Features

Healthy Living: HFCS; The Controversy and Common Sense

Updated 4 years ago

Corrections regarding statements about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS): The controversy and common sense.By- Dr. Joan Marie PellegriniLast month I discussed HFCS in this segment. I have been doing this segment since 2000 and have never received any mail commenting on my segment. However, this segment generated two well-written letters from experts in Massachusetts and New Jersey. They wanted to point out a few wrong statements that I made and also wanted to point out that HFCS is safe and no different than any other sugar. It also seems there was some confusion that I may have implied that HFCS is there reason we are having such an obesity epidemic. I agree with the experts on most points. I stated that HFCS is sweeter than table sugar and this is wrong. I also stated that that HFCS has only been around since the 1990’s and this is also wrong. It became much more popular then but it has been around since the 1960’s.It is quite interesting to me how much controversy this segment generated. I was unaware of the controversy surrounding HFCS until friends of mine pointed out to me there are TV commercials that try to convince the consumer that HFCS is the same as any other sugar. A quick search of the medical literature with the term “fructose” reveals that there is some scientific excitement regarding this molecule. One of the main problems with studying nutrition is that there is little funding available. Pharmaceutical companies only pay for research that will generate a new drug and therefore have a potential for profit. The NIH and USDA have limited funds for nutrition research (probably less than 5% of that spent on cancer and heart disease. I have no study to quote here except a quick Google search.). Much of the “nutrition” research that is being funded is looking at supplements and vitamins, not at true nutrition. Another problem with many of the studies is that the study participants are given an unrealistic diet and therefore the conclusions are not translatable to the real world.There are plenty of studies to show that HFCS is no different than any other sugar. However, there are also several studies showing the opposite. Why did the study that I mentioned come to the conclusion that HFCS is worse for you? One of the main problems with that study is that the participants were fed an unrealistic diet of pure fructose. This is quite different than HFCS. Because of the differences in study design, percentage and form of fructose, etc, it is quite difficult to make any certain conclusions from the available literature.Here are some points that are not controversial:1) Americans consume too much simple carbohydrates (sugars).2) Sugared drinks are a major problem .3) Many foods that you buy in the grocery store have sugar, honey, HFCS, or other sugars hidden in them.4) Fructose is absorbed and metabolized differently than glucose.5) A quick look at food labels will reveal the ubiquity of hidden sugars.6) The obesity epidemic is very complex. There is no one issue to blame and there is no one simple solution.When I chose to cover HFCS, I chose this topic as one of several that I’ve done over the years focusing on various aspects of our diet and goals towards healthy living. Although I made some minor incorrect statements, I stand by my original conclusions: HFCS is controversial and it may or may not be different than other sugars. However, limiting sugars and HFCS is just one small part of the overall program of healthy living. By no means should HFCS shoulder all the blame for America’s obesity epidemic.

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“A Man is Not a Financial Plan”

Updated 1 year ago

When I say ‘A man’s not a financial plan,” besides quoting the great free bumper sticker available from WIFE.org, I am not saying I dislike men. I have been happily married for more than thirty-five years and have two great sons. I AM saying that your financial plan is your individual responsibility and that you may not wait for a prince or your daddy to lift this job from your shoulders. and I have been married for more than thirty-five years but unless we ‘go through the Stargate together’ ( which is our silly way of saying we hope to die together), one of us may predecease the other and other marriages may end in divorce.Talk about money- You need to know what’s going on and bring your views to the joint money table. Different attitudes about money are important to share and help provide better security for both of you. You see things differently, and those views are each helpful.Map out your money plan- Make a budget for how the money is spent today and a plan for where you’ll live in retirement, how much your income will be at the phase of your life, and get your legal documents in place so that when trouble comes, you will be more able to manage the pain.Set priorities- Speak your mind about what’s important to you about money. Communication is not a perfect medium so use various approaches to make your point heard. Be willing to compromise on issues on which you feel more flexible. Examine your attitude to check for fear and try to operate in good sense and not too much emotion.Credit in your name – make sure you know how the family credit is used and have credit in your name. I have told you stories of rich and famous who have been ignorant about their money suffered badly because of that error. Please learn from their mistakes! And for a free bumper sticker or an electronic newsletter sign up at www.wife.org. Citation:My book, Real Deal: Making Big Changes with Small Changehttp://www.wife.org/man-is-not-a-plan.htm Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of America In compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Would you agree to pay more in taxes, in order to keep your town’s largest employer in business?

Updated 4 years ago

Yes 16% (86 votes)No 84% (455 votes)


Do you think that the Governor’s 2 year budget Proposal will solve Maine’s current economic woes?

Updated 4 years ago

Yes 78% (776 votes)No 22% (215 votes)


When you were growing up, where did you think Paul Bunyan was from?

Updated 4 years ago

Here 73% (190 votes)Away 27% (69 votes)


Should the President of the University of Maine be paid more than the Governor of Maine?

Updated 4 years ago

Yes 8% (51 votes)No 92% (561 votes)


Take This Job and Love It: Horse Shelter

Updated 4 years ago

In this edition of Take This Job and Love It, Chelsey Anderson traveled Downeast to help a nonprofit.She visited the First Light Farm Equine Shelter in Perry.Chelsey: “I rode a horse at a fair when I was child, but that’s about the extent of my knowledge of horses. Thankfully, the ladies at the farm were more than willing to show me the ropes.”——————-“Yes babe. We’ve got to bring you some hay, huh?” Chelsey: “Hi! She’s like, ‘Where’s my food?’ We’re getting it!”(Andrea:) “We’re going up to the hay loft.”(Chelsey:) “Heads up!”(Chelsey:) “Mariah! Look, look at the hay.” Andrea: “No, she says she’s going to eat Zippy’s.” Chelsey: “Zippy’s looks pretty good!”I fill her water and I’m on to the next task.(Andrea:) “The best part is mucking out. We’ll muck out our paddock, our run in sheds and the stalls.”(Vicky:) “We’re going to clean a stall.” Vicky: “And I left her some special frozen stuff!” Chelsey: Thank you!(Andrea:) “You can start with just picking up off the surface.” Chelsey: “Okay.” Andrea: “She’s made a bit of a mess.”(Andrea:) “Just give it a little shake. You want to shake out your shaving over an area you’re not going to be shaking again.” Chelsey: “Oh, that’s a good idea.”I banged some of the shavings out to get the remaining mess, but I wasn’t going quite fast enough. So, the self-proclaimed Barn Goddess took over and I moved on to churn-in some new pine shavings in Zippy’s stall.(Chelsey:) “Okay. One stall down.”Moving on to Delia’s paddock.(Andrea:) “I first start trying to rake it into a pile.”(Chelsey:) “Delia, I love you girl, but I don’t love the presents.”Then I filled the muck buckets.(Chelsey:) “And that’s a lot of poo to deal with.”(Andrea:) “I hope they pay you well for this feature!”(Chelsey:) “Another one.” Vicky: “You’re not done yet!”(Chelsey:) “Well, I think they’re definitely eating enough.”(Andrea:) “That’s probably as full as we’re going to be able to get.” Chelsey: “Okay.”(Andrea:) “Now you’ll get the wheel barrel and dump that one too.”(Chelsey:) “Oh! I’m going to go up this little bridge. Oh my goodness.”(Andrea:) “You’ve got to get a running start.”(Chelsey:) “Okay!” (grunting) Andrea: “There you go! Alright!”Now that Delia’s paddock was clean, it was time to get her groomed.(Andrea:) “The first thing that happens is we have to clean out her feet.”(Andrea:) “You’re going to run your hand down, and she knows what I’m going to be doing so she’s going to pick up her foot for me.”It didn’t work that way for me.(Chelsey:) “Come on! You can do it!”(Chelsey:) “Err!” Andrea: “Delia!” Chelsey: “Come on! Are we friends? I thought we were friends!” Well, the talk must have helped.(Chelsey:) “Come on! Yes!”I cleaned that foot up and moved to the back, which wasn’t any easier.(Andrea:) “Do it real quick!” Chelsey: “Errr!” (laughter)(Andrea:) “And we’re going to give her a quick grooming.”I removed the dirt and dander from Delia’s coat, then shined her up.(Andrea:) “She is definitely enjoying this.”I topped off the grooming with a treat.(Chelsey:) “Ah, yeah! Yummy!”So after all the feeding, scooping, and brushing, would I get the job?(Andrea:) “Absolutely, because it’s not about knowledge, it’s about having the heart and compassion to do it.”(Chelsey:) “Thank you so much, and thank you so much. You were very friendly.”Before I left, I was presented with a major award.(Andrea:) “We don’t hand these out to just anybody, but anyone who’s gone above and beyond the call of duty.”For climbing Mt. Manure.Whoo!—————-On Sunday the 13th, the New Friendly Restaurant on Route 1 in Perry will give 10% of their proceeds to Have a Heart for Horses to help the shelter.If you have an idea for our next Take This Job and Love It, email Chelsey: canderson@wabi.tv.

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Do you think that Maine should have a privately run prison?

Updated 4 years ago

Yes 63% (219 votes)No 37% (128 votes)


Healthy Living

Updated 4 years ago

Early Recognition of Mental Health ProblemsBy- Dr. David PrescottEarly Recognition a Key to Effective Mental Health Treatment: In mental health treatment, as with all of health care, early recognition and treatment is increasingly seen as critical to reducing the suffering associated with psychiatric disorders. The logic is simple enough. The earlier you detect a problem and do something to fix it, the less that problem will impact your life. But, while that logic makes sense to most of us, knowing exactly what to look for may be a little more difficult. When Do You Cross the Line to Needing Professional Attention? Obviously, this is a difficult question and the answer varies from person to person. Two questions that I like to ask in helping someone decide include: 1. Is this bothering you to the point where you want more support or would like it to have less of an influence on your life? 2. Has this problem started to interfere with your life and the things you used to be able to do? That is, are you now unable to accomplish things that you used to accomplish because of the problem? Here are some early warning signs of common mental health and addiction problems. As with any health problem, if you are in doubt, talk to a psychologist, mental health professional, or your family doctor. Early Signs of Depression: Most people know that depression involves recurrent sadness, hopelessness, and lack of energy. It is common to have these feelings for a couple of days every now and then. Signs that the depression may be more serious include: • 2 consecutive weeks of feeling sad or hopeless. • In teenagers and some adults, rather than feeling depressed, feeling mostly irritable or short tempered. • Missing school, work, or significant family events because you feel too sad or don’t have the motivation that you used to have. Early Signs of Schizophrenia or Psychotic Illnesses: The onset of schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by disorganization in thinking, excessive suspiciousness or paranoia, or in some cases hallucinations, is typically in the late teens or early twenties. However, warning signs are often present long before the formal onset. These include: • Withdrawal from friends or family • Difficulty concentrating, confusion, jumbled thinking • Suspiciousness, fearfulness or mistrust of others • Changes in the way things look or sound, seeing or hearing things that aren’t there • Odd thinking or behavior: feeling odd, like something is wrongEarly Signs of Anxiety Disorders: Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social phobia, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The hallmark of each of these problems is debilitating anxiety that leads to avoidance of people and activities. Early signs of anxiety disorders include: • Repeated episodes of panic (feel like you can’t breathe, like you may be about to die, short of breath). Single episodes of panic are somewhat common and may not indicate a disorder. • Avoiding important activities (school, work) or situations (going to the store) because of anxiety or fear of an anxiety attack. • Losing more and more time to activities designed to reduce or cope with anxiety (spending time alone, engaging in checking things or doing things over that you have already done). Early Signs of Drug or Alcohol Dependence: Often, drug or alcohol dependence start off as recreational drinking or drug use. Early signs of drug and alcohol abuse or dependence include: • Frequent episodes of binge drinking (4 or more drinks for women, 5 or more for men)• Missing school or work due to drug or alcohol use or feeling hungover. • Spend increasing amounts of time using substances or with people that drink/use drugs with you. How do I seek help? Seeing a qualified mental health professional, like a psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse, or licensed social worker is a good start. Help may include counseling, medication, or a combination of the two. If you don’t know a mental health professional, your primary care doctor is often able to make a recommendation. For More Help: Acadia Hospital www.acadiahospital.orgIn Maine Dial 2-1-1 for agencies that provide counseling.

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Reviewing Your Credit Report

Updated 1 year ago

Time to think about reviewing your credit report.By law individuals are entitled to free credit reports from the three credit reporting agencies. And you might think this would be easy, getting these reports. But it’s not. The only certain source of receiving free annual reports from the three agencies is through www.annualcreditreport.com You may call a toll-free 1.877.322.8228 or you can fill out a request form to get credit reports and mail it in.The Federal trade Commission offers very clear information and a video to explain the process at http://www.ftc.gov/freereports As the FTC explains, ‘many sites claim to offer free reports – and some do.’ But others charge by requiring other products or services before sending you your credit report.So what should you look for?Your credit report is ‘the story of your financial life.’ It lists your current and past addresses, your Social Security number, date of birth and your phone number if it is listed. Past and present employers may be listed, also.Car loans, credit cards and the balances, payment history and any liens or late fees will be listed. In some states your credit report may contain child support payment information. This information impacts if you may get a job or additional loans or credit cards and at what rate you will pay for a mortgage or car loan. The better your payment history, the lower your interest rate may be for loans.What else should you check?Make sure the information from agencies or companies listed is accurate. The FTC’s web site offers information on disputing errors in your credit report. Also, check that someone hasn’t opened accounts that may not be you. That’s fraud and the FTC has links to help identify and tackle identity theft.For more detailed information on your credit report check out another FTC web site http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre34.shtmCitation:Federal Trade Commission explains:http://www.ftc.gov/freereportshttp://www.clearpointcreditcounselingsolutions.org/credit_report/look_inside.aspx Marion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com Check out our website that includes weekly streaming videosWWW.NorumbegaFinancial.com Voted Bangor’s Best Financial Planning Firm 2008, 2009 & 2010 by Market Surveys of AmericaIn compliance with requirements from FINRA, all e-mail sent via the WSFG domain will be subject to review and archiving by Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Email management, archiving & monitoring technology powered by Smarsh, Inc. Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. and Norumbega Financial and all other companies listed are separate entities, independently owned and operated.

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Do you think that Maine should legalize all fireworks?

Updated 4 years ago

Yes 56% (190 votes)No 44% (149 votes)


Can Maine be friendly to both Business and the Environment?

Updated 4 years ago

Yes 79% (291 votes)No 21% (76 votes)


Have you had enough of the snow yet?

Updated 4 years ago

Yes 49% (230 votes)No 51% (240 votes)


Fudge Cupcakes with Molasses Buttercream and Candied Pecan Topping

Updated 1 year ago

1 package Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge CakeMolasses Buttercream10 oz. softened unsalted butter3 Tbsp. Unsulfured Molasses3 Tbsp. milk3/4 tsp. vanilla extract4 cups sifted confectioner’s sugarTopping2 cups pecans4 Tbsp. unsalted butter2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugarPinch of salt1/2 cup toasted coconutPrepare cupcakes according to directions.While cupcakes are baking prepare buttercream.In the bowl of an electric mixer beat butter, molasses, milk and vanilla until combined. Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Set aside.As cupcakes are cooling, place pecans on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in heated 350° oven for ten minutes. Remove from oven.In a medium saucepan combine butter, light brown sugar and salt. Heat over medium-high heat until butter and sugar are melted and bubbling, about 1 minute.Pour toasted pecans into sugar mixture and toss well to combine. Place pecans back on baking sheet and cool completely.Coarsely chop candied pecans and combine in a bowl with the toasted coconut.Ice cupcakes and cover with topping.

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Herb Roasted Carola Potatoes with Roasted Onion, Garlic & Bacon Dip

Updated 1 year ago

Herb Roasted Carola Potatoes with Roasted Onion, Garlic & Bacon DipPotatoes2 1/2 lbs. Carola potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges3 Tbsp. olive oil2 tsp. kosher salt1 Tbsp. Herbes de ProvenceDip1 medium onion, coarsely chopped6 cloves garlic, cleaned and coarsely chopped1 Tbsp. olive oil1/4 tsp. kosher salt1 cup sour cream1/4 cup mayonnaise1/2 tsp kosher salt1/4 tsp. coarse ground fresh black pepper1/2 tsp. lemon juice2 Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves4 strips fully cooked bacon, crumbledChopped chivesLine a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.Preheat oven to 425°.Place potato wedges in a large bowl and cover with hot tap water. Soak potatoes for 10 minutes. Meanwhile prepare onions and garlic for roasting.On a piece of aluminum foil place chopped onion and garlic. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Fold foil and wrap.Drain potatoes and dry off with paper towels. Place potatoes onto prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 Tbsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and herbs. Toss to coat evenly.Roast potatoes and onion/garlic for 25 minutes until potatoes are golden brown.Remove the onion/garlic from the foil and place in the bowl of a food processor. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.Place remaining dip ingredients (sour cream through parsley) into the food processor and process until smooth. Stir in crumbled bacon reserving some for garnish. Place dip into a serving bowl and garnish with remaining bacon crumbles and chives. Serve with hot potatoes.Recipe Courtesy: Cathy Speronis

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Spicy Sausage Dip

Updated 1 year ago

1 package Jimmy Dean Premium Pork Sausage Regular1 Tbsp. olive oil2 cans ROTEL Original Diced tomatoes & green chilies2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese, softenedHeat olive oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown well, stirring and breaking up sausage with spatula.When sausage is fully cooked add the two cans of ROTEL. Reduce heat to medium. Stir to combine and cook for 3 minutes.Add the 2 packages of cream cheese to the skillet. Stir until the cream cheese is fully incorporated and continue cooking until heated through.Turn into a serving bowl.Dip can be made ahead of time, stored in an oven-proof bowl and reheated covered at 350° for 10 – 15 minutes.Recipe Courtesy: Cathy Speronis

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Do you think Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak should leave office now, or wait until his term runs out?

Updated 4 years ago

Leave Now 53% (212 votes)Wait until end of term 8% (32 votes)I don’t care 39% (155 votes)


Molded Candies

Updated 1 year ago

Candy moldsCandy wafersSqueeze bottleMelt candy wafers in double boiler until well meltedPlace melted wafers in squeeze bottlePlace bottle in warm water to keep wafers melted make sure to wipe water off before you fill molds (water will make chocolate unable to harden)Pour melted wafers in mold and let harden and pop outRecipe Courtesy: Vicki Billings Rowle

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Popcorn Balls

Updated 1 year ago

12 cups of popped popcorn1 cup sugar½ teaspoon salt2/3 cup water2/3 cup light corn syrup½ cup butter1 teaspoon vinegar½ teaspoon vanillaPlace popcorn in very large bowl, In medium saucepan, combine remaining ingredients except vanilla.Cook uncovered stirring occasionally until soft-crack stage (270*F.)Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Slowly pour syrup over popcorn, tossing until coated. With buttered fingers, quickly shape into ballsMakes 16 ballsRecipe Courtesy: Vicki Billings Rowle

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Healthy Living: Winter Storm Preparedness

Updated 4 years ago

By- Dr. Amy MoviusWe are on the threshold of a major winter storm, one accompanied by frigid temperatures. Many people (hopefully most) will be hunkering down and riding the storm out at home. Essential workers and others will have to venture out. Everyone needs to be prepared to stay safe from hypothermia and frostbite. It is recommended that people stay off the roads if possible during a major winter storm. However, it is still important to be prepared for the possibility of power loss at home. The following lists necessities for such an event:1. Have a back up heat source such as a wood stove or generator.2. Emergency supplies to have on hand include extra blankets, flashlight, matches, first aid kit, manual can opener, show shovel and rock salt.3. Drinking water, nonperishable food, and medication to last a few days are essential.4. Dress in several layers and wrap in blankets to conserve heat.5. If you are worried your environment isn’t warm enough, go elsewhere (friends, neighbors, shelter) until your home is safe again.People who must venture out in their cars need to be especially careful. Anyone involved in a car accident or breakdown can be very susceptible to hypothermia/frostbite. If you must drive, first and foremost, go slowly and let someone know where you are going and what route you are taking. In addition, follow the guidelines below.1. Be sure your vehicle is in good working condition for storm driving. 2. Have emergency gear with you at all times. This includes a cell phone, flashlight, jumper cables, sand or kitty litter (for tire traction if needed), ice scraper, small shovel, blankets, warning devices such as flares.3. Extra warm clothing and hand warmers in your emergency supplies may also be useful.4. If you are taking a longer trip bring some drinking water, food, and any medication as well.5. IF YOU GET STUCK ON THE ROAD, place a flare in front and in back of your vehicle. While awaiting rescue, stay inside with a window slightly open for air circulation. Also, wrap yourself in blankets and run the heater for a few minutes each hour.Hypothermia occurs when the body temperature is abnormally low. It can happen to anyone though some people are more susceptible to it than others. The poor, elderly, those with substance abuse problems, and children are groups particularly at risk. Hypothermia can happen suddenly or more gradually, and is affected by how cold it is, how long a person is exposed to the cold, and each person’s general health. Hypothermia can kill. The first sign is often some confusion or sleepiness which might not be obvious. Slow/slurred speech can follow as well as excessive shivering or NO shivering at all. Hypothermic people will have slow and clumsy body movements. If you think someone is hypothermic, seek medical attention immediately. If this isn’t possible, move them to a warmer location, wrap them in blankets or lie close to them. Do not rub someone with frostbite or hypothermia – this will cause more damage.

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