Fiber and Knee Arthritis…

Arthritic kneeThe reduced risk of knee arthritis may be another benefit of fiber rich foods. Two studies with over 6,000 participants were published in the “Annals of Rheumatic Diseases”. With the increase of fiber in the diet there was a noticeable decrease of arthritic pain in the groups by as much as 30%. Some smaller studies produced results by as much as 60%. There was no noticeable difference in results even when age, sex, race, education, caloric intake, physical activity or types of fats were taken into consideration. How fiber reduces inflammation is unclear. Considering how it has been proven to reduce weight, improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of diabetes, it is probable that there are many more benefits that have not yet been discovered.

Be Selective on where you choose to Eat Out…

There is enough information to support the fact that eating out may cause over-eating and excess calories. However, the “where” may be the biggest factor. Baroom brawlResearch from Brigham and Colorado State Universities have shown that eating in a local sports bar with blaring televisions, screaming fans and all around loud noises can have a large effect on the amount we are consuming. The reason being that we are simply not able to hear the sound of our own chewing. Awareness of the crunching and chewing that accompanies eating may have a great effect in promoting satiety.

The Making of a Cereal Killer…

cereal_boxCereal has been a big part of the American breakfast diet dating as far back as the late 19th century. It was first introduced as a hard flat graham based flake by a religious vegetarian James Jackson. C.W. Post took off with the idea and created the first popular successful brand ”Grape Nuts”.The transition from what was a healthy digestive aid to what we presently know as breakfast cereal began about 1900 when the Kellogg brothers came up with a lighter flake made of corn and began adding small amounts of sugar. From 1910 to about 1950 somewhat healthier versions of cereal dominated the market with favorites like Puffed Rice, Wheaties and Shredded Wheat as Cereal_sugarthe go-to breakfast cereal. It wasn’t until after World War II that sugar began to be the main selling point. Cereals such as Frosted Flakes(1950), Cap’n Crunch (1960), Count Chocula (1970), Smurf Berry Crunch (1980) and Puffins (1990) soon took over the category as the desire for more and more sugar-sweetened cereals persisted. In the year 2000, parents began questioning what exactly they were giving their children and a push for more transparency in labeling and wholesome ingredients started a revolution in the cereal industry. This in addition to the cereal_kidfact that sales were declining because the younger generation had turned more toward smoothies and yogurt as alternative breakfast foods. They considered these sugar-laden cereals to be more of a dessert and comfort food then a nutritious meal. As a result of consumer demands, Cheerios began using non-GMO wheat. Other food companies have turned to producing healthier grain cereals with less sugar, preservatives and food coloring. All of these changes are being introduced by the large food producers in an attempt to win back their share of what was once an extremely lucrative market. Change has been slow and long overdue. As consumers we do have the power to influence in a positive way what we choose to consume.

Yam and Tahini Party Dip…

yam and tahini dip





– 1lb. sweet potatoes (steamed)
– 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
– 1/4 cup tahini
– Juice of ½ lemon
– 2 chopped garlic cloves
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 teaspoons grated orange zest
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/4 teaspoon of both salt and pepper

Blend all items together and start to dip

Not Scheduling Free Time…

Researchers from Washington University in St. Louis found that assigning a date and time schedulingto a leisure activity actually made the experience seem more like a chore. The 13 studies that were conducted showed that being too specific about what to do and at what time decreased both anticipation and enjoyment. That is not to say that planning does not have its benefits but occasionally meeting a friend and leaving the meeting open to possibilities may turn out to be a great experience. Spontaneity is processed by the brain as more of an adventure with an increased level of excitement.

Acupuncture vs. Pain Medication…

Acupuncture_headachePeople who suffer from back pain are discovering the benefits of acupuncture as another option to pain medication. According to the National Institute of Health and an article printed in The Practical Pain Management, studies have suggested that acupuncture works particularly well in addressing back and neck pain, degenerative joint disease, as well as relieving the intensity of tension headaches and migraines. Acupuncture is able to accomplish this by controlling endorphin levels which are key in transporting signals along the central nervous system.

Why does a song linger in your head?

The lingering melody that remains in our heads has been given the term earworm.Earworm Earworms are simple, repetitious, melodic structures that wiggle their way into a person’s head and stay there. Psychologists compiled lists of the most popular earworms by interviewing over 3,000 individuals from 2010 to 2013. The results were published in “The Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts”. Scientists believe that before we had written language we communicated and passed information through song which is why certain repetitious melodies remain stuck. The study of earworms can help us understand how the brain networks perception, emotion, memory and spontaneous thought.

Self-Mending Clothes…

self-mending clothesNew technology incorporating electronics and functional inks is likely to be in our near future. Self-healing materials requiring a chemical reaction have been termed polymerization. Older experimental endeavors required an external factor such as heat and were limited to smaller tears which would take hours to complete the mending process. This new technique developed at a nano-engineering lab at the University of California in San Diego, involves a solution which includes ink made with magnetic particles. If a garment is torn the magnetic particles in the fabric are drawn to each other and close the gap in seconds.