Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Is The New Restaurant Grading System Changing The Way We Eat?

Going out to restaurants never goes out of style, and while the restaurant business grows, so do the germs and bacteria that can be found in them. According to the article, "A Large Salmonellosis Outbreak Associated With a Frequently Penalized Restaurant" S.P. Luby, J.L. Jones and J.M. Horan discuss a restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina that managed to get an estimated 824 customers sick in a five-month period in 1990, due to the unsanitary conditions of the restaurant's kitchen. Before the Health Department created the public restaurant rating system, consumers had to either go online, or contact the Health Department to learn about the cleanliness of restaurants. Bacteria such as salmonella, Escherichia coli, and cold and flu strains have been found on everything from utensils to the soda dispenser machines, and has been reported on many news broadcasts.

In the NYC.GOV report, titled, "Restaurant Grading in New York City at 18 months", the New York Department of Health estimates that "more than 6,000 New Yorkers are hospitalized, and 20,000 visit emergency rooms each year because of food borne illnesses". Fortunately, the new grading system allows for restaurants to be checked more often than they used to be. The grading system works as a points system. The more points you have, the worse your grade. Even if a restaurant's inspection points fall into the A grade (0-13 points) inspectors will still re-inspect a month later and issue a grade based on the second inspection. It seems that getting a grade of an A is not easy, but what about the restaurants that have scored a B or a C? Many times I have passed by restaurants in Manhattan, and seen small food shops with C grades, that have lines of customers out the door, and the popularity of food carts is on the rise with people on the go. I have friends that are avid food cart customers, boasting about which food carts have made them sick, and which haven't.

Food carts vendors must obtain Health Department permits, but they are not as strict as restaurant regulations. Are people becoming desensitized to food borne illnesses, or are people willing to sacrifice a little sickness for a tasty cheap meal?

Though the universal grading system allows for customers to know what they are getting into before they sit down, it will be a long time before the "C" grades disappear. The NYC.GOV report also states that there is evidence of mice in 22% of all of New York City restaurants, and food stored in harmful food temperatures in 27% of restaurants. It's good to be watchful of the places where you eat. Many times I have been told that a restaurant bathroom is the best representation of the kitchen, so check the cleanliness of the bathroom, or else you might be spending a lot of time in your own.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DIY R and R: 10 Ways to Unwind in Your Very Own Home

It's hard to relax on a budget. If you had infinite amounts of money you could go indulge in a little bit of rest and recreation at, say, a day spa, or by getting a massage, or buying one of those neverending packets of Tim Tams. However, if you're not as rich as Posh Spice, you might want to try these ten things which you can do in the comfort of your own home. Who wants to leave the house when they want a time out anyway?

1. Have a spa night with your friends

Having 'friend time' is important. Set aside one night a month for a 'spa night.' Set up stations for facials, pedicures, manicures, and massages. It will be relaxing and fun, plus it will cost heaps less than heading to the actual spa

2. Take a bath...

... and lock the bathroom door! Make it very clear that you will not be disturbed. Lie in there with some scented candles and shut your eyes. This is your time.

3. DinNer and a movie; the cultured way

Being open-minded to the world is important; it's also important to cook great food and watch awesome movies. Choose a culture that you'd like to learn more about, then research a movie and recipe that fit your theme (example: for India, try making a new curry and rent Slumdog Millionaire). Get creative!

4. Purchase a massage chair

Purchasing actual massages can add up in no time. Check out the internet to review different options of massage chairs, which range from very low to very high prices. Sit back, relax, and unwind.

5. Zzzzz...

Sleep is the most important relief when stressed. There's nothing like taking time out of a busy day to get some shut-eye. Try and make it earlier, rather than later, so that you can sleep properly at night.

6. Indulge your inner baker

What's better than freshly baked cookies and a glass of milk? Not to mention, the aroma that will fill your house once you pop anything sweet into the oven; no need to buy candles, as freshly baked cookies are the best scent around.

7. Create a photo collage

Head out to your local craft store, purchase a fresh blank canvas and some mod-podge, and start collecting photos that are sitting around in your house. We all have photos that just sit in a box, so why not create a collage of your best memories that you can hang on your wall and keep forever.

8. Open a bottle of wine... and drink some!

There's nothing like a bottle of wine to make all your stress go away. Enjoy a few glasses in the company of friends and family - hopefully with a bit of nice cheese and crackers and a beautiful day or night to complement it.

9. Meditate.

Sit cross-legged on the floor and breathe deeply. Take the time to empty your mind and process what's happened over the last week. Afterwards have a stretch or do some yoga. The physical activity will release positive endorphins that will have you calm in no time.

10. Gardening

Get in touch with nature! Plant some new flowers or herbs. It'll help you practice healthy eating and is a very soothing exercise.

Feeling relaxed yet? To get results from your shampoo you need to rinse and repeat. Do the same with these activities and you'll feel calm and centered, and above all, relaxed, in no time.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Three Reasons to Seek Chiropractic Care

More people are putting a premium on their overall health and wellbeing. While patients used to seek chiropractic care for lower back pain, many are starting to realise its other health benefits. The treatment is not only good for chronic back, neck, and joint pain; there are many other reasons patients seek care from their local chiropractor. The following are major examples of why it may be time you seek therapy from a trusted practitioner in your area.

Injury Recovery

Many people do not realise that chiropractic care can play a major role in effective injury recovery. Chiropractors everywhere have helped and continue helping patients recover from all sorts of injuries, even those that do not necessarily have anything to do with the spine. Therapy is especially effective when it concerns sports related injuries. Injury from sports can be debilitating for an athlete, and it is always best to address the significant amount of stress the body endures before things get worse.

Another injury chiropractic care can help address is whiplash from vehicular accidents. Many times, even the most minor bumps can result in physical pain and discomfort in the neck. Sometimes it takes a couple of days for symptoms to appear, and in other cases, it can take up to a few weeks or even a month before indication of the injury. Whether you are already experiencing symptoms or just need reassurance that nothing is wrong, it is always smart to schedule an examination with your chiropractor at the soonest possible time. Delaying a visit may only prolong the recovery period.

Boosted Immune System

There is enough evidence to prove the link between regular chiropractic care and a boosted immune system. Various studies even go as far as saying that children who have regular therapy have fewer colds, ear infections, and are less likely to catch the flu. Chiropractic therapy helps relieve stress coming from the nervous system, which plays a significant role in the immune system at large.

Experts suggest maintaining a standard routine of chiropractic care for the maintenance of a strong immune system. Consult with your local chiropractor in Sutton, coldfield or area of residence to learn more about how regular therapy can help boost immunity.

Overall Health and Wellness

The goal of every chiropractor is to help you with more than just quick relief for various body pains. The nervous system, a major chiropractic point of concern, controls and influences the entire body, and it is always best to keep it functioning properly. Doing so keeps your entire body in check and healthy, helping you avoid various health problems and complications. Many patients report that after regular chiropractic care, they find themselves with a much better outlook on life, thanks to a boosted immunity and overall sense of wellbeing.

Discover more about what chiropractic care can do for you, and how it can keep your entire body in check.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

When Cancer Makes Your Decision for a Breast Augmentation

No one expects to have cancer and have a mastectomy, but it does happen to many women. Perhaps in the past you had considered getting a breast augmentation, but you were never all that serious about it. Now, if you have had a mastectomy, then it most likely is something you definitely would like to consider. Before making a decision, you will need to speak to your oncologist, look at insurance and the costs that this procedure could entail, and you will need to make sure that you have the right mind-set about it.

Going through cancer treatments and surgery to remove your breasts is a major ordeal. Your body will likely need some time to recover before you consider getting a breast augmentation. Some people might choose to have it at the same time as the mastectomy. This is a great option if it works out that way for you. Before you consider having this procedure, it is important for you to talk to your oncologist. He or she will be able to give the okay as to whether or not you are physically ready for such a surgery. He or she may also have some suggestions as to the placement of the implant due to your history of cancer.

If you are considering a breast augmentation after or with a mastectomy, you will definitely want to discuss it with your insurance company. In most cases, this type of surgery would not be covered. In your situation it may be covered since your problem was caused by cancer. Check into the overall cost as well as what insurance will pay.

Your mind-set is a big part of your decision to have a breast augmentation. Having cancer is difficult enough. You might have a hard time overcoming your feelings after your mastectomy. If you think that this procedure will change who you are or do something miraculous for you, you need to get your expectations in the right place before having the surgery. The surgery will give you breasts, and you can probably choose the size, but you will still be the same person. You might feel an increase in confidence, but most likely your life will not change significantly. It is really in your mind-set. The more positive you are with your main expectation being that you will look normal and your best, the better off you will be.

Take the time right now to consider your options. Make sure that your doctors are okay, your finances are okay, and make sure that you are okay emotionally. When you check off these areas, you should be on your way to having a breast augmentation.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Deer Antler Spray - How Can It Enhance Your Well Being As An Athlete

In case you are curious about using the deer antler spray then this article could be of great help to you. This is one of the most amazing natural supplements that enhance total athletic performance. This extract spray is made up of elk antlers, which have the highest amount of velvet. This velvet is made up of the cartilage and bone. In modern treatment and Chinese culture, deer antler spray has really become a great medication and you can read more about it by going through this article carefully.

What Does Deer Antler Spray Contain?

Most of the individuals who make use of this extract spray are athletes that are regularly doing strenuous activities. They utilize this spray as steroids in order to build muscles and recover quickly from fatigue. Professionals agree that the antler velvet spray is quite secured than steroids. Before you start using it, you need to understand more about it.

Some of the major benefits of using this spray are:

  • It really helps in curing joint pain in your body. It contains chondroitin and glucosamine. These are the two amino acids which are accountable for cartilage production. It even has collagen which can help you in relieving pain.
  • It enhances your sex drive a great deal as it increases on the hormones in your body like testosterone and estrogen. Therefore, you get enhanced sexual drive.
  • The nutrients present in this spray helps you in boosting up your immunity a great deal. The extracts present here help you keep your body immune against all types of disorders.
  • Well, not many people know the fact that this spray even keeps your cardiovascular health good. It is proven effective while dealing with issues like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, weak bones, indigestion and asthma.

Overall, we can easily conclude that this deer antler spray is known to render you some amazing benefits on the go. It can really help you in staying fit in a number of ways. However, before that you need to follow some important factors. Some of them are given below.

  • Make sure that the spray which you purchase is made up of good quality ingredients.
  • You need to order one online so that you are able to generate some fine results on the go. Deer antler spray is easily available online and you can easily order it as per your requirements.
  • You need to consider shopping from a reputed online store so that you don't have any difficulty later on.

These are some of the crucial points that you need to remember in regard to deer antler spray. You must understand its uses and benefits beforehand so that later on no inconvenience is caused. Before you start using it you need to consider a number of factors in regard to this topic. I am pretty certain that you are going to love using this deer antler spray. Have a lot of fun and enjoy yourself while moving further in the right direction.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Common Skin Care Options That Can Treat Your Face and Body

Skin care does not have to focus on just your face, though that is the area a lot of procedures treat. If you are worried about having a smooth surface free of flaws anywhere on your body, you should look into some of the options many clinics and spas offer. Find out what is available to you, and then decide which treatments you really need.

You likely have a few issues you want to fix on your face, which is why it is good that there are so many choices when it comes to facial skin care. If you want to get rid of wrinkles and fine lines, your options abound, with mostly dermal fillers that are meant to fill in the lines in your face. Restylane, Juvederm, and BOTOX are among the most popular ways to reduce the amount of wrinkles and fine lines you may see at any age. You can also opt for Thermage and similar laser treatments that can tighten the area, getting rid of the saggy look many people get as they age. If you are mostly concerned about acne or scarring, microdermabrasion may be right for you since it can get rid of the layers that are most affected by these problems.

There are also skin care options for your body, depending on the issues you need to eliminate. One example is laser hair removal, which is ideal when you want to reduce the amount you have to shave or wax. This treatment can either completely stop or greatly reduce the growth of hair, meaning you will spend a lot less time trying to get rid of stubble anywhere on your body. The result should be a smooth surface with little upkeep.

Another option is laser vein removal, which is helpful when you are ashamed at how visible your veins are. Whether they show up on your legs or other parts of the body, this treatment may get rid of spider veins or capillaries that are more noticeable than they should be. This type of skin care should be left to experienced practitioners who know how to use a laser for the benefit of patients like you, since getting rid of visible veins on your own is not possible.

If these options interest you, it may be time to visit a local spa or clinic that advertises these treatments. Just make sure the staff is properly trained to perform the skin care procedures you choose so you can get great results. You can often get a consultation on your first visit, during which you will explain your concerns when it comes to your face or body so you can get the right treatment.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Exposing the "Silent Killer" - The Warning Signs of Hypertension, and How to Treat It

Of all of the problems dominating the modern health landscape, hypertension (also referred to as high blood pressure) might be one of the most challenging opponents. This isn't just because of the many consequences of hypertension - the disease can lead to a myriad of problems impacting the heart, kidneys, brain and even the eyes. What makes high blood pressure such an imposing threat is its stealthy nature. Of all of the 68 million Americans with hypertension, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one fifth are completely unaware of their condition (other estimates put this figure at about one-third of hypertension patients). By paying close attention to some subtle warning signs, patients with undiagnosed hypertension can get the medical attention and treatment they need.

The Dangers of Hypertension

Hypertension can be defined simply as abnormally high blood pressure. Blood pressure refers to the force of blood against the artery walls as it is pumped out of your heart. A healthy blood pressure measurement falls below a reading of 120/80 mmHg (the "mmHg" abbreviation stands for "millimeters of mercury"). People with measurements that fall between 120/80 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg are considered to have pre-hypertension; this means that while they do not yet suffer from hypertension, they are likely to develop the condition in the future. The threshold for hypertension is 140/90 mmHg; having blood pressure readings at this level or higher confirms the presence of hypertension.

Once hypertension develops, it immediately begins straining numerous key body parts. Hypertension forces the heart muscle to work harder to push blood through the arteries, causing the heart muscle itself to thicken. While we usually think of bigger muscles as a good thing, a bigger heart muscle is certainly not a sign of good health. Thicker heart muscles make it much harder for the heart to pump blood; if this burden becomes too much for the heart to bear, it will completely fail. Additionally, hypertension can cause the heart's surrounding arteries to harden, eventually leading to heart attack.

A surge in blood pressure can also weaken blood vessels in the kidneys, the organs tasked with purging waste from the body. If its blood vessels begin to falter, the kidneys themselves could easily follow suit, allowing dangerous toxins to accumulate inside the bloodstream. Should the kidneys fail entirely, a patient will require either a kidney transplant or dialysis, a treatment that involves cleaning the kidneys with the aid of a dialysis machine.

In addition to threatening some of the body's most vital organs, hypertension is the also the leading cause of strokes. As blood is pushed through the vessels at abnormal force, it may rupture weakened blood vessels that pass through the brain. If a vessel does burst, blood will quickly leak inside of the brain, and subsequently cause the patient to suffer a stroke. Hypertension can also heavily damage blood vessels in the eyes, leading to blurred vision or even blindness.

Possible Hypertension Red Flags

As mentioned above, many patients with hypertension are completely unaware of their dangerously high blood pressure. The main reason for this problem is that undiagnosed hypertension patients often display no discernable symptoms. Consequentially, the only surefire way to conclusively determine the presence of hypertension is through regular blood pressure tests. Exactly how often a patient's blood pressure should be checked varies from case to case; if you are concerned about your current blood pressure levels, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Though many people develop hypertension without any obvious warning signs, some patients may experience symptoms that indicate unhealthy blood pressure levels. People in this category often have blood pressure readings that are much higher than 120/80 mmHg. A list of these possible red flags is shown below:

  • Strong headache
  • Fatigue or confusion
  • Problems with vision
  • Pain in the chest area
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Blood in the urine
  • Pounding in the chest, neck, or ears

Reducing Your Blood Pressure

Doctors usually prescribe various medications to hypertension patients, with the goal of reducing their blood pressure readings to healthy levels. Aside from these medications, people with hypertension (or those at risk of developing hypertension) can reign in their blood pressure through implementing some healthy lifestyle adjustments.

Lose Excess Weight - We're stating the obvious here, but carrying around extra weight is no good for the body, leading to everything from diabetes to cancer. So it shouldn't be surprising that being overweight or obese dramatically increases your risk of hypertension. Likewise, shedding unneeded poundage will likely reduce your blood pressure back to acceptable levels.

Exercise Regularly - You might be tempted to dismiss this piece of advice, especially if you seldom exercise. Many people mistakenly believe that they need to spend hours toiling in the gym to reap the benefits of working out. In reality, just 30 to 60 minutes of daily physical activity can lower your blood pressure by 4 to 9 mmHg.

Strictly Watch Your Sodium Intake - Sodium, a mineral added to foods to boost taste and prevent spoilage, can lead to hypertension if consumed in excessive amounts. Hypertension patients are commonly advised to cut back on their sodium intake, with a cap of 1500 milligrams per day. This same guideline applies to people over age 51, African-Americans and those with diabetes and/or kidney disease. You can consume less sodium by eating fewer processed foods, limiting your consumption of salt and by reading the nutrition labels of products prior to purchasing them.

Drink in Moderation - Unhealthy amounts of drinking not only place a heavier burden on your liver, but can also raise your blood pressure. People under age 65 are best served by consuming no more than two alcoholic drinks per day; people over 65 should stick to one daily drink. 12 ounces of beer, 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor and 5 ounces of wine all qualify as one alcoholic drink.

Manage Your Stress Levels - This final tip might be the toughest one of all. Working at a demanding job or dealing with difficult family members can easily cause stress, thereby causing a harmful rise in blood pressure. If you are unable to remove the stress triggers in your life, you might consider practicing deep-breathing exercises, yoga or meditation. A professional therapist might also be useful.