Quit Smoking – What Is Your Gut Reaction?

I’m not talking about your intuition, although I’m sure that gut reaction tells you very clearly that smoking is a really bad idea on many levels.

So here is another one. Your gut does a whole lot more than hold food and churn it up for digestion. There is a kilo or more of healthy bacteria in a healthy gut.

But you are a smoker so your gut isn’t healthy. You will still have about one kilo of bacteria but a high proportion of them may be the type which don’t contribute to your health.

The result is inflammation in your joints, skin, lungs, organs and even your brain.

The toxins from smoking affect your gut bacteria, this creates inflammation, plus smoking alone creates inflammation so now you are in for a world of possible problems.

It is easy to say that smoking makes everything worse, but for certain we know that it causes a vast selection of health issues and that it does absolutely no good at all for anyone.

Many smokers claim that smoking helps them relax. While there is some truth to that belief, the reality is that nicotine causes more stress. It’s just simple bio-chemistry.

But the thing about stress is that one of the important chemicals which regulate our mood and emotions is the neuro transmitter serotonin. The thing is 70-80% of serotonin is created in the gut. Therefore anyone with a disturbed gut function will have trouble managing stress.

As a smoker the reward centre of your brain likes nicotine, as it would alcohol, or sugar. But this same part of the brain which is called the limbic system, is the part which runs over time when you are stressed.

Smoking causes you to be locked into a cycle of stress, inflammation, and a habit which still connects to some perceived benefit.

When you quit smoking using hypnosis, your stress levels will drop as you are producing less cortisol and adrenalin from nicotine. In time your gut will heal and you will produce more healthy bacteria, but this will take up to a year or more and you will need to supplement with a pro biotic formula, and it will help to eat less sugar, which only feeds the bad bacteria.

If you have smoked for many years you will need to be patient as you recover, you have stressed your body and it will take time to bounce back.



Civil War Food – What Union and Confederate Soldiers Ate

The modern U.S. army has a wide array of food products available to them in base camps and in the field. There are a large number of MREs (which are actually quite tasty) and other portable foods available to them when on missions and when stationed in hostile terrain. And when posted at an established base camp, the food that is prepared is also quite good. A large part of this is of course the ready availability of large quantities of any sort of food imaginable in today’s modern environment. In fact, today’s soldiers have the best food ever made available to a fighting force.

But it wasn’t always that way.

Take the Civil War. Civil War food kept the soldiers fed and not much else. Lets take a look at the diet that comprised the typical Civil War food ration. There were several issues that affected the food that was supplied to the Civil War soldiers. These include the organization of the Commissary Department – which was tasked with the acquisition and distribution of food to the soldiers in the field, the season which determined if fresh food was available or if it was preserved in some way and the ability of the food to stay good for long term storage and transportation.

Prior to the war, the concentration of Commissaries was in the North so when the Civil War began, the North had a great advantage as they already had an existing Commissary Department that was already trained in how to acquire and transport food to soldiers in the field. Their job was to work with the troop numbers and schedules and keep a constant supply of foods going to each area where troops were stationed so that the soldiers could keep on fighting without worrying about where their next meal would be coming from. It took the Confederacy several years to develop a working Commissary so being a soldier of the South was more difficult. It required real dedication to be fighting when you didn’t know where your next meal was coming from. Because of this lack of infrastructure, the South had to do a lot of foraging for food between battles until the supply lines were up and operational.

Civil War soldier food was typically very simple fare – often consisting of meat, coffee, sugar and hardtack – a type of dried biscuit. The meat was often salted or dried so it would last a bit longer and fruits and vegetables were rarities on the battlefield. Because the soldiers were often in the field, they needed to carry rations with them. They had a special bag – called a haversack – which was made of canvas with an inner cloth bag that could be washed to get food debris cleaned out once in a while. But even with this design, the bags were often quite contaminated and foul smelling. Cleanliness was typically not high on the Civil War soldiers priority list.

Union soldiers and Confederate soldiers typically had a different mix of rations. A Union soldier might have salt pork, fresh or salted beef, coffee, sugar, salt, vinegar, dried fruit and vegetables. And if it was in season, they might have fresh carrots, onions, turnips and potatoes. A Confederate soldier typically had bacon, corn meal, tea, sugar, molasses and the very occasional fresh vegetable.

The other difference in Civil War food between the Union and Confederate armies was the type of bread product they had available to them. Confederate soldiers had something called “Johnnie Cake” that they made in the field from cornmeal, milk and a few other ingredients. The Union soldiers had hardtack, also referred to as “tooth dullers” or “sheet iron crackers”. Hardtack was manufactured in large factories in the North and was a staple food for the Union soldiers. Hardtack got its name because it was often not used until months after it was made and during that time, it hardened rock solid which is how it got its nicknames.

As you can see, food has come a long way due to the advent of technologies that allow for better preservation of a wide variety of foods. Gone are the days of weevil infested hardtack. They have been replaced with modern vacuum seal technologies that allow foods to stay fresh and tasty years after they have been packages. And since they say an army is run by its stomach, it is no surprise that the modern soldier is the best the world has ever seen.



How Spirulina Can Help Curb Stress and Keep Your Body Healthy

The Spirulina or blue-green algae are organisms with a make up of at least 70% protein. This is due to the fact that the algae are full of ribosomes, which in turn produces proteins. With this algae being rich in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), consuming Spirulina gives a person the necessary nutrients he needs for physical and mental development. Algae also contain Methionine which has an anti-stress component. People who are regularly stressed and are regular customer of Vitamin E capsules and anti-stress serums need only to consume Spirulina everyday for their daily dose of anti-stress concoction.

Besides the many health benefits that this algae can give, it is also full of vitamins which prevents degradation of nerve cells, lowers blood cholesterol, improves blood circulation, and of course, lowers stress level. Pyridoxine, for example, is a vitamin dedicated to maintaining the circulatory system healthy. It also prevents hormonal imbalances among women which prevents sudden pimple breakouts or pigmentation. And the good news is that Spirulina vitamin supplements are already available over the counter.

Riboflavin or Vitamin B2 is intended for preventing or retarding failing eyesight among older people. Also, people who have shown significant increase in Riboflavin intake are less affected by eye defects such as cataracts. If only people were informed about how easy it is to prevent these diseases by taking vitamin supplements.

Tocopherol, more commonly known as Vitamin E, is largely present in Spirulina extracts and derivative products. The main function of this vitamin is to retard the aging process. And also, this algae contains more anti-aging components compared to other sources of Tocopherol such as Wheat Germ. Therefore, it is wiser to invest in Spirulina vitamin supplements instead of buying Wheat Germ creams and capsules.

Pantothenic Acid is also one of the major organic stress busters. This vitamin produces what is known as cortisone, a steroid which is released when a person encounters extremely stressful occasions. This explains why we suddenly get a surge of energy when we are faced with a difficult situation.

The lowly Spirulina have been existent for thousands of years already but yet manufacturing companies still get their anti-stress components from Wheat Germs. That is why enterprising entrepreneurs and health buffs started manufacturing Spirulina vitamin supplements and turned them into easily ingestible capsules. Now, there is no excuse for not taking your daily dose of Spirulina.

Or maybe, this last statement here will convince you to take it: the Blue-Green Algae (Spirulina) is a good source of anti obesity factors. So maybe you want to cut back a couple of pounds. Why not take Spirulina capsules instead and get both that sexier body and stress-free aura you need? Besides the obvious benefits to the vanity of a person, it also carries loads of other health benefits that will surely put value in each dollar spent for it. This organic vitamin supplement is indeed one of the best in the market today. Try one now and see and feel the difference of the Spriulina effect.



A Safer Alternative For Everyday Products – Healthy Homes

We all want a safe world for our kids and ourselves. That is why we recycle cans, paper, and plastic. But have you ever thought about making your home safe for your kids, yourself, and your pets? If you are like me, I have always been concerned about the environment but I never thought about the environment that exists behind my front door.

I accepted the fact that I live in a part of Texas with a high allergy count. I accepted the fact that some cleaning products usually made me cough and running for my allergy meds. What made me stop accepting my situation was the numerous and often weekly reports of the poisonous products the US imports from China. Products that are not tested for any kind of safety standards but in our stores as “name brand ” products we grew up with and trusted! Let’s see..the toys are dangerous, the fish is poisonous….and the toothpaste..we have to worry about our toothpaste too?!! I decided I didn’t want to wonder if the products in my home were going to be the next “China-poison-alert”. Upon more research I found out that formaldehyde (Q 15) is found in many of our everyday products (like baby shampoo) as a preservative to give the product a longer shelf life.

So I researched on line and found out there are companies (in the USA) that make (in the USA) organic, non-toxic cleaning products, bath products, vitamins and exercise products. So I bought some. These natural organic products did not make me ill and coughing when I used them. The house didn’t smell like a chemical plant after I had cleaned. And I worry less about the 3-year old getting into something (less chances of accidental poisonings). Also, we have fewer allergy problems.

I decided to throw out the toxic products. I placed them in a box and left them for the garbage collectors. When I got home later that day, the garbage collector had left a note on the box saying “these products are too hazardous for the land dump”! What an eye opener!

I’m so glad I switched to organic products. I feel like I’m giving my family and loved ones the best. It is one of the best things I have done for my family.



Healthy Tanning Tips!

Summer is always the perfect time for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors and is also the perfect time to tan. However, when you tan and are negligent, you could end up with serious consequences such as skin cancer. Since the suns UV rays are far stronger than they were years back.In order to get a healthy tan you need to take certain factors into consideration such as:

If you are going to spend time at the beach you need to make sure you are wearing a good pair of sunglasses. As well as have a good sun tan lotion. If you are playing sports or just relaxing on the beach then wear a T shirt as well as a hat

Have a shower before going to the beach to remove all the dead skin cells, deodorant, perfumes, etc. As these types of products make the skin far more susceptible to burning and once you have showered, apply your sun screen.

Use a sunscreen that contains a sun factor protection as this will also help to speed up your tanning process and at the same time protect your skin. If you have a sensitive skin use a hypoallergenic sun tan lotion

Do not lie in the sun at noon, as this is when the sun is at its strongest. Do not lie in the sun for more than an hour at a time. Avoid over exposure and do not sun tan in the sun, day after day. The best time to sun tan is in the morning as there is less harmful radiation.

One needs to exercise caution especially if you are fair skinned. People who burn easily are also at risk especially those that have moles and freckles. If there is a history of skin cancer in the family stay out of the sun.



A Healthy Approach to Stress

Everyone reacts to stress differently according to various situations. People have different level of pressure and anxiety that they can handle with different outcomes or without any negative consequences. There are outside factors that can cause stress like big sports game, office presentation, deadlines at work or a student failed his or her exam because of having a mental block while answering his exam.

Stress is a normal human reaction to challenges and tough situations. This is inevitable and always present in our activities of daily living. And as the level of pressure gets too hard, stress eventually surpasses the ability of an individual to cope with it in a positive way. So some people tend to depend on anti stress or anti-anxiety medications in order to get an immediate relief

However, there are alternative ways to cope up with stress such as by practicing stress techniques that can maintain the person’s state of balance and regulation of both body and mind. Having a regular exercise, joining to sports or fitness routines are excellent ways to release stress and relieve tension and frustrations.

Another technique is to perform deep breathing exercise, which gives a feeling of relief. With proper breathing counts and rhythm, this may lead to more relaxation progress. There are also relaxation activities like Oriental arts, which have been practiced by millions of people for centuries such as Yoga or Tai chi which can eliminate stress thereby, lighten up the body and mind and also helps develop full concentration and positive body awareness.

And base on the medical research; these modes of exercise give beneficial effects. By moving slowly with deep breathing and constant contraction, there’s a feeling of good concentration and relaxation to the different parts of the body thus releases stress.

Massage therapy also helps fight stress and applying suitable pressure to the different parts of the body can decrease stress in that certain part of the body.

People should consider first the different kind of stress techniques and give proper importance to it before taking anti-stress pills as the last option. However, people who need fast relief may take these medications with proper doctor’s prescription.

There are healthy ways to beat stress. And at this point, it is important to find productive ways to deal with the stress and to address the person or situation that is causing the stress. So that being stress free makes a person healthy and always have a positive outlook in life.



Shift Work Tips: How To Avoid Junk Food At Work?

Knowing how to avoid junk food at work has got to be the million dollar question because let’s be honest – the good old vending machine can be a shift worker’s best friend when you feel like something quick and easy to eat.

And as it stands there all alone in the hallway, overflowing with different types of goodies to tempt you in, it can be VERY hard to just walk past and not fall under its hypnotic spell.

In fact if you’re a shift worker, avoiding junk food altogether can be a really hard thing to do.

Considering shift workers are prone to constant fatigue and tiredness, that sugar fix from a can of soda or chocolate bar can be just what you need to help get you through the shift. Particularly if you’re a night shift worker or you have to start at the rather hideous time of 3am in the morning.

So if you’re looking for some Shift Work Tips that will help you to avoid junk food at work, try the following:

1. Leave your wallet at home so you don’t have any money to buy junk food. This is by far the best tip because if you don’t have any money, then you quite simply cannot buy the junk food in the first place.

2. Always bring your own meals into work and have some healthy snacks on hand so that you are not tempted to fill up on chocolate, lollies and crisps.

Things like almonds, dates and fruit are a great snack food because they are whole foods – foods that have undergone little or no processing. They will also fill you up so that you’re not tempted to eat the sugary, nutrient-starved junk food.

So avoiding junk food at work can be a hard thing to do – but the good news is that you don’t have to have Superman-like strength and willpower!

If you come into work every day prepared, and keep a stash of healthy snacks in your bag or locker, then you’re less likely to fall under the hypnotic spell of that vending machine…



A Healthy Relationship Has a Good Foundation

What is a Relationship?

A relationship can mean many things from friendship, family, work, or sexual but, the one I am referring to is when you are with someone you are dating or even love. The definition of relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship. It can be defined by enduring behavioral independence, repeated interactions, emotional attachment, and need fulfillment.

Relationships play a central role in the overall human experience because, we as people have a need to belong and to love which is satisfied by having a relationship. I don’t want to go into what a relationship should be because everybody is different and has different outlooks. But, when you find that one person to be with, you both should be on the same page as to what is important in a relationship.

So my focus is going to be on the foundation of a relationship because, that should be universal for everybody.

I recently asked 10 men two questions. One that I believe is important in a relationship and one I believe is important to some people in a relationship. The first question I asked was :

How important is communication to you in a relationship?

Here are a few responses I got.

  • Communication is the key to any relationship. Without it a relationship fails bottom line.
  • Communication is the most important thing. If there is no communication than there is no relationship.
  • Communication is of utmost importance in any relationship. Without communication there’s no point even getting into the relationship.
  • Communication is vital for any relationship to be healthy and successful.
  • Communication is the foundation for any relationship.

I look at the shell of a relationship like building a house. Its a lot of hard work but easy to erect. So lets start at the bottom.

First you would have your foundation which would be communication. We all agree communication is very important to any relationship. without it your like friends with benefits or room mates. So remember to keep an open line of communication.

Second would be your walls which would have three parts. Honestly, loyalty, and trust. You always need to be honest about anything with your partner. If you can’t be honest about your feelings, needs, or wants than you defiantly can’t trust. If you don’t trust your partner about where they are, what they are doing, or what their feelings are than you don’t need to be in a relationship with them. That in turn falls into loyalty. If you are going to commit yourself to that one person. You should be with just that one person. If you can’t be loyal than you can’t trust, which mean you can’t be honest to your partner or to yourself.

The third thing would be your roof, which would be respect. Everyone should have respect for themselves and for others.

It’s like the old saying goes ” Do onto others what you would want done to you.” If you don’t respect your partner or their opinions, than how do you expect them to respect you or your opinions? It’s just like a house, everything has to go together to fit just right.

The second question I asked was,

How do you feel about PDA (Public Displays Of Affection)?

Now I only asked this question because I came across a guy that said he did it when he was younger but, not so much anymore. so that got me wondering if most guys felt the same way.

The answers I got were different than what I expected. Out of all ten men, five were really psyched about PDA. The other five said it was OK but, they would do it.

Here are a few responses I got.

  • PDA is great! If I am not proud to be with my partner and feeling good showing it than I am with the wrong person. Holding hands, hugging, kissing, and stroking her hair, makes her feel cherished and me feel good as well.
  • PDA is OK. You should be able to express your feelings for whoever you are with, without being looked down on from the public.
  • I think there should be PDA. It looks like your hiding something if you can’t show PDA.
  • PDA is good just not over the top.

Me personally I believe PDA is awesome! It not only should make you feel good because your with someone you want to touch but, also make them feel wanted and loved. I am not talking about making out in pubic but, to simply put your arm around them, hold their hand, or touch the small of the back while escorting them into a room. It makes anyone feel wanted. And everybody could use a little of that.

We live in a world with a lot of dishonesty, cheating, and no respect for the fellow man or woman. Why would you want to bring that into a relationship? Truth is you wouldn’t.

When you find that one person you can’t stop thinking about or being around than just be yourself, have fun, and don’t forget to cherish each other and communicate.