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Separation Anxiety: Settling Your Child Into a Nursery School

Picture the scene. You walk into a busy nursery school and the little hand in yours holds on even tighter. The place is buzzing with new noise and colour. It’s an immense sea of smiling faces, laughter and the hum of activities in full swing. A pair of boisterous boys flies past in chase and you pull your child closer.

Maybe this wasn’t the best idea after all. You search for the exit, but hold it right there! Take it easy and take another look around. You’ve made it this far. It is all easy to forget that as well as the child suffering with separation anxiety that any parent or carer will be feeling the same. And the feeling can be overwhelming; even more so for us first timers. So as a nursery nurse and a first time mum, I have put together a brief survival guide for parents and carers taking those first daunting steps into the unknown.

Practise leaving your child

Before you attempt to leave your child at a nursery school, playgroup or preschool, try to practise leaving your child with a trusted family member, even if only for an hour or so. Not only will this prepare you for how it will feel to leave your child, but it will demonstrate to your child that you will return. This is very important for a child to learn.

Make the time

Okay, so you have chosen where you want your child to go. The establishment has ticked all the boxes of your needs and requirements. Now it’s time for the initiation process. Make time! The more time the better. Don’t try and complete the process the week just before heading back to work, for example. The rush will not do you or your child any good. In fact, the pressure may make the situation additionally distressing and frustrating for all involved.

Explain what is going to happen and why

Honesty is the best policy here, and in my experience, children need to know (simply) why, where, when, and how, in order to feel reassured. Take time to look at books and read stories together about children starting nursery school so you can discuss thoughts and feelings with your child.

Attend free sessions

Try to attend any of the initiation sessions or open days on offer to you. You may even be offered a home visit. This is fantastic way of introducing the new adults into your children’s life: in their own environment where they be more ready and willing to accept new faces. It is also a perfect time for you to discuss any details or ask any questions. You will have their full attention, so utilise it.

Get to know staff

Knowing the staff is important, especially the key worker, if your child is given one. A key worker is an adult assigned to a group of children that will work closely with those children in particular. She should be your first port of call …

Foods For Better Eye Health

For the aging population, there is good news on the eye-health front.  New research from the Archives of Ophthalmology indicates that fewer people over the age of 40 are developing macular degeneration, a condition that causes vision loss in older adults.  According to researchers, the decrease is being attributed to an increase in public awareness concerning health issues and better dietary choices.

Macular degeneration is not the only eye-related condition that is positively influenced by a good diet. Improvements in some other common vision disorders such as glaucoma and cataracts have been observed, as well.  Glaucoma is characterized by excessive pressure caused by fluid that builds up around the eyeball.  Over time, this pressure impairs the optic nerve, causing vision loss.  The formation of cataracts, which commonly occurs as people age, causes focusing problems, blurred vision, and other problematic changes in vision. Through extensive research, scientists have linked the presence of some nutrients such as lutein, vitamins C and E, and omega-3 fatty acids, with a lower incidence of these and other eye conditions.  By adopting a diet consisting of foods high in these nutrients, it’s very possible that you can prevent eye disease before it occurs, positively impact an existing condition, or, in some cases, even reverse certain conditions.

Dark Leafy Greens

Foods in this family include spinach, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, Swiss chard, and broccoli.  These nutritious foods are high in lutein, a compound that protects cells in the eyes from normal wear and tear.  Spinach, in particular, helps shield the center of the retina, called the macula, from damage that results in age-related macular degeneration.

Cold-Water Fish

We’ve all heard the experts recommend dietary changes that include an increased consumption of fish.  This recommendation has proved to be very valuable where eye-health is concerned.  Fish like mackerel, salmon, albacore tuna, and sardines, are the best fish to eat to build up reserves of omega-3 fatty acids, which concentrates and nourishes the retina of the eye.


Every manner of berry from blackberries to cherries to strawberries, and even grapes are amazing foods that help protect your eyes from damage.  The way that berries work is mainly by decreasing inflammation and blood pressure, which tend to exacerbate eye conditions.  In addition, eating berries regularly can improve blood flow and help prevent artery blockages which can deprive the eye region of much-needed oxygen necessary for optimum vision.

Today, scientists and researchers understand much more about the link between a healthy diet and good eyesight.  Consuming foods that contain high levels of certain vital nutrients is the key to preventing or improving eye disease, as well as maintaining the condition of healthy eyes.…

Couples massage: Not your average date night

When you think of date night with your spouse, what comes to mind? If you’re like most couples, the rare time to get to spend together out on the town is probably usually spent going to dinner and a movie. Sound familiar? If so, it might be time to shake things up. If you’re looking for a sensual way to relax and connect with your partner on your next date night, why not try a couple’s massage.

Essentially, a couple’s massage is like a traditional one-person massage but with a few key differences. In couples massage, both partners are massaged side-by-side, with two massage therapist. Many day spas have set up special couples massage rooms that are big enough to comfortably accommodate two massage tables, yet small enough to allow the couple to feel connected in an intimate setting.

There is no one set “style” for couple’s massages. Just as there are with a one-person massage, couples massages can be in any massage, from Swedish massage to deep-tissue massage. In fact, one of the best things about couples massage is that one person can have one kind of massage and the other person can have another, all while relaxing together.

It may seem as though massage is inherently a singular relaxation method, but the goal of couples massage is to create a relaxing shared experience that will bring the couples together. By creating a mutually relaxing experience, a couple’s massage can help a couple drown out the distractions of their daily lives and set the stage for a deeper level of connection and intimacy.

Massage has been shown to help stimulate the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brain. These chemicals have a positive impact on the mood and the body in general, promoting better sleep, reducing blood pressure and reducing depression and stress. In our busy lives, it’s very easy for couples to find themselves simply going through the motions of their relationship, putting themselves on the back burner. Couples massage can help them push away the other responsibilities for a short while and focus only on each other. That can help remind them why they fell in love in the first place, which is something every couple needs from time to time.

Whether you are planning a special anniversary, a birthday, Valentine’s Day or simply a date night out with your spouse, why not nix the movie tickets and opt instead for an appointment at a spa like A couple’s massage may be something that is outside of your usual date-night box, but you won’t regret it. When else can you come away from date night feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, connected, and stress free? Dinner and a movie just can’t do that. And who knows? Putting your loved one in a good mood just might keep the date-night fun going once you get home, too! Make an appointment for a couples massage today.…

SINDHI SEYAL CHICKEN – Quick, Easy & Healthy Indian Food

Sindhi’s are an Indo-Aryan language speaking socio-ethnic group of people originating from the province of Sindh. Sindh is part of present day Pakistan. Sindhi’s that live in Pakistan are predominantly Muslim, while many Sindhi Hindus migrated to India in 1947 after the partition. Sindhi cuisine refers to cuisine from the Sindh province. Sindhi food is delicious and is best known for the variety and simplicity of the dishes. Most of the dishes have a onion tomato base. 



  • 8oz skinless boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large red, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 serrano chili, finely chopped ( optional)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ cup low-fat yogurt, whipped
  • Salt to taste
  • For Garnishing
  • 1 teaspoon blend of cardamom and cumin seed powder
  •  ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime cut into wedges


Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Put the chicken, olive oil and the other ingredients in a heavy bottom 2 qt pot, stir once cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in-between. Cook till sauce is thick and chicken is cooked.Sprinkle cumin/cardamom spice blend before serving. Garnish with fresh cilantro and squeeze juice of half a lime before serving. Serve with Nan*, Chapatti** , white or brown rice.

  • * Nan – Is available in the frozen section in most Indian stores in USA. I recommend the Deep Brand from the Indian stores. Also available at Trader Joe’s.
  • ** Chapatti – Most Indian stores in USA sell freshly homemade chapatti’s in packages of ten.

PREP TIME: 10 Minutes  COOKING TIME: 20-25 Minutes SERVES: 2…

Anxiety And Panic


Most Americans walk around every day polluted with anxiety and panic, and most Americans do nothing about it. We like to complain about our jobs, the traffic, the kids, our teachers, the bills, our weight, our health, and our lives. The complaining only serves to remind us what we need to improve or act upon, but it doesn’t get us any closer to mental and physical health.

I am one of those people who loved to complain yet did nothing to rectify the things I was complaining about. Griping and whining about my life became a way of life and I surrounded myself with people who also liked to “air out their problems.” Later I discovered that taking actions to address the problems made me feel much better than complaining about life with a group of unhappy friends.

A New Thought on How to Reduce Anxiety and Panic

Have you ever had an anxiety or panic attack? Unfortunately, I suffered through two massive panic attacks and a series of anxiety attacks for a period of a year. In fact, I consciously had to ward off anxiety attacks for over four years at least one time a week. Instead of addressing the root of the problem, I only dealt with what was on the surface.

I had no idea how to deal with anxiety and panic and fear and loss and love and regret. These emotions permeated my mind and body every day, preventing me from experiencing any genuine spiritual growth or inner peace. So, a new thought crossed my mind-do some research and do something different because what you’re doing now is NOT working.…

Make sure you have these numbers right to stay healthy

Are your numbers OK? I don't mean your bank balance, loan balance, blood pressure or cholesterol. I mean the number of actions that keep you going happy and healthy.

1 : the minimal number of sexual contact you should have every day.

It does not have to be vigorous sex that leaves your head spinning for minute and your heart racing for hours. It can be a quick passionate good-morning kiss, a bedtime touch, or a heart-warming short text message during work. These small gestures can be interpreted by both partners as love and elicit the same endorphins that relax us after good sex or good exercise.

2 : the number of laughs every waking hour.

A hearty laugh only takes 2 seconds. Frequent laughs through the day have been shown to reduce the incidence of coughs and colds. They also help to keep high blood pressure on check. It is often easier to laugh when you are relaxing with your friends and family. However, even laughing alone, at humor in print or on TV, gives the same benefit.

5 : the number of hugs per day you need to boost your health

Researchers found that subjects who felt loved by family and friends have healthier blood cholesterol levels and Body Mass Indices. Give and receive five hugs a day. Hug yourself if there is no one to give it to. To make up for the numbers,

you'd have to make time to see your friends and relatives, even in the midst of a busy work schedule.

8 : the number of hours of sleep at night

You might think it wasteful to sleep eight hours when you can get by with fewer. The fewer hours you sleep at night, the more frequent you lose your attention during the day. Insomnia is paradoxically a feature of people who think they can do with less sleep than others. Go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day, even during holidays, is the basis of healthy sleep and treatment against insomnia and other sleep disorders.

10 : the number of blessings you count at the end of the day

Make a habit of counting your blessings and you will find that your days have been great in spite of the many times you frown, or swear or shout at yourself or others.

10,000 : the number of steps to walk, jog or run every day.

Exercise relaxes us. It also helps us to control our weight and hence enhance our self-image. Ten thousand steps per day is easy to achieve, if you become creative with it. Get a pedometer. Getting off public transport before you reach your destination, taking the stairs, parking your car two blocks away are all easy ways to get in your extra fifty or hundred steps. You might need to top it up with a short jog or run if your numbers are in the red by evening time. This end-of-day short run may …

Healthy Meal Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats, Fruit, and Milk

Grocery List

  • Quaker Steel Cut Oats
  • Honey (optional)
  • Cinnamon (optional)
  • A grapefruit/Grapes/an Orange/fresh Cherries
  • 1% Milk


  • Follow directions on Steel Cut Oats container (If you want to add a bit of sweetness/flavor, you can use some honey and cinnamon).
  • Prepare a fruit serving and a glass of milk.

Lunch: Turkey Wraps, Fruit Salad, and Yogurt (serves 2)

Grocery List

  • Package of flour tortillas
  • 1 cucumber (6 slices)
  • 1 tomato (4 slices)
  • Bag of spinach
  • Oregano
  • 1 Avocado
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 Slices of White American cheese
  • 4 Slices of Smoked Turkey
  • Mayonnaise
  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • 2 Kiwi fruits
  • 2 servings of Low-fat yogurt (less than 10 grams of sugar in each)


  • Take 2 tortillas and place 2 slices of turkey in the center of each one. Put a slice of cheese on top of that followed by: 3 slices of cucumber, 2 slices of tomato, a handful of spinach, ¼ of an avocado (sliced), salt and pepper, a generous amount of oregano, and a small amount of mayonnaise.
  • Slice up a banana, strawberries, and 2 kiwis. Toss in a bowl and chill.

Dinner: Tilapia, Vegetables, and Soup (serves 2)

Grocery List

  • 2 filets of Tilapia
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • Bag of cut and peeled baby carrots
  • One batch of fresh asparagus
  • Kikkoman Spinach Miso Soup (2 packets)


  • Rub olive oil on both sides of filets. Sprinkle Lemon Pepper seasoning to taste on both sides as well. Place on a broiler pan and broil for 5-10 minutes (or until inside of fish is flaky).
  • Rinse asparagus and carrots. Break off the hardest part of the stalk (about ¼-? of the length) and throw away. Put water in the bottom of a double boiler pan. Place asparagus and carrots in the top pan and steam on high heat for about 7 minutes. Season with a bit of salt.
  • For the soup: Follow instructions on package.

Healthy Mushroom Muffins

It is probably difficult to imagine using mushroom as a main ingredient in baking a muffin. For some, it sounds yucky. But the recipe that I will share with you is not only "out of this world”, but very delicious and very healthy as well. Hope you have the guts to try this.


  1. 250 grams of all purpose/plain flour
  2. 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  3. 1 cup of milk
  4. 4 oz of melted butter
  5. 60 grams of button mushroom, chopped
  6. 110 grams of brown rice
  7. 2 oz of grated cheddar cheese
  8. 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  9. 2 teaspoon of fresh chives, chopped finely


  1. Preheat oven to 200 C.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder.
  3. Add the mushroom, rice, cheese, parsley and chives. Mix well.
  4. Add the butter, milk and egg. Mix well.
  5. Spoon mixture in a 1/2 cup capacity muffin tray/tin and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Propagating Herbs From Cuttings

Many people will either increase the amount of herbs in their herb garden by either dividing existing herbs, buying new seedlings, or starting their herbs from seeds that they have either collected or purchased.  Not all herbs are easily divided, however.  Rosemary and lavender can be rather difficult, for instance.  Buying new seedlings can be rather costly if you are looking for a lot of different herbs.  Finally, starting herbs from seeds can be a rather tricky undertaking.  Many herbs just take too long to germinate; and some herbs, like rosemary, might germinate and then again might not.  There are also other herbs, such as sage, that do not always grow true from seed. Another method of propagation that you can use that is really not that difficult is by taking soft stem cuttings and rooting them.

Step 1:  Select a healthy plant from which you wish to take your cutting.

Step 2:  Cut a section from a stem tip 5-6 inches long.  You should make the cut on a slant right below a leaf node.

Step 3:  Strip away the leaves from the bottom of the cutting.  Also remove any flowers and/or seeds.

Step 4:  Dip the end of the cutting in a rooting hormone.

Step 5:  Stick the end of the cutting in a moist potting soil.

Step 6:  Place a clear plastic over the cutting making a dome.  (The plastic helps to reduce evaporation and creates a mini greenhouse.)

Step 7:  Set the cutting(s) in a warm, bright area.

Step 8:  Check the cuttings every 2 weeks.  (Most cuttings will take root within 2-3 weeks, but times can vary for different herbs.)  Spritz well with water using a spray bottle if the soil begins to dry out.

Step 9:  Transplant your cuttings into a larger pot (about 3 inches) once the roots have developed (about one-inch long).

Step 10:  When the roots begin to poke out of the bottom of the 3-inch pot, you can safely transplant your herb(s) into the garden.


  • Herbs that respond well to this method of propagation include:  lavender, rosemary, scented geranium, and sage.
  • If you are unsure whether your cutting is developing a root system, just give it a slight tug.  If it resists, then roots are forming.  Do this about 2 weeks after placing in the potting mix.  (Also you might notice new growth forming.  Another sure sign that your cuttings are taking root.)


  • Most soft tip cuttings can be taken in the early spring; however, check the information for particular herbs.  For example, soft tip cuttings can be taken from sage in the late spring or early summer.  (I must be honest, however, I take cuttings whenever the spirit moves me.)

Eliminate Your Health Club Bill

I'm a gym rat. While I don't have the rippling muscles or six pack abs to prove it, the last time I visited my physician she said that aside from my rising cholesterol I was in great shape. I can still run a mile in a respectable amount of time and my wife is not grossed out by the sight of me.

This gave me the justification I needed to gleefully whip out my credit card each month and shell out nearly $100 in dues to my super fancy gym. Grant it, the health club was amazing, there's no denying that. They had it all; Olympic-sized pool, racquetball courts, sauna, kids play area and even a health bar with feel-good snacks and protein packed fruit smoothies.

However, with a rising cost of living and recent shakiness in the economy, my wife and I had to find a way to trim that unnecessary gym bill from our budget but still stay in shape. We put on our thinking caps and found (5) FREE ways to stay fit which helped us eliminate our health club bill .

#1-Pick Up Games

Lace up your sneakers and head to the local area parks and recreation area and sniff out a good pick-up basketball or soccer game. Any true lover of team sports will gleefully invite you to join in the mix. Believe it or not, they actually want your company. They don't want to be the only one out there, hunched over, sweating and gasping for air. The great thing about basketball and soccer games is that the only piece of equipment needed for gameplay is a ball and in most cases it's already be there.

#2- Start a "Walk" Group

Walking is one of the oldest forms of personal conditioning. It's great because it's easy to do, you can go at your own pace and its low impact. Finding members should be easy. I suggest starting a team in your community made up of family and neighbors. Because it's a "walk" group as opposed to a runners group it is less intimidating .You don't imagine health nuts and extroverts in running their lungs out as if they are conditioning for a marathon, you envision regular everyday people. I suggest you go walking just after supper before dusk.

#3-Find a community pool

Nearly every neighborhood in America has a community pool. Most of them are outdoor pools but keep searching. If you look hard enough you'll soon find the FREE indoor community pool. I'm not naïve; I know there's a stigma surrounding communal pools. NEWS FLASH: Not all public pools are laden with parasites. There are hundreds of clean watering holes out there. Aquatics are the perfect substitute for aerobic classes at the gym. Naturally, there's nothing like having some buff trainer yell at you and push you to your physical limits but I'll take a pass. I'll achieve my target heart rate by swimming a few laps and doing underwater calisthenics.