Why You Should Take Nutritional Supplements

Few things have been as controversial as nutritional supplements have been recently. Depending on who you listen to, they are either the answer to any problem you have or they are the devil incarnate. The truth about nutritional supplements, though, is really somewhere in between.

Nutritional supplements are more widely used now than in other time in history. This is because many people have turned to nutritional supplements in order to fill the gaps in what they know to be unhealthy diets that don’t meet the minimum daily requirements for many, many necessary vitamins and minerals. Others have turned to nutritional supplements in order to enhance everything from their workout regimes to their memory and mental functions.

Considering the controversy over whether it’s safe to take nutritional supplements or not, you probably wonder just what you can really expect from taking nutritional supplements. Do they have any real benefit?

The fact is that taking nutritional supplements in their recommended dosages is extremely helpful for everyone from infants to elderly people. The methods used to grow and process our foods have changed drastically in the last 100 years. In many cases, this means that the food itself is deficient in many essential, basic vitamins and minerals.

Add that to the fact that people are so time-starved today that many of us practically live on meals out of paper bags makes taking nutritional supplements almost mandatory. Taking vitamins and other nutritional supplements is a good way to be certain you get all the proper vitamins and minerals you need daily.

However, nutritional supplements should never be used as a substitute for a good diet. Eating at least three (and many experts recommend five) well-balanced meals and two well-balanced snacks per day is still the best way to be sure you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay fit and healthy. Adding nutritional supplements to good eating habits simply goes the extra mile to see that you’re getting all the nutrients that your body needs each day.

There are many high-quality multi-vitamins available at your local drugstores, as well as through many online sources. The key thing to remember when you decide to take (and you should!) nutritional supplements of any kind is to take them only as directed. Those directions are put on the bottles and packages for a reason–to ensure the vitamins and other herbal supplements are taken correctly.

This is vital for any nutritional supplement you take to be both as safe and effective as it should be. Too high doses of anything can cause side effects you aren’t expecting and don’t want. When you take more of any vitamin or nutritional supplement than the manufacturer recommends you take daily, then you run the risk of taking more than your body can effectively and safely process in a twenty-four hour period of time. Any risk of taking too much or of unwanted side effects is slight, though, for nutritional supplements when they’re taken as directed. Even slightly higher dosages, in most cases, will have few side effects because your kidneys will flush them from your system, which keeps your body from absorbing too much of any one vitamin or mineral. Still, to be totally safe, take nutritional supplements exactly as instructed.

If you’re still uncertain as to whether you should take a nutritional supplement each day, ask for your doctor’s advice. This is particularly true if you’re on any prescribed medications. It is possible for some supplements to decrease the efficiency of some prescribed medicines and to interact with them, causing unwanted side effects. However, despite many news headlines you may have read, this is rare, especially when nutritional supplements are taken as directed.

Taken properly, nutritional supplements are an excellent way to ensure your body has all it needs to be healthy. Just be sure to use them to supplement, not substitute for, a good healthy diet.

Copyright 2005 Wesley Atkins

Classroom Ceramic Art Education Ideas

Here are some great ceramic art education ideas which you can modify or use as-is to spark your students’ enthusiasm and creativity. Animal pinch pots can be fashioned from real life or students’ imaginations. Have the students draw animals by observation, or bring a photo of their pet to draw. The drawings should be made as realistically as possible, with emphasis on details and the animals’ musculature. Then have them lay pieces of tracing paper over their drawings, and cross-section it the same way it will be built, with a view towards which body parts should be fashioned from pinch pots, slabs, coils, etc.Putting four clay balls together in a cross and then smoothing them into a face will form an anchor-shaped mouth and nose for animals like dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals which have a line beneath the nose which curves out into the mouth. You can teach the students to build eyelids from coils. Pinch pots can be shaped by hand to push out areas where shoulders and thighs are and coils can be smoothed into pinch pots to build up muscle areas or details. Don’t forget to show the students how to add air vents to their sculptures so that they don’t explode inside the kiln (paper towel balls can be used as stuffing and removed through the air vents before firing). Legs can be formed of clay wrapped around wires. Texturing can be achieved with combs and hairbrushes.Modeling food items is another enjoyable and instructive classroom ceramics project for middle and upper school students. The models don’t have to be realistic – in fact it can be more fun to make them in a pop art or cartoon style. You can show the students pop art paintings by Claes Oldenburg or Wayne Thiebaud to give them the idea. Gourmet magazine photos can be used as models and the students should make sketches to develop an overall plan. Food items can be modeled from pinch pots for rounded objects, or built up from rolled-out slabs of clay for flat or square ones. Make sure the students know that the models should be hollow to avoid blow-ups in the kiln. For example, balls of ice cream can be hollowed out from the bottom, or formed from pinch pots with a straw hole where they are fused to the plate or bowl.Underglazing is done first and fired then shiny glazes are painted on over the fired underglaze. The students should be instructed in not painting shiny glazes on top of unfired underglazes, and not applying underglazes over shiny glazes. They should be reminded that underglazes must be fired in ceramic kilns separately and before applying shiny or matte glazes. Some surfaces, such as pie crusts and brownies, can just be fired with a matte underglaze. Other items such as a brown fudge sauce or cherry-red fluxing require an underglaze first and then a specialty glaze to make whipped cream. It is also possible to apply glossy glaze over an unfired underglaze and then just fire once, which produces interesting effects and cuts down on the number of firings necessary.

A Consulting Fundamental – Understanding the Client Environment

As a consultant, you are almost expected to perform miracles. Your clients expect the world and expect to get it right now. Also they expect to pay you as little as possible for the world. In a nutshell client expectations of the consultant are incredibly high.You are dropped into a foreign environment and are expected to “hit the ground running”. You need to be able to assess the environment that you find yourself in at almost “warp” speed. You need to be able to understand who the players are in this environment. You must determine who is who and what they do. You need to uncover what each player’s agenda is and how they perceive you as the interloper, messing around in their sandbox! What each person’s agenda is will help you determine who will help you and who will not.Many employees and executives will see you as a threat to either their authority, their mini fiefdoms that they have carefully built up over the years or even as a threat to their jobs within the corporation. Some will even try to get close to you and try feed you information that they may believe will prove useful to furthering their agendas. Others will throw up roadblocks in an attempt to misdirect you from your task at hand.Over and above this, as the consultant, you will often be caught in the middle of the internal politics of the organization. This is another unenviable position to be placed in.At all times, the consultant must keep his or her focus on the task at hand. What were you hired to do? Stick to that and that alone. The rest of the background noise may or may not help you get the task done, but should not become the focus of you being called in by the client. Utilize the resources available to you within the environment to get your job done, but do not allow the resources within the environment to use you to further their own ends.