Music Video: F.A.S.T. Song – to Raise Awareness of Stroke Warning Signs

The song is a parody of the well-known Y.M.C.A song from the 70’s. It features a person having a stroke in a diner and the patrons and staff breaking out in song and dance as they sing about the acronym F.A.S.T., which stands for: Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty and Time to call 9-1-1.

Watch video at You Tube (2:48 minutes) . . . . .


Chestnut Pudding with Brandy Sauce


1 cup candied chestnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk

Brandy Sauce

1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make batter, chop chestnuts coarsely. In a bowl, combine sugar, flour and baking powder and mix in butter, milk and chestnuts. Set aside.
  3. To make sauce, combine brandy, butter and sugar with 1-1/4 cups water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
  4. Pour sauce into 2-quart shallow casserole and drop in batter by tablespoons. Bake pudding for 35 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and top is firm and lightly browned.
  5. Remove pudding from oven and let stand for 1 hour before serving.
  6. To serve, spoon pudding onto dessert plates and serve with scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Met Home magazine

In Pictures: Avocado Art

Tai Chi: A Gentler Way to Exercise for Ailing Hearts

People with heart disease who shy away from traditional cardiac rehabilitation may benefit from tai chi.

A small study found that the slow, gentle movements of this traditional Chinese practice may help increase physical activity among those who are reluctant to exercise.

More than 60 percent of heart attack survivors opt out of cardiac rehabilitation, often because of the perception that the exercise involved will be unpleasant or painful, according to the study authors.

“We thought that tai chi might be a good option for these people because you can start very slowly and simply and, as their confidence increases, the pace and movements can be modified to increase intensity,” said study author Dr. Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher. She is an assistant professor of medicine at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University.

“Tai chi exercise can reach low-to-moderate intensity levels,” she explained in a news release from the American Heart Association. “The emphasis on breathing and relaxation can also help with stress reduction and psychological distress.”

Participants in the study included 29 people, age 68 on average, who’d had a heart attack or a procedure to open a blocked artery. All were sedentary, and most had risk factors for heart problems, such as being overweight, smoking or having diabetes or high cholesterol. All of them also had rejected participation in cardiac rehabilitation.

For the study, they took part in either a short program (24 classes over 12 weeks) or a longer one (52 classes over 24 weeks). All were given a DVD so they could practice tai chi at home.

Tai chi was found to be safe for the participants with heart disease, with minor muscle pain at the very start the only negative effect. Tai chi also was well-liked by the participants, who all reported they would recommend it to a friend. The researchers said the participants attended 66 percent of classes, suggesting it’s a manageable routine.

Tai chi didn’t boost the participants’ aerobic fitness levels after three months. But those who completed the longer program did get more moderate to vigorous physical activity on a weekly basis, the study reported.

The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“On its own, tai chi wouldn’t obviously replace other components of traditional cardiac rehabilitation, such as education on risk factors, diet and adherence to needed medications,” Salmoirago-Blotcher said.

“If proven effective in larger studies,” she said, “it might be possible to offer it as an exercise option within a rehab center as a bridge to more strenuous exercise, or in a community setting with the educational components of rehab delivered outside of a medical setting.”

Source: HealthDay

Researcher Finds Fats and Oils Help Unlock Full Nutritional Benefits of Veggies

The song says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but an Iowa State University scientist has published new research suggesting a spoonful of oil makes vegetables more nutritious.

A new study led by Wendy White, an associate professor of food science and human nutrition, shows that eating salad with added fat in the form of soybean oil promotes the absorption of eight different micronutrients that promote human health. Conversely, eating the same salad without the added oil lessens the likelihood that the body will absorb the nutrients.

The study appeared recently in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the results may ease the guilt of countless dieters who fret about adding dressing to their salads.

White’s study found added oil aided in the absorption of seven different micronutrients in salad vegetables. Those nutrients include four carotenoids – alpha and beta carotene, lutein and lycopene – two forms of vitamin E and vitamin K. The oil also promoted the absorption of vitamin A, the eighth micronutrient tracked in the study, which formed in the intestine from the alpha and beta carotene. The new study builds on previous research from White’s group that focused on alpha and beta carotene and lycopene.

White said better absorption of the nutrients promotes a range of health benefits, including cancer prevention and eyesight preservation.

The study also found that the amount of oil added to the vegetables had a proportional relationship with the amount of nutrient absorption. That is, more oil means more absorption.

“The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption,” White said.

That doesn’t give salad eaters license to drench their greens in dressing, she cautioned. But she said consumers should be perfectly comfortable with the U.S. dietary recommendation of about two tablespoons of oil per day.

The study included 12 college-age women who consumed salads with various levels of soybean oil, a common ingredient in commercial salad dressings. The subjects then had their blood tested to measure the absorption of nutrients. Women were chosen for the trial due to differences in the speed with which men and women metabolize the nutrients in question.

The results showed maximal nutrient absorption occurred at around 32 grams of oil, which was the highest amount studied, or a little more than two tablespoons. However, White said she found some variability among the subjects.

“For most people, the oil is going to benefit nutrient absorption,” she said. “The average trend, which was statistically significant, was for increased absorption.”

Research collaborators include Yang Zhou, a former ISU postdoctoral researcher; Agatha Agustiana Crane, a former graduate research assistant in food science and human nutrition; Philip Dixon, a University Professor of Statistics, and Frits Quadt of Quadt Consultancy, among others.

Unilever, a global food company, provided funding for the research. The company had no input in the publication of the study.

So a spoonful or two of salad dressing may indeed help you derive the optimal nutritional benefit from your veggies. The relationship between a spoonful of sugar and the medicine going down, however, remains outside the scope of White’s research.

Source: Iowa State University of Science and Technology

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