Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Business Networking Tips

Do you want to advertise your business without wearing a funny costume or lugging around a heavy billboard? The best way to do this is through business networking. Simply stated, business networking is linking with other people, getting their trust and helping them in order to promote your business. This can be done through several ways:

Participate in network meetings. This is the best way to meet different people. But don’t just attend any meeting. Be clear about your marketing goals and pick the right meeting to join. This will help you identify groups who will most likely benefit from your products and services.

Hold volunteer positions in organizations to stay visible and remind others of your expertise. This is a good way to show others that you can be relied on and share their concerns. If you project yourself as a competent resource person, people will consult you for ideas, advice and suggestions. 

Stand out in the crowd by being different. Networking meetings are often full of people so attract attention by wearing a brightly-colored tie, unusual jewelry or a good cologne. This will help people remember you and separate you from the crowd.

Don’t just go to meetings and hand out business cards. Interact with the people there by listening to them, responding well, and maintaining eye contact whenever you talk to them. Don’t go to a meeting acting like a zombie or robot. This will only hurt your business.

Understand what you do and what makes you different from others who do the same thing. This will help you identify your strong points and give you an edge over competitors. If you love our job, talking about how you can help others shouldn’t be a problem.   

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The ugly truth about trans-fatty acids

July 20, 2014 7:26 pm
Hungry? How about a big serving of French fries or some glazed doughnuts with your favorite filling? Or maybe a huge slice of that tempting chocolate cake topped with creamy icing? Or perhaps you prefer a bucket of fried chicken that comes with extra thick gravy? Afterwards, you can wash it all down with a hot cup of coffee mixed with that delicious creamer.

These mouth-watering dishes may make you rush to the nearest fast food chain but they can also kill you. The reason: they may contain heaps of trans fats that are dangerous to your health.
Trans fats or trans-fatty acids are the new villains in the medical community because they are considered the worst type of fat. Doctors say they spell double trouble for your heart because they raise the level of low density lipoprotein (LDL) – the bad cholesterol that clogs arteries and increases your chances of getting heart disease. Trans fats also lower high density lipoprotein (HDL) – the good cholesterol that gets rid of excess cholesterol. This deadly combination puts you at risk for a heart attack.
Major risk factor
“A high LDL cholesterol level is a major risk factor for heart disease. If your LDL is too high, over time, it can cause atherosclerosis, a dangerous accumulation of fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries. These deposits — called plaques — can reduce blood flow through your arteries. If the arteries that supply your heart with blood (coronary arteries) are affected, you may have chest pain and other symptoms of coronary artery disease,” according to doctors at WebMD.
“If plaques tear or rupture, a blood clot may form — blocking the flow of blood or breaking free and plugging an artery downstream. If blood flow to a part of your heart stops, you’ll have a heart attack. If blood flow to a part of your brain stops, a stroke occurs,” they added.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that avoiding trans fats could prevent up to 20,000 cases of coronary heart disease and 7,000 deaths yearly in the United States alone. However, that’s easier said than done since trans fats are found almost everywhere.
Baked and fried foods
Most baked goods like crackers, cookies, muffins, pizza, cakes, and icings have trans fats. So do fried foods like doughnuts, French fries and chicken. Margarine and shortening may also have trans fats.
Small amounts of trans fats are likewise found in dairy products and meat, including beef and lamb, but scientists have yet to determine whether these naturally occurring substances are as deadly as the artificial ones. What is known is that the trans fats in processed foods are more harmful.
Since the 1950s, manufacturers have used trans fats because of their many benefits. Food stays fresh longer, shelf life is extended, food texture is enhanced, and (ironically) food becomes less greasy. Trans fats are made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil – a process called hydrogenation.
Easy to use
“Companies like using trans fats in their foods because they’re easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers,” revealed the American Heart Association (AHA).
For some reason, hydrogenation increases cholesterol than other types of fat. Scientists believe this type of oil is difficult to digest and the body identifies it as saturated fat—another bad guy that raises blood cholesterol levels.
Between the two, however, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) together with the Institute of Medicine and the AHA believe that saturated fats are a lesser evil compared to trans fats. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that advises the United States and Canadian governments on product labelling said “trans-fatty acids are not essential and provide no known benefit to human health.”
In 1999, the US FDA told food manufacturers to reveal the amount of trans fats in nutrition labels. However, since so little was known about trans fats at that time, that didn’t become a requirement until 2006.
Not safe
To protect the public, the FDA wants trans fats to be banned but that may take a while considering their wide use in food manufacturing. For now, the agency has determined that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs)—the main source of trans fats in processed foods—are not safe and it may soon prevent companies from using these oils without FDA approval.
“Despite this concern, the NAS dietary recommendations have not recommended the elimination of trans fat from the diet. This is because trans fat is naturally present in many animal foods in trace quantities and its removal from ordinary diets might introduce undesirable side effects and nutritional imbalances if proper nutritional planning is not undertaken. The NAS has, therefore, recommended that trans fatty acid consumption be as low as possible while consuming a nutritionally adequate diet,” said Wikipedia.
As a result of the FDA action and increased consumer awareness about the detrimental effects of trans fats, some food manufacturers have minimized or totally eliminated their use.
In the United States, Tiburon, California became the first American city where restaurants voluntarily cook with trans fat-free oils. Trans fats have been banned in Philadelphia, and Nassau County in New York.
Meanwhile, California, New York City, Baltimore, and Montgomery County, Maryland, have restricted the use of trans fats in food service establishments. These places are not allowed to sell or distribute foods, and use ingredients containing more than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. The FDA reported that New York City has done a commendable job since almost 98 percent of restaurants were no longer using artificial trans fat since 2008.
Growing movement
The move to limit or phase out the use of trans fats is spreading to others countries as well. To date, Iceland, Denmark and Switzerland have banned the use of trans fats.
“The good news is trans fats are showing up less in food, especially food on grocery store shelves. If you eat out a lot, however, be aware that some restaurants continue to use trans fats. Trans fats are sometimes a part of the oil restaurants use to fry food. A large serving of French fries at some restaurants can contain 5 grams or more of trans fats,” revealed WebMD.
What about the Philippines where heart disease is a top killer and people love dining out? I tried contacting the people at Jollibee, McDonald’s and Mister Donut among others to get their comments on the issue but it was like facing a blank wall. I was referred from one person to another until I ended up talking to no one. Some got my mobile number but never returned my calls. I wanted to know whether these establishments used trans fats in cooking but I never got an answer.
The only person who entertained my call was Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go of the Bureau of Food and Drugs. Unfortunately, his words were not encouraging.
“I’ll be frank with you. We have no data on that. I agree that we should monitor the use of trans fats in foods but we cannot do it yet. Once the Food and Nutrition Research Institute tells us that the levels are high, we can regulate this. But our focus is on other things right now. We have the intention to regulate this later but we are tied up with something else,” he said.
So where does that leave Pinoys who love fried chicken and other fast food fare? While waiting for local health authorities to look into the matter and food establishments to dish out healthy meals, consumers can avoid trans fats by making wise food choices and reading food labels. Be wary of products that contain PHOs. Surprisingly, those with fully or completely hydrogenated oils don’t have trans fats.
Not determined
In the event you consume trans fats, is there a safe level so you won’t suffer later? Unfortunately, this has not been determined. However, it pays to limit your intake of trans fats.
“In the United States, food nutrition labels don’t list a Daily Value for trans fat because it’s unknown what an appropriate level of trans fat is, other than it should be low. The AHA recommends that no more than 1 percent of your total daily calories be trans fat. If you consume 2,000 calories a day, that works out to 2 grams of trans fat or less, or about 20 calories,” said doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Be alert
Don’t be misled by products that say they have 0 grams trans fat. In the United States, this means the food has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat. That may not be much but it can add up if you eat multiple servings of foods that contain the same amount.
To be on the safe side, look for products that list monounsaturated fat (found in olive, peanut and canola oils) or polyunsaturated fat in their labels. When dining out, ask what oils are used in cooking. Don’t totally eliminate fat in the diet since this is required by the body.
“What should the average consumer do if he or she picks up a favorite food and sees that it has trans fat on the label? The best thing to do is to consider the amounts of saturated fat, cholesterol and trans fat. Choose the product that has the lowest combined amount of these nutrients,” the FDA concluded.

Pairing Wine with Dinner

Confused about the kind of wine to have for dinner? Here’s a simple guide to ensure that you serve the right wine with the right food.

When matching wine with food, there are some things to consider like weight and intensity. What do these words mean?

The weight of your food should go with your wine. This is self-explanatory. Never serve a cabernet with a light salad. Bring out a light chardonnay or sauvignon blanc instead. Remember that light foods go with light wines while heavy meals go with heavy wines.

Intensity refers to how strong or flavorful your meal is. Learn to balance flavor intensity. You can do this by pairing light-bodied wines with lighter food. Fuller-bodied wines, on the other hand, go well with heartier and richer meals.

To create the perfect pair, take into account how the food is prepared. Delicately flavored foods (those that are poached or steamed for example) generally go well with delicate wines. You can’t go wrong if you match the wine with the sauce, seasoning or dominant flavor of dish you’re serving. For instance, an earthy Pinot Noir is best with mushroom soup while the grapefruit/citrus taste of Sauvignon Blancs is good with fish.

Don’t forget to balance sweetness too. Never pair wine with food that is sweeter than the wine. This might not work well although chocolate with Cabernet Sauvignon isn’t so bad.  

Opposites attract so keep this s mind while pairing wine with food. Sweet desert wines usually work well with hot or spicy foods that are found in Thai or Indian dishes. Opposing flavors can play off each other and work to your advantage since they bring new and exciting sensations to your taste buds. 

Is Tap Water Safe?

Since water comers from various sources and is treated in various ways, the taste and quality of drinking water differs from place to place. But don’t let this fact disturb you since more than 90 percent of water systems pass the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards for tap water quality.

However, there are certain problems with tap water. After testing municipal water in 42 states, the Environmental Working Group found about 260 contaminants in public water supplies. Among those contaminants were 141 unregulated chemicals that have no safety standards or methods for eliminating them. The EWG blamed EPA for this oversight.

Fortunately, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said these contaminants don’t pose a threat to healthy people. This is due to the fact that most of them exist in small amounts. Only when large quantities are ingested do they spell trouble.  

But the NRDC warned that pregnant women, young children, the elderly, people with chronic illnesses and those with weakened immune systems may be susceptible to these contaminants. To be on the safe side, get a copy of your city’s annual water quality report and discuss this with your physician.

Normally, your water provider should notify you by newspaper, mail, radio, TV, or hand-delivery if your water fails to meet EPA or state standards or in the event of a waterborne disease emergency. The notice will tell you about any precautions you should follow like boiling your water.

You can get rid of disease-carrying organisms by boiling your water for about one minute. Another way to disinfect your water is to use common household bleach or iodine. This will give you safe drinking water during an emergency such as floods. Better still why not use a water filter? Water filters are your best defense against dirty water. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Best Foods to Help You Sleep

Do you have a difficult time sleeping? Do you toss and turn in your bed? Do you wake up early and feel tired? Millions of people have the same problem. For these people, falling and staying asleep doesn't come naturally. As a result, they feel tired, weak and are in poor health.  One possible reason why this is so is because of their diet.

Experts say that quality sleep depends on what you eat. To get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to calm your brain. You can do this by eating the right foods. Just as some foods keep you awake, certain foods can help you sleep.  Foods that promote sleep are those that contain tryptophan - an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin and melatonin. These are neurotransmitters that relax your brain.

Tryptophan is vital for the production of these sleep-inducing neurotransmitters. You can increase the body’s production of tryptophan simply by eating foods that have this substance. Doing so drives more tryptophan to the brain that will help you sleep.

The best way to do this is to combine tryptophan-rich foods with those rich in carbohydrates. Eating more  carbohydrates causes your body to release insulin. This, in turn, drives other amino acids away from your brain. As a result, tryptophan is left with little competition.

What foods are rich in tryptophan? There’s a lot actually. The list includes beans, whole grains, lentils, chickpeas, hazel nuts, peanuts, eggs, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and miso or fermented soy beans. You’ll also find tryptophan in unsweetened soy milk and raw dairy products. If your evening snack includes these foods together with carbohydrate-rich foods, your body will have a good amount of serotonin and you’ll sleep soundly. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014


Friday, 18 July 2014 00:0

Written by  George Nava True II

no ang gamot sa luga o ear infection? Meron ako nito mula elementary pa. Ako ay 38-anyos na. Nahihirapan na ako, lalo na sa amoy. -- Name withheld.
Ang tawag sa ear infection ay acute otitis media at kadalasan ang sanhi nito ay bacterial o viral infection na makikita sa middle ear. Madalas ito sa mga bata. Ang impeksyon ay maaaring galing sa ibang sakit tulad ng sipon, trangkaso o allergy.

Karamihan sa mga ear infections ay nawawala sa loob ng isa o dalawang linggo kahit hindi gamutin. Para mabawasan ang sakit, maglagay ng mainit at basang tela sa apektadong tainga o gumamit ng over-the-counter medicines tulad ng acetaminophen o ibuprofen. Huwag gumamit ng aspin lalo na sa bata o teenagers.
Maaaring resetahan ka ng doktor ng eardrops tulad ng antipyrine-benzocaine-­glycerin kung hindi pa sira o butas ang eardrum. Ilagay ito habang nakahiga at nakaharap sa taas ang apektadong tainga. Puwede ka ring bigyan ng antibiotics. Sundin ang paggamit nito para tuluyang mawala ang impeksyon. Kapag hindi, maaaring pabalik-balik ang sakit mo.
Kapag paulit-ulit ang ear infection (recurrent otitis media) o kapag nangyari ito tatlong beses sa loob ng anim na buwan o apat na beses sa isang taon, o may tubig na lumalabas sa tainga kahit walang nang impeksyon, maaaring makatulong ang myringotomy para tanggalin ang tubig.
Binubutas ng siruhano ang eardrum para kunin ang naipong tubig. Pagka­tapos nilalagyan ito ng maliit na tubo (tympanostomy tube) para maiwasan ang pagkaroon ang tubig muli. Tatanggalin ito pagkalipas ng anim na buwan o higit pa.

May problema ka ba sa kalusugan? Nais mo bang maliwanagan sa sakit mo? Mag-email kay George Nava True II sageorgenavatrue@yahoo.com o mag-text sa 0935-9720691. Sa­sagutin ni George ang problema mo dito. Si George ay National Press Club at Phi­lippine Dental Association awardee, at author ng 3 health books. Sundan siya sa Twitter sa https://twitter.com/georgenavatrue.

HEALTH FRONTIERS: Sa wakas may gamot na ang PE

Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00

Written by  George Nava True II

Magandang balita para sa mga lalaking madaling labasan o merong premature ejaculation (PE). Kamakailan lang, ipinakilala ng Italian pharma giant A. Menarini Philippines (AMP) ang bagong gamot sa PE na mabibili ngayon sa Pilipinas. Ito ay ang dapoxetine, ang kauna-unahang gamot sa PE na aprubado ng Food and Drugs Administration (FDA).

“Dahil sa dapoxetine, pwede nang ma-control ang ejaculation at hindi na mahihirapan ang babae at lalaki,” ayon kay Dr. George Lee Eng Geap, consultant urological surgeon ng Gleneagles Hospital sa Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“Ang pagdating ng dapoxetine ay malaking bagay para sa mag-asawang apektado ng PE -- isang karaniwang problema ng lalaki. Sa wakas, hindi na kailangan umasa sa mga palpak na gamot na hindi naman aprubado ng FDA at maaaring makasama pa sa kalusugan,” dagdag ni Dr. Ulysses Quanico, presidente ng Philippine Urological Association (PUA).
Sina Lee at Quanico ay nagsalita sa “Media Briefing on Premature Ejaculation” na isinagawa ng AMP sa Holiday Inn Galleria sa Pasig City.
Dahil sa lack of control, ang PE ay nagdudulot ng negatibong epekto sa relasyon ng mag-asawa at bumababa rin ang kanilang sexual satisfaction. Maraming lalaki ang may ganitong problema pero hindi agad sila nakikilala.
Ayon sa Asia Pacific PE Prevalence and Attitude Study, isa sa tatlong lalaki ay may PE. Sinabi ng 2013 Asia-Pacific Sexual Behaviors and Satisfaction Survey na 91 percent ng lalaki sa Pilipinas ay naniniwala na importante ang sexual satisfaction ng babae sa isang relationship. Gusto nilang maging masaya, satisfied at loved ang partners nila.
Subalit sa parehong survey, sinasabi na pito sa sampung Filipinos (72 percent) ay problemado dahil sa paniwalang hindi nila mapaligaya ang kanilang partner. Almost half (46 percent) ay nagsabi na problemado sila sa PE.
Ang masama rito ay ang PE ay nakakasira ng pagmamahalan ng mag-asawa. Naniniwala ang isa sa limang lalaki (20 percent) na may PE na baka mauwi sa paghihiwalay o divorce kung hindi ito magamot.
“Ang mga lalaking may PE ay kadalasan ayaw magsalita tungkol sa kanilang problema dahil nahihiya sila o wala silang matakbuhan. Ayaw ding pag-usapan ng babae dahil ayaw nilang mapahiya o masaktan ang damdamin ng lalaki. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit hindi agad ma-detect at magamot ang PE,” sabi ni Lee.
“Dahil sa kahihiyan, konti lamang ang nagsasalita tungkol sa PE,” sabi ni Quanico.
Para matulungan ang lalaking may ganitong problema, ang PUA at AMP ay naglunsad ng kampanya laban sa PE. Pwedeng pumunta sa kanilang website sa Control PE o mag-email sa inquire@controlPE.ph para makakuha ng sapat at tamang impormasyon tungkol dito. Maaaring kumuha ng PE test sa website at makahanap ng doktor na makakatulong sa problema.
Hindi alam ang tunay na dahilan ng PE pero ayon sa experts, may kinalaman ang neurotransmitter na serotonin. Kapag kulang ng serotonin ang lalaki, ito ay nagdudulot ng PE. Buti na lang at pwede na itong maayos dahil sa dapoxetine.
Ang dapoxetine ay maaaring inumin ng lalaking between 18 at 64-anyos. Gamitin ito one to three hours bago mag-sex at epektibo ito in most males sa unang dose lamang. Ang optimal effect nito ay makikita pagkatapos uminom ng six doses sa loob ng apat ng linggo.
“Inaanyayahan namin ang mga lalaki na pumunta sa Control PE, magkuha ng test doon, at kumunsulta sa doktor para matulungan sila,” sabi ni Dr. Digna Almeida, AMP medical affairs director.
May problema ka ba sa kalusugan? Nais mo bang maliwanagan sa sakit mo? Mag-email kay George Nava True II sageorgenavatrue@yahoo.com o mag-text sa 0935-972-0691. Sasagutin ni George ang problema mo rito. Si George ay National Press Club at Philippine Dental Association awardee, at author ng 3 health books. Sundan siya sa Twitter sa Georgenavatrue.


Monday, July 14, 2014

Be Careful When Buying Online Generic Drugs

When the patent of a brand name medication expires, a generic version of the drug is usually made and sold. Like the original drug, the generic version must utilize the same active elements of the brand name drug and it must meet the same quality and safety standards.

In a perfect world, generic drugs are equal in safety and effectiveness to their brand-name counterparts but they cost 30 to 80 percent less. If it’s any consolation, about half of all generic drugs are manufactured by brand name companies. These companies make copies of their own medications or another company’s brand name drugs and sell them minus the brand name.

These generic drugs are often sold online and make it convenient for users to purchase the medicines they need. The US Food and Drug Administration sad over 400 American and foreign companies sell prescription medications online. Many of these online pharmacies are legitimate and you can use their services with the same confidence you have in your neighborhood pharmacy.

Unfortunately, the Internet can be a dangerous place to purchase generic drugs. Some websites that sell drugs aren’t safe. They don’t follow legal procedures and you could put your personal information at risk. Some medications sold online are fake, haven’t been manufactured properly or are too strong and may cause unwanted side effects

Others are too weak and may not treat your health condition. They may contain ingredients that are dangerous to your health, have expired or are out of date. Many of these fake generics aren’t approved by the FDA and haven’t been checked for safety and effectiveness.

HEALTH FRONTIERS: Buntis nga ba?

Ano ba ang sintomas ng pagbu­buntis? Dalawang linggo na kasi akong delayed. A­abangan ko ang sagot niyo sa Abante. May tiwala kasi ako sa inyo. Salamat! -- Name withheld.
Madaling ma­laman kung buntis ka. Mag-pregnancy test at makikita mo agad ang resulta.
Puwede ring ma­laman ito sa pamamagitan ng mga sintomas na lumalabas sa first few weeks of pregnancy. Bukod sa missed pe­riod, magiging ma­lambot at namamaga ang suso, may pagka­hilo, madalas umihi, may pagkapagod at merong food aversion o food cravings.
Sa food aversion, ayaw mong kumain ng ilang pagkain o ‘yung dati mong kinakain. Sa food cra­vings naman, ito ‘yung nagli­lihi at naghahanap ka ng kung anu-anong pagkain. Ito ang cross na pasan ng mga lalaki kapag buntis ang misis nila!
May mga babae na nagkakaroon ng konting pagdurugo o spotting. Kilala din ito sa pa­ngalang implantation bleeding at nagsi­simula ito pagka­lipas ng 10 hanggang 14 araw pagka­tapos ma­buntis. Puwede ring magkaron ng cramps at mood swings kung saan paiba-iba ang mood mo. Ang iba naman ay nagiging constipated (matigas ang dumi).
Pero ang mga na­sabing sintomas ay puwede ring maranasan ng babaeng hindi buntis o may ibang sakit. Puwede ring mabuntis na walang nararamdaman at hindi makaranas ng mga sintomas.
Kung ako sa iyo, mag-pregnancy test ka para hindi ka na manghula pa. Kung positive ang test, pumunta sa isang gynecologist para ma-confirm ito.
May problema ka ba sa kalusugan? Nais mo bang maliwanagan sa sakit mo? Mag-email kay George Nava True II sageorgenavatrue@yahoo.com o mag-text sa 0935-9720691. Sasagutin ni George ang problema mo dito. Si George ay National Press Club at Phi­lippine Dental Associa­tion awardee, at author ng 3 health books. Sundan siya sa Twitter sa georgenavatrue.

Can Water Affect Your Skin?

Can water give you healthy skin? Will it create beautiful skin and a younger-looking complexion? While it’s a fact that water is essential to life and is required by the body to work properly, the idea that water can make your skin glow remains questionable. Why is this so? Let’s look at the facts.

Several people believe that drinking huge amounts of water will keep the skin hydrated and prevent dryness. Others say that this practice keeps wrinkles at bay and makes a person look young because it contributes to skin elasticity and suppleness.

But many experts are debunking these claims. Unless one is extremely dehydrated, critics say that drinking large amounts of water won’t prevent dry skin. They point out that the moisture level of the skin is not influenced by internal factors but depends on external factors like skin cleansing, the environment and the number of oil glands. All these have a say on how dry your skin is. The same experts add that drinking water won’t reach the epidermis since water moves quickly in the body until it goes out with urine. For dry skin, treat the problem from the outside with a good moisturizer or lotion. This reduces water loss from the skin.

How about spraying water on the skin? Will this put an end to dryness? Again, this is debatable. Some cling to the belief that this habit will help hydrate the skin and prevent dryness. But experts agree that a good moisturizer is enough to prevent moisture from escaping from the skin. There’s no need to wet the skin constantly. It also helps if you check the environment to make sure that it isn't dry. Moisture in the air will prevent water loss from the skin.

In summary, how does water help the skin? There is one real benefit. While drinking water won’t alter your looks or make you look younger, this life-giving liquid eliminates toxins from the body that result in acne and other skin ailments. Cleaning the body internally with water will reduce acne breakouts and leave you with beautiful skin.

Birth of the Happy Meal

It’s called “Joyeux Festin” in Quebec, “Cajita Feliz” in Puerto Rico, and “Xenni Min” in Ukraine. Whatever you call it, one thing is certain: kids all over the world enjoy the Happy Meal - one of the main attractions of the fast-food chain McDonald’s. This special kid’s meal first appeared in Kansas City in 1977.  

The Happy Meal is so-named because it comes with a toy in addition to the usual McDonald’s treats. In the United States, this is served together with a side order of fries or sliced apples with a  caramel dip, a 12-ounce soft drink, milk, chocolate milk, orange juice or apple juice, and a hamburger, cheeseburger, or chicken nuggets with dipping sauce. The items are packed in a small box or paper bag with the McDonald’s logo.

The Happy Meal was conceived by Bob Bernstein, founder and CEO of Bernstein-Rein Advertising based in Kansas City. Since 1967, McDonald’s has been one of the agency’s many valued clients. In 1977, McDonald’s consulted Bernstein for a better way to make kids happy while visiting the place with their parents, Bernstein suggested giving children their own special meal instead of sharing their parents’ food.

Inspired by his own son who was fascinated with the goodies inside cereal boxes, Bernstein asked his creative team to make lunch pails out of paper boxes with McDonald’s Golden Arches for handles. The tops and sides of the boxes were decorated with games, jokes, comic strips or anything that would appeal to kids. Inside the box was a burger, some fries, cookies and a toy. Thus, the Happy Meal was born in Kansas City in October 1977 and was heavily promoted through TV and radio spots. For making kids all over the world happy, Bernstein was rewarded with a full-size bronze replica of the Happy Meal box in 1987. 

Beauty on a Budget

Beauty on a Budget
By: Cheryl L. True

You probably do not have enough money or can’t spend thousands of dollars just to look pretty. But that does not mean you are doomed to look bad forever. You can look fabulous even on a tight budget. It all boils down to  how you use the money. In this case, you should use it wisely.
Beauty experts say that the secret to staying beautiful without spending a fortune is to discover what works best for you and where to buy the things you need. To stand out in the crowd and look great, here are some things you should keep in mind:
Do not waste money on branded products. Realize that off-brand products can give you the same classy look at a lower price. Fashion trends evolve and change constantly so do not make the mistake of spending big bucks on branded clothes and accessories that may not be “in” tomorrow. Ignore fashion trends for this can eat up a big chunk of your budget. Instead go for your own individual style. People will notice and like you more if you are unique instead of being a boring clone of every fashion magazine in the newsstands.
Watch out for sales and sale items. This is a great time to get hold of good clothes for half the price. Again, do not imitate what you see in others. Select clothes that are interchangeable and can be worn anytime. The golden rule to follow is to buy something that you will actually wear. If you buy a ton of sale items and store them all in the closet, you are wasting your money. 

Always pay attention to your hair. It needs lots of attention to make you look good. Layered hair is good for many people so see if it suits you as well. To keep your hair shiny and manageable, wash it with cold or slightly cold water. Get hold of a good shampoo and conditioner. Daily washing can make your hair dry but if you feel dirty do not hesitate to take a shower. Buy shoes that look good with three or five outfits. Don’t buy shoes that you can only use in a rock concert.  
Can Viagra help athletes?

Athletes looking for a lift are turning to a little blue pill that has helped millions of men suffering from erectile dysfunction. The pill is Viagra and it can supposedly improve athletic performance.  Although none of this has been proven, a few studies support this notion.
While sports authorities have no idea how many are taking Viagra, it clearly has a following among athletes. Stashes of the drug have been found among some professional athletes. Even the World Anti-Doping Agency has gotten into the act. It is studying Viagra's effects on athletes.
Preliminary studies have shown that cyclists taking Viagra improved their performances by up to 40 percent. The drug brings more oxygen to the muscles which supposedly gives the user more energy and creates a better athlete, according to Dr. Andrew McCullough, a sexual health expert at New York University School of Medicine.
McCullough said those who will benefit from the drug include runners, cyclists or skiers. In these sports, endurance and speed are keys to winning. Bodybuilders, weightlifters and other athletes are also using Viagra since it helps dilate blood vessels and brings oxygen, nutrients and steroids to various muscles more efficiently.
However, other researchers aren’t convinced. They say that Viagra only works in sick people. For example, in people with lung problems who take Viagra, the drug widens their blood vessels so they can get more oxygen. But this effect is unlikely to happen in healthy athletes with normal-sized vessels.
"Viagra corrects problems in people who are in a challenged or diseased state," revealed Ian McGrath, a professor of physiology at the University of Glasgow. However, in normal people, McGrath said the body's own regulating system is not so easily affected by drugs and taking Viagra may be useless.

How E-Cigarettes Reduce Nicotine Cravings

Many quit smoking products have been developed to help smokers deal with tobacco cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Known as nicotine replacement therapies, these help smokers kick the habit and deal with nicotine addiction.

These products come in the form of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges as well as prescription medications that don’t have nicotine at all. Research has shown that the use of these smoking cessation aids can improve a smoker’s chance of quitting for good.

The latest nicotine replacement product to enter the market is the electronic cigarette or e cigarette. This is a hand-held vaporizer that delivers nicotine to the body at various doses. This is packed in a refillable cartridge that contains liquid nicotine. Different flavors are available and some have no nicotine whatsoever. .
This portable device resembles a real cigarette but it runs on batteries and doesn’t burn tobacco. The absence of tobacco and smoke means electronic cigarettes don’t have any of the harmful substances found in regular cigarettes.

Instead of smoking tobacco and inhaling its toxic ingredients, users of e cigarettes absorb nicotine by vaping. The “smoke” coming from an electronic cigarette is cleaner since it is a mist like the ones produced by a nebulizer or humidifier. For this reason, e cigarettes have been hailed by many as a healthy way to smoke and an important quit smoking aid.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) found that electronic cigarettes work in the same way as other nicotine replacement products like the nicotine patch and gum. Nicotine is absorbed by the body to help the smoker deal with withdrawal symptoms. These come in different doses ranging from 6 milligrams (mg) for low, 11 mg for medium, 16 mg for high, and 20 mg for extra high cigarettes.

Still, the nicotine content of electronic cigarettes is much lower than that of conventional cigarettes. This is explained by the fact that the average smoker takes about 15 puffs on a cigarette which is equivalent to 1 to 2 mg of nicotine consumption. However, 15 puffs on a 16 mg e cigarette cartridge gives the smoker only about 0.15 mg of nicotine. Thus, nicotine absorption is less in electronic cigarettes than traditional cigarettes.

As the smoker inhales the reduced nicotine content of an e cigarette, he lessens his need for the substance and controls his physical cravings at the same time. Over time, he quits smoking altogether, making the e cigarette an important tool against tobacco smoking.

There are also nicotine-free electronic cigarettes that are made from ingredients other than tobacco. Many come from cocoa beans that taste as good as the real thing. These are used to help smokers quit by substituting nicotine with a non-addictive substance.  

If you want to cut down on smoking or quit, it’s time to switch to electronic cigarettes. This will let you enjoy the pleasure of smoking without the dangers of tobacco. For serious quitters, e cigarettes are the answer.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Ito ang huling bahagi ng sagot ko kay MJG na may bad breath.
Ikaw na rin ang nagsabi na wala kang problema sa ngipin at meron kang chronic sinusitis kaya sigurado akong ito ang sanhi ng bad breath (halitosis) mo.
Sa chronic sinusitis o chronic rhinosinusitis, namamaga ang sinuses sa paligid ng nasal passages. Tumatagal ito nang walong linggo kahit gamutin. Dahil hindi makalabas ang sipon, mucus at ibang dumi, naiipon ito sa ilong kaya mahirap huminga at mabaho ang hininga.
Bukod dito, ang ibang sintomas ay makapal na dilaw o kulay berde na nasal discharge na galing sa ilong o tumutulo sa likod ng lalamunan, sakit ng ulo, pananakit o pamamaga sa gilid ng mata, pisngi, ilong, o noo, at panghihina ng pang-amoy o panlasa. Maaaring sumakit ang tainga, itaas na panga at ngipin, may ubo lalo na sa gabi, sore throat, pagkapagod, at pagkahilo.
Ang mga dahilan ng chronic sinusitis ay allergic reactions, baluktot na nasal septum (ang buto na humahati sa ilong), o sakit tulad ng respiratory tract infections. Malaki ang pagkakataon na magkaroon ng ganitong sakit kung sensitive sa aspirin, may asthma, hay fever o ibang allergic conditions ang pasyente, at madalas siyang exposed sa usok ng sigarilyo.
Mawawala ang bad breath kapag nawala ang chronic sinusitis. Pumunta sa isang ENT specialist. Maaaring bigyan ka ng saline spray para malinisan ang ilong at nasal corticosteroids para mabawasan ang pamamaga tulad ng fluticasone, budesonide, triamcinolone, mometasone, o beclomethasone. Para sa malubhang condition, pwedeng gumamit ng oral o injected corticosteoirds tulad ng prednisone at methylprednisolone.
Mabisa ang antibiotics kung ang karamdaman ay galing sa bacterial infection. Pwede ring subukan ang allergy shots (immunotherapy). Kung hindi pa rin ito gumaling, ang last resort ay endoscopic sinus surgery.

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May problema ka ba sa kalusugan? Nais mo bang maliwanagan sa sakit mo? Mag-email kay George Nava True II sageorgenavatrue@yahoo.com o mag-text sa 0935-972-0691. Sasagutin ni George ang problema mo dito. Si George ay National Press Club at Philippine Dental Association awardee at author ng 3 health books. Sundan siya sa Twitter sa https://twitter.com/georgenavatrue.

Popular Weight Loss Diets

Keeping a healthy weight should be simple since there’s only one rule to follow: eat more and you gain more; eat less and you lose weight. But many people forget this rule and rely solely on some magical diet that will supposedly help them lose weight. Unfortunately, the market is full of fad diets and the promoters of these  bogs diet plans benefit from the fact that Americans spend an estimated $42 billion annually on weight loss foods, products, and services.

It’s difficult to define what a fad diet is but you can easily spot one since it usually promises quick results with a short time commitment. Long-term weight loss requires permanent changes in behavior, diet, and activity - a difficult challenge for most people.

One of the more popular fad diets is the Atkins diet - a high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate plan that has been around for years and has undergone many revisions. The previous plan allow unrestricted amounts of meat, cheese, and eggs while severely restricting carbohydrates like sugar, bread, pasta, milk, fruits, and vegetables.

The plan is grounded on the idea that eating carbohydrates stimulates insulin production. This is a hormone secreted from the pancreas that leads to increased weight gain and hunger. By following the Atkins diet, people will reduce their appetite and their bodies will use the stored fat for energy, thus causing weight loss.

While short-term studies have shown improvements in blood cholesterol and blood sugar and increased weight loss in the first three to six months of use, the weight loss that results from the Atkins diet is not sustained at one year. Improvements that were observed were caused by weight loss and not the actual diet.

If you want to try being Hot and Sexy like Toni Sarit, the new ambassador of Capsinesis. Try this hot tablets with Cayenne Pepper that helps burn unwanted fats.

Great Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Many people can’t get by without a hot cup of coffee. Indeed, there's nothing like the kick of caffeine in the morning to help you enjoy life. So if you need to buy a gift for a coffee lover, you might want to get something that will help that person enjoy his morning fix. The good thing about coffee gifts is that they are greatly appreciated and come in just about any price range to meet your budget. Here are some great gifts to consider:

Coffee mugs make great gifts for any occasion. For a special teacher, why not give a coffee mug that reads A+ Teacher? If you look around, you can get a good coffee mug and still have enough money to fill it with that person’s favorite candy.

For the busy commuter who has to endure rush hour and traffic, choose a travel coffee mug. These are insulated and designed to fit a standard beverage holder in most cars. There are plenty of designs to choose from. You can get one with no handle – just a great rubber thumb pad on either side and a recessed rim to keep the coffee from dribbling down. These cost 3 for $10 at any local Walgreens.  At that price, you can get a set of three mugs in different colors.

You can also make your own coffee gift basket. Just select two or three packages of gourmet coffee blends and put them in a nice basket together with a coffee mug. Or better still, buy an inexpensive bladed coffee grinder. Many coffee drinkers love the idea of drinking fresh ground. It makes a great gift for a student who is just setting up house or for a couple who have just tied the knot. For the best tasting coffee in town, visit Chronos Coffee

History of Gucci Sunglasses

They’re the favorite of Hollywood stars and just about everyone else on this planet. Indeed, the power and popularity of Gucci sunglasses can’t be ignored. Young and old alike love them and they have become a part of our culture. But how did it all start?

Gucci sunglasses have a long and colorful history. The brand began in 1906 when 25 year-old Guccio Gucci founded a saddelry shop in Florence and called it the House of Gucci. As a maker of fine lather goods, Gucci sold leather bags in the 1920s to horsemen and later moved on to luxury luggage items when his clients graduated to cars and other horseless carriages. The first retail shop was established in 1938 on Rome’s Via Condotti.

In the 1960s, Gucci became even more popular when Hollywood stars like Peter Sellers, Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn were associated with the brand. Jackie Kennedy Onassis was also photographed with a Gucci shoulder bag which was later called the “Jackie O”. At this time, the company used the “GG” logo.

In the 1990s, Tom Ford took the reins as the executive head of Gucci and “reintroduced” the brand. He breathed new life into the brand by developing various products including colognes, perfumes, cosmetics, shoes, suitcases, watches, ties and the ever popular Gucci sunglasses.

What makes these sunglasses a favorite of several stars? Aside from its high price, every Gucci pair oozes with style, class and grandeur. These sunglasses reflect trendy styles that look good and work even better. They’re far from ordinary which makes them the favorite of many people - from stars to ordinary people.

Gucci sunglasses are made for modern men and women. They talk of luxury and their glamorous, vintage style have become iconic pieces. The linear shapes of perfect proportions have a distinctive “flavor” that appeals to both men and women everywhere. For authentic discount designer sunglasses that are suitable for your protective and stylish needs, check out Better Vision Better Prices

Choosing the Best Titanium Ring

What makes titanium special? It has numerous unique features that make it a great metal for jewelry rings. Aside from being very strong, titanium won’t easily acquire dents, bend or get scratches that are common in gold, silver and platinum jewelry. It's lightweight and comes in a wide variety of colors which other metals don’t have.

Pure titanium is a hundred percent hypoallergenic and allergy-free. What does this mean? Simply that it won’t irritate your skin or become discolored. It doesn’t react to sunlight, salt water or anything that the body produces. That’s why titanium rings are a good investment.

These qualities make it a good material for wedding rings that will be worn daily by couples for years to come. Indeed, titanium rings can be used with confidence since everyone can wear it without being afraid of adverse reactions to the body.

For men's titanium wedding rings the most popular widths are 5mm to 7mm. Men with slender fingers may opt for a slightly narrower width of 4.5mm while those with larger fingers sometimes like the wider 7mm width. To select the right width, don’t be ashamed to go to a local jewelry store to try different sizes. This will help you get the right fit. Make sure that the ring feels comfortable on your fingers.

In the absence of a titanium ring, you can use a gold ring  to check your preferred ring width. You’ll get the same size when you eventually get hold of a titanium ring with a soft rounded or flat shape.

For women, the 3mm to 4mm widths are the most popular. In selecting designs with inlay stripes or grooves, the minimum width available for the ring design is usually chosen by females. 

Alternatives to Chlorine Use in Pools

Have you ever wondered why chlorine is commonly used in swimming pools? What makes it so poplar? The truth is, it performs many useful functions. It eliminates bacteria quickly and is effective even at low concentrations. When used at higher concentrations, chlorine kills algae and breaks down oils, lotions and skin flakes.

But apparently there’s more than meets the eye in the case of chlorine. This disinfectant has a number of disadvantages and carries certain risks. Its byproducts are believed to be responsible for the high number of asthma cases, lung damage, stillbirths, miscarriages and bladder cancer among others. Researchers found that 10-year-old children who spent an average of 1.8 hours a week in an indoor swimming pool developed lung damage similar to an adult smoker. For those who are worried about these findings, the question is “Are there good alternatives to chlorine?”

Ozone appears to be one of them. The United States Navy Dolphin program has been using ozone technology for several years now. A spokesman said this has resulted in the best water quality they’ve seen in years. Several other hotels and motels have also switched to ozone technology for use in their swimming pools. While ozone requires a bigger capital initially compared to a pool that uses chlorine, it eventually reduces operating and maintenance costs in the long run. So at first you spend a lot of cash but you save a lot more in the long run.

Bromine is another alternative to chlorine. It is typically used in spas for its tolerance to high pH levels and temperatures, Both bromine and chlorine belong to the same family of chemicals as chlorine. In fact, bromine kills bacteria the same way chlorine does. But while chlorine produces dangerous byproducts called chloramines, bromine doesn’t. Instead it produces bromamines that disinfect the water and kill bacteria.