Archive for December, 2011

Winter Tips to Protect Animals

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

Here are just a few quick suggestions for helping animals this winter. Please feel free to add your own in the comments section below.

1. CHIMNEYS: Always inspect your chimney before lighting a fire and consider adding a chimney cap/ screen for extra protection.

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2. CAR ENGINES: It’s a good to keep in mind that animals will crawl up onto a car engine for warmth. If you’re not comfortable popping the hood each time to look, you may want to try honking the horn once or twice and then wait at least 45 seconds before starting the car, giving any animal a chance to vacate the car.

3. WALKWAYS: Carefully wash and dry your pet’s paws with warm water if they’ve been walking on roads and sidewalks treated with salt.

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Never apply ice melt and other toxic chemicals to walkways. There are pet friendly alternatives such as this one.

4. FERAL CAT WARMTH: If you have homeless cats in your neighborhood, consider giving them a safe winter shelter.

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There are a variety of models you can easily put together yourself without any special tools. Always use lots and lots of straw to help the cat stay warm and dry and try to locate the house in a quiet place that won’t be submerged in the snow.

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If you make a habit of offering a bowl of food and water every morning, the cats will naturally fall into a routine and it makes it much easier if you’re able to find a low/cost or free spay/neuter clinic to have them sterilized.

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Have a look at these great ideas for all weather cat shelters.

5. HAVE THE COURAGE TO HELP: If there’s a chained dog in your area that will be spending this winter in the bitter cold, please consider kindly approaching the owner with an offer to help.

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There are many models of heated dog house pads that run on very little electricity.

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And if you need expert help, visit the Dogs Deserve Better website.

6. A LITTLE HELP FOR WILDLIFE: If you enjoy helping wildlife through winter, consider offering an array of bird seed, cracked corn and fresh water which is crucial in preventing dehydration. Some people also tie h

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ay bales a few feet up on tree trunks to help deer.

Brought to you by The Great Animal Rescue Chase

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Gum and lung disease links

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

The Mouth-Lung Connection
Smoking remains the leading cause of serious respiratory d ise

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ases, such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The recent study did not conclusively prove that gum disease is a

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nother direct cause of COPD.

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But people in the study who were hospit alized with COPD

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and other types of lung disease had significantly higher rates of gingivitis and periodontal disease than the folks in a control group who had healthy lungs.

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It’ s not clear what the connection i

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But we know that the bacteria from dental plaque, when inhaled into the lungs, not only can cause COPD exacerbations but also might trigger respiratory infections in healthy people.

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Slow down aging by marinating with vinegar or lemon

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

All foods — but especially ones derived from animals — contain varying levels of compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These compounds are known to cause inflammation and may open the door to faster aging.

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Cooking — especially high- heat

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methods — increases formation of AGEs.

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But now new research suggests that marinating foods in an acidic, low-pH liquid — like lemon juice or vinegar — may help slow that formation down signific

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antly. AGEs in beef were cut in half after marinating for an hour — but shorter amounts of time may help, too.

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(Here’s a spice that may help prevent the production of HCA, another harmful cooking compound.)

How AGEs Age
Meats and full-fat cheeses contain the most AGEs, followed by pork, fish, and eggs — although even fruit, vegetables, and whole grains may contain small amounts.

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Marinating your food is one way to minimize AGEs.

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Another option: Cook over low, moist heat.

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Boiling, poaching, steaming, and stewing are all great choices.

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Dog’s morning ritual

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Watch video. It’ s a riot.

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5 Ridiculous Sex Myths From History (You Probably Believe)

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Since the sexual revolution of the ’60s, we tend to think that sexuality from the Baby Boomers back to the beginning of time was a long history

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of repressed urges, prudish fundamentalist restrictions and brutal rape politics.

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[I]t turns out that a lot of what BBC dramas tell you about sex in history is just a fanciful cover for sex lives that didn’ t differ

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Myths that persist to this day include …

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The wonder of the Incarnation

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Christianity is an amalgamation of Judaism and classical philosophical thought, not merely completed Judaism, as some mistakenly believe. The notion that God became a man in Christis anathema to Jews.

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In Christ, however, the great prophetic tradition of Judaism is tugged through space and time, part of the warp and woof of the tapestry of creation.  For, in the Incarnation, God chose to weave himself into creation.

The Kaballah teaches that Moses had to come back as Noah because he had to learn that God’s plan was not just to save one’s own family, but that God’s purpose extends to the entire nation.  The Christian teachings are that God through Christ extends this salvific plan to the world, and from there to the entire universe, that God “might be all in all.” God’s mercy, justice, grace, and love are not to be given just to those in our immediate circle, but to all creatures, not only humanity, but all things that we share life with.

On this Christmas, when so many are suffering around the world, hoping to find grace, seeking justice and mercy and love, may all of us, no matter our religion–or none–no matter our race or gender or station in life–remember this. And do our best to be God’s incarnations in ourselves.

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Animals sing jingle bells

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Watch video.

Steaming for better insulin response

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

In a study, steaming seemed to beat frying, grilling, and roasting when it came to maintaining insulin responsiveness.

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The study participants who ate foods cooked at high heat had poorer insulin sensitivity compared with the folks who often ate lightly steamed foods.

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The high-heat cookers also experienced a drop in their blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E.

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All bad news if you’ re hoping to dodge diabetes or heart disease.

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10 Cancer-Causers to Remove From Your Home

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Read article.

Vinegar Steadies Blood Sugar

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Keeping blood sugar from surging may cut down on diabetes risk in the l

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ong run. But stabilizing blood sugar can do good things instantly, too — like stymieing hunger pangs, keeping your energy up, and keeping pounds off.

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To get the blood sugar benefit of vinegar, try pairing starchy foods with vinegar-based sauces or dressings.

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Or start a meal with a salad dressed in oil and vinegar.

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Thomas Ramey Watson is an affiliate faculty member of Regis University's College of Professional Studies. He has served as an Episcopal chaplain (lay), trained as a psychotherapist, done postdoctoral work at Cambridge University, and was named a Research Fellow at Yale University.

In addition to his scholarly writings, he is a published author of poetry and fiction.

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