New Summer Sweet

Goldfish Swimming in Fish Bowl

The sweets are available from the cake shop of Tokyo Mandarin Oriental Hotel for 800 yen (plus tax) each.

Portobello Mushroom with Cheese and Pine Nuts


4 large portobello mushrooms
100 g Gorgonzola
100 g flavoured cream cheese, like Black Pepper Boursin)
olive, chili or sesame oil, for drizzling
2 tsp dried oregano
few pinches (one per mushroom) of chili or red pepper flakes
1 tbsp pine nuts
4 handfuls of mixed salad leaves
salt and pepper


  1. Peel the mushrooms and pull off the stems so you are left with four mushroom ‘bowls’. Place these in a buttered oven dish.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium.
  3. Mix together the cheeses and then fill each mushroom with the cheese mixture.
  4. Drizzle with whichever oil you choose (truffle oil, if you have it, is lovely) and scatter over the dried oregano. Season with salt and pepper (you won’t need much salt, as Gorgonzola is quite salty).
  5. Sprinkle with a smattering of chili or red pepper flakes and place the mushrooms under the grill until they are sizzling and soft, about 10 minutes.
  6. Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan until golden.
  7. Arrange your salad leaves over four plates. Place a grilled mushroom in the middle and scatter over the toasted pine nuts.
  8. Serve with your favourite salad dressing.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: My Family Kitchen

In Pictures: Home-cooked Dishes with Avocado

Avocado and Fig Salad

Shrimp, Avocado and Yogurt Salad

Sea Urchin with Avocado

Avocado and Potato Quiche

Avocado and Bacon Pasta

Avocado and Cheese Croquettes

3 Exercises for Better Balance

Len Canter wrote . . . . . . . . .

Guarding against falls isn’t just for the elderly. The inner ear’s ability to maintain balance can begin to decline as early as age 40, according to a study in Frontiers of Neurology. So the time to improve your balance is now.

Strong legs and flexible ankles help prevent falls and allow you to catch yourself if you do trip, so target these areas through exercise. Here are three moves to practice regularly.

Ankle rotations: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg out in front of you and use your big toe to make circles in the air. Move clockwise for 15 to 20 rotations and then counterclockwise for an equal amount. Repeat with the other foot.

Single leg balancing: Stand straight, feet together, arms at your sides. Lift one foot a few inches off the floor, bending that knee slightly, and balance on the other leg. Hold for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat. Aim for twice on each side. Keeping stomach muscles contracted will help.

The dancer’s pose: Better balance is one of yoga’s benefits, and this pose is particularly effective. Stand straight, feet together, arms at your sides. Raise your right arm out in front of you, thumb toward the ceiling. Lift your left leg behind you, bending at the knee. Reach back with your left hand to grab your left foot and help bring it toward your rear. You can lift your right arm higher for better balance. Hold briefly, then return to start and repeat on the other side. Repeat up to four times on each side.

Source : HealthDay

Study: Most Testosterone-boosting Supplements Are Ineffective

Elyse Blye wrote . . . . . . . . .

Men who want to improve their libido or build body mass may want to think twice before using testosterone-boosting supplements ­— also known as “T boosters” — as research shows these alternatives to traditional testosterone replacement therapy may not have ingredients to support their claims, according to Mary K. Samplaski, MD, assistant professor of clinical urology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

“Many supplements on the market merely contain vitamins and minerals, but don’t do anything to improve testosterone,” Samplaski said. “Often, people can be vulnerable to the marketing component of these products, making it difficult to tease out what is myth and what is reality.”

Testosterone is the primary male sex hormone and the reason why men produce sperm and have Adam’s apples. It’s also why men develop more “masculine” features like bulging muscles, a deep voice, broad shoulders and a hairy chest. After age 30, most men experience a gradual decline in testosterone, sometimes causing these features to diminish or new symptoms to occur, like erectile dysfunction. In an attempt to turn back the hands of time, some men will turn to T boosters.

Using a structured review approach, Samplaski and a team of researchers explored the active ingredients and advertised claims of 50 T boosting supplements. Their findings were published as an original article in The World Journal of Men’s Health.

Researchers performed a Google search with the search term “Testosterone Booster,” thus mimicking a typical internet research for someone looking to increase testosterone levels, and then selected the first 50 products that came up in their search. Then, the team reviewed published scientific literature on testosterone and the 109 components found in the supplements. Zinc, fenugreek extract and vitamin B6 were three of the most common components in the supplements.

The team also compared the content for each supplement with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) and the upper tolerable intake level (UL) as set by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Of the 150 supplements, researchers came across 16 general claims to benefit patients, including claims to “boost T or free T”, “build body lean mass or muscle mass”, or “increase sex drive or libido.”

While 90% of the T booster supplements claimed to boost testosterone, researchers found that less than 25% of the supplements had data to support their claims. Many also contained high doses of vitamins and minerals, occasionally more than the tolerable limit.

Unlike drugs, supplements are not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure diseases, according to the FDA. As such, Samplaski would like to see more regulation around testosterone-boosting supplements to protect consumers. She also would like to explore disseminating handouts to her patients with more accurate information in the hopes that it encourages patients to seek a medical professional for low testosterone issues.

While no one can escape the effects of aging, Samplaski said there is something men can do to address their concerns. “The safest and most effective way for men to boost low testosterone levels is to talk with a medical professional or a nutritionist.”

Source: University of Southern California

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