Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Diets and stomach cancer and metastasis.

Chili peppers hottest variety.

A few of life’s necessities include food, water and shelter. To a bumblebee, it will be nectar from flowers. One equation of life is, the goal of life is life.

Hence the need to keep healthy with a healthy diet for quality life. 
We try our able best to link our food with health.

My nephew’s story about his patient’s dying cancer stage, prompted me to read more on stomach cancer. His patient started with a stomach cancer which then spread to the lungs and kidney via a process called metastasis.

This patient is a habitual user of microwave oven, but sadly, had been using the wrong type of containers to heat up foodies (in microwave oven).
Here are extracts with links provided.
Link  here  and others

Stomach (gastric) cancer 
After Lung cancer, Stomach (gastric) cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide.

A high salt diet is linked with gastric cancer. So are smoked and pickled foods. As well diets low in vitamin C, low in fruits, vegetables and grains. Often due to smoking, obesity, alchohol, age (over 60). It is twice more common in men. Infection with the bacterium  Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the main risk factor in about 80 percent or more of stomach cancers.

Link  here  In anatomy, the stomach is an organ in the gastrointestinal tract used to digest food.
A study group led by Columbia University Medical Center's Timothy Wang, M.D. found that the hormone gastrin, which stimulates secretion of gastric acid, plays a key role in the development of Helicobacter-induced stomach cancer.
More than 50 percent of the world's population is infected with Helicobacter, which causes chronic inflammation of the stomach lining and is strongly linked to the development of gastric ulcers and stomach cancer.

Link  here
Stomach cancer (also called gastric cancer) can develop in any part of the stomach. It may also spread to other organs, through the stomach wall, to nearby lymph nodes and organs such as the liver, pancreas, and the lungs, or to distant organs such as the lymph nodes above the collar bone, the colon, and the ovaries.

Metastasis is the spread of cancer from its primary site(eg stomach) to other places in the body (secondary sites- eg. brain and liver).
The Primary tumors however, are responsible for only 10% of cancer deaths.
The Secondary tumors are the main causes of death. They developed from metastases of the primary tumor, by spreading via the patient’s bloodstream.
Trinidad Moruga Scorpion- bbq, sauce and puree
Diets recommended to include:
-Capsaicin in chili peppers/ chili and jalapenos- helps prevent stomach cancer
-Flavonoids and catechins are nutrients that give foods a bitter taste, but they also are emerging as potential anticancer agents. In fact, catechins are 100 times more powerful than vitamin C and 25 times more powerful than vitamin E in their antioxidant/growth inhibitor powers.
The best sources are green and black teas, chocolate, grapes, garlic, onions, shallots and leeks.  A single tablespoon of cinnamon has more antioxidants than 8 ounces of broccoli.
 Link  here 
-Beta carotene as in carrots- stomach, lung, colon, bladder, prostate and breast cancers- important not to cook the carrots.
-High in vitamin C foodies- include red and green chili peppers, guavas, dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, kiwi fruits, papayas, oranges and strawberries. Eat fresh and unprocessed for maximum health benefits.

Chili pepper plant- TMS, world’s hottest ever grown
photo credit-Times of India
The Trinidad Moruga Scorpion is currently the world's hottest Chili pepper cultivar. As of February 2012, research by the New Mexico State University Chile Institute ranked their (golf ball size) fruits from individual plants as high as 2,009,231 SHU on the Scoville scale, making it the hottest chili pepper in the world to date.
Paul Bosland, a renowned chili pepper expert and director of the Chile Institute, said that, "You take a bite. It doesn't seem so bad, and then it builds and it builds and it builds. So it is quite nasty." The chili pepper’s mean heat topped more than 1.2 million units on the Scoville heat scale.
Commercially, the world's hottest available chili pepper
photo credit- wikipedia
However, commercially, the world's hottest available chili pepper is still the “Naga Bhut Jolokia”, with a reported Scoville Heat Unit rating of 1.6 million SHU. 
Also known as ghost pepper/ ghost chili and is 400 times hotter than Tabasco sauce.

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Thursday, October 25, 2012



As easy as boiling eggs
In case of unexpected guests coming  for lunch, there is a dire need to fix something quick, yet appetizing  and  may be in large quantities  too, like four to six persons.… For me, definitely I would do a one dish meal.
Fast cooking? 
Yes, fast food…Hey presto! All main ingredients are  from the freezer and seasonings from bottles. Next, all i need is just add some fresh veggies of my choice to enhance color and taste. Choose a vibrant one and put at the side of serving plate.

Forget about health benefits in this expresso dish—especially if you use ready frozen foods bought from the supermarket. These stuff are loaded with preservatives and coloring, whereby regular intake may cause cardiac problems  etc. Don’t feel guilty, at least you have prepared a faster than fast food for your guests lunch!

But on the other hand, you can have fast food, yet they are not junk food, if you make your own meat balls and fries. They can be stored frozen in the fridge for a few months with no preservatives and coloring added.
The way the bottled fruit juices are served is also important
Simple ingredients
Frozen meat balls / seafood balls – do not defrost
Frozen potato fries- do not defrost
Veggies of your choice- raw or poached
Brown sauce- I use HP sauce
Cranberry sauce
Pickles / Relish of your choice
Oil for frying
Simple cooking technique
Use a wok, add in cooking oil for deep fry.  Make sure the oil is really hot before you put in the above.
First, do the French fries, then the meat balls. Once done, put onto kitchen paper tissues  to discard the oil and set aside.
Simple serving
I prefer to use plain white serving plates… The food stands out better.  Arrange the meat balls and fries on each plate. Pour  all over some   brown sauce  and a little cranberry sauce at the side. Put some veggies at the side too.
Pickles/ Relish
-Serve some pickles on a main plate and it’s self service.
Drinks and desserts
-Serve with chilled fruit juices- from the bottles.
-Next, serve Häagen-Dazs ice cream, quick from the freezer.
Normally brown or dark orange in color, are made from a varying combination of tomatoes, molasses, dates, tamarind, spices, vinegar, and sometimes raisins or anchovies. The taste is either tart or sweet with a peppery taste similar to Worcestershire sauce. It is similar but not identical to steak sauce.

HP sauce Ingredients::

HP sauce is a condiment .
It has a malt vinegar base blended with fruit and spices. Tomatoes, Malt Vinegar (from Barley), Molasses, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Spirit Vinegar,  Sugar, Dates, Modified Cornflour, Rye Flour, Salt, Spices, Flavourings, Tamarind.

Pickles are an oriental relish for us. 
Put some pickles on a dish plate, for those who like extra appetizer. I like pickled baby gherkins and sauerkraut (cabbage). My pickled cucumber and radish recipe link here  

Häagen-Dazs ice cream
I like their Belgian Chocolate- 
made from soft Belgian chocolate flakes mixed with rich chocolate ice cream- the deepest, darkest and most delicious. 
With 0 artificial ingredients and it’s simply an unadulterated ice cream bliss.



CREAMING, in baking, is the technique of blending ingredients — usually granulated sugar — together with a solid fat like shortening or butter. The technique is most often used in making buttercream, cake batter or cookie dough. The dry ingredients are mixed or beaten with the fat until it becomes light and fluffy and increased in volume, due to the incorporation 
images of butter  cream 
PUREE:: and (more rarely) mash are general terms for cooked food, usually vegetables or legumes, that have been ground, pressed, blended, and/or sieved to the consistency of a soft creamy paste or thick liquid. Purées of specific foods are often known by specific names, e.g., mashed potatoes or apple sauce. The term is of French origin, where it meant in Ancient French ,,13th century…wikipedia

Quebebe Photo file from  ana luiza
What is the difference between marmalade and jam?
Marmalade is made from citrus fruits (then sweetened), jam is made from sweet fruits

Take two navel oranges, one lemon , one large  pink grapefruit and wash real clean.
Peel orange skin and slice/ chop skin thinly about 1 inch long. 

For the grapefruit and lemon, cut off  the top and base, use a vegetable peeler to get the skin.
Remove pith, seeds and as much of the side membranes as possible and slice orange flesh thinly.

Put all skin slices and cut flesh in  a pot and add 5 cups of white sugar.. Add water and bring to boil , then simmer slowly about 40-45 minutes or until  mixture thickens. 
It should  stay firm when you nudge it with your finger when tested in a cold spot/ cold plate. If it is a bit runny, boil a few minutes longer. Let cool and  then bottle- ready for use...........
orange and lemon images.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012



As we know, the most common poultry in the whole wide world is chicken … and of all parts, I like the wings best as it is least fleshy. I don’t fancy eating chicken unless they are of the organic variety…excuse me... yes, for health reasons.

Dried up overcooked chicken tastes horrible-very much like no taste and flavor.. and eating food which has no taste is like eating paper.
Rather than eat paper or wooden sticks, I rather have my chicken poached first before frying or roasting. Ha ha, extra work, but works very well.

Brining the wings in a salty/sugary/acidic solution makes the meat moist and tender. Especially for whole chicken, poaching in water or any type of liquid:  such as chicken broth etc helps very much to keep chicken meat sofft..  Just add salt and cook.

10 pieces chicken wings – poaching technique-
Use a large pot, fill 1/2 way with water, add a bit of salt, and bring it to a boil and cover with a lid for  30 minutes  for cut chicken (an hour for whole chicken).. The boiling helps to kill any surface bacteria. You may want to keep the water as chicken broth. If so, before boiling the water, add 4 cloves garlic, about 1 inch young ginger slices, and pepper.
Once done, carefully remove wings and strain to dry.  Cool and freeze the broth for later use.
Season chicken wings for half hour with a mixture of-
1 tablespoon  olive oil, and 1 teaspoon each of garlic pepper, fennel seeds powder, onion powder, paprika, lemon and may be only a bit of salt.
 Roast at 350 °F(176.5°C) for 7 minutes on  each side. ( 15 minutes each side for non poach)
Baked chicken is a more common term used for roasted chicken
OR you may deep fry the wingettes for 5 minutes (non poach 9 minutes)

Serve with baked asparagus.
OR serve with poached carrots and cauliflower.
OR  serve with raw cabbage cut chiffanade (paper thin slices)


1-The salt takes out moisture from the meat, until it issaturated in this moisture. The  salted moisture including all seasonings used, will now permeate into  the meat. Once permeated,  the salt  will break down the proteins, so, they don't have a chance to seize up when heated and become tough and rubbery.
 2-When baking chicken make sure  the chicken is very dry before it is put into the oven, so that it bakes rather than steams.
3-Storing- raw chicken maintains its quality longer in the freezer as compared to when having been cooked because moisture is lost during cooking. 
For optimal quality, a maximal storage time in the freezer of 12 months is recommended for uncooked whole chicken, 9 months for uncooked chicken parts, 3 to 4 months for uncooked chicken giblets, and 4 months for cooked chicken.
When freezing do not open vacuum packages. Re wrap again the already vacuum -wrapped chicken. Quality of chicken will be less if air permeates  in.

Friday, October 12, 2012



This is a very easy to prepare, yet highly nutritious and delicious one dish meal, which is very suitable for lunch.

All you need to do is
1 slice fresh salmon- clean and cut into half
1 large onion-minced and sauté in 1 tbsp olive oil until caramalised.
Add in 3 cloves, 1 star anise, 2 cardamom and  half inch cinnamon- just a touch of spices but not too heavy. 
Next, add in 3 cups chicken stock , 3 vivaldi potatoes (or use baby potatoes), salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper.
When potatoes 70% cooked, add salmon. After 10 mins,
Add long beans-cook al dente.
Garnish with minced coriander for enhance flavor. Scallion if you like.
Serve hot 

POTATOES Extract links- here  and  here

Eating  potatoes in the form of greasy fries/ chips or even baked with fats, can be a health hazard. Minus the fat, a baked potato becomes an exceptionally healthy low calorie, high fiber food. Baked, steamed or healthy sautéed but not friedâ"
Health benefits
Our food ranking system qualified potatoes as a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber and antioxidant.
Humans can  survive healthily on a potato diet supplemented only with milk or butter, which contain the two vitamins not found in potatoes (vit A and D)
Culinary uses
Potatoes are prepared in many ways: skin-on/ peeled, hot/ cold. The only requirement involves cooking, in order to swell the starch granules.
A normal size baked potato has about 11.5% of our daily value for fiber, which is mostly in the skin. For cholesterol-lowering, colon cancer preventing and bowel supportive fiber, eat the skin as well as its creamy center.

If you want to watch what you eat, this is it…
Scientists make 'slimming' potato - extract link  here 
vivaldi-large- The Vivaldi received a Gold award in the Fresh Produce category at the National Quality Food Awards. albert-bartlett.co.uk image  
After 9 years of research and breeding, according to scientists, the potato, known as the Vivaldi, has more than a third less carbohydrate than usual. Allied Laboratory Services tests suggested that on average, Vivaldi has 26% less carbohydrate and 33% fewer calories.
The potato was developed by a company, Naturally Best’, in Lincolnshire, England and named after Antonio Vivaldi, the Baroque music composer.
It has a  yellow skin and pale yellow flesh and which are resistant to scab. Also known as the ‘butterless baker’, due to it’s creamy texture and flavor.
Although potatoes are among the Nightshade Vegetables, controversial foods, yet they are far from being the devil’s food.

Potatoes have high concentration of vitamin B6. 100g of baked potato contains 21 per cent of the daily value of vitamin B6, which is benefial for:
1-Building body cells- Vitamin B6 is needed for virtually all cells renewal.
The creation oh Heme  needs B6 (the protein center of our red blood cells) The creation of  phospholipids needs B6 (cells for messages between cells).
2- Brain Cell and Nervous System Activity-  B6 is needed for normal brain function, lack of which can cause sleeping problems and depression. B6 is a stress relief vitamin.
3- Cardiovascular Protection- Many essential chemical events in the body are made by a process called methylation, for example, genes can be switched on and turned off in this way

Switching on and off genes is particularly important in cancer prevention
An example is gene p53. It is a tumor suppressor gene, thus it is good for tumor prevention.
High homocysteine levels often increase risk for heart attack/ stroke and damage blood vessel walls. Vitamin B6 can help keep this levels low.

Thursday, October 4, 2012




On staying fit, we generally think from our neck down. But the health of our brain plays a critical role in almost everything we do: thinking, feeling, remembering, working, playing and even sleeping.

This post was inspired by my blogger friend Jan Oliver of 1-2Punch. Jan blogs mainly on fruit punch recipes with unusual mixtures that amazed me every time i visited her site and i must say that most of Jan's posts are authentic, gourmet style fruit punch recipes, inherited from her late father, chef Fred Oliver. Hmmm, i like the name Oliver too.  
Thank you very much Jan, else i would have missed my research on such a valuable topic- the degenerative incurable alzheimer's disease.... do check out 1-2Punch- link here looking forward to viewing your mountain winter home coming... soon.
ABOUT DIMENTIA   link here

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life- Alzheimer's is the most common dimentia. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is second. Other causes include thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. 

ABOUT ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE (AD)- signs and symptoms link here
Stage 1-2- No symptoms of dementia, but may have a very mild cognitive decline (either age-related  OR early AD signs)such as forgetful and stress.  

Stages 3-10- Cognitive decline starts.  Include forgetfulness , can’t handle complex tasks, withdrawn in social and  mentally challenging situations. Eventually, inability to respond to the environment , can’t control movements like eating or using the toilet. Also inability to smile, converse, to sit without support or heads up, abnormal reflexes, rigid muscles , wander around and finally death. 
Links - here and  here

No treatment or drugs have been proven to prevent or delay AD.  
The National Institute on Aging (NIA), a part of the National Institutes of Health at the US, supports clinical trials on exercise and cognitive function. Results showed:

1-A walking program- Brain activity increased in specific brain regions as the participants’ cardiovascular fitness increased. Exercise for at least 15 minutes.

2- Dietary Factors - A nutritious diet of high anti oxidant fruits and vegetables, whole grains,  low in fat and added sugar. Cold water fish with omega-3 fatty acids:  Nuts for vitamin E. HDL (or “good”) cholesterol may help protect brain cells. Use mono- and polyunsaturated fats eg. olive oil.

3-Engage in social and intellectually stimulating activities

4-Vitamins may be helpful- such as vitamin E, or vitamins E and C together, vitamin B12 and folate may be important in lowering AD risk. Molecules called “Free radicals”  can damage nerve  cells during  ‘aging process’.D
Vitamin E should not be taken to treat AD except under supervision of a physician. Vitamin E — especially at the high doses, can negatively interact with other medications, including those to prevent blood clotting or to lower cholesterol. Scientists found evidence  that high-dose of vitamin E may slightly increase the risk of death

Final Thoughts on Combating Alzheimer's with Coconut Oil
Links- here and  here
Alternative Brain Food Can Stop Brain Atrophy
In AD patients -- portions of their brain start to atrophy or starve. Brain atrophy is when the brain has parts of it that are not working and really have just died. 
1-Energy derived when insulin regulates/ process blood sugar.

2-Ketones, which are produced when our body converts fat into energy.
A  substance  called ketone bodies, or ketoacids--  can feed the brain and prevent brain atrophy. It may even restore and renew neuron and nerve function in the brain after damage has set in.
A primary source of ketone bodies are the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) found in coconut oil! Coconut oil contains about 66 percent MCTs.

The benefits of ketone bodies may also extend to a number of other health conditions, according to Dr. Newport:

"Further, this is a potential treatment for Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclero­sis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease), drug resistant epilepsy, brittle type I diabetes, and diabetes type II, where there is insulin resistance.
Ketone bodies may help the brain recover after a loss of oxygen in newborns through adults, may help the heart re­cover after an acute attack, and may shrink cancer­ous tumors."

"In Alzheimer's disease, the neurons in certain areas of the brain are un­able to take in glucose due to insulin resistance and slowly die off, a process that appears to happen one or more decades before the symptoms become apparent," Dr. Newport states in her article.

"If these cells had access to ketone bod­ies, they could potentially stay alive and continue to function."

Another way to increase ketone production in your body is by restricting carbohydrates.
When we go on a high fat, high protein, low carbohydrate diet:  Our body run on fats instead of carbohydrates, and the name for this is ketosis.
However, the ketones produced by ketosis are not concentrated in our bloodstream, they are instead mostly excreted via urine.
Consuming  “medium chain triglycerides” (MCT), like coconut oil is a better option.
MCTs and Alzheimer's Research
The mechanism of this MCT-ketone metabolism appears to be that your body treats MCTs as a carbohydrate and not a fat. This allows the ketone energy to hit your blood stream without the normal insulin spike associated with carbohydrates entering your bloodstream. So in effect coconut oil is a fat that acts like a carbohydrate when it comes to brain fuel.
Therapeutic levels of MCTs have been studied at 20 grams per day. According to Dr. Newport's calculations, just over two tablespoons of coconut oil (about 35 ml or 7 level teaspoons) would supply you with the equivalent of 20 grams of MCT, which is indicated as either a preventative measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for an already established case.
Unrefined, Unbleached, Non-deodorised, Non-Hydrogenated
Free from - Cholesterol, trans-fats and GM ingredient..    Recipe using this product is Carrot cake.
Look for coconut oils that are non-hydrogenated with no transfat.  Avoid coconut oils that are hydrogenated or super-heated because it changes the chemical structure of the fats. If you like the odor of coconut, look for products called “virgin,” “organic,” or “unrefined.- Dr Newport -link- here
The coconut oil or MCTs should also be taken in the morning, as it takes a minimum of three hours for the oil to convert to ketones and reach the brain. A dose of four tbsp, twice a day, may benefit  those already suffering from pre-AD or AD.
Dr Fife, has taken up the cause and all about it in his book Stop Alzheimer’s Now.
Central to his book is a the story of Doctor Mary Newport about how she used coconut oil to improve her husband’s Steve’s Alzheimer’s after just 35 days of taking virgin coconut oil (VCO).
It is recommended that MCT supplements be avoided by those with diabetes and liver problems and by pregnant and breastfeeding women
Grated coconut used for making desserts
Well, as everything goes back to food and what you eat, here are some:
·    Use coconut oil instead of butter on toast, English muffins, bagels, grits, corn on the cob, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, vegetables, noodles, pasta.
·         Mix coconut oil into oatmeal or other hot cereal.
·         Add coconut oil or milk to smoothies, yogurt or kefir.
·         Mix coconut oil half and half with salad dressings. 
·         Mix coconut oil into your favorite soup, chili or sauce.
·     Use a measured amount of coconut oil to stir fry or sauté (add peanut oil over medium heat)