The New York Times has all these recipes for bread pudding in its Eating Well column this week. I’m a sucker for a good bread pudding. These have a twist. Some are savory, others are sweet. Apricot Bread Pudding, Bread Pudding with Swiss Chard and Red Pepper, Whole Wheat Bread Pudding with Seared Tomatoes and Mushroom, Cherry Bread Pudding. Of course, if you’re a Celiac sufferer, you’ll need to modify the flours to a non-gluten variety.
There’s an article in the New York Times today that says people who fast overnight or skip meals are more likely to reach for a piece of bread than protein, fruits or vegetables at their next meal. Boy, can I attest to the truth of that! I always thought it was because I was such a runner that my body craved carbs all the time. But now I’m seeing that it was the whole depravation thing. Which seems like, for people who are dieting and depriving themselves, this hard-wired tendency towards carbs might defeat the purpose of skipping those meals.
But there’s more. People who start with something starchy like bread (as opposed to salad or something) tend to eat much more food on top of having made poorer food choices. From the article:
Dr. Tal and his colleagues knew from previous research that hunger influences food choices. After skipping a meal or two, people naturally consume more calories than they otherwise would when finally given the opportunity to eat. Studies have also shown that high-calorie foods stimulate greater activity in reward centers of the brain when people eat them after missing breakfast.
But the researchers wanted to know whether hunger, in addition to causing greater caloric intake, would also cause people to gravitate toward certain types of foods when given an array of choices. To find out, they recruited 128 Cornell students, who were assigned to one of two groups. One group was told to fast for 18 hours — starting at 6 p.m. — and then to show up the next day for a buffet-style lunch. The second bunch of students, serving as the control group, did not fast the night before.
* * *
Those in the group that had fasted, it turned out, were more likely to begin their meals with starches, eating the bread or French fries before anything else about a third of the time, compared with just over 10 percent of the time with the control group. Those who fasted were also less likely to eat vegetables first. Only a quarter of them did so, compared with about half of the people in the control group.
“Importantly,” the researchers wrote, “starting their meal with a particular food led all participants to consume 46.7 percent more calories of it” compared with other foods. They also found that people who chose not to eat the vegetables first consumed about 20 percent less of them. Those who went straight for the starches ultimately ate about 20 percent more calories over all than their peers.
“This shows that what you choose first is important when it comes to how much you ultimately eat,” Dr. Tal said.
Interesting. No wonder that, when I finally stopped trying to lose weight (which I didn’t need to lose by the way), I lost weight.
Especially if you have small children in the home. Little kids are mistaking them for candy, eating them and getting poisoned. Looking at the photo above, I can see why.
There were 200 incidents reported in May, but 1200 this week. This week!
I have some of those little pods. I got them for the house rental because my renters tend to use waaaaaay too much detergent. The pods are pre-measured. I leave them three little pods and figure that should get them through the weekend. The plastic-looking stuff the detergent is wrapped in just dissolves in the wash.
Mine are slightly different – they’re an “environmentally” friendly detergent (which may or may not make any difference in terms of the violence of the reaction when ingested), and they’re filled with powdered detergent; there’s no liquid. And mine are just plain white, so it probably doesn’t look as much like candy as those shown in the picture above.
Although… now that I think about it… a little kid might mistake mine for marshmallows. I’m going to start warning the guests about it. Or. Better yet. Just go back to the regular detergent. Maybe I’ll fill a small canning jar instead (to keep them from using the entire box.)
Henri the cat is filled with existential ennui.
In the comments on YouTube, people are ragging on the cat’s bad French. That’s part of the joke, people. Get with the program! This is the second of three videos. The sound quality is not as great in the first video, which is why I didn’t start with that one. But they’re all a hoot. I especially enjoy the “white imbecile” rolling around.
I was surfing the internet in search of research articles on bone loss and exercise, or more specifically the efficacy of exercise in preventing or reversing bone loss. And I found this study: Exercise for preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women (Review)
I would post the link for you, but when I tried it, it takes me to a screen that says “Forbidden. You don’t have access blah blah blah.” However, I can still navigate to it in Google by doing a search using the “Scholar” function. The study is from 2011 by The Cochrane Collaboration. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This paper looks at 43 Random Controlled Trials (RCTs) on exercise and osteoporosis with 4320 participants total, searching for the most effective form of exercise for preventing bone loss at the hip, and the most effective exercise for preventing bone loss in the spine. The study found that the most effective exercise for BMD of the hip was resistive strength training (i.e., weight lifting: squats, leg presses, etc.) For the spine, they discovered a combination exercise program was best. (They don’t go into detail about what this is, but I’m assuming it means they did weight bearing exercise such as walking, along with resistive weight lifting.) It’s interesting that weight-bearing exercise (walking, running) was not as effective with improving hip density as weight lifting. Hm.
However, the paper noted that the improvements were not earth shattering. They phrased it: ”exercise will improve bone mineral density slightly”, and “exercise will prevent fracture slightly.” How slight?
Best estimate of what happens to postmenopausal women who exercise
Bone mineral density at the spine
People who exercised had on average 0.85% less bone loss than those who didn’t exercise.
People who engaged in combinations of exercise types had on average 3.2% less bone loss than those who did not exercise.
Bone mineral density at the hip
People who exercised had on average 1.03% less bone loss than those who didn’t exercise.
People who exercised by strength training had on average 1.03% less bone loss.
… at the New York Times. It doesn’t show you how to do various moves or anything, but it does talk about why weight lifting is important, what level of exertion you should aim for, whether you need to use heavier weights or if lighter weights are good enough.
Here’s a link to share via email. http://nyti.ms/KZK5Od
Just got a notice in the OsteoBlast from Dr. Susan E. Brown (you guys are probably ALL already subscribing to that, so I’m repeating something you already know…)
Vitamin K2 in the form MK-7 (menaquinone 7) has been proven to significantly increase bone strength in both hips and spines. The dosage was 180 mcg per day; the length of the study was 3 years. The improvement in the hip didn’t show up until after the 2-year mark, somewhere between year 2 and year 3. Dr. Brown says this is why previous studies would have shown MK-7 had no beneficial effect: because they didn’t last long enough.
Aside from helping with bone strength, MK-7 also improved the elasticity of arteries.
I take Life Extension’s Super K. It has 2100 mcg of combined K1 and K2 and MK-4 and K2 and MK7. But the MK-7 is only at 100 mcg. Rats. They make a separate MK-7 supplement, but it’s low dose, only 45 mcg.
Jarrow makes an MK-7 (made from Natto) that clocks in at 90 mcg. If you took two per day, you’d be hitting the 180 mcg target. At $12.95 for 60 gel caps, it’s cheaper than the LEF.
In the study, they used a product called MenaQ7®. Where do you buy it? Hard to tell. It almost seems like, from reading the material on the website, they sell the MenaQ7 for packagers to put into their vitamins…?? But I could be wrong?? Probably am wrong?
Doctors Best, the company that makes the Strontium Citrate I take, sells a MK-7 that touts “with MenaQ7™” (is a “™” different than a “®”? It’s probably the same product, right?) The Doctor’s Best, like the LEF MK-7, only contains 45 mcg per pill. So you’d have to take four pills a day to reach the 180 mark, meaning you’d need to buy two bottles per month. (Although it’s currently on sale at $9.80 per bottle.)
I think I’ll go with the Jarrow. I carry around enough bottles as it is.
Yay for dogs! Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco completed a study in which they posited that houses with dust from dogs (I’m assuming that the dust comes from the natural sloughing of skin that we all have) – anyway – dust from dogs helps protect young children against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a virus that leads to the development of childhood asthma.
“RSV infection is common in infants and can manifest as mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Severe infection in infancy is associated with a higher risk of developing childhood asthma,” says Kei Fujimura, a researcher on the study.”
In the study, they divided the mice into three groups: Mice fed dust from homes that had dogs in them before being infected with RSV; mice they exposed to RSV without feeding them any “dog dust”; and a control group of mice who weren’t exposed to RSV at all.
“Mice fed dust did not exhibit symptoms associated with RSV-mediated airway infection, such as inflammation and mucus production. They also possessed a distinct gastrointestinal bacterial composition compared to animals not fed dust,” says Fujimura.”
The article says that dogs have long been suspected to have some kind of beneficial effect in terms of preventing asthma. The scientists suspected that microbes in the “dog dust” might colonize in human’s gastrointestinal tract and effect changes in our immuno response systems. Cool.
ScienceDaily.com has an article about how the
University of Arizona Arizona State University in conjunction with NASA is trying to develop a way to measure calcium isotopes in urine to determine whether or not we’re losing bone mass. The article talks about how with DEXAs, by the time there’s measurable loss, there’s also been measurable damage, and wouldn’t it be nice to catch the whole process sooner? It’d also allow you to forego the risks inherent in repeated x-ray exposure (even though the radiation levels in DEXAs are very small.) From the article:
With the new technique, bone loss is detected by carefully analyzing the isotopes of the chemical element calcium that are naturally present in urine. Isotopes are atoms of an element that differ in their masses. Patients do not need to ingest any artificial tracers and are not exposed to any radiation, so there is virtually no risk, the authors noted.
The new study, funded by NASA, examined calcium isotopes in the urine of a dozen healthy subjects confined to bed (“bed rest”) for 30 days at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston’s Institute for Translational Sciences-Clinical Research Center. Whenever a person lies down, the weight-bearing bones of the body, such as those in the spine and leg, are relieved of their burden, a condition known as “skeletal unloading.” With skeletal unloading, bones start to deteriorate due to increased destruction. Extended periods of bed rest induce bone loss similar to that experienced by osteoporosis patients, and astronauts. [Bone Architect Note: The above makes me (again) realize how bad my habit of writing while laying down truly is! Another thing I have got to stop doing! (How many times have I said that?) We have got to get standing and moving!]
Lab analysis of the subjects’ urine samples at ASU revealed that the new technique can detect bone loss after as little as one week of bed rest, long before changes in bone density are detectable by the conventional approach, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA).
The article talks about how important this is to detecting bone loss in cancer patients and in astronauts. But I could see it possibly becoming a routine test that your doctor might perform when you went in for your yearly physical. Maybe they’d start giving it to you around age 20, so see whether you’re losing bone already at that point. And if you are, it might spur them to run tests for celiac, or parathyroid issues or any number of medical issues which can lead to osteoporosis. Just my thought. Don’t know if that’s what they’re thinking.
I digress. The article goes into a lot of detail about how the process works:
The new technique makes use of a fact well known to Earth scientists, but seldom used in biomedicine: Different isotopes of a chemical element can react at slightly different rates. When bones form, the lighter isotopes of calcium enter bone a little faster than the heavier isotopes. That difference, called “isotope fractionation,” is the key.
“Instead of isotopes of calcium, think about jelly beans,” explained Jennifer Morgan, lead author of the study. “We all have our favorite. Imagine a huge pile of jelly beans with equal amounts of six different kinds. You get to make your own personal pile, picking out the ones you want. Maybe you pick two black ones for every one of another color because you really like licorice. It’s easy to see that your pile will wind up with more black jelly beans than any other color. Therefore, the ratio of black to red or black to green will be higher in your pile than in the big one. That’s similar to what happens with calcium isotopes when bones form. Bone favors lighter calcium isotopes and picks them over the heavier ones.”
Other factors, especially bone destruction, also come into play, making the human body more complicated than the jelly bean analogy. But 15 years ago, corresponding author Joseph Skulan, now an adjunct professor at ASU, combined all the factors into a mathematical model that predicted that calcium isotope ratios in blood and urine should be extremely sensitive to bone mineral balance.
“Bone is continuously being formed and destroyed,” Skulan explained. “In healthy, active humans, these processes are in balance. But if a disease throws the balance off then you ought to see a shift in the calcium isotope ratios.”
The predicted effect on calcium isotopes is very small, but can be measured using sensitive mass spectrometry methods developed by Morgan as part of her doctoral work with Anbar, Skulan and co-author Gwyneth Gordon, an associate research scientist in the W.M. Keck Foundation Laboratory for Environmental Biogeochemistry at ASU. Co-author Stephen Romaniello, currently a doctoral student with Anbar at ASU, contributed an updated mathematical model.
Have I talked about this before? I could swear I had. But maybe I just remember seeing the product in the store, thinking I should blog about it, but then never did.
Plum Amazins is the name. (Get it. It’s a play on “raisins”.) They’re prunes, chopped into little pieces to look more like raisins. There’s no mention of the word “prune” in the name – ergo removing the stigma of prune-eating… those knowing looks of, “Are you having a little blockage?”
The box is cute, has an interesting shape (compared to a box of prunes) and the colors make you think you’re being all crunchy granola green and healthy.
I bought a box today because i wanted to see what they were like… And because I need to get back to eating prunes. I should compare the price and see whether this is more affordable (because the sliced and diced format means you can fit more into a box), or is it all packaging and there’s really no there there? I suspect the latter because…
Unlike a box of raisins, when you open this container there’s about 1.5 inches of empty space. Bleh.
But they’ve got this going for them: they’re drier and less sticky than regular prunes. Much less sticky. I can eat a handful and not feel as if I need to wash my hands before I touch anything. You could definitely sprinkle them on cereal, yogurt or in your oatmeal. You know what they’re like, in terms of texture? Sort of a little like a dried date, but not as seedy.
Drawbacks: You can’t tell how many you’ve eaten. So if you’re specifically trying to count off 10 prunes, you’re out of luck.
If you’d prefer organic diced prunes (er… plums…) The Taylor Brother Farms of California packages and ships them. They mention in the literature that diced prunes are great for adding moisture to baked items. Interesting.