Sunday, April 3, 2011

Healthy Eating – Be Heart Smart!

Over the past two decades, Canadians have madesignificant changes in lifestyle and, as a result, the risk of heart disease has gone down.  Paying more attention to the foods you eat is one simple step that you can take to help keep your heart healthy. 

Heart healthy eating involves making food choices that help to decrease blood cholesterol levels.  Cholesterol is a hard, waxy substance that is made by our bodies using certain types of fat found in foods.

Cholesterol can attach itself to our blood vessel walls which makes it difficult for blood to flow normally and strains the heart.  Choosing lower fat foods can help to keep your blood cholesterol levels in check.

Heart healthy eating also means choosing foods that will reduce your blood pressure and decrease your body weight (if you are overweight or obese). 

Choosing foods that are high in salt can increase blood pressure, as can being overweight or obese.  High blood pressure can damage blood vessels and increase your risk for heart disease.

Avoiding foods that contain large amounts of salt and achieving a healthy body weight help to prevent high blood pressure and heart disease

Insomnia techniques you've probably already tried but are still worth trying again.

  • See a DoctorInsomnia can be a symptom of physical disorders, although for most of us it's the result of tension, stress and anxiety—and of course the more anxious we get about our insomnia, the worse it gets. If your doctor pronounces you a "healthy" insomniac, he might suggest some of the techniques provided here. Or she might prescribe drugs to help you get to sleep.

    We suggest you try all these methods first, and use drugs only as a last resort. The decision, of course, is yours.

  • Take a Warm Bath

  • It's a great way to relax your body. Don't overdo it, however. You merely want to relax your body, not exhaust it. Too long in hot water and your body is drained of vitality.

    Use bath salts, or throw in Epsom salts and baking soda—one cup of each. These will relax you and also help remove toxins from your body.

  • Get a MassageHave your spouse (or whoever) give you a massage just before going to sleep. If you can convince them to give you a full body massage, great. If not, even a short backrub and/or a face and scalp massage can be a big help. Have them make the massage strokes slow, gentle, yet firm, to work the tension out of your muscles and soothe you to sleep.

  • Listen to Music or Other Audio
  • Play some soft, soothing music that will lull you to sleep. There are many CDs designed for that very purpose. Some are specially composed music, others simply have sounds of waves rhythmically breaking, or the steady pattern of a heartbeat. Some will lead you to sleep with a combination of music, voice and other soothing sounds.  We found one particular system that generates endless combinations of sounds tailored to your specifications.

     See more information...

  • Drink Warm MilkA glass of warm milk 15 minutes before going to bed will soothe your nervous system. Milk contains calcium, which works directly on jagged nerves to make them (and you) relax.

  • Drink Herb TeaIf you don't like milk—or are avoiding dairy products—try a cup of hot camomile, catnip, anise or fennel tea. All contain natural ingredients which will help you sleep. Most health food stores will also have special blends of herb tea designed to soothe you and help you get to sleep.

  • Eat a Bedtime Snack

  • Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Tobacco

  • Sleep in a Well-Ventilated Room

  • Sleep on a Good Firm Bed

  • Sleep on Your Back

  • Get Some Physical Exercise During the Day

  • Keep Regular Bedtime Hours

  • If You Can't Sleep, Get Up

  • Don't Sleep In

  • Get Up Earlier in the Morning

  • Keep Your Bed a Place for Sleep

  • Avoid Naps

  • Avoid Illuminated Bedroom Clocks

The Four Fake Anxiety Attack Symptoms

Peace imminent in Assam: Prime Minister

Guwahati, Apr 2: Praising the people of Assam for defeating the threat of militancy, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said he was hopeful of peace returning to thestate after his preliminary talks with the ULFA leadership.

Dr Singh, visiting thestate for Assembly poll campaigning, addressed two massive rallies at Dhakuakhana and Rupahihat constituencies as thousands of Congress supporters defied an ULFA-called bandh to attend the meetings.

The Prime Minister, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, praised the people of the state for foiling attempts by militants and miscreants to disrupt the social fabric.

Referring to the peace process with the banned ULFA, he said, ''I was happy to meet the ULFA leadership in New Delhi in February. The talks were held in a good atmosphere and carry hope for the future.'' ''Talks can solve all disputes and the government is always ready to sit for negotiations with groups that abjure violence,'' Dr Singh added.

He also said the Constitution was flexible enough to accommodate the needs of all categories of people.

Harping on the slogan of peace and development in Assam during the Congress rule, Dr Singh urged the people of the state to vote the party back to power to help continue the good work.

''Ten years ago, when the Congress came to power here, the state was gripped by an economic crisis. Government employees were not getting their salary and growth was stagnant,'' he said.

''I must congratulate Mr Tarun Gogoi and his team for ensuring this turnaround of fortunes of the state,'' Dr Singh added.

He listed the various developmental projects and schemes being undertaken by the Congress governments at the state and Centre.

Appealing to the people to vote back the Congress, Dr Singh said, ''I urge the people to vote us back so that they can truly reap the benefits of the developmental works being pursued by Congress in the past 10 years.''

Taking a dig at the Opposition AGP and BJP, he said, ''I am sure that these opportunistic parties will not be able to sway the minds of the people with their false promises.'' Mentioning specifically about the flood and erosion problem at Dhakuakhana, Dr Singh, who became the first Prime Minister since Independence to visit the town, said the latest technology would be used to address the problem.

Congress supporters defied in hordes an ULFA-called 12-hour statewide shutdown to attend the rally.

A local bandh called by nine non-political organisations in Dhakuakhana also failed to have much impact in the turnout in the rally, though life was hit in Dhakuakhana during the double bandhs.

The organisations had called the bandh, alleging failure of the incumbent Congress MLA and state Cultural Affairs Minister Bharat Narah to work for the development of the constituency.

The Prime Minister is slated to return to the state on April 7 for campaigning.

AIADMK favoured by voters: College survey

Chennai, April 1 : A pre-poll survey done by the  students and professors of the Loyola College here said the opposition AIADMK has an edge over the ruling DMK in theApril 13 Tamil Nadu assembly elections.

However, the survey noted that voter preferences might change later as the survey was conducted March 21-29.

Loyola College People Studies director S.Rajanayagam, who had led the survey, told reporters Friday that the major poll issues in the minds of people are price rise, power cuts and other issues like drinking water shortage while the 2G spectrum scam is a non issue.

The survey covered 3,171 voters in 117 constituencies out of the total 234 seats in the state.

According to the survey, 48.6 percent of the respondents said they would vote for AIADMK-led front while 41.7 percent said they would support the DMK combine.

As much as 51 percent of the respondents said AIADMK front would win the elections, while only 36.7 percent predicted a DMK victory.

The Loyola College survey predicts AIADMK to win around 105 seats while DMK will be victorious in 70 seats. The AIADMK party is contesting 160 seats and DMK 119 seats.

As the two parties are in straight contest in more than 80 seats, the survey predicts tough fight between the two rivals in 59 constituencies.

Sonia Gandhi to campaign for DMK-led Front

Chennai, Apr 2 : Congress President Sonia Gandhi will visit Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry on April 5 and 6 to addresselection meetings.
Congress sources confirmed the visit of Ms Gandhi.

She was likely to address two public meetings, one in
 Chenni City, and the other, most probably, in a southern district on April 5 for the DMK-led Front.

Apart from DMK President and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, leaders of alliance partners, including the PMK, VCK and the IUML, were expected to attend the public meeting in Chennai.

She would visit Puducherry the next day to address an election meeting.

The sources said a detailed programme of her visit would be announced later.

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will go to the polls on April 13.

Minister spits on face of AIADMK cadre, 3 party men beaten up

Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, Apr 2: 

Three AIADMK workers were injured, when they were attacked by DMK men in the presence of Tamil Nadu Dairy Development Minister U Mathivanan, who allegedly 'spit' on the face of an AIADMK worker, when he questioned the Minister during an election campaign near Thirukkuvalai village in the district, tonight triggering a tense situation.

Mathivanan, who is contesting in Kilvelur assembly constituency in the district, was campaigning near the Thozhudhur bridge at Kothangudi village, when the incident occurred.

The trouble started, when an AIADMK worker M Maharavi questioned the Minister why he had not visited the area when the people were affected in the torrential rain and flood. The Minister, who got enraged over this, lost his temper and spit on Maharavi in full public view.

 Soon after this, DMK workers, who were accompanying the Minister, beat up Maharavi and two other AIADMK workers - R Shanmugam (42) and R Prabakaran (40). 

The escort police pelted stones on the AIADMK workers, sources said.All the three AIADMK men, who were grievously injured in the attack, were immediately rushed to the Government Hospital at Thiruthuraipoondi."I asked him why he had not visited the area during the flood.Without answering my question the minister spit on me. Then, the DMK workers roughed up me.

 Still worse, the escort police also pelted stone on us," Mr Maharavi told reporters at the hospital.On information, CPI (M) Candidate for Kilvelur assembly constituency Mahalingam visited the hospital and consoled the injured AIADMK workers.Condemning the attack on AIADMK workers and the action of the Minister, Mahalingam said it was unbecoming of a Minister to spit on a person for questioning him. He also condemned the escort police for pelting stones on the AIADMK workers.

 He warned that his party would resort to agitation if police did not take action against the Minister and his supporters, who attacked the AIADMK workers.A large number of police men were deployed in the village to prevent further trouble.

Crackdown in Bahrain enflames Iraq’s Shia community

In this photo dated March 25, 2011, a woman works in a basement workshop in central Baghdad, Iraq, making a Bahrain national flag. - Photo by AP
BAGHDAD: The sewing machines have been furiously churning out red and white Bahraini flags at a basement workshop in downtown Baghdad, and Iraqi customers are snapping them up to wave at protests, unfurl from buildings and fly from car antennas.

The fervour is testimony to the solidarity Iraqi Shias feel with their religious brethren in Bahrain battling for more rights.

It is also a sign of how the crushing of the Bahraini Shia protests by the island nation’s Sunni monarchy, with the help of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies, hikes up sectarian tensions around the region.

Hundreds of Iraqis have taken to the streets in demonstrations against Bahrain’s ruling elite and Saudi Arabia. Politicians railed against Bahrain in parliament. Iraq’s Shia prime minister, who’s been largely silent on most of the turmoil in the Middle East, said Bahrain’s actions were threatening to inflame sectarian violence.

The Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani – revered by many Shias both inside and outside of Iraq – has called on the Bahrain government to cease the crackdown.

And the Iraqi government is pushing the United States to get more involved, US ambassador in Baghdad James F. Jeffrey said Friday. High-ranking US diplomats, including Vice President Joe Biden, have urged the tiny kingdom’s rulers to settle the strife without violence.

”We’re concerned, of course, of anything that can trigger any sort of sectarian outbreak or disagreement, discord, diplomatic struggle or even worse throughout the region,” Jeffrey told reporters. ”The Iraqi government would like to see us and others do more to try to resolve the conflict, and we are continuing our contacts in Bahrain toward that end.”

The scenario in Bahrain in many ways mimics Iraq: a Shia majority long dominated by a Sunni minority regime. For Iraq’s Shias, it was Saddam Hussein, whose toppling in 2003 helped bring Shias to dominate power in the country. For Bahrain’s Shias, it is the Khalifa family that has ruled the island kingdom for more than 200 years and shows no sign of giving it up. Bahraini Shias have long complained of discrimination and a second-class-citizen status.

”We support Bahrainis because we are of the same sect, because the majority of Bahraini people are Shia,” said Talib al-Zayadi, owner of the al-Raya store in Baghdad, which makes flags, banners and other paraphernalia. He said business is up almost 20 percent because Iraqis are buying so many Bahraini flags.
The decision by Saudi Arabia to send in troops to quell the protests infuriated Iraq’s Shia population even more.

Saudi Arabia fears that any rise in power among Shia communities in the Gulf will lead to a spread in the influence and power of its top rival, mainly Shia Iran. That worry applies for Bahrain and for Saudi Arabia’s own Shia population who live in the eastern part of the country – where the oil is.
Saudi leaders hold the same suspicions about Iraq’s empowered Shia community, and for that reason Riyadh’s relations with the post-Saddam governments in Baghdad have been consistently cold.

To many of Iraq’s Shias, the fact that the international community intervened on behalf of Libyan rebels but did not interfere when troops from Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries rolled across the causeway connecting the Saudi and Bahraini kingdoms reeks of a double standard.

Iraq’s powerful top four Shia clerics, known together as the ”marjaiyah,” are closely watching all the popular uprisings in the region, said Sheik Ali al-Najafi, the son and top aide to one of the clerics.

”But the Bahraini issue is different because there is Arab and international silence and a media blackout on that issue,” he said.

Al-Najafi said Iraqi religious leaders aren’t seeking to provoke a sectarian conflict, but he said it is obvious that the Bahraini people are being treated in a sectarian manner.
He said religious leaders in Najaf, where Shia from around the world study, have been in close contact with their counterparts in Bahrain.

One Bahraini opposition cleric who’s been studying in Iraq said Bahrainis are able to get their message out through Iraq, in part because Iraq has strong relations with the United States. Iraqis also understand the situation in Bahrain because of their own history.
“Iraq has lived through similar circumstances and maybe more harsh than we have lived through in Bahrain,” said the cleric, Maytham Omran.

Woven throughout the narrative of what is happening in Bahrain is the specter of Iran.
To be sure, images of Iranian leaders grace some Bahraini mosques.

But when it comes to religious connections, most of Bahrain’s Shias practice a type of Shiism that does not adhere strictly to the guidance of one ayatollah, said Juan Cole, a US expert on Islam. Those who do follow one ayatollah, tend to look to al-Sistani in Najaf for spiritual guidance, Cole said. Either way, they’re not likely to be taking their guidance from Iran.

Inevitably the sectarian divisions playing out in Bahrain remind many Iraqis of the Sunni-Shia divisions that only recently were tearing this country apart.

A Sunni lawmaker, Aliya Nusayif, was part of a group of prominent Iraqi political leaders who wrote an open letter to the U.S. Embassy calling on the US government to hold Bahrain accountable. She said she is worried that Iranian and Saudi interference in Bahrain may fuel Sunni-Shia tensions in Iraq, but that is all the more reason to push for the protesters’ demands in Bahrain to be heard.

“Peoples in all countries have the right to … ask for change,” she said. “There are massacres being committed on the Bahraini land while the international community is paying no attention to it and directing their concern to Libya only.”

Obama condemns Quran burning ‘bigotry’

 “The desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry,” Obama said               statement honoring those killed in the attacks. - Photo by AP
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama on Saturday condemned a US pastor’s burning of the Quran, after violent protests at what he called an act of “extreme intolerance and bigotry” left 17 dead in Afghanistan.

Ten people died amid fresh protests that began in the center of the main southern city of Kandahar and spread as police clashed with crowds on Saturday, a day after sevenUN staff were killed in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the worst attack on the world body in the country since the 2001 invasion.

“The desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry,” Obama said in a statement honoring those killed in the attacks.

“However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity. No religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act.

“Now is a time to draw upon the common humanity that we share, and that was so exemplified by the UN workers who lost their lives trying to help the people of Afghanistan,” he added.

Saudi acquitted of maid torture

MADINAH: A court in Madinah acquitted on Saturday a Saudi woman who was sentenced in January to three years in prison for severely torturing her Indonesian housemaid. The sitting judge said there was no evidence that the 53-year-old woman tortured her maid, Sumiati Binti Salan Mustapa, 23, while her lawyer said he would seek damages for his client.

                          SUMIATI BEFORE TORTURE AND AFTER
The court suspected the truth of the accusations made by the maid because she refused to take her oath in court, the lawyer representing the defendant, Ahmad Al-Rashid, told Arab News by telephone.

However, Sumiati’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict as there was convincing evidence to prove that the maid is telling the truth.

During the hearing, the Saudi woman “denied everything, saying that the maid had beaten herself,” an Indonesian consulate official said in an earlier statement.

However, when the judge was shown the photos of the injuries, he reportedly admitted them as conclusive evidence proving that the Indonesian woman was tortured by her employer.
Didi Wahyudi, an Indonesian official responsible for citizens' protection at the Indonesian Consulate, confirmed that the employer was released because the maid allegedly failed to produce concrete evidence during trial. In January, a court in Madinah handed down a three-year jail term to the woman employer for stabbing, beating and burning the 23-year-old maid.

At that time, Sumiati's case was taken up by Indonesian leaders, who sought justice for her and called on the Kingdom to ensure more protection for domestic helpers.

In related news, two Saudi women have been arrested on charges of brutally torturing and killing an Indonesian housemaid in Makkah, while another Indonesian woman was found hanged in the bathroom of her employer in Madinah last week.

In the first case, Darwasih Udin, 37, was taken to the Makkah-based King Faisal Hospital, where she was declared dead.

"The maid, who was taken to the Makkah hospital last Tuesday, died because of severe head injuries," said the Indonesian Consulate's Wahyudi.

In the case of the Madinah maid, her identity and the cause of death could not be ascertained and police are treating it as a case of suicide

India defies history to win its first World Cup in 28 years


India world cup
Members of India's team celebrate their World Cup final win over Sri Lanka in Mumbai. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images
INDIA has won the World Cup for the first time since 1983 with a hard-fought, six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Mumbai.
Gautam Gambhir made 97 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 91 off 79 balls as India broke its World Cup cricket home ground hex.
Sri Lanka, which won the toss and elected to bat in the day-night final, rode on Mahela Jayawardene's 103 not out off 88 balls to pile up 274-6 in their 50 overs.
India, cheered by a sell-out crowd of 33,000 at the Wankhede stadium, surpassed the challenging target with 10 balls to spare.
The win bore little resemblance to the fairytale finish the Mumbai crowd had been hoping for; one in which Sachin Tendulkar saw out his final World Cup by hitting his hundredth century before his home town crowd.
Sri Lanka's veteran star spinner Muttiah Muralitharan - clearly battling injuries - also failed to fire in his final game before retirement.
Instead it was about two great South Asian teams giving fans a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat one day final and a deserved triumph for a cricketing nation which felt its time had come.
“(Tendulkar) has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years so it's time we carried him on our shoulders,” said Virat Kohli after a jubilant victory lap of the stadium, in which the team bore the diminutive star on their shoulders.
“To each and every Indian, who is in India or even abroad, this cup belongs to you guys,” added spin bowler Harbhajan Singh.
The finale gave Tendulkar, the world's most successful Test and one-day batsman, his first World Cup title in six appearances since 1992.
“I couldn't have asked for more,” said Tendulkar, who again missed out on scoring a landmark 100th international century.
“Winning the World Cup is the ultimate. It is the proudest moment of my life. It shows it is never too late. I thank my teammates who were fabulous. I could not really hold back my tears.”
A visibly relieved Dhoni, who was named man of the match, attributed India's first win on home soil to many months of preparation and a singular team goal in the face of intense expectation.
“Every time you turn on the TV you hear we're expected to win,” he said.
“Nowadays we get so much pressure that, if you ask some of the players, they're not eating well because of anxiety.
“We felt it through the tournament but I think everybody coped really well with the pressure and each individual stepped up to the occasion.”
It was only the third time in 10 World Cup finals that a side batting second had chased down the victory target.
With their victory, Dhoni's men emulated Kapil Dev's compatriots who won the 1983 World Cup by beating the West Indies in the final at Lord's in London.
Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara was typically gracious in defeat, congratulating India and thanking the home town crowd.
“It's been a great tournament but the way India played today they really deserved the tag of favourites,” he said.
“I think both India and Sri Lanka should be very proud of the cricket they played today and I would like to thank everyone who helped us to come all this way.”
The early omens were not good for India after a controversial decision by match referee Jeff Crowe to re-toss the coin amid confusion over visiting captain Kumar Sangakkara's call gave Sri Lanka the chance to bat first.
They took it, hoping to make the most of the flat hard pitch at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.
India's bowlers came out fighting against a slow-to-fire Sri Lankan batting side, only to lose the momentum in a barnstorming final overs power play by the visitors who set a formidable 275-run target.
Zaheer Khan bowled three maidens in the first five overs before capturing a valuable early wicket in Upal Tharanga, who broke his bat with his first run and added one more to his total before he was caught by Virender Sehwag in the seventh.
Harbhajan claimed the second of Sri Lanka's critical top four batsmen 10 overs later with a leg-side delivery that flicked off Tillakaratne Dilshan's glove and hit the stumps.
It was Mahela Jayawardene who kept the Sri Lankans on track with two steady partnerships, adding 62-runs with captain Sangakkara and another 66 with surprise mid-order inclusion Nuwan Kulasekara.
The 33-year-old steered Sri Lanka through a run wonderland in the final overs, reaching his century with two successive boundaries off Zaheer Khan and ending the innings with a six.
The visitors' spectacular first innings closure spooked India, which entered the match as favourites but went into bat as marginal underdogs.
No host nation had previously won the World Cup, and by only the second ball India's chances of reversing that trend were looking grim when Sehwag was ruled lbw on the first ball he faced.
The wicket silenced the Wankhede Stadium but the real blow was just five overs away.
To the despair of the crowd, Tendulkar was caught for 18 after he was lured by Lasith Malinga into fishing at ball outside off stump, sending it into the waiting gloves of wicketkeeper Sangakkara.
At 2 for 31 India, were in serious trouble, but a determined Kohli and Gambhir brought them back into the game, adding a combined 83 runs before Tillakaratne Dilshan took a one-handed catch off his own ball to dismiss Kohli for 35.
It was Thisara Perera who finally broke the dogged partnership of Gambhir and captain MS Dhoni, who kept India up with Sri Lanka's run rate until Gambhir was clean bowled on 97, leaving India at 4 for 223.
India showed true grit under pressure, with Dhoni hitting two consecutive boundaries in the 48th over to bring India within 7 runs of victory before sealing his team's victory with a triumphant six over long on.
Yuvraj Singh, who was named the man of the tournament, partnered his skipper till the end with 21 not out.
For both co-hosts, the World Cup final held special significance.
It was the first major sporting event to be held in India's exuberant entertainment capital since the deadly November 2008 terror attacks on the city.
For the Sri Lankans it was their first World Cup since the Rajapaksa government ended the country's bloody three-decade civil war and vowed to unite the nation.
“It would mean everything to win it,” Sri Lankan captain Sangakkara said before the game.
In the end only one team could do so.
It wasn't a fairytale finish but for Mumbai and a nation still licking its wounds, it was more than enough.