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Archive for March 23, 2012

Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Squash Recipe

Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins | Makes: 4 to 6 servings

Using prepared red curry paste is an easy and fast way to add traditional Thai flavors to this vegetarian one-pot meal. Start by sautéing onion, bell pepper, garlic, and ginger with red curry paste, then add coconut milk to create the base for the stew. Chunks of kabocha squash simmer in the base for about 20 to 25 minutes, enough time for the curry to thicken, creating a creamy and slightly sweet dish. Spoon it over steamed white rice or brown rice and pack up any leftovers for a hearty lunch.

What to buy: Kabocha is a squat winter squash with tender, sweet, orange flesh and a thin, dark green skin. Acorn or butternut squash is a good substitute if you can’t find kabocha, but cooking times may then vary, so be sure to keep an eye on the squash while simmering.

Game plan: Check out this CHOW video on safe ways to cut hard squash.

This recipe was featured as part of our Easy Weeknight Vegetarian Main Dishes.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 medium green bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed and cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger (from about a 1-1/2-inch piece)
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 1 (13- to 14-ounce) can unsweetened regular coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 medium kabocha squash (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Steamed white rice or steamed brown rice for serving
  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 6 minutes. Add the peppers, garlic, and ginger, stir to combine, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the curry paste, stir to coat the onion-pepper mixture, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stir to combine, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Stir in the squash, return to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium low, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is fork-tender but still firm, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with salt as needed.
  4. Sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately over steamed rice.

Read More: CHOW

Baked Giant White Beans With Cabbage

This slow-baked bean and cabbage dish is luxurious in both taste and texture. The limas become soft and pillowy after their long, slow simmer, while releasing some of their starch into the bean broth; the cabbage sweetens over time and almost melts into the velvety broth. Baked beans with cabbage traditionally contain a ham bone or some salt pork for flavor, but I get that rich umami flavor with Parmesan rinds.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 pound cabbage, cored and chopped or shredded

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound large white beans or dried lima beans

7 cups water

A bouquet garni consisting of 2 Parmesan rinds, 4 parsley sprigs, 2 thyme sprigs and a bay leaf

Salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (more to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, ovenproof casserole and add the onion and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, and stir in the cabbage and half the garlic. Cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes, until the cabbage has wilted.

3. Add the beans, water, bouquet garni and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover and place in the oven. Bake 1 hour and add the remaining garlic; taste and adjust salt. Return to the oven and bake for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are very tender and creamy. Taste and adjust salt. Remove the bouquet garni. Stir in the chopped parsley. Serve hot or warm.

Yield: 6 servings.

Advance preparation: These will keep for about 4 days in the refrigerator. The starch from the beans will continue to thicken the broth, so they may require thinning with additional water when you reheat.

Nutritional information per serving: 331 calories; 5 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 55 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams dietary fiber; 44 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 19 grams protein

Read More: NYT

Seaweed bread helps dieters consume 180 fewer calories a day – the same as a half hour gym session

Filling: The seaweed was actually ground up and mixed with bread to make a filling toast for the study

Eating a slice of bread baked with ground-up seaweed could help you feel fuller for longer, researchers have found.

Men fed the speckled toast consumed 179 fewer calories on average than those given a slice of wholemeal – the same amount as you would burn during a half hour session on the treadmill.

The tests at Sheffield Hallam University were the first to involve adding the entire seaweed plant to the bread mix rather than breaking it down to extract various chemicals.

The bread – served with the crusts cut off – did not include any salt with the seaweed acting as a total replacement.

None of the men could tell the difference between an ordinary loaf and the slices seasoned with seaweed – which has a similar taste but far lower sodium levels.

As well as cutting salt intake, the seaweed also acted a bulking agent so the men felt fuller and less hungry.

So when the 12 men were presented with as many 400g bowls of pasta and tomato based sauce as they could eat for lunch some drew the line after a couple of bowls.

The seaweed was sourced from the Scottish Outer Hebrides. Dr Craig Rose from The Seaweed Foundation which supported the study, said: ‘It is not as salty as normal bread but you don’t notice any marine flavours and it is very acceptable.

‘It is just like eating normal bread. It rises just the same and looks just the same.

‘It has far more minerals than any land plant. It tastes minerally and works flavour wise.’

Half an hour on the treadmill burns around 180 calories - the amount saved by men who ate the seaweed toast
Half an hour on the treadmill burns around 180 calories – the amount saved by men who ate the seaweed toast


The test panel was split into two and given either egg on brown bread or enriched bread.

Researchers from Sheffield’s Centre for Food Innovation checked how much they ate and blood pressure levels. They found the men fed the seaweed bread consumed 179 less calories in a day, with 100 calories being significant for weight loss.

Dr Rose added: ‘This is the first time that this has looked at the using the whole seaweed as a food. All that has happened is it has been dried and milled.

‘Other works have looked at extracting chemical s from the seaweed and using them. So this study is very important in using whole seaweed to provide all the benefits. There is also on-going research showing it increases the shelf life of product.

‘The seaweed acts a bulking agent in the stomach giving a feeling of fullness. It has sodium in low levels but far less than salt.

‘It is also natural, sustainable, organic and adds nutrition. So unlike most bulking agents it is not just filling something out for the sake of cheapness.’

Lecturer in nutrition Anna Hall, who led the study, said: ‘I tried the bread and really like it. It does look a bit different to normal wholemeal.

‘The seaweed is fine granules so the bread looks a bit speckled but it tastes very nice.’

Previous research has looked at using seaweed as a salt substitute with pasta. As well as using it in bread the university is also investigating applying the principle to a range of meat products including sausages, Professor Hall said.

Read More: DailyMail

Stroke risk lower among women who drink moderately


Women who drink up to seven glasses of wine or beer a week are slightly less likely to suffer a stroke than those who steer clear of alcohol, according to a U.S. study that covered thousands of women for nearly 30 years.

The results, published in the journal Stroke, fall in line with guidelines from the American Heart Association that recommend women have no more than one drink a day—but that doesn’t mean people should take up drinking to stave off strokes, researchers said.

“We do not encourage women who do not currently drink to initiate drinking,” said Monik Jimenez, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, who led the study.

“Alcohol is a double-edged sword, because higher levels can increase high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation, which are risk factors for stroke as well,” she told Reuters Health.

Several previous reports have shown that low levels of alcohol drinking are tied to a smaller chance of having a stroke.

Jimenez and her colleagues used data from the massive Nurses’ Health Study, which tracked the health, diet and lifestyle of more than 83,000 middle-aged women for 26 years.

They compared the drinking habits of women in the study who had had a stroke, to women who hadn’t, dividing the women into five categories: from those who never drank, to the heaviest drinkers who had at least two and a half beers or two shots’ worth of hard liquor or about three glasses of wine a day.

Of the roughly 25,000 women who never drank, about four percent had a stroke at some point during the study.

In contrast, two percent of the more than 29,000 women who had up to half a drink a day on average had a stroke. And of those downing between a half glass and a full glass daily, just one in 200 ended up suffering a stroke.

After the researchers took into account certain risk factors for stroke, such as smoking, being overweight and a history of heart disease, they found that having up to one drink a day was linked to a 17 to 21 percent lower chance of having a stroke.

The study didn’t prove that alcohol prevented the strokes, and there’s no known explanation for the relationship between the two.

It may have something to do with socioeconomic status, said Cheryl Bushnell of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, who was not involved in the study and noted that lower socioeconomic status is known to be linked with a higher risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

“My thought is that alcohol costs money. And I think that people who may be drinking light to moderate amounts with a meal are basically people who may have slightly higher means to buy that,” Bushnell told Reuters Health.

“It’s something that’s a lifestyle.”

But she did say that it’s possible alcohol itself is responsible for the lower stroke risk. Jimenez suggested that alcohol might do so by preventing blood clots or altering cholesterol levels.

Her study did not show an increased risk of stroke among the women who drank the most, but other research has suggested that possibility. One found that having several drinks was actually linked to an increased risk of stroke in the next 24 hours.

Read More : FoxNews

For Moms with Postpartum Depression, the Nation’s First Inpatient Unit

Studio Boo… Images by Amber Northfield / Flickr / Getty Images

For moms battling depression, a first-of-its-kind psychiatric unit at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers intensive, inpatient care.

Jenna Zalk Berendzen gave birth to a son in June. It was a difficult labor, and after Maxwell was born, Berendzen “just felt different.” She was anxious and had trouble sleeping. When she told the nurses, they soothed her, saying, “Oh, it’s just new motherhood.”

But Berendzen, a nurse practitioner herself, suspected it was much more. And she was right. “The night I got home, I started to feel I was going to die,” says Berendzen, from Cedar Falls, Iowa. “I felt maybe I shouldn’t be here so my son could have a better mom. “

Over the next few months, Berendzen, 36, started on antidepressants and antipsychotics. At one point, she had up to 15 bottles lined up in her bathroom. Despite the medications, she still felt overwhelmed. She told her husband she thought she needed to be hospitalized in a psychiatric unit, but being separated from Maxwell — whom she continued to breast-feed and care for — only exacerbated her precarious emotional state. “I knew I wasn’t safe at home, but I also didn’t feel safe there because I was away from my son,” she says. “Being in the hospital perpetuated my feelings that I’m a bad mom because I was away from him.”

It’s a crossroads faced by the sickest mothers who struggle with depression both during and after their pregnancy: a general psychiatric ward that treats drug addicts and schizophrenics doesn’t feel welcoming to moms whose mental health struggles have a very clear cause, the birth of their child. Historically, they’ve had no place to turn.

Then last year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) opened the nation’s first stand-alone inpatient psychiatry unit specifically for expectant or new mothers struggling with depression and anxiety. It’s not somewhere moms hope they’ll ever end up, but for those who need round-the-clock care, it’s a place where treatment focuses on the needs of both mother and baby. Perhaps most significantly, a hospitalized mom is able to be with her baby most of the day, which stands in contrast to many general psych wards that don’t allow infants.

There’s weekly therapy from psychologists who practice mother-infant attachment therapy, which works on how mom relates to her baby and reads her baby’s cues, and there’s partner-assisted psychotherapy, which helps dad understand how he can be most effective. Moms learn stress-management skills, practice yoga and participate in biofeedback sessions and mindfulness-based stress reduction groups. They have access to lactation consultants and hospital-grade breast pumps if they want to express milk. Coping skills and medication help get these moms back on track; counselors help connect departing mothers with hometown resources or transition them to outpatient programs.

Outpatient programs serve the majority of mothers who battle postpartum depression. Up to 15% of moms are thought to be affected, but most experience mild to moderate symptoms that don’t require intensive therapy. About 5% of those who become ill are affected so severely that they need to be hospitalized. Think of it like heart disease, says Dr. Samantha Meltzer-Brody, director of the perinatal psychiatry program at UNC and an associate professor of psychiatry. Most of the time, the condition can be successfully managed with outpatient therapy; in the event of a heart attack, however, patients will need state-of-the-art care in a cardiac intensive care unit (ICU). “This is our ICU,” says Meltzer-Brody.

The unit evolved from a pilot program launched in 2008; it was so successful — attracting hundreds of women from across the country — that hospital administrators were persuaded to carve out a separate space for the program. They set aside five patient beds and have treated 61 women since August, when the unit opened.

Decorators have tried to mirror what a lot of labor and delivery units across the country have done in recent years, swapping cold tiles for warm Pergo floors and making rooms pretty and welcoming. Rooms are designed to feel more like a comfy and serene space than an institution. Walls are painted cream and blue; artwork features seascapes and mountains. There are gliders in each room, along with baby bassinets and cuddly blankets.

The real attraction, however, is the camaraderie. “To be there with people who are going through the same thing is hugely important,” says Meltzer-Brody. “You don’t feel alone.” For many women, being surrounded by others experiencing the same struggles is akin to opening the floodgates. “Everyone is in there because things are really not going well,” says Meltzer-Brody. “There is a rawness.”

By the time they check in, women are beyond the point of acting as if everything’s fine. “There is a stigma around postpartum depression, but by the time they are that bad that they need to be in the hospital, they can’t pretend any more,” says Meltzer-Brody. “There’s an enormous relief in being able to be honest with their experience.”

Insurance typically covers the cost of hospitalization as a mental health stay, assuming a woman’s symptoms are severe enough. But still, the average stay of seven to 10 days can be prohibitively expensive, after factoring in travel for mom, dad and baby.

Berendzen was lucky; her sister-in-law lives in Chapel Hill and provided family support for her husband and baby. She was admitted the day after Labor Day and quickly noticed the difference between her hospitalization in Iowa and the specialized focus on moms and babies at UNC. Maxwell was able to visit so she could nurse him. Yoga helped relax her. Meeting other women like her made her feel less alone. “I didn’t feel crazy,” says Berendzen.

When she checked out after 10 days, she felt more confident in her ability to handle new motherhood. Back home in Iowa, she feels as healthy as before the depression took root.

It’s not easy to share your vulnerability with a national audience, but Berendzen hopes that spreading the word about the care she received in Chapel Hill will lead to other similar programs throughout the country. Says Berendzen: “I don’t want to think I went through this in vain.”

Read More: Time


Higher birthweight ‘linked to grandmother gene’

The study suggested a gene variation could contribute to the weight of a newborn child


Scientists say a gene variation could contribute up to 155g (5.5oz) to a child’s birthweight.

The gene studied is believed to act as a growth suppressor, reducing birthweight.

But the UK-based researchers found a particular variant passed down from the mother can add 93g (3.3oz) to the birthweight, or 155g if passed down from the maternal grandmother.

Details are published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

Professor Gudrun Moore of University College London and colleagues looked at a gene called PHLDA2 in nearly 9,500 DNA samples taken from mothers and their babies, collected in three separate studies.

They found a gene variant called RS1 appeared to change the way in which the gene functioned, leading to higher birthweights.

“The gene is already known to have a profound effect on birthweight by acting as a growth suppressor,” Prof Moore told BBC News.

“We have found a genetic variant of PHLDA2 that when inherited from the mother, causes the baby to be 93g bigger on average, or even 155g bigger on average, if inherited successively from the mother’s mother.”

The RS1 variation was found in around 13% of the individuals studied, with 87% possessing the RS2 variation.

“We suggest that the more common RS2 gene variation, which is only found in humans, has evolved to produce a smaller baby as a protective effect to enhance the mother’s survival during childbirth,” said Prof Moore.

“Dad’s lack of involvement in evolutionary terms may stem from his own survival not being at stake and he can continue to reproduce with other females.”

Gene ‘silenced’

The PHLDA2 gene is unusual in that only the copy inherited from the mother is active, while the copy inherited from the father is “silenced”. This silencing of the paternal gene results from molecular processes around the DNA known as epigenetics.

Prof Tim Spector of King’s College London, explains what epigenetics are


Scientists do not know why, but have speculated that it is to ensure birthweight is reduced to ensure the mother survives childbirth.

Dr Caroline Relton of Newcastle University said: “Although this study looks only at birthweight as an outcome, it is possible that this genetic variant may have longer-term health consequences.

“Indeed the long-term health consequences associated with extremes of birthweight might be due in part to this and other contributory genetic factors.”

Read More: BBC

性感女星網友批肥肚 求助溶脂追求健美腹直肌


擁有纖瘦的體態是眾多女性所追求嚮往,但現代人對身材的要求愈來愈高,不僅要瘦,更要雕塑健美體態,從前最常見的醫美熱門項目不乏隆乳、抽脂,而在 女性的挑剔之下,打造迷人的腹直肌也加入了女性整形的排行榜中。一般來說腹部約佔人體三分之一以上的面積,隨著低腰褲的盛行,若有凸凸小腹,很容易就會超 出褲頭的「緊界線」,於是不僅男人勤練腹肌,女人想擁有一片平坦、結實的腹部線條更成了現今整形雕塑的風潮。

米蘭時尚診所洪寬哲醫師表示,近年來東方人逐漸受到歐美文化的影響,許多人對於美麗身材的觀念已經產生改變,看看韓國那些男星、女星不僅纖瘦,更瘦 得健美,而肌肉線條的展現就是健美最好的象徵。而日前性感藝人邱詩玲(前星女F4團體)更因為某周刊拍攝性感寫真,被網友批評小腹太大,下定決心前往診所 透過飛塑溶脂打造性感小腹線條。

洪寬哲醫師解釋,飛塑溶脂是臨床中針對過去累積的溶脂經驗做了提升改良,結合了雷射溶脂及專一性超音波頻率溶脂技術,過程中只針對脂肪進行溶解,不 會破壞神經、血管、肌肉…等週邊組織。除了可保留結締組織外,還可以加強術後肌膚的彈性、緊緻度。甚至由於過程中僅選擇性破壞脂肪,所以引流出來的脂肪會 呈現乳糜狀,減少出血量以降低術後不適感。洪寬哲醫師進一步表示,相較於傳統抽脂,飛塑溶脂的特性讓溶脂塑身變得更加輕鬆,更可再合併肌肉雕刻術,打造出 緊緻又漂亮性感的腹直肌線條。

以性感藝人邱詩玲為例,在一開始與專業醫生評估及討論後進行了飛塑溶脂,由於恢復期短,並無中斷影響其活動通告的安排,再搭配術後塑身衣輔助消腫修 復,如今已成功告別小腹,並擁有迷人的腹直肌線條,邱詩玲也開心的說,以後一定會控制飲食並適度運動以維持這樣的好身材,待夏日來臨,也可以放心又自信地 展露完美體態。

原文出处: 中國時報

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