Friday, October 11, 2013

Obesity and Toxic Food. Apple Pie With No Flour. Scoop on Spinach. Meriwether Lewis. Apollo 7. Pippa is a Piper!


For "Foodie Friday":

Harvard Researchers Address Obesity and Toxic Food

image "Two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and five percent of American children can now be considered “severely obese,” which puts their health at grave risk.

Carb-rich processed foods are a primary driver of these statistics; while many blame Americans’ overindulgence of processed junk foods on lack of self control, scientists are now starting to reveal the truly addictive nature of such foods.

The obesity rate among Swedish and Japanese women is between five and six percent, compared to almost 40 percent for American women, suggesting there’s something in the American diet that is different from other affluent nations.

Nutrition is paramount for health and normal weight; a healthy diet equates to fresh whole, preferably organic foods, and foods that have been minimally processed.

Food Addiction and Obesity Is a Profit-Driven Enterprise

At the heart of the problem is the issue of toxic food—foods that are heavily processed and purposely designed for maximum “craveability.”  None of this happened by chance. Companies spend untold amounts concocting just the right flavor formulas to keep you coming back for more. To illustrate my point, consider this: Researchers at the Boston Children's Hospital recently demonstrated that highly processed carbohydrates stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, promoting excess hunger.7 As reported by Science Daily:8"  More at:

Why We Overeat: The Toxic Food Environment and Obesity

"Making healthy eating choices may not always be easy. The convenience and affordability of unhealthy food often lure consumers to eating nutritionally empty snacks and processed meals. And research suggests our brains may be primed for craving these kinds of foods, triggering feelings of satisfaction and pleasure that healthier options may not. Based on the latest science, this Forum event examined how we can shift our food environments from toxic to healthy. 

The video below features Huffington Post’s Editorial Director Meredith Melnick and a panel of experts in nutrition, public health, and obesity. In it, they discuss the effects that our toxic food environment have on weight. The video also includes clips from the four-part HBO documentary series, Weight of the Nation:"  


Apple pie twist: Primal baked apples with no flour

"Having eliminated wheat and grains from our diet makes the idea of an apple pie somewhat difficult. My love for apples was my inspiration for this super easy recipe, which combines the awesome taste of baked apples with a stellium of other beautifully flavored ingredients, such as tahini and coconut. But for me, the most important point is that it entirely lacks flour and sugar. If you choose the yummy version, you add up extra nutritional value to your dessert, thanks to the power of sesame seeds (this is what tahini is entirely made of) and the king of oils: coconut oil.

The whole thing takes up to 5 minutes to prepare and requires approximately 30 minutes of baking.The recipe is very flexible and you can add or take out ingredients, according to your taste. Below, you will find two options of this simple recipe: the very basic one (3 ingredients only) and a yummier one, which is my favorite.":


What is Spinach Good For?

The Scoop on Spinach

Spinach Nutrition Facts

Botanical name: Spinacia oleracea

"Obscurely referred to for years in England as "the Spanish vegetable," the name of this leafy green veggie was later shortened to the name we call it today. It’s thought to have originated in ancient Persia. Spinach cultivation spread to Nepal, and by the seventh century, to China, where it’s still called "Persian Greens." The Moors introduced it to Spain around the 11th century.

Now greener, tastier and crisper by freezing, spinach fresh from the garden is often used for salads and in place of lettuce on sandwiches.

No mere vegetable ever gained the fame that spinach did in the 1960s through the cartoon character Popeye. Often in vain, parents encouraged their children to eat their spinach so they would grow up to be big and strong.

There’s actually some truth to that…

Health Benefits of Spinach

Low in fat and even lower in cholesterol, spinach is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. In other word, it’s loaded with good things for every part of your body!
Abundant flavonoids in spinach act as antioxidants to keep cholesterol from oxidizing and protect your body from free radicals, particularly in the colon. The folate in spinach is good for your healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your vigorous brain function, memory and mental clarity."  Recipes and more at: 



On This Day:

Meriwether Lewis dies along the Natchez Trace, Tennessee, Oct 11, 1809:

"On this day in 1809, the famous explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances in the early hours of the morning after stopping for the night at Grinder's Tavern along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.

Most recent historians have concluded that Lewis' death was a suicide brought on by deep depression and the heavy weight of worries he bore. According to the account given by Mrs. Grinder, the mistress of the tavern along the Natchez Trace where Lewis died, during his final hours Lewis began to pace in his room and talk aloud to himself "like a lawyer." She then heard a pistol shot and Lewis exclaiming, "O Lord!" After a second pistol shot, Lewis staggered from his room and called for help, reportedly saying, "O Madam! Give me some water, and heal my wounds." Strangely, Mrs. Grinder did nothing to help him; she later said that she was too afraid. The next morning servants went to his room where they reportedly found him "busily engaged in cutting himself from head to foot" with a razor. Fatally wounded in the abdomen, Lewis died shortly after sunrise.

Questions raised about the reliability of Mrs. Grinder's story suggest that Lewis might have actually been murdered, either by Mrs. Grinder's husband or bandits. Since then a minority of historians has continued to raise challenges to the suicide thesis. But ultimately, nearly two centuries after the event, we may never be able to discover exactly what happened that night along the Natchez Trace when one of the nation's greatest heroes died at the tragically young age of 35."


Apollo 7 launched, Oct 11, 1968:

"Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, is launched with astronauts Walter M. Schirra, Jr.; Donn F. Eisele; and Walter Cunningham aboard. Under the command of Schirra, the crew of Apollo 7 conducted an 11-day orbit of Earth, during which the crew transmitted the first live television broadcasts from orbit."



It was my shopping day in Conroe. I had postponed it to Thursday as I thought that I would be going into Conroe to pick up my new foster kitten, "Pippa", anyway. Pippa is the little tabby and white 3 month old kitten who was dumped at Petco.  But Pippa's spay surgery had been postponed and she was having her surgery yesterday, so she would be brought to me in the evening.  Jay wasn't going with me as he has been acting up lately.

My first stop was our local Kroger to return a nasty sticky food item, and to buy some of their spices from the bulk containers in the health food section. Then a stop at the little hardware store in our town, as I can get Denatured Alcohol cheaper there. We use that for degreasing and cleaning before painting.  Then a stop at the water company to pay the water bills. Farther south, a stop at the insurance company to sign some papers.  I looked at the veggies at HEB, and bought some there.  Then on to Lowes to return some items.  A quick look in the Conroe Kroger store, where I bought some things, as they seem to have better sales than the local store.  Just one of those fiddly stop and go trips.

Chris brought Pippa to me in the evening, but no one had checked and she is a HE.  Pippa sounds kinda girlie, so he might be called Piper. Kenya had several post-surgery animals to tend to,  so I had offered to do Pippa's surgery recovery.  He was put in a cage so that he couldn't jump around and mess up his stitches.   He was very woozy from the anesthetic and wobbling around. He turned his bed upside down, spilt his water and food, and wouldn't settle down. Ray came over to see him, and he purred at us and was very loving, even through his grogginess.   Finally, he settled down and went to sleep, and seems to be a happy cat this morning.

As he was neutered and not spayed, he can be turned loose in the dog room after a couple of days.

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