Friday, October 28, 2011

Death of Teen: Synthetic Marijuana Takes Another Life

A recent story on shared the story of a 13-year old boy who tragically died after needing a lung transplant brought on by use of synthetic marijuana. it is just another example of the dangers we face when using these types of drugs. We know this is a man-made drug that is labeled not for human consumption for a reason. It's side effects are very random from person to person and use to use. Reports of psychosis, loss of appetite, very rapid heart rate and elevated blood pressure as well as heat intolerance are just a few of the symptoms that have been noted after even single use. Click the link below to read the story of this teenager whose life was cut short by the use of synthetic marijuana.

Synthetic Marijuana: Serious Consequences

Use of synthetic marijuana has been discussed within the LSU Athletic Department for some time now. Early warnings regarding the legality and dangers of smoking synthetic marijuana have been clearly outlined within LSU's ADAP Substance Abuse Policy. It is clear that this man-made product is very dangerous, having very negative consequences on one's ability to perform in the classroom and perform at high levels athletically. While we have heard cases of random deaths from the use of synthetic marijuana, it hit fairly close to home with the death of a Division I Men's Basketball player from Anderson University in South Carolina. Click the link below to read the details of this tradegy.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Texas Toast Tomato Sandwiches

1 (9.5 oz.) package five-cheese texas toast
2 lb. assorted heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup bottled blue cheese vinaigrette
6 tbsp. torn fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Garnishes: crumbled blue cheese, fresh basil leaves

Prepare Texas toast according to package directions. Meanwhile, halve larger tomatoes and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices; halve or quarter smaller tomatoes. Gently toss tomatoes with vinaigrette, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately over hot Texas toast. Garnish, if desired.

Southern Living July 2011

Spicy Chicken-Corn Chowder

8 slices bacon, chopped
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut in bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups chopped red sweet pepper
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1-2 fresh jalepeno peppers, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
2 cups fresh sweet corn kernels
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves

In a 5-6 quart Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp. Remove with spoon; set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Add chicken to pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Stir over medium-high heat until chicken is no longer pink; remove. Add sweet onion and pepper to pan. Cook and stir until tender. Add jalapenos and garlic; cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add broth and potatoes. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, 10 minutes or just until potatoes are tender; stirring occasionally. Stir in chicken, corn, cream, cayenne, and bay leaves. Simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes; stir occasionally. Discard bay leaves. Top with jalapeno slices, if desired.

Better Homes and Gardens

Strawberry-Ricotta Bruschetta

2 tablespoon(s) packed brown sugar
2 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
1 pound(s) strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/3-inch slices
8 slice(s) (each 3/4 inch thick and 5 inches wide) rustic country bread
1 container(s) ricotta cheese
1 bunch(es) (about 32 leaves) basil, torn if large

In large bowl, stir brown sugar, vinegar, and vanilla until sugar dissolves. Stir in sliced strawberries. Let stand 1 hour. Toast bread until golden brown. Cool completely. Spread 2 tablespoons on each bread slice. Alternate strawberries and basil leaves in a single layer, overlapping slices. Drizzle strawberry juices over top and serve.

Good Housekeeping

Barbecued Shrimp and Peach Kabobs

12 (12 inches each) metal or bamboo skewers
1 tablespoon(s) packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon(s) ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon(s) sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon(s) cayenne (ground red) pepper
1 pound(s) (16- to 20-count) shelled deveined shrimp
3 medium peaches, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 bunch(es) green onions, dark green parts trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
Lime wedges, for serving

If using bamboo skewers, soak skewers in cold water at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling on high. In large bowl, combine brown sugar, chile powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Add shrimp, peaches, and onion; toss until evenly coated. Thread shrimp, peaches, and onion alternately onto skewers.Grill 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and shrimp just become opaque throughout, turning once. Serve with lime wedges.

Good Housekeeping

Seared Steak with Minted Watermelon

8 ounces thin rice noodles
1 (1-pound) boneless 1-inch-thick beef sirloin steak
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 stalk lemongrass, yellow and pale green part only, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lower-sodium fish sauce
1/2 small (3 cups) watermelon, rind removed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 seedless (English) cucmber, cut in half and thinly sliced
1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling on medium. Prepare noodles as label directs. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Season steak with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground pepper. Place steak on hot grill; cover. Cook 12 to 13 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness, turning once. Transfer steak to cutting board; let rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir shallot, lemongrass, sugar, lime juice, and fish sauce until sugar dissolves. Thinly slice steak across the grain. Add to bowl, along with watermelon, cucumber, and mint. Toss gently until well mixed. Divide noodles among serving plates. Top with steak mixture and accumulated juices.

Good Housekeeping

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MLB and the concern with Energy Drinks

Energy drinks have gained much popularity over the past few years. Many people, including athletes, use and rely on them as an energy booster fail to consider the negative and sometimes harmful effects from these beverages. Some MLB teams have noticed the dangers energy drinks can have on the body and have banned them from the players’ clubhouses.  (See link below)

Here’s a brief run-through of the composition of energy drinks:

SUGAR: Energy drinks are often loaded with sugar, which causes your blood sugar (energy levels) to come crashing down once the sugar leaves the blood. Yes, you may feel very energetic for a short while after drinking an energy drink, and this is because the high sugar content quickly stimulates your nervous system, giving you that feel-good feeling and buzz of energy. Keep in mind that the fast spike in blood sugar/energy will lead to an equal drop in blood sugar/energy. Some people may actually feel more fatigued than they were to begin with.

CAFFEINE: Caffeine is also found in large quantities in energy drinks. Caffeine in these amounts (and for those individuals who are sensitive to caffeine) increases your heart rate and body temperature, potentially leading to an irregular heartbeat, excess sweating, shakes, and anxious feelings. Also, caffeine generally produces both laxative and diuretic effects, leading to excess urination and the risk of becoming dehydrated. As an athlete, all of these effects can hamper performance tremendously.

OTHER INGREDIENTS: Some of the other common ingredients found in energy drinks are: Taurine, Guarana, Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, B-Vitamins, and many more. In addition, many energy drinks contain a special “energy blend” … sometimes not listing what actually makes up that blend. As a consumer, it is very important to realize that many of these extra ingredients don’t even contribute to increased energy levels. In addition, some ingredients, whether listed or not, may be a banned substance and can possibly show up positive on an athlete’s drug test.

BOTTOM LINE: Use a lot of caution if considering consuming an energy drink. If your energy levels are low, take a look at your diet and hydration… a few tweaks there can make a huge and positive difference!
Click here to read: "MLB teams limiting energy drink consumption, cite negative effects to players’ health"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Life after being a Lineman

Football linemen, known for their big and stout bodies, commonly experience many weight-related issues as a player. It can be tough for some of these players to follow a healthy diet as they strive to build and maintain their large stature. However, with proper guidance and nutrition education, football linemen (and ALL athletes) can achieve their dietary goals for both health and optimal sports performance.

It is not uncommon for football linemen, either ending their college or NFL football careers, to acquire diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Many continue to eat the large quantities of food required for when they were players, not keeping in mind their drastic decrease in exercise levels. The article (see the link below) talks about former offensive lineman for the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens, Orlando "Zeus" Brown, who recently died from diabetes complications.

All athletes need to remember that nutritious diet habits not only fuel their bodies for their sport, but it is also essential for ensuring healthy bodies for years to come. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011