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How to Start A Vegan Diet


A traditional American diet includes large portions of meat and dairy products. These products can be high in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, making them unhealthy foods to form the bulk of your diet. A vegan diet plan eliminates all animal products, including meat, dairy, poultry, fish, eggs and honey. You may start a vegan diet to lose weight, improve your health, reduce your environmental impact or out of concern for animals. To start a vegan diet, plan your meals carefully to avoid nutrient deficiencies.


  1. Consult a registered dietitian. A dietitian is trained to analyze your diet and lifestyle to determine your nutritional needs, and their insight and expertise will help make your transition to a vegan diet much smoother.
  2. Decide whether you want to gradually transition into a vegan diet or give up animal products cold turkey. Some people find that starting a vegan diet in gradual stages increases their commitment to the diet plan.
  3. Make a list of vegan recipes you already work into your meals. Many who are not vegans eat lentil soup, bean salads or a meatless red sauce over pasta. Start your vegan diet by eating those vegan meals with which you may already be familiar, such as oatmeal or cream of rice for breakfast.
  4. Make a list of your favorite recipes that aren’t vegan. Identify substitutes for the animal products in each recipe. Think about soy or gluten meat substitutes, soy dairy products, egg substitutes such as flax eggs, vegetable oils, whole grains, beans and other vegan ingredients you can incorporate into your favorite recipes. Use grilled mushrooms to add meaty texture to dishes, swap out regular hamburgers for veggie burgers made from lentils, mushrooms and bulgar and try using agave or brown rice syrup instead of honey
  5. Compile a list of vegan recipes. Purchase a vegan cookbook, find vegan recipe websites or swap ideas with a vegan friend. Having a large number of vegan recipe options helps you stick with your new diet.
  6. Eat a balanced diet that includes lean protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Avoid becoming protein deficient by incorporating 5 or 6 ounces of soy products, beans, seeds and nuts into your diet each day. Eat wheat germ, whole grain products, soy-based foods, peas, dried fruits, lentils and nuts to receive zinc and iron.
  7. Track your daily food intake using an online food journal. Note any deficiencies in nutrients traditionally derived from meat and other animal products and take a multivitamin to supplement your dietary intake of these important nutrients.

How to Eat a Balanced Vegan Diet

Whether you are a vegan and need a reminder or you wish to be a vegan and want to learn more, here are some simple ways to make sure you eat a balanced diet and get all the vitamins you need.

Which Gummy Vitamins Are the Best to Take for Adults?


  1. People always assume that vegans lack protein and iron because they don’t eat meat or dairy. The truth is you can get these from many different foods such as leafy greens, beans, tofu and quinoa.
  2. Research food combinations. Protein needs building blocks like amino acids which can be found in soy, to be absorbed properly, vegan or not. Rice and beans is a good example of combining food to absorb protein.
  3. Always eat whole foods. This means foods that are not processed but in their most whole form. Choose oatmeal over cereal, brown rice instead of white rice or whole wheat bread instead of white bread. As a general rule, avoid anything that comes in a box.
  4. A balanced meal would consist of a whole grain, a leafy green vegetable and a protein. This way you are sure to get all the necessary nutrients. A good example may be steamed broccoli on brown rice with tahini sauce.
  5. The most challenging aspect of eating well as a vegan is going out to a restaurant, especially if you don’t live in a city with vegetarian dining options. If you know you are going to a steakhouse, eat at home and order a garden salad. Beware of hidden animal products. For example, sometimes Mexican restaurants cook their beans in fat. Don’t be afraid to ask the waitress.

Vegan Vs. Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian soy burger.

A vegetarian diet includes no flesh from animals, meaning no meat, poultry or fish. Ovo-lacto vegetarians consume eggs, dairy or both, along with plant foods. Vegans, who consume no animal products, are a growing segment of the vegetarian population. A 2014 Harris Interactive study estimated that about 5 percent of Americans are vegetarian, with half of those following a vegan diet. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, characterizes vegetarian and vegan diets as healthful when well-planned. Which type you decide on depends on your ethical views, your level of commitment and your health concerns.

Ethics of the Choice

  • Vegetarians may choose to abstain from animal products because they feel it’s morally wrong to harm animals when plant foods can fulfill most of their dietary needs. Others may be concerned about the impact that factory farming has on the environment. Vegans take commitment to these ideals a step further than lacto-ovo vegetarians and often avoid animal-based products such as leather and honey, too.

    For some, health motivations may influence their decision to follow a plant-based diet. A vegetarian or vegan diet may lower the risk of major chronic disease, notes a paper in a 2010 issue of Nutrition in Clinical Practice. Vegetarians and vegans usually have a lower body-mass index and lower cholesterol levels than meat eaters. Vegans have a significantly lower body mass index than even lacto-ovo vegetarians and thus may have a greater edge in preventing certain diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Research, however, is inconclusive.

Protein Considerations

  • Both vegetarian and vegan diets can provide all the protein you need daily. A vegetarian diet that includes dairy or eggs may make meeting these needs easier. Both of these products are complete proteins that contain all of the essential amino acids you must get from your diet to promote healthy growth and tissue development. Vegans and vegetarians get protein from soy, one of the only complete plant-based proteins, but must also rely on incomplete proteins, such as nuts, seeds, grains and beans. Eating a variety of them across the course of days does provide a combination that meets your complete protein needs.

    Registered dietitian Nancy Rodriguez told Today’s Dietitian that vegans should aim for 80 to 100 grams of protein per day. Vegetarians who consume ample amounts of eggs and dairy may stick to the minimum recommended dietary allowance of 0.36 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. If vegetarians rely mostly on plant-based proteins and only occasionally consume eggs or dairy, they should consume about 20 percent more than the standard RDA for protein since vegetarian proteins may be less readily assimilated by the body, according to a 2014 issue of Today’s Dietitian.

Vitamins, Minerals and Fats

  • Both vegan and vegetarian diets are rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, vitamin E and carotenoid antioxidants. Vegetarians and vegans take in less retinol, vitamin B-12, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids than meat eaters. Vegans are particularly vulnerable to deficiencies in calcium and vitamin B-12. Doctor-approved supplements can help curb these deficiencies, as can ensuring you consume plenty of vitamin B- and zinc-fortified grains, walnuts, flaxseed and calcium-fortified alternative milks — including soy, almond and coconut — as part of either dietary regimen.

Practicality and Convenience

  • A vegetarian diet that includes eggs or dairy can be easier to stay faithful to. Eating out at restaurants and at people’s homes is less of a hassle when you have fewer restrictions. While both diets require some planning to get all the nutrients you need, you may need to be less vigilant in ensuring you get adequate vitamin D, calcium and zinc with a diet that includes eggs and dairy. The differences in the diet plans are evident when you compare menus. For example, a lacto-ovo vegetarian might consume an egg and vegetable omelet for breakfast; a green salad with shredded cheese, nuts and chickpeas for lunch; and lasagna made with ricotta and roasted vegetables for dinner, along with yogurt and fruit for snacks. A vegan’s diet might consist of a breakfast of oatmeal with almond milk, walnuts and berries; a green salad with baked tofu and beans at lunch; and vegetable and bean chili with brown rice for dinner, with walnuts and fresh fruit at snack time.

Strict Diet & Exercise Plan

Diet and exercise are the two main components in living a healthier lifestyle and achieving fitness and weight-loss goals. When combined and followed accurately, a strict diet and exercise plan can be very affective and provide long-term results. Since they can be difficult to maintain, it’s best to begin with following a strict diet and exercise regime until a routine is formed and can be easily managed.

Weight Loss Motivation Ideas

Low-Carb, High-Protein Diet

  • A diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein is an example of a diet that can be viewed as being extremely strict. Before starting a low-carb diet it’s best to throw away all foods in your house that aren’t a part of the plan, since it can be a little difficult to follow. Since the strict diet calls for very small portions of carbs like pasta, bread, white rice and potatoes, it’s best to begin stocking and consuming foods that are high in protein and low in carbs. High-protein foods include lean meats, fish, chicken breasts, nuts, beans and eggs. A good way to ensure that you follow the diet accurately is by accompanying high-protein foods with fresh fruits and vegetables for each meal.

Sugar-Free Diet

  • A sugar-free diet is a strict diet and can be achieved by eliminating refined sugar and certain fruits and vegetables that are high in sugar. When followed properly, the diet can help jump-start a healthier lifestyle, lower cholesterol and weight and increase energy. Foods that cannot be consumed when adhering to this diet are anything containing refined flour and sugar; foods like bacon, fried chicken, potatoes, beets, carrots, bananas and corn. They can be replaces with game meats, lean beef and pork, lentils, peas, spinach, cucumbers, cherries, tangerines and oranges. Since the diet is very limited and strict on the body, be cautioned that the diet is not for exercise fanatics.

Strict Exercise Plan

  • A strict exercise plan can produce substantial results when it’s follow accurately and consistently. If weight loss is the goal, it’s recommended that if you’re not accustomed to exercising regularly, it’s best to gradually increase the amount of time you exercise by working your way up to 30 to 60 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. In addition to cardio workouts, incorporating light weightlifting two times a week can help also increase lean muscle tone, resulting in a strict five-day exercise plan.

How to Eat a Balanced Vegan Diet

Foods That Improve Liver Function


  1. People always assume that vegans lack protein and iron because they don’t eat meat or dairy. The truth is you can get these from many different foods such as leafy greens, beans, tofu and quinoa.
  2. Research food combinations. Protein needs building blocks like amino acids which can be found in soy, to be absorbed properly, vegan or not. Rice and beans is a good example of combining food to absorb protein.
  3. Always eat whole foods. This means foods that are not processed but in their most whole form. Choose oatmeal over cereal, brown rice instead of white rice or whole wheat bread instead of white bread. As a general rule, avoid anything that comes in a box.
  4. A balanced meal would consist of a whole grain, a leafy green vegetable and a protein. This way you are sure to get all the necessary nutrients. A good example may be steamed broccoli on brown rice with tahini sauce.
  5. The most challenging aspect of eating well as a vegan is going out to a restaurant, especially if you don’t live in a city with vegetarian dining options. If you know you are going to a steakhouse, eat at home and order a garden salad. Beware of hidden animal products. For example, sometimes Mexican restaurants cook their beans in fat. Don’t be afraid to ask the waitress.

What Is Custom LASIK?

Custom LASIK is the latest advancement in procedures designed to reshape the cornea so that individuals no longer need glasses or contacts. If you are interested in the benefits of custom LASIK and want to learn more about whether the procedure is right for you, then this is an article you’ll want to read.

What Is LASIK?

LASIK is a form of laser eye surgery that can correct refractive (focusing) errors and improve visual acuity (clarity of vision). LASIK can correct myopia (short- or near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (a defect preventing sharp focus). At Ophthalmology Associates in St. Louis, the surgeons know that LASIK provides a permanent solution, for most people, to eyeglasses and contact lenses.

The Benefits of Custom LASIK

Custom LASIK eye surgery (a.k.a. custom wavefront LASIK) adds greater precision and personalization to standard LASIK surgery by creating a custom map of a patient’s eye. This map shows both major and minor aberrations in the structure of the eye that affect vision. By comparing a patient’s custom map with a theoretically perfect map, it is possible for a surgeon to precisely shape the cornea to provide nearly perfect vision.

If you have ever been asked by an eye doctor “which lens is clearer, lens 1 or lens 2?” then you have taken part in an exam called abberometry. An abberometer can be used to determine which prescription you require for eyeglasses or contacts, but can also be to create a map for custom LASIK. The particular machine used in custom LASIK mapping is far more sensitive than a traditional abberomter and uses computerized scanning algorithms. The results of this highly detailed map are electronically transferred to the LASIK laser and then computer-matched to your eye’s position. This allows the surgeon to make exceptionally accurate changes to your eye. The result of using this system is surgery that is 25 times more precise than traditional LASIK.

Astounding Outcomes

In studies of custom LASIK, nearly 100% of patients attain 20/20 or better vision just one day after surgery. In some studies, 71% of patients achieve 20/15 or better vision and up to 11% achieve 20/10 or better vision (twice as good as 20/20 vision). Custom LASIK improves a patient’s chances of achieving 20/20 vision, has the potential to provide better vision than glasses or contacts can, and reduces incidences of glare and night vision disturbances that can occur with standard LASIK.

Why Alcohol Is A Leading Cause Of Impotency

Why alcohol causes impotence

Impotence according to the medical dictionary is defined as lack of power and especially lack of sexual power in men. Impotence does not favor release of sperms for fertilization to take place during ovulation. Alcohol abuse is the number one cause of impotence and other sexual discomforts in sexual dysfunction. Most people are aware that drinking and smoking cause serious health problems to both male and female. Alcohol could have detrimental effects on women’s fertility and the other hand affect men’s sperm quality and count. Sperms produced by men who take large doses of alcohol are likely to influence the rate of conception. Alcohol and tobacco could be the reason for most men’s impotence. More information on site Kamagra tanio.

Here are some of the reasons alcohol is a leading cause of impotence:

  • Alcohol leads to hormonal imbalances

For men, alcohol intake fertility. Men who are frequent drinkers have low sperm count than men who do not drink. In women, alcohol causes delayed ovulation.

  • Alcohol causes decreased sex drive

Alcohol, whether consumed in moderate levels, will ultimately lower sex drive in both males and females. When there is no sex drive, there isn’t going to be pregnancy

  • Causes sperm damage

Alcohol has been proved to cause sperm damage in most men. Men that drink have a higher rate of malformed and slow moving sperms. Sperm mobility is necessary to reach the egg for fertilization to take place. Deformed sperms have little chances of fertilizing the egg. Conceiving, therefore, becomes difficult for women who have sex with men with damaged sperm.

  • Temporary erectile dysfunction

Alcohol affects both brains and penis. Studies that have been conducted indicated that sober men were able to achieve an erection quickly than intoxicated men. Some drunk men were totally unable to achieve an erection.

  • Prolonged erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction has been linked to the chronic use of alcohol. Studies indicate that men who depend on alcohol have a chance of 60-70 percent of experiencing erectile dysfunction. Other disorders that are related to heavy intake of alcohol are premature ejaculation and loss of sexual drive.

  • Difficulty in achieving orgasm

Men who persistently indulge in alcohol have been found not to experience an orgasm following a normal sexual excitement stage.

  • Serum testosterone levels

Alcohol consumption decreases the levels of serum testosterone. This hormone in males leads to shrinking of the testicles, increases breast tissue growth and reduces sperm developments.

In connection with the above-highlighted effects of alcohol, individuals must examine themselves concerning their lifestyle and begin their treatment regime to correct their physical conditions and make the required changes to mend their health. Proper diet and body exercise are paramount in maintaining a healthy sexual life. Dietary incautions should be the foremost of the changes.

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Hibiscus for hair residence remedies are fairly simple to create and also they’re really efficient. If you’re not adverse hibiscus after that make use of the hibiscus oil, hair shampoo as well as conditioner when a week to really feel the distinction, it repair damaged hair and brings added sparkle to it.

In this tutorial I’ll reveal you the best ways to make hibiscus oil, hair shampoo as well as conditioner in few simple steps


Before beginning to make Hibiscus for hair home solutions clean the florals as well as leaves as well as see to it there is no dirt on hibiscus some solution. You can mix the hibiscus flowers and also delegates to make a good paste however in that proceedings you will require many hibiscus blossoms, which is rather hard.


Crush the fallen leaves and use it on the mortar and pestle.

Take a tiny pot and include half of coconut oil or as much as you want.

Now put the smashed flower as well as leaves and petals to the oil as well as steam them for 10-12 minutes.


Take the smashed hibiscus flower or petals and leaves and also put them in a pan. Add half mug of coconut oil and allow them to boil.


Permit the oil to cool.

How to make:

After cool down the oilyou can directly use hibiscus oil in your scalp. Massage the oil smoothly on your scalp. You can cover your hair with a towel and maintain it for at least 05-10 mins. You can wash the oil with warm water or normal water as you want and also your favorite shampoo.

Step 5:

To make hibiscus hair shampoo you will require hibiscus flowers (3-4), hibiscus leaves (3-4), olive oil (some drops) and water (to create paste).

Smashed the hibiscus flower and as well as leaves making use of the mortar as well as pestle. Take a tiny dish and also include the smashed flowers and also smashed leaves in it.

Step 6:

Add some water to the smashed hibiscus flowers as well as leaves to making the paste. Then add some drops of declines of olive oil.

Step 7:

How to make:

Delicately apply the paste on your scalp as well as hair, from tip from root. Maintain it for 10-15 mins. After that You can wash the oil with warm water or normal water as you want and also you can use your favorite shampoo for wash your hair gently.


If you want to make hibiscus conditioner in your home, you will require hibiscus blossom (4-5) as well as water (as much as needed)to create paste.

How to make:

Smashed or mix the hibiscus flower, take the small dish and include the smashed flower in it. Include little much water with the crushed flower as well as mix them to make a paste. Do not includevery much water otherwise the paste became useless. For better paste use or include small amount of water.

Step 9:

How to make:

Allow the paste to mix with your hair as well as scalp for 15-20 mins. Rinse with warm water. After 24 hours you can use your regular hair shampoo for better shine.

These HIBISCUS home solution will help you to make your hair smooth, shine, thicker, longer and it for many other benefit. HIBISCUS home solution is benefitially for skin also. And do tell us your opinion about it in the comment below.

Paying UK national insurance while living in Spain.

Most of the expats coming to stay in Spain forget all about our national insurance contributions back in the UK. They should know that through paying only a small amount per month into your national insurance pot they will be able to get lots of benefits. Si it is a good idea to pay the each month National Insurance Contributions to UK regardless of the fact that if you plan on returning to the UK at some point in the future or not.

By doing so you will get a lot of benefits like Basic state pension, Certain state benefits within the EEA , Benefits and allowances if you return to the UK, Contribution based jobseeker’s allowance, Maternity allowance, Employment and support allowance, Incapacity benefit, Bereavement allowances and bereavement allowance.

Insurance can be said as an equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, for the consideration of a certain amount of money to some other entity. Insurance is a process of hedging against the contingent or uncertain risk. The policyholder is known as the insured, the entity who is buying the insurance policy. The insurance carrier is known as the insurer, the company selling the insurance policy. The monetary consideration for transfer of the risk is known as the premium for the insurance policy in Spain. The policy documents have the clear details under which circumstances the insured have the full right to be financially compensated.

In the recent day business era, picking an insurance company is not at all an easy task. A lot of things have to be considered before finagling your best insurance service provider. Numerous financial institutions as well as insurance companies have been coming and going off to the business and often merging with stronger firms. So there are certain factors that should be kept in mind while making a wise decision.

The first and foremost thing that should be considered is the quality rating of the insurance company. You should consider the details regarding the paying ability, available assets and financial strength of the insurance company. Whether the insurer a specialist in the stated field of insurance coverage area. Then evaluate your own requirement that if the insurance provider is offering you a coverage which is adequate for your requirement. It will be more convincing if you can talk to a live person or agent before starting an insurance contract.

In the next segment it comes to the cost and financial aspect. Here you need to give a bit attention towards the policy premium cost. You need to survey the insurance market to know exactly what is the effective cost that the other players are charging, what about the deductible and what is the claim paying process. There are certain providers who give discounts for multiple policies or family insurance discounts. The most important thing is to check the company’s record for claim refusal. For detail study you can check the previous past record of the state insurance commission.

The Facts You Should be Aware before Buying C Arms

C Arms plays a crucial part in Orthopedics, a spectrum in medical science. It is designed to penetrate dense anatomy in lumbar and hip regions of an ailing person for analyzing the exact causes of the sickness. It is mainly preferred, as it helps in having fewer exposures, and you will be able to conveniently verify and locate the exact culprit responsible for causing uneasiness and sickness of a person.

What exactly is C Arms?

For the past few decades many high technically advanced tools have been introduced in surgical imaging field. They have become an essential commodity in every healthcare centers. C Arms is one of the devices, which helps in scanning your internal body parts in detail, without creating any health issues and discomfort to the patient.

Highlights of having C Arms:

  • Easy to use designing.
  • It is one of the safest surgical processes.
  • The ability to adjust image quality helps to have X- rays developed in lesser time.
  • To have optimal images, it aids to be practically adjustable.
  • You get the desired image fast with little exposure. The images formed are quite clear with the lowest dose.
  • You no longer have to make large incisions during surgery to know the detail of injury located in the affected part.
  • Most of the C Arms are designed with 1k x 1k digital camera and 16 bit image processor to capture clear images in fraction of seconds.

In surgical commodities market there are many types and makes of C Arms readily available at affordable prices. To select the best among them needs some consideration from your part. You are exposed to many versions of C Arms like brand new ones, used devices and even refurbished C Arms. Many surgical institutes opt for used c arms pacifc health usa for its added features and prices.

Most often customers are unable to tell the difference between refurbished equipment and non refurbished surgical devices. It happens as there are no set of norms regulated by any State Government policies.

Here are few tips to know the difference before you finalize the purchase of C Arms:

  • As this device is used to view internal anatomy, there are chances of retention of some blood spots and other bio hazardous compounds in the corners and crevices. Hence, while selecting the secondhand c-arm, make sure that you check every parts minutely, to ensure that you buy an uncontaminated product.
  • It will be beneficial to buy the devices which are ISO certified.
  • If possible, buy directly from the vendor’s warehouses or manufacturing sites. You can visit their website, select the refurbished surgical instrument you want and place an order. However, if the refurbishing center is close to where you are located, visit their store.
  • Don’t pay until you start using it. If the surgical verifying instrument is reliable, then the vendor won’t be having any problems in your trying out the delivered refurbished product.
  • If you are buying online or through dealers, ask them to give you the contact numbers of their previous customers. It will help you to know more about the refurbished instrument performance, and much more.

Health Risks of Having Birds Around Kids

Kids need to know rudimentary information about their bodies.
Many kids’ questions address health issues, be it nutrition, exercise, dental or medical. PBS Parents’ “Kid-Friendly Medical Dictionary” recommends talking honestly with your child about health rather than leaving her to worry and wonder on her own. Teaching her health vocabulary and explaining health concerns in terms she can understand might help ease fears she has about her body.


  • You can teach your child the ins and outs of healthy eating by introducing him to key vocabulary words such as nutrition or diet, calories, food pyramid, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Although he might associate nutrition with arbitrary restrictions on his favorite foods, nutrition explains how a body uses food and the nutrients it provides. All food contains calories, the unit of measure for how much energy is produced by the food your child eats. The calories come from the carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the food. Carbohydrates come from sugary foods, starches such as grains, breads, crackers and pasta, dairy products, fruits and vegetables and provide the body’s main source of energy. Fats also fuel the body with energy and storing excess energy and vitamins. Sources of fat include oil, butter, nuts, meat, fish and dairy products. Protein builds, maintains and repairs your child’s muscles, organs and immune system. Beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, seeds, black beans and lentils are among the best sources of protein nutrients.


  • In your quest to help your child establish healthy exercise habits for lifelong health, words such as exercise, cardiovascular, endurance, flexibility, obesity and target heart rate will come in handy. Puyallup (Washington) School District PE teachers Dan Stueckle, Glenn Halverson and Corrine Mattes define exercise as regularly planned physical activity to improve or maintain personal fitness. Cardiovascular refers to the heart and when used in conjunction with exercise, it means physical activity that makes your child’s heart beat faster and burns more calories. Endurance is a measure of how long your child can continue a particular exercise before becoming too tired to continue. Flexibility refers to your child’s ability to bend and move her arms, legs and joints freely and easily in any direction. Target heart rate is the heart rate range your child should strive to achieve during vigorous activity for the most health benefits. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina explains that obesity occurs when, through the habitual combination of unhealthy food choices and lack of exercise, a person’s weight far exceeds her normal healthy weight.


  • A visit to the dentist gives you the opportunity to introduce him to dental health vocabulary such as cavities, plaque, tartar, gingivitis and fluoride. Cavities are holes in your child’s teeth where the tooth decays and breaks down because your child doesn’t keep his teeth clean by regular brushing and flossing. This decay happens because of a sticky germ-ridden substance called plaque that builds up on your child’s teeth and eats away at the tooth enamel causing cavities and gum disease. Tartar or calculus is a type of plaque that forms along the gumline, discoloring the teeth as it hardens, irritating the gum tissues. Gingivitis is another word for gum disease. Gingivitis inflames the gum tissue causing it to become red, swollen and tender. Bleeding gums can be a sign of gingivitis as can chronic bad breath. The best defense against these dental problems is regular flossing and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride is a natural mineral that protects your child’s teeth by hardening the enamel against decay.


  • Common childhood complaints give you the opportunity to educate your child in health vocabulary such as temperature, earache, fever, stomachache, headache, diarrhea, nausea, sore throat, sprains, strains, cuts, scrapes, bruises, broken bones, colds, coughs and chicken pox. If your child or a family member suffers from a chronic health condition such as diabetes, cancer, asthma or allergies, a frank discussion of the problem and the proper treatment and management will give your child the confidence she needs to feel in control of her own body and health.

Disadvantages of a Vegetarian Diet

A vegetarian meal.

Well-planned vegetarian diets, including vegan diets, are healthy and can potentially prevent and treat certain diseases, according to the American Dietetic Association. Vegetarians tend to weigh less and have lower cholesterol and improved digestion than meat eaters, as well as a lower risk of heart disease. A poorly planned vegetarian diet can present health risks, however. Before you begin a vegetarian lifestyle, consult your doctor about how to make sure your nutritional bases are covered.

Nutrient Deficiencies

  • People who eat plant-based diets may be at risk of deficiencies in several nutrients, including high-quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium and vitamins B-12 and D. Most plant-based proteins, except soy and quinoa, are low in or missing one or more of the essential amino acids your body needs to make and maintain tissues. Deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fatty fish in addition to in nuts and seeds, can cause dry skin, memory problems, mood swings and depression, heart problems and circulation issues. Vitamin B-12 isn’t found naturally in any plant foods; deficiency symptoms include cognitive problems, fatigue and weakness. Vegans are more at risk of deficiencies, given the strictness of their diets.

Eating Too Many Processed Foods

  • If you don’t plan carefully, your vegetarian diet may be unhealthy. Even vegans, who eat no animal products, can still binge on sugary foods and refined grains. Lacto-ovo vegetarians, who eat eggs and dairy, have access to even more processed foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt. Vegan foods such as mock meat and cheese and veggie burgers can be high in sodium and fat. Eating too much sugar, fat and sodium can lead to numerous health problems, including weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and heart failure, whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat eater.

Not Eating Enough

  • Plant foods tend to contain more water and fiber and fewer calories per gram than animal foods. If you cut out some or all animal foods from your diet, you may find yourself feeling hungry all the time because the energy density of your new diet is lower. Not eating enough calories can also cause fatigue because calories are energy for your body. If you’re not getting enough calories, it’s also likely you’re not getting adequate amounts of the essential nutrients.

Doing It Right

  • Work with your doctor or a nutritionist to develop a nutritionally complete vegetarian or vegan diet. Gather healthy recipes that are easy to make so that you always have a nutritious meal option at the ready and don’t have to resort to eating processed foods. Eat enough calories to support your activity level, and choose from a variety of plant foods to make sure you get adequate amounts of the essential nutrients. If you’re a vegan, ask your doctor about any supplements, such as vitamin B-12, that might be necessary.

How to Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet


Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important for sustained energy and illness prevention. Eating healthy is not about cutting calories or strict dieting; it’s about ensuring your body gets the nutrients it needs to thrive.


  1. Avoid cutting calories, but do not consume too much. Healthy and active adults need approximately 2,000 calories a day. The more exercise you do, the more calories you need. Use a daily calorie calculator (see Resources section below) to determine how many calories you need each day.
  2. Add fruits and vegetables to every meal, and even to snacks. For example, add bananas to your cereal at breakfast, eat a salad and an apple with lunch and have tomatoes and canned peaches with your dinner. This can help you get the recommended three to five (or more) servings of fruits and vegetables.
  3. Try new foods. Make an effort to pick out something new at the grocery store every week. Browse the produce section and choose a fruit you have never had before. This can help give you a healthier, more balanced diet so you’re not eating the same things all the time.
  4. Check your portions. More appropriate portions can make a huge difference. One way to check portions is to read the nutrition label and see the recommended serving size. (See the link in the Resources section below for appropriate portions.)
  5. Cut out excess sugars, salts, caffeine and alcohol. These (in excess) are toxic to the body and will deplete nutrients. Eat a healthy well balanced diet and enjoy your foods and drinks containing these toxins in moderation only, or cut them out altogether.
  6. Clean your home of junk food. If it isn’t there you are less likely to eat it, especially at nighttime. When you are able to cut out junk foods (sugary, salty snacks) you will eat what is available in your home, which should be healthy choices such as fruits, vegetables, pretzels, and crackers.
  7. Balance your diet with proteins and carbohydrates. Include meats, beans and fish for protein. Avoid cutting out carbohydrates, as you need these for energy. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pasta contain needed carbohydrates.

How to Eat a Healthy Vegan Diet

Include fortified plant milk, such as soy milk, for calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12.

As long as it’s planned well and includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods, a vegan diet is a healthy diet. A vegan is a vegetarian who not only excludes meat, poultry and fish from his diet, but also eggs, dairy and honey. You can meet all your nutritional needs with plant-based foods, but you will face a higher risk of certain deficiencies, so you need to plan carefully.

Vegan Diet Basics

  • Like any diet, you can make poor food choices on a vegan diet. To promote health and ensure that you meet your nutrient needs, focus on filling your meals with nutrient-rich foods from all of the food groups. To maximize nutritional intake, fill your diet with whole grains, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, legumes such as lentils, soy and kidney beans, as well as nuts and seeds.

    You should also limit your intake of empty calories from vegan junk food such as soda, sweets, vegan cake and cookies, fried vegan foods such as french fries and other highly processed foods.

Vitamin B-12

  • One of the hardest nutrients to get on a vegan diet is vitamin B-12 because animal foods are the only natural source, with the exception of nutritional yeast. Fortified foods, such as plant milk and cereal, can help you get vitamin B-12 in your diet. If you’re worried about not getting enough from the food you eat, you may need a supplement. Consult your doctor to discuss your concerns and needs.

Other Nutrients of Concern

  • While it’s possible for you to get all the nutrients you need following a vegan diet, there are some nutrients that are a little more difficult to get and require specific food choices.

    Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients for bone health, and without dairy you need to make sure you include other good sources in your diet. To meet your need for both nutrients, include fortified plant milk, orange juice and cereal. Other good food sources of calcium include calcium-set tofu, leafy greens, broccoli, almonds and soy nuts.

    There is also concern about getting enough protein and iron without meat. Good sources of both nutrients include beans, soy foods and peanut butter. You can also meet your iron needs with leafy greens and fortified breakfast cereal. Pair your iron sources with fruits and veggies — their vitamin C content will help with iron absorption.

Sample Vegan Menu

  • A healthy and nutrient-rich vegan breakfast might include a fruit smoothie made with plant milk, berries, bananas and flaxseeds. Or a bowl of oatmeal topped with raisins and walnuts with a glass of fortified orange juice.

    For lunch, enjoy a whole-wheat pita stuffed with hummus, alfalfa sprouts and chopped tomatoes with fresh fruit and a mixed green salad. Another lunch meal might include a bowl of vegetable and bean soup with whole-grain crackers, a handful of almonds and a spinach salad topped with sliced strawberries.

    At dinner, stir-fry broccoli, bok choy, mung bean sprouts, cashews and tofu with low-sodium soy sauce and serve with brown rice. Or toss together cooked lentils and bulgur and serve with a kale salad.

    Snack on fresh fruit, soy yogurt, nuts or cut veggies.

How to Stay on Track With Diet & Exercise

Exercise with a friend.

You’ve started diet and exercise programs countless times only to give up over the holidays or while on a vacation when an abundance of delicious food undermines your resolve to eat healthy and workout. Changing your lifestyle is a challenge and you won’t succeed overnight. In order to stay on track, find a strong support system, be accountable to it and don’t get discouraged by slip-ups. A brownie and a missed workout won’t undo your weight loss efforts if you simply get back on track with your plan.


  1. Make your plans public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests drawing up a contract with information regarding your goal weight, the date you hope to reach your goal and the details of your diet and exercise plan. Sign the contract in front of your spouse or a friend and ask this person to keep you accountable.
  2. Consider your motivations. If you don’t have any concrete reasons for changing your lifestyle, you won’t be able to push through inevitable challenges and setbacks. Write down the reasons you’d like to lose weight. Perhaps you want to run a half marathon next year, feel better about yourself or simply make playing with your kids easier. Post the list on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator where you’ll see it everyday.
  3. Join a support group. Socializing with like-minded individuals will provide you with accountability and a place to vent when the going gets tough. Ask about support groups at the local hospital or gym.
  4. Plan for complications. For example, you’re packing for a business trip and don’t have room in your luggage for sneakers. There’s no reason to skip workouts for a week, however. Simply pack a resistance band and plan to exercise in your hotel room. Or, bring a swim suit and do laps in the hotel pool. Make a list of possible challenging situations you might encounter and think of solutions.
  5. Keep a journal. Write down details concerning your daily diet, your workouts, pounds and inches lost, future goals and goals you’ve met, for example. The written word is a powerful thing. Seeing your progress in black and white may help you to persevere with your diet and exercise program.

Healthy Diet for 13-Year-Olds

Three teenagers eating pizza together.
Few adults would have the energy to keep up with a 13-year-old. Your teen studies, plays sports, fidgets at the dinner table and rides his bike for hours, all while going through major physical and mental growth. In order for your child to maintain developmental momentum through her teenage years, a healthy diet is essential. Keep the pantry and fridge stocked with healthy food, but allow your child to choose how much he eats to encourage him to develop responsible independence regarding his diet.

Food Energy

  • The calorie needs of a 13-year-old depend on the gender and activity level of the child. Sedentary teens who engage in light exercise along with regular everyday activities will need fewer calories than moderately active children who walk 1 1/2 to 2 miles on top of their day-to-day activities. An active child who walks 3 to 4 miles in addition to other activities needs the most calories. As a general rule, sedentary girls need 1,600 calories a day, moderately active girls need 2,000 calories, and active girls need 2,200 calories. A sedentary boy requires 2,000 calories daily, while a moderately active boy needs 2,200 calories, and an active boy needs 2,600 calories.

Milk, Meat and More

  • A young teenager needs a diverse diet rich in vitamins and minerals, but some nutrients are particularly important. Every day, 13-year-olds should get 1,200 milligrams of calcium, a mineral necessary for the formation of bones and teeth. If your child doesn’t spend much time outdoors, he’ll also need 600 international units of vitamin D to promote calcium absorption. Calcium-rich foods include dairy products, soy milk, fortified orange juice and dark, leafy greens. Another essential nutrient is iron, which females lose through menstruation and which all teens need to build muscle mass. Meat, poultry, fish, pork, fortified bread and cereal, legumes and dried fruit are all good sources of iron. Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, promotes iron absorption.

MyPlate for Teens

  • The USDA MyPlate icon — a graphic that illustrates a healthy meal — can easily be adapted for teenagers. The icon shows a plate divided in half. One side is filled with fruits and vegetables, and the other side has protein and whole grains. To the side is a glass of milk, representing dairy. Encourage your teen to visualize a healthy plate before she serves herself a meal.

Specific MyPlate Guidelines

  • There are also specific MyPlate serving guidelines for 13-year-old boys and girls. These include 1 1/2 cups of fruit, 2 to 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, and 5 to 6 ounces of whole grains. One ounce of grain equals 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, 1 slice of bread, or 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta. Five ounce equivalents of protein are recommended daily. These include 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish; 1 egg; and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter. Dairy is recommended at 3 cups a day, where 2 ounces of cheese counts as a 1-cup serving. In addition, 13-year-olds should consume 5 teaspoons of healthy vegetable oils every day.

Caring for Your Teen’s Whole Health

  • Thirteen-year-olds are at a sensitive period in their social and emotional development. Many young teens are concerned about their weight and appearance and may consider dieting. As a parent, it’s important to model healthy eating and self-image, and to discourage fad diets. Watch for signs of an eating disorder in your teen, such as fear of weight gain, refusal to eat, bingeing, excessive exercise, laxative use and vomiting. Talk to your family doctor if you have any concerns about your teen’s health and nutrition.

Healthy Diet Menus for One Week

Healthy diets are different than quick weight-loss fad diets. Indulging in a healthy diet menu for one week sets the stage for eating healthy for a lifetime. There are many healthy diet programs that are designed to meet general dietary needs as well as specific requirements. For a healthy and happier life, consider eating a healthy diet menu plan for a week. Creating a healthy menu for a week is simple to do, and the food can be delicious.

Healthy Diet Menus for One Week

SignificanceA healthy diet is a cornerstone for an active and longer life. The news is full of information about the American diet and its accompanying hazards. With diabetes, heart conditions and obesity on the rise in adults and children, it is impossible to ignore that food determines physical well-being. There has never been a shortage of quick-weight-loss diets. However, overall healthy diets are about the foods one eats every day as part of general health care. When one uses super foods as guidance for meal planning, the results may be surprisingly tempting and fulfilling.

TypesSuper foods are high in a variety of nutrients that have been tested and proven to provide an array of health needs. Two proponents of super foods are Dr. Steven Pratt and Dr. Andrew Weil. Each has a different approach to healthy eating and living, but the foods they recommend essentially are the same. Dr. Pratt refers to the “Fabulous 14,” some of which include fish, legumes, nuts, fruits, grains, vegetables and beverages. Each food provides essential nutrients that naturally bring the body into a state of physical balance. Dr. Weil’s approach is more holistic, but he recommends the same foods. He favors a Mediterranean menu.

FeaturesA week of healthy eating includes a brightly colored array of foods. There are 14 categories of super foods from which to choose. Some of the stars include the humble bean; any bean will do. Beans lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar, ease hypertension and reduce cancer risk, just to name a few properties of the bean. Eat dark red, blue or purple fruit every day. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which promote healthy immune systems. They also improve vascular health and have anti-aging properties. Broccoli (and other tubers and greens) deserve the title “Super Food.” Among its many nutritional properties, broccoli is a formidable foe against cancer and strengthens the immune system. Whole grains and wild salmon find a place on the list. Oats, flax seed and wheat germ are sources of complex carbohydrates, have cholesterol-lowering properties and help stabilize blood sugar. Wild salmon offers omega-3 fatty acids, which is not just good fat, but necessary fat. The absence of omega-3 fatty acids in the American diets is partially credited with the rise in heart disease and cancer. (For a full list of super foods, see “Additional Resources,” below.)

Weekly Menu 1A weekly menu for the Super Foods Rx plan might include the following meals: Oatmeal for breakfast with fruit and soy milk; a morning snack of fresh or dried papaya chunks. Lunch can include a salad of spinach, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, almonds and avocados with virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar (this makes a great snack anytime) with dried plums or raspberries sprinkled on the salad. Beat the afternoon sugar craving with a small handful of raw almonds, organic vegetable cocktail and a carrot. Dinner will satisfy with filet mignon on wilted greens, mashed sweet potatoes, salad and organic sorbet for dessert. For one week, eat small meals and snacks, making sure to include a cross section of the range of super foods. Eat salmon, canned albacore, clams, sardines or herrings for their omega-3 fatty acids, three times in the week. Include soy in the form of tofu or soy milk. The good news is that it is not necessary to become a vegetarian to eat healthy.

Weekly Menu 2In the book “8 Weeks to Optimum Health,” Dr. Weil recommends different menus for each of the eight weeks. Using the same basic foods as Dr. Pratt’s SuperFoods Rx, Dr. Weil suggests menus that include grilled salmon cooked in fresh ginger and garlic, with broccoli, seasoned with fresh garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and red pepper. Eat broccoli twice during the week. Salmon is a mainstay for Dr. Weil, and he offers recipes for grilled or poached salmon, or salmon cooked in parchment, which is eaten once in the first week. Dr. Weil eases one into healthy living rather than just healthy eating. He also emphasizes the health effects of Mediterranean eating. Use extra-virgin olive oil and flax-seed oil for cooking and salad dressings. Eat small portions of nuts such as almonds and walnuts and add them to other foods. The most important part of the first week, though, is just before the first day. Dr. Weil tells the reader to go through the cupboards and refrigerator and throw away all foods with preservatives, polyunsaturated and trans fats, simple sugars and simple carbohydrates.

ConsiderationsWith sound and balanced healthy-eating advice available, beginning to eat foods that may extend and improve life is simpler than ever. Most grocers carry every kind of foods and recipes are readily available. Unlike fad diets, healthy eating menus are designed for a lifetime. In addition to general diets, there are specific diet plans for people with diabetes, hypoglycemia, vascular conditions and every other ailment. There is more hope for health than ever.

How to Follow a Healthy Diet Plan

In these days of stress related illness, virus’, and being busier than ever; it is becoming more and more important that people follow a healthy diet plan. Nutrient dense foods and pure water are at the forefront to any healthy eating program, but with an active lifestyle aren’t always easy to implement in to one’s daily diet. Following these simple steps can make the difference between sticking to your diet or making poor dietary choices that may result in eventual cost to your health.

How to Make a Diet Plan


  1. Make a list and check it twice. Heard it before ? Probably. The reason why is because it’s important. Going grocery shopping without a list is open season for buying over processed, nutrient poor quick foods that contribute to weight gain, mood changes, and other more serious health related issues.

    Plan your healthy meals out in advance and then make your grocery list accordingly.

  2. Shop after a meal, not before. Statistically, a hungry shopper is more likely to impulse buy items they don’t need, and would not be likely to purchase otherwise, than if they are not hungry when they begin their shopping.

    Shopping after a meal allows the buyer to be mindful of healthier dietary selections and not rush through without checking ingredients labels, or potential freshness of select products.

  3. Wash all produce when you get it home from the store. Fill the sink basin with cold water and add either 10-20 drops of grapefruit seed extract or 2-3 cups of white vinegar to dissolve wax and pesticide residue. Soak for 30 minutes. Use a produce brush to lightly scrub fruits and vegetables and store appropriately for later use.

    Washing in advance increases the likelihood of the produce actually getting eaten instead of spoiling and being thrown out.

  4. Drink adequate water levels to maintain a healthy diet plan. For most people this is about a half ounce per one pound of body weight. IE: a 150 pound person should consume approximately 75 ounces of water per day.

    Start the day with 1-2 eight ounce glasses of water and then follow through with at least 8 ounces in between each meal. Water not only hydrates the body, but will make you feel full as well. Oftentimes, the feeling of thirst is confused with hunger.

  5. Lightly brush your teeth with mint flavored toothpaste or gel after each meal or snack. Doing so severely curbs any cravings you may have tempting you to indulge. Think of how you feel after a dental cleaning !

How to Explain Insurance to Kids

Father talking to son in park
Parents and teachers agree that it’s a priority to make students financially responsible. Whether you have a savvy 10-year-old asking how insurance works or you’re preparing your high school student for independence, teach your child how insurance works.


  1. Think of ways in which you — or anybody else – might lose a lot of money. Think about catastrophic events, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, fires or someone who becomes sick — which can cause huge medical bills — or someone who has a car accident.
  2. Tell your child that every month you pay a certain amount of money for auto insurance, life insurance, health insurance and home insurance. In return, the insurance company promises it will pay a certain amount of money to cover expenses if you experience a catastrophic event listed in your policy.
  3. To explain how an insurance company works, give your child fake money — such as from a board game — and have your child divide the money into several piles. Explain that each pile of money belongs to a different insurance company. Then, have your child give one dollar to each insurance company. Explain that this money is the insurance premium. Repeat this three times, for three months of premiums. Then, pretend that someone had a catastrophic event. Show your child how a portion of the insurance company’s money will cover expenses and that the insurance company then keeps the rest to cover its operating expenses.
  4. Discuss the pros and cons of various insurance organizations, such as a Preferred Provider Organization, a Health Maintenance Organization, a Point of Service plan and of policies such as Whole Life, Term Life and Long-Term Care insurance policies. If possible, have your child research these insurance and plan types so your child can have an informed opinion about the pros and cons of each.
  5. Show your child the policies you have for your auto, home and health insurance plans. Explain how your plans work and discuss why you selected the companies and plans. Your decisions might be based on price or the range of options, or both. Answer questions your teen may have and ask your teen what he would do in the same position.

Facts About Alcohol for Kids

Alcohol has a number of effects on the human body that can make routine tasks seem difficult. After you drink, it is especially dangerous to drive a car, as drinking and driving leads to a high number of fatal accidents. Alcohol use can also negatively affect your education. The minimum legal drinking age in the United States is 21. If you are younger than this or concerned about a minor, be sure to open a discussion about alcohol use.

How to Talk to a Teenager About Drunk Driving

How Alcohol Effects You

  • According to, alcohol acts as a depressant, meaning it slows the activity of the brain. The way alcohol interacts with the brain may cause the drinker to act confused and prevent her from seeing and thinking normally. People who drink can have mood swings, and their sense of balance may be thrown off due to alcohol consumption.

Alcohol and the Law

  • In the United States, the minimum age to purchase alcohol is 21. This is also the minimum age to publicly possess an alcoholic beverage. According to the Underage Drinking Prevention Project, the only exceptions to this federal law are if you are in a private establishment, need alcohol for medical purposes, use it for religious reasons or possess it in the course of lawful employment. Beyond this, the laws can vary from state to state, so be sure to look up local restrictions.

Dangers of Drinking and Driving

  • Consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel is a deadly combination, especially for teenagers who are new to driving. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, teens are involved in 14 percent of motor vehicle deaths, even though they make up only 10 percent of the U.S. population. Due to their inexperience behind the wheel, they are more likely to make a dangerous mistake.

Alcohol and Your Education

  • Drinking alcohol also encourages poor academic performance. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services points out that high school students who consume alcohol are more than five times more likely to drop out of school than students who do not use the substance.

Alcohol and Sexual Behavior

  • Underage alcohol use may also give rise to dangerous sexual behaviors. Since drinking lowers inhibitions, young individuals may be more prone to engage in unprotected sexual intercourse. This can lead to unplanned pregnancy and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases.

Alcohol Addiction

  • Drinking at a young age can also lead to alcohol addiction, a chronic problem that’s treated as a medical issue. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, up to 5.8 percent of young adults aged 12 to 17 went to alcohol rehab for a problem with alcohol use. According to the National Institutes of Health, those who begin drinking in their teens have a much higher chance of developing a life-long problem with alcohol use.

Establish a Dialogue

  • If you have questions about alcohol and its effects, ask an adult or a loved one. If you are an adult who is concerned about your child and drinking, be sure to establish a dialogue. Talking to your child about alcohol will help them know the risks and avoid the perils of drinking when the first encounter alcoholic beverages.

Health Risks of Having Birds Around Kids

With avian diseases such as “bird flu” and the West Nile virus, it may seem too risky to have pet birds around children. Fortunately, among commonly owned domestic birds, such diseases — and therefor their transmissions — are rare. There are some potential health risks with bird ownership, but most are preventable.

Keep Hands in Pockets

Perhaps the most common risk to a child’s well-being around pet birds is their propensity to nip and bite. The beaks of certain birds such as parrots and cockatoos are incredibly strong, capable of cracking nuts and their bites can exert just as much pressure as a dog’s. The results of a bird’s bite ranges from scratches or a scared child to gashes and broken bones.

Most birds bite out of fear, or territorial aggression. Sick birds or birds going through their breeding season are more inclined to bite during those times; even very tamed and socialized birds can have off-days. Teach children proper safety and to stay at an appropriate distance from a bird’s cage or perch. Little ones should refrain from placing tempting fingers into cages, and should never attempt to pet a bird without explicit instruction from its owner.

More Than Just a Sniffle

Indoor domestic birds can transmit three different diseases to children. Although rare, the possibility of transmission still exists, especially if you are not certain from where the bird originated.

  • Salmonella
  • Psittacosis
  • Avian tuberculosis

Salmonella is more commonly contracted from pet barnyard fowl such as ducklings, adult chickens and baby chicks. Birds shed the salmonella bacteria from their skin, feathers and in fecal matter. When inhaled or ingested, the bacteria infect their new host. Its symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea, and can last up to a week. Children with suspected salmonella poisoning are at risk for dehydration, and should be taken to a doctor.

Psittacosis, also called “parrot fever” or chlamydia psittaci, can only be contracted from 129 bird species, narrowing the odds that your child may catch it. Parrots, parrotlike birds such as budgies and cockatiels, pigeons and myna birds are common culprits. They can carry parrot fever for several years with no symptoms, which include respiratory distress, diarrhea and lethargy. Children catch psittacosis by inhaling urine and dried feces, from bites and by touching the feathers of a contaminated bird.

All birds are susceptible to avian tuberculosis, but transmission to humans is rare. Inhaled or swallowed feces is the cause, even when the feces are very old.

With each of these, the proper approach is one of caution:

  • Never let children go near a pet bird whose origin you don’t know.
  • Make sure children wash their hands and faces after being around a pet bird.
  • Keep children away from a bird’s cage or perch, or anywhere droppings may be found.

Finding it Hard to Breathe

For kids with asthma, or kids who may be allergic to birds, distance is the best defense against triggering an attack. Respiratory reactions to pet birds aren’t usually related to the birds skin or plumage, but instead to small mites in the feathers are to blame.

By keeping birds away from bedrooms, installing an electronic filter or increasing the amount of times the bird’s cage is cleaned, attacks may lessen.

The Road Goes Two Ways

Birds aren’t the only offenders in their interactions with children: There are risks too associated with having young ones around feathered playmates. Parental supervision is a must when kids are around birds, partially for the children’s safety, but also for the birds. Small fingers can sometimes grasp or pull harder than they intend, and birds — even large ones — have small and fragile bones.

Inattentive children may close doors, start ceiling fans, feed toxic foods or allow other family pets such as dogs or cats too near the birds. Starting proper training in bird care while young ensure the whole family a lifetime of happy, healthy feathered friends and safe kiddos.

How to Develop a Workout & Diet Plan

When it comes to taking affirmative actions to improve your health and fitness, the first step is always the hardest. With some desire and dedication, however, anyone can design a basic program to begin the quest towards your ideal physique. Your first goal should be to design diet and workout plans with which you can live for a reasonable amount of time. As you grow more accustomed to a lifestyle of fitness, you can take additional steps to bolster your results.

Woman eating a healthy meal

Diet Plan

Step 1:Choose a strategy with which you can live for at least 12 to 16 weeks: Do not choose a low-carb diet if you have already tried and failed to successfully complete one a dozen times — choose a diet strategy to which you know you can adhere, whether that means high-protein, low-carb or low-fat.

Couple looking at cookbook and laptop

Step 2:Place a daily caloric limit on yourself: This can vary somewhat depending on your current weight. Between 1,500 and 2,000 calories is a good starting point.

Woman eating a healthy meal

Step 3:Aim to consume foods from natural sources: Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods of all kinds. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat meats. Eat up to your caloric limit each day; track this with a food journal to get yourself used to the concept of dietary discipline.

Woman eating a bowl of fruit

Step 4:Aim for weight loss of one to two pounds per week: If you are not meeting your goal (either by losing weight too slowly or too quickly), adjust your daily calorie limit upwards or downwards by 200 to 300 calories per day.

Woman showing weight loss

Workout Plan

Step 1:Engage in fitness activities that you find fun and engaging: This may be walking, jogging, cycling, aerobics, swimming, weight training, yoga, pilates or something else. If you grow bored of an activity, alter your workout strategy before you begin to view training as a chore, as opposed to something entertaining, satisfying and productive.

Woman power walking

Step 2:Set conservative goals for your training sessions, and do everything in your power to never miss a workout.

woman on exercise bike

Step 3:Once you build your physical endurance and your self-confidence, increase your workouts gradually but steadily in frequency, duration and intensity: Constant incremental increases in difficulty will keep the body progressing towards your ideal physique.

Woman kick boxing

How to Diet for a Healthy Endocrine System

The endocrine system is a central control system for your body. It controls growth, reproduction, mood and mental functionality, hormone output, immunity and more. If your endocrine system isn’t running efficiently, you can suffer from fatigue, depression and insomnia, weight gain or loss, hypersensitivity to temperature and hair loss. You become more susceptible to disease and your ability to fight off infection is weakened. A diet rich in lean protein, omega oils and certain herbal supplements will help you maintain a healthy endocrine system.

How Does Yoga Stimulate the Endocrine System?


  1. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein are part of any healthy diet. To directly affect your endocrine system, you need to include certain foods. One of these foods is fish. Fish provides your body with Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 oils. These oils are fats that directly affect cognitive function, cellular function, kidney function, all the things under the control of the endocrine system. Eating fish twice a week will aid in keeping a balanced endocrine system. Omega oil supplements are also available, and can be used to bolster your oil intake.
  2. Understand that garlic is also important to the endocrine system. Garlic boosts your immunity, increasing your ability to fight off infection. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels. You can chew one or two cloves of garlic a day, but for many people, this is not pleasant. Instead, you can include it in your cooking or take advantage of available supplements. However, the supplements are not as effective as fresh garlic.
  3. Know that certain herbs, considered adaptogenic herbs, also aid in keeping your endocrine system running smoothly. These include ginseng and ginkgo. Ginseng is high in hormone-like substances that help keep the body’s normal hormone output in balance, as well as helping regain hormonal balance. Another important herb is ginkgo, which aids in cognitive function. Both ginseng and ginkgo are available as supplements.
  4. Though the supplements mentioned above will target your endocrine system and improve its function, you still need to maintain a healthy diet. And a diet aimed at helping the endocrine system includes calcium intake, a high content of Vitamin B, Vitamin B Complex and Vitamin C.
  5. Include in your diet foods rich in calcium such as milk, cottage cheese, cheese, leafy greens, dried beans and yogurt. For Vitamin B and B Complex, you need chicken, fish, eggs, whole grains, beans and nuts. Fresh fruits such as oranges and berries contain Vitamin C, as do sweet peppers and sweet potatoes.
  6. Your endocrine system will benefit from a healthy diet that includes all the foods and supplements mentioned here. Another important part of maintaining a healthy endocrine system is stress management. Stress levels affect digestion. When you eat, eat slowly. Don’t rush through your meals. Allowing your body to properly digest food will boost your immunity system, reduce after-meal fatigue and enable your endocrine system to properly process nutritional intake.

How to Start a Health Food Home Based Business

Start a Health Food Home Based Business on the Internet

Health food is no longer a fad. Whole grain, natural and organic health foods are now easily obtainable in stores. When you start a health food home based business, you’ll have the advantage of a huge potential market: everyone who wants to stay or get healthy. Here are practical tips for starting a health food home based business.


  1. Research health and nutrition as well as food science. You’ll need to know your subject to market it. Learn about whole grains, organic foods, and natural and artificial ingredients.
  2. Decide on a product or products to start. Figure out what the market needs and what is popular right now. Narrow down an angle or slant for your lead products, such as vegan baked goodies, whole wheat products, gluten-free products, energy products, etc.
  3. Decide whether you will be making your own health food or distributing health food products made by others. Research FDA (Food and Drug Administration) policies and the federal and local laws you must comply with when you produce your own health food to market.
  4. Start a health food home based business online. An online business has low overhead and is convenient. Plan to sell your health food products online.
  5. Browse the Internet and examine other health food retailers online to learn what the competition is offering and to get inspired about your own business goals.
  6. Take out a loan or get the cash funds needed to start a home based business in health food. Expect to need several thousand dollars to start. Open a business checking account.
  7. Now invest. Buy any supplies you’ll need, such as packaging and labeling supplies, office supplies, computer supplies, and shipping supplies. Buy ingredients and baking and cooking equipment if you are going to make your own products. Save all your receipts for when you do your accounting.
  8. Perfect your health food recipes or make arrangements with health food manufacturers to purchase their products wholesale and distribute them. If you’re making your own health food, get people you know to taste test different recipes.
  9. Name your business. Choose a business name that’s catchy and appetizing. Think of appealing names and slogans for your products, too.
  10. Hire experts. Hire a web designer, a web content writer, and a logo artist to design the perfect website storefront for your home based health food business.
  11. Choose a payment system for your store. Will you use shopping cart software such as OSCommerce? Will you go with Paypal? Will you accept credit cards? Apply for a merchant credit card account if you need to accept payments directly.
  12. Register for a business license and pay any required license fees. Promote your health food home based business even before your website goes live.

How to Incorporate Exercise With the Atkins Diet

One of the major mistakes people make with the Atkins diet is not exercising. The reasoning goes: if you’re not eating carbs, there’s less to burn off. This is far from the truth. Exercise is enormously important during any diet, and especially so with the Atkins diet, as the diet is so unique.
What Is the Atkins Diet Plan?


  1. Strength training. This is especially important for women, who ordinarily need more strength training. Because the Atkins diet is high-meat, it’s also highly acidic, which can be hard on the bones. Strength training with free weights is recommended.
  2. Participate in cardiovascular workouts, such as walking, jogging and other active sports. However, don’t make this an excuse to overeat. Yes, you’ll burn off carbs via exercise, but that’s the idea with the Atkins diet. You’ll negate the benefits of exercise by cheating on the diet. Here’s a formula: a piece of bread is equivalent to a full hour of vigorous walking. Because the diet is high in fat–which is hard on the heart–it is good to balance this out with cardiovascular fitness.
  3. Know that you cannot continue the same diet if you are exercising a lot. For example, if you’re jogging an hour a day, this is going to affect the amount of carbs you take in. Without some extra carbs, you’re not going to have the energy to exercise. However, this is normally the case with intensive exercise. If you exercise 15 to 20 minutes a day, you should be able to sustain the same diet.
  4. Because the Atkins diet often results in low energy, it is a good idea to start slowly–as little as 10 minutes a day, before entering into anything more intensive. You need to see how your body reacts to both the diet and exercise combined. The Atkins diet has the side effect of lessening muscle strength and energy. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid exercise, but it does mean that you might have to cut down the length of a regimen.
  5. Depending on the nature and frequency of your exercise, you could expand the amount and types of carbs you can eat if you have a steady regimen. The Atkins food pyramid will change according to the amount you exercise as it relates to your current weight, height and gender.

How to Balance Diet & Exercise

Diet and exercise both play an important part in good health. Poor nutrition leads to many medical conditions and illnesses. Likewise, good nutrition is an important component in the treatment of certain conditions. Necessary nutrients must be present for organs and tissues to perform their various activities. Exercise also has a strong effect on overall good health. Exercise can improve mental abilities, as well as physical capabilities. You can create a beneficial balance between diet and exercise and increase your sense of well-being.
How to Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet


  1. Consult your physician if you have any health conditions or have been sedentary for a length of time. Exercise should be started gradually if you are not used to being very active. Sudden exercise taxes the heart and places undue strain on muscles and joints, sometimes leading to injuries. Dietary changes may also exacerbate some medical conditions, such as diabetes and some autoimmune diseases.
  2. Incorporate physical activities into your daily routine. Small steps add up when increasing your level of activity. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a distance away in parking lots. Get up from your desk often to avoid long periods of sitting. Purchase a pedometer to keep track of your movements during the course of the day.
  3. Begin an exercise routine. Devote at least thirty minutes every day to your physical fitness activity. Write this out and post it in an obvious place. You can choose to walk around the block every evening and lift a few free weights, or you may prefer to visit a gym. Gyms can be very beneficial in providing motivation. Vary your routine from day to day, in order to include benefits to every muscle group and encourage good health.
  4. Consume nutritious food every day. Raw fruits and vegetables provide a plethora of nutrients in their natural state. Make these foods comprise 50% of your daily dietary intake. Protein is also important to muscles and connective tissues. Consume protein in the form of beans and dairy products, or low-fat meats, such as turkey and fish. Add whole grains, seeds and nuts to your diet.
  5. Write down all of your goals and accomplishments on a calendar. Weight concerns are best addressed when tracked on a regular basis. Many dieters find that keeping a log of their daily food intake assists in weight loss. Write down everything you eat during the day, while making note of how you feel, as well as any weight gain or loss. Also keep track on your calendar of exercise goals. Increases in endurance and strength can help motivate you to continue your good health routine.

How to Reshape Your Body Through Diet & Exercise

Build a shapely and toned body by eating less and exercising properly.
Exercise and diet are both equally essential if you want to reshape your body. Specifically, resistance-training exercises shape your muscles more than aerobic exercises. On the other hand, aerobic exercises enhances the rate at which you burn body fat, thus augmenting the appearance of your shapely muscles. To reshape your body through diet and exercise, you must consistently train throughout the week using a combination of progressive resistance training, high-intensity interval cardio, long-duration aerobic sessions and a reduced-calorie diet.

Weight Training

  1. Complete a full-body weight-training routine twice per week using dumbbells, your body weight and weight machines. Do these workouts with two to three days between each section. Perform three to four sets of six to 12 repetitions per exercise.
  2. Focus on dumbbell exercises for your first workout of the week including flat dumbbell chest presses, one-arm dumbbell rows, overhead triceps dumbbell extensions, alternating hammer curls, dumbbell sumo squats, one-arm dumbbell dead lifts, dumbbell lateral raises and abdominal double crunches.
  3. Perform your second workout of the week using your body weight and cable machines including pushups, seated cable rows, triceps dips, biceps curls, leg extensions, leg curls, shoulder presses and lying leg lifts.


  1. Complete one weekly sprint interval workout using a stationary bicycle. Do 20 seconds of very high-intensity exercise immediately followed by two minutes and 40 seconds of low-intensity exercise.
  2. Pedal as fast as you can against a moderate to high resistance on a stationary bike for 20 seconds then pedal slowly against a low resistance for two minutes and 40 seconds.
  3. Complete 10 to 12 of these intervals. Sprint training forces your muscles to contract very forcefully and with lots of power, reshaping your body.

Long Aerobics

  1. Perform two days of cardiovascular training that lasts 45 to 90 minutes. It takes your body between 20 and 30 minutes to tap into the fat you have stored all over your physique.
  2. Use a moderate to somewhat challenging intensity for your long workouts. For instance, jog on a treadmill or outside for three minutes, then walk for two minutes, totaling 45 minutes. By incorporating walking bouts within a jogging routine, you are able to go for a longer duration and burn more calories compared to doing a 20-minute nonstop jog then quitting because you are exhausted.
  3. Add five to 10 minutes more to each successive long-duration aerobic workout until you can complete 90 total minutes.

Weight-Loss Diet

  1. Decrease the number of calories you eat every day by 500 to 1,000 to potentially lose between 1 to 2 pounds of body fat per week from simply modifying what you eat and drink.
  2. Use measuring cups and measuring spoons to portion your food so you alter your portion sizes as opposed to changing specific foods, making it easier to cut calories. Two servings of unflavored, cooked pasta is 1 cup, or about 240 calories, compared to the pasta you haphazardly ladle into your bowl.
  3. Reduce your high-calorie beverage consumption by using smaller cups. For instance, instead of having your coffee in a large mug thus needing plenty of sugar, cream or milk, use a smaller cup to potentially reduce the calories by half. Get a small beverage instead of a large one when ordering from a restaurant or coffee house.
  4. Keep the tempting foods out of your house such as chips, cookies, cakes, candy or whatever it is you overindulge in.

How To Teach Kids About Personal & Community Health

Oral hygiene is one component of personal health.
Teaching kids positive health practices reduces their risk of being exposed to harmful substances or contracting illnesses, according to the California Healthy Kids Resource Center. Lessons should focus on personal hygiene, such as washing and brushing teeth, as well as community health concepts, such as identifying environmental threats to health and preventing communicable diseases. Health lessons educate children, so that bad habits such as smoking, and alcohol and drug abuse, can be prevented. Keep lessons interesting by using visual aids and combine classroom instructions with hands-on activities.

Personal Hygiene

  1. Demonstrate proper dental hygiene practices by showing your child how to brush her teeth. Use visual aids such as the “How We Should Brush Our Teeth PowerPoint” on the Share My Lesson website. Encourage a child to practice by brushing your teeth at the same time as she does. Hand out pictures to color and play online games about dental hygiene, such as those found on the Mouth Power website.
  2. Teach your child good personal hygiene by washing his hands frequently. Model these behaviors for your child by hand washing before every meal or snack, before touching food, after using the bathroom, after playing with the family pet and after sneezing or blowing your nose. Make the activity fun by singing a song such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while washing to teach your kid that he must wash for at least 15 seconds, according to the Parents website.
  3. Maintain a routine as the best way to get your children to bathe. Recommend they take a bath or shower before bedtime or before or after school. Parents can make bath time fun for younger kids by letting them play with toys. Teach them to cover all the basics during a bath including washing the face, hair, armpits, ears and feet and by cleaning beneath their finger and toenails. Teach your child to clean just the outer part of his ears with a washcloth.

Diet, Disease and Exercise

  1. Teach your child that the body needs vitamins, minerals and nutrients to stay healthy. Reinforce what you teach by letting him use interactive computer tools, such as that available on the Public Broadcasting System – NOVA website, where kids can scroll over parts of the body and learn more about what each does and what nutrients are good for sustaining optimal functioning.
  2. Teach younger kids basic nutrition concepts, such as how many calories are in various foods, by pointing to various foods and having them shout “healthy” or “yucky.” Show them the food pyramid and teach about the various food groups. Reinforce the lesson by having younger children color pictures of the pyramid. Have kids create healthy meals out of pictures representing grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans.
  3. Tell younger children that they should exercise every day to maintain good health. Give concrete examples of activities such as playing tag, jumping rope, walking, riding a bicycle or roller skating. Ask children to list their favorite activities and set time aside every day to play together. Have older children log their activity level for a week, using tools such as the Physical Activity Record form on the Team Nutrition United States Department of Agriculture website, and evaluate themselves against the standards for physical activity in the guide.
  4. Show children a map of world flu trends, such as that available on the website, to demonstrate how serious communicable illnesses like the flu are. Use a concrete explanation for how germs are spread, such as telling them that germs are spread when we don’t wash our hands and that this could make people sick. Parents can obtain a star chart and encourage their child to fill it out every time she washes her hands.
  5. Tell children that smoking is bad for them by sharing interesting facts, such as that cigarettes have over 4,000 toxic chemicals or that nicotine is also used in bug spray. Challenge kids to create their own flipbooks with cartoon characters to educate others about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke.

How to Reduce Estrogen With Diet & Exercise

Whether you are a man or a woman, normalizing estrogen levels in your body can help achieve a host of health benefits, according to These benefits include improving body composition (improving levels of lean mass while decreasing fat deposits), improving mood, and decreasing the risk of certain cancers (such as breast and uterine). While estrogen can be lowered through the use of prescription medication, a safer method is to attempt to lower it first through the use of diet and exercise.

How to Reduce Estrogen Hormones in Women Naturally

Reducing Estrogen

  1. Shift your dietary intake to more natural foods in order to normalize your hormone balance. The Anit-Estrogen Diet, discussed in, advocates consumption of fruits and vegetables, beans, fresh fish, other lean meats, nuts, seeds and eggs. This avoids many of the chemicals present in processed and frozen foods, which often contain xenoestrogens, or manmade compounds that act as estrogen within the body. Also avoid consumption of soy, which can increase the level of estrogen in the body.
  2. Eat organic foods and grass-fed meats whenever your budget allows. This can help to reduce circulating estrogen levels by further reducing your intake of unnatural chemicals that can trigger the rise of estrogen in the body. If your budget does not allow for both grass-fed meat and organic fruits and veggies, stick to organic fruits and veggies; they provide the best benefit for reducing estrogen levels.
  3. Exercise for at least 30 to 45 minutes a day to reduce your body fat. This should result in lowered estrogen levels, because body fat tends to cause the transformation of other hormones into estrogen. Choose a type of exercise that you enjoy, and do it religiously. The modified dietary approach outlined above should work with the exercise to help you lose body fat and reduce your estrogen levels.

10 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy

The heart is a vital organ in the body and is needed to stay alive. It is important to take care of it to maintain a long, healthy life. There are a variety of ways to keep a strong heart, most of which are a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Learn Family History

  • Family history is a large factor in heart health. If a you have a relative, such as a parent or sibling, who suffered a heart attack before the age of 60, and also a second-degree relative, like an aunt or uncle, who had a heart attack, you are 10 times more likely to suffer from a heart attack than someone who has no heart disease in their family, according to an interview with Dr. Emily Senay on CBS News. It is important to learn your family’s heart history.

Healthy Diet

  • A diet high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and limited in refined sugars and trans fats will lower cholesterol and contribute to a healthier heart. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help control weight and blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association. Eating fish, such as salmon, that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids will help lower the risk of death from coronary artery disease.

Take Vitamins

  • Vitamins are an essential part of maintaining heart health and contribute to the well being of the cardiovascular system. According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamins B6 and B12 help prevent clogged arteries. While many vitamin-rich foods may contain these, it is a good idea to at least take a daily multivitamin.

Limit Alcohol

  • In moderation, some studies have shown alcohol to increase good cholesterol, therefore being beneficial to the heart. However, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to high blood pressure and heart failure, according to the American Heart Association.


  • Not only will sleep improve your mood and ability to function, it is also increases heart health. According to U.S. News & World Report, there was a sleep study done with middle-aged adults, and those who got an extra hour of sleep at night had a lower risk for artery-clogging calcification that can lead to heart disease.

Reduce Stress

  • Life can become fast-paced and stressful all too easily, therefore, it is important to take time every day to relax. People who are in stressful situations have a tendency to not exercise, overeat or start smoking. Also, according to the American Heart Association, stress can be linked to high blood pressure.

Don’t Smoke

  • Smoking can lead to a number of health issues, including heart disease. Your risk of heart disease increases drastically with the number of cigarettes smoked.

Control Weight

  • According to the American Heart Association, obesity can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure and insulin resistance, all of which heighten the risk of cardiovascular disease. Having more fat, especially in the waist area, there is a higher risk for health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and heart attack. Someone is considered obese when her weight is 20 percent or more above the normal range.


  • Physical inactivity is a major risk for cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. Exercise increases heart rate and builds strength and endurance. It is important to exercise five times a week for about half an hour each time. However, it is also very important not to push your body too far, because that can result in adverse effects on the heart, such as high blood pressure.

Know Your Numbers

  • It is important to have routine doctor’s visits to check numbers such as blood pressure and cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL and blood pressure should be less than 120/80 mmHg. High blood pressure is the single largest risk factor for a stroke.

Healthy Diet for Rottweilers

Rottweilers are quite large, so they can eat a lot, and need to in order to be active.

Rottweilers are a large breed of dog with short black and tan fur. These dogs make for great guard dogs and companions for any home. As very loyal companions, rottweilers have a lot of energy, which is why they need a healthy diet to help them stay active and healthy. If you have a rottweiler in your home, be it a grown dog or little pup, educate yourself on what your rottweiler needs to live a long and healthy life.

Two Feeding Options

  • Decide on what to feed your rottweiler. There are two options: store-bought food or food you make yourself at home. With store-bought food, the issue is that not all brand foods are equal in health value and some have ingredients that can be bad for your rottweiler, like harsh chemicals, bad proteins and lots of fats with little nutrients. However, some people like the convenience factor of store-bought food and opt to use it. With homemade food, while you get to decide exactly what your rottweiler eats, you might not always have the time to spend in the kitchen to make it. With either option, you should be able to work out a healthy diet for your rottweiler based on your personal preferences.

Store Foods

  • Store-bought foods and brand-name foods carry many taboos, but not all of the foods on the market are terrible for your dog. Avoid cheap store-bought foods and check the ingredients. If you see a lot of chemicals listed, this probably isn’t the food for your rottweiler. Also, if you see the words “animal by-product,” that basically means there are no good proteins in that brand. Remember, your rottweiler needs good proteins. Ask a store worker at the pet shop to help you find the highest quality dog food you can for your rottweiler.

Homemade Meals

  • If you like cooking and want absolute control over what your rottweiler eats, then try homemade meals. Your rottweiler needs protein, carbohydrates and minerals and vitamins to keep going strong, so remember this when making meals. A good rule of measure is to include at least 30 to 40 percent protein, like turkey, fish, or beef; 30 percent carbohydrates, such as whole grain pastas; and 20 percent veggies, like kale, broccoli or peas. Rottweilers also love potatoes and carrots, too. Cook food at each meal or make a large portion, toss it in the freezer and heat up a serving at breakfast and dinner.

How Much To Give

  • Rottweilers are a very big breed, which means that the dog puts away a lot of food to keep his massive body going. While each rottweiler varies, depending on health needs and situation, expect to feed an adult about anywhere from 3 to 5 cups twice a day, at breakfast and dinner. For a rottweiler pup, until six months, feed him 1 cup three times a day. After six months, give him 2 cups twice day, then after 18 months, feed him as an adult.

Treats and Snacks

  • Think of snacks for your rottweiler as you would the meals you give them. Stick with high quality, all natural snacks and avoid the cheaper brand names. You can even make them at home. You can also find a variety of recipes online, or come up with your own, based on ingredients you use at mealtime, if you cook at home. Otherwise look at your local pet shop and find some good organic and all natural treats for your rottweiler.

Work With Your Vet

  • Anytime you acquire a new animal, you should make an appointment with your vet. This is especially true if you have a new puppy in the house. If you are making homemade meals, share your recipes with your vet. Also, tell her what store food you are using and, of course, tell her how much you are feeding your dog. Working with your vet can ensure you are giving your rottweiler the diet it needs, and your vet can help you make diet changes as needed.

How to Apply for Hawk-i Health Insurance for Kids

A young girl is at the doctors.
Hawk-i is a low cost or free health insurance option for uninsured children in Iowa. It only goes to residents under 19 with no other health insurance who don’t qualify for Medicaid, and to families that meet the hawk-i income limits. Applications can be completed online at, mailed, or faxed, and you will need to provide proof of income — such as a pay stub or tax return. Applications typically process within two weeks.

Monthly Premium and Income Limits

  • The amount of the monthly insurance premium depends directly on family size and household income level. It can be free, but qualifying families never pay more than $40 per month for health coverage, and never more than $20 per month for dental only policies. There is no monthly cost for Native American children.

Available Coverage Plans

  • As of 2014, qualified applicants can choose between UnitedHealthcare or Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa for medical insurance. Delta Dental of Iowa is the only option for dental insurance. Plan options typically cover routine health services — including doctor visits, immunizations, prescriptions, vision care, and hearing exams — as well as hospital visits, emergency and ambulatory services.

How to Encourage Good Behavior in Children

Giving your children special attention might prevent negative behaviors.

Drawing on the walls in crayon, hitting a younger sibling or pulling the dog’s tail — sometimes your child’s misbehavior can make you scratch your head and question your parenting style. reassures parents, however, that occasional acting out in childhood is normal and not a cause for concern. You can make your life easier as your child negotiates the difficult task of growing up, however, by imposing routine, setting limits and responding appropriately when he acts out.

Setting Expectations

  1. Give your children the structure and safety of a routine, beginning at an early age. Impose limits in areas such as bedtimes and television watching. When your child clearly knows and accepts the routine, he’s less likely to behave negatively out of confusion or insecurity. suggests that imposing limits on your child helps teach him self-control, which encourages the likelihood he’ll behave.
  2. Explain the reasons for the rules and limits, in a concrete way your child can comprehend. Test his understanding by having him repeat the rules or asking him questions. Teaching children the reasons behind the rules helps them learn. If children understand why they are being asked to do something, they may be more likely to comply, notes Have more detailed discussions with your children as they mature. suggests, for example, that school-aged children have more developed language and thinking skills than preschoolers, so explanations and discussions with this age group can be more detailed.
  3. Notice and compliment positive behavior, especially if it’s evident that your child is working hard to change an old behavior. “That’s great that you used your manners, Lucas,” you can say, when your child remembers to say “please” or “thank you.” recommends complimenting your child in a sincere way at least once a day.
  4. Demonstrate positive behavior, so your children have a good example of how to behave. Treat others with respect, resolve conflicts in a healthy way and practice patience to bring out the best in your child.
  5. Communicate to your child that she’s a worthwhile human being. Convey your regard for her with your tone of voice, gestures and facial expressions. Building your child’s self-esteem in these subtle ways teaches her to expect more from herself, increasing the likelihood that she’ll behave positively.

Kids Need Discipline

  1. Set logical consequences to remind your child to follow the rules. suggests, for example, that you should take away toys that children are fighting over. Using logical consequences helps children see the implications of their negative behavior in a concrete, tangible way.
  2. Give one warning and then impose consequences. suggests that children might benefit from being given a warning to remind them of boundaries and limits. They recommend following through consistently on consequences, however, if the warning doesn’t stop the behavior immediately.
  3. Take away privileges. Allow your children to earn the right to stay up later, go to special activities or play video games and remove these privileges when they misbehave. Clearly communicate to your child the reason you’re removing the privilege and let him know how he can earn it back. For example, you can say something like, “You lose the right to play your video game tonight because you didn’t do your homework, but if you do homework first tomorrow night, you can play your game again.”
  4. Use timeouts when your child reverts to earlier, negative behavior, such as biting, talking back or hitting. Sit your child in a corner by himself for a period of 1 minute for every year of his age. The timeout ends when he’s been sitting quietly for the entire time.

Setting Expectations

  1. Give your children the structure and safety of a routine, beginning at an early age. Impose limits in areas such as bedtimes and television watching. When your child clearly knows and accepts the routine, he’s less likely to behave negatively out of confusion or insecurity. suggests that imposing limits on your child helps teach him self-control, which encourages the likelihood he’ll behave.
  2. Explain the reasons for the rules and limits, in a concrete way your child can comprehend. Test his understanding by having him repeat the rules or asking him questions. Teaching children the reasons behind the rules helps them learn. If children understand why they are being asked to do something, they may be more likely to comply, notes Have more detailed discussions with your children as they mature. suggests, for example, that school-aged children have more developed language and thinking skills than preschoolers, so explanations and discussions with this age group can be more detailed.
  3. Notice and compliment positive behavior, especially if it’s evident that your child is working hard to change an old behavior. “That’s great that you used your manners, Lucas,” you can say, when your child remembers to say “please” or “thank you.” recommends complimenting your child in a sincere way at least once a day.
  4. Demonstrate positive behavior, so your children have a good example of how to behave. Treat others with respect, resolve conflicts in a healthy way and practice patience to bring out the best in your child.
  5. Communicate to your child that she’s a worthwhile human being. Convey your regard for her with your tone of voice, gestures and facial expressions. Building your child’s self-esteem in these subtle ways teaches her to expect more from herself, increasing the likelihood that she’ll behave positively.

Kids Need Discipline

  1. Set logical consequences to remind your child to follow the rules. suggests, for example, that you should take away toys that children are fighting over. Using logical consequences helps children see the implications of their negative behavior in a concrete, tangible way.
  2. Give one warning and then impose consequences. suggests that children might benefit from being given a warning to remind them of boundaries and limits. They recommend following through consistently on consequences, however, if the warning doesn’t stop the behavior immediately.
  3. Take away privileges. Allow your children to earn the right to stay up later, go to special activities or play video games and remove these privileges when they misbehave. Clearly communicate to your child the reason you’re removing the privilege and let him know how he can earn it back. For example, you can say something like, “You lose the right to play your video game tonight because you didn’t do your homework, but if you do homework first tomorrow night, you can play your game again.”
  4. Use timeouts when your child reverts to earlier, negative behavior, such as biting, talking back or hitting. Sit your child in a corner by himself for a period of 1 minute for every year of his age. The timeout ends when he’s been sitting quietly for the entire time.

How to Teach Children to Care for Pets

Caring for a pet can teach your child how to be responsible.
Making the decision to allow your child to get his first pet can be a tough one. Adding a pet to the family is a huge undertaking, requiring time and responsibility on both yours and your child’s part. When you feel the time is right and your child is mature enough to start caring for a pet of his own, you’ll need to teach him how to properly care for it.


  1. Discuss getting a pet with your child to ensure he knows how much care is involved. Talk about what type of pet your child would like. For example, a cat tends to be less work as your child doesn’t have to take it for walks and cats are less needy than other animals. Cats require little grooming and normally litter-train well, notes Animal Planet. A dog is usually more social, which means it will require more attention and energy, but it can be more playful. If you’re looking for something smaller, consider a guinea pig, lizard, hamster, rabbit, fish or bird. Take your time to think about what type of pet you’d like, then make the decision as a family.
  2. Show your child how to provide his pet with fresh food and water. Create a feeding schedule and post it where your child can easily read it. Generally, most pets need fed one or two times per day and need access to fresh water at all times. Encourage your child to replace his pet’s water twice per day. Assist your child with feeding time until he gets the hang of it.
  3. Teach your child how to safely scoop out waste from his cat’s litter box every day. His cat may refuse to use the litter box if it’s left dirty, according to Petco. Help him replace the litter weekly. Remind him that washing his hands is very important after this chore, to prevent him from getting sick.
  4. Instruct your child to clean his pet’s cage weekly with water and a mild soap. Bedding will need to be changed a minimum of once a week. Your child must clean a fish tank once per week.
  5. Show your child how to properly groom his pet, if necessary. Your dog or cat may need regular brushing and dogs need an occasional bath to keep them clean. Some pets will need to be taken to the groomer’s for a haircut, ear cleaning and nail clipping.
  6. Encourage your child to give his pet the love and attention it needs. For example, dogs need plenty of exercise to keep them healthy, stimulate their minds and to burn calories, according to the ASPCA. Help your child take his dog for a walk or to the dog park to run and play. Provide your child’s guinea pig, rabbit, lizard, hamster or other small pet with an enclosure big enough to allow plenty of exercise.
  7. Assist your child in making appointments for regular checkups for his pet. A veterinarian can ensure your child’s pet is healthy and his vaccinations are current. He can also address any concerns you or your child might have, according to PBS Kids.

How to Increase Metabolism With a Vegetarian Diet

Metabolism is the key to weight control. And exercise and diet are essential to maintaining and increasing your metabolism. If you gain weight even though you consume less calories than your co-worker, it’s most likely because you have a low Basal Metabolism, which is the rate your body burns calories to maintain normal bodily function. Metabolism rates depend on genetics, physical make-up and diet. To improve your metabolism to burn more calories, you must find the right balance of diet and exercise. An appropriate vegetarian diet consists of proteins, fruits, vegetables and some whole grains, eaten in smaller portions. Exercise should consist of muscle-building work-outs.
How Does Diet Affect Basal Metabolic Rate?


  1. Eat more, smaller portioned, well balanced meals. Don’t eat 3 large meals in one day; rather eat at least 5 or 6 times. Eating the right foods regularly keeps your body working, continually breaking down food, digesting and metabolizing. Though eating often appears to be the cause of weight gain, this actually works when paired with the right diet. Eating less actually slows your metabolism.
  2. Consume foods that require more work to digest in order to boost metabolism. This is known as the high thermic effect. Proteins typically have a higher thermic effect than other foods. But you’re trying to do this without meat, which is the most protein-rich food group. Fats have about a 3% thermic effect. Proteins have 30% thermic effect. Fibrous vegetables have a 20% thermic effect. So vegetables are not that far off from meats. Plus many vegetables are high in protein (see Resources below for a chart of high-protein vegetables).
  3. Experiment with soy products for protein, such as tofu, a great alternative to meat. Tofu comes in many textures and flavors. Other protein-rich foods include legumes–beans, lentils, chickpeas, bean sprouts, and peas–as well as whole grains. Nuts are also rich in protein, but are full of fats as well.
  4. Exercise. You increase your basal metabolism by increasing muscle, which burns more calories than fat. The key to losing weight is burning more calories than you consume. But the key to increasing your metabolism is increasing your muscle. Along with your regular exercises, aerobics, yoga or jogging, add muscle-building workouts such as push-ups or weightlifting. Building up body muscle will help increase basal metabolism, which means you will burn more calories a day just by being awake.

How to Eat Cheap and Healthy

In the quest to make healthier food choices and save money while doing so, you might envision your meals as spartan affairs, drab and as inspiring as gerbil food. However, that need not be the case. With a little planning and cost-cutting ingenuity, you can dine on nutritious fare for cheap — without sacrificing palatability.

Stock a Nutritious and Budget-Friendly Pantry

As the foundation of a cheap and healthy eating regimen, the well-stocked cupboard encourages you to make healthy meals on the fly using ingredients you already have.

Two strategies that The Kitchn cooking website uses to stock up on cheap and healthy food include buying produce in bulk when it’s in season and freezing it, and stocking up on healthful foods when they are on sale.

By buying produce in season, you get fruits and vegetables at the peak of their freshness, when they are most abundant during the year and lower in price. Freezing them in quantity ensures you can incorporate these nutritious ingredients into meals any time of the year. Moreover, bulk shopping during sales, such as buying 10 packages of frozen vegetables for $10, locks in a favorable price point over a number of meals.

Choose Foods With Nutritional Bang for Your Buck

As Real Simple Magazine notes, healthy food choices don’t have to be expensive. Certain healthy foods can be had for pennies on the dollar per serving. These include:

  • Oatmeal, which can help lower cholesterol and stave off heart disease, at 18 cents per half-cup serving.
  • Oranges, which provide vitamin C, fiber and folate, at 84 cents each.
  • Kiwis, which replenish the body with potassium, vitamin C and vitamin E, at 50 cents each.
  • Chick peas, full of protein and fiber, at only 31 cents per half-cup serving.

Even certain so-called superfoods can be under $1 a serving, as Eating Well Magazine notes.

  • Black and green tea, at 10 cents per bag, can help boost immune system and reduce the risk of heart attacks.
  • Kale, at 60 cents per cup, contains vitamin K for bone health, vitamin A and lutein for eyesight.
  • Almonds, at 18 cents an ounce, provide vitamin E, calcium, fiber and folate.
  • Eggs, at 17 cents each, are protein powerhouses with vitamin D, lutein and xeanthanin, which prevent macular degeneration.

Swap Out Expensive Purchases

When committing to a healthful lifestyle, you may have to make some adjustments in your shopping and cooking habits. In lieu of expensive cuts of meat, substitute cheaper — yet more flavorful — cuts, such as chicken thighs and less expensive cuts of beef. Although the tougher and more sinewy parts of an animal may require longer cooking times and techniques, the payoff is a smaller grocery bill and the joy of experimenting with different foods and styles of cookery.

If you have a large freezer, buying a whole carcass or bone-in parts, is one way to have your meat economically — and eat it, too.

Extend a Dish With Healthful and Cheap Add-Ins

Eating healthy for cheap is not about skimping, but rather about turning to healthy options that create a sense of abundance and provide solid nutrition at low cost. Whole grains such as brown rice and wheat berries round out your meals inexpensively, while bolstering your fiber intake and making you feel fuller longer. Quinoa, the ancient grain, can be eaten on its own or as an accompaniment to a main dish, as a high source of protein. To stretch out or replace a meat dish, add a variety of mixed beans to pasta.

Reinvent Leftovers

Eating healthy and cheap does not consign you to a life of bland leftovers. If you don’t like the idea of eating the same food over a succession of days, create entirely new dishes by reinterpreting precooked ingredients. Steamed vegetables you make for dinner one night can be transformed into sandwich toppings for the next day, then frozen for soup on another day and chopped into a rice medley for dinner later in the week.

How to Lose Weight Without Exercising

After having a car accident and finding myself restricted from exercise, I wondered if there was a way for me to lose weight without exercising. I found a way, and so far, I have lost 10 lbs (gradually over one month) and I feel that I have a better idea of what makes me gain weight.

How to Become a Physical Therapist Assistant


  1. View the Scale as a Tool, Not as your Enemy:
    We come to dread the scale and what it has to say if our diet approach is unsuccessful, or if we’ve been unaware of what we’ve been putting in our mouths for days. However, using this approach, the scale will become our tool in finding the “path” to lose weight and will begin to offer positive reinforcement.
  2. Familiarize Yourself with What You Eat For a Week:
    Study your portion size, how you tend to prepare foods, and how many meals you tend to eat. This will be essential in the latter steps. If you need to, write down everything you eat and in how many sittings for a week. Do not weigh yourself during this week. Just study what and how you eat.
  3. Beginning the 2nd week, weigh yourself when:
    • You wake up
    • After each meal
    • Right before you go to bed
      Keep track of what you weigh at these times and track what you are eating. Do this in conjunction with Step 4.
  4. Beginning with that 2nd week, start to restrict your diet in one or more of the following ways without changing the quantity of food. (How you restrict your diet is up to you and will depend on your motivation level. If you think it might be difficult, start out with one of the below methods. But the best result will come with using the methods below simultaneously):
    • Do not cook in any oils or fats.
      If you tend to eat fried foods, eat the same foods but boiled, baked or broiled without using oil, butter, shortening, lard, etc.
      Example: Instead of fried eggs, eat boiled. Or you can go for a peanut butter sandwich on wheat bread if you want something more filling.
    • Cut down on extra sugar or eliminate sugar.
      If you drink coffee, tea, or eat cereal and add sugar to it, decrease by 1/2 the amount of sugar you use, or if you’re really motivated, eliminate that drink altogether, and switch to an alternative.
      Example: Replace coffee or tea, with water or those fruit flavored waters, or dilute a little bit of orange juice with water. And most definitely, cut down on your consumption of soda by half, or replace soda altogether, with one of the substitutes above.
  5. Avoid Fast Food and Try to Decrease Snacking (with the goal of eliminating if you can):
    If you must eat a snack, pop fresh popcorn, buy rice cakes, or chunky peanut butter, or eat fruit or a handful of nuts (UNSALTED pistachios, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc) which are more filling.
    Note: It’s important to avoid salty snacks as salt will make you crave more.
  6. Enhance the Above Method by Embracing Lean Meats or Fish That Are Prepared Without Oils and That Are Sliced or Diced.
    Slice or dice meats. Serve yourself a portion visually similar to the meat as a block (before it was sliced/diced). You’ll be eating less meat although visually it will look about the same.
  7. Decrease Your Portion Sizes Gradually:
    If you can decrease the sizes of your portions in conjunction with the above methods, you’ll eventually feel less in need of eating bigger meals.
  8. Take it up a Notch:
    • Work in fresh veggies as part of your meals more and more, and especially as snacks.
    • Explore the health food section of your grocery store. Morningstar makes great breakfast alternatives.
    • Remember to try to eat smaller portions. Even if it’s a 1/4 or a 1/3 smaller. You can work in baby steps if you must.
  9. Most Importantly, Note How Much You Gain After Each Meal And What You Lose While You Sleep:
    -You may gain 1/2 lb for a small meal and upwards to a lb and a half or more, for a larger meal.
    -Become familiar with your body’s rhythm with respect to digestion.
    -By adjusting your intake, you’ll see results.

How to Track Your Weight, Diet, Exercise & Blood PressureHow to Track Your Weight, Diet, Exercise & Blood Pressure

You can track your blood pressure with an in-home kit.

When you have a specific goal in mind such as losing weight or lowering your blood pressure, tracking your progress can help you stay motivated. By monitoring your data over time, you’ll be able to notice patterns that are standing in the way of your efforts, such as foods you may be eating that cause you to feel sluggish or exercises that aren’t helping you meet your goals. At its most basic, you’ll only need a notebook and a simple spreadsheet to track your values — though you can also use any number of computer or mobile phone applications to do the same thing.


  1. Create a spreadsheet that includes columns named “Weight,” “Blood Pressure,” “Minutes Exercised” and “Calories Consumed.” Create rows with the dates by week; for example, “April 1,” then “April 8,” then “April 15” and so on.
  2. Weigh yourself and take your blood pressure and enter those values into the top-most “Weight” and “Blood Pressure” columns on your spreadsheet.
  3. Write down everything you eat in a notebook, putting the day’s date at the top of the page. For example, you might write “Friday, April 1” at the top. Then write down all foods and drinks — including alcohol and candy — you eat. At the end of the day, use an online calorie calculator, such as the USDA’s SuperTracker to count how many calories you consumed that day. Write the number near the bottom of the notebook page. If it’s easier, you can also use any number of online food tracker apps, which provide the calories in foods automatically.
  4. Write the number of minutes you exercised each day into the notebook, on the appropriate day. Also write down the type of exercises you did — including strength training, cardio and gentle exercise such as walking around the block — and any notes about how you felt. Maybe you were tired or didn’t feel well, or you had a great workout that left you feeling energized; writing this stuff down can help you look back at what you were doing the day before that might have contributed to that feeling.
  5. Tally your total calorie intake at the end of the week and the number of minutes you exercised, then write them into the “Minutes Exercised” and “Calories Consumed” columns of your spreadsheet. Also weigh yourself and take your blood pressure and enter the values into the spreadsheet.
  6. Review your spreadsheet and your daily notes to look for ways to improve your performance. If you found you were feeling tired one day, look at the days before and determine whether you consumed too many or too few nutritious calories, for example.

How to Avoid Junk Foods

They look good, don't they?

Junk food can have a terrible effect on your body. There are countless cases of people eating themselves to obesity. Why do they do this? Think of it like a drug: It makes them feel better in the moment, so they forget the future costs. Consider this piece of information published on the health site Mercola, quoting a Yahoo! News piece. “Research has shown that almost one-third of the U.S. diet consists of sugar-filled cans of soda and bags of potato chips.” So how do you stop doing eating bad foods? Dieting is never easy, no matter what certain infomercials say. However, there are painless ways to diet and avoid junk foods. Start by understanding why you like them so much.


  1. Understand your thinking. Maybe chocolate does help your mental thinking for a moment. It’s apt to make you smile. So how do you avoid junk foods like chocolate? Find healthier eating escapes at all times of the day as junk food eating is often based on impulse. Bread is good and you can add peanut butter to have a healthy, high protein snack that can replace a chocolate candy bar.
  2. Act. Do you find yourself eating late at night? This actually isn’t a bad thing; the myth of eating late at night and gaining weight has been discounted in many studies. But what are you eating? Are you more apt to go to the ice cream carton to fill up? You can stop this junk food habit by either deciding to cut out late night eating or replace the food you eat with healthy alternatives, such as fruits or even a large glass of water to fill you up. Yogurt is a good alternative to ice cream. Cookies can be traded in for the popular “100 Calorie” snack packs. Look to canned fruits next, which are much healthier than downing ice cream and potato chips. A nice vegetable mix can do wonders for your health. Look at the sodium contents of vegetables, because certain products like creamed corn are far from vegetables.
  3. Consider the costs. Obesity can lead to countless health problems at the cost of your quality of life and even your life itself. The monetary cost of junk foods adds up, too. A good strategy is to write down your expenditures on junk foods from morning to night: That candy bar cost you a dollar, the bag of chips a few more, a half a carton of ice cream and so on. This financial reminder gives you another reason to quit. Bread and butter is far cheaper and healthier than consistently downing soda, sugar and bags of chips. Often, if you choose the right foods, you will be saving money from the start.
  4. Other escapes. There are other escapes for you to do than snack. So how do you avoid filling your spare time with junk food? Junk food addiction is a battle of the mind in many ways, and where you think you need something, you really don’t. Read a book, do a craft, go for a walk, talk on the phone or write in a journal when you would usually head to the pantry.
  5. Defeating impulses. The last hurdle is fighting the impulse. If you sense an impulse coming, examine it as you would any other irrational thought. Will this item truly make you happy? The next time you decide to take one box of cookies to bed, consider this strategy of eating right. Avoid your impulses—they are the enemy. Junk foods may hurt your wallet, but high starch and saturated fat does more than just add to your belly—they tend to lower life spans.

Grants for Opening a Health Food Store

Vegetables at health food store
The federal government, local governments and private foundations provide grants to help healthy food retailers open a store. Grants are provided to create healthy food options in low-income communities. These healthy food initiatives provide opportunities for low-income residents to get involved in producing their own food as well as stimulate the economy in these communities.

Healthy Food Financing Initiative

  • The Administration for Children and Families’ Healthy Food Financing Initiative provides grants up to $800,000 to bring healthy food choices to low-income communities that are food deserts. The administration defines communities in which residents do not live in close proximity to affordable and healthy food retailers as a food desert. Grants are awarded to nonprofit community development corporations, faith-based and community organizations for business start-up. Funds can go toward construction, expansion and outreach or education projects. The grant fund must also go toward job creation for low-income individuals.

Community Food Projects

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Food Projects provides grants up to $125,000 to private and nonprofit entities. To qualify for a grant, the organization must demonstrate that it has experience in the area of community food work, job training and business development activities in low-income communities, competency to implement the project and a willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators and practitioners. The grant funding can go toward creating a farmer’s market or a community garden with market stands.

Regional Programs

  • States offer grants, loans and financial incentive programs for healthy food start-ups. The California Endowment in partnership with NCB Capital Impact created the the California FreshWorks Fund. Nonprofit, for-profit and cooperative organizations that serve residents in low-income communities can apply for grants up to $50,000 and loans for healthy food retailing. Eligible expenses include predevelopment, planning and design expenses, capital and real estate expenses, inventory and working capital or workforce development. New York City also has an incentive program for healthy food initiatives. The FRESH program provides tax, zoning and real estate incentives to developers seeking to construct or renovate retail space to be leased full-time to a healthy grocery store operator.

The Bowers Fund

  • The Cooperative Development Foundation provides funding for the Bowers Fund. The goal of the program is to strengthen the food cooperative community by providing training grants to food cooperative staff, managers and board of directors. Cooperatives are owned and operated by its consumers. Healthy food cooperative start-ups can apply for a grant to pay for business development costs, travel expenses for workshops or seminars, and to develop and implement a policy governance model. To apply for a grant, the health food store must meet the definition of a cooperative organization.

How to Start an Organic Food Business

If you say you're selling organic, be sure your suppliers fit the bill.
Organic foods have grown from a billion-dollar niche in 1990 to a $25 billion-plus 21st century industry, says Forbes. f you have free-range eggs or pesticide-free crops to sell, the market is there. You’ll need a supplier who complies with federal organic standards.

Where to Sell

  • Not everyone cares about eating organic food. And not everyone can afford it. To succeed, you need a location where customers who care and have the cash can find you. The Bplans website says, for instance, that the Last Frontier organic grocery opened in a location with lots of retail food traffic. Shoppers in the area patronize arts stores, crafts fairs and similar establishments, which Last Frontier believed opens their eyes to organic shopping. The company also picked a location a 20-minute drive from any competing store.

Finding Organic Food

  • To succeed, you need a steady supply of organic goods. If you have farmers in your area, meet and talk to them. A local farmers market is a good start for this. Find whether any of them grow organic, and whether they’re interested in supplying you. Local bakeries often sell at farmers markets, giving you a supply of baked goods. The Local Harvest website is another source of names, offering a directory of 30,000 farms and farmers markets. Shopping locally reduces shipping costs, and it can add to your cachet with consumers.

Certification and Labeling

  • Learn the requirements for labeling organic products before putting anything on the shelves. If you say something is 100 percent organic, for instance, federal regulation says it can’t have any non-organic ingredients except water and salt. Products with less than 70 percent organic ingredients can’t be called organic at all. You need to buy from farmers or vendors who can certify their products are organic. Producers that sell less than $5,000 a year in organic products don’t have to get certified, but you’ll want to confirm they do follow federal organic standards before contracting with them.

Successful Marketing

  • In grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Publix, you can find multiple brands and varieties of organic fruits, cereals, cheeses and other products. To succeed, your business needs a marketing campaign that will make your products and lines stand out. Forbes suggests that because many organic consumers are motivated by concern for issues such as the environment or world hunger, you should build on that sentiment. Several stores donate a percentage of their profits to food banks and similar programs, for instance.

How to Be a Vegetarian

Young man holding up bowl of salad.

If you’d like to join the growing population of vegetarian eaters, which could help protect you against cardiovascular disease and some cancers, you’ll be giving up meat, poultry and fish. Approximately 5 percent of Americans follow a strictly vegetarian diet, reported the journal Nutrients in 2014.
Simply giving up meat doesn’t mean you’re eating a quality, sustainable plant-based diet, though. An optimal vegetarian diet includes ample amounts of fruits and vegetables; protein from eggs, dairy, beans, soy and nuts; and healthy fats from seeds, avocados and certain vegetable oils.

Giving Up Meat

  • Vegetarians consume no meat, poultry or fish; they also avoid products made with these foods, such as chicken broth and gelatin. Vegans take it a step further and shun eggs and dairy products. You might ease your way into vegetarianism by giving up red meat first and then, after a few weeks, removing poultry from your diet. Seafood and fish might be the last thing you remove to become a full vegetarian. Of course you could always give up all animal products at once, but you’ll have less time to adjust to the new diet plan and may become overwhelmed.

Protein Sources

  • Easing into a vegetarian diet allows you to become familiar with cooking and ordering vegetarian protein replacements, including tofu, nut butters, lentils, black beans and veggie burgers. A common error vegetarians make is to replace meat or chicken with carbohydrates, such as pasta or starchy vegetables. You need 10 to 30 percent of your daily calories to come from protein, which helps maintain and support tissue and cell growth. Today’s Dietitian notes that, due to the less digestible nature of plant-based proteins, vegetarians need about 20 percent more protein than meat eaters — or a minimum of 0.45 gram of protein per pound of body weight daily. Lacto-ovo vegetarians — those who consume eggs and dairy — have an easier time getting all the protein they need.

Nutrient Balance

  • Careful planning is necessary on a vegetarian diet to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals needed for good health. Animal products are good sources of the B vitamins and vitamin D, as well as the minerals calcium, iron and zinc. A vegetarian diet can easily provide these nutrients, too, but you must plan carefully.

    Include fortified grains, cereals and breads, which usually contain extra B vitamins, iron and zinc. Many alternative milks and cow’s milk are fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Leafy greens, including broccoli and spinach, are sources of iron and calcium. In some very restrictive vegetarian diets, particularly vegan ones, you may need to take a supplement of vitamin B-12 and/or iron; consult your doctor to see if you require one.

Healthy Fats

  • Unsaturated fats help make vegetarian foods satiating; sources of these include vegetable oils — including olive oil — nuts, nut butters, seeds and avocados. Avoid overloading on high-fat cheese, which contains unhealthy saturated fat, to make up for missing meat.

    Because vegetarians do not eat fish, they miss out on one of the best sources of a particular type of unsaturated fat known as omega-3 fatty acids: fatty, cold-water fish. Omega-3 fatty acids can’t be produced by the body but are essential to fight inflammation and support brain health. Flaxseeds, walnuts and chia seeds are vegetarian sources of omega-3. Sprinkle them on top of cereal, blend them into smoothies or add them to salads.

Identify What You Already Eat

  • To start, consider vegetarian meals you already enjoy, or meals that you can easily make vegetarian — including yogurt parfaits, oatmeal with nuts, bean burritos, tofu stir-fry, lentil soup, vegetable lasagna, grilled cheese, hummus wraps, vegetable pizza and veggie burgers. Plan your week around these foods and then begin to experiment with less common vegetarian foods such as grilled tempeh, sauteed seitan — a wheat gluten with a texture like chicken — and pea protein powder. At snack time, enjoy crackers with peanut butter, cheese with an apple or a handful of trail mix.

How to Start Your Own Health Food Business

The desire to start your own business is a great thing! You like health food, right? So, why not combine the two and start a health food business? It will take some research and time, but it will certainly pay off in the end! Follow these suggestions in order to know how to start your own health food business. There will be regulations to follow on the local, state and federal levels.

How to Start a Potato Salad Small Business


  1. Research. You’ll need information on permits required, naming your business and a store space for your business. Make sure you follow all the regulations set forth by the area which you will be operating from. A legal team may help you with this.
  2. Hire a legal team to help you. You’ll need legal assistance to start your business, along with operating your business should a customer have issues. Consider Pre-Paid Legal Services if your budget will not allow for a full legal team. This will encompass a monthly fee that will have a team or lawyers at your side anytime.
  3. Get your required business permits, and file your “Doing Business As” name. This gives you the legal right to operate business, and to open a bank account in your business name. Without these, you will not be operating legally. Consult your legal team for help with this.
  4. Find your providers. You’ll need to make sure you have providers of several different types of health food that you can offer at several different prices.
  5. Develop your company logo, and marketing and advertising materials. If you are planning an online-only store, develop your website, too. You can do this yourself, or hire a firm to assist you, depending on your budget.
  6. Acquire your physical store space, if want more than an online store. Decorate and furnish the store with aisles, signs and registers. Hire your staff with legal assistance, if need be.
  7. Open for business! Stay in touch with your legal team to be updated with any laws and regulations you must follow.

Vegetarian Diets for Weight Loss

Beginning a vegetarian diet is good for the body in many ways, and with some strategic planning, it can also lead to weight loss. Read on for some tips on becoming a healthy vegetarian and working toward a weight loss goal with a meatless diet.
Diet Tips

An Expert Opinion

  • Mayo Clinic nutritionist Dr. Katherine Zeratsky said there is research that shows people who follow a vegetarian diet eat fewer calories and less fat than non-vegetarians. She said they can also have lower body weight in comparison to their height. But she also said that switching to a vegetarian diet won’t guarantee sure-fire weight loss. “The basics of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are the same for everyone: Eat a healthy diet and balance calories eaten with calories burned,” Zeratsky said. “Vegetarians—like non-vegetarians—can make poor food choices that contribute to weight gain, such as large portions of high-fat, high-calorie foods or foods with little or no nutritional value.”
    Healthy Vegetables

Dietary Tips

  • For optimum weight loss, vegetarians should plan out a diet the same way as a non-vegetarian. Making sure a diet is low in fat and nutritious is always key. Vegetarians can lack protein, so making sure there’s lots of good sources of this vitamin in a vegetarian diet is necessary. Some protein-rich foods include fish (which some vegetarians still eat,) eggs and dairy. Some good sources of protein are also high in fat, so make sure the sources of protein in the diet are healthy ones, like beans, low-fat cheese, low-fat peanut butter and food made of soy.
    Tasty fruits

Recipe Ideas

  • Make sure the cooking methods in a vegetarian diet are healthy. Avoid frying. Instead, try sauteing in olive oil, grilling tofu or steaming veggies. There are many good sources for vegetarian recipes. Martha Stewart’s website is a good resource, as is her magazine “Everyday Food,” where the recipes are tasty and often easy to prepare. Another good resource is the food blog “101 Cookbooks,” which features many vegetarian recipes that are delicious in any season.

Read more :

How Does Diet Affect Cardiovascular Strength and Health?

How to Strengthen the Artery Wall Naturally

Cardiovascular Disease Defined

  • One of the top killers in America is cardiovascular disease, or disease related to the blood vessels of your heart. There are many types of cardiovascular diseases that are responsible for death. Cardiovascular disease is responsible for more American deaths than cancer. It is a wonder that so many people die from cardiovascular disease, yet for many the chances of dying from it could have been reduced by two things: diet and exercise.

    The heart’s arteries are the vessels that carry blood to the body, while the veins make the return trip. Arteries and veins need oxygen and a clear path to perform their circulatory function. If there is anything that impedes their paths or causes the vessels’ walls to harden, the heart must pump harder and harder to get the blood going, creating unnecessary strain. With coronary heart disease, the leading cause of heart attacks, plaque forms along the cardiovascular walls and restricts the blood flow. The heart becomes overtaxed and some parts fail, causing a heart attack. So how does this deadly plaque form? It can be from the foods that you eat.

Plaque and Cardiovascular Health

  • When you eat foods high in saturated fat, you introduce harmful lipids and “bad” cholesterol (LDL) to the blood. Those lipids and cholesterol tear at your arteries. White blood cells try to get rid of the lipids. Unfortunately, platelets try to help by causing a “clot,” thinking the body is losing blood from the tear. When the platelets, white blood cells, LDL and lipids get together along with those torn artery muscle fibers, they form plaque. Over time this plaque builds up to the point where your heart is strained.

Good Heart Foods

  • Although saturated fats are part of a diet that can negatively affect cardiovascular health, there are healthful foods that can put a positive spin on your heart’s vessels. Research shows that dark chocolates, nuts and wines are foods that reduce LDL. Consuming foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids are another great way to keep your blood vessels in shape. Foods that contain Omega-3-like fatty fish- introduce acids that reduce fats in the blood vessels. Canola oil, soy foods and leafy greens also contain good Omega-3 levels. Although it is suggested that raising your good cholesterol (HDL) fights cardiovascular disease, there is no actual foods that have been scientifically proven to raise HDL.

    With a combination of moderate exercise and a good diet, you can prevent yourself from becoming a victim to one of America’s top killers.

How to Become a Food Distributor

At first glance, you may not think food distribution is a romantic way to make a living, but pick up any history book and find stories of merchants roaming towns and villages with figs, dates, pomegranates, spices, wheat and other foodstuffs on the backs of their beasts of burden. Over time, the job of food distributor even became part of history: a lot of tea went into Boston’s harbor. Choose this career and you’ll join legions of purveyors who feed the world. What other job description can make this claim?

As a distributor, you'll be a vital link in the food chain


  1. Decide on the type of food you’ll distribute. Whether it’s bakery goods, meat, produce, packaged foods or another category, your choice will impact the amount of space you’ll need and the equipment (refrigeration, etc.) required. Visit existing distributorships to see how their space is apportioned, stock is inventoried and pick and pack tasks are arranged.
  2. Rent a warehouse capable of housing your business. Many large cities have “districts” that group seafood, produce and meat distributorships in the same neighborhood. The advantage of such a community is that available buildings will have adequate loading dock space and may already be racked for food storage or have commercial refrigeration in place.
  3. Contact local health authorities, zoning boards and other government offices to apply for licenses, permits and other documentation required to set up shop. You may be asked to show proof of insurance, and don’t limit your coverage to liability. A flood, fire or other disaster could put you out of business fast, so don’t skimp on protection.
  4. Develop a source list. For example, if you’re distributing produce, contact commercial growers in your area to get commitments for crops. Save money by contracting with overseas growers, but factor in shopping costs that will impact your profit margin. In either case, sign agreements that spell out your responsibilities as the distributor and that of the grower(s). Have an attorney vet each contract to protect you and your business.
  5. Make sales calls to retail grocers and shops in your area. Set up agreed-to delivery times and days, keep in touch with department managers regularly since seasonal product changes and consumer buying habits fluctuate. Stand ready to make emergency deliveries if a store runs low on product. Remember that communication is the key to success in this field, so make frequent contact with retail customers to build a relationship that lasts.

Children’s Health Fair Ideas

Give kids healthy strawberry smoothies instead of ice cream.

Get kids’ attention by hosting an activity-oriented children’s health fair. Most kids learn best by participating in hands-on activities. Set up many stations and booths where kids can learn about CPR, the importance of nutrition, babysitting tricks and what to do if a stranger approaches them. A station sure to be a hit is a CSI station where kids can be fingerprinted and have DNA swabs taken.

Hand Washing

  • United Health Care’s Health Care Planning Guide on the School District of Palm Beach County’s site suggests demonstrating the importance of hand washing by having one person at the booth put glitter on her hands. When people come to the table, she should shake hands with them. Then, she should tell them to look at the “germs” on their hands. The glitter shows people while the booth attendant explains how germs spread and the importance of washing hands. She should then give soap and water to wash their hands to get rid of the germs. She can hand out hand sanitizer wipes and tell people that when soap and water is unavailable it is OK to use hand sanitizer.

Bicycle Safety

  • Play a video about bicycle safety. Then, invite the public to attempt riding through the bicycle safety course. Referees will ensure the participants use the correct hand signals, wear safety gear properly, walk their bikes across the “street” and obey the street signs. As participants travel through the course, take a picture and print it out for them to take home as a reminder to be safe bike riders.


  • Invite kids to participate in a yoga session. Explain that yoga is a way for kids to relax and get away from the many pressures they face everyday from homework and other activities. Demonstrate a few poses, and help the kids mimic the poses. Tell kids what the pose means and how it can help them. Give them an illustrated pamphlet with several poses so that they can recreate them in the privacy of their homes.

Scavenger Hunt

  • The Texas A&M Extension offers a list of questions that you can use in a scavenger hunt. The list of questions forces participants to visit the different booths at the health fair to find answers. The questions must be simple so that kids stay interested in the hunt. At the end of the hunt, give them a small bag with a flashing light, safety sticker and sugar-free lollipop.


  • Print out copies of the food pyramid and worksheets offered by the United States Department of Agriculture that allow kids to compare the food they eat with government recommendations. Give them pencils and samples of different healthy alternatives to junk food.

How to Lose Weight if You’re Disabled & Can’t Exercise

Many health experts agree that proper diet and exercise are the two keys to losing weight and keeping it off. For disabled persons, being sedentary and unable to exercise is sometimes a fact of life, which can make losing weight a real challenge. With guidance, patience and plenty of willpower, it is possible for the disabled to manage their weight through diet alone.

How to Lose Weight When Sedentary


  1. Calculate your resting metabolic rate ( to get an estimate of the number of calories your body needs each day at rest. Reduce your daily caloric intake to as near to this number as possible.
  2. Start keeping a food journal. Record everything you eat, right after meals, so you don’t forget.
  3. Overhaul your diet. Eliminate excess calories by avoiding products with sugar and refined flour. Incorporate more fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet. Aim to take in less calories than you burn.
  4. Don’t restrict yourself from the foods your enjoy, just eat them in moderation. Avoid mindless snacking in front of the TV, and eating out of a box or bag. Dole out single servings into cups or baggies in advance if you think this will help you eat less.
  5. Stay mentally healthy; keep connected with friends and family, and talk to a counselor if needed. Listen to music, meditate or write a letter if you feel prone to emotional eating. Keep yourself mentally healthy to avoid emotional eating and overeating.

How to Lose Weight for Vegetarians

If you follow a vegetarian diet, you have an advantage over the meat-eating population. Overweight and obesity are less common in vegetarian circles, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. Still, the basic facts of nutrition apply to vegetarians as they do to everyone else. If you eat too much, you will gain weight. Making a few changes to your diet should help you slim down, but discuss weight concerns with your physician.

Fundamentals of Weight Loss

  • The basics of weight loss are the same no matter what type of diet you follow. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. Columbia Health explains that 3,500 calories is equivalent to 1 pound of body weight. To lose 1 pound per week, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories per day. Ideally, the calorie deficit should be created by eating less and exercising more. Trim portions, make healthy substitutions and add an hour of exercise to your daily routine.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture designed MyPlate to make healthy eating accessible and simple for all Americans — including vegetarians. The graphic shows a plate divided in quarters. One side is filled with fruits and vegetables, and the remaining quarters have lean protein and grains. There is also a glass to represent dairy. For a vegetarian, the protein quarter is the only tricky part. Instead of meat protein, opt for vegetable sources such as beans, nuts and soy products. If you don’t drink milk, soy products and almond milk are rich sources of calcium.

Sample Menu

  • For breakfast, you might have a vegetable and cheese omelet with egg whites, a cup of fresh berries and a whole-grain piece of toast. At midday, fill up with a cup of fiber-rich lentil or bean soup, a salad and a cup of low-fat milk or soy milk. Between meals, nosh on carrot sticks and hummus or apple slices with peanut butter. Enjoy a simple but filling dinner of whole-grain pasta topped with sauteed vegetables and chickpeas with a cup of plain yogurt and fruit for dessert.

Avoiding Pitfalls

  • As a vegetarian trying to lose weight, your primary obstacle will be avoiding dietary fat. The University of Rochester Medical Center warns that manufacturers often add fat to vegetarian items to compensate for the absence of meat flavor. Read food labels carefully and limit how much processed food you eat. Opt for low or nonfat dairy products and choose low-fat protein including beans, soy products and reduced-fat nut butters. Use healthy cooking techniques, too. Steam, boil or bake foods rather than frying them. It’s also important to avoid added sugars. Eat whole fruit rather than fruit juice, drink water instead of soda and save dessert for an occasional treat.

How to Plan a Healthy Diet for Children

Involve your children in the preparation of healthy meals.
Kids need a balanced, nutritious diet for healthy mental and physical development. Planning the right diet for your child doesn’t have to be difficult. Offer your child a range of different foods across all recommended food groups to encourage healthy habits.


  1. Eat a healthy diet yourself. Children learn by imitation and will naturally be curious about what’s on your plate. Let your kids see you eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains and they may want to try it themselves. Drink plenty of water and keep junk food, sugary treats and soda to a minimum. Encourage the whole family to sit down and eat meals together. Serve the same healthy dishes to everyone and regularly try new healthy foods together. Make meal times an enjoyable bonding experience.
  2. Stick to recommended guidelines for daily intake of sugar and salt. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 3 teaspoons of sugar per day for a child. Be aware of “hidden” sugar in foods like bread, canned goods and ketchup. Guidelines for maximum salt intake for a child depends on age. Fast foods and processed meals typically have lots of sodium as well as high amounts of fat and sugar. Avoid these and opt for fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned. Make it easier to choose low-salt or reduced-sodium foods by getting into the habit of reading all food labels before you put something in your shopping cart.
  3. Give your child the recommended amounts of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, protein and dairy. Toddlers and preschoolers should have two servings of fruit and vegetables, four servings of whole grains, two servings of protein and three servings of dairy every day. School-age kids should have a wide range of these foods and plenty of different fruits and vegetables.
  4. Stock up on healthy snacks instead of junk food. Replace soda, chips and candy with fruits, whole-grain snacks, water and milk. Your kids will get used to reaching for something nutritious when they’re hungry between meals. If there’s no junk food in the house, they can’t eat it.
  5. Enter your child’s sex, age, height, weight and activity level into the Health Eating Plan Calculator from Baylor College of Medicine. Click “Calculate” to generate the nutrients and energy your child needs to develop and maintain a healthy weight. Use this information when planning your child’s meals. For example, a 4-year-old boy who is 40 inches tall, weighs 40 pounds and spends about an hour a day doing physical activity such as running or riding a bike should eat 1600 calories per day, including 2 cups of vegetables, 5 ounces of grains and 22 grams of oils.