Baby potatoe dumplings, Fruity Wontons

potato-dumplings-with-cheese-and-cherries1I got this recipe from http://www.our365.com/ Finger foods for babies. I know I’m going to forget these great recipes so I’m writing them down here

Sweet Potatoe Dumplings
Bite-size nibbles made with ricotta for a boost of protein and calcium. For every cup of sweet potato mash, add 1/3 cup ricotta cheese, 2 tbsp maple syrup and 3/4 cup flour (cinnamon, too, if your baby’s not allergic to it). Roll dough into 1/2-inch logs and cut age-appropriate bites (about the size of a chickpea for an 8-month-old). Cook in boiling water for about 5 minutes, until dumplings float.

Fruity Wontons

fruitywontonsUse store-bought wontons to make a fruity handheld treat that can be eaten at mealtime or on the go. While boiling a pot of water, mash baby’s favorite fruit with a little bit of spice like cinnamon, if she’s not allergic to it, or ginger. Place 1 tsp of the fruit mash in the middle of a wonton, moisten edges with water and fold the edges. There are lots of methods, but the easiest is to fold in half diagonally, making a triangle. Place in boiling water until wontons float, 4 to 6 minutes. Try them with a plain yogurt dipping sauce.

Zucchini-Squash-Pancakes.

Serve this veggie version any time of day. Grate a zucchini and sprinkle the shreds with a tiny pinch of salt. Let sit for 30 minutes and then squeeze out all the water. Mix with your favorite fresh herbs, an egg yolk and enough flour to hold together. Form them into mini pancakes and fry in a lightly oiled pan, browning on both sides, until cooked through, about 7 to10 minutes.

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Cheesy Polenta

Cook polenta according to package instructions, stir in a handful of grated cheese and pour into a 1/2-inch layer on a rimmed cookie sheet to cool. Once it’s firm, use a cookie cutter to make playful shapes

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Studio Elements Salon Spa

I found a great new Salon Spa, that I really enjoyed today. Salon Spa that opened recently in the Grandview area, Columbus Ohio. It was such a happy atmosphere, that I wouldn’t want to go any other place after this. From what I saw the beauty professionals rent/own their studios, so in reality they are their own business owners, which is great, because if you want to relax and get “beautified” in one day you can do that.

Yei! Also you can book on line on their website, it’s very convenient for me.

If you want to see pictures go to their website, also they’re on Facebook

http://www.studio-elements.com

Studio Elements Salon Spa, New Location in Columbus, Ohio 43212

Dental Hygiene for kids

It is important that your child finds out about cigarettes from you and not his/her buddy who thinks it’s cool.  If you feel like this is a good time to have a conversation with your son or daughter about cigarettes, you may find this interactive website quite useful and fun for both of you.

cleanteeth1

www.mouthpower.org . It provides you with an interactive game/education tool.  Its target group ranges from elementary school to high school. Hey! Even adults can learn from it   If you suspect that your kid is starting to smoke or is old enough to be persuaded into smoking, check out my favorite part, when Mouthy starts smoking.  Click on tobacco section of the game, and watch what happens to his teeth and the rest of the mouth.  Don’t forget to see the list of chemicals that goes into tobacco.

Something to think about; Formaldehyde, substance in tobacco, is what  cadavers  are covered in for preservation.

image source: http://www.mindscapesonline.com/catalog/images/4×2cleanteeth1.jpg

Aspartame

aspartameAspartame is a sugar substitute found in sweeteners such as NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It is also found in many diet drinks: Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke etc.,which hits closer to home, because I drink Diet Pepsi almost everyday.

I used to think it is better to drink Diet Pepsi than regular sugar containing Pepsi for a few big reasons, number one being the fact that a can of Pepsi contains 10 spoons of sugar. Too much sugar equals to FAT and eventually very possibly Diabetes. One can of Pepsi is about the Recommended Daily Intake, and considering that most of what people eat has some sort of simple sugars in their diets, 10 spoons of sugar in one can is A LOT.splenda-sucrose

So why is it better to drink Pepsi vs Diet Pepsi? [5]Because of the sugar substitute Aspartame. If you really can’t stay away from diet drinks then Diet Pepsi containing SPLENDA (sugar alcohol) would be a better choice.  Although I would not rely on that too much either.  SPLENDA is not a naturally occurring substance.  Instead of hydroxyl groups on its backbone structure, SPLENDA defers from normal sugar (Sucrose) by having its three hydroxyl groups replaced with Chlorine (-Cl) groups.

A few of the documented symptoms listed as being caused by aspartame include: headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

Is that about enough?

Read more if you want the details.

Aspartate and glutamate act as neurotransmitters in the brain by facilitating the transmission of information from neuron to neuron. Too much aspartate or glutamate in the brain kills certain neurons by allowing the influx of too much calcium into the cells. This influx triggers excessive amounts of free radicals which kill the cells. The neural cell damage that can be caused by excessive aspartate and glutamate is why they are referred to as “excitotoxins.” They “excite” or stimulate the neural cells to death. [1]

dna_mouse2_203Don’t believe me, I do not have a PhD in anything, but believe the multiple studies that have been conducted on rats (most of the genes found in the rat can be seen in the human code).[6]

  • “The results of this carcinogenicity bioassay confirm and reinforce the first experimental demonstration of APM’s multipotential carcinogenicity at a dose level close to the acceptable daily intake for humans. Furthermore, the study demonstrates that when life-span exposure to APM begins during fetal life, its [6]carcinogenic effects are increased.” [3]

Approximately 10% of aspartame (by mass) is broken down into methanol in the small intestine. Most of the methanol is absorbed and quickly converted into formaldehyde.

One of the functional groups in aspartame is phenylalanine, which is unsafe for those born with Phenylketonuria, a rare genetic condition. Phenylalanine is an amino acid commonly found in foods. Approximately 50% of aspartame (by mass) is broken down into phenylalanine, which is considered safe for everyone except for people with phenylketonuria. [1]

Approximately 40% of aspartame (by mass) is broken down into aspartic acid.

Aspartic acid belongs to a class of chemicals that in high concentrations act as an excitotoxin, inflicting damage on brain and nerve cells. High levels of excitotoxins have been shown in hundreds of animal studies to cause damage to areas of the brain unprotected by the blood-brain barrier and a variety of chronic diseases arising out of this neurotoxicity. The blood brain barrier (BBB) normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins, however, in children it is not fully developed and does not fully protect all areas of the brain. BBB can also be damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions. It also allows leakage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact. While scientists agree that typical use of aspartame does not spike aspartic acid to extremely high levels in adults, they are particularly concerned with potential effects in infants and young children. Some parents now days replace milk with soda…something to think about. [1][2]

Aspartylphenylalanine diketopiperazine, (DKP) created in products such as aspartame breaks down over time. Researchers found that 6 months after aspartame was put into carbonated beverages, 25% of the aspartame had been converted to DKP. Concern among some scientists has been expressed that this form of DKP would undergo a nitrosation process in the stomach producing a type of chemical that could cause brain tumors.

Sources :

[1] http://www.mercola.com/article/aspartame/nutrasweet_scandal.htm

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame_controversy

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed [PMID: 17805418]

[4] http://2.bp.blogspot.com

[5] http://www.bio.miami.edu

[6] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3586573.stm

The 7 wonders of Tea

1. Lowers cholesterol

2. Increases metabolism

3. Reduces Sepsis ( abnormal immune response to a bacterial infection)

4. Contains Anti-oxidants; polyphenols including ECGC.

5. Boosts Immune system

6. Fights Fatigue

7. Reduces Blood Pressure

These are just 7 health benefits that tea provides, with new research new discoveries are made about the health benefits of tea (especially white and green tea).

Tea contains antioxidant agents called polyphenols, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is one of the most potent antioxidants and is the one that most contributes to the health benefits of tea.  According to the numerous studies polyphenols in tea may help protect the body from cancer by destroying free radicals, protect the heart by lowering cholesterol and improving lipid metabolism, boost the immune system and have significant anti-bacterial effects.

Green and Black tea both come from a plant leaf of, Camellia sinensis. However black tea undergoes oxidation that darkens the leaves, changes their flavor, and lessens the amount of polyphenol. Since black tea contains less antioxidant activity than green tea it does not provide as much of the health benefits that green tea does.  The tea that contains the highest amount of antioxidants is white tea, it is the least processed tea, however, it is more delicate and harder to handle, making it more expensive.

Read more

Pumpkin Carving

Twilight

Yes I admit, I am guilty, I too was/am in love with the Twilight saga.

I was sitting at Cup Of Joe’s at Easton Town Center, quite bored actually, and my sister had the book with her. I thought I would kill time by reading for a few minutes to an hour - YEAH RIGHT! I couldn’t stop reading, I read the 4 books in less than two weeks (would have been faster if I didn’t have school).

I can’t wait to see the movie, hopefully it’s not disappointing.

I found this video on YouTube, it is very cute and I love how the song (by Danity Kane) fits into the video.

How are memories stored and retrieved?

When you learn a new fact, there are physical changes happening in the structure of your brain. Our brain is full of vast synapses; these are tiny connections between neurons (brain cells). Memory storage depends on these synapses, but exactly how these synapses between neurons embody knowledge, or how memories get retrieved years later is a mystery at the moment.

Have you ever told yourself “That’s it-I forgot!” When trying to remember an interesting story or some fact that you know is inside your brain somewhere but you just can’t regurgitate it? Well there is actually a reason for this. The expression “Shoot! My brain cells are just not firing today” is very literal. When two cells are active at the same time, the connection between them strengthens, when one of them is not active, the connection weakens. Moreover, it turns out that the act of retrieval can destabilize the memory. When you recall a past event, the memory becomes temporarily susceptible to erasure. Moreover, it is actually possible to chemically block a memory during that time window. Now that’s a little scary especially when you know that the memory is not stable as it is.

Click here for some interactive videos that can help understand how neuron synapses work, and give a visual reference. I suggest to look at the last video first.

Source: Discover Magazine. August 2007. 10 Unsolved Mysteries of The Brain. Pg.56

Here is something ealisy forgotten - sleep

Yes, sleep. How often have you tried to stay awake for nearly 24 hours? Maybe to work, study for an exam, to finish a project, or just having fun partying with friends. No matter the reason sleep deprivation is a big risk, both for your health and your environment.

Twenty-four hours without sleep can produce as much impairment as being legally drunk.

As I was looking through www.howstuffworks.com I came across an interesting article. How Can Someone Stay Awake for 11 days? A man in Cornwall, England, actually went 11 consecutive days without a wink of sleep.

The Guinness Book of World Records no longer acknowledges sleep deprivation attempts because they feel that they’re too dangerous. In 1964 the record of 274 hours without sleep was set. This record was in the Guinness Book until they removed the category entirely in1989

Consequently, sleep deprivation is a major contributor to auto accidents and may have contributed to disasters such as the explosion at Chernobyl and the Exxon Valdez crash. Sleep deprivation is also a major concern for people working long hours (such as doctors and night shift employees) and for anyone suffering from sleep apnea, which causes high blood pressure, stress and low oxygen levels in the blood. Repeated sleep deprivation can increase your appetite and lead to weight gain.

Long-term sleep deprivation can cause vision problems, hallucinations, paranoia, mood swings, difficulty communicating or understanding others, a compromised immune system and depression.

Via: www.howstuffworks.cm article by Jacob Silverman.

Extreme Aircraft

Largest Cargo Planes: Aircraft are usually ranked by weight, the maximum takeoff weight. The world’s largest plane is the Antonov An-225 Mriya built in former Soviet Union. It’s maximum takeoff weight is over 1.3 million pounds (600,000 kg). It is commercially available for carrying ultra-heavy and oversize freight, up to 250,000 kg (550,000 lb) internally or 200,000 kg (440,000 lb) on the upper fuselage. Cargo on the upper fuselage can be 70 m long. A second An-225 was partially built during the late 1980s for use by the Soviet space program. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 and the cancellation of the Buran space program, the second An-225 was placed in storage.

First Fastest Airplane: The Tupolev Tu-144 was the first commercial airplane to exceed Mach 2. In 1969, July 15th, this supersonic transport aircraft became the fastest commercial airline ever. In the sixties the engineers of the British/French “Concorde” and the Russian Tupolev TU-144 were competing for first place in getting a supersonic commercial plane airborne. On December 31, 1968 the first prototype of the Tupolev TU-144 took flight, before the Concorde did. After two severe crashes the flights were discontinued. The last regular flight of a Tu-144 took place on June 1, 1978. Tupolev Tu-144 was nicknamed Concordski, which sounds like a Russian surname, but very similar to Concorde. The only Tu-144 on display outside the former Soviet Union was acquired by the Auto & Tech Museum in Sinsheim, Germany, in 2001 and that’s where it now stands, in its original Aeroflot livery, on display next to an Air France Concorde.

Extreme Aircraft To be continued …

Via: http://www.aerospaceweb.org

Images via: http://www.vorontsov.nl/wings and http://en.wikivisual.com