Monthly Archives: February 2017

Weight Loss and Side Effects of CLA

Does Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have any bad side effects? Does it work for weight loss? CLA has been sold for many years as a fat loss supplement based on the weight loss and body composition (ie losing fat and gaining muscle) changes seen in studies using mice and rats. Does is work in humans? More recently research in humans has shown that it can be used to increase fat loss. In this article we'll look at some of the benefits of CLA as well as some of the potential side effects. In addition to weight loss studies there have been (and are currently) countless studies looking at the effects of this fatty acid on reducing inflammation, fighting cancer, and in the treatment of other conditions.

Ever since 2007, there has been an increase in use of CLA as a fat burner. This is due to the release of a meta-analysis (basically a review of several scientific studies) published in the May 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which concluded that 3.2g / d of CLA can induce moderate weight loss in humans. CLA is an attractive weight loss supplement and many people use conjugated linoleic acid as part of a fat loss supplement stack (ie a group of compounds and herbs taken together to maximize effects) because unlike many other weight loss supplements it is not a stimulant and you do not suffer the nasty side effects of getting the jitters, increased heart rate, or worse – increased blood pressure. This is especially as there are not many effective options for non-stimulant fat burners on the market.

Let's now look at two more studies that involve people taking supplemental CLA. The first study was again published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The researchers found that when people supplemented with 3.2 g / d of CLA (this is generally the recommended dosage for weight loss purposes) they burned more fat and more specifically they burned more fat when they slept!

This is true.

Not only did the subjects that took CLA burned more fat when they slept, the fat they burned was NOT fat they had recently eaten; it was actually stored body fat that they were burning. This study gets even better as the researchers reported that the individuals that took CLA had decreased urinary protein losses. In other words the CLA group had improved protein retention when they slept. These are really interesting findings. If I owned a supplement company that sold large dosages of CLA – my new headline would be "CLA – Scientifically Proven to Burn More Body Fat and Build Muscle while you SLEEP."

So CLA can work for weight loss but are there any side effects? Again in 2007, another study was published that looked at the effects of CLA on weight loss, this time in obese people. In this study, the participants were given CLA dosages of 0, 3.2, or 6.4 grams / day. At the end of the study the group that received the 6.4 g / d of CLA experienced a significant increase in a compound called C – reactive protein or CRP for short. C – reactive protein is a protein that is released from your liver. It is commonly used in the medical field as a general marker of the level of inflammation in your body – higher CRP means more inflammation.

While there was an increase in CRP, it was truly not clinically significant as CRP levels remained below what is considered normal (Normal CRP levels are 3mg / dL). It is also important to see realize that the people in the study that had increased CRP as a result of taking a CLA supplement were taking 2x the 'recommended' dose for weight loss and also that people that obese normally have higher CRP levels (this might have come into play here as well). The group that only took 3.2 grams per day did not have any increase in their CRP levels.
Based on the findings in the studies that I've mentioned above and the review of studies from article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is seems that 3.2 g / d of CLA can be safely taken to boost weight loss.

The next question that you should ask is …

What do you do with these findings? At the moment not a whole lot … CLA is a nice add-on to a fat loss program but "add-on" is the key word. CLA is perfect for nutrient stacking as combing these effects with a supplement like green tea extract (which has also been shown to boost weight loss), increased non-exercise physical activity, and multiple meals throughout the day will surely boost your fat loss. If you are not spot on with your nutrition, training with weights 3x per week, and doing 3 interval sessions per week then do not waste your time with CLA and focus on the more important things.

A Fancy Twist on Yellow Cake Mixes

Do you like fancy dessert cakes? Are you looking for a few simple recipes that you can make at home that taste just as good as a store bought cake? If so, I think you will enjoy these easy recipes.

Before we get to the recipes, I would like to share a few important baking tips with you.

Baking Tips:

1. Invest in a cake tester. You can pick up one for less than $ 6.00 at most kitchen stores.

2. Do not over bake! I remove mine from the oven 3-4 minutes before the recommended time. They will continue baking in the pan.

3. Do not grease and flour your baking pans unless the recipe calls for it.

4. Always let them cool before frosting.

Banana

2 small bananas
1 box of yellow cake mix
1 box of instant banana cream pudding mix
4 eggs
1 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. chopped nuts, optional

Slice bananas into a large mixing bowl. Beat until they are well mashed, then add in the remaining ingredients. Mix with a mixer at medium speed until all ingredients are blended together. Pour into a well greased and floured 10 "tube pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes, let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before removing. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar when cake is completely cooled.

Lemon

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box instant lemon pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 c. salad oil
1 c. water
1/4 c. confectioner's sugar

Combine and blend all of the above ingredients (except for the confectioner's sugar). Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into greased and floured baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then turn it out onto a wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Let cool and enjoy.

Strawberry Jello

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box strawberry flavored gelatin mix
1 pkg. dream whip

Follow directions on box and bake cake in a rectangular baking pan. Make gelatin according to directions on the package. Once it is done baking, poke holes all over it using a large pronged fork, then pour gelatin all over cake focusing on the holes. Put dream whip on top as icing. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Lemon-Lime Jello

1 box yellow cake mix
1 box lemon flavored gelatin mix
1 box lime flavored gelatin mix
1/3 c. reconstituted lemon juice
1 c. confectioner's sugar

Add gelatin granules to the dry cake mix. Proceed to mix cake, following the directions on the box. Pour batter into a 9 x 13 inch floured and greased baking pan. Bake according to package directions. Mix lemon juice and confectioner's sugar together. When it's done baking, prick the surface with a fork. Pour lemon and sugar glaze over the top of the cake. Let cool before serving.

Best Leather Conditioner – How To Choose The Best Conditioner For Your Leather Upholstery

It seems that as the years roll by, leather is becoming more widely used for upholstery covering than ever before. And a question that is frequently asked is , "Which is the best conditioner to use on my leather?"

After all, there as so many different leather conditioners available on the market, choosing the right product can be rather confusing, to say the least.

Unfortunately, most people do not realize, many of the available conditioners will, in fact, speed up the deterioration of your leather!

And that's what this article is about, helping you cut to the chase and find the best leather conditioner for your upholstery.

So, before you rush out and buy the first leather conditioner that catches your eye, here are 4 very important points you need to consider:

1: New Leather Contains Natural Oils

When leather is made in the tannery, natural oils are infused into the hides to maintain a certain level of moisture, and to reduce the friction between the fibres.

The natural oil content directly affects the leathers' pliability and softness.

Now, that's all very well with brand new leather but here's what happens when 'wear and tear' and direct sunlight get involved:

2: The Natural Oils Evaporate

Once exposed to direct sunlight, these natural oils evaporate, causing the moisture content to diminish, resulting in lost softness and pliability.

This is evident in leather car upholstery, especially the top of the rear seat which get 'hammered' by sunlight, day in and day out.

3: Leather Conditioner Should Replace Evaporated Oils

The best conditioner replaces the oils which have been lost through evaporation. Furthermore, these oils should be exactly the same used originally in manufacture.

You should also be aware that silicone, beeswax and petroleum-based products and even oils sold for saddles etc, will in fact, seriously harm your upholstery. Because what happens is, they leave an acidic residue on the surface of the leather which eats into the finish and eventually destroys it.

This brings me to my next point, which ensures you select a conditioner that will replenish your leather with the correct, natural leather oil.

4: The Best Leather Conditioners Should Pass Leather Testing Standards

There are a number of independent leather testing authorities used by tanneries, world-wide, ensuring that leather and leather products meet international standards. These standards are to help protect you, as a consumer, from dodgy products.

Many conditioners available on the market have never been tested. Others have been tested but have failed and are not recommended for consumer use.

So before you buy any leather conditioner, make sure it contains the exact same oils used in the tannery for new leather, and check it has been tested and approved by an independent leather testing authority.

How to Make Rosogulla or Rasagulla – Trade Secrets Shared Here

Making and enjoying, Rosogulla is such a nostalgic journey to the past and a great tribute to my childhood and growing up in a very special place; Asansol in West Bengal. The smell of the wet earthen pot holding the Rosogulla, straight from the sweat-meat shops is invigorating.

There's lot of mystery surrounding Rosogulla; regarding it's place of origin – West Bengal or Orissa. It is widely believed that in 1868, Nobin Chandra Das of Bagbazar, Kolkata, invented, and became instantly famous; who was later supported by his son KC Das. Eminent historian, J. Padhi has claimed that "the Rasgulla is more than 600 years old. It is as old as the Rath Yatra in Puri". Ratha Yatra is a huge Hindu festival associated with Lord Jagannath held at Puri in the state of Orissa, India during the months of June.

Another school of thought: During the Bengal renaissance; between the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the upper class Bengalis employed the Brahmin cooks from neighbouring Orissa, famed for there culinary skills. As a result many Oriya delicacies got incorporated into Bengali cuisine. It was this during this time Haradhan Maira, a confectioner of Phulia district, Orissa, transferred this knowledge to Kolkata (Calcutta). NC Das modified the original version to extend it's shelf life and was thus credited with 'Sponge Rosogulla'.

VARIATIONS: Ladikenis – Bhim Nag invented this deep-fried syrupy Ledikeni that was created for and named after Lady Canning (wife of the Governor-General of India, Lord Charles John Canning.) When she arrived in Calcutta with her husband in 1856, in the electric days before the Sepoy Mutiny.

Making Festive "Coloured" Rasgulla. The most common colours in use are Pink and Orange. To make coloured Rasgulla, do NOT add food colour to the milk. Add desired food colour while kneading the Cheese. Roshogulla stuffed with Cardamom, Raisins. Adding Rose water and Saffron. Rasagulla is the first cheese based sweet, and is a precursor to many other Bengali Sweets: Rasmalai, Pantua, Cham Cham, Sandesh to name a few.

Things You'll Need: To Make Chenna / Paneer (Cheese)

  • Organic Full Fat Milk – 1 litre
  • Plain Natural Yoghurt (1) – 200ml or
  • Lime Juice / White Vinegar – 2 tbsp

Yield – 260grams Chenna Divide into 12 equal portions

Sugar Syrup

  • Water – 300ml
  • Sugar – 200grams (add to taste)

Golden Touch Preparation: [Making Cheese – 1 hour 30 mins + 40 mins]

  1. Boil Milk in a deep bottomed, non-stick pan.
  2. Stir regularly with a wooden spatula to prevent Milk sticking to the bottom.
  3. Once boiled, lower heat; add Yogurt. In about 3-5 minutes, curdling starts, separating the Whey (2) from the Chenna / Panner / Cheese (3).
  4. Line a strainer with Cheese Cloth. Leave it there for 1 hour (4).
  5. Knead the Chenna for about 5 minutes, resulting in a smooth, soft dough.
  6. To test the readiness of the Chenna, rub a small amount of Chenna on your palms and make a small ball out of it. If the ball holds together in a smooth ball, it is ready. If not knead for another 5 minutes. If too dry and crumbly add a few drops of water (5).
  7. Just before you are about to make the balls, in a 24cm diameter, deep non-stick stock pot, add Water and Sugar and bring to boil on low flame. Stir occasionally.
  8. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Knead each ball tightly in your palm and roll into a smooth balls, without cracks. These small balls end up three times their size after cooking.
  9. Add the balls to the boiling syrup, carefully. Cover. Boil on full flame for 20-25 mins (6).
  10. Remove from flame. Allow to cool.

Golden Touch Service Serve chilled on it's own in the Sugar syrup or with Misti Doi (Sweetened Yoghurt).

NOTES:

1. Yogurt vs Lime Juice / Vinegar. This is my variation. All other recipes you'll find adding Lime Juice or White Vinegar to curdle Milk. Benefits of using Yoghurt; it does not leave the after taste of sourness and produces a greater yield of Chenna. Tried and tested method at Chacko's Kitchen.

2. Whey can be used for kneading Flour for Chappati, Roti, Naan instead of Water; also can be used to cook Lentils.

3. Caution: The Cheese become hard and rubbery if you continue to boil after this stage.

4. This is an important stage, and I would like you to take it seriously. You need NOT leave it for long, or press it down under weight, unlike when you make Paneer. Rosogulla requires moisture in it. In hotter climates, reduce this time to say 45 minutes.

5. The softness of Rasgulla depends on how well you knead the Paneer. The more you knead, the more spongier the Rasagulla be.

6. Do not add too many at the same time; as they need to expand and become spongy. Commercial Rasgulla is dipped in too thick sugar syrup, therefore when you make at home you can adjust the Sugar to your requirements.

The Importance of Food Safety in Our Lives

Safety in general is important for every individual. It is an issue that we take into account in different aspects of our life. For instance to ensure our personal protection, we buy stun guns that we can bring with us anywhere. Moreover, we wear seat belts to keep us safe while we are driving. More importantly, we ensure that the food we eat is safe. How the food is prepared is what we all consider. When we eat in restaurants, when we buy from a store and even when we cook our own food, we make sure that it is clean and safe to take in to replenish the needs of our body.

Food safety has become an issue of special importance for the retail food industry. There are many instances that food contamination can occur between the process of production and consumption. Food can be contaminated at the farm, ranch, and orchard or in the sea. Contamination of food can even occur while it is processed in large manufacturing companies and while it is delivered to different retailers. Finally, food can be contaminated during the last stages of production at retail establishments and by consumers in their homes.

Food safety is especially critical in retail food establishment because this may be the last opportunity to control and eliminate the hazards that might contaminate food and cause food borne illnesses. Even when bought from already inspected and certified sources, ingredients may be contaminated when they arrive at the food establishment. It is important to know how to handle these ingredients safely and how to prepare food in such a manner that reduces the risk of contaminated food being served.

Food borne illness happens and it adversely affects the health of millions of people every year. It is a sickness that some people experience when they eat contaminated food. It impairs performance and causes discomfort and body weakness like your being hit with streetwise stun guns. Food borne illness also has a major economic impact. It costs our society billions of dollars each year. These costs occur in the form of medical expenses, lost work and reduce productivity by victims of the illness, legal fees, punitive damages, increased insurance premiums, lost business and loss of reputation.

You may be asking yourself whether all the knowledge about food safety has something to do with you. The answer is definitely. Customer opinion surveys show that cleanliness and food quality are the top two reasons people use when choosing a place to eat and shop for food. Consumers expect their food to taste good and not make them sick. It is the responsibility of every food establishment owner, manager, and employee to prepare and serve safe and wholesome food and preserve their clients' confidence.

Food safety is utmost importance. Achieving clean food at your dining table is a joint cooperation starting from those who manufacture the food, delivers it to retailers, sells the food in the market, and lastly to the consumer who purchases the food, cooks and eats it. Through this, all people will be free from any food borne diseases.