Why Is Too Much Salt Bad for You

Salt helps your body to hold water, this is a good thing. However if you body begins to hold too much water (on account of too much salt) it increases your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is high you put additional strain on many other parts of your body. Some side effects of too much salt/high blood pressure are heart attacks, strokes, dementia and kidney disease.

Why You Need a Certain Amount of Salt

Although salt, in excess can be bad for you your body also needs about 200 mg of sodium a day to be healthy. Salt is necessary to manage your bodies hydration. It acts as an electrolyte, maintains fluid balance, nerve impulses, and proper acid-base balance . If you don’t get enough salt your body can go into what is called Hyponatremia. A rapid decrease in sodium levels can be signaled by headache, nausea, restlessness, fatigue, confusion and a decreased level of consciousness. However, a more gradual loss of sodium may not have any signs but can be just as dangerous. Without being treated, depending on the severity, a person could go into a coma or even die.

Signs That you Have Eaten Too Much Salt

Having too much sodium in your system is known as hypernatremia. This, like anything else can come in varying degrees of severity. The main system for this is thirst, severe thirst in most cases. Unhealthy change in salt levels can also be signaled by confusion, swelling, and blood pressure changes.

Ways to Cut Down on Salt Intake

  1. By no or low sodium food products. Many processed meats, breads, and cheeses are high in sodium as sodium is used to preserve and deter pathogens in the processing. So, if you buy these types of foods you will want to go with a low sodium option. There are other foods that you can of course avoid salt altogether.
  2. Don’t cook with it or put it on your foods. Try other salt free seasonings.
  3. Be sure to check the labels. Many products like seasoning packets and seasoning mixes are loaded with salts. Also check the labels on foods you tend to eat a lot. How much salt is in each serving?
  4. Cut out as many processed foods as possible. The more the food is processed and preserved the more salt is used.

 

 


There are so many reasons why taking care of your teeth and mouth is important. However, there are probably more than you think. Turns out good dental hygiene doesn’t just make your smile nice, or your breath tolerable, it also make you a healthier person. Strange as it may seem, poor oral hygiene is a huge problem, even among those that consider themselves healthy people. Eighty percent of the U.S. population has some form of gum disease. Here are some really great reasons to take good care of your mouth.

  1. Your Smile will Thank You. Need I say more? Having a beautiful smile doesn’t just happen over night, you have to take care of your teeth and gums.
  2. Your Date will Thank You: No one wants to lean in for a kiss and smell the lovely scent of “I ate at my grandmas and she loves garlic”. Taking care of your mouth is not just a case of popping a piece of gum in right before you head out of the house. It might smell nice while the gum does, but sooner or later the truth reveals itself. BRUSH, FLOSS, RINSE. It’s very thoughtful. J
  3. Your Hearth will Thank You: Turns out that not taking good care of your teeth and gums can be associated with Heart Disease. Its best to avoid this increase in chances of such a terrible disease and take care of your mouth.
  4. Your Immune System will Thank You: Among the many things that taking care of your mouth will help you avoid is an over worked immune system. When your immune system is already working hard and then it has to fight off unnecessary bacteria coming from your mouth you are just straining it in ways you don’t need to. This can result a variety of different side effects including simple things like catching a cold- that you might have fought off otherwise.
  5. You will Thank You: I can’t believe I didn’t think of this on my own, but I have to be honest, I didn’t. Good oral care boosts your self esteeem. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it?!?! You take good care of your teeth, they look nice and they smell nice. You like it, and you feel better about yourself! This isn’t as simple as it sounds though. Its not like taking care of your hair or anything else. Think about it, if you don’t like your smile you don’t smile as much. If you don’t smile enough you don’t look happy. We all know that the first step to being happy is smiling and laughing, so…you connect the dots.
  6. Your Brain will Thank You: Apparently you are less likely to develop dementia if you have taken good care of your teeth.
  7. Your Baby will Thank You: This is for all of you pregers out there. You are less likely to have a pre-term baby if you have good oral care.
  8. Your Wallet will Thank You: It is much more expensive to pay for dental work after you have not taken care of your teeth than it is to just pay the minimal amount for regular cleanings and of course your usual at home care. So, take good care of your teeth and save money.

Some of you might be asking: What does good oral care look like. Well here are some tips I got direction from the ada on oral care.

  1. Get regular cleanings at the dentist.
  2. Brush twice a day (get all of it).
  3. Floss regularly (at least 2-3 times a week).
  4. Rinse your mouth out after each brush.
  5. Eat a balanced diet and avoid high sugar foods.

There are so many reasons why reading is a great habit to get into. I consulted the web for some ideas and reasons why others like to read regularly and I also included my own reasons why I think reading is a great idea.

  1. Personal Development- The most obvious benefits I can think of when it comes to reading is the fact that depending on what you are reading you are most likely learning something. Books offer information and knowledge. So, when you read there are all kinds of possibilities for personal growth including insight, wisdom, knowledge, understanding and more.
  2. Improved Language Skills- its no surprise that reading more helps you to read faster and more effectively and it also helps you to write better.
  3. Improves Self Esteem- Depending what your interests are and what you are hoping to be good/knowledgeable at reading helps you to get there. When you read you are obviously gaining knowledge in the area that you are reading in, this makes you more confident about that topic and ultimately reading helps you increase your self esteem.
  4. Reading Takes You Somewhere Else- It’s not a mystery that for everyone at some point during their week they usually wish they were somewhere else. Reading offers an easy cost effective way to get away from all other thoughts, problems, worries etc. In order to read you have to be focused one thing- the book. Being this focused on the book takes your focus from everything else. What a stress reliever.
  5. Increased vocabulary- you just can’t beat this. You get to enjoy a book and increase one area of your IQ at the same time.
  6. Improves Concentration and Focus- in such a fast pace world its easy to become short sited and easily distracted. Reading helps you to keep your focus and concentration levels at optimum levels.
  7. Lowers Change of Alzheimer’s- Reading helps you to improve your memory. This is a benefit all by itself, but even more so if you have Alzheimer’s in the your family as improving your memory in tern makes you less susceptible to the extreme memory loss caused by the disease.
  8. Makes you More Likely to Change the World- I would rather not try and rephrase something that is already said perfect so, here is a quote taken from impactpublishingonline.com:

“On the The Reading Project web site Carolyn Martin of Cornell University refers to an NEA survey and explains, ‘People who read for pleasure are many times more likely than those who do not to visit museums and attend concerts, and almost three times as likely to perform volunteer and charity work. Readers are active participants in the world around them, and that engagement is critical to individual and social well-being.’”

  1. Fiction Helps Too!- Finally I really wanted to highlight an article that gives 4 reason why reading fiction is beneficial. Often when we think of reading being beneficial we don’t think of fiction as being included. So, here are 4 ways that crossway.org found fictional reading to be beneficial.
    1. Helps us explore abstract human experiences
    2. Deepens our appreciate for concrete human experiences
    3. Expands our experience without having to experience things
    4. Its just fun.

It’s that time of the year again. Time for an entirely new year and a new beginning for those of us who feel we need that in some areas of our lives. What a way to bring in 2013 than a really well thought out well intentioned News Years resolution list. I would like to start out by giving some short tips on choosing New Year’s resolution so you set yourself up for success, but also push yourself to grow at the same time. Then we will follow those tips with a few of my favorite New Year’s resolutions for this year.

Tips for Writing Your Resolutions and Picking Winners

  1. Pick resolutions that challenge you but that you know you can do. It doesn’t do us any good to pick a resolution that makes us feel defeated as soon as we write it down. Dream big, but hold yourself to only what doesn’t make you feel weighted down.
  2. Don’t word your resolution in a negative way. So, don’t write “don’t”. What I mean is this: If your news years resolution is treat your mom better you would write “treat my mom with love at all times” NOT “don’t be rude to my mom”. Writing in a positive way makes us less likely to feel like we have to say no to something. It is human nature to do what we focus on, even if we are focusing by saying we won’t do it, we probably will just because that’s what we are thinking about. So, think about what you want to do, not what you don’t want to do.
  3. Find an accountability partner that will help hold you accountable for your resolutions. This person should be someone who you trust and who will help you in a loving supportive and encouraging way.

Great New Year’s Resolution Ideas

  1. Laugh: My number one choice for a New Year’s resolution this year is “laugh more, laugh harder, laugh longer”.  There are so many benefits to laughing and no negatives. Turns out the average amount of times that an adult laugh is substantially lower than the average amount of time during a day that a child laughs. We, as adults, need to bring this back into our life. Laughing is contagious to those around you, it lightens the mood, it makes a bad day seem good, and it has many health benefits. Did you know that fake laughter actually triggers the same parts of your brain and the endorphins as real laughter? So, don’t feel like laughing? Fake it until you are truly laughing. I recommend doing this every day. Why? Well, I would like to ask, why not?!?!?!
  2. Take more baths. So this source I found gave a list of all kinds of great “self indulging” type New Year’s Resolutions. I loved it. It’s all too common in our society that treating ourselves well, and doing the things that make us feel good (and are good for us), are often things we cut ourselves off of. Life would seem just too good if we did them. It’s so strange the mentality that treating ourselves right is almost wrong. I say no to that. I say let’s make a resolution to treat ourselves like kings and queens. So, for this particular idea I chose a resolution to take more baths. I am not talking about just any bath though. I am talking about a perfectly hot, bubbly, candle lit, LONG bath. Indulge! That’s what life is about.
  3. Resolve to have better boundaries. Sit down and think about the people in your life and the things you care about. Whatever those things are put them in priority order of how you treat them currently (what takes priority in your daily life). Now, write down next to that the list the order of priority you actually want them to take place. Where things are out of order in terms of reality versus what you actually want make some changes. Write down some boundaries and rules that will help you keep things in their proper order.

 


Last summer we did a post on great ways to save money, save energy, and save the environment during the summer time. This winter I thought that we would make a similar post with regard to staying warm during the winter.

  1. Sleep or Cuddle with a Warm Water Sack: There are warm water pouches that you can get soft cuddly covers for. These pouches get filled with hot water and they create little personal heat pouches for you to sleep with.
  2. Drink Warm Drinks: Warm drinks don’t just feel good in the moment they actually increase your body temperature. Try out a warm tea or just some warmed water.
  3. Natural Heat: Everyone knows that running the heater all day and night can get pricey, and isn’t exactly energy efficient. If you have a fire place doing a natural wood fire is the best bet for saving money and energy this year. In addition to this it makes the fireplace (any fireplace) much more efficient if you close the vent once the fire is going.
  4. Keep Your Blinds and Curtains Closed: even for those of us with newer two pane windows hot air still manages to escape out of them. If you have older windows, that are usually single pain, the heat escape is even more extreme. This can be limited by just closing your blinds and/or curtains. If you have both close both. This can be someone dark and depressing while you are home, but at least do it while you are away to hold some of the hot air in.
  5. Eat Warm Foods: When possible try to eat foods that are warm/hot by their nature. A perfect example of this is hot soup, or chili. It will have the same effect as the warm drinks.
  6. Wear Layers: I know I know, this seems simple enough, but you would be surprised how many people forget how easy it is to wear warm pjs over the usual almost nothing when they go to bed. Often when its just a habit they don’t think to put on something different and save a whole lot of money.
  7. Use an Electric Heater: This is not always a preferred option, and if you choice to do it please make sure your blanket is functioning properly. For those that like electric blankets, this is a great option for you. You can stay toasty warm at little to no cost.
  8. Turn the Fan on In Reverse: WOW. This was a new idea for me. Apparently ceiling fans are actually “year round” appliances. If you keep it on low and make it spin the opposite direction than usual so the air is being pushed up it pushes cold air up and in turn warm air down.
  9. Have People Over: It seems silly to have a group of people over when your house is cold and you don’t feel moving but body heat is one of the most effective ways of heating a room. The more people you have over the warmer it will get.
  10. Leave the Oven Open: once you are done with your cooking or baking leave the oven open so that the heat can help to warm the house instead of just being wasted in the oven space.
  11. Seal All Areas of Draft: This isn’t so much necessary in newer homes but for many of us in older homes or apartments drafts can be an issue. You can seal them by replacing with new parts or by just buying bing bag strips that sit along the edge of the door or window.
  12. Close Doors to Rooms You Aren’t Using: Be sure that if there are rooms you aren’t using to close them. For example, maybe you have a study that you only go in mostly at night, keep that room closed off to the rest of the house during the day so the heat is not wasted on a room you don’t use during the day.