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Comments Off on Keep your Dog Happy With Organic Dog Food

Keep your Dog Happy With Organic Dog Food

| Articles | April 10, 2008

It’s safe to say that Westerners are crazy about their dogs and that the pet industry is easily a billion dollar industry in

the US alone. Everyone wants the best in bedding, clothes and toys for their special dog or dogs. Many have even turned to

feeding “Fido” organic dog food, often available only at specialized shops or over the Internet. Nevertheless, organic dog

food is big business and many dog owners swear by it.

Believe it or not, manufacturers can get certain types of their dog food certified by certifying bodies as being Certified

Organic. There are organic dog foods containing organic beef, organic chicken and purely organically-grown grains, often

supplemented with vegetable extracts that are all organic, as well as vitamins and minerals. The cost is higher than for

regular dog food; however, many dog owners will gladly pay the extra price.

A typical organic dog food begins with beef that has been produced using strict organic guidelines, including that the

cattle be raised without exposure to synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics or other chemical substances. The

cattle must graze on organically-created pastures with a diet producing the leanest beef possible and beef that is high in

omega 3 and omega 6 oils, linoleic acid, vitamin E and beta carotenes.

For optimal sources of fiber, organic dog food adds organic vegetables in ways that maintain their high vitamin levels.

Some vegetables in organic dog food include carrots, red beets and broccoli. Herbs that provide an antioxidant effect

include organic thyme, oregano and rosemary, all of which have healthful properties in dogs.

Because dogs need essential fatty acids, organic dog food provides organic sources of linoleic acid and linolenic acids.

These essential fatty acids are important in handling lipid soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K; in addition, they

help metabolize cholesterol in the pet. Organic sources of these fatty acids include cold-processed canola oil, sunflower

oil and organic vegetables and seeds. Organic flax oil contains omega 3 fatty acids for a shiny skin and coat.

One of the least recognizable types of fatty acids in organic food is the omega 9 fatty acid category, which consists of

stearic and oleic acids. These help stabilize the flavor, texture and aroma of dog food and are derived from cold-pressed

sunflower oil.

Cold processing makes this oil a good antioxidant for dogs.

Some estimates say that up to 20 percent of all dogs suffer from some type of allergy and its believed that food sensitivity

accounts for a third of all allergies. Organic dog food, because it complies with strict food safety and production methods,

is believed to be hypoallergenic to dogs. Some dog food companies routinely test their products for allergens and, because

they carefully trace their ingredients, there is a decreased chance of dog food allergens.

Most organic dog food avoids being allergenic by keeping common allergens, including cord, soybeans, wheat, meat by-products,

milk by-products, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives and artificial colorants, out of the product. As a preservative,

many manufacturers use bee propolis to preserve the product; this is a naturally occurring substance that is low in

allergenic potential.

Organic dog food is extremely healthy and safe for dogs and, in some cases, it may be worth the extra cost to the owner.

The dog will likely love the food and it will probably have an impact on his or her overall health in the long run.

Comments Off on 25 – Food Dehydrators

25 – Food Dehydrators

| Articles | April 9, 2008

Making dried fruit and fruit leathers isn’t hard and it doesn’t have to be expensive either. While some food processors and juicers can get really pricey, a dehydrator isn’t going to cost that much and it’s a lifesaver to have fruit leathers, dried fruit or fruit jerky on hand when you can’t get out to the store for fresh food.

When buying a dehydrator, some things to consider are the materials and construction used to manufacture the product, the size, heating elements, fans and guarantees. Make sure you have room for the dehydrator in the space you have planned for it. Choose one that’s multi-purpose, with multiple trays and special trays for fruits and herbs. A side-mounted or horizontal fan is best when choosing a food dehydrator.

Here are some food dehydrators to consider. But do a little research to find just the right one for you!

Nesco American Harvest – A very inexpensive food dehydrator with five trays that don’t have to be rotated. Price is $40-$55.

Excalibur Dehydrator – Has over 12 square feet of drying space. Comes with 9 free sheets and has a horizontal fan for maximum drying efficiency. Fast drying times, no tray rotation needed and fast cleanup. Price approximately $200-$220.

L’Equip Dehydrators – Comes with special mesh for drying sheets, plus special sheets for making fruit leathers and fruit roll-ups. Has a compact design and good, uniform drying. Price is around $150.

TSM Commerical Dehydrator – When you’re really serious about drying foods! Comes with 12 racks, 1600 watts of power, dual 6″ fans for strong air flow. Can dry 15-18 pounds of jerky. Priced at $650 and up.

And don’t forget a food slicer for all that fruit drying! The Chef’s Choice 645 food slicer has a powerful 130 watt geared condenser motor for smooth, quiet, fast operation. A large 7″ nonstick stainless steel slicer blade cuts fruit & vegetables. Micrometer control dial selects slices from deli-thin to 9/16″ thick.

Comments Off on 25 – Avoid Stimulating Your Baby during Night-time Feedings

25 – Avoid Stimulating Your Baby during Night-time Feedings

| Articles | April 8, 2008

As your newborn baby grows, it is slowly acclimating to sleeping at night and being awake during the day. Also, as baby’s stomach is growing and holding more breast milk or formula, it will be able to go for longer periods between feedings at night. At approximately three months of age your baby will likely sleep about 15 hours out of each 24-hour period, and two thirds of that sleep will take place during the night. Most babies will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three sleep periods during the day, followed by “sleeping through the night” for 6 to 7 hours after a late-night feeding.

You can help adjust your baby’s body clock toward sleeping at night by avoiding stimulation during nighttime feedings and diaper changes. The act of breastfeeding itself provides frequent eye and voice contact, so try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play or talk with your baby. This will reinforce the message that nighttime is for sleeping. Keeping the door closed to keep out well-meaning but vocal older children, spouses and pet will also keep reduce stimulating your infant. Avoid the use of musical mobiles or toys as a way to lull your infant back to sleep after night-time feedings. This will also help to reinforce that nighttime is for sleeping.

And, as with adults, overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping than those who’ve had an appropriate amount of sleep during the day. So, keeping your baby up thinking that he or she will sleep better at night may not work. You may find that when your infant sleeps at regular intervals during the day, it will be easier to put them back down to sleep after night-time feedings.

Comments Off on Ancient Wonders Revealed on Guided Tours of Greece

Ancient Wonders Revealed on Guided Tours of Greece

| Articles | April 7, 2008

Greece, the mysterious island of the ancients, is on the list of desired guided tours of many seasoned travelers. There

are scores of archeological sites to visit in Greece and extended guided tours will take you out to one or more of Greece’s

several Mediterranean islands. So sign up for a tour and enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Most guided tours of Greece will begin in Athens, the capital city of Greece and a nice city to fly into. You’ll often

stay in Athens for a few days and take day trips in and around this fabulous city. Within the city itself, there is much

to see, including the famous Acropolis and a tour of the magnificent Athens museum. Visitors can spend all day wandering

the halls of this lovely museum, taking in the many artifacts from ancient Greece that are housed there.

Travel from Athens and visit the famed Theatre of Epidaurus, known for its amazing acoustics. Guided tours of the area may

then take you to the town of Nauplion and on to Mycenae, where you’ll see some important archeology and visit the tomb of

Agamemnon. After seeing these wonderful archeological sites, you’ll travel on to Olympia, passing through the towns of

Tripolis and Megalopolis. Practically everywhere you look, there will be archeological ruins and something to see.

In Olympia, guided tours of the area will take you to the site of the original Olympic Games in ancient times. You can put

your feet into the same toeholds that ancient athletes used for sprinting. You’ll see the ancient Olympic stadium and the

Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus along with an informative archeological museum, where you can learn about the early Olympic Games.

After taking in all of the Olympic ruins, guided tours will often drive you through the plains of Eliad and Achaia and

through the awesome bridge crossing the Corinthian Bay. Eventually, you will arrive at the ancient and famous city of

Delphi. Most guided tours will have you stay overnight in the city of Delphi.

In Delphi, guided tours of the area will give you a chance to visit the archeological site located there as well as the

Museum of Delphi. From there, you will travel on to the village of Kalambaka, the site of some gigantic rocks known as

the Meteora. Nearby, you can visit age old monasteries, complete with pieces of ancient Byzantine artwork. Afterward,

you will likely head back to Athens for another adventure-that of the islands near Greece.

In Athens, guided tours of the islands around Greece will allow you to get onto a lovely cruise ship, where your first

stop will likely be Mykonos. A pearl in the Mediterranean Sea, Mykonos is known for being the vacation site for

international jet-setters who enjoy its sandy beaches and memorable nightlife.

Perhaps the next port of call on many guided tours of this area is the Turkish port of Kusadasi. You can visit one of the

most complete ancient cities ever to be excavated, the city of Ephessos, where St. Paul was first arrested and then banished.

Later, you will arrive in Patmos, another terrific spot for archeological and Biblical spots.

Other spectacular islands many guided tours of this area will take you are the islands of Crete and Santorini, believed by

some to be the lost continent of Atlantis. Enjoy the spectacular views and the ocean sunshine for, before long, you’ll be

sailing back to Athens and to your home port of call.

Comments Off on What makes Organic Make Up Better?

What makes Organic Make Up Better?

| Articles | April 6, 2008

Most organic make up producers take special pride in providing you with organically-based cosmetics produced using the

highest possible standards. Cosmetics and skin care products labeled “organic” must pass certain certification standards.

Users of organic make up believe they are getting a healthier and higher quality product.

Makers of high quality organic cosmetics require that their ingredients are all-natural and come from unrefined,

preservative-free organic ingredients that are cold processed so as not to break down the delicate features of the product.

While every product needs some processing, manufacturers of organic make up do this in an environmentally-friendly way.

Organic make up avoids synthetic preservatives or those that release formaldehyde that can get into an individual’s skin.

This means that no parabens, urea derivatives or other formaldehyde-producing products are used in their cosmetics. In the

same way, no petrochemicals are used, which are those preservatives derived from petroleum. This includes petroleum jelly,

mineral oil, parabens, propylene glycol, acetones or benzene-like products are used.

Some cosmetics require extraction steps with solvents. Most chemical solvents are fairly toxic to humans and these are

avoided in organic make up production. Phthalates, found in plastics, have been known to mimic the hormone, estrogen, and

can cause female-related diseases. These, too, are avoided in the making and packaging of organic make up.

Commonly used detergents, like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and related compounds, are kept out of organic make up and skin care

products. These are irritating to the skin and other natural options are available. In addition, all ingredients in this

type of make up must be certified organic or be verified as being pesticide free.

Part of being good to the environment in the making of organic cosmetics, many manufacturers require that there be no animal

testing or other cruelty to animals in the making of their products. All fragrances are natural and all essential oils come

from natural sources. Special attention is made to make sure there are no pesticide residues in any of their organic products.

Essential oils are extracted from bark, roots, flowers, stems and leaves of organic plant sources. They are cold pressed or

steam distilled to keep the oil fresh and not degraded. Essential oils are used as organic make up preservatives, fragrances

and to create a certain texture. Only small amounts of essential oils are used to protect sensitive skin.

In some cases, organic make up can contain iron oxides and titanium dioxide that are processed synthetically but exist in

nature. In nature, these ores contain too many contaminants to be able to be used. In addition, fractionated oil is often

used that is derived from coconut oil and palm oil. This is considered a semi-synthetic part of organic make up.

Because some companies can call their product all-natural, consumers need to ask further and look at the ingredient list to

make sure the cosmetic product they are buying is, indeed, organic. Hopefully, the above information will help consumers

interested in purchasing the safest, healthiest and most environmentally-friendly organic products.

Comments Off on 24 Daylight exposure

24 Daylight exposure

| Articles | April 5, 2008

Remember your baby is used to a dark, quiet environment in the womb. She’s not used to the usual cues of nighttime sleeping. Nighttime, at first, is what she’s used to asleep or awake.

One method of getting your baby used to sleeping at night, or in the dark, is to be sure she’s exposed to lots of sunlight during the day. When it’s time to nap or time to go to sleep at night, part of your ritual can be dimming the lights, simulating dusk and nighttime, even if it’s an afternoon nap. This way, she’ll get used to day and night cycles and learn that nighttime and darkness are for sleeping.

There are clocks called dawn simulators that will gradually dim into total darkness over a period of about half an hour. This can be a way to gradually dim the light in the baby’s room. You can start while you’re still rocking her to sleep. When you start putting her in her crib when she’s still awake, you can set the clock to start to dim when you leave the room, or leave part way through the cycle. This way you’re not just flipping out the light and leaving her alone in the dark.

You can do this for nap times too. The clocks will cycle on slowly in the morning as well; you want to be sure that you mute the actual alarm sound, though, so you don’t wake the baby up with a shock.

If you combine any of these devices with your usual routines, you’ll help teach your babies the cues for going to sleep at nap time and at night. These are gentle methods that many parents prefer to just letting the baby cry it out.

Comments Off on 24 – Dehydrate fruits

24 – Dehydrate fruits

| Articles | April 4, 2008

One of the problems facing anyone trying to eat healthier, especially for someone trying to move towards eating more raw foods is the convenience factor. Raw and natural foods are so much healthier for you, but it’s not as if there are drive-through raw foods restaurants on every street corner in the country.

And of course, there’s no such thing as a raw foods snack machine, is there? So if you get hungry during the day, you’re going to have a challenge of finding something appropriate to eat if you haven’t packed any raw fruits and vegetables. And when you’re rushing around in the morning, sometimes it’s next to impossible to find the time to put together a selection of healthy snacks to take with you.

One thing to try so that you have healthy snacks available quickly is to dehydrate your fruits or make fruit leathers. Those fruit roll-ups you see in the grocery store are derived from a pretty good idea – fruit leathers. But it’s better to make your own – commercial fruit leathers are going to be loaded with preservatives and sugars – just the things you want to avoid.

When you’re switching to a raw foods diet, that doesn’t always have to mean fresh off the farm. It means not cooking foods with processes that strip all the essential vitamins, amino acids and enzymes from them. Drying fruit is a great way to add variety to your diet and make yourself tasty snacks of dried fruit or fruit leathers. It’s not hard to do. There are recipes and inexpensive food dehydrators on the Web. These are also great snacks to pack for your kids’ lunches!

You get all the benefit of the raw fruit, just packaged and preserved in a healthy, nutritious way!

Comments Off on Take an Inca Adventure on Guided Tours of Peru

Take an Inca Adventure on Guided Tours of Peru

| Articles | April 3, 2008

Imagine the majesty of the Inca Empire in Peru back in the days of their glory. Now with guided tours of this area in Peru,

you no longer need to imagine and you can see how the Incas survived and thrived in this beautiful South American location.

Guided tours will take you to Cusco, considered the capital city of the Inca Empire. Cusco is also known as the

“Archeological Capital of the Americas” because this is the only place in South America where such rich cultural remains

are so readily accessible. It’s a beautiful city and a great starting point on your guided adventure.

In Cusco, most guided tours divide the city into three types of major attractions. The first is Cusco city, containing

many ruins, temples, churches, mansions and other archeological sites. The second is Machu Picchu, the “Lost City of the

Incas” and one of the most amazing archeological sites you’ll ever see. The third is the Sacred Valley of the Incas-a place

with a lovely climate, fertile fields and amazing views of archeological sites, such as the ancient agricultural terraces,

and the beautiful village of Chinchero, complete with huge Inca Walls in the village’s main square.

Some guided tours of this area will be perfect for adventurers, who, in the Sacred Valley, can enjoy river rafting,

hang-gliding, hiking and mountain biking. Let’s look at what a typical guided tour of the area can offer visitors to this

enchanted land.

You’ll arrive at the Cusco Airport where guided tours often meet you and get you to your hotel. You’ll need time to rest

because the altitude is so high that you’ll need time to get used to in order to avoid altitude sickness. Later, you’ll

take a sightseeing tour of the city of Cusco, where you’ll visit the city’s main square, its magnificent cathedral and the

Temple of the Sun. Craftsmen have shops in the area for you to buy some souvenirs of your stay.

If there is time, many guided tours will drive you out of the city of Cusco to see the famous Inca sites of Kenko,

Tambomachay, Puca Pucara and the very impressive Fortress of Sacsayhuaman. This was a fortress strategically constructed

on a hill overlooking the city of Cusco.

Next, many guided tours of the Inca ruins will take you to the Sacred Valley of the Incas, along the Vilcanota River.

You’ll become acquainted with peasant customs and have time to bargain with street vendors in a traditional Indian Market.

You’ll also visit the Inca Fortress and Citadel of Ollantaytambo, constructed to guard the entrance to the valley. Visit

the Andean village of Chinchero and see the Inca Wall in the village’s main square. Then it’s back to Cusco for some rest

and relaxation.

Perhaps the highlight of guided tours of this area is the trip to Machu Picchu. You’ll begin with a three hour train trip

to the famous Inca Citadel of Machu Picchu. This is one of the most well known examples of Inca architecture that survives

today. You’ll need to take a thirty minute uphill and winding bus trip before arriving at this amazing Citadel.

Once at the Citadel there will be guided tours of this archeological location, including visits to the main plaza, the

Circular Tower, The Sacred Sun Dial, the royal quarters, the temple of the three windows and several burial grounds. It’s

easy to imagine the Incas living there.

Guided tours of the Inca Empire in Peru are informative, beautiful and offer some of the best archeology you’ll ever see.

It’s a must-see location for every world traveler.

Comments Off on Organic Milk: Is it Worth It?

Organic Milk: Is it Worth It?

| Articles | April 2, 2008

Organic milk producers are quick to tell you that their milk is delicious and that it is made from cows untreated with

antibiotics or growth hormones and cows not exposed to dangerous pesticides. Organic milk-producing cows are fed organic

feed and are free ranging; the milk is pasteurized and homogenized like regular milk and it even contains vitamin D. Such

claims have brought up the demand for organic milk, sometimes at double the cost of regular milk. Some consumers wonder,

is it worth the added cost?

Some turn to organic milk in the belief that this milk is healthier, while others have strong environmental or animal

rights’ beliefs. Research, however, is limited when it comes to comparing the health benefits of organic milk over

conventional milk. This can be confusing to some milk drinkers.

The United States Department of Agriculture has four specific requirements that help in the definition of which milk is

organic and which milk is not. One requirement is that organic milk must come from cows never treated with bovine growth

hormone, used to increase milk production. Some feel that milk treated this way could increase hormone-related cancers or

affect growth hormone levels in humans.

Interestingly, bovine growth hormone (BGH) is protein-related, meaning that if a human ingests it, the protein gets

destroyed in the acidic environment of the stomach. In addition, while non-organic milk contains insulin growth factor

(IGF-1), an individual would have to drink 95 quarts of milk a day to equal the amount of IGF-1 we produce in our bodies

every day. That’s not much of a disadvantage over organic milk.

Several organic web sites have quoted a study showing that vegans have 13% less IGF-1 than non-vegans but, if you study the

research more closely, you’ll find that IGF-1 levels were not related to milk consumption in either group nor was organic

milk studied.

Organic milk must come from cows free of antibiotic treatments. If a cow is treated with an antibiotic, it is removed from

the herd for a year. Still, conventional herds of cows cannot give milk until tests show that the milk is antibiotic-free.

Tanks of milk are tested for the presence of antibiotics on a regular basis.

Another requirement for organic milk is that the cows are fed feed that is grown without pesticides. Some USDA reports

indicate that non-organic milk may be allowed to contain small amounts of specific pesticides, below established tolerance

levels. Research has not found any health issues related to pesticides in cow feed and health risks in humans.

Finally, organic milk must come from cows that have “access to pasture”. Some consumers envision year-round grazing of

happy cows. However, as there is no minimum requirement, organic milk can come from cows that have had limited access to a

pasture.

There are those who believe that pasture-fed cows produce more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)-an essential fatty acid found

to be protective against cancer. Experts, on the other hand, say that grass feeding alone does not definitely lead to

increased CLA levels. Cows fed mixed grains and soybeans, in fact, can produce milk with levels of CLA higher than that in

organic milk.

Organic milk may taste better to some and is animal-friendly; however it doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthier for you

than the much-cheaper conventional milk.

Comments Off on 23 Nighttime help

23 Nighttime help

| Articles | April 1, 2008

There’s only so much one person (or two) can do to get a baby to go to sleep. There are things you can use other than your own shoulder to help lull your baby to sleep.

A baby swing can be a good idea and leave your hands free. Set the swing at a slow and gentle rock; you don’t want this to be an exciting or stimulating experience. You want to make it relaxing so your baby can fall asleep.

A glider or rocker is restful for both of you. And a good pillow support, like a Boppy(r) pillow is good for late-night breast feeding. It’s a nice U-shaped pillow that provides good support for your baby, as well as for your back.

If you’re on a budget, some parents swear by putting their baby in a baby seat and putting it on top of a dryer. If you do this, be sure to put the dryer on air only – you don’t want to overheat him.

A motorized cradle or bassinette can also be soothing for a baby. As a last resort, you can always bundle the baby into his car seat and drive around the neighborhood until he falls asleep. Many experts don’t recommend artificial aids like this however, as it’s impossible to sustain it and you won’t get the baby used to sleeping on his own.

There are also many ambient noise machines on the market that can also help mask household noises and provide a soothing environment for the baby (and for many adults). You can usually set them for a variety of noises, like rainfall, windchimes or ocean sounds. You can also leave the TV on quietly in another room so the baby doesn’t feel completely isolated in his room.

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