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Popcorn and Pycnogenol

Story ID:4794
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
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The last time I journaled was on a snowy wintery January day. I'm always
so happy when January is over. Like workers view Wednesday of the
work week as hump day, I look at January as hump month. Things can
only start to look better now that it is over-- even if we will have more snowy
days in February-- which, of course, we will. Michael, my friend and I continually
argue about which month has more snowful --January or February. I say
January and he says February. Alas, I've decided to give up on this argument
since I was unable to find weather stats on the internet to back me up.

In fighting the battle of the bulge - going for seconds at meal time is considered
a no no. So I've decided that I should always have on hand some freshly
popped pop corn --sans butter and salt of course. It is still delicious, but for
some this might having to get use to. Even though I pop it in Canola oil, I still
feel it probably is less caloric than a second helping of whatever I'm having for
lunch or supper.

I gave some wrong tips to my Cousin Dorothy when she visited claiming
to know how to prepare the perfect popcorn. Seems I didn't. So for those who
want the "perfect" internet version --here it is:

*First, warm the popper, heavy pan or skillet. If oil-popping your corn, add 1/4
cup of cooking oil to the pan. (I've found Canola to be better than Vegetable
oil because it can maintain a higher heat temperature without burning the
corn. This I learned the hard way when I mistakenly used vegetable oil on
two different occasions and burnt the pop corn.)

*Test the heat of the oil by dropping in one or two kernels. When the kernel
pops or spins in the oil, you're ready to add the remaining popcorn. Pour just
enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pan. Shake the pan to be certain oil
coats each kernel.

*Kernels that do not pop are known as "old maids." They do not have sufficient
water contained within the starch to create the build up of pressure needed to
pop the kernels." (The site offers a way to rejuvenate these "old maids.")

Now a health discovery. I remember years ago being told by an alternative news
letter that Glucosomine would help hurting knees. Well, I had one and tried
it- even though at that time it was quite expensive. But this was wonderful.
It worked and my knee didn't hurt any more. I even convinced the priest
at church who was hobbling to try the bottle of Glucosomine I offered him. He
did, and he said it worked for him too.

Well years passed since then and now a new ache --my left shoulder. It must
be arthritic. I sometimes have a hard time putting on my coat because of the
pain. So, when my sister gave me her Prevention Magazines, I was very happy
to spot an article which read: "For People With Joint Pain." That was me -right?

What was this new supplement? It is called Pycnogenol (the c has a k sound).
Someone had earlier told me to use Ibuprofen, Aleve, Celebrex, or any of the other
NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pronounced "en-seds") for my
pain. Well, I told her I have rarely used them -- nor do I want to now. The "poor"
companies of these products would go out of business if they depended on me to
buy them. To tell the truth, I have never had much use for them-- seeing as I
don't even remember what a headache feels like anymore. I do remember
though using one of them when I strained my back lugging files down to the
City of Cleveland basement archives some years back.

Now the impressive research on Pycnogenol from Prevention Feb. '09:

"This French maritime pine bark extract is cited in more than 200 studies and
continues to impress researchers. In two recent trials, osteo-arthritis patients
who took Pycnogenol for 3 months reduced their pain and stiffness by 35-55%
and needed fewer drugs such as NSAIDs and COX-2 inhibitors. Pycnogenol's
efficacy is probably due to its having both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
properties. "Pycnogenol's compounds are escpecially potent, yet there aren't
really side effects," says Sherma Zibadi, MD, a graduate research associate
who studied the extract at the University of Arizona's College of Public Health."

Per Zibadi -if you want to try it-- ask your doctor first before you start, especially
if you're on hypertension meds and then- don't take over 200 mg a day.

I don't have to ask my doctor because I am NOT on any drugs. That's the best
part of being drug free- other than knowing I have not contributed to the often
horrible research on animals to develope these drugs. I can try a new supplement
and not worry about interaction with other drugs which often have serious side
effects as well. I think its a win-win situation. I hope that never changes for me.

I click The Animal Rescue Site every day. I hope those who want to help
animals will join me and other who do so. A click provides food for dogs
and cats. How easy to do and yet so many find it tedious to do! Care2's Race
for the Pets in Need is another easy click and as it says - helps pets in need.

Recently, The Animal Rescue Site started a contest where people could tell
about the heroic deeds of their pets. I thought the dog who chased a coyote
out of the yard where his owner seemed imperiled was brave indeed. The
one though that caught my attention especially was the incident re Lucky a
rescued racehorse. He stood in the middle of the pasture whinnying frantically.
His owner ran to find him straddling a little duck! From the prints in the snow,
a coyote or fox had chased her into the pasture and Lucky had come to her
rescue. When the owner safely tucked the duck in his coat --only then did
Lucky head to the barn for his well deserved supper. I hope his owner gave
him extra oats for performing this act of compassion for his little animal

For the past week, Sky and Raffie have been lobbying for Tony the Tiger's
release from a small cage in a truck stop in Louisiana. The story can
be found on Big Cat Rescue. Despite getting a lot of press which favored
Tony be released to the Big Cat Rescue - all but one of the 11 council persons
voted no to Tony's release. Sky who had been working for his release
since 2005 - though crestfallen is not about to give up. She was happy
to hear that the President of the Council also favored Tony's release and
he may veto the vote which would grandfather the owner keeping Tony in
this place-- filled with diesel truck noises and smells. Twelve years kept
here as an attraction is surely cruelty plain and simple and enough is
enough. If you care to voice your opinion in this matter --please go to the
internet's Big Cat Rescue site where there is much more written about him.