Dec 10, 2012

Possible Promising HIV Cancer Cure

Many of us were amazed to hear exciting reports claiming that a modified safe form of the HIV virus has been used to treat and cure cancer, in particular, Leukemia.

 It is almost too good to be true, a remedy that has side affects no worse than what the body would experience fighting off a bad infection appears to be working in the lab and in the patients that have been treated on a trial basis.

Those that did the research have not been able to get funds from the National Cancer Inst. or pharmaceutical companies that they have contacted, but have been able to get funds from The Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy in order to do their research. Though only 3 have been given the new experimental treatment, the results are nothing short of remarkable.

You can read a detailed report in this New England Journal of Medicine article. Hopefully this will encourage funding for more research.

As with all new reports of cancer cures, more study must be done, and time must pass to see the long-term affects and results of the HIV cancer treatment.

Updated 4/3/16

Oct 25, 2012

Hurricane Preparedness and Food

We are, or should be, preparing for Hurricane Sandy here in the northeast.  It's track shows that it will hit my home state in a very big way starting Monday through Tuesday with heavy winds, rain and who knows what else since the storm scenario is unprecedented.

If things materialize as predicted, many who are have just recovered from Irene last year followed by the only snowstorm we had on Halloween weekend will be facing similar if not worse conditions again.  I hope not, but just in case, we are preparing.

We are making sure that we have plenty of drinking water in the house, as well as a large container of water for cooking.  We are making sure our generator works which we used to keep our freezer working the last's a small generator.  The wood we purchased a few weeks ago will keep us warm as we have a wood stove, but if you do not have a wood stove you may want to consider alternate heat sources.

FOOD, consider what you have in your freezer and use up things that will go bad quickly now.  Buy non-perishable foods and drink to last for up to a week if not longer depending upon where you are.  Widespread power outages are expected. has put together a great collection of Hurricane Brochures to help you with preparedness and provides other information about Hurricanes.  Now, lets prepare for the worst out of Hurricane Sandy, but hope and pray for the best.

Updated 4/3/16

Sep 15, 2012

A - D Fast Food and Restaurant Menu and Nutrition Guides

When you have a food allergy or intolerance, are dieting, or want to know fast food nutrition facts for any other reason, it's nice to be able to find menus and nutrition guides to review at home so you can decide where to go and what to eat before you leave the house. Because I am lactose intolerant, and my husband is eating a vegan diet, we are always looking for information like this online.

For our sake, and the sake of anyone who happens to stop by, I'm digging through restaurant sites that we are inclined to visit looking for direct links to menus and/or nutrition guides for popular fast food and family restaurants.

Here are links for restaurants alphabetically from A - D that we like:

Note that if months have passed since this post was last updated, changes may have occurred to menus. You can search for the restaurant on Google  or Bing if links do not work before I return to update.

Applebees Nutrition Information
Applebees Allergen Info.

Arby's Menu and Nutrition - look at links in upper right for allergens, gluten free, etc.

Big Boy Menu

Blimpie Menu
Blimpie Nutrition and Allergy Information

Bob Evans Menu
Bob Evans Nutrition Info by Category

Boston Market Menu
Boston Market Nutrition Information

Chick-fil-A Menu
Chick-fil-A Nutrition and Allergen Info

Chili's Printable Menu
Chili's Allergen Info
Chili's Nutrition Info
Chili's Vegetarian Info

Denny's Menu Meal Calculator
Denny's Nutrition Info

Domino's Pizza Menu
Domino's Pizza Nutrition and Allergen Info

Dunkin Donuts Menu and Nutrition

Updated 4/11/16

If you can't find a menu and nutrition facts for a restaurant you are looking for, please comment and we will add it.  This list covers menus and nutrition facts for fast food and family restaurants alphabetically from A - D, we will add the rest of the alphabet in days to come.

Click here for Menus etc. for E - H Restaurants.

Aug 10, 2012

Free Diet and Weight Loss Apps

I have saved several Android diet, weight loss, and weight management apps to my Android device, and appreciate having these tools handy for quick reference wherever I am.

Here are a few favorite free weight loss and weight management apps:

If you go to the links using your Android device, or perhaps Kindle Fire, you may be able to test the app before downloading, and will definitely find more information about each at the links.

If you have used any of these free apps for weight loss, please let us know in a comment how well they have worked for you. 

Updated 4/3/16

Jul 11, 2012

Barbecuing on our Weber Grill

During our years of marriage, my husband and I went through many a barbecue grill.  We started out using small table top Hibachi grills.  Then we purchased a larger charcoal grill. We tried all kinds of methods for lighting the grill, putting the coals in metal coffee cans as a chimney with the bottom cut out and vents cut into the side, and other things.  In time we moved on to a gas grill to save time, a used one that we got from a friend.

Then finally, several years ago when we got a bit of an inheritance, one thing we purchased was our first really nice Weber grill.  My husband had always wanted one, knowing that a Weber was about the best grill you could purchase.  During the warmer months we use it constantly, and it always starts quickly and easily and requires minimal care.  It has never given us a problem.   Here's a little picture of our grill in use on Father's Day when my son, daughter and her husband were at the house for dinner and brought deliciously seasoned steak and chicken breasts to be grilled.

Updated 4/3/16

Mung Bean, Alfalfa and other Sprout Nutrition

So many years ago when hippies lived in communes and people were moving toward living off the earth just as so many do today, sprouting various types of beans and seeds was a popular way to add nutrients to foods. Sprouts are nutritious when they first come from the is as if the nutrients locked in the seed burst out to be enjoyed.

My first attempts at sprouting were done in large jars, the size of glass mayonnaise jars. I would add the seeds and a little water, and seal the jar with cloth on top with a rubber band so that there was air circulation, and put the jar in a window that had some sun, remembering not to keep it in full sun as this would make the jar too hot. I would turn the jar or give it a little shake as the seeds sprouted, and soon the jar was full of sprouts that looked something like what you see in the picture.

I most often used mung beans and alfalfa sprouts. These would be refrigerated after they had sprouted and appeared as they do in the photo here, and then I would add the sprouts to my sandwiches, salads and other recipes.  I used them within a couple of days as they would begin to go bad fairly quickly.

If you are looking for the nutritional benefits of sprouts, you can find some information by visiting the International Sprout Growers Association (ISGA), and by reading their alphabetical list of sprouts and sprout nutrition including vitamins and nutrients.

Updated 4/3/16

May 18, 2012

How to Find Black Garlic and Recipes

We just finished a post about growing garlic in containers, and while exploring, found interesting information about black garlic, something I was not familiar with.

While there are varieties of garlic, like Allium nigrum that are naturally black in appearance when they grow, the black garlic we are focusing on is made from the garlic cloves and bulbs that we are familiar with. It is a popular ingredient in Asian foods. But just what is it?

Garlic as we know it is called "black garlic" when it has gone through a high-temperature fermentation process. It's origin is Korea, and it is slowly gaining in popularity in high-end restaurants in the United States.

In looking for sources for recipes, I found a few, one site had several black garlic recipes for you to try and enjoy.

Purchasing black garlic may be another challenge for you depending upon where you live, but you can mail-order it easily. There are very few manufacturers that provide black garlic in the United States, but you can find black garlic right here

Updated 4/3/16 ~ Image Credit: Pixabay

Apr 30, 2012

When Food Becomes Your Enemy

There are different ways that the food that we love can turn on us. The first thought that may come to your mind is weight gain...yes, that's on the list. But there are others. They include food allergies and food sensitivities or food intolerance.

The body responds differently in each of these situations.  The responses go like this:

Food allergies: You generally experience an almost immediate response to a food that you are allergic too. You may feel a sensation in mouth, closing of the throat, sneezing, hives, and sometimes worse. Even a small amount can cause this reaction, which is actually an immune response. It is something you can (almost) readily identify with the food you are eating.

Food sensitivities are a little more tricky, as you don't always feel the symptoms right away, even though some of them can be the same as those experienced with food allergies. The food has to get into the system a bit before you feel symptoms like nausea, fatigue, achy muscles or joints, maybe some sinus congestion, diarrhea, gas, or any host of irritating symptoms.

Food intolerance is another term for food sensitivity. Your body can't tolerate the food and responds, though not with an immune response that a food allergy would cause.

Discovering what foods you are sensitive too can be such a relief to your mind and body. Discovering what you cannot eat should not make you feel restricted. Even though it may take time to adjust, especially to eating out or when you go to special occasions that involve food. 

You are actually liberated, because now you know why your body is responding as it does, and you don't have to worry about what it is going to do if you eat a certain gain control of the situation over time.

This has been the case with me in my dealings with lactose intolerance. It has taken time, but after so many months and years of not knowing...knowing has brought relief and healing.

May it be the same for you if you are suffering with any kind of food allergy, food sensitivity, or food intolerance.

Updated 4/1/16

Apr 17, 2012

National Salt Reduction Initiative

The National Salt Reduction Initiative or NSRI originated with the New York City Health Department in 2008 and now includes the American Medical Association, the American Heart Association, the American Public Health Association and many other health organizations throughout the United States.

Their emphasis, as the title implies, is to increase awareness of how much salt we consume and how much sodium is in our foods.  It is to encourage consumers to look at sodium quantity on food labels and be aware of salt content in foods eaten in restaurants.

The US models their campaign after one that Europe already has in place. Click the title, "Strategies to Improve Intake of Sodium in the United States", to download the pdf eBook of the same title.

Lives are saved by eating within safe limits when it comes to sodium. When you look at a nutrition label on a food product, the amount of sodium is always going to appear high, sodium is one of the nutrients that we can use more of than others. How much salt is recommended in our diet or too much in our diet each day? Generally, between 2000 and 2300 milligrams is a safe amount of sodium to consume in one day.

Updated 4/11/16

Mar 8, 2012

Walking Benefits - Let Spring Put a Spring in Your Step

There are few, unless physical circumstances prohibit it, who aren't able to enjoy the benefits that come from walking. Much has been written about it because it is one of the easiest forms of exercise to accomplish. My husband and I both walk as our primary form of exercise. Here are the benefits that we appreciate the most:

1. It's free! No monthly or annual dues to a gym.
2. We enjoy the outdoors whether it's here in our rural neighborhood with it's lake and woodlands, or for my husband, along the sidewalks in the neighborhood where his office is located.

3. You don't need any equipment except a good pair of walking shoes and if you like, an inexpensive pedometer to keep track of your miles. There is more elaborate equipment to measure heart rate, etc., but a pedometer is all I use.

4. You can even walk inside without a treadmill on rainy days...I use a Walking DVD that has you "walk in place" with some forward back and side to side movement right in my living room with Leslie Sansone.

5. It works the larger muscles of the legs and is a great cardiovascular workout, strengthening the heart.

6. It's great for a "sluggish colon", and will help to keep you regular.

These are just a few of the many benefits of walking, and as I've been sharing, we've had such a mild winter this year, there is no excuse for us not to be out there walking regularly. 

Updated 4/1/16

Feb 20, 2012

Saving Recipes and Health Sites All in One Place

I've discovered a new place to store all of my favorite recipe, nutrition and health sites. The site is called clipix and as the name would indicate, it is a "visual" way of saving places that you want to revisit in an organized way.

I just joined clipix recently, and have set up several files on my favorite topics. What you do is open an account in a matter of a few minutes, then go to your "clipboard". On the clipboard you will find boxes with headings of some popular categories. You can change the titles to things the you like, and add more boxes for more categories. And if things get really busy on your clipboard, you can set up "multiboards" and put similar clipboards within them to further organize things.

Since I am new, I've set up some basic boards on some of my favorite things, including animals, books I'd like to read, health and nutrition, recipes, gift ideas...the possibilities are endless. When you go to your main page, you can click on the title of any one of your clipboards and it will open up to it's own page so that you can see all files within it. As I said, I've just started, but here is a picture of the folder I started on health and nutrition:

How do you save files to a clipboard? When you join, you "drag" a little "clip" button up into your toolbar if you are using Firefox, or you save it to your toolbar as instructed if you are using Internet Explorer. Then when you are on a page that you like and want to save, you simply click on the clip button in the toolbar, a window will open, you choose a picture that will remind you of the site, label it if you like, and save it into a file that you choose from a drop-down menu.

So simple! I am "happynutritionist" on clipix, when you join, look for me, or tell us in a comment who you are so we can all find you...tell us how you are using Clipix.

Updated 4/1/16

Feb 7, 2012

February is National Heart Month

It's National Heart Month again, when some of us show our love with heart-shaped Valentines on Valentines day, and all of us should be thinking about heart health.

This blog has been around long enough that we have done quite a few posts about the heart, here are the links to our heart posts, we hope you "heart", or love them, and love yourself by caring for your heart:

Women and Heart Disease
I Always Had Good Blood Pressure, What Happened?
Sea Salt is Better for Your Heart
My Husband's Heart Attack Part 1

My Husband's Heart Attack Part 2

My Husband's Heart Attack Part 3

Hubby Goes to the Heart Doctor (2 yrs later)
ORAC - Free Radicals and the Heart

Heart Attacks and Women part 1

Heart Attacks and Women part 2

Anger and Heart Health

The Connection Between the Heart and the Tomato

You'll notice I mention my husband, his heart is still ticking, thankfully, but not in rhythm, but that is a post for another day.  Take care of your heart, and if you are a diabetic like my husband, keep your blood sugar in important! 

Updated 4/1/16

Jan 14, 2012

Nutrition Calculator - Make a Nutrition Label

Have you ever altered a recipe and wondered how it has affected how many calories, how much sodium, carbohydrates, etc., are now in your recipe?  There is an easy way to find out.

I enjoy the Sparkpeople site as it offers many free services.  Their recipe site has a wonderful tool that calculates the nutritional content of your food.  You can find the recipe calculator here.  Just enter the ingredients in the calculator and click on the "calculate information" button.  If you like, you can post your recipes to the site, and it will include the standard nutrition information label that you are accustomed to seeing on all foods labels.  

Calculating nutrition and making nutrition labels is not only a bit fun, but educational.  It will go a long way in helping you if you're counting calories, carbohydrates, sodium content, and more.

Updated 4/1/16 

Jan 13, 2012

Help for Headlight Glare and Vision Problems

Just last week I ordered glasses online just in case something should happen to the progressive lens eyeglasses I already have.  I got one pair just for distance and another pair for reading.  I did this because I have a distance prescription from my new optometrist, and an unchanged older one for reading from my previous optometrist.  

When ordering online, it can be fun at some of the sites as sometimes you can upload your photo and "try on" the glasses, not only to see how they look, but to see how the size looks on your face.  It is helpful if not necessary to have the PD number from the prescription your eye doctor writes...and make sure he or she includes it.  That's the distance between the pupils when looking straight ahead and not focused on anything.

What I was most pleased about for the distance glasses, which will be used as my sunglasses with the clip-ons I ordered, is the anti-glare coating.  It is said to help with glare when having photos taken, but I'm more excited about the help it may be when driving at night.  I have so much trouble with oncoming headlights, especially the bright ones they have now. I don't even like to drive at night, and hope that this will improve things at least a little bit.  

Updated 4/1/16

8 Facts About B5 Pantothenic Acid

Occasional I do posts about particular vitamins and minerals, and what foods contain them. Today I'd like to take a look at Vitamin B5, also known as Pantothenic Acid. And at the end of the post you'll find links to other posts done in the past about Vitamins.  

Here are some facts about Vitamin B5 

1. Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid is a water soluble vitamin. This means that unlike Vitamin A, for example, it does not build up in your system, but excess is flushed out through the kidneys in the urine. 

2. Vitamin B5 is found in many things that we eat, but is most abundant in eggs, meat, legumes, avocados, whole grains, broccoli and yogurt. It is also in Royal Jelly, from a Bee of another kind. 

3. When taking B5 in supplement form, it is best when taken with other B vitamins. 

4. Since the vitamin is in so many foods and in vitamin supplements, it is rare that there be a deficiency, but if there is, the symptoms would include symptoms common to many conditions...fatigue and irritability; lack of it could lead to hypoglycemia, trouble sleeping, nausea and other common conditions...but since it is rare that it is deficient, it would not be the first thing I'd think of if suffering from any one of these symptoms. 

5. It doesn't seem to cause harm if too much is ingested, and again, it is water soluble so what is not used is flushed out of the body. 

6. According to information at Linus Pauling Inst. at Oregon State University, Pantothenic Acid is a component of Coenzyme A. They also provide a nice chart that shows how many mg. are found in several foods. 

7. Wikipedia provides a nice chart that shows daily requirements for Vitamin B5 by age and other information that may not be listed above. 

8. B5 benefits many things, but most information points towards it's benefit to the skin and hair. 

Other Vitamin Fact Lists:

Vitamin K Facts

Updated 4/1/16