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    Quitting Smoking Hijacked By The Nucleus Accumbens


    : The what? Let's take something easier the dorsal striatum, or locus coeruleus. Still gobbledygook? Not to medical specialists. If you think quitting smoking is difficult, think of it as a chemical reaction to certain stimuli, that's all. The nucleus accumbens is the name given to part of your brain's pleasure centre where dopamine is produced. Dopamine creates that feel good mood simple as that. Here's a story of a no good nicotine dragon...

    He's hiding in the tobacco. Your cigarette is lit. Fire! nicotine dragon comes alive and hitches on to the tiny particles of tar in the inhaled smoke. Down and around he goes, sucked into your airways, then effortlessly slithers into your bloodstream and zooms to your brain about 7 seconds later.

    Nicotine dragon gets off at the nucleus accumbens and hails a passing receptor cell and hops aboard, flicks a switch to let out happy little neurotransmitters, particularly dopamines. These molecules rush around for about 30 minutes or so, having a bit of a party and making you feel warm and fuzzy, then they get bored and go back to sleep, leaving you with the bill.

    So then you buy another round because you liked that party… Some of your other party pals had a ho hum sort of time, and some an even better time.

    Their nucleus accumbens didn't have any or many receptor cells to attract any nicotine dragons, or on the other hand, they sent their dragons to latch on to receptors in their dorsal striatum, which made them feel good in other ways. Your hippocampus will also have been active.

    That's your memory center, and it works hard to remind you of all the agreeable memories associated with smoking. And when quitting smoking, your locus coeruleus, an alarm centre of the brain, notices a shortage of its favorite drug and sets off, well, an alarm, chemically, to go and get a fix quick smart. Remember the dorsal striatum? It's part of the brain region associated with motivation. This means it produces neurotransmitters such as dopamine in response to the emotional triggers of smoking, rather than the nicotine trigger.

    So your other party buddies and maybe you too tried to get their kicks by subconscious associations with smoking and… maybe being with friends, having a break, soothing angry feelings, loneliness, boredom… or even just having a coffee.

    These ingrained habits are what make you a smoker in the psychological sense. This party life is weary after a while. Up and down, high and low, lots of time, energy and money to go where… up and down again a prisoner.

    What to do? You can't think of anything worse than a day without smoking. Apart from two days without smoking. You'll just have to make you own party arrangements when quitting smoking, that's all. Start off with those little dopamines. Make them yourself by exercising. It can sometimes take a few days of getting stuck into exercise before the brain clicks in and revs up those little critters, and from then on it's high, high all the way. You've heard of "runners high," and now you can have it too, with any exercise from cycling to walking. Meditation or some deep reflective time is another proven way to wake up those brain pleasure centers. There again it can take a bit of practice to go really deeply "into yourself," but it's such a fantastic feeling thanks to dopamine and those other neurotransmitters your brain produces. Laughing, love, friendship, peace, chocolate, fun, being creative, excitement, giving and sharing will all give your nucleus accumbens or dorsal striatum a buzz. You've just forgotten or neglected how good life can make you feel. Fill up your previous smoking time with other interests, walk by the sea, go to a new night class. Occupy your hands with healthy snacks or a craft, stress toy, puzzles and so on. Successfully quitting smoking permanently, simply means putting new habits and pleasurable memories into your brain. Concentrate and keep shifting your focus on the new pleasures of quitting smoking and how good it feels and how much better your future is, rather than on any temporary feelings your old smoking habit gave you. After a few weeks your new pleasurable feelings will now be programmed into your sub conscious and you will safely think and act as a non smoker. You're not going to let a few odd sounding brain parts get the better of you are you?


    Weight Loss Diary 11


    From March 11 thru 17 Back to reality this week with the shock news that my weight did not go down enough to report; probably no more than a few ounces (around 50 grams). Hence I’m sad to report that my weight still stands at 188 pounds (93 kilos). I guess I became a little too complacent after the better than expected results of the previous few weeks. This raises the big question of who, or what, is to blame? As I live by the rule that I am responsible for all that goes wrong, as well as all that goes right, in my life then it stands to reason that I am to blame. Because I am to blame for a poor week then I know that it is within my power to turn that around in the coming week. That’s the great thing about accepting responsibility – you can always turn things around. People that avoid responsibility rarely turn things around. So what happened to the positive momentum? Without using this as an excuse I have suffered a slight cold for the past week and have not been exercising at the rate I have become used to. Exercise has been a major part of my calorie burn off routine. This has been offset slightly by the fact that whilst feeling unwell I haven’t eaten as much either. Probably this explains why my weight has remained the same rather than increasing; my calorie intake has been lower and I guess I reached the perfect balance of weight neutrality this week. That’s fine when my weight is where I want it to be but right now I still need to lose 8 pounds (3.9 kilos) to reach my target weight. In this coming week I will not attempt to lose more than my target 1 pound (450 grams) because when you start playing catch up it throws the entire routine and places you under greater pressure. Psychologically it is better to accept that I did not reach my target last week and move on. This week nothing will change, my target is one pound, my exercise sessions will still be three per week and I will still strive to put more aerobic action into my normal day. This article is copyright © David McCarthy 2006.


    Tips For Healthy Skin


    Taking care of your skin is one of the most important ways to maintain a healthy, youthful glow that is so important to beauty today. A healthy skin will appear to glow and radiate warmth, ensuring a look that all will be happy to see. There are several do’s and don’ts when it comes to preserving the health of your skin, and some of them may surprise you in their contrast to what common knowledge dictates is beauty. One of the worst myths when it comes to having beautiful skin is that a tan is a necessity. To most people, tanned skin is indeed appealing, and even cancer research has never been able to fully deter people from desiring that bronzed look in themselves and in others. Over the years, several rumors have started about safe tanning methods which are supposed to give all the advantages of a tan without the harmful effects. It is very important to know, however, that methods such as tanning lamps both commercially and at home still operate by using the same ultraviolet rays that come from the sun, and all the dangers of the natural rays are also inherent to those that are manufactured. Skin cancer, of course, is the most serious problem that arises out of exposure to UV rays. Other problems can also occur. Sun damage cause skin to wrinkle prematurely, and also may make the skin leathery and scaly. If you must have a tan, the safest way that will cause the least amount of damage to your skin is to use a tanning lotion (one that gives the appearance of a tan). Because none of us can avoid the sun and its impact on our skin, it is also important to take ongoing care of skin by using different methods. Keeping skin moisturized means keeping it healthy, and this will also prevent premature aging. Watch out for beauty products that contain items like “extract of cucumber”. Applying cucumbers (especially to the eyes) is a well known method of maintaining healthy skin, but it is in fact nothing about the cucumber that helps skin. Instead, it is the amount of water found in cucumbers that helps to hydrate and take care of the skin’s appearance. If you are paying for a lotion that advertises a cucumber extract, then you are paying too much. Another way in which people damage their skin is by excessive washing. This happens frequently with teenagers who are going through the pain of acne. The fact is, washing too much may make acne worse, and can also be very detrimental to overall skin health in the long run. Finally, a healthy diet will equal a healthy skin. Make sure your everyday meals include the proper amounts of vitamins known to contribute to healthy skin, such as Vitamin A, C, E, Zinc, Chromium, Riboflavin, Thiamine, Pantothenic Acid, Niacinamide, and Pyroxidine. You can get these vital nutrients through careful planning of your meals or by the inclusion of a multivitamin make sure to read the label to ensure it contains all of these essential vitamins.


    Selling Real Estate In A Sluggish Market


    Selling Real Estate in a Sluggish Market Real estate is one commodity that many depend upon to get them through the rough times in their investment strategies. The problem is that unlike stocks and bonds, real estate is not the most liquid of assets to turn into cash when the going gets rough and money is needed immediately. This may be the one large drawback when it comes to real estate. You cannot rely solely upon real estate to get you through the financial rough patches, as real estate is a very fickle market. There is only one way in which real estate can truly be sold in a sluggish market such as the one that is rocking the real estate world at the moment and that is not always a way that is ideal for investors. However by offering an exceptional value to consumers, you can almost always manage to sell real estate. This is by far not the method of choice for investors. Investors are often encouraged to hold onto properties during the rough patches by any means possible (and ethical of course) in order to get the maximum profit they are hoping to achieve in the endeavor. When this is not possible, make sure the property being offered and sold is the best value for the money that is currently on the market. Play up the attributes of any given property and offer several properties for sell at once (assuming you own more than one). More importantly, offer different types of properties rather than one style of property. If you own a few rentals, a couple of vacation homes, time shares, and perhaps a corporate office building or two put one of each on the market and see which sells more quickly. Another thing that must be considered in a sluggish market is that you cannot attach an emotional value to the price of the property. This is simply bad business. No matter how much sweat, tears, and blood have gone into the property you must realize that just as it is a business transaction for you, so it is for the person placing the bid. You cannot afford to run off potential bidders by becoming insulting or feeling insulted by their bids. Make a counter offer and see what happens rather than letting emotion rule the day. In a buyer's market there will be low offers. There are many who make livings (like most investors are attempting to do) by buying low and selling high. This means they will make an insultingly low offer the first time around to see where the seller stands. This doesn't mean they are the scum of the earth only that they are in this for the greatest possible profit. Do not take their actions or attitudes personally. They are not insulting you or the property only attempting to gain the most money in the process. Most businesses operate that way no matter what they claim. Selling property in a sluggish market can be a disappointing and gut wrenching process but it is often necessary for one reason or another. Unexpected expenses arise and money is needed when it is needed. This is after all why we make these investments in the first place, to be able to handle the unexpected twists and turns that life tosses our way. PPPPP 558


    Diabetes Treatment And Info All You Need To Know


    Diabetes is a critical health care problem for many people throughout the world. It decreases quality of life and, in many cases, it can also shorten one's life. The good news is that when you recognize the seriousness of being a diabetic and take constructive steps toward controlling it all of these things above decrease in importance. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism. The way our bodies use digested food for growth and energy. Diabetes is associated with long term complications that affect almost every part of the body. Diabetes is widely recognized as one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Conventional Medical Treatment Insulin was the first, and remains the primary means of treatment for Type 1 diabetes and is administered by subcutaneous injection. This method is necessary since insulin is destroyed by gastric stomach secretions when it is taken by mouth. Insulin injections must be balanced with meals and daily activities, and glucose levels must be closely monitored through frequent blood sugar testing. Many diabetics need inject insulin only once a day; others require two or more injections. The usual time for a dose of insulin is before breakfast. The dosage is initially established according to the severity of the condition, but it often has to be reassessed as one or another of the variables in the person's condition changes. Medicines for Type2 Diabetes Metformin this is often the first medicine that is advised for type 2 diabetes. It mainly works by reducing the amount of glucose that your liver releases into the bloodstream. Sulphonylureas for example, glibelclamide, gliclazide, glimerpirizide, glipizide, gliquidone, increase the amount of insulin produced by your pancreas. They also make your body's cells more sensitive to insulin so that more glucose is taken up from the blood. Type 1 (Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus) Type 1 diabetes is treated with intensive insulin therapy. This type of treatment is designed to achieve near normal blood sugars safely while keeping the episodes of low blood sugars ("insulin reactions") to a minimum. Insulin therapy includes: * Multiple Daily Injections of Insulin (Flexibility is important!). * Use of Insulin Pens or Pumps. * Use of new type of insulin: Lispro or Humlog (extremely fast acting) replaces regular insulin. Diabetes Medications Sulfonylureas: Glyburide (Micronase, Diabeta) and Glipizide (Glucotrol). Traditional medicines cheap, easy to take, work well with many people. Stimulates insulin secretion from the pancreas. Problems: Doesn't always achieve normal blood sugars and may cause low blood sugars. Metformin (Glucophage): Used in Europe for many years. Decreases sugar production by the liver, which contributes to elevated blood sugar levels. Works well with insulin. Problems: Causes gastro intestinal upset in some, and cannot be used if you have serious heart or kidney problems. People with diabetes will experience many long term and serious complications. These complications will affect virtually every part of the body from the feet and legs to the internal organs. Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or use insulin properly therefore it is up to you and your doctor to learn how to manipulate the functions of your body properly to offset or minimize the complications of uncontrolled diabetes. With proper control you can still live a healthy and long life but it helps to be a fanatic about controlling your diabetes.


    Internet Home Business Tips


    There are three important things to consider when running an Internet home business. All will help to increase the fair market value of your company. A web site is a great source of advertising and distribution for a home Internet business. The name of the game is cash flow and one needs to know how to generate this in the virtual world. How will the World Wide Web help out your home business and gain you some cash flow? Expand markets and increasing sales. The Internet gives the business owner a chance at a much broader market area. There are no more geographic restrictions to hold you back. Simply just building a web site won’t automatically grant you more business. You will need to market to your targeted audience to gain more business. Once properly marketed a web site is a very effective way to reach new and current customers. This can truly make sales a great thing. The web provides the company with a 24 hour per day 7 days a week brochure to be viewed at the client’s leisure. A professional looking web page is of the utmost importance. It is the client or potential client’s first view of who you are and what you do. You will want to utilize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to increase the traffic onto your site and get better and higher ratings. This will make sure your web site is in the first few pages of search results. You can also hire a consultant to help you with marketing if you don’t know what you are doing. Alternatively you can use an automation software like SEO Elite to help you reaching the top spots of the search engines ( my linker. com/hop/seo_elite). Maximize your profitability. Using the Internet will also allow you to increase your profitability. Not to mention streamline automation in your home business. It will be easy for your customers to order replacements parts, refer friends and family, and order new products you carry faster. You will only be a click away from a sale. You will be able to use e mail to show off new products and give your customers coupons. Make sure to have a spot on your web site that allows the customer or potential customer to fill in their name and e mail address. This will allow you to give them promotions and newsletters regularly. The more they see and hear from you the better off you will be and the more you will make. Increase customer retention. The Internet also provides a great amount of customer contact and support. Being readily available for immediate response to your clients makes them trust and respect you. They will want to do business with you again. Also the content that you provide your customers with will also keep them coming back to hear the latest news and learn more. This is a great way to keep customers visiting till a new product is introduced. They will be more likely to buy from you again if they got to read about the benefits and have faith you will be there for them.


    Choosing And Comparing Cell Phone Plans


    When choosing a wireless carrier most people fall victim to the lure of the free phone; which you have to admit can sometimes be very hard to resist. But you have to look beyond the free stuff and learn about the details of the plan you are signing up for. The United States is home to over 10 different wireless carriers and their rates vary from state to state. Other than the monthly dues, there are other factors that make a wireless carrier stand out from the rest. Below is a list of a few Wireless carriers in the United States. • AT&T, formerly Cingular Wireless Cell Phone Plans – it is the largest wireless network in the United States. This company offers a rollover feature. This means that you can rollover unused minutes from one month to another. • T Mobile Cell Phone Plans : T–Mobile has the more minutes for the same price than any wireless carrier. T – Mobile plans offer no extra fees for roaming and long distance calls. • Alltel Cell phone Plans – A feature of the Alltel cell phone plan is that this wireless carrier allows you to choose up to 10 landline or cell phone numbers to call for free. The problem with Alltel is its availability; it is not available in some areas. • Verizon Wireless Cell Phone Plans – is one of the country’s highest rated wireless service providers. Verizon offers its user’s unlimited in Network calls. With Verizon you are most likely to get service from any location. • Sprint Power Pack Cell Phone Plans – a feature that entices customers to Sprint is its option to allow you to buy add on minutes; this eliminates the burdensome overage charges you get from other wireless service providers. • Nextel Cell Phone Plans – A feature unique to Nextel is its Push to Talk, which is a walkie talkie like feature. For most cell phone plans that offer a text messaging feature, the price for receiving a text message is the same for sending one out. You can however get discounts when using text bundles. Another feature offered by wireless carriers is free minutes during off peak hours or days – usually during nights and weekends. Most of the time Cell phone plans that are over $40 monthly have this feature. Other than the basics, try looking out and doing the following things before signing up with a wireless carrier: Read the contract clearly, find out how long you will have to stay with the wireless carrier. Most contracts last for 1 to 2 years, and termination before the contract ends requires the customer to pay a certain amount. Try and consider choosing the same wireless carriers as your family and friends. This will help lessen monthly dues because most wireless carries offer free unlimited calls within their network. Also, be aware of the taxes you are paying. Taxes can add up and take a significant portion of your monthly bill. Consider everything when choosing a Cell Phone Plan and a Wireless Provider. Make sure that you are getting the most for your money.


    French Press Coffee Style And Flavor For Your Coffee


    The French press style of coffee making produces very rich, aromatic and tasty coffee. It uses very coarsely ground coffee that basically steeps in the brewing water for several minutes allowing all the flavours to fully extract from the coffee grinds. Because of the filtering system there is always some sediment which some people don't like. A French press coffee maker has two parts: a straight sided container usually made of glass, and a filter plunger that pushes through the water to filter out the coffee after it has steeped. This plunger also serves as the lid. There are some models of French Press that are insulated which is good for keeping things hot while it steeps. To brew coffee with a French Press, you should pre heat the carafe while you boil your water. When ready, empty the carafe, add your coffee, and then add your brewing water. You may wish to stir the coffee grinds around to be sure all of them are in contact with water. You should now put the plunger/lid on the pot to help retain heat. DO NOT press it down yet, it needs to steep for about four minutes (a little more or less depending the coarseness of the grind). Once you feel the coffee has brewed enough, slowly depress the plunger trapping the grounds on the bottom. Do not force the plunger. If it doesn't want to go down, simply lift the plunger up slightly and try again. The filter can jam on grinds that are too fine. Just take your time and it will work. Despite what some may say, it is usually best to decant the coffee into an insulated serving pot. If you leave the coffee in the French Press it will remain in contact with the grinds and keep brewing. This will quickly ruin your coffee. The other main reason to pour your coffee off is to keep it warm. French Press pots are not well insulated and coffee cools off very quickly. Play with the brewing time and grind coarseness until you get the taste that you like best. Once you've done that you will have some of the tastiest coffee anywhere.


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