Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Prevention and Treatment of Yeast Infection

FOOD AND HEALTH: Prevention and Treatment of Yeast Infection

     Sources reveal that yeast infection is a colonization of a type of yeast called 'Candida albicans' in a part of the body, mouth, ears, etc., but more commonly in a woman's vagina. Three out of four women will experience at least one yeast infection in her life, but many experience recurring yeast infection. Yeast infection is brought about by the use of antibiotics, compromised immune system, or change in the ph balance in that area.  It is more common in pregnant women because of the many changes in the body that makes it harder to maintain the ph balance in the area and due to the increased amount of sugar in the pregnant woman's body. Although yeast infection is not serious, it should be treated immediately and should always be prevented. 
     The symptoms of yeast infection include vaginal itching and pain when having sex or urinating, plus a whitish, thick and sometimes foul-smelling discharge. Yeast infection is treated with anti-fungal creams and suppositories or by oral anti-fungal medication. For first-timers, it is recommended that you see your gynecologist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Pregnant women are also treated with the creams and the suppositories but the oral medication is not recommended as they have not yet been proven safe for the baby. 
    As usual, prevention is better than treatment. So here are the steps you can take to prevent yeast infection:
     1) Hygiene is number one. Always keep the area clean and dry by washing with mild soap, rinsing with water, and then wiping with clean tissue or cloth to dry. Always wipe from front to back after a bowel movement. 
     2) Don't use douches or any perfumed bath product because they can cause irritation. Also, never use petroleum-based lubricants during intercourse; water-based, so they say, is much better. 
     3) Always use clean, cotton underwear to let the air into the area. No nylon or lycra which trap the air and become breeding ground for yeast. Always wear pantyhose with cotton underwear beneath. 
     4) Don't wear tight-fitting pants or tights that hug or cramp the area.
     5) For pregnant women, limit your sugar intake. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

A New Art Form and Entertainment -- Sand Animation

EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN: A New Art Form and Entertainment --Sand Animation

     Many of us find pleasure in various art forms like painting, sculpture, comedy, film, and many others, but art has evolved in time and artists have discovered many other materials to use in order to express their art, like using coffee and sand and various other materials.
   My brother posted this video in his facebook wall and I looked for the original video  of it in you tube. It is a great and entertaining video that touches the heart, a new and interesting art form that we all may discover to appreciate and perhaps, develop into our own way of expression of art. 
     The video is titled "Kseniya Simonova--Sand Animation (Ukraine's Got Talent)".  The artist is a young, 24 year-old lass whose hands work wonders in that lighted platform with what seems to be brown sand. It is an art form with a story to tell, presented uniquely by the artist's use of sand to express each scene, each story to her audience. In this presentation, which she used as an entry to "Ukraine's Got Talent 2009" where she won, she started off by depicting life in peaceful Eastern Europe, perhaps her own country, and then went on to express the effects of war --World War II--and its devastation, how people got separated from their loved ones, the pain, the struggles, the loneliness, the grief. But then in the end, when soldiers returned and families were reunited with each other, there is hope again for a better life, for peace, and life returns to normal.
     As you watch the video, you would note the emotions of the audience in that venue and how it touched their hearts. See for yourself if it would touch also your own heart. 

Friday, August 20, 2010

"Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit...And You are Not Your Own"

SPIRITUAL FOOD: "Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit...And You are Not Your Own"

     The following verses remind us that we have to take care of our physical bodies. As Christians, we know that our spirit-man is already saved but in order to walk this earth, we need a healthy body to be able to completely fulfill our assigned purposes, for our own family and loved ones and for God's kingdom. Therefore, smoking, excessive drinking, and drugs are all bondages of the flesh that we need to remove through the help of Jesus by the Holy Spirit.
James 4: 14 "Whereas you do not know that will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for little time and then vanishes away."

1 Corinthians 6: 19-20  "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."

1 Corinthians 9: 27 "But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."
Luke 4:18-19 (Jesus spoke this) "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor (in spirit); He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

Keeping Your Teenager From Smoking, Drugs, Alcohol

ISSUES OF LIFE /FAMILY: Keeping Your Teenager from Smoking, Drugs, Alcohol

     Adolescence is that stage of life wherein a person is no longer a child but not yet an adult. Although adolescence may start earlier, it usually start at the onset of a child's teenage years, a time when he/she  starts to seeks his/her own identity and seeks the approval of peers--a group outside his/her own family. That is why this is also the stage when parents, more or less, shift to a higher gear in raising their teens. Realizing that, unlike when they were kids, they could not be with their teens 24/7, concerns about peer pressure and influence would arise, together with smoking, drugs, and alcohol addictions. 

     So how do we keep our teens from smoking, drugs, alcohol and other forms of vices which are harmful to their health and well-being? Remember, what we first learned before, that our own life is our child's training ground. Whatever we do, they think they can also do. So if you don't want your child to smoke, you should not smoke also. I was guilty of this as I smoked while my baby grew into a child until I stopped when she was already 11 years old. When I was still smoking, she used to imitate me with her lollipop stick and I used to tell her that it's bad what I was doing and she shouldn't do that also. But of course, I was kidding myself. When I stopped smoking, I had a long talk with my 11 year old, me and her Dad, and we explained to her why we stopped--first, because smoking is not good for the health; second, because we don't want to die but live longer and be with her long; and third, because we love her so much, we also don't want her to inhale the smoke so she would remain healthy and strong. And after explaining this, we urged her not to do the same for the same reasons. So, the first step is to live what your preach.
     The next step is to shift your relationship with your teenager a notch or two higher. If you were close to your child before, this is the stage that you should become much closer.  This does not mean you go hug and kiss him all the time. You need to stop what you're doing and listen to your teenager's rants or woes, otherwise, he/she would look for somebody else to pour out to. You need to converse with him/her, express your opinions  and your love for him/her, and give your parental or friendly advice. In other words, keep the line of communication open. You need to be the one whom your teenager can trust and go to whenever he/she has problems. When communication is open and there is trust, you can now explain to your teen about the dangers of smoking, drugs, and alcohol and how it would hurt you to know if he did those things, not for yourself but for him. However, a parent always knows when to correct a child and to impose rules and regulations in his own household. 
     Other steps include encouraging them to join sports group or clubs in school where there are teacher-advisers who could monitor them. Another step is to invite your teen's friends to your home so that you would know them or encouraging your teen to do buddy homework or projects in your home instead of somewhere else. 
     It is true that we cannot eliminate our teen's curiosity for the things that the world tries to lure them with. But we need to be alert and sensitive so that we can prevent more damage at an early stage. Here are some of the warning signs that may guide us so we could recognize if our teen  is using drugs, alcohol or even smoking: glassy, red eyes; frequent use of eye drop; sudden weight loss; slurred speech; skin conditions; breath smells different or hair reeks of cigarette; disappearing of some possessions or petty theft in the house; paraphernalia;  new friends; and rudeness or disregard for whatever you are saying.
     Ah, do not worry. Every morning, lift your children to the Lord and He will cover them with His hedge of protection for you. But if your teen pierces through that hedge, still do not fret, because if you have done everything you can do as a parent, your teen would remember that and would always come back to you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cleaning and Maintaining Your Home Appliances

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING: Cleaning and Maintaining Your Home Appliances

     Life at home becomes more pleasant and really easy for a housewife with all these home appliances--oven, stove, washing machines. In America and Australia and other parts of the world, they have their dishwashers. In the Philippines, we need electric fans and air-conditioners. But as much as many of these gadgets help us ease our chores at home, they also need cleaning and maintenance which we, housewives, take on the responsibility.
     When we purchase these appliances, we normally get a manual which show us the DYI (Do-It-Yourself) steps to cleaning them, plus in it we find their service centers with numbers which we could contact in case our appliance suddenly conks out. The manual would also suggest after how many months you need to have your appliance checked by their own professional service personnel. Therefore, in order to maintain your appliance for it to serve you a lot longer, you need to follow their suggestions. But in order for it to function a hundred percent, you need to clean it yourself. Here are some cleaning tips that you can do or ask your helper to do for your appliances:

Note: The number one thing to remember when cleaning electrical appliances is to see to it that the unit is UNPLUGGED

     1) Electric Fans  -- Easy. Remove the fan blade cover (some are screwed, so unscrew them) front and back (if back cover can be removed). Using a clean paint brush, brush away the dust in between the grill of the fan blade cover. Remove the fan blade. If it is made of plastic, you can wash it. But if it is made of metal or tin, use a damp cloth to remove the dust, then use a dry cloth to dry it. Replace all the parts making sure that screws are tight.
    2) Air-conditioner -- For window type, every month, you should remove the window cover and remove the filter that traps the dust. I usually get an old toothbrush and scrape away the trapped dust from the filter, then I wash it together with the window cover and dry them with a dry cloth. Replace these parts and your air-con will be cooler. Twice a year, you need to call a service center or a refrigeration company to take out the whole air-con and wash it clean, check the motor and freon reading. Here in the Philippines, it would only cost P400 to P500. For the bigger air-conditioners, you need to have them cleaned by their service centers regularly in order to maintain them.
     3) Washing Machine -- After every wash, you need to wash also the inside of your washing machine because the lint and the minerals from the water may clog its parts. It is advisable to use warm water with lemon or a cup or 2 of vinegar and run a cycle to remove the impurities, probably once a month. If you have fabric softener dispenser and bleach dispenser, you should also remove them and soak them in warm water with detergent for a while. Of course, you need to rinse your washing machine with another cycle of warm water to rinse off the vinegar and other grime that's stuck and rinse also your dispensers. Check also your hoses; it is recommended to change the hose every 5 years. 
    4) Oven -- It is important to clean the oven every after use. Wipe off any dirt with the use of damp cloth. For grimes that stick, you can use baking soda soaked in warm water and liquid detergent and scrub it off. The inside of the oven is as important as the outside. If your oven is gas, make sure the gas is turned off before you clean the inside of the oven. There are many appliance companies nowadays that offer cleaning and maintenance of your stove-oven for you. Aside from cleaning it like new, they would check the parts of your oven if they need to be replaced and your oven would look brand new. 

     Whatever your appliance is, you need to keep it clean and maintained so it would last long. There are many appliances today which are like 'disposable', meaning they get busted easily. What this means is that if you bought your appliances cheap, do expect that it would conk out easily. So be wise when you purchase them.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You Can Quit Smoking

FOOD AND HEALTH: You Can Quit Smoking

     The world knows that smoking is really bad for the health. That is why it is prohibited to smoke in public places, nowadays, and even in private establishments such as office buildings and even in airplanes. The reason? Second-hand smoke is as dangerous as direct smoking. Even cigarette companies have also agreed that "smoking is, indeed, hazardous to health". But why are there so many, still, who have not stopped this habit? Why couldn't they quit smoking?
     Perhaps they should consider these facts which I gathered from the article of Dr. Tyrone Reyes in The Philippine Star newspaper's Health and Family section, titled "Stopping Smoking: You Can Do it!". Today, he said, 17.3 million Filipinos aged 15 and older still smoke and tragically, smoking kills 10 Filipinos every hour. Smoking is a major cause of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease, together with other diseases as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and pneumonia, even lung cancer. Also smoking may attribute to other health problems as cataracts, sinusitis, dental disorders, aging skin, diabetes, and get this, men--erectile dysfunction. Hellow!
     Well, don't fret smokers because I also smoked before and tried to stop several times and went back to smoking, even with all the warnings and with all the danger signs. I started smoking when I was 22 and before I completely stopped in 1999, I was a chain-smoker smoking 3-4 packs a day. Uhu, uhu, uhu! Just reminiscing this makes me cough it out. Nicotine is really addictive and quitting is hard if you don't have the will power to quit. I tried to stop through some gimmicks like not buying cigarettes (but asking from someone else), stopping but eating too much candy or nicotine gum, etc., but to no avail; I went back to the same habit. I was able to stop it for more than 9 months when I got pregnant but went right back to smoking when my baby was more than a month old. My husband was a smoker too.
     So how did I finally quit? In April, 1999, my husband received Jesus as Lord and Savior and I followed after a month. But in August of that same year, we both decided that we would quit smoking and resolved that we would never go back. We were taught as Christians that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we should take care of our own bodies. Therefore, we prayed together for the Holy Spirit to help us go through with this decision. And so, we decided the day and went cold turkey; I stayed home for a week but my husband went out to work. The urge was there but not as much as I tried to stop before. Then days went by, weeks, months, years. We're bondage-free! Yes, smoking is a bondage just like any addiction.
     Perhaps our way is not applicable to you. But it takes your decision, your will power to resist, your resolve to quit. As you set your mind to it and truly fix your eyes on the benefits of your decision, you can really quit. Cold turkey is the best way to quit, but to keep it really cold is up to you.


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