Thursday, June 22, 2017

Write your way healthier

Writing on the website metro.co.uk, Lucy Whitehouse says grab your pen or computer and write your way to better health.

The Journal of Research and Personality, had a study that seemed to show that writing on positive subjects might boost your immune system.

Writing also helps you sleep better, according to Applied Psychology. Spend 15 minutes before bed writing about things you are grateful for.

Writing or journaling has been shown to reduce symptoms of asthma and arthritis.

Writing perks you up and helps keep feelings of anger and hostility in check.

Writing makes you grateful. Good vibes.

When vibes are good, you may want to get out and exercise.

AND--writing helps keep your brain cells working and connecting...Thinking and expressing yourself on hard subjects may even keep dementia at bay.

I used to know a guy who would copy a paragraph from The New York Times just to get some words in his mind and then he took off from there for a day of writing.

As you readers know, I write about everything. It doesn't make me feel better all the time, but it can't hurt.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Removing breast implants--tricky

I know I sound like a dope for saying this, but the plastic surgery show on E! Channel, BOTCHED, is back--and I missed it. It is such an entertaining mix of trans-this, trans-that, weird bodily obsession, physician showboating, etc, I love it. I cannot lie.

In the episode I saw a female impersonator had a burst breast implant--basically, a wad of goo, that had to be cleaned out.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 400,000 women in the US had breast implant surgery in 2016 (cosmetic augmentation and reconstruction from cancer surgery).

At year seven, half of all implants need to be removed. They do not last a lifetime, says Constance M. Chen, MD, a plastic surgeon in NYC.

They can cause trouble:

--They are foreign bodies or substances, so the body forms a capsule around them. This shell can become painful. It can also account for that stuck-on half-tennis ball look.

--They can get infected.

--They can push through the skin.

--Under investigation by the FDA--whether there is a link to a rare immune system cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma.

What is involved in removing:

--A complete capsulectomy--time-consuming procedure involving removing not only the implant but the shell around it. This can involve peeling tissue off the lungs, in some cases.

--After removal, the patient may face a breast lift, fat transfer, implant replacement, or even natural tissue free flaps.

If you have large breasts and small implants, you may get a pleasing result with removal alone. The opposite goes for small breast with large implants--can end up looking like collapsed pillowcases.

You might want to hang onto your "naturals." Think?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Have you ever been Mommy-shamed?

I have been Mommy-shamed...Once in a grocery store, my kid, then about 8, was lobbying for some stupid sugar item and I was resisting and she got louder and louder--and an older lady decided to inform me that all my daughter wanted was a little thing and why was I so mean?

I also know I stay-at-home guy who was approached in a store and a woman said, "I hope you won't let your daughter get fat like you." So it's not limited to women.

In fact, if you have a child, you will soon learn that EVERYONE knows better how to raise that child. The most adamant? Those with no kids.

Even big movie stars don't skate. Reese Witherspoon was recently criticized for giving her toddler a cinnamon bun for breakfast. Coco Rocho (Iced T's wife) was slammed for using formula.

In a recent survey done at the University of Michigan, six out ot 10 mothers of kids under 5 had been shamed.

Reese Witherspoon aside, most shaming comes from within the family. And the worst of those--the mother's parents--37%.

Next up, the spouse's parents or the other parent--36%.

Others who shame: Child care providers, doctors.

Yoiks!

What do they focus on, all these supposedly well-intentioned butt-inners? Diet, nutrition, sleep, breast v bottle, and child care. Not to mention--begging in the store! (Thought I would mention it again.)

Another shame area is safety--"what we used to do" may not longer be applicable.

Mothers in the survey thought they got the blame, but not the credit.

YEAH! Take that!

And what do the shamed do? Avoid those who are too critical.

Monday, June 19, 2017

The importance of mouthfeel

The other day my daughter was making scrambled eggs and asked me did I want mine hard or soft. I reacted immediately, "No egg slime."

Sure, food is sweet, salty, bitter, or salty and the fifth--umami--but mouthfeel is often overlooked.

Ole Mouritsen is a food scientist and author of Mouthfeel: How Texture Makes Taste. He was interviewed by Russ Parsons.

What is mouthfeel? We also call it texture, Mouritsen said. Technically it is on the tongue, but taste is also in the nose, ears or eyes. (Think of something that should be crisp, but is soggy. You will notice.)

The Japanese have 400 ways to describe food texture--we have 80.

Say fish--not much taste by itself--so mouthfeel is important. (I have heard certain fish--swordfish is one-- described as meaty as a steak.) The Japanese "pickle" vegetables--they may seem rubbery, but when you bite down, they have a crunching feeling all over your skull.

Seaweed is another one. The Japanese eat a lot of it. Chewy, slimy, crunchy, soft, or hard--depending.

Food scientists do a test where they puree foods--only about half of the participants can identify cabbage or tomatoes by taste alone--when it's a puree.

If you have to chew, say a piece of tomato in ketchup, it may "taste" different.

Mayonnaise--another example--has small gobbets of fat so it tastes creamy--large globules will "taste" oily.

All this is called neurogastronomy...And you thought you were just getting a snack--your whole body is involved.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Preemies not at educational disadvantage once thought

My niece was born at 26 weeks, a little over 2 lbs. She is now a college grad in her 40s with a talented and gifted son of her own.

Yet, parents of premature babies often fret that their kids will be held back or do poorly in school.

They did a large-scale study at Northwestern that should reassure these parents.

--Two-thirds of babies born at 23 or 24 weeks were ready for kindergarten on time.

--While these extremely premature babies scored low on standardized tests, those born after 25 weeks were almost on par with full-term infants.

--After 28 weeks, the difference was negligible.

This study was unique in that it focused on educational prospects, not medical or physical development prospects.

Few studies focus on middle school performance of such a large group--1.3 million.

What about that standardized test performance gap? The study investigator said the glass was still more than half-full.

Did the children perform well in school on their own--or did they get extra help all along because of their prematurity? This was not determined--but by middle school, the kids were up to par on the tests.

Doctors can tell parents of premature babies, said the researchers, that they usually do "brilliantly."

Of course, this is statistically speaking. Individual experience is well...individual.