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Even Steven, Breast Symmetry A Major Complaint For Many

Nobody is 100% the same on both sides of their body. Many of us have marked differences between our left and right sides, hence the celebrity requests to be shot on “their good side” and making sure that stars are filmed from certain angles. Beauty is measured in millimeters, and the slightest differences add up.

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The more pronounced the differential, usually the more unhappy the person is with their feature in question. For women, it really hits home when breasts are noticeably different in size, something that can be camouflaged in clothing but when the clothes come off, what then?

Today people seem to want the bigger rounder fuller booty, and the safest way to achieve this is via fat grafting, where excess adipose tissue (fat) is lipo-sculpted at the waist and other unwanted areas and then centrifuged and refined to be injected into the buttocks.

But, this procedure isn’t limited to below the waistline…

before

Lack of breast symmetry is a very common concern among many women, and there’s a safe way to fix it that does not employ using breast implants. It is quite common for breasts to be slightly different in size, a condition called asymmetry. Breast asymmetry is defined as a difference of form, position or volume of the breast, and it affects more than half of all women. In fact, one study of 100 women who wanted breast augmentation with implants found that 88 percent had natural asymmetries.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Constantino Mendieta has excelled at balancing and reshaping body features for men and women for over 20 years. Though, these days people seem to be booty crazed, there are many women who seek his help to make their breasts appear more even.

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There is “no perfect symmetry” according to Dr. Mendieta, who says, “the problem is that everyone is asymmetric and you can’t make all features equal since underlying bones and muscles are often times different from each side of the body. In drastic cases where the difference is extremely obvious you can try and improve the symmetry, but it will never be equal – just greatly improved.”

The anatomy of the breast is complex. There are actually glands contained within the front of the chest wall. The average breast weighs between seven and 10 ounces and is primarily composed of 12 to 20 lobes that spread out from the nipple like the spokes in a bicycle tire.

Your breast tissue changes according to your menstrual cycle. For instance, you may find that your breasts feel fuller and are more sensitive when you’re ovulating; and, in fact, they increase in size because of water retention and additional blood flow. This is also when they’re most likely to be the same size, however; one study found that breasts have the least amount of asymmetry on the first day of ovulation. During menstruation, breasts will shrink again.

Occasionally, a medical or skeletal condition may cause asymmetrical breasts. Also fibroids – non-cancerous tumors – may be the cause of asymmetry. Sudden or recent differences in breast size due to underlying breast masses should be evaluated by a breast surgeon. Other possible causes include scoliosis, or curvature of the spine, and deformities in the chest wall.

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Dr. Mendieta says that slight differences in a woman’s breasts are of no concern. If the differences are greater than one bra cup, size, however, they may cause some psychological distress, which are easily and safely remedies with subtle fat grafting techniques similar to what he does on a larger scale with gluteal sculpting. In the rare instance that the asymmetry from a heavy bust causes pain or distress, Dr. Mendieta says that breast reduction, rather than implants, may be the better choice to even out breasts.

Original Post- http://www.monstersandcritics.com/even-steven-breast-symmetry-a-major-complaint-for-many/

Prom Night Wisdom, Don’t Be In Such A Rush To Drink

‘…Extrication will be needed…” -Law Officer Falber in recorded scene of Prom night car accident

car

Drinking seems to be the universal right of passage and hallmark for many kids to show they’re heading into adulthood, or just to blow off steam and break the ice and ease social anxiety. But so many teens are simply not equipped emotionally or physically to handle the repercussions of alcohol, and as such they do not drink responsibly.

How many people have stories of excess from their youth that they hang their head in shame over? These people are the lucky ones, here to share their tales of not knowing any better.

The unlucky ones end up like this:

CAR CRASH!

Senior Prom is that moment when it sinks in for high-schoolers, their true glimmer of freedom from parental supervision, because in a few short months they’ll be living away from home and taking on life and all the adult things they have been shielded from in their short lives.

Prom night is one event that has a build up like no other, except for perhaps a wedding night. According to the CDC, 70% of teens expect to drink on prom night.  Many, for the first time. Teenagers are in such a rush to grow up, and many times the date of the prom goer is very young, 15 or 16, and even then, 16, 17 and 18 years old people are not seasoned or able to handle drinking alcohol socially, let alone adhere to designated driver rules. Under-aged drinking most always leads to over use of alcohol and subsequently terrible accidents and even sexual assault.

Alcohol is the most commonly used and most irresponsibly handled drug among the youth in the United States.  Just because your teenager is going to prom doesn’t mean parents should take a back seat from their responsibilities. Keep lines of communication open, and talk to your children about the risks of drinking and ways to make it through prom sober.

The Discovery House Treatment Centers deals with drugs and alcohol abuse. Their experts have compiled a list for parents and teens to keep in mind.

Guidlines from The Discovery House :

  1. Peer Pressure – The worst excuse! Not everyone will be as smart as you. Some kids will decide to indulge in drinking and other drugs and try to get you to join in. Don’t be caught off guard and say “yes” to something you’ll regret. You might be teased but that is no reason to back down from your convictions.  Stand strong; respond with a firm “No,” they will soon stop asking and leave you alone.
  2. Think About the Social Consequences. We’re talking more than just a hangover here. With the amount of social media around today, you will be bombarded by reminders of your poor choices because it will be replayed on Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat videos and you can be sure that photos or memes of your worst moments will linger over you wherever you go. More importantly, that college you were recently accepted to – it’s not unheard of to have academic or athletic scholarships revoked.
  3. Be Aware of the Legal Consequences. Drunk driving is no joke for anyone, of any age. So when minors choose to drink on prom night, they’re not only putting themselves in danger, but they are putting everyone around them in danger. The combination of alcohol impaired judgment and a license are a deadly concoction.  Teens who drink on prom night are more likely to drink and drive and text.  Plus your teen can be a passenger in a car of someone who’s been drinking or be injured by another drunk driver or cause injury or death to another person. The CDC reports, underage drinking is responsible for 4,300 annual deaths among underage youth. You don’t want to be one of these statistics.
  4. You can still have a great time sober!  People follow by example – If you choose not to drink, chances are your friends may choose not to drink along with you. Make a plan for prom in advance, and stick to it! Prom is all about the memories, so instead of drinking the night away, plan a fun adventure or reminisce doing a favorite past-time, like going to the local diner you always went to after football games and order everything on the menu because this could be the last time you visit the traditional high school hangout, the last time you and all your friends are together…. You are all dressed up, take lots of pictures and laugh!

Original Post- http://www.monstersandcritics.com/prom-night-wisdom-dont-be-in-such-a-rush-to-drink/

THERE IS A DRINKING AGE FOR A REASON AND PROM IS NO EXCEPTION

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Senior Prom is a major event in a teenager’s life, it signifies the transition from high school to college or a full time job. A time when high-schoolers begin to see that first glimmer of freedom from parental supervision, because in a few short months they’ll be living away from home and becoming true adults.

Prom night is supposed to be a night to remember, full of posed photos, kings and queens and last dances, but for some the memory of prom is anything but good. According to the CDC, 70% of teens expect to drink on prom night.  Many, for the first time. Teenagers are in such a rush to grow up, that they often make childish decisions, like drinking, and they choose prom to do it.  At 16, 17 and 18 years old no one is mature enough to handle drinking alcohol, probably binge drinking at that, and the serious repercussions that come along with it.

Statistically, more than 1/3 of people under the age of 21 killed in alcohol related accidents died during prom and graduation season according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  And most of the consumption is done at pre or after prom parties by booze supplied by parents. This does not make it ok!

Alcohol is the most commonly used and most irresponsibly handled drug among the youth in the United States.  Just because your teenager is going to prom doesn’t mean parents should take a back seat from their responsibilities. Keep lines of communication open, and talk to your children about the risks of drinking and ways to make it through prom sober. The Discovery House Treatment Centers deals with drugs and alcohol abuse. Their experts have compiled a list for parents and teens to keep in mind.

  1.   Peer Pressure – The worst excuse! Not everyone will be as smart as you. Some kids will decide to indulge in drinking and other drugs and try to get you to join in. Don’t be caught off guard and say “yes” to something you’ll regret. You might be teased but that is no reason to back down from your convictions.  Stand strong; respond with a firm “No,” they will soon stop asking and leave you alone.
  2. Think About the Social Consequences. We’re talking more than just a hangover here. With the amount of social media around today, you will be bombarded by reminders of your poor choices because it will be replayed on Instagram and Facebook and Snapchat videos and you can be sure that photos or memes of your worst moments will linger over you wherever you go. More importantly, that college you were recently accepted to – it’s not unheard of to have academic or athletic scholarships revoked.
  3. Be Aware of the Legal Consequences. Drunk driving is no joke for anyone, of any age. So when minors choose to drink on prom night, they’re not only putting themselves in danger, but they are putting everyone around them in danger. The combination of alcohol impaired judgment and a license are a deadly concoction.  Teens who drink on prom night are more likely to drink and drive and text.  Plus your teen can be a passenger in a car of someone who’s been drinking or be injured by another drunk driver or cause injury or death to another person. The CDC reports, underage drinking is responsible for 4,300 annual deaths among underage youth. You don’t want to be one of these statistics.
  4. You can still have a great time sober!  People follow by example – If you choose not to drink, chances are your friends may choose not to drink along with you. Make a plan for prom in advance, and stick to it! Prom is all about the memories, so instead of drinking the night away, plan a fun adventure or reminisce doing a favorite past-time, like going to the local diner you always went to after football games and order everything on the menu because this could be the last time you visit the traditional high school hangout, the last time you and all your friends are together…. You are all dressed up, take lots of pictures and laugh!

###

Make good decisions at prom and don’t be the guy who throws up on the Vice Principal’s shoes the second he walks in the door or don’t be the girl who’s having their hair held while she’s face down in the toilet while her mascara runs down her cheeks.

Don’t ruin prom for yourself and everyone else. Dancing the night away is much more fun than getting your stomach pumped because you thought prom was a great time to explore how much booze it took for you to black out. After all, you’ve spent a lot of money on the tickets, the dress, the hair, the makeup, the mani-pedi, the heels, the flowers, the tux, and the transportation – parents must stop playing “best friend.”

Original Post - http://dailycandidnews.com/there-is-a-drinking-age-for-a-reason-and-prom-is-no-exception/

Aging into Addiction: Alcoholism and Prescription Drug Abuse

Here’s how one senior got sober and got his life back.

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Ernest “Ernie” Oare had always been able to hold his liquor. And in his 72 years, he’s held a lot of it.

“I drank a lot, but for some reason I could always handle it pretty well,” says Oare, a horse showman and racer who splits his time between Warrenton, Virginia, and Ocala, Florida. “My mother, sister and brother all were alcoholics, but none of them thought I had a problem. I thought I might, but they had experience. ‘If they don’t think I’m overdoing it,’ I told myself, ‘I guess I’m not overdoing it.’”

When he found himself drinking straight vodka at 6 a.m., it became clear he was. “When that started happening, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that I had to shape up or ship out,” says Oare, who was 60 at the time. “We never really got to a formal sit-me-down — a formal intervention. Not that it wasn’t in the works, but it never happened. It didn’t have to, because the handwriting was on the wall. [My wife and kids] weren’t going to put up with it much longer.”

Faced with declining health–”I was ridiculously thin, and my liver was going,” he says–Oare entered treatment at Hanley Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, in January 2002. He returned eight more times before finally achieving sobriety in January 2008.

Despite stereotypes suggesting addiction is a young person’s disease, Oare’s story isn’t uncommon. In fact, as many as 8 million older adults–nearly one in five–have one or more mental health or substance use conditions, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. And with the number of adults ages 65 and older projected to increase from 40 million in 2010 to 72 million in 2030, that number will only grow.

“We have a literal epidemic of substance abuse in the older-adult community,” says Dr. John Dyben, director of older adult treatment services at the Hanley Center at Origins. “Unfortunately, substance abuse is far less likely to be recognized in the older-adult population. So we’re not talking about it, and we’re not addressing it.”

Addressing it as a society requires first addressing it as a family. Having those tough conversations begins with understanding the unique causes and consequences for seniors struggling with addiction.

 

Seniors and Addiction: A Perfect Storm

Aging creates a perfect storm of social and physical circumstances that leave seniors vulnerable to addiction.

“Seniors have a host of medical problems, including chronic pain, sleep issues, depression and anxiety. They’re facing retirement, which can bring on boredom; and they’re often experiencing issues of grief and loss from the deaths of family and friends,” explains Dr. Walter Thomas, medical consultant for The Discovery House, an addiction treatment center in Los Angeles. “Because the brain response to drugs and alcohol changes, seniors also have higher sensitivity and a lower tolerance, which creates a much more profound effect from substances. They also have about a 50 percent reduction in their blood flow to the two major organs that metabolize drugs and alcohol–the kidney and the liver–which increases substances’ toxicity. Then there is the interaction with medications. All of this creates a very complex and high-risk situation for seniors.”

Still, warning signs and symptoms can be hard to recognize as signs of addiction or substance abuse. They might include memory loss, changes in sleep and appetite, bruises from falling, irritability, balance and cognition issues or even a zombie-like state.

“The trouble is, all of this is easily confused with senility,” says Dr. Damon Raskin, a Pacific Palisades, California-based board certified internist and Diplomate of the American Board of Addiction Medicine who specializes in geriatric and addiction medicine. “A lot of seniors are misdiagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia when what they really have is an alcohol or substance abuse problem.”

Although loved ones often struggle to identify addiction, seniors’ age makes it especially important that they do.

“Substance abuse and addiction cause or exacerbate existing medical and mental disorders in older adults,” Dyben says. “In fact, there is a direct known link between substance abuse in older adults and incidences of both hip fractures and dementia.”

Next Stop: Treatment

Treatment can be a hard sell for people at any age, but there are many incentives that can persuade seniors to seek treatment.

“Sometimes it’s a medical issue,” says Raskin, who adds that senior addicts are more prone to falls and those hoping to live independently will often opt for treatment over long-term medical care.

Grandchildren can be a powerful motivator, too. “Family–grandkids, specifically–are one of the most significant reasons why older adults who don’t want treatment ultimately seek it,” explains Dyben.

His grandson was a major motivator for Oare. Thinking about a recent visit with his son and two-year-old grandson, Oare knows that if he hadn’t gotten sober, visits like that wouldn’t have happened. “He’s my best buddy, that little one, and that wouldn’t have been that way. I probably wouldn’t have still been here,” he says.

Dyben believes residential treatment and 12-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous typically are the most effective treatment option for addicts of any age.

If possible, he says, look for programs and AA or NA groups that either cater to older adults or at least welcome them. “Older adults are more open to participating in treatment if they believe they are in treatment with people who are their peers,” he says, noting that best treatment centers for seniors are those with medical as well as clinical expertise. “Older adults are more likely to have other medical or mental health conditions alongside their substance-use disorder, and that requires a really intense level of medical care as well as clinical care.”

Because the risk of relapse is high at any age, it’s equally important to treat both the addiction and its cause. “If the root of a patient’s substance abuse is depression or anxiety, that might require medication,” Raskin says. “If it’s loneliness or boredom, the patient may need to have a caregiver or sober companion who moves in with him. Or he may need to move into a community where he can be around more people and get involved in more activities, such as charity work or a hobby.”

Whatever the age, the key to success is persistence.

“The best thing I did for myself was to keep going back to treatment,” Oare says. “Getting sober has been a 100 percent turnaround. Nobody had totally given up on me, but if I had not faced it when I did it was going to happen. Now I have my life back.”

Publication Date: March 27, 2015

- See more at: http://mysilverage.thebegroup.org/Healthy-Aging/Aging-into-Addiction-Senior-Alcoholism-and-Prescription-Drug-Abuse#sthash.WUkQGGsp.dpuf

 

Original Posthttp://mysilverage.thebegroup.org/Healthy-Aging/Aging-into-Addiction-Senior-Alcoholism-and-Prescription-Drug-Abuse

The rump, the bum, the keister, the booty, call it what you will, but it’s growing on us.

The cosmetic sands of time have shifted. The hourglass figure has new proportions. The double-wide backside has come into vogue. Bottom sculpting is trending up, breast enhancements are actually down.

Yeah, once the butt of many jokes, the butt is getting the last laugh.

And if you have not been blessed with sufficient acreage in this area, well, fret not. You have options, increasingly popular man-made options.

nationwide survey of its members conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons has found that butt augmentations doubled between 2013 and 2014. (We are assuming this is per pair, not per cheek.)

These trend lines were for both types of butt enhancements, silicone implants, and procedures in which fat is transplanted from other areas of the body.

“I’m seeing women 17 all the way up to 70,” Miami surgeon Dr. Constantino Mendieta recently told NBC News. “It’s big in the nursing homes.”

Oh My.

Credit marketing by plastic surgeons, social media, and celebrities such Iggy Azalea, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian for leading from behind.

Unlike Lopez and Azalea, who possess other talents, Kardashian was only famous for being famous until her backside caught fire, so to speak. A recent magazine photo shows her standing almost erect while a champagne glass is balanced on her protruding asset. (Don’t try this at home.)

The whole backside enhancement trend caught me by surprise. For as long as I can remember, women have always been trying to keep that address as a single zip code. Now there are these things called “pump parties” where clients go and let amateurs shoot them full of silicone and self image.

It is, of course, dangerous. An uncertified woman from Philadelphia who bills herself as the “Michelangelo of the buttocks,” is currently standing trial for murder after a dancer she injected died.

What I don’t understand is why those looking for a wider beam don’t just go the old-fashioned, time-tested route and overeat. I mean, an ingestion of Ben and Jerry’s seems a heck of a lot more pleasant than an injection of industrial grade silicone.

Anyway. There is, I think, good news in this tokus trend for men. Might the six pack abs give way to the one-pack beer belly.

Original Post- http://www.courant.com/features/too-shea/hc-shea-baby-boomers-0304-20150304-column.html

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An individual of any age who is emotionally or psychologically immature any cosmetic procedure should not be performed
Since the late 90s, when plastic surgery gained popularity in the country, began to be increasingly common that girls ask for gift 15 years a facelift.

This may change if approved the bill filed last week by Sen. U party, Mauricio Lizcano week.

The initiative seeks to ban plastic surgery for purely cosmetic purposes on minors, even if they have the consent of the parents, because according to the senator, there is currently no control by the authorities on such practices.

“Today, increasingly, we are invaded by advertising that shows beautiful bodies, necklines, beautiful women, and children grow up with that ideal of beauty, often thought that the easiest way is with plastic surgery “says Dr. Lina Maria Triana Lloreda, president of the Colombian Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (SCCP) Surgery and member of the board of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, ISAPS). He adds that a child has not reached physical and mental maturity to deal with the risks and consequences of these procedures, which in most cases are irreversible.

“A girl of 15 years may not know what you want, or you can get some breasts just for fashion, and later may rethink that decision,” he says.

However, although it is agreed that such a law could be beneficial, Dr. Constantino Mendieta, a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (USA) considers that it is not possible to generalize the maturity of all children old.

“We have many patients 16 years with the maturity of a 25, 18 and others with maturity of one of 12. There are some psychological factors that must be evaluated, otherwise being removed individually for each patient” detailed Mendieta, therefore believes that each case must be evaluated independently by medical professionals and psychology. Likewise believes Lyle Back, plastic surgeon and member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, who believes that can not be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” if plastic surgery is appropriate for minors.

An individual of any age who is emotionally or psychologically immature, that is not prepared or is unstable, any cosmetic procedure should not be performed, says plastic surgeon
Lyle Back.

“It’s not even easy to answer that question when it comes to adults. The plastic surgeon has the responsibility to explore with each patient, regardless of age, what their identity and their concerns. The options that exist, convenience, pros and cons of the procedures must be carefully considered and discussed “Back contends, who has taught and participated in charitable project Operation Smile operating children with cleft lip and palate worldwide.shutterstock_142314778

Exceptions
The prohibition of the bill does not apply to surgery nose, eyes and ears, reconstructive surgery or caused by physical or psychological pathologies duly accredited by the respective health professionals.

In the latter case, the project argues that the surgeon must apply for a special permit to the local authority health for the procedure.

Explains Dr. Lina Triana, this is because there are some body organs that develop at an earlier age than others (such as the ears, taking place almost entirely at 5 years, and nose, at 15 ), and the existence of cases like those of young people having overly large breasts and suffer from back pain, or have a lot bigger than the other breast.

Many children and young people flock to these procedures after being “teased and ridiculed for their appearance,” said Dr. Lyle Back, referring to cases ears too projected outward, pronounced noses, retracted chins, among other states. “Most people have a reasonable concern about a particular feature that is out of proportion, or makes them feel physically uncomfortable or are not ‘normal’” he says.

More details of the bill
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Procedures that prohibit minors
Breasts and buttocks implants, eyelid surgery, scalp grafts, malar implants, chin surgery, lip, face lift, removal of skin on the face, tummy tucks, liposuction and liposculpture, vaginal rejuvenation, botox, carboxiterapia, hidrolipólisis, Mesotherapy and ultracavitación.

Penalties for medical and health institutions that violate the rule
They range from a fine from 2,900 million pesos to the temporary or permanent closure of the establishment. They must also respond for damages to patients. Advertising promoting plastic surgery, surgeries, clinics and cosmetic procedures that are directed or has as models to minors is prohibited.
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What to do when the minor is not suitable
If a minor is not suitable candidate for plastic surgery, Dr. Lina Triana believes it is necessary to explain both the adolescent and his family the reasons motivating the youth and good eating and exercise habits as an alternative to raise their self-esteem .

Colombia, the sixth country where more procedures are done
According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Colombia 420,955 cosmetic procedures were performed in 2013, which places the country in sixth place in the world with the highest number of surgeries, after the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Germany and Spain.

First was that aesthetic reconstructive
Plastic surgery born after World War II, when the wounded soldiers died in the war and because he had the technology to save them, but were disfigured or deformes.Esos patients could not reinstate your work or social life as normal because they had no quality of life. Thus was born the first plastic surgeon who attended to the patient that nobody wanted and gave harmony to your body and rostro. Ese is the origin of reconstructive plastic surgery, based cosmetic plastic surgery.

Original Posthttp://www.elheraldo.co/salud/es-recomendable-la-cirugia-plastica-en-menores-191380

The Coffee Guide

Coffee Guide

One of the most popular beverages in the world, coffee has undergone a resurgence from the basic can of ground or instant coffee popular in decades past to a premium hot and cold beverage we indulge in around the world.

Crema artSingle serve K-Cups

The History of Coffee

There are many stories and legends about how coffee was first discovered. Some believe it was found by ancestors of the Oromo tribe in Africa whereas others believe it was the 19th century Ethiopian goatherd Kaldi who discovered it when his goats became excited after eating the beans. Still, others believe it was discovered in Yemen by Sheikh Omar who was known for his unique abilities to cure the ill through prayer. After being exiled, it is said he chewed the bitter beans when he was starving and living in a cave in the desert near Ousab. He found the beans to be too bitter and roasted them thinking it would improve the flavor. However, they became hard so he boiled them which resulted in coffee and was heralded as a miracle drug throughout much of the region which caused Omar to be received back into the community and made a saint.

Despite the many stories from around the world, the first documented piece of credible evidence is from the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries around Mocha, Yemen which, many might argue, that the story of Omar proves to be the factual account of where coffee came from. It was in Mocha where the bean was first roasted and then boiled in a similar fashion to how it’s prepared today.

It wasn’t until 1670 that coffee hit the rest of the world after it was smuggled out of the Middle East by a man named Sufi Baba Budan who took seven seeds from Yemen to India strapped to his chest. Before, any exportation of coffee was regulated to pre-boiled or sterilized coffee. The seeds were then planted in Mysore and used to breed new plants which took them to Italy, the rest of Europe, Indonesia and finally North America.

As the centuries passed, coffee continued to be used as a medicinal drug for stomach ailments as well as being used as an energizer. According to documentation, it was traditionally called Bunno and served in a porcelain cup each morning that was passed from one person to the next, each of whom consumed a cup.

Then, in 1600, Pope Clement VIII declared coffee a Christian beverage and its popularity increased dramatically. By 1645, coffee houses were born in Rome and within just a few years, they were one of the most popular establishments around the world.

Types of CoffeeIced coffee

By the early 1900s, instant coffee was invented by George Washington of Belgium who took out adverts for his Washington Coffee in 1919. Coffee was now available globally and the Dutch East India Company began to aggressively import coffee.

One of the first places it began to introduce its coffee was in England where it instantly became popular. In 1654 the Oxford’s Queen’s Lane Coffee House was opened and it still remains in existence today. After its success in England, the importer introduced coffee on a large scale to France in 1657 and finally Austria and Poland following the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

Despite it’s European popularity, America didn’t immediately take to the bitter drink, instead preferring alcoholic beverages over coffee. It wasn’t until the Revolutionary War when the demand for coffee in America became so great that suppliers began to hoard their supplies and prices were significantly jacked.

Following the War of 1812, when Britain cut off the import of tea to the United States, coffee became the drink of choice. Meanwhile, in Brazil, coffee was spiraling out of control in popularity and cultivation was prime due to the regions fertile soil. Today, Brazil remains the number one producer of coffee worldwide generating 2,609,040 tonnes each year. Of the two main species of coffee grown, arabica coffee continues to be the more popular and well regarded type in comparison to robusta which is more bitter and offers a reduced flavor profile but better body. It’s because of this, that 3/4 of all coffee cultivated today is from arabica beans, however, its still the high quality robusta beans that are used for traditional espresso due to the full bodied flavor and crema.

World Production

Coffee is grown around the world but the following regions are the ten largest exporters of coffee today:

1 Brazil 33.1%
2 Vietnam 15.2%
3 Indonesia 6.3%
4 Colombia 5.9%
5 Ethiopia 5.0%
6 Peru 4.1%
7 India 4.1%
8 Honduras 3.4%
9 Mexico 3.3%
10 Guatemala 2.9%

Coffee plant with berries

Production Process

Coffee berries or beans aren’t simply picked and roasted but actually undergo a fairly extensive set of processes before they reach our cups. First, they’re picked by hand which is a very labor intensive method but yields the best results due to the extensive pest issues that cause the majority of coffee beans to be inedible. Once the ripest berries are picked, the coffee is processed using a dry or wet process depending on the strength and flavor the producer wants. Once the berries are sorted by color and ripeness, the flesh is removed and the seeds fermented to remove a slimy layer of mucus on the actual seed. Once that process is finished, the coffee seeds are washed with fresh water to remove any dirt or residue and the seeds (or beans) are dried on raised drying tables which allows air to circulate around the entire bean or on concrete under the sun.

Some coffee will then undergo a process called Kopi Luwak which is made from seeds eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and passed through its digestive system. This results in a less bitter coffee and is often regarded as being some of the most expensive coffee in the world with a single pound costing upwards of $100.

The next process is the roasting stage where the green coffee is roasted until it reaches a particular taste structure. As the bean is roasted, the moisture reduces which causes it to influence the strength. During the roasting process, the bean changes color as caramelization results in the breakdown of the starches which turns them into the brown color we’re familiar with.

As the temperature reaches 400°F, oils begin developing which is primarily what provides the familiar aroma and flavor profile.

Roasted coffee beans

Once the coffee is roasted, experts grade it based on visual characteristics such as the reflection of light on the roasted seeds using a process called spectroscopy. The coffee is then graded as light, medium light, medium, medium dark, dark, or very dark roast.

It’s this grade that allows consumers and brewers to determine the flavor and body of the coffee. While most people assume dark roasts to have more complex flavor profiles, it’s actually the opposite with the lighter roasts having the more complex and varying flavors. Another myth is that the grade determines the caffeine level in the coffee.

All coffee contains caffeine and for producers who wish to make a decaffeinated variant, the coffee has to under yet another process during the coffee’s green stage. There are many variations of the process, but the most common is the Swiss water process where the seed is soaked in hot water or steamed and then introduced to a solvent which removes the caffeine oils. The extracted caffeine is then sold to the pharmaceutical industry for use in medicine or herbal drugs.

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What is Crema?

Crema is an important word in the espresso world, but what exactly is it? Does it really matter?

While some coffee experts don’t care about it at all, others rave about it, but just like with most most things we believe: each to his own!

Crema is…

Crema is the light tan colored liquid or foam that you can see on top of your espresso. It looks a bit like a Guinness beer with less foam.

Why does Crema exist?

When water is forced through the ground coffee under pressure, the oil parts of the bean are emulsified, which results in tiny bubbles of air. On top of that coffee beans emit carbon dioxide for about 24 – 72 hours once they have been roasted, which means freshly roasted coffee emits CO2, which helps to create the little foam bubbles.

In addition, the coffee industry has increased the quality level quite a bit in recent years. Hence, the bean’s natural oil content increased considerably.

As a consequence, espresso enthusiasts from around the world became obsessed with the crema and often considered it to be the most important element of a good espresso.

Crema is Not A Hallmark of Quality

However, Crema is not necessarily a hallmark of quality coffee.

Even if you have the nicest looking crema in the world, your coffee could still state rather sour because the crema is the result of post-roasting carbon dioxide. At the same time, you may get a beautifully, dark roasted coffee without any crema that has a superb flavor profile. Last but not least, makers of coffee machines have tried to add certain technology to machines giving the illusion of crema while the flavor remains the same.

Crema Conclusion

Therefore, we suggest you rate coffee by its taste, not the amount of Crema or lack thereof.

How to Store Coffee

If you’re the type of person who stores coffee in the refrigerator you might want to stop. While it’s important not to store coffee in heated or lit areas, it’s also equally important to prevent the coffee from being exposed to moisture which occurs when it’s stored in the fridge or freezer. The best way to properly store coffee is in a sealed, airtight container made of ceramic or glass. However, coffee that comes in a can will remain fresh indefinitely until the can is opened.

Brewing Methods

Today many methods of brewing coffee are available from the stovetop Bialetti (which is used in almost 90% of all homes in Italy and remains one of my favorite methods), to the Keurig, Tassimo and Nespresso machines that seem to brew a perfect pot in record time. While there is no method that can arguably be considered the best, here are a few recommended brewers to consider:

Counting Sheep Coffee

Counting Sheep Coffee

The taste isn’t exceptional but it still beats the basic Starbucks roasts and has a uniquely nutty flavor profile. The reason I mention this coffee however, is that there’s nothing else like it in the world. Surprisingly, this decaf coffee is engineered to help you sleep. Using valerian root which is an herbal sedative, I tried both the Bedtime Blend and the stronger Lights Out roasts. I was asleep within thirty minutes. About $17 a pound. 

Original Article

Counting Sheep Coffee

Why Pets Can Unlock A Child’s Unhappiness

Pets  – and animals in general – can be very therapeutic for children. Studies have shown how pets can help lower blood pressure, speed up recovery time, and reduce stress and anxiety. We see this with troubled children, Autistic children or children with Asperger Syndrome and PTSD — when they are with animals they can immediately relate because they sense the animals are unconditional in their love and affection. – Dr. Gail Gross

 

Most everyone knows that having a pet decreases stress. It also soothes and strengthens abused people, especially children, so that their trauma is lessened and made manageable. Pets are simply good for the human soul.

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Dr. Gross in Wyoming

Dr. Gail Gross Ph.D., Ed.D., M.Ed., is a nationally recognized family and child development expert, author, and educator. Her positive and integrative approach to difficult issues helps families navigate today’s complex problems.

In her latest informative blog, she writes, “My very dear friend is a horse whisperer, who has helped many children with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) heal. One day while having lunch together, I asked her to explain to me why animals, and horses in particular, help children with PTSD recover. She explained to me that children of abuse and domestic violence, as well as children who have physical and emotional challenges, respond to horses (and other animals) because they intuitively recognize that they can trust them.”

Children who are emotionally injured and abused often face being emotionally and physically paralyzed and unable to express themselves. Dr. Gross writes, “These children are frozen, and yet, as they sit astride a big, powerful horse, they learn to trust once again, relax and surrender to the movement of their new ally. A horse neither judges nor criticizes, but loves unconditionally. And not only does he respond with nonverbal cues, such as sound, nuzzling, and picking up his ears, but he is also honest, and will not let your child get away with anything – no deception, no deceit.”

She adds, “When a horse carries your child, who feels small and powerless, his very movement relaxes your child and restores control through action. And when riding his horse, your child can find a safe place of unconditional acceptance and love with his best friend and therapist…his horse.”

The importance of human-animal bonds has been documented throughout history, across cultures, and in vast research.  The domestication and socialization of animals into human enclaves has been a steady coevolution based on a shared need for shelter, food, and protection. According to known archeological evidence, over 14,000 years ago, domestic wolves, ancestors of the dog, lived in settlements with humans. We need them, and they need us.

Dr. Gross says, “Pets give unconditional love. They are non-judgmental, and, especially for only children, lonely children, or children who have sibling rivalry or emotional distress, a pet gives them someone to talk to. A pet can comfort, give support, and listen to a child’s troubles without judgment or consequence. And, when playing, a pet can become your child’s partner and best buddy.”

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She also notes that pets can teach a child a proper way to channel frustrations and anger or fear on others. Pets can teach empathy, confidence and responsibility. “Animals can help socialize children and increase verbal skills. You’ve likely seen even little kids who are still learning to talk attempting to chatter away with pets. In this way, pets give not only social and emotional support but also cognitive language skill support to children. A pet’s simple presence provides verbal stimulus to help your child practice talking and socializing with another being.”

Original Article

Dr. Gail Gross

Unprepared to Fail: We’re Raising Kids Who Feel Entitled To Success

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Unless of course, you’re being raised in America in 2015, in which case, just sit down and grab a glass because lemonade is on tap, in spite of a whole lot of un-squeezed lemons. But what happens when parents can’t design and control the playing field, and everyone can’t win a trophy?

trophy

The un-rejected, who have not been afforded the opportunity to develop the coping skills that are required to process rejection in a healthy and appropriate way, are being built up so high that it’s a very long way down and an even harder road back up.

Corralling our competitive nature and removing the concept of winners and losers, and adjusting the rules so that everyone can win and feel special, is an unsustainable model with real-world consequences. However, we are now seeing with the millennials, our chickens, who we’ve protected from rain, sleet, hail and snow so they would run free and thrive, are coming home to roost…and due to their inability to deal with failure and rejection, they aren’t leaving anytime soon.

Instead of teaching our youth how to deal with failure and inevitable rejection and how to use these experiences as fodder for developing character and becoming strong, resilient, productive adults, we have created a flat world that is unrealistic. Understandably, our previously bubble-wrapped youth and their parents are left wondering why they are so devastated by the smallest rejections and are not bouncing back from failure.

Today’s millennials are being raised to feel entitled to the win and we reproach them for their entitlement, instead of seeing we built them to fail at failing. Some of the most successful people will tell you that they’ve failed numerous times and were rejected on countless occasions, and those failures and rejections taught them invaluable lessons and only served to heighten their resolve in attaining their goals. The reality check of rejection for the previously un-rejected is often too much for them to process because they have been sold a false premise for years that they are too good to fail.

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As college application results roll in, some students will be accepted and some will be rejected, as we recently heard about in the news with the student who rejected her rejection letter from Duke. Many of us have lived through this experience. However, the stakes rise when rejection has become a bad word in our culture and, as a result, parents and society as a whole are making it their raison d’ être, to do everything they can to protect kids and teens from it.
Bumper lanes at the bowling alley are an example of this excessive fortification –kids feel good in the moment, but years later, they still don’t know how to bowl. Well, the same thing is happening with rejection…our kids don’t know how to fail and it’s making them much more vulnerable to and unprepared for the inevitable rejections that come along with being in the real world.

Add to this equation the lack of privacy and all the cyber bullying that has arisen in the last decade, and there’s literally nowhere for kids to hide to nurse their wounds. It’s akin to the way celebrities feel when they get divorced and it’s all over the newspapers and magazines. Our kids have all been made into a version of celebrities, and they are lacking the coping skills required to deal with rejection and failure on its own, not to mention in the public eye of their classmates, friends and communities.

Dr Gail Gross _Headshot

Gail Gross Ph.D., Ed.D., a child psychologist and an expert on education, has spent years studying the entitlement issues that underlie our children’s ability to cope with failure and rejection and below, she offers some insights and advice to the entitled generation:

“What often looks like rejection is an immature response to a sense of entitlement. In today’s world of heightened information where local news is national news, parents often inhibit their adolescent children from testing themselves against their environment, which can lead to immaturity.

Dr. Gross’s Advice for Parents:

  • Parents must ‘step into their adult’ and parent.
  • Be what you want to see…model what it is to be an adult…under all circumstances, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
  • Partner with your children and teach them to know the rules… appropriate behavior for life situations.
  • Use my empathic process, a way to communicate with your children without defense.

Advice for Millenials:

  • Rejection is always a bruising, but if the bruise lingers you may need to speak to a professional to help identify why. Many times a rejection allows you to step back and reflect on what you really want and where you really want to be and then you can figure out how to get there.
  • Don’t defend against the rejection, but instead, allow yourself to experience it, in a sense, embrace the shadow and it will move you into a larger space.
  • Hold the tension of the rejection and allow yourself to sit with the feeling while doing inner work (i.e. journaling, meditating, walking, being alone, etc.). This will help you connect to the part of yourself that knows what’s best for you and how to get there.”

Original Article

Dr. Gail Gross