Avoid This Additive In Your Food - The High Fructose Corn Syrup

Over the years I trained myself to read the ingredients labels on every product I buy that is packaged. Note, processed food is constantly enhanced so don't be surprised that the ingredient list changed. You also may want to know that the ingredient list is listed from the ingredient that is used the most and then to the least.

The best nutrition for your body is to consume whole foods - or the least amount of ingredients. The more natural foods you eat the better you will be. Processed foods contain preservatives, chemicals, fillers, artificial flavors and artificial colors.

I avoid any processed food that is contains artificial flavors or artificial colors, but the most I avoid is the High Fructose Corn Syrup often abbreviated HFCS. Corn syrup is just a cheaper version of cane or beet sugar.

Why add to baked foods? HFCS preserves freshness in the baked foods. It is definitely a natural sweetener in other foods.

Why avoid it? Studies revealed that fructose turns into fat, thus the obesity. Your liver does not process or metabolizes the corn syrup effectively. It also increases risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and cancer, and type-2 diabetes. I think there is enough reasons for not to consume anything that contains High Fructose Corn Syrup.

You may want to read this as well: Top 10 Food Additives to Avoid

Urge To Cough During Orchestra Concert

Here you are enjoying beautiful music at the orchestra concert and suddenly you get urge to cough. It usually happens when you are recovering from a cold. It can be disturbing for someone who performs so it is better to be prepared. Bring some cough medicine or unwrapped candy or lozenges with you. Yes, unwrapped because they can make noise as well. Keeping quite even for the people that surround you in the auditorium is also important. They all paid for the tickets and want to enjoy the concert. You can also try to hold and cough during the loud passages of music. Now, if all the above do not work, then you can excuse yourself and quietly exit the concert hall. You may not be able to re-enter the concert hall immediately after you stopped coughing. Ushers will let you know preferred re-entrance to the auditorium.

Hopefully this hint will be handy one day, especially if you are not a regular when comes to concerts.

Another great tip for the orchestra concert is when to clap. Usually audiences tend to clap when the piece is finished. This gesture of holding the applause between the movements is actually considered respectful. Applause can easily break the performer's concentration. The conductor will usually let the audience know when the piece is completed by putting his/her baton down and turning towards the audience.

You also may want to remember this proper concert etiquette - no talking, tapping, humming, turning program pages, standing or leaning forward in the seat, and of course unwrapping candies or your cough lozenges. Such things my disturb both sides, audiences and performers.

Go Green Go Breastfeeding - Environmental Advantages of Breastfeeding and Environmental Disadvantages of Infant Formula

Breastfeeding has many benefits for the baby, for the mother, but as well for the environment. Yes breastfeeding is good for the environment, and I am glad that I contributed. It wasn't that easy when you are new mother, and when never breastfed - but once you master it, it is the best thing ever. Starting with delivery system of this natural food. The delivery system is the most efficient system because it goes from the mother straight to baby's mouth. It is also clean, because no pollution is generated. On the side note nothing to do with the pollution, note that even baby's stool has no odour. No energy is required to heat it up or refrigerate. No accessories are required to feed the baby - like bottles, nipples. In addition, no additional cost of food for the first year - but you have to ensure that mother eats well nutritious food. And how about all the trips to the local store to shop for the baby food. If you care about environment then breastfeed your baby. I also understand, that some mother's cannot breastfeed, but for those who can, then they can contribute to the environment a lot.

Let see now, how damaging to the environment infant formula can be. The formula production is a mechanical process which causes air pollution and uses fuel from natural resources. Same applies to the nice fancy packaging - glass, plastic, tins, cardboard. All this, needs processing and printing, and packaging which all creates pollution before being used and after it is disposed. Yes all this fancy packaging needs to be recycled, thus more energy required, thus more use of fuel extracted from natural resources. Hopefully you got the idea by now. However, we are not done yet. How about the transportation, meaning once packaged, it needs to be shipped, now days possibly around the world. Transportation is in fact one of the greatest contributors of air pollution. Lastly, just at home, you will use energy to prepare and store the food. You will need bottles and nipples which are produced also by means of mechanical processes thus the resulting pollution. And once not needed, recycling process will take over.

Hopefully now you got the complete picture, and if you are expectant mother, by breastfeeding your baby, you will not only contribute to your baby's health and your health, but also to the environment's health. In addition, you will save money. The cost of using infant formula can be between $1,250 up to $3,000 a year, a very expensive compare to breast milk costing you almost nothing. And since breastfeeding is beneficial to the human health, guess what - reduction in health care costs.

Make Plain Yogurt Tasty for Children and Adults - Add Cooked Pears

I should say I used to like all the creamy and tasty yogurts [yoghurt] out there, but then when I changed to a healthy life style and started to read labels, I was amazed what all kinds of stuff is added to make it delicious and for those who are conscious about weight, to make the fat free ones. Extra sugar, I still don't understand why. Probably because all the fruits added are not that sweet, meaning probably not riped too. Then fat free - you know that they add extra chemicals to reduce the fat content. Therefore, the best recommendation of mine is, get normal 1% up to 3% fat yogurt, have little bit and enjoy it.

Now, how to make it delicious. Peel bosc pears [the sweet one], dice and bake in the oven for 30 minutes at 350-375 F, then puree. Let it cool and add to yogurt as much as you want to make it tasty; however, do not indulge on the pears, but rather on yogurt. This combination makes yogurt nice and sweet, and some say even more delicious. Then if you like other fruit, you can cut up some fresh fruit , and spice it up with cinnamon. Note that if you get a nice sweet red delicious apples, this may have the same effect.

I actually like plain yogurt plain or with vegetables, but children may be a bit fussy about its taste, however addition of pears can make a difference. I introduced yogurt to my baby at 11 months, and if your doctor recommends earlier, then go for it. He actually didn't mind like me eating the plain yogurt too, probably because I ate so much during pregnancy. Plain yogurt is excellent for balancing levels of the bacteria cultures in our system. We all have bad bacteria, so it is always good to eat yogurt to add good bacteria. Its all about balance.

Here are nutritional benefits of yogurt in general: excellent source of protein, rich in calcium, rich in potassium, source of B vitamin riboflavin, it is easier to digest than milk due to the culturing process, boosts immune system, can reduce cholesterol, improves colon health and may reduce risk of breast cancer due to improved immune system, reduces yeast infection [Candidiasis], and it aids in healing intestine infections. The plain yogurt is better than the taste enhanced yogurts because they contain less calories than the one with added fruit or sugars, they contain less fillers to make it creamy, contain more protein and calcium, and you will note also that there are no added sugars.

When buying yogurt here are some pointers. Look for containers with ingredients containing live and active cultures of Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidus bacteria cultures. Look for the ones with no added sugar - bingo - choose plain yogurt. Lastly, the active bacterial culture decreases after the expiration date, therefore, guess what you really need to check the expiry date on the containers.

Silkworm Moth Has the Ultimate Perfume for Mating,

Hopefully the above title really lured you in to read this article. Did you know that silkworm moth female announces that is available for mating by giving off an ultimate perfume or pheromone called bombykol? I bet not. I didn't. My personal interpretation, bomb - it is a strong and attractive scent, and -ykol, the alcohol base of the chemical molecule unit - a chemistry that is the same as man made perfumes. The male silkworm moth can smell the bombykol very well. Lets just say he can smell one molecule of bombykol diluted in the quadrillion of air molecules. This is one of the amazing chemical sensing trades in the animal kingdom.

Note do not try to extract this ultimate perfume for yourself, it only works between silkworm partners.

WordPress Sites Hacked Via Timthumb.php

One of my Wordpress based websites got compromised. When I was logged into the Wordpress by previewing posts a bogus website would pop up.

To check if your website was compromised you can visit this site to run free check: Sucuri Security Site Check.

Then you may want to ensure that your timthumb script is the latest version, already updated with tighten security. In my case my hosting server updated the script for all Wordpress users.

Latest timthumb can be found here.

More reading:

Timthumb.php Security Vulnerability – Just the Tip of the Iceberg

WordPress Sites Hacked with Superpuperdomain dot com (Attacking Timthumb.php)

If your site was hacked then best way to clean up is to re-install your theme. Ensure that your timthumb is the latest version. The hack did not affect the database in my case.

Horseshoe - A Symbol Of Good Fortune

Sterling Silver 1/7 CTTW Diamond Horseshoe CharmI wonder if the new Internet age era someone would consider to have a horseshoe on the web site or blog. We all know what horseshoe stands for, a shoe for the horse. After the horses were put into work it was necessary for them to own a shoe, in the shape of the moon.

The use of the worn out horseshoes was also popular in many countries. The tradition to hang the horseshoe above or next to the doorway originated first in Europe (most of Europe), and spread to the Middle-East, and Latin America, and eventually enter Americas. From my experience, many old barns in North America will have a horseshoe if you look closely - an example here.

14k White Gold Diamond Horseshoe Pendant (.04 cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity)In most of Europe, the Middle-East and Latin America horseshoes are placed downward or opening down, however, in some parts of Ireland and Britain people believe that the shoes must be upward or 'the luck will run out'. Americans of English and Irish descent prefer to display horseshoes upward; for Germans, Austrians, Italians, Spanish, and Balkans 'it must point down so the luck can pour onto you'. Two different ways, no wrong way. However, most of people were satisfied either way, because since the shoe protects the horse then it must protect the people.

In some countries such as Italy, a horseshoe is nailed by the side of the door and not above. Direction is not important, but some still do point them downward. However, it is important that the horseshoe was worn and discarded by a horse. Meaning that the horseshoe was found on the road or field, and not purchased. In addition, a person entering through the door can touch it.

Track Traffic On Your Blog With Google Analytics

Google Analytics, 3rd EditionSigning up is easy especially if you are a proud owner of Gmail account. Visit Google Analytics and you will find how easy it is to set it up. You have to register every blog or web site every time, and generate unique code. Once you generate this unique code, here is how to install in Blogger. Firstly, as always back up your template, no excuse. Then from your Dashboard select blog you want to install the script to. Go to Layout, Edit. This is where you can back up your template. In the html code window scroll down all the way to the bottom. Insert your code above the code. Save Template and you are ready to track your blog traffic. Go back to your Google Analytics code and make sure it is correctly installed. It takes about 24 hours to generate the data and start tracking. If you like statistics, you will like the Google Analytics.

Wonders of the Chicken Soup and Recipe – Is it a Common Cold Relief Remedy or a Cure?

Chicken soup is the probably the oldest soup recipe in the world, and in addition to be a very tasty it’s been used as a remedy to relief a cold – also called a comfort food or feel-good food when you are sick. It has been known that there is no other remedy that effective as the chicken soup. For centuries it was believed that chicken soup had the healing powers or cure for the illnesses as a common cold. This sparked attention among researchers and scientists to conduct studies in that field. The research concluded that chicken soup was in deed a relief remedy for a common cold, and not a cure. However, with the continued advances in science and technology time will tell what other benefits will be discovered in the future.

Chicken Soup Scientific Research HistoryThe research done in 1978 at Mount Sinai Medical Centre, Miami Beach, Florida by group of lung specialists concluded that the chicken soup helped ease the nasal congestion than the hot and cold water. The study was performed on 150 individuals with colds who were told to drink hot chicken soup, hot water and cold water. The objective of the experiment was to measure how quickly the mucus and air flowed through each individual’s nose. Interestingly, note this: ‘Hot liquids in general can be soothing, if only because they require you to slow down, sit still, and sip patiently in order to consume them without scalding yourself’ – as Dr. Andrew Weil suggests in his article: ‘Can Chicken Soup Banish Colds?’. This one actually made me smile as he is right; we tend to forget the physical component of the eating hot stuff.

The research done in early 1990’s has shown that the home made chicken soup contains substances that can relief a common cold. This research was done by Dr. Rennard and his research team at the University of Nebraska. It was concluded that the chicken soup can relief cold symptoms such as a stuffed nose, coughing and congestion – typical signs when body is fighting a cold. In more detail, when we get a cold, neutrophils [cells that fight infection] move to the airways like an army to destroy the attacking virus. When virus is being destroyed our body responds with inflammatory reactions such as a stuffed nose, coughing and congestion. However, when chicken soup is consumed it slows down movement of these neutrophils thus the reduction in the cold symptoms, and therefore we feel better.

The most recent study in 2008 concluded that the ‘Chicken soup may lower blood pressure, study finds’ – an article you can read from USAToday. However, you may want to take a note of this quote: As this study suggests, some collagen in chicken may lower blood pressure," said Dr. Byron Lee, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine. "But be careful. The salt we put on our chicken and in our chicken soup may offset or even reverse this potential benefit."

Hopefully in the future the above research areas can be repeated and fully validated, as it seems there was no further scientific studies performed to confirm the 1978, 1990s and 2008 findings.

Difference between Chicken Soup and Chicken Broth, Chicken Stock
May be this terminology should have been explained at the beginning, however, let me clarify now. Chicken soup is a mixture of chicken stock, vegetables, chicken itself, meat pieces, and/or some kind of noodles. Chicken broth is the liquid part of the chicken soup. And the chicken stock is a liquid in which chicken or chicken parts and vegetables been boiled. Confused? If so just call everything chicken soup.

How About Chicken from the Chicken Soup
Chicken also contains an amino acid called cysteine that is released when you make the soup. This amino acid thins mucus in the lungs, aiding in the healing process, and with the benefit of the hot chicken vapours it leads to even faster recovery and comfort. Coincidentally the cysteine is similar to the drug called acetylcysteine. Acetylcysteine is a drug prescribed by doctors to those who suffer from bronchitis. For those who like to learn more technical stuff about cysteine and acetylcysteine – just follow the link.

How About All the Vegetables from the Chicken Soup
Yes, how about all the good stuff cooked with the soup like carrots, onions, leaks, celery, garlic, parsley, black pepper, basil leaf, and sea salt. And if you adventures then you can also throw some cauliflower, parsnips, turnips and sweet potato. All these vegetables cooked in the chicken soup are loaded with many valuable nutrients. However, one may ask are they really loaded, since it has been know that heat can also kill nutrients. That I cannot answer, thus in my opinion, I doubt that all the nutrients from the vegetables do exists after prolonged and required cooking of the chicken soup.

Cleaning Chicken before Making Chicken Stock or Soup
It is very important that you clean raw chicken or chicken parts before making chicken stock or chicken soup. This is what I do. I usually clean chicken under running cold water, remove skin and extra fat, and then rinse it with white vinegar. I fill a pot with cold water, enough to cover the chicken and plus extra above the chicken. Bring to boil until the foam forms. This should take about few minutes of boiling. On the side I prepare a pot of measured water for chicken stock or soup and start heating up. Then I take the partially pre-boiled chicken, rinse with cold water again to remove residues of foam, and transfer to the other pot with correct amount of water. Now you are ready for nice clean chicken soup.

Are You Ready To Make Your Chicken Soup?
Now that you have cleaned your chicken or chicken parts, first you can prepare chicken stock, and then decide if you want to continue with chicken soup. If you search Internet you will find thousands of recipes for chicken stock or soup. And believe or not on some occasions you will find the same recipe copied from blog to blog, from web site to web site. I am not sure if you seen this one before, but this is what I do.

3 L of Water
3 Chicken Drumsticks
2 Chicken Breasts
5 Bay Leafs
1 Table Spoon of Black Peppercorn

[1] Simple, combine all, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours.
[2] If you planning to consume chicken stock, you can add pinch of salt here to taste.

3 L of Chicken Stock
5 Large Carrots
1 Large Onion
½ Head of Cauliflower
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Table Spoon of Salt [optional]
5 Table Spoons of Small Shell Pasta [optional]

[1] Simple, combine chicken stock, carrots and onion, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for ½ hour.
[2] Add cauliflower and boil for another ½ hour.
[3] Remove chicken into separate container and store temporarily.
[4] Now that you have all nice and cooked, you can easily make nice soup with little of extra work. Take 4 carrots and onion and pureed them in the blender, pour back into the soup.
[5] Take left over carrot slice and put back to the soup.
[6] Take one chicken breast and mash in the blender with some chicken broth. Pour back to the soup.
[7] Take all chicken drum sticks, strip from the bone, cut them into pieces and put back to the soup.
[8] Add garlic, and bring to boil, simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

Optional: Salt is optional and can be added on the end to taste. I noticed that pureed carrots, onion and chicken breast add nice sweet taste.
Optional: Add small shell pasta in Step [8].

How About that Extra Chicken Breast?
With extra chicken breast you can make nice chicken salad, but that is recipe for next future post.

Hope this post summarizes all you needed to know about the chicken soup. So now when you find that you are about to come down with a cold, get those ingredients going fast and make yourself home made chicken soup. In the future, I will be cooking different variations of chicken soups thus I will be sharing them here with you. However, if you are too sick to get to the chicken soup part, just enjoy nice hot chicken stock in the cup, you will be surprised how much better you are going to feel.

Document Release: 0; Document Last Modified: March 23, 2009

Who Invented Frisbee? - Walter Fredrick Morrison

Well I never played frisbee, never tried it. May be one day. However, I am completely aware what it is and what it does. In case, if you don't know, it is a flying disc, or gliding disc that is tossed among players. Usually it is used for beach or outside activities and it can be a real fun to play.

The reason I decided to write about the frisbee, is that every toy or every thing in this world holds an inventor. May be not every thing, but almost. The inventor of the frisbee was Walter Fredrick Morrison. He recently passed away at the age of 90 on February 9th, 2010 at his home in Monroe, Utah. Unfortunately age and cancer were the factors of his death, however, he had good long life. Never know may be the active frisbee life kept him going. We all know that any sort of exercise is good for us.

Believe or not Morrison never liked the Frisbee name and thought that it didn't mean anything, but that's what usually happens when you sell the rights of your invention.

It all started when Morrison and his wife to be Lu were tossing a tin cake pan on the beach in California. Others like the idea, so Morrison apparently ended up selling tin cake pans for 25 cents, and it cost him only 5 cents to buy. The idea grew bigger since Morrison recognized the market for his new toy. He invented his flying plastic disc which was flying and gliding better than the tin cake pans, and then he started to manufacture his new Pluto Platters in 1948.

As I mentioned he then sold the rights to Wham-O Manufacturing company who called Morrison's flying disk a frisbee. The frisbee name originated from the college students in New England. The students were calling Pluto Platters a frisbee. Going one step back, the frisbee name for Pluto Platters by students came from the Frisbie Pie Co., a bakery whose empty tins were tossed like the new Pluto Platter Frisbee.

Beware of the Wild Weed - Jimson Weed or Datura stramonium

There are just some things we don't know. I got this seed from my mother in law, who got it from someone else. In a matter of time, the weed spread everywhere, and became not a beautiful plant anymore, but annoying. The Jimson weed (Datura stramonium) is often called as devil's apple or devil's weed. Scary kind of, but in reality it is kind of very attractive plant. I still remember how one lady tried to break off a branch from my garden - I guess now I know why it is called sometimes devil's apple. But yet I to find out that it is also very poisonous plant. The seeds of the jimson weed can produce a feelings of mild euphoria, cause hallucinations, delusions, agitation, disorientation and paranoia. Other symptoms are a rapid and irregular heart rate, blurred vision, high blood pressure, dry mucous membranes, flushed skin and dilated pupils. Toxicity rate is high, the seeds of this plant are extremely toxic. Deaths in humans and animals have been reported. Seeds are the most dangerous parts of the plant, but other parts are too. What kind of plant was I growing in my garden? I just didn't know.