Monthly Archives: April 2017

Fruit Juice May Not Cause Obesity, But Should Still Be Moderated

A recent analysis claims that fruit juice, long thought to be a factor in the rise of childhood obesity, is not associated with weight gain in children when consumed in moderation (6-8 ounces per day). To many parents, this may seem like an endorsement of fruit juice. But the study leaves out a few components of the juice debate.


First, it controls for total calorie consumption, meaning there is no way of knowing whether consuming the juice typically leads to higher energy intake overall. It also fails to address how juice can contribute to long-term health problems beyond obesity. For instance, a 2013 Stanford study found a strong correlation between sugar and diabetes, independent of weight.


Furthermore, the study’s lead researcher talks about parts of the study that remain behind a paywall, including the finding that prolonged exposure to daily juice was associated with an increased risk in obesity. In other words, if a child was known to drink 4 to 8 ounces of fruit juice on an everyday basis, weight gain was greater than in a child who drank juice more sporadically. Perhaps drinking juice every day is associated with drinking a greater amount overall. This suggests at least that juice should be approached more like a treat than an essential part of the diet.


It’s also important to remember that this study, like most studies on food consumption, is observational. This typically means that data on calorie consumption is self-reported and increasingly, self-reported dietary data is considered unreliable. It is also a meta-analysis, or a compilation of studies rather than one study with a singular objective. This could indicate varying methods of research and different control variables across subjects. As unreliable as observational studies can be, they are accepted in nutrition science because the alternative (clinical trials) is often unethical.


Though it is flawed, the study is not necessarily bad science or irrelevant. But it should be viewed in context with other evidence. For parents, the study is helpful if it reassures them that a glass of juice now and then won’t harm their children.


How to Make the Best Chicken Noodle Soup

As the saying goes, chicken soup is good for your soul! It’s also healthy for your body. Of course, there are numerous ways to make this classic recipe, but this article will explain a surefire way to make the absolute best chicken noodle soup that you’ve ever had.


The Chicken Soup Recipe


First, you’ll need to assemble all of your ingredients. In addition to one boneless chicken breast, for food ingredients, you’ll need extra virgin olive oil, a small white onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 3 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, 6 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of noodles. Salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary will also be necessary. Add them to taste. You’ll also need a large soup pot and a ladle.


Start by warming up some extra virgin olive oil in your soup pot over medium-high heat. Put the chicken breast in and cook it until it’s finished. Set this aside, and after it cools, remove any fat and rip the chicken breast into shreds.


Now, put more oil in your pot, and add 1 small diced onion and 2 finely chopped cloves of fresh garlic. Add 3 diced carrots and 2 diced stalks of celery to the onions. Sauté the onions, celery and carrot until the onions are translucent. At this point, add your chicken stock and spices to the mix. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, add the shredded chicken, cover the pot and lower the heat. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes, put in the dried pasta and recover the pot.


Enjoying Your Chicken Soup


To enjoy your chicken soup, consider toasting some French bread for serving. You might also add some freshly chopped parsley or basil to the top of your soup.


With this recipe and these tips, you’ll be able to create a tasty chicken noodle soup that works every time. It’s a great go-to recipe when you’re out of ideas. You and your family will love this traditional and delicious dish, so why not try it out tonight?


Andrew Rolfe and the Ubuntu Fund Find a New Way of Growing

As a blogger who often covers stories pertaining to the non-profit sector, focusing on the current problems facing our society, I thought I had a rather good grip on the way in which non-profits operate. Though, as with all things in life, with a little investigation, I found an unknown problem facing many of the non-profits that operate across the world and within our borders here at home. That being the restrictions and time restraints placed upon non-profit operations, not by government agencies as one might assume, but set by donors who support not only the cause of helping those less fortunate but actively want to see non-profits perform to their peak.


These restrictions are often set in place to ensure that funds are used according to a donor’s wishes while the time restraints are often set as a safeguard against misuse. Though completely well intention, these restrictions are often the most devastating obstacle facing a sector that already has to contend with the likes of hostile parties within foreign countries, plagues, famine, poverty, and fallout from war.


Andre Rolfe and the Ubuntu Fund Free Non-Profits to Expand


The limits set on spending usually come in the form of terms such as allotting money solely for home building or creating scholarships and while sound good, in theory, squash a non-profit’s ability to operate and expand while helping those in need.


Andrew Rolfe and the Ubuntu Fund have taken a new approach to these restrictions. Andrew Rolfe and the rest of the board have decided to pass on donor grants that come with strings attached and have opted instead to cultivate long-term relationships with donors that understand a non-profit needs more than money to build homes or create scholarships to operate.


By freeing up a non-profit to spend funds on things like employee training and outreach for expansion, donors are allowing non-profits to help more people. This revolutionary way of conducting business within the non-profit sector certainly signals a change in the non-profit sector that many charitable organizations may soon follow but that is yet to be seen.


If you would like to learn more about Andrew Rolfe, please click here.


Spaghetti Doughnuts Are Now Available In Brooklyn, NY

New and creative ways of pairing different food items can be interesting and appetizing. Sometimes, however, innovative cooks create new combinations of foods that are highly unusual.


A current online article that I just read tells about a new “spaghetti doughnut” that is now available in the Brooklyn section of NYC.


The spaghetti doughnut is a culinary invention that a food vendor named Pop’s Pasta will be bringing to the hungry masses at the weekly outdoor Smorgasburg food market in Brooklyn.


According to the article, the spaghetti doughnuts are actually made from a mixture of spaghetti, cheese and eggs that is formed into doughnut shapes. The doughnuts are not sweet, but the Pop Pasta Facebook page says that several savory new flavors are being prepared. These include red sauce, zucchini, aglio & olio, carbonara, bolognese, and mac & cheese.


The author of this article suggests that these pasta doughnuts are a glaring example of outrageous foods that are created to go viral online. That would help to explain the purpose of these unique snacks.


Since I really enjoy eating spaghetti with a good red sauce, and I’m a big fan of doughnuts, you might think I would be interested in trying a spaghetti doughnut. While I wouldn’t mind trying a bite or two, I can’t imagine walking down the street eating one of them.


Doughnuts are often eaten along with a cup of coffee, and it seems like a real stretch to think that people would want to eat a pasta pastry with their cup of joe.


It seems as though the spaghetti doughnuts may suffer from an identity crisis of sorts. Since they are named, and look like doughnuts, one might assume that they were sweet treats that had spaghetti as an ingredient. Because they are savory, and not sweet, I wonder if they will be marketed as a hand-held alternative to burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and tacos.


Foods With The Most Sodium May Surprise You

You are probably well aware of the fact that most people eat too much sodium. When many people think of salty foods, they think of things like pretzels and chips. However, these foods did not even make the list of saltiest foods. The top five salty foods are bread, pizza, sandwiches, cured meats and soup.


Zerleen Quader was the lead researcher in the study that analyzed the most sodium-rich foods. She also works for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She has stated that one of the keys to reducing sodium intake is to find out which foods have the most sodium.


Many people think that sodium is all bad. However, it is actually an essential mineral. However, when you get too much of it, you increase your risk of high blood pressure. This in turn will increase your risk of stroke and heart attack. Table salt is made up of about 40 percent sodium. One teaspoon has about 2,300 mg of sodium. This is the maximum amount of sodium that professionals recommend per day.


According to a report released by the CDC, the average American is getting 3,500 mg of sodium. It is important to note that most salt does not come from the salt shaker. It comes from eating processed food. Many foods, such as bread, only have a moderate amount of sodium. However, the problem is that many people eat these foods all day long.


You are not going to drastically increase your sodium intake if you eat one slice per day. However, if you eat several slices per day, then you will be consuming a lot of extra sodium. You can reduce your sodium intake by paying attention to the food labels. You can add flavor to your food by using herbs instead of salt. You can request meals that are lower in sodium when you are eating out.


Dunkin’ Donuts, Chipotle Working to Regain Customer Base

It seems there is not a year that goes by that some fast food restaurant does not go through a public situation in which it faces accusations of spreading a disease or serving poor product. Two of the most recent problems have arisen from breakfast giant Dunkin’ Donuts and fast-casual chain Chipotle.


Dunkin’ Donuts was sued recently when a customer ordered a baked good and requested butter. The franchise spread margarine on the product instead of what the customer requested. According to the customer’s attorney, the lawsuit is geared towards not the specific case of not using butter, but the practice of restaurants claiming it uses one product, while actually using another.


The courts ruled in favor of the plaintiff and Dunkin’ Donuts now stocks butter packets for those who don’t want margarine. It has also moved to making the public aware that it is using more quality ingredients while still maintaining its signature flavors.


Chipotle, on the other hand, is having a much harder time recovering from its outbreak of E. coli and norovirus. According to CNBC, while the burrito chain has recovered with most of the public in the new year, it still has a long way to go with millennial consumers. Many have moved to more natural fast food places like Panera.


In an effort to bring back customers, the company is focusing on its tradition of discounts and free product trying to regain its status as a great place to go to lunch. The company’s stockholders main concern is the potential losses in profit to Chipotle as it regrows its customer base.


Many companies are forced to make changes in the wake of a scandal. This includes altering standard operating procedure in the stores, educating retail employees and higher-ups and propelling full-scale marketing plans to combat public perception. Sometimes companies use this as an opportunity to launch a new product or discount earlier than they had planned.


After years of restaurant outbreaks, racism and coffee that is too hot, restaurants have figured out that it’s important to plan ahead. With dozens of chains suffering from bad apples in their franchises or distribution system, the mark these changes leave on their restaurants can alter the industry as a whole.


Kabbalah Centres Reach Into the Community and Around the World

Kabbalah is not a religion, though it originated in the same era as the Jewish beliefs. Kabbalah is considered the world’s oldest spiritual wisdom, and it centers on spiritual principles that allow the individual to discover the joy that is in every person. Kabbalah is applied to the heart and soul, and the principles are the basis of the spirituality that leads the student to understand the spiritual nature of their life.

Kabbalah is not taught as an academic course, but it is taught to help the individual to make better decidions in their own lives. The principles remove confusion, pain, and suffering as the student becomes more familiar with it. Kabbalah Centres provide a central location to study and learn Kabbalah.

First Kabbalah Centre

RavAshtag founded the first Kabalah Centre in 1922 in Isreal, and it became a place where interested people could study the ancient documents to learn the principles and the joy within. Kabbalah Centres have been established in 40 cities worldwide since 1922, and classes are held to study the ancient documents, monthly dinners are held for the students to meet, and the members participate in volunteering events in the community to help the people and to develop a giving attitude within the students.

Kabbalah believes that there is joy in every human being, so instructors present the principles of Kabbalah for the student to apply to their own lives. Kabbalahists also believe every person is born with the potential for greatness, and as the students improve, the earth becomes a better place and contact this center.

Online Kabbalah Centre and University

For those who don’t live near a Centre, the Kabbalah University and the Kabbalah Centre are now online, streaming from the L.A. Centre. They provide online classes, meditations, a centralized place to announce conferences and other Kabbalah events around the world.

Kabbalah has always meant to be used in practical ways that lead to deeper understanding of yourself and the universe around you. For thousands of years, Kabbalah was only taught to elders and priests, but now with the Kabbalah Centres available, this wisdom is available to anyone who is interested and read full article.

St. Louis Restaurant Boasts 27 Varieties of Ranch Dressing and Three Hour Wait Times

Twisted Ranch is a St. Louis eatery whose house specialties all feature ranch dressing in one form or another, including Bloody Marys and burgers seasoned with ranch. While the restaurant opened its doors in July of 2015, interest in the chain exploded after a recent video on BuzzFeed derided its culinary offerings as nothing more than saturating food with ranch dressing. The viewership of said Buzzfeed video exceeded 20 million clicks and drew an interest in the venue that greatly exceeded its “cramped and harried” interior.


Despite the locale’s small interior, it has fed weekend customers who have been more than satisfied after a three hour wait until such a point that it ran out of its supply of ranch. The initial surge in customers on Friday was so rampant that Twisted Ranch was forced to close early after running out of food. Notably, one customer shared her story with a local news affiliate, remarking that she had come all the way from Indiana and had decided to see it for herself after learning of the eatery through the Buzzfeed video.


The massive popularity spike has resulted in additional chaos in the kitchen: their entire ranch supply is made from scratch and the maximum occupancy is equivalent to a single dining room. Even weeknight attendance of Twisted Ranch sees regular waiting times as long as 90 minutes, leaving people to perambulate around the local area. As a countermeasure to the massive hordes of curiosity-seekers, Twisted Ranch has begun closing in the middle of the afternoon in order to ready the staff for dinner crowd. The site’s owners, who have decided to bet their livelihood on a restaurant focused on a salad dressing, have taken the popularity swell in stride. They have commented to their local news affiliate that they have expedited their quest into expanding into a second location.


The site’s website cautions customers to call ahead to gauge wait times and availability. While it is completely closed on Mondays and operates on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and its remaining days feature split lunch and dinner service.


McDonald’s Transitions to Fresh Beef Patties

Fast food behemoth McDonald’s has announced that it will change its Quarter Pounder so that it will use fresh beef patties in lieu of frozen ones. This announcement comes after over a year of pilot attempts in Dallas, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is regarded as the most drastic change to the chain’s menu in decades. The move is likely a move to stay competitive with rivals like Wendy’s and Five Guys who actively advertise that their meat is never frozen.


While fresh meat is certain appealing it also comes with risks, such as the rampant cases of E. coli at Tex Mex chain Chipotle. In a survey of 27 McDonald’s franchisees, some admitted they worried about the elevated chance for contamination, chances that have previously been minimized through very tight procedures for handling food. One benefit of frozen beef patties is that they are less likely to foster the growth E. coli. Industry analysts remark that because the risk of fresh beef patties is so small when brought against McDonald’s tight measures against contamination that it should not be a concern.


The worry over E. coli in fast food has been a major issue ever since an outbreak in 1993 at a Jack-in-the-Box and subsequent lawsuits forced the fast food industry to change its approach to hygiene and contamination awareness. Purveyors of fresh beef like Wendy’s have extensive supply chains and auditing protocols to handle the product that have served as enough of a model for competitors like McDonald’s to justify the transition to fresh over frozen. Despite all of its confidence, McDonald’s is not transitioning its entire burger menu to fresh beef. Only its iconic Quarter Pounder burger will be served with fresh beef; all other meat items will be served then as they are now, frozen.


As to when the fast food behemoth will expand its fresh meat offerings beyond the Quarter Pounder, the company has only cryptically stated that they have only begun their endeavor to overhaul their offerings. Furthermore, they have said that they are expediting the manner by which they source and serve food.


Bedtime Snacks

A healthy lifestyle starts with healthy eating habits, and that generally does not include snacking right before bedtime. The problem comes in if your last full meal of the day is early, or you stay up late. Chances are you are going to get hungry. If you need a little something to tide you over until breakfast, there are some healthier options for a bedtime snack.


Are You Really Hungry

The first thing to ask yourself is, are you really hungry. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking a full glass of water and give it a few minutes to see if your desire to eat something goes away. Sometimes we eat out of boredom, or it’s just a bad habit to get a snack before bedtime. Some things can trigger a desire to eat, like food commercials or cooking shows on TV. Make sure you really are hungry before you head into the kitchen.


Make Those Calories Count

If you truly are hungry, make those extra late night calories as full of nutrition as you can. Keep the calorie count below 300, but keep the nutrition high. If you are craving something specific, perhaps that’s what your body needs. If you are just generally hungry, chose something that will be satisfying and filling.


Protein is always a good option. String cheese, low-fat yogurt, a hard-boiled egg, or a handful of nuts will help you to stay full longer. A great option is a chilled protein drink. There are protein drinks available that are under 200 calories and contain up to 30 grams of protein.


High fiber foods will help you to feel full. Oatmeal or other high fiber cereal, whole wheat crackers, or air-popped popcorn are good options. Celery or other raw veggies are always a healthy choice.


The NYTimes has a great article on healthy late night snacks if you are looking for more options. The key is to keep it healthy, and keep it light in calories to avoid packing on extra pounds with bedtime snacks.