Monthly Archives: February 2017

Acidic Foods – 5 Acidic Foods to Avoid

Eating healthy in this day and age can indeed be quite difficult with all of the temptation that is out there today, but it is having the determination and the will-power to stick to it that will see you through. As mentioned in the title of this article, there are five types of acidic foods to stay away from, each of which will be discussed as followed.

We will be covering each of these types: dairy, meat and poultry, processed and frozen foods, refined sugar and products made with refined sugars and beverages. This article provides the latest information on 5 highly acidifying foods:

Acidic Food # 1: Dairy Products

The different types of acidic dairy foods include butter, cheese, cream, custards, eggs and yogurt.

Dairy foods are filled with hormones, pesticide residues, microforms, mycotoxins, and saturated fats. Layer on top of all those goodies milk sugar (lactose) that breaks down like any sugar and feeds harmful microforms.

Cheese and yogurt are made by fermentation. And dairy is the leader of all foods in forming sticky mucus. It is highly acid-forming. Furthermore, pasteurization destroys the beneficial enzymes milk starts out with.

Acidic Food # 2: Meat and Poultry Products

Of this category, there is meat, chicken, beef, shellfish, goat, lamb, pork, rabbit meat and turkey.

Meat and poultry and their by-products are highly acidic foods. The animals feed on stored grain and pass along all the associated problems in their meat.

There is a strong correlation between animal protein and several kinds of cancer, particularly breast, thyroid, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, ovarian, stomach, and colon cancers. Studies show that people who get 70 percent of their protein from animal products have major health difficulties compared to those who get just 5 perfect of their protein that way. Besides, animal foods are simply dead.

Acidic Foods # 3: Refined, Processed and Frozen Food Products

Which is pretty much anything that is frozen, like frozen peas, carrots, broccoli and also the frozen mixed vegetables, not to mention take out meals or frozen meals. But it also includes many foods you may not have considered, such as canned soup, chips, cookies, doughnuts and just about anything you can get at fat food restaurants. Refined, processed and frozen foods are loaded with sugar, salt, artificial coloring and flavoring, additives, preservatives, and butter, margarine, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated (hardened) vegetable oil – and deficient in fiber. All these types of foods are acidifying.

Acidic Food # 4: Refined Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners

Majority of people in the US is getting more than the 149 pounds of sugar a year. Did you know that you body needs only two teaspoons of blood sugar at any tie in order to function properly? This amount can be easily obtained through the digestion of unrefined carbohydrates, protein and fats.

Refined sugar, as tempting as it may be in all those cakes, candies, and cups of coffee, is, in fact, more of a pharmaceutical drug than it is a nurturing food. The minerals needed to digest sugar – chromium, manganese, cobalt, copper, zinc, and magnesium – have been striped from the sugar during the refining process. This, in turn, forces that body to deplete its own mineral reserves to process the sugar.

Acidic Food # 5: Beverages

Alcohol, coffee, black tea, sodas and concentrated juices all have a negative effect on your body's pH level.

All these products produce a lot of acid and a lot of mucus.

Of these Trade shows All acidic foods can Affect the pH balance in your BODY in a very negative way. A healthy human body is slightly alkaline measuring 7.4 approximately. This ideal blood measurement means that it is slightly more alkaline than acid.

Many people wonder why they lack energy and feel so sluggish all the time. We wonder why we can not seem to lose the weight that we want to and why some of us have poor digestion. When our pH level is out of whack our bodies reflect it like this.

The human body has to have a balanced pH like any other living thing or it does not function properly. The alkaline level is important because as research has already proven, diseases can not survive in an alkaline state. But they will live in an acidic environment.

An acidic environment will decrease your body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients. It decreases your body's energy production and limit it's ability to repair damaged cells. It's ability to detoxify heavy metals will be limited also. It will also make the body more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

Careers In Herpetology And Herpetoculture

So you think you want to establish a career where you get to work with reptiles and amphibians. If that is the case, this article is for you. Why did I write an article about getting what seems to be an easy-to-obtain job? First, there are a lot of people who contact zoos, museums, and websites asking just that question. While there are some pamphlets available that briefly address the question (ASIH, no date; SSAR, 1985), there are few other published resources available (Barthel (2004); Sprackland and McKeown, 1995, 1997; Sprackland, 2000). There are some guides to entering the academic world of biology (ie, Janovy, 1985), but these generally focus on career paths in the university world, while the field of biology is far broader than herpetology or even organismal zoology. This article, then, gives professional colleagues a resource that may help them answer specific questions from their clients.

Second, many people do not consider a career in herpetology or zoology until they reach the stage where it has become obvious that their collections have outgrown their personal resources. They either wish to expand their contact with large reptiles in a zoological park setting or perhaps wish to engage in meaningful field or laboratory studies. Among the ranks of this group are many seasoned and competent herpetoculturists, and they form a significant group seeking information about how to "turn pro."

Career Options I: The Private Sector

There are probably more paying opportunities in the private sector than can be found among the zoological parks and academic markets combined, though it may also be safe to say relatively few private sector jobs will pay a living wage. Among the jobs that can be classified as "private sector" are those that receive funding as commercial, for-profit ventures. Typical jobs would include animal dealers, pet shop workers, breeders, lecturers, and writers. For most of these positions, success will be based largely on experience and knowledge-from whatever source you obtained it-and less so on formal academic training. Some notable herpetologists came from the ranks of the privately employed sector, including Lawrence Klauber, Constantine Ionides, E. Ross Allen, Steve Irwin, and Hans-Georg Horn, as well as many of the most knowledgeable contemporary reptile breeders.

Working in the private sector generally has two paths available to you. First, you may work for someone who owns a reptile-related business. Pay is variable in such situations, and may be based more on the financial condition of the business than on any experience you may bring. Perhaps the more financially rewarding route is to operate a business of your own. Many commercial breeders start by specializing in a single species (such as leopard geckos) or a genus (such as rat / corn snakes). From there you may branch out to handle other species, or you may remain a specialist dealer and supply your personal passion for exotic reptiles with a private collection.

There are also herpetological supply businesses, school lecturers, and reptile food suppliers, among other possibilities. The key to making any of these ventures work is to tackle them as serious business activities. Take some business classes, or buy some good books about writing a business plan (essential for getting loans) and operating a small business. Take advantage of free advisory services of friends in business or the US government's SCORE program (Service Corps Of Retired Executives), where experienced business people will review business plans and loan requests, discuss accounting and inventory control, and be available to help in a myriad of ways that will make you life easier and business more likely to succeed.

Career Options II: Zoological Parks

It was once true that if you were willing to clean cages and apprentice under an "old timer," you could get a position at even the most prestigious of zoos. By the last third of the 20th century, though, a variety of factors at zoological parks had changed drastically. Operating costs, including salaries and benefits, utilities, insurance, cost of animals, and greater competition for visitor's dollars all made it essential to streamline the operations and assure better-trained staff from their date of hire. People wishing to work in the animal care departments were routinely expected to have completed a two-year associate's degree in biology, animal husbandry, or zookeeper training. Now it is much more likely that a zoo will want new hires to possess a bachelor's degree and have a few years' experience as either a zoo volunteer or part-time worker. Moving into management may require you to have a master's degree as well.

Why all this focus on academic qualifications? There are several reasons, and we'll examine each in detail. First, of course, is that many employers see completion of a college degree as an indicator of your ability to take on a long term project, with all its ups and downs, and finish. An associate's degree program at one of the few community colleges that offers such a course of study will consist of far more hands-on (or "practical") time working in a small zoo that a student would get in a traditional university setting. The two-year course is vigorous, and potential zookeepers will be trained across the lines of the zoo world, being exposed to bird and large mammal care, administration and administrative duties associated with a broad spectrum of possible career positions. The more traditional and popular four-year university degree route may entail little practical zoo keeping experience, but provides a very broad range of classes that include English (good communication skills are expected of new hires), math, history, Western Civilization, philosophy, chemistry, physics, biology, and a variety of optional, or elective, courses. There is rather little focus on zoology during the four year program, so a candidate who can "tough it out" is seen as being a well-rounded individual with a solid background in sciences and who can complete a long-term project that appears to have little direct bearing on the final goal.

The second reason for wanting a strong college background in new zookeeper hires is because animals are becoming more expensive to acquire, maintain, and replace. Zoo managers rightly expect modern keepers to know considerably more about the anatomy, physiology, behavior, and diseases of the animals for which they will have responsibility. The keeper is the first line of action for keeping animals healthy and recognizing when something may be wrong, and the better trained the keeper, the better he or she should be at handling that responsibility. College teaches students how to do research, and the working zookeeper may have to use library, on-line, or professional contact sources to get information necessary to the well being of animals.

Breeding was once the rare and much-heralded accomplishment of few zoos, and then only for large, usually mammalian charges. The pre-1965 efforts were often on so-called "postage-stamp collections" of animals, where zoos would try to obtain one specimen each of as many species as possible. With the mid-1960s enforcement of the US Lacey Act, establishment of the Endangered Species Act and the beginning of CITES, zoos were limited in their abilities to acquire new animals. It quickly became fashionable, responsible, and fiscally necessary to learn to breed more species and use progeny to populate zoo collections. During the pioneering days of captive husbandry, zookeepers with a greater knowledge of physiology, reproductive biology, and the natural history of the animals in their care had a decided advantage over other keepers. Such staff members became crucial to the continued success of many zoo missions, helping drive the recruitment of new employees with a more solid and diverse background in the science of biology.

Third, many zoos have come under increased scrutiny both by the general public, wanting to be sure that the zoo's mission is actually being accomplished, and by groups who advocate against the keeping of any animals in captivity at all. Today's zookeeper needs to know how to educate the public to the needs of animals and the important roles played by well-run zoological parks. An indispensable part of being such a zookeeper is to have a broad view of the mission coupled with exceptional speaking and / or writing skills. Every keeper is also an ambassador for their zoo and the value of all zoos to the visiting public. Employers often equate your ability to handle these tasks with the training you received in university.

Career Options III: Academia

The academic world has much to offer, but also makes considerable demands. Careers under this heading include primarily university positions-almost all of which have teaching responsibilities as well as research-and the small number of museum curators. For an entry into any of these fields a candidate must certainly hold a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree, and most jobs now also require you to have held a postdoctoral position as well. There has been a fair amount of discussion since the middle 1990s to create a new post-Ph.D. degree, the chancellorate, but most critiques argue that by the time a student would attain that degree, they would be facing retirement age!

An academic herpetologist may have the greatest freedom to explore the topics of personal interest, especially in a museum setting, but even there the job will require expertise and skills that extend beyond studying reptiles. University and museum professionals enter the profession as assistant professors or assistant curators. They will be charged with setting up a research program that is funded by grants-which they must raise with limited institutional help. Earning a grant means having a solid research proposal, excellent writing and budgeting skills, and the resources that will guarantee the promised results if you are funded. Your employer will also expect a certain quantity of peer-reviewed publications (those that appear in the scientific or technical journals) from you. If, after three to seven years, depending on the employer, you meet these goals, you will probably be offered a promotion to associate professor or associate curator and tenure. Tenure means that, barring an extremely serious breach of responsibility, you have a job for life.

But it is not as easy as the previous paragraph describes to get tenure. You will also need to serve on committees, provide input on institutional projects, and establish some sort of interaction with the broader community. Each of these tasks is designed to give you the chance to be seen as an authority in your subject and prepare you for increased responsibilities in the future. Your success or failure will also weigh in on whether or not you earn tenure. On top of all this, university faculty are also expected to teach, which means that you will essentially be charged with two very distinct jobs.

College Preparation

College education is not for everyone, and with the increased competition for available entry slots in each year's classes coupled with ever increasing tuition and related expenses, it should be a well-planned and carefully considered step (Sprackland, 1990). For those of you still in high school-or for parents whose children want to prepare for a career in herpetology-I shall offer some basic advice on how to prepare for college. The sooner you can start your efforts, the better, because you will need three solid years of the right kinds of high school courses in order to be seriously considered for admission to a good university. Opt for the college-prep route, and take three or more years of math (algebra, geometry, algebra II, and calculus), three of laboratory-based science (biology, chemistry, and physics), and work to excel in English, particularly composition. By the junior year of high school you should be researching colleges. Find out which schools offer degrees and courses of interest; not all schools offer zoology paths, and of those that do, not all offer courses in herpetology. Start reading one of the major scientific journals (Copeia, Herpetologica, and Journal of Herpetology) and study where the authors are who have interests that coincide with yours. Each scientific paper includes the author's address and, almost universally, e-mail address.
When you find authors you wish to contact, do so. Write a brief polite letter introducing yourself and expressing interest in studying herpetology. Ask for information about the author's university, its courses, degree offerings, and admission requirements. Plan early, because entry requirements vary somewhat among universities.

If you choose to go the community or junior college route, there are some differences in your procedure from what you would do to get into a four-year school. You do not need the same rigorous high school course load to enter a community college, and entry requirements vary from none to minor. There is little difference to the student between the first two years of college whether at community or four-year colleges, and in many cases the former is a better educational deal. Post why? Because unlike four-year colleges, community colleges do not employ graduate students to teach. Faculty almost universally have at least a master's degree plus several years' experience as instructors, providing a considerable potential edge over the graduate student teacher.

Once enrolled at community college, you must meet two objectives if you wish to eventually earn a solid bachelor's or higher degree. First, be sure to register in courses that will transfer credit to the four-year school you plan to attend. If this is not possible-some universities do not recognize some community college courses as adequate-then have an alternative university to aim for or go directly to the four-year school of your choice. Second, take every course as seriously as you can. Work to earn an A average, especially in science, math, and English composition courses. Do not waste your time at community college, assuming it is the easy alternative to a four-year school; this is rarely the case. Many community college instructors are leaders in their respective fields. The late Albert Schwartz was a herpetologist who probably did more than any other zoologist to study and document the herpetofauna of the Caribbean islands, and he is still extremely highly regarded by his peer community. Yet for his entire career, Schwartz taught only at a community college. Several distinguished herpetologists are doing just that even today.

When enrolling at university should you sign up for the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science program? There is a small difference, though few students (or graduates) know what it is. In the bachelor of science (BS) track, you have almost all of your courses determined by a university-set plan. You are required to take specific classes and have very few elective options. The bachelor of arts (BA) is more liberal; it still has a considerable number of required courses, but you have far more latitude in elective class choices. Because my interests were so broad in my undergraduate days, wanting to study paleontology, Latin, and philosophy as well as zoology, I opted for the BA program. Had I taken a BS route, I could not have taken such a range of classes and still graduated in four years.

Graduate School and Post Graduate Options

Graduate school is definitely not for everyone, though it is absolutely essential if you wish to obtain an academic career or a position as a senior zoo employee. Collections managers and zoo keepers typically opt for a master's degree, which provides advanced coursework and a chance to engage in some project or activity that has a direct bearing on the requirements of an advanced career path. A doctoral degree is a research degree, meaning the recipient has been trained to conduct original studies. This is the degree needed for professorial and curatorial positions. The vast majority of people who plan to earn a doctorate do not need to earn a master's degree en route.

Master's programs take from 18 months to three years of full-time effort, and include a large number of courses, some research or work as research assistant in a lab, and often require a written thesis based on library or research work. Some master's programs will require you to either work as a research assistant or as a teaching assistant, supervising laboratory sessions. Doctoral programs in the United States start off similar to the master's route, and with classes, lab or teaching duties. Upon completing a set of qualifying examinations, the student becomes a candidate for the degree and begins working on an original research project, which will eventually be written up as a thesis. If the thesis passes faculty scrutiny, the Ph.D. It is awarded. US doctoral programs typically span five to seven years of full-time effort, after which the herpetologically oriented graduate faces a daunting job market. If you want a Ph.D., go ahead and earn it, but do not assume it is a guarantee of an academic job. During the particularly tight job market of the 1980s and 1990s, my contemporaries joked that Ph.D. stood for "Pizza Hut Delivery." (This seemed somewhat appropriate given that we survived graduate school by ordering astronomical numbers of Pizza Hut pizzas to our labs; now "the hut" could pay our salaries!)

If you decide to enter graduate school, begin your job hunt no later than a year before you plan to get a master's degree, or two-and-a-half years before a Ph.D. Once again, read the journals, attend conferences, and find out where people are with whom you would be compatible as a new colleague. Whose research could complement yours and help you on the road to tenure? Make those contacts early and make sure you have people who will vouch for you when those precious jobs become available.

CAREER OPTIONS IV: MISCELLANEOUS

Perhaps none of the previous categories applies to your interests. That still leaves a considerable number of possible careers that will allow at least some work with reptiles. Most require a bachelor's degree, though a job announcement will often claim "master's degree preferred." Among the choices are-

Government biologist-Positions with federal and state wildlife agencies sometimes allow study of herpetofauna. Among the obvious agencies are fish and wildlife, game, and environmental services. However, biological work is also undertaken by the US Geological Survey, forest services, and occasionally in military research (the US Army and Navy long operated a considerable snake venom research facility).

Teacher-Both primary and secondary school teachers have numerous opportunities to acquaint children with the natural world. In many states the teacher must hold a degree in a content area-say biology or zoology-while other states accept applicants whose degree is in education. Check carefully to determine the requirements for the state in which you wish to teach.

Community College Instructor-As tertiary schools have increased their dependency on lower-paid part-time instructors (who typically do not receive health or retirement benefits), the ranks of part timers has exploded. While the working conditions are extremely variable, part-timers can expect to have limited or no campus office space, no faculty standing, and perform the same teaching duties as full-time colleagues, but for 40% to 70% of the hourly pay rate . The rare full-time opening in this market is considerably more attractive, and carries no research, grant-seeking, or "publish-or-perish" responsibilities. Generally, the candidate must have a master's degree in biology, teaching experience, and the ability to teach some combination of general biology, microbiology, and anatomy and physiology.

Writers-Natural history writing has its ups and downs, but many a herpetologist has earned at least some money from commercial publication. Choose a niche, such as writing about herpetoculture or more broadly about a specific group of animals, to get started. Financial success will ultimately depend on reliability, excellent writing skills, and the ability to expand to reach broader audiences. The more biological or scientific topics you can cover, the more your potential income. Although herpetology is my grand passion, I have also published on the topics of education, philosophy, sub-micron electronics, non-metal conductors, evolution, venom research, and history.

Photographer / illustrator-Just as a financially successful nature writer must reach a wide audience, so too must the photographer or illustrator. Few, if any, of these professionals make a living wage by only illustrating reptiles; there is more security in animals and general nature shots.

Veterinarian-A secure field if you do not plan to care only for reptiles. Like graduate school in general, there are serious academic hurdles to meet, and competition for openings (there are fewer vet schools than medical schools) is fierce.

REFERENCES-
Ackerman, Lowell (ed.). 1997. The biology, husbandry and health care of reptiles. 3 volumes. TFH Publications, Neptune, NJ.

ASIH, no date. Career opportunities for the herpetologist. American Society of Ichthyologists
and Herpetologists, Washington, DC

Asma, Stephen. 2001. Stuffed animals and pickled heads: the culture and evolution of natural history museums. Oxford University Press.

Barthel, Tom. 2004. Cold-blooded careers. Reptiles 12 (12): 64-75.

Burcaw, G. Ellis. 1975. Introduction to museum work. American Association for State and Local History, Nashville.

Cato, P. and C. Jones (eds.). 1991. Natural history museums, directions for growth. Texas Tech University Press, Lubbock.

Janovy, John. 1985. On becoming a biologist. Harper & Row, NY.

Myers, George. 1970. How to become an ichthyologist. TFH Publications, Neptune, NJ.

Pietsch, T. and W. Anderson (eds.). 1997. Collection building in ichthyology and herpetology.
American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists Special Publication 3, Lawrence, KS.

Rajan, T. 2001. Would Darwin get a grant today? Natural History 110 (5): 86.

Sprackland, Robert. 2001a. To the parents of a young herpetologist. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society 36 (2): 29-30.

Sprackland, Robert. 1992. Giant Lizards. TFH Publications, Neptune, NJ.

Sprackland, Robert. 1990. College herpetology: is it for you? Northern California Herpetological Society Newsletter 9 (1): 14-15.

Sprackland, Robert. and Hans-Georg Horn. 1992. The importance of the contributions of amateurs to herpetology. The Vivarium 4 (1): 36-38.

Sprackland, Robert. and Sean McKeown. 1997. Herpetology and herpetoculture as a career. Reptiles 5 (4): 32-47.

Sprackland, Robert. and Sean McKeown. 1995. The path to a career in herpetology. The Vivarium 6 (1): 22-34.

SSAR. 1985. Herpetology as a career. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Cleveland.

Winsor, Mary. 1991. Reading the shape of nature: comparative zoology at the Agassiz Museum. University of Chicago Press.

Zug, G., L. Vitt, and J. Caldwell. 2001. Herpetology: an introductory biology of amphibians and reptiles. Second edition. Academic Press, San Francisco.

11 Foods That Help Boost Your Sex Drive

Throughout history, humans have sought and tried various edibles that will help in guaranteeing the ability to rise to any sexual occasion. Aphrodisiacs are generally thought of as any substance that arouses or intensifies sexual desire. Fortunately, recent studies have discovered that some of the best-known edible aphrodisiacs do in reality contain certain vitamins and minerals that contribute to a healthy reproductive system and invariably to a healthy libido.

The reason certain foods boost sex drive is because they contain specific vital nutrients needed by the brain and body to regulate the levels of sex hormones and the circulatory system for optimal performance, and not because they contain any magical ingredient. With sufficient supply of these nutrients to your brain and body, vigorous sexual health is a natural end result. Best of all, instead of side-effects, most of these foods throw in some side-benefits.

To get in the mood for romance and so much more, uncovered here is a list of 11 natural sex aphrodisiacs to help increase your hormonal levels and to get your libido soaring.

Bananas

An almost ideal and power-packed food, banana is a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. Bananas are equally a very good source of Vitamin B-Complex like riboflavin which are important for the conversion of carbohydrates into energy and which is also suggested to help in the manufacture of sex hormones such as testosterone. Bananas are also rich in bromelain, an enzyme purported to increase libido and reverse impotence in men. Bananas are indeed a sure-fire way to increase your sexual energy.

Dark Chocolate

This quintessential lover's gift contains phenylethylamine, the same pleasure-producing chemical that gives you a feeling of well-being and excitement and usually released when we fall in love. Getting the darkest, richest chocolate is important. Instead of milk chocolate, opt for the dark chocolate with at least 70% of cocoa content as they contain less of the sugar, fat and other things. Chocolate also provide antioxidants, which are great for maintaining the body's immune system.

Ginger

The powerful and high prized medicinal ginger roots, raw, cooked or crystallised, stimulates the circulatory system, relaxing blood vessels and boosting blood flow to the genitals. The pungent principles (including the volatile oil gingerol) are the most medicinally potent because they inhibit prostaglandin and leukotriene (products in the body that influence blood flow and inflammation). They also give ginger its pungent aroma. Some of the most effective forms of ginger include the powdered, encapsulated form; ginger tea prepared from sliced ​​ginger root; or candied pieces.

Avocados

This almost too delicious to be healthy fruit aside from being very low in cholesterol and sodium, is also a good source of dietary fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, lots of minerals and amino acids, and contains a high level of folic acid which help metabolise proteins for generating more energy. The fat in avocados is monounsaturated and they also contain vitamin B6 which increases male and female hormone production. Avocados are rich in vitamin E (an antioxidant) which is vital for overall sexual function.

Almonds

The aroma of almonds is thought to arouse passion in women. Almonds are low in cholesterol but chock-full of calcium and vitamin E, and are also a good source of magnesium, potassium, protein, and phosphorus. In general, most nuts (walnut, peanut, and Brazil nut) are great sources of nutrients that promote sexual health, and often contain phosphorus and zinc. Nuts can be high in calorie so do not over-indulge.

Oyster

The reputation that oysters are good for your sex life is nothing but the truth, as they are indeed one of the classic aphrodisiacs. They are purportedly the richest food source of zinc which promotes healthy sperm and testosterone production, making this food a winner. Testosterone is equally known to stimulate the female libido as well.

Recent scientific evidence suggests that mussels, clams, and oysters deliver two types of amino acids that spark the release of sex hormones in both men and women. Oysters are also a good source of protein, Vitamin C, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B12, iron, copper, manganese and selenium.

Asparagus

This purported phallic shape aphrodisiac contains the phytochemical glutathione, which has excellent antioxidant properties. Asparagus also has a good supply of Vitamin E, considered to stimulate production of sex hormones and may be essential for a healthy sex life.

Celery

Celery can be a fantastic raw food source for sexual stimulation as it contains androsterone, an odourless hormone released during male perspiration and which can act as a pheromone to trigger female attraction.

Figs

Symbolic of the male and female sex organs, the sweet fresh juice taste of figs is highly pleasurable to the human senses. Figs are high in amino acids, which are believed to help in boosting libido. Also they are a superb source of fibre, magnesium, iron, and calcium.

Honey

This "nectar of Aphrodite" has its roots firmly in history, going all the way back to ancient cave paintings to include its aphrodisiac popularity from the libido-enhancing power of the ancient fermented honey drink called "mead". This food is one of the fastest ways to provide your body with sexual energy because it contains simple carbohydrates that are easily digested providing instant energy and fuel for working muscles.

Honey is also rich in Vitamin B-Complex which aid in the function of the neurotransmitters responsible for sexual arousal and also for testosterone production. Combine a few spoonfuls of honey with a glass of milk, and a handful of nuts, and you'll give yourself lots of explosive power. This is arguably why getaways for newlyweds' are called "honeymoon".

Garlic

Garlic is one of the most potent disease fighters in the plant kingdom, natural and harmless, and having a pronounced aphrodisiac effect. Most of the health benefits are derived from the over one hundred sulphur compounds it contains, especially allicin, which is responsible for its characteristic scent and flavour. Allicin also helps in increasing blood flow to the genitals making garlic a highly effective herb for increasing libido.

Studies have shown that regularly consumption of garlic can be very helpful in slowing the build-up of plaque on the arteries, prevent the formation of blood clots, and help lower blood pressure thus leading to a general increase in blood circulation. However, if the odour will be a deterrent, you can try the capsules instead.

Food Processing Industry How Do They Make – Fish Sticks?

This article is part of a series that will uncover the secrets of the Food Processing Industry and share with you the secrets of how your favorite food is made.

The first article in this series starts with the humble fish stick or fish finger. A childhood treat, and a adult favorite either on a plate with peas and chips or between to slices of white bread. BUT always served with Tomato Ketchup.

The Fish

The first component is the Fish, this is a frozen block about 2 ft by 1 ft by 3 inches. It is made from fish mince (cheaper end of the market) this tends to be all the left over pieces of fish. Or it can be made from whole fillets that are layered on top of each other (the expensive end of the market).

To be honest nutritionally there is not that much difference between the two. The type of fish can be COD for the expensive end or pollack for the cheaper sticks. These blocks are made within hours of the boat landing, which means the fish is about 6 hours old when it is frozen.

Making The Stick

Using a food processing band saw, skilled operators cut the block into slabs, then cut it again into fingers. The more expensive the thicker the finger the cheaper the thinner. Typical a good fish finger will be about 1cm thick, whereas the cheaper one can be 0.5 cm. These sticks are then separated and passed to the coating stage.

Adding the Breadcrumb

Similar to what you see in restaurants or TV shows, the fish is coated in a batter then breadcrumbs. BUT this is truly where the cheapness is added. If your buying cheap fish sticks they will add a layer of water, a layer of flour, a layer of batter, a layer of crumb. In the trade this is called a 4 pass and can add upto 70% bread crumb to the stick. This type can often be identified as it is extra crunchy and has almost no fish. The high end fish sticks will have a 3 pass system and often have fish contents around 60%.

So in your 300g packet of fish sticks you could have 90g fish (cheap) or 210g (expensive)

This whole process is carried out through a food processing production line of automatic coating machines. Typically a line can produce 100-200 fish fingers a minute.

Fry Time

Up to this point the fish stick is quite healthy with almost no fat ….. However the stick passes through a industrial fryer that has hot oil. This makes the coating extra crunchy, this is due to the water in the coating being replaced with very hot oil. Typically all the water in the coating is replaced with Fat.

This means the more coating the more fat, now typically food processors use vegetable oil or rape oil. Neither of which has saturated fats

Frozen and sent to the freezer

Within 30 minutes of frying the product has been frozen, and grouped together to then be put into the food processing packaging machine before sending to the shops.

Considering the speed of the Fish freezing process and the Packaging process, you cant make a fish stick fresher if you tried.

Final Verdict

Fish Sticks or fish fingers, when compared to other coated products like chicken strips, are healthier, fresher and have fewer additives. So I would definitely put Fish sticks first before other coated products.

If I'm picking a Fish stick try to get ones which have a high fish content, this is typically shown as a% in the ingredient Declaration. This often means it is made with whole fish not mince and has a lower fat content.

The type of fish really does not matter, some will argue that a cod fish finger is the best but be honest, you're going to dip it in Ketchup. Once you have done that I doubt you can tell the difference, except that your wallet is a little less full.

Each week I plan to reveal how everyday food products are made.

Winter Tents Versus Summer Tents – Debunking the Myths of Winter Camping

When one hears about winter camping, the activity is often attributed to images of tough, morbid scenarios: a suicidal recluse in a frost-molded landscape; a masochistic, distorted leisurely stroll in subzero woodlands; or a noble display of arctic pain in a ravaging blizzard tempest. Contrary to initial impressions however, using winter tents actually offers an experience more unique and relaxing than its summer counterpart. And with the right camping gears, equipment and preparation, it will not be difficult to have the best time of your life.

Camping in the winter is rather ideal. The bugs are frozen and dead. No ticks are there to eat you alive in your sleep. Even the mosquitoes are too busy shivering to death. And if you're worried about the ants that might take your hotdogs away, they are already too preoccupied keeping themselves alive under all the earth and snow to even think about bugging you in your campfire grills.

The climate in the winter is also perfect for relaxation and cold and snow are far easier to deal with than heat and rain. Even if you camp in the nude, it will be not enough to keep the summer heat from making you toss and turn in unease all night. It will not take the sticky feeling away, either. In the winter however, you can easily dress for the occasion to ward off the chill and have a great time. A sudden downpour can also ruin your entire camp and can force you to pack up and leave if you are camping in the summer. If snowflakes are the only ones falling from the sky though, you can either savor the experience, or if you find that the weather is too capricious, you can just comfortably stay inside your winter tents as you would in your homes-no need to suddenly retreat back to the urban jungle.

The demands on your gears in camping in the winter season can be higher than normal, but in such a wintery undertaking, if you take your choice of equipments some good consideration, you will not have a difficult time to relax and enjoy in a cold and trying environment. From a selection of winter tents, it will be wise to choose one that is bigger than you would often have as you will need more room for your slightly bulkier equipments, and since you will be spending most of your time inside. Moreover, in addition to the typical things that you will need such as clothing, food, water, eating and cooking utensils, backpack stoves and fuel, you will also need a warm sleeping bag, wool socks, a winter cap, mittens with lightweight liner gloves, a pair of snowshoes and a headlamp. Apparently since it is winter camping, you will need things that will help you stay as warm and as comfortable as possible, and of course a light source to help you pass 14 hours of darkness.

Camping in the winter definitely offers an incomparable experience amidst a challenging and cold environment. It makes an ideal time to get you to truly unwind without having to worry about pesky insects that may ruin your retreat, or heat and rain that may take away the comfort of sleeping. With the right preparation and gears, winter camping will be an unforgettable experience that will make you want to return for a second one.