November 08, 2003

my heart is better than your heart

Here is an article, courtesy of a Korean researcher via WebMD via my mother, which suggests I will outlive you all. Next year's Root Beer Tasting will be a Hot Chocolate tasting. Maybe now I can eat as much KFC as I want. . . .

Nov. 6, 2003 -- Sweet news, as winter approaches: Hot cocoa has more disease-fighting antioxidants than tea or red wine. And the heat may help propel them into the bloodstream.

Extensive studies have shown that black tea, green tea, red wine, and cocoa are "major" sources of antioxidants called phenols and flavonoids -- antioxidant chemicals found naturally in foods that can help prevent chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer, writes lead researcher Ki Won Lee, PhD, a food science researcher with Seoul National University in South Korea.

Lee's study appears in the latest Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry .

In their study, Lee and colleagues performed a complicated chemical analysis of cocoa, black tea, green tea, and red wine, finding that cocoa had the highest levels of antioxidants, twice as high as red wine, and nearly three times stronger than green tea:

Cocoa had 611 mg of phenols and 564 mg of flavonoids.
Red wine had 340 mg of phenols and 163 mg of flavonoids.
Green tea had 165 mg of phenols and 47 mg of flavonoids.
Black tea had 124 mg of phenols and 34 mg of flavonoids.

"These results suggest that cocoa is more beneficial to health than teas and red wine in terms of its higher antioxidant capacity" and ability to fight damage leading to heart disease and cancer, writes Lee.

One caveat: "Even though a bar of chocolate exhibits strong antioxidant activity, the health benefits are still controversial because relatively large amounts of saturated fats are present," Lee says. "However, a cup of hot cocoa has a much lower level of saturated fats (0.3 g per serving) than a bar of chocolate (8 g per 40 g bar)."

Heat may help trigger release of more antioxidants, Lee writes. The new finding makes hot cocoa a compelling addition to our kitchen arsenal of cancer and heart-disease fighting foods.

SOURCE: Lee, K. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry , Dec. 3, 2003.

2003 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

Posted by Meredith at 09:04 PM | Comments (3)


The church where I work has adopted a town called Kisi in Kenya. The church set out to raise $30,000 to help this town build a water system. Currently, to get clean water, the women and girls of the town have to walk four hours round trip every day, carrying water on their heads.

Not only did this church raise $30,000, they raised over $45,000 in two months! The leader of the fundraising effort told me that, by the time they're done, they anticipate raising $60,000, twice what they set as their goal. This will provide clean water for thousands of people who we have never met.

Apparently, it is very difficult to call the United States from Kisi. The fundraising leader over there (the community has been working on this water system for some time themselves) tried several times to call our church to no avail. We wondered if something had gone wrong with the project. Finally, he got through.

The Kenyans had heard about the fires in California. They had been anxious to find out if we were all okay.

I like living in a small world.

Posted by Meredith at 08:04 PM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2003

shopping for phones

I am upgrading my phone. Maybe.

As many gentle readers who have mocked me realize. I have a Treo 300. I like my phone. It looks pretty dorky, but I like it. It is a phone. It is a PDA. And it has a keyboard. That is why I got it. Also, it fits in my purse in a special little pocket made just for my phone. (The purse, if you're interested, was ten dollars at Mervyn's).

Mike got a bonus, so I have a little money to spend. I have just spent A LOT of that money on books (more on that later), but I have a little left over, so I'd like to upgrade my phone. As I may have mentioned, I want a phone, a PDA, and a keyboard.

There seem to be only two choices: the Treo 600 (beautiful and teeny and Palm) or the Hitachi g1000 (huge and monstrous and Pocket PC, which means it's compatible with stuff). I, Jane Q. User, am forced to make choices.

So, readers of the technical persuasion, advise. What should I do? Let me know. And, by the way, wanting our friends to make money should not, technically speaking, be a factor in which products we buy.

I am at your disposal.

Posted by Meredith at 10:14 PM | Comments (3)

November 02, 2003

raiders of the lost ark

Mike and I recently purchased the DVD set of all four 'Indiana Jones' movies. We watched 'Raiders' last night for the first time in about fifteen years.

This is a movie's movie.

First of all, there's the theme music. For those who may have forgotten, it sounds like this:

buh buh BUH BUH
buh buh BUH
buh buh BUH! BUH! BUH!

I'm sorry, but the Star Wars theme just doesn't come close.

Also, it has Harrison Ford in a leather jacket. Intrigue. John Rhys-Davies, not as a dwarf this time. Snakes, a giant boulder, and a kick-butt ride at Disneyland. More movies should be this way.

buh buh BUH BUH
(buh-buh, buh. .
buh-buh, buh buh)

Gotta love those French horns.

Posted by Meredith at 05:49 PM | Comments (1)

November 01, 2003

Hot New Diet: KFC

Has anybody else seen the latest KFC commercials? They actually tout their product's nutrition! Now, there are many ways I can think of marketing Kentucky Fried Chicken, but I gotta tell you, nutrition was not the first thing that jumped to my mind. Apparently, if you ignore the breading, the biscuits, the mashed potatoes, and the french fries, KFC is a healthy 'low-carb' option. And, unlike most hunks of meat (I shudder to imagine the search queries here), FULL OF PROTEIN! Be still, my straining, oversized heart.

Anywhere, here's a more balanced view from that cutting-edge periodical, Good Housekeeping:

"KFC: Too Finger-Lickin' Good?

KFC's new Kids Laptop Pack may add more fat and calories to your family's diet than you think, especially if your small fry always orders fries. The Colonel says each small bag of Potato Wedges contains 4.8 ounces of food, for a total of 280 calories. But when the GHI nutritionist sampled these crispy spuds, they tasted too delicious. So we sent 10 orders from KFC restaurants in New York and New Jersey to a lab for testing. What we found: The standard 4.8-ounce serving averaged 358 calories. For adults who buy fries separate from the Laptop Pack, there's another problem: larger-than-standard portions, which boost the calorie and fat counts even more. Parents who order the Colonel's Crispy Strips are also getting more food. Although KFC says each three-strip serving has 4.1 ounces of chicken and 300 calories, our test shows the average is 5.8 ounces and 458 calories. One box contained 10 ounces of food, the equivalent of a whopping 780 calories!

How often does KFC deliver heaping helpings? In our test, only 20 percent of the orders were close to the portion sizes that the company claims. So if your KFC order looks big, watch out. Even if you're not counting calories, your waistline is."

Thanks for reading. And thanks for the comments. But if you're related to me, please keep suggestive pornographic comments about my body to yourself. Eeew.

Posted by Meredith at 07:28 PM | Comments (4)