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Tuesday
Apr172018

How to make celeb chef Marcus Samuelsson's spring chicken salad recipe

ABC(NEW YORK) -- Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson shared an original, seasonal salad recipe on "Good Morning America" today.

This recipe from the head chef of Red Rooster in New York City's Harlem neighborhood features deliciously complex flavors, and makes for the perfect healthy springtime lunch or dinner.

It's also one of the dishes that will be served at the fourth annual Harlem EatUp Festival, organized by Samuelsson. The festival, which takes place in May, is a celebration of Harlem's culinary, culture and art communities.

Here is his step-by-step guide for how to make the salad and its dressing at home.


Marcus Samuelsson's lemony spring chicken salad recipe

Ingredients:

2 head Raddicchio lettuce, cut in half
2 heart romaine, cut in half
Grilled Herb Chicken (recipe below)
4 spring onions, grilled and roughly chopped
4 carrots, grilled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp bulgar, cooked and drained
2 fresh radishes, quartered
1/2 avocado, roughly chopped
4 tbsp cilantro, chopped
4 tbsp parsley, chopped
3 oz lemon dressing (recipe below)

Method:

1. In a large bowl, combine raddicchio lettuce, romaine lettuce, bulgur, radishes and toss with lemon dressing to coat.
2. Add avocado and top with grilled herb chicken, spring onions, and carrots.


Grilled herb chicken recipe

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut into eighths
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp green onion, sliced
1 tsp garlic, chopped
2/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili flake

To toss chicken after it’s cooked:
2 cups mole verde (recipe below)

Method:

Combine all marinade ingredients and place in a one-gallon freezer bag.

Add the chicken pieces and massage the marinade into the pieces. Place the bag in a bowl or on a plate in the fridge and let marinade at least two hours and up to overnight.

Heat a grill or grill pan over moderate high heat. Cook thighs for 5 to 10 minutes per side, and the legs, breast, and wings for 5-7 min per side until completely cooked through.

Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, add mole verde sauce and grilled chicken. Toss to coat.


Mole verde recipe

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoon Cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup olive oil
3 poblano peppers (or green bell peppers if cannot find)
6 cloves of garlic
1 red onion
2 jalapeno peppers
1 cup chicken stock
1 bunch Mint
1 bunch Watercress
2 bunches Cilantro
1 bunch Spinach
1 avocado
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoon salt

Method:

Blister poblano peppers, onions, and jalapeno peppers on a hot grill (or grill pan) until blackened.

Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for five minutes. Peel off the skin and roughly chop.

Add the herbs and spinach to the grill pan and char for 1-2 minutes until wilted and charred. Remove from heat and roughly chop.

In a medium pan, toast cumin, oregano, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds for 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a large saucepan, heat chicken stock until just beginning to simmer.

Add to a high powered blender with the charred peppers, garlic, and toasted spice mixture. Puree until smooth.

Add herbs and greens, avocado, and olive oil and puree again until smooth.

Finish with lime juice and salt to taste


Lemon Caesar dressing recipe

Ingredients:


2 egg yolks
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp anchovy paste
2 tsp parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp course black pepper
2/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup olive oil

Method:

Puree all ingredients except for the oils in a blender. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oils until incorporated.


Bulgar recipe

Ingredients:


1 cup bulgar wheat
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt

Method:

Bring water to a boil.

Add bulgar and salt.

Cover and turn the heat down.

Simmer for 10 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

Remove from heat and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson.
Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Apr172018

The downside of squeaky-clean skin: Why you’ve probably been washing your face wrong

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --Dr. Whitney Bowe, the author of "The Beauty of Dirty Skin," shared with "Good Morning America" her top tips for clear skin from her new book. Here, the medical director of integrative dermatology, aesthetics and wellness at Advanced Dermatology, P.C., breaks down how you might be washing your skin wrong, and gives her expert recommendations for what you can do to revamp your skincare routine.

Too much of a good thing? Yep, the adage applies to beauty, too.

Over-cleansing, believe it or not, is the No. 1 skin care mistake people make on a regular basis. Our antiseptic-style hygiene practices -- extreme cleansing, sanitizing and scrubbing to feel squeaky clean -- harm skin by stripping away its natural oils, confusing its equilibrium and upsetting its sensitive microbial balance. And all of this contributes to the many skin disorders that are so prevalent today.

We rarely think about this, so brace yourself, but our skin serves as a veritable petri dish for a wide range of microorganisms -- which I like to call a rainforest of bugs -- with upward of 1 million of these bugs occupying a single square centimeter. The vast majority of these microbes are either innocuous or advantageous. Some benefit us simply by taking up space and making it impossible for bad guys to move in. Others release antimicrobial substances to kill off pathogens. And then there are those that produce anti-inflammatory compounds to protect and preserve the skin’s barrier and microbiome.

Our skin’s good bugs face a steady barrage of daily threats -- ultraviolet rays, pollution, antibiotic overuse and yes, seemingly benign skin care products. All of these things can breed inflammation, and endanger both the skin’s bacterial inhabitants—their integral diversity and abundance, in particular—and the skin’s protective barrier.

Studies show that even frequent hand-washing can disturb the skin barrier, sparking irritation and unwanted changes in the local microflora. The bottom line? Gentle cleansing is an imperative part of safeguarding your skin’s barrier, microbiome and the special relationship they share.

Here are my top three tips on how to get it right every time:

1. Do choose a biome-friendly cleanser

Leading microbiome researchers use the term “impoverished” to describe microbial communities that lack healthy numbers and diversity. And repeatedly using the wrong cleanser can contribute to this bacterial bankruptcy by dissolving the natural oils fat-friendly bacteria rely on for nourishment and wiping out good bugs altogether. On the heels of such an assault, the skin’s microbiome snaps into survival mode to restore itself. During this hours-long process, the microbiome is essentially absent, leaving skin vulnerable to colonization by undesirable bugs -- E. coli from stairwell banisters or Staphylococcus aureus from elevator buttons. To keep your community vibrant and varied, choose a gentle, low-foam, pH-balanced, soap-free cleanser that leaves skin hydrated, not taut.

2. Don't sanitize your skin


Your washing machine likely has a “sanitize” cycle designed to kill germs by agitating them in sudsy 150-degree water. Please don’t apply this logic to your face. While we don’t yet know the exact water temperature our skin bugs like best, err on the cool side to conserve the microbiome, as excessive heat may cause bad bacteria to proliferate.

3. Don't enlist cleansing aids


Loofahs, Buf-Pufs, washcloths, gritty scrubs, scratchy mitts, cleansing brushes -- dump them all. Your own two hands are the only tools you need to emulsify, massage in and splash off a gentle cleanser. Use anything else, and you run the risk of damaging your barrier and modifying your microbiome in deleterious ways.

I know that this is such a new way of thinking in our culture, which has been obsessed with sanitizing and squeaky-clean cleansing. But, if you want healthy, glowing skin, it’s time to make these changes. You will see results and your skin will thank you!

For more tips from Dr. Bowe, visit her Facebook or Instagram.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

Could caffeine be good for your heart?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- How do you take your caffeine? Caffeine is a stimulant that has been linked to improving how your brain functions. No wonder it is one of the most widely used drugs on the planet. The most common forms of caffeinated beverages include coffee, tea and energy drinks. New research in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests that caffeine is not harmful to the heart, as it has previously been suggested, and may actually be good for it.

Caffeine works by adding more energy to the inside of your cells. Because caffeine is known to make the heart beat faster, many people believe that it can be damaging to the heart’s electrical system. In fact, greater than 80 percent of doctors in the U.S. recommend against caffeine consumption in patients with known abnormal heart rhythms. Many feel the faster heart rate makes your heart more vulnerable to entry into life-threatening rhythms.

On the other hand, caffeine has also been described as an antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize the negative waste products of your cells’ day-to-day activities and are believed to preserve the long-term health of your cells and tissues. Some scientists believe that caffeine protects the longevity of the heart muscle itself.

Heart doctors do not have great evidence that caffeine causes abnormal heart rhythms. The current recommendations against caffeine are conservative and mostly based on assumptions of how the body works. A new article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology compiles the data from multiple studies to add scientific data to the debate on caffeine.

On to the results: Multiple studies associate regular coffee drinkers with lower amounts of new-onset atrial fibrillation, commonly known as “a. fib.” Atrial fibrillation is a very common, irregular heart rhythm that increases your risk of stroke. Approximately 9 percent of Americans older than 65 years old have this abnormal rhythm, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Treatment typically includes medications to control your heart rate and potentially blood thinners.

Researchers in this article discuss other types of abnormal rhythms including supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and ventricular fibrillation (“v. fib”). There were no studies that found an association between caffeine and these rhythms, even in patients who already had sick hearts from heart attacks or heart failure.

While this information may be exciting to our “low fat, half sugar, extra hot” regulars, it is very important to note that some patients with atrial fibrillation have a negative relationship with caffeine. In 25 percent of people who already have the diagnosis of atrial fibrillation, caffeine can actually a trigger an episode of the abnormal rhythm. As always, it’s important to consult your doctor before making any changes.

So here’s the good news.

The authors do not think caffeine causes most abnormal heart rhythms. In fact, they suggest that regular coffee use actually protects patients from atrial fibrillation. Based on data in some animal trials, however, they do recommend a maximum of 300 mg of caffeine per day. This is the equivalent of about three cups of coffee.

If coffee or tea is your drug of choice, you are in luck. If it’s an energy drink, not so much. While coffee and tea seem to be fairly safe, the research suggests that most energy drinks are slightly more risky. Unfortunately for some of our readers, multiple studies recommend against energy drink consumption. Researchers suggest that these drinks may cause life-threatening rhythms and even blood clots. On top of high amounts of caffeine, they often have other ingredients like guarana, sugar and ginseng. These additives seem to amplify the body’s response to the stimulant, causing more harmful side effects including abnormal heart rhythms.

This article was written by Laura Shopp, MD, a third-year pediatrics resident affiliated with Indiana University. Shopp works in the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

Ketamine shows promise for fast-acting help with depression, suicidal thoughts: Study

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Ketamine, often associated with street drug "Special-K" and also a hospital-grade anesthetic, could be a breakthrough, fast-acting therapy for major depression in a nasal spray form, according to a new study.

People with depression are 20 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population. Standard antidepressants prescribed can take four to six weeks to take effect, leaving those with severe depression vulnerable at a time of need. Even worse, those with severe depressive symptoms or judged to be at high immediate suicide risk are often left out of clinical trials for anti-depressant medications.

But a small "proof of concept" study of 66 people, conducted by Yale Department of Psychiatry and Janssen Research at 11 hospitals around the U.S., suggests a possible remedy.

People with severe depression who had been hospitalized for high suicide risk were given esketamine, a nasal spray form of ketamine, along with standard care that included antidepressants and counseling.

Within four hours, the 35 people who received esketamine showed rapid improvement of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts, with much better scores on a depression symptom scale than the 31 people who received regular care and a placebo nasal spray. After the first dose, only 29 percent of the esketamine group had "common" or "explicit" suicidal thoughts, compared to 58 percent in the group that had received the placebo.

How esketamine could help bridge the 'efficacy gap'


Esketamine and other ketamine derivatives are attracting interest from many doctors because they could be used to bridge the "efficacy gap" -- the time between the appearance of severe depression and the time standard antidepressant drugs begin to have an effect.

Now that this small study has shown the drug’s potential to rapidly help counteract severe depression faster, larger scale studies can now be done.

Esketamine is probably not a long-term solution for the majority of people with depression; after four weeks, the anti-depressant effect was no different than standard care, and there are side effects. Ketamine is known to cause hallucinations and feelings of "dissociation" -- feeling detached from the immediate surroundings, or even from all physical or emotional experiences.

At the doses used in this study, most patients who got esketamine reported this effect after each dose, though their symptoms were less intense with repeat doses. Five of the 35 patients had to stop taking the drug due to other side effects: Agitation, aggression, dizziness and abnormal heart rhythm.

Ketamine-family medications cause a short-term rise in blood pressure after each dose. While this isn’t an issue when the medication is used for a few days or weeks, this effect may limit its use in the long term and may disqualify those with very high blood pressure from using this medication.

Regulating the use of ketamine to prevent addiction

Prolonged use of ketamine can also lead to addiction. In the world outside the hospital, people abuse ketamine and its derivatives to get high. One of the questions becomes: How can it be safely prescribed to treat depression?

In an editorial published with the study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Dr. Robert Freedman and several colleagues envisioned a scenario similar to the way oxycodone entered the market. Oxycodone was marketed as a "safe alternative" to the other narcotic painkillers. It then became a major source of addition and abuse, with more than 50,000 admissions per year for addiction to oxycodone alone. Aggressive marketing of prescription narcotics, coupled with an initiative for doctors and nurses to “take pain more seriously,” were key triggers of the current opioid epidemic rippling through the healthcare system.

Like oxycodone, the editorial noted that esketamine could become a drug "whose abuse has outweighed their intended therapeutic effect."

The medication can also be highly beneficial, also like oxycodone and other opioid painkillers, when used for the right person and for the right length of time.

"Just as it is considered irresponsible to ask patients to tolerate pain, it is irresponsible to deny a suicidal patient the fullest range of effective interventions," Freedman added in the editorial.

That’s why, if it receives FDA approval, doctors would need to take steps to ensure ketamine would be used responsibly. The first step would likely be to identify patients who will best benefit from the drug: Those with the most severe and treatment-resistant depression.

Just as importantly, individuals prescribed the drug would need to be re-assessed frequently.

Esketamine has not yet been FDA-approved for depression treatment. But some experts suggest that, if approved, esketamine administration should follow the path of methadone. Methadone, a mild long-acting narcotic, is prescribed for those with chronic pain or opioid use disorder to avoid use or abuse of stronger narcotics. At verified “methadone clinics,” a person’s diagnosis and appropriate methadone dose is carefully documented. At first, individuals have to come to the clinic every day to take their daily dose in a supervised environment. They also get counseling sessions, and eventually many are able to space out their visits and are given enough doses to fill the interim.

Ketamine drugs could be administered in the same fashion. Urine drug screening could be used to ensure that ketamine levels are low enough to actually need a repeat dose. A national registry of esketamine prescriptions could identify those receiving multiple doses from multiple prescribers. Limiting prescriptions to approved facilities might prevent inappropriate use by patients and physicians alike.

Research shows that esketamine could have major potential to help severe depression in people at high risk for suicide or who have not responded to other therapies. With careful study and awareness of its potential downfalls, it may become a valuable component of mental healthcare for people with immediate need.

This article was written by Dr. Kelly Arps, a resident physician in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Kelly is working with the ABC News Medical Unit.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

35 reported cases of E. coli linked to romaine lettuce: CDC

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Contaminated chopped romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona, is likely to blame for the E. Coli outbreak that has infected 35 people across 11 states, including 22 hospitalizations, according to the CDC.

"Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick," the CDC said in a statement.

If a consumer is unsure if the lettuce is romaine and if a restaurant or retailer has romaine lettuce from the Yuma area, 185 miles southwest of Phoenix, the CDC recommended that the lettuce should be discarded.

Over 200 million eggs recalled for salmonella concerns; sold at Walmart, Food Lion stores

The three people that have been hospitalized with E. Coli in this outbreak have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC said.

No deaths have been reported, and the last related illness was reported on March 31.

Of the 35 illnesses reported in this outbreak, nine people were in Pennsylvania, eight in Idaho and seven people in New Jersey. Other states that have reported cases include Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Washington, the CDC said.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Those who have reported illness range in age from 12 to 84 years old, with a median age of 29, according to the CDC. Of those, 69 percent were female.

More cases of E. Coli infection may be reported in the coming weeks, since some people may not immediately report the illness.

"Illnesses that occurred after March 27, 2018, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported," the CDC said. "This takes an average of two to three weeks."

No specific grower, supplier, distributor or brand has been linked to the contaminated lettuce, the CDC said.

CDC officials told ABC News that investigation of the outbreak is ongoing and they expect an update this week.

Yuma has been considered the "winter lettuce capital" of the U.S.; the area hosts an annual lettuce festival.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

Teacher who lost 100 pounds now running to the Boston Marathon finish line

Andy Bell(BOSTON) --  Among the thousands of people running the Boston Marathon today is man who just five years ago weighed 100 pounds more than he does now and could not run more than two minutes at a time.

Andy Bell, of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, is aiming to run the 26.2-mile race in just three hours and 16 minutes.

 Bell’s transformation from out-of-shape high school basketball coach to an athlete running in one of the world’s most exclusive marathons began with a simple 5K race on Thanksgiving that he says his wife forced him to enter.

“She wanted to run a local Turkey Trot,” Bell, 45, told ABC News. “I thought it was the dumbest idea ever, but she wanted to do it and signed us up.”

Bell, a high school sociology teacher, had just been to the doctor before his 40th birthday and was told he needed to take blood pressure medication and that he was on the fast track to diabetes.

"He was a heart attack waiting to happen," said Bell's wife, Heidi Bell. "There was a realization that [if things didn't change], he wasn't going to be around for as long as we wanted him."

 At nearly 300 pounds, Andy Bell decided he would run for 10 minutes on a treadmill at his high school’s gym after basketball practice ended every day.

“Two minutes in [the first 10-minute run] I had to hit the stop button,” he recalled. “There was a bench nearby and I sat down and just put my head in my hands and was crying.”

He continued, “I could not believe it had gotten to this point. I was only 39 years old.”

Andy Bell decided to eliminate fried food and soda from his diet. He kept running on the treadmill every day, just aiming to run 30 seconds or one minute more than the day before.

Andy Bell, who played multiple sports in high school, completed the Turkey Trot and learned that he loved to run.

“[In high school], running was always the punishment for doing what you weren’t supposed to do,” he said. “I was as surprised as anyone that I enjoyed how I felt not only after the run but during the run.”

“I just discovered I was at peace when I was running and it just fueled me to keep adding time,” said Andy Bell, who does not listen to music when he runs, focusing instead on his heartbeat, his steps and the environment around him.

The more he ran, the more weight he lost. The more weight he lost, he said, the faster he ran.

Within one year, Andy Bell said he lost 100 pounds.

 Today, five years later, he has maintained the weight loss and completed 11 marathons, three ultramarathons and 100 Spartan races -- running races that also include extreme obstacles.

"Once he decides to do something, he gives all of himself to it," Heidi Bell said of her husband. "It's nice to be reminded that we're capable or more than we think we are, and he's a perfect reminder of that."

Andy Bell, who is now a certified personal trainer, qualified for this year’s Boston Marathon in his age group by more than six minutes.

 He wakes up at 4:55 a.m. to get his workout done before his wife and three daughters start their days. He follows an eating plan of “everything in moderation,” he said.

“I have a healthy combo of vegetables, good carbs (multi-grain bread) and lean meat like turkey,” he said. “After a long run on the weekends I like to treat myself to a diet soda.”

He and his wife made their trip to Boston a celebration weekend, marking the longest time the two have been apart from their kids since their oldest, 19, was born.

“We’re viewing this as our celebration,” said Andy Bell, who had a racing shirt custom-made for today’s marathon with his wife and daughters’ names on his sleeves.

 When asked what he is most looking forward to during today’s marathon, he quickly replied, “seeing the finish line.”

“I don’t think there’s anything anyone wants to see more than that,” he said. “I’d imagine the emotions and reactions will be very similar to that first two-minute run I had.”

“[I’ll be] collapsed, head in my hands and the emotions will be flowing,” Andy Bell said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

Girls born to obese moms far more likely to start puberty early, study finds

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Girls born to obese mothers are more likely to start puberty early than daughters of normal-weight or underweight mothers, new research finds.

The study, published today in the American Journal of Epidemiology, involved more than 15,000 girls ages 6 to 11 in Northern California, using doctors' records of children's development for the analysis.

The normal age for girls to start puberty is between 8 and 13 years old, with early puberty defined as beginning when a girl is younger than 8.

The research -- when adjusting for factors like the mother's age, ethnicity and education level when she gives birth, and whether she smokes -- found that early puberty was 39 percent more likely among girls born to obese mothers, and 21 percent more likely among those with overweight mothers.

The gap was even larger when comparing girls of overweight and underweight mothers. Daughters of overweight mothers started puberty on average seven months earlier than those with underweight mothers.

It is already known that a mothers’ weight can affect the weight of her children.

But this is the first large-scale study showing that it may also affect the age at which a daughter reaches puberty. Researchers think the association might be related to fetal development in the womb.

“What we are learning is that the in-utero environment may affect the timing of future pubertal development” Ai Kubo, a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California and one of the authors of this study, said in a press release. “[This] makes sense since human brains are developed in utero and the brain releases hormones affecting puberty”.

Girls who undergo puberty early are known to experience higher rates of depression and anxiety. Later in life they are more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, cardiac conditions and some breast and reproductive cancers.

However, this study did not follow girls who had puberty early for years or measure the rates at which they suffered such health problems. Researchers also looked only at the age girls started puberty, not the time taken to complete it.

When comparing groups of girls based on ethnicity, the study found that the association between a mother's weight and a daughter's age at puberty onset was strongest for children of Asian ethnicity. Girls born to overweight Asian mothers were 53 percent more likely to start puberty early compared to daughters of Asian mothers of normal weight.

American girls in general have begun in recent years to start puberty at younger ages, partly because of higher rates of childhood obesity.

However, the average age of puberty has fallen also for children who aren’t overweight, leading doctors to think that other factors besides a girl's weight may be involved.

Although this study adjusted for several factors -- including the child’s weight before puberty and the mother’s age and whether she smoked -- it isn't certain that every possible factor which could affect the onset of puberty was accounted for.

The research also found that girls born to mothers with hyperglycemia, a high blood-sugar level, were more likely to start puberty early.

Interestingly, no such association was found when mothers had gestational diabetes, a condition in which blood-sugar levels rise temporarily during pregnancy. Researchers think this might be because the women with this diagnosis took extra care of their health.

“It’s possible that women with the diagnosis of gestational diabetes were more careful about weight and diet, which might have changed the amount of weight gain,” Kubo suggested.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Monday
Apr162018

No, you can't tell "in your bones" if it's going to rain 

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) --  If you're not one of those people yourself, chances are you know someone who insists they can tell if it's going to rain thanks to a bum knee or a trick elbow.

Sorry to inform you, however: researchers from Harvard Medical School say they've proven you don't have a super power. 

After comparing data from 11 million primary care visits for back or joint pain in the United States to weather stats from thousands of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) stations, the scientists found no connection between the visits and rainy weather.
 
"The bottom line is: Painful joints and sore backs may very well be unreliable forecasters," noted study lead Anupam Jena with Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Sunday
Apr152018

Blind bride details how 'extremely difficult' it is planning her 'fairy tale' wedding

James Day - Wedding Photographer(NEW YORK) -- A blind bride is planning her wedding despite how "extremely difficult" it's been without being able to see, among other things, her wedding gown.

Stephanie Agnew became engaged to Robert Campbell last Christmas when he dropped down on one knee in front of family. The South Melbourne, Australian, couple has spent the past year busily planning their fall wedding.

Photographer James Day, who met Agnew, 31, when the two were in high school, has been documenting her wedding planning in hopes to "raise awareness about vision loss," the bride told ABC News.

Agnew was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with cone-rod retinal dystrophy, which causes deterioration of the retina and gradually leads to blindness. The bride was familiar with the genetic condition because her mother and two brothers have the same condition.

The former real estate agent told ABC News that "having no vision can be extremely difficult but I do not let it stop me it just means I have to find different ways of doing things."

"It is extremely difficult trying to plan a wedding when you are blind," Agnew continued. "The majority of images online have no descriptions and everything is extremely visual. Forget trying to find inspiration on Pinterest or Instagram!

"I have to rely on the people around me to find things that I say I like and try to understand my vision for the day and pick things that they know I would like even if they don’t," she added. "I have a vision in my head of what I want but without having images it is extremely hard to describe this to others."

Agnew recently tried on wedding dresses at Luv Bridal in Australia with her family, bridesmaids and her brother Cal, who doesn't have cone-rod retinal dystrophy. She had to rely heavily on her family and attendants describing what her fingers were touching.

Day wrote in a blog post about the couple that Agnew regrets not trying on wedding dresses while she still had her vision. Right now, she can only see shadows and shapes, and also relies on a seeing-eye dog to navigate her world.

Agnew said she was initially "hesitant" to try on wedding dresses without seeing them.

"I thought I would get upset because I couldn’t see what I look like, but I enjoyed the experience overall," she admitted.

For Agnew, planning her wedding -- the big day is in November! -- means relying on others to interpret her vision. But she's still excited to wed 48-year-old Campbell.

She told ABC News she's most looking forward to "getting the fairy tale that I always wanted despite the fact that I am blind."

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Saturday
Apr142018

Celebrity bridal designer Amsale Aberra who passed away from cancer last week lives on through tribute show

Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images(NEW YORK) --  A tribute was held for the late celebrity bridal designer Amsale Aberra at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City.

The designer, who's dressed brides such as Jessica Alba, Ayesha Curry and Hilaria Baldwin, passed away last week, succumbing to uterine cancer. She was 64.

For more than 30 years, her classic designs appealed to brides who appreciated quality over swarms of tulle, who desired a timeless design over the latest bridal fad. On Friday, succeeding design director Margo Lafontaine delivered what brides have come to expect.

After the Nouvelle Amsale collection brought tons of affordable silk bridal gowns down the runway, her eponymous collection impressed. The more upscale spring 2019 collection, which includes Amsale Blue Label, featured Chantilly lace, oversized bows perfect for any bride wanting to make a statement from behind and Amsale's signature, illusion.

As the show ended, a tribute video played, featuring Aberra's career highlights, including her appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." Then, the music cut off for a moment of silence.

Then the final dress, which was Aberra's very first design in 1990, gracefully marched down the catwalk. The floor-length duchess satin column gown, featuring a sheer illusion neckline, was paired with long silk gloves. And the back of the dress had added drama thanks to a pleated train, with hand-rolled satin rosettes.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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