Saturday, December 04, 2010

Radio Show Notes: Healthy Cooking Techniques

Show notes for the program RIGHT NOW (12/04/10, noon EST). How to keep your vitamins in your veggies -- where they belong!! 

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Healthy Cooking Techniques

Boiling your veggies can lead to leaching of the water soluble vitamins (like the anti-carcinogenic properties of broccoli …) so you need to steam them.

Water Soluble Vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water, reducing the amount of vitamins left in the vegetable. Vitamin C readily dissolves in water, as do the B vitamins. Cooking methods that use water may cause these vitamins to seep out of the vegetables, even without adding heat.

WHAT? Saving your cooking water for use in gravies or juices can help reintroduce these water-soluble vitamins back into your foods and beverages.

Minimizing Vitamin Depletion
According to North Dakota State University, microwaving foods provides a method of cooking that helps to retain the vitamins in vegetables. Microwaving foods takes less time than conventional methods and reduces the need for water. Steaming vegetables until slightly tender may also help preserve both vitamins and color. Another quick method of cooking, stir-frying adds a crisp texture, without requiring long cooking times.

However, one study found that microwaving drastically reduces the amount of antioxidants in broccoli. Flavonoids in broccoli were decreased by 97% after microwaving, compared to 66% after boiling and only 11% when the broccoli was steamed. On the other hand, another study found more flavonoids were retained in potatoes and tomatoes by microwaving than by boiling.

The amount of nutrients lost into the water depends on how long the vegetables are boiled, as well as the surface-to-volume ratio. Cutting the vegetables into large pieces or cooking them whole will aid in retaining nutrients, while mincing them into small pieces before cooking will result in the greatest nutrient loss.

While eating vegetables raw or lightly cooked may help them retain healthy amounts of vitamins, cooking can provide other benefits. According to the arthritis foundation, cooked tomatoes supply three to four times more lycopene than raw tomatoes. Cooking releases this antioxidant from the fibrous portions of the vegetables, making it easier to absorb. Cooking can also help destroy bacteria and parasites.
 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Radio Show Notes: Weight Watchers Changes Point System

Here are my show notes for the program RIGHT NOW (12/04/10, noon EST). Talking about Weight Watchers' new point system. Is this good or not? Do you like it? Does it work? 

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The new plan, company officials say, is based on scientific findings about how the body processes different foods. The biggest change: All fruits and most vegetables are point-free (or free of PointsPlus, as the new program is called). Processed foods, meanwhile, generally have higher point values, which roughly translates to: should be eaten less.
In the new system, oranges are free, but eight ounces of orange juice cost three points.
When Weight Watchers introduced its points plan to Americans in 1997, it captivated a generation of women, propelling the company into a $1.4 billion empire. Members pay $12 to $15 a week to attend one of 20,000 weigh-ins and pep talks across the nation, or $65 to use the company’s Internet-monitoring program for three months.
“You could be holding an apple in one hand, which was two points, and you could be holding a 100-calorie snack pack of Oreos in the other hand, which was also two points,” David Kirchhoff, the president and chief executive of Weight Watchers International, said in a telephone interview.
Now, all of that has been upended. The new system allots points based on a complex formula that considers each item’s mix of protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fat. Making it more confusing, most people are now given more total allowed points — a kind of new math that requires recalculation of what had been ingrained.
Under the old system, for example, the average new member of Weight Watchers was allotted 22 daily points and an extra 35 weekly points. Now, the average new member is allotted 31 daily points and 49 weekly points. So while two potato latkes are now seven points instead of five, their portion of the total is about the same (too high). But a Burger King bacon double cheeseburger is still 12 points, making it slightly less objectionable under the new regime. And that little pack of Oreos? Up a point, to three.
“It’s a complete overhaul; it doesn’t get any bigger than this,” said Karen Miller-Kovach, the chief scientific officer for Weight Watchers International.

  For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Radio Show Notes: Building Better Brains

Here are my show notes for the program RIGHT NOW (12/04/10, noon EST), we're giving you 9 ways to boost your brain power -- or at least make your slide into forgetfulness take longer!!

AUDIO location: 
VIDEO location:

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Healthy food and memory
memory-food-122x122Healthy eating lowers your risk of diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, but it's not yet clear if that's true for Alzheimer’s disease as well. 

The bottom line is that, when we eat better food, we think better. WHY does that surprise people ….

Children in schools who eat food from primary ingredients.

Here are 9 foods that researchers think will keep your whole body—including your brain—healthy.

Oil-based salad dressings (never buy store bought salad dressings)
salad-dressing-memory-122x122“The data support eating foods that are high in vitamin E and this includes healthy vegetable oil-based salad dressings, seeds and nuts, peanut butter, and whole grains,” says Martha Clare Morris, director of the section on nutrition and nutritional epidemiology in the Department of Internal Medicine at Rush University, in Chicago. 

The benefit has been seen with vitamin-E rich foods, but not supplements, she says.

A potent antioxidant, vitamin E may help protect neurons or nerve cells. In Alzheimer’s disease, neurons in certain parts of the brain start to die, which jump-starts the cascade of events leading to cognitive deterioration.

fish-memory-salmon-122x122Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other fish are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). 

“In the brain, DHA seems to be very important for the normal functioning of neurons,” Morris says. 

Another plus: Eating more fish often means eating less red meat and other forms of protein that are high in artery-clogging saturated fats.

Dark green leafy vegetables
green-leaves-memory-122x122Kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli are good sources of vitamin E and folate.

For example, one cup of raw spinach has 15% of your daily intake of vitamin E, and 1/2 a cup of cooked spinach has 25% of your daily intake.

Exactly how folate may protect the brain is unclear, but it may be by lowering levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine in the blood. High levels of homocysteine may trigger the death of nerve cells in the brain, but folic acid helps break down homocysteine levels. 

avocado-alzheimer-122x122This creamy treat is also a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E.

Research by Morris and her colleague suggests that foods rich in vitamin E—including avocado, which is also high in the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C—are associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

Sunflower seeds
sunflower-seeds-memory-122x122Seeds, including sunflower seeds, are also good sources of vitamin E.

One ounce of dry-roasted sunflower seeds contains 30% of your recommended daily intake. Sprinkle them on top of your salad to give your brain a boost.

Peanuts and peanut butter
peanut-butter-memory-122x122Although both are high in fat, peanuts and peanut butter tend to be a source of healthy fats. And they are also packed with vitamin E. 

Both foods may help keep the heart and brain healthy and functioning properly. Other good choices are almonds and hazelnuts.

“There has been some very good research that diets that are high in healthy fats, low in saturated fat and trans fats, and rich in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, and nuts are good for the brain and the heart,” says Maria C. Carrillo, PhD, senior director of medical and scientific relations at the Chicago-based Alzheimer’s Association.

Red wine
wine-memory-122x122Studies have shown that people who consume moderate amounts of red wine and other types of alcohol may be at reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease, but it may be that there is something else that tipplers do or don’t do that affects their risk of developing Alzheimer’s, Carrillo says. 

“People who drink alcohol or eat healthy may be healthier in other aspects of their life, so it is difficult to disentangle whether it’s the healthy diet that protects them versus other healthy behaviors.”

berriesThe latest research presented at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston found that blueberries, strawberries, and acai berries may help put the brakes on age-related cognitive decline by preserving the brain’s natural “housekeeper” mechanism, which wanes with age.

This mechanism helps get rid of toxic proteins associated with age-related memory loss.

Whole grains
whole-grain-memory-122x122Fiber-rich whole grains are an integral part of the Mediterranean diet, which is also loaded with fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and wine.

Research out of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City shows that this diet may be linked to lower risk of the mild cognitive impairment that can progress to Alzheimer’s disease. 

“We don’t eat foods or nutrients in isolation, we eat in combination with other foods so there is value in dietary patterns,” says Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, an associate professor of neurology at Columbia University, who conducted the studies.

This type of diet may reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure—all of which may have a role in increasing risk for brain and heart diseases.

exercise-good-memory-122x122Okay you can’t eat it, but research suggests that regular exercise is as important, if not more so, as what you eat when it comes to memory-saving lifestyle changes.

Experts all stress that getting regular exercise is also an important part of the equation when it comes to staving off many diseases, including Alzheimer’s.

The bottom line?

“We can‘t go out and say, ‘Eat these things and you are protected from Alzheimer’s,' but there is almost no downside to increasing your physical activity and consuming a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fish, healthy oils, nuts, and seeds,” Morris says.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Will Clower Program Tomorrow: Build better brains, cook healthier foods.

Saturday at noon (EST) I'll be talking about how to increase your BRAIN function, and how to cook foods so you don't leach out the healthy nutrients. Plus, the health news of the week. 

(Please forward this to anyone who NEEDS a bigger brain :)) Bookmark and Share

We're on radio, internet radio, and VIDEO!! Interact with me during the show. 

AUDIO location:
VIDEO location:

Here's the FB Event Page

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Today? You have to be your own doctor

"Buyer beware" is a phrase that we're used to hearing when you need a gadget or car or some other chintzy consumer goods. You have to protect yourself against people who sell you things that are not in your best interest. 

Unfortunately, the same can be true with your own doctor. Welcome to our fundamentally flawed culture of health. 

(please forward this article to any who need to see the doc for any reason) Bookmark and Share

I have reported here on the new research on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) -- that, yes, there may be some cases in which it can be beneficial. But only when given in the smallest dose, over shortest period of time. 

Despite these data, which are very well known, doctors are still inexplicably giving women high-dose pills that are linked to strokes and cancer, according a study by Dr Randall Stafford and colleagues at Stanford University.

Dr Stafford looked at data from 340,820 patient visits to hospitals, clinics and doctor's offices, as well as information from telephone calls. "We're disappointed," Dr. Randall Stafford of Stanford University in California, who led the study, said in a statement.

Are you one of those women?

"Yes, there was an increase in the use of low-dose preparations, but it was not sizeable."

They found that the overall use of HRT has decreased, but the women who were still prescribed  HRT were often still getting the dangerously high doses of hormones.
"Despite reduced use, standard-dose oral (HRT) remains the dominant formulation, yet lower dose transdermal and vaginal preparations may yield less harm," they wrote in Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
Are the physicians unaware of the link between breast cancer, heart disease, and larger aggressive tumor formation that can form in the women they are giving these pills to? Really? 
Do they have extra stores of the drugs they have to "use up"? Or do they simply blow off those research findings because they've always done the same thing in the same way. I know, I know, I've wandered into the land of speculation at this point, but can you give me another plausible reason for these data uncovered by the Stanford researchers?    
Bottom line
Whatever the reason, you have to be your own doctor, and check up on the doc you happen to have, or the one you happen to be assigned to. Get second opinions, third opinions, do your own research, find your own answers. Then, use that knowledge to make an informed decision for yourself. Unfortunately, you have to. 

Older U.S. women stick to hormone pills: study | Reuters

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Childhood Obesity: Who's to blame

I have had two major conversations in two days on childhood obesity. 
(Please forward this article to anyone who knows anyone who cares about childhood obesity)Bookmark and Share
Bottom line: A child is not fat because of decisions they made ... a child is fat because of decisions they were allowed to make. Need some examples?  
They're not active enough? 
Neighborhoods need to have more sidewalks and parks. When that happens, the data show that children lower their BMI. Parents need to enforce less screen time. When that happens, and screen time is lowered by just 30 minutes per day!!, BMI drops. We all  need to orient kids toward activities, not exercises, that are fun and just get them to move every day. 
Poor food choices?
Schools should not give in to the lure of soda / junk food contracts, in the break area and in the cafeteria. When this happens, children eat better quality foods, do better on tests, exhibit better behavior, and lose weight in the process. Parents should not give in to having junk food in the house. Just don't buy it. You can't control the world, or what they have when they're elsewhere, but that doesn't mean you can't control what you have available under your own roof. 

Here's the deal
Listen, behind the childhood obesity problem are a lot of moving parts ... most of which are under the control of parents, communities, and schools. This national embarrassment is something we should all address, because we are all at fault. 
Children are not the problem. They are a reflection of the problem that only we can solve. 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Dessert Party. Need Help.

I'm hosting a dessert party for about 20-30 peeps, and we're still putting together the menu now -- I'd love to get your thoughts on recipes you've made that are easy and makes-you-moan-out-loud delicious!!

(Please share this article with someone who LOVES desserts -- yeah right!!) Bookmark and Share

Right now I'm leaning toward this menu: 
** pear custard tarte 
** holiday apple pie 
** Baileys-infused chocolate truffles 
** pecan chocolate chip cookies 
** flourless raspberry chocolate cake w a Chambourd sauce on top. 

We're also going to need a fresh cranberry/tangerine salsa to have between them. Would love to get your thoughts!!

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Pumpkin and Ginger Scones - Recipe

This is not your basic Starbucks scone that has been sitting in that case for a week -- and it's GOOD for you!! 

By the way, you don't have to use whole wheat flour if you feel that it makes these puppies too heavy. 

(please share this with someone who needs a little Pumpkin Love!!)  Bookmark and Share

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup pumpkin purée, well drained, canned 
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Sift together the flours, salt, ginger, baking powder and baking soda. Place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
2. Add the butter to the food processor, and pulse several times until it is distributed throughout the flour. The mixture should have the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
3. Beat together the pumpkin purée, buttermilk and maple syrup in a small bowl, and scrape into the food processor. Add the ginger, and process just until the dough comes together.
4. Scrape onto a lightly floured surface, and gently shape into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Cut into six squares, then cut the squares in half on the diagonal to form 12 triangular pieces. Place on the baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until lightly browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: 12 scones.
For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who should STOP taking D & calcium supplements

Apparently, according to this new research, almost everyone!!

Heres the article from Reuters

The scientists did a very simple thing. They looked to see whether we were getting enough vitamin D and calcium. With the exception of young girls (9-14), the answer is a resounding YES.

Thus we are not benefitting from taking these pills and, as they point out in the article, these supplements can also be bad for you.

So. Who should be taking these supplements? Anyone who can benefit from it. The problem is that the only ones benefitting from swallowing supplements are the people who are selling supplements.

There's your answer.

Sent from my iPhone

Food Porn: The worst of the worst

This is a list of the worst fast food offenders. Just check out the Sodium column!!

If you go to Subway, because you think you want to be Jared when you grow up and slim down, just check out the incredible amount of calories (and sodium) in #4 on this list. Chicken strips sounds healthy -- chicken is low in calories, right? Well, not always, apparently.

(please share this list with your fast food fanatic friends!!) Bookmark and Share

 Dairy Queen
Chicken Strip Basket, 4-piece Wild Buffalo
 Dairy Queen
Large Choc. Chip Cookie Dough Blizzard®
2/3 LB Double Bacon Cheese Thickburger
Double Meat Italian BMT® Sandwich - Footlong
2/3 LB Double Thickburger
 Burger King
TRIPLE WHOPPER® Sandwich With Cheese
 Jack in the Box
Chocolate Ice Cream Shake - 24oz cup
 Jack in the Box
Strawberry Ice Cream Shake - 24oz cup
Big Country Breakfast Platter - Breaded Pork Chop
 Jack in the Box
Egg Nog Shake - 24oz cup (seasonal only)

 For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

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