FIVE SURVIVAL TIPS FOR RAISING A LARGE FAMILY

 

Displaying

Raising a large family can be a little tasking, but there are ways to make it all just a little easier.

Image result for SURVIVAL TIPS FOR RAISING A LARGE FAMILY

  1. Be Organized

This is one of the most important ways to efficiently manage a large family. You must learn to plan for everything around your family. All you need is 10 to 15 minutes to yourself to lay down a plan to help guide your family related activities, and this will do wonders in helping you sail through the day. These few minutes can be early in the morning before you get up from bed. A ‘To-Do’ list to prioritize your activities can help with this, and a calendar to keep track of everyone’s schedules can also be priceless in helping to keep you organized.

Image result for SURVIVAL TIPS FOR RAISING A LARGE FAMILY Plan Your Meals

2. Plan Your Meals

It’s very helpful to put together menus (or meal plans) for a week, two weeks or even a month to help save a lot of stress in the area of meal preparation. Meal planning helps take away the burden of having to consider each day what the family will eat. With a good meal plan, all you need to bother about is how to get the ingredients for the meals you’ve already laid down in the plan. A meal plan also helps you shop efficiently for groceries, since you already know what you need, and it also makes it easier for you to buy in bulk, which saves you a lot of time and money.

Image result for SURVIVAL TIPS FOR RAISING A LARGE FAMILY Try To Avoid Clutter

3. Try To Avoid Clutter

Teach your children at a young age to keep their things organized. Your spouse should also try to pull their own weight in this area. Clutter is synonymous with large families and it can be extremely frustrating to have to clear it up all the time. So, getting everyone aware of their responsibility to keep things as organized as possible can relieve some of the stress in this area. Also, you should try to commit about 10 to 15 minutes of your time daily to just clearing things up in the house, to prevent them from mounting up into a clutter.

Image result for SURVIVAL TIPS FOR RAISING A LARGE FAMILY Make Time for One Another

4. Make Time for One Another

Large families tend not to be so close-knit because there is usually a lot going on and family members hardly have time to just be with each other. Try to address this by making it a priority to make out private time for one another. Use these times to strengthen familial bonds and to get comfortable being around each other, to really know one another. Make time to be together and let it be clear that the time spent together as a family is the most valuable of any time spent.

Image result for SURVIVAL TIPS FOR RAISING A LARGE FAMILY Save Time and Money by Doing Things in Groups

5. Save Time and Money by Doing Things in Groups

Let your children share a bedroom, of course this depends on their number and on the size of the room. For example, five children can be split between five bedrooms. Plan your vacations as a group and take advantage of group and family discounts. Teach your children how to take care of one another, and how to manage portions like food portions etc. In addition, you can save time by grouping your errands so you can take care of as many things as you comfortably can within the same time.

Advertisements

Why nobody knows how many Nigerians there are

NIGERIA is Africa’s most populous country, a designation it wears with pride. It had more than 182m citizens in 2015, according to the World Bank, and is poised to have the world’s third-largest population, behind India and China, by 2050. But that figure and the extrapolation are based on Nigeria’s 2006 census, which was probably exaggerated.

Parliamentary seats and central government money are handed out to states based on population, giving politicians an incentive to inflate the numbers. In 2013 the head of the National Population Commission (NPC), Festus Odimegwu, said that neither the 2006 census nor any previous one had been accurate. He resigned soon after (the then-government said he was fired).

Nigerian Senate

Counting Nigerians has caused controversy since the colonial era. The country was stitched together from two British colonies: a largely Christian south and a Muslim-dominated north. In the lead-up to independence in 1960, the British were accused by southerners of manufacturing a majority in the north, which they were thought to favour. In 1962 unofficial census figures showed population increases in some south-eastern areas of as high as 200% in a decade. The full data were never published and northern leaders held a recount, which duly showed they had retained their majority (their region had apparently grown by 84%, rather than the originally estimated 30%). This politicking led to coups, the attempted secession of what was then known as the Eastern Region and a civil war.

The north-south divide has remained salient; there is still an unwritten rule that the presidency should alternate between a northerner and a southerner. Allegations that the north has manipulated its way to a majority continue. The censuses of 1973 and 1991 were annulled. In 2006 arguments flared when 9.4m people were counted in the northern state of Kano, compared with just 9m in Lagos, the commercial capital. The Lagos state government conducted its own, technically illegal, census and came up with 17.5m (probably a vast overestimate). A new national census has been repeatedly delayed. It is now scheduled for 2018, but the NPC’s estimate that it will “gulp” 223bn naira ($708m) may mean the count is put off indefinitely.

Even by other methods, Nigeria’s population has proven tricky to pin down. Africapolis, a French-funded research project, used satellite mapping to estimate the population of towns and cities in 2010. It found several cities, mostly in the north, had hundreds of thousands fewer people than the 2006 census counted. But even those data are not entirely trustworthy: it later transpired that the researchers had underestimated urbanisation in the densely populated Niger delta. Until there is an accurate, impartial census it will be impossible to know just how many Nigerians there really are. That means government policy will not be fully anchored in reality and it will not be possible to send resources where they are most needed.

SOURCE: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2017/06/economist-explains-6?fsrc=scn/gg/te/bl/ed/

Eight Habits That Harm Your Brain

Image result for brain damaging habits

It’s funny that “the one organ in our brain that thinks is often the one we think less about”. The brain is the most important organ in our body and it’s time we pay more attention to its health and welfare.

We share eight habits that harm your brain.

Image result for brain damaging habits 1.Not Sleeping Well

Lack of proper sleep is a bad habit that can significantly hurt your brain. It negatively affects the hippocampus causing a deficit that leads to forgetfulness.

Image result for having too much time to yourself is bad for the brain

2.Having Too Much Time to Yourself

Alone time can be great for thinking, reflection and mapping out your dreams and goals. However, when the solitude is too much it can damage the mind and body. It can typically cause brain decline, affect the quality and efficiency of sleep making it less restorative, erode arteries, create high blood pressure, undermine learning and memory and generally take a toll on health; although, most of these effects are gradual and experienced over the course of time.

Image result for brain damaging habits

3. Eating Too Much Junk Food

Regardless of the fact that you are the kind of person that can eat whatever you like and remain in shape, it is important not be excessive in your intake of junk foods. This is because parts of brain linked to learning, memory and mental health are smaller and less developed in people who excessively consume junk foods. Natural foods like berries, whole grains, nuts, green leafy vegetables preserve the brain function and slow mental decline.

Image result for You Play Loud Music with Earphones or Headphones hurts your brain

4. You Play Loud Music with Earphones or Headphones

Placing the volume of your earphone or headphone at full volume can permanently damage your hearing. It can also cause brain problems involving loss of memory or inability to remember things easily, and loss of brain tissue in your later years. This is most likely because the brain has to work so hard to understand what’s being said around you that it can hardly store what you’ve heard into your memory.

Image result for not moving around hurts your brain

5. Immobility

The body was made to move and the longer you remain unmoving and inactive the more likely you are to suffer from diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, dementia and high blood pressure which can all negatively affect the brain in the long run. You don’t have to start high intensity workouts or start running marathons, just take a walk around your house more often or engage in an activity that gets you moving.

Image result for brain damaging habits

6. Smoking

At this point, it has already been established that smoking is bad for your body. Aside causing lung problems, smoking also shrinks the brain. It makes your memory worse, makes you more forgetful and leads to problems like heart disease, dementia, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, lung cancer etc.

Image result for overeating hurts your brain

7. Overeating

We are familiar with the saying, “too much of anything is bad”. Too much food, even of the right and healthy kind of food, can hinder the brain from building up a strong network of connections to help you think and remember. Overeating can also lead to obesity which is linked to a number of brain problems like food addiction, impulsive and disinhibited eating and in some cases cognitive problems.

Staying indoors.jpg

8. Staying Indoor or In the Dark for Prolonged Periods

For the optimum health of the brain, it is important you expose yourself to natural light as often as you can. This helps to prevent depression and keep your brain working well. Staying in the dark or without natural light for prolonged periods, can slow your brain and cause a decline in the brain.

Is it safe to drink Fanta and Sprite in Nigeria?

Bottles of SpriteA recent court case in Nigeria has highlighted concerns that locally made soft drinks may be considered unsafe for human consumption elsewhere, as Ijeoma Ndukwe explains.

There has been uproar in Nigeria after it emerged that the company that manufactures Fanta and Sprite, the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC), has been ordered by a court to place warning labels on its products, stating that they are unsafe when consumed alongside vitamin C.

The drinks are said by critics to contain high levels of the preservative benzoic acid and the colouring sunset yellow.

NBC is challenging the ruling.

The case has caused deepening concern in a country where Fanta, Sprite and Coca-Cola are probably the most widely consumed soft drinks.

Barbara Ukpabi owns a grill restaurant which serves local food in Oniru, Lagos. She says she might stop buying Fanta and Sprite for the restaurant and also has concerns about giving the drinks to her children.

“I was thinking of reducing how much I drink of it. I’ll be thinking of drinking less of it or going to other substitutes like juice.”

Although like many Nigerians, the habit is hard to break.

“I just had my lunch and I had Coke and water.”

Security guard John Uloko didn’t see the reports about the soft drinks in the newspapers but heard about it via WhatsApp and hasn’t drunk any since.

‘Flexing their muscles’

The ruling was the result of a nine-year-long court battle initiated by Nigerian businessman Fijabi Adebo.

John Uloko
John Uloko has stopped drinking Fanta and Sprite

In 2007, Mr Adebo shipped Nigerian-made Fanta and Sprite to the UK to sell at his chain of shops in Manchester.

His shipment was confiscated by UK customs, originally because of concerns about the authenticity of the beverages.

But when the UK health authorities tested the products, they were declared unsafe for human consumption and destroyed.

Mr Adebo sued NBC, Coca-Cola’s franchise owner in Nigeria, which had sold him the products.

They had refused to take financial responsibility for the incident.

He later extended the case to include the food standards agency National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on the grounds that it had allegedly not performed its duty.

Last month – nearly 10 years after he filed his case – a Lagos high court ruled against NAFDAC and ordered the Nigerian Bottling Company to place written warnings on its Fanta and Sprite bottles.As NBC is appealing, the labels have not yet been added to the bottles.

Mr Adebo told the BBC: “Initially they were flexing their muscles, which dragged [out] the process. I went to court to compel NAFDAC to do its duty.

Soft drinks in Nigerian store
The warning have not yet appeared as the ruling is being challenged.

“We shouldn’t have a product that is considered substandard in Europe.”

His viewpoint is echoed by many, angered that products considered unsafe for consumption in the UK are legal in Nigeria.

The case has prompted discussions about accepted standards in the country.

Although benzoic acid is widely used as an antibacterial and antifungal preservative in acidic foods and beverages to extend their shelf life, studies have shown that the chemical can cause health problems in certain circumstances.

‘Toxic’

A scientist based in Nigeria, who has dealings with NAFDAC and asked to remain anonymous, says some human toxicity studies have shown that benzoic acid may react with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in soft drinks, forming benzene.

“While benzoic acid itself is relatively non-toxic, when benzene is formed in the presence of ascorbic acid in foods it is particularly dangerous, as benzene is widely known to be toxic and linked to many forms of cancer. These include leukaemia and other cancers of the blood,” the scientist said.

The secretary-general of the Nigerian Medical Association says it is impossible to make a judgement about acceptable levels of benzoic acid without conducting a local study looking at health implications over a long period of time.

Passers-by walk past the Nigerian Bottling Company in Lagos
Soft drinks may need more preservative in hotter countries. Credit: AFP

Dr Yusuf Sununu Tanko says there are a number of examples where evaluations are different between countries because of differences in physical constitution, diet and environment.

“Each country has its own acceptable value of what is considered normal for what is fit for human consumption,” he says.

Nigeria’s health ministry published a statement in response to the public outcry, reassuring Nigerians that the drinks are safe for human consumption.

However, the ministry advises that medicines are taken with water to help “prevent unexpected drug-food interactions”.

Although the government has not spoken of enforcement, it “encourages” all bottling companies to include advisory warnings on all relevant products.

The Nigerian Bottling Company has appealed against the court ruling. It says the levels of benzoic acid in its soft drinks are “well within the levels approved” by both the national regulator and Codex Alimentarius, an international food standards body.

The company also says the ingredient levels set by countries for their food and beverages are influenced by factors such as climate, with drinks in hotter countries needing higher levels of preservative.

It also says there was “no proven case of negligence” or finding that the company had breached its duty of care to consumers.

The government’s Consumer Protection Council has formally requested documents from the Nigerian Bottling Company ahead of an independent inquiry.

With an appeal in motion and a government inquiry under way, this case is far from over.

CREDITS: This news story is culled from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-39340013

Seven Relaxation Techniques to Help Ease Tension

Image result for black woman relaxation techniques

With all the stressful situations we face in our day to day lives, it’s good to have knowledge of relaxation responses to these stressors. This will help you avoid negative effects of stress like insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches, fatigue etc.

We share seven relaxation techniques to help you achieve this. You can sample several of them to see the one(s) that work(s) best for you.

Image result for belly breathing

1.Breathing Exercises

In this exercise, you take long, slow, deep breaths (also known as abdominal or belly breathing). As you breathe, disengage your mind from distracting and troubling thoughts and sensations, says Julie Corliss, Executive Editor of Harvard Heart Letter. You should let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as possible (without forcing it), and breathe out without pausing or holding your breath, just let it flow out gently.

Image result for belly breathing

Breathe in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth. Breathe in gently and regularly, and try counting from one to five in the process. It’s ok if you can’t; if counting is distracting you just focus on the exercise without counting. Try doing it for three to five minutes. However, this technique might not be appropriate for those with respiratory ailments or heart failure.

Image result for Progressive Muscle Relaxation

2.Progressive Muscle Relaxation

After a few minutes of breathing exercises, you follow up with progressive muscle relaxation. Here, you focus on one part of your body or a group of muscles per time, and mentally release any physical tension you feel there. Basically, you scan your body to identify physically tense areas, and consciously relax those areas (one after the other) to help ease tension. You can lie on your back or sit with your feet to the floor while doing this, start the body scan from your toes to your scalp, noticing how your body feels and relaxing at every point.

Image result for Guided Imagery

3.Guided Imagery

Here, you remember soothing scenes, memories, places or experiences to help you relax and ease tension. If you have intrusive thoughts or find it difficult to conjure up mental images, you can find and download free apps or online videos of calming and soothing scenes and imagery. You only have to ensure you personally find these scenes calming and soothing.

Image result for Talk to Someone

4.Talk to Someone

Talk to your loved ones, as reaching out to those in your social circle is one of the best ways to handle stress and tension. Share your burdens with them, and in the process get fresh and helpful perspectives on the things weighing you down.

Image result for Listen to Soothing Music

5. Listen to Soothing Music

Research shows that listening to soothing music can actually lower your blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. Create a playlist of calm and soothing music (consider adding some classical music to that playlist), listen to them and allow your mind focus on the different melodies, instruments or even on the singer’s voice.

6. Move Around

Exercise helps the brain release feel-good chemicals and this gives the body a chance to deal with stress and ease tension. Quick walks around short distances, leisurely walks around your area or environment, walking up and down a flight of stairs, or doing some stretching exercises are enough to help you deal with stress and ease tension.

Image result for Repetitive Prayer

7. Repetitive Prayer

Yes prayer, especially for those who find religion and spirituality meaningful. Harvard Health Letter advises the use of this technique as a relaxation response to potential stressors. Here, you silently repeat a short prayer or a phrase from a prayer while practicing breathing exercises.

Coca-Cola products manufactured in Nigeria safe – FG

Coca-Cola products manufactured in Nigeria safe – FG

The Federal Government has reassured Nigerians that the Coca-Cola products manufactured in Nigeria were safe for consumption.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mrs Akinola Boade, the Director, Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health, on Friday in Abuja.

She said the explanation followed a stakeholders meeting summoned by the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, to address related issues on the recent court judgment on the case filed by Fijabi Holdings against the Nigeria Bottling Company and NAFDAC.

Adewole explained that both benzoic acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) were ingredients approved by International Food Safety regulators and used in many food and beverage products around the world.

“Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is the organisation established by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to set internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines relating to foods, food production and food safety.

“In the case of benzoic acid, the standard set by Codex was 600mg/kg until recently reviewed to 250mg/kg and adopted in 2016.

“With reference to the Codex standard and other relevant documents, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in consultation with and relevant stakeholders elaborated the standard of benzoic acid in soft drinks to be at 250mg/kg based on the national climatic and storage conditions.

“This standard has been in existence since 1997 and revised in 2008, the levels of benzoic acid in Fanta (1 batch) and Sprite (2 batches) presented by the claimant in the court are 188.64mg/kg, 201.06mg/kg and 161.5mg/kg, respectively,” he said.

The minister stressed that the levels were in compliance with both the Codex and Nigeria Industrial Standards, stressing that the Coca-Cola products manufactured in Nigeria were safe for consumption in view of the following reasons:

“Risk assessment was conducted to ascertain maximum limits of food additives acceptable in foods. This takes into consideration the environmental, storage and distribution conditions as well as the shelf life of food products.

“NAFDAC and SON regularly monitor the manufacturing practices of food industries and conduct laboratory analysis to ascertain continuous compliance with required national standards.

“There was a routine inspection conducted at Nigeria Bottling Company by NAFDAC officers in December 2016, which was satisfactory.

“With reference to the Codex standards, each country or region is permitted to adapt a standard and limit based on country specific scientific evidence such as environmental, storage and distribution conditions,” he added.

Adewole noted that benzoic acid as a preservative prevents the growth of micro-organisms which thrive more at higher climatic temperatures like in Nigeria.

He said that due to the different environmental conditions obtainable in the UK, the standard for benzoic acid was set at a lower limit of 150mg/kg, while in Nigeria it was set at 250mg/kg even below that of Codex (as at time of production of that batch; Codex limit was 600mgkg).

Besides, the minister said that food products being imported into a country must comply with the relevant standards of the destination country.

“NAFDAC has processes in place to ensure products imported into the country are evaluated to ascertain compliance with required Nigeria Industrial Standards.’’

Adewole further said that the claimant did not obtain NAFDAC certification before export; otherwise, he would have been advised on the required standard of the destination country.

He therefore advised Nigerians to take medicines with potable water as this would help to prevent unexpected drug-food interactions.

He added that all bottling companies are encouraged to insert advisory warnings on all products as necessary. (NAN)

BEAUTY: FIVE AMAZING THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH A BANANA PEEL

Image result for banana peel

Banana peels aren’t useless once the fruit enclosed in them is consumed. You thus shouldn’t be quick to dispose of them.

We share five beauty benefits of a banana peel that you should take advantage of.

1.It’s a teeth whitener

Related image

Rubbing the inner part of a piece of the peel gently over your teeth for a few minutes can help to whiten your teeth. Be sure to do this once or twice a day and rinse off when you’re done. Probably the only exception to this is those that have naturally brown teeth, in that case a banana peel might not do much to help. In this case, a visit to a dentist will better help you.

2.Acne treatment

Image result for acne treatment banana peels

Simply massage the banana peels gently on the blemish(es) or acne area of your body. Do it for a few minutes (like 5 minutes) for like two or three times a day. The antioxidants and nutrients in the peels will help to clear your blemishes and acne. Results should be visible in a week, and keep applying it until the blemish or acne disappears.

3.Brightens your skin

Related image

Gently rub the inner part of the peel on the area(s) of your skin you want to brighten and rinse off afterward. Do it as often as you can until you get your desired results.

4.Moisturizes your skin

Image result for Moisturizes the skin banana peels

Rubbing banana peels on the dry areas of your skin helps to soften and hydrate the skin. Gently massage the peels on the dry areas and do so as often as you can until you get your desired results.

5.It can function as a polish

Image result for polish banana peels

Shoes, leather and silver can be made to shine instantly by rubbing a banana peel on them.

Note

It is important to keep certain things in mind when using a banana peel for the above beauty reasons.

  •         A fresh banana peel is the most appropriate to use for the best results.
  •         A banana peel should be used immediately and not kept for long.
  •         Never store banana peels in a refrigerator.
  •  Refrain from being careless with banana peels. As you know, because of their slippery nature they can cause accidents when left on floors etc.