E-spoons E-zine
September 2012

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Spring has sprung (in the southern hemisphere at least), but you might want to wait until summer before going for your annual check up. If your old brain needs a bit of a fix or you've got a monsterous ouch  that  just won't heal - you need a little vitamin BEE 12. Be sure to eat big bits of food in bee size portions and if you're a Mom struggling to get your little one to eat lettuce leaves , pour on the "right" dressing and get a little input from another flying B - Mr Batman. Maybe you can persuade batman to mow that lawn, as your gardens earns a few carbon credits  and  feeds those birds and bees. Remember, bees are sugar fiends, unfortunately their love of sugar is bringing them down, but it's not all bad news, our love of sugar is bringing down another summer enemy, the mosquito.

The E-spoons E-zine is a monthly compilation of stories appearing on 7 Big Spoons™ blog.  The stories are based on the latest science tit bits and will help you become a little healthier, wealthier and wiser by explaining the why.  As a friend of Spoonful of Science you have been included on our mailing list – should you wish to unsubscribe follow the link at the bottom of the E-zine.

Reading on line is exhausting so if you would prefer to read your copy of E-spoons in the loo -  download the pdf here.    

Make sure you have your “annual” check-up in the summer time
Sun sucking up cholesterolThe “annual” check-up .....

You know it will involve donating several vials of blood, a big bill and you’re worried it will be BAD NEWS.  

The BAD NEWS often sounds something like this....

“Well, everything seems normal, except your cholesterol level, it is a little high...., maybe you should consider going onto a statin.”

Before you jump on the statin band wagon, you need to consider the timing.

Cholesterol levels fluctuate

First things first, your cholesterol level is going to move up and down during the course of the day, the week, the month, the year.To get a good picture of where your cholesterol level is really at, your doctor should be looking at your fasting level.  This means that on the day of the blood test, you need to have rolled out of bed pretty early, skipped your usual breakfast and just inhaled the aroma of the coffee beans, en route  to the lab,  to meet up with the human blood sucker.  
Since rolling out of bed on a cold winter’s morning and forgoing the piping hot caffeine loaded beverage, is a huge challenge, you should aim to do your cholesterol test on a summer morning.     It will be easier on you and you’re more likely to “like” the result, because CHOLESTEROL LEVELS RISE IN THE WINTER.
Find out why spending time under the sun is important when it comes to that cholesterol number
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Are you suffering from high cholesterol

 High cholesterol is a sign of BAD BODY CHEMISTRY.  Need a little help improving your body chemistry  ?
 I conduct one-on-one health conversations in Gauteng area. 
Phone 083 262 5023 to book an appointment.

A bee fix for an aging brain
Bee in a rocking chairBees have very complex societies – for a worker bee, job assignment is based on age.   Young worker bees do domestic jobs, while mature worker bees, fly the coop in search of nectar.

Taking care of bee babies is a job that  is simple. (Baby bees don’t have temper tantrums and suffer from ADHD).  Nurse bees remain competent, as long as they remain on the job.  But just like human beings – being a baby sitter brings a little pocket money, but is a little short on adrenaline.

Bees want to “SEE” the world.  But being “promoted” to a forager, brings the bee face to face with THE REAL WORLD.

The daily commute to gather nectar, while avoiding the many environmental hazards, both natural and man made,  leaves the average worker bee OLD and TIRED. Wings are worn, bodies are hairless and brain’s are frazzled.  You can’t teach old bees new tricks - remembering what that new nectar stash smells like and how to get it,  becomes  increasingly  difficult. 
So living in the REAL WORLD is rewarding but aging – for both man and bee.
But can the aging be reversed ?
This is the million dollar question .......
A little trickery, by the scientific team, proved  bee brain’s can be rejuvenated. 
Read more about how bees manage to turn stop “father time” in his tracks – the trick might just help you too.
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Bee kisses beat fancy creams at healing nasty wounds
Bee kissing a woundYou’ve got a nasty wound.....   it is radiating heat and hurts like hell, you’re concerned it is going to leave you with a permanent reminder of the misadventure.  It needs some special attention......
The most cost effective strategy is not going to be one of those proprietary creams, promising the earth,  packaged in a tiny sterile tube, on the pharmacy shelf.
The cheapest wound healer is something you’ll find in a bottle, on the local supermarket shelf.  The sticky, rather tasty goo, known as honey, is the ultimate wound fixer.  The wound healing powers of honey are not just an old wives tale, science says it’s good for all sorts of abrasions and burns too.   Follow the link to learn more about the healing power of  bee kisses.
If you’ve got a BIG OUCH, a bee kiss is going to help it get better....
Apply the honey to your gash, twice a day,  by allowing a spoonful to trickle down,  spread it a little so the wound is completely bathed in the viscous fluid.  The sticky goo will envelope your ouch, sealing it off, in a sultary healing environment. Finally, to sidestep sticking to everything in the neighbourhood and to avoid attracting unwanted loving licks from your pooch or significant other.   A piece of dry gauze will be adequate to keep the special bee kiss in place.  
NOTE :  Honey is an especially good option for diabetics struggling with cuts and soars that just won’t heal, just make sure you don’t lick that spoon !  
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The vitamin B12 series
Meat delivering the vitamin B packagePart 1 - You need to eat meat NOT potatoes to get your vitamin B12 fix
Vitamin B12 is a precious commodity which always needs to be “attached “ – to something.  It starts out “attached” to protein in food, specifically animal protein.

Part 2 - Unlocking vitamin B12 from your dinner takes an acidic twist
It takes a dousing in acid, to pop the lock that keeps the precious vitamin B12 packaged attached to your dinner.  Only then can delivery proceed...

Part 3 - When Intrinsic Factor goes AWOL the vitamin B12 package is not delivered
The reason intrinsic factor fails to show up, is because “he” gets bullied by the immune system, to such an extent, that he dare not show his face.

NB.  Vitamin B12 insufficiency contributes to poor body chemistry.  If you’re a strict vegetarian,  suffer from an inflammatory disease  e.g. Crohn’s, celiac disease, SIBO  or are/have been taking a  proton pump inhibitor, metformin or epileptic medications for a period of time, you are at a higher risk of being vitamin B12 insufficient. 
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The secret to eating less is to serve up a little more
Ever tried to give a little money away to a three year old ?
It is never a costly experience, three year olds are interested in quantity.  The option to receive five one cent coins, is significantly superior to the option to receive a single ten cent coin.  A handful of coins brings lots and lots of smiles.
Unfortunately, a handful of coins fails to satisfy an older child, and by the time they hit adolescence, even a handful of notes, barely brings a smile.  Grown ups want quality.
Read how reseCutting food into bite size chunksarchers discovered that the human brain is never grows up when it comes to food,  more is always more valuable. 

  • Five chocolate chip cookies is better than two
  • Ten chips is better than one 
  • Two baked potatoes is better than one.
  • Six florets of broccoli, is better than two.....

 Don’t be ridiculous, there is a big difference between growing up and being psychotic.  Some brains manage to indulge in a bit more broccoli than others, this arises because of a genetic advantage or some clever culinary skills.  But reaching out for more broccoli, typically requires a VERY GROWN UP BRAIN.
So if your brain thinks 5 bits are better than one – use the knife and give it 5 bits.

  • Cut the sandwich into quarters, hey if you up to it, try eighths and make sure they’re all peanut butter sandwiches too.  
  • Break the chocolate up into individual squares, before starting on it. 
  • Give yourself, two skinny slices of pie, instead of one big piece.
Use a little psychology on yourself or your family, to battle the munchies.

 Return to Table of Contents

.Cucumber giving up the goodiesBattling the sugar gremlin
You need more than willpower to tame the sugar gremlin......   “Cheat the Fat Genes” programme will help you tame your sugar gremlin using biology, not psychology.
Drop me an e-mail drsandy@spoonfulofscience.com or phone 083 262 5023 to find out more

That salad is just lettuce leaves without the right dressing
You’ve ordered the salad, a REAL salad, because you’re weight watching, you decide to go with a low fat / no fat dressing.   A collection of lettuce leaves, healthy vegetables full of important nutrients, plus NO FAT – you can’t get more healthy than that !   WRONG.

Researchers from Purdue University suggest it’s time to rethink the idea of eating a salad without fat.

Make your calories pack a nutritional punch........... so oil that salad, it’s good for you.
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Batman can rescue your child from poor food choices
"Batman" deciding what to eatYou desperately want your kid to “eat right”.    On the home front, it is a little easier to control what junior shovels down - you just don’t buy pizza, popsicles or coke.  But the world beyond your home, is typically full of tantalizing  food choices, many of which, you would not really approve of.
Insisting on an apple, instead of apple strudel, is going to leave you exhausted and alienated, as you are branded with the label of being “the UNCOOLEST mother, EVER”.

The good news, there is another way to achieve your mission of “healthy food consumption”, without demanding compliance.  The secret to being the hero and not the villain, is to call in the help of your child’s favourite SUPERHERO. 
Find out how inviting a superhero to dinner caused kids to choose apples over French fries, even when their mother wasn’t anywhere in sight.It might not work everytime and on every child – but it is a psychological trick you might want to try out next time you sense a poor food choice on the horizon.
It makes a lot of sense to have Batman on your side...
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 Looking for a speaker for a function ?

Achey breaky joints

Is a FREE presentation which provides parents with tips and tools to help beat childhood obesity.
Drop me an e-mail at drsandy@spoonfulofscience.com to make a booking for this talk.

Could your suburban garden be eligible for carbon credits ?
Lawnmower in the carbon cycleThe greenie beanies encourage us 

  • to be carbon conscious and
  • to choose products and services that are carbon neutral, even when they cost a lot more in terms of dollars and cents,
  • big corporates no longer just trade in dollars, they’re trading in carbon too.   

Carbon counting is BIG BUSINESS.  And in this year of Sustainable Energy for All, socially and politically important too.

Ever wondered where your little patch of suburban garden fits into the GREEN scheme of things.....   Score your garden here.
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Be warned having a sweet tooth can bee a killer
Flower offering bees nectar for freeBees love shooo – gar.  Just like humans, bees are programmed to seek out sweet things, to charge up their batteries for day-to-day living.  Flowers know this and lure these busy little creatures into their “shop” so to speak, by serving up sugar loaded beverages with a hint of caffeine.
Day-to-day living is not preceeding smoothly in many bee hives around the world.  The official term for the problem is “colony collapse disorder”.  Scientists are struggling to understand exactly why the bees are in crisis.
Theories abound........ bugs, chemicals and poor nutrition, have all been implicated in this downfall of bee society.
Researchers from UC San Diego believe bee health may be on the decline, because the bees have developed a really sweet tooth, as a result of living in a chemical world.  Exposure to certain chemicals makes bees really hungry for nice things.
Bee beggingThe bees become extremely picky about what they will or won’t eat and the bee colony  starts running short of supplies.  The day-to-day things start to slip

  • the baby bees don’t get enough food to grow into big, strong, healthy worker bees,
  • the Queen Bee has to curtail her egg laying activities and
  • the ability to fight off infections, invaders and the likes is compromised.

 Culminating in the colony collapse.
The same thing is happening in humans – click here to learn more about what colony collapsing disorder and obesity have in common.
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Our sweet tooth is making mosquitoes sick which is not good news
Insulin wrestling a mosquitoWe already know, notwithstanding, it is somewhat begrudgingly, we act like the ATM for the average mosquito.   When the time is right, the female mosquito zooms around in search of a warm fleshy human, to make a substantial blood withdrawal from.  
She does have to dodge the security guards,  quick hands which can squish her, but for the most part, getting the goodies to create her next batch of eggs, is just a matter of finding a suitable ATM.  And there are lots of them.
The ATMs are paying out more than they used to and the mozzie’s are taking strain. 
Read more about how humans are making those pesky mosquitos sick and why this is not good news if you live in the tropics.
Return to Table of Contents

Other stories from the blog this month..............

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Thank you for taking the time to read the e-zine. I love hearing from readers, so drop me an e-mail to let me know which story you enjoyed the most,  did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective. 

 Did you catch this month’s Neurotechnology Tips  ?

Neurotechnology tips provides tit bits of science to  help you buzz up your brain performance.

Click here to have a Neurotechnology Tip delivered directly to you in box next week.

Neurotechnology thumbnails

Make you next loo break a brain breaks too To motivate your brain nibble on chocolate covered carrots Show some teeth if you want to be dressed for success

Next month we will  be encountering MAD COWS.  Look out for the October edition of E-spoons in your inbox on 3 October 2012 (the first Wednesday of the month). 
Yours scientifically
Dr Sandy

Phone :       +27 (0)11 452 2207
Cell :           083 262 5023

E-mail :       drsandy@spoonfulofscience.com

The cartoons were drawn by Guy Alain Ngangob – drop him an e-mail if you need a cartoon or two. If you want to access the science articles used to compile the newsletter, visit the relevant pages on the blog and follow the link.     
Copyright © 2011 by Sandra Evans.  YOU ARE WELCOME TO COPY the e-Zine's contents for use in your own  newsletter, company or club publication, BLOG or website.  Please give proper credit and a link back to http://www.7bigspoons.com.
Disclaimer : The e-zine is provided as a service.  Dr Sandy’s reports and opinions are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe.  For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.


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