FDA Issues New Warning About The Dangers Of Consuming Raw Cookie Dough


(PCM) Those of us who are big fans of taking a few licks of the spoon when making some delicious chocolate chip cookies may want to think twice as the FDA has issued a new warning about the potential dangers from consuming raw cookie dough.

The FDA claims that in addition to any type of raw cookie dough, you should not consume any type of raw batter at all. This is due to the continued outbreak of illnesses that are linked to a particular strain of E.coli that was discovered to be present in flour that has since been recalled.  The FDA goes on to warn that children should not be given any type of raw dough to play with as well, this goes for certain restaurants as well, that would often give children some raw pizza dough to play with while waiting for their food.

The source of the E.coli was discovered in flour which was recalled by General Mills last month and it affected nearly 10 million packages. The outbreak occurred at General Mills facility in Kansas City, MO and the company says a sample of the recalled flour tested positive for the E. coli strain.

Many people infected by the E.coli bacteria can suffer bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Kidney failure is also possible, but not common. At least 10 people have been hospitalized due to the outbreak, however thus far no deaths have been reported. The FDA advises that anyone handling raw dough or flour should immediately wash their hands and anything else the dough or flour may have come in contact. E. coli bacteria can be killed once food is baked, boiled or otherwise heated during preparation.

Prior to the E.coli scare, individuals were warned not to consume raw cookie dough over fear of salmonella poisoning due to the raw eggs present in the batter. It now poses an even more dangerous risk. If you simply must have a taste of raw cookie dough, try ice cream that contains chunks of cookie dough, as those have been made with treated flour and pasteurized eggs.

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Could This Video Really Be The Most Satisfying In The Entire World?


(PCM) YouTube user Thunder has complied what many are claiming is the most satisfying collection of video clips collected from the interwebs. Taking a brief ten minutes out of your busy day to just relax and zone out while watching things such as birds flying in perfect formation, a large crepe being spun, glass being blown with pristine attention to detail and of course brand-new crisp paper money before it has been cut is certainly worth the effort.

We must admit that the video is oddly satisfying and we were thrilled to learn that Thunder has created more than one of these amazing video compilation!  Definitely be sure to check out their channel and veg out to other ridiculously satisfying video compilation videos!

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Bargain Perfume: Do You Get What You Pay For?


(PCM) If you have ever been shopping either online or in your local drugstore, you have probably seen knock-off versions of various designer perfumes being sold at some outrageously low prices and thought about whether or not these fragrances could possibly be authentic.  Unfortunately, according to a new report and sting operation, these knock-off fragrances are not only fake, but can contain some possibly deadly substance, so buyer beware!

Five men have been arrested in New York by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for selling counterfeit designer perfumes made with ingredients such as, antifreeze and urine across at the minimum seven states in the U.S. and the list continues to grow. The arrests occurred as a part of a lengthy two-year investigation appropriately titled “Operation Bad Odor”, where authorities monitored counterfeit make-up and fragrances. The fragrances and their faux designer packaging were shipped in from overseas in China and then resold online and in several stores throughout the U.S.

Not only did the fragrances contain dangerous chemicals such as antifreeze many also contained additional flammable and unpleasant chemicals that often times burn when applied to the skin. If convicted the five men could be facing anywhere for 10 to 30 years in jail for their crimes. In order to keep yourself safe, please be aware of what you are buying and be sure to purchase all beauty and fragrance products from a reputable retailer. It is definitely worth spending a few extra bucks, especially where your health and safety is concerned. Steer clear of discount stores and shady online retailers.


The post Bargain Perfume: Do You Get What You Pay For? also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Demanding Bride Makes An Outrageous Request Of Her Bridesmaids


(PCM) We have all heard stories about women who quite literally turn into Bridezilla in the months leading up to their wedding day, however one particularly narcissistic Bridezilla is taking things too far and has requested that a member of her bridal party significantly alter their appearance, so as not to take any attention away from her on the big day.

The bridesmaid has shared her story via Reddit and explains how the bride, Ella, decided that all of her bridesmaids must adhere to a very strict dress code and that includes the color of their hair, as red hair is apparently a big no-no!

The bridesmaid wrote the following:

 So I’ve known my friend, who I’ll refer to as Ella, since I was a child as she’s the daughter of family friends but we’ve only become close in the past 2 or 3 years. She recently became engaged, and I readily accepted her offer to be part of her bridal party. Yesterday morning I received an email from Ella. It seemed pretty standard but then when she got into the look she wants for her bridesmaids she wrote “Bridehairthrowaway, you’ll need to dye your hair for the day, I’ll take you to my hairdresser and cover the cost :)”. This had never been mentioned to me. I’m a natural ginger, so it’s not like I have an outrageous hair colour, although Ella and her other bridesmaids are all brunettes. I texted Ella about it, she told me my hair would clash with the wedding colours and that brides get a veto over pretty much every aspect of her bridesmaids’ appearances. She also mentioned my hair is quite “attention-grabbing” and I’d take away from the cohesiveness of the group. I told her I wasn’t comfortable dying my hair. She said she’d get back to me but hoped I’d reconsider.

Am I being reasonable here? I’ve never been involved in a wedding before so I’m not quite sure what’s expected of me. I’ve gotten some messages from the other bridesmaids who are telling me I should just do it.

TL;DR; requested by bride to dye my natural hair to make the bridal party more cohesive. I don’t want.

Immediately people began to come to the defense of the bridesmaid telling her that there is no way she should give in to such a ridiculous demand and of course should not be forced into doing something that she doesn’t feel comfortable with, such as dying her hair.

We could see, perhaps if her hair were some outrageous color like a bright blue, green or orange, but a natural redhead?  Seriously, this bride needs to get over herself!  What do you think? Did Bridezilla go to far or should the bridesmaid dye her hair for the day?

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My Journey To Health, Food Withdrawal

MountainIn My journey to health food withdrawal was not something I considered to be something that would have to be factored into the equation.  The last few weeks however showed me that not only was it a factor, it was a big factor.

The last 6 weeks have been a considerably rough patch for me.  I first developed a viral infection that knocked me down for several days.  This infection ran in cycles; first I would get a really bad sinus headache the next day it would jump to my throat and the following day my stomach would begin to burn.  This was the cycle.  It would run through the three stages and then start again.  I may have gotten a day with nothing at all but it wouldn’t last.  I was given three different antibiotics but none of them did any good.  Two symptoms, however, stayed with me the whole time and that was chills and a fever.  I could heap myself over with blankets and I could not get warm.

This went on for about three weeks.  At the end of that time the cycle disappeared but the fever and chills remained.  It was also at about this time that I started my quest towards being vegetarian and then making it to vegan.  The chills and fever simply would not go away.  Eventually my family doctor sent me to my cardiologist, but the cardiologist found nothing wrong with my heart.  The chills and fever continued.  It was just a few days ago that we both realized I was going through a type of withdrawal.  Not from drugs but from food.

I hated soda when I was a kid.  I just didn’t like the fizzy part.  I would drink it occasionally but I preferred juice or lemonade, chocolate milk was good too and as I got older I loved plain milk.  In recent years, that changed and I began a love affair with coca cola.  I wanted it a lot and drank it about five or six times a week.  Not every day, I still liked juice, but pretty often I was having my coke.  I also liked fast food, I think I said before that when I gave up sugar it did not mean had given up any fast food place you can name.  If I worked at McDonald’s I guarantee you I would not be able to fit through a door.  So there was coke and there were hamburgers and there was pizza and fried chicken.  Fast food is cheap and easy, but it can kill you.  It was these foods that I had withdrawal from.  (I forgot ti mention tacos)

Now if you asked me was it a physical withdrawal or an emotional withdrawal?  I would be unable to answer that.  I suspect it was an emotional withdrawal that had all too real physical effects.  I ate McDonald’s when I got stressed, with no McDonald’s I had no stress relief.  I developed a rash that is called neurotic dermatitis.  That means in rare case when people get stressed they develop a rash and there is nothing that can be done about it.  I talked to my psychologist and we came to the conclusion that I had to ride through these physical and emotional oddities there was simple no way around.

That I think is the hardest part of living in the world we live in today.  There is no easy way around anything, but we expect there to be one and when it is not there we are angry.  We expect instant solutions to problems that took years to develop.  We feel we are owed that and if it can’t be fixed it must not be a real problem.  I heard recently that fat people, like me, feel as though they shouldn’t be blamed for their weight.  In some rare cases this can be true, but most of us know that we mad ourselves the size that we are and no one can fix the problem but ourselves.  In the work that is needed to be done there is pain both emotional and physical.  There are tears that will be shed, body parts that will hurt and if you have become emotionally attached to food, withdrawal symptoms that will have to be born.  There is no easy way out, only the hard way through.

My withdrawal symptoms did include tears.  I was and am highly stressed and emotional.  I can start yelling at anyone very easily.  I cry because I can’t have cake when I want it, and even though I now know that there are 9 teaspoons of sugar in a can of coke, I still crave it.  (I thought there would be less sugar in a coke Icee, but I was wrong, there’s more)  I am still getting chills and fever but for the moment the rashes have subsided.  When I start to study about healthy food, I cry because I want my old ways.  I think it is a type of mourning.  I bought a scale from Amazon.  When I was at the cardiologist I was 398 pounds.  In the last three weeks I have dropped ten pounds.  The scale said 388 yesterday.

I have found that I do not need sugar like I used to.  In the past it would take three teaspoons of sugar to sweeten ten ounces of coffee or tea, I am now finding that one is becoming too much.  I haven’t been to McDonald’s in awhile and I am not missing it as much as I thought I would, and whole foods are becoming much more appealing to me than fast foods.

In the middle of The Sound of Music Mother Superior tells Maria that she cannot hide from her problems that she has to face them.  She then sings “Climb Every Mountain.”  Our job is to face our problem and work through them.  We must face each obstacle as it comes up and conqueror it.  We may not win the first battle, but we will win if we choose to keep fighting.

I don’t know where you are now, but I challenge you to climb your mountain.  Whether it is as big as Everest, or any of the smaller ones, climb it.  Fight your fight and find your dream, it is worth the effort.

The other night on my dinner plate was an Ezekiel Pita bread topped with a Portobello mushroom that I had cooked in some butter with a lot of garlic.  In the mushroom was roasted cauliflower and it was topped with a sugar free tomato sauce.  It looked beautiful and it tasted really good.  A month ago I would not have considered eating that.  Now it is a wonderful meal. I’ve changed but I couldn’t go around I had to go through.  I have to climb my mountains.

The post My Journey To Health, Food Withdrawal also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

My Journey To Health, The Habits of Hobbits

ahobbitThe first question to answer is “What do the habits of hobbits have to do with getting to good health?”  The answer is simple.  Everything!

Those of you who read this column regularly know that I find great inspiration from fiction.  And there is much that can learned from hobbits if we consider a few facts, expand on them and use a bit of imagination.

What do we know about hobbits off the tops of our heads.  Well, they are a small people.  They enjoy six meals a day and they have very tough and hairy feet which allows them to go shoe-less.  We know they bake as bread is mentioned in The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.  Seed cake is also mentioned in The Hobbit as Bilbo’s home is invaded by dwarves and Bilbo wonders about the provisions in his larder.  We know they drink both wine and beer.   We know that they enjoy bacon eggs, apples, strawberries and cream and other simple food.  We know that Bilbo liked to walk.  He even had maps of the shire where he had marked his favorite places to stroll.  Bilbo even wrote a walking song.

So what can be inferred from the above facts.  The Hobbit society was agricultural in nature.  We know they kept chickens, pigs and cattle.  We know they grew apples and strawberries raspberries, lettuce, grapes and coffee beans at the very least.  We also know they grew tobacco but it seemed they used it responsibly.  They must have grown grain as there was bread and cake and you need hops to brew beer.

What can be pulled from these facts that can help with our health.  Let’s start with six meals a day.  Eating six times a day is a healthy habit to get into.  These meals should not be meals that are indulgent in fact I would bet indulgent meals of any kind were not a daily experience in The Shire.  The six meals were mostly rustic healthy whole foods.  Breakfast may have been Bacon and eggs, but second breakfast was more like a snack and may have been whole grain bread and butter and maybe some tea.  Eleveses may have been some cheese and fruit,as the hobbits by that time were more than likely in the fields working by then and would be carrying their food with them.

Lunch could have consisted of a sit-down meal or again something carried into the fields or pastures.  Whole grain breads maybe a little meat or a small meat pie.  We know Tolkien loved rural England and lunch was often pies in rural England one savory and one sweet.  So meat and vegetables in one and fruit in the other.

Tea would be taken at home in the latter part of the afternoon.  We know that hobbits liked 6 meals a day but Tolkien stipulated that with “when they could get them.”  Tea may have been tea, bread and butter, small cakes and maybe small sandwiches.  The richer the hobbit family the grander the tea.  Supper we know was a hearty meal that the whole household sat down together to eat.  We find this to be true when Frodo Sam Merry and Pippin all sit down at Farmer Maggot’s table.  We even know the menu, or at least some of it.  There was beer, bacon, mushrooms and other solid farm fair.  There must have been a bit of meat as the dogs “layed by the fire and gnawed rinds (cheese) and cracked bones.

I don’t think that meat played a large part in a hobbit diet.  First hobbits were small and bringing down a cow for beef would have taken a lot of work and many hobbits to do it.  Mutton and lamb?  Possibly but again these animals would be used for other purposes.  The hobbits would need wool for clothing and so killing the animals for food would take a way a continued source of making fabric so my guess is there was a small amount of meat per meal and none at all at some.  Maybe a four ounce portion an many dietitians suggest.

We know that there were vegetables and potatoes and turnips cabbages and carrots too.  We are also aware id the hobbits deep love for mushrooms and the films suggest tomatoes.  Bread was a staple food, as it is in almost all cultures, but not white bread.  These would have been whole grain rustic loaves, loaded with flavor and nutrition.  Apples, for sure, as well as strawberries a hobbits diet was bright and colorful.  Not completely vegetarian but much more so than what we consume with the large amounts of meat we make a habit of eating.

The hobbits exercised because in an agricultural society the exercise was built in to the day.  Planting, weeding and harvesting was all physical work as was milling grain into flour.  Tending sheep and cattle was also physical as the animals would be moved from place to place in order to graze.  Shepherds and herders had much to do.  And there is no doubt that all of the hobbit food was organic, could you imagine Sam using a pesticide?

We know that Bilbo liked to walk.  We also know that ponies were available but not many road and so a hobbits feet were the main source of transportation.  Also feeding ponies takes a lot and what animals hobbits had were probably used more for work that for puling a carriage.

So a hobbit life style was a healthy lifestyle.  A lifestyle that consisted of hard work whole foods and regular exercise.  This type of lifestyle is something we all should aspire to and actually adapt to the best of our ability.

As you know my goal right now is to become vegan.  To eliminate animal products all together and I am working toward that, but in the meantime, living like a hobbit seems a great beginning.  Now if only I could get Mrs. Maggot to invite me to dinner.

The post My Journey To Health, The Habits of Hobbits also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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