In North Carolina in 2015, a teenage boy was prosecuted as an adult for having naked images—of himself—on phone. The court claimed he exploited himself and therefore must be punished so that the other party (himself) is satisfied.
Today is #GivingTuesday, kicking off the charitable season with a celebration of giving and philanthropy. We are continuing our tradition of offering a limited-edition calendar. This year’s calendar is titled Healthy for Life: Evidence-Based Inspiration for a Healthy 2020. Most of the quotes in the calendar come from my new book, How Not to Diet. I hope that they will give you a bit of inspiration and motivation to know how much power you have over your health every time you sit down to a meal.
The first 200 people to donate $100 or more using this form to keep my 501c3 nonprofit NutritionFacts.org alive and thriving will get a calendar in time for the new year. Don’t wait—we always run out within a day or two.
How Not to Diet Out Next Week
Speaking of the new book, it’s landing on shelves in just one week! If you want to get it before anyone else, be sure to pre-order your copy today. To see what kind of blood, sweat, and tears went into this book, check out the book trailer that went up on NutritionFacts.org yesterday.
I also give a sneak peek of the book in my brand-new presentation that just went live: Evidence-Based Weight Loss. Watch it here. It’s also available for download, and as part of a complete collection of all of my live presentations, over on Dr.Greger.org (all proceeds go straight to NutritionFacts.org).
Back on London Real and TEDx
I was thrilled to be invited back into the London Real studio for another long-form interview with one of my favorite hosts, Brian Rose. You can watch that interview here. I was also honored to be back on a TEDx stage. Check out my new TEDx talk The Best Weight Loss Diet here.
Fasting Webinars Available in Bundle
I recently gave a series of webinars on fasting – Intermittent Fasting; Fasting for Disease Reversal; and Fasting and Cancer. They are all now available for download here. We’ve bundled them together at a discounted price, but you can still get them separately here. Some of these videos are already up on NutritionFacts.org, and the rest will be trickling out over the next couple of years.
If you plan to do some holiday shopping on Amazon this year, you can support NutritionFacts.org at the same time by going to http://bit.ly/NFsmile. Android users can also support us through the Amazon shopping app. Simply follow these instructions to turn on AmazonSmile and start generating donations. These small donations add up; in the last year we have raised over $10,000through Amazon Smile.
- Open the app on your Android device (update to the latest version, if necessary).
- View Settings and select AmazonSmile.
- Follow the in-app instructions to complete the process.
(AmazonSmile is not currently available for iOS users.)
Michael Greger, M.D.
PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations:
- 2012: Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death
- 2013: More Than an Apple a Day
- 2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food
- 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet
- 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers
The sticky toffee pudding is a classic British dessert that usually sees a re-emergence during the holiday season. And with good reason. The stodgy, moist, and gooey cake is one of the most loved desserts in the country. A dessert which first made its appearance in the 60s, the sticky toffee pudding was pretty quick in establishing itself as one of the most favored desserts in the UK, from tosh establishments to the fairly basic family dinners. It has also migrated successfully to the US where you can even mail-order this dessert.
The word pudding here reflects the British usage where pudding pretty much means any dessert. This is a pudding that ticks all the basics of a classic; butter, vanilla, and caramelly sauce. Essentially, it’s a vanilla cake with a toffee sauce. But this is definitely a recipe where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. This is no bland vanilla cake. Instead, what you have is a rich, buttery and moist cake. There is also a little surprise, dates that are either chopped or added as moist pulp. The dates give the cake its mellow sweetness, smoky and deliciously dense taste.
Poured on top is the luscious toffee sauce. Caramelly and buttery, this is a sauce that is made to be savored slowly. It’s a basic toffee sauce, but in this pudding, we can elevate it to another level by putting it under the grill with the sponge cake and then pouring it on top before serving. The pudding may sound so sweet that you will need to visit your dentist later, but it is surprisingly well-balanced. The caramelly sauce never overpowers the underlying cake and the sponge absorbs it all wonderfully. However, it is a rich cake and one slice is more than enough.
How to Make a Sticky Toffee Pudding?
One of the reasons for the enduring popularity of the sticky toffee pudding is how easy it is to make. All you need is pretty basic baking skills. It’s also a very forgiving recipe where you don’t have to worry about the perfectly raised or domed cake. The toffee sauce itself is very easy. It is just a matter of heating together butter, sugar, and then pouring it on the cream.
Like all much-loved recipes, there are different versions of the sticky toffee pudding. It is a recipe that has been ‘re-invented’ by different chefs, from Jamie Oliver, Nigella Lawson, Gordon Ramsey, to Simon Hopkinson. You will find puddings with sultanas or spiced up for a Christmas version. We have picked the classic by Hopkinson which uses two sauces – a toffee sauce, and a butterscotch sauce. If you don’t want to make two different sauces, just omit the butterscotch sauce and double the amount of toffee sauce. Use half the sauce over the sponge and keep the rest to pour over when serving.
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Sticky Toffee Pudding Recipe
This classic British pudding is very easy to make. You can make extra batches of this delicious toffee sauce and use it for drizzling over your ice-cream or just enjoy it all by itself.
Prep Time20 minsCook Time15 minsBaking Time55 minsTotal Time35 mins
Servings: 6 people
Author: Paromita Datta
For the sponge
- 6 oz dates chopped
- 1 1/4 cup water hot
- 2 oz salted butter plus extra greasing
- 1 1/4 cup self-raising flour
- 2/3 oz molasses sugar
- 2/3 oz demerara sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the toffee sauce
- 1 cup double cream
- 3 oz butter
- 3 oz molasses sugar
For the butterscotch sauce
- 1 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 2 oz molasses sugar
- 2 oz salted butter
To make the Sponge
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Generously grease a baking dish with butter.
- Place the dates in a bowl and pour over the hot water. Let the dates soak for at least 15 mins.
- Once the dates are softened, drain out the liquid and keep aside. Whizz the softened dates in a food processor. You need them to break down but still retain some pulp. You don't want to process them into a paste.
- Add all the other ingredients for the sponge, including the drained water to the date pulp. Blend all these together till combined. You should be able to see the specks of the dates.
- Pour this batter into the baking dish and bake for 40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
To make the Sauce
- While the cake is baking, make both the sauces. All you have to do is heat all the ingredients on a gentle heat till everything is homogenously mixed and what you have are two luscious-looking glossy sauces
To make the Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Now bring it all together. Once the cake is done, pour over the toffee sauce. You can remove a thin layer of the crust from the top if you want. This helps the sauce to penetrate the sponge and soak into it.
- Put the baking pan under a moderate grill till the toffee sauce on top is bubbling.
- Serve this pudding hot. Pour over the butterscotch sauce over the pudding when serving.
- This recipe is super rich with its two caramelly sauces. For added oomph, you can serve it with an extra serving of double cream or a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.
- Make ahead: It is important to serve this pudding hot, but that does not mean you have to start the process just before serving. You can make it ahead. Bake the sponge cake and keep the sauces ready. Just pop the pudding under the grill and serve it hot.
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You can’t usually smell your own house (or perfume) because of a survival instinct called ‘olfactory adaptation.’ The brain is always looking for new, unusual, or changing smells as a sign of possible danger, so it ignores all the smells that have already become familiar.
Konjac flour is the magic ingredient in the magical shirataki noodles, which are so popular with dieters for their low-to-no calories and carbohydrates. If you don’t identify with this, you probably remember the one-slurp lychee cups which were easily available till a few years ago. A fruit jelly cup with a couple of nata de coco cubes in the center – the almost lychee-like jelly consistency is achieved without gelatin, with only konjac flour. Where does this multifaceted, humble ingredient come from? Let’s find out.
What is Konjac Flour?
Konjac flour is sourced from the konjac plant. Konjac, scientifically known as Amorphophallus konjac, is native to Yunnan province in China and is commonly found in warm tropical and subtropical regions of Asia such as China and Japan. It is also known as voodoo lily, devil’s tongue, elephant yam, or konnyaku potato. Irrespective of the names such as yam and potato, the plant bears no relation to these.
The flour is obtained from the underground stem of the plant, also known as the corm. It is the result of processing the dried, mature corm into a powder, which can then be used for various purposes.
The flour has been in use in Japan since as early as the sixth century. However, this has been primarily for medicinal purposes. The proportions of popularity it experiences today is unprecedented.
How To Use Konjac Flour?
Today, konjac flour is mainly available as pasta or noodles. The pasta and noodles are being hailed by many as a diet-friendly food for its low-calorie and low-carbohydrates content. The noodles are made of konjac flour, water, and calcium hydroxide, thus maintaining the nutritional profile of the flour. Konjac flour products are primarily rich in glucomannan, which is the magic weight loss ‘nutrient’ present in this flour.
Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber that can swell up upon contact with water. Since it can pose a choking hazard, it is advisable to have it with ample amounts of water. While it is used as a standalone thickener and emulsifier, it is also being marketed as a dietary supplement.
The fruit jelly made from konjac flour has now been banned or restricted in several regions across the world, for it presents a choking hazard and has to be chewed properly. Multiple patient reports have emerged of minors and infants being rushed to the emergency department for choking on these treats.
Konjac Flour for Weight Loss
Konjac flour or glucomannan has not been deemed unsafe for human health, apart from choking hazard notice. However, they might not be as helpful for weight loss as it is made out to be. A paper published in the Journal of Obesity notes that the use of glucomannan supplements over the span of eight weeks did not promote weight loss or changes in body composition.
Another study published in the journal Nutrition found some evidence that short-term glucomannan use could reduce body weight, but not BMI. Since konjac flour products are mostly fiber and water, they should help keep you full. However, it might not be the best idea to base your diet on these noodles alone since they are not nutritionally fulfilling.
While drastic weight loss efforts might not be supported by konjac flour products, these could help with diabetes management. A research article published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that konjac-inulin composition, as diet supplementary, can have a protective effect on type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Word of caution: Konjac flour is an age-old product but wasn’t used as a primary food source until recent years. While further studies can better determine its best benefits for human health, it is advisable to not make it the center of your diet. It is important to beware of the choking risk it presents. Furthermore, if you develop an allergic reaction to this product, it is best to consult your doctor at once.
Sad, angry, jealous, and guilty feelings can make you a healthier person. Figuring out the reason for your negative emotions and learning from unpleasant experiences makes you stronger, and that success can bring happiness- but when you suppress and ignore negative emotions, you eliminate the balance of good and bad. Because the contrast of feeling sad is what makes feeling happy so wonderful, happiness wouldn’t really exist if you’d never truly embraced your sadness.
Mary Shelley’s favorite keepsake was her dead husband’s heart. After Percy Shelley’s death, the Frankenstein author kept his heart – carrying it with her for almost 30 years until she died in 1851. A year later, it was then found in a desk drawer, wrapped in a copy of one of his final poems.
When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in 1893, the magazine that published the story almost had to shut down. More than 20,000 outraged fans canceled their subscriptions. Among the magazine’s staff, Holmes’ death became known as “the dreadful event.”