Health Tips

Water vs. Coke

Water

  • 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (This likely applies to half the world population.)
  • In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  • Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
  • One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied (in a University of Washington study).
  • Lack of water is the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  • Preliminary research indicates that 8 to 10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  • A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  • Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Coke

  • In many states the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the trunk to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
  • You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of Coke and it will be gone in two days.
  • To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
  • To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
  • To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
  • To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
  • To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.
  • To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of Coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains.
  • Coke will also clean road haze from your windshield.
  • The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
  • To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the "Hazardous Material" place cards reserved for highly corrosive materials.
  • The distributors of Coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

Water or Coke: Which would YOU like to drink?

Food and Mood

People feeling sad tend to eat more of less-healthy comfort foods than when they feel happy, finds a new study co-authored by a Cornell food marketing expert. However, when nutritional information is available, those same sad people curb their hedonistic consumption. But happier people don't.

In the January issue of the Journal of Marketing, Brian Wansink, the John S. Dyson Professor of Marketing, Applied Economics and Management at Cornell, and two colleagues describe several studies they devised to test the link between mood and food. For example, they recruited 38 administrative assistants to watch either an upbeat, funny movie ("Sweet Home Alabama") or a sad, depressing one ("Love Story"). Throughout the viewings the participants were offered hot buttered, salty popcorn and seedless grapes.

"After the movies were over and the tears were wiped away, those who had watched 'Love Story' had eaten 36% more popcorn than those who had watched the upbeat 'Sweet Home Alabama,'" said Wansink, author of the recent book "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think" (Bantam Books). "Those watching 'Sweet Home Alabama' ate popcorn and popped grapes, but they spent much more time popping grapes as they laughed through the movie than they did eating popcorn."

Wansink suspects that happy people want to maintain or extend their moods in the short term, but consider the long term and so turn to comfort food with more nutritional value. People feeling sad or depressed, however, just want to "jolt themselves out of the dumps" with a quick indulgent snack that tastes good and gives them an immediate "bump of euphoria."

To see whether having nutritional information influences comfort-food consumption, the researchers offered popcorn to volunteers who completed several assignments, including irrelevant mental tasks, writing descriptions of four things that made them happy (or sad) and reading short stories that were either happy or sad. One group reviewed nutritional information about popcorn, while the other did not.

The researchers found that the sad people with no nutritional information ate twice as much popcorn as those feeling happy. In the groups that reviewed nutritional labels, however, the happy people ate about the same amount, but the sad people dramatically curbed their consumption, eating even less popcorn than the happy people.

"Thus, it appears that happy people are already avoiding consumption, and the presence of nutritional information does not drive their consumption any lower," said Wansink. "While each of us may look for a comfort food when we are either sad or happy, we are likely to eat more of it when we are sad," Wansink concluded. "Since nutritional information appears to influence how much people eat when they are in sad moods, those eating in a sad mood would serve themselves well by checking the nutritional information of the comfort foods they choose to indulge themselves with."

How We're Stretching

In the yogic tradition, the breath is intimately associated with prana, a Sanskrit term that means "primordial impulse" or "life force" . . . the vital energy that animates every molecule in the universe. Pranayama - the formal practice of regulating the breath - allows us to calm, cleanse, or invigorate our bodymind. In fact, many master yogis believe that pranayama is the essence of yoga.

There are many pranayama techniques you can use to enhance your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. One of the most valuable practices is simply staying conscious of your breath as you practice your yoga postures. By focusing on the breath, the mind becomes more clear and quiet.

Another traditional pranayama exercise is bhastrika, which translates in English as "bellows breath." If you feel sluggish, doing a set of bhastrika breaths will clear the clouds from your body and mind. If you are trying to lose weight, doing a few rounds throughout the day will increase your digestive power and help increase your metabolism. Performing bellows breathing close to bedtime isn't recommended, however, as it may invigorate your mind and make it difficult to fall asleep. Do not practice this technique if you are pregnant.

Bellows Breath

Begin by relaxing your shoulders and taking a few deep, full breaths from your abdomen. Now start exhaling forcefully through your nose, followed by forceful deep inhalations at the rate of one second per cycle. Your breathing is entirely from your diaphragm, keeping your head, neck, shoulders, and chest relatively still while your belly moves in and out.

Start by doing a round of ten bhastrika breaths, then breathe naturally and notice the sensations in your body. After 15 to 30 seconds, begin the next round with 20 breaths. Finally, after pausing for another 30 seconds, complete a third round of 30 breaths.

Although bellows breathing is a safe practice, stay tuned to your body during the process. If you feel light-headed or very uncomfortable, stop for a few moments before resuming in a less intense manner.

Practicing bhastrika brings your attention into your body, reminding you how to move energy consciously. All success and fulfillment depend upon the ability to manage the essential life force of prana.