Friday, November 9, 2012

Eat Your Seeds. Diverticulitis. Popcorn and Alzheimer’s. FOOD SAFETY TIPS. Homemade Cheez Its. Coke. Boston Fire. Robert McNamara.


For “Foodie Friday”:

Eat Your Seeds

“Over the last few years, the health benefits of seeds have become more apparent.

Seeds share the cardiovascular benefits of nuts, which are significant - a daily serving of nuts is associated with a 35% reduction in heart disease risk. Plus, a tablespoon of ground flax, hemp, or chia seeds or other seeds can supply those hard-to-find omega-3 fats that protect the heart and brain. Flax, sesame, and chia seeds are also rich in lignans, a phytochemical that is especially protective against breast cancer and prostate cancer. Sunflower, pumpkin, and all types of seeds have unique health benefits, and seeds are a healthful, mineral-rich protein source.”


Research shows that seeds and nuts are "brain foods" that can also stabilize your mood

nuts“Can some foods make you smarter? Research shows that nuts and seeds just might boost your brainpower and balance your moods. That's right, everything from the most common nuts -- such as walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds -- to the more exotic seeds and nuts can clear up that "brain fog" and enable you to think clearer and be happier than you ever imagined.

A healthy nervous system means both clearer and happier thinking, according to research. In fact, according to Readers Digest's "Fight Back with Food," under-consumption of omega-3-rich foods may actually lead to depression. The same walnuts that you can find in the baking aisle of just about any grocery store, may be able to boost your mood in a way similar to the famous antidepressant drug Prozac. Back in November 2004, NaturalNews covered the amazing antidepressant effects of omega-3 fatty acids.

As is the case with Prozac, walnuts' potential antidepressant effect pertains to serotonin, the important brain chemical that controls both your moods and your appetite. Like Prozac and other selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor drugs (SSRIs), walnuts may influence the human brain's serotonin levels, according to Professor James Duke's book "Anti-Aging Prescriptions." That means that you may be able to relieve the disorders commonly treated with antidepressant drugs -- insomnia, depression, overeating and other compulsive behavior -- without the dangerous side effects.


It's a truth that Big Pharma hates to hear: omega-3 fatty acids prevent mental depression, and they do it without the dangerous side effects of antidepressant drugs. That's why healthy people avoid ALL prescription drugs and, instead, turn to nature by consuming whole foods, superfoods, healthy fish oils, good fats, nutritional supplements and other health-enhancing substances.”     More at:


Dr Oz: Are Nuts & Seeds Bad For Diverticulitis & Diverticulosis?

“Dr Oz said that doctors used to say that you should avoid seeds, nuts, and popcorn if you have Diverticulitis, but Dr Oz said that recent studies have found that they are not a problem.  Dr Oz suggested eating them because they are a good source of fiber and, when you eat a cashew nut, it is not like you get an entire cashew nut passing through your system because you chew it all up anyway during the digestive process.

Dr Oz: How To Prevent Diverticulitis with Fiber

Dr Oz said that you can prevent Diverticulitis by getting enough fiber in your diet.  You need 25 grams of fiber per day, and the average American woman only gets 10-12 grams per day.  You can take fiber supplements or eat fiber-rich foods like apples, broccoli, beans, quinoa, and grains.  Dr Oz said that you also have to drink a lot of water with the fiber so that the poop can pass through easier – otherwise, it is like squeezing the toothpaste tube from the middle.

Dr Oz: Difference Between Diverticulitis & Diverticulosis

Dr Oz said that in Diverticulosis, you have the out-pouches that form in your colon and about half of the people in America who are over 60 have this.  Diverticulitis is what happens when those out-pouches get inflamed and infected by poop getting stuck in them.  The trapped fecal material can cause pressure, cramping, nausea, constipation, and all kinds of unpleasant side effects.  Dr Oz’s Assistant-of-the-Day felt how the walls of the outpouches are much thinner.  Dr Oz said that Diverticulitis was not even described until the early 1900′s, which is around the time when processed foods became widely available and fiber became less prevalent in our diets.

Dr Oz’s final suggestion if you have Diverticulitis is to keep a Food Diary and write down the foods that trigger your symptoms so that you can become a detective and help to cure yourself!”    From:


Buttered Popcorn Flavoring Linked to Alzheimer’s

Brain Scan

“Diacetyl is an artificial butter flavoring added to microwave popcorn and other snack foods; many microwave popcorn factories have already stopped using the synthetic diacetyl because it’s been linked to lung damage in people who work in the factories.

New research shows diacetyl has several concerning properties for brain health and may trigger Alzheimer’s disease.  Not only can diacetyl pass through the blood-brain barrier, which is intended to help keep toxins out of your brain, but it can also cause brain proteins to misfold into the Alzheimer’s-linked form known as beta amyloid.   Diacetyl also inhibits mechanisms that help to naturally clear the dangerous beta amyloid from your brain.”

Article at:

and: WebMD: Better information. Better health.


How is Popcorn Popped?

“If you've ever wondered how a corn kernel turns into popcorn, the video above may give you a clue. A kernel of corn contains both moisture and oil, along with a hard, dense starch inside. As the kernel is heated, the moisture in the kernel gets turned into steam, which is held inside of the strong hull.

This turns the dense starch into a soft, pliable material, and as the steam continues to build pressure and heat, the hull ruptures suddenly and the starch expands into an airy foam that sets into the popcorn you're familiar with.

If you love popcorn and can't imagine giving it up, make your own at home using organic popping corn and coconut oil or butter. Place the oil or butter in a large pot, turn it on to medium heat and add your kernels. When the popping slows to one or two "pops" every few seconds, you're all done. Add your own natural seasonings like grass-fed, raw butter and Himalayan salt for a natural popcorn snack without all the artificial ingredients and chemicals that are inevitable with the microwave variety.”



Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away:

“Food safety starts from the purchase to the preparation, cooking and serving of the turkey and other traditional dishes.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your Thanksgiving Day dinner safe, so you can enjoy the company of your family and guests.
Food Safety Tips When Shopping
• Buy your turkey preferably 1-2 days before you cook it
• Pick up the turkey, dairy and eggs just before checking out
• Bag the frozen turkey or keep it separate from fresh produce
• Avoid buying fresh, stuffed turkeys
Storing the Turkey/Perishable Foods
• Store the turkey in the freezer if you bought it early in the month.
• Keep turkey in the refrigerator if cooking within 24-48 hours
• Keep the turkey in it’s package in a pan to keep any juices from getting into fresh produce or food
• Refrigerate store bought pumpkin pie
Thawing the Frozen Turkey Safely
• Wash your hands with soap and water before handling the turkey or any food.
• There are 3 ways to defrost a frozen turkey safely :
Defrost turkey in the refrigerator (40F) approximately 24 hours for every 4-5 pounds of turkey
Submerge turkey in its original package in a pan of cold water enough to cover the turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes, and allow 30 minutes thawing for every pound. Cook the turkey immediately.
Remove any packaging and keep turkey in a microwave-safe pan to
catch any juices. Thaw in the microwave oven. Cook the turkey
Note: Microwave ovens may vary. Be sure to check the manual for the minutes per pound and power level to use for defrosting
• Remove any giblets from the turkey cavity and cook separately
Preparing Food Safely
• Wash your hands with soap and water.
• Make sure working areas and surfaces, utensils and plates are also clean.
• Use separate cutting or chopping boards for meats and for fruits and vegetables. Avoid putting cooked food on cutting boards that have
touched raw food.
• Avoid wiping your hands that have touched raw food with dish towels.
• Keep raw food away from vegetables and side dishes that will not be cooked.

Cooking Food Safely
• Stuffing the turkey is not recommended. Cook the stuffing separate.
• Use a food thermometer. You can’t tell if the turkey is cooked simply by looking
• Check to make sure every part of the turkey reaches a minimum internal
temperature of 165 F, even if your turkey has a pop-up temperature
indicator. Check the innermost part of the thigh and wing, and the thickest part of the breast.
• Let turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set.
• Stuffing should also reach a minimum temperature of 165 F.
• Any dish containing eggs should be cooked to reach an internal temperature of 160 F.
• Use a separate clean spoon whenever tasting food from the pot. Do not use spoon for stirring to taste.
Serving Food Safely
• Keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot.
• Keep the pumpkin pie and any cold dessert in the refrigerator at 40 F
• Use clean serving spoons for each dish.
• Wash hands with soap and water before handling food or eating.
• Carve the turkey with a clean carving knife and fork.
Storing Left-overs Safely
• Store left-over food within two hours after serving, including pumpkin pie.
• Use several shallow storage containers to store left-over food.
• Store in the refrigerator if eating left-over food within 3 days. Label and date.
• Keep in the freezer for longer storage time. Label and date.

Prettier version of above, here:


Homemade Cheez Its

“Cheez Its have always been one of my favorite snack foods.  The cheesy salty combo is just what I need when I'm transferring from sweet to salty as I usually do when I'm in the mood to snack.  I try not to buy Cheez Its.. mostly because I'll eat them all (way too quickly), and there are a lot of things in them that I'd rather not put into my body.

1 1/2 cups cheddar (about 6 oz.)

4 T butter

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour

1/4 t salt

sea salt, for sprinkling

In a food processor, pulse all of the ingredients together until it forms a ball (about 2 minutes).  Place the ball between two pieces of wax paper, and roll it out to about 1/8" thick.  Using a pastry wheel or small cookie cutters, cut into shapes.  Place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1/2" apart from each other - they puff up a bit.  Poke each cracker with a fork or skewer so that they don't puff too much.  Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired (I like the extra salty flavor it gives).

Bake at 350ºF for 8-12 minutes (depending on the size/shape of your crackers), until lightly browned on the edges.  Cool on the baking sheet, and store in an airtight container (if they last that long).”  From:


Want to drink a can of Coke?

That's 17 minutes of basketball or 32 minutes of yoga for you (and by "you," Coca-Cola is referring to a woman who weighs 60 kilograms -- or about 133 pounds). Or, if you aren't the gym- or studio-going type, you can work it off with a 29-minute dog walk, 45 minutes of ballroom dancing or ironing for 70 minutes.

"Making sure there isn't an imbalance between the amount of calories you take in each day and the amount you burn can help you to maintain a healthy weight," explains the website. "And the best way to ensure energy balance is by eating a well-balanced diet and enjoying regular physical activity."


On This Day:

Fire rips through Boston, Nov 9, 1872:

“On this day in 1872, a fire in Boston destroys hundreds of buildings and kills 14 people. In the aftermath, the city established an entirely new system of firefighting and prevention. The fire also led to the creation of Boston's financial district.

The fire began in the basement of a warehouse at the corner of Kingston and Summer streets. At the time, this area of the city contained a mix of residences and light industry. Its buildings and most area roofs were made mainly of wood, allowing the blaze to spread quickly as the wind blew red hot embers from rooftop to rooftop. In addition, as Boston streets were narrow, large flames from one structure could literally leap across them to nearby buildings.

Firefighting units from Maine to New Haven, Connecticut, arrived to help, but efforts to fight the fire were plagued by difficulties. There was not enough water on hand to get the fire under control; the hydrant system did not work well because much of the equipment was not standardized; and even when firefighters got their hands on an adequate supply of water, the height of the buildings and the narrowness of the streets made it difficult to direct the water at the blaze from the optimum angle. Because a local equine epidemic had struck the city fire department's horses, it was difficult to get the fire engines to the correct locations at the right times. In addition, some of the efforts were counter-productive. Explosions were used to attempt fire breaks, but this high-risk strategy was not executed with enough precision and served only to further spread the fire.

The fire was finally stopped at the doors of Fanueil Hall the following morning, but it had already destroyed much of the downtown area. Boston's officials realized that their fire-prevention efforts had been ineffective and, in the aftermath of the disaster, began to revise and strengthen all of the city's fire laws and regulations. An inspection system was instituted and the local fire departments began to coordinate their efforts.

The fire also helped fuel Boston's growth. The business community saw the burned area as an opportunity to expand its presence downtown. The city's financial district was established where the fire had hit hardest and Boston soon became a key business center of the late 19th-century United States.”


Robert McNamara becomes president of Ford Motor Company, Nov 9, 1960:

“On this day in 1960, Robert McNamara becomes the president of the Ford Motor Company. He would hold the job for less than a month, heading to Washington in December to join President John F. Kennedy's cabinet. McNamara served as the secretary of defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson until he resigned in 1968. That year, he became the president of the World Bank, a job he held until 1981.

At the end of World War II, Ford was in tatters. Henry Ford was still in charge, but he was getting old and increasingly senile; furthermore, since he had made no secret of his pacifist, anti-Semitic and anti-union convictions, many people were reluctant to do business with him or to buy one of his cars. The company had been steadily losing money since the stock market crash of 1929, and by 1945 it was losing about $9 million every month.

At GM and Chrysler, by contrast, business was booming. In order to catch up, in September 1945 Henry Ford's wife and daughter-in-law presented the elderly man with an ultimatum: make 28-year-old Henry Ford II (the elder Ford's grandson) the company's president, or his mother would sell her controlling stake in the company to the highest bidder.

Left without much choice, the elder Ford gave in and put his grandson in charge. Right away, Ford II hired 10 "Whiz Kids," including McNamara, all straight out of the Army Air Corps and all with training in economics and statistics from places like Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley and Princeton. These "Whiz Kids" managed to streamline the company and make it profitable again, in part by creating a sleek new look for Ford cars. The company's '49 coupe, with its "spinner" grille, slab sides and integrated fenders, was an immediate hit.

In all, McNamara spent 14 years at Ford, before heading to Washington, D.C., where he served under both Kennedy and President Lyndon Johnson. McNamara was a key advisor to Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis and is credited with using his management skills to help the Pentagon function more efficiently. He is also known as an engineer of America's Vietnam War policy under both Kennedy and Nixon, an often-criticized role that he later discussed in the 2003 documentary The Fog of War.

McNamara left the Pentagon in early 1968, and then spent 12 years as head of the World Bank.  He died on July 6, 2009 at 93 years old.”



Another day that Misty didn’t get bathed or groomed.

Before I had even brushed my hair, a neighbor wanted me to enlarge and print some pictures that were in a book.   It was easier for me to take photos of the pictures, edit them in Picasa, and then print them enlarged.  It sure is a nuisance to have to take that teensy memory card out of my camera then put it in the card reader, instead of using the camera cord!  While I was doing that, Ray came over with some rent, Jay came wanting me to print my pictures of Claudia’s water damage, and Jim arrived with my repaired lawnmower. It was like Grand Central here for a while!

Misty and I went down to Claudia’s with the water damage pictures, as the insurance man was on his way.  Jay kept on babbling incessantly so Claudia wanted him out of the way, but she wanted me there when the man came.  Jay took off on his ATV.

After careful inspection of the situation, the insurance man said that it would NOT be covered by insurance.  Claudia’s son, Jay didn’t want much to do with it when he found out that there wouldn’t be any extra money floating around, and just went to his house and got drunk.

I asked the insurance man what is the best way to get rid of the mold, and he said that the remediation companies use 10-15% bleach.  Claudia’s income is more than mine, but she has all those expensive anti-rejection meds to buy.  So I talked to Ray, and we have offered to help her.  As Claudia has had that liver transplant her immune system can’t be around that mold for any longer than necessary, we will start cleaning the affected areas early today.

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