Fighting a nasty sinus infection

I had a routine MRI a month ago and looking for a thing, the technician found the other, namely a chronic, severe sinus infection.
My doctor was puzzled ‘with such a big sinus infection you should have screamed in pain, what the heck is happening?’
If I recall correctly, it was sometimes in the spring time when I had a bad cold; I kept coughing for almost two months. Normally I suffer from migraines, I have had them since I was in school, eons ago. Therefore that cold came and went like a normal one, or so I thought.
I was left with a constant nasal congestion, postnasal drip and some persistent headaches, thought to be my normal migraines.

My doctor gave me some antibiotic, thinking that it might have been a bacterial infection. It did not help at all; everything was still there, the postnasal drip, the pressure, the nasal congestion.

Finally I remembered about the nasal cleansing I used to do when I was practicing yoga.
And I thought that I should give it a try.
But before that, I did some inhalations: boiling water + lots of sea salt + some baking soda. It helped a lot; almost immediately I could feel the relief from the pressure; even the headache was almost gone.
I could not believe the wonderful feeling of breathing almost normally.
Next step: I bought a Sinus Rinse made by NeilMed. It consists of premixed packets of pharmaceutical grade Sodium Chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda). Although you don’t need a prescription, you have to ask the pharmacist because it’s behind the counter.
Great product, I would highly recommend it to everybody suffering from sinusitis.
Just follow the instructions step-by-step.

Some people recommend daily nasal cleansing, to wash away excess mucus, allergens and bacteria. That will keep a normal amount of mucus capable of fighting infections. Maybe before going to bed I should add this to the routine: nasal cleansing followed by teeth brushing.

To help my sinusitis and my son’s cold symptoms (stuffy/runny nose) I started again using essential oils.
Normally I use an oil burner (the ceramic type with a candle) and add a few drops of lavender, tea tree, oregano and thyme. I did not have any eucalyptus.

Oregano Oil
Considered ‘the nature purifier’, it contains powerful anti-microbial compounds. It’s recommended especially for respiratory and sinus conditions.
I am not very fond of the smell, but hey, it’s healthy.

Thyme Oil
This is a very potent oil, with lots of benefits. It fights infections, boosts immune system and it can be mixed with other essential oils.

Tea Tree Oil
This is a popular antiseptic oil, known probably by everybody.

Thanks to the mixture I made, my son seems to sleep quite well, breathing much easier than yesterday night.

Special category: Blog monetizing

Today, as in 2 minutes ago, I decided that I need a special category for this controversial issue.
Why controversial? Because I could not make up my mind if I should have added it to the ‘myths debunked’ category or to ‘uncategorized’ one or plain and simple to the ‘rambling thoughts’.

Now I have my category and I will try to do my best to come up with objective opinions.

Let’s start: the urban legend says that you can make money on the net without investing money. Interesting and appealing concept, isn’t it?
It goes even better: you can still have your full time job and be able to add another couple of hundred dollars (at least!) a month just by monetizing your rambling about everything.

It’s just an urban legend. I work full time as a research engineer, I am a full time mother and wife and the reality is that making money on the net it’s not an easy task. Everybody can do it, right? Why not me? If you want to get a reality check, take a look at the following questions:

1. Are you really, really good at finding the right niche?
2. Do you have any Internet marketing knowledge?
3. Are you a stay-at-home mother/father?
4. Do you have any idea about programming, web design, viral marketing, multi level marketing?
5. Can you spend at least 4 hours daily trying to write good posts?

If you answer with a ‘No’ to the above questions, then don’t hold your breath until you start making money from your ramblings.
There is a new trend among Internet marketers: baby boomers targeting. I guess it’s because the generation Y eats already Internet marketing for breakfast.
I am a baby boomer and beside not having time to write as much as a teenager or a stay-at-home mom, I am not computer savvy either.
Meaning that I am badly deficient at the most important things you have to have in order to make a living out of Internet.
And like me are lots of others, moving targets – so to speak- for unscrupulous Internet marketers.

Probably I am not going to be able to provide solutions, I am not a snake-oil vendor, but at least I will make piece with my conscience and try to spread the warning.

The Rise of India and China

One of Nostradamus prophecy said that “the yellow race will inherit the earth”
Any skeptic would say: “yeah, right, Nostradamus who?”
But like it or not, the reality is that India and China will lead to a new world order, probably sooner than later. So they will inherit the earth.

Last week I found a very interesting article in The Vancouver Sun, written by Jonathan Manthrope , for whom I have an immense respect.
According to him, the future is going to be a difficult place for countries like Canada.
The rule-based international system is not going to survive the rise of superpowers like India and China.
They will make their own rules and impose their own values.

Note: I am not going even to touch the number of recalls we were confronted with this year.

Even the administration of president Bush recognized this when it decided it was better to be India’s nuclear partner than to continue berating New Delhi for not giving a rat’s ass to the nuclear management regime.

C.Raja Mohan, a former member of India’s National Security Advisory Board, is speaking in a lecture series sponsored by BMO Financial Group and the Canadian Institute for International Affairs. According to him, the western world has not grasped the full implications of the rise of Asia, especially India and China.
Both will match or overtake the superpower status of the United States within 30 years.
And with combined populations of about 2.5 billion people the demands these two countries are going to make on the world resources is beyond imagination.

Note: No it’s not; it’s pretty clear that we are going to be in deep s*eet.

To go back to the above mentioned Mr. Mohan, the challenge would be for India and China not to get involved in military conflicts with each other, in the race to control the resources.
It would be a big mistake for western countries to believe that China and India as superpowers will slot into the template for international behavior created by the nations of the North Atlantic basin.
Throughout history, superpowers fashioned the international system to fit their needs and interests.
India is the world’s largest democracy but it does not automatically support other democratic countries. India supported Sudan and Burma (Myanmar) making a classic trade-off between its values and its national interest in securing access to resources of those two countries.
India is going to be a revisionist power.
Mohan said:
“The issue for countries like Canada is if India and China have the power to change the rules, you are going to have to deal with it. If India and China decide to melt the ice cap, you are going to have to deal with it”

Note: I guess that’s in answer to our Prime Minister stance to global warming, as in if India and China are not forced to follow the Kyoto protocol, why should Canada?

Conclusion: instead of asking our kids to learn the fancy schmancy French maybe Cantonese, Mandarin or Punjabi would be more appropriate.

Read Jonathan Manthrope’s blog here

Is there any affiliate program that it’s not a scam?

For the past two months I’ve been trying pretty hard to find a way to monetize my writing. Don’t get me wrong. I like having a blog to share my thoughts with my readers. But hey, if I can add some $$ value to it, why not?
I remember the day when I spent $47 buying info about getting rich through affiliates sites. Big, big scam.
You can’t make money with them, unless on top of this amount you pay a monthly fee to get your already designed website (by the affiliates hosting it) and at that point you can add other stuff to your website. Still depending entirely on the affiliate network.
I am not going to say the name, but it’s a very popular one.
There are a few important things to remember and take into account:
1. Most of the affiliate programs are based on pyramidal marketing, meaning that the people on top of the pyramid are the ones making good money; you on the other hand, are the new entry into the system, you are not going to make almost anything. I made a lame $10 in three or four months
2. If you are told that all you have to do is to get for a certain amount of money for a website hosted by the affiliate program, and after that sit on your butt and collect the moolah, run as fast as you can.
3. Logically speaking, could it be any normal marketing millionaire sharing secrets about getting rich on the net, for $47 or $97? why would they do that? It pisses me off to no extent even this amount : why 47 or 97? why not 98? It must be some psychological tool.
4. Beware of the ‘getting rich without investing any money’ trap. If there is indeed something like that, I have very serious doubts that somebody would share the info with the blogoshpere.
5. I tried to get into affiliate programs not by selling dreams and ebooks, but by promoting sales of products, namely herbs, vitamins and teas. Another warning point: most of them are Multi Level Marketing, and you are asked for money to get accepted as a seller. OK… does it make any sense? I have my own domain, my own website, my potential customers and I have to pay money to X or Y retailers to sell their products? You have to read about 20 pages of legal disclaimers, sign that you agree with all the terms, pay the money and then, good luck. On top of that the whole e-business may go tits up suddenly.

Statistically speaking, most of the successful internet marketers are in their late 20s- early 30s. These guys were born with a hand on a remote control or a game console.
They have started internet marketing campaigns in late 90s. We are now in 2007, almost 2008 and logically speaking we have lost about 10 years of trying to make money on the net.
We don’t have the time or the energy to learn everything we need to be successful.
And this is where the ‘beauty’ (not!) is: they now as much as we do, that we need this precious info. Whatever freebee we get, it’s probably not very useful or it’s been already used and it’s living the final moments. And here I am talking about the sort of honest guys.
Other type of e-marketers are going to sell the useless info, because guess what? Their motto is ‘a sucker is born every minute’

Conclusion: it’s a rant, yes it is, I am a bad sport, sour looser, whatever. But I lost the money I earned working hard, not scamming people.
And the reality is that it is foolish to believe that multimillionaires gurus are going to tell me how to make money.

What you did not know about the food you eat

Canned vegetables vs frozen ones

When we talk about vegetables, probably nothing is better than the fresh ones.
But realistically speaking from the convenience point of view we are more attracted to the canned and frozen ones.
Canned vegetables are made via heat. Heat is necessary to kill micro-organisms, prevent other chemical reactions and reduce the oxidation that will cause rancidity.
The heat will not only change flavor and color, it would take a toll on nutrients as well. According to some studies, up to 50% of the nutrients are lost during the canning process.
Vitamins, especially water-soluble vitamins like C and the B vitamins, are heat-sensitive and some leach into cooking water in the factory.
Frozen vegetables are the safe alternative striking the balance between safety and nutrition. They are made by plunging briefly the vegetables into boiling water followed by rapid cooling.
The preferred method of cooking vegetables is steaming to limit the nutrients and vitamin loss.

Sodium and Potassium Effects


– To counterbalance the taste loss due to heating and refinement, manufacturers will add extra salt.
– Salt also aid in preservation.
– People get 75 per cent of their salt from processed food, 10-15 per cent from food itself and 10-15 percent is added by consumers.
– The majority of people exceed the recommended salt intake (6 grams per day)
– Processing vegetables = potassium loss. Potassium is a mineral important to keep the sodium’s damage at bay.
– Sodium plays an important roll on blood pressure.

-With potassium lost via processing and the extra salt (Sodium) added to improve taste, we have an imbalance in the system. Hence high blood pressure which can lead to heart disease and stroke.
– According to some studies salt had no impact on blood pressure for people who had not been diagnosed with hypertension.

How to become a shopping expert
– Buy food from around the produce area: fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits, fish, meat and diary
– Choose frozen veggetables over canned, except tomatoes. The heat from cooking tomatoes actually helps to release lycopene, which is the main beneficial nutrient found in tomatoes.
– Choose real whole grain related products; check the label: it should not have an endless list of components
– Avoid everything that lists ‘partially hydrogenated oil’
– Choose a small piece of true cheese over a larger serving of processed cheese; I don’t even fancy the ‘light’ variety of cheese, because to make it light -as in less fat- the food manufacturers will compensate with other ingredients, moving it far from the natural form
– When looking for a good fruit juice, target the 100% fruit variety; it may have a mixture of natural juices, very often including apple and grape ones, along with natural flavours to compensate the loss during pasteurization, vitamin C and citric acid to maintain a shelf-stable pH. Of course the freshly-squeezed home-made juice is always the best