Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know about Eating Lemons: Part 1

Text by Dr. Nina Radcliff/Photo by Kimberly Cecchini

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And by the way, don’t throw away the peel. One of the best things about lemons is that each and every part (pulp, juice, and peel) have been shown to improve our health. This is because they are jam-packed with vitamins, nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. While it clearly makes sense that it is good to eat, few are aware of its many ‘topical’ uses. Applying lemon juice to our skin has a number of surprising benefits.

Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know about lemons, making lemonade, and adding some zest into our lives:

1. “Bad” cholesterol levels. A few years back, a study came out claiming that lemon peels contain a compound that has the potential to lower bad cholesterol more effectively than some prescription drugs (and with minimal side effects). I have not heard of a new lemon-based, FDA-approved prescription drug. So in the meantime, consider adding zested lemon peel to our salads, drinks, and dishes.

2. Blood pressure. The peel contains potassium that can help relax blood vessels.

3. Cancer. Lemons contain 22 cancer-fighting compounds. While they cannot completely prevent or fully cure cancer on their own, they may lend a helping hand.

4. Bones. Some experts recommend that Vitamin C should be taken along with other methods of treatment for osteoarthritis, bone fractures, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoporosis. This is because it is critical to healthy bones.

5. Immunity. At the first signs of a cold, I will pour a big glass of orange juice assuming that loading up on vitamin C is a surefire way to kick the behind of just about any bug. While the research is inconclusive, there is some evidence that vitamin C is a good weapon to fight off germs.

6. Oral health. Wanna say “no thanks” to icky things like gingivitis, bleeding gums, or scurvy? Then consider getting a healthy dose of lemon and lemon peel. Vitamin C is known to help prevent these unpleasant maladies. Additionally, lemons can scare away bad breath making it more likely we will be locking lips with that special someone.

7. Appetite. Lemon peel contains fiber which is known to help us feel full faster. Total tongue twister. Additionally, fiber can function like a sticky glue and bind to cholesterol and sugar, preventing them from getting absorbed.

Some Tips and Warnings about lemons:

1. Wash thoroughly. The protective lemon peel may contain pesticides, or a waxy coat to prevent damage when being shipped long distances. Make sure to properly wash. Whenever possible, choose organic lemons.

2. Stinging sensation. The citric acid is…an acid. And acid can cause an unpleasant sting. To decrease this from happening, dilute the lemon juice with water.

3. Dry skin. Make sure to use a good moisturizer if your skin starts becoming dry and flaky.

4. Don’t mix products. If using other skin medications or solutions, lemon juice can interfere with its efficacy.

5. Sun damage. Lemon juice can make the skin more prone to sun damage. Make sure to wear sun protection with an SPF of at least 30.

When life gives you lemons, squeeze it to make some lemonade and hold on to the peels. Not only are lemons edible, but they are topical. This will leave everybody wondering how you feel and look so good.

For more news on Dr. Radcliff:
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrNinaRadcliff
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Visit her official site, http://www.ninaradcliffmd.com20140730-140112-50472100.jpg

Notice: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Dr. Nina Radcliff or Kimberly Cecchini take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness.

 

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NYC Considers Ban on Plastic Bags

Text and photos by Kimberly Cecchini-originally posted on The Capital Press.

Plastic bags are like leaves; rustling on the ground, adorning tree branches and floating through air and water. In fact, plastic bags float so far from our hands that many have accumulated into a ‘Giant Vortex’ in the Pacific Ocean. Commonly referred to as the ‘Great Plastic Garbage Patch’ – only fun for its throwback to Charlie Brown, but not adequate in its description- the colorful swirl is estimated to be twice the size of Texas.

Following plastic bag bans in other cities in the United States, New York City is again looking for ways to contend with its own 10,000 tons a year issue that costs $10 million dollars to dump.

Yes, it annually costs the Big Apple $10,000,000 to dispose of all those smiley faced bags.

That’s gotta be enough for a couple of happy hour rounds to put smiles on the entire metropolis- or for a few other things on New Yorkers’ wish list.

The Reflexive Bag Grab

The proposal will not make people completely bemoan the loss of the oily totes; they will be able to acquire each one for a 10¢ fee. The hope is that folks will be more inclined to carry a reusable bag-there are some that even roll-up to pocket size- or at least manage to carry a single banana or ironically, a single water bottle, without the reflexive bag grab.

70 American cities, including Washington, D.C., have already banned one-use bags. Early last year, the District Department of Environment with the Alice Ferguson Foundation surveyed capital residents and businesses after 3 years of a ban similar to the New York proposal. The results are quite stunning: 67% see fewer plastic bags as litter, 80% report using less disposable bags, 80% carry reusable bags when they shop and 53% support the law while only 16% are ‘bothered’ by it. 69% of businesses responded that the law has either been positive (21%), has no impact (48%) or has had a mixed impact (8%) on their functioning.

Letting Go

Before plastic, the paper bag reigned. Once their younger, plastic cousins were found to be cheaper, retailers began embracing them. Since the mid-1970’s, they have become than the norm; within 20 years, 8 out of 10 bags were plastic.

Although I arrived too late in the seventies to recall the bag transition, I have observed enough cultural changes to understand that most things are resisted at some point until they saturate our experiences. Can you remember a time when we found our way home before GPS? I stubbornly stuck to maps for awhile and, alas, now I am only bothered with turn-by-turn directions when they interrupt my Bluetooth.

Not for nothing, it’s not that long ago in the United States that we were fortunate enough to safely hydrate without a ready bottle of Poland Springs. People get used to things.

If the ban passes, most New Yorkers-like their D.C. brethren-will get used to carrying their own bag. Eventually sticking a reusable tote in our pockets will be as mindless as grabbing and tossing a plastic one. Like they once were before the advent of disposable bags, reusable bags will just be…bags.

References:

“A Brief History of Plastic & Paper Bags.” Hands On Hemp. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 July 2014.
Carr, Vanessa.

“An Ocean of Plastic.” PBS. PBS, 09 Aug. 2010. Web. 22 July 2014.

“De Blasio at Six Months: The Administration’s Take.” The Brian Lehrer Show. WNYC. New York, New York, 18 July 2014. Radio.

Schmitt, Carrie. “Plastic Bag Bans.” The Municipal. N.p., 12 June 2012. Web. 22 July 2014.

Queen + Adam Lambert: Seaside Rendezvous

Text and image by Kimberly Cecchini

If I believed in conjuring the dead, I might say that Freddie Mercury was channeled last night at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. Adam Lambert’s flamboyant and confident stage presence was more tribute than imitation, embodying the spirit of Queen’s eclectic catalog. Of course, no one can truly take Mercury’s place, but, to answer Brian May’s question last night, I joined the audience in an energetic approval of the “new guy’s” performance.

Lambert’s performance in Killer Queen in which he coyly laid on a royal velvet couch and the way he orchestrated the crowd into a sing and repeat epitomized how he owned the frontman role.

There was a natural chemistry between Lambert and his legendary bandmates. Roger Taylor grinned as Lambert led an impromptu “Happy Birthday” and they easily played off of each other while Lambert still showed them deference.

Taylor and May played with an energy that convinced me that they still loved what they do. Dr. May did a rendition of “’39” and was joined by Taylor, Taylor’s own son, Rufus Tiger Taylor (who skillfully shared half of the percussion section), bassist Neil Fairclough and keyboardist Spike Edney on the front stage. Taylor followed it up with a heartwarming vocal solo on “These are the Days of our Lives”.

Freddie Mercury and retired bassist, John Deacon, were tastefully choreographed into parts of the show through audiovisual magic. During a couple of numbers, clips of the band in their heyday were woven into the performance via a colossal screen framed with a steel “Q”. Lambert fluidly shared “Bohemian Rhapsody” alongside Mercury in a projection of archival footage with Freddie taking the last line, “Anyway the wind blows…”.

The lights, Lambert’s costumes and the elaborate set with all it’s moving parts added to the dynamism that the band brought to the classic boardwalk theater. I would counter that all the mobile components were not a necessity because the band itself, from the birthday boy to the young singer, delivered enough energy and drama to create a rock experience fit for a Queen.

Click here for a video!
“Fat Bottomed Girls” Queen+Adam Lambert July 26, 2014

Kesariya Baalam, Padharo Mhare des! (Welcome to my land!): India

By Mahima Rana of EconomyDecoded.com. All rights reserved by Economydecoded.com.

A land of beautiful traditions dividing the regions, yet uniting the nation. A plethora of colours, so vibrant and majestic. A combination of all odds and ends, of the rich and poor, of pleasing sites and dirty slums, of salwar kameez and short skirts, of slum dogs and millionaires.

Ladies and Gentlemen! Let the drumroll begin! I present to you the various shades of Mera Hindustaan- India!

With its vibrancy and allure, India has always been a land of mysteries and fascination for all. The cultural diversity reflects the rich history of the past. From the River Civilizations to the Maharajas of various Ruling Dynasties to the powerful Mughuls, from the British Raj to the Fight for freedom, India has had a bumpy ride and varied experiences to become the largest democracy in the world.

From the frozen Himalays in the North, to the mesmerizing greenery of Kerala in the South, the land of Kutch in Gujarat in the West, to the tribes of Northeastern states, India is also expansive. Travelling India, one can expect some great spectacles and experiences. Let me take you on a quick tour.

With the coaches at the verge of bursting with people, hanging dangerously at the open doors, the local Mumbai trains are an experience. People of all social classes travel via this Mumbai lifeline. Crossing the state borders, you’ll find a Gomata (holy cow) with her calf sitting coolly right in the middle of hustling traffic. Now you may look at the crowd besides you. It is interesting to note how people survive and thrive through the crowded places. The tool- sharp elbows! pushing their way through the bustling bazaars, metro stations and other public places, it is a must in order to survive a day out in any place in India. A mixture of traditions so different and spread far and wide, one can have an experience of the loud and hearty Punjabis in the North, the soft spoken and simple Malyalis in the South, the metropolitan crowd along with the people of old Delhi in Chandi Chowk, the traditionally clad Rajasthanis, hippies in Goa, the tribals in Chattisgarh… the list is inexhaustive!

People visiting India have a fetish for dressing up in traditional attire- Cotton kurtas and pyajamas, lehnga cholis, salwar kameez- which also makes it easy to roam about in the sweltering heat. Lunch time folks! Every region has a completely different taste of its own. Ranging from Rajasthan’s Laal maas to Gujraati treat of tangy and sweet Dhokla and khakhra, Punjab’s mouth watering Sarson da saag and Roti with butter so white it’ll make you drool like a hungry baby. How can one miss the spicy chaat bhandaars at road corners? Turn around and you will encounter some random guy asking you “You are from outside, eh, outside India?” The question every tourist has to face at least once (or thrice, or maybe more!). “You are not an Indian, right?” Credit Atithi Devo Bahava! (Guest is God).

Moving ahead one gets to see someone spitting along the roadside, garbage dumped in front of “Do Not Litter” hoardings, people urinating and defecating in the open, a shock one will encounter a lot of times. Evening time and you will get to hear the bells chiming along with the holy chanting in the Temples. The hypnotic and soothing chants and aartis will bring peace to the rambling minds and hearts. Prayers at Ganga Ghat are indigenous to this Holy land and an experience worth it.

Phew! That was indeed a speedy ride, wasn’t it! With a population over a billion and the economy still developing, India is a land of enchantment, mystery, travel, food, monuments, site seeing, variations and similarities of casts and cultures. Expect to be enthralled by the shy smiles of ladies covering their faces, the large hearted welcome by the crowds, the surprised and amused looks from the strangers and the unforgettable experience of a completely different world like no other.

Padharo Mhare des! (Welcome to my land!)

The views presented in the article are of the author and may not be of Tonight at Dawn.

Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know About Healthy Snacks

Text by Dr. Nina Radcliff

School’s out! And this means play dates and outings to the beach, museum, and zoo. While chips, cookies, and other processed foods are readily available (and conveniently packaged), they are oftentimes jam packed with sodium, fat, calories, and chemicals we cannot pronounce. My rule of thumb is if you cannot pronounce or spell it, you probably shouldn’t eat it! The alternative is to put on our creative thinking caps.

Dr. Nina’s What You Need to Know about tried and true, quick, healthy snacks for the whole family:

Baked apple. Scoop the core out from the top of the apple, leaving a well. Do not cut all the way through. Add a 1/2 teaspoon of butter to the well, and consider adding some nuts, raisins, or granola oats to “take it up a notch.” Sprinkle with cinnamon. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until softened and serve warm.

Fruit and cheese kabobs. On wooden skewers, alternate halved strawberries, seedless grapes, and cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese cubes. Find cute shaped cookie cutters to create fun cheese designs. As a dip, consider vanilla yogurt or nonfat sour cream mixed with honey and cinnamon.

Frozen bananas. Peel small, ripe bananas, cut in half, and insert a wooden sheesh kabob stick a few inches through the middle. Then let the fun begin! Consider dipping into a caramel dip or melted, unsweetened chocolate and mixing broken walnut pieces. Then freeze.

Frozen grapes. Need I say more?

Honeyed Greek yogurt. Take a cup of Greek yogurt, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of honey. Oats and nuts bring truth to the term “the more the merrier.”

Spiced orange salad. Cut oranges and remove the peel. In a bowl, combine ¼ cup slivered almonds, 2 tablespoons of raisins, 1 teaspoon of powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Pour over the oranges and serve.

Smoothies. Take a cup of Greek yogurt, ¼ cup of low fat or soy milk and then add the following to the blender:
-Ripe banana and frozen berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
-Pumpkin puree (4 tablespoons) and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
-Banana and vanilla extract, powder, or bean to taste

Chocolate covered strawberries. For every 5 strawberries, melt 2 squares of unsweetened dark chocolate and let it dry. Place on a baking paper.

Banana chips. Slice bananas, dip in lemon juice and bake on 300 degrees until hardens.
Cinnamon graham cracker and peanut butter. Take two Graham crackers, spread 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, add a few slices of bananas, and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Hummus with carrots. Use baby carrots to dip into hummus.

Parmesan tomatoes. Slice 2 plum tomatoes and top with 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. For fun, consider baking to make the crispy.
Kale chips. Take a kale bunch, spread it onto a baking sheet (try to minimize overlap), sprinkle nutritional yeast (I promise this is yummy), and bake on 200-300 degrees until the kale becomes crispy.

Cheesy popcorn. Use an oil spritzer to spray a little olive oil and then sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese. Alternatively, consider sprinkling nutritional yeast to taste.

Edamame. After boiling, sprinkle sea salt to taste.

Sweet potato fries. Slice a lightbulb sized sweet potato, toss in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Turkey roll ups. Roll a slice of smoked turkey, place a toothpick through it, and serve with honey mustard on the side for dip.

Pumpkin seeds. Spread pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and spritz with olive oil, bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until brown. Sprinkle with kosher salt.

Brussel sprouts. Steam brussel sprouts, cut in half, spritz with olive oil, and broil on high for 10-12 minutes, or until crisp. Season with kosher salt to taste. To really have some fun, consider adding Parmesan cheese before putting into the oven.

Apple sandwich. Slice an apple and get creative with what you put in between the layers: dried fruit or raisins, almond butter, peanut butter, granola oats.

I have personally experimented all of these with my daughter and her friends. The investment in time is an investment in her health. And the dividends are reaped with kisses, smiles, and love. Priceless.

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 Dr. Nina Radcliff is a syndicated medical columnist who also appears on the Fox News Channel and The Dr. Oz Show.

For more news on Dr. Radcliff:
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DrNinaRadcliff
Follow her on Twitter: @DrNinaRadcliff
Visit her official site, http://www.ninaradcliffmd.com

Notice: This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither Dr. Nina Radcliff or Kimberly Cecchini take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should be aware that many of these techniques have not been evaluated in scientific studies. Use of these remedies in connection with over the counter or prescription medications can cause severe adverse reactions. Often, only limited information is available about their safety and effectiveness.