Video: Taco Donut

High-end SoCal taqueria Puesto in California has created what appears to be the world’s first “taco donut.” Instead of a fried dough crammed with taco toppings and fillings, however, this is a $60 shareable platter of a half-dozen high-end, high-quality tacos served in the shape of the popular breakfast staple.

It is high-end because of the fancy Filet Mignon and Maine lobster that get jam-packed into this cool new item.

Watch video (0:57 minutes) . . . . .


Brownies with Shredded Coconut and Almond


3 oz unsweetened chocolate squares
3/4 cup butter
2-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
5 eggs, divided vanilla
1 cup all-purpose Flour
2 cups toasted chopped almonds, divided
1 (250 g) pkg cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp all-purpose Flour
2 cups coconut flakes
whole almonds
1 oz semi-sweet chocolate squares


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Melt sweetened chocolate and butter in a microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
  3. Stir 2 cups sugar into chocolate. Mix in 3 eggs and vanilla. Stir in 1 cup flour and 1 cup chopped almonds.
  4. Spread into greased, toil-lined 13- x 9-inch baking pan.
  5. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, remaining 2 eggs and 2 tbsp flour until smooth. Stir in remaining 1 cup chopped almonds and coconut. Spread over brownie batter.
  6. Bake 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out almost clean. Cool in pan. Remove, cut into squares. Drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate and garnish each brownie with 1 whole almond.

Makes about 2 dozen brownies.

Source: Canadian magazine

In Pictures: Cheesecakes of Cheesecake Factory in the U.S.

Fresh Banana Cream Cheesecake

Chris’ Outrageous Cheesecake

Cherry Cheesecake

Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake

Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake

White Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Nut Cheesecake

Toasted Marshmallow S’mores Galore

Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple Cheesecake

Coconut Water: Is It What It’s Cracked Up to Be?

If you’ve read about coconut water — the liquid from an immature (green) coconut — online or in the media, you’d think it was a miracle beverage that could cure you of everything from heart disease to obesity. Here are some popular claims seen in the media and a registered dietitian nutritionist’s take on these claims.

Myth or fact? Coconut water is an ideal post-exercise drink.

The verdict: Myth. You may see gym-goers guzzling coconut water on the treadmill because it contains electrolytes, which you lose when you sweat. But for the average light-to-moderate exerciser, “If you’re consuming enough fluids and eating healthfully the rest of the day, having coconut water after a workout is not going to significantly benefit you any more than hydrating with water,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RDN, who is a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Unflavored coconut water is low in sugar and calories and is not the perfect sports drink. Sports drinks are meant to replace fluids, supply energy and replace sodium and potassium lost through perspiration.

Myth or fact? Coconut water hydrates you better than H2O.

The verdict: Myth. There is no scientific proof that coconut water is more hydrating than regular water, says Nolan Cohn. “There also is a great amount of variability with coconut water electrolyte, vitamin, mineral and sugar content from brand to brand, so you never really know what you are getting,” she says.

Myth or fact? Coconut water has anti-aging properties.

The verdict: Myth. Being well-hydrated does help you look and feel better, says Nolan Cohn, but water works just as well for this. And, as to the online claim that coconut water “significantly increases plant cell proliferation without increasing the number of undesirable mutations” and, therefore, protects your cells — there’s been no research to show that this plant-specific action makes any difference in an actual human being.

Myth or fact? Coconut water is healthier than fruit juice.

The verdict: Fact. Coconut water generally has fewer calories and added sugar than fruit juice, says Nolan Cohn. However, buyer beware as labels can be deceiving. “Be sure to check the calories and sugar content per serving of your coconut water,” she says. “Often, the bottle you buy contains two or more servings which means you’re doubling the calories.”

Myth or fact? Coconut water helps prevent stroke and heart attack.

The verdict: Myth. You may have seen coconut water touted as a heart-healthy beverage. The potassium in coconut water helps counteract the blood pressure-boosting effects of sodium, so, in theory, drinking coconut water could help prevent heart disease. Potassium is an important nutrient, Nolan Cohn points out, but potassium from food sources also has other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that promote a healthy body. “It’s important to make sure your primary source of dietary potassium is from a variety of foods, and not just coconut water.”

Myth or fact? Coconut water speeds your metabolism.

The verdict: Myth. When we’re dehydrated, our metabolism slows down, says Nolan Cohn, so anything you drink will help keep your metabolism speeding along. And anything you eat or drink will give a temporary boost to your metabolism because your body has to digest the food. “Increasing a person’s metabolism is complicated and requires many different nutrition and lifestyle variables such as sleep, overall hydration, meal timing, exercise and food choices,” she says. “Any one food or nutrient will not increase metabolic rate without the support of a healthy lifestyle.”

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Water Intoxication – When You Drink Too Much Water

Arlene Semeco wrote . . . . . .

All the cells and organs in your body need water to function properly.

Because of this, you need to constantly replace water lost through sweat, urine and breath.

Not drinking enough water can cause symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and muscle cramps.

Conversely, drinking way too much water can also cause a serious condition called water intoxication.

What is water intoxication?

Also known as water poisoning, water intoxication is the disruption of brain function due to drinking too much water (1).

Drinking a lot of water increases the amount of water in your blood.

This water can dilute the electrolytes in your blood, especially sodium. When sodium levels fall below 135 mmol/L, it is called hyponatremia.

Sodium helps balance fluids between the inside and outside of cells.

When sodium levels drop due to excess water consumption, fluids shifts from the outside to the inside of cells, causing them to swell (2).

When this happens to brain cells, it can produce dangerous and potentially life-threatening effects.

Bottom line: Water intoxication results from drinking too much water. The excess water dilutes blood sodium levels and causes fluids to move inside cells, which then swell.

Drinking too much water can be dangerous

Water intoxication results from the swelling of cells.

When brain cells swell, pressure inside the skull increases. This pressure causes the first symptoms of water intoxication, which include:

  • Headache.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.

Severe cases can produce more serious symptoms, such as:

  • Increased blood pressure.
  • Confusion.
  • Double vision.
  • Drowsiness.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Muscle weakness and cramping.
  • Inability to identify sensory information.

Excess fluid accumulation in the brain is called cerebral edema, which can affect the brain stem and cause central nervous system dysfunction.

In severe cases, water intoxication can cause seizures, brain damage, coma and even death.

Bottom line: Drinking too much water increases pressure inside the skull. This can cause various symptoms and even be fatal in severe cases.

Water intoxication has caused death

It’s very difficult to consume too much water by accident, yet there have been reported cases of deaths due to this condition.

Many water intoxication cases have been reported in soldiers.

One report concerned 17 soldiers who developed hyponatremia as a result of excess water intake. Their blood sodium levels ranged from 115 to 130 mmol/L, but the normal range is 135-145 mmol/L (4).

Another report described how three soldiers died due to hyponatremia and cerebral edema. These deaths were associated with drinking 2.5-5.6 gallons (10-20 liters) of water in just a few hours (5).

The symptoms of hyponatremia can be misinterpreted as those of dehydration. One soldier, who was misdiagnosed as suffering from dehydration and heat stroke, died from water intoxication as the result of repeated oral hydration (3).

Water intoxication also occurs during sports, especially endurance sports. Over-hydration is common in these activities as a means to avoid dehydration.

For this reason, hyponatremia often occurs during major sporting events.

At the 2002 Boston Marathon, 13% of participants had hyponatremia symptoms. 0.06% showed critical hyponatremia, with sodium levels less than 120 mmol/L (8).

Unfortunately, some instances of water intoxication at these sports events have resulted in deaths.

One case involved a runner after a marathon. Tests revealed that his sodium levels were less than 130 mmol/L. He developed hydrocephalus and brain stem herniation, which caused his death (9).

Excessive water drinking can also occur in psychiatric patients, especially schizophrenics.

One study of 27 schizophrenics that had died young showed that five of them died due to self-induced water intoxication (13).

Bottom line: Water intoxication is most common among soldiers, endurance sports athletes and schizophrenia patients. Several hyponatremia cases and deaths have been reported in these populations.

How much water is too much?

Over-hydration and water intoxication happens when you drink more water than your kidneys can get rid of via urine.

But the amount of water isn’t the only factor. How long you take to drink the water also counts.

You have a greater risk of developing water intoxication if you drink a lot of water in a short period of time. The risk is less if you drink the same amount over a much longer period of time.

Symptoms of hyponatremia can occur from as little as 0.8-1 gallons (3-4 liters) of water in a short amount of time (14).

Your kidneys can eliminate about 5.3-7.4 gallons (20-28 liters) of water a day, but they can’t get rid of more than 27-33 ounces (0.8-1.0 liters) per hour (14, 15).

Therefore, in order to avoid hyponatremia symptoms, you should not drink more than 27-33 ounces (0.8-1.0 liters) of water per hour, on average (14).

Many reported cases of water intoxication result from drinking large amounts of water in a short period of time.

For example, one report describes soldiers who developed symptoms after consuming half a gallon of water (1.8 liters or more) per hour (4).

Another report shows the development of hyponatremia with water intake of 2.5-5.6 gallons, or 10-20 liters, in just a few hours (5).

A case of water intoxication and prolonged hyponatremia also occurred in a healthy, 22-year-old male prisoner after he drank 1.5 gallons (6 liters) of water in 3 hours (1).

Finally, a 9-year old girl who drank almost a gallon (a total of 3.6 liters) of water in 1-2 hours developed water intoxication (14).

Bottom line: The kidneys are capable of excreting up to 7 gallons (28 liters) of fluid per day. However, they cannot excrete more than 1 liter per hour. Therefore, drinking more than this is not a good idea.

How much water do you actually need?

There is no specific number for how much water you actually need to drink a day. It differs for each individual.

To determine how much you need, consider your body weight, physical activity level and climate.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) suggests the adequate water intake per day for men is 125 ounces (3.7 liters), while for women it is 91 ounces (2.7 liters).

However, these recommendations include water from beverages and foods.

Some people still follow the 8 x 8 rule, which recommends drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. However, this rule is mostly arbitrary and not based on research (17, 18).

A good rule of thumb is to listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty. This should be enough to maintain good hydration levels.

However, relying on thirst alone may not work for everyone. Athletes, older adults and pregnant women may need to drink some extra water each day.

Source: Medical News Today

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