Pumpkin Soup

There are big orange “pumpkins” in the supermarket during this time of the year in the UK. They are on sale for “Hallowe’en” and have been sold since middle of October.

The green pumpkin is common in Japan, but here we only tend to see orange pumpkins during Hallowe’en.

One of the pumpkin’s primary uses is for a necessity of the celebrations, the “Jack -o’-lantern” . When you make the Jack -o’-lantern, how can you use the inside of the pumpkin? Don’t waste it! You can make many pumpkin dishes from it: for example, pumpkin soup is very popular in the UK.

The pumpkin is a very healthy vegetable, so while soup is nice and warming, it also has vitamins A, C, and E, and carotin. They help to protect from the cold virus and cancer.

Enjoy the cold winter with pumpkin soup!

◎:Pumpkin soup

(Ingredients for 1-2 people)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion
500g pumpkin (inside of the pumpkin without seeds)
350ml chicken stock (if you are vegetarian, you can use a vegetable stock)
70ml double cream
Some double cream(for on the top)
A little salt and pepper

1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan, and cook 1 finely chopped onion until it gets soft.
After, peel and chop the pumpkin then continue for 8 mins in the pan.

2, Add 350ml chicken stock (or vegetable stock) into the pan, and boil it for 10 mins. Then add 70ml double cream. And if you like, add salt and pepper.
After pumpkin is soft, puree the pumpkin by using a hand-held blender.

3. When soup is properly cooked, drizzle the double cream on the top.

Skincare By Season

Autumn Skincare:
Autumn is the time when your summer tan fades and you need to make changes to your summer skincare regime. There is a crispness in the air and although the sun is not very harsh and strong you still need to use a sunscreen and moisturiser regularly. Follow a few guidelines and you could have problem-free skin all through the season.

Post summer skin looks dehydrated and sallow, and exfoliation is extremely important as it gets rid of the dead damaged cells. This step will prepare the skin to absorb more moisture and nutrition. You could go for professional exfoliation methods such as peeling. Sensitive acne-prone skin needs professional chemical peeling whereas normal to dry skin types do well with dermabrasion. You can have home treatments with products that contain light peeling properties such as those which include Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Glucosamine, Retinol or Retinoids. These products allow daily skin renewal and fresh younger skin is seen.

Hot summer causes dehydration, and thereby wrinkles and fine lines appear on the skin. The moisture lost needs to be properly supplemented before the onset of winter. Moisturise at least twice daily after cleansing. Dry, normal and combination skin types may use a light oil free liquid or gel moisturiser. For drier skin types, choose a thicker cream based moituriser meant for dry skin. Along with your facial skin you need to take care of your body also. Be sure to take short warm baths and apply moisturiser onto your damp skin.

Intensive Skin Treatments:
Intensive skin treatments come in the form of serums or concentrated emulsions and should be done on damaged skin once or twice in a year. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Flavonoids and Retinoids (Synthetic Vitamin A) are good treatments to reverse sun damage and improve skin tone. Some moisturizers also come with Vitamins. For a better effect use both – apply serum under the moisturizer either twice daily or as a night repair treatment. You can also go for at home treatments using masks and packs. Skin lightening treatments are very popular during Fall. For using masks, you need to exfoliate your skin (Do not exfoliate more than twice a week), and prepare it for treatment.

Sun Protection:
Although the Autumn sun is not as strong as it was in summer, it is still necessary for you to use your sunscreen regularly. A sunscreen with SPF of atleast 15 is required in Autumn. Patch dryness, eczema and psoriasis, seborrhea and pityriasis rosea can start to flare. Even oily skin needs a moisturiser to keep oil production at bay, so use oil-free liquid moisturisers. If you have “sun spots” on your skin as a result of sun exposure last summer, you can go for exfoliation and whitening treatments. However, do consult your dermatologist before undergoing any treatment.

Diet, Water Intake::
Summer means dehydration and therefore more water intake for replinishing the moisture lost, but that should not change once the temperatures drop. In fact, you should continue to drink at least eight glasses of water a day throughout the year, irrespective of sesonal changes. This will help you to flush out the body toxins better thereby ensuring a problem-free skin. Fall is a season when fresh fruit and vegetables abound, so you can include Pears, Leeks, Pumpkins, Sweetcorn, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Blackberries, Grapes, Plums and Raspberries to provide Vitamins C, B, E and A, Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Potassium, Bioflavonoids, Omega-3 Fatty acids etc.

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URL: 101 BEAUTY SALON http://www.101beautysalon.com/index.html

Yoga in menopause may help insomnia–but not hot flashes

Released on EurekAlert! On September 27, 2013 http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/ghri-yim092713.php

Group Health researchers and patients in multisite randomized controlled trial

Seattle, WA—Taking a 12-week yoga class and practicing at home was linked to less insomnia—but not to fewer or less bothersome hot flashes or night sweats. The link between yoga and better sleep was the only statistically significant finding in this MsFLASH (Menopause Strategies: Finding Lasting Answers for Symptoms and Health) Network randomized controlled trial.

“Many women suffer from insomnia during menopause, and it’s good to know that yoga may help them,” said lead author Katherine Newton, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute. She e-published these findings in Menopause, ahead of print.

“Hormone therapy is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for hot flashes and night sweats,” Dr. Newton said, “and fewer women are opting for hormone therapy these days.” That’s why MsFLASH tried to see whether three more “natural” approaches—yoga, exercise, or fish oil—might help ease these menopause symptoms. The study assigned 249 healthy, previously sedentary women at multiple sites, including Group Health, to do yoga, a moderate aerobic exercise program, or neither—and to take an omega-3 fatty acid supplement or a placebo.

Exercise seemed linked to slightly improved sleep and less insomnia and depression, and yoga also was linked to better sleep quality and less depression—but these effects were not statistically significant. The omega-3 supplement was not linked to any improvement in hot flashes, night sweats, sleep, or mood.


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Dr. Akiko Sugahara Publishes Latest Book for Kindle: Rice Recipes: Full of Recipes Helpful for Controlling Calorie Intake and Best Suited for a Gorgeous Party!

Posted on iinetto.com by Hiroaki Hayano on Aug 16, 2013

Dr. Akiko Sugahara Ph.D. has released her latest book in the series, “Akiko Sensei’s Healthy Recipes,” available now on the Amazon.com Kindle store. Co-authored by Masako Sugahara, the book offers more than 35 delicious, healthy recipes tested in the Sugahara Institute kitchens.

Tokyo, Japan—August 16, 2013—Dr. Akiko Sugahara, Ph.D. today announced the release of her latest book in the Akiko Sensei’s Healthy Recipe series, Rice Recipes: Full of Recipes Helpful for Controlling Calorie Intake and Best Suited for a Gorgeous Party! The book is available as a Kindle book download today in both English on the Amazon.com website and in Japanese on the Amazon.co.jp website.

While most Westerners think of rice in terms of plain white in a bowl or perhaps fried, rice is actually an incredibly versatile staple that can be used in a wide range of healthy recipes. In this day and age of the low-/no-carb movement, Dr. Sugahara and her co-author, Masako Sugahara, are here to show the world that rice can be a low-calorie part of a healthy diet, when prepared correctly.

Rice Recipes features easy-to-follow recipes with full-color photos of the finished product. Readers will discover how to make rice dishes with a number of interesting, fresh, fun ingredients, including mushrooms, shellfish, chestnuts, poultry, and even a Carbonara-style risotto.

Dr. Sugahara is a leading proponent of slow cooking inJapan, where, like in the West, unhealthy fast food has become a bigger part of the everyday diet. She has dedicated her professional life to educating others about the benefits of healthy living and an active lifestyle.

Rice Recipes is available now for purchase and download via the Amazon.com Kindle ebook store. Just go to amazon.com and search using the keywords “akiko sugahara” to find this and all of Dr. Sugahara’s books. The Kindle reader app is available for free on Android, iOS (iphone, iPad), PC, Mac OS, and on the Amazon Kindle ebook reader.

Direct Link to Rice Recipes: Full of Recipes Helpful for Controlling Calorie Intake and Best Suited for a Gorgeous Party! on the Amazon Kindle store:


About Dr. Akiko Sugahara

For more than 30 years, Dr. Akiko Sugahara, Ph.D. has been a leader in Japanese science circles, producing studies and books on nutrition, anti-aging, health, beauty, menopause, and much more. Today, Akiko Sensei wants to share Japanese culture, health, and beauty secrets with the world through her books, her blog at AkikoSensei.com, and Facebook.

Digital E-Book “Teriyaki Recipes” is available online!

Teriyaki” is a very popular Japanese cooking technique loved by many people in a wade rage of age groups all over the world.

Teriyaki sauce made by combining seasonings essential to Japanese cuisine such as Japanese rice wine, soy sauce, and Japanese sweet rice wine at an exquisite ratio can draw out a great flavor of the ingredients.

This book introduces many typical Teriyaki recipes as well as some new recipes and techniques using jam, raw fruits, ginger, or curry powder.

Please check out this recipe to find out some new Teriyaki Recipes!!

Digital E-book is available here.♪


The brain cannot be fooled by artificial sweeteners

Released on EurekAlert! On September 22, 2013 http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/w-tbc092013.php

Leading to a higher likelihood of sugar consumption later

The results of the new study imply that it is hard to fool the brain by providing it with ‘energyless’ sweet flavours. Our pleasure in consuming sweet solutions is driven to a great extent by the amount of energy it provides: greater reward in the brain is attributed to sugars compared to artificial sweeteners.

Professor Ivan de Araujo, who led the study at Yale University School of Medicine USA, says: “The consumption of high-calorie beverages is a major contributor to weight gain and obesity, even after the introduction of artificial sweeteners to the market. We believe that the discovery is important because it shows how physiological states may impact on our choices between sugars and sweeteners.

“Specifically, it implies that humans frequently ingesting low-calorie sweet products in a state of hunger or exhaustion may be more likely to ‘relapse’ and choose high calorie alternatives in the future.

“The results suggest that a ‘happy medium’ could be a solution; combining sweeteners with minimal amounts of sugar so that energy metabolism doesn’t drop, while caloric intake is kept to a minimum.”

The study identified a specific physiological brain signal that is critical for determining choice between sugars and sweeteners. This signal regulates dopamine levels – a chemical necessary for reward signalling in the brain – and only arises when sugar is broken down into a form where it is usable as fuel for cells of the body to function.

Research was performed in mice, using a combination of behavioural testing involving sweeteners and sugars, whilst measuring chemical responses in brain circuits for reward. The researchers believe the findings are likely to reflect in humans.

Professor de Araujo says: “According to the data, when we apply substances that interfere with a critical step of the ‘sugar-to-energy pathway’, the interest of the animals in consuming artificial sweetener decreases significantly, along with important reductions in brain dopamine levels.

“This is verified by the fact that when hungry mice – who thus have low sugar levels – are given a choice between artificial sweeteners and sugars, they are more likely to completely switch their preferences towards sugars even if the artificial sweetener is much sweeter than the sugar solution.”

Now that the team know that dopamine cells are critical in sugar/sweetener choice, they hope to identify the associated receptors and pathways in the brain.


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The ramen burger that ate New York

Posted on Aug 22, 2013 on The Japan Times by Steve Trautlein

Who needs buns: Keizo Shimamoto and his ramen burger, which he serves to long lines of hungry diners in New York. | COURTESY OF KEIZO SHIMAMOTO

It’s too early to tell if Aug. 3, 2013, will go down as a landmark date in culinary history, but for the hundreds of people who lined up that morning at a food fair in Brooklyn, New York, the excitement was palpable. The crowds had braved steady rain for a chance to try the ramen burger, an East-meets-West concoction whose arrival was accompanied by breathless coverage in both old media and new. Although the buzz has yet to reach the level that greets a new opening from the likes of Danny Meyer or David Chang, the debut of the ramen burger was widely hailed as the foodie event of the summer.

All of this is as unlikely as it seems. Few cultures are as associated with a single food as America is with hamburgers, a dish that for more than a century has been much loved and little changed. The ramen burger offers a reinterpretation of the classic as Asian-inflected soul food, with noodles in place of the buns, a soy-based sauce instead of ketchup, and arugula and scallions standing in for lettuce, tomatoes and onions.

Keizo Shimamoto, the chef who dreamed up the dish, has a background as interesting as his creation. A 35-year-old second-generation Japanese-American, Shimamoto ditched a career in finance and moved to Japan to learn the craft of making ramen. I met him last year at popular Tokyo noodle shop Bassanova, where the California native had apprenticed as a cook and risen to the level of manager. We were there to discuss a tie-up between The Japan Times and Yahoo! Japan, which was running a promotion to drum up interest in noodles by enlisting foreigners as “Ramen Ambassadors.”

Shimamoto was a natural choice for the role of envoy. His blog, Go Ramen!, a daily chronicle of travels through noodle shops and ramen culture, had become an essential resource for the burgeoning international community of noodle fetishists. After his riches-to-rags story came to the attention of director Michael McAteer, Shimamoto found himself the subject of a documentary, “Ramen Dreams,” which took the prize for best short at the 2012 NYC Food Film Festival. The exposure opened up contacts in the industry and allowed him to perfect the ramen burger, a project that had occupied him for years.

“If I hadn’t gone to study ramen in Japan, I would never have been able to think about making the (dish),” Shimamoto told me last weekend from New York, where he had just finished his third stint at Smorgasburg, an al fresco assembly of food stalls in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg district. Although space for venders is limited and entry to the market highly competitive, Shimamoto has earned his place: The first weekend’s run of 150 burgers sold out in 20 minutes, and subsequent batches of 300 met a similarly ravenous response.

Interest in the ramen burger has been fueled by an overwhelming — and largely unintentional — media campaign. Perhaps the most galvanizing event for Shimamoto was an early August appearance on ABC’s popular TV show “Good Morning America,” during which he cooked ramen burgers in the studio for the program’s hosts and for other guests. In its wake came a flurry of coverage in prominent media outlets, among them Village Voice, CNBC, National Public Radio, Fox News, The New York Post, Eater and The Daily Beast. A profile of Shimamoto on BuzzFeed ran under the headline, “The Ramen Burger Could Save Us All.”

Shimamoto would be the first to admit that he didn’t invent the dish that’s making him famous: That distinction goes to Japanese chefs, and even fast-food chain Lotteria debuted a ramen burger in May. But his effort stands out in terms of substance and quality. He makes his patties with 75-percent lean USDA prime beef, and his noodles, sourced from a leading U.S. ramen maker, are fresh, not instant. The only thing he’s not forthcoming about is his method for congealing the ramen into bun-like consistency, which he describes as a “trade secret.” (A bevy of chefs on YouTube inspired by Shimamoto bind the noodles with egg.)

Shimamoto has seen enough of life to realize the importance of capitalizing on the momentum he’s developed. And the momentum is significant. “We’ve been getting offers every day from people who want to invest or manage events for us,” he told me. “The response and demand from people around the country and even around the world is amazing.” His plans for the near term involve continuing at Smorgasburg, but he’s also searching for a bricks-and-mortar location and wants to share his creation with food enthusiasts in other cities.

“I consider (my) ramen burger to be Japanese-American. Just like me. It’s not fusion food. It’s a food born in America that happens to combine two different cultures and makes them exist as one. The perfect symbol of America.”
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Source: The Japan Times

Melatonin helps control weight gain as it stimulates the appearance of ‘being fat’

Released on EurekAlert! On September 18, 2013 http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-09/uog-mhc092513.php

Melatonin is a natural hormone segregated by the body and melatonin levels generally increase in the dark at night. It is also found in fruit and vegetables like mustard, Goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries.

Spanish scientists have discovered that melatonin consumption helps control weight gain because it stimulates the appearance of ‘beige fat’, a type of fat cell that burns calories in vivo instead of storing them. White adipose tissue stores calories leading to weight gain whereas ‘beige fat’ (also known as ‘good or thinning fat’) helps regulate body weight control, hence its metabolic benefits.

In the Journal of Pineal Research, scientists from the University of Granada Institute for Neuroscience, the Hospital Carlos III, Madrid, and the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio (USA) have revealed, for the first time, the previously unknown enigma of why melatonin has metabolic benefits in treating diabetes and hyperlipidemia.

In earlier publications, the researchers analysed the effects of melatonin on obesity, dyslipidemia, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes mellitus associated with obesity in young obese diabetic Zucker rats—an experimental model of metabolic syndrome.

In view of their most recent results, it seems the key lies in the fact that chronic melatonin consumption not only induces the appearance of ‘beige fat’ in obese diabetic rats, but also increases its presence in thin animals used as a control group. ‘Beige fat’ cells are found in scattered lentil-sized deposits beneath the inguinal skin in obese diabetic Zucker rats.

Melatonin is a natural hormone segregated by the human body itself and melatonin levels generally increase in the dark at night. It is also found in small quantities in fruit and vegetables like mustard, Goji berries, almonds, sunflower seeds, cardamom, fennel, coriander and cherries. These findings, together with the pharmacologically safe profile of melatonin, mean it is a potentially useful tool both in its own right and to complement the treatment of obesity. Sleeping in the dark and consuming these foodstuffs could help control weight gain and prevent cardiovascular diseases associated with obesity and dyslipidemia.

The study—coordinated by University of Granada lecturer Ahmad Agil—showed that chronic administration of melatonin sensitizes the thermogenic effect of exposure to cold, heightens the thermogenic effect of exercise and, therefore, constitutes excellent therapy against obesity. The fact is that one of the key differences between ‘beige fat’, which appears when administering melatonin, and ‘white fat’, is that ‘beige fat’ cell mitochondria express levels of UCP1 protein, responsible for burning calories and generating heat.

The study—authored by Aroa Jiménez-Aranda, Gumersindo Fernández-Vázquez, Daniel Campos, Mohamed Tassi, Lourdes Velasco-Perez, Tx Tan, Russel J. Reiter and Ahmad Agil—has been part-financed and supported by the Granada Research of Excellence Initiative on BioHealth (GREIB), the University of Granada Vice-Rectorate for Scientific Policy and Research, and the regional government of Andalusia research group CTS-109.

Given the importance of this discovery, the researchers are confident they will obtain the funding needed to continue their work—says principle researcher Ahmad Agil—”and be able to achieve their final objective: to confirm these findings in humans, by administering melatonin to help combat obesity and diabetes”.


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