Foods, Uncategorized

2 Minute Chocolate Almond Mug Cake


2-Minute Chocolate Almond Mug Cake




Dry Ingredients

1/4 cup flour (we used white whole wheat)

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

Wet ingredients

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup milk or unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melt first if solid)

Pinch of kosher or sea salt

1/4 cup slivered almond slices


1/4 cup natural almond butter

1 teaspoon coconut sugar



Whisk together dry ingredients, except filling ingredients and almonds. Next, whisk together wet ingredients. Fold dry ingredients into and wet. Mix together almond butter and coconut sugar.


Add half the chocolate mixture between the mugs, spoon in almond filling, and spread remaining chocolate mixture on top. Sprinkle slivered almonds atop chocolate.


Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high for one minute. Check for doneness. If more time is needed, heat for an additional 10-20 seconds. Allow to cool a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!


Health and Wellness Associates





Are Natural Flavorings Really Natural?


Are Natural Flavorings Really Natural?

It is important to understand that just because natural flavors come from something natural, does not necessarily make them healthy. For instance, strawberry flavor does not always come from strawberries or blueberry flavor from blueberries. Cystine is a natural conditioner used in dough that is made from duck feathers and human hair. Maltodextrin, made from genetically-modified corn and the main ingredient in some “all-natural” sweeteners .


What about natural flavoring that is made from the anal secretions of beavers? Castoreum is a substance found in the castor sacs of both male and female beavers. This aromatic liquid is mixed with urine and used for territorial marking. It is also used by the food flavoring industry with regularity. In fact, an overwhelming majority of raspberry flavored foods are made from these secretions. Foods such as ice cream, fruity drinks, yogurt, candy and tea may contain these secretions which the FDA claim are completely safe. What about the glaze used on donuts and hard candy? This is made from the feces of the female lac bug – for real.


Health and Wellness Associates



Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Pubic Grooming Tied to Higher STD Rates


Pubic Grooming Tied to Higher STD Rates


Brazilian bikini waxing and similar forms of personal grooming may be all the rage, but they come with a heightened risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease, new research suggests.


The study found that frequent groomers of pubic hair are three to four times more likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection, such as herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV) or syphilis.


“Grooming is linked to a heightened self-reported sexually transmitted disease risk, and for those who groom frequently or remove all of their hair often, the association is even higher,” said lead researcher Dr. Charles Osterberg. He’s an assistant professor of urology and surgery at the University of Texas Dell Medical School in Austin.


Still, the study didn’t prove a direct cause-and-effect relationship between pubic grooming and sexually transmitted infections, it was only designed to show a link between these factors.


Pubic hair grooming and removal has become increasingly popular worldwide among women and men, as public perceptions have changed regarding the role of body hair in cleanliness and attractiveness, Osterberg said.


To see whether this grooming might have any connection to sexually transmitted infections, Osterberg and his colleagues surveyed 7,580 U.S. residents, aged 18 to 65, about their grooming practices, sexual behavior and history of sexually transmitted diseases.


Almost three out of four participants (74 percent) said they had groomed their pubic hair before. More women (84 percent) than men (66 percent) reported trying it at least once.


Among the groomers, 17 percent were classified as “extreme” since they remove all of their pubic hair more than 11 times a year. Twenty-two percent were labeled “high-frequency” groomers because they trim their pubic hair daily or weekly. One in 10 groomers fell into both categories.


Extreme groomers had a quadrupled risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. In addition, high-frequency groomers had a 3.5-fold increased risk of sexually transmitted infections, the results showed.


The researchers speculated that infections might spread more easily due to tiny cuts, scrapes and skin tears that result from grooming.


Dr. Dennis Fortenberry is a professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and current president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association. He said, “I would probably lean toward the idea that the grooming itself causes mild trauma to the skin, and essentially makes the skin more susceptible to the organisms when they’re exposed.”


On the other hand, Osterberg noted, it might be that people who groom more often engage in more sex and are at higher risk for a sexually transmitted infection.


“Grooming may be a proxy for higher levels of sexual activity,” he added.


Overall, groomers tended to be younger, more sexually active, and to have had more sexual partners than those who don’t groom their pubic hair, the survey found. Extreme groomers had a higher number of sexual partners than any other category of groomer.


But, the researchers still found an 80 percent increased risk of sexually transmitted infections in anyone who reported having ever groomed at all, even after adjusting for the person’s age and their lifetime number of sexual partners.


There’s one bright spot for regular groomers — a reduced risk of pubic lice, the investigators found.


People who never or rarely groom their pubic hair have double the risk of pubic lice, the study authors reported.


“That’s how pubic lice end up breeding, in the hair itself,” Osterberg said. “You actually decrease your risk for lice by grooming.”


The study was published online Dec. 5 in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.


Health and Wellness Associates



Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Smoking Just One Cigarette is Deadly


Just 1 Cigarette a Day Can Be Deadly: Study


Think smoking just one cigarette a day is harmless? Think again, a new study says.


Even a single daily cigarette can raise your odds for an early death, the research showed.


“There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco smoke,” said study author Maki Inoue-Choi, who’s with the division of cancer epidemiology and genetics at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).


“Smoking cessation benefits all smokers, regardless of how few cigarettes they smoke,” she added in an institute news release.


In the study, Inoue-Choi’s team tracked data on more than 290,000 older Americans, aged 59 to 82. The investigators wanted to assess the risks of “light” smoking — defined as 10 or fewer cigarettes a day.


All of the smokers were asked about their smoking habits at nine different points in their lives, beginning with before they turned 15 until after they reached the age of 70.


Compared with people who’d never smoked, those who smoked an average of less than one cigarette a day over their lifetime still had a 64 percent higher risk of dying early. And those who smoked one to 10 cigarettes a day had an 87 percent higher risk, the findings showed.


It’s never too early — or too late — to quit smoking, either. The study showed that the risk of an early death was lower for former light smokers than those who remained light smokers. And the younger they were when they quit, the lower their risk, the NCI team found.


The researchers also looked at specific causes of death. Compared with never-smokers, the risk of death from lung cancer was nine times higher among those who smoked less than one cigarette a day over their lifetime, and 12 times higher among those who smoked one to 10 cigarettes a day.


In addition, those who smoked one to 10 cigarettes a day were six times more likely to die of respiratory diseases (such as emphysema), and one-and-a-half times more likely to die of heart disease compared with never-smokers.


Two doctors who work with smokers as patients weren’t surprised by the findings.


“There is simply no safe level of smoking,” said Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Smoking cessation is imperative, but never starting to smoke is even better.”


Patricia Folan directs the Center for Tobacco Control at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. She said, “My experience with low-intensity smokers is that they often don’t consider themselves ‘real’ smokers. When asked if they smoke, they will often respond that they do not.”


These individuals’ smoking habits often remain hidden, Folan said.


“Merely asking patients if they smoke may not be sufficient to elicit accurate responses to the question,” she reasoned. “Perhaps a better question would be, ‘When was the last time you smoked?’, thus providing the opportunity for patients to give a more precise answer about whether they smoke at all and how much.”


The study was published Dec. 5, 2016  in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.


Health and Wellness Associates


P Carrothers





Chicken Recall


The initial recall announced on Nov. 23, 2016 was for 17,439 pounds of product. The expanded recall includes an additional 1,976,089 pounds of product. The recall now includes products produced between Aug. 20, 2016 and Nov. 30, 2016.
The recall is for:
5 lb. bags packed 2 bags per case; product labeled “Distributed by National Steak and Poultry, Owasso, OK Fully Cooked, Diced, Grilled Boneless Chicken Breast Meat with Rib Meat” with Lot code 100416 and Case Code: 70020.
5 lb. bags packed 2 bags per case; product labeled “Hormel Natural Choice 100% Natural No Preservatives Fully Cooked Roasted Chicken Breast Strips with Rib Meat Natural Smoke Flavor Added” with Lot code 100416 and Case code 702113.
The cases containing the recalled products have establishment number “P-6010T” inside the USDA mark of inspection. The products were distributed to food service locations nationwide and sold directly to consumers at the company’s monthly dock sale.
The FSIS classified this recall as a high health risk because the undercooked products could contain potentially harmful bacteria. To date, there have been no confirmed reports of illnesses associated with the recalled products.
Consumers who bought the products should throw them away or return them to the place of purchase.
Health and Wellness Associates