Apr 18, 2010

Sea Salt is Better For Your Heart

We have been using only sea salt for the past 3-4 years, because it is so much better for you. Sea salt contains many minerals in it that occur naturally as it forms in the ocean. Standard table salt, sodium chloride, does not contain these minerals, is very refined, and sometimes only has iodine added which aids in preventing goiter, a thyroid condition.

My husband has been told to avoid added salt in his diet because of blood pressure. In my reading, I've found that Sea Salt, or some of you may refer to it as salt sea, contains minerals that help to compensate for the negative affect that can happen if you use regular table salt, also known as sodium chloride. Among the minerals sea salt contains is calcium, magnesium and potassium...potassium and magnesium are both so important to proper pumping action of the heart...and potassium acts as a diuretic, compensating sodium chlorides tendency to hold water in the body tissues. I don't notice any difference between the flavors of the two salts, sea salt adds nice flavor, but in spite of all the claims, we still use it lightly. I have been doing some more reading that indicates that you can get a low sodium form of sea salt, and will be doing a little more research on this, curious to know how you can reduce the sodium in sea salt and keep all those good minerals. 

Updated 3/22/16

Apr 14, 2010

Kitchen Staging and Home Buyer Tax Credit

To many, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and has a big affect on the value of the home. If you love cooking, you will see "you" all over the room...the appliances you like to cook with, the dishes you like and so much more.

But when you are planning to move, some of what makes the kitchen home to you will need to be removed, so that it looks like what I like to compare with an empty canvas, ready for a new home owner to come in and paint with their own likes.  Because the home buyer tax credit offered right now may not be available after the end of this month, more people than usual are looking at homes to buy, or selling their homes, so they can take advantage of the credit. An $8000 credit is a nice sum of money, my daughter purchased her home recently and was able to take advantage of this special tax credit.

How can you prepare your kitchen? Here are a few home staging tips for your kitchen if you are selling your home right now:
  • Remove Clutter - remove everything possible from your counter tops and any visible surface.  Pack it, if you can, because you are planning to move, so why not get started?  This will make your kitchen appear larger, especially if it is a small one like ours, and cleaner.  If appropriate, a basket or bowl of fruit or vase of flowers may be a nice touch.
  • Clean, clean, clean - make sure all surfaces are clean, all kitchen cabinets doors are clean, in our case I have oak cabinets and would go over all of them with lemon oil to give them a good cleaning and because it is good for the wood.  Do whatever is best for the surface you have in your home.  Clean the inside and outside of appliances you will be leaving behind.
  • Repairs - Are all the doors on your cabinets hanging properly?  Closing tightly? Tighten hinges that need it.  Are all door knobs present?  Would new door knobs or hinges improve the look of the cabinets?  Look over everything that you will be leaving behind in the kitchen when you move and make sure it is in good repair.
  • Walls and Ceilings - If you have neglected your home for a while, these surfaces may need repainting, new wallpaper, or whatever is necessary to bring them up to date and make them look pleasing to the eye.
With the spring season upon us and warmer weather in the northeast, and the special tax credit available, many more are looking at homes than usual, so be ready, and I wish you the best in selling your home, or purchasing a new one! 

Updated 3/21/16

Cancer Screening Tests for Women

It's Cancer Control Month, and one way to control cancer is to avoid it, prevent it, in any way possible. This can be achieved through nutrition as well as practical screening tests, whether you are a man or woman. In this post, the focus is on tests for women...this is the time of year when I have my physical and get the tests done that are recommended. 
Cancer screening tests women should have include the following:
  • Mammogram - Have them done as often as your doctor suggests to prevent Breast Cancer, or catch it in it's early stages.  I have one every other year.  I am scheduled for one in about 2 weeks.  In my case, I'm thankful that my insurance covers this, without dipping into my deductible.  You should also learn to examine your own breasts between Mammograms, do so monthly.  Here is "How to Perform a Breast Exam" from the American Cancer Society. (Men should perform this exam on themselves as well).
  • Pap Smear - This should be done to watch for any abnormalities that may indicate Cervical Cancer.  Don't panic if you test is abnormal, I've had times when it was simply an irritation or a polyp that needed to be removed, but do follow up with whatever is suggested by your doctor.  
  • Pelvic exam - this is usually done at the same time as you have your Pap Smear, a visual exam of the vaginal area and cervix for any abnormalities.  This should start when you are 21 or after you begin having sexual intercourse.  It is especially important for those who live at risk of sexually transmitted disease.  Virgins need the exam only if there are abnormal symptoms or discharges.
  • Colonoscopy or other colon cancer screening - before the age of 50, usually sample after wiping after a bowel movement is checked for presence of blood in a lab, at the age of 50, it is suggested that women and men have a colonoscopy every 5 years.  In my case, they found a benign polyp, so I was told to come back for one in 3 years.  If nothing is found, then I can wait 5 years again.  If your family is at high risk for colon cancer, colonoscopy may be recommended at a younger age.
  • Skin exam for skin cancer - there are 3 common skin cancers, the most serious being Melanoma - with so many spending time in tanning salons and not being careful when spending time in the sun, examining the skin for abnormalities is important.  
  • Oral Exam - this is done to watch for any abnormalities in the mouth and gums, especially important for those who smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol on a regular basis.
Please look at my posts under the general category of "Cancer" for more on this topic.  I'll add a post about tests for men soon.  

Updated 1/20/16

Please comment if you have a question.

Apr 2, 2010

Good Friday, Easter and Anniversary Blessings

I am looking forward to spending this weekend away with my husband as we celebrate 31 years of marriage, and remember the wonderful things that God has done for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Friday, remembering the price He paid for the sin of man, Saturday, enjoying the beautiful weather that we are expecting with much thanksgiving, and Sunday rejoicing as we remember Jesus' Resurrection from the dead (amazing thought! Amazing Grace!), providing eternal life for all who believe in Him.

May I wish you all a blessed Holy Week, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday.

Some favorite verses about what God has done for us: John 3:16 and 17; Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23 to name a very few.

Updated 3/22/16