Foods

Cucumber Salsa

cucumbersalsa

16 Calorie CUCUMBER SALSA! (Tastes great, too!!!)

Ingredients
2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
Baked tortilla chip scoops

Directions
In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. In another bowl, combine the sour cream, lemon juice, lime juice, cumin and seasoned salt. Pour over cucumber mixture and toss gently to coat.

Serve immediately with chips. Yield: 2-1/2 cups.
Nutrition Facts: 1/4 cup (calculated without chips) equals 16 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 44 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchange: Free food.

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P Carrothers

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Foods

Cheesy Cauliflower Patties

cheesecauliflower

ARE YOU KIDDING!! Just when I think cauliflower can’t get any better! Well here we go!
Cheesy Cauliflower Patties = YUM YUM!

1 head cauliflower
2 large eggs
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 c panko
1/2 t cayenne pepper (more of less to taste)
salt
olive oil

Cut cauliflower into florets & cook in boiling water until tender about 10 minutes. Drain. Mash the cauliflower while still warm. Stir cheese, eggs, panko, cayenne & salt to taste.

Coat the bottom of a griddle or skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat. Form the cauliflower mixture into patties about 3 inches across. Cook until golden brown & set, about 3 minutes per side. Keep each batch warm in the oven while you cook the rest.

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P Carrothers

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Foods

Benefits of Sunflower Seeds

sunflower

Health benefits of sunflower seeds

According to a micronutrient research facility, people who ingest seeds and nuts regularly have a lower possibility of having heart ailments or diabetes mellitus. The health benefits of sunflower seeds are profoundly documented by Taoist anti-aging medical practitioner Dr. Mao Shing Ni. He asserts that the seeds be added to one’s diet because of their significant nutritive content.  Sunflowers contain vitamin E, several of the B vitamins, Thiamine and copper.

Including sunflower seeds in your daily diet regimen is very easy. Aside from eating seeds in raw form, you can just mix an ounce of the seeds in your cold or hot beverage or sprinkle them over salads and other food servings. You can even eat these with a sandwich, a bowl of oatmeal, breakfast cereal, or with a cup of non-dairy ice cream or yogurt. Another way to incorporate sunflower seeds to your meals is by soaking them in water and then later on combining it with your pureed soup. This not only fortifies the food with essential nutrients but it also adds a hint of flavor and nice texture to the food. There are numerous ways to get more sunflower seeds and thus consume more of the nutrients needed by the body.

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Foods, Health and Disease

Three Benefits to Watermelon

watermelon3

Three Benefits of Watermelon That May Surprise You

Watermelon is yet another example of a natural food that can enhance the quality of our health, from antioxidant protection to soothing muscle soreness. This is a summer fruit you do not want to miss!

Watermelon, like tomatoes, is a rich source of lycopene, an extremely potent carotenoid antioxidant.1 Lycopene has been shown to be protective against prostate cancer, helps to protect the skin from the sun’s rays, and benefits the cardiovascular system, as high circulating lycopene levels are linked to reduced heart attack and stroke risk.

Watermelon is also rich in the amino acid citrulline. Citrulline drives the production of nitric oxide, which is a key regulator of blood pressure.2 Studies conducted in adults with prehypertension or hypertension showed that the watermelon extract supplement groups experienced improvements in blood pressure compared to placebo groups.3,4

Watermelon, due to citrulline, could potentially reduce muscle soreness after exercise. One study found that athletes who were given 16 ounces of watermelon juice after intense exercise experienced lower levels of muscle soreness 24 hours later compared to athletes given a placebo drink.5

Watermelon becomes most ripe and delicious come August, so get ready to load up this summer on this juicy, refreshing, health-promoting fruit!

References:

  1. Edwards AJ, Vinyard BT, Wiley ER, et al: Consumption of watermelon juice increases plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta-carotene in humans. J Nutr 2003;133:1043-1050. 2. Collins JK, Wu G, Perkins-Veazie P, et al: Watermelon consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults. Nutrition 2007;23:261-266. 3. Figueroa A, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Perkins-Veazie PM, et al: Effects of watermelon supplementation on aortic blood pressure and wave reflection in individuals with prehypertension: a pilot study. Am J Hypertens 2011;24:40-44. 4. Figueroa A, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA, Wong A, et al: Watermelon extract supplementation reduces ankle blood pressure and carotid augmentation index in obese adults with prehypertension or hypertension. Am J Hypertens 2012;25:640-643. 5. Tarazona-Diaz MP, Alacid F, Carrasco M, et al: Watermelon juice: potential functional drink for sore muscle relief in athletes. J Agric Food Chem 2013;61:7522-7528.

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Lifestyle

Stop Being Nice and Start Being Kind

heartinhand

Stop Being Nice and Start Being Kind

A lot of people are attached to the idea of being “nice.” It’s not so easy for these individuals to let go of their need to be nice, or to appreciate how different it is from being kind.

This distinction is important, however, because these two ways of being lead to very different outcomes in one’s personal and professional life.

It will be easier to understand the difference between “nice” and “kind” if we focus on the opposing motivations behind each way of being.

The nice person is externally motivated. He’s driven by the need for other people’s approval and validation; he craves acceptance and is fearful of rejection.

The kind person is internally motivated. She has good self-esteem and isn’t looking for approval. She’s less concerned about what others might think of her and more interested in doing the right thing. Her compassion comes from an overflowing of her positive self-regard and not from the need to please.

The kind person respects herself as much as she respects others. She’s naturally helpful and generous, except when doing so might cause her harm. She lives in a state of balance, being as kind to herself as she is to others. She makes a positive contribution to her family, company and community, but never at her own expense. The nice person is out of balance in his quest for external validation. Thinking that this is how he’ll find what he wants, he puts the needs of others ahead of his own needs. He keeps trying to please until he becomes exhausted and aggravated.

The nice person avoids confrontation for fear of upsetting anyone. He has trouble saying “No,” and rarely asks directly for what he wants. Fearing rejection, he can’t express any angry feelings that arise.

The kind person, on the other hand, isn’t afraid of confrontation. She’s able to speak her mind clearly, directly and respectfully, so people know where she stands but aren’t likely to take offense.

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M. Sirota

Foods

5 Ingredient Zucchini

zucchinifritters

5-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters

Yield: About 14 fritters

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 5 min

Ingredients:

4 cups shredded zucchini, vegie pasta maker

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup sliced scallions (green and white parts)

Vegetable oil

Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Directions:

Place the shredded zucchini, or your zucchini pasta,  in a colander set over a bowl and sprinkle the zucchini lightly with salt. Allow the zucchini to stand for 10 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze out as much liquid from the zucchini as possible, if your zucchini looks like it is too water, many are not. Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl.

Add the flour, eggs, sliced scallions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to the bowl, stirring until the mixture is combined. Line a plate with paper towels.

Liberally coat the bottom of a large sauté pan with vegetable oil and place it over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, scoop 3-tablespoon mounds of the zucchini mixture into the pan, pressing them lightly into rounds and spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Cook the zucchini fritters for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip them once and cook an additional 2 minutes until golden brown and cooked throughout. Transfer the zucchini fritters to the paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle them with salt. Repeat the scooping and cooking process with the remaining zucchini mixture.

Serve the zucchini fritters topped with sour cream (optional) and sliced scallions.

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P Carrothers

Foods, Health and Disease

Why You Should Avoid Pork

pigfarm

Why You Should Avoid Pork

If you’re at all familiar with the Bible you’ll probably remember that in it God specifically instructed His people not to eat pork and shellfish. Many people are surprised to find this out, but in the Old Testament God warned us that the pig was an unclean animal–a scavenger and not to be eaten (Check out Leviticus 11).

Why You Should Avoid Pork

No matter how you think about it, pigs are a rather dirty animal. They are considered the scavengers of the farm (created to eliminate any waste on the farm), often eating anything they can find. This includes not only bugs, insects, and whatever leftover scraps they find laying around, but also their own feces, as well as the dead carcasses of sick animals, including their own young.

This in itself can explain why the meat of the pig can be so dirty or at the very least not so appetizing to consume. And while being ‘grossed out’ may or may not be a valid reason not to eat something it’s vital to understand a bit more about pork before reaching your own conclusion.

Pork 101: Know the Facts

Pork is one of the most consumed meats in the world. China is the largest producer of pigs that were first domesticated way back around 7500 B.C.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 100 viruses come to the United States each year from China through pigs. There are some obvious concerns about this. Aside from not needing more viruses to fight off, some of these viruses can prove to be downright dangerous to humans.

Of course, you’re probably familiar with H1N1, better known as ‘the swine flu.” This too is a virus that has made the leap from pig to human.

But H1N1 is not the only disease to fear from the pig. There are other sicknesses you can get from eating the meat of the pig.

Pork meat is loaded with toxins, more so than most other meats like beef and chicken.

Is Pork Meat Toxic?

There are reasons that the meat of the pig becomes more saturated with toxins than many of its counterpart farm animals. The first reason has to do with the digestive system of a pig.

A pig digests whatever it eats rather quickly, in up to about four hours. On the other hand a cow takes a good twenty-four hours to digest what it’s eaten. During the digestive process, animals (including humans) get rid of excess toxins as well as other components of the food eaten that could be dangerous to health.

Since the pig’s digestive system operates rather basically, many of these toxins remain in their system to be stored in their more than adequate fatty tissues ready for our consumption.

Another issue with the pig is that it doesn’t have any sweat glands. Sweat glands are a tool the body uses to be rid of toxins. This leaves more toxins in the pig’s body.

I don’t have to tell you that when you consume pork meat, you too are getting all these toxins that weren’t eliminated from the pig. None of us need more toxins in our systems. In fact we should all be doing what we can to eliminate and cut down on toxin exposure. One vital way to do this is by choosing what you eat carefully.

Trichinellosis, Pork Meat, and Your Health

Did you know that pigs carry a variety of parasites in their bodies and meat? Some of these parasites are difficult to kill even when cooking. This is the reason there are so many warnings out there about eating undercooked pork.

One of the biggest concerns with eating pork meat is trichinellosis or trichinosis. This is an infection that humans get from eating undercooked or uncooked pork that contains the larvae of the trichinella worm.

This worm parasite is very commonly found in pork. When the worm, most often living in cysts in the stomach, opens through stomach acids, its larvae are released into the body of the pig. These new worms make their homes in the muscles of the pig. Next stop? The unknowing human body who consumes this infected meat flesh.

And while no one particularly wants to consume worms, trichinellosis is a serious illness that you should do virtually anything to avoid.

Common Symptoms of Trichinellosis:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Swollen eyes
  • Muscle pain
  • Aching joints
  • Coordination problems
  • Heart issues
  • Breathing problems

These symptoms of trichinellosis can really put you out of the game for quite a while. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) these symptoms can last for weeks and in more serious cases months on end.

The CDC recommends thorough cooking of pork as well as freezing the pork meat prior to cooking to kill off any worms. I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel good about eating anything that I first have to kill off its worms to eat.

In fact, it’s been theorized that trichinellosis is the exact cause of Mozart’s rather sudden death at age 35. An American researcher theorized this after studying all the documents recording the days before, during, and after Mozart’s death. He found that Mozart suffered many of the above listed symptoms and he, himself, had recorded in his journal the consumption of pork just forty-four days before his own death.

(If you want to read more on this intriguing story you can find it in the Archives of Internal Medicine’s June 2001 issue.)

But that’s not all….

Pigs carry many viruses and parasites with them. Whether by coming in direct contact with them through farms or by eating their meat we put ourselves at higher risk of getting one of these painful, often debilitating diseases (not to mention put our bodies on toxic overload.)

Pigs are primary carriers of:

  • Taenia solium tapeworm
  • Hepatitis E virus (HEV)
  • PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome)
  • Nipah virus
  • Menangle virus

Each of these parasites and viruses can lead to serious health problems that can last for years to come.

What you choose to eat is up to you. Myself, I choose to stay away from unclean pork (and shellfish.) The reasons discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to eating pigs and your health.

Do your own research, carefully consider what the Bible so many years ago warned us about, then make your own educated decision about what you choose to feed yourself and your loved ones.

Sources

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (2010)

Science Direct (1999)

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (2007)

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Lifestyle

Doctors are the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

doctors

Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US

,

Killing 225,000 People Every Year

The author is Dr. Barbara Starfield of the Johns Hopkins

School of Hygiene and Public Health and she desribes how the UShealth care system may contribute to poor health.

ALL THESE ARE DEATHS PER YEAR:

•           12,000 —

unnecessary surgery

•           7,000 —

medication errors in hospitals

•           20,000 —

other errors in hospitals

•           80,000 —

infections in hospitals

•           106,000 —

non-error, negative effects of drugs

These total to 225,000 deaths per year from iatrogenic

causes!!

What does the word iatrogenic mean? This term is defined as

induced in a patient by a physician’s activity, manner, or therapy. Used

especially of a complication of treatment.

Dr. Starfield offers several warnings in interpreting these

numbers:

•           First, most

of the data are derived from studies in hospitalized patients.

•           Second,

these estimates are for deaths only and do not include negative effects that

are associated with disability or discomfort.

•           Third, the

estimates of death due to error are lower than those in the IOM report.

If the higher estimates are used, the deaths due to

iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000. In any case, 225,000

deaths per year constitutes the third leading cause of death in the

United

States

, after deaths from heart disease and

cancer. Even if these figures are overestimated, there is a wide margin between

these numbers of deaths and the next leading cause of death (cerebrovascular

disease).

Another analysis concluded that between 4% and 18% of

consecutive patients experience negative effects in outpatient settings,with:

•           116 million

extra physician visits

•           77 million

extra prescriptions

•           17 million

emergency department visits

•           8 million

hospitalizations

•           3 million

long-term admissions

•           199,000

additional deaths

•           $77 billion

in extra costs

The high cost of the health care system is considered to be

a deficit, but seems to be tolerated under the assumption that better health

results from more expensive care.

However, evidence from a few studies indicates that as many

as 20% to 30% of patients receive inappropriate care.

An estimated 44,000 to 98,000 among them die each year as a

result of medical errors.

This might be tolerated if it resulted in better health, but

does it? Of 13 countries in a recent comparison, the

United

States

ranks an average of 12th (second from

the bottom) for 16 available health indicators. More specifically, the ranking

of the US

on

several indicators was:

•           13th (last)

for low-birth-weight percentages

•           13th for

neonatal mortality and infant mortality overall

•           11th for

postneonatal mortality

•           13th for

years of potential life lost (excluding external causes)

•           11th for

life expectancy at 1 year for females, 12th for males

•           10th for

life expectancy at 15 years for females, 12th for males

•           10th for

life expectancy at 40 years for females, 9th for males

•           7th for

life expectancy at 65 years for females, 7th for males

•           3rd for

life expectancy at 80 years for females, 3rd for males

•           10th for

age-adjusted mortality

The poor performance of the US

was recently confirmed by a World Health Organization study, which used

different data and ranked the United Statesas 15th among 25 industrialized countries.

There is a perception that the American public “behaves

badly” by smoking, drinking, and perpetrating violence.” However the

data does not support this assertion.

•           The

proportion of females who smoke ranges from 14% in Japanto 41% in Denmark

;

in the United States

,

it is 24% (fifth best). For males, the range is from 26% in Swedento 61% in Japan

;

it is 28% in the United States(third best).

•           The USranks fifth best for alcoholic beverage consumption.

•           The US has

relatively low consumption of animal fats (fifth lowest in men aged 55-64 years

in 20 industrialized countries) and the third lowest mean cholesterol

concentrations among men aged 50 to 70 years among 13 industrialized countries.

These estimates of death due to error are lower than those

in a recent Institutes of Medicine report, and if the higher estimates are

used, the deaths due to iatrogenic causes would range from 230,000 to 284,000.

Even at the lower estimate of 225,000 deaths per year, this

constitutes the third leading cause of death in the US

,

following heart disease and cancer.

Lack of technology is certainly not a contributing factor to

the US

‘s low

ranking.

•           Among 29

countries, the United Statesis second only to Japan

in the availability of magnetic resonance imaging units and computed tomography

scanners per million population. 17

•           Japan

,

however, ranks highest on health, whereas the USranks among the lowest.

•           It is

possible that the high use of technology in Japan

is limited to diagnostic technology not matched by high rates of treatment,

whereas in the US

,

high use of diagnostic technology may be linked to more treatment.

•           Supporting

this possibility are data showing that the number of employees per bed

(full-time equivalents) in the United Statesis highest among the countries ranked, whereas they are very low in Japan

,

far lower than can be accounted for by the common practice of having family

members rather than hospital staff provide the amenities of hospital care.

Journal American Medical Association July 26, 2000;284(4):483-5

****  Choose a Doctor

over the age of 50.  That was the last

time medical school taught how to cure and prevent diseases.  After that medical schools went to Managed

Care, meaning they treat a symptom, not a disease.

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Foods

Grilled Shrimp and Homemade Cocktail Sauce

grilledshrimp

Grilled Shrimp and Homemade Cocktail Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, eyeball it
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 rib celery from heart with leafy tops, finely chopped
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 16 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Combine the first 7 ingredients in a bowl, and season with pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat a grill pan or grill to medium-high.

Dress the shrimp with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste, and smoked paprika. Skewer the shrimp onto metal skewers, to ease in turning them, and grill until the shrimp are opaque and firm, about 7 to 8 minutes. Pile the shrimp on a serving platter, and drizzle with the sauce or pass the sauce at the table
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Foods, Health and Disease

Vegetable Oils

oils2

  1. Vegetable Oils – Vegetable oils (and margarine, made from these oils) are oils extracted from seeds like the rapeseed (canola oil) soybean (soybean oil), corn, sunflower, and safflower. They were practically non-existent in our diets until the early 1900s when new chemical processes allowed them to be extracted. Vegetable oils are manufactured in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops that have been heavily treated with pesticides. Unlike butter or coconut oil, these vegetable oils can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating naturally. They must be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. These are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets. Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to potato chips to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. Today, people consume, on average, about 70 pounds of vegetable oils throughout the year! Anytime you cook a food, you run the risk of creating heat-induced damage. The oils you choose to cook with must be stable enough to resist chemical changes when heated to high temperatures, or you run the risk of damaging your health. One of the ways vegetable oils can inflict damage is by converting your good cholesterol into bad cholesterol–by oxidizing it. When you cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils (such as canola, corn, and soy oils), oxidized cholesterol is introduced into your system. As the oil is heated and mixed with oxygen, it goes rancid. Rancid oil is oxidized oil and should NOT be consumed–it leads directly to vascular disease. Trans-fats are introduced when these oils are hydrogenated, which increases your risk of chronic diseases like breast cancer and heart disease. Instead, whenever I cook, I use either butter or coconut oil. Coconut oil is practically 100% saturated, which means it is stable at high temperatures. It also is very beneficial to the health of your body.