| Friday, December 29, 2006
| 15 WHO HAD THEIR 15 MINUTES OF FAME
|1. WARREN JEFFS
The polygamist sect leader was arrested for arranging child-bride marriages. In America, In 2006.
2. HEATHER MILLS MCCARTNEY
Her split with Paul was the biggest Brit schism since 1776. And less amicable.
3. GREG ANDERSON
Barry Bond's personal trainer waits out the steroids scandal in jail. Guess his career will take a hit.
4. CARLA MARTIN
She may have coached witnesses in the Zacarias Moussaoul case, putting the error in terro trial.
5. ZINEDINE ZIDANE
The soccer star head butted another player at the World Cup, giving French fans a headache.
6. SARA EVANS
The Tom DeLay - endorsed country singer was forced by flash divorce to waltz off Dancing With The Stars.
South Park voice actor Isaac Hayes objected to Scientology jokes, and his character got cooked. Wait, Sout Park is offensive?
8. HARRY WHITTINGTON
After the Veep accidentally shot him, Dick C Cheney's hunting buddy was big game .... for comedians.
9. YOHANE BANDA
A famous pop singer named after Jesus' mom adopted his kid in Malawi. Does that make him Joseph?
10. SURI CRUISE
Some people send out birth announcements. Hers was on the cover of Vanity Fair.
11. NATASHA KAMPUSCH
Austrian kidnap victim escaped after eight years in a tiny room. Maybe we should stash Warren Jeffs in there.
12. JOHN MARK KARR
Perhaps because people had (finally) moved on, he falsely confessed to murdering JonBenet' Ramsey.
13. PATRICIA DUNN
She allegedly spied on her Hewlett-Packard board and now faces felony charges. At least her printer worked.
14. JAMES FREY
His best selling rehab memoir, A MIllion Little Pieces, was exposed as lotsa little lies. Oprah not pleased.
15. KAAVYA VISWANATHAN
The Harvard-undergrad author was caught plagiarizing. Luckily for her, she'd never made it onto Oprah.
(Source: TIMEMAG/PEOPLE by Rebecca Wintes Keegan)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 12:25 AM
| Wednesday, December 27, 2006
| 10 BEST TV SHOWS FOR 2006
|1. THE WIRE (HBO)
THIS SPRAWLING SOCIAL DRAMA has dozens of characters and, really, only one - Baltimore, Md. The fourth, finest and most heartbreaking season focused on four inner-city schoolboys, serenaded by the drug trade, failed by every institution meant to protect them and facing choices that will make or doom them for life. Meanwhile, it expanded on the show's novelist tapestry of cops, politicos, junkies, bureaucrats, ministers and hustlers. No other TV show has ever loved a city so well, damned it so passionately or sung it so searingly.
2. THE OFFICE (NBC)
IT'S NOT JUST THE OTHER OFFICE ANYMORE. The remake of the great British sitcom has found its own voice, satirizing the culture of coffee, cubicles and Chili's with heart and laser precision. The deep bench of its cast provides a pointillistic taxonomy of American office life (who does'nt work wit an Angela,a Kevin or a Stanley?) And teh wistful Pam-and-Jim almost-romance - all together now; Awwww! - threatens to give the Sam-and-Diane saga a run for its long uncomsummated money.
3. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS (NBC)
CALL IT AN UNDERDOG, A DARK HORSE, a seventh-round draft pick- just don't ignore the fall's best new series (based on the book and movie) any longer. This high school football drama is a mvoing, warts-and-all portrait of life in hard-up Dillon, Texas, nailing the fine points of small-town politics and faith that TV too often romanticizes or ignores. It's a poignant picture of what a championship team means to a twon that can't afford to wait till next year.
4. LOST (ABC)
TV'S MOST PHILOSPHICAL ENTERTAINMENT or most entertaining work of philosophy- piled on plot curlicues like the topping on an oversize novelty sundae. Maddening as its mystery could be (O.K., so the smoke monster was set up by the Others who live by the four-toed statue and-hang on, let megrab a pencil...), great writing, tantalizing details and ever richer characters made it a years worth getting more deeply entangled in.
5. DEADWOOD (HBO)
THE ONLY THING WILDER THAN THE WILD WEST,it turns out, was the appetitie of civilized capitalism. General McRaney was a captivating villain as George Hearst, the mining magnate and misanthrope who brutally assimilated the gold-ruch camp in this expertly written work of sagebrush Shakespeare. (No other TV show is so wonderful just to listen to, swear words and all.) Bakcstage dealings hae apparently denied the series a fourth season - an epilogue has been promised - but it rode into the sunset memorably.
6. BIG LOVE (HBO)
COME FOR THE POLYGAMIES, STAY FOR THE thespians! The story of a Salt Lake City, Utah, man (bill Paxton) and his mutiple wives was a surprisingly symphathetic treatment of religious fundamentalism and a master class acting showcase. Ginnifer Goodwin, Chloe Sevigny and Jeanne Tripplehorn portrayed a complicated "sister-wives" dynamic, while Harry Dean Stanton was supporting character of the year as a deliciously snaky cult leader.
7.BATTELSTAR GALACTICA (SCIFI)
A HIGH MINDED WAR TURNS INTO A BRUTAL quagmire. Terrorist sleepers turns the public paranoid. And the victims of an attack find themselves sacrificing liberty to defend it. Sound like any planet you know? The topical parallels became deeper and more chilling in Seasons 2 and 3 of this thinking viewer's space opera. It's like the Iraq Study Group report with starship fights and hot looking robots.
8. HEROES (NBC)
NO CAPES, NO MASKS, NO PROBLEM. The live action comic book about ordinary folks discovering extraordinary powers transcended geek appeak wit a crisp, focused plot to Masi Oka, who, as time-traveling cubicle jockey Hiro, stood in for every kid (and grownups)who has ever wished he could close his eye, squint really hard and save the world.
9. DEXTER (SHOWTIME)
JUSTICE IS MURDER FOR DEXTER MORGAN(Michael C. Hall), a part time sleuth and oh, yeah - serial killer who leanred young to put his deadly urges to productive use by slaughtering only bad guys. Hall's composed, self-aware performance is flatout stunning, and so is the treatment of this psychoprocedural's central idea: Is it a man thoughts or his actions that make him good or evil?
10. BLEAK HOUSE (PBS)
CHARLES DICKENS' GREATEST NOVEL YIELDED Masterpiece Theatre greatest co-production in years. The adaptation captured the disparate tones of the sprawling legal tale- satire, romance, melodrama - and deftly handled its numerous stories. Even at eight hours, it flew by, lofted by Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) as an aristocrat nursing a secret heartache. Bleak, yes, but brilliantly so.
(Source:TIMEMAG By: James Ponlewozik)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 8:55 PM
| Tuesday, December 26, 2006
| 10 BEST BOOKS FOR 2006
|1). ALISON BECHDEL, "FUN HOME"
THE UNLIKELY LITERARY SUCCESS of 2006 is a stunning memoir about a girl growing up in a small town with her cryptic, perfectionist dad and slowly realizing that a.) she is gay b.) he is too. Oh, and it's a comic book; Bechdel's breathtakingly smart commentary duets with eloquent line drawings. Forget genre and sexual orientation; this is a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.
2). LAWRENCE WRIGHT, "THE LOOMING TOWER: AL-QAEDA AND THE
ROAD TO 9/11"
IN THIS COMPULSVIELY READABLE, deeply unnerving book, Wright traces the rise of Islamic terrorism form the Egyptian polemicist Sayyid Qutb to the spread of the Muslim Brotherhood to Osama bin Laden. Enter John O'Neill, the FBI counterterrorism chief who connected the dots of al-Qaeda's plot and tried in vain to warn his bosses right up to the day he died - Sept. 11,2001.
3). CORMAC MACARTHY, " A SAD MAN AND HIS YOUNG SON"
A SAD MAN AND HIS YOUNG SON trudges across the burnt landscape of a world that has committed suicide in some catastrophe. This could be Mad Max, or it could be Samuel Beckett; it's certainly as thrilling as the one and as emotionally costly as the other. Just keep telling yourself. It's only a novel, it's only a novel....
4). BILL BUFORD, "HEAT"
IN A MOMENT OF MIDLIFE RECKLESSNESS, Buford, a journalist with no culinary training, became a kitchen slave - his words - to Mario Batali. It takes a big talent to render in words the animal, essentially anti-verbal experience of eating. It takes a big man to describe the hilarious humiliation to which an apprentice chef is subjected. Buford is both. He's also lucky; the brilliant, insatiable, demonic Batali is the kind of character writers sell their souls for.
5). THOMAS E. RICKS, "FIASCO: THE AMERICAN MILITARY
ADVENTURE IN IRAQ"
THE TITLE SAYS IT ALL. This is a complete account o the arrogance and fecklessness of the Bush Administration during the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq and to the predictable disaster that followed. Ricks gets his most damning recollections from the military officers whose warnings that Iraq brushed aside by civilian bosses. Depressing reading, and essential.
6). RICHARD FORD, "THE LAY OF THE LAND"
IN FORD'S THIRD FRANK BASCOMBE novel, real estate prices are good, but much else is not. Now 55, Bascombe is prosperous but wary, licking his wounds after two failed marriages and weathering the indignities of prostate cancer. Luckily, though, his lyrical take on mundane life, his steady-state exasperation and his peerless b.s. detector are all in good working order.
7). GARY SHTEYNGART, "ABSURDISTAN"
TOO MANY NOVELS FEEL TIDY, as if the world were neatly divisibke into East and West, good and bad. Adburdistan is not tidy, nor is its hero, grotesquely obese Misha Vainberg, a rich young Russian obsessed with New York City. Misha is trapped (for legal reasons) in his homeland, and his longing - lus vodka - powers this endlessly inventive, logubriously funny post-Soviet picaresque.
8). HAMPTON SIDES, "BLOOD AND THUNDER:AN EPIC OF THE AMERICAN WEST"
WITH THE FUR TRAPPER AND WILDERNESS scout Kit Carson as his focus, Sides has constructed a heartbreaking history of three cultures in the Southwest - American Indians, Mexicans and Americans - during and after the Mexican-American war, an age of bloody confrontations in which the Navajo would be all but swept away.
9). DAVID MITCHELL, "BLACK SWAN GREEN"
MITCHELL'S LAST NOVEL, CLOUD ATLAS, skipped from the 19th century to the far future. This time he contents himself with one year - 1982 - in the life of a boy - dreamy, stammering Jason Taylor - in one English town. But everything's still there: this funny, close-focus coming-of-age story is also a huge, swirling novel of power, death and love.
10). DAVE EGGERS, "WHAT IS THE WHAT"
WHEN VALENTINO WAS YOUNG, soldiers burned his village in Sudan.Parentless, he walked hundreds of miles in search of safety. When he came to America as a young man, his problems started again. Don't read this novel - which is closely based on his life - for any reason other than it's a great document of hope, despair and the will to keep walking.
(SOURCE:TIMEMAG by: Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 10:21 PM
| Monday, December 25, 2006
| 10 BEST MOVIES FOR 2006
|1. LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
THE 20,000-PLUS SOLDIERS WHO DEFENDED the island against the ferocious American assault were ordered to die rather than surrender, and most did. It's a tragic epic that director Clint Eastwood personifies by focusing mainly on two stories; the dutiful, civilized general (Ken Watanabe) and a common soldier (Kazunari Nonomiya) who is clumsily, almost comically, determined to live. The dialogue is in Japanese, but the account of war madness - intense and compassionate carries and universal and heart breaking message.
2. BORAT: CULTURAL LEARNING OF AMERICA FOR MAKE BENEFIT GLORIOUS NATION OF KAZAKHSTAN.
NOT SINCE DE TOCQUEVILLE, perhaps, have a visitor to the U.S. uncovered so much about the strange folkways of the natives. The cheerful curiosity of Sacha Baron Cohen's blithely ignorant foreigner is mostly matched by the friendly, if often deranged, behavior of the people he ropes into being themselves. Thus, this happy, burtful comedy - the gut-bustingly funniest since the South Park movie - is also one of the year's most revealing doc(not just mock)umentaries.
3. THE DEPARTED
THE COPS PUT AN UNDERCOVER man in the gang, hte gang has an informer among the cops, and Jack Nicholson gives a grand, snarling, nutsy performance as this film's presiding force of evil. Director Martin Scorsese - appalled, yet curiously joyful - has often explored the lives of the criminal class, but this tangle of tormented loyalties brings out the bloody best in him.
4. UNITED 93
NO HORROR MOVIE COULD HAVE scared so many people away from seegin it as this major 9/11 film - a meticulous reimagining of the hijacking of one of the planes and the passengers heroic improvisations to stop it. Paul Greengrass's grueling, ultimately inspiring drama is hard to watch but impressive to see.
5. THE QUEEN
HER MAJESTY (HELEN MIRREN IN A GREAT PERFORMANCE)does not understand why the public expects a show of official sorrow over the passing of Princess Di, whom QE2 never much cared for. Prime Minister Tony Blair instructs her in media manipulation, and director Stephen Frears makes a high, dry comedy of manners out of the mess - while enlisting our sympathy for the beleaguered sovereign.
6. PAN'S LABYRINTH
A GIRL IN FRANCO'S SPAIN SEEKS REFUGE from her vicious militarist stepfather by retreating into a woodland wonderland. Guillermo del Toro mixes the airiest fantasy with the harshest social realism to prove that fascism is a fairy tale of power and a nightmare of terro.
7. THE GOOD SHEPHERD
MAYBE, AS THE FAMOUS WINFFENPOOF SONGwould have it, the sons of Wasp privilege are just lost little lambs. But since some of them spent their post graduate years founding the CIA, Robert De Niro's finely tuned film wonders if their arrogant sense of entitlement subverted this nation's best, most idelatistic impulses. Good question, good movie; very dark, very well written and acted - and very, very worrying.
PIXAR'S LATEST IS AMONG THE computer-animation studios' best: the story of a full-of-itself race car (voiced by Owen Wilson) forced to set down roots in a run-down eccentrics like the rube tow truck Mater (Larry the Cable Guy). Not to stomp on Happy Feet or anything, but director John Lasseter, who virtually invented CGI movie with, smartly rev ups the fun in this, the most stylish car-toon ever.
9. DISTRICT 813
IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE, THE FRENCH have cordoned off their housing projects, sties of immigrant crime and anger. They're even contemplating a nuclear final solution to their problem. That's the pretext director Pierre Morel uses to reinvent the action film with gracefully soaring chases and grittily imaginative confrontations - no CGI, very little wire work, just a subtle, clever use of off-speed cameras and canny editing. The result is a movie that makes all its American competitors look klutzy and flat-footed. Maybe it isn't exactly art, but it sure is kninesthetically dazzling.
10. CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER
THE EMPRESS (GONG LI) IS GANOODLING with her stepson, the Emperor (Chow Yun Fat) is trying to poison the Empress, and the whole royal house seems less later Tang Dynasty than Aaron Spelling's Dynasty. These gorgeous surprise from China's Zhang Yimou (Hero) looks like a martial-arts movie but plays like delirious melodrama. Thefearless, peerless turns from Chow and Gong Li demonstrate how the fiercest swordplay can come from two charistmatic stars staring daggers at each other.
(Source: TIMEMAG by: Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 11:11 PM
| Sunday, December 24, 2006
| HAPPY HOLIDAYS
.... my personal Prayer for the world
Oh Great Architect of the Universe,
Into your great hands and compassion
you have created this world.
Grant that this world that we live in,
could still be blessed, and the people living
on it - will have Peace, Love and Harmony.
Give Strength, Courage and Understanding
to all the leaders of the countries and nations,
so that they could fulfill their duties while in office
with due respect to their people and the world around them.
Make them see thru their office, that there is always
Peace and Love and Understanding -- if they so do it and practices it.
Look upon those, who have nothing and still struggling,
because of poversty, political unrest, instability, sickness and
most of all, those whose only aspirations in life is to survive
and live day by day, even in the poorest and most unstable conditions.
Share all the message of Hope and Love to all, no matter
what their race, color and creed be.
And most of all dear Lord -
shower with Love those who have been held captive
in places that not by their own doing, but by politics
and power struggle.
Envelope this world with your Wisdom and Power to Understand
so that there will always be PEACE ON THIS EARTH!
|posted by infraternam meam @ 7:44 AM
| Saturday, December 23, 2006
| CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD
How the Filipinos Observe Christmas
IN THE PHILIPPINES, Christmas is a seaon in the real meaning of the world. For twenty-two long, lively days, December 16 to January 6, the devout Filipinos express the spirit of Christmas with a series of Masses, pageants and festivals to the background of unedning music by carolers and brass bands.
Celebrations begin at dawn on December 16, when twonspeople are awakend by the pealing of church bells, hearlding the first of a novena of dawn Misa de Gallo(since the mass presumably starts at the first cock's crow.)
Following the service, streets begin to show signs of festivity. People bundled in warm coats pour from the church, stopping at nearby stalls for tea and warm bibingka (rice cakes). They talk with friends, walk leisurely home, or join a group of wandering carolers.
At night, star lanterns and strings of multicilored lights shine over windows and doorways. Lights are everywhere, illuminating the town plaza, public buildings and trees. On Christmas eve, in the town of San Fernando in Pampanga, forty-four miles from Manila, lavishly decorated star lanterns, measuring fifteen to thrity feet, are paraded in a contest to find the most elegant, gigantic, and colorful lantern in the land.
CHRISTMAS IN FINLAND
IN THE FINNISH HOME the Christmas tree is set up on Christmas Eve. Apples and other fruits, candles, paper flags, cotton and tinsel are used as decorations, and candles are used for lighting it.
The Christmas festivites are usually preceeded by a visit to the famous steam baths, after which everyone dresses in clean clothes in preparation for the Christmas dinner, which is generally served from five to seven in the evening.
Christmas gifts may be given out before or after the dinner. The children do not hang stockings, but Santa Claus comes in person, often accompanied by as many as half a dozen Christmas elves ( in brown costumes, knee-length pants, red stockings, and red elves caps) to distribute presents.
The main dish of the dinner is boiled codfish served snowy white and fluffy, with allspice, boiled potatoes, and cream sauce. The dried cod has been soaked for a week in a lye solution, then in clear water to soften it to the right texture. Also on the menu are roast suckling pig or roasted fresh ham, mashed potatoes, and vegetables.
After dinner the children go to bed, their elders staying up to chat with visitors and drink coffee until about midnight. Christmas Day services in the churches begin at six in the morning. It is a day for family visits and reunions. In some parts of the country the Star Boys tour the countryside singing Christmas songs. During all these days the people keep wishing each other a "Merry Yule".
CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRIA is the time of the year when family members get together for hours of quiet and thoughtful celebration. The Christmas tree plays a most important part. Every town sets up its own huge tree on the main square and frequently there will be an extra one, adorned with bread crumbs for the birds. In families, it is usually the father of the house who selects the tree and decorates it with gold and silver or sometimes golored balls, tinsel, sweets and candy wrapped in tin foil, gilded nuts, etc. Electric Christmas lights are not too popular throughout Austria and in most homes candles are used. Candles are also places in windows as a symbolic Christmas greetings to those absent from home and in commemoration of deceased family members.
On Christmas Eve, all the shops close at 6PM. There are no movie or theater performances and no concerts. Bars, restaurants, night clubs are likewise closed and traffice is almost nonexistent. Around 7PM on Christmas Eve (December 24), the tree is lighted for the first time and the whole family gathers to sing Christmas carols. "Silent Night, Holy Night", written on December 24, 1818, by Josef Mohr in the Austrian village of Obendorf, is still the favorite Christmas carol. Presents are place unwrapped under the tree and young children believe that they were brought to them - as fo good behavior - by Knecht Ruprecht or by the Christ-child.
CHRISTMAS IN BOLIVIA
PREPARATION FOR THE BIRTH of the Christ-child begins on December 1. Children gather flowers, particularly the pastora, the natinal flower and much like a poinsettia, in the mountain valleys, to decorate the Nativity Scenes in the home and church. In the churches, gold and silver figurines are used for the Nativity scenes. On December 24, peopl attend a midnight Mass or pray to their homes and place gifts about thier sleeping children. In the towns and cities, Christmas celebrations last until January 6. The working classes participate less in these celebrations.
The natives of Bolivia (50 percent of the population) celebrate Christmas more as a harvest festival. Thnaks are given for completion of the year's work. Labor leaders given an account of the work done during the year and propose what is to be done during the following year. Chiefs and tribes gather to organize their work. Christmas tends to become a feast of adoration of the Goddess Mother Earth, who is asked to bring a fruitful harvest, to keep away plagues, and to give a prosperous year, though these customs are frowned on by the authorities.
IN BRAZIL SANTA CLAUS IS LITTLE KNOWN,and those who do know of the jolly fellow call him Papa Noel. He enters through the window on Christmas Eve, as many of the house have no chimneys in the warm climate.
An old legend says that the animals have the power of speech on Christmas night. The children are told that the crow crows in a loud voice at the stroke of twelve, "Christo nasceu" (Christ is born). The bull in a deep voice inquires "Onde?" (where), and the sheep answer in chorus, "Em Belen de Juda" ( In Bethlehem of Judea).
The children have no Christmas trees, but they do have creche or presepio, representing the Christ child's birth. It is commonly found in private homes as weel as in public hospitals, and it is left standing until Epiphany. Gifts and toys are exchanged during the holidays, after which the "presepio" is put away untlk the following christmas.
Many Christmas activities in Brazil are much like those in the United States. Store windows have been full of decorations; Santa Claus, called Papa Noel, visits little children. Many Christmas trees, both artificial and real, are found in the homes and churches. Churches hold pageants and candlelight services. The poor are cared for by churches and clubs. Colored lights are found in the city streets, maybe in the towns of the interior - only the city sqaure will have colored lights. In all of this acitivity the Protestant church is busy giving out literature, holding programs, and preaching the Christmas message. Each Protestant church actually takes care of her poor and many others.
(Source: Celebrating Christmas Around the World by: Herbert H. Warwick)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 12:55 AM
| Thursday, December 21, 2006
| CHRISTMAS CAROLS, OLD AND NEW
|THE SINGING OF CAROLS IS THE OLDEST OF OUR CHRISTMAS CUSTOMS. IT WAS IN NO WAY "INVENTED" IN THE YEARS 1823 TO 1848, BUT IN THOSE SAME YEARS, THE ANCIENT TRADITION OF CAROLS WAS REVITALIZED AFTER NEARLY TWO CENTURIES OF SEMIDORMANCY. OLD TIME CAROLS WERE COLLECTED, TRANSLATED, ARRANGED, AND PUBLISHED, AND NEW CAROLS WERE COMPOSED.
In 1822, the year Clement Clarke Moore wrote "A Visit from St. Nicholas", a small collection was published: Some Ancient Carols, With The Times to Which They Were Formerly Sung in the West of England. The collector, Davies Gilbert, wrote wistfully in the preface:
"The Editor is desirous of preserving the following Carols or Christmas Songs in their actual forms, however distorted by false grammar or by obscurities, as specimens of times now passed away, and of religious feelings superseded by others of a different cast. He is anxious also to preserve them on account of the delight they afforded him in his childhood....."
In 1833, a major collection of more than two hundred carols was published: Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern. The collector, William Sandy's wrote a long introduction giving the history of the Christmas festival and Christmas carols. The revival of the carol was in full swing.
What is a Christmas carol?
This is not as silly a question as it may seem. Singing at festivals is as old a custom as festivals themselves. The ancient Egyptian and the Druids used music in their sacred rites, as did the Greeks and the Romans. We know from St. Paul and St. James that the earliest Christians sang psalms and hymns during their festivals and the vigils of their saints. Pliny the Younger, in a letter to Trajan in A.D. 107, wrote that the Christians "were wont to meet together on a stated day, before it was light, and sing among themselves alternately a hymn to Christ as to God".
After the church has decreed that December 25 was to be observed as the Day of Christ's Birth, the bishops were reported to have sung hymns on Christmas Day among their clergy. But were these religious songs "carols"? Skipping ahed some 1600 years to today, we sing ditties such as "Jungle Bells" and "White Christmas". But are these "carols"?
The term "Carol" originally signified songs intermingled with dancing. As time went along, it was applied to festive songs in general. And since Christmas is the most festive period in the Christian year, carols came to be thought of almost exclusively as Christmas carols.
Christmas songs have been so many and so varied that perhaps we sould settle on this definition of a crol: any song that celebrates any aspect of the Christmas season.
For a thousand years, Christmas hymns were written by the clergy in the Lation of the Church of Rome and the Greek of the Eastern Orthodox Chrurch. By the 13th century and 14th centuries, Christmas songs began to appear in the languages of the people, both on the Continent and in England. They were still maily written by clerics, who hoped to bring the meangin of Christmas closer to the people through this music.
During the period, the miracles and mystery plays also served to popularize religion, and carols were used in these plays. Soon, the royal courts became another weelspring of carols. Many of the kings, lovers of pageantry, fostered the creation and singing of carols. Henvry VIII was himself a particularly talented musician and versifier.
The 15 and 16th centuries were the golden age of the Christmas carols. Carols were central in celebration of the season, much more so than today. Secular carols featuring Christmas revelry and mirth were added to the religious and put the secular use. In Shakespear's time, waits (samll groups of singers and musicians) roamed the streets at night performing for small gifts of money. Many carols of the period are still popular today: "I Saw Three Ships:, "Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly," "The First Noel" and "God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen".
During the Reformation, the Puritans tried to put a stop to the singing of all but the most pious hymns as part of their efforts to stop Christmas althogether. They were not successful, but the carol custom did nto go into decline for two centuries, along with Christmas festivities in general. However, in the 17th and 18th centries, a few great carols appeared, such as "Hark! The Herald Angles Sing", "O Come All Ye Faithful", "Joy To The World!", (lyrics only), and "The Twelve Days Of Christmas".
In 1818, "Silent Night" was created under the most cicumstances.
Place: St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Upper Austria.
Time: The day before Christmas.
Problem: The organ had become rusted and wouldn't play. No music for the Christmas Eve service!
Solution: The assistant priest, Father Joseph Mohr, jotted down a six-stanza poem that began, "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" and took it to the local teacher, Franz Gruber, who doubled as organist. Gruber composed a simple tune. At the service, they sang it together, Gruber accompanying on the guitar.
Thus was born one of the world's most popular Christmas carols.
(Source: INVENTING CHRISTMAS How Our Holiday Came To Be by: Jock Elliott)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 10:21 AM
| INVENTION OF CHRISTMAS CARD
|WHILE GERMANY CAN CALIM CREDIT FOR THE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE, THE PRIZE FOR THE FIRST CHRISTMAS CARD GOES TO ENGLAND.
There were many forerunners of the type of card we know today. At the year's end, thge ancinet Egyptians' gave each other small,symbolic presents as tokens of good luck for the coming year; New Year messages attached to gifts have been found in Egyptian tombs of the 6th century B.C. The Romans also exchanged gifts, considered good omens, on the first day of January.
For example, a pot of honey expressed wish that the coming year would be a sweet one.
"Lucky pennies" of copper with the two faced head of Janus (indicating the past and the future) were customary New Year's giftsa. Roman lamps, decorated with winged figure of Victory, carried the inscription, "May the New Year be happy and lucky for you."
Many centuries later, the invention of printing and engraving made possible a wider dissemination of such sentiments. "Cards" snd broadsides were limited to wishes for the New Year, but they often depicted Christ and so began to connect the Christmas and New Years festivals.
By the 19th century, "all-purpose" cards were being printed, on which the sender could fill in the name of the recipient, the occasion (birthday, Valentine, Christmas, Easter, etc.), a short greeting, and signature.
Then an energetic Englishman named Hery Cole got an idea. Later, Cole was to be involved in the founding of teh Victoria $ Albert Museum, the penny post, perforated postage stamps, and postcards. In 1843, he commissioned artist John Calcott Horsley to design the first Christmas card.
The card is in the form of a triptych. The center panel depicts a family party in which the adults are toasting the addressee with full glases of wine. (This occasioned criticism from the temperance folk who worried about encouraging drunkenness). The side panels represent the spirit of Christmas charity - on one the poor are being fed, and on the other given a warm clothing.
At the top of the card, there is a dotted line for the name of the addressee, and at the bottom another one for the sender's signature. Also at bottom: "Published at Felix Summerly's Home Treasury Office, 12 Old Bond street, London, by Joseph Cundall". The card's mesage - "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year" in my opinion, had never been improved upon.
One thousand of these cards were printed and hand-colored by a professional "hand colorer" name Mason and sold forone shilling each, which was expensive for those days. Twenty-one of these cards are known to exist today.
For many years - until the 1950s, in fact - it was believed that the Cole/Hosley card was printed in 1846, Cole referred to that date in two memoirs written long afterward, but his memory was at fault. The matter was settled when three of the original cards, signed by the artist and dated 1843, came to light.
The first card hardly took the world by storm; the second was not designed until five years later, in 1848, by W.M. Egley, a few charming cards of quite different appearance were printed in England, but it wasn't until the 1890s, after the development of color printing had made the cards less expensive, that the custom of sending Christmas cards really took off.
Jonathan King was the leading authority on Christmas cards in Victorian times. In 1894, his collection of cards weighed between six and seven tons and numbered more than 163,000 varieties. And the collection was far from complete.
In the United States, the custom was slower to catch on. Louis Prang was the "father of the American Christmas card." Prang was a German immigrant who founded a small business in Roxbury, near Boston, Massachusetts, in 1866. He perfected the lithopgraphic process of multi-color printing. In 1874, he began printing Christmas cards in at least eight colors and sometimes as many as twenty. The cards were more expensive than the European cards but also more exquisite. They also tended to be more Christmasy, with images such as the Nativity and children playing with toys.
Today, almost two and half billion Christmas cards are printed each year in the United States alone. Seasonal greetings are an age-old custom, and a lovely, warming one.
(Source: INVENTING CHRISTMAS How Our Holiday Came To Be by: Jock Elliott)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 1:01 AM
| Tuesday, December 19, 2006
| THE FIRST CHRISTMAS TREE
|GERMANY WAS THE HOME OF CHRISTMAS TREE.
Because of those Germanic roots, many people think that the customs of Christmas trees was introduced into America, in the 18th century, by German immigrants to Pennsylvania and, a little later, by the Hessian troops of George III. Many people think that Prince Albert, Queen Vicoria's consot, introduce the Christmas tree into England from his German homeland. In both cases, the story is not quite right.
The Christmas tree is the very emblem of Christmas today. Its roots run deep, to pagan times when evergreens were first used to decorate homes and places of worship in mid-winter. Soemthing rather like a Christmas tree first appeared in the medieval peiod. The miracle, or mystery, plays of the time taught the people about religion. One of the plays, about Adam and Eve, had as a prop a fir tree hung with apples symbolizing the Garden of Eden. The tree, being ever green,symbolizing immortality, and the apples represented Adams' fall.
The people of Europe were fascinated by these trees, and look to setting up their own version in their homes, Wafers were added to the hangings, and then cookies of various shapes. These were hardly Christmas trees; theyhad nothing to do with Christmas story and lacked lights, which true Christmas trees have. They were but a hint ot things to come.
Still later, a curious tripod device called a "pyramid" became popular. The pyramid, a forerunner of the Christmas tree, was a wooden structure, five or so feet hight. It held candles, local fruits and vegetables and other decorations, some of which were religious in nature. The pyramids came to be used side by side with Christmas trees, and still are in some places today.
A beloved legend has come down to us about the first lighted Christmas tree.
Martin Luther was out walking one cold Christmas Eve, under a crystal-clear sky brightened by thousands of stars. The frosty trees glistened. He returned home and set up a small evergreen, which he lighted with candles to impress on his children that Christ was the Light of the World, who had lighted the sky so gloriously that Christmas Eve.
That may have neen the first Christmas tree, the famed reformer never recorded. Wouldn't it be ironic if Luther, the famed reformer who denounced Christmas, in fact created the first Christmas tree?
The first detailed account of an actual Christmas tree reads: "At Christmas fir trees are set up in the rooms at Strasbourg and hung with roses cut from aper of many colors, apples, wafers, spanglegold, sugar, etc. It is customary to surround it with a square frame... and in front ..." The rest has been lost, so we donot know whether or not these trees were lighted with candles. It is generally accepted that Christmas trees began as a local custom in teh Alsatian capital of Strasbourg, perhaps as early as the beginning of the 17th century.
The custome was slow to spread, possible because it began as a Lutheran practice and was not readily accepted in Catholic areas of Germany. By the mid-18th century, it had become well established in certain parts of the country. In 1758, a regulation forbade the taking of small evergreens from the forest of Salzburg (taken for Christmas trees, surely). However, surprisingly, it was not until the 1830s that Christmas trees became a national custom in Germany! They were introduced into Munich, only in 1830, by the Queen of Bavaria.
When did the Christmas tree take root in the United States? It is highly likely that the occasional Christmas tree appeared in German settlers' homes in Pennsylvania in the 18th century, but it was no more a custom here than it was in Germany at the time.
Christmas tree finally came into its own in America through the written word. People leanred about -- and were entranced by -- Christmas trees by reading about them rather than actually seeing them. Since the upper middle class did more reading than the rank and file, the custom began with the elite, but soon trickled down. In The Battle for Christmas, Stephen Nissenbaum devotes much of a forty-page chapter to this subject.
The first Christmas tree in an American book appeared in The Stranger's Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present (1896) By the 1840s there were other pictures of Christmas trees, but one picture in particular finally created a passion for Christmas trees.
In England, as in the United States, some German immigrants probably imported their Christmas tree ritual in the early 1800s or perhaps earlier. We know that the royal family, with its German background, enjoyed its tree. Queen Charlotte, wife of George III, loved Christmas and lover her tree.
A few years after Charlottes' death, her great niece Princess Victoria was familiar with the royal Christmas tree, as she wrote in her teenage diary on December 24,1832.
The British people had little interest in Christmas trees, whcih they viewed as a Teutonic novelty. In 1840, when Victoria married Prince Albert, a German, they were not very enthusiastic about him either. But in due course, Victoria and Albert gave them a son, a new Prince of Wales, and the people got used to the family.
Then came the Big Year for the Christmas tree - 1848. A full page illustration of the royal family around their tree at Windsor Castle appeared in the London Illustrated News. This picture of family togetherness, tranquility, and happiness captured the imagination of the people. It was accompanied by a detailed description of the tree; about eight feet high a=with six tiers of branches, each with a dozen wax tapers ... the decorations, most of which were edible, with an angel at the top ... the arrangement of the presents, each with the recipients name attached ... when the tree was set up (Christmas Eve) and taken down (Twelfth Night), and son on.
Two years later, an identical illustration appeared in the United States, in Godey's Lady's Book. Victoria's coronet had been removed, along with Albert's mustache, sash, and royal insignia. Americans were captivated by what they took to be a typical "American" scene. Thus the passion for Christmas trees caught fire 150 years ago and burns unabated today.
(Source: Abstracted from the book:INVENTING CHRISTMAS How Our Holiday Came To Be by: Jock Elliott)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 9:31 PM
| HOW OUR HOLIDAY CAME TO BE
|BEGINING AT THE DAWN OF CIVILIZATION, the peoples of the Northern Hemishphere celebrated at the time of the winter solstice. They had good reason to do so. Theirs were agrarian societies, and the annual return of the sun proviced the promise that planting would soon begin again.
These celebrations honored the pagan gods on whom these early soceities relied for their crops and general welfare. It was a time to let off steam; the work for the year was pretty much done. The harvest was in; livestock, which had fattened in the fields of summer, but coild not be fed through the winter, had benn slaughtered. Thw fresh meat had to be eaten quiclky before it spoiled (or cured for later, less palatable consumption).There was plenty of other food and newly brewed drink. Heigh-ho! Feast and drink away!.
The years passed, thousands of them. In the Roman world the midwinter festival fell in two parts. First came the Saturnalia, in honor of Saturn, the god of harvest, beginning on December 17 and lasting seven days. Several days later came the Kalends of January, celebrating the New Year.
The festivities were marked by civilized goodwill as well as by barbaric hedonism. Warfare was suspended, busineses were closed, homes and places of worship were decorated with greenery and light, and gifts were given, especially to the children.
Gambling with cards and dice was allowed for the holidays. Men dressed up in anumal skins or as women. Sex was rampant.Roles were reversed; salves were served by their masters. Both slaves and masters ate and drnk themselves insensible; they woild lurch to the vomitarium and stagger back for the next course. One way or another, everyone had a very good time. It was into this ancient world that Christian faith was born two thousand years ago.
The early Christian church struggled to become established. Its leaders understood the powerful hold the midwinter festival had on pagan worshippers. December 25 was celebrated in honor of Mithra, the sun-god. Mithraism, originally a Persin cult, had much in common with Christianity. Its beliefs included monotheism, baptism, a doctrine of an Intercessor and Redeemer, a future life, and judgement to come. However, it had one great competitive weakness. Mithra gave no place to women, whereas Christianity held that women have souls and are equal to men.
Despite this, Mithraism posed a real threat to Christianity; it is not surprising that, in the middle of the fourth century, the Church decreed that henceforth the 25th of December would be recognized as the Day of Christ's Nativity. The church hoped to draw the pagans from worhip of the sun-god to worship the Son of God.
This ploy worked - in one way. Within a century, the pagans had finally been won over; their cults had all but disappeared. But in another way, it backfired. The pagans were willing to become Christians, but they had no intention of giving up all the hijinks of their midwinter festival. So, wgat came to be known as Christmas developed a split personality; religious and secular, sacred and profane.
This dual nature of Christmas observance, pious and pagan, continued through the centuries.
No one knows the time of the year, much less the day, of Christ's birth. In fact, we don't even know the year Jesus was born. It must have been at least four or five years earlier than the date we customarily recognize.
In the Gospel According to Matthew, we gind: "now when Jesus was bortn in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jersualem ...." The Gospel According to Luke also places the birth in the time of Herod, and we know that Herod died in 4 B.C.
Another explanation of the dating discrepancy; Our modern calendar is a modification of the Roman calendar introduced by Julius Ceasar in 45 B.C. Caesar based his dating ab urbe condita(from the foundation of Rome). Well and good. In the sixth century a monk, Dionysius Exiguus, proposed that the Christian Era should date from the eyar of Christ's birth. Well and good again. However, the monk made a mistake in tallying up Roman history; he forgot the four-year reign of Emperor Octavian. Nobody's perfect.
One more bit of evidence; Tertullian, the great Christian lawyer of the early third century, reported that the birth of Jesus occurred seven or eight years before the supposed date. Censuses took place every fourteen years - A.D. 20, 34 and 48. Counting backward, provious censuses would have been in A.D. 6 and 8 B.C. So when Luke wrote: "In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be counted," the census in which the Holy Family was included would have been in 8 B.C., agreeing with Tertullian's estimate.
From the Middle Ages until the Rewformation, the royal courts of Europe set the Christmas pace. Lomg church services, with ponderous, mind-numbing sermons were offset by the most elaborate festivities; plays and masques were perfomred. The cost of a single masque, with its extravagant costumes, could run to thousands of pounds all for one or two performances. The consumption of food and drinks was mind-bogling. The first course of a dinner might consists of sixteen to twenty dishes washed down with gallons of wine and ale. Lords of Misrule were elected to preside over the festivities (harking back tot he pagan custom of role reversal).
By the time fo the Reformation, the vulgar, pagan celebrations of Christmas had so overshadowed the religious that the reformers finally put their foot down. They argued that there was no biblical or historical reason to place the birth of Jesus on December 25, if God had wanted the anniversary of the Nativity to be observed, He would have at least given a clue as to when the event took place. They argued that the excessive festivities of the holiday not only had nothing to do with true Christian tradition, they actually violated it.
In 1647, under Oliver Cromwell, an act of Parliament forbade the observnace of Christmas. In 1659, under the Puritan government in Massachusettes, it became illegal to celebrate Christmas. The Puritans decided that since they could'nt Christanise Christmas, they would abolish it altogether. Christmas was actually stricken from the church calendar.
All of this ignited a warfare of pamphlets propounding, and attacking, the Puritan's position. For a few years, Christmas went underground.
It turned out that the festival spirit could not be killed in the seventeenth century any more than in the fourth. Charles II revived the holiday in England after the Reformation, and teh 1659 law in the cplonies was revoked in 1681. Even so, it took a while for Christmas to recover from the cold water poured upon it by the Puritans. In the eighteenth century, Christmas slowley recovered, although in different ways for different segment of society. For some, Christmas still had no significance whatsoever. Among the young there was strong reaction to earlier Puritan restrictions. Drinking and sex were all the rage. Pre-marital pregnancies ballooned; a bulge of births in September and October was the tip-off to hanky panky at Christmastime.
For may of the young lower classes, Christmas became a time of carnival, carnival gone bad. By the mid-1700s, music composed for Christmas become popular. Nothing insidious about that except for the use to which it was often put; roughhouse wassailing that could border on violence. Wassailers woild force their way into homes and demand rewards for their obboxious behavior.
For the more well-to-do, feasting with friends was resumed. Even the clergy began to change their mind. It was all right to celebrate the birth of the Savior after all. Churches began to open their doors on Christmas Day.
As lare as the end of the 18th century, there was precious little resembling the Christmas we know today - no family togetherness, no Christmas trees, no Christmas cards, no Christmas shopping, not much in the way Christmas presents (even for children), and of course, no Santa Claus. Allthat, however was soon to change.
At the turn of the 19th century, the social order of the United States of America was in upheaval. As cities grew, so did unemployment and racial strife, and the gap between rich and poor broadened. There were widespread violent demonstrations, especailly during the Christmas season, and many workers, if not laid off during the holidays, were forced to work on Christmas day.
The result was the most unruly Yuletide behaviour yet. Gangs of angrey, drunken hoodlums marauded the streets at Christmas and New Year's threatening the peace and the very lives of respectable folk. Something had to change; the stage was set for a new kind of Christmas. The leading men in beginning to bring about that change were Washington Irving, John Pintard and Clement Clarke Moore, New Yorkers all. They introduced St. Nicholas to America and invented his famous descendant, our Santa Claus.
St. Nicholas was a real man. He was born about A.D. 280 in the little city of Patara, in what is now Turkey. Nicolaos (as he was christened) was the son of relatively well-to-do Greek-speaking followers of Christ.
Nicolaos had a religious upbringin and, even before he became a priest, demonstrated the unusual caring for others that was to typify his life. A famous story has come down to us:A widowed nobleman had fallen on hard times. Penniless, he could not take care of his three teenage daughters. Desperate, he considered selling the eldest into prostitution. In the middle of the night, Nicolaos threw a bag of gold through the father's window; this provided a dowry for the girl, and she was saved.
Later again, under cover of darkness, Nicolaos did this twice more, for the other two girls. The third time, the father caught him in the act. Embarrassed, and to escape the resulting notoriety, Nicolaos left home to join a religous group.Those three bags of gold live on today as the three gold balls outside of pawn-shops, symbols of something of value redeemed.
Early in his priesthood, Nicolaos became famous for performing miracles. Three had to do with saving sailors and fishermen in storms at sea. Not surprisingly, he soon became a bishop (of Myra) and was listed, years later, as one of the bishops attendint the First Council of Nicaea, in AD 325.
Whatever one think of the stories and the miracles, it si obvious that Nocolaos was a remarkably good man and mich beloved.
When Nicolaos died, the people (but not the church) dubbed him Saint Nicholas. Through the centuries, the cult of St. Nicholas spread from country to country, and more and more miracles were attributed to the intecession of the good saint. In western Europe, he became the patron saint of childhood. Parents prayed to him when a child was sick or missing, with a high rate of success, addording to the chronicles of the time.
Nicholas became the most popular of all saints; for a while, more churches was dedicated in his name than in the names of any of the apostles. He came to be ranked third, behind only Jesus and Mary, as figure to be worshiped and adored.
Now to the American inventors of Santa Claus. In 1809, Washington Irving wrote Diedrich Knickerbocker's History of New York. This was a tongue-in-check satire of contemporary life, in which the figure of St. Nicholas played a prominent part as the patron saint of the city.
In a new edition of the History of New York (1812), Irving added some new inventions about St. Nicholas. He referred to his "riding over the tops of trees, in that self same wagon wherein he brings his yearly presents to children .... the smoke from his pipe spread like a cloud overhead... when he had smoked his pipe, he twisted it in his harband, and laying his finger beside his nose, gave a very significant look; then mounting his waggon, he returned over the tree tops and disappeared" This was written one year before Clement Clarke Moore wrote,"Twas the night before Christmas",
(Source: Abstracted from the book: INVENTING CHRISTMAS How Our Holiday Came To Be by: Jock Elliott)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 12:13 AM
| Sunday, December 17, 2006
| NEXT YEAR'S DIET BOOKS
|Low carb. High fiber, No sugar. Reduced fat. Points. Exchanges. "Everything that you can think of has been done," says Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New Yor University and the author of What to Eat. "It's hard to think of some new gimmick in dieting", Have no fear. Each year as the New Year's resolution season draws near, the publishing industry dreams up novel weigh-loss schemes to entice the ever plumper U.S. population, nearly two-thirds of which is overweight. The new crop of diet books recommends everything from treating meals as mood medicine to eating dinner for breakfast. Here's a sample.
THE BEST LIFE DIET
by: Bob Greene
The author is Oprah's personal trainer and diet adviser. Guess whose book will be no.1 five minutes after it comes out? Luckily, Greene's diet advice is wise; fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lots of exercise. If Oprah can do it, so can you.
THE GOLD COAST CURE'S FITTER FIRMER FASTER PROGRAM
By: Andrew and Ivy Larson
Take out your bikini! This husband-and-wife team advises avoiding "fake and fattening foods" and sticking with unrefined whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Oh, and exercise. (Do we detect a common theme here?)
By: Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson
Ever wondered how that lithe youg woman at the office eats those luscious foods and never gains any weight? This book reveals her secrets. She exercises, she's picky, and she eats exactly what she wants - in "smallish" quantities. Best tip: when you sit down to eat, always include fruit or vegetables.
THE GOOD MOOD DIET
By: Susan Kleiner
The author promises you'll feel terrific while you lose weight by eating "feel-great foods". Alas, that doesn't mean Ben & Jerry's. She's talking, baturally, about fruits, vegetables and other helathy, filling diet fare.
THE REVERSE DIET
By: Tricia Cunningham and Heidi Skolnik
The "reverse" at the heart of this diet is the adage "Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch and a pauper for dinner" Your big meal in the morning "will boost your energy throrghout the day", the authors promise. That way, you'll be sated by nightfall and less likely to surf the fridge just before bedtime. Choose healthy foods like whole grains and lean protein. It's not necessary to break your fast with a sirloin steak, but neither is it against the rules.
(Source: Abstracted fromTIMEMAG/YOURTIME by: Andrea Sachs)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 7:05 PM
| Saturday, December 16, 2006
| FUNCTIONAL FUNGI
|Mushrooms emerge from dark with disease-fighting benefits.
MUSHROOMS, ONCE RELEGATED to the supporting cast in a salad or on pizza, have become culinary stars, from grilled portobello "steaks" to porcini-laden pastas and warm rugouts spiked with morels and chanterellas.
"Mycophiles" (mushroom lovers) may have even more reasons to celebrate. Although mushrooms once were thought to be nutritional nothings, scientists are unearthing a variety of health benefits. Emerging research suggest they may enhance our immune system, fight infections and even offer protection against diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.
Recent studies show mushrooms are packed with antioxidants - even more than many deeply hued vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes. Antioxidants act as repellants against free radicals, damaging molecules in ur body that are thought to promote cancer and other diseases.
Asian cultures have revered mushrooms as both food and medicine for thousands of years. Only recently have scientists in this country turned their attention to these fragrant, woodsy fungi.
Many of medical qualities of mushrooms are traced to beta glucans, the same types of fiber that gives oatmea its cholesterol lowering abilities. Icreasingly, beta glucans in mushrooms are garnering attention for stimulating immune responses and activating cells that attack cancer, according to Dr. Harry Preus, a physiology professor at Gerogetown University Medical Center, who is conducting a study exploring the anti-diabetic effectrs of maitake mushrooms.
Many of the recent studies have been funded by the mushroom industry, although now the government has set its sights on mushrooms. So far, most of the findings have been based on animal or test tube studies and have used extracts from mushrooms - which makes the results promising, yet still preliminary.
A separate kingdom
Often thought of as a vegetable, mushrooms are fungi - in a class of their own, somewhere mysteriously between a plant and an animal. To obtain nutrients, fungi are totally dependent on their environment - most often a dead tree or rotting log (or typically compost for cultivated mushrooms). Researchers have found that changes to the compst or soil can alter the nutrient content of mushrooms, creating opportunities to enrich mushrooms with calcium, selenium and other nutrients.
Experts believe the survival skills of fungi maybe a clue to the bundle of benefits locked inside. Mushrooms contain enzymes, antimicrobial compounds and natural antibiotics to fight off potential invaders and to keep them from rotting.
This may be why mushrooms offer similar protection to us when we eat them, said Stamets, who completed another NIH study that tested the potential of mushroom extracts to protect against smallpox and otehr viruses.
It's a concept not too farfetched, considering that the lifesaving antibiotic penicillin was derived from a fungus.
The Mushroom Files
Natually low in calories and fat, mushrooms are also high in many vitamins and minerals. These types are considered a "good" or "excellent" source of the nutrients listed, providing at least 10 percent of the recommended Daily Value per serving.
Mushroom type: CREMINI
Baby portobellos similar in appearance to button mushrooms except brown instead of white. Have an eathier flavor and firmer texture.
Nutrients: selenium 31%, riboflavin 24%, copper 20%, niacin 16%, panthotenic acid 13%, potassium 11% and phosphorous 10%.
Mushroom type: ENOKI
Originally from Japan, these dainty Q-tip shaped mushrooms are good as a crunchy garnish for soups, sandwiches, salads or stirfries.
Nutrients: niacin 25%, folate 11%.
Mushroom Type: MAITAKE
Also known as hen of the woods because they resemble the fluffled tail feathers of a nesting hen. Excellent sauteed or grilled, simmered in soups or added to pasta.
Nutrients: niacin 28%, riboflavin 12%, copper 10%.
Mushroom Type: OYSTER
Pale with a delicate flavor and velvety texture reminiscent of a fresh oyster. Best sauteed to bring out their flavor.
Nutrients: niacin 21%, riboflavin 18%, pantothenic acid 11%, copper 10%, phosphorus 10%, potassium 10%.
Mushroom Type: PORTOBELLO
Deep, meatlike texture and flavor. Good grilled as an appetizer or substitued for meat in entrees.
Nutrients: riboflavin 24%, niacin 19%, copper 15%, selenium 13%, pantothenic acid 13%, potassium 12%, phosphorus 11%.
Mushroom Type: SHIITAKE
Brown with broad umbrella-shaped caps. Rich and woodsy with a meaty texture and slight garlicky taste.
Nutrients: niacin 15%, riboflavin 12%, pantothenic acid 11%, fiber 11%.
Mushroom Type: WHITE BUTTON
Still the most widely consumed of all mushrooms. Plump and dome shaped with a delicate flavor.
Nutrients: riboflavin 18%, niacin 15%, copper 15%, pantothenic acid 12%, selenium 11%.
(Source: Abstracted from the articel written by: Janet Helm CHITRIB/Health Watch, a Chicago Dietician and nutrition consultant. Mushroom files from: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference/Mushroom Council)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 9:33 PM
| Friday, December 15, 2006
| MY CHOSEN PROVERBS TO REMEMBER AND LIVE BY
|MEANINGS AND ORIGINS OF PROVERBS
(toghther with definitions, example of usage, origin of first occurence, variants and cross reference)
1. all good things must come to an end.
Nothing last forever; often said resignedly when a pleasant experience or sequence of events finally ends; We had had a wonderful vacation, but all good things must come to an end. The proverb was first recorded c.1440; "Ye wote wele of all thing most be an ende"(Partonope of Blois) The word good was probably not added until the 19th or early 20th century.
2. all men are created equal.
No person is born superior or inferior to another, so all should have equal rights; "Colonel Cathcart was infused with the democratic spirit; he believed that all men were created equal, and therefore spurned all men outside Group Headquarters sith equal fervor" (Joseph Heller, Cath-22,1955). The proverb comes from teh Declaration of Independence (1776), in which Thomas Jefferson wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalineable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness".
3. all roads lead to Rome.
There are many different ways to achieve the same result, or to come to the same conclusion: "All roads lead to Rome; and even animal individutality throws a ray on human problems" (J.S. Huxley, The Individuals in the Animal Kingdom,1912). The proverb was first recorded, with different wording, in Chauser's Prologue to Astrolabe (c.1391). Compare the medieval Latin proverb "Mille vie ducunt hominem per secula Romam"[A thousand roads leads man forever toward Rome]. In modern use other place-names are sometimes substituted for Rome.
4. all's well that ends well.
Problems and misfortunes along the way can be forgotten when everything ends satisfactorily;"When the books are signed the vicar congratulated the husband and wife on having performed a noble, and righteous, and mutually forgiving act,'All's well that ends well,' he said smiling" (Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure,1895). First recorded in this form c.1530, the proverb is perhaps best known as the title of one of Shakespeare's plays.
5. all that glitters is not gold.
People and things are not always as attractive or vluable as they seem: "I do wish I hand'nt a penny in the world, then I should know who my true friends were,''Poor little lass! She has found out that all that glitters is not gold, and the disillusion has begun,'said the doctor to himself". (Louisa May Alcott, Rose in Bloom,1876). The proverb occurs in Shakespeare's play. The Merchant of Venice(2:7) in the form "All that glisters is not gold," but the sentiment it expresses first recorded c.1220, Variant of this proverb; all is not gold that glitters.
6. all things are possible with God.
Nothing is impossible to the divine will; often used more generally to imply that anything might happen: He seemed an unblikely candidate for the priesthood, but all things are possible with God. The proverb is biblical origin in its current form: "Withmen this is impossible; but with God all things are possible"( Matthew 19:26), but the sentiment it expressed is found much earlier, in Homer's Odyssey (c.8th century B.C.):"with the gods all things can be done".
7. all things come to those who wait.
If you are patient, you will have what you desire: Remember that all things come to thos who wait, and don't be too disappointed if you miss promotion this time. First recorded in 1530 with different wording, the proverb occurs in Henry Wadsworth Longfellows' Tales of a Wayside Inn (1863): "All things come to him who will but wait."
8. all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
People who donot make time for leisure activities risk damaging their bealth, the quality of their work, or their personal relationships; often used to justify a break from work or to persuade somebody to take one: You're doing, far too much overtime - all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. The proverb was first recorded in 1659. It may be applied to people of either sex, often with the person's name in place of Jack (and girl in place of boy, if appropriate).
9. always a bridesmaid, never a bride.
If you are often asked to be a bridesmaid - traditionally, three or more times - you will never marry yourself; also used more generally as a lament by a young woman who receives many invitations to be bridesmaid but no proposals of marriage. I've been bridesmaid to three of my old schoolfriends - when will it be my turn to get married? Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. The proverb was first recorded in 1882 in E.M. Ingraham's Bond & Free in the form "Always a maiden, never a wife", the word maiden meaning "bridal attendant" in this context.
10.always look on the bright side.
You always take the optimistic or positive view, especially when things are going badly;"I was walking the ridgepole and I fell off. I expect I have sprained my ankle.But...I might have broken my neck. Let us look on the bright side of things" (Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables,1908). The proverb was first recorded in 1726, in a sermon by John Wesley. According to a less well-known saying, "If you try tomake some people see the bright side, they will complain that it hurts their eyes". Variant on this proverb, look on the bright side, or polish up the dark one.
11.as you sow, so shall you reap.
The way you behave - badly or well - determines what will happen to you in the future; Her article offended a lot of important people, and now she finds herself ostracized - as you sow, so shall you reap. The proverb is a biblical origin: :"whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting"(Galatians 6:7-8)
12.bad news travels fast.
Bad news, or unfavorable gossip, tends to be disseminated far more quickly than good news, the implication being that people delight in talking or hearing about the misfortunes of others: I know bad news travels fast, but I had only just got home from work when my sister phoned to ask if it was true that I had been fired. The proverb was first recorded in 1592("Euill newes flie faster still than good") Thomas Kyd, Spanish Tragedy, but is probably of ancient origin.
13. christmas comes but one a year.
Extravagance and self-indulgence at Christmas - or any other annual celebration - can be justified by the fact that it is a relatively infrequent occurence: All over the country, people will be eating and drinking to excess, telling themselves that Christmas comes but once a year. The proverb was first recorded in 1557 in Thomas Tusser, A Hundredth goodpointes of husbandrie.
14. cleanliness is next to godliness.
Personal hygiene indicates a pious or virtuous nature; also used more generally to emphasize the importance of cleanness: Having been brought up to believe that cleanliness is next to godliness, she was seriously concerned for the spiritual well-being of her roommate, who bathed only once a week. The proverb was first recorded in this form in a sermon given by John Wesley in 1788, but the sentiment it expresses is of ancient Egyptian or Hebrew origin. In The Advancement of Learning (1605), Francis Bacon wrote,"Cleanness of body was ever esteemed to proceed from a due reverence to God." Variant of this proverb: cleanliness is akin to godliness.
15. don't rock the boat.
It is often wise to avoid taking action or making suggestions that will cause upset or trouble: There are some some who will always speak out when they think things should be changed, and there are others who remain silent, preferring not to rock the boat. The proverb dates from the 1920s and was popularized by the song "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" in the musical Guys and Dolls (1950).
16. don't shoot the messenger.
When you receive bad news, donot vent your anger or distress on the person who brings it: Enraged by a report from one of his financial advisers, the president called for the man's dismissal. He was warned against such a drastic step by somebody who reminded him "The man only wrote the report - don't shoot the messenger". The sentiment expressed by this proverb is of ancient origin: Sophocles wrote c.442 B.C., "Nobody likes the man who brings bad news." Its current form, however, is relatively recent.
17. don't start anything that you cannot finish.
Do not begin something unless you are sure that you have sufficient strength, courage, etc. to see it through to the end: Ignoring the advice "Don't start anything you can't finish," he embarked on a costly lawsuit against his former employers. The proverb was first recorded in 1477 in Dictes and Sayenges of Philosophirs. Proverbs expressing similar meaning: "Don't bite off more than you can chew; don't fo near the water untol you learn how to swim."
18. don't wash your dirty linen in public.
Donot discuss private disputes or family scandals in public; The chat show format in which ordinary people air their personal griveances against friends and family in front of a nationwide audinece was obviously dreamed up by somebody unacquanted with the saying "Don't wash your dirty linen in public". The proverb was first recorded in 1809 in T.G. Fessenden's Pills. Variant of this proverb: don't air your dirty linen in public.
19. faith will move mountains.
Nothing is impossibnle to those who have sufficient faith; applied not only to religious faith, but to any strong belief in a cause or objective; She firmly believes that she can make him change his ways, and faith will move mountains, so she may yet succeed. The proverb is a biblical origin; "If ye have faitn as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossinle unto you". (Matthew 17:20).
20.never let the sun go down on your anger.
If you have quarreled or lost your temper with somebody, make your peace before the end of the day; I believe that you should never let the sun go down on your anger, and I always insist that the children resolve any minor differences among themselves before they go to bed. The proverb is of biblical origina: "Be ye angry, and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath"(Ephesians 4:26)
21. never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
If something needs doing - however undesirable the task may be - the sooner you do it, the better; "No idelness, no laziness, no procrastination; never put off till tomorrow what you can do today" (Lord Chestefield, letter dated December 26,1749). The proverb was first recorded in 1616, but the sentiment it expresses is of earlier origin. The facetious variant "Never do today what you can out off until tomorrow" dates from the 19th century.
22. never say never.
Nobody can look far enough into the future to say with certainty that something will never happen - anything is possible;"Al Marshall did not rule out a resumption of talks, saying 'you can never say "never" in this business" (Washington Post, 1984), First recorded in the title of the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again (1983), allegedly because the actor Sean Connery had been pesuaded to make a comeback as Agent 007, twelve years after announcing that he would never play the role again.
23. seeing is believing.
People are often reluctant to believe soemthing until they see it for themselves, but nobody doubts the evidence of his or her own eyes; "If you had seen de great huge pieces of de plate so massive, Sir Arthur, - so fine fashion, Miss Wardour - and de silver cross dat we did find .... you would never believd them.' 'Seeing is believing indeed". (Sir Walter Scott, The Antiquary 1816) The proverb was first recorded in 1609.
24. see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
Ignore any worngdoing, malice, or gossip that is going around you, and donot get involved; "It's no use asking him about the latest office intrigue - his motto is "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil." First recorded in 1926, the proverb is associated with a representation of three monkeys with their hands over their eyes, ears and mouth, respectively.
25. there's a first time for everything
Everything must start somewhere, and the fact that something has not happened before does not mean that it will never happen; also used when somebody does soemthing that he or she has never done before:"It's oerfectly safe - we've been doing it this way for the past ten years and we've never had an accident". "There's a first time for everything" The proverb was first recorded in 1792 in A. Hamilton's Papers.
(Source:DICTIONARY OF PROVERBS by: Martin H. Manser)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 1:09 AM
| Wednesday, December 13, 2006
| A R O M A T H E R A P Y 101
|History of Aromatherapy
Although the contemporary practice of modern aromatherapy originated within the last years, the use of essential oils to heal mind, body, and spirit can be traced back to all the major ancient civilizations of the world. Aromatic plants played a cental role in the healing arts of early humankind.
Our ancestors learned - through trial and error, and through observing which plants sick animals ate - that eating certain roots, berries and leaves helped to alleviate the symptoms of different ailments. Other plants had little (if any) effect; and a few plants aggravated symptoms, caused vomiting and even occasionally death. This highly prized healing wisdom was passed down from one medicine man or woman to the next, together with new discoveries and innovations. This knowledge was eventually transmuted into the herbal medicine we know today.
Early civilizations also discovered that burning twigs and leaves from certain plants could produce interesting effects. Some of these smoky aromas made people drowsy, while others curec ailments; some stimulated the senses, and a few gave rise to mystical, religious experiences. The precious, magical natue of aromatic plants was honored by burning them and offering the smoke to the gods of these civilizations.
We can see this principle at work today in the temples o the East, where incense is still ritaully burned on the altars of Hindu and Buddhists deities. The modern Catholic Church also continues its traditions of burning frankincese during church services.
INTO THE MODERN ERA
Back in the modern world, a renewed interest in natural, plant-based healing led to the development of modern aromatherapy. In the 1920s a French chemist, Rene Gattefosse, experiemented with essential oils and realized their great healing potential.
After burning his hand in a laboratory accident, he plunged his arm into some lavender essential oil. The miraculous effectiveness of lavender in healing his burn led to him to further research essential oils, and to use the term aromatherapie for the first time in a science paper in 1928. This heralded the arrival of contemporary aromatherapy as we know it today.
AROMATHERAPY AS A HEALING ART
Gattefosse's research into essential oils was taken up by another Frenchman, Dr. Jean Valnet, who used essential oils to heal soldiers bruns and wounds during the First World War. He then suscessfully treated psychiatric patients with essential oils, demonstrating their emotional and psychological healing qualities. Marguerite Maury subsequently pioneered another aspect of the healing powers of essential oils.
Combining essential oils with intuitive and Swedish massage techniques in the 1960s led to the contemporary practice of aromatherapy as a healing art. Aromatherapy is a hollistic, complementary health-care discipline. The main treatment is full body massage, using essential oils diluted in a base of vegetable oil. When you visit a qualified aromatherpist, she or he will take a detailed case history covering your medical history, lifestyle and emotional well-being, before selecting approprioate essential oils for you.
THE HEALING POWER OF TOUCH
Although there are other important uses of essential oils, it is human touch and essential oils that hold the essence of the healing art of aromatherapy. The healing power of touch is instinctive in human nature; we express affection, sexuality, and other forms of nonverbal communication using touch. We naturally rub our body for pain relief when we hurt ourselves. And when we formalize that instinctive touch into massage, it becomes a powerful healing tool.
One of the most important aspects or aromatherapy is that essential oils are only applied by external means. It is illegal for a qualified aromatherapist to suggest that a client ingest oils by mouth. Although in France some medical doctors are trained to prescribed the internal use of essewntial oils. this is a highly specialized aspect of aromatherapy.
It has been scientfically demonstrated that the external application of essential oils is in most cases more effective, and considerably safer, than taking them internally. Thus the healing art of aromatherapy lies in the hands of the therapist working in synchronicity with the judicious choice of essential oil.
THE BENEFITS OF AROMATHERAPY
There are many different benefits of aromatherapy that help people find health and well-being. Perhaps the most important are the completely natural qualities of aromatheraphy, the emphasis on preventive measures and on clients learning to take responsibility for their own health care.
Essential oils are a precious gift from Nature, derived with only minimal human interventions. The vegetable base oils used to dilute essential oils before massage are also natural. Both base and essential oil work in harmony with the human body, minimizing any risk of adverse reactions.
In the modern world there are many chemicals and synthetics in common use, to which increasing numbers of people suffer allergic reactions, such as asthma, skin rashes, digestive upsets, and so on. Aromatherpy's natural qualities help to redress the problems caused by excessive use of these unnatural substances.
FOCUS ON PREVENTION
The emphasis of aromatherapy can be summed up as "Prevention is better than cure". In practical terms, this means that an aromatherapist will look at a client's lifestyle holistically and suggest simple changes that can prevent illness or dis-ease arising in the first place.
For example, one of the most common problems that clients have is backache. Aromatherapy massage reduces pain and dispels the stress and tension that are a major cause of back pain. However, there are many other potential causes of backache. The aromatherapist will go through these with the client to see if physical causes such as an uncomfortable work chair, a sagging mattress, or an unsupportive car seat might be contributing to the problem.
Prevention leads naturally into the arena of self-responsibility. The aromatherapist will encourage clients to look after themselves, to be involved in, and take responsibility for their own health care. In this way clients can actively seek their own health and well-being,with assistancem from the aromatherapist.
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
Aromatic plants produce fragrant essences in secretory cells, using nutrients from the soil and water, and light and warmth form the sun in a process called photosynthesis. These natirally occuring plant essense attract beneficial insects, such as bees, to help pollination, and deter less friendly insects that would otherwise eat or damage the plant.
In many aromatic plants the secret cells are near the surface, located in flowers and leaves. When you walk past these plants and brush against them, this releases the grangrance into the air. The beauty and magic of these essences are ofgen described as the aromatic heart, life force or energy, and soul or spirit of the plant. When aromatic plants are distilled (usually by steam distiallation), the essences undergo subtle chemical changes and turn into essential oils.
The term "essential oil" is generally applied to all the aromatic oils used in aromatherapy, although strictly speaking this is not technically correct. Oils exacted from citrus fruits using simple expression of the rinds are still the plant essence. Some floral oils such as jasmine, are obtained by a process called enfleurage or solvent extraction. This produces a "concrete", which then undergoes further further solvent extraction to produce an "absolute". However, for ease and simplicity, the term "essential oil" is often used generally to mean all aromatherapy oils.
MAIN CHARACTERISTIC OF ESSENTIAL OILS
Many essential oils are light, clear and non-greasy, although, a few are viscous and some are colored. However, they all share one important characteristic; they will only dissolve in fatty oils, such as almond or sunflower oil, or in alcohol. They will dissolve in water, and this has implications for the way they are used.
Essential oils are very concentrated and powerful, and are greatly diluted before use in aromatherapy. In a massage oil, for example, the dilution of essential oil in base oil is around 2 or possibly 3 percent. Essential oils are only rerely used undiluted, and in very specific instances. They are also highly voltivle and evaporate quickly when exposed to the air, so they arebest kept in airtight, dark glass bottles.
HOW ARE ESSENTIAL OILS USED?
Essential oils are the main "tools of the trade" for an aromatherapist, and in her or his hands they become a powerful, yet subtle instrument of healing. In this context, the most valuable use of essential oils lies in professional aromatherapy massage treaments.
Such a treatment consists of two parts. The first part is a consultation, during which the aromatherapist will establish the best way to trat the client, and which essential oils will be most beneficial. this is followed by blending the massage oil and giving a full body massage.
Sometimes a shorter treatment of a back, head, neck and shoulder massage is offered, which maybe conveniently fit into a lunch hour. Some aromatherapists also offers facials, lymphatic drainage massage and other specialized aromatherapy treatments.
After an aromatherapy massage, the aromatherapist may suggest that the client use essential oils at home to reinforce the treatment and to maintain an ongoing beneficial effect. The aromatherapist may then make up a body oil or bath oil for the client, or suggest specific essential oils for the cleint to purchase and use for themselves at home.
HOW DO ESSENTIAL OILS WORK?
Essential oils are volatile, which means that they evaporate as soon as they come into contact with the air. So whichever method of applying essential oils is sued, a certain amount is always inhaled. Because body massage is the main method of applying essential oils, this suggests that the lungs and the skin are both of prime importance in the way essential oils get into the body and do their work.
In the Lungs
When we inhale air during an aromatherapy massage, bath or other treatment, we also breathe in particles of essential oil. This air/essential oil mix travels down the trachea (windpipe) into the bronchial tubes and then into the lungs. Within the lungs are tiny balloon-shaped air sacs know as alveoli, around which lie minute blood vessels that carry out the exchange of gases. this means that waste products mainly carbon dioxide are exchanged for oxygen and particles of essential oil.
On the Skin
During a body massage, the skin becomes covered with a base oil (such as sweet almond) containing a small amount of essential oil. Because the skin is semipermeable - which means that it can absorb and excrete certain substances with a small molecular structure - the oils are drawn into the body through the skin.
Within the Body
Once inside the body, the particles of essential oil circulate around the bloodstream and travel to the different organs and body systems. Most essential oils have a therapeutic affinity with particular organs or body systems. For instance, essential oil of rose has a purifying, regulating and tonic effect on the uterus. Once inside the body, the particles of rose will travel to the uterus and have a beneficial effect upon it.
In the Mind
Essential oils also have powerful mental, emotional and psychological effects. Staying with the example of rose, it is also antidepressant, nerve tonic and aphrodisiac. So an aromatherapist would be likely to include rose in a massage blend for a woman expreincing problems in conceiving. Rose would have an overall beneficial effect on this wiman physically, emotionally and psychologically.
(Source: THE AROMATHERAPY BIBLE by: Gill Farrer-Halls)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 9:34 PM
| Tuesday, December 12, 2006
| TEN BEST FOODS FOR FLAT ABS
|THE SAD TRUTH:
You can crunch yourself inti a coma and still have ab flab. If you really want a sleek, sexy midriff, you've got to tweak your diet. All of the best waist-wahistling foods contain fiber to banish bloat, antioxidants to boost your ab routine's effectiveness and protein to help maintain a healthy metabolism. Here, the top 10 choices for flatter abs.
These delicious and versatile nuts contain filling protein and fiber, not to mention vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. They're also good source of magnesium, a mineral your body must have in order to energy, build and maintain muscle tissue and regulate blood sugar: "A stable blood-sugar level helps prevent cravings that can lead to overeating and weight gain", says David Katz,M.D., a professor at the Yale University School of Medicine. But what makes almonds most interesting is their ability to block calories. Research indicates that the composition of their cell walls may help reduce the absorption of all their fat, making them an extra-lean nut.
TRY FOR: An ounce a day (about 23 almonds), with approximately 160 calories. An empty Altoids tin will bold your daily dose perfectly.
You won't find a more perfect protein source. Eggs are highly respected by dietitians because of their balance of essential amino acids (protein building blocks used by your body to manufacture everything from muscle fibers to brain chemicals). We like them because they keep our hands out of the cookie jar. Researchers at the Penningon Biochemical Research Center found that when people ate eggs in the morning, they felt less hungry throughout the day than when breakfast consisted of complex carbohydrates like bagels. "The protein and fat in the egg may be contributing to the feeling of satiety", sayd lead researcher Nikhil V. Dhurandhar, Ph.D.
TRY FOR: One egg a day, unless you have high blood cholesterol, in which case you should check with your doctor first. (One egg packs about 213 milligrams of cholesterol.)
Soybeans are a great source of antioxidants, fiber and protein. Plus, they're incredibly versatile. Snack on dry roasted soybenas, toss shelled edamame into soups, and slip a spoonful of silken tofu into your morning smoothie. Liquid soy also makes a good meal replacement. A study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that overweight subjects who drank a soy milk based meal replacement lost more weight than those who consumed a traditional dairy-based diet drink.
TRY FOR: Twenty-five grams of whole (not isolated) soy protein dauly. A half cup of steamed edamame contains about 130 calories and 11 grams of protein. Four ounces of tofu (94 calories) contain 10 grams. Choose whole soy foods over products packed with "isolated soy protein" - the latter may not provide all the benefits of whole soybeans.
A 2003 study in the journal Nutrition found that overweight women who consumed three apples or pears a day for three months lost more weight than their counterparts who were fed a similar diet with oat cookies instead of fruits. " A large apple has five grams of fiber, but it's also nearly 85 percent water, which helps you feel full", explains Elisa Zied, R.D., author of So What Can I Eat? Apples also contain quercetin, a compound shown to help fight certain cancers, reduce cholesterol damage and promote healthy lungs.
TRY FOR: An apple or two a day. A study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that the Red Delicious, Cortland and Northern Spy varieties had the highest anti-oxidabt activity.
Most are loaded with fiber, every dieter's best friend. The more fiber you eat - experts say that it's best to get between 25 and 35 grams every day - the fewer calories you absorb from all the other stuff you put in your mouth. That's because fiber traps food particles and shuttles them out of your system before they're fully digested. Berries and other fruits are also high in antioxidants, whci not only help protect you from chronic diseases like cancer but may also help you get more results from your workouts. "Antioxidants help improve blood flow, whcih can help muscles contract more efficiently", says Dr. Katz.
TRY FOR: At least half a cup daily, or about 30 calories worth. Don't limit yourself to the usual suspects, like raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. If you can find them, add boysenberries, gooseberries and black currants to the mix for excitement.
6. LEAFY GREENS
Their cancer-preventing carotenoids won't help shrink your waistline, but their low calorie count definitely will. One cup of spinach contains only about 40 calories, while a cup of broccolli has 55 calories amd satisfies 20 percent of your day's finer requirment. Most leafy, green are also as good source of calcium, an essential ingredient for muscle contraction. In other words, they help fuel your workouts.
TRY FOR: Three servings daily. Keep a bag of prewashed baby spinach in your fridge and toss a handful into soups, salads, pasta dishes, stir-fries and sandwiches. When you get sick of spinach, reach for a bunch of arugula, broccolli rabe or broccolini, a cross between broccolli and Chinese kale.
People who get their calcium from yogurt rather than from other sources may lose more weight around ther midsection, according to a recent study published in the International Journal of Obesity. The probiotic bacteria in most yogurts belp keep your digestive system healthy, which translates into a lower incidence of gas, bloating and constipation, which can keep your tummy looking flat.
TRY FOR: One to three cups a day of low-fat or fat-free yogurt. Choose unsweetened yogurt that contains live active cultures. Add a handful of fresh chopped fruit for flavor and extra fiber.
8. VEGGIE SOUP
Researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that people who ate broth-based (or low-fat-cream-based) soups two times a day were more successful in osing weight than those who ate the same amount of calories in snack food. Soup eaters also maintained, on average, a total weight loss of 16 pounds after one year. "Plus, it's a simple way to get your vegetables", says Susan Keliner, PhD., R.D., author of Power Eating.
TRY FOR: At least one cup of low-calories, low-sodium vegetable soup every day.
Seafood, especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. These fiber healthy fats may help promote fat burning by making your metabolism more efficient, according to Kleiner. An Australian study showed that overweight people who ate fish daily improved their glucose-insulin response. Translated, this means that seafood may help slow digestion and prevent cravings. If that does'nt hook you, consaider this: Seafood is an excellent source of ab-friendly protein.
TRY FOR: Two four-once servings per week. Wild salmon, though pricey, contains more omega-3 fatty acids than farm raised. (If it doesn't say wild, it's farm raised) If seafoods not your thing, you can get your omega-3 from falxseed (grind and sprinkle on yoru cereal) ir walnuts.
Never heard of it? Pronounced KEEN-wah, this whole grain, contains 5 grams of fiber and 11 grams of protein per half cup. Cook it as you would any other grain (although some brands require rinsing). Quinoa's nuttfy flavor and crunchy-yet-chewy texture are like cross between rice.
TRY FOR: At least one half cup serving ( a third of your whole grain requirments) per day. Try substituting AltiPlano Gold brnad insitant quinoa hot cereal (160 to 210 calories per packet) in Chai Almond Spiced Apple Raisin, for oatmeal. Look for it in health food stores.
(Source: FITNESMAG/FitNutrition by: Julie Meyer R.D.)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 11:50 PM