Gadget: Grillbot – The Grill Cleaning Robot

Before and after cleaning

Watch video at You Tube (1:32 minutes) . . . .


Italian-style Grilled Lamb with Sun-dried Tomatoes Served with Pasta


1 rack of lamb
1 lamb shank
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of oregano
pinch of rosemary
1 Tbsp sliced fresh basil

Sun‑dried Tomato Purée

1/2 cup sun‑dried tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper


250 g fettuccine
3/4 cup snow peas
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Rub salt, pepper and oregano on lamb shank. Roast in a covered dish for 1 hour or until meat is loose and tender.
  3. Pull meat off bone and shred into a frying pan. Save all drippings and add to meat. Set aside.
  4. Cut lamb rack into chops, removing all fat. Season with salt and pepper, oregano, rosemary and fresh basil.
  5. Grill lamb chops or broil in oven at high heat until desired doneness.
  6. To make the Sun‑dried Tomato Purée, process all ingredients in a blender. Remove and set aside.
  7. Add tomato purée, red onions, tomato, garlic, butter, white wine and cream to shredded lamb meat in the frying pan. Simmer until vegetables are cooked and sauce starts to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook fettuccine and add to sauce.
  9. Serve the lamb chops and lamb shank with the pasta.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Source: ciao! magazine

In Pictures: Burgers in America

‘Making the Best of It’: Families Face the Heavy Burden of Alzheimer’s

Alan Mozes wrote . . . . . . .

For Marilyn and Tom Oestreicher, their golden years were within reach.

After more than four decades of marriage, the Illinois couple had fashioned a comfortable daily routine. The parents of two grown children, she was a bank teller, while he was a school teacher and a published Civil War scholar.

But in 2013, Tom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 65. And all of their plans were thrown into disarray.

“It’s certainly not how we saw the end of our journey,” admits Marilyn. “My grandma died at 93 with dementia. And my mom has it now at 93. But it’s a whole different ballgame when it’s your spouse. You just have to go forward and do what you can do.”

For Marilyn, that meant coming to terms with her new and often daunting role as the caregiver for a loved one struck by progressive dementia.

She has plenty of company.

“When you look at Alzheimer’s statistics, we know that there are now more than 5 million Americans being cared for by 15 million unpaid caregivers,” said Monica Moreno, national director of the Alzheimer’s Association’s division of Early Stage Initiatives and E-Services.

Absent new treatments for a disease with no known cure, those figures will likely triple by the middle of the century, Moreno added.

“Which means that an escalating number of families are going to be facing the challenges of caregiving for a devastating disease,” she noted. “So, what we want to do is make sure that we understand exactly what these challenges are, so we can make sure that there are programs and support services in place that can help them through every step of this disease.”

Gauging the burden

To that end, the Alzheimer’s Association has just completed a new survey that asked more than 1,500 adults to share their fears and concerns about getting older, getting sick and/or caring for a family member struggling with dementia.

Roughly 70 percent of non-caregivers said they are afraid of ultimately becoming a burden to their spouse, partner or children. A similar number said they feared becoming unable to support and care for themselves.

That might explain why nearly 60 percent of non-caregivers said they were specifically afraid of getting Alzheimer’s, more than the 46 percent who said they were afraid of simply dying.

Still, the vast majority (85 percent) said they would want their spouse or partner to be their main caregiver if the need arose. Nearly three-quarters said they would want professional caregivers, exceeding the roughly two-thirds who said they would want their children to shoulder that responsibility.

Among people already caring for someone with Alzheimer’s, nine in 10 cited emotional stress as the biggest challenge, while about 80 percent said physical stress and time management were big problems. Nearly 70 percent felt financial strains, and about two-thirds said they felt ill-informed about the disease.

And while eight in 10 caregivers agreed that it ideally “takes a village” to care for someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia, more than 80 percent said they had insufficient help from other family members. Almost two-thirds of caregivers said they felt isolated or alone, and roughly half said they had no one with whom to discuss their hardships.

Caregiving a lonely business

“Part of it is that people don’t understand,” explained Marilyn. “Not your girlfriends, not your sisters. Nobody. And really, if they’re not going through it themselves they can’t understand, or they don’t want to because they don’t want to think it can happen to them,” she added.

“In fact, some caregivers end up totally losing touch with family or friends, almost out of a fear that they can catch this themselves. Now, we haven’t had that happen. But we have very, very good friends,” she said.

Marilyn has also found solace in an Alzheimer’s support group, a regular caregiver gathering that she describes as a “sisterhood.”

“These are people who are dealing with this day to day,” she said. “They understand the struggle. I’m not, but some are on meds because of depression, or to help them sleep, or to help them keep going. And that’s something you can talk about. You can talk about anything with them, because they’re going through the same thing. You get information, and you get support. And that helps you to understand that there is life after a diagnosis.”

The ‘unsung heroes’

Alzheimer’s patient Mike Belleville, a Massachusetts resident, couldn’t agree more. Caregivers are “the unsung heroes of this whole thing,” he stressed.

“People with dementia are losing a piece of ourselves and our identity every day. But the people who care for us are also losing a piece of their identity every day as well. And that’s not recognized enough. So ‘caregiver,’ for me, doesn’t even [express] enough respect for what they do,” added Mike, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2014 at the age of 52.

Instead, he calls his wife his “life-giver,” pointing out that it was she who took the first critical steps to get him back on his feet after his diagnosis.

“We were stunned,” Mike recalled. “I was a telecommunications technician for Verizon for almost 20 years, which was a pretty demanding job. But when I started to forget things I had trained others to do — when I would start getting lost coming home from work — we went to see a doctor,” he said.

“But it was a complete shock to us. We didn’t even know you could get it when you’re that young. We had no idea what to do. We were clueless,” Mike explained. “I had been a very active person. But, to be honest, I went into a deep depression for the first five to six months.”

It was his wife who finally reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association, beginning the process of “getting educated about the disease,” he added.

“So, now we’re plugged in,” Mike said. “We understand what’s going on. And we don’t feel like we’re trying to do this all on our own. And I’m retired, and I can still function pretty well. But my wife now has all the stress of managing all the finances. And caring for our 19-year-old son, who has Asperger’s. And still working a full-time job. And taking care of me. And we’re the lucky ones,” he chuckled.

‘We have our children and friends who pitch in’

Marilyn considers herself lucky as well. With great difficulty, Tom was able to slog through a final year of work, post-diagnosis, to secure his pension. She was able to retire with social security and Medicare in place. “If we had been younger, it would’ve been a big problem. But we’re fortunate,” she said.

“Of course, it can still be really tough,” she added, noting that hired help is likely not in the offing given that Tom had no long-term disability insurance. That fact places them among an estimated 100 million American workers who have no such coverage, according to Council for Disability Awareness.

“But Tom is still very functional,” Marilyn said. “And we have our children and friends who pitch in. So, we don’t need help yet. And when we get to the point when we do, we’ll just have to see how that works out. You just have to make the best of it.”

Source: HealthDay

Timing Meals Later at Night Can Cause Weight Gain and Impair Fat Metabolism

New findings suggest eating late at night could be more dangerous than you think. Compared to eating earlier in the day, prolonged delayed eating can increase weight, insulin and cholesterol levels, and negatively affect fat metabolism, and hormonal markers implicated in heart disease, diabetes and other health problems, according to results from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The findings offer the first experimental evidence on the metabolic consequences of consistent delayed eating compared to daytime eating, and will be presented at SLEEP 2017, the 31st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS), on Sunday, June 4, as an oral presentation at 1:30-1:45 p.m. in room 210 and as a poster presentation from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“We know from our sleep loss studies that when you’re sleep deprived, it negatively affects weight and metabolism in part due to late-night eating, but now these early findings, which control for sleep, give a more comprehensive picture of the benefits of eating earlier in the day,” said Namni Goel, PhD, a research associate professor of psychology in Psychiatry in the division of Sleep and Chronobiology, and lead author of the ongoing study. “Eating later can promote a negative profile of weight, energy, and hormone markers—such as higher glucose and insulin, which are implicated in diabetes, and cholesterol and triglycerides, which are linked with cardiovascular problems and other health conditions.”

In the study, nine healthy weight adults underwent two conditions, one of daytime eating (i.e., three meals and two snacks between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.) for eight weeks and another of delayed eating (i.e., three meals and two snacks eating from noon to 11 p.m.) for eight weeks. There was a two-week washout period between conditions to make sure there was no carry over effect. The sleep period was held constant, between 11 p.m. to 9 a.m.

Participants visited Penn’s Center for Human Phenomic Science to get metabolic measures and blood drawn at the beginning, after the first eating condition, after the two-week washout, and after the second eating condition. This allowed the team to measure changes in weight, metabolism and energy used, and made sure the two week washout allowed all measures to return to baseline before the next condition.

The team found that when participants ate later, compared to the daytime condition, weight increased. Respiratory quotient, i.e. the ratio of carbon dioxide produced by the body to oxygen consumed by the body that indicates which macronutrients are being metabolized, also rose during the delayed eating condition, indicating later eating led to metabolizing fewer lipids and more carbs. The researchers also found that a series of other measures reflecting negative metabolic profiles increased in the delayed condition, including insulin, fasting glucose, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Conducting a 24-hour hormonal profile, they also found that in during daytime eating condition, the hormone ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, peaked earlier in the daytime, while leptin, which keeps you satiated, peaked later, suggesting that the participants received cues to eat earlier, and eating earlier likely helped them to stay satiated longer. This suggests that eating earlier may help prevent overeating in the evening and at night. As sleep-wake cycles were constant, melatonin levels remained constant in both groups.

“While lifestyle change is never easy, these findings suggest that eating earlier in the day may be worth the effort to help prevent these detrimental chronic health effects,” said Kelly Allison, PhD, an associate professor of psychology in Psychiatry and director of the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, and senior author on the study. “We have an extensive knowledge of how overeating affects health and body weight, but now we have a better understanding of how our body processes foods at different times of day over a long period of time.” Similar yet much shorter previous studies have suggested similar results, but this is the first long-term study looking at the timing of eating patterns that also controlled for sleep-wake cycles, exercise, macronutrient intake, etc. to pinpoint the effects of prolonged eating at different times of day.

Source: The University of Pennsylvania Health System

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