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10 Key Components of Organic Gardening

Organic gardening is much more then just avoiding the use of chemicals on your garden. For many people it is an outlook on living using nature’s laws to grow their fruits, vegetables, and other plants naturally. This is usually a personal choice made in light of much research done into the importance of diet as it relates to our health and longevity.

Studies have shown that organically grown foods have higher concentrations of vitamins and minerals then those grown using chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Organically grown fruits and vegetables are not only better health wise but they also avoid the accidental exposure to those chemical agents that are used in large scale commercial farming that is so common in today’s world.

Here are 10 key components that are a fundamental part of organic gardening.

1. Healthy Soil – This is probably the most fundamental aspect of any organic garden. Healthy soil that is replenished naturally will grow healthy food stuffs year after year. Organic fertilizers such as manure and composted garden, yard, and kitchen waste are easily recycled back into the earth creating nutrient rich soil that will grow all manner of healthy plants.

2. Avoid all chemical or synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. This will not only ensure that your soil stays naturally organic but it also relieves the worry of harm to your family and pets should they come in contact with these dangerous chemicals.

3. Sustainable gardening practices allow your garden to become self sustaining. As nutrients are used by plants they are replaced through the use of natural fertilizers and compost. Done properly organic gardens rely on natural organic cycles to remain healthy each and every year.

4. Stewardship of the environment – The natural environment benefits from organic gardening practices in that it reduces the environmental contamination associated with chemical dependent farming practices.

5. Creating friendly habitats for beneficial wildlife. There are a wide variety of beneficial animals and insects that will be drawn to your garden. Protecting them from the dangers associated with hazardous chemicals is not only beneficial to them but also to your gardening efforts as they will eat large amounts of destructive insects, controlling them in a natural manner.

6. Use intensive planting practices to conserve water usage and help retard to growth of undesirable weeds. Intensive planting is simple spacing your plants close to together. This helps to shield the soil from the sun slowing evaporation and weed seed germination.

7. Use the concept of plant biodiversity to ensure that changes in growing conditions or plant disease does not lead to crop failure. Planting a variety of different plants will ensure that the loss of one plant will not jeopardize the overall garden food supply.

8. Rotate crops – controlling soil borne pests and disease is the primary reason to rotate crops each year and throughout the growing season. Crop rotation can keep any garden healthy and producing bountiful harvests.

9. Use good watering and weeding practices. Capture and store rain water where possible to water the garden. Use soaker hoses, drip irrigation, or water by hand to minimize water loss. Hand weed and avoid the use of harmful pesticides and herbicides. And be sure to lay down a thick layer of mulch to hold in moisture and keep weeds from germinating.

10. Save seeds from your best crops for future use. Imagine being able to create a self sustaining garden that requires no outside help. From planting in the spring until fall harvest an organic garden is truly a part of it natural environment.

Cardiovascular Risk May Be Indicated by Some Unusual Factors

There are times when researchers uncover interesting collateral information when attempting to find answers to the most puzzling health questions. Over the past several years, many of these unusual findings have been related to an individual’s risk for developing heart disease.

Earlobe Creases

It sounds implausible and slightly amusing, but more than two dozen scientific studies conducted over the past few decades have examined the relationship between earlobe creases and increased risk for heart disease. Perhaps the most well-known of these studies was published in 1991. Researchers from the University of Chicago followed more than a hundred subjects for 10 years and discovered that individuals with a diagonal crease across the earlobe had markedly higher instances of heart disease or death from heart-related conditions than those without such a crease. The researchers in Chicago were not alone in their findings.

Swedish researchers performed over 500 autopsies on victims of cardiac arrest or heart disease and found that earlobe creases were a “positive predictive value” for more than 68 percent of the subjects they examined. More than 80 percent of their subjects under the age of 40 who had succumbed to coronary artery disease had earlobe creases. A Turkish study determined that earlobe creasing was a more serious risk factor for heart disease than family history, diabetes, or even smoking. At the Montreal Heart Institute, researchers reviewed cases of nearly 350 admitted patients. Of those, 91 percent of patients with earlobe creases had heart disease as compared with only 61 percent of those without creases. Irish scientists studied almost 250 patients and found that earlobe creases were indicative of heart disease in more than 71 percent of participants.

All of this research appears to support what statisticians call low sensitivity-high specificity. This means that individuals without earlobe creases are not necessarily immune from heart disease, but that individuals with earlobe creases are much more likely to have cardiovascular trouble at some point in their lives. Though this evidence seems to present a strong case for the relationship between earlobe creases and cardiovascular disease, it is essential to note that many similar studies have found no such connection. There is currently no medical consensus on whether or not earlobe creases are a significant indicator of heart disease or an individual’s predisposition for it. Most experts believe that creasing simply increases with age, as does the risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

However, earlobe creases are certainly not the only unusual supposed risk factors for heart disease.

Leg Length

In 2004, British researchers at Bristol University announced that they had found evidence to support the relationship between the length of a woman’s leg and her risk for developing heart disease. Among 4000 participants, those with the shortest legs were at the greatest risk for developing heart problems. For every four centimeters above a specified baseline leg length, the risk decreased by 16 percent. Leg length remained a strong indicator of risk even after more traditional causes of heart disease such as high cholesterol, weight, age, tobacco use, and poor lung function were accounted for.

Ring Finger Length

Researchers at Liverpool University in the United Kingdom found that males with short ring fingers had lower testosterone levels which increased their risk of early heart attack. The Liverpool study measured participants’ index and ring fingers, then divided the lengths. In subjects with a ratio of measurements greater than 1.0, testosterone levels were found to be significantly lower than in those subjects whose measurements fell in a smaller measurement ratio. Low testosterone levels have been linked to higher instances of early heart attack.

Male Pattern Baldness

In a study of more than 22,000 male physicians conducted over the course of 11 years, researchers found that participants with frontal baldness were nearly 10 percent more likely to develop heart disease than their non-balding counterparts, while subjects with more hair loss or crown baldness were 23 to almost 40 percent more likely to have heart disease. A 2007 study by researchers at the University of Arizona confirmed that baldness does in fact increase risk for heart disease, but it ultimately concluded that hair loss by itself was not a reliable indicator of risk.

Bad Breath

Halitosis is just one of the side effects caused by advanced gum disease, and studies have shown that individuals with this condition produce antibodies that increase their risk of heart disease by as much as 100 percent. In fact, one study even reported that treating gum disease could reverse thickening of the carotid arteries.

Clear Skin

Generally thought to be a positive trait, one British study found that clear skin could be a potentially life-threatening condition. Of 11,000 males who participated in the study, those with acne as teenagers were 30 percent less likely to die from cardiovascular or heart disease in middle age and beyond.

Discolored Mucus

A recently published study in the Biochemical Journal has suggested that there is a connection between cardiovascular disease and green-tinged mucus. The discoloration is caused by an enzyme in the body called myeloperoxidase, which fights bacteria by producing an acid that can damage tissue and lead to asthma, arthritis, and thickening of arterial walls.

Earwax

There are two different types of earwax: dry and wet. Individuals produce only one kind or the other for the extent of their lives, and earwax type seems to be a hereditary trait. A 1966 Japanese study found that individuals who produced dry earwax had an increased risk of arterial thickening than those who produced wet earwax. No other study since has confirmed these findings – a later peer review, in fact, concluded that the results should be viewed with suspicion. Yet when one considers all the other strange indicators of heart disease, certainly the kind of earwax an individual produces is no odder than any other potential risk factor.

Cardiovascular disease is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that should never be taken lightly. However, these unusual risk factors can surely add some levity to the conversation.

Case Study – Protein, Good Nutrition and Uterine Fibroid Treatment

About 80% of all women in the US have benign tumors, called fibroids, which grow on the uterine wall. Only about 25% of women with fibroids ever notice them, because they are not large enough, but, fibroids are the main reason for hysterectomies in the United States. Fibroids can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and cramping, pain or pressure in the pelvis, complications during pregnancy and painful intercourse. There are not many risk factors to look for, with the exception of a family history of fibroid tumors.

Treatment of Fibroid Tumors

Other than having a hysterectomy, there are alternatives when it comes to treating fibroid tumors. Many physicians recommend birth control pills. These will not actually affect or change the tumor, but they will ease some of the symptoms, including excessive bleeding. Women who wish to get pregnant can undergo surgery to remove the fibroid tumor, but there is always the risk of the tumor returning in the future. There is also a new treatment which involves a specialized ultrasound, which takes about three hours to complete.

Maintaining good health is necessary in the treatment of fibroid tumors, and this includes exercise, quitting smoking (or not starting in the first place), maintain a healthy weight, and eating a healthy, well-balanced diet. One important macro-nutrient that is necessary for survival, and ideal for treatment of fibroid tumors, is protein. Protein is made up of hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and carbon.

Dietary Treatment For Fibroid Tumor Patients

It is essential for everyone, not just patients with fibroid tumors, to eat a well-balanced diet that has all of the essential macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals. About 50% of a healthy diet should come from carbohydrates, with 30% coming from protein and the other 30% coming from fats. The American Heart Association recommends that no protein be taken in than this amount for optimal results.

Include These Foods In Diets For Fibroid Tumor Treatment

Patients with fibroid tumors are often recommended to add soy products to their diets, because soy is a complete protein, containing all 22 of the essential and non-essential amino acids. Fiber is also recommended, as it is one of the best ways to help the liver process and eliminate excess estrogen. Some of the best sources of dietary fiber include: whole grains, all beans, tofu and miso. There are also many protein supplements made from soy that are great additions to any diet. Other foods that are healthy sources of protein, and good for patients with fibroid tumors, are cold water fishes, including salmon. Otherwise, vegetable proteins, and protein supplements, are the way to go, at least at first. After a few months, patients can begin adding hormone-free animal proteins to their diets.

Avoid These Foods

Because fibroids are fed by estrogen, patients should definitely avoid any foods that have synthetic estrogens, such as red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products. Because these are also dietary sources of protein, patients must find other alternatives to get the protein they need in their diets.

Using Protein Supplements

Protein supplements are a great way to do get the right amount of protein in one’s diet. Protein supplements that are very popular include:

Protein powders – These are one of the most versatile types of protein supplements available. Not only can you add flavorless protein powders to just about all of your favorite recipes, there are also delicious flavored powders that can be used to make great-tasting shakes, smoothies and slushies. Protein powders come in a number of flavors, including berry, fruit punch, chocolate and vanilla.

Protein shots – This is a great way to get a whole lot of protein in one small drink. These shots are less than three ounces each, and provide 25-30 grams of protein in each low-calorie serving. Protein shots are available in such delicious flavors as green apple, raspberry, lime and grape.

Liquid protein supplements – These are available in a number of ready-to-drink shakes and smoothies, such as chocolate and vanilla, and there are also flavorless liquid protein supplements as well, which can be added to many recipes. Because many of these supplements are made from milk-based proteins, people who have milk allergies or lactose intolerances should read the ingredients carefully to make sure these ingredients are not included in a particular supplement.

Marie, A Patient With Fibroid Tumors, Adds Protein To Her Diet

When Marie was diagnosed with fibroid tumors that were not large enough to bother with surgery, she asked her doctor how to treat them. Her doctor initially recommended birth control, as Marie reported heavier-than-normal menstrual bleeding and cramping, and told her that the pill would ease some of her symptoms. Marie’s doctor also recommended that she make some drastic changes to her diet, including eliminating red meat and other animal sources of protein.

Marie, who has some understanding of nutrition, asked her doctor how she was to get the protein she needed in her diet without eating these foods, and was told that in addition to a number of healthy, delicious vegetable proteins, such as soy (a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids and all 14 non-essential amino acids). Marie’s doctor also recommended that she add protein supplements to her diet. Marie’s doctor told her that a liquid protein supplement was terrific for just about any diet, because it not only contains 25 grams of protein per 2.9 fluid ounce serving, it contains no fat and carbohydrates, and is only 100 calories per serving.

Marie followed her doctor’s recommendations, and soon found that her symptoms were not as severe as they once were, and the need for any surgery had been eliminated. Because she was so happy with her new diet and how good it made her feel, Marie continues to use protein supplements each and every day, for health and energy.

The Good, Bad And Ugly Of Ergogenic Aids

From young to old, from beginner to elite, and no matter what the sport, there’s little doubt that sports supplementation is one of the hottest topics of conversation among sportsmen and women. It’s not just the prospect of maximising athletic performance by simply swallowing a few pills or sports drinks that’s so tantalisingly attractive; there’s also the nagging fear that if you don’t indulge, you might be left trailing in your competitor’s wake as he or she takes full advantage of the huge range of products that now adorn the shelves of retailers. But what are the real benefits of using ergogenic aids, are there any drawbacks and where on earth should you start?

Supplementation – a thinking athlete’s guide to planning a program

Most athletes at some stage in their careers use one or more dietary supplements – after all, when you invest a great deal of time, effort and money in training to improve performance, the extra investment in a supplement program seems relatively small. However, the financial cost is perhaps the least important of the issues that needs to be considered before using supplements. Athletes need to think hard and exercise caution in order to reap potential benefits without the drawbacks. There are a number of fundamental questions relating to sports supplement use, including reasons for supplement use and where to begin. Others factors which need consideration include; the pros and cons of supplementation; the role of multi-nutrient supplements; the value of two of the most ergogenic supplements; the possible benefits of antioxidant nutrients.

‘Tuning up’ performance – music and video as ergogenic aids

Although you might think otherwise, not all ergogenic aids come from bottles or tubs! According to some sports psychologists, the right sounds and images at the right time are not only uplifting for the spirit, they also help you train and perform better, and can therefore also be thought of as ergogenic aids. In particular, new research suggests that listening to carefully selected music and watching personal motivational videos can be especially valuable for athletes seeking to boost performances both in training and competition Andy Lane. a sports psychologist who has carried out some research in the area of these new techniques, and explains how they can be assessed and suggests ways in which they can be incorporated into training. Some of his findings have include the following: music can be used to enhance emotions and emotions have a powerful ergogenic effect on performance and an athlete’s response to music is highly individualised but can be assessed using the ‘music mood regulation’ scale. It has also been said that music can be as an ergogenic aid, but what is this music/mood regulation scale, how can you determine what types of music are most likely to enhance performance and what are the techniques required for putting together your own music and video sequence?

Research Round-up The latest research on ergogenic aids, with new studies different ergogenic aids have included:

Creatine serum and running

In recent years, other more exotic and expensive forms of creatine have appeared, which claim to offer performance benefits over standard creatine. One of these is ‘creatine serum’, a liquid form of creatine that is claimed to offer a number of other advantages over powdered creatine. Californian researchers examined the effects of ingesting creatine serum on cross-country runners; their findings noted that runners taking the serum had significantly lower perceived rates of exertion and better endurance. However, there was no noticeable improvement in the 5000m run times of those taking the serum, which lead them to conclude that their findings did not support creatine serum as an ergogenic aid.

Phosphatidylserine as a future ergogenic aid for endurance athletes?

Phosphatidylserine is a naturally occurring lipid, which is located on the inner surface of cell membranes in most tissues of animals and plants, but according to new research by a team of Welsh scientists, it could also have the potential to enhance endurance capacity when taken as a supplement. The research team took two groups of male endurance cyslists and asked one to supplement with phosphatidylserine for 10 dryas and the other to take a placebo. After a series of tests and comparison they noticed a huge increase in time to exhaustion during the V02 max test, up to two minutes, which although is evidence of phosphatidylserine as an erogoenic supplement, this is the first test to have come to this conclusion so more research will need to be carried out for a conclusive result.

B Vitamins Play an Essential Role in Metabolism

B vitamins were once thought of as a single vitamin called Vitamin B. After much research, we discovered there are actually 8 distinct vitamins. Further research has also concluded that B vitamins are water soluble, which means that they are easily excreted out of the body and therefore must be consistently consumed through our diet. B Vitamins have often been the talk of supplementation over the years because of the essential role it plays in the metabolic process. B Vitamins are essential in functions such as increasing the rate of metabolism, maintaining healthy skin and muscle tone, enhancing immune and nervous system functions and promoting cell growth and division. Each B Vitamin has a specific function within the metabolic process.  

Vitamin B1 –  Vitamin B1 is also known as Thiamine. Thiamine is essential in healthy brain function and as well as metabolism of carbohydrates. Thiamine deficiencies can cause a disease called Beriberi, which is a disease of the nerve and heart. Symptoms of this disease is weight loss, emotionally unstable, weakness, pain in the arms and legs, impaired sensory perception, irregular heartbeat and in sever conditions death can occur. Thiamine can be found in a variety of foods, in low concentrations. Yeast and pork have the highest concentration of Thiamine but you can also find it in foods like whole grain cereals, wheat flour, oatmeal, flax, sunflower seeds, brown rice, kale, potatoes, oranges, liver and eggs.

Vitamin B2 – Vitamin B2 is also known as Riboflavin. Riboflavin is required for many cellular processes within the body including the metabolism of energy, fats, carbohydrates, proteins and ketone bodies. Riboflavin deficiencies can cause Ariboflavinosis, which is protein- energy malnutrition. Symptoms may include cracks in the hips, sensitivity to sunlight, and inflammation of the tongue.   Riboflavin can be found in a variety of foods like milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, liver, kidneys, legumes, yeast, mushrooms, and almonds.    

Vitamin B3  – Vitamin B3 is also known as Niacin. Niacin is an essential nutrient that plays an role in metabolic process. Niacin is involved in both DNA repair, and the production of steroid hormones in the adrenal gland. Niacin deficiencies along with deficiencies in tryptophan are called Pellagra. Symptoms of Pellagra include aggression, inflammation of the skin, insomnia, mental confusion and diarrhea. Niacin can be found in a variety of foods such as salmon, avocados, broccoli, nuts, seeds, whole grains, carrots and mushrooms, and animal products such as steak, chicken and pork.  

Vitamin B5 – Vitamin B5 is also known as Pantothenic Acid. Pantothenic is an essential nutrient to sustain life. It plays a key role in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.   Deficiencies in Pantothenic can cause acne and in severe cases can cause Paresthesia, numbness of the skin.   Panthothenic Acid can be found in many foods, but whole grain cereals, legumes, meat, eggs, and royal jelly containing the highest amounts.  

Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 is also known as Pyridoxine.  Pyridoxine assists in the balancing of sodium and potassium as well as promoting red blood cell production. Pyridoxine has also been linked to cardiovascular health by decreasing the levels of Homocysteine , which has been linked to cardiovascular disease. Deficiencies in Pyridoxine may lead to anemia, high blood pressure, water retention, depression and dermatitis.   Pyridoxine can be found in various grains, green leafy vegetables, liver, eggs, and meat.   

Vitamin B7 – Vitamin B7 is also known as Biotin.   Biotin is a co-factor in the metabolism of fatty acids and leucine, and it plays a role in regulating the glucose levels in your blood.   Deficiency in adults usually does not cause any symptoms; however, in infants it can cause impaired growth and neurological disorders. Biotin can be found in a large variety of foods such as liver, legumes, soybeans, milk, in small amounts, but larger concentrations can be found in royal jelly and brewer’s yeast.  

   

Vitamin B9 – Vitamin b9 is also known as Folic Acid.  Folic Acid is essential for many biological functions such as playing a key role in the metabolism process to producing healthy red blood cells and preventing  Anemia to decreasing Homocysteine levels and cardiovascular disease.   Some research has also shown evidence that Folic Acid can slow the effects of age on the brain. Folic Acid is especially important during pregnancies as a deficiency in pregnant women can lead to birth defects, which is why supplementation during pregnancy is often recommended.   Folic Acid can be found in large quantities in leafy vegetables, beans, peas, sunflower seeds, liver and baker’s yeast.  

Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is sometimes referred to as Cobalamin. Vitamin B12 have been a popular supplement in energy drinks because its vital role in the normal functioning of the nervous system and the brain. Along with Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 helps to produce healthy red blood cells. Vitamin B12 also plays a part in the metabolism of the cells in the body, including their regulation and synthesis, as well as the synthesis and energy production of fatty acids. Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can result in anemia, the inability of DNA to synthesize in red blood cell production, memory loss, increase chances of cardiovascular diseases and other cognitive defects. Because Vitamin B12 is only found in meat, eggs, milk and other animal products vegans must supplement their diet with Vitamin B12 or purchase plant based foods that have Vitamin B12 added to them.    

B Vitamins are the 2nd most important supplement you can take, besides a multi-vitamin for a healthy body. B Vitamins are an essential part of getting the most nutrients out of your diet and helping your body stay energized and healthy. It is very difficult to consume the optimum amounts of each B Vitamin individually so it is much easier and cheaper to take a B Vitamin complex. Even if you are not sure if you’re getting too much of a specific B Vitamin, you cannot overdose because it is easily excreted out of the body. Also with a complex you are using the synergistic effect of all the B Vitamins, which means better digestion and absorption of fats, proteins and carbs. B Vitamins should be taken after a meal but do not take it at the same meal you take your multi-vitamin.  

Univera Lifesciences Review – The Truth at the Heart of Univera Lifesciences

The network marketing industry is plagued by a reputation of “scams” and “pyramid schemes”. A hand full of companies who tried to trick people out of their money have created a paradigm about network marketing that simply isn’t congruent with most of the industry today. Granted, there are still companies out there that you need to watch out for. Is Univera Lifesciences one of them? This article explores this question and more, revealing the truth at the heart of this company in this Univera Lifesciences Review.

Univera Lifesciences Review – Are They Hiding Behind Claims?

When you begin digging deeper behind the scenes of Univera Lifesciences, you may be surprised what you find. While some companies claim they have “High Level Science” and then hide behind a single medical practitioner, this company is actually part of a larger umbrella organization (called the “Econet”) who’s sister company, Unigen, is the largest natural products research engine on the planet. They own the largest functional medicinal plant library in the world at 14,000 plants and growing. Not only is there cutting edge science (Unigen employs over 50 full time scientists, half of whom have PHD’s), but the organization also controls their own manufacturing, and produces their own raw materials from a vast network of worldwide resources. The Econet is comprised of 4 companies all together, all debt free and privately owned by one man – Mr. Bill Lee, a billionaire Korean philanthropist. The deeper you go down the rabbit whole, the more rock solid the foundation of this Univera Lifesciences company.

Univera Lifesciences Review – Do The Products Really Work?

The products offered by Univera Lifesciences are cutting edge nutritional pharmaceuticals, or “nutraceuticals” that are designed to support the body’s ability to heal, regenerate, and operate at a high level of energy and vitality. But do they actually work? Once again, Univera Lifesciences stands up under scrutiny, not leaving any of their results to idle speculation. In independent, double-blind, placebo-controlled, human clinical trials, the efficacy of their products has been well documented. In fact, as many as 50% of people who try their flagship product “Xtra” notice one of the 4 clinical benefits within the first 3 days. It seems that the $20 Million plus dollars and 5 years of research spent prior to releasing a single product has paid off.

Univera Lifesciences Review – Scam Or Legitimate Business Opportunity?

When evaluating the Univera Lifesciences business opportunity, it might appear at first glance to be similar to other network marketing opportunities. A person has the opportunity to share the products and benefit from the retail and residual commissions when customers purchase the product, or when another associate joins them in the business. However, upon closer inspection there are a few unique differences. The compensation plan is a hybrid of a unilevel and a matrix style plan that maximizes the return on investment for the beginner (something that is unique in an industry that notoriously just rewards the top 2%). Secondly, the use of a “gifting” allows associates to give their potential customers and business associates a chance to experience the products, and get their questions answered before ever having to make any kind of commitment. This dramatically reduces any friction that might otherwise have been present when a new business associate begins “selling” to their closest friends and family.

Often this is what has given the industry a bad name. But with this model, the associate is apparently able to offer a sample and some information, empowering the potential consumer to make their own informed decision about what’s best for their health and future wealth.

Univera Lifesciences Review – The Truth At The Heart of Univera

With a billionaire Korean philanthropist at the helm, and a corporate infrastructure and resources that are unparalleled in the industry, Univear Lifesciences is poised to be the world leader in natural products in the near future. They are currently setting the stage for international expansion into Mexico, Australia and New Zealand in late 2010, followed by the Asian markets over the next 2 years. This Univera Lifesciences review is just the tip of the iceberg. Continue to do your due diligence about the mission that this company is on to change the world.

Wilton – American Dream

If you decorate cakes or have ever shopped for cake making supplies, then chances are you are familiar with the Wilton brand. It’s hard to miss their products since Wilton has led sales in baking and cake decorating products for over half a century. Based in the Chicago suburb of Woodridge, Illinois, Wilton has grown enormously from its beginnings as a family cake decorating business during the United States’ Great Depression.

Today Wilton Industries sells over 2,000 different bake ware and food-related products, from instructional manuals and cake pans to pastry bags and food colorings. Wilton’s products aren’t just sold in the United States either. Major retailers in over 150 countries carry Wilton products. And business continues to grow with approximately 400 new consumer products being developed annually.

It all started in 1929 when Dewey McKinley Wilton, with the help of his wife, began a small cake decorating business in Chicago. Then came the stock market crash and the nation’s Great Depression. Surrounded by high unemployment rates and bread lines, Wilton carved out a prosperous niche by creating wedding cakes for Chicago’s famous hotels and clubs. The Wilton family business grew throughout the 1930’s.

Decorating cakes for the rich and famous gave the Wiltons’ reputation a nice boost. So when they opened a cake decorating and candy-making school for caterers and chefs, they had no problem with enrollment.

By 1947, the “Wilton Method” had become a household word among cake decorators, and a leading department store chain, JC Penney, was now promoting and selling Wilton products.

Before long the Wilton brand name become synonymous with cake decorating supplies and schools. All of this publicity laid the foundation for the Wilton’s decorating empire that continues to influence wedding cake trends.

Then in 1977, under the leadership of Wilton CEO Vince Naccarato, three diverse companies were united as Wilton Industries: Wilton Enterprises, Copco and the Weston Gallery.

Today, each division is a recognized leader in its market. Wilton Enterprises is the number one preferred brand name in baking and cake decorating products, Copco is the premier designer and marketer of teakettles and quality kitchenware, and the Weston Gallery is a leader in upscale picture frame design and marketing.

Under the continued leadership of Naccarato, the company enjoys strong sales growth and national distribution, which are largely credited to “category management,” that is basing marketing on tracked trends, and through “supply chain management,” which helps retailers lower costs of merchandising.

According to Austin Chronicle report, the Wilton Method was the unquestionable ruler of cake decorating until the 1980’s when Martha Stewart’s methods gained popularity. Her made-from-scratch cakes and stance that taste is just as important as the decorating challenged Wilton’s use of cake mixes and vegetable shortening.

However, Wilton continues to enjoy great success and to lead the industry. According to Hoover’s November, 2006 business report, Wilton Industries employed 650 people and reported $325 million in sales for the 2005 fiscal year, a 7.8 percent increase from the previous year.

For three quarters of a century, Wilton has offered cake decorating classes throughout the United States and Canada, including the Wilton School of Cake Decorating in northern Illinois. Wilton is partially credited for bringing the intricate, European cake decorating method to the United States and Canada.

In fact, Wilton’s cake decorating classes enroll nearly 200,000 students every year and from all around the world.

While many cake decorators enjoy the Wilton classroom experience, others like the customer below, prefer learning at their own pace at home with video instruction, such as the “Cake Decorating Made Easy” series.

Another ingredient in Wilton’s recipe for success is its annual “Your Take on Cake” contest, which attracts thousands of talented cake decorators from across the United States and Canada who compete for $5,000 in cash and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend The Wilton School’s two-week Master Course for Cake Decorating in Darien, Illinois.

Learn About Natural Weather Forecasting and How It Can Help Every Part of Your Life

As most everyone already knows, we did not always have scientific means to predict or forecast the coming weather. People long ago and even today use the other things to predict the weather; animal behavior, patterns they observe and good old fashion folklore and wives tales.

If for some unknown reason you were in a place that had nothing new and modern and you had to rely on something else then it never hurts to at least be aware of what is out there, so familiarize yourself with some of the old-time methods used. Of course these methods are neither perfect nor fool-proof, but they really do have their usefulness.

GENERAL WEATHER AND FORMULAS

Deaths occur most often when the tide is going out.

Births occur when the tide is coming in.

You could measure the distance of a storm by counting from the flash of the lightning to the sound of thunder.

Winter thunder means snow within 10 days.

Make a campfire. The smoke should rise steadily. Smoke that swirls and descends is caused by low pressure (i.e. rain on the way).

Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and smell the air.

Plants release their waste in a low pressure atmosphere, generating a smell like compost and indicating an upcoming rain.

Swamps will release gasses just before a storm because of the lower pressure, which leads to unpleasant smells.

A proverb says “Flowers smell best just before a rain.” Scents are stronger in moist air, associated with rainy weather.

Grow some scarlet pimpernel – Known as the Poor Man’s Barometer, its flowers close when atmospheric pressure decreases and rain is on the way. Dandelions and tulips do the same.

You can predict the weather with a persimmon seed. Here’s how to do it:

Cut open a persimmon seed.

Look at the shape of the kernel inside.

If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!

If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.

If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be “cut” by icy, cutting winds.

It’s best to use ripe seeds.

Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting the chirps of a cricket? It’s true! Here’s the formula:

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count numbers of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature.

Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, and then add 4 to get temperature.

Example: 48 chirps /(divided by) 3 + 4 = 20° C

Reading a Pig’s spleen can predict the weather

Divide the spleen from top to bottom into 6 parts.

The top closest to the head shows current month.

Bottom is the last of the six months.

Where the spleen thickens, a change in the weather is indicated, usually pointing to a cold spell.

Where there’s a pronounced bulge, expect even more inclement weather.

Reading a Goose Bone

Watch the coloration as the bone dries.

If the bone turned blue, black, or purple, a cold winter lay ahead.

White indicated a mild winter.

Purple tips were a sure sign of a cold spring.

A blue color branching out toward the edge of the bone meant open weather until New Year’s Day.

If the bone was a dark color, or blue all over, the prediction was for a real bad winter.

The woolly bear caterpillar-with its 13 distinct segments of black and reddish-brown-has the reputation of being able to forecast the coming winter weather. According to legend, the wider that middle brown section is (i.e., the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. Conversely, a narrow brown band is said to predict a harsh winter.

ANIMALS

If a deer or cow has extra layers of fat when slaughtered there will be a bad winter coming.

Cows that suddenly gather beneath large trees means rain is coming.

Expect rain when dogs eat grass.

Expect rain when cats purr and wash.

Expect rain when sheep turn into the wind.

Expect rain when oxen sniff the air.

Expect rain when swine are restless.

If the deer are out early grazing there is big storm coming.

Squirrels’ nesting in dead trees instead of making nests of leaves mean a harsh winter.

If the cows in pastures are all lying down, it’s a sure sign of rain.

If the bull leads the cows to pasture, expect rain.

if the cows precede the bull, the weather will be uncertain.

When cats sneeze, it is a sign of rain.

Bats flying late in the evening indicate fair weather.

If the groundhog sees its shadow on Candlemas Day (February 2), six more weeks of winter remain.

When horses and cattle stretch out their necks and sniff the air, it will rain.

If the mole digs its hole 2½ feet deep, expect severe weather.

If the mole digs its hole two feet deep, not so severe weather.

If the mole digs its hole one foot deep, expect a mild winter.

When pigs gather leaves and straw in all, expect a cold winter.

When rabbits are fat in October and November, expect a long, cold winter.

If sheep ascend hills and scatter, expect clear weather.

Wolves always howl more before a storm.

BIRDS

Birds singing in the rain indicates fair weather approaching.

If birds in the autumn grow tame, the winter will be too cold for game.

Partridges drumming in the fall mean a mild and open winter.

Chickens cackle and owls howl just before rain.

If crows fly in pairs, expect fine weather; a crow flying alone is a sign of foul weather.

When fowls roost in daytime, expect rain.

Seagulls tend to stop flying and take refuge at the coast if a storm is coming.

Animals, especially birds, get very quiet immediately before it rains.

The whiteness of a goose’s breastbone indicates the kind of winter: A red of dark-spotted bone means a cold and stormy winter; few or light-colored spots mean a mild winter.

When domestic geese walk east and fly west, expect cold weather.

Hawks flying high means a clear sky. When they fly low, prepare for a blow.

Petrels’ gathering under the stern of a ship indicates bad weather.

When the rooster goes crowing to bed, he will rise with watery head.

When seagulls fly inland, expect a storm.

When the swallow’s nest is high, the summer is very dry.

When the swallow builds low, you can safely reap and sow.

A very old wives tale says if birds feed in a storm it will rain for a long time, if they don’t it will clear soon.

INSECTS AND REPTILES

If ants their walls do frequent build, rain will from the clouds be spilled.

Ants are busy, gnats bite, crickets sing louder than usual, spiders come down from their webs, and flies gather in houses just before rain.

When bees to distance wing their flight, days are warm and skies are bright; But when their flight ends near their come, stormy weather is sure to come.

Turtles often search for higher ground when a large amount of rain is expected. You will often see them in the road during this period (1 to 2 days before the rain.)

Fireflies in great numbers indicate fair weather.

When hornets build their nests near the ground, expect a cold and early winter.

When cicadas are heard, dry weather will follow, and frost will come in six weeks.

When spiders’ webs in air do fly, the spell will soon be very dry.

Spiders in motion indicate rain.

If you kill a spider indoors, it will bring rain.

If you killed a snake hang it over a fence and it will rain.

When spider-webs are wet with dew that soon dries, expect a fine day.

Spider-webs floating at autumn sunset bring a night frost.

The louder the frogs croak, the more the rain.

Frogs singing in the evening indicates fair weather the next day.

Leeches kept in glass jars are active just before rain.

Hang up a snake-skin and it will bring rain.

RAIN AND CLOUDS

Unusual clearness in the atmosphere, with distant objects seen distinctly, indicates rain.

Red skies at night, Sailor’s delight. Red skies at morning, Sailor take warning.

Evening red and morning gray are sure signs of a fine day. Evening gray and morning red put on your hat or you’ll wet your head.

If it rains before seven, it will clear before eleven.

When the wind blows the leaves on the trees upside down there will be a bad rain.

Rain from the south prevents the drought, but rain from the west is always best.

Anvil-shaped clouds bring on a gale.

A cloud with a round top and flat base carries rainfall on its face.

When small clouds join and thicken, expect rain.

Black clouds in the north in winter indicate approaching snow.

When there is enough blue sky to patch a Dutchman’s breeches, expect clearing weather.

A curdle sky will not leave the earth long dry.

If you see clouds going crosswind, there is a storm in the air.

Hen scarts and filly tails make lofty ships wear low sails.

Clouds floating low enough to cast shadows on the ground are usually followed by rain.

Mackerel sky, mackerel sky, never long wet, never long dry.

If three nights dewless there be, ’twill rain, you’re sure to see.

If heavy dew soon dries, expect fine weather; if it lingers on the grass, expect rain in 24 hours.

With dew before midnight, the next day sure will be bright.

If you wet your feet with dew in the morning, you may keep them dry for the rest of the day.

The higher the clouds, the finer the weather.

If you spot wispy, thin clouds up where jet airplanes fly, expect a spell of pleasant weather.

If small puff clouds (cumulus) in the morning or early afternoon have rounded tops and flat bases, if they grow higher than the cloud’s width, then there’s a chance of a thunderstorm forming.

Clear Moon, frost soon.

Ring around the moon and it will rain real soon.

If the night is clear enough to see the Moon and the temperature drops enough, frost will form. Expect a chilly morning!

When clouds appear like towers, the Earth is refreshed by frequent showers.

Rainbow in the morning gives you fair warning.

A rainbow in the morning indicates that a shower is west of us and we will probably get it.

Rain foretold, long last. Short notice, soon will pass.

The gray overcast dominating the horizon means a large area is affected.

If you get caught in a surprise shower, it’s likely to be short-lived.

Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

When the moon points up, the weather will be good.

when the moon points down, it will rain.

When a large star, or planet, is near the moon, the weather will be violent.

If the new moon is on Monday, then the weather will be good.

If a new moon occurs on a Saturday, then there will be twenty days of wind and rain.

If a new moon occurs on a Sunday, there will be a flood before the month is over.

The strongest storms and hurricanes are likely to be 1-3 days after a new moon and 3-5 days after a full moon.

Fog and a small moon bring an easterly winds.

A dry moon is far north and soon seen.

If the new moon is far north, it will be cold for two weeks.

If the new moon is far south, it will be warm.

When the moon runs low, expect warm weather.

What is Ganoderma Lucidum and Its Natural Health Benefits?

Ganoderma Lucidum is a medicinal mushroom with a number of natural health-benefits. Ganoderma isn’t a medicine but a mushroom with medicinal properties. Ganoderma isn’t a medicine because it is not a cure for any specific disease. Ganoderma is an alternative health remedy which can be used while undergoing treatment from modern health care professionals. Sometimes Ganoderma is also referred as Magic Mushroom, this is due to the fact that many people accidentally discover some health benefits from Ganoderma which they least expected from it. Ganoderma isn’t based on a marketing gimmick but a marketing gimmick based on real health benefits that many people have realized themselves and the person who is writing this is one of them.

Ganoderma Lucidum is actually an ancient medicine of China which has a medicinal history of over 4000 years. It is a traditional medicine which has many popular names like in China it is called Lingzhi while in Japan it is known as Reishi. Ganoderma Lucidum is a botanical name. Gano and derma are derived from Greek where gano means shiny and derma means skin. So, natural ganoderma has a bright shiny appearance.

Ganoderma lucidum is a natural source of many useful bio-chemical which are studied in biochemistry. These bio-chemicals provide a number of health benefits to our body without interfering with our body system. We are not going to discuss these biochemical found in ganoderma here because we are not discussing in a scientific journal but writing with a perspective of a common man who wants to known something about ganoderma lucidum and its common health benefits. Regular use of ganoderma can prevent many health problems that are common today. Many of the health benefits provided by ganoderma are permanent and stay forever. In order to get lasting health benefits from ganoderma we can make some changes in our lifestyle, improve some of our habits to suit our body system.

Today people associate Ganoderma with specific disease or health conditions, they also discuss its active elements and there medicinal properties. I am not against these but we should remember that ganoderma is today known as a food supplement from alternative health and these food supplements are not supposed to be taken as medicine for treatment. Quackwatch.org provides more information on such issues to save a common man. A misinformed user of ganoderma has unrealistic expectations from ganoderma and when he is not able to get 100% results as per his expectations in a time frame, he ignores all the other health benefits and starts under estimating its power.

Ganoderma is capable of providing health benefits beyond common imagination but it takes time, it is not a medicine but a herb to help natural processes in the body, when our bodies natural body functions improve to a level, we see considerable health benefits. How much benefit can ganoderma provide depends on a number of factors like current health condition of the body, age, living condition, habits etc. So, everyone cannot expect same results in a given time frame. Anyone can use it and see a slow lasting improvement in his health. Some of the health benefits provided by ganoderma have no know source or any specifically known symptoms, these make ganoderma a magical mushroom.

Genital Herpes News – Shocking Information You Must Know

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease and it affects millions of people all over the world but only a quarter of these people experience symptoms. Studies have shown that this disease is most common in women than men, because the genital area of women is warmer and moist than of the men. Yet with this disease affecting millions of people all over the world, there is rarely genital herpes news that is being discussed and more often, the people who are infected with this virus is left feeling alienated and doomed.

The virus is caused by the herpes simplex virus or the HSV-2 virus and is highly contagious. The disease can be transmitted via the exposed raw skin of the person to his or her sexual partner. Once you have sexual intercourse with an infected partner, the infection will start to manifest its symptoms three to twenty days after sexual contact. When it comes to genital herpes news, up to now there are no known cure for genital herpes. Up to this day, this is considered incurable but a manageable disease.

The drugs that are available in the market today are only to suppress the activity of the virus. However, there is genital herpes news that says that there are other remedies that can help people beside the medicine that is out in the market today. People that are infected with this disease are constantly in search of ways to end their misery. With natural remedies it can reverse the effects and lessen the recurrences of genital herpes once the symptoms has started. The news industry is buzzing with this newly found wonder supplements that will aid healing of symptoms and prevent outbreaks of genital herpes.

This natural food supplement are said to fight of herpes virus of the person infected with the virus. These wonder herbs are astragalus, galangal, lapacho, myrrh; ligustrum, pansy, and cat’s claw have an antiviral capability. Thyme, licorice, and cayenne are included because of their herpes fighting components. On the other hand, there are also natural immune system boosters that can help the people effectively fight the recurrence of the disease. These are made of natural herbs and other medicinal plants that will help increase the body’s immune system to fight of the recurrence of the virus. These are reishi mushroom, Lysine is an amino acid that is known to fight and control the herpes virus, and Echinacea, vitamin c, and zinc are vitamins and minerals, which are known to boost the immune system.

It is a known fact that genital herpes do not have a cure, and because of this scientist are continuously updating the people on what is happening in the world of medicine and its current discovery. Genital herpes news, gives hope to those people that are afflicted with this disease. It continuously brings hope and good news to people. Just remember that this natural food supplements are only supplements it can never replace the medicines that is prescribed by your physician.