Taking Care of Every Family Member: A Guide

Taking Care of Every Family Member: A Guide

Having a family is a hugely rewarding experience, but it is also definitely no shortage of work. Raising a happy and healthy family takes time, dedication, sacrifice, and patience. Of course, every parent wants to ensure their children are happy and living a stress-free life, but raising a joyful and connected family means more than just focusing on your kids.

Too often, parents (especially new parents) can lose themselves in their children and not take enough time to connect with their partners, take care of their pets, remain in contact with their friends, or focus on their own needs. While parents obviously should be taking time to focus on their kids, maintaining relationships, and enriching their own lives will ultimately help the entire family stay connected and happy together. Families like the Brady Bunch may make it look easy because it is television after all, but it takes a lot of effort to maintain in reality.

Here are some tips on how to keep yourself, your partner, your kids, and your furry family members healthy and happy.

Your partner

Often, couples can lose that spark once the kids come along. The busy lifestyle that follows children can make it tough to carve out romantic time, between working, raising kids, and dealing with all the responsibilities of home ownership, other family members, and adulthood in general. It is important to take time for each other, though, and reconnect at least once a day to check in on each other and see how they are doing.

Having a scheduled date night might sound boring, because what kind of romance is scheduled? In reality, it might be the only way to get each other’s full attention, especially if you are both working and busy. Plan at least one night each week where you call a babysitter for the kids and do something you and your partner will both enjoy. This could be going for dinner and a movie (perhaps something a bit more adult even?) or going for drinks at a spot in the city and catching a show afterward. It could mean taking a class together that you have always wanted to try because trying new things together is a great way to have fun and possibly even learn something new about each other. It could mean going to a spa and totally unwinding and relaxing with a couples massage, followed by a dip in the hot tub. It could even mean staying in (because family life is exhausting!) and having a quiet, romantic night at home catching up on your favorite Netflix series, ordering delivery, and cracking open a bottle of wine.

Your kids

Every parent wants their child to grow up happy and healthy, with good habits and the ability to make the right decisions for themselves. Spending quality time together every day, encouraging them to communicate their feelings, and setting boundaries are all important when raising children.

Ask them about their day at school and exchange stories over family dinners to help understand their lives, and them yours. Plan family activities and playtime to encourage fun, emphasize health and fitness, and make memories. Establish routines, like bedtime routines, where you can connect and reflect together.

There are also the less fun tasks that unfortunately need to be done, but will pay off in the long run. Establishing rules and guidelines will help your children keep their behavior in check and also help them feel safe and secure. Children need limits in order to thrive, so make sure if you set a rule, you stick to it. Teaching responsibility and self-discipline is important at a young age, so when they grow up, they have the knowledge to make good choices.

Your pets

You can’t overlook your furry friends as part of the family! Anyone with a pet knows that they truly are like another family member, and you want to make sure you give them the best quality of life you can. Ensuring you give your dog or cat plenty of attention, love, and attention will keep them happy, but it’s not all you need to do.

Keeping an eye on your pet’s health will help them live full lives. Regular vet visits (annually, or semi-annually for senior animals) are good ways to make sure their health is in good shape and can help catch early signs of disease or illness. Paying attention to their diet and weight will also keep them healthy. Quality pet food, as well as liquid vitamins for dogs and cats, is necessary to avoid preventable health issues. Giving them plenty of exercise by taking dogs for walks once or twice a day and playing with cats for at least 20 minutes a day will help keep them active.

Yourself

Don’t forget that you are just as important as every other member of your family. Parenting is challenging, cultivating a successful relationship can be difficult at times, and the overall stresses of life can take its toll as well. You have already gotten this far, and that is a major achievement, so cut yourself some slack in times of hardship because you’re doing great!

Taking time for yourself is vital to keeping yourself and your family happy. If you’re happy, your family will feed off of that vibe. Think about what you used to do in your downtime before you had kids and consider if those activities still bring you joy. Maybe you went on long bike rides while blasting your favorite tunes through a mini speaker, possibly even singing along and not caring who heard you. Maybe you curled up with a good book and read for hours on end, ignoring the hustle and bustle of life around you while you immerse yourself in another world. Maybe you recharged by going out with friends, having a few drinks or grabbing delicious food, and gossiped all night or watched the game together.

Whatever the case, take time at least once a week to do these activities again and have some good old fashioned “you” time. Practicing self-care and unwinding from the stresses of life is important, not just for your own sanity and mental health, but to show your children that taking care of their own needs is just as important as taking care of the needs of others. It can help them build good habits and self-esteem if they see you doing it too.

Can you Cure PCOS?

Can you Cure PCOS?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is one of the most common conditions that can affect your fertility suffered by women in the developed world. The NHs estimates that as many one of five women have the condition, which is driven by an overproduction of insulin, leading to a long list of symptoms including weight gain (and therefore more insulin production), hirsutism, depress and anxiety, and perhaps most dramatically, the fertility effects the condition is known for.

If you’re diagnosed with PCOS, your first question is likely to be ‘is there a cure?’, and unfortunately the answer is no. There is no simple way to prevent PCOS affecting you, once its effects have taken hold. That’s not a reason to give up hope though. PCOS may not have a cure, but it’s a condition that you can manage, and making some changes to your lifestyle can have a dramatic effect on the symptoms, lessening their grip on your body until it’s almost imperceptible.

Fertility Effects

The main way PCOS affects your fertility is by making you ovulate infrequently, and irregularly. If you ovulate less, you simply have fewer opportunities to become pregnant and if you don’t have a regular cycle, then you can’t easily predict when your next opportunity to conceive will come, and can’t capitalise on it to give yourself the best chance of success.

You can learn how to ovulate with PCOS, and move the odds back in your favour, so you have more opportunities to get pregnant, and a better chance of knowing when each one will fall. There are several options for people with PCOS to encourage your body to ovulate more frequently. Drugs like Clomid manipulate your brain’s ability to detect hormone levels, so it keeps creating the ovulation stimulating hormones beyond its usual cut off. This can be effective, but also lead to side effects like severe mood swings that might make it less desirable as an option for you.

A more systemic approach, that can also affect other PCOS symptoms is to try and lose some of the weight that PCOS makes your body gain. This helps to control the insulin levels in your body, and reduce the impact of the condition as a whole. You can supplement exercise and a GI controlled diet with inositol supplements, that can help your body process insulin and promote regular menstrual cycles.

Predicting Your Ovulation Cycle

As you encourage your body to ovulate more, you need to be monitoring it for the signs of ovulation taking place. If you don’t know when you’re going to ovulate, you don’t know when you’re at your most fertile.

If you have PCOS the best way to monitor when you’re going to ovulate is to measure your Basal Body Temperature. This low, overnight body temperature is unaffected by hormonal changes and therefore very useful to people with a hormone driven condition like PCOS.

When you know when you’re due to ovulate, you can try to conceive during your ‘fertile window’ and you know you have the best chance of success.

Why Quality Meat is Important for the Keto Diet

Why Quality Meat is Important for the Keto Diet

If you follow dietary news — or just know anyone in the health and fitness community — there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the ketogenic diet. The keto diet is an exciting, scientific approach to general fitness, and people who have tried it swear by its efficacy as a way of losing weight in a rapid but healthy fashion.

Basically, the keto diet is a way of taking advantage of a basic fact about the human body: while we naturally burn carbohydrates and sugars as a primary energy source, if carbs are cut significantly, the body enters a state called ketosis in which it starts burning fat first. So long as you continue to keep your carb intake below a certain critical threshold (and increase your fat intake to compensate), you can stay in ketosis indefinitely.

This means that people on the keto diet often need to completely change what they are eating on a day-to-day basis. And because the keto diet runs on fat, many keto eaters compensate for their reduced carb intake by eating more fat-heavy meats, like steaks, ground beef, and sausages. This in turn can cause problems if the meat being consumed is low quality.

The Difference Between Clean and Dirty Keto

In the literature about keto, a distinction is often made between “clean” and “dirty” keto. A greasy hamburger with a slice of cheese on top of it is a keto meal, but it may not be particularly healthy in other ways, which is why cleaner ways of doing keto emphasize whole foods, plenty of vegetables, and sustainable meats.

Clean keto eaters tend to have more success in the long run, because dirty keto simply does not provide as much in the way of essential nutrients and vitamins. If you are considering giving the keto diet a try, therefore, you have to think about more than just the macronutrients: you also need to make sure you are eating balanced, healthy meals.

The Importance of Good Meat for Clean Keto

While the Keto diet emphasizes fat, protein also plays a major role, especially in controlling appetite and cravings. Because protein rich foods like beans and lentils also have a lot of carbs, most keto eaters will turn to meat to provide this macronutrient.

Good quality meats like grass fed steak are essential for clean keto, because they supply an abundance of iron, omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acid and vitamin E. And because most farms that produce grass fed cattle have also embraced sustainable farming methods that produce healthier meat with a smaller carbon footprint, they provide nutrition that is cleaner for you and better for the world.

Fortunately, with the keto convenience of mail order steak it is easy to get high quality meat delivered straight to your door, which means that augmenting this aspect of your keto diet doesn’t have to come at the cost of time and energy spent shopping at specialty butcher shops.

As anyone who has tried it will tell you, the keto diet is an exciting adventure that can yield truly surprising results. But if you are thinking about going keto in 2019, make sure to do it in a clean way by emphasizing high quality local meats that will provide your body with the fuel it needs.

Living in Luxury; It’s All A Brain Trick

Living in Luxury; It’s All A Brain Trick

Source: Unsplash

Living in luxury is something that many people aspire to do. There are those who easily find themselves surrounded by luxurious items and there are some that have to do a lot of work to get the luxuries that they have. There are those that can do a little searching online with sites like Modvisor.com and find thrifty ways to obtain a little luxury here and there in their life. No matter the method on how we obtain our luxuries, there is some science behind why everyone in some way craves a little luxury in their life. That’s right, even our wants for the finer things in life start in our head by our brains sending signals based on many different things we have experienced.

One of the things that our heads naturally do is assume that because something has a higher price tag, it is better than those similar things that cost less. I know it sounds a little absurd that our brains act like that, but it is very true. There have been many studies done on this very subject. For example, a large group of people were rating the flavor of wines they were tasting based only on the price tag on the bottle of wine. The bottles that had higher price tags were rated as having a better taste. The study has also been done where high price tags were put on cheaper bottles of wine and the bottles priced higher and were rated as better than those with lower prices, when in reality the wines with the lower prices were actually the more expensive wines.

The same theory is true for high fashion clothing. Our brains naturally associate better quality with higher prices and name brands. We not only associate quality with these things, but high price tags and popular brands also make us feel more luxurious. There is an extra bounce in a woman’s step when she puts on a pair of shoes made by an exclusive designer. This bounce comes from us hearing through so many types of advertising that these things are what the stars are wearing. It tricks our brain into feeling like we are richer than we actually are. Men and women alike are affected by little tricks like this. You can put two men in an identical suit, but if one carried the Armani label and the other had no label at all, the man in the labeled suit would feel more important, even if the only difference in the other suit was that the labels had been removed.

This doesn’t only extend to things such as wine and clothes. There are things around us every day that can affect how luxurious we feel. There is nothing out there like the feel of driving a brand new car. However, we feel completely different behind the wheel of a Lexus than we do driving a brand new Chevrolet. What is even more interesting is that we can be driving a used Lexus and still feel more luxurious than we would driving a new Chevrolet. It all comes with how our brain reacts to hearing the word “Lexus.” It is automatically associated with money and luxury; whereas, most people associate “Chevrolet” with a simple car or truck.

This need for luxury spreads everywhere in our life. All over our homes, we have electronics and many of us are very brand specific in the things that we purchase. This is because we have heard those brands are better and are of higher quality than the brands that cost less. From things like the cell phones in our pockets to the computers we use in our homes, and the appliances we use in our kitchen; we choose these items many times based on the brand name and price alone without doing much comparison for lower priced items. Our brains naturally think that because they cost more, they must be better.

There really is nothing sacred when it comes to how our minds react to luxury. However, it even works on the smallest things in life. Name brand products at the grocery store just make us feel better than if we buy off-brand products, even though many times the items are made by the very same manufacturer. The only difference is the label that is slapped on the side of the packaging. This isn’t only groceries though, we feel the same about cleaning products, office merchandise, or even the plates and glasses we eat off of.

Winter is coming: how to survive cold snaps

Winter is coming: how to survive cold snaps

Weather is getting increasingly unpredictable these days, and even during the warmer months, you never know when a cold snap might be coming. It’s important to be prepared and know what to do if you get caught out by an unexpected chill. This will reduce the risk of you getting ill, help to spare you from unexpectedly high fuel bills, and help to you keep warm with minimal damage to the environment. It will also keep your home in better condition so that it’s less likely to develop problems such as mold.

Fit a smart thermostat

One of the first things you can do to protect your home from cold weather is to fit a smart thermostat. This can be controlled through your phone from just about anywhere, so if you hear that a cold snap is coming when you’re away, you can turn up the heat at home to prevent damage and protect any pets who might still be there. It also means that you can arrange for your home to be warmest at key times, such as when you get up in the morning and when you come home from work, rather than running the heat on full all the time – and you can adjust those times with ease when your schedule changes. More sophisticated systems can monitor weather predictions and make changes for you.

Layer up

The best way to keep your body warm in winter is with layered clothing because layers of fabric trap layers of air that heat struggles to travel across – rather like the space inside a vacuum flask. You can take the same approach with materials in your home, from throws and blankets to snuggle under on the living room couch to extra blankets on your bed. This approach works best if you put the fluffiest blankets on the bottom, where they will trap warm air around your body, and thin, dense blankets on the top, where they will provide a secondary layer of insulation, trapping the heat. Finally, a bedspread with a shiny underside helps to prevent heat from radiating away.

Shield your windows

When it’s cold, you need more than thin, delicate drapes that barely even block out the light. Heavy velvet, fleece or woolen curtains provide much better insulation – or better still, you can use shutters, which make particularly attractive living room or bedroom decoration. You can also get sheets of plastic film to attach to your window panes, which have a similar effect to adding an extra layer of glazing. Open up your shutters or curtains as soon as the sun comes up so that it can pour in and heat up your home the way that greenhouses are heated, but close them again as soon as it goes dark to prevent heat from leaking out.

Turn on the fan

Most people think of fans as summer tools to be used for keeping the temperature down, but on cold days, your fan can have a different effect. Because hot air rises, it often gets trapped near the ceiling, making the upper part of the room much warmer than the part you’re actually moving around in. If it’s set to spin clockwise, then your fan will push some of that warm air back down to where it’s needed. A related trick involves putting shelves about three inches above your radiators and covering their undersides with cooking foil, which means that the heat from those radiators doesn’t go straight up but instead spreads out sideways into the room.

Check your insulation

You can make sure that you’re ready for cold snaps by checking on your insulation at intervals throughout the year. Insulation can get damaged easily by pests and by small, natural shifts in the fabric of your home that cause cracks to appear. Look out for such cracks and fill them up as soon as you spot them. Replace any damaged insulation and perform other routine tasks such as checking the lagging on your pipes, checking for leaks, and running your hot water system for an hour to make sure that your boiler is in good condition.

Once it gets cold, think about how to make best use of all the heat you generate. Cook whenever you have the time because it won’t just produce tasty food, but will also heat your kitchen. Consider eating your meals there or leave the door open afterwards so that heat circulates through the rest of your home. Small measures like this can have a big cumulative effect. They’ll help you get through unexpected chilly periods and they’ll help you cope with whatever winter eventually throws at you.

Causes of Night Sweats in Men

Causes of Night Sweats in Men
Source

Night sweats are not just associated with women, men experience them also. Night sweats in women are generally associated with hormonal changes. While men also go through testosterone changes that can be responsible for slight night sweats, there are other reasons why night sweats men are also disruptive.

Some causes that night sweats don’t give men a good night’s sleep can be benign or not. Other stressors can include stress, dietary issues, or environmental causes.

  1. Diet: food triggers like caffeine, alcohol, high-carb foods, spicy foods, or smoking can cause night sweats in men, especially when they are eaten right before you go to bed. Many foods that trigger sweats affect the parotid gland that alerts your sweat glands which are the body’s cooling system.
  2. Bedding: many night sweats for men are part of the benign environment. This is due to changes in the body’s temperature as a result of a room’s temperature being too hot, mattresses emitting heat, and many bedding covering. Simply make your bed cooler by lying down on breathable bedding and also wear light breathable fabrics next to your body.
  3. Andropause: men who are over 40 experience a form of menopause in women. Andropause or low “T” is also a hormonal imbalance, but in men, night sweats can occur as well as hot flashes. Male andropause is a normal aging process and commonly occurs in men after age 40, but have occasionally effected men in their 30s. There are great innovative therapies and treatments to combat this problem and giving men more confidence.
  4. Stress: stress during the night can cause sweat ranging from slight, moderate, intense or severe. Stress night sweats come in waves with results in the body that includes raising your metabolism, respiration rates, and sweaty perspiration. Worrying as you are lying down triggers a stress response causing night sweats. Before you lie down, put in some activity or an exercise like yoga, meditation, or walking.
  5. Medical: if night sweats are a regular event, make sure that you see a doctor. Night sweats can occur due to an infection. Unfortunately, there have been infections associated with night sweats in men that have included HIV, tuberculosis, heart issues, IBS, and diabetes. Strokes, sleep apnea, and certain cancer diseases can be a medical warning of their diagnosis. Certain prescription medications also identify night sweats as a side effect. Many medications with side effects of night sweats(diabetic drugs, antidepressant drugs, pain relievers, steroids, etc.) is a normal symptom that doctors can help you with.
  6. Obesity: night sweats are just one common symptom for men who are overweight. The body is transformed into an insulator that holds fat when there is extra fat on the body causing night sweats.
  7. Caffeine: A caffeinated alcoholic drink or caffeinated alcoholic beverage is a drink that contains both alcohol (also known formally as ethanol) and caffeine. Also, coffee and caffeinated beverages can trigger night sweats when taken before bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant that triggers various reactions in the nervous system that includes raising your blood pressure, increasing your heart rate, and triggering the sweat glands.
  8. Alcohol/Drug Withdrawals: Going through withdrawals symptoms from alcoholism or drug addictions is terrifying but it also carries symptoms like excessive sweating which is the least of the problems. There is an excessive sweating condition known as “hyperhidrosis.” Sweating, however, occurs throughout the day and the night when a person is fighting withdrawal symptoms.

Night Sweats Are Treatable

The treatment of night sweats depends on the causes that are identified above. Thanks to innovative medical solutions, there are varied treatments to end or reduce night sweats in men. Night sweats affect around 3% of the U.S. population, but thankfully not all sweats are caused by severe medical issues. Research and medical studies are still underway to identify more definitively the exact causes of night sweats in men. However, just to be certain, talk to your physician to succinctly identify the root cause. There are oral medications that take care of the prescribed treatments. But you can also go back to the older route of simply changing your diet to allow for dryer clothing at night and overall better sleeping experience.

Flavoured Syrups: All The Rage In Cooking, Baking, And In Mixing Drinks

Flavoured Syrups: All The Rage In Cooking, Baking, And In Mixing Drinks

Flavoured syrups have recently gained in popularity. They come in various flavors with different options including organic or sugar-free varieties. They are used in many ways and are found in countless recipes in cooking, baking, cocktails, and flavored coffee to just name a few.

Cooking

As the saying goes, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. This recipe adds extra flavor to your standard French toast breakfast by using a maple pancake flavored syrup. The recipe calls for 8 slices of bread, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 4 tablespoons of butter, 4 eggs, ¼ cup of milk, ½ teaspoon of vanilla extra, and 2 tablespoons of maple pancake flavored syrup (or maple spice flavored syrup if want a slight spiciness to your French toast). Instructions indicate to combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside. Next, in a skillet or pan, melt butter over medium heat. Combine dry mixture with the eggs, milk, vanilla, and syrup. Dip bread in the mixture then fry until it turns golden brown on both sides. Serve French toast with warm syrup topped with butter.

It’s the middle of winter and you’re sitting in front of your fireplace. You dream of a tropical getaway while craving some BBQ chicken and mangos. Break out your George Foreman grill because you can make this recipe indoors (for lunch or dinner) even without actual mangos. For best results, the chicken will need to be marinated for 24 hours. However, if you are wanting to cook this recipe within the day, give the marinade at least 4 hours to work into the meat. The recipe asks for 4 pieces of 4-ounce boneless chicken breast or thigh meat, salt and pepper (to taste), 1 cup of mango flavored syrup (or spicy mango flavored syrup), ¼ cup of BBQ sauce, a teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. To begin, wash and clean chicken pieces then pat dry. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat and set aside. In a bowl, combine syrup, BBQ sauce, and red pepper flakes. Pour mixture in a ziplock bag together with the chicken meat. Marinate. Again, 24 hours of marinating time will give you the best results, but at least 4 hours of marinating will suffice. After marinating, remove chicken from the ziplock bag and pour used marinade in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer marinade for about 20 minutes until mixture is reduced. Add sesame oil and stir. Grill chicken and baste with the reduced marinade. Cook thoroughly and let the BBQ rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with rice or baked potatoes.

Baking

Another way to incorporate flavoured syrups is through baking. In this recipe, you will be making a s’more flavored sponge cake. The recipe asks for 6 large room-temperature eggs, 1 cup of granulated sugar, 1 cup of all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, 2 tablespoons of toasted marshmallow flavored syrup, ½ cup of chocolate syrup (for drizzling), 1 tub of whip cream, and 1 to 2 cups of crushed graham crackers. To make, preheat oven to 350˚F. While preheating, line two 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper, do not grease sides. In a bowl that is to be attached to an electric mixer, beat eggs for 1 minute on high. While the mixer is still beating the eggs, pour 1 cup of sugar with the toasted marshmallow syrup into the bowl. Mix for 10 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder then pour into mixing bowl, 1/3 at a time. With each addition, fold mixture and scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl with a spatula until mixture is fully incorporated. When there are no longer streaks of flour, stop mixing. This is to prevent over-mixing which can cause the batter to deflate. Pour mixture evenly between the baking pans. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Once baked, allow to cool then remove cake from pans. Once removed, divide and empty the tub of whip cream on top of the cakes then sprinkle graham crackers on top. You can either combine the cakes to form 1 cake or serve separately. Drizzle chocolate over the cake and serve slightly warm.

These are only a few recipes that incorporate the use of flavoured syrups. As previously mentioned, flavoured syrups are also used to flavor coffee and make cocktails. You will find a number of recipes doing a quick search online.

Achieving Happiness Inside and Out

Achieving Happiness Inside and Out

There are two completely different polarities of thought on the importance of our appearance. One tells us that the outside is not important. It’s the inside that counts. Don’t judge a book by its cover is a popular phrase that speaks unimportance to anything aesthetic or outwardly. Then there is the school of thought that our internal world influences our outward appearance. We are what we eat, that true happiness will shine through, are phrases often repeated in this world of thought. Which side is true, and where should we put our self-worthiness when it comes to appearance? Perhaps the answer lies in reconciling both reasonings.

For some, outward appearance is debilitating and for others, it is the expression of their true self. In today’s culture of inclusion and celebrating all skin and body types, it can be freeing or excessively complicated to hone in on our own sense of aesthetic, contentment and happiness. We sometimes can see this in others who appear to be glowing. It doesn’t matter whether we find their outward appearance attractive, they have a healthy relationship with their internal and external worlds and that has them beaming.

If we solely focus on our outward appearance, we can curate exactly an image that we wish to portray. Being good at design, fashion, styling, hair, and makeup can be extremely useful in playing and finding the look that best suits us and makes us feel good. Sculpting our bodies with exercise, alterations, and filters can also produce any appearance of our choosing. Whether this blooms true happiness is another question.

A woman might feel the calling to motherhood her whole life, but is also very worried about the effects it will have on her body. This fear prevents her from accepting that having a child would truly make her happy. Once she realizes there are options to address her changing body after birth, she no longer has the fear shielding her true desire. The aesthetic services at Chicago Weight Loss and Wellness Clinic have a balanced list of practices and procedures that address many issues aesthetically and holistically.

Pruning our internal world, self-exploration, introspection, and focusing on embodiment are the other known paths to happiness. If we are experiencing low self-confidence because of extra weight or bad skin, the pathway inward can reveal the root cause of these outward appearances. This path is very effective but there are no short cuts. Often, walking the path of self-knowing we find a lot about our appearance we are not happy with. If we stop there and only address the outward discontents, something still gnaws at us from the inside. We can appear happy with ourselves, but the inner compass knows better.

Inner work is to reveal what truly doesn’t make us feel good and put it to light. This at first does not make us feel better because we are confronted with some uncomfortable ideas which might also show up through acne or bad digestion. Once we reveal what doesn’t make us feel good we can then address these issues holistically. The trap with this type of wellness work is that we can get trapped in the weeds of all of our perceived problems. Becoming clear with our internal world and using that as a platform to build our outer appearance often builds a strong sense of self and confidence in playing and having fun with how we wish to express that to the world.

In a world where we are sold happiness in products and marketing, it is hard to know what contributes to happiness any more. It becomes a more and more important question whose answer gets buried amongst what others tell us. The illusiveness of happiness perhaps lies in between the lines; we often assume that if we’re happy we cannot feel discontent and vice versa.

Happiness is a feeling and feelings can rarely be calibrated into compartments. If we have accomplished everything we set out to do in our lives, but feel our outside body doesn’t match that inner balance, it can forever affect how we view ourselves and our accomplishments. Giving yourself the freedom to work on both, and realizing that our mutable bodies are living breathing creatures that are not meant to stay stagnant or fixed through a lifetime. We have the internal freedom to change and shift whenever we choose. Now we also have the ability to change our outer appearance as well.

How to Make an Emergency Response Plan for Your Family

How to Make an Emergency Response Plan for Your Family

There’s an interesting saying that goes: “Preparedness is the calm before, during, and after the storm.” Indeed, it’s good to get started on the idea of preparedness, knowing how unpredictable life can be. Emergencies can take all manner of shape or size, ranging from individual episodes of illness to wide-scale natural disasters. The most common ones in Australia—such as bushfires, storms, and flash floods—often occur with little to no notice beforehand.

It’s never too early to teach your young children about the worst-case scenario. Neither is it an inconvenient time to brush up on knowledge you’ve acquired in the past, such as how to do basic first aid or how to conduct an earthquake drill. One of the tools that will be of great help in jumpstarting your household’s overall preparedness for emergencies is your own Emergency Response Plan. Queensland Government’s guidelines on preparing an Emergency Response Plan serve as an excellent primer, and they highlight a set of 3 principles that should be upheld by your family:

  • Know – in that your household members should know the mechanics of the Emergency Response Plan, and where inside your house to find all relevant materials;
  • Involve – in that all of your household members should be involved in the plans and are prepared to do their part;
  • Practice – in that each member should practice what to do and where to go, so that everyone’s movements are nimble and confident when the time comes.

We’re also compiling our own tips for you below. Here are 4 additional points of action to supplement your household’s own Emergency Response Plan.

  1. Stock up on knowledge and skills that will be of good use during emergencies. Some of the physical and mental skills that could prove vital in the case of emergency are: knowing how to apply first aid, knowing how to swim, and knowing how to defend oneself. You could allot some of your family’s time and resources toward acquiring first aid certification from a first aid training provider in Brisbane,local swim classes, or other related endeavours.

    These are just some ways to keep your bodies fit and your minds sharp under the pressure of an emergency. Your Emergency Response Plan is best implemented by household members who are both physically and emotionally prepared.

  2. Keep all channels open. Put together a comprehensive list of people who can convey knowledge, and/or offer assistance, in a dangerous situation. Your list of contacts might include the following:
  • At least 2 family members who are not part of the household (such as sets of grandparents or aunts/uncles/cousins);
  • Your/your spouse’s workplace;
  • The number of the school/s your children go to;
  • Your local council;
  • Medical services;
  • Service providers for electricity, water, telecommunications, and others;
  • Your local radio station;
  • The weather bureau;
  • Veterinary services (if your family owns pets), and;
  • Insurance providers.

Keep this list updated and within everyone’s line of vision. You can tack up hard copies to your refrigerator, bulletin board, and on the doors of your bedrooms.

  1. Lay out emergency scenarios with your family. Take an opportunity to sit down and to be candid with your family about the different situations that could unfold. Walk them through where each family member is likely to be (i.e. in school or in the office), which persons would act as the first line of communication (i.e. neighbours or relatives), and how you will keep in contact with each other (i.e. cellular phone or landline). This part of your Emergency Response Plan can take the form of a flowchart; you, your spouse, and your children could all take turns drawing and explaining.     
  2. Assemble a medicine kit, emergency food and water supplies, and emergency power supplies. Ideally, your medicine kit and your stock of food and water supplies should take you through a minimum of 72 hours in duress. Your medicine kit should contain all the medicines and medical implements needed for first aid, such as the following:
  • Plasters;
  • Ointments;
  • Safety pins;
  • Scissors;
  • Tweezers;
  • Thermometer;
  • Painkillers;
  • Cough medicine, and,

The medicine kit should also contain emergency dosages of medication for those in your household suffering from a chronic illness.

On the other hand, your supply of consumables should include non-perishable, easy-to-eat foods such as biscuits, dried fruit, canned meat, powdered milk, and of course clean filtered water. Complete the assembly with flash lights, batteries, whistles, and basic hand tools. A good practice is to label everything with instructions for use, and with their respective expiry dates. Replenish each of these kits as needed every few months.

All in all, these four tips should be of good use in compiling a unique, well-crafted Emergency Response Plan for your household. Here’s to the good health and safety of your family!

CBD Edibles – A Popular Way To Take Medical Marijuana

CBD Edibles – A Popular Way To Take Medical Marijuana

People who have been using marijuana for decades will know that when it comes to edibles, it can be a bit of a mixed bag. While there are THC edibles and THC-free edibles, each does a very different job and would be taken for very different reasons. With that said, why would you take each? Which is better for you and why would you prefer THC-free ones? Here we break it down a bit to show you the difference, effects and results of edibles and why you might want THC-free ones.

Edibles – An Overview

Edibles! They’re great, they’re tasty and they get the job done. Depending what you want out of your day in taking your medicinal marijuana, edibles can do just about any of the jobs you need doing and they do them well. Edibles come in a couple of formats, all of which are great for various reasons. CBD infused edibles which help you chill out, relax and can help reduce pain and anxiety and THC edibles which get you high – sometimes to a level where you ‘trip’ a bit if you take too much. Trust us – the latter is not what you want if you’re looking to chill, so you’re better off with CBD, or THC free edibles which will just help take the edge off when you get home from work – or even if you’re at work and need the edge off.

THC Edibles

These edibles are commonly known as things like hashcakes or hashbrownies, pot cookies or the like. They exist mainly for fun and to get you high, but in a slightly different way to smoking a joint. This is more of a heady mixed with body high, and if you eat too much you can end up having auditory and some visual hallucinations. Don’t worry though – if this isn’t your bag, they’re easily avoidable. Just look explicitly for THC free edibles.

THC Free Edibles

These are the perfect edibles for anyone who wants to take the edge off of their pain, anxiety, depression or any other issues they may have without getting high. Ideal for those who want to use an all natural product for their symptom management but want to remain able to function, go to work and generally still be productive. Many edibles with THC can make you generally very unmotivated due to the heavy relaxing effects, so CBD or THC free edibles are perfect for people who just want the edge taken off their issues in a great, health conscious, non-pharmaceutical way.

If you’re wondering which to try, the answer is easy: if you want to get high, THC edibles can be fun but go careful and don’t take too much. If you want to chill without the high, THC free is the place to be. It’s up to the individual in what they choose – some want the intense relaxation that THC can provide but don’t want to risk the anxiety or paranoia it can cause too. So at the end of the day – do your research and see which sounds the best for you!