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Archive for August, 2011

Rice Krispies Chicken

Rice Krispies Chicken

This sounds kind of gross but kids love this … and so do a few adults I know!  Take chicken tenders and marinate in 1/2 cup lime juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. oregano and salt and pepper.  Roll in crushed rice krispies and drizzle olive oil or butter over each cutlet.  Cook for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

It's just the way the cookie crumbles :(

It’s just the way the cookie crumbles :(

So, it turns out that a low-fat diet (you know the kind where you justify eating no fat Oreos or Entenmann’s chocolate chip cookies) isn’t going to help you lose weight or more importantly, prevent cancer.  This is the kind of “we moms knew that already” stuff I love!  A team of Harvard researchers followed 49,000 women for eight years and tracked their health as they ate a low fat diet.  The women lowered their fat intake from 38% of their daily calories to 20%.  After eight years, the researchers looked at how many (and what percentage) of women in each group had developed breast cancer or colorectal cancer. They tallied up heart attacks, strokes, and other forms of heart disease. They also looked at things like weight gain or loss, cholesterol levels, and other measures of health.  The low fat diet showed no difference. 

If you don’t believe us, take a look: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/nutrition-news/low-fat/

Not gay - but a great bromance!

Not gay – but a great bromance!

Or why Bert and Ernie will not be getting married.  You may have missed the petition on Facebook last week asking producers of “Sesame Street” to consider holding a wedding for Bert and Ernie.  The lovable muppets share more than a room, they share the kind of goofy humor it takes decades as a couple to create.  They’re affectionate and finish each other’s sentences. But “Sesame Street” producers countered that Bert and Ernie will not be getting married because – gasp – they’re not actually gay.  They’re asexual.  (Try explaining that to a preschooler)  The petition is, according to the Washington Post, a “cheeky but earnest” movement that has been fueled by the wave of states across the nation legalizing same sex marriage.   And the same article raises the question of whether it isn’t time for two actual gay human beings to appear as part of the cast?  We agree that it is.  And we could criticize Michelle Bachmann for saying she isn’t running to criticize gays but we believe this is progress.  So instead of calling her out on the apparent flip/flop, we’re going to applaud her evolution in attitude towards homosexuals.  We’ve added another article of note about the fact that California has just mandated that schools include Gay History in their cirriculums.  And a piece from PBS on Gays who may have been left out of History.  We also hope you’ll read an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal on the religious world following the secular in considering how and when to deal with the issue, as well as a link to a site that lists which states allow gay marriage. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ernie-and-bert-should-not-get-married/2011/08/11/gIQArVqT9I_story.html

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/bachmann-says-she-isn-t-running-judge-gays-141829996.html

http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-14/us/california.lgbt.education_1_california-governor-signs-bill-gay-history-state-textbooks?_s=PM:US

http://www.pbs.org/outofthepast/

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304584004576416284144069702.html

10 years after 9/11 - Emphasizing Hope

10 years after 9/11 – Emphasizing Hope

From 9/11memorial.org: The attacks of 9/11 showed us the worst in people. But it was also a time when many wonderful, compassionate, and heroic deeds occurred. “Heroes” were everywhere on 9/11 and in the days afterwards. The shock and the sadness also brought people — families, friends, and strangers alike — together in a way that felt special. It is important to remind your children that we are also remembering those heroes and those times. Help your children recognize how their own compassion can prevent future acts of intolerance and violence by reminding them to express their ideas
respectfully and to treat people who are different from themselves with kindness.

http://www.911memorial.org/talking-your-children-about-911

Is Black Tea the New Green Tea?

Is Black Tea the New Green Tea?

This article comes from WebMD: 

Read the tea leaves, caffeine lovers. Tea is gaining ground over coffee. Even Starbucks is bucking up its tea menu. The health benefits of tea are one compelling reason: Green and black teas have 10 times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and veggies, by one estimate.

Studies of humans and animals show that the antioxidants in black and green teas are highly beneficial to our health, says 82-year-old John Weisburger, PhD, senior researcher at the Institute for Cancer Prevention in Valhalla, N.Y.

“I’ve published more than 500 papers, including a hell of a lot on tea,” says Weisburger, who drinks 10 cups daily. “I was the first American researcher to show that tea modifies the metabolism to detoxify harmful chemicals.”

Green tea, black tea, oolong tea — they all come from the same tea plant, Camellia sinensis. The leaves are simply processed differently, explains Weisburger. Green tea leaves are not fermented; they are withered and steamed. Black tea and oolong tea leaves undergo a crushing and fermenting process.

All teas from the camellia tea plant are rich in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. These wonder nutrients scavenge for cell-damaging free radicals in the body and detoxify them, says Weisburger. “Astounding” aptly describes tea’s antioxidant power, he tells WebMD. “Whether it’s green or black, tea has about eight to 10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables.”

Black and green both have different types of antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. Thearubigins, epicatechins, and catechins are among those listed in a USDA chart. All are considered flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Brewed green and black teas have loads of those, the chart shows. (Herbal teas may also contain antioxidants but less is known about them, Weisburger says.)

“In my lab, we found that green and black tea had identical amounts of polyphenols,” he tells WebMD. “We found that both types of tea blocked DNA damage associated with tobacco and other toxic chemicals. In animal studies, tea-drinking rats have less cancer.”

Look at the world’s big tea drinkers, like Japan and China. “They have much less heart disease and don’t have certain cancers that we in the Western

Econo-drama

Would a recession right now hit harder or be milder than 2008?  As stocks dropped 5% on the news of the credit downgrade, a sense of doom and deja vu emerged.  But, these two articles point out there are important differences this time.  The Federal Government can’t afford to come in and save the day again, either politically or financially.  (The jury is still out on the effectiveness of the Stimulus Plan.  Do you know anyone personally that it created a job for?  Or whose situation is better as a direct result of it?) Interest rates are already rock bottom so we don’t have a Federal Reserve chairman to play white knight like Alan Greenspan did so many times. Corporations have cash reserves they didn’t have then, so, they are less likely to enact massive layoffs or fold up shop.  While Americans don’t have as much personal debt as they did in ’08, they’re still not spending, except maybe on cars.  And that spike in auto sales in July could have been motivated by a sense that credit markets would tighten in the event of a downgrading of our credit rating.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/business/a-second-recession-could-be-much-worse-than-the-first.html

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904140604576496241939456906.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111904140604576496241939456906.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/business/a-second-recession-could-be-much-worse-than-the-first.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1

 

Reading Tea Leaves

Reading Tea Leaves

We were among the many women in this country turned off by the Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell and Michelle Bachmann road show who turned away from the Tea Party as a result.  But we have to admit the Tea Party just had a very good week.  And we have to say they deserve some credit for bringing the language of fiscal restraint to the White House.   The White House is aware that the Tea Party is trying to broaden its appeal by reaching out to Democrats and Independents.  And that, at least in some quarters, they are getting credit for sounding the alarm over the fiscal crisis.  So, David Axelrod hit the morning talk show circuit to re-brand the “Obama downgrade” a “Tea Party downgrade.” 

But here’s a question.  Now that the Tea Party is reaching out to Democrats and Independents and claiming they will support candidates of all stripes as long as they agree with their fiscal agenda, does that mean they’re backing off of social issues as a litmus test for conservativism?  It’s hard to know whether Tim Pawlenty represents the Tea Party’s views on social issues when he claims, “God is in charge,” or whether the Tea Party’s views have shifted after last week’s victory for fiscal conservatism.  And whether they are now intentionally downplaying social issues to draw as many Independents and Democrats into the tent before next year’s Presidential elections.   A poll last month showed 13 % of Tea Party members are Democrats.  Michelle Bachmann claims it’s 20 %.  But as we know, she’s been wrong before.  Remember Concord? 

It would be interesting to look at who has cozied up to the Tea Party recently…who the Tea Party Democrats are and which Republicans are stepping away after last week’s politically charged atmosphere was cited as one of the main reasons Standard and Poor’s dropped our credit rating. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/axelrod-tea-party-to-blame-for-credit-downgrade/2011/08/07/gIQAbfxb0I_video.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/opinion/sunday/Dowd–The-Downgrade-Blues.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/feeling-its-debt-ceiling-oats-the-tea-party-shakes-up-gop-and-2012-elections/2011/08/05/gIQA9OORwI_story.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/tea-party-democrats-do-exist/2011/07/05/gHQAjeadzH_story.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-06/americans-have-more-negative-view-of-tea-party-u-s-poll-shows.html

 

 

Blueberry Mint Green Tea Smoothie

Blueberry Mint Green Tea Smoothie

This recipe should be called, “What’s for Breakfast.”  I got it from Prevention magazine.  Take 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries and combine with 3 ice cubes, 1-2 cups of fat free vanilla yogurt, a handful of slivered almonds and mint green tea.  Add a teaspoon of flax.  You can just open the tea bag and dump the tea leaves in the blender if you’re in a rush.  Tons of anti-oxidants and enough of a charge to keep you going ’til lunch.

A Civics Recession in our Classrooms?

Should a new law be passed that would require public schoool to teach civics and character lessons?  Civics used to be taught in school.  In fact, civics and character education were some of the driving forces behind the creation of our public school system. But during the 60’s, critics worried that kids were being brainwashed into being “blind patriots.” With the race to the moon, attention shifted to math and science and civics education died out.  We think it needs to be brought back and so does Utah lawmaker LaVar Christensen who has introduced a bill to require every school in that state to teach, not only civics, but character education.  According to the US Dept. of Education, “Civics education is the study of rights and duties of citizenship and the functions and history of government. Character education covers the habits of thought and deed that help people live and work together.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mom Vivant / Opting Out or in Denial?

The Mom Vivant / Opting Out or in Denial?

Attention Stay-at-home Moms who used to work.  You may believe it was your choice to leave the workplace but a new study questions whether stay-at-home moms are in denial about workplace discrimination.  Was it really a choice or was it an absence of female bosses, flex time and equal pay that pushed you, not so gently, and maybe even covertly, into your role as a full-time mother? 

This study, conducted by two women, fascinates me.  Their contention is that there is a “baby barrier” pushing women out of the workplace and deluding the same women, who were admittedly smart enough to have had careers in the first place, into thinking it was their decision to leave.    They also point out that with more women leaving their careers midstream, there are too few women left at the top to really effect change. 

That may be true but … and this is a big but … it’s hard to consider those stay-at-home moms victims when they reported much higher levels of overall contentment than their working peers in addition to a greater sense of control over their lives. 

The study’s authors say they took up the question because they felt there was a disconnect between our generation’s view that the playing field has finally been leveled for women in the workplace and the reality that having a baby is often a career ender.

One of the study’s authors, Nicole Stephens from Northwestern University says, “The discussion about women’s workplace departure could be reframed to recognize that many women do not freely choose to leave the workplace, but instead are pushed out by persistent workplace barriers such as limited workplace flexibility, unaffordable childcare and negative stereotypes about working mothers.”

I don’t know what to think but I’d love to hear what you think …

 http://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/News_Articles/2011/opting-out-or-overlooking-discrimination.aspx