Hair Loss in Squirrels

Squirrels lose hair for a variety of reasons. Many people assume that when they see a squirrel missing patches of hair, that it has contracted Mange. Mange in squirrels is caused by a tiny mite called Notoedres douglasi. They’re similar to mites that cause scabies in humans in that they cause intense itching, but there’s no report of squirrel mange ever being transmitted to humans! Healthy squirrels can usually recover from an infestation of mange, but it can take a considerable amount of time, and a lack of hair covering can leave squirrels at the mercy of the weather especially in winter!

Another cause of hair loss in Squirrels is a fungal infection called dermatophytoses. The squirrel doesn’t actually lose its hair, it’s just that the fungus causes it to break off at the skin. Most fungus like warm, moist environment to grow, therefore dermatophytoses is seen in warm moist climates, and during unusually wet periods. A squirrel can recover from this fungal hair loss as long as it’s immune system is in good shape. A sick or immune compromised Squirrel may not be so lucky!

Dietary insufficiency, or poor diet, is another cause of hair loss in Squirrels. A severe lack of Calcium will cause poor hair growth and/or cause the hair to fall out. This is especially true in Squirrels that are kept in captivity! Special attention need to be paid to the diet as well as daily exposure to natural light or sunlight.

Following closely on poor diet is the condition called Metabolic Bone Disease. Hair loss and loss of Calcium from bones are the characteristics of severe Calcium deficiency. Squirrels rapidly develop a condition called Rickets, and will lose the use of their rear legs. This causes them to shuffle when they try to walk and their bones become quite brittle and prone to breakage. Left untreated, Metabolic bone disease will advance to permanent nerve and bone damage and heart failure. Poor diet and metabolic bone disease is treatable as long as it is caught in the early stages. Foods rich in Calcium and Calcium supplementation are a must in all captive Squirrels!

The last potential cause of hair loss, especially in Gray or Fox Squirrels, is a hereditary defect. There are some Squirrels born missing the hair growing chromosome, just as there are some born missing the pigmentation chromosome, (Albino Squirrels,) These hairless Squirrels never develop hair. It’s rare for them to survive in the colder climates, and difficult at best to survive even in warm climates due to the fact that they are not recognized by their kind and are often rejected and even attacked or killed.

All dietary causes of hair loss in Squirrels are very easily treated through feeding a proper diet and insuring that there is sufficient quantities of Calcium and essential vitamins in their diet. Through working with Squirrels and researching natural products, I’ve been able to improve on some tried and true recipes for squirrel food supplements. One major improvement that I found was the addition of Organic Raw Coconut Oil.

Unprocessed Coconut Oil is rich in a substance called Lauric Acid which is a natural anti bacterial, anti fungal and anti viral substance. You can read about the effect of this amazing substance on Candida Albicans, a common yeast type organism at: http://www.candida-albicans-cure.com/coconut-oil.html #R2. Since I’ve added Raw Coconut Oil to my Squirrel Supplements, my Squirrels have grown out hair that feels as soft as mink!

Hair loss in Squirrels can be a problem! But, I’ve found that improving the diet of affected Squirrels, and adding the right natural products to what they eat, goes a long way toward solving most of the problems!

Choose wisely when it comes to your health – Red Deer Advocate

Making healthy food choices is a sensible thing to do at all ages. As our body undergoes changes with age, its nutritional requirement changes accordingly. Food being our main source of nutrients, we have to make appropriate dietary changes to ensure that our body is getting all the nutrients in the required amounts to avoid malnutrition-related consequences.

34% of older Canadians are found to be at risk of malnutrition. Women have a higher risk of malnutrition compared to men. Among women, those aged 75 years and older, and those living alone, have higher risk than their younger counterparts, and those who live with others. Older adults having depression – diagnosed or undiagnosed – have 62% risk of being malnourished.

Malnutrition in older adults can be due to causes related to normal aging, mental and physical health conditions and medications for the same, and socio-economic factors including the living environment.

Here are 10 healthy eating tips specific for older adults from the National Institute of Aging and Dietitians of Canada.

Drink plenty of fluids, preferably water, and stay hydrated. With age, our sense of thirst can diminish. Drinking water, low fat or fat-free milk, and 100% juice keeps you hydrated. Coffee, tea, and juice with added sugars and salt can be dehydrating.

Try to eat with a friend or a family member more often, to make meals more enjoyable. If you crave a change, visit a nearby senior centre or place of worship to enjoy your lunch at subsidized rate with others. If you live alone, spruce up your dining area with a table cloth, flowers and enjoy your favourite music as you eat.

Plan healthy meals-Get information on what to eat, how much to eat, and which foods to choose from Canada food guide, or Dietitians Canada website, or get a referral to consult a dietitian through your primary care network. Plan for three meals and a couple of healthy snacks each day.

Choose your plate and know your portions- Choose foods from all 4 groups- whole grains, protein, fruits and vegetables, and oils and fats. 1/2 of your plate should be covered by fruits and vegetables, 1/4 by brown rice, bread or whole-grain pasta, and the remaining 1/4 by protein-rich foods such as diary, lean meat, egg, fish, tofu, or beans.

Include a variety of different colored vegetables to get health-promoting nutrients. Enjoy one dark green and one orange coloured vegetable everyday. If you have difficulty purchasing fresh vegetables and fruits, get frozen ones instead. If you crave sweets, choose a fruit over a cookie/cake/ice-cream.

If you are unable to chew vegetables, fruits, and meat, try cooked or canned foods such as unsweetened fruit, low-sodium soups and tuna.

Flavour food with herbs and spices. With age, our ability to taste natural food flavours decreases and even favourite foods might start tasting different. Add spices and herbs, and lemon juice to your food to increase their flavor.

Keep food safe and fresh to prevent food-related illnesses. Avoid unpasteurized dairy, raw, and undercooked eggs, fish, meat and poultry. Do not keep leftover food in the fridge for more than 2 days. Thaw frozen food in the fridge rather than on countertop.

Read the nutrition label on foods to ensure that you are making the right choices when buying grocery. Pay attention to the calories, sodium, trans- fats and sugars. Most canned and processed foods contain excess sodium and hidden sugar.

Include a small amount (30-45 mL or 2-3 tbsp) of unsaturated fats, such as canola oil, olive oil, salad dressing, non-hydrogenated margarine and mayonnaise. Limit butter, hard margarine, lard and shortening, which are higher in saturated fat and/or trans-fats.

Choose nutrient dense foods over calorie-dense foods. These provide many nutrients without adding calories. For example, a slice of 100% whole-wheat bread contains 138 calories, where as a medium croissant contains 231 calories.

Banana, chicken, peanuts and eggs are nutrient-dense, while cookies, candy, ice-cream etc. are calorie-dense.

The Canada food guide and Dietitians Canada website ( https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Seniors.aspx ) are excellent sources for more information on how to make smart food choices. If you would like to know how well you are currently doing with daily food choices, use the eating habits questionnaire on Nutri-eSCREEN http://www.nutritionscreen.ca/?promo=escreen. As the old saying goes, you are what you eat.

Padmaja Genesh, who holds a bachelor degree in medicine and surgery as well as a bachelor degree in Gerontology, has spent several years teaching and working with health care agencies. A past resident of Red Deer, and a past board member of Red Deer Golden Circle, she is now a Learning Specialist at the Alzheimer Society of Calgary. Please send your comments to [email protected]

What Is the Paleo Diet All About?

So just what is the Paleo Diet and what exactly is it all about?

Thanks to the obscene levels of obesity and rife levels of heart disease and diabetes, there has never been a greater focus on overall society to become fit, slimmer and more healthy. Dieting and nutritional lifestyle choices have become endless and it would be fair to say that dieting in one way or another is now a way of life for the majority of people. And there are so, so many diets and programs available to us these days. They cover every topic known to man on the right foods to eat and avoid and in what combination but really, upon searching deeper, we will find that the answers we seek go back to our caveman ancestors.

With this endless choice and all the varying options and rules involved in each particular diet, it pays to really understand what each diet entails before you choose one and get started. It must be right for you and give you everything you need or are looking for without causing any additional problems or side effects.

Upon investigation you will see that many popular diets restrict carbohydrates or focus on fruit and vegetables. Other diets focus on only eating a certain food group or even raw foods only. Several also restrict or discourage large amounts of protein and meats. The Paleo Diet is quite unique however because the whole idea comes from simulating the natural aspects of the type of diet enjoyed by the very first humans – the caveman! What Is The Paleo Diet?

What is the Paleo Diet and where does it come from?

Known commonly as The Stone Age, Paleo comes from the Paleolithic period of history and the Paleo diet eating plan is often known as the “Hunter Gatherer Diet.” It takes its name from the fact that all the food contained in this diet were either able to be hunted or gathered. Meats and Seafood come under the hunted category meanwhile nuts, vegetables and fruits for example are categorized under gathered.

Basically, this diet stems from the fact that early humans who had no access to or knowledge of animal husbandry and agriculture, had a diet that you either hunted or gathered for yourself. The Paleo Diet applies this slant and line of thinking to modern-day foods reducing and eliminating processed and man-made foods. This does not mean you are expected to hunt and gather for yourself! Just only that the nutrition choices we make are as natural and unaltered as possible.

The base foundation of the Paleo eating plan is that humans are genetically suited to eat the foods that our ancestors consumed. Therefore, before the introduction of agriculture, nutrition and food was so much different than that of today so in short, the Paleo diet imitates the foods that every single human on earth consumed and had available at that particular time.

Not only is the Paleo eating plan full of quality, natural, high nutritional value foods such as fruits and vegetables along with seafood and lean meats but it is perhaps known better for the foods, drinks and ingredients that are not consumed by those on the Paleo Diet. As the agriculture revolution provided us with foods our early ancestors never had such as dairy products, salt, sugar and even grains, they are not allowed to be consumed. Not only do some of these ingredients and food stuffs cause digestive problems but these products have been shown through endless research that they can lead to an increase in weight and a higher chance of developing health problems such as diabetes.

Because of its high protein content the Paleo nutritional lifestyle has a large and steadily growing athlete following. Thanks to the basic foods in the Paleo diet such as chicken, fish, lean meats, nuts, fruits and vegetables it is an athlete’s dream providing energy, muscle development and fiber along with the reduction of all weight gaining and physique robbing junk food and unhelpful ingredients.

Most vegetables are great for the Paleo lifestyle however root vegetables will give you the biggest bang for your buck health wise. One of the most basic reasons why the Paleo diet lifestyle is healthy for you is simply because you practically reduce all additives and artificial preservatives, many of which have been proven to be harmful to your health.

So that’s the basic premise which hopefully answers your question, What is the Paleo diet eating plan all about yet you may still be questioning why you would make the significant switch to the Paleo Diet.

There are many health benefits associated with this diet and not the least of them is potential relief for allergy sufferers thanks to the fact that the Paleo is naturally allergen free. Two of the biggest causes of common allergies, gluten and casein, are commonly found in manufactured foods. Because the overwhelming majority of foods available on the Paleo diet do not contain either gluten or casein, allergy sufferers can rejoice!

But don’t forget about the weight loss potential for those on the Paleo. Apart from the protein aspect which is great for weight loss alone, the Paleo diet is naturally low in carbohydrates and has a low caloric count. It is also naturally high in fiber which is a crucial factor when it comes to over eating and weight loss. The low carbohydrates combined with the high amounts of natural fiber while on this diet ensures that the risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes and other weight related illnesses and ailments is decreased.

Last but not least, this diet has none of the other big risks when it comes to heart disease and cancer like additives, sugar, salt, saturated fats and of course the big one getting a heap of exposure in recent years, hydrogenated oils or trans fats as they are commonly known.

At first glance, the Paleo Diet lifestyle can seem like a hard choice to make with limited food options however if you look closer and explore a little deeper, those fears will be addressed and upon making some small worthy sacrifices you will be bettering your chance of actually living a healthier and happier, disease free life! And just remember that as close as you can get to this lifestyle choice, the benefits will start to appear.

Like as in exercise, 5 sit-ups is better than zero and going for a 20 minute walk is better than sitting on the couch! Same thing goes for the Paleo! Although following the diet 100% is ideal, your body will still start to thank you for every single step you take in living the ideals of the Paleo Diet!

Grandmother credits raw food diet with keeping her youthful and energetic

A grandmother-of-four credits her raw food lifestyle for keeping her young and means she no longer fears getting older after 11 years of following the diet.

Raw food chef, Heather Hill, 56, from Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, has always had a lifelong passion for all things health and fitness and trained to be a nurse in the eighties to pursue this and help others stay healthy. 

But when Heather met her husband, Ken, after graduating, they were married four months later and started their family.

Wow! 56-year-old Heather Hill from Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, credits her raw food diet with keeping her feeling youthful and energetic

Wow! 56-year-old Heather Hill from Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, credits her raw food diet with keeping her feeling youthful and energetic 

Healthy: The mother-of-three, who also has four grandchildren, has always had a passion for health and fitness, and trained to become a nurse in the 80s before getting married

Healthy: The mother-of-three, who also has four grandchildren, has always had a passion for health and fitness, and trained to become a nurse in the 80s before getting married 

Foodie: Heather became a vegetarian in 2008 and then switched to a raw food diet in 2016, which involves only eating raw food that isn't heated or processed above 46-degrees

Foodie: Heather became a vegetarian in 2008 and then switched to a raw food diet in 2016, which involves only eating raw food that isn't heated or processed above 46-degrees

Foodie: Heather became a vegetarian in 2008 and then switched to a raw food diet in 2016, which involves only eating raw food that isn’t heated or processed above 46-degrees

Positive: Since going raw, Heather, as seen with husband Ken, said she feels more energetic, has fewer aches and pains and feels happier in herself in general

Positive: Since going raw, Heather, as seen with husband Ken, said she feels more energetic, has fewer aches and pains and feels happier in herself in general 

Heather is a mom to three grown up daughters and whilst her children were young found she had the spare time to research natural health for increasing quality of life and longevity.

When she was 30, Heather became a vegetarian in 2008 and then switched to a raw food diet in 2016.

This involves only eating raw food that isn’t heated or processed above 46-degrees which means the natural enzymes and nutrients aren’t destroyed and the body can break the food down more easily.

Energetic: Heather's diet also gives her a lot of energy to exercise every day, as she regularly does yoga, Pilates, hiking, swimming and cycling

Energetic: Heather’s diet also gives her a lot of energy to exercise every day, as she regularly does yoga, Pilates, hiking, swimming and cycling 

Since going raw, Heather has more energy, fewer aches and pains, feels happier within herself and no longer fears getting older. 

Heather’s healthy regime also enables her to have the energy to exercise every day with yoga, Pilates, hiking, swimming and cycling among her favorites.

One of the biggest misconceptions that people have of the raw food diet is that it involves only eating salads but this is something that Heather is keen to disprove as she enjoys burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, wraps, quiches and chilli, which she shares on Instagram.

‘I learnt about the power of enzymes back in the mid-nineties when I read a booklet called Don’t Dine without Enzymes. Years later my youngest daughter picked up David Wolfe’s book Eating for Beauty.

‘This is when it really came together and made so much sense. We increased the amount of raw living foods at that point, around 12 years ago,’ said Heather.

‘I became raw in 2008. I was at that time a raw vegetarian and not raw vegan. I consumed raw milk, cheese, Kefir and yogurt until my journey led me towards raw veganism is 2016. I have never looked back.

‘The raw food diet means, eating raw food not heated and processed above 46C (115F). This keeps the enzymes and other nutrients intact and makes it much easier for the body to use.

Health-conscious: Pictured with her daughters, Heather is keen to prove people wrong who think eating a raw diet means they can only eat salads

Health-conscious: Pictured with her daughters, Heather is keen to prove people wrong who think eating a raw diet means they can only eat salads 

Informative: Heather said eating raw foods that haven't been heated above 46 degrees keeps the enzymes and other nutrients intact, making it much easier for the body to use

Informative: Heather said eating raw foods that haven’t been heated above 46 degrees keeps the enzymes and other nutrients intact, making it much easier for the body to use

Knowledgeable: Heather said she thinks there are certain misconceptions surrounding raw diets - one of which is that people on such diets only eat salads

Knowledgeable: Heather said she thinks there are certain misconceptions surrounding raw diets – one of which is that people on such diets only eat salads

Nutritious! The grandmother said there are an abundance of delicious foods that she eats on her raw diet, including burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, quiche and chili

Nutritious! The grandmother said there are an abundance of delicious foods that she eats on her raw diet, including burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, quiche and chili

Beneficial: Heather said that since adapting the raw diet, she has more energy and fewer aches and pains throughout her body

Beneficial: Heather said that since adapting the raw diet, she has more energy and fewer aches and pains throughout her body

Beneficial: Heather said that since adapting the raw diet, she has more energy and fewer aches and pains throughout her body

‘When we heat our food above this temperature it kills the food enzymes and our body now needs to use its own precious enzymes to breakdown nutrients to be used for growth, repair other body functions.

‘It just made sense to me. Knowing each time I ate cooked food I used my own enzymes and energy to break it down. We do not have an endless supply of these little powerhouses, so by eating raw, it keeps the food intact which means they can be used for other important jobs in the body,’ she said. 

Glowing: The mother-of-three also said her weight is stabilized and her skin is clearer

Glowing: The mother-of-three also said her weight is stabilized and her skin is clearer 

Heather said she thinks there are certain misconceptions surrounding raw diets – one of which is that people on such diets only eat salads.   

Explaining that this isn’t the case, she said: ‘Truth is, there are so many things that can be enjoyed on a raw food diet. Burgers, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, quiche and chili just to name a few. And they are so flavorful.

‘I’d say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. You can only know for sure once you have walked the walk and felt the difference,’ she added.

Heather said that since adapting the raw diet, she has more energy and fewer aches and pains throughout her body.

She also said her weight is stabilized, and that her skin is clearer. 

‘For the most part, I have a wonderful sense of well-being and joy,’ she added. 

‘I feel younger, more energetic and stronger. I no longer experience unstable sugar issues either.’

At first, Heather found it difficult to manage her comfort food cravings but found raw food alternatives. Her favorite dish to prepare now is raw food pizza.

She said: ‘Some of the hardest things about moving over to this lifestyle were the cravings for comfort foods. Adopting a few raw food favorites has really helped with this.’

Favorites: Pictured with her children and grandchildren, Heather said her favorite dish to prepare now is raw food pizza

Favorites: Pictured with her children and grandchildren, Heather said her favorite dish to prepare now is raw food pizza

Balance: Despite being strict in terms of sticking to the diet, the 56-year-old said that every now and then she will allow herself an exception if she has a bad craving

Balance: Despite being strict in terms of sticking to the diet, the 56-year-old said that every now and then she will allow herself an exception if she has a bad craving 

Diet: Heather will start her day with fresh fruit for breakfast and lunch with fruity snacks throughout the day to satisfy her hunger. For dinner, chili, quiche or salad are on the menu

Diet: Heather will start her day with fresh fruit for breakfast and lunch with fruity snacks throughout the day to satisfy her hunger. For dinner, chili, quiche or salad are on the menu

Diet: Heather will start her day with fresh fruit for breakfast and lunch with fruity snacks throughout the day to satisfy her hunger. For dinner, chili, quiche or salad are on the menu 

Positivity: Heather said the raw food diet has given her 'new life, energy and hope', and she added that a she no longer dreads or fears growing older

Positivity: Heather said the raw food diet has given her ‘new life, energy and hope’, and she added that a she no longer dreads or fears growing older 

And despite being determined to stick to the diet, Heather isn’t too hard on herself, as she said every now and then she will allow herself an exception if she has a bad craving. 

However, she said she goes ‘right back on the path’ afterwards.  

She explained: ‘I found that allowing for these exceptions not only had me keeping peace with myself but reminded me just how bad I felt eating that way.

Advice: The grandmother advises anyone wishing to embark on a raw food diet to start with one meal at a time

Advice: The grandmother advises anyone wishing to embark on a raw food diet to start with one meal at a time 

‘My favorite food to prepare is likely raw pizza. Each one can be different from the other depending on what you have available in the kitchen to use.

‘The look is appealing and it’s a family-pleaser. We often will make smaller pizzas and let the family top them with their own favorite toppings. I also absolutely love making desserts. These are colorful and incredibly delicious,’ she said.

Typically, Heather will start her day with fresh fruit for breakfast and lunch with fruity snacks throughout the day to satisfy her hunger, for dinner, Heather enjoys a raw food meal of chili, quiche and salad or sweet potato crackers with cashew cheese.

Sharing her words of advice to others, Heather said: ‘To me, the raw food diet has given me new life, energy and hope. Age no longer is something I dread or fear. 

‘I wish that for everyone. Aging should not hurt. I feel this lifestyle offers that hope,’ she said.

‘I would say to start with one meal at a time and add as you are ready. Fresh ripe fruit is one of the most nutritiously rich foods to easily add. Eating fruit on its own is best also as it does digest at a faster pace.

‘Preparing certain foods in advance is also a great idea. I keep prepared foods like pizza crusts, wrappers, quiche, onion bread, crackers and some sauces ready for use in my freezer. 

‘This saves loads of time and is so convenient,’ she added.  

WATCH LIVE: Factory fire at Newly Weds Foods near Wrightwood, Keeler on Chicago’s Northwest Side

CHICAGO (WLS) — Emergency crews are working to contain a massive fire at a factory on Chicago’s Northwest Side Tuesday evening.

RAW VIDEO: Crews battle massive factory fire

The blaze broke out at Newly Weds Foods, a baking and food manufacturing facility, in the 4100-block of W. Wrightwood in the Belmont Gardens neighborhood.

The fire was upgraded to a hazmat situation as the block-long building collapsed, the fire department said. Spokesperson Larry Langford said the fire started in a piece of machinery inside the building.

WATCH: Flames shoot through roof of factory

One firefighter suffered a minor injury in the fire and was taken to Illinois Advocate Masonic Hospital in good condition.

The fire department said that employees were able to safely leave the building as the fire was detected. All employees have been accounted for and no injuries were reported.

Milwaukee District-North trains are moving at restricted speeds through the area and will not stop at the Healy station, Metra said.

Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.

The 5 Best Survival Knives In The World

The Ultimate Survival Knife Shootout

The debate on which are the best survival knives are both ongoing and extremely heated. When searching for the best survival knives there are just so many choices out there that it’s mind-boggling. I have searched long and hard, read hundreds of reviews and tested survival knives over and over and have come up with my elite list of the best 5 survival knives on the planet. Why five? The truth is just as each knife is different, each person is different and what survival knife is the best for you may not be the best for someone else. By the end of this review you should have an idea on which survival knives suit you best.

The 3 Most Important Things To Look For In A Survival Knife

Before we look at the top 5 it’s important to see why I selected what I did. Survival Knives are not your standard chefs knife and must be made to withstand whatever you can throw at them without even the inkling of breaking or failing, lets face it, survival knives are made for handling a potential life and death situation. Here are the top 3 things all survival knives MUST have.

1. Fixed Blade – With recent technological improvements, folding knives have come a long way, but in the end they will NEVER be as strong or durable as a tried and true fixed blade knives. Fixed blade survival knives have a full tang that extends all the way down to the butt of the handle, and every one of my top 5 pics is a full tang, full fixed blade survival knife.

2. Top Notch Steel – This could very well be the most important thing to look for in a survival knife and is certainly one of the most debated topics when it comes to survival knives. While there are literally hundreds of types of steel out there, my top 5 pics are either stainless steel, carbon steel or a mix of the two which is my personal preference.

3. Thick Blade and/or Heat Treatment – Lets face it, survival knives aren’t made to slice tomatoes for your next catering party, these knives are meant to hack, slash, chop, skin and save your life! We need a knife that will not fail you when failure means death. This is why we look for at least a 1/8″ blade thickness combined with a reputable company that will give the knife a proper heat treatment for maximum strength.

The Top 5 Survival Knives In the World For 2012

Whoa, pretty big claim there right? Well, first let me give you a little disclaimer. I know some of you will read this and say, “No way, X/Y/Z makes a $500 knife that is way better!” The truth is you might be right, but I don’t know about you but I don’t like spending $500 on a knife. This list is the top 5 survival knives FOR THE MONEY! Each of these knives will give you the ultimate bang for your buck, and each of them will typically blow away any $500 survival knife. I should also preface this by saying that these survival knives are in no particular order and I have not been paid by any of the manufactures listed here to favor any of these survival knives, this is just a list from my personal use and experience with these survival knives. Enough talk, lets get to it!

1. KA-BAR 7″ Fighting/Utility Knife– You can’t search anywhere for quality survival knives without coming across KA-BAR. These knives are tried and true and have so much history and field experience that many won’t even consider going with another brand. KA-BAR uses a 1095 Cro-Van Steel which is a stainless/carbon mix that is extremely tough and very durable, and yet just soft enough to hold a razor sharp edge. There are many types of KA-BAR survival knives but the one I like most is the 7″ blade with the Kraton G Handle, they do make a leather handle but I found Kraton G to be much better for grip and MUCH more weather-proof. Also, make sure to buy it with Kydex sheath, Kydex beats the crap out of leather hands down, don’t worry about the few extra dollars, just get it! This knife can literally do it all and has been used by the USMC for years as their standard issue knife, and for good reason, this knife is simply amazing.

2. Becker BK2 Campanion Survival Knife– Ethan Becker broke the mold when he created this bad boy, with a blade thickness of 1/4″ this thing could withstand a nuclear attack! With a true full tang design where the handle is literally 2 pieces of Givory stuck around raw steel this honestly has to be the most rugged knife out of all my top 5. The Becker BK2 is tough as nails, I have seen videos of people putting hundreds and hundreds of pounds of weight on the knife without it so much as flinching, combine that with a beautiful drop point design and one of the best designed sheaths in the business and you have yourself a knife that will out cut and out handle most $400 survival knives at a fraction of the price! My only issue with these survival knives are that the blade might be a tad short for batoning wood, that said when I tested this knife I actually found it the easiest to baton with due to its super thick blade. Its bigger brother the Becker BK7 has a 7″ blade opposed to the BK2′s 5″ blade but it is a bit thinner and comes with a nylon sheath instead of kydex, very disappointing. This is why I choose the BK2 over the BK7, but honestly you can’t go wrong with either.

3. Gerber LMF II Infantry Knife– I was never a big fan of Gerber blades as most are outsourced these days, however I’m not a big fan of Chevy cars…but Chevy does make the Corvette, which I adore, and this survival knife, my friends, is the Gerber’s Corvette of survival knives. In my opinion it’s Gerber’s last redeeming quality. Made in Portland, OR of super tough 12C27 stainless steel, this knife requires very little maintenance, if any. This super thick, razor sharp blade can make short work of any survival task. Survival knives come and go these days, but this one is a tried and true legend in the armed forces and sees heavy use in wartime. Theses survival knives have a tough steel butt-cap that can be used as a striking weapon or a hammer and its sheath is one of the best designs I have ever seen. These survival knives are simply amazing, and for a cheap price you are getting a bomb proof, essential survival tool.

4. Cold Steel SRK (Survival Rescue Knife)– If you have ever seen Cold Steel’s marketing you have either been terrified or grossed out, personally while I feel its slightly gimmicky it proves a point, Cold Steel make some of the worlds BEST survival knives, if it can cut through a whole cow it will probably do the trick. All joking aside, Cold Steel makes many types of survival knives, some cheap, some insanely expensive. For the money the Cold Steel SRK is one of the best designed and best made survival knives in the world. It is made of AUS8 Steel, which happens to be my overall favorite type of steel for edge retention and durability, it has a super tough, super comfortable Kraton handle (think super tough rubber). While the blade length is on the small side, it is very thick (3/16″) and very durable. It has a great Kydex sheath which man survival knives don’t have these days. I love the drop point style blade design, I have always felt drop point blades make the best survival knives. Cold Steel make amazing knives and this is their best one for the money, hands down!

5. Buck 119 Special– What can you say about the Buck 119 special. This knife’s reputation is a strong as KA-BAR’s. Many outdoors-man swear by this knife and with good reason, its design has withstood the test of time. Buck’s philosophy is, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” and who can argue that? This knife is super strong, razor sharp, easy to clean, no maintenance, no hassle and would you look how beautiful this bad boy is? 420HC stainless steel is used on the blade for super durability and if it ever breaks or fails, Buck has a 100% lifetime guarantee on it, a class act! My only complaint would be the sheath, which is leather, so make sure the blade is dry when storing it, or dont store it inside the case. The handle may get a tad slick if wet but I feel this knife has great ergonomics and fits tightly in the hand so it wont slip out, all in all a survival knife among survival knives!

Survival knives are so important in a survival situation, that if you were only able to bring one item with you, you would be foolish not to pick a good quality survival knife. While survival knives come in many shapes and sizes, this list of the top 5 survival knives in the world will narrow that list down for you quite a bit. Each one discussed above you could trust with your life and believe me many have. Survival knives can also be used for family camping and many other uses around the house making them invaluable tools for everyday use.

The Cayenne Pepper Diet – Facts You Should Know

There are many fad diets out there, and among the most appealing are those that include a "secret ingredient" that speeds up your metabolism to help you burn fat faster and lose weight. Among these, the Cayenne Pepper Diet has gained popularity as a hardcore fad diet idea that can help you lose weight and cleanse your system of toxins.

But can it work? Let's look at some facts about the Cayenne Pepper Diet that you should know about before trying this diet to lose weight.

What is Good About It?

Cayenne pepper is a spicy herb that has essential healthy elements for your body, as it contains lots of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as Vitamins B6, E, Riboflavin, Potassium, and Manganese. It is primarily used in cooking, either fresh and chopped up, or in a dried powdered form, and it has also been used for medicinal purposes.

How to do the Cayenne Pepper Diet:

One way to use this interesting herb in your diet is to simply include it in meals by adding it as the primary spice to all food (to the degree you can stand it), which gives your diet a metabolism-boosting kick every time you eat . Or, you can use the spice in a "cleansing tonic" made with lemon, water, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup, and combine this practice with fast periods to flush toxins from your body, improving your immune system.

What Can Go Wrong:

Cayenne pepper is a seriously strong ingredient, and it can have an adverse effect on your stomach, causing stomach spasms while you are on the diet. If you already have stomach issues, this may not be a good diet for you.

The Hardest Part:

If you use cayenne in meals, you test your diet resolve by seriously ruining the taste of every meal that you eat. If you are already exercising portion control, and then ruining the flavor of each meal, you run the risk of growing quickly tired of this diet, even if you see weight loss results.

If you fast using a cayenne pepper, lemon, and syrup cleansing drink, then you will also find yourself challenged by hunger pangs you'll experience from fasting, which are interrupted only by the awful taste of the spicy cayenne pepper drink. It's actually easier to fast using water or juice, as you will not have a regular unpleasant experience when you consume liquids.

The Cayenne Pepper Diet has benefits, but for several negative reasons, it's hard to stick to and has some major disadvantages as a diet system.

Teen Dies After Eating Undercooked Pork

How should you ensure food safety when eating and preparing meats?

After an 18-year-old in India died of tapeworms after consuming undercooked pork, pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Bridget Dowd is offering her expert advice to cook food properly.

“Tapeworm is a parasite that can cause infection in humans after eating undercooked or raw pork or beef,” Dowd explained. “The more common infection that can happen is a mild illness. You might not have any symptoms or you can have nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.”

The teen, however, checked into a Faridabad hospital with seizures and pain in his groin, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. He was also confused and had swelling over his right eye.

Initial tests showed he had lesions in his brain and cysts in his eye and groin, and doctors determined he had a condition called neurocysticerosis, which occurs when someone eats tapeworm from pork. Even though doctors treated immediately, the teen died of his illness two weeks later.

Dowd explained that there are two types of parasite infections — one that can be easily treated with antiparasitic medications and another that can lead to more serious issues.

“This is unusual in the U.S.,” Dowd said. “It typically happens in the developing world where cattle and swine are grazing in a field with human feces.”

Cases in the United States often occur among people who have traveled outside of the country or among immigrant populations.

To err on the side of caution, Dowd suggested to always cook beef or pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, or at least medium rare, and wild game and ground beef to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Make sure you are not eating raw or undercooked meat,” she said.

Meats that have been frozen for at least four days in 23 degrees Fahrenheit, or about the temperature of a residential freezer, will generally kill off any harmful eggs or cysts that might occur in the cuts of meat.

And, most importantly, basic hygiene like proper hand washing is crucial to staying healthy.

“Make sure to wash your hands before you eat food and also good hand hygiene for people handling food,” Dowd said. “And, after going to the bathroom, wash your hands.”

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Salmonella cases linked to hedgehogs spread to more states, CDC warns


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Every hedgehog has its thorn.

Two months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised people not to “kiss or snuggle hedgehogs” because of a salmonella outbreak, the federal health agency announced that six more people in three more states, including Virginia, have fallen ill after coming into contact with the prickly pets.

As of Friday, 17 people nationwide have been infected with a strain of Salmonella typhimurium that the CDC first warned in January could be linked to pet hedgehogs.

No one has died, but two people were hospitalized.

“Epidemiologic and laboratory evidence indicate that contact with pet hedgehogs is the likely source of this outbreak,” the CDC said in an investigation notice.

In Virginia, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors legalized household hedgehogs in January – just days before the CDC issued the first notice that it was investigating the salmonella outbreak in connection with the creatures. A separate effort to do the same in the District of Columbia failed in December.

It doesn’t appear that the recent legalization of pet hedgehogs in Fairfax County is linked to the two cases reported in the state based on information from the Virginia Department of Health.

Both of the people sickened lived in the southwest region of Virginia and “one definitely had hedgehog exposure,” said Maribeth Brewster, a department spokeswoman.

“Washing hands after handling and cleaning up after these types of pets and all pets can reduce the likelihood of illness transmission,” she added.

Other states where people have been sickened with the salmonella strain include Colorado, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas, Washington and Wyoming.

The largest number of cases come out of Minnesota and Missouri, with three each.

Elaine Becker, who has cared for more than 100 hedgehogs over the years through her work at local animal rescues in Roanoke, Virginia, said having pet hedgehogs has become a recent fad. People have become enamored with the cute creatures but don’t know how to care for them. Household hedgehogs are usually in cages and running on wheels, where poop can get stuck on their feet, she said. Pet owners should clean out hedgehog cages weekly and pick up droppings daily – preferably with gloves to avoid getting sick.

“After touching any animal or raw food wash your hands,” said Becker, also a member of the Hedgehog Welfare Society and International Hedgehog Association. “You wouldn’t let your kid play with raw chicken and then let them stick their hands in their mouths.”

Hedgehogs have become so popular that many have their own social media accounts. The spike in hedgehog demand has also lead certain jurisdictions recently to lift bans on having them as pets.

Officials identified the salmonella strain in the recent outbreak after studying samples collected from eight hedgehogs in Minnesota, including three that were in the homes of two people who got sick. Most of those who have fallen ill appear to be young children, according to the CDC.

Of the people interviewed, 13 out of 15 said they had contact with a hedgehog before they fell sick, but the CDC said it has not identified a common supplier that may be the source of the outbreak.

“Hedgehogs can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings while appearing healthy and clean,” the CDC warned.

But some longtime lovers of the pincushions incarnate say the recent CDC hedgehog warning is hogwash.

Zug Standing Bear, who has cared for more than 500 hedgehogs in 20 years through his rescue based in Colorado, said the recent warning from the CDC echoes an alert the agency sent in 2012. That year, the CDC reported 20 cases of salmonella – including one death – in eight states where a hedgehog was in the house of someone sickened.

Standing Bear said the hedgehog-related illness could be random statistically and it shouldn’t deter people from responsibly owning one as a pet.

Becker said the recent CDC alert unfairly singles out hedgehogs. Many household pets, such as turtles and birds, can carry salmonella, Becker said. Following common sense hygiene rules and doing research before buying a hedgehog – or any pet – can prevent problems.

“They can make wonderful pets, but they’re not for everyone,” Becker said. “If you can’t handle the poop and feeding them meal worms, get a stuffed animal.”