The New Year always sparks my resolve to eat more vegetables. I have not made this cashew cabbage recipe in a long time, but the flavors are wonderful, plus it’s versatile – you can use what you have on hand.
2 Tbspcooking oil, for high heat
1 smallonion, thinly sliced
2 stalk(s)celery, thinly sliced
1carrot, peeled and cut julienne
1 csliced mushrooms
1bell pepper, cut julienne
1 cwhole cashews
1/4 cwhite wine
1/4 clow sodium soy sauce
1 to 2 lbfinely shredded green cabbage
1-2 dash(es)dark sesame oil
1-2 dash(es)garlic powder
·fresh ground black pepper (if desired)
How to Make Cashew Cabbage
In a wok or large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry onion, celery, and carrot for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, pepper, and cashews, and stir-fry another 3 minutes.
Add wine, soy sauce, and cabbage. Stir well, cover, and steam until cabbage wilts slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in sesame oil and garlic powder.
Continue stirring until cabbage is done to your liking. May season with black pepper if desired.
Picture this: You’re cuddled up on the couch, with your favorite show on TV and maybe a fluffy blanket. Suddenly, your beloved kitty pads over and jumps up on the couch next to you. With a cat in your lap, the coziness is complete. Except instead of the warm furry weight you expect, you feel a rough, sandpapery tongue on your hand. It kind of hurts, right? Cat tongues have little tiny backward hooks on them to pick up debris from their fur, and it sort of feels like they’re exfoliating your skin. But more importantly, why do cats lick you in the first place?!
If this scene sounds familiar but leaves you feeling confused, you’re not alone. Cats and humans have been suffering communication problems for years: We don’t speak meow, and they can’t get our alphabet right. Fortunately, we’ve reached out to cat experts who know exactly what your cat is trying to tell you when they treat you like they would their paw.
It means you’re their family
Cat families and cat friends groom each other regularly. If you’ve got more than one cat at home, you’ve probably seen one licking the other’s face while they lounge in a sunbeam. It’s pretty cute! But why do cats lick you? Well, it’s a good sign that you’ve been accepted into your cat’s inner circle: an honorary cat, if you will. Basically, your cat loves you!
“To a cat, it doesn’t matter that you are human,” says Dr. Sara Ochoa, DVM. “Once they have come to care for you, they will treat you the same way as any member of its group.” According to Jodi Ziskin, Healthy Pet Coach and Director of Communications for Treatibles, cats are excellent communicators: “They use their eyes, head butts—aka head boops—and vocalizations” to get their messages across. Ziskin says that cats’ “gentle ‘love’ nibbles or light licks” are a way of showing affection and that some cats even give kisses! She says that your pet may also show affection by purring, nuzzling up to you, or rubbing their head against your body.
It’s how they comfort you
Have you noticed your cat being more attentive when you’re feeling down? Dr. Ochoa says that if you are sick or otherwise stressed, your cat may lick you to help calm you down or make you feel better, “just like it would another cat in the wild.”
According to Dr. Ochoa, “cats have a very good sense of illness in other members of their group,” so if you’re feeling less than stellar you might find your feline companion lingering by your side. There’s evidence that owning a pet helps you to be happier and less stressed, so some cuddle time with your cat might be just what you need to get over that breakup or head cold.
And also how they comfort themselves
Since cats spend so much of their day grooming themselves, when they’re anxious it can tip over into over-grooming. “Some cats lick when they are stressed as a way to comfort themselves,” says Ziskin. “They may lick themselves or their person. A way to tell if the licking is stress-related is if it goes on for an extended period of time.” Because your cat is closely bonded to you, they may lick you to relieve their stress as well as themselves. If your cat has any bald spots or you see them constantly licking themselves (or you!), it’s best to take them to the vet.
Or they could be marking their territory
Cats are territorial animals, which means that many kitties consider their humans (you!) to be their property or “territory.” Yup, that means that one of the answers to the question “why do cats lick you” is that they’re marking you to other cats as their own. Dr. Ochoa compares this behavior to “spraying”—the way that cats use urine to mark their territory. So, it could be worse! According to Dr. Ochoa, licking is “a way of letting other cats know that they care about you and that you belong to them.” That’s kind of sweet, no? We just wish it wasn’t saliva-based.
Why does my cat bite me, then lick me?
Kitties sometimes bite themselves as they groom as part of the fur-cleaning process, and when they’re grooming you that can include some biting too! Little nips are just another way of showing affection. They could also be your cat telling you that they want to play, or, conversely, that they want you to leave them alone. To figure out which it is, you have to look at the rest of their body language for clues. If their ears are up and pointed towards you, that’s a signal for playtime! If they’re flat, that means stop.
Why do cats lick you excessively?
Cats who lick you excessively may be trying to tell you something—they’re concerned about you. Dr. Ochoa says that “in the wild, cats will groom each other to help one another stay clean, so they don’t attract larger predators.”
So, what does it mean when a cat licks you a lot? Well, your kitty is demonstrating that they think of you as their kin. Just like bringing you a dead rodent because they think you’re too incompetent to hunt for yourself, your cat thinks you need help learning personal grooming techniques. Don’t expect to keep up with them, though—adult cats can spend up to 50 percent of their day grooming and are instinctively driven to clean themselves. You can try gently explaining to your cat that you appreciate their efforts, but you’re really not at risk of predation. However, now that you understand what it means when a cat licks you, you can appreciate their behavior for what it is: love! And maybe distract them with a feathery toy instead.
Today, I’m beginning a new series called, “Sentence Completion”. This series will be geared towards those in grade 12. Yes, it is difficult. Welcome to English. However, if I receive comments that it’s too hard, I can lower the level to fit your needs. So let me know what you think ! Answers will be provided with a helpful explanation. Give it a go.
Of course, this is a lot easier said than done. Dogs love to dig, and cats love to find new and exciting venues for pooping—which, for some reason, are always your garden beds. But with some common sense and a little work, you can keep pets and other assorted critters out of your garden and out of trouble. This video from HomeAdvisor lays out loads of great tips for pet-proofing any garden:
Grab some chicken wire
You probably already know that chicken wire is great for keeping cats, dogs, and other small animals out of garden beds—and that you should stick to pet-safe fertilizer and plants in case they outsmart the chicken wire—but plants aren’t the only part of your garden that’s potentially dangerous for pets. Birds can spread diseases like salmonella to you and your pets, so if you have a bird feeder, it’s important to clean it regularly and keep it far away from your pets (and kids).
Add a few decoys
Trying to keep animals from getting into trouble requires near-constant supervision, which is where decoys come in handy. We already know that giving pets a “yes” for every “no” is an effective way to modify their behavior; designating a corner of your yard for unlimited digging (or an all-you-can-eat catnip buffet) should make your plants look a lot less interesting by comparison.
In general, you can avoid a lot of headaches by giving pets an inviting space of their own that’s near the garden without being in the garden. That could be a doghouse, a patch of dirt with lots of toys, a personal grove of catnip and wheat grass, or even some pet-friendly outdoor furniture. You’ll still probably need some chicken wire, but with any luck, your pets will be so busy enjoying their personal hangout zone that they won’t even look at your tomatoes.
As the temperatures begin to rise, it’s time to put warm-weather vegetables, herbs, and plants in the ground (or containers) so they grow for the season ahead! For crops that mature quickly, like beans, planting seeds will work just fine. But for other plants, like tomatoes, you’ll need to purchase transplants or fruit won’t have time to mature in some regions of the country. All annual flowers can also be planted in June, like perennials, which come back every year around this time, too. The biggest challenge in June is making sure to keep plants watered evenly. It’s also smart to keep an eye out for pests. Inspect your plants every few days so insects won’t get a foothold; you’ll be surprised how quickly they appear out of nowhere! Contact your university coop extension service (find yours here) for identification and control measures if you do spot unwelcome visitors.
Typically, here’s what you can plant in June:
10) Swiss Chard
11) Summer Squash
13) Winter Squash
My favorite, tomato, can be planted in mid to late May. Check last date of frost in your area.
Article by Arricca Elin Sansone for House Beautiful
Believe it or not, when you chow down on a meal, you’re not the only one eating. Your gastrointestinal system is home to trillions of microbes that help break down food (an average of 60 tons over your lifetime), but the beneficial bacteria among them are picky eaters—and they only flourish if they’re fed certain nutrients.
When you consume sugary, processed, and packaged foods, your good gut bacteria don’t have the fuel they need to prevent the bad guys from overpopulating, which can wreak havoc and cause digestive issues, illness, and more.
But, when your gut is populated with good bacteria, these microscopic organisms work day in and day out to benefit your health—and you can increase their productivity by eating fermented foods.
What exactly are fermented foods?
“Fermentation has been a staple of the human foodways for centuries and was initially used as a way to preserve foods,” explains registered dietitian Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN of Maya Feller Nutrition. It’s a process where natural organisms (like bacteria and yeast) break down sugars and starches in food to create alcohols, gas, or acids. “Fermented foods and beverages are produced through controlled microbial growth and enzymatic action—which gives fermented foods their distinctive tart taste,” says Feller.
One thing to note: there are many benefits to eating fermented foods, but “for people with a sensitive stomach, it’s helpful to be mindful of the quantity consumed as there could be some intestinal upset,” says Feller, who suggests having one serving a day.
1. You can take fewer probiotic pills.
2. Your digestion will be enhanced.
3. Your skin health will get a boost.
4. Your immune system will be optimized.
5. Inflammation may be lowered.
6. Your heart can get healthier.
7. Your blood sugar levels will be more balanced.
8. You can lose excess weight.
9. You’ll absorb nutrients more easily.
10. You may be able to think more clearly.
11. Your mood could get a lift.
For reading more indepth information about these benefits, Read the original article on Eat This, Not That!
If you’re having a difficult time finding the egg (it’s pretty challenging!), here’s a hint from the florist: it looks like a simple chicken’s egg rather than a decorated Easter egg. And if you need one more clue, try looking under the blue flowers in the upper left corner for the hidden object.
There are certain traits that lend themselves to “revenge bedtime procrastination.”
There’s also a way out.
AS A SELF-PROCLAIMED night owl, I’m rarely surprised when I lift my eyes from Instagram and see that it’s well past when I intended to go to sleep. Here’s how I explain it to myself: I’ve always stayed up late, and now the only time I get to myself is when my husband and daughter are asleep. Here’s what’s actually going on: I’m procrastinating.
Some researchers call this bedtime procrastination or while-in-bed procrastination, while the Chinese word for it translates to “revenge bedtime procrastination.” No matter what you call it, in my case, it involves a combination of technology and anxiety; I worry that I won’t be able to fall asleep quickly, so I tell myself that I’ll just scroll through social media until I’m exhausted. It is this—along with a lack of what researchers refer to as self-regulation—that makes me a textbook sleep procrastinator.
How Sleep Procrastination Happens
The idea of sleep procrastination was first introduced in a 2014 study from the Netherlands, defining the act simply as “failing to go to bed at the intended time, while no external circumstances prevent a person from doing so.” Revenge was added to the title in 2020 with the onset of the pandemic, but as a concept, it has actually been around for much longer.
According to Alessandra Edwards, a performance expert, revenge bedtime procrastination is quite common in people who feel they don’t have control over their time (such as those in high-stress occupations) and are looking for a way to regain some personal time, even if it means staying up too late.
“When it comes to the evening, they categorically refuse to go to bed early, at a time they know will suit them best and enable them to get adequate restorative sleep and feel better,” explains Edwards. “Nevertheless there is a sense of retaliation against life, so there is an idea of revenge to stay awake and do whatever fills their bucket.”
How Your Personality May Contribute to Insufficient Sleep
Behavioral scientist Floor Kroese, an assistant professor in Health Psychology at Utrecht University and lead author on the study that first introduced bedtime procrastination, notes that there is also a link between procrastinating in daily life and sleep procrastination.
“An interesting difference may be that people typically procrastinate on tasks they find aversive—housework, homework, boring tasks—while sleeping for most people is not aversive at all,” says Kroese. “It might be the bedtime routines that precede going to bed that people dislike or just that they do not like quitting whatever they were doing.”
In an additional study from 2014, performed with a wider number of participants, Kroese and team argued that lack of self-regulation—associated with personality traits such as being impulsive or easily distracted—is a possible cause of sleep procrastination. While self-regulation and procrastination may sound like opposite sides of the same coin, they are actually different; one study from 2019 differentiates the two by defining procrastination as delaying an action, while self-regulation refers to “thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that guide individuals to set personal goals.”
For those unable to self-regulate, Edwards adds that the time before bed may be the only time to process the emotional backlog from the day, including “frustration and anger, or fear and anxiety they may have felt during the day but shut out.”
Kroese’s research indicates that “self-regulation interventions” could be helpful at improving sleeping behavior, and therefore reducing sleep procrastination. Getting adequate sleep requires more than just setting a bedtime (especially considering that self-regulation comes with thoughts and feelings, and not just behaviors).
This is where sleep specialists such as Michael Breus—known professionally as “the Sleep Doctor”—diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, come in.
How a ‘Power-Down Hour’ Can Reduce Sleep Procrastination
Breus studies the science of helping people sleep, and he helps patients with a technique he calls the “Power-Down Hour.” Featured in his first book, Good Night: The Sleep Doctor’s 4-Week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health, it is a strategy to slow your mind down while getting you to step away from technology and address daily procrastination (that could lead to sleep procrastination).
The Power-Down Hour is composed of three 20-minute segments:
The first 20 minutes are dedicated to things that need to be done.
The second 20 minutes are set aside for hygiene (such as a hot bath).
The final 20 minutes are for relaxation (such as meditation, prayer, or journaling).
The order of each segment is what Breus claims is “the secret ingredient.” With this technique, you are not only addressing specific behaviors of self-regulation; you are also considering the thoughts and feelings element. While this may seem like a simple solution for those of us who find ourselves scrolling late into the night, Breus acknowledges that there is an added element of FOMO, due in part to the pandemic, making the Power-Down Hour seem a bit more daunting.
“I understand that people are not having any real alone time right now, and that scrolling on your phone is fun, but you lose track of time,” says Breus. “My big question is: If you want some ‘me’ time, why not schedule it? If you just can’t figure that out, set a timer and give yourself a pattern interrupt. When the timer goes off, go brush your teeth, come back, and—if you just have to scroll—set it for 15 minutes and try again.”
Breus’s Power-Down Hour is in line with others’ findings, Kroese says a specific if-then plan (“If it is 11 pm, then I will go upstairs to brush my teeth”) and sleep hygiene habits, “such as making sure to end your day with relaxing activities, dimming the light, and keeping your bedroom distraction-free,” is a promising strategy for those who are experiencing bedtime procrastination due to self-regulation issues.
By breaking up the last hour before you want to be asleep, you are not only enacting a clear plan but also addressing any tasks you may have missed or pushed. You’re taking charge of your health with a routine and managing any potentially suppressed emotions from the day. And all of this is to get ample rest and tackle the next day head-on (no revenge needed).
Article written by ASHLEY LAURETTA for Wired Magazine
Staying hydrated is always important, and especially when you’re dealing with post-nasal drip.Image Credit: Maskot/Maskot/GettyImages
Nose gunk in general isn’t fun, but when it drips down the back of your throat? Yuck
Post-nasal drip is the secretions from mucus originating from the back of your nasal passages, David Erstein, MD, a board-certified allergist and immunologist working with Advanced Dermatology PC in New York City, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Fun fact: The glands in your nose and throat produce one or two quarts of mucus per day, notes the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. And that mucus plays an important role in your health, keeping your nasal lining clean and moist and stopping infection. Post-nasal drip can occur as a result of allergies, acid reflux, sinusitis or a viral infection like a cold or flu.
You might have post-nasal drip if you, well, feel mucus dripping in the back of your throat, find yourself swallowing or clearing your throat often or have a sore throat, the Foundation points out. It may also taste pretty gross, too.
While there are medications that can help, it’s best to try non-drug treatments first, Dr. Erstein says. Over-the-counter meds are generally safe, but they come with a risk of side effects and can interact with other meds you might be on.
Here’s where to start to stop post-nasal drip:
1. Try Nasal Irrigation
A neti pot can help flush out your nose and provide relief for post-nasal drip.Image Credit: South_agency/E+/GettyImages
Nasal saline (salt water) sprays and saline rinse kits are effective, non-medication treatments for post-nasal drip, Dr. Erstein says. These are available as squeeze bottles and sprays, and some people like to use neti pots (small containers usually shaped like a teapot that are designed to rinse out your nose).
If you do use a neti pot, use distilled or sterile water; tap water is not safe to use in your nasal passages, per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
2. Drink Water
Filling your glass with more H2O is never a bad idea, and it’s even more important when you’re dealing with too much mucus.
“Make sure you are hydrated to thin out the secretions,” Dr. Erstein says.
Plus, you’ll wash away any yucky taste, too.
3. Sleep Propped Up
When laying down, mucus can collect at the back of your throat, making you cough (and probably disturbing your sleep).
To stop post-nasal drip from waking you up, put an extra pillow under your head, which will help gravity usher down the drip while you snooze.
4. Run a Humidifier at Night
Higher humidity can help tamp down mucus and stop post-nasal drip.Image Credit: MICROGEN IMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Science Photo Library/GettyImages
Dry air irritates sinuses and can cause your body to ramp up mucus production. To counter that, upping the humidity in your room while you sleep can help clear your nasal passages.
If you use a humidifier, though, make sure to clean the filter as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent mold growth, something that can make breathing more difficult, especially if you have allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
5. Consider Medications for Post-Nasal Drip
If things like saline rinses, drinking water, sleeping more upright and running a humidifier don’t work, then you can turn to a medication for short-term relief, Dr. Erstein says.
Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), which relieve congestion and decrease excess mucus
Mucinex to thin and loosen mucus
Nasal decongestants like Afrin
Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. For example, people who have high blood pressure are usually told to avoid decongestants (because these narrow blood vessels), Dr. Erstein says. And nasal decongestants like Afrin should not be used for more than three days, because prolonged use can worsen congestion.
(Note: If you get sore throats every spring, like I do, this could be the cause.)