A Salute to the American Spirit
“Are you guys ready? Let’s roll….” — Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer
Grab Bag Green Thumb:
OK… for anyone who enjoys or WANTS to enjoy growing their own vegetables, THIS is a fantastic website:
Whether you have two square feet or two square acres, this site will make garden planning a snap. Register (free) and enter your zip code, and you’re off and running. This site provides garden design tools, layout suggestions, plant variety suggestions, you name it… all based on the database of information about your climate. Reap the rewards with fresh, organic veggies on your table.
Grab Bag C-Buster:
Love this analysis by Harvard-trained doc-extraordinaire, Dr. Andrew Weil, of a recent study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) on new dietary findings for cholesterol-lowering strategies:
If your cholesterol is on the high side, you may be able to help bring it down with a diet that includes nuts, whole soy foods and high fiber foods. The latter includes vegetables, and breads and cereals containing whole grains like oats and barley. A study published in the August 24/31 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that this “portfolio” diet yielded better cholesterol-lowering effects than the low fat diet that has been traditionally recommended to bring down high levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol). Study participants on the portfolio diet lowered their LDL by more than 13 percent, compared to only a three percent reduction among participants who followed a low-fat diet. Essentially, on the “portfolio” diet, participants replaced sources of saturated fat such as red meat and dairy products with foods that provide healthy fats, namely nuts and soy products. The diet also calls for substituting plant sterol enriched margarine for butter.
My take? I’ve long recommended including nuts and whole soy based protein (instead of animal protein) in your diet if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol. I also think it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of sugar and flour in your diet when you’re trying to bring down your cholesterol. Recent evidence indicates that added sugar – in the form of table sugar (sucrose) or high-fructose corn syrup – is probably a greater contributor to heart disease than is saturated fat. I disagree with the inclusion of margarine in the “portfolio” diet and discourage its use in general because the highly processed fats it contains promote inflammation, cancer and damage to the immune system. The monounsaturated fat found in olive oil and nuts is the healthiest fat of all and the type I recommend that you rely on the most, whether or not you’re trying to lower your cholesterol.
Grab Bag Back-to-School #1:
I thought I knew how to tie my shoes. I was wrong. Back to school for me:
Grab Bag Breath Boost #2:
You’re energy is flagging. You have a long way to go before you put this day in the books.
Try this. Try it every day for 2 weeks so that you really learn it, and get into the habit of using it:
The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath)
The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.
- Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
- Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
- Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.
If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.
Yet another thanks to DrWeil.com for this.
Grab Bag Brain Game:
Don’t judge this game too quickly. It looks like a silly kid’s fantasy game, but it has a variety of mental tasks and skills that make it quite good. In the game developer’s own words:
4 Elements is a beautiful mixture of the classic puzzle game concepts ‘matching blocks’, ‘find hidden objects’ and ‘find differences’ with new addictive twists and a nice story line.
Grab Bag Funny Stuff:
OK.. so maybe someone’s been reading this blog a bit too much….
I just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.
I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel or have them put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.
I can’t use the remote in a hotel room because I don’t know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.
I can’t sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed. Where DID I pack my black light scanner?
I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking ones nose (although cell phone usage may be taking the number one spot).
Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.
I can’t touch any woman’s purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.
I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.
ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.
I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.
I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOLare sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.
I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me, and St. Theresa’s Novena has granted my every wish.
I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.
I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.
THANKS TO YOU I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.
BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.
I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won’t crawl in my back seat when I’m pumping gas.
I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put ‘Under God’ on their cans.
I no longer use Saran Wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.
AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can’t boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face… disfiguring me for life.
I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.
I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.
I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.
I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don’t support our American troops or the Salvation Army.
I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a $900 phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan .
I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.
THANKS TO YOU I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big brown
African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.
AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can’t ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.
I can no longer drive my car because I can’t buy gas from certain gas companies!
I can’t do any gardening because I’m afraid I’ll get bitten by the brown recluse and my hand will fall off.
If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor’s ex-mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s beautician . .