Saturday, October 20, 2012

through the cupboards

One of my girlfriends has a very singular type of financial
problem – her teenage boys are practically eating through
her paycheck. As fall athletics ramp up, her kids’ appetites
are escalating and their buddies – often around the home
after sports practice – routinely raid her kitchen. As her
grocery bills spiral out of control, she’s struggling to
determine how to manage her budget so that her savings goals
aren’t (quite literally) eaten away.
I absolutely understand her plight. There were many things
that I was unprepared for when I became the stepmother of two
teenage boys, but the grocery bill was unexpectedly among the
most staggering day-to-day expense I encountered. I value
healthy eating, but I quickly learned that feeding a bunch of
teenagers requires a different type of menu planning, snack
strategies and sneaky techniques for hiding expensive treats
from the teeming hoards of friends who stopped by and plowed
through the cupboards.
(MORE: The Other Awkward Talk You Need to Have with Your
Raising kids is expensive in many ways, and food expenditures
– a substantial portion of that overall cost – are not
getting any cheaper. According to a recently released USDA
report, a middle income family with a baby born in 2011 will
spend $234,900 on average to raise that child to age 18
(excluding the cost of college) – and food costs account for
16 percent of that total, or about $37,440.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

prunes and apples

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See your GP. Doctors can prescribe medication for you, such
as anti-spasmodics, laxatives and anti-diarrhoeals. "There's
no problem taking laxatives and anti-diarrhoeals in the long
term if you have IBS," adds Professor Whorwell.
Could be the cause if: You are passing a lot of wind, but
don't notice any other symptoms. We all experience flatulence
from time to time — it's perfectly normal to do so up to 15
times a day — and sometimes you may not even notice that you
are doing it. While there's no medical definition of
excessive flatulence, if it's bothering you and makes life
awkward or feels uncomfortable, there are steps you can take
to reduce it.
Try cutting down on foods that are high in non-absorbable
carbs. Common culprits include beans and pulses, broccoli,
cabbage, prunes and apples, and foods containing the sugar
substitute sorbitol. These tend to be digested very slowly
and can release small amounts of sulphur gas while they pass
through the gut.
Nutrition consultant Ian Marber says, "Eat food slowly and
remember to chew. Without chewing, food is more likely to
pass into the gut partially broken down and there's a higher
chance it will ferment and produce gas." Be aware that,
occasionally, an underlying health condition — including
those that are listed here — could also be causing

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

By the end of the war

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What makes the Civil War--the War of the Rebellion, as it was known at the time, at least in the North--interesting is its political character and the political transformations it brought into being. And these Neely appears to ignore in his effort to confound the conventional wisdom. Neely might regard the massacre of black troops at Fort Pillow as a racist sidebar to the main, and relatively restrained, action. But in truth Fort Pillow captures far more of the central dynamic of the conflict. The war, let us remember, was provoked by a rebellion of Southern slaveholders against the authority of the federal government. The Lincoln administration regarded the rebellion as a treasonous act that it aimed to suppress militarily, and never officially recognized the Confederacy's existence (nor did any other nation). The slaveholders' rebellion and the Union invasion of the South in turn provoked a rebellion of growing numbers of slaves, who fled from their plantations and farms, headed to Union lines in the expectation of finding freedom, and signed up to fight their owners as soon as the Lincoln administration allowed them to do so.
The Confederates did not take the slaves' actions lightly. They considered black soldiers to be slaves in rebellion and ordered that, if captured, they be treated as such: re-enslaved or executed by the authorities of the states to which they belonged. General Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate commander at Fort Pillow (and later one of the organizers of the Ku Klux Klan), simply short-circuited the process. "It was understood among us," one Confederate soldier wrote in 1864 from North Carolina, "that we take no negro prisoners." By the end of the war, black soldiers composed about 10 percent of the Union Army, and in some departments close to half of it. In this, as in so many other areas of meaning, African Americans seemed to have understood better than their white counterparts the social transformations that the wartime struggles portended, and the need to debilitate if not to destroy the enemy. The intensity of their military engagements captured a political essence of the war, and foreshadowed the bloody encounters of the postwar period.