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Check out all the posts by Sheila ~ (Owner/Author)

About Sheila Thomas

Hi, My name is Sheila and I am the Living Smart Girl. My goal is to bring everyone the latest and greatest tips and advice on fitness, healthy choices, recipes, shopping, beauty, home and garden, family and parenting, daily deals, travel, and so much more. I love fitness, but life is more than just exercise and when you visit Living Smart Girl you can connect the dots and live a well rounded life ~ the Living Smart way :)

I love working online and spend most of my day blogging, and researching new topics and tips to bring my readers.

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Sheila Thomas

What are GMOs? What You Need to Know.

What are GMOs What You Need to Know

Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, are plants and animals that have been created by splicing the genes of two different species together in a way that cannot happen naturally. Possible combinations include moths and apples, spiders and potatoes, cows and soybeans, and rats and lettuce. The result is a new product that is intended to have a certain characteristic (such as a longer shelf-life or a resistance to herbicides), but that may have a whole host of unintended and harmful consequences as well.

GMOs typically work in one of two ways: Either they are resistant to herbicides, so farmers can spray tons of chemicals all over their crops in order to kill the weeds but not the plants. Or the plants themselves emit an insecticide, so that when certain types of pests try to eat them, the pests die.

A Brief History of GMOs – Expectations and Realities

First invented in the 1970s, GMO-technology was originally presented as a way to create more nutritious foods and to produce higher yields in order to help solve world hunger. With the invention of GMOs, plants could now be engineered to be pest resistant or to have a longer shelf life, and animals could be engineered to grow bigger and faster or to resist certain types of diseases.

While the idea might sound like a positive one, this is a far cry from what actually happened. The vast majority of today’s crops aren’t more nutritious (today’s food is actually LESS nutritious than it was 30 years ago), and we haven’t even begun to eliminate world hunger. Instead, the companies behind this movement, namely Monsanto, have grown rich and powerful off of these questionable GMOs and their corresponding herbicides and insecticides, all while executing suspicious business practices.

And what role has the government played in all of this? Well, wanting to be the forerunner on this new technology, the US government has allowed this new technology to advance with no safety studies, no labels and pretty much no restrictions. Basically, they stepped back and let the GMO manufacturers regulate themselves. In other words, nothing is stopping GMO manufacturers from developing a new and dangerous combination today and putting it on supermarket shelves tomorrow–all without consumers being aware that the new food is any different. Because the U.S. government claims that it isn’t.

GMOs Today

With no restrictions to hamper their growth, GMOs have exploded in the U.S., all without the average consumer realizing what was going on. Sources estimate that as much as 80% of our country’s food supply contains ingredients that have been genetically modified. This includes the obvious junk foods like Twinkies and frozen pizzas, but also many foods that most people think of as healthy, such as yogurt, bread and zucchini. And none of these foods are labeled as being genetically modified.

Currently, nearly 90% of the world’s GMO cultivation occurs in the Americas, with the United States being responsible for over 50% of it. Think about this: We require our mattresses to be labeled, but our food is engineered by a major pesticide company and sold without testing or labeling. In fact, major companies such as Monstanto, Pepsi and Kraft are even working hard to prevent GMO labeling. By contrast, over 60 countries worldwide have strict regulations or outright bans on GMOs. Hungary even destroyed over 1,000 acres of corn that were found to be genetically modified.

What Foods Contain GMOs?

When it comes to GMOs to avoid, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that only a handful of food products are currently being genetically modified commercially. The bad news is that these foods are in almost EVERYTHING you buy in the conventional grocery store.

List of Foods that are Commonly Genetically Engineered

  • 88% of Corn
  • 90% of Canola
  • 90% of Cottonseed
  • 94% of Soy
  • 95% of Sugar Beets

Unfortunately, avoiding GMOs isn’t as simple as checking the list for these ingredients, either. Other ingredients, including ascorbic acid, high-fructose corn syrup, vitamin C, xanthan gum, vitamins, and natural and artificial flavorings, can all be derived from genetically modified sources.


Genetically modified organisms aren’t just some freaky food products that are being produced in some secret lab somewhere. They are all around us, in our food and in the food we feed our children. And many Americans have no idea.


Did you already know about GMOs? Or did any of this information come as a surprise to you?



Foods You Should Never Eat

Junk food
Image Credit – Richard Rutter through Flickr

When it comes to the foods that you shouldn’t eat, you should never be confused. Nevertheless, compiling a black list of these bad foods can be tricky since most health experts tend to disagree on which foods belong (or does not belong) to such list.

But fret no more, here is a list of junk food that most experts tend to recommend ditching.


If you are looking to do a huge service for your health and wellbeing, then you must cross out the sodas from your life. These sugar-sweetened beverages will only take a toll on your health, leading to a myriad of troubles such as obesity, hindered recovery, chronic illness and a myriad of other health troubles.

Even the diet alternative is bad for you. In fact, the more diet sodas a person drank, the higher the risk of becoming obese, according to a University of Texas Health Science Center study.

Sugary Cereal
Most people kick off the morning with a bowl of cereal, but what are they actually consuming? The matter of fact is that the stuff is bad for you, and if you are giving it to your children, then you are teaching them how food should taste like and drowning them in sugars and unhealthy chemicals.
In fact, popular brands are as bad, even worse than junk food, according to report called Sugar in Children’s Cereals: Popular brands pack more sugar than snack, cakes, and cookies,” by the Environmental Working Group. Therefore, make sure to cross out the stuff from your life. Start the day with a healthier breakfast.

McDonald’s foods

The bulk of McDonald’s menu is made with all sorts of synthetic ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, genetically engineered corn, food dyes and other bad and non-natural additives that will only compromise your health and wellbeing. In fact, the fast food industry is one of the main culprits to the current obesity pandemic.

Therefore, you are better off learning how to cook. Yes that might take a while, and with a few blunders every now and there. But it’s worth the effort. Ditching fast food is a matter of mindset. And once you get rid of it, you will be preparing and making better food at home, with less costs and more nutritional value.


Most people think of corn as a natural and healthy crop. But they assume wrong. Today’s corn supply is genetically tweaked to survive hefty spraying of chemicals or to produce its own pesticide stock for better yielding. The bad side is that most of the unhealthy additives wind up inside of the food. These chemicals are perilous to health and have been linked to a host of health and environmental problems.

Nevertheless, avoiding corn is tricky. It’s present is the bulk of processed foods. However, you can always make the right choice by opting for foods with the least added ingredients, avoiding mainly high-fructose corn syrup. For a better choice, eat only organic or –GMO-Free verified foods if budget allows.

Processed Meats

You don’t need to be a health expert to know that hot dogs are not the basis of a healthy diet. Processed meats, the hot dogs, the bacon and so on score high in sodium, fat, artificial preservatives, unnatural additives, and you are better off not eating them—expect for the occasional treat.

Regular consumption of processed meats can cause weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a myriad of serious ailments. You are better off not eating the stuff. Switch to organic meat; the more natural, the better.

About the Author

David Dack is fitness author and enthusiast. He is a regular contributor to some of the major fitness magazines and online publications. For more tips and training guidelines go to his blog Runner Blueprint. You can also follow David on Twitter: @DavidDack

We Dare YOU To Live Healthier with #UnitedHealthCare


Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl brings you this sponsored post on behalf of UnitedHealthCare.
All opinions expressed are 100% that of Living Smart Girl.

Today was gorgeous with a clear blue sky and plenty of sunshine. I took a few minutes to sit outside, simply for the purpose of soaking in some all natural Vitamin D. While I’m ok with a healthy glow, I always make sure to use plenty of sunscreen with prolonged sun exposure. It’s right up there with drinking water and washing my face at night as easy steps I take to ensure my skin is looking its best. They are also small steps I can take to an overall healthier life which is exactly what UnitedHealthcare is daring people to do.


Each month, UnitedHealthcare posts “dares” in hopes of encouraging people to become more interested in their overall health. July’s dares are all summer and sun related. They include:


  • Sharing a photo with various ways to protect yourself from the sun such as sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. Snap a selfie of your favorite sunscreen or wearing your favorite hat and submit.  ( I have shared the one below with UnitedHealthcare )


  • Taking a quiz to learn all the best ways to keep your skin healthy. I answered a few questions myself. It’s chock full of useful tips such as how often to reapply sunscreen and which type of clothing to wear while hiking.


  • Watching a skin cancer video and answering the corresponding question afterwards. The video takes to the streets to ask people where they think the most common places for men and women to get skin cancer are. Would you know the answer? There are other helpful videos on the side such as questions on moles and even information on the different types of sun rays.

When I am on vacation, or even out and about here at home I try to keep myself safe.   Here I am by the pool on vacation, with a huge hat to cover my face, and of course sunscreen on every inch of my body.



I do try to make sure that I – along with my family – incorporate easy steps that improve our health. With these dares, I can learn additional ways that we can feel our best. Of course, being healthy is a reward in itself, but UnitedHealthcare gives away prizes when you complete these dares! Sharing a photo comes with a top prize of a Fastraxx 2-Awning – 10’ x 18’ Canopy. Taking the quiz could score you a $400 massage gift card. Watching the video and answering the question could add a $400 Visa gift card to your wallet! Each activity also has weekly prizes of $25 gift cards. I’m all for learning, improving my health, and having a chance to win such fun prizes. You can enter each dare daily and weekly winners are still eligible to win the grand prize.


What are you waiting for? We dare you to live healthier.  Head over to UnitedHealthcare to complete July’s dares and keep coming back each month to see what else you can do for your health.   Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.


Leave me a comment and tell me what you do to protect yourself when you head outdoors.


Rock Fest Vacation Fun


Another Rock Fest has come and gone.  Hard to believe we have been going for 11 years now.  Great friends, fun times, food, music and more.  See all the smiling faces ~  :)

Was so excited this year to have my son and his girlfriend join us.  We paid for a portion of their one day ticket so they could see Hinder, Adelitas Way and Breaking Benjamin.  We also gave them our pit passes for Breaking Benjamin.. and they were so excited.   That is one of my son’s favorite bands currently.

Rock Fest 2015 was fun, and you can read more about our vacation at That Traveling Chick.


Get Smart with HP Instant Ink and #NeverRunOut

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl has received compensation for collaboration with HP.
All opinions expressed are 100% that of Living Smart Girl’s.   #NeverRunOut  @HP


Being self-employed is such a great accomplishment, and feeling.  But it also can be a huge headache at times.  There are so many things one has to think about in running a successful home based business.  Things that as an employee for another business/company, you never have to worry about.  There are many things that would never cross one’s mind if you are working for someone else.  Things like supply orders, networking, advertising, making sure your customers are taken care of, etc.   In my current business (I have many), Bugsy’s Box, I ship boxes monthly to subscribers.  Well my main focus is on what goes in the boxes, and marketing them to get subscribers so some of the little things, like printer ink, just don’t usually cross my mind until it’s to late.  I can sometimes be a space case, and have on to many occasions run out of ink and it is frustrating!  Frustrating because I either have to take a 2 hour round trip trek to a local store that sells ink, or I have to order online and pay a huge overnight shipping fee.  NO MORE!!  Thanks to HP Instant Ink I will never run out again!

So, I know you are asking yourself – what is HP Instant Ink.  Well sit back and let me tell you. HP Instant Ink is an innovative ink replacement service that is designed to save people like you and me, up to 50% on ink all while ensuring we never run out of ink when we need it the most.   Convenient because it’s delivered right to your door for a low monthly fee.   The monthly plans are low cost starting at just $2.99 with ink, shipping and recycling included.  And you can print color or black and white for the same low price, as well as change or cancel at any time.


Simple to get started too!  Buy a printer that is eligible for the program, enroll in a plan that fits what you need, when your kit comes install the ink and your service begins.  Simple.. #NeverRunOut of ink again.  HP Printers that are eligible are ~ HP Envy 4500, 5530, 5640, 5660 and 7640 Series or OfficeJet Pro 6830, 8610, 8620 and 8630 Series. There are more printers than this that are eligible. Check out the full list.  I have the 5660 and love it!  You can now get 3 months of FREE ink when you purchase an eligible printer and sign up for HP Instant Ink.

I print things out daily, like invoices and contracts and stuff like that, for my blogging business.  But, my main printing is done all within a 3 day stint mid month.  I print out inserts that go inside every Bugsy’s Box, with info on that month’s box and links to where they can find info about the dog goodies.  I also print out shipping labels for each box.  I use a fair amount of ink for all this, and have run out of ink before mid project.   I am so thrilled I never have to worry about that again! And the print quality is great which means a lot when you are wanting a professional look.

I had fun creating my inserts for my July boxes.   Added some cute little tickets to each box too, that I printed with my HP Printer.



Do you run a business you do a lot of printing for?  Maybe you just print non business stuff, for home, family, friends, etc?   Stop the worry of “running out of ink” and check out the HP Instant Ink program.   You will love it as much as I do.

Party Fun with Pudding Shots


It’s that time of year again, when I am packing like a crazy woman trying to get ready for our main summer vacation.   Rock Fest 2015 here we come.  I look forward to this 5 days all year long.  This year, I decided to have a little extra fun and make some pudding shots, and jello shots.   I have made jello shots before, but never even heard of pudding shots till last year at Rock Fest, let alone make them.  They are so easy, and dang… so good!!   I tried my hand at a couple of my own recipes.   Check them out, and make them yourself.  Let me know your thoughts.


Root Beer Float

2 Boxes Vanilla Instant Pudding
2 Cups Milk
2 Cups Root Beer Schnapps
1 1/2  Tubs of Cool Whip  (8 oz tubs)

Mix pudding and milk till smooth, slowly add root beer schnapps and mix till blended.   Fold in Cool Whip, gently till blended nicely.  Spoon into cups or dishes of choice.  I used 2 oz condiment cups.  Place in freezer for a couple hours, and enjoy.

Note ~   to make non alcohol ones replace the schnapps with same amount of root beer pop.   Regardless of made with our without alcohol, root beer pudding shots will be a hit at any party.



CCR Pudding Shots

1 Box Chocolate Instant Pudding
1 Cup Milk
3/4 Cup Coffee Liquor
1/4 Cup Root Beer Schnapps
1 Tub Cool Whip (8 oz Tub)

Mix pudding and milk till smooth, slowly mix in coffee liquor and root beer schnapps till well blended.  Fold in Cool Whip gently, till nicely blended.   Spoon into cups or serving dishes.  Place in freezer for a few hours, eat and enjoy.

I named these CCR because I couldnt’ come up with anything else.  CCR = Chocolate, Coffee, Root Beer.   They might sound a bit strange, but turned out really good.   Kinda like a root beer barrel.

Enjoy ~



Online Games for the Ladies


For quite some time now, women have had their voice and power in business, politics academics, and more. And now in the online gaming world they are emerging as well. Casino games have for many years been traditionally associated with men and game developers have also targeted the male audience. However, since a few years the online casino industry has started to take note of the increasing popularity of their games amongst the fairer sex, and thus most of the top game providers have started to develop casino games that target more female audience.

If you have recently been playing at a popular mobile casino like Magical Vegas, you have surely noticed that they have a wide range of slots games that are more oriented to attract the female audience. At Magical Vegas, women are welcomed in an anonymous and safe environment, unlike land based casinos and they can indulge in various female oriented slots games such as Ariana, Cleopatra II, Cute and Cuddly, Diamond Queen, Egyptian Princess, Golden Goddess, Jewel Box, Jewel Journey, Kitty Glitter, Makeover Magic, Natural Powers, She’s a Rich Girl, Shopping Spree and many more. Many of the female players at Magical Vegas fancy playing the Live Casino Games such as Roulette and Blackjack, which have traditionally been considered as considered male populated games.

Women are becoming increasingly interested in taking up these live casino games as they feel safer and less intimidated as there is no gender issue while playing online. It is also more convenient to them, because they can play at any time that fit their busy schedule. These live casino games also allow women to have fun and socialise with the other players as well as the dealer through the chat option. This is definitely one of the best ways to have a good time for female players, where they can let their hair down and just have fun from anywhere and at any time.

It has been noted that a high proportion of women use online casinos as a way to relax and increase their social interaction. Every opportunity is good to have some gaming entertainment at your favorite online casino. So you may be a female office worker logging in at your favorite online casino as a lunchtime treat, or the busy housewife who finds the opportunity to enjoy her favorite casino games after diner is cooked and the kids have gone to bed. More and more women are becoming technically aware since the introduction of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, and thus they are subsequently discovering the world of online casinos and shaping it accordingly.

It’s no more a secret now that women have their place within the online casino industry and now they now form part of the attractive segment in this industry where they can play games that appeal to wide range of players, especially to the ladies from around the world. The online casino world have most of the virtues that women generally look for, which is a place where they can have unlimited fun and where there is no perceptible gender bias!

The seven most misused drugs and facts surrounding them


Although it is impossible to measure the extent of drug use, it is all around us. Substance misuse jobs cover a variety of roles where the aim is to help a person to overcome their issues with drugs. Drugs aren’t always illegal, but it is when they are misused that a catalog of problems can, and often do, arise. 

Here are the seven most misused drugs, and the facts surrounding them:


More than 2 billion people worldwide consume alcohol. Its potent effects are dangerous and addictive and its unique chemical properties make it one of the most powerful drugs known to man. Drinking alcohol excessively and over a long period of time can lead to many serious problems, such as malnutrition, increased risk of mouth and throat cancer, increased risk of a stroke, liver failure, brain damage and addiction. Globally, alcohol is responsible for an estimated 2.5 million deaths each year. To learn more about alcohol misuse, you can find more statistics and information here.


Researchers have now identified over 40 different chemicals in tobacco smoke that can cause cancer in both humans and animals. In 2007 there were a reported 10 million Brits lighting up daily, here’s a more indepth article on ‘the way the British smoke’: According to Cancer Research, smoking is the cause for 50,000 cancer deaths and 70,000 cases of heart diseases and strokes annually. It is also estimated to have killed more than 6 million people in the last 50 years. .


Of the 7.3 million people to be dependent on illegal drugs, more than half are abusing marijuana. The effects of marijuana misuse can be significant. There is sufficient evidence to prove that long-term marijuana use can cause several mental and physical health conditions, including the facilitation for schizophrenia.


Painkillers are the most abused drugs worldwide and the cause of the largest percentage of deaths in the US from overdosing. More people misuse painkillers than the combined number of people who take heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens and inhalants. When not used correctly, painkillers can cause serious health risks, illnesses, addiction and death.

Legal highs

Although not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Acts and not illegal, legal highs are substances producing effects similar to hard drugs like ecstasy and cocaine. It is now increasingly clear that ‘legal highs’ are not harmless and do possess health risks similar to amphetamines, including paranoid states, seizures, comas and death. Learn more about legal highs, their effects and the facts surrounding them by heading talk to frank.


Cocaine is a drug that people have turned to for centuries as a source of energy and enjoyment and an estimated 7.5 million people have tried it in their lifetime. Cocaine can cause irreversible damage to the heart, lungs and blood vessels, as well as other internal organs like the stomach, liver and kidneys.


The most addictive substance in the world with the most devastating effects. Heroin destroys your appearance, your way of thinking, your organs and ultimately your life.

Getting Into Shape With Muscle Building Home Workouts


Getting into shape requires effort on your part, but it also necessitates time that many individuals are lacking. Thankfully, those who lead busy lives don’t have to live with being overweight or having a flabby physique thanks to muscle building home workouts that take very little time. With many muscle building workouts available, every individual should be able to find one they enjoy and can complete even with a hectic schedule. Following are a few muscle building home workouts that build muscle fast which anyone can try.

Building Muscle Quickly

Train making use of your body weight and minimal equipment and you’ll build lean muscle at a rapid rate. For optimal results, perform each exercise in a slow, controlled manner. Time crunch workouts are great in this situation, and you’ll build lean muscle in only 20 minutes a day. Stuart Phillips and a team at Canada’s McMaster’s University found that slow and steady is optimal for building muscle.

Start with an elevated pike push up. During this exercise, bend over so your arms and legs are straight, with your hands on the floor and your feet on an elevated surface, such as a box. Lower yourself and then drive up again. Do 12 reps in four sets and rest for 60 seconds.

Next, start with your legs in a split stance. Squat down in this position and jump up into the air. Switch legs so you come down in the opposing stance. Alternate legs and repeat, jumping as high as you can with each repetition. Do ten reps with each leg during four sets, resting for 60 seconds between sets.

Now it’s time to act like Spiderman. Get down like you are going to do a pushup and begin crawling forward. As you crawl, move your right arm and left leg as far as you can, staying low to the ground. Your goal is to swing the knee so it almost touches the opposing arm. Alternate sides and, to make the exercise more difficult, try crawling backward. Do six sets of ten reps, resting for 30 seconds in between.

Now, do pushups as the superhero would. Get back into the pushup position and, as you go to lower your body for the pushup, bring your knee and elbow together on one side. When you go to raise back up, move your leg back. Repeat on the opposite side. Complete six sets, resting for 30 seconds in between.

These are just a few workouts that build muscle fast. You’ll find many others you may wish to try. Remember to complete each exercise using slow, controlled movements for the best results.

Working Out at Home

Finding time to hit the gym isn’t easy for many. Once you learn how to start bodybuilding at home, you’ll find you can achieve the look you are after without worrying about squeezing in a workout. Gym memberships aren’t cheap either, but you can pick up some nice equipment and get fit with the help of some muscle building workouts. Start by purchasing the basics, including a barbell, flat bench, and adjustable dumbbells. With just a few pieces, you can get into shape and obtain the physique you’re after.

Barbell squats and dumbbell lunges are both good exercises to try, and you should complete two sets of 12 reps each. Don’t hesitate to make use of the one-arm dumbbell row, doing three sets of 12 reps, and fall back on conventional exercises, such as pushups, to get a full workout. When doing pushups, complete three sets until you can’t push yourself off the ground any longer.

Once you’ve mastered basic exercises such as these, move on to more advanced ones. Try some bent over barbell row exercises, doing four sets of eight reps and complete two sets of the standing military press, doing eight to 12 reps in each set. Demonstrations of these exercises are readily available for those who are not familiar with them.

As your strength builds, focus on different areas of the body on different days. For example, do barbell curls and concentration curls on Monday to work your arms, dumbbell flys and pushups on Tuesdays to work the arms, and then rest on Wednesdays before moving on to the lower body, back and shoulders. Be sure to rest two days a week, and don’t forget to focus on nutrition. Exercise is only one component of building lean muscle. You’ll need to focus on nutrition also for great results.

No Weights Needed

If you’re short on money, but want to get started right away, try muscle building home workouts without weights. Make use of progressive overload to ensure you obtain the lean muscle you desire and you must maintain a diet that allows for this growth, but it can be done. With these two principles, it is possible to obtain the body you desire.

One thing to remember is you must make use of progressive overload, and this can be difficult to do as you can’t adjust your body weight quickly and easily. Over time, if you don’t focus on progressive overload, you’ll find you quit building muscle mass and move to muscle endurance. To avoid this, start with exercises which can be done anywhere, such as pushups, lunges, squats, and dips. As your muscle mass increases, add a weighted vest, exercise bands, or small dumbbells to increase resistance. Doing so allows you to continue to build muscle mass.

Pay attention to what you are eating. You need to ensure you are consuming enough calories and protein to build muscle mass, according to Charles Lambert of the University of Arkansas.

Without these two items, you aren’t going to see the desired growth, although you may slim down. It’s the definition you will be lacking.

Try a number of workouts until you find one you love and enjoy completing on a regular basis. Now is the time to get into shape. With numerous muscle building home workouts to select from, doing so has never been easier.

Guest Blogger
Terry Asher

Tips for helping to prevent a UTI

Disclosure ~  Living Smart Girl received compensation for constructing a post about URISTAT® 
All opinions are 100% that of Living Smart Girl.

The female body is forced to deal with a battery of unpleasant things such as cramps, bloating, irritability, and the dreaded UTI. If you’ve experienced a urinary tract infection, you know how miserable it can be. Some of the symptoms can include a strong, persistent urge to urinate, a burning sensation while urinating, cloudy or pink colored urine, and pelvic pain and discomfort. Sounds like a blast, right? UTIs are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and down right annoying, but as long as you seek treatment from your doctor – they aren’t overly worrisome. While it’s impossible to completely avoid a UTI, there are many tips to help prevent a UTI.

Hydrate Yourself! Drinking water is important for so many reasons and reducing the chance of getting a UTI is an added bonus. The reason this is beneficial is simple – the more fluids you drink, the more often you urinate. The bacteria that causes UTIs is flushed from your urethra or bladder when you urinate.

Front to Back! After using the bathroom, always wipe front to back. This prevents potentially pathogenic bacteria from being spread and getting close to the bladder. Wash in the shower or bath the same way. Speaking of bathing, it’s advised to shower and avoid prolonged baths where the water can quickly become contaminated by the body’s own florae.

Use Gentle Products! There are a variety of hygiene products including deodorant sprays, douches, and powders as well as soaps and body washes that may cause irritation to the urethra and trigger a UTI. Be sure to discontinue use of any product that causes discomfort. Additionally, diaphragms and other forms of birth control such as spermicidal agents can increase the risk of infection.

Doing the Deed! After sex, it’s important to urinate as it keeps bacteria from moving into the urethra. Drink a glass of water if you don’t feel the need to urinate. It’s also recommended to avoid using spermicidal jelly as it also kills healthy vaginal florae that is important in suppressing the bacteria that can lead to UTIs.

Cotton is Sexy! I know that our undergarments can make us feel sexy, but synthetic materials including nylon, polyester, and spandex restrict airflow to the genitals. This causes a warm, moist environment which is exactly what nasty bacteria flourishes in. Porous and breathable, cotton keeps the genitals dry. And remember you can get cotton in almost every cut, they don’t have to be granny panties!

Gotta Go Right Now! When you feel the urge to urinate, don’t wait! Obviously holding it is uncomfortable, but it also gives bacteria time to multiply in your urinary tract. It’s recommended to urinate every four hours to keep everything as healthy as possible.

Even while taking these steps, you can still contract a UTI infection. You must see a doctor to treat a UTI with a prescription antibiotic! But you can get fast, temporary relief of pain, burning, urgency, and frequency of urination with over the counter URISTAT® Pain Relief Tablets. They contain phenazopyridine – which is doctor recommended for OTC urinary pain relief. While you’re waiting to see a doctor, these tablets can be taken at the first sign of a UTI and can be continued while on antibiotics for further relief. For more information on their Pain Relief Tablets or their other products visit They also share a wealth of information on UTIs and have a downloadable $1 off coupon.