Eating Right For Asthma

If you have asthma, you probably have an inhaler which you use for daily relief of your symptoms or for emergency asthma attacks. You probably also avoid smoke or other substances that can trigger the coughing, wheezing misery of an asthma attack. You probably are also careful when you exercise. What you might not have known is that there is another thing you can do to help manage your condition. Though there is not an “asthma diet” and no specific foods are known to cause bronchial dilation on their own, a healthy diet is good for everyone including people with asthma. If you are curious how a healthy diet can benefit an asthmatic then please read on.


A Healthy Diet Reduces Obesity

Obesity is bad for everyone. Extra fat clogs your arteries and makes every cell in your body work harder to do its job. Those who are obese generally have lung problems, tire easily and become short of breath. If you are asthmatic, obesity can worsen the condition. Extra fat around the lungs causes them to not expand fully. This then cuts off the already compromised oxygen supply reaching your other organs and can make asthma attacks worse.


Avoid Allergens

Foods that you are allergic to can be really bad news for your asthma. Allergic reactions can often include swelling of the bronchial tubes in the same way that asthma does. They also can lead to coughing, which can actually start an asthma attack. That is why it is imperative that you avoid foods and other substances which you are allergic to. Your body will thank you.


Get Your Vitamins

The rates of asthma in the United States have been steadily rising over the last thirty years, and researchers are attempting to get to the bottom of this puzzling mystery. Studies are inconclusive so far but recent findings show that people who eat a diet high in vitamins E, C and Beta Carotene along with flavonoids, Omega III fatty acids and other components have less likelihood of developing asthma whereas those who eat processed foods and very few fruits and vegetables have a higher chance. If eating a healthy diet could prevent asthma in some people, then it stands to reason that it might also help lessen the condition in those already suffering. Beyond that, eating a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals helps build new cells, restoring the ones asthma damages.


Eating a well-balanced diet is very important, especially for asthma sufferers. Doing so lessens the likelihood of obesity which prevents the lungs from expanding fully or properly. This type of diet also promotes cell growth and healing, which means the body repairs the damage to the lungs asthma causes much faster. As an asthma sufferer, it is also necessary to avoid allergens as allergens can trigger an asthma attack. Asthma can be a debilitating disease, but it doesn’t have to be. With good management and a healthy diet, you can be breathing easier in no time.

20 Ways to Show Appreciation for Teachers

Teacher Appreciation Day this year is May 3. What are you doing to appreciate the teachers in your life or in the lives of your family? If you do not yet know what you will be doing, then please allow me to offer some suggestions. After all, teachers do some of the hardest work in the world right up there with nurses. They present our students with information necessary for their success, but teachers do much more than that. Many people report that a special teacher was the difference between success and failure for them or was their mentor when things were going badly at home. That is why teacher appreciation is important. However, your gifts to your teachers do not have to be elaborate. In this article, we will discuss twenty teacher appreciation gifts that will not break your bank.


Write a Note

Perhaps the best teacher appreciation gift is a note. Tell the teacher in your life how much they matter. If you are a parent, tell them how much you feel that they have helped your child. If your child likes that teacher as well, then they could make a note of their own, mentioni1ng some of their favorite experiences in class.


Send an Apple

It may seem slightly cliche, but an apple is a good gift for a teacher, preferably a glass one that can serve as a paperweight or desk ornament. Apples of this kind never go bad, and you do not have to worry about accidentally triggering any food allergies. As a bonus, an apple of this type will last for years to come and will be a gift the teacher can hold onto and display in their classroom.


Make Custom T-shirts

Custom t-shirts can be a great way to show a special teacher they matter. Get together with other parents or other classmates if you are a student, and decide on a design. Then you as a group can present the finished shirt to the special teacher.


Treat A Teacher

Get together with your classmates or other parents and make a small lunch for the teachers at your school. This is a great way to show all the teachers you appreciate them. Be careful to include foods that can be eaten by anyone regardless of food preferences or allergies. Foods that can be eaten with your hands, such as small sandwiches with a variety of fillings and breads work well for this. That way, the teachers can make their own sandwiches the way they like them. Be sure to ask the school’s permission before doing this one, especially if you are a student.


Pamper The Teachers

Teachers work hard every single day. During Teacher Appreciation Week, why not pamper them? With the administrators’ permission, set aside a space. Then hire a nail technician to come in and do the teachers’ nails or give hand massages with hot lotions. Every time the teacher looks down at their hands, it will become clear how much they matter.


Cookie Coupons

Slide coupons for cookies into teachers’ mailboxes. Then arrange with the cafeteria to allow teachers to retrieve the coupons. Alternatively, if you know the teacher’s favorite type of cookie, small packages of homemade treats could be inserted in the mailboxes instead.


Take Over the Class

With permission, take over the class of a special teacher for one period for a read-aloud session. You could read a favorite book and do a follow-up activity. This gives the teacher a chance to catch a break or do some planning activities. For older children and teenagers, you might do a writing activity.


Provide Special Gifts

Find out what sorts of things your teachers enjoy. Then keep an eye out for gifts that match those interests. For example, if the teacher in question loves knitting, you could get them a new book of patterns.


Gift Certificates

Give gift certificates for special teachers. Make the gift certificates redeemable at any point, and give the teacher a choice of which certificate they choose.


Recognize Birthdays

If you know of a teacher who is having a birthday, celebrate with them. Organize a small party for the teacher and be sure to wish them a happy birthday.


Send Encouraging Words

Attach an apple sticker to a blank piece of cardstock. Ask the principal to begin the chain by sending out the first five cards with words of encouragement written on them to five faculty members. Then ask those five people to send the chain onward. Be sure to recognize every staff member in this project.


Send Flowers

Most people like fresh flowers. Send a special teacher a bouquet of fresh flowers for their desks. They will brighten up the desk and smell lovely while making the teacher who receives them feel special.


Do Lunch

Take a special teacher out for lunch outside of school if you know them well. During lunch, make sure to tell the teacher they matter.


Provide Coffee Mugs

Coffee mugs make a great gift for teachers. You can provide a coffee mug with the teacher’s name on it. That way they can feel appreciated as they drink their morning beverage of choice.


Buy Supplies

If you know of a supply that teachers are missing, you could buy a stash of that supply for the classroom. That way the teachers do not have to spend their own money to furnish the classroom.


Purchase a Special Book

Purchase a special book to commemorate a teacher on a special occasion such as a twentieth teaching anniversary or retirement. The book will then have the teacher’s name in the back, and students for years to come will be able to honor that teacher. Allow the teacher to pick which book to buy.


Chocolate for Teachers

Buy boxes of candy for special teachers. Put these boxes in their mailboxes for them to find.


Stress Balls

Teachers are often very stressed. Slip a stress ball into each mailbox.


Give a Reward

Sometimes simple rewards are the best. Give special teachers blue ribbons that proclaim them the best teachers.



If you are the principal of the school, provide your teachers with a coupon for a local attraction that they could go see with their families. It is nice to know that administrators appreciate you both in and out of school.


Teacher appreciation is very important. Teachers need to know they matter. Now that you have read this article, you have some great ideas to let them know just how much they matter.

100 Awesome Science Fair Project Ideas

Science fairs are a fun and interactive way to learn about how the world works in an up-close and personal, hands-on manner that  allows a person to showcase their favorite fields. But with so many interesting experiments in the world, how do you narrow your focus down to just one question you want to answer or hypothesis to test? Below is a list of one hundred interesting ideas to help you out in that all-important search for your next science fair project topic. The ideas cover a varied list of fields of study and a wide range of subjects from astronomy to zoology and everything between.

These projects are perfect starter ideas to get you thinking if you are stuck. But they can also be used on their own to create an awesome project that will wow your family, friends and classmates and may even make you the winner of your next science fair.


  • How Does a Hovercraft Work?
  • How do Duck Feet Swim?
  • Design Aerodynamic Paper Airplanes
  • Which Kite Flies Best?
  • Race Milk Carton Boats.
  • What Are Saturn’s Rings?
  • Build an Astrolabe
  • Test Evaporation Speed of Liquids.
  • Do Tea and Coffee Stain Teeth?
  • Best Methods for Cleaning Coins
  • Vinegar and Baking Soda Balloon Inflation
  • How Do Butterflies Fly?
  • What is the Link Between the Moon and Tides?
  • Why are there Seasons?
  • Can Chewing Gum help you Recall Information More Easily?
  • Which Food Molds Fastest?
  • Physical Effects of Digital Gaming
  • Make a Potato Clock
  • Does Hair Color Impact Personality?
  • Is The Five-Second Rule Reliable?
  • Build a volcano.
  • Solar oven.
  • Does music affect plant growth?
  • Do people like natural scents best?
  • Does fertile soil conduct electricity more effectively?
  • Static electricity. Does the color of hair affect conductivity?
  • Climate change and ecosystems.
  • Test food acidity.
  • Test water for microorganisms.
  • Can soda dissolve bone?
  • Test ideal stargazing conditions.
  • Build a lever.
  • Test minerals for fluorescence.
  • Make a string telephone.
  • Design a device to prevent a dropped egg from smashing.
  • Create fossils.
  • Build a model cell.
  • How do plant leaves get water?
  • Make an ant farm.
  • Grow a crystal.
  • Can plants sunburn?
  • How much water is in fruit?
  • Use iodine vapor to detect fingerprints.
  • How are taste and smell linked?
  • Effects of dehydration on a potato.
  • Make homemade lightning.
  • What makes blood pressure rise?
  • Discover the iron in breakfast cereal.
  • How does sun block work?
  • Peanut power.
  • Test the energy of moving water.
  • What material conducts electricity best?
  • Structural soundness: Which shapes are strongest?
  • How does plate tectonics work?
  • How do fish breathe?
  • Why are bubbles round?
  • Best conditions for popping popcorn.
  • What causes static electricity?
  • Make a gear.
  • How does blubber work?
  • Pollution and water sources.
  • What battery brand lasts longest?
  • Build a model of the human heart.
  • Demonstrate the water cycle.
  • Build a soap-powered boat.
  • Will birds eat oddly-colored seeds?
  • Make a geyser.
  • Make homemade slime.
  • Do bacteria look different?
  • How does milk become butter?
  • Can you make eggs bounce?
  • Make a prism.
  • Build a molecule.
  • Does hot air expand?
  • What is buoyancy?
  • Does salt in water increase buoyancy?
  • Which object is densest?
  • Sugar and salt. Which dissolves fastest.
  • Make non-frozen ice cream.
  • How do plants reproduce?
  • What colors attract bees??
  • Raise a caterpillar.
  • Do worms help plants grow?
  • Grow plants in up-side-down pots.
  • PH of various soils.
  • How do germs spread?
  • Information retention while distracted.
  • What is noise pollution.
  • What makes stars shine?
  • Grow a plant in air.
  • Rock and mineral display.
  • Make a magnifying glass.
  • What microorganisms live in air?
  • What substances conduct sound best?
  • When does bread mold fastest?
  • Parts of a seed.
  • Why is cold air denser?
  • Different types of cells.
  • Which feathers fly farthest?
  • Perform some optical illusions.


Science is all around you. Every time you wonder how the world works, that is science in action. A science fair, and the project ideas listed above are a catalyst for science and for your own understanding of the world’s workings. And if you win the science fair, that is just another bonus.

Establishing an Annual Campaign

Are you trying to raise money for your cause? If so, an annual fund raiser may be a good way to accomplish this. Annual fund raisers are not just telemarketing opportunities. They also give you and your organization the ability to reach out to people who would want to be included in the cause’s plans and to get in touch with past contributors in case they would like to renew their support. Organizing an annual fund raiser may seem daunting, but with a bit of help and this article as your road map and field guide, it can go much more smoothly. If you are thinking of organizing an annual fund raiser for your cause then take the first step. Read this article, and then start your annual fund raiser today!


The Three Fund-raising Periods

There are three relevant fund-raising periods in a year. As a fund-raiser, it is important to know about these periods and to keep them firmly in mind as you attempt to organize your annual fund-raiser. The first important time is the end of year period, covering the time-frame from November through December. This is the point at which it is most feasible for donors to give and for your cause to receive donations. If you intend on doing an annual fund-raiser, this would be a perfect time to do it. The second period is the period between January and June. This period is still very lucrative but not quite as lucrative as the year-end period. Finally, the least lucrative period of all is summertime, the months of July and August. Do not host your fund-raiser in either of these months.


Pay Attention To Your Contributors

As you are calling possible contributors, listen to what they say carefully. Keep records not only of what they donate and who they are but also their attitudes on donating. If they seem willing to donate but say they do not have the money at this time, make sure to take note of that.


Always Follow Through

If a potential donor says they would love to give but do not have money or that they cannot give right now, be sure to make a note of that information. It can be very valuable. When you make a second round of calls, be sure to follow up with these people. It is possible that the potential donor was giving an excuse to get off the phone with you. However, it is just as likely that they really do want to donate to the cause but really did not have the money. If you never call those people back, you will never know which it is, and you may lose potential money. As an added note, when you call back, do not be pushy, as that will make a possible donation turn into a definite no.


Organizing an annual fund-raiser may seem like a daunting prospect, but it does not have to be. Using the tips above as your road map, the journey will be much smoother than it would otherwise have been. You will find your amount of donations increasing and perhaps more importantly, you will have a wider base of loyal donors.

Mother’s Day Crafts for the Classroom

If you are a teacher, Mother’s Day is an excellent time to get your students’ creative juices flowing. Celebrating an important female relative in a child’s life, whether they are a mother or not, gives students both a chance to show those people how they feel and a chance to stretch their imaginations. As a bonus, other lessons can be worked into these crafts such as color, perspective, creative writing and explanations of types of art that the students may not know. The possibilities are endless. If you are looking for ideas for your own classroom’s Mother’s Day crafts, look no further. Below are some of the best Mother’s Day craft ideas out there.


Write a Poem

Poems are a wonderful way to show someone you care. Have your students write poems for the special women in their lives. This craft is an excellent way to discuss rhymes, pacing and phrasing. The students could print their new poems inside cards they decorated themselves.


Photo Cards

Use a camera to snap photos of your students standing with their arms held out as if they are giving a hug. Trim these photos into heart shapes and attach them to Mother’s Day cards. Allow your students to decorate around their photos and write letters inside the cards. This craft is an amazing writing practice.


Coupon Books

Give your students pieces of cardstock and have them decorate them. The cardstock will become the covers for a coupon book for their mother or special woman in their life. Then you can either pick up free coupons from local businesses or ask your students to come up with coupons that their mother can redeem at any time, such as a coupon for a free hug or a coupon that entails that the student will do the dishes one night so that their mother can have a break.


Origami Roses

There are free printable instructions for making all kinds of origami online. Get colorful paper and help your students fold origami roses for their mothers. If you have enough time and paper, each student could fold a small bouquet of roses. These bouquets can then be tied with ribbon bows and presented to their mothers. Unlike real roses, these will never wilt and can be used as beautiful keepsakes for years to come. Most students love origami, and this is an excellent way to teach them new shapes.


Recipe Book

Each day in the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, print a recipe on the blackboard and have your students copy them on plain white paper. Then have them make a cover for the recipe book which they will then give to the special woman in their life. This craft is excellent for teaching good penmanship as well as vocabulary related to cooking. Your students will be delighted to present their homemade recipe books to their mothers.


Picture Frames

Have your students decorate special picture frames for the special women in their lives. Be creative! The picture frames can be decorated with paints, stamps, pebbles or shells. Picture frames are cheaply available at most budget outlet stores. Remove the glass before allowing the students to decorate the frames.


Clay Pots

Buy very inexpensive clay pots. Then allow your students to decorate them. Do this a few weeks before Mother’s Day. Then sow flower seeds in each pot. Water the flowers as needed and watch them grow. This is both a wonderful present for the special women in your students’ lives and an amazing science lesson about how plants grow and the various types of seeds.


Fingerpaint Bookmarks

Make bookmarks from strips of white cardstock. Then allow your students to go absolutely crazy with the finger paints. This is a fun, messy craft and  your students will enjoy getting to finger paint a gift. Poke a hole in the end of the bookmark and add a ribbon to make it extra special once it is dry.


Mother’s Day is a wonderful creative time of year. Children are excited to show the special women in their lives just how much they are loved, and mothers, grandmothers and other special ladies are happy to receive gifts from their favorite children. Mother’s Day is also an excellent teaching opportunity. Many important lessons can be taught effectively by craft projects. These lessons include perspective, color choice, creative writing, simple arithmetic skills, penmanship and grammar. As a bonus, these crafts are not expensive. Most of them can be done with found objects or ones bought from budget outlets. The key here is to be creative. Use your imagination and let your creativity flow. The ideas listed above are merely a starting point. Use your imagination and who knows what wonderful ideas you could discover!

Ten Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas

When things get busy during the year, it can be easy to overlook what a fantastic job your child’s teacher is doing. Teachers put in much more time and effort than we might realize, often going above and beyond in order to give our kids a great education, so the end of the school year is a fantastic time to recognise this.

Help your child to honor their teacher with this fantastic list of simple, inexpensive gifts which are suitable for both male and female teachers. Some of these gifts can be made with a few simple materials which you may even find around the house, some require a small purchase and others simply require your time.

No matter which gift you choose, we are certain your child’s teacher will appreciate the time you took to say ‘thanks!’


1. A Smooth Year

Quick and easy, this small gift is the perfect last minute gift to show appreciation for your teacher! Simply purchase a nice, fragrance appropriate hand cream or body lotion and print off a simple tag with the saying “hope you have a smooth year!”


For more instructions, go HERE


2. Color My World

Easy and inexpensive, this sharpie gift is both practical and fun! Teachers love when they are given gifts of stationary supplies that they would otherwise have to purchase so this small but cute gift will go down a treat. Have you child grab a pack of sharpies and a piece of paper and let them tell their teacher how much ‘color they bring’ to the world, or how ‘sharp’ they are!

If your child has more than one teacher that they want to give an appreciation gift to, you can buy a larger pack of sharpies and divide it up – it couldn’t be simpler!


For more instructions, go HERE


3. Candy Collage

This collage is super fun to make and will bring a smile to any teacher’s face! Grab a range of candy bars which have words that you can incorporate into a story or a series of messages and glue them onto a large piece of paper. After the teacher has enjoyed it on the wall, he or she can raid it for snacks!

This collage is also fantastic for encouraging your children to put words into context and be creative!




4.  Crayon Wreath

Beautiful as a classroom decoration, this crayon wreath is the perfect gift for a teacher of any age classroom. Simply purchase a packet of dollar store crayons and a basic wreath (or you can fashion one yourself out of paper mache or a pool noodle) and stick the crayons on the wreath at even intervals. To add an extra touch be sure to add a nice sign with your teacher’s name on it.


For more instructions, go HERE


5. Nuts About Teachers

This one is super simple and can be picked up while you shop for your usual groceries. Simply have your kids draw or print a super cute sign about how ‘nuts’ they are about their teacher and attach it to a snack size bag of peanuts or other nut. These nuts will make the perfect morning tea for the teacher!


For more instructions, go HERE


6. Orange You Glad?

With colds and flu’s rife in schools, teachers sure need their vitamin C! Make sure they get it with this fun and healthy gift that will brighten up their day! Simply bag up some oranges with a bright colored ribbon and print or draw a sign that reads “Orange you glad” it’s the holidays, the weekend (or whatever message you choose). Kids will love putting it together and teachers will love receiving it.


For more instructions, go HERE


7. Beary Thankful

Adorable and tasty, you can’t lose with this super cute and easy gift. Simply package up some gummy bears and attach a card telling the teacher how ‘bear-y thankful’ your child is to have them as a teacher. Just make sure all the gummy bears end up in the bag bound for the teacher!


For more instructions, go HERE


8. So Fortunate

No matter how old you are, cracking open a fortune cookie never stops being fun. Fortune cookies are super easy to find in stores so grab a box and attach a tag telling your child’s teacher how fortunate your child is to have them. This is one of the cheapest gift ideas and is a great idea if you need to give a gift to multiple teachers.


For more instructions, go HERE


9. Fingerprint Tree

If you want your teacher appreciation gift to be super personal and almost free, then get this great printable and have your child or children place their fingerprints on it for the tree leaves. Your teacher will treasure the time and effort your children put into creating this beautiful piece of artwork, just for them.


For more instructions, go HERE


10. Pencil, Pencil Holder

Yes, you read that one correctly! This pencil holder is quite literally…made from pencils! Cute and easy to make, your teacher will love how themed this pencil holder is and will give it pride of place on his or her desk.  Simply hot glue plain HB pencils around a clean, old aluminium food can and secure with a ribbon. If you want to go the extra mile, you can even fill the pencil tin with pens and pencils for your teacher to use, or fill with confectionery for those must-have-sugar moments!



For more instructions, go HERE

Reading: 20 Top Tips for Teachers

Reading is an important part of anyone’s life, and for a child, the ability to read can help send them to different worlds full of adventure, fun, and education.  Of course, we are not all born with a reading ability ingrained into our minds!  Children must be taught how to read, and whether they learn at a school, preschool, or at home with a parent or guardian teaching them, it is important to get them started on the road to reading in the way that works best for them.  Here are some ideas for teaching children to read, no matter what kind of learners they might be.


  • Start by reading to your child.

Read to children as often as possible even when they are still babies.


  • Have your child copy down letters.

Repetitive copying of letter shapes helps teach kids what the letters mean.


  • Ask your child to repeat letter sounds aloud.

Repetition can also be used to teach letter sounds.


  • Teach sight words, and ask your child to identify them.

Sight words, like a, an, the, to, and from, can be easy to recognize.  Teach them early, and ask kids to point them out in newspapers and magazines.


  • Put words into word families.

Ask children to organize words into families based on different structures, such as color words, sound words, and more.


  • Consider teaching phonics.

Phonics is sometimes a controversial subject, but many kids respond well to learning phonemes as they learn how to read.


  • Teach children how to sound out words.

Sounding it out can be a great way for a child to make a guess at a complicated new word.


  • Make letter arrangement puzzles.

Cut up simple words or the child’s name into individual letters, mix them up, and ask the child to reorganize them into the correct order.


  • Glue or sew letters.

Gluing or sewing around letters is a great way for kids to remember their shapes by touch.


  • Teach with simple clues or scavenger hunts.

 Write down easy to read clues and have kids read them to for “treasure” around the room.


  • Ask children to organize items into boxes by letter or sound.

A toy duck should go into the D box, and a pencil should go into the P box.  Teach kids word beginnings using this method.


  • Clap out syllables.

Syllables can be tricky, but if you make a game of clapping them out, they can be fun to learn.


  •  Focus on punctuation.

Slightly older kids can learn about punctuation marks and what they do to a sentence.


  • Spend a while on vowel sounds.

 Vowels are difficult, since they make a lot of different sounds.  Be sure to spend plenty of time focusing on them.


  • Read simple poetry to learn about rhymes.

Simple children’s poems are excellent ways to teach vowel sounds through rhyme.


  • Set a daily reading time.

Reading every day is a sure way to improve those skills!


  • Allow children to put together simple scrapbooks of their families, friends, or pets.

Cutting and pasting pictures and mementos into pages organized by name can help kids sort words by family member, emotion, and more.


  • Ask children to classify their favorite stories by type.

Older kids might benefit from sorting out their favorite stories as fantasies, school stories, and more.


  • Teach children how to write simple notes.

Small notes to and from friends or family are great reasons for any child to learn reading and writing both.


  • Utilize flash cards.

They may be a little outdated, but flash cards can still help some kids learn how to recognize words, letters, and sounds quickly.



When a child knows how to read, he or she is able to enjoy books, comics, and more without struggling.  With these methods for teaching children to read, you can easily help a child in your home or classroom.

20 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day may not seem like much of a holiday. After all, banks and stores do not close and mail is delivered. There are not even big celebrations for it most of the time. However, Earth Day is very important despite its general lack of notice from most people. It is on this day that we celebrate our planet, raise environmental awareness and take a moment to look toward the future. But how can we celebrate Earth Day? If you are trying to figure out plans for your next Earth Day celebration, keep reading. Below are twenty great ideas to get you started.


  • Plant a Tree

Perhaps the most classic way to celebrate Earth Day is to plant a tree. Trees release oxygen into the air as well as removing carbon dioxide which is harmful to humans. They also can provide some much-needed shade. Just be careful to only plant trees on land you have permission to plant on.


  • Grow an Herb Garden

An herb garden is an excellent addition to your home. Not only do herbs smell nice, they are wonderful to use in cooking. When you grow your own fresh herbs, you know exactly what is going into your body. The use of fresh herbs can help the environment as well. Commercially bought herbs often include pesticides and antibiotics which are harmful to the environment. Your use of fresh herbs prevents a bit of those chemicals from entering the environment.


  • Carpool

Fossil fuels are a huge problem. The burning of these natural resources leads to air pollution as well as deforestation and soil erosion due to mining. With this in mind, a good way to celebrate Earth Day is to find friends to car pool with. This way, though there are still fossil fuels being burned, the impact is much less than if everyone was driving their own individual cars. If car pooling is not an option for you, perhaps you could take a bike to some of your destinations or use public transit.


  • Repair Your Leaky Faucets

Another problem facing our planet is water waste. Fixing leaky faucets is an inexpensive way to do something to help the environment as well as saving money on your utility bills. As a bonus, you will no longer have to hear that annoying drip drip drip.


  • Get Engaged

Earth Day is a wonderful time to learn about the environment. Do research to discover what the problems facing your particular area are. If you live near a body of water, for example, you could look online to find out if it is healthy or in need of cleaning.


  • Join a Forum

There are plenty of groups out there dedicated to environmental concerns. Find one for a concern you are interested in, and join it. There is nothing more amazing than the strength of a group of people working together toward a common goal.


  • Care for Animals

Donating to the WWF or the ASPCA or even your local shelter can be an amazing way to celebrate Earth Day. This sort of donation is vital to the continued work of these causes that protect our planet’s animals and assure that species do not go extinct.


  • Save Energy

This Earth Day, make a conscious effort to save energy. Unplug appliances when not in use. Turn off the television when you are not watching it. If you have power strips or surge protectors, make sure to turn these off when the devices connected to them are not in use. This, like the waste of water above, has a twofold bonus. You will be caring for the environment while saving money on your electric bill.


  • Go Outside

Earth Day is in the spring, the highlight of beautiful weather. This Earth Day, take a moment to go outside if it is at all possible. Take a moment to relax, smell the spring flowers and appreciate our planet for its beauty.


  • Make a Recycling Plan

Recycling is important for our environment. It cuts down on the amount of garbage which would normally be thrown into landfills. Recycling insures that metal, plastic and other wastes can be used again. Work with your family to develop a recycling plan. Even children can help out, making it a game as opposed to work.


  • Swear Off Bottled Water

Many of us drink bottled water, but it is very bad for the environment. The number of empty water bottles in landfills today could stretch from the Earth’s surface to the moon twice! Giving up or cutting back on the amount of bottled water we drink reduces the number of bottles rotting in landfills. Further, some companies take water for their bottled water from drought-stricken regions such as California, which drastically worsens the problem.


  • Get Your Friends Involved

Put up a white board in your office or school. Invite your friends and co-workers to make a small change that would help the environment and to post those changes. Working in groups will increase accountability and give each of you someone to cheer you on.


  • Buy Local

Locally-grown foods are easier on the environment as they do not require massive amounts of fossil fuels to transport and are not grown in hot houses with chemicals. Further, if you buy local and organic, you are supporting the farmers. This support is vital to their continued livelihood. Both the farmers and the planet will thank you.


  • Go Paperless

Due to the production of paper, millions of trees are cut every year, trees that we need to breathe. Paying your bills online can help reduce the amount of paper wasted every year. Another way to go paperless is to carry reusable shopping bags, or ask for environmentally friendly alternatives at your local supermarket.


  • Install a Bird Feeder

Watching birds feed can be a fun and relaxing way to celebrate Earth Day. Do research to see what types of birds live near you and what types of foods they like. Then install bird feeders in nearby trees. They do not have to be fancy. Even a pine cone spread with peanut butter and coated with seeds will work. For hummingbirds, install hummingbird feeders filled with nectar.


  • Plant a Play Garden

A play garden is a space for children to grow food and get their hands dirty. Teaching the next generation about the value of plants is very important, and they will enjoy eating the things they have grown.


  • Walk to School or Work

Avoid the car altogether. If the weather is nice, take a walk to school or work. This way you help conserve fossil fuels while also getting fresh air and increasing your energy level.


  • Check Your Carbon Footprint

There is a site that allows you to check your carbon footprint, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by a person or group’s consumption of fossil fuels. Using this site, you can calculate the amount of fossil fuels you use and discover ways to use less of them.


  • Test Your Car’s Emissions

Testing your car’s emissions can be a great way to help the environment. A car that does not meet the national emission standards puts out a lot of carbon dioxide and other harmful chemicals into the air. Furthermore, having a car which does not meet emission standards is also illegal in some states. Checking your emissions can actually save you a lot of money in fines.


  • Get Away for a Day

If you happen to live in a large city, plan a day trip to the country. It may sound old-fashioned, but a trip out into the country where air pollution tends to be less prevalent can actually show you more of the beauty of nature. You can even pack a picnic lunch to eat once you are there. Sit back, relax and feel all the beautiful gifts this world has blessed us with.



This planet is the only one we have, so we need to try to conserve resources as much as we possibly can. Earth Day reminds us to slow down and take a moment to do something nice for the environment and to enjoy the beauty around us. And that makes it a very important holiday indeed.

Bread, Rice, Pasta: Why Brown is Better

Many people love pasta and rice. However, most of us prefer the white versions of these foods over the brown because they look much tastier. However, where nutrition is concerned, brown bread, rice and pasta are much better for you. If you want to include more brown bread, rice and pasta in your diet, or if you are just curious about the nutritional benefits, then read on. Also, bear in mind that white rice and pasta, before they were processed looked just like their brown counterparts.


Processing Out the Nutrients

When brown rice and the wheat that later will be processed into white flour for pasta and bread are processed, the grains are damaged. Their hulls and outer shells are stripped away. With the stripping away of their outer coatings, the nutrients in those coatings are lost. This may not seem like a big deal, but it really is. Along with the nutrients from the coatings, the grains lose the protection their coatings provided. This means that the bleaching that makes wheat and rice white will leech more nutrients out of the grains than the loss of the coatings did. By the time brown rice and wheat have been processed fully, much of their nutrient value and flavor are gone. Some manufacturers go through the trouble of adding vitamins back in, but these products are not as good as eating whole-grain foods in the first place.


Losing the Fiber

One of the nutrients commonly lost due to processing is fiber. Fiber is a very important nutrient, one that all of us need. Fiber helps keep the digestive tract clear. It is very difficult for the body to digest, so when it travels through our bowels, it gathers up other waste products along the way, carrying them out of the body. It also tends to regulate the function of the digestive tract. Brown rice, as well as unprocessed wheat, still contain all the fiber present in the raw grains and are an excellent way to get your daily allowance.


Lower the Risk of Chronic Diseases

Whole grain foods, like brown rice, pasta and bread can lower the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes when eaten as part of a healthy diet. The benefits of whole grain consumption are not only for diabetics. Eating whole grain cuts your risk of strokes thirty to thirty-six per cent. It can also cut the risk of heart disease, the number one killer in the United States by twenty to twenty-five per cent. That is an amazing drop in numbers for one simple dietary choice.


Whole grains such as brown rice and the wheat used to make the darker breads like whole wheat lose most of their nutrients when processed, leaving them mainly starch with no fiber, and even though some bread manufacturers put back some of the lost nutrients, it is still not enough. Therefore, eating whole grain foods is an important health decision. Processed grains also have a lack of fiber, which our bodies use to balance the digestive tract. Whole grains have a number of amazing chronic disease-reducing benefits. That is why looks are not everything and brown really is better than white when it comes to your health.

Finding a Good Wig

Why Wear a Wig?

For many chemotherapy patients, wigs are a lifesaver. Many women who have experienced breast cancer or any other type of cancer which required aggressive chemotherapy, know the trauma of losing a major part of your body – head hair, body hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. For these brave women, a beautiful wig can make a huge difference.

Our hair is one of the main ways that we express their individuality and image and styling hair is normally a significant part of a person’s daily routine. Wigs and hair pieces are a great way to help you to look and feel comfortable, and to hold onto this familiar part of daily life while you undergo your treatment. Choosing to cover your head with a wig can also help boost your confidence when you are out, making you feel less self- conscious about your image, and more able to go about your daily routines.

Choosing to wear a wig can also help to feel as if you are taking control over your situation – you control the style, the color, the texture and the brand. You can even control when you lose your hair if you choose to cut it before your treatment.



Most people who decide to use a wig during their chemotherapy treatment have some time to prepare before they need the wig. Taking the time to make sure that you are well prepared can help make the process less stressful, and make the transition from your own hair to your new hair piece, a little smoother.

The fantastic thing about wigs is that you can choose one, try it on and have it styled to suit you before you even lose any of your hair. This can be a great confidence booster and can help you to feel at ease when you have so many big changes coming up.

Here are some tips to help you get ready for your new wig:


Cut Your Hair

If your hair is not short, then cut it short before you begin your treatments. There are several reasons for this:

  • Firstly, it is much less traumatic to lose small clumps of short hair than it is to see your long locks falling out.
  • Secondly, if you have some time to adjust to short hair before your treatment, it won’t be too long before your hair grows back and feels ‘normal’, since your hair was short to begin with.
  • Lastly, it is much easier to fit a wig over shorter hair.


Think Seasonally

While you may have had luscious long locks before, wigs can feel hotter than natural hair. For this reason, you might want to consider whether a shorter or thinner wig would be more suitable while you have your treatment. The last thing you want to do is add any further discomfort to yourself while you are undergoing chemotherapy.


Shop Around

It can be hard to know where to start if this is all new territory, so don’t be afraid to ask for help! Your local cancer center, hospital or hairdresser may be able to point you in the direction of a quality wig shop.

Be sure to also get recommendations for hairdressers who will shape the wig for your face. You may even want to book an appointment to speak with one before the actual cut, to make sure you are comfortable and confident with the professional you have chosen. It’s best to pick out your wig and have it styled before your begin your chemotherapy – that way the hairdresser will be able to see your natural hair colour and style and tailor the wig accordingly.


Choosing Which Type of Wig

Wigs come in two main different varieties: synthetic and real hair. Most chemotherapy patients opt for a synthetic wig but there are advantages and disadvantages to both types.


Synthetic hair is ‘man-made’ – fashioned mostly from acrylic to look and feel like real hair.


  • Dries very easily
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to manage
  • Maintains its good look around the clock


  • Must be washed with special products
  • Cannot be used with heat appliances


Human Hair

Real hair is made from good quality human hair which is treated and coloured before being made into different style wigs.


  • Can be colored, curled or straightened just like real hair
  • Can be washed and styled with regular hair products
  • Can look more natural


  • More expensive than synthetic wigs
  • Need more care
  • Can have ‘bad hair days’ just like real hair


One option for those with long hair in good condition is to have your own hair made into a wig before your treatment begins. This takes a few weeks and can be very expensive but it might be worth considering if you have enough hair for it.

Whichever option you choose, keep in mind that most wigs only last between 6 months to a year. For most chemotherapy patients, this timeframe is perfect, but some people do need one for longer than this. Manufacturers generally only recommend a wig for six months if it is being worn everyday as wigs tend to sag and get friction build up over time.


Selecting the Right Color

Wigs come in a broad range of colors and styles and getting the color right can be the most likely cause of headaches when you are trying to pick one out. When choosing your wig, you should always select a color than it one to two shades lighter than your own hair. This is because your skin color tends to appear a little ‘off’ during chemotherapy, and because wig hair is so thick, it can appear darker once it’s on.

If you are feeling adventurous, you may even want to take the opportunity to have a different hair color for a wig so try on a variety of styles, colors and lengths before you settle on one.  If you want to make a radical color change then you may like to consider what clothes and makeup you wear, as sometimes these tones need to be changed up to suit the new hair color.


If you want to base your wig color on your natural hair color, be sure to choose a wig that has a mix of tones with highlights and lowlights. This will ensure that it looks natural and does not look too severe. If you normally color your hair, you can even select a wig that has darker roots, appearing as though your hair needs to be retouched. If you have lost your hair already then take a photo along with you to the wig supplier so the salesperson can help you to make the best color match.


Paying For Your Wig

Depending on the type of wig you choose, the cost of your temporary hair replacement can be expensive so you need to think about how you will fund this.

If you have health insurance, be sure to check if your policy covers part, or the entire cost of your wig. Not every company will offer a reimbursement for this, but a large amount do, so this should be your first port of call.  If you find that you don’t have any health coverage for a wig, make sure you look at other options such as funding it yourself. If you think you might have trouble covering the cost of the wig yourself, make contact with a local cancer centre to enquire about free wigs or other funding options.

Keep in mind that you will also need to budget for a small amount of extras which are not normally covered by any kind of funding. This includes a wig stand, wig brush and styling products.



Caring For Your Wig

To keep your wig in the best shape possible and ensure it lasts for the duration of your treatment, you will need to care for it properly, just like you would your own hair. Follow these tips to keep your wig in tip top shape:

  • Give your wig ‘time off’ by wearing a hat or scarf some days
  • Wash gently at night and leave to dry naturally overnight
  • Brush your wig only when completely dry – brushing wet will cause the wig to lose its shape
  • Enhance the wig with a small amount of product suitable for its type
  • Avoid using heat products, particularly on synthetic wigs as they will melt