Sep
06

Natural Tooth Care for a Brighter Smile

Here’s something I’ve noticed: Even families with what are considered good dental plans often end up suffering significant out-of-pocket expenses each year. Dental plans only pay up to a certain point and then the costs fall to the patient.

As with your car or anything else that has to be “fixed” every so often, the way to save money in the long term is through sound preventive maintenance and to avoid those big dental bills, the best way to do this is with natural tooth care.

Not only will your healthy teeth promote a brighter smile, not having to write those checks to the dentist should get you grinning from ear to ear.

Eat the Right Food
If you’re like most of us you remember your mom telling you that candy was going to rot your teeth at Halloween and all the other major holidays where candy is handed out like business cards at a sales convention. Okay, that’s fine; it teaches us what’s bad for our teeth, but how about taking a proactive approach and concentrating on what’s good for our teeth? That would be even better.

Sugar is bad because it leads to plague, which leads to the bacteria that eat away the enamel of our teeth. Therefore, foods that naturally reduce bacteria around our teeth would be good and some delicious foods do this, like cranberries, cinnamon, raspberries and blueberries. Can you see yourself substituting some of those for a sugary snack?

Those foods are working from the outside-in to reduce tooth decay, let’s talk about some foods that work from the inside-out to improve our dental health. Researchers have found that our modern diet distorts our blood chemistry and the way to put things back in order is by getting vitamins A,D,E and K—the fat-soluble vitamins—via whole foodd and natural sources. Grass fed animals, shellfish and wild fish are among the best sources for these vitamins and especially the organ meat.

There are also good plant sources for fat-soluble vitamin E, including these grains: oats, barley, rye and wheat. But since grains can go rancid quickly, which destroys the benefits, you need to make sure they haven’t been processed or stored too long.

Natural foods rich in calcium are also said to promote good dental health. Eat a lot of dark leafy green vegetables, almonds, figs, chickpeas and use sesame seeds on your food. Other beneficial and mineral-rich foods include pumpkin seeds, kale, kelp, blackstrap molasses and dulse.

High fiber foods promote the production of saliva which is nature’s way of restoring the right pH in our mouths. Instead of sugary sodas, drink a lot of water, milk and unsweetened tea. By the way, if you’re in the habit of sipping a soda all day long, that’s one of the worst things you can do for your teeth.

Brush Often with a Natural Toothpaste
The old adage of brushing after every meal is a good one. Do you keep a toothbrush at work? Have you considered how much eating you do throughout the work day? It can be very significant, especially if your office insists on birthday celebrations and bringing in “special treats.”

Find a natural toothpaste you like and stick with it. Keep a tube along with a toothbrush at work and use them whenever you eat. Time is the culprit here. Would you let your opponent get a 25-yard head start in a 100-meter dash? If you’re only brushing before you go to bed at night, you’re giving bacteria inside your mouth that kind of advantage.

Stay Away from Metal Fillings
Work hard to avoid tooth fillings, or amalgams. Typically these are 50-70 percent mercury which is extremely toxic. Further, they tend to fail over time and then your teeth require even more significant, and costly, restoration work.

The key here is to find the right dentist. Talk to friends, family members and neighbors about their dentists. When you’re interviewing dentists discuss your desire to use natural oral care as much as possible and your hope to avoid amalgams. See if your prospective dentist is willing to monitor small cavities before drilling them out and filling in the holes.

Chris Turberville-Tully is a marketing strategist for Dental Implants Dentists in the UK, a comprehensive directory of local implant surgeons.

Mar
29

7 Cleaning Ideas Right in Your Pantry – Inexpensive And Healthy!

Now that spring is approaching and everyone will be putting their spring cleaning hats on, have you ever considered making your own cleaning products? I have been doing some research on it, because I want to do two things. Keep our home as healthy as possible, and save money.

So many of the store-bought cleaners are harsh and toxic, creating a bad element in the air when working with them, but also if they linger at all. I have found that by creating my own, I have control over how strong they are, as well as what goes in it. Using natural ingredients will certainly help with our allergies and asthma, as well as the environment.

Also, many of the ingredients that can be used are probably right in your home already. In fact, some in the kitchen pantry, which are healthy enough to place in our foods. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel good about using them in the air then as well.

Read on to learn more about your pantry items.

Lemon Juice

If you have hard water, lemon juice works great to remove the stains that it can leave, as well as soap build-up. Its high acidic value works on the stain to remove it, naturally, and has a nice fresh scent to leave behind. You don’t have to breathe in the toxic fumes of store bought cleaners.

You can also mix it with baking soda, making a paste to use it as a scrubbing paste. Just mix enough to form the paste and use it where you would normally use a cleaning scrub product, such as stains on countertops.

My favorite is to mix it with a little olive oil to use as a furniture polish. If you don’t like the smell of olive oil, try a citrus oil instead. Either way, it will help with dust mite allergies, because it not only removes them, but doesn’t put a chemical into the air.

Baking Soda

As I mentioned above, it can be added to lemon juice to make a good and inexpensive scrubbing paste to remove stains. It also has the ability to absorb odors. If you don’t want to use the lemon juice, you can simply mix it with water instead. I personally like the lemon, because of the scent.

Because of its ability to absorb odor, it makes for a great carpet freshener, when mixed as ¾ cup baking soda and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, and sprinkled lightly on the carpet for a few minutes before vacuuming. For a little more scent, add another dry ingredient such as cinnamon to the mix.

White Vinegar

Another product you probably already have in your pantry is white vinegar, and it makes for a great all-purpose cleaner for the household. To use it for basic cleaning, it can be diluted with water in equal parts. I place it in a spray bottle for misting counters, windows, and appliances.

It can also be used full strength for heavier cleaning tasks such as stains, or mineral deposits.

White vinegar also works well as a deodorizer. And, since it’s a clear liquid, without any colorants, you don’t have to worry about it staining anything. Even though it has a strong aroma when it’s first applied, it dries quickly, with the smell dissipating with it.

Other areas that white vinegar works well on are:

  • Sinks
  • Chrome
  • Stovetops
  • Countertops
  • Toilet Bowls

If anyone in the family has sensitive skin, you can add ½ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle in your wash. This will help to break down the laundry detergent, and provide the same results that a store-bought fabric softener does.

However, it’s recommended that you don’t use white vinegar on grout, or marble due to its high acidity, and could result in damaging the material.

Borax

Borax is also known as sodium borate, which is a is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. This one I had to do a little extra research on, because I have never heard of it, or had it around when growing up…that I remember at least.

It can be mixed with water, white vinegar, or even baking soda for cleaning all surfaces, and use in the laundry, as well as painted walls and other surfaces with paint.

Cornstarch

It’s not just for gravy anymore. It can be mixed as the borax above, and used as furniture polish, window cleaner, or as a deodorizer for carpets.

Salt

Salt can be an alternative to the store-bought scouring powders, and can act as a rust remover, especially when mixed with lime juice.

Club Soda

When you need to remove stains from fabrics, try using club soda as it will lift them out, after letting it soak in for a little while, then blot with a cloth. Just make sure to not rub the stain. My first reaction is to quickly rub something out, but I have found that it makes it worse.

Club soda can also be used as a glass cleaner.

In Closing

Hopefully I have inspired you to use some of these ingredients on some of your spring cleaning, or any cleaning you have throughout the year. It will not only save you money, but also on the environment and most importantly…help alleviate some dust mite or ragweed pollen allergy someone in your household might be suffering from.

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jason Munroe is a freelance writer, who has written on topics that have helped his family, such as getting them through allergy seasons. He lives in Nevada, where he and his wife met and married 22 years ago.

Mar
27

How To Cook Rice Perfectly Every Time

Rice is one of the most widely eaten foods in the world and almost every culture uses some variety of rice in their traditional cuisine. Rice can be found in Indian curry, Japanese sushi, Chinese stir fry, Mexican burritos and Italian risotto. It is so versatile and lends itself to the flavours of the dish that it is cooked with; therefore it is used in thousands of recipes around the world.

Simple?

For such a simple staple food, you would think it would be easy for everyone to cook rice perfectly every time. However, it is not as simple as it looks and there are many ways that rice can “go wrong”. You have probably eaten rice that is too soggy, too hard, or too soft and mushy and this can ruin the taste of the entire dish. Perfectly cooked rice should be fluffy, with each grain distinct and slightly chewy but never mushy.

Rocking Rice Everytime

If you struggle to cook rice and end up disappointed with the results, here are some tips to remember that will help you make delicious rice every time:

  • The first step is to make sure that you are using the right rice for your recipe. Sushi requires special short-grain Japanese sticky-rice, while other dishes such as Rice Pilaf require longer grain varieties.
  • Usually you don’t need to soak your rice before cooking, unless you are using older rice. However, you can rinse the rice with a bit of cold water a few times before using it. This will remove a bit of the extra starch on the rice which will make it less sticky.
  • One of the most important things about cooking rice is the ratio of rice to water. If you have too much water, your rice will become soggy and will never cook properly to the point when it is fluffy. The ratio is always one part rice to two cups of water.
  • If you want, you can try using chicken, vegetable or beef broth when cooking your rice which will add the flavour of the broth to the rice. This of course depends on the type of dish that you are cooking.
  • Next, place the pot of rice on a high heat until it boils. As soon as the rice comes to a boiling point, give it a good stir to make sure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom and then turn the heat all the way down to the minimum setting. It is important that the rice boils so that the water is giving off enough steam to cook it with.
  • Once you have turned the heat down, place a well-sealed lid over the pot. Keep the lid on and resist the urge to lift it off and peak inside, as this will let the steam escape! The steam needs to stay inside the pot so that it will cook the rice through.
  • Don’t forget this very important final step: Once your rice is cooked, take it off the heat and let it sit for a while. This allows all of the water in the pot to redistribute itself through the rice for a more uniform texture.
  • When it is ready, fluff the rice with a metal fork and serve!

Remember these tips whenever you are cooking rice to ensure that you make the perfect rice every time.

Cooking rice is a basic trick taught in cooking schools. It might look easy, but it is hard to get the grains perfectly cooked through with that fluffy texture.

Mar
25

The Benefits Of Locally Sourced Food

What is locally sourced food? Does this mean it’s grown in your back garden, town, region, country? Locally sourced food will depend on how large a country is, and how sparsely or densely populated a region is, but locally sourced food should be considered ‘as near to home as possible’.

The first thing with locally sourced food which should be greatly improved is its Quality. Food which comes from the surrounding areas is going to have taken less time to get to you, meaning fewer preservatives will have been used during its transportation. In turn this guarantees fresher food (which we all know tastes much better).

Quality is also likely to be improved as the food producer easy more easily accountable for their food. When food has to travel a long way from source to consumer the accountability of the produced is vastly reduced as it becomes harder to confront them. Luckily organisations like food standards agencies now ensure that quality is not diminished beyond reasonable levels.

Another fantastic benefit of locally sourced food is the Cost. Because of the distance from producer to consumer the costs of production, storage and transportation are greatly reduced. As the consumer you will rarely see an actual reduction in the price we pay, but was you are assured is that the food is of high quality and a larger proportion of the profits go back to the producer.

For foods which cannot be grown or sourced locally, such as coffee beans, many international fair trade agreements have been setup to ensure the as much profit as possible is returned to the producers.

Further benefits of locally sourced food also include the reduction in the risk of food Contamination. Not only do the shorter travel distances ensure the risks of this are cut, but the local accountability of the producers means that food safety standards must be of the highest quality.

For many wholesalers and resellers selling locally sourced foods has also helped to underpin their ‘going green’ initiatives in reducing their Carbon Footprint.

With advances in technology and a mixture of the declining economy eating locally sourced food has become important for many consumers. For those in the catering industry this has become a vital selling point of their food and services as they try and make a return to the feeling of community amongst their consumers and suppliers.

Whatever your preference you will notice a big difference between locally sourced, fresh food and food which has been Trans-Atlantic before it reaches you.

FN Foods are a Wiltshire based fruit and vegetable delivery company that specialise in locally sourced produce.

Mar
23

5 Amazing Post-Cardio Snacks

After a good cardio workout you need something to help resort your energy. Protein is a great option, but that doesn’t mean you need to rely on protein bars. There are a number of delicious snacks that offer a great source of protein and are easy to find in your local grocery store. Here are just five awesome post-cardio snacks.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is an awesome post-cardio snack. You can put peanut butter on whole wheat crackers, graham crackers, apple slices, 12 grain bread or even eat it straight from the spoon. Either way, peanut butter packs 8 grams of protein per serving.

Smoothie

Smoothies are another wonderful option. A smoothie made with low-fat or fat-free yogurt, ice and your favorite fruit is a great option after an intense workout. You may even want to add additional protein powder. You can also opt for almond milk in place of the yogurt. Almond milk is low in fat and calories, but offers a great source of protein.

Trail Mix

Trail mix is another great option after a cardio workout. You can package individual servings of store-bought trail mix or you can make your own. There are number of high protein nuts and seeds including almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and pecans. You can also add dried fruit for a sweet, low-fat taste.

Fruit Salad

Fresh fruits are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals. You could create a fruit salads using a variety of superfoods including blueberries, oranges, and kiwis. You could then toss in some strawberries and any other fruit you enjoy.

Low-Fat Chocolate Milk

Last, but not least, one of the most recommended post-cardio snacks is low-fat chocolate milk. Low-fat chocolate milk offers a great balance of nutrients that aid in recovery. More importantly, chocolate milk is a lot less expensive than protein shakes and powders. Best of all, it’s easy. All you have to do is grab a bottle from the refrigerator and enjoy. If you don’t like chocolate, you can also get low-fat strawberry, vanilla or even banana flavored milk.

There are a number of snacks that offer a quick boost of energy after an intense workout. Whether you want a quick bottle of chocolate milk or a delicious bowl of fruit salad, these snacks can help you recover. Best of all, they are a lot less expensive than those fancy drinks, bars, and powders on the market.

About the Author: Robert Brodey works out at least 5 times per week and enjoys most of these snacks after his cardio routine each day. He’s currently following an intermittent fasting plan but allows himself a little extra when his routines are really tough!

Mar
21

Five Lifestyle Changes To Get You Into Better Shape

When you think about burning fat, improving your cardiovascular fitness, and building muscle strength, normally what we mean is going to the gym, lifting lots of heavy weights, or running for long distances on a treadmill. In short it’s tiring, time consuming and frankly something that most of us would rather avoid – albeit at our own peril.

However this isn’t all it means to live a healthy lifestyle, and if you want to start seeing positive changes right away without  doing intense training sessions then there are still ways you can start to do so simply by altering your lifestyle. Here we will look at how to go about making the kinds of lifestyle changes you need to make in order to start improving your health in various ways.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke then that gives you one very easy change you can make right away – which is to simply quit. If you quit smoking then this way you will be improving your cardiovascular system as you will have removed tar and other fatty deposits from your veins. At the same time you will find you improve your lungs and this will generally make you fitter and healthier and more able to run etc.

Engage in Sports and Classes

Sports aren’t just good for your general CV – which you can easily get from a new training programme – they are also great for meeting people and great for multitasking. Many sports include lot of sudden changes in direction, as well as quick reactions which can also help to build our fast twitch muscle fibers. And, unlike just jogging on the spot for ages, classes and sports are good fun and something that you will be enthusiastic about doing.

Get Outdoors

Being outside ensures that you are breathing healthy fresh air and that you are getting lots of sun and therefore vitamin D. Your skin will benefit, you’ll be more energetic and you’ll sleep more soundly.

Get Good Sleep

This means not only getting lots of sleep, but also making sure it’s good quality. This is what will improve your immune system by giving it time to strengthen, it will repair your body meaning that wounds heal faster and the microtears in muscle turn to hypertrophy (muscle growth). TO get good quality sleep, make sure that you go to bed at a similar time every night – the body appreciates routine in this respect – and make sure that you are sleeping in a completely dark environment.

Drink Lots of Water

Few of us drink enough water, but it’s important that we do. Not only does this keep us well hydrated at all times, but it also ensure that our body is constantly ‘flushing’ itself of toxins helping us to keep our blood pressure down and our digestive and intestinal tracts in order.

Eat Vitamins and Minerals: Vitamins and minerals are crucial for our overall health and they can absolutely transform our wellbeing by strengthening our immune system, improving our skin teeth and nails, and helping our body to work better.

Jan Hargrove is a blogger, interner marketer and group fitness consultant. He has written several articles related to family wellness and holistic fitness.

Jan
05

What Really Happens When You Pull an All-Nighter

All-nighters seem to be a rite of passage to every college student. It seems that it is actually a necessity when it comes to finals weeks. However, have you actually thought about what all-nighters actually do to your body? Most think that all-nighters just give you baggy eyes and a tired day the next day, but all-nighters have much more serious consequences. If you don’t believe me, here is why you might think twice about pulling an all-nighter. It might seem fun at the time, but there are things that all-nighters do to your body.

1. Weight gain.
Have you wondered why college students put on the “freshmen 15”? All-nighters may have something to do with it. If you are up all night, you body is going to want to have treats to keep it up and running. If you are staying up well past your bed time, you will run the risk of eating a lot more than you normally would.
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