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Archive for August 1, 2012

Moroccan Soup to Fill the Tummy


1 lb lamb, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup chopped celery & leaves
2 onions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, and cilantro, chopped and mixed
1 (2 lb) can tomatoes, chopped
3/4 cup lentils
1 cup chickpeas (canned are fine)
1/4 cup fine soup noodles 2 eggs, beaten with the juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Put the lamb, spices, butter, celery, onion, and parsley/cilantro in a large soup pot and stir over a low heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato pieces, and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Salt lightly.
  4. Add the juice from the tomatoes, 7 cups of water, and the lentils.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, partially cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
  6. When ready to serve, add the chickpeas and noodles and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Then, with the soup at a steady simmer, stir the lemony eggs into the stock with a long wooden spoon.
  8. Continue stirring slowly, to create long egg strands and to thicken the soup.
  9. Season to taste. ladle into bowls and dust with cinnamon. 10 Then there’s always those little bowls of extra lemon juice for you inveterate sour pusses.


Rosemary Swordfish Skewers with Sweet Pepper Salad

Use a colorful assortment of bell peppers in this salad. If you’ve got a farmers’ market nearby, try the often vast array of other sweet peppers available, like Gypsy, Lipstick, and Jimmy Nardello.


  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 small assorted sweet peppers, 2 sliced into 1/4” rounds, 2 cut into strips
  • 1/2 small onion, cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced, soaked in ice water
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar
  • 4 ounces arugula (about 8 cups loosely packed)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound 1”-thick swordfish steaks, trimmed, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon (generous) minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • Special Equipment:

    4 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour before using) or 4 metal skewers


  • Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.) Bring oil and garlic to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until garlic is toasted and light golden brown, about 6 minutes (remove from heat if garlic is cooking too quickly). Pour oil through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl and let cool. (The garlic could burn if left in the oil.) Reserve garlic chips for garnish.
  • Combine peppers, onion, jalapeño, vinegar, and 1/4 cup garlic oil in a large bowl. Add arugula; toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper. Let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Place 3–4 cubes swordfish on each skewer. Brush fish with remaining garlic oil; sprinkle with rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill swordfish until just opaque in the center and lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes on each of the 4 sides.
  • Divide salad among plates. Place a skewer atop each. Garnish with garlic chips and lemon quarters for squeezing over.


Young with eating disorders ‘missing out on vital help’


Rosemary needed treatment for anorexia for over two decades after been hospitalised in her 20s

Eating disorders in children are not being taken seriously enough, depriving them of vital treatment, a leading expert has told BBC Newsnight.

Professor Bryan Lask said he is seeing ever younger patients, with increasing numbers becoming ill under age 10.

His pioneering research suggests a strong genetic predisposition to anorexia, which experts say needs to be tackled through early intervention.

New figures reveal eating disorders cost the NHS £1.26bn a year in England.

Specialists have reported that cutbacks in health spending are putting pressure on specialist services, with patients becoming sicker while they wait for admission.

Genetic link

Anorexia is recognised as the most deadly of all psychiatric illnesses, killing more people than alcohol and drug addiction and depression.

The outcome for patients remains very poor – only half the people who get it will recover.

New understanding of the disease is coming from research led by Prof Lask, who set up the eating disorders unit at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Prof Bryan Lask
Prof Bryan Lask has found indications that part of the brain could be different in people with anorexia
His team have been researching a tiny part of the brain, the insula, which photo imaging technology shows to be underactive in people with anorexia.

“We are suspecting that there is an abnormality in the insula, it is not quite working properly and… there’s a knock on effect around the body,” he told Newsnight.

Prof Lask believes his work shows there is a genetic pre-disposition to getting anorexia which should transform attitudes to the illness.

“For so long people thought that this is essentially middle class girls getting it. But it’s not like that at all. It’s an illness we do not choose to get,” he says.

“This is a much more serious disease than was previously understood.”

‘Revolving door treatment’

I think I was very good at being anorexic, losing weight, that was my drive”

Rosemary Marston

Rosemary Marston was severely ill with anorexia for 30 years.

As a teenager she was a high achiever and insisted on the exacting standards commonly associated with the illness.

“I think I was very good at being anorexic, losing weight, that was my drive… just as some people are successful at sport, I was that dedicated to being ill,” she says.

This dedication is one reason why anorexia is so difficult to treat.

Another is the painstakingly long process of recovery. Rosemary describes her experience as a “revolving door situation”.

“I would go into hospital, my weight would be restored, I would leave feeling not much better about my prospects and end up back in hospital.

“I worked out that in the last 20 years of the illness, I spent 18 years as an inpatient.”

Root causes

Prof Lask believes one problem is that treatment focuses on restoring weight and not tackling the underlying issues:

“The focus is so much on re-feeding and weight restoration.”

A well-intended strategy to keep people out of hospital will actually lead to more chronic and severe and enduring cases”

Martin Davies Care UK

“We are struggling with the idea that once their weight is restored they’re cured. It’s nonsense. They’re not at all,” he says.

Care UK, a private company, runs a number of specialised services for people of all ages with eating disorders.

Martin Davies, who runs the service, says pressures on NHS budgets mean people are not getting the treatment they need. He thinks the root causes of the disease are not being tackled:

“We’re addressing the symptoms quite effectively, but we’re doing so over and over again and in turn that will mean that a certain percentage of those cases will keep coming back,” he says.

“I think that actually a well-intended strategy to keep people out of hospital will actually lead to more chronic and severe and enduring cases,” he adds.

Osteoporosis at 18

As many patients and their families know, accessing specialised services is not easy.

The parents of Ffion Jones, from Camarthenshire, had to campaign to get funding for the specialised treatment she needed.

She is now being treated at a centre run by the Oxford Health Trust.
At 22-years-old Ffion is suffering from long term health problems as a result of her anorexia
Her room, which has been home since last March, is covered with art work containing motivational messages which she hopes will help her recovery. One reads: “Don’t make excuses, make improvements.”

Ffion became ill when she was 11 years old. She says that was the last time she had a birthday cake.

Now 22, Ffion hopes to study psychiatric nursing at university. But she says she will not escape some of the devastating consequences of malnutrition.

“I have a lot of long-term complications which I was quite naive about and didn’t really want to acknowledge as part of the illness.

“I was diagnosed with osteoporosis when I was 18. I had a scan last week which showed I might have a curved back, where two of my vertebrae are crumbling. I’m not sure if I’ll get to have children or not.”

A new study by the eating disorder charity Beat reveals the financial cost of eating disorders, especially among young people.

Most cases start in adolescence, affecting seven in 1,000 girls, and one in 1,000 boys.

In England, it costs a minimum of £1.26bn a year – and in line with mental health issues generally, this figure is expected to double over the next 20 years.

Early intervention

While the numbers affected by anorexia remain stable, researchers and clinicians have told the BBC that the age of patients is getting younger, and they are seeing more sick children under the age of 10.

They say this makes the early intervention of specialised treatment even more urgent.

It has taken her decades, but Rosemary feels she has beaten anorexia. She now works as a mentor for others with eating disorders.

“The last two years has been about making use of what I could look back on as a futile period of my life. I’m not willing to do that.

“I invested a lot in anorexia, it nearly killed me… If all I can do is offer the hope about being recovered then I will.”


Mild mental illness ‘raises risk of premature death’

Woman holding head in her hands

The group said the NHS was guilty of injustice in its treatment of people with mental illness

People with mild mental illnesses such as anxiety or depression are more likely to die early, say researchers.

They looked at the premature deaths from conditions such as heart disease and cancer of 68,000 people in England.

The research suggested low level distress raised the risk by 16%, once lifestyle factors such as drinking and smoking were taken into account.

More serious problems increased it by 67%, the University College London and Edinburgh University team said.

“People with severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia die, on average, 20 years earlier than the rest of us ”

Paul Jenkins Rethink chief executive

The risk among those with severe mental health problems is already well documented.

But researchers said the finding among those with milder cases – thought to be one in every four people – was concerning, as many would be undiagnosed.

The Wellcome Trust-funded study, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at data over 10 years and matched it to information on death certificates.

This is the largest study so far to show an association between psychological distress and death, according to scientists.

Lead author Dr Tom Russ said: “The fact that an increased risk of mortality was evident, even at low levels of psychological distress, should prompt research into whether treatment of these very common, minor symptoms can modify this increased risk of death.”

John Williams, head of neuroscience and mental health at the Wellcome Trust, said: “This study highlights the need to ensure they have access to appropriate health care and advice so that they can take steps to improve the outcome of their illness.”

Paul Jenkins, chief executive of the charity Rethink, said: “Sadly, these findings do not come as a surprise.

“While this study looks at depression and anxiety, people with severe mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia die, on average, 20 years earlier than the rest of us. It’s an absolute scandal.

“There is a huge lack of awareness amongst health professionals about the increased risk of physical illness for this group, which means people are dying needlessly every day.”


Wrong medical equipment ‘undermining aid effort’

Newborn baby's hand

People at the extremes of life are more at risk

Inappropriate equipment is undermining the medical aid effort in developing countries, experts say.

A joint Lancet and Imperial College London review found poor countries were being given devices they could not use or maintain.

It said richer nations should aim their efforts at lower-cost equipment tailored for the developing world.

Research has shown 40% of devices in poor countries are out of service, compared to 1% in the developed world.

Donated medical equipment is one of the key sources of supply for developing countries, with some nations relying on aid for up to 80% of their infrastructure.

But the researchers gave several examples of equipment being donated that was just not suitable.

A Gambian hospital was once handed oxygen concentrators, devices used to deliver high concentrations of oxygen to patients, that did not have a voltage compatible with local electricity supplies.

Mobile telecommunications

On another occasion a hospital in Nicaragua was given lights for an operating theatre, but they could not afford the bulbs.

We need to remember that most health technology is designed for an environment with high spending on health, a reliable energy supply and large numbers of trained healthcare professionals”

Peter Howitt Report author

The report said rich nations should focus their efforts on what they called “frugal technologies”.

These include things such as the Jaipur foot, a rubber prosthetic for people who have lost their leg below the knee.

Its design allows users to walk on uneven surfaces without a shoe.

Another suggestion was single use needles to reduce infection rates through needle re-use.

Peter Howitt, one of the report’s authors, said: “We need to remember that most health technology is designed for an environment with high spending on health, a reliable energy supply and large numbers of trained healthcare professionals.

“It is not always appropriate for the developing world.”

But the report did urge rich nations to consider making more use of mobile telecommunications, pointing out that while basic services such as sanitation remained a problem, many people had access to phones.

It said things such as smoking cessation and disease surveillance could be done via mobiles.


Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s bosses claim improved care

Hinchingbrooke Hospital graphic
Circle took over the running of Hinchingbrooke Hospital in February

The first private company to run an NHS hospital claims it has cut waiting times, improved care and delivered savings in its first six months.

Circle has run Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire since February.

Regional NHS officials monitoring Circle say the company has made a good start, while warning that improvements at the hospital must be sustainable.

But the biggest health union, Unison, says staff morale is falling amid worries over job losses.

The BBC’s health correspondent, Adam Brimelow, said Circle’s 10-year contract to run Hinchingbrooke hospital is a key test of the ability of the private sector to turn around struggling public services, not just in health but right across government.

Before the takeover, ministers had described the hospital as a clinical and financial basket case, our correspondent added.

Upon its takeover, Circle announced a 16-point transformation plan including putting doctors and nurses in leadership roles.

It says this has helped to deliver big improvements, reflected by high patient approval ratings.

The company also hopes to balance the books year on year in the next two to three years.

Unison, which strongly opposed the deal, says the honeymoon period for Circle at Hinchingbrooke is over, and that staff at the hospital are worried about cuts.


带着孩子一起运动:父母多运动 孩子也多运动



(图片:路透社/Lucy Nicholson) 新研究表明,当孩子看到自己的父母运动时,他们往往也会跟随增加运动量。







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