Support A Charity - Buy Online

It's pretty obvious from the lack of people in shops these days several of us buy "online". Whether it's from e-bay, amazon or other retailers, travel companies and insurers, shopping online is quick, easy and usually hassle free.

Did you know though, that shopping online can be beneficial to certain registered charities?

I didn't, but the whole reason I am here on the internet is because of my youngest son who has autism. He is fortunate enough to attend a residential college for students with learning difficulties. He's there during term time for three years, but after that I have no idea what he'll do. I've given myself until July 2011 to make my business successful, so I can hopefully employ him in some way.

The college he attends is called Linkage Community Trust, and is a wonderful place with a fantastic ethos. All the students are encouraged to be the best they can inspite of their difficulties and everyone supports each other. It's how life should be.

Anyway, there is a search engine called www.easyfundraising.org.uk, which has hundreds of charities registered with them. If you register LINKAGE COMMUNITY TRUST as your supported charity, every time you shop online through their search engine, over 800 participating companies will automatically make charitable donations to my son's college.

Isn't that cool?

It won't cost you anything other than the time it takes to register, BUT it will help enable people with learning disabilities realise their dreams!

Please consider going to www.easyfundraising.org.uk to check it out. Simply shopping through that search engine for the items you are going to buy anyway could really make a difference to a lot if people!

It's worth a look even if you'd rather support a different charity other than Linkage Community College.



See what I'm up to


Alzheimer's, Dementia and the Flu Shot

Every year certain individuals are advised to have the flu shot. I know it contains thimerosal and aluminium, which I feel are partly to blame for my son's autism (and most likely my mother-in-law's Alzheimer's) so I refuse to allow anyone in my family to have it.

According to reputable sources, a study has indicated people who have the flu vaccine four years in a row are ten times more likely to get Alzheimer's than those who don't. Dementia and Alzheimer's are on the increase and with people living longer it is estimated rates will triple by the year 2050. That's very worrying, and a recent survey revealed people are more concerned about losing their mind than they are of getting Cancer.

However, whilst I am not here to tell you not to have the jab there are other sensible precautions you can take to prevent yourself getting the flu. For instance, you can -

Eat right and make sure you get your daily dose of fruit and vegetables
Take your vitamins and bump up your Vitamin C
Get plenty of exercise because it helps build up your immune system
Walk for an hour a day
Go for a swim
Take the stairs instead of the elevator
Wash your hands often and if you can't use soap and water apply the antibacterial cleaner
Get lots of fresh air and open the windows when possible
Eliminate as much stress as possible
Get lots of rest

OR you can take the doctor's approach.

When you go for a flu shot, they clean your arm with alcohol first. Why? Because alcohol kills germs.

Bearing that in mind, why not –

Walk to the liquor store – (exercise)
Put lime in your Corona – (fruit)
Put celery in your Bloody Mary – (veggies)
Drink outdoors on the bar patio – (fresh air)
Tell jokes, laugh – (eliminate stress)
Then pass out - (rest)

The way I see it, if you keep your alcohol levels up, Flu germs have no chance!

What's that saying? – " a shot in the glass is better than one in the a…".

Live Well - Laugh Often - Love Much

Jean Shaw


P.S. Thanks to whoever wrote the original version of this which was forwarded to me by e-mail.


Health – What Are Antioxidants and Free Radicals And Why Should You Care?

I don't know about you but I've always been a bit confused about anti-oxidants and free radicals. They are those things you hear about but never really quite get to grips with unless you are concerned about your health.

What are they anyway?

Well, the free radicals are the baddies and the anti-oxidants are the good guys.

We all know the human body is an amazing machine. Millions of processes take place all the time and we never even think about them. As long as the body gets oxygen, food and water, it just gets on with things.

However, as much as oxygen is an essential part of life, it can also create some harmful side effects in the body when it's carrying out its work. It produces oxidant substances and just as metal rusts because of oxidation, these oxidant substances cause cell damage, which ultimately lead to varying health symptoms.

Sun, pollution, stress, alcohol, cigarettes and unhealthy food also produce oxidants, commonly known as free radicals. If your body is exposed to these, and it's highly likely it will be; they attack healthy cells. Your immune system gets weakened and you are more susceptible to things like cataracts, cancer, arthritis and heart disease, to name a few.

So where do the anti-oxidants come in?

Well, "anti" means against, so anti-oxidants reduce the effects of oxidants and also help repair damaged cells. Antioxidant power has the ability to neutralise oxygen free radicals.

As most of us live in a nutritionally devoid fast food society, in polluted atmospheres, it's hardly surprising we suffer so many health complaints.

Health professionals recommend we eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day BUT nutritionalists say you need to eat at least 10 servings a day to get the recommended ORAC units.

ORAC is short for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity and is a standardised measurement of the total antioxidant power of a substance. These ORAC's mop up the damage caused by free radicals in your body, and Nutritionists recommend we consume around 5000 ORAC units per day.

That's a lot of units, and bearing in mind most people don't even eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day it's not hard to see why these free radicals have such a bad effect on our health.

If you want to significantly impact antioxidant activity in the body and reduce free radical damage you need to take action. There are some foods, which are considered "antioxidant superfoods", such as Raw Cacao (Chocolate), Coffee Berries, Acai Berries, Goji Berries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Pomegranates, Noni berries, Olives, Mangosteens, and Dunauella Salina, but you need to eat an awful lot of them to do any good.

As I have concerns over my health due to the mercury poisoning caused by my dental amalgam, I was delighted to find an antioxidant product, which provides 7000 ORAC units in just one serving. It makes life so much easier.

It's also apparently rich in anti-aging antioxidants so guess what I have in my breakfast smoothie?

Jean Shaw

To learn more about this revolutionary certified organic, superfood designed to assist the body in attaining vibrant health, wellbeing and longevity view the Berry Radical antioxidant video.


Working For Yourself - Why You Should Choose To Climb The Mountain

Every day something happens to make me appreciate how lucky I am. Today it was sitting in the audience watching my son's school performance of The Sound Of Music, or at least a very small part of it.

So why am I so lucky? Well, there are many reasons.

My son has autism and will be leaving his current school this summer. Whilst his disability often gives me sleepless nights, I realised my troubles are nothing compared to those of many parents. The diversity of problems faced by the other children who attend the same wonderful Special Needs School; make my son's autism seem a blessing. That's something I never thought I'd ever say.

Another reason I am so lucky is I discovered a way to work from home, which gives me total freedom. I chose to be my own boss and as such I set my own hours. I never feel guilty about taking time out to visit the doctor or dentist, or attend something as important (to me at least) as a school play. I don't have to ask permission from anyone, which is just as well as this year I went twice.

The play was excellent and every child put so much effort and enthusiasm into his or her performance. It was enough to make me weep, especially when they sang Climb Every Mountain. I guess it really hit me the size of the mountains those children have face, although during the performance they all looked so incredibly happy you'd never guess their lives were anything other than a bed of roses.

Anyway, back to the advantages of working from home.

Working from home saves so much expense and time. Only last week, my eldest son, who travels to work each day by train was extremely late home. He wasn't working extra hours or going anywhere after he'd left his office, but his train had no conductor so was cancelled. It meant he had to wait on a cold, draughty and crowded railway station until the next train appeared.

Commuting is no fun at the best of times, which probably explains why I never see anyone smiling in the mornings. I heard the other day the average worker spends five and a half years of his life travelling backwards and forwards to work. Thankfully, I don't.

Apart from the time element, just think of the expense. Fuel prices are spiralling out of control and everyone is experiencing the knock on effect. Where once I used to be able to fill my car up with petrol for £30, I now have to double that.

For those who commute to work by car it's a major consideration, and in many places you have to pay to drive your car on certain roads, through cities at certain times, and to park. It all adds up, and for some people, the cost of getting to work is almost as much as they earn.

Then, of course, there's the weather. It's so unpredictable. You can set out in the morning with it being sunny and warm and by the return journey it is cold, wet and miserable. You really have to take two sets of clothing with you to work, or wear lots of layers so you can strip off, or add on as necessary. If you work from home it's no problem, and depending on when you choose to work, you can even do it in your nightclothes. That solves the problem of having to own a "suitable" work wardrobe or having to wear an unflattering uniform.

Also, if you work from home, you don't have to worry about colleagues whom you might possibly not get on with, or get involved in office politics. You can take a toilet or coffee break when you wish, and even have an afternoon power nap if necessary. Apparently, 10 or 20 minutes in the afternoon boosts production by about 20%, because we are naturally bi-phasic, meaning we need to sleep twice each day. The experts say we require a long sleep at night and a short one in the afternoon, but if you have a job what you need and what you get are two very different things.

Life should be fun. Work should be fun and it's so sad that's not the case for most people with jobs who spend most of their working hours wishing they were somewhere else.

A job is something where you trade your time or expertise for money, and when I left school the normal working hours for jobs were between 9.00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. How times have changed.

The hours have certainly got longer and there's no job security. Everyone is replaceable, and there's always someone waiting to wear your shoes. It makes for a very unsettling experience, which is another reason why, if you possibly can, you need to work for yourself.

I blog and of course blogging won't work for everyone and the prospect of being your own boss may seem daunting. It's a huge mountain to climb, but it's nothing compared to the mountains the children at my son's school are climbing. The difference is, like me, you have a choice and as in the song you might just end up finding your dream!

Jean Shaw


Dental Amalgam Poisoning - Now Do You Believe Me?

The FDA, the world's major health regulator announced on 5th June 2008, something thousands of us have known for years, - dental amalgam fillings are toxic.

Amalgam means a mixture of mercury and another metal (or metals). In the early 1800's it was originally developed as a cheaper alternative to gold, and consisted of a paste made from the filings of silver coins and mercury. However, the impurities in the coins caused it to expand and crack the teeth, so a different composition was devised.

This new mixture, a combination of 50% liquid mercury and other metals such as silver, tin, copper and zinc in different proportions has always caused safety concerns. In America there were even Amalgam Wars between those in the gold camp who said the amalgam was poisonous, and those in the amalgam camp who accused their adversaries of being too greedy and denying the majority of the population access to dental fillings.

Indeed, in 1845 there was a resolution passed pronouncing the use of amalgams as "malpractice". Unfortunately, the ban wasn't very effective, and whilst dentists disputed its safety, it became the filling of choice because of financial reasons.

Unquestionably, amalgam is inexpensive, easy to use and durable. However, what has always been questionable is whether the mercury is permanently trapped in the amalgam. Until relatively recently most dentists maintained it is, although they couldn't prove it. On the other hand, there has been much evidence to the contrary.

We now have visible proof mercury vapour leaks from amalgam fillings at room temperature, and confirmation that chewing, brushing your teeth and drinking hot liquids releases it even faster.

Still, even with this evidence, and the statement by the World Health Organisation that there is no safe level of mercury in humans; dentists and governments have maintained mercury vapour does not present a problem. They theorised it was quickly passed through the system and passed out via the urine or faeces.

That may be so for people with good immune systems but for anyone whose immunity is compromised in some way, mercury is particularly dangerous. I should know. I had mercury poisoning caused by my dental amalgams and make no secret I believe it was dental work carried out whilst I was pregnant, combined with the mercury preservative (thimerosal) in childhood vaccines which contributed to my youngest son's autism.

Clearly, I am not alone as it was the lawsuit brought by advocacy group, Moms Against Mercury, (who are seeking to ban the use of mercury in amalgam fillings and children’s vaccinations), which resulted in an official statement appearing on the FDA website, admitting mercury-containing dental fillings 'may have neuro-toxic effects on the nervous systems of developing children and fetuses.'

Mercury is a fat binding toxin and if it can't be excreted for whatever reason, it will attach itself to various organs of the body. Depending on which one (or ones) it attaches itself to, different symptoms will be experienced and no two people will present with the same problems. Also, the symptoms may not appear for days, weeks, months or even years after the amalgam fillings have been placed so often there is no connection made between dental work and ill health. This makes mercury poisoning very difficult for health professionals to recognise, and unfortunately, in many cases has resulted in either misdiagnosis, or the misplaced belief the patient is a hypochondriac.

One general indication mercury poisoning may be a problem is if a person suddenly gets a lot of inexplicable symptoms, which don't fit into any of the classic boxes., i.e. Parkinsons, Alzheimers, ME.

Some countries already ban the use of mercury fillings in pregnant women and now the FDA are calling for further research, and may eventually announce a complete ban. It's long overdue in my opinion.

Dental amalgam may be easy to place but is difficult to remove. It has to be carried out SAFELY using correct procedures. It is not something to be undertaken lightly. If you are already suffering the effects of mercury, the last thing you want is for your body to flooded with more.

If you suspect mercury poisoning seek professional help immediately. The problem will not go away. As long as you have dental amalgams in your mouth, they will release mercury vapour twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty-two weeks a year., and if you cannot get rid of the mercury, your symptoms will get worse.

Also you need to bear in mind if you have your amalgam fillings removed, whilst it will prevent them creating more mercury, you will still need to get rid of the mercury inside you by using some form of chelation. This can also be a dangerous process so take care especially if you have any renal problems.

Good Luck!

Jean Shaw



Barbecues, Food Labelling And Bacteria

I've just watched an interesting programme on tv about the amount of food we waste. Apparently the average family in UK throws away one third of everything they buy,and 40% of that is fresh food. You know, that good stuff we are recommended to eat five portions of every day.

Somehow the makers of the documentary determined every DAY we bin –

2.8 million tomatoes
4.4 million apples
5.1 million potatoes
70 million slices of bread
1.2 million sausages
1 million slices of ham

This waste goes into Landfill sites, which creates methane gas and contributes to global warming. If you consider this is happening in all developed countries worldwide, the waste is enormous.

So, why do we throw so much food away?

Apparently it has much to do with our lack of knowledge on how to store products, and anxiety and confusion as to the meaning of the Best Before By, Sell By and Use By dates, which appear on the packaging.

It seems the Best Before By date is merely a guideline, and is more about the quality of the product rather than safety.

However, scientific studies have revealed the Use By and Sell By dates are more significant. There is a real health risk to some people if they are ignored.

Globally, ten children die every minute from malnutrition and yet supermarkets throw mountains of food away because of damaged packaging, lost food labels on tins, and expired Best Before dates.

These products may not be saleable to retailers, but someone, somewhere could use them. I'm sure the starving millions, or people on low incomes would be grateful for the goods.

The supermarkets say the proportion of food they throw away is minimal compared to the amount they carry, but is it too much? Collectively, each "minimal" combines to make a "substantial" amount over time, and are the supermarkets making us neurotic about the dates just to boost sales? After all, if we bin everything just past its Best Before date, won't we just go out and buy more?

No-one wants to get food poisoning and clearly certain foods like dairy and fresh meat, fish, and poultry need careful observation, but even then, provided the food is stored and cooked properly, much could be eaten.

One common cause of food poisoning is Campylobacter. This common bacteria causes fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea, but thorough hygiene, plus careful storage, refrigeration and cooking of food can prevent this affecting anyone who is fit and healthy. Susceptible people are the very young, the old and those with a lowered immune system.

Bacteria cannot withstand high temperatures so it is particularly important to cook food thoroughly, especially with barbecues. Many people manage to burn the meat on the outside and yet it remains uncooked in the middle. Another thing to watch out for is the cross contamination of raw and cooked food. You must NEVER use the same plate or chopping board, and also if you marinate the meat, leave it covered in the refrigerator rather than outside.

Also, you must ensure you wash your salad correctly.

Of course the absolute best way to ensure your health is not at risk from dodgy food is to boost your immune system by deliberately giving yourself bacteria. This time, however, you take a daily dose of good, friendly, healthy, probiotic bacteria. These are the good guys, which everyone needs.

The next time you go shopping, instead of wasting money on too much food destined for the landfill, might it not be wiser to invest in some active probiotics and your good health instead?

Jean Shaw


Antibacterial v Probiotic - What You Should Know About Cleanliness

I take a teaspoon of high quality active probiotics every day, and despite being exposed to a particularly nasty stomach bug, which is currently "going around", I have remained very healthy, unlike the rest of the people I know. Incase you are unsure what I mean by probiotics; they are the good, friendly bacteria we need to keep us well.

Both my elderly parents have been suffering from the sickness and diarrhoea, and as I write this, my dad is in an isolation ward in hospital. He has a dodgy heart and is on medication for various other ailments. Because he has been unable to retain any fluids, his blood pressure kept dropping and he passed out on us twice. The second time I thought he had died.

Apparently, when you get low blood pressure you don't get sufficient oxygen to the heart and this can trigger a heart attack. In view of his medical history, the paramedics took my dad to hospital in an ambulance, and thankfully, he's now recovering.

My mum, on the other hand is still suffering and one of my sisters', who has been helping me look after our parents, has also gone down with it. The last time I rang she was still too weak to get out of bed.

I, on the other hand, am fine, but as I already mentioned, I take a very good probiotic every day. My personal army of friendly bacteria appear to be doing a great job of looking after me, so I have been doing the hospital run.

MRSA is a real concern in hospitals these days and I noticed a considerable amount of dry hand wash bottles around. They were in corridors, at the bottom of the beds, etc., and I thought how convenient they are, and how much time they must save.

However, time, or rather lack of it, is probably one of the main reasons there are so many health problems around, particularly stomach upsets. Hand washing is not what it used to be. Everyone is in a rush.

We are always being reminded of the importance of washing our hands, and antibacterial products are usually being promoted as the answer to all our problems.

So, what are Antibacterial Products anyway? Well, here's what I've discovered.

Antibacterial soap is any cleaning product to which active antibacterial ingredients have been added, and most liquid hand and body soaps contain these antibacterial chemicals. Two of the most common are alcohol and triclosan. This is a preservative and can cause allergic reactions, contact dermatitis, causes liver damage in animals, and is toxic by ingestion.

With so many anti bacterial products on the market, some people suggest it is the overuse of antibacterial chemicals, which has resulted in certain bacteria evolving and become more resistant. There is a great variety of bacterium, and the effectiveness of a product against one particular type doesn't ensure the same result on an unrelated type of bacteria.

Actually you can get rid of bacteria with ordinary soap, and according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antibacterial soaps are not necessary. They say washing your hands thoroughly with ordinary soap and warm water is one of the most effective ways to ward off infection.

However, if you are not convinced and still feel the need to use antibacterial soaps and cleaners, you need to consider the following:

* The antibacterial components of soaps, usually triclosan or, less commonly, triclocarban, (which apparently can cause photoallergic reactions, convulsions, and possibly cancer over prolonged use), need to be left on a surface for about two minutes in order to work. I don't know many people who are that patient, so the soap is washed off before the antibacterial ingredients can do their job.

* Some scientists think bacteria may develop a resistance to bactericidal agents over time.

* Some bacteria actually benefit us. The normal population of bacteria on our bodies not only eats our sweat, but also helps defend us against truly harmful, invasive bacteria. When you see products which claim to kill all bacteria you need to ask yourself if that's what you really want, especially when they are killing them with potentially toxic chemicals. I think I'm walking proof it's better to increase the good bacteria in your body by adding probiotics than try to wipe out the bad with antibacterial chemicals which kill the good bacteria you need as well.

* Many common diseases are viral in nature, and are therefore not prevented by antibacterial products.

Anyway, now I've passed on that bit of information, I'm off to face that nasty old stomach bug again. I'll be okay though – I've got my probiotic army inside me.

For more information on the health benefits and cleaning abilities of probiotics, see www.ProbioticsForHealth.com


Toilets, Bacteria, Probiotics and Health

I seem to spend half my life loitering outside toilets. No, I am not some sort of pervert, but I have an autistic son who has a penchant for cleanliness, especially where his hands are concerned. He just loves water and has almost missed a flight, and been late for a stage entrance because of it. Whilst everyone was waiting patiently in the wings, he was washing his hands in a manner which would make even the most demanding hospital matron proud.

My son has no sense of urgency and little empathy for other people, so when he does use the mens' toilet, he hogs the hand drier. Anyone waiting behind him eventually gives up and wipes their hands on their trousers.

Whenever possible I make him use the disabled toilet because that way I know he's safe. He goes in alone whilst I loiter outside. My friend once told me about a lady who'd taken her disabled nephew out for the day and allowed him to go in to the toilet on his own. He never came out. Someone had slit his throat.

I've never forgotten her words.

I know that's a bit extreme and highly unlikely to happen in my local supermarket, but I'm a mother and I worry. Daily on the news you hear of unprovoked mindless violence happening against innocent people, and knife crime is common. Just today the stabbing of a 15 year old girl in a lift made the evening news, and apparently 25% of patients on a trauma ward at a large hospital in Southampton are knife victims.

Like most people with disabilities, my son is vulnerable, but this article isn’t about knife culture.

As a small child my son had numerous ear infections. He also had numerous courses of antibiotics before he went on to develop autism. That's quite common. No-one told me if you take antibiotics, you MUST take probiotics to replenish the good bacteria so essential for a healthy immune system.

We are a nation obsessed with getting rid of germs using anti bacterial soaps, sprays and liquids. However, we do actually need a few germs around so our bodies can build up an immune system. It's no wonder our children have so many illnesses and allergies when their immune systems never get a chance to develop. We wipe out their good bacteria, then expose them to toxic synthetic chemicals with our cleaning materials and air fresheners.

Maybe there's a better way though. I know for a fact my son has improved tremendously since I started giving him a daily dose of good quality probiotics and started cleaning my house with bacteria.

Now I know that may sound weird, but think about it. The doctors are repeatedly warning us certain health problems are becoming resistant to antibiotics. These kill off ALL bacteria, so why not attack the bad pathonogenic bacteria in a different way. Why not over power them with good bacteria and make it a war of numbers?

You might not like the idea of your toilets and work surfaces being sprayed with bacteria, but the bad ones are there anyway. Personally I'd rather spray with good bacteria than toxic synthetic chemicals which are designed to kill. At least they won't do me any harm if I get them on my skin or breathe them in.

So as I hang around outside the toilets, I'm grateful my son washes his hands properly. He's rarely ever ill but I'm sure it's more to do with the probiotic bacteria he has on a daily basis than the amount of time he spends in the toilet.

If you're interested in your health and want to find out more about probiotics go to http://www.probioticsforhealth.com/

You can also watch my video


Probiotics and Baby Colic

When my sons were babies they both suffered with colic. My eldest had it for months. We gave him gallons of Infacol and gripe water, but the only way we could get him to sleep was to take him for a ride in the car.

However, as soon as the engine stopped he would wake up.

Thankfully over the years he has mastered the art of sleeping, but is now intolerant to milk and dairy products.

My youngest son has autism. Ever since he developed the disability his diet has been awful, but since introducing daily probiotics fairly recently he has improved tremendously.

I have a lot of faith in probiotics - at least the good ones. I just wish I'd known about them when my sons were babies as they can be added to juice, milk and even dusted on your nipples if you are breast feeding.

This article from the UK Publication , What Doctors Don’t Tell You, would have been useful too!

Collicky Babies - Probiotics May Be The Answer

Colic is the number-one problem for both babies and parents. It’s probably the worst pain a baby ever experiences, and it’s both distressing and sleep-depriving for mothers, too. Doctors tend not to take it that seriously, however, as it’s neither life-threatening nor permanent – it rarely persists beyond the age of six months. It’s believed to be caused by excess gas in the stomach.

Infacol is one of the most popular medicines for colic, and many mothers swear by it. Its active ingredient is simethicone, an ‘antifoaming’ agent that is supposed to reduce trapped wind in the gut. However, the product appears to have been marketed without any kind of supporting medical evidence, given that three clinical trials showed “no benefit” with simethicone (BMJ, 1998; 316: 1563-9).

Infacol’s other deficits are its so-called ‘inactive’ ingredients, which include not only saccharin, but the infamous preservative parabens.

Extraordinarily, although the damning report in the British Medical Journal was written almost 10 years ago, Infacol is still actively marketed.

What are the healthy answers to colic? Well, the almost folkloric ‘gripe water’ certainly isn’t one of them. Originally developed in the 1850s, its ingredients include ginger, dill, fennel, and chamomile – but also alcohol and sodium bicarbonate.

According to one estimate, the amount of alcohol in a typical daily infant dose is equivalent to five tots of whiskey in an adult (J R Soc Med, 200; 93: 172-4). Also, baking soda – an antacid – can alter the infant’s delicate acid-alkaline balance, possibly exacerbating the problem as well as depleting folic acid and iron. It is much better to put the bicarb into cakes than into babies.

One of the latest, most promising treatments is probiotics. It’s been found that babies with colic tend to have fewer beneficial bacteria in their gastrointestinal tracts, making it sensible to try giving them a probiotic supplement.

In a 28-day study, Italian paediatricians from the University of Turn tested 90 colicky babies, giving half of them a few drops of a liquid containing 100 million live Lactobacillus reuteri bacteria and simethicone to the remainder.

The results were dramatic: only 7 percent of the simethicone group got better, compared with 95 per cent of the probiotic group, who cried for only 50 minutes a day compared with more than two and a half hours with simethicone (Paediatrics, 2007; 119: e124-30).

The product used in the trial is from the Swedish company BiGaia AB. But it’s unlikely to be the only probiotic that works for colic. The research is ongoing.

A similar product, which uses prebiotics, rather than probiotics, is Nutrilon Omneo. This contains oligosaccharides, which stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria, together with whey proteins and vegetable oil. When the same Turin group tested Nurtrilon against simethicone in a 14-day trial, once again, the natural product won out, resulting in roughly half the number of “crying episodes” after two weeks (Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006; 60:1304-10).

Herbal preparations have also been tested in clinical trials. A mixture of chamomile, fennel and lemon balm has been shown to more than halve colic, as measured by daily crying time. Perhaps surprisingly , the benefit from the herbs persisted for as long as two weeks after the end of the treatment (Phytother Res, 2005; 19: 335-40).

Another rigorous clinical study of more than 120 infants tested a 0.1-per-cent fennel-seed oil emulsion against a placebo. The fennel emulsion reduced colic by 65 per cent, vs only 24 per cent with the placebo. The fennel dose was 1-4 tsp up to four times per day (Altern Ther, 2003; 9: 58-61). Neither of those herbal trials reported any side-effects.

Homeopathy works especially well in children, and it offers a number of remedies for colic, with Colycinthis and Chamomilla being the most popular. Although there is a little supporting clinical evidence, a recent survey of Scottish Gps revealed that nearly a quarter of them regularly prescribe homeopathy particularly in infants, and particularly for colic (Br J Clin Pharmacol, 2005; 59: 743-9).

In addition to natural therapies, you should also encourage your daughter to do a simple check of how she’s feeding her baby. If she’s breastfeeding, she could try changing her diet by cutting out dairy, wheat, eggs, nuts and fish. When this sort of low-allergen regime was tested on mothers, their babies; colic reduced almost threefold and within only eight days of starting the diet (Paediatrics, 2005; 116: e709-15).

Similarly, if your daughter’s using milk formula, she could choose a low-allergen type or a non-cow’s milk formula, such as goat’s milk.

Low-allergen formulas have been shown to reduce colic by up to 60 per cent (Paediatrics, 2000; 106: 184-90).
Jean Shaw

Audrey Hepburn's Beauty Tips

Like most people I regularly get e-mails with instructions to forward on to a certain number of people in order to receive good luck, or to make someone happy, etc.

This information was sent to me to forward to five beautiful women. However, I think everyone has their own special beauty so I decided to post it here instead.

Apparently when Audrey Hepburn was asked to share her 'beauty tips' she wrote the following and years later it was read at her funeral.

For attractive lips - speak words of kindness
For lovely eyes - seek out the good in people
For a slim figure - share your food with the hungry
For beautiful hair - let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day
For poise - walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw anyone out.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands; one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.

Jean Shaw


My Menopausal Moment Makes Me Money

Depending on your age you may not have had a mid life crisis or menopausal moment but mine came on my 50th birthday.

I attended one of those "Free" lunches at a really posh hotel in our area. The catch was I had to listen to a short presentation, but in return I would get not only the lunch but also a valuable gift.

Anyway, as it was a milestone birthday I thought it would be a great way to celebrate, and something to relate if anyone ever asked me what I'd done. The prospect of being able to truthfully say I'd dined at this particular hotel was very appealing, and there was no need to explain the circumstances.

Many of my peers had been on holidays, cruises, or thrown big lavish parties, but I wasn't in the financial or personal position of being able to do either.

As a full time carer for my autistic son, I hadn't been able to work properly since his birth, so finances were tight. It's hard to find work when you have children any way but if you throw special needs into the equation, it becomes even more difficult.

I had been a courier, delivering parcels when he was younger, but he had no sense of danger. He always sat strapped into his car seat in the back of the car with the child locks on, and never spoke or moved. I used to pull up outside people's houses, quickly deliver the parcels and return to him.

He was never out of my sight, but on one occasion he released his seat belt and got out of the car into the road, leaving the car door swinging wide open. I can still hear the squeal of brakes to this day, but thankfully no one was hurt.

Needless to say the courier job had to go and after that I worked as a teaching assistant at a local secondary school helping children with areas of concern. It was stressful and unrewarding because I was trying to help those who didn't really my help anyway.

It was at this point the "Free" lunch came along and although it proved in the end to be very expensive, it was in hindsight, the best meal I've ever had.

I went to the meal knowing absolutely nothing about Internet Marketing and came away a few hours later completely hooked. I ended up buying some websites, some hosting and a dream. I had no idea how, why or what to do, but I knew in that menopausal moment things could and would change.

Internet Marketing has opened up a whole new world for me. It covers so many different aspects, which could appeal to anyone able to use a computer, even at a very basic level. It gives you the freedom to work when, where and for how long you choose, and is a wonderful way of meeting new people, albeit not personally.

However, unless you have someone to show you what to do it's confusing. There's a lot of information available, but also a lot of misinformation. The Internet is a rapidly changing environment and there are always new tactics being taught. Everytime I thought I knew which direction to take, someone else would tempt me with yet another new strategy.

It took a lot of courses, videos, audios, reports and months of expense and frustration before I finally discovered someone who actually provided a tried and tested, proven, six-step process to get from A to Z. Everyone else had great bits of the puzzle, but without all the other pieces they were of little value at the time.

Each step of the process begins with the letter "m", so the title of this article is particularly relevant. It's really true - My Menopausal Moment Makes Me Money so if you want to check it out be my guest, and good luck.

Oh, by the way, it works for men too!

Jean Shaw


Too Much Time And Not Enough Money? - Try Blogging

I have always been an early bird and am very good at getting up in the mornings. I know it's not the case for everyone though, and often see people drag themselves, bleary eyed past my house on their way to catch the morning train.

I feel sorry for them, especially when the weather is bad and know they'll arrive for work cold and wet. In the summer too, when the weather is warm and sunny, they'll be stuck indoors trading their time for money making someone else richer.

It's not just the working either. Many people spend several hours travelling to and from their place of work, and there's a lot more to consider than just the pay packet when you are offered a "job". The word "freedom" springs to mind, or rather lack of.

Of course we all have to work and it's such a shame so few people actually enjoy what they are doing. I think I can count on one hand those who have told me over the years that they "love their job".

However, love it or loath it, a "job" tends to take up a vast proportion of a person's life, and it comes as quite a shock when one isn't available. Financially it makes things difficult, but also many people often miss the social side of working. Of course not everyone gets on with all their work colleagues, but we are social creatures and used to being with others.

The main problem for most people who have no "job" is they find themselves with too much time on their hands and no idea how to fill it. That's one of the reasons many people seem to change once they retire and although we might all say we can't wait to give up work, the reality is often quite different.

Men, in particular, find retirement difficult because if their wives are at home they usually do the domestic chores and often complain their husbands are now always "under their feet".

If a person has a hobby or interest, that obviously helps considerably, and so does having plenty of income. Everything costs money and people live a long time these days. Unless you have made wise investments over the years, any retirement nest egg can soon disappear.

That's where blogging can be such a wonderful opportunity. If anyone can use a computer and can type e-mails then it opens a whole new world. It's easy to learn and anyone can do it regardless of age.

You can set up a blog for FREE, and although you don't have to blog to make money, it can certainly provide a very lucrative passive income once you understand the process.

It's something you can do from home, or anywhere with a computer access. You also work the hours you choose and that means just one thing – Freedom!

You can find many free and paid courses on blogging but one of the best ones I've found is provided free with GVO which is an amazing hosting company providing all the tools you need to create a presence online.

Take a look and check out Chet Hastings videos. He's an inspirational grandad who didn't start on the internet until he was in his sixties!

Take care and good luck

Jean Shaw


Autism Awareness - Things Are Not Always What They Seem

Autism Awareness

Apparently this week is autism awareness week. For those of us who have children with autism, every week is autism awareness week - every week, every day, every hour, every minute, every second. There's no escape, and for some the reality is very hard to take.

Some parents are so conscious of the unusual and unpredictable behaviour of their offspring; they refuse to take them out in public. Instead, they elect to hide away in the safety and seclusion of their own four walls, unable to face the stares, the whisperings and the downright rude remarks.

I know. I've been there, done that and worn the tee-shirt.

The big problem with autism, apart from the fact it is different for every one with the disability, is that it is invisible. There is usually nothing for the outside world to see. Our children look "normal".

When an autistic child misbehaves in public it is generally seen as a failure on the part of the parents to control him or her. The child is obviously "naughty", spoiled rotten and clearly in need of a firm hand. At least that's the way it appears.

However, perception and reality are two different things.

Autistic children do everything for a reason. When my son was small he used to hit and kick me all the time. He would have terrible tantrums, throw himself on the floor screaming and I never knew why. I only knew he wasn’t being deliberately naughty. He was just frustrated because he had no way of communicating.

Just imagine how you would feel if you suffered a stroke or some other condition which left you so you couldn't speak, read or write. You were also unable to point, or look at the things you actually wanted. Also, you didn't know the difference between Yes and No, so even if someone did ask you an appropriately worded question , you wouldn't be able to answer.

How would you communicate? How would you tell the world what you wanted if you couldn't actually see or get it?

Just think about that the next time you see some poor harassed parent with a seemingly spoiled and naughty child. Don't judge. Those poor people will be doing the best they can in a VERY difficult situation and the last thing they need is for people to stare and criticise.

Thankfully my son has learned to communicate and I am no longer his punch bag. Never once have I hit him but many people have told me I should have given him a good smack round the backside. "That will sort him out", they said.

One woman even offered to lend me her walking stick to beat him with when he was misbehaving in a shop, but children learn by example. What sort of example would a smack give? Anyway I knew he wasn't really naughty.

Autism is a growing problem. It's not going away and at some point you will come across some autistic children and some very worried and anxious parents. Please don't make their lives any harder by making rash judgments.

Many autistic children are hypersensitive. They see, hear, and feel far more than we do, and things like shopping can be painful and frightening experiences for them. Autism is a very complex disability.

So the next time you're out and see a parent struggling with a "naughty child", just stop and think for moment. Things aren't always as they seem!

Jean Shaw

to help explain the condition to friends, family, neighbours, teachers and just about anyone else on the planet.


Review of Lisa Diane's Dream Life Discovery

Lisa Diane's Dream Life Discovery - A Review

I've always believed everything happens for a reason and we have a choice to either move on or just accept what life throws at us.

It would have been easy for me to just roll over when my son was diagnosed with autism but deep down I knew that something good would come out of it and it has. My books have apparently helped others and that is great.

Someone else who has helped others is Lisa Diane, and it is not without good reason she has been dubbed the "Queen of Dreams". Her rags to riches story has been an inspiration to thousands of people, and her expertise has generated multi-million dollar revenues.

Her unique qualities contribute that special something which no-one else can replicate and clearly she was put on this earth to share the secret of how to be in control of your own destiny,

She enjoys a lifestyle most people only dream of but it's not all about money. She has total freedom and the ability to enjoy peace of mind.

Lisa wasn't born into money, didn't have a college education or any special skills or training. She's just an ordinary woman from an ordinary family, and if you were to pass her in the street you would never guess the extraordinary power this woman possesses. Highly respected in the Internet Marketing circle, everything Lisa Diane says makes sense.

When she speaks, she's truly inspirational, and her Dream Life Discovery programme is a revelation. It makes you look at yourself in a way that isn't always comfortable and makes you realise that with just a little shift in belief and attitude you have the power to control your own destiny.

Dream Life Discovery is no ordinary self-help or motivational type information. Infact, much of it you already know, but just don't realise, and this simple, easy to use, step-by-step proven method allows the average person to be truly happy, healthy and wealthy instead of just settling for what comes along. Most people have the quality of their lives dictated by other people, and 97% of people never discover there are no limits to have, do or be everything they want in life.

The course itself consists of a few worksheets and 12 audio CD's. In each one you genuinely get an "Aha" moment when the truth hits home. Inspired by the universal Laws of Attraction and Gratitude, Lisa reveals we get what we expect and accept.

She explains, clearly that success, health, wealth and happiness are your birthright and YOU have the power to design your ultimate life. Coming from a religious background she points out it wasn't God's intention for us to be unhappy, unloved, unfulfilled and full of worry and stress, and infact we create our own lives. Indeed, she affirms the only limits to what you can have, be or do are those you place on yourself.

The twelve sessions are narrated primarily by Lisa Diane, and her enthusiasm is infectious. Each one lasts about an hour and their titles give some indication as to their content:

Don't Just Dream Your Life, Live Your Dreams
How To Think So Your Life Doesn't Stink
Dreaming With Your Eyes Wide Open
5 Magic Words - Become Your Magic Wand
I'll Take Sticks And Stones Any Day
Obsess Your Way To A Magnificent Life
Speak What You Seek
The Art Of Abundance
Love The One You're With
The 20 Minute Miracle
The Art Of Asking
The Art Of Receiving

Dream Life Discovery raises your awareness of the world around you and opens your mind to new opportunities and dreams. It allows you to re-write your life by emphasising that your thoughts create your life. It's a purpose led, think and grow rich system.

Session 10, which is the 20 Minute Miracle, is split into four, five-minute sessions. Lisa Diane suggests you practice them every day. The first part is a breathing exercise, the second is where you concentrate on all the things in your life you are grateful for, the third is a visualisation session where you create the life you want as if it already exists, and finally, in step four you make your affirmations and thank God for your creations.

It's very powerful – (if you use it), and Lisa Diane is so confident of the positive outcome of her system, she offers a full 6-month guarantee.

It's simple but effective and I believe this system could work for anyone. I personally feel it ought to be included as part of the school curriculum, and handed out by doctors instead of prescription drugs and medication.

It's not a magic pill, but could be life changing. Certainly it's well worth investigating if you want more from life, albeit wealth, joy, success, happiness, confidence, self-esteem or simply peace of mind.

It's worth noting that just for handing over your e-mail address you can get a FREE copy of the 20 Minute Miracle, and that I believe is a "no-brainer". Dream Life Discovery certainly gets my approval.

Jean Shaw



Autism And Self Harm. Surely Parents Know Best

My youngest son has autism. When he was small he used to beat me up regularly. He would hit and kick me out of sheer frustration. I never knew why and he could never explain. He'd come in from school or being in the garden and would attack me for seemingly no obvious reason.

Luckly over the years he's found ways to communicate and I am no longer treated as a punch bag for which I am extremely grateful. Another thing I am grateful for is that my son never self-harmed. Many autistic individuals do, and I've just read an article about a seventeen-year-old autistic boy who was taken away from his loving parents and placed in a state-run mental institution because of it.

Of course no-one wants to see a child injured but clearly the Child Protection Services involved in the case have little understanding of autism and just made what was a bad situation even worse. They may have been genuinely concerned about the child and disagreed with his parents’holistic treatment choices, but taking him away from his loving home, placing him with the criminally insane, and then putting him on dangerous drugs is going too far.

Such ignorance, even if originally well motivated, should not be allowed.

Read the article for yourself and see what you think.

Child Abuse by the Government
Orange County Register – February 17 2008

Nate Tseglin, a 17-year-old autistic boy, was removed from his home and placed in a state-run mental institution because Child Protective Services disagreed with his parents’ treatment choices.

A teacher called CPS after seeing self-inflicted scratches on Nate's body and complained about the doctor-approved arm restraints used by Nate’s parents to keep him from hurting himself. Soon the Tseglins found themselves at loggerheads with the government over Nate's proper treatment.

The parents are opposed to the use of psychotropic drugs and argue that Nate has had strong negative reactions to them. They have had success, however, with an alternative, holistic approach that focuses on diet and psychiatric counseling. CPS disagreed with the treatment and forcibly removed the boy from his home.

After he ran away from the group home where he was initially placed, the government transferred Nate to a mental hospital. The Tseglins say the drugs the hospital gave Nate caused him to have a grand mal seizure, and his health has continued to deteriorate. When the Tseglins visited Nate over the summer, they found his face swollen, and he faded in and out of consciousness and suffered from convulsions.

The Tseglins claim Child Protective Services has told them they have the “wrong set of beliefs” and even threatened to force them to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

It makes me realise just how lucky I am!


Dyslexia –How Schooling Affects Behaviour

My autistic son will be leaving school this summer. He has autism and I am extremely grateful he has always attended a special needs school where his particular needs have been recognised. However, I am now waiting for a decision, which will ultimately change his life, and mine, i.e. where he will go next.

There is very little provision for adults with autism and at the age of nineteen he could find himself in an environment with people almost four times his age. Once an adult, always an adult, and the services take no account of whether you are nineteen or ninety.

Finding the right school or provision is so important for every child and there will be several parents disappointed to learn they haven't got their child into the school of their choice.

Schooling is an issue for parents of all children, but if your child has some form of special needs, especially if it hasn't been formally identified and recognised, it can be particularly harrowing.

One poor woman was so desperate to find a school where her clearly intelligent, but incredibly dyslexic son's needs could be addressed, she bought her own. That's a bit extreme, but when she learned the school which appeared to finally understand her thirteen-year-old son was due to close at the end of the Christmas term, she followed her gut instinct and bought it.

Now Annabel Goodman is obviously reasonably well off. She has a degree in psychology and is a barrister but has no teaching experience. Her main asset is she is a mother and understands her son.

She knows the reason her first born has already changed schools nine different schools in his short life time is because the classroom environment was not set up to see how clever Jacob really was.

Whilst most people were pouring over what presents to buy for Christmas, and enjoying the New Year festivities, Annabel was deciding how to raise the funds to
buy the small school before the beginning of the following term, and how to actually run it.

Luckily, she raised the money, the three teaching staff decided to remain, as did the twelve children, and this has now increased to seventeen teachers with thirty-four children. Annabel runs it, helps out with teaching the Primary school children,
and teaches Citizenship to the older children. She still also works as a barrister.
I admire her.

I know from my experience with autism when you have even one child with some form of special needs, it affects the whole family. It is not just the child and his or her family, but siblings and grandparents too.

The school your child attends can significantly either help or hinder the situation, but sadly not all pupils with special needs will ever have them identified. Many are seen as just being disruptive, but people with dyslexia find it hard to follow instructions, read or copy from the board.

I have in the past worked as a teaching assistant and seen the problems first hand. Many children with problems like dyslexia, especially in their teenage years, lose self-confidence. Even their peers may call them "thick", "dumb" or "stupid". Often they play the fool in the classroom just to take attention away from the fact they are struggling with the written work their classmates are doing. They are perceived to be naughty, and yet most are really creative, well co-ordinated physically and have a lot of empathy for others.

However, given the correct environment, where the classes are personalised for the individuals, these dyslexic children can thrive. Clearly they are intelligent and verbally bright. Their problem is demonstrating their unique abilities in the way most school environments expect.

Dyslexia is a permanent specific learning difficulty, which affects a person's ability to deal with text, and often numbers. It affects between 4 – 8% of the population, and like autism is more prevalent in boys than girls. The rates are about 1:4 for boys and 1:10 for girls.

Unfortunately, many children go through their entire schooling never being properly diagnosed and it's no wonder there is so much trouble in many mainstream schools. One disruptive child in a classroom can seriously influence the learning experience of the rest of the students and that's another reason parents need to find the correct school for their offspring.

Education is the key to life and if a child leaves with low literacy skills his or her employment prospects could be seriously impaired. Unfortunately, these days it's usually the formal qualifications you have which gets you the first foot in the door. It doesn't matter how skilled you are, how trustworthy or reliable, the best jobs go to those who can read and write and have the qualifications to prove it.

It's a worry. Anyone know of any more schools for sale?

Jean Shaw

Are you an adult (16+) with possible undiagnosed dyslexia?

Adult Dyslexia Online Screening


If You Want A Positive Attitude Get Singing! Tune In To Positivity

My son is autistic and only says a few words. When he does speak it's not very clear and yet when he sings familiar songs you can understand everything he says, or rather sings. Infact I know a young man who also has autism and was taught to speak through singing. His parents sang rather than spoke to him. Luckily they both had good voices.

I know I am musically challenged and my absolute nightmare would be to sing in public. How people perform karaoke I'll never know, but there's just something about music that gets to you. It lifts your spirits and reaches deep inside. It can even change your attitude.

Sometimes, however, I just can't stop myself and have to burst into song. Certain jingles just stick in my head and I can't get rid of them. Today was like that but thankfully the neighbours were out!

I don't know whether you believe in personal development and positive thinking or not, but there are a lot of people who do. I'm one of them. The hard thing though is remaining positive. We all have those days when it seems the world is against us and sometimes it's a struggle to put on a happy face and remain optimistic.

However, it's all about attitude. If you believe in the best with an inner conviction, rather than just hope for it, then that's what will manifest. Lisa Diane, a charming, very successful lady and real motivator, is renowned for using the phrase "Your thoughts create your life". I'm not sure where it originated but certainly it's your thoughts which trigger some sort of action, and it's that action which determines the result, so she is right.

So there you go - if you don't get the result you want, it's because you were thinking the wrong thoughts in the first place. I know it sounds a bit far fetched but I recommend you either watch or read The Secret, and read about the Law of Attraction, then maybe you'll understand why things happen. You have to focus on what you want, rather than what you don't want in your life, remain positive and back up that positivity with positive affirmations.

It isn't always easy, but this tune I heard today is just brilliant as a tool to help you. It's the easiest and most fun way I know to keep you focused on whatever it is you wish for.

Go on - listen to it and I bet you'll be singing along too.

Listen for a Positive Attitude


Marriage Proposals - 29th February – Will It Be Lucky or Unlucky?

The Gregorian calendar came into existence in 1582 and ever since the days in the months have been explained with the following:

30 days hath September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, except February alone, which has 28 days clear and 29 in each leap year.

Well, today is 29th February and depending on your outlook anyone born on this day is either incredibly lucky or unlucky.

If you are an optimist you will realise that technically you only age one year in every four, which is great once you get older and the years seem to rush by far too quickly. However, for those of you who love birthdays then it's not so good as you miss out for 75% of your life.

Today is also the day when women are traditionally allowed to propose to their loved ones and again depending on your outlook this can be extremely lucky or unlucky.

On the television this morning several women had said they were intending to ask their other halves to marry them. One woman had gone so far as to arrange a secret party. She'd invited fifty family and friends and was optimistically planning to make the surprise bash her engagement, hen party and wedding too. I just hope the prospective groom doesn't decide he wants to watch football or something and not turn up, or worse still turn down her proposal.

Wouldn't that be awful?

There seems to be a difference of opinion about whether women should propose or not. Certainly there has been a shift in the idea women have to wait for men to make the first move, and many women say if they waited for their partners to actually ask then they'd wait forever. Others say as they wanted to enter marriage with the idea of it being a permanent thing, (at least initially), if they asked their boyfriend to marry them they could potentially miss out on the romance of ever being proposed to.

From the male point of view being asked to marry by their girlfriend can be quite scary. It's not being asked which seems to be the problem, but the whole wedding day thing if they say "Yes".

For women it's supposed to be the most important day of their lives and generally they enjoy the preparations, etc. It's something women supposedly dream of, but most men, on the other hand, consider the wedding day the ultimate cruelty – public humiliation and all that.

Also, apparently they feel trapped if they are asked to become a husband on 29th February because they have no time to think it over. Twenty-four hours every four years is not a lot of time to make such an important decision.

Even if they really love their partners they feel they'd like to make a decision in their own time. Increasingly in society, many men feel they are losing control of so many areas of their lives, and the decision of if, who and when to marry is important to them.

Anyway, I'm sure there will be a lot of proposals made today and I hope they will all result in happy endings – particularly that surprise proposal/engagement/wedding.

However, if you feel you need a bit of help in coming up with a great marriage proposal you might want to look at:

"The Romantic's Guide To Popping The Question"

Jean Shaw



Writing Poetry - Why It's Better Late Than Never

I started writing poetry about ten years ago. Until then I didn't realise I could do it. I've met several women since who've said the same thing. One woman told me she'd read somewhere you become more creative when you get menopausal. Maybe that's supposed to make up for all the other horrible changes your body goes through, I don't know. I do know that first poem led to me write many more,a few of which you will find on my site. I've also written numerous articles, three books, and now maintain four websites and three blogs. They were a natural progression.

It happens to men too though, and often it is around middle age when people who've never previously shown any inclination for words take up the pen, or computer. Perhaps it's because by the time we reach our forties we've had sufficient experiences to stretch our imaginations and have something we feel is worth writing about. Also people do tend to take us more seriously as we should, after all, have grown up. Of course that isn't the case for everyone. Some people just grow old.

There is supposedly a book in all of us. Everyone is unique and we all have a tale to tell. Our observations of life are different and we can express them in various ways. A lot can be said in a few words, which is why I like poetry. However, for me, the verses have to rhyme.

My absolute hero was Rohald Dahl. I love all his work, but lately I've also come to appreciate many of the poems in our monthly free local village magazine. Here is one submitted by Iris Hesseldon. I've no idea who she is, but if she wrote it and ever reads this, "Well done". I think the poem is lovely.

I have a son with autism and he loves the Disney movies. One of his favourites is Bambi and I thought of that when I read this poem. There is a scene where Thumper's mum (the rabbit) says "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all", and it's one I try to live by.

In this poem the sentiments are that you can really make someone's day with simple gestures. I know it works. I've seen it happen, and it costs nothing to be nice to people. Try it and spread a bit of happiness. We all need it.

Evening Thoughts

If angels ask you what you did
What you achieved today
Would it be hard to answer them
And just what would you say?

We can't accomplish mammoth tasks
Small jobs we need to do
But maybe you just lent a hand
Or shared a smile or two

Perhaps you sent a greeting card
Or simply made a call
By lifting someone's heart and mind
You left them walking tall

So as the day fades fast away
And you lie down to rest
You'll hear the angels whispering
Well done, you did your best!

Is there a Poem or a Book inside you?

Learn how to write your book faster than you ever thought possible


Mercury Poisoning – Yes, Your Teeth May Indeed Be Killing You

I don't know about you but I consider myself to be fairly energy conscious. I switch off lights when not in use, don't overfill the kettle and never leave the television or computer on standby. However, I must confess I don't have many energy efficient light bulbs yet, although I understand in a few years there won't be any others. People are already hoarding them away. Maybe they'll become collectors' items. Just make sure you keep the box, as apparently that's the important bit. Well, at least it is on auction and antique shows.

Anyway, the main reason I don't use energy efficient light bulbs (apart from the expense) is they are too long and unsightly. They simply won't fit in my down lighters and in the fittings where I have a normal shade, or none at all, they look ridiculous. Also, they take a long time to get bright enough to see anything.

However, I now have another reason for avoiding them as long as possible, and that is mercury. It's recently been disclosed they contain this dangerous heavy metal and if one should break in a normal house, the advice is that everyone should be evacuated. That may sound extreme to some, but not to me. You see, I had mercury poisoning and now know quite a bit about it.

I know fluorescent tubes contain mercury and are considered "hazardous waste" by Environment agencies. The companies that dispose of them have to wear special safety clothing. I also know small domestic barometers are disappearing fast and already hospitals have replaced their mercury filled thermometers.

There are various sources of mercury apart from fluorescent and energy saving lights including, but not limited to, batteries, body creams, cosmetics, crematoria, diuretics, fabric softeners, felt, floor waxes, fungicides, pesticides, industrial waste, laxatives, paints, photo engraving, psoriatic ointments, seafood, sewage disposal, skin lightening cream, tanning leather, tattooing. However, the main culprits and the ones, which affected me, are vaccines and dental amalgam.

Mercury is the second most toxic substance on the planet after plutonium and it makes up 50% of every amalgam filling. Did you know your teeth could be killing you? Don't laugh – it isn't funny and unfortunately for many it's a very real situation. Believe me, I know.

I've had letters from people all over the world suffering from the condition and only last week I was speaking to a 54-year-old builder who was terrified because he'd just been told he had mercury poisoning. He'd had extensive filling replacement done seven months ago and his health has been deteriorating ever since.

He's very weak, incredibly forgetful and panics about silly things. They are classic early symptoms, but unfortunately as neither the medical nor dental professions acknowledge mercury poisoning caused by amalgam fillings, it often gets misdiagnosed. Usually patients are led to believe they are either losing their mind, or are written off as complete hypochondriacs. Both are wrong.

Mercury poisoning is very difficult to diagnose because no two people will present with the same problems, and unfortunately it is hard to test for. Mercury only stays in the blood stream for a short transit period so blood tests are inconclusive. As mercury is a fat binding toxin, it attaches itself to the fatty organs in your body, and depending on which one (or ones) it selects, the health signs and symptoms of something not being right will appear. Unless you are offered some form of chelation to get the mercury back into your blood stream, the only other real test mainstream medicine can offer would be by doing a biopsy. Needless to say there aren't many people wishing to undergo one of those.

I know of people who have been completely bedridden because of mercury poisoning, and many have wished to die. Some have.

As I said, mercury poisoning is no joke. If someone says to you they think their teeth are poisoning them, don't just dismiss them as being crazy. Believe them and offer support. What do you think was wrong with The Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland?

Yes – Mercury Poisoning!

There are tests available and with the right help and support, mercury-poisoning symptoms can disappear. It's a long process though. Just don't give up.



Lie – Of Course I Don't Lie

I've always considered myself an honest person, but apparently I'm not. A recent survey revealed that each of us tells on average four lies a day, and what I'd always considered as simply being economical with the truth is, infact, a lie.

It seems the most common untruths are that we feel "fine" when actually we don't, and if someone asks our opinion on an outfit we are somewhat careful with our response. After all, how many men do you know who dare honestly respond to, "Does my bum look fat in this?"

Statistics are strange things and vary depending on whom you ask, but this survey said seventy-five per cent of men lied more than women, and overall, two-thirds of us didn't feel the slightest bit guilty about it.

"Untruths", "porky pies", "lies" or whatever you choose to call them oil the wheels of social discourse and we would have far fewer friends if we always told the truth. I don't know if you ever saw the film Liar, Liar with Jim Carey but certainly life was a lot smoother for him when he stopped telling the absolute truth.

Apparently we learn to lie as babies. I know that seems hard to believe, but the experts say when our little angels cry for no reason it's because they want attention and their noise makes us believe there is something wrong. They are, infact, lying to us. Who'd have believed it?

Anyway, we lie to protect our fragile egos but not everyone is good at it. Men fare worse as they demonstrate tell tale signs like sweaty palms, hot flushes and strange hand/face gestures; or they embellish their stories and give too much information.

Women can usually tell when a man is lying but it's far more difficult the other way round. Maybe, they just never suspect the female to be devious, or just don't take any notice of their partners' body language, etc.

Of course, that's assuming the lie is being told to your face, and I have to say there are some people who make a living out of lying. Having been the victim of two incredibly clever and plausible scams, when the "liars" looked me in the eye, shook my hand and then defrauded me of thousands of pounds, I often wonder how they sleep at night.

As the victim I felt hurt, sick and humiliated, and sadly I've reached the point where I don't trust anyone any more. It's a shame, but a reflection on our society.

In the newspapers and on the television there are repeated cases of vulnerable people being scammed, People lose their life savings, and often it destroys their health and will to live. Some people have even taken their own lives because of such despicable acts.

When I worked as a secretary for a lawyer there were many bitter disputes between friends and family because of money lent and never repaid. It ruined relationships, and whenever I came across them I always thought of my dad's wise words "Never a borrower nor a lender be".

Recently I heard of a young student who's had his university course blighted by some "lady" claiming to be studying medicine at Birmingham. It seems they met at a party and "hit it off", if you see what I mean and continued their "relationship" via the internet as he was in a different location.

A few days after the party she told the student she'd been mugged in Nigeria and had lost all her money. The smitten student cabled her his grant money, which she promised to repay upon her return to UK, and guess what? Yes, she disappeared along with the money. Unsurprisingly, the free yahoo e-mail address is no longer valid and the police can't do a thing about it.

The young male student is now finding university somewhat more frugal than he had anticipated and struggling to provide the course books he needs. Meanwhile, the medical student, if indeed she is one, is probably having a fine old time.
So, here's a warning. If you see a slim, brunette, white girl with a Birmingham accent and a free e-mail address, calling herself Jane Smith (I know!) who claims to be studying medicine and is pretty flush with cash, and free with her favours at parties, be very wary. She obviously cried a lot as a baby because at the tender age of twenty-two she's certainly a master at lying.

How To Tell If Somebody Is Lying To You Within 60 Seconds – Without Even Listening To Them

Food – What Can We Eat?

Recent surveys have shown that one in four of us are completely confused with the official guidelines on healthy eating.

Take red meat for instance. Does it cause cancer or is it good for us? Is alcohol bad or good in moderation and should you stop drinking if you're pregnant. How about tea and coffee – is the caffeine bad for us or not?

Then of course, there's chocolate. Do the feel good factor and antioxidant properties in some brands make it worth risking all those calories.

We all know processed food contains lots of saturated fat, salt and sugars, as well as colourings and flavourings so we shouldn't eat too much of it, but we're now told we shouldn't eat the good old English breakfast either.

Bacon, sausage, egg, beans and toast should be relegated to the dustbin apparently. Instead we should eat fresh fruit and cereal, but even that is often full of hidden salt and sugar.

It is difficult knowing what you should or shouldn't eat and most people don't have the time to read the packaging. Even if you did you'd probably be confused, as each manufacturer seems to have a different method of describing the contents. The simplest to understand are the traffic light symbols, which show red, amber and green, as most people understand that red means stop, amber means be cautious and green means go.

We should, for the sake of our health eat plenty of fruit and vegetables because they contain chemicals to prevent cancer. They also fill you up without providing too many calories which is great. If you can afford organic food it's even better because not only do they taste better, and have more natural vitamins and minerals, they are grown without harmful chemical pesticides and fertilisers. This means they don't add to the daily toxic build-up in your body. Unfortunately they are in the wrong price range for most people on a limited budget.

There is no question we are getting bigger and childhood obesity levels are rising. This will inevitably have health consequences and it is partly our modern lifestyle which has created the problem. Apparently we now live in an obesegenic environment.

When food was scarce we had to use a lot of energy to get it, but now we are surrounded by high-energy foods and labour saving devices so it's really hard to get rid of those excess calories.

Another problem is the lack of facilities to be able to exercise safely. Many of the school playing fields have gone and cycle paths are not traffic friendly. Few children are encouraged to go out to play because of the fear of muggings, gangs, paedophiles, drugs, etc, and that's in daylight hours.

I It seems to me though, there's no point getting obsessed with food otherwise you just end up miserable. If you like something, eat it but do so in moderation and stop when you feel full.

If you are one of those people brought up to believe you must eat everything put in front of you because of the plight of the starving people in other countries, then use smaller plates and eat slower. It may sound simple but it works. I've tried it.

You end up eating less, but feel full because you've taken the time to actually chew and taste the food, and also chewing releases a chemical in your brain which tells your stomach you are full. Clever, eh?

It also prevents food waste because even if you do leave something on your plate it unfortunately won't help the starving millions.

A True Weight Loss Story


How To Look And Feel Younger And Happier

Apparently seventy is the new forty. At least it is in Hollywood, and it's amazing what can be achieved with bottles, syringes, surgery and MONEY!

So when did all this vanity kick in and what's wrong with aging naturally? I always thought the nice thing about getting older was that you were expected to have wrinkles, and people just grew into their face. Aren't those lines supposed to be character forming?

Unquestionably we are drawn to attractive individuals. It's our basic instinct, even babies do it, but it's what's inside that really counts.

These days there's so much pressure to look young, and everyone is striving to achieve the youthful appearance of the airbrushed and digitally enhanced celebrities, who fill our magazines, that common sense seems to disappear as quickly as our cash.

Taking pride in your appearance is commendable and it is a fact of life older people are treated differently. Sometimes they can even feel invisible. It's such a pity our eyes don't appreciate the value and variety of people of all ages, instead of just judging their size and wrinkles.

Older people, myself included, don't feel what they see in the mirror. My reflection says I'm the age I am now, but inside I'm twenty years younger. It doesn't bother me, and I feel under no pressure to have botox, a tummy tuck or cosmetic surgery, even if it would make me look like the thirty something model who is supposedly using the latest in a long line of anti-aging creams. I like my laughter lines and if others don't, then tough.

Maybe if people don't like their appearance they should invest in one of those mirrors you find at funfairs, which distort your appearance.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Make my shape seem slim and tall
Cancel out that wobbly bit
Slim my thighs so jeans will fit
Tighten up my saggy chin
Lift my eyes and make me grin
Stomach needs a nip and tuck
Chest uplifted – tighter butt
Though age I may well try to hide
It's just the shell, not what's inside
I've changed my looks for all to see
But the truth remains – I'm still just me

If you want to look younger, then laugh. Smiling makes you feel good. You look younger, it's cheaper than surgery and it makes other people wonder what you've been up to!

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Blood Brothers - Well Maybe Not

On the television and in the papers the main story today has been about UK forces personnel receiving potentially contaminated blood.

Eighteen unfortunate soldiers suffered appalling injuries during battles in Iraq and Afghanistan and were given emergency blood transfusions using supplies from USA. It appears these may not have been screened properly and now these men and their families are facing an agonising wait to see if the life saving elixir has given them HIV, Hepatitis or Syphilis. My heart goes out to them.

Until this story broke I'd never considered what happened in wars. Of course I realised people got injured and sometimes died, but I'd never given any thought to armies actually taking their own blood supplies out with them. However, they do and it seems that under life or death situations, the injured are treated at the nearest available friendly medical unit, which is no different from being at home where you'd go to the closest suitable hospital.

The problem, which has arisen with the soldiers, is that the blood they were given in their various transfusions was not properly screened. UK blood is considered "clean" because the NHS screens it properly and treats it retrospectively, whatever that means. Obviously it's very important because the USA don't, (or didn't) do it, and that has put the men and their families at risk for potentially killing diseases. What a nightmare.

Donated blood lasts between 30 – 35 days, so supplies need to be constantly replaced, especially in war zones, and with fewer people donating these days it's a problem. Wouldn't it be great if the medical profession could come up with a safe alternative?

Clearly this is possible under certain circumstances as several operations and surgical procedures have been carried out on Jehovah Witness patients, whose faith prohibits the use of blood. Infact, this belief has caused them to be labelled as "murderers" in the past because of their unwillingness to allow blood transfusions.

Quite recently a young Witness died during childbirth and left her equally young husband with twins to raise. The newspapers of course had a field day, but the true events of the matter were never fully revealed, and I don't expect they ever will be, at least not with the blaze of publicity the original story had. A reliable person has told me though, that the circumstances of the tragedy were such that a blood transfusion wouldn't have saved her anyway.

No-one wants to die if they can help it, but equally most people wouldn't choose to have someone else's blood inside them either. Even "proper" screening has its limitations and there are enormous risks. Apart from the incompatibility issue, there is the increasing risk of AIDS, HIV, Hepatitis B and C, parasitic diseases and immune suppression.

I'm not a medical person and don't know the details, but as there clearly are alternative ways to save people's lives, maybe it's time for the medical profession to ask the Jehovah Witnesses exactly what they do. I know it's something to do with maintaining the amount of fluid in the body, and may even be using saline solution, but I don't know for sure. The thing is I've been told their sound medical practice ensures a shorter hospital stay, a better rate of recovery, lower costs and a better patient outlook, which is something, those eighteen worried soldiers could do with right now.

So the next time these well meaning, but misunderstood people come to your door, instead of shutting it in their face, why not ask them how it works? Their information could potentially save not only lives. but an awful lot of stress.

For safe,non toxic, organic skin care


What's The Connection Between Housework And Living Longer?

There are three things I hate doing - shopping, cooking and cleaning, which makes me somewhat different from my friends. Give them a credit card or a cookery book and they are in their element, but we all agree on the cleaning issue. It's so unrewarding.

Today, however, cleaning took on a different perspective because of a news item on breakfast TV. As I was encouraging my autistic son to "hurry up", an expression he absolutely hates, my ears pricked up at the mention of Cambridge on the BBC news. Now as this city is close to where I live it felt personal, so I told my autistic son again to "hurry up" and added, "please be quiet", another expression he absolutely hates.

Still, despite the "look" over his cereal, he did stop talking, and I managed to hear that researchers in Cambridge have, after studying 20,000 people over a period of 10 years, concluded healthy living can add up to 14 years to your life. It's not rocket science, just simple common sense!

Apparently there are four areas you need to address:
· smoking,
· drinking
· exercise
· eating fruit and vegetables

All of them are obvious. We all know smoking can seriously damage your health, and in some cases, kill so this should be avoided altogether. The same can be said for drinking in excess, but the recommendations are not to stop completely, just to drink in moderation.

We've all been told about eating up our fruit and vegetables and we should have five portions each day, which should consist of the different colours – red, green, orange, yellow and purple.

Exercise, of course, is important, but the researchers didn't suggest we all had to go rushing off to the gym every week, or buy fancy fitness equipment. Instead they said any activity, which made you slightly puffed, five times each week was fine, and before your thoughts turn to the bedroom let me tell you the examples they gave were hoovering and cleaning windows. That's taken the glint out of your eye and wiped the smile off your face, hasn't it?

It seems this extensive research was based on broad definitions and had something to do with the amount of Vitamin C in the blood. Anyway, the conclusion is people who are generally active and sensible about the four areas discussed, live longer and healthier lives.

Anyway this morning, armed with this new knowledge, I attacked my housework with an unusual amount of vigour, and I have to admit did feel good when I'd finished. Mind you, that may have something to do with the fact I had my favourite music on at the time. Still, it's amazing the difference a change of perspective can make and forthwith I shall no longer consider housework a chore but a life enhancer.

I wonder what I can do about shopping and cooking?

Jean Shaw


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