Allergies http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2836/all en-US 10 Allergy-Free Snacks That Are Safe for Almost Everybody http://www.wisebread.com/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids_eating_popcorn_000060513018.jpg" alt="Kids eating allergy-free snacks that are safe everybody" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Now that my daughter is in school, we've been put on a monthly snack helper list. At the beginning of the year, the school explained that our snacks needed to be free from allergens to be safe for all students. If you're unfamiliar (I know I was!), the eight ingredients that most&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/food-allergy/in-depth/food-allergies/art-20045949">commonly trigger food allergies</a> are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.</p> <p>Whether you, your child, or a friend has food allergies, you can still cook up some amazing snacks in your very own kitchen. Here are some fun, allergy-free snacks that will dazzle adults and kids alike.</p> <h2>1. Fruits and Veggies</h2> <p>You can't really go wrong with serving fresh fruits and vegetables. One of our go-to snacks for kids? Cut up trays of fresh produce arranged in a cool way. You can get really creative by slicing and dicing different shapes and designs, like with these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/apple-butterflies-142820">apple butterflies</a>. One of my favorites is to use cookie cutters to make shapes out of watermelon slices. Dried fruit is another solid alternative. And those applesauce or fruit cups you can buy at the store also work well in a pinch.</p> <h2>2. Cereal Mix</h2> <p>Many cereals are free from the common allergens. Try making a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realthekitchenandbeyond.com/frugal-nut-allergy-friendly-cheerio-trail-mix-for-kids/">cereal trail mix</a> for quick noshing on the go. Combine Cheerios, raisins, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, pretzels, Goldfish, or whatever else suits your needs and hungry tummies. I'd add dried bananas and pumpkin seeds. That's the cool thing &mdash; this snack is totally customizable. Just make sure if you're serving it to a crowd that you've read all the labels for details on the allergens to make it safe for everyone.</p> <h2>3. Chickpea &quot;Nuts&quot;</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/recipe-page.aspx?recid=1934&amp;name=Rosemary%20Chickpea%20Nut-Free%20Nuts">rosemary chickpea &quot;nuts&quot;</a> are sure to please those crunchy, savory snack-lovers. Combine rinsed garbanzo beans with olive oil, rosemary, garlic powder, and salt. Then roast for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, mixing about halfway through to make sure everything gets equally cooked. I've eaten these hot and cold. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tasty-and-frugal-chickpea-recipes?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Tasty and Frugal Chickpea Recipes</a>)</p> <h2>4. Popcorn</h2> <p>If you're pressed for time and need to provide an allergy-free snack for a class, try grabbing a big bag of popcorn. There are a variety of brands and flavors on the market today. I stick with plain and lightly salted. What else is cool? Popcorn is a healthy, whole grain snack and also happens to be an excellent source of fiber.</p> <h2>5. Protein Bites</h2> <p>My daughter loves these chocolate&nbsp;<a href="http://ohsheglows.com/2013/07/29/super-seed-chocolate-protein-bites/">super seed protein bites</a>. Just blend Medjool dates in your food processor until they become a chunky paste. Then add hemp, chia, and sesame seeds along with cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Then fold in some mini dark chocolate chips (read the label for allergens) and freeze until firm, around 20 minutes. These little treats taste like dessert, but they're packed with all sorts of good stuff.</p> <h2>6. Chips and Dip</h2> <p>Corn chips are usually allergy-friendly as well. Try serving tortilla chips with salsa or a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.glutenfreeandmore.com/recipes/sesame_free_hummus-2026-1.html">homemade hummus</a> that doesn't contain tahini (helps bring the price down considerably). To make, combine chickpeas, water, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Blend in a food processor until smooth and store in your refrigerator.</p> <h2>7. Rice Cakes</h2> <p>My daughter makes herself &quot;rice cake sandwiches&quot; with nut butter spread on top. To make this completely allergy-free, try using sunflower butter, which is a tasty substitute for peanut butter. This snack is a wonderful accompaniment to carrot sticks or other fruits and veggies.</p> <h2>8. Granola Bars</h2> <p>If you watch your ingredients closely, you can make delicious&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eatingwithfoodallergies.com/nutfreegranolabars.html">granola bars</a> that are free from common offenders. This recipe combines the goodness of gluten-free rolled oats, sunflower seeds, sunflower butter, flax seeds, vanilla extract, salt, molasses, oil, and brown sugar. Mix everything together, press into a large baking dish, and bake for 18 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.</p> <h2>9. Crispy Rice Treats</h2> <p>For special occasions, like birthdays, give them something exciting and simple to make. These allergy-friendly&nbsp;<a href="http://realfoodandicecream.com/allergy-friendly-rice-crispy-treats/">rice crispy treats</a> contain that magic ingredient &mdash; sunflower butter &mdash; again in place of peanut butter. You'll mix together the butter with brown rice syrup on your stove-top. When they're fully combined, pour the mixture over the cereal and coat well. Then press your mixture into a greased baking dish and let set. You might consider doubling this recipe to serve a crowd or cutting into shapes for added flair.</p> <h2>10. Brownies</h2> <p>These&nbsp;<a href="http://petiteallergytreats.com/fudgy-gluten-free-egg-free-brownies-vegan/">fudgy brownies</a> are gluten-free, egg-free, vegan, and more. They also taste great (I've made them) and come together relatively easily. You'll need to create a gluten-free flour blend that contains rice flour, teff flour, as well as tapioca and potato starches. It may seem expensive and labor-intensive at first, but you can use this all-purpose mixture for other recipes once you get more into allergy-free baking. Mix together with the rest of the ingredients and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes.</p> <p><em>What are your favorite allergy-free snacks? Please share a bite in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-allergy-free-snacks-that-are-safe-for-almost-everybody">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-creative-delicious-things-you-can-make-in-a-blender">15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-easy-and-delicious-granola-recipes">20 Easy and Delicious Granola Recipes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-delicious-homemade-gluten-free-bread">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Bread</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-homemade-gluten-free-noodles">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Homemade Gluten-Free Noodles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-easy-pizza-crust">Frugal Gluten-Free Living: Easy Pizza Crust</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Allergies gluten free healthy food kids recipes school snacks Wed, 30 Mar 2016 09:30:25 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1678008 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Surprising Ways a Houseplant Can Save You Money http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-a-houseplant-can-save-you-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-surprising-ways-a-houseplant-can-save-you-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_watering_plant_000015068788.jpg" alt="Woman learning surprising ways a houseplant saves her money" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have considered adding a houseplant to your home or office decor, you may be surprised to find just how much they can improve your life and even save you money.</p> <p>Experts recommend investing in at least three houseplants &mdash; and up to four plants per person &mdash; to drastically improve your indoor air quality. Bayer recommends <a href="http://www.bayeradvanced.com/articles/5-benefits-of-houseplants">adding one large plant</a> to roughly every 100 square feet of space for maximum benefits.</p> <h2>1. Save Money on Your Electricity</h2> <p>Plants release oxygen and water vapor, which can help boost humidity in the air. This means you won't need to waste money buying a humidifier to improve your indoor air quality. You also won't need to waste electricity running the humidifier when houseplants do the same thing for free.</p> <p>The increase in moisture can also have a cooling effect, too. Adding houseplants during the summer can help you reduce your dependency on air conditioning, which will help further lower your electricity bill.</p> <h2>2. Save Money on Medical Treatment</h2> <p>Houseplants have a plethora of physical, mental, and psychological health benefits. In an 1989 report, NASA studied &quot;<a href="http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19930073077.pdf">sick building syndrome</a>&quot; in relation to indoor air pollution, and found that certain plants are actually good for your health. Plants can help with ailments such as headaches, stress, respiratory problems, and even the common cold and cough. In fact, studies have shown that sickness rates throughout an office will fall dramatically once plants are added.</p> <p>They can also help produce more oxygen and clean the air you're breathing, which can further reduce airborne allergens and infections. Some indoor plants, such as the aloe vera plant, can even be applied directly to injuries in order to speed up healing.</p> <p>Researchers have found that adding brightly colored plants to hospital rooms dramatically lifts patients' spirits, which in turn helps to reduce the necessary treatment and recovery time. Patients in hospital rooms with plants have been shown to <a href="http://www.rodalewellness.com/health/plants-and-healing">require less pain medication</a>, experience less fatigue, and have lower blood pressure. One study also found that patients who are tasked with taking care of plants experience a shorter recovery time after medical or surgical procedures. This is called horticulture therapy and can be very effective.</p> <h2>3. Save Money on Allergy Medications</h2> <p>The American Society of Horticultural Science found that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors, so indoor air quality is becoming an increasing health concern &mdash; especially when you consider that indoor air can be up to <a href="http://www2.ashs.org/pressrelease/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=1062:common-plants-can-eliminate-indoor-air-pollutants&amp;catid=1:hortscience&amp;Itemid=3">12 times more polluted</a> than outdoor air.</p> <p>Fortunately, indoor plants are scientifically proven to help improve air quality. In fact, according to the NASA study, some plants can help remove indoor air pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene.</p> <p>If you don't take steps to clean the air you're breathing, you may develop allergies. If you already have allergies, an indoor plant can reduce allergens and lessen your dependency on allergy medications. Air filtration systems can be expensive and ineffective. Instead, a houseplant provides an affordable alternative solution that can also complement your home decor. In fact, some suggest exposing your children to plants early in life so that they can begin building a tolerance for common allergens.</p> <h2>4. Save Money on Mood and Energy Enhancers</h2> <p>Houseplants just make you happy. They can increase self-esteem, reduce depression, make you feel more relaxed, and even increase your sense of stability. They have also been shown to improve mood, <a href="http://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/health-and-well-being-benefits-of-plants/#.VNzuCeddVfA">memory, mental capacity, concentration</a>, creativity, and productivity. Plants can also help lower background noise, which can improve your work environment and make any area more enjoyable to inhabit. Why waste money on mood and energy supplements when you can get similar benefits just by adding a plant to your space?</p> <h2>5. Save Money on Sleeping Aids</h2> <p>If you have trouble sleeping, try adding a plant to your room. Plants give off oxygen at night, which can help you breathe better. Houseplants also instill a feeling of calm and relaxation, and will help to keep your stresses and anxiety at bay.</p> <h2>6. Save Money on Indoor Decor</h2> <p>Home and office decor can be pricey. Houseplants, on the other hand, are an affordable, beautiful accent that look great, smell great, and can last for years. They can also mask any unpleasant odors and even hide the smell of smoke. Why bother with an air freshener that contains harmful chemicals when you can clean the air with an indoor plant?</p> <p>Indoor plants can also help improve your business image and instantly put your guests or clients at ease. Studies have also shown that people prefer to be in rooms that have plants in them because they tend to be perceived as cleaner and more expensive.</p> <h2>Choosing Beneficial and Affordable Plants</h2> <p>NASA found that there are certain air-filtering plants that clean the air along with releasing oxygen. Fortunately, most of these beneficial indoor plants are very affordable. Ferns, lilies, orchids, and chrysanthemums will look great in any room, won't cost much, and will continue to improve your indoor air quality all day and night. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality?Ref=seealso">The Best Cheap Plants for Improving Indoor Air Quality</a>)</p> <h2>Maintaining Your Plants</h2> <p>In order to get the best usage out of your houseplants, it's important to take care of them properly with routine maintenance. Along with regularly watering them, it is important to keep the leaves clean and dusted.</p> <p>Rubbing the leaves of your plants with castor oil or the inside of a banana peel can revive the shine. Banana peels also work as a natural fertilizer and pesticide. Keep plants away from drafty areas, choose the right container for your plant, and provide them with the right amount of light every day so they can continue to thrive for years to come.</p> <p><em>Do you know of other benefits associated with indoor plants? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-surprising-ways-a-houseplant-can-save-you-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-95-best-ways-to-get-fit-for-free">Flashback Friday: The 95 Best Ways to Get Fit for Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-76-best-life-lessons-you-should-learn-by-30">Flashback Friday: The 76 Best Life Lessons You Should Learn by 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-green-living-habits-thatll-save-you-every-month">12 Green Living Habits That&#039;ll Save You Every Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-60-best-ways-to-use-food-other-than-eating-it">Flashback Friday: The 60 Best Ways to Use Food Other Than Eating It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Allergies decor Health plants pollution saving money sleep aids Thu, 21 Jan 2016 16:00:08 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1642419 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways Autumn Is Good for Your Mind and Body http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_fall_leaves_000057664340.jpg" alt="Woman learning reasons why fall is good for her" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While summer offers a host of ways to stay healthy and active, we can't dismiss fall as a beneficial season for our minds, bodies, and souls. Take a look at these reasons autumn is good for you, and let me know how you take advantage of the crisper weather in the comments below.</p> <h2>1. Relief From Allergies</h2> <p>Say so long to all that sneezing and wheezing you do during the spring and summer months as those cool fall breezes help clear the air.</p> <p>&quot;Autumn is good in a sense that it gives relief from atopy, seasonal allergies and pollen-induced allergic reactions,&quot; says internal medicine specialist Dr. Muhammad M. Hanif. &quot;Exercise-induced allergy is also relieved in a considerable number of patients. Asthmatics also get relief in this season as there is a considerable decrease in grass, flowers, and tree pollens, and it makes the airways least irritated and triggered.&quot;</p> <h2>2. Warm Days Are Perfect for Exercising</h2> <p>The beginning of autumn is still relatively warm in most of the U.S., which is a great time to sneak in a little more summer or outdoor exercise. Consider alternative ways of working out, such as integrating movement into your TV-watching schedule on inside days, to prevent falling into a sedentary lifestyle that we're prone to later in the year.</p> <h2>3. More Laid-Back Outdoor Activities</h2> <p>There are an even greater number of outdoor activities that you can do in the fall that can be prohibited by the extreme heat during the summer. Hiking, biking, and kayaking, for example, are great ways to get out, stay active, but perform at your own pace.</p> <h2>4. An Abundance of Healthy Produce</h2> <p>The colder it gets later in the fall, the more you'll crave comfort food &mdash; which is just one of the many reasons why you should indulge in all the exciting and uber-healthy fruits and vegetables produced from the autumn harvest. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-fall-groceries-to-add-to-your-list-asap">Apples, pears, peaches, and pumpkin</a>&nbsp;are just for starters.</p> <p>Not only is your locally grown produce packed full of vitamins and nutrients, but you're also reducing your carbon footprint by purchasing items that don't have to be transported long distances and supporting your local economy, of course.</p> <p>And just so we're clear, pumpkin <em>spice</em> is not in this category.</p> <h2>5. The Switch to Standard Time Can Encourage Better Sleep Habits</h2> <p>Besides getting an extra hour of sleep if you go to bed early enough on the &quot;fall back&quot; switchover, there are other ways you can take advantage of the switch.</p> <p>The National Sleep Foundation recommends using this time to <a href="https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/daylight-saving-great-time-reset-your-sleep-habits">reset your sleep habits</a> by going to sleep and waking the same time every day, using bright light to help manage your &quot;body clock,&quot; selecting a relaxing bedtime ritual, and more. If you have trouble adjusting to the change &mdash; and you're not alone; millions of people have the same problem &mdash; perhaps these tips from BetterSleep.org for&nbsp;<a href="http://bettersleep.org/better-sleep/how-to-sleep-better/tips-for-surviving-daylight-saving-time1">surviving Daylight Saving Time</a> will help you survive Standard Time, too.</p> <h2>6. We Get Back to Our Regular Routines</h2> <p>As someone who lives by the beach, I can attest to the difficulty of maintaining a routine during the summer. But thanks to the school system in the United States, which typically runs from September to June, we have structure already in place to help us get back on track. It's certainly not as fun as frolicking in the sand all day, but having a routine is scientifically proven to make us&nbsp;<a href="http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/home-and-family/the-power-of-routines#P46IQElPSWD5exlH.97">happier and healthier</a> by providing a sense of security and other factors.</p> <p><em>Do you have more reasons why autumn is good for you? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-autumn-is-good-for-your-mind-and-body">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-18-coolest-frugal-fall-adventures">The 18 Coolest Frugal Fall Adventures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-enjoy-fall-camping">10 Ways to Enjoy Fall Camping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-diy-air-conditioner-and-14-other-cool-camping-hacks">A DIY Air Conditioner and 14 Other Cool Camping Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-frugal-fall-decoration-tips">7 Frugal Fall Decoration Tips</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-a-college-education-will-improve-your-life">10 Surprising Ways a College Education Will Improve Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks activities Allergies autumn benefits fall outdoors well-being Thu, 08 Oct 2015 21:00:32 +0000 Mikey Rox 1583096 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Unexpected Uses for Honey http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/honey_000050003532.jpg" alt="Finding unexpected uses for honey" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Honey is a lot more than just a sweet treat. It has uses ranging from medicinal to athletic, all of which are rather unexpected when you're used to just eating the stuff. Sure, we can keep it in our kitchens (and, seriously, who wouldn't want to do that?), but we can also put it in our medicine cabinets and our gym bags.</p> <p>Intrigued? Here are some <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-beauty-masks-made-from-food">ways you can use honey</a> for health and performance.</p> <h2>1. Boost Athletic Performance</h2> <p>Better performance in endurance athletics &mdash; no matter your sport &mdash; depends a lot on <a href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/honey-heightens-athletic/">carbohydrate consumption</a>. You can supplement with expensive glucose formulas, or you can consume honey. Because honey contains a mixture of various natural sugars, it provides your body with the energy it needs to go the distance.</p> <h2>2. Fight Germs</h2> <p>Honey helps <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3416123">sterilize wounds,</a> which seems to indicate that it has bacteria-fighting properties. In non-sterile wounds treated with honey, the area becomes sterile after about a week. Honey is probably as good or better than more common wound treatments, and it is entirely natural. The only time you don't want to use honey is when the wound is deep or serious &mdash; in these cases, it can slow down your healing. But for normal, everyday injuries, it might be one of the best treatments available.</p> <h2>3. Heal Burns</h2> <p>Honey seems to <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9625243">help burns heal faster</a>. Superficial burns are less inflamed and less likely to get infected when honey is part of the treatment. While you never want to try to treat a bad burn by yourself, you can use honey on the less serious ones as part of your treatment regimen. A sunburn might be a great place to try this out, if you happen to get one more before summer is over.</p> <h2>4. Soothe a Hangover</h2> <p>When you drink too much, then realize you'd like to avoid a hangover, most people will tell you to consume a lot of water. That's excellent advice, and I'll go a step farther: Add some honey to it. Because honey is high in fructose, it will help you <a href="http://www.health.com/health/article/0,,20411244,00.html">metabolize alcohol faster</a>. Yes, anything high in fructose will help, but honey is easy, sweet, and can mix well in the water you know you need to drink.</p> <h2>5. Ease Seasonal Allergies</h2> <p>Some people find that honey <a href="http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/27/can-eating-local-honey-cure-allergies.aspx">relieves seasonal allergy symptoms</a>. This is somewhat controversial, but many people swear by it, and some studies seem to support its use. If you try this, make sure you are eating raw, local honey. This will still contain the pollen found in your area which, as the theory goes, will desensitize you to it, over time. The pollen is removed from non-raw honey, so it won't have much of an effect.</p> <h2>6. Get Things... Moving</h2> <p>Constipation sucks. Not only is it uncomfortable, but the medications that are supposed to relieve it can cause equal discomfort. Instead, try some honey. Mix two tablespoons with some water (or take it straight, if you prefer). Many folks find that it keeps them regular and/or helps relieve constipation when that strikes.</p> <h2>7. Improve Your Sleep</h2> <p>If you struggle with insomnia &mdash; whether you can't get to sleep, wake up for a while in the night, or wake up super early &mdash; honey can <a href="http://althealthworks.com/3807/cant-sleep-all-the-way-through-night-a-little-bit-of-raw-honey-might-do-the-trick/">help you rest</a>. A lot of insomnia is caused by low blood glucose, even if you aren't aware of feeling hungry, and honey can help your body get the glycogen it needs if your own stores get depleted. In addition, honey can help your brain produce tryptophan, which will also help you sleep.</p> <p><em>Do you use honey in an unusual way? What's your honey secret?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-treatments-for-year-round-allergies">7 Cheap Treatments for Year-Round Allergies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-ultimate-list-of-hangover-cures">The Ultimate List of Hangover Cures</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-foods-scientifically-proven-to-help-you-sleep">6 Foods Scientifically Proven to Help You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-high-cost-of-cheap-food">The High Cost of Cheap Food</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-naturally-reset-your-sleep-cycle-overnight">How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Allergies burns healing honey insomnia medicine Tue, 18 Aug 2015 09:00:25 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1525750 at http://www.wisebread.com From Clammy to Clean: 9 Ways to Fight Mildew http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/spray_bottles.jpg" alt="Spray bottles" title="Spray bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Yech, mildew. How many shower curtains have I replaced? How many pairs of shoes or leather coats have been rendered unwearable? How many paint jobs ruined with mildew's tell-tale spots seeping through? Below are some of my favorite mildew fighters. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/household-cleaning-hacks-that-save-you-money">Household Cleaning Hacks That Save You Money</a>)</p> <h3>1. Externally Vented Bathroom Exhaust Fans</h3> <p>These are a tremendous help in drawing away one of the greatest sources of moisture in your house. In my childhood, I remember having to wipe down the mirror after a shower. A bathroom fan would have been a huge boost to our family&rsquo;s bathrooms, as well as the rest of the house. When I get out of the shower now, the mirror and windows are dry. Our fan is also on a timer switch, so that no one can waste energy by forgetting to turn it off.</p> <h3>2. An Externally Vented Range Hood Fan</h3> <p>Almost every night, I cook rice, noodles, or potatoes. Boiling these dishes introduces a lot of moisture into the air. A range hood, vented to the outside, carries much of this moisture away, reducing the humidity in the entire house. Reduced humidity results in reduced mildew.</p> <h3>3. Ceiling Fans</h3> <p>When we bought our current house, we did not have a single ceiling fan. Now, we have one in each room. For circulating air and controlling the temperature in your home, they are invaluable. You can purchase them for well under $100 at home improvement centers. Not only can ceiling fans look great, but properly-sized fans keep the air moving along floors, walls, and ceilings, which is a useful weapon against mildew.</p> <h3>4. Dehumidifiers</h3> <p>Every time I plug in this appliance, I am fascinated by the sheer volume of water it collects. Dehumidifiers condense moisture from the air and hold it, lowering the humidity in a room. The collected water drips into a reservoir (unless you have your dehumidifier plumbed to drain outside). You periodically open the humidifier door and empty out the reservoir. I am always amazed at how much water is collected and how much warmer the house seems while I am running it. I usually plug it in when we have a series of rainy, high-humidity days.</p> <p>Closet heaters/dehumidifiers are also great. When I first heard of these, I envisioned a bulky unit and had no idea how it would fit in my already-crowded closet. Thankfully, they are rod-shaped and mount near the floor of the closet, in the back. The rod warms up, drying and circulating the air in the closet via convective heating. I was also concerned that, being an electrical appliance, our bill would escalate. However, its cost is not even noticeable. It even keeps leather jackets and shoes dry. You have to remember to close your closet doors in order for it to effectively work, though.</p> <h3>5. Keeping Wet Clothes Out of Closets</h3> <p>Speaking of closets, never put away damp clothing in your closet &mdash; allow it to dry completely before hanging back up in an enclosed area (even with the closet heater/dehumidifier installed). This also goes for shoes.</p> <h3>6. Desiccant</h3> <p>The last time you bought shoes or electronics, you probably noticed the little packets that were in the shoebox. Usually a silica gel, they help to absorb moisture. You can purchase small packages of it to tuck into shoes or put into the corners of your closet.</p> <h3>7. Good Old Bleach</h3> <p>Once a week, I spray our shower curtains with bleach solution. For a while I had an automatic sprayer mechanism which, at the push of a button, would spray the entire shower area with a bleach solution. It was wonderful while it lasted. Alas, it gave up the ghost, and I am back to manually spraying my curtain. For really tough spots, I use Tilex, which contains bleach. It works really well. Use ventilation and gloves.</p> <p>Mildew on your walls? If you are ready to paint, give your paint job a fighting chance by wiping down the walls with a bleach solution and letting it dry. (Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and wear gloves and eye protection). Use a paint that contains a mildewcide, or purchase separately and add to your paint.</p> <h3>8. Alcohol Rubdown</h3> <p>If you have mildew-y leather coats or shoes, give this a try. Mix one cup rubbing alcohol and two cups of water. Dip an old washcloth into the solution. Squeeze out most of the liquid. Wipe down the coat or shoes; allow to dry. It may take a couple of applications. I have saved three leather coats using this cleaning method.</p> <h3>9. Cleaning</h3> <p>Like writer Peg Bracken, &ldquo;I Hate to Housekeep.&rdquo; I hate mildew more, though, and that forces me to do it. Dust, sweep, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/upright-vacuum-cleaners-buying-guide">vacuum</a>, scrub, and do your laundry.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fall-cleaning-101-the-spic-and-span-basics-of-making-your-home-sparkle">Fall Cleaning 101: The Spic-and-Span Basics of Making Your Home Sparkle</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-you-remove-stains-from-almost-anything">Here&#039;s How You Remove Stains From Almost Anything</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cleaning-rules-you-should-be-breaking">6 Cleaning Rules You Should Be Breaking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home Allergies bathroom cleaning Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:24:08 +0000 Marla Walters 677004 at http://www.wisebread.com Spring into Cleaning Now http://www.wisebread.com/spring-into-cleaning-now <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/spring-into-cleaning-now" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000011544593Small.jpg" alt="Woman taking a break from cleaning" title="Woman taking a break from cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'll admit that I'm not Mrs. Clean Genie. I'll keep the bathrooms respectfully clean, I'll vacuum every couple of weeks, and I'll break out the feather duster to keep cat hair at bay. But every few months, I tackle a room and give it a good, deep cleaning instead of waiting once a year to give my entire place a thorough spring cleaning. Not only does this save me time in the long run, but as a person who is constantly sniffling, I know that fewer dust particles are healthier for me than a tabletop lined with a layer of film. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/control-your-allergies-with-regular-cleaning">Control Your Allergies with Regular Cleaning</a>)</p> <p>Since I don't necessarily love cleaning (<em>who does?</em>), I attack a room efficiently. I also don't want to use harsh chemicals that could irritate my allergies even more than the dust, so I've found one product that is multi-functional, inexpensive, and biodegradable &mdash; Simple Green. It comes in a gallon sized container in concentrate; my last gallon lasted ten years, which equated to about $1 annually in cleaning solution. Since I can dilute it to meet my needs, it's a flexible, inexpensive, and safe product. I use it for countertops, sinks, showers, and floors in different dilutions.</p> <p>I also like to use white <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">vinegar</a> for shower doors and mirrors, and it can be added to baking soda and lemon juice for a gentler cleaning solution. These are common kitchen ingredients that have universal uses and are environmentally safe.</p> <h3>Cleaning Method</h3> <p>I don't like to spend more than a couple of hours cleaning at any one time, so when it's time for &quot;spring cleaning,&quot; I'll choose one large room or two smaller rooms to focus on. Since I&nbsp;only deep clean every few months, this is the time to focus on the details and not just the parts of the room that are visible or obvious. I also work top to bottom so that the floor is the final surface I clean.</p> <h3>Baseboards</h3> <p>I have a habit of looking at other people's baseboards. I can tell when they've never been cleaned or dusted, ever, and that just irks me. During my deep cleaning, I make sure to wipe down the baseboards with a damp sponge and follow up with a dry hand towel after a good sweeping, and I may follow up with a vacuum around the baseboards using my extension tube. I usually clean the floors <em>after </em>the baseboards since it's the finale to a room.</p> <h3>Ledges</h3> <p>There are ledges or lips of furniture and appliances in every room. I make sure to wipe down the ledge of the bathtub, mirrors, and dishwasher. These are often-missed parts that gather dust.</p> <h3>Backsplashes</h3> <p>The backsplash behind a kitchen or bathroom sink needs a good cleaning. Since vertical surfaces are a little more difficult to clean, I often miss them during my weekly turbo-cleans, but I make sure I give them a good scrub during my spring-cleaning sessions.</p> <h3>Corners and Hard-to-Reach Areas</h3> <p>I normally look at hidden corners, like behind a toilet. It's another area that tells a lot about a person's cleaning habits. Again, during my deep cleaning of a particular room, I make a point to clean behind the toilet and in every corner of that room. For the ceiling corners, I use a feather duster to remove any cobwebs that may have appeared between cleanings.</p> <h3>Appliances</h3> <p>I usually clean the top of my stove during my turbo-cleaning of the kitchen, but not the front. I focus on the front and interior of each appliance during a deep clean. Since I focus on only one or two rooms at the most during these kinds of cleanings, adding the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-money-on-appliances-at-any-time-of-year">appliances</a> doesn't tack on that much more time.</p> <h3>Bathtubs and Showers</h3> <p>Again, I focus on one or two rooms so I don't overwhelm myself.</p> <h3>Visible Areas</h3> <p>Since I often clean the visible areas of every room every week (or 10 days if I'm feeling lazy), these sections don't need as much attention during my deep-cleaning sessions. Instead, I quickly give these a once-over:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Counters:</strong> Normally cleaned weekly, so they aren't that dirty come spring cleaning.</li> <li><strong>Toilets:</strong> Again, cleaning weekly means they aren't untouchable. Yuck!</li> <li><strong>Floors:</strong> Vacuumed or mopped, weekly cleanings take care of most of the dust and dirt.</li> <li><strong>Mirrors:</strong> These aren't too terribly difficult to include in weekly cleanings.</li> </ul> <p>You might have noticed I left out windows. I've never really cleaned my windows, as they don't seem to get too terribly messy. Of course, that might be because I don't have kids. However, whenever I see some fingerprints, I'll quickly wipe them down with a damp cloth.</p> <p>Minimizing my cleaning time by tackling one or two rooms at a time makes it a bearable chore. There's never as good a time to spring into cleaning than now.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-house">Little House</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spring-into-cleaning-now">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning">Your One-Month Guide to Spring Cleaning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-spring-cleaning-on-a-budget">6 Tips for Spring Cleaning on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-clammy-to-clean-9-ways-to-fight-mildew">From Clammy to Clean: 9 Ways to Fight Mildew</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-tasks-you-shouldnt-skip-during-spring-cleaning">8 Tasks You Shouldn&#039;t Skip During Spring Cleaning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Home Allergies clean house cleaning products spring cleaning Wed, 02 Feb 2011 13:00:12 +0000 Little House 486799 at http://www.wisebread.com Control Your Allergies with Regular Cleaning http://www.wisebread.com/control-your-allergies-with-regular-cleaning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/control-your-allergies-with-regular-cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000012931195XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Suffering constantly from allergies can make any person frustrated and not feeling 100%. Not only do you feel bad, you can also spend a small fortune on doctor visits and allergy medications. Instead of prolonging your suffering, you can engage in regular home maintenance that can help prevent allergy attacks stemming from your <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/candles-and-indoor-pollution">indoor environment</a>.</p> <p>Here is a room-by-room cleaning plan that can help you control your exposure to allergens. Make sure you perform these tasks regularly and wear a mask to protect yourself during the cleaning process.</p> <h2>In the Kitchen</h2> <ul> <li>Keep counters, stovetops, and floors free of excess water, food crumbs, and grease.</li> <li>Clean the outside and inside of the refrigerator once a month.</li> <li>Wash and dry dishes soon after using them.</li> <li>Keep the space under your sink uncluttered and dry.</li> <li>Don't keep brown paper bags in cabinets or other areas because they are a magnet for roaches who like to hide in them.</li> <li>Empty your trash cans daily and clean the cans with disinfectant once a month.</li> </ul> <h2>In the Living Room</h2> <ul> <li>Vacuum once a week (more often if you have indoor pets).</li> <li>Clean dust off the blinds, lights, and fans once a month.</li> <li>Steam clean the carpets and furniture once a year.</li> <li>If you have a fireplace, keep it clean and store wood outside to prevent mold.</li> </ul> <h2>In the Bedroom</h2> <ul> <li>Wash your sheets each week in hot water.</li> <li>Wash other bedding in hot water every two months.</li> <li>Dust the furniture and vacuum the floor weekly.</li> <li>Vacuum your mattress and box spring every six months. Use an anti-allergen mattress cover to prevent allergens and make for easier cleaning and maintenance.</li> <li>Don't let your pets hang out or sleep in your bedroom.</li> </ul> <h2>In the Bathroom</h2> <ul> <li>Clean the bathroom surfaces each week to remove soap scum and mildew.</li> <li>Keep your floors and counters free of water.</li> <li>Install an exhaust fan or open windows during a shower to reduce the levels of humidity.</li> <li>Wash bath mats and towels often. Do not let wet towels lay around.</li> </ul> <h2>Other Considerations</h2> <ul> <li>Remove carpeting and select hardwood or linoleum flooring.</li> <li>Seal cracks around the foundations, windows, and cabinets to keep roaches and other insects out.</li> <li>Wash ceilings, walls, and draperies every few months.</li> <li>Keep your home free of clutter.</li> <li>Service your air and heating ducts and change filters as recommended by the manufacturer.</li> <li>Invest in a bag-less vacuum cleaner developed to combat allergens.</li> </ul> <p>More than 50 million people suffer from indoor allergens. You can help prevent the suffering of your family or of your own. <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/are-we-too-clean">Spring cleaning</a> once a year is not enough to beat back the allergens but you can keep up with things by performing the above-mentioned regularly. It may take a little extra housecleaning work but the benefits of reducing your allergies or avoiding allergic attacks at all will be worth it.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a post by Tisha Tolar from our sister blog, <a href="http://www.healthytheory.com">Healthy Theory</a>. Visit Healthy Theory for more health tips and news.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/beat-bad-breath">Beat Bad Breath</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/too-much-exercise-too-much-of-a-good-thing">Too Much Exercise = Too Much of a Good Thing?</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/tips-for-eating-healthy-while-on-vacation">Tips for Eating Healthy while on Vacation</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.healthytheory.com/tips-to-curb-food-cravings">Tips to Curb Food Cravings</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthy-theory">Healthy Theory</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/control-your-allergies-with-regular-cleaning">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey">7 Unexpected Uses for Honey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-treatments-for-year-round-allergies">7 Cheap Treatments for Year-Round Allergies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-top-ways-to-care-for-your-allergies-without-damaging-the-budget">8 top ways to care for your allergies without damaging the budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spring-into-cleaning-now">Spring into Cleaning Now</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-oil-absorbing-sheets">The 5 Best Oil Absorbing Sheets</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Allergies dust mildew mold spring cleaning Sat, 19 Jun 2010 17:00:04 +0000 Healthy Theory 141056 at http://www.wisebread.com Are we too clean for our own good? http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/soil.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="322" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A friend of mine has three daughters, all under 6 years old. Recently, she was at the supermarket with her youngest. Her daughter dropped her pacifier on the ground. My friend picked it up, wiped it on her shirt, and handed it back to her daughter.</p> <p>An elderly gentleman approached her a few seconds later. Chuckling, he patted her child on the head. &quot;This must not be your first kid, then,&quot; he said with a grin,</p> <p>&quot;Why do you say that?,&quot; my friend asked nervously.</p> <p>&quot;Well, with the first child, if they drop their binkie, you&#39;d be more likely to boil it before letting your baby touch it again. By the time you get to your second, you get over it.&quot;</p> <p>My friend smiled. &quot;Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.&quot;</p> <p>There are probably a few of you reading this who think my friend is a horrible mother. I can assure you that she is not. Yes, supermarket floors are dirty. Yes, her daughter was probably exposed to germs. But according to many scientists, <a href="http://www.livescience.com/health/070914_too_clean.html">germs may be exactly what we need more of</a>.</p> <p>Building up a healthy immune system is one of the most important things that we can do for our health. It&#39;s the reason that people try to make sure that their children get chicken pox at a young age; they hope to inoculate their babies against the disease, which is much more serious if experienced at an advanced age. Taking your kid to a Pox Party is like a cheap vaccination. Viruses are serious things, and we believe in inoculating our kids against them, for the most part. </p> <p>However, we don&#39;t feel the same way about bacteria and other bugs. In fact, we do our utmost to avoid contact with bacteria, and when we do experience it, we zap the hell out of it with antibiotics and antibacterial ointments. The result? Our bodies don&#39;t know how to deal with bacterial infections, and the bacteria that we do come into contact with is getting stronger and stronger as we continually do our damndest to kill it off. Not only that, but when an immune system with too much free time on its hands comes into contact with innocuous but foreign substances (like cat dander), it over reacts, causing us to suffer from allergies.</p> <p>You&#39;ve probably heard that certain conditions that seem endemic to Americans, such as hayfever, <a href="http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F05EFDE1330F93AA2575AC0A9649C8B63">asthma</a>, and <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2007/HEALTH/03/23/allergies.kids/index.html">food allergies</a>, are not as common in the developing world. People infected with hookworm, for instance, have fewer asthma attacks and allergies (the hookworms trigger and immune system response, it is thought, that causes the body to concentrate on the worms, rather than triggering wheezing asthma attacks). By the way, do not Google &quot;hookworm&quot; unless you want to spend the rest of the day fighting the heebie jeebies. </p> <p>The point is, exposure to other germs, especially those found in soil, are <a href="http://www.realage.com/parentingcenter/articles.aspx?aid=10326">beneficial in preventing all kinds of autoimmune diseases</a>. With that in mind, consider letting go of your germ phobic ways. You&#39;ll save some money on the plethora of cleaning supplies that promise to nuke every single bacterium within a hundred-mile radius, and just may find that your kids grow up healthier.</p> <ul> <li>There&#39;s certainly nothing wrong with washing your hands, but skip the anti-bacterial soaps. Also, hand sanitizer is good in a bind, but if you apply it several times a day (and don&#39;t work in a hospital), you might have bigger issues than germs.</li> <li>Nobody wants salmonella poisoning, but using the appropriate tools when preparing raw chicken (plastic or glass cutting boards that can be run through the dish washer) and cleaning the kitchen with normal soap and water afterwards can do the trick - no need to break out the Clorox wipes.</li> <li><a href="http://www.slate.com/id/2175569/">Slate.com</a> believes that Americans should eat sh*t and NOT die. Provocative, but also, ew. They also mention the importance of breast feeding as a method for transferring antibodies from mother to child, even though most mothers today also lack crucial antibodies, having also been raised in sterile environments.</li> <li><a href="http://www.cnn.com/2006/HEALTH/conditions/04/05/cohen.allergies/index.html">Let your kids get dirty</a>. They will survive. I suppose it&#39;s possible, but it&#39;s fairly uncommon to hear of children who have been hospitalized because they accidentally ingested a little dirt.</li> <li>Ladies, your ladybits are self-cleaning, like an expensive oven! Unless it has been recommended by your gynecologist, do not feel the need to rinse them out from the inside (click <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/37387729/sizes/l/">here</a> to see a really odd add for Lysol ladybit cleaner). Remember, douchebag is a better insult than it is an invention. Too much rinsing will actually CAUSE infections.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/germs-dirt-bacteria-infection-immune-system-antibiotics-disease">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-big-of-a-house-do-you-really-need">How Big of a House Do You Really Need?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-uses-for-everything-in-your-bathroom">Alternative Uses for Everything in Your Bathroom</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-win-the-war-against-this-summers-electric-bill">4 Ways to Win the War Against This Summer’s Electric Bill</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-refillable-things-that-will-save-you-cash">10 Refillable Things That Will Save You Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/save-some-cash-with-these-6-clever-cleaning-hacks">Save Some Cash With These 6 Clever Cleaning Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Green Living Home Lifestyle Allergies antibiotics bacteria chidren clean cold Dirt disease flu germs hand washing hookworms illness immune system infection lactose intolerance Overly Clean soap wash hands Mon, 17 Nov 2008 22:27:20 +0000 Andrea Karim 2585 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Cheap Treatments for Year-Round Allergies http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-treatments-for-year-round-allergies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-cheap-treatments-for-year-round-allergies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/sneeze.jpg" alt="sneeze" title="sneeze" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="254" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you’re like me, your allergies don’t always stop with the changing of the seasons. Well into winter weather, I’m still sniffling and sneezing up a storm. The allergy medication my doctor prescribed to me is only available through my insurance at $60 a month. If you too are unwilling or unable to budget more than $700 a year on allergy medication, read on for frugal solutions to help treat your allergies.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Generic Drugs</strong><br />Many name-brand prescription and over-the-counter drugs have generic counterparts. For example, the generic name for Claritin is Loratadine; the generic name for Zyrtec is Cetirizine Hydrochloride (HCI); the generic name for Sudafed is Pseudoephedrine HCI. These names are of the active ingredients contained in name-brand drugs. Generics are often sold under store brands – for example, generic Claritin at Walgreens is called Wal-itin. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">To combat the symptoms of my allergies, I make sure I have three types of generic medication on hand: an antihistamine (like Claritin or Zyrtec), a decongestant (like Sudafed), and an instant decongestant spray (something like Affrin). Generally, I take an antihistamine every day to keep my allergic reactions to a minimum. I take decongestants when I find myself getting stuffed up. And I keep the spray on hand for those times when I’m so congested I can’t breathe through my nose at all.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Generics drugs are a cost-effective way to treat allergies when they’re particularly bad, but sometimes taking pills can be hard on my system. Luckily, there are more natural ways to find relief.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>A Neti Pot</strong><br />Neti pots are a tool used in nasal irrigation – running water through your sinuses to clean them out. Unlike getting water up your nose when you swim, using a neti pot doesn’t hurt or sting in any way. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">To begin, you mix a saline solution (salt and water) and fill the neti pot with it. You place the spout of the pot in one nostril, bend down and tilt your head to one side. The liquid runs through your sinuses and drips out the other nostril. This is an Ayurvedic technique used commonly in India to clear the sinuses of mucus and allergens and improve breathing. Because it’s a chemical-free process, you can use a neti pot several times a day to find relief from congestion. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">I purchased my neti pot from the local health food store, but you can also order them online. My neti pot came with packets of saline powder to mix with water, but the ingredients in the powder are sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and sodium chloride (salt), ingredients you can find at home. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">You can watch an instructional video on using the neti pot <a href="http://www.himalayaninstitute.org/NetiPot/NetiPotInstructions.aspx">here</a>. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The neti pot can take some getting used to, but it’s worth it. Used regularly, the neti pot can help prevent congestion or recurring sinusitis.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Honey</strong><br />In the summer months, I go out of my way to eat local honey every day. Though lacking in scientific study, many people believe that eating local honey is a homeopathic way to treat allergies. The idea is that by ingesting honey from the same plants that cause your allergies, your body builds up a tolerance to those particular pollens. This is the same idea used in vaccinations – that a small amount of something can help the body ward off a larger illness. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><em><strong>D</strong></em><em><strong>isclaimer</strong></em> – honey is not suitable for children under the age of one due to the risk of botulism. Some people may have an allergic reaction to the honey itself. It’s best to start with a small amount of local honey every day and work your way up, if you’re concerned about your reaction. However, if you’re like me and use honey regularly anyway, you might make a conscious effort to have a tablespoon or so of local honey every day, spring through fall. (It’s a delicious routine.) Local honey is generally available at your local health food store or farmer’s market. The bottles will be marked with the location of the apiary where it was made. The closer to you, the better.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Wash Your Pets</strong><br />If you’ve got both allergies and pets, you probably know enough to keep them out of your bedroom. After all, there’s no good night’s sleep with Fido’s hair all over your pillow. But washing your pets regularly can help keep the dander in their fur down, and dander is what most people are allergic to when they say they’re allergic to animals. People are usually pretty familiar with the idea of washing dogs or sending them to a groomer, but cats can be bathed too. I’m not saying they’ll like it, but with two pairs of hands and a big kitchen sink, you can scrub down the kitties with a gentle shampoo in about ten minutes flat. (If your cats have claws, wear long sleeves and gloves.) Washing your pets regularly can reduce airborne allergens dramatically in your home. And if you’re sick and tired of sneezing, you may even find you don’t mind wrestling the cats into a bath. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>General Tso’s Chicken</strong><br />When you’re so stuffed up you can hardly breathe, eating tends to be a mundane chore. If you can’t breathe, you can’t taste. But if your meal is chock full of chili peppers or horseradish, your sinuses will be clear in no time! Go for Asian cuisines – Chinese, Japanese, Indian and Indonesian all have spicy dishes – or slather a capsaicin-based hot sauce on whatever you’re making for dinner. In a pinch, spicy foods work like a charm. And hey, you gotta eat anyway. Throw on some Tabasco.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Keep a Food Diary</strong><br />On the other end of the spectrum, some foods can make your allergies worse. By paying close attention to what you’re eating and when, you may notice cause-and-effect relationships between your allergy symptoms and what you’ve recently eaten. For instance, I like to enjoy a latte in the morning, but I swear up and down that after having that much milk, my congestion gets much worse. So when I’m already stuffed up, I have tea instead. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Food allergies and intolerances can present themselves in many ways. You may associate food allergies with throat-swelling or nausea, but if you’re intolerant to a food, it may manifest itself in your asthma or sinusitis.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Clean, Clean, Clean</strong><br />It’s pretty cheap to vacuum. When you’re stuck indoors in the winter, your familiar surroundings may be the biggest culprit to blame for your allergies. Dust mites, mold and pet dander can keep you sniffling all winter. By ramping up your cleaning efforts, you can effectively cut down your allergic reactions. If you have carpet, vacuum twice a week. Dust everything regularly. Wash bedding weekly, including comforters and pillows. Be aware that humidifiers can house mold. HEPA filters are helpful against animal dander, mold, and pollen (but don’t work against dust mites). HEPA filters are only worthwhile when the windows are closed, or you’ll undo all the benefit of filtering the air. Dust covers on the box spring and mattress can help cut down on dust mites and are available in fabric (not just plastic anymore). With a little extra effort, cold weather and re-circulated air don’t need to result in your suffering. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Allergies can be tricky. Often times, combining tactics and using trial and error can help you find the best way to combat your symptoms. How do you keep your allergies under control year round?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">For more information on allergy treatments, check out the following links:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="/8-top-ways-to-care-for-your-allergies-without-damaging-the-budget">8 Top Ways to Care for Your Allergies Without Damaging the Budget </a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://wholefoodsmarket.com/socialmedia/wholebody/2007/04/03/breath-easy-this-allergy-season/">Breathe Easy this Allergy Season</a> (Whole Foods podcast about allergies and homeopathy)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.webmd.com/allergies/guide/allergy-medications">Medications for Allergies</a> (the basics from WebMD) </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.medicinenet.com/allergy_treatment_begins_at_home/article.htm">Allergy Treatment Begins at Home</a> (tips on cleaning from MedicineNet)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lana-goodrich">Lana Goodrich</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-treatments-for-year-round-allergies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey">7 Unexpected Uses for Honey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy Changes You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-putting-on-recession-pounds">How to Avoid Putting on Recession Pounds</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-get-fit-with-your-dog">7 Ways to Get Fit With Your Dog</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alcohol-is-good-for-your-heart">Alcohol is good for your heart</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink Health and Beauty Lifestyle Allergies generic drugs honey neti pot pets sinuses Tue, 01 Jan 2008 22:20:07 +0000 Lana Goodrich 1575 at http://www.wisebread.com Pet Peeves Part 3: Vet Visits http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-3-vet-visits <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/kitten.jpg" alt="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=seabreeze&amp;MORGUEFILE=90pv7lqva2471egn0hve7sbbl0" title="by Simon Jackson" width="283" height="188" /></p> <p>My animals are a pricey bunch. Cute, and sweet, but medically challenged. Between facial fold issues, allergies to grass (seriously, what kind of dog is allergic to <em>grass</em>?), and a cat with apparent manic depression, we&#39;ve spent a lot of time at the vet&#39;s office, at a few hundred bucks a pop. </p> <p>The last thing that my dog managed to come down with was a grass seed between his toes. He never gave any sign of distress, and I only noticed it when the other dog started sniffing at the wound. Apparently this is common, and you probably won&#39;t see it until it swells up and starts bleeding.</p> <p>The thing is, most of my animals&#39; health issues are annoying and probably painful, but not deadly. And they always occur on a Saturday night, meaning that I have to wait until Monday morning to get them seen by a vet, unless I want to take the to the emergency hospital, which is twice the price of the regular vet.</p> <p>I&#39;ve stopped going to the emergency hospital because I&#39;ve learned to combat pet problems, at least the ones that send us to the emergency room, by being prepared.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Ounce of prevention, pound of cure </strong></p> <p>Here&#39;s a list of things that I keep on hand to keep my animals out of the vet&#39;s office:</p> <ul> <li>A solid pair of <strong>rubber gloves</strong>, especially if you have to peform some first aid on a cat. Cats don&#39;t like you trying to fix them. Actually, cats just don&#39;t like you. Nothing personal. They&#39;re cats.</li> <p> <li>A regular <strong>first aid kit</strong> can do wonders, if you don&#39;t want to go to the trouble of buying gauze and butterfly bandages separately.</li> <p> <li>Good pair of <strong>tweezers</strong>, for removing ticks, pulling out splinters, etc.</li> <p> <li>One of those <strong>head-cones</strong>. You never know when you&#39;re going to have to stop your dog from chewing on his butt or licking a wound. Yes, he will look stupid running around the house with one of those things on. Too damn bad.</li> <p> <li><strong>Baby wipes</strong>. I think anyone who is alive should keep these onhand, pets or no pets. They are incredibly handy.</li> <p> <li><strong>Neosporin</strong>, for small scrapes and scratches.</li> <p> <li><strong>Skin-cooling spray</strong> or cream. Hydrocortisone is good, or you can use something with soothing chamomile. Scalpicin works fine, too.</li> <p> <li><strong>Hydorgen peroxide</strong>, for cleaning small wounds, such as the ones caused by an exiting grass seed.</li> <p> <li>A damn good pair of <strong>electric clippers</strong>, for trimming the hair around a wounded area.</li> <p> <li><strong>Pepto-Bismol tablets</strong>, for diarrhea. I give two to each dog almost anytime they get runny. Also, egg yolks and yogurt, which are eaten by adventurers the world over to combat traveler&#39;s diarrhea, are a great way to plug up a pooch that has a slight stomach upset, as long as you feel that the source of the upset isn&#39;t dangerous. For instance, switching (non-contaminated) food brands. Don&#39;t get the idea that you can give your pets <a href="http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=0&amp;cat=2041&amp;articleid=3473">any kind of human medication</a>, because you can&#39;t. </li> <p> <li>Particularly flatulent mutts can be treated with <strong>sweet potatoes</strong>, according to <a href="http://www.itchmo.com/read/home-remedies-for-your-pets_20070330">this home remedy</a> from Itchmo.</li> <p> <li><strong>Flea shampoo</strong> and flea treatments. I don&#39;t use these as regularly as some people do, but I keep them around, just in case an infestation occurs. It&#39;s very rare for us, but good to be ready if it happens.</li> <p> <li><strong>Pet meds</strong>. If your pet regularly takes medication, don&#39;t fall behind in providing them. It can mean the difference between happy and healthy, and sitting at the pet hospital at 3AM and <a href="/canadians-try-to-kill-your-pets-pet-food-recall#comment-11224">getting angry at bloggers</a>. [Not that I&#39;m suggesting the Kirk wasn&#39;t giving his dog his meds or anything.]</li> <p> <li>My vet recommends <strong>Benadryl</strong> for the times when my shih tzu has a massive allergy attack. Most human meds aren&#39;t good for dogs, and you should obviously check with yours before giving anything to your dog. Benadryl seems to be widely accepted for allergy treatments, however.</li> <p> <li><strong>Treats</strong>. Dogs (and some cats) will forgive you for popping a huge cyst on their foot if a treat immediately follows.</li> <p> <li>Lots and lots of <strong>towels</strong>. You can never have too many towels.</li> </ul> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Pet Insurance</strong></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/animal_kingdom_harmony.jpg" alt=" " width="299" height="197" /></p> <p>The discussion over pet insurance is a long and tedious one, and I can&#39;t crunch the numbers for anyone else. Since pet insurance doesn&#39;t cover any pre-existing conditions, I haven&#39;t seen any reason to buy it (for my two pups, it would cost me roughly $100 a month with zero coverage of their current problems). I know that very serious diseases can be a problem later on, but I&#39;ve already decided that I&#39;m not going to let me dogs suffer through harsh treatments for something like cancer. That&#39;s my personal decision, and I don&#39;t expect anyone to agree with it.</p> <p><em>Kitten picture by </em><a href="http://www.morguefile.com/forum/profile.php?username=seabreeze&amp;MORGUEFILE=90pv7lqva2471egn0hve7sbbl0"><em>Simon Jackson</em></a><em>.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-3-vet-visits">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pet-peeves-part-1-couture-critters-are-expensive">Pet Peeves Part 1: Couture Critters Are Expensive!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-400-a-week-as-a-pet-sitter">How to Make $400+ a Week as a Pet Sitter</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-surprising-ways-your-dog-can-save-you-money">5 Surprising Ways Your Dog Can Save You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-personal-finance-tips-for-animal-lovers">7 Personal Finance Tips for Animal Lovers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-homemade-pet-products-that-are-cheaper-and-better-than-store-bought">7 Homemade Pet Products That Are Cheaper and Better Than Store Bought</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Allergies bladder canine cats common problems dogs feline hospital ill pets sick sickness vet veterinary Wed, 04 Apr 2007 17:36:18 +0000 Andrea Karim 450 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 top ways to care for your allergies without damaging the budget http://www.wisebread.com/8-top-ways-to-care-for-your-allergies-without-damaging-the-budget <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/allergies.jpg" alt="Pollen?" title="I heart pollen" width="360" height="267" /> </p> <p>I&#39;ve had allergies for as long as I can remember. Which probably means that I&#39;ve had them for longer than I can remember, since allergies aren&#39;t usually something that become possible with the advent of memory. I have spent more days sniffly, snorty, with a scratchy throat and sinuses that feel like they&#39;re about to explode than many entire families. I&#39;ve ended up with more ear infections, sinus infections, and cases of bronchitis than I care to recount. In fact, I take so much decongestant that my husband decided that my mutant power is Producing Snot.</p> <p>And I&#39;ve tried everything, from standard medicine to acupuncture to herbal remedies to homeopathy to staying in the house and shutting all the windows. The following are some things that work for me and won&#39;t cost you an arm and a leg. In this, the beginning of allergy season (well, for most of you...here in SoCal it&#39;s more like &quot;The Middle of the Allergy Season that Never Ends&quot;), I offer these suggestions in hopes that they also work for you.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Alternate decongestants.</strong> Now that many companies are not selling deocongestant products containing pseudoephedrine due to the fact that it can be used to make meth, the new decongestant of choice is phenylephrine. The first works by actually thinning mucus while the second helps make nasal passages wider. Allergies can cause both symptoms, and so your nose, throat, and sinuses will feel better if you treat them both. Since you aren&#39;t supposed to take them together, alternate doseages. </li> </ul> <ul> <ul> <li><strong>Bonus tip! Cut 12-hour pills in half</strong>. Most pills containing pseudoephedrine are now the 12-hour kind (Is it harder to make meth from these? I don&#39;t know.) Sometimes, they actually work for 12 hours. But if they don&#39;t for you (like they don&#39;t for me--they work for about 8 hours and then I&#39;m miserable for 4 until I can take more meds again), cut them in half and take them at 6-hour intervals. </li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Buy decongestants at bulk stores.</strong> I buy mine at Costco. I don&#39;t notice a difference in quality, even when I buy Costco brand, and I pay much less than I would at the grocery store, pharmacy, or even Wal-Mart. I can get both day-time and night-time pills that will last me between 3 and 6 months (depending on the season) for less than I would get 24 nighttime pills at some stores. </li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Take lots of showers.</strong> I love a good, hot shower, and I&#39;ve found that timing them well can mean not having to take decongestant. For instance, if I take a hot shower about an hour before bed, the steam loosens the crap in my sinuses and it has time to drain out before I go to bed. Then, I don&#39;t have to take the nighttime medicine, which can give some of the...um...<em>strangest</em> dreams I&#39;ve ever had.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Drink mint tea. </strong>Apparently, <a href="/5-affordable-solutions-for-acid-reflux-disease" title="Andrea on GERD">this won&#39;t work if you have GERD</a>. But if you don&#39;t, and you don&#39;t hate tea, this is a good way to open up your air passages. I will often drink it when I really need some more decongestant but can&#39;t take it because it hasn&#39;t been long enough since my last dose or I don&#39;t have any on me. It doesn&#39;t work for long, but it has gotten me through some hard times. Plus, it tastes good, gives me good breath, and is relaxing. </li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Use a saline nasal spray.</strong> My sinuses hurt the worst when they&#39;re dry. The saline helps keep them moist, which helps the mucus move through them faster. Once you have a sprayer, you can make your own spray. Otherwise, store brands are cheap and work well.</li> </ul> <ul> <ul> <li><strong>Bonus tip! Don&#39;t irrigate your sinuses.</strong> Sprays are fine, but shooting salted (or vinagred-yikes!) water through sore, dry sinuses just makes them more sore and more dry after the water dries up. Not to mention, it hurts like the dickens when you do it! They get moist for a short time, but are more irritated in the end. And when they&#39;re full, the water doesn&#39;t losen the mucus much, just makes it a little runnier and more likely to lodge in your ears. I don&#39;t know why, but it happens to me every time. I&#39;ve had the same thing happen when I try to use the steroidal allergy nasal sprays, though.</li> </ul> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Try homeopathic remedies.</strong> These are controversial and rightly so, as my experience is that many of them don&#39;t work. However, some of them do. And some of them work sometimes, with certain symptoms, and not others. These are usually a pill that dissolves under the tongue or a liquid that you dissolve in water. My recommendation is to go with the pills, as they often taste <em>much </em>better than the liquid. You may have to try several brands to find one that works, but it&#39;s worth it if keeping chemicals out of your body is important to you. They&#39;re not as strong as traditional decongestants so don&#39;t always work, but have saved my days more than once.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Drink lots of water.</strong> Sounds cheesy, but it&#39;s true. The more you drink, the looser your mucus will be as there&#39;s more water in your body for it to mix with. In addition, if you drink a lot of water your sinuses will be more likely to be moist, which means they&#39;ll function better.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Walk up stairs. Repeat.</strong> There&#39;s something about the position your body is in when you&#39;re walking up stairs that is conducive to draining sinuses and nasal passages (body slightly tilted forward, head up). I&#39;ll do this in the middle of the night when I wake up because I can&#39;t breathe and it&#39;s too close to time to get up for me to take more medicine. It has never failed to drain my sinuses and help me get back to sleep.</li> </ul> <p>I hope these help any of you who are allergy sufferers. If you have any tips for me, I&#39;d love to hear them. *sniff* <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-top-ways-to-care-for-your-allergies-without-damaging-the-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-unexpected-uses-for-honey">7 Unexpected Uses for Honey</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-gluten-free-lunch-ideas">20 Gluten-Free Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-treatments-for-year-round-allergies">7 Cheap Treatments for Year-Round Allergies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-beat-sinus-pain-at-work">6 Ways to Beat Sinus Pain at Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/control-your-allergies-with-regular-cleaning">Control Your Allergies with Regular Cleaning</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Allergies allergy sinus sinus care sinus infection Mon, 02 Apr 2007 18:37:17 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 422 at http://www.wisebread.com