Mark Elliott

How to Prevent Knee Joint Pain

The knee joint is one of the most frequently used joints in the human body. Due to the important role the knee joint plays in walking, climbing stairs, and getting up from a seated position; it is also likely to be the joint that can give you the most problems.

Whether you are an athlete or simply enjoy the freedom of being active, maintaining healthy knees should be an important part of your daily health routine. The knee joint happens to be the largest joint found anywhere in the human body. There are two main components to a healthy knee joint, the cruciate ligaments that hold the joint in place and the cartilage that forms the soft protective layer between the femur and the tibia.

Knee Joint Pain

Think of the ligaments as the straps that hold the knee together and facilitate movement while the cartilage works as a lubricant to make sure that you bones do not grind together when you bend your knees. Each of these components needs to be healthy in order to be free from joint pain.

What can you do to prevent knee joint pain? As with any joint in the human body, one of the top causes of pain and deterioration is overuse. One of the best things you can do to keep your knees healthy is to engage in low impact exercise such as walking, swimming, or using an elliptical trainer.

This will limit the amount of stress that is put on your joints and will improve the odds that they will stay free from pain. Next, consider taking a daily joint supplement or joint support product to give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to build strong and healthy joint tissue.

Look for something that contains a variety of fruit and vegetable ingredients and contains an adequate amount of vitamins and antioxidants. A joint supplement is not something you can just take one time and expect to see instant results, you will need to make it a part of your every day diet in order to see real long-term benefits.

every day diet

Finally, be sure to drink lots of fresh water any time you exercise. Avoid sugar filled sports drinks and soda as these typically provide little in the way of value in terms of hydration and can result in the storage of excess calories as fat. Pure water will go a long way when it comes to helping your body transport nutrients to the joint and remove toxins before they can hinder performance.

Keeping you joints in top shape doesn’t have to be difficult. Make a commitment to yourself to follow the tips above and you should notice that your knees will stay healthy and free from nagging aches and pains for years to come.

Probiotics and Why You Need Them

The word Probiotic literally means “For Life”, and indeed these friendly bacteria are making their way back into the American diet. Despite all the new products now available on the market, probiotics are not a recent health fad.

To the contrary, they have been ingested by humans for hundreds of years, though only in the past century have the benefits of intestinal flora been backed by science.

We are beginning now to unravel the mysteries surrounding a healthy digestive system, and to add back to our diets what processing has stripped away.

Wikipedia defines Probiotics as ” Dietary supplements of live microorganisms thought to be healthy for the host organism”. Basically, in my personal definition, probiotics are foods or supplements that have been cultured with healthful bacteria that benefits your immune system and digestion.

Claims have been made by products such as Dan Active yogurt that 70 percent of the human body’s immunity is located in the intestinal tract. Scientists have seen a correlation between a healthy digestive system and less disease.

Easy sources of probiotics can be found as near as your local supermarket, and exotic probiotic delights from other cultures are making their way to the American table, as well. Here are some of the most well-known products.

1.) Yogurt

This is by far the easiest to find and most familiar probiotic on the market today. There are many different kinds of yogurt, with different strains of beneficial bacteria and different textures. One of the most well-known bacterium found in yogurt and other supplements is lactobacillus acidophilus. It’s in almost all yogurt, and is a proponent of good health. Yogurt can come in both dairy and non-dairy varieties.


2.) Kefir

Yogurt’s cousin, kefir is originally from the Russian Steppes and Bulgaria, and became popular because of the good health and longevity of the people who drank it. It is a yogurt-like beverage that comes in many flavors. It is traditionally from cow’s milk, though many other varieties are available today.

3.) Kombucha

Kombucha comes from the Far East, and has been associated with Chinese nobility. It is an effervescent fermented tea beverage, and has claims attached to it, from weight loss to anti-aging to anti-cancer effects. It too has recently made an appearance in health food stores.

4.) Kimchi and sauerkraut

Kimchi is the Eastern version of sauerkraut, and comes in many other vegetable combinations other than cabbage. It can be enjoyed hot or cold, and is considered a delicacy.

5.) Tempeh and Miso

These are both fermented soy products that can make for a tasty soup of main entrée. Both can be found at most oriental Markets and Health food stores.

These are but a few examples of probiotic foods. But the real question is, who should consume probiotics and what benefits will they obtain? And what if the consumer is allergic to dairy or soy?

Tempeh and Miso

People with compromised immune function will benefit greatly from probiotic use. The elderly or people who have just had a round of antibiotics would benefit, also. Probiotics balance intestinal health, and are good for both chronic diarrhea and constipation. A healthy intestinal tract is also associated with decreased risk for colon cancer, and improved immunity to both illness and life’s daily stressors. Probiotics can reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, and improve mineral absorption, as well. Many health claims have been attributed to probiotics, though not clinically proven by science. Still, it is safe to say that almost everyone can benefit from including a daily probiotic into their diet. It is seen as a general health tonic with few side effects.

Those who are lactose intolerant could also take their probiotics in pill form. There are many products available on the market that contain freeze-dried cultures that are tolerated well by most individuals. Generally, most probiotics help with allergies and lactose intolerance. Some people who can’t drink milk can eat certain forms of yogurt or kefir.

I encourage any individual who wants to improve digestion and feel better to give probiotic foods a try. Not only are many of them delicious, but you’ll gain health and energy to boot! Here’s to your health!

Weight Loss: Common Sense Factors

Experts that sell diet supplements and give diet hints, all basically say the same thing over and over again, just in different ways. It’s not because they want to copy each other, it’s because they know the basics of what they are saying is true. There is one big problem however and that is everybody that is considered overweight is all thrown into the same boat and given the same instructions.

Each and everyone of us have a unique body. There are no two bodies in the world that are identical. So how can the diet that promises that you will lose 5 pounds in 10 days for example, are so sure that everyone that is on it will achieve these results. So when you get involved in a diet such as this type, do not be discouraged and blame yourself if it doesn’t work, or you didn’t get the results they said you should. There are some common sense factors that you need to remember, and use as your overall guideline: You can supplement these with any type of diet plan that you feel would be beneficial:


Eat Sensibly:

Eat healthy foods and get rid of the bad foods.

Plenty of Water:

Drinking plenty of water has many benefits that most of us are aware of. Assisting in a weight loss regime is just one of them. First it helps to create a full feeling which for short periods of time suppresses the appetite. Perhaps even more beneficial, is it flushes the toxins out of the system. The more toxins that are eliminated from the body the better it performs.

Plenty of Water

The Dieters Friend – Fiber

It keeps your bowels working regularly, which gets the waste out of your system. Logically thinking who wants waste building up in their bodies? Plant foods are your best supply. The added bonus about fiber foods is they are lower in calories. So they will make you feel fuller as well.

Step Up That Eating

Sounds strange doesn’t it. It means eat more often but smaller portions. It will help you reduce your quantities.



Eat The Fat

No not the bad fats. This means the good ones like the omega 3’s found in fish.

These are the common sense basics of any diet for weight loss. Really concentrate on incorporating them into your daily living. Before you realize it you will have crossed a big hurdle in your fight against fat.

Different Types of Outdoor Sports You Can Learn To Love

With the arrival of good weather, we all want to go out more and it is more common to start practicing outdoor sports. Here is a list of outdoor sports that you can learn to love.

Cycling:  Apart from being a means of transport increasingly used in society, the bicycle is a good aid to exercise our muscles and joints. Depending on the route you choose, each day allows you to face different intensities and ground, with good views, pure air, and nature.

Running: This seems the most ‘quoted’ outdoor sport. The truth is that running can be done anywhere: a park, the streets, a sea passage, etc. Any place you live will be ideal for practicing this outdoor sport. Also, it does not require any investment as you only need comfortable clothes and good shoes for running and enjoy the outdoors.

Skating: This sport does need investment in good skates in addition to a terrain that allows them to slide easily. However, this is less and less difficult to achieve because every day there are more towns and cities that are inhabiting areas for skating or bike paths, where you can also practice them.

Swimming: If you live in a beach place, forget the closed and heated pools and throw yourself into the ocean. Enjoy nature, the outdoors and the great benefits of saltwater for the skin and blood circulation.

Volleyball: This is an ideal sport for summer times since most of the beaches have a special net to play volleyball. So you just need a ball and want to have fun.

Basketball: Another option is to look for a basketball court or you can even install a basket if you have enough space in your garden. With this option, you will not even need to form teams, you can do one on one and see who is the best hitting the ball.

Tennis, badminton:  Racket sports are also ideal for outdoor play, you can choose the one that you like or better you get: tennis, badminton, ping pong … It will also depend on the facilities you have near home.

Golf: For those who prefer a quieter sport, with golf, you can play with more people, but also use it to escape for a while and get carried away by the green grass of the field.

Yoga: Do you like quieter sports? A healthy and relaxing practice. With this discipline, you will train both body and soul. With the rhythms to which we live many times, we do not control the head, so if you manage to do so you will really relax. Some hours of the day such as sunrise or sunset are ideal for practicing yoga in a park or on the beach. If you live in a coastal area, you can encourage yourself to try the water, surely its temperature will start to rise shortly, and launch you to swim or dive.

SuperContest Week 16 Picks: All That’s Left to Do

We’ve reached the “play for pride” portion of the program. Perhaps it was only a matter of time.

My first run in the Westgate Super Contest—courtesy of Odds Shark—has been a roller coaster of sorts. Much of the time, however, I’ve spent trying to climb upward only to full hopelessly down.

As a result, the last two weeks are really all about finishing up. There will be no prizes handed out my way, nor should there be. I just have not gotten it done.

Last week, in many ways, was a summary of how things have done. I had the Bills over the Packers—a lovely little win—although the rest didn’t add up. Miami, despite closing in at half, was eventually blown out. The Titans, despite leading late, gave it up to the Jets. The Eagles and Redskins capped things off by throwing up duds, which is the appropriate word to describe my recent stretch.

But we are not done yet. Although my contest hopes are up in flames, there are still two weeks left and winners (hopefully) to be picked.

And as long as the Odds Shark supercomputer is still making picks, well, I’m going to do the same. Here are the Week 16 picks. Fade—and I mean fade—accordingly.

49ers (-1) vs. Chargers: At some point, it’s going to come together for San Francisco. That point may come next season with a new coach, but I believe we’ll see signs far earlier than that.

Bears (+6.5) vs. Lions: Betting on Jimmy Clausen is akin to playing that knife game from Aliens. What a horrible, misplaced idea, but when it works, oh does it work. Bears keep it semi-close-ish. 

Cowboys (-3) vs. Colts: Even with Demarco Murray banged up, this brand of football may not match up well with Indy. I look for the Dallas offensive line to do what it does and the Cowboys to win by a touchdown as a result.

Falcons (+6.5) vs. Saints: In a game that could inexplicably have playoff ramifications, I like Atlanta to put up a good enough fight. It’s hard to predict how both will respond, although I believe the Falcons’ offense is the difference.

Bengals (+3) vs. Broncos: Oh, get your Peyton Narrative-ometers ready. Playing for their playoff lives, however, I think the Dalton Narrative-ometers stay quiet. The Bengals get a surprise win with this very short line.

SuperContest Week 17 Picks: This is the End

I suppose the headline says everything that needs to be said. This is indeed the end.

My first voyage into the Westgate SuperContest (courtesy of Odds Shark) will end with a whimper. Well, sort of.

I’m out of the money and out of all levels of respectability when it comes to season-long picking. However, I did pull off a 4-1 performance in Week 16, and I’m hoping to close out the season favorably. This is what playing for pride looks like, but we’re doing it anyway.

Before we look ahead at these “playing for pride” picks, here’s what happened last weekend.

The lone loss came in truly horrific fashion. The 49ers, comfortably ahead, managed to slip on a banana peel against San Diego. Outside of this ugly one to stomach, the rest was quite positive. The Bears, Falcons, Cowboys, and Bengals all covered, which was encouraging. It wasn’t enough to get me in the mix for the mini-contest, although, again, baby steps.

With that out of the way, here are the final picks for Week 17. Even though it has not exactly gone my way, it’s been a pleasure to be a part of it. Here are the five picks we’re ending with.

Packers (-7.5) vs. Lions: I think a great deal of Detroit’s defense, but the loss at the center and overall quarterback edge are why I’m laying the hook here.

49ers (-6) vs. Cardinals: The great Harbaugh finale will end… on a high note. Although the head coach is out after this game, San Fran takes advantage of a rough QB situation with a victory.

Bills (+4.5) vs. Pats: It’s an interesting situation for a game, one where motivation will certainly play a role. New England, ready for the playoffs, just squeaks past a very good Buffalo defense.

Titans (+7) vs. Colts: Indy has not played well and Tennessee is eying an early draft pick. With all that on the table, the Titans stay close to the struggling Colts in the finale.

Giants (-3) vs. Eagles: With the playoffs out of the equation, Chip Kelly and Co. go golfing. New York closes out the regular season with a win over its NFC East rival.

We’re All Grown Up: A Few Thoughts on ‘Parks and Rec’

I don’t watch many television shows. My criteria for picking the few programing options that fall into my rotation has never been exact. I watched to be entertained—trying to fulfill the full range of desired emotions with little to choose from.

I watch The Americans for the perfected agony and awkwardness. I watch Justified for the characters and the way it satisfies my new-age Tombstone-loving ways.  I watch Bob Burgers for its ability to wind me down after a long day of screen watching. I watched—drawing in the agonizing usage of the past— Parks, And Recreation because it made me feel really, really good about something—be it the characters or the task at hand—every single week.

I got drawn into the show on a mini-getaway. I was visiting a friend’s lake house, which was normally a post-college release of drunken stupidity. We were a little further out of college and starting to talk about getting old. So we watched some TV to balance out our dwindling drunken stupidity.

My friend requested I watch a show on a parks department—“Oh, the one with that dude and that mustache,” I said—so I caved. We watched an entire season, drank everything in sight and still talk about the pre-dad festivities now.

In many ways, that moment has always stuck with me. I was young, not married and didn’t have a child. Neither did the show, at least not then.

It was brilliantly written—just like always—but young and full of life. Over time, long after my lake house visits, it grew up. It had children. The characters grew storylines and found adulthood in different ways and at different parts of their lives. They got married, started families, grew out of their own post-college lives and found happiness in other arenas.

At this same time—paralleling this journey—I got married. I changed employment. I had a child. I grew up in sequence with the show. My friend is now expecting his first in the next few months. When the finale showed an obviously pregnant April get up from her table early on, I could feel my eyes start to swell as I looked toward my wife. She looked back at me in bewilderment, unaware of this personal realization. It was perfect.

The most emotion-less, youth-filled member of the show was pregnant and, just a little while later, would have a baby. Later on, she would point to her belly to signal more. More swelling.

With my baby monitor by my side and an enormous glass of wine in one hand, that hit a glorious nerve. The show, at that moment, felt like it was crafted to appeal to my interests and my interests alone. I’m sorry, you’re not involved.

Despite our unique paths, I imagine many of you felt the same way at various points of its existence—may be the finale or another moment entirely. That’s a gift. I’ve tried to think of other programming moments that have accomplished a similar feeling and struggled to find anything close. It got me.

When it wasn’t coming through my television and refilling my wine, Ron Swanson was in his own park, celebrating a new job given to him by his best friend in a canoe on his own personal lake. More swelling.

That was damn beautiful. It was obvious, over-the-top, sentimental and downright perfect in its obvious scripting. The show excelled by embracing what it was: a place people could go for 22 minutes each week and feel good about it.

It took chances doing so—enormous time traveling, caption-necessary chances—and it succeeded. We willingly bounced through eras because we trusted that we would end up in the right place. We saw wigs and bad bangs and submarines and grown children and so much more while embracing the journey. We accepted it because of course, we did.

I had reservations early on in the season about the jump in time. When the finale did the same, I smiled. It was a bold way to end a bold endeavor, and the show pulled it off while making it look like it knew what it was doing all along. (That’s because it did.)

They ended at just the right time in just the right way. Each character found unique satisfaction and sanctuary, just like all of us. I will miss it dearly, and I hate to watch it leave. But never has a show ended at just the right time. This one did.

I don’t know where Parks ranks in my all-time programming choices; I don’t watch many shows. I do know that I left the finale on a television high, a kind of rare family room floating that will be hard to topple. And when I think back to the joy the show brought me—and the things I was able to accomplish while seated in the sidecar—I can’t help but leave it feeling really, really good.

Dr. Hauschka Translucent Makeup Foundation – Best Choice for Acne-Prone Skin

Dr. Hauscka Translucent Makeup Foundation_01

Since I was a teenager, I have always had a problem with my sensitive and acne-prone skin. I had a hard time choosing cosmetics and skincare products because I always broke out a lot. I have used various products to help calm my acne-prone skin, but those products only caused me disappointment.

Dr. Hauscka Translucent Makeup Foundation was strongly recommended by my friend. She also has a skin type that is prone to have acne breakouts, and she told me that this product helps to hide the deep pock marks and dark pimple scars on her chin and cheeks. I admit that I was not sure if I should buy this product at first since it costs $35.90 for a small 30 ml squeeze tube.

In addition, it is not readily available at our local drugstore or mall. However, I still decided to buy it because I was really desperate during that time, and I needed all the help that I can get. I bought it from Saffron Rouge, an online store, but I guess you can also get one from the brand’s website.

Makeup Foundation_01

The consistency of the liquid foundation is thin and runny, which made me hesitant at first whether it would be able to help me with my dilemma or not. I squeezed a small amount the size of a nickel on my palm, and I then massaged it all over my face. You can use a cosmetic wedge sponge to blend the product completely, but I preferred to use my hands.

It was easy to blend because of its consistency. However, I was a bit dismayed with this foundation because I felt as if it was too drying. I also noticed that the coverage that it gave off was light. I still had to use a concealer after in order to hide the blemishes on my face.

Dr. Hauscka_01

In terms of the staying power, it was disappointing because it was gone only after two to three hours, and I had to reapply more than three times for the whole day. The only thing that I liked about this foundation is that it did not cause me to have pimple breakouts. I was thrilled because even though I used it on a daily basis, my facial skin stayed smooth and clear.

I am not sure whether I should still purchase and use Dr. Hauschka Translucent Makeup foundation or not because although it did not cause me to have pimple breakouts, the coverage was not sufficient to make me look like I have a flawless complexion. Nevertheless, I still recommend this product. You should give it a try, especially if you do not have many scars or blemishes on your face.

Ways to Get Rid of Acne


Acne is almost every teenager’s number one concern (other than which one of their classmates like them). That sinking feeling of waking up in the morning, looking into a mirror, and seeing that red bump on your face is horrible. There are plenty enough treatment kits out there that will make your head spin trying to choose one. Acne can hurt a teenager’s (and even adult’s) self esteem. While some people just wait out their acne days, others take a more aggressive stance towards it. So what are some ways to get rid of acne?

Wash your face constantly. I know this sounds like a no brainer, but really most people only wash their face once a day. Try to wash your face a few times a day. Even if all you are using is plain water, anything helps. Oil tends to build up on your face as the day progresses. That same oil gets down into your pores where bacteria is trapped. That’s what causes acne. So a quick trip to the bathroom during school class breaks to wash your face can really help. Girls may not want to do this because of make up, but this is a good tip for guys.

Steam Treatment_01

Wrap a hot towel around your face before you clean it. Steam and hot water opens up the pores allowing you to get in their and clean the bacteria out of them. So at night, before you use that face wash, quickly water your face down, then take a hot damp towel and wrap it around your face for 5-10 minutes. After that, then proceed to use whatever face wash you like to use. It will be more effective that way.

Use non oil based lotions. You can find many great non oil based lotions at your local stores or malls. A lot of lotions that have oil in them tend to encourage the bacteria growth and entrapment in your face. Using non oil based lotions greatly reduces the chances of getting lotion caused acne while still moisturizing your face.

Non oil lotion_01

Relax. That’s right, take some stress out of your life. Most acne in teenagers is caused because of hormonal changes, but stress can also cause acne as well. With all the tests, homework, studying, extra school activities, and daily life worries, it just adds to the mix. So after all the important things are done in your day, take time to watch a comedy, or take up a hobby. Anything that will reduce stress.

Acne is a very real part of a teenager’s life. Sometimes it’s just one of those things you need to get used to, but if you can fight it, then why not? Hopefully some of these tips helped and inspired some ideas of your own.

Homemade, Earth-Friendly Wrinkle Cream Recipe


Do you want to look younger without forking out a ton of dough on high priced commercial products? You can make natural wrinkle cream at home without placing harsh chemicals on your face or garnering yet another wasteful plastic container. Wrinkle cream recipes typically include pure plant oils to retard the appearance of wrinkles and promote cell regeneration. Eye cream recipes are safe enough to be used by contact wearers, just apply the cream after your contacts are in, or 15 minutes later to allow the cream to dry thoroughly.

A trip to the local grocery or hobby store and common household tools are required to begin an earth-friendly beauty regimen. Make sure to apply the cream to your face with clean fingers or a spatula. Any particles which are hiding under your fingernails could wind up inside your jar of cream and build bacteria.

Many of us spend countless hours in front of a computer screen during our typical workday. To help your eyes relax and retard the impression of existing wrinkles, get into the habit of glancing out a window or into the distance multiple times a day. By flexing various eye muscles when looking away from the screen after a long period of time, the pressure on all of the eye muscles is decreased.

Wrinkle Cream Recipe Ingredients

3 teaspoons of jojoba oil
1 teaspoon of beeswax
3 teaspoons of apricot kernel oil
5 drops of carrot seed essential oil
5 teaspoons of rose water
One-fourth of a teaspoon of borax


Step 1

Combine the beeswax, jojoba oil and apricot kernel oil into a small pan over low heat. Remove from heat and stir after approximately 3 minutes – do not simmer.

Step 2

Heat the rose water in a different saucepan on low heat while adding the borax. You can remove the pan from the heat once you have stirred the borax, dissolving it into the rose water.

Step 3

Set the pan which contains the wax and oil mixture into a sink filled half-way full with ice. Use a wire whisk to stir the mixture while slowly drizzling the borax and rose water mixture into the iced saucepan. The mixture will begin to resemble a typical cream after a minute or two of mixing.

Step 4

Once the cream is cool to the touch, add the drops of carrot seed oil into the pan. You should have approximately enough natural wrinkle cream to fill a two-ounce jar. Baby food jars make excellent storage containers for homemade wrinkle cream. The mixture will keep for approximately a week if stored at room temperature or two months when refrigerated.