The Educational Benefits of Card Games

Playing card games can be a unique educational experience for children. The positive effects of games like that can be enormous. Besides the obvious entertainment benefit there are other great benefits that parents and educators must consider.

In this article I will explain some of those benefits using popular card games such as Taki (or Super Taki) and Piccolo.

Since early age parents can notice how their children attract to the bright colors, the shapes, the colorful images and the interesting designs that most game cards have. This fascination can grow interest in the games, an interest that can grow into a wish to use those cards in several ways. When children reach a specific age it’s advised to play cards with them, to demonstrate and to show them the rules and the proper use of the cards.

Here are some benefits that educators consider as the most important in card games for kids:

1- Entertainment- researchers believe that pastime activities as playing board or card games are the most suitable form of entertainment for kids at all ages. We all read about the negative effects of computer games and other modern pastime activities, teaching your children to spend their leisure time in playing board and card games such as Taki, Super Taki, Piccolo, Piccolino or Classic Memory Game that can be acquired in games shop in is the best way to enrich their daily routine with fun activities without to turn into stale, and sometimes violent, activities as playing in video or computer games.

2- Education- Most board and card games are an excellent way to teach your kids math or languages without the strict pressure of school. Kids will love to play in bible games or other form of cards and will not notice that the added essence of playing is the educational benefits that they receive from the game.

Experiments showed that kids who played in card games as their main pastime activity had better grades in school that those who spend this time playing video games.

3- Social and Family activity- Playing family card games offers immediate pleasure for both kids and adults so the most beneficial type of game is a game in which the whole family plays together. The benefits of such game are obvious. Besides being a gratifying discovery for the kids, it will also give them the sense of security and health that comes with a good family activity. Quality recreation time that involves card games for children is highly recommended by psychologists and educators.

How do you start teaching your kids to enjoy card and board games? You must visit a serious games shop and start by reading the description of each game and the age range that the game fits. If you are looking for specific skills that you want to improve ask the advice of an educator or an expert. For examples, a game such as Super Taki is excellent for kids who are at the age of six and up. Other games such as Colors Quartet demand no reading skills so it is perfect for younger kids who can’t read yet.

If you choose your games right, the benefits and the positive effect it’ll have on your kids might surprise you.

What Makes the Paleo Diet Popular?

What Makes The Paleo Diet Popular?

The Paleo Diet is the most talked about healthy living diet plan in recent times. What is it? How did it become the most Google searched diet plan of 2013? It is amazing to see that there are more than 5000 e-Books about Paleo diet recipes and lifestyle on Amazon.

The world has seen many diet types: there are vegetarians, vegans, lactose free diets, meat free diets. What makes Paleo stand out? The quest is on!

Thousands of years ago, our ancestors lived on food that they hunted, fished, or gathered from their surroundings. They did not plan their meals nor did they eat three or four times a day. They ate what were readily available and within their reach.

Agriculture or cultivating food happened about 10,000 years ago. It is rather a quite recent phenomenon. Hunting for food was the only job our ancestors needed to do. They ate raw, salt less, uncooked food mainly meat, fish, fruits and vegetables from plants. Moreover, no food grains. Mind that cultivation never happened then.

The food habits of our ancestors, the cave dwellers, are what many people worldwide choose to follow now in the form of a new diet fad, ‘The Paleo Diet’. A very common saying to outline the diet is ‘If it doesn’t fly, swim, walk or isn’t green, then don’t eat it.”

Why go Paleo?

The Paleo diet followers have decided to go the Paleolithic way to lead a long and healthier life. It is also known as the Caveman’s diet, Hunter-Gatherer diet, Stone Age diet or the Primal Blueprint Diet.

The whole point of going the Paleo way is not to exactly follow our ancestors, and this is what makes it so popular. Modern man has come a long way, and several tweaks have been made to make the diet more adaptable and acceptable.

The advocates of this diet strongly believe that it is modern lifestyle and eating habits that cause obesity, heart diseases diabetes, infertility, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and even depression.

Losing weight is a factor that attracts people to Paleo diets.

Paleo followers eat wholesome, nutrient rich food. They avoid mostly everything to do with packed and processed food, grains, salt, and dairy. The main idea is to eat food that is seasonal and fresh.

Yes! This means that all the toxic food that affects or harms your digestive and immune system are avoided. Therefore, out goes all the processed and carbohydrate rich food, and in go animal proteins and plants. Paleo advocates believe that we can sustain on this, along with few supplements if need arises.

Going Paleo means you are naturally going to avoid foods that trigger allergens. Many people are sensitive to gluten, dairy, soy, corn, refined sugar etc. In a Paleo diet, you steer clear of food containing all these, thereby suppressing your allergens.

The great thing about this diet is it allows you to stop fussing over your calories. You can stop counting your calories. You don’t have to take meals four times a day, and have to eat food only when you are hungry. Food is treated simply as a fuel to get going.

Paleo Diet

A good Paleo diet is one that would contain more of:

· proteins

· good fat

· fiber

· micronutrients

· vitamins and minerals

Less of:

· Sodium

· Carbohydrates

There are a number of Must haves and Have not’s when it comes to following a Paleo Diet. The Paleo diet fully supports meat, fish and eggs along with plant produce as the source of nutrients. Lean meat is in, and so are skin, bones, liver, and almost all parts of the animal. Vegetarians or Vegans please excuse.

Did I mention salt less? Yes, the diet is sodium free. You will have to go salt free or with minimum salt possible.

The Must Haves include:

· Grass fed or pasture raised meat

· Eggs

· Fish/ sea food

· Fresh fruits and vegetables

· Nuts/seeds

· Oil (olive, flaxseed, avocado, coconut)

· Fermented food like sauerkraut

· Herbal tea like ginger, chamomile, nettle, peppermint can be had in moderation

· Coconut water

You must Avoid:

· Dairy like milk, butter, cheese, yogurt

· Legumes

· Cereal grains

· Rice

· Salt

· Added sugar

· Potatoes

· Processed food and Packaged food

· Vegetable oils like corn, sunflower, Crisco, peanut oil, margarine

· Juices, soda, coffee, tea

· Alcohol

You can have in Moderation:

· Chocolate

· Raw honey

· Dried fruit

· Unrefined sea salt

The diet does not include any beverages other than our plain pure water, as pure drinking water was the only choice our ancestors had. It is better to have wholesome fruits, or maybe you can have freshly squeezed fruit juices minus the added sugar.

You can include anything and everything with coconuts: Coconut water, oil, butter, vinegar, amino, sugar and even nectar.

Paleo Lifestyle

Along with food, you will have to make several lifestyle changes as well.

· Try to get a good amount of exposure to sunlight or if that option is not available take adequate vitamin D.

· You would need to be active, with frequent natural exercises like walking, running, swimming, lifting, picking, carrying, jumping or even crawling.

· Have closer contacts with children and family.

· Live in contact with nature. Engage yourself in activities like gardening or hiking in the woods.

· Care must be taken to keep external stressors at bay. Learn to live simply. Relax your mind and body.

· You need to go to bed when it is dark, and sleep for at least eight hours a day.

To conclude, it has not yet been proved that Paleo works. Of course, there might be several benefits from following this diet, but studies are yet to come up with concrete results. There have been some studies done that came up with positive results, but the sample size were too small to have it accepted.

Critics argue that the Paleo diet is not for everyone. The type of food that has to be consumed is expensive. The labels organic, grass-fed, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, vegetables are all associated with greater cost, and that you will not get all the right nutrients just by following Paleo diet.

Nevertheless, Paleo is just getting more and more popular, and no amount of criticism is pulling it down. Celebrities and chefs around the blog are endorsing it, and the numbers of followers are growing day by day.

Piano Lessons Benefit Kids’ Mental Capacity and Emotional Health

Piano lessons aren’t just about giving kids an opportunity for musical training. Recent research has shown that learning to play the piano has a profound impact on the brain, providing children with a wide range of benefits that last a lifetime.

Music education can actually give kids an increased chance at success in life. Here’s why enrolling your child in piano lessons is a smart decision.

Emotional Benefits of Piano Lessons

According to a study by the University of Vermont College of Medicine, kids who receive music education and training gain major emotional development advantages. Playing the piano is an outlet for kids to release emotions and express themselves, and any type of music, from classical to jazz and everything in between, lifts the spirits.

Learning to understand music and successfully being able to play a song on an instrument, whether performing alone or for other people, also builds confidence and self-esteem in kids.

A Michigan State University study agrees that music training is emotionally beneficial to kids, as findings suggest that children who take piano lessons have reduced levels of depression and anxiety.

Cognitive Benefits of Piano Lessons

The many hours spent practicing the motor control and coordination required to play the piano creates and enhances neural connections in the brain that last a lifetime. These physical changes in the brain provide significant gains that last well into adulthood, including defense against cognitive decline and memory loss. Piano lessons also have been shown to positively affect verbal working memory, hearing and communication.

Learning to play the piano also will benefit your child in school by instilling discipline and organizational skills. Kids who take lessons demonstrate improved abilities in math, reading comprehension, logic and puzzle-solving, according to separate research studies by the University of California and McGill University in Montreal.

Playing a musical instrument also will help to improve your child’s attention span and sharpen his or her concentration. Music training, some experts suggest, could even be a powerful tool for treating kids with cognitive disorders such as ADHD.

Stress Relief and Relaxation

Children get stressed just as often as adults, and music has been proven to help relieve tension and emotional strain.

Feelings of stress, anxiety and worry cause a physical response in the body, a fight-or-flight reaction in which the heart rate and blood pressure rise, breathing gets faster, and muscles tighten. Playing the piano can shut down the body’s stress response, providing a sense of relaxation. Taking time out from a stressful situation to play a musical instrument can help to refocus thoughts and make a child better able to cope.

And the good news is that this advantage can be felt by kids immediately upon sitting at the piano and attempting to play, as the activity can reduce stress regardless of a person’s skill or ability. Music lessons, however, provide the greatest benefit, as studies have shown that playing an instrument for an hour per week for at least six weeks is most effective for lowering the body’s stress response.

With all the benefits of music training, it’s not surprising that more and more parents want their kids to learn to play an instrument. Interested in joining them? Contact a local arts academy in your area to enroll your child in piano lessons.

How to Teach Children to Think Ahead

Every mom and dad wants a successful future for their kids. But what qualities should one develop in children? Foresight – the quality you don’t hear much about, but what each child needs most! Firstly we should try to understand what foresight is and why it is so important.

We are going to tell you how to find the key to this skill, and how to teach children to have foresight.

A forward-looking person thinks about what he is doing now, and the consequences that this behaviour will have. He is able to analyse any situation and live through it in his head. This is a very special skill. People who have it can achieve anything in life.

For very young school children, the thought process is often disorganised. They think about whatever comes into their heads. Their thoughts jump around, like rabbits. If this disorganisation remains throughout their lives, it will create an abundance of problems during adulthood.

Is it possible to teach children to think ahead? Of course; it’s both possible and necessary. Everyone is able to choose what to think about, and it is important to teach children to approach that choice conscientiously, from an early age.

Above all, children need to be taught to think about what they are doing at the present moment. Tell children as often as possible: “Let’s think about the best way to do it.” Discuss everything with your children; toys, homework, washing the dishes, doing the laundry.

Ask your child: “I have to wash these clothes, what do I need to think about?” Give the child the opportunity to answer, then explain in your own words: “I mustn’t forget to wash the light clothes separately from the dark ones. Besides, the clothes made of wool should not be mixed with others textures.”

Play the following game as often as possible: WHAT YOU MUST THINK ABOUT?

When you wake up in the morning, what must you think about? When you want something to eat, what must you think about? When you’re going for a walk, what must you think about? For example, when I go for a walk I must think about:

The weather, and which clothes would be suitable; What toys I’m going to play with outside, so I can bring them with me; Thinking whom of my friends to invite. The most important part of this process is giving the child the opportunity to answer, and praising his or her response. This will encourage them to think about what they are doing. You can give the child a coloured token for each answer. Tell the child he or she must receive at least 3 tokens in order to become a forward-thinking person.

When the child learns to think this way, he or she will be able to play alone and concentrate for long periods of time. When the child gets older, he or she will be able to approach any task with due concentration, and tackle their homework alone.

But foresight does not only involve concentrating on the task in hand, it also requires the capacity to think about the future, TO IMAGINE WHAT WILL HAPPEN. The first time a young child is introduced to the concept of consequence is when they are told not to touch a hot flame. But children cannot possibly live through all the thousands of situations they might come across during their lives. So this is where one magical word comes in handy: “IMAGINE.”

When you read a child a story, end with a discussion, starting with the word “Imagine”. “Imagine a chicken gave you a golden egg. What would you do with it?”

When you’re playing or walking with the child, use the magical word “Imagine” as often as possible. “Imagine you saw a vicious dog. What would you do? Imagine you had to cross the road on your own without traffic lights. What would you do?”

And stories, as usual, will help to stimulate the child’s mind: “A bear cub was on his way to the shops. He had to cross the road. The crossing was a long way away, and the cub was in a hurry to buy an ice cream, so he decided to run across the road. The bear cub looked to the right; there was a car far away in the distance, so he started to run. Imagine what happened next…”

An example of a story to develop foresight in children aged 3-5 years.

What should the young hare have thought about? Mummy hare planted some cabbages in the garden. Her young son helped his mummy and watered the cabbages every day, while daddy hare built a fence around the vegetable patch. He stuck strong, smooth planks into the ground to stop trespassers crawling in and eating the cabbages.

Everyone was delighted when the cabbages grew, and mummy hare said to her son:

“You’ve worked very hard; now you can relax and play for a while.”

The young hare hopped off to the meadow behind the vegetable patch. There was a tree stump at the side of the meadow, and the little hare started to beat a jolly tune on it with his paws. Suddenly, a young goat appeared from the woods. He jumped up in delight and cried:

“Hey, you’re really good at that. Drum music is great for hopping around to. But it’s a bit quiet. You need drum sticks to make it louder.”

The young hare looked around. The woods were on one side of the meadow, and the vegetable patch was on the other. And the fence around the vegetable patch was made of wonderful straight planks… The young hare raced up to the fence and pulled out one of the sticks, but it was too fat, so he pulled out another’ but that one was too heavy. In the end, the hare chose two strong, light sticks.

He tried to drum with them – and it was marvellous! The sound of the drums was so appealing that the young goat started to dance. The little hare was ecstatic, and he hopped off to the woods to show his friends how he could drum. Everyone heaped praise on the drummer, and told him he had a fantastic talent.

The young hare didn’t get home until evening.

Mama! he shouted from the doorstep. “I can play the drums better than anyone; shall I show you?”

“No, I’m very upset. There is a disaster! Somebody destroyed our vegetable garden’s fence,’ replied father-hare in anger.

“Yes, hoards of thieves squeezed through the hole in the fence to steal our cabbages. We lost half our crop before dad fixed the hole in the fence,” mummy hare said with a sob.

The young hare turned bright red and hid his sticks behind his back.

“Mum always told me: Think first and act later,” the young hare remembered.

Questions and tasks:

What should the young hare have thought about? Any other idea where he could have obtained a pair of fine drumsticks? Imagine there is a little girl who is worried about her doll getting cold in the winter. She doesn’t have any warm clothing for the doll, so she cuts a piece out of mummy’s coat to warm up her doll. Do you think the girl behaved properly? How should she have behaved? Imagine you and mummy have planted some seeds in the flowerbed beside the house. They have blossomed and everyone is happy. Then imagine a young boy comes along and picks them as a present for his mummy. Is this the right way to behave? What should the boy have done?

When a child learns to think about what will happen before it happens, he or she will behave thoughtfully. This ability protects the children from disappointment in childhood and plays a huge role in their lives when they grow up.

A Winning Strategy For Mexican Train Dominoes

I know that Mexican Train is a friendly game, often played with family and friends, and that winning is not critical or terribly important. What is important is the social aspect of the game: talking, laughing, and having fun.

Having said that, I also know that there are people out there who would really like to become better at this game. Especially if the friendly people you play with are winning more often than you are and you are starting to become distraught and depressed over it.

Winning the game of Mexican Train Dominoes is not as hard to do as you may think. There are some simple tips that can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of the game. Weather you are a beginning player, an intermediate player, or an advanced player, you will still benefit from these strategic tips.

Mexican Train does have a lot of rule variations that are used throughout the world, however most of my strategic tips apply to all the most popular rule sets and I’ve noted in the text where the strategy may vary for different rules.

Organize your dominoes into the best possible train

Of course, every hand starts by “dealing” a number of dominoes to each player. Depending on how many people are playing, this number can vary from 7 or 8 to 15 or so. The actual number is not relevant. But it is very important to organize your dominoes into the best possible train before starting play.

Once the starting double has been played, by you or anyone else, you build a train with your remaining dominoes that starts with the same pip value as the opening double and connect as many dominoes as possible to that train.

To truly calculate the best possible way to organize a player’s dominoes, one would have to consider every domino that has been played so far, and do quite a bit of math in order to calculate odds. The best play at any point in the game is dependent on what has been played up to that point. As this is unrealistic, I prefer to “approximate” the best train by using these 3 basic rules:

  1. The train with the most dominoes is best.
  2. Given 2 trains of equal length, the train with the most points in it is best.
  3. Given 2 trains of equal length and equal point value, the best train has higher point value dominoes placed as far forward in the train as possible.

Play your spares first whenever possible

Playing a spare is your first order of business. If there is no possible play from the spares, then play from your train.

If you have spares, then play from the end of your train whenever possible

This is very important! Your first choice is to play from your spares, but your second choice is to play from the end (caboose) of your train. You’ll find lots of times where you play from the end of your train, and suddenly one of the spares can fit onto the end. This has the same effect as playing a spare.

Watch for opportunities to change your caboose

If the last domino in your train is a 10-4, and one of your spares is 10-2, and you can play either on an opponent’s marked train (when I say “marked train”, I mean a players’ train which is open for anyone to play upon), or on the Mexican train, play the 10-4, and move the 10-2 to the end of your train. If someone goes out before you do, you have saved yourself 2 points. This is such a common occurrence, that during the course of a full game, you are likely to save yourself dozens of points.

If you have spares, and the Mexican (or community) train has not been started, and one of your spares (or your caboose) can start it, then start it!

The Mexican (or community) Train is the most common place to dump your spares. You can’t do that if it has not yet been started. So given a choice of playing on an opponents penny, or starting the Mexican train, start the Mexican train. But this is only if you have spares to play. If all your dominoes are in your train, then you don’t need the Mexican train, so don’t start it.

Know when to play on your own marked train vs. another train when you have a choice.

Sometimes you will be faced with a choice of playing a domino on your own marked train, OR on another player’s marked train or the Mexican Train. You don’t want to play on your own train, thus removing your penny, unless you have another domino you can play on your own train.

For example, let’s say you have only one domino left, the double-6, your train is marked (a penny is on it), and it is your turn. You cannot play the double-6 so you must draw. You draw a 10-8. Let’s say the end of your own train is a 10 and the end of the Mexican Train is a 10. So you have a choice. You can play the 10-8 on either your own train (removing your penny) or on the Mexican train.

The correct choice is to play the 10-8 on the Mexican Train, not on your own. This will keep your own train marked and available to the other players thus improving the chance that you might play the double-6 and go out.

Play Ruthlessly!

If the Mexican train is stuck, i.e., nobody is playing on it, and you do not have any spares, then don’t play on the Mexican train from the end of your train. You want it to remain stuck so the other players cannot play on it either.

If you have a choice of playing a domino on one of two opponents’ marked trains, choose the opponent with more dominoes to play.

If you do not have any spares, so you are just playing out your train, and the end of your train would fit on an opponent’s marked train, don’t play it. Why unstick an opponent?

If you’re playing with the rules that say doubles do not have to be covered, here is another tip: Play doubles as soon as possible – even from your train.

You should play a double as soon as possible. Playing a double from the middle of your train does not destroy the integrity of your train. It just lowers the point total of your hand. When someone else goes out, you don’t want to be caught with a double in your hand that you could have played earlier in the hand.


There certainly luck involved in Mexican Train, but luck has a tendency to even out over time, with everyone getting their fair share of good luck and bad luck.

So, although my strategic tips won’t guarantee a win every time, they do promise to improve your game and most likely, improve it to the point that you are winning more often than your opponents.

5 Reasons To Rent A Bounce House During The Winter Months

For years, children have loved jumping on bounce houses for every occasion. It’s true that the Summer months are our industry’s busiest months. But, it doesn’t matter if the weather is 100 degrees outside or 100 below freezing (okay that might be a bit too cold to enjoy a bounce house rental), children love partying on bounce house rentals for any number of reasons. Here are five reasons that you should consider renting a bounce house this winter.

1) Children’s birthday parties: Parties are always fun with an inflatable rental, no matter the time of year. Unlike adults, children aren’t affected by the cold so easily. Jumping in an inflatable rental burns lots of calories and helps warm the body. Besides, is it fair that only the summer birthday kids can jump and slide for their birthday parties? I say no! Equal the playing field by renting a moonwalk for your next winter birthday party. Just tell the kids to wear an extra pair of socks, and they’ll love every minute of it!

2) Winter festivals at church: Tons of churches across the nation (and world for that matter) are gearing up for their winter festivals. Moonwalk rentals, along with inflatable slide rentals and other inflatable games are a perfect way to make your winter festival a smash hit! You will draw a larger attendance to your church event when you offer inflatable rentals for the children to play on. Why? Because children love them, and parents love having safe alternatives for their children during this hectic time of year.

3) Winter festivals at school: Bounce house rentals are perfect for school fundraisers. By charging per child that uses the jumper, you can generate some serious money very quickly for your school. Of course, you may choose to just charge for admittance to the event, and not have someone collecting money and/or tickets at each inflatable ride. Or, maybe you just want the kids to come and have a good time. It doesn’t matter the reason. Children will flock to your school event when they learn that you have rented jumpers and other inflatable equipment.

4) Corporate Team Building: Much like school and church events, corporations are always looking for a way to entertain their employees and their families at this time of year. Bounce house rentals are a great way to bring the entire team together for a great cause; your company!

5) Just because: The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of year. Shopping for the “perfect” gift is time consuming and difficult. Maybe you and your family just need an afternoon break from the hustle and bustle of this holiday season. Get a couple friends together and relieve some stress by jumping and sliding for hours.

No matter what time of year it is, bounce house rentals can make your special event, well, special! If you are in or around Fort Worth, Texas, check out Bounce and Slide Texas next time you’re ready to rent a bounce house.

The Herpes Simplex Virus – What is It?

The herpes simplex virus is extremely contagious and may cause outbreaks on various part of the body. There are two variations of this virus, namely type 1 and type 2. Type 1 of the virus is normally connected with outbreaks of cold sores and blisters in and around the lips and mouth area. The virus is normally passed on via contamination from infected hands or fingers which have touched the infected blisters or contaminated saliva. Another way of transmitting this virus is by kissing. This is a very easy way to transmit the virus from one individual to another. Occurrences of outbreaks of the simplex virus can vary wildly between weeks, months or maybe even years. Those people who have a less than good immune system are much more likely to suffer from outbreaks than those people whose immune system is robust.

Although it must be considered that even though these outbreaks may occur infrequently, the virus does stay in the body indefinitely. By the time the person has reached adulthood, it is considered that about 90% of people will have manufactured antibodies that act against the herpes simplex one strain. The herpes simplex type 2 virus is normally connected with genital herpes, and usually sexually transmitted. The symptoms of the type 2 viruses include genital sores as well as all oral sores and ulcers. This virus, if remaining untreated, may also result in other diseases such as eye infections. A lot of people who are infected with either the type 1 or 2 virus do not show any symptoms whatsoever.

This can be a big problem, because then the virus can be spread much more quickly as the victims do not realize that they have to take adequate precautions. Anybody with a history of problems with the herpes simplex virus must always make sure they take precautions when indulging in sexual activity with a new partner. Even people who have no history of the herpes simplex virus should still be sensible. When meeting a new partner try and find out any sexual illnesses that they have suffered in the past. You should also be honest and open about any sexual illnesses that you have suffered in the past.

Seven Ways Reading Affects Writing

1. Readers understand words

Readers understand words because they have read how sentences and words fit together, the order of a sentence and the placement of words. They understand the sentences because they have seen these words and similar sentences before. They can then use them in writing or compose similar ones.

2. Readers understand the structure of the Language

Readers have seen the structure so many times that they can readily understand how to construct great sentences. They can see that writers use different kinds of sentences to make Writing more interesting like starting out with a question. Then the author proceeds to answer it. A variety of sentences like Declarative, Interrogative, Imperative and Exclamatory make Writing much more delightful to read. Readers also see that some sentences are long and some are shorter. By varying sentence length, it keeps the Writing more lively.

3. Readers understand grammar

Good grammar only makes sense to readers. They know how different parts of speech should fit together. For example: they know in the sentence “The boy rides his bike,” that rides goes with a single subject noun. Thus, they understand subject-verb agreement. Understanding good grammar really can assist the reader in Writing. They are much more able to write complex and simple sentences.

4. Readers understand thoughts of the writer

Good readers understand the thoughts of the writer because they have read and thought along with the authors. This helps them in Writing their own compositions. This is a tremendous asset in Writing. When you read, you follow the author’s train of thought. It is so natural.

5. Readers have a great vocabulary

Because of their tremendous reading, readers have a great vocabulary. This will certainly help in Writing. They will use a variety of words, not the same old thing. I have a cousin who was such a wonderful reader. When he wrote his thesis for his doctorate, the words he used were so large and long, one needed a dictionary to look them up. He always beat everyone in Scrabble when he was little, even the adults. No one could outdo him. His vocabulary was extensive.

6. Readers know how to make their writing interesting and exciting

Readers read. They know they don’t like to read “boring” books or articles. They can see how authors use words to paint pictures and make it more interesting and exciting. Redundancy is poor Writing and writers need to stay away from it. Usually good readers are good writers. They go hand in hand. One complements the other.

7. Readers can use creative ways to make people want to read what they wrote

Finally, I would say that good readers can make their Writing creative. People want to read it. It would be a book you can’t put down. You just want to keep reading it until the end. It is like a bait to a fish. I thought The Shack was like that. It had a great story line, the kind that would interest many people. A good reader can do that. I loved it when my students were creative in Writing. Sometimes I would put a sentence or part of a sentence on the board. It was great to see their creativity using that sentence and making an adventurous story from it.

Master Your Master Hormone – Insulin

Insulin is truly the master of our metabolism – this master hormone is produced by the pancreas and used by the liver, muscle cells, and fat tissue to absorb glucose from the blood (from the food consumed) and is stored in the muscle & liver cells as glycogen. Therefore, insulin controls the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood by taking it up into the cells. Insulin our of control reeks havoc on every cell and every organ system in the body. Now you know why it has earned the name “the master hormone”.

Of course at the top of everyone’s list of concerns is weight management. When we eat carbohydrates (sugar) our bodies release insulin in order to take that sugar out of the blood and into the cells.

When there is no insulin in the blood – body uses fat as an energy source.

Most of us want to burn body fat. Therefore, don’t have insulin surging through our blood. Therefore, ditch the empty sugar, keep it complex – carbs that is.

Type I diabetes = the pancreas is unable to produce insulin

Type II diabetes = (aka insulin resistant) body does not respond effectively to insulin

This use to be called “adult onset” diabetes, however, with the obesity epidemic & horrible eating habits & yes “move” has become a four letter word- many kids are now dealing with diabetes.

Insulin allowed to flow wildly destroys the heart, kidneys, liver, cognitive ability, sexual performance, nervous system, high blood pressure, stroke, cholesterol, and can lead to certain cancers. Insulin resistance can reduce our bodies ability to absorb magnesium – a critical mineral – one of its many responsibilities is the relaxation phase of the heartbeat. Insulin resistance can also lead to osteoporosis & Alzheimer’s. Insulin controls all of our other vital hormones – ghrelin, leptin, thyroid, growth hormone, cortisol… you get the message. Therefore it is the master control behind much of our metabolic function.

OK – so hopefully we get it and we have to control our insulin levels.

Enter the Glycemic Index: We all owe tremendous thanks to Dr. David Jenkins, from right here in our beautiful Toronto. Not all carbs affect blood sugar levels. The genius of Dr. Jenkins – he came up with a ranking of how different carbohydrates manipulate the release of insulin into our bodies.

Low GI = below 55

Medium GI = 55-69

High GI – Above 70

Clearly, we want to aim for eating lower GI foods. FYI= white bread = 100GI. The Glycemic Index is the MOST logical way to choose the foods we eat. The GI not only helps us manage our weight, but helps protect us against disease of every system in the body. Hint: eat high fiber foods – that’s a really good start!

Lack of control of blood sugar and insulin surges are strongly associated with many of our chronic illnesses. Compounding this issue is the sedentary lives led by most. Getting control of blood sugar and being physically active are imperative leading a proactive, health centric lifestyle.

And yes, sugar is a villain in cancer as well. Living a life to prevent cancer is the healthiest lifestyle of all.

Genital Herpes – Type 1 Vs Type 2 Which One Would You Rather Have?

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the herpes simplex virus. Type 1 causes fever, blisters on the mouth or face which most refer to as oral herpes. Type 2 genital herpes affects the genital area. Both viruses can cause both genital or oral infections but most are inactive and cause no symptoms.

Some infected people have blisters and ulcer outbreaks. A person infected with the virus remain infected for life. Both Type l and Type 2 herpes is spread through direct contact, such as kissing, skin to skin contact and vaginal oral or anal sex. Herpes is often transmitted by people who are unaware they are infected. It can be transmitted with or without symptoms such as sores.

Type 2 herpes produces mild symptoms and most have no recognized symptoms. Herpes can cause recurrent painful genital sores in many adults. Genital herpes can cause fatal infections potentially in infants if the mother is shedding the virus during delivery. If a woman has active genital herpes at time of delivery, there is a risk to the newborn. So a c-section delivery is performed.

Herpes plays a role in heterosexual spread of HIV – HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. Herpes can make people more susceptible to HIV infection. Herpes can also make HIV infected people to be more susceptible to other types of infections. Most people infected with Type 2 genital herpes are not aware of their problem. The primary episode usually occurs within two weeks after the virus is transmitted. Lesions will usually heal within two to four weeks.

Some other symptoms may include fly like symptoms, fever and swollen glands. Some people with the infection may never have lesions or very mild symptoms. There is no treatment. Some antiviral medications can shorten and prevent outbreaks. The correct use of condoms is best but if you or the partner has genital herpes, it is best to abstain from sex.