Thursday, December 18, 2014

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7 Ways Honey Naturally FIXES Your Life

While September is National Honey Month, it has so many uses, you may want to devote an entire year, or even a lifetime to this bee-made product. Americans are said to consume 1.5 pounds of honey per person each year, and there are more than 300 types in the U.S. available alone. But, unfortunately, most people use the processed stuff which does more harm than good. In order to reap honey’s many benefits, it’s best to choose a local source in its raw form. Research has found that the majority of supermarket and drugstore jars, contain no pollen whatsoever, which means that they were so highly processed and filtered, that the honey really isn’t actually honey. When you look for your next jar, you’ll want to be sure that it’s the real thing.

The chances of getting real honey that contains pollen is greater by purchasing certified organic honey, though buying real, local honey is the best way to reap its benefits and to protect the health of your family.

Some local producers process their own, so that’s a good way to know that you’re getting a genuine product. Not only is it worth the little extra you’ll pay just for the peace of mind knowing that it’s actually honey and doesn’t contain artificial junk or has been contaminated, you’ll enjoy the greatest amount of medicinal properties with honey that’s loaded with pollen and contains valuable enzymes along with antioxidants.

Once you’ve got the real McCoy, here are seven surprising uses it.
Cleaning wounds. Honey offers natural antimicrobial properties – that’s why it lasts so long. So long, in fact, that it’s even been found unspoiled in ancient tombs in Egypt. You can dab it onto a minor burn or cut, lightly covering the wound like an antibiotic ointment. If you think that sounds far-fetched, consider that scientists are actually using honey as a potential future source of antibacterial proteins, according to research published in the FASEB Journal which explained how honey kills off bacteria.

Hair conditioner. Honey makes for a great natural conditioner. Just mix together one-half cup of honey with one-quarter cup olive oil. You can warm the mixture slightly if you’d like. Apply it to your hair and then allow it to soak in by wrapping your hair in a towel and then rinse, preferably with cool water.

Natural cough syrup. You can make a very effective, tasty natural cough syrup using the following ingredients: 1 quarter of filtered water, ¼ cup fresh ginger root, ¼ cup marshmallow root, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice and 1 cup honey. Pour the water into a saucepan and add the dried herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the volume is reduced by about half. Pour through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer to remove herbs. While the liquid is still warm, but not boiling, mix in the lemon juice and honey. Stir well and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Sweet lip balm. A natural lip balm made from honey not only tastes sweet, it helps to heal cracked lips. Mix one part of warm, recently-melted beeswax to three parts olive oil. Then add 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey to the mixture. Once the mixture has set, it’s ready to use. honey

A soothing bath. The same qualities that make honey good for your hair also makes it good for your skin. It’s a great way to keep your skin naturally soft and clean. Just add 2 tablespoons of honey to a cup of hot water and let it dissolve. Add 2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil, and then pour the mixture into your bath.

Relieve a hangover. Honey is acclaimed by science for its ability to help the body quickly break down the alcohol you consumed, and are probably regretting the next morning. Because of its antioxidant properties, honey is said to neutralize the toxins created by consuming alcohol. The fructose in honey is thought to be the essential compound that helps the body break down alcohol into harmless by-products.

Clearing your complexion. Honey diluted with water can help to clear your complexion by using it as a facewash. It’s also well-known for treating acne and other skin conditions. Stubborn acne can even be cleared just by dabbing on a small bit of honey. The best way to eliminate it is to dab honey onto a pimple and then place a band-aid over that. Allow it to sit for 30 minutes before removing. With so many uses, you might even want to store a gallon of raw honey in your family’s emergency supplies!
-The Alternative Daily

7 Common Nutrient Deficiencies: Know the Signs

7 Common Nutrient Deficiencies: Know the Signs

The hidden cause of common symptoms such as fatigue and muscle aches could be nutrient deficiencies. Are you at risk?

Medically reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
You might think nutrient deficiencies are a thing of the past, reserved for sailors trapped at sea. But even today, it’s possible to lack some of the essential nutrients your body needs to function optimally.
“Nutrient deficiencies alter bodily functions and processes at the most basic cellular level,” says Tricia L. Psota, PhD, RDN, president-elect of the DC Metro Area Dietetic Association. “These processes include water balance, enzyme function, nerve signaling, digestion, and metabolism. Resolving these deficiencies is important for optimal growth, development, and function.”
Nutrient deficiencies can also lead to other diseases. “For example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can cause osteopenia or osteoporosis, two conditions marked by brittle bones,” says Kate Patton, MEd, RD, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “And inadequate iron can cause anemia, which zaps your energy.”
Telltale symptoms are usually the first clue that you might be low in one or more important vitamins or minerals, says Patton. Here's how to recognize seven common nutrient deficiencies:
1. Calcium
Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones and controlling muscle and nerve function. Signs of severely low calcium include fatigue, muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, and a poor appetite, Patton says. Make sure you're getting enough with at least three servings of milk or yogurt a day, she says. Other good sources of calcium are cheese, calcium-fortified orange juice, and dark, leafy greens.
2. Vitamin D
This vitamin is also critical for bone health. Symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency can be vague — fatigue and muscle aches or weakness. “If it goes on long term, a vitamin D deficiency can lead to softening of the bones,” Psota says.
To get enough vitamin D, Patton suggests having three servings of fortified milk or yogurt daily eating fatty fish, such as salmon or tuna, twice a week; and spending some time outside in the sunshine every day.
3. Potassium
Potassium helps the kidneys, heart, and other organs work properly. You could become low in potassium in the short term because of diarrhea or vomiting, excessive sweating, or antibiotics, or because of chronic conditions such as eating disorders and kidney disease, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Symptoms of a deficiency include weight loss, muscle weakness, constipation, and in severe cases, an abnormal heart rhythm.
For natural potassium sources, Psota recommends bananas, whole grains, milk, vegetables, beans, and peas.
4. Iron
Iron helps your body make red blood cells. When iron levels get too low, your body can’t effectively carry oxygen. The resulting anemia can cause fatigue. You might also notice pale skin and dull, thin, sparse hair, Patton says. To boost iron levels, she recommends eating iron-fortified cereal, beef, oysters, beans (especially white beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans), lentils, and spinach.
5. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 aids the production of DNA and helps make neurotransmitters in the brain, says Rebecca Solomon, RD, director of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. With an increasing number of vegans and people who've had weight loss surgery, vitamin B12 deficiency is becoming more common, according to Harvard Health Publications. The organization says symptoms of severe B12 deficiency include numbness in the legs, hands, or feet; problems with walking and balance; anemia; fatigue; weakness; a swollen, inflamed tongue; memory loss; paranoia; and hallucinations.
You can get vitamin B12 from animal sources. “Boost your levels of B12 by eating more fish, chicken, milk, and yogurt,” Patton says. If you’re vegan, opt for vegan foods fortified with B12, such as non-dairy milk, meat substitutes, and breakfast cereals.
6. Folate
Folate, or folic acid, is a particularly important vitamin for women of childbearing age, which is why prenatal vitamins contain such a hefty dose. A folate deficiency can cause a decrease in the total number of cells and large red blood cells as well as neural tube defects in an unborn child, Psota says. Symptoms of a folate deficiency include fatigue, gray hair, mouth ulcers, poor growth, and a swollen tongue.
The Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recommends that women who could become pregnant take a folic acid supplement daily. To get folate from food, go for fortified cereals, beans, lentils, leafy greens, and oranges, Psota says.
7. Magnesium
Magnesium helps support bone health and assists in energy production. Although deficiency is fairly uncommon in otherwise healthy people, it can affect those who take certain medications, have certain health conditions, or consume too much alcohol, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements.
Magnesium deficiency can cause loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. In more severe cases, it can lead to numbness, muscle cramps, seizures, abnormal heart rhythms, personality changes, or low potassium or calcium levels.
To help your levels return to normal, eat more magnesium-rich foods, such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, spinach, black beans, and edamame, Patton says.
From Nutrient Deficiency to Healthy Eating
If you suspect you have a nutrient deficiency, talk to your doctor. “Blood tests can help determine if you are deficient,” Patton says. And if you are, your doctor may refer you to a registered dietitian or recommend supplements.
The best way to avoid or remedy nutrient deficiencies is to make sure you are eating a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, Patton adds. “I encourage food first, but if you are at an increased risk of a nutrient deficiency, you may benefit from taking a multivitamin,” she says. And those at risk include vegans and those who are lactose-intolerant.

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Happy 5th Birthday One Step Away!

Happy 5th Birthday One Step Away!
As we celebrate 5 years today, we asked our vendors:
What does One Step Away mean to you....? 
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Ram: "Self-Empowerment."
Jayden: "The Chance to Make a Change in my Life."
Juanita: "Be the Change You Want to See!"
Jocelyn: 
"One Step Away made a difference in my life because One Step Away made me realize that anybody can be one step away from being homeless. I love working for One Step Away because we are changing people's lives each and every day and also helping their needs. 
Shoutout to One Step Away!"
Daniel: "
One Step Away keeps me from begging in the street and employs me when no one else will give me a chance."


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