Gadget: Frozen Shot Glass

Mould used to make 6 frozen shot glasses

In Pictures: Decorative Bento

Szechuan-style Cold Noodle


10 oz fresh egg noodles
1 tsp sesame oil
4 cups bean sprouts, rinsed and dried
4 stalks green onion, finely sliced
1/2 small cucumber, finely sliced
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded by hand
sprigs of cilantro and toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Peanut Sauce

1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese wine or dry sherry
2 tbsp sesame oil
1½ inches fresh ginger, minced, then squeezed to extract juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
chili oil to taste


  1. Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain again and pat dry with paper towel. Toss with sesame oil.
  2. To make the sauce, put peanut butter, say sauce, and wine into a small saucepan. Heat gently, stirring. Add sesame oil, ginger juice, rice vinegar and chili oil to taste. Mix well. Remove and cool.
  3. Toss noodles with the sauce. Top with bean sprouts, green onion, cucumber, chicken, cilantro and sesame seeds before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Noodles and Pasta

Running Could Add 3 Years to Your Lifespan

Just 5 to 10 minutes a day seems to bring benefits, study says.

Runners may live an average three years longer than people who don’t run, according to new research.

But, the best news from this study is that it appears that you can reap this benefit even if you run at slow speeds for mere minutes every day, the 15-year study suggests.

“People may not need to run a lot to get health benefits,” said lead author Duck-chul Lee, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University. “I hope this study can motivate more people to start running and to continue running as an attainable health goal.”

It’s not clear from the study whether the longer lifespan is directly caused by running. The researchers were only able to prove a strong link between running and living longer. There could be other reasons that runners live longer. It could be that healthy people are the ones who choose to run, noted the study’s authors. The investigators did try to control the data to account for such factors though.

Current U.S. guidelines for physical activity call for a minimum of 75 minutes per week of running or other vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

But people who exercised less than that still received significant health benefits, according to the new research.

Running modest amounts each week — less than 51 minutes, fewer than 6 miles, slower than 6 miles per hour, or only one to two times — was still associated with solid health benefits compared to no running, the researchers reported in the Aug. 5 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

The study also suggested that you can have too much of a good thing. People who regularly ran less than an hour per week reduced their risk of death just as much as runners who logged three hours or more weekly.

The study involved more than 55,000 adults aged 18 to 100, who were followed during a 15-year period to determine whether there is a relationship between running and longevity. About one quarter of this group were runners.

Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire about their running habits, and researchers kept track of those who died during the study period.

The researchers discovered that people who didn’t run had a life expectancy three years less than that of runners. Running was linked to a 30 percent lower risk of death from any cause and a 45 percent lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke, compared to no running.

Even less-avid runners received significant benefits. Running a minimum 30 minutes to 59 minutes each week — which equates to just 5 to 10 minutes a day — was associated with a 28 percent lower overall risk of death and a 58 percent reduced risk of death from heart disease, compared with no running.

“The mortality [death] benefits in runners were similar across running time, distance, frequency, amount and speed,” Lee said. The benefits held firm even after the researchers took into account for factors such as weight, smoking, drinking or health problems.

However, runners need to keep at it. Persistent runners — those who had been running regularly for an average of six years — had the greatest benefit, the study authors found.

Improved heart and lung function appears to be key to running’s health benefits, Lee said. Runners in the study had 30 percent better fitness than nonrunners, and their fitness increased with the amount of time they spent running.

Dr. Michael Scott Emery, co-chair of the American College of Cardiology’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council, found it “a little surprising that 5 or 10 minutes of running had such an impact on health.”

Emery, a cardiologist in Greenville, S.C., said, “This shows your biggest bang for the buck is just getting up and doing something, even if it doesn’t meet current guidelines. Even a little bit is better than zero.”

But, he noted that running does have more potential for injury than walking, including joint problems, ankle sprains, shin splints, back pain and muscle pulls.

People might gain similar benefits from walking the same distance for a longer period of time, he suggested.

“Running has more potential for injury, but walking takes longer,” Emery said. “You have to find your own mix, your balance.”

Lee agreed that people interested in running should start out slow and build up over time.

“Running is a vigorous-intensity activity, thus it is recommended that inactive people can start walking to reduce injury risk before they start running,” he said.

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Today’s Comic

My Recipe

Seared Salmon with Mixed Greens and Chili Oil


22 oz fresh Atlantic salmon fillet
5 oz green bean
9 oz zucchini
5 oz baby bok choy
6 oz bunched spinach
2 tsp garlic (minced)
1 Tbsp or to taste chili oil

Fish Marinade:

2 Tbsp ginger (minced)
2½ Tbsp light soy sauce
1½ tsp sugar
1½ tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp water


1/4 tsp+1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp chicken broth mix
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water


  1. Slice salmon into 3/4-inch thick escalopes. Mix marinade in a deep dish and add salmon. Turn gently to coat. Set aside for about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove strings from green bean and cut off ends. Cut each bean into 2-inch pieces.
  3. Cut zucchini into 3/4-inch chunks.
  4. Discard ends from spinach. Rinse thoroughly. Cut into 3-inch sections.
  5. Rinse and cut baby bok choy into halves.
  6. Mix seasoning ingredients.
  7. Fry salmon in 2 batches in a non-stick pan using about 1 Tbsp oil for each batch for about 3 minutes per side or to desired doneness. Cover and keep warm in pan.
  8. Heat wok and add 2 Tbsp oil. Sauté garlic until fragrant. Add bean and toss for 30 seconds. Add 3 Tbsp water. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Add zucchini and cook for 1 minute. Add bok choy, cover and cook until zucchini and bok choy are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add spinach, cover and cook until wilted down. Add seasoning. Toss until mixture reboils. Remove and arrange on a serving platter.
  9. Top with salmon. Drizzle chili oil around and over fish. Serve.

Nutrition value for 1/6 portion of recipe:

Calorie 352, Fat 17.8 g, Carbohydrate 20 g, Fibre 8 g, Sugar 1 g, Cholesterol 57 mg, Sodium 546 mg, Protein 28 g.

In Pictures: Pizza Art

Creating portraits on pizza using cheese and tomato sauce

High-Salt Diet Doubles Threat of Cardiovascular Disease in People with Diabetes

People with Type 2 diabetes who eat a diet high in salt face twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease as those who consume less sodium, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Diabetes occurs when there is too much sugar in the bloodstream. People develop Type 2 diabetes when their bodies become resistant to the hormone insulin, which carries sugar from the blood to cells.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 29.1 million Americans have some form of diabetes. This population is at risk for heart disease. Between 2003 and 2006, cardiovascular disease death rates were about 1.7 times higher among adults diagnosed with diabetes than those who were not, according to the CDC’s 2014 National Diabetes Statistics Report.

“The study’s findings provide clear scientific evidence supporting low-sodium diets to reduce the rate of heart disease among people with diabetes,” said the study’s first author, Chika Horikawa, RD, MSc, CDE, of the University of Niigata Prefecture in Niigata, Japan. “Although many guidelines recommend people with diabetes reduce their salt intake to lower the risk of complications, this study is among the first large longitudinal studies to demonstrate the benefits of a low-sodium diet in this population.”

The nationwide cohort study surveyed participants in the Japan Diabetes Complications Study who were between the ages of 40 and 70 and had been diagnosed with diabetes. Participants were identified at 59 outpatient centers and universities across Japan. In all, 1,588 people responded to a survey about their diets, including sodium intake. The researchers reviewed data on cardiovascular complications participants experienced over the course of eight years.

Researchers divided the participants into four groups based on their sodium intake. The analysis found people who ate an average of 5.9 grams of sodium daily had double the risk of developing cardiovascular disease than those who ate, on average, 2.8 grams of sodium daily. The effects of a high-sodium diet were exacerbated by poor blood sugar control.

“To reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is important for people who have Type 2 diabetes to improve their blood sugar control as well as watch their diet,” Horikawa said. “Our findings demonstrate that restricting salt in the diet could help prevent dangerous complications from diabetes.”

Source: Endocrine Society