Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Yikes, deep frying turkey can be a hot time!

Guess what--there are more than double the number of home fires on T-Day as a normal day (US Fire Administration, whatever that is).

Splashes, spills, burns, cuts--it's not pretty in the kitchen. This according to a burn surgeon at Loyola.

Burn surgeon--shudder.

The new trend of deep frying turkeys has accounted for a rise in injuries. Plunging something heavy into boiling fat--what could go wrong?

Sometimes people even try to do this INDOORS!!! No no no no!

The turkey must be moisture free--meaning at very least, not still frozen.

One guy "basically fried himself," as he put it--spilling thirty quarts of hot oil on his leg. He tripped.

Also, $15 million in property damage is done by fryer accidents.

--Get a new fryer with a sealed lid.
--Keep the fryer in full view while in use.
--Keep it away from walls, fences etc
--Never use in a garage or under a carport.
--Never cook in short sleeves or with bare feet.
--Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. Be careful with marinades.
--Don't overfill--the oil can ignite if it overflows.
--Don't do this while drinking.

So the choice is yours--nice dinner or trip to the ER?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Do you want the good or bad news first?

OK--the good news. They did a survey of eleven countries--Health Affairs (Dec). Older, sick Americans can get a specialist appointment faster than in any other country surveyed--except Switzerland. Still, the average wait was four weeks.

The bad news? Well, there is a lot. First, only 57% of older Americans can only get same-day or next-day appts when they are sick.

And older Americans are sick, sick, sick. Sixty-eight percent had two or more chronic conditions. Fifty-three percent took four or more meds.

Still, good news dept, 83% had a treatment plan they could carry out in everyday life.

Hardly earth-shattering news to us creakies...

Add in docs falling in and out of our insurance plans, skyrocketing medication costs, medication reactions--and arg--it's enough to MAKE you sick.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Meet "Normal Barbie"

Her real name is The Lammily Doll...and her creator is a Pittsburgh graphic designer named Nickolay Lamm.

She is sturdily built, a few extra pounds around the hips, and comes with stickers of zits (see pix) and stretch marks that realistic tots can affix.

He is working on Normal Ken, too--chubby with some dirt stains, maybe. (Guys are grosser, Lamm notes, there are more things he could add.)

Lamm had his own body issues, trying like mad to get a 6-pack while being only 5'2" in HS.

His Mom loves Normal Barb.

No, you can't get it this Christmas at Toys R Us--but he has raised half a million and has 22,000 orders. Stay tuned.

To me, Abnormal Barbie's problem was she was nine "heads" high--and living people are about seven heads high. Elongated.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A bit of wine for thy stomach's sake

David Zulberg, author of The 5 Skinny Habits: How Ancient Wisdom Can Help You Lose Weight and Change Your Life Forever, says alcohol can have many benefits--if used correctly. Especially dry wine.

He bases this on his own weight struggles and extensive research into the bible, philosophy and scholars.

The five benefits include: Improved heart health, prevention of various diseases, fewer common colds, boosts in mood, and yes--weight loss.

Hippocrates, the bible, and many other sources approved of the vino.

At the holidays, alcohol enhances the experience, Zulberg says. People laugh more, let down their guard.

But--of course--this is in moderation. Seventy-nine thousand people a year die from not drinking in moderation.

What is moderation? According to Mayo, one drink a day for women and men over 65. Up to two drinks a day for men under 65.

What is a drink? 12 fluid oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1,5 oz of distilled spirits.

If you think you will run over this allotment, prepare yourself before going out. Resist peer pressure.

Start with water, drink water between drinks if you have more than one.


No shots--they go in too fast. (Yes they do! I remember shots.)

Don't mix--if you start with wine, stick with wine, etc.

If you can't do this or don't want to, alcohol may not be the enjoyable health elixir you want.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Young kids may choose "healthy" food, but do they eat it

I try to stay away from politics on this site (I have other places for that), but our present administration is fixated on controlling kids' diet at school.

And now, a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Study of 274 K-2nd grade NY public school kids. At one chicken and veggie entree day, they watched to see if the kids chose a fruit, a veggie, whole grain bread, or low fat milk.

Seventy-five percent chose the lean entree. Only 58% grabbed a piece of fruit. Fifty-nine percent took a veggie.

But--sadly--only 75% even took a bite of the entree, and 25% ate a morsel of the veggie.

Inerestingly, the kids were more likely to finish their food if a teacher ate in the cafeteria with them. More ate fruit and veggies if the atmosphere was quiet.  Also, food cut in smaller pieces was more likely to be consumed.

If lunch hours are too short, noisy, and distracting, little kids may pick or rush off.

I also venture to think that soggy, steam table veggies may not be appealing or even taste bitter. Apples may be hard to eat with teeth missing. That sort of thing.

I know some of the admin programs have drawn complaints that calorie counts are too low for kids with athletics after school and that kids toss a lot of the food.