Posts tagged ‘bacteria’

Brush. Floss. Scrape.

My blog post from Naked Aparments:


Here’s something new to add to your nighttime get-ready-for-bed ritual: Tongue scraping.

 I’ll be the first to admit it, this sounds like a medieval torture, but I assure you it’s not.  A tongue scraper does exactly what it sounds like it does—it scrapes the top layer of the tongue, getting rid of yucky leftover food, debris, and plaque. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that approximately 70% of the bacteria in your mouth is on your tongue? It’s true. These microbes contribute to plaque on your teeth, causing periodontal problems, gum infections, tooth decay, and in the worst cases, tooth loss. No thanks!

 If that’s not enough to get you to use a scraper, try my #1 reason: Cleaning the tongue daily is known to cut sugar cravings. Why? Because you are ridding your mouth of any food debris that may be lingering. It’s amazing (but true!) that cravings can be triggered by tiny food particles left in the mouth from earlier in the day.  So, to keep those cravings away I scrape, scrape, scrape.

 Even better than that—Do you know the sense of accomplishment and excitement you feel when you floss your teeth (you DO floss your teeth, right?) and some big hunk of food comes out? Well, you get that same end result when you scrape your tongue. Just watching all that gunk come out will make you proud. 

 Tongue scrapers are super cheap and can be found easily. So no excuses, and repeat after me: Brush. Floss. Scrape.

August 31, 2009 at 3:46 pm 1 comment

This week’s nibbles

appalachian_trail_signThis week’s links are coming to you a day early since I will be away Fri-Monday (so new post on Tuesday) Lucky me, I’ll be hiking in New Hampshire on the Appalachian Trail. Pictures will definitely be posted after the weekend.  Unfortunately, the forcast calls for rain every day (requiring another trip to the store to buy gear that I will probably never use again) so that should make the hiking interesting. But a weekend away, banning the buzz (cell phones, computers, etc) is MUCH needed.

A few more notes:

As you know, I am the nutrition blogger for Naked Apartments. The site is finally LIVE–so all you New Yorkers who are looking to rent an apartment, please check it out. It’s a fabulous site.

Second, I’m now a twitter-head (Check out my twitter feed on the right side of the blog). Find @cakeandcarrots at Twitter and follow me! I post and discuss nutrition issues that I don’t talk about on the blog. Plus you can learn a little bit more about my daily activities!

The Cake and Carrots blog is currently undergoing a renovation. I hope to unveil a new website by early next month. I can’t wait to show you.

And lastly, many of you know that I’ve been using this week to rest, relax, and restore (aka create some new brain cells)  between my crazy Phish roadtrip last weekend and my upcoming hiking trip. Hence the shorter posts and recipes. Next week, however, I’ll be back with some NEW content.

Have a great weekend….and without further ado, your links of the week:

*Think twice before putting your bag on the counter. Microbes abound!

*Love avocado so much you want to take a bath in it? (Or is that just me) Whether you like it a lot or a little, it’s a wonderful food to incorporate into your diet.

*Detox your body without the master cleanse

*Want to live a long, wonderful, happy life? Just do four simple things.

*A candlelit dinner is so cliche. Try yoga for a unique first date! Written by one of my most favorite divas ever!

*Try this for a morning boost. Matt and I love it!

August 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm 1 comment

Excuse Me, You Have Something in your Bag (Naked Apartments post)

Happy Monday! I am currently on 3 hours of sleep right now after an INCREDIBLE Phish weekend, so there is NO way my 3 remaining brain cells are going to function to help me write something witty and clever. So here’s a post I wrote at Naked Apartments  last week. Enjoy!

Reusable shopping bags, once the sole accessory of the environmentally conscious have now become mainstream. New Yorkers, lacking the back seat of cars to fill, are notorious for carrying a plethora of bags around with them at all times(I lovingly call myself “The Bag Lady”). So I begin offering kudos to all of us for being trendy and saving the planet at the same time! 

An interesting problem has seem to have um, grown (pun intended), due to our repeated daily use of reusable totes.  Back in May, a microbiological study done in North America found that our eco-friendly bags are the harbingers of ridiculously high amounts of bacteria, yeast, mold, and coliforms (pathogenic bacteria that can cause food poisoning).  Yuck…and scary!

That being said, let us look at the day in the life of your reusable tote, shall we?

Your bag is filled with gym clothes in the morning for your post-work gym session. You bring it on the subway, and rest it on the subway car floor because it’s too heavy and cumbersome to hold. From here it sits on the ground at work and then in a locker room at the gym. You head to the supermarket after your workout to pick up produce and meat for dinner, drop it in your tote, and head home. Congratulations! Your bag has come into contact with every dirty surface possible in the city (and god knows there are a lot of them) and then got filled with unwashed fruits, vegetables, and possibly leaking meat.  Let’s not forget your dirty clothes, which are mixed in as well.  (Bet you $100 bucks you don’t wash your tote bag when you get home for the next day.  Yeah, didn’t think so.)

In the same microbiological study I mentioned earlier, researchers found the 64% of reusable bags were contaminated with bacteria and 30% had bacteria counts higher than what is considered safe for drinking water. Also, 40% of bags had yeast or mold and dangerously high amounts of coliforms, aka fecal intestinal bacteria.  The amount should be zero.

Experts suggest that you keep totes for your gym clothes and your groceries separate, and also wash your bags as frequently as possible. You can bet mine went straight to the wash with hot water after I read this study, reported in the The National Post.

So what’s the moral of the story? While being trendy and carrying an environmentally friendly tote is both a fashionable and green “DO,” lugging billions of unnecessary and harmful bacteria with you is a serious DON’T. Food poisoning and illness don’t look good on anyone.  So be careful!

August 17, 2009 at 12:19 pm Leave a comment

Friday Nibbles

Happy Friday, friends! I hope you have some great weekend plans ahead of you. I’ll be roadtrippin’ to Hartford, the Berkshires, and Saratoga Springs to see Phish play their final shows of their summer tour. Can’t think of a better way to spend a weekend! 

Thank you to those who left comments about topics they want to know more about. The invitation ALWAYS stands, so continue to ask away.

Here are this week’s top stories:

Most importantly, check out my post from Naked Apartments on what might be lurking in your reusable tote bags.

Do we need milk in our lives? I believe the answer is NO.

Some tips on how to build a better relationship with your food. Cause it’s all about the love.

Yoga and eating. A perfect partnership to curb your eating.

As if you needed another excuse to eat chocolate!

All veggies are good for your health, but these are REALLY good.

All this talk about health care reform.  How about HEALING reform?

We all love dirty secrets. Especially ones about body fat.

Very important for summer–natural remedies for mosquito bites. Written by a fellow diva friend!

I knew it was too good to be true when the Arc trainer at the gym showed I had burned 200 calories in 15 minutes

August 14, 2009 at 4:22 pm Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to you (x2)

Wash 'em reallllll good!

Wash 'em reallllll good!

In celebration of my Food Microbiology & Sanitation class that is coming to a close on Thursday (and thus I am studying like crazy for the final), I’d like to share some information on a seemingly simple act that we’re probably not doing correctly.

Hand washing.

I’m sure NONE of you are one of those people that leave the bathroom (especially public ones) without washing your hands. I know you know better than that.  But, like me, you’re probably not washing your hands correctly.

Here are some tips:

Make sure you are washing long enough.  How long is enough?  While washing your hands, since “Happy Birthday” twice. That’s how long you should be scrubbing (If you prefer counting instead of singing, count to 20)

-Use paper towels. A lot. I am so my mother’s daughter with this one, but I use a paper towel to turn on/off the faucets and also to open the bathroom door when I’m leaving. You don’t want all your hard scrubbing work to go to waste when you touch the handle. Also, it can be pretty hilarious as you try to contort your body by holding the door open with one foot or elbow while trying to toss the paper towel in the garbage.

-Pay attention to your nails. Especially when working in your kitchen. All sorts of yuckiness can get trapped under your finger nails, so don’t neglect them.

-Jewelry can also harbor germs. So make sure you clean and sanitize your rings, watches, bracelets, etc often. And ladies, as a plus, nothing perks up your day like a newly cleaned gem.

-Antibacterial gels do NOT replace soap and water. Sure, I use the gel as soon as I get off the subway. But I also wash my hands with soap and water. With the antibacterial gel, you may be killing the germs, but you’re not REMOVING them from your hands. Plus, some bacteria do resist the gel.  Only soap and water will kill and remove those microbes.

So there you go. Next time you hit the loo, make sure you to follow these rules and sing “Happy Birthday” a few times. You might even make some new friends while at the sink!

August 5, 2009 at 1:39 am 1 comment

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