MEAT & POTATOES MAN LOWERS CHOLESTEROL! CELEBRATE WORLD HEART DAY!

WE WERE ABLE TO LOWER MY HUSBAND’S TOTAL CHOLESTEROL BY 20 POINTS OVER THE PAST YEAR AND HE IS A MEAT AND POTATO MAN! Yes, we ate more fish (grilled and cooked with a variety of spices), less chuck roast (20gm fat/serving) changed to tender chuck (3gm fat/serving), more beans and lentils added to ground beef dishes and using 96% lean beef (like meatballs, meatloaf, tacos, chili), haven’t seen a hot dog, bologna, salami, bacon or sausage – but like turkey sausage!  Milk products are all low fat and fresh fruits and vegetables are always “half the plate”! Whole grains are staples. A stick of butter lasts for months.  Sweet treats are not in the house unless we’re having company but I still try for something as healthy as possible.  I don’t use artificial or “lite” products but use just a little of the real thing – seems to work!  I don’t like the idea of cholesterol lowering medicines so give this a shot!  AND DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE DAILY! 

JUST AN ASIDE:  My Mom had a cholesterol level over 300 for much of her adult life, yet when she was developing dementia and they checked her arteries for plaque, the doctors said “she has the arteries of a 16 year old!”  Not to make light of cholesterol but your gene pool, diet, environment and life style have a strong influence on developing heart disease!  Mom died at the age of 88 and four days of old age!

MEATLOAF, MEATBALL, HAMBURGER PATTY RECIPE:

1 pound 96% lean ground beef
1 (15oz) can organic lentil beans
1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry cooked according to directions)
1 pkt (1.25oz) Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix

In large bowl combine ingredients. Refrigerate about an hour to allow quinoa to absorb some of the liquid. Then shape into loaf, balls or patties. Cook loaf in 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes. Cook balls in 350 degree oven about 20 minutes. Grill patties about 10 minutes a side.

*Sometimes I add worcestershire sauce and/or ketchup for a little different flavor.

FOR TACOS BROWN 96% LEAN GROUND BEEF WITH A CAN OF LENTILS AND ADD YOU FAVORITE TACO SEASONING – NO ONE WILL KNOW THE LENTILS ARE THERE!

 

Choose

Once in a While

Avoid

Meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish—up to 6 ounces/day
  • Lean meats without visible fat
  • Poultry with skin removed
  • All fish
  • Shellfish
  • Fatty meats
  • Duck
  • Liver
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Processed meats
Dairy products—two or more servings/day; three or four servings for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Skim and 1% milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2%-fat dairy products
  • Part-skim cheese
  • Imitation hard cheese
  • Lite cheese
  • Whole milk
  • Cream
  • Half-and-half
  • Whipped cream
  • Whole-milk dairy products
Eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Cholesterol-free egg substitutes
  • Egg yolks—three or four/week
Fats and oils—5-8 teaspoons/day
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Canola oil for baking
  • Spreads that are trans-fat free
  • Most nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Peanut oil
  • Trans fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Coconut
  • Palm and palm kernel oil
Breads, cereals, pasta, rice, dried peas, and whole beans—six or more servings/day
  • High-fiber grains—3 grams of fiber or more/serving, including:
  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Starches
  • Commercial baked goods, including:
  • Waffles
  • Muffins
  • Quick breads
  • Pancakes
  • Danish
  • Croissants
  • Doughnuts
  • Products made with saturated/trans fat oils
Fruits and vegetables—five or more servings/day
  • Low-sodium fruits and vegetables:
  • Fresh
  • Frozen
  • Dried
  • Canned
  • Canned fruit in heavy syrup
  • Coconut
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Vegetables with sauces
Sweets and treats—limit to one or fewer servings/day
  • Sorbet
  • Ices
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Hard candy
  • Gummy candy
  • Gingersnaps
  • Plain popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Homemade cakes, cookies, and pies
  • Ice milk
  • Pudding
  • Commercial granola bars
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • Commercial chips and snacks
  • Store-bought desserts
  • Candy
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I GOT “SPOILED” ON MY LAST DATE!

Dates on Foods: What Do They Mean?

Often people open up their refrigerators, cupboards, and cabinets only to find foods with questionable integrity. Some people trust their noses. Others look for visible signs of mold or deterioration. Figuring out the difference between the “expiration,” “sell by,” “use before,” and “use by” dates may leave some people scratching their heads.

While it is always better that you are safe rather than sorry, the following guidelines and information should help to take the guesswork out of determining whether or not your food is good to eat.

Expiration date

FOOD LABELS 5
The expiration date is the last day the food is safe to eat. If you have not consumed it by this date, throw it away. After the expiration date, it may cause someone to become sick if consumed.

Sell by date


This is the date that is printed for the supermarket. If the item has not sold by this date, the store should remove it from the shelf. It still may remain safe for consumption, if eaten after the marked date. Depending on the food, you still can store these items in your home for days to weeks after the sell by date.

Best if used before or by


The best if used before or by date means the food has a guarantee of peak freshness by this date, if it is properly stored. After that date, it will still remain safe to consume for a while, although it will have a lesser quality of taste, flavor, or nutrition.

Managing foods
For an exhaustive list of how to manage foods, visit the following Web sites:

Canned foods

FOOD LABELS 4
Making sure canned foods are safe is not as easy to determine as more highly perishable foods.

Follow this advice:

  • Many times the expiration date has to do with the actual can and not the food inside of it; many foods will outlast the can, but if the can starts to lose its integrity before the food, the expiration date will reflect this
  • If the can is dented at a double seam on the top or bottom of the can, throw it away immediately
  • If the can has rust on it, throw it away
  • If the can has a severe dent on the side that pulls the top or bottom of the can, throw it out
  • If the can is swollen, do not consume its contents

Dating requirements
The only foods that are mandated by the US Dept of Agriculture to include dating requirements are infant formula and baby food. Many foods do not have any date or indication of freshness to determine whether they are safe to consume. Some foods use a different system called Julian dates, whereby the month is indicated by a number or a letter and the year is represented with only one number, representing the last number of the year it was produced (for example, 2009 is marked as a 9).

While following these guidelines can alleviate some of the confusion about whether a food is safe or not, the best advice probably is “when in doubt, throw it out!”

LAST POST FOR SEPTEMBER: FOOD SAFETY MONTH!

BLAST 500+ CALORIES DOING YOGA

I LOVE THIS WORKOUT AND DO IT FOR ABOUT AN HOUR EACH DAY – POSES ARE “DOABLE” This calorie-zapping yoga routine will melt away pounds while sculpting every major muscle in your body. Remember cutting out or burning 500 calories a day leads to 1 pound of weight loss each week!!  It is also nice that this workout can really be done anywhere so if you’re traveling for work or vacationing and stuck inside, throw a towel on the carpet and work it!

Adapted from Alyssa Shaffer; Photographs by Dorit Thies

Lose Weight with Yoga

How much can yoga really do for you? A lot. This is a  total-body routine that is a mind and body booster. The workout is built around the classic sun salutation series, with challenging core and upper- and lower-body variations added for a fat-blasting twist. Do the entire sequence four to five times through (keep at it for an hour) and you’ll burn off the calorie equivalent of a banana split while sculpting your arms, chest, abs, butt, and legs and improving your flexibility.

YOGA 500-1

How it works: Start and finish each circuit with a sun salutation, a four-move series done forward and in reverse that is the foundation of the workout. Every time you do this main series, you’ll add a challenging variation to keep your heart rate elevated while toning your whole body. Each sun salutation, plus all of our variations, should take about 15 minutes.

Sun Salutation (Main Series)

1.

YOGA 500MOUNTAIN

Mountain Pose Stand tall with feet together, shoulders relaxed, weight evenly distributed through your soles, arms at sides. Take a deep breath and raise your hands overhead, palms facing each other with arms straight. Reach up toward the sky with your fingertips.

2.

YOGA 500 standingforward

Standing Forward Bend From mountain pose, exhale, sweeping your arms sideways as you swan dive forward, bending at hips, until fingertips or palms reach the ground on either side of your feet; keep fingers in line with toes. (If your hamstrings or back are tight, bend your knees.) Think about drawing the crown of your head down and the backs of your legs toward the sky.

3.

YOGA 500 forwardflatback

Forward Bend, Flat Back From standing forward bend, keep feet together and place fingertips on ground near outer edges of your feet, in line with your toes. Inhale as you lift your torso halfway up, keeping your back flat. Look forward, reaching your tailbone away from the top of your head. If you feel tight in your hamstrings or lower back or can’t reach the ground, bend your knees and place your hands on your shins.

4.

YOGA 500- DOWNWARD DOG

Downward Dog From forward bend with flat back, bend knees, place palms flat on ground shoulder-width apart, and jump both feet back, landing softly in downward dog. Spread your fingers and make sure your feet are hip-width apart and parallel. Reach your tailbone up and away from hands and your heels toward the ground.

5. Reverse this series back to the start Bring your legs toward your hands and straighten legs, returning to forward bend with flat back. Drop your head and return to standing forward bend, then to mountain pose, sweeping arms out to the sides and overhead to complete the main series.

Build Your Workout Each time you complete the sunsalutation, add on a new challenge series until you’ve incorporated all the moves. Each full sequence will take about 15 minutes; do 4 to 5 times.

Add On: Half Push-Up Series

Part 1.

YOGA 500 tabletoptohalf

Tabletop to Half Push-Up From downward dog, get on all fours, aligning your knees on the ground under hips and your hands directly below shoulders (not shown). Keeping abs pulled in and head aligned with your spine, bend elbows about 45 degrees in a half push-up, arms close to sides. Straighten arms; repeat push-up 4 to 6 times.

Part 2.

YOGA 500 extendedchilds

Extended Child’s Pose From half push-up, straighten arms and bring your tailbone back toward heels, resting the backs of your thighs on your calves. Hold for a few breaths, feeling the stretch through your back and shoulders. Return from child’s pose to tabletop, then back to downward dog; do the remainder of the main series in reverse.

Add On: Lunge Jump

Do the half push-up series, returning to downward dog. Step left leg forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees while keeping right leg straight. Hold for a few breaths, then switch legs, jumping left leg back and right leg forward. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to downward dog and reverse the main series back to the start.

Add On: Warrior Series

YOGA 500 warrior

Warrior 1 with High Lunge Do the main series, adding on both half push-up and lunge jump, ending in downward dog. From here, step left foot forward between hands, bending left knee 90 degrees with toes facing forward; keep right leg straight and lift upper body. Raise arms overhead next to ears; hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Straighten left leg while lowering arms; keep palms in and right heel lifted. Repeat 4 to 6 times. Return to warrior 1, then to downward dog; repeat on opposite side, ending in downward dog. Reverse the main series back to start.

Add On: Chair with Twist

Chair Pose

YOGA 500 chairpose

Do the main series plus each of the previous add-ons one time through, ending in mountain pose with arms raised. From here, bend your knees, pushing your butt back.

Bring palms together in front of chest and bend forward, pressing right upper arm against outside of left thigh as you twist your upper body to the left. Hold for 1 to 2 breaths, then come back to center and twist to the right. Continue alternating sides, 4 to 6 times in each direction, then return to a standing position.

YEAH!! YOU DID IT!!

FOODBORNE ILLNESS: THE TEN RISKIEST FOODS!

SEPTEMBER – FOOD SAFETY MONTH!

These 10 foods regulated by the FDA have accounted for 40% of all foodborne illnesses in the United States since 1990. These foods have cause 50,000 illnesses, some ending in death. However, many cases of foodborne illness are never reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that for every case of clinically diagnosed and reported salmonellosis, another 38 cases are never proven and/or reported. The list included the following foods.

1. Leafy greens

SPINACH LEAVES
Accounting for 24% of all illnesses in the FDA’s top 10 list, leafy greens most often are contaminated with either E coli, norovirus, or salmonella. Top reasons for contamination include unwashed hands of a handler, improper preparation, and cross-contamination. Contact with wild animals, manure, or contaminated water prior to harvest also is cause for concern.

2. Eggs

HARD BOILED EGGS
Most illnesses from eggs are caused by salmonella. Regulations for cleaning and inspecting eggs have helped matters considerably, but if chickens are infected with Salmonella enteritidis, the chicken’s ovaries become infected and eggs are contaminated before the shells are even formed. In July 2010, regulations were changed for producers with 50,000 or more egg-laying hens to include controls to prevent Salmonella enteritidis. Catered events, prisons, and buffets are where most cases of salmonella from eggs originate, likely because of improper holding temperatures.

3. Tuna


Many people have become ill from the scombroid illness after eating contaminated tuna. Fresh tuna decays quickly after it is caught, and if appropriate measures are not taken, tuna begins to release natural scombrotoxins. Cooking, freezing, smoking, curing, or canning cannot kill the toxin. More than 65% of illness related to tuna ingestion is tied to eating the fish at restaurants. Tuna also is linked to salmonella and norovirus.

4. Oysters

oysters
Oysters sometimes are harvested in water that is contaminated with norovirus. If oysters are eaten raw or undercooked, they can lead to gastroenteritis. The most dangerous pathogens found in oysters are vibrio, which can kill immunocompromised people.

5. Potatoes


Outbreaks from foodborne illness usually are linked to dishes such as potato salad, which contain many other ingredients. Most illnesses are caused by E coli or salmonella, making it obvious that cross-contamination is a common problem when preparing dishes that contain potatoes. Shigella and Listeria monocytogenes, which also are linked to potato-containing dishes, point to improper handling and preparation by infected food preparers and improper cleaning of surfaces, such as deli counters.

6. Cheese

cheese
Cheese can become contaminated, most often with salmonella, during production or processing. The vast majority of infections are caused by consumption of unpasteurized cheese. Pregnant women should avoid soft cheeses, which can carry Listeria monocytogenes, which frequently cause miscarriage even if the mother does not have any symptoms of illness. People who are immunocompromised and elderly people also are advised to avoid soft cheeses because of the risk of contracting listeriosis.

7. Ice cream

icecream
The most common reason for ice cream causing illness is people using undercooked eggs when making ice cream at home. Soft ice cream, like soft cheeses, can become a breeding ground for Listeria monocytogenes. The most famous case of contaminated ice cream, however, was caused by a truck that was used to haul both raw, unpasteurized eggs and pasteurized ice cream mix.

8. Tomatoes

tomatoes
Salmonella can enter tomato plants through the roots or flowers and then can easily enter the fruit. It is very difficult to kill the salmonella without cooking the fruit. Norovirus also is sometimes found in tomatoes. Seventy percent of all illnesses associated with tomatoes were contracted in restaurants.

9. Sprouts

sprouts
The CDC and the FDA strongly recommend that the elderly, children, and immunocompromised individuals avoid consumption of raw sprouts, which may carry E coli or salmonella because of a variety of reasons, including improper handling.

10. Berries

MICROBES 7
The most common cause of illness related to berry ingestion is the cyclospora parasite, which does not resolve itself without a round of antibiotics. A 1997 outbreak of hepatitis A, during which thousands of students became ill, was tied to consumption of frozen strawberries. The contamination may have occurred because of an infected farm worker from Baja, CA.

BE CAREFUL WITH YOUR OWN FOOD PREPARATION AND HANDLING.  WATCH OUT AT PICNICS AND FAMILY GET-TOGETHERS WHERE FOODS MAY BE LEFT AT ROOM TEMPERATURE FOR LONG PERIODS.  THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU ORDER WHEN EATING OUT TOO – KEEP THESE TOP TEN ILLNESS CAUSING FOODS IN THE BACK OF YOUR MIND!

SEPTEMBER IS FOOD SAFETY MONTH

TRY THIS QUIZ TO SEE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW ABOUT FOOD SAFETY!
Don’t let the pictures influence your choices!

1. Which of the following foods are most likely to grow microorganisms?

a. Moist food
b. Dry food
c. Salty food

2. Salmonella is least likely to occur in which food?

MICROBES 3

a. Chicken salad
b. Cantaloupe
c. Cocoa powder
d. Tomatoes

3. Store meat, poultry, and fish at:

a. Temperatures below 32° F
b. Temperatures below 41° F
c. Temperatures below 45° F

MICROBES 4

4. Cook poultry to a minimum internal temperature of:

a. 145° F
b. 165° F
c. 185° F

5. Brewed tea can spoil if left at room temperature for more than a few hours.

MICROBES 6

a. True
b. False

6. Never thaw food under running water.

a. True
b. False

7. Listeriosis is especially dangerous for pregnant women. Which of the following foods is most likely to cause listeriosis?

MICROBES 7

a. Strawberries
b. Eggs
c. Deli foods

8. Honey or syrup that has developed yeast is most likely to:

MICROBES 5

a. Appear pink
b. Display a blue-green, fuzzy growth
c. Become concave and sunken in the center of the container

Answers

1.   a. Moist food
2.   c. Cocoa powder
3.   b. Temperatures below 41º F
4.   b. 165º F
5.   a. True
6.   b. False (as long as the water is 70° F or lower)
7.   c. Deli foods
8.   a. Appear pink

MY YOGA POSES: WET DOG, OLD CROW AND THE PLUNGE!!

I DEFINITELY RECOMMEND BEGINNER POSES BEFORE MOVING ONWARD AND UPWARD – I’M PRETTY FIT AND SOME OF THESE INTERMEDIATE AND ADVANCED POSES I’M FINDING TOTALLY IMPOSSIBLE!  I’M CALLING MY YOGA POSES WET DOG, THE OLD CROW AND THE PLUNGE!!  BUT THESE CAN BE MASTERED – WORK AT IT GRADUALLY!

Downward Dog: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 1

  • Start on all fours with hands directly under shoulders, knees under hips.
  • Walk hands a few inches forward and spread fingers wide, pressing palms into mat.
  • Curl toes under and slowly press hips toward ceiling, bringing your body into an inverted V, pressing shoulders away from ears. Feet should be hip-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

Downward Dog: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 2

  • Start in beginner position.
  • Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, then lift one leg toward the ceiling and hold for 3 full breaths; keep hips level.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

Downward Dog: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 3

  • Start in beginner position. Straighten your legs and press your heels toward the floor while raising your hips upward.
  • Walk your feet together and lift one leg toward the ceiling.
  • Press your palms and other heel into the mat. Once stable, slowly lift your opposite hand and hold for 3 full breaths.
  • Lower; switch sides and repeat.

The Crow: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 4

Get into downward dog position (palms pressed into mat, feet hip-width apart) and walk feet forward until knees touch your arms.

Bend your elbows, lift heels off floor, and rest knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep toes on floor, abs engaged and legs pressed against arms. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

The Crow: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 5

  • From beginner position, squeeze your inner thighs to lift heels off floor.
  • With fingers spread wide, slowly move body forward until your weight is balanced over your hands.
  • Draw abs inward (as if pulling belly button to spine) to lift your hips up higher, keeping your face forward. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

The Crow: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 6

  • Start in the beginner position and slowly move into the intermediate pose.
  • As your upper body tilts forward, begin lifting your right leg toward the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your glutes, spread out your toes, and hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

The Lunge: Beginner

YOU CAN DO YOGA 1

  • Start in downward dog position. Step your right leg forward to the inside of your right hand.
  • Drop your left knee to the floor and lift your chest up. Keeping your right knee in line with your ankle and your back straight, place hands on your knee. Hold for 10 breaths.

The Lunge: Intermediate

YOU CAN DO YOGA 7

  • From beginner pose, press into the ball of your back foot and lift into a standing lunge.
  • Straighten back leg, place heel down on floor, and turn foot out a few inches. Lift arms toward ceiling (Warrior I). Spread your fingers, turn palms in, and open up chest. Hold for 10 breaths.
  • Switch legs; repeat.

The Lunge: Advanced

YOU CAN DO YOGA 8

  • From lunge position, hinge your upper body forward from the hips and slowly lift your back leg while straightening your front leg.
  • Stop when your back is flat and your entire body is parallel to the floor (Warrior III). Balance here for 10 breaths.
  • Lower; switch legs and repeat.

ARE YOU FEELING THE LOVE?

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

CELEBRATED THE HALF YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF ST. PATRICK’S DAY WITH CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE IN THE CROCK POT!

IT IS SO EASY! I just throw a bag of baby carrots, 2 large potatoes cut into quarters and an onion quartered into the bottom of the crock pot.  Place a 4 pound corned beef brisket on top – fat side up.  Pour in 2 cups of chicken broth.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours or more.  In the last hour of cooking I quarter the cabbage and place it in a large pot with water to cover and a little salt and boil until tender.  Cut off the fat layer and slice the meat; return to crock pot.  Serve – lots of au jous!

I like to cook the cabbage separately but you could cut it up more and make sure there is enough broth to cover and cook it right in the crock pot.

GLUTEN FREE TOO!

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving (357g)

Calories 198 Calories from Fat 90

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 10 g 15.4%

Saturated Fat 2.6 g 13%

Trans Fat

Cholesterol 27 mg 9%

Sodium 918 mg 38.3%

Total Carbohydrates 17.2 g 5.7%

Dietary Fiber 2 g8%

Sugars 10.1 g

Protein 10 g 20%

Vitamin A Vitamin C

Calcium Iron

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet

I LOVE TO USE THE LEFT-OVERS TO MAKE THIS EASY, ARTERY-CLOGGING REUBEN NOODLE BAKE!

4.1.2

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
  • 6 to 8 ounces thinly sliced corned beef
  • 1 can (approx. 15 ounces) sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 slices dark rye or pumpernickel bread
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

I ALSO MIX IN ANY LEFT-OVER CABBAGE, POTATO, CARROTS AND ONION (cut up)

Preparation:

Grease or spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook noodles in boiling salted water, following package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Cut corned beef into small pieces; add to noodles with sauerkraut, cheese, and caraway seeds. Pour noodle mixture into the baking dish.

In another bowl, whisk together the dressing, milk, and mustard. Spoon evenly over the noodle mixture. Put torn bread into food processor and pulse to make small crumbs. Toss with the melted butter then sprinkle over the casserole. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
Serves 6.

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cups equals 621 calories, 30 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 141 mg cholesterol, 3,130 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 35 g protein

WITH A NAME LIKE O’CONNOR, YOU NEED TO CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK’S DAY OFTEN!

THE BATTLE OVER FLUORIDE

I HAD NO IDEA THERE WAS ANY CONTROVERSY OVER FLUORIDATING THE WATER!  IT’S BEEN GOING ON FOR YEARS AND I’VE BEEN OBLIVIOUS!

fluoride effects 3

Environmental health groups are looking to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to impose tougher standards on fluoride in drinking water, building on a decision Friday by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to lower the recommended level for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The HHS move came in the wake of a government study showing that about 2 out of 5 adolescents have tooth streaking or spottiness because of excessive fluoride. In extreme cases, teeth can become pitted.  (side note from friendsofwater: this totally contradicts claims from the initial studies saying this would be a rare problem.  Gee, maybe some of the other claims may not be true too!  Do YOU think damaging the teeth of 40% of our youth is okay?) 

fluoride effects

The dangers may go beyond cosmetic issues. The EPA released two new reviews of research on fluoride Friday. One study found that prolonged, high intake of fluoride can increase the risk of brittle bones, fractures and crippling bone abnormalities.  (another side note:  this has actually been well understood for decades.  fluoride has a negative effect on calcium bonding – this is not news.)

fluoride effects 2


It is our impression that the tide is just beginning to turn on the question of fluoridation in the water.  Time Magazine included fluoride on a list of “The Hazards Lurking at Home.”  As they point out, fluoride is “neurotoxic and potentially tumorigenic if swallowed; the American Dental Association advises that children under 2 not use fluoride toothpaste.”  Of course that is far from the whole story, but it does seem that awareness of the serious risks of fluoridated water has built considerably. 

fluoride effects 1

But it may be some time yet before most municipalities remove fluoride from your water supply.  This issue has been fought for decades now, and the those who do not want to remove fluoride still have the upper hand.  There have even been a couple of US cities that recently started to add fluoride, although others recently dropped it.

fluoride effects 4

WHAT A DENTIST SAYS ABOUT WATER FILTRATION SYSTEMS: FLUORIDE IS GOOD FOR YOUR TEETH!!! I am a dentist and am disgusted you are trying to market the removal of fluoride being a good thing. Fluoride is added to water supplies for a reason. You need to find a more ethical marketing ploy! When I was searching for a water filtration system to buy, I looked for those that removed as little fluoride as possible (and recommend the same for my patients).”

FLUORIDE

OTHER SOURCES OF FLUORIDE: found not only in the water supply but fluoride is found in produce, in most foods now that have water in them, and in toothpaste. There is lots of fluoride in canned foods, like soup for example. There is a lot in soda cans.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?  FLUORIDE IN THE WATER:  GOOD OR BAD?

SUPER LAZY LASAGNA IN THE CROCK POT

LASAGNA

OVEN READY NOODLES AND A LITTLE WATER MAKE THIS THE PERFECT CROCK POT MEAL!  It will not look like this picture!

1 pound 96% lean ground beef (uncooked)
1 (16oz) package frozen pepper and onion stir fry
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 (24oz) jar spaghetti sauce (your favorite brand or homemade)
2 cups water
10 oven ready lasagna noodles (1/2 the package), broken into thirds
1 tsp dried basil
16 oz low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

In large mixing bowl, break up the ground beef, add stir fry mix, garlic, sauce and water. Mix well. Place 1/4 of the meat mixture in the bottom of the Crock Pot. Add a layer of oven ready noodles that have been broken into thirds – about 3 1/3 noodles. Place another 1/4 of the meat mixture over noodles and add another layer of noodles – Repeat. Pour remaining meat mixture on top. Cook on LOW 4-5 hours. Add dried basil and low-fat cottage cheese, stir well and cook on LOW 1 hour more. Serve by the spoonful and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Serves 6

Nutrition Facts:
Per Serving: 402 calories; 44g carb; 9g fat; 41g Protein; 1019g sodium; 18g sugar

NOT A PICTURE PERFECT PIECE OF LASAGNA BUT TASTES JUST AS GOOD!
The noodles turned out really mushy so maybe add them half-way through or try regular lasagna noodles rather than oven ready.  Also higher in calcium using cottage cheese rather than ricotta!

I’D FORGOTTEN ALL ABOUT IODINE!

I JUST NOTICED MY SEA SALT GRINDER STATES ON THE LABEL “THIS SALT DOES NOT SUPPLY IODINE, A NECESSARY NUTRIENT.”  I looked at my garlic salt and it has no iodine.  My regular iodized salt has been in the cupboard for eons used mainly for gargling when inflicted with a sore throat!  Salt was iodized because people were developing deficiencies and hypothyroid – an under-active condition of the thyroid.  I had to check it out – there still are countries where iodine deficiency is prevalentIF WE ALL ATE SEAWEED WE’D BE OK.  But, if you like meat, poultry and seafood, drink milk, eat baked potatoes and enjoy beans in your diet, you can probably get enough iodine.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

Iodine is a chemical element essential for the production of thyroid hormones that regulate growth and metabolism. Diets deficient in iodine increase risk of retarded brain development in children (cretinism), mental slowness, high cholesterol, lethargy, fatigue, depression, weight gain, and goiter: a swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck. Please note that both too much and too little iodine can cause hypothyroidism.
Iodine is a component of almost every living plant and animal. No standard measurements of iodine in food exist because iodine concentrations vary across the world. In general, foods from the sea contain the most iodine, followed by animal foods, and then plant foods. Of all foods seaweed, like kelp, is the most famous and reliable source of natural iodine, however egg and dairy products can also be good sources.
Select Food Samples for Iodine Content Please note that other than dried seaweed and fortified salt the concentrations of iodine in these foods can vary widely and this table should be taken as a rough guide. Food Serving Size Iodine Dried Seaweed (Buy from Amazon.com) 1/4 ounce >4,500µg (4.5 mg) (3000% DV) Cod 3 ounces* 99µg (66% DV) Iodized Salt (Fortified) 1 gram 77µg (51% DV) Baked Potato with peel 1 medium 60µg (40% DV) Milk 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) 56µg (37% DV) Shrimp 3 ounces 35µg (23% DV) Fish sticks 2 fish sticks 35µg (23% DV) Turkey breast, baked 3 ounces 34µg (23% DV) Navy beans, cooked 1/2 cup 32µg (21% DV) Tuna, canned in oil 3 ounces (1/2 can) 17µg (11% DV) Egg, boiled 1 large 12µg (8% DV) *A three-ounce serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. Source: Linus Pauling Institute Article on Iodine How much iodine do I need?
In your entire lifetime you will need less than a teaspoon of iodine to ensure good health, however, your body cannot store iodine so you have to eat a little bit every day. You only need 150 micrograms (mcg, µg), or 20,000th of a teaspoon, to meet your daily requirement. If iodine is in most plant and animal foods how can anyone be deficient? According to the World Health Organization iodine deficiencies exist in 54 countries as of 2003. Map provided by the World Health Organization
iodine-nutrition-map
iodine-legend
There is no exact answer as to why iodine deficiencies occur, however, two theories exist: People live in a part of the world with low levels of iodine in the soil or sea. People eat high amounts of refined foods that lose their iodine content during refinement. Refined sugar, for example, has no iodine. Some countries, like the U.S., show risk from excess iodine intake which suggests over consumption of foods fortified in iodine, like salt.
Is too much iodine good or bad? The tolerable upper intake for iodine is set at 1.1mg (1,100µg) for adults 19 years and older. Risks of high iodine intake include both hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and goiter. Really acute iodine poisoning can lead to burning of the mouth, throat, and stomach; fever, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weak pulse, and even coma.5 With that said, some studies suggest that Japanese intake of iodine is up to 1.2mg (1,200µg) a day, and can confer health benefits, including cancer protection. Japanese people get most of their iodine from kelp seaweed. Please consult your doctor before taking high doses of iodine, do so with caution, and for limited time periods.
Is there Iodine in Breast Milk? New mothers should be aware that their breast milk contains iodine for their new born children. The amount of iodine in breast milk will depend on the mother’s diet. A 1984 sample of women from the United States found the average concentration of iodine excreted in breast milk to be 114µg per day.4 This more than meets the adequate intake requirement of 110µg per day for infants ranging 0-6 months, but falls a little short of the 130µg per day requirement for infants ranging 7 months to 1 year. This should not necessarily be taken as a cause to eat a lot more iodine on the part of lactating women, as too much iodine can also be harmful.
I don’t eat salt, meat, or seaweed, where can I get iodine? Your options are to consider supplements, buy foods enriched in iodine, or ensure that the plant foods you consume come from parts of the world where the soil is rich in iodine.
I have hypothyroidism, can I consume iodine foods, or take iodine supplements? Worldwide, iodine deficiency is the number one cause of hypothyroidism, however, iodine deficiency rarely causes hypothyroidism in the U.S. The only time you should consume iodine is if the cause of your hypothyroidism is from iodine deficiency, and even then, only consume moderate amounts. Note: Too little or too much iodine can cause hypothyroidism. Other causes of hypothyroidism include: Hashimoto’s disease, thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid), congenital hypothyroidism, surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid, radiation treatment of the thyroid, and some medications. If you have hypothyroidism from these causes, the U.S. National Institute of Health cautions that: “…taking iodine drops or eating foods containing large amounts of iodine—such as seaweed, dulse, or kelp—may cause or worsen hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.” As such, only consume iodine in moderate amounts to maintain a proper level.

I’M LOOKING AT THE DRIED SEAWEED ON THE BEACH IN A NEW LIGHT!