Pukey Poultry- re-post 2011

I was determined to make some tropical fare  to take our minds off of the dreary weather. How better to accomplish this than to add some pineapple and cilantro to a plain and mediocre turkey patty. SO, I did it. I had these beautiful patties combined with pineapple, garlic, cilantro and jalapeno. My mouth just watered thinking about it…. notice how I used the past tense, waterED. My mouth stopped watering when I threw these tropical turkey pies on the skillet and they began to melt like a super soaked wicked witch of the west. NO JOKE… MELT. By the time I was done, my perfect little patties looked like something my neighbor’s dog would regurgitate. UGH. A friend remarked that he would eat it as long as it was edible. EDIBLE???? I don’t even think a rat would eat this poultry gone puke.

I was puzzled and chalked it up to bad meat. I proceeded to defrost some chicken tenderloins, tossed em in a glass dish and mixed in my pineapple salsa for flavor. Boy, was it ever yummy! We packed the leftovers in a glass dish and snacked on it the next day, yum. The third day we decided to finish it up, but, to my dismay, the chicken had the consistency of wet and soggy corn bread. The chicken was mush, just like the tropical turkey burgers. These are the things that make me go, “hmmmm”.

So, what’s the deal???? Why did my poultry go to mush? According to Wikipedia: Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is the common name for a tropical plant and its edible fruit, which is actually a multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries.[1] It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone.[2] The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae.[3]  This bromeliaceae (family) contains a special enzyme called, “bromelain”

Although you may not actually hear the term “pineapple enzyme” thrown around a lot, you might recognize it by its other name: bromelain. Bromelain is a protease enzyme that is found in all parts of the pineapple, but the stem contains the largest concentration of the enzyme. So, what does “protease enzyme” really mean? This is simply a term applied to enzymes that have the specific trait of being able to break down, or “digest”, proteins. To put it into a better perspective, we are going to look at the top uses that make this pineapple enzyme so coveted.
This first use may seem a little funny, but it’s one of the top uses for bromelain–and one that you are likely to try out yourself simply from pure curiosity. Bromelain can be purchased in a powdered form to be used as steak tenderizer. No joke! Living cells contain compounds known as amino acids. These amino acids work hard to join together creating what is essentially a peptide bond. These peptide bonds play a huge role in the structure of tissues. Because the pineapple enzyme bromelain breaks down these peptide bonds by separating and digesting the amino acids, the structural integrity of the tissues degrade. In simple terms: bromelain tenderizer + meat = tender, juicy meat! You have to be careful when using meat tenderizers as they can cause the meat to lose too much consistency and turn mushy if left too long. Just follow the directions on any bromelain-based meat tenderizer and you’ll be chowing down on a steak fit for a king–without having to bust out that medieval looking meat mallet!
This all according to types of enzymes (yeah, seriously, there’s a website all about the types of enzymes).

WELL… now at least I know my mushy chicken isn’t bad bird gone barf!!! Interesting huh??? BUT, that’s not all that bromelain can do… more from types of enzymes:
Another popular use for the pineapple enzyme is for digestive aid. Because bromelain is well known for its ability to break down proteins, studies are being conducted to determine whether this enzyme could be the answer for people with digestive issues. Although formal testing has not produced much hard evidence either proving or disproving this theory, several manufactures offer bromelain in a capsule form with claims that it can help treat bloating, gas, and even irritable bowel syndrome. The purchase trend for this form of bromelain has grown rapidly over recent years, so there may actually be some truth to the claim. I wouldn’t recommend jumping on the wagon straight away, though, as we still don’t know what the long-term effects are.
Yet another “up-in-the-air” claim is that bromelain can reduce the swelling, inflammation, and bruising that can result from injuries or surgery. Bromelain wouldn’t be applied directly to the injured area, but studies have suggested that the regular consumption of bromelain supplements can speed up the initial recovery process. It must seem pretty promising because this technique has been approved for use in Germany since 1993. Jess’ note: I guess I better start stocking up on pineapple! They even use this for a gouty toe!

There are some known risks about bromelain supplements that you should be aware of if you are thinking about taking them. Diarrhea, nausea, and upset stomach are fairly common if bromelain is taken on a regular basis. Other reports suggest that vomiting, drowsiness or sluggishness, and heavy bleeding during menstruation. Anyone with an allergy to pineapple should definitely stay away from products containing bromelain, as they are likely to experience an allergic reaction to the enzyme.
It is recommended that people with peptic ulcers or people who are taking any kind of prescription medication consult their doctor before taking bromelain supplements. Bromelain supplements have not been proven safe for consumption by pregnant or breastfeeding women, or for children. So, while this pineapple enzyme makes a killer steak tenderizer, its safety and usefulness towards health issues is simply unconfirmed and should be used with caution–preferably under the supervision of a doctor.

Pineapple_Head_1

I can’t believe this guy’s face isn’t being dissolved by the pineapple enzyme bromalain!!!!

Fail Harder- repost January 2012

We are programmed to think that there is no room for failure. Failing is bad.. don’t do it; but how does success happen without failure? One doesn’t just don a pair of skates and become an instant olympic figure skater. A friend of mine, Kate Sonnick, posted this video on another friend’s facebook page this week. The video was named, “Fail Harder”. Students at an advertising school came up with the brilliant concept.

Forget “Just Do It”, this was what I was looking for… “Just Do It” insists that you take a risk, the risk of failing… Failing is scary, especially when ego is involved. What will other people think if I fail? Will my failure affect their perception of my abilities as a coach, psychologist, mentor, friend, etc.  Perhaps, but what I should be asking myself is, “Will my failures inspire those same people to try… because without failure we do not have success.” This is the incremental way that we as humans can change our thinking to increase positivity and to encourage and motivate others. I’m not saying to go out there and TRY to fail… I’m saying take risks towards bettering yourself, listen to your intuition, and embrace failure as much as you would celebrate the success… Set goals, make the commitment, and stop using the excuse “But I’m afraid I might fail”, because if you never fail, you can never truly succeed.

 

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