Disco The Parakeet’s “Dirty Dancing” Dialogue


(This video Parrot Reams Off Famous Movie Lines recently appeared on aol.com.)



Is a Gluten-Free Diet Right For You? #Health


Chances are you know at least one person who has given up eating gluten. Maybe you’ve even given it up yourself. But who can really benefit from a gluten-free diet?

“Gluten is one of the main proteins found in wheat, barley and rye,” said Dr. Joseph Levy, division director of pediatric gastroenterology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. “It’s actually a group of proteins and not a single component, but gluten is the general term.”

In baking, it plays a key role. “Gluten is responsible for the way dough is able to rise when you put yeast in it,” Levy explained. “It’s the structure of gluten that makes baked goods light and crispy. If you try to cook with gluten-free flour it won’t have the same airiness. The dough is heavier, and the finished product will be flat and heavy.”

But though gluten might make for a flaky croissant, it can cause a number of problems for certain people.

Registered dietician Rachel Begun, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said that three types of people may not be able to eat products containing gluten: people with celiac disease, people with gluten sensitivity or intolerance, and people with a wheat allergy.

“Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, and when gluten is eaten, the body triggers an attack on the intestines,” Begun said. “Damage occurs over time, and nutrients can’t be absorbed.”

Levy said that “even tiny amounts of gluten trigger an immune-mediated attack on the lining of the bowel.” For someone with celiac disease, “it’s important that you don’t have any exposure to gluten,” he said.

Effects of gluten

One problem, though, is that people aren’t always aware that they have celiac disease. A study published last year in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that almost 80% of people with celiac disease don’t know they have it.

Celiac disease often has no symptoms for years, Begun said, and is often discovered because of the problems it creates, such as anemia or osteoporosis.

Another group of people who might benefit from forgoing gluten are those who have what’s called gluten sensitivity. “We’re just starting to recognize this non-celiac-related sensitivity to gluten,” Levy said.

“When they eat gluten,” he said, “they can have diarrhea or they may get bloated, nauseous, tired and achy.” Begun added that people who are gluten-sensitive may also experience migraines and feel like they have a “foggy brain.”

“Something is going on in the body that triggers these symptoms, but you don’t see damage to the intestine,” she said. “There’s a lot of research going on now in this area, but we don’t yet know if there are any long-term consequences of gluten sensitivity.”

Others who might want to avoid gluten are those who are allergic to wheat. Begun said although there’s no specific allergy to gluten, some people with a wheat allergy choose to avoid gluten-containing products altogether because of the risk of cross-contamination with wheat.

How to cope

Though it might seem logical to stop eating gluten to see whether it’s at the root of your problems, both Levy and Begun say that’s a bad idea. First, they say, you should see a gastroenterologist to be evaluated for celiac disease. Otherwise, stopping consumption of gluten can mask the true cause of your symptoms.

Once those results are in, dietary adjustments can follow. Begun said the best gluten-free diet is one that contains foods that are naturally gluten-free, such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, fish and lean meats.

“A healthy diet really doesn’t need to change much when you give up gluten,” she said. But people with celiac disease need to carefully watch for hidden sources of gluten. For example, she said, bottled salad dressings may contain gluten, as might soy sauce, medications, vitamins and even lip balm.

“For people with celiac disease, it’s not just a matter of trying to avoid gluten,” Begun said. “They must avoid even tiny amounts of gluten.”

Eating out gluten-free can be a challenge because restaurants don’t always understand that cross-contamination can be a problem, too. “If a gluten-free food touches something with gluten, someone with celiac can’t eat it,” Begun said. “The restaurant industry as a whole is trying hard and has come a long way.”

Levy says you can get all the nutrition you need from a gluten-free diet. But, he added a note of caution for those who eat gluten-free with the hope of losing weight.

“People who go on gluten-free diets tend to gain weight,” Levy said. “People often substitute gluten-free flours and alternative baked goods, and too much of these foods can increase weight.”


Is She #HighMaintenance?


“I’m high maintenance, but I’m worth it.” – Lara Logan

Maybe…but more and more men are realizing that if a woman is shallow and self-centered, she’s probably more of an albatross than a trophy.

(The following excerpt taken from The Signs You Know She’s Ridiculously Expensive by William Kent was originally posted on elite daily.com on July 26, 2013. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.)

So you met a girl who seems cool enough to consider dating. You’re going to need to figure out if this girl is expensive, and by expensive, we mean high maintenance. You know, the type of girl that needs to eat the most expensive thing at the restaurant every single time she’s out. The type of girl that won’t attend certain events, unless she’s sitting court side or in the VIP section. The tricky thing about a high maintenance girl is that she may not even be rich herself.

She might just be a regular girl who doesn’t come from money, but still thinks it’s okay to expect pricey trips to Sardinia for no apparent reason. Similar to a bougie girl, but not exactly. Sometimes, she does come from money, and that’s when it’s worse because without you, she can still get whatever the hell she wants. She thinks it’s completely normal to ask guys personal financial questions just to foresee what kind of future she may or may not have with him…within the first ten minutes of meeting!

You’re going to want to steer clear of these kinds of girls. Sure, they’re beautiful, and they might even have an infectious bubbly personality, which makes them ‘beautiful on the inside’, but at the end of the day, she’ll be the reason you didn’t ‘do so well’ last quarter.  Here are the signs you know she’s ridiculously expensive.

Check out the signs at this link…


Dangerous #Liaisons for #CarlosDanger— Victim of #Addiction?


“As Anthony Weiner reminded us (again), there’s a gray zone to infidelity and to accepting it.” – Scott Haltzman, M.D.

(The following excerpt taken from Dangerous Liaisons For Anthony Weiner – Victim Of Addiction? by Scott Haltzman, M.D., was originally posted on psychology today.com on July 24, 2013. To view it in its entirety please click on the link below.)

Now, now, over one year after the Anthony Weiner Twittergate scandal broke, The Dirty broke a follow up story that, following the New York representative’s departure from Congress, Weiner had continued maintaining an online relationship with at least one 22 year-old woman under the nom de plume of “Carlos Danger.”

According to the online magazine, his behavior included the usual sexting of naked photos, but also phone conversations purporting feelings of true love.

I have heard from reporters in numerous media outlets that ask the same question: How can we understand Weiner’s behavior? As a psychiatrist who researches infidelity, am I surprised? Should Weiner’s wife stay?


When an individual initiates the behaviors that lead to an affair— meeting someone new, keeping secrets from the spouse, arranging occult liaisons, and fantasizing and realizing sexual acts—it sets up a series of neurochemical changes that lock someone into an obsessive attachment to the extra-marital person. Brain scan images demonstrate that when an individual experiences infatuation, there is surge of dopamine in areas that are associated with addiction. That brain chemical changes result in a chemical rush in the brain that is powerful, but transient. That intense emotional response, in combination with the the euphoria- inducing rise in the adrenaline-like norepinephrine is often confused with a feeling of being in love, but the feeling fades fast when the object of that attraction is not in your grasp.

The rush/let down of the secretive interactions set up a psychological chain of stimulus-response events that is typical of all addictions. When the alcoholic is sober, he or she begins to feel a surge of anxiety that is only quelled by another drink; when the addicted gambler goes home at the end of the day exhausted, he or she begins to feel the urge to return to the casino the very next day. Once the bottle or deck of cards is back in the hand, the brain breathes a (metaphorical) sigh of relief and everything is good again—only it’s not! The behavior, though compelling and satisfying, is quite destructive to the person. The logical mind knows this, but impulse wins out over rationality.


I haven’t met Anthony Weiner, but I’ve met many people who have engaged in affairs, and many of them describe this intense obsessive attraction to an individual outside the marriage. In my new book, The Secrets of Surviving Infidelity, I describe the phenomenon of “Flame Addiction,” that explains how people can act like moths drawn toward a candle by self-destructively returning to extra-marital affairs. This doesn’t excuse people from their behaviors by labeling it a disease, but rather it explains why people do such seemingly stupid things, and helps defines ways to pull oneself out of the addiction. Like the alcoholic that must shun bars, and the gambler that cannot go to casinos, the person who has a flame addiction must, above anything else, avoid any situations that might lead to rekindling a flame addiction. In Weiner’s case, you think that getting off of twitter would be a good idea?


Perhaps on some level Huma, Weiner’s wife, understands that like addicts of all kinds, Antony’s return to Twitter for affection and sex is typical of individuals who get hooked on an extramarital flame. Like others who suffer from chemical dependency, the flame addict must learn to make changes in his life, focus his attention on positives, and stay away from his “flame” one day at a time. He would be wise to seek serenity in other endeavors (like running from office—if such thing can ever bring serenity). Moreover someone with an intense addiction to an affair will need the right kind of help. And lots of it!


10 Things Every Adult Should Do After The #Trayvon Tragedy #race #education


Although I’ve written about the Trayvon Martin case extensively (see herehere, and here) by no means do I consider myself the sole expert on boys of color. I teach them, and I used to be one before I became a man of color. Yet, the things I knew as a former boy of color haven’t changed much. We need change.

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, here are some things anyone (specifically adults) can do to help our students do better both academically and socio-emotionally:

1. Value them. Give them a sense that they belong in whatever environment you’re in, especially if you control that environment.

2. Listen to them. Many of them are so disaffected by America and all the illusions it brings. Let them tell their stories to you. You’d be surprised about what you hear.

3. Show them other ways, but don’t force them. They say the only way that people change is if they do it on their own. However, if they don’t see another way besides the direction they’re going, then they won’t move. We have to work in that middle lane between forcing our kids and showing them they have better potential than what’s been shown to them. Speaking of which …

4. Involve them. Don’t let them sit in the back, if you can. Instead, let them sit in the middle, and let them warm up to the idea of moving to the front.

5. Say hello. It’s about making them feel like their humanity needs acknowledgment, which is what a “hello” is.

6. Reflect on your attitudes towards them. Sometimes, our own biases about our children prevent us from doing the best job for them. We need to reflect harder about the choices we make when in their presence.

7. Assume their culture may be different from yours, and nothing more, if you must.Generally, I don’t like assuming people’s way of life or morals unless I know enough about them. Having said that, if I know someone’s culture is different, I don’t assume it’s inferior or superior to mine.

8. Demand more from them. Items 1-7 might make you think you should be softer on our kids, from the attitudes they have towards girls to the way they approach work in school. The answer is no. If anything, because you value them, heard them, and involved them, you have every right to expect them to do better because you believe in their potential.

9. Expand your knowledge of history. One of my biggest issues with many teachers is the overemphasis on texts like Night and Diary of Anne Frank to teach children of color about their current situation when we already have texts like Miseducation of the Negro and The Bluest Eye. I do think children of color should have a wider set of sources from which to hear about others’ oppressions, I would also like to see teachers expand their own horizons on the text they choose for other people’s children.

10. Start from Emmett Till and work your way up. Emmett Till is the perfect marker for this Trayvon Martin case for a few reasons: 1) It gives a historical context for this sort of aggression against Black boys and, 2) It’s the perfect entryway for people to ask questions about institutionalized racism and the way it works against the success of any and everyone who is considered “of color.”

You can easily apply this list to any child, but I have to place an emphasis on these because we all need reminders. As if Trayvon Martin wasn’t enough.

Click here to add reading Why Do All the Black Kids Sit Together in the Cafeteria to your GOOD “to-do” list.

Invisible boy in hoodie image via Shutterstock

A version of this post originally appeared at The Jose Vilson