Tuesday, May 21, 2019

When do Pine Trees of our Neighborhood Produce Nuts?

Nuts of pine trees

We routine go shopping to our neighborhood Walmart super center for everything from grocery items to medicines.

We noticed that there are plenty of trees planted in parking lot areas. We guess those trees are pine trees like.

Here in Lousiana, we have several kind of pine trees, some of them are:
- The spruce pine tree (Pinus glabra)
- The longleaf pine tree (Pinus palustris)
- The loblolly pine tree (Pinus taeda)
- The slash pine tree (Pinus elliottii).
- The Virginia pine tree (Pinus virginiana)
- The shortleaf pine tree (Pinus echinata)

Two pine trees at parking lot.

Pine trees mainly are evergreen, but some species change their leaves color, green turn into red and brown in the autumn, then fall down.

We know that leaves of pine trees at our neighborhood have changed colors during fall season. The trees and leaves re-grow in the spring.

The trees produce nuts or seeds

We are quite surprising, after take a look closer to the branches that the trees are producing nuts or seeds at this time around, middle of May.

Like other trees in the northern hemisphere, the production followed the seasonal temperatures.

We read from literature that at least 20 species of pine trees produces nuts or seeds. Our pine nuts size is quite big enough with rounded shapes.

Most pine nuts are edible and good for sources of nutritional foods. Zero cholesterol and sodium.

Have you tried nuts of a pine tree?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Summer is Coming, be aware with Traveler's Diarrhea.

People at the beach


Summer is coming, do you have any plans to travel abroad? Yes, getting ready to visit the nice places and enjoy the local culinary, but...have you ever have stomach flu when you enjoy traveling?

It does annoy you and sometimes it ruins your traveling schedules.

You are not alone, that happened to me, and many of us. In every 10 person, 3 to 7 person have this experience.

This stomach flu causes loose or watery stool, also known as diarrhea, and it's almost common in travelers. This stomach flu is called the Traveler's Diarrhea (TD).

Why do you get stomach flu when travel?

When I traveled to the warmer area and an area with poor public hygiene, that easy for me to get infected the stomach flu.
These areas do not have access to plumbing and latrine, so you can imagine that the amount of stool contaminated and more accessible to flies.

Whenever an area has lack of safe water. electricity frequent to black out, and lack refrigerators will increase risk to the stomach flu.

The stomach flu is caused by many pathogens from contaminated water, prepared food, and utensils. Bacteria is the most commons cause, such as E. coli, Campylobacter jejuni, Shigella, dan Salmonella.

Viruses, such as norovirus also contribute to the somach flu. Parasites is less common.

How do you know that you got TD?

Knowing the symptoms, such as suddenly I have loose stool or watery stool, bloating, urgency using bathroom, vomiting, belly pain, tired, and fever.

When this symptoms mild, it goes away, but when severe I need to call health care provider.

How does you prevent TD?

I always make sure do not eat food from unknown sources, do not put ice in drinks, and only drink sealed bottle water. Avoid to eat raw fruits and salads, raw meat, selfish, and unpasteurized milk or yogurt.

I always carry traveler size of alcohol sanitizer, tissue, and liquid soap in my purse. Some medications for TD prophylaxis are always along with the cosmetic case.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What is the Best Steakhouse in Louisiana, USA?

Steak and shrimp, credit to Louisiana Steakhouse

We have dozen of good steakhouses in our city, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Some of them close to my neighborhood. Around 100 meter from my house.

They sell filet mignon, cowboy ribeye, t-bone cooked medium, filet cooked medium rare and the bone in ribeye.

Very fresh for my own standard, and the beef quality is approved by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The steakhouses usually provide other products as well, such as Louisiana cuisines (jambalaya, oxtail soup), shrimp, Louisiana oysters, tamales and fried asparagus.

Few steakhouses are vegetarian friendly and have gluten free menus. Some favorite menus are mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, crab cakes and cheese cakes.

However, it is said that the best steakhouse in Louisiana is in New Orleans, not in my city. Distance between New Orleans and my city (Baton Rouge) is around 81 miles (130 km).

Dickie Brennan Steakhouse locates in the French Quarterr, 716 Iberville St., New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 provides the highest quality of prime beef.

This best steakhouse provides local tastes include jumbo Gulf shrimp, fried oysters and New Orleans Abita beer.

What is the best steakhouse in your state or country?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

How could E. coli Bacteria Infect You?


3 D Escherichia coli (Photo Credit: (Illustrators) Alissa Eckert and Jennifer Oosthuizen/CDC.gov)

I was thinking about to cook spaghetti sauce with ground beef, added some button mushrooms and basil for my supper, and I need to go buy those stuffs in grocery store. 

A couple minute in my way headed to the closest grocery store in my neighborhood, I remembered that the local radio talked about recalled ground beef that suspected has been contaminated with the E.coli.

E.coli infection occurs in 10 states and there are about 190 cases. Thanks Lord, no one get killed. 

So far, the ground beef from two companies have been recalled because laboratory testing of ground beef from these companies spotted the outbreak strain of E. coli O103. This strain is acquired Shiga-toxin.

Shiga toxin-producing E. coli can cause a person get sick, usually for three to four days after intake the contaminated food. 

The symptoms are watery diarrhea that often with blood (hemorrage colitis), severe stomach cramps, little or no fever, vomitting, and may lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). 

HUS is a disorder that characterized by acute renal failure and thrombocytopenia.

There are some points from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) that I can keep in my mind to prevent from E. coli: 
- Cook ground beef thoroughly; 
- An internal temperature to cook ground beef is 160˚F; 
- Avoid to eat raw or under-cooked ground beef;
-  After cook ground beef do not forget to refrigerate within 2 hours, then can be used within 3 to 4 days; 
- Wash hand with soapy water after touching ground beef; 
- Clean utensil, counter-top, and cutting board thoroughly with soap and hot water or using bleach solution.

The most important is never eat recalled ground beef. 


    No Spaghetti with Ground Beef Today
I am not going to take a risk. It will be awful to have diarrhea and stomach cramps that cause me back and forth to toilet or restroom.

This infection also leads to hemolytic uremic syndrome which is so painful. I just avoid the ground beef in a while.


So my spaghetti have no sauce today. It turned into spaghetti with shrimps, and I added some asparagus, lemon juice, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

What Cause Measles Outbreak Recently?

A measles infection (Image from patch.com/Shutterstock) 

It was surprising that within four months, January to April, there were about 704 individual cases of measles in the US from 22 states. This is a big number since the US declared that measles was eliminated in 2000 (CDC, 2019).

What is Measles?

Measles is a disease that caused by virus (family Paramyxoviruses). Measles virus causes the potentially serious infection. This disease is characterized by fever and maculopopular rash or rubeola, and it's more severe than rubella. This disease is super contagious and highly transmissible disease. The transmission of measles is by inhalation of large droplets aerosols from the infected person. 

What are the symptoms of the measles?

The initial symptoms
During the early phase, between one and four days, the symptoms develop an upper respiratory, such as runny nose and hacking cough, and also pink eye (conjunctiva). Sometimes, the symptoms will not shown until one or two week, so that the person does not know that she/he already get contagious.

Koplik Spots
Two or three days after initial symptoms, the small spots with white in the centers appear in the inside of the cheek or soft palate. These spots look like grain of salt with red color as their background (reddish halo). Their size are very small, about 1 or 2 mm. Koplik's spots also can appear on the conjunctiva, and vaginal mucosa. These red spots lesions can last for one or two days. See the picture below.


Koplik 's Spots or small red spots in the soft palate mucosa
(CDC/ Heinz F. Eichenwald, MD )


The measles rash.
Within 12 or 24 hours after the Koplik's Spots are shown, the rash or skin eruptions of measles will appear starting below the ear and spread over the body. After one or two day the rash can cover all around the body surfaces. When the rash is appearing, usually the fever is high.

The complications from rubeola could be very serious. It can cause ear infections, broncho-pneumonia, croup, and also inflammation in the brain. 

The person who never get vaccine measles and the person who has problem with immune system, they are in high risk to get contagious of measles virus. To prevent from the infection of measles, the series of shot measles vaccine are required. The vaccine is live vaccine that combine with Rubella and Mumps (MMR). 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Why Strawberry Greek Yogurt is Good For Health?

My own menu, strawberry Greek Yogurt

I make strawberry Greek yogurt for my own purposes, for breakfast or for small dessert in the middle of day.

Breakfast is combination of yogurt and strawberry, while mixture of yogurt, ice cream and strawberry for middle of day for dessert.

Strawberry is one of my favorite fruits. Its riches of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C. It is good to regulate blood sugar, lower blood pressure and improve immune system.

More strawberry than yogurt

I believe that most of us consumed yogurt, but you might not notice the different between Greek yogurt and Others (regular yogurt).

Greek yogurt involves the process to take out the whey, a lactose liquid (a natural sugar). Greek Yogurt contains lower sugar, suitable for diabetic patients.

Just to let you know that 150 gram (5.3 oz) of Greek yogurt is an excellent sources of:
- 150 calories
- 11 gram of
- Calcium
- Vitamin D

Some health benefits of consuming of Greek yogurt are:
- Calcium improves bone health
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower risk of type 3 diabetes.

In addition that Greek yogurt has probiotics that good for gut health. Probiotics from specific bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei could improve digestive functions by balancing presence of bad microorganism or bacteria.

Bad bacteria in the gut responsible for diseases such as constipation or diarrhea, skin conditions, weight gain and other health conditions.

Have you tasted Greek yogurt or mixed of Greek yogurt and strawberry?

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Do You Know a Sign of Bipolar Disorder?

Illustration of Bipolar Disorder,
credit to Cleveland Clinic Health Essential

Bipolar disorder is “a brain disorder” relates to daily activities where moods may swing highly from low to high. Lower level refer to depression periods, while higher mood refers to mania periods.

In addition to moods, irregularity in activities and energy lead to unable cope with difficulty in daily live.

The exact caused of bipolar disorder is not known yet. However, the causes are suspected from internal and outside factors.

Hormonal imbalance in the body could trigger this mental diseases. Outside or environmental factors that may cause disorder include mental stress, abuse and traumatic events.

As reported by National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in 2017 that “The average age-of-onset is about 25, but it can occur in the teens, or more uncommonly, in childhood. The condition affects men and women equally, with about 2.6% of the U.S. population diagnosed with bipolar disorder and nearly 83% of cases classified as severe.”

How many of 2.6%? The number should be: 2.5% x 350 million = 9.1 million of USA population affected by bipolar disorder illness.

When the people ever experienced depression, mania and Hypomania, then they might develop bipolar disorder. Many signs of people enter early bipolar disorder such as stop (difficult) sleeping and loss focus.

They might not know, but the patients stop sleeping day by day will face severe conditions later on.

If patients or family bring the patient to see a doctor (family doctor), then the doctor may refer to the psychiatrist for treatments.

Reference
NAMI. 2017. Bipolar Disorder. Retrieved From:
Www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Bipolar-Disorder

When do Pine Trees of our Neighborhood Produce Nuts?

Nuts of pine trees We routine go shopping to our neighborhood Walmart super center for everything from grocery items to medicines. ...