Grab Bag Skin Saver:
Know someone with acne? They’ve probably tried numerous remedies, including some heavy duty prescription drugs. Hope and good news come from Italy, where researchers found that red light therapy, in just two weekly sessions a month, improved subject’s complexions by an average of 50%. Here’s the why: the specific wavelength in the red light kills bacteria that breed in clogged pores. BEST news… red light therapy isn’t just in the testing phase, it’s available.
Grab Bag Nutrition Tips:
#1- Get to know Mr. Mung
Cutting back on meat consumption should be a goal for us all. But a dinner of rice and veggies doesn’t quite measure up to the protein content your body is looking for. Enter the oft-ignored Mung bean (until the little fellow is granted a name change, we’ll overlook this unfortunate moniker).
Not only do these beauties pack some solid vitamin C, potassium, iron and fiber punches, but they’re 24% protein! Even MORE good news… they retain most of their vitamin C through the cooking process. Icing on the mung bean cake?….. they generally do not cause the gas and bloating issues that other beans can. How might you eat these? Boil them up and toss in a salad, mix with other types of beans, mix with whole grain rice…. you get the picture.
#2- Little Changes=Big Gains
As pointed out in Men’s Health, a few nearly imperceptible reductions on the dinner plate, and you are on your way to a healthier you. I guarantee you will not notice these portion changes. For those who already eat even healthier meals than this, your portion reductions will mean even healthier outcomes 🙂
#3- Try Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) is a grain-like crop (not a true grain, as it is not a grass) that is closely related to beets and spinach. You’d have a hard time guessing that, as this little pearl-like grain is a great substitute for rice or bulgar wheat. The Incas held it as a sacred food. Maybe they were on to something:
- Unlike wheat or rice, quinoa has a full balanced set of amino acids, making it an unusually complete protein source.
- Good source of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium and iron
- GLUTEN FREE! which is always good, as we all consume too much gluten
NASA is considering quinoa as a possible crop for extended space flights.
If you buy your quinoa in a box, it has likely been pre-soaked for preparation. If you buy it raw, soaking for a few hours removes saponins, which lend the raw grain a somewhat bitter taste.
Treat it just like you would rice or oatmeal. It can be boiled up and used as a side dish, mixed in salads, even as a great breakfast alternative with a little honey, cinnamon, almonds and berries.
Grab Bag Green Tip:
Know your Garbage Gyres:
Have you heard people mention giant islands of plastic swirling around in the oceans? These are known as Gyres, and the largest is The North Pacific Gyre (or, The Garbage Patch). It is approximately TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS. So why haven’t we seen graphic pictures of this hideous mound of floating plastic crud?
Unfortunately, much of the gyre is made up of tiny bits of plastic, all floating at various depths. Think glitter, in water, in a blender, and you get the idea. Trawling with a fine mesh “bongo net” to sift it out sounds possible, but the collateral damage on sea life will likely be too great. So how do we solve this problem?
Last Sunday, August 2nd, 2009, the first completely dedicated scientific research expedition left San Diego to study the (literally) growing crisis. Known as SEAPLEX, this expedition will be gathering data on the Gyre, which will hopefully aid in formulating a solution to this huge problem. Follow their daily diary entries for the next two weeks on the SEAPLEX blog.
Grab Bag Every Sunday Matters:
Look at the Homeless Differently
- 2.5 to 3.5 million people are homeless at some point each year, and every night, 840,000 people sleep on the streets.
- 44% of homeless people have part-time or full-time employment.
- Only roughly 30% of those eligible for low-cost housing actually get it, as there is such a deficit of homes in these programs nationwide.
- 50% of homeless women and children are running away from domestic violence situations.
- Contrary to popular belief, only 16% of homeless suffer from mental illness (it just happens to be those we see and remember).
- 94% of homeless people do not want to remain homeless.
- Don’t judge homeless people by their appearance. To truly understand, volunteer at a mission, shelter or soup kitchen, or just speak with them for a moment on the street. You’ll be surprised by what you might learn.
- Look them in the eye and smile, and give them a “Hello” or “God Bless”.
- Instead of money, offer bottled water, prepared food or toiletries.
Grab Bag Cool Stuff:
HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam. Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands.
Take a look at HEMA’s product page (click here) – just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens.
DON’T click on any of the items in the picture, just wait.
This company has a sense of humor and a great computer programmer who has too much time on his hands.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
Proof…. we ARE this way from birth….