My Recipe

My Recipe

Vermicelli Soup with Shrimp and Meat Ball

Ingredients:

16 frozen large shell-on shrimp
6 oz lean ground pork
32 oz bean thread vermicelli
12 oz suey choy
2 can canned straw mushroom (drained)
8 sprigs or to taste cilantro
to taste fresh Thai chili (finely sliced)

Pork Marinade:

1 tsp Golden Mountain seasoning or Maggi seasoning
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
1½ tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp Shallot (minced)
1½ tsp garlic (minced)
1½ tsp Ginger (minced)
1 Tbsp cilantro (minced)

Broth Seasoning:

6 cups water
1 cube chicken bouillon
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
2¼ tsp Golden Mountain seasoning or Maggi seasoning

Method:

  1. Soak bean thread vermicelli in cold water for about 1 hour. Rinse and drain. Cut into 2 to 3 inches sections.
  2. Add marinade to pork. Mix well. Add shallot, garlic, ginger and cilantro. Mix again. Shape into meat balls. Refrigerate if desired.
  3. Thaw frozen shrimp in refrigerator overnight or in a colander under running cold tap water. Shell shrimp and devein (if any). Dry shrimp with paper towel. Set aside.
  4. Separate stalks from suey choy. Wash and drain. Cut into 1” wide strips.
  5. Cut straw mushroom into halves and big one into quarters. Rinse and drain.
  6. Dissolve 1 cube chicken bouillon in 6 cups boiling water. Add suey choy and meat ball. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes until suey choy is tender. Add the rest of the broth seasoning ingredients, straw mushroom and bean thread vermicelli. Bring to a boil again. Add shrimp and cook until colour turns pink. Remove onto serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro and chili.

Video: Why New York Has the Best Bagels

Many agree that the Big Apple has the best bagels in the world, but many also disagree on why.

Some say it’s the tap water, others say it’s the dough, and a few say it’s purely attitude.

The video dives into the chemistry of these tasty breakfast treats with the help of a top chef.

Watch video at You Tube (3:12 minutes) . . . .

The Surprising Dangers of CT Scans and X-rays


Enlarge image . . . . .

Patients are often exposed to cancer-causing radiation for little medical reason, a Consumer Reports investigation finds

When James Duncan, M.D., a radiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, experienced intense pain in his abdomen in 2010, he rushed to a local emergency room. His doctors suspected kidney stones, but they wanted to be sure, so they ordered a CT scan. Duncan remained motionless as the machine captured a detailed, 3D image of his abdomen. He knew that the test was done when the machine stopped whirring. So he was surprised when the scanner kicked back on after a few seconds.

“I later learned that the technician running the CT mistakenly believed that the first scan didn’t include the top of my kidneys, and decided to acquire more images ‘just to be sure,’ ” Duncan says. “The irony: I was getting ready to give a lecture on reducing radiation exposure from medical imaging. And there I was, reluctantly agreeing to a CT scan and then getting overexposed.”

Duncan will never know whether that specific scan caused any long-term harm, because it’s almost impossible to link radiation exposure from any one medical test to a future illness. But like other researchers, he knows that doctors today order millions of radiation-based imaging tests each year, that many of them are unnecessary, and that the more radiation people are exposed to, the greater their lifetime risk of cancer.

X-rays have been used for almost 120 years, but the introduction of computed tomography, or CT scans, in the 1970s, was revolutionary. The new tests, which use multiple X-ray images, allowed doctors to see with unprecedented precision the inner workings of the human body, and earned the inventors of the device the 1979 Nobel Prize in medicine. Use of the tests grew quickly, rising from fewer than 3 million per year in 1980 to more than 80 million now.

But recent research shows that about one-third of those scans serve little if any medical purpose. And even when CT scans or other radiology tests are necessary, doctors and technicians don’t always take steps to limit radiation exposure.

All of that exposure poses serious health threats. Researchers estimate that at least 2 percent of all future cancers in the U.S.—approximately 29,000 cases and 15,000 deaths per year—will stem from CT scans alone. Even some standard X-rays, which expose you to much smaller amounts of radiation, can pose risks if you undergo multiple ones.

“No one says that you should avoid a CT scan or other imaging test if you really need it, and the risk posed by any single scan is very small,” says Marvin M. Lipman, M.D., Consumer Reports’ chief medical adviser. “But the effect of radiation is cumulative, and the more you’re exposed, the greater your cancer risk. So it’s essential that you always ask your doctors why they are ordering an imaging test and whether your problem could be managed without it.”

Given those risks, why are we—and our doctors—so scan-happy?

15,000 – That’s the number of people estimated to die each year because of cancers caused by the radiation in CT scans alone.

For one thing, patients aren’t necessarily aware of the danger. A new Consumer Reports survey of 1,019 U.S. adults found that people are seldom told by their doctors about the risks of CT scans and other radiology tests. It’s no surprise, then, that only 7 percent of those who had a nondental X-ray and 2 percent of those who had a CT scan thought they might have received the tests unnecessarily. And only 4 percent ever told their doctor they did not want a CT scan. “That’s worrisome,” says Lipman’s colleague at Consumer Reports, Orly Avitzur, M.D. “Patients need to take the lead on this because their doctor may not.”

Other studies show that doctors themselves often underestimate the dangers CT scans pose. Moreover, some doctors may actually have a financial incentive to order the tests.

“Health care professionals shouldn’t have the right to image children or adults unless they first show that they can do it safely and appropriately, and most of the time in this country, that’s not happening,” says Stephen J. Swensen, M.D., medical director at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “If the scan isn’t necessary or emits the wrong dose of radiation, the risks far outweigh the benefits.”

Radiation risk 101

CT emits a powerful dose of radiation, in some cases equivalent to about 200 chest X-rays, or the amount most people would be exposed to from natural sources over seven years. That dose can alter the makeup of human tissue and create free radicals, molecules that can wreak havoc on human cells. Your body can often repair that damage—but not always. And when it doesn’t, the damage can lead to cancer.

Cancers from medical radiation can take anywhere from five to 60 years to develop, and risk also depends on age and lifestyle. That’s why scientists struggled in early attempts to quantify the danger of medical radiation. Until recently, researchers often relied on evidence from the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But now research shows that today’s medical patients are being harmed, too.

New evidence comes from a 2013 Australian study that looked at more than 680,000 people who had CT scans as children and compared them with some 10 million children who did not have a CT scan. The researchers determined that for every 10,000 young people scanned, 45 would develop cancer over the next 10 years, compared with 39 cancers among 10,000 people not screened. Overall, people scanned had a 24 percent increased cancer risk, and each additional scan boosted risk an additional 16 percent. Children who had one before the age of 5 faced a 35 percent spike in cancer risk, reflecting the fact that young bodies are more vulnerable to radiation.

Other researchers estimate that for every 1,000 children who have an abdominal CT scan, one will develop cancer as a result. And a 2012 study that looked at almost 180,000 British children linked CT scans to higher rates of leukemia and brain cancer.

“All too often children are receiving adult-sized doses of radiation, which is many times the amount they need,” Swensen says. “The dose directly increases the risk of leukemia or a solid tumor. And that’s not regulated today.”

Radiation poses a smaller risk to older people, in part because there is less time for cancer to develop in them, explains David Brenner, Ph.D., director of the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University. But, he points out, adults actually receive far more scans than children do, “so the bigger issue is actually with adults.” Research also suggests that, contrary to expectations, the risk of radiation-induced cancer, notably of the lungs, doesn’t decline as we age.

One scan leads to another

One of the insidious ways that unnecessary CT scans increase risk is that a single CT test often leads to another, then another. A disturbing example of that dangerous cascade was featured in an article in the September 2014 issue of the Journal of Patient Safety, co-authored by John Santa, M.D., medical director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center.

An 11-year-old girl received a CT scan because of possible appendicitis. That was the first mistake: An ultrasound, which does not emit radiation, is the best initial test in such situations. The second error occurred when her CT showed a normal appendix but her doctors noted a spot on one lung and decided that it warranted a follow-up CT. Such incidental findings are so common doctors have a name for them: incidentalomas.

Expert advice is to ignore the vast majority of those results because slight abnormalities seen on scans are very common but rarely harmful. Yet many doctors find the urge to order follow-up tests irresistible. For the 11-year-old girl, the CT didn’t reveal a tumor or any other problem, but over the next two years her doctors recommended repeat scans of her lungs, all of which would further increase her cancer risk.

“Stories like this occur every day in the United States,” Santa and his co-authors wrote. “This unfortunate sequence of patient harm, waste, and needless anxiety could have been completely avoided with an ultrasound. None of this had to happen. None of this has to happen.”

[ . . . . . ]

Read more at ConsumerReports.org . . . . .

Italian Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

18 oz green asparagus
1½ tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions
salt
9 cups vegetable stock (broth)
1 bunch parsley
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
croutons

Method

  1. Wash the asparagus, cut off the woody ends and remove the tips.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan. Add the finely chopped onions and braise gently until golden yellow. Add the cut asparagus and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt, add the vegetable stock (broth) and simmer over a low heat for about 1 hour.
  3. Strain the asparagus stock (broth) through a sieve into a second saucepan. Rub the asparagus through the sieve, add to the stock (broth) and stir well. Add the asparagus tips. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the soup with finely chopped parsley. Serve with Parmesan and croutons.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Cooking with Asparagus


Today’s Comic

Mango and Peach Smoothie

Ingredients

50 g mango
50 g peach
50 g banana
150 ml milk
2 tbsp yogurt
honey to taste

Top Layer

half of above

Bottom Layer

half of above + 20 g red dragon fruit

Garnish

mango and mint leaves

Longevity Facts Revealed in 50 Year Study of Men Who Made It to 100

Among interesting discoveries: longevity more closely related to mother’s than father’s; 20% had dementia; cardiovascular disease big killer.

A 50-year study of men born in 1913 has found that only 10 of 855 (1.2%) lived to become centenarians – 100 years of age. The study provides interesting insight after the age of 80 as to the causes of death and the numbers with dementia. The researchers also have some ideas on what it takes to reach the age of 100.

“Survival was related to non-smoking, mothers’ high age at death, high social class and previous high physical working capacity,” the study says.

Over the past half century, the University Gothenburg has hosted one of the world’s first prospective studies of aging. The researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy have followed the health of these Gothenburg men born in 1913.

The first surveys were conducted in 1963. Now that it has been determined that ten of the men lived to 100, the study is being wrapped up.

Promotes longevity

Various surveys at the age of 54, 60, 65, 75, 80 and 100 permitted the researchers to consider the factors that appear to promote longevity.

A total of 27% (232) of the original group lived to the age of 80 and 13% (111) to 90. All in all, 1.16% of the subjects made it to their 100th birthday.

What were causes of death?

According to the study, of those who died after the age of 80, these were their causes of death:

  • 42% due to cardiovascular disease,
  • 20% to infectious diseases,
  • 8% to stroke,
  • 8% to cancer,
  • 6% to pneumonia and
  • 16% to other causes.

A total of 23% of the over-80 group were diagnosed with some type of dementia.

Unique design

“The unique design has enabled us to identify the factors that influence survival after the age of 50,” says Lars Wilhelmsen, who has been involved in the study for the past 50 years.

“Our recommendation for people who aspire to centernarianism is to refrain from smoking, maintain healthy cholesterol levels and confine themselves to four cups of coffee a day.”

Correlation with the mother’s age

It also helps if you paid a high rent for a home or owned a house at age 50 (indicating good socio-economic standard), enjoy robust working capacity at a bicycle test when you are 54 and have a mother who lived for a long time.

“Our findings that there is a correlation with maternal but not paternal longevity are fully consistent with a previous studies,” Dr. Wilhelmsen says.

“Given that the same associations have been demonstrated in Hawaii, the genetic factor appears to be a strong one.” But still we found that this “genetic factor” was weaker than the other factors. So factors that can be influenced are important for a long life.

No smokers

Two of the 100-year-olds dropped out of the study due to dementia and one for personal reasons.

Facts about the other seven:

  • Two lived at home and five in assisted living facilities
  • None of them smoked
  • All of them exhibited good temporal and spatial cognition
  • All of them wore hearing aids
  • Most of them wore glasses, were able to read and watch TV
  • All of them were slim and had good postures
  • All of them used walkers

“Normally we conducted the surveys at hospitals, but we visited the seven centenarians at home,” Dr. Wilhelmsen says. all of them were clinically healthy, satisfied with their circumstances and pleased to be living where they were.”

Source: Senior Journal

Healthy Breakfast Granola

Ingredients

Canola oil cooking spray
2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup (2 ounces) almond slices
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon fat-free milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup dried cherries
1 tablespoon orange zest

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Combine oats, wheat germ, almonds, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add canola oil, syrup, milk, and vanilla, stirring constantly.
  3. Spread mixture on a baking sheet in a layer about 1/4 inch thick. Bake 25-30 minutes until browned, stirring two or three times during cooking while breaking up large pieces. Remove from the oven, sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, cherries, and zest. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Makes 12 servings.

Source: The Heart-smart Diabetes Kitchen