Scared of Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th Book icon

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Oh my! Today is the day of superstition! Friday the 13th

For those that are not aware – in western mythology a Friday the 13th is bad-luck. A day of misfortune. Unfortunately no one really seems to know why this might be the case!

I have never placed any belief in the bad-luck of Friday the 13th – and so far I have not seen any side-effects. The town of Port Dover in Ontario actually celebrates the day! It started out as a motor-cycle enthusiast excuse to show of bikes and party – and now is pretty much just an excuse to party.

So Happy Friday the Thirteenth! And Good Luck to all


Ramble: Making it Big!

Yesterday was a big day for me! A day of reward and unexpected success. So yes indeed Merry Christmas to me!

Yesterday I had the “single day” most views ever on my blog at 1,798 views. My normal daily traffic is around 65 daily views. This is what that looks like visually:

bigday

Excuse the blurry screenshot (I’ll fix that later cause I’m in a rush….). You can see the essence of what I am saying with the massive blue-bar on the right towering over all other days! Or to think of it another way in one day I almost had as many views as I would get in one month!

Thanks folks for reading all about what to do with left-over Prime Rib.


Ramble: Christmas Memory

Santa claus

I saw Santa. Once . Long ago. I am certain I did.

Not a store-made Santa who sits on the big chair and smells of cigarettes and aqua velva. No indeed not one one of those poorly cloned copies who need pillows for bellies, and cotton for beards.

I saw the real Santa. I swear I did.

I was 5. Or maybe 6. That isn’t really important to this story. All that matters is I was young enough to still see magic, and feel magic. To sense real magic when it happened. And it happened.

Christmas Eve. I was supposed to be asleep, but there was no way I could sleep. My parents and some other adults had gathered for the usual Christmas Eve festivities. Singing carols, eating treats, and drinking drinks that made adults jolly with the spirit of Christmas.

While the adults laughed and sang loudly, I lay in my bed listening for that moment of magic. And then. There. That noise;  a bump on the roof. And a jingle, jangle. And one loud stomp. It was so loud I was sure the entire world had heard it.

Far downstairs the adults were as loud as ever – their old grown-up ears not able to hear the magic. I pressed my face to the frost covered glass, trying to see through the Jack Frost swirls and curls. A flash of red passed by. It had to be him.

Silent as a mouse I moved through the house. Small enough to pass beneath the singing jolly adults without being noticed. I passed by and into the backroom where the Christmas tree waited for Santa’s generosity. I was too late! The tree stood proudly over a mountain of presents, and the stockings sagged from the weight of the goodies inside.

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

I moved quickly to the backdoor, where my boots were drying. I slipped them on and popped out, and right into a perfect belly and a soft red velvet suit.

It was him – the one and only Real Santa.

He raised a finger to his lips to command my silence, and I wide-eyed obeyed. He smiled, and winked. Helped me stand up. Then he reached into a large bag he was carrying and pulled out a toy airplane with flashing red and blue lights. A wonder of his workshop given right to my hands.

Then he turned me toward the door, and pointed for me to go back inside. One does not disobey Santa if one wants another magical Christmas! I bolted inside as if I was pulled by eight tiny reindeer. And I whistled and shouted and called out his name: “Santa is here! Santa is here!”

The adults turned and smiled at my clattering excitement. My parents bemused let me drag them outside so I could show them the proof that Santa was not just real – but in our backyard.

Being adults they were much too slow. By the time coats and boots had been found and put on, Santa was gone. Vanished except for his boot marks leading toward two thin lines – the marks of his sleigh. And numerous small round marks left by the prancing reindeer.

I told my parents what had happened. and showed them the airplane. But I could see they didn’t believe me.

Then from down the road we heard the jingle of bells, and a loud HO! HO! HO!

And then a crack and a  burst of light into the sky, with a deep rolling voice calling, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Later as my mother tucked me into bed, she kissed me on the forehead saying, “You lucky boy. Not just anyone gets to see the Real Santa Claus.”

And that is how I know Santa is more than just a story – because I met him for real over 40 years ago on a cold snowy Christmas Eve.

christmas paint


The Acid/Alkaline Food Myth.

I love food. I love the smell, the look, and most of all the eating! Perhaps even a little too much on the eating side. I also like to read about the science of food, and the science of digestion and metabolism.

We humans are basically a biological amalgamation of complex chemical processes that  let us do some really amazing things! Our cells are tiny factories that not only perform essential life processes – they can also manufacture their own replacements!

Different cells in our bodies are renewed at different rates. The cells in your lungs are replaced every 6-weeks, your taste-buds are renewed every 10-days. The cells in your bones average 10-years. Many of the cells in our bodies are less than 12 years old! Some cells – such as brain cells – are never renewed. And others such as the cells in our hearts are renewed very slowly.

This renewal process is what keeps us healthy and vigorous – and as long as the replication process does not have errors we will continue to thrive. When cells develop errors this can lead to a health crisis. The most common type of “cell error” is called cancer.

Now there are many theories on what causes cancer, and how cancer can be controlled, even repaired. And since we are bio-chemical factories driven by what we intake (food, water, air and god-knows what else!) – it makes sense what we eat and when we eat might be part of the solution (or problem)!

So we have theories of anti-oxidants, and flavonoids, and mega-dosing of this and that, and micro-dosing of other things. It is quite the mystical intra-relationship of  fact, fancy, and wishful-thinking. And of course there is also that other complicating factor of mind over matter – and how what we believe can actually change us! Placebo effect anyone?

So it is with interest that I have been reading the theories of acid-forming vs alkaline-forming foods, and the health impacts of these food groups. Basically, the theory propounds that eating certain foods will change our body pH levels. Acid-forming foods will increase our body acidity. Alkaline-forming foods will increase our body alkalinity.  And we need to remember that “acidity is bad” and “alkalinity is good”.

Now acid-forming and alkaline-forming is not the same as a food that is acidic or alkaline before it is consumed. This is because the digestion process breaks the food down into various chemical bits and bites – and those in turn may be utilized in other chemical reactions.

It would then seem to be common sense that food would impact our body acidity and alkalinity. Except it turns out that isn’t how our metabolic processes work. There is actually a very limited pH range within our bodies – and our bodies respond quickly to maintain the optimal pH balance. Basically our internal pH is maintained between 7.35 and 7.45 on the pH scale. In other words we are slightly alkaline. Or, as I like to think of it, we are all mildly base creatures on the inside.

The acidity-alkalinity concept also takes a knock when we stop and think about the actual digestion process. We eat food and it drops into our stomach where the food is broken down by a very powerful gastric acid bath (including natural hydrochloric acid). The acid your stomach will dissolve zinc. The pH level of gastric acid is 1.5 to 3.5 on the pH scale.

Some of the acid is neutralized by reacting with the food, and any remaining acidity is countered in the duodenum by a neutralization process that basically dumps sodium bicarbonate when high acid levels are detected. The gastric acid is basically converted into salt, carbon dioxide and water. As the digestion process moves down the intestines – the pH level climbs back to about 8.0.

I won’t get into the full details of absorption of nutrients – but basically the nutrients from the food are broken down into rather basic forms that our body can  absorb. This is an important part of how we maintain our bodies – as not everything can be digested and absorbed. What we do absorb has to be broken down and presented in a form that can cross through the intestines into our blood stream for transport where it is needed in our bodies. What this means is we do not absorb a steak – we absorb the nutrients that make up that steak. What cannot be absorbed is discarded as waste.

Basically the digestion process ensures our body pH levels stays within the acceptable range. However, and this is important to know, our excretions may have higher or lower pH levels depending on what our bodies are discarding as waste. The fact that urine may be more or less acidic after eating a specific food does not mean our body pH has been impacted. The same is true about saliva. The measured pH level of saliva will vary depending on what you last ate, and the bacteria in your mouth.

However – a diet high in acidic foods means we certainly will force our bodies to produce more neutralizing chemicals. This can place a strain on our digestive systems and make us feel tired. And a diet high in alkaline foods will reduce the efficacy of our stomach acids and our digestion process may be less efficient. This may mean undigested food makes it into the large intestines where the many bacteria that share our bodies have a feast – and produce various waste products of their own. Oh bloating is such fun!

The  acid-forming vs alkaline-forming food categories in the end do very little for our overall internal body pH balance (since other biological processes regulate those pH levels). However, the food categories are probably an effective diet aid simply because they do encourage healthy food choices.Really the acid-alkaline categories are not much different that the traditional food guide based on recommended daily servings of vegetables and fruits, grains and meats.

And in the end if the acid-forming vs alkaline forming food groupings make your choices easier and healthier – well that is a good thing! Just don’t pay attention to the mythology that goes along with the groupings!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,976 other followers