What is TikTok

tiktokIs TikTok safe to use?

As of my last update in December 2022, TikTok has become a popular social media platform, but there were concerns about its safety and privacy practices. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Privacy Concerns: TikTok collects a significant amount of user data, including location information, device information, and browsing history. This raised concerns about how this data was being used and shared.
  2. Data Security: There were reports of vulnerabilities and potential security risks in the TikTok app, which could expose user data to potential breaches or unauthorized access.
  3. Content Exposure: The nature of TikTok, being a video-sharing platform, means that users can potentially share personal information unintentionally or expose themselves to cyber bullying and online harassment.
  4. Age Restrictions: TikTok has a minimum age requirement, but enforcing it can be challenging. Younger users might be exposed to content that’s not suitable for their age.
  5. Inappropriate Content: Like any social media platform, TikTok can host a range of content, including inappropriate or explicit material. The platform does have some content moderation measures in place, but they might not catch everything.
  6. User Experience: The addictive nature of TikTok might lead to excessive screen time, which can have implications for mental health and productivity.

creative challengeTo determine if TikTok is safe for you to use, consider the following steps:

  1. Review Privacy Settings: Take a look at the app’s privacy settings and customize them to your comfort level. Limit the amount of personal information you share on the platform.
  2. Check Permissions: Be cautious about granting permissions to access your camera, microphone, and location. Only provide these permissions when necessary.
  3. Understand Content: Familiarize yourself with the types of content shared on TikTok and be mindful of what you engage with.
  4. Monitor Usage: Keep track of your usage time on the app and ensure it doesn’t interfere with your daily responsibilities or well-being.
  5. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the latest privacy and security concerns related to TikTok and other social media platforms.
  6. Talk to Young Users: If you’re a parent or guardian of a young user, have an open conversation about the potential risks and responsible usage of TikTok.

Remember that the safety of any online platform can evolve over time, and it’s important to stay updated on current trends and news related to TikTok’s safety measures and practices.

What age group uses TikTok the most?

TikTok was most popular among younger age groups, particularly teenagers and young adults. The platform gained significant traction among users in their teens and early twenties. However, this popularity might have continued to evolve since then.

TikTok’s user base varies by region and demographic factors, but it generally appeals to:

  1. Teenagers: TikTok became especially popular among teenagers, offering them a platform for creative expression and entertainment.
  2. Young Adults: Users in their early twenties also make up a substantial portion of TikTok’s user base. Many college students and young professionals use the app.
  3. Younger Users: There are also users below the age of 13 on TikTok, although the platform’s terms of service officially require users to be at least 13 years old.

It’s worth noting that the age distribution on social media platforms can change over time, and newer data might provide more accurate insights into the current demographics of TikTok users. If you’re interested in the most up-to-date information, I recommend checking recent surveys or studies about TikTok’s user demographics.

What is the biggest use of tiktok?

TikTok is primarily used as a short-form video-sharing platform where users can create, share, and discover videos set to music. The biggest use of TikTok is for entertainment and creative expression. Here are some of the main ways in which people use TikTok:

  1. Video Creation: Users create short videos, typically ranging from 15 seconds to 3 minutes, often set to music. These videos can showcase a wide range of content, including lip-syncing, dancing, comedy skits, tutorials, challenges, and more.
  2. Entertainment: TikTok is a hub for discovering entertaining and engaging content. Users scroll through their “For You” page to watch videos from a diverse range of creators, exploring trending challenges, memes, and creative ideas.
  3. Trends and Challenges: TikTok is known for viral challenges and trends that spread rapidly throughout the platform. Users participate in these challenges by creating their own videos that adhere to a specific theme or concept.
  4. Music Discovery: Many songs become popular on TikTok due to their use in viral videos. This has led to increased exposure for artists and has even influenced music charts and streaming platforms.
  5. Creativity and Artistic Expression: TikTok provides a platform for users to express their creativity through visual storytelling, video editing, and innovative ideas.
  6. Personal Branding: Some users use TikTok as a way to build their personal brand and gain a following. This has led to the rise of social media influencers and content creators on the platform.
  7. Educational Content: TikTok is also used to share informative and educational content. Users create videos that teach various skills, provide tips, or share knowledge on a wide range of subjects.
  8. Social Interaction: TikTok has a strong sense of community, with users engaging through comments, likes, shares, and duets (videos that are created in response to another user’s video). It can serve as a way for people to connect and interact with others who share similar interests.
  9. Business and Marketing: Brands and businesses have also started using TikTok as a marketing platform to reach younger audiences and promote their products or services.

The way people use TikTok can vary widely based on their interests, age, and cultural context. The platform’s dynamic nature and ability to quickly spread content have contributed to its popularity as a space for entertainment and creativity.

looking-at-phoneDoes TikTok save your data?

Yes, TikTok collects and saves user data. Like many other social media platforms, TikTok gathers various types of data from its users. This data can include:

  1. User Profile Information: This includes the information you provide when you create an account, such as your username, profile picture, and bio.
  2. Usage Data: TikTok collects information about how you interact with the app, such as the videos you watch, the accounts you follow, the likes and comments you make, and the hashtags you use.
  3. Device Information: The app collects data about your device, including its type, operating system, unique device identifiers, and other technical information.
  4. Location Data: If you allow TikTok to access your location, the app can collect information about your precise or general location.
  5. Contact Information: If you grant permission, TikTok can access your phone’s contact list, which helps the app suggest friends to follow.
  6. Metadata: This includes information about the videos you upload, such as the time and date of the video, the location where it was recorded, and the captions and hashtags you include.

It’s important to note that TikTok has faced scrutiny and criticism regarding its data privacy practices. Concerns have been raised about how the collected data is used, shared, and potentially accessed by third parties. TikTok’s ownership by a Chinese company, ByteDance, has also led to concerns about potential connections to the Chinese government and data security.

To address some of these concerns, TikTok has taken steps to enhance transparency and privacy for its users. For instance, they’ve introduced features that allow users to control who can comment on their videos, who can duet with them, and more. They’ve also published guidelines on how they handle user data and have set up a Trust and Safety Hub to provide more information about their safety and security practices.

However, it’s always a good practice to review an app’s privacy policy and settings to understand how your data is being used and take appropriate steps to protect your privacy online.

Can anyone use TikTok?

TikTok has age restrictions in place, and its terms of service officially require users to be at least 13 years old to create an account and use the platform. However, like with many online platforms, enforcing these age restrictions can be challenging.

TikTok offers a separate app called “TikTok for Younger Users” that is designed for users under the age of 13. This version provides a more limited experience and additional privacy protections to comply with child online privacy laws, such as the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in the United States.

It’s important to note that while TikTok has these age restrictions, some younger users might still find ways to access the platform by providing false information about their age. Parents and guardians are encouraged to have conversations with their children about online safety and responsible internet usage, especially when it comes to social media platforms like TikTok.


Fasting the Ayurvedic Way

Take a real look at an educated version of fasting. There is a lot of false information that is spread about fasting, which makes it difficult to understand when and how to fast properly.

Fasting is believed to be a state of deprivation; however, you need to consider fasting as a brief break from the constant barrage of foods and experience that you consume.

Fasting the Ayurvedic Way 4

According to Ayurveda, regular fasting will help you maintain your health!

Ayurveda defines fasting as your choice while consuming anything, be it food, a breath of air, or even thoughts and sensory experiences. While choosing to avoid what can be potentially harmful, we are opening ourselves to receive what can be beneficial and improve our minds and body.

Ayurveda does not define fasting as going without any food, however, it proposes a lighter and cleaner food intake, based on our natural constitution.

Why do we need to fast?

We often overfeed ourselves, but we are still undernourished. Our foods are laced with many pesticides, preservatives, and chemical additives. Abundant consumption of these foods can cause disease and health imbalance.

Ayurveda states that you are not only what you eat, but also whatever you digest.

If our digestive energy, or agni is low, we tend to decrease our digestive process. This leads to the accumulation of a lot of toxic waste food matter in our intestines. Over some time, these toxins cause mood swings, fatigue, fogginess, sluggishness, anxiety, etc. It is important to periodically cleanse our body of these toxins by fasting.

Benefits of fasting:

Our digestive system is one of the biggest systems in the body and uses up a majority of our energy. During a fast, our digestive system is allowed to rest, which helps our body to use the free energy for healing. Fasting helps in eliminating toxic waste and cleanses our bodies.

Our body is quite capable of healing itself, provided it is offered the right type of nutrition. With a fresh burst of energy, we can become more focused and make good decisions.

Ancient Ayurvedic practitioners proposed fasting as a means to derive spiritual knowledge and growth.

An Ayurvedic Fast:

During the fast, we must eliminate all types of refined sugars or carbs, gluten, processed foods, commercial meats and dairy products, fast foods, leftovers, caffeine, and alcohol. One must always fast be based on their constitution.

Always initiate a fast under the guidance of a medical practitioner.

When to fast?

If you generally wake up in the morning with a coating on your tongue and are feeling sluggish and dull, then you need to fast according to your constitution. This could include a water fast or a general fast till the coating is cleared.

Also, if you experience burping, bloating, acidity, or a burning sensation, then it is your body’s way of telling you that there is something wrong.

Allow your digestive system to rest and clear off the accumulated toxins. It is best to fast if you are fatigued and are unable to concentrate or focus on your work.

What to eat during the fast?

According to Ayurveda, short and regular fasting is ideal. Extended fasting can harm your digestive system. A cooked mixture of a handful of rice, split green lentils, cumin, turmeric, and salt (called kimchi) is suitable for every constitution during the fast. Also, you can have a mono diet of easy-to-digest fruits or vegetables, and juices.

Fasting the Ayurvedic Way 5A water fast or having no water or food is not recommended.

General tips for improving your digestive health:

  • Select the length of your fast appropriately. During your fast, you should not be painfully hungry, irritated, or experience weakness. If you experience any of these symptoms, please consume something solid.
  • Eat only if you are hungry!
  • Lunch must be your biggest meal since your digestive strength is highest during the day.
  • Triphala is a gentle detoxifier that helps you get rid of toxic waste during the fast
  • If you wish to fast every week, select the same day each week.
  • Decrease your daily activities and exercise during the fast and allow your body to rest to ensure proper healing!
  • After ending your fast, do not jump into your daily diet. Gently ease into your routine by initially consuming easy-to-digest meals. A successful fast will reduce your food cravings and you will be attracted to the natural foods which are beneficial for your body.
  • Pregnant, breastfeeding, or menstruating women, or the elderly and very young individuals must avoid fasting


If you know anyone that has said they are doing intermittent fasting, odds are it is in the form of time-restricted feeding. This is a type of intermittent fasting that is used daily, and it involves only consuming calories during a small portion of the day and fasting for the remainder.

Daily fasting intervals in time-restricted feeding may range from 12-20 hours, with the most common method being 16/8 (fasting for 16 hours, consuming calories for 8). For this protocol, the time of day is not important as long as you are fasting for a consecutive period and only eating in your allowed period.

For example, on a 16/8 time-restricted feeding program one person may eat their first meal at 7 AM and last meal at 3 PM (fast from 3 PM-7 AM), while another person may eat their first meal at 1 PM and last meal at 9 PM (fast from 9 PM-1 PM). This protocol is meant to be performed every day over long periods and is very flexible as long as you are staying within the fasting/eating window.

Time-Restricted feeding is one of the easiest-to-follow methods of intermittent fasting. Using this along with your daily work and sleep schedule may help achieve optimal metabolic function. Time-restricted feeding is a great program to follow for weight loss and body composition improvements as well as some other overall health benefits.

The few human trials that were conducted noted significant reductions in weight, reductions in fasting blood glucose, and improvements in cholesterol with no changes in perceived tension, depression, anger, fatigue, or confusion. Fasting the Ayurvedic Way

Some other preliminary results from animal studies showed time-restricted feeding to protect against obesity, high insulin levels, fatty liver disease, and inflammation.

The easy application and promising results of time-restricted feeding could make it an excellent option for weight loss and chronic disease prevention/management. When implementing this protocol, it may be good to begin with a lower fasting-to-eating ratio like 12/12 hours, and eventually work your way up to 16/8 hours.

Is there any food or beverage I am allowed to consume while intermittent fasting? Unless you are doing modified fasting, you should not be eating or drinking anything that contains calories.

Water, black coffee, and any foods/beverages that do not contain calories are OK to consume during a fasting period.

Adequate water intake is essential during IF and some say that drinking black coffee while fasting helps decrease hunger.

Shown in Human Studies:

1. Weight loss

2. Improve blood lipid markers like cholesterol

3. Reduce inflammation

4. Reduced stress and improved self-confidence

5. Improved mood

Shown in Animal Studies:

1. Decreased Body Fat

2. Decreased levels of the hunger hormone leptin

3. Improve insulin levels

4. Protect against obesity, fatty liver disease, and inflammation

5. Longevity

Shown in Human Studies:

1. Weight loss

2. Improve blood lipid markers like cholesterol

3. Reduce inflammation

4. Reduced stress and improved self-confidence

5. Improved mood

Article by

Dr. Aakanksha Vatsal

I am a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and have specialized in environmental microbiology and biochemistry. I have an experience of 10 years in the field of scientific research. I have also published 2 manuscripts as a first author, which have been received well in international journals.

Inflammation: What It Is and Why It Matters

Inflammation is a natural and essential part of our body’s defense system.

It helps us fight off infections, heal wounds, and repair damaged tissues. However, when inflammation becomes chronic or excessive, it can also cause harm and contribute to various diseases.

In this article, we will explore what inflammation is, how it works, what causes it, and how we can manage it.


What is inflammation?

Inflammation: What It Is and Why It Matters. Inflammation is a complex biological response that involves immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators. It is triggered by harmful stimuli, such as pathogens (bacteria, viruses, fungi), physical agents (trauma, burns, radiation), chemicals (acids, alkalis, oxidizing agents), inappropriate immunological responses (allergies, autoimmunity), and tissue death (necrosis).

The main purpose of inflammation is to localize and eliminate the source of injury and to remove the damaged tissue components so that the healing process can begin. To achieve this, inflammation causes several changes in the affected area, such as:

  • Increased blood flow, which brings more oxygen and nutrients to the site of injury and helps remove waste products.
  • Increased permeability of blood vessels, which allows fluid, proteins, and white blood cells (leukocytes) to leak out of the circulation and into the tissue space.
  • Accumulation of fluid (edema) and cells (exudate) in the tissue space, which dilutes and neutralizes the harmful agents and forms a physical barrier against their spread.
  • Migration of leukocytes from the blood vessels to the tissue space, where they engulf and destroy the foreign substances (phagocytosis) and release various substances that amplify or regulate the inflammatory response (cytokines, chemokines, prostaglandins, etc.).
  • Formation of a clot (fibrin) that seals off the injured area and prevents bleeding.
  • Activation of the complement system, a group of proteins that enhance the actions of leukocytes and other inflammatory mediators.

These changes result in the characteristic signs and symptoms of inflammation: rednessheatswellingpain, and loss of function. These signs are usually more pronounced in acute inflammation, which lasts only a few days and is usually beneficial. However, in some cases, inflammation can become chronic or excessive and cause tissue damage or disease.

What causes chronic or excessive inflammation?

Chronic or excessive inflammation can be caused by what is the main cause of inflammation in the body occur when:

  • The harmful stimulus persists or is not adequately removed (e.g., chronic infection, foreign body).
  • The regulatory mechanisms of the inflammatory response are defective or overwhelmed (e.g., genetic defects, immunosuppression).
  • The immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s tissues (e.g., autoimmune diseases).
  • The inflammatory response is triggered by harmless or normal stimuli (e.g., allergies).

Chronic or excessive inflammation can have detrimental effects on the body:

  • Tissue destruction: The prolonged presence of inflammatory cells and mediators can damage healthy tissues and organs. For example, chronic inflammation in the joints can lead to rheumatoid arthritis, while chronic inflammation in the lungs can lead to asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Systemic effects: The inflammatory mediators can enter the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body. For example, chronic inflammation can cause fever, fatigue, weight loss, anemia, etc. In severe cases, it can also cause sepsis, a life-threatening condition where the inflammatory response becomes widespread and uncontrolled.
  • Increased risk of other diseases: Chronic inflammation can alter the normal functioning of various systems in the body and increase the risk of developing other diseases. 
  • Chronic inflammation can have various negative effects on the body. It may promote the formation of plaque in the arteries, leading to cardiovascular diseases. It can also impair insulin sensitivity, resulting in diabetes. Moreover, chronic inflammation can stimulate cell proliferation and inhibit programmed cell death, which may contribute to the development of cancer.

How can we manage inflammation?

The management of inflammation depends on its cause and severity. In general, it involves these inflammation types:

InflammationTreating inflammation varies based on its cause and severity. Several medications can be used to alleviate inflammation, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): These are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can reduce pain, fever, and inflammation. Examples include ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin. However, they may also have side effects such as stomach ulcers, bleeding, kidney damage, and an increased risk of heart problems.
  • Acetaminophen: This is another OTC drug that can relieve pain and fever, but not inflammation. It is generally safer than NSAIDs for most people, but it can cause liver damage if taken in high doses or with alcohol.
  • Corticosteroids: These are prescription drugs that can suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. They can be taken orally, injected, or applied topically.
  • Examples include prednisone, hydrocortisone, and dexamethasone. But foods are the best medicine. They are effective in treating severe or chronic inflammation, but they may also cause side effects such as weight gain, diabetes, osteoporosis, infections, and mood changes.


Other treatments for inflammation may include:

  • Antibiotics or antifungals: These are prescription drugs that can treat infections that cause inflammation. They work by killing or stopping the growth of bacteria or fungi. Examples include penicillin, amoxicillin, fluconazole, and ketoconazole. They may have side effects such as allergic reactions, diarrhea, nausea, and yeast infections.
  • Immunotherapy: This is a type of treatment that uses substances that stimulate or suppress the immune system to treat inflammatory diseases. Examples include monoclonal antibodies, vaccines, and immunosuppressants. They may have side effects such as infusion reactions, infections, allergic reactions, and organ damage.
  • Lifestyle changes: Some lifestyle factors can contribute to what is inflammation in body or reduce inflammation in the body. For example, avoiding or limiting inflammatory foods such as sugar, refined carbs, trans fats, processed meats, alcohol, etc., and increasing anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fatty fish, olive oil, etc. may help manage inflammation. Other lifestyle changes that may help include regular physical activity, stress management, adequate sleep, smoking cessation, etc.
  • Supplements: Some vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D) and supplements (zinc) may reduce inflammation and enhance repair. Other supplements that may have anti-inflammatory effects include omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil), curcumin (turmeric), ginger, and garlic.

There are some words often hard to understand and recognize the meaning of such as ‘Inflammo’, a Latin word that means “to set on fire”. Have you been feeling like you’re on fire lately? No, I don’t mean the good kind of fire. I mean inflammations. Inflammation is a good thing. It is our body’s natural defense mechanism against infection and traumas.

The real problem starts when your immune system starts to overdo it, and when too much inflammation occurs. When inflammation has gone wild this can slowly destroy a person’s organs and different functional abilities. They were found to be the root causes of deadly conditions like heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and even cancer. These chronic inflammations can also be caused by low physical activity, a poor diet, and the stress of everyday life.

So how exactly do we prevent this from happening?

Most of the time people resort to prescription drugs such as ibuprofen or Advil. Unfortunately, these drugs can have serious and dangerous side effects. The answer to a chronic inflammation-free life is a healthy lifestyle. This includes staying active, exercising regularly, getting all your needed rest, and of course, eating healthy. This includes as many anti-inflammatory foods and fruits as possible.

  • Real Food

To have a well-balanced diet that helps fight against inflammation, you need to keep eating real food. This means fresh, unprocessed, natural food that isn’t full of additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients, sugar, and trans fats.

Although, let’s not get confused about fat; make no mistake, unprocessed saturated fat is good for you. The main food categories that health experts usually refer to help inflammation are omega-3 fatty acids, such as herbs, vegetables, and anti-inflammatory fruits. Not only fruits but also by eating a lot of oily fish like salmon and tuna.

These also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Nuts, seeds, and olive oil contain omega-3. Herbs are often overlooked here. Add as many herbs as possible to your meals.

Many herbs help against inflammation. Some of these are basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, ginger, and turmeric.

  • Drinks

Avoid drinking sodas, any type of soft drinks, sports drinks, and as well health drinks. Most fruit juices also contain ingredients that are better avoided. Making your juice from fresh fruit is a better option. Some juices are free from artificial sweeteners and flavorings, such as apples and pomegranate. Make sure you check the label first; it should say 100 percent pure. Make green tea one of your regular beverages; instead, of sugar use honey as a sweetener for taste.

Remember, your parents were right when they told you to eat your vegetables. Start piling veggies like broccoli, carrots, radish, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, beets, ginger, and sea vegetables on your plate. It is important though, not to overcook or fry them. It’s best to cook them slowly or eat them almost raw, only lightly simmered or steamed. Many of these vegetables are rich in plant sterols. The many nutrients in vegetables are vital for general health and to continue a good immune system. Ginger reduces inflammation; ginger also is an effective natural remedy for pain.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Fruits

There are many varieties of fruits that you can eat containing anti-inflammatory properties. However, all the darker, more vividly colored fruits are somehow the ones packed with the antioxidants and phytochemicals needed to combat chronic inflammation. Also, the best fruits to eat are those with the least amount of natural sugar.

The following are the usually recommended anti-inflammatory by health experts: Blueberries, strawberries, apples, cherries, citrus fruit, papayas, pineapples, plums, grapes, and pears. Advised is to have at least 5-10 servings of combined fruits and vegetables every day. There are days and times when it is not always possible to follow a diet plan as such. To make up for any shortfall a supplement is the best solution. Although not just any supplement will do; a supplement made from natural ingredients only, of the required fruits, must include omega 3 and glucosamine. In addition: In a liquid form for quick and total absorption into the bloodstream.

If inflammation is one of your issues, wait no longer. Start changing your lifestyle now and throw away that bag of chips on your lap. Anti-inflammatory fruits, omega-3 fats, and antioxidant veggies are the way to go.

We shouldn’t ignore the body’s signs. Have you ever noticed that when an injury happens your body tends to swell up? Our body’s natural reaction to various kinds of injuries is swelling or redness of the infected part.

This automatic response of our body is known as inflammation. There are two types of inflammation: Acute and Chronic. Acute inflammation is the localized response to any injuries. This reaction will help the injured body tissues to heal and restore their functions. If the inflammation stays in your body for a long time, then it is known as chronic inflammation. It is generally caused because of any infection, allergy, or autoimmune reaction.

Many anti-inflammatory drugs are generally used for reducing inflammation. But regular use of drugs normally results in side effects. The more common side effects from prolonged drug medications are indigestion and stomach ulcers; it can affect the liver and kidneys, as well as hypertension, stroke, etc.

  • Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Therefore, the recommendations are to eat natural food instead. Such food items that you eat in your normal diet may already be anti-inflammatory, especially if you include anti-inflammatory spices. Spices are much more beneficial. Here are some of the most effective spices available in the market near you.

most popular spices for inflammation 2Turmeric: As mentioned many times in previous articles, turmeric is one of the most commonly and most effectively used anti-inflammatory spices. Go to any Indian grocery store or natural health shop and you are sure to find this brilliant, yellow-colored spice.

Turmeric has an ingredient called curcumin, which is known to have the required properties to reduce inflammation. For centuries turmeric is known to have great medicinal value and is used to treat colds, infections, wounds, and even liver diseases. Turmeric’s main ingredient curcumin is also a good support for the immune system and digestive function.

Ginger: A tingling and zesty spice that is found in most Asian cuisines is another spice with great medicinal value. It is good for effectively treating health problems like headaches, stomach aches, and infections. It is available in most grocery shops either as a root or in powdered form. Include ginger in your daily diet (either in food or even in your tea); plus, all other benefits ginger will help to get rid of inflammation.

Cinnamon is one such spice and comes from the bark of a tree. It is extremely beneficial for treating bronchitis and any issues related to the gastrointestinal. However, Castro intestinal is affecting the stomach and intestines. The element cinnamaldehyde present in cinnamon helps in preventing the clumping of the platelets. Thus, it reduces inflammation and is known as one of the best anti-inflammatory spices.

Cinnamaldehyde is also an organic compound that gives cinnamon its flavor and odor. Cinnamon is known in most parts of the world, but there are still many who brush it off. It will greatly help in reducing your blood sugar and risk of cardiovascular disease. Other benefits of cinnamon include lowering cholesterol, helping with yeast infections, arthritis relief, and have provisions of anti-bacterial effects.

Garlic is also recognized for its many health benefits; on top of that, it gives a wonderful flavor to most cuisines. Garlic also has a certain unique combination of sulfur compounds that help in preventing inflammation. It is rich in magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, vitamins B6 and C, and others. According to research garlic is a useful way to improve its antioxidant potential.

Black Pepper: This inclusion of a natural compound called capsaicin in black pepper is a good remedy and effective for digestion. In addition, it is also known to reduce inflammation. Since it is milder as compared to chilly, you can include it in all your meals. In addition to being good for health, these anti-inflammatory spices are also cost-effective. Unlike drugs, constant use of these spices does not cause any sort of side effects. So, go ahead, include them in your daily meals, and experience the benefits, stay fit and healthy. There have been decades of scientific evidence to prove, that nutrients, herbs, and spices have tremendous value and health benefits.

  • Summary

Inflammation is a natural and essential part of our body’s defense system. It helps us fight off infections, heal wounds, and repair damaged tissues. However, when inflammation becomes chronic or excessive, it can also cause harm and contribute to various diseases.

By treating the underlying cause, reducing or controlling the inflammatory response, supporting the healing process, and adopting an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, we can manage inflammation and improve our health.

What do Probiotics do for men

Gut metabolic is improving the lives of millions by unlocking the power of the gut microbiome with evidence-backed probiotics.

Probiotics as well as gut microbiota have been international research hotspots and social hot topics in recent years. In media reports, probiotics often have various health effects and can “treat multiple diseases”; however, some media reports that “probiotics are useless” or even “probiotics are harmful.” Conflicting information is not conducive to consumers’ scientific cognition and reasonable choices.

Therefore, this article clarifies and interprets the 6 cognitive misunderstandings of probiotics for readers’ reference.

Myth 1: Probiotics = Lactobacillus

Probiotics refer to a type of live microorganisms that, when taken in sufficient amounts, can exert beneficial effects on human health, such as regulating intestinal flora, promoting nutrient absorption, and regulating immunity. Lactic acid bacteria generally refer to the general name of bacteria that can ferment sugar and mainly produce lactic acid. It is not a strict microbial classification name.

Probiotics are not equal to lactic acid bacteria. Probiotics contain many strains, most of which are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Bifidobacterium breve, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium adolescentis, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus reuteri, etc. But not all lactic acid bacteria are probiotics, and some lactic acid bacteria may even be harmful to the human body. Only specific strains of lactic acid bacteria whose health effects have been scientifically verified can be called probiotics.

 Myth 2: Prebiotics = Probiotics

Prebiotics are not probiotics. Prebiotics are substances that can be selectively used by intestinal microorganisms and produce certain health functions. Common prebiotics includes fructooligosaccharides, isomalt oligosaccharides, inulin, galactooligosaccharides (GOS), and breast milk oligosaccharides. Although prebiotics cannot be digested by the human body, they can promote the growth and reproduction of beneficial bacteria in the intestines to promote human health.

Therefore, under normal circumstances, a reasonable combination of probiotics and prebiotics will have a better effect. For example, the combination of fructooligosaccharide, galactooligosaccharide, inulin, and bifidobacteria can promote the proliferation and function of bifidobacteria.

Myth 3: Dead bacteria are also considered probiotics

The metabolites and cellular components of dead bacteria may have certain health benefits. For example, polysaccharides, short-chain fatty acids, and other substances are beneficial to health. However, most studies show that the effect of live probiotic bacteria is better than the corresponding dead bacteria. However, according to the definition by the World Health Organization, probiotics should be live bacteria, and dead bacteria are not probiotics. When purchasing related products, pay attention to the labeling. If the words “sterilization” or “inactivation treatment” are marked, the product does not contain live bacteria and is not a probiotic product.

 Myth 4: Probiotics are harmful to health

 Probiotics must be approved by relevant departments before they can be marketed. Approved probiotics are safe for most people, and there is no evidence that long-term consumption of probiotics has adverse effects. Consumers can use the product according to the recommendations of the product manual, but patients with immunodeficiency, critically ill patients, and other special populations should consult their doctors before use.

 Myth 5: The role of probiotics is the same

 The effects of probiotics are strain-specific, that is, the effects of different probiotic strains are different, and there are also individual differences in the effects of probiotics on the host. Therefore, to facilitate consumers to make a reasonable choice, relevant companies should accurately label strain information and suitable people in the product information. Consumers should choose according to the strain information, the claimed function, and their health status, and please consult experts if necessary.

 Myth 6: The more viable bacteria, the better the probiotic effect

 The effect of probiotics is related to the dose. Only enough probiotics can achieve the corresponding effects, but different strains have different doses for their health effects.


  • What do Probiotics do for men

Probiotics, men maintaining healthy manhood is a crucial aspect of a man’s well-being as well as being the best probiotics for women. When the manhood looks good and feels good, a guy feels great all over, with an extra spring in his step and a definite gleam in his eye. Taking the necessary steps to ensure good male organ health is well worth it. In addition to paying attention to manhood hygiene, check for signs of problems.

Hey there, have you ever considered taking probiotics to improve your overall sexual health? It’s worth looking into as it can have a positive impact on your manhood. Supplements can help.

  • Probiotics

Most people know about antibiotics, but what are probiotics? They are microorganisms found in many food products that can provide health benefits of various kinds. Although the term “probiotics” is relatively new, the microorganisms themselves were more or less discovered back in the early 1900s by Elie Metchnikoff. This Nobel Prize winner didn’t identify the microorganisms themselves, but he did make note of how peasants in Bulgaria who ate a lot of foods with the most probiotics including yogurts tended to live longer than other people.

While the scientific community disagrees on exactly how beneficial these microbes are – rigorous scientific studies need to be conducted to provide a greater standard of evidence – there is general agreement that they can help boost a person’s health in several ways. And several of those ways can be of aid in a man’s search for healthy manhood.

  • Benefits

Because probiotics are consumed and go to work in the gut, the most likely benefits are gastrointestinal. This can have a side benefit in terms of healthy manhood, as a healthy tummy makes a man more likely to feel like having sensual activity, and more sensual activity keeps the member in better health.

  • But more directly, some studies indicate that probiotics can help improve skin health, including the skin of the manhood. Probiotics are thought to help fight inflammation, and skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, both of which can attack the member, have a basis in inflammation.

Another healthy manhood benefit: Probiotics help keep cortisol levels down. Cortisol is a stress hormone, and when cortisol is high, male hormone levels tend to be low. So dampening cortisol should help boost male hormones. In turn, male hormone is associated with sensual drive; in general, the more male hormones a man has, the more “in the mood” he is likely to feel. 

Cardiac function may also benefit from probiotics, and that’s good news for manhood. Animal studies suggest that probiotics best may help keep some plaque from arteries, which boosts the flow of oxygen-rich blood around the body. They also indicate probiotics may play a role in regulating cholesterol, which keeps the heart healthier. All of this means that the member is in a better position to receive and accommodate greater blood flow, which it can use during the tumescence process.

  • And there may be other benefits, as well. For example, some doctors believe that probiotics men can lower anxiety and improve moods, both of which make a man feel more prepped and ready for coupling. And there is a possibility that probiotics can help boost immune function, keeping a man in overall better health, which subsequently betters his male organ health as well.


Metabolic Daily Optimizes the metabolism of sugar and carbohydrates.

Reduces sugar cravings & energy slumps boosts sugar & carb metabolism Supports butyrate & GLP-1 production Supports healthy weight.

A healthy metabolism begins in the gut Metabolic Daily is a live, multi-strain probiotic that naturally replenishes the gut microbiome, optimizing metabolism to support a healthy weight.

This targeted formula also helps break down fiber and supports beneficial postbiotics and hormones, such as butyrate and GLP-1, which help maintain blood sugar levels. The result? Fewer sugar cravings and crashes—just balanced, sustained energy throughout the day.

What is butyrate? Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid produced when bacteria in the gut break down dietary fiber. It’s associated with a spectrum of health benefits including healthy blood sugar response, gut permeability, and immune function.

What is GLP-1? GLP-1 is a hormone produced in the gut in response to food that triggers a host of downstream metabolic effects including reducing appetite, releasing insulin, and controlling blood sugar.

Good to know Metabolic Daily should be taken once daily with food. Store at room temperature. Refrigerate for optimal quality. Metabolic Daily is encased in a plant-based, acid-resistant, delayed-release capsule so that the strain gets through the stomach acid and to the gut microbiome where it can do its job.


  • probioticsThe powerful ingredients in Pendulum Metabolic Daily

Akkermansia muciniphila [Pendulum Exclusive]

A highly targeted strain that can only be found in Pendulum products. Akkermansia is essential for gut health. It helps strengthen the gut lining, improves digestive health, and helps manage a healthy weight.

  • Clostridium butyricum

Naturally found in the human gastrointestinal tract, this strain is named for its ability to produce high amounts of short-chain fatty acid butyrate. It has been associated with digestion support and immune health.

  • Clostridium beijerinckii [Pendulum Exclusive]

This novel strain produces the short-chain fatty acid butyrate, which helps the body process sugar and nourishes the lining of the gut.

This is another strain known to produce the short-chain fatty acid butyrate, to help the body process sugar and nourish the lining of the gut.

  • Bifidobacterium infantis

This strain breaks down a range of foods and produces the intermediate molecules that are used by the three butyrate-producing strains we have. It also helps maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and alleviates digestive issues.

Pendulum Metabolic Daily with AkkermansiaThe rundown on Pendulum:

  • UNIQUE BLEND OF HEALTHY PROBIOTICS – Metabolic Daily contains a mix of health-boosting live probiotics, including Akkermansia muciniphila, Anaerobutyricum hallii, Clostridium beijerinckii, Clostridium butyricum, Bifidobacterium infantis.
  • REDUCE SUGAR CRAVINGS -Targeted formula helps break down fiber and supports beneficial postbiotics and hormones, butyrate and GLP-1 which help maintain blood sugar levels. This results in less sugar cravings and sustained energy throughout the day.
  • SUPPORT A HEALTHY WEIGHT – Metabolic Daily naturally replenishes your gut microbiome to support a healthy weight.
  • FORMULATED BY EXPERTS – This multi-strain probiotic was created by a team of Ph.D. doctors and scientists from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Berkeley, and Stanford.
  • SAFE & EFFECTIVE – Non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and additive-free, this supplement is encased in a plant-based, acid-resistant, delayed-release capsule, so that the strain gets through the stomach acid and to the gut microbiome where it can do its job.



Pendulum products are made and Developed by Doctors in the USA.



The Latest Trends in Fashion

“Fashions Today: Where Style Meets Comfort!”

IntroductionFashions Today

Fashion today is a reflection of the ever-changing world we live in. It is a way for people to express themselves and show their individual style. From the latest trends to classic pieces, fashion today is all about personal expression. With the rise of social media, fashion has become more accessible than ever before.

People can now follow their favorite designers, influencers, and brands to stay up to date on the latest trends. With so many options, it can be hard to know where to start. But with a little research and creativity, anyone can find the perfect look to express their unique style.

Hey there streetwear fans!

Are you looking to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in streetwear? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Streetwear is constantly evolving, and it can be hard to keep up with all the new styles and trends. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

One of the biggest trends in streetwear right now is the use of bold colors and patterns. From bright neon colors to bold animal prints, streetwear designers are pushing the boundaries of fashion with their use of vibrant colors and patterns.

Another trend that’s been gaining traction is the use of oversized silhouettes. Oversized jackets, hoodies, and t-shirts are all popular choices for streetwear fans. This trend is perfect for those who want to make a statement with their style.

Latest Trends in Fashion
Latest Trends in Fashion

Finally, streetwear is also embracing the use of sustainable materials. From organic cotton to recycled polyester, streetwear designers are finding ways to create stylish pieces that are also eco-friendly.

So, there you have it! Those are just a few of the latest trends in streetwear. Keep an eye out for these styles and you’ll be sure to stay ahead of the curve, you fashion nova!

Sustainable fashion is becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason! It’s a great way to reduce your environmental impact while still looking stylish. Here are some tips to help you incorporate sustainable fashion into your wardrobe.

  • Shop secondhand. Shopping secondhand is a great way to find unique pieces while also reducing your environmental impact. You can find great deals at thrift stores, consignment shops, and online marketplaces like eBay and Poshmark.
  • Invest in quality pieces. Investing in quality pieces that will last for years is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Look for pieces made from natural materials like organic cotton, hemp, and linen.
  • Buy from sustainable brands. There are many sustainable fashion brands out there that use eco-friendly materials and ethical production methods. Do your research and find brands that align with your values.
  • Repair and upcycle. Instead of throwing out clothes that are worn out or no longer fit, try repairing or upcycling them. You can use patches, dye, and other techniques to give them a new life.

By following these tips, you can easily incorporate sustainable fashion into your wardrobe. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also look great!

The Rise of Athleisure: How It’s Changing the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry is constantly evolving, and the latest trend to take the world by storm is athleisure. This trend has been around for a few years now, but it’s only recently that it’s become a major part of the fashion industry.

Athleisure is a combination of athletic and leisure wear, and it’s all about comfort and style. It’s the perfect way to look fashionable while still being comfortable. From yoga pants and leggings to hoodies and sneakers, athleisure has become a staple in many people’s wardrobes.

The rise of athleisure has had a huge impact on the fashion industry. It’s changed the way people dress, and it’s opened up a whole new market for clothing companies. Companies are now creating stylish and comfortable pieces that are perfect for everyday wear.

The athleisure trend has also had an impact on the way people shop. People are now more likely to buy clothes that are comfortable and stylish, rather than just buying what’s in fashion. This has led to an increase in sales for companies that specialize in athleisure.

The athleisure trend is here to stay, and it’s changing the fashion industry in a big way. It’s making fashion nova more comfortable and accessible, and it’s giving people more options when it comes to their wardrobe. So if you’re looking for a way to stay fashionable and comfortable, then athleisure is definitely the way to go.


Fashions today are more diverse and accessible than ever before. With the rise of social media, fashion trends can spread quickly and easily, allowing people to express themselves in unique and creative ways. The fashion industry has also become more inclusive, with more sizes, styles, and colors available to suit everyone’s individual tastes. As fashion continues to evolve, it is important to remember that fashion is about expressing yourself and having fun.

The Ultimate Guide to True HEPA Air Purifiers

Why Are True HEPA Air Purifiers So Popular?

Do you contend with asthma, allergy reactions, or breathing issues? You’re probably wondering whether True HEPA air purifiers are the best air purifiers on the market. But then you’ve come across glowing reviews of other kinds of purifiers such as ionizers.

And Pegusas Marketplace offers a better shopping journey one bit easier.

This piece seeks to describe what True HEPA air purifiers are and what they can do for you. You’ll also understand why the world and their mother keep praising True HEPA purifiers.

What is True HEPA Air Purifiers?

AC_SX522_Air PurifierTrue HEPA air purifiers aren’t a product line made by a specific company. Rather, they’re a bunch of air-cleaning devices that feature certain laudable capabilities. If True HEPA air purifiers were people, we’d praise them endlessly for their competence in allergen removal.

True HEPA air purifiers got their name from the fact that they use specialized filters called HEPA filters. HEPA means High-Efficiency Particulate Arrest.

Why are these filters referred to as “True” HEPA filters? It’s because not every HEPA purifier uses authentic HEPA filters. Such filters may demonstrate HEPA-like characteristics, but they don’t perform quite like True HEPA filters.

True HEPA Air Purifiers Eliminate Almost 100% of Pollutants

Frankly, it’s not nearly 100% of all pollutants. True HEPA air purifiers eradicate up to 99.97% of particulates not bigger in diameter than 0.3 microns.

And that’s all good. But there’s a little problem.

Some particles can be as small as 0.01 microns. So how big is a micron?

One micron = (1 /1,000,000) meters. That’s 1 micron = 0.000001 meters or 0.0001 centimeters.

Now that’s quite small.

To put that into perspective, human eyes can’t see anything smaller than 40 microns. Unfortunately, the smallest particles are the deadliest. Still, having a purifier around is a lot better than not having it.

Common Household Particles

Let’s talk about how big the particles darting across the air in your room are. Indoor air contains a vast arrangement of particles. And while not all of them are dangerous, some can cause deadly diseases.

There’s human and pet hair in the air. Also, there are face powder particles and dust mites. Indoor air also carries dust particles, pollen, human sneeze, mold, oil smoke, insecticide dust, and pet dander.

LEVOIT Air Purifier LEVOIT Air Purifier

But that’s not all.

Indoor air may also contain human skin flakes, textile dust, tobacco smoke, viruses, antiperspirants, and bacteria. These probably aren’t the only particles floating in your indoor air.

17 Common Household Pollutants:

How Big Are They?

  • Bacteria: 0.3 – 60 microns
  • Skin flakes (you didn’t know humans shed, did you?): 0.5-10 microns
  • Viruses: 0.005 – 0.3 microns
  • Tobacco smoke: 0.01 – 4 microns
  • Paint pigments: 0.1 – 5 microns
  • Pollen: 10 – 1, 000 microns
  • Pet dander: 0.5 – 100 microns
  • Particles emanating from the burning of fuels: not larger than 2.5 microns
  • Mold: 3 –12 microns
  • Mold spores: 10 – 30 microns
  • Insecticide dust: 0.5 – 10 microns
  • Household dust: 0.05 – 100 microns
  • Dust mites: 100 – 300 microns
  • Hair: 5 – 200 microns
  • Smoke from natural materials: 0.01 – 0.1 microns
  • Cement dust: 3 – 100 microns
  • Asbestos: 0.7 – 90microns

Note: True HEPA air purifiers are designed to remove particles not smaller than 0.3 microns.

Do True HEPA Purifiers Remove Wildfire Smoke?

On the list above, can you spot any particles your LEVOIT Air Purifier can’t handle? True HEPA air purifiers may not effectively remove smoke that emanates from natural materials.

However, users of True HEPA air purifiers keep saying these devices help them deal with all kinds of smoke. And it’s hard to argue with someone who presents anecdotal evidence.

That said, the data above indicates that True HEPA purifiers aren’t great at sucking wildfire smoke.

Do True HEPA Purifiers Eliminate Tobacco Smoke?

The data above indicates that these purifiers can remove tobacco smoke particles. But it’s also clear they can’t remove 100% of these particles since some tobacco smoke particles are as small as 0.01 microns. Many consumers claim that their air purifier helps them get rid of tobacco smoke. But evidence from evidence suggests otherwise. While these devices may partly remove tobacco smoke, they may not eliminate carcinogens found in them.

Do They Eliminate Viruses and Bacteria?

Look at the data again. You’ll see that viruses are pretty small. But since some viruses are as big as 0.3 microns, a True HEPA air cleaner may tackle them.

By comparison, the smallest bacteria are about 0.3 microns. That means True HEPA air purifiers can effectively remove bacteria from indoor air. True HEPA air purifiers are great to have when the flu season materializes.

AC_SX522_air purifierWhat about Household Dust, Dust Mites, Mold Spores, Pet Dander, and Pollen?

Except for household dust, all of the particles named in the subtitle above are bigger than 0.3 microns. That means a True HEPA purifier should help you handle these particles without a problem.

But some household particles are as small as 0.05 microns. This means this device may not eliminate up to 99.97% of household dust.

But looking at the size range (0.05 – 100 microns) for household dust particles tells you something. It’s that lots of dust particles are much larger than 0.05 particles.


A True HEPA purifier, therefore, would be a good enough solution for household dust. If you dust and vacuum-clean your home regularly, dust shouldn’t bother you.

The Carbon Pre-filter in True HEPA Air Purifiers

Pretty much every True HEPA purifier also features a carbon-activated pre-filter. The pre-filter picks relatively larger particles from the air before it (air) passes on to the True HEPA filter (s).

The pre-filter easily sucks pet dander, hair, fur, lint, and other particles like that out of the air. These particles get trapped at this point in the purification process.

Manufacturers also say that the carbon pre-filter helps remove odors as well as gaseous pollutants. Also, most consumers (judging from reviews seen online) believe that the manufacturer’s claim is true. However, the data above suggest that these devices may not be terrific at eliminating gaseous contaminants.

Washable vs. Non-washable Filters

Some HEPA air purifiers use washable filters. When the filters get clogged up, just wash them and that’s it. Using these air purifiers can save you money because you won’t need to replace filters. At least, you won’t replace the filters frequently.

But quite a few True HEPA air purifiers use non-washable filters. With these, you must replace the pre-filter and the True HEPA filter (s) regularly. Typically, the pre-filter is replaced once every 3 months. As for the True HEPA filter(s), you’ll in most cases replace them once every 12 months. The good thing is that lots of models come with LED notifications that remind you to replace your filters. Replace filters when you should if not earlier; otherwise, they’ll start malfunctioning.

Running some True HEPA purifiers can be insanely expensive in the long run. Some air purifiers cost less than what replacement filters for some of these non-washable True HEPA options cost! Luckily, you can always pick a budget-friendly option.

True HEPA Air FilterLooking for a True HEPA Air Purifier?

Usually, it’s best to choose a True HEPA air purifier. That’s because these devices remove over 99.9% of particles measuring 0.3 microns in diameter or bigger. These machines can remove dust, pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, skin flakes, bacteria, and a lot more.

But when it comes to dealing with gaseous pollutants, air purifiers including True HEPA ones aren’t very effective. If you’re a cost-conscious person, you’ll want to pick HEPA purifiers that use washable filters.

  • OZONE FREE: Levoit air purifiers avoid using UV-C light, an air cleaning method that research has shown can produce harmful ozone and secondary pollution
  • WHISPER QUIET AIR CLEANER: Choose Sleep Mode at night and then forget all about your air purifier while you sleep. QuietKEAP Technology reduces noise levels to a near-silent 24dB, ensuring the Core 300 won’t get in the way of a good night’s rest
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE: Enjoy fresh air in minutes with the Core 300 True HEPA Air Purifier. Featuring VortexAir Technology and 360° air intake, the Core 300 cleans spaces up to 547 ft² in 30 minutes, 219 ft² in 12 minutes (CADR: 141 CFM / 240 m³/h). Only products over 6 pounds can be equipped with such powerful motors that optimize the air cleaning performance
  • FIND RELIEF: Ease sneezing, congestion, and other allergy symptoms caused by airborne contaminants. The H13 True HEPA Filter works alongside the Pre-Filter and High-Efficiency Activated Carbon Filter to capture 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 microns in size, such as dust, smoke, pollen, odor


True HEPA Air Purifiers can save your life.


A Garden in a Box: The Wonders of Planter…

Planter Boxes

Raised Planter Box

Planter boxes come in all shapes and sizes. Teeny-tiny plant pots, hanging baskets full of cascading miniature plants, and even huge, wild gardens tucked away in woodsy areas. Whether you are planning out your very first foray into miniature gardening, or if you have been living amongst the fairies for some time now, there are always decisions to make. How big will your garden be?

Where will it grow? Who will see it? This year, I have been experimenting with miniature gardens in reclaimed wood planter boxes, and I think I have fallen in love! Small containers and flower beds still have my heart, but planter boxes are my new favorite location for building picture-perfect fairy gardens. Planter Boxes3




Sure, planter box gardens look nice, and they offer plenty of room to plant a variety of miniature plants and miniature trees, alongside fairy houses and accessories. But they also help me out in one big way. They are elevated! The boxes come up to waist height, so there is no need to crouch on the ground or get my knees muddy when caring for the miniature garden.

If you have never experimented with planter boxes before, now is the time! They make creating and maintaining fairy gardens a breeze. Drainage holes at the bottom ensure that your miniature trees and plants will have just enough moisture, and the box can be placed in the yard or under a patio roof to help control the amount of light. The accessible height makes planning out the garden, along with the “get your hands dirty” planting activities, a snap! A large box offers plenty of room for a neighborhood full of fairy houses, gravel paths, and sitting areas.

Planter Boxes

Some gardeners prefer to fill their planter box fairy gardens with fewer accessories and more miniature plants. In the summer, when leaves are green and flowers are blooming, a box full of miniature trees and plants can be an amazing showpiece for the yard. A smaller, sunny planter box could also be filled with succulents or cactus’s. A desert garden or Zen Garden would look spectacular in an elevated planter box. When planting a more traditional fairy garden or mixed container of miniature plants, I like to abide by the “thrill, fill, and spill” rule I learned many years ago. In the back-center of the box, plant a “thriller” miniature tree or plant. These are usually tall and feature bright colors, interesting textures, or impressive foliage.

After the “thriller” has been planted in the box, you will want to select “filler” plants. These are shorter and may spread or creep. Colorful flowers like coral bells or petunias make excellent filler plants. Then, of course, you choose a “spiller.” These are miniature plants that spill or cascade down the sides of the planter box. Vines and sedums are great spiller plants. Planter Boxes2

Come to think of it, in a tall planter, a spiller plant can also act as a ladder for the garden gnomes and pixies. They can just shimmy down the vine whenever they want to explore the rest of the yard on foot. Remember, you will have to inquire with your local fairies when it comes to creating a miniature garden in a planter box. They need to be comfortable up high, closer to the clouds. But something tells me, if you choose the right mix of miniature plants and fairy cottages, the garden residents will enjoy their new home as much as you do.

Happy Gardening!

Grow a Fairy Garden in a Planter Box allows you to grow miniature plants, accessories, fairies, garden tools & dollhouse furniture to create enchanting miniature landscapes for containers or your yard. Storytelling and imaginary fairy garden from ‘Miniature Gardening’ bring the playful kid out in all of us.

Filled with intrigue and mystique each little garden in planter boxes scene you create is a snapshot of such a dream.



Planter Boxes

The Majestic Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

If you have an adventurous heart, then hiking the Appalachian Trail is likely on your bucket list of things to do at some point in your life. As with everything that requires a great amount of physical exertion, this kind of experience will be made easier and more enjoyable with the right kind of preparation.



The following is a list of suggestions that will help you be as prepared as possible for this life-changing adventure when hiking the Appalachian Trail:

Learn to Pack for the Trail

Packing for biking the Appalachian Trail (AT) will be a lot different than packing for other outdoor activities. You will need to find out what your tour guides suggest. Your packing list will depend on the length of the trip, your abilities, and the time of year you decide to take this trip. Follow these suggestions closely as they will help you many times along the way.

Research the Map of the Trip

Each area of the country comes with some unique views and exciting pieces of culture, but also with some new hazards and potential dangers. Take some time to research the areas you will be riding through so that you can have a good idea of what kind of challenges you might be facing. This research will help you know what to look out for along the ride and can give you the chance to properly stock up and prepare against these dangers.

Get Your Equipment Serviced

Even if you had your tires pumped and your gears oiled recently, it will be a very good idea for you to have all of your biking and camping equipment looked over to make sure everything is in good condition. You do not want to get out on the trail and have a chain break or a brake stop working when the issue could have been spotted and resolved before the trip even began.

Shop for Appropriate Clothing

Appalachian Trail Clothes

The right attire for this kind of trip can be a little hard to shop for. You need clothing that is tight so that you don’t end up with too much wind resistance. You also want clothing that is loose enough to be comfortable to move in. The material should be heavy enough to keep you warm as you travel at high speeds, but light enough to keep you from getting overheated. All of these paradoxical requirements can be hard to meet.

The best way to handle this is to head to a store that handles high-adventure outings like the one you are embarking on. They can help you find the best clothing to help you handle this trip with grace and comfort.

Purchase Lightweight Nutrition

Most of these adventures come with meals, but that will not keep you from getting hungry and possibly weak on the road. It takes a lot of exertion to endure this kind of adventure, so if you are worried about needing an extra boost here and there on the road, then be sure to pack some lightweight nutrition options. There are some great protein gels and power drinks that will give you the healthy boost you are looking for without weighing you down too much.

Review Survival Skills

Some good preparation to consider is brushing up on your survival skills like CPR, rescue breathing, and other first-aid skills.

All of these things will help your trip biking the Appalachian Trail be calmer and more exciting. A little bit of preparation can go a long way when it comes to this kind of adventure. Your efforts to prepare well will be met with a successful trip full of amazing views, good friendships, and incredible memories.

Appalachian Trail 2If you are someone who loves the outdoors, then you need to be sure that you put biking the Appalachian trail on your bucket list. This is an amazing experience that can enhance your life in some really beautiful ways. Those who make this kind of trip enjoy many benefits including, but not limited to the following:

  • Beautiful landscapes: When you bike the Appalachian trail, you will be riding through some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. This is a very unique area, geologically speaking. The rolling hills that are so close to the East coast create a strange and lovely mixture of vegetation and formations.
  • New skills: Even if you are an avid biker, this kind of tour can help you to gain some new skills. The terrain that is covered can create some different pedal methods and breathing techniques. You will come away learning new things about the area as well.
  • New friends: It is really hard to go on adventures of this nature with a group without really bonding with those people. It takes a certain kind of person to invest in this kind of experience. If this is something that you love, then you know that a lot of the other people you meet on this adventure will have similar backgrounds and mindsets. You could come away with some life-long friends thanks to investing in this one experience.
  • Deeper relationships: If you decide to experience this trip with someone you love, then get ready to care about them in a deeper way than ever before. You will be able to see a new side of this person, and this can create some incredibly deep bonds.Appalachian Trail Clothing
  • Amazing memories: It is doubtful that you will ever see things like this ever again in your life. The sheer uniqueness of the experience will make it something to remember. Memories are one of the few things you can take with you after this life is over, so investing in experiences that will create such lasting memories is a wonderful thing.
  • Familiarity with a new area: As you bike through the different towns, lakes, and forests, you will be learning new things about the area. This section of the country has a fascinating history, and there is a lot to learn about the culture, plants, animals, and people. This new familiarity can be a cool thing and will add to your love for the diversity that makes this country such a wonderful place to live.
  • Physical fitness: When you spend your vacations doing physical activities of this nature, then you are investing in a healthy body and mind. Physical fitness is a hard-won quality for most people, and this kind of vacation can help
  • you with this.

Appalachian Trail 10Peace of mind: “There is healing power in nature”. Spending a great deal of time hiking or biking through the beauty of nature can help you to reflect on important things. You can find inner healing and personal peace of mind on a deeper level than ever before. If you have a job that brings a lot of stress to your life, then you need a good chance to get away from the tension and fast pace of that life for a little bit and gain some inner peace.

The next time you are ready to get outside and feel at one with nature, you need to sign up to bike the Appalachian Trail. This is an experience like no other. There is a reason a wait list often forms for most of these tours. Get some good time to bond with a loved one, and a good chance for self-reflection in one of the most beautiful environments on the planet.

blue-ridge-Appalachian-TrailWhat goes through 14 states, (approximately) 2,184 miles, and almost every climate and ecosystem America has to offer? The jaw-dropping Appalachian National Scenic Trail – known as the Appalachian Trail, or just the AT. It’s taken partway or ends to end by over 3,000,000 hikers each year, and along with the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, it’s one-third of the Triple Crown of US long-distance hiking.

Where – and Which Way?

Appalachian Trail 7The trail runs from south to north, from Georgia up to Maine. If you’re on a roll, you can even continue into Canada to the Atlantic, a jaunt known as the International Appalachian Trail.

You can reverse the order too, going from Maine to Georgia. This has an impact on the weather and conditions you can expect: heat is more extreme in the south, and cold in the north. If you’re starting in the winter or spring, go from Georgia north. But later in the year or autumn, starting in Maine while it’s warm will get you to Georgia as it cools.

Not a Walk in the Park…

Aside from the physical challenge of walking a dozen or more miles a day for several months – and they are considerable – the main issue you’ll face will be the equipment you’ll need to carry with you at all times. This can run to over twenty pounds. As with any trip to the USA, travel insurance is a must, doubly so when you rely so heavily on what you carry. Prepare physically with cardio and strength training, but, if possible, take on some smaller local trails to test yourself and your gear.

Take in the Sights, and Beware of the Bears

The camaraderie of those you’ll meet on the road is a highlight for many people… but not all of them are human. The trail is home to deer, snakes, raccoons, countless birds, and too large numbers of black bears, which are usually shy and avoid humans – but they will inspect your campsite at night. Keep food in a bear canister and hang it from a tree.

smoky-mountains-Appalachian TrailSome more things you shouldn’t miss: – The highest point is Clingman’s Dome, in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, up to 6,625ft. The views can be incredible up here. – It’s possible if you plan carefully to do the whole AT without a tent. The whole length is catered for by over 250 huts – but they vary from 8 to 30 miles apart. More than adequate if you need them. – For a full list of what not to miss, see here: https://appalachiantrail.com/at-attractions/famous/. –

Another guide worth following is Bill Bryson’s hilarious, heartwarming A Walk in the Woods – worth a pound weight in your bag, even more so as an eBook.

Preparing for the Trail – What You Need:

The big four”: – Good quality backpackSleeping bag or quiltShelter (hammock, tent or bivouac) – Sleeping pad

More must-haves: – Lightweight shoes or bootsWaterproof clothesGood USA travel insurance that covers what you need.

Nice to haves: – A light foldaway camping stoolA French press coffee maker – for a little help warming you up in the morning.


Investing Strategies for the Present

During the Roman Empire, Emperors would tinker with the money supply through a process called “coin clipping.” They would collect coins from their people and mint them into newer coins with less gold or silver content, for profit. Eventually, too many coins existed, which devalued their worth and made it difficult for Roman citizens to survive. Thus began the fall of the Roman Empire. money lessons

It would be wise to go back in time and learn from the money mistakes made by one of the greatest empires of history. Only in this way, will we avoid repeating their same downfall. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Philosopher, George Santayana.

  • Gold and silver coins during the Roman Republic

Julius-CaesarThe denarius was the coin used for trade and contained 3.9 grams of silver. But it was Julius Caesar, the last dictator of the Roman Republic, who created the aureus coin which contained around 8 grams of gold. Gold coins were popular and widely accepted which made them easy for trade across Europe and the Mediterranean. For about 75 years, economic stability reigned with the gold coin until the assassination of Caesar by the aristocracy. Caesar’s successor and grandnephew, Augustus, would continue building the golden age and transform the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.


  • Coin clipping during the Roman Empire money lessons 1

Sadly, was Emperor Nero the first to engage in “coin clipping.” With coin clipping, the aureus was reduced from 8 to 7.2 grams, to 6.5 grams (under Caracalla), and 5.5 grams (under Diocletian). A replacement coin called the solidus was introduced, made up of only 4.5 grams of gold. Meanwhile, the denarius (silver coin) was reduced from 3.9 to 3.41 and only had traces of silver to cover its bronze core, which vanished quickly with wear and tear. Coin clipping would eventually reduce the value of the coins, and the real wages of workers, while providing profits to the emperor.

“Coin clipping reduced the aureus’s real value, increasing the money supply, allowing the emperor to continue imprudent overspending, but eventually resulting in inflation and economic crises, which the misguided emperors would attempt to ameliorate via further coin clipping.” Saifedean Ammous

  • The Fall of The Roman Empire

With time, the Empire no longer had prosperous lands to conquer. This meant they could not collect payment to fund their wars or fund their lavish lifestyle, growing military base or the increasing number of citizens that were living off the emperor’s resources. All this strained the resources of the state beyond its ability to sustain itself. Stuck in a feedback loop, the emperor would try to salvage its finances by further coin clipping, taxation, and often accusing a person of treason to confiscate all their assets. They even developed a two-tier system in which the government and military enjoyed the benefits of a gold standard, and the rest of the population was on the devalued currency.

With currency becoming worthless, increasing inflation, and taxation due to the emperor’s overspending, it was becoming impossible for people to survive as they were. People began fleeing to empty lands where they could at least have a chance of living in self-sufficiency and where they could be spared from having to pay high taxes on no substantial wages. Citizens of the Empire went from having wealth and being part of history’s greatest empire to now becoming serfs living under their feudal lords (serfs were agricultural laborers working on their lord’s estates). The Empire crumbled under the weight of its recklessness.

  • Bitcoin Is the People’s Money money lessons2

Coin clipping and the resultant inflation not only began the fall of the Roman Empire but also destroyed the (economic) freedom of the Roman people. As we can see from history, state leaders habitually seek to monopolize the supply of money and tinker with it to finance their own needs. It’s a habit that remains with us today when we see overspending by the government causing hyperinflation rates like in Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Their mismanagement of money impoverished their people so much they can barely afford basic goods.

  • Because our monetary system has been in place for so long, it is almost intrinsically impossible for the majority of people to imagine an alternative system. One where the currency is not managed, manipulated, or owned by our governments.

Bitcoin offers this possibility because it is a digital currency that is not owned by a central power. It is scarce and resistant to hyperinflation. And what this means is that it protects the people’s wealth against losing value. In other words, Bitcoin takes economic power and liberty away from governments and puts it back into the people’s hands, money lessons helping to avoid the same fate as the Roman people did.


The Symbolism of Pearls

What is the Meaning of Pearls

The Meaning of PearlsJust like all the other gemstones, pearls carry a meaning. Historically, the glowing white orbs have been associated with the moon. With the high luster and deep color of pearls, it is no wonder why these natural gemstones have been held in such high regard for thousands of years.

What is the spiritual meaning of a pearl? Simply wearing a pearl reminds the wearer to be honest, pure, and wise, and to walk with the utmost dignity. Different colors of pearls bear different meanings. As expected, white pearls symbolize purity, innocence, faith, and honesty. Gold or black pearls symbolize prosperity and riches. Rose or pink pearls work well with the Heart Chakra, while all pearls work with the solar plexus Chakra, beneficial for digestion and immunity.

woman 1879905 1920Just like other gemstones, pearls are given for a single month as a birthstone. June is the month of the pearl and many women and men born in June proudly display their pearls to honor this fact. The birthstone chart was first established in the 16th Century when it was believed fair favor and good luck would fall upon the wearer of their birthstone.

In Christianity, St. Augustine deemed the pearl to be a symbol of Jesus Christ, after evaluating a passage of Biblical text that gives each of the twelve apostles a specific gemstone in their honor. Several passages in the Bible refer to pearls, the most well-known one an allegory about the “pearly gates” of heaven and “casting pearls before swine.”

The Japanese have always held pearls in high esteem, and often associate good luck with those to wear the round beauties. It should be noted that the Japanese only hold meaning for the saltwater variety of the pearl since the round saltwater pearls are native to the archipelago chain and have made the island native quite popular due to the innovations of pearl harvesting companies like Mikimoto.

Meaning of PearlsPearls have a spiritual meaning and have been the most popular accessories with bridal wear historically and continue to be a strong favorite today. The innocence and beauty symbolized by the pearl are also symbolized by the bride, so the match is perfect. From the traditional princess-length pearl necklace to a stunning pendant, earrings, or bracelet mixing pearls with other precious gemstones, pearls are a fast favorite for weddings. Even many bridal gowns, veils, and headpieces are adorned with pearls to create a stunningly elegant effect.

Don’t Let the Rash Trio Ruin Your Summer: Poison…

Poison Sumac, Poison Ivy, or Poison Oak itching is not always the first symptom to occur when one comes in contact with these poisonous plants.

For many of my patients, the first realization that they might have come in contact with poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, occurs when they consult with me about a rash that they have developed. These vicious weeds are the single most common cause of allergic reactions in the United States.  poison sumac

Furthermore, a rash from these weeds develops when the skin comes in contact with an oil called urushiol. Urushiol is found in the sap of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. It oozes forth from any broken part of the plant, including the roots, stems, and leaves. After exposure to air, urushiol turns brownish-black, making it easier to spot.

  • Poison Ivy generally climbs trees and mimics tree branches as a vine with short rootlets and dark fibers south of the Great Lakes or close to the ground as a small shrub-up to a foot tall, north of the Great Lakes. It is legendary for its cluster of three almond-shaped leaves that are highly variable; some are hairless while others are slightly hairy amid glossy or dull luster, and some are toothed, smooth-edged or lobed.
  • Distinctively look for an end leaflet that is pointed with a longer stalk than the other two leaflets. This plant grows just about anywhere; open woods, rocky areas, fields, or it may also be in your garden or along your patio walkway. Beware the small, white, and hard drooping clusters of berries. Resilient and tough, winter months merely camouflage its virulent oils leaving an innocent small stem exposed from the ground. The Spring is the best time to spot Poison Ivy when the leaves are reddish but take caution it’s the time when they are at the most potent as well.
  • Poison oak is universally found as a shrub with thick and sturdy stems, although it can also emerge as a vine in some areas. The leaves resemble oak leaves, arise in clusters of threes, and are usually shiny and green. In the Spring, the leaves are light bright green with white green flowers clustered on the stems. During the Summer months leaves often contain yellow-green, pink, or reddish hues with clusters of small white or tan berries and transform again during the Fall season when the leaves turn russet brown or bright red while the fruit becomes darker.
  • Poison Sumac is found in wet areas or marshes and partly-wooded swamps usually on wet ground or standing water as a shrub or small tree, 6-20 feet tall with compound leaves that have 7-13 pointed, smoothed-edged leaflets that distinctively angle slightly upwards from the leaf stem. The stems, twigs, and buds are hairless with dark smooth bark and speckled with dark spots. Its berries are similar to Poison Ivy – small, white, and hard drooping clusters. In the fall the leaves are ecstatically pleasing to the eye with their brilliant red hues but don’t be tempted to add them to your Thanksgiving bouquets. 


poison sumac


Coming in contact with urushiol can occur in three ways:

  • Direct contact – touching the sap of the toxic plant.
  • Indirect contact – touching something to which urushiol has spread. The oil can stick to clothing, animal hair or skin, sports equipment, and any object that has come into contact with any broken part of the plant.
  • Contact with airborne urushiol particles – which can occur from the burning of the poisonous plants. This can cause a rash if and when it comes in contact with your skin.

Rashes occurring from any one of these plants can affect almost any part of your body, especially where your skin is most thin. Redness and swelling occur first, usually followed by blisters and severe itching. Blister fluid from these rashes does not spread the rash. In a couple of days, the blisters may become crusted and begin to scale. The poison sumac rash traditionally takes 10 days or longer to heal.

The best advice I can offer to help prevent the misery of a poison sumac rash is – to STAY AWAY. The best way to know which plants to avoid is by learning to identify these poisonous plants. Their appearance may change slightly through the seasons, but they remain toxic year-round. A key feature in identifying poison ivy and poison oak is in the leaves: they consistently come in threes. Therefore, the popular saying “leaves of three, beware of me,” is a good rule of thumb to follow. 



Follow these simple rules if you think you have been exposed to poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac:

  • First, wash the exposed area(s) immediately with running water. The water should keep the urushiol (oo-roo-shee-ohl) from spreading to other parts of your body. Do not use soap at this point. Soap can pick up some of the urushiol and spread it to other parts of your body.
  • Take a regular shower with soap and warm water within 30 minutes of being exposed. Make sure you have already cleansed the exposed area with running water before using soap.
  • Remove and wash your clothing as soon as possible. Don’t wait and do not do a full load of laundry with the clothing you think has been exposed to the poisonous plant. You can transfer the urushiol to rugs or furniture if you’re not careful.
  • Make sure you clean any other item(s) (like camping equipment, fishing gear, etc.) that may have come in contact with the oil.
  • You can relieve the itching of mild rashes by taking cool showers and applying over-the-counter products like calamine lotion or Burrow’s solution. Equally important is soaking in a lukewarm bath with an oatmeal or baking soda solution can be used to ease itching and dry oozing blisters.

There are 4 solutions you can mix to make a paste and spread it over the affected poison sumac area(s);

Vinegar and Baking Soda;
Cornstarch and Water;
Salt and Water – this will sting but will relieve the itch;
Apple cider vinegar and water.
Aloe reduces blistering and also accelerates healing of rashes;
Catnip juice, which can be taken from its leaves, has anti-inflammatory properties;
Plantain reduces itch and stops the spread of the rash.
Mix a teaspoon of Goldenseal, in a powdered form, with a pint of water and spread it over the affected area. Other ways to use Goldenseal, drink it in a tea or taking it in a capsule.
Try Jewel weed. Rub it on the affected poison sumac areas to reduce the itch and dry blisters.
Spread Oatmeal on affected skin – mixed with boiling water – cooled down to lukewarm temperatures is a handy remedy. In addition soaking in a hot tub of Oatmeal can also be used in most of the body was exposed. Oatmeal coupled with a sock and swirling it around in the tub of water. Leave the coating of Oatmeal on your skin after the bath will ease the symptoms dramatically. I always recommend you consult a Board-Certified Dermatologist if you know you have been exposed to one of these weeds. A dermatologist can properly diagnose your rash and may prescribe cortisone or other medicines that can prevent blisters from forming.

Leaves of Three – Let Them Be 

Dr. Abrams is a licensed Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine who is A.O.B.D. Board Certified in Dermatology and Dermatological Surgery. He is noted as being one of the top dermatological surgeons in the Sarasota, Florida community. You can learn more about Dr. Abrams by visiting his website at http://www.abramsderm.com

Bradley Abrams, D.O. “Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, And Poison Sumac Rashes – Advice from A Sarasota Florida Dermatologist.” Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, And Poison Sumac Rashes – Advice from A Sarasota Florida


poison sumac


The Beginner’s Guide to Cooking

Cooking Basics is a fun basic cooking guide to nutrition from a lover of making do with what you´ve got. This is for Evan and his new wife Rachel that cannot even boil water.  rachel-cooking-food

Just watching those long-winded and artificial cooking sessions on the screen is enough to make me wonder just how much simple food can take before it turns into deadwood. However delicious it may look (and it seems that that is all it turns out to be) it is hardly likely to be anything other than a stomach teaser, devoid of palate appeal. Not always, of course, but these chefs are often more like theatrical performers than genuine lovers of the art.

In any case, cooking basic for first-timers is not capable and able to remember all those ingredients, if they even managed to find them, let alone produce nutritious dishes guaranteed to take care of most of their daily vitamin and mineral needs. After years of experimenting (often out of curiosity) with foodstuff that made me feel good the next day (and others not so well), I scoured my mind honestly and decisively for those things over the years that I felt we should all be eating without turning ourselves into rabbits or vampires.

By watching some householders cook (and mainly friends), I began to get a clear picture of what was missing most of the time. The food was bland or overcooked and the ketchup manufacturers rely on them for a living I suppose. It made me remember Mr. Coleman´s oft-repeated phrase, our profit is in the mess left on the plate. He was referring to his mustard which spread liberally over everything to ensure that most were left behind along with whatever it touched – a clear sign of eye over stomach or appetite over palatability.

Time and a desperate need to get it all done quickly and make sure that any hungry bunch would devour it whether or not it was what it should be. That unfortunately is the fate of hamburgers and Pizza eaters. Although both are decorative are very filling (which is why it all sells so well) and tasty, if done properly with quality products, stuffing it all in with the chips and bread that usually follows is hardly the way to keep the stomach in place and unharmed for well after digestion has taken place. I believe in all that – tasty, nutritious, health-protecting as well as appealing to the eye and nose. Think about these four aims in simple cooking. You will not do it properly for some time, but whatever comes out with my easy step-by-step system will fulfill most of what is required. It’s all good commonsense.

Here they are:

  • Good food for the body to use efficiently with well-recorded nutritional values.
  • Sensible cooking methods – to avoid damaging these delicate products of nature which evolved as we did from very basic cellular organisms and which provide us with the regeneration fuel that keeps us alive and well.
  • Essential variety across a wide field of nutritional needs and on the same plate
  • Taste and presentation stimulate the appetite and get those salivary glands working to do their job well. Remember that digestion starts with the teeth and mouth where the first acids start releasing the nutrients and preparing the food for secondary and more efficient digestion in the stomach. Chewing is pleasant and it also does an essential job. Things that do not need chewing are by nature much easier to absorb and digest in the stomach.


SIMPLE RULES…spices-for-cooking

DON’T BURN OR OVERCOOK YOUR FOOD IF YOU WANT TO KEEP THE NUTRITIONAL QUALITIES IN. This applies to frying mainly, whether deep (totally submersed like we do for chips and use a fryer for) or partly like stir fry or almost no oil at all against the hot plate or semi-dry, pan-frying.

Leave all that fancy red hot sizzling to the professionals and if you want to get some color on your meat dishes particularly, do it less destructively. Browning can be achieved at much lower temperatures than people would assume – just a question of time.

If frying, therefore, do it gently and get the right type of oil. Olive oil for example is useless for frying at high temperatures and contains plenty of olive sediments which burn and give it and your food a bad taste. Vegetable oil is much better – but again, keep temperatures down when cooking anything if you want it to end up the way you see it in your mind’s eye and not something that looks alright when piping hot and hard and unappetizing when it cools.

Cold food should be just as appetizing as hot. Warm is the way to eat most things and how they should be served. If it does not taste good, then you went wrong somewhere – usually, an overdose of add-ons like salt, pepper, chili, herbs, etc. Keep these to a minimum since they usually have strong tastes –for example, basil which sweetens, oregano which can cause wind, and curcumin which can taste bitter, not to mention bay leaf which taste can take all the others with it. How to combine these herbs to produce a good result is a matter of experiment and perhaps asking mum which her favorite ones will produce a safe ground to work with.



cooking-for-dummiesThe art of cooking is knowing just how long anything takes to reach its best cooking point and combining all the necessary ingredients for healthy living and stimulation to the eye. Loaded plates are unnecessary with more neatly stashed in a covered tureen on the side for second helpings. Little contact with anything else inside this useful container is not only hygienic when covered, but it can be put away in the fridge easily. Make a note of reactions from those you feed, good and bad – and learn from them without sulking and swearing you will never cook for them again. Most people know what is just what they wanted or what can be put aside for another more tolerant day.

Cooking with various ingredients is simply a question of understanding that some things take longer to cook to tenderize, and putting it all in at the same time is alright for some things but not for all. Some things are just right and others are tough or not quite right. If this happens and just when you thought it was ready, the best thing is to take the switch off or bring the heat down to almost zero – remove the cooked bits like the meat, for example, and some of the vegetables and pluck and put on a side plate what is ready. Use a slotted spoon so you don’t take the liquid out at the same time. Or it could be that all seems to be well cooked except the meat so just pull the meat out and continue simmering with some of the liquid from the main casserole until tender. You can put it all back together when they are ready and just give it a few more minutes of broiling to blend it all back again. Always, if the mind blanks over the next step or is forgetful and goes off somewhere else for an instant, don´t risk it and switch it off. Nothing will go hard again now will it spoil except it is something that could go stodgy, like rice. Never leave rice. Always stand by the pan from start to finish adding a bit of water or soup as it boils away gently.

Overcooking often happens with some potato, vegetable, and meat dishes where the meat has not softened enough and the rest, particularly the potato appears to want to disappear into the sauce. Always put aside (for separate further cooking) the easier ones to remove. It is better to remove the bigger tighter chunky things, like the meat or larger vegetables, and do them separately if they are not done but only if the rest of the vegetables are already well done.


You can then put it back into the casserole just before serving or simply ladle the casseroled meat with plenty of sauce into the plate and put your newly cooked broccoli on the side with creamed potatoes or saffron-rice to make up a delightful, no holds barred, and piece of culinary provocation.


The cooking mystique fostered by professionals is often no more than an attempt at creating their social images. Much of the stuff produced and presented as delicacies are often less appetizing than a simple country dish born of a natural sense of balance and genuine appreciation of flavor – the right thing for the moment. The type of weather and time of year often prompts visions, when hungry, of what would make your mouth water and your stomach rumble. Most national dishes are the result of the ingenuity of their ancient peasants who made do with what was there and often flavored to hide taste and or make it more palatable. Most live on that sort of cooking and much is simple to put together. As cooking methods evolved and technology came to the rescue, much, like slow cooking over embers was forgotten. In the absence of money to buy meat, a great substitute was spent on greens and dairy products. Whatever meat was available was often utilized to make air-dried sausages with a variety of spices and a whole world of different names, like Salami, Chorizo, Longaniza, Blood Sausage, etc.Cooking Basic for Dummies

These were sold to those who could afford them and in turn, provide for the mainly vegetarian dishes that were prevalent in the villages. The meat, (and not every day), consisted of bits and pieces of those dried or salted leftovers from the sausage-making for those imaginative people huddled over a fire or eating out in the patios, these salted bits and pieces were left in the water to dissolve the salt for however many times it took and then put in with the stews.

Cheaper cuts of animal meat are impossible to fry tender, succumb to slow cooking, and are full of flavor.

Rice dishes were also part of the staple diets cooked with cheap garden vegetables not worth selling and bits and pieces of these sausage meats, like chorizo and to provide the taste. The treatment and subtle taste however were enough to get everyone eating these stodgy starches with gusto.

A bit more from the crusty daily bread bake helped keep the hunger pangs away. There is a protein in rice and bread of course otherwise, it would not work. As for modern nutritional suggestions, most of these dishes today would be frowned upon as staple diets and like chocolate, however sumptuous, left for the odd spree or two. Modern cooking can have all the best aspects of these dishes whilst leaning on good quality nutrients to do the rest. 

Anyone can learn the rudiments of cooking overnight. From a simple start, great dishes can be put together, but what matters is being able to combine ingredients on a plate that are healthy, attractive, and succulent. It is just common sense if you think about it without panicking and is always ready to switch off and rethink if you are bent on creating a masterwork.  cooking-for-dummies-First-timers

The two basic ways of making a good start

Gentle frying of the base elements, adding water, bringing to a boil, lowering to simmer, and adding the bits and pieces (according to how long they take to soften), is all it takes to make a meat casserole.

Alternatively, bring base elements together in boiling water – left to simmer with all the extras (put in at different times) to produce either a soup or a stew. Both produce some very good results.

Both tastes differently and both can provide meat and sauce served elegantly with accompanying separately cooked vegetables and chips, rice, or creamed potatoes which I assume, need little to explain about. Getting on with it…

Get a clean, nonstick pan, preferably not aluminum given the Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s scare. Add about an egg cup of any oil to start with remembering that olive oil burns at high temperatures and kills the flavor of any ingredient when it does. Remember, therefore, that it is best to work with middle temperatures even if it takes longer.


Cut the three most widely utilized ingredients for a base concentration Onions, Garlic, Red and or Green Peppers, Tomatoes, and a couple of Bay Leaves. You can skip the tomatoes if you want a different color sauce and remember – very little bay leaf because it can dominate your overall flavor. Cut up however much you want of these but say, a handful of each, and whilst tossing It all around with a wooden spoon, let them fry gently until they are limp and tender and the onion goes golden around the edges. You can do them well (or slightly under so that they show through the sauce or finished dish for color). For a casserole with a rich thick sauce, what matters is that the base materials eventually blend with everything, and most of the water you will add has boiled off whilst cooking the vegetables and or meats. Once the base is ready, take it off the fire and think of your next step.

Instead of Onions, you can use any variety of the family, like Shallots, and Purple Onions. For Peppers, you mix the different varieties if you intend to see them through, say rice, for color or stick to green which stands on its own concerning its particular stronger taste. You will see that you could try different fry-ups for base every day and arrive at entirely different dishes be they meat, completely vegetarian, or fish.

Later on, when you have mastered your stews and your casseroles, you can go mad on soups and learn how to buy for one dish and be able to use the remainder for a variety of others in the following days. 

The next stage …

Remember we have created a base to provide an overall taste that will blend with the meat or fish. It is essential to understand that like ketchup, a strong sauce can drown anything in it and what you would taste would be that and no more. Thinking carefully about what goes with what is important until you arrive at your variety of dishes without having to think about planning at all. Meats take time to tenderize and if required can befriend gently in a separate pan with a small amount of oil or fried in with the base you have just prepared, bearing in mind that it will all then go underwater, brought to a boil and liquid gradually boiled off to make it all rest finally in a nice thick, tasty sauce. Dash Safe Slice Mandoline Slicer

When the meat and the base are done separately you have control of just how limp or disintegrated you want your base to remain throughout the cooking period. However, you can put your meats and base material together and fry them all gently together, and remove your meats partly cooked with a fork so that the base material remains identifiable. One tip concerning garlic and the likelihood of someone not wanting to go anywhere near them is to fry the cloves whole in their skins and then remove them when it gets near to serving. You can always have them to yourself as part of another dish any day after that or blend it in with something like a spread on toast.

When the base and meats are ready you can do a few things, but there are two basics. You can sauté some fresh with stewed tomatoes, onions, garlic, and peppers are near ready to give a strong red sauce, or you can simply put in a few things like curcumin which is supposed to be a powerful health aid and which makes it all a golden yellow. Both bases can be utilized to make a casserole in which you can put chunky or whole small potatoes and in which you can put some colorful and tasty peas or broccoli (also a much-revered vegetable) and or sliced or button carrots. You can experiment with different results any day and still enjoy the results.

You are staring at your lovely base with added fried tomatoes or on the yellow with a bit of curcumin for looks and taste. You can add as much as you like but be careful with condiments because you can go too far and make it too rich whilst destroying the joy of savoring all the different tastes that blend skillfully in the mouth.

Your meats, base, and added vegetables are now all together in a casserole and begging for water. Put in as much as you like especially if you were thinking of stealing some of the liquid after it has all been brought to a boil and then to half or less heat. It is important if you are going to create a masterful soup on the side which does not taste the same as the main dish, to make sure it has simmered for a while and the meat in particular is getting to the stage where you can easily penetrate it with a knife or fork.

If you are thinking of doing this, you can increase the quantity of the base materials so that when you take off half the liquid, you still have the fairly thickest sauce to get on with for the casserole. If you put in potatoes, peas carrots, and or Broccoli it will thicken of its own accord as you reduce it gently on a slow fire. You could have even put a bit of the base aside before putting the water in case you go over the top with the cooking time and you want those lovely pepper cuts and onion bits to stand out against the potatoes etc.

You simply add it at the end and you will achieve your colorful results. Now you have a meat and vegetable stew or casserole to make any earthenware plate to look the part and into which you can dip some very appreciative crusty farm bread or better still, whole-meal or dark rye for plenty of the fiber the body always needs.

cooking-for-first-timersRemember, there is no way you are going to make it all taste good and use your intelligence if you rush it. If in doubt, remove it from heat and work it out. That base is going to turn into a sauce and the ingredients will probably dissolve in it which is normal, but you must make sure that your meat and your vegetables are tender.

You can always, if you like, boil your meats gently and separately before you put them into the fry-up base. Many people prefer the soft juicy boiled meats which also absorb and allow the blending of the base sauce instead of simmering for longer periods in it to achieve a slightly different result.



Lesson to be learned…there are many ways of doing the same thing but all are different in one way or another. Cook separately and then finish them off together or cook together and add them at different times. It needs little or no experience to understand what is going on but always with gentle heat on your side. Make sure it all looks and tastes right.

You now hopefully have a nice chicken or meat casserole (try dark turkey chunks one day) and even after having tapped plenty of the watering sauce with a scoopful of vegetables, put it in the blender and watch it turn into a thick delicious soup. It can be brownie red or yellow depending on whether you put tomatoes or curcumin in the base sauce originally.

If you put potatoes in your potatoes in the casserole and are already too well done to allow for more cooking, – simply get some standard breadcrumbs packs (usually flavored with garlic and parsley) and put in as much as you need to thicken the sauce. You can also scoop out one or two whole potatoes or chunks mash them and place them into the mix. It will all thicken as it cools.

You can eat a large portion of this quite easily and if you do not want to be tempted to play piggy, serve less with some fresh pasta or simple boiled rice.

I did not mention salt in all this, simply because if you as much as put it too much you kill it all. A very small amount while cooking to bring out the flavors is fine, but you can season to taste at the end of it all.

And now for that soup…

Cooking my soup tastes like my main course, but it is perhaps not advisable to do it like that. You have a bowl full of tasty very reddish or brownish watery sauce which you drained off the casserole at an early stage of the game. Now you can do what you like with it. It will have some meat flavor but you can still make wonders with it. You can change the color and the taste simply by adding different things to it.

If the main casserole is chicken or turkey, then perhaps a bit of a fishy soup could be interesting. All you have to do is get a few chunks of fish or prawns with their skin on and boil them thoroughly in the soup with a couple of potatoes so that you can mash them in to give it all a bit of body. If you have not put celery or broccoli in your main course, you can boil it all into the soup and when tender, pass it through the blender.

I often throw in half a cupful of plain cooked chickpeas you will find in any supermarket which will then give your soup a new golden look and a very definite elegant taste. You could even sprinkle a bit of Oregon and some grated cheese on top, but if you put the prawns in forget the cheese.

cookingRemember that the base liquid already has enough flavor so the odd pinch of one thing or another should not be bad. More healthy recipes here.


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The Ultimate Daypack for Your Everyday Needs

Fundamentally, anything with strap shoulder straps is classified as a “backpack”. Therefore, a backpack is a kind of pack, too. However, not all backpacks are backpacks. Know about the Daypacks.

A backpack is a big version of a typical lightweight backpack, but not always a full-sized pack. The major difference between a backpack and a normal backpack is the shoulder straps and the size of the pack. A normal backpack has no shoulder straps at all, while a backpack typically does. In addition, most backpacks are much larger than the smaller daypacks that you see people carrying around campus, the grocery store, or even on long-distance trips.  daypacks_for_seniors

Because of the way that daypacks are constructed, they can carry all sorts of stuff, both for protection and convenience. Backpacks are usually larger than normal daypacks because of their added shoulder strap, and the fact that they carry so much weight. For example, a regular backpack would not fit on a plane, while a backpack would! But the good thing about backpacks is that they have enough space for everything you need, so you won’t have to keep finding an extra bag when you run out of something important.

The main reason why people wear backpacks is for comfort, but they also carry them in a variety of situations, including hiking, camping, sport, and even recreational pursuits. Backpacks are also used for storage. Some backpackers even carry their laptop computers and other equipment with them while on the go! This makes carrying your laptop and other essential information easy and helps save space, too!

Daypacks can be one or more shoulder straps, a waist belt, or a bottom pocket. Some come with built-in storage compartments, while others come with their own side pockets. Some daypack styles have the ability to open up for storage. This is great for people who travel a lot, since they can store all of their things in one place, instead of having to find a separate bag every time they need to take a few small items for a short trip.

Many people choose to buy one daypack, so they can easily carry more than one item. like snacks, drinks, water, toiletries, and more. If you’re like most backpackers, you may carry multiple backpacks because you don’t want to deal with carrying two or three different items at once.

Although there are some drawbacks to backpacks, they still play a vital role in our everyday lives. For instance, backpacks can make it easier to go through airport security. Since you don’t have to stand in line to check your items, you can easily walk through the process without being stopped. On top of that, if you do happen to have a large amount of luggage that needs to be checked, carrying your bags through security is also a lot easier, since you can put everything in one bag. As a bonus, the ability to quickly load and unload bags is one of the reasons why many travelers choose to fly. day_packing

Overall, backpacks have been around for centuries. They’re a versatile item that’s found use everywhere from hiking, camping, hunting, to just going on a nice hike through nature.

There are many different styles of daypacks available. There are the ones that are more traditional like the backpacks that were made for women. Then there are the backpacks that are more modern like the backpacks that are created for men. The difference between these two styles is mainly based on the way that the backpacks fit the individual.

One of the most popular backpacks is the military backpack. These days, there are military style packs that you can purchase that can be used for a variety of different things, such as hunting, as well as military-style bags that are designed for carrying equipment like guns and ammunition.

These military-style or daypacks are lightweight, which is good for carrying your belongings like clothes and more. They can also be used to carry a gun in a backpack form, or a water bottle, or other type of liquid like water bottle. They can even be used to carry other personal items like books and other materials that may not necessarily need to be carried by hand.


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Get Moving and Feel Great

Some people love a tough workout, while others do not so much. 80% of Americans fail to meet government guidelines for aerobic and strength training, it’s obvious why most of us fall into the second category. A recent study by the University of Freiburg in Germany suggests that just 2 changes can make you enjoy exercise more.

Participants with similar fitness levels were asked to ride a stationary bicycle for the same amount of time. Those who considered themselves to be athletic said the activity was more enjoyable and required less effort. The researchers concluded that personal expectations made the difference. The secret is to believe in your athletic abilities and the benefits of exercising.

Think how much easier it would be for you to stick to a workout program if you really enjoyed doing it. Try these tips for building up your confidence and knowledge.

Believing in Your Athletic Abilities:

1. Develop your own style. Each of us has our own personal interests and signature strengths. You may like ballroom dancing or playing competitive sports. You may excel at sprinting or long-distance running. Choose activities that make you feel accomplished.

2. Create challenges. Set goals that will encourage you to keep going. Work at strengthening your tennis serve or increasing your lung capacity so you can swim more laps.

3. Use external rewards. Intrinsic motivation is more powerful, but you can give yourself treats to help you feel fulfilled while you’re waiting to reach major milestones. Promise yourself a pedicure or a weekend outing to celebrate any week you visit the gym consistently.

4. Share social support. While you’re cheering yourself on, it also helps to have family and friends on your side. Team up with an exercise buddy, post your workout plans on a fitness forum, and ask your family for the help you need.

5. Find a role model. Look for someone who has qualities and achievements that you admire. You can pick someone close to you or someone you see in the news. Study what they do and focus on what you have in common.

6. Repeat affirmations. Create positive statements that help you to realize your worth and make changes in your life. Write them down and read them when you’re feeling stressed.

Understanding the Benefits of Physical Activity:

1. Do some research. Browse online or visit the library to read about how exercise affects your body and mind. Visualize yourself having more energy, strengthening your muscles, and reducing your risk for serious medical conditions.

2. Take a course. Sign up for rock climbing lessons or take an anatomy class at a community college. Learn more about your body and how to care for it.

3. Work with a trainer. Maybe you prefer working with a professional one-on-one. Ask friends and fellow gym members for recommendations. A customized program can deliver impressive results.

4. Talk with your doctor. Ask your physician about any concerns you have. They may be able to suggest what priorities would be helpful for you, such as lowering your blood pressure or rehabilitating a previous injury.

5. Evaluate your performance. As you become more physically fit, you may notice the effects spilling over into many areas of your life. Maybe you’re eating more vegetables or responding more effectively to feedback at work.

6. Listen to your body. Feeling good may be the ultimate benefit of working out. Take pleasure in your flat stomach or glowing skin. When you want to exercise, you’ll find ways to overcome any barriers like being too busy or avoiding discomfort. A positive attitude about your athletic abilities and the benefits of physical activity will help you to stay healthy and fit.

enjoy exercise

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