Friday, July 25, 2008

Interesting Quote

"You cannot invade the mainland United States.
There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."
- Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

Parents, Watch Out for "Alcohol Powder!"

Get ready for the latest twist in the fight against underage drinking: Alcohol you buy as a powder – and just mix with water. According to the website Scientific, the patent for “alcohol powder” has been around since 1969. Back then, food chemists found that a sugar derivative could absorb 60% of its weight in liquid. Meaning the alcohol content of a single cocktail could be stored inside one capsule of powder – about the size of a Tylenol. Until recently, the resulting alcohol powders were considered “unfit” for beverage purposes.

That all changed last year, when a Dutch company introduced a product called Booz-2-Go. It’s a powder you stir into a glass of water to create a bubbly, lime-flavored cocktail. More recently, a German company began offering 4 different flavors of a powder product called SubYou over the Internet. Later this year, a company called Pulver Spirits will introduce the first drinkable alcohol powder here in North America. Now, it’s important to note that the alcohol content in these powders is very small. In fact, it usually ranges between 3% and 5% after it’s mixed with water.

The issue that concerns most parents is who regulates these powders? Here in North America, the powder qualifies as an “alcopop.” That’s a crude term for flavored alcoholic beverages – like wine coolers and malt liquors – which combine a low alcohol content with the sweetness of soda pop. So, in this country, alcohol powders are regulated – and taxed - just like any other alcoholic beverage. A lot of other countries don’t regulate the powder at all – because their drinking laws only apply to liquids. So minors in The Netherlands, for example, are free to buy as much alcohol powder as they want! That kind of easy access could open the door for a new black market, where imported powder could be accessible in North America, or over the internet, to kids under the legal drinking age.

So be aware of what your kids are doing, especially online. Talk to them about drinking – research shows it works! Kids whose parents have “the alcohol talk” with them are less likely to start drinking.

Eat Your Way to Happiness

Want to feel happier? Open the fridge! Or the cupboard. It turns out, certain foods can help boost your mood. So here’s how you can eat your way to happiness, courtesy of Woman’s World.

Have eggs for breakfast. They’re loaded with folic acid, which studies suggest is one of the most mood-elevating nutrients. Pour a little hot sauce on your eggs. The rush you get after the hot pepper comes in contact with your tongue triggers an outpouring of endorphins – which reduce stress and lift your spirits.

Have a tuna sandwich for lunch. According to studies, taking in more of the omega-3 fats in fish cuts your risk of ever experiencing depression in half! Why? According to Harvard researcher Dr. James Hudson, the brain needs these fats to help anxiety-fighting chemicals penetrate cell membranes and do their job keeping us calm.

If you want to feel happier, go ahead and have a little chocolate after dinner. British research reveals that chocolate contains about 300 natural health-boosting compounds – including several agents that make you feel alert and happier. Now, concentrations of these chemicals are highest in DARK chocolate, but if you prefer milk chocolate, don’t worry: The pleasure you get from simply eating the treat means any type of chocolate will probably lift your mood.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Movie Food

If you’re in the mood for something salty and crunchy – the ugliest choice you can make is the large buttered popcorn. It’s 20 servings worth of saturated fat. A better choice, but still bad are the nachos with cheese. A serving size equals 7 chips – not the 25 you get when you order it. The best choice you can make when you’re craving a salty snack is a soft pretzel. It has zero saturated fat and a serving – which is one pretzel – is only 280 calories.

If you’re craving a sugary sweet snack at the movies – the ugliest choice you can make is a box of Whoppers – those malted milk balls. The box holds more than two servings and it’s loaded with calories and fat. A better, but still bad choice is Raisinettes. They’re good because raisins are good source of iron, potassium and fiber – but Raisinettes are still high in fat. The best choice for your sweet craving is Jolly Rancher chews. They’re hard to eat so you won’t just gulp them down – and they’re low in fat. Keep in mind, a serving is six pieces – not the 30 that come in the bag. So get them and share.

So now that you’ve got your snacks – what about the drink? Forgo the Blue Raspberry Icee Slushy. That’s just empty calories and tons of sugar. Skip the soda too and opt for unsweetened iced tea. Low cal – zero fat – and the tea will be filling you with disease fighting anti-oxidants while you’re watching Meryl Streep singing and dancing along the Grecian coast.