Tips for Dealing with Sleepwalkers

Sleepwalking is often parodied on television and in the movies, but when it happens in our own homes it can be rather scary. Estimates vary, but some say that as many as 17% of children and 10% of adults sleepwalk. So if it is happening to you or someone you love, you’re certainly not alone.

Someone who gets up in the middle of the night and walks around in a dazed manner is probably sleepwalking. But that’s not all that happens. Some sleepwalkers don’t walk at all, but they sit up in bed and talk. Others get up and eat, feed pets, or go for a stroll outside.

In and of itself, sleepwalking is not a dangerous condition. It usually requires no treatment unless it is happening regularly. The most important concern is keeping the sleepwalker safe. Here are some of the do’s and don’ts of dealing with a sleepwalker.

Do’s

* Keep the windows and doors shut and locked. If you find that the sleepwalker is trying to open them, consider putting child locks on them. Even if you have an adult sleepwalker, he will probably be incapable of figuring them out while asleep.

* Put up safety gates. This is especially important at staircases. You could also block off a small area so that the sleepwalker can’t go outside of it. But if the sleepwalker is a child, it’s a good idea to provide access to the bathroom and your bedroom.

* Let the sleepwalker sleep on the ground floor if possible. This will make it even less likely that he will fall down the stairs or go out a high window.

* Get rid of clutter on the floor. Sleepwalkers are prone to tripping and falling, so it is important to eliminate items that present a danger as much as possible.

* Keep sharp, breakable, and otherwise dangerous items in a safe place. Lock them up in a cabinet, or put them far out of reach.

Don’ts

* Never let a sleepwalker sleep on the top bunk. He could attempt to step out of bed and fall to the floor, possibly resulting in severe injuries.

* Don’t wake someone who is sleepwalking. This could frighten him terribly. Instead, talk to him in a soothing voice and lead him back to bed.

* Don’t let the sleepwalker drink a lot of liquids in the evening. In some cases, a full bladder can be a contributing factor in sleepwalking episodes. Caffeine should also be avoided in the evening, because it can cause sleep disturbances, which may exacerbate the problem.

Sleepwalking isn’t cause for alarm as long as the sleepwalker doesn’t harm himself or others. If he does, or if sleepwalking occurs more than a couple of times a month, it might be time to get a doctor involved. But in most cases, simply maintaining a safe environment is preferable to medical treatment.

Five Second Rule

One of the few rules kids (and some adults) actually like to follow is the five second rule. This rule states that any food that falls on the floor is safe to eat, as long as you pick it back up before you can count to five. Not only does this “rule” just seem gross, it can make your children sick or even give them food poisoning.

It may seem silly, but there have been various studies testing different aspects of the “five second rule”. They’ve studied everything from how many germs stay on surfaces to how long it takes them to transfer onto food. Here are a few things they’ve discovered.

The big issue when it comes to the five second rule is whether floors really are actually dirty. While many floors have visible dirt, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have bacteria on them, and dirt won’t likely make you very sick if there’s no bacteria in it. Tests have been done on public floors which have shown them to be fairly clean; however, tests have also been done which show that dirt dropped on the floor can leave enough biological material on the floor to make you sick, and that it stays there for over 24 hours.

When it comes to getting germs on your food, time does matter. If you leave food sitting on your floor for a minute, it’s going to get more dirt and germs on it than if the food is only sitting on it for a few seconds. But that doesn’t mean that food left for only a few seconds is safe. Studies show that hundreds of bacteria can be transferred onto food in just a few seconds of contact. When certain bacteria only require to be ten in number to make you sick, that’s a good reason to just throw the food away.

When it comes to the five second rule, it depends a lot on what the food is, and what the surface is that it falls on. If dry food (like a chip) falls on a dry, smooth surface (like linoleum), the food will probably not pick up many germs. But if you’re dropping a stickier food or if it falls on a carpet, it’s more likely to pick up germs and make you sick.

So, what if you just washed your floor and it’s sparkling clean? While there may be little dirt on your food, there may be the chemicals you used to clean your floor or other surface. Chemicals used to clean dishes are made to be non-toxic and easily wash away to keep you and your family from getting sick. However, chemicals made to clean floors and sanitize counters don’t follow the same standards and can make your family very sick if they’re ingested.

If you’re concerned about your family’s health, it’s best to forget about the five second rule and just throw away any food that falls on the floor. This means you need to teach your kids the dangers of the five second rule, no matter what their friends tell them.

Crock Pot Surprise Ribs

Ingredients:

4 pounds country style ribs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (10.5 ounce) jar red pepper jelly
1 (18 ounce) bottle hickory barbecue sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (16 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained

Instructions:

Line a broiler pan with aluminum foil. Place the ribs in a single layer in the pan. Sprinkle with the garlic powder and pepper. Broil for 10 minutes per side or until rib meat has browned. Remove from the oven and place in the bottom of a crock pot. Place the jelly and barbecue sauce together in a mixing bowl. Whisk until completely blended together. Add the onion and stir to combine. Pour mixture over the ribs. Cover the crock pot and set on low. Cook for 5 hours. Add the beans to the crock pot. Recover and cook on low for another hour. Skim the fat off the sauce and serve.

Nutritional Information (Approximate Values):

Calories 541; Fat 19.5g; Protein 48.2g; Carb 40.9g; Fiber 4.3g; Chol 145mg; Iron 4mg; Sodium 677mg

Dressing with a Kick

Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Pepper to taste

Instructions:

In large mixing bowl whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Add the honey and continue whisking until blended well. Stir in the curry powder, chili powder and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour or until chilled to your liking.

Nutritional Information (Approximate Value):

Calories 252: Fat 22.4g; Protein 0.1g; Carb 0.5g; Fiber 0g; Chol 0mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 181mg

Breakfast Way Down South

Ingredients:

4 large eggs or egg beaters
3/4 teaspoon Creole seasoning
4 Texas Toast slices
4 slices Lite Monterey Jack cheese with peppers

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scramble the eggs as usual except add the Creole seasoning before scrambling. Top each piece of Texas toast with a slice of cheese. Place the toast slices on a baking sheet and bake about 3 minutes. The cheese should be completely melted. Remove and top with the scrambled egg mixture. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (Approximate Values):

Calories 45; Fat 1.3g; Protein 0.3g; Carb 4.7g; Fiber 0.2g; Chol 0mg; Sodium 392mg

Roasted Almond Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup sliced almonds
1 (8 ounce) package chicken strips
2 Tablespoons Canola oil
1 (5 ounce) package spring lettuce mix
1 container of fresh blueberries
1/2 cantaloupe, sliced

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lay the sliced almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 5 to 7 minutes or until toasted the way you like. Place the Canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Heat the chicken strips until heated through about 4 minutes, being sure to turn once. Place the lettuce mixture into 4 separate salad bowls. Layer the chicken strips on top of the lettuce. Add the blueberries and cantaloupe. Top with the roasted almond slices. Top with Dressing with a Kick.

Nutritional Information (Approximate Values):

Calories 485; Fat 33g; Protein 20.4g; Carb 33.1g; Fiber 3.8g; Iron 4.9mg; Sodium 559mg

Home Remedies to Help Ease Your Pet’s Ailments

For pet lovers, our four-legged friends are just like members of the family. They bring lots of joy to our lives, and we want to make sure all their needs are taken care of in return. When our pets are ailing, it’s almost like having a sick child.

Trips to the vet are sometimes necessary, but they can be expensive. Luckily, we can treat many minor ailments without professional help. Here are some home helpful home remedies for your pets.

Fleas

* Add garlic to your pet’s food each day, or add sulphur once a week. Both of these will keep the fleas away.

* Give your pet black walnut hulls. You can find these in capsule form at most health food stores. This also repels ticks and mosquitoes.

* Make a home-made flea collar for dogs. Make a mixture of the following:

o 2 tbsp. peppermint oil
o 1/2 cup rosemary oil
o 2 tbsp. white cedar oil
o 1/4 cup citronella oil
o 2 tbsp. eucalyptus oil

Soak a piece of rope long enough to tie around your dog’s neck in the mixture, remove it, and let dry before using.

Gastrointestinal Problems

* If your dog or cat is constipated, give him some canned pumpkin. Add a small amount to his food each day until he is regular again.

* If you don’t have any pumpkin or your pet refuses to eat it, give him some milk. Use 1/8 to 1/2 cup per day depending on your pet’s size, and stop giving it to him as soon as the constipation resolves.

* For diarrhea, replace regular pet food food with bland foods such as boiled or baked potatoes without the skin, boiled or scrambled eggs with no butter or oil, and boiled poultry with no skin. Continue until diarrhea subsides.

* You may give a dog 1 ml of liquid Pepto Bismol per pound of body weight every 6 hours for vomiting and diarrhea. Both dogs and cats may have 1 ml of liquid Kaopectate every 2 hours for diarrhea.

* If your pet ingests a poison, give him 10 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide by mouth every 15 minutes to induce vomiting and call a poison control center.

Skin Problems

* For skin infections, cleanse the affected area and apply a mixture of one part apple cider vinegar and three parts water.

* For bee stings and insect bites, make a paste out of meat tenderizer and water. Apply liberally around the sting or bite and let dry.

Hairballs

* Give your cat a teaspoon of butter each day for up to a week to help move the hairball through his system.

How To Lose Weight Without Losing Out

Losing weight is never easy especially when your lifestyle does not put you in a position to impose effective discipline on yourself. It is important that any weight loss program should respect the realities of your situation including your current diet, your daily work schedule and your economic capacity.

Maintaining a record of your gains and losses can be crucial when implementing a clinical style of weight loss campaign. This is usually done in close coordination with a qualified dietician. Taking notes on your progress can give you extra motivation to stick it out.

Remember that Caffeine is actually a downer. Most people aren’t aware that it slows down your metabolism especially if you’re not doing any exercise. Too much of it will not help you lose weight.

Fad diets are just that. A fad. They won’t do you good and ultimately they won’t actually work. Fad diets will not help you to be better equipped to deal with the ups and downs of disciplining yourself to stick on a weight loss program. Fad diets that prevents you from eating one food while telling you to overeat on another are not only misleading, but actually end up, potentially, causing you health problems!

Learn how to read nutritional specifications. Doing so can help you better understand food labels and help you make better health decisions in the future. Nutrition labels will tell you the volume of sugar, sodium, and the concentration of other chemicals in food that you consume. Just because a food is labeled low fat or no sugar or low calorie, doesn’t mean that it’s healthy. Educate yourself to know better.

Try taking dairy products out of your diet if they are a regular feature. Your weight may be a case of lactose intolerance, or milk allergy. If the absence of dairy actually helps, you just found your key to weight loss nirvana!

A pedometer can be a powerful motivator but for those who have the tendency to be manic about their weight loss program, this may actually work. Pedometers calculate the number of steps you take each day. The standard healthy steps per day are 10,000. Keeping that in mind could actually pull yourself together back on the program you’re working with each time you miss the target.

The aforementioned simple tips on weight loss and nutritional discipline can be just the information you need to get your health back on track. Implement it one at a time and see if it could change you.

Healthy BMI Levels for Women

Your BMI, or Body Mass Index, tells you how much fat there is in your body. An accurate BMI reading is a great way to tell whether or not you’re at a healthy weight. If your BMI is too high you are at a greater risk of weight-related health problems like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Maintaining a healthy BMI is one of many ways to stay healthy and reduce your risk of future problems.

To calculate your BMI, you simply need to know your weight in kilograms and your height in meters. A healthy BMI range for men and women is between 18.5 and 25. Below 18.5 is considered underweight, 25 to 30 is overweight, and over 30 is considered obese.

You should monitor your BMI regularly if you think you weight is changing (or needs changing). That means if you gain weight OR if you lose weight. While it doesn’t garner nearly as much attention, a BMI that is too low is just as dangerous as one that is too high. If your BMI is below 18.5, you should alter your habits to gain weight in a healthy manner. A doctor can help you come up with a weight gain plan just as they would for weight loss.

While you may be an adult legally when you turn eighteen, BMI calculations don’t consider you an adult until you’re twenty. Women under age twenty can calculate their BMI in the same way as adults, but the cut-offs for a healthy range are different and vary by age. If you’re nineteen or younger, you should check age/weight ratio charts to determine if you fall in the healthy range. A BMI less that 5% of other women your age is considered underweight, between 5 and 85 percent is healthy, 85 to 95 percent is overweight, and above 95% is obese.

Just because your BMI doesn’t fall into the healthy range doesn’t mean you need to lose gain weight. If you are older, or if you are an athlete or just very muscular, your BMI may not be accurate. This is because BMI is a general tool developed for men and women aged twenty and above, and isn’t specific to age, sex, or body type. If your BMI is high or low, you should consider getting a more accurate reading of body fat percentage from your doctor. Also, if you eat healthy and exercise regularly, you are probably less likely to have health issues than someone with the same BMI and a poor lifestyle.

If your BMI is not in the healthy range, your best course of action is to visit your doctor. The can give you a healthy weight loss or weight gain plan that is right for you.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in the Winter

By now, most people have heard of carbon monoxide and how dangerous it is, but most people still don’t know exactly what it is or how to protect themselves and their families.

Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is a colorless, odorless gas produced when burning oxygen. The problem with carbon monoxide is that it bonds with the chemicals in your red blood cells better than oxygen. That means your blood is carrying around carbon monoxide, there’s nowhere for the oxygen to go and your cells don’t get the oxygen they need to survive. This means you can get sick or even die from exposure to fairly small amounts. And because you can’t see or smell it, you often won’t even know you’re being exposed.

When oxygen is burned, carbon monoxide is made as a by-product. If you are burning a fire outside, this dangerous gas simply floats away; however, if it is indoors, you and your family can easily inhale it. The most common sources are faulty heaters, fires that are not properly ventilated, and car exhaust.

In large amounts, carbon monoxide is fatal; however, in smaller amounts it can still make you very sick. The symptoms of minor CO poisoning include nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, shortness of breath, and headache. They generally go away a few hours after leaving the area. These symptoms are caused by small amounts of the gas. In higher concentrations, carbon monoxide is fatal.

The biggest problem with mild carbon monoxide poisoning is that it is difficult to diagnose and is often confused with other conditions, like the flu. That’s why it’s important to prevent exposure to your family before it happens.

The best way to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning is to get a carbon monoxide detector for your home and test it regularly to make sure it is working. These detectors are similar to a smoke detector. They are small, inexpensive, and can help protect your family’s health and even lives.

Besides buying a detector, take steps to keep this dangerous gas out of your house in the first place. Have your heater checked regularly to make sure it’s working properly, especially if it’s starting to get old. In addition, make sure your flu is cleaned regularly so it doesn’t back up when you start a fire. Never run any kind of engine, like a car, motorcycle, or other gas engine, inside an enclosed space. If you want to warm up your car, open the garage door or pull it outside before you turn it on.

With a very small amount of effort, you can help keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Nuts to Increase Energy

When you’re struggling to keep going throughout the day, what do you reach for? Do you drink a cup of coffee, a can of soda or an energy drink? Or do you eat a chocolate bar? These things provide quick energy, but they will most likely leave you in the same boat as before a short time later.

Nuts are a healthier option for those who need an energy boost. Not only do they give us quick energy, they also keep us going longer than caffeine-laden drinks or sugary snacks do. And they have lots of other health benefits as well.

Why Do Nuts Provide So Much Energy?

Nuts are loaded with protein. Protein is a great source of energy, but it tends to work more slowly than carbohydrates. Protein does not provide a quick energy fix, but it keeps us going for the long haul.

Another nutrient found in nuts is coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short. This is a nutrient that helps our cells produce energy. It is also an antioxidant, which means that it protects our cells from damage caused by oxidative stress. Our bodies produce some CoQ10 naturally, but the amount decreases with age. But by eating sources of the nutrient such as nuts, we can experience its benefits.

Nuts also contain Omega 3 fatty acids, a category of unsaturated fats which provide energy to the muscles and organs. They also store energy for the body and help lower LDL, the so-called “bad” cholesterol. Nuts are one of the best sources of this class of fatty acids.

 

 

Which Nuts Are Best?

All types of nut will give you energy. But some varieties do have added benefits. Here are some of the best types of nuts:

* Almonds – Considered a superfood by some, almonds have lots of nutritional value. A serving contains as much protein as many meats. Almonds also provide potassium and iron, which are essential in maintaining energy levels.

* Walnuts – One serving of walnuts provides as much as 90% of the recommended daily value of Omega 3 fatty acids. They are also high in L-arginine, an amino acid that can be converted into glucose and glycogen.

* Pecans – Pecans contain lots of protein and unsaturated fats. They are also a source of at least nineteen vitamins and minerals.

* Cashews – Cashews are lower in fat than most other nuts, but they are packed with amino acids and minerals. They are a good source of copper, which is essential to energy production.

Nuts are a great snack when you need an energy boost. A handful of mixed nuts can give us surprising amounts of the nutrients that we need in our diets. Keeping some on hand will give you a tasty and effective alternative to caffeine when you need a quick pick-me-up.

 

 

 

Vegan: Is It Just a Fad?

Vegetarianism has been practised since ancient times. In the beginning it was often practised for religious reasons, but it became more widespread in the nineteenth century. Today many countries have a large vegetarian population, and between one and three percent of American adults are vegetarians.

Many vegetarians refrain from eating any type of meat, but consume animal products such as milk and eggs. But a growing number of vegetarians follow a stricter lifestyle called veganism. They eat no meat or animal products of any kind, and they refrain from wearing or using anything that is made using animal products.

Many celebrities, including Pamela Anderson, Clint Eastwood and Woody Harrelson, have adopted a vegan lifestyle. This has brought more attention to veganism, both out of respect for animal rights and as a means of losing weight and attaining better health. But critics consider veganism another fad diet in the vein of Atkins and South Beach.
 

The History of Veganism

It’s difficult to say exactly when veganism began, but like vegetarianism, it is likely thousands of years old. The term “vegan” was coined in 1944 with the formation of the Vegan Society in the United Kingdom. Their mission is to spread the word about the benefits of veganism and assist those who wish to stop using animal products.

During the past few decades, new reasons to support veganism have come to light. Much has been learned about the negative effects of meat production on the environment. It has also become clear that the land used to raise livestock could produce more food if it were used for growing fruits and vegetables. This has led to greater interest in the vegan lifestyle.

Food manufacturers and restaurants have only recently begun to cater to vegans, perhaps because of the rise in popularity of the lifestyle. Over the past several years, many restaurants have begun to add vegan dishes to their menus. Some companies have started offering frozen vegan foods, and more stores have begun to offer a variety of fresh choices for vegans. And today, there is an increase in the number of restaurants that serve only vegan cuisine.

Veganism Is Here to Stay

This recent surge in interest has led some to view veganism as nothing more than a passing fad. But the truth is that vegans have been around for many centuries. It has just taken them a very long time for them to gain the visibility and acceptance for their lifestyle that they enjoy today.

Unlike fad weight-loss diets, the vegan diet is part of a larger philosophy. For this reason, it is unlikely to be just a flash in the pan. Considering the nature of the ethical and environmental concerns that are central to the vegan lifestyle, its popularity will probably continue to rise in years to come.