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Bright Ekweremadu Says Nigerians use 400 million condoms annually

The Society of Family Health has revealed that Nigerians consume over 400 million condoms annually.

SFH Managing Director, Bright Ekweremadu, who gave this figure in Lagos on Tuesday, said, “the 400 million condom consumption could fall below expectation based on the society’s estimation of unprotected sex in the country.”

Ekweremadu added, “We have been in the business of condom production for over 30 years. We have done a lot of things in educating people to embrace abstinence with our zip-up campaign.

“There are obviously sexually active Nigerians who may not totally abstain from sex and this led to our alternative, particularly at this time when HIV/AIDs is prevalent in the country.

“What we are doing now is expanding choices for the sexually active Nigerians who are using condoms. If you know you cannot abstain, the best thing is to use condom; it’s safe for you and your partner.”

 

 

 

 

Source: Daily Post

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How 17 women respond to sexual harassment on the street vs. how they wish they could respond

The other morning I was walking to work and a man told me, in passing, to “take my pant[ies] off”. This was, to me, perhaps the worst comment ever received from a catcaller. Stunned into silence, I just kept walking. And the disgusting comment wasn’t delivered from far away, he was but half a metre from me.

In the past when I have complained about street harassment to men the response is often something along the lines of “You should be flattered” or “It’s just harmless – horny guys, man”.

ut as you’ll discover below, women are never flattered by this everyday (every, single, day) behaviour. This is what I have always believed a lot of men don’t get: It’s not to be disregarded as “harmless”, it’s frightening.

Carmen

“I usually get flustered and walk away or tell them to fuck off if I’m feeling particularly brave that day. I wish I could respond like this girl I once heard about, though.

She had a guy cat call her from a car and she turned around and went “huh?” and when the guy repeated it she went “huh?”again over and over until he realised how ridiculous it was. I wish I could do that, but I don’t know if I could pull it off.”

Giulia

“Generally, I ignore them and keep walking. But yes, there are times I would like to use every possible curse on them and really tell them where to get off, but I do fear for my safety, especially since I’m a small person.

Nine out of ten times that this has happened to me, the man doing it would be part of a group, so me against a group of men makes me fear for my life, so I just keep walking. I have on the odd occasion flipped them the bird, though. I cannot tell you just how much this annoys and disgusts me.”

Hanlie

“The other day as I was crossing the road, a man handing out pamphlets at the robot grabbed a woman’s ass who was standing in front of me. She was quite shocked but just looked at him and walked on. I confronted him and told him to respect women and that it was totally unacceptable.

A female friend of his then chipped in and told me it was none of my business and he was just being friendly. So sometimes women are women’s biggest enemy.”

Nadine

“I usually swear or scowl at them or ignore and walk on confidently. The swearing is not on purpose, sometimes I just can’t help myself and I often find myself saying “fuck off” before I know it.”

Zakiyah

“Whenever I’m catcalled while walking on the streets, I simply walk on without giving the guy(s) any response. I cuss them in my head but I won’t do so vocally, mainly due to fear. I remember telling one guy to “fuck off” but then I felt like running for my life.”

Jana

“I used to get angry in the past but now it doesn’t bother me anymore. I refuse to accept his gift of negativity and ignorance, it doesn’t belong to me. What I enjoy doing is stare blankly at that person, engage, make eye contact, make a connection, even stop walking, I have smiled back and acknowledged their existence.

I find he never expected me to look up or ‘confront’ him. Sometimes I also just ignore it, depending on my mood. Generally I really don’t care – screaming in the streets after women is sign of someone that needs love and attention, shame, we cannot judge, we can only love.”

Lynn

“I’ve been more harassed on the trains by guys. Especially when I’m about to leave, then I’ll be standing at the door to disembark and then they’ll want to start a conversation with me and then one guy actually asked if I didn’t want to stay longer on the train so he can take me home!

But nowadays I don’t make any eye contact with anyone especially at night. It’s hard especially if they ‘psst’ you or say ‘lady, lady’! But I’m just so over it”

Sarah

“Sjoe, the other day I was waiting alongside a MyCiti bus stop for my lift (In Milnerton and not even the flats where most would stereotype this sort of behaviour) and the number of guys shouting weird stuff at me or cars flashing lights was horrifying. I just don’t see what sort of pleasure or satisfaction these individuals can get out of it?!”

Farzaana

“I almost always end up smiling awkwardly (and immediately regret having any facial expression) because what follows is a “pretty smile” and if you don’t smile then they say “suurgesig” or something along those lines.

I wish I could say something so powerful that it would make them stop and think before they open their mouths again. I don’t say anything because it seems like a bigger issue that I can’t tackle on my own with one guy on the street.”

Kayleigh

“I ignore them, because I don’t like to give them the satisfaction of having any effect on me. If I ignore them, I would think they know that they are being purposefully ignored, so I would hope if they think that they have no impact, they would eventually stop doing this to all women.

I wish I could scare them physically so they run away screaming. Like if I had something to klap them with! But never actually klap them. Just a good fright! So that they get the fucking message!

Obviously this isn’t possible… The catcaller is usually with a group of men, so it’s safer to just walk on by and ignore. I don’t ever feel threatened though, it’s more just degrading and humiliating.”

Natasha

“It honestly depends on my mood.

If I’m in a good mood, I will definitely have something to say. Swear at them and walk past.

If I’m in a bad mood, chances are I will keep quiet but maybe still pull a zap sign at the person but still carry on walking.

I wish men would just greet and move right along. If they have a question, just ask politely and lets end it right there. Mutual respect.”

Liziwe

“I usually keep quiet for fear of my safety.”

Kelly

“I usually take my phone out and take a picture of them (or pretend to) and then carry on walking with a deadpan face. They usually get quite taken aback and it shuts them up pretty quickly.

I like to think it makes them feel a bit worried or uncomfortable. Like ‘what is she going to do with that photo???’

What I would like to say is ‘do you have a few hours to talk about how damaging your actions are to the women around you’ but more realistically, ‘I’ve yet to give this pepper spray a go and your face looks like a place to start’. But I don’t engage either way for safety reasons.”

Mandy

“I don’t like confrontation or worrying about how it could escalate. But I think it’s disgusting when men do that.”

Afika

“I often walk around with my earphones in, so luckily most of the catcalling is muted, but sometimes in between songs it so happens that I hear a catcall. I usually just keep walking and ignore. I remember one guy tried to caress my shoulder once and I loudly said “fuck off!” He didn’t expect that.

“I wish I could say “fuck off” more often, but you never know when the next F-off may be the last time you ever say it. Sometimes when the catcaller does it in Xhosa I can also find the courage to say “sundiqhela, bhuti,” which pretty much means don’t even try it, sir.”

Tammy

“Felt like flipping the bird most of the time but also felt really vulnerable to be honest and just tried really hard to ignore and not make eye contact. Yuck!

“I really wish I could come up with something witty, savage and biting to get them to back off and leave me alone.”

Cindy

“I usually ignore the catcalling and just continue walking. I wish I could turn around and tell them to stop treating me like an object and belittle them in much the same way as they’ve belittled me.”

First prize is to get away so, Run. Run. Run. Attract attention in public spaces.
Fight for all you’re worth if it comes to that, with whatever is at hand. Bricks, knives, biting, pinching, spitting. Whatever it takes.

4. Remind them of the women in their life by saying something like: “Go say that to your mother” or ask him “Would you say that to your sister?”

5. Shame them in public – We love Carmen and Kelly’s suggestions above. Question them or opt for the photo taking strategy, but for safety reasons just be sure you are in a space where there are lots of other people around.

We spoke to Kenneth Petersen, Cape Town Self Defence Institute, who advised the following in the event that the catcaller chose to respond with intimidation, “First prize is to get away so, Run. Run. Run. Attract attention in public spaces. Fight for all you’re worth if it comes to that, with whatever is at hand. Bricks, knives, biting, pinching, spitting. Whatever it takes.”

He also noted that one needs to refresh one’s self defence training regularly as it’s a skill that deteriorates if you don’t train.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: News24

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Stomach Ulcer in Man

The human body is very delicate and the slightest misadventure in your feeding pattern or harmful exposure to harmful conditions, and even accidents can cause damage and erosion of the linning of the gut.

The stomach is the most exposed part of your digestive system, any food you eat or ingest must be processed in the stomach for digestion and ultimate absorption in the appropriate areas of the gut.

It is therefore filled with various digestive enzymes and juices to aid this process.

Stomach ulcers, also known as gastric ulcers, are open sores that develop on the lining of the stomach. Ulcers can also occur in part of the intestine just beyond the stomach – these are known as duodenal ulcers. Both stomach and duodenal ulcers are sometimes referred to as peptic ulcers.

A number of symptoms are associated with stomach ulcers. The severity of the symptoms depends on the severity of the ulcer. The most common symptom is a burning sensation or pain in the middle of your abdomen between your chest and belly button. Typically, the pain will be more intense when your stomach is empty, and it can last for a few minutes to several hours.

The most common peptic ulcer symptom is burning stomach pain. Stomach acid makes the pain worse, as does having an empty stomach. The pain can often be relieved by eating certain foods that buffer stomach acid or by taking an acid-reducing medication, but then it may come back. The pain may be worse between meals and at night. Nearly three-quarters of people with peptic ulcers don’t have symptoms.

Stomach ulcers are common. Other common signs and symptoms of ulcers include:

• Burning stomach pain

• Feeling of fullness, bloating or belching

• Fatty food intolerance

• dull pain in the stomach

• weight loss

• not wanting to eat because of pain

• nausea or vomiting

• bloating

• burping or acid reflux

• heartburn (burning sensation in the chest)

• pain that may improve when you eat, drink, or take antacids

• anemia (symptoms can include tiredness, shortness of breath, or paler skin)

• dark, tarry stools

• vomit that’s bloody or looks like coffee grounds

When to seek medical  help

It is important you see the doctor if you have any of the symptoms above and  if over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers relieve your pain but the pain returns.

• vomiting blood – the blood can appear bright red or have a dark brown, grainy appearance, similar to coffee grounds

• passing dark, sticky, tar-like stools

• a sudden, sharp pain in your tummy that gets steadily worse.

Causes

Peptic ulcers occur when acid in the digestive tract eats away at the inner surface of the stomach or small intestine. The acid can create a painful open sore that may bleed.

Your digestive tract is coated with a mucous layer that normally protects against acid. But if the amount of acid is increased or the amount of mucus is decreased, you could develop an ulcer

It could also occur when the layer that protects the stomach lining from stomach acid breaks down, which allows the stomach lining to become damaged.

• an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria

• taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin – particularly if they’re taken for a long time or at high doses

• It used to be thought that stress or certain foods might cause stomach ulcers, but there’s little evidence to suggest this is the case.

Stomach ulcers are usually caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

These can break down the stomach’s defence against the acid it produces to digest food, allowing the stomach lining to become damaged and an ulcer to form.

• A bacterium. Helicobacter pylori bacteria commonly live in the mucous layer that covers and protects tissues that line the stomach and small intestine. Often, the H. pylori bacterium causes no problems, but it can cause inflammation of the stomach’s inner layer, producing an ulcer.  It’s not clear how H. pylori infection spreads. It may be transmitted from person to person by close contact, such as kissing. People may also contract H. pylori through food and water.

• Regular use of certain pain relievers. Taking aspirin, as well as certain over-the-counter and prescription pain medications called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can irritate or inflame the lining of your stomach and small intestine. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, Anaprox, others), but not acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Peptic ulcers are more common in older adults who take these pain medications frequently or in people who take these medications for osteoarthritis.

• Other medications. Taking certain other medications along with NSAIDs, such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel), can greatly increase the chance of developing ulcers.

• Lifestyle factors:

It used to be thought that stomach ulcers may be caused by certain lifestyle factors, such as spicy foods, stress and alcohol.

There is little hard evidence to confirm that this is the case, but these factors may make the symptoms of ulcers worse.

However, it is thought that smoking increases your risk of developing stomach ulcers and may make treatment less effective.

Diagnosis

Your doctor may suspect you have an ulcer, based on your symptoms. They will want to know if you’re taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and may test you for an Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.

You may be referred to hospital for a procedure to look inside your stomach (a gastroscopy).

• Testing for H. pylori infection

If your doctor thinks your symptoms may be caused by an H. pylori infection, they may recommend one of the following tests:

1. urea breath test – you will be given a special drink containing a chemical that is broken down by H. pylori; your breath is then analysed to see whether or not you have an H. pylori infection

2. stool antigen test – a small stool sample is tested for the bacteria

3. blood test – a sample of your blood is tested for antibodies to the H. pylori bacteria (antibodies are proteins produced naturally in your blood and help to fight infection); this has now largely been replaced by the stool antigen test

If you test positive for H. pylori, you will need treatment to clear the infection, which can heal the ulcer and prevent it from returning.

4. Gastroscopy

In some cases, you may be referred for a gastroscopy to look inside your stomach directly and see whether you have a stomach ulcer.

The procedure is carried out in hospital and involves passing a thin, flexible tube (an endoscope) with a camera at one end into your mouth and down into your stomach and first section of the small intestine (duodenum).

You may be given a mild sedative injection before the procedure and have your throat sprayed with a local anaesthetic to make it more comfortable to pass the endoscope.

The images taken by the camera will usually confirm or rule out an ulcer. A small tissue sample may also be taken from your stomach or duodenum, so it can be tested for the H. pylori bacteria.

A gastroscopy is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure, which means you won’t have to spend the night in hospital.

5. Upper gastrointestinal series. Sometimes called a barium swallow, this series of X-rays of your upper digestive system creates images of your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. During the X-ray, you swallow a white liquid (containing barium) that coats your digestive tract and makes an ulcer more visible.

Treatments

If you have a stomach ulcer, your treatment will depend on what caused it. With treatment, most ulcers heal in a month or two.

If your stomach ulcer is caused by an Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection, a course of antibiotics and a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) is recommended.

This is also recommended if it’s thought your stomach ulcer is caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

If your stomach ulcer is just caused by taking NSAIDs, a course of PPI medication is recommended. Your use of NSAIDs will also be reviewed, and taking an alternative painkiller may be advised.

An alternative type of medication, known as H2-receptor antagonists, is occasionally used instead of PPIs, and sometimes you may be given additional medication called antacids to relieve your symptoms in the short term.

You may have a repeat gastroscopy after four to six weeks to check that the ulcer has healed.

There aren’t any special lifestyle measures you need to take during treatment, but avoiding stress, alcohol, spicy foods and smoking may reduce your symptoms while your ulcer heals.

Treatment for peptic ulcers depends on the cause. Usually treatment will involve killing the H. pylori bacterium, if present, eliminating or reducing use of aspirin and similar pain medications, if possible, and helping your ulcer to heal with medication.

Medications can include

• Antibiotic medications to kill H. pylori. If H. pylori is found in your digestive tract, your doctor may recommend a combination of antibiotics to kill the bacterium. These may include amoxicillin (Amoxil), clarithromycin (Biaxin), metronidazole (Flagyl), tinidazole (Tindamax), tetracycline (Tetracycline HCL) and levofloxacin (Levaquin).

The antibiotics used will be determined by where you live and current antibiotic resistance rates. You’ll likely need to take antibiotics for two weeks, as well as additional medications to reduce stomach acid, including a proton pump inhibitor and possibly bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol).

• Medications that block acid production and promote healing.

•  Proton pump inhibitors — also called PPIs — reduce stomach acid by blocking the action of the parts of cells that produce acid. These drugs include the prescription and over-the-counter medications omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium) and pantoprazole (Protonix).

Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, particularly at high doses, may increase your risk of hip, wrist and spine fracture. Ask your doctor whether a calcium supplement may reduce this risk.

• Medications to reduce acid production. Acid blockers — also called histamine (H-2) blockers — reduce the amount of stomach acid released into your digestive tract, which relieves ulcer pain and encourages healing.

Available by prescription or over-the-counter, acid blockers include the medications ranitidine (Zantac), famotidine (Pepcid), cimetidine (Tagamet HB) and nizatidine (Axid AR).

• Antacids that neutralize stomach acid. Your doctor may include an antacid in your drug regimen. Antacids neutralize existing stomach acid and can provide rapid pain relief. Side effects can include constipation or diarrhea, depending on the main ingredients.

Antacids can provide symptom relief, but generally aren’t used to heal your ulcer.

Medications that protect the lining of your stomach and small intestine. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications called cytoprotective agents that help protect the tissues that line your stomach and small intestine.

Risk factors

In addition to taking certain pain medications, including aspirin, you may have an increased risk of peptic ulcers if you:

• Smoke. Smoking may increase the risk of peptic ulcers in people who are infected with H. pylori.

• Drink alcohol. Alcohol can irritate and erode the mucous lining of your stomach, and it increases the amount of stomach acid that’s produced.

• Have untreated stress.

• Eat spicy foods.

Alone, these factors do not cause ulcers, but they can make them worse and more difficult to heal.

Complications

Left untreated, peptic ulcers can result in:

• Internal bleeding. Bleeding can occur as slow blood loss that leads to anemia or as severe blood loss that may require hospitalization or a blood transfusion. Severe blood loss may cause black or bloody vomit or black or bloody stools.

• Infection. Peptic ulcers can eat a hole through (perforate) the wall of your stomach or small intestine, putting you at risk of serious infection of your abdominal cavity (peritonitis).

• Obstruction. Peptic ulcers can lead to swelling, inflammation or scarring that may block passage of food through the digestive tract. A blockage may make you become full easily, vomit and lose weight.

 Source: This Day

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Secret of a successful marriage and how to make it work.

Whether you are newlywed, or refer to yourselves as ‘old Ball ‘n’ Chain,’ every marriage has its share of ups and downs.

While it may sound cliché, lulls and patterns of mundanity are natural to the ebb and flow of married life. Periods of stress, boredom, and poor communication are part of the course.
“Marriage takes work.”

Marriage does take work, and like anything else in life, you have to do the work to reap the reward. But the work of marriage is not like cleaning the toilet and taking out the trash. The effort that goes into a successful marriage (read happy, functional and fulfilling) is the type of work that can be fun and therapeutic.

In a survey that we conducted, we asked happy couples to divulge the key to successful marriage.

Read on to know their 15 tips for a successful marriage.

1. Be independent

Independence was rated ‘extremely important’ in a marriage. In order to be happy in a relationship, we must be happy first. That is, in fact, the key to a successful marriage. With that in mind, wives and husbands must continue to take out time for themselves, enjoy their personal hobbies, and in general, spend some time apart.  Not only does absence make the heart grow fonder, but in the time we spend alone, we get to reunite with our spiritual side, re-establish our sense of self, and check in with the progress of our personal preferences, goals, and achievements.

Being dependent, on the other hand, weakens your resolve and ability to move forward as a free thinker. When we maintain our independent sense of self, we will always have something to talk about at the dinner table, and we are forever stronger, healthier, and more attractive to our partners.

2. Be a good listener

While all women should work at the art of active listening, we emphasize this as an area of special attention for men. Too often, men do not realize that all their partner needs from them is a listening ear. This is due to their programming and the way in which they are taught to relate with others.

Remember that listening and hearing are not the same thing. Listening involves our hearts. Open yours, hear what she says, look at her while she speaks, paraphrase even, and reassure.

3. Agree to disagree

Being good together does not mean that couples agree on every little thing. Most of the couples we interviewed actually had varying attitudes, opinions, and belief systems; and even held opposing views on major areas in some cases.  All couples should have some level of disagreement somewhere. Successful, loving couples respected the point of view of one another, and even had a sense of humor over their points of contention. Recognize that of two opposite views, one of them does not have to be “right”.

4. Communicate – know your partner’s ‘Love Language’

There are several books out there on the Languages of Love.  This was developed of the concept in psychology that each individual has his or her own unique way in which they communicate love.  By knowing your partner’s preferences and hobbies, metaphors can be used in communication that relate to something the person understands well.

Observe the physical way in which your partner shows love.  This could be, washing your car, or picking up the kids.  From her, it could be keeping the toiletries stocked and ironing his shirts.  For others, its words, letters, and affection.  Figure out your partner’s love language so you will always know how to speak to him or her.

5. Acceptance

A major relationship killer, lack of acceptance is a trait more commonly attributed to women, who are known for their nagging.  Remember, we married our spouse for who he was then, and who he is now.  Even if we wanted to change him now, we can’t.

When urging or persuading him, you are only focusing on his weaknesses or problems. Change your perspective immediately and start focusing on positive traits instead.

6. Take responsibility

It is that easy and one of the secrets of a successful marriage. When you participate in a project, take responsibility for your successes and your failures.  When you and your partner have a disagreement or argument, remember to take responsibility for your actions, including anything you did or said, especially if it was hurtful, unthoughtful or created adversity

7.Never take one another for granted

Taking one another for granted may be the most toxic pathogen of all.  Once they are comfortable, it is easy for couples to begin to slip into a complacent state – and expectations form.  This is actually only a matter of human nature, as we get comfortable with what is familiar, but in marriage, you absolutely should never come to a place where you take your partner for granted.

Pledge to respect your partner indefinitely no matter what.  Avoid assumptions, and offer to do nice things for your partner whenever possible.

8. Date night

It does not matter what a couple does on their date night. Simply having a night when they spend their time just with each other strengthens the bond and maintains it over time. When you have date night, you should turn your phones off and put them away so you are free of distractions. Watch a movie at home with popcorn or go hiking or rollerblading together. Change it up often and be helpful and positive for one another.

9. Add romance

Romantic acts can be many – try giving her a flower someday or place a love note in his briefcase or backpack.  Surprise him with his favorite meal, or watch the sunset together. There is no shortage of ideas; and you’ll be amazed at how far a little romance goes toward strengthening

10. Keep intimacy alive

Sex is very important to a healthy marriage.  Sex should be regular, and therapists suggest doing it even when you’re not in the mood! We suggest keeping it interesting by talking about what pleases you, and adding any fantasy role playing, positions, or bedroom props you may want to introduce to keep it exciting.

11. Compliments

“A compliment a day keeps the divorce attorney away.” Acknowledging your partner’s positive attributes every day, and paying compliments, will go a long way in your relationships.  Stay positive, and keep track of what your spouse does well.  When the going gets rough and his not-so-great attributes come forward, rather than focusing on the negative, try switching gears, and point out the positive stuff instead.

12. Look for the soft emotion

Behind every “hard” emotion is a soft one; this is a concept taught by psychologists.  When we feel anger, it’s usually masking another emotion behind it, such as sadness, disappointment, or jealousy.  We often just use anger as a disguise to protect our vulnerabilities.  Looking for the “soft” or, vulnerable emotions underneath someone’s hard display of anger, will help keep you connected as you are better equipped to empathize with that person’s true emotion.

13. Let go of the fantasy 

Unfortunately, we are socialized to believe in fairy tale endings and we may carry some false perspectives on reality with us into adulthood. We need to recognize that, while marriage can be a beautiful thing, it is not effortless, nor will it ever be perfect.  Have realistic expectations and do not fall victim to the fairy tale – you may find yourself sorely disappointed.

14. Do not control

Married people often come to a place where they start to lose themselves, they give in to jealousy or feelings of inadequacy, or they forget that they are separate people away from their partners, and they may they may try to control their partners. Most of the time this is done inadvertently, as expectations may grow over time. Communication, independent time, and healthy indulgences will keep any couple on track. If you sense you are being controlling or are the controller, get a handle on it or make an appointment for a family counselor.

15. Never use the D- word

Presuming you don’t really want to get a divorce, don’t threaten to.  Couples that use the D-word or talk about separation during fights use this as a control mechanism.  Couples using it in a threatening way are more likely to see Divorce come to fruition.  Making threats is not a mature strategy for solving any problem, so don’t do it.
Follow these tips on how to have a successful marriage; you will not only be able to save your marriage but also be able to enjoy a highly successful one.

 

Source: Marriage.com

The pleasure without the pain

You may think you know all about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), but make sure you aren’t fooled by some of these common myths.

3 Common STI myths

Myth 1: You can get an STI from a toilet seat.  

False! Most organisms that cause STIs can’t survive outside the human body for long.

Myth 2: You can’t get an STI from oral sex.

There are indeed some STIs you can get from engaging in oral sex. For example, an STI such as genital herpes can easily be transmitted from one partner’s mouth to the other partner’s genitals.

Myth 3: You can’t get an STI if your partner is a virgin. 

This depends on how your partner defines virginity. Certain STIs such as herpes or HPV can be transmitted by intimate skin to skin contact. Your virgin partner may have contracted an STI through other means than vaginal sex.

Use a condom every time

Believing these myths can influence decisions that may put you and your sexual partner’s health at risk.

Not all STIs can be cured, so protect yourself by using a condom each and every time you have sex.

National Condom Week was a friendly reminder about our sexual health, so that we do not unwittingly put ourselves at risk in our moments of passion.

Nowadays  there are many fun and sexy condoms available, from flavoured to glow-in-the-dark – there are even non-latex condoms for those with latex allergies, making it easy to have hot and worry-free sex.

Call for potential donors as Cape blood stocks run low

The essential service says they only have enough type O blood stocks for two days.

Western Cape blood stocks are critically low, with the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service (WPBTS) urgently calling for potential donors.

“WPBTS needs to maintain a blood stock level of five days at all times to meet the demand of patients who are reliant on blood transfusions for their survival,” says says Irene van Schalkwyk, WPBTS PR and Promotions Manager.

The most-used group

Of particular concern is that the organisation only has two days’ stock of the critical group O blood left.

Van Schalkwyk added: “The most-used blood type and the one which is most in short supply, is the type O. This is because it is the universal type – it can be given to any other blood group.

“This blood group is used in cases of emergency, where there isn’t necessarily time to test the blood type of the recipient, and it’s also the group most used during transfusions for infants.”

The service needs donors, who meet the requirements, to make their way to their nearest blood donor clinic to donate blood – even if they aren’t a type O or B.

Those who wish to donate blood must take the following into consideration before making their way to a blood donation clinic:

  • You must be older than 16 years.
  • You must weigh more than 50kg.
  • You need to be in general good health and lead a safe lifestyle.
  • You must eat a substantial meal within three to four hours before donating.

The service says the shortage, which comes in the midst of National Blood Donor Month, has also been negatively impacted by regular Muslim donors being unable to donate during the month of Ramadan, as well as flu season excluding other potential donors as well.

Regular donors who have been ill or have experienced flu-like symptoms, should wait until they are symptom-free for at least seven days (a full week) before donating blood.

SOURSE:HEALTH24

The 19-year-old  beauty mogul has become the youngest millionaire according to Forbes Celebrity 100 Power List, two months ago announced her own reality TV

Show The Life of Kylie which is set to premiere on the 6th of August.

For the magazine spread, the curvaceous teen star wears skin toned swimsuits, her makeup is light and peachy with her hair falling over her shoulders – a tousled demure look.

The covers have raised a lot of dust as some fans are gushing about the racy shoot, others are questioning why Kylie is on the cover of GQ Mexico and Germany.

Not letting her famous selfies be her only asset

she also recently launched a sock line with her brother Rob Kardashian under the King George brand. Kylie announced this on her.

Snapchat and also showed the sleek packaging bearing the names of her and Rob’s brand.

For GQ Germany she’s photographed again by Mike Rosenthal posing with the bed sheet in a dingy room.

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purification water importance ofthe

Health and safety are the primary considerations for water purification.

 

When choosing the right water purification system for your home, keep in mind that any water purifier is better than none at all. It’s just that some water purifiers are better than others. Price, in this case, is not always indicative of quality. Here we have some information that should help you choose the right product for your family.

 

When choosing a water purification system, health and safety should be essential elements to be taken into consideration.

Depending on the steps used by the public treatment facilities to disinfect the water, you may end up using more than one water purifier depending on the source of your water.

 

If you do not have a water treatment facility in your area, then you should seriously consider the source of your water before you decide on a water purifier. There are usually a number of pollutants in water that need to be dealt with and consequently there are various steps that need to be taken to accomplish that purpose. Public treatment facilities use various steps to disinfect the water and you may end up using more than one water purifier depending on the source of your water.

 

For instance, in the rare occasion that your water is obtained from a river or lake you need a thorough lake or river-water purification. In that case, the total process may include the following water purification systems: reverse osmosis, selective distillation and filtration. This is so because each water purification system focuses on specific contaminants and fails to eliminate others. Just look at the following analysis:

 

Water purifiers that use distillation are needed to kill bacteria, but if you boil the water you can get the same effective results.

When your water comes from a treatment facility, disinfection has already been done, and usually E. coli and other bacteria are not present, except in the case of a massive storm or similar event. But bacteria might still be present in the spore step of evolvement. Reverse osmosis water purifiers do not remove herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, THMs or bacterial contaminants. You are more likely not to use this purifier since your water source might not be a lake or river, and consequently you can skip this step in the process. This step is completed at the public’s water purification program if your water comes from that source.

 

The water purifier that uses distillation does so in order to kill bacteria, but if you boil the water you can get the same effective results. If your water comes from a treatment facility, disinfection has already been done, and E coli and other bacteria are not present, except in the case of a massive storm or similar event. Although, bacteria in the spore step of evolvement would be present.

 

Water purification systems that are finicky use a selective filtration or a variety of filtering media to get rid of the different contaminants. Careful water purification systems use thorough filtration or a various filtering media to get rid of the majority of contaminants. You need to check about the quality and steps used by the water purifier before you buy it, since these elements will affect the outcome regarding the removal of contaminants and the operation of the system. We can take a look at one of the best water purifiers on the market with a multi-stage system. In the first step, activated carbon granules remove chlorine, chemicals and disinfection byproducts. After that, a multi-media block catches gaseous contaminants, like THMs. The public water purification uses methods that cannot remove the bacterial cysts that the sub-micron sized pores of the block remove. Ultimately, the water is purified by passing it through and ion exchange stage.

 

The ion exchange step removes lead and other metallic contaminants by exchanging the ions of the contaminants for potassium and sodium. Through the addition of this last step, the final outcome is an improved taste and healthfulness due an improved mineral content and balancing of the pH level.

 

Most homes only require the use of a selective filtration water purifier, but in cases of floods or even heavy rains E-coli bacteria may be present. But usually, the public water purification facility will inform the public in that situation. If that is the case, you would want to filter the water first and then boil it. Make sure you drink healthy water.

 

Source:Streetdirectory

South Africa travel

 

SOUTH AFRICA AT A GLANCE 

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

Situated at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is 1 233 404km² in size and is edged on three sides by nearly 3 000km of coastline, with the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The country is bordered in the north by Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, and also encloses two independent countries, the kingdoms of Lesotho and Swaziland.

 

CAPITALS

 

South Africa has three capitals: Cape Town (legislative), Pretoria (administrative) and Bloemfontein (judicial).

South Africa Travel

 

The Union Buildings, Pretoria. Image courtesy of Michael Jansen

 

POLITICAL SYSTEM

 

Since the first post-apartheid elections in 1994, South Africa has had a democratic government. The Constitution is regarded as an example to the world and enshrines a wide range of human rights protected by an independent judiciary. The head of the country is the president. The current incumbent is Jacob Zuma, who is the head of the ruling party, the African National Congress.

 

ECONOMY

 

Regarded as an emerging market, South Africa has a well-developed financial sector and active stock exchange. Financial policies have focused on building solid macroeconomic structures. The country’s central bank is the South African Reserve Bank.

 

Tourists on a bike ride tour at the iSimangaliso Wetland Park

 

TOURISM

 

The tourism industry is well established with an exciting sector of emerging entrepreneurs. The country is strong on adventure, sport, nature and wildlife, and is a pioneer and global leader in responsible tourism.

South Africa travel

 

POPULATION

 

The last census in 2011 showed a population of about 52-million people, of varying origins, cultures, languages and religions, of which 79,2% are African, 8,9% ‘coloured’ (a term used in South Africa to describe people of mixed race), 8,9% white, and 2,5% Indian. Just over half the population is female.

 

CURRENCY

 

South Africa’s currency is the rand, which offers visitors great value for money. The rand comes in a range of coins (R1 = 100 cents) and note denominations of R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200.

 

CLIMATE

 

South Africa is known for its long sunny days, hence the title, ‘Sunny South Africa’. Most of the nine provinces have summer rainfall, except for the Western Cape, which experiences winter rainfall. The high-lying areas of the interior can be chilly in winter. The South African Weather Service uses the following dates for seasons:

 

Spring: September, October, November

Summer: December through February

Autumn: March, April, May

Winter: June through August

 

COMMUNICATIONS

 

South Africa has a well-developed communications infrastructure. A number of cellphone providers offer national coverage and there are well-established landline phone networks. Internet and Wi-Fi are easily accessible in most urban areas.

 

PROVINCES

 

There are nine provinces in South Africa, namely: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape.

 

NATIONAL SYMBOLS

South Africa travel

Springbok in Namaqualand, Northern Cape

 

The South African flag is a much-loved symbol of the ‘new’ South Africa. It comprises a geometric pattern of green, white, black, gold, red and blue.

 

South Africa’s national bird is the blue crane. The national animal is the springbok; the national fish, the galjoen; the national flower, the giant or king protea; and the national tree, the yellowwood.

 

South Africa’s national anthem is based on the Xhosa hymn, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika (God Bless Africa), composed by Enoch Sontonga in 1897, and Die Stem van Suid-Afrika (The Call of South Africa).

 

LANGUAGES

 

South Africa is a multilingual country and there are 11 official languages, namely: English, Afrikaans, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Siswati, Tshivenda and Xitsonga. Although only about 10% of the population has English as its mother tongue, English is the language most widely understood, and is the second language of the majority of South Africans.

 

RELIGIONS

 

About 80% of South Africa’s population is Christian. Other major religious groups include Hindus, Muslims, Jews and Buddhists. A minority does not belong to any of the major religions. The Constitution guarantees freedom of worship.

 

WATER

 

In urban areas tap water is usually of high quality and safe to drink. It’s quite safe to have ice in drinks and to eat salads. However, when travelling to remote rural areas and the bush you should take your own drinking water along or buy bottled water.

 

The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town

 

ANIMALS AND PLANTS

South Africa travel

In 1998 Conservation International declared South Africa one of the 17 megadiverse destinations in the world because of its rich biological diversity. Expect majestic and intimidating animals such as rhinos, elephants and great white sharks, and smaller ‘cute’ ones such as meerkats, bush babies and bat-eared foxes, as well as diverse plant life from succulent Karoo through to fynbos and indigenous forests.

 

ELECTRICITY

 

The South African electricity supply is 220/230 volts AC 50 HZ. With a few exceptions (in deep rural areas), electricity is available almost everywhere.

 

AIRPORTS

 

South Africa’s three major international airports are OR Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg); Cape Town International Airport; and King Shaka International Airport (Durban). There are also many regional airports, including the Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport in Mbombela (Nelspruit).

 

TRAVEL BY ROAD AND RAIL

 

South Africa has an extensive road infrastructure including national highways and secondary roads. Speed limits are set at 120km/h on highways; 100km/h on secondary roads; and 60km/h in urban areas. Most roads are in good condition, but there are a few exceptions. There are rail connections between the main centres, such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.

 

Visitors arriving at OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg

 

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

South Africa travel

For visa requirements, please contact your nearest South African diplomatic mission. South Africa requires a valid yellow fever certificate from all foreign visitors and citizens over one year of age travelling from an infected area or having been in transit through infected areas. Infected areas include Zambia and Angola in southern Africa.

 

HEALTH

 

South Africa has been well known for its medical skill since Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first successful human heart transplant in the country in 1967. There are many world-class private hospitals and medical centres around the country, especially in the urban areas, while many state hospitals also offer excellent care, among them Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

 

MALARIA

 

Most of South Africa is malaria-free, but if you are visiting the Kruger National Park or low-lying parts of northern KwaZulu-Natal, be aware that you are entering malarial areas and should take precautions in the form of prophylactic medication.

 

TIPS AND TIPPING

 

As a rough guide: give 10% to 15% to a waitron in a restaurant; about US$10 (or equivalent) per day to your safari ranger.

 

SECURITY

 

Use common sense and take basic safety precautions. Keep valuables locked away and don’t wear expensive watches or jewellery, flash expensive cameras, or walk in deserted areas. Keep car doors and windows locked at all times. If in doubt, ask a guide or at your accommodation for safety guidelines.

 

FAMOUS PEOPLE

 

South Africa has its fair share of sporting, movie, music and political celebrities. From global political icons like former president Nelson Mandela and Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to golfing greats such as Gary Player and Ernie Els, movie stars like Charlize Theron and musicians (think Miriam Makeba, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the group Freshlyground), expect South Africans to make news anywhere in the world.

 

SMOKING

South Africa travel

Smoking is banned in public places, but there are usually designated areas where people can smoke. Under-18s may not enter a designated smoking area or buy cigarettes.

 

OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg

 

TRAVELLING WITH CHILDREN

 

Most places welcome children and many establishments have special facilities such as family rooms or children’s entertainment programmes. Enquire about these when you book. All national parks are child-friendly.

 

DISABILITY

 

There are facilities for disabled people (although fewer than in the United States or many parts of Europe). All major hotels will have facilities for disabled people. When renting a vehicle, discuss special needs and parking dispensations with the car-hire company.

 

Source: SouthAfrica.net

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‘DNA Test Confirms My Three Children Are Not Mine’

What would be your reaction if you realize that the children you have always called yours belong to another man?

My name is Bayo, an international businessman who has been married for twelve years with three lovely children; or children I thought were mine. I thought I had a perfect marriage with Kike but I have just discovered that even the best woman could turn out to be the deadliest serpent.

I had no reason to believe that Kike could have cheated on me until I got a disturbing email from a woman I have never known, telling me to conduct a DNA test on my children to ascertain they were mine because my wife had been cheating on me right from the day we were married.

I could not believe what I saw but I decided to act without informing my wife or anyone about the mail. On my last trip to the United States of America in December, I took the three children along and conducted the test and got the shock of my life.

It turned out that none of the children are mine. I have been unable to disclose this to anyone, not even my wife because I do not want her to have a ready defence when I take my action. Most importantly, I do not want the kids to know they are not mine because I love them with my life and would not give them up for anything in this world.

 

How do I go about handling this issue?

 

 

 

Source: informationng

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As much as we love our partners, let's face it; they can sometimes embarrass us

While we can often brush off harmless embarrassment, like wearing their Superman gown when we have visitors or taking money out of their bra in a long queue at the supermarket, some scenarios are too much to overlook, and can even cause a rift in the relationship. That can happen in front of colleagues, friends or family.

Here are a few scenarios that can make you want to crawl into an ant hole:

Everything under the sun is being discussed, from politics to the rand and suddenly your partner feels the need to join the conversation. They completely miss the point but insist they are right, and start a big debate with everyone – even though they are talking utter nonsense.

No doubt, all these make for definite eek moments.

But what if your partner embarrasses you all the time?

Dating expert Dudu Nhlabathi says that there are different types of embarrassments.

“Sometimes, it is not so much that you are embarrassed by your partner’s actions, but that you are worried that other people might be laughing at your partner – and you by extension.

“You are embarrassed that your spouse is the butt of the joke and worried about what being linked to them says about you as a person. This is called reflective embarrassment.”

Nhlabathi says reflective embarrassment does not only stem from what your partner might or might not be doing, but it could also be because of your own insecurities.

“. self-conscious emotions, including shame and embarrassment, are complex, and require self-reflection and self-evaluation,” she says.

The second form of embarrassment, Nhlabathi says, is targeted embarrassment.

“This happens when your partner intentionally singles you out or targets you for embarrassment – with a good-natured jibe or a mean-spirited comment.

“This behaviour can sometimes be a sign of an abusive relationship, among other issues. Sometimes this occurs when a partner lets slip to a friend a personal detail you would rather have kept private. You cringe and try to shift the discussion but secretly you feel your trust has been violated. Targeted embarrassment is the most damaging of all and if left unaddressed can fester into serious relationship problems.”

 

 
Source: Sowetan Live

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My girlfriend is 36 years older than me" - readers ask Jade

Dear Jade, I experience a lot of pain when I’m about to have penetrative sex, even though I feel that I’m well lubricated. Is it a matter of the size of my man’s penis, or could there be a problem down there? I’d also like to know what the best sex positions are for someone with a back problem.

Jade: Not to take away from the size of your man’s penis, but cases where the size of the penis and the vagina are incompatible are few and far between. This issue can usually be resolved by using a lubricant. However, because you say you feel well lubricated, there are a few possibilities behind your feeling of pain.

One is vaginismus, which is an involuntary tightening of the vaginal muscles because of psychological reasons. These can include a history of sexual abuse or even a subconscious fear of sex. Therapy and hypnotherapy are popular treatments for this.

Another reason could be tears on the entrance of the vagina, or an infection of the vulva or vagina, which may not necessarily present with other symptoms. These can be treated with antibiotics or steroid creams. See a gynaecologist for a thorough examination to treat your condition accordingly.

For your backache, use any position that doesn’t require the active use of your back. Try the missionary position with a pillow under the small of your back for support.

Dear Jade, I am 52 years old and I struggle to get an erection. I have been to the doctor to do a health check and results show that I don’t suffer from diabetes, my testosterone levels are fine and I don’t have any prostate problems. What can I do?

Jade: Your inability to get an erection even though you are aroused could be because there is blood vessel or nerve damage in your penis. Ask a urologist to check for this and they will be able to prescribe a treatment.

Dear Jade, I’m 30 years old and my girlfriend is 66. Is it wise to have an intimate relationship with this lonely spinster? And yes, we enjoy each other.

Jade: As long as your girlfriend is open to it, I see no reason you shouldn’t have intercourse with your lady

Do you have a question for Jade?

SMS the keyword SEX and your question to 35697. You can also email us at trending@citypress.co.za. SMSes cost R1.50. Please include your name and province

 

 

 

Source: City press

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How to find and work your erogenous zones - a guide for her and him

It’s time to get busy exploring…

A joke did the rounds a while ago that illustrated men and women’s erogenous zones in the form of a remote control: his had only one button – his penis – while hers was just a mess of buttons everywhere.

Geddit? Men are so simple and women are sooooo complicated. Hilarious.

This sort of stereotyping does everyone an injustice when it comes to good loving. So, here’s a short primer as to how erogenous zones work for bodies – no matter what sex they are.

1. Skin

Your skin is covered in nerve-receptors and where they’re closer to the surface – like with your lips, fingertips, genitals, inner thighs, perineum and nipples – the greater pleasure it can deliver.

However, whether a touch is pleasurable depends on how your brain is wired for it. For example, it’s thought that some women can orgasm from nipple stimulation because the sensory pathways in their brain for the nipples and the genitals converge.

It also depends on your experiences and how your mind interprets erotic touch. If you’ve had a painful or shaming experience involving your nipples, for example, you might not interpret touch around this area as pleasurable.

That’s why you must talk about what works for you and, if you want to go deeper, ask why it does or doesn’t work.

2. Genitals

The ultimate erotic zone, right? The penis and clitoris are both hotbeds of nerve-endings, with the clitoral structure enjoying about 8 000 and the penis about 4 000.

More than that, they’re organs that experience vasocongestion: on arousal they enjoy increased blood flow which heightens their sensitivity.

With so much going on ‘down there’ the options for sensation are vast, so play around with – and don’t be shy about – different kinds of touch and pressure.

3. The overlooked

Which unsuspecting body parts make you wriggle with shy delight when they’re touched? For me it’s my armpits. And if you kiss the back of my neck and knees, I’m yours.

The parts of your body that are unused to erotic touch are usually very sensitive to it.

4. Your mind

They say your brain is your biggest sex organ, and as far as conjuring up fantasies and making sexy visual and emotional connections, it can’t be beat.

Let it work its erotic magic by sharing your fantasies, role playing and enjoying your own internal movie.

5. Who’s doing the touching

Sometimes your principle erogenous zone is the relationship you have with the person you’re sexing: they could be making all the right moves, but if you’re just not into them or the situation, nothing is going to magically switch you on.

Take the time to work your way from head to toe, front and back, using different kinds of touch (gentle, pinching, pulling, biting, stroking, kissing…), use toys and sex accessories (think feather ticklers, paddlers and ice), and get handsy with massage oil.

Explore it all and keep checking in with each other about what feels good and what doesn’t.

 

 

 

Source: News24

Kim Kardashian ditches her long hair extensions with Kendall Jenner

Kim Kardashian has changed her look up again. The 36-year-old stepped out for a day of filming with her family in Beverly Hills, California, on Thursday with a fresh new ‘do.

Kim Kardashian has ditched her long locks for a shorter, sleeker ‘do and we must say we’re loving it. We’re also loving those seriously hip mom jeans she wore with a bustier top and snake print sandals.

Kim’s almost impossible proportions were also stealing some of her hair’s spot light as the star poured her curves into a pair of high waisted jeans.
While The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star often wears tight clothes, tight jeans are not a wardrobe staple for her.
And it was not hard to see why, as the reality star clearly needs to heavily tailor or get custom pairs made due to her famous proportions.

 
Source: dailymail

Busty beauty Amber Rose, 33, flaunted her curves in all their glory as she hit t

Busty beauty Amber Rose flaunted her curves in all their glory as she hit the beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Tuesday.

The body confident businesswoman, 33, showed off her impressive cleavage in a blue leaf-adorned bikini while topping up her tan on a sun-lounger.

Amber’s peroxide buzzcut was proudly on display as were her heavily tattooed arms as she sipped on a refreshing beverage.

The star turned over to show off her voluptuous derriere in racy thong bikini bottoms, getting comfortable on her front to ensure she developed an even bronze tan.

Amber, who’s nicknamed Muva, removed her black shades as she hung out with pals, squinting as the bright sunshine beamed down.

She arrived on the beach in a billowing yellow summer dress but soon removed it to reveal her jaw-dropping shape.

Clearly proud of her look in the exotic bikini, Amber shared a smouldering selfie in the swimwear from inside her hotel room just days before.

Meanwhile, Dancing With The Stars pro Val Chmerkovskiy, 30, has been linked with Amber since the end of last year when Amber competed on the show.

She was first partnered with Val’s brother Maksim who introduced the pair.

A source told Us Weekly that Amber is ‘treating this as a long-term relationship. They’re definitely serious.’

E! News also recently reported that the ex-wife of Wiz Khalifa spent valuable time with the pro dancer’s family.

‘Amber flew to New York City to visit Val and has met some of his family and even spent time with the family,’ the source said. ‘They have great chemistry and are really into each other.’

The source also revealed that the two have been talking every single day while he’s been away on his dance tour.

Earlier in January, the podcast host revealed on her Loveline show Play.it: ‘It’s been four months now and it’s awesome. I love his family and everyone’s so great. He’s great.’

Source: Dailymail

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You hear a lot of advice before you get married.

“Keep a date night.”

“Never go to bed angry.”

“Make your relationship the first priority.”

“Don’t walk out during an argument.”

Veteran couples further down the road look back on young newlyweds and offer insight for the challenges ahead. Of all the counsel my husband and I received leading up to our wedding day, one thought has proven to be the most challenging and transformative, and it came from my father-in-law.

A gifted pastor and teacher, he was the only person we could imagine officiating our wedding. During the final preparations for the ceremony, we sat across a table from him in a small restaurant to discuss the details: who was responsible for what, when would everyone arrive, which verses had we chosen to use and who would be reading them… Somewhere between the end of our meal and the waitress returning a receipt to be signed, we asked him what advice he had for us. He paused, smiled, and looked down for a moment to thoughtfully consider his response. His eyes shot back up and looked directly at us as he simply said, “Forgive quickly.”

Becoming “one” is about more than sex. It requires a level of vulnerability that opens the door for deep hurt.

I had enough self-awareness on that day to know this would not come easily to me. If there were ever a place where I would feel justified to harbor bitterness and keep a tab on the ways I had been wronged, it would be within marriage. Where else would I share such a wide array of intimate moments with one person? Space, money, parenting responsibilities, highs, lows, personal time, a bed . . . Becoming “one” is about more than sex. It requires a level of vulnerability that opens the door for deep hurt; and letting go of those wounds was going to require more change than I would like to submit to.

What forgiveness means

It is rare for me to be without words, especially when I am upset. In the first year of our marriage, we struggled to resolve arguments because of my need to say “just one more thing.” With each additional statement, I churned up the dirt and pulled out new arguments that were both painful and unproductive. I thought I’d feel better by presenting every offense of which I thought my husband was guilty; and if I felt better, I could forgive. If I felt better, I could let it go. In time, I learned that feelings of forgiveness follow the choice to forgive.

My son plays a game that teaches him new words and their definitions. I was recently struck by the explanation it provided for the word forgive: “When you forgive someone, you stop feeling angry.” To my surprise, the Webster definition also speaks to a change in feelings preceding the act of forgiveness—a far cry from the biblical depiction. Rather, in Scripture we find that forgiveness is an action made in the midst of negative feelings, making it a beautiful expression of love.

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Who needs to supplement?

Recently it was reported in the media that Oxford experts had found that taking supplements of vitamins E and C, and beta-carotene had no effect on the risk of heart disease over a five-year-period. The media, therefore, concluded that taking vitamin and mineral supplements is not necessary if you eat a balanced diet.


Storm in a teacup

This type of reporting could be viewed as irresponsible, because it only gives half the facts and jumps to conclusions without presenting the reader with sufficient information to make a balanced judgement. It is a veritable storm in a teacup which may sell more newspapers and make a sensational story, but does not do the public any good.

Historical perspective

Ever since the first vitamins were discovered early in the last century, nutritionists and dieticians have told their patients and the public at large that it is not necessary to take supplements if you have a balanced diet. So there is nothing new in the conclusion the media presented to the public a few weeks ago.

What the media did not state, however, is that countless studies have produced evidence that there are many population groups, especially in countries like South Africa, that suffer from what is known as “subclinical deficiencies” of some, if not all vitamins and minerals. Studies are also showing that certain vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and bioflavonoids can protect the body against a host of so-called “degenerative diseases” (diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, impaired immunity, Alzheimer’s Disease) and developmental deficits (spina bifida, low birth-weight, poorly developed nervous system and eye problems).

The question of a balanced diet

I believe that the statement “vitamin and mineral supplements are not necessary, if you eat a balanced diet”, is true, but then we must define what a balanced diet is, and each and everyone must find out if they are really eating in a balanced way.

A balanced diet consists of the following:
Unprocessed or whole-grain cereals and starches; fresh fruit and vegetables; milk and dairy products; lean meat, fish and eggs; legumes; poly- or monounsaturated fats and oils, and nuts.

If you eat plenty of these foods, you will probably not require any additional supplements.

Who needs supplements?

Unfortunately many populations and people in certain age groups do not eat in a balanced way. If any of the following factors apply to you, then the chances are good that your diet isn’t balanced and that you may require additional vitamins and minerals:

Poverty: Anyone living on, or below, the so-called breadline, most likely doesn’t have a balanced diet and doesn’t obtain all the protective nutrients we require for optimum health.
Monotonous diets: Populations that subsist on a single refined staple food, like sifted maize meal, polished rice, or white bread, and individuals who eat only some of the foods listed above, don’t have a balanced diet.
Eating disorders: People with self-imposed abnormal eating patterns, such as anorexia and/or bulimia, are literally starving themselves to death, and certainly don’t have a balanced food intake.
Special diets, such as strict vegetarian or vegan diets, are known to be deficient in certain nutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.
Allergy diets: If you are allergic or sensitive to any one of the food groups and have to avoid this food group, your diet is probably unbalanced, e.g. people with milk allergies or intolerance, who have to cut out all milk and dairy products, tend to have calcium and vitamin B deficiencies unless they take the necessary supplements.
Chronic medications: People taking chronic medications often have associated deficiencies because certain medications interfere with the uptake of micronutrients or increase the requirement for them.
Impaired digestion: Individuals with impaired digestion – this can range from lack of teeth to bowel resection – in fact any condition that hampers digestion and uptake of food, can lead to deficiencies.
Special groups with increased nutrient needs: Infants, children, teenagers, pregnant and lactating women and the elderly, all have increased nutrient requirements and often don’t have balanced diets, e.g. teenage girls have an increased requirement for iron and calcium, but often avoid milk and dairy products, meat and fish, because they are perpetually trying to lose weight.

The list goes on and on. There are countless examples of people who do need additional vitamin and mineral supplements because they really don’t have balanced diets. So if you do have a balanced diet and are in the peak of health, you certainly don’t need to take supplements. However, if any of the above-mentioned factors apply to you, you may indeed require supplements. – (Dr I.V. van Heerden, DietDoc)

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