Friday, January 29, 2010

Something For The Weekend 18

Friday 29th January 2010

If you insist on sticking to tradition with your valentines gift this year then let me point you in the right direction.

Before you all start heading for the comment box, let me just say that yes, I know this is a health blog, but for this occasion we can allow ourselves a little indulgence. You don't have to eat the whole box of chocolates and remember that they are for sharing!

There is a really great website that has chocolates for all occasions, and as an extra special treat, you can now get a 10% discount on any Valentines purchases if you use this link here. Even though the UK is officially out of recession, we still have to watch the pennies right?

Website Of The Week

If you are going to be alone for Valentines day this year, and are not relishing the though, then how about stepping into the realms of online dating? Singles Network have the biggest online database of people just like you who are looking to find friendships, relationships and any other kind of ships!

Seriously, the world of online dating has found credibility, and the best thing about Singles Network is that you can sign up and add your profile right now free of charge to find that special someone in your own home town.

Well, that's another week done for me. Do enjoy your weekends. I am hoping for some better weather myself!

See you again on Monday when we continue our lessons in contraception.
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Alternative Therapies For Curing Hypothyroidism

Thursday 28th January 2010

Are There Alternative Therapies For Curing Hypothyroidism?

In recent times, there has been so much focus on the effect of alternative remedies in treating ailments generally. Some even make claims that orthodox medicine cannot make. This has of course led to most people looking for alternative medicines and solutions to their ailments. Fortunately, some who have used these alternative remedies and have had good success with it.

Hypothyroidism which is an illness stemming from the malfunction of the thyroid gland leading to the inadequate production of the thyroid gland’s hormone called thyroxine. The thyroid gland is found at the lower end of the neck just below the “Adam’s apple”.

The thyroid gland like any well functioning organ does not just suddenly cease to function. Its malfunction is a product of certain unfavorable conditions. So, if certain steps are taken earlier, there won’t be any need in the first place to start treating hypothyroidism.

There are some ways to effectively keep the thyroid gland in normal healthy condition.The very first move an individual can make is to be mindful of his diet. An individual’s diet is capable of either prolonging his existence on the surface of the earth, or helping him move faster to the grave than he ought to be moving.

Watching what you eat is not only important in keeping away hypothyroidism, it is an effective way of keeping most diseases away. What you throw inside your belly is partially responsible for your general well being. So if you consume all that comes in your way without any regard for your insides, then you might as well realize that your internal organs will be adversely affected rendering them ineffective.

There are certain foods that will inhibit the production of thyroxine. Some of them are mustard greens, broccoli, soybeans, cauliflowers, cabbage. Foods like sugar, refined foods, dairy products should be avoided in excess. If you discover that you’ve got hypothyroidism, avoid caffeine, wheat and alcohol. Start including fatty acids in your diet. Taking about 1000-15000mg of these essential fatty acids thrice a day helps the thyroid glands in its production of thyroxine.

Research has also shown that vitamins A, B complex, C and E are important in thyroxine production and in generally improving the thyroid’s health. Before taking them however, consult with your doctor as he would know in what quantities you should take them and for how long.

Supplements like calcium, iodine L-tyrosine and selenium are also recommended by dietitians. Try all these, but ensure you run them by your doctor before you begin to use them.

For more information about thyroid health visit:
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Monday, January 25, 2010

Contraception - Male And Female Condoms

Monday 25th January 2010

Condoms are what the professionals call a 'barrier' form of protection. They prevent pregnancy by stopping the male sperm from reaching the egg.

It is important to point out here that condoms do not only act as a contraceptive, but as a barrier to sexually transmitted infections,including HIV.

Condoms are made from very thin latex rubber or a very thin plastic, either polyisoprene or polyurethane. Each pack should display either the British BSI Kitemark or the European CE symbol as proof of quality, and clearly state the expiry date of the condoms. Out of date condoms should not be used.

Both male and female condoms are available in the UK and are suitable for most people. The male condom fits over a man’s erect penis. The female condom is put into the vagina and loosely lines it. It is up to you and your partner which type of condom you use.

There are many different varieties and brand names of the male condom. At the moment there is only one brand of female condom available in the UK, called Femidom.

How Effective Are Condoms?

If used correctly, male condoms are 98% effective in preventing pregnancy. Female condoms are thought to be around 95% effective. Condoms also reduce the risk of STIs being passed between partners.

How To Use A Condom

Condoms are a barrier method of contraception. They stop sperm from reaching an egg by creating a physical barrier between the two, preventing unwanted pregnancies.

Condoms are the only form of contraception to offer protection against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). If used correctly during vaginal, anal and oral sex they can help to protect against STIs.

The penis should not make contact with the vagina before a condom has been put on. This is because semen can come out of the penis before a man has fully ejaculated (come). If this happens, or if semen leaks into the vagina while using a male or female condom, seek advice about emergency contraception from either your GP or a sexual health clinic. Also, consider having an STI test.

It is best to use another method of contraception as well as a condom, to protect against unintended pregnancy if the condom splits or comes off.

Using male condoms

The male condom fits over a man’s erect penis and should be put on before the penis comes into contact with his partner's vagina, anus or mouth. To use a male condom:

  • Take the condom out of the packet, taking care not to tear the condom. Do not open the packet with your teeth.
  • Hold the teat at the end of the condom between your finger and thumb to make sure it goes on the right way round and that there is no air trapped inside.
  • Still holding the teat, place the condom over the tip of the erect penis.
  • Gently roll the condom down to the base of the penis.
  • If the condom will not unroll, you are probably holding it the wrong way round. If this happens throw the condom away, as it may have sperm on it, and start with a new condom.
  • After sex, withdraw the penis while it is still erect. As you do this hold the condom at the base of the penis to make sure it does not come off.
  • Remove the condom from the penis, being careful not to spill any semen, wrap it in tissue and put it in the bin. Do not flush it down the toilet.
  • Make sure the man’s penis does not touch the genital area again and, if you have sex again, use a new condom.

Putting on a condom doesn't need to be an interruption to sex. Many people see it as an enjoyable part of their foreplay.

Using female condoms

The female condom is made of polyurethane and is worn inside the vagina to stop sperm getting to the womb. It needs to be put in the vagina before there is any contact between the vagina and penis. It can be put in up to eight hours before sex.

  • Take the female condom out of the packet, taking care not to tear the condom. Do not open the packet with your teeth.
  • Squeeze the smaller ring at the closed end of the condom with your finger and thumb.
  • Using the finger and thumb push the condom as far up the vagina as possible. Make sure the large ring at the open end of the female condom is covering the area around the vaginal opening.
  • The outer ring of the condom should be outside the vagina at all times during sex. If the outer ring gets pushed inside the vagina, stop and put it back in the right place.
  • Make sure the penis enters the female condom, not between the condom and the side of the vagina.
  • After sex, slightly twist and pull the end of the condom to remove it, taking care not to spill any sperm onto the vagina. Wrap the condom in tissue and put it in a bin. Do not flush it down the toilet.

If you have sex more than once always use a new condom, never re-use condoms. Never use two condoms together and always check the expiry date.

If you want to know more about male and female condoms you can visit the NHS website
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Something For The Weekend 17

Friday 22nd January 2010

I simply could not let another weekend slip by without mentioning the up and coming event that holds significance to all couples out there. Yes, I am talking about Valentines day. A time for lovers, a time for love, and a time for romance.

I am not usually one for sticking to tradition, so my product offering this week is a wonderful alternative to all of those predictable Valentines gifts. I'm not going to suggest you buy chocolates or a bunch of flowers but a fabulous weekend break for two. Of course you can opt for a romantic weekend, but if you are more adventurous why not try a fun murder mystery break or treat yourself and your partner to a weekend of luxurious pampering.

No matter what you are into,Fresh Weekends has the perfect weekend break for you and your loved one to enjoy. I think you will agree that this would be a rather special gift too.

Website Of The Week

As you are probably aware, the 12th January saw Haiti brought to the ground by a massive earthquake. While the aid effort is in full swing it is going to be a very long time until Haiti is anywhere near back on it's feet.

Officials are suggesting that a total of one million children are now orphaned, without homes, security, warmth clean water or food. Many aid agencies are out in Haiti doing the best they can,UNICEF being one.

UNICEF Time To Promise are dedicated to helping the cause of those Haiti children and others, but they do rely on your donations. That is why our Website Of The Week has to be an appeal to you on the behalf of UNICEF and the people of Haiti.

Please give generously.

Thank you.
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

How To Get Brighter, Whiter Teeth

Thursday 21st January 2010

Wherever you look it seems as though everyone is at it. Whitening their teeth that is. But how can a mere mortal like you or I get whiter than white teeth like those that are constantly beaming at us from our television screens?

I have done some searching and found some really interesting tips on WebMd that you may find useful if you are wanting to improve your smile.

If your pearly whites have lost their luster due to teeth stains then read on;

Stained teeth can occur naturally as we age, but some common foods, drinks, and even mouthwashes can cause teeth stains. Do-it-yourself remedies can help whiten teeth, and avoiding substances that stain teeth can stop further discoloration. Use these secrets to whiter teeth to restore your bright smile.

You may be able to get rid of superficial teeth stains by yourself. A number of at-home teeth whitening products – kits, strips, and toothpastes – may lighten stains. There are even some old-fashioned remedies you can try. Tooth whitening products available on drugstore shelves use mild bleaching to brighten yellow teeth. Toothpastes use abrasives and chemicals to remove surface stains. For deep stains, you may need a dentist's help.

A home tooth whitening kit contains peroxides, a bleach that can remove both deep and surface stains -- and actually changes your natural tooth color. If you have coffee-stained teeth, a tooth-bleaching kit can help. With some kits, you apply a peroxide-based gel (with a small brush) to the surface of your teeth. In other kits, the gel is in a tray that molds to the teeth. The tray must be worn daily (for 30 to 45 minutes) for a week or more.

Tooth whitening strips will help get rid of tooth stains. These strips are very thin, virtually invisible -- and are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. You wear them a few minutes daily for a week or more. Results are visible in just a few days, and last at least a year. The results with strips are not as dramatic as with teeth whitening kits, but the strips are easy to use and pretty much fool-proof.

How to get stains off your teeth? Over-the-counter toothpastes, gels, and liquids help remove surface stains. Many of these products contain mild abrasives, chemicals or polishing agents. Unlike bleaches, they don't change the color of teeth. But if you want teeth bleaching action in your toothpaste, you can have that, too. Some whitening toothpastes work with peroxide and baking soda -- whitening teeth through mild bleaching.

Home Remedies For Whiter Teeth

Some people still prefer the age-old home remedy of baking soda and a toothbrush to gently whiten teeth at home. Also, some foods such as celery, apples, pears, and carrots trigger lots of saliva -- which helps to scrub away stains on your teeth. Chewing sugarless gum also triggers saliva, which helps eliminate teeth stains. A bonus from all that saliva: It neutralizes acid that causes tooth decay. With teeth, more saliva is better all around.

Approach tooth whitening with caution if you have lots of dental veneers, bonding, fillings, crowns, and bridges. Bleach will not lighten these manufactured teeth – meaning they will stand out among your newly whitened natural teeth. To match your new tooth shade, you may need to investigate new dental work, including veneers or bonding.

As we age, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away. The underlying layer, called dentin, is more yellow. That's why it's important to avoid teeth stains in the first place – especially after whitening. If you take care with foods and drinks that cause tooth discoloration, the results of teeth whitening may last up to one year. Whitening teeth too often could make them look translucent and blue – so you'll want to maintain your new smile.

There's another reason to watch what you eat – some common foods can cause tooth discoloration. Here's an easy way to tell if a food might be at fault: Anything that can stain a white cotton T-shirt can stain teeth, say dentists. Coffee stains teeth, for example. Other top offenders are beverages such as tea, dark sodas, and fruit juices. These teeth stains develop slowly and become more noticeable as we age.

One simple strategy can help maintain white teeth: brush. Brush at least twice and floss at least once daily. Even better, brush after every meal and snack. Brushing helps prevent tooth stains and yellow teeth, especially at the gum line. For best results, try a powered toothbrush. Both electric and sonic toothbrushes may be superior to traditional toothbrushes in removing plaque and surface stains on teeth.

That's it again until tomorrow. See you then!
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Why Do We Get Cellulite

Wednesday 20th January 2010

If you do not have cellulite you can undoubtedly consider yourself lucky.

As many as 90% of all women suffer with the condition and although there is no known cure for cellulite, there are a number of great products available to help the appearance of those 'cottage cheese' dimples that most of us are familiar with.

So, why do we get cellulite in the first place?

Doctors agree that cellulite is caused by poor elasticity in the skin, and of course, poor elasticity comes to us all with age. Contrary to popular belief, cellulite affects all women regardless of their age, weight or clothes size. Cellulite is an issue of fat cell and skin elasticity rather than weight loss or weight gain.

The appearance of cellulite can also be blamed on lifestyle. Women who have a history of crash dieting, have poor circulation and fluid retention can be more susceptible to those unforgiving deposits.

There are a number of other factors that may influence the appearance of cellulite. I have listed them below;

  • Genetics
    Genes highly determine your chance of developing cellulite. It is also primarily a female issue and affects 90% of women.
  • Not enough water
    Drinking lots of water will help flush toxins out your body. Since cellulite is a mixture of fat, water, and toxic wastes that the body has failed to eliminate, drinking plenty of water can help diminish cellulite.
  • Poor diet
    A poor diet consisting of alcohol, processed foods, and caffeine contributes to cellulite since the toxins they produce get trapped in fatty tissue. Some say that spicy foods can contribute
  • Smoking
    Here's another reason you should quit; smoking promotes cellulite by damaging the connective tissue in your body. This causes the dimpled effect in cellulite.
  • Medication
    Diet pills, sleeping pills and diuretics all lead to cellulite. Birth control also increases cellulite formation because of its tendency to produce high levels of estrogen. It also leads to water retention which inhibits the body from flushing the system of toxins, leading to the formation of cellulite.
  • Sedentary lifestyle
    The results of a sedentary lifestyle, poor circulation and muscle tone, can cause cellulite development. Lack of exercise hardens the connective tissue in the skin which causes dimples.
Although there are a huge number of probable causes of cellulite, there are as many products on the market than can help you diminish and improve the appearance of your cellulite. I found one product here that is currently offering a free trial and it is one that I will be trying out for myself.

See you again tomorrow!
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Contraception - The Pill

Monday 18th January 2010

Welcome to the first part of our series on contraception. Today we are going to kick off the show by taking a closer look at the Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC).

The combined oral contraceptive pill contains two hormones, oestrogen and progestogen. It may be taken by women to prevent pregnancy. Sometimes, the COC pill may also be taken for:
  • painful or heavy periods,
  • premenstrual syndrome, or
  • endometriosis.

It works by:
  • Preventing ovulation (the release of an egg from the ovary each month).
  • Thickening the mucus in the neck of the womb, so it is harder for sperm to penetrate into the womb and reach an egg.
  • Thinning the lining of the womb, so there is less chance of a fertilised egg implanting into the womb and being able to grow.

The COC pill is one of the most effective methods of contraception. When taken correctly, less than 1 woman out of a 1000 taking the COC pill for a year, will get pregnant.

Starting the COC pill

The COC pill is usually started on the first day of your period (Day 1 of the menstrual cycle). If this is done, you will be protected from pregnancy straight away and you won't need additional contraception.
The COC pill may also be started up to Day 5 of your menstrual cycle. This gives protection from pregnancy straight away unless you have a short menstrual cycle (your period is every 23 days or less). If you have a short menstrual cycle, you will need additional contraception (e.g. condoms) until you have taken the COC pill for 7 days.
The COC pill may be started at any other time in your menstrual cycle. However, you will not be protected from pregnancy straight away and you will need additional contraception until you have taken the COC pill for 7 days.
If you have had a miscarriage or abortion, the COC pill can be started up to 7 days after this and you will be protected from pregnancy straight away. If started more than 7 days after the miscarriage or abortion then use additional contraception until you have taken the COC pill for 7 days.
If you have just had a baby and are not breastfeeding, the COC pill can be started on Day 21 after the birth. You will be protected against pregnancy straight away. If started later than 21 days after giving birth, you will need to use additional contraception until you have taken the COC pill for 7 days.

The Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) pill is generally well tolerated and very few women will experience side effects.

Some of the side effects reported include:

  • breakthrough bleeding and spotting - especially during the first 3 months of taking,
  • breast tenderness and breast enlargement,
  • change in shape of the cornea (front covering of the eye) resulting in discomfort when wearing contact lenses,
  • depression (low mood),
  • fluid retention,
  • headache,
  • migraine,
  • nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick),
  • reduced libido (interest in sex),
  • rise in blood pressure,
  • rise in blood sugar,
  • stomach upset,
  • temporary infertility after stopping the COC pill,
  • vaginal thrush,
  • weight gain.

The Combined Oral Contraceptive (COC) pill may interact with other medicines. Some of the more commonly known interactions are listed below. However, this is not a complete list. If you want to check that your medicines are safe to take with the COC pill, you can ask your doctor or pharmacist (chemist) or read the Patient Information Leaflets that come with your medicines.

The COC pill may interact with broad spectrum antibiotics. These include the following:

  • amoxicillin,
  • ampicillin,
  • azithromycin,
  • cefadroxil,
  • cefixime,
  • cefradine,
  • cefalexin,
  • cefpodoxime,
  • clarithromycin,
  • co-amoxiclav,
  • co-fluampicil,
  • doxycycline,
  • erythromycin,
  • metronidazole,
  • minocycline,
  • oxytetracycline,
  • tetracycline,and
  • tinidazole.

Broad spectrum antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of the COC pill.

If you are prescribed one of these antibiotics, use additional contraception (e.g. condoms) while you are taking the antibiotic and for 7 days after finishing the course. If the 7 days runs beyond the end of a pill pack, skip the pill free break and start a new pack straight away. In the case of the Every Day (ED) pill - if the 7 days runs into the inactive pills, skip the inactive pills and start a new pack straight away.
If you are prescribed a long course of one of these antibiotics, after you have taken it for 3 weeks or more you don't need additional contraception. But, if you are then also prescribed a short course of a different antibiotic later, you will need to use additional contraception again as above.

The COC pill may also interact with medicines that speed up how quickly the liver breaks down oestrogen and progestogen. These include:

  • aprepitant,
  • bosentan,
  • carbamazepine,
  • griseofulvin,
  • modafinil,
  • nelfinavir,
  • nevirapine,
  • oxcarbazepine,
  • phenytoin,
  • phenobarbital,
  • primidone,
  • rifabutin,
  • rifampicin,
  • ritonavir,
  • rufinamide,
  • St John's Wort (Hypericum), and
  • topiramate.

As these medicines speed up the process of the liver breaking down the oestrogen and progestogen in the COC pill, they reduce the effectiveness of the COC pill.

If you are prescribed a short course of one of these medicines, use additional contraception while you are taking the medicine, and for four weeks after you stop taking it.

If you are prescribed a long course of one of the above medicines, remind your prescriber that you are taking a COC pill. You will need to think about switching to another method of contraception while you are taking it, and for 4-8 weeks after you stop taking it.

Talk to your GP, or prescriber, about other methods of contraception. An alternative (except when taking rifampicin, or rifabutin) is to take two COC pills a day. However, this is an unlicensed use of the COC pill and it should only be taken in this way on the advice of your GP.


The combined oral contraceptive (COC) pill can speed up how quickly the liver breaks down lamotrigine. This reduces the amount of lamotrigine in the blood, making it less effective at controlling fits. Tell your GP if you decide to start (or stop) taking the COC pill because your dose of lamotrigine may need to be adjusted.

As you can see, although the combined oral contraceptive is extremely effective, it does have it's negative side.

If you are considering taking the pill and have any more questions about it, please feel free to ask them in the comments box below.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Something For The Weekend 16

Friday 15 January 2010

Carley's Clear And Smooth Skin Treatments has come up trumps this week again for us with this delicious Kukui Nut Body Lotion.

A light and sensuous body lotion using the exotic and expensive Kukui nut oil from Hawaii. This special blend of lotion and the precious nut oil can only be bought from Carley's online shop. If you want to know more about this product then pay the store a visit. Just click on the products link and scroll down.

Website Of The Week

Ever heard of the DROPweight diet plan ?

Well, while I was busy surfing the net last night I came upon this DROPweight diet plan website and thought it was well worth a mention.

Still sticking with the theme of new years resolutions, I thought this website may appeal to those of you who have promised to go on a diet, but are not quite there yet.

Unlike any other online weight loss programme the DROPweight diet plan offers some great advice and support from beginning to end. Sign up is completely free and you are under no obligation to subscribe to the programme if you think it's not for you.

So, what do you have to lose (apart for a stone or two) visit the DROPweight diet plan website to find out more.

Well, that's everything from me for another week.

I hope you enjoy your weekend, and don't forget to tell your family and friends about us!
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Thursday, January 14, 2010

How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Health

Thursday 14th January 2010

Today we are going to take a look at how not getting a good nights sleep can affect your overall health and well being.

We all know that feeling; we have been tossing and turning all night trying our damnedest to get to sleep. The alarm goes off and we look and feel dreadful. For a large percentage of people nights like these are a common occurrence and a regular pattern of sleep deprivation can result in health related problems.

High Blood Pressure

The body reacts badly to lack of sleep and raises levels of stress hormones. These hormones are the ones that help to regulate the body's blood pressure. When these hormone levels are consistently high it may mean that your blood pressure is harder to control.

Immune Function

Have you ever noticed that during time of stress or sleep loss that you almost always end up with a cold or other infections? Recent studies have shown that this may not be down to coincidence. It seem that the immune function which allows our bodies to effectively fight off germs is much weaker when you are not getting enough sleep.

Pain Tolerances

We all know that after a good nights sleep. all those little aches and pains we have fell a little but better right? Current research is proving that when we are deprived of a good nights sleep, our sensation of pain is intensified.

Sleep Related Car Accidents

At least 56,000 car accidents with 40,000 non-fatal injuries and 1,550 deaths occur every year in the US, because of sleepiness behind the wheel. Excessive sleepiness is the second leading cause of car accidents. Studies have shown that sleepy drivers are impaired at a level equal to that of drunk drivers!


Anyway I'm back here again tomorrow with another great product. I hope you will join me.

Enjoy the rest of your day and try to sleep well tonight.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Health Benefits Of Ginger

Wednesday 13th January 2010

During my first pregnancy I remember complaining to my doctor about morning sickness. His cure was to eat a ginger biscuit before I got out of bed in the morning, and it worked!

Ginger has been used as a medicine and as a spice for hundreds of years in India and China but is now cultivated in many countries across the world.

More commonly used in cookery as a spice or flavouring in biscuits, cakes, soups, pickles and curries, ginger also has a great number of medicinal qualities particularly when it comes to the internal workings of the stomach.

Mainly used as a natural aid to stop nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and any general stomach upsets, ginger can also help alleviate those all too common colds and improve your circulation.

By far the easiest way to take ginger is in a home made tea, and here is how you can do it:

Peel the ginger root and slice it into thin slices. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add your sliced ginger. Cover the pan and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the tea and add honey and lemon to taste should you require it.

So if you need a quick fix remedy try this tea out and let me know how it helped you.
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Monday, January 11, 2010

An Introduction To Contraception

Monday 11th January 2010

Contraception is the use of hormones, devices or surgery to prevent pregnancy. It gives women and couples the ability to decide if and when they want a baby.

There are several types of contraception available, each working in a different way.

Over the next 11 weeks (every Monday) we will be taking a closer look at each method of contraception. How it works, side effects and answering any questions you have to help you choose the right method of contraception.

So, next week we are going to start our Contraception campaign off with the UKs most popular pregnancy prevention method, The Pill.

If you don't want to miss any of our posts on this issue then make sure you add us to your favorites!

See you tomorrow.
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Friday, January 08, 2010

Something For The Weekend 15

Friday 8th January 2010

Guess what the number one new years resolution is...okay I will tell you, it's quitting smoking.

The truth is, almost 80% of people who say they are going to quit the habit this year will have already given in to their cravings, and a few more will follow suit over the next couple of days.

There are literally hundreds of different quit smoking aids on the market today, you can get anything from patches to prescribed pills and all have their own side effects.

So what if I were to show you a herbal product that does not to have any side effects and would help you to suppress your cravings rather than wean you off gradually?

Smoke Deter will help you fight nicotine withdrawal symptoms easily and effectively without any side effects at all, and if you visit the Smoke Deter website you can take advantage of their limited time free offer.

Website Of The Week

We all like something for nothing right? Well this website is an excellent place to find all of those online freebies and giveaways. Right now you can get yourself anything from free Sim cards, free health care samples, free Amazon vouchers, a healthy eating recipe book and so much more.

So if Free is your favorite word, take the time this weekend to visit and bag yourself something for nothing.

Well that is all from me this week. Have a good weekend and I hope to see you again on Monday.
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Thursday, January 07, 2010

Why Artificial Sweeteners Are Doing You More Harm Than Good

Thursday 7th January 2010

I think we are all aware that sugar is bad for us. After all, it is a fundamental ingredient in all of those cakes, sweets and biscuits that we all adore. So you would have thought that choosing products that were zero sugar, like diet drinks and diet snacks, would be better for you overall health right? ... wrong.

Read the following article from The Diet Solution, it really is shocking and will convince you that you are better off not using a sugar substitute at all.

Artificial sweeteners overwhelm your liver

Your liver is your largest internal organ, and it’s responsible for an astonishing variety of life-sustaining and health-promoting tasks, including those that make healthy weight loss and weight management possible. Integral to countless metabolic processes, the liver supports the digestive system, controls blood sugar and regulates fat storage. One of your liver’s most important functions, and the most crucial to your weight loss, is chemically breaking down everything that enters your body, from healthy vegetables, to not so healthy fast food, from healthy water to not so healthy soda.

It’s your liver’s job to distinguish between the nutrients you need to absorb and the dangerous or unnecessary substances that must be filtered out of your bloodstream. But when the liver is clogged and overwhelmed with toxins, like artificial sweeteners, it can’t do a very effective job of processing nutrients and fats. If it can not process the nutrients and fats that your body needs, this will cause you to gain weight or will prevent you from losing weight.

Your liver also produces bile, a crucial substance for detoxifying our bodies. It is the job of bile to help our bodies break down the fats we need and to assimilate fat-soluble vitamins. But when our bile becomes overly congested with the toxins it’s trying to filter out, it simply can’t function properly. It becomes thick, viscous and highly inefficient in breaking down fats. The result: You are more likely to gain weight and to have a greater difficulty losing it. So the more toxic your body becomes, the more difficulty you’ll have losing weight and keeping it off because your liver just can not work properly to break down fat.

Are artificial sweeteners considered a toxin?

What qualifies something as a “toxin”? A toxin is anything that your body does not recognize as a natural food source. The reason why artificial sweeteners have “zero” calories is because your body does not recognize them as a food source. For example, the chemical process to make Splenda (sucralose) alters the chemical composition of the sugar so much that it is somehow converted to a completely different molecule than sugar. This type of “fake” sugar molecule does not occur in nature and therefore your body does not possess the ability to properly metabolize it. This is how the makers of Splenda claim that it has zero calories, because in theory it should not be digested or metabolized by the body (Although it has been shown that some people’s body do absorb up to 15% of the artificial sweeteners they ingest). So the more artificial sweeteners that you consume in one day, the more you are overwhelming your liver with toxins and the less able it is to do its job of processing fat. And what happens if the liver can’t do its job? You can’t lose weight or worse yet, you gain weight.

What if you don’t use artificial sweeteners? Don’t be fooled. Almost every diet product on the market has some kind of artificial sweetener added to it. Even some children’s snacks are now being made with sucralose (Splenda) and most flavored waters contain sucralose or aspartame.

Now add up how many things you eat in one day that contain some form of artificial sweetener. The list may be very long. How overwhelmed do you think your liver is? Does it have the ability to work properly? Even if you keep your calories at bay and only drink Diet Coke with your meals, will you truly get down to the weight that you want, and stay there? It has been in my experience that the answer is “no” and until you are ready to commit yourself to a healthy way of eating, weight loss will always be a constant struggle.

What else do sweeteners do?

Sweeteners increase appetite

Artificial sweeteners tell your taste buds that, “sweet stuff has arrived,” which to the brain means, “nutrition has arrived.” When artificial sweetened drink or food reaches the small intestine, the receptors find no nutrition. A message is then sent back to the brain saying, “We’ve been tricked-there’s no nutrition here.” The appestat (the part of your brain that triggers satiety) sends the message to “keep eating because we need nutrition to help process all this fake food and run your body.” So even after you eat a good portioned healthy meal (along with your diet coke) you still feel like your starving all day, or you become very hungry soon after. Your healthy eating efforts may be sabotaged if you continue to feel hungry all day. No one likes to feel hungry so you continue to eat more food until you feel satisfied, which in your effort to lose weight, may just be too much.

Sweeteners Increase our Sweet Tooth

Saccharin (Sweet n Low) is 300 times sweeter than sugar, aspartame (Equal) is 200 times sweeter than sugar and sucralose (splenda) is 600 times sweeter than sugar. Such sweeteners can only increase our sweet tooth and increase our taste of sweet things. If you can never get rid of your sugar cravings, any healthy eating plan will be difficult because you will constantly be craving “sweet”. Artificial sweeteners have also shown to promote the same blood sugar fluctuations as regular sugar, which, again will bring on “sugar lows” which will increase appetite and cravings. This is not to say, that something sweet now and again is not ok, but it is those people who can not control their sugar cravings that are being sabotaged by these artificial sweeteners.

What are some alternatives to sweeteners?

Giving up sugar and artificial sweeteners may be difficult, especially if you are accustomed to everything having such a sweet taste. A wonderful alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners is an herb called Stevia. Stevia is an extraordinarily sweet herb, 200-300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is almost calorie-free, so it is perfect for people who are watching their weight. Unlike sugar, it does not trigger a rise in blood sugar so you will not get a sudden burst of energy followed by fatigue and a need for another “fix”. It increases energy and aids digestion by stimulating the pancreas. Stevia also presents great advantages over saccharine and other artificial sweeteners in that it is not toxic. Stevia is a plant that is found in nature and is not man-made in a laboratory. Stevia can be found at almost all health food stores such as Whole Foods, and is listed under the “supplement” section. Stevia can be used exactly like sugar and artificial sweeteners to sweeten drinks and it can even be used in baking.

If weight loss or staying away from sweets has always been a problem for you, take notice of how much artificial sweetener you have been ingesting. That just may be the culprit. Make a resolution this year to give up the “fake” stuff and stick to natural alternatives like Stevia. You will not only be helping your weight loss efforts but you will also be benefiting your health.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Getting Motivated

Wednesday 6th December 2010

If your new years resolution is to get active but you just can't seem to shift yourself from the sofa then this may just be the article for you.

We all know how important exercise is. It burns fat, gets the body working properly and can do no end of good for your mental health. Starting a new exercise routine can be challenging, and many people find it hard to fit a regular work out session into their busy lives.

The key to finding your enthusiasm and motivation to become more physically active is within the activity you choose and the location in which you do it.

If you feel more comfortable exercising alone then don't buy an expensive gym membership. Perhaps you could buy a couple of inexpensive pieces of gym equipment and set up a mini home gym in your spare room or garage. On the opposite end of the spectrum, perhaps you like being in the company of others while you keep fit. If that is the case, why not consider joining a local team that play a sport you like: It could be anything from badminton to rugby.

The most important factor is that you actually like what you are doing. It's no good spending your time in a pool if you don't like swimming, that is when exercise will become a chore and you will be more likely to quit.

Personally I like to do my work outs in the privacy of my own home. I have an air walker, stepper and gym ball as well as an excellent yoga DVD which I admit, is getting a little dusty.

That's all from me today. It's good to be back, and I will be back here again tomorrow so I hope you will be too.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year


May 2010 be a happy and prosperous one!

Don't forget I will be back on the 6th January

If you have made any resolutions for the new year, let us know what they are in the comment box below!
We may just be able to help you achieve your goals.
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