IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  November 1, 2010

Hot and cold: Two for the tailgate

As long as man has enjoyed sporting events, tailgating has been a part of it. Mostly associated today with football games and fall auto racing, "tailgating" goes back to the days of the Roman Coliseum and the jousting tournaments of the Middle Ages. Sports always seemed to spur the appetite.

Tailgate parties can be as elaborate as a picnic of pate, caviar and cheeses, or as simple as fried chicken, slaw and baked beans.

These two recipes, one is for salad, the other is enough to make several sandwiches, can be eaten with either bread or crackers.

Chicken salad ambrosia

4 cups diced white meat chicken, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
4 cups diced celery, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
30 large seedless grapes
1 cup walnut pieces, chopped
2 cups mayonnaise
Mix well in a large bowl and chill.
Pulled pork barbecue
8 cups pulled pork, either smoked loin or butt.

Use either your favorite store barbecue sauce or the recipe below.

North Carolina barbecue sauce

With vans and many autos now providing 12-volt and 110-volt electrical outlets, it is possible to keep hot sandwich fixings, like pulled pork, warm in a crock pot.

If your vehicle does not have these, a 12-volt-to-110-volt inverter can be purchased at most auto supply stores. The draw on the battery, about 60 watts, is not enough to run down a healthy car battery.

2 cups white vinegar
2 cups red wine vinegar
4 cups water
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 bottle Louisiana hot sauce
2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon black pepper.

Heat, stirring continually. Place in condiment bottles or catsup squirt bottles and store in refrigerator.

For an individual touch, you can add various mild or hot condiments.

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Here's good news about the calorie-burning effects of exercise

New technologies have helped researchers at Harvard to show the exact metabolic, calorie-burning effect of exercise.

Got 10 minutes? If you use it on a treadmill or stationary bike, you can perk up your calorie burn not only for that period but for an hour afterward.

The doctors measured the fat-burning metabolites in the blood of three groups of people: Unfit people who were short of breath, normally fit people and marathon runners.

The results showed an almost 100 percent increase in fat-burning metabolites in fit people and 10 times more metabolites in the marathon runners. That was expected, partly because they could run or bike faster than the others. In the unfit group, the metabolites increased by 50 percent and stayed that way for an hour.

One of their most important findings was that, regardless of physical condition, exercise will increase fat burning. As you raise your fitness level, the fat-burning level will increase as well.

Here's the good news. If you want to lose a few pounds but don't have the time, strength or inclination to do a half hour a day, just 10 minutes can be a big help. During the next hour, your body will continue to burn fat even if you're sitting in front of the TV.


Be safer on holiday roads

Thanksgiving time through New Year's Day is one of the busiest travel periods on America's roads. As you head off to your gathering, keep these suggestions in mind.

Go slow. Listen to traffic reports and construction zones before you leave, so you can arrive on time without driving too fast.

Buckle up. All passengers and dogs should be buckled up. Infants and toddlers should ride in a car seat. Kids less than 4'9" tall require a booster seat.

Leave a space. Allow one car length for each 10 mph of your speed. On wet or slippery roads, allow more space.

Catch a ride with someone else. If you don't like driving in the dark, ask a relative or friend to pick you up.

On a long trip, take frequent breaks. Stop for coffee at rest stops so you stay alert. If you begin to feel drowsy or distracted, pull over. Rest or get someone else to drive for a time.

Control the distractions. Don't let passengers talk to you or kids make a lot of noise on busy roadways.

Never drink and drive.


Chuckles Corner

The belly: big problem if you're nearing 50

Want to live 10 years longer? Your chances are good if you can reduce the size of your waistline.

The problem comes as you approach age 50 and move beyond that milestone. People who may not have gained a pound have decreased muscle mass and increased fat stores, especially at the waist. Scientists say belly fat secretes proteins and hormones that contribute to inflammation, interfere with how the body processes insulin and raises cholesterol levels.

According Internal Medicine, men and women with the biggest waistlines have twice the risk of dying over the coming decade. Individuals with four extra inches around the waist had a 15 percent to 25 percent increased risk of dying within 10 years.

The most common causes are respiratory illness, heart disease and cancer. Some studies link waist size to dementia, asthma and breast cancer.

At age 50 and over, more than half of men and 70 percent of women have belly fat.

What can you do? Consume fewer calories and burn more calories with walking, biking or other aerobics.


Drugstore List: shaving cream, bottle of milk and a flu shot

Don't delay. It's time to get your flu shot! It takes about two weeks after immunization for full protection to develop. By November, it will be flu season very soon.

This year, the shot features protection against the seasonal flu as well as the H1N1 (swine flu)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that between 150 and 180 million flu shots will be distributed this year. Many of them will be given by pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. The CDC predicts there will be enough vaccine for all comers.

The shots cost $25 to $30 but are covered by health insurance and Medicare Part B.

The big numbers are no surprise since, instead of picking out various age groups that should be immunized, it is recommended that everyone get a flu shot, except for babies less than six months old. This year, adults between 19 and 49 are included in the pool.

Doctors are already pretty busy, so they may not be able to accommodate millions of people who need a flu shot. Clinics at various locations will help, but people have to be there on a certain day at a certain time.

Pharmacies are gearing up for the demand. CVS will take appointments made by computer or in person, but will take walk-ins whenever they are open.

Walgreens has 25,000 pharmacists that will give flu shots. It offers gift cards for shots. The chain administered 7.5 million flu shots last year, and predict 30 million this year.

Rite Aid has tripled the number of pharmacists who can administer flu shots. They gave 250,000 last year but ordered a million doses for 2010

Grocery chains are giving flu shots. Supervalu gives them at its 800 pharmacies. Kroger has them available in all of its 1,900 pharmacies.


November 18: The Great American Smokeout

Accept the challenge and quit for a day. You can do it. Kick butts!


Put sunscreen on face, arm

Here's a shocking fact: For men, 74 percent of all melanomas, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, occur on the left side of the face, say researchers at St. Louis University Medical Center who did a study on facial skin cancer. They reviewed health records of skin cancer patients to come to that conclusion.

For women, there was no difference in left-side and right-side skin cancers.

Because men tend to spend more hours driving, the researchers say they have more sun exposure on the left side of the face. Car windows are poor protection from the dangerous UV rays of the sun.

Be sure to wear sun block when you're driving, especially on long trips.

Drinking D-fortified OJ

According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D-fortified orange juice has joined the short list of foods and beverages that contain vitamin D.

This is good news for people who don't drink much milk. It's even better news for those who don't take a vitamin supplement.

A study at Boston University Medical Center, shows that many people who don't drink milk do have a glass of orange juice in the morning. For them, drinking juice with vitamin D added is an important health step.

In their study, people who were deficient in vitamin D had increased blood levels after having a glass of fortified OJ every day for just 11 weeks.

It's not the whole answer to D deficiency, but it's a step in the right direction. The best dose is 1,000 mg.

More vitamin D benefits

This vitamin protects the heart. It controls the release of stress hormones that lead to high blood pressure and inflammation. It can decrease the risk of colon cancer by half. A study of post-menopausal women showed a 77 percent lower risk of all cancers among those who took 1,000 mg of D plus calcium.


Ideas for holiday savings

Lighting: Invest a few extra dollars in LED lights. They use 80 to 90 percent less energy. Set up a timer so they go off automatically at 10:30 or 11 p.m.

Wrappings: Special paper and bows are expensive and wasteful. Save a tree and some cash by using gift bags saved from last year. Try creative wrapping with fabrics, posters or magazines.

Trees: Fake trees are expensive, petroleum-based and not biodegradeable. A real tree can be taken to the county recycling facility and turned into mulch.

Holiday cards: They are expensive to buy and mail. Instead, create an email greeting that could include photos. Send individually to each person, not to an entire list at once.


Scanning may find early signs of Alzheimer's disease

A report given at the recent Alzheimer's Association International Conference shows that the beginnings of AD occur far earlier than previously known.

Using a radioactive dye that sticks to clumps of beta amyloids, the type of protein found in Alzheimer's disease, clumps can be detected many years before symptoms occur.

The test will assure families that memory loss is not from AD, but may be from other causes, such as stroke, tumors or heavy drinking.

In the future, the test could help in the development of targeted treatments for AD patients.

Whooping cough in California

The state of California has experienced the largest increase in the number of whooping cough cases in the last 50 years. Nearly 1,500 cases have been diagnosed, about five times the normal number.

The California Department of Public Health's Center for Infectious Disease says the potential effect is huge. They think they can contain it, though they are investigating hundreds of more potential cases.

Sometimes cases are mild and go unreported. Those in most danger of a fatal case are babies under the age of 6 months. Though first immunizations are given at 6 weeks, they are not fully protected until they are 6 months old.

California recommends booster shots for everyone in the state.

More benefits for statin users

People who take a statin to lower their LDL (bad) cholesterol can increase the statin's effect by taking a niacin supplement (Niaspan).

A clinical trial reported by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed that patients who took extended-release niacin to raise their HDL cholesterol had a greater reversal of atherosclerosis than patients who took the ezetimibe (Zetia) to lower their LDL.


November is American Diabetes Month

Diabetes: The multi-system disease that affects every part of the body

Until now, you may not have thought much about diabetes. You probably know people who have type 2 and they seem to be OK. It makes you wonder, "How serious can it be?"

It's a killer. How serious is that? While deaths from cancer, heart disease and stroke have declined significantly since 1987, deaths from diabetes increased by 45 percent. And that percentage will grow with each passing year unless individuals begin to take prevention more seriously.

Nearly 24 million Americans already have diabetes. That's an amazing number, but another 57 million are at risk. They have pre-diabetes and may not realize it.

If you are overweight, don't exercise and have been feeling pretty tired lately, it's time to see your doctor for a glucose tolerance test.

Normal fasting glucose is below 100 mg/dl. A person with pre-diabetes has a level between 100 and 125 mg/dl. If the level is above 126, the person has diabetes.

The good news is that even if your glucose level is high, you can keep from getting type 2 diabetes. But you have to get serious about doing it.

  • Get 30 minutes a day of regular exercise. You'll have to do it anyway if you move to type 2, so why not walk or exercise to prevent it?
  • Have a better diet. Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer high-fat meats and dairy products. Consume fewer sugars, like regular soda, and fewer simple carbohydrates like those in white flour, doughnuts and rolls.
  • Lose a few pounds. If you exercise and eat better, you probably will, but also eat smaller portions of foods. Even a 5 percent weight loss makes a difference, but 10 percent reduces type 2 risk by 58 percent.

    In November, the American Diabetes Association asks, "How will you 'Stop Diabetes?' The future is in your hands.

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    November 11 Veterans Day

    Veterans Day is celebrated with good humor, camaraderie by vets, appreciation by all

    Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

    Memorial Day (traditionally May 30) is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.

    While those who died are also remembered on Veterans Day, it is the day set aside to thank and honor all who served honorably in the military, in wartime or peacetime.

    The holiday is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served, not only those who died, have sacrificed and done their duty.

    The celebration is far different from the somber tone taken on Memorial Day. Veterans themselves take the opportunity to celebrate joyfully with former comrades, at veterans' clubs or with private parties.

    In history, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month was not a time for much celebration. Some soldiers were able to relax and wait out the exact time of the armistice.

    Others were not so lucky. Many commanders on both sides of the war wanted to continue their battles until the last moment. There were many thousands of pointless deaths.

    These fallen heroes as well as those who gave their lives in all American wars are remembered and honored on Veterans Day. But this day is mainly for the living to celebrate their service and accept the grateful thanks of the nation.

    November 11 is celebrated as Remembrance Day in Canada, England and Australia.