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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Food Medicine

Dark Chocolate
Research shows that dark chocolate can improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce LDL cholesterol, and increase the flow of blood to the brain. It also boosts serotonin and endorphin levels, which are associated with improved mood and greater concentration. Look for chocolate that is 60 percent cocoa or higher.
Tuck a few extra cloves into your next stir-fry or pasta sauce: Research has found that enzymes in garlic can help increase the release of serotonin, a neurochemical that makes you feel relaxed.
Caffeinated Coffee 
A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior found that the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee increased 16 percent over those who drank decaf. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system by increasing your heart rate and breathing. (Want to know what else coffee is good for? Read 25 Best Nutrition Secrets Ever to find out.)
Chile Peppers 
It turns out that capsaicin, the compound that gives chile peppers their mouth-searing quality, can also jumpstart your fat-burning, muscle-building engines. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, eating 1 tablespoon of chopped red or green chiles boosts metabolism by 23 percent.
Fried Eggs
Go ahead, crack under pressure: Eating fried eggs may help reduce high blood pressure. In a test-tube study, scientists in Canada discovered that the breakfast standby produced the highest levels of ACE inhibitory peptides, amino acids that dilate blood vessels and allow blood to flow more easily. (For up-to-the-minute tips like these, be sure to follow me on Twitter here. You can lose weight effortlessly and look, feel and live better than ever!)

When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed at work, reach for the Wrigley’s: Chewing gum can help tame your tension, according to Australian researchers. People who chewed gum while taking multitasking tests experienced a 17 percent drop in self-reported stress. This might have to do with the fact that we associate chewing with positive social interactions, like mealtimes.
Omega-3s may calm your neurotic side, according to a study in the journalPsychosomatic Medicine. Researchers found that adults with the lowest blood levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) were more likely to have neuroses, which are symptoms for depression. Salmon is loaded with EPA and DHA, as are walnuts, flaxseeds, and even cauliflower.

The probiotics in yogurt may help you drop pounds. British scientists found that these active organisms boost the breakdown of fat molecules in mice, preventing the rodents from gaining weight. Try the Horizon brand of yogurt—it contains the probiotic L. casei, the same organism used in the study.
Bonus Tip: Don't let all of your hard work go down the drain: Avoid this shocking list of the 20 Scariest Food Creations of 2010!

Grilled Chicken Breast 
The protein in lean meat like chicken, fish, or pork loin isn't just good at squashing hunger and boosting metabolism—it's also a top source of energy. University of Illinois researchers found that people who ate higher amounts of protein had higher energy levels and didn't feel as tired as people with proportionally higher amounts of carbs in their diet.

Kidney Beans 
These legumes are an excellent source of thiamin and riboflavin. Both vitamins help your body use energy efficiently, so you won't be nodding off mid-Powerpoint.

Swedish researchers found that if you eat barley—a key ingredient in whole-grain cereals—for breakfast, the fibrous grain cuts blood sugar response by 44 percent at lunch and 14 percent at dinner.
Clams stock your body with magnesium, which is important in metabolism, nerve function, and muscle function. When magnesium levels are low, your body produces more lactic acid—the same fatigue-inducing substance that you feel at the end of a long workout.

Rooibos Tea 
Animal research suggests that this South African tea, also known as bush or redbush tea, may provide potent immunity-boosting benefits. In addition, Japanese researchers found that it may help prevent allergies and even cancer. Adagio offers a wide range of great-tasting rooibos teas.

Penn State scientists have discovered that honey is a powerful cough suppressant—so next time you¹re hacking up a lung, head for the kitchen. When parents of 105 sick children doled out honey or dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in over-the-counter cough medicines like Robitussin), the honey was better at lessening cough frequency and severity. Try a drizzle in a cup of rooibos tea.

The vitamin C in kiwi won¹t prevent the onslaught of a cold, but it might decrease theduration of your symptoms. One kiwifruit provides 117 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C.

Foods rich in healthy monounsaturated fats help reduce inflammation, a catalyst for migraines. One study found that the anti-inflammatory compounds in olive oil suppress the enzymes involved in inflammation in the same manner as ibuprofen. Avocados and almonds are also high in monounsaturated fats.
Not just any margarine, mind you—those containing plant sterols. In a Tufts University study, people who ate a butter substitute containing plant sterols with three meals each day saw their LDL (bad) cholesterol drop by 6 percent. How? The researchers say that plant sterols prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestine. Promise Active and Smart Balance HeartRight are two great options.

Popeye was onto something, it seems. Rutgers researchers discovered that treating human muscle cells with a compound found in spinach increased protein synthesis by 20 percent. The compound allows muscle tissue to repair itself faster, the researchers say. One thing to keep in mind, however: Spinach doesn't automatically make any salad a healthy option. Check out 20 Salads Worse Than a Whopper to see what I mean. You'll be absolutely shocked!

Green Tea
Brazilian scientists found that participants who consumed three cups of the beverage every day for a week had fewer markers of the cell damage caused by resistance to exercise. That means that green tea can help you recover faster after an intense workout.

Low-Fat Chocolate Milk 
Nothing like a little dessert after a long workout. British researchers found that low-fat chocolate milk does a better job than sports drinks at replenishing the body after a workout. Why? Because it has more electrolytes and higher fat content. And scientists at James Madison University found that the balance of fat, protein, and carbs in chocolate milk makes it nearly one-third more effective at replenishing muscles than other recovery beverages.
Bonus Tip: Sign up for the FREE Eat This, Not That! e-mail newsletter, and get super nutrition and weight-loss tips like these delivered straight to your inbox.
According to research published in Nutrition Journal, fish oil can help increase your ability to concentrate. Credit EPA and DHA, fatty acids that bolster communication among brain cells and help regulate neurotransmitters responsible for mental focus. Salmon, trout, halibut, and tuna are also great sources of EPA and DHA.

The antioxidants in bananas, apples, and oranges may help protect you from Alzheimer's, report Korean scientists. The researchers discovered that plant chemicals known as polyphenols helped shield brain cells from oxidative stress, a key cause of the disease.

Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient found in meat, milk, and fish, may help protect you against brain loss, say British scientists. The researchers found that older people with the highest blood levels of the vitamin were six times less likely to have brain shrinkage than those with the lowest levels.

Researchers from Harvard found that men who consumed more beta-carotene over 18 years had significantly delayed cognitive aging. Carrots are a tremendous source of the antioxidant, as are other orange foods like butternut squash, pumpkin, and bell peppers.

Ground Flaxseed 
Flax is the best source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)—a healthy fat that improves the workings of the cerebral cortex, the area of the brain that processes sensory information, including that of pleasure. To meet your quota, sprinkle 1 tablespoon flaxseed on salads or oatmeal once a day, or mix it into a smoothie or shake.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ex-trooper convicted in double fatal crash wants money for his injuries

Former Illinois State trooper Matt Mitchell is asking the state to compensate him for injuries from a crash in which he hit and killed two Collinsville sisters at triple-digit speeds.
Mitchell filed a worker's compensation case on Sept. 13 against the Illinois State Police. The case is pending.
"I wouldn't have filed the case if I thought it was frivolous or didn't have merit," said Kerri O'Sullivan, of the St. Louis firm of Brown and Crouppen, who represents Mitchell. "People get hurt at work all the time. It's our job as lawyers to help people with the difficult and complicated administrative process of worker's compensation."

Three worker's compensation lawyers say they believe Mitchell could receive compensation for the injuries he received in a Nov. 23, 2007, high-speed crash that resulted in the deaths of sisters Kelli and Jessica Uhl and injured Kelly and Christine Marler, of Fayetteville.
Thomas Q. Keefe, a Belleville lawyer who represented the Uhl girls' parents, Kimberly Schlau and Brian Uhl, in a civil lawsuit against the State Police, called Mitchell's claim "outrageous, but predictable."
"This man has no shame. He has no shame when he recanted his plea of guilty. He has no shame when he insisted on the stand that he was not responsible for this crash," Keefe said. "And he has no shame when he files for worker's compensation benefits."
Mitchell was driving 126 mph in busy day-after-Thanksgiving traffic on Interstate 64 near O'Fallon while sending and receiving e-mails and talking to his girlfriend on his cell phone moments before the crash. Mitchell was responding to an accident near Lebanon, but help already was at the scene of the accident where Mitchell was responding, authorities said.
Mitchell crossed over the median and hit the girls' car head-on. He sustained severe leg injuries.
After the accident, Mitchell was suspended with pay for nearly two years, drawing his $68,000 annual salary. He resigned from the Illinois State Police after pleading guilty to the criminal charges.
Mitchell pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and reckless driving in exchange for a sentence of 30 months probation.
Although Mitchell pleaded guilty to causing the accident, he can still receive a worker's compensation award, three lawyers agreed, saying that the only defense the state may have is whether or not Mitchell was doing his job as a state trooper when the accident occurred.
"If the accident occurred in the furtherance of the function of your employer, even if it was done in a negligent manner, it can be compensible under the Worker's Compensation Act," said Rod Thompson, a Belleville worker's compensation attorney.
"If an accident arises out of the course and scope of a person's employment, the employee is entitled to worker's compensation, despite their poor judgment," said Bruce R. Cook, a Belleville lawyer who handles worker's compensation cases.
Ian Elfenbaum, a Chicago lawyer, said an employee can be under the influence of drugs or alcohol when an injury occurs and still collect worker's comp benefits.
"You can be reckless and even negligent while working in the course and scope of your employment," said Elfenbaum. "Negligence or recklessness on the part of the employee is not a defense for the employer."
During the hearing on the civil suit filed by the Uhls' parents in the Illinois Court of Claims, the Illinois attorney general, who represented the state police in the suit, signed a stipulation agreeing that, despite his plea to the criminal charges, Mitchell was acting in his capacity as a state trooper when the accident occurred.
"That admission seals the deal," Thompson said. "That's all you need to get a compensible injury."
During the April Court of Claims hearing, Mitchell denied that he was responsible for the crash, despite pleading guilty three days earlier to reckless homicide and reckless driving charges.
Illinois worker's compensation was designed to allow injured workers easier access to health benefits and awards, Cook said, adding that "this claim is an insult to taxpayers and those two girls' families."
Under the Illinois Worker's Compensation Act, each injured body part is assigned a number of weeks of pay, and a hearing officer determines the percent of each injured body part.
For example, a hearing officer could determine that a person suffered a 50-percent loss of a leg. If the employee's gross salary was $60,000, he would receive 107.50 weeks at 60 percent of their weekly salary, or $74,423. But it could be an even greater award if the hearing officer finds Mitchell sustained a permanent total disability or finds the state must pay the difference between the amount that he earns now and the amount he earned as a state trooper.
That could be hundreds of thousands of dollars, Keefe said, that will be paid by the taxpayers. The benefits are non-taxable.
"But he still has to get out of bed every day and know that he caused the death of those two girls, and know that he didn't take responsibility for that," Keefe said. "He still has to look himself in the mirror and think about the fact his actions forever took two girls away from their parents, then he filed for worker's compensation benefits."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Worst Pizzas

#7: Worst Supermarket Pizza
DiGiorno For One Traditional Crust Supreme Pizza
790 calories
36 g fat (14 g saturated fat, 3 g trans fats)
1,460 mg sodium
No, it’s not delivery, but it is dangerous. This is how DiGiorno handles the personal pie: with 60 percent of your day’s sodium, 70 percent of your saturated fat, and more trans fat than you should consume in an entire day. If your heart had a voice box, it would be screaming in outrage. 
Eat This Instead!
Stouffer’s French Bread Deluxe Pizza (1 pizza)
430 calories
21 g fat (7 g saturated)
820 mg sodium

#6: Worst Multi-National Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen Tostada Pizza with Grilled Steak (1/2 pie)
840 calories
16 g saturated fat
1,649 mg sodium
With a caloric heft like this, you’d expect this Tex-Mex pie to be massively portioned. It’s not. The big fatty price tag draws not from size, but from the combo effect of tortilla chips and ranch dressing. Switch to the equally interesting Four Seasons Pizza, which carries artichoke hearts, salami, mushroom, tomatoes, onions, and two cheeses, and you drop nearly 400 calories per half-pie serving.  
Eat This Instead!
Thin Crust Four Seasons Pizza
480 calories
9 g saturated fat
1,567 mg sodium
Bonus TipTake a look at the weapons of mass inflation being whipped up in the labs of the mad fast-food scientists: The 20 Scariest New Restaurant Foods! Be afraid—be very afraid!

#5: Worst Single Slice
Sbarro Stuffed Pepperoni Pizza
960 calories
42 g fat
3,200 mg sodium
Sbarro serves up elephantine slices, so you should know better than to order one that essentially consists of two of those slices folded one atop another. In this one wedge of pizza, Sbarro manages to pack in nearly as many calories as you’d find in four pepperoni slices from Pizza Hut! You want to survive the Sbarro super-slice challenge? Stick to a regular pie, nix the pepperoni and sausage, and limit yourself to one slice.
Eat This Instead!
Fresh Tomato Pizza
450 calories
14 g fat
1,040 mg sodium
Bonus Tip: Sure, pizza has the potential to inflate, but it’s certainly not the only food to cause widespread weight gain. Case in point: The 15 Worst Burgers in America. You'll also learn which burgers to eat instead, so you can enjoy your favorite foods and still lose weight—without ever dieting.

#4: Worst Specialty Crust Pizza
Pizza Hut Stuffed Crust Meat Lover’s Pizza (2 slices, 14” pie)
960 calories
52 g fat (24 g saturated, 1 g trans)
2,780 mg sodium

Around the perimeter of this pie is what essentially amounts to a hula-hoop ring of cheese. Gross, right? But it's not just cheese. Also inside that ring: two types of sausage, ham, beef, and bacon. The impact of all those salt-cured meats is more than a day’s worth of sodium in each two-slice serving—oh, and as much saturated fat as a dozen Extra Crispy Drumsticks from KFC! Here’s a simple mnemonic device: Stuffed pizza = stuffed potbelly. Stick to thin crust and lean meats and you’ll live to eat well another day.   
Eat This Instead!
2 Slices Thin ‘N Crispy Ham & Pineapple Pizza (2 slices, 12'' pie)
360 calories
12 g fat (6 g saturated)
1,080 mg sodium
Bonus Tip: To see more proof of how wayward beverages can utterly destroy your diet, check out the 20 Worst Drinks in America. Many of these disastrous drinks contain more than a day's worth of calories, sugar, and fat!

#3: Worst Flatbread
Cosi Chicken Gorgonzola with FigFlatbread with Traditional Crust
1,073 calories
41 g fat (9 g saturated)
1,057 mg sodium
At first blush, flatbread seems like a healthy version of pizza—especially when it comes adorned with fanciful toppings like Gorgonzola and figs. But let this be a lesson: Just because it’s fancy doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Cosi’s traditional crust is essentially the same carpet of bread you might find underneath a circular pie. The rules of pizza selection apply to flatbreads as well: Lean toppings, light cheese, and thin crust. 
Eat This Instead!
Margherita Flatbread with Thin Crust
451 calories
26 g fat (13 g saturated)
328 mg sodium

#2: Worst Thin Crust Pizza
Domino’s Brooklyn Style ExtravaganZZa Feast Pizza (2 slices 16” pie)
1,180 calories
60 g fat (27 g saturated)
3,420 mg sodium
To be fair, Domino’s Brooklyn Style isn’t promoted as thin crust, but it was created with fold-ability in mind. That requires slices that are soft, thin, and—in Domino’s case—massive. The typical Domino’s pie comes sliced into eighths, but order the Brooklyn-inspired pie and you’ll get only six slices. What happened to the other two slices? They were absorbed—along with their calories, fat, and sodium—into the other slices. Your better option is to build your own pie on a legitimate thin crust. Top that pie chicken and chorizo and you cut out 730 calories. Do that a couple times a week and you’ll cut close to two pounds of flab per month. 
Eat This Instead!
Thin Crust Grilled Chicken and Chorizo (2 slices, 14” pie)
450 calories
20 g fat (7 g saturated)
1,030 mg sodium

Bonus Tip: Eating healthy on the go is far easier than it sounds. Check out these 9 Ways to Lose Weight Eating Fast-Food for body slimming tips that don’t cost a minute of your time.

#1: Worst Pizza in America
Uno Chicago Grill Chicago Classic Deep Dish Pizza (Individual)
2,310 calories
162 g fat (54 g saturated fat)
4,920 mg sodium
Wait, wait, wait. This is a one-person pizza? Yup. All 2,310 calories are destined for one soon-to-be expanding belly. This pie has been a perennial pick for us over the past three years, and the reason is simple: No other personal pizza in the country even begins to approach these numbers. It breaks every single caloric recommendation on the books, and it does it under the guise of a must-have “classic” dish. With the country being plagued by obesity, Uno should have the decency to banish—or significantly improve—this dish.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mom charged with teaching 2-year-old to smoke pot

Jessica Gamble could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted on all charges.

An Ohio mother has been accused of teaching her 2-year-old daughter to smoke marijuana after prosecutors said she e-mailed to friends a video of the child puffing on a joint.
Jessica Gamble is charged with child endangerment, evidence tampering and "corrupting another with drugs," according to an indictment returned by a grand jury in Cincinnati. The 21-year-old mother could face up to 11 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters told reporters that Gamble was indicted after someone to whom she sent the video reported it to authorities. The girl has been placed in the care of relatives "and is safe today," Julie Wilson, the chief assistant prosecutor for Hamilton County, told HLN's "Prime News" Thursday.
"Obviously, the case is just starting, so we're taking it very, very seriously," Wilson said. "She stands indicted on very serious felony charges. We'll have to see how it all plays out, but we're obviously very concerned about this little girl and we'll do whatever we can to make sure that she's safe."
Attempts to contact a lawyer for Gamble were unsuccessful.
Prosecutors released the grainy mobile phone video after Gamble's indictment this week. On it, the child appears to take a puff from a thickly rolled marijuana cigarette as a woman identified as Gamble laughs and tells her, "Don't blow on it."
When the girl brings the joint to her, the woman asks, "What is that? What is that?" Taking the pot from the child, she chuckles and says, "Bad."

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cool game


Check out this cool game.  It's pretty hard.  There are only 3 levels, but the last level is brutal.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Movies To See Before Year's End

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Release Date: September 24
Starring: Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf, Josh Brolin

Two decades after winning an Oscar for the role, Michael Douglas is back as the ultimate financial shark, Gordon Gekko. In the sequel, Gekko is released from prison and finds a new pupil in his daughter's fiancé (Shia LaBeouf).
Let Me In
Release Date: October 1
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Jenkins

Based on the acclaimed novel (which was already made into a much-loved film in Sweden), it is the story of a 12-year-old boy who is mercilessly bullied at school. But then new people move in next door, with a girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) who is much older and far more dangerous than she looks.
The Social Network
Release Date: October 1
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Justin Timberlake

"Fight Club" director David Fincher teams up with "West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin for the behind-the-scenes story of the founding of Facebook. What started in a dorm room quickly became an Internet sensation, and the geniuses who built it went from friends to enemies.
Due Date
Release Date: November 5
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Zach Galifianakis, Jamie Foxx

The director of "The Hangover" presents another R-rated comedy about a mismatched set of guys in way over their heads. In this, a soon-to-be father (Downey) and an out-of-work actor (Galifianakis) try to get across the country in time for the baby's delivery.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Release Date: November 19
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

All good things must come to an end, but the final book of the "Harry Potter" series is too epic to fit into one movie. Harry, Hermione and Ron begin their quest to find the magical objects that will allow them to stop Lord Voldemort once and for all. Part 2 follows next July.
Photo: Everett Collection
Release Date: November 24
Starring: Mandy Moore, Zachary Levi, Donna Murphy

Somehow, in over 70 years of bringing fairy tales to life, Walt Disney Pictures never got around to retelling the story of Rapunzel until now. It's computer animated, but in a visual style that recalls the classic Disney look. Plus, it has new songs from "Little Mermaid" composer Alan Menkin.
Black Swan
Release Date: December 1
Starring: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel

The refined world of ballet dancing doesn't seem like a natural setting for a dark psychological thriller, but that's where director Darren Aronofsky comes in. He revived Mickey Rourke's career with "The Wrestler," and now he's giving Natalie Portman her most challenging role to date as a ballerina in a twisted rivalry.
The Tourist
Release Date: December 10
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany

Take the two most photogenic stars in the world, put them in Europe's most picturesque cities, and you've got "The Tourist." Johnny Depp plays an American looking to forget his troubles across the ocean, and Angelina Jolie is the bewitching stranger who leads him into a world of mystery and danger.
TRON: Legacy
Release Date: December 17
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Olivia Wilde, Jeff Bridges

When "TRON" was released in 1982, it was a breakthrough in special effects but not a big hit at the box office. Now, 28 years later, Disney is going back into the computer world for a sequel. Jeff Bridges returns both as his character from the original and as a digital avatar who is 20 years younger.
True Grit
Release Date: December 25
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin

Not content with starring in one big movie, reigning Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges is also re-teaming with the Coen Brothers for a new version of the classic Western novel. He plays Rooster Cogburn (previously played by John Wayne), a one-eyed U.S. Marshall hired by a teenage girl to hunt down her father's killer.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tom Brady involved in serious car crash

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was in a two-car accident Thursday morning in Boston.

It happened just before 7 a.m. at the corner of Commonwealth and Gloucester and involved an Audi with New Jersey license plates and a minivan.

It's believed Brady was in the Audi.  It's not clear yet who was driving.

According to local news sources, Brady walked away from the crash, was treated at the scene and then continued on Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

The Boston Fire Department told rescuers needed to use the jaws of life to pull a passenger out of the damaged minivan.

There's no word yet on his condition.

Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

There's been no comment yet from Boston Police or the Patriots.

Source: WBZTV