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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.

STOBLOBS

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?

What??

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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