Litter Box Tips to Prevent Urinary Tract Problems Among Cats

Urinary tract problems are a common affliction among cats. Regular litter box cleaning is an important step in keeping this painful condition in check.

“Cleanliness is one key to avoiding cat urinary tract problems,” says veterinarian Melissa Brookshire. “Urinary tract obstructions, evidenced by straining without producing any urine, are emergency situations that require immediate veterinary attention. Once diagnosed and treated, steps for prevention should become routine. Having a fresh, clean litter box can go a long way in preventing this affliction.”

Check out the following advice for hassle-free cat care and litter box help:

5 No-Fail Gift Ideas for Men

(NewsUSA) – Most young men hate to shop, and shopping for men can be a chore, too. Choosing the perfect present for a dad’s or brother’s birthday can be tricky. After all, you don’t want a gift that is going to be tucked away in a closet or garage, never to see the light of day. Never fear. This list of five no-fail gift ideas for guys is sure to make your present a winner.* Comedies by night. What young man can resist a funny, slightly raunchy comedy? Add a few friends and some snacks, and the guys are set for an evening. Many movies old and new will fit the bill, such as "The Pool Boys," available in digital download from iTunes, plus DVD and Blu-Ray release from Seven Arts Pictures. The DVD’s special features include interviews and commentary, making it a great gift for the movie buff who likes the behind-the-scenes scoop. Want a preview? Check out the trailer (rated R) at www.ThePoolBoysMovie.com.* Sports by day. Depending on your relationship with the guy in question, buying workout clothes could be difficult and you can bet he could use some new stuff for the gym or pickup basketball night. If you feel confident about size and style, a moisture-wicking shirt is a sure thing. Not so sure on size? Go with a gift card for a sports store or website.* Food always pleases. What do men want? Food. If you’re perplexed for a birthday gift for a young man, grab a giant tin of popcorn, pretzels or peanuts. If you’re lucky, they will remember to reuse the tin.* Gadgets spark excitement. Think of gadgets that match your guy’s interests. Is he a frequent flyer? How about a watch with a built-in GPS? A survivalist? Check out solar- or crank-up flashlights/radios/chargers, so the smart phone will still work when the power goes out.* Books and magazines recharge his mind. These days, men might be reading on a Nook or Kindle, but don’t underestimate the written word when it comes to a gift. Add credit to an e-book account, and your guy can download the latest Stephen King or Tom Clancy, or discover a new author. Alternatively, consider a gift subscription to a magazine that matches his interests, such as Bicycling magazine for the avid cyclist. That way, he’ll have something to flip through while the smart phone is recharging.

Get Professionally Cooked Seafood Recipes With Parchment Paper

Whoever taught you how to cook, be it Mom, Grandma or the Food Network, probably shared the secret to no-muss, no-fuss baking. After all, many chefs know that baking with parchment paper is key for moist cookies, brownies, cakes and other sweet treats.

Do you also think of using parchment paper for meats, seafood, pizza, soup, fondue, vegetables and more? You should – the tool is practically limitless. It can be used in dozens of dishes with the simplest clean-up. Plus, unlike wax paper or plastic wrap, parchment paper doesn’t melt onto your food. Check out a savory catfish recipe using parchment paper and U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish:

Transport Food to Holiday Parties in Style

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – With the holidays fast approaching, amateur and professional chefs are busy thinking up new recipes, and tasting and testing them. The problem for many, however, is transporting dishes to their final destination. Often, hot meals become cold in transit. And, let’s face it: holiday parties are only as good as the food that is served.
Rachael Ray has created a line of products specifically designed to help chefs and home cooks transport food so that it looks and tastes as good as when it was made. Below is just a small sampling of the many great products that are available to transport food in style, whether the party is just around the corner or hours away:
* Party on. The 5-piece Foodtastic Party Box features a spacious thermal carrier that fits dishes of almost any size or shape. Inside, the large storage container has an easy-to-secure lid, along with a five-compartment snack tray and a deviled egg tray that holds eighteen eggs. And with SuperFoam high-performance insulation and a zippered garage door opening for easy access, the carrier can be used on its own for transporting all kinds of hot or cold foods.
* Take the double decker. The highly portable Expandable Potlucker has two compartments that can accommodate 9×13 inch baking dishes. SuperFoam high performance insulation plus Therma-Flect Radiant Barrier will keep food hot or cold for hours.
* Go then stow. The Stow-A-Way Potlucker fits 9×13-inch baking dishes. High-density thermal insulation keeps meals hot or cold for hours of transport. And when the fun is over, this great product folds flat for easy storage.
* Get versatile. The 4-in-1 Thermal Carrier with Baker Taker features a glass baker to hold that just-baked dessert (or lasagna). Slip it inside the handy Baker Taker, stow it in the thermal carrier bag and go. The straps are convertible so you can carry horizontally or vertically.
* Keep it cool — or hot. The Chill Out Tote Duo features SuperFoam high-performance insulation plus Therma-Flect Radiant Barrier that keeps food hot or cold for hours. The front pocket holds utensils, and the leak-proof lining is easy to clean. These totes are so easy to carry, you’ll want to take both — one for hot food and the other for cold.
The holidays will be here before you know it. To find the right food transport solution for you, go to www.rachaelray.com.

Want a “Fresh from the Dentist” Smile?

People love to experience that “fresh from the dentist” feeling, when the tip of the tongue glides effortlessly and smoothly over a freshly cleaned set of pearly whites. So, why not have that feeling all of the time?

If you want a healthy mouth, follow these tips:

•    Brush regularly. Yes, you’ve heard it over and over: brush your teeth twice every day. It also helps to brush after eating and snacking, whenever possible. Brushing keeps small food particles from becoming food for harmful bacteria. If possible, brush for a full two minutes.

Forget Fast Food: 10 Secrets to Making Good Food Fast

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Today’s busy lifestyles leave little time for basic cooking, and have led to a growing trend of daily fast food meals — for breakfast, lunch and …

Is Your Child’s Packed Lunch Healthy?

Every time you pack your kids’ lunches, you have an opportunity to give them a fun, healthy meal. Are you making the most of it?

Janice Newell Bissex, MS, RD and Liz Weiss, MS, RD, authors of the book No Whine with Dinner, along with the California Raisin Marketing Board, offer the following tips for better lunches:

•    Take a Lunchbox Assessment. Look at your children’s lunches. Healthy lunches should include whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, pitas or tortillas; high-quality lean protein, such as roasted deli turkey, beans or tofu; low-fat dairy, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese and calcium-fortified soy milk; and fruits and vegetables, such as sliced apples, strawberries, California raisins, sliced bell pepper strips, baby carrots or raw green beans.

Four Tips for a Healthier Dog

Just like people, dogs feel much better when they are healthy. But unlike people, dogs can’t take care of themselves. To keep your favorite furry friend on the track to wellness and better living, follow these tdog health tips (www.MyTeddysPride.com)t:

•    Exercise builds efficient bodies. Nothing makes a pooch happier than a stroll through the neighborhood. And while your dog’s satisfying his curiosity by sniffing trees and bushes, he’s also burning calories. For more intense physical activity, try throwing some balls or Frisbees. This should make your dog run a little harder, helping expand lung capacity and tone muscle. No matter what activity you choose, your canine companion will enjoy the benefits of regular exercise while forging a stronger bond with you in the process.

MyPyramid Helps Families Find Balanced Nutrition

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – MyPyramid — also known as the food pyramid — is a guide for good eating for healthy people ages two to 102. It serves as the blueprint for better nutrition, focusing on foods to include, rather than exclude, in a diet for you and your family. The pyramid’s eating patterns are meant to help you increase your intake of essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber; minimize saturated fat, trans fats, and cholesterol; and help to promote a healthy weight.

MyPyramid is based on the latest scientific evidence about nutrition reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The best part of MyPyramid is that it is easily personalized to fit your needs and food preferences. Under the MyPyramid system, you pick the suggested amount of food from the food groups based on your age, gender, and physical activity level. You can figure out what you need at www.MyPyramid.gov.

Here are some tips for including the nutrient-rich foods MyPyramid recommends from each food group:

Grains: Go With the Whole Grain

* Start the day with a natural, whole grain cereal, like Mom’s Best Naturals Sweetened Wheat-fuls, to get nearly all the whole grain you need.

* Prepare sandwiches with whole grain breads.

* Snack on popcorn — a whole grain — rather than pretzels and snack chips.

Vegetables: Variety Is Key

* Make vegetables part of soups, casseroles, meatloaf and pasta dishes.

* Serve raw, sliced vegetables with peanut butter or hummus for snacks.

* Choose bean-based soups, such as lentil, and add beans to salads.

Fruits: How to Get Your Fill

* Stock up on dried fruit. It’s portable and versatile. Make trail mix with raisins, Mom’s Best Natural’s cereal and chopped nuts for a snack with selections from three food groups.

* Keep fruit in plain sight so kids and adults will think to snack on it.

* Puree canned fruits, such as apricots, or berries, and combine with plain yogurt.

Milk: Dairy Delivers Nutrients

* Work in a serving of fat-free or low-fat milk when you have a bowl of cereal. Microwave oatmeal with milk instead of water.

* Make a smoothie with fruit and milk.

* Sneak a piece of low-fat cheddar into your sandwich.

Meat & Beans: An Array of Animal and Vegetable Choices

* Make chili with half the lean ground beef and twice the beans.

* Sick of chicken? Opt for pork tenderloin. It has less fat than skinless, boneless chicken breast.

Tips to Plan a Fun Family Reunion

As extended families spread out throughout the country, it becomes more difficult to get everyone together. Holding a family reunion, then, gives everyone a chance to meet, catch-up and learn a little more about their family history.

Arranging a reunion can be a massive undertaking, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed. But with a little planning, anyone can pull off a successful family reunion.

Follow these tips to ensure a fun, rewarding family reunion experience: