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Six Tips for Effective Headache Prevention

by Adam Johnson

Almost everyone suffers from a headache from time to time, but sometimes people don’t realize that the headache could actually have been prevented in the first place. Here are six helpful tips for preventing headaches.

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Regular Exercise

Many people suffer from tension headaches brought on by the stresses of everyday life. One of the ways to prevent tension from building up in the body is by exercising.

Daily exercise can even help prevent migraines. Just make sure not to exercise when you already have a headache or migraine, or the pain will become worse.

Exercising two or three times a week for thirty minutes will not only reduce stress and cut down on headache frequency, you will also look great and feel healthier too.

Caffeine Intake

Large amounts of coffee (three or more cups a day) or soda that contains caffeine can cause headaches or even worsen existing headaches.

If you do not regularly consume large amounts of caffeine, a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage can actually temporarily relieve headache pain. Small amounts of caffeine will constrict your blood vessels and even increase the effectiveness of over-the-counter headache medications.

Meal Time

Not eating regularly during the day can cause you to get a headache. Skipping meals can cause a significant dip in your blood sugar, which can easily bring on a headache.

Make sure to each small frequent meals throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable. This will also keep your metabolism working at its best.

Oversleeping

You wouldn’t think that sleeping too much could cause you to have a headache, but it can. Avoid excessive napping or sleeping in too long on the weekend to help avoid unnecessary headaches.

MSG

If you have frequent headaches after eating, then you may have an allergy or sensitivity to monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is a food additive used frequently in processed foods, and many people are sensitive to it and don’t even know it.

Check your food labels, and if you find that you are frequently getting headaches after eating, MSG could be the culprit.

Nitrites

Nitrites are another food additive that is known to cause headaches in some people. If you consume a lot of hot dogs, bacon, or lunch meats, and find that you often have headaches after eating, then you might want to try cutting out these food items and see if the headaches disappear.

Headache Relief

If you do get a headache, treat it early and and at the first sign of discomfort take the recommended dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen. The sooner you take the medication, the more effective it is in treating the pain.

Make sure to drink lots of water. Hydration helps alleviate most headaches within 30 minutes.

There are many things that can cause a person to get a headache. From stress to food allergies, it is sometimes hard to pinpoint where the headache is coming from. If you often suffer from headaches, take a good look at your daily routine and see if you have overlooked a possible cause. After you have determined what is causing your headaches, you can take steps to eliminate them completely.

5 Money-Saving Gas Tips for Moms

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In today’s economy, moms are always looking to save money any way they can. Saving money on gas is no exception. Often almost as much money is spent on gas in one month as is spent on groceries to feed a family. Here are some ways to help trim your gas budget so that you can put that money to good use elsewhere.

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Gas Price Comparison Apps

If you have an iPhone or other smart phone, there are many free apps you can download that allow you to compare gas prices.

Apps such as GasBuddy list current gas prices for most of the gas stations where you live, which as you know, can change almost daily. It even allows you to update the app with current gas prices if you find a price that has not yet been listed.

gas pumpTools like this help make sure you are always paying the lowest gas prices. It is also very useful on road trips. You can list gas stations by state or zip code and still find the best gas deals while you are traveling.

Gas Rewards

Many grocery stores now offer gas rewards. For instance at Albertsons, you earn 5 cents off per gallon for every $50 in qualifying purchases using your Albertson’s Preferred Card. Many other stores offer similar savings.

If the grocery store where you shop at offers a similar savings program, then make sure you take advantage of the extra savings. All these savings add up.

Credit Card Rewards

There are also many credit cards that give you cash back for your gas and grocery shopping purchases.

While it is not normally a good idea to use credit cards, if you use them just for the purpose of getting the rewards and pay them off every month, then they are actually paying YOU to use the cards. You can’t beat that.

Vehicle Maintenance

A lot of moms often let vehicle maintenance fall by the wayside, but keeping your vehicle properly maintained will actually get you better gas mileage in the long run.

Sticking to a regular maintenance routine is key. Get your oil changed regularly, have the air filter looked at and replaced if necessary, and make sure you always maintain correct air pressure in your tires. All these things add up and keep your vehicle running properly.

Vehicle Operation

Did you know that running your vehicle’s air conditioner all the time significantly lowers your gas mileage? That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the air conditioner, but rolling down the window once in awhile instead will help save on the gas bill.

Using cruise control when possible also helps improve your gas mileage. So does limiting the amount of weight you carry around in the back of your car (don’t use the trunk of your car as a storage area).

There are many things you can do to help save money on gas, and these are just a few ideas. A penny here and a penny there really adds up, so try just one idea or two so that you, too, can save on your gas bill.

Copyright 2013, Christian-Parent.com

Four Great Pre-Workout Snacks

It’s always ill-advised to eat a lot before a workout, though some people are susceptible to low blood sugar or low energy levels if they don’t get enough food before physical activity. If you’re one of those people who don’t perform better on an empty stomach, then you’re probably familiar with trying to strike a balance of having a little bit of food before a workout, but not so much that it slows you down an hour later.

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A lot of what determines whether or not you’re able to strike that balance is related to what you’re eating, just the same as how much of it you consume. Keeping the portion low is obvious, but the type of food you should be eating isn’t quite so clear.

pre-workout snacks

To figure that out, let’s start with some simple facts about what our body needs for energy:

  • Fluids – Hydration is crucial to maintaining our energy during any physical activity.
  • Protein – Protein is generally thought of as a post workout need, though it’s also crucial to your energy levels before you even get to the gym.
  • Carbohydrates – Protein combined with good carbohydrates will be your provide you with a more sustained amount of energy. Having one without the other is alright, but ideally we’ll be able to include both in the pre-workout snack.

Our goal now is to find snacks that incorporate all three of these elements. Remember that we’re trying to keep our portions fairly low, so a small serving size should already be assumed.

1. Yogurt with Granola and Green Tea – Here you’ve got your protein, carbohydrates and a little bit of caffeine to top it all off. Green tea in and of itself can be an excellent way to hydrate before a workout, so feel free to combine it with any other food choice. Since the yogurt is a dairy product, it needs to be a small portion to avoid hitting your stomach too hard. In fact, half a cup or less will be plenty to sustain you.

2. Pretzels and String Cheese – The salt in pretzels will actually help you hydrate by helping your body absorb fluids. Make sure that you balance it out by drinking water before and during your workout.

Though it might not seem like a healthy choice, keep in mind that we aren’t trying to prepare a meal’s worth of good choices; rather we’re just trying to get you enough energy to get you through your workout routine. The cheese and pretzels gives you a good combination of protein and carbohydrates, which is exactly what you need to do the job. It’s also easy to eat.

3. Rice, Black Beans and Black Coffee – A great thing about this combination is that it’s easy to digest and highly unlikely to give your stomach any trouble. While it’s not a bad idea to make a habit of consuming black beans on a regular basis, they’re particularly good for you right before a workout. Black beans provide you with protein and a little bit of fiber as well. Add the rice and you’re good to go. Include the black coffee in small doses for the caffeine and anti-oxidants.

4. Grilled Chicken and Whole Wheat Pasta – The disadvantage here is that there’s some preparation involved and you’ll also want to be careful to not eat too much of this as it shapes up more like a meal than a snack.

Perhaps if you have leftover chicken and pasta, a small serving of both with some parmesan cheese will be an ideal combination of protein and carbohydrates.   

Conclusion

Remember to keep all these combination to small portions, somewhere around 1 cup or less. This can be hard to do if you’re really hungry, but keep in mind that even a small amount of food can keep your hunger down for a fairly long time.

The tea and coffee can be included with any snack you choose, though be sure and drink them in moderation to avoid depending on the caffeine itself for your energy. They also shouldn’t be thought of as a water replacement as you should be drinking plenty of water before and during your workout.

To finish up, I’ll list a few foods that can be worked into the above combinations.

Honorable Mentions

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Popcorn
  • Turkey Slices
  • Apple Slices
  • Oranges or Orange Juice
  • Raw Spinach
  • Avocado

Jennifer Fox is a nutrition consultant. She enjoys sharing her tips and insights on various health and lifestyle topics.

Back Pain Relief During Pregnancy

Even if a woman has never had a problem with her back before, pregnancy is often a time when a woman may have back pain that she has never experienced before.

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The good news is that often these aches and pains will disappear after the baby is born. Fortunately there are a number of ways that these aches can be temporarily eased.

If you think about it, it is nearly impossible to stand up straight when you are pregnant. Your stomach is extending out in front of you, causing your back to bend in an unnatural way. This can be the source of many aches and pains. Make sure to stand as straight and tall as possible when you feel yourself starting to slouch.

Pelvic Tilts

back pain relief

Pelvic tilts are a common exercise recommended for pregnant women. Not only will it help relieve back aches, but it will help improve your posture too.

Pelvic tilts can either be done on your hands and knees or lying on your back (only in the first half of pregnancy). When on your hands and knees gently contract the muscles in your abdomen and rotate your pelvis in the direction of the floor. Hold for a few seconds and then release the abdominal muscles. Repeat ten times.

Chiropractic Treatments

If you are pregnant and suspect that your spine is misaligned, then you should make an appointment with your chiropractor. If you don’t already have a chiropractor, this might be a good time to find one who feels comfortable working on pregnant women. There are many gentle adjustments a chiropractor can make to help ease the aches and pains of pregnancy. A chiropractor may indeed become your new best friend.

Swimming

Swimming is a great way for pregnant moms-to-be to give their backs a much needed break. Water supports your weight so that your back is no longer doing all the work.

Many health clubs offer great water aerobics classes for pregnant moms. It is also a great way to meet other pregnant women.

Maternity Belts

Many pregnancy stores and boutiques offer maternity belts that you can purchase to help support your back during pregnancy.

The belt wraps around your hips and fastens under your belly, helping to support the weight and take some of the pressure off your lower back.

If you are on your feet a lot of the time, a maternity belt is definitely something you will want to look into.

A Good Night’s Rest

It’s hard to get a good night’s sleep when you can’t get comfortable. The further along a woman gets in her pregnancy, the harder it gets to get comfortable at night.

Pillows can be a pregnant mom’s best friend at night time. When you are pregnant, sleeping on your side is often the most comfortable position. Try using a firm pillow under your head and another pillow between your knees to help take some of the pressure off your back.

If necessary, you can place another smaller pillow underneath your belly to provide additional support.

Pregnancy is often an uncomfortable time for many women. If you are experiencing back pain during your pregnancy, remember that the pain you are currently experiencing will very likely completely disappear after your baby is born. These tips will hopefully help you pass this time more comfortably as you await your precious new arrival.

Praying the Scriptures: Psalm 119

by Romona Weston
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Praying through the Scripture is an excellent way to fellowship with God. What better words could we choose to pray to our Father than the very Words He has given to us? When you read God’s Word, He is speaking to you. Praying is speaking to God.

Read each verse. Then pray each verse in prayer. Ask questions like: “What is God teaching me through this verse?” “How should I respond?” “What does this verse tells about my God that demands immediate praise?” etc. I have given a few brief suggestions, ideas, thoughts and questions to get you started. As you go through each verse, work it through then pray it back to the Lord.

I have found using Psalm 119 to be a very good portion of Scripture to start with. The first 5 verses are done, if you continue this way, one verse a day to meditate on it will take you about 170 days.

Answer the questions by writing down your responses. As time permits, continue beyond these verses on your own.
Psalm 119: 1-5(KJV)

V1. “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.”

PRAYER: Lord, I long to be undefiled and to walk in obedience to you. Show me where my heart is defiled.

QUESTION: What specific things in my life are displeasing to You?

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PRAYER: I confess each of these as sin. (Call them out one by one, and forsake them.) Cleanse me Oh God! By the power of Your Holy Spirit, Keep me walking in Your way. Increase my understanding of Your law that it would change who I am, how I think and how I behave.

V2. “Blessed are they that keep His testimonies and seek Him with their whole heart.”

PRAYER: Lord, cause me to seek You with my WHOLE heart. Cause me to wholly trust You to guide my life. Cause me to completely surrender my will to Yours. Cause me to desire to know You with my whole mind.

QUESTION: What things in my life have I not fully surrendered to You? In what areas have I not fully trusted You, or in which have I not been obedient to You?

PRAYER: Lord, fill me so that I may glorify You in the testimony I live.

V3. “They also do no iniquity: they walk in His ways.”

PRAYER: Father, cause me to be disgusted at the thought of doing any iniquity. Make my desires be only for holy, righteous things. Cause me not to go where sin is. Don’t let it touch me, Lord. Don’t let it even get close to me! Keep me walking in Your ways only. When I begin to stray off Your way, correct me. Teach me to flee from temptation and avoid every appearance of evil.

QUESTIONS: What habits do I need to change so that I will not expose myself to needless temptation in my daily routine? Reading material? TV programs? Time on the computer? Music? Social activities? What things I see on the route I drive to work? Who I speak privately or intimately with?

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PRAYER: Father, I choose today to forsake these things. (Tell God, and a close friend exactly what you are eliminating and how.)

V4-5. “Thou hast commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently. Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Thy statutes.”

PRAYER: Make me diligent, Lord, to study in Your Word so that I may learn Your precepts, then make me steadfast at keeping Your precepts. Oh, that my ways would always be to keep Thy statues. I am sad at heart when I think of all the times I have not kept Your statues! Forgive me, Lord, that my disobedience saddens You, too.

QUESTIONS: What do I need to eliminate from my schedule so that I can commit time to the study of God’s Word daily? Almighty God, show me what is unnecessary or unimportant that I am doing that could be replaced with prayer and/or time in Your Word.

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PRAYER: Father, I choose today to forsake these things. (Tell God, and a close friend exactly what you are eliminating and how.)

Romona Weston lives in beautiful Southeastern Pennsylvania in the Amish countryside of Lancaster County, PA. She loves to hike, camp, organize, read, cook and write. She also leads Bible Studies. She is a Web Publisher as well, who reviews kitchen islands carts and microwave kitchen carts products. As a researcher rather than a retailer, she gives unbiased views of products at http://www.kitchencarts360.com/. She can be contacted at kitchencarts360@gmail.com.

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