Healthy Living

Exposure to asbestos has a well-documented correlation to over a dozen diseases. The diseases related to asbestos exposure range from benign pleural plaques to the malignant, and highly aggressive, mesothelioma.  The major contributing factor to all of these diseases is the extent of exposure that a person has had with asbestos. Before the health concerns were understood, asbestos was widely used in ship construction, residential and commercial construction, and the automotive industries. Exposure to asbestos does not guarantee that a person will develop any of the associated medical conditions, but it does add an increase in the risk-factor of a person developing an exposure-related illness. The exposure factor that is most common is that the light fibrous asbestos material is inhaled into the lungs, where it can even diffuse to the bloodstream.

To look at asbestos related diseases in a little more depth, we’ve teamed up with the experts over at


Mesothelioma is the cancer that is most recognized as a result of exposure to asbestos, as almost all cases of mesothelioma are the result of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the protective lining around the lungs, heart, testicles, or stomach. Regardless of specific diagnosis, most patients that suffer from mesothelioma will exhibit abdominal or chest pain and shortness of breath. From the time of diagnosis, the average prognosis for mesothelioma patients is less than one year.

Lung Cancer

Although asbestos is not a major cause of lung cancer, exposure to asbestos still leads to the lung cancer that claims approximately 3200 Americans a year. Exposure to large amounts of asbestos over an extended period may lead to lung cancer, and smokers exposed to asbestos are especially at elevated risk of developing lung cancer.

Ovarian Cancer

In 2009, the link between asbestos exposure and ovarian cancer was confirmed. The ovaries of women that have been exposed to asbestos have been found to often contain asbestos fibers. The fibers can make their way to the ovaries through the lymphatic system, bloodstream, or even through the reproductive tract.


Asbestosis is technically benign in that it does not produce malignant tumors, but it is still a potentially deadly disease. The fibers of asbestos that have been inhaled into the lungs cause the formation of severe scarring and sever inflammation of the tissues of the lung. When the lungs can’t function properly, shortness of breath and tightness in the chest are felt.

Pleural Plaques

Pleural plaques are calcified buildups on the pleura around the lungs, and are a common condition for those who have been exposed to asbestos. Buildups that become extremely thick may contribute to painful breathing, but the condition is not generally considered to be li-threatening.

Pleural Effusions

Pleural effusion is the name given to a buildup of fluid between the pleura (lining around the lungs). These buildups are common in late-stage mesothelioma, but may also develop independently. Over time, pleural effusions may cause severe pain and interfere with normal breathing function, but are not immediately life-threatening in themselves. Pleural effusions may also be accompanied with pleuritic: an inflammation of the pleura that causes a sharp pain in the chest or shoulder when breathing as the inflamed pleural layers rub against each other.

Healthy Living

The skin as we know, consists of layers, each with a specific function and responsibility. The first layer is the epidermis is the protective layer of the skin. This layer of the skin is constantly shed and this is the body’s natural mechanism for cleaning. The dead and dry cells are constantly being replaced by new ones.

The dermis is the layer below the epidermis and is responsible for the elasticity of the skin. Contains sweat and sebaceous glands and blood vessels that help hydrate and nourish the skin. The subcutaneous layer is beneath the dermis and adipose tissue contains. This layer is responsible for wrinkles, lines and tight skin.

The epidermis is the most visible consequence of a proper cleaning. Cleanliness is very important and it is necessary to remove impurities, makeup, dust and skin oils. Also evicted pimples and unclogs pores of the skin. Cleaning is also very important in re-hydrate the skin and get rid of your itchy skin no rashes.

Three basic steps to cleaning, moisturizing and exfoliating skin

  • Clean: The key to cleaning the skin is keeping it simple. However, determining the type of skin is very important before taking a cleaning product. A gel with oil too or too little may be inadequate depending on skin type. Cleaning too often can also damage the skin. The best way to clean is to splash your face with warm water. This will help to unclog pores and loosen dirt. Use a cleanser on the size of a coin and then rinse again, this time with cold water. Makeup should be taken with a makeup remover before this process.
  • Scrub: This is an important step to be clean once a week. Most people do not question this in your cleaning routine. Using a scrub once a week gets rid of dead skin layers and keeps healthy and shiny.
  • Hydration: Hydrating Moisture seals in the skin. But be careful with the amount of moisturizer to use as an excess of it can clog pores.

Keeping healthy younger looking skin requires the use of skin care developed and formulated for specific purpose. Many manufacturers and brands that sell products “best in class”.

For example, Strivectin is well known for their stretch marks and wrinkle cream. While stretch marks and wrinkles do not seem to go well together in the same sentence, customers found that the active ingredients used in the Strivectin-SD Stretch Mark Cream work well in facial skin care (wrinkles and fine lines). Similarly, now famous Robanda by Hand Cream was voted “best hand cream in the U.S.” in 2006. Obagi remains a leader in products for younger hands, reducing age spots, etc, and Refinee leads the best-selling cleanser, “Fruit Exfoliating Cleanser” which clarifies, softens and refreshes with Jojoba Oil and fruit acids.

Similarly, feed the skin care is a leader in sera concentrated aloe. Specializing in anti-aging, antioxidant and anti-aging skin care, nurture is the brand to look for efficiency and high-end “directly from the manufacturer” prices. As other care companies skin, Nourishing sell exclusively to consumers.

Healthy Living

You got a positive pregnancy test now what should you do? Pregnancy is what makes a woman so special compared to a man. Having all the pregnancy symptoms and signs could really be exhilarating and exciting. When you get a positive pregnancy test, what should be your next step? Well, basically you need to have additional information on pregnancy.

What are the pregnancy symptoms?

There are many signs that a woman start to feel when she is pregnant, such as vomiting, weight loss/gain, dizziness, irritability, missed period and sensitivity to smell. If you think you get any of the mentioned pregnancy symptoms, better grab a home pregnancy test.

What to do when you have the pregnancy symptoms?

The first thing you need to do is get a home pregnancy test. It is very easy and convenient to do. All you have to do is to put a few drops of your first early morning urine into the window of pregnancy test stick. Wait for at least three minutes or until you can see the lines as the result of your pregnancy test. If you are pregnant and get a positive pregnancy test now what do you see on the window? two lines that indicate that you are indeed pregnant.

If you get a positive result what are the next steps?

First, it is important you see a physician right away. Your doctor can administer further examination and prescribe you with vitamins and medicines you may need during your pregnancy.

There is life inside of you, and you will be a mother in a shorter time. After nine months, a baby will be part of your family.

It is recommended you will have a regular visit to your doctor so he or she can monitor your baby’s development. If you get a positive pregnancy test you should get a regular check up for your health and your baby’s health.

It is also important that you get a healthy diet. Eat much of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid eating junk foods and salty foods. You should give away on alcoholic drinks and other carbonate. Drink plenty of water and fruit juices. Stick to healthy drinks.

Also, avoid getting stressed too much. Stress is not good for a pregnant woman or for her baby. So take enough rest and practice a healthy lifestyle. If you are a smoker quit it. Practically, do all the best you can during your pregnancy period.


Healthy Living

An uncomplicated and extremely pleasant way to entertain guests. That would be the best definition for a cocktail party. And, honestly speaking, it is also a painless way to entertain business acquaintances or take care of social obligations with people with whom you don’t care much about spending a long evening or sharing a complete meal with.

Let’s go straight to the main course of a cocktail: the drinks.

If you have a large number of guests and no professional bartender to help out with the mixology duties, then the best idea is to let the guests help themselves out and set up strategically placed “self service” tables with the necessary items.

You will need to provide your thirsty friends with at least five basic liquors: scotch, bourbon, gin, vodka and rum. You can also include interesting additions such as Peruvian Pisco and Mexican Tequila. Accompany them with an assortment of mixes, orange and cranberry juice, buckets of ice, wedges of lemons, glasses in several sizes and long-handled bar spoons. For the “light drinkers” you can include wine and beers. Don’t forget your non-alcoholic friends. Besides the juices, provide them with sparkling mineral water.

If you want to keep things simpler, and have your friends just relax and be served, you can choose one or two types of cocktails, made up in batches. For example, pitchers of Martinis and Margaritas, of Tom Collins and Cosmos, any combination that you think might be a good mix for your crowd.

In general, a cocktail party shouldn’t be longer than two hours. Those two hours should fall anywhere between 5 8 pm. It is not a good idea to go beyond that time, because a cocktail party is usually the prelude for another event: going out for dinner, the theatre, another party, etc. So, try to keep it within the two hour frame and, if there is going to be dinner afterwards, keep the appetizers light and simple.

Talking about appetizers, we can go to the second most important element of your cocktail party: the food. Imagine how your party would end up with all those drinks and no food. Stay on the simple side. An assortment of well-chosen cheese and crackers, pates and small quiches bought at a specialty store are enough for an informal party. If you want to get more sophisticated and impress your guests you can have specially made hors d’oeuvres such as smoked salmon, stuffed mushroom caps, ready to eat shrimp, artichoke dip with veggies, etc.

The last but not least element of a successful cocktail party is the ambiance. Make sure that you have different cozy sitting areas throughout the party so that people can sit down, relax and chit chat. Tall round tables are great for this type of parties, because people can eat, drink and talk, but they don’t get stuck in one sitting area. It gives them more room to move around and mingle. To set the mood, work up the lights to create a smooth atmosphere, cool music in the backgrounds, fresh flowers and candles.

My best advice: don’t overdo it. The two most important ingredients of successful entertaining are simplicity and creativity. However you choose to organize your cocktail party, you should always be within your comfort zone and be able to manage it. In this way, you will not feel overwhelmed and when your guests arrive you will be relaxed and able to greet them with your best smile.


  1. How to Plan a Cocktail Party – Beau-coup
  2. Cranberry Juice Benefits
  3. How to Throw a Cocktail Party: 6 Steps (with Pictures)

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  • Healthy Living

    There are many chocolate lovers out there.  You may want to consider a gift related to this love when you are shopping for Christmas of 2010.


    Of course, chocolate is the ideal gift for someone who loves chocolate.  You will have many choices in the type of chocolate.  If you have a little more to spend, then you can get a nice set from somewhere such as Godiva.  They have many different packages.  You can get the “pure” stuff or you can get some related candies such as truffles.  There are many other brands that you can purchase at grocery stores.  Russel Stover is very popular.  Of course, many stores like Target have their own brands, and these may come in nice packages for the holidays.

    Set of hot chocolates

    A lot of people who like chocolate might enjoy a nice set of hot chocolates for Christmas.  This can be great because it might be getting quite cold outside, so they can sit by the fire and drink many gourmet brands.


    The make different books that are related to chocolate.  Some are about making them whereas others have different focuses.  You can try Great Book of Chocolate by Lebovitz, and Confections: Formula, Theory, and Technique for the Artisan Confectioner by Greweling and The Culinary Institute of America or Artisan Chocolates by Garrison Shotts, all of which are very highly rated on

    Gift certificate to a chocolate store

    There are many stores that specialize in chocolates.  Of course, Godiva is a popular one.  You might want to get him or her a gift certificate to such a store so that they can pick out exactly what they want.  They sometimes sell these at a discount at stores such as Costco.

    Other chocolate related food product

    There are other food products that a chocolate lover might like.  You can get him or her a chocolate cake.  Costco has one that is delicious for approximately $17.  You can get him or her chocolate fudge.  There are many types of chocolate cookies.  You can purchase or make these.

    A chocolate lover may like something that is related to this delicious treat for the 2010 Christmas holiday.  The above ideas may be perfect. Of course make sure to pay attention to any dietary restrictions that someone has, and you can also look for something that is lower in sugar or fat.


    1. Christmas Gift Basket Ideas for Chocolate Lovers – Cottage Christmas
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    3. Raffle Baskets and Silent Auction 2010 | Girl Gift Baskets, Girl Gifts …

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  • Healthy Living


    What’s that in your coffee? Check it out: it’s water.

    As a nation of connoisseurs, eating and drinking in restaurants and coffee houses that are special, do we notice the difference if our precious cup of coffee is made from one kind of water or another?

    There is just a dabble in your cup of that roasted bean, specially ground and chosen from just the right part of the world. The rest is water.

    Whether you buy your coffee or brew it yourself, you have choices. Well, we do have to wonder how many of us are brewing at home considering the lineup at the coffee counters for a cup o’ that good stuff. New York, Washington, California, maybe Paris or even Dubai – wherever – different cities: different water.

    Living in your apartment you have nothing to say about the water rushing out of your tap, unless you have a filter system or go through endless bottles of water. Not to condemn all tap water, in many cases it’s okay and probably safe. But it’s the taste, right? Do you like the taste? Ah, the taste! And will you have your morning coffee chlorinated?

    With choices to make, we have become bottled water aficionados. And so, good for us! Because of our preference for a better taste we find ourselves avoiding the tap for drinking. In spite of some new publicity about the water in those bottles, we still prefer it. Unquestionably, the taste is better.

    In brewing your own at home, you can also make a socially responsible choice. With plastic bottles now getting a bad rap, it’s a good thing to stay on top of the latest findings. Read the labels. Some labels are very informative, others say very little.

    Some bottled water is purified, some from natural springs. What springs? Where are they? How does it get from there to you? Discover your own preference. If it’s practical for you at home, invest in a filter system. There are fairly inexpensive and simple setups that attach to your faucet. You’ll need to replace the filter periodically; the same idea works with a pitcher you can keep in your fridge.

    And do we know if restaurants and coffee houses are filtering their water? Have we asked? Many will say that they do have a water filtration system. We hope so.

    Are you a cuppa joe kind of person or do you take your coffee seriously? Coffee is an incredibly diverse and magical food product. We have become experts, rattling off names, countries, agricultural methods, even beans that are politically correct. It’s not just coffee any more. You know the vocabulary; you understand the jargon of some of your favorite coffee houses. Those catchy names are part of our lexicon of the coffee world.

    Actually, the Romans, the Persians, the Turks loved their coffee too, and all treasured their water. There are ancient filtration systems that are to be admired. Coffee drinking and socializing started long ago and so did having a real appreciation for the water.

    So, about the water in your coffee or the coffee in your water: which came first? Coffee grows. Water flows. It’s all part of our great planet. Enjoy it all.


    1. National Coffee Association USA > About Coffee > How to Brew …
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    3. Selecting a Coffee Brewing Method that's Right for You – Sally's Place

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  • Healthy Living

    Most of the recipes that I write are for things that I would order in a restaurant. One of my all-time favorite meals when I am doing some seafood dining is crab cakes!

    I have had a few experiments with crab cakes that did not come out very well, but I was quite satisfied with this recipe when I came up with it recently. The real trick for me was getting the patties to hold together, but not overmixing them. Lumps of crab are necessary to me for a good crab cake!

    I have also included a simple sauce to drizzle over the cakes if you desire. It is a fairly simple version of tartar sauce, a classic pairing with crab cakes!


    1 Pound fresh backfin crab meat, picked over for shells

    1/2 cup bread crumbs or crushed crackers

    2 ribs celery, chopped very fine

    2 green onions, chopped

    1 egg, slightly beaten

    3 TBS mayonnaise or Miracle Whip

    1 tsp Old Bay seasoning

    non-stick cooking spray

    First, Combine the crabmeat, bread crumbs, celery and onions in a bowl. Gently toss with hands to mix. Wash your hands.

    Add the egg, mayonnaise and seasoning. Mix gently again to combine, but don’t break up all of the lumps.

    Shape into six patties and place on a plate. Cover this and refrigerate for about 1 hour.

    Spray a skillet with the non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Saut the crab cakes for 4-5 minutes on each side, adjusting the heat so as not to burn the cakes. Serve with lemon wedges and sauce listed below.

    For a super quick and easy crab cake sauce:

    In a small mixing bowl, combine:

    1/4 cup mayonnaise

    2 tsp. lemon juice

    2 tsp. dried dill, or 1 TBS fresh dill

    2 tsp capers

    1 TBS sweet pickle relish

    This is a simple tartar sauce that goes wonderfully when served with the crab cakes.

    If you are more of a cocktail sauce person, you can whip up an easy recipe for it by mixing 2-3 teaspoons of horseradish with 1/4 cup of chili sauce or ketchup!


    1. Crab Cakes Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network
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    3. Best Ever Crab Cakes Recipe –

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  • Healthy Living

    The next time you are having friends over for a Sunday brunch, instead of pulling out the tried and true Mimosa recipe, why not serve something with a little more pizazz? Champagne and wine cocktails make for a fun and/or fizzy additional to any festivity and give those who do not want a heavy drink something to sip while munching a well done canape.

    Champagne has been around since the 1700’s when Dom Perignon messed up the wine he was making and then realized that his mistake was instead a timeless creation that was sure to please. Since that time, generations have been celebrating by popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly. In the 19th century, well bred ladies and gentlemen took champagne cocktails at late suppers and the champagne cocktail has long been the favorite drink of the genteel set. Nowadays, we can all sit back and enjoy the fizzy goodness whether we are genteel or just pretending to be.

    Champagne and wine cocktails are great to serve at parties because of their ease. You can make ten of them just as easily as you can make two, and no blender is used. The other nice thing is that while you wouldn’t want to skimp and buy the cheapest bottle, because then you’ll end up with a bitter mess, you don’t have to break out the bottle of Champagne you’ve been saving for your daughter’s wedding, either.

    So what is the difference between a wine cocktail and a champagne cocktail? As champagne is just wine of the sparkling variety there really isn’t much of a difference. The bubbles might be one difference and the quality of the wine might be another. While champagne cocktails are served straight up, and usually in a fluted glass for extra elegance, wine cocktails can be served straight up, in a glass, or on the rocks. Wine cocktails are a bit more flexible and can be mixed with spirits, depending on the flavor of the wine. In either case, it is best not to use your best bottle of wine for wine cocktails, as the subtle flavors that you would otherwise savor will be lost in the mixture.

    There are many great resources that will give you recipes for both wine cocktails and champagne cocktails, but my favorite one has champagne cocktails listed by color. If you are a coordinating fanatic, like me, it is always nice to serve drinks that compliment your decor or party theme!

    Here are a few websites that will help you mix just the right cocktail for your next soiree. Bottoms up!



    1. Champagne Drinks Recipes –
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    3. A Year of Champagne Cocktails: 12 Seasonal Sparkling Drinks

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  • Healthy Living

    When dining at an establishment that has an all-you-can-eat buffet, it might seem that the general rules of etiquette for dining are suspended, due to the serve yourself atmosphere. This is not true however, there are rules of etiquette for all-you-can-eat buffets, they are just a little different from those for sit-down dining experiences, and many of them are not rules that are enforced by the established, but instead are rules of civility.

    The first rule of etiquette at an all-you-can-eat buffet is that you wait for someone to come to your table so that you can order the buffet before you walk over and help yourself. This is a polite thing to do, because it shows the establishment and the wait person the respect that they deserve. They are providing a service, and you, by your actions can demonstrate that you are a polite respectful person.

    Once the waiter arrives and takes your order, and the all-clear is given, only then do you proceed to the buffet. When you arrive there, it is customary to start at one end or the other, and proceed along a straight path to the other end. Doing so shows respect and politeness for the other customers at the buffet and helps to keep things running smoothly.

    As you proceed along the buffet, it is considered polite to only use one plate at a time, unless there are different size plates for different types of food. It is also considered gauche to overfill your plate or to allow any liquids to spill over the sides. In addition, it is also considered rather crude to use one serving implement for another dish. All buffets have separate serving utensils for each food item. Using one from one dish to serve yourself from another because someone is taking too long to serve themselves is considered impolite and unsanitary.

    Other rules of etiquette at the buffet include abstaining from tasting anything while there, licking your fingers or excessively breathing on the food. Also of course, if you find yourself having to sneeze or cough, remove yourself from the buffet before it occurs, and then use a napkin to cover your nose and mouth.

    Once you have your buffet items on your plate, walk back to your seat. If you wish to have some soup or other food item that requires a separate plate, make a separate trip. This helps avoid feeling like a glutton as you parade back and forth between the buffet and your seat.

    At your table, it is polite to wait for any other people you are sharing your meal with to return before digging into your own plate. Also, if you are sharing a booth, it is considered polite to get up and stand and wait if the person arriving is to be sitting on the inside of the booth.

    Once you are eating, standard table manners apply. Don’t talk with food in your mouth. Chew with your mouth closed, and don’t rest your elbows on the table. Also, don’t speak or laugh too loud and use your napkin occasionally.

    When you have eaten everything on your plate and wish to have more food, leave your empty plate on the table for the wait staff to clear; get a new one at the buffet. Also, when heading back, its polite to ask if you can get anything for others at your table.

    At the completion of the meal, a five percent tip is usually left for the wait staff; more if they had to go out of their way for you and did a good job with the drinks.


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  • Healthy Living


    This easy to make recipe is a sweet way to try something new for your table. Sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative side dish because they provide more fiber, vitamins, and nutrients than white potatoes. It’s an appealing dish the kids will love, and it’s better for them than french fries. The onion adds a slightly savory touch to cut down the sweetness, so adults will enjoy it too.

    Prep time: 20 minutes

    Bake time: 15 minutes

    Serves 6


    ¼ cup packed brown sugar

    ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    3 medium sweet potatoes

    3 medium apples (suggestions: Granny Smith, Red Delicious, or Rome Beauty)

    1 small onion

    ¼ cup orange juice


    1. Combine brown sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.

    2. Wash sweet potatoes but do not cut. Peel a small strip around middle of each. Remove any blemishes.

    3. Arrange potatoes in a circle on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 6 – 8 minutes, turning over once. Potatoes should be somewhat softer but still holding their shape, as they will have additional cooking. Do not overcook.

    4. Let potatoes cool. Meanwhile, core and peel apples. Slice crosswise into rings, then cut in half. Thinly slice onion and separate.

    5. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into ½ – inch slices.

    6. Prepare a deep 1 ½ – quart glass casserole dish by spraying lightly with Pam™. Create layers in the following order, sprinkling sugar mixture over each:




    repeat once.

    7. Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture over top. Pour orange juice evenly over all.

    8. Cover loosely and microwave on high about 6 minutes, til casserole is soft and tender. Let rest in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave carefully, as casserole dish will be very hot. Serve as a beautiful side dish for ham, chicken, or turkey.


    – Replace nutmeg with cinnamon.

    – Replace orange juice with apple juice.

    – Replace brown sugar with ¼ cup Splenda™.

    This is a fresh and delicious alternative to the marshmallow – topped sweet potato dish often served at Thanksgiving. It’s easy to make, and once you’ve tried it, you’ll find yourself craving more.


    1. 10 Simple Sweet Potato Recipes | Real Simple
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    3. Sweet Potato Recipes –

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