Simple advice for a better life.

Why Hair Goes Gray

I often wondered why hair starts turning gray very early in life for some people, and yet for others, this process begins slowly much later in life.

So, when I found this article with some scientific explanations, I wanted to share it with all of you, so you also stop wondering and blaming other factors for turning your hair gray.

I am not a scientist or a doctor, so I really can’t comment here, but I bet my Pharm D.  children, and MD friends, might chime in with their opinion, which is sincerely encouraged and welcome.

Please read on, and share comments.

Why Hair Goes Gray

Study Blames a Chain Reaction That Makes Hair Bleach Itself from the Inside Out
By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Feb. 25, 2009 — Scientists may have figured out why hair turns gray, and their finding may open the door to new anti-graying strategies.

New research shows that hair turns gray as a result of a chemical chain reaction that causes hair to bleach itself from the inside out.

The process starts when there is a dip in levels of an enzyme called catalase. That catalase shortfall means that the hydrogen peroxide that naturally occurs in hair can’t be broken down. So hydrogen peroxide builds up in the hair, and because other enzymes that would repair hydrogen peroxide’s damage are also in short supply, the hair goes gray.

Putting the brakes on that chemical chain reaction “could have great implications in the hair graying scenario in humans,” write the researchers, who included Karin Schallreuter, a professor clinical and experimental dermatology at England’s University of Bradford.

The study appears online in The FASEB Journal; the FASEB is the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

A little reminder

Marriage has lots of meaning and symbolism, and everyone has his/her unique opinion and interpretation of it.  In addition to your own opinion of what is the definition of marriage, you can check out the secular meaning of marriage , or a Biblical definition of marriage .

Our immediate family celebrated three wedding anniversaries this year:  35th for my husband and I, 5th for our daughter and son-in-law, and 1st for our son and daughter-in-law.  Hence my thoughts about marriage…weddings…anniversaries.

Besides the above interpretations of marriage, here is my favorite take on the subject:  “Marriage is like a Rose Garden”, it looks beautiful and enticing from afar, but it requires lots of TLC to keep it up.  Just like a rose, it is sweet, exiting and beautiful, yet it has its share of thorns.  If you learn how to tend that garden together, you will enjoy the fruits of your labor.  This is not an easy task by any means, especially in today’s world where both spouses have their own professional responsibilities, in addition to their family life together.  It requires lots of understanding, support, and excellent communication skills.  Some people are able to work through their rough terrains, others give up easily, and then there are those with irreconcilable differences, which even professionals are unable to resolve successfully.

Someone forwarded me a link to a very nice article (click here) about this very strong minded wife who used a very unique approach to save her marriage, when her husband of many years, expressed his feelings for her:  “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did”. She was not ready or willing to accept his statement, or “throw in the towel” as one would say, but had her own idea of truly testing it out.

After I read this article, I was so amazed by her courage, her faith in her husband (since she obviously knew him better than he knew himself), and her determination, I was inspired to write this post to share her story with you. I think it was a big gamble on her part, but I guess she felt very confident about her decision, and at the end it worked out to their advantage.

This of course does not mean that it will work for everyone, or even would have worked out for her, had there been other variables involved in this scenario (infidelity, physical/mental abuse, etc).  I don’t think most of us could be this strong and patient, to implement such approach.  But if anyone knows their spouse this well, and feels it is only a phase they are going through, it would not hurt to give it a try.  After all, there will be nothing to lose, and perhaps everything to gain.

I would like to hear your comments.

Tomato Soup – Recipe

Tomato SoupWhat do you do with all those ripe tomatoes you have just picked off from your garden, or bought at a farmer’s market?  You can share them with your neighbors, if they don’t grow their own, and if you are certain that they like tomatoes and are not allergic to them.   If you decide to keep them, but you really do not want to spend lots of time in the kitchen, by making home made tomato sauce, you can turn them into a very fast and easy, yet very tasty tomato soup.

It really does not take much time, especially if you use ready made soup stock.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 8-10 medium/large tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs. fresh Basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken, or vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste (if needed for added color/flavor)
  • 1 Tbs. all purpose flour, or corn starch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. sugar (optional)
  • Dill weed, chopped (for garnish)
  • Maggie Seasoning (optional)


Directions:

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan, add chopped onions.
  2. Saute until golden, add chopped celery, and shredded carrot, and sauté 3 minutes longer.
  3. Heat the vegetable or chicken stock in a large pot, add the sauted vegetables to the stock.
  4. Add the cored, and quartered tomatoes, and bring to boil.
  5. Cook for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes and vegetables are tender.
  6. Pour through a sieve, and mash,the vegetables with a spoon, for few minutes , applying pressure against the bottom and sides of the sieve.
  7. Discard the remaining tomato skins and seeds left in the sieve.
  8. Mix the tomato paste with some of the soup stock and return to pot.
  9. Mix ½ of the heavy cream with 1 Tbs. of all purpose flour, into a smooth paste (no lumps).
  10. Mix in a couple of Tbs. of the soup stock into this mixture, mix in the remaining heavy cream.
  11. Pour into the soup pot, add a tsp. of sugar if the taste is too tangy, and bring to boil.
  12. Add chopped basil.

You may serve it plain, garnished with chopped dill weed, or with rice or pasta.  Sometimes I make my own pasta, when I miss my mom’s home cooking.

Tip: You can peel the tomatoes before adding to the soup stock, by making a small ‘X’ on the bottom, and dunking them in boiling hot water for 15-30 seconds. The skin should slip off easily (it really works….I tried it).  You will still need to pour the soup through a sieve to remove any seeds and other chunky vegetables, or puree it in a blender and pour through a sieve, then bring to boil once more.

If you like a thicker, more textured  soup, you need more tomatoes.  I like my tomato soup on a thinner side, since I serve it with pasta.  My mom used to make her own chicken broth by cooking chicken wings and backs, and used more heavy cream, which made the soup much higher in calories, but real delicious and creamy.

My Suburban Tomatoes

Big Boy tomatoes 2There still seems to be some controversy over a tomato; is it a fruit or a vegetable?  I will leave it up to you to decide, because I have a new issue with tomatoes.  One of my tomatoes grew a “spare” part, which looks like a nose, giving this tomato some character.  So I decided to dress it up a bit, and call it  “Mr. Tomato Head”, to accompany the ever famous “Potato Head”.

Here are my “before” and “after” pictures of this peculiar looking tomato.  Did you ever see anything like this?  Pretty strange, wouldn’t you agree?

Tomato head Tomato with a face

Well, besides this strange specimen of the fruit/vegetable, the other ones were quite normal.

Tomatoes

I love the taste and texture of homegrown tomatoes, so fresh and ripe, right off the vine, ready to eat….yum!  Tomatoes can be used in so many dishes, like sauces, soups, stews, sandwiches, salads, etc.

I enjoy making vegetarian canapés from a fresh slice of rye bread, spread with a thin layer of garlic butter, and layered with thin slices of a fresh tomato, fresh basil, salt and pepper. It makes such a light and refreshing snack or lunch.

This year I planted only 3 tomato plants, but they produced an abundance of tomatoes, and so many of them ripened at once, so I used them to make a homemade tomato soup.  If you ever had tomato soup made with fresh tomatoes, you will agree that it is simply delicious.

I will share my tomato soup recipe in my next post.

9/11 – 8th Anniversary Tribute

IMG_2123

It is believed that “TIME HEALS WOUNDS”, but does it really?  How much time will it take to heal our wounds of 9/11.  It has been  EIGHT years now,  but it seems like only yesterday, we all lived through the worst tragedy of the history of our free nation.

So many lives were destroyed, dreams shuttered, families profoundly hurt, all from cowardly, senseless act of terrorism.  Our peace and freedom was scarred deeply, and we will never forget that day of 9/11, which only made our nation stronger and even more united, to do everything in our power to prevent such tragedy from occurring on our land ever again.

My sincere sympathy and prayers pour out from my heart, to each and every person affected in anyway by the tragedy of 9/11.

Vichnaya Pamyat (Eternal Memory) to my 3rd cousin, Scott D. Bart, a young and very bright professional, who perished in the Twin Towers on that tragic day of 9/11.

This picture was taken at Flushing Cemetery in Queens, New York, on Memorial  Day, by the credited photographer.

When I found this picture, I thought it would be very appropriate for this post, since my cousin’s great-grandmother, who came to this country in search of the “American Dream”  in the early 1900′s, settled in Queens, New York,  and also was laid to rest at the Flushing Cemetery, along with her other family members.

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