Video: Intriguing Innards in Chinese Hotpot

The Chinese are known for not being wasteful when it comes to food, often finding ways to cook up all parts of an animal. Offal including the stomach and intestines as well as blood can end up as hotpot ingredients. While they may look unappetising, these items have a unique taste and flavour that hotpot goers should muster up the courage to try.

Watch video at SCMP (3:16 minutes) . . . .

Broccoli and Tomato Quiches


Cheese Pastry

8 oz plain flour
pinch of salt
generous pinch of cayenne
4 oz butter or margarine
4 oz hard Cheddar cheese, finely grated
1 egg, beaten


3 eggs
2 oz garlic herb soft cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 oz broccoli, cooked
2 tomatoes, sliced


  1. To make the pastry, sift together the flour, salt and cayenne.
  2. Rub in the fat until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the cheese and beaten egg and mix to a firm dough.
  3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead as little as possible until smooth.
  4. Roll out to l/4-inch thickness and line four small quiche tins. Chill whilst preparing the filling.
  5. Beat the eggs into the garlic herb cheese, then add the milk, salt and pepper.
  6. Cut the broccoli into 1-inch pieces and divide between the quiche tins with the tomato slices.
  7. Pour the egg mixture over the top and cook in a preheated moderately hot 190°C (375°F) oven for about 20 minutes until golden and set. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Soups and Starters

In Pictures: Character Bento


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Long-term Exercise by Older Adults Tied to Lower Risk of Falls

Lisa Rapaport wrote . . . . . . . . .

Older adults who have exercised regularly for at least a year may be less likely to experience falls or related injuries than their less active peers, a research review suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from 40 clinical trials with a total of 21,868 adults who were 73 years old on average. All of the smaller trials randomly assigned some participants to do a variety of exercise programs for at least 48 weeks while others joined a comparison group that didn’t exercise or, more often, an “active control” group that might exercise outside the context of the workouts being tested.

Participants assigned to the tested exercise programs for at least one year were 12 percent less likely to fall and 26 percent less likely to sustain injuries if they did fall than people who were not part of exercise interventions, the analysis found.

Exercise programs were also associated with a 16 percent lower risk of fractures.

“Exercising continuously in time brings health benefits even in late life, including for people with chronic conditions,” said lead researcher Philipe de Souto Barreto of Toulouse University Hospital in France.

A variety of factors can make falls more likely, and exercise may help address many of these issues at once, Barreto said by email. Workouts may strengthen leg muscles, improve balance and coordination while walking, and help reduce the risk and severity of osteoporosis, or diminished bone density that can make fractures more likely when people do fall.

The analysis didn’t find a connection between exercise and a lower risk of multiple falls, hospitalizations or premature death, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Source: Reuters

Short Bouts of Stairclimbing Throughout the Day Can Boost Health

It just got harder to avoid exercise. A few minutes of stair climbing, at short intervals throughout the day, can improve cardiovascular health, according to new research from kinesiologists at McMaster University and UBC Okanagan.

The findings, published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, suggest that virtually anyone can improve their fitness, anywhere, any time.

“The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate ‘exercise snacks’ into their day,” says Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster and senior author on the study.

“Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening and know they are getting an effective workout.”

Previous studies had shown that brief bouts of vigorous exercise, or sprint interval training (SIT), are effective when performed as a single session, with a few minutes of recovery between the intense bursts, requiring a total time commitment of 10 minutes or so.

For this study, researchers set out to determine if SIT exercise snacks, or vigorous bouts of stairclimbing performed as single sprints spread throughout the day would be sufficient enough to improve cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), an important healthy marker that is linked to longevity and cardiovascular disease risk.

One group of sedentary young adults vigorously climbed a three-flight stairwell, three times per day, separated by one to four hours of recovery. They repeated the protocol three times each week over the course of six weeks. The researchers compared the change in their fitness to a control group which did not exercise.

“We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the stair snacking approach was also effective,” says Jonathan Little, assistant professor at UBC’s Okanagan campus and study co-author. “Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who are otherwise sedentary.”

In addition to being more fit, the stair climbers were also stronger compared to their sedentary counterparts at the end of the study, and generated more power during a maximal cycling test.

In future, researchers hope to investigate different exercise snacking protocols with varying recovery times, and the effect on other health-related indicators such as blood pressure and glycemic control.

Source: Science Daily

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