Even during long fasts, the number of muscle fibers remains the same. Although the healthy cells may be reduced in size and strength for a time, they remain perfectly sound.

A. J. Carlson, Professor of Physiology, University of Chicago, states that a healthy, well-nourished man can live from 50 to 75 days without food, provided he is not exposed to harsh elements or emotional stress. Human fat is valued at 3,500 calories per pound. Each extra pound of fat will supply enough calories for one day of hard physical labor. Ten pounds of fat are equal to 35,000 calories! Most of us have sufficient reserves, capable of sustaining us for many weeks.

Rest is understood to be a big factor in enhancing recovery, as it is when the body is at rest that it is able to direct the most energy towards the various chemical and mechanical processes of detoxification. When fasting, a person experiences recovery at a rate that is swifter than normal. He is ridding his body of toxins and excesses; allowing the body to use its own wisdom to healthfully reorganize itself from the atomic level. As the toxic load is reduced, the functioning of every cell is enhanced. In the same way that vital nerve energy is accumulated during a night’s sleep, the faster builds nerve energy through rest, sleep, and detoxification.

The human body has many ordinary modes of achieving elimination: the liver, lungs, kidneys, colon, etc. When these are overloaded, the body will resort to “extra ordinary” methods of elimination: boils, mucous and other discharges, sweats, vomiting, diarrhea, and many others. Should elimination be impossible or uneconomical of body energy, the toxic overload will go into storage forms in the joints, vessels, muscles, organs; almost any tissue in the body. While fasting, the body is highly conservative of its energy and resources. During this deep and profound rest, toxin intake and production are reduced to a minimum while autolysins and elimination proceed unchecked. Anabolic processes such as tissue and bone healing also proceed at a maximal rate during the fast.

In the body, the first stage of cleansing removes large quantities of waste matter and digestive residues. The first few days of a fast can be rough due to the quantity of waste passing into the blood stream. The tongue becomes coated and the breath foul as the body excretes waste through every opening. After the third day of the fast, there is little desire for food. The second stage is the cleansing of mucous, fat, diseased and dying cells, and the more easily removed toxins. As the fast continues, the cleansing process becomes more thorough. The last stage is the cleansing of toxins that have been accumulating in your cellular tissue from birth, and the microscopic tubes that carry vital elements to the brain. Cleansing of the last layer is only possible through a combination of juice fasting, water fasting, and a healthy diet high in raw foods. To overcome a severe disease like cancer, it is important to continue through a series of fasts, to the point where the full scouring action of catabolism removes the disease from the tissue.

During extended fasts the body removes: dead, dying and diseased cells; unwanted fatty tissue, trans-fatty acids, hardened coating of mucus on the intestinal wall; toxic waste matter in the lymphatic system and bloodstream; toxins in the spleen, liver and kidney; mucus from the lungs and sinuses, imbedded toxins in the cellular fibers and deeper organ tissues; deposits in the microscopic tubes responsible for nourishing brain cells and excess cholesterol.

Nearly everyone who fasts, discovers the same thing, that when they fast they actually have no hunger and more energy than they normally have. It is indeed liberating to find out that if we let go and trust that we will be taken care of. Fasting is the simplest, easiest and most effective way to find out that we do indeed have the power and freedom to heal and take control of our bodies.

Why Fast?
Probably the most important reason is that the body uses quite a bit of energy to digest food, and when fasting this energy becomes available for other uses. In the fasting state, the body will scour for dead cells, damaged tissues, fatty deposits, tumors, abscesses, all of which are burned for fuel or expelled as waste. The elimination of these obstructions restores the immune system functionality and metabolic process to an optimum state. Fasting restores good digestion and elimination, and peristaltic action is quickened. Fasting allows a deep, physiological rest of the digestive organs, and the energy saved goes into self-healing and self-repairing. By eliminating obstructions, by cleansing, detoxification, and purifying the intestines, the blood, and the cells, we can overcome many of our physical ills or handicaps as well as getting a boost in energy. Fasting not only removes obstructions and helps the body to heal itself, it is also rejuvenating and life-extending. These resulting benefits can have lasting affects in your mental and emotional health.

The other very important aspect is that your self-awareness will be elevated. If you are sick and depressed, then this might be the most important thing you can try in your healing program, because it gives you immediately an energy boost and increased awareness which might allow that you see things more clearly, allowing you the first step out of your sickness and onto the path of recovery. While fasting you become more aware of your body process, your life and with everything you are doing. It becomes a period where you can evaluate all that you’re doing more objectively, and you naturally have more time for contemplation because you aren’t using time amassing, preparing, eating, eliminating and cleaning up all which is used to prepare food. You become more aware of what your body likes and doesn’t like when you start to eat again. You gain self-confidence in your ability to control your life process, to set a goal and carry out an intention.

Foreplay Anyone?

Jan 15,2009

The ongoing debate between friends, lovers, and significant others. Foreplay? What is it? What exactly constitutes as foreplay? Is it really important?

From my personal definition:
Foreplay is the prelude to the sex. It is the appetizer to the main course. It’’s the booting up to your computer.

Foreplay begins it all, its the kissing, touching, teasing part of letting your partner know that you are tuned into them at that moment. Foreplay is the slow, erotic, playful, lazy hello to their body. Foreplay is the before sex play.

I personally believe that foreplay is anything that leads you to that moment where you can”t take it anymore. I think foreplay builds up your energy, it gives you that running start, or sometimes it gives you the BEST part of the whole encounter.

Foreplay is the uninhibited part of play that you experiment with your partner. It’’s the moment where you can “try something new“. Foreplay leaves all boundaries of your “sexual box” and tries to get you to commit to a new experience. Well, in my opinion.

What constitutes as foreplay? Different things for different people. For me, licking, sucking, tasting, EVERYWHERE on my body is my foreplay. Baths, showers, massages are my slow immersion into a sexual encounter. For many people oral sex is the foreplay, but others feel like oral sex, is the sex part of play. Some consider kissing, and shedding of clothes the only foreplay they need.

Some people feel different. If they receive oral sex and they have an orgasm, they consider that sex but if they don”t, its foreplay. I feel like their isn”t a limit to the foreplay. Your bodies tell you when you can”t take the “messing around” any longer and you need to dive into that head long journey to complete satisfaction. So anything before my body tells me that, is foreplay.

Is foreplay important? For me, I love foreplay… I love when we are teasing, and I get to have fun, and laugh and be loose. I love the warming my body up to the sex and the orgasms. I love the attention.


Sometimes, I”m already there, I go from hello to ready in a second and I just need the sex. I just need to feel the race to bliss. So is foreplay important? It depends.

I think foreplay in general should be apart of all sexual relationships but not done everytime if not needed. Different types, levels, and timing goes with different feelings for sexual release. Just like you like excitement in you sex, you want it in you foreplay too.

What do you think? Foreplay or no?

Hearty Spaghetti Sauce

  • Filed under: Food
Dec 17,2008

2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 medium sized tomatoes OR 2 cans of tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 pound of ground beef, turkey, or pork
1 clove of fresh garlic or 3 tablespoons chopped garlic in jar
1 large sprig of oregano,chopped OR 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
salt to taste
your favorite brand of spaghetti
**read through the recipe first to know which utensils you will need**

Grind the tomatoes until liquified. In a deep pot with a handle, add the olive oil. Turn the stove to medium. To check if the oil is hot enough, add a drop of water. If it sizzles it is hot enough. Add the tomatoes. In a separate pan, fry the meat on medium-high heat until brown. Use a spatula to break up the meat and stir continuously. Continue frying the tomatoes. You will know when they are ready because the flavor will change from sour to sweet and the sauce will thicken. Continue stirring to prevent the tomatoes from sticking to the pot. When the meat is brown, use generous paper towels and a strainer to drain the excess oil out. Add half of the chopped onions, the oregano, and the garlic to the tomatoes while the meat sits in the strainer.

Following the instructions on your spaghetti, boil water in a separate pot and cook as directed.

Return the meat to the frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the other half of the onions and fry the mixture for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Add the meat to the sauce. Continue to cook the sauce until the onions are soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve with your cooked spaghetti.

Hearty Sauce

Dec 15,2008

We all want our clothes to reflect our best selves at any given moment. Having pride in your appearance should be almost effortless. At least you can make it seem effortless :p This is meant to be a loose guide to color choices which look best for all of our different complexions. These colors can be applied to clothing and make-up, but the big exception is SHOES! Any woman can wear pretty much any color of shoes as long as they coordinate with the clothes she is wearing. With that said: I will use 6 famous women with different skin tones as examples and show which colors look best and worst for each.

Nicole Kidman: women with a pale complexion like Nicole should avoid colors like black, white, and bright red. These colors tend to emphasize just how pale her skin is. Unfortunately, she usually is seen on the red carpet in black, white, or red dresses. Colors like soft pink and nude blend in with her skin. Other pastel colors, like ice blue or lavender, work well with her complexion. Corvette red lipstick and make-up should be avoided, and earth tones should be used freely. In addition, a bronzer will help to give her skin some warmth. Colors that look fine on this type of skin are any shade of blue or green, and yellows.

Nicole Kidman WhiteNicole Kidman Red

Nicole Kidman TurquoiseNicole Lavender

Lucy Liu: she is not as pale as Nicole Kidman, so Lucy can get away with wearing black, but she should still avoid white. Women with a complexion like Lucy should stay away from yellow, red and lime green. Shades of pink, purple, blue and grass or emerald green compliment her skin tone the best. As for her make-up, rose and pinks will add soft color to her without making her look like a porcelain doll.
Lucy Liu RedLucy Liu White

Lucy Liu MagentaLucy Liu Blue

Kimora Lee Simmons: Like Lucy Liu, Kimora should keep away from yellow, gold and lime green. But white compliments her skin because she has bronze undertones naturally. Other colors which look great on Kimora are blue, purple, and most pastels. Her make-up should be warm, and she can even get away with fire-engine red lipstick every once in a while.

Kimora GoldKimora Yellow

Kimora AquaKimora Red

Beyonce Knowles: Beyonce has yellow undertones, so yellow, lime green, and gold clothes tend to wash her skin out. She looks great in darker greens, red, blue, white and silver.

Beyonce YellowBeyonce Gold

Beyonce AquaBeyonce ChampagneBeyonce WhiteBeyonce Green

Gabrielle Union: Gabrielle has red undertones beneath her skin, so she should avoid red, orange and fuchsia in her clothing. Colors that play up her skin are metallic colors and bold colors. She can get away with pastels as well as black and white.
Gabrielle RedGabrielle Fuchsia

Gabrielle AquaGabrielle White

Serena Williams: Serena is a lucky woman because she can wear ANY color and look great. Pastels, bold colors, metallics, and black and white all look good on her:
Serena PinkSerena GreenSerena RedSerena Metallic

More Serena Pictures: I think her transformation has been amazing!

Alek Wek: Women with deep ebony colored skin like Alek should stay away from black, brown, and most other dark colors. On the other hand, bronze and other metallics look beautiful against this complexion. All bold colors and pastels bring out the richness of her skin and white is the perfect color for making sure she is the center of attention.

Alek BlackAlek B&W Polka Dots

Alek WhiteAlek FloralAlek Orange SorbetAlek Purple

Comments? Agree? Disagree?

Foods that may cause pain

Nov 26,2008

For Some, Certain Foods Can Bring On or Worsen Pain
ABC News Medical Unit
Nov. 26, 2008—

A few years ago, my mom woke me up in the middle of the night complaining of chest pains. As I frantically searched for my car keys, one scary thought kept racing through my mind: “She”’’s having a heart attack. … She”’’s having a heart attack. …”

I hurried her into my car, backed out of the driveway and took off for the hospital. About halfway there, she told me to pull the car over. She was feeling better, but I insisted on taking her to the hospital. After a quick exam, the doctor said she was fine and blamed the chest pains not on a heart attack but on acid reflux.

The culprit? Our traditional Sunday afternoon pasta and tomato sauce, eaten just a few hours before.

While an estimated 40 million Americans live with what they describe as chronic pain, many more suffer from acute bouts of pain, such as acid reflux and headaches. But be it chronic or acute, pain is something we””d all like to live without.

Dr. Neal Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and president of the Cancer Project in Washington, D.C., believes that pain-free living could be a dietary change away.

“What we know is that when people eliminate certain foods from their diets, their symptoms are eliminated or reduced, so we know that there is a link here,” says Barnard, who is an outspoken advocate of vegetarianism. The link could be a number of things, ranging from a reaction to certain proteins found in particular foods, to an increase in cholesterol, which can irritate the lining of our arteries, he says.

Since pain is something that we””d all like to live without, we””ve rounded up the worst pain-inducing offenders for headaches, acid reflux and arthritis.

But as Dr. Ali Askari, director of rheumatology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, warns, results may vary.

“It”’’s different for each person,” he says. “For instance, John”’’s arthritis may get worse when he eats tomatoes or carbonated beverages, but Mary”’’s arthritis may get worse when she drinks coffee.”

Both Askari and Barnard agree that the best approach is elimination.

We put them in chunks on our salads. We eat them ground up in our tomato sauce. And the chemical that makes them so red — lycopene — may lower our risk for certain cancers. But for the millions of Americans who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux, the tangy fruit is a chest pain waiting to happen.

“Tomatoes or tomato-based products can lead to or contribute to heartburn because they affect the lower esophageal sphincter,” says Dr. Felice Sussman, a gastrointestinal specialist and director of research at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

When you ingest things like a tomato or spicy foods, the lower esophageal sphincter has an abnormal relaxation, and it allows the acid contents of the stomach to splash back up into the esophagus. This causes the discomfort known as heartburn, says Sussman.

And although everyone experiences small amounts of reflux every day, some people”’’s acid reflux is so severe that the excessive amount of acid actually breaks down the lining of the esophagus, leading to extraordinary pain.

“The most classic symptom that people describe is heartburn, and what that typically means is that they have a burning sensation in their chest area,” says Sussman. “They can also get bad breath. Some people will cough or get wheezy, and some people can feel pain that is similar to that of a heart attack.”

Although there appears to be no great substitute for tomatoes, Sussman suggests not eating them near bedtime.

“There are many people who in the middle of the night are refluxing, and it”’’s because of something that they ate for dinner,” she says.

And since gravity is the one thing that helps with acid reflux, when someone lies down with a distended stomach, gravity isn””t allowed to work. To help combat against this, Sussman tells her patients to prop themselves up in bed at a 15-degree angle.

Citrus Fruits
If you are all too familiar with the fiery sensation in your lower chest that grabs hold of you after you eat something citrus-y, you have plenty of company. One in every 10 Americans suffers from acid reflux or heartburn on a weekly basis. Although the acid reflux-inducing citrus fruits can vary from person to person, the most common offenders are oranges, grapefruits and lemons.

As with tomatoes, it is the high acid content of these fruits that causes the pain, Sussman says. The aggravation is the same as well; eating citrus-y foods affects the lower esophageal sphincter in much the same way as tomatoes. These foods cause the lower esophageal sphincter to overly relax, allowing acid to squirt back up in to the esophagus, leading to heartburn. Excessive acid reflux can eat away the lining of the esophagus and if left untreated can cause difficulty in swallowing or even cancer of the esophagus.

For those who suffer from acid reflux, the first thing Sussman likes to do is talk about lifestyle modifications.

“Most people want to take a magic pill to cure reflux, but really, everything starts with the patients and the habits they have,” she notes. One such lifestyle change she recommends is keeping a food diary to help identify reflux-inducing foods in your diet and then eliminating them.

Sussman does admit that despite lifestyle changes, many patients need to go on medication to help their acid reflux and some many even require surgery to help correct a weakened lower esophageal sphincter.

Although it may be a weekend ritual for many, Askari cautions that consuming high-fat meats such as bacon could be the cause of your arthritic pain, especially when the meats are deep fried. The average slice of bacon is made up of 71 percent fat, and about half of that fat is saturated fat — and that”’’s before it”’’s cooked.

Eating high-fat meats such as bacon may form the internal substances that are responsible for inflammation, Askari says. And it”’’s this inflammation that leads to increased arthritic pain.

“Saturated fatty acids lead to the formation of arachidonic acid, which in turn converts to inflammatory substances called prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are pro-inflammatory agents,” notes Askari.

And if the prostaglandins and leukotrienes don””t get to you, the extra weight you””ll put on by consuming fatty foods will, says Dr. Carol Warfield, a professor of anesthesiology at Harvard Medical School.

“In my experience, the greatest effect of diet on arthritis is weight control,” Warfield says. “There is no question that being overweight makes osteoarthritis worse, especially that involving the knees and hips.”

A great substitute for the traditional high-fat bacon is turkey bacon, which on average has half the calories as pork bacon and just five fat calories. For some brands of turkey bacon, none of this fat is saturated. And this reduction in saturated fat could reduce or eliminate your arthritic pain, Barnard says.

If you are thinking about ditching the bacon for more eggs, you many want to reconsider. Askari warns that eggs contain the same pro-inflammatory agents as bacon. Eggs contain arachidonic acid, and as this acid is broken down by the body, “in some, but not all individuals, this can lead to the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins,” Askari says. These inflammatory prostaglandins can lead to increased swelling and joint pain.

Eggs also contain a fair amount of saturated fat, which many doctors believe has a direct link to increased inflammation and arthritic pain. An average large white egg is 63 percent fat, a third of which is saturated fat. These saturated fats could lead to the development of the pain-inducing prostaglandins and leukotrienes in much the same way as they could in bacon, says Askari.

Since most of the fat and cholesterol of an egg is found in the yolk, one way to have your egg and eat it too would be to eliminate the center. A large white egg with the yolk removed comprises only 3 percent fat and contains no saturated fat. And if separating the yolk from the egg is a bit too tricky for your culinary talent, egg substitutes are another great option. A one-quarter cup serving, which is the equivalent of two medium-size eggs, has zero fat calories and contains zero saturated fats.

Eliminating saturated fat-filled egg yolks from your diet could reduce your arthritic pain, but Askari does caution, “the results are not uniform, and reactions should be monitored individually.”

“Cheese is arguably the most unhealthy food out there,” says Barnard. When you look at the label and see what”’’s in it, it”’’s hard to argue.

Up to 70 percent of the calories found in cheese come from saturated fat, which is known to raise a person”’’s cholesterol and could set the body up for inflammation.

In the early 1900s, says Barnard, the average American was consuming 4 pounds of cheese a year. That number jumped to 15 pounds in the 1970s and is even higher today.

“Thanks to call-out pizza services and all the restaurants that believe you can””t have a sandwich without cheese all over it,” notes Barnard, “we””re now consuming 32 pounds of cheese annually.”

Barnard says this excess cheese consumption can cause pain in several ways. While people used to believe that aged cheeses caused the most damage, many now agree that all cheeses are to blame. Besides being a major weight control deterrent, Barnard believes that the inflammation some people experience in response to eating cheese may in be a reaction to the protein found in the cheese — very similar to an allergic reaction.

Barnard suggests switching to soy cheeses, although he does admit that “most of them taste like glue.”

However, soy cheeses are naturally cholesterol-free, contain fewer calories and boast half the saturated fats of regular cheese. And since saturated fats, obesity and cholesterol could all contribute to the development of pro-inflammatory agents, Barnard says avoiding cheese may reduce your arthritic pain.

Soft Drinks
Some call it pop. Others call it tonic. But most of us just call it soda. Regardless of what name you give it, soft drinks are one of the most consumed beverages in the United States.

According to a 2005 American Beverage Association study, 28.3 percent of America”’’s total beverage consumption consisted of soft drinks. And according to government data, this “liquid candy” is so ubiquitous that it contributes to about 10 percent of the calories consumed in the average American diet.

And Barnard says diets that are high in sugar have been associated with inflammation, since excess sugar consumption can lead to obesity, which is known to cause joint pain and swelling.

The average 12-ounce can of soda contains 136 empty calories and 33 grams of sugar — the equivalent of 11 sugar packets or more in every can.

According to a report by Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, “carbonated drinks are the single biggest source of refined sugar in the American diet.”

Eliminating soft drinks, as well as other sugary foods such as pastries, candy and sweetened cereal from your diet could help your pain, says Barnard. And he says it does not matter if it is table sugar or high fructose corn syrup; both need to be replaced. He suggests switching over to plain old water but understands this switch is not easy for everyone.

“Kids don””t think it”’’s very chic to have water; they””d rather have a Mountain Dew,” says Barnard, adding in a faux French accent, “If you are looking for something chic, grab an Avon bottle.”

It”’’s been argued that, next to diamonds, chocolate is a girl”’’s best friend. And although chocolate in moderation can actually help relieve the pain of headaches, consuming too much of it can bring on a migraine. As it turns out, chocolate contains the chemical phenylethylamine, and too much of it may affect concentration and can cause a nasty “chocolate hangover” for some.

Although it”’’s true that drinking too much wine can cause just about anyone to get a headache, for some people drinking any amount of wine will bring on a vicious migraine, nausea and flushing. For some, these symptoms can develop as quickly as 15 minutes after their first sip of wine.

It was previously believed that red wine headaches were caused by sulfites in the wine, some of which are created naturally as the yeast breaks down sugars in the grape juice and turns them into alcohol and carbon dioxide. But most of the sulfites found in wine are added after the fermentation process and act as a preservative.

However, Bernstein argues, the sulfite-induced-headache theory has pretty much been debunked. The only people who have a reaction to the sulfites in red wine are people who already have sulfite allergies.

Instead, wine headaches may be blamed on the amino acid tyramine, which have been shown to induce migraines in many people, says Bernstein, although she does admit that “no one knows for sure.”

Bernstein also believes that wine headaches could also be caused by the dehydrating effects of alcohol and recommends the “one-to-one” approach. “For every glass of alcohol or wine you consume, have a glass of water with it,” she says.

She also suggests drinking your wine with food, since the food will absorb the alcohol and help you remain well hydrated.

For those who are really sensitive to wine, Bernstein recommends organic wines, which are, according to USDA guidelines, “a wine made from organically grown grapes without any added sulfites.” They are also free of other chemicals that are introduced during the fermentation process and could serve as a great alternative to more processed red wines.

Processed Meat
“With regard to processed foods, there”’’s everything bad about them and nothing good,” Barnard says. They””re high in cholesterol and high in fat — and in December 2007, researchers at the National Cancer Institute reported that a high consumption of processed meats could put you at an increased risk for a variety of cancers.

And if that”’’s not enough to keep you away from a ballgame frank, Barnard says they could increase your arthritic pain as well.

Processed meats such as lunch meat, hot dogs and sausages contain chemicals such as nitrites that are associated with increased inflammation and chronic disease. This is partially due to the unhealthy fats used in preparing and processing these foods, especially the trans fats and saturated fats.

The average hot dog (plus the roll) has 315 calories, 52 percent of which comes from fat, including 7 grams of saturated fat. Barnard says it”’’s these saturated fats that can cause you pain, since they can lead to swelling of the joints.

“The saturated fats tend to be pro-inflammatory, whereas the unsaturated fats tend not to be,” says Barnard.

He suggests substituting your traditional hot dog for a veggie or soy one.

“If you go to the meat counter at your grocery store, sitting right next to the hot dog you can find a veggie hot dog, and right next to the hamburgers, you can find veggie burgers,” he says.

A vegetarian hot dog has just 56 calories and no saturated fat, and a vegetarian burger has only 70 calories, a half gram of fat and no saturated fat.

Barnard does admit that “They””re not culinary art, but they””re much better than what you””re replacing.”

Junk Food/Potato Chips
Although Barnard argues that “everything we””ve been talking about so far qualifies as junk food,” potato chips are one of the most common and ubiquitous junk foods out there.

Besides being loaded with saturated fat — the average 1-ounce serving has a whopping 155 calories, 16 percent of which comes from saturated fat — the potatoes from which they come are also part of the nightshade family. According to Warfield, consuming members of this family of plants has been associated in the past with increased inflammation and arthritic pain.

Barnard also believes that certain proteins in potatoes may just trigger a bad reaction in some people, quite similar to an allergic reaction. This reaction could cause painful migraines or arthritic flare-ups.

He suggests substituting sweet potatoes or yams for the white potatoes or potato chips. Although a 1-ounce serving of sweet potato chips carries about the same amount of calories as a regular potato chip, they only contain 5 percent saturated fat, which could help decrease arthritic inflammation.

However, since both chips contain about the same amount of calories and fat, just substituting a sweet potato for a white potato will not address the biggest problem with eating them — weight gain. And Warfield says that in her experience, weight has the largest bearing on arthritis pain. So it might be better to just pass on the potato chips altogether.

Nov 26,2008


Syleena Johnson (Essence Magazine)

In the past few years, self diagnosis has become an internet phenomenon. I can’t tell you the number of times women have written me tearful emails because they’ve read or heard something about gynecology they think applies to them – and it doesn’t. A lot of what you read about gynecology or about caring for your va-jay-jay is either exaggerated or “just plain wrong.” Because of this, we have decided to provide you with the facts

Secret # 1: Birth control pills may cause your sex drive to wane.

If your desire for canoodling hasn’t seemed quite the same since you started taking “the Pill,” it’s not your imagination. It’s 100% true that birth control pills can reduce the desire for sex in many women.

This is true not only for women in their reproductive years. It’s also true for women going through menopause who may use a low dose pill to control symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings.

What can you do to get your sex drive back? Switching pill brands or formulations sometimes helps. If it doesn’t, consider switching to another form of birth control such as an IUD — if you’re in a monogamous relationship — or condoms. Another option is to take the Pill less frequently and use another method of protection to prevent pregnancy. If you’re using the Pill for relief of symptoms such as hot flashes, talk to your doctor about cutting back the dosage.

Secret # 2: To reduce some side effects of birth control pills — including nausea — insert them vaginally.

Inserting the Pill vaginally is not harmful. It can be very effective, particularly if you are suffering with any nausea or vomiting for any reason, including from taking the Pill.

This little known secret came to light thanks to an Israeli study published in the journal Contraception. Doctors compared two groups of women using the Pill. One group took the pill by mouth; the other inserted it into the vagina and let it dissolve. The result? The women who used the vaginal route had less nausea, vertigo, headache, breast tenderness, period pain, and stomach upsets than the ones who took the Pill orally.

Secret # 3: Migraine headaches may increase your desire for sex — and orgasms may stop headaches and menstrual cramps.

Having sex may be the last thing on your mind while you have a headache. But don’t be surprised if you feel stronger urges to get intimate in the time leading up to a migraine — as much as 24 hours before. Doctors aren’t sure why this occurs. According to researcher James Couch, MD, of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, it may have something to do with an increase in the levels of serotonin. This brain chemical may be linked to sexual appetite.

Moreover, recent research has shown that for up to 20% of women, having an orgasm may stop a migraine in its tracks, immediately relieving the pain. But this isn’t the first time orgasm has been linked to pain relief. Goldstein says some women find it helps menstrual cramps — possibly because of a release of bio-chemicals that flood the body and relax the uterus, relieving pain.

Secret # 4: Avoiding sex will make painful sex hurt more.

Many women believe that avoiding intercourse and giving their vagina a “rest” is the best antidote to painful sex. Experts say the exact opposite is true. There is some measure of truth to the axiom that if you don’t use it, you lose it. Stop having sex and resuming it may be that much harder — both physically and in terms of desire.

At the same time, she says, pain with intercourse is not normal. It often occurs when your partner simply isn’t arousing you enough. In other instances, hormonally driven vaginal dryness — like the vaginal dryness some women feel when nursing a baby or going through menopause — can also cause sexual discomfort. A little dollop of a lubricating product or an estrogen cream applied directly to the vagina is all you need to eliminate discomfort from painful intercourse related to hormones.

If arousal is the problem talk to your partner about increasing foreplay. Then do whatever it takes to get you through the excitement phase and make your body ready for intercourse.

Secret # 5: It’s easier to contract an STD if you have sex during your period.

While having sex during your period is the least likely time to get pregnant, it’s also the most likely time to catch an infection. The reason? Changes in the acid/alkaline balance of your vagina during your menses make it easier for bacteria to proliferate. Normally the vagina is acidic, [a condition bacteria don’t like]. But blood raises the pH substantially, making it a more alkaline environment and that’s a condition that can allow bacteria to thrive. If you’re not 100% certain of your partner’s sexual health, always use a condom.

Secret # 6: Wearing cotton underwear and changing your laundry detergent really do work to reduce your risk of vaginitis.

Doctors say these long-standing axioms are not just an old wives tale. Vaginitis is an irritation of the vagina. It causes excess vaginal discharge, burning, and itching. Wearing cotton underwear and using a different laundry detergent can reduce the risk of vaginitis. Another way to avoid the risk is not to use perfumed soaps, intimate deodorants, or other fragrant products around your vagina.

If you don’t see at least some reduction in symptoms of vaginitis soon after you make these changes, Goldstein says talk to your doctor. Your problem could be bacterial vaginosis, a yeast infection, a sexually transmitted disease, or another infection that needs medical care.

Secret # 7: To reduce the risk of developing toxic shock syndrome when traveling abroad, bring a supply of US made tampons.

The potentially deadly infection known as toxic shock syndrome is on the rise again. It’s still linked to highly absorbent tampon use. These tampons are no longer sold in the United States, but depending on where you travel out of the country, you might still find them on store shelves right next to safer, less absorbent type. If you aren’t very familiar with the language in another country, you could easily come away with the wrong type. To be safe bring your own from home, and never leave them in your body for an extended period of time.

Secret # 8: Avoid the use of tampons to protect against incontinence leaks.

Because a tampon in the vagina also exerts pressure on the urethra (the tube where urine passes out of the body), it can act as a kind of “stopper.” This may help control leaks, drips and dribbles. Doctors say it’s okay to use this method once in a while — for example if you tend to “leak” urine while exercising. However doctors warns not to make a habit of it and says to remove the tampon as soon as you’re done working out. A tampon inside a dry vagina, they say, can cause significant irritation as well as microscopic tears in the skin. The irritation and tears can later open the door to infection. To help control everyday leaks, drips, and dribbles, you can use one of the new ultra thin incontinence pads. They are more absorbent than a typical menstrual pad and safer than a tampon.

Secret # 9: Intercourse won’t increase your risk of recurring yeast infection — but oral sex might.

Studies conducted at the University of Michigan Health System showed that men do not generally pass a yeast infection to a woman during intercourse. According to the study it appears that the risk for recurrent infections is related to something else — perhaps the woman’s immune response to the yeast.

Interestingly, however, the study, which looked at over 200 men and women, came to another rather surprising conclusion. Women who receive oral sex seem more likely to suffer from recurring vaginal yeast infections. This was the case whether their partner showed signs of yeast infection in their mouth or not.

We’re not saying that oral sex is a problem for everyone, but if a woman is experiencing recurrent yeast infections, these activities put her at an increased risk. The CDC reports that up to 80% of women will have at least one yeast infection in their lifetime. A hormone imbalance, high blood sugar levels, certain antibiotics, birth control pills, or stress can also cause a yeast infection.

Secret # 10: That “urine-like” odor around your vulva may not be urine at all, but sweat — and there is something you can do about it.

Because secretions from sweat glands have some of the same components as urine, it’s common for some women who perspire a lot to experience a urine-like odor in the area of their vulva or even on their panties. But before you jump to the conclusion that you have an incontinence problem try washing your va-jay-jay zone more frequently using a mild soap and water. Add a dusting of cornstarch-based powder to absorb moisture. Avoid nylon panties and panty hose, which tend to hold in heat and increase sweating. If the smell disappears then it was likely sweat and not urine. If it continues, talk to your doctor.

A DNA Backlog

  • Filed under: Politics
Nov 10,2008

In 2004, Congress approved a bipartisan measure aimed at clearing up the shameful nationwide backlog of rape kits, the physical evidence from sexual assaults, awaiting DNA analysis.

The measure was named for Debbie Smith, a Virginia rape victim whose assailant was finally apprehended on the basis of DNA evidence collected during the invasive exam she consented to following the attack — after her rape kit sat untested for six years.

Sadly, despite tens of millions of dollar in federal grants, a significant backlog remains. When the new House and Senate take office in January, lawmakers need to address this ongoing insult to women and the intolerable loss for effective law enforcement.

The problem is particularly egregious in California. An audit issued last month by the Los Angeles city comptroller said at least 7,000 rape kits remain untouched by the police department’s crime lab. That includes open cases and solved cases awaiting analysis and entry of the DNA profiles into state and national databases, a critical step for identifying any other crimes committed by the assailant, and preventing future attacks. More than 200 rape kits had been sitting so long, the audit found, that the 10-year statute of limitations for bringing prosecutions had expired.

The causes of this disaster include a lack of resolve, trained personnel and accountability. Under Bill Bratton, the former New York City police chief who is now police chief in Los Angeles, the number of untested rape kits has grown by around 700 each year while some federal money available to pay for testing has gone unclaimed.

California is not alone. West Virginia’s State Police reported that its DNA case backlog grew to 697 cases by the end of 2007, from 560 cases six months earlier, despite receiving about $230,000 in federal money. The Miami-Dade Police Department failed to spend any of the $200,000 it requested in 2007 to cut its DNA backlog, whose size was not reported to the federal government.

Between 2005 and 2007, half the states receiving grants did not spend all the money. States that did were not required to specify what portion was used to process rape kits, compared with other DNA testing, for which grant money can be spent under the law.

Sarah Tofte, a researcher who has studied the issue for Human Rights Watch, says the chief failure here is “to treat rape as seriously as other violent crimes.”

Congress can help fulfill the law’s promise by tweaking the Debbie Smith law, say by requiring states to use at least 30 percent of their grant money to test backlogged rape kits and lifting restrictions on paying private labs for DNA testing. Senator Patrick Leahy, the Judiciary Committee chairman, has expressed concern about the backlog. We urge him to hold hearings and build momentum for needed revisions to the law.

Nov 8,2008 & [New York Post August 18, 2008]

Master P a.k.a Percy Miller has launched a new family-friendly network called BBTV. BBTV will provide positive content for a “black and brown culture that will appeal to all races with a goal to bring people of color a choice when turning on their television.” BBTV’s content will include health and fitness; animation; financial planning; reality TV; sitcoms; dramas; movies; “responsible” hip-hop music and videos; politics; sports and entertainment news; educational children’s shows; and teen and family programming:

“It’s extremely important to feed clean, quality and positive subject matter to our families,” chairman and CEO Miller said in a statement. “We believe TV content can be positive and responsible and still have good ratings with great content. BBTV will offer all kinds of family friendly entertainment that everyone can enjoy. Our mission is to target the new generation of responsible African-American and multiethnic English-speaking American and family-oriented and responsible hip-hop consumers who are taking charge of their families and striving for a better tomorrow.”

He added, “Being exposed to positive content is what changed my life. I believe there is a market in our community for a new diverse network that provides a new brand of superior programming that caters to all aspects of television from reality to original programming. In addition, I’m excited to be able to expose the urban community to a vast array of jobs in the entertainment community that they might not otherwise be privy to. I have a great relationship with BET and MTV, and my son and I will continue to do work with them and support their networks. With BBTV, we’re spearheading the initiative to meet consumer demand for family friendly hip-hop content.”~Percy Miller a.k.a Master P

Master P, who appeared in 2006 on “Dancing with the Stars,” said he’s had the vision for BBTV for several years.

BBTV advisory board members include Oscar winner Denzel Washington, NBA player Derek Anderson and hip-hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc.

The new channel is taking on the black-oriented cable channel BET. Production on BBTV’s programs has begun in California, New York, Louisiana and Florida. The cable channel is in the process of purchasing local cable channel affiliates across the country.


Here is a link to the channel’s site and I must say it looks good! If it holds up to its promise I will definitely support it..what about you?

Become an Instant Road Warrior

Nov 8,2008

Date: Thursday, October 30, 2008, 10:28 pm
By: Jackie Jones, BlackAmericaWeb Staff Writer

You’ve just landed that great promotion. You’ve been blessed with a raise, more authority, greater responsibility – and a hectic travel schedule. For the first time in your career, you’re in and out of airports, making business trips to great Southwest Airline cities such as Chicago, Birmingham, Fort Lauderdale, and Baltimore.

Sometimes you’re flying solo on the company’s dime; other times you’re off for a weekend trip with the family courtesy of all the great Southwest Airlines Rapid Reward certificates you have accumulated. So how do you become an instant road warrior, the shrewd traveling veteran who never makes a mistake and seamlessly combines business with pleasure? Well, to be honest, all that takes time, but here are [ten] easy shortcuts:

1. Check with the airline before heading for the airport. It’s really comforting knowing your flight is right on time, and it certainly doesn’t hurt knowing your gate assignment in advance.

2. If you’re like many people and you collect more magazines than you can read, consider spending some time in advance ripping out the articles you’re really interested in. Place them into a folder that you can easily access during your next flight. This will provide you with plenty of reading materials and allow you to avoid lugging so much paper around.

3. This relates to item No. 2: Organize your work before you get on the plane. It’s a wonderful thing when you can simply reach into a folder and pull out that report that you need to work on.

4. Try to score a seat in an “empty” row. OK, we admit this isn’t always that easy. But if your airline allows open seating, grab a seat in an empty row and cross your fingers. You could get lucky and have the entire row to yourself, allowing plenty of room to stretch out.

5. If you drink go easy on the alcohol. You’ll feel more refreshed once you land.

6. Practice the art of being nice. Play up the fact that you’re a happy, loyal customer. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with firing off a letter to praise a great Southwest flight attendant. The customer service representative who reads your mail might respond by sending you a discount coupon or another perk.

7. Get into the Southwest spirit and have fun! It’s fun starting your trip with a great attitude. The flight is just so much more enjoyable when you’re excited, enthusiastic and ready to go. One way to really get in the mood is to plan ahead so you’ll be less stressed. You can start by packing lighter carry-on bags. Remember, the holidays are coming and everybody will be bogged down with gifts and such. That makes overhead bin space precious. If everybody packs light there will be more carry-on space to go around.

8. Don’t forget to carry extras. Make sure you think about things such as extra eyeglasses and copies of drug prescriptions. Store and pharmacy hours vary greatly during the holiday season and you don’t want to get stuck without essentials.

9. Consider shipping items that are too cumbersome to lug to the airport. Presentation materials, gifts and large items can be difficult to pack. Also if you’re traveling with children think about shipping familiar toys ahead when traveling with young children. The kids will love playing with their favorite toys once they arrive at your vacation destination. They might also enjoy a good book or CDs, DVDs, and games.

10. And here’s one final tip for those of you who absolutely must remain plugged in: Invest in a battery-operated charger for your cell phone. The devices, which plug into the phone with a special adapter, usually run on AA batteries and quickly restore the phone to full power. They are especially handy when your phone is dying and there isn’t an electrical outlet in sight.

I travel a bit and I find some of these to be feasible…what do you think?


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