Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rosie, the Lion Pug

Picture by Cameron

Rosie posing under the Christmas Tree (Again)

Gigantic Inflatable Christmas Decorations

I kept seeing this giant Rudolph while driving down Shepherd but since Shepherd is one way I didn't see the other huge inflatable Christmas decorations until I turned onto the street. Cameron took this picture.

Blueberry pancakes and coffee from our Christmas Eve breakfast at Tiny Boxwoods.
Pictures by Cameron.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Lights in River Oaks

Cameron took this picture as we were driving around River Oaks.

Christmas in River Oaks

Here are some more pictures from River Oaks. We stopped so Cameron could have his picture taken with Santa. We also met and talked to the homeowners who were very nice.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My cubicle all dressed up for Christmas

I took this picture with my new iPad and then tried to create a post and add the picture. This doesn't seem to be possible with the iPad. Instead, I had to send the picture to my email and then work on this post from my computer at work. With all the things the iPad can do it seems strange that it can't do this basic thing. I'm going to investigate further.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Cranberries and Cancer

I started adding cranberries to my smoothie a month or so ago when I started seeing them fresh at Whole Foods. After reading this article, I've decided to put them in my smoothie everyday. Frozen cranberries are available year round and there doesn't appear to be any difference in the nutritional value of fresh and frozen. They are rather tart but I've found that if I add an apple the smoothie tastes sweet enough. I also add kale, spinach and a carrot. Rosie knows when I'm making my smoothies and has gotten used to having a piece of carrot and apple.

Which Common Fruits Fight Cancer Better?
by Michael Gregor, MD

Recently, researchers compared the ability of eleven common fruits to suppress cancer cell growth in vitro. Which do you think was most effective—apples, bananas, cranberries, grapefruits, grapes, lemons, oranges, peaches, pears, pineapples, or strawberries?

There are many ways to compare the healthfulness of different foods. For example, if you were interested in antioxidants you might compare vitamin C content. If you compared vitamin C content between our two most popular fruits, apples and bananas, then bananas would appear twice as healthy (10 mg in a banana compared to only 5mg in an apple). But vitamin C is just one of thousands of different phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables. It turns out the vitamin C in apples accounts for less than 1 percent of an apple’s total antioxidant activity.

In my 5-min video Which Fruit Fights Cancer Better? I show a graph of the total antioxidant content of a red delicious apple. The amount contributed to the vitamin C is so tiny you can hardly see it. Even though there are only about 5mg of vitamin C in a small apple, it has the antioxidant equivalent of 1500 mg of vitamin C! I’ve reviewed before how taking that much vitamin C straight in a supplement may actually have a pro-oxidant effect and cause DNA damage (in my video Preventing Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress With Watercress), but you can get three times that antioxidant power eating an apple, without the adverse effects.

Of course there’s more than just vitamin C in bananas too. I was surprised to see a study out of Harvard suggesting that bananas were a significant source of anthocyanins, the red/blue/violet phytonutrients found in berries. Maybe I underestimated bananas? They are, after all, technically berries.

Anthocyanins have been found in blue, purple, orange-red, red-purple, and pink-purple wild bananas, but none in domesticated yellow. In the Harvard researchers’ defense, they just took values from the USDA, and it turns out USDA apparently made a mistake. There are no anthocyanins in store-bought bananas, and despite twice the vitamin C, bananas are beat out by apples in terms of overall antioxidant power. But that’s just measuring the ability of these fruits to quench an oxidation reaction in a test tube. It would be nice to measure actual biological activity.

In the red delicious apple study, researchers also measured the ability of apple extracts, from both peeled and unpeeled apples, to suppress the growth of human cancer cells growing in a petri dish compared to control. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to compare that kind of superpower between different fruits? Well, now we can!

In my video Which Fruit Fights Cancer Better? I show a graph of cancer cell proliferation versus increasing concentrations of the 11 most common fruits eaten in the United States. If you drip water on these cancer cells as a control, nothing happens. They start out powering away at 100 percent growth and they keep powering away at 100 percent growth. And pineapples, pears, and oranges don’t do much better.

Peaches start pulling away from the pack. At high peach concentrations, cancer cell proliferation drops about 10 percent, but bananas and grapefruits appear to work four times better, dropping cancer growth rates by about 40 percent. Red grapes, strawberries and apples do even better, cutting cancer cell growth up to half at only half the dose, but the two fruits that won, causing a dramatic drop in cancer proliferation at just tiny doses, were lemons and cranberries. So if you look at the effective dose required to suppress liver cancer cell proliferation, apples are more powerful than bananas, but cranberries win the day. And there was no effective dose listed for orange, pear, and pineapple since they didn’t appear to affect the cancer cell growth at all.

Dr. Gregor's website is

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My New iPad

This post isn't about anything. I'm just testing out my new iPad.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Vegetarian and Vegan Diet Pyramid

This pyramid is pretty close to the diet I'm following. The only non-vegan thing I have is an occasional cookie or muffin. I usually have 7-9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day thanks to my Vitamix.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

1 c. uncooked brown rice
4 c. cauliflower florets
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 ½ tsp curry powder
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 c. fresh peas

1. In small saucepan cook rice according to package directions, set aside to keep warm.
2. In large saucepan cover cauliflower florets with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes or until tender. Drain, and set aside.
3. In large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until just tender, apr. 2 minutes. Add carrots, and saute until tender.
4. Add ginger, curry, salt and cloves to pan, and stir to combine. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, peas, and cauliflower, and stir. Cover and cook 5-10 minutes. Serve over rice.

I made this last night and it was delicious. The only change I made to the recipe is that I served it over quinoa instead of rice. It made enough for 2 meals plus all my lunches this week. The recipe is from Chickpea Recipes: