Tuesday, August 03, 2010
This blog posting is different than the ones I normally post. But when I learned of this, I thought it was such an interesting topic that I couldn’t resist posting it. Did you know, or had you ever heard, that military dogs face the same types of stress and depression and anxiety and withdrawal that their human counterparts face? I had never thought of the pain these dogs go through during times of war. Well evidently dogs returning back to the United States from their time in the Middle East respond, behaviorally, the same way as humans. Isn’t that interesting? It makes me wonder just how many of these dogs die during combat. What a sad revelation.
Here are two different stories, published months apart:
Friday, June 18, 2010
The USDA issued new dietary food guidelines. I just finished reading it and really, there aren’t many surprises. A strong finding is in the need for us to increase our intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, sugar-free and caffeine-free beverages, and decrease our intake of red meats, saturated fats, sodium, and excess calories. People are generally getting it, but we have a long way to go. We generally are not getting nearly enough. I have many friends and a few relatives who hardly have any vegetables and eat enough chips and cake for an army.
As someone who was once a heavy eater of all the wrong things, I know from experience that kicking the food habit is not easy at all. But I also know that some people don’t even try. However, it can be done with some effort. A few small changes can make a big difference.
So, here is the USDA info. For a nice synopsis, click on the Executive Summary link once you open the report: www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-DG
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
On Memorial Day, Andrew Koppel, the son of TV news anchor Ted Koppel, died from alcohol poisoning as a result of a bout of binge drinking with friends the night before. He was 40 years old.
I worked on a county Alcohol and Drug Abuse Advisory Council, and it might surprise you to learn that binge drinking is not just something practiced by teens or a twenty-something crowd the way many people tend to believe. Many older “kids” use poor judgment and drink themselves to death, literally. Mr. Koppel was an attorney with the New York City Housing Authority. He wasn’t a young maturing college student.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA), binge drinking tends to decrease as people get older. But older people still practice binge drinking. Many of them often die as a result of an accident caused by being intoxicated. SAMHSA also reports that a large number of people die just from drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
I think that Mr. Koppel’s death from binge drinking is a reminder of the hazard drinking can cause when done to excess. Some of these hazards include:
• Injuries (e.g., car accidents, falls, burns, drowning);
• Assaults (e.g., sexual assault, domestic violence, brawls);
• Alcohol poisoning;
• Unintended pregnancy;
• Children born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other birth defects;
• High blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases;
• Liver disease or heart trauma; or
• Neurological damage.
This is a good opportunity to bring awareness to this issue. I know a few people who can’t seem to enjoy themselves unless they have a drink in their hand, and a couple of them drink until they pass out. Some of them have an “It won’t happen to me” mindset, but I am going to share it with them anyhow.
[Read about Mr. Koppel’s death:
Monday, May 03, 2010
Here is a nice burrito recipe I came up with. Although it's meant for vegans, everyone will enjoy it:
1 (15 oz.) can of black beans (try to find a low sodium brand, such as Amy’s)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup chopped red onions
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup of finely chopped basil
Salt/pepper to taste
6 whole wheat tortillas (or spinach tortillas)
1/2 cup low fat cheddar cheese, shredded (I use non-dairy shredded cheese)
1. Drain black beans and place in a medium sized saucepan. Let simmer, stirring occasionally.
2. Add herbs, tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, basil, and salt/pepper. Mix well. Turn heat on low and let continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
3. Warm tortillas in microwave per package instructions.
4. Spoon bean mixture down center of each tortilla. Add a spoon or two of brown rice. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up tortilla and serve. I like to re-warm in microwave for 10-15 seconds.
This is a great lunch or dinner. As an alternative, you can also use crunchy taco shells.
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