Character Chinese Bun

Kirby Bun (カービィまん)



Limited quantity of the buns are available from Lawson Japan for 198 yen (tax included).


Indian-style Spicy Lentils with Spinach and Fried Garlic


5 oz split red lentils, washed and drained
5 oz spinach, washed thoroughly and cut into strips
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 garlic cloves, kept whole and lightly crushed
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice


  1. Cover the lentils with about 10 fl oz hot water. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer until mushy. You may need to add more water if the lentils dry out. When done, they will have turned yellow.
  2. Meanwhile, boil a little water in another pan and sweat the spinach for a few minutes. (Keep the pan uncovered to keep its colour.) Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the garlic until golden. Sprinkle in the spice powders.
  4. Pour in the cooked lentils at once. Add the spinach along with its cooking water to the pan. Mix well.
  5. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Heat through and serve hot.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Indian in Six

Video: One Day a Week – Not Eating Animal Products

Paul McCartney and family launch short film ‘One Day a Week’ highlighting the environmental impact of animal agriculture and encourages people to help by eating less meat, with appearances by Paul, Mary and Stella McCartney, Woody Harrelson and Emma Stone.

Watch video at You Tube (4:30 minutes) . . . . .

Healthy Baking Alternatives

Jessica Cox, RD wrote . . . . . . .

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy diet limits the amount of calories people should consume from added sugars and saturated fat. Does that mean no desserts?

While many baked goods are a major source of both added sugars and saturated fat, dessert still can be an enjoyable part of a full and well-balanced eating pattern. Follow these tips for delicious baked goods with more healthy nutrients and less added sugar and saturated fat.

Watch Portion Size

Keeping portion sizes in check is a primary strategy for healthfully incorporating baked goods into a healthy eating pattern. Make portion control easier by preparing miniature desserts such as mini-cupcakes. Or cut brownies and sheet cakes into two-inch squares and portion cookie dough using a one-tablespoon scoop.

Ingredients Matter

Use high-quality ingredients for a more flavorful product that will satisfy cravings even with smaller portions. For example, use vanilla beans instead of extract, opt for high-quality chocolate and make sure your spices are fresh for the boldest flavor.

Incorporate Nutrient-Rich Ingredients

Instead of focusing on what to cut out, why not add something nutritious to your recipe?

Add a Fruit or Vegetable

Try adding shredded or pureed apple, carrot, banana and pumpkin to recipes to boost nutrients, flavor and moisture. For some recipes, you can use these ingredients to replace some or all of the butter or oil.

Try a Whole-Grain Flour

White whole-wheat flour can be substituted one-for-one for all-purpose flour in most recipes. You also can replace up to half the all-purpose flour in a recipe with a whole-grain flour without making any major adjustments to the recipe.

Experiment with Recipes That Use Less-Common Flours

Try experimenting with recipes such as savory pancakes and waffles that call for chickpea flour. Or try recipes with almond flour, which works well for crusts and can be incorporated into dough for a big punch of flavor and added nutrients.

Use Low-Fat Dairy Products

Use low-fat milk, low-fat buttermilk and low-fat yogurt in baking recipes to contribute protein and calcium. Consider swapping cream cheese frosting, which is high in calories and saturated fat and has minimal nutritional value, for a protein-rich frosting made from Greek yogurt.

Reduce Saturated Fat and Added Sugars

You can do this in a number of ways. For instance, try these modifications:

Swap Butter for Heart-Healthy Oil

When modifying a favorite recipe, you generally can trade some of the butter for a heart-healthy oil, such as canola oil. Don’t replace all of the butter with oil or you’ll sacrifice texture.

Simply Cut Sugar

As a general rule, you can reduce sugar in a given recipe by about 25 percent without noticeable differences. For instance, if a recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of sugar, reduce the amount to 3 tablespoons. When reducing sugar, you may need to increase the liquid in a recipe.

There is room for all foods, even baked goods, in a healthy eating pattern. Focus on occasionally enjoying small portions of your favorite treats and experiment with creating healthier versions of favorite recipes for more nutrients in each delicious bite.

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Study Shows Nuts Strengthen the Brain

Ana Sandoiu wrote . . . . . . . .

More and more studies are revealing that nuts are great for your health, with benefits ranging from better cardiovascular health to boosted memory and cognition. A new study has looked at the brainwaves triggered by nut consumption, and it found further evidence for their cognitive benefits.

Recently, a plethora of studies have pointed to the positive effects of nuts on cognition.

For instance, Medical News Today reported on a study showing that adding more nuts to a Mediterranean diet may protect against age-related cognitive decline and help to preserve memory.

But how do nuts affect actual brain activity? Researchers from Loma Linda University (LLU) Health in California set out to investigate. They were led by Dr. Lee Berk, associate dean for research at the LLU School of Allied Health Professions.

Dr. Berk and his colleagues started from the observation that nuts have high concentrations of flavonoids — that is, antioxidants believed to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, and heart protective effects.

As the authors explain in their study, previous research has shown that flavonoids can enter areas of the brain’s hippocampus that are responsible for learning and memory.

These flavonoids are thought to induce neuroprotective effects, leading to “neurogenesis,” or the “birth” of new neurons, as well as improving the blood flow to the brain.

But how would these benefits translate into the brain’s electric activity? The researchers wanted to find out, so they asked study participants who regularly consumed a variety of nuts to let an electroencephalogram (EEG) measure their brain activity.

Before the findings were published in The FASEB Journal, they were presented at the Experimental Biology 2017 annual meeting, held in San Diego, CA.

Nuts induce strong gamma and delta waves

For their study, Dr. Berk and his colleagues used participants who regularly consumed almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.

These participants were asked to let an EEG measure their brain waves as they were experiencing a “sequence of enhancing sensory awareness tasks ranging from cognition of past experience, visualization, olfaction, taste, and finally consumption of nuts.”

These sequences were varied so that the EEG could measure wave band activity across nine different cortical regions.

“This study provides,” the authors write, “objective evidence that [brain wave strength] for different brain EEG wave bands are modulated differentially by different types of nuts. These data appear to support an association of nuts’ health benefits with an increase in [delta waves] and [gamma waves].”

More specifically, peanuts resulted in the strongest delta response, while pistachios produced the highest response in gamma waves.

Gamma waves are associated with perception, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, and information processing and retention, and they are generally thought to improve cognitive processing.

Delta waves are linked with a healthy immune response and deep, or non-REM, sleep. Both delta and gamma waves were highest with pecan nuts.

The researchers also looked at the antioxidant concentration of each different kind of nut and found that walnuts had the highest levels of the substance, followed by pecans and cashews.

Overall, all six nut varieties had high levels of the beneficial antioxidants.

“This study provides significant beneficial findings by demonstrating that nuts are as good for your brain as they are for the rest of your body.” – Dr. Berk

Dr. Berk also hopes that future research will unveil further benefits of nuts on the brain and nervous system.

He is known for his previous research into the benefits of flavonoids in dark chocolate, as well as his studies on the health benefits of laughter and happiness.

Source: Medical News Today

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