Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pork Chops with Squash and Potatoes

TOTAL TIME          1 hour, 40 minutes
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 pork chop and about 1 cup vegetables)
One sheet and dinner is done, thanks to Greek Pork Chops, squash and potatoes.

4      (1-inch-thick) frenched pork loin chops
1/2   cup fresh lemon juice
4      tablespoons olive oil
3      garlic cloves, minced
3      tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1      teaspoon black pepper
3      teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2      medium yellow squash, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1      large zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1/2   pound small red potatoes, quartered

1 .  Place pork chops in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Whisk lemon juice, oil, garlic, oregano, pepper, and 2 1/2 teaspoons salt; reserve 2 tablespoons marinade. Pour remaining marinade over pork, turning to coat. Chill 1 to 8 hours.

2 .  Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine squash, zucchini, potatoes, and reserved marinade. Spread squash mixture in an even layer on a heavy-duty aluminum foil-lined rimmed sheet pan.

3 .  Remove pork from marinade, discarding marinade. Pat dry with paper towels, and place on top of squash mixture.

4 .  Bake 25 minutes. Increase temperature to broil, and broil until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140°F, about 5 minutes. Transfer pork to a serving platter, and cover with foil. Return pan to oven, and broil squash mixture until slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer squash mixture to a serving bowl; toss with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and serve with pork.
Heart healthy 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The MBA's obsession with PB&J's


The legend has been passed down by NBA generations. Bryan Doo, Celtics strength and conditioning coach recalls how, before a game in December of the 2007/08 season, an unnamed Celtic -- his identity lost to history, like the other horsemen on Paul Revere's midnight ride -- complained to Doo of incipient hunger pangs.
"Man, I could go for a PB&J," the player said. And then Celtic, Kevin Garnett, uttered the now-fabled words: "Yeah, let's get on that."
Garnett ate a PB&J, then played ... and played very well. Afterward, from his perch as the Celtics' fiery leader, Garnett issued the following commandment: "We're going to need PB&J's in here every game now."
And so a sandwich revolution was born.
At the time, Doo notes, the Celtics not only didn't provide lavish pregame spreads, they didn't offer much food at all. But he soon found himself slapping together 20 PB&J's about three hours before every tip-off, the finished products placed in bags and labeled with Sharpie in a secret code: "S" for strawberry, "G" for grape, "C" for crunchy. Of vital import: Garnett was an "S" man, and woe unto he who did not deliver him two S's before every game. But as the Celtics steamrolled to a 66-win season and an NBA title, the secret to their success, so cleverly disguised between two pieces of white bread, was eventually leaked.
Boston started  doing it at a mass-produced level and other teams caught the fever. As visiting teams passed through Boston they caught wind of the PB&J revolution and realized a new day had dawned. They all got their strength and conditioning coaches working overtime making the gooey sandwiches.
There was no putting the jelly back in the jar. And nothing would ever be the same.

The Trail Blazers offer 20 crustless, halved PB&J's pregame -- 10 of them toasted, a mandate ever since an opposing arena prepared them as such and Blazers guard Damian Lillard approved. They're composed of organic fixings, save for white bread, which Portland's assistant performance coach Ben Kenyon notes is a high-glycemic carb that easily digests to provide a quick energy jolt. Typically, all 20 vanish well before tip-off; sometimes the Blazers double their order.

The Rockets make sure the PB&J is available in their kitchen at all times, in all varieties -- white and wheat bread, toasted, untoasted, Smucker's strawberry and grape, Jif creamy and chunky -- and offer 12 to 15 sandwiches pregame, with PB&J reinforcements provided at halftime and on postgame flights.

The secretive Spurs, it has been confirmed, indulge in their own pregame PB&J's. The Clippers, at home and on the road, go through two loaves of bread, almond and peanut butters, and assorted jellies from Whole Foods. The Pelicans offer PB&J everywhere: hotel rooms, flights, locker rooms. The Wizards had some "minor uprisings" from players, one source says, when management tried to upgrade team PB&J's with organic peanut butter on whole grain bread -- but peace was restored when each side compromised to include all options.

The Bucks might boast the NBA's most elaborate PB&J operation: a pregame buffet featuring smooth, crunchy and almond butters, an assortment of jellies (raspberry, strawberry, grape, blueberry, apricot), three breads from a local bakery (white, wheat and gluten-free) and Nutella. The team scarfs 20 to 30 PB&J's per game and travels with the ingredients, which rookies prepare on the plane and in visiting locker rooms. They've even offered their players PB&J-flavored oatmeal, PB&J recovery shakes, PB&J waffles and PB&J pancakes. Bucks team chef/dietitian Shawn Zell won't rule out one day making a PB&J burger.

The Cavs eat 20 artisanal PB&J's prior to tip-off, with homemade grape and raspberry jelly, as well as almond butter-and-banana and peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches.
No matter how you slice it, it's hard to swallow: The NBA is covered in experts, obsessed with peak performance -- and still this pillar of grade-school cafeteria lunches is the staple snack of the league.  A sandwich whose standard ingredients boast a street value of roughly 69 cents.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT PB&J's In dozens of interviews with players, coaches, executives, nutritionists, trainers and others in and around the NBA, the most common explanation offered was the most obvious: PB&J is comfort food, and countless players, like countless other humans, grew up on it. "It's a soothing memory from childhood," Shanahan says. It's "peace of mind," says Brett Singer, a dietitian at the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute, who adds: "You feel good, you play well." Brian St. Pierre, director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition, who's consulted with the Spurs, says it's not so much a placebo effect but "almost more than that. They just simply believe." Lakers coach Luke Walton has a theory: NBA players are superstitious nuts, especially when it comes to routines. "Athletes are strange people," he says. "We've got weird habits." Walton, now 36 and in his first season leading the Lakers, still downs a PB&J before every game.

WHY DOES IT WORK??
The smell of these  bread and goo sandwiches-- even the mere awareness of their proximity -- triggers a release in humans of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which once provided our ancestors with an energy boost for the hunt, along with serotonin, the "happiness hormone." At first bite of a PB&J, receptors detect the food's chemical composition and report back to the brain -- fats! sugars! starches! proteins! salts! -- where reward centers release opioids and, after a few minutes, endorphins, which briefly reduce stress. It's an effect, St. Pierre notes, that's similar to sex. They also lower the body's heart rate, a bonus for an anxious hunter or a player just before tip-off. "These are the exact same pathways that make heroin addicts chase their next fix," says Dr. Trevor Cottrell, director of human performance for the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute.
Heroin, sex ... peanut butter and jelly. You can see why players might revolt if someone tried to take away their PB&J.
So are they actually good for you -- or good enough for the physical demands of the most physically taxed athletes on the planet? The typical PB&J contains roughly 400 to 500 calories, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of fat and 10 grams of protein. Not good if you are not an athlete, and are trying to lose weight. Athletes work off most of the calories and fats during the game.

Basketball players ,actually, are not very demanding when they arrive in town for a game. But if you don't have tons of PB&J's on hand, heads will roll.




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Maxy sez : Understanding Diabetic Eye Conditions

Cataracts are a common part of aging, with the eye's clear lens growing cloudy and blocking light. However, people with diabetes are 60 percent more likely to develop cataracts. They tend to develop this eye disorder at a younger age, and their cataracts worsen at a much quicker pace.

People with type 2 diabetes develop cataracts due to their high levels of blood sugar. "As the blood sugar levels increase, the concentration of [glucose] around the lens goes up," Gonzalez says. "The sugar enters the lens through osmosis, bringing water with it." That changes the chemical composition inside the lens, prompting the lens to grow cloudy.

People with type 2 diabetes also are 40 percent more likely to develop another common eye disease, glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs due to an increase in fluid pressure inside the eyeball. The pressure pinches off blood flow to the retina and optic nerve, causing slow damage. This damage leads to gradual but permanent vision loss.

Diabetes: Protect Your Vision :
The problems with blood sugar are the principal cause of the damage to the eye," Gonzalez says. "Most people with diabetes will vary in terms of how high their high is and how low their low is. The larger the difference between the high and the low, the more susceptible you are to damage from diabetes." Tightly managing your type 2 diabetes is the best way to prevent eye health complications.
By Dennis Thompson, Jr. Reviewed by Farrokh Sohrabi, MD
Type 2 diabetes can have a terrible impact on your eye health. Learn about the major diabetic eye diseases and get tips for avoiding them.
Typr 2 diabetes is a systemic disease, and if left untreated it can cause many serious complications in areas throughout the body — including the eyes. In fact, complications that threaten eye health are among the leading problems that can occur with diabetes and put people with type 2 diabetes at a greater risk of blindness. Preventing eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma hinges, in large part, on successfully managing blood sugar levels.

Diabetic Retinopathy:
Unchecked blood sugar levels that spike and plummet can cause damage to the blood vessels of the eyes, resulting in a condition known as diabetic retinopathy. This is the most common vision problem due to diabetes. Retinopathy targets the retina, the tissue lining the back of the eye wall that perceives the images captured by the eye.
There are two main types of diabetic retinopathy:
Non-proliferative retinopathy. This is the disease's first stage. "The fluctuations in the blood sugar begin to damage the walls of blood vessels," says Victor H. Gonzalez, MD, founder of Valley Retina Institute in McAllen, Texas, and a volunteer for the American Diabetes Association. "The blood vessels begin to leak." The leakage causes the retina to swell, blurring your vision and causing straight lines to appear wavy as the retina takes on an uneven shape.

Proliferative retinopathy. This is the disease's second stage, in which the eye tries to compensate for the loss of blood vessels by forming new ones. These new blood vessels are weak, though, and crowd into the retina. "Unfortunately, the blood vessels begin to grow around the central vision," Dr. Gonzalez says. As these vessels mature, they often bleed and cause scarring that can lead to a tractional retinal detachment, which occurs when the scar tissue causes the retina to pull away from the eye tissue. This can cause blindness if not corrected.

Cataracts and Glaucoma :
Early detection is also key to preventing vision loss, especially for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. People with diabetes should undergo a thorough eye examination once a year. These eye examinations must involve dilation of the pupil. That's the only way an eye doctor can observe the back of the eye.

"They need to have a dilated eye examination performed by an ophthalmologist," Gonzalez says. "Sometimes patients will go to health fairs and have an eye screening there. That's not a diabetic eye exam. Unfortunately, I've had some people get into trouble because they use that as their annual eye examination."


"We have very effective treatments," Gonzalez adds. "If we begin treatment early on in these patients, we can have a very significant impact on their retinopathy and reduce their risk of severe vision loss.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Maxy sex : Why Does Type 2 Diabetes Make You Feel So Tired?

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms associated with poorly controlled blood sugar.
By Jen Laskey
Medically Reviewed by Justin Laube, MD

If you have type 2 diabetes and you’re feeling tired, you’re not alone. Fatigue is a symptom that’s often associated with the condition. There are many possible causes, including everything from diabetes-related complications to underlying conditions. Simply managing diabetes on a daily basis can zap your energy from time to time.

However, the most common cause, by far, is uncontrolled blood glucose, says Joel Zonszein, MD, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at the University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York.

With type 2 diabetes, poor blood sugar control typically results in hyperglycemia or high blood sugar, which can cause fatigue among other symptoms. But Dr. Zonszein notes that high blood glucose isn’t  the only cause. “Some people — especially the elderly — get dehydrated because their blood sugars are so high [and this leads to increased urination]. The fatigue, in part, comes from the dehydration,” he says. “It can also come from kidney disease.”

Find Out About Type 2 Diabetes
and a Treatment Option. 
Underlying conditions and diabetes-related complications are additional factors that can contribute to tiredness. Dr. Zonszein explains that when people have had type 2 diabetes for a long time, they can develop damage in their kidneys, heart, and liver. “Abnormalities in these organs can also cause fatigue,” he says.

When fatigue is a concern, Zonszein will also screen for anemia. Anemia is not caused by diabetes, but it frequently occurs in people with diabetes and is a common cause of fatigue.


He will also check the thyroid hormone level. People with diabetes are at increased risk for thyroid diseases, especially hypothyroidism. “A sluggish thyroid together with diabetes can be another cause,” says Zonszein.

Medications should also be reviewed, as fatigue can be a side effect in some, especially those used to control blood pressure like beta blockers.

Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease that is associated with numerous co-morbidities, including obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. People with diabetes who neglect their health because of fatigue and other symptoms put themselves at greater risk of developing complications, according to a review of literature focused on diabetes-related fatigue that was published in the July 2010 issue of the Journal of Psychosomatic Research. Often neglected are psychological factors, such as depression or feeling overwhelmed by their diagnosis or complexity of medical care, that can contribute greatly to feeling “low energy.”

To reduce fatigue and your risk of other symptoms and  complications, it’s important to work with your health care team to make sure you’re properly managing your diabetes and any co-morbid conditions — and that includes making healthy lifestyle choices.

“People who have a healthy lifestyle — who exercise every day, eat well, drink a lot of water, and take their medications properly — tend to feel well,” says Zonszein. “It is the ones who are a little bit sluggish with exercising, or they over-eat, or they don’t eat all day and then they eat too much at night, and they forget their medications, those are the ones who often start to get complications.” Fatigue and headaches are the most common complications of patients who are not well-treated, he says.


If you’re feeling abnormally tired in between your regular doctor visits and you don’t seem to be getting better, call your doctor and make an appointment to get examined sooner.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Food for Thought : 5 Things a Nurse Wants You to Know About Heart Failure

By Everyday Health Guest Columnist
By Sue Montgomery, RN, BSN, Special to Everyday Health 

Nearly six million.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), that’s the number of people in this country who are currently living with heart failure.

The Heart Failure Society of America (HFSA) says that heart failure is “a syndrome characterized by high mortality, frequent hospitalizations, poor quality of life, multiple comorbidities, and a complex therapeutic regimen.”

Simply put, heart failure can be a very serious condition that puts people at greater risk for death, disability, and additional complications. When people are hospitalized for heart failure, for example, there’s a risk of developing hospital-acquired, antibiotic-resistant infections.

By staying informed about heart failure and taking the right steps to manage it — like staying in close communication with your physician or family nurse practitioner — you can rise above heart failure  and enjoy your life. There are many excellent heart failure resources you can go to, such as those from the AHA, the HFSA, and others.

In addition, here are five things this nurse wants you to know about this potentially deadly condition.

1. Heart Failure Doesn’t Discriminate Based on Age
Although getting older can put you at higher risk for heart failure, the condition can occur at any age. In fact, when I worked in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, I cared for many babies and children with heart failure due to a variety of causes. During my years working with adults in critical care and hospice, I witnessed heart failure across a variety of ages in these populations as well.

You could develop heart failure for any number of reasons related to a variety of health conditions, including:
coronary artery disease
high blood pressure
faulty heart valves
a damaged heart muscle
inflammation of the heart due to infection
congenital heart defects
abnormal heart rhythms
chronic diseases, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders

2. Not All Heart Failure Is Created Equal
Because heart failure can have many causes, it may also manifest differently depending on the cause.
As the Mayo Clinic notes, acute heart failure occurs suddenly, with symptoms that are more dramatic, such as during a major heart attack. For acute heart failure, symptoms may include these among others:
chest pain
severe shortness of breath
pink and frothy sputum
a rapid heart rate
Chronic heart failure occurs more gradually and is ongoing. Associated symptoms may include:
swelling in the lower extremities and abdomen
shortness of breath
fatigue
nausea
chronic cough
There are differences between left-sided heart failure and right-sided heart failure as well, as noted in this detailed description by the AHA.

3. Heart Failure Can Creep Up on You When You Least Expect It
When my friend told me she saw a television commercial about heart failure that described her situation perfectly, it was a good reminder of how stealthy this common condition can be.
She’d been struggling for weeks as her condition worsened, but couldn’t pinpoint the cause. In the ad she referenced, a man is sitting in his living room calmly reading the newspaper while water slowly rises around him. His whimpering dog understands the danger, but he’s oblivious to what’s happening.
That’s the insidious nature of heart failure, and why patients often don’t recognize symptoms before it’s too late. Knowing what symptoms to look for and when to call your healthcare provider are key. The Cleveland Clinic offers an excellent and comprehensive list of both.

4. Heart Failure Can Mimic Other Conditions
Because many of the symptoms of heart failure appear gradually and are common to other conditions as well, it can be easy to blame them on something else.
You may feel short of breath, fatigued, or weak, for example, and your symptoms may be attributed to being overly tired.
Swelling of the lower extremities, weight gain, and abdominal swelling might be linked to overindulging the week before.
Lack of appetite and nausea might be chalked up to a stomach ailment.
A persistent cough or wheezing might be blamed on the pollen count.
But if you’re at risk for heart failure, these are the types of symptoms you should be on high alert for — and notify your healthcare provider right away if they occur.

5. You Have More Control Over Heart Failure Than You Might Think
Although dealing with heart failure may seem overwhelming at times, you have more control than you may think. By taking a few simple but consistent steps, you can better keep your heart failure in check and enjoy your life while you do:
Weigh yourself daily to monitor fluid status
Monitor yourself for new symptoms
Take your medications as directed
Eat a low-sodium diet
Maintain regular follow-up visits with your healthcare providerThe AHA provides an excellent checklist as a reminder of these steps — as well as warning signs that signal when you should contact your healthcare provider.
With continuing advances in technology, your doctor or nurse may even be able to monitor your status from afar. In addition, getting regular exercise according to your provider’s guidance, maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet, and making other positive lifestyle changes are key.

If you’re among the nearly six million people living with heart failure, the good news is that there are many things you can do to manage this condition, and you are not alone. The AHA’s Rise Above Heart Failure     online community offers a chance for you to connect with others so you can get the support you need, one step at a time. Find out more about Rise Above Heart Failure .






A proud grand-poppa      G.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Lamb Chops with Mint-Fig Sauce

Six ingredients, plus salt, pepper, and cooking spray, are all you need for this elegant lamb chop dish. Plus, you can make the sauce in the microwave!

4 servings (serving size: 2 chops and about 1 tablespoon sauce)
Serve with mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli spears .

8         (4-ounce) lamb loin chops, trimmed
1/2      teaspoon salt
1/2      teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
2        tablespoons fig preserves (such as Braswell's)
2        tablespoons fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1        tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2     teaspoon bottled minced garlic
4        teaspoons chopped fresh mint

Preheat broiler.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Place lamb on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray; broil 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Keep warm.
Combine preserves, broth, juice, and garlic in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 20 seconds; stir in mint. Serve with lamb.

TIP :
You can also use pork chops .
Heart healthy

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Maxy sez : Don't Ignore These Diabetes-Related Sexual Problems

By Lauren Cox Reviewed by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Tips to help keep diabetes from interfering with your sex life.
While nightly TV drug commercials seem to imply that sexual dysfunction is a problem only for slim, silver-haired men on vacation, it can plague a larger, and often younger, group of people because of diabetes.

Men and women with diabetes can face a variety of challenges in the bedroom, from erectile dysfunction to loss of sensation or lack of desire. Studies have estimated that anywhere from 20 to 75 percent of men with diabetes suffer from impaired sexual function, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and between 18 and 42 percent of women are affected.
Why Diabetes Is Linked to Sexual Problems  :
Most sexual problems related to diabetes can be traced back to restricted blood flow and nerve damage.

“If blood sugars are too high, blood vessels and nerves throughout the body are damaged,” says Joshua Safer, MD, an endocrinologist at Boston Medical Center and an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

If a person has had high blood sugar for years, this damage can injure vital organs, including the eyes, kidneys, and heart. “But the places that are going to suffer first are the places farther out — our fingers and toes,” says Dr. Safer. In men, the penis is also susceptible. Women may experience nerve damage and blood flow problems in the genitals, too, he adds, although the phenomenon is less well studied in women.

People with type 2 diabetes may be at additional risk because of such related health issues as unhealthy cholesterol levels, excess abdominal fat, and high blood pressure, which can further damage blood vessels.

A diabetes diagnosis, however, doesn't mean that sexual dysfunction is inevitable. “Broadly speaking, the problem develops when diabetes is not well treated,” says Safer. And even if you do develop a long-term dysfunction, many options are available to help you have a better sex life despite diabetes.
Erectile Dysfunction :
Although the risk of erectile dysfunction increases for all men as they age, men with diabetes are more likely to develop it 10 to 15 years earlier than men without diabetes, according to the NIDDK. The best treatment will depend on the individual.

“If someone has erectile dysfunction, I will usually check their testosterone level first,” says Kristi Silver, MD, the vice division chief of endocrinology, diabetes, and nutrition and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland. If a man has low testosterone, then Dr. Silver says that hormone therapy may be prescribed. If low testosterone is not the underlying cause of erectile dysfunction, then drugs that increase blood flow may help.

Some men may find devices and prosthetics to be more helpful than medications. Devices such as vacuum pumps can help men get an erection, and constriction devices can help them keep it. If other treatments fail, a urologist can implant a prosthetic.
Low Arousal, Low Response in Women :
Women with diabetes may experience a numbed response to sexual contact and reduced blood flow to their genitals. Diabetes can also decrease vaginal lubrication, leading to discomfort during sex, according to the NIDDK.

To combat numbness and increase sensation, you can try experimenting with different types of foreplay or sex toys. If lubrication is a problem, both prescription and over-the-counter lubricants can help.
Infections :
High blood sugar slows the immune system's response throughout the body and increases the risk of infections, including those that can interfere with your sex life. Perhaps the most common among these are vaginal yeast infections, which cause itching and irritation, discharge, and a burning sensation during urination and sex.

Although many women experience yeast infections, those with type 2 diabetes tend to have them more often, probably because elevated blood sugar can encourage the growth of yeast, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Even a short-term blood sugar spike can increase your risk of infection. If this happens, talk to your doctor and try to get your blood sugar back to safe levels. If you experience a yeast infection, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter creams or suppositories. Medication can be prescribed for frequent yeast infections.
Low Libido :
Not in the mood? This common problem can affect both men and women with diabetes for several reasons, starting with problems related to high blood sugar and inflammation. Medications taken to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol can also inhibit desire.

Emotional health may play a role as well. People with diabetes are nearly twice as likely to experience depression than people without diabetes, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Unfortunately, libido can be lowered by depression itself, as well as by antidepressants used to treat it.

Talk with your doctor if your sexual desire seems inhibited, since it may be a symptom or side effect that can be addressed.
Better Diabetes Control Can Mean Better Sex :
Taking control of your diabetes may put a stop to the physical — and emotional — roots of sexual dysfunction. Endocrinologists and sex therapists agree that what's good for diabetes overall will also be good for sexual problems caused by diabetes.

“It's a whole lifestyle cluster,” says Richard Siegel, a certified sex therapist in Boca Raton, Florida, and a member of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists.

Siegel says the same sedentary lifestyles and poor diets that are associated with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes also contribute to the mood problems behind sexual dysfunction and low libido. “There's a ripple effect. You feel [lousy], then you don't feel in the mood,” he says. “I would recommend staying healthy, being vibrant, and getting lots of exercise.”