Monday, March 19, 2018

Sunday, March 18, 2018

How to Stop Eating Sugar - Smarter living Guides - The New York Times

Good Luck!!!

How to Stop Eating Sugar

If you're like most Americans, you eat more sugar than is good for you. But it's entirely possible to eat less sugar without sacrificing much — if any — of the pleasures of eating. Surprising as it may sound, many people who have cut back on sugar say they find their new eating habits more pleasurable than their old ones. This guide will walk you through why sugar matters, how you can make smart food choices to reduce sugar consumption, and how you can keep your life sweet, even without so many sweets. 

The Added-Sugar Problem

Here's why you eat more sugar than you realize, and why it's a problem.

The first thing to know: Added sugars, of one kind or another, are almost everywhere in the modern diet. They're in sandwich bread, chicken stock, pickles, salad dressing, crackers, yogurt and cereal, as well as in the obvious foods and drinks, like soda and desserts. 

The biggest problem with added sweeteners is that they make it easy to overeat. They're tasty and highly caloric but they often don't make you feel full. Instead, they can trick you into wanting even more food. Because we're surrounded by added sweeteners — in our kitchens, in restaurants, at schools and offices — most of us will eat too much of them unless we consciously set out to do otherwise.

How Did We Get Here?

It's not an accident. The sugar industry has conducted an aggressive, decades-long campaign to blame the obesity epidemic on fats, not sugars. Fats, after all, seem as if they should cause obesity. Thanks partly to that campaign, sugar consumption soared in the United States even as people were trying to lose weight. But research increasingly indicates that an overabundance of simple carbohydrates, and sugar in particular, is the No. 1 problem in modern diets. Sugar is the driving force behind the diabetes and obesity epidemics. Fortunately, more people are realizing the harms of sugar and cutting back. 

What to Cut

Health experts recommend that you focus on reducing added sweeteners — like granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, stevia and molasses. You don't need to worry so much about the sugars that are a natural part of fruit, vegetables and dairy products. Most people don't overeat naturally occurring sugars, as Marion Nestle of New York University says. The fiber, vitamins and minerals that surround them fill you up.

A typical adult should not eat more than 50 grams (or about 12 teaspoons) of added sugars per day, and closer to 25 is healthier. The average American would need to reduce added-sweetener consumption by about 40 percent to get down to even the 50-gram threshold. Here's how you can do it — without spending more money on food than you already do. 

The Gameplan

Changing your diet is hard. If your strategy involves thinking about sugar all the time — whenever you're shopping or eating — you'll likely fail. You'll also be miserable in the process. It's much more effective to come up with a few simple rules and habits that then become second nature. (One strategy to consider: Eliminate all added sugars for one month, and then add back only the ones you miss. It's easier than it sounds.)  

Above all, most people's goal should be to find a few simple, lasting ways to cut back on sugar. Once you're done reading this guide, we suggest you choose two or three of our ideas and try them for a few weeks. 

More on Life Without Sugar

First Thing in the Morning

Remember, breakfast shouldn't taste like dessert. 

Breakfast is the most dangerous meal of the day for sugar. Many breakfast foods that sound as if they're healthy are in fact laden with sugar. In Chobani Strawberry Yogurt, for example, the second ingredient — ahead of strawberries! — is evaporated cane sugar. And many brands of granola have more sugar per serving than Froot Loops or Cocoa Puffs. In the United States, as the science writer Gary Taubes says, breakfasts have become "lower-fat versions of dessert." 

There are two main strategies to ensure that breakfast doesn't become a morning dessert. The first is for people who can't imagine moving away from a grain-based breakfast, like cereal or toast. If you fall into this category, you have to be quite careful, because processed grains are often packed with sugar. 

A few grain-based breakfasts with no or very low sugar:

  • Cheerios. They're quite low in sugar. 
  • Plain oatmeal. Flavor it with fresh fruit and, if necessary, a small sprinkling of brown sugar. 
  • Bread. A few breads have no sugar (like Ezekiel 4:9 Whole Grain). A longer list of brands have only one gram, or less, per slice (including Sara Lee Whole Wheat and Nature's Own Whole Wheat). Authentic Middle Eastern breads, like pita and lavash, are particularly good options and a growing number of supermarkets sell them.
  • Homemade granola. You can also make your own granola and play around with the sugar amounts.

But there is also a more creative alternative. Move away from grain-based breakfasts. If you do that (as I have recently, after decades of eating cereal), avoiding added sugar is easy. My new breakfast routine actually feels more indulgent than my old one. Most days, I eat three or four of the following:  

  • Scrambled or fried eggs
  • Fruit
  • Plain yogurt
  • A small piece of toast
  • A few nuts
  • A small portion of well-spiced vegetables, like spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes. 

Veggies for Breakfast?

I realize the part about vegetables may sound weird. Maybe morning veggies aren't for you. But maybe you'll be surprised to discover they are, as I was. Remember: In much of the world, including large parts of Asia, breakfast is a savory meal, not a sweet one, just as lunch and dinner are. Vegetables aren't a weird thing to eat for breakfast in China or India. For more breakfast ideas, check out breakfast recipes from Whole30 (a food program that eliminates much more than just sugar). 

A final tip: Keep your juice portions small. Real juice doesn't have added sweeteners. But fruit juice is one source of natural sugars that can be dangerous, because of how efficiently it delivers those sugars. You're not eating the stomach-filling fiber of an orange when you drink a glass of orange juice. Keep your juice portions to no more than six ounces, and have only one per day.

From the Bottle and Can

Beverages are one of the biggest sources of added sugars in our diets.

Eliminate soda from your regular diet. Just get rid of it. If you must, drink diet soda. Ideally, though, you should get rid of diet soda, too.

That may sound extreme, but sweetened beverages are by far the biggest source of added sugar in the American diet — 47 percent, according to the federal government. Soda — along with sweetened sports drinks, energy drinks and iced teas — is essentially flavored, liquefied sugar that pumps calories into your body without filling you up. Among all foods and beverages, says Kelly Brownell, an obesity expert and dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke, "the science is most robust and most convincing on the link between soft drinks and negative health outcomes."

Get this: A single 16-ounce bottle of Coke has 52 grams of sugar. That's more added sugar than most adults should consume in an entire day.

As for diet soda, researchers aren't yet sure whether they're damaging or harmless. Some scientists think diet soda is perfectly fine. Others, like the Yale cardiologist Dr. Harlan Krumholz, think it may be damaging. Dr. Krumholz recently announced that after years of pounding diet sodas, he was giving them up. There is reason to believe, he wrote, that the artificial sweeteners they contain lead to "weight gain and metabolic abnormalities."

The Soda Alternative

Many people who think they're addicted to soda are attracted to either the caffeine or the carbonation in the drink. You can get caffeine from coffee and tea (lightly sweetened or unsweetened), and you can get carbonation from seltzer, flavored or otherwise.

For many people, the shift to seltzer, club soda or sparkling water is life changing. It turns hydration into a small treat that's still calorie-free. Buy yourself a seltzer maker, as I have, and gorge on the stuff at home, while saving money. Or buy fizzy water in cans or bottles. Sales of carbonated water have more than doubled since 2010, with the brand LaCroix now offering more than 20 different flavors, all without added sugar. 

If they're not sweet enough for you, you can also add a dash of juice to plain seltzer. But many people find that they lose their taste for soda after giving it up. And many Americans are giving it up: Since the late 1990s, sales of full-calorie soda have fallen more than 25 percent.

More on Cutting Back on Soda

The Smarter Living Newsletter

A weekly roundup of the best advice from The Times on living a better, smarter, more fulfilling life.

Check Your Pantry

Check the labels of your pantry staples for some easy places to cut the sugar. 

Food makers sneak sugar into more foods than you may realize. It's in many brands of chicken stock, soup, salami, smoked salmon, tortillas and crackers. And most of these foods do not need sweeteners to taste good.

If you take a little time to look at labels — at the grocery store or online — you can quickly learn which staples have sugar and which don't. Here's a sampling of some quick switches you could make:

Tip: If you live near a Trader Joe's, it provides a lot of good, affordable options. Many of its staples have little or no added sweeteners, including some of its house brand sandwich breads, tortillas and bacon.

Try it: When you go to the supermarket, compare various brands, and choose one with little added sugar. Do this once, and then it's easy to make the no-sugar items your default. You no longer have to spend energy thinking about it. 

Start with a product's Nutrition Facts table. Some products now include a helpful line listing the amount of "added sugars," in addition to the standard "sugars" line (which includes naturally occurring sugars). The Trump administration has made the "added sugars" line voluntary, however, so you may also need to look at the full ingredient list next to the Nutrition Facts table, to figure out whether a food has an added sweetener. Here's a helpful list of the many sweetener names.  


Snacks can all too easily turn into yet another dessert. Many granola bars and power bars are packed with added sugars. The same goes for canned and dried fruits. And don't kid yourself about those flavored Starbucks drinks: They're more like a milkshake than a cup of coffee. 

What are better alternatives for snacking? Have some nuts, as Barack Obama famously does. Or popcorn. Or fresh fruit. Or canned fruit that doesn't come soaked in thick syrup. 

Several companies have also realized that more people are trying to reduce their sugar intake and have begun offering snack bars without added sweeteners. These options include Larabars and Rxbars.

More on the Sugar Controversy

The Sauce Risk

What's hiding in your ketchup? Sugar, most likely. 

Other than breakfast, sauces and toppings are the biggest stealth sugar risk. 

Two of the four biggest ingredients in Heinz Ketchup are sweeteners. The biggest ingredient in many barbecue sauces is high fructose corn syrup. Many pickles — especially those labelled "bread and butter" — are heavily sweetened. Not only does Ragu pasta sauce have added sugar but so does Newman's Own Marinara. Even Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard has some added sugar.

It is easy enough to use sauces without sugar in most cases. These products are good examples of sauces that forgo the sugar: 

  • Maille dijon mustard
  • Gulden's spicy brown
  • French's Yellow Mustard 
  • Prego's Marinara
  • Victoria pasta sauces
  • Vlasic Kosher Dill Pickles
  • Newman's Own Classic Oil and Vinegar salad dressing

As for barbecue sauce: You're probably won't find a good one without sugar. And as a Texan by marriage, I'm not going to suggest you give up barbecue. But no one said that you have to eliminate all sugar from your diet. Cut back on it elsewhere, and you can enjoy your brisket, ribs or pulled pork, slathered in a delicious sauce, without feeling guilty.

Make Your Own

Want to control what's in your sauces? Make them yourself. You can quickly and cheaply make your own salad dressing with some combination of olive oil, an acid (like vinegar, lemon or lime), herbs, garlic and shallots. Here's a great, and extremely simple, recipe from my friend Sam Sifton.

While you're at it, try making your own homemade marinara sauce, and impress your friends with ketchup cooked on your own stove.

Recipes for Sugar-Free Pantry Staples

Don't Ruin it All at the End of a Meal

Dessert doesn't have to be any less sweet if you are cutting back on sugar. 

Eating dessert is one of the great little joys of life, and we're not going to tell you that you can't have dessert. Have dessert! Just keep three rules in mind:

1. Portion size. Many standard American desserts have become grotesquely large. At Applebee's, the country's largest casual dining chain, a single piece of cheesecake has 1,000 calories (which is half the calories a typical adult should eat in an entire day) and a whopping 21 teaspoons of sugar. Imagine pouring 21 teaspoons of sugar into your mouth after a meal. At Starbucks, a piece of chocolate marble loaf has 490 calories and is also packed with 43 grams of sugar. 

The desserts of yesteryear were not nearly so monstrous. Even if you're not a fan of Oreos, which have been around since 1912, they're illustrative. A single Oreo cookie — the regular kind, not "double stuff" or "mega stuff" — has only one teaspoon of sugar. You should think of two or three Oreos, or a different dessert of similar size, as a normal dessert. Anything larger is a big splurge, the sort of indulgence to reserve for special occasions. 

2. Habits. I've gone through periods when I ate a bowl of ice cream every night. It's not a great idea. 

If you want to keep your sugar consumption under control, you can help yourself by getting out of the habit of having a full artificially sweetened dessert every night. There are other end-of-day rituals that can help you fill the void, like a cup of tea or...

3. Fruit. Fruit is really a miracle food. It's sweet, delicious and full of nutrients and fiber. Yes, it's possible to eat so much fruit that you end up getting too much sugar in your diet. But very few people have this problem. For people who want a sweet every day, fruit is the way to go.

Some tips on picking great fruits? 

  • Eat it fresh. (Here's a guide to seasonality.
  • Experiment with new fruits (like pomelos and papaya). 
  • Eat it dried (again, Trader Joe's excels here). 
  • Eat it jarred or canned in the winter. (Just avoid all the fruit that comes with extra sweeteners.)    

The beauty of fruit helps to underscore the overriding point about sugar. It's normal to have some sugar in your diet. The problem is all of the processed sugar that has snuck into the modern diet. It's so prevalent that you need a strategy for avoiding it. Once you come up with a strategy, eating a healthy amount of sugar isn't nearly as hard as it sometimes seems.

About the Author

David Leonhardt, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Op-Ed columnist for The Times, eats more sweets than he should but fewer than he once did. 

Illustrations by Meryl Rowin

Adrienne L den Tex

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018

These Bottled Water Brands Are LOADED with Plastic Particles

These Bottled Water Brands Are LOADED with THOUSANDS of Plastic Particles: Is Your Favorite on the List?

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by Daisy Luther

Many people try to make a better choice by drinking bottled water instead of tap water since the municipal water from our faucets is loaded with all sorts of chemicals and pollutants. Unfortunately, bottled water may not be that much better.

It's old news that some brands of bottled water are little more than tap water, but now there's new research that tells us it gets even worse than that. Each bottle of water could be contaminated with hundreds -or even thousands – of plastic particles, which we ingest every time we take a sip.

A study was performed on 250 bottles of water purchased in 9 different countries at the State University of New York in Fredonia. The following brands were tested:

A few of the brands tested were:

  • Aquafina
  • Dasani
  • Arrowhead
  • Boxed Water
  • Crystal Geyser
  • Evian
  • Nestle Pure Life
  • Deer Park
  • Eternal Water
  • Trader Joe's Mountain Spring
  • San Pellegrino
  • Aqua (Indonesia)
  • Bisleri (India)
  • Epura (Mexico)
  • Gerolsteiner (Germany)
  • Minalba (Brazil)
  • Wahaha (China)
  • Fiji
  • Glaceau Smart
  • Ice Mountain
  • Icelandic Glacial
  • Ozarka
  • Penta
  • Poland Spring
  • Texas Spring Water
  • True Zealand
  • Zephyrhills

The results of the bottled water testing

93% of the water bottles had some contamination from plastic particles. The plastic particles were identified as 54% polypropylene, 16% nylon, 11% polystyrene 10% polyethylene, 6% polyester, and 3% other types of plastic.

One report said that the worst offenders in US brands were said to be Boxed Water, Fiji, Ozarka, Evian, Icelandic Glacial and Crystal Geyser.

An Australian news outlet posted the following chart with numbers on the highest and lowest counts of plastic in certain brands. Look at Nestle's high.


Aquafina: Lowest – 2, Highest – 1295

Dasani: Lowest – 2, Highest -335

Evian: Lowest – 0, Highest – 5230

Nestle Pure Life: Lowest – 6, Highest – 10390

San Pellegrino: Lowest – 0, Highest – 74

Interestingly, some bottles from the same case included widely varying amounts of plastic.

Orb Media, who performed the test, said:

Some of the bottles we tested contained so many particles that we asked a former astrophysicist to use his experience counting stars in the heavens to help us tally these fluorescing constellations.

Sizes ranged from the width of a human hair down to the size of a red blood cell. Some bottles had thousands. A few effectively had no plastic at all.

One bottle had a concentration of more than 10,000 particles per liter. (source)

What are the effects on human health?

It's actually the smaller particles that you have to be more worried about, according to this chart by Orb Media.

photo credit: Orb Media

While you may be drinking bottled water to avoid contamination such as that found in the water of Flint, Michigan, it looks like you may be consuming a completely different type of contaminant.

Although we don't fully understand yet the health implications of consuming microplastic, [Abigail] Barrows says the preliminary results of this study are clear: "People are directly ingesting plastic particles when drinking most types of bottled water." (source)

I seriously doubt that drinking plastic particles is good for you, considering all the concern that plastic could be a major contributing factor to the cancer boom in the first world. (Learn more about what's in our water in my book, The Prepper's Water Survival Guide.)

Bottling companies refuted the findings

The BBC contacted some of the bottling companies to ask them what they thought about the tests performed by Orb Media.

Nestle told us its own internal testing for microplastics began more than two years ago and had not detected any "above trace level". A spokesman added that Prof Mason's study missed key steps to avoid "false positives" but he invited Orb Media to compare methods.

Gerolsteiner also said it had been testing its water for microplastics for a number of years and that the results showed levels "significantly below the limits for particles" set for pharmaceutical companies. It said it could not understand how Prof Mason's study reached its conclusions.

It also said its measures exceeded industry standards but added that microparticles are "everywhere" so "the possibility of them entering the product from ambient air or packaging materials during the bottling process can therefore not be completely ruled out".

Coca-Cola said it had some of the most stringent quality standards in the industry and used a "multi-step filtration process". But it too acknowledged that microplastics "appear to be ubiquitous and therefore may be found at minute levels even in highly treated products".

Danone said it could not comment on the study because "the methodology used is unclear" but added that its own bottles had "food grade packaging".

It pointed out that there are no regulations on microplastics or a scientific consensus on how to test for them, and it also highlighted a much smaller German study last year that found plastic particles in single use bottles but not above a statistically significant amount.

PepsiCo said Aquafina had "rigorous quality control measures sanitary manufacturing practices, filtration and other food safety mechanisms which yield a reliably safe product".

It described the science of microplastics as "an emerging field, in its infancy, which requires further scientific analysis, peer-reviewed research and greater collaboration across many stakeholders". (source)

Some articles noted that the plastic in the water was environmental, and not occurring at the factories, but isn't the reason people buy bottled water to get the environmental contaminants filtered out?

How can you ensure your water is safe?

Your very best bet for safe water is water that you filter yourself using a high-quality device. Clearly, it's impossible to trust the industry, which is probably of little surprise to most reading this website.

Sources for this article:

About the Author

Daisy Luther

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, leaving all links intact, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio. Daisy is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting, homeschooling blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. Daisy is the publisher of The Cheapskate's Guide to the Galaxy, a monthly frugality newsletter, and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, She is the best-selling author of 4 books and lives in the mountains of Virginia with her two daughters and an ever-growing menagerie. You can find Daisy on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Your body knows...

Abraham-Hicks Header Image

Your sophisticated physical body exists because of the intelligence of your cells. And the intelligence of your cells exists because of their Connection to Source Energy.

When doctors and scientists try to find cures for diseases without taking into consideration the Vibrational relationship between the physical Being and Source Energy, they are looking for cures in all the wrong places. If the resistance that disallowed the Well-Being to begin with is not released, it will show up in the form of another and another disease.

Your cells, because of their connection to the intelligence of Source Energy, know exactly what to do in order to become the incredible variety of functioning cells in your magnificent physical body. And in the absence of the hindrance that is caused by your resistant negative thought, that communication stays open to clear, up-to-the-moment interaction, keeping your physical body at peak and perfect performance.

In the absence of negative emotion—and therefore the allowance of complete alignment and communication with Source Energy—your physical body can reclaim its balance and recover from any imbalance. And once balance has resumed, it is easy to maintain with consistently good-feeling thoughts.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Maintenance Strategies: Is There a Simple Solution? - Reliabilityweb: A Culture of Reliability

Maintenance Strategies: Is There a Simple Solution? - Reliabilityweb: A Culture of Reliability

Maintenance Strategies: Is There a Simple Solution?

Maintenance Strategies: Is There a Simple Solution? by Randy Clark

Run to failure

No doubt you have heard these terms, read articles and attended workshops and seminars to learn about these strategies. Using this information, you've discovered which ones will make your maintenance program more effective, reduce labor hours, reduce costs, increase equipment availability and ultimately improve production.

Based on experience gained from being around maintenance shops for many years, visiting with people in a variety of industries and talking with maintenance professionals around the globe, the conclusion formed is: There is a right time and a right place for each of these strategies.

Preventive Maintenance

For years, maintenance professionals relied on preventive maintenance strategies to take action on a prescribed interval, such as days, hours, miles or tons hauled. On a predetermined interval, they took action to drain and fill oils or replace an engine, transmission, or gearbox. They did so without regard for the condition of the oil or whether or not the component was running well. The thought was, if you maintain it on a time based interval, you won't have to work on it tomorrow as an unscheduled event.

Predictive Maintenance

Then came a time when maintenance shifted toward a predictive or conditioned based strategy. This approach requires the use of nondestructive, noninvasive testing, such as vibration analysis, thermal imaging, ultrasound and oil analysis. It also includes monitoring work order history, the number of operator complaints, dollars spent on minor repairs and the frequency of those repairs.

One might look and immediately come to the conclusion that predictive maintenance is the strategy that should be followed. After all, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it!" However, there are times when a predictive maintenance approach might not be the proper method.

Let's look at a scenario of a gear pump in a minor circuit or as a support piece of equipment. In this scenario:

  • The oil capacity is minimal.
  • Oil changes are easy to perform and are not labor intensive.
  • The cost of the gear pump replacement is minimal.
  • A replacement gear pump is readily available.
  • There will not be a significant impact to production.
  • There are no safety concerns associated to the failure.
Do the benefits of predictive maintenance outweigh the run to failure or preventive approach?

Would following a predictive maintenance strategy be the correct choice, or should you, perhaps, consider a run to failure or preventive maintenance strategy?

In this scenario, it is important to consider the cost of nondestructive testing and the labor hours involved. The question to consider is: Do the benefits of predictive maintenance outweigh the run to failure or preventive approach?

On a side note, a strictly predictive approach offers some challenges, compared to a preventive approach, when trying to forecast and prepare next year's maintenance budget. That, however, is a topic for another day.

Proactive Maintenance

The proactive maintenance approach can be used in combination with any of the other maintenance strategies, although many would argue that this is a "stand-alone" maintenance strategy. With this approach, you look at the root cause of both impending failures and an analysis of failures that have already occurred. You look beyond symptoms and look at root causes, such as incorrect lubricants, faulty rebuild practices specific to the part of the rebuild procedure that was incorrect, contamination control practices, etc. You then focus on a remedy for these root causes for the purpose of extending component life hours and preventing future or catastrophic failures.

Run to Failure

While on the surface it does not sound like a "strategy," run to failure can be the correct maintenance decision in some circumstances. For components that are at the end if their lifecycle, you simply want to get every hour of operation out of the component as you can, and you are not concerned with loss of core. If this is a route you choose, you will want to ensure you are prepared with a replacement already on-hand and willing to accept the risk of the disruptions in scheduled maintenance that is likely to occur when the failure happens. If this is a strategy you choose, keep in mind that nondestructive testing, such as fluid analysis, can still be very useful in helping predict when the failure will occur.

Reactive Maintenance

Every maintenance professional would like to greatly reduce or eliminate reactive maintenance, that unplanned, unscheduled event that catches you by surprise and disrupts everything you had planned for the day. This type of maintenance often leads to a visit from an unhappy owner, operations superintendent, plant manager, or customer. Despite all your efforts of preventive, predictive, or proactive maintenance, these unplanned events happen regardless of which maintenance strategy, or combination of strategies, you decide upon. Reduction in reactive maintenance events is your goal and you should pursue a path of continuous improvement.

How to Decide Which Maintenance Strategy Is Best for Your Organization

First, it is important to do an honest evaluation of how well your current maintenance program is performing and identify the areas that need improvement. Evaluate a few of the major maintenance repairs you routinely perform today. Then, perform a cost analysis of an average cost of repair under a scheduled/planned event in comparison to an unscheduled, reactive maintenance event.

Figure 1Figure 1: Cost analysis example of an engine repair in a long-haul truck

Figure 1 is a cost analysis example of an engine repair in a long-haul truck. Under the scheduled repair scenario, oil analysis results alerted maintenance of abnormal early stage bearing wear. The driver was immediately contacted to return to a local maintenance facility and maintenance repairs were scheduled and performed. The cost of these repairs were then compared to a scenario where the truck continued to run until there is oil pressure loss and the driver notices the check engine light is on, resulting in an unscheduled/reactive maintenance event.

Other considerations when evaluating your current maintenance strategy include:

  • Are you experiencing a high number of unscheduled/unplanned maintenance events?
  • Are you having difficulty completing all of your scheduled work?
  • Do you have cost overruns or are you exceeding your maintenance budget?
  • Does production suffer due to equipment being down for reactive maintenance?

If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then it is definitely time to reevaluate your program. One of the best ways to do this is to create, monitor and share informative key performance indicators (KPIs). Figures 2 through 5 show examples of a few useful KPIs.

Figure 2Figure 2: KPI example of scheduled vs. unscheduled work

Figure 3Figure 3: KPI example of scheduled work completion rate

Figure 4Figure 4: KPI example of mean time between failures (MTBF) vs. mean time to repair (MTTR)

Figure 5Figure 5: KPI example of total loss of production in cost

Once you have the information in hand and have created a gap analysis of where your program is today compared to where you would like it to be, you will then be able to make a decision on what type of maintenance strategy, or combination of strategies, will best meet the needs of your organization. What worked best for you yesterday may not be the best approach to reach tomorrow's goals.

Author headshot

Randy Clark

Randy Clark, Technical Business Consultant at POLARIS Laboratories, has over 30 years of experience in heavy equipment maintenance and maintenance management. Randy's experience includes mining, heavy haul, construction and over-the-road fleets, which he uses to help customers improve their maintenance and reliability practices. He holds certifications as a Machine Lubricant Analyst Level 2 and Certified Oil Monitoring Analyst, Level 1.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

4 personal care products you can pitch in the trash (and replace with something much better) –

4 personal care products you can pitch in the trash (and replace with something much better) –

4 personal care products you can pitch in the trash (and replace with something much better)

Image: 4 personal care products you can pitch in the trash (and replace with something much better)

(Natural News) It can be a tough pill to swallow to discover that nearly everything we have been eating, drinking, breathing, and putting on our skin has been laced with toxic ingredients that have zero value for our bodies. However, it's even tougher to deal with the fall-out of these poisons if we don't adjust our lifestyle to avoid them as much as possible.

So, what can you do?

Well, if you'd rather not be an ostrich and want to pull your head out of the sand, take note of these four toxic daily offenders, then toss any you have in the trash. Replace them with cleaner and safer personal care products, like the ones recommended below.

Conventional toothpaste

The real purpose of toothpaste isn't to keep your teeth white (hint: proper mineralization of the body helps make teeth white), but rather, to keep unfriendly bacteria off your teeth and gums so they can remain infection free and healthy. Unfortunately, the conventional toothpaste industry fills their formulas with toxic ingredients, so every time you brush your teeth, you're likely to get a dose of the following:

  • Triclosan – an antibacterial chemical that has been linked to hormonal disorders.
  • Fluoride – a toxic industrial waste product that promotes neurological damage.
  • Sodium Laurel Sulfate – a chemical responsible for the foaming action of toothpaste (that has zero value to the health of your teeth) and has been linked to skin irritations and hormone disruption.
  • Artificial Sweeteners – dangerous chemicals that promote neurological damage.
  • Propylene Glycol – a known skin, eye, and lung irritant.

With your mouth being highly absorbent, any of these chemicals can be fast-tracked into your bloodstream, which by-passes many of the body's natural detoxification pathways (bad news for the rest of your body). This is why a less conventional approach to dental health is often a healthier option.

If you to want to escape the damage of conventional toothpastes and get one that supports strong oral health, look into the Health Ranger Select Toothsalt with Neem.

Conventional deodorant

Conventional deodorants are a ticking time bomb for health issues, and we're just now starting to see some of the negative health effects of putting toxic chemicals on our skin every single day. Some of the worst offenders in these deodorants include:

  • Aluminum – a toxic heavy metal that is added (and not always labelled) to block pores and prevent sweating.
  • Tricoslan – used for its antibacterial qualities, it's a chemical linked to hormonal disorders.
  • Parabens – used as preservatives, they bioaccumulate and are endocrine disruptors.
  • Propylene Glycol – used to seal in moisture, it's known to dry out and irritate the skin.
  • Triethanolamine (TEA) and diethanolamine (DEA) – chemical compounds used as emulsifiers, they can cause liver and kidney damage.

Of course this can all be avoided through natural deodorants that avoid these harmful chemicals and add ingredients that actually benefit the skin and the body. A good example is the Health Ranger Select Magnesium Liquid Deodorant, which is pure, effective, and chock full of nourishing ingredients.

Conventional sunscreen

There has been a lot of talk about how the sun causes damage to the body, but evidence suggests that what we put on our skin to protect us from the sun may indeed be more harmful.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted research on nine FDA-approved sunscreen chemicals and found that several of them posed moderate to high toxicity concerns. Oxybenzone posed the biggest threat with one percent to nine percent skin penetration, and being detected in nearly every American and even found in mothers' milk. It has been shown to be an endocrine disruptor and to cause relatively high rates of skin allergies. Octinoxate was also rated as a higher toxicity concern, also being found in mothers' milk and affecting the reproductive system and the thyroid, along with a moderate skin allergy concern.  Both have widespread use in U.S. sunscreens.

Other ingredients that were a cause for concern were homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene, all with widespread use in U.S. sunscreens and having skin penetration.

The important thing to take away from this is that the sun is not your enemy, and responsible exposure is necessary for good health. However, when you need to block the suns rays, it's important to get a sunscreen without any of these toxic chemicals, along with skin supporting nutrients that help maintain your skin's moisture.

Check out the Health Ranger's Sunstick Broad Spectrum for adequate protection without the toxicity and some skin replenishing nutrients to boot.

Conventional skin care products

The skin care industry has been doing a terrible disservice to humankind, mostly women, who put these toxic ingredients on their face and body every single day. In this effort to look more beautiful, these consumers often end up dealing with bigger concerns after the fall-out from bioaccumulation of these toxic skin care ingredients.

There is a laundry list of chemicals in these types of products to avoid, but some of the key ones to look for and avoid include:

  • Parabens – preservatives used to prevent bacteria they contain estrogen-mimicking properties that are associated with breast cancer.
  • Synthetic colors – represented by FD&C or D&C (e.g. D&C Red or FD&C Blue 1), these colors are petroleum derivatives that are suspected to be carcinogenic.
  • Fragrance – shown to cause issues with skin, lungs, and immune system health.
  • Phthalates – used to increase flexibility and softness in plastics, they are known to be endocrine disruptors.
  • Triclosan – an antimicrobial chemical and known endocrine disruptor.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – used to create foaming action, this surfactant is known to be a skin, lung, and eye irritant.
  • Formaldehyde – used to prevent bacteria growth, this chemical has been deemed a carcinogen.
  • Toluene – a petrochemical also listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, and methylbenzene. It can affect your respiratory system, cause nausea, and irritate the skin.
  • Propylene glycol – known to penetrate the skin and has been associated with dermatitis and hives in humans.

For more information on toxins in cosmetics, visit Cosmetics.News.

Again, like the others, these ingredients are completely unnecessary and dangerous to humans. Fortunately, there are completely safe skin care products on the market that eliminate these ingredients and use nourishing plant extracts to not only save your skin, but feed it essential nutrients. Try the Health Ranger's organic skin care line for safe, yet highly effective, skin care.

Now that you know better, and have committed to avoiding costly mistakes with personal care products that can ruin your health, go ahead and pitch them in the trash bin and pick up some new ones that will make you feel radiant, and safer from various health issues.

You're definitely worth it.

Sources for this article include:

Healing the Body


Sunday, March 11, 2018

A New Chemical Treatment Could Make Water Safe to Drink for Months

A New Chemical Treatment Could Make Water Safe to Drink for Months

A New Chemical Treatment Could Make Water Safe to Drink for Months

Scientists at Lithuania's Kaunas University of Technology have come up with a new method to purify water and keep it clean for months.

Currently, purifying water is fairly easy. Most tourists traveling to exotic destination will keep purifying tablets in their bag along with other ordinary supplies such as bandages or malaria pills. What we haven't quite managed to achieve is a way to make sure that the water we clean today is going to stay drinkable tomorrow, or next week. This is because new bacteria can get in contact with it and contaminate it again, something scientists call "secondary contamination".

The Lithuanian team sought to address just that, and early tests suggest that their method is so effective it kills off microbes for over three months. The researchers, which chose not to share  their methodology's details but explained their results, observed that microbes did not breed in drinking water stored in the open after the application of the purification technique, and found that the purified water did not taste or smell any different from standard drinking water from the tap.

Not only is their solution particularly successful, it also operates using a very low concentration of active ingredients, in this case silver.

Silver has been used to purify water as far back as Ancient Rome. However, there are lingering worries about its potential toxicity when consumed in high concentrations, as outlined in a 2014 literature review published by the World Health Organization. In particular, silver is known to be dangerous for the liver.

Some domestic water filtration systems do use silver, but the team wants to make their technology available in liquid and tablet form, so it can be utilized in difficult circumstances like military operations.  Since these methods are designed to be mixed in with water, the concentration of active ingredients is extremely important.

The technique has now been patented, with a prototype for industrial use ready for implementation. Although the treatment is still in its early stages, the researchers believe that their method has the potential to become so cost-effective that it could soon be scaled up and employed in the bottled water industry.