Cancer, Epigenetics, and Nutrigenomics – How Food Affects Your Cancer Genes

One of the causes of cancer is abnormal genes. Cancer causing genes are called oncogenes and genes that prevent cancer are called tumor suppressor genes. Cancers can occur when the normal genes are not functioning normally. Genes, as you know, are the blueprints to the body. They tell a cell what it will be and what it will do. We could not function if the process did not run well. There is a system in place that is designed to keep good genes running and suppress bad genes. This process is called epigenetics.

Epigenetic changes are modifications to the genome that are heritable during cell division but do not involve a change in DNA sequence. Expression of genes is not regulated by the DNA sequence, which is the same in every cell, but by epigenetic marking and packaging. This process regulates chromatin structure through DNA methylation, histone variants, post-translational modifications, nucleosome positioning factors or chromatin loop and domain organization.

How can this cause cancer? Well, if a tumor suppressor gene is abnormally turned off, or an oncogene is turned on, then cancer (carcinogenesis) can occur. One key is a chemical change to the DNA called methylation. First, we need to define the process to make it clearer.

DNA contains four bases: adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymidine, but there is a fifth base methylated cytosine. DNA methyl-transferase (DNMT) produces methyl-cytosine where cytosines precede guanine (CpG). The CpG areas are not symmetric but clustered in CpG islands located at promoter regions. The promoter region is the region at the beginning of a gene and it controls the start of gene transcription. If the promoter is off, then the gene never is expressed.

Abnormal methylation in cancer has been known for 20 years. Hypo-methylated areas turn on normally silent areas such as virally inserted genes or inactive X-linked genes. Hyper-methylated areas silence tumor suppresser genes.

We know that cancers have abnormal levels of methylation and we know foods can help prevent cancers. Is there a link between foods and epigenetics? Yes!

The study of food nutrients and their effect on disease through epigenetics is known as nutrigenomics. This is a growing field, in fact, it is exploding. A Google search for the term nutrigenomics produces 127,000 entries.

Epidemiologic studies suggest there are bad foods and good foods. BAD: red meat, processed meat, grilled meat, dairy, animal fat, partially hydrogenated fats. Good: Fish, fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, omega-3 fatty acids, whole grains.

You can study the epigenetic effects of bad or good foods. I’m going to talk about some of the cancer preventing foods and how their mechanisms include epigenetic effects.

Foods with epigenetic effects include green tea, cruciferous vegetables, and grapes. Usually we hear about antioxidants and foods. Antioxidants are important but there are beneficial substances in foods called polyphenols which can affect genes. Of the polyphenols, different forms exist but flavonoids are the most highly cited for health benefits and are found in a variety of vegetables and fruits. Types of flavonoids include …

How to Cook Whole Chicken in a Barbecue Oven

So how do you cook whole chicken in a barbecue oven? Is it any different than cooking it in a traditional convection oven? Sure is. And we're going to share a few tips with you to make sure your chicken barbecues up just right!

Whole chickens are used a lot in commercial environments to cook for restaurants, company picnics and other large events where they're cooked in much larger ovens that will handle 20 to 40 chickens at one time.

For this article, I'll focus on how to cook whole chicken on a smaller scale, your barbecue oven, one chicken at a time.

  1. Do not undercook or overcook chicken. It usually takes about 2-1 / 2 to 3 hours to barbecue and must be checked off and on to make sure it is not getting cooked too much, which will burn your chicken, but you do not want it undercooked either.
  2. Keep your grill at low temperatures, about 230 to 250 degrees. The secret to most great barbecued chicken, one with moist, tender meat and smoky skin is to keep your grill at low temperatures and cook slowly. Do not think that the chicken is not cooking or getting done quick enough. Give it time and you will be happy with it at the end by just taking your time. Be patient and the end results will be very tasty.
  3. Spice rub before you put chicken on the barbecue. Rubbing the chicken with spice rub is a great idea in the beginning will give it great taste at the end.
  4. Add sauces at the end. Do not add any sauces until near the end of the barbecue. When the chicken is almost done, start applying the sauce. The sauce only needs about five minutes to cook on the chicken. Remove the chicken with tongs when you start seeing any signs of charring.

To bring this all together and make things work correctly on how to cook whole chicken, it takes patience and close attention to what you are doing in order to have your meal of chicken come out correctly and enjoy it after putting the time into barbecuing chicken. Add any vegetables to the chicken and make it a very healthy meal. …

2 Delicious Low Calorie and Vegetarian Recipes For An Awesome Lunch!

Vegetarian Pastitsio

  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 12oz Morningstar Farms Recipe Crumbles or similar product
  • 1cup chopped onion 8oztomato paste
  • 1/3cupwater up to 1/2 cup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1cup elbow macaroni
  • 6tbl grated Parmesan cheese divided
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon or more to taste
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg optional
  • 12oz evaporated skim milk 1 can
  • 4tsp light butter or margarine
  • 2x eggs lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″ x 7″ or similar deep 11 cup casserole dish with vegetable cooking spray. Put a pot of water up to boil.

Spray a 9″ or 10″ nonstick skillet with vegetable cooking spray. Saute onion for 1 or 2 minutes; add the vegetable protein crumbles and saute for another 5 minutes or so. Add the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper and some nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook for another minute or two. Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile cook the elbow macaroni according to package directions for the minimum amount of time to become just *barely* al dente. Drain under cold running water to stop cooking, then drain again. Return to pasta cooking pot and toss with 1 teaspoon of butter and 1 or 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer 1/2 of the macaroni evenly in the bottom of the casserole. Spread the vegetable protein crumbles over the macaroni layer. Sprinkle with just a touch more cinnamon and 1 or 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan. Cover with the remaining macaroni.

In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly. In a small saucepan, heat the evaporated skim milk with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Whisk half of the warm milk/butter mixture into the eggs, then return the eggs mixture to the saucepan and whisk with the rest of the milk.

Pour the milk/butter/egg mixture evenly over the entire casserole; it will not lay on top but will sink down – this is just fine. Dust the top of the casserole evenly with the remaining 1 – 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan.

Bake the casserole for 1 hour, or until egg mixture is set and top is crusty and golden. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

Note: I used regular, not fat-free, parmesan; Land O’Lakes light butter; Morningstar Farms brand vegetable protein crumbles (which, by the way, I thought were *much much much* better than the Green Giant Harvest Burgers for Recipes kind).

This recipe was *great* and not too much of a hassle to make, not even on a weeknight. I will definitely make it again; can see it becoming a family standard. It is also something I would make for company – vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.

I must say that with a big old mound of spinach and some French bread with roasted red peppers, this made quite a filling and satisfying feast. And it was a *lot* more food for not many more calories than a _Lean Cuisine_ or similar type frozen entree.

NOTES : Serve with French bread and …

Walt Disney World Fine Dining – Jiko The Cooking Place

When you first think of dining at Walt Disney World you would be forgiven for not first thinking of the opportunities for a fine dining experience. In reality Walt Disney World offers some excellent restaurants which are more than worth a visit by tourists and locals alike.

Jiko – The Cooking Place is a particular favorite of mine. It is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Chef de Cuisine Anette Grecchi Gray presides over this AAA Four Diamond Award winning restaurant. The origins of her creations for the menu were her participation in 1999 in the 25th anniversary of the South African Cook’s Society in Johannesburg. She cooked for African dignitaries and traveled into the bush to learn the cuisines and culture of the South African tribes.

The Jeffrey Beers designed interior is a fabulous mix of warm colors,taking it’s inspiration from The Lion King, and creating an inviting and sophisticated atmosphere. You are warmly greeted by African students who are participating in the Disney one year cultural exchange program. The focus of the restaurant are the twin wood burning ovens in the open kitchen. Diners can choose to sit at the bar and observe the chefs prepare the food for the restaurant.

The style is American cuisine blended with influences from Africa, Europe, the Mediterranean and India. This is an unusual mix, but it works beautifully. There is not anything too challenging here though. I found the originality refreshing. Familiar dishes are offered with a different blend of flavors and ingredients. Appetizer offerings include Green Asparagus Soup, Tikka Marinated Ahi Tuna, and Kalamata Olive Flatbread a particular favorite of mine. The signature dish is the Wood Grilled Filet Mignon with macaroni and cheese and red wine sauce. An unusual combination, but it works wonderfully. Other items include Durban Shrimp Curry,Tamarind Braised Beef Short Rib, and Wood Grilled Pork Tenderloin. I recommend that you order the cheese plate which has selections of goat and sheep’s cheese.

Many of the waiters are sommeliers and will be glad to offer samples of wine before you decide on a bottle. They will expertly guide you through the exclusively South African wine list. With over 1800 wines, Jiko has the largest collection of South African wines of any North American restaurant.

Not forgetting the dessert, my favorite is the Flourless Chocolate Mocha Cake Stack with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Other current offerings include spiced fruit sorbet and Green Apple Mascapone Trifle.

This fine dining restaurant has an unusual feature. A children’s menu. My young children, who are very familiar with and enjoy dining out in high quality restaurants, appreciated the quality of the food. The menu has the usual kid’s offerings of macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese and pizza but they are cooked from scratch with high quality ingredients. Our family is always very happy at Jiko.…

Types of Digital Meat Thermometers

There are different types and kinds of digital thermometers available in the market today. Meat thermometers are gadgets used to measure the temperature of meat, whether turkey meat, ham, roasts, and even poultry. The types of digital thermometer being sold in the market today have specification depending on the type of use.

Digital meat measuring temperature is helpful to us because by measuring the temperature, we make sure that the meat is ready to eat, the bacteria are destroyed, and the health threats are minimal and manageable. At the same time, if we take a closer look at it, meat thermometers are to our advantage since it will give us an appropriate temperature rate that is conducive for eating. This article will be dealing more about the types of meat measuring temperature and their usage.

The first type of digital thermometer is the regular meat thermometer. These are the typical meat thermometers that are used and inserted toward the meat being processed in the oven. These types of meat measuring temperature are easy to read. They go along with the meat in the beginning of the cooking. There are a lot of models, and brands of regular thermometers. This type is also called oven-proof meat thermometers since it works best inside the oven.

There are particular brands that have several features like a long probe. This probe is inserted to the meat while it is being cooked. This will allow really accurate results. However, what is commendable is you don’t have to open the oven to check if the meat has reached a desirable temperature since the digital display can be seen outside the oven. This type of meat thermometer is the most commonly used meat measuring temperature today.

Another type of digital meat measuring temperature is called the instant-read digital type of meat thermometer. The good thing about this type of thermometer is you don’t have to leave it from the start to the end of the cooking. All you have to do is to let the meat finish cooking, after some time, while the meat is freshly out from any cooking container and it is still hot, you can insert the digital meat thermometer into eat and the gadget will be giving you a quick reading for just a few seconds.

The logic behind it is the ability of this thermometer type to show the reading in split seconds while the meat is still hot. The temperature of the meat allows the reading to be accurate.

Another type of digital meat thermometer is the pop-up type. These types of meat thermometers are commonly used in poultry an seldom use at home. Another type of meat thermometer is the micro-wave safe thermometer wherein it is specifically designed to be used for microwave ovens only.

These are just some of the common types of digital meat measuring temperature being used by many people. For those health-conscious people out there who wanted to make sure that they are eating safe meats …

Taking a New Look at Restaurant Chairs

Nutritionists have been warning people not to go to restaurants and eat because it contributes to weight gain. They instead recommend that people buy groceries and cook their own food. They stress the fact that it is always healthy to eat home-made food. However, people always like to go out and eat in a restaurant. It is a common now a day practice to take your friend or family members to a restaurant. Restaurants have never been a new phenomenon to people. In the olden days, restaurants used to cater to the needs of foreigners who embark on long journeys and also to the needs of people who want a change in their regular food habits.

There are many reasons why the people chose to go to restaurants. For some people, it's always been a time consuming activity to buy the groceries and cook the food by them. Some others can not even find time to cook the food. Other people simply want a change in their regular diet. Here, people always look forward to eating out at restaurants.

There are people who visit another town or country once in a while for various reasons. This is another reason why people chose to eat at restaurants. They actually are away from their homes and so they can not phone home and order the food to be transported over for them. So, the only option for them is just to go to some restaurant and eat.

People are always drawn to variety. Here, need for variety is also one of the important reasons why people love to eat out. They want to taste the food of different countries and cultures around the world. It is interesting to note down the fact that restaurant and culture have become harmonious. For example, it is so common to find American, Japanese, Chinese restaurants in a given city. Most of us know the cooking of only our traditional food. But, we also have to satisfy our taste buds that demand for some exotic foods. So, we all try to taste the inter-cultural food items to know more about other cultures.

Generally, there are many things that make the restaurants memorable. The first and foremost thing is obviously the food items. The food items should properly be cooked and served. But, another important point to take care of is the look of the restaurant. The restaurant 'look can be enhanced by having interior d├ęcor by placing beautiful wall paintings, etc. More importantly, restaurants chairs must be properly designed. The look of the restaurants can either be enhanced or decreed by the restaurant chairs. There are some restaurants that offer other social events such as live band. So, people spend more time in restaurants and so restaurant chairs must be properly designed to make them comfortable. This makes the customers to give mouth publicity to the restaurants. …

Fine Dining With Children – What You Need to Know

Dining at a luxury restaurant is a wonderful way to relax and have great wine and food. Many parents have concerns about taking their children to a fine dining restaurant. Below are a number of tips to help make your fine dining experience with children pleasurable and not embarrassing.

1. If you have made a reservation several days or a week before, you can practice good behavior and manners with your children at home. Help them learn to say ‘thank you,’ and ‘please.’ Use positive reinforcement techniques. As well, if they are old enough, you will have to teach them to use cutlery and drink a beverage without spilling it. As well, if they are old enough, you can teach them how to properly order food. When you reserve a table, ask for a corner table for privacy.

2. When you arrive and park at the restaurant, it is time to have one more gentle and positive talk about how the children are to behave. Explain that they cannot yell, scream, and run around at the restaurant. Remind them that they have to consider the other people dining.

3. It can be a real hassle and distraction taking children to the restroom at a fine dining restaurant. Before you arrive, make sure the children have gone to the restroom.

4. When most people attend a fine dining restaurant, it tends to be between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM. This can be very late for children who may get hungry and cranky. Bring some snacks such as carrots or apple pieces for them to munch on while waiting for the main meal. While you are waiting for your meal, have some activity books such as crossword puzzles or coloring books to keep them occupied. Include the children in the table conversation. You can also ask your server for some bread or crackers for the children. To make ordering faster and easier, make sure you know what your children like and don’t have them experiment with new or spicy foods.

5. Children are curious and love to pick things up and put them in their mouths. Keep candles, sugar packets, cutlery such as knives and forks, and flower displays out of their reach. For very young children, take along a bib, bottles or a child’s special ‘sippy’ cup for drinking. Use high chairs safely.

6. When the meal arrives, look after the children first. Cut the meal up in small pieces for better eating. Make sure you have ordered the beverage to come with the meal. When the children are finished, ask the server to take their plates out of the way. If your children are anxious, skip dessert.

7. Very young children do not like to sit for a long period of time. Once everyone has finished eating, it may be a good time to leave. Older children will be able to sit for a certain period of time before they start getting fidgety and want to leave.

8. Be patient …

The Origin Of The Term Dumbwaiter

Dumbwaiters, that is to say small industrial freight lifts, are an almost ubiquitous sight in hotels, bars and restaurants nowadays. Often used to reduce trips and simplify everyday tasks for kitchen and hotel staff, these devices are extremely popular for their compact size, versatility, ease of use and relative sturdiness.

Yet while many people are familiar with the concept of a dumbwaiter, very few are likely to have actually stopped and thought about where that name originates from, and why it was adopted for that specific implement in the first place. Aside from being common in the kitchen areas of hotels and restaurants, what other link is there between an industrial lift and a waiter? Where does the ‘dumb’ part originate from? Does it refer to lack of intelligence, or lack of ability to speak? All of these questions and more will be addressed in the lines below.

The Unspeaking Staffer

The exact origin of the term dumbwaiter is hard to pinpoint, but its etymology is relatively uncontroversial. The expression derived from the fact that the small freight elevators of the same name were often used as an inanimate stand-in for an actual member of staff; ‘dumb waiter’ therefore referred to the way in which these devices carried out some of the tasks that the help would normally take care of, while at the same time being unseen and unheard, or in other words, ‘dumb.’

The term is thought to have first been used sometime in the mid-19th century, in wealthy homes and estates in the United States. It seems consensual, however, that the term first rose to prominence in public consciousness when it was used in a theatre play, ‘The Dumb Waiter’, by Harold Pinter. First performed in 1957, the piece quickly rose to international fame and renown, and with it, the term ‘dumbwaiter’ as a synonym for a small-scale industrial freight lift. It is thanks to this play that the expression is thought to have entered public consciousness once and for all, and therefore, it can be considered its true originator, or at the very least responsible for its diffusion across western society.

Campaign for Change

Perhaps more surprising than the origin or meaning of the term dumbwaiter is the fact that, in recent years, several parties have been lobbying for it to be changed. The expression is nowadays seen as mildly derogatory, and a number of replacement terms have slowly but surely been taking its place over the past few decades. Alternative names for these types of devices include microlift, lazy Susan, and serving tray, all of which are considered more acceptable and politically correct than the term defined in the lines above.

Regardless of these efforts, however, it seems unlikely that the term dumbwaiter will slip out of public consciousness any time soon. Even if these alternate denominations do catch on with an increasingly more socially conscious general public, the transition will not occur overnight; the process is likely to take a number of years, and …

Restaurant Trends For 2009

The restaurant industry is one of the industries affected the most by the bad economy. The reason is simple – restaurant face rising costs, while consumers looking to save money cut out discretionary spending. Fuel costs make all prices go up especially food, which must be transported to restaurants, and when trying to trim the budgets, many consumers start cooking at home to save money. Restaurants will need to get pretty creative to entice patrons to part with their cash. Here is a look at some restaurant trends you can expect to see next year.

Locally Grown Food

Expect to see more locally grown food next year. With recent scares from tainted food, especially the salmonella incident which mistakenly figered tomatoes as the culprit, restaurants will need to be extra careful with the food it serves its diners. After all, even though they do not know if they bought tainted food, if it makes a customer sick that customer will always remember them as the restaurant that keep them food poisoning. More restaurants will end up souring their food from local farms and Farmers Markets to ensure fresh ingredients.

More Pasta Please

Pasta is one of the most inexpensive menu items for a restaurant to make. For the most part, sauce ingredients are cheap, so restaurants can get away with charging $ 15 for an entree that probably only cost them $ 1. And they can get away with hardly putting any meat in the dish as patrons fill up quickly on pasta.This, coupled with the fact the pasta is a great comfort food, which is big now, will only add to the menu offerings of pasta dishes .

Super-size Me No More

This is one that both patrons and restaurants can agree on. Restaurants are looking to cut back by offering smaller portions. And Americans are only too happy to go along as they attempt to eat healthier. But this comes with a caveat. Although Americans are willing to pay the same amount of their hard earned money for smaller portions, they expect bold flavor in return. They will expect chefs to use in season vegetables and more of them to pack in loads of flavor to their entree.

Forgo the Foie Gras

Another way restaurants will attempt to cut costs is to get rid of the really expensive items like Foie Gras and expensive cuts of beef. Get ready to be introduced to a whole slew of new cuts you never thought you would eat. Like what? How about chicken livers, tongue, pigs cheeks, etc, etc.

Deals, Deals, Deals

Restaurants are really trying to get creative to get customers in their door. I have seen many more couples and BOGO deals than I have ever seen before. You will probably see more Fixed Price or Prix Fixe deals, which used to be relegated to dining week or those restaurants in the theater district. I think you will start to see more of these in the burbs and some …

How Do You Redeem a Gift Certificate?

When you receive a gift certificate, you may want to wait until you see a sale or when a special occasion comes up to use it. Most certificates can be used a year from the purchase date. This is one way to plan ahead instead of using the card right away.

Depending on what the card is for, you will be able to wait until you are ready to spend the day shopping or when you have time to eat at your favorite restaurant. These gift cards are convenient and a nice present for those who have special tastes or who enjoy different kinds of activities.

Popular gifts cards are usually used for spa treatments, meals, clothing, online shopping, fast food, and coffee at local coffee houses. Bookstores and yoga centers also offer a gift certificate for those who enjoy reading and who are curious about yoga and other forms of exercise. Most businesses offer some type of gift giving option in order to bring in new business or encourage people to return often if they are regulars.

Redeeming one of these certificates or cards is very easy. All you have to do is present it to the cashier at the beginning or end of your transaction and you will not have to pay for whatever you buy. Many cards can also be used again if you want to add some of your own money to them. This is a good way to recycle old cards so they can be used again.

Receiving a gift certificate or gift card for you birthday, holidays, graduation, wedding, and many other occasions will allow you to purchase exactly what you want. You can also redeem a lot of these cards online for added convenience. You will be able to shop online, browse catalogs, and make purchases by entering in the numbers on the card. This is very similar to a credit card transaction. Even if you have to spend a little bit of your own money, it is still worth it. Waiting until summer or fall clothing sales will save you even more money which means you will be able to use the card to buy even more merchandise.

Using a gift card is a good way to boost self confidence when you are depressed and you will enjoy not having to pay for something. If you have always wanted to buy something, buy you were unable to before, you now have the opportunity.

Many people use their gift cards to buy items they would not normally purchase. If you have your eye on an item or want try a new meal at your favorite restaurant, you should take advantage of this opportunity. A gift certificate that can be redeemed at any time is a wonderful gift to give and receive.…