The Health Benefits of Cold Showers

There are many things we can do to live a healthier lifestyle, and whilst some are fun and logical others sound horrific and wacky.  Indeed, the practice of having daily cold showers might appear to be more aligned with the latter.

 

The idea of replacing a long, warm, steamy shower with a short blast of icy cold water – particularly first thing in the morning, is not a thought many relish.  Indeed, we only tend to experience this when we have hot water system problems yet there are many health benefits to taking cold showers, some of which we will look at in this article.

In short, the long-term health benefits would appear to outweigh the short-term pain.  Indeed, fans of the phrase “no pain no gain” will love the concept of having a cold shower in order to boost physical well being, productivity, and one’s mental fortitude.

Here are several reasons why incorporating cold showers in your life could provide a number of significant mental and physical health benefits:

  1. Increase Alertness

It’s easy to see how taking a cold shower in the morning might leave you feeling more alert, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface, as in response to your body’s shock, the depth and rate of your breathing will increase, thus your oxygen intake will increase dramatically.  

In addition, your heart rate will increase, meaning fresh oxygenated blood will be pumped around your entire body.

There’s a lot of recent mention in terms of the benefits of cold showers, yet this is not something new, as Katherine Hepburn took ice-cold baths throughout her life — due to the high level of energy she reported having as a result.

 

  1. Speeds up muscle recover

It’s common for athletes to take an ice bath after intense training in order to reduce muscle soreness; yet a quick cold shower, can be just as effective in terms of stimulating one’s metabolism and relieving the aches and pains that are associated with delayed-onset muscle soreness.  

 

Apparently, a 24 minute cold water bath at a temperature of 10 to 15 degree celsius (50 to 59 degrees fahrenheit) are the optimal conditions, yet a short sharp cold shower is better than nothing.

 

Furthermore, there’s evidence to suggest cold showers have a general analgesic effect on the body; for instance they are particularly good at relieving tension headaches due to the blood that subsequently rushes to the brain in order to protect it from the cold water.

 

  1. Relieve Depression

Cold showers have been known to help with depression due to the stimulating impact on cold receptors in the skin, that basically send an overwhelming electrical impulse from the nerve endings back to the brain; thus producing an anti-depressive effect that helps boost mood.
Indeed, a study published by a molecular biologist, Nikolai Shevchuk, found evidence that cold showers can help alleviate the symptoms of depression to the extent they may be more effective than antidepressants — on the basis exposure to cold water helps flood your brain with neurotransmitters, which is perhaps why surfers and those that swim in cold water each day, are often so cheerful and grounded.

 

What Scares The Novice Gardener?

If you’ve been gardening for a long time, you probably find it hard to remember what used to worry you about growing plants and maintaining them. But for the novice gardener, the world is divided into two clear groups: The people who were born with green thumbs and those who don’t know a thing about plants and could probably kill them just by looking at their leaves. In reality, when it comes to gardening, it’s about gaining experience and learning as you do it. There’s no green thumb gene or magic but only applied experience. However, statistics reveal that for a lot of novices, it’s about reassurance more than acquiring the relevant knowledge. They need to see that gardening is easier than it first appears. More importantly, they need to know that they’ll be able to do it. After all, everyone starts with the same garden knowledge. Only those who ask and practice can get better, so there is plenty of room for novices to grow in skills and confidence rapidly. But first of all, let’s address the key areas of worries and try to provide answers that would convince novices to give gardening a go.

 

What are your gardening skills?

The journey to become a gardener starts in a variety of ways. But, according to Alice Vincent, a renowned and experienced small space gardener, you can grow pretty much anything as long as you understand how to keep a plant alive. It might sound challenging at first, but often it doesn’t need much more than getting used to plants. For Alice, it all started by buying one of those pre-potted basil plants from her local grocery shop. As she points out, it’s a learning process, and there’s no shame in asking around as you approach your first gardening project. You’ll find a lot of support from your local garden center as well from a community garden. But more importantly, do not be afraid of mistakes. They happen, and they’re your best tutors while you’re learning. You hone your skills through your mistakes and your successes.

Do you have a specific garden design in mind?

There are different types of gardeners. Some think of the individual plants they want to try and grow, while others have a clear picture of what they want their garden to look and feel like in terms of colors and smells. If you have in mind a vision of your ideal garden design, do make sure to understand how to different plants will look and grow as the seasons change, as seen here https://www.aforagershome.com/blog/. Additionally, if you’re looking for clean and neat contours, you should be looking for hedges – you can find partially grown hedging trees in garden centers – as well as defining sitting areas.

The expensive greenhouse

The main question about gardening is whether you want to grow your own food or whether you just want to create a bright and colorful flower garden. For people who want to eat what they grow, the safest option is to use a greenhouse to keep your plants warm during the cold months. In regions where the winter temperatures are freezing overnight, you will need to ensure that your greenhouse is sufficiently heated, checking for cost-efficient energy solutions with https://lumoenergy.com.au/. Admittedly, this isn’t to say that you can’t keep your greenhouse warm without electricity. https://www.flowerpotman.com/greenhouse-gardening/winter-greenhouse-heating/ You can, but you need to be aware that only regions that enjoy a warm winter can safely keep plants in a non-heated environment.

The secret to successful pruning

There’s nothing worse for novice gardeners than discovering that their beloved trees haven’t survived the pruning process. What went wrong? One of the most common mistakes is to top your tree, which means to cut it back so that only the stumps of the large branches are left. This puts a lot of pressure on your tree. Instead, you should cut at a joint so that you can reduce the height or width while leaving the tree able to heal itself. For large branches – larger than 1” in diameter, you want to make an undercut to prevent the branch from splitting. But ultimately, there’s only one thing to remember, and it’s to make sure that the tree still has plenty of food sources – leaves – to heal and grow.  

Enjoying the garden like anyone else

Your garden is more than a hobby. It is an extension of your house. Consequently, you need to remember that your outdoors are also here to be appreciated. It’s not just a place for you to work. And this means that you need to find comfortable and attractive furniture for your seating area. Will it be an outdoor sofa with a low table? Are you more of a rocking chair person or do you like the charm of a cottage afternoon tea table and chair? When there’s nowhere to sit and relax, the garden becomes like a second office.

Time investment

You’d love to grow a vegetable garden, but you’re worried about time investment? After all, you work during the week, so you probably don’t have time to grow your own food. Wrong. You’ll find that for less than an hour per week, you can manage a small harvest of fresh vegetables and saves money on grocery shopping. A little bit of know-how when it comes to lawn care can even make the world of difference with something as simple as what your grass looks like.  Additionally, for families, it’s a great relaxing activity with the kids at the end of the day.

 

4 Things That Are Subtly Robbing You Of Your Self-Esteem

The ability to feel happy in oneself is something that we all desire and need in order to live full and happy lives. But so many of us fail to really enjoy our own feeling of self. And such a lack of self-worth is rarely the kind of thing that anyone would wish for in the long term. Going about changing that can mean uprooting years of subconsciously buried beliefs about oneself, bringing them out into the light and making them conscious, so that a kind of healing can occur. But it also helps to look at whether there is anything in your life which might be subtly robbing you of yourself-worth, as can so easily happen right beneath our noses. Let’s take a look at some things which might be making you feel worse about yourself, whether you know it or not.

Your Career

If you enjoy your work, and you are good at what you do, then it is perfectly possible that it is actually something of a personal boost for your self-esteem. However, when the opposite is the case, and you are stuck in a dead-end job which you cannot stand, it can absolutely have the opposite effect. Being stuck in a job which is below you or just wrong for you can mean that you end up feeling more and more helpless to change anything as time goes on. You will gradually be thinking less of yourself, and you’ll probably find that it only gets worse if you bury your head in the sand. It can be hard to suddenly up sticks and move to another job, but if it means being happier with yourself then it might actually be worth your while. Consider this if you think your current job might be wrong for you. It could be doing you more harm than you suppose.

Your Teeth

A lot of people have constant troubles with their teeth, and there are many health concerns arising from this fact. But it is also true that your feeling of self-worth might well be intricately tied up with your oral hygiene, and if you are not managing to look after your teeth very well then it could mean that you are suffering form a low self-esteem too. This can be a deadly cycle, so it’s a good idea to break it. It might even be the case that you are looking after your teeth, but because you have been unlucky you just don’t have very attractive teeth when you smile. If this is the case, it might be a matter of needing to follow in the footsteps of Olena Khamula and getting some cosmetic dentistry work done. Sometimes, this is the only way to fix your smile – and doing so will absolutely give you the kind of improvement in your self-esteem which you have been looking for.

Your Diet

What you eat affects pretty much everything in your life, and it turns out that it might even have something to do with your self-esteem. If you are eating poorly, rarely getting all of the nutrients that you need, then it is likely that your body and mind are not functioning properly. This inevitably leads to a feeling that something is wrong, and before you know what that might be, you might just assume there is something wrong with you as an individual. This is a powerful example of the kind of subtle ways in which these problems can work. Your diet could be robbing you of your feeling of self-esteem, which in turn might lead to you eating even more poorly in future. Clearly, this is not as situation anyone wants to be in, so if you think you are falling into this trip, try to make an effort to eat a little better in the future. You will find that it really does improve how you feel about yourself, and quickly too.

Your Sleeping Patterns

How are you sleeping? If you are like most people with poor self esteem, the answer is probably: not very well. Bing unable to properly fall asleep, or tossing and turning throughout the night, can really wreak havoc on your system, and especially how you feel about yourself as a person. Sleeplessness can lead to a real fogginess of thought, which makes it hard to work out how you actually feel and what is really the case. It’s then a small step towards believing bad things about yourself, even if there is no basis in reality for doing so. Try to get more sleep, and you will feel alot better about yourself as a result.

Getting Swimming Fit

If you’re lucky enough to have your own swimming pool, what better way to get fit, than by master the sport of swimming.  

Swimming has been scientifically proven as one of the most effective forms of exercise; this is because it works all major muscle groups, is a great form of cardiovascular exercise, and provides support for the joints meaning it is a low risk form of exercise with regard to wear and tear, particularly when compared to high impact classes such as step aerobics which, after a while, can damage the knees.

If you do have a pool of your own, it’s very important you keep check on the health of the water by ensuring an adequate supply of chlorine or similar.  You will also want to invest in a decent water pump such as those supplied by onga pumps, as the quality and health of your water is vitally important.  In this vein, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t wear makeup when in the pool, as this can not only impact on water quality, but can react with your skin and cause irritation.

The other aspect to consider, is entertainment, as swimming can be somewhat monotonous, yet today, with the invention of waterproof MP3 players you can listen to music or your favourite audiobook whilst you swim.  This is a great invention, as previously swimming could not compete with the musical energy of aerobics classes or listening to Spotify as you run on the treadmill.

With regard to the sport of swimming, let’s now take a look at the three most popular strokes:

BACKSTROKE

This stroke can improve your posture by extending your back and shoulder muscles, and is good to counteract the focus on chest contraction in the breaststroke – which could cause people to hunch over a little due to muscular imbalance; backstroke can therefore be a great way to correct posture and manage back pain.

You’ll want your body to be as flat as possible with hips up, as opposed to sunken down into the water.  Your main challenge with this stroke is that you will be facing the ceiling the whole time; meaning you’ll need to identify a marker that lets you know you are coming up to the wall.

FREESTYLE

Freestyle, also known as front crawl, is good for stretching your whole body with a particularly strong focus on the upper body including your shoulders, back and arms… in addition to your major leg muscles and glutes.

This stroke requires you to be on your stomach, and as you pull your body forward with your arms in an alternate fashion, one at a time, your arms act like scoops pulling deep through the water whilst your legs kick in a flutter style to propel your body forward.

BREASTSTROKE

Whilst this style is best avoided if you have injuries such as tendonosis, it is a great all over workout, that provides significant toning opportunities throughout the whole upper body in addition to the lower back and even the abs.  As the name suggests, the majority of the effort will be concentrated on your chest, arms, shoulders and upper back.

In summary, swimming offers a great all over body workout that is safe and effective for all.

Are You Making The Most Of Your Garden?

To many homeowners, the garden is a forgotten aspect. They know that it’s there, and they may go outside every now and again to enjoy the sunshine, but it’s not a fundamental aspect of their homelife. If you’re one of these people, then have you wondered what you might be missing out on? The garden can provide much enjoyment, and it doesn’t take much effort to get into to this level, either. In any case, you’ve paid for this part of the property, so you may as well use and enjoy it!

Get Your Hands In the Dirt

Wouldn’t it be nice to open your curtains on a spring morning, look into your back garden, and see an ocean of colourful plants smiling up at you? It’s a nice vision, and one that isn’t that unrealistic! But it’s not going to just happen. To get to that picture perfect moment, you’re going to have to put a few yards of effort in first. Fortunately, this effort doesn’t have to be hard work; in fact, you’ll find out very quickly that it’s fun! Pick the plants that you want to have in your garden, get out your gloves and gardening trowel, and get to work.

Growing Potential

And it’s not just flowers that you can grow in your garden. Your garden can also provide you with delicious food! Who’d have thought it? You don’t need to go the supermarket after all (well, for some things); you can just take a walk into your garden, put your hand to the ground, and return to your kitchen with ingredients for your meal. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of home ownership, but many people don’t make the most of the opportunity. Let’s change that!

Relaxing Spaces

When the sun is shining, there’s nothing better than spending hour after hour in the garden, beer in hand, surrounded by your friends and family. While there’s always room to enjoy other’s company no matter what state the garden is in, it’s much more enjoyable if you have a dedicated entertaining space in which everyone can unwind and relax. If you don’t currently have a deck installed, find out more, and begin the process of transforming your outdoor space for the better. Once installed, all you’ll need to do is add tables, chairs, and a BBQ, and you’ll be on your way to hosting those balmy summer evening get-togethers.

Naturally Flow Out

Your garden shouldn’t be cut off from the house. They’re not two separate spheres. Instead, your garden should naturally flow out from your home, and vice versa. To do this, look at installing patio doors at the back of your home. You’ll be able to open them up wide and let that sweet summer scent and garden view enter your home. To ensure your home and garden is kept private, look at adding a tall fence or hedge to the edge of your garden. It’ll increase the comfort levels, and keep it more secure, too.

Making The Most Of Medical Appointments

This article was originally published on Invisibly Me.

When it comes to getting doctors and specialist appointments, all too often we feel rushed and leave feeling as though we’ve not said what we wanted to, or not been listened to and taken seriously. I spent years going back and forth to various medical professionals, and although I think some offer no hope no matter how hard you try, there are certain things you can do to make the most of your appointments. Here are a few suggestions.

Make The Time Count

Be concise in what you want to say. Avoid indecision with umming and aahing and stick to the point at hand without wandering. It’s a good idea to note down what points you want to cover and to rehearse how best to say them and in what order so that you feel prepared and confident. If you get nervous or anxious, try to preempt this and listen to  your mood-boosting favourite music before you go, dress in clothes that you are comfortable in so that you’re not distracted, and even consider taking a book or magazine for the waiting room. On some occasions, I’ve wanted to go over in my head what I want to say, but other times I just need to to take a few minutes to clear my mind. It’s a case of whatever works best for you at the time.

Get Your Ducks In A Row

If you have any evidence, be that records of symptoms, or photographs of flare-ups when the problem is at it’s worst, then have it to hand. It’s sod’s law that when you arrive for a GP appointment that the symptoms you want to discuss are suddenly no longer as obvious or severe. Also take a list of your current medication as they’ll often ask about this.

Remind yourself of these things :

  1. You know your body better than anyone else.
  2. They are there to do a job; they are being paid to see to your health and wellbeing.
  3. You deserve to be treated with respect, to be taken seriously and to be listened to.

Anticipate The Next Steps

You might be able to make some educated guesses at what the GP may suggest, such as a blood test or requesting you keep a diary about your symptoms. You can keep a note of symptoms over the course of a week or more and be prepared with this when you turn up, which could save you some time & a repeat visit. If you think a blood test may be needed, clear your diary for after your appointment in case you are able to take the request form to your local hospital for the test the same day.

What Do You Want? 

Think about what it is you’re asking for. Do you want a physical exam, a sick note, a certain kind of blood test or scan? Is there something you think that may help you, a medication you’d want to try, a referral you think you need?  Sometimes GPs can benefit from suggestions and an idea of what you’re after. The worse than can do is say ‘no’ (and justify the answer), but having an idea of what you think you need can save a lot of wasted time.

Getting Blood Test Results

I find it useful to ask for a copy of blood test results, asking for them ‘for my own future reference’. This can be good so you can take a little control in managing your health and keeping track of what’s what. It can also be a way for you to cross-reference your results. In the past, this has allowed me to pick up on something a doctor has missed, and it’s also allowed me to see results classed as ‘fine’ that have been borderline and debatable, because different countries and practices have their own ‘normal ranges’. This can be problematic in the case of diagnosing thyroid problems, for instance. As a back-up, if I’m given the blood test form before having the test done, I take a photo of what they’re looking for (which is also how I’ve discovered errors on forms in the past, too).

Consider Back-Up

Being repeatedly fobbed off or not taken seriously can become very disheartening and frustrating, very quickly. Consider asking a partner, parent or close friend to come along, someone who can respectfully stay in the background during the appointment looking fierce and stepping in if necessary to fight your corner in a more professional, diplomatic way.

Don’t Give Up

Persevere, even when disheartened and frustrated. Request to see someone else if you can. If you feel you’re being treated unfairly, contact an organisation that can give advice or advocate, such as PALS. Write to the practice manager if you wish to formally complain.

Take back a little control, educate yourself,

Ingenious Ways to Make Your Favourite Food Healthy

Maintaining a healthy diet isn’t always the easiest thing to do in the world. However, it doesn’t have to be as difficult and unattainable as we all make it out to be. Believe it or not, incorporating healthy foods into our daily diets can be surprisingly simple and taste scrumptiously good. Hence, here are five ways to satisfy your cravings without compromising on your health.

 

Totally Tasty Pudding

Chocolate pudding is great for when you want something decadent and sweet for dessert. Usually this milk based chocolate treat can get you into some calorie trouble. Try cutting out some of the calories by using an avocado base instead of cream. Yes that’s right, you can make your pudding with avocados.

You want to blend some cacao powder, non-dairy milk, avocado, and sweetener in your heavy-duty blender. Let the mixture chill in your fridge a few hours. The result is creamy chocolate, and naturally good for you dessert.

DIY Pizza

If a pizza is what you and the family crave then why not make it from scratch at home? All you need to do is make your own pizza dough and just make some changes to topping.

So how do you get started? Have your homemade pizza dough ready – spread it out on a baking pan that has been properly floured – brush the pizza dough with some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle on your smoked veggies as well as a moderate amount of your favourite low fat cheese. (If you’re feeling a little fancy, feel free to mix some black pepper, garlic powder and some of your favourite spices in with your veggies beforehand!)

To really add some flavour to your pizza whip up some smoked veggies. Putting the veggies in a natural gas smoker will ensure you don’t have to load up on cheese or fatty meats to add flavour. Try using eggplant or mushroom as they hold a lot of flavour and texture.

 

We Scream for Healthy Ice Cream

Everyone loves ice cream and since more and more people are cutting out dairy, alternatives should be very readily available in your local grocery store. But if you would like to make your own ice cream then trying banana nice cream is very fast and easy.

To make banana nice cream all you need to do is freeze 3 to 4 bananas and blend in your blender. The result is a healthy version of ice cream. Use your favorite toppings such as nuts and dark chocolate to make this even more of a special treat.

 

Forget About The Fizzy Drinks

Fizzy drinks sure does taste good but it isn’t very good for you. Many people tend to avoid drinking healthy drinks because they think they are boring and have no flavor. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Try kombucha, a fermented and sweetened tea drink. Look for a brand that is lower in sugar, kombucha can be found at your local grocery and health food stores. You can even make your own kombucha. Soda lovers typically love kombucha because they can still get the carbonated taste they are used to.

 

Everyone Loves Cookie Dough

Cookie dough is pretty great but not usually recommended by experts to eat due to the raw egg. So to make cookie dough healthy, try making a vegan cookie dough, though it will still have the added sugar that you may be trying to avoid its better than the risk of getting food poisoning. Or you could try subbing your flour with something like coconut flour and sweetening with agave instead of plain sugar. This will make this cookie dough super good alternative that could be eating any time of the day.  

 

Healthy Fried Rice, That Still Tastes like Rice

Rice can be ok in moderation but the problem is too much of it is being consumed and it doesn’t offer very much nutritional value. Instead try roasting cauliflower and crumbling it to make a rice texture. This fake rice can be used in any dish where you would have normally used rice and can taste just as well. Try cauliflower fried rice and you will not miss it at all.

 

Homemade Muesli

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start it off the right way.

Instead of kicking off the day with a bowl full of commercial cereal, which are sure to be filled with processed sugars and other preservatives, try having a bowl of homemade muesli as a healthy alternative!

Treat your body and taste buds the right way, by adding in your favourite fruits into your healthy  homemade bowl of muesli!

 

Switching out your favourite foods for healthier alternatives is easy and simple! Take the time to prepare food at home, get to know what you’re putting into your body and say goodbye to the guilt of satisfying cravings — because with these healthy alternatives — your body will thank you for it!

How To Properly Prepare For Bed So You Can Get Better, More Restful Sleep

With today’s busy lifestyle, sleep can seem elusive. It is essential, however, to ensure that you are getting enough sleep each night. When you are well rested, you not only wake up with more energy but also have better focus and concentration, allowing you to get more done during the day. Try using these tips to prepare yourself for bed so that you can sleep more soundly through the night.

  1. Turn off your electronic devices.

About 30 to 45 minutes before you plan on going to bed, turn off any electronic devices that have lighted screens including televisions, cell phones, and tablets. The light from the screens can interfere with your natural sleep patterns, making it more difficult to fall asleep. Devices like the Kindle or the Nook that rely on e-ink are the only exceptions since they don’t emit light of their own.

 

  1. Read A Book

Reading is a great way to relax your body and calm your mind before bed. Just be sure to avoid reading books that are too stimulating. For instance, a self-help book may keep you awake thinking about your problems, whereas a novel will help you relax and get better sleep.

 

  1. Turn Down The Lights

As bedtime approaches, start dimming the lights in your home. If you are surrounded by lights that are too bright, your brain may not produce enough melatonin, making it more difficult to sleep. Excess light can also cause your brain to become more active and can disrupt your normal sleep patterns, keeping you from falling asleep right away. Consider installing dimmer switches in your bedroom so that you can lower the lights as it gets close to bedtime.

 

  1. Don’t Overeat Right Before Bed

It is a lot easier for your body to digest food when it is in an upright position. When you are laying down, you are far more likely to experience acid reflux, heartburn, or an upset stomach. As your stomach works to digest food, it can also interfere with your ability to fall asleep. Try not to eat for a minimum of three hours before going to bed. If you do need a snack during this time, opt for something light and easy to digest. It will ensure you make the most of that Hampton and Rhodes mattress.

 

  1. Don’t Drink Alcohol Before Going To Sleep

If you are like a lot of people, you may be under the impression that alcohol makes it easier to sleep. In fact, however, the opposite is true. Even though it is easier for you to fall asleep after drinking, the alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to reach the REM phase of sleep. As a result, you may wake up feeling tired and moody, simply because you didn’t sleep deeply enough. To get the best quality of sleep possible, try to avoid drinking before you go to sleep.

 

  1. Practice Deep Breathing

If you want to achieve a deeper state of relaxation before heading to bed, consider practicing deep breathing. All that you have to do is get into a comfortable position. Then, shut your eyes and begin breathing slowly and deeply. Try to focus on your breath, keeping your mind from wandering. Keep this up for several minutes. Even though this may be difficult at first, it will gradually start to feel more natural as you continue to do it. You may find that your mind is extremely active when you are first getting started. Over time, however, you should be able to get better control over your thoughts, enabling you to focus more fully on your breathing.

 

  1. Write Your Worries Down In A Journal

Oftentimes, things that you are worried about can keep you from falling asleep. One good way to solve this problem is by getting your worries down on paper. Divide a sheet of paper into two columns. Each night, before you go to sleep, write down things that are worrying you on the left-hand side. On the right-hand side, write down ideas you have for how to solve those problems. If you are struggling to find a solution, jot down the specific date when you will address the issue. This can help free your mind from worry, making it easier to get to sleep.

 

  1. Find A Distraction

Distracting your mind with a menial task is a great way to bore yourself to sleep. For instance, you could try counting down from 300 in increments of three. This is a mildly challenging task that will help distract you from your worries while at the same time allowing your mind to get bored enough to fall asleep.

 

  1. Cut Out Caffeine

Caffeine is well-known for its ability to keep people awake. What most people don’t know, however, is that the effect of the caffeine can last for hours after you drink it. In fact, it has a half-life of as much as eight hours. To give you an example of what that means in the real world, imagine that you have a cup of coffee at 5 PM. Because caffeine has such a long half-life, you still may have caffeine in your system at 1 AM. As you can well imagine, that can make it difficult to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

 

  1. Relax in a warm bath.

Taking a warm bath before bed is a time-honored way to get better sleep. The warmth of the water can help relax your muscles, making it easier to unwind after a stressful day. Just make sure that the water is warm enough to have a calming effect and that you stay in the bath for a minimum of 20 minutes to get the best results.

In Sickness and in Health & Overcoming Vulvodynia

I have Vulvodynia.

I am one of the 16 percent of women in the U.S. who suffer from the illness that causes chronic pain and discomfort in the Vulva region.

For four long years, I experienced sharp, stabbing, burning pain in my pelvic area, making it impossible to enjoy sexual intimacy with my boyfriend, Jason, who would become my husband. The pain – physical emotional and mental, was agonizing and impacted my quality of life.

I went to many doctors who failed to diagnose my condition and, sadly, underwent several unsuccessful operations. How bad was my medical advice?  One OB/GYN told me to drink wine and take some Advil before sex.  I really could not believe what I was hearing. So I continued my research journey every night on the web trying to find out what could be causing this horrible pain.

Searching for another answer, I went to a pelvic pain specialist who did not even examine me. How can you be a pelvic pain specialist and not even examine me? Instead, he wanted to put me on an antidepressant for the pain. I told him that I did not want to be on medication for this issue and alter who I am as a person. He actually snapped at me and told me that he was just giving me options. Another one of his brilliant ideas was just to cut that part out that hurts. I politely refused and never went back to his practice. He was the kind of doctor who only cares about money and not really helping the patient. He did not even give me a name for my condition.  I never went back to him. Back to square one.

Finally, I had enough. I took my medical condition into my own hands. Searching for an answer went on for years until I ran across an article on Vulvodynia and I realized that is what I had.

From my previous positive experience using neodymium magnets to reduce back and neck nerve pain after a car accident, I had a “lightbulb moment” to add neodymium magnets into a vaginal dilator. I was so excited. I know neodymium magnets work great for nerve pain so I called my husband and told him we had to make this device to try. Within two weeks I could have sex again. I had to help women, I had to start a business to help them.

With the help of medical experts and advisers, I turned my idea into a nonprescription vaginal dilator device and startup business VuVaTech (www.vuvatech.com) to relieve the pain and sexual discomfort experienced by so many women today. The dilator device has allowed me and over 6,000 women all over the world to live a more normal life and finally enjoying sex without pain. This device as has also improved relationships, marriages and even helped couples expand their families.

It’s been an amazing, surprising and fulfilling ride. But if I never made a cent from my business, it would be fine. My passion is spreading pelvic pain awareness to women who are not receiving correct diagnosis from their doctors. Women need to know they do not have to live with painful intercourse and pelvic pain. There are safe alternative treatments other than surgeries. There is hope and there are answers.

Culinary Trend: Ice Cream – Fun Facts

Everyone knows that ice cream has always been one of the most popular desserts in the world, and some people say that even 87% of Americans have it in their freezer at any given time. A lot of ice cream parlors have been opened every day, ranging from traditional to hipster ones, and there’s one thing that connects all of them – this tasty cool treat called ice cream. If you want to learn something more about its history and some fun facts, just stay with us and keep on reading. Here’s everything you need to know about this dessert, so have a scoop or two and enjoy!

 

Who was the genius who invented ice cream?

Even though there are a lot of names that start popping up when you type ‘ice cream inventor’ into your browser, the fact is that no one knows who actually invented this delicious dessert. The first one mentioned is Emperor Nero who enjoyed mixing snow with honey and fruit back in Ancient Rome, who often sent his messengers to gather fresh snow from the mountains. On the other hand, there’s also Marco Polo, and some historians claim that he was the first one to bring some kind of ice cream to Europe. He actually learned the recipe from the Chinese, who mixed snow with milk and rice in order to make a creamy dessert. Finally, the United States also found out about this tasty treat thanks to Christopher Columbus, who brought the recipe to American soil.

 

Did you know that sundaes were actually invented for Sundays?

Millions of people these days simply adore sundaes, those yummy sweet desserts that consist of several scoops of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup, sprinkles, whipped cream, peanuts, and fresh fruits, but did you know that these were invented for Sundays? We bet you didn’t! Well, ice cream sodas were a huge hit back in the past, but they were actually forbidden by the religious laws as people weren’t allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath. However, the owner of one ice cream parlor tried to outsmart them and started serving ice cream soda, but without soda – just ice cream and syrup. This combo was sold only on Sundays in the beginning, and they changed the spelling to ‘sundae’ to avoid linking it to the holy Sabbath.

 

Which came first: chocolate or vanilla?

Even though die-hard fans of vanilla are almost 100% sure that this flavor was invented first, the truth is that they’re wrong simply because the chocolate was the first one. Needless to say, these two are the most popular flavors all across the globe, but there are so many innovative ice cream parlors that try really hard to come up with outstanding and unexpected flavors everyone will absolutely adore. There’s a fantastic Aussie ice cream store that has the funniest flavors such as licorice, mint choc chip, apple pie, rum and raisin, salted caramel, orange and cardamom, Turkish delight, lime and coconut, and many other that’ll completely sweep you off your feet. Just be sure to step outside your comfort zone and give them a try!

 

Have you heard of astronaut ice cream?

Astronaut ice cream has always been a huge hit, and you’ve probably seen it in some quirky candy stores or gift shops, but you know what? This kind of an ice cream has never been on any space mission! Even though some people think that it was used on the Apollo 7 mission in 1968, the truth is that astronaut ice cream has never been to space at all. The only living astronaut on that mission, Walt Cunningham, denied that claim and said that there was never such thing. However, NASA scientists are working on brand new formulas and inventions to allow astronauts to enjoy this dessert in space, so it may actually be a part of some future space mission. We hope it will!

As you can see, there are a lot of amazing facts related to ice cream, one of the coolest (pun intended!) desserts in the world. Even though we don’t really know who its inventor was, it definitely doesn’t stop us from indulging in it whenever we can. After all, there are so many new flavors that need to be tested out, so brace yourself and do what you need to do!