Here is a list of nutritious, earth-friendly foods that will satisfy your hunger, shrink your waistline few inches, and nourish your body with the much needed fuel, so it can run at its optimum. 

*  Mushrooms, tofu, tempeh, soy milk, lentils, quinoa,  spirulina, peas,  Sun-Warrior Protein Powder, Raw Protein- Garden of  Life, hemp seed protein powder, or brown rice protein powder.

* Beans, peas, brown rice, wild rice, oats, amaranth, chickpeas.

* Nuts ( almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts) , avocados, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. 

* Flax seed oil, hemp seed oil, olive oil, avocado oil, olives, hemp seeds, chia seeds, 

* All vegetables and fruits and all the above foods. 

1. GOJI BERRIES - Rich in antioxidants, Vitamin A, Iron, and other nutrients.
2. SWEET POTATOES - Rich in carotenoids, Vitamin A, Vitamin C,  fiber, potassium. 
3. KALE, - High in vitamin A, C, K, B6, potassium, manganese, also high in the mineral calcium.
4. FLAXSEED OIL - rich in the Omega 3 fatty acids.
5. PORTOBELLO MUSHROOMS - low in calories, high in protein, high in phytochemicals and antioxidants. 
                          - TOFU BEAN WRAP - 
Cooking is easy and you can experiment with whatever foods you like, example, my tofu wrap.
-Take any kind of vegan tortilla. Spread some humus on the entire surface. Second, layer the entire wrap with greens, followed with your choice of the following foods: chopped tomatoes, zucchini, onions, avocado, walnuts, dried cranberries, bite size tofu pieces, beans, quinoa, seeds, or chickpeas. Last thing you want to do is season it  with salt, vinegar, olive oil or your favorite dressing and wrap it. Cut in half, and enjoy with your favorite side of soup, or homemade sweet potatoes, like in my recipe. 

     "Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace".
—Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

In this blog, I am going to be talking about a very sensitive subject. Something that is fairly new for me, but has become of huge importance in my life . It has changed my perspective towards  life, love, compassion, consideration, eating well, and the power of our choices. I know that many of you will not like what I have to say because nobody wants to be judged, neither told what to do. We have the right to make our own choices and who am I to tell you otherwise? And the purpose of this blog is not to tell you to follow my path, but to spread awareness of a very controversial matter that it seems like everybody is giving the cold shoulder to.

It all started with an innocent click which led to a mind blowing awakening about how sinful we humans are, including myself. That click dragged me into the dark world behind the walls of slaughterhouses. The best way to describe what I discovered is by quoting Sir Paul McCartney, " If the slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian." And so it was. I wasn't going to support animal cruelty another second of my life. 

We hear it all the time. You need to eat meat. You need to get your protein. You need your B Vitamins, and let's not forget, Iron. We are meant to eat meat. Meat will make you fit... And it keeps going on and on. What we fail to grasp in between is the reality. "The meat" we have on our plate is one, if not more, innocent animals that have suffered throughout their short life, and died in excruciating pain. That burger you ate last night, came from a CRYING COW that had her throat slashed because she wasn't producing milk anymore. What about those pork chops you had for lunch? It came from a poor pig, who had feelings just like humans, but was unable to express its pain. In even worse case scenarios, that pig was most likely fed genetically modified grains and was diseased. Chickens are the most MISTREATED animals on the planet. Cage free eggs does not mean that chickens are being farmed humane. 

And then there's the whole cow's milk controversy. Why do we drink it anyways? Why do we make our kids become part of such cruelty? We don't need to drink milk, because there isn't any essential nutrient in cow's milk that we can't get from a plant food source. Did you know  one serving of Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also better absorbed by the body than dairy. To make matters even crazier, "Countries with the HIGHEST rates of osteoporosis, such as the United States, England, and Sweden, consume the MOST milk. Can you spot the pattern here? We are all victims of the meat industry just like those animals are. Talking about "Got Milk" commercial... 

From liquid amino acids, protein powders,meal replacements, snack defense shakes, slim shakes, protein shakes, super-food bars, enriched whey isolates, energy boosters, to diet pills, diet shakes, and diet drinks...

There are thousands of different products plastered over mass media. All next to a hot girl or guy with perfected six pack abs.  They all claim that they are good for you, and will help build monster muscle, suppress your hunger, melt stubborn belly fat, and eliminate love handles.They know how to use your weakness against you. They say exactly what you want to hear.  And before you know it, you have a cabinet full of these products. You are convinced you're on the right track, and soon you will see your very own model-like six pack abs. Add in a few crunches and some light exercises, and voila, results should be here in no time. 

 Do you belong in the above mentioned group of people?  Are you a victim of industry scams with their brilliant marketing strategies? The main objective of these products are to profit, and profit BIG.  But the reality is, these products are hurting your chances of attaining your goals. Let's explore this subject deeper by asking ourselves a few basic questions:

  • Why do your products have 0 grams of sugar, but yet they are so sweet and tasty? 
  • How long is the ingredient list on the supplement you're taking? How many words are in that list, that you cannot pronounce?
  • Do you know what the diet pill that you are taking does to your brain and how it affects your body in the long run? 
  • Do you really believe that an energy drink will give you more energy than eating 1 serving of real food?  
  • And last but not least, why the heck your "protein bar" taste like candy? Protein it self is not sweat. It does not contain any sugar. 

My hemp protein powder have 0 grams of sugar. It has over 7 grams of fiber. It contains all 9 essential amino acids that our bodies can not produce. It contain the perfect ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids.  It has only one simple ingredient that I know what it is: Hulled hemp seeds. 

My point here is that the recipe for a fit, sexy and lean body is really SIMPLE. It includes simple ingredients, simple preparation, and simple packaging. The only thing that is not simple are your decisions.

Don't let the industry brainwash you. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a magical pill, do your self a favor, and go to the farmers market. Stock up on fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, whole grains, and quality meats. There are no limits in the amounts of vegetables to be eaten in a day. You will lose weight, I guarantee it. If diet pills actually worked, we would be all taking them. We would ALL look like supermodels while stuffing our faces with cheeseburgers.

Forget the protein bars - they are full of sugar, artificial crap, high fructose corn syrup, tons of calories and incomplete protein. They will just make you crave more food. They are simply addictive. 

If you are trying to lose weight, forget meal replacements shakes. Why would you replace your meal when you love eating? Your brain needs satisfaction in the action of chewing. Your stomach needs satisfaction of feeling full. Eat REAL food that will satisfy your hunger. 

Feeling thirsty for a fresh drink other than water? Try some sparkling mineral water, freshly squeezed lemonade, coconut water or some fancy kombucha! Diet soda is poison that won't kill you but it makes you sick slowly but surly.

Stand up for your self AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY NOT THE ADVERTISEMENT. Choose wholesome food that is not chemically altered. Food that that is not enriched with artificial colors, sugar substitutes and additives.
Say NO to all nutritiously deficient foods. Reading  your food labels have never been so important. 
Definition: serving size – the amount of food or drink that is generally served. -Wikipedia

America's biggest problem is the serving size. For the sake of this blog, we are going to completely disregard what we are eating and focus on how much pizza dough we are shoveling down our throats. The first thing I noticed when I first moved to the US, was how much food is being served at restaurants. Do not get me wrong, the food is utterly delicious. But the amount of calories packed onto one plate can feed a hearty family of four. Sorry, Cheesecake Factory, I do not mean to throw you under the bus. I even read somewhere that as Americans got bigger, so did our plates. Back in the 1950's, the average size dinner plate was a mere 9” in diameter. Now, a whopping 12”. That is a 33% increase! Can you say triple dipple chili cheese dog with hot fudge three times fast?

A research study conducted in Sweden suggests that we eat, more with our eyes, than with our stomach. The study measured how much people eat normally and then with a blindfold. Results showed that the participants ate 22% less if they were blindfolded. This pretty much, all but says, we eat with our eyes! Follow the algorithm below:

Bigger plates → More calories on plate → More calories consumed → Bigger bellies & butt

But there's great news! You have complete 24/7 access to nutritional advice at bulletbody.com! Below I have also layed out typical serving sizes of everyday foods consumed. Happy eats...

Meat – 4 ounces (size of a deck of cards)
Beverages – 8 ounces (no double big gulps here)
Cheese – 1 ounce
Vegetables – ½ cup (size of half a baseball)
Chips – 1 ounce (about 15 chips)
Pasta – ½ cup

So I hope this gives you an idea of how much to eat. This will definitely set you in the right direction. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email me at julijana@bulletbody.com :) c-u

  I  am blogging about this issue because of desperation. And maybe this words would make some difference. Maybe someone who is a smoker will understand how we, the non-smokers feel about smoking, mentally and physically. 

   Currently I am on vacation with family in Macedonia.  As we all know in Europe everybody smokes and don't give a damn about the nonsmokers. They are actually quite rude  when it comes to smoking. From all the people and friends I know, I'd say 80% are smokers. Isn't that crazy??? I don't think people realize how bad it's for them, or us. The Mediterranean diet is better than any other, but their smoking habit is worse than any other. People are smoking in front of children without any hesitation. In-fact, I grow up with my parents smoking in front of us. It was horrible chocking on the smoke all the time. But when you are kid, what can you do but quietly suffer? In college I lived with 3 other roommates- all smokers. When we had friends-over I remember going outside in the middle of the freezing winter so I can take fresh air. In the apartment you couldn't see the people from the smoke. I never tried once, but my health condition was very poor!

    But let me come back to this vacation. It is only day three being  in one house with FIVE heavy smokers! Coming from complete non-smoking environment, this is a true shock for my body. 

    - Day one, my nose starts bleeding. Day two I get heart palpitation, headache and nervousness. And I am a happy person with very low blood pressure and a great health condition. My pulse is normally 50 beats per minute at rest. Right now, I think is 100! It is the worst thing in the world when you are helpless for the people you love. What can you do? Talk, but they don't listen to you because you are family. Well, at least now as an adult I can speak my mind. Can you imagine the babies and all the kids who are inhaling these toxins daily and they can't even speak about it?!
    - Today, I had a person asking me how my teeth are so white? Well, I don't drink alcohol, soda, I avoid refined sugar, eat red meat rarely, drink coffee with a straw, flossing daily, and of course I don't smoke and never had. Are my white teeth inherited? That is the famous question I hear all the time. When we see something beautiful we don't posses, we would  like to think it came easy for that person and we were not that lucky to have got it from our parents. It sounds better than thinking it takes hard work, discipline and sacrifices isn't? 

   - If you are smoker, you are putting your self and others at high risk of getting cancer, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, poor fitness condition, premature aging, bad skin, balding, yellow teeth, stinky breath, lung damage, "wallet damage", and significantly lower chances of getting a hot girlfriend/boyfriend. Who would want to kiss that kind of disgusting breath? Sorry smokers, it is! 

    - For me, smoking also gives the perception of a person with addictive personality, low self control, stressed out, weak, not caring for it's body and health condition. It is not cool, neither attractive. 

     - I would never take even one of these risks! I would never kiss a smoker! Never!!! 

          Quit smoking today!
Coconut oil. Once you try it, there is no going back.  

Coconut oil is the healthiest, most delicious and by far, the most versatile oil in my book. It smells like a tropical paradise and it's been used for ages by the people of the tropical islands. Some of these cultures refer to the coconut palm as the "tree of life" and with a good reason. Lots of research has been done on coconut oil and its health benefits, and slowly, this magnificent oil is getting the recognition it deserves. With so many uses, like cooking, baking, salad dressing, skin care, hair care, and natural remedy for many health conditions, it is hard to be economical when using coconut oil. But what really is going to interest you my dear readers is the great effect that coconut oil has on energy and metabolism, which, of course, is closely associated with weight loss and a lean sexy body.  

Here are few of the benefits that you can get from using organic virgin unrefined coconut oil:
  1. Weight loss, faster metabolism and  more energy. The medium chain fatty acids, lauric acids, in coconut oil are very easily digested and converted into energy, so they are less likely to be stored in fat cells. Studies have concluded that medium chain fatty acids are three times more effective in raising metabolism than long chain fatty acids. And we all know that the higher your metabolism, the more calories your body will burn at rest. That means you can afford to eat more food without adding on the extra pounds. Also, the energy boost that you getting from coconut oil it will make you want to move your body more, be positive, engaging and most likely to exercise. Who would mind some extra energy? 
  2. Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and immune boosting food.  In the human body, lauric acids is converted into monolaurin. There are only two foods known to have monolaurin content in them: coconut oil and breast milk. The breast milk passed from mommy to the child is the most nourishing and complete food at the beginning of our lives. Monolaurin is a compound with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can also boost your immune system and fight of viruses and bacteria. Babies don't understand much but they sure know what food is best for them. :) 
  3. Gorgeous healthy skin and beautiful shiny hair.  Are you using chemical-filled and overpriced skin care products that don't work, like I was in the past? Well, this is your wake up call. I have yet to find a better moisturizer for my skin or better conditioner for my hair. How about a gentle make up remover? Check! Affordable? Check! Effective? Check! Cheap? Big check mark! Did I mention the intoxicating tropical smell released every time you open the jar? OMG...  Get your      10-in-1 product now. The name is "coconut oil" and you can find it in any health food store. 

These are only few of the many reasons why I indulge myself daily on this highly saturated oil. I've been using it EXCLUSIVELY in my kitchen for the past 4 years like it's running out of business. Some of you won't believe all the ways I use coconut oil. Just to name a few:

-Daily facial moisturizer, anti-aging night cream, under-eye treatment, make-up remover, deep hair conditioner, body moisturizer, nails conditioner, scars treatment...
-Dipping plain cereal "rice checks"  in solid coconut oil 
-Baked sweet potatoes and soups
-Frying or baking meat
-Baking deserts
-Using as a butter replacement
-Using it as a salad dressing in liquid form for my famous "candy salad" (will make a blog about it)
-Mixing into smoothies
-Making chocolate and cookies

The best part about consuming all these calories is that it leaves me guilt free. I am definitely a coconut addict and proud to be one! 

Yours truly,
Julijana D.
"The only extra weight you should be carrying are dumbbells"
My superfood breakfast for today was an avocado-egg smoothie!
 FIVE BIG reasons why this smoothie is a powerhouse! 

      1. It is super easy to digest and absorb by the body
      2. It contains all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein
      3. Its anti-inflammatory compounds (omega 3s, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins,                natural sugar) might protect from hearth disease, diabetes, cancer, skin disorders, and other degenerative  illnesses. 
      4. It is low calories food, therefor, great for weight loss program
      5. It  will make you feel energized, healthy and happy!   

 Combine all ingredients below in a blender and drink immediately!  All nutrients are raw and naturally-occurring! This is an example of a 300 calories smoothie. ( Different people have different calories needs, depending on factors like: body size, physical activity level, body fat %, age, gender etc. ) 

       1 organic raw egg 
       1/2 frozen banana 
       1/2 avocado 
       1/2 cup organic plain soy-milk ( or water)
       2-3 ice cubes 
       1 tsp of raw organic honey (optional) 

       Nutrient facts:

        Calories   300
        Protein      13gr
        Carbs         25gr
        Sugar           9gr        
        Fiber            7% 
        Sodium        5% 
        Potasium   25%
        Vitamin C  25%
        Calcium     30%
        Iron            10% 

 Most of the B vitamins, vitamin E, Vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, selenium and omega 3s, are also present in this smoothie. 
I've been meaning to make a video about this issue, which soon enough I will. But till that day comes, I want to elaborate this subject shortly. Here is my view on gym machines vs. body weight workouts.
  • WHAT I LOVE ABOUT THE GYM. I  love being surrounded with like-minded individuals, because like everybody else, I need some motivation to workout. Sometimes I go in the gym exhausted and without energy, but when I see other people working out I get inspired, and I end up pushing my self and finishing even harder session than usual. I love all the selection of weights, dumbbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, Swiss ball, barbells and box jumps they offer.
  • WHAT I DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE GYM. What I don't like doing in the gym is exercises using the gym machines. Why not, you wonder? Well, because I am a fully healthy, strong, young person, who should be moving all joints in a full range of motion! Unfortunately, machines are limiting your range of motion. So for someone like me and you machines are a bad idea. To give you another reason why you shouldn't  be using machines is for the matter of the intensity level. Machine exercises are easier than body weight and free weight exercises.
If you want to get more efficient workout, burn more calories, build more muscle and make a stronger body, than grab some free weights and start exercising.  Body weight and free weight exercises are much harder than machine exercise. You don't believe me? Try it your self. Here is how you can make the experiment!

Leg press vs. squat. You love doing those leg presses don't you? I do too.. When I'm lazy! Next time instead of doing 40 reps of leg press, do 40 squats instead. If you do heavy weight leg press, grab heavy weigh dumbbells or barbell. Both of these exercises ( leg press and squats) are working on your gluteus muscles and leg muscles. But with the squats you are using the abdominal muscles to stabilize your body and using upper body muscles by holding the weights. You are getting better workout, burning more calories and toning up not only butt and legs but the abdominal muscles and upper body as well. Leg press is only good  for people with knee condition or older people. When you want to control and limit that range of motion in the knee joint. If you are young, healthy, strong and have no medical issues, why limiting your range of motion or isolating one group of muscles. Get the best and most efficient workout by doing body weight workouts! Those are the best!

Try my little experiment, and leave a feedback.

Sincerely yours,
"More squats, less machines"

So, you've decided you want to lose some weight. You have a goal of getting those six pack abs showing. You want to see a fat free body. You want to see your bum looking good. And the question you ask is, where do I start!

STEP #1:
CLEAN your kitchen!

Make your kitchen a minefield-free zone. Meaning, where no danger will be peaking behind cabinet doors, the way it is most likely right now. Clean your kitchen from foods that provide empty calories, zero nutrition, and zero body fuel. These foods are made to be addictive, in order for food companies to profit more. So as their wallets fatten, so does your waistline. And then, drug companies make billions off drugs you buy, from diseases and conditions you developed from consuming those poisons. It’s a never ending circle that you don’t want to be trapped in. Let's face it, food addiction is becoming the fastest growing and scary addiction in the modern world. The absurdity doesn't even stop here! We are dying from eating too much food, while there are people around the world who die from starvation. Where is this world going? Food is one of our essential life sources. Food can save lives from so many different perspectives, if we only knew to treat it like it should be: a necessity not a obsession!

To be fair, I know how hard it is to avoid these foods. I have been living in the US for six years. Food is cheap, convenient, and loaded with all the yummy stuff (sugar, fat, and salt). But when I see what these foods have done to others, I get re-motivated. These foods take over your life, body, and soul. Are you going to allow these obstacles stop you from achieving your goals? Step up your game and do something about it!!

First thing you need to do is clean your kitchen. Replace all the six pack enemies, with six-pack friendlies:

  1. Replace soda, diet soda and all “their siblings”  with water and freshly squeezed juices
  2. Replace all cooking oils with olive or coconut oil.
  3. Replace all creamy dressings with apple cider vinegar.
  4. Replace sugar, corn syrup and all artificial sweeteners with raw honey and use sparingly
  5. Replace all cereals with oatmeal, quinoa, ,amaranth, cut steal oats, and wheat germ
  6. Replace fried meats with lean grilled or baked meats & fish
  7. Replace pasta and white rice with brown and wild rice
  8. Replace white breads, muffins, bagels, granola bars with whole wheat bread w/seeds and nuts
  9. Replace sugary yogurts and puddings with PLAIN Greek yogurt
  10. Replace cream cheese spreads , butter and margarine with nuts spreads
  11. Replace cakes, cookies, milk chocolates and candies with fruits and dark chocolate
  12. Replace all bottled juices with milk, water or tea
  13. Replace fried potato sides or any fried sides with big organic salads
  14. Replace all chips, crackers, pretzels with mixed nuts and seeds
  15. Replace fried appetizers with fresh soups
  16. Replace your on-the-go doughnut breakfast with eggs and whole grain bread

Everything is possible if you put your mind to it. Follow up with appropriate action. Six pack abs, toned legs, losing weight, gaining muscle, strength, and power... Find your inspiration! Find your motivation! And take this first step! It's the only way!

Sincerely yours,
- "Every squat matters"

P.S. My motivation is an old picture of me at 24 years old where my body was pure lean muscle. I want to look like that for the rest of my life! :)

Now-days  you see low fat, fat free or reduced fat, printed on so many processed foods.. Mayo, dressings, nut butters, cookies, meats, milk, yogurt, pizzas, pastas, everything. You name it, it's out there!  And if you haven't done your research you wouldn't know that it is a trap that takes you in the wrong direction.
Why, you will ask?

First, there is a big misunderstanding about the fat. Not all fat is bad!     In fact, good fats are essential for many functions for the human body. They might even help you shrink a size or two. Fat yields 9 calories per gram, compared to carbs with only 4. Which means, good fat will keep your satiety level on check, and curb your cravings for longer period of time. Where carbs are very easily digestible and distributed in the blood. And after very short period of  time you will find your self wanting and eating more of that food.
  1. The good kind of fats are the unsaturated fats. Remember that word! They can be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Both extremely beneficial for our bodies.
  • Monounsaturated fat rich foods are avocados, olives and olive oil, sesame and canola oil, and all kind if nuts ( peanuts, cashes, almonds, pistachios). This kind of fat can help control the cholesterol levels in check. Start snaking on these health packed  foods.
  • Polyunsaturated fat rich foods are  safflower oils, sunflower seeds and sunflower oil, flax-seed and flax-seed oil, soybeans and soybean oil, and seafood. From all these foods, seafood is want you really need to eat up. Fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardines, and tuna are rich in preformed omega-3s fatty acids that have numerous health benefits. Unsaturated fats are considered central to a child's brain development and eyesight, and for heart health. They also may help prevent cardiovascular disease and fight of inflammation, which is the root cause for many illnesses.
  2.   The bad kind of fats you should avoid are the saturated fats and trans fats.
  • Saturated fats are coming from fatty meats, and full-fat dairy foods including cheese, ice cream, and whole milk. But that doesn't mean you should completely ban those foods from your diet. Just try to keep saturated fat to less than 7% of all the fat you eat. Include lean source of meats and low fat milk and yogurt only. Animal products  contain complete protein and some essential micronutrients that can't be find in other foods. Ex. B12 , iron and zink
  • Trans fat are man-made fats that have been chemically altered through hydrogenation. Hydrogenation (the addition of hydrogen) converts oil into a firmer, tastier product with a longer shelf life. In the process, some of the unsaturated fat (good fats) in the oil becomes saturated (bad fat). It's been shown that trans fat contributes to clogged arteries. Even worse, they've linked to certain cancers, including breast and colorectal, in population studies. Try to stay away from foods with ingredients panel list hydrogenated of partially hydrogenated oil.

Second, it's not the fat in food that makes you fat, it is the calories and the amount of food.
These fat free, reduced fat or low fat foods are packed with sugar and other sweeteners instead of the fat. You still consume the same calories but this time more sugar and artificial sweeteners that will make you crave for more. And this is the trap and. You don't get any benefits from that food,  but you get ton of sugar, preservatives and chemicals. Simple example. Peanut butter is full with the good kind of fat, above mention monounsaturated fat. But the food companies are taking out that good fat and they profit on your ignorance. They know how most of the population think: No fat = weight loss or no calories! That is absolutely wrong! Another example for mayo: If the mayo is made out of olive oil and eggs, why choose not to get all the benefits from the good fats in olive oil and buy the one without any good fats? The fat free/reduced fat/ low fat mayo has been through so much processing. And   the end product you are buying is probably  ONLY CALORIES AND ZERO NUTRITION.



Sincerely yours,

    Hi everybody! My name is Julijana and I am an ex-pro in basketball, and certified fitness professional.
    Having an extensive fitness background and passion for sports, I have decided to share my secrets for getting fit and staying fit.
    Also from personal experience, I have learned that being fit, doesn't always cut it. Nourishing your body with proper nutrients is extremely important for overall well-being. That is why I will show you how to eat healthy and about all the super foods you should consume on a daily basis.
     I will write weekly posts on this  blog. Please don't be shy to engage in the conversation as I am very open to new ideas and love hearing different opinions. Hopefully this blog will serve its purpose well and we all learn from each other. :)