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Learn CPR to Save Someone in Cardiac Arrest

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR is an emergency procedure that is usually performed on people in cardiac arrest and involves creating artificial circulation by pressing on the chest to pump blood through the heart and exhaling into the patient to ventilate the lungs. It's one of the most basic emergency medical procedures, yet millions of Americans don't know how to perform it.

So why does it matter? According to CNN only 1 in 10 people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting will survive. This means that 9 of 10 will die. The only way to improve this statistic is for Americans to learn CPR.

Getting CPR within minutes is crucial for someone who's suffered from cardiac arrest, as brain death and permanent death start to occur just four to six minutes after the heart stops.

A number of these deaths could be avoided if more people took the initiative to take a CPR class. However, many people just don't want to take the time or expense, but medical experts say that learning how to do it is much easier than it used to be.

In fact, the American Heart Association has introduced a new CPR training kit called CPR Anytime and it was created to help more people learn this life-saving skill. In a one-hour session, you can learn how to perform CPR using this kit. It's then suggested that you take the kit home and share the information with five people. Each of your friends can then borrow your kit or buy one of their own and share the information with five more friends hopefully increasing the number of trained life savers exponentially.

The American Heart Association says that the kit does not replace an actual CPR course or certification but it could indeed save a life.

Anyone interested in learning where they can take a CPR class or those interested in purchasing a CPR Anytime Kit, can visit either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association's websites to find a class in your area or learn more about it.

BUZZ OFF! How to Deal with Insect Bites and Stings

Written by Lisa Jillanza

mosquito bite Just like we have been cooped up all winter, so have a number of those creatures that we've come to despise: insects. With summer just around the corner, insects are beginning to emerge and are readying themselves for attack.

According to MSNBC.com every year, bug bites and stings send more than 500,000 people to emergency rooms with potentially fatal allergic reactions. So what's the best way to avoid bug and mosquito bites? Experts suggest that the best way to deal with insect bites and stings is to prevent them before they happen.

Here are a few ways, provided by MSNBC.com to prevent these nasty little bites:

Apply repellents to exposed skin. Insect repellents can help reduce exposure to mosquito bites that may carry viruses like West Nile and Lyme disease while still allowing you to play and work outdoors. Do not apply repellents directly to your face, instead spray the repellent into your hands and apply to your face that way.

Consider DEET. DEET is considered the most effective repellent in bug sprays. Even though it has scared away some consumers because of its potent chemical properties, in 1998 the EPA ruled DEET safe for repelling mosquitoes and ticks. However, it's still a good idea to only apply DEET every 6 to 8 hours.

If you prefer a more natural and eco-friendly approach, try natural repellents that rely on herbal ingredients. Herbal repellents work by masking human odors and fooling mosquitoes and other biting insects. Some repellents also use odors that are unpleasant to the bugs and deter them away from the scent. Plants whose essential oils are reputed to repel insects include cedar, verbena, pennyroyal, geranium, lavender, pine, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, thyme, allspice, garlic, and peppermint.

Stay indoors at dawn and dusk as this is when the flying insects are most likely to hit.

Get rid of standing water in your yard. These are huge breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Clear clogs from gutters, change the water in birdbaths twice weekly and change pets' outdoor water dishes daily.

Do not swat or attempt to hit a flying insect. This will only make them mad and attack you more frequently.mosquito biting

If you're being swarmed by mosquitoes try holding a branch above your head to deter flying bugs. Some mosquitoes and gnats naturally swarm to the highest part of the body-or to an extension of it.

Take Vitamin B-1: Studies suggest that taking 25 to 50 milligrams (a safe dosage for adults and children) of thiamin (vitamin B-1) three times a day, starting two weeks before mosquito season reduces your chance of getting bitten. This is due to the fact that vitamin B-1 produces an odor on your skin that wards off mosquitoes; however, the odor is undetectable to humans.

Cover food when it is outdoors. Insects flock to food and the less chance you give them to get to the food, the greater your chance of avoiding them all together.

Avoid bright colored clothes when you are outdoors for extended periods of time. Honeybees, wasps, and yellow jackets see in the ultraviolet spectrum and are attracted to bright colors and floral patterns. If possible wear light colors and long sleeve shirts and pants when you know you'll be in insect territory.

Try to avoid wearing heavy smelling perfumes outdoors as insects are also attracted to the smells.

Keep these tips in mind before you head outdoors and you won't be dealing with the wrath of insects biting or stinging you this summer.

 

Best Packaged Foods of 2010: Magazine Highlights Best Grocery Picks of the Year

Written by Lisa Jillanza

carb image Thanks to Women's Health Magazine grocery shopping just got a whole lot easier. The magazine recently highlighted the best packaged foods that you can currently find in your grocery store aisles. This is the second year that they have given this complete list of “power foods” that will help anyone take the guesswork out of their next trip to the store to find healthy choices. Their team of nutritionists tested aisles' worth of items for their annual roundup of the healthiest, tastiest, and most convenient supermarket finds.

Try foods in each of these categories to create the best meals for you and your family:

Breads: Whole grain bread, whole wheat bread, pita bread, English muffin, fiber cereal, Special K cereal, pomegranate cereal, oatmeal, granola, bagel.

Meats: Organic chicken, deli meat, bacon, barbecued beef, roast beef, roast chicken, chicken strips, chicken brats, salmon, salmon burger.

Pasta: Fiber pasta, whole wheat pasta, elbow noodle, tortellini, wide noodle, Asian noodle, risotto, instant rice, flavored rice, best couscous, polenta.

Dairy: Whipped cream, Greek yogurt, fruit yogurt, organic yogurt, smoothie, string cheese, cheddar cheese, Muenster cheese, cottage cheese, farmer cheese, soy milk, skim milk, eggs, egg whites, sour cream, butter substitute.

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruit salad, organic applesauce, plum, mixed fruit, mango, sweet potatoes, green beans, salad, diced tomatoes, black soy bean, vegetable mix, Brussels sprouts, Asian vegetables, stir-fry medley.

Soup: Broccoli soup, steak and noodle soup, Italian soup, chicken gumbo, red pepper and tomato, acorn squash and mango soup.

Snacks: Natural bar, probiotic bar, peanuts, almond, rice snack chip, tortilla chip, pretzels, popcorn, crackers, grain crackers.

eating healthy 2010Frozen Meals: Chicken primavera, turkey medallions, macaroni and cheese, vegetable lasagna, pizza, black bean burger.

Condiments and Spreads: Mayonnaise, peanut butter, almond butter, jam, fruit spread, maple syrup, hummus, salsa, marinara sauce, berry dressing, organic dressing, garlic dressing, ginger dressing, mustard dressing, ketchup, light mayo.

Sweets: Chocolate cookies, peanut butter cookies, brownie, chocolate bar, marshmallows, pudding, dark chocolate, dark chocolate blueberry, ice cream sandwich, fudge bar, cookie dough ice cream, ice cream cone, ice cream.

Drinks: Orange juice, diet drink, hot tea, cold tea, breakfast drink, hunger-tamer, hot chocolate, vegetable juice, grapefruit juice, plum juice.

While not all of these food items will work for you and your family, these suggestions can lead you in the right direction the next time you are “in the market” for making healthy meals. By being a smarter and more informed shopper you can choose the best meals each and every time you visit the grocery store.

 

Detoxify Your Diet and Improve your Health

Written by Lisa Jillanza

detoxify your diet 2 Food is much more complicated than it used to be. Compared to times past we're able to eat a greater variety of foods, we can eat foods from far-away places and even when they're not in season but as a result we also consume a lot more highly processed and chemically-laden foods. Only by eating cleaner and purer foods can we truly achieve the kind of health that we desire. Take this advice when attempting to detoxify your diet and reduce your exposure to these unwanted ingredients.

Clean Produce Well: Before eating or cooking with any fruits or vegetables be sure to wash them very well. Washing your fruits and veggies eliminates the chemicals and pathogens from your food's surface and help to eliminate any harmful ingredients.

Watch Your Animal Fat Intake: Do you know what's in your animal fats? They are loaded with synthetic hormones, antibiotics, organochlorine chemicals, and other harmful pesticides. Look for low-fat options when buying your foods and be sure to trim all of the fat off of poultry and meats when you buy them.

Avoid Cans: Cans are lined with a resin that contains bisphenol-A, a hormone-disrupting chemical. While many companies are working to eliminate these chemicals in their products, in the mean time you can avoid these chemicals by choosing frozen, fresh or dried foods.

organic food imageThink Organic: According to a study done by the Environmental Working Group, your pesticide exposure can be eliminated by 90 percent by avoiding the most contaminated conventionally grown produce including: peaches, apples, bell peppers, nectarines, celery, cherries, lettuce, strawberries, grapes, carrots and pears.

Choose Whole Foods: Whole foods are not processed therefore they have their own natural ingredients. Choose whole grains and look for food items that say “whole” on them,but be sure to check the labels, just to be sure.

Safer Seafood: We are exposed to a number of chemicals when we eat seafood, particular methylmercury. Do your homework when shopping for seafood and choose seafood that has the lowest chemical and heavy metal amounts. Try choosing fish that are also caught without causing harm to the oceans.

 

All Day Energy: Ways to stay energized all day long

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Tired woman are sleeping Let's face it, in today's rush-rush world we are always trying to cram as much as possible into our 24-hour day. Sadly, many people are turning to energy drinks and pills to help get them through their long days, when in actuality there are plenty of natural energy boosters that you could rely on to help you stay energized.

Just try these simple strategies to make sure that you wake up feeling refreshed, stay motivated throughout the day and be able to wind down and get a relaxed night of sleep.

Consistent wake-up time- Many people would think that sleeping in would actually give them all-day energy, but it is more harmful than it is helpful. Instead, opt for the same wake-up time everyday and get yourself into some light, whether you get your sunlight by actually going outdoors or just by opening up the blinds.

Reduce your carbs and add in more protein- While carbohydrates will give you that quick burst of energy, eating too many carbohydrates will actually drain you. Opt for getting a healthy mix of carbs and protein to feel more energetic throughout the day.

Make sure you're getting your share of iron and magnesium- According to ABC News rather than walking into a health-food store to get a boost, look for food that gives you energy and the vitamins, minerals and chemicals that work together to give you the energy you need. Magnesium and iron will help to re-energize. Iron food sources include Total cereal, lentils, oatmeal, tofu, beef, whole wheat spaghetti and beet greens. Magnesium is another powerhouse mineral used in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium food sources include artichokes, halibut, black beans, almonds and spinach.

Skip your morning cup of joe- Instead of downing your coffee first thing in the morning opt for having an afternoon cup of coffee when tiredness typically sets in. This caffeine burst at an appropriate time will also help to keep your energy flowing throughout your afternoon.

Avoid grazing and eat your meals at consistent times- Believe it or not, your body runs on the food schedule that YOU set. When you skip meals your body suffers by going into shut down mode, like it does when it is time to sleep. Keep your meals consistent and at consistent times to avoid the daily drain. Grazing should be avoided, too, as it leads to overeating and over hunger.

Relieve stress through meditation- Because it may be hard to carve out set times to simply relax and meditate, try to do it when you have a few free minutes throughout your day. Even simply three minutes of mediation can reduce stress hormones that create body tension and constricted blood vessels. Find a quiet spot, practice your breathing techniques and take a few minutes to rejuvenate through relaxation.

Power walk instead of power nap- While it may seem like a short little cat nap will help you through that afternoon slump, a short little power walk will be more beneficial. Get out for a brisk walk if you are able to and your body will thank you for it. If you can't get outdoors, sit by a window and bask in the daylight for some quick light energy. exercise treadmillExercise to music- Exercise may be the most obvious way to increase your energy levels throughout the day, yet many people still avoid it. If you are having trouble getting the motivation to work out, try listening to music before exercising. Studies show that people who listen to music prior to and while working out, feel like they have exerted themselves less than those who don't listen to music while working out.

Wind down before bed- It's important to take the time to wind down before catching those zzz's. According to MSNBC.com artificial light from computer and television screens tell the brain that it's not time to wind down. Therefore, it's a good idea to shut off the TV and to not use phone or computers at least an hour before bed. To help wind down before bed you also may want to dim the lights, take a warm shower, write in a journal or read a book.