Archive for August, 2014

Medication-free nausea relief for migraine sufferers

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

One of the most common and debilitating symptoms of a migraine is nausea. Eighty-percent of migraine suffers in the United States also suffer from nausea. If you’ve suffered from migraine-related nausea, you’ve probably turned to antiemetic drugs for relief. But have you tried acupressure?

A study conducted by leading headache physician Dr. Zoltan Medgyessy, of the Berolina Clinic in Lohne, Germany, revealed that pressure applied to a specific spot on the inner wrist provides effective, quick therapy for reliving migraine-related nausea. An acupressure wristband can deliver this relief.

Medgyessy’s acupressure study, shared at the International Headache Congress in Boston, Mass., included 41 patients. The patients included in the study had experienced an average of 33.1 migraine days during the previous three months with an average nausea level of 6.2 out of 10. The patients were given FDA-approved Sea-Band acupressure wristbands instead of antiemetic drugs during a migraine attack and 83 percent noticed a reduction in their nausea. These patients reported that their nausea after the acupressure therapy had been reduced to 2.9 out of 10 after an average of 28 minutes.

“Acupressure wristbands are drug-free and that is an important advantage in using this therapy for migraine nausea as they have no risks for interaction with migraine drugs or the side effects commonly experienced with antiemetics, such as dizziness or tiredness,” says Medgyessy. “There are still many unknowns about migraine, making findings such as these an important stride toward improving the quality of life for those who suffer from the condition.”

Sea-Band acupressure wristbands are a leading drug-free remedy for nausea caused by migraines, morning sickness, motion sickness, chemotherapy and post-operative nausea. If you suffer from nausea because of any of these conditions, visit and see if acupressure wristbands are right for you.- Sea-Band acupressure wristbands are available at all major drug stores and Target.

Fun tips for fantastic family vacations

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Family vacations are always a great time for family bonding and exploring new places. With some careful planning, the trip can be packed full of fun from the minute you lock the front door to the minute you arrive back home, exhausted and ready to share stories of your adventures with friends and family.

Traveling with children does require careful planning, but taking a little extra time to plan ahead will make your time spent together that much more rewarding. Take these ideas into consideration as you organize your family trip.

* Traveling organization – If you’re on a road trip this spring or summer, keeping track of all the snacks, games and travel necessities isn’t easy. Put a few household items to use, and you’ll be able to keep everything where it belongs, instead of having it rolling around under the seats. For example, a shoe organizer hung over the back of the front seats helps to keep all children’s toys and activities within reach. And a divided cardboard drink container is an excellent storage kit for needed items like snacks, tissues, hand wipes, etc.

For airline travels, the mantra “less is more” comes into play. Have each child pack one carry-on, such as a metal lunchbox or a backpack, with all their traveling necessities. Crayons and coloring books, as well as small game books like crossword puzzles or word searches are recommended.

Fun tips for fantastic family vacations
* Create “snacktivities” – Package the snacks you’ll be eating on-the-go with activities to keep the kids busy. For example, a new coloring book with a juice box and a snack will help everyone forget they’re on a long trip. Pack satisfying snacks such as Lance Xtra Fulls Toasty and ToastChee sandwich crackers, which are made with real peanut butter and deliver up to 6 grams of protein per serving.

* Make the hours work for you – If you have the ability, schedule your travel time during bedtime or nap time. Plan frequent breaks where everyone can get out of the car and run around, releasing pent up energy. Try to avoid driving during rush hour traffic, which would add additional stresses to everyone in the vehicle. For airplane travel, avoid leaving on peak travel days if you can.

* Get creative with snacks – Mix up the traditional to keep the snacks interesting, which can help make the travel time appear to pass much quicker. Create your own trail mix with protein-packed Lance snacks of salted peanuts, cashews, sunflower seeds and Star Bites. Or give the kids paper plates, sandwich crackers, cheese and fruit make their own “snack creations” in the shapes of animals. Visit for additional snack recipes and snacking ideas.

* Play together – When in doubt good old-fashioned car games such as “I Spy” can provide hours of entertainment for the entire family. While in the car ask kids to look at billboards, road signs, license plates and buildings to find the letters of the alphabet in order. For instance, to find an “A” the child might see Applebee’s and say it aloud, then move on to finding the letter B. You can also play counting games with younger children. Count blue vans, find 10 horses, count rest stops or water towers. How many people pass you on the highway? Count those, too. There are endless possibilities.

Family vacations are a lot of fun, and if your trip is well-planned, everyone can return home with great memories and stories to share.

Simple steps to perfect slow-cooker meals

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

“This isn’t your mother’s slow cooker,” says Ginny Bean, publisher and founder of Ginny’s catalog and “Beyond coming in bright colors and stunning designs, many of today’s models are programmable, with digital timers that start automatically, and a self-adjust feature that switches the temperature to ‘keep warm’ at the end of cooking.”

While replacing your 20-year-old slow cooker with a newer model may be a logical place to start, Bean offers these additional tips for preparing perfect slow-cooker meals.

* Plan ahead. If you want to use your slow cooker first thing in the morning, cut and trim meat, chop vegetables, measure out dry ingredients and prepare sauce the night before; then refrigerate ingredients in separate containers. Don’t refrigerate in the slow-cooker insert, as a cold insert takes too long to heat up, affecting cooking time and, potentially, food safety. In the morning, add ingredients to the cooker according to the recipe. Reheat any sauce to a simmer before adding.

* Size matters. Slow cookers are available in sizes from 1 quart to 8 1/2 quarts. If you’re using a different size cooker than that called for in the recipe, adjust your ingredient quantities proportionately. Most manufacturers recommend filling a slow cooker one-half to two-thirds full. Foods will not cook properly if the pot is filled to the brim. Conversely, if the food and liquid level is too low, meals will cook too quickly.

* Keep a lid on it. Resist the urge to lift the lid to stir or peek at your meal. Each time you remove the lid, enough heat escapes to lengthen cooking time by 20 to 30 minutes. Only open it once, within the final hour of cooking, to check doneness.

* Check your temperature. For safety, food being cooked needs to reach 140 F. If you’re at home while your meal is cooking, use a meat thermometer to check that food temperature is at least 140 degrees, after four hours of cooking on low. If it isn’t, there’s a problem with your slow cooker and you should get a new one. Also, don’t put frozen ingredients into a slow cooker, as it takes too long for them to escape the food safety “danger zone” between 40 and 140 F.

* Use cheaper cuts of meat. Not only do you save money, but these cuts are actually better suited to slow cooking, because they have less fat. Fat causes slow-cooker meals to cook too quickly, and can carry an unpleasant texture. So remove skin from poultry and trim excess fat from other meats for optimal slow-cooker results.

* Brown when you can. While not necessary, browning meat and vegetables before adding them to a slow cooker provides color and a richer flavor to finished dishes. Time permitting, Bean likes to “deglaze” her browning pan with the recipe’s liquid and add the flavorful, caramelized bits into her slow cooker.

* Follow layering instructions. Vegetables do not cook as quickly as meat, so they should be placed in the bottom of the slow cooker, where food cooks fastest.

* Stir in spices in the final hour. Most spices lose flavor when cooked for a long time. Cayenne pepper and Tabasco sauce actually become bitter, and should be used sparingly.

Just as slow cookers themselves have changed over the decades, so has the quality and quantity of recipes available. There are dozens of slow-cooker recipes on, including one of founder Ginny Bean’s personal favorites for melt-in-your-mouth pot roast.

Gourmet beef pot roast


3 potatoes, sliced thinly

2 carrots, sliced thinly

1 onion, sliced

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 package instant onion soup

3-4 pounds beef brisket, rump roast or pot roast

1/2 cup dry red wine


Put vegetables in bottom of a 6 1/2-quart slow cooker. Salt and pepper the meat and place on top of the vegetables. Mix tgether the onion soup mix and wine and pour over the meat. Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours, or on high for 5 to 6 hours.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Stretching your summer entertaining dollars

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

Warm weather is “special occasion” season. Whatever your event – a wedding, graduation party, family reunion or July 4th fete – summer celebrations have one important thing in common. Everyone wants to get the most bang for their buck.

Fortunately, from renting tables and chairs and other needed items, to do-it-yourself decorations, it’s possible to stretch your entertaining dollars this summer season. Here are some tips for ways you can get the most for your money, and host an event that guests will talk about well into fall:

* Create excitement with a theme. What will entice people to attend? Will your event be fondly remembered? Get co-workers raving about what a great job you did planning the company picnic. A fun theme can take the place of costlier entertainment options.

* Look for a low or no-cost location, such as a public park or your own backyard. Renting a venue can be expensive. Hosting your event in a no-cost location will allow you to put your entertaining dollars to work in other ways, such as food or decorations.

* You don’t need to pay for a DJ if you have just one tech-savvy friend who knows what to do with an iPod dock and some speakers. You can further save on entertainment by inviting guests to bring their favorite lawn or board games to the party.

* Don’t waste money buying when renting is more cost-effective. If you’ll need extra tables, chairs, dishes and cutlery, renting those items from your local rental store can be much more cost-effective than buying. What’s more, renting can give you access to items that you might not even consider buying, such as a tent, dance floor, inflatable bounce house or machines for making popcorn, cotton candy or snow cones. You can even rent a photo booth for a really unique and memorable experience. Renting can help you stretch your dollar, create a one-of-a-kind party and never have to worry about where you’ll store everything after the party is over. To find a local company for renting equipment and goods that will make your next event memorable and successful, visit to find the rental store nearest you.

* Get creative with food options. Everyone loves a barbecue, but costs can add up when you’re buying food for a large number of guests. Start by creating a menu of a few key items that will be sure crowd pleasers. Then, head to your local club store to stock up on main ingredients.

* Save money by sending save-the-date announcements and invitations digitally. It’s easy to find free online services that will allow you to send e-vites, receive responses and even track who will be attending – all online.

Throwing a memorable summer soiree doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money. From renting needed items and getting creative, it’s possible to stretch your summer entertaining dollars.