2012 in review–Thanks for all the likes!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,600 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


What Mum Eats, and Drinks Affects Children Profoundly–New Findings

A large study included more than 60,000 pregnant women in Norway, shows that increase drinking of sugar sweetened beverage poses higher risk of premature birth.

The study found that those who drank one sugary soda a day were up to 25 percent more likely to give birth prematurely than those who avoided the sweetened drinks. But the researchers haven’t figured out whether the soda is the only thing to be blamed. Lifestyle and other factors that go along with high sugar consumption may also play a role. The authors note in their report that women who drank the most sweetened drinks were also more likely to smoke, eat more calories, and have a higher body mass index (BMI) – a measure of weight relative to height – than those who drank fewer sugary drinks.In a past Denmark research, it found artificial sweeteners would also induce premature birth.

Fetus should naturally stay in their mothers womb for 37-42 weeks, normally for 40 weeks. Any births take place before 37 weeks is premature. Premature birth of infant is strongly related to the premature death, growth pattern and also general health status in adulthood, so it should always be a priority of health care prevention.

Expect for what pregnant mothers drink, other factors in diet, environment, life-style, stress and diseases. Besides for the western theory of premature birth inducing foods, Chinese people have a very long-lasting believe about certain food will trigger early birth–pungent spices, edible fungi, spinach, maybush, icy foods, strong tea, to name a few.

We want our neos have a great start and a happy, healthy life; so do everything we can to prevent preterm birth.

China#Real Chinese Cuisine: Part 1–Eight Major Cuisines

Concentrating thousands of years history, Chinese food is not only represented by those very simple dishes people can find in Chinatown oversea. For many years, Chinese people keep preserving the old cookbooks from ancesters and never stop creating new flavors. Integrating and transfering the knowledge from civilians and the cooking methods from the officals, year after year, we crystalize eight major cuisines of Chinese food.

Thanks for the board domain of China, different areas enjoy different climate and therefore, different produce and techniques for cooking. For example, northern people like to use mutton and beef because they can raise goats and cow, while southern people can go fishing and use a lot of sea food in south food. From choosing produce, cutting and preparing, and cooking method, different cuisines are unique and represent their own culture. Here are the name of the cuisines and the regions they stand for:

  • Hui– Anhui
  • Yue (Cantonese)– Guangdong
  • Min– Fujian
  • Xiang– Hunan (Can include Xiangjiang Region, Dongting Lake and Xiangxi styles)
  • Su (aka Huaiyang Cuisine)– Jiangsu
  • Lu– Shandong (Include Jinan, Jiaodong styles, etc.)
  • Chuan– Sichuan
  • Zhe– Zhejiang (Can include Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Shaoxing styles)

Cranberry and Blueberry Here Again–Representing Single Foods

Last week, two news stories raised up as headlines: 1. New meta analysis shows cranberry product is effective to prevent urinary tract infection, reassuring what our grandma kept telling us; 2. wild, but not normal, blueberry is considered to protect DNA damages.


These stories required a lot of efforts from a lot of professional researchers–their findings are precious, giving people new clues for things to look for to eat. But, such kind of finding is so familiar, or even feeling mossy today. On one day, guys walking down the street may bring up some foods they learn should be eaten from the newspaper, but to the next couple days, old foods are washed off as new findings come out. It could be overwhelming to see new super foods day-to-day. But one single food can provide the whole nutrients for sure, nor it can be so magical to really treat some diseases or conditions. In other word, people just can’t eat based on these “single food findings;” what every person truly need is a steady but science-proven balance diet.

Well, though I am not a fan of super food, but from my understanding, research in single super food is still meaning ful. They can be used specially in some situations: for example, if a person is under high working pressure, his body will produce more free radicals, which require more antioxidant to neutralize them–then, perheps blueberry in greater amount may help a little.

As a person studying nutrition, friends always like to ask questions such as “What food I can eat to make me healthy? Tell me some foods!” “Do you eat a lot of brocolli? I heard they are very good.” “What? You eat McDonalds? You are nutrition person!”–and I believe all people in nutrition world can’t escape. What people always thinking is eating a food and turn to be healthy on the other day; however, only a balanced diet can boost your health most effectively. A balanced diet is meant to provide right amount of energy, along with sufficient vitamins, mineral, compounds from animals and vegetable–which can only be obtained from a wide range of foods.

First Talk about China!

This Tuesday, I experienced the first time pressure of being a Lecturer–giving my “Food and Culture of China” talk to a group of older people at Stoneham, MA. All stuff went smoothly and happily, the greatest thing was being able to make my group of ladies laugh!

Obtained this opportunity from my dear friend Karen, I developed this talk with my ppt based on my 23 year real life eating experience–which makes this a perfect job to me–to look back the food I ate and to relearn my culture.

Since we have the budget covering foods, I brought two nice Zongzi (triangle sticky rice) and two Moon cakes for cultural food tasting!

I already anticipate the next talk! Say cheese!! Cheer for my beautiful ladies!

Foods and Cultures Series of China

Arriving in the following months! I am going to bring you my presentations about  foods and cultures of China!

Here’s my master plan and topics I chose:

Different Chinese Cuisines/How Chinese People cook?/Special Manners?/ Rumors and Taboos in eating?/The links of foods and festivies/

and other things may interest you! So feel free to leave comments about what you wanna see or want me to talk about!

Vitamin D–Watch this Our for the Babies!

Breast milk can provide the best nutrients for the baby to prevent infections and cut the risk of future chronic diseases, like diabetes and obesity. However, due to the lack of exposure to sunlight and the nature of vitamin D concentration in human milk, children in exclusive breastfeeding have a higher possibility of being vitamin D deficiency.

Human gets vitamin D from sunlight and food. Vitamin D is vital for infants especially in the process of fast bone growth. Sufficient amount of vitamin D in blood helps the body absorb and use calcium from food, which builds up the bones. Though rare in US, children in severe deficient of vitamin D may develop rickets, in which children get soften bone and skeletal misshape such as bowed legs.

Due to the northern latitude of New England, our exposure to sunlight is limited, especially in winter when the day time is short. Even for those in lower latitude, if you don’t usually bring your baby outside, he or she still can’t get the vitamin D from sunlight. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) currently recommends a daily intake of vitamin D of 400 IU/day for all infants. Since human milk’s concentration of vitamin D is less than 25 IU per liter, so infants who are exclusively breastfed need to get the compensation from vitamin D supplement drop.

Take home messages for parents and caregivers:

1.      If your baby is exclusively breastfed, make sure he or she gets vitamin D from supplement;

2.      Go outside with your baby to get some sunlight and touch the nature;

3.      Both parents and babies need vitamin D to keep healthy!