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100 Vegan Recipes That Even Your Kids Will Eat

February 27th, 2011

It's hard enough to get picky kids to eat foods that are good for them and will help them grow up strong, even without limiting the choices to only vegan options. While it might be a challenge, there are plenty of vegan recipes out there that can help make your job a little easier as a parent and are perfect for picky eaters of any age. Here are 100 delicious vegan recipes that will nurture and delight your young ones today and continue to pique their fancy as they grow up, head to college and beyond.

Breakfast

Help your young ones start off the day on the right foot with these yummy meals that are so good you might just want to make them for yourself as well.

  1. Baked Oatmeal: Give a tasty twist to traditional oatmeal with this hearty vegan recipe.
  2. Healthy Breakfast Cookie: Think cookies can't be for breakfast? Think again. This recipe will have your kids thinking they're getting away with something while still eating healthy.
  3. Wonderful Waffles: Cut out the dairy and enjoy these yummy waffles for breakfast.
  4. Hearty Hash Browns: Turn a couple of boring potatoes into a breakfast bonanza with the help of this recipe.
  5. Vegan French Toast: With a couple of tweaks you can make a breakfast classic vegan.
  6. Vegan Pumpkin Pancakes: Instead of settling for plain old pancakes, give this recipe a try to spice them up in a way even your little ones will love.
  7. Breakfast Burrito: Take breakfast south of the border by trying out this fabulous vegan breakfast burrito recipe.
  8. Tofu Scramble: Not being able to eat eggs doesn't mean you can't enjoy a good breakfast scramble. As this recipe demonstrates, tofu can be a good substitute.
  9. Eggs Benedict: Hollandaise sauce is generally pretty non-vegan, but this recipe makes a few tweaks that keep it animal-free and tasty.
  10. Breakfast Home Fries: Your kids will love eating these tasty fries for breakfast.
  11. Buckwheat Pancakes: Amp up the nutrition in these breakfast staples by using buckwheat.
  12. Banana Bread Pudding: Indulge in the deliciousness of this recipe for a great start to your morning.
  13. Breakfast Quinoa: Quinoa isn't just a dinner or lunchtime grain. With the help of some spices and fruit, it can be a great breakfast for kids as well.
  14. Glazed Donuts: This donut recipe can be a great treat for hungry kids and is simple to make as well.

Lunch

Whether they're eating at home or bringing lunch to school, give kids delicious vegan options by using these recipes.

  1. BBQ Delight: Bread, lettuce, tomato, soy cheese and BBQ sauce blend to create this simple lunch sandwich.
  2. Low Fat Vegan Egg Salad: No eggs? No problem! Learn how to make a faux egg salad that won't have you or your kids missing the real deal.
  3. Mock Tuna Salad: You don't need to eat fish to enjoy the flavor of tuna salad when you use this recipe.
  4. Vegan Grilled Cheese: Learn to fully master the art of this kid-friendly classic using vegan ingredients.
  5. No Mayo Vegan Potato Salad: A perfect side for any sandwich, this potato salad gets creative with ingredients to keep it vegan.
  6. Peanut Tofu Wrap: Even picky kids will love this take on tofu that wraps it all up and tops it off with a tasty peanut sauce.
  7. Rice and Lentil Salad: Use leftover rice and lentils to throw together this salad that's a perfect side or main dish.
  8. Chickpea of the Sea Sandwich: Turn chickpeas into a tuna substitute using this recipe from The Kitchn.
  9. Quinoa and Smoked Tofu Salad: Fancy enough to please adult palates but simple enough for little ones to love, this salad is a great way to keep your family healthy and full.
  10. Tempeh BLT: Sub out real bacon in favor of a tempeh alternative to create this classic dish kids will love.
  11. Elise's Sesame Noodles: Simple to make and tasty to eat, this recipe blends noodles, veggies, sesame seeds and sauce to create an enviable lunch.
  12. Broccoli Latkes: Give your potato pancakes a boost of nutrition by throwing in some broccoli for a healthy meal your kids will love.

Main Courses

Make dinner a breeze around your home with these recipes that are sure to please.

  1. Vegetable Maki Sushi: Kids and adults alike will have a blast making this veggie sushi.
  2. Vegetable Pot Pie: Pot pies might not scream vegan, but this recipe will show you can do a great job making a vegan alternative that will please your picky eaters.
  3. Homestyle Vegan Meatloaf: While this recipe doesn't use any real meat, it does create a delicious dinner for your family.
  4. Black Bean Zucchini Quesadillas: Simple, healthy and delicious, this meal will be a winner for any parent out there, vegan or not.
  5. Hurry Up Alfredo: This quick meal gives a vegan take on a traditional alfredo pasta.
  6. Pan-Fried Gnocchi with Morels and Fiddleheads: This recipe looks like it's from a fairytale which might please kids, but if they're put off by the veggies, simply sub in others instead.
  7. Sweet Potato Falafel: These tasty falafels are hard to resist and are a perfect treat for a fall dinner.
  8. Chili Mac: Few meals are more classic than chili mac, and with this recipe you'll be able to whip it up without using a single non-vegan ingredient.
  9. Barbecued Seitan Ribz: Seitan is a versatile substance, and in this recipe you'll learn how to use it to craft delicious BBQ ribs for your family.
  10. Italian Layered Vegetable Casserole: Eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and beans form the base for this delicious dish.
  11. Simple Fried Rice with Japanese Seven Spice: Give traditional fried rice a vegan spin with this amazing recipe from Vegan Yum Yum.
  12. Breaded "Chicken" Nuggets: Many kids out there love things that come in nugget form, so bread up some tofu and get those kids noshing on this healthy treat.
  13. Vegan American Hamburger: If your family wants to enjoy some yummy burgers, try out this recipe to do it vegan style.

Sides

If you're looking for something to pair with a hearty vegan main dish, these recipes may be just what you're looking for.

  1. Vegan Mac and Cheese: You won't meet many kids who'll pass up on mac and cheese, so learn to make it the vegan way to keep you and your kids happy at the same time.
  2. Basic Vegan Mashed Potatoes: Enjoy delicious, creamy mashed potatoes with your main dish when you use this recipe.
  3. Vegan Gravy: Looking to top those taters? This gravy recipe has you covered.
  4. Wild Rice Dressing: Whether you're having it for a holiday meal or just a weeknight side, this recipe is super healthy and super easy to make.
  5. Baked Beans: Perfect for that summertime BBQ, this recipe helps you create amazing baked beans with vegan ingredients.
  6. Edamame Fried Rice: Those delightful soybeans are put to good use in making this irresistible rice dish.
  7. Italian Sauteed Vegetables: It doesn't get much simpler than this great recipe for a veggie side.
  8. Farmer's Market Quinoa: Take advantage of those fresh veggies by whipping up this dish, subbing in the veggies your kids like best.
  9. Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad: This summery salad makes a great side to any Mexican dish, burgers or just about anything else.
  10. Mediterranean Chickpeas: Chickpeas are packed with the protein you and your little ones need to stay healthy, so whip up this recipe to try a tasty way to prepare them.
  11. Fingerling Potatoes and Paprika: This simple dish will help to round out any family meal.
  12. Whipped Sweet Potatoes: Sick of regular old potatoes? Use sweet potatoes instead as this recipe suggests.
  13. Vegetable Tempura: You don't have to go out to get great tempura. Make this fried side as a treat for any Asian-inspired meal.

Soups and Chilis

If you want to warm up with something tasty, these soup recipes are totally veggie and don't skimp on flavor.

  1. Roasted Pumpkin-Apple Soup: This recipe will soon become a fall favorite in your home.
  2. Quick and Easy Potato Soup: If you're looking to make dinner in a hurry, try out this family-friendly soup recipe.
  3. Garden Vegetable and Bean Soup: Check out this highly nutritious recipe for dinner.
  4. Cream of Tomato Soup: Paired with a grilled cheese, this soup will be one of your kid's favorites.
  5. Quick Edamame Soup: If your little ones love edamame, they're bound to enjoy this tasty Asian soup.
  6. Leek Potato Soup: Less pungent than onions, leeks are a great choice for picky eaters.
  7. "Chicken" Noodle Soup: Who says you can't enjoy a great chicken noodle soup just because you're vegan? Give this recipe a try for that homemade taste.
  8. Zesty Wheat Berry-Black Bean Chili: Amp up the health of your chili by trying out this recipe.
  9. Classic Chili: Whether you're watching the big game or just hungry for a filling meal, this recipe has got you covered.

Desserts

Just because you're eating vegan doesn't mean you can't indulge your sweet tooth now and then. Kids and adults alike will love these recipes.

  1. Mint Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies: Double the chocolate means double the deliciousness with this recipe.
  2. Pineapple Creamsicles: They're creamy without the cream, the ideal vegan dessert.
  3. The Ultimate Vegan Brownie: These brownies are so rich and chocolatey, one just might be enough.
  4. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies: This basic cookie recipe gets a vegan update here.
  5. Vanilla Cupcakes: Bake up a batch of tasty cupcakes for a party or just for fun using this recipe.
  6. Apple Pie: With help on making a vegan crust, you'll have no trouble whipping up this classic pie for dessert.
  7. Vegan Truffles: Got a kid with a hankering for chocolate? Make these chocolate candies that are dairy-free.
  8. Blueberry Hand Pies: Individual pies are a great way to mix up the traditional dessert.
  9. Sassy Shortbread Cookies: Shortbread cookies are a great snack or dessert and this recipe will show you a great way to make them.
  10. Strawberry Rhubarb Pie: Your kids might not know what rhubarb is but they'll know they love it after trying this recipe.
  11. Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes: Make eating cupcakes even more fun by cooking and serving them in ice cream cones.
  12. Peanut Butter Bombs: These globes of goodness are sure to satisfy even the most discriminating sweet tooth.
  13. Sugar Cookies: This vegan recipe will help you make those Christmas or holiday cookies you grew up with.

Snacks

If your kids are begging for a snack between meals, these options are easy, tasty and sometimes healthy ways to appease them.

  1. Oaracopuwape Balls: The name may be hard to say but these snacks are worth the tongue twisting to make.
  2. Vegan Lassi: Learn how to make this classic Indian yogurt drink the vegan way with help from this recipe.
  3. Fat Free Vegan Smoothie: Tweak the ingredients of this smoothie recipe to fit the tastes of your kids.
  4. Hummus: Few snacks are healthier or tastier than hummus, and you can easily make your own at home.
  5. Vegetable and Mint Summer Rolls with Peanut Sauce: Kids will love these fun, see-through spring rolls as a snack.
  6. Easy Green Sprout Roll-Ups: Healthy and appealing to kids, these rolls are the perfect snack.
  7. Vegan Corn Fritters: If you're willing to put in a bit more effort, these fritters are a delicious appetizer or snack– especially when corn is in season.
  8. Homemade Applesauce: Sure, you could buy applesauce, but it'll be that much more delicious when you do it yourself.
  9. Mozzarella Sticks: These breaded soy cheese sticks will be a big hit with your kids.
  10. Puppy Chow: This chow-down classic gets an update with this recipe, becoming the perfect, though not quite healthy, snack for kids.
  11. Breaded Tofu: Jazz up tofu with some breading and pan frying.
  12. Simply Nachos: It's hard to go wrong with nachos, so learn how to make them as a tasty vegan treat for your kids using this recipe.
  13. Raisin Walnut Balls: These snacks are tasty, but are also packed with protein and nutrients your kids need.

Baked Goods

Baking doesn't have to involve eggs, butter and milk. These vegan recipes prove that you can make delicious baked goods completely animal product-free.

  1. Blueberry Scones: Blueberries add a hint of sweetness to these yummy scones, perfect for breakfast, dessert or tea time.
  2. Coffee Cake: You'll want to eat this coffee cake all day, not just paired with a cup of joe.
  3. Vegan Wheat Bread: You could buy bread at the store, but this recipe makes it much more satisfying to make it at home.
  4. Cinnamon Raisin Bread: The cinnamon-goodness of this bread will have your kids eating it up.
  5. Vegan Cranberry Nut Bread: This bread is pretty healthy and tasty enough for even picky eaters to love.
  6. Banana Bread: This classic bread is a great way to use up old bananas while making a yummy snack.
  7. Vegan French Bread: Pair your favorite pasta or sandwich toppings with this fabulous vegan take on traditional French bread.
  8. Raspberry Applesauce Muffins: These muffins are a perfect start, or end, to the day when raspberries are in season.
  9. Croissants: Ideal for breakfast or just a special treat, these buttery pastries are even better when made vegan.
  10. Vegan Strawberry Pop Tarts: Vegans may not be able to eat store-bought pop tarts, but they can make their own that are just as tasty at home.
  11. Cinnamon Buns: Your little ones will love snacking on these amazing cinnamon rolls on a lazy Saturday morning.
  12. Blueberry Muffins: Try out this recipe to enjoy a vegan version of this classic muffin.
  13. Pannetone: You can still enjoy this traditional holiday sweet bread when you follow this vegan recipe.

50 Best Blogs for Brand New Dads

February 24th, 2011

Having a baby is an overwhelming experience, not just for moms, but for dads, too. Particularly in the early days, parents need help, information, and reassurance that they're not the only ones with a dirty spit-up rag in every room of the house. So many people forget about the love and effort that dads devote to their children, but these bloggers haven't. Check out our list to find the 50 best blogs that offer insight for brand new dads.

By Dads

New or experienced, these dads offer advice from an insider's perspective.

  1. A Dad's Heart: Cameron discusses why being an involved dad is good for everyone.
  2. Out-Numbered: Jason Mayo is outnumbered by the ladies in his home.
  3. I'm the Dad, That's Why!: John shares fatherly advice on this blog.
  4. His Boys Can Swim: Tarzan and Jane share the story of their lives with Monkey.
  5. New Dads' Blog: New Dads' Blog chronicles one man's journey into fatherhood.
  6. The Newborn Identity: Mike shares his experiences as a stay at home dad who lost a child, but had another one.
  7. Dad of Divas: Find advice, information, and more for dads with little girls.
  8. Dude Knows Best: This blogger writes about being a dad and a dude.
  9. Daddy Mojo: Daddy Mojo has parenting support, tips, and stories.
  10. Daddy Types: Daddy Types is a blog for new dads.
  11. Dad in Real Life: Check out this blog for insight on being a real dad.
  12. Creative-Type Dad: This blogger discusses his life as a creative dad in LA.
  13. Life of a New Dad: This dad shares his life as a new dad who is now expecting twins.
  14. First Time Father: First Time Father has stories from the front line of fatherhood.
  15. When You Have a Kid Blog: Ed is a first time dad sharing the ways your life changes when you have a kid.
  16. A Blogger and a Father: This dad of two shares his experiences.
  17. Didn't Pull Out: A teen dad writes this blog about becoming a dad.
  18. The New Dad Blog: This first time dad writes about the joys and challenges of a new baby.
  19. Backpacking Dad: This dad carries his kids around in his backpack.
  20. New Dad Blog: Adam writes about being a dad, one step at a time.
  21. Puzzling Posts: Puzzling Posts is a dad's admission of cluelessness.
  22. The New Dad Blog 2: This dad writes about having two kids.

Working Dads

See fatherhood from the perspective of working dads in these blogs.

  1. The Daddy Dispatch: This writer by trade is a dad who wants to raise his kids to not be assholes.
  2. Commuter Daddy: Sean discusses his life as a dad on the go.
  3. The Busy Dad Blog: Jim offers a look at parenting through beer goggles.
  4. Workbench: Workbench is about fixing toys, building relationships, and more.

Stay at Home/Work at Home Dads

These dads get things done at home, whether the job is bringing home the bacon, taking care of the kids, or both.

  1. Cry It Out: Mike shares his thoughts as a stay at home dad.
  2. Beta Dad: Beta Dad is a stay at home dad with twin girls.
  3. At Home Dad: At Home Dad is an oasis for stay at home dads.
  4. LiteralDan: LiteralDan shares the musings of a work at home dad and freelance writer.
  5. Clark Kent's Lunchbox: Ron Mattocks has 5 kids and works from home.
  6. Real Men Drive Minivans: Read about fatherhood, family, and food from this dad.
  7. Daddy Dialectic: Daddy Dialectic is written by dads who stay at home to care for their kids.
  8. Sweet Juniper: Jim writes as a Gentleman of Elegant Leisure and dad.
  9. Daddy's Tired: Doug offers parenting advice as a diversion from all the excitement at home.
  10. DadCentric: This group of dads writes to overthrow outdated notions of fatherhood.

Geek Dads

These dad bloggers are working hard to make fatherhood look cool.

  1. Pop Culture: Pop Culture shares the latest in parenting technology.
  2. Daddy Forever: Daddy Forever has four geeky kids in Oregon.
  3. Dorky Dad: Dorky Dad is where hope and testosterone go to die.
  4. GeekDad: GeekDad shares advice and information for raising geek generation 2.0.
  5. I Have to Wipe Their What?: Surfer Jay writes hilarious musings on being a dad.

Advice

Check out these blogs to find advice for fatherhood and parenting.

  1. DIY Father: DIY Father has a father's guide to parenting.
  2. Dad's House: Dad's House is all about parenting as a divorced single father.
  3. Frugal Dad: Frugal Dad makes frugal cool again.
  4. Dad Does: Dads offer product reviews and more on this blog.
  5. Book Dads: Find great resources for reading to your kids on Book Dads.
  6. Dads Adventure: Take on these adventures as a new dad.
  7. Parent Hacks: Read Parent Hacks to find ingenious parenting tips from actual parents.
  8. Parenting Advice: Families.com offers this blog with advice for parents.
  9. Parenting Blog: Parenting Blog discusses the best job in the world.

10 Greatest Novels for Nurses

February 23rd, 2011

One great way to escape the pressures and stresses of nursing school or work is to read a great novel. These literary works, featuring nurses and health care facilities, will provide you with a much-needed dose of fun and fantasy while reminding you why you chose the profession in the first place. So if you want to re ignite your passion for nursing or just spend a wonderful evening kicking back, check out one of these amazing novels.

  1. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. This prize-winning novel was made into a prize-winning movie, but that doesn't mean the literary version still isn't worth checking out. In it, readers will find a story about four entangled lives during the last weeks of WWII. At the center of the drama is the mysterious English patient being cared for by nurse Hana, a man whose memories slowly reveal a tale of love, betrayal and redemption.
  2. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. If you've never read this literary classic, it's never too late to start. Set in WWII, the story follows a young soldier named Henry, based loosely on Hemingway's own wartime experiences. When he becomes injured he finds himself falling for the elusive nurse Catherine, a complicated and tragic figure. If you're looking for happy endings, this might not be a good choice, but if you want a moving portrayal of men and women coming to terms with life, both the good and the bad, then pick up this read.
  3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. This book is an incredibly popular read among nurses. Why? The main character, Claire Randall, is a nurse herself serving in the British Army during WWI. But this is no traditional novel, as it blends elements of fantasy, romance, historical fiction and legend to tell Claire's tale. In it, the happily married Claire finds herself suddenly transported back in time where she meets and falls in love with another man. Torn between her two loves and two centuries, Claire's story is one of passion, pain and intrigue that's sure to keep you reading page after page.
  4. The Thin White Line by Craig DiLouie. While the panic associated with avian and swine flu turned out to be overblown, the reality is that a pandemic illness could hit and wipe out entire communities at any time. This novel takes a look at what could and quite possibly would happen if such an epidemic were to hit Canada. It is a fascinating takes on both the personal and political ramifications of such a disaster and is a great read for any nurse with an interest in infectious disease.
  5. The Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. Drawing on her own experiences, Scarborough creates the fictional Kathleen McCulley in this novel, a nurse on a tour of duty at China Beach in Vietnam. Dealing with not only healing the battle wounds of soldiers but her own ambivalence towards the enemy, the racism of her charges and her own personal battles. While the novel is set on the field of battle, nurses in any profession will recognize the courage it takes to keep it together in such a stressful situation.
  6. The Glory Cloak: A Novel of Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton by Patricia O'Brien. If you were inspired to become a nurse by historical greats like Clara Barton, you'll love this fictional take on her life and work that unites her with the author of the classic novel Little Women. The story follows Alcott and her fictional cousin Susan as they help join the war effort by becoming nurses, encountering the battlefield legend Barton in the process. Blending love, history, friendship and betrayal, the novel is at once engrossing and enlightening about life and work during the turn of the century.
  7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. Think you've got a real piece of work for a coworker? He or she is likely nothing compared to the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in this classic novel. Kesey's portrayal of a fictional insane asylum garnered him international acclaim and numerous awards, and the book is still worth a read today. The story centers on Patrick McMurphy, a mental patient who antagonizes his nurse and upsets the daily routine of the other patients, but not without just cause. It is a frank look at the state of institutional care and a must-read for anyone working in psychiatric nursing.
  8. My Name Is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira. Set in the Civil War, a young midwife leaves home in this novel to seek out the medical experience she wants in order to help her become a doctor. Readers will find that she gets what she wished for, with vivid descriptions of medical treatments common at the time that would seem like torture or mutilation today, showing just how far we've come with medical advancements.
  9. Cherry Ames Nursing by Helen Wells. This collection of novels was geared towards young girls when it came out in the 40's through the 60's and meant to inspire them to a career in nursing. The young girl the stories center on is at first a student nurse but later becomes a full-fledged professional, all while she solves mysteries, stands up for herself and is a fully independent woman. The novels are surprisingly feminist for their early publication date, and while they contain some nursing stereotypes are still fun, inspiring and entertaining reads for anyone working in the field.
  10. No Other Medicine by Gail Ghingna Hallas, RN PhD. Titled after the quote, "the miserable have no other medicine but hope," this book takes a harsh look at the corruption, ineptitude and downright cruelty that can take place in the medical profession. The author is a nurse herself, which helped her create a nice variety of fictional characters that are richly developed and true to life. While the story was written in the early 70's, many nurses will sadly recognize that many of the issues she addresses are still prevalent in hospitals across the nation. A riveting, compelling (though depressing) novel, it's a great read for anyone with a passion for health care and patient rights.

A Back-to-Basics Approach to Crafting Your College Essay

February 18th, 2011

Once you've decided to go to college, it's time to start filling out the various forms and applications that colleges seem to need more of each year. This process may require applicants to create an essay on a specific topic that displays their talents and reasons for wanting to attend the school. For people who find writing to be an easy task, the essay portion of the application can be completed without any complications. However, not all applicants are skilled at writing and may become anxious when they get to that part of the process. There are a few tips individuals can keep in mind to make writing simple and stress-free.

  • Think of it as an opportunity. Even though there may be a provided question and a word limit, the essay portion of a college application is a prime opportunity to showcase expertise. Individuals who are not skilled writers can use the chance to exhibit their knowledge on a particular subject or refer to a relevant experience in their life. An essay can easily be turned into a reflection of who the writer is as a person and worthy student.
  • Create a thesis. To avoid any confusion for readers, applicants are encouraged to develop a thesis based on the essay question at hand. Having a focus point and an opinion can make a paper more cohesive and simpler to read. Beginning the writing process with a specific trait of thought in mind can also help individuals avoid over-writing and adding unnecessary "fluff" to the story.
  • Proofread. One of the biggest mistakes that a college applicant can make is failing to proofread their story before submitting it to the admissions board. Typos and grammatical errors are unacceptable in the workplace, and getting into the habit of double-checking work in college will prove to be worthwhile. Administrators who read an essay with a slew of errors may also be more likely to reject an applicant due to the carelessness.
  • Be specific. Although there may be a maximum word requirement for an essay, individuals are encouraged to remember that quality is better than quantity. Being concise and making punctual points throughout a paper can make a story memorable and worthwhile to a college administrator.
  • Do not bog down the essay with facts. Including historical facts can enhance an essay, but adding too much can make a story confusing and difficult to read. Individuals should make note of how many references and facts they use throughout the essay and create a limit. Developing a boundary can help a writer stay on target while composing their paper.
  • Do not write a resume. While it can be beneficial to discuss past experiences, applicants should avoid listing intricate details that could make the essay seem more like a list of details. Not only is this uninviting to the reader, but it is often bland and can lose an administrator's interest in the piece. The essay should have a natural flow that is constructed with a beginning, middle and end.
  • Do not write to please the reader. Writing honestly is one of the best ways an individual can increase their chances of being accepted into a school for who they are as a person. Attempting to compose a paper to meet the expectations of an administrator is the quickest way to run into writer's block. All readers have different standards, and it is nearly impossible to pinpoint what is the right and wrong thing to say while writing. Applicants who write honestly can relieve themselves of the stress to impress and concentrate on putting in their best effort.

Scholarship Tips Every Student Should Know

February 18th, 2011

Many people are interested in enrolling in a traditional or online college to earn a postsecondary degree, but it can be difficult to do so without the financial means to pay for tuition. Enrolling in college comes with a number of expenses, ranging from textbooks to course credits. Federal financial aid can help pay for some of these costs, but it may not be enough for low-income adults who are looking to finish their schooling. Scholarships are one way to lower the price tag on a college education. In addition to schools, a number of organizations and corporations offer scholarships. They vary in amount, but accumulating a number of scholarships can help chip away at college expenses. There are many ways to find scholarships, but individuals often overlook some of the most common places that offer them. These are a few ways future college students can search and apply for extra cash.

  • Look for scholarships that apply to your particular degree. Many organizations offer scholarships that can be applied to both undergraduate and graduate studies, but an individual may be able to find more options by narrowing their search according to their program. A number of scholarships are also designed to cater to students who are pursuing doctorate and master's degrees. By seeking out these additional options, individuals can apply for the maximum amount of scholarship money possible.
  • Consider looking for local scholarships. Large companies and colleges often offer scholarships, but small businesses often do as well. Before looking for help from big corporations, individuals are encouraged to take a trip around their town. Community bulletin boards typically post scholarship listings, while local businesses may advertise scholarships of their own at various locations. Although small companies may not offer a lot of money, every bit counts.
  • Use the Internet to find underlying scholarships. Advertisements for scholarships may be abundant in the local area, but the Internet is home to many opportunities as well. College websites, such as Fastweb and CollegeBoard, can redirect individuals to available scholarships and help them through the application process. However, a quick Google search can bring up potential scholarships as well. Once again, students are encouraged to search for opportunities that apply to their studies, whether it's a bachelor's or master's degree.
  • Look into federal scholarships. Private scholarships that are offered by businesses may have deadlines or requirements that do not fit the needs of individuals looking for fast cash. For those who are looking for other viable options, scholarships from the federal government may be worth considering. They typically have requirements that can be met by the average person looking to enroll in a traditional or online college, but many prospective students apply for these scholarships. Due to the steep competition, individuals may need to put in more effort to earn the money that is offered through the government.
  • Talk to college officials. Because postsecondary institutions want individuals to choose their school as a place to earn a degree, they often provide a number of scholarship opportunities. After surfing the web and making the most of opportunities from small businesses, students can consider inquiring within the school of their choice. Colleges are another place where the competition for scholarship money can be tight, but a good application can still help an individual earn a few dollars that can deter costs in the long run.
  • Speak to your employer. Even small companies may offer opportunities to their employees. Businesses that value their workers typically provide chances to further their education through scholarship programs. A higher education can help individuals advance their careers, which is a priority for many companies.

50 Natural Antidepressants to Beat the Winter Blues

February 17th, 2011

In the wintertime, it can be hard to stay cheery. With dreary weather, lots of time indoors, and lowered activity levels, it's not surprising. But there's a lot you can do to do nurse your happiness, even in the winter months. Read on to find out about food, supplements, and activities you can try to beat the winter blues.

Food & Supplements

These foods and supplements are great for a mood boost.

  1. Natural sweeteners: Sweeteners like agave nectar or maple syrup are great alternatives to refined sugar, which has been linked to depression.
  2. Poultry: Tryptophan and B6 help produce serotonin and other amino acids are good antidepressants.
  3. Water: Dehydration can cause fatigue and depression, so be sure to drink enough water.
  4. Eat lightly and often: Prevent dips in blood sugar that can bring down your mood by eating often and lightly.
  5. Cheese: The tyrptophan in cheddar and swiss cheese can release serotonin.
  6. Walnuts: Try walnuts as a snack for omega 3 fatty acids and uridine that can elevate your mood.
  7. Spinach: Turn to spinach for a good source of folic acid, which can help you maintain proper physical and mental health.
  8. 5HTP: The 5HTP supplement can be a precursor to increase serotonin levels.
  9. Whole wheat: Wheat bread with whole wheat can help you produce healthy amounts of serotonin.
  10. Sushi: Fish oil offers a way to increase omega-3 fatty acids in your system, which can help fight depression.
  11. L-tyrosine: L-tyrosine is a precursor to norepinephrine, and it's good for those who don't respond to most antidepressant drugs.
  12. Eat lean protein: Protein offers a great feeling of alertness, as well as productivity.
  13. Oranges: The Vitamin C offered in oranges and citrus fruits can help your body produce dopamine.
  14. Dark chocolate: Boost your spirits with a dark chocolate treat.
  15. Red pepper: Red peppers have good Vitamin C for producing dopamine.
  16. Limit refined carbs: Soda, white flour, cookies, and other foods high in carbohydrates can cause you fatigue and depression.
  17. St. John's Wort: Researchers believe that St. John's Wort may be able to help lift depression.
  18. Phenylalanine: This amino acid can help the body make norepinephrine, an essential neurotransmitter for the brain and happiness.
  19. Calcium citrate: Prevent a calcium deficiency, which can cause irritability, insomnia, and anxiety, with calcium citrate.
  20. Vitamin B-12: B-12 can give you great energy and a mood lifter.
  21. Sam-e: This coenzyme enhances cognitive function, and can treat depression as well as other psychiatric illnesses.
  22. Fish oil: Some instances of depression can be from a deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids, and fish oil can help treat the nutritional roots of this deficiency.
  23. Folic acid: A deficiency in folate can cause depression and other mood disorders, so make sure you're getting enough of this supplement.
  24. Kanna: This medicinal herb is part of a class of compounds that can treat depression, anxiety, and more on an as-needed basis.
  25. Ginseng: Ginseng can improve your energy levels and cope with stress.

Activities

Try these activities to lighten your mood this winter.

  1. Read inspiring quotes and jokes: Keep a list of inspiring jokes and quotes to refer to whenever you need them.
  2. Maximize light: Use natural daylight or full-spectrum lighting to inspire happiness.
  3. Call a friend: Reconnect with a favorite friend for an uplifted mood.
  4. Aerobic exercise: Aerobic exercise can offer a natural mood lift.
  5. Get some sunshine: Spending time in the sunshine can help you get the Vitamin D you need to increase serotonin in the brain.
  6. Fake a smile: Pretend you're happy, and it just might happen.
  7. Light Therapy: Light Therapy with bright lights like a fluorescent light unit can be used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
  8. Avoid stress: Staying away from prolonged periods of stress can help you avoid imbalances that lead to depression.
  9. Reminisce: Look through old journals or albums for an uplifting walk through memory lane.
  10. Vital energy exercise: Exercise like yoga, t'ai chi, or dance can offer a natural mood lift.
  11. Meditation: Meditation's health benefits include improving mood, as well as reducing anxiety and stress.
  12. Gardening: The act of gardening, as well as friendly bacteria in soil, can increase levels of serotonin and improve your mood.
  13. Make something: Using your creative mind can feed your soul and make you happier.
  14. Acupuncture: Acupuncture may be able to improve your mood, and depressive symptoms.
  15. Inspiring music: Music that inspires you can give you a better mood.
  16. Eat a healthy diet: Taking in enough protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals can keep your nutrition on track to a positive mind.
  17. Cheer someone else up: Do something thoughtful for someone else, and you just might feel better yourself.
  18. Take a bath: Use essential oils to kick back and enjoy a bath for a natural happiness boost.
  19. Burn frankincense: Frankincense can create a peaceful environment and activate channels in the brain that help depression.
  20. De-clutter: Take on a small de-cluttering job for a sense of accomplishment that can make you happier.
  21. Get some good sleep: Well rested people tend to lower their risk of depression.
  22. Laugh: Having a good laugh can reduce stress hormones that typically cause depression.
  23. Exercise: Getting active can boost your mood and reduce the risk of depression, as well as trigger positive feelings with endorphins.
  24. Taking a time-out: Meditation can reduce the likelihood of depression, allowing you to treat your thoughts as just thoughts.
  25. Consider depression's source: Using depression to make you stronger and solve problems can improve your outlook overall.

10 Amazing, Emerging Advances in Medical Technology

February 16th, 2011

Regardless of whether or not they fully enjoy or understand the science, everyone should put forth at least a modicum of effort to follow the latest medical technology news and views. Amazing things evolve every day to make life so much easier for patients and doctors alike, and understanding what they are and how they work sheds considerable light on what can be done to ailing friends, family and ourselves. Many more beautiful bits of research and development have emerged lately than just the ones listed here. Be sure to check those out in order to get a much broader picture of the stunning scientific applications headed in humanity's direction.

  1. Faster MRIs: A Science Daily article excitedly reports that neuroscientists and physicists with Oxford University, University of California, Berkeley and University of Minnesota have developed new brain scans performing up to 7 times faster than their predecessors. These MRIs render a complete 3D image of the brain in less than half a second. Previously, it took between 2 and 3 seconds. Such a major achievement assists neuroscientists and doctors needing to find dangerous but difficult to find brain phenomena. Physicist David Feinberg refers to the essential organ as a "moving target" — a phrase many unfamiliar with human physiology may find puzzling. But for medical professionals, lessening the amount of time it takes to map the brain means more opportunities to figure out how its more mysterious, fleeting components work.

  2. Water fleas as human test subjects: Water fleas, also known as Daphnia pulex, boast the highest amount of genes than any other animal. Yes, that includes humans. But a Science article from February 3, 2011 revealed an even more startling fact — these extremely common, oft-studied little arthropods share more genes with people than any other species in their phylum. From both an environmental and a public health perspective, this discovery can help scientists better understand the impact certain chemicals have on nature and the body alike. While there's obviously going to be many genetic divergences, scientist believe these humble little creatures will play an integral role in toxicology tests beneficial to the overall safety and well-being of many different organisms.

  3. Stopping organ failure before it starts: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid developers and researchers have discovered an amazing strategy for scanning cells all the way down at the molecular level. The wondrous device, tested at the Gregorio Maranon Hospital, uses molecular imaging to explore erratic and potentially erratic cell behavior, allowing doctors an amazing advantage when it comes to diagnosing organ failure and other malfunctions. When caught quickly enough, these unfortunate circumstances can actually be partially or fully addressed before causing serious health and physiological damage. In addition, this new biomedical miracle also holds the potential to help professionals develop stronger, more effective medications fighting diseases and debilitating conditions right where they begin. Juan Jose Vaquero and Manuel Desco head up the thoroughly awesome team and its efforts to patent such a revolutionary piece of machinery.

  4. "The YouTube Cure": Scientific American discusses the story of Paolo Zamboni — a neurosurgeon with the single greatest last name in history — and the highly controversial role social media played in finding him subjects for experimental surgery. He developed a method to relieve some of the horrid pain associated with MS using inflated balloons on twisted neck nerves, but needed to perform the procedure multiple times to ensure its validity. News of Zamboni's theories hit the internet before his article in the Journal of Vascular Surgery was even released, and hospitals and individual patients the world over scrambled to participate. Harnessing social media in such a fashion, however, can easily prove just as dangerous and detrimental to a patient's health as it does beneficial. While Zamboni is a legitimate, albeit oft-questioned, professional genuinely hoping to help MS patients, no filters exist for preventing abuse. Individuals and groups both in- and outside the medical field harboring either malicious intent or questionable competence are more than capable of preying off patients' desperation for a solution. "The YouTube Cure" still exists on the fringes of medical science, but time will reveal whether or not it proves a worthwhile strategy.

  5. Magnetic molecules: Rainer Herges at Kiel University and his team of chemists devised a brilliant method for manipulating the magnetism of molecules at room temperature. Referred to as "function by switching," this practice involves a machine akin to a tiny record player, constructed of nickel ion, a pigment ring surrounding it and a suspended nitrogen atom. Irradiation with a blue-green light source launches the nickel ion and nitrogen atom to interact in a manner causing the former to end up magnetized. Herges' crew is enthusiastic about potential medical applications, including accurate temperatures gauging, 3D renderings of biochemical phenomena and pH balances. When magnetic salts are introduced as contrast agents, the developers believe their technique could illuminate different metabolic events, localize inflammations and even check for tumors.

  6. Bioengineered blood vessels: Right now, many scientists and medical professionals see some exciting promise in Shannon Dahl's biotech work with Humacyte. Donor cells stuffed into polyglycolic acid scaffolds are placed in a bioreactor, resulting in collagen constructs resembling blood vessels. In addition, the risk of a patient's body rejecting such implants is greatly minimized as well. Though currently in nascent stages, Dahl's developments mean some amazing, revolutionary things for patients and doctors with various arterial diseases and conditions. Even after refrigeration for years, the tubes still function in a similar manner to organic veins, arteries and capillaries. Transplants involving artificial polytetraflourethylene replacements oftentimes require repair or replacement after 10 months, making this awe-inducing research all the more attractive and optimistic.

  7. The STEM microscope: fMRIs and PET scans are great for picking up major brain damages, injuries and disorders, but not so much for more subtle issues involving chemical imbalances and communication breakdowns. Enter the stunning STEM microscope. A creation of UCLA physicists and neuroscientists, this amazing device records neuron activity in real time. Medical professionals working with schizophrenia, mental retardation, the autism spectrum and other conditions can harness the STEM microscope to better understand exactly how they operate. This leads to sturdier diagnoses and — maybe someday — stronger medications and even cures. At the moment, it can take around 250 pictures per second and provide a fully 3D view of the brain, and professors Katsushi Arisaka, Carlos Portera-Cailliau and their team are working to make it run much faster.

  8. Further blurring man and machine: At this point, it's become more than a touch cliche to compare current medical technology advances with science fiction tropes past, though such a mindset is exceptionally apt in many cases. This, of course, is one of them. In his book Beyond Boundaries: The New Neuroscience of Connecting Brains with Machines — and How It Will Change Our Lives, neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis takes what was once purely cyberpunk speculation and outlines today's very real sciences that will flip them into reality. He sincerely believes that mankind sits on the brink of linking the body directly to more sophisticated prosthetics — a dramatic boon for amputees, the paralyzed, individuals with organ failure and others afflicted by similar conditions. From there, Nicoleis visualizes a day when science will allow for complete brain uploads granting functional immortality and a solution for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. And, of course, the obligatory "much more."

  9. Kinder, gentler biopsies: At Michigan State, scientists and researchers are painstakingly working on laser technology to render biopsy procedures as painless and noninvasive as possible. Marcos Dantus and Sunney Xie are currently developing a method of scanning moles and other potentially cancerous growths using laser microscopes. They work by sending out quick pulses towards afflicted spots, adjusting themselves to react to and using various compounds. For patients concerned about skin cancer risk and potential, this saves them painful time underneath a knife — not to mention the hand-wringing involved when waiting for tests to come back. Medical professionals involved with pharmacology also benefit from such advances as well. Depending on the laser microscope's calibration, it's capable of exploring how drugs penetrate skin and hair — excellent news when developing the most effective drugs they can.

  10. Wireless heart monitors: When hospitals began experimenting with implanting electromechanical pressure sensors in their cardiac patients, they noticed a 30% decrease in readmissions. These wireless heart monitors, researched and created by CardioMEMS, relay arterial signals to doctors and greatly assist them in keeping track of all sorts of factors — making it an indispensable preventative tool. It works by using pressure-sensitive sensors to constantly maintain vigil over the pulmonary artery using electromechanical dynamics. Data is sent directly to physicians and surgeons, who can read cardiac activity remotely and detect possible problems before things get cataclysmic. They're also able to make more effective judgments when it comes to writing up prescriptions, and none of the parties involved have to deal with painful, sometimes problematic catheters. As mentioned earlier, early runs have proven incredibly positive in keeping many heart patients from relapsing and succumbing to the issues initially sending them to the hospital.

10 Celebrities Who Were Once Nurses

February 15th, 2011

Nursing isn't a logical first step towards a career in music, TV or or politics, but it's helped these famous faces achieve great success. And why shouldn't it? Having a background in caregiving, research, advocacy and medicine broadens your understanding of how other people live and what they need. Here are 10 celebrities who who once worked as or studied to become nurses.

  1. Naomi Judd: Celebrated country star and the mother of Wynona and Ashley, Naomi Judd started her career as a registered nurse. As a single mother, Naomi went to nursing school and then worked as an RN, but contracted hepatitis C from a needle stick. She had to retire from music in 1991 but is now a health advocate for the disease.
  2. Robin Quivers: Howard Stern sidekick now has her own show, but before she got into entertainment, Quivers was a U.S. Air Force nurse serving in Korea. She received an honorable discharge and began experimenting with radio jobs.
  3. Kate Gosselin: Former reality TV sensation and controversial mother figure Kate Gosselin had a real job before she made big bucks showing off her family on television. She worked as a labor and delivery room nurse in Pennsylvania, and in 2009, renewed her nursing license with the promised intent to complete 30 hours of continuing education requirements.
  4. Bonnie Hunt: Actress and comedienne Bonnie Hunt might be the funniest thing to come out of Middle America, next to David Letterman. The perky blonde studied nursing in Chicago, and even told NurseZone.com that she "was a nurse in my heart from the time I was a little girl." She worked in emergency medicine and oncology at Northwestern University Hospital and did improv comedy at night until she got her break.
  5. Darva Conger: While she's not as big of a celebrity as some of the other names on this list, Darva Conger did get her 15 minutes of fame. The former Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire contestant — and ultimate winner — worked as an ER nurse before flirting with a silhouetted millionaire on national TV.
  6. Julie Walters: Lovable and upbeat actress Julie Walters has been in everything from Mama Mia! to the Harry Potter movies in recent years to a slew of TV movies and series in the 70s, 80s and 90s. She first worked as a nurse for 18 months in England as a very young woman but always had a desire to act. She followed her boyfriend to Manchester and started working in theatre by the 1970s.
  7. Congresswoman Lois Capps: California Congresswoman Lois Capps succeeded her late husband in political office, but worked for 20 years as a nurse for the Santa Barbara School District. She at one point served as director of Santa Barbara County's Teenage Pregnancy and Parenting Project and the Parent and Child Enrichment Center is currently serves as co-chair of the House Nursing Caucus, as well as supporting many other health advocacy groups.
  8. Kathryn Joosten: Memorable actress Kathryn Joosten has starred on some of the most popular TV shows in American entertainment history, ranging from The West Wing to Desperate Housewives to Ally McBeal, and many, many others. She entered the workforce, however, as a psychiatric nurse at Chicago's Michael Reese Hospital. She married, had children, and then divorced, and turned to acting to support her two sons.
  9. Paul Brandt: Canadian country singer and songwriter Paul Brandt worked as a pediatric nurse at the Alberta Children;s Hospital before leaving to pursue his developing music career. In addition to his nursing degree, Brandt now has an honorary doctorate degree in Fine Arts from the University of Lethbridge.
  10. Derek Longmuir: Derek Longmuir actually turned to nursing after a successful tenure in the music business, with the Bay City Rollers. But then, trouble struck. Longmuir was found to possess child pornography and was fired from his job at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, although his foster son believes he was framed by a crazed fan.

50 Helpful Health Blogs for Seniors

February 10th, 2011

As Baby Boomers age and take on even more responsibilities caring for their parents and themselves, seniors are taking over the web. Whether you're a geriatrics nurse, planning for retirement, having trouble with your health insurance company, or trying to take better care of family members, turn to these helpful health blogs.

Healthy Living

Get all kinds of advice and support from these blogs, which cover senior nutrition, the transition to retirement, fitness in your later years, and more.

  1. Changing Aging: Dr. Bill Thomas wants to change your negative ideas about aging so that through "growth-oriented alternatives" you can enjoy your later years.
  2. Still Clickin: This blog covers a range of topics for retired seniors, including healthy living choices to help you feel engaged and active.
  3. Better Than I Ever Expected: Joan Price discusses sex in your golden years on her blog.
  4. Well: This NYT blog is for people of all ages but is a good resource for seniors wanting daily tips on step-by-step health goals and improving their quality of life.
  5. Fun, Fit and 60!: This 60-something blogger logs fitness and exercise activities to help him reach his cycling goals.
  6. Over 50 Website: From healthy recipe sharing to health insurance woes, this blog for boomers and seniors offers a dynamic conversation on all relevant topics.
  7. Better Health: After watching the news, read this blog to find out what all the dietary guidelines, recalls and warnings really mean for you and your health.
  8. Laurel on Health Food: Learn more about healthy food, vitamins, nutrition and healthy recipes from Laurel, a certified holistic health counselor and health coach.
  9. Wesley Homes Retirement Resources: Healthy, simple recipes punctuate posts about living in a retirement community, and living healthfully at home.
  10. AARP Health: The AARP's guide to healthy living, caregiving, health care and health policy includes a great mix of tips, news, tools and advice for every day.
  11. ThirdAge: Get advice on aging well, tips for dealing with specific conditions, and stories and news about retirement and relationships on this blog.
  12. Seniors Site: This regularly updated blog shares posts about caregiving, common health conditions and questions from seniors, and a guide to living healthy.
  13. RebootYou: Lee Callaway blogs to help seniors rethink their ideas about health, retirement, and aging. Posts cover weight loss and fitness, mental health, and more.
  14. Senior Nutrition Blog: Christian Senior Services' blog is run by Celeste Carpenter, the registered dietitian with Meals on Wheels of San Antonio.
  15. Good Health, Sharp Mind and Great Sex after 40: Even if you think 40 is young, this blog has good tips for the over 60 set, too.

News and Pharma

New laws, drug regulations, reformatory acts and debates can affect your own care and treatment in hospitals, nursing homes and at the pharmacy counter. As as a senior, it's important for you to keep up with health care news and policy so that you're always aware of your rights.

  1. Health Blog: The WSJ health blog reports on drug companies, FDA studies and general health trends.
  2. Consumer Reports Health Blog: Written for all types of readers, you'll find information on government health guidelines, health and medical technology, tips on nutrition, and health care.
  3. Alliance for Aging Research: The Alliance's blog reports on timely news stories and also studies and research in aging.
  4. A4M Events Blog: The World Anti-Aging Congress and Exposition posts more than events on their blog: it's also a good resource for learning about new treatments and research in Alzheimer's, cancer, and more.
  5. The New Old Age: The NYT's senior health blog discusses draining retirement funds, the new shingles vaccine, caregiving, and other issues affecting seniors today.
  6. HealthLawProf Blog: Keep up with this blog so that you can avoid scams and stand up for your own medical rights.
  7. Healthwatch: THE HILL's health care blog reports on the latest health care news from Washington.
  8. Health Beat: Here, you'll find a comprehensive summary of what's going on in America in terms of health care, from cancer stories to mental health care reform to emergency care and patients' rights.
  9. Health Wonk Review: This bi-weekly collection will quickly update you on the top stories on other health policy blogs, so that you don't have to sort through pages of posts to stay informed.
  10. Prescriptions: This blog covers "the business of health care," including drug news, different types of health insurance, and more.

Mental Health

From Alzheimer's to brain fitness, these mental health blogs will encourage and inspire you.

  1. Alzheimer's Blog: Angela Lunde, education outreach coordinator for the Mayo Clinic, blogs about Alzheimer's caregiving, early symptoms, and more.
  2. Emeritus Senior Living Blog: Learn how to live well as you age, even if you have Alzheimer's or another mental illness.
  3. Senior Reading Room: This encouraging blog posts stories and research-related news about Alzheimer's, and also has a page for caregivers.
  4. Family Relationships: Women of the Boomer generation get support and advice for caring for parents and other family members.
  5. Mental Health Gym Seniors' Blog: From resolutions to mental fitness exercises, you can care of your mental health here.
  6. World of Psychology: PsychCentral's blog touches on a range of psychology and mental health topics for the general public. Categories include bipolar disorder, the winter blues, self-confidence, and sleep.
  7. The Alzheimer's Care Blog: Here, research studies are simplified, giving you authoritative but accessible information on prevention, symptoms, and treatment.
  8. EarlyOnset Alzheimer's: Written to "encourage, inspire and inform,, this blog on Alzheimer's is written by a long-time volunteer for the Alzheimer's Association.

Health Care and Insurance

These blogs cover health care and policy, health insurance, and caregiving — from professionals and family.

  1. GeriPal: This geriatrics and palliative care blog posts about aging patient care, hospice, research, and more.
  2. Health Insurance Navigator: Let Lisa Zamosky clarify confusing health insurance policies and trends for you on this blog.
  3. The Professional Geriatric Care Manager's Blog: For patients, family members and professional caregivers, this blog explores the industry and gives tips on finding care for the aging patient.
  4. Health Agenda: The John A. Hartford Foundation blog, Health Agenda, aims to get more people talking about senior health care and geriatrics. Read posts from smart contributors on health care policy, education, Medicare and more.
  5. Home Sweet Home Care Blog: "The Eldercare Specialists" at Home Sweet Home Care maintain this informative blog, which includes a mix of nutrition tips, caregiving support and tips, and senior health news and views.
  6. Disease Management Care Blog: If you're going to need long-term care, read this blog to learn about new medical homes, the chronic care model, payment options and other key topics.
  7. Senior Care Blog: This newsletter and blog shares updates on health care, statistics on senior health in America, and options for finding adequate care.
  8. HealthBlawg: Often focusing on health care issues and reform, this blog is a good follow if you want to learn more about assisted living, home health care, Medicaid, new hospital technology and e-prescriptions, and other changing aspects of health care.
  9. InsureBlog: Get news and commentary on health insurance topics in the U.S.
  10. AAHPM Blog: Learn more about the hospice system and geriatrics in this blog for physicians, care givers, and those who are serious about the ins and outs of palliative care.
  11. Elder Senior Care Blog: Boca Home Care Services educates aging Americans and their families on what it's like to ease into home care, assisted living, and similar situations.
  12. Medicare News Blog: Keep up with Medicare enrollment deadlines, legislation and other issues here.
  13. Mothering Mother and More: This is a great blog for caregivers and their parents who need a little extra support transitioning into their new roles.

Specific Conditions and Treatments

If you'd like to learn more about Parkinson's, arthritis, or diabetes, check these blogs.

  1. Diabetes Daily: Join this community, or just browse the blogs to learn all about diabetes, from dealing with the disease to seeking treatment to planning meals.
  2. About Parkinson's Disease: Find Q&As, research reports, early symptom tips, and more support and resources here.
  3. Conquering Diabetes: Dr. Michael Dansinger blogs for WebMD on dealing with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes.
  4. All Flared Up: This arthritis blog has tips for "living, rather than wallowing."

50 Best Blogs for Adoption Advice

February 9th, 2011

Single, partnered or married parents elect to adopt children for a wide variety of reasons. Some struggle with infertility. Some like the idea of giving marginalized kids around the world opportunities to succeed at life. Some possess the resources to care for serious medical conditions and want to put them towards suffering youth. Regardless of their motivation, religion, sexual orientation or relationship status, there likely exists a resource brimming with insider tips and tricks for raising healthy, productive adopted kids. This list seeks to bring together a nice mix of these resources, though anyone curious about adoption or foster care should certainly pick up perspectives and facts from a much broader range.

Please keep in mind that many, many adoption scams exist to prey on the earnestness and kindness of potential parents or those wanting to show their support for the practice. Before shelling out any amount of money, conduct thorough research into the organizations or individuals asking for it. That includes any of the blogs listed here, which were picked because of their valuable, eclectic advice rather than services rendered.

Adoption Advice

  1. Adoption Help & Guidance: Adoption professional Mardie Caldwell pulls from her experience to offer up the best advice possible to potential parents of all types.

  2. Adoption Lives Transformed: Learn about adoption through parent stories, ruminations on lessons gleaned from the different experiences and recommended resources.

  3. Adoption at Families.com: The popular website hosts a special blog catering to the needs and concerns of adoptive and hopefully adoptive parents alike.

  4. O Solo Mama: One doesn't have to be married or partnered to adopt and raise a child, and Jessica Pegis overflows with advice, insight and research for the independent-minded single mother.

  5. Ramblings of a Single Dad: Single, adoptive fathers are a rarity, so any men thinking of raising a child solo should look to this resource for pointers.

  6. The Journey of Adoption: Whether adopting from the United States or abroad, Deanne Hamlette of Family Life Services has plenty of advice to dole out.

  7. Daddy, Papa and Me: Gay individuals and couples hoping to adopt a child can find inspiration in the story of this very loving, very stable family.

  8. Open Adoption Blog: As the title states, the Open Adoption Blog provides visitors with all the information and resources they need to ponder such a major life decision.

  9. Adoption Under One Roof: No matter one's marital status, sexual orientation, religion or decision to adopt a foreign or domestic child, this absolutely amazing read covers all possible scenarios and perspectives.

  10. Adoptive Dads: The majority of adoption bloggers appear to be female, but fathers wanting to read and share their own stories have a few places of their very own.

Foster Parents

  1. Foster Care: Adoption.com hosts a highly informative blog for anyone interested in taking an infant, child or teenager into foster care.

  2. Never a Dull Moment: Blogger Claudia works as an adoption professional, and she herself has taken many under her wing as a foster parent.

  3. Thoughts from a Foster Family: Since 2000, these have opened their home to foster teens, particularly those cruelly cast out due to their LGBTQIA status.

  4. My Life in a Foster Care Space Warp: A mother of seven who also fosters blogs about life in the system from the perspectives of a parent as well as the kids placed in her care.

  5. Crayon: Creating a Life Out of Chaos: Not every reader can relate to this resource's Christian overtones, but this single woman's passion for fostering teens is an inspiration to others who realize parenting doesn't require a partner.

  6. Roztime: Infertility inspired one spunky, sassy couple to "steal other people's children" and serve as foster parents. However, most of the emphasis lay much more with their kids than the battle with the physical inability to have babies.

  7. Mama Drama — Times Two: A pair of exceptionally adoring mothers have had 24 biological, adopted and foster children pass through their care, and they draw from their experience to bring readers valuable advice.

  8. Frum Fostering: Orthodox Jews and single women hoping to serve as foster parents may find some excellent insight at Frum Fostering.

  9. Postcards from Insanity: The family around which Postcards from Insanity revolves contains both biological children and some adopted straight out of foster care.

  10. Popp Life: Another detailed, intelligent and open blog all about the trials and triumphs of life in a big fostering household.

Infertility and Adoption

  1. life from here: After suffering from infertility and miscarriage, one couple turned to adoption to make their family complete.

  2. Parenthood for Me: Anyone hoping to build a family through adoption, medical procedures or both should stop by Parenthood for Me to read stories and advice by others in such situations.

  3. Chasing A Child: When medical intervention proved futile for this Pacific Northwest couple, adopting a little boy ultimately proved everything they could've wanted.

  4. Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed: Infertile individuals and couples who want children can explore all their options — from IVF and surrogacy to foster care and adoption — right here at this very personal, very informative resource.

  5. Mommies Here!: Eva and Nadia tried to conceive through many different means, but every effort failed. However, they found that adopting an infant boy completely fulfilled their desire to become loving, supportive mothers.

  6. This Cross I Embrace: A devout Catholic woman struggles with infertility and finds many frustrating dead ends on the adoption front, but still she and her husband prevail.

  7. Our Story: Another adoptive mother openly discusses her difficult battle with infertility and relief at finally adopting a baby boy.

  8. Not Sugar Coated: Very earnest, very emotional, very educational. Not Sugar Coated serves as an excellent resource and online support for the infertile considering adoption.

  9. Feigning Fertility: After adopting a daughter following a long, painful bout with infertility, this couple unexpectedly ended up with a biological child.

  10. Already Love You: When infertility prevented this pair from giving birth to a biological child, they turned their attention towards Ethiopia.

International/Interracial Adoption

  1. Transracial/Transcultural Adoption: Individuals, hopeful parents and families hoping to adopt a child outside their native country would do well to check Adoption.com's detailed blog on the subject.

  2. My Crazy Adoption: Inspired by her adoption of a Rwandan child, one woman devotes an impressive amount of time and energy providing advice and resources for those hoping to do the same — regardless of whether or not they want to go international.

  3. AdoptionTalk: Anyone considering adopting a child from China will appreciate all the information about possible roadblocks before, during and after the process.

  4. Pure & Lasting: This Texas couple has been waiting a while for their Ethiopian child, chronicling the excitement, nerves and paperwork they encounter along the way.

  5. Adoption Advocates International: Although it blog may not update as often as some of the others, Adoption Advocates International brings readers a first-person glimpse at some of the children and centers with whom they work.

  6. They're All My Own: Alison Boynton Noyce herself grew up as an adopted child, and spread this love and experience to children from Ethiopia.

  7. Pampers and Pakhlava: Once age 50 descended, this indomitable couple decided to adopt an Armenian kid and took to the internet to chronicle their emotional journey.

  8. my tori bug: Follow the life of a little girl from Kirov, Russia who inspired such love in her new parents they decided to start working on a second adoption.

  9. The International Mama: Judy M. Miller herself is an adoptive parent of four kids and teaches classes on how to raise an international family that embraces multiple cultures.

  10. Peter's Cross Station: Though domestic, these adoring mothers still opted for an interracial adoption and provide advice and inspiration for parents in similar situations.

Special Needs Adoption

  1. Cornish Adoption Journey: This huge, loving family incorporates both international and special needs children, some of whom are adopted.

  2. The Reece's Rainbow Blog: Potential adoptive parents hoping to give a Down Syndrome child a home (or those with one already in their lives) can find plenty of resources and advice here.

  3. Can I get a do-over?: Adoptive parents whose kids struggle with psychiatric and behavioral disorders can find solace and bits of advice at this incredibly honest blog.

  4. Signs of Hope: Kindhearted Carrie and Jacob live in China and work at an orphanage just for special needs children in need of loving foster or adoptive homes.

  5. Blessed By A Child: Not everyone finds fulfillment in faith, but those who do may find inspiration in this family who lovingly opened their home to twenty-two adopted children — many of whom have special needs.

  6. the road less traveled: These parents are raising adopted kids from Bulgaria and Ukraine, one of whom has been diagnosed as autistic.

  7. love > fear: Read about one family's life full of love and support for the HIV-positive girl they adopted from Ethiopia.

  8. The Fritz Farm: Down Syndrome children (and some without the condition) from all over the world find themselves welcomed and love into one huge family.

  9. Terri's Special Children Blog: Though not exclusively about adoption, this About.com guide oftentimes covers issues pertinent to such parents.

  10. Our Journey to Ethiopia…and Back: Unfortunately, this blog does not update terribly often. However, it does chronicle the struggle of a couple who warmly welcomed a young girl from Ethiopia suffering from cerebral palsy.