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I don't like to be an alarmist, but I am, never the less, alarmed and worried.  Would you rather have Anthrax or take your chances with Nile Virus?  See Coincidence?  Maybe.

From my brother Lloyd Williamson, who forwarded me a copy of a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times:  "Forget threatening to bomb Afghanistan and the Taliban if they fail to turn Bin Ladin over to us. Instead, let's threaten to gather up all of their women and send them to college. In fact, why don't we do that anyway??"    --Shelley Bookspan, Santa Barbara.   Not a bad idea - a song popular after WWI says it well: “How You Gonna' Keep 'Em Down On The Farm After They've Seen Paree?”

Can't believe it!!!  ChefAl calls my attention to a chilling discussion on the Airliners.net site about the supposed effect of a major airline hitting one of the Twin Towers, which apparently took place about nine months ago.  ChefAl asks:  "Is this for real?"  Make blood run cold, hmm?

Here's a nutritious hint from Diane Stangfeld:  "Being health conscious and a lover of prunes and garlic... a sliver of raw (very healthy) garlic inserted into a prune is a wonderfully zesty snack!!!  It may not be for every one but try it.  It may surprise you !!"

A Global Perspective includes a link to a statement from an anti-Nazi you'll want to read, a really scary letter from an Afghani- American, Tamim Ansary, forwarded by my brother Lloyd, and a letter about the terrible plight of women in Afghanistan, forwarded by our Tupperware« manager.

The answer to ChefAl's riddle about pound cake: "I heard this riddle years ago on a Food Channel or PBS show.  A LB of BUTTER, a LB of EGGS, a LB of FLOUR, a LB of SUGAR.  THAT'S THE RECIPE [well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.......].  PS:  I used to know how many eggs in a pound when I was cooking for a 1000.  I have no idea now.  [I might remind you, I am not sure what I had for lunch yesterday.]."    

Are you having anxiety or physical symptoms such as irritable bowel problems, eating disorders, insomnia or increased fatigue since the September 11 terrorist incidents and the subsequent anthrax attacks, and the terrorist attacks of the last nearly 15 years?  You're not alone.  Monica Woolsey, MS, RD, has seen an increase in such disorders in her practice, and says prescriptions for antidepressants, sleep medications, and anxiety medications are up 10-15%.  She offers resources on her  website.  See details

See, it's not only me and the Dole Company that insists on five a day.  What was that New Year's resolution?  Lose weight?  Get in shape?  Take care of yourself better?  Didn't hear ya'.  Here's a great one for you to resolve.

So your decorations aren't quite finished, maybe you spent too much or don't have enough to spend on what you wanted to buy, the cooking and baking is looming, all the gifts are either unfound, not arrived or still unwrapped, family's coming and that's rarely without stress.... or you're alone or grieving during this season, etc. etc.  Well, there's enough to agonize over this year.  Don't let the small stuff get you. Have a simple Christmas dinner with one great dish - or eat out.  Hit the after-Christmas sales for gifts you couldn't get before - late's okay!  No time to wrap - or all thumbs and nerves?  Go out and buy some of those gift bags.  See the tips from Jessica Setnick, MS, RD/LD, in her great guide to surviving the holidays - Surviving.... Body, Mind and Spirit - Strategies.  And mostly, remember that Christmas is about love - hope - and doing for others.   And if you're alone, fix that!  Volunteer, visit the lonely, call them on the phone or email them a message of love and caring.  Holiday joy is what you make it.   It's your call.

More on Avocados - are they healthy?

Do American Women Like to Party?  You bet they do!  Read this press release that explains why and how.

Here's a humorous look at sneakiness (our specialty): Mission Possible: Sneaky Nutrition  by Leigh Abernathy.

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