(CNN)It's the time of year for seasonal food trends: apple begets pumpkin spice begets butternut squash and sweet potato-rich foods. And now peppermint and eggnog. Some of these are more universally enjoyed than others. But I wondered what exactly makes eggnog such an enticing treat between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I asked some experts in the sensory and food technology fields for insight. "It's like ice cream. ... It's cold, and it's sweet, and it tastes good, especially when you haven't had it for 10 or 11 months," said Steven Young, a consulting dairy and food technologist based in Houston and principal of Steven Young Worldwide, a technical and marketing consultancy. Eggnog or ice cream? In fact, eggnog dates back decades, and it was often consumed as a riff on classical French vanilla ice cream or custard. Read More "You would start by taking just regular ice cream mix with egg yolks in it, which are added for color and flavor," Young said. A manufacturer might … [Read more...] about What makes eggnog so addictive?
(CNN)What's your most frequent nightmare? Is it dreaming that you're dying, or that one of your loved ones is suffering but you can't do anything about it? Or maybe you're waking up with confusion and a racing heart, simply glad that the dream ended. Nightmares are classified as dream sequences that seem realistic and often awaken the person. They are a complex experience. Though fear is the dominant emotion felt during nightmares, a 2014 study reported that sadness, anger, confusion, disgust, frustration or guilt were also common. The study, published in the journal Sleep, looked at the content of 351 adults' nightmares and found that the most frequently reported theme was physical aggression, followed by being chased and the presence of an evil force. But if bad dreams start frequenting your nights, it could be a sign of health problems. An estimated 2% to 8% of adults can't get rest because terrifying dreams wreak havoc on their sleeping patterns. In particular, nightmares can be … [Read more...] about What nightmares can tell us about our health
Story highlights Cutting calories may help with initial weight loss, but physical activity will keep the pounds off As "Biggest Losers" lost weight, their metabolisms slowed, making it harder to maintain weight loss (CNN)After competing in "The Biggest Loser," many of the reality-show contestants have reluctantly regained the weight they sought to lose through extreme dieting and exercise. "The truth is, I kind of spiraled," Ali Vincent, the first woman to win the competition, told Oprah last year. "I got home and I was like, 'What do I do?' "I'm supposed to be strong. I'm supposed to know how to do this." But some contestants discovered for themselves the key to keeping their weight down long after the cameras turned off, according to a study published Monday. Six years after appearing on the show, a group of 14 contestants had kept off a median 13% of their original body weight. The researchers split the group in two -- the "maintainers," who had kept a substantial amount of … [Read more...] about What sets apart the ‘Biggest Losers’ who keep off the weight
Story highlights Mothers around the world consistently alter their voices when talking to their babies, one study found How babies babble back to their parents might vary by culture (CNN)We all use baby talk when we babble with bundles of joy, but does how we talk to infants vary across cultures? The answer seems to be yes and no. "Some cultures talk more or less to babies, some not at all," said Mark VanDam, assistant professor of speech and hearing sciences in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University. "Overall, however, the impulse and act of infant-directed speech seems to be pretty human, not necessarily culturally defined," he said. Here is a sampling of how moms and dads from around the world use infant-directed speech or "baby talk," and why. Read More How baby talk might be consistent Mothers around the world consistently alter their voices when talking to their babies, no matter what language they speak, according to a study … [Read more...] about Global ‘goo-goo’: What baby talk sounds like around the world
Luxor, Egypt (CNN)A man in a gray robe and white headscarf brushes the dust, undisturbed for thousands of years, off a human skull, one of many messily discarded by grave robbers. "They were searching for gold and jewelry, and when they didn't find it they just threw everything over here," says Ali Farouq al-Gaftawi, the veteran foreman at the excavation at Draa Abu Al-Naga, a barren desert hillside overlooking the lush, green Nile Valley. Al-Gaftawi never studied archaeology -- he never went to university -- but over the past four decades, working on dozens of digs with some of the world's top Egyptologists, he has learned a thing or two about those he calls his "grandfathers and grandmothers," the inhabitants of ancient Egypt. A tall man with a big black mustache, a big stick and an air of authority, al-Gaftawi has been overseeing the work here since April, when this tomb was discovered. Researchers carefully examine the tomb. The tomb dates back to the Middle Kingdom … [Read more...] about What it’s like to crawl inside a 3,500-year-old Egyptian tomb