My Blog List

Monday, January 30, 2017

Obama Praises Protests

US President Barack Obama in Athens
© Getty Images US President Barack Obama in Athens

Former President Barack Obama released a statement on Monday commending Americans for the widespread protests in response to President Donald Trump’s sweeping immigration order.
Obama, in his first public statement since leaving the White House, said he was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”
“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by the elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake,” he said.
Thousands across the U.S. and the world protested Trump’s ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries as travelers were detained in airports. Trump has justified the ban by comparing it to Obama’s 2011 policy on refugees from Iraq.
Obama in the statement said he “fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”
We're glad Pres. Obama is finally speaking out although he doesn't name names. We get who he is talking about.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

'Let Them in' !!

Ivanka Trump Posts Photo of Date Outfit in Midst of Humanitarian Chaos

On a day when Donald Trump's executive order banning travelers from seven Muslim countries sparked outcry on social media and protests at airports from coast to coast, the president's daughter had something else on her mind: her date outfit.
Just after midnight on Sunday morning, Ivanka Trump posted a photo of herself on her Instagram and Twitter accounts dressed in a silver metallic gown, with her husband Jared Kushner dressed in a tuxedo by her side. The couple is standing in front of a mirrored wall, which shows Kushner's hand resting on Trump's posterior.
The photograph generated swift reaction on social media, with some comments highlighting the inappropriateness of the post in the midst of the humanitarian chaos that ensued Saturday in the U.S., after hundreds of refugees from Syria, Iraq and other banned countries were detained at airports, American Civil Liberties Union lawyers rushed to offer aid, and protesters clogged terminals and streets in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Seattle and San Francisco.
Ivanka has faced criticism on several fronts in recent weeks, most notably when her namesake fashion label promoted a $10,000 bracelet she wore during a 60 Minutes interview the Trump family gave after Election Night.

In early January, to comply with ethic guidelines, she officially stepped away from her brand. But she has continued to play the role of a fashion plate, for her own and other fashion lines, in her new home in Washington, D.C., documenting on her social media channels her outfits, in a style similar to a model in fashion magazine.
At the inauguration, Ivanka received attention for wearing designers Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. And interest in an Aspinal of London bag she carried to the National Prayer Service spiked, suggesting she has the power to move fashion merchandise in her new role in the Washington spotlight adjacent to, for now, the Trump administration.
No word yet on who designed the metallic silver gown she wore Saturday night. Care to venture a guess??

Meanwhile, Dad is consigning thousands of humans to purgatory

Maxy sez : 4 Ways Diabetes Support Groups Can Change Your Life

By Athena Philis-Tsimikas, M.D.
When you’re living with type 2 diabetes, you know how important it is to check your blood sugar, eat the right foods, and stay active. But being aware of these actions and actually doing them consistently can be two very different things.

This is where a diabetes support group can go a long way toward successfully managing your diabetes. Connecting with other people who have diabetes can help you stay motivated to take care of yourself by offering both practical and personal support. According to a study published in the January 2012 issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, people with type 2 diabetes who attend support groups are more successful at maintaining — or even improving — their health.

Here are just a few of the benefits diabetes support groups offer:

1. Community Means You’re Never Alone
It’s common for people living with diabetes to feel isolated, especially if you’ve been recently diagnosed or don’t have any family or friends with the disease. A diabetes support group can help you realize you’re far from alone. You’ll meet an entire group of people who understand what you’re going through and are happy to offer guidance and encouragement.

2. Practical Advice Makes Managing Blood Sugar Easier
Support groups can provide a wealth of information and ideas on ways to make managing diabetes easier, such as diabetes-friendly recipes the whole family can enjoy, tips for eating right at holiday parties and work events, and local resources for people with diabetes. Plus, you may meet new friends to exercise and do other activities with.

3. Personal Connection Is What Makes Diabetes Support Groups So Effective
When you’re living with diabetes, taking care of yourself is a priority. If you are caring for a family, have a demanding job, or have other responsibilities, you may feel overwhelmed at times — and caring for yourself may fall by the wayside. Support group members often have the same challenges and can help you through the tough times and keep you on track.

4. Guest Speakers and Special Events Connect You to New Research, Therapies, and Community
Some diabetes support groups feature guest speakers such as physicians, researchers, and other experts who talk about the latest findings in diabetes management or share their perspectives. Additionally, groups may have special events such as potlucks, group walks, or fundraisers.

Most larger cities offer in-person support groups that meet regularly and are led by a facilitator, but there also are a number of online groups available 24/7 for people who live in smaller towns or who may not have the time or transportation to attend in person. Your physician or diabetes care manager may be able to recommend a group; the links below may also be helpful. It’s a good idea to check out several groups if possible to find the right one for you.

Find a diabetes support group near you via the Defeat Diabetes Foundation.
For a list of national online support groups, visit the American Diabetes Association.

Watercolor: Diana Ong

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Food for Thought :Anger, Heavy Exertion: Fast Track to a Heart Attack?

By Amy Norton , HealthDay News 
But researchers suggest that artery-clogging plaque has to be present to increase risk.

Intense anger or heavy physical exertion may be triggers for a first heart attack in some people, new research suggests.

In the study of more than 12,000 people, both intense activity and intense emotions each seemed to double the odds of suffering a heart attack in the next hour. That risk rose about threefold when people were upset and exerted themselves at the same time.

The study is far from the first to suggest -- and it does not prove -- that bouts of anger or physical exertion can trigger a heart attack.

But, it's larger than past studies, and more diverse -- covering first-time heart attack patients in 52 countries, said Barry Jacobs, a spokesman for the American Heart Association who was not involved in the research.

"This confirms that blowing your top is not good -- for other people, or for you," Jacobs said.

Do the findings mean that everyone who gets angry will see a similar spike in their heart attack risk?

"Common sense says no," said Jacobs, director of behavioral sciences at the Crozer-Keystone Family Medicine Residency Program in Springfield, Pa.

He pointed to the underlying biology of it all: Intense emotions or activity can drive up blood pressure and heart rate, and cause blood vessels to constrict. That, in turn, may cause any artery-clogging "plaques" to rupture and cut off blood flow to the heart -- prompting a heart attack.

But a person would have to harbor those plaques in the first place, Jacobs said.

In the study, researchers asked the heart attack patients whether they had been angry or emotionally upset in the hour before their heart attack, or during the same hour the day before. They also asked about heavy physical exertion.

The study did not dig for details -- such as the type of physical activity, or whether a person had an angry outburst or silently simmered.

"What we felt was important was to ask the same person about two different time periods," said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Smyth, of the Population Health Research Center at McMaster University, in Canada.

On average, his team found, people were over two times more likely to suffer a heart attack in the hour after a bout of intense emotions or activity, versus the same hour a day before.

In all, almost 14 percent of study participants said they'd exerted themselves in the hour before their heart attack symptoms arose. A similar number said they'd been angry or upset.

Smyth said his team did look at other factors that affect heart attack risk -- but none of them changed the risks linked to exertion and intense emotions. Physical exertion, for example, raised people's heart attack risk whether they were normally sedentary or regularly exercised.

Still, the researchers said, people face "external triggers" like anger and exertion every day, without succumbing to a heart attack. So, it's likely that those triggers come into play only when a person has artery-clogging plaques that are particularly vulnerable to rupturing.

The findings on heavy exertion do not negate the importance of regular exercise, Smyth said. It's well known, he noted, that exercise has many long-term health benefits -- including a reduced risk of heart disease.

But Smyth did advise avoiding "extremes" -- physical and emotional.

"I do appreciate the difficulty in doing this," he said. "There are times when exposure to extremes of either is unavoidable."

However, people with risk factors for heart attack can limit heavy exertion when possible, and "employ strategies" to avoid extreme emotions, according to Smyth.

Jacobs agreed. He said he does not advocate "burying your emotions." But, he added, "people can learn more appropriate ways of dealing with their emotions."

Jacobs pointed to meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises, and anger and stress management programs as sources of help. He suggested people talk to their doctor about resources in their community, or go online to learn simple techniques, such as breathing practices.

A proud grand-poppa              G.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bana Alabed: Syrian girl writes ... "Mr Trump please help the children of Syria because they are like your children"

Bana Alabed, 7, is pictured smiling in a professional news shot from the safety of Turkey in December
Bana, who is now in Turkey                

Bana Alabed, the seven-year-old Aleppo girl known worldwide for her tweets from Aleppo, has written an open letter to Donald Trump.
"You must do something for the children of Syria because they are like your children and deserve peace like you," she wrote.
Bana escaped Aleppo with her family in December during the mass evacuations, and is now living in Turkey.
Her twitter account became famous for its messages from besieged east Aleppo.
Her mother, Fatemah - who helps run the account - sent the text of the letter to the BBC.
She said Bana wrote it days before President Trump's inauguration, because "she has seen Trump many times on the TV".

Bana Alabed's letter to President Trump

Dear Donald Trump,
My name is Bana Alabed and I am a seven years old Syrian girl from Aleppo.
I lived in Syria my whole life before I left from besieged East Aleppo on December last year. I am part of the Syrian children who suffered from the Syrian war.
But right now, I am having a peace in my new home of Turkey. In Aleppo, I was in school but soon it was destroyed because of the bombing. Some of my friends died.
I am very sad about them and wish they were with me because we would play together by right now. I couldn't play in Aleppo, it was the city of death.
Right now in Turkey, I can go out and enjoy. I can go to school although I didn't yet. That is why peace is important for everyone including you.
However, millions of Syrian children are not like me right now and suffering in different parts of Syria. They are suffering because of adult people.
I know you will be the president of America, so can you please save the children and people of Syria? You must do something for the children of Syria because they are like your children and deserve peace like you.
If you promise me you will do something for the children of Syria, I am already your new friend.
I am looking forward to what you will do for the children of Syria.

President Trump's position is not yet clear but he has repeatedly stressed his desire for a strong relationship with Russia, and endorsed Vladimir Putin - who supports Syria's President Assad.

A screenshot from the Twitter account @AlabedBana, showing her two younger brothers smiling and seated on a a row of plant pots made in the shapes of a train. The caption reads

Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump Reinstates Global Gag Rule to Cut Off Abortion Funding Abroad

 Donald Trump shows off a signed executive order to reinstitute the global gag rule.

Surrounded by men, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday reinstating the "global gag rule," which bans federal funding for any international non-governmental organizations that offer abortions or advocate for the right to choose an abortion. Even if they also offer family planning, family health education, hygiene,
 contraception, information about STD's and testing.
The Ronald Reagan-era order, also known as the Mexico City policy, has been instituted and re-instituted by Republican presidents, and then killed by Democratic presidents, since its inception. Obama signed an executive order early in his presidency to reverse the 'global gag rule'.
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, women in poor countries suffer the most from this gag rule. A 2003 analysis found that the ban leads women to seek other means for abortions which are illegal and unsafe or they try to perform abortions on themselves. These desperate actions are the second-leading cause of death for women of reproductive age in Ethiopia and account for more than 40 percent of the maternal mortality rate in Kenya. Ethiopia has had a decades long drought and the population is starving. Women do not want to bring more children into the world to watch them starve to death.  Peru has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in Latin America, in part because of its high rate of unsanitary and botched, clandestine abortions.
The 1973 Helms Amendment already bans the use of American foreign aid for abortions. Money from the United States can go to organizations that educate women about abortions or perform abortions, as long as it's not used for the procedure itself. The gag rule would deny US funding to any international organization that mentions abortion as an option for women seeking help with an unwanted pregnancy—even if that organization largely provides contraception or more general reproductive health care.
The United States currently spends about $600 million annually on family planning, reproductive health programs and education in foreign countries. Marie Stopes International, one of USAID's biggest family planning partners, estimates that the global gag rule will lead to an additional 2.2 million abortions worldwide without free contraceptive means and family planning. That means more pointless deaths.
The international assistance funding provides access to contraceptive services and supplies for 27 million women and couples.
In a statement, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) promised to introduce a bill to repeal the gag rule on Tuesday. "The Trump Administration and Republican leadership have made no secret of their dangerous obsession with rolling back reproductive rights," she said. "President Trump's reinstatement of the Global Gag Rule ignores decades of research, instead favoring ideological politics over women and families."

Food for Thought :How to Stay Sexually Healthy as You Age

Just because you're getting older doesn't mean your sex life should suffer.
By Krisha McCoy
Medically Reviewed by Pat F. Bass, III, MD, MPH

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Changes in the body due to aging may make sex less enjoyable or lead to difficulties with sexual arousal.

Communicating with your partner, being willing to try new things, and taking care of your overall health can help you maintain an active sex life as you get older.  

A healthy sex life is an essential part of overall good health, and it’s a myth that sex has to suffer as you get older. If you give sex the attention it deserves, you can maintain a healthy and active sex life no matter what birthday you just celebrated.

Age-Related Changes in Sexual Health

As we age, changes in our bodies may affect our sex lives. This can lead to problems such as less enjoyment during sex or difficulty becoming sexually aroused.

In women, hormonal changes after menopause or a hysterectomy can cause the vagina to become shorter, narrower, and less lubricated. These vaginal changes can make sex  somewhat uncomfortable and less pleasurable. In addition, the psychological effects of aging may make sex less enjoyable for some women.

Health problems are more common in old age, and certain age-related conditions can also affect sexual satisfaction in both men and women, including:Arthritis
Heart disease
Chronic pain
Maintaining a Satisfying Sex Life

While you cannot stop the aging process, there are plenty of ways to preserve your sexual health as you get older:

Pay attention to your overall health.Exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and managing the stress in your life can help to keep your sex life active and satisfying.

Communicate with your partner. Your relationship with your partner is an important part of your sexual health. Talk to your partner about his or her sexual desires and discuss any sexual changes you are experiencing. Be a good listener if your partner has sexual concerns.

Try something new. Exploring sex without intercourse, trying new sexual positions, having sex at different times of the day, and focusing more on foreplay can make your sex life more exciting and satisfying.

Be open to meeting new people. Be open to meeting someone who is also single. You can meet new people by getting involved in new social activities, taking advantage of events at your local community center, or signing up for adult education classes at a nearby college or university.

Solving Sexual Health Issues
If you have a sexual problem you are concerned about, talk with your doctor. In some cases, treating an underlying health problem or adjusting a medication, such as blood pressure or diabetes drugs, antihistamines, or antidepressants can help with sexual problems such as impotence.

When a health problem or medication is not the problem, there are simple ways to treat many of the common sexual issues people experience as they age. For example, women who have poor vaginal lubrication can often find satisfaction using lubricants or vaginal estrogen supplements. Impotence in men can frequently be managed or reversed with medications, hormone replacement therapy, penile implants, surgery, or sexual counseling.

The bottom line: Don’t assume that your sexual self disappears as you age. You can remain sexually active for years to come.

A proud grand-poppa           G.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Trump sued over business’ foreign profits

A Washington-based nonprofit will file a federal lawsuit against President Trump on Monday, the start of his first week in office.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) announced Sunday night it is bringing a suit "to stop President Trump from violating the Constitution by illegally receiving payments from foreign governments."
At issue is Trump's refusal to divest from his business or place his assets into a blind trust, which would separate him entirely from his business empire. He has said his adult sons will run his business while he is in office, that they will not conduct any foreign deals and will subject any domestic deals to an ethics review.
"We did not want to get to this point. It was our hope that President Trump would take the necessary steps to avoid violating the Constitution before he took office," CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder said.
"He did not. His constitutional violations are immediate and serious, so we were forced to take legal action."
The group says that because Trump has not divested from his businesses, he is "now getting cash and favours from foreign governments, through guests and events at his hotels, leases in his buildings, and valuable real estate deals abroad."
"President Trump has made his slogan 'America First,'" Bookbinder added. "So you would think he would want to strictly follow the Constitution's foreign emoluments clause, since it was written to ensure our government officials are thinking of Americans first, and not foreign governments."
Trump lawyer Sheri Dillon recently said that under the business plan, Trump will not be in violation of the Constitution's "Emoluments Clause."
"Paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and has nothing to do with an office," she said. "It is not an emolument. The Constitution does not require President-elect Trump to do anything here."
But CREW charges that because Trump does business with such countries as China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, "now that he is President, his company's acceptance of any benefits from the governments of those countries violates the Constitution."
It also warns that, "When Trump the president sits down to negotiate trade deals with these countries, the American people will have no way of knowing whether he will also be thinking about the profits of Trump the businessman."
The group said the suit will be filed in the Southern District of New York at 9 a.m. on Monday.
The lawyers behind action include constitutional law professors Laurence Tribe and Erwin Chemerinsky, as well as former White House ethics lawyers and CREW board members Norm Eisen and Richard Painter, as well as Bookbinder, Zephyr Teachout and Deepak Gupta.

A few valentines for D Trump from the ladies

Maxi pads stuck to a wall with protests slogans. Women's march in Washington, DC., Jan. 21, 2017

Ellen's tribute to the Obamas

Maxy sez :Managing Diabetes With a Cold or Flu

 Got the sniffles? Here's what you need to know when managing diabetes and fighting off a cold or the flu.

By Madeline R. Vann, MPH

Medically Reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH
The cold and flu season is on its way. And while sick days bring everyone down, people with type 2 diabetes have some special considerations when they're under the weather.

In addition to choosing the right cold medications and checking in with your doctor about possible dosage changes, good diabetes care means being prepared for the days when you would rather not drag yourself out of bed for a glucose check or a snack.

Pick the Right Cold Medicine

“A lot of [cold and flu] medications, particularly cough syrup, are high in glucose,” says internist Danny Sam, MD, the program director of the residency program at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, Calif. His practice specializes in adult diabetes.

If you have diabetes, your best bet is a medicine that is clearly labeled sugar-free. Almost every major pharmacy has a store brand of sugar-free cold or cough medicine, says Dr. Sam. If you have questions, ask your pharmacist for help.

Check Blood Sugar Often

“Diabetes is not as well controlled when you are sick,” observes Sam. This is because when your body fights infection, it releases a chemical cascade that can alter your body’s glucose and insulin response. As a result, you may need to check your blood sugar more often than you usually do. People with type 2 diabetes may need to check their blood sugar four times a day, and should check their urine for ketones anytime their blood sugar level is higher than 300 mg/dL.

Other medications you may need to take when you are sick can affect your blood sugar levels:

Aspirin may lower blood sugar levels
Certain antibiotics may decrease blood sugar levels in those taking some oral diabetes medications
Decongestants may raise blood sugar levels

Adjust Your Plan 
“You have to monitor your blood sugar more frequently and you may have to adjust your meds,” Sam says. Some people may find their blood sugar spiking more frequently, while other people, especially those plagued by stomach flu or diarrhea, may be facing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Either way, you need to know how to respond to these unusual dips and spikes in blood sugar.

“Touch base with your doctor to get instructions on how to adjust medications,” says Sam. This is especially important if your blood sugar readings stay higher than 240 mg/dL for more than 24 hours.

Alternatively, before cold and flu season sets in, you can talk to your diabetes care team about how to make medication dose decisions if you should get sick. Find out what the acceptable range of blood sugar change is — and exactly when you should call your doctor. Write these instructions down in a notebook so that you can easily refer to them when you do get sick.

But there are some things you shouldn’t change: Unless your diabetes care team or doctor has instructed otherwise based on your blood sugar levels, keep taking your diabetes medications as prescribed.
Feeling Better Without Meds

Remember, as miserable as you feel right now, colds and the flu do not last forever. If you want to feel better, take care of yourself. That means:

Stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids. Small sips can help you stay hydrated even if you are vomiting frequently.
Snack. You may not feel like it, but you should eat regularly. Snack on fluids like soup or milk, or small portions of easy-to-digest foods like applesauce, crackers, and vanilla wafers.
It’s also a good idea to keep written track of the medications you take, both for diabetes and cough and cold symptoms, as well as the results of your blood sugar tests and other details of your illness.

Illness Prevention Strategies

We’d all like to avoid getting a cold or the flu. If you have type 2 diabetes, your best bet for avoiding sickness   is to keep your disease under control. “Control blood sugar when well,” advises Sam.

Out-of-control blood sugar makes it harder for your body to fight off infections, including those that lead to colds and the flu. If you can keep your blood sugar under control during your healthy days, you will have fewer sick days and, when you do get sick, your body will be able to bounce back faster.

It’s also a good idea to get your annual flu shot and other vaccinations that are recommended for your age range.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Food for Thought : 7 Things Women Need for a Happy and Healthy Sex Life

Create more heat between the sheets with these surprising tips.
The benefits of sex extend beyond the bedroom. In fact, a roll in the hay can improve your heart health, boost your immunity, and more. Plus, regular romps with your partner create an intimate connection that’s crucial for a healthy relationship.

But if you’re not always in the mood to hit the sheets, you’re not alone. Many women have fluctuating sex drives, which may be a result of larger issues, says Ian Kerner, PhD, a psychotherapist and sex therapist in New York City. "In some ways, sexual desire is a barometer of your overall health," he explains. "If someone comes in with a low libido, it can often be an indication that something else is going on emotionally or physically.”

So how can you break through these bedroom barriers and create more heat between the sheets? Read on to find out what women really need to feel happy and healthy in their sex lives.
1. An Honest Sexual Health Talk With a Partner

No one likes the uncomfortable, "When was the last time you were tested?" talk, or a discussion about previous partners or birth control. But women are happiest in bed when they feel safe, so don’t be afraid to ask about your partner’s sexual history. You can even put a positive spin on the discussion, says Dr. Kerner. You might say something like, "I find you really sexy, and I'm interested in a relationship with you. But for me to fully enjoy myself, I want to talk about about our sexual histories and get on the same page about safety." If your partner isn’t open to the discussion, he or she may not be the right person for you.

2. The Right Products to Make It Comfortable

While it's widely known that women of a certain age tend to experience vaginal dryness, the truth is that even younger women can struggle with it. To make things more comfortable, try using a lubricant; just be choosy about the kind you purchase  since there are key differences among them. Kerner, who recommends the natural, water-based lubricant Sliquid, also stresses the importance of foreplay so you can lubricate naturally. "You could be aroused physically but not mentally, or vice versa, so you may just need to give yourself more time to warm up," he explains.

3. The Ability to Ask for What You Want in Bed

It can be intimidating to share sexual desires with a significant other. “If you feel uncomfortable, frame what you want in the form of a fantasy," suggests Kerner. For example, you could tell your partner you had a daydream about how you two used to make out like teenagers. "Try to use arousing, stimulating language,” he says. “Doing so will help lead you to the kind of sex you'd like to have."

4. A Workout Routine That Strengthens Sex Muscles

Kegel exercises can work wonders to strengthen the pelvic area, making for better and more intense sex and orgasms. When boosted, the kegel muscles, which wrap around the vagina and anus in the shape of a figure eight, help strengthen your pelvic floor, which supports all your pelvic organs. Doing the exercises properly can deliver results such as heightened arousal during sex, better blood circulation, and even the ability to produce more lubrication. Learn how to master kegels using this guide.  

5. Trust and Emotional Security

It's hard to have a carefree romp if you feel disconnected from your significant other or worried about your partner's fidelity. If you think your partner may be having an affair, it’s important to address it. To start the conversation in a non-confrontational way, Kerner suggests saying something like, "I feel like we haven't been connected lately, and you're always on your phone or texting. It just makes me feel a little unsafe in the relationship.” Then explain that you want your relationship and sex life to be a priority because you value them.

6. Confidence

Both new and long-term relationships can suffer if a woman doesn't feel good about  her body going into a sexual encounter. While it's easier said than done, try not to worry about stretch marks or a few extra pounds, and focus on staying in the moment. "You want to be in a relaxed place where your brain really deactivates, so you can experience full arousal and orgasm," says Kerner. Consider changing the lighting if it’s not flattering, or finding lingerie that makes you feel sexy.

7. The Right Diet for a Healthier Body and Increased Sex Drive

Studies show that loading your plate with certain foods can help you feel sexier. Research from Texas A&M University in College Station shows that phytonutrients found in watermelon can relax blood vessels, which may in turn boost your libido. The same effect can be seen from foods rich in vitamin C, like oranges and carrots. Research shows that the vitamin increases circulation, which may help improve sex drive in women. 

A proud grand-poppa     G .

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Gwyneth Paltrow thinks you should put crystal eggs in your vagina ..What do you think??

<p>While the kegel exercise you might get out of holding an egg in your vagina is probably legitimate, the site also says it will increase chi, hormonal balance and feminine energy in general. Apparently, the jade egg (which costs $66!) is particularly good for getting rid of negative energy. It also comes in rose quartz! Um… </p>

Love her or hate her, Gwyneth Paltrow's Goop has a cult-like fan base. The weekly lifestyle publication offers personal tips from Gwyneth on a variety of subjects like travel, well-being, health, relationships and sex.
Goop also has an online store, where you can purchase products curated by Gwyneth herself. The latest product that Goop thinks we all need is crystal eggs. For our vaginas.
Yes, that's right. Crystal eggs for vaginas. It comes in two options — rose quartz and jade — with each egg having different properties.
While the kegel exercise you might get out of holding an egg in your vagina is probably legitimate, the site also says it will increase chi, hormonal balance and feminine energy in general. Apparently, the jade egg (which costs $66!) is particularly good for getting rid of negative energy.
In honour of this new (and sold out!) addition to the Goop store, we decided to take a look at some of the most ridiculous things offered on the site as well as plenty of dubious advice from Gwyneth Paltrow.

<p>It seems Goop likes crystals! For $85, you get eight crystals and a drawstring bag. The cringe-worthy description really says it all: "Inspired by the Shaman's medicine bag from various indigenous traditions, this (goop-exclusive) pouch holds magically charged stones." <i>Magic</i>, you say? </p>

‘The Goop Medicine Bag’

It seems Goop likes crystals! For $85, you get eight crystals and a drawstring bag. The cringe-worthy description really says it all: "Inspired by the Shaman's medicine bag from various indigenous traditions, this (goop-exclusive) pouch holds magically charged stones.

<p>It's coated in 24-karat gold plate. I guess you can't put a price on orgasms? There's also the $8,990 stainless steal version, if you're into that. </p>

A $17,900 vibrator

It's coated in 24-karat gold plate. I guess you can't put a price on orgasms? There's also the $8,990 stainless steel version, if you're into that.

Goop recommends getting a "Mugworth V-Steam" that supposedly cleanses the uterus and creates an energetic release that balances female hormones. Ladies: don't steam your vagina. It cleans itself naturally. Don't mess with what's going on down there!

Vaginal steaming

Goop recommends getting a "Mugworth V-Steam" that supposedly cleanses the uterus and creates an energetic release that balances female hormones. Ladies: don't steam your vagina. It cleans itself naturally. Don't mess with 'Mother Nature'.

Again, the body already has a way of naturally eliminating things that it doesn't need. Getting unnecessary colonics is a waste of time and can even harm you, with side effects like infections and dehydration.

Regular colonics

Again, the body already has a way of naturally eliminating things that it doesn't need. Getting unnecessary colonics is a waste of time and can even harm you, with side effects like infections and dehydration.

The website published an article called "Why Chemical Sunscreens Aren't Great" with lots of scary scientific words, but studies have shown that the chemicals in the products aren't harmful to humans at all. Wear sunscreen, everyone!

Avoid chemical sunscreen

The website published an article called "Why Chemical Sunscreens Aren't Great" with lots of scary scientific words, but studies have shown that the chemicals in the products aren't harmful to humans at all. Wear sunscreen, everyone!

In case you're having a hard time getting in the mood, there's a recipe on how to create Sex Bark which is described as an "aphrodisiac warming potion promoting enjoyable sex and fertility for both men and women." Oh, and one of the ingredients is Moon Pantry Sex Dust. Don't have any of that handy? Not to worry, you can buy it on Goop!

Sex bark

In case you're having a hard time getting in the mood, there's a recipe on how to create Sex Bark which is described as an "aphrodisiac warming potion, promoting enjoyable sex and fertility for both men and women." Oh, and one of the ingredients is Moon Pantry Sex Dust.... What the f...?

Go visit Gwenyth at Goop. It's fun.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Saudi Arabian video on women's rights goes viral

A video of a pop song that highlights the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia has amassed millions of views on social media.
The video entitled 'Hwages', loosely translated in English as 'Concerns', shows women in Saudi Arabia skateboarding, playing basketball and dancing. It features women in full Islamic dress taking part , singing lyrics that include: 'If only God would rid us of men'.
Created by media production company 8ies, the video has been viewed nearly three million times on YouTube since it was uploaded in late December 2016.

The de facto ban on female drivers is Saudi Arabia's best-known restriction against women, a symbol of the larger system of gender-based law that makes it one of the worst countries for women, according to the World Economic Forum's annual report on gender rights.
Saudi Arabia's restrictions on women go far, far beyond just driving, though. It's part of a larger system of customs and laws that make women heavily reliant on men for their basic, day-to-day survival. This video, produced by Amnesty U.K., a few months after Saudi women's rights activists staged their last protest drive, helps explain just how it works to be a woman in Saudi Arabia.

If you couldn't make it through the video, here's the rundown: each Saudi woman has a "male guardian," typically their father or brother or husband, who has the same sort of legal power over her that a parent has over a child. She needs his formal permission to travel, work, go to school or get medical treatment. She's also dependent on him for everything: money, housing, and, because the driving ban means she needs a driver to go anywhere, even the ability to go to the store or visit a friend.

It's one thing for women to depend on men to go anywhere, putting their movement under male veto power. But it's quite another when they also must have a man's approval to travel abroad, get a job or do just about anything that involves being outside of the home. It consigns women to second-class-citizenship, which is unfortunately common in a number of countries, but goes a step further in Saudi Arabia. Saudi women have many of their most basic rights reduced to probationary privileges, granted only if the man who is assigned as their "guardian" feels like granting them. And because women are typically forbidden to interact with men who are not family members, they've got little to no recourse beyond that guardian. The almost complete lack of political rights doesn't help, either.

The restrictions go beyond the law: women are often taught from an early age to approach the world outside their male guardian's home with fear and shame. A 1980s "educational flyer" still posted at a school in Buraydah warned against the "dangers that threaten the Muslim woman," such as listening to music, going to a mixed-gender mall or answering the telephone. It drove home that "danger" with an image of a women, in a full black burqa, being stabbed in the chest with a kitchen knife.
Saudi women's rights activists get this, of course, and even though they're focusing their energy on overturning the driving ban, it's clear they see it as part of a larger effort against part of a much bigger system of oppression. The movement for driving rights that began in mid-2011 has not changed that law, but Saudi women have won some modest rights as a result, including representation in the country's officially powerless but high-visibility Shoura Council, which they're in turn using to amplify their campaign against the driving ban. Saudi women are facing a much bigger challenge than just a driving ban, as this video shows, but it also helps to show just how remarkable it is that they've accomplished as much as they have in as little time.

Food for Thought : What Your Pee Is Telling You

 By Everyday Health Guest Columnist

By Troy Sukkarieh, MD, Special to Everyday Health
Troy Sukkarieh, MD is a board-certified urologic surgeon with fellowship training in robotics and advanced laparoscopic surgery. He is on staff at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey, where he also maintains a private practice.

There is no perfect urine. Your quality and quantity of your urine can change based on your health and lifestyle. However, it’s important to know what is normal for you. This way, you can relay any serious or bothersome changes to your doctor.

Urine has been a useful diagnostic tool since the beginning of medicine. The color, density, smell, and frequency of your urine can reveal useful information about your health. It can also tell if you are properly hydrated, taking medication or vitamins, or have an infection.

What Color Is the Right Color for Urine?

If you don’t see any color, you might be drinking too much water or coffee. Deeper shades of yellow and amber can indicate that you are dehydrated. The color of urine can range from completely clear to gold, and can include unusual colors like red and blue.

Here are some clues about what different urine colors may indicate:

1 .  Blue-green urine may be the result of certain medications such as laxatives, chemotherapy drugs, or vitamins. If you aren’t taking any of these meds, and you continue to see this color for more than a few days, call your doctor to discuss.
2 .  Bright yellow or orange urine can indicate you’ve consumed a lot of vitamin C, carrots, beets, or other foods in the orange family. Some medications can turn your urine this color as well.
3 .  Dark orange or brown urine is cause for concern. This may mean you have bile in your urine or a problem with your liver.
4 .  Pink or red urine can simply indicate you’ve eaten red-tinted food. On a more serious note, this can also be a sign of blood in your urine. Bloody urine may indicate internal injury, kidney issues, or cancer.
5 .  Cloudy urine has been found to suggest the presence of phosphates, which can be a precursor to kidney stones. Cloudiness can also indicate an infection. If cloudiness worsens and you experience burning or urgency, make sure to see a doctor.

You May Be Able to Smell a Health Issue

Most of the time, if you are healthy and well hydrated, your urine will not have a strong smell. But these odors may spell trouble:

1 .  Foul smell. The bacteria that cause urinary tract infections (UTIs) can produce a foul smell. Symptoms of a UTI include burning during urination, fever, chills, and back pain. If you have a urinary infection, you will need to be prescribed an antibiotic.
2 .  Sweet smell.  Sweet-smelling urine may be a sign of diabetes or liver disease.
3 .  Musty smell. Certain metabolic disorders may cause musty-smelling urine as well.
4 .  Keep in mind that consuming certain foods and beverages — coffee and asparagus in particular — can give urine a stronger smell as well, which is completely normal.

You Have to Go NOW, or You Have to Go Often

Most people take bathroom breaks about six to eight times a day, depending on how much they drink. If you’re constantly feeling the urge to go (without drinking any extra fluids), the frequency of urination can indicate an overactive bladder, urinary tract infection, interstitial cystitis (painful urination without an infection), or diabetes.

Urgency means you need to go right away, have difficulty holding it in, and wake up several times during the night to use the bathroom. For men, urgency and frequency, could be symptoms of a bladder problem or, more commonly, an enlarged prostate — known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, through which urine leaves the body. As the gland grows bigger, it can press on the urethra and cause a variety of changes in urination.

Some men assume drinking less water will lessen urgency and frequency, but dehydration can cause urinary issues as well. BPH can also cause incomplete emptying of your bladder, so you still feel like you have to go again minutes later. This isn’t a medical condition to be ignored, and it typically won’t go away on its own.

Increased frequency and urgency in women may be a symptom of an infection, kidney stones, or a more serious condition.

The Importance of a Tried-and-True Urinalysis

You can learn a lot about what’s going on inside your body by looking at your urine. For example, blood in your urine can indicate a significant health issue, and it isn’t always visible to the human eye. You may need a urinalysis to find it. The same can be said for the volume of sugar in your urine, which could indicate an increased risk of diabetes.

Only a proper urinalysis, one taken at your doctor’s office or medical lab, can accurately diagnose potential medical issues like these.

We’re all tempted to roll our eyes when the doctor hands us a plastic cup, requesting a urine sample. But that sample can provide a number of important insights regarding your health. It’s one of the easiest — and most valuable — tests you can undergo every year, regardless of your age or medical history.

A proud grand-poppa                      G.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Maxy sez :Diabetes-Friendly Meals the Whole Family Will Love

You can modify family favorites without sacrificing taste. The whole crew will benefit from healthier eating.

By Beth W. Orenstein | Medically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD

When Mom or Dad is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you might think that cooking for the family is going to become a huge hassle because you’ll need to make two versions of every meal. Not so, said Melissa Joy Dobbins, RD, LDN, CDE, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The same smart ingredients used in dishes for a diabetes meal plan will benefit every family member, and no one has to be the wiser.

The two pillars of a diabetes meal plan are controlling carbs (foods that easily convert to sugar) and eating heart healthy, Dobbins said. “We all can benefit from controlling portions, and we’re all at risk for heart disease,” she pointed out. If your kids grow up eating healthy, they’ll develop good habits that can last them a lifetime.

These culinary adaptations will satisfy the needs of the family member with type 2 diabetes, and no one else will even notice that they’re eating lower-carb meals or feel they’re missing out:
Cook with oil, not butter. Solid animal fats, like butter and lard, are high in saturated fat. Use healthier vegetable fats like canola and olive oil, but use them sparingly. Fat is high in calories, so using less can help you keep your weight in check.

Bake and broil. Bake, broil, or grill lean proteins like chicken and fish rather than dredging them in flour or breadcrumbs and frying. You’ll also want to skip heavy toppings like cream sauces and gravies. Add flavor to proteins with zesty spice rubs instead; they’ll be just as tasty and a lot more diabetes-friendly and heart healthy, Dobbins said.

Eat more fish. The American Diabetes Association recommends eating seafood two to three times a week. Steamed, poached and microwaved fillets are especially diabetes-friendly because they don’t require extra fat for cooking. If your family loves pasta, try serving sautéed shrimp or scallops over a small serving of whole grain noodles with mixed vegetables.

Lose the (beef) fat. If your family enjoys an occasional steak or roast, you don’t have to strike it from your grocery list completely. But for better health for everyone, choose leaner cuts of beef such as round, sirloin, and flank steak. Avoid cuts with white   white marbling, which is streaks of fat, and trim any visible fat from the cuts you do buy.

Need a burger fix? If you’re buying ground beef, look for labels that say it’s at least 90 percent lean. Better yet, substitute ground turkey to make tacos, meatballs, chili, and meatloaf into heart-smart meals.

Don’t be piggy. You can keep pork on the menu by choosing leaner Canadian bacon instead of fatty bacon and making boneless ham, pork tenderloin, boneless loin roast,  or center-cut loin chops instead of fatty ribs. “A lot of pork is very lean,” Dobbins said. You’ll still want to limit saltier cuts like Canadian bacon and ham to avoid eating too much sodium.

Substitute low-fat dairy. Using low-fat dairy in place of full-fat is an easy way to instantly trim major calories and saturated fat. When a recipe calls for whole milk, simply substitute 1 or 2 percent. Instead of full fat cheese, use a low-fat fat variety. You can use luxuriously thick non-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt in many recipes that call for sour cream. If you’re worried about getting push back from tough critics at the dinner table, start by substituting just half of the dairy called for in a recipe with the low-fat version. If your family doesn’t notice (or gradually adjusts), you may eventually be able to substitute all of it.

Choose whole grains. Whole grains have been shown to help stabilize blood sugar, Dobbins said, and they have a nice, nutty flavor. Substitute brown rice for white rice in recipes and as a side dish. Opt for whole grain breads and pastas over those made from refined white flour. Another health perk: Whole grains are rich in fiber, which reduces risk for heart disease and helps fill you up so you eat less.

Sneak in more vegetables. Most vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, along with health-boosting vitamins. When following recipes, double the amount of non-starchy vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli called for in soups and casseroles. Add sliced veggies to pasta sauce, and make the sauce tomato, not cream, based. When you pick up pizza for the gang, order it with  vegetables only, like broccoli and mushrooms, rather than fatty, salty meat toppings.

Up the bean count. Beans are a diabetes super food. They’re high in fiber and protein, so they fill you up and keep you fuller longer. You can add canned beans to salads, soups, and casseroles. Or, take a break from your favorite beef or turkey chili and try a vegetable bean version instead. Beans do have carbs – roughly 15 grams for 1/3 to 1/2 cup of beans, so make sure you include them if you count carbs.

Reduce sugar in recipes. Family members don’t have to give up their favorite sweets after mom or dad is diagnosed with diabetes. You can leave out a third of the sugar in most recipes without affecting taste or texture. The savings are substantial: in a recipe that originally calls for 2 cups of sugar, trimming 2/3 cup will slash more than 500 calories and well over 100 grams sugar. Pull back on the sweet stuff and exercise portion control, and everyone can enjoy a sampling and not feel deprived.

Serve smaller portions. Our portion sizes have grown dramaticallyServe smaller portions. Our portion sizes have grown dramatically over the years, so cutting back is a smart idea for everyone. Serve family favorites – just be sure everyone eats one serving, not two or three. No matter how healthy the food, if you eat too much, you’ll gain weight, Dobbins said.

A Meal Plan That Works for the Entire Family

“A diabetes diet is a healthy diet that everyone should be following,” Dobbins said. It’s not as restrictive as many people might think and, with some smart substitutions and portion control, you and your family can sit down together to great meals that are a far cry from bland, boring “health food.”

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Food for Thought :Midlife Sex Myths That Sabotage Your Love Life

By Sandra Gordon

Have Satisfying Sex at Any Age
When you hear the words “sex ed,” you probably think of teaching children about the birds and the bees. But women’s health experts say that there’s a lot that you can still learn about your sexual health, whether you’ve been part of a committed couple for decades, are single, divorced, or dating. Myths about things such as desire and orgasms can linger from your younger years, and new issues can crop up as you or your partner enter menopause or contend with other health concerns. One of the biggest misconceptions: Age will sour your sex life. “Many women in midlife say the quality of sex is better than ever because they know themselves and what pleases them, and they feel an intimacy and connection with their partner that’s unique to this stage of life,” says Barb DePree, MD, director of Women’s Midlife Services at Holland Hospital, in Holland, Michigan, and founder of Beyond that, here are common sex myths that doctors hear all the time — and the truth about how to have a satisfying sex life at any age or stage.

Myth: Menopause Steals Your Sex Drive
During perimenopause and menopause, levels of the sex drive-boosting hormones estrogen and testosterone do decrease, so you probably won’t feel in the mood as often as you did in your twenties or thirties when a woman’s sexual desire is at its peak. But don’t expect your libido to take a complete nosedive either. In fact, since sex drive is partly psychological, the opposite may be true. “Some women find that their libido increases when the kids are out of the house and after menopause when they don’t have to worry about getting pregnant,” says Margorie Gass, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society. Sex drive is such a personal thing, and you have to go with your gut for what feels normal for you. If you’ve noticed a big dip lately, talk to your gynecologist about it, because a decrease in sex drive has been linked to a number of serious health problems, from depression to type 2 diabetes.

                                            Myth: Men Always Want Sex
If he’s not that into sex lately, don’t assume that he’s just not into you. All men experience some degree of “male menopause” — a combination of aging, decreased circulation, and lower testosterone levels that can affect a man’s sexual desire, arousal, endurance, and emotional health, says Steven Lindheim, MD, professor of reproductive endocrinology at the University of Cincinnati. In addition to normal aging, something else could be affecting him physically or emotionally, such as stress, side effects of certain medications, and health concerns such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Suggest that he see a doctor to rule out medical and emotional issues. You might say something like, “Honey, you haven’t seen a doctor in a while. It’s definitely time for a check-up to make sure everything is okay.” Then, use touch or a glance to help him get your drift without bruising his ego. Also, as they get older, most men need more stimulation, either visual or tactile, to achieve an erection. Keep an open mind and consider expanding your usual repertoire to experiment with new positions, toys, lingerie, and more.

Myth: Sex After Menopause Hurts Too Much to Feel Good

As many as 50 percent of postmenopausal women experience vaginal atrophy, a condition in which tissue becomes thin and dry as a result of lower hormone levels, according to a 2010 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. It can make penetration so painful that you don’t want to have sex, but there's still a lot you can do to make intercourse appealing. “I’ve had patients come in complaining of a low sex drive when, in fact, the problem is vaginal atrophy and pain with intercourse,” says Alan Altman, MD, president of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health, in Aspen, Colorado. Women who don’t have sex regularly are most susceptible to vaginal atrophy because sex boosts blood flow to the vagina to help maintain healthy tissue. Over-the-counter lubricants and moisturizers or a prescription estrogen cream can rejuvenate the vagina to make sex feel good again. Moisturizers are applied a few times a week to alleviate dryness; however, most lubricants are for immediate use right before intercourse. Whatever you do, don’t “lube” with Vaseline or mineral oil, which actually dry out the vagina. If topical estrogen, a vaginal moisturizer, and lubricant don’t help, ask your doctor if oral hormone therapy is a good option for you.

Myth: I'm Not Capable of Having Orgasms

While about 25 percent of women frequently report issues having orgasms, fewer than 5 percent are actually physically unable to, according to Dr. DePree, so don’t be too quick to count yourself among them. Even if you’ve never been able to climax in the past, that doesn’t mean you can’t aim for the big “O” now. “Some couples have never really developed the art of foreplay, which is especially important to help women orgasm during sex,” says DePree. Or maybe the foreplay you enjoyed as newlyweds has fallen by the wayside over the years, as you’ve had to squeeze sex into your hectic schedules. But it’s never too late to tell your partner that you need to spend more time on foreplay (more kissing, more breast fondling, and more direct stimulation of the clitoris, which is the orgasm golden ticket for many women). If you’ve only recently begun to miss out on orgasms, decreasing levels of testosterone, which affects libido, fantasy, and orgasm, may be a factor. There’s no FDA-approved testosterone product for women just yet but some physicians, including DePree, prescribe low levels of testosterone off-label to their female patients for this reason.

Myth: Once You Use a Vibrator, You Can't Orgasm Without It

Using a vibrator can help you orgasm more easily, but it won’t keep you from responding during regular (vibrator-free) intercourse, says Carol Queen, PhD, the staff sexologist for Good Vibrations in San Francisco. So don’t be afraid to use one on your own or think that it’s only for friskier “cougars,” which is another common myth. In fact, more than 50 percent of American women (age 40 on average) use vibrators, according to a 2009 University of Indiana study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. If you think bringing one into the bedroom would intimidate your man, consider this: A separate University of Indiana study published in the same journal found that 45 percent of men have used one, too, especially with female partners. Not only can it spice up sex with your mate; if you’re between partners, a vibrator or self-stimulation can help you enjoy sexual pleasure and maintain a healthy vagina by maintaining circulation to the area. Fortunately with online shopping, vibrators are easier than ever to buy in the privacy of your own home.

                                       Myth: Condoms Are for Teenagers

Grown-ups need protection, too. If you’re a single woman or are dating again after divorce, you should always keep some condoms in your purse and nightstand drawer, and insist that your partner wear one. Even if pregnancy is no longer a concern — and remember, you can still get pregnant as long as you get a period, even if it’s irregular — you need to protect yourself against sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV/AIDS. According to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which documented the condom use of nearly 6,000 people ages 14 to 94, adults over age 40 have the lowest rates of condom use. “It’s a generation who grew up before the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” says Michael Reece, PhD, director for the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University in Bloomington, who helped conduct the study. “They associate condom use with preventing pregnancy, not protecting themselves against STDs." But the number of men and women over age 50 with HIV is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Condoms have come a long way since you were a teen, in terms of texture, shape, and lubricant (both inside and outside the condom). “Spend a little time on condom Web sites

A proud grand-poppa                G.