Vascular fun and folly

Barring an accident or some trauma, pain management often requires some depth of investigation. Well…opioids and cortisone injections might help get rid of the pain, but what if there might be something lurking in your blood flow? Let’s get into the holistic concepts of vascular system and how USA doctors seem to avoid the topic in helping you.

Do your legs hurt when you walk? Do your muscles feel cramped? Do they tingle? Check with your doctor. It could be several things and you may get several opinions. One of the least likely diagnoses might be peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Routine blood pressure exams measure health issues pertaining to your heart and brain health. Has anyone measured the blood pressure at your ankle? Inadequate blood flow to arms, legs, and many other things below the waist might be related to peripheral vascular conditions. How would you know?

It’s how the blood flows to bring life and joy. Yet, vascular disease may also bring woe and tension. Let’s talk about vascular fun and folly.

The vascular system is the body’s network of blood vessels. It includes the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart. Cardiologists attempt to monitor vascular integrity leading to and from the heart. Deeper exams also view the carotid arteries leading to the brain.

Very few physicians are concerned with the vessels in your other body areas. Chances are that if stiffness and plaque interfere in heart arteries, it may also exist in peripheral blood vessels.

Increase in age usually is associated with vascular diseases but there are other possibilities:

Family history of vascular or heart diseases
Pregnancy
Illness or injury
Long periods of sitting or standing still
Any condition that affects the heart and blood vessels, such as diabetes or high cholesterol
Smoking
Obesity

According to many medical and health organizations, losing weight, eating healthy foods, being active and not smoking can help prevent vascular disease. All of these should not be sporadic but integrated into your lifestyle.

Managing stress well may also help reduce the incidence of vascular diseases. General anxiety is a common part of a long-term stress behavior. It is characterized by long-lasting anxiety that is not focused on any one object or situation. Those suffering from generalized anxiety disorder experience non-specific persistent fear and worry, and become overly concerned with everyday matters, and indirect associations.

According to Harvard Health, anxiety may be one variable in developing vascular disease and heart problems.

Beyond general conceptions about anxiety, your body chemicals called hormones, may increase anxiety. Imbalances in the body’s stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, and the precursor hormone DHEA — can cause a variety of symptoms that seem to be mentally health-related, including depression, anxiety, and insomnia. Hormones, such as estrogen and testosterone may contribute to anxiety. Studies on rats appear to confirm this belief. Thyroid Hormone An overactive thyroid can also cause a significant problem with anxiety, and is very likely to cause panic attacks.

The positive correlation of vascular disease among the aging population may be related to many hormonal changes. Hormone changes may be associated with weight gain, reduced energy, and other conditions despite having followed a healthy lifestyle. These changes are also associated with anxiety.

One symptom that hints of vascular disease is blood pressure. Blood pressure measurements may deviate based on instrumentation. Digital machines have differing programs. That means 110/60 on one unit might be 130/80 on another unit. Anxiety (every now and then) doesn’t cause long-term high blood pressure (hypertension). Frequent episodes of anxiety have been known to cause dramatic, temporary spikes in your blood pressure. The belief is that frequent temporary spikes in blood pressure can have negative consequences that are similar to those of high blood pressure.

Another factor of blood pressure and vascular disease might be sub-conscious brainwaves of consciousness. Your brain has differing wave patterns when you are alert and relaxed. People with hypertension are prescribed beta blockers. These work to help reduce stress and anxiety. Beta brainwaves dominate our normal waking state of consciousness when attention is directed towards cognitive tasks and the outside world. Beta is a ‘fast’ activity, present when we are alert, attentive, engaged in problem solving, judgment, decision making, or focused mental activity. While remaining in beta too long may result in adverse reactions among people with hypertension, little research fails to reach any firm conclusions on associations with vascular diseases.

Vascular diseases begin as inflammation on vascular walls. They turn into lesions over time. Consider getting a paper-cut on your finger. That’s a lesion on your skin. Among the miles of veins and arteries in your body, these lesions form. The body works to protect itself. Vascular plaque forms not only near your heart or brain but other parts too.

Yet the far-reaching roads pf the vascular system extend over every sector and place of your body. Apart from cardiovascular and neurovascular pathways, there are several known peripheral vascular diseases:

Atherosclerosis and Peripheral Artery Disease.
Aneurysm.
Raynaud’s Phenomenon (Raynaud’s Disease or Raynaud’s Syndrome)
Buerger’s Disease.
Peripheral Venous Disease and Varicose Veins.
Blood Clots in Veins (VTE)
Blood Clotting Disorders.
Lymphedema.

Perhaps one of the more disabling of peripheral diseases is Erectile Dysfunction. Some say it is age related. It may be from a vascular disease. When there are peripheral vascular conditions, the blood flow does not just struggle to get to the legs and feet, but also to the penis. This then causes the ever-terrifying condition known as “erectile dysfunction”! Usually, this poor circulation is a result of other health conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Some studies from 2011 found that vascular disease may have had less to do with erectile dysfunction.

Hormonal changes after menopause and possible vascular disease may be behind sexual mishappenings. While peripheral atherosclerosis from high cholesterol and high fats may lead to sexual disabilities, diabetes (hormonal and vascular) might be more significant contributors. In women, diabetes can lead to hardening of the blood vessels of the vaginal wall. Decreased blood flow can affect vaginal lubrication, causing the vagina to be too dry for comfortable intercourse. This condition also seems to put women at greater risk for recurring yeast infections. In men, diabetes can lead to a hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the erectile tissue of the penis. This can cause problems in getting an erection, and the penis may be less firm while erect. Basically, obesity linkage with diabetes may result in vascular folly.

Apart from sexual issues, peripheral pain in limbs may be more associated with vascular conditions than neuromuscular or skeletal issues.

Factors that increase your risk of developing peripheral artery disease include:
Smoking.
Diabetes.
Obesity (a body mass index over 30)
High blood pressure.
High cholesterol.
Increasing age, especially after reaching 50 years of age.
A family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke.

Many of these conditions demonstrate possible circulatory problems in the peripheral vascular system. Diabetics are known to develop gangrene in toes and fingers, in extreme cases, with surgeries required for removal. Certain dietary choices and smoking may deprive areas of blood – over time. Constriction of the blood vessels is the body’s way to raise the blood pressure. By narrowing the passage in the blood vessels, blood flows more slowly to the organs and the extremities. This goes way beyond the scope of heart and brain vascular issues. Peripheral vasoconstriction is associated with chronic stress.

Peripheral vasoconstriction is the narrowing of the blood vessels resulting from contraction of the muscular wall of the vessels, in particular the large arteries and small arterioles. The process is the opposite of vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels. Vasoconstriction of the arterioles increases resistance and decreases blood flow. This may cause hypertension readings in early stages.

Peripheral vascular testing is generally overlooked by most traditional physicians. The diagnosis of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD) should always be confirmed using objective vascular testing. Sometimes heart and brain vascular health seem clean and normal. Other parts of your vascular system may not be as healthy. When it comes to where the blood flows and how, a thorough vascular health screening is a more holistic approach for the bigger picture.

The most common symptom of peripheral vascular disease in the legs is pain in one or both calves, thighs, or hips. Like many other health-related issues, proper diets and movement exercises are beneficial for treatment and lifestyle. Your health care professional will most likely recommend physical therapy or physiatry as part of a treatment plan. When no other treatment is offered by a general physician, you may want to consult with a vascular specialist.

In the flowing tributaries so vital to our lives, vascular health influences us through arteries, veins, and capillaries. PAD usually affects the arteries in the legs, but it also can affect the arteries that carry blood from your heart to your head, arms, kidneys, and stomach. The center hub is your heart beating constantly. And by genetics or personal choice, determinants of what is in your blood contribute to your health and how you feel. Managing dietary and activity lifestyles, monitoring hormones, and insisting that your doctor examines all your vascular system may help you enjoy life better. Seek vascular fun over folly.

Analyzing dietary fat

People come in all shapes and sizes. Some are tall, some are short. Some are large and some are thin. Age also contributes to the softening of lean tissue. Then there’s dietary fat that can be good or bad for you.

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that healthy adults over the age of 19 consume between 20 and 35 percent of their daily calories from dietary fat. This means if you eat a diet of 2,000 calories per day, you should consume between 44 grams and 77 grams of total fat daily. Almost all dietary fat in your diet comes in the form of triglycerides. Most of this fat is necessary for metabolizing energy. Some key nutrients require fat for body absorption. A small amount of fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. Excess fat is stored in the body’s cells until it is needed for energy. Fat helps to form ATP as a core component to deliver energy. ATP uses fat, sugars, starches to tabulate energy consumed and used. Dietary fat is necessary – perhaps more than sugars. Is there a best dietary fat?

When eating foods containing dietary fat, here are four major dietary fats in the foods we eat:
Saturated fats.
Trans fats.
Monounsaturated fats. (MUFA)
Polyunsaturated fats. (PUFA)

Unsaturated fats include polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Both mono- and polyunsaturated fats, when eaten in moderation and used to replace saturated or trans fats, might help lower cholesterol levels and may reduce your risk of heart disease, when replacing use of saturated or trans fats in food preparation. Keys here are moderate and replacement.

The discussion among the use of better dietary fat offers some complexity about how fat is structured and how those structures interact with your body. Fats are chains of acids. Some are essential, with either short, medium, or long tails that create a fat molecule. Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, are fatty acids that humans and other animals must ingest because the body requires them for good health but cannot synthesize them. Non-essential fatty acids are those we can produce and are usually added dietary fat for flavor enhancement.

There are differences among saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Fatty acids that possess no double bonds are saturated (have maximum number of H atoms). Saturated fatty acids are linear in structure, originate from animal sources (i.e. fats) and are typically solid at room temperatures

Fatty acids with double bonds are unsaturated – either monounsaturated (1 double bond) or polyunsaturated (>1 double bond). Unsaturated fatty acids are bent in structure, originate from plant sources (i.e. oils) and are typically liquid at room temperatures. Sources of unsaturated fat vary:

Avocados. One medium avocado has approximately 23 grams of fat, but it is primarily monounsaturated fat.
Walnuts plus other nuts, like almonds and pistachios, and nut and seed butters.
Olives and Olive oil. …
Ground flaxseed
Salmon and other fish oils

Transduction is the process of how your body isolates dietary fat components to feed cells, hormones, and other body parts and functions. Excess or non-essential) fats are stored microscopically in many areas. Chronic excesses start to show in arteries organs, and skin tissues. Either resourced from unsaturated, saturated, essential, or non-essential, many of these excesses are deposited as fat storage. This is how the body transduces (converts) fats. Display of fatty skin deposits usually result from long and accumulating deposits of dietary fat.

So how is fat stored? It’s complicated. Fat cells are actually molecules containing chains of acids. Some are essential fatty acids (EFA) providing nutrients for cell and body function. Other fatty acids are catalysts that aid in controlling balance, elimination, and storage. The fatty acids are bonded together by a glue made of starches. These are called triglycerides and are essential to make and keep fat molecules fatty. It’s a symbiosis for keeping your body comfortably fat. Yet, too much storage leads to obesity and diseases like diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Surprisingly, dietary fat uses a starch-based relative of the carbohydrate family. It’s called glycerol. All oils and fat contain glycerol. Glycerol is a polyhydric alcohol, or a sugar alcohol, a polysaccharide. Glucose is the basic unit, of which polysaccharides like starch and cellulose are composed. Glycerol is an essential component of oils and fats, which are called esters or triglycerides. On one end of the chain there is a carboxyl-group, or a carbon double bonded to an oxygen and single bonded to an oxygen and hydrogen. Double bonds are depicted by using two lines. A fat is formed when a glycerol joins with three fatty acids. Fats are also called triglycerides. On one end of the chain there is a carboxyl-group, or a carbon double bonded to an oxygen and single bonded to an oxygen and hydrogen. Fatty acids are long, straight chain carboxylic acids. A fat (or oil) is formed when three fatty acid molecules react with a glycerol molecule to yield a triglyceride. Double bonds are depicted by using two lines, which you can see in the image below. A fat is formed when a glycerol joins with three fatty acids. Fats are also called triglycerides. These fat molecules bond to tissues of the body.

Two of the fatty acids are considered essential. These essential fatty acids (EFAs) are known as linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). One system of fatty acid classification is based on the number of double bonds. Stearic acid is a typical long chain saturated fatty acid. Oleic acid is a typical monounsaturated fatty acid. Linoleic acid is a typical polyunsaturated fatty acid.

Groups of fatty acids bond with a fat molecule and these are called short-chain (SCFA), medium-chain (MFA or MCT), long-chain (LFA), and (sometimes) very long chains. Understanding fats through fatty acids helps you appreciate how fats are essential and basic to cell and body functions. Fats are lipids. Lipids include fats, fatty acids, sterols, phospholipids, glycolipids, waxes, and other substances. They are essential components of every cell membrane.

Short-chain fatty acids are fatty acids with fewer than 6 carbon (C) atoms. They are produced when the friendly gut bacteria ferment fiber in your colon, and are the main source of energy for the cells lining your colon. These 3 short-chain acids work at processing fiber for regularity when eliminating waste products.

Foods containing SCFA consist of:

Resistant starches from whole-grain cereals, barley, brown rice, beans, lentils, green bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes or pasta.

Pectin from apples, apricots, blackberries, carrots and oranges.

The primary acids are:

Acetic acid (2 C atoms)
Propionic acid (3 C atoms)
Butyric acid (4 C atoms)

In the metabolic process, SCFA is simpler because of the shorter fatty acid but are often essential at regulating the use of food fibers from remaining in your body.

Medium chain fatty acids or medium chain triglycerides are more sophisticated and actually help improve digestive processes and more efficient metabolism. Used responsibly, MCT may help keep your weight stable or help you lose a few pounds.

Use of these foods provide surprising effects, especially coconut oil (caprylic acid) that are generally saturated fats. Aside from coconut oil, smaller amounts of MCTs can also be found in certain other foods with saturated fats including butter (especially butter from grass-fed cows), cheeses, palm oil, whole milk and full-fat yogurt. While this lies contrary to low-fat dieting there is some scientific support that responsible use of these MCT foods may help contribute to weight loss and higher energy via interactivity with certain proteins.

Long-chain fatty acids are those with 14 or more carbons. They’re found in most fats and oils, including olive oil,
canola oil, soybean oil, fish, nuts, avocado and meat.

Yet, even in these long fat chains conflicts remain about health benefits of Omega-3 and Omega-6 benefits. As social media guru Dr. Mercola indicates:

The science is loud and clear: the correct balance of fatty acids is essential if you want to be the healthiest you can be.

There are actually two problems related to how these fats are being consumed by most Westerners today:

Most people are consuming far too many omega-6 fats or fatty acids compared to omega-3 fats or fatty acids.

The ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the typical Western diet is between 1:20 and 1:50.
The typical Westerner is consuming far too many polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) altogether, which is a problem in and of itself.
So, most consume the wrong amount—AND the wrong ratio of these highly benefical fats.

Both omega-3 and omega-6 fats are PUFAs and they’re both essential to your health, but when omega-6 is consumed in excess, it become problematic.

As a group, when consumed in the wrong ratios, they tend to stimulate inflammatory processes in your body, rather than inhibit them.

You need some inflammation to protect yourself from infections and trauma, and PUFAs help you mount these defenses.

The interesting thing is that Omega-3 is a dietary fat that must be consumed. For virtually all fat production by the body, it can metabolize fats from other sources – including carbohydrates.

Omega-3 foods are typically fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines. A popular vegan source is flax, either seeds or oil. Despite the positives pf omega-3 dietary fat foods, fish are sources of cholesterol. For those monitoring cholesterol and triglyceride levels, professional holistic physicians should be sought.

The three types of omega−3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant oils), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (both commonly found in marine oils).

Dr. Axe does make points that if the balance of meat-based omega-6 and fish-based omega 3 are askew, there are side-effects:

What are the risks of consuming too little omega-3s (plus too many omega-6s)?

Inflammation (sometimes severe)
Higher risk for heart disease and high cholesterol
Digestive disorders
Allergies
Arthritis
Joint and muscle pain
Mental disorders like depression
Poor brain development
Cognitive decline

(although some of these claims are not well supported by scientific evidence. For example, there are many probabilities for most things on his list). Generally, omega-6 foods are seen as potentially dangerous. Omega-6 dietary fat acids, however, as part of the long chain partner as constituents of many foods.

So Omega 6 is found in foods that include:
poultry.
eggs.
nuts.
hulled sesame seeds.
cereals.
durum wheat.
whole-grain breads.
most vegetable oils.

While there is a debate about the ratio of Omega-3 vs Omega-6 regarding health, both are essential fatty acid complexes. Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. When eaten in moderation and in place of the saturated fats found in meats and dairy products, omega-6 fatty acids can be good for your heart.

While focus tends to be omega-3 and omega-6 dietary fat acids, there are other omega fats. Unlike the 3’s and 6’s, Omega-9 fats are not “essential” fatty acids. That means that you don’t need to get them in your diet – if your body needs them, it can make its own. … Omega-9 fatty acids include: Oleic acid: a monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, macadamia oil, poultry fat, and lard. Poultry fat and lard are trans-fats, generally regarded as unhealthy. Some of the top foods to get omega-9 benefits include sunflower, hazelnut, safflower, macadamia nuts, soybean oil, olive oil, canola oil, almond butter and avocado oil.

Research has shown some evidence that omega-9 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Omega-9 benefits heart health because omega-9s have been shown in some tests to increase HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol).

There are actually 15 omega fatty acid complexes but only Omega 3 and Omega 6 are dietary essential.

While dietary fat may not be a sole determinant of body fat, consuming extra calories than using each day will add body fat deposits. When you consume more calories than your body needs, both carbs and fats end up stored in muscles and in other areas throughout the body. The body stores dietary fats in the form of triglycerides, whether in muscles or fat cells. Carbs are first turned into glycogen, which is stored in the liver and muscles. Ketogenic diets believe that, by removing carbs as an energy source, part of the body fat will be used via gluconeogenesis. It works as a lifestyle choice. The liver, kidneys, and brain can produce the glycogens it requires to function, in the absence of carbs. It also breaks down glycerols found in fat. Body fat, however has layers – particularly visceral and subcutaneous.

Body fat may not be a fashionable ideal but visceral fat is more hazardous. Much of the fat in the stomach area lies directly under the skin. This is called subcutaneous fat and is not necessarily hazardous to your health. The fat that is harmful is the unseen fat around your organs, otherwise known as visceral abdominal fats. These also show up in blood tests. The problems are before they become visceral body fat, visceral fat coats the liver, kidney, and other vital organs. In the bloodstream, they may be factors that clog arteries.

How to Lose Visceral Fat:
See a certified dietician.
Do blood tests.
Cut out all trans fats from your diet.
Don’t drink a lot of alcohol.
Do resistance training.
Do high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Improve your hormone profile.
Keep cortisol levels under control.
Maintain good sleep hygiene.
Take the right supplements as prescribed by dietician.

Visceral fat and its ties to diabetes and cardiovascular diseases has been called metabolic obesity in contrast with weight-based obesity. Visceral fat is a consequence of eating more fat than your body actually needs, from fat calories. Visceral fat may pose inner dangers. Subcutaneous fat indicates your clothing size. There are several methods of testing visceral fat – others more accurate than some. Speak to a health practitioner if you are concerned about visceral fat.

Reducing fat or lowering carbohydrate consumption will help reduce, at least subcutaneous fat as a lifestyle approach. Never do both! As a low-carb approach, you can eat fat and protein as energy sources. It doesn’t mean you can eat bacon, sausages, and pounds of meat daily. You still need to calibrate your fat consumption responsibly – getting all your required calories from diversified fat sources and protein. Tour body can compensate for the carb co-factors by producing them itself.

Fat, like carbohydrates, translates into energy. Provided you have no existing health issues, dietary fat kept at around 70 to 80 grams daily – with normal movement – may help manage your subcutaneous fat issues, if you have any. Excessive dietary fat loss is very complicated but fat is essential for energy production.

Dietary fat and losing stored subcutaneous (and visceral) fats requires consuming about 80% of fat calories. It’s quixotic to what we learned. Can eating butter responsibly make you skinny? Analyzing dietary fat helps develop a healthy strategy.

Gun debates 2016

After the latest incident in Orlando, the issue of gun availability reaches to the foreground. Gun debates ensue among politicians and candidates and the second amendment comes into question. If you understand the historical implications, it is not an issue of the second amendment. Gun debates should be focusing whether the writers of the United States Constitution would have approved of the use of machine guns or assault weapons. This seems to be lost among all the debaters.

The heinous incidents involving mass shootings often were due to assault weapons being used. Fast and repetitive, these are designed to produce the most damage. Used since World War I, these types of guns were used in gangland wars of the 1920’s and 1930’s. They are not covered or conceived by the Constitution.

In the 1700’s, a gun or rifle was used for protection of self and family against poachers and criminals in frontier settings. They were used to defend against foes. If there were many foes, the community would use single-shot rifles as defense.

Also, rifles were used to hunt for food. Without neighborhood butcher shops or supermarkets, a rifle or shotgun enabled families to have meat as part of their meals.

Assault weapons are intended for war and mass killings. They are not for sport or hunting. Guns and rifles are for sport and hunting animals.

The many gun debates ignore these distinctions. The second amendment never intended this weapon to be used at home. Should every home had the right to have a cannon?

While many assault weapons are manufactured and sold in the USA, their profitability is significant. The demand is also high. Yet, there is no reasonable purpose for the average citizen to own one. Hunting regulations prohibit their use against fowl and animals.

Use of salt was once linked to hypertension. Ownership and use of assault weapons aren’t lethal themselves but, in the hands of an irresponsible or momentarily insane person, catastrophes are bound to happen.

The military and law enforcement require assault weapons. In legislative gun debates, sale and purchase of assault weapons and parts should be heavily restricted. Responsible use of guns and rifles should be legal (with local restriction options) as an adult under 2nd amendment specifications.

Assault weapons were not included in the US Constitution and anyone who subscribes that it was is using a very, very broad interpretation of its content. Legislative gun debates must not rewrite the Constitution but, rather, focus legitimately that the use of assault weapons by ordinary citizens should be prohibited. Broad attempts to make guns and rifles illegal are sensitive, break party lines, and are futile.

The second amendment must not be eliminated. A new amendment needs to be added banning assault weapons for ordinary people, as soon as possible. The constitution was to protect the common good. Gun debates must realize this. Fortunately,

Benjamin Netanyahu for USA president

After republican Ted Cruz threw his hat into the running for USA President in 2016 elections, it was discovered he was born in Canada. New documentation has arisen that Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was not born in Israel. He was born in Philadelphia. As a result, Benjamin Netanyahu is considering a run for United States President.

It is believed that house speaker John Boehner may be discussing policies and strategies on an upcoming visit to Israel.

A major glitch is that Benjamin Netanyahu has no party affiliation in the United States. It is unlikely that he can pose a challenge as an Independent.

Benjamin Netanyahu was always believed to have been born in Tel Aviv, Israel. New documentation from an anonymous source appears to reveal that Netanyahu was born in Philadelphia but circumcised in Israel. Pundits believe bid for USA president by Benjamin Netanyahu may be more valid than one-term Texas Senator Ted Cruz. It is unclear whether Netanyahu has United States citizenship.

Cruz was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. As such, he was a dual citizen, Cruz is an American because of his mother, and Canadian because the country. Canada grants automatic citizenship to anyone born there, as does the United States. If this validates Cruz, Benjamin Netanyahu may also be valid.

Early in March, Netanyahu addressed US Congress about an impending nuclear threat from Iran. His appearance was sharply criticized by politicians and, most disturbing, Jon Stewart. Though a potential political powder keg, a run by Benjamin Netanyahu may offset intricate political balances.

Americans for Netanyahu, a recently formed PAC, believe Netanyahu, as US born, is as valid as Ted Cruz claim. Cruz counters that he is an American because his mother is an American. Does this possibly sound like the Jewish law that religion is passed through the matriarch? Are we missing something?

Asked if this is an April Fool joke, a representative for Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment. The newly re-elected Prime Minister of Israel has other issues to consider.

It is unclear, and nothing is evident, that Boehner will discuss this with Benjamin Netanyahu during his planned visit to Israel. United States Secretary of State John Kerry declined to comment but fears any such move may upset current US-Iran negotiations.

Many Israelis are skeptical and claim that Benjamin Netanyahu should remain focused on protecting Israel’s interests. One Israeli, Yisrael ben Yosef thinks, “This sounds like an April Fool’s joke.”

Passover and the new year

Faith and science are always in conflict. Jews gather each year for the Passover meal. It commemorates the exodus of the Jews from Egyptian bondage. There’s actually a little more. It may seem like a trivial pursuit but Passover is technically and biblically considered the new year because it’s the first month of the Jewish calendar. In terms of science, calendars are unique time markers. In terms of faith, they were all different. Using the Bible as a guide, Passover occurs in the first month but the new year occurs in the seventh month. Does that make sense?

At the dawning of civilizations, faith and reason were one. People observed the sun as day and the stars as night. They would be as ancient astronomers witnessing changes of the earth and sky. Time as we know it didn’t exist. The most dependable cycle of the night was the changing of the moon from bright to invisible. As groups developed and as customs developed, the moon (lunar) cycles were labeled and calendars were created. Each calendar was group-specific. In agrarian cultures, believed to have developed 10,000 years ago, the new year was the brighter and warmer time. Many ancient artifacts presume the new year began in what we call Spring, around the equinox.

There is a sort of oddity about the holiday of Passover. Passover marks the beginning of Spring and also the first month of the Jewish year. Yet, 7 months later, the Jewish high holy days also mark the new year. The New Year can be said to begin on the 1st of Nisan (Leviticus 23:5) or on Rosh Hashanah, the 1st of Tishri (Leviticus 23:24). Nisan marks the story and redemption of the Egyptian slaves into new freedom. Rosh Hashanah marks the anniversary of the world’s creation. Both days fall around the equinox.

Calendars were fairly new concepts in ancient biblical times. The concept of months didn’t matter in those early days and nights when people lived on earth. For the most part, they were pantheists, observing day and night skies and their immediate environment. Primitive societies followed broad concepts, counting the year as starting when leaves sprout on a particular tree or describing someone as having lived through a certain number of harvests. This followed many generations and the Bible counts time by generations.

Passover marks the spring equinox and Rosh Hashanah is around the autumn equinox. Nisan is the first month of the Jewish quasi-lunar year. It’s name comes from a root word meaning miracle and honors the first miracle of freedom from bondage and subsequent miracles.

Yet, the dawn of Spring influenced many types of New Year festivals around the world. Each clan or group had different calendars. When people were conquered, they had to follow different calendars. The Gregorian calendar, the common calendar, is solar. Christian Easter is calculated on the basis of a lunar calendar. The Islamic calendar is entirely lunar, and the Jewish calendar (like the ancient Athenian) is a mix of lunar and solar (lunisolar). The calendar of the Romans, until the end of the Republic was lunar, too. The Roman calendar year began in March, with the beginning of each month (the kalends), corresponding with the new moon, and the middle of the month (ides) corresponding with the full. One of Passover’s alternate names is holiday of Spring.

Evidence of calendars were found in Egypt, Sumeria, Mesopotamia, Athens, and Babylonia. Each were slightly different and codified different meanings. It was extremely difficult to use these as definitive time markers on wider scales. Christianity eventually developed a more expansive calendar that is more commonly in use today.

Moon cycles from new to full, as well as seasons, provide approximate time frames. The Bible was originally spoken, carried through generations, and (finally) written down when technology was available. According to these writings, Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the month of Tishrei (the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve), is not the first month. Rosh Hashanah is actually referred to in the Torah as the first day of the seventh month.

Essential customs of Passover are found in the book of Exodus:

And this day shall become a memorial for you, and you shall observe it as a festival for G-d, for your generations, as an eternal decree shall you observe it. For seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove the leaven from your homes … you shall guard the unleavened bread, because on this very day I will take you out of the land of Egypt; you shall observe this day for your generations as an eternal decree. – Exodus 12:14-17

In the five books of Moses, the beginning of the year was clearly set at 1 Nisan, in the context of a description of the first Passover. This new year celebrated the creation of the Jewish nation through the redemption of the Israelites from Egypt:

“The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of the months; it shall be the first of the months of the year for you” (Exodus 12:1-2).

This commemorates the fact that the Jews leaving Egypt were in a hurry, and did not have time to let their bread rise. It is also a symbolic way of removing the “puffiness” (arrogance, pride) from our souls. This is a simpler version of Rosh Hashanah as a return to G-d to ask for redemption for our indiscretions.

Among the customs of Passover is the Seder. Over the past thousand years, the Sanhedrin (a main rabbinic council) tweaked the Jewish calendar and the liturgy that is part of the Passover Seder and its specific order.

Considering the ambiguities and confusion as to whether Passover or Rosh Hashanah are the New Year or not, the common association is the start of Spring and the start of Autumn. Unlike many other religions, Jewish followers have two new year holidays to follow.

The miracles of the Exodus through Deuteronomy dominate Passover. Interestingly, on Rosh Hashanah – the new year of the seventh month, the last chapters of Deuteronomy are read. Added to those, is the Haftorah. These are fragments from the Bible that are selected as addendums on Sabbath. The practice seems to stem from around 200 BCE, when the Jews were under Persian rule and forbidden to read from the scroll. The Haftorah for Rosh Hashanah tells the story of Abraham and the one god of no material form. At the time, all gods had forms and idolized. Abraham’s god was as voice or thoughts. So Rosh Hashanah may be G-d’s birthday. Passover is the beginning of the year.

Rabbis have debated the time of the new year perpetually. Like discussing politics and faith, there are no finite conclusions. Based on a living calendar from 4000 years ago, Nisan and Passover are the feasts of the new year. Based on older events, Rosh Hashanah is the time to return to G-d. You can understand the intricacies.

And as the joke goes, “Put two Jews together and one will always question the other.” Perhaps G-d made Passover one new year and Rosh Hashanah as the other new year as a jovial stimulant to keep debates and questions going. Perhaps that is why the Seder begins with 4 questions. Happy Passover and happy new year. All should be well.

Or you might find an apartment in Bay Ridge

There are many great cities. New York City is arguably the most majestic. For many, New York City is Manhattan, one of the 5 boroughs that are part of Greater New York City. Living, commerce, business, and tall buildings epitomized Manhattan since the 1800’s and it continues to grow and attract more excitement and variety. Manhattan is all about attitude, competition, work, and play. Manhattan rocks with your lifestyle choices. There aren’t many playgrounds that offer perpetual fun as Manhattan if you use it and can afford it. If most of your salaries go to overhead expenses – rent, gas, phone, internet, dating – is Manhattan living worth it? That’s why many young new urbanites are reaching to Brooklyn and Queens.

With many gross salaries teetering at less than $50,000 gross per year, access to the fun often takes compromise. Small studios may rent for $2,000 to $4500 per month, eating most of many people’s net salary. So many young people sought out the less central neighborhoods of Manhattan or the perimeter neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens. Those neighborhoods also began to demand higher rents. There are really no more affordable bargains in Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Williamsburg, Long Island City, and Sunnyside. With a growing drought of affordable, larger and convenient apartments, many real-estate agents advise searchers, “…Or you might find an apartment in Bay Ridge.”

Often it may be a hard sell but more people are reluctantly targeting areas further in the boroughs and Bay Ridge is one of them.

Brooklyn neighborhoods are vast and complex. In the 17th century, Brooklyn was originally made up of six separate towns, five of them Dutch, which then united into the borough of Kings. Brooklyn was one of those towns. In the late 19th century all those towns were united as Brooklyn. Each of those towns had to find their own water supplies. Many were using ground water supplies that, with expanding populations, were growing smaller and polluted. In 1898 Brooklyn, along with Queens, after much debate, was removed from Long Island and made part of Greater New York.

One problem in planning Greater New York was the need for a larger water supply, when New York consisted of Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island. Planners sought water from upstate and tunnels were constructed to bring that water to the city. Water tunnel number one was completed in 1843 but was too small for the growing population. Water tunnel 2 construction began in 1880 and, as a separate city, Brooklyn was not part of New York’s plan. After unification, the pipeline was extended to Brooklyn and Queens for completion by about 1935. At this time, Brooklyn now shares water quality with Manhattan.

Passage to Brooklyn was by ferry and, by late 19th century, bridges. Near Brooklyn, just north, was the town of Bostwick. When the City of Brooklyn annexed the village of Williamsburgh and the Town of Bushwick, this area was then known as the eastern district of the City of Brooklyn and Williamsburgh lost its final “h”, in 1827. In 1834, Town of Brooklyn (including Village of Brooklyn) becomes City of Brooklyn. Kings County now includes 1 city (Brooklyn) and 5 towns (Bushwick, Flatbush, Flatlands, Gravesend and New Utrecht). New Utrecht is where Bay Ridge originated from what was earlier called Yellow Hook.

Because of independent urban planning, a united Brooklyn proved certain not so subtle navigation problems. The streets in Brooklyn do not line up because each of the 2 cities and 6 towns in Kings County were independent municipalities and created street grids with different naming systems that did not line up with the adjoining city or town.

The city of Brooklyn experienced a lot of development in the 19th century. There were many factories opening. Prospect Park (1859), Greenwood Cemetery, elevated railroads from Long Island Railroad and the Robert Culver line connected to deeper areas of these different towns, including the Coney Islands (yes, there were two). Construction of the Brooklyn (1870) and Williamsburg (1896) were built and permitted people to walk from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Many homes were built for more spacious surroundings than the slums of Manhattan’s immigrants.

As a city, Brooklyn consisted of many neighborhoods. Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Greenwood Heights, Park Slope, Red Hook, South Park Slope, Sunset Industrial Park, and Windsor Terrace. These neighborhoods enjoyed a resurgence of popularity in the 1970’s as apartment seekers found values in the decaying 19th century houses of these areas. Over the next 30 years, these Brooklyn neighborhoods, many offering skyline views, flourished with property restorations and higher rents and sales.

Commuting was merely within minutes from Manhattan, allowing easy work and recreational access to and from Manhattan. These neighborhoods were perceived as extensions of the Manhattan lifestyle as they were very nearby. Some merely a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge.

As these areas grew more in demand, real-estate agents started advising their clients, “Or you might find an apartment in Bay Ridge.” For many, this undiscovered zone seems more of an insult than a commendation. Why does Bay Ridge illicit such reactions?

The drawbacks for those finding Bay Ridge are that commuting is farther from the city. Bay Ridge has a more suburban family than active city feel. Bay Ridge was not associated with the city of Brooklyn before borough unification. It was part of the township of New Utrecht and the area that encompasses the the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. The rest of the town’s lands are today the neighborhoods of Borough Park, Dyker Heights, and Bay Ridge. By subway, the commute is over 30 minutes. Though parts of Bay Ridge overlook the New York Harbor, the Atlantic ocean, and the grand Verrazano Bridge, there’s no Manhattan skyline. The view is Staten Island.

Bay Ridge officially stretches from 65th St to 101st St, and from 7th Ave west to Shore Rd. It’s a welcome change from the mind-numbing traffic of Manhattan and an easy day trip for travelers. From Manhattan take the N or D train downtown to 36th St in Brooklyn. Take the R train across the platform to 86th St and 4th Ave. It is still viewed by many as suburbia.

While Williamsburg and Bushwick grow increasingly expensive with the arrival of twenty-somethings eager to be next to Manhattan, Bay Ridge’s seven-mile commute is just too far from the city to be considered attractive. But you get more apartment living space for fewer dollars, So you might ask yourself whether the extra 20 minutes travel is worth a nice-size 1 bedroom apartment instead of a cramped studio or room-mate situation. Many see Bay Ridge just a little too far from Manhattan

The 4th Avenue R subway is the only nearby subway. The local route requires about 14 stops to reach 86th Street, the main shopping boulevard of Bay Ridge. That is nearly double of the F route to Park Slope. Switching to the N express train at select R stops can reduce commuting time.

A valuable asset and major benefit, is the X27 express bus route that runs mostly on Shore Road and travels from 100 Street in Bay Ridge (near the Verrazano) to 57th Street in Manhattan. Fortunately, many apartment buildings are near Shore Road, allowing for costlier but very comfortable commuting 7-days per week for easy Manhattan access. The entire route (barring traffic) is about an hour from Bay Ridge to 57th Street and Madison Avenue. During rush hours, the X37 delivers more rapid access to midtown stops from 23rd Street to 57th Street.

Like most Brooklyn neighborhoods, parking a car requires strategy. Because Bay Ridge has many private houses, more street parking is available than Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights. A rarity for Brooklyn, there are public garages near 4th and 5th avenues. Many apartment buildings have garages for residents but there are waiting lists.

Bay Ridge also has a few local bus routes that make the area attractive for those choosing not to have a car. The B16 connects to various subway and bus routes as it routes to Prospect Park’s botanical gardens. B37 runs along 3rd Avenue, the shopping and restaurant district, to the Brooklyn Atlantic Terminal mall and Barclays center. Other buses take you on 86th Street and on 5th avenues. 86th Street is the areas main shopping strip, with stores like Century 21, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Modell’s, and many more. There’s even a New York Sports Club (one of four major fitness centers in the Bay Ridge area).

Despite all this, the area maintains a quiet, safe suburban charm of when Brooklyn was not part of New York City. That’s what many long-time Bay Ridge residents find attractive. It also makes Bay Ridge a harder pill to swallow for former suburbanites seeking the big-city environment.

Instead of masses, trickles of people do discover Bay Ridge residential opportunities and other qualities. That may be a good thing for Bay Ridge residents but not such a good thing for realtors. Houses run higher in value but apartment sales remain generally stable, except for larger spaces. The area hasn’t yet found the urban settlers yet but as more down5town realtors advise, “Or you might find an apartment in Bay Ridge,” the area is encountering a younger and more diverse crowd.

Bay Ridge is an active traditional community. Predominantly Christian with Norwegian, Polish, Italian, and Irish backgrounds, Bay Ridge is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bound by 65th Street on the north, Interstate 278 on the east, and the Belt Parkway-Shore Road on the west. The portion below 86th Street is a subsection called Fort Hamilton. An active army base, Fort Hamilton is among the oldest bases and recognized landmark. A small area east of I-278, bounded by 7th Avenue, is also part of Bay Ridge. Access to local streets and highways offer conveniences to drivers.

Bay Ridge is relatively quiet, with little traffic noise from Shore Road to 4th Avenue. After sunset, it is nearly silent.

Is it safe? Bay Ridge is patrolled by the NYPD’s 68th Precinct. From 2013 to 2014, there is significantly less crime and lesser crime than most Brooklyn neighborhoods. The 68th Precinct Community council meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 P.M. and provides the community with the opportunity to meet local officials and raise their concerns. A youth council sets up team play in neighborhood parks. Bay Ridge is served by Engine 241, Engine 242, and Ladder 109 of the New York City Fire Department, located at 92nd Street and 5th Avenue.

Once called “Little Palestine” because of an Arab population in the 65 to 70th Street area, Bay Ridge offers numerous family-owned restaurants, shops and markets. Bay Ridge boasts many New York City parks and bay views. Perhaps Bay Ridge’s family-based influences tend not to attract many young singles to the area but more singles and young-marrieds are discovering Bay Ridge than before as they ride the bicycle path along Shore Road Park.

Bay Ridge is mostly a neighborhood of stately, private houses. As a prominent family neighborhood, private home prices are high.

Apartment buildings are mostly on or near Shore Road. They offer affordable rentals and sales prices. One bedroom apartments might average around $2,000 per month, facing the Shore Road Park. It’s quite attractive when compared with the more popular parts of Brooklyn. Many buildings have elevators. There are pre-war and more recent buildings. Most are 6 floors. No towers here.

Shore Road Park was once the natural edge and the ridge that contributed to changing the area’s name from Yellow Hook to Bay Ridge in the mid-1800’s. In 1930, the ridge became a New York City park, extending from 68th Street to 100 Street. The conversion was designed by Robert Moses, who created the Belt Parkway through the park. The compromise was using landfill to widen the park and building footbridges over the parkway to a bay-shore path, a greenway for walkers, bikers and more. Though larger than the Brooklyn Heights promenade, there’s no Manhattan skyline. The bay is stunning, especially at sunsets. The park also has an active, privately-sponsored conservancy that helps maintain and enhance its natural beauty.

There are several other parks to note. Owl’s Head Park, near 68th, and John Paul Jones, at 101, nearly beneath the bridge. From Owl’s Head Park to Jones Park, and Shore Road Park in between, there are over 2 miles of uninterrupted park lands for recreation, meandering, views, and solace. There is a bike path promenade that stretches even farther.

Shore Road resembles Manhattan’s upper west side Riverside Park but, instead of stately pre-war high-rise buildings, most of the apartment buildings are 6 or 7 floors. Some even have a doorman or concierge – a rare resource in Brooklyn. Many of the larger apartments offer comfortable terraces.

Age wise, over half of the neighborhood is over age 50. There are families that have been there for several generations. Unlike Williamsburg, Park Slope, and Carroll Gardens once was, the neighborhood is not in disrepair. It is strong and solid. As of 2010, the median age is about 36 of 170,000 residents. Park Slope and Brooklyn Heights have smaller populations and area sizes but, ironically, the median age is about the same. The only area that is significantly lower I median age is Williamsburg at 29.11.

Bay Ridge has a very strong argument. Many apartment rentals are available for less than $2,000. You don’t have to squeeze into a studio at that price. Some have 2 bedrooms at those price points. There’s hardly another decent area around the city that offers the features of Bay Ridge. While it’s not closest to the high-class thrills of being in Manhattan, you get more living space, more money saved, and a (somewhat) happening neighborhood with parks, restaurants, and shopping conveniences. It’s a good, safe neighborhood that might be a little less pretentious than others. It could be a good place to live. The savings allow you to have more fun when you do go to Manhattan.

Bay Ridge may be more distant from Manhattan and may not have as many people in their 20’s. As apartments go, you might be wise to try and find an affordable apartment in Bay Ridge. It’s like pioneering but, in a safe neighborhood, you might find to be a suitable fit for (at least) many of your lifestyle needs.

There maybe nothing as exciting as Manhattan or the Brooklyn Heights area. If your realtor advises, “Or you might find an apartment in Bay Ridge.” it isn’t a brush-off. Considering Bay Ridge might be a nice idea. Is Bay Ridge perfect for you? It may be an idea worth exploring.

Sleeping naked is healthier for Republicans

A few republicans indicated that they, among the bills they may introduce in January, will promote industry backed scientific studies over more responsible academic or focused agencies. Over the past few months, people have been raving that sleeping naked leads to better health benefits and happier relationships. Wow! Are you ready to rip-off your pajamas? The study was sponsored by Cotton USA.

As we brace for winter, there have been several articles popping up since 2008, the promotion that sleeping naked is healthier for you.

According to surveys, only 1 in 10 (10%) admits to sleeping naked in the USA. An article, just released in the British Daily Mail newspaper asserts that health benefits extend beyond sex. It can reduce diabetes or your waistline.

According to this article, sleeping naked helps regulate body temperatures more naturally to facilitate better sleep patterns. An Australian study asserts that sleeping naked helps reduce insomnia and help regulate normal sleep patterns for dreams and long-term memory enhancement.

Sleeping efficiency, naked or not may also help release anti-aging hormones to promote athletic abilities.

There is a habit where people get up in the middle of the night and make a hot milk or hot chocolate to lull themselves back to sleep. Research shows that there are drops in glucose that attributes to shortening sleep patterns. Further exploration of this study reveals that a diabetic relationship is unclear. A tiny PhD candidacy study does infer that short and interrupted sleep may be associated with cardiovascular problems.

The American Academy of Sleep asserts good quality sleep provides higher life quality benefits.

Selling the concept of sleeping naked for optimal body temperature regulation is great fodder for media excitement. The 2014 research asserts out of 1004 individuals, 57% who sleep in the nude said they were happy with their marital relationships in comparison to
48% pajamas wearers, 43% nightie wearers, and 38% onesies. The study was also sponsored by Cotton USA and asserts it was aimed at the over-55 set.

How sleeping naked has anything to do with sales of brands that use Cotton USA is puzzling. The study was done in Britain. One could almost surmise this absurd relationship as an April Fool’s joke but the words have spread that sleeping naked with your partner leads to happier relationships are spreading around the world.

I would hope that the new Republican majorities in the House and Senate focus on more valid domestic life issues than sponsoring studies about sleeping naked. It’s nice to know what some people do between the sheets but that has little to do with more pressing legislative action for all USA citizens. In seeking better, beneficial lives, more responsible research should be government sponsored toward directed goals in improving conditions for the sick and better living opportunities for all American citizens, as opposed to the Koch brothers.

Sleeping naked possibly helps promote higher and more frequent sales of cotton bed sheets. Was this money well spent? I hope the government wasn’t involved with this study.

Microwave popcorn facing death sentence trans-fats

You’re walking on a dark, lonely street. From the corner of your eye, you notice the shadow of a tall silhouette that is somewhat familiar. You see a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth. He says, “Good evening. I just made some microwave popcorn. Would you like some?” You turn and answer, “No! The FDA says it’s dangerous. Do you have a cigarette instead?”

There are many choices that can be dangerous or beneficial to your health and well-being. The choices are often yours. Per FDA dietary recommendations, microwave popcorn is facing a death sentence on account of Tans-Fats. The 2013 declaration helped remove Trans-Fats from most packaged foods by 2014. Small amounts still come in as zero.

Perhaps one of the biggest boosts to microwave oven sales was the development of microwave popcorn but, in 2013, the Federal Food and Drug Administration or FDA banned trans-fats which is one of the ingredients found in microwaveable popcorn.

While Trans-Fats occur naturally in meats, the popcorn Trans-fats are hydrogenated oils (hydrogen added to oil).

Most vegetable oils, as natural liquids, provide fat in healthier forms as mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats. Using unsaturated fats when fats are necessary, is dietary responsible. Hydrogenated fat is oil converted to a solid, spreadable form. It’s like lard, only sourced from vegetables instead of animals. In many countries, lard is used as a bread spread.

Dairy and beef fat typically contains around 3-6% Trans-Fat (% of total fat) and levels in mutton and lamb can be somewhat higher. TFA levels in vegetable oils and liquid margarines are around 1%. Soft yellow fat spreads typically have between 1% and 17% TFAs, while harder stick margarines have higher levels. The Trans-Fat content of bakery products (rusks, crackers, pies, biscuits, wafers etc.) vary from below 1% up to 30% of total fatty acids. Some breakfast cereal with added fat, French fries, soup powders and some sweet and snack products have been shown to contain high TFA levels (20-40% of total fatty acids).

So Trans-Fats are part of most foods you’re likely to eat. Many State and Cities have set legislation to eliminate the sale of food with trans-fats. Some, though, allow certain amounts of trans-fats, such as 0.5 grams per serving and (if less than that) it does not show on the nutrition panel but must be listed as an ingredient.

Compared to most foods, the amount of hydrogenated oils in microwave popcorn, when eaten responsibly as a few servings, aren’t going to rock the boat for health and obesity issues among those who are generally healthy.

Trans-Fats and all fats add to food calorie content. Fats and carbohydrates contribute to the number of calories in the stuff you choose to eat. With focus on calories and legislation for chain restaurants to post calories in product servings, attention should be given to caloric values and where those calories might come from. You really don’t want too many empty calories of only fats and carbohydrates, as found in many foods. Try to seek out foods that offer nutrition and protein that your body also needs.

A lunch–portion salad may have 1,000 calories or a Chipotle vegetable burrito has about 1200 calories. A 16-ounce bottle of Coca Cola is 200 calories, mostly from carbohydrates. A cup of one of Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha has 470 calories per 16-ounce portion. There are 15 grams of protein derived from milk but you’re also consuming 18 grams of fat (mostly saturated) and about 60 grams of carbohydrates. There are also 50 grams of cholesterol.

A can of tuna fish, 6-ounces packed in water, has 179 calories and 1 gram of fat. It also has 39 grams of protein and about 12% daily requirement of iron. There are 0 carbohydrates. About 40 grams are cholesterol. A 16-ounce bottle of water adds 0 calories.

What would you rather eat for lunch or as a snack?

How many calories you need to consume each day depends on age and level of activity. Size/Weight and general health are also variables.

The problem with controlling fat and consuming foods with Trans-Fats, is that (along with carbohydrates) they add delicious taste to foods. They are addicting and have been essential parts of diets for thousands of years.

The focus on Trans-Fats and popcorn is a provocative topic because popcorn is a very popular snack. The kill factor of an overdose of Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha or a Chipotle Burrito is somewhat greater than a bag (5 servings) of Light Microwave Popcorn, with approximately 2.4 grams of Trans-Fats (rated 0 gram per serving).

Is microwave popcorn bad for you? When you examine all the foods in your diet and what you like, you’d be surprised to discover the hidden dangers in foods.

While air-popped popcorn may be healthier, once you top them with butter or margarine, topped popped popcorn are trans-fat dangerous. Trans-Fats add calories, saturated fat while popcorn adds carbs and little nutritive value. It does taste good, though.

Compared to potato and corn chips, popcorn is a better snack for watching movies and TV. Be more self-conscious about the foods you eat and your calorie qualities. The lesson is not to overindulge and try to walk around the block every couple hours. Then, would you like some cake?

The FDA concern about the quantities of Trans-Fats and calories in food is a very good alert. Yet, when alcohol and illicit recreational drugs were banned, people still found ways to get it. Certain foods with Trans-Fats appeal to many people. They will continue to find their fixes as needed. Often, the deadliest menace to your health is your weakness to make responsible choices.

Thanksgiving hardships to promise

Though the Spanish, English and Dutch explorers began staking their claims in the New World of the Americas, it was the voyage of the Mayflower from England in 1620 that is remembered as the traditional Thanksgiving origin. Thanksgiving is a holiday about overcoming severe hardships to the promises that lie ahead.

About 100 people, part of a Christian sect that was fleeing persecution, set sail from England on the Mayflower in September 1620. The port was the town of Plymouth and (where they landed about 90 days later, was through honor called Plymouth. It was a rough voyage on a crowded boat that was not intended for carrying passengers.

The original destination was Virginia under a work contract. By hook and crook, the destination shifted to the area slightly north of Cape Cod. Only about a third of the passengers were Puritans but history often refers to the Puritans that landed at Plymouth.

Landing that far north in late November was hardly inviting for these new settlers. They continued living on the Mayflower through the winter. They ferried to land for food, supplies, and construction of the settlements. From 1620 to 1621, nearly half of the settlers died of lung fever and scurvy. The settlers were called the Pilgrims.

The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and shared with 90 natives whom the settlers originally had called savages. The native inhabitants of the region around Plymouth Colony were the various tribes of the Wampanoag people, who had lived there for some 10,000 years before the Europeans arrived. There was no Black Friday. It was three days of eating meats and sharing the fruits and grains of the harvest.

According to Edward Winslow’s accounts of the Thanksgiving meal of 1621:

Four men went hunting and brought back large amounts of fowl – with waterfowl like ducks and geese being most likely from such a bountiful shoot. Hunters could position themselves in marsh grass and fire at scores of birds floating on the water. It wasn’t until 1863, after two years of Civil War, that Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. It would takes place every November on the fourth Thursday.

Of course, in 1863, the country was still split and fighting for separation or unity. The tumultuous aftermath left many different variations and traditions of Thanksgiving. One tradition that was revised was when Thanksgiving took place and that was declared by succeeding Presidents. The popular consensus was the last Thursday of November. It was only changed back to the 4th Thursday after the depression of 1929. Thanksgiving is celebrated the last Thursday of November.

So there was about a 250 year split until Thanksgiving was declared an American national holiday. President George Washington did declare the first Thanksgiving Day but many presidents that followed didn’t really follow the formula. Basically, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of November, which is usually the last Thursday.

What America follows is often different elsewhere. In French Canada, Thanksgiving is an autumn feast in early October. In Australia, it is celebrated on Wednesday, not Thursday. Thanksgiving, currently celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November by federal legislation in 1941 (about 2 weeks before United States entered World War II), and has been an annual tradition in the United States by presidential proclamation since 1863.

Unofficially, New York’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade heralds the upcoming Christmas season as Santa Claus concludes the parade.

Bridging the first autumn feast of the pilgrims in 1621 and the contemporary traditions of Thanksgiving has seen many troubled waters, especially through wars overseas. Nonetheless, it is a day where families and friends join together and share a great holiday meal and conversation. I don’t think any of Thanksgiving’s originators would have imagined Black Friday, where lines of people wait for stores to open.

Thanksgiving is not a religious holiday, though many give blessing to the Lord. It is a time of labor’s rewards and togetherness. Future generations will have forgotten the harvests of Autumn in lieu of stronger commercial and economic ties. That will be a shame. The world has forgotten that the original feast was 3 days, with no ties to Christmas. We forget so easily. Enjoy Thanksgiving! Eat healthy and responsibly.

Stick suppositories up my what? Constipation

Few people will share their constipation problems with you (unless you’re a New York stranger and will share with anyone you meet). It may be their best kept secret.

Holiday time is for stuffing yourself with turkey and all the rich trimmings. If you’re one of those 15% of Americans with chronic constipation, the pain of those meals is yet to come. Constipation is most often defined as having a bowel movement less than 3 times per week. It usually is associated with hard stools or difficulty passing stools. Feelings of incomplete movements often result in physical pain and uncertainty. The satisfaction of holiday meals may leave you overstuffed. Complications that can arise from constipation include hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapse, and fecal impaction.

Going to the bathroom seems to be very easy and most people enjoy normal patterns of bathroom activities from normal dietary sources. Then there are those that can’t. They suffer from a condition called constipation. Constipation is one of the most common GI chronic problems in the United States, affecting an estimated 42 million people regardless of age or gender, or 15 percent of the population. Survey statistics seem to support that there are about up to 15% constipation sufferers worldwide.

Constipation may be a genetic condition but it is also found as a symptom for diseases like diabetes, heart illness, multiple myeloma, and other conditions that can be life threatening. Multiple myeloma is a form of cancer that develops in plasma cells, the white blood cells that make antibodies. If you experience clinical, chronic constipation, you should do a comprehensive gastrointestinal exam. There are ways of reducing constipation and these need to be discussed with a physician as well.

People recommend that adding dietary fiber or eating high fiber foods help keep you naturally flowing. Constipation suffers still experience that inability to go even with huge amounts of dietary fiber. Some resort to laxatives that use a variety of methods to move waste through the gastrointestinal tract. Sales of laxatives account for about 20% of over-the-counter pharmacy sales in the USA. Some constipation sufferers resort to more direct methods such as enemas and suppositories, while others may elect surgeries.

Suppositories are globular, conical, cylindrical, or club-shaped solid bodies designed for introduction into the urethra, rectum, or vagina, in order to effect a therapeutically effective influence on a problem. Loosely, pills may also be seen as forms of suppositories. Rectal suppositories were made of glycerin or gelatin bases to provide less friction. Medications may be added. In the middle-ages suppositories were used as a means of inducing abortions.

Use of enemas go back to 1500BC in Egypt. Enemas are currently liquid solutions (usually forms of salt water) sprayed into the rectum to loosen colon waste. Suppositories are a type of medication that is in the form of a plug or capsule that is in a soft solid form for convenience. Suppositories aren’t exclusive to the rectum. They may be used in many other orifices, based on the illness or prescription. Both enemas and suppositories are generally looked with disdain but are recommended for extreme cases of chronic constipation.

In a pill-pushing society, oral laxatives are very popular but overuse can worsen the problem. You should also be aware how the laxative works to avoid further complications.

The more direct methods may be enemas that are inserted at the problem area. These are often salty solutions and target the problem at its source. Called Enema Administration it is often difficult to do without help from someone else. Enemas were once one of the common methods for cleaning the colon prior to a colonoscopy.

For more convenience, there’s the suppository. It is also inserted into the colon canal. It was once made of glycerin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking process and while commercial manufacturers remove the glycerin for use in their more profitable lotions and creams. Glycerin belongs to a class of drugs known as hyperosmotic laxatives. It works by drawing water into the intestines. This effect usually results in a bowel movement within 15 to 60 minutes, as compared with 6 to 12 hours with many oral laxatives at standard doses. The suppository is for rectal insertion only. Unlike an enema, self insertion is easier.

Some companies, like Dulcolax and Colace, add their laxatives to the glycerin suppository. They help facilitate the process of evacuation with stool softeners and added ingredients. Ihe active ingredient in Dulcolax is bisacodyl. Bisacodyl is used to treat constipation or to empty the bowels before surgery, colonoscopy, x-rays, or other intestinal medical procedure.

Those methods are manageable approaches to help get things moving along to relieve constipation. In some very extreme cases, ambulatory surgical or in-hospital stays are necessary when blockages are very painful.

When it comes to speedy relief for your constipation, think of that old method – the suppository.

There is no reason to suffer from constipation. See a specialist who can discuss the many widely available options to relieve and control your constipation. Ask about fiber and ask about pills or suppositories. There’s no need for embarrassment. 15% of the world’s population has it. It’s a formidable group. Your constipation will be our little secret. Have a happy holiday meal!