Sunday, November 27, 2011

Are there Healthy Alternatives to Dental Veneers?

What are the main reasons for getting teeth veneers? 
In the world of dentistry, Veneers are mostly done for purely cosmetic reasons – they are an elective treatment. To most patients that ask me if they ‘need veneers, as a doctor, my answer is a simple “No.” However, as cosmetic dentist, I understand and oblige when a patients ‘wants’ veneers for personal reasons. I tell patients that porcelain veneers are a conservative dental procedure that restores the appearance of discolored, fractured or misshaped teeth. The procedure consists of bonding a thin piece of ceramic on to the surface of teeth. In many case the enamel surface (typically only 0.5mm) of the teeth is lightly prepared to eliminate the stain or fracture and accept the veneer. Veneers can drastically enhance the appearance of one’s smile.

Are there procedures that can improve natural teeth, eliminating the need for veneers? 
In dentistry, there is no ‘need’ for veneers, it is a matter of what the patient ‘wants’. Cosmetic enhancements that may substitute a veneer procedure may include; teeth whitening to eliminate stain; cosmetic bonding to enhance the shape of small, gapped or fractured teeth; and/or replacing old fillings with new, more cosmetic ones. 
There have been cases in my private practice - where after discussing options - the patient elected to have cosmetic bonding rather than veneers. Cosmetic bonding is a procedure where resin-composite material is sculpted over stained, fractured or misshaped parts of teeth. Bonding is more conservative than veneers. 

What procedures can result in veneer-perfect natural teeth?
An expertly crafted cosmetic bonding procedure, especially in combination with teeth whitening can create a very cosmetic result. Sharp or uneven edges can be shaped and smoothed by a conservative procedure called 'enamelplasty'. Air-abrasion procedure can removed tenacious surface stain to whiten the surface of teeth.  

What oral care products or habits would you recommend for gorgeous natural teeth?
Colgate Total or Crest Pro-Health toothpaste along with a soft-bristled toothbrush and floss used after meals will help reduce build-up of plaque and stain. Stain actually adheres more to teeth covered in plaque. Foods such as coffee, tea and red wine can stain, especially after prolonged use. Helpful hint: drink water after using coffee, tea or red wine. Water helps hydrate the gums and rinse away stain before it sets in.

What are the drawbacks to veneers?
Veneers are a non-reversible procedure. The cost can range from $900-$1500 per veneer. They require the same care that regular teeth do - flossing and brushing twice a day for 2 minutes. People with veneers must pay particular attention to biting into hard foods, such as sourdough breads and chocolate. Stress from hard foods, nail-biting, or clenching and bruxing of teeth can fracture porcelain veneers. I recommend all patients with veneers to wear a protective occlusal guard at night (also know as night-guard). Regular dental visits for professional cleanings and check-ups are highly recommended to ensure longevity and health of veneers.

Would you recommend veneers instead of braces or other teeth straightening methods? 
If a patient is happy with the natural shape, size, color and look of their teeth, I would not recommend veneers. However, veneers may be a good solution for a patient with peg-laterals (genetically small, peg-shaped teeth), discolored or fractured teeth (conditions that cannot be fixed by braces). To straighten gapped or crowded teeth with braces can take anywhere from 8 months to 2 years. Veneers can accomplish this in just two visits. The advantage of braces, is that the occlusion (bite) can be improved and the natural tooth structure is preserved. Conserving natural healthy tooth structure is the goal of dentists focused on oral health. The question of veneers or brace ultimately depends on the patients wishes.

For any questions about oral hygiene or healthy foods, feel free to ask!

Best Regards, 

Dr. Josh Berd, DDS
Dentist and Educator
San Francisco, California

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why are humans the only animals to take meticulous care of their teeth?

While browsing Reddit the other day I came across a question that left me stumped. 'Why are humans the only animals to take meticulous care of their teeth?' I thought about all the pets I’ve owned. Max, my golden retriever, never cleaned his canines...although he did have a toothbrush chew-toy. My cat, Stella, spent hours grooming her fur but never paid particular attention to her teeth. So how did we bipeds evolve this obsession with oral hygiene?

Firstly, it’s not exactly true that other animals neglect their pearly whites. Some animals use trees, roots, or rocks to sharpen their teeth and keep them in working condition. Beavers for example, have teeth that grow continuously and must be filed down by gnawing on wood.  Animals also have special enzymes in their saliva that are better able to destroy cavity-causing bacteria.

Secondly, humans eat more sugary food than any other animal. Sugar is made of carbohydrates, a delicacy for bacteria that live in the mouth. Whether carnivores or herbivores, no other animals enjoys as many sweets as we do. It’s not often that you see a lion eating a candy apple at a carnival fair or enjoying a Coke and popcorn at the movie theater.

Finally, the lifespan of humans is much longer than most other animals. If our teeth are to last us close to a century, we better do our best to keep them in tip top shape.  We humans just have to bite the bullet and keep our teeth pristine. Visit your dentist every six months for cleanings to ensure a life-long healthy smile! 

by Helen

*Guest blogger Helen is a dental student at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Francisco. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

"iPad in the Clinic" Dr. Berd featured in The Progressive Dentist Magazine

Dr. Josh Berd's recent article titled 'Mobile Apps in Clinical Practice' has been featured in the Progressive Dental Magazine! This publication focuses on ways to enhance patient-doctor communication so that patients can fully understand their treatment plans. 
Here is an excerpt: "The whole world is going mobile. Mobile technologies have become a familiar part of people’s lives. Phones and computers are now pocket-sized and can connect us to a variety of technology, to our friends, family and even to patients. In fact, as I write this, I am also managing my next week’s work schedule from my iPhone and texting patients to confirm their appointments. New developments in mobile technology have allowed dentists to bring a rich variety of dental-related mobile apps into their office."

For any questions about using mobile apps in the dental office feel free to ask!

Best Regards, 

Dr. Josh Berd, DDS
Dentist and Educator
San Francisco, California

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Dr. Oz's and Dr. Berd are Teaming Up to Answer Dental Health Questions!

We are thrilled to announce that Dr. Josh Berd’s webpage is now live on and providing the public with advice and answers to their oral health questions! 

Sharecare was co-founded by Dr. Oz, a physician who first began fielding medical questions on “The Oprah Show” and now hosts “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Jeff Arnold, creator of WebMD. 
Dr. Berd has partnered with Sharecare as a Dental Expert; his Sharecare page shows recent posts, which includes answers to questions such as “Is tooth whitening safe?” and “What does preventative dentistry mean?”, in addition to blogs on topics such as “Overcoming dental anxiety” and “How to have a cavity-free dental check up”.

Sharecare’s goal is to provide accurate, clear and concise health information in oder to educate, empower and continue the conversations of health. Dr. Berd was selected as a trusted source and an industry leader for his expertise in the field of dentistry. He joins other top doctors and health associations on Sharecare, including the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and the American Diabetes Association.

Sharecare’s popularity has grown since launching in October of 2010, and in January alone, the site had over 30 million page views. Although Dr. Berd practices dentistry in San Francisco, his presence on Sharecare allows him to engage millions of people on the topic of oral health.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Spotlight on Dr. Berd in San Francisco Dental Society's The Bridge Magazine

Dr. Berd's recent trip to Chicago for the American Dental Association's New Dentist Leadership Conference is highlighted in the August Issue of The Bridge, a monthly publication from the San Francisco Dental Society.
Here is an excerpt: 
"This year’s conference was an amazing learning experience. It included a break- out session with the ADA Board of Trustees to discuss hot topics such as “How will we, as a dental profession and as a nation, overcome issues with access to dental care?” and “Will there be a mid-level dental provider, and what kind of impact will that have on dental care?” 

"The ADA also provided a great assortment of CE courses, including “Preparing for Practice Ownership” and “Going Green—It’s not just for the Environment”. Plus, there was a full day of leadership development that included a Networking Lunch Break allowing new dentists the opportunity to meet their colleagues and share ideas. As an SFDS member who also sits on two committees-Membership and Community Dental Health-I feel that I can take the valuable lessons learned at the New Dentist Conference and apply them to my activities in the local dental society."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Live Healthy by Buying Healthy It Will Save You Money

This is a great video and shows how you can live healthy by buying your food in bulk at costco. If you buy healthy, you will always eat healthy. Remember the key to losing weight is diet and exercise.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dental Leadership Conference in Chicago

'The 25th Annual ADA New Dentist Conference took place at the Westin hotel in downtown Chicago. As I looked around the large conference room, I saw the future leaders of our profession. They came from all over the US, from their roles in local dental societies and national positions with the California Dental Association and American Dental Association. I was happy to see familiar faces, and impressed by the strong representation California has at the ADA. Of the 300 attendees, there where 6 graduates from my dental school, the University of Pacific, 2 of whom where honored with the ADA’s Golden Apple award for their outstanding leadership. Of the roughly 27,000 dentist practicing in CA, 70% are members with the CDA, making up the largest state dental society in the US. This gives the CDA and ADA a very powerful voice!

Hot Topics discussed at the conference included; how will we, as a dental profession and as a nation overcome issues with ‘access to dental care’? The ADA is strategically restating the issue as ‘barriers to care’, in order to focus more on the obstacles our profession faces. Will there be a mid-level dental provider, and what kind of impact will it make on dental care?

Chicago is an amazing host city--modern, industrial, innovative--like New York, but without the attitude! In addition to sightseeing at Navy Pier and Millennium Park, I toured the ADA Headquarters Building. The American Dental Political Action Committee also sponsored a night at the House of Blues, and the group of new dentists that came from all over the nation became instant friends at the conference.

I am looking forward to attending ADA’s 26th New Dentist Conference in Washington DC!'

Friday, June 10, 2011

Philanthropy in Dentistry: Creating a Career by Helping Others

I was recently asked by a dental student 'What is the true calling of a doctor?' This caught me a little off-guard and I had to think for a minute. I recalled a promise I made to myself the day I graduated from the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry-to improve the oral health of my community-. 'In my mind a doctor's true calling is to place service above self' I answered the dental student.

We may not mention it but when we are called 'doctor' we are filled with pride. When our patient says to us 'Thank you doctor, for stopping my pain' and 'Thank you for my smile' we are filled with gratitude. As dentists, we feel compelled to give back to our communities and volunteering is a great way to do this.

Volunteering Local

Volunteerism is part of the humanistic spirit that my instructors in dental school inspired in me and it is a large part of who I am now. The American Dental Association and its local chapter, the San Francisco Dental Society, encourage members to actively give back to our communities. Fortunately, there is no shortage of opportunities to volunteer in San Francisco, including pro bono work at the office, kindergarten screening programs, and helping out with Project Homeless Connect, just to name a few.

Project Homeless Connect

Every 2 months 1,000 community volunteers partner together to meet the medical and dental needs of San Francisco's estimated 8,000 homeless people. The volunteers include health care professionals, students, non-profit organizations and people that simply wish to help out.

For me the volunteer day began at 8am, screening patients at the Bill Graham Civic Center. There was a long line of eager and ill patients but my colleagues and I, along with help from local University and Dental School students, successfully triaged the needs of the homeless participants. The afternoon was spent providing dental treatment, including emergency extractions, fillings and dental cleanings.

Ultimately, we were able to accomplish in one day what might normally take months. Volunteering with PHC was the type of rewarding experience I will carry with me throughout my entire dental career. I encourage my dental colleagues, as well as San Franciscans, to come give a helping hand and serve your community.

About the author: Dr. Josh Berd is a San Francisco General and Cosmetic Dentist, a graduate of the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry, and a member of the San Francisco Dental Society. To learn more or to contact Dr.Berd visit

Friday, May 27, 2011

How to Stay Healthy and Lose Weight Without Fancy Equipment or Secret Diets

Many people are looking for secret diets, and spending money on fancy equipment just to try to stay healthy and lose some pounds. Their is no secret diet except cutting quantity, eating healthy, and cutting back on sugar. That is how you keep on track with living a healthy lifestyle, but thats only one side. The other side is exercise. You always will need to exercise on top of changing your diet. You don't need some cutting edge equipment to stay in shape and exorcise. The best over all work out you can do is a good cardio work out that involves running if you are younger, or just even walking if you are older. When you start off it will be hard, but if you keep going you will find that you can walk or run more and more each and every day. It's ok to start off slow, in fact that is exactly how you do it, so you don't end up too sore to want to do it again the next day. Make sure you are consistent with your running/walking and do it every day. These 2 things are all you need to know if you want to lose weight. Keep on going, you can do it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Overcoming Dental Anxiety

A dental visit can be a highly emotional experience. Often, it is our first experience in the dentist chair that shapes our attitudes towards the dental profession, dental treatment and even our own dental health. Can you recall your first dental visit? Was it a pleasant one, or was is traumatic?

Whether our fear of the dentist is deep-rooted in our earliest experiences or in our overall psychological make-up, the essential step to recovery is to break the cycle of trauma associated with dental visits.

If you wait to see a dentist until you have a toothache, you run the risk of facing a root canal treatment or an extraction. If you never see the same dentist twice, you do not give yourself a chance to develop a trusting relationship before you require any major dental work. The unfamiliarity of seeing a new dentist when you have a toothache is often more uncomfortable and worrying than the treatment itself.

If you see a dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings, and give yourself time to get to know the person treating you, you will feel more comfortable in the dentist’s hands. You may not come into the office skipping with joy, but you will slowly get used to the idea of receiving regular dental care (and avoid toothaches and major dental work).

I often see anxious patients, and can offer guidance to make your dental visit a more comfortable one. The most important thing to consider is that, as a healthcare professional, my number one priority is your well-being. My dental team takes your health into our hands and we achieve this through education, continuous support and reassurance. We walk you through all the steps, take our time, and ease you into a routine where all you’ll need from us is a six month check-up and cleaning.

To learn more about overcoming dental anxiety or to schedule your first dental visit, please visit Dr. Josh Berd at

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Everyone knows from their mother or grandmother that if you want to prevent from getting sick the best thing to do is to eat something with Vitamin C or take it in pill form every single day. This is very true vitamin c helps boost your immune system. It will also help you get better if you are fighting a common cold. It is no cure, but it has been proven that Vitamin C will dramatically increase your immune system. The recommended dosage to feel the health benefits from vitamin c is about 500 milligrams a day. You should also eat your daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, but taking a supplement of vitamin c will add to that healthy lifestyle. Vitamin C has also been shown to ward off cardiovascular disease, eye disease, and even help reduce skin wrinkles! Vitamin C should truly be in everyone's daily intake of vitamins, and you will notice right away that you will not easily get sick. Some people get a cold very easily and this could mean they are vitamin c deficient. I recommend everyone get their daily dosage of vitamin c every day. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How to Make Low Fat Nachos

Everyone loves nachos. They are a great snack when you want to watch the big game, or just enjoy a movie. Nachos that people usually make contain a lot of fat due to the cheese, avocado, and even sour cream in some cases. Today I am going to show you how to make great tasting nachos that are both healthy and delicious.

Half of an 8oz bag of low-fat cheese (2% milk preferably)
1/4th cup of sour cream
1 small tomato
half of a green or red pepper (whichever you like, or both!)
hot salsa
half of a small onion (optional)
half of a can of black olives (optional)
1 fresh jalapeño pepper (optional)
1 bag of blue corn chips, or low-fat tortilla chips
1 large baking sheet covered completely in foil

Once your baking sheet is covered in foil completely put as many chips as you can that cover the baking sheet so that no foil is exposed. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Now is the time to cut up the onion, tomato, olives, and jalapeño into little pieces. Place them evenly over all of the chips. Now cover all of the chips with your low-fat cheese. Make sure on this step you are using low-fat cheese I have found that the no fat cheese comes out a little stringy, and they aren't as tasty. Add as much cheese as you like, just don't add the whole bag, remember we are using low-fat so using the whole bag defeats the purpose. Now that your oven is preheated its time to add your nachos into your oven. They should cook very fast (about 5 minutes) and what your looking for is that the cheese will get gooey. If the cheese looks like it is real dry, or your chips are turning brown, take them out quick, because this is a sign that you are cooking them too long. All ovens are different. Once your nachos have been the oven for 5 minutes and the cheese looks nice and gooey your nachos are ready! Remove the nachos from the oven and make sure you let them sit out for a few minutes so you don't burn yourself. Now you can add your sour cream on top of the nachos, and they are ready to eat. If you want you can move the nachos to a plate or a platter before adding the sour cream. Just use the foil to move the nachos from the baking sheet to a platter or large plate. Enjoy your fat free nachos! This is a great snack, that isn't as bad for you as regular nachos and you and your children can have fun making them too. Remember get creative with the ingredients, just because I like olives doesn't mean everyone does, substitute it for something else you do like on your nachos. Try to keep away from  the avocados, they are very high in fat.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How To Make Grilled Vegetables in Foil

3 medium onions peeled and quartered
1 bunch of broccoli flowerets
2 small yellow squash in 1" slices
1 green pepper in 1/2" strips
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon of salt
3 tablespoons of butter
olive oil to drizzle over vegetables (not too much just drizzle)

Grilled vegetables are a great healthy addition to any outside grilling event. They are so easy to do and you can get really creative with what you add to the vegetables. You don't have to add exactly what vegetables are on the ingredients list, you can get creative here also and add whatever you like instead. This is very easy to prepare. First you will need to blanch the onions in a sauce pan with boiling water for about 3 minutes. Next get a piece of heavy duty foil and make sure its big enough to completely wrap around all of the vegetables so that you can enclose them totally in the foil, don't worry about breathing holes, the goal here is to steam the vegetables using the grill. Add the vegetables inside the foil, along with all of the ingredients above. Don't forget to drizzle a little bit of olive oil over all of your vegetables. This helps them really cook well. Now completely seal the foil over all of the ingredients and throw it on top of the grill. Grill the vegetables for about 30 minutes while flipping occasionally so that it cooks evenly. Whatever you do though, don't rip a hole in the foil while flipping. Depending on how hot your grill is you may want to cook longer. Don't be afraid to experiment. This is perfect for people that don't like to eat meat, and want a healthy alternative while having a family cookout. Have fun and be creative. Happy Grilling!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Whiten Your Teeth With Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda

Many products have become available to whiten your teeth, and most of them are really expensive. You can even schedule a teeth whitening appointment with your dentist to get it done, but this too can cost a pretty penny. There have been a number of sites around the Internet selling the cost effective method of whitening your teeth with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. I will show you how to do it on this post at no cost to you. This will help you and your family save big bucks, and keep everyone's teeth white! Here is how you do it step by step...

  1. The first step is to make sure you brush your teeth with your favorite tooth paste and make sure you rinse really good.
  2. Get a disposable cup, a box of baking soda, and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Spoon in 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Next add 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Keep adding baking soda, or hydrogen peroxide until it turns into a white pasty consistency similar to toothpaste.
  4. If you want you can add a drop of your favorite toothpaste so that it has a better flavor. It doesn't taste the greatest, but the results are phenomenal.
  5. Brush your teeth with the paste like you would any other tooth paste with your tooth brush. Make sure you scrub good on the teeth that need to be the whitest.
  6. Rinse your mouth out thoroughly so that you have no paste left in your mouth.
  7. Repeat these steps once a week.
This will keep you and your family's teeth white for years to come. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda is very cheap, and I recommend anyone that has yellow teeth to give it a shot. The results will surprise you! Please leave comments if I have left anything out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Oral Piercings and Dental Health

Oral piercings have become quite common. In my San Francisco dental practice, I have seen patients with barbells and hoops, in their lips, tongues, cheeks and even frenum. Because of the unique features of the oral environment, these locations require special attention. Unlike other body piercings, oral piercings are under continual stress from bacteria in the mouth, contamination from food and drinks, irritation from chewing and hitting against teeth.

Piercings are made from a wide selection of materials, including gold, stainless steel, titanium, plastics, and nickel. Titanium and plastics are the most body friendly, while nickel may cause allergic reactions and steel may damage teeth.

Complications from oral piercings include injury and recession of gums, chipping and cracking of teeth and restorations (such as crowns and veneers), as well as infections from food impaction in the piercing site. A tongue piercing can act as a ‘wrecking ball’ and fracture teeth, particularly the front incisors.

Caring for oral piercings includes using antiseptic, alcohol-free mouthwash in additional to regular brushing and flossing of teeth.

For additional questions please contact Dr. Josh Berd at
Learn more about Dr. Berd at

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Flaxseed The Most Powerful Plant Food On The Planet

There are many benefits when it comes to consuming flax seeds. Flax seed is a very interesting product. It was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC by King Charlemagne. At one point he announced that he wanted every single one of the people that worked for him to eat it. This was a very long time ago. Charlemagne even believed that flax seeds contained magical properties. Scientists in recent times are now concurring with his beliefs of this amazing power food. There has been a number of products that are now listing flax, or flax seeds on their ingredients to get people to buy them to stay healthy. Scientists have found that Flax seeds can help people fight diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, breast cancer, and other forms of cancer. Lets talk about some of the things that flax seeds contain...
  • They contain essential Omega-3 fatty acids, which is the same thing that is in fish oil. This is the good fat that is proven to be healthy for your heart.
  • They also contain lignans which contain anti-oxidant properties and even plant estrogen. Flax seed contains more than 800 times more lignans than other plant based foods.
  • Flax seed also contains both soluble and insoluble types of fiber. This is great for the digestive system and keeping you healthy also.
I recommend everyone enjoy flax seed. You can get it in bags at your local super market. If you can't find it there, I recommend going to a whole foods store and picking up a supply. They say the best way to consume it is pouring it in your favorite drink, I would say this isn't a good idea because the flax seeds do not dissolve in juices or water. The best way is to eat it with either pudding, yogurt, or even apple sauce. This way your gag reflex won't act up. Remember, flax seed is a great way to stay healthy and I recommend anyone that has had health problems to give it a shot. Please leave comments and let me know what you think.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dangers and Benefits of Fluoride in Our Drinking Water

There is a growing amount of concern over the dangers of fluoride in our drinking water. I commonly have inquiries from parents who are overwhelmed by the amount of conflicting information about fluoride on the internet. Some sources present fluoride as a wonder cure for cavities, while others warn of its damaging effects on teeth and bone. In order to make an informed decision about fluoride, I’ve compiled answers to some commonly asked questions.

Are we getting too much fluoride in drinking water?
Department of Health and Human Services, (with support from the California Dental Association) has recently changed the recommended optimal ratio of fluoride to water in community water systems to 0.7 parts per million. The previous optimal ratio ranged from 0.7 to 1.2 ppm. The CDA states that the current levels are safe and beneficial, although with the increasing amount of dental products on the market, including fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinse, it is important to monitor your child’s fluoride intake. Over-fluoridation can lead to 'dental-fluorosis'.

Signs we are getting too much?
One sign of over-fluoridation is ‘dental fluorosis’ which appears as white spots or markings on the enamel of the tooth. ‘Dental fluorosis’ is most commonly merely a cosmetic issue and serves no harm to the actual tooth. In rare cases of severe over-fluoridation, teeth can appear mottled and brown. These cases are most often not caused by government monitored drinking water, but rather polluted water sources.

Is it safe for kids?
The consensus form the scientific and dental community is that water fluoridating at the recommended level is safe and provides oral health benefits. Simply by drinking water, children and adults can benefit from fluoridation's cavity protection. Fortifying water with fluoride is similar to fortifying milk with Vitamin D. Fluoride is a mineral that becomes incorporated into the tooth, thus strengthening it. Fluoride is a proven safe and effective way to prevent dental disease—reducing the amount of tooth decay in children by 20-40%.

For additional questions please contact Dr. Josh Berd at
Learn more about Dr. Josh Berd at

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How To Make Healthy Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup is a very easy way to cook a healthy meal for yourself or your whole family. I love making vegetable soup myself, so that I can include only the ingredients I feel like eating that day. You can only get canned vegetable soup in only so many ways. My favorite canned soup while we are on the topic, is Progresso brand. Progresso comes in many different flavors, and they also have the kind that has extra fiber. This is a very quick and easy way to change your diet and lose weight, without starving your taste buds. In this article I will be showing you how to make your own vegetable soup.

3 to 4 cups of chopped vegetables of your choice: carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, parsley, green beans, or onions.
One teaspoon of salt.
One teaspoon of thyme.
One teaspoon of Oregano.
8 cups of water.
One full can of diced tomatoes.
One can of beans.
One source of starch for example: noodles, or potatoes.
3 bouillon cubes.
  1. Prepare your vegetables by chopping up all of the vegetables that you wish to include in the soup.
  2. Sauté the vegetables in a stock pan, and make sure to put in the tablespoon of olive oil. Set this on a low heat. Make sure you cook them for about 3-4 minutes. Add mushrooms (if you are including them) and cook for another 2 minutes.
  3. Add all of the water from the ingredients, all of the bullion cubes, your potatoes (if you have any), and all all of the spices. Bring the water to a boil. After the water is boiling you can go ahead and reduce the heat to low, and cover with the lid. You should boil everything until the potatoes are soft (or about 15 minutes). It is recommended that you add the parsley right before the potatoes are completely done, but this is not necessary.
  4. Now it is time to add the final ingredients. Add the tomatoes, and don't forget to add the beans if you are adding any. Now you can bring the water back to a boil.
  5. After the souped has boiled for about 1 minute your soup is ready! Server as-is, or you can add crackers, though that doesn't make it as healthy as eating the soup by itself. Crackers have a lot of sodium.
I hope you have enjoyed my recipe on making your very own vegetable soup. Mix and match whatever vegetables you like. Just because it is not listed here, doesn't mean its not possible and extremely tasty. This is fun to make because you can get real experimental with it! Don't be afraid to let your creative juices fly, you just might end up with a masterpiece. Cheers!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kava Kava Is Another Great Natural Remedy for Insomnia and Anxiety

Kava has been used for thousands of years in the South Pacific Islands to treat both anxiety and Insomnia. Kava has been found to thin the blood much like alcohol. Make sure that you aren't taking blood thinners, or blood clotting medication, because Kava may interfere with your health. Kava is still a great natural way to combat insomnia and anxiety. You can buy Kava tea, or make it yourself from the leaves. There are many videos on YouTube about how to do this. Another common way people take Kava is in capsule form. You can buy these capsules anywhere like at a whole foods store, and even Walgreens. I have taken Kava Kava and I have found that it is a little more powerful that Valerian Root. I usually take about 6 valerian root every morning to combat my anxiety. I don't recommend you do this if you are just starting valerian root, but I do have anxiety problems. I have found that I can get the same effect by taking 4 Kava capsules. This is great! I recommend everyone try Kava that has an insomnia problem. I can deal with my anxiety much better by being on Kava. Just don't take too much, because you could want to fall asleep during the day.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Valerian Root Helps with Anxiety And Insomnia

Valerian root has been used for centuries by people that have had trouble sleeping. It can be traced as far back as the ancient Greeks. It is a great herbal remedy for not being able to sleep and anxiety. I am a person that is very anxious and remain anxious throughout the day. I have been prescribed different "benzos" like Xanax, Valium, and other variations with the same active chemicals. These drugs are highly addictive, and it can turn into a really nasty habit. I am so thankful that I was able to find a natural remedy that helps me tremendously. Many people like to drink valerian root in their tea, and others like to take it in capsules. I find valerian root tastes disgusting, and I would rather have it in capsule form so that I don't have to taste it. I take 6 of these pills 2 times a day. On the bottle it says to take only 2 however, I have found that valerian root from different brands, could not be as high quality as another. This is why I take so many of them. I have not had any bad side effects at this amount. This doesn't mean though, that side effects don't exist. Some people find themselves getting tired easily when taking this amount, but because of my high anxiety, and my tolerance to anti-anxiety drugs, I find that this amount is perfect for me. You should experiment and take as many as it takes to help you. I wouldn't go over 6 though without trying it. You don't want to be feeling like crap. If you have trouble sleeping take them before bed time. People with high anxiety will notice that it doesn't make them sleepy, it makes them feel good, and more importantly normal. This is how I feel. It is a blessing that I have found valerian root, and I hope you give it a shot. If you don't want to order online you don't have to. You get the best price when you order online and buy in bulk, however you can also buy these capsules at Wal-mart, and even Target. If you have problems with anxiety, or sleepless nights, then I recommend giving valerian root a try.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How to Make Your Own Great Tasting Protein Shake

1 cup of water
20 grams of your favorite protein powder
6-8 cubes of ice
half a cup of oatmeal

Protein is essential for everyones body. Especially if you are working out regularly. First thing you need to do is fill up the blender with a cup of water. Next go ahead and add about 6 ice cubes, depending on the size of your ice cubes. If you have smaller ice cubes you might want to add more. The best thing to do is crush the ice first, this way it doesn't splash protein powder, and oatmeal everywhere which would make it harder to get your blender clean. Once the ice cubes are blended into the water, go ahead and add your 20 grams of protein powder, and your half a cup of oatmeal. Start your blender on the slow setting for about 15 seconds, and then increase the speed of your blender to the max setting slowly, and let it blend for 30 more seconds. This helps reduce the splashing of the ingredients everywhere. Now you have a great tasting protein shake that you can have anytime. The oatmeal is wonderful for the slow release of energy to you throughout your day. This is a great tasting protein shake that is great to have every morning. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Are 5 Hour Energy Shots Good For You?

I have had a lot of experience with different types of energy drinks and energy shots. The question is though are they good for you? Energy shots come in a lot of different brands now a days, and even Red Bull who only used to make energy drinks, has now diversified into the energy shot business. These energy shots are easier to slam down compared to the standard energy drink. Most energy drinks are carbonated which doesn't make drinking them any easier. This is why energy shots were born. Most energy shots contain about 200 milligrams of caffeine which is about as much as 2 cups of coffee, depending on the coffee. They also have 100 milligrams of taurine, which is an amino acid. They also have loads of B vitamins that are in the form of niacin. This causes a flushed feeling in a lot of people and might even make their faces turn red. Don't worry this is rare, and doesn't happen to everyone. Some energy shots might contain green tea, or gaurana as an added boost. Taking all of these in conjunction might not be wise, especially if done in excess. Some people even mix these drinks with alcohol hoping they will offset the drowsiness that comes with drinking alcohol so they can drink more. This is also a bad idea because of the side effects. It is also easy to forget how many shots of energy you have had while you are drinking, not to mention you might over do it on the alcohol. Either way you look at it this has the potential for disaster. Some of the side effects of drinking these energy shots is that you could have mood changes, nervousness, and insomnia with every single energy shot you take. I usually don't like to take an energy shot after 3pm because I am always afraid I won't be able to sleep. As long as you do that you should be fine. Any energy shot taken after 3pm has the possibility of making you not be able to sleep that night. I have known people though that can take 3 energy shots a day and never have trouble sleeping. I guess this depends on how your body handles all of these ingredients. Some people can handle it, other people get jittery and nervous. It is also proven that energy shots can make you have an irregular heart beat. This is scary enough for some people not to want to take it. You should know though that the irregular heart beat comes with being nervous. The more nervous you are, the more irregular your heart will beat. This I believe is obvious. Some people have also reported that they get nausea while taking these shots. If you can handle lots of caffeine and you know your body though, this could be avoided. Some people can handle caffeine better than others, and most of these side effects are a direct result of the caffeine amount. If you have high blood pressure, you might also notice a spike in your blood pressure reading. This however is pretty normal with caffeine in general. Something that is pretty serious though is if you have too much vitamin B6 (which is present in most of these shots) on a regular basis, you could be looking at nerve damage. This has been proven.

So are energy shots good for you? It depends on you. If you are pregnant it might not be a good idea. If you can't handle a lot of caffeine or have high blood pressure, you could also feel these side effects more than others. Me I love caffeine and this cuts the time of making coffee out of my morning, and it doesn't generate as much bad breathe like coffee. Just listen to your body, never take more than 1 shot of energy unless you know how your body is going to react to it. After you know, I wouldn't exceed 2 shots a day. Try to find other sources of energy because too much of this can't be a good thing. Green tea is still an excellent way to start your morning.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Health Information About Red Bull

I have been drinking Red Bull for years to give me a sort of boost. There is always someone in my daily life that sees me drinking Red Bull and quickly says, "that stuff is bad for you". Of course, when asked why, they have no idea. I figured I would let you know some things I have researched. First lets talk about Taurine. I have heard from some people that taurine is a cancer causing ingredient. This I believe is totally untrue and is totally only speculation. Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body. It would be interesting to know if the taurine that is in Red Bull is a natural form of taurine, or a synthetic version of the amino acid. However, even if it was synthetic, there is no evidence that this is a cancer causing element, or carcinogen. Many people that work out and are trying to lose weight, take taurine before their workout. This is to give them an added boost, in their fight against weight gain. I don't believe that this is a dangerous chemical, most amino acids are good for you. Red Bull also contains caffeine. Some people take caffeine already in a dietary supplement, and drinking Red Bull on top of that, could make your heart beat super fast like a marathon runner. This usually scares a lot of people, caffeine mixed with the other stimulants in Red Bull really perk you up. Caffeine is easily handled by most people, however, there are those people that have a little bit of caffeine and start having panic attacks, because they don't know how to deal with the dose they have taken. This is the last thing you want to happen, especially if you are at work. Its not that caffeine that is bad for you, but if you go into a panic mode, and you are actually scared, then you should probably go easy on caffeine. Remember, there are coffee and tea drinkers around the world that are addicted, so don't fool yourself, caffeine can be very addicting, and if you are hooked, could alter your mood drastically. There has been some research that carbonated drinks could weaken your bones, and even eat away at your stomach lining. There is not enough research however to make an informed decision about this though. You should however be safe, rather than being sorry. Try to keep your carbonated drinks down to a minimum. Red Bull also contains vitamins. They are mostly vitamin B group vitamins, and some of them are 100% of your daily value in one serving. Be careful though, people can overdose on vitamins and it will make your day very unpleasant, this is something to think about if you are taking vitamins already, especially B group vitamins. Red Bull also contains Niacin. In high doses this could cause an itching sensation around your neck and shoulders and could make your face look and feel flushed. Different people react to Niacin differently. That is pretty much all I have to say about Red Bull. Even though people continue to say its bad, I still indulge from time to time. I have had 1 Red Bull a day for about 2 years and I have been fine. I am not addicted, if anything I just need a way to get caffeine into my system and fast! The other things that come along inside a Red Bull are not dangerous, and aren't harmful if taken alone. I don't see how they would be more harmful if combined. Remember, like with alcohol and coffee, I believe moderation is key.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

How to Make Homemade Macaroni and Cheese


1/2 pound of penne pasta
1/2 cup of butter
3 tbsp. minced fresh onion
1/2 tbsp white pepper
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups of milk
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of bread crumbs

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese although not very healthy for you, is one of my favorite additions to any meals. The macaroni in a box does not taste as good as this recipe. Trust me this is going to come out great.

  1. First you want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. If you can, use a stock pot, or just cook the pasta in any pot that you can boil water in. Boil them in salted water until they become tender, and soft. Drain the water from the pasta, and set the pasta aside.
  3. Now in a separate sauce pan melt 1/3 of the butter over medium heat, and add the onions. Cook this for about 2 minutes.
  4. Now this step is probably the hardest part. Add the flour and white pepper into the sauce pan. Keep stirring this for about 4 minutes. It is important not to let the flour brown, if it does lower the heat, and keep cooking for 4 minutes.
  5. Now add the mustard and the milk to the sauce pan, and bring the sauce to a simmer. Simmer the sauce for 10-15 minutes. If your cheese sauce gets too thick, then add some more milk. Once you have cooked it for at least 10 minutes go ahead and add all of the grated cheeses. Make sure to reserve half of the Parmesan, because its not needed yet.
  6. Shut off the heating element on your stove, and stir the sauce melting the cheese and mixing everything well. Keep stirring the sauce until all the cheese melts. If you think it needs a bit more heat heat it up a bit more.
  7. Once the cheese is fully melted you can toss it around with the pasta. Make sure you toss it in there good, so that the sauce can get inside the pasta tubes. Make sure you do this step quickly you don't want the cheese getting hard on you while your mixing it.
  8. Once its mixed together to your liking place it all into a 11 x 14 inch ceramic or glass baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on top that you saved from earlier.
  10. Melt the butter that you have left from the ingredients, and stir in the breadcrumbs listed in the ingredients. Sprinkle this mixture over the pasta.
  11. Bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
I hope you have enjoyed my special homemade macaroni recipe. Its not the healthiest meal in the world, but everyone needs soul food from time to time. This is great for the soul, and will make your whole family smile.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Make Homemade Tomato Soup

1 (14-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

First thing you need to do is preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. While it is taking some time to preheat, next strain the canned tomatoes, but save the juices that are in the can, we will use this later. Spread the chopped tomatoes on to a baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Now drizzle only 1/4 cup of olive oil onto the top of the tomatoes. Be sure not to use all of your olive oil on this step. Put this in the oven, and roast it until the tomatoes are caramelized. This usually takes about 15 minutes in the oven at 450 degrees.

While this is cooking get a sauce pan and heat the remaining olive oil on a medium low heat. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, and onion. Cook the veggies until they soften, this usually takes about 10 minutes. When the tomatoes are done in the oven, add the roasted tomatoes to your veggie sauce pan, along with the saved tomato can juices, the chicken broth, bay leaf, and the butter. Simmer on the stove until the vegetables become very tender, usually takes about 15 minutes. After this add your soup to a food emulsifier, or hand held immersion blender until smooth. There you have it folks! Your fresh tomato soup is ready. Enjoy. Please leave comments if you feel I have left anything out. Thank you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Heart Attacks Linked to Untreated Gum Disease

Untreated gingivitis (gum inflammation) can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria P. gingivalis in the mouth. This harmful type of bacteria can reach your bloodstream, and potentially damage blood vessels and cause blood clots—factors that contribute to heart attacks. In fact, scientific research shows a link between untreated gum disease and heart attacks.

Preventative dentistry, such as regular dental cleanings (every 6 months) in addition to flossing and brushing twice daily can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Tip: Finish your meals with a high fiber food. Eating a carrot or apple can help scrape the plaque and bacteria off your teeth and gums!

For additional questions please contact Dr. Josh Berd at Learn more about Dr. Josh Berd at

How To Make Healthy Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs are a great source of protein that is really easy to make and prepare. I love hard boiled eggs sprinkled with pepper. Some people like their hard boiled eggs with salt. This is ok, but having too much salt is bad for you. Try to go easy on the salt as much as you can. The yolks are good too, however they have loads of cholesterol. I wouldn't eat more than 4 in a day. The whites are very good for you, and thats where most of the protein is. Lets run through real quick how to make these delicious treats that mostly everyone enjoys!
  • Make sure that you DON'T use the freshest eggs. I would use some eggs that are 4 or 5 days old. Make sure though you still keep them in your refrigerator. When I say they should be 4 or 5 days old I mean in your fridge. If you leave them out of the cold for that long they will go bad, and they will be disgusting. The reason why you want eggs that are a little older is because that way when they are done cooking they will be easier to peel. Fresh farm bought eggs, if cooked right away, are incredibly hard to peel.
  • Put your eggs into a big enough pan so that you can fill it with water, and it will cover the whole egg. You don't want a pan that doesn't cover all of your eggs. Fill it with water, and put it over the stove and slowly bring the water to a boil. The faster you boil the water, the more likely you are to crack the eggs while they are cooking. Some people like to add vinegar to help with the eggs from cracking while they are cooking, however I have found that it affects the taste, and I am not much of a vinegar fan. Instead I use a little bit of salt. This way not only does it help with the flavor, but it also helps with boiling the water.
  • Once the water is boiling, lower the temperature of the stove or if you have an electric stove that has a heating element, its probably best that you remove it from the heat for a few seconds. Once the temperature is lowered to a simmer, let the eggs cook for a about a minute.
  • Now that you have done this, remove the pan from the heat, and cover. Leave it covered for an additional 12 minutes. The eggs will cook in the residual heat that is still in the pan. Depending on how many eggs you have cooking it could take longer. The best thing to do is in advance cook a couple more eggs than you really want, this way if you are impatient, you can always pull an egg out to see if it is fully cooked.
  • Once the eggs are cooked, you can place them in the refridgerator and make sure they are eaten within 5 days. Thats how long they taste great for. Make sure when storing them in the fridge that  you store them in a container that can be covered. Eggs can release odors, and if they go bad, it is one of the foulest smells ever!
I hope you have enjoyed your hard boil eggs adventure. I tried to cover any accident that might be stopping you. I love eating my hard boiled eggs with salt and pepper, and remember they are a great source of protein. Of course you don't want to eat hard boiled eggs every day, but it is a great snack or meal, if you want to eat something that tastes great with very little effort. Please leave comments if you feel I have left anything out. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How To Make a Bloody Mary More Healthy

Bloody Marys are not that good for you. They come loaded with tons of calories and a high amount of sodium. I have learned great ways to make your bloody Mary more healthy and I would like to share some of those ways with you. You can enjoy Bloody Marys, just make sure you prepare them the right way or you could be killing yourself slowly (just kidding, but they aren't as great for you as you think). Its already bad enough it has alcohol in it....oh who are we kidding thats the best part! At least if you make it more healthy you won't feel so guilty about it.
  • Stay away from store bought mixes. Make your own tomato juice if you can. You can also find some tomato juice that has no added salt or sodium. This is key. The salt, and chile salt powder like Lucas (if you add those) are more than enough salt already. Those bloody mary mixes that they sell at Kroger and other stores like HEB, comes with loads of unnecessary sodium, and some times they have loads of sugar. Making your own tomato juice is really your best bet.
  • Don't just add celery as a garnish. Get creative, if you have your own juicer or emulsifier, you can even juice all the vegetables together along with the tomato juice. I have heard of people adding things like asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and even okra. Trust me it will taste great, and it makes the drink way more healthy for you, by giving you more of your daily serving of vegetables.
  • Adding more veggies is the obvious way to make it more healthy, but something you probably haven't thought of is to add more protein. Some cubes of cheese are good for this also shrimp, bacon, or crab meat. Those all go well with your new bloody mary concoction. Add what sounds good to you, no sense in ruining your drink with ingredients you don't like. The key here is to drink it, and maybe even drink a lot of it! While being responsible of course.
  • Here is one I bet you haven't heard...Instead of using Vodka, use the Asian alcohol called Shochu. This tastes almost exactly like Vodka, except it has way less calories. No alcohol is good for you, but moderation, and occasional drinking is good for anybodies spirit! The less calories the better!
I hope these tips help you have a nice healthy bloody mary that you can enjoy with all of your friends. I hope your next party is a smash thanks to your new healthy bloody mary recipe. Trust me they will be a hit at any party. People won't even be able to tell that you made them a healthy version! This is good for the body and soul. Have fun! Remember to drink responsibly. Cheers!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Easy and Quick Herb Roasted Tomatoes Recipe

 10-12 Roma Tomatoes
2 tbsp Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 cloves of garlic (if you like garlic)
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp sage
1 tbsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Get a baking sheet and cut the tomatoes in half long ways. If you want you could core the tomato by scooping out all of the seeds in the middle. This is not required, some people like to leave the seeds to have even more flavor. Either way is fine. Cut up and throw in the garlic cloves along with the tomatoes on the baking sheet. Now take your olive oil and drizzle it on top of all the tomatoes and garlic clove pieces. Make sure you get it on all the tomatoes so that the herbs you add stick to the tomatoes beautifully. When you are done drizzling your tomatoes sprinkle on all of your herbs on top of all the tomatoes. Sprinkle as much salt and pepper as you like to taste, go easy on the's bad for you. Now add the baking sheet to the oven for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn off the oven, and leave the tomatoes in there for an additional 45 minutes, so that it cooks in the existing heat. Now you are ready to enjoy your tomatoes. Tomatoes are a great way to prevent heart disease. This is a very healthy dinner, that is very easy to make, and it tastes great!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Healing Power of Music

Most people when they are sick they take many trips to different doctors and specialists trying to figure out whats wrong with them. Sometimes the solution to your problem is a lot easier than you think. It has been proven that sometimes there is no better way to stimulate all your senses and emotions than music. It has even been proven that classical music helps plants grow. Pregnant mothers that are sick or are having a rough pregnancy found that listening to music has really helped them with anxiety, and complications in their pregnancy. This is because it is good for their child too. They also have fewer physiological responses associated with different types of labor pains. It is also a great way to sooth a child after it has been born. Scientists are still figuring out just how powerful the power of music really is. Music is a very powerful tool in altering our moods and soothing our psyche. I think this is just another thing that our ancient ancestors would do that we some how lost touch with. Not all types of music are good for you and sooth the soul. Try listening to feel good music like classical, or even some great classics such as "Bill Withers - Lean on Me", or "Elton John - Tiny Dancer". It is a common mistake that many people that like listening to rock music, heavy metal, and rap or hip/hop start cranking it up to 11 and think they are going to feel better. That kind of music might help if you like it, but generally speaking it won't have any health benefits to those around you. Bob Marley is another great artist that is good to listen to when you are feeling blue. Remember music is a great alternative to anti-depressant medicines, and other forms of medicine that have to do with pain. You would be surprised how much music can alter your mood if you listen to the right song. When I say listen to the right song, I mean listening to the song that is right for you. People that have recovered from cancer will tell you, music is something they enjoy, and you should too. Next time you are feeling down in the dumps, or sick, try turning up a great song that you haven't listened to in a while. See if that makes you feel better, before you start shoving pills down your throat.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Just Buy a Bag of [BLEEP] carrots!

This video made me laugh really hard. Its so true too. If only people ate vegetables as they do hamburgers, and flaming hot cheetos.

The Grapefruit Diet Does NOT Help You Lose Weight

The grapefruit diet has been the talk of famous celebrities and health gurus because they actually think it works. I will admit that grapefruit is a great source of Vitamin C, and changing your diet really does help you lose weight. However, just changing your diet alone, will not be the key to your success. You must also exercise on a daily basis. You are going to get sore, and there will be pain involved, but that is the price everyone has to pay for true weight loss. I don't want to deter anyone from eating a grapefruit a day. It has been proven that grapefruits can help increase your protective HDL cholesterol. Which is a benefit we all could use. The simple claims though that grapefruit alone can help you shed pounds without doing anything else is completely false. There are people that try these types of fad diets, and then in the middle of the night eat a whole box of Oreo cookies. Changing your diet and doing more exercise is the key to losing weight. I'm tired of these "Hollywood" diets trying to get people to be unhealthy. Eating grapefruit alone without getting a source of fiber or protein could be very dangerous. The reason why i am taking out my frustrations on the grapefruit diet is because it was currently featured in the movie "The Black Swan". At the end of the day people will still hold on to their faith in this diet just because of what their favorite actor or actress says. This is no way to live. Think for yourself, eat healthy, and don't forget to exercise. Don't worry that is the sure fire way to lose weight.

Tips on How To Make Your Own First Aid Kit

The process of making a first aid kit is very important. You could always buy a complete first aid kit, but sometimes the family or people you are traveling with might have special needs such as, asthma inhalers, or allergy shots. This is why you may want to consider making a first aid kit for yourself, and for the use of your family. Walgreens and Walmart both sell first aid kits, but I think what they come with is really unsatisfactory. You want to be prepared for the worst case scenario, that way you won't start to panic in a survival situation. Remember no one knows the future, it is always good to be prepared. Here are some tips for creating your own first aid kit...
  1. Select a small bag that will be easy to carry around, and also lightweight. You don't want to be carrying around a bulky first-aid bag. Remember that if you are traveling with this first-aid kit on an airplane, seal everything in zip-lock baggies.
  2. Make sure you only carry the most basic of medical supplies. No use adding pointless make-up and other things that won't help you survive alone. Some things that would be a good idea are bandages, gauze, neosporin, antiseptic wash, medical tape, anesthetic spray or lotion, iodine, and even ace bandages. Other lightweight medical items that you can think of might also be a good idea. The more you have the better, just make sure you would need it in a survival situation if you get hurt. Also, make sure it fits in the bag you selected. The idea here is to get all the items to fit in one bag. Tylenol pain reliever is also always a good idea. Never know when you might be in pain, or even have a hangover. Tylenol could really help your day. Especially if there will be no stores around to purchase some if you get a really bad headache.
  3. You might want to keep some other must have items in there like charcoal tablets, allergy shots (if you have allergies) and other medication that might be prescribed by your doctor in case of emergency. They also sell mini snake bite kits, that you might also be able to squeeze inside there. Snake bites are a big deal, and a kit just might save your life.
  4. Last thing you should do is have 2 distinct sections, one section for the very basic of medical supplies, and the other, with doctor prescribed medications. That way your not rummaging through your kit in an emergency situation.
This should help you have a great time wherever your going, without having to worry if there is a drug store close by. Be prepared, that is the cub scout motto, and for good reason. Don't be caught somewhere in the wilderness without being prepared. Make your own first aid kit today and be sure to be safe on your next trip, wherever it may be. If you think I left anything out please post it in the comments. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Helpful Tips on Soothing Your Sore Throat

When you have a sore throat it can be extremely painful. Sometimes it feels like there is nothing you can do to make the pain go away. If you have had a sore throat for longer then 5 days you should go to the doctor. This usually means that you have either strep throat, or tonsillitis. These are serious infections and in order to get rid of them you will have to take antibiotics. If you are in that 5 day threshold then I can try and give you some tips on how to get rid of some of the pain associated with having a sore throat...
  1. Drink lots of fluids. This helps to coat your throat lining so that the irritation from post nasal drip won't affect you as much. It also helps to get the Vitamin C drinks like orange juice. If orange juice is too harsh to swallow, try getting some Vitamin Water. They sell it at gas stations, just find the Vitamin C version, because that helps boost your immune system.
  2. Install a humidifier in your room so that you can inhale air that has been moisturized so that it will sooth your throat and nasal passages. Whether you have a cold or a flu, this is always good to do. Just make sure that the humidifier filter is clean. You don't want to be recirculating bad bacteria in the air. You can even get a steam vaporizer so that you can add medicated inhalants to help soothe your throat.
  3. Gargling some warm water and salt is a great way to get relief from a sore throat. Be careful though not to add to much salt, this could damage your already damaged mucus glands. You want just enough to draw out water inside the lining of your throat due to swelling.
  4. If you are going to take a pain reliever the best one to take is Tylenol. Aspirin when taken with the flue can cause brain swelling and other things that would be bad. If you want an added boost of comfort, then I would go with Tylenol Cold & Flu. That will give you the added support you need for your symptoms.
I hope these tips have helped you with your sore throat. I wish I had more tips to offer you. I know having a sore throat is not a good thing, and sometimes all we want is just to feel better. Just remember if you have had that sore throat for longer then 5 days its time to go to the doctor so that he can see if you have some type of infection. In that case, he will have to prescribe you some antibiotics. I hope you feel better soon!

Tips on How to Detect Early Signs of Frostbite

Frostbite can be a serious problem when its super cold outside. No one really knows an exact amount of time, or temperature it takes to get frostbite. The best way of not getting frostbite, is by watching for the symptoms. Every year thousands of people get frostbite, and many of them will tell you they didn't know they had got frostbite until it was too late. Here are some signs to look for to make sure you and your family stay frostbite free...
  1. Some of the main symptoms are itching, burning, and numbness. Numbness usually happens when you are cold anyways, so don't just go off of numbness as a sign that you have frostbite. Nine times out of ten its just because its really cold. However the other signs itching and burning are something to really listen to, unless you have other reasons why this could be occurring I would get to a warm place quick. Once you warm up, you can get back out in the cold again. If you were to have a deep frostbite, then you will notice that your affected area will start swelling, there will be blanching of the skin, and your skin may also feel hard. As your skin warms if it turns to a whiteish or yellowish color then you may have frostbite, so it is time to go to the doctor.
  2. If you have decided that you do have frostbite, never rub or massage the affected area. This may result in even more deep tissue damage. This is not what you want, it will be painful later.
  3. Once frostbite has been spotted, don't rewarm your body, and go back out in the cold again. All this is going to do is make your frostbite get even worse. If you have decided that what you have is frostbite, you are done, I would stay inside, until symptoms go away and the color of your skin returns to normal. This could be longer then a few weeks.
  4. If you get any degree of frostbite, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
I hoped this has helped you stay safe in the cold. It has been cold all over the United States recently and as I am writing this in Texas it is 24 degrees outside. We hardly ever drop below 32 (freezing) so I figured I would do a post about this. Remember to enjoy the cold weather wherever you are at, but at the same time be sure to be safe. Trust me, you don't want to have long term damage due to frostbite. It is extremely painful. Please leave comments if you feel I have left anything out. Thank you.