August 03, 2007

Random Friday!

First off, some nutrition-related studies to get out of the way, so we can all feel Responsible and Informed. Then it's time for the usual Friday Silliness.

So a complicated study about fish oils and vegetable oils seemed to indicate yet again: fish oil is good for you! (The study involved discussions of prostanoids, inflammation, COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes, and other stuff that made Crabby's brain hurt. Smart Scientists: feel free to report back whether this rather indirect sort of "good for you" research seems persuasive or not.)

A study of goats' milk suggested it has health advantages over cows' milk, at least when it comes to preventing anemia and bone softening. Goats' milk appeared to aid the body in using minerals such as iron, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.

And who knew undercooked beans or rice could give you food poisoning? Crabby didn't.

In breaking snack food news, scientists may be getting close to developing allergen-free peanuts. And blue corn chips are better for you than white ones! (Note: Blue corn chips taste excellent when dipped in guacamole (good for you) and washed down with margaritas (not so good for you but what the hell).

And these stories were well-reported elsewhere this week, so you probably already heard that combining caffeine and exercise seems to help prevent skin cancer; and that people who drink diet soft drinks instead of regular still face similar heart disease risks. But Crabby hadn't gotten around to mentioning them here yet.

Now, getting progressively sillier but still food-related: Sara at Healthbolt has the ultimate Bacon Flavored blog post.

And if you haven't yet heard about Kopi Luwak, one of the most expensive coffees in the world, just guess what it's made from? Weasel poop! Well, actually Civet poop. Apparently the Asian Palm Civet eats ripe coffee berries somewhere on the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. When the civet excretes the partially-digested berries, they are harvested and made into coffee. Yum!

Amazing pictures of the week: Mark's Daily Apple has a post about a very, very large man who lost weight. There are a few photos there, but then he links to more disturbing photos which are (warning), not for the faint of heart. It's inspiring and creepy all at the same time.

And speaking of warnings, would you like to create a silly warning sign like the one at the top of this post? Go here!

Comments, as always, are very much welcome if you can find anything in this mess you want to weigh in on.


  1. Don't margaritas have lime or lemon juice in them? Fruit? Enough said. :-)

    I don't like margaritas though; I prefer cosmopolitans.

    when I was pregnant with my first, I tried to convince my obstetrician that I had the perfect healthy food for a pregnant woman. A banana split. Yup. Look at it: ice cream (for your dairy), nuts (for your protein), strawberries and pineapple (for your fruit), bananas (for your potassium) and chocolate and whipped cream for the added calories you really should be taking in for that precious baby on board....

    (I never could get him to agree)

  2. I put goats' milk in coffee and I exercise. I'm ahead of the game.
    Interesting news about beans and rice. I had no clue. I suppose if we just cook our food properly we'll be fine. But if it's ever found that medium rare beef or bison tenderloin is bad for us I will choose to live in ignorant bliss. Tasty, glorious, ignorant bliss.
    To help with the digestion of beans, add savoury during cooking. I also use it in the soaking water when making from scratch.
    Marijke, your doctor clearly had no nutritional training!

  3. Marijke,
    I'm with Leah, your Doctor was way off on that one! Hope you ate 'em anyway. (The banana splits, not your doctors).

    Medium rare is how I like my meat too, and I agree, any warnings to the contrary I'm going to ignore.

    What's savoury? Other than a flavor? (You don't have to come back & answer on this post, I can always catch up with you another time on that).

  4. Cocktails do not count nutritionally. Every time I go to a bar I start to think hey Jim, how many calories are in that whiskey and coke or what's the sugar content in that Long Island and then I yell at myself to SHUT UP AND DRINK.

    Besides, didn't you hear? Fruity cocktails are even richer in antioxidants than normal fruit! We're fighting cancer, people!

  5. oh my.

    Those pictures from Mark's site were, CRAZY.
    Yeesh, if that's not motivation enough to try not to, 500 extra pounds, I don't know what is.

    And I love your warning sign. I've been to that site before. I considered getting a momzilla one for my kids room (All these clothes better be picked up or you will risk facing the wrath...etc)

  6. bacon flavoured chocolate? are they kidding? i'm so glad i'm allergic :P

  7. Margaritas are Mrs.J's favorite! Ole'

  8. Weasel poop, huh? No wonder that last cup of coffee seemed so bracing!

  9. Hi Jim!
    I'm glad I'm not the only one with an extensive list of "doesn't count" calories. Free samples at Costco, for example, especially if they don't even taste good. Any less than 10 M&M's rounds down to zero. A bite of something straight out of the pan, if not part of a serving put on the plate... well okay, the list is really, really long.

    And good to know Margaritas now cure cancer! I'll just cite you for that.

    Hi katieo!
    Weren't those photos hard to look at? Yikes!

    Hi Marie,
    Great blog you've got, very funny! And yeah chocolate and bacon do NOT belong together.

    Ole' Dr. J! I love 'em too. (I'm an "on the rocks," gal, not a blender fan. Somehow I put you down as rocks too, though its just a guess).

    Dawn, that was too funny. And apparently that stuff (well I guess I could literally say "that shit") costs like $600 lb in US dollars. Don't think I'll be checking it out to see if its worth it, however.

  10. The Bacon Flavored Blog Post made me laugh. The coffee grosses me out a little. I'm glad I heard about what it's made of before I decided that it might be fun to try. Blue corn chips are indeed wonderful (they look purple to me, and purple is my favorite color). And kudos to the guy who lost all that weight. He actually looks pretty cute in the after pictures.

    Okay, so I commented on the majority of this post. : ] I'm so glad I found your blog, it's made healthy eating fun again.

  11. Thanks so much Dana!

    And I'm impressed with the ground you covered in one comment--you get a pass on the beans and the goat cheese. We were lucky to have Leah for that. Way to go!

    Oops, Dr. J, I now see it was Mrs. J who was the margarita fan, sorry!

  12. The fish oil thing is very interesting to me, only because I read a woman who was taking 9 pills a day and I'm thinking, I don't need to grow gills so that has to be a bit excessive.

    I love fish though, so I will whole heartedly pick up on this little health trend of eating fish. Oddly I have adopted the dark chocolate health trend too.

  13. Chocolate and banana -- now that is a match made in heaven. When you've been hosteling all over Europe with a 60-pound pack on your back, and you settle into a nice hostel in Amsterdam near Vondel Park, where you can watch egrets hunting fish in a channel next to the footpath, and the Rijksmuseum has just blown you away, there is nothing like a banana and a dark-chocolate Mars bar. And sexy friendly Dutch folk.

    That weight loss phenomenon almost seems unreal, but I guess photos don't lie. Er, wait, photos often lie, here in the Age of Photoshop. But not these! Sure, the guy is zipped up with scars like Frankenstein's monster, but he's a lot better looking!

  14. Holy Shit, Crabby! How did I miss your blog??? This is fantastic!

    your new faithful reader,

  15. I can barely concentrate for thinking about margaritas, but anyway what I wanted to say was congrats on the diet-blog gig. I didn't know you'd joined the team. Wahoo!!!!

  16. You devious crab!

    Through an earlier post you warned us to give up diet soda.

    And I finally did.

    You must know I'm weakening, because ~TA DA~ in this mixed bag you manage to sneak in another anti-soda warning.

    Okay. Okay. message received!


  17. Blech! Chocolate bacon? What a perfectly awful way to adulterate a perfectly good addiction like chocolate! :) It does remind me of the Top Chef episode last season when Marcel decided to make avocado bacon ice cream to sell at the beach. Needless to say, it didn't go over very well amongst the kiddies.

    Civet poop coffee....mmm mm! Ok, so not so convinced, even if I did drink coffee! But apparently it's not as bitter (something about the enzymes in the civet's stomach). The bitterness is what I don't like about coffee, so maybe I'd like this kind. At $600/lb, though, I don't think I'll be trying it anytime soon.

    My health blog (my name link goes to my other blog):

  18. Hi Amanda,
    Nine fish oil capsules a day! I'm with you, that seems like a lot. (Who knows, though, you might look quite attractive with gills!) But it seems like every day there's some new reason why Omega 3's in fish oil or flax or whatever are supposed to be good for you. And like you, I jumped all over the dark chocolate thing!

    Damn, you make me want to be in Amsterdam! You have an unfortunate gift for persuasive travel writing. (Though I'm now getting a bit too "mature" (and cranky) for either 60 lb backpacks or youth hostels). The Lobster and I have a fantasy of someday doing a house-swap there. And yes, the weight-loss guy did an amazing transformation, Frankensteinian or not, didn't he?

    Hi Mia/Soap Box Girl!
    Katie, the great blog matchmaker over at Sister Skinny, sent me your way and I'm very glad she did. Very cool blog you have there!

    Thanks Talia!
    The tricky part is going to getting time to write for it, as I seem to be so easily overwhelmed by what all you multiple bloggers handle with ease! (And my posts are never as informative as yours are over at the Centre for Emotional Well-Being. (Which readers are advised to check out if they haven't already).

    So anyway it may just be a very occasional post over at Diet Blog, especially as Jim has things very well covered.

    I really don't know how you folks do it. Perhaps if my last name weren't McSlacker. (Plus, I started this blog in part to promote a hypothetical Self-Help book which I have yet to start writing! Gotta fit that in there somewhere too.)

    The ironic thing is I still drink diet soda sometimes myself. Actually, the first soft drink mention was put in on edit at Diet Blog by Jim, who thought it was more timely than the study I'd used. But then I thought I should at least mention it over here.

    There are growing concerns about diet drinks, and it seems a good idea not to have a ton of them--but I'm not entirely convinced yet that in moderation they're all that bad for you. I'm looking for a little more research before figuring out whether to give them up or not myself.

    Hi Lethological!
    Ewww, avocado bacon ice cream? I love all three things, but not together! And I'm with you--less bitter coffee might be nice, but not at $600 per pound.

  19. I started this blog in part to promote a hypothetical Self-Help book which I have yet to start writing!

    I know all about that!!! I started my book a long time ago and it's showing no signs of reaching the finish time because all my time in the computer is spent blogging, commenting and errr researching!

    But as the book is on eating I shall invite you to make a few quotes for my book :)


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