Sunday, January 27, 2013

Enjoying the Benefits of Tea

Clips OnLine
 Are you one of the very smartest of us, a consistent tea drinker?  If so, research says you have chosen the right drink.  Not only does it soothe the soul, but it also protects the body at the same time.

Ok, so that's nice, but you say it's not enough to push you away from the coffee drinker crowd and into the teabag and boiling water population?  Laura Ungar of the Louisville, KY Courier-Journal (Dec. 30, 3012) explains that multiple "studies indicate that tea can help block cholesterol, prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer and burn calories."

Unger tells us that there are several kinds of tea-"black, white, green, oolong and puerh," and they all work to lessen the effect of those dreaded free radicals.

 Are you watching those cholesterol numbers?
  Unger quotes Todd Porter, University of KY researcher, as saying that " tea appears to decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the system"  and he points out that it is black tea, not green tea, that appears most effective. Wow!  For those of us committed to green tea, that's a shocker!
Many studies have examined tea's role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Unger cites an Italian study on the benefit of black tea:  It actually lowered the blood pressure in the study's subjects and "counteracted the detrimental effects of high-fat meals in people with high blood pressure."   

That's just one study, right?  Well, no.  The Italian study added evidence to several prior studies that showed the three-cup-a-day tea drinkers enjoyed less danger of heart attacks-"11 percent lower." 

Those among us not concerned with high cholesterol or blood pressure numbers  that are so worrisome to our doctors might want to know that other aspects of our well being can be improved by drinking tea.  Tea contains both caffeine and L-theanine-both of which may "improve mental cognition and clarity, as well as work performance."

And green-tea drinkers, take heart.  Many benefits accrue from drinking green tea daily.

Although great strides have been made in the fight against all cancers, the possibility of that cancer diagnosis still scares all of us.  The Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Onclology is cited by Unger as reporting " that consuming  cups of green tea each day helps prevent several cancers and protect against the recurrence of colorectal cancer."

Additionally, benefits for older people include a "significantly lower risk of functional disability such as stroke, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment."

A Japanese study published this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that elderly subjects who drank more tea had a significantly lower risk of functional disability such as stroke, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment. And guess what?  Regular green-tea drinkers benefit from losing weight as well.

If we know that drinking green tea will help us to age at a slower rate while it helps in the reduction of inflammation and also strengthens bone, why not add tea to our daily beverage intake?

Is coffee beneficial, too?  Absolutely.  Although it hasn't been shown to decrease cancer risk, it does decrease "death rates from heart and respiratory diseases, injuries and accidents, diabetes and infections."

Clips OnLine
So, what's the difference?  Coffee doesn't have the "lipid-lowering benefits" of tea. And if you feel jittery after two cups of coffee, remember that tea contains only half the caffeine of coffee, so drink up!

(Access Unger's complete article at .)

Our thanks to Dick for sending this report to us.

A Gift for All of Us: The Photography of Wyman Meinzer Enhanced by the Music of Doug Smith

Clips OnLine
These winter months provide time to bundle up and enjoy our hot tea.  Some of us are relaxing in the sun with our favorite iced tea or coffee.  What could be better than to enjoy the beautiful scenes of Southwest Texas and enjoy great music at the same time?

Bob A. has sent this beautiful video to us and encourages us to enjoy "Stunning Snapshot of West Texas."  Bob judges these photographs to be "some really nice shots, and interesting how he times the music with the photos. Nice job overall. "

 Access the following:  "A Little Bit of West Texas" at
Clips OnLine


Thanks, Bob. this video is really a gift.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Why the Hurricane Sandy Victims Still Need Whatever We Can Do: Through the Eyes of One of Our Friends

So we thought the hurricane victims were taken care of by now, right?  Not even close!

One of our favorite people, her husband and son dedicated some holiday break time to helping the people who are still suffering from Hurricane Sandy's October devastation. Here is her account of the current suffering.

"Our trip was great; humbling, interesting, and hard work. We tore out dry wall and foor boards and windows and kitchen cupboards and sinks and basically everything down to studs and floor joists in homes.

Our son was on a spray team that was under homes, in crawl spaces, spraying disinfectant for mold part of the time. I worked in a camp kitchen part of the time. We did what was needed when asked. We slept on air mattresses on the floor of a local church and showered in semi-truck showers. But it was incredibly rewarding, and we will definitely serve again.

What was most surprising is the continuing extreme need. So many people are still out of their homes; families are still split apart, and they are receiving precious little help. Local contractors are charging outrageous fees for work, including $1,000.00 to $1,500.00 per week for a dumpster. The only contractors permitted to work are either approved non-profit volunteer groups, such as Samaritan's Purse, or township approved union workers! The town is fining their own community members $50.00 to $500.00 daily for debris left by the road.

The work we did (our team of 15) in one 10- hour -day would have cost the home owner $12,000-$18,000.

These people need support from the rest of us that have gone along our merry way while they are at the mercy of outrageous and seemingly endless suffering.  Their storm is not over by any means."

After reading about our friend's experience just a few weeks ago, the question becomes, "What about the rest of us?  What can we do?"  We may be able to join a group traveling to the scene of this devastation to give first-hand support.  Those of us with strong church or civic organization affiliations might start a discussion with our fellow members about ways to help.  And individually, we can keep these people in our thoughts each day.

Our thanks to this dedicated family who gave of their time and energy to help.  All of us apppreciate being able to read their first-hand account.