What are you getting when you order decaf coffee?by Kimi Harris, Mother Nature Network
Coffee is the bitter dark cup of brew that keeps us in the Northwest going through the rainy season. We especially like to read the many studies affirming the positive impact of coffee on our health. However, it can be addictive because of the caffeine and some prefer to keep their caffeine intake low. Others, such as those with kidney disease or anxiety disorders, may need to avoid caffeine all together.
Whether you are avoiding caffeine on doctor's orders or for personal reasons - if you love coffee, you may be wondering whether decaf is a good choice for you.
The first and most important consideration is whether or not decaf coffee still contains caffeine. While there is some variance in coffee, decaffeinated coffee certainly does contain caffeine - just in lower amounts.
One study found that while a single cup of coffee contains around 85 milligrams of caffeine, decaf servings ranged from 3 to 15.8 milligrams of caffeine. On the positive,
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What are you getting when you order decaf coffee?by Kimi Harris, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Is Decaf Coffee Really Caffeine-free?
Do you really need to stretch before you exercise?Much of what we think we know is based on myth. We hear something when we're kids, it gets repeated a few times, and before you know it, it's "fact." In fitness, just like every other facet of our lives, there are as many myths are there are truths. Whether it's collective misinformation carried on through generations or simply changing knowledge, many of the adages we take for fact aren't factual at all. Here are some of the more common fitness "facts" that are more old wives' tale than reality.Read More »from 8 Fitness Myths Debunked
1. You must wait an hour after eating before you swim
The common myth that the blood going to your digestive tract after eating diverts the blood needed to keep your arms and legs pumping during swimming, which leads to cramps and sometimes drowning, is totally unfounded. Advanced creatures that we are, we have enough blood to digest food and properly work our limbs at the same time. And at least one study has backed that up, finding that fewer than 1 percent of U.S. drownings occurred after
Drugs from Canada can be cheaperby Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Why Are Pharmaceuticals Cheaper in Canada?
Many of us have heard that pharmaceuticals are cheaper once you cross the border (the northern border, that is). And in many cases, it's all too true. I know a few people who do all their pharmaceutical shopping online at Canadian pharmacies because, even with the cost of shipping, the prices are so much lower than in the United States. But why is that?
The reason behind the cost difference lies in two important words - price controls. In Canada, the government has set up the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board to ensure that pharmaceutical prices do not get excessive. They even have a law that says that the price of a breakthrough medication, the first of its kind, cannot exceed its median price around the world. A great example is the new cancer drug, Campath, which sells for $600 to $700 in countries like Sweden, Britain and France. Its U.S. price? A whopping $2,400. Now that's a hard pill to swallow (well, not really, since Campath is
Is your child scared of life-size Disney characters?by Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from How to Help Children Deal with Anxiety
My oldest son has been experiencing this very issue, and it makes my heart positively ache when I see him get visibly worried or upset about something. Here are a few tips that have helped him (and me) cope with the situation.
First of all, pay attention to any recent stresses in his life. Starting at a new school, the birth of a baby in the family, or the passing of a close relative can all be triggers for anxiety. If you think something's up, talk to your child on his level about what's been going on. Recently, we found out that my son needed to get his tonsils removed. The anxiety of the upcoming surgery was a lot for him to handle, and he started getting nervous about other things too.
When dealing with your child's anxiety on a daily basis, resist the urge to tell him not to worry when he is clearly communicating with you that he's worried. Dismissing his feelings will only make it worse. Try a tip my sister taught me about "active
Dogs should probably not be driving carsAbout 16 percent of dog owners restrain their pets in the car, according to a 2011 study by AAA, but recent crash tests for pet restraints aren't encouraging.Read More »from Dog Restraints Fail Crash Tests
Every restraint that the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) tested with dog dummies failed and showed that serious injuries or deaths to animals are likely.
Restraints were found not to be strong enough to protect pets, allowing them to easily become "missiles" during accidents. Traveling at just 30 miles per hour, an unrestrained 10-pound dog will exert roughly 300 pounds of pressure in an accident.
Not only were the pet restraints not strong enough, but crash tests revealed that dogs could actually be choked by them in a crash.
Also see: 12 pets that survived crazy accidents
According to CPS' report, "None of the harnesses were deemed safe enough to protect both the dog and the humans in the event of an accident."
Despite the failure of restraints in simulated accidents, doggy seatbelts may be helpful in preventing distracted
Gluten-free sandwich cookies with marshmallow creamby Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Should You Go Gluten-free?
Gluten is a funny thing. That is to say, there is no nutritional benefit to gluten itself, but there are lots of nutritional benefits to be gained from foods containing gluten. There's been a lot of talk recently about going "gluten-free" much the same way people try to reduce their sugar or carbs. But the truth is, unless you have a gluten intolerance or have been diagnosed with celiac disease, then taking gluten out of your diet will do little for you healthwise.
So what is celiac disease anyway? A person with celiac disease will have a negative immune response in their small intestine when they consume gluten, causing damage to the lining of the small intestine. Celiac disease can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea, among other symptoms. Two other conditions are associated with gluten: gluten intolerance and wheat allergy. While gluten intolerance seems to be overdiagnosed, actual celiac disease seems to be underdiagnosed. A wheat allergy
He's cute, but is he potty trained?by Morieka Johnson, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from The Best Ways to Potty Train a Puppy
As a puppy, my dog Lulu was a frisky ball of action. I spent hours watching her go from one adventure to another. Looking back on those days, we probably should have spent less time roaming the toy aisles and more time on puppy training. A lifetime of good behavior begins during those early days. With consistency and a little patience, experts say that training a puppy may actually be easier than teaching a toddler to eat spaghetti with a fork.
But where do you begin?
Certified dog behavior consultant Chris Redenbach spends most of her days helping people and pets. She offers tips to start things off on the right paw with your puppy.
Manage the environment - and your expectations
Redenbach says that most clients seek tools to stop bad behavior. The No. 1 complaint involves poor potty training habits, followed by requests to prevent jumping or destroying household items. Puppies biting at hands, feet and clothing also rank high on the list
Earwax problems can start when you're still a babyby Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Why Do We Have Earwax?
Ah, the age-old question. I was waiting for this one. I actually pondered this question myself many a night trying to get the wax out of my son's ear while he slept. I know what you're thinking. I'm a sneaky mommy. Well, I can't argue there. I also cut his nails, trim his hair, and feed him vegetables while he sleeps (kidding about that last one). But you would too if your child screamed and ran from you every time you tried going near his ears.
But I digress …
The truth is that earwax - called cerumen by medical professionals - is actually a protectant for our ears and isn't all bad. In fact, it's pretty darn good. You see, earwax serves a very important purpose: to lubricate and protect the ear from outside intruders, such as dirt, debris or worse (like roaches). Without earwax, our ears would not only itch like crazy, but also put our inner ear and our brain at serious peril. Imagine earwax as the castle guards, if you will.
What should kids drink after exercise?by Chanie Kirschner, Mother Nature NetworkRead More »from Are Sports Drinks Safe for Kids?
I asked myself this one awhile back when the only way I could get my 3-year-old to his soccer game was if I bribed him with an orange Gatorade at the game. (Granted, if I have to bribe my 3-year-old to play soccer, I probably shouldn't have signed him up, but how was I supposed to know?) As other parents (judgingly) gazed on, he downed the whole Gatorade in one fell swoop - and had to leave the game to pee moments later. But I couldn't help wondering, rather guiltily, if all that Gatorade was too much for my little man.
So what's the deal? First let's clarify the difference between sports drinks and another popular beverage among teens - energy drinks. Energy drinks, like sports drinks, have a ton of sugar. The major difference? Caffeine content. These drinks, though consumed by many teens, are considered to be dangerous for this age group, particularly because of the caffeine levels, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. High
Is your kid being bullied?For any parent, that first day of sending your child off to school can be positively nerve-wracking. Will my child make friends? Will he do OK in school? What will he do without me all day? And most kids do adapt to school well - falling into a normal and healthy school routine mere weeks after starting school for the first time. But for some, school can turn into a frightening place.Read More »from How to Tell If Your Child is Being Bullied
Years ago, it was thought that teasing was just a natural part of growing up. But over the past few decades, we have realized that teasing can have lasting effects, and if teasing turns into full-on bullying, the effects can be much worse. So how do you know if your child has become a victim of bullying? Here are some signs to look out for:
1. Is your child suddenly coming home from school very hungry? Often, bullies will take a child's lunch or his lunch money. Is he missing items, such as school supplies or clothing, with no explanation? Sometimes bullies will take these items as a means of