Mary’s Memo #2275

      The 5-hour Energy® drink is making millions for its inventor, Manoj Bhargava, age 58, and has garnered 90% of the energy shot market. It is sugar-free with only 4 calories and has as much caffeine as the leading premium coffee. I’m not going to tell you not to drink the energy booster but please check with your family doctor before you do because it isn’t for everyone. In a related matter, some of you are inclined to take highly advertised over-the-counter drugs but before you do, it’s also a good idea to discuss it with your doctor.

     Eating less red meat helps reduce the risk of dying prematurely, especially from cardiovascular disease and cancer, suggests a new analysis from a long term study of more than 120,000 health care professionals in the Archives of Internal Medicine. People who ate the most red meat (average 2 servings a day) were 30% more likely to die over a two-decade period than those eating little or none. That included processed meats such as hot dogs and bologna. This was true even when the researchers adjusted the findings for major lifestyle factors and other dietary variables. In contrast, people who ate fish, poultry, nuts, beans, whole grains and/or low-fat dairy products instead of meat had a reduced mortality rate.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, July 2012.

     You can make Crisco’s® Creamy Risotto with Asparagus and Parmesan with vegetable juice and make it a vegetarian dish but I personally prefer chicken broth. Risotto requires a special kind of rice called Arborio (ar-BOH-ree-oh). It is Italian-grown with a shorter, fatter shape. Its high starch kernels yield a creamy texture, characteristic of risotto.
     Because of all the stirring, it helps preparation of this recipe if everything is measured ahead of time.

1 tablespoon Crisco® olive oil1 cup finely chopped onion1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic1 cup uncooked Arborio rice(1) 12-ounce can evaporated milk(1) 14.5-ounce can chicken broth without MSG1/2 cup water1/2 teaspoon salt1/2 lb. asparagus, washed and tough ends removed1 teaspoon lemon juice1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheeseSalt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in 3-quart saucepan. Add onion. Cook on mediumhigh heat, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Add rice. Reduce to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes or until the edge of rice is transparent. Add evaporated milk, broth, water and salt. Heat to just beginning to boil. Simmer, stirring frequently, 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir in asparagus, lemon juice and cheese. Simmer; stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until asparagus is fork tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately. Recipe makes 6 to 8servings.

     In keeping with alternatives to meat, our next suggestion comes from daughter Mary Ann. I used fresh cod but tilapia or any white fish will work. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Then brush olive oil on both sides of fish. Place in foil-lined pan (saves clean-up later). Arrange any color chopped pepper, tomato and onion to each serving of fish. Add sliced black or pimiento-stuffed olives to mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until fish


     Salt tablets are no longer recommended for heat stroke prevention. But the American Heart Association recommends drinking lots of liquids, particularly water, before, during and after physical activity, and avoiding caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Older adults may be more prone to dehydration since they may be slower to feel thirsty, so keep the water bottle handy and keep sipping!
Source: Duke Medicine Health News, July 2012.

     The more soda, regular and/or diet you drink, the higher your risk of stroke, according to a study published April 4, in the American Journal of Clinical Research. Researchers analyzed soda consumption and incidence of stroke among 43,371 men and 84,085 women between 1980 and 2008. Men and women who drank more than 1 serving of sugar sweetened soda per day were more likely to have high blood pressure
and high cholesterol, while those who consumed diet
soda were more likely to be overweight and have chronic diseases.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, July 1012.
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