Cooking Winter Greens

You see winter greens a lot in the vegetable aisle about this time of year, but the idea of cooking greens can be intimidating for some homemakers. They should not be worried. Greens are easy to cook, are packed with calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin K, potassium, and a plant version of omega-3 fatty acids. So why the hesitation? Cleaning and cutting greens is a chore, and getting all the dirt and sand out of the leaves can be tough.

But you don’t have to anymore. Green grocers now offer cleaned and cut greens in bags that make a healthy soup or side dish. You can boil greens in salt water for a few minutes, and have a delicious side-dish to any meal, or you can make greens the center of the table. Try this:

  • Boil a chicken breast in 8 cups of water, some salt (not much) and some pepper. Remove the breast and set aside.  
  • Add a bag of pre-washed kale and slow boil for about 20 minutes. If you like a crunchier green, you can boil to taste. There is no limit. In southern kitchens, greens stay on the stove as long as the cook wants.
  • Add more water if necessary, some kidney beans, and cut up the chicken breast.
  • Serve in bowls with lots of juice.

Greens are a versatile offering. You can add anything to them, and they still taste great. But more important, nutritionists are beginning to notice the rich vitamin content, and low fat that greens offer. You don’t have to use traditional cooking methods for greens. Those include ham pieces, or ham hocks, and fatty additions. That way of southern cooking tended to make greens greasy, and while they tasted great, they weren’t very good for you.

Times have changed. Give greens a try.
Photo credit: Evan-Amos / / CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Are Onions The Superfood Your Diet Is Missing?

Onions are often categorized as the cause for foul breath and indigestion, but they may have superfood benefits that your diet could benefit from.

New research shows that onions are nutritional powerhouses and can keep the heart healthy, strengthen bones, reduce cancer and aid in digestion.

Onions contain a carbohydrate known as fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), that can serves as food for our intestinal bacteria and promote the growth of health, immune-boosting bacteria.

Other superfoods include acai berry, blueberries, oranges, beans, spinach, tomatoes and walnuts.


Read more at RunnersWorld.

Observation units may ease burdens of ER care, but at what cost to patients?

Hospitals are now opting to move people from the emergency room and directly into “outpatient” style monitoring units where they can undergo further testing before it’s determined by a doctor whether or not they should be admitted to the hospital or returned home.

For example if a patient is experiencing chest pain, the hospital may keep them for an extended time for an EKG or stress test. The results of these tests can help decide whether the situation is critical or not.

Yet while there is a benefit to receiving immediate attention for a medical concern, insurance providers typically charge this as an “outpatient procedure” and patients are forced to pay a la carte for each test done. Compared to an inpatient stay, the costs can be exponential.

Continue reading at The Washington Post.

Dash Diet is Ranked #1 by US World News & Report

The Dash Diet was developed in part by The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and was recently ranked by US News as the best diet overall for healthy living.

The eating plan is rich in fruits, vegetables, low fat milk products, whole grains, fish, poultry, seeds and nuts. The Dash Diet removes most salt, sweets and sugary beverages that are typically found in most peoples daily routines.

The Dash Diet is available for online viewing in the full and brief forms. You can also read further on whether you’ll lose weight, the cardiovascular benefits, controlling diabetes and more on USNews.

Do Food Diaries Really Work?

Food diaries are a much-debated subject, in the media, and in the cloud. Some studies suggest that keeping a diary of what you eat leads to better life-choices all around. Others complain that diaries about food become monotonous, and abandoned, in time.

Several web sites are working on making a food diary more palatable, adding applications for your smart phone, customizing common foods that you eat every day, and even building whole menus for each meal.

Medhelp boasts the largest online site for managing your food intake, exercise, and even your conditions, like high blood pressure or diabetes. There are others, so check them out.  MyFoodDiary may be worth a look. 

Staying on the program is the key, and that seems to be almost as much of a struggle as losing weight.


FDA Approves New Use of Avastin Plus Chemotherapy for People with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

“The majority of people diagnosed with metastatic colorectal cancer receive Avastin plus chemotherapy as their initial treatment,” said Hal Barron, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “These people now have the option to continue with Avastin plus a new chemotherapy after their cancer worsens, which may help them live longer than changing to the new chemotherapy alone.”



Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when liquid in the stomach flows back into your esophagus. This happens for a number of reasons, including diet and weight, but even healthy people experience GERD during times of stress. When heartburn becomes a frequent occurrence, steps need to be taken to ensure that stomach acids don’t cause erosion of the linings in your throat.

The Linx Reflux Management System provides a novel solution to the problem of acid reflux that is well tolerated by patients. Read more here.

Resolve to Prevent or Delay Type 2 Diabetes

The year seems to hurry to a close, and makes us think about our joys, challenges, families…and our health. As you reflect on your family’s health history and changes you’d like to make in your own life, resolve to prevent or delay type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Eating right, adding physical activity, and practicing healthy habits—these are all positive things for your health right now.

via Resolve to Prevent or Delay Type 2 Diabetes | CDC Features.

Islet Cell Transplantation offers new hope for chronic pancreatitis sufferers

One hundred patients have now undergone islet cell transplantation at MUSC. This procedure has been a well received by patients suffering from severe abdominal pain.

The   pain is caused by an inflammation in the pancreas, and limits a person’s daily life to such an extent that they are unable to have even the semblance of a normal life. Doctors call this  problem pancreatitis, and would often be forced to perform a procedure known as a total pancreatectomy. Islet cell transplantation reduces some of the complications that occur as a result of a total pancreatectomy. Dr. David Adams sees this new approach to pancreatitis as a welcome innovation to relieve the suffering of chronic pancreatitis patients.