Friday, July 24, 2009

HEARIN' IT SOUTHERN

A conversation that I overheard here in the city (tourism increases in the summer, I suppose). Like another foreign language, my mind was translating the following into English:

Girl1: What toms yur flot? (what time's your flight?)

Girl2: Uh dunoh. Ul needa chake (I don't know. I'll need to check)

Girl1: Ho dya nah know what tom yur flotis? (How do you not know what time your flight is?)

Girl2: Wutevur liv it alown, ul figgurit out (Whatever leave it alone, I will figure it out)


I hope she figured it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Now that I've seen this cartoon ...

... it makes stressing at night so silly !

Monday, June 08, 2009

Has anyone seen the new Reclast commerical?

Two old girlfriends sit together, enjoying the autumn leaves. They say:

"Hi, I'm Lindsey. And I'm Joanie! And we have everything alike... same friends, same this, same that. We even have osteoporosis!"

Reclast.

We even have osteoporosis. I can certainly see how having this debilitating condition is isolating and how great it would feel for a friend-- a best friend nonetheless!!--- to join in on your "broken" sorrows, but my goodness... The drug companies' commercials just keep getting worse, and the people keep getting way too happy--frenzied-- once their 'this' or their 'that' is fixed with a simple daily dose of Antiblah or Woebegone...

Ca-RAAY-Za-HEE!!!!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

I'm Twittering!

I decided to stop resisting the twitter-dom and recently became a twitterer. I am not sure why I didn't twitter sooner, but I will now begin using and abusing trwerds and will try not to twitter myself into any twouble. Hopefully my thoughts will be twitterific and I'll have tons of followers, become popular and go on Oprah, since twittering about the random thoughts swimming through my sulci are so poignant.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine Flu Origins

How has this recent soon-to-be pandemic not yet been 100% linked to our food system? The swine flu outbreak was said to have originated in Granja Carroll, Mexico, where a big, fat, unsanitary concentration-camp pig farm resides. Granja Carroll is a subsidiary of the US company Smithfield Foods, which is the world's largest pork producer.

"Because concentrated animal feeding operations tend to concentrate large numbers of animals close together, they facilitate rapid transmission and mixing of viruses,” said scientists from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2006.*

I've read some interesting responses.

Time to get a twitter account ...

*Mary J. Gilchrist, Christina Greko, David B. Wallinga, George W. Beran, David G. Riley and Peter S. Thorne, "The Potential Role of CAFOs in Infectious Disease Epidemics and Antibiotic Resistance," Journal of Environmental Health Perspectives, 14 November 2006.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Product Shout-Out


I need to mention a flax company that makes me want to holler "I LOVE FLAXMEAL" from my fire escape. I flax my food up everyday with "Flax & Company's Original ground flaxmeal" and I think it's grrrrEAT! Flaxmeal doesn't have a taste but it feels like you have little hair shavings all over your food. Well NOT WHEN YOU USE FLAX & COMPANY! The type I like is mixed with ground sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, almond and pumpkin seeds, so it makes whatever you're sprinkling, tossing, blending or baking delicioso. The company needs to hire me, because they're getting free promotion here... Thing is, flax usually has a greater n-3:n-6 ratio, but this product has an n-3:n-6 of 3300mg:4360mg. It's due to the nut combination they chose, so I think I might write to the company and ask them to add more walnuts in their mix to topple the omega balance.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Good Sperm = Good nutrition!

A recent study suggests that men consuming excessive amounts of processed meat and full-fat dairy have poorer sperm quality. They found higher-quality sperm in men who consumed more fruits, vegetables and skim milk.

Thirty Spanish men with poor semen quality (cases) were measured against 31 normospermic control couples. Diets were recorded using a food frequency questionnaire and semen parameters and hormone levels were analyzed.

The controls had a higher intake of skimmed milk, shellfish, tomatoes, and lettuce, and the cases consumed more yogurt, meat products, and potatoes. The cases also had lower intake of lettuce and tomatoes, fruits (apricots and peaches), and significantly higher intake of dairy and meat processed products.

The study concluded that the frequent intake of meat products or milk may negatively affect semen quality in humans, whereas some fruits or vegetables may maintain or improve semen quality.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Cherry Blossom Festival Indian Dance

video

I like the moves of the little girl that I zoomed in on, all the way to the right.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Rhyming on the train with a little vino in your tums

There's something called wine,
it comes from the vine,
it happens to warm up your throat!
It makes you feel older,
ur no longer colder,
u wish u could sober your goat!
Your goat? Your goat?
But what in the world'd u just wrote?
I once had a tiger, made out of fiber
but not like the type in your colon.
My tiger would stare
while I'd go do my hair
and he'd watch me, too, when I spoke.
Sometimes I rhyme, do it all the time,
comes out, easy, no prob.
It's fun, u know, to rhyme as u go,
as long as it ain't on the job.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Nurse Charged with Killing Dialysis Pt

This is an odd report. A nurse with no prior outstanding history of corrupt behavior goes ahead and injects bleach into a patient's dialysis treatment. The comments are wild.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Review of the NYC Restaurant Show (03/09)

Exhibitors from all around the world stake out their spots at the Jacob Javits Convention Center to present the latest and greatest food-stuffs of 2009. The main draw of the show is to taste different cuisines, learn about new products and test machinery that food service can use in their kitchens.

Being hungry and having room in one's belly is a bad idea before attending this event, mainly because a few nibbles over the course of one hour can add up to a whole day's worth of calories if you're not careful. I had the luxury of being in a food coma, complete with blurry vision and the onset of hypochondriacal diabetes; however, I was lucky to remain lucid enough throughout the day in order to learn about some new foods that will be presented in the restaurants this year.

Some sushi places will now begin using soy paper instead of seaweed nori to wrap up their sushi. The soy papers come in an array of colors and flavors, including hot spicy pink and squash yellow. For me, this takes away from the tradition of having black seaweed surrounding sushi, but I suppose restaurants will apply the new seaweed fad accordingly. Some other interesting delights I found were "Japanese foie gras of the sea" (Ankimo), "100% all-natural certified organic fro-yo" by a company called "The Lite Choice" (organic and fro-yo should be banned from sharing room in the same sentence) and "Energy-multigrain bagels" that tout themselves for its high fiber (high fiber because the bagel's the size of your head!)



One of the major highlights of the day included an impromptu talk with Chuck Hunt, the executive vice president of the New York City chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association. Since day one, he has always been against the caloric labeling on menus in restaurants of over 10-15 chains. Me being a proponent of them, we seemed to get into a heated academic debate about the issue, all while tasting sliced cheese and chicken-sticks.

Vendors presented their products with elaborate displays and demos. I tried the "Ergo Chef" heavy-duty knife, whose blade conjured flashbacks of an unfortunate skin-chopping incident. "It's the new shape of cutlery," the seller declared. If I don't cut my fingers off, then I'll consider this new shape, I thought.

Parched from the additives, high-fat and salty items, I searched for water. Vendors, vendors everywhere but not a drop to drink... Until the NYC Local Tap Water booth presented itself way back toward the left of the room. I pounced on it like a traveler in the desert. I had reached water-jug Mecca, and I was not leaving until satisfied.

Sake and wine stands couldn't lure me at that point but I witnessed a major tasting party in the southeast corner and thought about the aftermath of stumbling out of the Javits at 12PM. That wasn't enticing to me.

A fork of oyster and a spoonful of dip later, I left the madness of food service advertising and welcomed back my bland world of eggs and oats.

For more information about the Restaurant Show, visit their website.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Website Recently Launched

Check out http://www.fitscoop.com/, a website that connects fitness-minded people in a blog-like community. Registered users can evaluate various fitness activities, give advice and promote their own businesses, too. The site looks like it will become a handy resource for both novice and veteran fitness enthusiasts and a great place where people can come in order to find new ways to start moving!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Morning Routines

I'm intrigued by them. I have my own, which my sister regards as "bordering on neurotic," but what can I say? I like it and it works. I'm just waiting to see what may happen if one aspect of it gets thrown off. For instance, what if I lift up my shades and turn off my air-conditioning AFTER I've already gone to the bathroom and brushed my teeth? Will I snap if I turn on my tea-pot BEFORE I turn off my alarm and turn on the lights? Speaking of my alarm, I LOVE IT! It MAKES ME want to get out of bed-- not to turn it off-- but to do a little jig. (If you have a blackberry, the sound I am referring to is the "Tune_Calypso," and yes it feels like you've just woken up to someone playing the steel drums in the Caribbean, a smooth breeze caressing your arms and cheek...)

By the way, I'm not downplaying that the above seems to reveal a severe OCD side, but no, I have never been diagnosed with OCD even though there are times that I feel like I have it (but who doesn't feel like they have OCD? Even that expression: "I feel like I have OCD," is used and abused). In retrospect, I think I actually do have some weird form of OCD based on what I used to do during a 7th/8th grade morning routine I had (umm.. yes morning routines date way back to those wee itty bitty days). After washing my face, I used to dry it with a towel (duh) and then blow my nose in a tissue. Okay, nothing too bizarre yet. But THEN -- I had to crumple up the tissue and, from a distance of about a few feet, get it into the trash can. If I did not get it in, I was really mad and I would try again until I succeeded. YES -- THAT MY FRIEND IS COMPLETELY OCD!!!!!!!!!!!!

Luckily, the superstitious basketball action of the routine is gone. But remnants of ritualistic morning needs do remain. I just really like doing what I do in the AM. For instance, I really think I would go bananas if I didn't immediately put on my slippers after I brushed my hair... haha. No that I don't do. Now I am just belaboring the point... But today I was thinking about how upset I was on the train because I didn't allow myself enough time to add one extra thing to my morning routine. I tend not to wear makeup. When I do, it's when I go out or feel like I need to look older than my typical 15-year-old wind-breaker look. But today, I woke up and don't ask me why but was in a makeuppy mood!



So I made myself up. Just put a little mascara and blush on my face, but who knew that THAT takes seven extra minutes! Well. By the time I got to the subway, I missed what seemed like four trains, and then had to wait on the platform for another five minutes! When I got off at my stop, I found myself running into the office, all sweated up. So much for getting prettied in the morning... That is, without taking THE MORNING ROUTINE into account first ;)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

You shouldn't read this post

But then why are you reading it?!

Did I catch your attention?

Great. Now I can blabber all I want about Clostridium difficile. You may be wondering, what is Clostridium difficile? You may also be wondering, what does Clostridium difficile have to do with me?

The simple answer can be drawn from the following cartoon:



Indeed, we have morons in the world who enjoy putting their behinds in inappropriate places. If you're one of those sorts, you may actually get this wondrous bacteria one day. But even if you're not a species of Peter Griffin from Family Guy, you can still be exposed...

Clostridium difficile (also known as, C. difficile or "C. diff," as we like to say in the hospital) is found in the feces and so for this reason, people can become infected easily if they touch anything that's contaminated with their own (or someone else's!) poop, and then go and touch their mouth or any other mucous membrane, for that matter...

Luckily, if you're in good health, you most likely won't get C. diff since it affects those with poor immunity.

New Site

My personal blog here at Blogger is still going to remain intact; however, please visit my new website, http://marissabeck.wordpress.com, which will host more nutrition topics (because obviously you just can't get enough!) I will start to develop it soon . . .

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spinning with Rasta-Steve

If I thought spinning with Erin was a heart attack waiting to happen, spinning with Rasta-Steve made me want to throw up on the floor. LOL, sorry. Anyway, no worries that didn't happen but a fire-hose of blood flow through my aorta did.

Rasta-Steve pulled his pony-tail in the back of his head and mounted his bike, a Gloria Estefan gone reggae pumping in the background. His words trailed off into some Jamaican abyss: "Keep yo shoulders a bom... Add mo reseestonce, a bom bom."

My legs were movin, mind in some distant far-away Rasta-island. Were there Caribbean women click clackin seashells and maracas in the background, their coconut-covered breasts and wide-hips would swing sassy to the beat. Rihanna started her whine, and I was flying in the air like Jasmine on Aladdin's carpet.

Keep my dominance and control over the pedals, don't let it take you over. With each song better than the next, I wondered if I'd still have my kishkas by the end of it. Rata ta ta ta ta ta tata ta. A siren in the background, Ulysses can't resist. No amount of sports bras could contain my boobliness. Background dancers shaking rock-the-boat your hips. Help me save me I can't go anymore. 2 hops, 2 hops. 2hops 2hops 2hops.

UH.

Damn.

Are you kiddin, Rasta-Steve? What's. Your. Deal? What's your freaky freaky deal? Wow wow wow. WOW wow WOW wow WOW wow.

This hurts. This hurts. But I really like the beat.

Rasta Steve's staring at me. Me. ME. ME! I can't miss a beat no I cannot miss a beat, though my thighs did burn. He had to see me go. "Keep it goin keep it goin keep it goin keep it goin keep it, Left. Left. Left. Left."

5. More. Minutes. More.

Legs. Finished. Spent.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The You Wish You Were a Fly on My Shoulder Day: this one goes out to you, An ;)


Today equals Marissa's-a-Loser day. It all started when I left my Hospital ID at home, which is attached to my nutrition locker keys. It wouldn't have been a problem, had I not decided to keep my dress shoes, lab coat, binder and pocket-calc in my locker, too (yes, I am aware that dork doesn't fully epitomize the breadth of my dorKIness). The security guard wouldn't unclip my lock until someone could verify my identity. I'm sorry but why would a little bombastic amateur nutritionist with an oatmeal pancake in-hand want to rob someone's locker? (Although, I suppose I'd be the perfect suspect, if any). Luckily, the unclipper arrived and I was spared the disgrace of wearing Asics in slacks.

A normal day, until Mrs. K shat her pants as I was doing an assessment, leaving the scent of second-hand feces on my lab coat for the rest of the afternoon.

Glad to get out into the fresh air, I ambled to the subway for my relaxing 100+ block ride home where I muse over the day's events. A pleasant ride, until I was about to get off... My monster book-bag straps got stuck in the pole and I couldn't undo it! The doors slammed shut and there I was, still strapped into my seat. I stayed there like I had been hung on a coat-rack until someone was kind enough to unhook me.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spinning with Erin

Erin, my spin instructor, has no idea that I am writing about her. But maybe one day she'll read my blog. Firstly, she is incredible. I pretty much want to be her best friend, but again, if she reads my blog... maybe... Secondly, Erin is so kickBUTT that even a lazy-drag-your-feet-Charlie-Brown would go absolutely insane in her class. So of course, one can only imagine the tachycardia that my body experiences when I am exposed to her. For one, her legs move so quickly that I almost have a heart attack just watching. Cut, defined arms and tight body, the woman knows how to work it. She sets the bar high, and if you miss a beat (literally miss a beat... think Rozalla: Everybody's Free) then you might as well pack up and go. For those who think spinning is a form of weaving on a loom: think again. Think cycling, think fast, and think sweat. It's everything your body wants and craves. Especially when Erin is at the helm!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Blog Woes

Hello to my devoted reader(s):

As you probably know, my website was down for a few days because I decided to pretend like I knew where I was going in the foreign country, HTMLand. Humbled, scared and cold, I left that magical world of widgets and canonibalism and came back to my quiet copy & edit abode. It isn't exactly a party here now, but it's better than playing piano on my computer keyboard and praying for a miracle to happen to the interface. Anyway, I'm home!

Regards,

Your Bloggerissa


(Me when I found out I lost my blog!)

or better...


(Me when I played in HTMLand)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Globus hystericus

I never thought I would take to the clinical world of nutrition. I'd shudder paroxysmally in blood's way. I despised needles, white coats, the smell of geriatric piss caked in hospital floor cracks. I looked at my six months at NY-Presbyterian as an initiation into my profession, my body and mind anointed (with monounsaturated oil, of course).

Today I walk in like a veteran, an intrepid practitioner ready to suture up skulls. Ready to yank off jowls and whet up my scalpel. No, I don't do this. I don't even want or dream it (but I like how it reads!) Unflinchingly, I saw a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) get placed the other day, the doctor threading his tube down his patient's throat and into the belly, puncturing the stomach and abdominal wall in order to get a feeding tube in there. My white coat gives me front-row seats to some great shows.

And then I get to determine the nutrition part, the feeding, the life!!! (OK cowgirl, calm down there...) I dance along the polished floors, buzz into my patients' rooms. Without showing my feverish side, I listen to them, observe... hear their stories, their thoughts, pain. Deduce the patients' needs. I may want to do this, I think to myself. More than six months. Work here, be here...

And then I go and almost aspirate a patient today. She was at risk for choking on her food and I didn't know that reclining her bed by more than 45 degrees could draw contents from her mouth right into the lungs. She wanted to sleep, I thought I was helping. (I shouldn't be allowed to push buttons). Our team is fast, our doctors, nurses on their toe-nails. Scrupulous in their care. Like a King-Kong in slo-mo, Nurse Hatchet swings her arms above her head and swims into my patient's room, her sensitive kong-ears hearing the robotic sound of the bed spit out its motor-laugh. With a fat thumb, she pushes the tiny bed-button and sneers at me from the corner of her eye. The bed responds with a gurgling motor and makes its way back up. And I snap out of my medical fantasy, stuttering and shuddering again.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Garlicious!


First, it was bulgar wheat. Then pomegranates. Now BLACK GARLIC is gonna ROCK your world. It's the new "in" food, but not according to me (because I have yet to try it).

The Washington Post recently wrote an article about the flavorful little bulb and its rise to the top of the food-fad hierarchy. Luckily, I suppose if this new member's going to be the next best thing to "Special K Protein Water," at least it has a heavy bag of health benefits.

People are eating it up, not just literally. Type 'black garlic' into google and the search is endless. Blackgarlic.com is the company that first show-cased black garlic, facilitating its migration from South Korea to the western world. Black Garlic Inc. was formed last year in Hayward, California. As the sole manufacturer and supplier in the United States, the company has a nice monopoly. Restaurants have been demanding this root veggie and food bloggers, alike, are raving about it.

According to the Washington Post, the taste is sweet with licorice, the texture chewy. The pungent garlic flavor isn't as strong in this species, which I can see being a great way to have your garlic and eat it too :)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

... Depleted

Mrs. Willette chit chatted her dentures,
the diet pop she drank didn't quite quench her.
Edema in her arms, ankles and hands,
normal saline solution dripping,
meeting her body's demands.
Raspy voice and snorting cough,
hypertensive pressures,
sounds the korotkoff.

Nurse Hatchet comes in with her crocks and cropped hair,
"how you feel today," she asks, as her patient stares.
Mrs. Willette blinks, shifts her weight to the side,
and with much labor in her voice, she replied...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

"I HATE CILANTRO"

There are 40 groups on Facebook devoted to bashing cilantro, one of which was quoted in the WSJ (2/13). Scientists are interested in this seemingly innocuous little herb, now causing riots on the internet. There is a clear divide: some find it refreshing while others label it as, "soapy, rotten or just plain vile."

I don't like it, myself. Sometimes I think chefs use the "freshness" in the herb to mask the taste of spoiled fish. UGHH! Just writing that makes me sick.

La Rondine

I just saw La Rondine, which wasn't my favorite opera but it was still very good. Yet another story of attainable then unattainable love, excessive in its use of the superlative, and overflowing with emotions that people tend to repress in our current day. The opera was more modern as compared to the others I've seen. I prefer the traditional ones best -- the lavish costumes and explosive music (and explosive-looking singers). I was sad to see that there weren't any overweight or obese singers in La Rondine. There's a noticeable difference: the music trumps their voices, whereas, larger bodies may be able to project louder tones.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Mushrooms may Lesson the common Grapefruit/Drug Interaction

Regarding a recent, unrepeatable study, mushrooms may be able to help counteract the "grapefruit/drug" interaction.
Doctors advise patients not to eat grapefruit with certain medications (usually heart) because the normal dose of the drug can be enhanced with the consumption of grapefruit juice. This is because grapefruit carries a class of compounds that inhibit the liver enzymes that the body needs in order to eliminate medications. If grapefruit interacts with such drugs, the normal drug dose can be absorbed in toxic amounts.

But researchers have found that eating mushrooms can counteract this effect. When they mixed grapefruit with an inedible fungus, they found that the mushroom absorbed the compounds that were responsible for the grapefruit/drug interaction.

This research could be useful for future nutrition plans. Specifically, many seniors enjoy eating grapefruit, which is rich in vitamin C and fiber. For many, it could be the only source of citrus and vitamin C they receive, since their diminishing taste buds recognize the sour and/or bitterness of the fruit better than other fruits. Seniors are also on many common medications that interact with grapefruit. If researchers develop a safe compound that is shown to reduce the grapefruit/drug interaction, health-care providers won't have to denounce such a healthy food. And grapefruit can be set free from her little prison :)

Source:
WebMD (2/3)

Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Salt Shaker

The NYC Department of Health is cracking down, one ingredient at a time. Both the trans-fat ban and the most recent health regulation of caloric posting on menus made for lots of commotion. Nonetheless, both were victories for NYC, a city that seems to rapidly adjust to change.

So then why should salt be any different?

There's a bit more politics involved in this one, and critics think it might not be as successful. Firstly, it isn't about how heavy your hand is. The campaign against added sodium doesn't care if you're pinching a smidgin or shaking your entire arm over your plate. Instead, the NYCDOH hopes to reduce the amount of sodium in packaged foods and mass-produced restaurant meals. This is the hard part. Dr. Frieden, the commissioner of NYCDOH, says that "... a quiet, mass reduction in sodium levels — stealth health, they like to call it around the department — might be more effective."

Getting back to that adjusting to change thing... Americans would likely be shell-shocked if we cut salt out of these foods cold-turkey. This means that, unlike some of the other health initiatives that passed within a few years, the national salt-reduction initiative will take a lot longer, with hopes of reaching its completion within the next decade. Over this time period, officials believe people will become less accustomed to salty foods, which I do believe is a super load of salt shaking... I am not downplaying the FACT that salt leads to higher rates of heart attacks and strokes. It'll just be interesting to see what occurs down the line. Stay tuned in the news on this topic. For more information regarding the impact high sodium diets have on blood pressure and overall health, see here, (ARCH INTERN MED)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Long Lasting flavor of Umami

Umami is the least understood taste sensation, and it is now being investigated by researchers to provide more information on taste preferences. The goal of food developers is to enhance umami, which is described as "a hearty, savoury taste." Researchers found that the glutamate receptors on the tongue (the receptors that detect the umami taste) can be "drastically enhanced" by certain proteins (5’ribonucleotides). These nucleotides bind to the receptor in order to keep the umami taste (glutamate) lingering inside of your mouth. The researchers attribute the lingering taste of umami to a "Venus fly-trap" effect, in that the glutamate receptors catch, literally, the umami taste. What implications this may have on health have yet to be determined; however, I've never been a fan of Little Shop of Horrors...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Recession Weight Gain


As if we aren't a fat enough country, now health experts are worried that people will put on even more weight. Since many studies link obesity to low incomes, experts are concerned that people will now cut back on healthful but relatively expensive items (such as fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and whole grains) and instead buy cheaper foods high in sugar and saturated fats. I thought this was already the case, but I guess it may get worse. See here for more details.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

David Returns to Italy

I couldn't resist posting this email I received:



After a two year loan to the United States, Michelangelo's David is being returned to Italy after the Holidays . . .



His Proud Sponsors were:




Nutrition Website

My personal blog here at Blogger is still going to remain intact; however, please visit my new website, http://marissabeck.wordpress.com, which will host more nutrition topics (because obviously you just can't get enough!)