December 31st, 2007 cate
From Little Dumb Man (he’s not so dumb, afterall):
Around holiday time, a common comment I hear is, “I cooked for 6 hours and we ate everything in 20 minutes.” Well, aside from the fact that there must be zero socializing at that holiday table, it seems to me that eating a couple thousand calories in 20 minutes is a little fast. Could you enjoy the food just as much by slowing down?
I started to look into the affects of slow versus fast eating and then tried a little experiment with some of what I learned. My experiment was with chocolate candy because it’s something I really like a lot.
Generally, I feel as if I have to eat three or four candies to be totally pleased. But recently I noticed that if I take a 10-15 min pause after two candies, I have significantly less or even no desire at all to eat the third one. This resulted in less consumption which, when speaking of candy, is a good thing.
I started wondering why this happens and began my research, which turned into learning the effects of slow eating.
Portion control & Overeating prevention. When you eat slowly it is definitely hard to overeat. Slow eating little by little decreases the desire to eat, so you can stop eating before your plate is empty. It is suggested that it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to produce the hormones telling your brain that you are full.
Weight control benefits. Slowly eating habit reduces the risk of becoming overweight. Recently Japanese researches found strong positive correlation between higher eating speed and obesity.
It can’t hurt you. Slow eating doesn’t have any negative effects on your health, but can bring you a number of benefits without extra costs.
Taste and …
December 30th, 2007 cate
Passion Flower – is an excellent sedative herb with no side effects even when used in large quantities. It contains harmine, which combats depression and triggers the “feel good” response. Passion Flower reduces spasms and depresses the central nervous system. It contains tranquilizing properties, including mild sedative and anti-anxiety effects. Also, it has an antispasmodic effect on smooth muscles within the body, including the digestive system, promoting digestion.
Chamomile – Chamomile has been used used in Europe, South America, and Mexico for insomnia and restlessness combined with irritability. Chamomile oil can also be put in bath water to soothe nerves. There are mild sedative effects associated with chamomile. The FDA considers chamomile to be safe and the herb has no known adverse effects. Don’t tale chamomile if you’re pregnant or suffer from any chronic disorders of the digestive tract, including ulcers and ulcerative colitis.
Oats – oats have a mild sedative effect and has long been used as an herbal treatment of insomnia. Oats are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2 and E, manganese, zinc, calcium, phosphorus. They are also used to treat nervous exhaustion and “weakness of the nerves. Oats are thought to stimulate sufficient nervous energy to make sleep possible.
Magnesium – Magnesium is helpful for relieving restless leg syndrome (RLS) and for treating insomnia. It is needed for bone, protein, and fatty acid formation, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing muscles, clotting blood, and forming ATP – the muscle’s energy source. About half of the body’s magnesium stores are found inside cells of body tissues and organs, and half are combined with calcium and phosphorus in bone. Only 1% of the magnesium in the body is found in blood. Sources of magnesium include green vegetables such as spinach, as well as nuts, seeds, and some whole grains. The magnesium content of refined foods is usually low.
California Poppy – California Poppy was used by the Native Americans as a gentle sedative for children and the elderly. Although California Poppy is closely related to the Opium Poppy (Papaver somniferum) it has a markedly different effect on the central nervous system. California Poppy is not a narcotic and does not contain opiates like the Opium Poppy and is not addictive. In fact, rather than disorientating the user, it tends to normalize psychological function.
Medicinally, California poppy is a plant with sedative, analgesic and antispastic activities. It is particularly helpful if sleep is difficult from anxiousness and acute pain. It lessens both nerve centered and muscular pain, calms the mind and relieves anxiety.
Note: Please consult your private physician before undertaking any new methods for your insomnia.
December 28th, 2007 cate
Dehydration is a major cause of headaches. Adults should be drinking about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day for proper hydration. Sorry, coffee and sodas don’t count, it must be water.
Ironically, people who take a lot of pain medications on a regular basis can experience more headaches. Both over the counter pain relievers and prescription pain relievers are the culprits.
Strong odors from perfumes, new carpet, new car, smoke, or fumes can cause headaches.
Too much caffeine can cause headaches. Caffeine usually helps relieve headaches, however, when it is taken in large doses it does the opposite.
Lots of Stress
Stress is a big culprit, especially chronic stress. People who tend to push themselves beyond the limit tend to experience more headaches. Physical activity and taking breaks can help relieve stress, which in turn will help reduce headaches.
Watching TV or using the computer
Excessive use of computers or watching TV for extended periods of time can cause headaches.
Dry Sinuses or congested sinuses can cause headaches.
Imbalances in blood sugar, especially low blood sugar can cause headaches. Imbalances in blood sugar can be corrected by eating adequate protein. Protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Certain foods that contain a lot of tyramine (amino acid) can cause headaches. Examples include: peanuts, chocolate, and red wine. Other foods that contain nitrates can also cause headaches. Examples include: salami, hot dogs, and sausages. Although not as common, diary and wheat can also cause headaches in certain individuals.
Changes in weather can cause headaches.
Higher altitudes can cause headaches. Many mountain climbers experience headaches as they reach higher altitudes. Even a visit to a town or city that is at a higher elevation than when you currently live can cause a headache.
Changes in hormone levels can also bring upon headaches. Women are obviously more susceptible to this type of headache.
Very little sleep or sudden changes in sleep patterns can precipitate headaches.
December 27th, 2007 cate
“Should you retrofit your home with solar power? The short answers are: probably (for your hot-water); definitely (for your pool); and likely not (for your household electrical needs).
Your hot-water heater is an energy hog, accounting for up to one-quarter of your household’s energy consumption. Add greenhouse gas emissions associated with conventional hot water heating – between 600 and 760 kilograms a year – and endlessly renewable, non-polluting sunshine seems a no-brainer.
Quallium, an Ottawa-based startup company, has installed solar electricity systems for clients hungering to go off-grid. The systems are especially practical for cottages far from hydro lines, says company owner Paul Fritz-Nemeth.
“People think the cost of solar systems depends on the size of their house. It really depends on what your habits are.” says Fritz-Nemeth. “Big-screen TVs consume a lot of power, especially when they’re left plugged in all the time.”
A solar hot-water system for a family of four needs a couple of…”