Category Archives: Health

Easy and tasty 2-ingredient chocolate cake

I found this super-easy recipe for a two-ingredient, no-bake chocolate cake.

I tried it, and can testify to how easy it is, and how tasty and rich-chocolaty the cake is.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of chocolate chips. (I recommend dark chocolate, which is loaded with beneficial antioxidants. Better still, go for either semi-sweet or no sugar. Instead of sugar, which has zero nutritional value and is really, really bad for us, substitute with non-glucose, natural sweeteners like erythritol and stevia.)
  • 1½ cups pumpkin or banana puree. (I used no-sugar pumpkin puree, rich in fiber and beta-carotene.)

Instructions:

  • Grease or line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Microwave the chocolate chips at 1 minute intervals, stirring in between intervals until chips are melted and smooth. (It took me about 4-5 minutes.)
  • Stir in puree until combined.
  • Pour chocolate-puree batter into pan. Smooth top; tap bottom of pan to eliminate bubbles.
  • Refrigerate until set (30-60 minutes).
  • Top with berries or sprinkled powdered sugar.

Enjoy!

~E

 

Neuroscience explains why gratitude is good for our health

Today is Thanksgiving, a day that was founded as an explicitly Christian holiday to thank God for the many blessings He’s bestowed on America.

Have you noticed that what God counsels us to do is good for us?

Take gratitude as an example.

Being thankful benefits us in at least seven scientifically-proven ways:

(1) Gratitude is good for our physical healthGrateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health — they exercise more often and are more likely to get regular check-ups.

(2) Gratitude is good for our psychological health: Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, found that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.

(3) Gratitude reduces stress and makes us more resilient: For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma by making us more resilient:

  • A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – also fosters resilience, enabling you to better withstand trauma and stress. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the 9/11 attacks.

(4) Grateful people sleep better: Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed helps you sleep better and longer.

(5) Gratitude opens the door to friendship: Showing appreciation to other people can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.

(6) Gratitude improves self-esteem:

  • A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance.
  • Other studies have shown that gratitude makes us better able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments, and reduces the toxic social comparisons that makes us resentful toward people who seem to have more — money, beauty, better jobs, better health, more friends — than we have.

(7) Gratitude is good for society by enhancing empathy and reducing aggression: Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were sensitive and empathic toward other people; less vengeful; and less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback.

And now, we know how and why being thankful is good for us, from neuroscience.

Glenn Fox writes for Greater Good Magazine that “New research is exploring the brain regions linked to gratitude—and it helps explain gratitude’s many benefits”:

Gratitude is celebrated throughout philosophy and religion; recent scientific studies suggest it carries significant benefits for our mental and physical health. But very little is known about what actually happens in our brain and body when we experience it….

Since I’m a neuroscientist…I thought that understanding what happens in the brain when we feel gratitude could tell us more about the mind-body connection—namely, how feeling positive emotion can improve bodily functions….

[O]ur [research] results revealed that when participants reported those grateful feelings, their brains showed activity in a set of regions located in the medial pre-frontal cortex, an area in the frontal lobes of the brain where the two hemispheres meet. This area of the brain is associated with understanding other people’s perspectives, empathy, and feelings of relief. This is also an area of the brain that is massively connected to the systems in the body and brain that regulate emotion and support the process of stress relief.

The regions associated with gratitude are part of the neural networks that light up when we socialize and experience pleasure. These regions are also heavily connected to the parts of the brain that control basic emotion regulation, such as heart rate and arousal levels, and are associated with stress relief and thus pain reduction.

In other words, our data suggest that because gratitude relies on the brain networks associated with social bonding and stress relief, this may explain in part how grateful feelings lead to health benefits over time. Feeling grateful and recognizing help from others creates a more relaxed body state and allows the subsequent benefits of lowered stress to wash over us. (We recently published a scientific paper elaborating on these ideas.)

Perhaps even more encouraging, researcher Prathik Kini and colleagues at Indiana University performed a subsequent study examining how practicing gratitude can alter brain function in depressed individuals. They found evidence that gratitude may induce structural changes in the very same parts of the brain that we found active in our experiment. Such a result, in complement to our own, tells a story of how the mental practice of gratitude may even be able to change and re-wire the brain. (For more on Kini’s research, read this Greater Good article by his co-authors Joel Wong and Joshua Brown.)

To conclude, neuroscience shows that being thankful is good us by regulating heart rate, lowering stress, reducing pain, and combat depression by altering brain function.

God is good!

1 Thessalonians 5:18

In all circumstances, give thanks,
for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

~E

 

National Science Foundation is funding scientists to grow fruits & veggies containing vaccines

Our government is hellbent on getting us vaccinated, despite the facts that:

  • Being vaccinated or not is a matter of personal liberty.
  • The Covid vaccines have rapidly lost their effectiveness and, we are told, require a third booster shot and, therefore, fourth and fifth and … booster shots if the “pandemic” continues.

In the United States at least, in contrast to frighteningly-totalitarian ostensibly-democratic countries like Australia, freedom-loving Americans are resisting the vaccine mandate by refusing the vaccine even under threat of losing their jobs, suing businesses and state/federal governments, and the governors of some red states refusing to comply with the CDC and the federal government.

So the federal government, in the guise of the National Science Foundation, is now resorting to DECEPTION to get us vaccinated by funding a group of unscrupulous scientists with $1.6 million of taxpayers dollars to genetically modify fruits and vegetables to contain hidden mRNA vaccines!

The diabolical research is a collaboration of scientists from U.C. Riverside (UCR), U.C. San Diego and Carnegie Mellon University. Leading the research is Juan Pablo Giraldo, an associate professor in UCR’s Department of Botany and Plant Sciences.

A Sept. 16, 2021 press release, “Grow and eat your own vaccines,” from U.C. Riverside crows:

The future of vaccines may look more like eating a salad than getting a shot in the arm. UC Riverside scientists are studying whether they can turn edible plants like lettuce into mRNA vaccine factories….

One of the challenges with this new technology is that it must be kept cold to maintain stability during transport and storage. If this new project is successful, plant-based mRNA vaccines — which can be eaten — could overcome this challenge with the ability to be stored at room temperature.

The key to making this work are chloroplasts — small organs in plant cells that convert sunlight into energy (sugar and other molecules) the plant uses to grow. Past research by Giraldo’s laboratory shows that using nanotechnology, the chloroplasts can be manipulated to “express” genes that aren’t naturally part of the plant by sending foreign genetic material into plant cells inside a protective casing.

The new NSF-funded research will use the same nanotechnology, developed  by UC San Diego scientist Nicole Steinmetz, to deliver vaccines into the chloroplasts.

The press release quotes lead scientist Giraldo:

“Ideally, a single plant would produce enough mRNA to vaccinate a single person. We are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens. Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it.  I’m very excited about all of this research. I think it could have a huge impact on peoples’ lives.”

H/t Greenworxx

~E

 

Monday night funnies!

~E

 

Watch Pfizer CEO’s weird neck when asked about serious side-effects of Covid vaccine

On August 23, 2021, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, a veterinarian (!) who got his Ph.D. from a Greek university’s veterinary school, was asked by NBC’s Lester Holt if the pharmaceutical giant’s Covid-19 vaccine has “serious side effects”. This is his nonverbal reaction:

https://www.youtube.com/shorts/XqOIljz2zkg

WTF!

Have you seen a neck that bulges and changes shape like Bourla’s?

Here is the full interview (weird neck 1:16 to 1:20 mark):

Meanwhile, Pfizer scientist Kathrin Jansen, Head of Vaccine Research and Development, admitted the pharmaceutical did not test its Covid vaccine on human subjects!

From “Pfizer Admitted its Vaccine Does NOT Prevent Covid Infection,” Alliance for Human Research Protection, Jan. 14, 2021:

Public health officials have said over and over that they do not know if the vaccines prevent spread. Pfizer’s lead representative to the FDA VRBPAC meeting, Kathrin Jansen, PhD, said that Pfizer did not test human subjects to see if those vaccinated could get and spread the infection.

But Jansen admitted that Pfizer DID test primates–and found that vaccinated monkeys did get Covid infections despite being vaccinated.  Their duration of infection was shorter than in the unvaccinated monkeys.

To top it off, according to former Pfizer VP Dr. Michael Yeadon, a British pharmacologist who has repeatedly sounded warnings about the side-effects of Covid vaccines, said there is no need for the Covid vaccines!

LifeSiteNews reports on Nov. 23, 2020, that Dr. Yeadon, “a former Vice President and Chief Scientist for the company has flatly rejected the need for any vaccines to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.” Yeadon had “spent over 30 years leading new [allergy and respiratory] medicines research in some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies,” and retired from Pfizer with “the most senior research position in this field.” 

In a recent article, Dr. Yeadon wrote:

There is absolutely no need for vaccines to extinguish the pandemic. I’ve never heard such nonsense talked about vaccines. You do not vaccinate people who aren’t at risk from a disease. You also don’t set about planning to vaccinate millions of fit and healthy people with a vaccine that hasn’t been extensively tested on human subjects.

~E

 

Update on DCG’s dad: Slow recovery yet doing good!

DCG’s dad checking out the scope on the .30-06 rifle.

It’s been about a month since I posted an update on my father so thought I’d give another update.

After recovering from the Wuhan virus, a bacterial infection and vascular surgery, dad is doing pretty good!

He’s still in a skilled nursing facility, receiving daily “complex” wound care treatment (due to vascular issue in his foot) and doing daily physical therapy to improve his mobility (which was impacted by said vascular issue).

He sounds like himself again when I call him and has gained a few pounds, so that is good because he was super skinny.

We’re taking it day-by-day right now and are happy he’s receiving such good care in the skilled nursing facility!

DCG

 

Sunday Devotional: Be joyful, always

Psalm 126:2-3

Then our mouths were filled with laughter;
our tongues sang for joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The LORD had done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
Oh, how happy we [a]re!

St. Paul counsels us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

Always be joyful.
Always keep on praying.
No matter what happens, always be thankful,
for this is God’s will for you
who belong to Christ Jesus.

The dictionary defines “joy” as “a state of happiness or felicity.

Joy is different from happiness in that happiness is a fleeting emotion, but joy is a”state” — the condition of a person — of happiness. As someone once said, “Joy is not a season, it’s a way of living.”

Joy consists of at least two components: gratitude and optimism.

While it is sadly true that the political, economic, social and cultural circumstances in America are worsening by the day, we still have much to be grateful for.

Being grateful actually benefits us in at least seven scientifically-proven ways:

(1) Gratitude is good for our physical health:

Grateful people experience fewer aches and pains and they report feeling healthier than other people, according to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences. Grateful people are also more likely to take care of their health — they exercise more often and are more likely to get regular check-ups.

(2) Gratitude is good for our psychological health:

Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, found that gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression.

(3) Gratitude reduces stress and makes us more resilient:

For years, research has shown gratitude not only reduces stress, but it may also play a major role in overcoming trauma by making us more resilient:

  • A 2006 study published in Behavior Research and Therapy found that Vietnam War veterans with higher levels of gratitude experienced lower rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Recognizing all you have to be thankful for – even during the worst times of your life – also fosters resilience, enabling you to better withstand trauma and stress. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that gratitude was a major contributor to resilience following the 9/11 attacks.

(4) Grateful people sleep better:

Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed helps you sleep better and longer.

(5) Gratitude opens the door to friendship

Showing appreciation to other people can help you win new friends, according to a 2014 study published in Emotion. The study found that thanking a new acquaintance makes them more likely to seek an ongoing relationship.

(6) Gratitude improves self-esteem:

  • A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athletes’ self-esteem, which is an essential component to optimal performance.
  • Other studies have shown that gratitude makes us better able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments, and reduces the toxic social comparisons that makes us resentful toward people who seem to have more — money, beauty, better jobs, better health, more friends — than we have.

(7) Gratitude is good for society by enhancing empathy and reducing aggression:

Grateful people are more likely to behave in a pro-social manner according to a 2012 study by the University of Kentucky. Study participants who ranked higher on gratitude scales were sensitive and empathic toward other people; less vengeful; and less likely to retaliate against others, even when given negative feedback.

The dictionary defines “optimism” as “a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome” and “the belief that good ultimately predominates over evil in the world.”

Like gratitude, there is ample scientific evidence that optimism is good for our health in myriad ways (source: Harvard Medical School):

  1. Heart: Pessimists are more than twice as likely to develop heart disease than optimists, even after taking other risk factors into account. Among those who had undergone cardiac surgery, pessimists were three times more likely than optimists to have heart attacks or require repeat angioplasties or bypass operations.
  2. Blood pressure: Optimists have lower blood pressures than pessimists. On average, the people with the most positive emotions have the lowest blood pressures. Pessimists are three times more likely to develop hypertension than optimists, even after other risk factors are taken into account.
  3. Viral infections: Optimists are less likely to develop viral symptoms than pessimists.
  4. Overall health: Over a 30-year period, optimism was linked to a better outcome on eight measures of physical and mental function and health.
  5. Longevity: Since healthy people live longer than sick people, and since optimism improves health, it should also boost longevity — and according to two studies from the U.S. and two from the Netherlands, it does.

All of which goes to show that God, being a loving God, His injunction to us to be joyful is for our own good!

And may the joy, peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~E

See also “Religious Americans are only group whose mental health improved during coronavirus pandemic“.

 

Questions raised by fully-vaccinated Colin Powell’s death from COVID-19

No doubt, you heard and saw the news that Colin Powell, 84, the anti-Trump Republican, had died from “complications” from COVID-19.

What the news headlines omitted, however, is that Powell was fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The source of the news is Powell’s Facebook page. His family posted this announcement yesterday, October 18, at 4:48 AM (red emphasis supplied):

General Colin L. Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, passed. away this morning due to complications from Covid 19. He was fully vaccinated. We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment. We have lost a remarkable and loving husband, father, grandfather and a great American.
The Powell Family

CNN was quick to defend the vaccine, insisting that Powell’s immune system was impaired by his multiple myeloma blood cancer, which “made it difficult to fight the virus.”

But weren’t we told that the elderly (65 and over) and those with co-morbidities (like cancer) are precisely the people who really should get Covid-vaccinated? 84-year-old Powell, with blood cancer, was among just those groups whom the government urges to get vaxxed.

It must be asked: So what’s the point of getting the Covid vaccine?

The facts are that:

(1) Lockdown Singapore had months of near-zero cases of Covid. But after 85% of its population got vaxxed, new confirmed cases of Covid dramatically increased (NYT).

(2) Israel, having one of the highest Covid vaccination rates in the world with 78% of people 12 years and over fully vaxxed by August 2021, also is seeing a dramatic spike in Covid cases. Moreover, 60% of hospitalised cases are vaccinated. The Guardian takes pain to state that paradoxically, “This is something called the ‘paradox of vaccination’ – in highly vaccinated populations, most cases will be in the vaccinated because no vaccine is 100% protective,” and that “the rate of serious cases in Israel is double for unvaccinated under-60s and nine times higher for unvaccinated over-60s, so vaccines remain highly protective against severe outcomes.”

But is that true?

(3) In Vermont, Covid is rising faster among the vaxxed than among the unvaxxed (Vermont Daily Chronicle):

Meanwhile, questions concerning the safety of the Covid pseudo-vaccines continue:

(1) A recent study, published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), found that some 35,000 British women experienced menstrual irregularities (late periods, heavy and breakthrough bleeding) after their vaccination against Covid. (The Telegraph) I am not aware of any flu vaccines that have/had these effects on a woman’s menstruation. One wonders what other effects the Covid vaccines wreak on our bodies — effects that don’t yet manifest themselves in visible symptoms like heavy menstrual bleeding.

(2) Countless (because no institution or individual is keeping track, which means we are left with anecdotal accounts) vaxxed people died or became very ill:

  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid whistleblowers say 48,465 Medicare patients had died within 14 days after being Covid-vaccinated. (LifeSiteNews)
  • According to data released on October 8, 2021 by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is co-managed by the CDC and FDA, 16,766 people had died after getting the Covid vaccine. (National Vaccine Information Center)
  • A recent example of a death after being vaxxed is an otherwise healthy, with no underlying conditions, 37-year-old mom in Washington State who died due to blood clotting complications following a COVID-19 vaccine. She left behind her husband and two daughters, ages 3 and 5. Her family states in her obituary that she “had been vehemently opposed to taking the vaccine, knowing she was in good health and of a young age and thus not at risk for serious illness. In her mind, the known and unknown risks of the unproven vaccine were more of a threat.” But she relented because of the government’s vaccine mandate. (The Blaze)
  • Then there is this data from the federal government’s CDC, showing an alarming spike in both Covid vaccinations and deaths from “abnormal” causes:

Meanwhile, the scapegoating and persecution of the unvaxxed continue:

  • Joe Biden, on October 8, falsely claimed that individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 “cannot spread” the virus to others, which means that Biden implied that the unvaccinated are spreading the virus. CDC Director Anthony Fauci had the gall to say that the flood of illegal migrants into the U.S. are “absolutely not” responsible for the spread of Covid even though they’re not being quarantined and are being seeded into the country by the tens of thousands a month. Fauci must think we’re stupid.
  • People are being fired from their jobs for declining the vaccine:
    • In New York, thousands of nurses and other health care workers across the state have lost their jobs or been suspended because they refuse to comply with the state’s mandate to get vaccinated.
    • United Airlines, the first U.S. carrier to mandate vaccines for all domestic employees, required all employees to be vaccinated by Sept. 27 or they would be terminated by Oct. 2.
    • The U.S. Navy threatens all active-duty personnel that if they don’t get a COVID-19 vaccine by an upcoming deadline, they’ll be discharged—with possible financial penalities as well.
  • In Italy, the government passed a decree ordering companies in both the private and public sectors to withhold pay from workers who refuse to take the vaccine.
  • Most egregiously, some hospitals and doctors are refusing to provide medical treatment to the unvaxxed, such as the University of Colorado Hospital rejecting a woman for a life-saving kidney transplant after she refused to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The data and incidents cited in this post are just some reports I’d collected. There are plenty more cases and examples.

~E

 

Thursday Funnies!

~E

 

Update on DCG’s dad: On the road to recovery!

After over two weeks of being in the hospital recovering from COVID, a bacterial infection and vascular issue, my father is finally in a skilled nursing facility to receive rehabilitation.

He recovered quite well from the Wuhan virus. It was the bacterial infection (which developed into sepsis) and the vascular issue that almost knocked him out. The vascular issue was so urgent the surgery was performed while he still had a bacterial infection.

Yet my father is now on the road to recovery! He’s in a skilled nursing facility and is already eating much better and receiving the physical and occupational therapy he’ll need to recover. They’ve already got him walking on a treadmill several times a day to help him regain his strength in his legs (where his vascular issue was a concern).

Thank you all so much for your prayers and kind words during this difficult time.  I truly appreciate all your support!

DCG