It's a lazy Sunday afternoon. Just got done with one online assignment for my other blog, when I peeked through the dashboard of Blogger and saw that I have 199 posts for this particular blog. I feel so sleepy but I can't sleep just yet. It's almost dinner time and I have got to heat up some left overs for dinner. I just made buco pandan dessert and our lemongrass juice right after lunch. I checked the fridge and I still have sauteed cabbage and sinigang na liempo leftovers for viands. These will do.

My weekend cleaning lady just got in early this afternoon to do some house cleaning, for which I am thoroughly thankful. I can't get right back to stressing myself doing all these chores. I have got to get back to my bouncy self. I still cough from time to time but none of those crazy ones I used to have.

Finishing the fourth book (Breaking Dawn) of the Twilight Series was bitter sweet. I almost marathoned to the fourth book from the first book. It is just an amazing series if you ask me, a genre all its own. I am currently reading Midnight Sun. This time the love story is told from Edward Cullen's perspective.

I just remembered the books of John Eldredge's books Sacred Romance and The Journey of Desire. The innate desire of every woman to be loved like there's no tomorrow and every man's quest to pursue the one he loves. Although God's love for us is nothing like Isabella Swan and Edward Cullen's love story, no vampire and half immortal stuff when it comes to God's love for me. But truth is, my Lord loves me more than how Edward can ever love Bella. The thought is just so sweet and the realization takes me back to reality of God's love for me. It may be the queerest thing, if anything at all, for other Twilight fanatics. But that's just how it all came down to me. Stephenie Meyer is a genius. I have felt the characters hearts beating through every chapter (although most characters barely have hearts that beat).

Edward to Bella after they reunited and Bella finally getting her 14 hours of sleep after the grueling time with the Vamps in Italy.

"Will you please try to hear what I'm telling you?
Will you let me attempt
to explain what you mean to me?"
He waited, studying my face as he spoke to
make sure I was really listening.
"Before you, Bella, my life was like a
moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars—
points of light and reason…
And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly
everything was on
fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone,
when the
meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had
changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn't see the stars
anymore. And
there was no more reason for anything."



It wasn't until this book comes to a close that the main characters got reunited. I cannot help but feel bad for Jacob, the sweet and young werewolf who fell unconditionally in love with Bella. Ok I'm not sure yet up to what extent. I will have to see in the sequel to this book. Oh my goodness! Whoever said that fairytales and these supposed horror movie characters could all make for a very romantic and engaging love story! :-)


I went to see my doctor yesterday. She told me that I definitely have some kind of respiratory infection from the cold virus and flu I had a couple of weeks back. I hope she knows what she's doing, because I got skeptical for a time. She did not even bother to have some lab tests done. She just listened to my chest through the stetoscope and that was it? Again, it's not surprising that she gave me another set of antibiotics. This time a stronger one. What difference is this one from the previous one? I am totally throwing away money on crappy medicines that are super expensive but does not make me well at all!


I know I'm ranting. Just allow me to rant just this once. So I need to get into bed most of the time. Fine. I got to bed as early as eight last night and I'm almost always in bed the whole day today, except at this very minute that I just got to let some ranting out.


For now I decided to take some natural medications Pei Pa Koa (the chinise meds) and BioEnzyme Plus. If this does not work by tomorrow, I will go buy the meds that were prescribed.


I finally got hold of the Twilight series e-book! I transferred it to my mobile and I am now reading like crazy that I cannot stop. Oh my goodness, I am just into the fourth chapter of Twilight and I have several inconsistencies from the movie. This is why a handful of friends who have read the book before watching the movie were disappointed while the hubby and I were so fine by the movie alone. The book is so much more interesting! :-)

I figured it was the same disappointment when I watched the Two Towers and The Return of the King sequels of the Lord of the Rings. Stepenie Meyer did a great job in writing this book. I am loving it and I have just started!

I am thankful for:
- being able to work from home and still make a decent living. There is nothing better than being able to care for your family and earning a living while at home! This is a major blessing and breakthrough in our life as a family. It all started a year ago and will press on counting!
- a husband that more than just complements my whole being and takes good care of me and our little guy.
- my forgiving son, who is just as forgiving as his sweet father. I can be a nut sometimes.
- my family of origin. Can't live with them, can't live without them. LOL! I love them all! Each personality has its own quirks but nevertheless amusing in their own unique ways.
- friends (long time, new ones -virtual or in the flesh). You have made life sweeter through your presence!

I am going to leave in a while to go see my doctor. I was suppose to see her again last Friday, but with a lot of things in our schedule and with no nanny to care for my little boy it was hard to find time.

I have been coughing like crazy for more than two weeks now. Even if in my heart I refuse to go see the doctor because I am always sure she would prescribe another set of very pricey medicines, with this current health that I have, I am left with not much of a choice. Off I go now!

I am loving this holiday glass frames from Zenni Optical! I swear if I would happen to be sporting less than perfect vision, I am not going to have second thoughts on getting this kind of frame especially for Christmas. Everybody has heard about the popular online eyeglasses shop, it is all over the blogs! Prices start at $ 8 Complete Rx Eyeglasses and they are certified good quality ones.

You would not believe what I witnessed at the homeschool convention the hubby and I attended last Saturday. Except for the great talks by Pastor Peter and his family, there were a whole bunch of people with colds and cough! There must have been at least one person who would periodically blow his or her nose and/or cough in every row of the 2,000 capacity auditorium.

It should be the weather. With the holiday just around the corner, we have the weirdest of all weathers. One day it will be a little chilly then the next will be utter heat. It’s horrible. This should be the culprit to the flu virus mutating like crazy.

I should say that this is not uncommon. My folks who are in Houston right now said that the weather there is also as crazy. In other parts of the world people are turning on their conventional gas fires and some their contemporary electric fires. It is winter time in their place and this is the least they could do to find comfort in their home.

I suggest you check out Hotprice.co.uk if you would like to install one of those state of the art hole in the wall fires in time for winter.


While some swear to earning a hundred a day. This is what adsense has earned me in one full year - $99.86! And I cannot withdraw the money just yet until it amounts to $100 at least. Okay, I have waited for a year, a few more days should not be that bad.

This will be one of my blogging milestones. I haven't withdrawn my adsense earnings since I did online marketing and this is going to be a first. I am definitely looking forward to it. It's not much, but it marks one full year of waiting. :-)

It has been a month since my lone PR2 blog has been hibernating. Now it can be told, it is not about page ranks. Most of the blogs that we are currently gaining from are PR-less blogs or a mere PR1.

As the verse say, "Every good and perfect gift comes from God." And amidst the global crisis, we still feel thankful that the Lord allows for us to earn through internet marketing. It was really wise that we did not put all our eggs in one basket. It is probably the single most wise decision we ever did.

I think it will be in the next couple of weeks when Tito Adolfo will once again come and get the car to work on a couple of things in one of his auto body shops corona. It was three weeks ago when the hubby noticed a scratch on the hood. It will be easy to deal with as Tito Adolfo said he still has some left over paint and other items that he could use to have it repaired.

We were told that he will get everything finished in three days.

I am so happy. Yesterday at 3pm was the last fever (slight) my son had. He has been fever free since. He only had fever for 2days, while I had mine last week for 5 full days! My son is indeed healthier that me - for which I am glad. :-)

During those two nights since he was sick, the hubby and I lost sleep. The first night I only got to sleep at 4am and the following at 5am. We alternately had to give him sponge baths because his temperature would sometimes shoot up to 40 which can be really scary already.

If there is any brand that has made its mark as long lasting and durable workwear, that would be Dickies. This company has been around dressing up the workforce since 1918. Their wide variety apparel from medical scrubs to work pants to nursing uniform and even quality boots and shoes for men and women.

Dickies also have their school uniform line and they make scrubs that range from utilitarian to stylish. Being ever available and durable makes them a favorite of many hospitals and the workforce. They garments fit nicely aside from their being stylish.

It has been a while since I last checked with BlogThings. Here is an interesting quiz I recently took. :-) Have been down with a flu since early morn. Regularly popping pills since. Guess I need to retire really early tonight. :-)



What Your Home Says About You



You come across as very intellectual. People take your wisdom seriously.



You have amazing hygiene, and it shows. You are sparkling clean!



You are a very domestic person. You enjoy decorating, cooking, and making things homey.



You are not a nurturing person by nature, but you can easily take care of someone you truly love.



You feel settled in your life. You have enough time to focus on little details.



You are a somewhat self sufficient person. You can do fine on your own if you have to.



Your friends see you as honest, humble, and responsible.

Did you hear that Zenni Optical was on FOX news! I’m sure you have read a whole lot of write ups on these famous great eyeglasses for less by Zenni Optical. In fact, I recently just watched Zenni on Fox. I have learned quite a few stuff on spectacles. I am blessed to have 20/20 vision, but when the time comes that I would need to wear glasses, I wouldn’t have a second thoughts on choosing from the variable dimension frames from Zenni.

Do you own a pool or perhaps know of someone who manages a pool whether at home or a club? ParadisePoolSupplies.com offers swimming pool supplies that are more than just affordable. They supply pool equipment at wholesale prices. They keep their overhead cost low that is why they are able to sell at such low prices and they distribute all across the globe.

This small family owned company has been in the business since 1997 and has kept its reputation as one dedicated company that distributes on quality brands at low cost and great customer service.

Today I made a batch of one recipe I have always wanted to try out - Neiman Marcus'. I love that I was able to get hold of the real original recipe and not the one that has been going around for ages as a chain letter over emails as far back as ten years ago! For a while I thought it was the real thing.

This actual recipe that I used was posted live in the Neiman Marcus website to dispel the urban legend of the $250 recipe, with matching dramatic story of one person who got charged for it. This recipe is no longer available online and was just made live for a limited time.

The hubby loves this cookie. Although our little guy loves it as well, we have to watch it when we give him his share. This one contains caffeine because of the coffee content. This explains his not being able to sleep last night until midnight struck.

For a while I have been baking the original recipe of Mrs. Field's, it was just about time I do this shift. I am thinking of doing a raisin oat chocolate chip cookie next week. :-)


Are you looking into having your very own built? Per personal experience, it has proved us good to be able to say your piece in laying out the floor plan that you want and being able to choose options that are available.

You might want to check out Lexington Real Estate and check out their Model Home Village in Chilesburg and choose from their six floor plans so you might envision what you want for your future home. Check out the communities and options for floor plans. It is always best to make a careful inspection of your dream place before you decide and if you decide to buy your own place later on, they also have options for rental homes that are equally satisfying.


I'm sure a lot of you have bought your own from your favorite department store, Wal Mart's or wherever. I chose to make my own, DIY Christmas Potpourri Jar! Yay! I am going to post the how to's, which is as easy as 1-2-3 in my Handy Tips and Hints Site and maybe post a picture for Wordless Wednesday in our Marriage and Beyond page.

Meanwhile, here is the finished product, which I made in less than five minutes! If you have every item you need to create one, I don't see any reason to buy a ready made one. There is always a certain sense of fulfillment in making stuffs by yourself. A sense of pride of sorts. Coming from a country of tropics, where there is no pine tree (except for the cool southern part of the country-Baguio), we can't really be expected to pick out the pine tree to get inside our home, so the best we could do is pick out the prettiest Christmas tree (plastic but looks real one) fresh from the department store for our home. Anyhoo, I have to do away with my blabberings and as I've said, the finished product in the sweet scent of Cinnamon Holiday...

This was what my son's pedia told us this morning when we went to see her to have our little guy checked. His fever has been on and off, no colds or cough. He still eats as usual, no change with anything at all, except for the fever. But praise God that since three in the morning, the fever has not come back. I hope it never will!

But if in any case the fever persists, I was instructed to have some laboratory procedures done on Thursday.

I have been reading a lot about online marketing for some time now. One site that struck me is this Plug-In Profit Site that introduces affiliate marketing. I am sure you have heard about these kind of sites. It was interesting to read one testimonial of a restaurant worker who just happened to give this site a try and he started earning over $10,000 after the twenty fourth month. Real people, doing ordinary things giving affiliate marketing a try making it big as they claim that piece of the pie from earnings via the internet.

All you really have to do is go to the links all over this post and sign up. You will instructed to do three very easy steps and you will then be given a brand new fully loaded website that is absolutely free. You might have tried all those make money online web pages, then you really should give this one a try. There is really nothing to lose. As you go try this one out, you will not just be armed with everything that you need to start your online marketing right from the convenience of your very own home business. I am heading over the site and signing up myself. 

One of the things that I doing over the internet is browsing over sites that are dedicated to gadgets. I always make sure to read several reviews before ever purchasing anything techie. This is the only way that I could get honest to goodness reviews and comparisons of different brands. One to check out is GadgetAdvisor.com. From universal remote control to network media player and even online back up services, you are sure to get the latest from them.

Our supposedly Whirlpool fully automatic washer has suddenly decided to go semi-automatic. For some reason, the pump that gets the water in won't function, so I have to fetch water from a big basin to the washer. What a hassle.

I called up our local Whirlpool technician already but he won't be available until tomorrow. But the thing is, the laundry cannot anymore wait until then! The little guy has ran out of undies. lol! :D

So, as usual, I'm once again juggling my chores at home and some assignments I have online that are about to go rotten, if you know what I mean.  Till next time!

931 words.  The total number of words to my most recent post in Marriage and Beyond. I can really give a mouth full when I don't watch it.  I know I risk boring a lot of readers, but being the webmaster of my very own blog allows me to write as short or as long as I want.  

My intention was not to write that long a post but just to share the benefits of lemon grass juicing, that's just about it, until I turned the wheel to being a work from home mom,  then I cannot stop typing. lol!  Till then. :-)

A few days ago I received this call with a non-registered phone number. She got the number right but the person she is looking for is non-existent. I am reminded of the days when our local telephone company would be so behind that we all get cross lines and what have yous. It was frustrating and thank heavens it does not exist anymore because of the fiber optics technology that was incorporated to the technology. 

Fast forward to this day, I am sure that this does not belong to glitches and century old technology. I have even been considering that this lady is really a prank caller after all. I would receive calls from her every other day and looking for all different names. This is when TraceNumber.com can come very handy. To trace a phone number is now made possible.


Today, I got this credit card cut in two! I finally settled everything we owe Citibank Visa. I am so relieved! Next to go is my Citibank Cash Card.  As soon as I received the message confirmation via sms that the latest payment was already credited, I did not waste a minute and immediately called up their hotline to get the card terminated.

This card was a pre approved one that was sent to me last year.  Before they renew it this November and charge me with the annual fee, which was waived last year, I was determined to have everything settled.  I am a very practical consumer.  So whatever we purchased via that card were all but necessities.  It was only these past months that we were actually given the resources to settle things, for which we are grateful.  A large chunk of our monthly income goes to the credit card debts that got accumulated throughout the years from medication and even sustenence.  We are hoping to be off every single one very soon and to finally enjoy the fruits of our labor.  :-)

I consider myself blessed.  In between multi-tasking these past several days as my birthday approached, I have been in a kind of contemplative mood.  32 years old.  I swear, I really stopped counting at 22.  Not out of vanity, I don't know what that is, but I honestly have to stop and think before I answer.  I am not ashamed at all to declare my real age.  I feel blessed to grace this world for 32 years now.  

I remember vividly when I was 19 years old. I was in college then.  Backslidden.  I was doctor-hopping because the first doctor I saw recommended a complete mastectomy.  Needless to say, I had to go shop for another doctor,  a teenager to lose her breast despite the recommendation of the same doctor to do a aesthetic reconstruction simultaenously with the mastectomy is almost ridiculous!  It was in the UST Hospital.  The same place I went to college.  Silly doctor.  And he hadn't  even done a needle biopsy at least.  Anyway, it was a long story.  My mom's mom died of breast ca, it's in the genes.  The Lord led me to Dr. Sison from then Polymedic and he was an angel.  I remember telling him as I was fighting the drowsiness that I had from the shot minutes before I was cut open, I told him to please take care of me and he answered me with a reassuring, "yes, I will." It was as if it took only that and I was good to go.  

Why are all these trivia necessary?  Just a slight backgrounder.  Actually,  during that time in my life, I asked the Lord for just a five year extension to life and here I am living more than 13 glorious years after that incident.  I am overwhelmed over again whenever I think about it.  And if the Lord grants me that five years, I vowed that I am going to live my life at His disposal, to serve Him.  That I did, although a lot of times I felt inadequate.  He has allowed for me to see despite our limitations, that I can bring glory to His name and He is only asking for my heart, my willingness and my availability.  I am inlove with my God all over again.  And as I see the girls that I now counsel and see how the Lord is working in their lives, the Lord fills my heart with joy and affirmation that I am in the right track.

Being a pastor's wife isn't all that easy.  In fact, it's the opposite.  It is really like living in a fishbowl.  I am my different person and I just had the Lord use me the way He has gifted me.  Some churches can be very unforgiving if the pastor's wife does not happen to choose to be the superintendent of the Sunday School Department.  I feel thankful that our church family is very forgiving in this matter.   I refuse to take care of other people's kids when I myself am just getting a hold of myself trying to juggle motherhood, the household and the ministry.   My strength has always been discipleship and I stuck with it.  I left the music team when I gave birth and even as I consider my family as my first ministry, then I hope to be good at this first, then as I get everything together, the Lord will lead me where He wants me to bloom.  

My life is a testimony of God's faithfulness and I give Him back everything.  I am in a place that I will never exchange for anything in the world.   There were a lot of distractions along the way, but the Lord showed Himself faithful every time.  :D

 

Hails, know that I appreciate the tags you tirelessly send my way. I can be a lazy tagger, but thanks for perking me up every so often. Keep the tags coming. I may be slow in getting them all live, but will do them when I get the chance. :D


~Start Copy~

Here are the Rules:

1. List the things that make you Happy and those that make you Sad.
2. Add your Blog to the list. Feel free to add all your other Blogs.
3. Tag other online friends you know.

WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY?

1. quality time with the hubby.
2. fun times with my two boys.
3. reading a good book.
4. good reports from the girls that I counsel.
5. personal devotion time with the Lord.
6. corporate worship.
7. salary day via PayPal!
8. a garden of blooming flowers.
9. friends and family feasting over my specialty dishes and cookies.
10. grocery shopping and getting a filled pantry. God's provision always delights me!
11. writing a good article and earning the hubby's affirmation and praise. (I feel inadequate a lot of times.)

WHAT MAKES ME SAD?

1. misunderstandings with the hubby.
2. crazy ILs' lifestyle that get the hubby in trouble. (a long story)
3. piling, unpaid credit card bills and empty bank account.
4. migraine. arthritis.
5. when our little guy gets sick.
6. a wolf in a sheep's clothing right inside the four walls of the church.
7. greedy people.
8. seeing poverty in the community/neighborhood.
9. abused kids because of irresponsible parents.
10. gas prices that hike up endlessly.

Participants: T?ni’s Attachments, Cecile2’s-Small and Simple Things, Lara’s Pinay dot US, Lara’s My Blog Entry, Lara’s Byaheng Pinay, Living A’ La Mode, Bits and Pieces, My Life in this Wonderful World, My Online World, Ozzy’s Mom, Me,Myself+2, Kidd Designs, Fun|Fierce|Fabulous , Eds Mommy Life, Just Me.. Eds, My Precious Niche, Music of my Heart,Me and Mine | Creative in Me | For the LOVE of Food | Little Peanut | Pea in a Pod | It’s Where the HEART Is | Around the World | SugarMagnolias | Life is What We Make it | Joys in Life | Dancing in Midlife Tune | Photo Blog | Hailey’s Domain | Hailey’s Bits and Beats | so it goes..|your blog goes here|

Tagging:

The Hubby

Wendy

Pinay Mommy

Aiza

Here are the before and after photos of our California Project. As posted in my previous entry in The Aspacio's, it just took over a month for the guys to work on this project. We are thrilled to have it look as it does now. I know it is not half as great looking and stunning as those of actual rides from the Pimp My Car tv show, but we are no less than thrilled to get this baby restored. Its engine is great (proof is this car was able to bring us to Baguio City and back May of this year without hassle-that's around 500miles[?]) and now the body will match its performance. Sweet! :-)



That's 19 drops short to the 1,500 goal that I have! Okay, I still have a life mind you. It just so happened that after having had a super slow and frustrating internet connection the last couple of days, the speed of the connection yesterday was faster than usual. So I knew I just had to seize the moment. That I did. I dropped from our following blogs:

Marriage and Beyond - 300 drops
Handy Tips and Hints
- 300 drops
Kikay Corner - 300 drops
Online Money Making - 300 drops
Aspacio.net - 281 drops

Total = 1,481 EC drops

I can't get over the fact that I am short by a mere 19 drops! It's funny how just a few days back my sweet friend Lainy and I were chatting and I got floored when she said that she just did 1,200 drops. I found it totally crazy to be able to do that. Now I know it's possible if you have a decent connection.


Proof that I did more than just EC dropping yesterday was the handful of comments I did, the four sponsored posts that I wrote, cat napped in the afternoon and watched the most recent episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager (episode 8). I kept house, made my own concoction of lemongrass iced tea from scratch, did my daily devotion via my TGIF devotional software in my mobile. All of these while taking care of my cutie pie single handedly. Am I a superwoman or what?


Here's the trick. I don't really wait for each and every page to load. I use the linky firefox add-on (like all the wise entrecarders do) and have it do the job, I do my thing, whatever that is I need to do and just go back to the loaded pages when I'm free. :D

Last night while I was waiting for the hubby to come home from the missions trip to Palawan that he is coordinating together with a few other pastors from our mother church, I considered getting a domain of one of my long abandoned blogs, Reviews Corner. Five of the six blogs that I maintain are all free hosted and I thought of taking my blogging venture to the next level by claiming a domain for one of my other five blogs. Four of my other free hosted blogs including this one are all page rank less. It is always the best time to get a domain when the blog has no ranking primarily because when you shift your blog with a page rank from a free hosted one, you will definitely lose it, alongside its earning potential. All probloggers are aware of this fact.
Shifting from a free hosted to a domain is pretty easy with the Blogger facility. It’s good that I don’t have to apply for credit card because I already have one. It would have been best to pay via PayPal. It’s the most convenient and safest way if you ask me. No credit card number to type in and no other personal details need to be divulged.

Please feel free to visit my brand new domain http://www.handytipsandhints.com. The transition period isn’t over yet so that explains the stats all coming back with big fat zeroes. I expect them to be back in a few weeks. Meanwhile please come and visit and let’s exchange links! And for those who are linked to the former free hosted name, I hope to ask from you guys to please update the URL for Handy Tips and Hints. Thank you so much in advance!


Thanks Hails for always remembering me always. I appreciate you sis!

Awarded: Mai | Yen | Sasha | Juliana | Liza | Maricel Hailey’s Beats Bits | Hailey’s Domain | so it goes... |

Tagging: Strawberries and Vanilla | Reyapot

I don’t know about you, but our family and I are definitely feeling the economic crunch these days. It seems like every single time we go to the grocery and market to replenish our food and toiletries supply, prices would hike up more than just a couple of pesos compared to the last time we went there which was just the previous week. It’s crazy!


No wonder more and more people are making use of loans and other facilities that offer that extra hand during trying times. Sometimes I even think of getting an online loan  but I would definitely make sure I get the lowest interest rate to make sure I will be able to pay it off immediately.


I have been thinking about these things today because later I will have to buy some fresh vegetables and meat. I already did my grocery shopping (toiletries and other supplies that can be stock) last week that should last us a couple more weeks. I really pray that our government will be able to regulate food prices. It’s okay if they hike up prices of other commodities. This is really where the bulk of expense a family’s income goes to. Our family will continue to dwell on God’s grace and the fact that He owns everything in this world gives Him the ability to sustain us and even shower us with mercies that are new every morning.

This animated music video just spells out how things work in my life when trouble sets in. Thank you Lord for lifting me back up when I'm down. I just hope to encourage you as I share with you this video. :-)

Back when I was in grade school I was forced to wear thick glasses. I only wore it a year or two and I was back to sporting my 20/20 vision. I am not sure what I did right, because I was doing more than seven hundred (left eye) and a hundred plus (right). It was no fun wearing spectacles, aside from the fact that I live in a tropical country, I am one of those who would have beads of sweaty nose hot or not. It was especially true during my puberty to my teenage years. One could just imagine how I had to periodically wipe my nose until it got red. It was embarrassing.

The thought of going back to wearing spectacles almost became a possibility in the last couple of months. The culprit is definite - the prolonged hours I spent in front of my laptop. It was just timely that the chance to try out pinhole eyeglasses came, because I am just so hesitant to ever be bespectacled again. I chanced upon this technology when I was doing my regular browsing through sites. Apparently the principle behind pinhole glasses dates back to the fifth century BC. By blocking the indirect rays from getting into our eyes, it allows clearer vision.

pinhole.jpgAs I went about getting the hang of using it, it occurred to me that it does its job because the pinholes allow the pupils to be fed with direct rays which logically make the image I see better defined. I would have to admit that at first it felt strange wearing these pinhole eyeglasses but because I was willing to consider anything that would have me do away with wearing glasses on a regular basis. As I allowed my eyes to get the hang of using them, the pinholes became bigger and it did not feel as weird. It actually relaxed my eyes as I went along doing my online tasks. It practically felt these babies are giving my eye muscles the work out it needs. Even without reading all the literatures about pinholes, this alone explains why it could get you back perfect vision.

After having finished a bulk of my online tasks that are due to expire, I am now given another five more! When I started doing this online business, I never knew that the Lord would allow for it to be the ultimate channel for us to be able to settle our financial burdens. To say that I am relieved is an underestimation. I cannot thank the Lord enough for bringing in this opportunity to our family. I am still able to do things for my family full time while I work on the side.


I am done with the first three of the new assignments that were given today. I still have five more to go. ;-)



Our little guy is missing his grandparents. My mother and father left for the States last Friday and our son has been telling me since that he is going to listen and obey lolo and lola from now on. You see he always fools around with his grandparents. I kidded the little guy that lolo and lola left because he does not listen and obey them. For some reason, grandparents really cannot help but to spoil their grandchildren.

Japanese grocery stores had a problem. They are much smaller than their US counterparts and therefore don't have room to waste. Watermelons, big and round, wasted a lot of space. Most people would simply tell the grocery stores that watermelons grow round and there is nothing that can be done about it. But some Japanese farmers took a different approach. "If the supermarkets want a space efficient watermelon," they asked themselves, "How can we provide one?" It wasn't long before they invented the square watermelon.





The solution to the problem of round watermelons wasn't nearly as difficult to solve for those who didn't assume the problem was impossible to begin with and simply asked how it could be done. It turns out that all you need to do is place them into a square box when they are growing and the watermelon will take on the shape of the box.





This made the grocery stores happy and had the added benefit that it was much easier and cost effective to ship the watermelons. Consumers also loved them because they took less space in their refrigerators which are much smaller than those in the US - which resulted in the growers being able to charge a premium price for them.



What does this have do with anything besides square watermelons? There are a few lessons that you can take away from this story which will help you in all parts of your life. Here are a few of them:

Don't assume: The major problem was that most people had always seen round watermelons so they automatically assumed that square watermelons were impossible before even thinking about the question. Things that you have been doing a certain way your entire life have taken on the aura of the round watermelon and you likely don't even take the time to consider if there is another way to do it. Breaking yourself from assuming this way can greatly improve your overall life as you are constantly looking for new and better ways to do things.


Question habits: The best way to tackle these assumptions is to question your habits. If you can make an effort to question the way you do things on a consistent basis, you will find that you can continually improve the way that you live your life. Forming habits when they have been well thought out is usually a positive thing, but most of us have adopted our habits from various people and places without even thinking about them.


Be creative: When faced with a problem, be creative in looking for a solution. This often requires thinking outside the box. Most people who viewed this question likely thought they were being asked how they could genetically alter water melons to grow square which would be a much more difficult process to accomplish. By looking at the question from an alternative perspective, however, the solution was quite simple. Being creative and looking at things in different ways in all portions of your live will help you find solutions to many problems where others can't see them.


Look for a better way: The square watermelon question was simply seeking a better and more convenient way to do something. The stores had flagged a problem they were having and asked if a solution was possible. It's impossible to find a better way if you are never asking the question in the first place . Always ask if there is a better way of doing the things that you do and constantly write down the things you wish you could do (but currently can't) since these are usually hints about steps you need to change. Get into the habit of asking yourself, "Is there a better way I could be doing this?" and you will find there often is.


Impossibilities often aren't: If you begin with the notion that something is impossible, then it obviously will be for you. If, on the other hand, you decide to see if something is possible or not, you will find out through trial and error.

I’ve been getting some eyestrain lately and have thought about getting eye glasses. I really hope I won’t have to, that all depends on what my eye doctor would say. But if I do I would want to get an eyeglass like one from zennioptical.com which really isn’t that expensive but has all the nice qualities of a good pair of eyeglasses.






This is the supplement our family uses since 2006. This was the only thing that cured the battle I had in the late 2005 that no other pricey medications was able to do. I was taking in medications for 6 months then which were very pricey (read: PhP 300/tab). The result was my immune system suffered a great deal. It only took me one week of taking this BioEnzyme supplement and I totally got rid of whatever that is that got me sick. I was seeing four different doctors and no one could tell me point blank what was wrong with me. Now tell me how frustrating that is.

Since then I took out all the synthetic based supplement our son was taking in (Cheriffer and PedCee) and replaced them with this one. He never got a cold since and he did not catch one fever for almost two years. He was practically healthy all the while, that was until he caught primary complex. But even as the x-ray came back positive and he apparently has primary complex, he was still bright and shiny as ever, never lost weight.

I know I can go on and on about this wonder product because of the countless benefits that we have seen experience for ourselves as we used this supplement.

A detailed report from Handwriting Wizard. I can agree to most statements, except for this part:
Jennifer has a tendency to put things off, Jennifer procrastinates. She sometimes pretends to be busy, so she will not have to do whatever she is putting off. She is often late to appointments or deadlines. This usually leads to a great amount of effort at the last minute to meet the deadline. Procrastination is an important factor as it relates to her output on the job or at school. Remember, Jennifer will put it off until later. Procrastination is easily overcome through a simple stroke adjustment in the handwriting.
Here's why, if there is anything "not" about me, it is that I am not one bit a procrastinator. Not that I am defending myself or anything. I would gladly take it in if it was true. Besides, it is not all that bad a weakness as opposed to greediness or something else. But the thing is I have not one hint of being a procrastinator, which makes this report unreliable. To prove that, ever since I can remember, I will always find it hard to sleep at night or press on to doing leisurely stuff if I know I have a pending task that is still on queue. Seriously, sometimes I get afraid that it kind of manifests an obsessive-compulsive nature in me. Maybe I would have to do a retake on the test, or on that particular "t" stroke evaluation. :-)


Welcome, here is your handwriting analysis:

Jennifer is moderately outgoing. Her emotions are stirred by sympathy and heart rendering stories. In fact, she can be kind, friendly, affectionate and considerate of others. She has the ability to put herself into the other person's shoes.

Jennifer will be somewhat moody, with highs and lows. Sometimes she will be happy, the next day she might be sad. She has the unique ability to get along equally well with what psychology calls introverts and extroverts. This is because she is in between. Psychology calls Jennifer an ambivert. She understands the needs of both types. Although they get along, she will not tolerate anyone that is too "far out." She doesn't sway too far one way or the other.

When convincing her to buy a product or an idea, a heart rendering story could mean a great deal to her. She puts herself in the same situation as the person in the story, yet she will not buy anything that seems overly impractical or illogical. Jennifer is an expressive person. She outwardly shows her emotions. She may even show traces of tears when hearing a sad story.

Jennifer is a "middle-of-the-roader," politically as well as logically. She weighs both sides of an issue, sits on the fence, and then will decide when she finally has to. She basically doesn't relate to any far out ideas and usually won't go to the extreme on any issue.

People that write their letters in an average height and average size are moderate in their ability to interact socially. According to the data input, Jennifer doesn't write too large or too small, indicating a balanced ability to be social and interact with others.

Jennifer is secretive. She has secrets which she does not wish to share with others. She intentionally conceals things about herself. She has a private side that she intends to keep that way, especially concerning certain events in her past.

In reference to Jennifer's mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. She investigates projects rapidly because she is curious about many things. She gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but she soon must slow down and look at all the angles. She probably gets too many things going at once. When Jennifer slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, she must slow down to do it. She then decides what projects she has time to finish. Thus she finishes at a slower pace than when she started the project.

She has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. Her mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. She can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. Jennifer can then switch into her low gear. When she is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.

Jennifer is a practical person whose goals are planned, practical, and down to earth. This is typical of people with normal healthy self-esteem. She needs to visualize the end of a project before she starts. she finds joy in anticipation and planning. Notice that I said she plans everything she is going to do, that doesn't necessarily mean things go as planned. Jennifer basically feels good about herself. She has a positive self-esteem which contributes to her success. She feels she has the ability to achieve anything she sets her mind to. However, she sets her goals using practicality-- not too "out of reach". She has enough self-confidence to leave a bad situation, yet, she will not take great risks, as they relate to her goals. A good esteem is one key to a happy life. Although there is room for improvement in the confidence catagery, her self-perception is better than average.

Jennifer is sarcastic. This is a defense mechanism designed to protect her ego when she feels hurt. She pokes people harder than she gets poked. These sarcastic remarks can be very funny. They can also be harsh, bitter, and caustic at the same time.

Jennifer has a tendency to put things off, Jennifer procrastinates. She sometimes pretends to be busy, so she will not have to do whatever she is putting off. She is often late to appointments or deadlines. This usually leads to a great amount of effort at the last minute to meet the deadline. Procrastination is an important factor as it relates to her output on the job or at school. Remember, Jennifer will put it off until later. Procrastination is easily overcome through a simple stroke adjustment in the handwriting.

Jennifer has a healthy imagination and displays a fair amount of trust. She lets new people into her circle of friends. She uses her imagination to understand new ideas, things, and people.

For a graphologist, the spacing on the page reflects the writer's attitude toward their own world and relationship to things in his or her own space. If the inputted data was correct Jennifer has left lots of white space on the right side of the paper. Jennifer fills up the rest of the page in a normal fashion. If this is true, then Jennifer has an unhealthy relationship to the past and has a fear of moving forward. The right side of the page represents the future and Jennifer seems unwilling to face the fear of getting started living now and planning for the future. Jennifer seems to be clinging to past events and spending lots of time thinking about what happened. It would be best to leave the past behind and move on. Stop crowding that left margin.

I remember subscribing to the BabyCenter web page as soon as I knew that we were pregnant with our little boy back in 2004. It was fun receiving emails and knowing how my baby looks like inside my womb. This basically got me into blogging my thoughts.


Babycenter.com is the site and the first web page where I started a blog for our baby was Babababies.com. The site is still up but hardly updated. Search for the name Jed Zachary Aspacio and you will land in my baby's first ever page. :-)



What can I say, I am a fan. Despite the person Gabby was and what he chose to be in the past, we cannot take away the fact that he wass such a good actor and really good looking at that. I practically grew up with Shawie and him together and what he did with her former girls was really disappointing. No, I am not as old as them, I was in my grade school days when they were an item. It is just interesting that he seems to be facing the consequences of his misdoings, sincerely at that. Only time can tell though.

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out, so where there is no talebearer,
the strife ceaseth.(Proverbs 26:20)



It has been a while now, a year almost, if I get it right, when the Lord has finally made a way for the notorious gossip who has been behind our backs since forever to finally be off our backs. The hubby and I have tried to forgive her so many times but she just kept right on. The nerve she had to talk about integrity when all of her being spells out the very person warned the church against in the book of Corinthians. She created division inside the church like one can never imagine.


The hubby and I figured, she can just keep on. In the long run people will know the truth. She was consumed in tearing the hubby down. It was as if her life depended on it. The diplomatic person that my husband is, he never budged. Even followed the Matthew 18 rule of confronting the person. It worked at first. She asked for forgiveness and we actually received her back, clean slate. But a few months down the road and she was at it again. Talking trash behind our backs. It was witchy to say the least. Pointing the finger on my husband when all the while she is the one living a secret life.


I guess this serves as a warning to all of us. If we allow insecurity to eat us up it is really gonna consume us and is going to manifest in the way we live. I just thank God that we kept on despite all those tears and frustration. I remember all those days that we cried out to God and He seemed not to hear. A gossip can really tear down lives. All we did was hold on to the fact that God will balance the scales in His time. As wretched as this soul is, fact is, we are all as wretched as anyone can be, without God, that is. That thought keeps my heart balanced. We should really be careful how we lead our lives.

Today is one of those slow days in blogging. No demand for sponsorship for the day. Just thought I'd answer one of those blogthings and clicked on the first quiz I fancied.

I always knew "aura" has something to do with the paranormal. So I went to check with wikipedia, and here is what it says:

In parapsychology and many forms of spirituality an aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation surrounding a person or object like the halo or aureola of religious art.[1] An aura may be held to reflect the moods or thoughts of the person it surrounds, and depiction of such an aura in religious art usually connotes a person of particular power or holiness.

According to the literature of movements (such as Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Archeosophy, etc.) each color of the aura has a precise meaning, indicating a precise emotional state. A complete description of the Aura and its colors was provided by Charles Leadbeater, a theosophist of the 19th century.[2] The works of Leadbeater were later developed by Palamidessi[3] and others.

Skeptics such as Robert Todd Carroll doubt the evidence presented for the perception of auras, contending that auras may be seen for explainable reasons such as migraines or synaesthesia.[4] Some people see auras as the result of a migraine, epilepsy, a visual system disorder, or a brain disorder.[5][6] Eye fatigue can also produce an aura, sometimes to referred to as "eye burn". (See Aura (symptom) and synesthesia.)


I know, I know, that's too long an explanation. I just thought again and answered the quiz anyway, just for fun. :-)




Your Aura is Blue



Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life.

You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships.



The purpose of your life: showing love to other people



Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah



Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor


It is this time of the month again. This splitting headache have haunted me right from my grade school days. I swear everyone thought I had a brain tumor or something. It got worse during puberty when I had my menarche. More often than not it would last for three days or more if I do not take in the right medication. The usual ibuprofen or ponstan have never worked for me. Even those old as time Avamigran medications never kicked in.


The only medication I remember worked for me then was Orudis. For some reason I was told that it got phased out. I succumb to self-medication. Because honestly, the doctors around here are not able to give me the best medication that can help at all. Call it desperate measure, call it whatever. I could not care less, because only migraine sufferers understand how bad it really is whenever it attacks. I so hate it! It's almost like wanting to give yourself over to death, if that would mean the only relief. But of course, that's just to emphasize how bad it becomes.


It's just awful that just when the hubby and I have got everything planned for the night and this migraine attacks. We intended to watch Indiana Jones (the old one) on DVD, and then the migraine just continued to build up. I had almost squealed for complete silence and darkness. It's just awful to say the least.


Are you a migraine sufferer? Or do you know someone who is? What worked for you? I tried that inhaling exercises using a brown bag and all the other tricks. I probably have tried everything. I hate taking Flanax every single month. I hate taking those synthetic medications, but I am not given much of a choice whenever it strikes. I even think, Flanax is my saving grace whenever attack comes. It's just terrible to say the least. I know I am babbling. I am just relieved I am over another migraine bout.

I could say this is one aspect that I am blessed to not have a problem with when it comes to my toddler. Our little guy just turned three and was officially potty trained at two years and three months, if not earlier. But it was during that stage that he really has breezed through and got over accidents (i.e. when he would still occasionally wet the bed especially when he was into lots of activities during the day).



It is said that the average age for a girl to be potty trained is 34 months, and for boys around 37 months. But parents should not expect their toddlers not meet occasional bed wetting accidents up until the age of five or six. Try to avoid liquids by evenings to lessen the likelihood of wetting the bed.


I have noticed with our son that when he is so much into his playtime, he intentionally holds his pee until once or twice he has got his briefs wet, that is the only time he would rush to the toilet. Often times it is preoccupation in his part. And in the evenings, during bed time, he does not wet his bed, primarily because it has been like the norm for both the hubby and me to carry him to the toilet when midnight strikes. He would automatically pee when he feels the toilet rim around his tushy (even while sleeping). You can try this one out and maybe manage your toddler's bed wetting issues.


I was shocked when I read this news from the papers this morning. I immediately texted the hubby to let him know about the news. Steven Curtis Chapman has blessed us a great deal with his songs. I could only imagine the hurt he and the rest of his family is going through at this time of their lives.


Apparently, one of his teenage sons was driving their SUV and accidentally ran over the five year old girl. Just a few hours before the accident, the whole family was in celebration for the eldest daughter just got engaged. May the Lord comfort their family in this time of grief.


Here's a blog post by Chapman's manager, Jim Houser, in memory of Maria Sue.


I was baptized with my first cup of Ciao Bella which is posted here. One taste, that's all it took and I was a believer. I can't wait to have my next cup. Allow me to run to the nearest Shopwise. Rustan's is just millions of miles away.

And you know what drove me to more excitement? There are tons of flavors! Tons that I'm sure are all equally yummy. I am so going to indulge. :-)

I passed the board exam that I took last April 6. This is another miracle and I praise God for allowing me this honor. I truly am blessed! :-)

Click this link to read more.

This is the first time in six years that I have colored my nails. I used to sport french tip nails back in my single days. I always sat pretty at home with nothing to do. All I practically had to do was go to school and prettify myself. lol! It's not that I regret putting on this domestic goddess wardrobe or being a hot momma to my little guy. I will never exchange this seat for anything in the world. I just don't find those things as interesting anymore. Come to think of it, being the "kikay" girl that I was, I never thought I'd ever be domesticated ever. Not that there's anything wrong with remaining "kikay". I even think I still have some tinge of it and it does surface every so often. It's probably a natural evolution when you start living out your purpose in life and go about to enjoying it. Other things like this all become trivial.

Anyway, the hubby insisted I get my nails done. By the way, even back in the old days I have always done my own nails. I dread going to salons to have my nails done, ever! Imagine using the same things that other people use. My peeve over this became even stronger when I watched from a documentary that one can even get diseases, serious ones at that, by getting contaminated with an infected blood from one of those salon nail pushers. Eewww! But I would have to admit visiting a salon for a pedicure during the last trimester of my pregnancy in 2005. I just couldn't reach my toe nails anymore and the hubby does not have the "talent" to take out that nasty ingrown toenail (double eeww!) That was one time and yeah, I also had my nails done for my wedding day, but it was one time my mother insisted on, to give me that extra pampering achuchuchu. And I remember not minding that much back then. I was probably too frazzled about the wedding preps and all that. The hubby and I did all our wedding preparations, for the record.


What I had in mind was just to color my toe nails bloody red to match my red evening dress for the wedding he will officiate tomorrow. But he so insisted to get my fingers done as well. I did not want to, because I would have to do a number of dishwashing from then till the wedding and I might just have to end up taking them all off. Besides I wasn't sure I still can be as savvy in nail polishing as before. I guess it's something innate in me. lol! I thought while doing my nails that one reason why I don't want my nails done by someone else is I always want a perfect finish and all those times I had my nails done by someone else, I would see some nips and imperfection here and there.


You wouldn't believe how the hubby so pushed me to get my finger nails painted as well. He even volunteered to do the dishes and cleaned the waffle maker for me. He hates the tedious task of cleaning our waffle maker. But I admit to reinforcing the cleaning that he did on that. :-)


One of the things I remember him repeatedly telling me back then is how beautiful my fingers and toes are. He actually wants to go back to that time. I just figured a while back, maybe I can still paint my nails alright from time to time. Even if it's just for the hubby's enjoyment. Or should I say, especially for the hubby's enjoyment. :-)

This headline from the newspaper today caught my attention. That dreadful disease is actually near our place and what's worse is even if the boy died in Amang Rodriguez Hospital in Marikina. He actually resides in San Isidro, Antipolo City. I know not exactly where that place is. But one thing for sure. Whenever I use my mobile network's feature "friend finder" and a loved one happens to be inside our subdivision -- my inbox would read "Kingsville Subd. (our village) Bgy. San Isidro..." I know for a fact that it should have been Bgy.Mayamot, still that goes out to say that Bgy. San Isidro is actually just around the corner. Scary.

I have been hearing Meningococcemia since 2005. I was actually pregnant with our little guy back then and all those scary stuff being told that just a respiratory droplet from the infected person will spread the bacterium far and wide and can get someone dead in the next 24 hours. Cruel disease.

Here's straight from the news:

Boy dies of meningococcemia in Marikina

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A four-year-old boy died in a hospital in Marikina City from what doctors believe to be meningococcemia.

Dr. Ricardo Lustre, director of the Amang Rodriguez Medical Center (ARMC), ordered hospital staff to trace the last persons who made contact with the victim, Richard Aure, so they could be given proper medical attention.

Aure, of Barangay San Isidro in Antipolo City, was rushed to the hospital last Sunday but was later declared as dead on arrival. His body was sealed to prevent the bacteria from spreading.

Lustre said the ARMC refused to accept incoming patients as hospital staff quarantined the emergency room and other areas where Aure’s body passed. The hospital resumed normal operations at 4 a.m. yesterday, 15 hours after Aure’s arrival at the ARMC.

Lustre instructed hospital personnel to wear surgical masks and take medicine to avoid being infected with meningococcemia, an acute and potentially fatal infection of the bloodstream.

Respiratory droplets released by an infected person who sneezes or coughs can spread the bacterium that causes the disease. Non Alquitran

This artwork is composed of seeds, millions of them, I suppose. It was such a sight to see such work of art done in the middle of the park (Serendra). Most seeds I don't recognize, but I saw one whole layer of unpopped corns. Brilliant and artistic! Too bad, I wasn't able to catch its lovely entirety, all I had was my trusty cam phone to take this shot.

The top 16 super foods for women (and maybe for men, too)--
Tea
Why it’s good for you: Heart disease, cancer, and weight management

Women who drink about 4 cups of tea a day lower their risk for heart disease, stroke, and breast, colon, and brain cancers. Phytochemicals and possibly caffeine in tea also help with weight management, if combined with a low-fat, calorie-controlled diet and exercise.

How to include more in your diet: Skip the bottled teas, since most of the health compounds are lost in processing. Instead, brew a pot at home and fill your thermos or water bottle to meet both your fluid needs and get your 4 cup quota.

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Salmon
Why it’s good for you: Prevents heart disease, depression (including postpartum depression), and memory loss, encourages optimal brain and vision development in your baby

You are hearing a lot about the omega-3 fats these days and salmon tops the list for the tastiest, best source of these healthy fats. The omega-3s reduce the risk for blood clot formation and may lower blood levels of the bad cholesterol, which helps prevent heart attack and stroke. These fats help the brain develop properly, which is critical during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. The omega-3s also boost levels of serotonin, the feel-good brain chemical, and might lower Alzheimer’s risk by up to 60%!

How to include more in your diet: Of the top ten most commonly eaten fish, salmon tops the charts for omega-3s, so to keep the blues at bay include at least two 4-ounce servings a week in your meal plan: top a field of greens with sliced salmon and walnuts and toss in a light vinaigrette made with olive oil (avoid soybean and sunflower oils, which contain omega-6 fats that undo some of the benefits of the omega-3s). Or, choose foods fortified with the omega-3 fat DHA.

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Old-fashioned oatmeal
Why it’s good for you: Diabetes, weight control, heart disease

This simple, old-fashioned favorite helps maintain a healthy weight thanks to the magic combo of fiber and water, which fills you up on fewer calories and digests slowly so you are satisfied between breakfast and lunch and less likely to be grazing at the fridge or vending machine. In addition, the type of fiber in old fashioned oats, called beta glucan - a soluble fiber, when mixed with liquid forms a viscous gel that helps decrease cholesterol absorption and lowers blood sugar levels, lowering the risk for both diabetes and heart disease. Old fashioned oats have much more fiber and staying power than instant or quick-cooking oats.

How to include more in your diet: Before you go to bed, do the prep work for Nutty Apricot Oatmeal by placing 1 /2 cup old fashioned oatmeal, 1/6 cup chopped dried apricots, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and dash of cinnamon and almond extract in a preheated, wide-mouth thermos. Add 1 cup of steamed fat-free or low-fat milk and close tightly. In the morning just open the thermos, sprinkle with 2 tsp. slivered almonds, and you have a warm, delicious breakfast waiting for you!

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Dark chocolate
Why you need it: The ultimate comfort food, heart disease

Chocolate’s botanical name is theobroma cacao, which appropriately translates to “Food of the Gods.” Besides the fact that nothing curbs a craving for chocolate, except a bit of this melt-in-your-mouth delight, the cocoa powder in dark chocolate outranks just about any food studied when it comes to antioxidants. The level of antioxidants can be measured in any food by a test called Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity or ORAC. A serving of dark chocolate measures 9,000 units on the ORAC scale, compared to an average of about 2,000 units found in typical servings of fruits or vegetables. This might explain why dark chocolate lowers heart disease by 20%, probably because it lowers total cholesterol, reduces blood clots and inflammation in arteries, and keeps arteries elastic. Chocolate also might lower the risk for hypertension and diabetes.

How to include more in your diet: Skip milk chocolate and Dutch processed cocoa, which have next to no antioxidants. Choose chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa powder. Chocolate is calorific, so you must limit serving to about an ounce:
1. Include a small amount of high-quality dark chocolate with meals or soon after. You’re less like to binge that way.

2. Buy individually wrapped pieces, so it’s portioned for you ahead of time.

3. Use cocoa powder as the base of your chocolate treats, since it has no cocoa butter and is low in calories, yet packed with antioxidants.

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Tomato paste
Why it’s good for you: Heart disease, healthy skin, and fibroids

Women average less than 3 ounces of canned tomatoes daily, which is no where near enough. Tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in the red pigment in plants that might be a heart saver. Maintaining high blood levels of lycopene could lower heart disease risk in women by up to 50%. Another study suggests that lycopene also might reduce the risk for fibroid tumors, which affect up to 45% of women.

How to include more in your diet: The first place to start is to consume more lycopene-rich foods, such as tomatoes and tomato products like paste, juice, and sauce. Cooked tomato products have more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. One study showed that lycopene is absorbed 2.5 times better from tomato paste than from fresh tomatoes. You’ll need seven servings or more a week, each containing at least 10 milligrams or the amount of lycopene in about 1.5 Tablespoons of tomato paste or two fresh tomatoes. The redder the fruit, the higher the lycopene, so add vine-ripened tomatoes to salads and sandwiches, since they have more lycopene than tomatoes picked green and allowed to ripen later. Add tomato paste and sauce or canned tomatoes to soups and sauces. For a quick snack, spread tomato-based pizza on a toasted English muffin, top with low-fat cheese, and broil until cheese bubbles.

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Oranges
Why it’s good for you: Heart disease, cancer, cataracts, skin, and aging

Oranges are the number one source of vitamin C in our diets, which is the most important water-soluble antioxidant in the body, associated with lowering risks for a number of diseases, from heart disease and cancer to cataracts and premature aging of the skin. Oranges also are an excellent source of folate, the B vitamin that helps lower risk for birth defects, heart disease, cancer, and even memory loss. They are an excellent source of potassium, especially for those women battling high blood pressure or who are on diuretic medications that cause potassium depletion (sometimes just increasing potassium-rich foods, such as citrus, in the diet is all it takes to lower medication dosages!). In addition, oranges supply both soluble and insoluble fibers. The soluble fibers, such as pectin, are especially important in lowering risks for disease like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. For example, one study found breast cancer risk decreased 84% when vitamin C intake was high.

But that’s just the tip of the nutritional iceberg. The humble orange also houses more than 170 phytochemicals known to lower risk for breast cancer, heart disease, and inflammatory conditions in women.

How to include more in your diet: Switch from chips to orange sections for a mid-day nibble. Mix orange sections into orange-flavored yogurt, dunk orange sections in fat-free, dark-chocolate syrup; pair oranges with sweet potatoes in a salad; use fresh orange juice and maple syrup for marinades; mix orange sections into guacamole, rice dishes, and tossed salads; sprinkle candied ginger over orange sections for an after-dinner snack.
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Wheat germ

Why it’s good for you: Stress, bones, thyroid, and diabetes

The heart of the wheat kernel is a gold mine of nutrition. A half cup serving of toasted wheat germ supplies more than half of a woman’s daily magnesium needs, a mineral that three out of four women don’t get enough of, yet is essential for reducing stress, building bones, and regulating thyroid function (which affects 20% of postmenopausal women) and heart rate. Magnesium also aids in the production, release, and activity of insulin. Several studies, including one from Harvard School of Public Health, found that women cut their risk of developing diabetes by 48% when they consumed magnesium-rich diets. In contrast, low intake of magnesium increases risk more than three-fold. Wheat germ also supplies husky amounts of vitamins, including 100% of your daily need for folic acid, 50% of your vitamin E requirement, and decent amounts of trace minerals, such as iron and zinc.

How to include more in your diet: Sprinkle on oatmeal or yogurt, add to cookie and pancake batters, mix into muffin or meatloaf recipes, or blend with honey and peanut butter for a sandwich spread.


Your short-term action plan: Schedule a checkup with a cosmetic dermatologist so you can determine your specific skin type. "A consumer can't really do that on her own," Sadick says, so you'll need professional help to determine exactly what your skin needs. Ask whether your skin is healthy, whether you're at risk of skin cancer, and if there's any way you can slow down aging.

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Extra-lean red meat

Why it’s good for you: Fatigue, memory

Beef has gotten a bad rap, probably because so many cuts of beef are drenched in saturated fat, the bad fat that clogs a woman’s arteries and leads to heart disease, colon cancer, and other ills. But, extra-lean beef has a number of good qualities, with iron topping the list. Iron is the #1 deficiency for women, with estimates ranging from 20% to 80% of women being iron deficient. Iron is the key oxygen-carrier in the body. Without enough iron, the tissues - from your brain to your muscles - literally suffocate for oxygen and that causes fatigue, poor concentration, and increased susceptibility to colds and infections. Not only does extra-lean beef contain a good dose of iron, but the type of iron, called “heme” iron, is really well-absorbed (30% versus as little as 5% in beans or other vegetables).

How to include more in your diet: Look for meat that is clearly labeled as grass fed (grass fed meat has more conjugated linoleic acid a heart-healthy fat). You only need about two 3-ounce servings a week, so don’t get carried away and start ordering 16-ounce steaks! Add thin strips of lean, grass-fed sirloin tip to a stir fry, super-lean ground round to chili beans or spaghetti sauce, or have an eye-round roast once in a while (just load the rest of the plate with tons of veggies!). Treat your meat to an antioxidant-rich rosemary and thyme rub, since studies show these herbs rid the body of cancer-causing substances by up to 87%.

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Sweet potatoes
Why it’s good for you: Healthy Skin

A serving of sweet potatoes supplies five times the Daily Value for beta carotene, which might lower your risk for cancer, boost defenses against colds and infections, and protect the skin from sun damage. Beta carotene accumulates in the skin providing partial 24-hour protection against sun damage. The more carotene-rich produce you eat, the more skin protection you get. Bright orange veggies also supply hefty amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and iron, and more fiber than a slice of whole wheat bread.

How to include more in your diet: Microwave a sweet potato and top with maple syrup and pecans. Puree and add to soups as a thickener. Use instead of potatoes in salads. Slice sweet potatoes into wedges, salt, and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes for golden fries. Cook, mash, and use instead of noodles or rice as a base for any dish.

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