Author Archives: Larry

What’s The Problem With Crash Diets?

losing-weightThere are many desperate individuals who go on a crash diet hoping they can lose a lot of weight very quickly.  Maybe in the past they were able to successfully lose weight with this kind of plan.  Perhaps they heard about some new diet that a celebrity used to lose weight quickly.  So what’s the problem with crash diets?  Why do they tend to have bad reputations?

The biggest problem that crash diets have is that any weight loss that is achieved is nearly always temporary.  When you switch to a restricted diet suddenly, your body’s response is to store less water.  So you are less bloated and do lose some weight.  You are thinner, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve lost fat.  After you finish the diet, any weight that you lost has a tendency to come right back.

You might of course lose some fat as well, depending on what diet you follow and how long you are on it.  However, quite frequently your body will go into starvation mode when you are on one of these diets.  Your body thinks that a famine is taking place, and that it needs to slow the metabolism down and store fat as much as it possibly can to protect against hard times in the future.  When you consume more food, even healthy ones, your famine metabolism might persist.  Then can result in your body gaining some or even all the weight that your lost back.

There is also the psychological effects of going off a crash diet.  This might be due to planning to end the diet or it could be out of desperation when you are right in the middle of dieting.  Either way can result in overeating.  Just this reason by itself can result in individuals following crash diets discovering that several months later they weigh more than before they went on the crash diet.

Also, crash diets can cause some significant health issues.  First of all, diets focusing on fast weight lost usually are quite restrictive in terms of the kinds of foods you are allowed to eat.  Many foods (or even entire food groups) are cut out.  Over the long term, that isn’t something you can do without suffering from the deficiencies that this causes.  Over the short term, it isn’t healthy for your body either.

Many crash diets won’t provide you with all of the nutrients that your body needs to have.  You can take supplements.

However, many supplements do rely on substances that are contained in food in order for them to effectively work.  Nutrient deficiencies can result in cravings.  This makes it more difficult to stay on your diet.  You are also more likely to break your diet by binge eating.  You can also get too much of some nutrients.  This isn’t healthy either.

In summary, crash diets are only a temporary solution at best.  For example, if you are wanting to lose a small amount of weight before attending a specific event, and you aren’t worried about gaining the weight back or even more after going off the diet.  The healthiest option to lose weight is making changes to your eating so that you lose weight slowly. Think about healthy low calorie desserts to help with your weight loss. It shouldn’t completely ban any foods and should allow you to have treats occasionally.  Over the long term, individuals following crash diets are much more likely to add on more weight instead of losing it.

12 Tips To Help You Overcome Your Anxiety

How To Control Panic AttacksAnxiety comes in various degrees and forms and appears to be a problem that is widespread. It affects individuals from every country and of all ages.

You have two main options if you have anxiety issues:

1. Learn how to overcome it.
2. Give in to it and just live with the problem.

If you decide to just give in, you keep feeling anxious, stressed and unhappy, and you continue to suffer. It is much better to learn ways for overcoming your anxiety, or at least to weaken the grip that it has over you.

Your time and energy is wasted by anxiety. It also weakens you, both physically and mentally. Being anxious doesn’t solve any problems or help anyone. Even if you quit being anxious and stop worrying, the world still keeps revolving.

There aren’t any good reasons for giving into anxiety. Keep in mind you have a choice always to try to overcome, or at least partially overcome, your anxiety.

12 Tips To Help You Overcome Your Anxiety

1. Your anxiety is strengthened when you don’t have control over your own thoughts. When your negative thoughts grow stronger, that’s when your anxiety becomes stronger as well. Controlling your thoughts is something you need to learn how to do.

2. Your emotions and feelings strengthen and fuel anxiety. It’s important to learn how to control your feelings better and gain some self discipline. Some form of emotional detachment is also something you need to develop.

3. Whenever you wake up or go to bed, think about all of the good things happening to you. You can always find something good that is taking place, even if it’s something insignificant and small.

4. Begin your day with doing positive affirmations for several minutes. Go over how you want your day to go. Use motivating, cheering and positive words.

5. Anxiety helps to keep your mind from thinking about your anxiety, so do something and keep busy.

Start to do something right away after you wake up. Stay busy all day long. Exercising your body, meditating, studying, reading, working in the garden, washing dishes or cleaning the house are all activities that can help you with keeping your mind off your anxiety. When you stay idle and dwell on your worries and problems, they have a tendency to not go away.

6. Set goals and everyday work on them to achieve them. When you take action, it will help to direct your feelings and thoughts away from your anxieties and worries towards something that is more constructive and positive.

7. Talk with somebody you trust about your anxiety. Discussing your feelings and anxieties can help with alleviating them and help put them into the proper perspective as long as you talk about objectively, and you really desire to reduce or completely get rid of the anxiety that you have.

8. Staying fit and exercising your body is a great way of keeping your anxieties and fears away. You can do aerobics, yoga, swim, walk or any other type of sport.

9. Find good reasons to laugh. It will bring happiness and light into your life. This will drive away your anxiety. Read something humorous, have fun with friends or watch comedies on television.

10. In your inner speaking and conversations, use positive words.

11. Visualize and affirm positive events and situations. Visualize positive and happy solutions to your problems.

12. Turn off your television if you are filled with anxiety from watching the news. Limit how much time you spend watching the news. Before going to bed, don’t watch anything potentially upsetting.

In some cases it might be easier overcoming anxiety, and in others it might be more difficult. In cases that are fairly mild, the advice we have provided you with here will probably help. However, for more serious cases it may be necessary to seek professional help in order to overcome your anxiety.

The information and tips contained in this article are not a replacement for professional advice.

Click through to learn more on how to control panic attacks at

How to Tame Your Child’s Public Tantrums

For the parents of a young child, the toy store can be a minefield. While my daughter, at four years old, knows that throwing a 2 year old temper tantrums is the quickest way to not get what she wants, her 21 month old brother has yet to learn that lesson. A week ago, when it came time to leave the store, I told my son he could not have the yellow ball he had been carrying around the store. He flipped out, fist balled up, face scrunched, squirming like an eel. While I strapped him into his stroller he continued to blow a gasket. I felt like all eyes were on me, “the bad mother.” He cried during the entire walk home.

Now, I could have bought him the ball and saved myself some embarrassment, but according to the experts, that would have been wrong.

Judy Arnall, author of “Discipline without Distress” and a parenting expert in Calgary says, “Parents are afraid of a child’s anger and explosions, but the worst thing to do is give in to a tantrum.” She believes consistency is the key. “Kids need to learn that are limits. Stick with ‘no’ and endure the tantrum.”

According to Judy, tantrums are not a discipline issue, it’s developmental. Since toddlers don’t understand the concept of public and private space, they don’t have much self-control.

Michael Potegal says a 12 month old may exhibit some signs of a full blown tantrum, the real emotional meltdown will usually begin at about 18 months, but are most common between the ages of two and three. As a pediatric neuropsychologist with the University of Minnesota, he has studied toddler behavior extensively. According to Michael, younger children’s tantrums are more frequent but shorter (an average of two to three minutes), and older children have longer tantrums (three to five minutes), but they occur less frequently.

As a parent you need to learn the warning signs and learn dealing with toddler behavior problems is a major parent job. A tantrum is more likely to occur if your child is tired, hungry or overstimulated. During outings make sure to be ready with distractions like books and toys, and snacks.

But what do you do when this happens in the grocery store? Should you keep shopping with your child kicking and screaming in the cart?

If your child’s behavior is mild to moderate you should ignore it, says Arnall. She recommends looking through a magazine or checking your phone. But if the behavior becomes extreme, a public time out may be in order. “Pull them into a private corner.” If that doesn’t work, Arnall suggest picking them up and leaving.

After the tantrum is over and everyone is calm turn this into a teachable moment. Don’ t try to do this while your child is in the middle of a tantrum. They won’t hear you.

There are two traps you need to avoid when your child is having a tantrum. The first is anger, the other is sadness. “It’s easy to lose your temper when kids are oppositional.” Which is why Potegal warns parents not to get into a shouting match. This only teaches them to get what they want they need to yell louder.

The sadness trap is subtle. “We’re hard wired to feel sympathy for kids in distress.” According to Potegal, children are usually weepy after a tantrum. At that moment you may be tempted to cuddle them. However that only teaches them that if they act out and make a fuss, they’ll get comforted. He suggests telling the child in the midst of the tantrum that if they stop crying and behave, they’ll get a big hug. This will help them learn how to regulate their emotions rather than having them regulated for them.

When we finally reached home from the toy store, the sun was bright and my son happily trotted off to play with the red ball he already owned. While he had obviously moved on, forgetting the yellow ball and the incident at the store, my blood was still boiling. “Kids can go from happy to sad in the blink of an eye,” says Potegal.

Separating 5 Myths From the Facts About Vision

Something what is a popular belief does not mean that it is a fact. In order to know what is best for our health, we have to dispel the myths.

This discussion is about clarifying some common myths about eyes and how to improve vision naturally. When you know the right way to care for your eyes, your eyesight will be protected throughout your lifetime.

There are five myths that people often believe:

Myth #1: Get better eyesight by eating carrots.

There is some truth to this myth in that vitamin A is essential to eye health, and carrots are rich in vitamin A.

However, there are also other foods high in vitamin A, like sweet potato, asparagus and apricots.

Also, vitamin A is not the magic ingredient for better eyesight. You need other nutrients from a balanced diet. Too much vitamin A can be toxic.

Myth #2: Poor eyesight was inherited from our parents.

Actually, there is truth in this myth.

A lot of causes for bad eyesight are genetic, but one does not always inherit them.

The eye conditions that can possibly be inherited are glaucoma, strabismus, and cataracts.

You should discuss the vision history of your family with your eye doctor.

Myth #3: It is unavoidable that the older you get, the worse your eyesight will get.

There is no truth in that. No one can stop from aging, but not everyone will have eye problems when they get older.

For example, cataracts only occur when the proteins in the eye lens break down and undergo oxidative stress. Research has shown that cataracts can be prevented by eating a balanced diet and taking a supplement of vitamins that are beneficial to eyes.

Other activities that can prevent eye diseases like vitreous detachment and macular degeneration include maintaining a healthy level of cholesterol and glucose, not smoking and not drinking alcohol.

Eye exercises can help control farsightedness and maintain flexibility in your lens.

If you experience blurred vision, an increase in floaters, or light flashes, these are first indications of vision loss and should be examined by your doctor.

Depending on what the cause is, if the disease is diagnosed early enough, there are treatments that can slow down or reverse the deterioration.

Myth #4: Children who have strabismus or lazy eye will outgrow it.

Important! Believing in this myth will result in permanent damage to your child’s eyes.

Strabismus and lazy eye must be treated early. Do not wait.

If you wait until your child matures, lazy eye or strabismus can become a permanent condition that your child has to live with for the rest of his life because it would be too late for intervention.

These conditions can be treated in several ways. Be sure to have your child’s eyes examined regularly. If weakness is detected early in one eye, use the patch method to make it stronger. You have better chances of a full reversal if you intervene early.

Myth #5: Using the computer can hurt your eyes.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology said that using the computer won’t hurt your eyes, but using it for an extended period of time can cause Computer Vision Syndrome.

When people are using their computers or focusing on tasks, their eyes tend to blink less. This causes dryness and strain in the eyes.

So, remind your children to take breaks often from their time spent on the computer or video games.

Use the 10/10/10 rule. Every 10 minutes, focus your eyes on something that is 10 meters away for 10 seconds. In addition, remember to blink often. When you blink, your eyes get lubricated and can relax.

Read our Natural Clear Vision PDF and discover methods to improve eyesight without glasses.

Avoid The Biggest Mistakes When You Construct A Storage Shed

Do you need to clear clutter out of your yard or home? A garden or storage shed can offer the perfect solution. Instead of throwing your equipment, pool toys, and old books around your yard or house, protect and organize them in an outdoor shed. However, be sure you pick the right type of shed. There are some inexpensive sheds that you can build that should do the job for you. That way, you won’t regret your decision to build a shed.

Planning The Building Of Your New Garden Shed

The first thing that you should do is figure out what you want your shed for. Do you want to use it to store your lawn mower, garden tools, pool toys, a vehicle, of household items. In some cases, you may want to also use your shed as a protected craft room or studio. Some people even use their storage sheds as children’s play houses. You need to figure out what you want to do with your shed before you start to figure out what kind of shed that you will need.

How To Find The Best Plans For Your Shed

Now that you have figured out what you want to do with your shed, you can start to plan. If you decide to use shed plans, you should look for do-it-yourself shed building plans that are close to the size you want. Yes, you can scale DIY storage shed plans somewhat, but it is easier for new builders to start out with plans that are already very close to perfect. You might even decide to purchase a kit. This is a set of pre-fabricated parts with instructions, and all you have to do is put them together. This might be a good choice if you are not an expert builder and don’t have a lot of time. You can simply put your shed together like you are putting a puzzle together.

Avoid Shed Building Mistakes

Of course, your storage shed might only be as good as your plans, so take care when you look for them. Some professional builders have even said that they gave up on projects because they did not get good plans in the first place. You might look for plans that have positive reviews from other users. It pays to do some research at your local building store or online before you do anything else. That way, you can start off on the right foot with clear and accurate garden shed plans to use to build your shed.

But Good Materials

Your plans will probably give you a list of suggested materials and supplies, and you should take care to follow this list as much as you can. If you substitute a type of wood or fixings, you may end up sorry later. There is probably a good reason that the plan creator suggested the materials that he did. If you believe it will be too expensive to purchase the suggested materials, maybe you should look into a different type of shed. High-quality building materials and supplies will help make your job much easier.

Go For It

Read over the set of plans a few times to be certain that you understand everything and have all of the supplies that you need. If you do not have all of the building tools that the plans suggest, you might be able to rent them to save some money. Renting is a good way to see if you like particular tools, and you may choose to buy them later.

Aquaponics Tips Everyone Can Use

Aquaponics CycleThe field of aquaponics is an innovative system whereby vegetables, fruits and plants can be grown by utilizing water and fish. Among the terrific features of aquaponics is the fact that not much labor is required, contrary to traditional methods of gardening. All that is really required is for a system to be initially established and then it can essentially be allowed to flourish all on its own.

A key to achieving real success with aquaponics for the home involves maintaining a proper balance of aquaculture and hydroponics. It is vital to select just the right plants and the right fish able to co-exist efficiently and productively to create an ideal symbiosis.

Principles Of Aquaponics

The best way to thoroughly understand aquaponics is to gain a complete comprehension of the fundamentals that underpin such a system. Plants and fish must work interdependently to create the perfect environment for crops to thrive.

Aquaculture is the first component of any functioning aquaponics system. Basically, this requires a pond, tank or other spot in which fish can live. Fish take their nutrients and spend all of their time in this aquaculture environment.

The second element of an aquaponics system revolves around the hydroponics. This refers to the area in which plants will grow. Typically, plant specimens are placed in such a way as to allow their roots to hang loose and absorb water from the immediately adjacent aquaculture.

Consider that the fish living in the tank will continuously produce waste materials that will eventually start polluting the water. In a typical situation, the water would just be replaced. But, in an aquaponics system, the waste-filled water is given directly to the plants. These plants are able to filter out the water and glean all of the valuable nutrients it contains.

At that point, filtered water gets pumped back to the tank system. The tank is now filled with clean water and all of the plants have received their nutrients. Each half of the system has received what it needed, and virtually no human labor or intervention is required.

Aquaponics Equipment

A bio filter is an essential item for any functioning system. This filter works to convert ammonia from fish waste products into the nitrates necessary to properly feed the plant life. Every drop of waste water that goes toward the plants needs to be processed through a bio filter.

There are a few other pieces of equipment needed to operate an effective aquaponics system, including a sump tank, a pump, a solid waste filter and more. Pumps help get the water processed through the bio filter and directed towards the plants. Filters help eliminate solid waste products that cannot be handled by the bio filter. The majority of these items are only purchased once, thus providing terrific value for the money.

The location in which you choose to establish the aquaponics garden can have a huge impact on its ultimate success. These systems do best when located in an area of periodic sunlight. Placing a system beneath a tree can be a perfect option for some, but there is no substitute for routine checking and monitoring to ensure proper lighting conditions at all times.

Lastly, it is worth noting that aquaponics systems are great for producing organic produce cheaply and abundantly once they are fully established and thriving.

To gain additional tips and insights on making aquaponics work for you, take a look at the aquaponics 4 you review presented at


12 Ways A Pianist Can Work Less And Get Better Results

teach yourself pianoA high school student named Steve works 10 hours per week, is taking 3 honors classes, plays sax in the high school band, runs track and still continues improving his piano playing.  How is Steve pulling this off?

He employs the principle 80/20.

Nancy works full time, is married, maintains an active social life and exercises at the gym five days per week.  However, she still continues developing her piano technique and expanding her repertoire.  Her secret is following the principle 80/20.

Isn’t it about time you started doing what these other successful piano students do to improve their skills while working on the best piano lessons?

In “The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less,” author Richard Koch reveals an easier and faster way to achieve excellent results in all different aspects of your life.

Many authors, including Koch, draw on the Pareto Principle theory.  In 1897 Vifredo Pareto, an Italian economist, discovered the principle and showed that 80% of results come from 20% of your efforts.

The following are 12 different ways the 80/20 principle can be used to achieve great results without putting in a lot of effort. These are some of the best ways to teach yourself piano.

1.  Practice 10 to 15 minutes each day.  Practicing for 2 hours one time each week will not be nearly as effective.

2.  Instead of playing the whole song poorly, learn 4 of the pieces measures very well.

3.  Plan out in advance what music you will play during each practice session.

4.  Instead of speeding through all of the 12 scales every day, practice one different scale each day.  Use correct timing, fingering and technique.

5.  Instead of trying to memorize a whole chords catalog, learn one chord of every type (major 6th, 7th, diminished and so on).

6.  Instead of using place marks for your repertoire pieces inside your piano books, place them inside a loose-leaf notebook.

7.  Instead of relying on being inspired by your own playing, find special selections and listen to recordings of them.

8.  Instead of creating particular left hand parts for every measure, choose an accompaniment patter for the song’s bridge and verses.

9.  Instead of relying on music for playing 25 songs, memorize five songs which you can play anywhere at any time instead of using music to play 25 songs.

10.  Instead of playing the blues scale randomly, create a short melodic figure (repeating motive).  Use this for improvising on 12 bar blues.

11.  Instead of following chords printed inside a Fake Book, arrange a song ahead of time by setting patterns up of ii-V-I progressions.

12.  Set up performance opportunities for yourself that are low pressure (play for fellow students, family members, friends etc) on a regular basis. That way your goals will have time frames or deadlines for you to bring your pieces to performance level by certain dates.

Action Exercises

You can immediately do these three things to put the ideas into action.

The first thing you can do is choose one or two methods listed in the 12 ways above that fit in well with your level, style and personality.  Start using them right away for your practicing.

The second thing you can do is start each practice session by playing the most important piece of music for you.  One exception to this is if the selection requires you warm up prior to playing it with exercises or scales, do them before starting on your main pieces.

The third thing you can do is record yourself now and then 30 days later to monitor your progress.

After you start to notice the differences in how you play the piano, you will be able to clearly see that your progress is due to focusing on the most critical parts of your practicing.

If you start to use the 80/20 principle, it will amaze you at just how fast you will start getting better results with less effort from practicing the piano.

Turning Your Storage Shed Into a Greenhouse

Gardening has always been about advancing and finding better ways to save on costs and space. There is no better way to do this than turning your storage shed into a solid greenhouse which will facilitates better use of the available space. This will allows for a single multipurpose structure for your use instead other having twin structures such as a shed and green house. Basically, you will be able to store your gardening equipment alongside your preferred plants which also saves you on time and effort during gardening applications. So, what is entailed in the transition? You always want to start with the best storage shed plans that are big enough for your planned greenhouse.

A number of steps are involved. You want to start with proper planning. Begin by partitioning a part of the shed for the gardening equipment and the other part for your greenhouse. Blending in these two functions enables you to adequately partition the single structure based on your needs and gardening techniques.

Temperature Control:
Choosing a suitable location to erect your shed/greenhouse is of paramount essence. Greenhouses require adequate warmth and humidity throughout the season irrespective of summer or winter. It is advisable to erect the structure facing directly towards where the sun rises so as to warm it up after the cold winter nights. The type of wood used during construction also plays a crucial role in determining the final outcome of the structure as quality timber enhances durability and longevity through protection from bad weather and insect infestation.

The Structure:
Partitioning the structure is not as easy as placing a barrier between the storage and the greenhouse sections. A number of considerations come into play such as positioning and even the number of the doors placed on the structure. It is advisable to have a single access point from outside which should be erected towards the storage section and not the greenhouse. This is to enable the greenhouse section to retain warmth throughout. Once in the storage, another door facilitating access to the greenhouse is necessary so as to get the partition right and define the boundaries between the two sections. Remember to keep the greenhouse as warm as possible even if it means investing in specially designed trays and shelving if partitioning the two is not in your plans.

Addition of Light Sources:
It is a fact that greenhouses require adequate lighting if optimal yields are to be achieved. In view of this, changes have to be made on the shed to put in place natural sources of light and air such as windows. It is also advisable to place a transparent roof which allows penetration of adequate sunlight essential in the growth of plants. Remember to close in on loopholes and gaps that facilitate cold air especially during winter but only after putting in place proper air circulation mechanisms such as fans and vents for summer.

Transitioning from a storage shed to a greenhouse need not be as daunting as most tend to think. Arming yourself with a detailed construction plan and a workable budget may be all you need to achieve this goal.