Undeserved Hate for Coloring Books

Many bad things had been said about coloring books and coloring pages. In fact many school administrator, particularly in preschools, purposely removed coloring books as teaching tools from their curriculum. They are in the belief that, amongst other things, that coloring books stifle a child’s innate creativity. That a child never learns to be either imaginative or inventive, stunts their critical thinking, because of the simple nature of coloring, which only involves putting color to bare drawings and figures. Others think that coloring books teaches inferiority in children, because it shows them how poor their skills are in drawing the same things that they are coloring. Many other justifications have been used to vilify the activity. I don’t know what particular place they are coming from, where they get their figures from or how they arrived at their conclusions. But for me, I don’t believe in any of the things they are saying.

Traditional hard copy coloring books or the recently readily available coloring pages, like the “Disney’s Frozen” coloring pages or the ever popular “My Little Pony” coloring pages are just that, they are coloring books that were made for enjoyment, and nothing more. Finding fault in a thing which is so innocently unassuming takes great courage, I will give them that. I think they have too much time on their hands, with nothing to do except to bash anything of their current fancy. Makes me wonder what they did as children.

They say that coloring books inhibits creativity. If you give a young child a crayon or a pencil, and told him to draw a tree, what would he do? He would scribble lines and whatnots all over the place because he does not know how to draw yet. What if you give the same tree to him for coloring? Yes, he will still scribble and wave the crayon aimlessly; in his little mind, he will still try to impose what he thinks the tree is. But after coloring, it enforces in his mind that the thing he colored was a tree. Try to make him draw the tree freehand next time and see the difference.

Another issue I have with their belief, that coloring is not good for learning, is the statement that coloring inhibits critical thinking and thinking “out of the box”. Well, how then, I ask, do you teach young children to think out of the box if the same children doesn’t know what’s in the box in the first place? Before wandering off and thinking about all the things in this world, one must first know the basics of life. From the basics lie the foundation of critical thinking and creativity.

For children, there is a certain time for everything. They must be afforded every tool that may help them in achieving whatever potential they have while growing up. Coloring books have their place in a child’s life, bashing them and labeling them as unworthy, only limits a child’s potential which, in the first place, is what they are aspiring for. I suggest for all the non- believers to try coloring sometimes, as it may change their view of it. I really can’t imagine them saying that coloring books are bad, do they really know what they were talking about?


Carbohydrate’s Role in Making us Fat

bad carbsIf you are looking for a diet that is not terribly depraving and is almost hard to notice then low carb diet is the way to go. The Low carb diet’s aim is to severely control one’s carbohydrate intake while permitting an increase in protein and fat intake. Carbohydrate rich food includes dairy products, most types of grains, sugar and its end products, and also starchy fruits and vegetables among other things. Popular diets which incorporate the low carbs philosophy in their diet programs are The Zone Diet Program, Atkins Diet and also The South Beach Diet system.

In essence, what the low carb diet preaches is that if we restrict our carbohydrate intake, we would lose weight more rapidly. Carbohydrates, a dietary component, are broken down by the body to form glucose which is then used by the body as energy. Excess glucose in turn, is stored by the body as fat. It is then safe to assume that if we limit our carbohydrate intake, the body will then source its energy from fatty tissue deposits resulting to the decrease of a person’s weight. Consuming fatty foods really doesn’t make us fat; it is the body’s reaction to excess carbohydrates in the food we eat that makes us fat.

Although I am not a follower of any diet regimen, I am in agreement of its basic principle of minimizing carb intake. Carbohydrates being sugar, has many detrimental effects on the human body besides gaining unwanted pounds. Recent studies found that an excess amount of sugar in the body almost triples the chance of one developing coronary heart disease and that fructose, another byproduct of carbohydrates, feeds various forms of cancer cells and contribute to their rapid growth. Other notable problems that may arise from consuming too many carbohydrates are an increased risk of developing diabetes and insulin resistance, wherein your body secretes insulin twice, doubling the formation of triglycerides in your liver and creating a condition called hypoglycemia or false hunger, that even if your stomach is full, makes you feel you are still hungry which then eventually makes you eat more.

What I do is I keep a conscious tab on what I eat. I call it my replacement diet, and eat low carb vegetables in place of foods rich in carbs like breads and cereals to keep me full. And in place of desserts, I eat low carb fruits instead. The internet is rich with information about what vegetables and fruits to eat and I suggest you start researching about it first. Although I still eat meat and other foods rich in protein, the benefits of decreasing your carbohydrate intake can be felt immediately as you’ll feel lighter and gone are the feelings of listlessness and sleepiness associated with high carb foods. You’ll just have to ease yourself slowly into this kind of diet and never go into it cold-turkey as you’ll have a very hard time weaning yourself from the comfort foods that you have been accustomed to. Being fit and having a strong body takes will power, determination and patience, if you have those three then you are set for a long and healthy life.

Casual Talk about Histamines and Allergies

agyI was at work the other day when I happen to chance upon a good friend of mine. He was in the middle of filling up some form at the bank where I worked at, probably paying off his credit card or some other thing. What made me notice him was his persistent coughing, it was neither a hard nor serious kind of cough, but when you are in a quiet place like a bank, your constant coughing is enough noise to attract some form of attention. I approached him carrying a glass of water to somehow help him with his situation, and after the exchange of the usual pleasantries, he proceeded to finish up what he was doing. It was almost lunch that time and I invited him out to a local cafeteria, hoping to catch up on things.

Eating was a bit of a labor for him due to his constant coughing, but we managed to finish, and also had some bubblies for the road. You see we both share a love for things fizzy and have spirits, as he was also a member of a wine tasting club that I regularly hang out with. I remembered that he also was coughing up a storm during our club’s last meeting, and out of concern, I asked him what he is down with and what’s up with his cough.

He said it was his allergy to dust that is causing him this trouble. Intrigued, I asked him to tell me more about it, and was obliged with a very detailed explanation.

Histamines are compounds found in some human cells and are primarily responsible for the symptoms of allergic reactions exhibited by a person. Histamine’s particular function is that it makes the blood vessels porous enough to enable the body’s defenses to reach the pathogens from affected tissues. The human body releases histamines into the bloodstream if a person becomes exposed to an allergen, and its particular destinations are a person’s eyes, nose, throat, skin and lungs causing different types of reactions. You may have watery eyes, stuffed nose, and even fluid in lungs as the histamines job is to make your capillaries permeable enough, that excess fluids sometimes flood the affected areas, causing congestion and also, in his case, chronic coughing.

He also said that for medication, he is through with prescription anti-histamines, which are strong medicines, as they cause severe dryness in his mouth and throat, chest tightness and also finds it difficult to urinate most of the time when he is taking the drug. And up until now, the commercial antihistamines that he took seem to never work on him. Instead, he is now trying to go with natural antihistamine.

Plants, herbs and also some food are often used as natural antihistamines for different kind of allergies; examples of which are basil leaves, Vitamin C in high doses, wild oregano, Echinacea, ginger, thyme among many other things, as each one has particular qualities that helps fight allergic reactions. My friend said that he makes it a point to religiously include many of them in his diet, and is somewhat working on him as his bouts with coughing has decreased noticeably.

Unfortunately not today, being a particularly dusty day because of the wind, it was no help to him.

I suggested he get himself a mask to wear, and to always have a hanky available whenever he goes out for long stretches, also to get some exercise to build up his natural resistance. He said I sounded like his doctor. With a hearty laugh, we again raised our glass for a toast.


Ear Infection in Dogs

It’s always nice to have a pet around to share your life with every day. I don’t know with cats, but dogs, they give you unconditional love. Always hanging around wherever you are, tails constantly wagging. Even when they are sleeping, one whiff of your smell or one sound of your familiar footsteps and their off to the races coming for you. The same is true for Missy, my little baby Teacup Pomeranian. We do almost everything together, owing to her small size and lightness of weight, she is easy to bring along and is my constant companion. We love our pets so much and want to spend more of life together, so it is also very important to take care of their health properly.

Just like us humans, there are practically thousands of diseases which can affect dogs. However for Pomeranians, several of these diseases occur more frequently in their breed. Sickness like cataracts, hypoglycemia, collapsed trachea, eyelid problems, shriveled ears and knee problems are the most common forms of diseases that a Pomeranian dog can have. It is best to read and know more about them, so that we could respond properly if ever they acquire any kind of sickness. Like missy for example, last month she had an ear infection that we only knew about when we went to the vet for her regular checkup. Ear infections in dogs can be hard to detect, as dogs have deep ears and, unluckily for Missy, small ones too.  We were bothered with her demeanor during those days and she has been acting weirdly, good thing her vet schedule was up.

deiThe vet explained to us that there are several tell-tale signs to consider if a dog has ear infection. Primary was the smell coming from their ears or if any discharge is coming out of it, another is if they are always scratching or rubbing at their ears and the constant shaking and tilting of their heads, as if they are trying to remove something from their ears are also signs of ear infection. The dog during those times will also exhibit irritability and may seem depressed most of the time. So if you notice your dog exhibiting most of these symptoms, it is advised for you to take him to the vet for treatment. Dog ear infection is generally treatable if diagnosed early and properly. It also recommended that we know what causes these kinds of infections, so that we can save our dogs the experience of going through them.

Ear infections in dogs can be caused by several things. Examples of which are parasites, foreign body dislodged in the ear, food allergies, trauma, and most important of all, improper hygiene. Regular bathing and grooming of your dog is not enough, care should also be taken in the cleaning of their ears, as they do not have easy reach of it and has no capability for its maintenance. Cleaning of a dog’s ear is almost the same process as with humans, although theirs is much deeper and more L-shaped, the use of an ear cleaner and a cotton swab to ease out dirt and other foreign substances from the ear is recommended.

Awareness of your dog’s health is the key to his long life and years of enjoyment and love for everyone in the family. We owe it to them and it is but proper that we also give him the best care available, because he too never holds back, and will gladly give all his love to us, unconditionally.

Getting Braces

bracesMy son has perfect teeth today thanks to his episode with braces. He had difficulty chewing his food back then because his teeth were misaligned and crooked. We always observe good dental hygiene in our household and from when they were young, we taught our children the value of taking care of their teeth, how to properly brush, floss and everything in between; because we don’t want them to ever suffer the pain of toothache later in life. The problem was that their dental hygiene was so good; some of my eldest son’s primary teeth never fell off, even when the later permanent teeth began to grow. He had a mouth with almost two rows of teeth, not literally every one of them, but too many for comfort. Although it was okay with him, we let the dentist pull out some of them as they were starting to affect his eating. What resulted were several gaps in his teeth, and it was then that we decided that he got braces.

The process of putting braces on teeth is fairly simple, easy for me to say because I didn’t went through it, but it’s basic concept, is to force teeth to grow in different directions with the use of metal fasteners and tiny rubber bands as aid, so that the teeth as a whole will straighten out like the way nature intended them to be. Hesitant at first because of the weird look it may put on his mouth and the rumored pain that his playmates told him about, our son concurred after a very lengthy and detailed explanation. He was also amenable, after some cajoling, to the one to three years it might take him wearing it, depending upon the evaluation of the dentist.

After an initial interview and thorough examination of my son’s mouth the first day, it was the putting on of the braces the next time we went. It began with the careful cleaning of all the teeth and drying them afterwards. Next, the dentist put on some bonding glue unto his teeth and attached the metal brackets on them, also installing the blue spacers for braces between each tooth. Finally, the arch wire was connected to all of the brackets and the rubber bands also were installed for anchoring and tension. It didn’t take two hours for the entire procedure and my son was none the worse for it. We were advised that my son’s mouth and teeth would be sore for a week and was given prescriptions for tooth pain relief if ever it did happen to come up. He also gave us our scheduled appointments for the future in order to regularly set and tighten the braces.

After about two years’ worth of dental visits, and to his great relief, my son’s braces finally came off, immediately showing the fruits of his sacrifice. No longer showing crooked teeth, his smile was the greatest ever.

Although getting braces is a long, arduous and often expensive process, it was worth it. Looking at and asking my son today, he will always say that he would not do anything otherwise. It’s kinda funny because back then, it would’ve taken two trucks to pull him to go to the dentist, but hey, all’s well that ends well.

What is Implantation?

Yes! Finally your wife is pregnant. Your dream of becoming a parent will eventually come true. Many things keep running through your mind, all the plans you will be making and how wonderfully changed your life would become. But have you ever thought about the process it took and also when the baby was actually made?

Implantation, what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear it? Grapes for me sadly, and it can be that actually, but for our case, implantation in humans, is scientifically defined as the time during early pregnancy wherein the embryo, an already developing female egg cell with sperm in it, attaches itself to the walls of the uterus where, in the near future, will eventually develop into a baby. It is also there in the uterus, after attaching to it, where the embryo will get its nutrients and oxygen that is needed to for it to grow. The embryo is also called a blastocyst in this stage of fetal development.

So what are the typical signs of implantation for mothers-to-be and how do we differentiate it from PMS, simple cramping, monthly period and other similarly occurring bodily functions? Sadly there are no set rules for this and it differs from person to person if it did actually happen to make itself felt. Some women even go through their entire pregnancy not knowing they are pregnant. Anyway, scholarly manuals give several details pertaining to signs of implantation. Examples of which is the light spotting experienced by women at around 8-10 days after ovulation and the dip in a woman’s temperature also during the same period, although it is also said that these signs are not to be treated as sure fire ways to detect  possible pregnancy, so we will leave it at that.

Implantation calculator are all over the internet and will try to help you determine the best time for successful implantation based on the date of your ovulation. These calculators ask you to input the date when you last ovulated and when your last menstrual cycle started, the typical duration of your monthly cycle is also asked. Some other calculator also asks your Luteal Phase length or the time of the latter phase of your menstrual cycle. After inputting the needed details, the calculator then presents you with a table, sometimes a graph, showing dates and the amount of percentage that you have during certain days wherein there is a great chance for implantation. Are you still with me?

Science has grown leaps and bounds every passing year, advances in the treatments of once feared diseases is discovered in a daily basis and test used to perform unlimited variety of tasks gets developed at an astounding pace. Although I am very thankful for such gifts, sometimes it can be very intimidating. The information out there is just too staggering to fully comprehend and sometimes you just get lost in translation. I remember the good old days, when a prayer is the only solution if you have a hard time getting pregnant, and that you leave it to all to faith if your tryst last night would finally become fruitful, those really where the days of old.

Days like these really makes me think that ignorance, sometimes, truly is bliss.