A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

How To Succeed at Weight Loss

(James S. Fell, CSCS, SixPackAbs.com) One-size-fits all + winging it + flying solo = recipe for failure.
Here is a recipe for success:
1. Customization
There is no one miracle weight-loss cure, and the problem is always much bigger than people imagine because being overweight has both myriad causes and solutions. The key is finding out what your root causes are, and what the most appropriate solutions are…
2. Tracking
I remember back in my MBA corporate drone days hearing the axiom by business consultant Peter Drucker: “What gets measured gets managed."… Keeping track is what keeps you on the weight loss track.
3. Accountability
Having a team behind you – one that you feel accountable to – is a proven method of exercise and diet adherence…
[S]ustainable weight loss is hard. You can save your money and try it alone, and if you work hard at it you can be successful. Or, you can make an investment. I am very confident in saying that if you spend some money on professional help that it will not only make the challenges of weight loss more manageable, but it will also increase your likelihood of long-term success. Perhaps by a lot…
[And now I’ve] found a program I could get behind…
Although only 5% of the general population is successful with sustaining any weight loss, the average Retrofit client loses 7% of their starting weight, and the top third lose a whopping 15%. For a 200 pound starting weight, that’s dropping 30 pounds. Even more impressive is that, long-term, they gain back less than 1%...
If I were to design my own weight loss company, this is the way I’d do it, and it’s why I reached out to Retrofit. And because of our partnership if you use this link to check out Retrofit’s programs you get a 20% discount. You can even give them a call at 1-800-774-5962 and mention “six pack abs” to get the discount.
Tell them James sent you.
Community: Here are some other possibilities:
SouthBeachDiet.com: Jumpstart your 2014 weight loss
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Emphasizing Environmental Causes of Obesity Is Motivating

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Reducing rates of obesity will require interventions that influence both individual decisions and environmental factors through changes in public policy. Previous work indicates that messages emphasizing environmental determinants increases support for public policies, but some suspect this strategy may undermine motivation to engage in diet and exercise.
Study 1 involved 485 adults recruited from a shopping mall in New York. Study 2 involved 718 adult members of a Web-based national panel of US adults. Respondents in both studies were randomly assigned to read a story that emphasized environmental determinants of health or a control condition. The stories varied in the extent to which they described the story character as taking personal responsibility for weight management. Logistic regression and ordered logit models were used to test for differences in intentions to engage in diet and exercise behaviors based on which story the participant read. Analyses were also performed separately by participants’ weight status.
In both studies, messages that acknowledged personal responsibility while emphasizing environmental causes of obesity increased intentions to engage in healthy behavior for at least 1 weight status group.
Conclusion: Emphasizing factors outside of personal control appears to enhance rather than undermine motivations to engage in healthy diet and exercise behavior.
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Hypnosis: You are getting sleepy ... and calm, and thin, and ...

(Los Angeles Times) Maybe the idea of cake (with lots of frosting) rattles your brain from morning to night. Want hypnosis to change that? Start noticing those thoughts and refocus them, says Colin Christopher, a Canadian certified clinical hypnotherapist and the author of "Success Through Manipulation: Subconscious Reactions That Will Make or Break You."
"The overweight person is usually focused on their results [on the scale]. The fit, healthy person thinks more about sports, activities and eating healthy foods."
How it works: During hypnosis, the subconscious mind opens up more easily, Christopher says. Some refer to this as the moment we suspend belief about our perceptions. "The subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between what's real and imagined," so go ahead and start programming the mind to do what you want it to. Think about smaller food portions or clothes that fit loosely.
Try this: Visualize eating a bowl of dark red cherries or savory vegetarian chili. See yourself preparing a fresh salad with romaine lettuce, carrot shreds and tomatoes. "Imagine whatever food you're eating, that every time you swallow you feel satisfied," Christopher says.
Community: The article also discusses the use of hypnosis for cancer treatment, stress and anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, and sexual dysfunction.
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Intermittent fasting gains ground as a dieting tool

(Los Angeles Times) It's a real heavyweight on the diet scene these days: intermittent fasting, a.k.a. IF (having ascended to heights where mere initials are enough). True, a fasting diet may not sound as appealing as, say, a cookie diet or a chocolate diet or a beer diet, but IF has been getting some jaw-droppingly good word of mouth from proponents who boast that it won't just make you thinner, it will make you healthier too…
Perhaps the best-known version of IF is the one developed by Dr. Michael Mosley. In fact, the big buzz about IF might never have risen above a low drone were it not for this British physician and journalist who wrote about it in "The Fast Diet," an international bestseller, and made a television special about it too.
The Fast Diet calls for eating as you usually do five days a week but eating just 600 calories the other two days…
A good deal of research suggests that IF may do your body more good than simply cutting it down a size or two. According to some studies, it may lower blood pressure, inflammation, triglycerides and bad cholesterol, as well as the risk of cancer. And it may speed up metabolism, fat burning and cellular replacement and repair. But results have not been consistent across studies, and in any case many of them have been done with rodents, so the results may or may not hold in humans.
Of the proposed benefits, many experts find IF's effects on improved insulin sensitivity most convincing so far.
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Eat a bit too much over the holidays? See daily calorie levels for adults 50+.

(NIH Senior Health, via email) If you’ve eaten a bit more than usual or indulged in higher calorie foods during the holidays, you’re not alone. As you resume your regular eating pattern, check out these daily calorie recommendations for men and women 50+.
To see lower calorie food choices, check out “What’s On Your Plate? Smart Food Choices for Healthy Eating,” a nutrition resource from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at NIH.
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More Weight Loss Tips

(James Fell, SixPackAbs.com) Getting people to stop and ask the question, “Does this fuel my body to a higher level of performance, or is it something eaten purely for pleasure?” is a powerful tool that should not be so readily dismissed. It’s not complex, which makes it a lot easier to follow than micromanaging one’s diet, and as I already pointed out, higher diet complexity = lower adherence.
(upwave.com) Celebrity chef Richard Blais hosts Cook Your Ass Off, a healthy twist on a cooking competition show. Watch as three chefs battle it out each week to transform lives by spinning unhealthy dishes into nutritious eats. In the end only one chef will walk away with the Grand Prize of $50,000.
(U.S. News & World Report) Learn to see – and feel – the similarity between food and ourselves.
(Reuters Health) People who increased the number of times they chewed their food before swallowing ate less over the course of a meal, in a new study.
(National Monitor) “Slowing the speed of eating led to a significant reduction in energy intake in the normal-weight group, but not in the overweight or obese group…” explained Meena Shah, PhD… “It is possible that the overweight and obese subjects felt more self-conscious, and thus ate less during the study.” So, all is not lost. Eating slower will help cut calories, provided you’re not already cutting calories to begin with. The self-consciousness angle is merely conjecture, but certainly reasonable.
Caloric differences aside, Shah noted that regardless of weight, eating slower lead to a greater sensation of satiety earlier in the meal.
(MedPage Today) Eating vegan or vegetarian may help obese patients lose more weight than dietary patterns that allow limited amounts of meat, researchers reported.
(Mark Hyman, MD) Fat doesn't make you fat. Sugar makes you fat. Eating good fats can actually help you stay healthy. So, eat good quality fats and real, whole, fresh food, and don't worry about it.
More . . .

Surgery? Really?

(Reuters Health) Bariatric surgery results in substantial weight loss and can turn back some diseases related to obesity, a new study finds.
Community: There’s always risk with surgery.
(CTV News) As morbid obesity rates continue to rise in Canada and bariatric surgery wait times grow longer, more patients are heading to other countries for cheaper weight-loss alternatives, only to return home with serious medical complications.
(Los Angeles Times) The weight loss that follows a successful bariatric surgery makes most patients feel younger. But a new study suggests that following bariatric surgery, some patients show signs of being biologically younger, as well… In a group of 51 patients, the latest study found that 12 months after bariatric surgery, telomeres lengthened significantly in those who had the highest pre-surgery levels of LDL cholesterol--a robust predictor of heart disease risk--and in those with the highest pre-surgery levels of C-reactive protein--a sign of inflammation throughout the body.
Community: Yes, but we already know that some ways to lengthen the telomeres are caloric restrictionendurance exercise, and, for women, hormone replacement therapy. Why undergo surgery, which always has a risk?
(MedPage Today) Patients who lost more weight after gastric bypass surgery had greater activity in executive control regions of their brains when attempting to resist food cravings than those who shed fewer pounds, researchers reported.
Community: As I’ve been saying. It’s not the surgery, it’s the dieting and exercise afterwards that’s causing the weight loss.
(NIH Research Matters) Severely obese adults who had bariatric surgery had substantial weight loss 3 years later but varied greatly in both the amount of weight lost and in the effects on related conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure. These and other findings may offer insight into who may be most likely to benefit from the procedures.
(Los Angeles Times) [T]here's a bewildering range of weight-loss surgery procedures, and as they become more common, research is showing they have different surgical risks and rates of complications… A new tool … may help patients with a body mass index over 30 -- the threshold at which obesity is diagnosed -- to navigate those complexities. 
(Discover Magazine) Weight loss after bypass may be driven by the microbiome.
More . . .

More Information and Recent Research on Obesity and Weight Loss

(All Tech Considered, NPR) News that Microsoft was making a "smart bra" with sensors in it to stop women from overeating was too good to be true. But researchers say they're exploring sensor bracelets so that men too could potentially get alerts to stop them from emotional eating.
(LiveScience) A virus may be making some people gain weight.
(MedPage Today) Although it’s not technically an addictive disorder by psychiatric standards, behaviors associated with "food addiction" are closely tied to obesity, researchers reported here.
Community: As I’ve been saying. Just call me Cassandra.
(Billi Gordon, Ph.D., Psychology Today) When habit formation goes wrong and goal-directed behaviors become stimulus-response habits in the basal ganglia, turning "no pain no gain" into "no pickles no onions" in the compulsive overeater's brain.
(NYU Langone Medical Center) Posting the calorie content of menu items at major fast-food chains in Philadelphia, per federal law, does not change purchasing habits or decrease the number of calories that those customers consume, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center reported today at the Obesity Society's annual scientific meeting, held in Atlanta, Georgia.
Community: Give it time, scientific community. The Surgeon General warnings about cigarette smoking didn’t start to take effect for several years.
(MedPage Today) The population of taste-receptor cells responsive to sweets decreased significantly in mice with diet-induced obesity… "If we understand how these taste cells are affected and how we can get these cells back to normal, it could lead to new treatments [for obesity]," Kathryn Medler, PhD, … said in a statement.
(MedPage Today) Metabolically unhealthy normal-weight patients, and obese but metabolically healthy patients both had significantly increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, researchers found.
More . . .


Crisp-Crusted Catfish
Hands down, this is the best darned catfish we've ever eaten.
Chickpea, Chorizo & Spinach Soup
Chorizo lends this Mediterranean-inspired spinach soup recipe a smoky paprika flavor, and since the chorizo is sautéed first, much of the fat is drained away. Be sure to buy dry-cured, salami-style Spanish chorizo, not soft, Mexican-style sausage by the same name.
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Please Don't Feed the Morons

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) [W]e start a new year with a whole new crop of diet books telling us that every prior diet book vilified the wrong scapegoat, or canonized the wrong agent of salvation. We begin a new year being fed the same several highly processed ingredients ever at the ready to be blended into whatever particular version of junk the prevailing palate demands, with front-of-pack banner ads accentuating the positive and subordinating the rest. When it comes to putting lipstick on a pig, Madison Avenue is hard to beat. Of course, if the prevailing palate demanded only wholesome foods in a balanced array -- food, not too much, mostly plants -- the profit-driven proliferation of equally junky food and food for thought would abruptly end.
So here we are -- at the start of a year, reflecting on the long-overdue end of the junk food era. We can stay sequestered in our echo chambers, unleashing our dogmas to go out, teeth bared and ears laid back, to wage war on our behalf. If we do, any plea we send out to Big Food, fad-diet authors and mass media to stop feeding us like morons will surely fall on deaf ears, for our gripes will never rise above the ka-chinging din of cash registers. Let's be blunt, folks: if we act like morons, and reach for our credit cards like fatuous nincompoops, we will indeed continue to be fed just so.
But there's no need to hope or whine or wring our hands. We are in charge. We could, any time we like, see past the truculent trees to the genuine promise of that forest. We could, any time we like, get out of the woods. We could listen more, pontificate less, acknowledge that we like what we like without pretending to know what nobody knows. We could put what we do know to far better use, any time we like.
Any time we like we could refuse to eat like morons by deciding not to swallow any more baloney. This could be that year.
Community: Dr. Katz’s latest book is Disease-Proof: The Remarkable Truth About What Makes Us Well.
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12 Ways to Get Your Daily Vitamin D

(Health.com) if you don't spend enough time in the sun or if your body has trouble absorbing the vitamin, you may not get enough. Here are 12 ways to ensure adequate intake.
Fatty fish…
Canned tuna fish…
Certain mushrooms…
Fortified milk…
Some types of orange juice…
Egg yolks…
Fortified cereal…
Beef liver…
Cod liver oil…
Ultraviolet lamps and bulbs
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Seasonal flu widespread in the United States: CDC

(Reuters) Nearly half of the United States is reporting widespread influenza activity, most of it attributed to the H1N1 virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday.
Thousands of people die every year from flu, which peaks in the United States between October and March. The flu is spreading quickly this season, with 25 states already reporting cases, the CDC said…
"There is still a lot of season to come. If folks haven't been vaccinated, we recommend they do it now," [said Dr. Joe Bresee, chief of Epidemiology and Prevention in the CDC's Influenza Division].
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Swedish Research Links Smoking to 4 Eye Disorders

(Yahoo Contributor Network) [S]cientists found a direct relationship between smoking and developing cataracts. Smoking 15 cigarettes each day boosted the need for cataract surgery by 42 percent over the risk of individuals who had never smoked. However, beyond concluding from data that quitting appears to decrease the odds of needing cataract surgery overall, the researchers did not name any specific benefit from smoking cessation for this group of patients.
They also discovered a link between smoking and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center reports that AMD is the most common reason for severe vision loss in individuals older than 60. It affects the center of vision and makes it hard to drive, read, or complete other daily tasks that require sharp central vision.
The findings also found a relationship between smoking and two other visual disorders: Graves' ophthalmopathy and ocular inflammation.
Community: Thinking of switching to e-cigarettes? Read this: “E-cigarette vapor contains nicotine, not other toxins.”
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New federal rules to keep guns from potentially violent mentally ill

(Los Angeles Times) The federal government on Friday announced it had drafted new rules aimed at keeping people who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric treatment from buying guns. The Department of Health and Human Services said one proposed rule would "remove unnecessary legal barriers" to states reporting the names of patients involuntary admitted to psychiatric care.
Those names would enter the National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems -- NICS -- that would be used by most gun dealers as a condition of sale. Along with felons and people convicted of domestic violence, a patient involuntarily committed to a mental institution would be flagged during a background check initiated by a gun retailer, and the sale would be blocked.
The new rules also aim to boost states' reporting of two other categories of people prohibited from buying or owning firearms: those legally determined to be a danger to themselves or others, and those who lack the mental capacity to manage their own affairs.
Community: And there’s this, “Obama tries to strengthen background check system.”
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Should scientific fraud be a criminal offence?

(Richard Smith, former editor, British Medical Journal) At Britain’s first and only summit meeting on research misconduct in 2000, Alexander McCall Smith, a professor of medical law and ethics, argued that research misconduct (the gentlemanly phrase for scientific fraud) should be a criminal offence. The idea seemed outrageous. Nobody took it seriously, but 13 years later Nature has published an editorial not promoting but contemplating the idea. To me it begins to look like an inevitability that research misconduct will eventually become a criminal offence.
Despite searching, I can’t find McCall Smith’s paper online, but my memory is that he had two main arguments. Firstly, he argued that scientific fraud is really no different from financial fraud, which is a criminal offence, in that resources are misused. We might use the word stolen. Secondly, scientific fraud needs careful investigation and collection of evidence, procedures that are very familiar to the police and unfamiliar to university authorities. He might have added (and perhaps he did) that scientific fraud might do much more harm than financial fraud in that it could lead to global misunderstanding, including perhaps widespread use of ineffective and dangerous treatments.
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More Funding for Community Health Centers Improves Access to Care

(Science Daily) Increased federal funding for community health centers since 2000 has helped low-income adults get access to primary care and dental care, according to a new study…
The study found that among the uninsured, greater health center funding in an area was associated with a low-income adult being more likely to have a "usual source of care," such as a primary care physician, and with having at least one clinic visit in the past year. Furthermore, in areas with greater health center funding, people with Medicaid were more likely to have a usual source of care and were less likely to rely on the emergency department for care or to delay seeking care due to cost.
Health centers bill insurance companies for services provided as well as offer income based fees for people who are uninsured. 
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Affordable Care Act News

(Miami Herald, McClatchy) Steven Greenwald, 60, said the price of a platinum level Florida Blue health plan for him and his wife would have cost about $32,000 in 2014 were it not for the Affordable Care Act's provisions, which among other things limits the amount that insurers can charge their oldest members. Greenwald said Florida Blue instead quoted him an annual price of about $18,000 for the plan, but that was before Greenwald learned that he also qualified for financial aid that will lower his costs even more, to about $8,000 a year.
(FactCheck.org) Michigan Rep. Fred Upton exaggerated the impact of the Affordable Care Act when he claimed that “perhaps as many as 80 to 90 million Americans with employer-based health care are going to lose their plans” by late this year… The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that those with employer-based insurance would decline by a net 7 million in 2019 compared with what would have happened in the absence of the Affordable Care Act, with 11 million losing an offer of insurance from an employer, 3 million choosing to get their insurance from another source, and 7 million gaining insurance at work.
(Los Angeles Times) [D]ueling stories are the next phase of the battle over Obamacare, and the version Americans find most compelling could tip the balance in a dozen or so Senate races this year that will determine the balance of power in Washington.
(Kaiser Health News) No question that partisans on both sides will keep spinning, especially in the run-up to the 2014 midterm elections. To help make sense of the challenges ahead, here are six things that are likely to be important measuring sticks of the law in 2014 and beyond.
1.    How many people sign up for coverage in the new insurance marketplaces, and how many of them are healthy?...
2.    Will new enrollees be able to get medical care when they need it?...
3.    Will the cost of health care, in the form of 2015 exchange premiums, be stable?...
4.    What happens to the majority of Americans who get their insurance through their jobs?...
5.    Will people find their coverage valuable?...
6.    Will more states expand Medicaid eligibility?
More . . .

21 days to form a habit? Try tripling that

(NBC News) It would be really nice if on Jan. 21, after three faithful weeks of skipping dessert, the idealistic behavior became automatic. But scientists who study habit formation say it’s not that easy. There isn’t a magic number — and even if there were, it would be more like 66 days, according to one recent study, which means getting out of bed early to go for a run isn't going to come easy until March at the earliest. 
On average, it took people 66 days for a new healthy habit to feel automatic — things like eating a piece of fruit with lunch, or drinking a glass of water after breakfast, found the 2010 UK study, led by University College London research psychologist Pippa Lally. The data was self-reported, which means there’s a chance the people weren’t totally accurate, or honest. And the time it took for the habit to form varied widely: For some people, the healthy habits felt automatic after just 18 days — for others, it took 254 days. 
“So this does not mean it always takes 66 days, but it does mean that it is usually much longer than 21 days,” Lally said in an email to TODAY Health.
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Breaking Bad Habits

(Mark Banschick, M.D., Psychology Today) Heather Edwards, a New York based therapist and life coach writes about  six simple tips for breaking habits and making them stick.
Be Specific: Define the details of your goals and make them measurable…
Make Your Goals Personal: Stay true to your values and purpose…
Get a Partner: Having a workout or healthy eating partner can help keep you motivated and on track…
Believe in Yourself: Your goals have to be important to you…
Put Your Goals in Writing: Write them down in an “I Statement”. Put them in a visible place…
Replace Self Sabotaging Thoughts with a Positive Mantra.
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Lessons We can Learn from a Butterfly

(Christina Devereaux, Ph.D, BC-DMT, Psychology Today) As the year 2013 came to a close and we have now stepped into 2014, the tradition continues. Start fresh. Start new. Start again.  Do something different.  Change.  With any new start we inevitably must undergo a transition. Transition is defined as “a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another.” The important word to highlight here is movement.
I like to think that we can learn a lot of lessons from nature about this active process as we examine the movements that a caterpillar undergoes during its transition into a butterfly.
Lesson One:  If nothing changes, nothing changes…
Lesson Two: Everything we are taking in will be fuel and nourishment for our new form…
Lesson Three: Shedding of old patterns are necessary…
Lesson Four: Solitude provides space and time for internalization…
Lesson Five: Sometimes a “breaking down” must occur in order for restructuring to begin.
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Discoveries About Personal Effectiveness in 2013

(David Rock, Psychology Today) In 2013, we continued to push the boundaries of what we know about ourselves; going boldly into questions no researcher has gone before. Like, what should we do when we need a little lift – take a run, have a coffee, or grab a beer? Like many things today, the answer is ‘it depends’. Below are some of the bigger findings in 2013 about how we can be more effective at any kind of work.
1. Open plan offices close the brain
Open plan offices are all the rage. In 2013, researchers confirmed something obvious to most people who work in one: it can be hard to get things done…
2. Working without enough sleep? You may as well be drunk
Studies are showing being sleep deprived may be worse for cognitive performance than being drunk. Despite the hard-hitting evidence, we’re not giving the issue the attention it demands…
3. The more you multitask the worse you are at it
Lots of research has been done showing that multi tasking increases both mental and physical mistakes people make, making it a poor strategy for productivity if you are driving or doing any important cognitive work…
4. More technology may not be better
In one study, 68 percent of women say technologies have not made them any more productive.
5. Cocktail, cappuccino, or cardio? Research shows there’s a time for each
Trying to come up with a creative solution or an idea? Have a cocktail… Already have the idea, just need to focus on the follow-through? This is where caffeine may come in handy… Perhaps it’s neither caffeine nor that cocktail you need. A recent study showed that people who exercise during their workday were 23 percent more productive than days they didn’t exercise.
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Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic Sauce
Put this Chicken and Mushrooms in Garlic White Wine Sauce recipe together in less than 25 minutes, probably without a trip to the store. It's adaptable to your pantry--if you don't have egg noodles, use another kind of pasta, and if you're out of tarragon, try basil, oregano, or thyme.
Quinoa Pilaf with Seared Scallops
Make whole grains the center of your dinner plate with this citrus-studded quinoa pilaf recipe topped with sweet seared sea scallops. Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops treated with STP (“wet” scallops) are higher in sodium, have a mushy texture and do not brown properly.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Green Power Drink
A True Food Kitchen special! A delicious power drink from brand chef, Micheal Stebner. "I like this recipe because it is not frozen, and can be refrigerated for a day, so you can make several of them at once and drink later."
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Walnuts Show Promise for Metabolic Syndrome

(Swanson Health Products) New research from Spain suggests eating walnuts may protect against metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome (also known as insulin resistance syndrome or “syndrome X”) is a term defined by the American Heart Association as the presence of three or more of the following risk factors that greatly increase the likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes: high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood sugar and central obesity.
One of the factors known to contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome is a deficit in adiponectin, a hormone involved in fat metabolism and storage. In light of this fact, researchers set out to determine whether intake of a walnut-enriched meal could increase plasma adiponectin levels, and thus help protect against insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
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Our food choices are influenced by social norms, study suggests

(Medical News Today) Social cues affect choices we make on a daily basis, from how we dress to what kind of car we drive. But now, research … suggests that what other people eat influences our own food choices…
If study participants received information about whether others made low- or high-calorie food choices, they were more likely to make similar choices. In addition, if the participants were told that others were eating larger amounts of food, they also increased their own food intake…
[This result] suggests that we can be peer pressured into eating healthily - if those around us are doing the same, that is.
But the researchers say these social mechanisms that affect what we choose to eat are there even when we are alone and whether or not we are aware of them.
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General Mills begins selling Cheerios without GM ingredients

(Reuters) General Mills Inc said it has stopped using genetically modified ingredients in the popular breakfast cereal Cheerios as the U.S. branded foods manufacturer hopes the move will firm up customer loyalty in the face of growing opposition to such additives.
Many activists and critics have cited studies showing that genetically modified (GM) crops are not safe for people and animals who consume them.
Some activist groups opposing GM food also say the crops create environmental problems by encouraging more use of certain agro chemicals, and consumers should have the right to know what they are buying.
However, General Mills, which also makes Betty Crocker dessert mixes and Yoplait yoghurt, said in a company blog post on Thursday that its decision on ingredients was not driven by safety concerns or pressure from critics.
Community: The article goes on to say that General Mills was one of the companies sponsoring ads to help defeat a GM labeling referendum in Washington state. So why are they doing this? We don’t know.
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No, diet supplement can't cure concussions, FDA says

(NBC News) The FDA has alerted consumers to what it calls possibly dangerous products being marketed to protect the brain. The latest target is Virginia-based Star Scientific — a supplement maker at the center of a series of scandals involving Virginia governor Bob McDonnell…
“While anatabine has been authorized as an investigational new drug, it is also considered a new dietary ingredient, which is subject to premarket notification,” an FDA spokeswoman said. But Star Scientific didn’t have permission to start marketing this product yet.
Star Scientific is the third company to get a warning from the FDA. Last year, the agency warned two others, PruTect Rx, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Trinity Sports Group Inc., of Plano, Texas, and got them to change their marketing tactics.
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Woman's Death Linked to Alternative Cancer Treatment

(LiveScience) A Colorado woman died after using cesium chloride supplements as an alternative treatment for breast cancer, a new case study reports.
The 61-year-old woman had been taking cesium supplements daily for a year as a treatment for breast cancer, but it was a single injection of cesium chloride liquid into a lump in her right breast that is likely what ultimately proved fatal, the report said.
The woman had been following the advice of a nutritionist, who had recommended cesium chloride to help shrink her breast tumor.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Fact or Fiction?: Feed a Cold, Starve a Fever

(Scientific American) Maxims typically date back many years, but “feed a cold, starve a fever” may beat them all. This saying has been traced to a 1574 dictionary by John Withals, which noted that “fasting is a great remedy of fever.” The belief is that eating food may help the body generate warmth during a “cold” and that avoiding food may help it cool down when overheated.
But recent medical science says the old saw is wrong. It should be “feed a cold, feed a fever.”…
What about some other common conceptions for beating colds and fevers, such as eating chicken soup? Chicken soup doesn’t possess any magic ingredients, but it has calories as well as the all-important liquids again…
Supplements are dubious at best. The data from studies about taking vitamin C are inconclusive, as they are for zinc. Solid studies of echinacea show no benefit…
Over-the-counter remedies may or may not help, but that’s a whole ‘nother story. They can relieve symptoms but they do not kill off viruses or bacteria. Cold and fever germs usually run their course, and the immune system eventually gets the upper hand. In the meantime, drink drink drink. And sleep as much as you can, to give your body the rest it needs to fight the good fight.
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