Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 9:29 am
If you've been applauding yourself recently for choosing the apple slices over the french fries for your kid's fast food meal, or an apple-laden prepackaged salad for your own dinner, you might want to hit the pause button.
We were in London, searching for Hidden Kitchen stories, when we came upon an Eel Pie & Mash shop. It was full of old white marble tables, tile walls, pots of stewed and jellied eels, and piles of pies. These shops are now a dying breed, along with the eels they serve. Our search for the source of these vanishing eels led us to southwest London — to Eel Pie Island, a tiny slice of land with a flamboyant history that stretches from Henry the VIII to the Rolling Stones.
Many of us experience heartburn, or reflux, from time to time — and when we do, we're quick to point the finger at heavy, fatty meals. But that burning, uncomfortable feeling may also be the result of what we're drinking: namely, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, and alcohol.
"Alcohol has a direct effect" on heartburn, says Kevin Ghassemi, a gastroenterologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. "Temporarily, of course."
For a couple of days last month, I ate the same foods as some of the fastest people on the planet — the Kenyans.
I stayed at the same hotel and ate in the same dining room as the Kenya Olympic Marathon team while working on a radio story about how this impoverished nation produces some of the best endurance runners in the world.