Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
A cooler, jars and a candy thermometer were things I already had on hand. The Walmart that frustrated me by not carrying yogurt DID have Stoneyfield low fat yogurt to use as a bacteria source and inexpensive heavy cream. (If I was going to go through the trouble to make yogurt, I was damn sure going to get my fat!)
I cleaned everything, sterilized the heavy cream and let it cool. I added the Stoneyfield to the warm cream, filled some containers with hot water, put the cream mix in glass jars and popped it in to the cooler.
6 hours later, I checked what I hoped was now yogurt. It was close. While it did thicken up a bit, it was a tad on the runny side, but it did taste like yogurt. The richest creamiest yogurt I ever tasted. Other than the texture, I was pretty happy. I took a chance and poured the slightly runny yogurt in to a coffee filter lined strainer and put that in a bowl and it all went in the fridge. (This is the method used to make "yocheese" or an approximation of Greek style yogurt.)
The next morning I checked my mix and I had a nice thick creamy yogurt. Only about 1/4 cup of whey drained off, but it was enough to firm everything up. Some of the heavy cream yogurt went to make salad dressing, some was mixed with unsweetened coco and splenda for a delicious chocolate dessert, and there is even some left. Maybe. Hubby has been home for an hour now and I am still at the office. Hummmm...
Anyway...I will sure be doing this again. Even with a slight goof it still worked. Maybe I'll be using half and half next time to make it an even better bargain and a little less rich (it is almost TOO rich even for me using only heavy cream....almost :D ). If you are feeling brave, check out the tutorial and give it a try. If scatter-brained me can do it, you have a good chance at creamy success.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
First, I stopped by their website and this is what greeted me on the front page...
"Hello. Welcome to FLAT EARTH®. Where nutritious and delicious have finally come together. In fact, they’re friends. Sound impossible? Well, at Flat Earth, we believe you can do anything if you set your mind to it. Like combine nutrition with real chip taste.
That’s right, there’s a half serving of fruits or veggies baked into every ounce of our delicious crisps. They’re not impossible, they’re IMPOSSIBLY GOOD®."
After stopping by the nutrition pages for the various Flat Earth flavors, the main word that should be focused on is IMPOSSIBLE and certainly not NUTRITION. Instead of the combination of nutrition and taste, all I found was the combination of marketing spin and bull. Flat Earth chips are no healthier or more nutritious than plain old Lay's Classic Potato Chips or even the epitome of snack food decadence–the Chili Cheese Frito.
Flat Earth Chips
Serving Size 1oz. (28g/About 12 Crisps)
Amount Per Serving Calories 130
Total Carbohydrate 19g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Chili Cheese Fritos
Serving Size 1oz. (28g/About 31 Chips)
Amount Per Serving Calories 160
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Lays Classic Potato Chips
Serving Size 1oz. (28g)
Amount Per Serving Calories 150
Total Carbohydrate 15g
Dietary Fiber 1g
You can see by the nutrition information that both the Fritos and the Lays have fewer carbohydrates than the Flat Earth chips. Carbohydrates are what fuel obesity and Flat Earth Chips have plenty. Even if calories are your main focus, there isn't much difference between the three. Flat Earth may be marketing it's chips as a health food, but as a division of Frito-Lay, of one of the largest pushers of carbohydrates on the planet, they are just delivering more of the same old same old.
I have no problem with any company creating new snack foods. Flat Earth Chips are just another new offering in the already crowded snack food market. What they are not is a nutritious alternative to unhealthy traditional munchies. Tricking people in to thinking they are is pretty despicable. Will there ever be a good-tasting, truly healthy chip with the "crunch and appeal of the seasoned fried potato"? Maybe...when pigs fly.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
"Tumors Use Sugars To Avoid Programmed Cell Death - Researchers at the Duke School of Medicine apparently have solved the riddle of why cancer cells like sugar so much, and it may be a mechanism that could lead to better cancer treatments.
Jonathan Coloff, a graduate student in Assistant Professor Jeffrey Rathmell's laboratory in the Duke Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, has found that the tumor cells use glucose sugar as a way to avoid programmed cell death."
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
"Three factors are still hindering wider take-up of the low-carb message, Morrison believes. The first is a reluctance by the medical profession to concede possible mistakes. Secondly, drug companies and food manufacturers have a vested interest in promoting the high-carb option, she argues. A whole industry depends on medicating diabetics and providing them with specialist foods, which Morrison believes low-carb diets will eliminate.
But the third is also a significant hurdle: the low-carb regime is onerous for patients. In a recent briefing that she sent to her own health board, Ayrshire and Arran, Morrison admits that even her own patients have mixed reactions.
These range from the resistant - she quotes one type one patient who said: "I would rather die than give up my porridge in the morning" - to the indignant. "Look at these blood sugars - they are normal! Why wasn't I told about this years ago?" she says one patient told her."
Monday, April 7, 2008
"Gorillas in zoos around the nation, particularly males and those in their 20s and 30s, have been falling ill - and sometimes dying suddenly - from progressive heart ailments ranging from aneurisms to valvular disease to cardiomyopathy.
Just two months before the deaths at the National Zoo, the San Francisco Zoo had lost a lowland gorilla named Pogo to heart disease. A week before that, the Memphis Zoo lost one named Tumai the same way. And in previous years, there were others: Akbar at the Toledo Zoo in 2005, and in 2000 both Sam at the Knoxville Zoo and Michael at the Gorilla Foundation in California.
Now zookeepers are scrambling to understand what factors may be causing the illnesses and what might be done to save the 368 lowland gorillas that currently reside in 52 zoos across North America.
A 1994 study of 74 captive gorilla deaths, published by veterinarians Tom Meehan of the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago and Linda Lowenstine of the University of California at Davis, found that 41 percent - and 70 percent of males older than 30 - were from heart disease, mainly fibrosing cardiomyopathy."
When I read this article, my first question was "What are these gorillas eating?" Since I researched pet food to help my obese cat, I knew that companies that manufacture cat and dog food sometimes make "monkey chow". It took me less than five minutes to find clues to the possible cause for heart diseases in Great Apes.
The Brookfield Zoo posts on their website what the ape's natural diet is along with what they are feeding the apes...
"Wild diet: fruit, leaves, stems, vines, and shoots
Brookfield Zoo diet: monkey chow, apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, green beans, spinach, lettuce, kale, escarole, romaine, parsley."
The Philadelphia Zoo also lists their primate diet information on their website and they have 40% of their ape's diet being "primate biscuits". http://philadelphiazoo.blogspot.com/2007/03/national-nutrition-month-primates.html
A quick check of the ingredients of Monkey Chow and the primate biscuits put up HUGE red flags...
ZuPreem ® Primate Diet Dry
From the manufacturer: It is not necessary to provide a supplemental source of vitamin C with this diet, if the diet is fed within one year of the date of manufacture. It is also not necessary to supplement this diet with fruits or vegetables that may upset the balance of the diet.
Ingredients: Ground corn, Soybean meal, Cracked wheat, Sucrose, Wheat germ meal, Animal fat (preserved with BHA, propyl gallate and citric acid), Dried whole egg, Dicalcium phosphate, Calcium carbonate, Iodized salt, Vegetable oil, etc...
Mazuri® Primate Brown Biscuit
Ingredients: Ground Corn, dehulled soybean meal, dried beet pulp, sucrose, corn gluten meal, ground aspen, powdered cellulose, dried apple pomace, fructose, calcium carbonate, soybeab oil, flaxseed, etc....
I can't say for sure at this point the dry primate food is the exact cause since I have no way of telling what each individual zoo is feeding their apes. However, when a primary food for these creatures is based on CORN, WHEAT, SUGAR AND SOY (and at least one manufacturer claims you don't need to add fresh fruits/veggies which may "upset" the balance of the diet), it is no surprise to me that heart disease is killing zoo apes.
Corn, wheat, sugar and soy are all carbohydrates and all turn to glucose in the blood stream. Gorillas did not evolve to eat these easily digestible carbohydrates. Of course, neither did humans, which is why so many people these days are getting fat, sick and end up on medication. In many cases, you can get off of diabetes medication, reverse heart disease, lower blood pressure and lose weight by eliminating carbohydrates and following a low carb diet. Has this been tried with zoo apes?
Most of these dry food ingredients do not even grow in an ape's natural habitat. Is feeding them foods they did not evolve to eat a good idea? The REALLY scary thing is the monkey chow ingredients look a lot like the nutrition label from a typical American breakfast cereal! What is a diet high in grains doing for humans? The "obesity crisis" pretty much answers that one.
"My heart hurts, and I don't understand why I can't lose weight!"
Obesity among zoo primates is also an issue, and obesity, heart disease and diabetes often come as a package deal.
"Two main problems with zoo animals include obesity and diabetes. Orangutans typically eat fruits and leaves in nature, and very little animal matter. The leaves and fruits they consume are drier, contain less sugar, and much more fiber than our "store-bought" fruits. Some of the zoo problems may be associated with diets that are too easily digested, along with not enough exercise or activity in obtaining foods. See, they have the same problems as many humans!" http://content.scholastic.com/browse/article.jsp?id=4583
So our cousins are experiencing the same health problems we are and I am guessing that the cause is the same...eating foods they did not evolve to eat and basing their diet on carbohydrates that are too rapidly digested. I think it will be a bit of a race to see who admits that carbs can be dangerous to health first...the zoo community or the medical community. Hopefully human AND non-human primates will finally start getting the information they need to protect their hearts and overall health.
Friday, April 4, 2008
I have seen her commercial several times and something about that before picture bothered me. At first I just assumed it was because the dress she was wearing was really ugly. Someone as cute as her, no matter how fat, shouldn't wear something that shapeless and frumpy. But this morning, I happened to be walking right by the tv screen when the commercial played and got a REALLY good look at the before picture in the ugly brown dress. Then it hit me. The reason that dress looked like a shapeless tent is because it is a MATERNITY DRESS!
That's right folks. Jillian's BEFORE photo is a photo of her pregnant. According to internet reports, the 41 pounds she gained was BABY WEIGHT. If you check medical sites or have ever had a baby yourself, you would know that doctors recommend a healthy, normal weight woman gain between 25 and 37 pounds.
AmericanPregnancy.org provides a handy breakdown of where that gain comes from...
- Baby = 7-8 pounds
- Placenta = 1-2 pounds
- Amniotic fluid = 2 pounds
- Uterus = 2 pounds
- Maternal breast tissue = 2 pounds
- Maternal blood = 4 pounds
- Fluids in maternal tissue = 4 pounds
- Maternal fat and nutrient stores = 7 pounds
So even with her gaining 4 pounds more than recommended, and her baby weighing closer to six pounds, seriously....how much of her weight loss is due to Nutrisystem? Apparently the secret to looking smoking hot after gaining 41 pounds is to be smoking hot in the first place and then give birth. Shame on Nutrisystem and shame on Jillian for misleading the public about her weight loss.
"I've learned there are indeed some side effects to this dietary regimen--primarily social and marital ones. First of all, gone are the days that my wife and I will be invited over for a simple meal--the "let me put some spaghetti on the stove with a nice sauce" type of thing. (Friends who are exceedingly fond of grilling or barbecuing are the exception.) Invitations to dinner parties are offered with trepidation and a "what can you eat?" tone, as though whatever it may be will require a special run to the slaughterhouse. A whiff of resentment hovers in the host's kitchen, as though my dietary faddishness forced a menu change for everyone else, all of whom now have to eat a thoroughly mediocre leg of lamb when they could have enjoyed the host's signature buckwheat rigatoni with broccoli rabe and tofu instead."
Prevention Article By Gary Taubes