Posts Tagged ‘anti-inflammatory diet’

Grab Bag Secret Shadow:

Last summer, Prevention magazine published an article about a phenomenon they called Shadow Diseases. It seems that there are measurable connections between some benign conditions and some more serious hitchhiking diseases. The reasons behind each of these connections are different, but the knowledge that these pairings can happen is helpful, and can be used as a tool in your health fix-it kit.

Condition: Migraines  →   →   →   →   →   →   Shadow: Heart Attack or Stroke

Condition: Endometriosis  →   →   →   →   →   Shadow: Melanoma

Condition: High Blood Pressure  →   →   →    Shadow: Diabetes

Condition: Psoriasis     →   →   →   →   →   →   Shadow: Heart Attack

Condition: Metabolic Syndrome    →   →   →     Shadow: Kidney Stones

Condition: Asthma  →   →   →   →   →   →   →  Shadow: Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Read the full article here.

Grab Bag Go Fish, Stop Fish:

We keep hearing it. We get it.

Eat more surf. Eat less turf.

But we must keep two goals in mind when selecting the best fish to consume.

First, we need to avoid the consumption of the chemical class known as PCBs, as well as lead and mercury. Why? Read the following info gathered from this government study. If PCB’s and other fish contaminants can have this effect on children, can we really feel comfortable with their effect on us as adults?

Investigators report developmental disorders and cognitive deficits in children of mothers who had eaten moderate to high amounts of contaminated fish during the six years preceding the pregnancy and who continued to do so during the pregnancy.  Developmental effects include:

  • lower birth weight (160–190 grams)
  • smaller head circumference (smaller by 0.6 centimeters)
  • on average, babies are born earlier

These developmental effects were still evident 5 to 7 months after the infants’ births. Neurobehavioral deficits observed include:

  • depressed responsiveness
  • impaired visual recognition
  • poor short-term memory at 7 months of age

At 4 years of age, these children still had the following:

  • deficits in weight gain
  • depressed responsiveness
  • reduced performance on the visual recognition-memory test (i.e., one of the best validated tests for the assessment of human cognitive function).

At eleven years of age, these children were:

  • three times more likely to have low verbal IQ scores
  • twice as likely to lag behind at least two years in reading comprehension
  • have difficulty paying attention

Impairment was also associated with higher concentrations of lead and mercury levels in the children.

Secondly, an anti-inflammatory diet incorporating healthy fish can have a real impact on our defense to arthritis, heart disease, asthma, skin conditions and diabetesnone of which sound like very much fun.

So swapping out the sirloin for the salmon seems simple enough, but not every fin is not created equal. Some have undesirable ratios of omega 3’s: omega 6’s. Others have sadly evolved to build up high levels of mercury or antibiotic residues that make them a higher risk than reward choice. Here are Dr. Andrew Weil’s picks for hits and misses in the piscine pool:

Eat More of (2-6 servings per week recommended):

• Wild-caught Alaskan Salmon

• Canned Sockeye Salmon

• Sardines

• Herring

• Black Cod

(I have no problem with the first two…. I guess I’ll need to work on the last three)

Eat Less or Avoid Altogether:

• White (albacore) Tuna, Swordfish, Shark, King Mackerel (does anyone you know eat mackerel??) and Tilefish: All have high levels of mercury (“small catch” tuna is OK)

• Farm-raised Tilapia: very low in omega 3’s, very high in omega 6’s

• Farmed (Atlantic) Salmon: Dr. Andrew Weil and others suggest AVOIDING THIS ALTOGETHER. The popularity of salmon has given rise to farming on such a large scale that antibiotics and other drugs must be used to fight infections that could decimate the farm. In addition, the ratio of omegas is quite different in the farmed version. Let’s face it…. fish are not meant to live in tanks or pens. Adding to that, we are also beginning to see the environmental impact of fish farming, and our oceans are paying the price for cheap and concentrated fish foods and unnatural densities of fish excrement.

Grab Bag Handy Hangover Tip:

Now I am certain few if any of the Grab Bag readers need this tip, but some of you may “have a friend” who might….

The best hangover “remedy” is to avoid alcohol in the first place. However, if you do overdo it, drinking plenty of water and taking a B-complex vitamin supplement plus extra thiamine (100 mg) to counter the B-vitamin depletion caused by alcohol can help, as can… asparagus? Researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in South Korea recently conducted a study that linked the amino acids and trace minerals in asparagus extract with reduced hangover symptoms.

While more research needs to be done before asparagus can be touted as a reliable hangover cure, if you drank too much the night before, eating asparagus at breakfast can’t hurt – it is a nutrient-dense vegetable, among the richest food sources of folate, and a good source of fiber, vitamins A, B6 and C, and potassium.

Grab Bag Brain Wonder:

Many thanks to kind reader Lynette L. for reminding me about Stephen Wiltshire, a mind and talent rarely seen. Worth the time to watch the special gift of this savant…

Grab Bag Brain Game:

So, if we play games like this, might we develop a gift like Stephen Wiltshire’s?? Probably not, but it certainly can’t hurt to play these. This one asks you to click on matching pairs of shapes, either side by side or out on the perimeter. The edge ones get more points the further away from one another you find them. Fun and slowly addictive.


Grab Bag Funny Stuff Part A:

OK… I think human beings have officially thought of everything now.

These are honestly and truly being manufactured and are available for sale here. So….. do these dogs really leave these butt covers unchewed, unlicked, untorn?

Rear Gear comes in many designs including a disco ball, air freshener, heart, flower, biohazard, smiley face, number one ribbon, cupcake, sheriff’s badge, dice, and you can even make yours custom, so there’s a Rear Gear for everyone.

Grab Bag Funny Stuff Part B:

Doomed to fail …….

Everyone should have a draem and a deram! Why have just a dream?

Those are lighthouses?


That’s gotta hurt….

Who was in charge of marketing here?

This explains why our country struggles with weight loss.

Who’s comin’ with me to Eats and Sweets?

This certainly would work….

How do we gently let him know…..

Yeah… that jackhammer noise will definitely harm whatever the cigarettes don’t.

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Grab Bag Anti-Inflammatory Bandwagon:


Perhaps the most important topic in the general theme of nutrition right now is using food as a natural anti-inflammatory medication. Nearly every health sector from oncology to heart disease points at low-grade inflammation as a contributing, if not causative, factor. Insidious in nature, the inflammation can’t be felt or detected until disease symptoms begin to appear. Our highly-processed diets are to blame for a large part of this, and being aware of the pitfalls and their fixes can make a world of difference.


Here are Dr. Andrew Weil’s four basic anti-inflammatory diet makeover tips:

1. Consume only high-quality carbohydrates: eliminate white flour, using only whole and cracked grains, and try whole grain/buckwheat noodles such as Japanese udon and soba. Fruits and vegetables should have a low glycemic index, and most do, with some exceptions: dates, watermelon, pineapple, fruit juices, potatoes, and pumpkin are all high glycemic index foods and should be avoided or eaten in limited quantities. Also, the more processed or cooked the carb is, the higher the glycemic index; lightly cooked, “al dente” pasta has a lower index than fully cooked pasta. For fruit, the riper it is, the higher the index… so eat your bananas when they are firmer.

2. Replace your cooking oil: whenever possible, use extra-virgin olive oil or expeller-pressed organic canola oil. Avoid safflower, sunflower, corn, cottonseed and mixed vegetable oils, as well as butter and margarine.

3. Reduce your consumption of animal protein: Except for fish (wild – not farmed- Alaskan salmon is the superstar) and reduced-fat dairy products, animal protein should be kept to a minimum. Look to beans, legumes and whole soy products instead.

4. Increase your fiber: Try to eat 40 grams of fiber a day. It’s good for much that may ail you. This will be easy to do if your processed foods are kept to a minmum and you eat plenty of berries, vegies and whole grains.

Grab Bag Energy Generator:


WebMD suggests these 20 tips to “never feel tired again”. You can read full explanations of the hows and whys

  1. Have breakfast… even if you don’t feel hungry.
  2. Eat every three to four hours.
  3. Fill up on more fiber.
  4. Fuel your brain with omega-3s.
  5. Watch caffeine intake after noon.
  6. Splash some water on your face or take a shower when you’re feeling burned-out.
  7. Suit up in a “power” outfit to beat the blahs.
  8. Vent your feelings.
  9. Let go of grudges.
  10. Take belly breaths.
  11. De-clutter a corner.
  12. Do some good.
  13. Cut back on TV and computer time after 8 p.m.
  14. Hide your clock in your bedroom.
  15. Give your pet his own separate sleeping space.
  16. Lower the thermostat.
  17. Avoid alcohol 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  18. Get your exercise.
  19. Don’t toss and turn in bed for more than 15 minutes – get up and read (no TV or internet)
  20. Write down your worries.

Grab Bag Painless Water Saver:

This one habit alone could save HUNDREDS of gallons of wasted water each month, which translates into MILLIONS OF GALLONS as more households catch the wave:



So simple 🙂

Grab Bag Original Crafty Moment:


If you make or like to buy original, one-of-a-kind, handmade accessories, artwork, jewelry, etc. check out




Grab Bag Every Sunday Matters:

From the Every Monday Matters book and website:


Collect Trash


  • 250 million tons of trash is generated each year in the U.S.
  • 4.6 pounds of waste is created every day by the average person.
  • Common litter includes cigarette butts, plastic bags, paper, candy wrappers, fast-food packaging, bottle caps, 6-pack can holders, glass bottles, and plastic straws.
  • Men and women are equally likely to litter.
  • People under age 15 are least likely to litter; people under the age of 25 are most likely to litter when in a group; and, people over the age of 25 are most likely to litter when alone.
  • In one single day, nearly 7 million pounds of litter were removed from beaches, lakes, and streams.
  • Animals from nearly 443 species are entangled in or ingest marine debris annually. The majority of these die from starvation, exhaustion, or infection.
  • People litter because:

    • there is a presence of other litter.
    • it’s the easiest way to get rid of unwanted things.
    • littering is acceptable by people who pay taxes to have someone else pick it up.
    • dumping is a social activity we learned from our parents and passed on unconsciously to our children.


  • Spend one hour today picking up litter. Or decide that every time you see a piece of litter today, you’ll pick it up and throw it away.
  • If you see someone littering, politely ask them to pick it up. Or pick it up yourself and maybe the person who dropped it will see you and get the hint.
  • Organize a team of neighbors, friends, co-workers, or fellow church members to pick up litter in a specific neighborhood for an hour. Have one leader purchase rubber gloves and garbage bags for the team. Make it more fun by turning the cleanup effort into a game/contest.
  • Enjoy making a difference, getting exercise, getting to know people better, and having cleaner surroundings.


If every person picked up just one piece of litter today, there would be over 300 million fewer pieces of litter. If every person picked up 10 pieces of litter, there would be 3 billion fewer pieces damaging our environment. If you and your friends spend just one hour today picking up litter in your own neighborhood, you will not only pick up thousands of pieces of trash, you will also make a tremendous impact on your community. Just be sure to bend your knees.

Grab Bag Blow Dryer Hero Moment:


1. Remove bumper stickers and other sticky stuck stuff by hitting it with a blow dryer set on HOT for a minute or two, softening the glue and making it easier to peel away (works on band-aids, too).


2. Determine where windows and doors are leaking valuable heat and energy… have one person pass a lit candle next to the door or window frame joint as another passes a hairdryer along the same path from the outside. If the candle flame flickers, the joints need caulking.

Grab Bag Happy Ending:


We’ve all thought about…. but have we actually DONE anything about it? I’m talking about what we want to happen if we are incapacitated and put on life support. Your desires need to be formalized with a “durable power of attorney” or “advance directive”. Make sure you don’t just talk about it, but get it down legally. Click
HERE for questions and answers about end-of-life issues and advance directives, and click HERE to download an advance directive… then fill it out, have it notarized and file with your family and another copy with your doctor or hospital.

Grab Bag Brain Game:



Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

Warning…. adult content 🙂

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